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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Insulinated Oranges

For those who haven't heard via Facebook or Twitterville, I didn't lose my job.  Even thought I feel relieved, I must admit I'm also feeling a little survivor's guilt.  But today I had my first rolling laugh in a long time.  Things are still down, but they're going up.  

I think I heard a statistic one time that 9/10 people know a person with diabetes.  So, after a pretty mundane meeting on Wednesday afternoon, it's no surprise that diabetes became a topic.  I was excitedly exclaiming the arrival of Constance.  Not long after, other conversations about D began, including a story that had me rolling. 

One engineer whose wife has diabetes, heard a story of a newly-diagnosed diabetic.  While in the hospital, the nurses were teaching him how to give himself his insulin shot in an orange.  After several days in the hospital, the patient's blood glucose readings were still rising.  Was the insulin not working? 

Finally, the nurses asked the patient to show them how he gave himself his insulin.  (Can you see where this is going?)  He proceeded to inject his orange with insulin, peeled the orange, and ate it. 

. . .

I was laughing so hard, tears were beginning to roll down my face.  I'm not sure if the story was just that funny, to me, or if I'm over exaggerating from the lack of humor in the last few weeks.  But it's true what they say, laughter is the best medicine. 

Just be careful trying to swallow the plastic and metal tip.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Meme for My Mushy Brain

For those that don't know, today is D-day for our company.  My brain is nowhere near where it should be.  What is a blogger to do in times like this?  Why, a meme!  This meme is from Olivejooice previously from Six Until Me.

“Can you fill this out without lying? You’ve been tagged, so now you need to answer all the questions HONESTLY.”

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Office coffee with half-n-half.

2. Where was your profile picture taken?
The one on my blog is from my friend Jessica's wedding.  Photographer thought me putting on lipstick would make for a good picture. 

3. Can you play Guitar Hero? Oh goodness no, the one time I tried I failed on the Beginner level.  I spend the rest of the night playing with our friends' cat. 

4. Name someone who made you laugh today? It's only 8:00 AM, but the Rick & Bubba Show.  They make me laugh every morning. 

5. How late did you stay up last night and why? 9:00 PM after watching Legend of the Seeker on Hulu with the hubby. 

6. If you could move somewhere else, would you? No way, I love our new house and we've put too much work into it to move. 

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? Absolutely, in Chattanooga at their downtown park, with my then-future-hubby. 

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you on your FaceBook list?
Either Donald & Maxie or BJ & Sarah. 

9. Do you believe exes can be friends?
Somewhat.  "Friends" on FB, sure.  Friends in real life, be careful!

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? Not crazy about him, but love his skinny relative, Diet Dr. Pepper.

11. When was the last time you cried really hard? Yesterday on the way home, I've pretty much cried everyday since Monday two weeks ago.

12. Who took your profile picture? Jessica's photographer, I don't know his name.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?
Person?  No idea.  I've taken so many more pictures of my pets.

14. Was yesterday better than today?
Ask me tomorrow.

15. Can you live a day without TV? Yes, in fact, I have. I went on a 30-day sabbatical from TV last year.  I should probably do that again.  Way too many things to do. 

16. Are you upset about anything? That's easy.  Possibly losing my job and losing some really great coworkers.  =(

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Absolutely!  Ask anyone who's been married for 50 years.

18. Are you a bad influence?
No idea.  Probably in some way.  ;-)

19. Night out or night in? Night in, with a pizza and a movie, cuddled up on the couch.  Heaven!

20. What items could you not go without during the day?
Meter, insulin pump, and sunglasses B-)

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? My friend Jennifer after she gave birth to her beautiful daughter.  =)

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
Never got to ask u about tomorrow cookout. U free?

23. How do you feel about your life right now? Right now at this moment? anxious. Overall? I love my life and feel very blessed.  Regardless of everything going on, I have a peace with whatever happens. 

24. Do you hate anyone?
No, nobody's worth that much brain time.  ;-)

25. If we were to look in your Facebook inbox, what would we find?
A whole bunch from my mom, because she doesn't like to do wall posts.

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? Traditional drug test? Yes. Otherwise, I'm constantly getting a fix on insulin.  ;-)

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? My coach once called my GPA perfect cuz I made all A's in high school.  Yeah, I know, nerd! 

28. What song is stuck in your head?
Nothing right now, my brain is saturated with Rick & Bubba. =D

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., a secret lover or George Clooney?
Probably our dogs because we have a door going to the back yard from our bedroom.  It's happened before. 

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50? If I were pregnant right now (which I'm not, Brenda!), our child would be 21 when we would be 50.  So, physically it could be possible.  Would I want that?  Only if that's what our child wants. 

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Go buy more cat litter before we leave for our trip this weekend. 

32. Do you think too much or too little? Way too much.  I should stop. 

33. Do you smile a lot? A lot?  Probably not.  I smile when I'm happy or something's funny. 

Bonus Round…

34. How many hours a day do you spend on the computer?
Counting work, about 10, that's sad.

35. If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be? A dog trainer. It's my back-up career choice and I'd like to try it for a day. 

36. Facebook or Twitter? Personal life stuff is mainly Facebook.  D-stuff is mainly Twitter.  But I have some D friends on FB, and that's just awesome!

37. Chicken or Beef?

38. Mac or PC? The only Mac I've ever used is my roommate Jennifer's in college.  It was OK.  But I would purchase a Mac to keep those "Helly, I'm a Mac.  And I'm a PC." commercials going.

39. Have you ever punched anyone in the face? I don't think so.  I've only ever been in one physical fight, and it was mainly pushing and shoving.

40. Last music received or purchased? I'm horrible at purchasing music.  I still have yet to own an MP3 player.  I guess our wedding video was the last music that I purchased.  

That was fun.  Your turn!  =) 

Monday, June 28, 2010

About Holly

My name is Holly and I am a type 1 diabetic, diagnosed on December 11, 2006 at 22-years-old.  I live in north Alabama with my husband, 2 dogs, and 2 cats (yes, we have too many pets). 

