Thursday, May 26, 2011

Support

Last week, I attended a Type 1 Talk event with my local JDRF chapter.  Scott was there too, and he wrote a great post about the meeting here.

I love Scott's post, and agree with what he said.  But I wanted to share my own thoughts as well.

This was the first JDRF event I've attended since I was a kid.  Actually, that's not quite true.  My husband and I did our local walk two years ago by ourselves.  But I felt so lonely at the walk that I didn't want to do it again last year.  So I didn't.

Now, if I could do it with some other local PWD, then I'd jump at the chance!

Anyways, back to the meeting.  Besides the yummy salmon salad I had, there was some great conversation.  I meet some wonderful new people.  I did sit by Scott at first, since I'm kind of shy and he was the only one I knew.  But everyone was really friendly, and it was great to talk and swap stories.

I've written before what I think about the JDRF supporting adult PWD.  Living with D as an adult is HARD!  We need support, and Regan (the Outreach Coordinator) and my local JDRF chapter are taking some great steps in that direction.  Connecting with others in my community going through the same thing is wonderful.


There was a lot of discussion about what we want the group to look like and the kinds of things we want to do.  I left feeling encouraged and empowered, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for our small but mighty crew.  I'm looking forward to getting more involved!

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's The Little Things...

Today is Friday.  Yay!

And, drumroll please...

FREE SHOWER DAY!!!!

Yes, I *might* have cut it a little close by waiting till this morning to change my set.  My reservior *might* have been almost totally empty when I got up, but it's so worth it!

In case you're confused, a free shower is one where I have no robot parts attached.  No infusion sets.  No CGM transmitters or sensors.  Nothing.  It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I get ridiculously excited.  It really is the little things.

There should be an upside to having to stab myself (or harpoon myself, as Martin says) twice in a row.

CGM sensor. Yeah, the needle's HUGE (comparatively speaking)! Hence harpooning...


The Quick-set needle is much less scary.
So can someone please explain why the ginormous sensor needle didn't hurt at all, and putting the set in hurt like the dickens?  Anyone?

Edit: so the set hurt because it was a vampire cannula.  Lotsa blood when I yanked it out due to an unexplained 259.  And yes, I did put in a new set in the bathroom at work without the Quick-serter, thank you very much.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thanks Karen! And An Oops...

Thanks Karen for D-Blog Week!  And thanks to Mike Lawson for putting together this great video!


And now for the oops.  In my short little video, I forgot to give credit to Briley for her idea about giving everyone tissues.  Sorry Briley!

This was the first video I've ever made, and I was more than a little nervous doing it.  Ok, so I was totally freaking out.  So I forgot to say, "like Briley said."  Thanks Briley for being a good sport about it.

I hope you all loved D-Blog Week as much as I did!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What D-Blog Week Has Taught Me

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I could write a whole book on what I've learned from the DOC since I found you all in November.  Really, I could.  So I decided to stick with what I've learned from everyone during D-Blog Week.  I learned a lot from the posts I read, and from comments on my blog and others.  Not even the Blogger meltdown could stop us, yo!  (I know this post is quite link-happy, but if you have a minute, check them out!)

So here are some things I learned this week:


  • I am not the only one whose nightstand looks like a battlefield
  • our fingers all look the same
  • a lot of us have diabetes to thank for our food issues
  • we all deal with diabetes guilt
  • the fear of nighttime lows is universal
  • rhyming words can convey some powerful stuff
  • there are some wicked creative peeps in the DOC! Like Mike, Jacquie, Mike, and Hannah
  • parents of CWD love the T1 bloggers as much as we love them!
  • there are things we all hate about diabetes, and letting it all out is messy and emotional, but very liberating at the same time
  • do not sit down to read any D-Blog Week posts without a full box of tissues standing by (for example, see here)
  • no matter what you're going through, someone else out there is going through the exact same thing.  Even if you think it's not possible.  It's true.
  • parents of CWD are AMAZING!  I knew that already, but this week reminded me how much so.
  • all children with diabetes are total rockstars! like Justice, Sugar, Sweetpea, Caleb, and Joe.  Hi guys! *waves*
  • we are stronger than we realize.  Each and every one of us.  Parents, CWD, PWD.  Type 1, Type 2, LADA.  All of us.  Not that we don't struggle.  We do.  But we can do this.
I'm sure my list could go on and on.  I've learned so much.  Many thanks to Karen for organizing D-Blog Week, and thanks to everyone who participated and commented.

And in case you didn't know, I LOVE THE DOC!!!!! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Goodnight!


Today's Prompt: Today is the only day I’ve brought back a fun topic from last year.  Inspired by the Diabetes 365 project, let’s snap a few more d-related pictures and share them again.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Be creative!  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures.  Or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.



