Monday, May 2, 2011

The Perfect Storm

I haven't blogged in way too long.  The list of excuses is so long I can't even remember the first excuse I had.  Finally, I have time.

Today was a pretty good day.  The toddler did considerably well at playgroup, although I suspect that toddler is "that kid".  You know, the one that if you didn't see what happened you just automatically blame for whatever went wrong.  There is evidence showing he is "that kid", or at least viewed as "that kid" by some.  Either way, I was proud of his behavior today.  Particularly the compassion he shows towards beings smaller than himself (or big animals on tv that look smaller than him because they are on tv).  There was some nature movie on tonight and every animal that came on the screen was followed by "Hello little hump back whale (or whatever), I want to swim with you and cuddle you."  Yeah, I know!  I cried.

But lets back track to before the crying.

Lets back track to last week.  I busted out a new box of Freestyle test strips last week.  And they didn't work.  Not because I am an idiot, but because they are the wrong stupid strips.  I kindly called the company who, of course, said they will send me new ones ASAP and I can send back the wrong ones.  Great.  I have no Freestyle strips left.  It's Friday afternoon, I can't get strips from the doctor.  Ugh.  So I grab the handy old One Touch Ultra Mini and some extra One Touch strips and carried around some extra luggage all weekend (Omnipod for bolusing and Mini for BGs).   I lived.  The strips came today.  They are different than the wrong ones I have, but they are still wrong.  Yes.  The WRONG strips again. 

I call the company again and they apologize, the new strips are on their way.  Great (there is no excitement there). 

In the lag time I decided it's CGM time.  Haven't worn it for a month, time to throw it back on.  I start it, which takes 3 hours.  Error message.  Annoying.  Restart it and pray the next 3 hours make a miracle.  They don't.  Last shot before I run over it with Souleste...

While I was waiting, I went for a run- I know.  We were suppose to swim but it got too late, so I ran.  Checked the BG before leaving- 103.  A little low for pre-run for me so I threw a 5-7g Easter Clearance Robin's Egg (I only have like 3.6 lbs left of them) in my mouth, grabbed the dog and her poop bag, turned on the iPod ("She's a Bad Mamma Jamma" started me out tonight) and took off. 

When I say took off, I should elaborate.  I have a pace and it works for me.  I am very proud of my pace normally.  If you run, and you are proud of your pace do yourself a favor and don't do what I did.  Don't take your dog.  Especially a small dog.  I have a Miniature Schnauzer- she has a small gait- and she still manages to walk while I run.  Not a great confidence booster.  As I pass the neighbors, I avoid eye contact for 2 reasons.  1. My iPod is thumping "Bad Mamma Jamma", I am not turning it down and I can't hear 'em.  2. My dog is walking faster than I am running!  Really???  There is no way I have the confidence to raise my head or gaze at this point.  As far as I am concerned, no one saw me.

Get back from my run and notice my Omnipod is about to expire so I just rip it off and discard it.  I will shower and then fix it.  My after run BG is 62 so I grab another Robin's egg.  Kinda defeats the whole calorie burning part of the run, but hey, it's the thought that counts.  Maybe I can think myself into a hot bod. 

Toddler wants to cuddle momma a bit and tells me how much he missed me while I was gone running for a whole 20 mins.  Precious.  Kiss him good night and go to shower.

Clean myself up and am feeling pretty good inspite of myself.  CGM is ready to be calibrated so I check the BG.  264.  WHAT??!?!  That can't be right.  Retest 259- Ohhhh that's much better.  NOT!  (I know, I just dated myself).  At least the CGM is working.  It's been like 30 mins since I took off my pod.  30 mins and a super hot shower.  And I started with a low BG.  Whatev.

Throw on a new pod and bolus to try and combat my syrup blood.

I noticed the last few days, since the new insulin vial was opened that they BG's haven't been great, hence the CGM.  I figured it was those Robin's eggs throwing on extra lbs so I uped the basal. 

I can't type what my next BG was an hour later.  I am embarrassed.  Lets just say it was more than 264 but less than "Call an ambulance, I'm going into sugar shock." 

Check the pod- insertion site is flawless.  It better be,  I changed it an hour ago.  Never had this happen before.  I don't know what to do.  What I do know is that the BG is ridiculous and this insulin is doing nothing.  OHHH!!!  The insulin!!!  That's it!  The insulin is bad!  (Give me a break, I am still new at this).

Take out my last vial of insulin and pray it's good.  Remove my perfectly good pod and discard it.  Fill a new pod with new insulin, throw it on and wait.

So, now I'm waiting.  All I want is a snack or to go to bed.  Neither is a good decision now.  A snack, unless it's a piece of meat, cheese or raw broccoli is not a good idea when my bgs are that high already. Going to bed is also not a good idea because I know that I will just ignore my bgs while I sleep.  I can't go for another run, they don't recommend exercise over 250.  Which I am still at.  At least it's progress. 

So, today is the perfect storm.  No compatible test strips, 2 CGM failures and bad insulin.  Just when I got into a groove.  And that, my friends, is why I always want 2 vials of extra insulin and at least 3 boxes of extra strips and 4 extra pods hanging around.  With diabetes, you can't prepare enough.  Trust me.  I tried. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The end of a legacy

Many of you have enjoyed a ride in "Bonnie" the 1995 green Bonneville.  How I love my Bonnie.  In 1996, Bonnie came home with my parents- a brand new car.  She was beautiful.  Her forest green color was all the rage, and coupled with my dad's pinstripe job, well, she was a beauty. 

In her younger years, Bonnie would smile at you when you approached her.  Or at least it seemed that way.  You would smile when you approached her and her smooth, glossy side panels would reflect your smile right back.  Her motto in life was "Luxary with Attitude" and she lived it that way everyday. 

In 1999 I inheritated Bonnie from my parents.  She was a little upset to lose her place in the garage, her smile faded a bit, but she never complained.  Day in and day out she would pull in and out of the gravel pit to bring me to school.  The little rocks sticking between her tire treads.  Every once in awhile we'd go play on the highway.  She LOVED to show me what she was made of, purring as the accelerator hit the floor. 

Years went by.  Her air conditioning gave out, but her windows worked well.  Together we learned how to put on a spare.  She always stayed in good shape.  I took care of her and she took care of me.  She was never a gas guzzler- we made it from Houghton to Grand Rapids on only 1 tank of gas getting 28 mpg, well above what was expected from her.

Finally, after all her hard work, she got a garage again.  This garage wasn't heated like the last, but at least it was covered from the elements.  The swamp beneath her tires never bothered her, not even on cold winter nights.  Bonnie was just happy to be loved and appreciated.  I was always so proud of her reliability- others would comment about her.  "She will run forever, she has a great motor in her."  Everyone knows that the motor is the heart of a car, and hers was made of gold.

More time went on and she developed a few more quirks.  The passenger side door stubbornly refused to unlock unless done manually from the inside.  Rust over a wheel.  All things that happened to her, nothing that she did wrong.  Her beauty began to fade on the outside, but on the inside it grew.

She carried me through horrendous weather, to and from Holland while I was carrying baby boy.  Cars off the road everywhere, but not Bonnie.  No, Bonnie would never allow anything to happen to me or my precious cargo.  Holding the road tight, she carried on.

Baby arrived and Bonnie took the change gracefully into mommy mobile.  As baby boy grew he began to recognize Bonnie as Mommy's car.  He would happily point Bonnie out in a crowd of cars saying "Dat's mommy's car."  Sure, she wasn't the youngest car on the block and she had her quirks, but don't we all?  She remained reliable and practical, never asking for much more than an oil change here and some gas there.

Time went on and Bonnie continued to age.  Rust started on her roof, but it didn't matter...just a sign of how long she had served her family proudly.  Kind of like laugh lines, they are earned.

Then the gas in the garage incident occurred.  She just couldn't hold her bladder, the poor girl, I knew she felt disgraced.  For how little she cost us through the years, it was a small price to pay to have her fixed.  It was then that we got the news.  "She's really rusted under there.  We managed to fix her this time without anything else breaking, but there are no guarantees how long anything will last or what will happen with future repairs.  You really need a new car."

It was so hard to hear.  But she is my Bonnie.  Are you sure?  Can't we just keep fixing her?  She will be ok, she is always ok.  Then the realization.  She is 16 years old.  If the mechanic who stands to make a lot of money in repairs says the end is near, we cannot ignore it.

I brought her home alone that night.  We cried together, or rather I cried to her.  Her years of devoted service.  So reliable, never complaining.  The silent friend who is always there for you...never asking for anything in return.  Oh how I love my Bonnie.

Things changed after that night.  I was afraid to depend on Bonnie.  We no longer washed her under carriage for fear it would loosen the rust holding her together.  The snow plow piles at the end of the driveway that used to look like so much fun to plow through just looked like a possible resting ground for her.  Shoveling the swamp from the garage became a regular occurance...trying to keep it from doing poor Bonnie any more damage.  I constantly smelled the marshland beneath her in the garage praying it wasn't more gas.  Slushy roads were no longer a challenge but a reason to slow down until we were passed by minivans with mom's and newborns in them.  Her nickname became "the green bomb" because I was afraid she would blow at any moment.

