I feel like I haven’t written a lot as of late. I’ll admit, Diabetes Blog Week wiped me out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the experience immensely but it was so.much.work. I admire those of you that find something to write about every day – and the time to do it! Also, I started my new job two weeks ago and today is the last day I have with my mentor before she goes on vacation for 3 weeks – yikes! My brain is very tired and very sore! So, I will tell you that I am working very hard on posting my very first Vlog. I’ll be singing at an open mic night tomorrow night and as long as I can find someone to lend me a video camera, I’m hoping to post it over the long weekend. Also, I’m working on another post that I’ve been promising for quite some time – the story of FF and I. How we met, our unusual courtship and how I ultimately found a man I plan on spending the rest of my life with. As of Tuesday, we’ll have been living together for a year so I think the timing is appropriate to share that story with all of you. Although I worry that some of you will be jealous and try to steal him 🙂 So for today, I’m copying a Friday Five meme from Beacon Of Hope. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend to all of my American friends and to all you Canadian friends? Have a super weekend too!
What are your Memorial Day traditions?
I don’t really have any traditions surrounding Memorial Day. As long as there is BBQ, I’m happy. Mom’s birthday sometimes falls on this weekend so sometimes we do a family thing – other times not. This year I’ll be attending a Memorial Day parade with Sis, BIL, BMan & JD – so exciting!
How many graves do you usually visit on Memorial Day?
It’s rare that I actually visit any graves on Memorial Day or on this weekend. I have been meaning to get out to my grandfather’s grave for a few weeks now and will probably do so within the next week. It is nice to drive by cemetaries this time of year and see all of the flags that stand for our fallen soldiers. Does that sound wierd? I mean, it’s a beautiful sight, not that it’s nice to see so many people have died. You’re welcome for the clarification 🙂
What is one thing you hope to remembered for?
Wow – that’s a toughie. I suppose I want to be remembered for making a difference. I want to make a difference in the lives of people I know and love and I’d also like to make a difference on a global level. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to accomplish that, but I’ll figure it out! 🙂 I’d also like to be remembered as: saucy, caring, funny, honest, loyal and a little crazy
Recipe of the Week (instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for this week?)
So, apparently this is where I should put some words of wisdom I am currently living by. I’m choosing a great quote from Pink’s “Crystal Ball” that I’m considering as my next tattoo…
“I’m learning to be brave in my beautiful mistakes. I’ve felt the fire and I’ve been burned but I wouldn’t trade the pain for what I’ve learned.”
This post is dedicated to someone I have loved and admired since the day I was born…my mom. Mom has a birthday today and she’s impossible to buy for so I’m taking a lesson from an old teacher of mine and giving from the heart.
I would say my mom and I have a pretty decent relationship. We see each other about once a week (sometimes less, sometimes more). We catch up via phone calls and Facebook on a regular basis. I’ve grown to genuinely love and respect my mom in a way that only comes with age and experience. It hasn’t always been so. As women we all know what happens between teenage daughters and their mothers. Puberty is a bitch for all involved and I was no exception. Let’s start from the beginning…
I was my parent’s first child. They had been married almost two years when I was born. Two and a half years later, my sister was born. My parents decided two girls was enough (could they see into the future?!) My mom stayed home with the two of us until Sis was in school full time. She watched other people’s children so we could have that luxury. When my mom first went back to work, she worked three day weeks so as to still have time with Sis & I. Now, you must understand that my mother was always the breadwinner in my family. I’d honestly say that gender roles were reversed in my household while I was growing up. Mom worked for the money and dad worked a job he loved but didn’t pay great. Dad prepared breakfast in the morning, got our lunches together and cooked dinner at night. Mom worked late or brought work home & travelled occasionally for business. When my curly, rats nest of hair needed to be brushed out, dad did it. When we couldn’t get earrings in because holes were almost closed over, dad did it. I never found any of this odd until I was old enough to talk to friends or have them come over and they would comment. Now this is where I tell you it had nothing to do with how much we were loved (mom couldn’t do the hair brushing or the earring pushing because she didn’t want to hurt us – not because she didn’t care).
