Monday, November 30, 2009

Reflections of a Crazy Month

The past six months have been a whirlwind.

In May, I started my internship at George Washington Carver National Monument. By June, I'd started browsing diabetes blogs. Motivated, I started actually testing my blood sugar - 10 to 15 times a day. In July, I started my own d-blog. Since then, I have been working toward better diabetes care and meeting some amazing people in the process.

Today's diabetes community posts are going to be "this is what happened during American Diabetes Month, this is what happened to me during NaBloPoMo, I'm glad NaBloPoMo is over."

My ADM was different from a lot of folks. I radically changed my approach to diabetes care. While these changes had been in the works for months,  they finally came to a culmination this month. And it was fitting, considering the timing.

I guess my personal conclusion to ADM and NaBloPoMo 2009 is that NaBloPoMo was pretty easy for me (I like to talk, especially about myself - that's just who I am), but this new diabetes care was a challenge. It still is. It still will be, every day. When I wasn't in control of my diabetes, for nearly ten years, I didn't think having diabetes was hard. Now that I'm working to keep my numbers in line and working towards scoring that <7 A1C level, I know that it's not an easy disease to live with. But it's things like American Diabetes Month and the Diabetes Online Community that make it easier. Knowing there are people out there who know what I'm going through.

I sound like a broken record. These are all things I've been preaching all month, and all four months of the existence of my blog, really. December is going to go by fast. I probably won't be around much, I'll be attempting to get things in order to graduate (yes, that's still up in the air), and figuring out what I'm going to do after the 19th, where I"m going to live, and where I'm going to go to school. Come January I'll have a new life. I'll have new goals, personal, diabetes, academic, and career wise. I may even live in a different city. I can't believe the year is almost over. I can't believe I'll be turning 23 in February. This year, my life has changed dramatically, but it's nothing compared to what may come next year.

Bring it on. Diabetes and All.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Life in Pictures: Giant Fish

Do you see this? DO YOU SEE THIS?

Yes, it's Santa Claus. Yes, he's fishing for a giant fish. On top of a building. The original Bass Pro Shops.

This is where I freaking live. Redneckville.

(In Diabetes News, fish is a good thing to eat if you have diabetes. Don't expect Santa to bring you a giant catfish, though. Not sure if they have those on the North Pole.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday is No Diabetes Day - Dear Christmas Shopper

Dear Christmas Shopper,

This is a letter from a retail worker. There are some things I want you to remember this year.

First of all, remember that someone has to clean up the store that you mess up. Someone has to stay hours after the store closes in order to pick up all those shirts you knocked on the floor, losing time with our families that we'd like during the holidays.Unfortunately, we aren't allowed to take vacation in the winter. So please respect that even though you get time off this season, we're working hard for you.

Please don't get mad at us when we mess up a transaction. We're under a lot of pressure when we have long lines. I know you're busy, and you don't have a lot of time, but please realize we're doing the best that we can.

We are bugging you about charge cards and gift cards because we have to. Please at least listen to us when we explain to you the benifits. We don't want to ruin your credit, we are just trying to help our companies and keep our jobs. You might actually want one, if you listen.

Finally, please, please, remember that we do close at a certain time. I'm sorry that we're not open 24 hours during the holiday season. For that convienence, please shop at wal-mart. Again, we'd like to get home and spend time with our families.

Smile at the check out girl this season. If the guy working in electronics does a particularly good job helping you, say something to his manager. Remember the Reason for the season. Remember to Love. Remember, it's Christmas.


Your local retail worker.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Whimsical Dia-Fab Friday

Today is Friday. That means it's shout out day. I am really excited about today's shout out. I don't think she expects it at all. Last week, I asked Kerri before I posted about her, and that will be my usual procedure. But I know that this week's person reads my blog every day, and I wanted to surprise her, because I want her to know just how special she is.

Barbara Campbell and I actually were only twittering back and forth for a couple of days before we met in person. At the Samuel L Rodgers Lunch and Learn World Diabetes Day celebration in Kansas City, where I also met Cherise, Andrea, Scott, and Bob, I met this amazing woman. I could tell just by talking to her that she was strong and that she was confident in her diabetes control, as well as her life. We ate lunch at the same table, and she shared that she and her husband had put blue lights in their porch lights in honor of World Diabetes Day. Awesome, never even thought of it!

She also does amazing things in her community. She's involved in her church, claims herself as a Christian before anything (which gets a TON of respect from me), she's an army mom, and she participates in a project called Operation Write Home, which enables soldiers to keep in touch with their loved ones while overseas.Big things, I tell you, Big Things! Not to mention that she and I connect on a scrapbooking level.

What I didn't know about her until after the lunchon, when four of us d-bloggers were chatting, was that she was only diagnosed last July. I couln't believe how confident she seemed! And from her tweets I can see it even more. She knows how to control her blood sugars without meds or insulin - and that my friends is an awesome power, unfortunatly reserved for type 2's only. But that's ok, type 1's can learn a lot from type 2's.

