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.

October 12, 2006

Grumpy much? or A Post where I analyze the word "control"

I'm not sure what my deal is lately, but I've had quite a few "grumpy" moments with my students lately.

On the whole, my students are good kids and I usually get along pretty well with everyone. A few, though, have really been getting under my skin lately.

Ironically, the whole problem comes down to control.

I'm seeing an uncanny connection here....

One student yesterday decided he wanted to sit on top of his desk rather than in his chair, and upon being asked to sit down he replied "I am sitting down" with a tone that implied that I was, quite possibly, the dumbest creature on the face of the earth.

Mr. smart ass was politely asked to step into the hallway where I proceeded to turn green and grow a wart on my noise - alas, I embraced my inner witch.

Looking back, I felt somewhat witch-y for reaming him out for not sitting in his chair. On a normal day, his response probably would have received an equally sarcastic reply from me, but not on this day. He was messing around with my control of my classroom, and I wasn't in the mood.

I think of the other things in my life that I try so desparately to control; the most obvious and, consequently, the least successful, being my blood sugar. I also have been making futile attempts to control my eating habits so that I can lose some weight. I strive to control my emotions so that I am neither too weepy when I am down or too hyper when I am happy. I'm not manic, but I really try to remain on an even keel regardless of my mood. On a lighter note, I've completely given up reign of the remote to the man when I'm at his apartment. It's just not worth it.

But out of all these things I try to control, whether it be my blood sugar or my classroom, one common thread remains - sometimes I just have to relinquish that control for my own sanity. I can't control everything and some days I can't control anything! So be it. Unfortunately, not having control makes me downright grumpy... my students would probably suggest some more colorful adjectives, but I'll spare you. I don't like being grumpy at all, but unfortunately that side rears it's ugly head when my control is in limbo.

Maybe my real problem is my use of the word "control"?? I'm also familiar with the term "management," but I don't see myself as much of a "manager" so it just doesn't seem to cut it for me. Of course, I don't see myself as much of a "controller" either.... it's a conundrum, I suppose.

At any rate, I'm going to try to be less grumpy and less obsessed with control.

Famous last words, right?

October 09, 2006

Another reason why the general public needs a crash course in Diabetes...

During my beloved cafeteria duty today, a fellow teacher came up to me and proudly shared that she had just reprimanded a diabetic student who had regular iced tea, chocolate milk, and a cookie on his tray.

"I told him, "You shouldn't be eating those things _______; you shouldn't be eating all of those sugary things!"" she said

He replied, "But Mrs. _______, I have an insulin pump, I can cover the carbs for these things."

She said, "That's not the purpose of your pump ________; it's not a license for you to eat junk!"

After she shared this much, I started to interject:

"Woah, woah, woah, please tell me you didn't say those things to him." I said

"You bet I did - he has to be all over the place eating crap like that!" she replied.

"Even if he is, it's his body, his disease, and, I have to say, it's not your business what he eats." She just stared at me so I continued talking

"With the insulin pump, he CAN eat what he wants as long as he covers his carbs. He's a teenager, and he probably wants to eat like everyone else his age does. He's a three sport athlete, and he has two very loving parents - I don't think he's at a loss for support or guidance."

She paused and then replied, "Well, I just don't think it's right - that can't be good for him."

And at this point I *mentally* proceed to bang my head into the wall, realizing my efforts were futile.

Even though I'm sure the student is used to comments like these, he shouldn't have to be.

None of us should.

I'm my own worst enemy

From yesterday afternoon to the present time, my blood sugars have been nothing less than horrible. And it’s all my fault.

I can’t blame this one on the pump.
Or my faulty pancreas.
Or stress.
Or the alignment of the planets.


This has ME written all over it.

So, I guess I associate Sundays with “stuff-your-face-until-you-could-pop,” because I can’t seem to control what I put in my mouth from Sunday afternoon until I go to bed. Perhaps it’s the anxiety I feel about the upcoming week of teaching? This is my 4th year of teaching, though, so you’d think I’d be over that hump by now.

Yesterday morning the man and I went to brunch at IHOP and I thought I chose wisely by ordering an omelet consisting of eggbeaters, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and a small amount of cheese on the side. I also had an order of wheat toast – it’s a morning staple for me. However, two hours after eating, I was soaring in the upper 200’s, proving that while my order was relatively healthy, it still sat in my stomach for quite a while and played chicken with the insulin that I sent in at mealtime. I corrected the blood sugar, tinkered around the man’s apartment for a while, and then we went on a walk for an hour. After the walk I am famished – I’m ready to eat anything not nailed down. I ring in at 140 and begin preparing dinner. The man has ordered what is, in my opinion, the best meal in the world (when you’re PMSing and starving) : toasted cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. As Rachel Ray says, “YUMMO!” It was delightful, but I did a shoddy job of counting carbs and rang in at 314 around 8:15.

Now the normal person (IE: not me!) would have given a correction bolus, drank water, and retested in an hour or so. What do I do??? I bolus for a snack – since I evidently didn’t get my fill of fat/junk at dinner, and raise my basal so that I don’t fly into the outskirts of “Oh Sh*t That’s High” later on.

I go to bed without testing because (in my ultimate wisdom) I figure I don’t really want to see the effect my snack had on me. I toss and turn for a good hour before I finally get up and test my blood sugar.

60. Piss! I (over)treat and go back to bed.

I wake up at 5:30 and, of course, I’m high: 341.

I give a correction, shower, and then change my pump site.

Before I leave for work, I’m 275, so I tell myself I’ll hold off on breakfast because I’ll certainly be down a bit more by the time I’m at work and have started preparing for the day.

Once at work: 250. Whoopdedoo… I eat anyway – so much for waiting, right?? At this point, I really don’t care. I realize I’m to blame for the crappy numbers; I realize that it’s my own fault that I feel like a certifiable piece of poop right now.

I can’t blame anyone but myself, but hopefully I can learn from this.

Or even better, maybe this entry made YOU, dear reader, feel better about your blood sugars for a moment or two……

See – everybody wins