Discussions began.  Discussions I hoped to never have.  What to do with poor Bonnie.  How long does she have left?  My heart aches just thinking of it.  We cannot do anything for her.  I hate that feeling.  What is next?  How did the years go by so quickly?  Why must things change?

One evening I felt it, it was time.  The next morning the toddler and I picked up Nonnie-bo-nonnie to test drive another.  The goal was to hate this new car.  Cute as that Kia Soul is, I must hate her.  She is different than Bonnie.  She is young, she has no devotion to us.

Loading the car seat into the Soul was remarkably easy, but still I held back.  The seats are so comfortable, she has a lot of room inspite of the fact that she is 1/2 the size of Bonnie.  Her sticker boasts amazing gas mileage.  But no, Bonnie has a full tank of gas and I don't drive far.  There is no need for a change.

Wow, she manuevers so easily.  And she is spunky despite her smaller engine.  I might like this new Soul.  The worry about rusting out parts leaves my mind.  I can drive her anywhere and it's ok.  Those railroad tracks aren't a problem.  The bumpy road is fine.  Toddler is calling it a race car.  Ha!  This Soul is good, she has a good soul.  But she is certainly too expensive.  Good thing I still have Bonnie.

"How did you like it?" asks the dealer.  "Not bad, some road noise."  I know how to play this game.  We enter his office.  I don't like to play games.  I want to know bottom price now.  I want to know top price for Bonnie now.

"We looked at your Bonneville here is what they will offer you if you trade."  I glance at the paper and notice there is an extra digit in it than I expected.  WOW!  Apparently they can see she has a heart of gold.  They appreciate her even in her old age and rust.  The dealer explains that his son is in the market for a car and he is hoping that if the deal works out, that he can buy this car for his son.  A likely story I think.  He knows the level of my attachement to her.  Certianly the price will be high on the Soul.

"Here is what I can offer the Soul to you for."  My eyes bulge a little, really?  That is close to what I had only dreamed of paying, I never thought we'd see that number. Maybe he has talked to AT&T recently and heard that I complain about even a 10 cent increase.  Or perhaps he glanced at my bank account and young son and felt pity on us.  Or maybe he noticed my $3 Target turtle neck for what it was even with my attempt to 'class it up' a bit. 

I am honest with him, as I was brought up to be.  "That is close to a number I think we would be comfortable with.  To be honest, I expected to have to argue with you to get close to that price.  I hate dickering.  I appreciate you being up front and not making me fight." 

"Will you buy this car?"  And that is where a wife ends her reign or independance.  I explain that my husband and I make monetary decisions together and that I was test driving hoping to hate this new Soul, but I am in need of a new car.  I promise that I want my husband to test drive it and the rest is up to him.

"Will you put down a deposit to hold it for the day until your husband can come drive it?"

This is a bold move on my part.  "Yes."  The move is voided a little in the fact that the check I write is for more that is in my account at the moment.

"Should I have it ready for you to take home tonight?  I will fill up the tank and wash it for you."

Gas is $3.45 a gallon now, that's worth like $150 in itself.  I know what he's asking though, how serious am I.  I am asking myself the same question.  "What if we don't take it?"  He says that's fine, but he will fill it up just in case.  He knows.  He has been doing this long enough to know that this Soul is perfect for my family and me.  It's a practical choice, and it is obvious I am a practical kind of person.

I e-mail hubby when I get home with the news.  Yes I love the Soul.  In fact, I love the Soul enough to let the Bonneville go.  They have a 2010 they want to move, no it's not Alien green like I hoped, but the light silver is more practical for resale and it won't show the dirt.  The price is amazing.  Please go and test drive it.  I will respect your decision.  You have never lead our family astray and I trust your judgement 100%.  I coyly add either way we have to go there to get the deposit back.

We take the Bonnie to hubby's test drive, stopping at the bank on the way there to pick up some cash to flash.  Good thing we get paid this week.

I introduce hubby to friendly dealer whom I trust.  The Soul is parked up front nice and clean, she is smiling at me.  No, it's just my reflection.  It reminds me of Bonnie when she was young and it makes me feel familar with this Soul, like an old friend.

Hubby likes the Soul, which is no surprise to me.  Everything is great for us.  It's like the stars lined up and sent her to us as a gift.    He says we should offer $1000 less.  I am half paying attention.  Whatever you want to do honey.  I trust you.  I know I am going home with this Soul tonight, which means that Bonnie will be left behind.

Hubby puts on his poker face.  Dealer smiles, he knows that hubby is doing his job and he appreciates it.  He knows that we are buying this Soul, but he won't take advantage of that knowledge.  Dealer shows hubby the figures and hubby kind of stops puzzled.  It is only $87 more than the price he said on the test drive with me.  My e-mail to him wasn't clear.  I can see his mind rethinking his offer.  He throws out a number and we split the difference.  The men shake on it and I have a new car.

Hubby moves everything from Bonnie to Souleste as I learn all the gadgets and gizmos.  He knows that even in my excited state that it is hard for me to say goodbye.  I can call you from my steering wheel!  How cool!  I play with a few things and then turn to Bonnie.  I take one last good look at her and a tear rolls down my cheek.  Love you Bonnie.  Thank-you Bonnie.  You have been a blessing to our family Bonnie, and you have left a legacy.

Dealer looks at me and says "I was serious about buying that car.  I am going to talk to the manager tomorrow.  That car has a great engine.  My son would love it."  I know she will be well cared for.  He has access to parts and services for prices we could otherwise never afford.  But it's still hard to say goodbye. 

I walk up to Souleste, my own little mid-life crisis, hopefully toddler's first car, our family's first brand new car, and the beginning of a new chapter.  She smiles at me, she saw Bonnie and has decided she is up for the challenge.

Why name her Souleste?  The stars all had to align to bring us together...and she's got soul.  And now we do too.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pits and Giggles

A friend called yesterday and asked "How's it going?".

I know this is a question that people ask all the time.  I ask it all the time.  It's a conversation starter.  It's the 'my toddler is napping too and we haven't talked since the last time they napped at the same time so lets talk about the new important stuff first and quickly because who knows how long toddler wants to sleep today" question.  The trouble with that question is how to answer it.  I have such a hard time answering.  3 things run through my head.
1. How close are we?
2. Does she really want the truth?
3. How much time do we have to talk before toddler wakes up?

Since you are reading this I am assuming you are expecting toddler to nap for awhile and are ready for an ear full.

Let me tell you about yesterday.  After saving about 15 'free class' coupons for gymboree, the toddler and I signed up to go.  We were very excited for this experience.  The nearest gymboree is 26 minutes away according to the gps in my car.  With gas at $3.17 a gallon, well, this class is no longer free, but it will be fun.

We manage to get ready on time and are out the door by 9:45, the class starts at 10:30.  Make a Bigby (why can't it still be Beaners again?) run (responsible diabetic comes back from vacation tomorrow) with a gift card from one of hubby's students.  A side note, if your kid has a male teacher and you want to get him something nice but don't know what, get something for his wife.  Gift card for a place with curbside to go, coffee, whatever.  Happy wife = happy life.  Just saying.

Bigby run done and we are on our way.  Toddler is mimicking the gps's instructions for me.  He is very helpful.  Suddenly he says "Weady (ready) mommy?".  Oh no, he has a ball and knows how to use it.  We have been working on asking someone if they are ready to catch a ball.  I am driving down the highway, in traffic, sipping a skinny caffineted carmely drink, with an armed and 'weady' toddler in the back.  "No!!!  We don't throw balls in the car."  Please oh please listen this one time.   

He listened.  Crisis avoided.  Thank-you!!!  It's gonna be a good day.  Or not.

10:29 we pull into the parking lot of the would be gymboree that is not there.  "You have arrived!" announces the gps in the annoying lady voice.  "Mommy get out" toddler yells pulling at the car seat straps.  Where is this place?

I call the number (which I thankfully wrote down) and am told they moved over a year ago, but since I always recycle the new phones books because I am too lazy to replace the old one and recycle the new one I missed the memo on this.  The SUPER nice lady gives me perfect directions and says class is running a few minutes late anyway, we can still make it.  YAY! 

Gymboree is a padded room full of super safe kid toys that toddler falls in love with.  I learn at the end of class, that gymboree is also pricey.  In my head I am hearing hubby "If you really think you want to sign up, but I don't think we need to spend the money on it."  I am also hearing my mom "You are too busy, your calendar is overbooked, you need time to relax with toddler".  Ok, so this adds something to the calendar, but it has been quite some time since toddler and I have had this much playing and imaginating.  I sign up.

Driving home I get to thinking.  Hubby's car needs new brakes and probably new rotars.  Why did I sign up?  This is not good timing.  Toddler loves it.  I love it.  Hubby will be mad. Have I made an impulse buy?  Was I overcome by the bubbles that don't pop and parachute games?  Maybe it was how she sang the itsy bitsy spider to toddler as he climbed the ropes.  Ack.  Well, too late now.  It's gonna be fun quality time. 

As I am driving I am smelling gas.  It must be the car in front of me.  You know, the nice SUV that's about 15 years newer than my car.  I change lanes, I don't want to blow up because THEIR car is leaking gas.  Funny, this car smells gasy too.  Could it be my car?  Just ignore it, it will go away.  Cause that works well with everything.