This blog will mainly be about my life with type 1 diabetes with my insulin pump named Arnold (because he "pumps me up").  I am currently getting started with a Dexcom CGM who will be named Constance (because she monitors me "constantly"). 

There are other areas of my life that will spill into this blog:

  • First and foremost, I am a Christian.  I believe a man named Jesus Christ lived a sinless, perfect life as God's Son here on Earth, and that he died as the ultimate sacrifice for my sin.  He died so that I could not only have eternal life, but eternal joy. 
  • I am married to the most wonderful, patient man in the world, Trey.  We are still considered newlyweds by a lot of definitions.  We were married on August 23, 2008 when we were both 23-years-old.  
  • I am a southern belle and a tomboy at the same time.  I bleed orange and blue during the football season for the Auburn University Tigers.  I would much rather spend my days with my dogs or playing softball outside.  
  • I currently work as a NASA contractor as a terrestrial environments engineer.  Even though I have a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in atmospheric science, I somehow walk around with business cards that say "Engineer".  I feel very proud for the education that I've earned, especially as a female.  
  • I'm quite clumsy and pretty self-conscious.  I wear my emotions on my sleeves, which may or may not be detrimental to this blog.  
Read at your own risk!

~Holly =)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

That's a New One

This morning, I woke up to a new, interesting error on my pump.  I was still asleep, dreaming about something.  I don't remember what I was dreaming about, but I do remember I kept hearing this vibrating noise.  I woke up to Arnold buzzing his head off.  I was sleeping on my stomach, and he had managed to somehow make his way to my torso right above my belly button. 

After I woke up and realized what was going on, I looked at my pump to find this error: 

BUTTON ERROR: Button has been pushed for more than 3 minutes.  
Press ESC, ACT to clear.  

What in the world?!  A button error?!  In my almost 3 years of pumping, I have never seen this error before.  I guess in my tossing and turning, Arnold made his way up to my rib cage where he pressed one of his buttons up to my rib case for . . . more than 3 minutes.  

The whole physics and statistics of the situation astound me.  First of all, which button did I push?  I know it wasn't the light button, because it wasn't on.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't the easy bolus/up button because I would think I would have heard the beep-Beep-BEEP of the increasing units, which is very scary!  I could have had a Ninjabetic experience.  I have been known to sleep through my pump alarms before--I usually wake up to, "Holly, you're buzzing" by my wonderful hubby.  

I've deduced that it was either the bolus wizard, ESC, or ACT button because these three buttons have the most surface area than the other buttons on my pump and they were parallel with my rib cage.  (I've just realized my physicist, engineer self is coming out--apologizing in advance.)  So, I hit ESC, ACT to clear this weird error.  

I suppose Arnold is excited about Constance's arrival this week, and waiting to exclaim it?  Though, I am wondering how I am going to wake up to these late night/early morning Dexcom alarms if I can't hear my pump alarm.  I guess I just bought a new alarm to wake up Trey, who will in turn wake me up.  Hehe . . .

Diabetes, you continue to surprise me.  

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Five: 25 June 2010

Since yesterday's post was very work-heavy, I've decided for this Friday Five edition that I would try to list other things on my mind other than work.  . . . This . . . may . . . take awhile.

  1. Today is the first anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson.  I was in PetsMart when I got the call from a good friend who loves MJ.  When I got home, I turned on the TV to MTV (naturally) to see what happened, and they were just looping through old MJ videos, including some from when he was in the Jackson 5.  I thought about turning to another news station to get the scoop, but I sat there for a couple hours just watching all his old videos.  Say what you will about his personal life, but there's no doubt he left his mark on the music industry.
  2. We put our old house up for rent this past Monday.  Trey has shown it to at least one person, up to three, per day everyday this week.  We have some really promising prospects, but I'll be excited when they sign a lease agreement.  It would certainly help the . . . ummm . . . unmentionable situation (dangit!).  
  3. Eclipse comes out next week!!!  YAY!!!  However, we probably won't go see it until the weekend because we'll be up in Tennessee with Trey's family for the July 4th holiday, so a big family movie outing is probably in the works.  I'm definitely excited to see the movie, but I also don't like big crowds.  So, I'm willing to let all the teenie boppers have their turn during the week, and leave me and my popcorn-loving self alone.  (P.S.  I love popcorn!  I buy those 100-calorie snack packs in bulk and have them for my afternoon snack every other day.  Mmmm, popcorn.)  Team Jacob!
  4. It is freakin' HAWT!  The forecast all this week has been in the mid to high 90s.  But every time I get in my car, the outside thermometer says either 101 F or 102 F.  I make sure the dogs have a fresh bowl of water everyday before I leave for work, because I know their old water has just been boiling outside on a concrete patio.  I haven't been walking any this week either.  I go walking through a woodsy trail which, when combined with heat and humidity, makes all the spiders and their webs come out.  Instead of walking, I would be leaping and jumping due to all the webs in my hair.  *sigh*  I need a gym. 
  5. A friend of ours who is pregnant just found out this week that they're having a girl!  They are so excited and we're excited for them.  She and I are kind of similar but different because she is extremely sensitive to high fat foods (gallbladder reasons) and I am carb-sensitive (or at least carb-conscious).  So, whenever we go out to eat with them, we never know where to go because she can't eat much pizza and I don't want to SWAG bolus.  Our husbands hate this, lol.  We usually end up somewhere with a nice variety or buffet like Ruby Tuesday's.  Earlier this year she got serious about her diet because of trying to conceive.  I guess she rubbed off on me wanting to take things more seriously, too.  Thus, here I am.  =)  
Have a great weekend, everyone!  Stay hydrated.  =P  

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stress, I Haz It

I feel like my whole life is full of stress right now.  From my whole job situation to getting a chip on my freshly-pedicured toes, life right now is Le Suck. 