What really strikes me is her heart as a person. She is so caring. She even offered to let me stay with her next time I am in Kansas City. This was on the first day we met! Babs, you are an amazing example of a strong Diazon living with diabetes.

Babs' Website: MyWhimsey
(If you don't read it, you need to)

Babs' Twitter Page: BabsCampbell
(If you don't follow her, you need to!) 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm thankful for....

I'm incredibly thankful for the Diabetes Online Community.

People say it all of the time, but DOC - you saved my life. I mean it.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wayback Wednesday: A Blast from the Past

Another edition of my version of Wayback Wednesday 

Ok, so I know that I've been pounding my itnernet friends with old pictures lately. What with my facebook album of scanned photos of family and friends and yesterday's entry detailing an event involving popcornball snowmen that occured in the first month after I was diagnosed, I've probably given you all you can handle when it comes to old photos. But with my obsessive usage of the scanner and discovery of a huge box of photos in my mom's closet, I had to upload more for your veiwing pleasure.

I am going to upload christmas pictures for the upcomong Wednesdays until Christmas. Today, I've provided you with a glimpse of what I looked like right around when I was diagnosed.

This picture haunts me because this was almost 11 months before I was diagnosed, and yet I still looked gaunt and was starting to look sick. If you didn't know, a symptom of type 1 diabetes is weight loss. See, your body can't process carbs or fats, so it starts to break down the fat, then muscle in your body.

Christmas 1997, me at age 10:

A year later, one month after I was diagnosed. Starting to gain the weight back, and wearing huge vision correctors, LOL:

That lion was to go with another lion that was given to me in the hospital, the bigger version of that one. I have them both somewhere. I began collecting stuffed lions at that point. Then, when I got into college, my sorority's animal was the lion. Some girls spent tons of money collecting stuffed lions to display and keep for future members, but I already had a bunch! I couldn't bring myself to give any of them away, though. They were too special to me because they started when I was in the hospital.

Happy holidays, hope everyone has a fun and safe day tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Goodies: A Memory Box

OK, so I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, and I'll be the first to get onto you for beginning the season early. In my opinion, the Holiday Season lasts from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and possibly ends at New Years. But with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, I am preparing my body for feastage by eating as low-calorie and low-carb as I can without starving this week. But I digress. The theme of this post is NOT healthy eating, it's: Christmas Goodies!! Such as this little ginger bread (actually graham cracker) house made by my brother and I sometime long ago. I don't have a date on this picture, but judging by the size of our hands and the casette tapes strewn about the table, it was sometime in the early 1990's.

A Memory Box:

This time of year, it's no secret, is difficult for people with diabetes for a variety of reasons. Mainly the food. For instance, last week, my dad came home from a fall bake sale at the church with an armload of cupcakes, sticky buns, cookies, and chocolate covered peanut clusters. He said they were "for the boys" (my brothers - mom and dad are both on weight watchers right now and I'm, of course, on Diabetes Watchers), but mom and I wondered how he could really expect us not to indulge. And this is just the beginning. Another perk to being a pastor's kid is that we receive LOTS of holiday gifts, mostly in the form of fudge, cookies, pastries, candies, and other Christmas goodies. My mom also loves to make these kinds of goodies. And every year, we get at least one popcorn tin. Popcorn tins are my weakness. So gross, yet so good.

Me, at 11, makin popcorn balls, Christmas 1998

I remember the first year after my diagnosis. Christmas came around, and I had only been diabetic for about a month at that time. I decided to make popcorn balls for school. I found the cutest idea in American Girl magazine for making little snowmen out of the popcorn balls and decorating them with candy and fruit roll up, giving them scarves and everything, similar to this one. They were adorable! I also couldn't keep from nibbling as I cooked away. I mean, I was only 11, and had never had to think about how a bite here or a finger lick there might raise my blood sugar. But it did. That was my first 400 since my diagnosis. Darn you, popcorn balls.

Funny story - I had this posted with googled images, when I found this ACTUAL FOOTAGE while looking for pics for tomorrow's post. These are the actual ones I made! Aren't they soooo cute? I may have to make them again this year, now that I am not on NPH and regular, can account for the carbs nibbled, and know that even a little can raise the bg a lot.

Little Snowmen! They're so adorable! And delicious looking! Christmas 1998

Monday, November 23, 2009

MeMe Monday: Thanksgiving Edition

In case you don't live in the United States or do and are somehow living under a rock, Thursday is Thanksgiving, so to celebrate I stole this from Allison as my Thanksgiving present to you, my fair blog readers. Enjoy!

1. What are the traditional favorites?

I absolutely am in love with turkey. Who isn't? I also cannot have a thanksgiving without my grandma's corn casserole. It usually sends me on the brink of diabetic coma because I eat so much of it and it's sooo high in carbs, but it is so amazing I cannot stop eating it!