I work at a pet grooming salon, and I have to make a quick stop on the way home to check some messages, etc.  Toddler and I make a 'quick' (45 min) stop at work.  16 messages, a hair covered and shoeless toddler later, we are ready to go.  He enjoyed the visit though, he pretended to cut dog toe nails with a can opener.  Looks like he's going to take after me- loves animals and imaginative (aka not too bright).

So I pick up my now hairy wet dog smelling child and load him into the car.  Boy, this place smells like gas.  It must be that cheap car over there.  MY car is in perfect working order.  It couldn't be my car. 

Get the kid to nap and pay some bills.  Go to run out to the mail box and smell a LOT of gas.  And there is a puddle under my car.  Not that uncommon (our garage is a wetland remember), but the rest of the garage is dry.  Slowly the puzzle starts coming together.  That puddle is gas coming from MY car.  Huh.  HUH?!  Oh no, I have done gas tank repairs before and I know 2 things about them.  1. They usually costs you a tank of gas too.  I paid like $3.17 a gallon for that tank 2 days ago for 1/8 of it to coat our swampy garage floor.  2. They are EXPENSIVE.  But hubby needs brakes...and I just paid bills...and we had a blizzard so I didn't work much....and GYMBOREE!!!   

This is bad, this is very very bad.  For a moment I consider packing the kid and dog up and putting everything of value in the front yard and suddenly taking up smoking.  Nah, too obvious.  JUST KIDDING Justin (my insurance guy who sometimes reads this)!!!  My father's voice is running through my mind "You know honey, that car isn't going to run forever.  At some point you have to decide what you're going to do.  You really should get a NEW car, the NEW car prices are pretty good now."  To which the voice in my head replies "But you say to pay cash for everything dad.  They don't sell new cars for what I can sell my 16 yr old no air conditioning rusting now leaking gas car for."  Now what?

My mind is racing with what-if's and bad news.  People say bad news comes in 3's.  We are at like 67 in the last week.  And I try to be the silver lining person.  For every 'bad' thing I force myself to think of 2 blessings to thank God for.  No matter how you look at though, 67 is a lot. 

As I am processing all the bad things my thoughts turn to my blood sugar.  Bad things?  Diabetes is bad.  Speaking of which, better test the BG.  While I'm at it, lets call and see what those HemA1C results are.  Make a good ol' day outta it.  Maybe I can still get in for a pelvic too!  Oh no, I can't drive my soon out of gas car.  Drat!

You need to know something about my A1C.  An A1C is a percent that corresponds with your average blood sugar over the last 3 months.  Basically it's the way your body tattles on you to your doctor.  Anything under 7% for a T1 is 'acceptable'.  If one were to try to become pregnant, it might be recommended to stay under 6%.  I am a 'young' diabetic and I live, eat and breathe diabetes.  My highest A1C was 5.8% and that was when they had me diagnosed as a T2 diabetic on a long acting insulin when I was pregnant.  Since that time they have only gone down.  My previous A1C was actually in the 'non diabetic' range (though it was achieved with an insulin pump, so settle down mom, I do have diabetes.  She loves it when I talk about her. Ha!)  I was very excited about that number, but also a bit nervous about it.  I knew I shouldn't go any lower because I was getting a lot of hypos and it would be unsafe.  I actually told the doc it was a 'fake' A1C because I was having a LOT of hypos and going up and down all the time is worse than remaining steady at a higher BG. 

So, I call the office.  Whatever, I'm upset already, might as well just destroy the day altogether. 


WHAT?!?!  Are you sure?  That is amazing.  I haven't been having many hypos.  That is not a fake A1C.  That's for real.  I start giggling after I hang up the phone.  All that hard work 20 days out of the month (remember, I am a screw up when I have my period and am not ovulating).  I am geeked. 

At the same time I am a little sad.  It was always motivation to keep down my A1C, to keep getting better.  When I decided to lay off a bit it was hard to keep going.  I am burnt out, but I felt like I just didn't want to try anymore without the competition.

My new goal is to return to my previous 'non-diabetic' A1C without hypos.  That will give me incentive to not quit 10 days a month and to keep working hard.

Like I said, I hate that question "How's it going?"

After thinking about it a bit..."Pits and giggles."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What does Thomas the Train know about diabetes?

You know those books that are SUPER annoying that only grandparents buy?  The ones that have buttons to push to play music that correspond with each page. 

Well, toddler has a Thomas the Train book like this.  Each page has the words to the song that corresponds with it so whoever is reading it, me, can sing along.  Isn't that great?  I sing like a broken garbage disposal.  Regardless, it is one of toddler's favorite books.

Last night I am 'reading' this book to toddler before bed.  I have 'read' this book at least a thousand times, I know the words by heart.  If a button is pushed I can sing the tune without looking at the book.  I am a mother, it's what we do.

Lately I am feeling a little burnout with D-life.  Which is sad, since for my age I am a very young diabetic.  Most women my age have lived with this for 20yrs+.  This is, sadly, changing as more and more adults are being diagnosed as type 1.  At this point though, I feel a bit alone.  The novelty of the gadgets and gizmos has worn off.  The amazement at what techonology can do is no longer exciting, in fact, it's down right lame.  Usually, I am the silver lining person.  Not so much for the past few days...  Maybe it's because my Hem A1C is due and I know that it's going to be the highest I have ever had.  I know I haven't worked nearly as hard as I used to (10 days out of the month I am going lax).  For the first time I am truely dreading the results. 
So, 'reading' this Thomas the Train book and get to the 3rd to last song, "Surprises".  It goes like this...

Surprises, surprises,
they come all shapes and sizes.
You never know what's around the bend,
it might delight it might offend.
That's why there's surprises,
with all their highs and lows.
Do you come out top or come full stop?
Who knows, who knows, who knows?

Since when does Thomas have diabetes?  How does he know so much about this?  Needless to say, in my current state I am crying by the end of the song.  (Don't you dare suggest I am pregnant and that's why I am emotional.  I will rip your insensitive face off!)  And how does Thomas know about those 10 days each month that I drink regular coffee and when I get a 225 say "Oh well, too bad for my kidneys today."  (I know this is a bad attitude, please don't tell me about your complications because you used to have this attitude.  I know.)

The toddler is looking at me concerned.  I wipe up my tears and turn the page. 

HA!  Sorry to interrupt this story, but toddler just sat down next to me with Thomas book turned to that page.  Apparently he remembers that page.

So, I clean myself up and turn the page.  The next song, I actually used to motivate toddler when he was having a hard time with potty training.  He was VERY discouraged and confused.  At the time I took out the Thomas book and we 'read' this song.

Don't give up,
show determination.
Don't give up,
you'll be a big sensation.
Keep your wheels a turning,
your pistons pumping hard.
Keep your boilers burning,
don't idle round the yard.
Right on time you'll reach your destination.
Now's the time to show determination.

Basically, Thomas is telling me I am a major wimp and have let it slide too long.  That this is a test of my character, and even with how stubborn I am, I was not quite stubborn enough.  When the going gets tough in D-life, the tough has a breakfast pastry and cup of regular coffee with whip.  It's not that you can't eat these things as a diabetic, I mean they are not good for anyone.  It's just that I am too young of a diabetic to know exactly how my body will react to them- will the pastry break down slow or fast?  Am I going to chug this coffee?  How much extra should I bolus for the caffine?  At this point, these things are very bad for me because I don't know how to deal properly with them.  Which is why 'responsible diabetic' doesn't touch them with a 10 foot pole. 

Thomas provided me with the wake up call.  I just need the motivation now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Dat poor sweetheart with dat dumb sugar problem."

I come from a very Dutch family.  My grandparents immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands over 60 years ago, eventually settling here.  These people have lived through some incredible history.  My Oma actually had German soldiers living in her home and taking all the good livestock.  I still have to smile when she says that they put a sign on the house saying they had some terrible contagious disease so the soldiers would leave them alone.  These people have lived a life I can't even imagine.  They have seen advances in everything from healthcare to technology.  I always kind of laughed at how little they new about modern day conveniences.

No one, to my knowledge or the knowledge of my family, in my family has ever had diabetes.  This is a disease that no one really even knew about.  The only people who seemed to have any clue about diabetes were my Oma and Opa.  I was only 6 weeks pregnant when I was first (mis)diagnosed with diabetes (the doctor said "It must be type 2 because adults don't get type 1 and it's too early to be gestational").  The next time I saw my Oma she looked somber.  She asked "Sweetheart, you have dat sugar diabetes?"  When I responsed with a 'yes' her eyes glassed over and her jaw clenched tight.  I didn't understand this response.  Sure, diabetes isn't fun, but I didn't think it warranted that.  She looked at me like she would never see me again.

As time went on, I researched.  I have never in my life liked non-fiction.  I can't tell you how many non-fiction books I poured through.  One of which gave a great history of diabetes.  Do you know that people have known of diabetes for many many years?  Back in the day, the way they tested for diabetes was by tasting your urine.  Now that is a job you couldn't pay me enough for.  Mmmm, this is sweetened lemonaide.