My mother loved us so much that she worked hard to keep a roof over our head, food on the table & clothes in our closet. We never went without. This means luxuries too. We took extravagant family vacations (I went to the Calgary Stampede when I was 8, Florida twice, many trips to visit family in Nova Scotia and a cruise to the Bahamas when I was in 8th grade). I participated in girl scouts and cheerleading – both with plenty of expenses. We ate out every Friday night. I was most definitely raised in an upper middle class home. I had a great childhood. I mean how many people my age can say they had everything they needed and were loved unconditionally by two parents who were also (and still are!) in love with each other?!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about having children of my own (trust me, there IS a post coming about this) and I think back to all my parents endured to nurture me to adulthood and beyond. I’ve particularly thought about the sacrifices my mother has made. I realize now, almost 30 years later, how little credit she’s been given for all that she’s done. I’d like to change that today to honor her.
I like to think that I was always a good kid. I was well behaved, well mannered and a good student. I made friends easily and I loved my parents more than words can say. As I grew closer to puberty, so did my bitchy streak. I became fiercely independent which at times had to be hard on my mom. I see it even today that it can be hurtful when I set out on a path that she doesn’t feel is right yet I insist I must follow my heart and make my own mistakes. While going away to college did help our relationship tremendously, we still had our issues. She was NOT a fan of my ex husband – and that’s saying it nicely. She always liked him when we were friends but when we began dating, she was dead set against it. She felt I was with someone who was not my equal – who couldn’t pull their weight emotionally or financially. She made no bones about this – it was very apparent, even to the Ex. I was angry at her for this for a long time. My dad accepted my choice because I was happy – wasn’t that enough? Not for mom. While those 9 years I spent with the Ex were painful, who was there to pick me up when it ended? Who came when I called her to help me pack my stuff and move out (actually all I could do was lay in bed and ask why he didn’t love me anymore)?Mom did. She held me and listened to me. She also helped me seek professional help for the depression I had entered.
Mom sold shares of stock from a company she worked at for almost 30 years to pay for a jaw surgery insurance wouldn’t cover. She sat by my side in pre op and we laughed the way only we can (its what we do when we’re nervous). She walked me around the hospital before my surgery because it had been postponed for over six hours. When I awoke I found all the cute things I had liked in the gift shop that she had bought for me as get well gifts. She took time off of work to take care of me. Bathe me, feed me through a syringe, give me medicine. This was all after three rounds of braces and other orthodontic treatments that I know were not cheap.
Mom left a job she’d had since she graduated high school because it would interfere with Sis and I. Her company decided to downsize and move about three hours away. They offered her a position but I was away at college, it was Sis’s last year in high school and she couldn’t justify moving her to a new school at such an important time in Sis’s life. She’s since had several other jobs where her knowledge has been used up and she has been tossed aside in favor of younger applicants who were willing to work for less money. She now stays home and takes care of my nephew JD. She did the same for BMan until he was at an age where daycare was a better option for socialization reasons.
She offered me her pancreas. When my diagnosis came, mom was devastated. There couldn’t be something so terribly wrong with her daughter! She had to fix it. I explained that she needed her pancreas and we could supplement mine with insulin. I honestly think mom had a harder time with my diagnosis than I did. I came to understand that when Sis was pregnant with BMan and they were testing him & her for diabetes. I realized that mom somehow felt responsible for me and my illness. She’s not, she knows that, but when something is wrong with your kid, you just wanna make it better. Since then, she’s learned about diabetes. She’s interested when I talk about new developments. She listens when I’m sick. She helps me when I’m low and can’t help myself. She’s learning every day much like me, but I don’t think her love for me will ever let her accept that this is real or that its forever.
My mom has let me move back home. Three times! I moved back in while going through my divorce, again when my first post-divorce relationship ended and again (and I swear for the last time!) when my company relocated. She let me live for free. She made sure my laundry was done and I was fed. I couldn’t ask for more cooperation or understanding and I think that the time I spent living there repaired a lot of the damage done to our relationship due to puberty & the Ex.
I can’t believe it took 30 years to realize how much my mother has done for me and given up so that I could prosper. I’ve always admired my mom and I know I’m a lot like her in many ways – and although I always swore I would never become my mother, we all know its inevitable. And hey, there are worse people I could grow up to be like 🙂 Happy birthday mom – I love you! XO
I’ve been blogging for like three months and already got an award? Wow, I’m honored!
Well my sweet little girl crush, Geninabug, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award – and I am proud to accept! Picture it: me in the most fabulous evening gown ever created, weeping tears of joy as I receive my sweet little statue to showcase in my trophy room. Oh, no statue? Well since it’s coming from Ms. G, I’ll accept whatever it is. This girl is AWESOME! I swear we were separated at birth. And I’m totally blushing over the fact she chose me to receive this award. Oh, so what did I win? Read on 🙂
Now for the fine print: There are some things you/I have to do to accept this award:
- Thank the person who gave you this award.
