Monday, February 28, 2011

guest blogger: kristen

kristen and i met a few years ago through mutual friends. she and her hubby have been good friends with my man for quite some time, and she's a great T3 - her hubs has T2. woop woop for T3s! she has also named my pancreas penelope. although i don't think it's caught on yet. kristen took the creative route for her post...

My diabetes guest blog Haiku.
She is living Life.
Those around her stare in awe.
Hope they find a cure.

nfl season. we're awesome like that.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

non-D weekend fun

1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? bath and body works velvet tuberose ... i love it

2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? no, not a big fan (and isn't it out of season?)

3. Is there anything moldy in your refrigerator? not that i know about

4. Are there any dirty dishes in your sink? nope but i do need to run the dishwasher

5. What would you change about your living room? a. new. couch. and wood floors

6. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? see #4

7. Do you have a can of mushrooms in your pantry? eww no thank you

8. White or wheat bread? wheat 

9. What is on top of your refrigerator? cookbooks and a valentine's dish that needs to be put in the cabinet above the fridge

10. What color is your sofa? this tacky (um, mom, i mean beautiful) navy with orange and tan flowers on it ... from like 1970. yes, i need a new couch. i have a slip cover but it doesn't stay on right and the cat likes to go INSIDE the slip cover and get stuck. seriously. i have pictures somewhere. himz smart.

11. What color or design is on your shower curtain? bright stripes! yellow, pink, green, blue, orange, white ... i love it! 

12. How many plants are in your home? 3, 2 of them go outside when it gets warmer

13. How many candles are in your home? hmmm like 5-ish

14. Is your bed made right now? no

15. If you have a coffee pot, what color is it? i have a white one and a black one ... i use neither, but just in case i have a guest who does, i keep one. the other is going to goodwill

16. Electric or standard can opener? standard 

17. Theme in your living room? peacock (yes, really, and it's amazing)

18. Colors in the bedroom? my bedroom is a very calm light light green. the other bedroom is a light gray. love them both. 

19. Colors of your bathroom? mine is the same as my bedroom. other bathroom is yellow. 

20. Comet or Soft Scrub? comet

21. Is your closet organized? yes except the shoes i throw in until i decide to organize them few weeks 

22. What color is the flashlight that you use the most? black ...most being like once a year. 

23. What kinds of things are in your junk drawer? um, junk. paper, pens, yarn, a coaster... 

24. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? plastic

25. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? yes

26. If you have a garage, is it cluttered? i WISH i had a garage. and a basement. and a yard. and a deck ... 

27. Curtains or blinds? both 

28. How many pillows do you sleep with? two but sometimes they both get abandoned. 

29. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? the light above the stove is on sometimes

30. How many ceiling fans are in your home? 2

31. How often do you vacuum? i try to do it every week but that usually doesn't happen

32. Standard toothbrush or electric? standard

33. What color is your toothbrush? purple

34. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? on the patio, it changes with seasons. right now it has snowmen but it's about time to bust out the flowery one 

35. What is in your oven right now? nothing

36. Is your microwave clean or dirty? clean

37. Is there anything under your bed? some old art stuff from college 

38. Chore you hate doing the most? putting away laundry

39. What retro items are in your home? hmm, not a lot. the couch. bwahahahahaha

40. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? no, i could make it an office but it's really the 'i dont have room for this so i'm throwing it in here' room.

41. If you have a yard, who mows it? i don't have one 

42. Is there anything on your kitchen floor right now? cat food

43. How many mirrors are in your home? 6 i think

44. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? no, and like i would write it here if i did

45. What color are your walls? deep purple, light green, gray, another light green, yellow, and a really light yellow in the hall

46. Which rooms in your house have wallpaper? none thank GOD

47. Do you have a peephole in your front door? yes

48. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? haha, apparently the louisville slugger bat is a weapon i have been told. 

49. What does your home smell like right now? vanilla/cookie candle

50. Fave candle scent? i like the ones that smell like something is baking :) or at christmas, i love the christmas tree scented ones

51. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? i dont eat them, if they are there, someone else bought them 

52. What color is your Bible? i have the one i had in high school but it has lost its cover so it's just maroon.

53. Do you have plenty of cabinet space in your kitchen? eh, enough

54. Do you own a stereo? ipod and speakers that it hooks up to, does that count?

55. How many tvs do you have? 2 

56. How many house phones? zero

57. Do you have a housekeeper? i wish

58. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? maybe both but i have solids

59. Is there a smoke detector in your home? yes of course

60. In case of fire, what are the items you would grab if you only could make one quick trip? i hate this question. i don't know what i would think of in the moment but i feel like i'd want to rip my computer out of the wall and take it cuz all my pictures are on it ... maybe i should burn some cds or something. 