I learned so much.  This brought into perspective how far diabetes healthcare has come.  In my Oma and Opa's lifetime, type 1 diabetes was a death sentence.  If you had the top care and followed instructions (eat nothing, drink nothing) you would be lucky to get 2 absolutely MISERABLE years.  So when I told my Oma who doesn't understand that a VHS can be replayed and you don't have to buy a new VHS everytime you want the watch The Sound of Music (they have like 8!!!), yes I have diabetes, she wasn't up on all the new 'stuff'.  She did look at me like she might never see me again because in her mind, she might never see me again.  When I made this discovery I called to explain that things have changed.  She still doesn't quite grasp this concept, so I will forever be "Dat poor sweetheart with dat dumb sugar problem."  Except when she writes sweet it is spelled sweat.

Oma and Opa are very old now.  They do ok, but they need help that they are too stubborn to accept.  The stove has been left on ("You have never done dat?") and bones somehow break in bed while they're sleeping ("No, I didn't fall going to the bathroom.").  They really aren't cheap though- they have spent their lives working very hard and saving, leaving them fortunate, blessed and giving.  Truely, they are dear sweet people that I adore.  Which is what makes this story so frusterating (and in a few years funny for me, probably funny for you now because it didn't happen to you).

After years of traveling to Florida we have managed to convince them they should no longer go.  Actually, we didn't convince them.  They started the planning process and a nurse who was coming to their home (who obviously thought this trip to Florida would have been a terrible plan too) told them that their insurance wouldn't be accepted in Florida.  In fact, their insurance would only be accepted within about 20 miles of their home.  God bless this nurse!  No Florida trip for the old folks.

I feel sad for them being home.  They are bored.  It's cold and there is nothing for them to do.  The toddler and I have been trying to make an extra effort to keep them company this winter.  Who knows how much time they have left?  We generally go over there, but the roads are clear, so today they came here for a nice cup of coffee and some cookies.  How "gezillig". 

We are blessed to have a roof over our head and heat to keep us warm.  I am not complaining about this place we live in.  Let me just say though, about 50% of the time our garage is wetter than the Netherlands before the dikes were put in.  Today is one of those days.  Needless to say it is all sandy and salty from the car.  Not to mention our driveway, which is like every other driveway here, is covered in about 2 inches of ice and hard snow. 

10:00 AM rolls around this morning and here comes the massive Lincoln pulling tenatively in the driveway.  I can read Oma's lips as she is straining to verify that this is indeed my house.  "John (which sounds more like Yon), turn John, here" in her broken english.  Toddler is running around the house yelling "Oma and Opa!!!  Me want cookie!!!"  The dog is barking like a maniac to alert us of the extremely dangerous eldery couple slowly pulling into the driveway in their tank of a car.  They pop the trunk and begin to unload food, tulips (I AM NOT JOKING!), and old dutch books.  From what I understand, these are things that only the "sweetheart with dat dumb sugar" get.  Sorry cousins, guess you should have gotten a chronic illness if you wanted old dutch books.

I fight the losing battle of keeping the toddler and the dog away from the door while trying to carry in everything the old folks brought.  (BTW, they call themselves the old folks, I am not being a brat).  I now have a lifetime supply of fruit, coffee cake, cookies and dinner for 4 for a week.  The tulips, although stereotypical, are beautiful and the books would be much more interesting if I could read Dutch. 

They enter the house through the wetlands (aka the garage).  Oma proceeds through the kitchen to the dining room where I am assuming she will sit and remove her now soaking wet, snow caked, sand sprinkled shoes.  At the first sight of 'road apples' as my husband calls them, in the kitchen I run to get a towel.  Our house isn't new and perfect, but we try to keep it nice and clean.  I am now on my hands and knees moping up road apples off my kitchen floor.  At this point I notice that no matter how much I wipe up, I am not even making a dent in this mess.  It's like it keeps growing.  I realize she isn't sitting down, but rather pacing in circles around my house with the toddler.  And Opa is on his way to join her.

Remember I am the grandchild here.  I want to give the benefit of the doubt that this is an accident she hasn't noticed.  She would not be disrespectful of all my hard work cleaning and hubby's hard work to keep us in this house.  So I make a rather loud mention that there is dirty slush all over my freshly washed laminate flooring (that isn't suppose to get THAT wet).  Nothing.  I am literally wiping up after EVERY step she takes.  I can feel my blood boiling and my blood sugar dropping from all the scrubbing.  Fine, I will ask.

"Oma, why don't you sit down and take off your shoes.  They are all wet and dirty.  I can take them off for you and get you some nice slippers."  What I expected to hear was "Oh, yeah, sweetheart, dat would be soooo nice."  What I got was "No.  Dese shoes are sooo good.  I keep dem on."

Perhaps she didn't notice I am chasing her with a towel.  Maybe she didn't hear the part about being wet and slushy.  "But Oma, they are all wet and slushy from being outside.  See, I am scrubbing the floor after every step you take."  That outta do it.

"No sweetheart.  My shoes are clean.  I just wear dem at home and den into our garage to da car and den come in here."

Did you not see the flood in our garage and the swamp in my kitchen?  They are soaked and sandy, take them off.  "Our garage is very wet and messy though and I can see that your shoes got all messy from our garage.  Let me get you some slippers."

At this point Opa is struggling to keep his balance to begin removing his shoes.  I quickly help him get his balance and grab a chair for him so we can take off his shoes.

"Sweetheart, I like to keep my shoes on."  She says this while clenching her teeth and giving me that I am grandma and I scared off the soldiers look.

My blood sugar is dropping.  If I can feel it I know I am sitting at low 50's.  I need to eat.  Toddler and dog are under foot dragging this mess all through the house and she is not going to take off her stupid shoes.  Maybe I am just irritable that I am low, but I can feel my face turning bright red and I am ready to ask her to walk her shoes right out of my house.

"How are you feeling sweetheart?  Do you still have dat dumb sugar?"  Yes, yes, it's fine.  I am having a lot of ups and downs lately.  I explain that scrubbing the floor has attendency to make me low which makes me feel like I'm dying.

She changes the subject to the food she brought and how much work it was to bring (which I asked her not to bring because it is a lot of work and I am capable).  I know this is a guilt factor.  I know how she works.  She is thinking "I had to work to make this food and bring it here, you can scrub your floors again."  But I live in bare feet most of the time and the toddler has (now wet and dirty) socks on.  I am not re-cleaning my entire house because she is having a love affair with her shoes.

"Oma, your shoes are still wet and dirty and making a big mess.  I really appreciate all the work you did on the food even though I told you we didn't need anything.  Please take off your shoes."

She totally ignores me and walks into the living room (on our 'nice' rug) and sits on the couch next to the now shoeless Opa.  I finish moping up the the kitchen and prepare their coffee each to their liking without asking because I know.  I am boiling angry and taking extra time in the kitchen trying to decide my next move.  I am still low, but that will have to wait.  I can talk and I can see well enough. 

That is when it hits me.  I am not getting these shoes off this woman.  She is an old stubborn Dutch woman, I will lose.  But I grew up with a stubborn Dutch dad (so I know how to work the system) and am also a stubborn Dutch woman (so I MUST have my way out of stubborn-ness).  What I care about isn't the removing of the shoes, what I care about is the mess it is making.  How can I prevent the mess?

I bring the coffee into the living room with 2 plastic bags- Meijer of all places.  Not the luxe D&W.  I put down the coffees for each of them and look to Oma.

"I know you want to keep your nice comfy shoes on and I respect that.  I am sure you don't want to make a lot of extra work for me, because I know I would never want to make a lot of extra work for you.  So, I am going to put these bags over your shoes so they don't drip all over the house anymore.  I think it's a nice compromise."


I walk back into the kitchen to get the cookies.  I hear a bunch of Dutch which I know well enough to pick up on how ridiculous I am being about a little dirt.  I stuff a cookie in my mouth, partially to treat the low and partially to keep my mouth shut. 

I have to laugh a little when I walk back into the living room to see Oma in her nice plastic bags.  When she dies someday (hopefully in a long long time) I am burying her in those stupid shoes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dear Expensive SUV driving 40-something professional male in the grocery store parking lot

Dear Expensive SUV driving 40-something professional male in the grocery store parking lot,

First off, lets be clear.  When I leisurely pulled into the parking lot, I never intended to steal 'your' spot.  I did not even notice 'your' spot that was 10 feet from the door until you nearly rammed me into it with your turn signal on (I was going straight, you were turning left.  I had the right of way).  I never showed any intention of turning into it, so calm your big bad self in your expensive SUV that is worth more than our 2 vehicles combined...times 5.  Generally, I do not even look for close spots, the exercise is good for everyone and I don't want anyone to give my 1995 sedan any door dings (they rust). 

The only reason I was trying to find a decent spot today is because it is snot freezing cold out and I have a sick toddler with an ear infection whose mittens I forgot.  Don't judge me for going to the grocery store, sir.  We needed to pick up his prescription and something he will eat.

I understand you are a professional and must be in a major hurry to pick up a few items.  At least I thought so until I managed to park about a mile out, get a cart, load it up with popcans, put a screaming squirming toddler in it, and walk past your SUV while you are still sitting in it talking on your cell phone.  I'm sure it was an important call.  By the time I get inside the toddler is screaming that his hands hurt (and they should hurt, they are FROZEN).  I return my popcans and get ready to get our items when I realize I left my glasses in the freezing cold car.  I cannot see without my glasses, so we must venture out.

