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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meme for 2010

So 2010 is coming to an end.  I have thought about all the things that have happened this year, and there's been enough to make even a normal person go "Whew!"  I'm also thinking about what I have planned for 2011, diabetes-wise and not.  I'm also extremely scattered brained from coming down from the holidays and all the food, so my 2010-ending post will be a year-recapping meme. 

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Ummm, help remodel a house!  I mainly helped in the clean-up process, but I also learned how to tape, mainly trim, and apply painter's tape. 

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions from last year and will you make any for 2011?
I don't think I made any concrete ones for this year, but I am planning some for 2011 like reading the Bible in one year and creating my own D365 photo set. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I had a lot of friends give birth this year, but no one in my family. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not that I knew personally, but I always get sad when another T1 dies regardless if I knew them or not. 

5. What countries did you visit?
LOL, no countries, but I did go to Colorado and Florida for vacations

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
I honestly can't think of anything that I truly need that I didn't have in 2010, guess I'm blessed. 

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory...and why?
January 25, 2010, the day we closed on the house. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Traveling down to KSC for my job and seeing the Shuttle in person.  It was so surreal and I reflected on how much I had come in my education/career. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Never fail, just keep trying.  ;-)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I'm still getting over a cold, but other than that just the usual cuts and bruises from my own clumsiness. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my Dexcom CGM.  OK, insurance bought most of it, but I'm making the quarterly copayments for the sensors. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I definitely have to Kerri because of her post from yesterday.  Her real perspective of being an adult with type 1 diabetes is so refreshing because it's not all good all the time.  But it's something we can all relate to, and I appreciate anyone who keeps a raw perspective about this beautiful mess called life. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There's always the groups of people who continue to display their ignorance about diabetes, but it's become so commonplace that I don't feel appalled anymore. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
House stuff, house stuff, and more house stuff. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My CGM, I freakin' cried when I heard that my insurance would cover 90% of it. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I don't know about all of 2010, but I'm really digging "Avalanche" by Manafest. 

17. Compared to last year, are you...
...happier/sadder? much happier
...thinner/fatter? truthfully, fatter, but by like 5 or 6 lbs, meh. 
...richer/poorer? both, poorer because of house, but richer from the investment. 

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Ride my bike.  I really missed it. 

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stressing, I feel like I didn't sit down enough and relax this year. 

20. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
Shooting fireworks and hanging out with our marriage mentors and their family. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
I always fall in love with my husband again and again and again.  ;-) 

22. How many one-night stands?
Ummm, this meme knows I'm married, right? 

23. What was your favorite TV program?
I must confess, Teen Mom, I was totally addicted to that trashy show. 

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I didn't hate anyone last year, and I don't hate anyone now. 

25. What was the best book you read in 2010?
The two books I read were Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and The Devil in the White City.  Between those two, I liked Midnight more, but I've heard that Leo DiCaprio is making a movie of Devil, and that excites me!

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My favorite band of this year was definitely Skillet. 

27. What did you want AND get?
Constance.  =) 

28. What did you want and NOT get?
If there was anything, I can't remember, so it must not have been that important. 

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
I can't remember all the ones I saw, but the first one I thought of was Eclipse. 

30. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
On my actual birthday, I went straight home from work to avoid the rain, and hung out watching movies on Netflix, I am 26-years-old. 

31. What ONE thing would have made your year immensely more satisfying?
Getting to meet more people from the DOC in person. 

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Slowly transitioning from poor grad student to young professional. 

33. What kept you sane?
My husband, but he always keeps me sane. 

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I kind of developed a crush on Eddie Izzard, which is weird since he's an executive transvestite. 

35. What political issues stirred you the most?
The main one that stirred me was a local law saying all dogs deemed "dangerous" needed to be leashed or fenced.  I don't like knowing the government is defining "dangerous" and how they're going to implement it. 

36. Whom did you miss?
A certain gal pal in Denver.  ;-)

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Everyone in the DOC.  Seriously, y'all are the best. 

