Friday, October 29, 2010

Sometimes, it just invades

One of the perks of my job is that I get time off every morning.  But I also have to be glued to my phone in case anything happens with either of the kids.  I would be being nice if I called myself a walking disaster this week, so today I needed to clean, along with grocery shop, along with go to the grocery store for the genius family.  I had time to think about my schedule, so I wasn't stressed about it, I matter-of-factly went about my morning, even though all I wanted was coffee, coffee, and did I mention coffee?  Boy Genius got out early from school today, so I picked him up, he read for a little bit, we went out to lunch, and I realized that we needed to hurry.  "Okay Boy Genius.  As soon as...BOY GENIUS!" "What?" "As soon as I park the car we need to hurry and get inside, we're late." And so begins the process of explaining to him that we're late, it doesn't matter WHY, but we need to get in to get Girl Genius, which means put the book down....
We get Girl Genius and we're in the car and I'm 134 before driving away and she's talking in all her adorableness, but I'm still recovering from nearly being late, so I'm having a difficult time focusing.  We get to the grocery store.  Girl Genius is really well behaved in the grocery store.  Boy Genius is less well behaved because 1. he's a boy and 2. he's not as used to it.  He's in school for a longer day, so there's more time to go without him.  And I really don't like bringing him there, but there's only one way for him to learn...Did I also mention that it's time for Girl Genius's nap?  So I've got one cranky child and one that doesn't know how to behave.  Awesome.  In the parking lot, Boy Genius couldn't even hold her hand.  He grabbed her arm.  She asked him to stop and just hold her hand, so he does, so he starts swinging her arm, twisting it, pulling it.  We're also in the parking lot so I threatened him with "If you can't be nice to Girl Genius, you will holding my hand instead."  He stopped right away.  We get up to the grocery store (it's on the second floor) and we don't need a lot, so I grab the basket with the wheels.  Girl Genius loves to pull it, but I told her she needed to ask Boy Genius if he also wanted to help.  They walk into each other; he pushes her into the apple display, he trips her; she wants to use two hands; I gave up.  I told them that I was taking it because I was done listening to them fight in the grocery store.  After that, they were pretty good until we walked towards the cashiers where Boy Genius decides to run.  They fight over who put more on the conveyor belt.  They are upset the escalator is broken and I won't take the elevator, we take the stairs.  We go outside and Boy Genius almost walks into traffic.  I make him hold my arm, and then I think the car that let us cross may have been a kid I went to high school with.  I unlock the doors, get the kids in the car, put the food in the car and I get in.  I test and I'm 200.  Hello stress, so nice of you to join me and my diabetes.  Next time, don't.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I'm the panda bear
Like most other children, I loved Halloween.  I got to pick a costume, and wear it about four times.  At Maple Avenue Elementary School, there was the town parade.  After the parade, there was a party!  Mom would be waiting in the classroom to help everyone figure out what exactly I could eat for my snack.  Then there was trick-or-treating.  I would trick-or-treat in my own town with friends, I would trick-or-treat in Manchester with family and/or family friends, and the most fun would be going to Chester to trick-or-treat at night.  That's a lot of candy for a little girl!  I always grew up eating healthy, so diabetes didn't really change much, but now what were my parents going to do?  Someone at the local support group suggested buying the candy.  After all my candy had been collected, I would pick out a few pieces to keep for myself.  I would then dump the loot on the dining room table and my father and I started debating the price of the different sizes of candy.  I, being Daddy's little girl, can remember telling him every piece was worth $1.  It never worked though.  When the money was all tallied, we would head off to P.K. Zyla's and I got to get a toy or some other fun thing.  It was the best of both worlds, and while I knew that other children got to keep all their candy, I also got something that they didn't.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time flies when...

On Monday night I had a sweet spike before going to bed (no pun intended), 344.  I took a shot and went to sleep.  When my alarm went off yesterday morning, it felt as though no time had passed.  And even though I haven't woken up low recently, I knew right away that I was.  I couldn't even find my phone to turn off my alarm.  I knocked over all my books trying to turn on my light.  I hit my water bottle and almost let it crash right onto my pillow. I fumbled with my meter case, dropped the bottle of test strips, and finally tested.  It felt like 5 minutes had passed.  And then I turned off my alarm.  I was 54 so I knocked more things over trying to get my juice box, then stood up to turn on my light.  As I fumbled back to bed I knew there was no way that getting in the shower was a safe decision.  I went back into my bed, turned on the news and sat there for a moment.  I thought I didn't take anything, so I uncovered my lap and went to the refrigerator to get more juice.  I emptied the entire top shelf to get my juice (which was frozen), so I grabbed some of my roommates and gulped it down.  As I turned back towards the fridge from the sink, I couldn't figure out why all the beverages were on the counter, and then I realized that my juice had been frozen.  I started to put it all back together, and headed back to my room.  As I was walking in, my second alarm was going off.  Somehow, 25 minutes passed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Walk Season

