November 17, 2006

Meme of Threes

I have an ever-growing pile of essays I could be grading right now, but instead I'm writing responses to this Meme.... Priorities? Not on Fridays :)

Three Things I Do Every Day:
Test my blood sugar, tell my fiance and family that I love them, chew gum

Three Things I Wish I Could Do Every Day:
Keep my blood sugar between 100-120 all day, drink the recommended amount of water, and wake up next to my fiance (only 7 more months to go!!)

Three Hopes I Have for Today:
That my nail appointment goes well (we're getting engagement pics tomorrow, so I'm getting fake nails tonight), that my fiance arrives back to PA safely, that I have made a positive difference in one student's life

Three Things I Hear:
the quiet hum of my the air conditioner in my room, the quiet mumur of student voices as they peer review essays, my fingers tapping on the keyboard

Three Ways I Have Changed my Life:
Became an exercise enthusiast, allowed myself to be "imperfect", fallen in completely in love

Three People I Wish I Could See Again:
My grandpap, My great-grandma, my five-year old self

Three Items I Wish I Owned:

A working pancreas, 20+ acres of land in the country, a Christmas tree farm

Three Wishes I Had When I Was Young:
To be a rock star (I still have the pink leggings I planned to wear for my premiere), To fall in love, that I could find a job where I could sleep in until at least 9 each morning (still looking for that one!)

Three Fears I Have:
Losing a loved one, health issues, disappointing those that love me

Three Things on My Desk:

Pictures of my friends and family, my Maxine mousepad, and two bottles of Dasani water (refer to "Three Things I Wish I could do everyday).

Three Thoughts in My Mind:
I could really go for another Diet Coke, Is the day over yet?, Why am I writing this instead of grading essays??? Oy...

Happy Friday!

November 09, 2006

Things the general public SHOULD know by now about Type 1 Diabetes

When I learned that today was the D-Blog day, I tried to think of something touching and poignant to write. Unfortunately, it's just not one of those days, so the end result is something smart-assy and sarcastic. I mean no disrespect, I simply wanted to vent on a few misconceptions/annoyances I've encountered in my (almost) 5 years as a diabetic.

Without further ado - in no particular order:

  • Just because the Oatmeal Guy says "Di-a-bee-tus" that does not mean that it is the correct pronounciation. Try out "di-a-bee-tees" once. It rolls off the tongue. Trust me.

  • Having "sugar" sounds old school; the new kids on the (diabetes) block (and by that I mean me) prefer "diabetic" or "pancreatically challenged.

  • For the zillionth time "Yes, I can eat whatever I @#$%&*) want to - thanks for asking."

  • Insulin pumps do not mean that the diabetic has poor control, "sugar really bad", and no - I am not about to die. I'm simply using a method that works best for me, just as others who use multiple daily injections are doing so because it works for them.

  • I plan on keeping my limbs with me until they plop my wrinkly, sagging, 90 year old body into a casket - so please spare me the stories of the numerous people who had their limbs hacked off because of (cue the whisper) "Sugar".

  • While "Steel Magnolias" is a wonderful movie, it is not an accurate indication of what life will be like for me when I try to have children.

  • In reply to comments such as "I could never stick myself/give myself shots/eat such a strict diet" - You could, and would, if you wanted to life and maintain a high quality of living.

  • No - I cannot just take a pill.

  • No - I'm not lazy, a poor eater, and I was not overweight before I was diagnosed - those two factors are not usually related to Type 1, and even with Type 2, those generalizations are not appropriate (or appreciated) for most who are diagnosed.

  • Unless you have diabetes or are a parent/close relative of a diabetic, please do not act as if you know everything about diabetes just because you have an acquaintance who has a "touch of sugar." If they have a "touch of sugar," you are probably out of "touch" with what diabetes really involves.

