Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Moved!

I'm sad to leave my red and white polka dots, but really, I've been fed up!  This morning I couldn't upload a picture, and that was it!  So I got some help and I moved! So check me out over at Wordpress!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Protected

Last week I found Rachel's Cure By Design.  As I was looking through these beautiful bracelets, I wasn't finding any that I would use as a medical bracelet.  But then I found a single charm.  And I remembered the bracelet my aunt gave me years ago.  So I decided to go for it.  So now I'm medical bracelet covered :)  And I couldn't be happier about the way it looks!
Cape Cod Bracelet

Medical Charm Side 1

Medical Charm Side 2

All Together

I'm Protected :)

I also got an adorable thank you note from Rachel with my purchase and I do think her bracelets are beautiful.  I am not obliged by any means to write about my purchase, but I think you should all go check her out!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Repercussions

Remember that scary low I told you about?

Well, it's still messing with my head.  I go through my days fearing numbers which are admittedly perfect (between 100-110).  Because lower than that, and I'm in double digits.  90s.  Scary.  80s.  Even Scarier.  70s.  Give me that juice!  60s.  Give me juice, get me a chair and don't talk to me!  I don't think I've been lower than that, and that's good because where else can I go from there.  So I admittedly have been running a little high this week, but mostly in the 140s range, which is not horrible.  Over-treating lows?  Absolutely.   And that's just during the day.  When I get home at night, I make dinner and eat dinner and I hang out, whether talking to friends or not, and trying to get up the courage to record my You Can Do This video.  Instead I watch others, (and this one over and over) and try to ignore the head games that diabetes is playing with me.  And then I try to go to bed.  And I sit on my couch scared to walk into my bedroom.  My bedroom is cozy, cool and comforting and diabetes has made it scary.  I don't want to go to sleep at night.  I read and play Angry Birds so that I literally can't keep my eyes open anymore.  Only then am I able to go to sleep.  Living alone and being alone?  It's scary right now.  That's what 23 does to a person!  

I want diabetes to leave me alone.  I know that in time I will be comfortable again, and I'll go to sleep at decent times and I won't lack patience anymore, and I won't need to survive on a caffeine drip because of the lack of sleep because of the fear.  I know that day will come.  But here, this week?  Not a chance.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Never Thought I'd Say That

This past weekend I went home for my cousin's high school graduation party.  It was your typical graduation cookout, besides the fact that it was rainy and raw outside.  There were family and friends and grandparents and small children.  And as I stood around the counter in the kitchen with my aunts, mother, and a few other women, one of them said "The last time I saw you you were three or four years old." (No wonder why I had no idea who she was.)  "It was at your uncle's house on the river and you were throwing up everywhere."  My response: "The last time you saw me was THE day?"

Diabetes has always been a big part of my life, but I'm much more comfortable talking about since I started this blog.  And to meet someone who last saw me on my D-day.  Well that's pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Taking a Trip

Today I'm writing over at my (real life!) friend's place, with a side of insulin.  While she's had this fabulous idea of getting a bunch of DOC-ers to write about traveling, I'm writing to you about my experience in getting on the plane in order to see her.  So please head on over, and enjoy my story.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Low lower than my Age

I had a post planned for today, until I woke up at 1AM, tested my blood sugar and it was 23 mg/dL.  I believe that this is officially my lowest BG.  I was laying there in my bed feeling as though I hadn't fallen asleep yet.  If I'm really tired and still can't fall asleep, it tends to be because my blood sugar is low.  So I rolled over and tested.  And I saw 23.  I didn't know how I had dropped from 218 in such a short time (I didn't look at the clock before I tested), but my thought process was "okay, grab a juice box."  So I did.  I grabbed one juice box, gulped that, tried to play basketball with the box and my trash can, then laid back down.  I left the light on so that I would know I needed to test again.  I never fell back asleep, but I kind of re-awoke realizing I was way too hot and sweaty for the temperature it was supposed to be outside.  I rolled over again and then I was 34 mg/dL at 1:15.  That is when I went into panic mode.  I grabbed a juice box, then 4 glucose tabs, then justifying that I needed two more.  I didn't want another juice box, but I also didn't want the chalky taste in my mouth anymore.  I walked into the kitchen and grabbed my dried strawberries.  And I chomped on those until they were almost all gone and I thought I would be too high if I finished the whole container (I think there might be 5 left in there).  I laid back down and thought of everything bad that could possibly happen.  I thought of calling my parents to tell them that I was okay, and then realized that would just send them into even more of a panic getting that call at 1AM.  I left the light on again because I needed to test.  I think I grabbed my nook and played Angry Birds.  Then a half hour later tested and I was 132.  But I was so damn scared that I kept waking up every few hours.  And this is the day I got to go into work a little later and therefore grab a little extra sleep.  I was 196 this morning, so I should've been capable of functioning, but I wasn't.  I sat in my bed for quite a while, and then with 15 minutes left before I needed to leave, realized I should get dressed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rebelbetes

I have this friend, who I've written about before, who inspired me to start this blog (without really knowing it) and who I've been trying to get to guest post here for quite a while.  (She's the one who convinced me to run 10 miles too,)  She just graduated college though, and I always said "when you have time."  Well now she has time.  Enough time even, to start her own blog.  She recently joined twitter, tries to get to #dsma chats if I text her early enough, and now she's jumping in with both feet to the blog arena.  Head on over and welcome her!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to Bolus

Found
The other night I went out to dinner with Girl Genius, Boy Genius and Mom Genius after the ballet recital. After I look at the menu (and decide that I'll be getting a salad and ice cream) I test and bolus for my BG.  We're in the middle of a heat wave here, so I was in a sundress and therefore the pump was hidden.  This new handy meter-remote came in handy.  As I was bolusing, Mom Genius asked what I programming.  I explained how it saves everything, but I'm actually bolusing since my pump is under my dress.  And then we hear "Well that's okay.  You can lift up your dress to bolus."  Mom Genius and I both look down at Girl Genius wondering if she really just said that, and so I said "It isn't appropriate for adults to lift up their dresses, especially in restaurants."  And then we went back to discussing ice cream.  Even though every time I think back on it, I 1. laugh and 2. love her innocence.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Letter to the People on the Sidewalk

No, I'm not pointing at my cleavage

Last night after work I headed out for a run.  When it comes to diabetes and running, I'm a minimalist.  I bring glucose and that's it.  Those arrows in the picture, that is my glucose.  (And that is me immediately post run.)  And here is my letter to the people I saw out there last night. 

