Monday, December 1, 2008

One Week

This has been a crazy, hectic and wonderfully exhausting holiday week. I hope everyone had fantastic Thanksgiving and I look forward to finally getting a chance to read what is going on around the D-blogasphere.

In my world, there has been so much to post about, with little time to do so. To top off all my holiday madness, of family and unrecognizable homemade casseroles, it has been exactly one week since I started using my insulin pump.

Last Monday, I walked into my CDE's office a little anxious, nervous and slightly pessimistic. I had a few moments in the training session, where I actually felt guilty that my CDE noticed I wasn't sharing her excitement and thrill for me. I'm not terribly good at faking it. Three hours later I walked out a little more excited, but now even more self conscious.

That first few days were shaky. There were many calls from my trainer (sometimes twice in one night). I kept hearing about the possibility of going low, but instead I was running high. I was correcting with every blood sugar check. The testing seemed constant and tiring especially with the 3AM tests. I have easily been testing more in the last week than in the entire last year.

Wednesday afternoon I had a breaking point. I felt terrible, and stressed (Thanksgiving is our biggest paper of the year.) I figured I was low, so I tested.! Not the number I was expecting, but it explained my crabbiness and cottonmouth. After a rundown of things, I discovered blood in my tubing. I took a shot, pulled the site out, and just about gave up.

Thanksgiving came and so did my blessed family. After a long talk with my cousin, (who's a nurse), I gave my pump another chance. I even tried a new feature, the combo bolus, which came in handy during an afternoon of Thanksgiving grazing. My cousin made me realize that it's not the pump I hate, it's the visible representation of the disease. As my cousin put it, I should look at it as a wonderful advancement made in the treatment of the disease. Just one of many to come and I should be grateful to have access to the many tools that are available to allow me to live life to it's fullest. He's right. I've thought a lot about what he said, and realized I have not really given the pump a chance. I have taken for granted this amazing little piece of machinery.

Today, I am still having numbers that are slightly high, but I am a work in progress. I have discovered the temporary basal feature, and I'm in love with it. Amazingly, I have not had ONE LOW! I have also been thrilled with giving boluses and corrections that are so very precise. While I'm still adjusting to having a new extension of myself, the pump most certainly beats shots any day of the week.

Tomorrow I see my Endo for a follow up. I don't know if this visit will be any different, but I do know the pump is a keeper and I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jump to the Pump

Friday afternoon, I received a call from downstairs postal that a large package had arrived for me. With complete excitement I went downstairs to find that my pump and 3 months of supplies had finally come. As I struggled to carry the package (yes, I broke a heel while trying to carry the heavy, awkward box), people were surrounding me asking me what I had gotten. I immediately became quiet, not really wanting to answer. I simply shrugged.

Once I got home, I was once again in pump euphoria and quickly started pulling out box after box to get to the most important one. The actual box containing the pump was huge and I ripped into it. It contained all kinds of books, sample sets, the pump, meter, software...basically everything but the kitchen sink. I quickly put a few batteries in and was ready to play.

Having tried the pump at CWD, I was already a little familiar with many of the buttons and features. Still, I was just like a kid at Christmas playing with a new toy.

I decided to wear it around for a couple of days just to get used to it, and found that I became annoyed. v.e.r.y. annoyed. Within just one day, I started questioning my decision. Suddenly it felt like a reminder, something I couldn't just take off once I was "live." It's one thing to love a gadget, and be happy about the possibility of having some flexibility, but I really hadn't THOUGHT about what it would be like to have this thing with me 24/7.

So here's my dilemma. My pump trainer (and oh so amazing CDE) wants me to train the week of Thanksgiving. Waiting wouldn't really be a bad thing, BUT I only have 30 days from PUMP SHIP DATE to decide if I want to keep it. Earlier I would have never thought returning it would have been a consideration, but now? Well, I don't know. I would like to have some time to actually be using the pump for a little while so I can make an informed decision. Am I wrong? Is a 3 week wait to train the norm, when you have a 30 return policy?

There's also the issue of something going wrong at a holiday. Will someone be available if I need them. I have a follow up with my doc on Dec. 2 and I'm supposed to see him after I've been on the pump a few weeks, but that's just 1. Should I reschedule even if it means they can't see me for another month or 2?? I just don't know.

What I do know is that I was already disappointed about the recall delay; that over $1,000 dollars is a lot to pay if I'm not certain; that starting the pump around the holidays in general seems tricky; that I'm not so sure and excited like I was initially. Any Finally, I know that all the extra calls, appointments and hassles just to order the pump,supplies and strips (while also making sure everything is covered by insurance), have felt like I was jumping through never ending hoops. I mean who knew the easiest and quickest thing was actually getting the insurance approval itself.