The overclouding stresser right now is my job.  We keep getting tidbits each and every day about how the RIF (reduction-in-force) is going to play out.  For my company, that process will happen next week.  Regardless if I stay or go next week, one this is for certain:  the program will NOT be the better for it.  I'm choosing to not let this be a political post, but the fact is that with so many people being let go at once, there will be several projects that will die when they leave.  And I've already been reassigned to another project fulltime, which means I've moved away from the original project that I got hired for.  I really like the new project that I'm on, and I love the people on it.  But it's not related to anything that I have a passion for, like weather. 

Another stresser is our new dog, Missy.  She's a lovable little thing, but she's full grown and still 100% puppy.  We're having to start over with her on training and she's taken to it pretty well, but I worry so much about where she came from and what kind of past she's had.  She was found as a stray, so there's no telling where her history starts.  But she loves us and Roscoe who will play with her until they both collapse from exhaustion.  She's not "officially" ours yet, paperwork pending.  But she has a heart of gold, and as her new pet momma I worry about her feeling safe and secure with her new family. 

And of course, there's always diabetes.  My numbers have been pretty solid, evidence by my latest A1c.  But I've been running really low at night for no good reason other than standard housework.  When I arrive home from work, I stay pretty busy until about 9:00 PM when I crash and veg out to The Office for an hour.  For example, yesterday I was finishing up some laundry from the day before, cleaned up the kitchen to actually make dinner, cleaned up some kitty pee (Grrrr!  This bugs me to no end, especially in a new house.  But I think they're feeling threatened with the new dog.  Get over it, kids, we don't love the new baby more than you.  Sheesh!), and started the sausage-stuffed french loaf and steamed veggies dinner.  I was already at 50 mg/dL before even starting dinner.  Less than an hour and a half after dinner, I was feeling all kinds of fuzzy, which lead to a test resulting in 47 mg/dL.  Having this many lows before bedtime scares me, so I usually overcompensate and end up way high by morning. 

All this to say that I'm stressed.  I tend to have an overly stressed nature to begin with.  There's always a worry in my mind at some point throughout the day.  "Did I put that check in the mail?"  "I wonder if the dogs are OK in 97 F weather?"  "Will I ever stick to a workout routine?"  "Does diabetes mean I won't live to see my 50th wedding anniversary?"  And of course, "Will I be layed off next week?" 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Endo, A1c, and CGM . . . OH MY!

This past Monday I had my quarterly endocrinology appointment.  I feel (as I'm sure many diabetics do) that the endo appointments are like the progress reports, not just for diabetes, but for your life.  You can either leave the office feeling accomplished or bummed and ready to start over.  The latter was me after my last appointment in February. 

My last A1c in February was 7.1.  *waiting for the throwed stones*  I know that's a great number for a lot of people, but it was the highest I had been since I had went on the pump and my highest A1c except for my steller 9.1 post-diagnosis.  My lowest A1c ever was 5.1, but that was after the summer I was a camp counselor chasing kids all day, still on MDIs including 20 units of Lantus every night.  I was pretty much living in 60s during that time.  The following fall is when I received Arnold. 

My appointment in February wasn't actually my scheduled appointment.  The morning of that day I had a *ahem* girlie appointment where they found sugar in my urine (it was a post-breakfast high following some Life cinnamon cereal).  My gyno made sure to lay a guilt trip on me, which was easy to do given the humiliating experience of that appointment, anyway.  Of course, I freaked out and called my endocrinologist's office after I left.  The poor nurse didn't know what to say except, "We have an appointment open at 2:15."  "OK *sniff* I'll be there." 

When I saw my endo that afternoon, I was still in tears.  I'm not sure how many emotional crying girls he gets during the day, but he handled it well.  He told me sugar in my urine is fairly common especially if your BG is over 200, an easy feat for a type 1 diabetic.  He said the main thing to worry about is protein in the urine (which I knew).  But to ease my worries, he said I could go have some lab work done.  I agreed and he wrote me up a lab request.  My lab work came back clean except for a slightly elevated cholesterol level, which I've made adjustments to change since then. 

So, after my self-fail A1c of 7.1, I started taking diabetes more seriously.  I started measuring out my food properly and tried to count carbs rather than SWAG bolusing.  I also started this blog, and what's not serious about that, right?  Then, when the weather got warmer I started walking with my RoscoeAll of those changes helped me drop to 6.5, down 0.6 points in 4 months!  *baby circle dance* 

And what's so exciting (to me) is that I feel like things will get even better once I get my Dexcom CGM.  My endo signed the letter for my insurance, who now hold my approval in their hands.  I already know they will cover 90% of the costs, so it's just a matter of time and paperwork before I'll be a real-time diabetic.  As funny as this sounds, I'm so excited to have another piece of hardware stuck to me 24/7!  I test at almost the same exact time everyday, resulting in chunks of time that I never know what my BG is.  Having a CGM will help me know what's happening during those blind times and my endo and I can adjust accordingly. 

How do you feel after a good/bad A1c?  Do you take it as just a number or does it affect your life for the next 4 months?  Is your endo helpful or do they make you feel berated? 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Dead Goldfish on a High Dive

As I mentioned in my post last week, Trey's company held their annual picnic at a water park.  I haven't been to a water park since pre-D.  I was little overwhelmed just thinking about attempting this outing.  But I was determined not to let D get in the way of my life, especially the fun parts. 

It all started with a site change before we left before the park.  I decided to put my new site on my right thigh so I could easily disconnect Arnold even while wearing my bathing suit.  I wore a blue one piece with athletic shorts (with it being a "work" thing for my hubby, I wanted to be as conservative as possible). 

Before we entered the water park, the company served us a dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs over a pavilion outside the park.  My pre-cookout test was 64 mg/dL.  Awesome.  I wanted to avoid each end of the diabetes spectrum for this trip, but I definitely didn't want to start out low.  For my dinner, I had 2 hot dogs and a bag of BBQ chips which would have been 6 units of insulin for me.  Since I was low and about to engage in some swimming exertion, I decided to completely forget my bolus and reserved to being a little high for this trip (Note:  Kids, don't try this at home!). 