I could go on for numerous bullets, but I'll stop there. My underlying, not-so-subtle message is that the general public needs to be more educated on diabetes. Until more education is provided on diabetes, I am going to have to live with the comments/annoyances mentioned above. If I have to form polite replies to comments like I've mentioned for the next 10 years, at least I'll know that I'm educating the general public, one person at a time. That's better than nothing, but it's not nearly as quickly as I'd like it. Please be a vocal advocate for diabetes awareness. Even if we only speak to those in our realm of influence, we are still speaking and are still letting our voices be heard.

I'll close with a very fitting quote by Margaret Mead
"Never doubt that a group of thoughtful concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Diabetics - changing the world, one misconception at a time...

November 08, 2006

Symlin Question

My mom has been on me lately to ask my new endo (who I'll see in January) about Symlin. She thinks it's ideal for me because I haven't seen a big improvement in my control since starting the pump (but it's only been since May and I've had a pretty shoddy endo the entire time...), and I go through periods where I seem to be hungry all the time. Evenings are the worst for me. It's like I don't want to stop eating until I go to sleep.

My question is for those of you out there who have tried or who are trying Symlin. How did/does it work for you? Do you love it? Hate it? Did it work?

Any feedback or info would be helpful!!!

Thank you in advance for your comments...

November 07, 2006

5 Randon Things

Thanks for the tag, Kelsey! :) I thought everyone forgot about me!

Okay, folks - here are 5 random things about yours truly

1. Like Kerri, I too have an issue with chewing gum. For example, by 10 AM today I was on my third piece. I guess you could say I'm a chain chewer. Sounds bizarre, I know, but I'm rarely without a piece (or two) in my mouth. On the upside, I always have minty breath, so perhaps there are some benefits to this vice.

2. When I see someone I know in the grocery store (or really anywhere in public), I'll purposely try to avoid the aisles they are in so that I don't have to try to make conversation. Yes, bizarre again, but I think this is a byproduct of my antisocial tendancies. I love people and I'm a very caring person, but I honestly suck at making small talk. My fiance, on the other hand, enjoys conversing with random strangers wherever we go. By the time we leave the grocery store, he's already asked three to four customers about different products they've put in their carts. Last trip to the grocery store, he learned that natural peanut butter is healthier than regular PB (we ended up buying the regular anyway), the deli has the best cold cuts on Wednesday, and the new Chex Mix varites "rock" (direct quote from a teenager who was also picking up a cube of Mountain Dew - ah, the adolescent years...) I figure we're such extreme opposites, we'll end up balancing each other out in the end. That's what I'm hoping anyway.

3. Two nights ago, I randomly tested both of my parent's blood sugars after eating. We were talking about feeling "low" because my dad feels hypoglycemic from time to time, so my mom suggested that I check his blood sugar every so often to see what's going on there. I checked both of them (my dad insisted that she get checked too since she mentioned it) and I realized that I've never done that for them even though I've been diabetic for 5 years. Is that odd? (They were 113, and 115 respectively, lucky loos)

4. I was secretly relieved to learn that Britney Spears filed for divore today from K-Fed. Rest assured: I'm wallowing in personal disdain. And humming "You Drive me crazy..."

5. At every meal, I wait until I am completely finished eating before I drink anything. This practice was drilled in my head during my kindergarten year at a Catholic school. The teacher told us that if we drank anything, it meant that we were done eating, so from then on, I've always eaten what I wanted to eat for the meal before taking a drink. I get a little anxious watching people take sips of water or other beverages throughout their meal. I guess I think my kindergarten teacher is going to appear and swipe away their food for drinking mid-meal. Bizarre... you see the trend here, yes??