In short, I am having severe pre-pump jitters, and I might be a "runaway" pumper.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

D Bloging Day

Just one year ago, I wrote my first D-blog day post. I was just a few months out from diagnosis and still trying to find out how I'd changed, I looked to a new community on the internet to find other voices of those who understood. It seemed almost impossible at that time to believe that others were living with this disease, and yet I found people who were not just living, but thriving with it.

In the past year, I have found those of you, both online and in person, who continue to inspire me. You have done something even more important than that. You have given me a new sense of normal. I have on and off struggled with new situations and constant adjustments, which could have left me feeling completely isolated. Instead, through you I have seen the same small victories and defeats. The simple thrill of a lower A1c or the frustration of an unexpected low. You provide advice and experience better than any doctor or book. You are in a word irreplaceable. For this, I thank all of you.

Doctor's copay..$30. Insulin...$25. Feeling like everyone else...PRICELESS.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The One Word Meme

OK, So first I have to show the scary creature greeting my guests at my Halloween Party on Friday. For the record, she's a vampire, but her hair seem to overshadow the cute little bugg-eyed hat. Oh well, I was afraid (of how upset she looked in the costume).

Next is the one word meme floating around, that Sara tagged me for. I wish I had paid more attention this weekend because it would have been a great start to a month of blogging. I had planned to NaBloPoMo this month like last year, but Nov. 1 came on a Saturday...Oops. Too late now.

1. Where is your cell phone? pocket
2. Your significant other? who?
3. Your Hair? brown
4. Your Skin? transparent
5. Your mother? caring
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? wierd
8. Your favorite drink? diet
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you’re in? bedroom
11. Your ex? married
12. Your fear? failure
13.Where do you want to be in 6 years? settled
14.Where were you last night? church
15.What you’re not? afraid
16.Muffins? BLUEBERRY!
17.One of your wish list items? cure
18.Where you grew up? South
19.The last thing you did? ran
20.What are you wearing? sweats
21.Your TV? occasionally
22.Your pets? spoiled
23. Your computer? overheated
24. Your life? strange
25. Your mood? content
26. Missing someone? brother
27. Your car? Accord
28. Something you’re not wearing? contacts
29. Favorite Store? Forstalls
30. Your summer? quick
31. Like someone? possibility...
32. Your favorite color? Red
33. When is the last time you laughed? recently
34. Last time you cried? fortnight
35. Who will respond to this? anyone
36. Who’s answers are you anxious to see? yours

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wonderful Days Off

Waking up late and gradually starting my day with a hot, creme brulee flavored coffee. Staying in my pjs until I've finished with breakfast. Reading the newspaper and seeing the ads, instead of working on them. These are just a few reasons I thrive on just having one or two random days off.

I am about to go to the park with my puppy, snacks, blankets, and a good book to just read under the trees. I feel such freedom, and I feel a little like I'm playing hooky that just heightens everything I couldn't normally do on a Thursday afternoon. Later I will pack up and run with Chloe in an attempt to thaw my undoubtedly frozen behind. I will stay up late tonight watching scary movies knowing that I don't have to work tomorrow either. And finally tomorrow I will prepare my house for my annual Halloween party, which is by far one of my favorite holidays. Even getting diabetes could not spoil my love affair with endless candy (and Saturday ON SALE candy) and cheesy scary movies.

Days like this, I now notice, also throw a slight wrench in my diabetes management. Waking up slow and late, while so indulgent, seem to cause terribly high blood sugars that also start off my day. This morning I was a very unhealthy 308, and I had to wait a bit for my insulin to kick in before my coffee and raisin toast. While I usually take my basal in the very early(5am) morning, this 6 hour delay will no doubt keep my blood sugars off track the rest of the day. It is however a small price to pay for my mini vacation, because after all I think every diabetic needs a break from rigid management.

For now I'm off to enjoy this beautiful weather and a glorious day away from responsibility!

Friday, October 17, 2008

One eye open

I am writing this post with just one eye open, in an amazingly dark room. Why?

...because I have apparently developed a very bad habit of sleeping with my eyes partially open. At least that is what my ophthalmologist told me today, after she gracefully worked me into an emergency appointment.

You see, I woke up at 3AM this morning with severe pain in my left eye. It felt like someone had planted glass under my eyelids. Upon waking, my eye would not even be forced open, and was just as watery and painful closed. Light had become my enemy, and with the waterworks also came the runny nose. I swear, I'll never understand how the nose and eyes are connected that way.