We RUN past your SUV (which is still running and polluting the air we all breathe) towards my car in the tundra.  I do not have a keyless entry like you (a luxary that gave out a few months back), I am fumbling with frozen hands on my keys (that are metal and so cold my skin threatens to adhere to them) with my frozen toddler in the cart screaming and crying (his tears are freezing!!) about his now stiff hands (my fault for forgetting the mittens) trying to get the creaky rusted door open (please don't fall off, please don't fall off).  I find my glasses (to which the toddler replies "Hooray!") and we run the mile back through the frozen tundra past your still running frozen car while you sit on your cell phone in the spot that you almost ran me off the road for that I didn't even try and take. 

Get the prescription (love that it was free!).  We get our shopping done relatively quickly- about 35 mins.  Toddlers hands unfreeze about 1/2 way through and cost me a guilt toy Tow Mater ($3.50).  Somehow (it is a miracle from God) we manage to stay within our means by $1.29 and still get all we need.  Toddler rides the horse, worth the 52 cents a year it costs to keep him happy for shopping.  We bundle up again to face the arctic.  As I run the mile back to my car I notice you are still sitting in your spot, on your cell phone with your engine running.  You have not even left your vehicle.  I could have had that spot, got my shopping done, and left and then you could have had it.  Instead you insist on hogging a decent spot on a cold day so you can pollute and talk on the phone.  Honestly.  You are a middle aged professional man with no children with you and a nice warm wool jacket with matching leather gloves, could you think beyond yourself for 2 seconds?  I saw seniors pushing carts (much too heavy for them) through the freezing cold (they have thin skin!!!) on the ice (hello broken hip) while you sat and chatted.  I did not want 'your' spot, but someone else out there needed it much more than you did.

Thankfully after running 4 miles in the frozen tundra I didn't have a low, which I have you to thank.  You managed to frusterate and anger me enough that it raised my BG to compensate for the otherwise inevitable low. 

So, I must say thank-you.

The woman with the stiffly frozen sickly ear infected toddler carrying the Tow Mater in the old car that you tried to plow over monster truck style

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There is no such thing as a free Zumba class.

I was going to blog this all last night, but I passed out.  My husband will argue that I fell asleep on the couch watching TV.  With a BG like that, I know better, I was in a sugar induced slumber.

A good friend of mine had called me Sunday night asking if I wanted to join her for a FREE Zumba class last night.  I really like Zumba because I really like to dance.  I don't like to exercise, but, to me, dancing is not exercising.  Zumba and I get along.  Well, except for the whole routine of it. 

If you have ever been to a Zumba class and look around, they are all very similar.  In the front of the class is the super adorable teacher, very slendar with curves in all the right places.  These people are born that way- you can Zumba until the cows come home, it's nature in this instance.  I'm not saying you can't make some major improvements.  Some have the genes for this but it has been hidden behind cookies and coffee.  Most of us, we don't have this.  But don't stop trying!!!  All this fighting a losing battle stuff is really good for your heart.  At least that's what the doctor's always say.

Super adorable teacher is in the front in her awesome (read expensive) zumba pants that have those adorable hangy things on the butt that she can actually spin around by moving her hips (which is amazing since the only thing mine can do is bear a child).  Behind the teacher is what I think of as her Cronies (with all due respect).  These are the women who are also wearing the cute zumba pants with the thingies on the butt and can also make them spin simply by moving their hips.  These women know the routines as good as, if not better than, the teacher herself.  In my mind, I secretly dream of being one of these women.

The rest of the room is full of an assortment of women ranging from 8-70 yrs old, a majority of which are probably 27-52 yrs.  These women can keep up with the 'moves' and the instructor, though, most lack the hips.  They anticipate what is next and flow smoothly through each song.  Even a lot of the first timers seem to catch on.  I brought my mom once knowing she likes to dance.  I had been going for sometime and was able to hold my own, only 'messing up' a few times a song.  My mom isn't the most coordinated person, I figured it would take her a bit to catch on.  No.  Apparently, zumba is the modern day jazzer-cise, which my mom was a goddess at.  She should have been up front with the cronies.

The other type of person in class is the person that lacks any coordination.  This person may have taken years of dance and still cannot jump and clap hands at the same time.  You can always find this person because they are usually the one getting run into when everyone else is moving.  If this person is aware of their lack of abilities, they usually find a spot along the wall (less people to run into or get in their way).  I am this person. 

So, last night I am anticpating my free Zumba class.  Make a nice fish dinner with some rice (going to need some carbs for zumba) and broccolli.  We gobble up dinner, even the toddler chows, and I clean up.  Go and change into my cutest black sweat pants and a tee shirt, grab my zumba shoes (the ones that kill my feet for the first 5 songs and then are like heaven), and fill up a water bottle.  As I am pouring my cold filtered water into my favorite water bottle my pump starts 'yelling' at me.  It has been an hour already?  Alright, time to test the BG.  73.  That is not good for someone who is going to be hard core sweating in an hour.  Grab a nice 19 g carb peanuty granola bar and pack some extra test strips.  It will be fine.

My friend picks me up and we are off.  I make mention that my BG wasn't terribly cooperative earlier, but I am sure it will be fine.  We are searching for this place that neither of us have been before and end up in a sleeping trucker haven.  Realizing we must have passed it, we cross our fingers we didn't wake anyone and turn around.  Just around the corner from sleeping trucker haven sits the church in an industrial looking strip mall.  It looks very small from the outside.  This should be interesting.

We walk inside to find coat racks, apparently they are expecting quite the crowd.  After hanging up our coats we find the zumba room.  This place is quite large actually.  Wow.  A great place for zumba.  We sign in- we're like number 11 and 12 on the list.  I decide now is a good time to retest.  Still in the 70's.  I am not going to make this without some hard core low GI index carbs now.  Grab my can of ER pineapple juice and chug.  I reluctantly finish the can- it's like 24 g carbs and I don't want to spike- but I would rather spike than look a fool.

Suddenly I look around and see about 60 people lining up in this room that doesn't seem as big anymore.  We find a spot along the wall (I know my abilities are less than grand).  We are ready.  For how crowded this room is I find that there is plenty of room to do the routine.  The routine is fun and energetic, giving a good full body workout and not too terribly hard to follow.  Of course, I still manage to start with the wrong foot and get lost in the routine, but my friend managed just fine.

After each song I look at my continuous monitor.  This isn't looking good.  I am sitting in the 80's with a nice flat arrow.  That would be great if I was sitting on the couch reading a book, not great when I have just started a hard core workout.  As we continue through the songs that flat arrow begins the slow decline.  Dang it.  I already used my ER juice.  I decide I need to stop moving and do something about this before it becomes a problem.

I jog through dodging a line of like 15 women who are zumba-ing all over the place to the churches kitchen area.  They are a church, they must have coffee, and if they have coffee they must have sugar.  2nd cabinet and I find the sugar and a styrofoam cup.  Put an unknown amount of sugar in it, put some tap water in it and stir with a random knife.  I think of my dentist as I chug my sugar water like a starving butterfly.  Cheers.  If that doesn't do it, nothing will.

I dodge the 15 women back to my spot and check my BG.  Wow, it's worse than my CGM read...I'm at 53.  CGM still has a slow decline.  I decide that until things start moving up I should sit out and stretch.  So much for not looking like a fool.

My friend asks how it's going and I lie (like a good diabetic who is trying to not be too bitter about all the women around her who don't have this) saying everything will be fine.  She insists that we leave and I remind her that I will be hypo here or at home so she might as well get a good workout.  I must not be a good actress because she's not buying it.  She says she is shot and is ready to go (this woman is in better shape 4 weeks post partum than I EVER have been in my life).  I appreciate her understanding and not making me feel like an even bigger fool, so I agree.

We dodge the 15 dancing women and get out of there.  In the car we are saying that in our 20-30 mins of  zumba we hope we burned 400 calories.  I add up how many calories I consumed to compensate for the low and realize that it would need to be more like 500 just to break even.  When I get depressed about that idea I think of the doctor saying it's good for my heart and want to throw up in my mouth.  It's not his muffin top that's going to need a pair of bigger jeans.  So much for free zumba.

I get home and try to close the garage door.  The opener is insisting that something is in the way.  I turn on the outside lights trying to see what the garage door's problem is and find that somehow, something totally broke off the garage door sensor on my hubby's side of the garage.  I come inside and tell him to deal with it-it is his side of the garage after all.  He asks if I hit it with a shovel or something...NO.  I don't know what happened.  It would appear that we have a garage door sensor breaker running through our neighborhood because neither of us know how it broke.  Hubby fixes it without too much trouble as I admit defeat and take a shower.

I begin to mope.  Stupid diabetes.  My BG is settling in at 100 and remaining steady.  I grab for a piece of birthday cake and bolous for it the same amount I did earlier in the day that worked perfect.  We start a movie and I pass out/fall asleep.  Hubby wakes me up and encourages me to get into bed.  My CGM is quiet and still looking good so off to bed I go.