After we ate, we entered the park and reserved a locker.  This was the part I was dreading the most because it meant I was about to disconnect from Arnold for multiple hours.  I disconnected, put on my site cap, put Arnold and the rest of our things in the locker, and said goodbye.  I took a deep breath and tried to forget about it.  I also tried to forget that I was prancing around in my bathing suit in front of my husband's coworkers.  Nothing says awkward like meeting your husband's boss when you're half naked.  Totally.  Awkward. 

The park itself was awesome!  We went on every tube ride that was there, explored the wave pool for about 30 minutes where I began to analyze the wave heights like I do for my work--decided that I seriously need a vacation from work.  We even went down a ride that was called the Splash Bowl, but for all sakes and purposes it was a human-size toilet bowl.  You go down a tube for about 30 feet before entering this huge bowl that slowly inclined downward towards an 8-foot pool.  Now I know what a dead goldfish feels like. 

Between the wave pool and the toilet bowl, I tested in the locker room--139 mg/dL.  I was ecstatic with that number.  Low enough after my carb-heavy dinner, but high enough that we could enjoy the rest of the evening.

After the toilet bowl, we went back to a ride next to the high dives.  The diving boards had 3 levels:  regular dive, kinda-higher dive, and "Holy Crap, is this a cliff?" dive.  I decided I needed to do the cliff dive, just once.  Of course, I was the only human over 20 attempting this jump, which didn't make me feel self-conscious /sarcasm.  After I made the climb on the rickety ladder, I inched my way forward and looked down.  Bad idea.  Back up, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and jumped off with my toes pointed down towards the water like a pencil.  The fall probably lasted 2 seconds, but it felt like 2 minutes.  Just when I thought I was going in the water, I kept falling.  The adrenaline hit me before the water did, but I finally made it in.  When I fell in the water, I didn't anticipate how far I would fall.  The pool was at least 20 feet deep, and I didn't touch the bottom.  I had to swim my way back up to the surface.  It was scary and exciting all at the same time.  I came up and breathed oxygen for the first time since I set foot on that platform.  I climbed out of the pool greeted by my husband and said, "That was awesome." 

After the high dive, we decided it was time to go home.  I got dressed and reconnected with Arnold.  "Hello, friend."  He greeted me back with 152 mg/dL.  Not bad.  I corrected as we walked to the car and made the 45 minute trip home. 

I forgot how much of an adrenaline junky I was pre-D.  I was always the one who would go on the craziest roller coaster, go bungee jumping, sky coasting, and (apparently) high diving.  Diabetes has made me a little more cautious, which I hate.  I thought I would never go to a water park with D, but I did.  And there are so many other things that I want to do.  I want to go sky diving.  I want to take a trip overseas.  And, of course, I want to become a mother, the ultimate daring experience. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just Like Novocaine

I am feeling a little better today from my post on Monday.  I still don't know much about my job situation, other than we're all just waiting.  Last I heard was that the information was coming down from headquarters by the end of this week, then it will trickle down to our managers.  Then . . . well . . . we'll see. 

However, I've been surprisingly busy this week.  So, that helps to keep my mind off of things looming overhead.  Kind of like a numbing effect. 

Speaking of numbing, I went to the dentist this week.  It was a new dentist for us since we moved across town.  The office is located in an older house that was transformed into a dental office, complete with a screen porch (Heaven!).  I got there 45 minutes early because I over-estimated the time needed to get there.  Being used to waiting 1-2 hours at my endo appointments, I was content to wait.  But I noticed a sign in their window that said, "Please inform us if you've been waiting longer than 10 minutes from your scheduled appointment time."  Pssht!  My endo's office has a sign that says, "Due to the volume of patients in our office, your scheduled appointment time may be delayed."  In other words, "Grab a magazine and park it." 

They called me in less than 15 minutes after I arrived, so a good 30 minutes before my scheduled appointment time.  I would like this place already, except that I truly believe that dentistry is the most evil profession in the world.  Seriously.  The hygienist showed me into the torture chamber chair room and directed me to drop off my things in the corner.  We debated about doing X-rays, but since it had been less than a year since my last dentist appointment, we weren't sure that insurance would cover them.  So, we decided to hold off until my next appointment. 

Then, the torture began.  Like I said, it had been about a year since my last appointment.  So, the scraping and poking were intense.  She asked me if I had been flossing to which I said "Ah ha" with my tongue sticking out of my mouth.  I really have been flossing with one of those flossers on a stick.  And using fluoride rinse.  But I suppose there are some things that can only been gotten off with a minature hook (devil profession). 

After scraping off my build-up and I'm sure 50% of my gums, the "polishing" commenced.  I've never heard it called polishing before, but it certainly does tickle in not a fun way.  The sound itself makes my skin crawl.  It's like someone scraping a blackboard with finger nails and rubbing styrofoam all at the same time (soundtrack of the devil?).  The only time in the world I wish I were deaf. 

Finally, flossing.  Honestly, I'm a gentle flosser.  But I think the hygienist have a bet going on who can get more blood to spew from their patients (again, devil's profession).  After flossing, some fluoride rinse, it was finally over.  Forty-five minutes of torture finally done. 

I meet my new dentist.  I don't think she took a breath the whole time she was there (a.k.a. she talked really REALLY fast).  I talked to her about my jaw popping and how it starts to hurt if it's been popping awhile.  She basically told me to try to avoid really crunchy food, don't grind my teeth, and wear a night guard.  Surgery is an option, but it's not a guarantee that it will fix anything. 

I set up my next appointment and leave.  I didn't receive any novocaine (as my title suggests), but I'll always take some.  My gums were so swollen after I left that even attempting some juice was painful.  I know it's part of good health management, but I dread my dentist appointments.  Being diabetic doesn't just mean watching our blood sugars; it also means maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle for an already compromised immune system. 

But I still claim, it's the devil's profession.  How else do all the devil pictures show him with a perfect smile?