Forget about work. I sat in a dark room with a cold pack on my eye, waiting until the doctors office opened. For a while, I considered rushing to the Eye Foundation Hospital's emergency room, but convinced myself to suck it up and wait for the doctor's office to open. My next dilemma, which doctor to see? I haven't seen anything but an optometrist for years. In an effort to be seen today, I called the last eye doctor I remember.

The receptionist answered the call, and I told her my problem and included the fact that I had seen her (the eye doctor) before. It helped! She squeezed me in at 10:30, and I patiently waited until it was time to leave. Of course, I have to drive in terrible rainy weather with only one contact, while in pain, totally light phobic and squinting. I am very blessed I got there in one piece, but not without getting lost. Her office had moved...oops. So I got there a little late, and apologized to the receptionist.
"I thought you said you had seen her before," she said very disgruntled. " I have, but it was a long time ago," I replied. She then said she would check the archives. AND THEY FOUND ME! They had my records back from 1996. I am still impressed. The doctor even remembered me.

So back to my eye. I have a corneal ulcer that is horizontal and placed directly across the center of my eye. How did this happen? Well, the eye doc has seen this before, and thinks I sleep with my eyes partially open. This leaves my eyes extremely dry, and predisposes my eyelid to stick to my eye. When I opened my eye, my eyelid, literally peeled back the top layer of my cornea. OUCH! She continued on to say that it is more common in diabetics, and that it would take longer to heal as well. joy.

For now I'm covered in all kinds of drops and oily ointments, but nothing for pain. I'm also in glasses for at least a month, which means I have to buy new ones. Mine were stepped on and cracked about a month ago. I'll just have to get a very stylish pair of frames, and call it a new look.

On the pump front, I ordered my pump yesterday with mixed emotions. Pure excitement over the pump, but a little depression over my test results. My endo sent me a letter Wednesday with the instructions to order the pump and included my c-peptide and A1C. A1c was good, but my C-peptide was unmeasurable with a fasting BG of 176. 6 months ago, I had a positive c-peptide. I guess I still have lingering feelings that I am not "insulin dependent". Tests now show otherwise. I guess, I knew it was inevitable. Now, I have to wait on insurance approval and waiting is not my strong suit, but at least it's Friday. I have all weekend for my eye to recover without worrying about work. For that I am grateful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Loooong time - No blog

I woke up late this morning (like 5 minutes before I was supposed to be at work)...
and realized that it was already October.

It's not the calendar that clues me in to this, but the season. It's harder to get up when the sun is still hiding from me as my alarm goes off. It's cooler, with a distinctive breeze that races through my apartment when my windows are open. It's the need to go on long walks in the early mornings or weekends just to be outside with all the beautiful reds and oranges as the leaves change. It is by far, my favorite time of year.

It's interesting to me that this year, it has quite literally snuck up on me. So many things have happened (and are happening) that I feel as if I'm being carried away by that strong October wind.

A quick recap.
1. My workplace has started trimming the fat with buyouts, and I have been on two job interviews in the last week. I'm not worried about my job, but the environment is getting tense!
2. My brother went missing for well over 2 months. I actually had to call the police in Spokane, to go by and check out his house. No help though. His car was gone and it just left us wondering. I found out two weeks ago that he's in China visiting a friend and attending a wedding. CHINA!!! You'd think if you were going to China for months, you would TELL SOMEONE!!! While I'm glad he's well, he might be in mortal danger the next time I see him!
3. I had a long talk with my doctor last week. Just when I'm ready to fire him, he changes. He was so cool, nice, funny and we actually communicated. Turns out, he didn't trust me to be on the pump. He was afraid I would manipulate my insulin, and would not take it seriously. He apparently thought the last time I had DKA, I was deliberately trying to lose weight. Foolish him. So now...


I am waiting to hear from him this week about my updated labs... and then we order the pump!!! He made a follow up for Dec. 2, and according to my nurse, that should be after I've been on the pump for a few weeks. That means I should be using the pump in less than a month. I'll probably be posting a lot during this time. I can't believe how excited I am about a medical device...Sad. Today, it would have saved me. In my attempt to rush to work, I forgot my basal shot. The extra trip home at lunch sucked.

For the record, I woke up at 6:55 am, and walked in the door to work at 7:10. Damn, I'm good!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So Pumped!

Goofy picture aside, I'm so pumped about pumping!

Last week at the CWD conference, I had the unexpected pleasure of trying out 2 insulin pumps with saline. The plan was to ask my doc for a script before the conference, but I sank with intimidation during the actual visit. Fortunately for me, there were nice people available at the various pump companies who were writing scripts. SHHHH! Don't tell. Imagine my surprise when the rep said, "do you want to try it?" -Yeah!

