Friday, May 29, 2009

Out-running the goblins . . .

As the years go by, something happens when it comes to birthdays.  Some of the excitement with which we greet the birthdays of our youth fades as we watch the candles multiply so quickly on our cakes.  In a flash, getting older is something you dread rather than something you look forward to.  And so, it was with some apprehension that I greeted my 41st birthday on Tuesday.  I am now firmly entrenched in the "mid-life" portion of my years, and it is beginning to seem too late for so many things.

However, life is all really a matter of what kind of attitude you choose to bring.  And when I think about it, turning 41 is a pretty wonderful thing.  I can remember the days of my teens and early 20's, and the brief moments that I allowed myself to think about my diabetes and my future.  I was fairly certain I would not be around to see my 41st birthday.  And if I was, I was sure I would be riddled with those scary complications that were drilled into me as a young diabetic.  Be good, or you will go blind / lose limbs / suffer kidney failure / get eaten by goblins.  (Okay, I made that last one up.)

In the almost 30 years since my diagnosis, I have not exactly been "good".  Sure, I take care of myself now, but in my younger years . . . not so much.  And yet, I can see.  I have my limbs.  My kidneys are fine.  I have, apparently, out run the Diabetes Goblins.

I'd say that sure is something to celebrate.  I'm thankful for my 41 years, and I'm daring to dream of 41 more!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How is today Thursday???

Seriously, I've got to get back to blogging on a regular schedule. But the past week has been a total blur.

There was some celebrating done over the holiday weekend.  With lots of martinis.  And cake.

Lots of cake!!  One on Monday and one on Tuesday.

There was a trip to the casino where I didn't win, but since I did so well last time I really can't complain.  And of course, there were some gifts.  Lovely diabetes gifted me with a couple of higher highs than I've seen in a long time, and one scary extended low.  I'm hoping to exchange those for a more even run of blood sugars.  I'm keeping the rest of my presents though.

Unfortunately, it hasn't been all parties over here.  We also had K.C.'s surgery to get through yesterday.  She had a tough time and we had some bad scares last night.  But this morning, she's doing so much better.  She can walk again, and she even purred and snuggled down into my lap. She's a trooper.

If you look close, you can make out some of her 3 inches of stitches on her poor shaved belly.  For now, she seems to be resting comfortably in her sick room (aka the bathroom) where she is safely away from anything she might be tempted to climb on.

And for me, I'm pretty tired too.  Should I knit?  Or should I nap?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sometimes diabetes is just the icebreaker . . .

Diabetes can be a lot of things all rolled into one. A chronic illness, a pain the the ass, a character builder . . . the list goes on and on. But I have found that diabetes can also be an icebreaker, creating a bond that leads to so much more.

Before I started this blog, I didn't know anyone else with Type 1. So it seemed somewhat surreal on Tuesday when I met Kerri on a train to Grand Central for a Woman's Diabetes Support Meeting. I wasn't sure what to expect and I was a little nervous. I anticipated only that we would talk about the disease we all live with every day, and that I would get to see LeeAnn again. Then the meeting started, and I suddenly heard people saying things that I was sure nobody felt but me.

"Sometime when I go low, I just can't stop eating even though I know I've scarfed down more than enough to bring me back up."
"I was so scared to go on the pump, because I didn't want it attached to me all the time. I had done MDIs for so long that I was used to them and didn't want to change."
"When I was younger, I didn't want anybody to know I had diabetes."
"For a long time, I didn't take care of myself the way I should have. And now I'm so scared that I'll pay with complications."

Each time one of us took a deep breath and confessed something, I would see nods of understanding and hear "me too" muttered quietly. I was surprised at how quickly the 90 minutes went by and disappointed when it was time to leave the room or risk being locked in overnight.  Apparently, I wasn't the only one who was sorry that our time was up, because most of the group ended up at a nearby diner for more chatting.

Thank you, Kerri, for not only being the guest speaker and my traveling companion that night,  but the official event photographer as well. She was kind enough to send me this picture for my post, since I forgot to get a picture too.

As it turns out, diabetes was only the icebreaker. Our group had many other things to talk about, like weddings, careers, husband and boyfriends (and the benefits of having one of each) and shopping.

