Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Just a quick post to say
and to make sure that everyone is

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 In Review

“This post is my December entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at"

So this if my first DSMA Blog Carnival entry.. ever. The topic is to reflect on diabetes in 2012. 

Holy cow!! It has been quite a year for me.

The first couple months of the year were your normal everyday months.  Work, laundry, family, pets, chores, work, laundry, family, pets, chores, etc.  Nothing really stands out diabetically speaking until March. 

In March I had my first, and hopefully only, surgery since getting "Freeda" my insulin pump.  My doctor was very accommodating.  When I talked to him about staying connected, or at least reconnecting right after surgery his response was, "You can take care of your diabetes better than we can so we will give you back control as soon as possible."  Have I said that I really REALLY like the doctors I have now?  No?  Well, I do.

In April I got "George" my CGM. Who knew that having that much information could be addictive? My readings have always been WAY OFF if I start the new sensor right after inserting, so I usually swap out the sensor before I go to bed, and then start it in the morning. That does mean I have a whole night of no safety net alarms. I did it all the time, so why should I worry? But I do. Those nights I don't sleep real soundly. Thankfully I can get about 14 days out of each sensor.

Also in April, I unknowingly at first, participated in my first ever JDRF walk.  I was the adult in charge (no laughing) of the JROTC group that was helping with the games and clean up.  My doctor was there and said that next year I should be on the walk committee.  So far, the committee meetings have been great.  I think we're doing a tour of the local pizza parlors though.

In May, at my regular doctor's visit my doctor asked if I tweeted.  I didn't at the time, but looked into it.  I've been tweeting ever since.  I found the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) and participate in DSMA Wednesday evenings, just about every week (life permitting that is).  I have met some awesome people around the world that someday I hope to actually meet in real life!  It will happen.. life permitting that is. 

In October I started this blog.  There were so many ideas running around in my head of things I wanted to share.  Things that took more than 140 characters to explain.  Can anyone really tell their diagnosis story in two sentences?  I couldn't.  The hardest part in getting started, however, was figuring out a name.  Looking around my desk at work, my house, and my hectic life it came to me..  My life was a zoo,  a Sweet Zoo.

In November I participated in the National Health Blog Post Month.  The joy of having topics given to me to write about was great.  Little nudges of ideas that got my brain working in a certain direction.  Some days I was stumped.  I now have a greater appreciation for those that always do a blog post everyday. 

So here we are in December.  My first DSMA Blog Carnival post. 

What will 2013 bring?  I have no idea.. but I'm sure that there will be lots of things worth writing about so stay tuned.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Find All The Things - Time to clean the drawer

I recently brought in some Welch's Fruit Snack to work.  I have ran out of treats for lows a few times so I try to make sure I have enough at my desk.  I've been bringing something new in each week.  I might need to rethink that practice.  I tossed the fruit snacks in the drawer, and then took this picture.


I really need to clean out and organize the drawer.  I will add it to my list of things to accomplish in 2013.  In the meantime, lets play FIND ALL THE THINGS!!  Here is a list of what is in the drawer.  Let me know how many you can find.
  • Dexcom sensor
  • sauce packets (ketchup, Taco Bell Sauce)
  • hot chocolate packets
  • Starbursts
  • Fig Newtons
  • Powerade Zero
  • non-dairy creamer
  • silverware
  • 4 mugs
  • peanut butter cups
  • Welch's fruit snacks
  • Smarties
  • dish cloth
  • bag of cookies
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 flavors of tea
  • box of Spree
  • enough napkins to clean my car
  • Tic Tacs
  • ice bucket liners
  • instant coffee
  • flavored Splenda packets
  • BK zesty sauce
  • Airborne
  • gum
  • glucose meter
  • Now 'n Later
  • Nerds
  • Tuperware container and small baggie of Splenda
  • soda can topper
  • jar of old pump tubing
  • drink mix packets
You want proof?  Okay.. here you go:

Yes, in fact all of this was in that drawer.

After a little consolidating and a little throwing things out (the instant coffee was empty, why did I keep it?) I was able to make the drawer a WHOLE lot better looking.  It still looks full, well because it is, but at least now I know where everything is.  I can actually get something out of it without dumping napkins all over the floor.

Much better.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Maintenance and Blog Roll

So, I've been looking and reading a lot of blogs lately.  Well, I've done that for quite awhile.  However, I've noticed that most blogs have some sort of blog roll on them.  Right now, my blog roll is a "Favorites" folder on my browser.  So, over the next few weeks I'll be adding a list of all the blogs I read to my page.  It may take a bit.  Between work, holidays, driving, being a mom, and other stuff (sleep doesn't count.. I don't get enough), my day gets pretty full so it'll be a work in progress.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Recap NHBPM - Post 30

WOW!  30 days is done and over.  So, it was done and over a few days ago, but better late than never, right?  I must admit, I did both better.. and worse.. that I thought I would when I first started this. 

Back around the end of October, Christina of Stick With It Sugar tweeted that she was going to do the National Health Blog Post Month challenge and wanted to know who was with her.  I had just started my blog in the couple weeks prior and figured, why not?  What better way to get into the blogging routine?  So I agreed.

I kept the list of suggested topics both at work and at home.  The first few days were GREAT.  I cruised along until day 6.  I had to pick an alternate topic then.  I just couldn't think of anything.  Day 12 was my first "post free" days.  I didn't have a smart phone (yes.. this has since been corrected) and so I didn't have a favorite app.  Calling BS on something that was ridiculous?  Well.. I would still be typing that one.

I then started cruising again, up to day 22.  Then I hit the technological brick wall.  Thanksgiving weekend was also lost, but I was able to come back on day 27 and finish everything off.  Okay.. so day 30 is three days late, but it's here and that is what counts.

I am glad I participated and I look forward to doing it again.  I truly hope you all enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed typing.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Future accomplishments - Post 29

Today's topic suggestion is about a hoped for accomplishment in 2013.  I tried, but had a hard time picking just one thing.  So here is my to do list.

I have a long list of things I would like to accomplish in 2013:
  • Finish the grizzly bear cross stitch I started 2 years ago.
  • Remove living room carpet and install laminate.
  • Tile the kitchen and laundry room and front bathroom.
  • Actually make the quilt I bought the pieces for 4 years ago.
  • Get the garden designed and planted.
  • Read the stack of books I have at my bedside and in the hallway.
  • Get all my pictures sorted and in albums.
There are some that I have to accomplish in 2013 whether I like it or not:
  • Graduate my daughter from High School, with limited number of tears.
  • Send my daughter off to college, with limited number of tears.
There are some that are health related too:
  • Achieve an A1C of less than 7.0
  • Lose about 20-25 pounds.
There are even some that are advocacy related:
  • Successfully participate in my local JDRF walk.
  • Assist my daughter in starting a local sharps container exchange program.
  • Get everyone in my office to wear blue on Fridays, or at least on WDD.
  • Blog at LEAST once a week. 

