Sunday, June 29, 2014


This weekend was incredible!  Jason's lifeguards competed in the annual lifeguard competition for our area.  He has had teams compete for the last several years, and they always do well.  This year, he had 3 teams competing.  Seth's team name was The Lifeguardians, from the movie The Guardian (starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher).  The team watched that movie at our house almost every night the week leading up to the competition.  It inspired them, made them reach for greatness.

So, here's how the weekend went:

We left early on Friday morning. 3/4 of the team rode in our car.  One member was in another car.  Jason is all business when he's driving.

I didn't really see the team very much during the day.  I was busy being a first aid victim (I had a broken ankle). Jason and I took a selfie before the games got started.  We got to work in the same event.  He was judge, I was victim.  Day 1 had 4 events: first aid/cpr, fitness, scanning, and The Weakest Link (lifeguard trivia). 

At each event, the team would re-enact a scene from the movie.
Captain: Pop tall!
Team: (clap clap clap) Hoorah!

When they came to the first aid/cpr event where Jason was judging, they added another scene.
Jason: Lifeguardians, will you come find me if I am lost?
Team: Yes, Senior Chief!!
Jason:  Will you come save me if I am drowing?
Team: Yes, Senior Chief!
Jason: I believe you will.

I wish I had taken a picture of the one of the excellent splints on my "broken ankle," but unfortunately, I only took this really sad, how not to splint an ankle.  

After all the teams rotated through the first 3 events, The Weakest Link started.  All 30-something teams did this event at the same time.  After Seth missed a question and got out, he noticed his Dex sensor was coming out.  No problem, I brought a backup.  We planned to put it on when we got back to the hotel.

All the teams from our pool had dinner together that night.  It was just fun team-bonding time.  When we got back to the hotel, I asked Seth about putting on a new sensor.  He decided to wait until after the games were over.  I was a little nervous about that, but because of the nature of the games he wasn't really able to look at his receiver very often anyway.  Deep breath, mom.  It will be fine!  Jason needed the tape replaced on his sensor, but his held up pretty well.

Day 2 started out super early. I was busy again, this time as a rule-breaker in the scenario event. Jason was again a judge for that same event.  Again, when the Lifeguardians finished his event, they re-enacted the scene from the movie:

Jason: Lifeguardians, will you come find me if I am lost?
Team: Yes, Senior Chief!!
Jason:  Will you come save me if I am drowing?
Team: Yes, Senior Chief!
Jason: I believe you will.

And upon leaving each event that day:

Captain: Pop tall!
Team: (clap clap clap) Hoorah!

 No pictures from the early events on Day 2, which were scenario (watching for rule-breakers and injured/unconscious people), spinal (correctly removing a victim from the pool when they have a suspected spinal injury), 3 blind mice (blindfold first aid - one team member talks 3 blindfolded team members through a first aid event), and Crash Bag Clean-Up (not completely sure about the details on this one, but something about putting supplies into a bag correctly using a diagram. Fastest one done correctly won.).  

After those 4 events, the obstacle course began.  Each team member had to complete their task, then tag the next member for their portion.  Person A had to stack chairs then tow person C across the pool.  Person B then had to pick up "trash" on the side of the pool, then take a buoyancy belt to person C.  

Person C then aqua-jogged across the pool....

.....then she got to slide down the really cool slide and tag person D.

Seth was person D. He had to get on a rescue board (backboard) and paddle across the pool.

He was first in and first out!  They won their heat!

After lunch, the awards started.  Medals are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for each event, as well as an overall winner.  The top 3 overall winners advance to the state competition.

The Lifeguardians won 1st place in one event, and 2nd place in 3 events.  When they began to announce the overall winners, I was nervous!  4 medals meant they had a really good chance of placing in top 3.  There's no way to describe the utter joy when they called out "1st place, Lifeguardians!"  Screaming, hugging, tears of joy.  Indescribable and surreal!  The team is headed to state!  Jason has coached teams the last 5 years and has wanted to take a team to state the whole time.  Now he gets to take not just a team, but a team with his son on it!  Besides having a person with type 1 on their team, the team captain had a liver transplant almost 3 years ago.  This team is going to the state competition with a busted pancreas and a borrowed liver!  How incredible is that????  

