Friday, May 31, 2013

photo friday is back!

yeah... i haven't done this since august. oopsie. some bloggers call it instagram link up; i'm a fan of alliteration. :)

have a great weekend!

my poppies are growing! . thrifting . wedding 
tanning the blinding whites . wendy's win . ugh.
outfit of the day . getting crafty . addicting

Thursday, May 30, 2013

dad's going to dr. awesome!

listen people. you know how i feel about my endo and his office. he is AMAZING (and i'm pretty sure i'm going to ask him at my appointment in a few weeks if he'll let me interview him for this here blog, i hope he says yes!).

well, anytime that someone mentions that they have to go to an endocrinologist for something, of course i promote him. and GUESS WHAT? my promoting paid off. ...well sort of, or maybe it's because i'm talking about my dad.

dad and me

dad had knee surgery a few weeks ago (he's recovering and doing pretty good, thanks for asking), and his post-surgery bloodwork revealed that he's having some thyroid issues. yeah, that's right. just like me. can it run in the family if the daughter shows signs of graves disease (see more here.) before the parent??

this dance is not what caused his knee surgery

anywho, he had an appointment with the family doc who said he needs to send an endo, and OF COURSE dad said he'd go to dr. awesome. :)

dad's appointment is the week before mine, coming up soon! is it weird that i'm excited* for him to see my endo??

*of course i'm not thrilled that he has to be treated for a medical condition but i'm glad he's going where the best care (in my opinion) is! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

supply companies. [insert HUGE SIGH here]

yesterday i tweeted about the AWESOME (<<sarcasm font) service i get from edgepark medical supplies. and not suprisingly, there were a few people who agreed. jess, sara and steph have also had issues with them. i already have a headache just thinking about all the crap we've had to deal with.

i have given that company chance after chance. they've messed up billing, they've messed up delivery addresses, they send bills for random amounts ($16?) and when you call about it, they have no record of such a balance. i've been married for almost seven months and they STILL don't have my name right in their system, and every time i call it takes like five minutes to find me. married name, maiden name, first name? middle name - sidenote: i go by my middle name. which is SO HARD for people to understand. sigh. - no wait, it's hyphenated (umm, no it's not). 'oh yes i'll get it changed today.' are you sure? i was told that last time. and i've also tried to change it online.

they apparently set you up on auto refill plans even if you don't want them and have auto reminders call your phone every. single. day. until you respond,  and most recently, when i ordered a one month supply (because i'm switching insurances june 1) and placed a refill online, apparently it was part of a 'monthly supply program' that is automatically set up to fill your orders on the first of every month.

please explain to me how that makes sense. what if i didn't order my one month supply on the first of the month? is EVERYONE using that program (which, by the way, i did not ask to be enrolled in, they automatically set me up because i ordered a one month supply ONCE) required to order at the beginning of the month? what if you run out in the middle?

so, i placed my order last week. paid for it, got my confirmation email, it said i'd get a phone call when it shipped. ...usually when i do that, i get a phone call the next day. guess what. that was a week ago. so i called them, and she said it was that auto-refill crap, and it was scheduled to PROCESS on june 1. which meant that it wouldn't even SHIP on june 1, just process. then it would take 5-7 days to get it. OHEMGEE. i asked her what i needed to do to get that rushed. she said she'd make a note. so it is being processed today, and i'll get it in 5-7 days.

oh wait, i forgot one minor detail. i'm on my last infusion set, and tomorrow is site change day. THAT IS SO FANTASTIC. luckily, i have some old sets that i'm not a HUGE fan of but i will use them in a crunch like this, but i am so beyond annoyed with this place. jess said she TOLD edgepark how bad they were and they didn't have any apology! i can't even...

i asked for suggestions on twitter of where to get supplies, and i heard about a few places. so, june 1, when my insurance changes, i'll be checking out my options.

where do you get your medical supplies?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

curiosity is never-ending

since it's a million degrees getting warm this time of year - it means one thing. (well it means MANY things but one thing for this story.) short sleeves. and sleeveless tops. and dresses. and that means another thing ... the dexcom is out for public view on my arm.*

of course, i never think about it. i've been wearing sleeves and sweaters all winter and since i switched jobs during the colder season, a lot of my new coworkers have never seen it. ...enter new questions. :) (everyone knows i love to educate and make sure people REALLY understand diabetes and the differences, etc)

i teach junior achievement to third graders. this semester's lesson just ended, but the seasons changed when i was teaching, and i showed up with short sleeves on one day - there were at least eight hands raised before i even started talking - everyone wanted to know what 'that thing on your arm is.'