2. What new recipes will you try this year?
I'll probably make low-carb apple dumplings (low carb ish, they're made of apples and cresent rolls, but the additives are splenda and diet mt. dew - how could you go wrong?). My grandma has made it before, but I'll do it by myself this time Woo hoo!

3. What part of the meal do you never compromise?
oh, corn casserole. of course.

4. Who gets to carve the turkey?
Probably my father. He is always in the kitchen with Grandma. He loves to cook.

5. Family style around the table or buffet style and everyone sits wherever there’s room?
It's buffet style but we all sit around the table. Well, the two or three folding tables borrowed from the church. Some years past we've actually had thanksgiving IN the church. More benifits of being a PK (pastors kid) and a PGK (pastor's grandkid).

6. How many will be at your table this year?

oh, gosh. I don't even know. At least nine. Possibly more.

7. Three best pies for Thanksgiving dessert?
I don't eat the pie. I'm not a pie person. Unless it's cherry cheesecake "pie". But I usually go for the angelfood cake.

8. Cranberry sauce… yay or nay?
I'm not a fan. It made me puke when I was 2. Never really gone for it since.
9. What time do you eat Thanksgiving Dinner?
Usually around 3.

10. Favorite leftover?
OMG Turkey sandwich with mayo. Just turkey and mayo. Looooove it!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

D-Life in Pictures: Bling Meter

 Here is the case for my PING remote/BG meter.
I put my World Diabetes Day ribbon on it.

The ribbon was made by Andrea, known to interwabs as Sticky Sweet Diabetic/ Sticky Sweet Mom.

I think it adds a nice touch to the bland meter case. How about you?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday is No Diabetes Day

I wanted to share with you some pictures (in which I look absolutely horrendous) from last weekend, the non-D part. Last weekend was World Diabetes Day, but I was a little distracted hanging out with my boyfriend and attending a dance at his school.

Here is a picture of me with my boyfriend and my other two "dates", his two best friends:

I don't know what I am doing with my face, don't  ask.
The boy on the left had other plans that night, we convinced him to come with us for the first few minutes for the food. The boy on the right's girlfriend is studying abroad this semester, so he was dateless. We just had a group hang instead. The boy in the middle is of course my boyfriend. Isn't he cute? 

And here I am with the two girls I stay with when I visit my boyfriend:

No, I am not a giant, they are just short girls. I can't stay with the boy because he lives in the dorms, and they have strict rules at his school regarding dorm overnight stays. So, I stay with these two lovely ladies. They rock my world!! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dia-Fabulous Friday: Six Until Me

I want to start a new trend here at ADD. (That's my new name for my blog. ADD. Adventures of Diabolical Diabetty. It's fitting because I have ADD. Or maybe I don't. Is that a butterfly outside? No, just a fly and a kid riding a bike). My new trend is going to be posting tributes to people I find inspiration from on Fridays. It's kind of like #followfriday on Twitter, but with the advent of Twitter Lists I've seen less and less Friday Following. The purpose of this Dia-Fabulous Friday shout out ritual is going to be to send you to other places on the Web, and to let you know what else is out there for you to read concerning diabetes. The majority of my audience will probably already know most of these things, but this is a "just in case my blog is ever amazing" trend I'm starting here. But that's not the biggest reason. The real reason is to thank people that have helped me along on my journey over the past four months. That's right, Four months ago I started "ThePwDPK," which has evolved into ADD.

Today my first Dia-Fabulous Shout Out is going to Kerri Sparling, author of famed diabetes blog SixUntilMe. Kerri is credited to being a pioneer of the Diabetes-blogging world. Her blog is included in the Diabetes bundle on Google Reader.  She spent a lot of time working at dLife, and gets a lot of (well deserved) attention for her contributions to the DOC. And while I really want to highlight some lesser-known d-bloggers in the future, I need to shout out to the people who influenced me the most first. So here is why Kerri influenced me not only to become a d-blogger but to really focus on my diabetes care.

This was one of the first SUM blogs I read after adding the bundle to my Google Reader last July. It was about her cat, Siah. Her cat in her suitcase. Her cat that looks exactly like my own suitcase loving cat. A T1 person with diabetes that has a mischevious gray cat? This I gotta read.

A screen shot of All the images belong to SixUntilMe and Kerri Sparling.

As I read further I learned that she and her husband were trying to get pregnant. And I also read about the things she was going through to get her A1C where it needed to be. Here I was, planning on getting engaged and married soon, and sometime in the next five to ten years starting a family of my own. Yet I always in the back of my mind wondered if I would be able to start a family, if I would be able to have a child. But wait...working towards bringing my A1C levels Not waiting to see if my body could handle pregnancy ten years from now, but trying to prepare it well in advance? THIS WAS NEWS. And it was advice I took. Kerri talks about how she started thinking about having a baby before she even met her hubby. I was so inspired by this.