- Share 7 things about yourself.
- Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
Seven things about me? Ok, here goes:
1.) I have a bucket list. I want to run with the bulls in Pamplona; kiss the Blarney Stone; see my family’s castle in Scotland; sing on a huge stage with a live band in front of ginormous crowd and compete in a marathon.
2.) I want to publish something. Mostly, I want to write a book for children to help cope with the loss of a teacher. I lost a teacher when I was in 3rd grade and it completely changed my life. I will never forget that woman…
3.) My brain is a sponge. I remember a lot of useless information. I am crazy with numbers like birthdates and phone numbers. Jeopardy is one of my favorite shows. Sometimes I worry I won’t have any room for new and/or important information because my brain is too full of less important things.
4.) I used to worry (ok, I still do) that something will come up through the toilet while I’m sitting on it. I saw a story on that show Rescue 911 (do you remember that show? Even thinking about the theme song gives me the willies!) where a snake came up through a toilet. Yuck!
5.) I have my dream house completely designed in my head. Master suite, beautiful gardens, cozy library, awesome home theatre, game room and a kitchen that puts Rachel Ray to shame.
6.) Besides Ms. G herself, I have some serious girl crushes. Drew Barrymore, Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley and Pink. There is something about each one I’d love to be compared to.
7.) I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life! I love my job, my body, my friends, Twitter, blogging, my family and FF. I feel like I’m the most true to myself that I have ever been and I regret it took me this long to be comfortable in my own skin.
Now, for my 15 blogger friends:
Phew! Diabetes Blog Week is over! I enjoyed it immensely but emotions ran high at times and I’m looking forward to catching up on some other posts I have promised. Today’s post is great for a Monday. It’s short and guaranteed to make you laugh.
A few years ago, my friend P moved away halfway across the country for a wonderful job opportunity. We’ve been friends since high school and as we’ve gotten older I’ve come to think of him more as a brother. He’s always been there when I needed him and he’s always good for a laugh. We have some great stories like the time I refused to wait in line for the women’s bathroom or when we realized we were suddenly surrounded by strangers (actually those were the same night!) There was the time I bleached his hair (his mom was MAD!) and our roadtrip to meet Shawn Michaels which ultimately landed us in NYC. He helped me pack and move out when I separated from the Ex and I don’t know, I just love him.
Naturally I was devastated about his move but I was so happy for him that he was going to live a dream of sorts. I didn’t hear much from him when he first moved but the lines of communication finally opened. He’s visited home a few times since he left and we always made sure to get some time together to hang out and catch up. On his last visit home the stars aligned and he decided it was time to come back! Hooray! So, now for the funny part of this story.
P got back into town on May 7th. He was home for good. We made plans for him to come over and say hi. When he got there, I couldn’t wait to give him a hug. Now, I don’t give P any normal hug. It’s a running, jumping, wrap my legs around him hug. Maybe that sounds inappropriate but I swear it’s not 🙂 Anyway, he got to the top of the stairs and I could see him from where I was in the kitchen. I watched him put his stuff down and I took off running. I was so excited I completely forgot about the door frame and I jumped a little early and WHACK, my head hit the top of the doorframe. P still caught me and we got our hug but there was some immediate concern for my welfare. I laughed it off and insisted I didn’t have a concussion and I was fine. FF tried to make me ice it but I was too busy on TweetDeck to only have one hand!
About an hour later I told FF I wasn’t feeling well and wanted to lay down. He got me all tucked into bed when I informed him I wanted a shower. He decided to go back to mingling with our guests and I took a shower. That’s when everything went wrong. *TMI ALERT* I started puking. Like hard core, couldn’t stop puking. I managed to get FF to come back down. He got me calmed down and I fell asleep.
I awoke the next morning feeling like complete shit. My head hurt, my stomach hurt. I was shaky. I was weak. I. Was. Miserable. FF had to go to work but stayed with me as long as he could. I called Sis to tell her what happened and she said something along the lines of, “Duh, you have a concussion! I’ll come get you and we can get you up to the hospital.” I didn’t want to go the hospital. I made it through the night (turns out FF is so much smarter than I give him credit for and had awoken me a few times in the night to make sure I would wake up. Have I mentioned how wonderful he is?). So, after I refused to go the hospital I gave Mamacita a call and she handled her best friend duties very well and came and sat with me until FF got done work. I spent most of the day sleeping. I even missed P’s actual welcome home party because I was so rundown! I got better each day and my appetite finally came back last Thursday (thank God because I LOVE to eat!).