Carefree staff 2006
Gales Creek Camp counselor Broccoli
It seems like September & October could accurately be named Walk Season rather than Autumn or Fall.  On TV & radio there are commercials everywhere, and all my friends seem to be doing either a JDRF Walk or the ADA Step Out walk (which I have participated in in the past). And I don't just mean for diabetes related fundraising! This year though, I haven't donated to any of these causes.  It is not for economical reasons, although I do feel happy to be asked to donate my "first year" as an adult.  Instead, I just got an envelope in the mail from The Barton Center thanking me for my donation to them.  On the surface, it may seem a little odd that I'm donating to The Barton Center.  After all, I spent ten years at Camp Carefree and two summers in Oregon at Gales Creek Camp working as a counselor.  My experience at Camp Carefree was so positive, that I wanted it the entire summer, hence the Oregon trips in 2008 & 2009.  When I got my full time job as a nanny (which I love), it also means that my camp days are over.  For someone who never thought she'd allow that day to arrive, it was a pretty big deal.  I was on the phone with my friend in Oregon, trying to convince her that she should be in Massachusetts for the summer, so I sent her the link to the Clara Barton camp.  She ends up getting hired to work there for the summer, and all of a sudden my best friend will be here! With me!  So when she decided to run the ING NYC Marathon to raise money for The Barton Center, of course I said I would support her.  So here I am donating to this place, that I've only briefly seen, but it's for my best friend, so it's absolutely worth it.  And I know that kids feel just as good about The Barton Center as I did about Camp Carefree, so I know that my money is going to a good place.

If you're still looking for someone/something to donate to (and you love diabetes!), please go HERE.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Morning Gym Routine

A gym routine shouldn't include this much:
  • At 8:30 AM, test BG before driving Girl Genius to school
  • After dropping Girl Genius off at school (9:00 AM) test again and set temporary basal for 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Test when I get to the gym
  • Change & make sure I have water & glucose
  • Start cardio workout (usually the elliptical, but if I don't have a post-breakfast high, then I do the bike)
  • Usually only make it about 20 minutes before going low
  • Take glucose
  • Stretch
  • Test BG
  • Shower
  • Test BG
  • Go Home/back to work

Friday, October 22, 2010

Phone Call

When I read Kerri's post yesterday, I stopped short.  It took me three times to get through reading the whole thing.  I was shaking in fear; I had tears falling down my face; I was thanking God that I am still alive; I was planning the next time I get to see my friends; I was trying to put a smile on my face.  I went through and read other blogs (many I've never read before) just to find out more information about this little girl and what happened to her.  Other than being scared out of my mind, I read this and realized I might have lived through the time when this would happen to me.

I called my mother, which I postponed most of the afternoon, and while I didn't want to ask the question, I did; "Mom, have you ever heard of the dead-in-bed syndrome?"  I knew that if my parents knew about this when I was a child, they also would have protected me from this information.  I had to explain what it was to her, and then I sat there and said "uh huh, yup, okay" etc while my mother talked to me.  She was at her desk at work, so she looked it up and said, "well the good thing about you is that you were never a good sleeper anyways.  And oh yea, you had night terrors too."  Mom said that they didn't know about this, but immediately told me that if they had, I would not have. "That would have been something Daddy & I would worry about: not you."  She said that there was a lot of information they would find out about at the support group, but never at the doctor's office.  "You were always off having a grand old time and we were finding out all this information that made us think: how come no one has told us this yet."  Like the fact that a low might be scary, but that you can usually survive a low, but if you run out of insulin, you won't survive.  We continued to talk about that for a while and as we were hanging up, I had more tears streaming down my face, trying to sound as though they weren't there and mom telling me not to worry.  When I went on facebook at the end of the day, this was my mother's status: "Be brave.  Even if you're not, pretend to be.  No one can tell the difference."  While I don't know for certain whether they are related, I'm guessing they are.  I try not to worry about diabetes, but sometimes it shows up and slaps me in the face.

I took Kerri's words to heart though.  I wrote my friends who live far away; I've been on the phone with my mother for a lot of the day; I held Girl Genius's hands so much yesterday afternoon; I look forward to seeing my friends this weekend; and I will embrace the crap out of my far-away friend when I get to see her in three weeks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


In a regular person world, Tuesday was a jam-packed, keep on rushing with adrenaline type of day.  (And suddenly as I'm writing this, my blood sugars make sense.)  I woke up, ran outside to move my car so it wouldn't get towed because of street cleaning, zombie-d my way back inside, tried to clean my apartment, changed my pump site, tried to find a new PCP (I need a referral for a new endo), then at 11:30 needed to pick up Girl Genius.  We go back to the Genius household but must be quiet because Mom Genius is working upstairs.  At 12:30 we pick up Boy Genius from school and we go out to lunch.  (Mom Genius wants us to be quiet since she is working and since I have both kids on Tuesdays, Tuesday lunches are usually pretty loud.)  We go to Bertucci's for lunch (where I swear they hire based on looks, but the service was also good, so I'm okay with this), from there we drop off/pick up the dry cleaning, run to iParty for a Harry Potter costume for Boy Genius (for those of you who don't know him, this is THE perfect costume), run home, pick up Mom Genius, and we all go to ballet for open house.  I am not a bad driver, and I'm a very calm driver with the kids in the car, but I get nervous as all hell when I have to drive Mom Genius.  We get to ballet, and there are shrieks because Dad Genius is there.  All day (it seems) I've been getting the question, "Is Daddy going to be at ballet?"  We all go in to see ballet class.  It's not like a real ballet class since all the kids are so darn excited their mommies & daddies can watch.  After ballet, we all pile back in my car and as soon as we walk in the door, Mom Genius leaves for work.  Girl Genius & I have a snack and then it's upstairs for a nap.  Boy Genius works on his homework then takes a shower.  I cook their dinner.  I wake Girl Genius up and she did NOT want to wake up.  Her naps have just been shortened to 45 minutes since she isn't sleeping well at night, but she isn't enjoying these 45 minute spurts either.  She plays with Boy Genius for about 10 minutes when Mom Genius gets home from work.  And explosion of screams and tears.  We had an over-tired, severely in need of hugs, Girl Genius.  And my work day was over.  The adrenaline was still pumping through me, so I decided to scan some old pictures at CVS.  As soon as that was done, it was time to end this fast-paced day. 