61. Do you know how to work your electrical box? yes, do people really not know how to do this??

62. What temperature in your home is most comfortable to you? 68-70

Friday, February 25, 2011

photo flashback friday

remember that time i told you all i weighed 93 pounds when i graduated from high school?

 for real? look at my arms. gross. and yes, it's really me.

this was prom night. i was that skinny, and my dress was tied tight so it wouldn't fall down. good times.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

back where i belong :)

today was my endo appointment (you know, the really awesome one that i talked about here, to replace that one). want me to tell you how awesome it was? OKAY.

first, it is nice to be greeted by people who remember your name and face, are friendly, remember things about you, make nice conversation, tell you they were wondering why you hadn't been in ...

it was comforting that my endo actually checked my feet, heart, breathing, etc (unlike some doctors that shall remain nameless) ... ya know, do the things doctors are supposed to do!

i got my prescriptions refilled - with the correct amounts - and we talked about the whole cholesterol thing. he decided, after discussion about me being nervous to take cholesterol medicine before i'm even 30, that it will be beneficial, it is preventative so i don't get to a point where it is too high. he said he has seen that it's hard to get the 'bad cholesterol' down to the level it needs to be with diet and exercise only, so i'm going to take a very low dose of an inexpensive prescription ... now i just have to remember to take it. i suck at remembering to take pills. i just now, typing this, remembered to take my vitamin. but i've been remembering that so maybe i'll do okay.

our discussion led to me talking about the DOC. oh yeah you guys, i told him about you. and he was interested, of course. i told him about dsma, and twitter, and ... my blog. oh yeah, he knows about it. and he had me write it down for some patients who are trying to connect with others (a d-meetup in my future?!?! be still my heart.). so you know what that means, right? he might be reading this. hey dr. awesome! :D  haha! he was happy that i found a community of people that relate to me, and he was interested in all the DOC things i take part in. yay! it's good to have a doc on your side. edit: dr. awesome is type 1 diabetic ... do we think that has something to do with his awesomeness?

we talked about my A1C (7.3, thankyouverymuch) and how i have it in my head that i really want that first number to be a 6. he pointed something out that makes sense. 7.3 is not a bad A1C, and he'd rather i be healthy and good where i am instead of having a 6.5 and many lows. good call. i'm not a fan of the lows.

we talked about CGMs, and where animas is headed with dexcom - i think he said it will be called the vibe (but don't hold me to that). we also talked about the diabetic assistance dogs, and how expensive it is to get one here ... boo. but one person that goes to their office has one! *holding onto hope*

i told him about the awards we won for fundraising at the JDRF walk, and he asked if i was involved with them, and suggested i contact someone who works in his office about getting on the board ... maybe i will do that!

 bronze team achievement award for fundraising

my golden sneaker award for excellence in fundraising

the end of our appointment he summed it up quite nicely, "this was a really good appointment! we got a lot done!"

YAY for being back at the awesome office. where i belong.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

silver lining?

my best friend (of 15 years) is pregnant - tangent: WOO HOO IT'S SO AWESOME AND EXCITING!! - and today was her glucose test ... you know, that some women say is so awful and the juice they have to drink is so gross - she said it wasn't that bad ... since her doctor's office is close to my work, we met to have lunch when she was done.

so yesterday, my mom asked if i wanted to go to lunch (meal paid for by mom? yes please!) and she asked where i wanted to go. i told her anywhere but qdoba because i was going there today.

when she picked me up, she asked if best friend and i were going out for any special occasion, and explained she would be close to the office after her test. all of a sudden i said 'hey, there's one thing i don't have to do whenever i have a baby! a glucose test!'

ya know, cuz i already have diabetes. get it? 

hahahaha. nerd moment.

best friend and me after lunch today... see the baby bump? he's in there!
ignore the squinting from the awesome super sunny day

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

that one time i was in the hospital

as janet wrote about yesterday (read it if you don't know why i went to the ER), i was in the hospital last year over superbowl weekend (can you imagine if it was this year?? good thing i didn't have a team preference in superbowl last year). here's the story, morning glory:

when we got to the ER at about 11, i got sick when i was checking in, and then i remember getting hooked up to an IV because i was dehydrated and i fell asleep. mom and my man were with me, and dad was in the waiting room with my friends. eventually my dad came in the room and my friends went home. at about 2 am, my blood sugars were normal, but the doc said he wanted to keep me overnight because my heart rate was elevated. GRAND. i had never - literally, NEVER in my life stayed in the hospital except when i was born.

the next morning, EARLY, (you know you never really sleep at the hospital) i had a variety of heart related tests ... a scan i can't remember the name of where they put dye in my arm first, a stress test and an ultrasound of my heart. i was never asked if i wanted them done, never told by a doctor why they were being done, and never even saw the doctor who ordered them. actually, i saw no doctor before these tests except the one in the ER. i was told was that they were checking to make sure everything was ok ... since this was my first hospital experience and i felt like crud, i didn’t question the testing. i did, however, cry and want to know why i was having a stress test done when i was 27 and have no heart problems and the reason i came to the hospital was my blood sugar was low and my stomach was upset. (hello run-on sentence) and the nurses assured me the test would come back normal and i was probably more anxious about having the test done ... um, then why do it? just saying.

a doctor finally came in and saw me after the tests. he had on khakis and a button up, no name tag, did not identify himself, asked about my symptoms and why i had come to the ER, did not examine me in any way and said they would be looking at the results of my tests. after that, i called my dad (who had gone home to get stuff done, mom hung out half the day til my man got there), and he called our family physician. my family doctor was surprised but suggested the hospital was just being cautious, and said he did not see any reason that i’d be kept in the hospital.

