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.