Friday, October 29, 2010

What is that???

Yesterday I happened to look down at my thigh and I noticed this . . .

Instead of tucking my tubing into my waist band like I usually do, I had left it snaking down the leg of my pants.  And when I sat a certain way, it was quite noticeable.  It looked almost like a bow hidden beneath my jeans.  It made me laugh.

And then I wondered what someone who doesn’t know anything about tubing and insulin pumps and diabetes would think if they saw my leg.  What exactly would they think I stashed in the leg of my pants?  And I didn’t feel embarrassed or self-conscious in the least.  Oh no, instead I laughed even harder at the absurdity of it all.  Because after all, life with diabetes isn’t all bad.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Opening up communications . . . .

Do patients think pharma companies should be involved with social media?  Do pharma companies think pharma companies should be involved with social media?  Can both “sides” learn a little something from each other?

These were some of the issues we discussed yesterday, when I was a panelist at the WEGO Heath #socialpalooza event.  The fabulous crew at WEGO brought together patients and pharma reps to delve into the sometimes touchy subject of social media and pharma.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share my views, along with Alicia the Awesome Cancer Survivor, Rosalind the Chronic Illness Career Coach, and Kerri the D-OC rock star.  And by “thrilled”, I mean so freaking nervous that I had a highly detailed dream the night before in which Kerri sat me down for a long talk about why it would be very wrong and quite offensive to knit socks during the panel discussion.  (Don’t worry, I never once considered knitting while speaking on the panel!!)  However, WEGO had assembled such a great group of people that once the panel started my nerves quickly melted away.

Although we panelists hadn’t discussed the topic before hand, it didn’t surprise me that we shared many similar views.  Be transparent - make it perfectly clear you are pharma and not a patient.  Don’t use social media simply to sell - use it to support and interact.  And apparently, bring cookies . . .

While I was thrilled to share my point of views with the pharma crew, I was just as glad to hear more about social media from their side.  It was interesting to hear about all of the regulations and legal issues that can hold them back from social media.  As Alicia pointed out, that’s a side of things patients may not be aware of.  And while most patients are only representing themselves and sharing their personal opinions in social media, these pharma reps are often representing their whole company.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of pressure to me!

Should pharma and health companies get involved in social media?  I say yes.  In my closing statement yesterday, I voiced my opinion as follows:
By engaging through social media, you gain insights to the issues and needs of real patients.  At the same time, using social media can show the community you care about more than profiting from their disease.”  (Yes, I am directly quoting myself, which seems a bit weird to me but oh well . . . )

You can read Kerri’s take on Socialpalooza here, and a wonderful view from the pharma side here.  Kerri also grabbed some great, serious and (yay!!) goofy pictures of our panel with the moderators.  Being the photo slacker that I am, I only snapped one picture.  Although in my defense, it does show just how great the WEGO crew is at putting together an event.

That’s right, they left something to treat a pesky low at each participant's seat!  Although the Red Velvet Whoopee Pies served after lunch kept my blood sugar stable during our presentation.

Cookies, Skittles and desserts aside, the sweetest part of the day was opening the lines of communication between pharma and patients.  I hope this is a trend that will continue and grow.  Because when it comes right down to it, learning more about each other can only help us all.

Monday, October 25, 2010


My blood sugars seem to be running on the low side lately, so I wasn’t surprised when I felt that shaky low feeling yesterday morning.  It felt more like a mild low than a scary LOW.  I pulled out my meter, squeezed out some blood and waited to see my number . . .

imposter166.  Okay, not a terrible number, but a weird one since I was feeling more like 66.  I washed my hands and tried again.  177.  Okay, I get it.  Although I feel low, I’m not.  I wondered if perhaps I was dropping quickly but that wasn’t the case either.  I ran above 150 all day long.  Heck if I know why.  I didn’t sweat it too much.  I do try to run closer to 100, but I’m certainly not going to let a few 150s stress me out.

Fast forward to last evening.  As we arrived at my parent’s house for weekly Sunday dinner, I felt that same shaky mild low feeling I had in the morning.  Once again, I pulled out the meter to test.

And a 27 stared back at me.  WTF?  Again I washed me hands and re-tested.  26.

This is what annoys me about diabetes.  We try our hardest to listen to the signals our bodies are giving us.  We try to stay alert to signs of blood sugars that are too high or too low.  But when a 177 can parade around with the same symptoms as a 26, how can we ever win??

**  PS: During both the 177 and the 26, my CGM showed me holding steady near 100.  I wasn’t surprised to see a “bad sensor” error right before I went to bed last night.  Here’s hoping the new sensor I insert today is a little more on the ball!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


You didn’t think I forgot to pick a winner for the Jammie Days contest, did you?

Nope, I’m just having a busy day.  But fear not, I have drawn a winner for one pair of PJs for the Cure.

Want to know who the winner is?

Well, I’ll tell you.  The random number generator chose lucky comment number thirteen.

Who left the thirteenth comment?

Wendy from Candy Hearts

Congratulations, Wendy. I'll email you tonight to get your information. And thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jammie Days . . . .

We’ve had lots of cold, rainy weather here last week and part of this week.  As a result, I spent most of last weekend with a stuffy head, sore throat and aches - curled up on the couch in my jammies.  And my favorite jammies when I’m feeling under the weather (and also when I’m feeling fine) are PJs for the Cure.

Womens PJFTC
Yes, this is what I look like - even when I'm sick.  NOT!

