Monday, April 30, 2012

Guest Post: How Did You Let Me?

Josh and I were watching Rick Steve's Europe this weekend, and he was in Italy.  I went to Italy with my high school choir when I was seventeen.  So, of course, watching the show made me go get my photo album and start looking through the pictures.  Which got me to thinking:  how in the world did my mom let me go to Italy without her when I was seventeen?  So I asked her.  And after our conversation, she emailed me this post.



As Jess and I were walking this morning – she really threw me with a question.  "How did you let me go Italy when I was seventeen?"  

Now – where did that come from?  And my response was the same as it usually is – "God."  It’s as simple and as hard as that.  Most of my answers usually have something to do with Him.

So my first response was, "I figured that if we’d prayed about it and He provided the way for you to go, who was I to stop you?"  

We had no extra funds – for anything, let alone a choir trip to Italy.  We’d been in prayer for some time (or at least, I had) about this trip.   And I had my doubts about Jess going so far from home – her track record for overnight trips and  sleepovers was dismal, to say the least. (That umbilical cord only stretches so far!)  So, we did have to have "the talk" about how she could call and say she was homesick, but there would be no sobbing over the phone while she was across an ocean from me. 

"Did you worry?"  

WHAT??!!  Are you serious?  DID I WORRY???  I need an Oscar!  You need to understand that I’m not a worrier by nature, and because I’m so poor at it, I avoid it at all costs.  It involves a LOT of trusting God in a variety of ways – and He sees that I have many opportunities to trust Him.   But Jess had a proven track record of being very responsible w/her T1.  She had a pump.  A good friend of mine was going on the trip w/her son.  There was at least one nurse and perhaps even a doctor going as well.  

"Do you think it was because I was older when I was diagnosed, it was easier for you?"  

Easy? Well, that would be "yes and no."  Having any child diagnosed w/a chronic medical condition is not easy.  But since she was ten at the time of her diagnosis, I didn’t have a lot of horror stories about finding her passed out or having to calculate how much insulin to give depending on the size of bottle she was drinking from.   We did get up in the middle of the night for several years b/c of seizures – due mostly to the NPH insulin she was on at the time.  

So I asked her, "How did I hear you having your seizures in the middle of the night when you were downstairs and I was all the way upstairs?"  

This time, she got to answer, "God." 

"How did you not micromanage me?"  That was a harder question.  Again, Jess was very responsible w/her T1.  

"This is YOUR disease, and you needed to learn how to handle it yourself – whether I’m there or not."  

I do firmly believe that children will handle a given situation based on the way the parent handles it.  But that’s a tough question.  Given our home life situation at the time – I’m glad she doesn’t seem to remember all the excessive amounts of time I spent in the basement doing "laundry" (i.e., crying, praying, the occasional swearing).  And I did my best not to fall apart in front of the kids, whether it was a crisis of medicine, emotions, spiritual or otherwise.  There was a woman speaker I would listen to, and one of the things that she said really stuck with me: "Run to the throne and not to the phone."  So I did run to God a LOT – and He caught me each and every time.  Did that always make it easier?  NO!  But He was, is, and ever will be faithful and loving to those of us who turn to Him in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.  

Did I do a perfect job?  HAH!  No – but I learned early on to ask Him not to let me get in His way.  Which is sort of the answer that I gave Jess to begin with when she asked me, “How did you…?”

My mom is a rockstar!  Now that I'm an adult, I have such a better understanding of what she went through raising me, especially when it came to my diabetes.  Thanks mom.  I love you!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Catch Up On Your #Dblog Reading!

I AM SO EXCITED!

This month, I have the tremendous honor of hosting the Best of the 'Betes Blogs!  I'm thrilled to have this tremendous opportunity.  I know I always enjoy seeing the winning and nominated posts each months.  I've found some tremendous bloggers this way.


Here's the part where we need your help!  The Best 'Betes Blogs can't happen without your nominations.  If you read a post that you think deserves a nomination, all you need to do is send an email to bestbetesblogs@gmail.com with a link to the specific post and the category.  Also, you can direct message the Best 'Betes Blogs Twitter account (@bestbetesblogs) with your nominations.