sometimes the questions pop up from friends or random people i meet at a store who are curious, and i'm okay with that. i'd much rather have people ask than guess or assume.

which reminds me of when i borrowed a dexcom to wear for a week when my family went to disney world. my mom told me that when we were waiting to meet mike and sully (duh.), a little girl in line behind us asked her mom what was on my arm. her mom hushed her and told her to be quiet. i WISH i had heard them because i would have gladly explained it to them, it's normal for kids to be curious! ...if you ever see me and want to know, just ASK!

yes i awesomely cropped out the middle of this picture for privacy reasons

*yes, i wear my dexcom on the back of my arm. yes, dexcom suggests wearing it on your stomach. i promise i'm not the only one who does this. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

diabetes blog week: freaky friday

Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

while the idea sounds interesting and maybe a relief to not have to deal with diabetes to some ... i wouldn't choose to do this. having to swap with anyone and know that they would have to live with this disease for a day doesn't sound like fun, and having to live with any other disease for a day doesn't sound like fun. 

i honestly thought about who i would swap with ... i really can't do it. i can't think of any way this would be a good idea or even an option i'd want to consider. maybe i'd just like to live a day without diabetes. :) 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

diabetes blog week: accomplishments big and small

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).

sometimes it seems small ... to have a day that's a no hitter. but when you add up those days here and there, it shows that i have gained much better control of diabetes.

for all people with diabetes, learning how different foods/emotions/activities/etc affect their body and blood sugar is a challenge. after 13 years, i really feel like i've got a good handle on it. that doesn't always mean i have perfect blood sugar (i am diabetic after all), but i know what's going to make my blood sugar go crazy. 

it's a challenge, just like anything else - and i hope that others who are struggling with getting there realize they will get there. it takes time and learning and listening to your body, but you will get there and feel great about it. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

diabetes blog week: memories

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere.... your or your loved one's diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

i have written my diagnoses story today, and it absolutely my most memorable diabetes day. original link here.


diagnosis details

i have read so many stories from fellow diabetics about their diagnosis. scary stories that involve ambulances, ER visits, long stays in the hospital ... mine involves none of that. but it is one of those days in my life that i remember almost every little detail of.

about a month after my high school graduation, on june 26, 2000, i was going to the pediatrician for a standard physical that i needed before i went off to college. on my own. for the first time ever. to do my own laundry! GASP! and buy my own groceries! i was going to be a FOR REAL adult. scary enough on it's own.

when we got to the to the office, a place i hadn't been in years, i asked if i could do my urine test right then, because i really had to go (it's so funny how clearly i see all the symptoms now).

tangent: we never really went to the doctor growing up unless we were really sick. even then, usually we'd just go to the immediate care center. the only time i can remember going was when i had strep throat, and that wasn't very often. my sister and i stayed relatively healthy. the only other times i remember going to the doctor's office were the times i broke my wrist and then my arm in 7th grade. yes, both arms in one year ... that's a story for another day. 

back to the story ... urine test. i did that, went in the room with my mom and waited for the doctor. he came in, and the first thing he did was pick up the urine cup. 'drink a lot today? your urine is very clear.'

17-year old nervous me, 'um, yeah, i guess.'
he did the standard check up, and then it was back to that. 'your weight is a little low. are you thirsty a lot? drink a lot of fluids?'
'i'm not really sure, i guess so.'
mom starts answering too. 'yes, she does.'
'what about eating, do you eat enough? a lot? are you hungry? not hungry?'
'i eat when i'm hungry.'
mom answered. 'she eats ALL THE TIME. and she eats a lot.'