So now you know how I got a concussion from giving a hug. I hope it provided you with some laughs on this Monday morning XO
First off, let me apologize for missing yesterday’s post. I had planned a Vlog but was having troubles figuring out getting my webcam working. It was supposed to be snapshots of diabetes and it was gonna be great! Oh well, maybe (no promises!) I’ll get it done some time this week. One thing I still want to talk about though that I was going to discuss yesterday is Stick Me Designs. This chica makes some kick ass accessories for PWDs. There are cute & funky little bags to carry & organize all your pens, needles, strips, meters, etc. She makes these fabulous little Bio flip containers. Right now she’s running a contest looking for her biggest Superfan who will win TONS of awesome stuff. Now, I’ve been drooling over her designs since I first heard about them. If you’d be willing to help me out, become a fan of Stick Me designs on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Let her know I sent ya? Thanks all! Now, back to the daunting task at hand.
Dream a little dream – life after a cure. To wrap up Diabetes Blog Week, let’s pretend a cure has been found. We are all given a tiny little pill to swallow and *poof* our pancreases are back in working order. No side effects. No more insulin resistance. No more diabetes. Tell us what your life is now like. Or take us through your first day celebrating life without the Big D. Blog about how you imagine you would feel if you no longer were a Person With Diabetes.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been dreading this post all week. I lived 26 years without diabetes. Without lancing my finger, calculating carbs or injecting myself. I lived all those years without disappointing test results, fighting my own body and incredible guilt about all things diabetes related. I lived without planning medications days ahead, keeping juiceboxes & glucose tabs stashed all over creation and without naive questions from people who don’t understand diabetes. I spent 26 years with a working pancreas, and I believe I will see that day again.
In reading today’s posts from the other participants, its clear to see many have given up hope of a cure – at least in their lifetimes. I can understand that. They’re years ahead of me in terms of how long they have lived with diabetes. They have been hearing for decades how close a cure is only to hear it over and over again without it being true. I understand that at some point you have to adjust your thinking and point of view in order to survive. I’m not there yet though.
I think believing in a cure is what keeps me going. If I had to readily accept that I would be injecting myself every day for the rest of my life or live attached to needles and tubing, I don’t think I could. I’ve been trying to focus on the positives of this disease. I think of all the people I’ve educated who will no longer say, “Are you sure you can eat that.” I think of the technological advancements so that pumps no longer require tubing, glucometers no longer require a pint of blood and you can test your blood sugar without ruining your fingertips. I think of Islet Cell Transplants, The Artificial Pancreas Project & discovering pigs can’t develop diabetes (read it here). We’re getting closer and closer to a cure every day. This is thanks to countless researchers, scientists and PWDs & their supporters who are spending time and raising money to make this dream a reality.
For those of you who don’t plan on seeing a cure in your lifetime, I mean you no disrespect. This is one of those hot button issues where everyone will have a different view. There is no right or wrong. No black or white. I admire you for your honesty and candor – and for your never waning sense of responsiblity to the PWD community.
So, what will it mean when the cure is found? I honestly don’t know. I haven’t run into a situation in my short time as a PWD that I feel like the disease held me back from doing something. I eat what I want, go where I want and do what I want. Of course there’s a lot more thinking and planning for me than for a “normal” person, but everyone has things to overcome. I’ve discovered through reading blogs of all kinds, every one has something going on in their life that they feel powerless to change. There is infertility. There’s divorce. There are other diseases. There are sick parents and dying kids. There are homeless people and natural disasters. I don’t mean to downplay the seriousness or the trauma associated with diabetes. I’m just saying in my mindset I try to focus on the fact that I’m not alone in this disease and I’m not alone in the range of emotions I feel about it. If there is ever a cure for diabetes, I will still be me. And I will join a fight to eradicate something else that’s plaguing people I care about. Yes, I also believe in world peace. I also refuse to stop searching for the silver lining while wearing my rose colored glasses.
Thank you all for reading this week and a special extra big thank you to Karen over at Bitter-Sweet Diabetes for organizing Diabetes Blog Week. I’ve made new connections and gained new outlooks. This is one of the best diabetes experiences I’ve ever had and has made me proud to be a PWD. It has given me motivation and information I don’t know where I would have found anywhere else. So thank you to the 140 participants and Karen. This has been an amazingly inspirational week.