You don't think it's too much, do you? I don't'.  I CAN DO THIS!!  Who am I kidding.... I can't do all these things.  We all know I'm going to be crying like a baby at graduation and then again in August.  Maybe I need to add one more thing to that list:
  • Stock up on tissues

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thumper Philosophy - Post 28

"If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."

How many times have we all heard this statement?  How many times have we said something not nice?  How many times have we heard something not nice?  I would be willing to bet that the answer to all those questions is, "WAY TOO MANY TIMES".

I know it is a lot easier said than done, but I find the best way to deal with mean comments is to take a deep breath and remember my granite statement.  If whatever was said was done strictly out of lack of knowledge, I do my best to educate politely.  If whatever was said was done out of vindictiveness, I walk away.  I will probably grumble about it for awhile, and my dear husband will get to hear me vent about it a few times.  Who wouldn't?  However, I've learned that it usually isn't worth the battle to confront them.

I educate whenever possible and always remind myself of Thumper.  Even if the other person can't say something nice, I can or I can keep my mouth shut.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

If I could go anywhere - Post 27

If I could go anywhere I wanted for as long as I wanted with an unlimited cash flow I would go to Sweden. Not only does it look like a pancreas (what.. can't you see it?) I've been told that there is a little church that has a stained glass window with my Great - Grandparents wedding date.
Is it just me, or do you see a pancreas too?
Aside from the family history that I'm sure I would discover, there are a few little things about Sweden that catch my attention.
  1. There are special days set aside for sugary treats:
    1. Cinnamon Roll Day is on October 4
    2. Semlor (buns filled with cream and almond paste) are a speciality on Fat Tuesday
    3. March 25 is for Waffles
    4. Creamy sponge cakes decorated with chocolate or marzipan silhouettes of King Gustov Adolf are the speciality for November 6.
  2. Lördagsgodis (Saturday Candy). This unwritten rule, that is rarely questioned by the younger generation, was originally designated to help with the oral health of the population. It was a suggestion in 1957 by the medical board that Swedes only eat candy once a week.
  3. Pea soup and Pancakes on Thursday. This dates back to World War II, but it's unclear why it started. Maybe because Catholics didn't eat meat on Friday and so they filled up on soup on Thursday. Or maybe because the hand maidens only worked half days on Thursdays and pea soup was easy to make. Who knows, but it does sound interesting.
These special days set aside for certain foods remind me of what my first doctor told me when I was diagnosed. She said to pick three to four days a year where I would "cheat" on my diet. They should be special days. This cheating would give me something to look forward to, and would be more likely to stick to the proper diet the rest of the time. Did it work? For the most part, yes it did/does.
There are things other than the food in Sweden that interest me. It is a sparsely populated country which gives lots of room for national parks and wildlife. I love wildlife. Bears, moose, foxes, birds, etc. The northern lights are visible during the winter and the summers have really long days. They average is 17-18 hours of daylight in July and some places are light 24 hours a day. There is even a royal family! Aren't we all Princes and Princesses?
Well.. this turned into more of a geography lesson than I had intended it to. So let's end this before we all start doodling. I think it's time for a Fika! {Fika = Swedish for coffee break with friends}

Monday, November 26, 2012

A SMALL glimpse of my life outside of D

Having missed a few days of the suggested posts of National Health Blog Post Month I've decided to do a post completely off the list.  On Friday I saw a tweet come through from Alanna suggesting to everyone to write a post about #lifeoutsideofD.  I think it is a great idea so here is a small glimpse.  The plan is to be back on track with NHBPM tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed.

I had fully planned on having posts pre-written and schedule to automatically post over the long Thanksgiving weekend. That didn't work. I did have my Thanksgiving Day post all written. I even set the schedule to post it. Technical failure. I don't know what I did wrong. My daughter checked to make sure it posted (I didn't have much internet access) and she told me, "Mom... it's not there." *sigh* After a little bit of awkward texting she was able to get it posted for me.

If it weren't for my daughter, there are many times I feel I would be lost.. and bored. She'll be graduating High School this next May, and I'm not sure I will recognize my life afterwards. Over the last 18 years I have done so much for and with her that I will have a SIGNIFICANT amount of time on my hands. OK.. maybe not SIGNIFICANT, but there will be a lot more time for me to do things for me.

Don't get me wrong... I wouldn't change one minute of the last 18 years. OK... maybe there are a couple minutes I'd change. Like the time I told her for the fourteenth time to make her bed. Or maybe the time when one of her teachers called and said, "She's OK, she's just been hit in the head with a rifle.* Would you like us to take her to the ER, or do you want to pick her up?"

She has been one of my most supportive Type Awesomes. She even wrote her college application essay on how there is not a local sharps container exchange program. (She's is working on getting it submitted to the hospital and city officials in hopes of changing that.) She did T14ADAY and read each text to me and asked how close it was to reality.  She is one of the first to congratulate me on my A1C.  She knows it's just a number, but she also knows that a *WooHoo* or *high five* or *Way to go Mommy* goes a long way to making the day feel better.

My daughter is a huge part of my life outside of D.  She is also my best friend... and always will be.

{*My daughter was walking by the JROTC armed drill team while they were practicing.  The commander of the team tossed the rifle backwards right as she was passing him.  No stitches were required, but it did leave an AWESOME scar.  To this day the commander still feels guilty.}

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Things I'm thankful for:

A family that is fun and loving.
A place to call home.
Plenty of food to eat.
Furkids that keep me smiling.
Plenty of books to read.
The BEST daughter a mother could ask for.
The GREATEST husband I know.
A medical team that looks out for me.
My DOC Family.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mental Health - Post 21

One of today's suggestions was Mental Health.  This topic could fill many many posts in and of itself.

The mental health field has kept me employed for nearly 17 years.  No.. I'm not a therapist.  Some would say that I cause mental anguish, but that comes with working in accounts receivables.  After all, don't you stress when you get a bill in the mail?  Me too.

When it comes to diabetes and mental health, it surprises me, and yet doesn't surprise me, how much they go hand in hand. 

The first doctor I saw when I was diagnosed left a lot to be desired.  I talked about some of it in my first post, but I also wish she would have told me how much of a mental strain there was going to be.  I mourned the loss of "normal" life as I knew it.  I mourned again when I received my corrected diagnosis, and that is just the initial toll. 

Daily there is emotional and mental issues that go along with having diabetes.  I have beat myself up a few times because I could have chosen something better for lunch, or failed to remember my supplies when I knew I'd be running out of insulin before lunch.  We've all been there. 

Daily there is the emotional and mental issues that our Type Awesome's have to deal with also.  I can't count how many times I've overheard my husband talking to someone about how he wished it would have been him and not me.  Or how he wishes there was something more he could do. 

The mental toll of having a chronic condition can be heavy, but with the loving support of family and friends we can make it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My CGM, George, needed his own space.

Have you ever had so many cords strung across the room that it looked like a spider web?  Me neither, but sometimes it sure can feel like it.

The top cord is for my phone.  The bottom cord is for my CGM*, George.
Yes, there are 5 pairs of slippers here.  The pig ones oink when I walk.

