Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I volunteered at a World Diabetes Day event last weekend and received a free Delica from the kind One Touch folks. Since I'm short on words these days I thought I'd offer it up as a giveaway for the DOC. I will randomly choose a winner based on either the number of comments left on this post, or the number of cat treats my little ball of fur consumes in a day ;-) Thanks for reading and good luck!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
- Bernard at Diabetes Daily
- Scott at Strangely Diabetic
- Molly (and Jackie) at CureMoll
- Kacey's mom Jill at Diabetes Sweeties
- Colleen at Meanderings
- and Gina's page at Diabetes TalkFest, which has a list of all the other great D-Blog Day posts today.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
For me it's February. I still remember it all: the harsh-smelling soap in the hospital shower, the prick of the IV, the first shots and fingersticks. I remember watching TV with my parents, wishing I could go home to see my brother and my cat and sleep in my own bed. And wondering why everyone was so upset about me having diabetes. The fluids and insulin made me feel so much better. I was grateful to finally have relief from the siren of sleep and thirst that had literally consumed me in weeks before. Every February I am there again, feeling the rough sheets of the hospital bed, the smell of insulin fresh in my mind and my 12-year-old self close to the surface.
But it's November now and so the 'official' observance of National Diabetes Month is underway once more. For me it is a sad month on the calendar. The earth gives up the breath of life a little and goes into a deep sleep. Encroaching cold and darkness make me want to stay indoors, to cuddle up with my husband and cat or be alone for a while, pondering. It is somber in remembrance of veterans past and my late mother's birthday. The holidays seem a glittery blur far off in the distance. I am observant, chastened, repentant.
And diabetes is still there, waiting for me at every moment with tireless, destructive energy, every year. An endless string of Februarys stretches out before me. Of countless days of testing and dosing and guessing. Of wondering what I did wrong. Of kicking myself for 'bad' numbers. Of giving up, not caring, and then finding a way to get back in the groove. Of praying, and begging the higher powers for just one more chance to keep trying. Of getting up in the morning and doing it all over again, one more time. Of wondering when my time will be up. Of waiting.
Someday, maybe November won't be so bad for me. Maybe February will pass without a memory. And maybe, just maybe, diabetes won't get its own star anymore.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
So I eagerly dove into Beyond Fingersticks, Wil's recent book about CGMS. I really liked the structure of the content--I remember reading Wil's original post and 'Art of War' analogy, and it makes perfect sense to base the book on it. One thing that really rings true for CGMS for me is "watching the flow" instead of the actual numbers. It has been priceless to know whether I'm dropping or rising, even when the values are several points off from fingersticks. I also liked Chapter 9's advice on calibration. This was totally new information to me and is already helping me get more out of the readings. Before I was feeding every value to Dex even when results were 60-70 points off.
I really appreciated the data overload discussion in Ch. 10. Seeing my blood sugar move in real time was wonderful, but trying to decipher the patterns drove me nuts for a while. It's really helpful for someone new to CGMS to realize that some of the difficulty lies in the software, and some in the way we veteran PWDs were taught to look at our numbers. Wil also covers some real-world issues in section three (chs. 11-13) that CGM makers usually leave out when they tell you about their systems. (For example, it's comforting to learn that I'm not the only one who ever ripped out a sensor in the bathroom!)
Between Wil's book, his blog posts and others (like Kerri's extremely helpful vlog on applying a new sensor!) I was ready to go on CGM without the Dexcom rep's help. Beyond Fingersticks brings the blog into your hands and is a great resource for someone thinking about getting a CGMS. For people who have been using it a while, it's still a helpful guide. Clearly written in Wil's unique sardonic style, it's an engaging read that I burned through in one sitting. It's long enough to engage in discussion, yet short and compact enough to work well as a reference book. Type 1 PWDs have more reason to gain from the content, but anyone with diabetes regardless of type will appreciate Wil's real-world explanations and wealth of information.
Order yourself a copy here!
Monday, October 11, 2010
There's the diabetes, of course...
And my little friend Dex...