So far, this week has been amazing! Diabetes Blog Week has put me in touch with so many D-blogs that I most likely wouldn’t have found otherwise. I’ve found new motivation to take better care of myself. Honestly, my sugars this week have been FABULOUS and I thank the D-OC for being the amazing support and motivation that they’ve been…and not only this week. Thanks again to Karen over at Bitter-Sweet for organizing this. I’m so proud to be a part if it. Now, on to today’s post.
Exercise . . . love it or hate it? Do you have a regular exercise routine? Or do you have trouble finding your exercise motivation? How do you manage your insulin and food to avoid bottoming out during your workout? Today is the day to tell us all about your exercise habits, or lack thereof.
If you would have asked me this a year ago, I would be completely lost as to what to write. I’ve ALWAYS hated exercise. I couldn’t understand the people that had the determination to and discipline to make regular trips to the gym. I didn’t enjoy running or any other sports. I wanted to be in shape. I wanted nice arms and great legs. I wanted tone and definition, but I didn’t really wanna work for it. Whaddya know, this is just one more thing that FF helped me with.
He’s been a gym nut for years. I went with him a few times last summer when I had time but it just wasn’t really my scene. Gyms are intimidating. You always size up who’s there. I went in feeling that I would never compare to the super athletic girls running on the treadmills and the guys with big guns just lifting insane amounts of weight? Kinda creepy. After BRE moved away for the winter, FF suggested I be his new workout partner. I laughed. I wanted to but I just didn’t see myself becoming a regular at the gym.
I’m immensely proud to say that almost six months later, I’m still going to the gym. Sometimes three times a week, sometimes four, or this week, one. I’m not nearly as dedicated as FF but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. My body has made some amazing changes and I’m in the best shape of my life. I start with a core workout and then move to lifting. FF designed a routine for me for all the different muscle groups I want to work on(biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, back & legs). I don’t do much weight but it’s definitely made a difference. And now that tank top weather is here, people are noticing and that gives me even MORE motivation! I also try to get at least 10 minutes of cardio as often as possible (not much but better than none!).
So the big part of this is my insulin needs. Whether I was on my pump or not, I haven’t had a lot of issues with exercise induced lows. Because most of what I do is lifting, I actually see my numbers higher after the gym (they’ll drop about an hour after my workout is over). I always check my sugar before working out and decide if I need to correct with insulin or if I want to work off a high sugar on the treadmill. If while at the gym I start feeling not so hot, they have Tootsie Rolls and I’ll just grab one of those to tide me over. I haven’t had any serious incidents but I have made getting a new Medic Alert bracelet a priority as I’d like to start doing more exercise alone and I need people to be able to recognize quickly that I’m a PWD.
So, today’s post, not the most interesting thing I’ve written all week but definitely something I am most proud of. I still don’t necessarily enjoy exercise and I don’t love the gym but I do love my body right now and that definitely counts for something XO
I think today’s topic for Diabetes Blog Week is the thing I wrestle with the most – food.
Thursday 5/13 – To carb or not to carb. Today let’s blog about what we eat. And perhaps what we don’t eat. Some believe a low carb diet is important in diabetes management, while others believe carbs are fine as long as they are counted and bolused for. Which side of the fence do you fall on? What kind of things do you eat for meals and snacks? What foods do you deem bolus-worthy? What other foodie wisdom would you like to share?
In my whole life (until my diagnosis) I never once worried about what I ate. I was blessed with a slight frame and a speedy metabolism. The only issues I ever had with my weight were because people believed I had an eating disorder (but if you know me, you know that’s impossible. I LOVE food so I eat it every chance I get and I HATE throwing up so I avoid that whenever possible.). I’m not trying to boast here, just proving that my eating habits left much to be desired.
I ate what I wanted, when and I wanted and how often I wanted to. Lunches in high school usually consisted of a bag of Doritos and a soda. Bad, I know but whatcha gonna do?
When my diagnosis came, I felt like an accident victim learning to walk again. I knew nothing about counting carbs or how fat effected their absorbtion. I didn’t know about ratios and corrections and how differently 60 grams of carbs in a bagel would react opposed to 60 grams from pasta. What was really difficult was the fact I was on what I like to refer to as a “Divorce Diet” immediately following my diagnosis. I didn’t want to eat (I am the exact opposite of an emotional eater. When I’m stressed or upset, the LAST thing I want is food. If it makes you feel any better though – I AM a boredom eater. Big time! And I get bored A LOT!). So controlling my sugars was easy and more often than not I was correcting a low and not correcting a high.