What are PJs for the Cure?
“Komar, the #1 sleepwear manufacturer in the country, launched PJs For The Cure in 2009 as a means to raise awareness and funds to support Juvenile Diabetes. PJs For The Cure was founded by Charles Komar, CEO of Komar, after his wife was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes). Komar has specially designed women’s and children’s pajama sets in an effort to raise $1 million to support the JDRF. What’s so great about PJs For The Cure is that 100% of all sales go directly to the JDRF. For more information about PJs For The Cure please visit”
The cause isn’t the only thing that is great about these jammies.  My pair sports the WDD blue circle.  They are snuggle soft and they even have a built in pump pocket!  I love mine so much that I packed these pajamas when I went to BlogHer in August.  You see, I knew my room-mate LeeAnn was packing hers too.  We were matching jammie buddies, because we’re cool like that.  (Okay, yes, I’m dorky.  But LeeAnn is cool!)

I bet after I’ve gushed so much about these PJs, you’re wishing for a pair of your own or for your child, right?  Well, I’m happy to tell you that I was contacted to host a give-away for one pair of PJs for the Cure.  Simply leave a comment on this post between now and midnight on Tuesday.  I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday.  Good luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Power of Twins

I believe there are things in the world we don’t quite understand.  To some extent, I believe in spirits and psychics and energies that have no explanation.  (Although I also believe many cases are pure flim-flam.)  My mom is not much of a believer in these things, but there is one we both agree on.  And that is the power of twins.  The “other-worldly” connection twins have that defy any reasonable explanation.


You see, my father is a twin.  Uncle J, my godfather, is my Dad’s twin brother.  My mom tells me that long ago, when I was very little or perhaps before I was born, my dad caught a terrible flu and came home from work early for the first time since she had known him.  That afternoon, my uncle called to see how my dad was feeling.  Mom asked who told him my dad was sick.  Uncle J said nobody told him, he just had a feeling and knew he should call to check on his brother.  ** cue Twilight Zone music **

The instance that really convinced me of the power of twins happened a few years back.  You see, Uncle J had been diagnosed with cancer and had a tough surgery coming up.  A few weeks before the surgery, Dad came down with what seemed to be a terrible cold.  He got worse and worse and worse, until he finally went to his doctor.  She immediately called an ambulance and rushed him to the hospital.

Tests confirmed there was some kind of virus that had attacked the fluid around his heart.  The problem was, the doctors couldn’t figure out what the virus was.  They ran test after test and tried treatment after treatment - just like an episode of House.  We didn't find out until later just how serious things were and just how dire the situation was.

A week went by, with Dad in the hospital getting worse and no answers to be found.  The day came for Uncle J to have his surgery.  It took hours longer than the doctors had expected, but in the end it was a success.

As soon as Uncle J was out of surgery and starting to recover, my dad started to recover too.  The doctors couldn’t figure out what caused the sudden improvement.  They continued to test and test until the insurance companies balked at keeping Dad in the hospital since he no longer needed to be there.  In the end, the doctors had to admit they would never know what virus had attacked his heart.  They also admitted they would never know which medication had healed him.

A few weeks later, Dad suddenly got sick again.  This time, he went straight to the ER and was admitted.  They believe it was a reaction to one of the medications he was being weaned off of.  That evening, we found out Uncle J had also been admitted back into the hospital that day.  It seems a sponge was left in his body during his operation and they had to do emergency surgery to remove it.  Two days later, Dad and Uncle J were both better and were both released from the hospital on the same day.

I know doubters will laugh at me and say that this story is just a bunch of coincidences.  But I disagree with my whole heart.  I know for sure, with every fiber of my being, that what happened is an example of the connection twins have that we just don’t understand.

** Today’s post was written for No D Day.  You can find other No D Day posts on the No D Day Blogroll.

Friday, October 1, 2010

D-Feast Friday - Wilted Spinach with Artichokes

When Elizabeth, Lorraine and I were organizing the first D-Feast Friday we debated if it should be a weekly / monthly / quarterly event.  In the end, we decided to just focus on getting the first one going and worry about the rest later.  I've been thrilled to see so many bloggers continuing to share recipes on Fridays!  It looks like we’re almost up to 150 recipes and I’m just so excited the see the list continue to grow.  So I guess it’s high time I posted another recipe myself.


I’m pretty picky when it comes to vegetables.  Okay, I’m pretty picky in general, but today lets just talk about vegetables.  There are A LOT of them I don’t like.  But I do love spinach.  And I recently discovered that I really love artichokes.  A few months ago I was at Bertucci’s and noticed Spinach & Artichokes listed under their side dishes.  “A delightful combination, gently sautéed with roasted garlic butter sauce and sprinkled with cheese.”  The description had me sold and I ordered it.  And it was so good that I’ve made it at home over and over again.  Here’s how:

In a large pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Chop up a bunch of garlic (I use about four or five cloves, but you can use as many or as few as you like) and sauté it for a minute or so.  Don’t let the pan get too hot or the garlic cook for too long or it will burn and burnt garlic is nasty!!

Open one can of quartered artichoke hearts and drain them.  I usually rinse them with cold water too.  Once the garlic starts to soften, dump the drained artichokes into the pan.


Sometimes I add a pat of butter too - if I feel like splurging.  This dish is still good without the butter, so I’ll leave that up to you.


At this point, I usually season it with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  A few red pepper flakes would be fabulous too.  The last step is to dump in a whole bag of baby spinach and stir together as it wilts down.  This will only take about a minute or so - you’ll want to be all set to eat before you add the spinach.  Once it’s all wilty, plate it up and sprinkle some Parmigiana cheese on top.


In my house this makes just two servings, as Pete and I really love it and eat huge portions.  I don’t need to bolus for vegetables, so this is a free side-dish for me.  If you count the carbs in your veggies, simply tally them up from your artichoke can and spinach bag.

Click here to download this recipe in .pdf form.