later i saw a different doctor who said they thought everything was ok, but said they would keep me another night for observation. after my stress test, i was attached to a second heart monitor ... and since i was on the cardiac floor, i was already wearing one. yes, cardiac floor. for an upset stomach and low blood sugar. so now i had two heart monitors on. (remember that stomach bug? want to talk about how much fun it is to go to the bathroom wearing two heart monitors that you can't take off? while pulling an iv pole?)

i didn't get to go home that day. that night, they restricted what i could eat because a stomach ultrasound was scheduled for the next morning. yet again, i didn't see a doctor before this to explain why they were doing it. no one told me who ordered the test. i was told by a nurse that they (WHO IS THEY?) wanted to make sure everything was normal because my stomach had been upset. how many people with an upset stomach ever have an ultrasound for that reason alone? that confused me. as with the heart tests, nothing extraordinary was revealed.

i talked to my dad again after the ultrasound, it became clear that i needed to take control, start questioning exactly what was going on, and have a say in what happened next. when i got breakfast, i actually felt hungry, and felt much better after i ate. i waited for a doctor or someone to come tell me something, and finally a third doctor came in when i was eating lunch.

the doctor i met with next expressed some surprise at what had happened over the past two days… he asked ME why all these tests had been done. he said that from the tests i had been given he was expecting to see an 80 year old, not a 27 year old with no previous heart issues. he was confused about who the doctor who did not identify himself had been. he basically said that he would not go so far as to document that anything wrong had been done, he would not have ordered all the tests I’d been given. he was also the first of three cardiologists to tell me that the stomach virus and dehydration would have affected my blood sugar (of course, i knew that and i'm not a doctor), and that he would have treated me for dehydration and monitored my blood sugar if he had been there when i arrived. the major thing he said was that it’s common knowledge to basically everyone in the medical field that a persons heart rate elevates when they are dehydrated. so glad the ER doctor thought of that...

basically, the next ten minutes flew by in comparison to the two and a half days i had stayed in the hospital. within five minutes, the first heart monitor was removed and within a few more minutes the second was
removed. i was told i could get dressed to leave and the discharge paperwork was done. about 20 minutes after meeting that doctor, mom and i were waiting at the door for dad to pick us up.

when i saw my endocrinologist two days after my got out of the hospital (because go figure, my scheduled appointment was the monday i left the hospital) and told him what had happened, his reaction was disbelief. he was basically speechless as i told him what happened, and he said, “they did what?”

i guess the worst damage done in all of this a distrust of that hospital. i went because my friends made me i knew something was wrong. i will of course go back to the hospital if i ever have to because of diabetes, but i might think about which ER i choose before i do that.

Monday, February 21, 2011

guest blogger: janet

janet and i met through a mutual friend a few years ago. we've learned over time that we have a lot in common, and she was fortunate enough to take part the only time that the effects of diabetes sent me to the emergency room. lucky girl. :)

I was very lucky to meet Meredith a few years ago through a mutal friend. I'd hung out with Meredith a few times, but we really became close this past year. I have a lot of fun memories with Meredith but there is one memory that scared the crap out of me. At least looking back now we can joke and laugh about it. When I think of Meredith, diabetes doesn't really cross my mind. Now and then, I ask her, as I call it 'dumb diabetes question'. But to me it's one of those out of sight, out of mind things.

The night of this 'event' was the Saturday before Superbowl. I was throwing my husband a surprise party for a promotion he'd gotten at work.  I invited all of our close friends (who miraculously didn't spill the beans to him). The party was a lot of fun and the husband was very surprised. Shortly into the party, Meredith said she didn't feel well. She was extremely pale and her blood sugar had dropped. I've grown up around family members who were diabetics. Both my grandfathers were, and my uncle is as well. I have never seen any of them have an episode where their blood sugar dropped. I panicked, naturally. I'm a panicker and can't rationalize very well when I think there's a crisis. To me this was a CRISIS! I start running to the kitchen to find anything with sugar. If I remember correctly, I think I gave her coke and chocolate. She wasn't getting better. A friend of ours who works in a hospital was very concerned. She tried to get her to eat peanut butter and jelly. Nothing seemed to work. So being the good friends that we are, three of us took her to the hospital with her boyfriend. We weren't going to take no as an answer. And trust me, it took over an hour to finally convince her stubbornness to go. We were scared.  When we got to the hospital, things got worse. Meredith was vomiting and her heart rate was fast. The three of us stayed in the waiting room, very concerned while her boyfriend and mom went to a room with her. I didn't care that I had a house full of people for the party, all I cared about was Meredith getting better.

We learned that they were giving her fluids because she was dehydrated, they were watching her blood sugar and watching her heart because her heart rate was elevated. Meredith was in the hospital til Monday afternoon, it turned out her heart rate was elevated from dehydration and she had a stomach bug, which is why her blood sugar wouldn't stay up - she couldn't keep anything down!