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm Not Gonna Pretend I'm OK

I had a great post I was going to write for today.  It was going to be about my hubby's company picnic this weekend at a water park and how diabetes worked in all that.  Bottom line, I wore my pump site cap and tested every hour, beginning with a 64 mg/dL pre-dinner, then 139, then 152, correcting only for the last one before we headed home.  By the way, nothing says awkward like being in your bathing suit when you meet your husband's boss.  :-/

But right now, I'm down.  Last week I wrote about some recent developments that could potentially affect my job.  This morning, it didn't get any better.  Our general manager called an all hands meeting today where he layed out the details.  Bottom line, some people will stay, others will go.  How many and who?  That will be decided later.

I'll be honest that this is strictly an emotional post, but I'm just so frustrated by the politics in all of this.  I love science and weather and exploration!  Not agendas, speeches, and coat tails.  So, if you're looking for a post on politics, don't come here.  I respect my superiors for the positions they hold and what they mean, not because of them as individuals. 

I know it's early in my blogging career, but for this week I'm taking a break.  The next week or two are going to be rough for people in my company.  Even if I'm spared, some people will go.  I can't handle that.  These are good people who work hard.  They went to school, got an education, do great work. 

I know this is an extremely emotional post, nothing diabetes related, and I'm sorry.  I have already got a back-up plan in place, if the worst comes.  And Trey and I have already decided what's best for us.  I feel confident in those things, and the fact that God loves me and will take care of us. 

But.  Right now, at this moment, I'm not gonna pretend it's OK. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Five: 11 June 2010

For this Friday Five, I thought I'd focus on new things that are happening in my life (diabetes-wise and not).  Some are exciting, others make me anxious. 

  1. My endo finally FINALLY signed my letter of medical necessity for my Dexcom CGM!  I got the email last night from the person I've been corresponding with from Dexcom.  The next step is to get a narrative letter from insurance company.  I'm not really sure what that is, but I do know it's the next step.  Yay!  
  2. There's a possibility we might be getting a new dog this weekend.  Her name is Missy, and she's a 1-year-old lab/boxer mix.  She was found by some people a couple of months ago.  She was originally sent to animal services where she would have been euthanized, but someone rescued her (thank God!  I'm a big proponent of no-kill shelters, there's plenty of them around).  Unfortunately, that family's son had severe allergies to her and they couldn't keep her.  Now she's living with a friend of the family's until she can find a permanent home.  When Trey and I talked about getting another dog as a playmate for Roscoe, we wanted to get a dog roughly the same age and energy, and we've always loved boxers.  We may go visit her tonight, and if this works out there will be pictures.  I promise.  
  3. I've changed a couple basal settings on my pump this week.  I'm trying to conquer my dawn phenomenon so I can wake up in a pseudo-normal range (<130 mg/dL).  So, I backed up when my morning increase in insulin starts and increased it.  And since I'm more active now with walking/running (yep, I started running this week, too, in intervals) and playing softball, my need for insulin at night is a lot lower.  I got to the point where I wasn't bolusing at all for dinner and ending up normal 2 hours later.  So, I decreased my evening basal, too.  Now, my basal rates look very square, because my morning and evening rates are exactly the same.  And this morning it worked, I woke up at 126 mg/dL.  Guess it's hip to be square? 
  4. *sigh*  I really don't like this next Friday Five entry, because it's about my job.  I don't like to blog about my job because a) I'm not sure how much I can really talk about other than broad generalizations and b) it's kind of a tense situation right now.  Let's just say I work for a program that the president doesn't want to continue, k?  I didn't really feel worried about it until yesterday when some new developments arose, and as soon as I saw Trey I bursted into tears.  It's not a huge worry for us, financially, because all of our essentials (i.e. food, insurance, gas, insurance, bills, insurance, etc.) come from him.  I broke down yesterday because I actually like my job.  Sometimes it's slow, but I enjoy the work that I'm doing and knowing it could potentially help future astronauts.  The next few months may make my BG soar higher than they're going.  
  5. Ever since I got my hair cut a few weeks ago, I haven't really gotten the hang of styling it.  I have baby fine, blonde hair that is layered starting at my chin and goes down to my shoulders.  I tried blow drying it with a round brush, but all that did was make the layers straight and boring.  And around 3:00 PM it starts to look limpy.  But I finally found something that works!  I found a hair dryer with brush attachments!  I tried this for about a week but I was using it as a standard blow dryer and going through my hair too fast, ending up with limpy, straight hair again.  But today I decided to go a little slower and actually roll my hair into the brush and let the hair dryer do its thing for about 10 seconds.  Voila!  I now have bouncy hair and you can see the layers are more defined.  For this tomboy, it was a victory.  
Have a great weekend everyone!  =) 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Frequent Sayings

I was noticing the other day that my husband and I share certain phrases between each other that, when overheard by friends and family, are quite . . . odd:

  • "I'm high.  I need to shoot up."  
  • "I need to check my BS level. . . . No, the other kind." 
  • "Ow, ow, ow!  Move over!  You're on my pump."  
  • "Honey, I'm normal!  . . .  No, just my blood sugar."  
  • "I'm low and PMSing!  So just leave me alone."  
  • "I need to change Arnold before we leave."  (If friends are over, they look for a little boy in diapers, lol.)
  • "Alright!  Who drank my ejuice (emergency juice, mine only, no touchies)?"
  • "Hold on, I need to turn down my basal before we start our walk."  
  • "The cats are playing with my site cap, again."
  • BOOP-BEEP-BOOP "Arnold's paging you."
  • "I have diabeetus."  (reference to diabeetus guy from Liberty Medical, he makes us both laugh)
and finally . . .

  • "I'm low."  Trey:  "I'll get the cookies . . ."  He sees my lows as an opportunity to indulge.  Not sure that's a good thing.  :-/ 
Anyone have some more good diabetes liners?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's Normal?