GEEZ mom, thanks for embarrassing me! she was right though. on the drive to school every morning i would eat pop tarts. and drink a full cup of diet coke or gatorade. followed by hanging out at the water fountain before homeroom. or buying a snack at the machine in the cafeteria and inhaling it before classes started. i'd spend all the lunch money my parents gave me every day, and usually spend my own money to buy more. a grilled cheese sandwich, sometimes two. two sides of fries, a dessert and a can of coke. and then after the next class, i'd be hungry again. or running to the bathroom. or to the water fountain because i was SO thirsty. when i got home from school, i'd eat a snack. sometimes, i'd drink an entire BIG bottle of gatorade and eat a whole box of mac and cheese while i watched sally jesse raphael and oprah. then i'd eat dinner and it was likely i'd be back in the kitchen looking for something to eat later on, wake up in the middle of the night and drink 3 glasses of water in the bathroom in the dark. and i was small. 5'3" and 93 pounds small. grossly skinny to me now, but then, it didn't seem like it. i had no drastic weight loss, i had lost 12 pounds in four years. someone in my class sent me to the counselor senior year, because she thought i was anorexic. a girl i can not stand to this day. she was never my friend, she just made an outside judgement (i can't really blame her i guess, i looked like a stick). my friends were questioned before i saw the counselor, and they all told her that i ate like a horse. i was offended when she asked if i threw up after i ate. why would i do that??

party at the beginning of senior year. that's me in the middle. seriously, look at my arms! 
the doctor continued his evaluation. 'ok meredith, i'm going to get some blood drawn. i think you may have a thyroid issue, or it could be diabetes.'
i just sat there, internally freaking out because i had never had blood drawn. not outside of the standard finger prick you get when you get to the office. i wasn't freaking about the outcome, i was freaking about the needle. (hahaha, oh the irony.)
he left the room to get a nurse, and mom and i looked at each other.
'it's probably just a thyroid thing.' she said.
'no, it's diabetes.' i told her. you know how sometimes you have a gut feeling? i knew that's what it was. at that point in my life i knew absolutely nothing about diabetes, except that people took insulin, and i thought they couldn't have sugar, but i just knew that was going to be the result.  'if it's a thyroid thing, how do they fix it?'
'you just take a pill every day.'
'oh.' we waited in silence until the nurse came to take my blood.

after that was over, the doctor came back in. 'meredith, it looks like you have diabetes.'
'ok,' i gulped. 'what does that mean?'
'well, you have type 1 diabetes. you're going to have to take insulin every day, and i am going to send you to an endocrinologist to learn everything you need to know. i'm going to send in a nurse to give you an insulin shot, and while she does that i'm going to call the endocrinologist's office and get you an appointment tomorrow. i want you set up to see him before you leave my office.'
'um, how did i get it?'
'well, it's hard to say. have you been sick recently? sinus infections, strep throat, flu, anything like that?'
i remembered the pink eye. 'i had pink eye earlier this year. but other than that i haven't had strep in a few years or anything.'
'it could possibly be that. your body likely attacked the wrong cells when you were sick, and it made your pancreas weaker and less able to do its job.' ...standard pediatric explanation?
'oh, ok.' i just sat silently, staring at the floor. i couldn't look at mom. or anyone. i didn't really know what to do. it seemed like a lot, and i didn't understand any of it.

the nurse came in to give me insulin. i think it was probably long-lasting insulin, they didn't say. i do remember that my arm felt so weird after she did it. by then, the doctor was back. 'okay, we got you all set up for tomorrow. don't worry about doing anything different tonight, eat what you want, drink what you want, and you'll learn more tomorrow, ok?' he sounded reassuring. i was confused. 'ok.'

it was almost 6:00 by the time we left from my 3:30 appointment. we rode in silence, until mom stopped for gas. 'it's my fault. i should have taken you to the doctor when you were sick.'
'it's not your fault! we couldn't have stopped it, he said that.' i didn't understand why it would be mom's fault.

she got out to pump gas, and i felt like i was in another world. everything around me seemed so fuzzy, confusing, and overwhelming. and i didn't even know how my life was about to change.

when we got home, my dad was walking down the hall as i was coming in the kitchen. 'i have diabetes!' i said ... not sad, or scared, i kind of just stated it, like that. 'what??' he looked really confused and turned to my mom. 'yep, she has diabetes. she has an appointment at the endocrinologist tomorrow.'

i disappeared to my room for a while, left them in the kitchen. i called my best friend and told her. neither of us really knew what all that meant. mom and dad must have called lots of family, because i don't remember telling them but i remember everyone knowing. and i got lots of sympathy calls, people making sure i was okay, telling me they were so sorry ... and i just didn't get it. why was everyone so sad and upset about it?