In my excitement to try the pod, I almost forgot about the insertion factor. You know, that unexplainable fear of something not just poking me with a large needle, but ACTUALLY REMAINING UNDER MY SKIN. This has long been a road block in my interest for a pump. I was pleasantly relieved when they placed the pod on the back of my arm, and the most painful part was waiting for the pod to strike. No pain. AT ALL. Heck, a finger stick was more painful than that.

The next day I was Pinged by Animas. Again the excitement almost surpassed the fear. We got to do the complete prep of filling the reservoir and rewinding the pump. I was totally fascinated, but as we pulled out the Inset 30 (the one with that really long needle), my fear returned in full force. This was different than the pod. The pod required no real work from me. I just awaited the needle. This one required that I cocked it like a GUN, aimed and shot myself with this device. I prepped it and held it up against my skin, feeling my face begin to redden. The trainer counted down to the count of 3.

3. 2. 1.


I couldn't do it. It's just not normal. I felt as though it was my first self-injection, surreal and invasive. I told the woman that I couldn't do it in the most serious tone. She answered back very up beat, "Sure you can!" WHAP! She nailed me on my back, and out of surprise I pushed down on the buttons. It was in before I even realized I did it. No pain, no discomfort, and no reason for that massive anxiety.

The rest of the day, I was flashing my site in triumph and playing around with every feature on the pump and ping I could figure out. With all the saline boluses, I was being seasoned like a ham. I played with it for a full day, and even had my first occasion to figure out where to put it in a dress. The ping makes that so easy! I hid it on the back of my bra and then bolused with the ping in my purse. No need to mess with the pump at all. VERY COOL!

Between the insertion sites and being attached to something 24/7, I had reservations. Now I'm having pump envy against all of you who wear a pump. The flexibility and control is unmatched by shots and pens. I still don't think I could do the pod pump, because I know I would lose the controller. If it's life saving AND ultra important, it doesn't stand a shot of staying around. The other pumps are now in serious running against each other for my love and affection. Now, if I can just get my doctor on board.

Monday, July 28, 2008

HOLY GUACAMOLE: A Recipe for Friends For Life

This month began with my first diabetes birthday and ended with my first CWD Friends For Life Conference. There could be no better name for such a life changing experience for anyone who is touched by Type 1 diabetes.

Children, parents, grandparents and adults, from more than a dozen countries, affected by this disease, gathered together and welcomed each other with open arms in a way I have never seen before. A family like no other, and I met the most amazing new friends as seen on Manny's blog.

Those friends and family who knew I was planning to attend this conference, never ceased to remind me that I am not a child OR a parent of a child with diabetes. Truth is, I didn't need to be. I shuffled around learning all kinds of lessons in both formal classes and from new friends. I have many stories to tell, but for now I'll leave you with just a few of the things I learned:

1. I'm not the only "young" adult with diabetes in the world... who knew!
2. The word Guacamole or Guac makes an excellent substitute for some other
unsavory words that might pass through my lips around innocent ears (Sorry
kids, if I slipped occasionally)
4. I must fire my dictator, I mean doctor.
5. Some people, like Sara, are really good at board walk games
6. And most importantly, I AM NOT ALONE.

Thank you to all those wonderful angels I met this past week!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

In Honor of My Mother

Today, I just wanted to give love and thanks to my mother.

Throughout my life, she has picked me up when I have stumbled. She has believed in me when I have not. She has shaped and guided me through every obstacle and important decision. Even today at thirty, she still sees me as her little girl.

I know that motherhood is a beautiful thing. It fosters an unconditional love that is unlike anything else. I see that love come to light through my mother, with every glance she gives me, and every phone call I get at the glimpse of possible bad weather.
Every sacrifice she has made for me, both big and small is remembered. Like the way she cared for me after I came home from a 3 week hospital visit, after my appendix ruptured. She even drove to the store late one night in curlers, and a fur coat over her housecoat to satisfy my craving for Delta Gold potato chips when my appetite was pretty poor.

While sometimes I take her love for granted, or just don't realize her advice is coming from a place of love and protection, I always know that I am stronger for her being behind me through life.

Thank you mom, God has blessed my life with you. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Actively Atkins

I'm trying something new. Well, it's not really new, but to me it is. It's the Atkin's diet.

It seems to make sense that if I eat extremely low carb/no carb, maybe I can forgo a good bit of insulin (AKA shots/lows). My only major problem (besides my love of bread & crackers)? I don't really eat meat. So I'm trying to come up with new and good foods to add to my new daily routine. I love fish, so that's a given, and of course, while I'm not a huge fan of nuts, walnuts are now a good snack substitute.