I had no choice but to love football
My numbers in the morning were okay.  After I got to work, my sugars started to climb, and then they hung out in the area of the 300's for about five hours.  The first I bolused with my pump, then after that, I bolused with a needle, and still nothing.  I was also drinking water, rather than my desired coffee, just to help.  Around 5:30, I felt thirsty as though I was probably 500.  I was ready to bolus without testing, but decided to give that handy dandy meter a shot.  115.  All day I didn't feel high, but I was, and then when I felt high, I couldn't ask for a better number.  I was great the rest of the night.  I felt low a little bit, but never actually went low. 

 I was thinking about it yesterday, and I couldn't figure out why my sugars were so high.  I was thinking about it this morning and still couldn't figure it out.  Not until I sat down to write this, and actually started writing and saw the word adrenaline did it click.  Adrenaline raises my blood sugar.  A day that was fueled by adrenaline: well now it makes sense.  Maybe next time I will be able to figure this out during the adrenaline high, and give myself just a teensy bit extra insulin and I can have a good diabetes day, along with a busy work day. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I just got new insurance through work, and it's the first time that I'm the one that needs to know what happening with insurance.  Up until now, I've always been covered under my parents insurance.  I work for doctors, so my insurance is better than a lot of other insurances out there.  When I got the first envelope of information from them, my first reaction was "uh oh, I hope my pump doesn't break this year."  There is a maximum of $2,000 on Durable Medical Equipment.  In my mind, I'm nervous.  I know that if I needed to buy a new pump, I could make it work.  That is why I've been saving money since I was in third grade.  This isn't what I want to use it for, but if the need happens, I can do it.  Over the weekend I got a new envelope from my insurance company.  It was an overview of the law changes and what it might mean for me, what might affect me.  This is the one that struck me the most:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010



Goffstown had it's annual Pumpkinfest this weekend.  Mom and I walked down on Sunday morning to watch the pumpkin dropping.  We got downtown, and walked over to the town common and saw the giant pumpkins, which ranged from 300 pounds - 1200 pounds.  These were pretty darn impressive.  We saw our hair dresser with her adorable daughter, then walked over to the high school hockey tent for lunch (Mom works with one of the moms).  The pumpkin dropping was down the road, so as the crowds started flocking & gathering, we followed.  I found a sweet rock to stand on, where I spotted the giant pumpkin hanging from a crane.  We talked to a few people and found out the pumpkin was 1400 pounds.  As more and more people showed up, the excitement grew and finally the crane started to lift.  They pulled the rope, and....nothing.  They repeated this process a few (4) times and on the fourth try, the pumpkin finally fell 75 feet into the pool.  (I am totally embracing my townie personality here) but it was so cool.   They weren't allowed to drop it into the river because of the tidal wave it could produce, so let's just say there was a huge wave, and water everywhere, and the pumpkin shattered.  It's one of those things that I never thought I would experience, mostly because I never thought this existed.  We left there and walked through Main St. and the gift shops and as we were coming towards the flower/coffee shop, I started to feel low.  I wasn't in the mood for tabs (I am getting quite sick of their chaulky texture and if mom knew I was feeling low, it would change the mood of our day), and there is a sign for pumpkinfest drinks.  These included a pumpkin latte, a caramel apple latte and a pumpkin spice smoothie.  I opted for a combination of a temporary basal at 50% with a side of caramel apple latte.  I was able to continue walking around town, including seeing pumpkin catapaulting, a mini pumpkin race, and finishing off the day with a pumpkin regatta (where the fire department boat almost set the giant pumpkin eater on fire).  We finished our day by walking home, and I was a little high (171), but the combination of the temporary basal with a delicious fall flavored latte was the perfect cure for a perfect fall, small-town day.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Last week I was working with Boy Genius on his homework.  I took three different courses of elementary school math in college, so I understand most of the math lingo.  The "broken calculator" though, not so much.  Phonics is a little confusing still, especially since this was the first week of phonics homework.  Boy Genius is also a perfectionist, so it takes him longer to do his homework than it should.  He was writing sentences for his spelling words, and he was using the dictionary to find the correct spelling of some other words, when I started to get really annoyed.  I wasn't able to give Girl Genius a lot of attention because it was distracting Boy Genius and he couldn't find the word he was looking for even though it was right at the top of the page.  It took everything in me not to just tell him how to spell it.  I'm trying to remain calm and yet I'm getting really "heated."  And it dawns on me: I'm low.