I had been trying to think of something to clean this up.  If I had to get up in the middle of the night I usually knocked 'George', my phone, or both off the headboard, unplugging them in the process.  Something had to change.

Talk about timing!  A couple months back, a friend of mine from high school, Jessica, contacted me about her business.  She is a professional organizer and recommends products from Clever Container.  She asked if I would be willing to bring the catalog into work, and show my friends to see if anyone was interested in anything.  I looked through the catalog and found many things that would organize my house and car.  There was one item that really caught my eye.
Cord Charmer

I immediately had visions of organization.  Or at least visions of less of a spider web effect.  I told Jessica how awesome this item would be and proceeded to explain.  I think I might have rambled on for awhile about cyborg body parts.  Anyways, a couple weeks later I received a Cord Charmer in the mail. (Thank you Jessica!) 

The beginning of the month, my husband said, "Let's get this thing installed.  It can't be that hard." ... and it wasn't.  Here is a step by step picture process:

Step 1: Remove old face plate

Step 2:  Mount Cord Charmer as a regular face plate.

Step 3:  Plug in the cord and wrap the extra around the pegs.
A small rubberband is included to hold the cord in place.
Step 4:  Put cover over the wrapped cord.

Step 5:  Plug in George.
 Viola! George has his own personal recharging zone.  The only remaining problem was that my phone charger still needed to be plugged in, and with the cord container on the right side, it wouldn't work.  The cord would have farther to go, and I would trip over it even more.  SO.....we turned it upside down.

Even though the shelf is curved, thanks to his colorful skin, George doesn't slide off. 
It took all of 15 minutes to have this fully installed and ready to go.  That even includes moving all those slippers.  Maybe that should be my next project.  A slipper organizer.

So much nicer.  Only one cord... and more slippers?
I really need to do something about those.
 One of my concerns about having George that far away at night was the distance.  Was it too far to pick up the signal from the transmitter?  It took a couple days before he needed a charge, and I was never so excited to plug him in and go to sleep.  It was the acid test.  Would he be close enough?  He was!  There were readings throughout the night.  Not all of them were pretty, but they were there, and THAT was the goal of that night.

*CGM = A continuous glucose monitor.  A totally cool device that monitors my glucose levels and tells me if I'm running in the normal, low, or high range. 

Disclosure:  Although I did not pay for my cord charmer it was not in exchange for a review.  In fact Jessica didn't even know I had a blog when she contacted me.  However, when I asked, she gave me permission to post her contact information.  If interested, you may contact her at

No moment of regret - Post 20

This suggested topic flies in the face of one of my sayings.  Don't regret.

There are many times in my life where someone has asked me, "Don't you regret it?"  My response used to be, "Yes, but what can I do about it now?"  That doesn't accomplish much other than make yourself feel crappy about yourself.

I had a dear friend tell me one time that I should never regret any decision I made.  He said (something like this), "You made that decision because you wanted to, and you thought it was the best thing to do.  If you start regretting your decisions then you start second guessing yourself and doubting your ability to be you.  You are the best at being you you'll ever be and NEVER regret that."

When I looked up regret, two of the definitions were: - to feel sorrow or remorse for  & - to think of with a sense of loss.  I don't want to feel sorrow for myself, or think of myself with a sense of loss.  The same goes for diabetes.  It would be way too easy to think of my diabetes as a sense of loss: 
  • I lost the convenience of eating without having a degree in higher math. 
  • I lost a lot of time and money visiting many doctors and purchasing prescriptions. 
  • My husband has even lost peace of mind about me outliving him. 

However, each one of those can be viewed as a gain: 
  • I gained an extra exercise to keep my brain young. 
  • I gained the opportunity to meet new people and develop creative budgeting. 
  • My husband gained one more thing to watch over me for.
I'm sure you're thinking, "But don't you wish you would never have developed diabetes?"  Yes, I do wish that.  Everyday and some days more than others.  {side tangent: One of my favorite sayings about wishes: "Wish in one hand and poop in the other and see which one fills up first."}  However, I don't regret it.  I try to make the best of it, and if I can help even one person, it is worth it.

I believe there is already enough negativity in the world.  I don't need to be adding to that.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Questions.. Anyone? - Post 19

Today's suggestion was to write about questions I have for other patients.  Hmm.. other patients with diabetes? or myself?

My daughter has always loved the game 20 questions.  So I will take inspiration from her today and ask 20 questions related to (mostly) diabetes. 
  1. If you could switch your diabetes with something else, what would it be and why/why not?
  2. What is your favorite part about having diabetes?
  3. What is your least favorite part about having diabetes (only 1)?
  4. What is the weirdest side effect you have of a low?
  5. What is the weirdest side effect you have of a high?
  6. How long had you been diagnosed when you first wanted to say "That's it, I'm done!"?
  7. Which famous diabetic would you love to meet?
  8. Do you feel there is too much or not enough focus on diabetes?
  9. What do you treat your lows with?
  10. Has diabetes made you stronger or bitter?
  11. How do you treat highs?
  12. Do you ever give up trying to explain why you can, but don't want to, eat that donut?
  13. Do you think it would have been better to be diagnosed the opposite of when you were, (ie: as a child or as an adult)? 
  14. Would you ever consider having a pancreas transplant?
  15. Do you share everything about diabetes with your Type Awesome?
  16. How long did you actually keep a log book of your blood sugar tests?
  17. How often do you use diabetes as an excuse to get out of something (ie: leave a party early, not eat something that looks weird at a friend's house)?
  18. What is one thing that you miss from before you were diagnosed?
  19. If you could pick one place in the world you could go, where would it be and who would you take with you?
  20. Can you believe I actually came up with 20 questions?

Diabetes and the Golden Rule - Post 18

I am updating my "To Care for My Furkids" checklist, so writing about how to care for someone with diabetes should be easy.

If I could give advice to someone on how best to take care of someone with diabetes, I would let them know to follow the golden rule.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  I know that there are different requirements for taking care of a child with diabetes versus an adult.  Having been diagnosed as an adult, this is where I'm speaking from.

Don't constantly remind them of complications.  Do you want to be reminded every time you get the in the car of how driving without a seat belt could kill you?  No?  Aha.  Complications don't always happen, and neither do car accidents. 
Do join them in focusing on the positiveness of everything around them.
Don't give them the 'look' when they have a piece of cake for dessert.  Do you want people questioning you on everything you eat?  No?  Aha.  When eaten in moderation, and special occasions, cake is wonderful!  Especially in the cup variety, with paper to pull off.
Do join them in healthy eating choices and enjoying that piece of cake from time to time.
Don't micromanage everything they do.  Do you like to have your shoulder looked over when you're doing things?  No?  Aha.  There is a learning curve, yes, but that doesn't mean we need to be watched like a hawk.  Mistakes happen, and they help us grow.
Do ask if there is an area that you can specifically help with.  Log books are a pain in the backside, and if I could have handed them off to someone to fill in when I tested I might actually have full.. and accurate... log books.

I believe that the best rule of thumb in taking care of anyone in any circumstance is to think of how you would want someone to treat you and do that.