Kerri Sparling recieves my Dia-Fabulous Friday Shout-Out today, on my four month blogaversary, because she is inspiring to any young Diazon (thanks, K2) who wants to have a family someday. And to any PWD, really. Thanks, Kerri! Your blog probably saved my life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

D-Life in Pictures

This is what my couch tends to look like when I camp out for homework and TV sessions. Clockwise, from the top: empty diet coke bottle, meter with wadded up alcohol wipe wrappers, pump (bottom left corner) and Dexcom CGMS. Thanks, Diabetes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

24 hours with a CGMS, 1 week with the pump

I am starting to get pretty experienced with these diabetes electronic things.

One week ago, I started using insulin on the pump. My Animas Ping has been very good to me since. Dispite the fact that I'm using 100+ units of insulin a day, I have been seeing good results. Only one bg over 300 has popped up. I can't say that I had more than one 300 a week before the pump, I can say that I feel much more in control and am seeing better numbers in the morning.

CGMS has been an adventure. This morning between 7 and 8, when I was absolutely not awake, the CGMS went off and did not wake me up, but it did say that my blood sugars dropped to 36. I don't think this is remotely correct. I am usually starting my "dawn phenomenon" rise in blood sugars by this time each morning (mine usually happenes between 6 and 9), and I never woke up. My blood sugars either were stable the whole time or if I did drop, they came back up on their own.

Then, later today, the sensor faild. Twice. First, the DexCom was displaying a ??? in the window. Then, it would pretend like it couldn't communicate with the sensor. Finally, it would fail. This happened two times. I knew from other people's experience that if I called DexCom and explained why I had to change my sensor early, they would replace it. They did, for which I am eternally grateful.

Now, it's just time to continue managing my numbers without becoming too OCD on the subject.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

T1 Life like a T2

I felt that in order to write this post, I need to clarify some diabetes myths. I don't really want to go into them all. I will say that there IS a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes indicates that your immune system has attacked your pancreas and you can no longer produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body stops responding to the insulin that your pancreas produces. This is why it can be treated with many different methods, including diet and exercise, oral medication, or insulin therapy. All newly diagnosed type 1s are not children. All newly diagnosed T2s are NOT obese, although obesity increases your risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes.

OK, now that that's out of the way.

Today I had a twitter conversation with Babs, one of the d-bloggers I met at the event on Friday, who is a newly diagnosed T2 diabetic. Babs in no way meets the stereotypical type 2 that the media portrays. She is tall, lean, and looks amazing.

Our conversation concerned the lessons that Type 1's can learn from Type 2's. I feel that when I was told once I went to multiple daily injections that I could eat whatever I wanted, and my doctors never told me to incorporate exercise into my routine for the purpose of blood glucose control. These are new concepts I've developed on my own. Reading about type 2's who control their blood glucose on exercise and diet alone, I can't help but gain inspiration. Imagine if I applied these concepts to my own glucose control. Research proves that exercise helps lower blood glucose levels, as if I didn't prove it to myself on Saturday with my participation in the Big Blue Test.

So the truth is, while many type 1's have been living with diabetes a lot longer than type 2s, and while it seems we have it easier, we have a lot to learn from our T2 counterparts. Thanks, Babs, and all my other T2 friends, for the inspiration.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Adventures of Diabetty: Episode 1

Today was full of adventures.

My unexpected overnight stay put me in short supply of insulin. Smart kid I am, I had a pen of lantus with me. I decided at 3am, it would be brilliant to take the lantus and shut off my basal rate for 24 hours in order to save the remaining insulin for foodage today. It worked - kinda. My morning blood sugars were high again and I wound up adding a low basal rate to compensate most of the day to deal with the stress of the travel.

My first goal was to get from Southern Iowa to my house. I woke up to a tweet from d-friend Cherise that it was snowing in Kansas City. Kansas City is about 100 miles south of where I was and absolutely between myself and my destination of home. I kinda freaked out. I was planning on leaving at 10 or 11 and ran out somewhere between 9 and 10, as soon as I got packed. That means that I missed breakfast with the boyfriend, which was sad. Turns out that I missed the whole thing, it was turning to rain once it crossed the Kansas-Missouri state line. Morning freak-out passed, not without its fair share of effects on my numbers.

I did get to make a stop at one of my favorite places. Cheese has been a favorite snack of mine since I found out it was a "free" food. I admit I've overinduldged at times, but now that I've been trying to eat healthier, I still indulge once in a while.

Osceola Cheese Factory is a little cheese shop and convinence store in Osceola, Missouri, a little bitty town on MO 13. We used to stop there every time we drove to visit my grandparents when we lived in western Missouri. These stops were a long time ago, in my pre-D days. But now, I like to stop there every once in a while to grab a stick of the most delicious string cheese, a taste that makes me remember being a four year old who didn't have to count carbs or stab herself with a needle.

Awkward Picture of me eating the delicious string cheese. Mmm, low carb goodness.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giant Purse

Heard today on the 3rd floor of the dorm where I stay at my boyfriend's school:

"I didn't know if that was a bag or a purse."