OK, this is getting weird. Notice any strange patterns in your life?!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
It was "Property Virgins" that sucked me in. What is it about peeping into stranger's houses that makes me feel so dirty, yet so excited? Why do I get such a vicarious thrill out of a 3 bed, 2 1/2 bath with a garage? At first I thought it was because our old condo didn't have in-unit laundry or a dishwasher. I railed against the idiots who dared to complain about the lack of stainless steel appliances. (What is WRONG with these people? Try not having your own at all, and collecting quarters all week so you can even DO laundry...!) And the cavernous master bedrooms and bathrooms...oh my goodness. That Sandra Rinomato is one funny chick too. She is so...Canadian :)
It got worse. I discovered "Income Property." And then "House Hunters" and "Color Splash: Miami" and "Holmes on Holmes." But there was a mean slant too. "Bang For Your Buck" infuriates me sometimes. I do wonder what people are thinking when they put $15,000 tile in a bathroom, though. And I can't make it through "Dear Genevieve" without getting nauseated. (Vern Yip was my TLC favorite--Genevieve just annoyed me.) The worst has to be "Design Star." I just can't handle the competition and fake drama.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Greetings from the Sunshine State :-) I've been off on the sidelines of the DOC for a while...my husband and I made a big decision over the summer to relocate from Chicago to Florida. We packed up all our earthly belongings and drove down the week after Labor Day. (Our cat had to stay with my dad in Chicago, but he'll be joining us in the coming weeks and our little family will be complete again.) Work was one big reason--his employer pretty much said any new work would come from the south region of their operations, and I was stuck in a vicious cycle of dysfunction at my job. The winters were getting tougher too. But first and foremost we wanted to live a healthier life with less stress somewhere new and focus on ourselves as a couple for a little while.
So now that the house is finally in livable condition (seriously, how can someone let their AC die down here?!) and most of the boxes are unpacked, I'm getting used to a new world and routines. Although my husband kept his job (he's in IT and travels for work), I quit mine and am looking for something--anything--here in south Florida. DH flies to Virginia Monday through Thursday, so I keep myself busy with what I can during the week and try to appreciate the time off. (I'm blessed to be covered by his health insurance so that's one huge worry alleviated.)
Diabetes-wise? Things have been down, and up. All the running around had me bottoming out constantly on the road and during the first couple of weeks here. But now things are a little more predictable. The biggest change for me is how I react to any kind of exertion in hot weather. I drop 50-100 points with as little as 20 minutes of exercise--either I'm more out of shape than I thought, or the climate really does a number on my absorption rates. Plus the food can be challenging. We're eating so many more "healthy" fruits and veggies now that we live near a farmer's market and prices are far less than in Chicago. But all that fruit adds up--just ask me what my BG went up to the day I ate a bowl of grapes and neglected to bolus for them (325!).
I'm hoping to blog more often now that I'm away from a workplace where surf Nazis kept watch on literally everything I did online. I've even joined Twitter--a sure sign the universe is ending ;-) And I hope to get involved with JDRF's activities in the Boca Raton/West Palm Beach area, or any other awareness work I can do. I'm still feeling a little adrift and disoriented. I've never lived outside of Chicago and all my family are there, but I was always the one who wanted to go to new places and vacationed alone when the spirit moved me. Dh and I were always driving off somewhere to explore on the weekends too. So the move is nothing new, yet for me it's almost an undiscovered country. And although my grandparents were snowbirds in the 1980s in Tampa, my memories of Old Florida are nothing like the reality in this part of the state. But it's an adventure, and I'm still more excited than anything.
Thanks for keeping up with me, and stay tuned!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wouldn't you just love to hear this in your local Walgreens: "Diabetes cure in Aisle 4" Well, we can dream, right?
'Til then, if you're in south Florida, you can help by picking up one of these little guys to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute. They're available in four different Florida state university jerseys at $4.99 apiece.
(Sorry, Seminoles fans!)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I wrote about this piece before; looking at it now, it still resonates. Most of the time, my diabetes is as invisible to others as it was here. Most of the time, I am trying to make others believe I am fine and happy, unaffected by diabetes. (And most of the time, something as simple as my cat does make me happy.) But it's what missing from the picture that really matters. I can see my years of loneliness with this disease, and the isolation I felt as the only type 1 PWD I knew. I see the teenager who spent hours reading, writing and drawing to visit worlds where the physical was unimportant. So thank you, Lee Ann, for inspiring me and others to express these thoughts today.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Let others know a little more about yourself, re-post this as your name followed by "ology".
- What is your salad dressing of choice? Lite ranch
- What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? Uncle Bub's or Lao Sze Chuan
- What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? String cheese!