Stengths & Weaknesses - Post 17

With today's suggestion to list my strenths and weaknesses, I will attempt to have equal on each side. Sometimes it is way too easy to find your weaknesses.

It is going to be far to easy to come up with my weaknesses so I will list them first and get them out of the way:

  • Over-treating lows - This is a major weakness. Just last night I over treated a low of 42 and ended up HIGH all night. How high? Just add a zero and you'll get the idea.
  • Doing everything myself - Yes, I view this as a weakness. Sometimes it takes more strength to ask for help than to fumble through things yourself. Like those evening walks after dinner. Trying to make sure I do them by myself just isn't working.
  • Volunteering/Accepting too much - You ever have those people that you just have a hard time saying no to? Me too.. just about everyone. Church duties, school mom, JDRF, work, etc etc.
  • Multi-tasking - One of my husband's favorite sayings is, "Men run in DOS, women run in Windows". This is usually said while I'm making dinner with a book in one hand and my phone on the counter with the screen set to Twitter. Being able to change an infusion site in the middle of all that is one accomplishment I am very proud of.
  • Memory - I am the first to admit that this one is getting harder and harder. However, there have been a few times when I have been complemented on being able to remember so many details about circumstances that happened years and years ago. This comes in handy when my HCP asks about a particular blood sugar being so high.
  • Tomorrow is another day - This one I have to work on constantly. It it way too easy in life to dwell on the stuff that happened yesterday, last week, a few years ago, etc. Does it ever change? No, so stop worrying about it. Whatever consequence that will come of whatever I did or said is going to happen anyway so I remind myself to take a deep breath and remember that tomorrow is another day. This nasty glucoaster that I experienced today will be gone, and tomorrow I can try again.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Let's focus on changing the weaknesses to strengths, and making the strengths even stronger.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Written in Granite - Post 16

I try to find inspiration in everything around me.  This is one that I keep on my desk.

A long time ago, in a land not too far, and also very far, from here, I lived with many a close friend, and one evil boss. Nope.. I'll save that story for later.  Let me clarify a little about this land, it will help with today's post. 

This 'land', as I will refer to it as, was my last job.  I had been there for a little over 8 years when on a Friday afternoon at 3pm we were all told that our department was relocating about 15 miles away and would be fully under new management.  We were told we could keep our jobs for a 60% cut in pay (..yes.. reduced BY 60% not to 60%) and loss of health benefits for a minimum of 1-2 years.  We were given two weeks to think about it.  I had been diagnosed just 6 months earlier and there was no way I could go without benefits, but figured I would look around to see what was out there before I fully committed.  I'm glad I did because I have been with my current job ever since. 

One of the locations that my office did billing for had a weekly newsletter.  In this newsletter were the happenings of the facility and special recognition of employees or others.  Typical newsletter.  At the bottom of the back page there was always a quote or saying that was meant to encourage or inspire.  One week this was the saying:

I printed it out, laminated it, and taped it to my wall.  I made an extra copies and put them in my wallet, car, on my bathroom mirror, etc.  I could barely turn around without seeing this statement.  One of the benefits of working in the Land was that I got to know a lot of good people.  One client's family owned a granite quarry.  To give back and show appreciation she would have your favorite statement engraved in granite.  She did this for the people at the location she dealt with the most so I had no hopes of getting one.  After all, who likes their bill collector?  Imagine my surprise when one day she called me and asked me what I wanted engraved on mine.  After thanking her for thinking of me I told her it was an easy decision, and read her the saying.  Little did I know, that a few years later I would have to remind myself daily to read this and follow it for my new former employers. 

But isn't it the truth about people?  Especially when it comes to Diabetes?  Unreasonable expectations of glucose levels and A1C's by some health care providers or family and friends.  Illogical, and down right wrong, suggestions of miracle cures and treatments.  Self-centered people who tell you that you brought it on yourself or that they could never be diabetic because of ________ (fill in the blank with your favorite line).  Should we forgive them?  YES!  Should we leave it at that? NO!  I feel we should forgive and educate.  You with me?

What would you have engraved in granite to inspire you every day?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Healthcare Provider and Social Media - Post 15

One of today's suggestions was to write about why healthcare professionals should use social media.

I am blessed to have an AWESOME primary diabetes healthcare provider. Dr. R. isn't an endocrinologist but she is an ANP-BC, CDE. I looked it up. It is "Adult Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified, Certified Diabetes Educator". I'm not sure she could fit many more letters behind her name.

My visit with her two times ago she asked me if I tweeted. At the time I didn't. I didn't even have a smart phone (.. and still don't. Don't judge.)  She had been to a recent CDE seminar where she met Cherise.  She told me about how they all wore blue for Blue Friday and how there is a group of people on Twitter who are there to help at anytime.  "They are there to talk to or to even ask the carb count of something, like German Chocolate Cake, if you don't know it*." I was hesitant.  I didn't know if I would be able to Tweet from anything but my computer, and what good would that do when I was out and about.  I left that appointment with Twitter on the brain and vowed to look into it sometime that week.

A couple days later during my lunch hour I logged on to Twitter and did some research.  I could use my antiquated old phone, it would just take a little more work.  So I went ahead and signed up.  I believe that is the best thing I have personally done for my diabetes care.  Since then I have participated in many a Wednesday evening #DSMA chat.  I have made many new friends around the world that I wouldn't trade for anything.

I do not know whether or not my HCP uses social media for professional work, but I do know that she very highly recommends it to her patients.  Now, if only I could get insurance to cover a smart phone... Hmmmm.

German Chocolate Cake
Picture and Recipe found here.

*{A slice of three layer German Chocolate Cake - which is 1/12 of a 9in round cake with coconut pecan frosting, is about 83carbs}

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Negative feedback - Post 14

Trying to focus on a blog post today while participating in the #WDDCHAT12 while much multi-tasking!

Dealing with negative feedback of any sort about anything can be touchy.  If you come off too defensive you could be seen as aggressive and make the situation worse.  If you come off too passive, you can been seen as not really caring and open yourself up to being walked all over in the future.

However, in all the times in my life where I've had negativeness thrown at me I find that the best path is the quiet path.  No matter how much I've wanted to scream and yell about how they don't understand, or throw things (angry duck anyone?)  Is it really worth the energy?  No.  I end up with a sore throat, weird stares, and rubber ducks everywhere. 

Found at Oriental Trading Company


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm glad I wasn't born in the 1700's - Post 13

I love to read. I always have at LEAST two books going at any given time. I always carry a book with me. I have spare books at work just in case I finish one and have extra time. So when today's suggestion was a book report I was thrilled.

I love to read. I haven't always though. In fact there was a time when I would have preferred going to the dentist over reading. Maybe that was because I was told I read slow and would never get anywhere. The person who told me that read really really fast. She would 'skim read' and get the whole gist of the page very quickly. Not me. I read every single word.

A few months back I was looking through the table of books at Costco and came across one titled "An Echo in the Bone" by Diana Gabaldon. It was bright green and thick, nearly 1200 pages, and the back cover was so intriguing I just had to buy it.