It's true, my purse is giant. It has to be. Between extra pump supplies (infusion sets, cartridges, insulin, alcohol wipes, batteries, etc), blood sugar monitor, glucose tabs, juice boxes, granola bars, and everything else I like to carry around with me (ten tubes of chapstick, water, diet coke, logs to write down food intake and blood sugars, a hair brush, extra makeup...what can I say I like to be prepared), I need a giant, bag-like purse. This purse is so big I can even fit my laptop in it. Granted, my laptop is only 13 inches, but still. It fits.

Another aspect of life with D. Giant purses and all.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dancing the Night Away...

I've had a busy weekend. Between the WDD event yesterday where I met a bunch of cool people, and the Big Blue Test today, and my visit to Iowa, I haven't had much time to tweet or blog, so my normal nine o'clock NaBloPoMo blog didn't happen today.

So I'm getting ready to go dance the night away, wearing my pump tucked into the thigh of my spanx under my dress, (Spanx are an undergarment to make women look more shapely, and they work amazingly), and blogging furiously as the bf bugs me to leave.

But I leave you with this picture:

It's Cherise, Me, Andrea, Babs, and Scott!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kittah: Friday is No Diabetes Day

OK so I promised no diabetes day on Saturdays this month, but I had to recount this week because tomorrow is World Diabetes Day and I need a diabetes-centric post, highlighting the event I'm attending today as well as the Big Blue Test I'll be taking part in tomorrow. If there is one thing that can make me feel better after a bad day with the D (or just a bad day in general), it's hangin' with my crazy cats. Smokey is my cat. I mean he is MY cat. I rescued him from the road when he was just a few months old. He follows me around the house like a toddler.

This is my brother's cat winkles in one of my favorite picture of her. She is fat and annoying now, but she is still the cutest cat ever.

They are my comfort, they are my babies. I love them dearly. The only "regret" I have in my choice of life partners is that my boyfriend is allergic to cats and I can't take them with me when I move out. Sorry, boogers. You have to stay with Mommy and Daddy.

(But of course, I love the bf more than the kittys, so it's all good).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Traveling with Pump

My first experience traveling with Miss Pingy and Silverton in tow will be this weekend, only one day after I started pumping insulin. Ahh! It's crazy.

I am heading to Kansas City for the 1st Annual Samuel U. Rodgers Health Centre World Diabetes Day Lunch and Learn Event where my good d-friend Cherise will be speaking. I didn't hear back from the nurse so I assume I RSVP'd in time to be one of the 100 guests at the event.

After that I'll be spending the weekend with my boyfriend at his college. There's a dance on Saturday night, and I love getting prettied up. It will be "fun" to experience my pump plus dress.

I'm not really worried about being with the bf and my pump, but the drive to KC and spending a night in a dorm room (staying with my old sorority in their new complex) alone I am slightly concerned about. But I am confident that things will work out.

SO, have a great weekend, friends! I'll be updating via twitter on my pumping experiences. Later gators!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Kissed Lantus Goodbye

At 3pm today, I will be switching from saline to insulin on my pump. That means that last night, I took my last shot of Lantus ever. (Of course, barring any pump vacations or lack of supplies and emergencies, etc).

I have spent the last 8 years with an A1C over 8, sometimes as high as 9.4. Last Spring, I had a "surprise" result of 7.8, which I achieved without changing anything about my lifestyle except that I moved out of the dorms and into my own house, and cooked for myself, which helped enormously.

When I finally woke up and realized the damage I was doing to myself, I did everything I could to get myself in control. All summer, I worked out 3 to 4 tomes a week, I ate low carb and low calorie, and I tested. Oh, boy did I test. 15-20 times a day I tested. I made it my goal to test every hour. I wanted to know what my blood sugars were doing.

Even after all that work, when I visited my endo in December my A1C had actually gone up. From 7.8 to 7.9. My weight didn't change either. I was so disappointed.

So now, it's time for the next step. Keeping on with the diet and exercise, I applied for a pump and CGMS. It was a long hard road with a lot of discouraging (monetary) issues. But, I can now say that I am receiving my Dexcom within the next week, and last night

I kissed lantus goodbye.

No literally, I kissed my lantus pen. See?

OK, so the graphic is really amateur. Any advice on how to make it look better, that doesn't involve purchasing software that costs more than free?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I forgot to ask my dad to write for today, so you'll get a T3 post on Thursday.