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson that you learned in 2010.
It really doesn't help to stress, it's better to either tackle the problem and if you can't, let it be.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
From "More Like Falling in Love" by Jason Gray, "Cause all religion ever made of me was just a sinner with a stone tied to my fee."  I've been really reflecting on this song because I've been wanting my faith to be more real in my life, not just Sundays.

So if you're feeling burnt out from the holidays and all the food, take this meme to finish out 2010!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'm currently getting over a sinus infection that has whipped my whiney for the past 3 days.  It all started Sunday when I woke up with a sore throat that wouldn't go away.  "No biggie," I thought.  I just drank some tea trying to soothe it away.  Well, the soreness lead to a cough that lasted all night long.  I finally gave in and drank some cold/flu daytime liquid stuff at around 5:00 AM yesterday morning.  The problem with this is the cough syrup is loaded with sugar, so when I woke up again at 9:00 AM, I was well in the upper 200s. 

I switched to the pill version of the same type of medicine, but it still sent my blood sugar soaring the rest of the day.  I didn't realize that even pill versions of the cough syrup would still have sugar in it.  So, in combination with drinking tea and blowing my nose away, I was also combatting high blood sugars all afternoon.  I finally set a temporary basal of 200% for 2 hours before bed.  This seemed to help bring me down, but I never crashed (thank goodness!).  I was still a little high all night (~140 mg/dL), but nothing compared to the 300s I was battling earlier. 

I'm feeling a little better this morning, but I'm still battling the highs associated with the sinus pills.  It's so frustrating to feel like I have to choose between good blood sugars or avoiding feeling like a helium-filled balloon from the sinus infection.  Since I am feeling better, I'm going to try to delay taking another pill until I feel like I need to and try to get by with tea and sugar-free cough drops.  I usually get one bad sinus infection a year that paralyzes me to the couch or bed all day, so I'm not worried about getting over this crud. 

However, one thing I'm quite proud of is I didn't get (very) frustrated with the fact that I was having constant high blood sugars.  I know it's not my fault, it's diabetes.  I didn't yell, I didn't throw Constance across the room when she kept BEEEEEEPing at me that I was HIGH, and I didn't curse each time I had to go to the bathroom between the tea and water I was chugging all day long.  I just tested, corrected, and went about my day.  I know a few bad days won't ruin a stellar A1c, and I am sick--I should be expecting SOME high readings.  But I'd still rather not deal with this at all; sinus infections suck, diabetes or not. 

My cough drop choice:  sugar-free kiwi apple! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Texting a Guest Blog Post

Today I have the honor of guest posting over at Kim's blog.  I love Kim!  She is so funny, quick-witted, and insightful.  I've really enjoyed getting to know her on Twitter, and I really look forward to hopefully meeting her one day.  She and I are challenging each other for the perfect pre-baby A1c. 

I posted about my never-ending curiosity to test the blood sugar of nonPWDs.  So hop on over to her site today and check out my post. 

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

As if I Need a Reminder

The past few days have been relatively quiet on the diabetes front.  If I've had any highs, they've only skimmed my threshold before immediately going back down.  And if I've had any lows, they were mid-70s lows that a few sips on my low juice of choice quickly corrected.  This even included some SWAG bolusing.  I was beginning to feel very proud of myself, that I had conquered this diabetes thing. 

But then last night gave me a stiff reminder that yep, I still have diabetes.  I went out to a girls' night, wine and cheese party/Christmas gift exchange.  There were 6 different kinds of cheese and 4 different kinds of wine (I sampled 3).  It was a great night of laughing and hanging out (and keeping two almost 1-year-olds from tearing every ornament off of the tree).  I gained a bag of lavender bath stuff, which is perfect for de-stressing during the holidays.

I bolused for all the crackers that came with the cheeses, and a British cake dessert that I've never heard of before but was delicious.  When I tested before bed, I was 85 mg/dL and dropping.  So I ate a banana and slipped into bed.  But I completely forgot that alcohol does a rollercoaster on my numbers.  I had conquered the pizza/beer super bolus, but wine is a completely different story.  See example:

Yep, still have diabetes. 