- What are your pizza toppings of choice? I'm not really picky about pizza & don't eat it much...pepperoni, green peppers when I am.
- What do you put on your toast? Butter & grape jam, or just butter sometimes
- How many televisions are in your house? Two
- How many computers? Too many--five at last count (my husband is in IT)! I think they're becoming self-aware...
- What kind of cell phone do you have? HTC Touch Pro2
- Do you have an iPod? No, but my husband does
- Are you right-handed or left-handed? Right
- Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Wisdom teeth & tonsils. (My useless pancreas is still in there, but non-functional)
- What is the last heavy item you lifted? A box of photo frames & albums last night (we're moving)
- Have you ever been knocked unconscious? No, but I had the wind knocked out of me once as a kid--scary!
- If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? Absolutely not
- If you could change your name, what would you change it to? I wouldn't change it, but I used to like Lindsay as a girl's name. Of course, a certain celebrity has ruined that now (!)
- Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? If it was Buillard's I'd have to think about it...! Nah ;)
- How many pairs of flip flops do you own? Four (bad diabetic, I know I shouldn't wear 'em)
- Last time you had a run-in with the cops? Hmm. Probably when I was involved in a train derailment four years ago.
- Last person you talked to? A U-Haul representative
- Last person you hugged? My husband
- Last person you kissed? Ditto :)
- Season? Spring or fall--I like the changes
- Holiday? Halloween or the 4th of July
- Day of the week? Saturday
- Month? May, because everything is green and there are many pleasant, warm days still ahead
- Missing someone? Yes
- Mood? Tired
- What are you listening to? This, at my desk
- Watching? Nothing, but last night I was watching HGTV while packing
- Worrying about? My next round of doctor's appointments in 3 weeks
- First place you went this morning? The kitchen to give the cat a treat :)
- What's the last movie you saw? The Bounty Hunter. So bad, we turned it off!
- Do you smile often? Lately, no. Need to work on that...
- Sleeping alone tonight? Yes, DH is in Minneapolis working til tomorrow
- Do you always answer your phone? Yes
- If you could change your eye color what would it be? Brighter blue or green
- Do you own a digital camera? Yes
- Have you ever had a pet fish? Yes, when I was about 9 I won a goldfish at a carnival. But it jumped out of the bowl & died one day :(
- Favorite Christmas song(s)? "White Christmas" or "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
- What's on your wish list for your birthday? I'm trying not to think about it, it's the big 4-0
- Can you do push ups? A few, I'm outta shape :(
- Can you do a chin up? One, maybe. Never could do many!
- Does the future make you more nervous or excited? About 50/50
- Do you have any saved texts? Yes
- Ever been in a car wreck? Yes
- Do you have an accent? Yep, I'm fourth generation Chi-cah-go-ahn (Chicagoan) ;)
- What is the last song to make you cry? "Hallelujah" by the Canadian Tenors
- Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom? Oh yes..
- Name 3 things you bought yesterday? A Diet Coke at the train station. Didn't buy anything else yesterday
- Have you ever been given roses? Yes, by my parents
- Current worry? Whaddaya got? I have the Irish worrying gene
- Current hate right now? I try not to hate as it is both draning & un-Christian. But since I'm human, I hate traffic, pushy people on the train and my boss.
- Met someone who changed your life? Many!
- How will you bring in the New Year? Probably in flip-flops on the beach in Florida
- What song represents you? "Never Surrender" by Corey Hart
- Name three people who might complete this? Some of my fellow D-OCers
- Would you go back in time if you were given the chance? If I didn't have to stay, yes, there are some moments I'd like to relive. But not if I couldn't come back to now.
- Have you ever dated someone longer than a year solid? Yes
- Do you have any tattoos/piercings? No tats, pierced ears
- Will you be in a relationship 4 months from now? Yes
- Does anyone love you? Yes
- Would you be a pirate? Nope!
- What songs do you sing in the shower? 1980s crap :)
- Ever had someone sing to you? Yes, in Dublin a whole room full of people sang "Molly Malone" to me as a farewell the night before I left. It was lovely :)
- When did you last cry? Over the weekend
- Do you like to cuddle? Yes
- Have you held hands with anyone today? No
- Who was the last person you took a picture of? Does my cat count?!