However, due to recent events, this post will be short, but amazing.

i'm getting my dex. :-D

it was all just an insurance mix up


Tomorrow I go to insulin on my pump.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Signs of Diabetes

I was thinking about the "Signs of Diabetes" - things that might trigger people to think, "I wonder if she has diabetes?" or things that when I see other people with them make me wonder if they too are PWD's like me. I came up with this list:
  • Diet Soda - I usually am carrying around one of these babies.
  • Huge Purse - Loaded with food and water. Carrying around snacks, water, and various other sustenance is tasking, the abnormally large purse helps.
  • gum or mints - my dental hygienist suggested that I keep gum or mints in my purse and indulge in them often in order to help with saliva production and keep my toothers healthy.
  • Glasses on my face - OK, ok, TONS of non-diabetics wear glasses, but one of the first things we did after I was diagnosed was visit the eye doctor. That was when I started wearing glasses. I always associate them with D for that reason.
  • sugar free cough drops - the very fact that they are sugar-free should be a hint.
  • label-checking - incessantly turning food over to read the carb, fiber, protein, fat, and calorie content of the foods I'm taking in - I'm not dieting - I'm diabetic!
  • my bookmarked pages - seven of them are Diabetes related
  • random electronic devices - pump, monitor, and hopefully eventually a CGMS - I'm so wired. I even use the blackberry (twitter) to access the DOC and help with diabetes management.
  • pricked fingers - always have those annoying dark dots on the ends of my fingers.
  • bruised tummy - from messed up infusion sets or shots that hit the wrong place - bruised tummy can indicate diabetes care!
  • 3 or 4 logs in my purse - I have one for blood sugar, one for food, and one for exercise - I tried combining them into one and it got confusing, so I stuck with three.
  • random activity below the table before meals - I'm messing with my meter, pump, or shots!
  • "No rice please." - I always ask to leave off extra carbs I don't need to be full, such as asking the Chinese restaurants to leave off the rice. They love telling me I'm still paying for it - I know - please still leave it off. I won't eat it.

These were the ideas I came up with as "signs" of my internal disease. Can you come up with any others?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I is for inside me, where the insulin makes its bed.
N is for never ending, we won't stop taking it until we are dead.
S is for shots and pumps, two ways we take the med.
U is for under my skin, where the cannula fits in
L is for Long acting and short acting, the two kinds it comes in.
N is for not quitting, I'll fight this D-battle to the end.

I hope the end is a cure, as we all do. This is a tribute to the insulin I take every day, I owe it my life. Thank you, little vial of clear liquid. You continue to save my life.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturdays are no Diabetes Days

Today's Topic:

The Annoying Thing about my New Neighbors.

Since we moved into our house in 2001, my next door neighbors were both quiet, older couples who bought their houses when the subdivision was built in 1957. The neighbors to the east took a liking to us and started attending our church. They still give every member of my family a birthday card with five dollars in it every year. He also mows the easternmost portion of our lawn when he is testing out lawn mowers that he fixes. They have the only basement on the block and host block parties during tornado warnings, complete with free diet coke, with a caffeine free option for those 2am tornado warnings. They are pretty great.

The neighbors to the west were quieter. The husband passed away sometime while I was in high school. We took it upon ourselves to check up on his widow. She eventually began doing well. She got a dog, and later met an old widower online who lived in another Missouri town. She packed up all her stuff and moved to this other town to shack up with the old dude. Okay, so they did get married first, but it was all rather sudden and seemed hilarious to us and our neighbors.

The new neighbors are a family about the same age as mine. They have a couple college age kids who are around sometimes. They're a little louder and have more cars, but are generally ok. Except one thing.

Why must you waste electricity, pollute the earth, and increase your carbon footprint by leaving your garage light on ALL NIGHT?

I put up my room darkening shades. I drew the blinds behind them. And yet the glow out your garage side window into my room, annoying me as I try to go to sleep.

I have thought about asking them to turn it off, but I feel it's unnecessary to start neighbor feuds when we don't' even own our house (it's a parsonage).


That was my first no satur-d-ay post. (see what I did there?)

Friday, November 6, 2009


Disclaimer: This is long. It's somewhat rambling. I've posted some of the information before. But it's my 11th diabetes anniversary. So I'm posting my story, again. Please take the time to read it in honor of American Diabetes Month.

I'm sitting on my bed, at 11:11 the night before this entry will post, trying to write a paper that was due 11 minutes ago, and I can't focus. My blood sugar is too out of wack (78 and dropping, hoping those glucose tabs kick in). My stomach is to topsy turvy from stress of an upcoming packed weekend including a job interview, the salmon I ate tonight which was apparently unagreeable with my system, and the fact that I haven't written that paper yet. I am mostly thinking about how I need to go to the store and buy two cake mixes. One will be my d-anniversary cake, complete with 11 syringes.

The other cake mix I will use to make my mom some cookies to take to work with her tomorrow. Tomorrow is her *undisclosed number*th birthday. 11 years ago, she spent her birthday evening with her oldest child, her only daughter, her 11 year-old, in the hospital.

She had spent half the day waiting for her daughter to come home. She was only 11. How could this be happening to her? She was a happy, involved girl. She loved singing in church, she loved playing soccer and coach-pitch softball. She had just started her second season of basketball. She was an active, vibrant little girl. How could this disease have attacked her, when she had been so healthy before?

Then, finally, her daughter came home promptly at 3pm. She always walked home. It was only a few blocks in a small western Missouri town. She worried a little more today than she did most days, but her daughter showed up at the right time.