About 1 AM my CGM is screaming at me.  I never heard it before then (that's why I insist it was sugar induced slumber, this is the thing that woke me up 5 times the other night).  329.  WHAT!??!?!  I have it set to alert me at anything over 120, every 1/2 hour.  That means I missed at least 4 alarms.  I give a big old correction and return to my sugar slumber.

I woke up this morning feeling like death.  Which is what happens when you have syrup running through your veins all night after not being able to keep a steady BG during zumba.  I should have known, there is no such thing as a free lunch or a free zumba class.   

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I've got gadgets and gizmos a plenty. I've got who's its and what's its galore. You want thingamabobs? I've got 20. But who cares? No big deal. I want more.

Last night was the BIG birthday party, and what a party it was.  We started the evening out at a JDRF fundraiser at a Griffin's game (a Redwings farm team).  It was great.  A room full of people with T1 diabetes, or who care about people with T1 diabetes.  Talk about feeling at home.  I enjoyed about 600 potato chips (which resulted in a blood sugar to match) while listening to the coach speak, who has T1 diabetes and was diagnosed while playing in the NHL.  I always wonder how professional athletes manage this disease.  I struggle to manage it while chasing a two year old around.  Granted, chasing a toddler is a full time job in itself, and diabetes is also a full time job- I suppose it would burn anyone out.

So I am in this room listening to the coach speak (who was REALLY good) and when he gets to talking about hockey I allow myself to appraise the room.  Whenever diabetics get together you can almost guarantee two things- food and pharm reps.  And when the food isn't there, the pharm reps bring candy.  In all honesty, I couldn't care less about the candy in this room.  There are gadgets and gizmos EVERYWHERE.  I am a gadget and gizmo goddess.  I love me some technological junk to manage this blasted disease.  At this point I am drooling. 

I had two goals entering this room.  1. Talk to the Animas rep and find out when this great new product they promised me 2 years ago is going to come out.  2. Get myself this new lancet from OneTouch that is suppose to be painless.  An aside note, when these companies say painless, what they mean is less pain.  It's not that finger pokes hurt, but anything that leaves your fingers calloused with black dots isn't a good time.

So the coach is still talking about hockey (which is cool, I just don't know anything about it) and I am planning my route.  Definately Animas first.  I have to talk to this guy and get the inside track.  I call the company at least monthly and they never leak, maybe this guy will though.  If nothing else my dedication to the product ought to buy me a free lancet.  Then I will work my way around.  I have never heard of one of these pumps.  A that new?  It doesn't look new.  How did I miss that when I was pump shopping.  Hmm.

The coach takes his last question and is thanked.  He did a great job.  And I'm not just saying that because he's diabetic.  It's true, I am prejudice towards T1's.  I feel like we are on the same team and feel an instant comaraderie even with complete strangers.  Alright, talking is done, BREAK.

Dang someone beat me to Animas rep.  Well, he doesn't appear to have lancets and I doubt he'd tell me anymore than I already have.  I might even know more than he does.

Alright, the Omnipod.  The Omnipod was a very close second when I was pump shopping.  I talk to the rep a bit.  She is wearing hers, of course.  It is much smaller than I remembered.  Maybe it just seemed smaller because there is no tubing or belt clip.  Hmm.  That thing is still pretty sweet.  They recently teamed with Dexcom too to get working on an integrated system.  Of course the rep notices that I am still wired/tubed.  I tell her I test drove the Omnipod and almost went with it.  She tells me that for $149.99 I can go with it still.  The more I think about it the more I like this option.  Summer is coming, I could wear a sun dress...  No tubing.  I'll have to make some calls.

I see the Bayer rep who I've met before.  She is very sweet.  They have some great new kids options and a really cool glucometer, but it doesn't talk to my pump so I'm not interested.

The Spirit.  Apparently I haven't heard of it because it's really old technology.  They might be one to watch though.  If they have the oldest product out there they might be the next one with something new.  No leaks of info though if they are working on something juicy.  Hmmm.  I talk with her about the Omnipod.  Apparently you can put that thing anywhere fatty tissue is.  ANYWHERE with fatty tissue.  I wonder if I can get two and call it a lift.

Last is Medtronic.  I have a love hate with Medtronic.  Everyone has or has had a Medtronic but me.  They have the market cornered at this point.  What I love about them is that they have the integrated CGM.  That is a major benefit, especially when responsible diabetic is now carrying around two huge devices on her hip.  Trouble is this.  Diabetes isn't their only thing.  In fact, diabetes is only a little bit of their thing.  My grandpa has a Medtronic- a Medtronic heart defibulator.    That's their thing.  I know the other companies have their hands in other things too, it just seems like Medtronic is more hearts to me.  I donno.

I am excited about all this cool stuff.  I got business cards from most.  Everyone wants to know you when you run a support group.  "I can speak.  I know someone who can speak.  You have speakers right?"  No one wants to be left out of a group that talks to diabetics about diabetes and ways to control it.  So that's good news.  I really am considering the Omnipod.  I've got a couple of questions, but that might be next.

Like I said before though "I've got gadgets and gizmos a plenty.  I've got who's its and what's its galore.  You want thingamabobs?  I've got 20.  But who cares?  No big deal.  I want more."  (That's Little Mermaid, btw).  That's right I want more.  All this stuff is great.  It sure does help manage diabetes.  That is the trouble though, it helps MANAGE diabetes.  It does not cure it.  It does not prevent it.  Insulin is not a cure, an integrated system is not a cure, an artificial pancreas is not a cure.  These things are great technological advancements that make living with diabetes more possible, but they do not cure it.  They do not stop deadly lows or damaging highs.  In case you weren't sure, I am a crummy pancreas. 

And that is why I must give a thank-you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who supports me.  Those who came last night provided a $100 contribution (total) towards the cure.  I cannot thank-you enough.  I also need to thank everyone who supports me day in and day out.  Living with or around me is no easy task.  Trust me, I know.  I know I have changed, I feel different.  I try hard not to be different, but I am.  Thank-you for walking me through this everyday.  Without your continued support and love (sometimes tough love), I couldn't and wouldn't be even half the pancreas I am today.

God Bless you all. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Betty White and blue bath paint

First off, let me say that I had a fabulous birthday.  Thanks to all for the well wishes.  It really was a great day.  And even with all the birthday cake and wine I managed to keep it under 200 for the entire day.  That, my friends, is responsible diabetic at work.  She can kick some blood sugar booty!

For my birthday, my very sweet hubby got me a card.  On the outside it read "Old Maid".  We were both cracking up as I read it.  Partially because it was my birthday and I was ONLY 30 (I mean, 30 is the new 20- thanks Thom!).  Other reason is because it is true. 

Many of you have heard this story, but it bares repeating.  A few years back I finished 5 years worth of knitting and completed a very plain, but very warm wool blanket.  I am a slow knitter.  My dad LOVES this blanket.  About a year ago I decided to make one for him as a Christmas gift.  Come October, I was about 1/2 way done with this blanket.  Pretty good for me, but not so good for getting it finished in time for Christmas.

One night hubby came home and must have felt like he was having a flash forward in his life.  I was sitting on the couch in maroon sweat pants and an old JDRF walk tee shirt, bundled up in my blue star robe with my hair a total mess.  Sitting on the coffee table next to me was a Thomas Kincade mug of DECAF tea.  I had a 3/4 finished blanket on my lap and was feverishly trying to knit to finish it.  Blaring on the TV is my season 3 of the Golden Girls.  When he pointed out to me that I resembled a 90 yr old woman, all I could think was how lucky he is to know what I will look like in my 90's.  It is nice to know that he loves me when I act 90 now.  I know he will still love me when I am actually 90.

I am a Betty White freak.  I love Betty White.  It all started with Golden Girls.  When we were in high school, my parents finally got cable (yeah, we were sheltered).  That is when we discovered the Golden Girls.  My sister and I would sit and watch it for hours on end.  We joked that once we heard the first 4 notes of the theme song we couldn't leave the tv.  Blanche and her shallowness, Dorothy the intellect, Sophia the saracastic one, and poor naive Rose. 

Years later MySpace emerged.  They had all of those great quizzes and surveys.  One day I saw the Golden Girls survey- "Which Golden Girl are you?"  Of course I had to take that one.  After about 10 questions ranging from "Can you cook?" to "Do you read?" I had my answer, Rose.  WHAT?!?!  Where do they get off saying that?  I am not Rose, I am not naive?  The realization came in waves.  Then it slowly set in.  Oh my, I am Rose.  I LOVE animals to the point of weirdness, I make all sorts of weird Dutch food that no one else seems to know about, and I am naive (I just called it sheltered).  That is where my love of Betty White began.

That quiz transformed my Golden Girl watching.  I have always truely loved and appreicated each character, but now I watch Rose that much closer.  The more I watch the more I am convinced that I am her or she is me. 

Betty White is a cool person.  She doesn't take herself to seriously.  She is caring and genuine.  One of the coolest things about her is that she started a new show in her 80's!  And it ROCKS!  Hot in Cleveland is just as good as Golden Girls- she hasn't lost an ounce of her spunk.