Hello other runners, walkers, cyclists and citizens, 
   First of all, take the time to look up from your cell phone when the sidewalk is narrow.  I'd hate to swat that out of your hand by accident.  Secondly, I realize that my shirt is probably riding up and you can see my belly and no, I'm not doing this on purpose, but it's flipping hot outside so I'm not wearing sleeves.  Also, I don't look like the other runners out here, but I'm out here, so give me a break.  Most importantly.  STOP STARING AT MY BOOBS!  They look teeny in a sports bra, so I know you're not actually staring at them.  You're staring at the white thing bouncing up and down in there.  Guess what!  It goes with the pink thing bouncing up and down on my hip.  And yes, it's making that skin even more red because I had to open it beforehand so the wrapper is jagged and irritating.  But it's better than getting stuck out there low.  What's low you ask?  Low is when I exercise and my blood sugar goes low and I could pass out.  So yea, the irritating wrapper, I'll deal with that.  But keep your eyes to yourself (except for you, toddler, you were adorable, and you were just being held at that height, it's not your fault)!  I would like to not take it with me, but that would be foolish and irresponsible.  I went through those days and I'm not going back.  I don't stare at your arms where your ipod is, or your head where your helmet is, so leave my freaking boobs alone!
Thanks, 
Your T1 Neighborhood Runner


Monday, June 6, 2011

Climbing Up

I went out to meet a new group of people and enjoy rock climbing in the process.  If you know me, you would say "Wait, didn't you try rock climbing when you were 12 and hate it?"  And my answer would be yes.  But, that's a long time ago so I decided to try it again.  I checked out the website and it said a lot of people use it as an alternative to a traditional gym.  So I had to figure out the best way for me to D.  But I also had to account for the stress of dealing with my fear of heights and the stress of meeting an entirely new group of people.  And I had been dealing with what seemed like consistent yet unpredictable lows.  And I didn't want a low to sideline me.  I decided to reduce my basal rate down to 75%.  The good news is I never went low.  But I did consistently climb.  (And I'm not talking about up the wall.)  I don't like watching my numbers go up, but I honestly think it was more related to stress rather than not enough insulin.

When I was putting on my harness, I tried to wrap my pump in my t-shirt, but nothing stays exactly where it starts.  As I was climbing up in the beginning, my pump started swinging.  The woman belaying me told me my camera had come loose and did I want to throw it down to her?  I explained how I can't because it's an insulin pump.  I hadn't really wanted to, but sometimes you just have to tell people about diabetes.  And it worked in my favor because any time they noticed the rope was near my pump, they would alert me and I was able to slide my pump to a different spot on my waistband.  It was good to be aware.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Work with No D

All week Girl Genius has been talking about graduation tomorrow.  The four year old munchkin (which I like to call her, but she says "that's for tiny kids!"),  is starting Kindergarten in September.  I can remember my own Kindergarten graduation, and I remember memorizing a poem to recite, but I was 5, it's not THAT big of a deal.  Except that when I drove up to her school this morning, the tents were out, and all the extra hands were on deck and this wave of memory came crashing down. And I just want to pick her up and squeeze her!  I can remember meeting her in October 2009 when she said "I'm three, and I still suck my thumb, see!"  And when I babysat the next month and ended up at Boston College instead of her preschool.  And she didn't say a word the whole car ride!  (Crazy!)  As I drove away this morning I had tears in my eyes.  I know that I'm an emotional person, and that I cry at the drop of a hat, and that I get really attached to people, but I didn't think I would feel this!

Congrats Munchkin!  You're amazing :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

More Low

Like I mentioned the other day, I've been going low, a lot.  My basals are down.  My ISF has changed from 1:35 to 1:40.  And my correction factors have changed.  And I'm still going low.  And I'm scared to bolus.  Yesterday afternoon I forgot to bolus for my snack.  You know how high I ended up? 217.  I should've been in the 300s.  I've been so focused on not going low, that my functionality as a blogger is severely lacking.  So excuse the brief post, but hopefully this low-ness will be fixed soon.

"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."  Margaret Thatcher

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Irrationally Rational

I went home for Memorial Day weekend.  It's just so much easier to deal with the heat in lots of space (and at the neighbor's pool.)  My original plan was to have an early dinner with my parents and then head back to my apartment right after.  Those plans changed when I went to a baseball game and cookout with my friend (which was awesome!)  I drove back to my parents about an hour after I wanted to leave to go back to Boston.  Before the cookout, I was 302 mg/dL.  So when I got all my stuff together to leave, I wasn't thinking that my BG would affect me.  But there it was, a 55 mg/dL staring at me.  And then 20 minutes later, 50 mg/dL.  I suspended my pump, and then 56 mg/dL and then when I was 59 mg/dL, my temper flared.  My father told me I didn't need to get upset about it (but I clearly was).  And this is where I became irrationally rational.  I yelled back "Well I should!  Because if I get mad I'll get stressed out and stress raises your blood sugar and nothing else is working!"And twenty minutes later, I was 81 mg/dL.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Low, Low and More Low

The weather here has gone from raw, rainy and cold to summer.  And with this, my BGs have gone from roller coaster, to low.
 
Found 
Yesterday at Girl Genius's gymnastics, I felt a little low, and there was a 45 mg/dL  staring me back in the face.  Two days ago, I was about to complain that Trader Joe's didn't have 4 oz juice boxes until the 6 oz didn't raise me.
And two days ago I was low so frequently that I couldn't run or go to the gym, but I did do an at home workout, which kicked my a$$.
Yesterday after gymnastics, when I stopped to buy test strips, I got a frappucino too.  I bolused for half of it.  And then forgot to bolus for my yogurt.  And the highest I went? 204 mg/dL.