Her daughter had some knowledge of what was going on. The afternoon before, they had visited the doctor. An assistant had stuck a needle in her arm. She vaguely knew what diabetes was. She was a avid reader and had encountered it in her books. She didn't know the advances in medicine that would allow her better control and more freedom, because as she walked home, she thought the Halloween lollipop she was eating might be the last candy she ever had.

Her mother told her when she walked in the door. "The Doctor called. He said your blood sugar levels were highly elevated. He said we should go to the hospital."

Her dad was already home from the small town church that stood next door to their house. He insisted on a second opinion. They went to a friends house and had her blood sugar tested there. The friend assured her parents that it was too high and that they should follow the doctor's instructions to check into the hospital.

That night, her mother spent her birthday evening in Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. She didn't know what to expect. They had received little training. She knew that her daughter was learning how to give herself shots of insulin, but as far as the Diabetes monster went, she was still in the dark. All she knew was that this was the worst birthday present ever.

"Mamma, I'm sorry that I had to get diabetes on your birthday."

"It's okay, Sarah, I'm thankful that you'll start to get better on my birthday."

Eleven years later, I am here. I have been on a whirlwind roller coaster with my diabetes care, but I am alive and well and doing everything I can to take life with diabetes one day at a time. To do only as much as I can and not to be frustrated with myself for not being able to do more than I can. My mother is well. She will have a happy birthday today with no children being shipped to the hospital (hopefully). But each year, we both remember what happened on this day 11 years ago, and we are thankful. Thankful that it didn't happen on a day after her birthday, on a day when I might have gone into a coma and been lost forever.

I'm forever gratefu
l to my mother. She saw the signs. It was her vigilance, her words that convinced our primary care physician to run the test that put me on the track to living a long, healthy life.

Thank you, Mom. Happy Birthday.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

D confusion...

Figuring out the morning basal is proving to be interesting.

My nurse said wait a couple days, but I still would like to know where to start. Like, you should take some insulin in the morning and see how much your blood glucose goes down, right? What about when it starts at 203, and you eat nothing, and an hour and a half later after six units (when you should only have taken four because in the evening six would have put you at 50) you're 240? Woah, is insulin having the OPPOSITE effect on me?

I had to explain this dawn phenomenon to my father. He is so so supportive, but he still automatically thinks i did something wrong. He is being really encouraging though. He is logically telling me to eat less carbs and exercise more so I can take less insulin. Bingo dad, you are correct on this one!

So now I'm left to tinker with boluses after I get started on insulin next week. The math makes no logical sense. But as I have said many times, such is life with the big D.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Psst: Pump Woes

Psst. Psst. Psst.

If you use an insulin pump, you know that sound.

Psst. Psst. Psst.

It's the sound of my pump dosing my basal rate every few minutes.

Psst. Psst. Psst.

It's just pumping saline right now. Eventually, I think it will be a comforting sound, letting me know that the pump is working.

Right now I'm just annoyed.

I. Feel. Like. I. Am. At. The. Hospital.

The smell of alcohol wipes takes me straight back there. I have this thing, essentially an IV, stuck in me all of the time. I can take it off now, but in a week I won't be able to.

psst. psst. psst.

Just like being hooked up to a machine at the hospital.

I only can hope that I will feel better when it's actually insulin and I can actually see the results. I already love being able to use the pump to calculate how much insulin I should take, and being able to see exactly how much insulin I've taken that day. That is awesome. But the cyborg part and the hospital-esque part are freaking me out a bit.

Psst. Psst. Psst.

The new sound of the rest of my life.

OK, as a disclaimer, I'm OK with pumping, just unexpected frustrations are coming about and I'm not even on insulin yet! Like anything else in life, this will take some getting used to. Unfortunately I am revisiting old feelings of being frustrated with what those of us with D have to go through just to keep alive. So not cool.

But as Dory would say, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Woeful Wednesday: Pump Edition is brought to you by a generous donation by Miss Pingy and Silverton the talking BG meter.

Wednesdays are the days I choose to complain on my blog. I try not to let negativity creep in any other day, but Wednesdays are my venting day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

T-3 Tuesday

If you're not hip on the d-lingo, you may be wondering, "What the heck is a T3?" T3 is shorthand for Type 3. If you're medically inclined, you know that there is no "type 3 diabetes." A person with Type 3 diabetes is someone who closely supports anyone with either of the two types of diabetes, the primary care givers when we were little or when we get too old to take care of ourselves.

Today is T-3 Tuesday. For the month of November, on Tuesdays I will be posting something written by the T-3's in my life. Today's post comes from my beautiful, amazing mother. She isn't a writer and is pretty shy, so this little paragraph speaks volumes from her. I loved it anyway. Thanks, Mom!

A paragraph by my mom about this week 11 years ago, when I was diagnosed on her birthday:

"When we found out Sarah had diabetes it was really hard. I didn’t know how we would get her to take good care of herself. She was only 11. But she took total control of it from the beginning. She began giving herself shots in the hospital and she was so good about checking her sugar. I was so impressed with the way she took care of herself."