When I heard that Betty White was coming to my city I just knew I must go.  I didn't care what I would have to do (all the old people who want to go don't have a chance against me in any competition), I was going.  I called to find out more about the show.  The nice lady told me that tickets would be released Feb 4 (the day after my birthday) and that GA would be under $80.  It's on, we're going.  I just have to get tickets.

Hubby always does any ticket buying or anything like that.  I am kinda an idiot about that kinda stuff.  Last night, after he was in bed, I realized I never asked him how to do it.  Quickly I got online and did some searching.  I found the webpage that I hoped would allow me to buy the tickets the moment they went on sale.  It's after midnight, and I am opening a ticketmaster account.  Phew.  I think I'm ready.  Now I just have to wait until 10AM for them to go on sale. 

It's 9 AM and I am preparing myself.  Webpage is still pulled up from last night.  Still looks good.  I stuff my niece and son full of snacks and give them cups.  Turn on the tv to PBS.  They are entertained.  I am ready to buy some tickets.  It's 9:53, I check the page wondering if their time is the same as mine.  Nope, still not available.  I have to get tickets.  Be prepared to type and mouse fast- at least faster than the 70 yr olds. 

"Mommy, need to blow my nose!!!"  Through clenched teeth I say "So go to the bathroom and and get some toilet paper (tissues are too expensive)".  9:57, refresh, still not available.  9:58...

"Me paint".

Oh no, not now, I'm soooo close!!!! 

Here comes son with blue bath paint and the top is off.  And there is blue bath paint everywhere.  All over him and his clothes.  Oh no!

I walk into the bathroom to wipe him off.  It's amazing how much damage a kid can do in 4 minutes.  Blue bath paint EVERYWHERE!  All over the white carpet (the carpet was there when we moved in) all over the vanity, the walls.  But Betty White!!!!  It was 9:58- I must go. 

Rush the boy out of the bathroom.  If it's going to stain, it's already stained.  I am going to Betty White.  10:00.  Refresh the page- PRESTO.  Quickly I enter the information.  2 tickets, GA, best available.  Lets do this.  Continue, continue.  Yes.  Agree.  Payment.  Confirmation.  My walls and carpets might be destroyed, but I AM GOING TO SEE BETTY WHITE!!!  YESSS!

After a brief celebration that included jumping up and down and a few screams, I return to the now blue bathroom.  Thankfully, blue bath paint is blue soap.  Blue soap that does not stain and smells very clean.  It took some work, but I now have freshly shampoo'd carpet and walls.  And 2 tickets to see Betty White.

Did I mention I am also long winded like Rose?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just a few things...

Today is my birthday.  It's kinda a big one.  It's the one that defines a person as an adult.  I am no longer allowed to be a screw-up.  By my age a person is expected to have a degree, a career, a home, a signficant other, and probably a family.  You're suppose to be sure of your life and where you are going.  At least that's what I gather from society.  If nothing else, at this age you should be able to put on your own continuous monitor.

Last night I decided it was time to put on the continuous monitor again.  It's been like 2 months since I've worn it and I was feeling all 'responsible diabetic'.  Hear this, I am a baby.  I can put on infusion sites and poke fingers all day long, even injections aren't bad.  Putting on a continuos monitor is a whole new game.  Some of you are freaks and don't care that it's a big needle and that it's not spring loaded, some of you even prefer it.  I am not that freak.

The first time I went to put on my CGM (continuous monitor) ever I tried to do it fast, I really really tried.  The problem is that when you feel a poke your body says "Oh no, I am in mortal danger" and refuses to let your thumb continue to break the skin.  I learned after many unsuccessful attempts to make my hubby do it.   That was over a year ago.

Hubby does a good job.  I can tell it makes him nervous because he is afraid of hurting me.  I put on a happy face (which he can see right through) and tell him the faster he can do it the better.  I try not to flinch and keep my clenched teeth grin looking straight ahead.  I say thank-you when it's done.  That is his contribution to helping me manage my diabetes.  That and asking me when I return to bed after treating a low in the night "Are you ok?"  Yeah, I almost didn't wake up, but I'm fine now.  I love my hubby.  He sleeps like death.

Last night hubby was playing basketball when I go all 'responsible diabetic'.  I think to myself, I am a grown woman, I can do this.  It's no big deal, the needle isn't that long and if I just don't think about it all will be well. 

A friend calls and we are talking.  I, not even thinking about it, begin to prep a nice juicy site on my tummy.  So we are chatting about life and and I begin to adhere the CGM to my tummy.  That's the easy part.  Now I have a needle holding apparatus that is about 4 inches adhered to my tummy.  I am pacing around the house talking on the phone.  This is the point where I call hubby, except he's gone and won't be home for 2 1/2 hrs.  I cannot hang out with this thing hanging off of me all night. 

The thoughts are racing through my head "What are you thinking?  You can't do this on your own.  Your thumb will freeze again.  Why didn't you wait for hubby?"  I turn the phone conversation topic to the situtation I am facing.  Dang it, we both know I have to do this.

15 mins later I am tired of this apparatus hanging around and I go to insert the needle.  My thumb locks up and refuses to move fast. It is cautiously approaching the mortal needle prick it knows is coming.  "Ehh," that is needle poking flesh.  Thumb stops.  I hold my breath, close my eyes, and will my thumb to man up.  And it's done.  I did it all by myself.  It only took me 17 mins from start to finish. 

A few hours later my CGM is calibrated and spitting out dead on accurate blood sugars.  Why don't I wear this thing more often?  I go to bed.

"BEEEEPPPPPP!!!!!!!!"  What in the world?  I was just falling asleep.  Vibrate, vibrate.  Come on, really?  Look at that, I am dropping.  Time to go and finger poke.  Get out of bed, turn on the lights, walk to the kitchen.  Poke, think "I really need a new lancet."  Wow, this thing is spot on.  It says 64, glucometer says 63.  Eat some food and return to bed.

"BEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPP!!!"  Not again!  What?!?  53 and dropping, there is no way.  Go to the kitchen, turn on the light.  Eyes adjust.  Finger poke, 88.  Stupid thing.  Re-calibrate it- I pushed the buttons extra hard in attempt to show my angst towards this infernal device.  Back to bed.

"BBBBEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPP!!!"  Oh my goodness, you are gonna die stupid machine!!!  67?!?!  Go to the kitchen, turn on the way too bright light again.  Test, 91.

This continues on through the night.  At this point I am cursing 'responsible diabetic'.  After testing 5 times in the night I decide this thing is toast.  I shove it under my pillow to shut it up, and ignore it the rest of the night.  I woke up in the 90's this morning.  Stupid thing.

Looking at the last 12 hours of BG readings and reflecting.  A lot like I am looking over the past 29 years and reflecting.  I might not be where society thinks I should be, I don't quite measure up.  I don't have the degree, fancy car, career, whatever.  But where I am, is even better.  Where I am is where I want to be. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I am the snowstorm, diabetes is the unpassable road.

It's all over the news, the storm is coming.  Beware, be prepared.  I am a preparer.  I like to be prepared for anything.  That is why my purse is a backpack, literally.  I carry so much stuff all the time that I was getting a really bad knot in my neck because of the weight of carrying my purse on one shoulder.  It took me about a month to figure out, but once I switched to the backpack it's been smooth sailing.

With that said, a snowstorm stresses me out.  I love snow and I love snow days and I don't mind being snowed in except for it scares me.  The what-if game runs wild.  Of course there are the typical thoughts, do we have a shovel, some food for a few days, have we dvr'd enough Everybody Loves Raymond that if the satellite goes out we won't be bored stiff? 

Then there is the diabetes stuff (which I might be borderline freaky about).  How many vials of insulin do I have?  1 vial lasts me almost a month so I must have at least 2 vials in case we are snowed in for 2 months?  I don't know.  What about test strips?  How many boxes do I have?  I test 8-12 times a day, I go through about 1 box every few days.  I need like 6 boxes, right?  What if the snowstorm is sooo bad that even when I re-order the delivery trucks are backed up all over the mid-west and I run out?!  That will destroy my A1C.

I always have a massive amount of insets and such for my pump.  What I don't always have is a plethora of batteries.  I stock up when they are on sale and I have a coupon.  It really is a crime that insurance doesn't cover the batteries that my pump requires to work.  Batteries last about 2-3 months for me.  I have enough for the next 6 months.  Phew.

What if I have a bad low and pass out?  It will take the ambulance until spring to get to my house.  I have a glucagon emergency pen, is one enough?  Nevermind, I won't need it, the stress is raising my BG.  Do I still have enough insulin?

The storm arrives last night as predicted.  It's looking cold and blowy and nasty.  I crank the heat up.  I figure if the house is 95 degrees before the electricity goes out we will stay nice and warm for a few hours.

Every 10 mins my hubby is looking outside pointing out drifts of snow.  After it has been snowing for an hour he is straining to look at the yardstick that he put in the yard a few hours before.  He can't read it but is convinced that we've already gotten a lot of snow.  He loves snowstorms.  Maybe that's why he married me.  I am the human snowstorm.

The prediction for crazy was there before he married me.  We dated long enough, he knew.  What he didn't realize was that once he said "I do" and the storm arrived, he would be snowed in with all of the craziness.  I don't think he minds though.  I make really good cookies.