In high school, I would leave class if I was low.  In college, I didn't have to finish an exam if I was low.  Here I am though, working on second grade homework, and I'm stuck.  I can stand up and test, take some tabs (which I did), but I still need to sit back down and focus.  Life doesn't allow you to walk away.  I need to focus, I need to be patient, and I need to remember that these children are not the reason I'm low.  It's easy to get frustrated when I'm low, but I need to remember that I'm frustrated at diabetes, not at the kids.  So I take a deep breath, grab some water, sit back down, and go back to second grade.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Making fun of Diabetes

Lately I've been trying to take better control of my diabetes.  Some days are good, and some days are bad.  On the good days, I don't tell anyone because I don't want to jinx it.  On the bad days, I have to hold my tongue on internet posts so as not to seem depressed about it.  Sometimes though I just need to share what I'm feeling.   And often times my friends comment on it.
This guy has always said different things about diabetes.  Things about being low, or high, or just about getting in the way of drinking, or just some sort of crazy things.  From most people, these types of comments bother me, but not from him.  He's really smart, and he generally knows what he's talking about.  If he doesn't, I correct his information and we go about the rest of our lives.  Correcting his jokes was my way of educating him about type 1 diabetes, and he's smart enough to know what I'm talking about. When I saw him last weekend, I walked into the room and after the "hey, your here!" moments, he started talking about how he's not allowed to make fun of my diabetes anymore.  When I asked why, he mentioned that his new girlfriend has diabetes, but doesn't like to talk about it.  He goes on to tell me about how there was a time when she didn't even like to take care of it, and of course my first question is: how old was she when she was diagnosed. Twelve or Thirteen.  From the people that I've known of, many people diagnosed at this age have a difficult time coping with diabetes, so it makes sense now why he says he can't make fun of me anymore.  Not that I will miss "being made fun of" but it is something that will feel missing.  I've always "said" that I wish he would stop, but now that it may actually be stopping, I don't know how I feel about it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Gym

After living here for nearly a year, I've finally joined a gym.  With the new membership, came a free personal training session.  Before the exercise actually starts, I talked with the trainer for a while and one of the questions was something along the lines of: Is there anything medical that might affect your exercise?  I go on to mention that I've had type 1 diabetes for 21 years, and then I describe the other activities that I participate in (swimming, running, tennis, skiing) and she flips over her paper and checks the diabetes box, and next to it writes type 1.

Having to write type 1 got me thinking.  Does she know what it feels like to have to be differentiated?  Does she understand that being "impressed" just makes me mad?  Does she actually know the differences? Does she even care?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Going Back

About a month ago, I got invited to go to Oktoberfest with my friends in Newport, RI for this weekend.  I am the type  of person that will always choose to do things with my family or friends. I've been looking forward to this weekend and these friends because I haven't seen them in quite a while.  As last Friday rolled around, I was getting a little nervous. 

In 2003, I was just like most of my other friends really excited to go off to college.  I was off to Salve Regina University with two other girls from my high school.  I can look back now and say that I was not ready to go to college; it is blatantly obvious.  Back then though, I was obviously ready.  My academics suffered, my social life suffered, but most importantly, my diabetes suffered.  Shortly before Thanksgiving, I got really sick, throwing up everywhere and the Resident Director decided that enough was enough and I needed to go to the hospital.  Off I went in the ambulance to the Newport Emergency Room where my blood sugar was recorded as 789.  We later learned that my insulin had expired, but if I had been more on top of it, I could have prevented such a high high.  From there I went to Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence where I was in the ICU and surrounded by diabetes educators.    I had high school friends calling every day, my parents with me day & night, and I was determined to get better.  That was my diabetes rock bottom. I went back and "finished" my semester, only to return to pack up my things.  I can't really blame it on anything but me, but if a lot of things had been different, maybe it wouldn't have happened?  I can't be sure.

I've been back a time or two before, but always with people who knew my SRU history.  I am not proud of that time of my diabetes history, and I don't like to talk about it, so these friends had no idea.  My life since they have been in my life has been positive.  I'm not saying that my diabetes control has always been good, because I'd be lying if I said that.


It's good to have a good memory from Newport, but it's still the one place that I get nervous about every time I go.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A moment of silence


This young woman passed away this weekend after a tragic car accident.  She was a camper at Camp Carefree when I was a counselor there, and although I didn't have her in my cabin, she is still a huge influence on all those around her.  The world has lost a fabulous person and please give her a moment of silence in your travels today. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Good Friends

Last week I got together with one of my old friends.  We met in elementary school and started to lose touch in high school, but we were both still there for each other no matter what, we just had a different group of friends.  We lost touch in college, but it's easy for that to happen when you go to school thousands of miles apart.  (Keep in mind this was before facebook even existed.)  And while I still don't get to see her a lot, having her back in my life this year is something I'm very grateful for.

Back in seventh grade, I was still scared going home all by myself after school.  Her parents moved within a couple miles of my house the year before, so I went home with her & her sister every day after school that year. The summer between sixth and seventh grade, she was over my house, going to my neighbor's pool, and I took out my poke bag to test before leaving.  She started asking my mom questions (and I guess me too.)  "What is her reading supposed to be?"  "What is a good snack?"  "What do I do if she goes low?"  I'm not sure if those are the exact questions, but you get the idea.  Keep in mind, also, that this was in 1997.  I didn't carry a meter to/from school with me, I had a strict eating schedule and what to eat (starch, fruit, protein, etc.), and I only tested at breakfast, lunch, dinner & bedtime.  That day, her asking all those questions, it's a day that stands out in my mind.  It's the day that a friend without diabetes tried to understand, and know how to help her friend with diabetes.