This is the thing though.  I know that I need to lower my basals.  But it's hard to do a basal test when you're eating all the time.  And I've been eating fruit and fruit and, ... more fruit.  Also, the times that I've been going low from day to day are not consistent!  Makes it a lot harder to even figure out where to start.  I'll get there.  Until then, I'll keep my juice boxes and my tabs and my liquid glucose a lot closer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unicorns! Glitter! And a little bit of Ohh..

Wednesday was one of those days when diabetes was all about unicorns and glitter, and I've been smiling ever since.  Except then I remember the news that my awesome nurse is leaving.

I haven't been with her very long, but I was looking forward to many more years.  I realize that through my blog it may not seem as though I'm shy, but I am.  I trip over my words and I get uncomfortable talking to new people.  And I've never felt this way with her.  And I've never had to say "I think there's something wrong with me."  (with any medical professional) (And I almost didn't)  But I didn't feel uncomfortable at any time during this appointment.  I walk in there and I feel comfortable.  And when things are going really wrong, she has been there to support me.  She helped me figure out that my body is much more sensitive to insulin when my blood sugar is extra high, so when I figure out a bolus over 350 mg/dL, I reduce it by 10% before bolusing.  And it works!  I know that there is a lot of talk out there in the DOC that we are awesome and medical teams don't always know what they're talking about, but I never would've figured this out without her.  Before I made my final decision about switching my pump, I called her to hear what she had to say.  I knew I didn't need her approval, but I wanted to know what she thought.  I value her opinion.

I am sad to see her go.  I am sure that wherever she is off to next will be fabulous and wonderful and I hope that wherever that may be, they will appreciate her.  In the excitement that was finding out my A1C, she told me that my hard work made her day.  I know that she "lives" in diabetes world, and diabetes world is awesome.  But from what I can tell, she doesn't have diabetes and is still awesome and still gets it.  (for you non-D, non-medical people, you'd think that this happens all the time, but it doesn't!).  When I told twitter, I got more responses than I even could've imagined.  And it made me feel so good.  And when I told facebook, all my D friends liked it (or parents of D friends), but no one else did.

And once again, my words are coming out of my brain and they aren't making any sense.  That's what happens when people mean more than words can say.
Forgive my lack of words.  But I'm changing the wording:
"An awesome diabetes medical professional is worth a thousand million words."

Monday, May 23, 2011

We're Everywhere

Friday night I headed out to see the girls compete in the regional synchronized swimming meet.  Competition started around 4, and I didn't show up until about 7.  During one of the routines, Mom pointed out a little girl who has diabetes.  I've heard about her before, and this mother has wanted to talk to me for a few years.  I asked my mother where her mother was, but she was a judge, so she was poolside.

A while later after all the team routines were done, the little girl was near us and her mother was standing behind me.  She went to ask her mom for a sip of water and as she walked past me, her eyes never left my pump.  And then I hear "mom, mom! she has an insulin pump."  And so I walk over, "hi, I'm Briley.  I'm on the Catalinas."  The mother tells me how her daughter has the Omnipod, and asks if I saw her swim.  I had, and I start to explain how I've been wanting to meet them for a long time, and then my mother walks and the CWD mother says, "Oh! you're Cynthia's daughter!"  We talked for a few more minutes until the mother had to go back down to the pool.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

D appointment

I did today's post a little differently than I normally do.  Yesterday was latest "endo" appointment, and there were a lot of emotions swirling around in my brain.  So I wrote the beginning of my post before I left.  I didn't know where my emotions would be post appointment, and I wanted to be able to accurately capture all emotions included both before and after this appointment. 


Before:

Today I have an appointment with my D nurse.  I'm excited for this appointment.  I know, it sounds crazy.  But for the first time in a LONG time, I think I'll have an A1C under 8.  And I think the last time that happened was when I saw her and when I had the first one.

But I also have a list of questions I need to ask.  The first being about seeing an endo.  Since I had such an awesome endo as a kid, I feel as though that is the right path.  I won't stop seeing my nurse, because she's awesome.  But there's just something in me that thinks I should also see an endo.

And then the fun questions.  When I was skiing, my 3rd and 4th toes of my right foot got tingly.  I think it only happened in the chairlift, and skiing down the mountain made it go away.  But I still don't like that feeling.  BUT, it could be because my toes are in a tight, enclosed space.  And cold.  Please pray that that is what it is.
But my feet also get tingly when I sit cross legged.  And I sit cross-legged all the time.  I know that sitting like that can enhance neuropathy.  But it's such a habit.  And even sitting here writing this I'm cross-legged.  I am trying beyond anything to stop sitting like that, because it's the only time my feet get tingly.  But Diabetes, PLEASE don't be the cause.  Please let this go away if I stop crossing my legs.  When I get the little pokey thing on my foot, please let me feel it.  Please don't make me walk away crying.

And just this week I wasn't feeling like I was at the top of the game, and as I went to bed Sunday night I realized that I have the classic Celiac symptoms.  This is the one that is most pressing on my mind at the moment.  I have friends and family who have this, so I've certainly eaten this way before, but not as a lifestyle.  Yesterday I tried to eat gluten free to see if my symptoms stayed or went away.  And guess what, they went away.  I know that one day doesn't prove anything, but it's certainly leaning in that direction.  There was more around that was gluten free than I thought there would be, but then as I was getting the kids snacks ready, I just grabbed a piece of cereal (before the milk was in it) and ate it.  If this ends up being a new "thing" for me, that is going to be one of the hardest parts.

My thoughts going into this appointment: C'mon diabetes.  I'm working at this again and now you're going to shove all this at me?!

After:


I AM KICKING DIABETES' ASS!  Yes, I need to tell you about the whole thing, but first, my A1C is 7.2!  At my last appointment it was 8.1.

I go in and do all the boring things (blood pressure, weight(it went up slightly, but I blame the rain boots and jacket), BG test and blood for A1C) and they take my pump(s) to download them.  (And I hope you didn't want a waiting room picture because I never was actually in the waiting room.)  When I was done with her, I went to wait in the exam room and I didn't even time to tweet that I was there before my nurse came in.