I learned a lot about Meredith that night. For one, she wasn't freaking out as I would have been. Two, she is very in tune with her body and knows the warning signs immediately. Even though now we can look at pictures from that night as say 'aww, we took that picture pre-ER visit', it was still scary to me.
 the picture: a few hours before our trip to the ER

So now when she comes over, I very nicely ask, 'can we please not go to the ER this time?!'

Friday, February 18, 2011

over it!

over the past month, i had health and doctor issues, my sister had surgery, my parents suddenly lost a friend and this week my family lost another friend. my friends have been going through problems, whether it's with money, or relationships, or family stuff or health problems ... when can we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?? i'm over the cold weather (which i can usually handle just fine til about february - lookie here, it's mid-feb), i'm over everyone having the winter blues, i'm over people getting bad news, i'm over everyone being in a piss-poor mood all over facebook and everywhere else. we should make a challenge to see how long people can go without writing complaints as their facebook status. but maybe the people who always write them on facebook have no one to vent their problems to. that is sad. i remember people saying how much 2010 sucked and they were so glad for 2011 because it would be a better year. um, not yet. i'm waiting, 2011. you haven't impressed me yet.

i'm ready for warm weather, windows down, music up, shorts, flip flops, cook outs, going to the lake, laying in the sun, swimming, temperatures above 70 and days when the sun stays up til 9 pm!

the lake!

so, BRING IT ON. negative shit, we leave you behind.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

oh yes i can

for all the uneducated who say 'you can't eat that':

(diet coke of course)

watch me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

i like your pager

last night my man and i had our valentine's day date night, and while we were out we stopped somewhere so he could pay a bill.

while i was waiting and not really paying attention, he said to the girl working (who was probably 17), 'i like your pager.' her response was, 'what??' and i turned to look.

the thoughts i immediately had in my head were she must have an insulin pump or she really has a pager because he now has one for his job and we joke about it.

when i looked over i saw her blue animas pump clipped on the outside of her pocket. like a total diabetes nerd, i lifted up my jacket and showed her my pump in my pocket. 'I HAVE ONE TOO!' (nerd. alert.) 'oh really? do you use animas or medtronic?'

my man looked at us confused. he doesn't know all the medical brands so he had no idea what we were talking about.

i told her that i have the animas ping, and she had an envious reaction; the ping came out a few months after she got her current pump. then we talked about CGMs and what features our new pumps might have.

my man stood there, paying attention, with a somewhat confused look. he knows what the pump does and how it works, but not all about the different brands, features, etc.

oh yeah, it was a total diabetes nerd moment. and also, hilarious.

image from

i like your pager.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

guest blogger: stephanie

meet my sister. i don't have a super fancy introduction because i can't narrow what she means to me down to a small paragraph. she's smart, strong, independent, stubborn and pretty much bad ass. and one of my best friends. not all sisters would choose to say that about each other. but i mean it. for real. ...maybe. ok, really. and she's kinda funny. -ish.

black friday 2010. that's how we roll.

I know this blog is supposed to be about diabetes, but I was raised right. In that upbringing I was taught, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” Out of respect for diabetes and my parents I will keep my comments about the disease to myself, as I have little to nothing nice to say.

I do, however, have plenty to say on the topic of my amazing sister and her managing of the disease that plagues and paralyzes her pancreas. I am in awe of my sister on a regular basis. She manages her disease. It does not define her, she does not throw regular “poor me” pity parties regarding her circumstances, but rather she lives life with gusto and attacks all that is thrown at her head-on in SPITE of her situation. (Now she sounds like a bad After School Special ‘her circumstances’ and ‘her situation.’ Haha.) Not only does she do these things responsibly as an adult, but from the moment she was diagnosed she stepped up and learned all she could so that she could effectively advocate for herself and work with her body for optimum health – even as a teenager.

The most vivid memory that I have is of Meredith’s declining health and her diagnosis. I had more than a few chats with a close family member regarding her situation, as I had been taking Anatomy and Physiology at the time and was a regular “Dr. House.” I told them that Meredith was showing all the “classic” signs of diabetes. She had regular, excessive thirst (she downed multi liters of Gatorade daily…and was still thirsty), she seemed to be an open pit for junk food (bagels, cartons of chocolate ice cream, etc), yet never gained a pound and in fact just seemed to keep losing weight, and she seemed to sleep around the clock – above and beyond the normal “growing teenager” exhaustion. She also seemed to disappear into the bathroom almost instantly after eating, I didn’t know what went on in there, but I knew it wasn’t normal. Not only was she not gaining any weight, but she was rapidly becoming unhealthy skin and bones. Flash to her older sister eating all the right things, working out like a fiend and hoping to get those last five pounds off before Spring Break hit – I was, honestly, a little disgusted because, darn it, those carbs and sugarly goodies looked SO good! Anyway, I digress.