Jamie Fraser is an eighteenth-century Highlander, an ex-Jacobite traitor, and a reluctant rebel in the American Revolution. His wife, Claire Randall Fraser, is a surgeon—from the twentieth century. What she knows of the future compels him to fight. What she doesn’t know may kill them both.

With one foot in America and one foot in Scotland, Jamie and Claire’s adventure spans the Revolution, from sea battles to printshops, as their paths cross with historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Benedict Arnold.

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, their daughter, Brianna, and her husband experience the unfolding drama of the Revolutionary War through Claire’s letters. But the letters can’t warn them of the threat that’s rising out of the past to overshadow their family.
My husband laughed at me when I opened it as soon as I got in the car. He stopped laughing when I closed it and said, "It's book seven of a series. I need the rest before I can read this one."

That Monday I went to the local used book stores to find the first six books. One place had books 1 and 2, so I was set. It didn't take long to get through book 1 and into book 2. (I am currently on book 6 with book 7 patiently waiting on my bedside stand.)

It is book 2 "Dragonfly in Amber" that has a part in it that made me pause and be extremely thankful for when I was born. Claire, the main character, was being given a tour of the hospital she was going to be working in. She came across a very thin patient laying listlessly under a blanket. There was an oddly shaped glass vessel standing on the floor beside her. It was filled with urine and hidden in the ammonia smell was a sickly sweet smell also. After talking with the patient, Claire confirmed that she was always thirsty and always hungry but no matter how much she ate she remained thin. Claire new it was diabetes mellitus, known back then as 'sugar sickness', but she also knew there was nothing that could be done for her, and figured that she would be gone within the month.  This is what hit me like a ton bricks on being thankful for being born when I was. 

We may not have a cure yet, but we do have medication now that will help us live longer than just a couple months.  There are times I think about what it would be like to live in those times; no traffic jams, phones ringing all the time, computer issues that always come up at the worst time, cars that need repaired every few months, or any other technological issue that drives us crazy.  Then my pump beeps at me to remind me that she is running low, and I'm reminded how far we have come, and that I get the privilege of living more than just a couple months.

I would like to personally thank Diana Gabaldon for helping me remember in which book the above scene took place.  Her quick response to my inquiry is much appreciated.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day - Post 11

One of today's post suggestions was to write about a favorite thing that is not health-related but likely improves my life.  Today is also Veteran's Day in the United States. 

First and foremost I want to say Thank You to all veteran's who have served their country, be it the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia or any other country.  There is a special place in my heart for anyone who has and is willing to put their lives on the line for someone else.

My family has a long line of military members.  Both my maternal grandparents, my paternal grandfather, a great uncle, my brother, my husband, my husband's father and his step-father all served.  They represent the Army (6), Navy (1), and Marines (1).  My daughter has been a member of her high school's AFJROTC (Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) for four years.  Many of her friends, and kids that have called me Mama Bear, have joined the military.  One just recently returned home after graduating Marine Corps boot camp.  It was so much fun to listen to him and my husband compare stories.  There may have been decades difference in time, but the stories are the same.

As a small token of appreciation a flag is presented to the next of kin at the funeral or memorial service of any veteran.  I have been given the great honor of being 'Keeper of the Flags' for the family.

Left to right: Maternal Grandfather (Navy), Maternal Grandmother (Army), Father-in-law (Army), Paternal Grandfather (Army), Paternal Great Uncle (Army), Step Father-in-Law (Army).

The Veterans in my life have improved and protected my life in more ways than I can count, and they will always do so.  I will never be able to fully express my gratitude for the sacrifice that each and every member of the military has given.  I just hope and pray they know.

My prayer for today is that each and every member of the armed service is kept safe and that each and every member of their family knows how thankful we are for their sacrifice as well. 

Healthy Facebook? - Post 10

Today I choose to write about whether or not we should post about our health/loved one's health on Facebook.

To share or not to share.. that is the question.  Is it really any different than sharing about my health on Twitter?  No, not really.  Either way puts your information out into the cyberworld for all to see.  The benefits of that are enormous (ie: the DOC), but the downfalls are there too.  How many of us have received spam email about a miracle cure? 

To share or not to share someone else's information.  That is actually an easier question to answer: Only if asked too.  My stance on any information or story of someone else's, be it health, good news, bad news, etc. is that is isn't my information/story to share.

So should we post about our health on Facebook?  It's your call.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Community Care Package - Post 9

Today's suggested post topics were to create the perfect care package or tell a descriptive story.  I love giving gifts.. and getting gifts, so I chose to stuff a care package. Nothing is as exciting as getting a box in the mail. True, most of the time it has pump supplies in it, but still.. it's a box. I get the stuff, and my kitties get the box. Win win!

If I were to receive a Care Package this is what I would love to see in it (in no particular order):
  • Teddy Bear - Or some other stuffed animal, like a purple unicorn with a rainbow tail. There are times when you need to hug something, or throw something and a stuffed animal is the best for both. 
  • Coffee/Tea - There is just something comforting about a hot beverage.
  • Cute and fun notebooks - You'll end up using them to log food intake, note trials and errors and successes, vent when you've had enough, doodle when your waiting at the doctor's office/lab, etc.
  • 52-12pks of Diet Coke - There should be at least 52. Enough to get you through the first year, if you only go through one 12 pack a week.
  • Candy variety, snack size bags - These are to treat those pesky lows. There should be Snickers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Smarties, Dum Dums, nuts, crackers w/cheese, etc. I could go on... but I'm getting hungry
  • Blog roll - A list of all the blogs related to Diabetes.
  • 5-10 extra meters - You can put one at work, one in your car, one in your purse, one in your significant other's car, one in the bathroom, one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen, and one in the closet. That way you have a spare just in case.
  • 100 boxes of test strips - What's the point of having the extra meters if you don't have enough test strips.
  • Insulin pump - I absolutely fell in love with mine when I got her. 
  • Books - I have read "How to think like a Pancreas".  I know there are other great books out there, so include your favorite one.  There should also be some fun books that are NOT related to diabetes. 
  • Smart phone - It is useful for so many things.  Looking up nutrition facts and keeping in touch with the #DOC are just two I use the most often.  Not to mention a good game of Words With Friends or Angry Birds.
  • You Can Do This bracelet - I know these are a limited, and coveted, item, but wouldn't it be great for everyone to have that visual reminder everyday (Thanks Kim for founding this great project.)
I am sure I have left out many things that you would like to see in a care package, but I think the package would already be delivered on a pallet.  Hmm.. send two packages maybe?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A letter to my health - Post 8

Today's suggestion of writing a letter to my health really hits close to home. Throughout the last couple years when I've had stressful situations with people, particularly those close to me, I write them a letter. To this day these letters have never been mailed, and some I have even burned. Will I every mail them? I highly doubt it. The benefit I got from writing them, and being able to say what I needed to say without fear of retribution, was significant. I highly recommend you try it sometime.

