Archive for » September, 2014 «

I discovered that there is a fine line that separates healthiness and illness.

We crossed that line on Dec 4th, 2013, when my baby was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. We went from a small medicine cabinet with some vitamins and a couple of bottles of likely expired cold syrup to a home filled with vials of insulin, syringes, insulin pens, glucose meters, test strips, glucagon, and glucose tabs, while continuously learning and adding more medical products and devices to our medical arsenal to manage the rascal named T1D.

A great deal of anger and depression came with the initial diagnose. Our anger known no target, as no one yet know the cause for the disease. We were just mad that such a lot has been dealt to our baby, subject the poor child to a daily routine of finger pricks and insulin injections. T1D not only traumatized our child physically, but shattered our entire family’s emotional well being.

I directed the bulk of my anger at a backpack. A backpack we filled with T1D medical supplies and a T1D log book where every meal with its associated carbohydrates, and insulin dosages must be written down. The backpack was a monstrous eye sore, a constant reminder of the disease. I resented it, and resented to be forced to carry it with us everywhere we went.

T1D Backpack


There is also just a fine thought that separates despair and hopefulness.

One day, I was reading an article about how Dr. Frederick Banting and a team of scientists discovered insulin in 1922. It had occurred to me then that prior to 1922, a T1D diagnose was a sure death sentence.

I eyed our T1D backpack, all of sudden, realized that all the supplies in our backpack are the medicine advances that are keeping my child alive–enabling her to go to school, to participate in sports, and to do all the things that she likes to do.

I felt grateful towards our backpack.

There have been many medical advancement in T1D treatment and technology since 1922. We have been very fortunate to be able to take advantage of some of them in just the past months.

In March of this year, we got an insulin pump, which is a device that my child attaches to her body to deliver insulin. We still count carbohydrates on all the food she eats, and she still have to finger prick several days a day, but the pump took away all the daily injections by syringe, and made our lives easier.

In April, we got a Dexcom CGM (continuous glucose monitor), it is another device that my child attaches to her body, and it monitors her blood sugar 24 X 7, helping us to better manager her blood glucose level, to avoid going low or high, and improves her overall long term health.

My baby with insulin pump and CGM sensor


Looking back, that initial dark period seemed like a distant past. I am no longer bitter and angry. I count my blessings instead.

I am grateful to have the best medical technology available, grateful to call an amazing group of medical professionals as our diabetes team, grateful to be a part of a most dedicated and compassionate T1D community, and I am grateful for an organization called JDRF.

JDRF is a worldwide non-profit organization dedicated to funding type 1 diabetes research. Since its inception in 1970, it has funded more than $1.7 billion in diabetes research, dramatically advancing the T1D technology frontier and greatly improving the lives of those living with the disease.

It currently supports several clinical studies worldwide, including the much anticipated Artificial Pancreas Systems and Beta Cell Encapsulation Therapies, these are the two leading “almost cure” treatments already in human clinical trials.

JDRF’s largest fund-raising event is its annual JDRF Walk to Cure event. Our local version of this event will take place this year in Silicon Valley on Oct 18th. It will be my family’s first time participating in this walk to cure event.

As we count our daily blessings, a cure is in our daily prayers. I hope you will join our cause.

Below is the link to our fund raising page, donations in any amount will be appreciated:

Our JDRF Walk to Cure fund-raising page

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“Kids! What would you like for dinner tonight?” I yelled towards upstairs to the kids. This simple question landed me in a whole bunch of trouble last Saturday night.

I had the pleasure of watching my two young nieces last Saturday. So, just after 6PM, I offered the kids a dinner of their choice.

A few minutes later, the 4 kids came running down the stairs, and yelled almost in unison: “We want a tea party!!!”

Silly me. I was thinking somewhere along the lines of Sushi, Pizza, Burger…

“Tea Party for dinner?!” me.

“Yeah! Take us to Lisa’s Tea Treasure.” said the ring leader, my 14-year-old, “You know, that fancy tea house you took us to before.”

“Don’t be crazy! You can’t just show up at Lisa’s Tea Treasures. That place requires a reservation weeks in advance!” me.

“Well, you said it is our choice for dinner tonight, and we want a tea party.” the unyielding 14-year-old.

“Yeah, we want tea party.” The littler kids joining in and jumping up and down.

I walked into the kitchen, and studied the contents in my pantry and refrigerator.

“Fine. I will give you a tea party.” me, total pushover.

“Yea!” the kids all run upstairs together.

I busied myself like a mad woman in the kitchen, and even went to the backyard and collected the best looking roses for the party.

45 minutes later, I yelled upstairs again, “Ladies, your tea party is ready.”

Wow! Apparently, the kids were busy upstairs as well. They raided the closets and changed into fancy dresses that were purchased for special occasions. They had lipsticks on, and adorned themselves in sparkling jewelries.

Wow……

Tea party treats

They were equally impressed by the Tea Party spread I had prepared for them.

Tea party


I served them non-caffeinated tea in my best espresso set. I made them Nutella and Grilled Cheese finger sandwiches, mini corn dogs, a beautiful tray of biscuits, chocolate wafers, various cookies, and a bowl of fresh fruit. Of course, with a beautiful fresh rose as their center piece, and a few rose pedals scattered over the table.

The fancy ladies sat down, marveled at their fabulous tea party dinner, and started eating.

Let the party begin!


First, my 14-year-old trained the littler girls to properly hold the tea cup with the pinkies sticking up and slightly curved.

Then they spent the entire dinner speaking in very bad, and terribly exaggerated British accent.

But the fun didn’t stop there for me. They insisted on referring to me as the tea maid, and were constantly requesting more tea, more sugar, ketchup for their corn dogs, or to clean up their spillage.

By 8PM, I was tired and hungry myself. Thank goodness, their butler arrived home with dinner for us servants.

After the kids were finally done, hubby and I devoured our Panda Express takeout dinners.

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I hosted a small family BBQ over Labor Day weekend, and decided to treat my guests to something a little different.

I decided to make an Asian themed Sangria…because I love Sangrias!

As it turned out, Sangria is incredibly easy to make. I can’t believe I was paying $8 to $12 a pop for them at restaurants.

All you need is a ¼ cup of Triple Sec, a bottle of wine, some cut up fresh fruit, and sugar syrup.

Triple Sec and Muscat Wine


I have had enough Sangrias to know that not all Sangrias are made equal, I’ve had some great Sangrias and some awful ones too.

I knew that I need to get the main ingredient right, and I attribute that to the wine. I like a light and refreshing Sangria, and though I usually prefer red wine, I have decided on a white wine, but not just any white wine, I choose a bottle of Muscat wine. The Muscat is typically a dessert wine, light, refreshing, and mildly sweet.

Preparation:

1) Make sugar syrup: boil a ½ cup of water, then add and mix ¼ cup of sugar. Set it aside and let it cool. Many Sangria recipes call for 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar. That’s WAY too sweet for me.
2) Cut up some fresh fruit. I used white peach, Lychees, Muscat grapes, watermelon, and raspberries. (Feel free to use your own favorite fruits).

Fresh fruit for my sangria


3) Put all the fruit together. Add ¼ cup of Triple Sec, the sugar syrup, and the bottle of wine. Stir well.

Fruit + Syrup + Triple Sec


4) Serve with crushed ice.

I was on my second glass before any guests even arrived. Why not!

I'll have the first glass.

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