The family member was concerned, to say the least, as well, but insisted that my sister kept saying that she, “felt fine,” and just wanted, “to be left alone.” Well, if I felt that crappy most of the time, as I can only imagine she did, I would want to be left the heck alone, too. This was clearly not just the case of a surly, hungry, growing teenager, this was serious. I was SO overjoyed the day she went for her pre-college check up. I knew something wasn’t right, but I felt and knew things had to happen in their own time. I will never forget the phone call I got – I can even still picture my desk at work, the time of day, everything about the scene. Said family member called SOBBING saying they should have listened, that I had been right and that my sister had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Now, I didn’t know much, if anything, about the disease, but I knew one thing….I instantly felt a sense of relief. Yes, sorrow, sympathy, anger, frustration, even a small sense of righteousness at having called it right – though that was minimal, but I certainly felt relief because I KNEW now my sister would be getting the help she needed and deserved and wasn’t willing or able to seek out for herself.

She impressed me, even then, remarking at how everyone kept throwing sympathy and compassion her way when she didn’t see her life changing event as requiring either. She encompassed one of my favorite quotes shared with me by my Mom during a time I needed to hear it, “It isn’t what happens to you, but how you handle it that counts.” Truer words could not be quoted. Meredith, from day one, took control of her life and her health and SHE manages it.

My family member did what most family members and care givers do – gave my sister a huge benefit of the doubt. Totally understandable, and I would do the same for either of my children and all of my loves ones. However, if you are ever in a position similar to mine, please try and take things to the next step if the situation deems them to be necessary. Push your loved one who has been having even obscure symptoms of a heart attack to visit the ER, urge your loved one to get a complete physical exam annually and encourage them to complete all the routine testing that their doctor advises for their age. But, ultimately realize that God gives us all one body and one true, sole responsibility, and that is to and for ourselves. You can lead the loved one to the proper medical attention, but you can’t make them be seen or treated. Your work there is done. Cut yourself the slack you deserve. You did good. :)

I leave you with the words of a famous, if not infamous, diabetic, if you have diabetes, then, “Check your blood sugar. Check it often.”

Now, go manage your situations and circumstances with the grace, dignity and responsibility of a grown up. Need a role model? See the resident blogger.

oh yes i did post this awesome picture of us wearing mom's handmade dresses. HELLO 1990!

Monday, February 14, 2011

a valentine's day card for you

to all my family & friends: 

happy valentine's day everyone, whether you love the day or not!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

ABCs of diabetes

my ABC's of diabetes. things that i have/have used/relate to diabetes. this list took a while, and yes, for some letters i looked up words that might work, i didn't come up with all of these without a little research! but i can't leave an empty letter. i guess i'm anal retentive about it. i think you should play to, and create your own list! some of our letters might be the same, some might not. like ... i won't put CGM cuz i don't have one :) have fun!! it might make your brain hurt a little.

Blood sugar
Finger pricks
Infusion sets
Lancet (blunt?)
Nerve endings
Quick thinking
Type 1 diabetes
Units of insulin
Wilford Brimley
Xylitol: carbohydrate-based sweetener found in plants and used as a substitute for sugar; provides calories. (uh yes i looked that up)
Yummy foods
Zzz's (sleep! duh!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

i wasn't a young CWD, but i'm still someone's child.

there has been a lot of talk lately about a thread on a forum discussion on Children With Diabetes. while i didn't participate, it got pretty heated, opinions from parents whose children have diabetes, opinions from adults who were once these children ... read it if you wish. it might raise your blood pressure a smidgen, no matter which 'side' you are on.

some comments i read made me frustrated, some made me sympathetic. some made me feel like i was reading in circles, like it was a fight back and forth, when really, someone put it best by saying we may be on different sides of the boat - parents of CWD, PWD, but aren't we in the same boat?  agree.

i'm not here to talk about that thread. but it made me think, and reading some other blogs as of late, there is one thing i don't have in common with some of the DOC members. today, jess is talking about some things she remembers from childhood. it made me think.

i didn't have diabetes as a child. i was diagnosed on the cusp of adulthood. i had just graduated from high school, i was about to start a new chapter of life.

reading some things people have said discussing memories of their childhood, i can't relate to. i don't know what it was like to have the nurse at school check my blood sugar or help me figure out how much insulin to take.

i was never in the hospital for an extended period of time when i was diagnosed. i didn't have to have a parent go to a party with me to make sure i was eating what i was supposed to. my parents didn't have to worry about what might blood sugars might do when i had a sleep over with my best friends.

it never crossed my mind, until a conversation with a friend one day who was diagnosed as a child, that going through puberty had an affect on your blood sugars as well as everything else in your life. of course it would, i just never had to think about it, so i didn't.

i didn't have my mom come to class to explain what diabetes was to my classmates. i didn't have to keep snacks in my desk in case my blood sugar was low. i didn't miss a single day of school until i was in 6th grade and got a bad case of strep throat. i didn't worry about getting made fun of for having diabetes (i got made fun of for other typical stupid kid stuff).

i didn't have to worry about forgetting my blood sugar meter in my locker with my homework. i didn't have to make sure i was eating the right things at lunch, or have to learn early in my life how to figure out how much insulin to take with my food. i could buy an extra pudding pop or two and not think a thing about it.

i didn't go to diabetes camp every summer. (although it sounded totally awesome and i'm kinda jealous.)