She asked how I was, what my basals were, which led to talking about switching pumps and how the meter remote was my deciding factor, waiting for my pumps and their reports to come back and if there was anything else I wanted to talk to her about.  I told her how I had been experiencing a few Celiac symptoms lately (my guess is that it's been a few weeks) and how on Tuesday I ate gluten free and I did not experience the symptoms.  I wanted to make sure she knew that I was not self-diagnosing, but it was the best way for me to test my theory in such a short period of time, and that I would just like to get tested.  I wasn't going to need labs today, but I think that is worth knowing.  She informed me that there are also people who are not Celiac, but have a wheat intolerance, so I may just want to cut back.  This is something I have been trying to do, but now I think I just need to focus on it a little bit more.

We continued on and she asked about my feet, so I told her my tingly feet experiences, and she did the metal vibrating tool thing on my big toe and it felt like forever before I could stop feeling.  She said she does not think I have neuropathy, it's just that when I cross my legs my blood vessels are getting squished causing my feet to feel funny.

And then my pump(s) came back with a ton of print outs and we realized that I've been going high before lunch, so we increased my breakfast insulin:carb ratio.  I told her how I was going low post lunch (a time when I'm frequently getting in the car) so I changed my basals without doing a basal test, but I'm not going low anymore.  Tuesday and Wednesday morning I woke up high, but Monday night I was eating a lot and SWAGing, so I didn't count that as a high BG in the morning, but an unsuccessful SWAG.  She agreed.

And then she said, "let's check your A1C."  And she squealed.  "Are you ready?" as she turned her computer screen to me.  But I couldn't find the number!  And she told me..."7.2"  And as I stammered through composure and smiling and a whole lot of happiness I heard "Look at what YOU did!!"  (And this statement reminded me of something I think George's doc would say)  And I managed to tell her I haven't been this low since before I started college.  If you don't me well enough and want a reference point, that was 2003.  And then even better, "I hope you're going to celebrate tonight!"  I don't know if I squealed or not, but I did when I got back to my car.  And then she told me that this number/drop is even more amazing because it wasn't achieved because of lots of and/or extreme lows.

And then I had to go back out for labs.  I was standing there waiting with all these other people and they were all looking kinda blah, and I couldn't help but smile!  I got my blood taken, scheduled my next appointment, and sat down to text my mom.  And then of course share it with all of you. I'm still riding on this high, and I couldn't be more proud of myself if I tried right now.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Juice

Last Wednesday, I drove up for synchronized swimming like so many other weeks.  But this week it was different.  This is the last time that I get to swim with my friend.  It was another show, this time at the YMCA we called home last year (they missed us).  That means that I'm not swimming for the normal hour, but only about 5 minutes.  I didn't bother putting on a temp basal, especially since I was in the high 100s before getting there.  Well that was my mistake.  First of all before I got there, I was around 150.  (I got there late) When the show was over 45 minutes later, I was hovering at 80.  By the time I got out to my car, I was low.  I had my handy liquid glucose which I took out and chugged.  And then I went and hung out with my mom in her car.  Between 10-15 minutes later, I was still low.  And we found a juice box in her car, that I stabbed open with my key.  (We found the straw later)  And as I started to drink it I nearly spit it right back out.  And then I looked at the top of the box and noticed the expiration date.  My mother got her car in 2003, and I'm guessing that this juice box might have been in there since day 1.  It was nasty!  (And this morning I had one that expired in 2008).  Pay attention to those expiration dates, because the juice really does taste gross after the expiration date.  However, as my mother said "it's not like the sugar left."  Which is true, and it did work.  But, blech!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Friday Fun!

All my new pump stuff :)

Pink pump site :)

Not only is it new, it's pink!
On Friday, a nurse from Animas came over to my apartment and we sat down and intensely learned all about Animas.  It was nearly time for a site change, so I changed.  Now I'm rocking a pink pump and I'm really excited about it.  There probably should be more to say, but I'm just excited right now :)

P.S.  I didn't actually wear gym shorts the whole time, but I'm more comfortable putting sites in my leg, so I changed so I wasn't dropping my pants in front of the nurse.  Because changing is way less awkward.  

Monday, May 16, 2011

More than a Meetup

You might think I'm crazy.  But I got off the plane, and got my luggage and got into my rental car.  And I got on the highway and my GPS told me that I was going to be on one highway for 9 miles.  So I called Mer to tell her I was on my way.  And it was the first time I ever talked to her on the phone!  I mean, I just got off a nearly 1,000 mile flight, and I'm talking to her on the phone.  Let me also say that I don't do well talking to people for the first time on the phone, and I don't do well meeting people for the first time.  It's the shy thing kicking in and taking control.  And that day, I NEVER had a problem.  And then two hours later, I was there.  In Kentucky.  With/Meeting my friend.  I called my mom, because ya know, parents get nervous when you jump on a plane to go meet someone you met online.
Chow Wagon eating Greater Taters, and mine must have been made the biggest potato in the world.
Karen, you were right.  It was like I had known Mer forever.  And then we went and did all sorts of touristy things.  Like the Chow Wagon.  And the biggest bat in the world.  And Lynn's Paradise Cafe.  And seeing the Garland of Roses which is made at the grocery store.  This was crazy to me.  I assumed it was made at a fancy florist, but I guess it was fancy since the grocery store had ribbons everywhere.
Louisville Slugger Bat
On Saturday, I did nothing but eat, and eat, and eat.  (Oh, you'd like to know how my diabetes reacted?) Well first, I ate chips and guacamole, chicken burrito, chocolate chip cookies, some sort of strawberry dessert deliciousness, Derby pie, broccoli casserole and more.  And!  I never went over 300.  I call that success.  But even more awesome was that, was the feeling of meeting people who included me as though I had been there time and time before.  Even though some people were disappointed I didn't say Bahston.  And we wore fabulous hats.  And Mer won the prize (are you surprised?).  This is thing that I find most amazing about the Derby.  It isn't just one race.  There are races all day.  And there are even races on the turf.  I had no idea!  I'm not a horse person, never have been and never will.  And yes, I've tried for the sake of my cousins, but no, its not for me.  However, this was awesome.  So the fact that I was there for Derby was kinda crazy.    
Derby party
On Sunday, (Mother's Day - sorry mom!), we went out to brunch with Mer's parents and I experienced southern fried food.  And lots of people watching.  And then we went over to Churchill Downs.  It has always been this place that I see on TV once a year, and then, that's only been within the past few years when there's been a fundraiser at my uncle's bar on Derby Day for a therapeutic riding center.  The hats, the betting, the racing: I had no idea.  Churchill Downs is so impressive though.  It's also incredible to me because I love doing things I never imagined doing.  And flying down to Kentucky is definitely one of those things.   