For the past 2 days, these have been my numbers:

June 7th:
  • 5:29 AM-183
  • 8:38 AM-153
  • 11:00 AM-137
  • 1:08 PM-179
  • 3:08 PM-123
  • 5:42 PM-120
  • 8:09 PM-97
  • 9:06 PM-99
  • 10:00 PM-92
June 8th:
  • 5:25 AM-146
  • 8:53 AM-146
  • 11:20 AM-131
  • 1:25 PM-151
  • 3:56 PM-137
  • 5:22 PM-134
  • 7:13 PM-119
  • 9:14 PM-45
  • 9:37 PM-85
June 9th (so far):
  • 5:33 AM-146
  • 8:45 AM-138
Notice something?  Other than the paralyzing low from last night from post-softbal practice which left me drinking juice and scooping some Nutella (yum!), I'v haven't had a large deviation in my numbers.   Disregarding the low last night, my standard deviation from these numbers is 25 mg/dL.  Rising or falling 25 points can easily be done within an hour, 30 minutes, or even 15 minutes.  But I've been on a steady stroll around a mean of 135 mg/dL for the past 2 days.  If my numbers were a bike trail, they would be the "Beginner" path with very few hills and valleys.

But 135 as the mean?  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  Sure, it's fairly normal and I wouldn't blink much if I saw that as an individual reading.  However, I haven't been bouncing all over the place.  This average means I'm not that high, and I'm certianly not low.  I would much rather have a smooth trend of 135 than bouncing from 225 to 45 (whose average is 135, also).

Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in the A1c singular number that we don't think about what that number means.  Am I bouncing all over the place from 300 to 50 and I luckily end up around 6.5% for my average?  Aiming for the elusive 100 mg/dL all the time is exhausting, especially since I am trying to simulate an organ that doesn't work anymore with an already compromised immune system.  Considering all the maintenance and effort this disease requires, strolling along at 135 mg/dL is pretty awesome!

As an atmospheric climate person, I look at a lot of datasets, some of them are 30+ years long.  Whenever I see wacky numbers that shoot from really high to really low over a week, I begin to question the validity of that dataset.  A steady line with some hills and valleys centering around an appropriately natural number is more pleasing.

I guess I'm trying to say that even though 135 mg/dL is not an average many medical professionals would consider "normal", I would argue that bouncing from 300 to 50 with a happen-chance average of 100 is less "normal".

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Three-Cord Strand

Since Blogger was down most of yesterday, I didn't get a chance to publish the post I had prepared.  But it was a post about how insecure I've been feeling lately in my body.  Honestly, it was kind of a downer post, so this morning I decided to delete it.  You can thank Blogger for that.  However, I was so inspired by George's post yesterday that I decided to do my own little version.  I'm usually not one to copy other people's material, but in this case, I hope George's post has a rippling effect.  So, today I'm going to post how God brought Trey and me together.  

I was fortunate enough to be born into a God-loving family.  I don't remember a time in my life my family didn't go to church consistently.  You can pretty much say I was birthed in the pew.  But, of course, that doesn't automatically make me a Christian.  Each person has to have their own journey, and I was just lucky enough to be exposed at a very young age.

When I was 8-years-old, our church was performing a drama sermon called "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames".  It was a very scary, real version of what happens when we reach death.  I played a demon, my brother played a drug dealer, and my dad played the Devil.  The night before our first performance, the director called all the cast together for a special session.  He wanted to make sure that everyone in the play understood what was going on and how important and eternal our roles were.  After seeing the reenactments of my fellow castmates and hearing "eternal damnation" from my own father, I certainly understood.  The director held an invitation and I wanted to walk down the aise, but I was scared (funny, I wasn't scared of being a demon in front of thousands of people, but I couldn't handle walking down the aisle in front of maybe a hundred).  So, I asked my dad to walk with me.  What was so cool about this (to me) is that my dad first walked me down the aisle to my Heavenly Groom before he walked down the aisle to my earthly groom 15 years later. 

It was until I was 11-years-old that I truly started to have a relationship with Christ.  Sure, he was my Savior, but he wasn't my Lord.  It was during this time that my maternal grandmother passed away.  Life had become a little more real.  My grandmother bought me my first Bible, a pink Precious Moments Bible.  I began trying to read it on my own during this time, and started having my own prayer life by myself.  In junior high and high school, I went to youth group and actually learned how to do a devotional and really dig.

It was at this time that I remember praying for a husband.  I wasn't sure if I was supposed to ask for one or if it was one of those "given" things.  But before I could even get the words out of my mouth, I knew the answer.  A smile reached across my face and I began to cry.  I was promised a husband, one day. 

However, in high school I started dating a guy who would be my boyfriend for the next 3 years.  I thought he was it.  We said and did everything high school sweethearts could say and do to one another.  Including make each other crazy angry.  We were passionate about everything, including our fights.  We left each other very damaged and heart broken.  After we finally broke up, I was numb.  It was a pain that was dull and sharp at the same time.  I remember physically being in class at college, but I might as well have been back at my room screaming (like I did every night).  Did anyone see New Moon?  The scene where Bella is screaming and crying in her sleep made me cringe a little.  I know all too well what that was like.

But there was another reason I was so heart-broken--I had ignored God's direction in this relationship.  I was heart-broken over losing someone, but I was more heart-broken that I walked away from God.  I prayed for forgiveness, no, I begged for it.  All I wanted was to feel His love again.  I could have been single for the rest of my life with 14 cats, and that would have been OK with me, as long as I had Him.  But that's when God reminded me of His promise to me, that I would have a husband one day.  That's when I got angry, with Him.  "If you want me to married one day, then You do it!  No more break-ups.  I don't care if he comes along 50 years from now, I'm NOT going through this again.  Never!"  So, that was it.  I had settled with living the single life until God was going to brand some poor guy as Holly's husband one day.  I was out of it.

I honestly expected for God to give me some time, at least a couple years, to heal.  But His timing is perfect, along with His sense of humor.  One month, count it, ONE month after HS boyfriend and I break up, a 6'3", blonde geek with glasses comes into my life.