Here are the categories:

Best Use of Humor
Best Vlog
Best RecipeBest Use of Photography
Best Advocacy
Best Reference to a D-Celebrity
Best Story of a D Meet-up
Best non-D Related Post
Best Post by a Type 1
Best Post by a Type 2
Best Post by a Type Awesome
Best Post by a LADA/ Type 1.5/ Not otherwise specified
Best story of a D-mistake
Best Motivational Post
Best Diabetes Art


You have until this Sunday night (4/29) at midnight to send in your nominations.  So get caught up on your #dblog reading and send some in!  Please. :)



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Here Goes Nothing

I don't really want to talk about it.  Not at all.

I've been putting off writing this post, because I just want everything to be fine.  I'm sick of dealing with this.

As I mentioned a while ago, things have been rather stressful of late.  There are some questions I'm waiting anxiously to be answered.  I've been pretty stressed.  And this has caused the eating has become a big problem again.

I'm so tired of dealing with this.  Why can't I just eat food like a normal person?  Why won't this just go away?

I know why, but I am just so SICK of dealing with the power that food seems to hold over me.

A large part of the problem is that I haven't seen my therapist in a long time.  When she took me on as a client, it was on a cancellation basis.  Meaning that she didn't actually have any openings, but would see me when one of her regular clients cancelled an appointment.

The problem is that people haven't been canceling.  And so I haven't seen her in months.  Which is not working for me.  When I first started, she had cancellations, and I was able to see her every few weeks.  And it helped SO MUCH.

But without it, I've backslid quite a bit, I'm ashamed to say.  It's painful for me to admit it.


Photo credit: NazarethCollege via Flickr Creative Commons


A few weeks ago, I was trying to work up the nerve to call my therapist and tell her that I needed to see someone else.  Someone who could fit me in on a regular basis.  When lo and behold, she calls me to suggest the very same thing.

So later this week, I have an appointment with a colleague of hers.  I know that this is the best thing for me.  And I have been assured that this colleague is wonderful and has experience with Type 1 Diabetes.  My therapist and I agreed that this is what I need to do.

But still.  It's going to be hard.  My soon to be former therapist is WONDERFUL.  I absolutely love her, and I'm nervous about starting over with someone new.  But this person can give me my own regular time slot, which is what I need.  And I completely trust my old therapist, so when she says this person is good, I am confident that she is.

But still.  My nerves about this are not helping my eating issues either.  Ironic, isn't it?

As nervous as I am, I'm also hopeful.  I'm ready to get back to getting better.  To get out of the sludge.  So here goes nothing.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pump Panic

Panic.

Put a new battery in my pump, and it won't turn on.  And I know that battery should be good.  Crap.

Another battery, still nothing.  Panic rising.  This night could get interesting.  I try a third new battery, and it finally turns back on.

Whew!  The panic subsides.  Now, I know that having a pump die is not the end of the world.  It's happened to me before.  But it's not fun.

As soon as my heart rate calms down, I call Medtronic.

"Sounds like a battery cap issue," says the nice customer support rep.  "We'll send a new cap out to you.  If that doesn't fix it, you're still under warranty, so we can replace the pump."

The new battery cap came yesterday.  And it made me laugh.  A lot!




A rather large box for such a tiny part! 




Friday, April 13, 2012

I Mean It

Flashback to a few weeks ago.  I'd had a terrible day.  Blood sugar stuck above 200 all day, no matter what I did.  Changing my set, rage bolusing, none of it made a difference.  That bg would not budge.

I was done.  It was one of those days when I wanted so badly to quit on diabetes.  I had been texting my husband about my hellish day, and he was his wonderful supportive self.

He asked what I wanted to do for dinner, and I replied that I didn't care, as long as it was low carb.  And thinking about that made me mad again.  Stupid diabetes!

Josh replied not to worry about it, that he would figure out dinner.

And I came home to this:




Baked tilapia, grilled asparagus, and herb salad.  All prepared by my husband.  Just for me, nice and low-carb and delicious, after a terrible day.

When I say he is my Type Awesome, I mean it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reaching Out

So the last couple days have not been fun.  They've been really difficult, and downright crappy, to be perfectly honest.

Some of it is diabetes related, and some isn't.  But I'm not comfortable sharing all of what's going on with the entire internet.