- What kind of music did you listen to in elementary school? My parents liked Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. I also remember a lot of 1970s AM radio
- Do you believe in staying close with your ex's? No
- Are most of the friends in your life new or old? Old
- Do you like pulpy orange juice? Yes, but I don't like OJ as it reminds me too much of low blood sugars
- What is something your friends make fun of you for? My friends don't really make fun of me, but my best friend likes to recount stories to her kids about the wild things I used to do on my bike when I was little. My husband teases me about my 1980s music choices sometimes too :)
Monday, July 26, 2010
- At 12 years old my life was changed forever. My parents and I joined a club with a lifetime membership and no option to cancel. I also got to see doctors as the fellow soldier in my battle rather than a demigod in a white coat. But I would rather have that seasoned veteran with a wary eye for me and my health at my side.
- I have no pride when it comes to my body. Open my veins, probe my insides, shine lights in my eyes and stick pins in my feet. I will endure it all. I will willingly submit to what many healthy patients will not. I will abide, and rarely will I complain. I still remember the days before, and how very sick I was. There is little I will not do to permanently avoid feeling that way again.
- I will need you to fight for me when it comes to the health care system. I am not seeing doctors to cause problems for others trying to access resources. I do my best to stay away and only come to you when I know I need your help. But the system of prescription renewals, insurance plan denials and limitations on care is a formidable enemy sometimes. Help me by coming to my aid.
- I will never lie to you. Sometimes I bring you issues I know you cannot help, I can see it in your eyes when the answer fails you. It's okay, and I understand. Sometimes I just want you to know.
- It's life and death for me every day, but some days I just do the best that I can. Let me have those days, and give me another chance when my numbers change. I know, and I will do better.
- I have learned more about my diabetes over the last 27 years than many patients, but I still don't know it all. You know so much more about the human body than me, and what things I should or should not worry about. I trust you to be my guide. I will do my best to understand the most complicated explanations, and ask you relevant, concise questions if I do not. But I am patient with not knowing why, and will try to accept what I cannot change.
- I do not expect miracles from you. In truth, I don't even expect a cure anymore. That is for others...I am reconciled to this life. It's okay, and I'm hanging in there. Thank goodness for the online community of friends who share my struggle. I just want you to be honest and straightforward with me. Please respect my intelligence and willingness to be a full partner in my care, and help me find the best tools I can to keep fighting.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The new normal
Fragile, like a newborn thing
Slowly I learned to crawl
Then, sometimes swiftly
My shell, so thin
My delicate insides will waste
If you tip me the wrong way I will die
Against long odds
Defiant, and straining
A litte bit each day
Following all the others
Leaving my trail behind
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Is it an arm? Is it a leg? (Taken from my cellphone camera at work.)
Ah, the memories...
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Name a film that you have seen more than 10 times. Willingly? The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Sense and Sensibility, It's a Wonderful Life, The Godfather (although every viewing after #4 or 5 was mandated by the men in the room!). GoodFellas (ditto), Roman Holiday, Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (any of the original three films), Say Anything, Spaceballs, Pride and Prejudice, and the list goes on...
Name a film that you’ve seen multiple times in the cinema. Not so much now, but back in the day we saw Jaws and any one of the original Star Wars trilogy 8-10 times over the summer.
Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a film. Ewan McGregor; Russell Crowe; Meryl Streep; Alan Rickman; Tom Hanks; Nicole Kidman; Emma Thompson; Jennifer Connelly. And oddly, lately, Jason Bateman. (Who knew?!)
Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a film. Vin Diesel, The Rock, Steven Seagal, Ben Affleck, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston (my husband's crush), and pretty much any of the low-level D-listers (Lindsey Lohan et al).
Name a film that you can and do quote from. There are many, but Top Gun, for some reason, has multiple applications in my daily life...! "Your ego is writing checks your body can't cash!"
Name a film musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs. Meet Me in St. Louis. I wish I could say something more modern, but I kind of avoided musicals for a long time, then started with the oldies. But when I was 8 my best friend and I knew every last word to Xanadu!
Name a film that you would recommend everyone see. Oh gosh, that's hard. I'd rather recommend going through Roger Ebert's Great Movies and seeing more than just one. I'd also encourage you to see as many foreign films as possible--it's fascinating to glimpse lives so different than most of ours.
If it's just one, and you missed it, see Wall-E. It's beautiful, oddly poignant and fun.
Ever walked out of a film? Yes--Natural Born Killers. It was just too much.
Name a film that made you cry in the cinema. Borat--streaming tears of laughter! In all seriousness, seeing Solaris made me think of my mother and I lost it for some reason.