I had met Trey the previous semester.  He was an electrical engineering major, so my physics courses aligned with his.  I remember he was incredibly funny and comfortable to be around.  My very introverted self immediately was able to open up around him.  We were a lot like Jim & Pam from The Office.  I really didn't pursue the idea of him being "The Guy" until we made a car trip up to Nashville for a day.  We talked about how much we both liked dogs, wanted a house with a lot of land, and how we would raise our kids (yep, they were already "our" kids).  I was peaceful around him.

On our wedding day, our pastor read a passage from Ecclesiastes, Chapter 4--one of my favorite passages in all the Bible.  It's a book by King Solomon, arguably the richest man during the time.  And the whole book is about how everything in life is meaningless except relationships.  Then, as an alternative to the unity candle, we braided a cord of three strands representing the three parties in our marriage:  husband, wife, and God. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (New International Version)

 9 Two are better than one,
       because they have a good return for their work:
 10 If one falls down,
       his friend can help him up.
       But pity the man who falls
       and has no one to help him up!
 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
       But how can one keep warm alone?
 12 Though one may be overpowered,
       two can defend themselves.
       A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

 And I'm certainly not letting go.

The cord currently hangs from our mantle above our fireplace.  It's already served as a witnessing tool when someone asks, "Hey, what's with the rope?"  

I certainly come with a lot of baggage, but God still loved me.  He not only gave me eternal life, but eternal joy. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

30 Things About My Invisible Illness

30 Things About My Invisible Illness.

Instead of a Friday Five, I decided to do a meme (because 30 is better than 5, right?).  I stole this from Kerri when she did this meme during Invisible Illness Week. 

   1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes
   2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2006
   3. But I had symptoms since: Thanksgivingish 2006
   4. The biggest adjustment I've had to make is: always making sure to test my blood sugar
   5. Most people assume: that I did something to get this disease like eating too much sugar
   6. The hardest part about mornings are: actually waking up, I need to deactivate the snooze button 
   7. My favorite medical TV show is: House
   8. A gadget I couldn't live without is: my insulin pump, Arnold
   9. The hardest part about nights are:  trying to get an in-range number and worrying about going low
  10. Each day I take: generic Prilosec and vitamins
  11. Regarding alternative treatments: I've heard of some people taking Metformin to increase insulin sensitivity, but insulin is still required
  12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible, less staring
  13. Regarding working and career: I work as an environmental engineer, I like it
  14. People would be surprised to know: insulin smells like bandaids
  15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: it wasn't really that hard to accept, I had a lot of good support
  16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: make delicious meals that are not so bad and are diabetes-friendly
  17. The commercials about my illness: involve Diabeetus guy (and cat?)
  18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: getting a glass of McAlister's Sweet Tea and just going to town!
  19. It was really hard to have to give up: see #18
  20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: hehe, blogging?
  21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: work out without worrying about going low
  22. My illness has taught me: to be patient, everyday is different
  23. One thing people say that gets under my skin is:  "Should you be eating that?"  "No, actually, I'm committing suicide." *rolls eyes*
  24. But I love it when people: try to make meals that are "diabetic friendly", it's not necessary, but they make a sacrifice for their meal, and I appreciate it
  25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own."  Matthew 6:34 and so, so true
  26. When someone is diagnosed I'd like to tell them: I won't say anything. I'll just give them ((hugs)).
  27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: it's a lot of work, and the pay sucks!
  28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn't feeling well was: gave me a trash can (thanks, babe!) sorry, TMI but true 
  29. I'm involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Ummm, this was a copy, but I will be next time!
  30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: makes me feel loved, seriously, I love this community

Have a great weekend!  =)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Forecast: More than Insulin

Today's forecast:  a high will develop over the land and persist for several hours, resulting in numbers climbing into the 200s.

What?!  You thought I was talking about temperature?  Pssht.  I'm talking about this freakin' high that won't budge from my blood stream.  I've tried dousing it with low-level precipitation (water) and a high wind gradient (exercise), but this thing will. not. budge. 

I've been sailing in the 180-230 mg/dL (ahhh, units!  helpful things) ever since I got back from my trip.  I hoped (prayed) that things would settle out after a day or so of my routine.  But no such luck so far.  I'm downing my 2nd bottle of water as we speak (type?), trying to get ride of this post-breakfast high so I can enjoy my yogurt at some point before lunch.

I've had these type of persisting highs before.  Usually, one likes to stick around for 2 weeks or so after the Christmas holidays.  It's not until a good week's sweatfest that it starts to come down.  If I try to rely on just insulin to bring down these pesky things, I'll end up with an empty reservoir and a nagging headache.  The best way to get rid of a BAH (big a$$ high, technical weather term, trust me) is to use all my forces of insulin, water, and exercise to steady my body back out to normal. 

Because it's more than just, "Oh, I must have not bolused for breakfast right, or put too much stuff in my coffee.  I'll bolus this down and be back to normal in an hour.  Peachy!" (for some reason, I saw myself as a high-pitched housewife from the 50s in that monologue /digress).  My body has been in a pattern of out-of-routine testing and Momma's cooking (which is hard to turn down).  It's set a new routine for itself and I have to whip it back into shape.  Ugh!

Water I can do (and should probably do more of rather than just when I'm high), but exercise is hard this week.  Family and friends coming into town this weekend and a cookout means my nights at home are spent cleaning the bathrooms and washing towels, which is a slight sweatfest itself but not enough to bring my body down.  I'm hoping by next week I can get back to walking (and hopefully running) and playing softball (we're on an off week this week, too, lovely) to get my body back to showing nice numbers like 80-120 mg/dL.

If not, I may have to call in reinforcements. 

And I don't want to make him upset.  >:-/

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Softball vs. Diabetes

Around the time I was 8-years-old, I remember playing outside with this red, baseball-size rubber ball.  "Throw it to me, Daddy."  He tossed it to me and we played catch with me wearing his old glove.  That was my first practice.