Dear Jenn's Health,

I first want to thank you for doing such a good job. There have been many a time when the sniffles have ran through my house and you've been able to fight them off and keep me feeling good. I've only broken two bones in my life time of which only one required a cast.. darn tree.. anyways. Thanks for making my bones strong. My eyesight hasn't changed over the years at all. There was a couple months in junior high when a money hungry optometrist said I needed glasses. That was a yucky couple weeks of wearing them. I'm glad that was over quickly. You have done a good job... almost too good.

I'm not quite sure why you decided that parts of me that I was born with were all of a sudden alien and needed to be destroyed, but you did. Were you being over confident and cocky? I really did need those, they were very important to me. Now, because you were being overly self-assured, I have to watch things more closely myself. I get to spend time with a lot more people. That really nice lady at the top of the stairs who gives me gold star stickers, the not so nice guy in the white coat with a bat on it, the funny guy who thankfully doesn't say, "this little piggy when to market" when checking my feet, and the guy who really should smile more but looks funny anyway when my eyes are dilated.  I am very thankful that I've met all these people, but you didn't have to push the issue.  I would have gotten around to it eventually... maybe.

So I ask one favor of you.  The next time you think something should be killed off that has been with us for as long as we both can remember, check with me first.  If I am not sure, I will consult one of my new friends before I tell you how to proceed.  Either way, it will save us both a lot of work in the future.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Redesigning a doctor's office/hospital room - Post 7

Today's suggestion was to redesign a doctor's office or hospital room. I had grand plans to draw one up with full color and magazine cut outs like I used to do in elementary school. However, that fell through as I didn't get my extra time like I did I yesterday. So I'm going to do my best to paint a word picture.

My doctor's office isn't too bad actually. It is right at the top of the stairs, so you get your exercise getting there. There are a few live plants in the waiting area and the check in counter is low enough to accommodate. I also love the fact that there is NOT a TV there. I always carry a book, or two, with me so I enjoy not having the distraction of a TV. I would improve the room by adding a skylight. There is just something about natural light that is comforting. One of my English teacher's in high school would never have the lights on in her classroom. She said the "flicker factor" on the fluorescent lights was bad for us. One entire wall of that classroom was windows that looked out over the rest of the school. I really liked that class.

Once I get back to the exam room, there isn't much room to work with, so maybe make everything able to fold up and stuck in the walls, like a wall bed? It would be much less intimidating especially for little ones. Imagine the fun they would have being allowed to push the button that would bring the table out of the magic wall. The blood pressure cuff and oxygen monitor could also be in their own magic cupboard.  There would also be one special cupboard, that would change randomly each visit, that had a prize in it.

I must say, that would make my day at the doctor's office.  That was the yuckiest part of growing up.. no more prizes at the doctor's office.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How I take time for myself - Post 6

Today's suggested posts were "News-style post" or "Write about a time you had to take he high road", neither one was setting off any ideas for me. So I looked through the "Bonus Prompts" and found one that really fit.

Yesterday I had to leave work early because "Freeda" (my insulin pump) was going to be yelling at me that she was empty. I had only 1 unit left and at .875/hour that wouldn't have lasted long enough with out me shushing her the entire drive home. It is amazing how getting home just 1 hour earlier than normal allows you to get so much more done! I was able to get dinner rewarmed and ready for company that was showing up at 5:30. A load of laundry made it into the machine, and subsequently the dryer so everyone had work uniforms today. Dishes were rinsed/washed and loaded in the dishwasher as appropriate so that the 5 hours I spent scrubbing my kitchen on Sunday wasn't in vain. I got the coffee pot set to auto-run in the morning. My kitties (all three) were talking to me, really loudly, when I put their wet food bowls away, so I spoiled them and gave them a little. They normally only get wet food on Saturday, but I'm a pushover when it comes to my furkids. I also was able to get a batch of bread started. That sounds WAY more impressive than it really is. I have a bread machine, so I just throw in the ingredients and hit start. Three hours later TADA, fresh bread. This has saved my family so much money over the years, not to mention how good the house smells when it is baking.

After all this, I looked at the clock and it was barely 8pm. What?! It is usually 11pm by the time I finish my chores. I even did a double take and checked other clocks just to make sure the one I was looking at was accurate. It was. So... I grabbed my robe, my fuzzy pig slippers, my book.. and hid in my room. Is this taking time for myself? I say yes. Did I specifically arrange it? No, but then again this is about TAKING time not MAKING time, right?

Now.. if I can only figure out how to do that more often. Any suggestions?

Monday, November 5, 2012

My #ListOf3 - Post 5

My "List of 3" things I'm thankful for was actually given to me by a very very dear friend of mine back in high school.  I have fallen back on this list of three many times and have shared it, with some modification, with many people.  Over the years, each item has changed as to why I'm thankful for it, but never has it fallen off the list. (WARNING: I get a little sentimental at the end.. you might need a tissue.)

  1. I'm alive - Never can that be a more thankful thing than after being diagnosed with a chronic illness/disease/condition.  I am thankful every morning when I wake up that I'm still alive to be there for my daughter.  Being able to be there for her and watch her grown into the beautiful, special, talented, and totally awesome young woman that she is turning out to be is a complete blessing in and of itself.  I'm alive by the Grace of God and the miracles of medicine.  For that I am eternally greatful. 
  2. The sun is shining - This is one thing that can be taken for granted so easily.  In light of the recent hurricane (bad Sandy) and other storms that have hit/will hit, I am thankful everyday for the sunshine.  In the middle of August when my thermometer says 118, it may be a little harder to be thankful for that same sun, but I just remind myself of those times when it felt like the sun would never come back out and I would never be warm.
  3. I love my husband - I love my husband and I am thankful I do.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that he loves me too, but that isn't in my top three.  This is the one thing that has changed the most since I was diagnosed.  I loved my husband dearly before, but I love him even more now.  I love him when he's laying on the kitchen floor with me waiting for a low to come up.  I love him when he's calling me every hour while I'm at work because I had a glucoaster the day before and he is worried.  I love him when he offers to pick me up a box or 6 of my favorite Oreo cookies at Christmas time (the white fudge covered Oreos only come out at Christmas and they ARE. THE. BEST.), even though he knows they will mess with my levels he knows I deserve a treat sometimes.  I love him when he shares stories about seeing someone with a pump or about correcting an untruth he overheard.  I am thankful that I love him and that he is mine to love. 

Why I share what I share. - Post 4

I know, I know... this post is a day late, but I had my head in the oven most of the day yesterday and by the time I crawled out I was exhausted.  It was much safer, for everyone, for me to not try writing anything yesterday.  Who knows what I would have said.

There are many reasons why I share information about me.  Sometimes it is simply because my brain doesn't engage before my mouth opens.  Thankfully that doesn't happen as often as it used to.  It created a few... interesting... conversations.  The best reason I share is to help someone else, to let them know they are not alone.  I try to be careful so I don't sound like I'm whining and looking for sympathy.  It is way to easy to come across as a complainer. 

Another reason I share is for the reverse reason.  Maybe someone out there has been through what I have and can give me the support or suggestion that I need to make it.  I know I'm not the only one who has (fill in the blank), so there is no need to try to do it myself.  Why reinvent the wheel?  Square doesn't work, I promise.