Another question I have is the inevitable, do I need insulin with this, and how much? I responsibly asked my doctor about this, and he got very upset about the idea. Seems he is not a fan, nor is the nurse he sent in to "set me straight." So I have no help from the medical profession, but I know there have to be other people out there with diabetes who follow Atkins, right? I still don't understand why everyone seems so against it.

By all means, if anyone out there has gone low carb, and has suggestions, please let me know. I would be terribly grateful.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You have to be kidding me!

OK. In the spirit of my new positivity, I planned on calling the Psychologist on Monday. I pulled out the sticky note and stared at it for a minute. Two hours later, I got up the nerve to actually pick up the phone and dial. Four rings and I hung up. That felt like the longest four rings of my life, and before the 5th rolled around, I knew it wasn't meant to be.

Heck, what do I need to see him for! right??

Three hours pass, and I try again, determined to do this. After ring TWELVE, the answering machine picks up, and if you think I'm leaving a message then clearly you don't know me. I mean does anybody even really work there?

TODAY: After much internal debate and serious struggle, I try again. Eureka! There is actually somebody on the other end. This was by far the ONLY ANSWER I received today.

I asked the woman politely if Dr. B. was accepting new patients, and if he accepted my insurance. She didn't reply to the first question, but told me "the group" took my insurance. She then told me she didn't know if he did and put me on hold for 25 minutes. She then directed me to my insurance co., to ask them if he was a participating provider. I also found out, that without insurance, he was $175 per 45-50 minutes. I am SO in the wrong profession. With my insurance, it would cost me a $50 copay. much better.

I knew that referral to my insurance spelled trouble. Last time I called my insurance co. about insulin pump coverage they told me they didn't know what pumps they covered. I should call my DME provider, as they are 100% in charge of getting/approving a pump?.? These are the same people who send me my strips and needles a week late, and bill me for self administered injestions.

I, in a very positive way, go ahead and call the insurance customer service. Again, I was told they didn't know (SHOCK!). First, they told me to call the doctor and ask him. When I explained to them that the doc's office told me to call my insurance co., they directed me to the group which employs the doctors. A 1-800 number, option 2. So I dial that number and hit option 2. I was presented with 3 new options that had only to do with medicare. MEDICARE???

OK. So I dial the # again and listen to all the options (again 3). 1- For employees 2- For medicare 3- for employers/doctors referrals

I press 1?? And get a person. YEAH!!!

"I'm trying to find out if a doctor is on my insurance's provider list, can you help me?"

"Sure, what is his name?"

"Dr. B"

"Could you give me a phone # for him, so I can verify that this is the right Doctor?"

"Sure, it's xxx-xxxx"

"Yes he is a provider." And she hung up.

Now, tell me if I'm crazy, but all she told me was that he was a doctor." I KNEW THAT! She never asked me my name, address or most importantly MY INSURANCE CO!

Now, besides thinking that while phones work great for communication, people really stink at it, I firmly believe this was not meant to be. I shouldn't need therapy session just to get me to the therapist in the first place!

Maybe I'll try again tomorrow. maybe.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Incredibly Late

Once again, I'm so very late to the party. I'm late to this wonderful meme that Beth tagged me with, and even to Raise Your Voice day created by Kerri. That is an absolutely amazing event she started, and I'm just now making my way through all those powerful and touching links!

It's been awhile since I've blogged or even truly engaged in my daily check-ins with all the wonderful writers who blog on the DOC. I'm not sure why. Or maybe I am.

So many things have happened, life has caught up and slowed down, like I'm racing on a faulty treadmill, all the while never seeing any change of scenery. I have run to my laptop many times desperately wanting to unload and write, but after booting it up just couldn't find the words. My thoughts just seem too fast,too cluttered and too many to sort through.

Like many things in my life, sometimes it's just easier to compartmentalize aspects of my life that are too difficult, emotionally stressful, or just too time consuming to deal with. Lately, that has been my entire life, and right now, it seems I'm just pushing through to the next minute, hour or day that creeps up. AND THAT IS JUST NO LONGER WORKING FOR ME.

Evidence in point, my diabetes. Yes, I'm diabetic (I have to keep telling myself this). It has become my mantra, as of late. Yes, I'm really diabetic...check your sugar....take your insulin...count those carbs...and breath. Stress is apparently a very serious danger to the diabetic. Case in point, yet another trip to the ER for dehydration and high blood sugars. At least I got to leave after 11 hours in the ER, so thankfully no hospital stay, but still this added even more stress. I had gotten so busy and distracted with work and freelance deadlines that I just stopped checking my BGs. Every now and then when I would check it, it was always in the upper 300's to 400's. My first thought, my meter is sooo off or I must not have clean fingers. It wasn't until I realized I had lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks, that I actually checked for ketones and of course had them. To make a long story short, I postponed seeing the doctor for work reasons (even after they offered to fit me in) until I was sick and he sent me to the ER.