Popcorn? Of course! I love Sno-Caps too (in moderation, of course).
How often do you go to the cinema (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)? We rarely go to the show anymore. It's just too expensive for most films. I'll go to see something like Avatar or a movie I really want to "experience."
What’s the last film you saw in the cinema? Avatar. Amazing effects, but the story was seriously underwhelming.
What’s your favorite/preferred genre of film? Drama, especially the old stuff. But I also love the great 1980s comedies (Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Money Pit, Joe Vs. the Volcano, Big, etc.). I like a lot of classic sci-fi but seriously don't get the whole Star Trek thing.
What’s the first film you remember seeing in the cinema? Probably a Disney cartoon like Dumbo. But I also vividly recall seeing Star Wars when I was 6.
What film do you wish you had never seen? Trailer Park of Terror. That is 90 minutes of my life I will never get back. Lesson: never go along blindly with DH's picks at Blockbuster!
What is the scariest film you’ve seen? Believe it or not, Paranormal Activity scared the bejesus out of me not long ago. My old favorites (Psycho, The Shining, The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street) don't seem as scary now--probably because I've seen them so many times. Halloween still creeps me out though. I find I am more frightened by themes of paranormal/supernatural activity than slashers or gore.
If you could be any character portrayed in a movie, who would it be? Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor. Elizabeth Bennett is kind of a cheat since she's a literary figure...but she rocks too :-)
Total number of films you own on DVD and video. Oh gosh...probably 20 or 30. I went on a tear buying my favorite "special collector's editions" about 10-15 years ago. Now I only buy films I cannot bear to part with.
Last film you bought. Probably Lost in Translation or Dear Frankie. It's been a while. I did, however, splurge on the Miami Vice box set a couple of years ago.
Last film you watched. This weekend--Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Nicolas Cage is insane.
Five films that mean a lot to you:
- I Remember Mama
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
- The Best Years of Our Lives
- It's a Wonderful Life
- Say Anything
- and many more...the first four are almost like old family friends, they always remind me of watching movies with my parents and grandparents. Say Anything is probably the one film made about my generation (X) that I'd like to see represent us 100 years from now.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
- Bayer A1C Now value: 6.1
- Lab value: 6.2
Interesting. Any thoughts, folks? Has anyone used this or any other over-the-counter A1C test?
(I'm pleased with the result, BTW, it's proof the Dexcom is working. And so far, no more bum sensors to report!)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
We were doing so well...but why, a week before my next A1C is drawn, have you thrown me two of these in a row?
I know, I know, it's new technology and I should just be patient. The Dexcom people were really nice about it and are sending replacements with no questions asked. But was it so hard for you to work more than 11 hours? In a really good site on my upper arm, no less?
Sigh. Innovation, please speed up a little bit, OK?
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Somewhere, in that alternate universe, space shuttles Challenger and Columbia still fly, and the World Trade Center still stands. Michael Jackson is still alive. He glides across the floor with his sparkly glove, the strains of "Beat It" in the air. TV shows like "Dallas" and "General Hospital" keep us glued to our sets every week.
In 1983 the personal computer is an amazing new device, and on a university campus or two something called the Internet is learning to walk. It is quieter, since mobile phones aren't everywhere yet. Most administrative jobs still require you to know how to take dictation.
There's a war on, but it's a simpler one, and the opponent is known. But signs of a thaw abound. At night the main source of news is the network broadcast, and if you're lucky, you have cable TV for the rest.
And, in 1983, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
So much has changed in my personal care regimen. No more urine test kits, no more brick-sized meters that take minutes and divining skills to decipher. No more Lente or Regular. No more waiting 30 minutes to eat, no more rollercoaster highs and lows. A little machine beeps at my side, miraculously telling me my blood sugar in real time (or close to it). Better meters are more accurate and less forgiving. Better medicines work faster and better knowledge makes me realize I'm not alone.
But I will still need to count every carb, and I will still need to monitor my blood sugar before and after I eat or drink nearly anything. I will still need to immediately treat low blood sugar, and I will still spend hours coaxing high blood sugars down from the rafters. I will still pray the night before doctor's and eye appointments that I can keep my eyes, my feet, my kidneys. I will still need far more health care than the average person in their lifetime. I will still die without insulin injections.
For all that's changed in 27 years, it is still 1983 for me.