I was woken up at 1 AM to a high alarm of 355 mg/dL and going up.  A test confirmed I was 315 mg/dL.  Lovely.  I took a correction and tried to get back to sleep.  Well, I've been noticing that a correction in the middle of the night is different than a correction in the middle of the day.  If I correct in the middle of the night, I always wake up low.  And this morning I woke up at 70 mg/dL (need to adjust my correction factor for nighttime).  I sipped some cranberry juice before my shower, trying to decipher if the shakes I felt were from my dropping blood sugar or the cold. 

Nothing like a night of wine and cheese to remind me I still have diabetes. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


So what is my motivation for staying healthy with diabetes?  What is my drive to keep my blood sugars in a normal range?  Is it having a long life and marriage with my husband?  Is it the hope of prospective children?  Is it the ability to be able to do all the things I love like swimming, riding my bike, and traveling?  In a short answer, yes and no.  All of these things are good motivators for testing, taking my insulin, and exercising. 

But the biggest short-term motivator?

Keeping this thing from BEEEEEEEPing.  

We have a love/hate relationship.

Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful for having access to this technology to help me in my diabetes management.  But I've gone from looking at it every 5 seconds to leaving it in my pocket and forgetting about it unless it starts buzzing.  So when it starts to buzz in the middle of a meeting or when I'm sleeping, I get rather annoyed.  "You hush up now!" I'll tell it as we're getting ready for bed. 

But in a strange way, I have become so in tuned with what happens to my body that I am more prepared to avoid highs and lows (also, eating pretty much the same thing everyday helps).  This is awesome for my overall health, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that a big motivator is keeping Constance quiet. 

And the 2 hours I get once a week for calibration is my time to not worry about setting her off.  It's like sending a kid off to camp for a week.  You'll miss them terribly, but you're kind of glad you don't have to worry about picking up after them and feeding them.  This past weekend I had a calibration while my brother-in-law was making triple chocolate chip cookies.  (Yum!)  I took 2 cookies and SWAG bolused without looking at the carb content.  I KNEW it would not be enough insulin and I KNEW that I would need a correction, but I just decided I would deal with it once the calibration was over.  Sure enough, I needed a correction 2 hours later once I began a new session. 

How interesting that I was able to let up on my diabetes management that quickly, simply because I didn't have a luring warning of a high over my head!  And how sad that I'm relying on keeping a piece of technology quiet to manage stable numbers! 

I believe managing diabetes is a marathon, something that requires perserverance and endurance.  But sometimes it's also a sprint, and you just want that thing to stop BEEEEEEEPing! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Five: Since then . . .

Tomorrow is my 4th anniversary since my diagnosis.  I was thinking about this the other day and reflecting on everything that's happened in 4 years.  So for this edition of Friday Five, I want take a look back at everything that happened since that day

1.  I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics.  My diagnosis happened at the end of my second to last semester in undergrad.  Several people asked me if I was going to take the next semester off to get used to being diabetic.  To be honest, the thought never crossed my mind.  I guess I never truly knew how serious this disease was until later, so coming back to college with insulin pens seemed to be just part of my life then.  I was too passionate about my education to simply give up.  

Just after walking across the stage. 

2.  Married the guy who's been there since day one.  I love him more now that I did on that day.  I can't imagine being with anyone else, and not just because of diabetes.  Trey is the strong, dependable Christian man I prayed for when I was single.  I respect him because he proves his love for God and me through his actions.  Being with him feels like "home". 

I look up to him, literally. 

3.  I became a MASTER . . . of atmospheric science.  Grad school was by far the most stressful thing I've ever gone through, but I felt so proud of myself on the day I defended my thesis.  I was the first female in my family to get a graduate degree, and it landed me a great job. 

Defending my research at a conference. 

4.  Helped remodel a house.  OK, my abilities kind of stop at sweeping and painting, but that's more than I've ever done before in my life!  Having a bulk pack of sports drinks at arms' length helped keep away the lows involved with sweat equity.  I love seeing how we've turned this somewhat trashed house into our family home. 