Thank you Mer for such an amazing weekend!  On Sunday as we were hanging out in her apartment, we were talking about DBlog Week, and we both came up with how awesome it would be, but also how it was going to get in the way of telling everyone about our weekend together.  What I like to call an ultimate DOC meetup. It certainly went by way too fast, and now it feels like I should be able to call you up and say "let's get together!"  Except that's the problem with far away friends, you can't do that.  

"There is magic in long-distance friendships.  They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday Snapshots


Saturday Snapshots: Inspired by the D365 Project, let's snap a few more D-related pictures and share them again.  

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?  I'm a big fan of using pictures to tell my story, and I've done it a time or two before.

I was trying to figure out the best pictures to post all day, and came up with nothing.  And then I came across this picture that my friend took last summer.  I think it sums up everything I was trying to say with other pictures perfectly.

Thank you Karen for hosting DBlog Week!
If you want to see others' snapshots, check them out here!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Awesome "Things"





Awesome Things: In February, #dsma challenged us to write about the most awesome thing we'd done despite diabetes.  Today let's put a twist on that topic and focus on the good things diabetes has brought us.  

I've mentioned it before; diabetes has brought some amazing things into my life.  I never would have gone here or here or here or here or here. Or here.

But most of all, this is what is awesome about diabetes:





  



And last, but not least


Thank you Karen for hosting DBlog Week!
If you want to see everyone else's awesomeness, check it out here!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ten Things I Hate About You



Ten Things I Hate About You, Diabetes: Having a positive attitude is important, but let's face it diabetes isn't all sunshine and roses (or glitter and unicorns).  So today let's vent by listing ten things about diabetes we hate.  

I hate that you took my favorite counselor from me when I was a kid. And that that made getting sick in college really scary.  And that when I did end up in the hospital, and awake the thought passed through my mind "at least I didn't end up like Jill."

I hate that you scared me and my parents to death after a 24 hour urine test, simply because we didn't know I wasn't supposed to collect while I had my period.

I hate that because you broke, people think it's my fault if the amount of glucose in my is too high or too low.

I hate that there are kids out there (and probably adults) who use you to get attention.  I hate the situations it has put them in and I hope that there is someone out there to support those people.

I hate that not all things that can influence my glucose are easily measured and predictable, like stress.

I hate that what I've been trained to recognize as symptoms can also be real people feelings.

I hate that while I'm sitting here writing this, I'm just getting mad at you.  You're forcing me to turn away from my optimism and I don't like how it's making me feel.

I hate that you make me feel weak.  I am not weak, but sometimes you take all the power away and I feel weak.  Not just physically, but emotionally.  And bouncing back is HARD.  You send me sweats and shakes and shivers and tears and none of them are welcome.

I hate all the space and money you take up.  Glove compartment, closet, headboard, bedside table, pantry.  And that's just supplies.  Never mind the extra file folder I had to buy in order to keep all your doctor appointments organized.

I hate that some of my best D friends live 3,000 miles away.  The experience is totally worth it, but having my support system so far away sucks.

Thank you Karen for hosting DBlog Week!
If you want to see what other's hate, check it out here!

Tension, Twizzlers, Trips, Tape and Timing



Diabetes Bloopers: You probably realize that things can (and will) go wrong.  But sometimes the things that go wrong aren't stressful - instead sometimes they are downright funny!  Go ahead and share your Diabetes Bloopers!

This blooper is about working as a camp counselor at family camp.  First of all, families who have been to family camp: let me tell you this.  Family Camp is amazing.  But they put it at the end of the summer, when we've been working with other children all summer.  We're tired, and we're exhausted, and most of the time getting ready to go back to college and wondering about parties with our friends.  We're learning from you, but we're also trying to teach you, even if you're not receptive to it.  As a kid, I never did family camp (I don't think it was an option).  But, I was a kid, and now I'm a successful adult.  I am proof that while you should worry a little, it doesn't need to consume you.  
At GCC, families stay in the cabins, and the CWD are often on the top bunks.  It's also the only time of year I had boys in my cabin (not to mention you dads).  We have to be "properly dressed" at all times and we need to be aware at all times, and we need to follow our protocol at all times, even/especially if it is different from what you are used to at home.  I was on duty during one of the night checks, meaning I'm awake from about 12-4.  And if I didn't nap before, I've been up all day.  I tested one little boy, and he was low.  I gave him his juice and then in 15 minutes I went back to test again.  At this point he was okay.  So now he needs to have PB crackers.  He was crying  because he doesn't like peanut butter.  But at the end of the summer, we don't have other food options, we're running on what's left.  After 5-10 minutes (I had to wake up other counselors to test the other children), he still has not eaten anything.  And then I hear "I'm allergic, I can't eat that."  I know that he's not, because I don't have any PB allergies in my cabin.  So I tell him that I know he doesn't like it, but I know you're not allergic, because I would know.  One of his parents was awake, which was awkward enough, but they weren't interfering (thank you thank you thank you!)  Finally, the child ate the PB crackers, and that took about another 15 minutes.  (At most, we like this to take 5 minutes.)  Since this midnight check took so long, and I only have a few days left with my friends, we decide to stay up talking.  Keep in mind we're in the staff section of the cabin, with notes from the guys, pictures from Cosmo, and tampons all on the counter.  And all of a sudden the father of said PB child comes flying through the curtain.  With his child.  And the child has red blotches all over his body.  I get one of my co-counselors to go get the nurse on call, and guess what, PB child is in fact allergic.  It was not life-threatening.  But the child hated PB so much that they never forced him to eat it.  And here I come along and "discover" this.  He was given Benadryl and he was fine.  But that took about another hour (I'm not exaggerating).  This was hard, embarassing, and life-learning.  When I went back on duty at noon, I sought out those parents to see how this child was doing; I apologized for causing this to be found out, and I asked how he was doing.  Unless you knew what had happened the night before, it was not clear which child this happened to.  THAT is what I call success.  
If by some chance you are those parents, thank you for being you.  You were kind, non-judgemental and understanding.  Not all of the family camp parents would have been that way.  I am sorry though.  I hated every minute of trying to get your child to eat the PB, but it was just my job.  And I'm sorry of the outcome.  Now when children tell me they are allergic to something, it strikes a nerve in me and I make sure that whatever that is is nowhere near them.  And then I find proof later.