On a Side Note:
I saw my podiatrist tonight to have my calluses shaved off, and the nurse who preps my feet before the Dr. comes in always asks me about my "sugar." This time she asked about my A1C and when I told her it was 7.2, her eyes got big and she said, "Oh no - that's not good at all!" I smiled politely, and responded, "My endocrinologist finds it acceptable." She gave a "tsk, tsk" sound and then left the room. Oiy - do we have to educate EVERYONE on diabetes?? Even medical professionals who should KNOW BETTER?? I realize podiatrists probably see their fair share of patients with diabetes complications, so they're probably more cautious about high numbers than others might be, but for pete's sake - must I endure ridicule everywhere??

Rant for the day: Check....

October 30, 2006

Not as bad...

This weekend, while checking my students' journals, I came across this note from a student:

"My mom has sugar too, but not as bad; I'll probably have it one day too. I pray for a cure for you both and wish you all the best with your sugar."

I felt so torn after reading this note. On one hand, I was touched by the student's thoughtfulness and compassion for me, her teacher. On the other hand, the phrase "not as bad" is echoing in my head. I've repeatedly analyzed anything I might have shared with the students that may have led her to think that my condition was "bad." I considered that her mom may have Type 2, so she may think taking insulin = bad. Or, her mom may have Type 1, but may control her blood sugar with shots, so she may think that an insulin pump (which is noticeable on me most days) denotes a worse condition.

I don't know. I'm definitely torn.

I don't feel I have bad control, but my endo might think otherwise. My A1C's have been sticking in the low 7's, which I know is not great, but right now, it seems to be the best I can do. I'm hoping my new endo will help me to get my A1C down to the mid 5's so that I'm in better shape when the man and I want to have kids. I'm trying to be more proactive and vigilant about my blood sugar control, but I don't think I'm going to see much improvement until I get some constructive feedback from a good endo.

The phrase "not as bad" is still echoing in my head. I've tried to drown it out with rebuttals, but the cold, hard truth (that my control COULD be better) won't be silenced.

October 17, 2006

A glimpse at the future?

The other evening my mom got lab results from some recent bloodwork: her cholesterol, HDL, LDL and all that stuff. As the nurse was reading her results, my mom was writing them down on a slip of paper and, after hearing the numbers, there was a pause as the nurse talked to my mom for a minute and then my mom responded: "Well, I'm already doing all of those things, so I don't really know what else to change."

Turns out that my mom has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and her other numbers are out of range as well. Of course these things are almost expected as one ages, but the real kicker is that my mom is a certifiable health nut. She exercises an hour a day, almost 7 days a week. She eats very healthy, sensisble, portion-controlled meals, and she doesn't smoke, and only has a glass or two of wine a week. The nurse apparently recommended that she make some changes: eat a high fiber, low sugar diet and to try to incorporate exercise. Needless to say, my mom was at a loss! She already does all of those things! She saw her doctor yesterday, and he recommended Fish Oil capsules, but the capsules are huge (apparently) and my mom can't swallow pills (she practically has to drink a gallon of water just to get an small ibuprofren down). Last night she seemed really dejected and I just wanted to be able to say something or do something for her. I'm sure she feels really defeated right now because she's doing all of the things she's supposed to be doing but it's just not helping. Unfortunately, we have a family history (on both sides - lucky me!) of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. So, in essence, she's stuck with bad genes. And so am I. Joy.

Before I let this post sink into the absolute depths of despair, I'll try to insert a little optimism. I know that my mom feels really upset by this news, but I tried to tell her that she'd be so much worse off if she wasn't already doing those things. As a diabetic, I know I have to tell myself that I'm much better off doing my best than doing nothing at all. Perhaps this is just the way I rationalize not being "perfect," but I think sometimes all we can do is do our best and accept what comes our way. Based on the genes I've inherited, I have a feeling I'll have to make this my motto for the rest of my life if I want to live with any shred of peace and happiness.

I know this may sound ignorant, and for that I apologize in advance, but I can't help but wonder if it's harder for a "normal" person (a person without a chronic disease) to learn that even though they're doing everything they are supposed to be doing, it just isn't cutting it. I guess at some point everyone realizes that their body isn't infallible - it's a human body, prone to error and malfunctions - some just malfunction shoddier ways than others.