Proof that I painted.

5.  Preparing for children.  We aren't trying or anything, just doing some preparation work.  But I know that diabetes won't be something I have to wait on.  The fact that Trey and I can talk about our future kids without a worry about my less-then-stellar incubator gives me hope that diabetes will continue to be the background noise in our life. 

Even without diabetes, these past four years have included a lot of life changes that would make a normal person go "whew!"  I'm not sure if I would have taken stock of all of it if I didn't have an anniversary to celebrate.  I guess it's another reason I'm GRATEFUL for diabetes, it gives me a chance to sit back and be humbled by all the blessings in my life while managing this disease.  And whether I'm here on Earth for 4 more years or 40 years, I hope I always take the time to look back and see how far I've come.  It's like anytime someone says to me, "Oh you can't do that because you have diabetes."  I can say, "Oh yeah, watch me . . ." 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

He asked "Will you Marry Me?", I said "Are you Serious?"

Something kinda great happened on this day three years ago.  It was quite a foggy day, a little cold but bearable.  We were spending a weekend in Guntersville with my parents on top of Sand Mountain.  We had just got done playing golf (yea, I used to play, don't judge), and he suggested we go to this overlook to take some pictures.  While I was taking some pictures like this . . .

He wrapped his arms around me and whispered in my ear "Will you marry me?"  I turned to look at him and said, "Are you serious?!"  "Ummm, yea," he said looking confused.  "Oh my gosh, yes!" instantly crying.

My dad captured the "after" moment.
We immediately started calling all our family and friends, then went to dinner to celebrate the occasion.  I love this man (duh)!  He puts up with my clumsiness, silliness, and bum pancreas.  And yes, he was totally serious. 

Oh yeah, the ring!  
I like it because it looks like a hurricane, ever the weather nerd!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Grocery Shopping Fail

Yesterday afternoon I had planned to go grocery shopping after work.  I checked Constance as I grabbed my buggy, and she said I was 74 mg/dL but going steady.  Anxious at the thought of going low while shopping, I grabbed a soda from one of those refrigerators at the front and sipped on it while I got my things. 

Feeling confident that I was preventing myself from a low, I gave no thought to how I felt.  I didn't even feel the need to look at Constance the rest of the time while I got my things.  I continued sipping on the soda between retrieving the items on my long list.  Salmon, diced tomatoes, razors, cat food, and things of that nature. 

It wasn't until I got back in my car and put my soda in the cup holder when I took thought to how I was feeling.  "Huh, I don't feel low, but I don't feel much higher, either."  I glanced at Constance and saw I was still 72 mg/dL and going steady.  "What?!  How is that possible?!  Am I cured?!"  That's when I looked down at my soda and saw the magical word "Diet" on the label.  "Blast!"  (I actually said that, in my car, out loud.)  I had grabbed a diet soda, by mistake!  Kind of ironic for a diabetic to say, no? 

But what really threw me for a loop is the fact that I spent an hour walking around a grocery store, picking up things, pushing a cart, loading my car, etc.   All these actions SHOULD have made me go low.  In fact, the anxiety of going low is usually enough to make me go low!  But I was in the state of mind of "Oh, I'm sipping on regular soda, I should be fine" and kept on with my normal activity.  If I could harness my anxiety of going low, I would be able to save myself from A LOT of lows (and money spent on fast-acting carbs)! 

Has this happened to anyone else?  Please tell me, because I felt so embarrassed.  A weird diabetes failure.  This isn't the first time I've grabbed the "wrong" kind of soda but reversed, like grabbing a regular instead of a diet.  Maybe I should just stick to my glucose tabs.  At least they don't make those in diet. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lost in Translation

Yep, it's Friday!  And I am so drained from this week.  I don't know if it's been because of the cold weather or the persistent lows I've been having, but all I want to do is climb into my bed (which now has 3 blankets on it plus an electric blanket, I'm a wuss) and sleep.  However, I did have the energy to put up the Christmas tree last night!  Pictures will come soon after we finish decorating the rest of the house.