Then I was angry, at all the money the ER and all the follow-up visits were putting on me, as well as the time involved. In truth the anger was about me, and all the trouble that could have been avoided with some care and simple stress management. I can no longer pretend that my diabetes isn't a priority in my life. I'm really dense and late to that realization as well.

The hardest part now, is the fact that even when I take care and time to tend to my diabetes, it still doesn't behave the way I want it too. Too little insulin and I run high, definitely not enough internal production to keep me afloat. With the larger doses that my doctor wants me on, it seems some of my beta cells perk up a bit, and suddenly there is a surge and unexpected low. I feel like I have lost all control, and that makes me so unsettled. Most of these days, getting online for support, even if it means enjoying all my favorite blogs, has just been too difficult.

This week,I have finally taken the serenity prayer to heart. I've also been reading A New Earth by Eckart Tolle. My goal now, is not to change what I can't, but accept and move forward. In that light, I have gotten the name of a therapist who has dealt quite a bit with diabetes, and he comes with the highest regard. I have also consulted with my CDE and dear friend, who has helped me quite a bit! Tomorrow, I am taking a deep breath and finally making the call to the therapist.

I guess today I am Raising My Voice about type 1 diabetes and now what it means to embrace it as a part of me. In the spirit of Beth's meme, here are my six words.

Learning To Love, Living Out Loud.

These seem to be the most appropriate to my life today, and seeing how late I am, I won't pass it along since most people have already received the tag. Thanks Beth! It is a hard meme, but well worth the challenge.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Internet Intervention

Wow! It's been awhile.

After a small relaxing break, life suddenly became very busy and hectic. Actually work took a huge turn towards stress. Unexpected book deadlines, and new projects presented themselves in avalanche fashion. It called for an intervention. An internet intervention, that is.

I found myself, diligently working away on my computer only to drift off to Firefox. Sneaky little devil. Leading me to my favorite websites, blogs and links to new websites. Two hours later, I'm tired, it's late and I've accomplished absolutely nothing. Turns out I have no internet control, so I had had to detox.

Now that many of my projects are manageable, and work has slowed a little, I am gratefully plugged back in.

I have to admit how surprised I am that it was so hard to disconnect. I never realized how much I relied on my online sites to soothe me. How much I missed finding out about events going on in the DOC world. It's amazing to me that the voices of so many people I have never really met have such a profound impact on me. I truly look to so many for inspiration, motivation, and encouragement. Imagine all the amazing people I would never know about if we didn't have such power at our fingertips. It's hard to believe those days without the internet ever existed.

I remember only having the library for research. I can't imagine going through my diagnosis today, and only having a cold emotionless bookshelf to turn to. As I approach the big 3.0. on Thursday, I am constantly thinking about the leaps and bounds that technology and invention has taken. Most of all, I am thankful that it has brought me here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Being a designer and working with mostly retail advertisers, I was unusually amused with this company's approach to humor and their website. I wish I'd thought of this! For something fun on Tuesday check this out.

Some background first:
HEMA is a Dutch department store that first opened November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam. Now there are 150 stores all over the
Netherlands. HEMA also has stores in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. In June of this year, HEMA was sold to British investment company Lion Capital.

Take a look at HEMA's product page. You can't order anything and it's in Dutch but just wait a couple of seconds and watch
what happens.

This company has a great website designer!

Monday, February 4, 2008

My New Mantra

It's just one word, but It does so much.

I have taken the weekend to regroup, stop and breathe. Too many days, I felt as if I've been stretched to the breaking point. It's made me overly emotional, stressed, and has caused me to lose focus on what is really important.


I took the weekend to have some much needed me time. I said "No" to the Super Bowl party (and sometimes friends don't make it easy) and I hung out with Zoe and read a good book. Indulged in some very good hot cocoa with extra large marsh mellows, and I feel so good today. It is by far, the best Monday, I've had in a while.

Tonight, weather permitting, I'm going to fall into my Ipod and take a long walk outside. My back-up plan will be yoga. Those poor exercise DVDs haven't seen the light of day in a while.

In days, where everyone and everything is in a great rush, it's worth taking time for yourself.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The following post may be long and rambly!

I firmly believe the mind and body respond in ways that are completely entwined in our psyche. I think I now realize why fear grasps me, before I see this particular doctor.