I did make a lot of changes though. I switched to whole grain, high fiber foods (mostly referring to breads and pastas). I already drank diet cola but I switched completely to diet soda. I went to a low carb milk (It actually says “dairy beverage” on the carton…wierd). I tried to incorporate a lot more protein and veggies. It was hard. I am now and have always been a carb freak – potatoes, bread, rice, cereal, potato chips – you name it, I wanted to shove it down my throat. I even drink low carb beer (Yay for Miller Lite and MGD 64! Side note: I will NOT bolus for alcohol. If I want to have a “Good beer” a.k.a microbrew, I must have it with a meal I am going to bolus for already. I cannot justify taking insulin so I can drink – but, to each their own).
Luckily FF lost all his weight by cutting way down on carbs so he’s helped me change my eating habits now that the “divorce diet” has long since vanished. Most of our meals consist of meat and veggies and I’ll have a carb 3-4 times a week (usually I’ll make one of those bags of Lipton Noodles & Sauce and split it up over a few meals). He doesn’t chastise me when I want carbs and he is far better at abstaining than I am. I make a quiche on the weekends and we altered the recipe to exclude crust and we use egg whites instead of whole eggs (it’s DELICIOUS!). Little changes can make a big difference.
I have to say my biggest issue with food though is people with a fully functioning pancreas that can’t mind their own business or are victims of complete and utter ignorance. I hate being asked, “Should you be eating that?” Or worse, “You shouldn’t be eating that.” WHAT THE EFF DO YOU KNOW?! Just because your pancreas works doesn’t mean 3 donuts are any better for you! EVERYONE should *think* about what they’re putting in their bodies and how not just the carbs, but the fat, calories, sodium and cholesterol affects their health. Everyone should be conscious of their food decisions. I just have to think about it a bit more because, well I have diabetes. The key is moderation. If I want cake or a cookie, I’ll have it. I’ll just remember that decision later when I want ice cream. It’s a sacrifice and a compromise but if it means staying healthy longer, I’m willing to do it.
Honestly, I could go on about this topic for days but I’ll leave you with what I have written because you probably have another 168 blogs to read. XO
Day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week and I am having so much fun! Have I thanked you yet Karen? This is gonna be a long post because I have a lot of people to thank. Please don’t play the music to get me off stage – not gonna work because these people are owed a BIG thank you!
Your Biggest Supporter. Sure, our diabetes care is ultimately up to us and us alone. But it’s important to have someone around to encourage you, cheer you, and even help you when you need it. Today it’s time to gush and brag about your biggest supporter. Is it your spouse or significant other? Your best friend, sibling, parent or child? Maybe it’s your endo or a great CDE? Or perhaps it’s another member of the D-OC who is always there for you? Go ahead, tell them just how much they mean to you!
To me, support comes in many different ways. Let me count them for you 🙂
1.) My team of doctors: As a diabetic, I have a SLEW of doctors. PCP, Endo and CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) for starters. I love those three women. My PCP saw me through my diagnosis and I still can call her any time I have a question. My CDE and I had a fabulous relationship from the get go and we even e-mail. Yeah, she’s awesome (side note: I actually e-mailed her today about Diabetes Blog Week – she’s impressed. And sharing the link!) My endo is also fabulous. I have other doctors too, of course. I have an eye doctor, a gyno, a dentist etc. but they don’t see me often enough to know me well and pretty mush assume I either know nothing about diabetes or take shitty care of myself. I should work on finding some new ones.
2.) My family – I don’t have enough nice things to say about my family and the support they give me. Whether it’s sitting next to me in the ER while I get rehydrated (aka Jumpstart) or accompanying me to scary doctors appointments (is being scared of the doctor normal at 30?!). Its taking care of me when I’m sick or helping to keep me out of the hospital one.more.time. It’s learning what I need and how my body reacts. Sis obviously has a handle on this. Mom and Dad are still learning – but then again, so am I. I wouldn’t have made it this far without my family. The diagnosis itself was devastating but to be left by your husband immediately after, HEARTBREAKING. And who was there to pick up the pieces and put me back together again? My family and I am so gracious and humbled by their love and support.