The following spring, my parents enrolled me into the city's rec league for slow-pitch softball for 8-10 year olds.  I was kind of disappointed, actually, because I wanted to play baseball like a boy.  Such a tomboy to the core, I wanted to do everything the boys could do (and more).  But alas, I played slow-pitch softball with the girls.  However, I soon fell in love with the sport and my position, catcher.  I loved being able to see everyone on the field and feeling in charge.  My first team wasn't all-star, but I was.  I was selected to be on the all-star team my very first year, and our team went all the way to the state tournament, finishing third.

When I was 10-years-old, I was introduced to fast-pitch softball by the Auburn Tigers softball team.  My brother was considering school there, so our family made the trip to check it out and caught a game.  So fast, so strong, and the catcher was like the quarterback--she called the shots.  I was mesmerized and intrigued.  I wanted that to be me.

Not long after, our local high school switched from slow-pitch to fast-pitch, and I attended their summer camp.  The catchers had a special part of the camp that involved intense "up-downs" that made my legs feel like they were going to fall off (up-down: start in the squating position and turn 90 degrees, standing up as fast as you can).  But I learned the quicker you're "up", the sooner a runner stealing second was "down".  My favorite moments from those early games were when I caught the fastest runner stealing 2nd base.  And even though I was small (barely reaching 5'2" here), I guarded home plate like it was my first born child.  I soon got the nickname "Jericho", because only God could bring my wall down.  It was my place, and I loved it.

Fast-forward to 8th grade:  try-outs for the high school team.  So freakin' nervous.  I did great at the try-out.  I passed everyone in the mile run, surprising even myself.  I caught well, I batted well, I even made a dive for a pop-up right in front of home plate.  So why was I so nervous?  Ummm, because my name is Holly, and that's what I do.  I remember waiting in my last class before the bell rang, they were going to post the names outside of the office.  "Are you going straight there?" my friend and fellow teammate whispered.  "Yeah, I just wanna know."  The bell rang, and roughly 20 girls rushed the office walls like kids after an ice cream truck.  Some were crushed, others rejoicing, including me and several of my teammates from my all-star team.  Five years together, and still teammates.

Two years at JV, two years on Varsity, and one lettered jacket to show for it.  High school was awesome, displaying my hometown name across my chest.  I gained more responsibility at catcher, too, calling pitches for the girl staring back at me.  Nothing made me prouder than strapping on my pads and putting on my hockey helmet, complete with a wildcat print.


 Sportin' the letter

All geared up

Sleeves . . . 

 No sleeves (and arm muscle)!  

I decided to give up playing full-time when I got to college.  I was ready to just be a student.  But I still love it.  I play for my company's team with games about once a week.  I'm not playing catcher, anymore, either.  Apparently, I'm more useful screaming my head off from 2nd base. 

What does this pre-diabetes life post have to do with diabetes?  Ratios (don't worry, this isn't a math lesson).  I played softball full-time for 10 years before toning it down, that's 40% of my life.  I've been diabetic for 3 1/2 years, 14% of my life.  Right now, softball still outweighs my time with D.  But I know there will come a time when that ratio will be matched, and reversed.  Some days with D are like getting ready for a game.  I gotta gear up, get ready for the hits, and (most importantly) call the shots!

A lot of times you will hear sports announcers say "That team beat themselves," meaning they let the game get out of hand.  Too many errors or not enough hits.  Life with D is a lot like that.  Too many errors (forgetting to bolus) or not enough hits (not exercising) can cause us to feel like we're letting D win.  I look back on my life with softball and remember how in charge I was.  I hate this disease and how it tries to beat me down.  But I'm the catcher.  I call the pitches and tell everyone where to be.  And when an amazon (diazon?) is barelling down from 3rd base and knocks me over, I'll still hold up the ball and say, "Not this time."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

I had the best weekend down in south Alabama with my family.  We arrived down there around 9:00 PM on Thursday evening.  Sat around with my parents, talking and eating boiled peanuts (truly a delicacy) while watching the Braves game.  Finally getting to bed around midnight.

Friday we got up and went out on my parents' retirement purchase:  a 20 foot pontoon boat.

Nice view, eh? 

Trey and I got out and swam a little bit, but the sudden temperature changes in the water was really weird.  I know it was just the changes in water depth, but I felt like a gator was coming whenever I felt the cool parts. 

Saturday, Trey and my dad went golfing while Mom and I went to see my Papa in the nursing home.  My grandfather is 94-years-young.  He served in the Navy during WWII; he helped clean up after Pearl Harbor.  It's kind of hit or miss whether he remembers someone or not, but as soon as my mom said, "It's Holly," he lit up.  "You just moved didn't ya?"  "That's right, to a bigger house."  When Mom asked why he wasn't wearing his Navy hat, he smiled big and said it was in his room.  Heartwarming to see his smile, especially after mentioning the Navy.  He was having such a good day, I didn't want to leave.

Spending time with my favorite veteran.

That evening we had a cookout with most of my family.  Several people there hadn't met Trey, yet, so that was cool to see.  We went swimming, ate burgers and hot dogs, and talked until the sun went down.  It was a great day!  

Sunday was pleasantly uneventful.  We went to church with my parents, had lunch with some old friends, and bummed around the rest of the day.  I had the best afternoon nap on the couch while hubby held my feet.  It was great!  

Suffice it to say that I had a great weekend, life wise.  Diabetes wise, it totally sucked.  As low as 50 mg/dL while driving in Montgomery (This test involved some teamwork between hubby and me, including one failed attempt with an "Error:  Meter not ready."  I forgot to tell him to wait for the "Apply Blood" screen.) to 284 mg/dL after failing to accurately bolus for a cappuccino, to everything in between with maybe 2 or 3 "normal" readings.  I don't know what it is about traveling, but it's like my little diabetes monster begins screaming, "Hey, this is not our routine!  So I'm gonna go haywire on you, mmmkay?"  And I'm still feeling it today, with a morning fasting of 211 mg/dL (awesome! /sarcasm).  

It usually takes a day or two for my numbers to dwindle back down with my food and exercise schedule.  So hopefully by tomorrow I will be back to normal, whatever that is. 

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.