The train ride with Kerri was the same, with diabetes simply being the icebreaker to a friendship.  Sure, any eavesdroppers on the train might have heard two women with Type 1 discussing lows and pumps and CGMs. But they also would have heard two friends talking about normal, every day topics. Husbands, parents, grandmas, jobs, best friends, hot guys, cat vomit, workouts on The Jag, trolls locked in the bathroom and dying yarn with Kool-Aid.  You know, normal stuff.

It's nice when the icebreaker of diabetes can fade away and real friendships grow in its place.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good help is hard to find . . .

Lately I've been having some issues with my CGM. The sensors aren't working right and I'm getting tons of Bad Senor Errors. (Yes, I am going to call Minimed about it - I just am lazy haven't gotten to it yet.) However, the one I wore last week worked fine, so I'm wondering if it is a bit of user-error. Maybe I need to plan my placement a little better instead of just slapping it on the same place over and over.

Sunday I decided to move farther around my lower back. I knew it would probably be out of my reach, so I asked Pea if he felt up to inserting the sensor for me. He's a pro at helping me attach the transmitter and apply the tape, but inserting the sensor would be new ground.

To start, I told him that it would hurt. It always hurts, even when I do it.  I told him not to spend a lot of time worrying about if it will hurt me. It will, but it's worth it and I'll get over it. Then I had him do a trial run with an empty inserter. This way, he could get an idea of how hard to press the button and what it would feel like.

Once that was done, I loaded the sensor and took off the needle guard. One . . . two . . . three . . . shunk. A small pinch, but not as bad as when I insert them. One second later . . . OUCH!!!! What was THAT?

As soon as the sensor was inserted, Pea was hit with a rush of excited pride and nervous panic. The adrenalin caused him to yank the inserter away as quickly as possible - without holding the sensor down. I turned to see the inserter in his hand with the sensor still in it. A glance in the mirror showed nothing on my lower back except a small drop of blood.

Attempt #1 at the CGM?  Fail!

Footnote:  Attempt #2 happened mere minutes later and when off without a hitch.  Diabetic and CGM are both doing just fine!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Meme Monday - 8 Things . . .

Just when I feared I was running out of Memes to do, Trina and Jill saved the day and tagged me with this fun one.

Here's how to do this 8 THINGS thing:
Mention the person that tagged you. Complete the lists of 8's. Tag 8 of your wonderful bloggy friends. Go tell them you tagged them!

  1. Our 5th anniversary cruise!
  2. The Farmer's Market opening up again for the season.
  3. Every morning, the minute I wake up, I look forward to COFFEE!
  4. Picking Pea up at the train station each evening.
  5. Snuggles with my kitty-cat.
  6. Getting the laundry and housework DONE so I can knit.
  7. Going to the casino again.
  8. Sunshine and warm weather.
  1. Put in a new CGM sensor.
  2. Watch TV with Pea.
  3. Cuddle with K.C.
  4. Shop for Mom's Mother's Day gift.  (Yes, I did have to wait until the last minute.)
  5. Knit.
  6. Have dinner at my parent's house.
  7. Surf the web.
  8. Yell at K.C. for jumping on the dining room table.  (I think I did that one eight times!!)
  1. Sing on key.
  2. Be outgoing instead of shy.
  3. Speak Italian.
  4. Figure out some sort of career plan.
  5. Just eat - without counting carbs, bolusing and checking blood sugars.
  6. Exercise without feeling like it's pure torture.
  7. Knit faster.
  8. Right now??  Go back to sleep. 
  1. The Office
  2. House
  3. Chuck
  4. 30 Rock
  5. What Not to Wear
  6. Ugly Betty
  7. Burn Notice
  8. Psyche
  1. I never tag other bloggers.
  2. It makes me feel guilty.
  3. What if they don't want to be tagged?
  4. You just never know.
  5. But I like to be tagged.
  6. And I like to read meme's.
  7. So if you want to do this one, consider yourself tagged.
  8. And let me know so I can read your Eight Things!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Little things make all the difference . . .