Friday, May 13, 2011

Thanks to D

Today's Prompt: In February the #dsma blog carnival challenged us to write about the most awesome thing we’d done DESPITE diabetes.  Today let’s put a twist on that topic and focus on the good things diabetes has brought us.  What awesome thing have you (or your child) done BECAUSE of diabetes? 

Ok, so my fingers are crossed that my post and comments from yesterday will magically reappear.  So we're going to go ahead and move forward with today's post.

You can find my post about the most awesome thing I've done despite diabetes from the DSMA blog carnival here.  I'm going to try not to repeat myself too much.

The most awesome things I've done because of diabetes:

1.  I have an amazing relationship with my mom.  Not that we don't drive each other crazy too, be we're really close.  While this isn't all thanks to D, it definitely played a big part.  We're tight like that.

2.  You learn to be grateful for the small stuff.  A decent bg will have me doing the happy dance. 

3.  It gave me something to blog about.  Seriously, my life is really not all that exciting...

4.  Making instant friends with total strangers.  Running into other diabetics totally makes my day.  Like last weekend at the movie theater.  I hear that distinctive pump beeping, but it's not mine.  I look and see the lady a few seats down sticking her pump back in her pocket.  I scoot down and we end up chatting for the next 15 minutes and have to stop only because the movie is starting.  I don't know if I'll ever see her again, but it was great.  There nothing else like that instant bond.

5.  That I am able to appreciate my health insurance.  It probably was not obvious thanks to my post from earlier in the week, but my current health insurance is AMAZING!  Every insurance I've ever had leading up to this point has been less than stellar.  Some have been really, really crappy.  So having such great insurance right now is such a blessing.  I'm not bragging, really I'm not.  I'm just so grateful I have to share it or I'm going to burst.  I want to cry sometimes picking up my stuff at the pharmacy because I'm so happy.  No more fighting for 10 strips a day.  My insurance approved my pump upgrade in TWO HOURS!  A $6,000 piece of medical equipment approved in two hours?  Unheard of.  And I am so, so grateful.  I wish with all my heart that EVERYONE could have coverage like this.

6.  I am always prepared.  Planning ahead is essential in life with D.  Sometimes, being such a planner comes in quite handy in other areas of my life.

7.  D has not stopped me from accomplishing any of my life goals.  I've traveled abroad.  Gone off to college and graduated.  Got a great job.  Fell in love.  Got married.  Bought a house.  Not that it's been all sunshine and lollipops.  Cause it hasn't.  But D didn't stop me from doing any of it.

8.  I am wicked good at multiplying by 15.  It's scary.

9.  Having D forces me to take care of myself when I'm sick.  On the surface, this may not seem like a good thing.  But I think it is.  Too much people push themselves too hard, and don't slow down when they're sick.  I have to.  And usually, that winds up being a good thing.  We all need a break sometimes. 

10.  The DOC, of course!  I contemplated just writing the letters "DOC" for today's post and nothing else, but I decided not to do that.  You all me more to me than words can ever say.  Seriously.  You've saved me from my own self-destructive habits, and showed me that I am never alone.  The validation and support I receive is indescribable.  Thank you.

A bonus?  Having some DOCers here in town!  And I get to see them tonight!  Yay!  Please keep Babs in your thoughts tonight.  It's her Wiggin' Out party.  She's shaving her head!  And I've been promised another certain someone is going to do likewise...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Hate You So Much Right Now

Today's Prompt: Having a positive attitude is important . . . but let’s face it, diabetes isn’t all sunshine and roses (or glitter and unicorns, for that matter).  So today let’s vent by listing ten things about diabetes that we hate.  Make them funny, make them sarcastic, make them serious, make them anything you want them to be!!

There are a lot of things I hate about diabetes.  A LOT.  Right now, I'm coming of off a wicked low of 55.  For me, anything below 60 is not pretty.

I'm so mad right now.  I should be in bed, but diabetes had other plans.  Rather than sleeping, I'm up late writing this post.

Instead of a list of the ten things I hate most about diabetes in general, this is a list of the ten things I hate the most about diabetes right at this very moment.

Ten things I hate about diabetes (as of 11pm on Wednesday, May 11th):

1.  I hate that I had to put off writing this post because of the low.

2.  Diabetes, I hate the way you make me feel when I'm low.  How you stop me in my tracks.  My brain turns to mush and I can't function.  I hate that.

3.  I hate how I feel like I must eat the entire kitchen after a low like this.  Why can't a juice box and a small snack be enough?  Why do I go crazy and drastically overtreat?  I hate that I just ate three muffins, Reese's Pieces, dried fruit, and two vanilla sandwich cookies.