Now I have my funny bloopers!  I'm going to start off with a story of my mother's.  Mom stayed home with me when I was a kid, and then when I was school aged became a substitute teacher.  She would generally be in the same school that I was in at the time.  When I was in middle school, there was a day she was the in-school-suspension teacher.  And as she was watching these kids, one of the boys (scary eighth grader!) pulled out a packet of Twizzlers.  Being in suspension, these kids weren't allowed to have anything really.  So my mom went over to take it away.  "I need this, I have diabetes."  Instead of the "no you don't, the nurse didn't tell me" route, mom took a better one.  "Oh, what was your reading?  Can you show me on your meter?  What insulins do you use?"  From what I understand, the kid sat there dumbfounded, his friends snickered at him, and the Twizzlers ended up in the trash.

As a kid, my mom went on every field trip.  Whether because I was shy, had diabetes, or she stayed at home with me, I don't know the reason.  But I always loved having her there.  The first field trip she didn't go on was when I went to Florida in sixth grade.  There were about 10-15 of us who went.  And it was the first field trip my mother did not go on.  One of my best friends was there, and her mother was one of the chaperones, along with the Principle of the school.  Clearly I was going to be well taken care of.  We got to go to a bunch of different Disney parks, and got to go behind the scenes to see how different things were made/produced, etc.  (If I could remember, I'd share those details with you.)  For some reason, it was decided that while in the hotel, my diabetes supplies would go in the safe.  And me and my friends mom would know the combination or have the key or however it was that it opened.  And as a kid, we had a poke bag.  It was always stocked and you picked it up and went.  When it was time to head back to the airport, I picked up all my things and went.  And as I was sitting on the airplane about ready to eat my lunch, I went to get my meter and couldn't find it anywhere.  I asked my friend.  Neither of us could find it.  Well that's because it was still in the safe in the hotel room.  I ate my lunch, and I made it home safely and my meter arrived in the mail later that week.  But oh man, that mom was so nervous!

In Eighth Grade, the class took a trip to Washington D.C.  We got to see all the sights and yadda yadda yadda.  It was a rainy week and I didn't quite enjoy myself, but not the point of the story.  One of the parent chaperones was a nurse, and so myself and the other CWD were in her group.  She would ask us what our BGs were in the morning, watch us take our shots, and make sure we were taking care of ourselves.  Every morning she would knock on the hotel door, come in, check my meter (or watch me test if I hadn't gotten to that yet), and then make sure I took my shot.  Also, being in eighth grade, and being on a co-ed hotel floor, there was tape across every single door to make sure there was no silly buisness happening at night.  So after the nurse left our room, we walked out of the door.  Well, the teachers hadn't checked the tape yet, and ours made a nice loud rip.  Put four thirteen year old girls in a room, who are goody-two shoes, and they're the ones who rip the tape?  Shrieks filled our room with thoughts of "what are we going to do?"  The goody-two shoes bit helped us, and we frantically told the teachers what happened, and whether they believed us or checked with the nurse, we were not in trouble.  But our stress level for that day certainly started higher than anticipated.

Maybe I've mentioned this before, but Independence Day is a big deal for me. :P  So one year when I was in college, I had some of my friends join me at my aunt and uncle's lake house for the festivities and then on to Six Flags the next day.  This included swimming, tubing and water skiing.  I've been water skiing since I was nine, and I love it every single time.  I'm very unassuming, and one of my friends was really impressed.  Because, real life people don't water ski, that's just far-away people.  And as I climbed out of the water "Hey, I thought you were supposed to take that off in the water."  And I tried to play it cool since all the adults were there, but inside I was FREAKING OUT!  I dis-connected, dried it off as best I could, and went on with the rest of my day.  And the day after that, and the day after that, etc.  Until a few weeks later when I was working as a counselor at Camp Carefree and it died on me.  Boo Lantus.  And everyone said "what a horrible time to lose your pump!"  And I said, are you crazy?  I'm surrounded by diabetes experts everywhere I turn.  There is no BETTER place for a pump to die! (Besides, getting it to the camp in the middle of nowhere).

And This. 

Thank you to Karen for hosting the 2nd DBlog Week!
If you want to see others' bloopers, go here

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Needed A Second Letter



Dear Karen,

Next year, please get a sponsor.  Maybe Kleenex or Puffs or some other sort of tissue company.  I don't think I speak alone when I say that I'm covered in tissues when reading DBlog Week posts.

Thanks,
Briley

I Miss You



Letter Writing Day: Write a letter to diabetes if you'd like, but we can also take it one step further.  How about writing a letter to a fictional (or not so fictional) endocrinologist telling the doctor what you love (or not) about them. Whomever you choose as a recipient, today is the day to tell them what you're feeling.  

Dear Ped Endo,

I wish that I appreciated you when I had you.  But that's not true either, I did.  I don't really remember you from when I was first diagnosed, but you were always my doctor.  I do remember when I was 8 years old and our insurance didn't cover you anymore.  I had to go to an adult endocrinologist and the ONLY good thing was the way they tested my A1C.  All I knew is that this man was not like you and that I just wanted you.  Getting you back was amazing.

You surprised me quite often.  There were times I thought I was doing good and you were displeased with my effort, and when I was scared to see you after my hospital stay you didn't mention it at all.  I was excited that I wasn't going to have to change doctors until after college, but with the rise of endocrine disorders, that changed.  And in those years, I've heard about you a few times from one of your patients and I've written to you a few times, but I still wish I could say that you are my doctor.  You will always be my doctor.