me, young and worry free

the only memory of diabetes i have from 'childhood' was freshman year of high school. my good friend was having a birthday party at her house, and one of her friends (now my friend!) was checking her blood sugar at the kitchen table before we had cake. i remembered asking her what she was doing, and i was very interested in it, asking lots of questions. (i tend to ask lots of questions about things i don't know much about. it's a good way to learn things, ya know.) when i was diagnosed, i talked to her, and she remembered how interested i was in it, and how ironic it was. HA. oh, the irony. :)

i may not have been a young child when i was diagnosed, but i am still someone's child. my parents still had to deal with it. they had to deal with my diagnosis in a different way, but it is still a part of their life too. it was a new learning experience and expense for all of us. and i can try to imagine how they felt and what they felt, but every person in this world deals with things differently.

so i hope that all PWD and parents of CWD can take that into consideration. every single person may believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong, their way of dealing is right, their opinion is right, their situation is the worst, best, whatever ... but we are all sharing a common thread. whether we were diagnosed at 6 or  26.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

DSMA february blog carnival

the most awesome thing i've done in spite of diabetes is ...

everything! in the past ten and a half years, i...

learned to drive a stick shift . went to college . went to movies . babysat . joined a sorority . lived on my own . went to seaworld . had sinus infections . did my own laundry . colored my hair . ate pasta . worked freshman orientation at college for two years . joined a sorority . became an aunt (nephew) . went to countless dances . become a godmother . went to st. louis . learned how to use an insulin pump . ate candy . went to college parties . went to nashville . went to florida . went shopping . have been in weddings . became an aunt again (niece) . played intramural softball .  hugged . took pictures . played intramural soccer . graduated from college . went to parties of all kinds . had strep throat . gave myself insulin shots . celebrated new years . went in the st. louis arch . worked in restaurants . got a job (and another, and another) where i use my degree . went to the zoo . played flag football . went to washington dc . went dancing . went out for breakfast . counted carbs . went to the beach . got my own insurance . saw my mom win an olympic medal . was a nanny . held a monkey . rode on a motorcycle . changed endocrinologists . celebrated valentine's day . lost friends . went to weddings . won JDRF fundraising awards . bought a condo . wore green on st. patrick's day . checked my blood sugar . was strawberry shortcake . was tony the tiger . was becker bear . was spongebob . was clifford the big red dog . kissed . lost grandparents . went to las vegas  . paid my own medical bills . ate cake . grew my hair out . went to baby showers . went to the kentucky derby . played in the snow . enjoyed thanksgiving . made new friends . went to baseball games . went to concerts . was in the hospital for a weekend . went to mexico . played in the snow . went to an NFL game . went shopping on black friday . went out to dinner . got laid offcelebrated friends birthdays  . traveled by plane . had the flu . went to the smithsonian museum . played in the sun . raised money and walked in the JDRF walk . got a new job . cut my hair . dressed up for halloween . went to the holocaust museum . went swimming . shared snacks with friends . went to maker's mark and dipped my own bottle . celebrated 4th of july . fractured my leg . decorated easter eggs . hosted parties . went to churchill downs . made rainbow cupcakes (and ate them) . met my favorite man . celebrated christmas . drank diet coke . changed endocrinologists again . turned 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. . went to hubers . went fishing . went sledding . went out to lunch . hit golf balls . went to a football clinic at UofL with coach strong . celebrated family birthdays . celebrated 10 (so far) diabetes-versaries

this is just a portion of the many things i've done in the past ten years. not all the things were happy, not all the things were sad. diabetes doesn't care if you are having a good or bad day emotionally. you live your life. diabetes is just a part of it. this list will continue to grow and expand as i live. "diabetes doesn't control my life. i control my diabetes."

see, told ya i held a monkey. and he sat on my head.

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

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

good cholesterol and a good deed

i went to my family doc this morning to follow up on my bloodwork. good news, my 'bad' cholesterol level isn't that bad, score. and as for the low iron, he told me to take iron pills a few times a week, not every day. and more around a certain time of the month or if i am donating blood. so, YAY for that!

after my appointment, i rewarded myself with a large diet coke from mcdonalds, because they are amazing,

TANGENT: fun fact! do you know why mcdonald's drinks taste so delicious compared to other restaurants fountain drinks? they keep their syrup stored in the fridge. you learned something new today. you're welcome.

ANYWAY, i went inside because the drive thru is ridiculous and ordered my diet coke and an oatmeal sans fruit (also delicious).

as i was paying, a woman came up and was asking the manager about nutritional information. they were looking on the back of the tray paper, and he couldn't find what she was asking for. he said that he would 'go in the back' and find out for her. as he walked away, she said, 'i really just need to know the carbs.' am i the only one drawn to this? i immediately thought 'diabetic!' so i turned to her and said, 'what are you trying to figure out the carb amount for? i'm diabetic so i know the totals for some things they have.'
her: oh! the cinnamon melts. my husband is diabetic also.
me: hmm, i don't know those off hand. it's always hard to figure out the really tasty stuff!
her: oh yes, hopefully he can tell me!

so i filled my drink, came back and picked up my oatmeal, told her good luck, we exchanged the 'have a nice day' bit, and was on my way. as i was leaving, i heard the manager telling her that they usually have the information on the boxes but for some reason it wasn't on the cinnamon melt box, but they could call the 800 number to find out. um, hello pain in the ass.