I've tried to be pretty honest about the slump I've been in lately.  (Okay, if I'm going to be completely honest, it's more of a depression than a slump.   But it is still hard not to slap on a smile and pretend to the outside world that everything is okay.)  So often, diabetes and depression seem to go hand in hand.  It's hard to manage a disease as demanding as this one without getting down about things every so often.  And the strain diabetes sometimes takes on me can sap any patience for things that might not bother me otherwise.

Yesterday was another really bad day - for me and also for my kitty.  She is still working through some health issues that are making her so miserable that she is, in turn, making me miserable.  But sometimes, if you look for all of the little bright spots in your life, they can add up to something really great.  And you realize things aren't as bad as you thought.

If you are me, bright spots come in the form of a terrific dinner with five fabulous Type 1 ladies.  The dark cloud is that I forget my camera, yet again.  But luckily, one of us was on the ball and you can see a picture (and read a great post) over at Six Until Me!

Another bright spot might be that my husband treated us to some really great cupcakes.  Cupcakes make everything better, right?

I might also count the return of the long absent sunshine as a bright spot.  In fact, a cat who isn't feeling well might also be thrilled to have a sunny window to peer out of.


A little kitty might also be happy that "the girl" pulled out the couch and retrieved some favorite toys . . . even if she didn't get to play with them until after the stupid picture was taken.  (You can see her head there at the top as she tried to sneak in and snag the butterfly away.)

So when your blood sugars aren't behaving and your life seems dim, or when you're an uncomfortable kitty who keeps getting yelled at for misbehaving, sometimes you just need to look at all of the wonderful "little things" around to be thankful for.  It's the first step towards fixing those big things!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When you world is in a downward spiral . . .

I think it's quite a well-known fact that exercise can help ease depression.  It sounds so easy, doesn't it?  Feeling down?  Go outside and take a walk.  Put on your favorite music and dance.  Do a little gardening.  You'll feel so much better.

But for me, when my world is in a downward spiral, it isn't as easy as it sounds.  Exercise can ease depression, yes.  But depression makes exercise become the last thing I want to do.  And when it gets really bad, I just can't force myself onto the treadmill.

In the past month, I exercised 28 days out of 30.  Last week, I only exercised one day.  I was so unhappy with myself that 20 minutes on the treadmill didn't seem worth the effort.  But then, skipping exercise become one more reason to be disappointed in myself.  The downward spiral continues and feeds off itself.

So, as part of my Fresh Start, it's time to get back to exercising.  As soon as I hit the publish button for this post, you'll find me on the treadmill.  And in that way, I've accomplished my small success for today.

Monday, May 4, 2009

New Week, New Month, Fresh Start

Things have been pretty dull here on this little blog. In fact, things have been pretty dull in my little life. Sure, I have been doing some fun and exciting things too, but overall I’ve been going through quite a rough patch. A rough patch that makes it very hard to work up the ambition to do much of anything, especially blog.

I’m not really sure exactly what it is that is going on with me. Perhaps a bit of a mid-life crisis? I guess that’s what you’d call it when you take a look at your days and at your life in general, and feel like you are doing nothing that contributes to society in any way.  And you wonder how you got to this point. And you realize it’s not where you want to be. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of things in my life that I feel so lucky about – mainly my sweet husband. But it’s time for more. Time to DO SOMETHING. The problem is . . . what????

I’ve figured out that the first step is to DO ANYTHING! Stop moping around feeling sorry for myself. Stop hiding away and start being more social. Get back to the blogging and the e-mails and the Twittering. Clear the clutter in the house and get things organized. Clear the clutter in my brain and get things organized there too. Find some courses to take and enroll in them.  I don’t have to decide what my career will be right now . . . just find some classes in something interesting and see where they lead. And start creating again. I have cast on a couple of new knitting projects. I have some sewing project swimming around in my brain. I bought some clay and paints for another project I’d like to try.  Maybe I'll get a garden planted.  And I have a bunch of recipes printed out. Cooking and baking are just as creative to me as any craft. You start with a pile of raw material and turn it into something great.

Today is Monday, a new start to the week. The first Monday in May, a new start to the month. I’d say it’s time for a fresh start. Who’s ready to make a fresh start with me?