None of this sounds right to me.  None of it says how much you mean to me.  No words that I can come up with let you know how awesome you are.  You were the best.  You should give classes on bedside manner and listening to patients and how to connect.  More than anything, I miss you.

Sincerely,
Briley

Thank you Karen for setting DBlog Week up!  If you want to see everyone else's posts about their letters, check them out here!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Admiring Differences



Admiring Differences: Let's talk about how great it is to learn from the perspectives of those unlike us!  Pick a type of blogger who is different from you and tell us why they inspire you- why you admire them - why it's great that we're all the same but different.  


When I first started blogging, I wanted nothing to do with other types of blogs except those of people with T1.  At that time, I was finally starting to take control of my D life, and I didn’t really have space for other types. Especially parents of children with Type 1.

I had been dealing with burnout off and on since I started college in 2003.  And my parents supported me the whole time (not having burnout, but, you understand).  And I don’t know how many times I heard “what was your last reading” “did you test before you ate that” “when’s the last time you exercised” etc etc.  And my favorite has always been “it isn’t that hard to test.”  That’s true, its not.  But it is easy to forget and it is easy to just not care sometimes.  And it’s especially easy to not care when I had no motivation.  Sure, there was the high A1Cs and the hospital stays, but the day to day motivation just wasn’t there.  When I started my blog, my internal motivation was finally there. And that made all the difference in the world.  But I couldn’t read the parent blogs.  It was as though if I read the parent blogs, then I was okay-ing nagging.  And I hated the nagging.  (I still get asked the questions all the time, but now that I am caring about my D, they seem less accusatory.)

As time has gone on, I’ve become more and more open to the D Mom Blogs.  And especially how they compare to what my mom must have been feeling like.  We didn’t test a million times per night, but I’m sure she still felt the stress of taking care of me.  I started slowly with the blogs.  First it was Candy Hearts, and it stayed there for a long time.  But then I added Sugar Kids, D-Mom Blog, and D-Dad.  As time goes on, I’m more open to D Parent Blogs.  They help me find perspective.  Especially to know how it is that I have become an adult with T1, and all that that took.  


Thank you Karen for setting up DBlog Week!
If you want to see who other people admire, go here!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

DOC Social Skills

In my 25 years, I've made lots of friends.  All at different times of my life, and probably over different reasons, but in general it has happened the same way.  Meet a person, be friendly, talk to them, enjoy time together and have more and more fun the more you see each other.  Soon one day you're calling this new acquaintance a friend.

But this week: this week changes the way social skills work, how they're developed and how to put them to use.  See, this week, I get to meet one of my friends.  Yes, you read that right.  The DOC is a miraculous place where people understand diabetes and since diabetes affects everything, I've grown close to many of these people.  And I feel like I know many of them.  I've even gotten presents before.

When I met Mer, I thought she was cool and I wanted to talk to her more.  And then we kept talking and talking and talking and eventually twitter couldn't even handle us and we asked if we should exchange phone numbers on the same day.  We share a brain, and this weekend, double diabetic power comes to life, IN REAL LIFE.  My mother asked me if I was nervous.  I mean, I should be, because I'm traveling to stay with a person I've never met, except that the DOC has powers beyond real life.  So I'm not nervous.  I'm excited.  I am nervous about bringing everything I need, and my hat not getting crushed in the suitcase, and not crying going through security.  But actually meeting her, nah, I'm not nervous.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bracelets

I need to get a new medical bracelet.  Mine fell off at Sunday River in 2009, and I just haven't gotten around to it. (Don't yell at me, my mother has that covered.)

This is the thing.  I don't trust frilly ID bracelets.  I get suspicious that if it were ever needed to save my life, that someone would look right past it.  I know that beads on an ID bracelet are commonplace now, but not for me.  For fifteen years I had that bracelet in the picture.  (Charm)  The new one arrived in my mailbox on Halloween while I was in college; the same day I had my first appointment with an adult endo.  As a kid, I hated watches and bracelets, because I had that one.  I like watches now (although, with a pump, who needs one?), but I'm still picky about bracelets.  People have always given them to me, so I have a great collection, and I'll use them to make a specific outfit, but that's about it.

I have tried to go over to the "get a pretty medical ID" party, but I just can't.  Both of my previous ones came directly from Medic Alert, and I've looked here (but not in a while).  I don't want to limit my options by saying I will only buy from them though.  My mother sent me a link this morning, and I found one that I love.  But I'm worried about it.  Will this style stay on my wrist?  Would I be worried about it?  I want a bracelet that is there and I don't have to worry about.  I have a few beautiful bracelets at my parents' house.  Could those get charms and that's it?  One of them looks like the cuff, but is a regular bracelet.  I know that those wouldn't come off of my wrist.

If anyone has any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mistaken Number

I went home this weekend for my cousin's nurse pinning from St. Anselm's college.  In a pew meant for seven, maybe eight people, we had ten.  Although my uncle will tell you we had 9.5 people on that bench. In my teensy tiny purse, I debated on just stuffing some tabs in there, but managed to get my meter in there too.  And whether it was being hungry, or stuffy in there, I started to feel low.  I got out all my stuff as un-noticeable as possible.  I was sitting between my mother and my aunt and as my meter was counting down from 5, I heard a gasp.  "I thought it said you were 2." I looked at my mother and we both imitated what me passing out would've looked like.  And my aunt said, "even I knew it was counting down."  And then I said, "well, at least there are lots of people here who could help me."
cousins: Megan, me, Michael & Kate

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Call for Help

(Beyond the images of the Royal Wedding) The images of the disaster in the south stop me short.  And then it feels as though there is nothing you can do.  But that's not true.  If you can help, please do so.  In a time like this, anything you can send will help.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

From Life to InDpendence

Maybe you've noticed that my blog looks a little different this week.