I will be ok.  As my grandma says, this too shall pass.  And I know it will.  But still.

I tend to withdraw when I'm having a rough time.  I turn inward.  I internalize it, and use food to cope.  Last night though, I forced myself to reach out, to talk about it.  I talked to my incredible, amazing husband who is such a tremendous source of support.  And I talked to a friend.  And I hopped on twitter to interact with some people, even though I didn't really feel like it.  All of these things helped a lot.

Do you know what else I did?  Watched some You Can Do This videos.  Because even when what I'm dealing with isn't directly related to diabetes, the videos still help me.  So thanks again, to all who've made one.  Your videos are helping people.  They've helped me.

These are a couple of my favorites, that I've watched a lot.  I watched them again last night.  These ladies always make me feel better.

Thank you for being there to remind me that I can do this, even when I don't feel like I can.







Monday, April 9, 2012

This Is Real


For me, one of the highlights of the event was getting to meet with Lane Desborough and some other members of Medtronic's closed-loop team.  I first heard of Lane back when he was on DSMA live.  Since he's the parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, it's easy to see where his passion comes from.


Star Trek reference from Lane, for the win!


It really was a treat to meet Lane in person.  And after seeing his name on the schedule, I was looking forward to his presentation all day.  But we got a surprise!  Lane took all of us back into his team's workspace to show us around.  And we got to meet some other members of the team.

One guy was an aerospace engineer, another a mechanical engineer, and there some other kinds of engineers that I can't remember.  Smart people.

As I stood there, looking at all the materials on the wall and listening to these brilliant individuals explain some of what they do, I found myself getting unexpectedly emotional. Here I was, surrounded by fellow people with diabetes, meeting people who are working to make our lives better.

And it almost had me in tears.

Hope.  Hope it what it was.  Hope that all of our lives will be made better by a closed-loop system.  Hope that I will see an artificial pancreas in my lifetime.


 Some awesome kiddos I know back on Write Hope On Your Hand For Diabetes Day


Because this is bigger than Medtronic.  There are brilliant people all over the world, working for many different companies and organizations, with the goal of improving the lives of people with diabetes.  Whether it's the closed-loop system, glucose responsive insulin, or research towards a cure, all of these things are good and needed.  Knowing that there are people like Lane and his team out there, brilliant and passionate, gives me hope.  So much hope.

As I looked at all the material on the walls at Medtronic, it hit me.  Oh my god, this is really going to happen.  I will see a closed-loop system in my lifetime.  This is real.

Hope.

At the end of Lane's presentation, we had to run back to the meeting room.  Things were running behind, like they do at events involving this many people.  But I lingered back, hoping to say a few words to some of the team members.

I wanted to hug them all!  But I settled for a handshake with two of the engineers.  One of them is the man who wrote the algorithm for the MiniLink transmitter.  Which was taped to my leg as I stood there shaking his hand.  Meta, right?

"I just wanted to say thank you," I said.  "Thank you for all you do.  I use your pump and cgm."

"Really?  Wow, that's great!" said the aerospace engineer, smiling.

"I'm sorry, I have to go, but thank you so much!"

What I should have said, what I wish I would have said, is thank you for giving me hope.

And if I ever see them again, I'm gonna hug 'em.  They'll just have to deal with it.

To see me looking ridiculous and other photos of the event, check out Medtronic's Flickr stream.

Disclosure: Medtronic paid for my flights, hotel, and transportation to attend the forum.  I chose to stay an extra day, and paid for all associated expenses myself.  I was not compensated for my participation in the forum, nor was I required to blog about the experience.  All thoughts are my own.  



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Working For All Of Us

I'm still trying to figure out everything that I want to say about the Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum. So much was crammed into such a short amount of time.  There are a lot of things I want to say.  So I'll be breaking it all up into multiple posts so as to not write a novel.  Bear with me.

First of all, I want to say what a tremendous honor it was for me to be invited to attend this event.  I truly mean that.  Never have I been invited to participate in something like this before.  I was nervous as I flew to LA, but so excited at the same time.  The fact that I already knew a number of people attending from Friends For Life last year helped me to feel less nervous.  But still.