As I took out my pump to bolus for the delicious pizza that sat before us, she had more questions.  Who can blame her; the knowledge I gave her is 13 years old.  It's nice to have a friend that I can still count on to make me feel better about having diabetes.  We talked about how the insulin pump works, what the basal is, and what a bolus is and why you need it.  I tested my blood sugar and then we went back to talking about other things, like jobs, apartments and everything else that goes on in our lives.  She's been there for me through thick and thin, and it's nice to know that with everything else, she still takes the time to ask & learn about diabetes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Site Change, Plus Some

From September 29,2010

Yesterday called for a site change. No big deal, I’ve been doing them for 8.5 years now (has it really been that long?) I still hate site changes. The fear of the new site not working debilitates me. Yesterday I went high after my site change, but I didn’t feel it. I tested before going to bed, and I was high. Worried that it was the site, I stayed up another hour to check on it, and I was right around the same number. But I wasn’t higher, so I decided to go to bed and check at 3AM. 3AM was back in regular zone so i fall back asleep (even more excited because I still had 3 hours to sleep), but when I wake up at 6, low, again. It’s making me very lethargic, and trying to find a playdate to pass Girl Genius off to. It’s just that kind of day.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Easter Basket

From September 29,2010

What most people see when looking at this photograph is not what I see.  (Besides the fact that it’s me!)  Let’s start with the obvious, it’s a little girl, on the beach with a stuffed bunny that looks really new, so it’s probably around Easter.  What I see is the bracelet. It signifies the difference in one year.  Now, I have diabetes.  Now, I can’t have a random sip of soda with my father.  Now, I have to eat at certain times.  Now, I go to the doctors: a lot.  But I still get given a basket of candy by this awesome guy named Easter Bunny.  Easter Bunny didn’t leave a note for me.  He didn’t mention that this Easter would be different than last Easter.  To adults, I’m used to having diabetes so I know that I cannot have my candy like I used to.  To a 4 year old, I don’t know that.  I’m with my cousins and they get to eat their candy and they are my idols, so let’s dig in!  Mom comes in and sees that I’ve eaten candy, but no one paid attention to how many calories were actually in my basket, because that wouldn’t need to be known until I thoughtfully chose what I wanted.  But I ate with my cousins.  And I’m four.  I’m not capable of explaining how much I ate.  So this Easter, I can’t eat Easter dinner.  I have to sit there being monitored by my mother (this doesn’t make it much fun for her either, I’m sure) because no one knows how much I ate.  This picture, This bracelet, it changes everything.  

Friday, October 8, 2010


The other day I had a lot of memories come rushing in and I want to make them fit here.  The reason they fit, they have nothing to do with diabetes.

I got to work the other morning and Girl Genius & Mom Genius were sitting at the table eating breakfast.  Girl Genius was wrapped in a fleece blanket.  I remember sitting with my mother at our breakfast table one morning, when all of a sudden we heard lots of pounding upstairs and then all of a sudden Fluffy came rolling down the stairs.  We had a little beagle, Rags, who was jealous of Fluffy and would "attack" him any chance she got.  This moment, while seemingly annoying, also funny & impressive because Fluffy was definitely bigger than Rags.

This week has been kind of rainy, and the other day Girl Genius & I were walking to pick up Boy Genius & a friend from school.  We were bundled up in our pink raincoats, our boots, and we had a big red & white umbrella.  Unfortunately, this umbrella wasn't quite working correctly so every so often, it would collapse down and we'd get a giant puddle dumping down on us.  None of us were really excited about it, but I was in  a good mood despite the rain, so I said "It's an adventure!"  It reminded me of walking home from the bar with my roommate in college and it started to rain.  We took off our shoes & started dancing in the street.  It wasn't about the rain, or the people, or anything else.  It was just about enjoying the moment, no matter what was "in the way."


..seem irritating.  And then I heard the song How Big Are Angels Wings by Ashton Shepherd.

(From September 27, 2010)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Please Help

I'm not sure how many of you read this, or even if you like what I'm saying.  I hope that there are some of you out there that enjoy knowing my happinesses & stresses. For those of you enjoy it, could you do me a favor and help out my friend?  She's running in the NYC marathon in one month, and could use some help with the fundraising.  Here is the link: Help Rebel

If you want to know more about her, go here:  Running Smarter, Not Harder

If you want to know who she's running for, go here: Clara Barton Camp

I never attended Clara Barton Camp, but I did go to a different camp for 8 years as a camper, 1 year as a CIT, and 1 year as a counselor.  I then went out to Oregon to work at a different diabetes camp for 2 summers.  It doesn't matter which one you went to, because those of us who have a great experience, have it because of the generality of a place with people who have diabetes, not because of each specific place.  If you need a more personal connection, look around, I'm sure there is someone in your life with Type 1 diabetes, even if you don't know it.