3.) FF – I’d have to say he’s my BIGGEST supporter. While my family kind of HAS to deal with it (my mom has a funny saying about having to love and take care of each other, “because it’s the law.” It might sound bad to some but I still find it funny – and true!) FF does it because he loves me, cares about me and wants me around for a long time (not that my family doesn’t – it’s just a different dynamic). His caring comes in ALL forms. From reminding me to check my sugar (because he can tell by my mood if I’m soaring sky high), to swinging by the drugstore to pick up insulin, to making me a pb sandwich or grabbing a juice box when I’m low and need help. It’s reminding me to grab strips or needles from under the sink to refill my kit. It’s offering advice on what new Medic Alert bracelet or diabetic supply bag I want. It’s changing my Pod (when I was on one) for me because I can’t reach the new site. But the real kicker, I can tell him ANYTHING. I can bounce ideas off him (Should I go on Symlin? What do you think of a CGM?). I can be frustrated (why am I so high again? Am I getting sick? What if this never gets better?!). I can cry, bitch and moan (why me?) and he always has the right answer – even when I don’t know what I’m looking for. Luckily (well kind of but not really) his mom is a diabetic and when she was diagnosed he did all the research he could. So when I came along, he wasn’t scared of what it meant to date someone with diabetes. He had an arsenal of knowledge already. As a matter of fact, on our first date he made me dinner – completely carb free (story coming soon – I promise!) swoon! He’s there when I laugh about diabetes and he’s there to hold me on those occasions where I just want to cry (and I do – A LOT!) I had a breakdown just this past weekend about becoming a mother (working on a post about this too – and no, I’m NOT pregnant). Do I want to have children? Will I be able to? And he listened…REALLY listened. Not once did he tell me I was silly (because he does tell me when I’m being silly) he just rubbed my leg, heard me out and said, “I understand.” The validation was exactly what I needed. He claims he’s always two steps ahead of my thinking and although that can’t be easy to do, he’s right. I couldn’t imagine anyone loving me this much and not just aside from the diabetes but sometimes because of it. He credits me when I can’t find the courage to see how far I’ve come since my diagnosis. He reminds me that three years isn’t a long time and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself all the time. But he’s also there to remind me how important it is that I take proper care of myself and not in a guilty way but in an, “I love you and I want you in my life for a long time” kind of way.
So that’s my support. It comes in all forms – mental support, emotional support and physical support. Without my doctors, my family and FF I don’t know that I could find the strength for this. And now, I have the D-OC to lean on too! I am tremendously thankful to each and every one of you. I am learning so much from all of you. It’s nice to be supported by people who are going through exactly what I am and offer words of advice and encouragement. I would mail you all a thank you card if I could (but diabetes supplies are expensive and I don’t have your addresses). So please consider this a giant hug from me to all of me new D-OC friends. I don’t know how I made it this far without you! XO
In keeping up with Diabetes Blog Week (did you know there are over 100 D-Bloggers participating?! Awesome job Karen – you should be proud!) it’s day two. Here’s the prompt for today’s entry
Making the low go. Tell us about your favorite way to treat a low. Juice? Glucose tabs? Secret candy stash? What’s your favorite thing to indulge in when you are low? What do you find brings your blood sugar up fast without spiking it too high?
As a diabetic, I always fear the low. I fear the way it feels. There’s no way to describe what happens, but I’ll try. It starts with a fire in my gut. It’s hunger and heat at the same time. I find myself famished. Like belly growling, would kill a chicken with my bare hands to eat it kind of hungry (you’re welcome for the mental image). And that fire? It grows into this kind of heat from the center of my body to top of my head and tips of my toes. The sweat faucet turns on and my lower back, cleavage and upper lip (sexy!) are soaked. My hands shake so that I can barely use my lancing device let alone get some blood on the strip. It’s terrible and all I wanna do is pour sugar down my throat to make the nastiness stop. And also, to make the black dots stop multiplying every time I blink. I repeat over and over, “You can do this. You’re in control. You won’t pass out. Get. Food. Now.”
Most of the time, I can handle a low on my own. For the most part, I have glucose at arm’s length. I keep a glucose tab holder on my key ring (saved me more than once!). There are juice boxes in the fridge at home and in my desk drawer at work. In my desk drawer you’ll also find little packs of peanut butter crackers. Crackers are also in my cupboard next to raisins. On long car rides you’ll find any combination of those foods. Most of the time, I want a peanut butter sandwich but sometimes I just don’t think I have time to make one (although nights where I feel I may have over bolused – I take a peanut butter sandwich and juice box to bed with me – just in case I want breakfast in bed).