Yesterday, I enter an extremely crowded waiting room, where the man at the front counter next to me makes a terrible joke. The receptionist tells him politely that Dr. A is very behind in his schedule. The man replies, "So does that make his Indian name, Running Late?" I think, he has to be nervous too!

I finally got back into a room, and the nurse takes my dreaded blood pressure. I hold my breath, and the automatic blood pressure machine breaks, while it is trying to inflate. I hear a retching sound next door, when someone grabbed my nurse and stole her away, while trying to get me out of the cuff. "He's throwing up, HELP ME!" another nurse yells and the commotion in the hall escalates.

I sat there, watching my arm turn blue, as I'm trying to restore circulation, and it hit me. The reason WHY I hate this office so much. I flashed back to sitting in the busy waiting room, engaged in my habit of people watching. Two amputees, one apparently fresh, with all of the billowy white wrapped around what's left of his leg. One blind woman was accompanied by her daughter, as well as many older couples with plastic bags filled up completely with medications. Then there's me. In heels, dressed for work, looking much younger than my age, and feeling quite well. I'm sick, but not. That could end up being me. I don't belong here. Suddenly, I wanted to tap my heels 3 times, and pray it will take me home, like Dorothy.

Then the nurse came back. This time, she manually took my blood pressure, and pricked my finger. Crap! Not how I wanted to start this. She weighed me, made notes and rushed out of the room. Right behind her, a strange doctor entered, and he did not bother to introduce himself. He was curt, got the facts and exited. Then he quickly came back in with my doctor. Interns. Rotations must have just begun, because their was an intern at my last weeks DR.'s visit too.

I won't detail the entire visit, but I have to note that my doctor took way longer than 15 minutes with me, and even with his busy day was pretty jovial. I wonder if that was for the benefit of the intern. Call me a cynic. I did not ask about the pump and I totally chickened out. I was showing him my bruises on the back of my arm, and complaining about the shots, when I was quickly scolded about shot placement. "Why aren't you using you stomach or hips? You don't have enough F. A. T., and therefore don't get good absorption there." What? Totally caught off guard, and a little defensive, any good approach of a pump was forgotten.

Basically, he changed my insulin ratios, and I have to relive the torture in a month. Not what I was hoping for. His last words as I walked out the door were, "Don't forget. CALL ME if you have any problems, I'm here." I picked up my FMLA paperwork (3x I've forgotten about it), and I was somewhat distressed when I left for the lab downstairs. I looked at all the tests he was running, and noticed the code had changed. 250.03. Type 1 diabetic, presenting with no complications, UNCONTROLLED.

My head and heart just fell, for a moment I thought about ditching the lab and running to my car. In one hand I had the FMLA forms, to officially verify that I am chronically ill. In the other hand, a list of blood work to quantify how "sick" I really am. 250.03 and any one of those people with complications in the waiting room could be me. Sneaky and quietly, the diabetes could steal away all those things I take for granted and depend on. Reality sometimes seems surreal. How did I get here? When did this start? AND WHY, WITH ALL THE ATTENTION AND CARE I HAVE BEEN PLACING ON MY D, WAS I NOW DECLARED UNCONTROLLED?

I know my A1C will probably still be bad, since it hasn't been that long since the DKA. I now wonder, what other problems they will conjure up out of those little tubes of blood. I can't believe how hard I'm taking this. I cried last night, and was close to tears all day today, even though I KNOW nothing has really changed since Monday. Seeing the reality of how this disease can ravage a body is daunting, and visiting the endo is like admitting that one day, I could fall prey to those dreaded complications. I left feeling defeated and still unaccomplished since I didn't even ask about the pump.

Interestingly, I came home from work this afternoon, with pen needles and boxes of strips greeting me at the door. I had to laugh. It was odd, that laughter. I think in that moment it was like God was reminding me I had tools to take care. It gave me a small bit if solace and I recited the serenity prayer to myself. I am so lucky to have family, insurance, tools, and a team of health care professionals to aid me in keeping my health good, but I know I will never really be satisfied until THERE IS A CURE.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fear Is Rising

I'm starting to get a little ancy as I tap my fingers, and swing my legs. I simply can't seem to sit still. I have started to dwell and dread the fateful thing I face tomorrow. My Endo appointment.

I don't do this with any other kind of doctor's appointments. While I hate seeing the doctor in general, I never had this sense of doom. Probably because I have always been really healthy, and only now am I having to schedule routine visits and regular blood work. But now, I begin to count down as the day approaches, even more conscious of what I eat and what my numbers are. I even start to log them in for goodness sakes! I know when I finally do get there, my blood pressure and heart rate will skyrocket, and I SWEAR it causes my blood sugar to rise as well. Each time they take my pulse is always over 126 BPM and he always reads this and inspects me with that stethoscope. I can feel them all rising now, as I think about it.