Exposed to Type 1

From September 24, 2010

In the long-term sense, yesterday was a good diabetes day. That was great, however, it also means that I was low quite a few times during the day.  Boy & Girl Genius have certainly noticed my diabetes, especially the pump, but Girl Genius asks a lot of questions.  She is not ignorant, she doesn’t have misconceptions, she is just young so she hasn’t been exposed.  I feel lucky to be exposing them to type 1 in a world predominated by type 2.  As we’re getting ready to walk Boy Genius to school, I realize that I’m dropping.  As I’m yelling to the Boy & Girl Genius to get their shoes on, I am scrambling into the kitchen where my work bottle of tabs is stashed.  Girl Genius follows me in (her shoes are on, so I’m trying not to get upset).  ”Briley, what are those?  Briley, what color are they? Briley, How come you aren’t answering my questions?”  Clearly this family is smart, and I’ve definitely used the “give me a minute or two and then I’ll answer your question” before, and had to use it again yesterday.  This is my response: “Girl Genius, You know how I have to test to see how much sugar is in my blood?  Well right now, there isn’t enough, so if I eat 4 of these, I’ll be okay.”  Sometimes it’s hard to explain diabetes (especially situational diabetes) to Girl Genius (especially when I’m low), but I live for the moments when she remembers.
Cue in cute music and memory:
We were driving to an activity and my old car was giving me trouble (see key word: old car) and something started beeping. Girl Genius: Was that your insulin pump? Are you okay?  Me: Yes, I am okay and thank you for asking, but that beeping was my car.  Girl Genius: Well, how do you know?  Shouldn’t you check just to make sure?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Physical + Everything else

Diabetes is a physical disease.  Your pancreas stops producing insulin and thus, you're diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Physical, right?  Yes.

But it's so much more.

I woke up yesterday morning in a cold sweat.  I knew I was low.  I grabbed my meter, tested, then popped some tabs in.  As I was gathering myself again, I realized that it shouldn't be this light out.  I look up, realize it's 8:23.  Um, I'm supposed to be at work at 7:30.  Grab my phone, surprised I didn't hear it ring.  I have a text that says, "are you okay?"  Not, where are you, you're supposed to be here, or anything of that nature.  I call my mother (the thought that I didn't wake up because of a severe low would scare her didn't cross my mind at this time).  I text Mom Genius back telling her that I had a severe low BS, but that I'd be there shortly.  (Still not thinking right since by this time the kids are on their way to school.) She calls me, she's at Girl Genius's school, so don't worry until I have to pick her up.  Will I be okay?  Yes,  Mom Genius, I will be okay.  Want to know why?  Because your first question was "are you okay?" I call my own mother back telling her that Mom Genius is great and wanted me to be okay and that she brought the kids to school, and yup, I can survive now. I'm half dressed already, I heat up my coffee, make some breakfast, then get in the shower.  The rational thought processes have left the building so-to-speak because the next thoughts that enter my brain are "I'm lonely."  I am not a lonely person.  I have the best family & friends in the world, I feel like I'm becoming a social butterfly (this is weirder to me than any of you reading this, I guarantee it), I love the people I work with, and I am an eternal optimist.  The thoughts going through my mind though, were, I wish I wasn't single.  If I wasn't single well then maybe I wouldn't have been alone this morning.  If I hadn't been alone this morning, then someone else would've heard my alarm and realized that I wasn't waking up.  Someone else probably would've felt my intense sweating as well and realized something was wrong when it started, not on the way back up again.

This physical disease can cripple me at any time, and today it decided to strike.  The long term effects of this strike weren't physical, they were psychological and those are the effects that are harder to let go of.

Shitfaced Low

From September 23, 2010

I am a synchronized swimmer.  I realize that it might not be the most common or popular sport, but it’s something that I love.  Unfortunately it doesn’t fit my schedule in Boston, so I travel to NH every other week for it.  The commute is just something that I can’t really do every week.  I was really excited for our first masters class last night.  As I’m getting off the highway, I start to feel low.  This wasn’t just any low. This was what I like to call shifaced low.  A low where you may not actually be really low, (I was 65) but a low that still packs a punch and knocks you to the ground.  It also takes longer to recover from.  I sat there on the side of the pool sucking down jucie boxes, tabs, granola bars, enough so that by the time the hour long class was over, I was finally not low.  I go into the locker room to change out of my bathing suit, pissed off.  I’m fumbling with my things so that I can be comfortable on the drive back to Boston, and I hear that familiar “beep beep beep” that comes with a suspended pump.  I am a forgetful diabetic, so I don’t suspend my pump because then I forget to unsuspend it.  I realize that there is a woman in the changing room and she must have a pump too.  My pissed-off-ness makes me want to yell “It’s not fair” but the new improved diabetic in me makes me want to ask all sorts of questions such as “Has this ever happened to you?”  ”Do you ever get shitfaced low?”  ”How come when my A1C is better, low blood sugars can interfere more?” but mostly “Can I please have a hug?”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