This morning I wake up at 5 AM (thanks toddler) and look outside.  There is a minivan just parked in front of my house.  Wait, no, he's not parked, he is moving at a rate of approximately 5 feet an hour.  He stopped moving and the tires spun, snow sprayed everywhere.  He was stuck.  Reverse 5 feet.  Then forward 5.1 feet.  Stuck.  It was a very delicate dance he was doing.  I think he could have done this dance forever.  And yet he was going no where...

Suddenly I am overcome with sadness.  I have a realization.  Everyday, I spin my tires.  I put it in forward, I put it in reverse, I dance this very delicate dance.  What I didn't realize previously is that no matter what I do, I will always be stuck.  Controlling my blood sugar won't cure me.  I will always be here, at this point, doing this dance.  I cry as I watch the poor guy in the minivan stuck in front of my house.

I read an article yesterday about the new leader of JDRF that a friend shared with me.  Some of it was very exciting to me.  There are so many new tools that they are working on to make diabetes more manageable.  Better tools will give me some endurance (and better moves- like the electric slide) to do this delicate dance.  At the same time, they are cutting down their funds towards the cure to put some funds to these new managing tools.  I always felt like "JDRF has GREAT faith we will have a cure SOON!  Look at all the money and resources going towards the cure.  It is close."  Some of that was taken away when I heard this news.  To me, it was like they were saying "Yeah, we got nothing.  Lets see if this will pacify you for awhile.  Hang in there."  It's like when I shop with my son.  I know he's crying because he wants to get out of the stroller, but I give him a sucker to keep him quiet because I have a lot more shopping to get done.   

Don't get me wrong.  I do not disagree with JDRF's decision.  I totally see where this decision came from, it's practical and smart.  It was just kinda a dream crusher.  Maybe I'm an optimist but I kept hoping we'd have a cure in 5 years.  At this point, no one would dump money into faster acting insulin and closed loop systems if the cure was 5 years out.

Whatever happens I will still be here dancing.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How do I do this again?

So, first things first.  I just spent about 20 mins trying to figure out how in the world I am suppose to find my blog to blog.  I log into google and go to blog, it gives me a search engine of about 500 trillion blogs.  Apparently people have a lot to say, or are hoping that someone/anyone will listen to them.  I fall into the latter of the two, I have a toddler so most of the time no one listens to me. 

I am searching through 500 trillion blogs and am beginning to think this is a sign that I just need to give up.  That is when it came to me, facebook.  It's like I knew yesterday that today I would have no clue how to do this again.  I log into my facebook and locate the link to my blog.  Thank goodness I had the sense to post it to my facebook page yesterday or I would never have found it. 

Here I am blogging to the two people who might read it.  The decaf coffee thing holds true from yesterday.  My BG after decaf was PERFECT.  I like the idea of 1/2 leaded and 1/2 unleaded, trouble is that they don't make that for my handy dandy coffee maker.  After a lot of thinking, I am going to endure the headaches for a few weeks and go decaf.  I just keep picturing myself blind and footless going through kidney dialysis all because I couldn't endure a few weeks of caffine withdrawl. 

Speaking of blind, this is crazy.  My BGs have been pretty good today.  I have been poking before meals/snacks for the last few days to try and get tight control again and it has been paying off.  For the last few weeks I have been a nice wife and have been shoveling the driveway.  It takes all of 20 mins when I do it and it takes the hubby about an hour (he claims he does a better job, I claim he is avoiding the toddler inside). 

Today, I decide to shovel again.  Get the boy into bed and pray that he takes a nap today (he skipped yesteryday, but that is a whole other blog in itself).  I put on my hot mama winter attire which consists of a mens red and grey jacket, black sweat pants, a pink/brown&green crochet'd hat, a hand-me-down pink & purple scarf from the 90's, some sweet 80 year old taupe boots and hot pink glove mittens.  I know I am rocking the neighborhood. 

Like the responsible diabetic I am learning to be, I poked before going outside and was sitting pretty at 137.  A good place to start before shoveling, it gives me some wiggle room to drop. 

It is cold, I mean really, really cold.  There is snow everywhere.  Does anyone else feel the need to wear sunglasses even on cloudy winter days?  It is soooo stinkin' bright out!  Well, I forgot my sunglasses inside and was afraid to wake up the *hopefully* sleeping toddler by going inside to get them.  That was a mistake. 

I am outside in the freezing weather in my hot mama clothes shoveling the driveway, throwing all the snow towards the house (hello igloo insulation!!!!) and my vision is blurry.  Of course my vision is blurry, my eyes are frozen, it's soooo bright out they are strained, snow is blowing everywhere as I am trying to throw it at the house to save 1/1000 of a cent on my gas bill, and I don't have my glasses on.  My vision should be blurry, this is a normal person thing not a diabetic person thing.  An aside to that thought- I think that diabetics are a million times more intuned with their bodies- it's like a trade off.  You get diabetes and your senses and sensations in your body are heightened. 

Anyway, I am shoveling and can't see.  Whatever.  Spoiler alert- Kate is yelling at the screen right now that I am an idiot and I need sugar.  She is the only other person I know that thought, like I did, while watching Celebrity Apprentice that Bret Micheals would have a low from running up and down 13 flights of stairs.

I notice the blurry vision and keep shoveling.  I am shoveling everything.  In my blindness, I even shovel out a path for the dog (I usually don't, hubby does.  I was thinking of the gas company again and the snow storm predicted for tomorrow.  If we lose heat, our house will stay warm longer because of my eskimo tactics). 

As I am shoveling I am thinking about life and BG's and what's for dinner and how I am going to get the kid to eat it.  I even think about what would happen if I was low while shoveling and passed out and someone saw me and called an ambulance.  Maggie would be barking which would wake up the kid who would be destroying the house but no one would go inside to see if there was a kid there, they would just assume it was me alone.  They would take me to the hospital and the toddler would be alone with the dog and they would eat all the suckers and make a sticky mess and he would spill the milk everywhere and the dog would lick it up.  Finally the hubby would get home the house in shambles and me at the hospital and then CPS would come because they'd think I was a bad mom for passing out in the driveway and not having anyone watch the toddler while I went to the hospital even though I didn't know because I was passed out.  I would be on TV and then no one would want to play with me or my son anymore.  Hey, there was a lot of snow to shovel.  It took awhile.

Finally I am done, or done enough.  I decide it's cold and I am coming in.  I take off my hot mama clothes and thank heaven that the toddler is still asleep.  Decide that I am hungry from all the exercise and test my BG.  54 (for those of you who are clueless, that is bad, it is too low).  I have been doing this for weeks, why now is it dropping so much?  Was the snow extra heavy today or something?  Ack. 

Here's the real kicker.  I KNOW my best indication of being low is my vision gets blurry and tunnel-ish.  I KNOW this.  I tell people that all the time.  I say "No, I don't really feel my lows unless I'm in the low 40's, I just notice a change in my vision."  I have said that to people so many times, maybe even to you.  What is wrong with my head?

Theory for why I am an idiot a lot of the time.  I have a low.  During the low my brain is starved from glucose and therefore cannot function so I am an idiot.  Excuse, I mean, theory for why I am an idiot the rest of the time.  I HAD a low previously and it killed off starved brain cells, hence, moron. 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, January 31, 2011


I LOVE coffee.  I mean really love it.  It has become an integral part of my morning routine.  Even my 2 yr old has noticed it.  "Mommy have coffees".  Last Christmas my MIL gave us the perfect gift, a single cup coffee maker.  I can now have my cup of coffee faster and without the fuss!  This is amazing!

I have been trying to watch my BG's closer.  My diabetes does not like coffee.  At first my thought was too bad for diabetes.  I mean, I don't like diabetes, so screw diabetes, I am having my coffee.  But diabetes still wins then, it wil just reek havoc on my body over a period of time and I will pay for it later.  Grr.

Yesterday I woke up really tired.  After getting my son up and dressed I hurried to my coffee maker.  I grabbed my favorite mug, the one that fits perfectly in my hand, and brewed my Donut Shoppe coffee.  It smelled sooo good.  I loaded it with soy milk and a touch of Redi-Whip, bolused on my pump, and indulged.  Ahh.  1 hour later I was still exhausted when I finger poked, but my BG was pretty good.  I mean, it wasn't the perfect 100, but 125 isn't bad in comparision to previous BG's after my beloved coffee.  I was pleasantly surprised.

A few hours later I had a headache that wouldn't go away.  It was just horrendous.  I decided to have a cup of comforting coffee.  When I opened the coffee maker to put in the coffee I saw the coffee from earlier- it read DECAF.  I must have been exceptionally tired to have missed that in the morning.  That explains the headache- I am a junkie, a coffee junkie.  I was in withdrawl.

The most troubling part to me is that my BG handled the decaf well.  Does anyone else notice caffine effecting their BG?  Have I missed the boat on this?  Should I switch to decaf and suffer the withdrawl for the greater good of better BG control?  Are steadier BG's worth the headaches?  How will I wake up in the morning?   This is something I must seriously consider.

Before I make this decision I am doing more research.  This morning I brewed decaf yet again, only this time on purpose.  Perhaps it was a fluke yesterday.  I am not going to make any major decisions without adequate research first.    Only time will tell.