now, from experience, i know how shitty it can be if you eat something and SWAG (don't we all?), so when i got to my car, i looked in my calorie king book. i was sure it would be there. they weren't under breakfast foods (i bet that's where the manager looked on the sheet, i would have) but they WERE under 'desserts and cookies'. of course.

so i hauled ass back in mcdonalds and found them at their table. 'hi again, i hope you don't think i'm crazy, i keep this book in my purse and found the cinnamon melts.'
'oh great!' she said.
'they have 66 carbs.'
'thank you!' her husband said, 'what book is that?'
i told him it was calorie king, and the wife reminded him they had it at home.

they said thank you again, and i was on my way. as i got to the door, he called out, 'i only ate half! so that means, only 33 carbs!'

it's the little things in life. i was happy to help them and i totally understood his pleasure of using less insulin because he only ate half. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

i want a dog. not just ANY dog...

so a little over a year ago i glazed over the thought of a diabetes assistance dog. i stumbled upon the information somewhere; i had never heard of such a thing before. i, probably like most others, had heard of seeing eye dogs, or medical assistance dogs for people who had seizures, but not much else.

Diabetic assistance dogs have been specifically trained to identify, and more importantly, act upon the subtle scent changes that hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) creates in body chemistry—changes undetectable to their human companions.

picture from

i kind of brushed the thought aside because i couldn't find much information about it at a local place. i recently stumbled upon the blog of molly, a DOC member. she has a service dog named dixie, and i loved reading all about their life together! you can read some good stuff here, here, here, here and here. (seriously, lots of 'real life' information!)

i've learned through her blog and other online research that the dogs can detect when your blood sugars are too low or high, they alert you by giving you a tap with their paw, they can get help if you need it, among other things that you may need.

one reason that i am really interested in this is because i don't 'feel' my highs the way i feel lows. i feel low -most of the time- i test and correct. sometimes i test and find that i'm WAY too high and it could have been a few hours since i last checked my blood sugar! this makes me nervous because i know in the back of my mind the complications that can result from uncontrolled blood sugars (i just don't think about them on a daily basis). also, i've thought about asking for a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) but i'm not sure about that expense - i know a dog is an expense - and as i've learned from some other PWD, they're not always accurate. not that a dog is perfect and is always right, but i'm just exploring options here.

my current problem is that the only place i can find close to where i live requires that you raise $10,000 before you can get a dog! granted, there are some programs to help raise money, but you have to do a lot of it on your own. can you imagine?? to me, that's a very tall order. i don't have that kind of cash laying around. don't they know how much we spend on diabetes on a daily basis (not to mention other unplanned medical events)? there are other organizations that i've found through researching that provide diabetics with service dogs for a very low fee, some even just $150. why can't i live down the street from that place?

i would really love to start the journey to finding a dog that could help me. of course, an assistance dog is by no means a cure (it is also a pet, a family member, it's own expense), but it would so great to have someone there to remind me to check my blood sugar during a busy work day, or on a long car trip, or after lots of activity when i don't feel a low coming on ... the list of opportunities are endless.

anyone know of a place 'round these parts? or have 10 grand layin' around?

Monday, February 7, 2011

my first guest blogger: allison

i've known allison since i was in high school. we were roommates in college, sorority sisters and she's been one of my best friends ever since.  to say we know each other well is a slight understatement. :)

one of allison's fave pics of us

I went to high school with Meredith. We were in class together, worked on projects together. Senior year, I went to Western Kentucky University for a tour with the parentals and ran into Meredith! This was soon before her diagnosis. As outgoing as I am now, I wasn't when I was 17, so when Meredith popped the question "want to be roommates?" I jumped at the chance! What I did know of Meredith was that she was funny and nice and I knew NO ONE going to Western so this was my chance. I said yes!

My first experience with diabetes was when she showed me her pump (sounds dirty, I know, but it's not) and the giant needle I may or may not have to stick her with if her blood sugar got too low. What a fun introduction to college! I also got the privilege to "stick" Meredith when changing her pump since she went through a time when she was super nervous to do so. Now she's a pro!

Before I met Meredith all I knew about diabetes was from my aunt: that she gave herself insulin injections and her pancreas was LAME! Now I know a lot more and thanks to Meredith, I'm more cognizant that there NEEDS to be more awareness for diabetes and the proper care.

And as I'm sure is her hope, I hope there is a cure in our lifetime. I'm proud to be labeled a 'type 3' and a support system to such a great friend!

 oh shit, how'd this picture sneak in there? ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

weekend fun

ohhh, allison had a fun post idea, so I'm participating!!

1. what was your favorite sitcom growing up? full house. pretty sure that was my favorite.

2. what song always makes you happy when you hear it?  hmmm, this is a tough one. i like lots of songs that make me happy. let me get back to you on that.

3. do you still have your wisdom teeth?  nope, got them out when i was in college. luckily, they were all broken through the gums (just growing all wonky and painful) so i didn't have stitches or anything. good times.