another tangent: when i was a senior in college, at my sorority's alumnae ceremony, we read letters from our parents. my dad's talked my diagnosis, about how impressed he and all his friends were when he told them how i stated that i was diabetic that afternoon in the kitchen. no tears, no self-pity, no sob story. it wasn't til i read that letter from him saying how i treated it so maturely, as a part of life, just the next step and something that i was going to have to learn and live with, that i realized that. he was right. i didn't see it as a curse, or get depressed or cry for days. i had diabetes, i had to take insulin and learn new things to live healthy. so i did. it didn't seem to me like something to be upset over. diabetes wasn't all i was, but it was a part of me.

my senior picture, i was the only one who sat on the 2000. my idea too :)
that night at dinner, i worried about what to eat. 'he said eat what you want!' mom told me as i looked at nutrition labels, confused. 'ok, you're right.' i dug into my meal and post-dinner cookies. and my late night snack. and my middle of the night cups of water.

the next day, my endocrinologist met me with a friendly smile and a blood glucose meter. 'let's see where you are.' i watched, fascinated, as he almost painlessly pricked my finger and let the strip suck up my blood.
he looked at me kindly, he made eye contact.
'is that bad?' 
...and my journey began. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

diabetes blog week: we, the undersigned

Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let's pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?

i signed the petition to standardize TSA screenings for people with diabetes. i also wish that all people should be required to learn about everything in general, common sense diabetes so they stop spreading idiotic information that is NOT TRUE. 

i also agree with kid president. we should make sure that everyone knows how to pronounce diabetes. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

diabetes blog week: share and don't share

Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see?

i wish they could see the random times my blood sugar is high for absolutely no reason. or the times it is low for absolutely no reason. or the unexplained up arrow on the dexcom after one day of exercise but not the next even though the basal rate was exactly the same. or why some foods, emotions, activities affect my blood sugar but not another person who has diabetes.

i hope they don't see when i ignore my dexcom/meter and eat whatever the hell i want even though i know i'll pay for it later. (diabetes guilt)

luckily, dr. awesome is also type 1 diabetic so he likely experiences the same things i do, and i'm grateful for that.

ps: new blog background!! just for fun and of course i had to stick with my cool mustache theme.

Friday, May 10, 2013


sometimes - thankfully not very often - i forget diabetes 'things.' not forgetting to do something like check BG or take insulin, but forgetting objects at home. there's been the occasional time i run out for an errand and forgot my dexcom on the couch, or left it on my desk when i'm at work and went to a meeting ...

but then there are the times i forget that my insulin is low and i'll have to change my site at work and leave ALL the stuff i need at home. usually it's when the low alarm on my pump has gone off in the middle of the night and i forget it went off, therefore forgetting to grab a resevoir, infusion set and insulin. 

thankfully it doesn't happen very often but when it does, it ruins my day. having to drive home from work because it's too far from 5:00 to wait til i get home, changing my site, driving back to work ... takes way too much time out.

i know i'm not the only forgetful one, but man, i beat myself up about it when it happens. 

...but i didn't forget today. :) 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

no hitters

so i've been doing a lot better lately making healthier choices with food. in the past two weeks, i've posted these pics on instagram (i'm @fancymrspack, find me!):

both of these 130-ish numbers were post bootcamp

i have been so pleased with my blood sugars lately, and seeing the no-hitters is even better (check out the definition of no-hitter and other diabetes terms here)! 

i was thinking about the definition earlier, and i realized not everyone knows what it some of the terms we (we being people with diabetes) use mean.

i wonder if i go to my appointment with dr. awesome at the beginning of june and tell him about all of my no hitters if he would look at me like i'm a crazy person. haha ... i might have to find out! :) 

Monday, May 6, 2013

derby and diabetes blog week

so let's pretend i'm writing more than one post a month, k?

yesterday i had a fun little derby related cartoon over at diabetes mine - you should check it out.

the husband and i actually left town over the weekend for a little trip to nashville - i love derby but we would have watched from a tv somewhere in town so it wasn't much different (and was way less crowded). the two weeks leading up to derby are AWESOME in louisville - i enjoyed that ... but if we had gone, nothing could beat last year's oaks day when we got engaged!

anywho, we made our bets ... and didn't win. i'm not even sure the horse i picked finished the race. i'm REALLY good at gambling.

in other news, next week is diabetes blog week! i missed it last year, so i'm aiming for completion this go 'round. that's a high goal - FIVE posts in a week?!! i can do it. i used to do it all the time!