These are my new shoes.  I love shoes, as my dia-buddy pointed out on Sunday.  I bought them for Saturday because I knew I needed to look good.  Good in the sense that I was looking good without looking like you're trying to look good.  I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about.  Saturday consisted of making it to BC High to see P State tennis & Coach since they're in my town for an afternoon.  From there, trek to South Station to meet another friend before heading to Oktoberfest.
Before dia-buddy and I even got on the T, I could feel that these might not have been the smartest decision, but I tried to plan for that!  I went shopping early in the week, I bought the little socks (they hurt with the shoes), and I wore them every single night in my apartment.  And I still ended up with blisters.  As I'm standing with my two most dependable friends, my feet were entirely out of my shoes, just resting on the top; with a warning of "please warn me if someone is about to bump into me."  When we walked somewhere, I kept my toes in the shoes, but my heels out, and I shuffled more than walked.  People started to walk and I would remind them that all I could do was shuffle.  The only thing I didn't do was take the offer to get carried around the city. There was a good chunk of time where I was able to keep my shoes off, and even put neosporin on them.  I did everything I thought of to prevent blisters, and yet I still have them.  I have three on my left foot and two on my right.  I had to go to Target today and buy lots of first-aid "stuff" in the hopes of getting better, and quickly, without getting infected.  I have never been worried about things like this before because I've never had blisters this bad.  These are bad though and I'm nervous.  If I had to do it again, I might not wear the shoes, but the reality is, I probably would.  I now must live with the consequences and pray that the pain and my gross-looking feet are the only negative consequences I must live through from this decision.

Switch it Up

From September 22, 2010

I got sent this yesterday and it cracks me up.  For every woman reading this, I'm sure we've all heard the classic "Chicks before Dicks."  This puts a whole new spin on it.
For the first three years of diabetes, I felt like having diabetes was so rare that I'd never find another person with it.  All of a sudden Bartlett's mom was on the phone with my mom because she's six too and we live in the same town.  As we grow up, we go to Camp Carefree where we each meet our very best friends: more chicks with whom we can talk about this crazy thing that happens in our little bodies.  We can talk about everything else too.  This isn't to say that the guys at camp aren't great, but they haven't been the ones to stick around.  At times when I've needed them, they've been there and they'll come flying in and make a scene in my diabetes life, but "chicks" are the ones who make surviving with diabetes every day possible.  Where I'd be without them?  I shudder to think of such a thought. The guys, I could take or leave them and might not really notice.
The thing that I've noticed too though, is that the people in my life without diabetes, the men are the ones who understand it better (at least the way I seem to need them to understand it).  They are the ones who don't nag, but ask clarifying questions and want to know more.  They are the ones who when I'm out drinking with them and I go low, they're the ones fighting at the bar for Sprite for me.  They are the ones who understand that leaving all the people who know, love & understand you is more important in a diabetes aspect than a "personal" aspect.  They are the ones who surprise me every day and give me hope.

Monday, October 4, 2010


My longest dia-buddy came to visit me this weekend, and I couldn't be happier, especially since she loves to hate Boston because "it steals all my friends."  I picked her up on Friday and we talked about everything under the sun.  This included the boys in our lives, our jobs, our family, things that frustrate us, ski season and last but not least, our diabetes.  Our relationship is not based on diabetes, but diabetes definitely strengthens it.  It helps to have that person who gets it.  On Friday night we hung out my roommate, drinking wine, eating food and catching up with each other.  On Saturday, we went to see my old tennis team play here in Boston, then to Harpoon Oktoberfest (hence the visit on this particular weekend).  We met up with lots of friends, and had a great time, late into the night.  We arrive back at my apartment at the crack of 2AM, where I test and am 47.  I didn't feel this at all.  Was it dropping because I had been drinking and was giving myself small boluses?  Or was it because I was also low the night before at 2AM.  I don't know why I was low, but I had my juice box and I was good to go.  On Sunday, we woke up around 8, and my dia-buddy woke up low.  Saturday night she couldn't believe that one juice box can "cure" a low for me, so I go into the kitchen and get her a giant glass of juice.  I was consistently getting juice, tabs, soda, and even gel for her, and not until noon was she 99.  There was a lot of time spent watching movies, bundling in blankets, listening to music, and lots of talking.  I enjoy these moments of face-to-face with my dia-buddy, but I also feel terrible for her.  We've all been there before, but it's never easy.  The next time I am there though, I hope to have a dia-buddy with me, rather than a non dia-buddy because at least dia-buddies know the feeling.  When she wasn't low, we drove up to NH to finish our entirely-to-short weekend together.  
Bundled during a marathon low

Mom Genius

From September 21, 2010

Yesterday was quite possibly one of the best diabetes days I've had in a long time (minus the shitfaced low after picking up Boy Genius from school).  It wasn't however, one of the best work days.  At the end of the day, I was waiting to talk to Mom Genius before she took Boy & Girl Genius out to dinner with the neighbors.   This neighbor dad all of a sudden looked at me and said, "Is that an insulin pump?"  It was a moment of "Crap, I've been noticed."  There are a lot of times where I am ready to stand up and fight for diabetes like you wouldn't believe.  It's something that gets my blood going.  Last night, getting ready to leave work was not one of those times.  He was asking me a lot of questions/misconceptions because his mother-in-law is sick of taking shots during the day.  He was not being rude, he was just trying to gather information, and I was trying to explain it in the briefest way possible and I explained about how meters are not as accurate as one would think (hoping Mom Genius catches on and tries to do something about it).  From here I talked about how for so long I didn't want a pump, but now that I've had one for 9 years, I love it, how I still have to carry around a meter, tabs and a pen or needles & bottle, and Mom Genius just said, "She's amazing."  This is Mom Genius!  This is my boss.  This is the smartest woman I've ever met.  This is my connection to the future, and she thinks I'm amazing because of/for my diabetes!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"You only have type 2!"