4. what is your go to way to relax? if i'm by myself: couch, sweatpants, blankets, trashy reality tv on DVR and diet coke. if my man is with me: couch, sweatpants, blankets, sports/discovery channel/show about police or jail (yes, seriously), diet coke.

5. do you play any instruments? i used to play piano. haven't done it in YEARS.

6. nude beaches, yes or no? not for me, no thanks.

7. do you chew your pens/pencils? nope

8. can you change the oil in your car? ummm, if i had to, i could learn.

9. can you curl your tounge? yes

10. can you knit or crochet? HA, yeah i tried that once. it didn't go so well.

Friday, February 4, 2011

that's cute.

yesterday we had a blood drive at work. i always try to donate if i can, so i went over.

when the man checked my iron, it was low. he asked if he could could have someone else check the other hand to be sure, i said of course.

when the sweet lady came in to stick my other finger, she said 'i'm so sorry that you have to get 2 sticks! i know the finger pricks are the worst.'

i was all i could do to not laugh as i told her that i have diabetes and i don't really feel them anymore anyway.
and that those pricks were the fourth and fifth of the day. :)

silly. a little finger prick. haha.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

the ambulance.

maybe you will remember my excitement of moving to a new office with a WALL OF WINDOWS!!

well, my office is located between many doctors offices, as well as two very busy hospitals. the intersection i can see out of my windows is busy ALL. DAY. LONG. it never stops. cars waiting. cars honking, cars flying through lights as they turn red, people rushing, people lost, the occasional crazy girl running between cars and jumping fences (this seriously happened, police were called). it's a source of distraction and entertainment, but also has one downfall.

the constant traffic of ambulances - with sirens, driving patients to the hospitals, in emergency. the curse is not that i hear and see the ambulances, it is the anger i feel when i turn around (i always turn to look when i hear one coming) and see the cars just SIT THERE. they DON'T MOVE. the 'main' road is five lanes wide each direction. FIVE. LANES. right turn lane, two straight, two left turn. and somehow, ambulances have to creep along, honking and blowing their sirens like crazy and people STILL DON'T MOVE. it's not like they have nowhere to go. if the light is red, eventually people will roll into the intersection so that the ambulance can get through. it's not like they're waiting to move because traffic hasn't stopped from the other direction, NO ONE is moving. there is NO TRAFFIC going ANYWHERE.

what is wrong with you? what if you were in that ambulance? what if your grandparent, parent or child was in the ambulance? what if they were minutes away from getting the help they need and don't make it because they couldn't get through cars that wouldn't get out of the way?

i guarantee if you, driver who isn't moving out of the way because you are texting, or reading emails, or changing the radio stations, or touching up your make up, or playing angry birds, if you were riding in that ambulance, you would be pissed that cars were just sitting there.

maybe pay attention for the 38 seconds that ambulance needs to get by.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

praise sweet baby Jesus in golden fleece diapers

on thursday, february 17 i have fasting lab work at 9 am.

on thursday, february 24 i have an appointment with my endocrinologist at 8:35 am.

this is such fabulous news. :)

and i realized that i haven't had any fasting lab work since i stopped seeing him ... just saying.

it was so nice when the woman i talked to on the phone said 'i was glad to hear your message, i hadn't heard your name in so long, i'm glad you are going to be able to come back.'  :)

THAT is patient care.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


so i just searched my new insurance's site for a list of endocrinologists that accept my insurance ...


it's a tuesday MIRACLE!!

CUE THE EXCITEMENT MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


:D    :D    :D    :D


you all know how excited i was to go to the endocrinologist consultation i had today.

so they called and asked if i could come a few minutes early, which was fine. i drove the whole 38 seconds it takes me to get to the office from mine, go in, go to sign in and read on the sheet:

Doctor does not work with insulin pumps. 

i thought to myself, hmm, that's weird. i'll have to ask her about that. but as i was waiting, texting my sister about it and being already frustrated, thinking more and more about how this doctor/patient relationship would work, she said 'would it even be worth seeing her? if she doesn't treat people with insulin pumps?'

so i asked the receptionist if it was worth my time.
'oh, you have an insulin pump?'
'yes, i didn't know she didn't work with them them until i got here and saw that. is it a waste of my money and her time to see her then?'
'yeah, probably, let me go check.'

she disappeared and came back with someone else. i explain that i'm looking for a new office, they suggested the office i'm leaving (go figure), i told them no, they suggested my old endo that doesn't take my new insurance and is retiring in a few years. she finally got out a book and copied information of two doctors to call. they apologized, told me the doctor 'felt bad' when she saw my chart and figured i use a pump - i never saw her anywhere in the office. 

my copay was refunded and i left.

i felt defeated.

i called one of the suggested doctors - the info pages had their pictures. she looked young, which is one thing i'm looking for, someone i can stay with who isn't going to retire in 5 years (and have to go through this process again).

the woman who answered was asking a bunch of questions before i could ask about pumps, and then she said 'do you use an insulin pump?'
'yes, i was going to ask about that'
'oh, okay, our office is not equipped to treat patients with pumps yet.'
'let me see if i can give you some other options.'
she named the office i'm leaving. and another one that doesn't take my insurance. and one who got horrible reviews online.

february is awesome so far.