The diabetes gods must have decided to play nicely since I was nervous.  No pat down on the way there OR the way home!  Say what? #BAMthereitis #itmakessenseifyouwearaninsulinpump

Of course, I ran high during pretty much every flight, but that's another story...

The forum officially began with dinner Thursday night.  As we gathered in the hotel lobby, the nerves kicked in again.  I look across the room, and oh-my-god-it's-Manny!  THE Manny!  And he knew who I was right away and gave me a big hug!  (This would not be the first time I've been totally starstruck and uncool when meeting DOC peeps- I spent most of FFL that way).  I was so honored to meet those I hadn't, as well as see everyone else again.

Before dinner, some of us packed into a hotel room to watch DSMA Live being broadcast, live and in person!  We attempted, somewhat unsuccessfully, to keep the shenanigans to a minium, being on air and all.  It was neat to be in the room, and be able to participate in the show a little.  You can listen to the episode here.




After DSMA Live, it was time for dinner.  Each table had some of us crazy bloggers and two brave Medtronic executives.  I sat next to Kevin Lee from Medtronic, Vice President of Pump Marketing and Reimbursement.  It was neat to interact with the executives and to hear their side of things.  And they seemed to think it was pretty neat to interact with us.

This was one things that struck me about the event.  Throughout the event, whenever I talked to a Medtronic employee and told them that I use a Medtronic pump and CGM, they seemed excited.  Yes, it's their job to do all of this, but I think they enjoyed meeting someone who uses/could potentially use the products they work on every day.  I told Kevin I take pictures of CGM graphs on my phone, and he wanted to see them.  Oh the things us crazy bloggers do...

Friday was a full day.  Some of it was us listening to Medtronic talk about the things they are working on, and some was Medtronic wanting our opinions on various things.  I'll get into more specific details in later  posts.

As I sat there at Medtronic on Friday, I just kept looking around the room in awe.  Was I really sitting there in that room with these brilliant people from the Diabetes Online Community?  Really?  Someone pinch me!  And I do mean brilliant.  We are so lucky to have such people on our side.  And I'm not talking about Medtronic.  I'm talking about the people invited to represent the DOC.  Some of the smartest people I've ever met were sitting in that room.


photo courtesy of Medtronic


Because when it comes right down to it, that's what I was doing there.  Doing my best to represent my friends in the Diabetes Online Community.  Yes, I use Medtronic products.  But my loyalty is to the DOC, first and foremost.  And it makes me happy to know that there are such brilliant people in the DOC working for me.  Working for all of us.


Disclosure: Medtronic paid for my flights, hotel, and transportation to attend the forum.  I chose to stay an extra day, and paid for all associated expenses myself.  I was not compensated for my participation in the forum, nor was I required to blog about the experience.  All thoughts are my own.  

My disclosure about MySentry will be forthcoming.  I'm still working on what I want to say.  If you want to know what others have said regarding MySentry disclosure, please check out Kim, Sara, and Bennet's posts. 



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Picture Is Worth... #MedtronicDAF Edition

This past weekend, I had the tremendous honor of attending the second annual Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum.  I still can't believe that I even got invited, let alone that I was actually able to go.  My exhausted brain is still all a swirl, and part of me still can't believe that this actually happened.

I will post about the actual forum, I promise.  But I'm still behind on sleep and trying to process everything.  So for now, I have some pics.  For more pics, check out these posts from Sara, Kim, and Cherise, who are much more organized than me.


Everyone!  Photo courtesy of Medtronic.


Watching DSMA Live being broadcast, live and in person!


When looking for coffee at 12:30 in the morning in LA,  cops are good people to ask. 
Unfortunately the coffee shops were all closed, but they recommended 
something even better!  Diddy Riese


A very chilly Santa Monica Pier.


Mike and the girls!


We waited in line a long time. But SO WORTH IT!
Red Velvet and Peanut Butter Chocolate from Sprinkles!



Kim and I *might* have had cupcakes and coffee for breakfast on Sunday...



This is my favorite shot of the whole trip- and I didn't even take it!
Thanks Bennet for taking this and sharing!

Disclosure: Medtronic paid for my flights, hotel, and transportation to attend the forum.  I chose to stay an extra day, and paid for all associated expenses myself.  I was not compensated for my participation in the forum, nor was I required to blog about the experience.  All thoughts are my own.