October 13, 2006

25 Randon Things on my 25th Birthday

I turn 25 today, and I thought I'd mark the day with a post of 25 Random things about me...

Because, honestly folks, I'm nothing if not RANDOM!!! haha

1. I had a hideous amount of ear infections as a child; I came to detest cotton balls being shoved in my ears. To this day, I shiver a little when I see cotton balls.

2. When I was two years old, I'd wear my mom's bras around my neck and walk around the house. This became less cute when we had visitors. Regardless, there is a picture of me sitting beside our Christmas tree that year with - of course - a tan bra around my neck.

3. I totaled my parent's candy apple red mini van 1 month after my 16th birthday. The rear wheel broke off, sending the van - and me - rolling twice before stopping. Amazingly I wasn't hurt at all.

4. I gave my first kiss in first grade. It was just a kiss on the cheek, but the boy I kissed went home and told his mom, who shared this tidbit with my mom. Needless to say, I was treated to a little mother-daughter talk.

5. My first real boyfriend "won me" by beating out two other guys in a football game during recess. I should have taken that as a bad omen for my future experiences with guys (up until present time, of course ;)

6. I got a short haircut in 5th grade, and my best friend told me - in front of my crush - that I looked like Marsha Washington. At that age, I didn't know who Martha Washington was, but I figured it couldn't be good. I cried in the girl's room for a while over that one.

7. My grandma is very, very dear to me. We've had a close bond ever since I was a baby. When I was collicky, grandma was the only one who could quiet me down. I think my dad still adores her to this day because of that fact!

8. I'm very close with my family. Even though they can drive me a little nuts at times, I'd be lost without them.

9. I "found" myself when I went to college. I also found beer, a love of low-lifes with athletic builds, and pilates. 2 out of three isn't bad, right??

10. I love peanuts. When I get the munchies, peanuts are my splurge of choice. Unfortunately, this has a damaging effect on my ever growing booty.

11. Up until meeting my fiance, I had never "dated" someone for longer than 3 months. The man and I are going on three years in January - be still my heart :)

12. I haven't kept in touch with any friends from high school - ouch... ???

13. On the other hand, I have 2 really good friends from college that I"ve remained in contact with.

14. My favorite flowers are peach roses, and each year for my bday, my parents send me peach roses :).

15. I named my first Cabbage Patch doll Alysse, and now I can't get that name out of my head when I think down the road (very far) about names for hypothetical baby girls.

16. My fiance almost peed himself the first time I accidently passed gas in his presence. I was mortified!

17. I've stabbed myself with the protective needle cap on my Quick-Sets more times than I'd like to admit. One of these days, that blue cap is going to plunge through my skin out of spite.

18. I once tried to lance my finger with a clicky-type pen - THINKING that it was a Lancet...!!! And suprisingly enough, I wasn't low or high... so there was really no excuse for my stupidity...

19. When I was little, everytime I "ran away from home" I'd pack a backpack with gum and a hairbrush - nothing else. I'd walk to the end of my driveway - pout for a while, and then trek back up my driveway. Weird, huh?

20. I'm a Maxine fanatic (A Hallmark card character - she's the crabby old lady with blue/white hair...!)

21. Everyone that knows me comments on how quiet I am. My theory? I'm not quiet, everyone around me just talks a lot. :)

22. On my 17th birthday, none of my friends remembered or acknowledge my birthday, which resulted in an evening of tears.

23. On my 18th birthday, my college friends decorated my door and made a big to-do out of my bday, which resulted in one of my best bdays ever.

24. On my 20th bday, my friends hired a stripper. Sounds like a cool idea, I know, but the stripped turned out to be about 45 years old... Needless to say, they got a refund....!

25. Last night, on the eve of my 25th bday, I felt so incredibly thankful for having 25 years of life - I've been so blessed, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for me.