My problem when I’m low is that I am in complete panic mode but on auto pilot at the same time. I don’t like people to see me when I’m low. Besides the obvious sexiness that it involves, I want people to know I am responsible. I don’t want them to think A. – she should have better control and this wouldn’t happen or B. – Oh God, what if she passes out? I don’t think I could handle that. So I put on this face like it’s all ok, nothing bad is happening. People close to me know what to look for and are willing to help (and sometimes I even let them!).
Anyway, back to the auto pilot. I mean no disrespect here (see, apology in advance) but when I’m low, and alone, I will binge. Like a bullimic. But I won’t purge. I feel like I can’t get food into my mouth fast enough. I feel like the sugar is saving my life and I need to make sure I survive. Herein lies the problem. The after low swing. I find it hard to eat the 15g of carbs and then wait. And then test. Then 15g. Then wait. Then test. It takes too long and I feel like crap. So I eat, then I eat, then I eat. Then I deny I did anything wrong. Then, an hour later, I test. Then I bolus…and fear the low again XO
Wow – where did last week go? Karen over at Bitter-Sweet suggested a Diabetes Blog Week and I quickly said, “Yes please!” I figured this would be great for my current writer’s block. I can write about something I know. I can write with a prompt, and therefore some direction. I thought, “Yeah, I’ll draft this week, set everything up to publish on the correct day and I’ll have a whole week to not wrack my brain on what to write. Perfect!” Well, last week got busy. Then I got a concussion (It’s a great story. It involves a failed (yet completed) hug attempt. I’ll save it for another time. I’m feeling much better now though!). So here I sit at 9:30 on a Monday night because dang it, I made a promise. And I’ve been looking forward to this!
Day 1 – A day in the life . . . with diabetes. Take us through a quick rundown of an average day and all the ways in which diabetes touches it. Blood tests, site changes, high and low blood sugars, meal planning, anything that comes along. This can be a log of an actual day, or a fictional compilation of pieces from many days
I actually posted about this a little over a month ago. You can read it here. Go figure I wait til the last minute and THEN don’t follow instructions. Luckily, Karen must have thought of this because she provided a wild card prompt:
Blood Sugar Nirvana or Moronic Moment. (inspired by the lovely Kelly Kunik) Blog about the time you ate a meal that tends to spike you to the moon, but your perfectly calculated and timed bolus kept your blood sugar happy. Or tell us about that time your brain had a little diabetes-blip and you did something you think is “stupid”. (Because chances are, we’ve done it too!!) Go ahead, brag about your triumph or commiserate about your d-blooper.
I had to think about this one for a while. The first thing that came to my mind was shortly after I was diagnosed. I remember those first few nights of testing. And shots. More testing. More shots. I didn’t know the first thing about carb counting and ratios. I just knew where I wanted my sugar to be and it was WAY higher than my goal.
Sis, being a nurse and all, was very supportive those first few days. She gathered information at work to share with me about low carb foods and tons of other D related info. She came over to my parent’s house and wrote down everything we’d learned from our appointment with my D Educator (Rhonda, bless her heart! I love this woman!). She explained to them how to give a Glucagon shot. She explained to them what happens if I don’t take care of myself. I kind of just sat there, still in a state of shock and disbelief. Thank God she was there. Things were hard enough but I can’t imagine how much tougher it would’ve been without her knowledge and cooperation (I know you read now, Sis. In case I never told you, thank you. It meant the world and I wouldn’t be here now if not for all you did.).
Now, I was checking my sugar before every meal (of course! I still do this – most of the time…) and several times in between. When I was diagnosed I was at 580. So, I was informed it would take a few days to get things down and regulated. On the night Sis came over to have the Come to Jesus talk with my parents I tested, per usual before dinner. For the first time since my diagnosis, it was under 200. I was elated! It was my first feeling of success. My first ray of sunshine after a dark, dark cloud. I remember looking at my dad and he was just beaming. I still don’t know if he knew then how significant (or insignificant) what was happening was but it was evident he shared in my (mini) triumph. It was the validation I’d been looking for. It felt like a weight had been lifted. I could do this! And after that, I did. My next endo appointment brought my A1C from a 7.4 to a 5.9! I pushed myself to get to that goal. It was what I needed at the time. I wish I could find that motivation again. However, when I feel down and disappointed, I remember the look on my father’s face as I did a little dance with my glucometer in my hand and a giant smile on my face. XO