From September 20, 2010

I'm not sure at what point it came, but there were times when I became frustrated about having diabetes.  I think we've all been there, but I don't remember it when I was first diagnosed.  I remember when I was in elementary school getting upset that mom or dad wouldn't test too.  I specifically remember throwing my meter across the room.  This was not a cute little meter like I currently use, but had test strips this size:
If the test strips are this size, you can imagine how big the meter actually was.  Back to being frustrated...I was talking with my mother and my aunt this weekend.  My aunt's mother was diagnosed with type 2 after I was diagnosed with type 1.  This woman was complaining to my aunt about all the work it took, and paying attention to what was going on in her life.  My mom remembers this story because these are the stories that carry you through the difficult times.  My aunt told her mother that because I had type 1, I have to be much more meticulous, do much more in regards to shots and eating, and I never complained.  (I am sure that isn't true, but I only complained to the endocrinologist and my parents.)  When my aunt would bring my cousins to the doctor and they didn't want to get a shot, she would tell them to suck it up because "look at how many shots Briley has to take!"  This really cracks me up.  Yes, I took a lot of shots.  In the first year alone, I tested my blood sugar at least 1,460 times and took shots at least 1,095 times.  But when I went to the doctor, I WAS that screaming child.  My mother always told me not  to worry because I have to take enough shots so getting shots and blood taken was something I was allowed to get upset about.  This wasn't part of my every day, this was more.  It might not be fair, it might not have been the best thing to say since I still couldn't get a shot by myself when I was 18 (now that I'm 25 I can handle it, but I still have to be reminded to breathe).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Way to Start the Day

From September 17, 2010

Fridays are one of my favorite days of the week, and not because Saturday & Sunday follow.  Fridays I get to go into work late because dad takes the kid to school.  Regular days of the week, the alarm goes off at 5:55.  Fridays, it goes off at 7:30.  This morning I rolled over at the crack of 8:55.  The immediate thought in my brain was “I must be low because I don’t even remember the alarm going off.”  And I was right.  I realize that waking up low is common, but it takes a lot out of me.  I wanted to try a new kind of juice too, and it tastes like vomit, so that certainly didn’t help.  My plan was to get up, go for a run, shower/coffee/Ellen, clean my room and other organizing things that need to happen in my apartment.  Let’s just say, when I rolled out of bed, Weather-Girl was making coffee, so I plopped down to watch Ellen, drank my coffee, and zombied my way through the morning.  Now whether this is related or not, I also have the worst headache I’ve had in quite a while.  It feels like a “high headache,”  but when you’re 66 then 105, that certainly can’t be.  I feel the need for a nap, and have all day, and my work day is just about to start at the crack of 1:36.  What have I done all day?  Well, that’s a good question.  All I can tell you is that low is not the way I like to start my day.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Why is Independence so important?

Every diabetic I know tries to live a life with an invisible illness.  In other words, having diabetes isn't the first thing you notice about them.  For me, these are things you'll notice first: I love children (hence why being a nanny is the perfect job for me).  I am very emotional - not erratically - but enough that I'm pretty transparent.  I'm an eternal optimist (it even annoys me sometimes).  I like to be active (skiing, tennis, swimming, running) but I love my lazy activities (reading, watching football, a good cup of coffee with  a good friend & an overplayed movie).  So where does independence come in?

My diagnosis date.  It's that simple: July 4, 1989.  I've also been raised to celebrate my diagnosis.  It's easy to celebrate when the anniversary is on a national holiday.  So it's easy to celebrate independence.  But what about the rest of the 364 days?  It's been a struggle.  As a three year old, my mother was in contact with the endocrinologist all the time.  At one point, the phone calls lessened, and eventually became rare.  A goal for me as their child was to be an independent woman who is happy & successful (but isn't that every parent's goal?)  So did those goals change in 1989?  Not in this family.  It might be more difficult, and there might have been more steps to achieve it, and at times it might not have seemed possible.  But I'm here, taking better care of my diabetes than I have since since high school, happier than I ever imagined, living on my own & capable of providing for myself.

Am I independent?  Yes.  Is it scary?  Sometimes.  Am I glad I'm independent?  You bet.  Can I do it all by myself?  No way.  Would I want to be to?  Not a chance.


From September 16, 2010

I just bought an at home, A1C now kit, and I’m pretty damn nervous about it.  It’s something that I need to know, and I’ve been slacking on the new doctor appointment, and my last A1C was...well...less than impressive.  That A1C was also taken while I was in the hospital with ketoacidosis on March 14, and my A1C was at its worst ever of 11.1%.  For those of you who don’t know diabetes speak, thats a 3 month average of over 270.  THAT’S BAD!  Today, my new A1C, and with my feet shaking wanting to run’s 8.6!  Now this still isn’t ideal, but thats an average 3 month blood sugar of approximately 185.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m going in the right direction and I couldn’t be happier!