So what gets me through an intense week?  Why funny videos of cat translation, of course!  (P.S.  The cat in the second video kind of reminds me of a skinny Abby, right Kerri?)  Enjoy!

Patty Cake.  PATTY CAKE!!!!!

I apologize for the language, but I this cracks me up everytime.  Plus I'm a sucker for English accents. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thinking About Resolutions

Welcome to December, this wonderful time of year where we break out the Christmas decorations, moisturizer, and extra large insulin reservoirs for all those holiday feasts!  (What?  Just me?)  But as we enter the last month of 2010 (wow, really? already?!), I'm already starting to think about my resolutions for 2011.  Some of them are diabetes-related and some aren't (or ain't for those of you near my neck of the woods). 

I try to make resolutions that are challenging but realistic at the same time.  If I vowed to lose 20 lbs every January 1st, I'd be in the negative for that goal every year.  Most of my resolutions are things I've already thought about throughout the year, but feel the need to establish a concrete goal for it.  Here's what I have so far: 

  • Get the freak back to working out!  This is probably a somewhat typical resolution, but I know I really need to establish a workout routine.  Unfortunately, I love being outdoors so I try to take my workouts to walking in my neighborhood or bike riding.  But I need a routine for indoors that doesn't need a lot of equipment.  We have a Nintendo Wii and the subsequent Wii Fit, but I asked Santa (yeah, I still believe) for the Wii Fit Plus to add some spice to my Wii-ness.  But I've also signed up for the fitness center here at work, but I need to get a doctor's physical done in order to start going there.  
  • On that note, I have several doctor's appointments that I've been putting off that I've scheduled for 2011.  One of those is an eye doctor appointment.  I must confess, in the almost 4 years I've been diabetic, I've never been to an eye doctor.  I went to one before I started college, but I had such a bad experience that I refused to go to another one unless I had to (the doctor I saw was extremely forceful with my eyes and wasn't friendly at all, the tears I had after the appointment were not just doctor-induced).  But I've finally made another appointment and I'm hoping to tell them how apprehensive I am.  
  • I also need to start the hunt again for another primary care physician.  I really don't want to go back to the one I saw a couple months ago for my knee, but the office where she was has several doctors.  So I'm going to ask for a switch.  I need to get a physical done in order to use the gym at work, but I also want to have a good doctor that I'm comfortable with for things non-D.  
  • Less coffee, more water.  My job is great, but I believe it has helped get into the not-so-great habit of constant coffee drinking.  My 30-40 minute commute combined with 9-hour workdays is really draining, and I'm relying more and more on coffee to keep me going.  But as lovely as coffee is, it's a bad diuretic--it dehydrates me, and I'm seeing the effects of dehydration on my currently cracked knuckles.  I want to at least have as many cups of water as I do coffee, however this also might mean more trips to the restroom, which may help my first bullet point.  
  • Establish an organized, house cleaning routine.  I love our house!  But it is big, and the extra space makes keeping things organized not so easy because I generally will organize and clean things when they start getting in my way.  "That pile of important mail?  Oh just move it over here and I'll think about it again in a few weeks."  The same with cleaning.  I will wait and wait and wait until the mess starts to frustrate me and I declare, "That's it!  I'm cleaning!"  And I begin a rage-fueled cleaning spree that may result in me trying to vacuum the cats because they are ultimately the root of the problem anyway.  This rage also results in a low because I don't think about the exercise involved in a 2-hour cleaning spree.  I imagine if I had an established weekly cleaning routine, I could plan for the drop in BG and (maybe) spare the cats from the vacuum. 
  • And finally, my last resolution but the one I'm most excited about:  read the Bible in a year.  I grew up in church and have been a Christian for 18 years, but I've maybe read only half of the Bible, overall.  I'm looking at several "read the Bible in one year" plans and I'm hoping to settle on one before December 31st.  If I don't keep any of my other resolutions, I'm determined to keep this one. 
So those are my resolutions.  Have any of you established any yet?  Any advice for the ones I've chosen, especially the house cleaning routine one?  

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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.