I even go so far as to imagine how the conversation will go and what looks he'll give me. What kinds of things can I say or do to make him think I am in control, and knowledgeable (even if I'm not). I have stepped into my own weird little game where I mentally practice my appointment.

Don't get me wrong, my doctor is really nice, kind of clinical, and I know he's an Incredible doctor. So why should it make me so anxious? This time, I think it is because it will be the first normal visit from all of the DKA mess. Secondly, I am planning to ask about a pump. Third...OK I don' know what third is, but I do know I have ALL THESE QUESTIONS, and less than fifteen minutes to ask them in a non-babbling kind of way, AND get them answered. Talk about pressure.

I have decided to have a plan of attack. I am writing down all "must be answered" questions, so I will not forget. I will have them phrased in a clear and concise matter. I think this will help me, as long as I don't forget to bring the paper I write the questions on!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I sometimes think that silence is deafening, and unspoken words become like large weights that burden us. I have been residing in my own silence lately. Thinking a little too much, my brain is resembling a hamster running in a wheel. The same thoughts run through my head over and over. especially the topic of trust.

The way he cared for me when I was sick. The way he cheered me up or made me laugh. The way he made me feel safe. Most importantly, the way he made me feel loved. These feelings are so close to the surface of my heart, that I can almost call them up at will. It's amazing how strong emotions seem to replay my memories in vivid and vibrant. I ask myself (as does he) over and over how I can dismiss those feelings. The question then becomes, can you have love without trust?

Admittedly, I have been working through trust issues for awhile. I think that is why this one is weighing so heavy on me. T and I have dated for well over two years. I THOUGHT I knew everything about him. I was so wrong.

We traveled to see his family in Missouri for Christmas. I was so excited to meet his family (soon to be my family) and friends. It seems like the perfect timing. A true celebration of the holidays, our engagement, and a great getaway after that nasty DKA episode. I felt even closer to him as saw the traits he shares with his brothers and parents. In one moment it changed. Everything. Once again my life had taken an unexpected and unwelcome twist. A woman named Karen came knocking on his parents door to hand deliver papers. Divorce papers.

How did I miss that. I knew he had an ex named Karen, but he said he had NEVER been married. All this time he had been legally separated, but in reality I have been seeing a married man. Everyone thought I knew, and there I was feeling like a fool with a week left on this nightmarish vacation. Trust. In the blink of an eye it's gone. The man I had confided my deepest secrets to, shared some of my vulnerable moments, and he didn't trust me enough to share such an integral part of his past with me. This acquisition of those legal papers was just another thing marked off of his wedding TO DO LIST.

It has me questioning everything. Even the nature of my own person. Am I judgemental? Is that why he kept it from me? Does he consider me too delicate to handle this news? What other things will he keep from me? What does that mean for my future? Then I get angry, REALLY ANGRY. Why not divorce before we ever even started dating.

I'm not sure anymore why I still find it so incomprehensible. After all, I can no longer even trust my own body not to harm me. It eats away everyday at the few remaining beta cells within me. It has stopped performing some of the most basic tasks required for living, and I am constantly relearning and adjusting to it's whims. Sometimes I wonder if there is anything left worthy of my trust. I get so bogged down with this circling chain of thoughts, that eventually I just shut down. It's purely emotional overload.

I will have more details, including his excuses later. For now I am content to take solace in the one thing that always makes me smile. My sweet precious puppy, Zoe. You could never see a more perfect example of love.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year

Happy Belated New Year to All!

I have been away quite a while, but I'm planning on making the new year spectacular! (Does it sound like I'm forcing the optimism?) It pretty much has to be, after the way last year ended. DKA, a sinus infection, stress from the holidays, traveling forever, and now a broken engagement (now that's a story, I can't write about just yet), life has to get better. Right?

I'm currently taking the path of denial and determination to plant my feet down firmly so I can gain my balance and move forward with my life (bouncing blood sugars aside). I have been absent in many things as of late, especially hopping around online, and posting on 365. I have still taken my photos, but just seems like I never have the time to post.

After returning home rather tired and broken, I retrieve my mail to find the most special Christmas card from Beth of InSearchOfBalance. Thank you for such an unexpected smile! Beth, you and Daniel are truly special people!

I'm now planning to get back into the groove, with many stories to tell. Some won't be that easy either, but I think it will help me process things a little better. Right now I feel a little like I'm on a plane, heading toward a cruising altitude. I feel the pressure in my head and watch the world blur behind me, as I things race into patterns and lines. Now I have to look ahead and land safely. That is my New Year's resolution.