When I started writing, it wasn't even here.  It was at ______(if I could remember, I'd share).  And back then I read ONE blog.  And I had a friend telling me that I would be a able to make a big diabetes difference.  I didn't believe her, because my last known A1C was 11.1.  How could IIIIIII make a difference?  And so I bought an at home A1C kit.  And then I felt as though I could do this.  And so the writing began and I joined the DOC and I've never looked back.

I've never enjoyed the title of my blog though (It's About Independence, It's About Life).  I think that independence plays a huge part in my diabetes.  Not only because of my D-Day, but because I'm now actively monitoring and tracking my diabetes.  So I had been thinking about changing the name, and then when I listened to the wego health webinar, they discussed the importantance of the blog name.  If you use your health condition in the title, it can get people there.  Or you can be clever and cute and other fun things.  It jumpstarted the thoughts that were already milling around in my brain.  So I asked Meredith, Kerri, Kim and Sarah their individual thoughts on it.  In keeping with Independence, my idea was Fireworks and Fructose or Independence and Lows.  And then Kerri suggested InDpendence.  And I fell in love.  So here I am.  I still think Life is important, and I always will.  But the name of the blog just feels better to me now.

Thank you Kerri!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eating Healthier

In the mindset of being healthier, I've been consciously thinking about the food I eat.  (No, I don't keep a food log - hate those!)  But I realized that I eat pasta or rice almost every day at lunch.  And if not that, then a sandwich.  I always have fruits or vegetables as well.  But I'm thinking of trying to change that and instead of having grainy starches, to have some starchy vegetables.  I want to continue to eat other non-starchy vegetables too.  But I need some advice.  And oh yea, it needs to be easy!  Making lunch with the kids isn't always the time for fancy foods.  So if anyone has any suggestions, or places to look, I will greatly appreciate it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coffee Stop

new re-usable cup holder with a handle!
I went home this weekend for Easter, and as I was driving up in the rain (and snow!) on Saturday, I started to feel low.  I got off the highway and was trying to test.  And of course, I dropped the bottle of strips.  It was still closed, so I didn't lose any, but I actually needed to park my car in order to test.  So I parked my car and I was 70 mg/dL.  So out came the juicebox and into the mall went I to find Starbucks.  I walked in where I thought the food court was, and it wasn't.  So I had arrow vision for the little map to get to Starbucks.  All I needed to do was turn my head 90 degrees to the right though.  So in I walked, and when it was my turn to order the woman had a "you look completely out of it" face on and it took everything I had just to order my coffee and not confirm her suspicions.  In a few minutes, all was well and I was back on my way.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Preparing for Departure

I wrote over at Stage of Life again today; one of my best friends is moving.  And to a place more than a drive away.  I'm happy for her, but sad for me, and over there is where I write all about it.  So excuse me if I'm crazy busy these next few months, because I'm cramming in as much time with her as I can.
Found

Friday, April 22, 2011

Guest Post: Chocolate Cheeks

I have another guest post from my mother today.  I wrote about my first Easter, but I got it wrong, so here's the real version.  Keep in mind, this was in 1990, when we counted calories, not carbs and there was no humalog and each meal had a set amount of food to be eaten.  


Found
The hard cold facts of diabetes and balancing diet, eating schedule and insulin, first became apparent for you the week after Easter when you were 4 years old.  Of course at that age, Daddy and I managed what you ate and when.  We tried to give you a variety of choices and foods so that you weren't constantly aware of the structure diabetes had placed on your life.

As with every holiday, we felt it was important for you to receive the same "treats" as other children.  Easter, Halloween, etc.  We had our own way of dealing with what we did with the treats, or when you ate them.  Sugar free chocolates from Van Otis are great *editor's note: I don't think so anymore*, but they still contain calories.

This particular night you had requested spaghetti for dinner.  Like most children, you liked pasta.  Yours with sauce on the side of course!  It was probably right before I was to begin cooking dinner, and I was upstairs, you downstairs.  You were very quiet, but for you that was normal, always busy with your coloring, books, etc.  When I came downstairs I saw you make a beeline around the house in the opposite direction of the kitchen.  Hmmmm, there were little pieces of colored foil on the floor.  When I met you in the living room, your cheeks were full of chocolate Easter eggs.  Now you had only had diabetes for a year or so, so this floored me.  I had no idea of figuring out how many you had eaten, what to do about the calories, dinner, and of course you had no idea.  The main thing is that Daddy and I had made the choice that food was never to be a battle with you.  So I determined that you should have no pasta for dinner, we would give you Regular insulin based on your normal dosage, hoped that you had candy that matched the carbs you were scheduled to have, and monitor you till bedtime testing and insulin.  You were SOOO disappointed about having no pasta.  I explained the hows and why of your choice of eating the candy.  Oh you had such a sad face.  I don't remember how the rest of the night went with glucose readings.  But it was the first time all of us had to deal with you acting like a normal 4-year-old after Easter, and us having to deal with the adjustments and corrections of diabetes.  I guess I felt that you needed to know that your choice to eat the candy was okay, but that affected your choice for dinner as well.

That was a day that again reminded me how different your life would be with all the birthdays and holidays.  I hope that because of the flexibility we did "allow"you on those occasions, that you knew that on occasion, you could eat the cake, ice cream, and some candy.  We just had to plan more than others did.

As always, when one door closes, another opens.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Registering for Gifts

The first of my college friends is getting married this summer.  (Yes, I feel old.) This past weekend was the bridal shower, and it was like a college reunion.  As the bride and groom were opening their presents and an awesome bouquet was being made, the rest of us were chatting.  We were paying attention for the most part, but there's lots of boxes of wine glasses when they are packaged 4 per box.  And then she was opening things that we think we'd never use (like a french press) or things we know we'll never use (like a soap making kit).  One of my friends mentioned that most women register for the same things that their mother's and grandmothers' registered for, even though they've never used some of it, and likely never will.  There is a thought that once you're married you'll magically start using them, and knowing how.  And since diabetes wasn't cooperating that day, I said, "Then I'll just register for diabetes supplies, because I need them and know how to use them."  Inappropriate?  Maybe.  Truthful?  Yes.  Would I ever do that?  No.  But I felt pretty clever at the time, especially when I needed that insulin to bolus for this:
Bolus-worthy Red Velvet Cake