After they received their award, one final time:
Captain: Pop tall!
Team: (clap clap clap) Hoorah!

Then Jason had to do his bit one last time as well:
Jason: Lifeguardians, will you come find me if I am lost?
Team: Yes, Senior Chief!!
Jason:  Will you come save me if I am drowing?
Team: Yes, Senior Chief!
Jason: I know you will.

The Lifeguardians with their coach

We headed home after the awards.  Only 1/2 of the team was in our car this time.  They were absolutely on cloud 9!  Seth was jingling his medals together and said, "That's what winners sound like."  No, he was not being arrogant.  He was just celebrating!

When we got back to the pool, I had to take a picture of the trophy.  It actually belongs to the city, and will stay at City Hall.  There is also a travelling trophy that the team will get to keep until next year.  The city name and year will go on that trophy.  Hopefully they will be able to get it back next year!

I'm hoping to have another blog post the first part of August telling you how this incredible group of young people won the state competition.  Stay tuned!


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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sugar Surfing with Dr. Ponder

Last Saturday, we attended a Sugar Surfing seminar with Dr. Ponder.  It was wonderful!  So many things to learn!  I tried to take notes, but there was so much information.  I can't wait for his book to come out so that I'll have the information in front of me at all times.

Big things we learned:

1) Sugar surfing is Dynamic Diabetes Management (DDM).  It isn't a set of rules, it's a way of thinking and  responding to individual situations.
2) Diabetes care MUST be individualized.  One size does NOT fit all.
3) Even non-diabetics do not have a straight-line CGM graph.
4) Start small.  It takes years of practice and patience.
5) Control exists "in the moment."

He explained new vocabulary (flux, drift, nudge, shove, turning a curve, taking the drop) all related to watching your graph and responding appropriately.  You can learn to pre-empt a spike or a drop if you are paying attention.

Micobolusing and microcarbing were 2 techniques he talked about for making small changes based on what the graph is telling you (and of course confirming numbers with a fingerstick before making a correction).

He also talked about finding the balance between alarm fatigue and infomation/BG awareness, in reference to setting high and low alerts on your CGM.  I thought this was important.  Sometimes I think my guys have their high alert set too high, but hearing the high alert stresses them. They have it set to a level where they will take action, not the top of their desired range.  That range can be changed over time as they become better sugar surfers.

After it was over, I asked the guys what they thought.

Seth said, "What he said made a lot of sense.  I do some of those things already."

Jason said, "I'll try it!"

So, I think it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning.  I highly recommend Sugar Surfing, if you have the opportunity to attend!  It's another way to help us KDA!

Isn't this what we wish it could always look like?

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Graduation Day #2 - The Real Deal

Last Tuesday was Seth's high school graduation.  It started out a little rough.

It wasn't quite this high (confirmed by finger stick) but still much higher than he typically is in the morning.  It took a huge correction a long time to kick in!  He spent most of the day out of range, but not crazy high.  Excitement?  Nerves? The Twinkie he had the night before?  Who knows?

Nanny (my mom) helped him fix his tie.  She gave him his first bath when he was a newborn and also stayed with him one night in the hospital when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  She's been there for everything!  She's pretty awesome.

Entering the arena

Getting his diploma

Proud parents and brother
The white stole is for being a Distinguished High School graduate.  The cords are for Destination Imagination.  The medal is his Eagle Scout medal.  3 amazing accomplishments from an amazing kid!  Diabetes may slow him down at times, but it isn't stopping him!  He is fierce and determined.

My 2 type 1s.  I love these goofy guys!

It was an amazing day!  There were a few very special people missing from our celebration, but it was just a great day with those who could make it.  I didn't shed a tear.  For real.  I just kept thinking that we almost lost him on August 24, 2012 and now he is graduating from high school.  What is there to be sad about?  I am proud beyond belief, but not one bit sad.  He is ready for the world.  I hope the world is ready for him!  KDA, kiddo!  KDA!

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