Sharing is caring.. unless it oversharing, then it's just TMI.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"I don't know about this, but I'd like to." - Post 3

I am always up for learning new things, especially when it is about something that affects someone I know.  Recently I was asked if I knew anything about Hemochromatosis.  I had never heard of it, so I did like everyone else would.. went to Google.  Iron overload.  Can you imagine?  I've heard of low iron, but never too much iron.  Some of the symptoms looked like symptoms of diabetes:  fatigue, lack of energy, weight loss.  They even check blood glucose levels when testing for Hemochromatosis.  It is even noted that this disease can lead to the development of diabetes due to damage to the pancreas.  I must admit, this is one of the few times that I heard of a complication causing diabetes instead of diabetes causing a complication.

This is one thing that I don't know about, but I would sure like to.  Is there something that can help delay the development?  Is phlebotomy the best treatment?  Can it be reversed?  Will it come back?  And the all important, never answered, WHY?  Sounds like I have some research to do.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The weirdest thing about my health - Post 2

The weirdest thing about my health is that it is so unpredictable.  Don't you think that is weird?  I know I do.  I mean after all, shouldn't it be predictable?  I was born healthy.  I grew up healthy.  I never even broke a bone.  Well, a toe, but that was when I fell up some stairs in front of some really cute guys in high school... long story... never mind.  I never missed a day of school because of the sniffles or anything.  I did have the chicken pox, but that was in the summer so I didn't even get out of school for that!  The worst thing I dealt with was allergies.  I was allergic to whatever season was going on.  Spring - everything was blooming.  Summer - lawns were being cut (this one STILL is horrid for me).  Fall - everything was going to seed.  Winter... OK.. maybe I wasn't allergic to winter, but I'm sure I sneezed at something.  I took so much allergy medication that to this day Benadryl does not make me sleepy.  Fact. 

When I was about to turn 29 and diagnosed with diabetes, it was like a hit upside the head with a cast iron skillet (read the whole story of misdiagnosis and correction here).  I'd been healthy my whole life and I was not prepared.  I learned very quickly, as we all do, that there will be times that no matter what we do we just can't get our numbers down... or up... or stable.  That the darn paper cut you got at work will take longer to heal, and therefore will get cut time and time again.  Predictability went out the window.. or at least out my fingertips.  Who knew those little black dots on my fingertips would NEVER go away, or be buffed out.

Now I know that there are many Type 1's out there, and their health is just as unpredictable as mine.  Does that make mine any less weird?  Not at all.  It just means I have a really large group of Weird Friends... and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why I write about my health - Post 1

So I decided to take the challenge from Wego Health and do 30 posts in 30 days for national Health Blog Post Month #NHBPM.  I'm not sure if I'm ambitious, or just crazy, but either way here I go.

Today is November 1. T1Day.  There couldn't be a better way to honor Diabetes Awareness Month than to blog about my health, or something related, every day for the next thirty days.

To be honest, I don't know why I write about my health.  In fact, I just barely started blogging (this is officially my 8th post).  So let me tell you why I believe it is important to write about my health.  I believe it can encourage others.  There have been so many times in my life, health and non-health related, that knowing there was someone else who had been through the same or similar thing helped me to get through it.  Knowing that someone else made it and didn't give up is so encouraging.  If writing about my health challenges and successes can give that sense of connection to someone else, then it is all worth it. 

Another good reason to write about my health is... well let's face it, I'm not getting any younger.  I used to be able to rattle off all sorts of historical data about myself, family, friends, weird facts, movie quotes, etc. etc.   Lately, the movie quotes are still good, but the medical history, especially when it comes to date specifics, is getting a little fuzzy.  Writing about my health gives me something to go back to so I can look for patterns and act on them as needed by making changes to help me be better.  There is nothing quite like being a frog in boiling water just to realize that you've been in the pot for weeks and could have hopped out long ago.  I'm hoping that by writing I can avoid being a frog.  I don't like frogs.  They give me the heebie jeebies...  even if they are blue.

He is kinda cute though.  I found him here.

So why do YOU write about your health?  Do you?  Have you thought about it?  Hop to it! (sorry)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Being Treated Normally

Not too often, when eating at friend's houses, do I not have to answer questions like, "Can you eat this?" or deal with a comment like, "I tried to make sure I cooked something I thought you could eat.".  Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE that my friends are aware and try to accommodate me.  It also gives me the chance to teach them more about the specifics and that I really can eat what I want, in moderation.  The more people out there that know more the better is it for everyone.  But there are times that it is nice to just be "one of the group".

Yesterday, my husband and I went over to some friend's house.  We had planned an afternoon of target shooting, but they wanted to feed us lunch first.  She was making homemade Navajo Tacos.  Everything was fresh made.  The beans had been cooking since early morning.  The meat mixture was being browned up while I sat there watching.  She even made the frybread from scratch and deep fried it while we chatted.  It was the best lunch (and we were sent home with the left overs).  When we got back, they even made smoothies for us.  A mixed bag of frozen fruit and some ice cream.  I was in heaven.

This couple knows that I have Type 1.  Her mother, before her passing, had just received her insulin pump.  Her mother wasn't diabetic, but had her pancreas removed a few prior so they new the drill of carb counting, injections, testing, etc.  We've talked about my diagnosis and the struggles and the successes.  I think it was because of this that not once did either of them say, "Is this OK for you to eat?" "Is there something else I can get you instead." "The fruit should be OK, but what about the ice cream." or any number of other questions/comments.  Maybe it was just me, but I LOVED it.  I felt.. normal.  I pointed this out to my husband while we were laying on the kitchen floor about six hours later waiting for a low to come up (did I say it was a yucky day bg-wise? No?.. it sucked!), and he just smiled.  He knows he doesn't 'get it' all the time, but he is awesome in letting me vent it all out when I need to.  Thanks Sweety!  And thank you deer friends for giving me a moment of normalcy, you'll never know how much it really meant.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Furkid

Say Hello to Flurrie.

She has been part of the family since darn near the beginning.  I got her December of 1996, when she was about 3 months old.  My daughter was 2 at the time.  They have been inseperatable ever since. 

It was in those early days that Flurrie showed how good of a human mom she could be.  Every night she would curl up at my daughter's back until she fell asleep.  She would then come find me, meow, and then go about her business.  It took me a few times to realize she was reporting in that all was well. 

Flurrie has always been right there when any of us have been sick.  When my daughter had shingles (yes.. shingles at age 8), she stayed with her.  Even the smell of the vinegar soaks didn't push her away.  When my husband suffered cluster headaches (migraines at exactly the same time every day), she would curl around his head and purr him back to sleep.  When I am having a low in the middle of the night, she is right there in the kitchen with me.  She doesn't bring me Smarties, or juice boxes, but she is right there.  I just know she would go wake someone up if something bad happened.  That's just how she is.