Pump Update: I made it through my first pump training session yesterday. It was not as much information overload as I expected - I have learned a lot from listening to/reading D-friends talk about their pumps on twitter and their blogs. I was frustrated that I have to pump saline for a while before I start on insulin - I realize this is standard at a lot of hospitals, but the paperwork they sent me made it seem like I wouldn't have to go through this step. I am OK with it now, it was just frustrating to get something unexpected (but that's life with D, amirite?).

Monday, November 2, 2009

MeMe Monday

I stole this from Chris, who stole it from others, check out his blog to see from who.

1. Do you like bleu cheese? I prefer it to ranch when I eat chicken wings.

2. Have you ever smoked? I used to smoke socially, but I kinda grew up and realized that was a bad idea. Plus I quit drinking, which was the only time I smoked.

3. Do you own a gun? Not personally. My dad has one though.

4. Favorite type of Food? Meat and potatoes like a good Ozarkian girl.

5. Favorite type of music? I like lots of types, 90's alternative takes the cake, but I also like pop-punk, indie, country, classical, and crappy pop? Sad but true... I like to dance.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? I only eat hot dogs at the baseball park. I'm more of a burger girl.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Elf. Duh. I'll start watching it in about a week, probably.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? I drink a glass of water followed by diet coke until I am awake.

9. Can you do push ups? I can do about five :(

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I like to always wear a different necklace. But I enjoy my promise ring too, of course.

11. Favorite hobby? Hobby? Internet count? No, really. I enjoy sewing and knitting, wish I did them more.

12. Do you have A. D. D.? Wanna go ride bikes? (that means yes...very yes).

13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Glasses only at the moment, hoping soon I have the finances to go back to contacts.

14. Middle name? Jane, obvs.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: Pump training, Pump training, My cat's whiskers are tickling my feet.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink: Water, Diet Coke, milk.

17. Current worry? what the crap am I going to do in December

18. Current hate right now? HCR..... Or the health care system in general.

19. Favorite place to be? right now i'll have to say asleep in my bed.

20. How did you bring in the new year? I freaking honestly do not remember.

21. Someplace you’d like to go? Ohh, costa rica. (See picture)

22. Name three people who will complete this. Don't like this question.

23. Do you own slippers? I do. My mom gets them for me every year at christmas.

24. What color shirt are you wearing? its white, brown, pink, many different colors.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? They're actually kind of cold. I prefer jersey.

26. Can you whistle? sort of.

27. Where are you now? In the living room. (Well, when this posts I will be on my way to Pump Training!)

28. Would you be a pirate? I don't think I would be cut out for pirates life. I'm more the princess type. Ha!

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I only sing in the shower if I'm REALLY tired or really happy. And I have no idea what songs.

30. Favorite Girl’s Name? ooo playing name our future baby... Hallie Elizabeth

31. Favorite boy’s name? I liked Jonathan David, my two brothers, but the boyfriend is also David and his brother is John so I just think that would be too many Johns and Jons and Davids. So, no idea.

32. What is in your pocket right now? oh uh starburst wrapper from earlier low

33. Last thing that made you laugh? well, I guess that would be

34. What vehicle do you drive? 2002 chevy caviler. I love it, have had no problems, it serves its purpose. I wish it had cruise control though.

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? just several sprained ankles and a messed up shoulder back in the day when I played sports.

36. Do you love where you live? I really love Southwest Missouri (it's beautiful, see picture), but not so much living in my parents house.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? oh man, six I believe. One in each bedroom, plus two others.

38. How many computers do you have in your house? Four laptops and one PC. (family of five)

39. If you changed your job, what would it be? Something that helps PWD's, duh!

40. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be? 1. Cure Diabetes, every type (again, duh), 2. have a family 3. Always have enough money to provide for my family. (aww, how heartwarming).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

World Diabetes Day and NaBloPoMo

Last night, at about 2:30 AM CST, I tweeted that I was furiously blogging for Monday and Tuesday this week. D-blogging friend Chris, author of A Consequence of Hypoglycemia, proceeded to ask me if I was participating in NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. I had no idea what that was! After glancing around the site for a bit, I decided whether I was official or not, I would post every day for the Month of November, mostly Diabetes posts.

I am really excited about this month. It's special for a few reasons for me. It's the month I was diagnosed. It's also going to be my first month pumping. I go in for training tomorrow! Finally, World Diabetes Day is on the 14th. I am still hoping to go up to KC and meet up with some fellow d-bloggers on the 14th. I am just hoping I have the cash to fulfill this hope!

I don't like posting every day. It makes me feel a little self-righteous. I would much rather have a few quality posts than many posts that are less than quality. I decided that this month I wold abandon that feeling and post every day, as I mentioned above. I hope to include a couple guest posts by my parents for my diagnosis week. I also decided to post on Saturdays some non-diabetes related posts in order to kind of break up the d-talk obsession, a la the "No D Day" we celebrated in October (although I opted out of blogging that day, I did participate via twitter).

Welcome to Diabetes Month, Diabetty Style.


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