4.  I hate that I am now sitting here feeling tremendously guilty.  Why did I just eat all that crap?  Why?  This was stupid, Jess, stupid!  I want to cry.  Why on earth do I do this to myself?  Guilt, guilt, and more guilt.  Ugh!

5.  I hate that I am now doing some intense D math, trying to figure out how the hell to bolus for all the food I just ate.  Should I round it up to an even 100 carbs?  Was it more?  Less?  Dual wave or straight bolus with an increased temp basal to handle the fat?

6.  Diabetes, I hate how you make me afraid.  Because I am afraid.  I've mentioned before how nighttime lows scare me more than anything else in the world.  I hate that I will likely underbolus for my overtreating because I am so scared of going low at night.  Yes, I have the CGM.  But I am still terrified.

7.  I hate how I am now officially on the glucoaster.  I am.  Thanks to the low and subsequent overtreatment.  And thanks to my fear of going low again, I will wake up high.  I am willing to bet you all my earthly possessions that this is going to happen.

8.  Speaking of high, I hate how you make me feel, diabetes, when I'm high.  If my beeping CGM doesn't wake me up later, my high bgs will.  I hate waking up drenched in sweat.  I will know instantly that I am high.  The headaches, the extreme thirst, the extreme grumpiness.  I don't relish starting the day in that fashion.

9.  I hate how you will be the last thing I think about before I go to sleep tonight.  And you will be the first thing I think about when I wake up tomorrow morning.  It's the same, every day.  Just once, I would like to think about something else in those moments.

10.  I hate the worry that you, diabetes, cause the people who love me.  It wears on them.  My husband sees me sitting there, low, unable to do anything about it.  He watches me struggle with the straw for the juice box before he takes it and opens it for me.  He listens to my blubbering attempts to talk to him with low brain.  I hate how it will make him feel when I tell him about my overtreatment tonight.  He needs to know in case I start making funny noises in the middle of the night.  He will be as scared about my blood sugars tonight as I am.  He will watch me deal with the rebound high in the morning.  He will put up with my grumpiness.  Because he loves me.  And I love him.  And I HATE diabetes for doing this to him too.  Diabetes, do whatever the hell you want with me.  But leave my husband, as well as my parents, out of it.  Please.

I Drop Stuff

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Today's Prompt: Whether you or your loved one are newly diagnosed or have been dealing with diabetes for a while, you probably realize that things can (and will) go wrong.  But sometimes the things that go wrong aren’t stressful - instead sometimes they are downright funny!

Ok, so I'm having a really hard time thinking of one blooper in particular, although I know there are many. For a really good story, check out my guest post on Kim's blog.

So today, we're going to have a little chat about how clumsy I am.  Totally, completely uncoordinated.  Seriously.

I drop things.  All kinds of things.  Including D-related things.

at least the grout lines don't let it roll very far...

I think the person that designed the little glass bottles for insulin saw me coming.  That glass is THICK baby.  Thank goodness!  Because of course I tend to drop said vials on the tile floor in the kitchen...

look! it's a meter commercial!

Thankfully, my meter also tends to bounce well.  I usually drop it after putting blood on the strip.  This doesn't appear to affect the accuracy of the test results.  At least not yet.  And it always lands screenside down.  Why is that?

danger, Will Robinson, danger!

But the item that hits the floor most often is, unfortunately, my pump.  It's bad.  I drop it ALL THE TIME.  It falls out of pockets, off the edge of the bathroom sink, off the side of the bed (see above).  Thank the Lord for Medtronic's amazing warrantee!  Usually, the pump escapes relatively unscathed.  However, about once a year, this telephone exchange occurs:

Me: "Um, hi. I dropped my pump the other day and now there are some cracks in the casing..."

Medtronic Customer Service Rep: "Well, you're still under warrantee, so no problem.  We'll ship a new one out in the morning."

Me: (totally embarrassed) "Thank you" (sheepish grin even though they can't see it).


At least sometimes I manage to catch it before it hits the floor...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dear Health Insurance Companies...

Today's Prompt: Letter writing day. Whomever you choose as a recipient, today is the day to tell them what you are feeling.

DBlogWeek2011ButtonMad props to my husband today.  I didn't know who to write a letter to for today's post.  He says, "Well, why don't you write to insurance companies?"

Bingo!  He then says, "just try not to make it 20 pages long."  Thanks, babe.  The health insurance I have now is quite good.  But I've done plenty of time with insurance that was not so good.

So here goes...

Dear Health Insurance Companies of the World:

Hi, my name is Jess, and I have Type 1 Diabetes.  I've had it for almost 18 years now.  Which makes me a pro at dealing with your nonsense.