She has tolerated the addition of other furkids, but makes it very well known that she was here first.  My youngest furkid, Taeya, can just be sitting there and if Flurrie walks past her she glares, hisses, and keeps walking.  If one of the other furkids is sitting by me on the couch, Flurrie will hiss and come back later.  She has turned into a ornery old woman, but she has earned the right to be particular.  After all she is 16 years old (84 in cat years) and has been there through EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Instrument Panel

"George" (my Dexcom) is rather comfortable on my dashboard.  I put him there everytime I drive, it makes him much more accessible to silent an annoying alarm see a trending arrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A View From Outside

(I know I know... it's not even close to Christmas, but hang in there, it'll be worth it.)

Have you ever been in the perfect setting?

Picture this:  A few nights before Christmas and everyone is at the local Christian school for their annual Christmas program.  All the kids are dressed up in red velvet dresses, shirts and ties, and new shoes.  The young ones are fidgety, and singing way off key.  The older girls are trying to walk in heals for the first time, and the boys are trying to be all cool.  The parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. are all sitting in the pews with video cameras in hand.  As the students sing Silent Night and the congregation joins in, you can see the big fat snowflakes beginning to fall outside.

Does it look/sound like a Hallmark movie? 

What we don't see is the family that is sitting there glad that there was a dinner before the program because that is the only meal they'll have that day.  We don't see the dad at the back who is stressing because he's been out of work for 6 months and there is no money for Christmas.  We don't see the grandma sitting there soaking it all in because after the doctor's appointment earlier in the day she doesn't expect to make it to another Christmas program.  We don't see all that, but it is still there.

That sound more real?

Do you like that first image better?  I know I do.  In fact, I have been in that first image.  It is because of that that I find great comfort in taking a brief view of my life from the outside.  It helps me to see the peace, happiness, and blessings that are always there but get overshadowed by blood sugar lows/highs, doctor's appointments, car repair bills, insane schedules, neverending chores,  etc. 

Next time you have a chance, when you're sitting there with your feet up on the couch reading your favorite book, or out in the back yard doing some gardening, take a deep breath and imagine the scene from the outside.  I can almost guarantee you'll end up smiling.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sleep Deprived

You ever have those days where you have so little sleep that you can actually function better than if you had had "enough" sleep?  No?  Me neither.

Gryphon is the best cuddle cat you could image, especially at multiple times throughout the night.  He will keep meowing (his meow is so deep I sware the window panes rattle) until you get up and pet him.  This happened at 1:30 and 3:50 and 5:30.  My alarm goes off at 6am.  Let's just say the coffee pot just wasn't big enough this morning.  I've been told, "It's just like having a new baby in the house."  True.. other than this baby is 10yrs old and doesn't like to be held, only petted.  I'm a little out of practice with this baby thing, afterall, my 'baby' is 18.  I know things will calm down, and he'll actually let me sleep through the night.  If not, I might have to spike the insulin in my pump with caffeine.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I am new around here, so I'm sharing.

I’ve finally done it. I’ve started a blog I can call my very own. Well, actually I call it “Sweet Zoo”, but you get the idea. After months of reading everyone else’s blogs I got to thinking that it would be fun/adventurous/crazy to write one as well. So….here I am.

Here’s my story. Hang in there, as it is a big long, but needing to be told.

To start out I was originally diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic on September 24, 2004, two days before my 29th birthday. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had been losing a lot of weight (50lbs in 3 months), drinking MASSIVE amounts of anything liquid (about 200+ ounces daily), and inhaling food like a vacuum. I made an appointment with my family CFNP just to see if there was something crazy going on (I know I know… it WAS crazy, but I was in denial). My appointment was 8:30 on a Friday morning. When I got back and had the chance to explain what was going on to my doctor, she said, “I don’t think its diabetes. More likely a thyroid issue, but let’s run some blood tests and see.” I went off to the lab and then headed into work. No big deal. That afternoon about 3 o’clock, the doctor’s office called me:

Dr. Office : “We need you to come back into the office. You cannot go home today without coming in and seeing us first. Your blood sugars are a bit high.”
Me: “What are they?”
Dr. Office : “511”
Me: “Ok. What’s normal?”
Dr. Office: “100. How soon can you get here?”

I had to pick my daughter up from school at 3:30 so I said I’d come in then. When I got there, they did a finger stick and I was in the upper 300’s. They gave me a shot of insulin, and checked again in 20 minutes. I had only dropped about 20pts, but they were comfortable that it was going in the right direction. I was given a prescription for Metformin and told to eat between 45 – 60 carbs per meal. I also had to make an appointment with the Diabetes Clinic to get a meter and some dietary training.

That was a rough weekend. I cried. I was angry. I tried to count the carbs, but felt like I would starve if I only ate what was on my plate. The worst part was the timing. My women’s group at church had a retreat to the mountains planned for that weekend. I went. For lunch we had soups, breads, veggies, etc. Then they brought out the carrot cake for my birthday. It had a Winnie-the-Pooh figure on it. I still have him. To this day he still sits on my dashboard.

It was a long struggle and nothing I did seemed to be working. I could not keep my bg levels under 200, and most of the time was happy if they were under 250. I kept working with my doctor trying to get it regulated. She increased my Metformin, but that did not help for very long. She added Lantus. That helped, but I was still struggling during the day and feeling wiped out. She added Humalog, and I was finally able to hit bg levels in the 100’s a couple times a week. I was frustrated though. The final straw with this doctor was when they called me with my A1C and it was 8.2. I asked if there was anything that could be done because I just couldn’t get, let alone keep, my levels where they should be. Her exact words? “You just need to watch what you eat better.” It was then that I “fired” her. It had been nearly 5 years.

I found a new doctor of internal medicine and got into him right away. He was great. He adjusted my insulin:carb ratios. He adjusted my Lantus, and then switched me to Levemir. He was interested in everything I had to say and was completely open to feedback and suggestions. After a year of seeing him, my A1C was around 7.8. I had been doing a lot of research of my own and began to wonder if I had been misdiagnosed, and should have really been Type 1. I asked him about that, and he said that he had only rarely heard of a misdiagnosis. He did not rule it out, but felt we should more focus on getting my levels stabilized. That was when I asked for a pump. He thought it was a great idea, but admittedly didn’t know much about them. He gave me a referral to the Diabetes Clinic to see the endocrinologist.

The endocrinologist was the most dry and monotone Dr. I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. He would not see me without fresh lab work for everything. That was fine by me as my insurance would not approve a pump without confirmation of Type 1. It was July 2010 when I finally got to see the endo. As he was reviewing my labs he kept mumbling to himself and … grunting.

Endo: “So they’ve told you that you’re type 2?”
Me: “That’s what they’ve been saying.”
Endo: “Well… they are WRONG. Stop taking the Metformin and make an appointment with our educator to get the pump paperwork started.”

That was the BEST doctor day of my life. I did end up crying over that weekend. I was angry again. It was like I went through the mourning for a second time, but this time it was a bit easier because I knew I was finally on the right path.

I have always said that no matter what it is that I’ve gone through, and no matter how much I couldn’t understand why I was going through it, it’s ok. Someday, somewhere, someone will be experiencing something similar and I can be there to say, “I’ve been there. Here let me share with you what I did.” and it will have all been worth it. So here I am… sharing.