Life with any type of diabetes in hard.  Type 1, Type 2, LADA; the accompanying emotional roller coaster ride does not discriminate.  This is the side that you most people do not get to see.

Life with diabetes is hard enough without having to worry about how the hell to pay for all the necessary tools and equipment.

Really, there is enough stress.  You don't need to add to it.  Some days are ok, and others are absolutely awful! I HATE how I sometimes allow my blood sugar to dictate how I feel about myself at any given moment.  Not to mention the physical symptoms that come along with a high or low.  Go peruse some other D-blogs and you'll see why we call it an emotional roller coaster.

I need to see my endocrinologist.  Frequently.  And have lab tests done.  All this adds up really quickly.

Yes, I do really need 10 test strips a day.  Sometimes I need more.

Insulin?  I have to have it in order to not die.  That's simple enough, right?

Having an insulin pump has literally saved my life (see this post).  My parents and endo had to jump through all kinds of hoops with our insurance at the time to get me my first pump.  And of course, those sets and reservoirs are necessary too.

And CGM?  This is something A LOT of insurance won't cover.  That needs to change.  Now.  Having a CGM has changed my diabetes management completely.  I don't fear going low as much as I used to, which allows me to keep my blood sugars in a lower range.  Good for the A1C.  All diabetics should have access to CGM systems.

So, dear health insurance companies, can you please just pay for the things we need?  It would make our lives so much easier.  Take some of the stress away.  All diabetics deserve to have everything we need to take care of our health.

Can't you see?  Having all these tools makes us better able to take care of ourselves.  Which helps to lower A1Cs.  Which lessens our risk of complications.  Which means you'll spend less money on us in the future.

It makes sense, if you think about it.  So please, just pay for what we need.  Thank you very much.

Jess

*This post is directed at all insurance companies, not the company that insures me, nor any other company in particular.*

Monday, May 9, 2011

D-Mamas and Poppas

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Today's Prompt: Pick a type of blogger who is different from you and tell us why they inspire you - why you admire them - why it’s great that we are all the same but different!!

I LOVE reading other Dblogs.  It's kind of a problem.  Any break in my day will find me sitting in some corner, phone in hand, Google Reader open.  I find it hard to keep up some days, which is a great problem to have!

I have learned a lot from my fellow D-bloggers.  But I feel like I have learned the most from the parents of children with diabetes out there.  Especially the D-mama bloggers.

My mom did most of my D care when I was a kid.  I've already written about my amazing mother here and here.  I know that my diabetes was emotionally and physically taxing for her.  It had to have been.  But she never let me see any of that.

Only now am I beginning to appreciate all the sacrifices she made for me over the years.  Through reading blogs by some of the awesome D-mamas (and a few D-poppas) out there, I am starting to see things she hid so well.  The fear.  The exhaustion.  The physical and emotional tolls of caring for a diabetic child.  

But these blogs also tells stories of triumph.  Of joy.  Of hope.  I treasure all these stories from the D-mamas.  Because of these stories, I've started talking more with my mom about what it was like for her.  

So to all the D-mamas and poppas out there: YOU.  ARE.  AMAZING.  You CWD is so blessed to have you.  Someday, they will be able to look back and say thank you.  I am thanking you now, for sharing your stories, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  You make me laugh and cry, sometimes in the same post.

Thank you for sharing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thank You, Waitress!!!



So I was planning on taking the whole week off, especially since I'm participating in Diabetes Blog Week next week (and you can too).


Last weekend, my husband and I went out to lunch with my mom.  We were finishing our food, and I asked for a refill of my Diet Coke (shocking, right?). 

soft-drink
image credit here


So she brings me another soda, and we're all chatting away.  I'm talking so much I haven't even taken a drink of my soda yet (shocking, once again) when she comes back.

"Ma'am, you had a Diet Coke, right?"

"Yes," I say.

"Well, I think I brought you a regular Coke by accident.  Let me go get you a new one."

OMG!  Seriously?  I wanted to jump up and hug this woman!  In hindsight, that's exactly what I should have done, but oh well.

When she came back, I did explain that I was Type 1 diabetic, and that she had likely saved me from some serious high blood sugar.  She just smiled and said "you're welcome."

Usually I can tell the difference between regular and Diet Coke, but what if I wasn't paying attention and had accidentally drank the regular Coke?  We all know how that ones goes, right?

I was so impressed and shocked at her wonderfulness that stupid me didn't even think to ask to talk to the manager so I could share her awesomeness.  Facepalm.  And of course, her name's not on the receipt.

So this weekend, I'm going to go back to the restaurant and talk to the manager.  Hopefully I can describe her well enough so they can figure out who she is.

And if she's there, I'm going to go give her a big hug!