Thursday, June 30, 2011

Billy Corgin: The Outtakes.

Sidenote: Today is the second of six Hope Paige Medical ID giveaways, for the You Can Do This Project community! Go leave a comment on the You Can Do This page before midnight CST tonight to be entered to win one of six designs!

* * * * *

Plenty of "good" photos exist of our puppy (Billy Corgin - and no, he is not a Mellon Collie), but those fiesty balls of fur work on their own schedule. They have no use for cameras, aside from another thing to bark at/sniff/slobber on.

This means I also have plenty of "whoops, that didn't work" shots.

Enjoy!
I smell... treats! At the last second!
I just... I'm going... Excuse me...
I've got food on my face? Hang on, I'll get it.
I think he's mid-sneeze? I honestly have no idea what's happening here.
This would be an adorable picture, if only our ghetto "cheap ashtray
for when smokey friends come over, that is now filled with rain water"
wasn't in the shot. Details.
This is what this support part of the dining room table was made for, right?

I heard my name! I'm coming! But I'm not there yet!

I'm not... yet... MOM SERIOUSLY, NOT YET.

Okay, I'm here! But you're still really bad at camera aiming.
OMGCLOSEUP.

Aaaaand, finally. A good one!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Note To Self.

Always, always, always consult with Jim before deciding to brush your chompers.

You shouldn't be this familiar with the late night taste of orange juice laced with toothpaste.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's The Little Things.

My brain's a little all over the place lately, so the chances of me pulling together any completely coherent posts this week are slim. (So, expect some more puppy pictures?) Nothing mind-crumbling or planet-shattering mind you... just a bunch of little things. Little things that pile up, into a big swarm of AAAAH MAKE IT STOP MY BRAIN CAN'T HANDLE ALL OF THIS AT ONCE.
  • I've been reading up on what the Roche Media Summit 2011 was all about, from my friends in the DOC who attended. I also have tuned in to some of the video coverage provided by the Diabetes Hands Foundation's UStream channel. (And you should, too - it sounds like it was a pretty amazing event!)
  • The Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference in Orlando is next week. (Wait, whaaaaat? Next week already? That's hard to believe.) This will be my first time attending, and even though some gracious souls have already said they'll help me figure it all out, my inner organizer/nerd/detail addict really wants to print off every map and schedule I have and laminate them. And then maybe bring some washable Sharpies so I can write all over them.
  • On a serious note, though - I'm really looking forward to the FFL conference, and the chance to spend a few days meeting and hanging out with some of my favorite PWDs. But it also brings on that flurry of pre-travel chaos that I never can seem to calm down about - the filling of prescriptions, the packing of extra everything, the worrying over flying and pump malfunctions and did I bring enough sunscreen and what if it cools down should I bring jeans and did I remember to pack sunglasses?
  • I am not tech savvy, in any way, and I can get frustrated pretty quickly when I can't figure something out. In related news, I had been trying to figure out a way to get a javascript-based widget to appear within a Wordpress.com page, and recently learned that apparently it isn't possible, because that version of Wordpress doesn't support scripts... ? (Even though it works just fine when I do this on a Blogger site.) I seriously spent hours trying to figure out a way to get it to work. Had I known this tidbit ahead of time, I never would have gone with Wordpress for the website I'm working on. Head, meet wall.
  • I also acquired a Kindle, so I now need to find time to sit down and figure out how to use it. (I'm not complaining - I just know myself, and how frustrated I'll likely get trying to work it before the thing starts being enjoyable.)
  • I managed to space off responding to an Online Diabetes Support Team question, which makes me feel like a total tool when I get that email two days later saying, "Um... soooo... are you still planning to respond to this?" from one of the moderators. Kim: 0. Life: 1.
  • And lastly, the You Can Do This Project has been awesome so far. Thank you to everyone who has made a video, a blog post, or a podcast so far - your entries have been so heartfelt and real, which is exactly what I was hoping this project would encourage people to do. I'm working on a couple of ways to help YCDT reach more people, and I'll be excited to share those things as soon as I can. :) (And don't forget - this is a giveaway week, so start leaving comments on the You Can Do This page on Thursday, before midnight (CST) to win a Hope Paige Medical ID!)
And super lastly, I'll leave you with a picture of another reason my free time is waning lately.

But... but Mom! The outside! It's right there!
I want to go to there!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Diabetes 'Free Pass'.

While a lot of the DOC is spending a few days in San Diego this week for the Roche Social Media Summit (also known as #dsummit on Twitter), some of us who aren't attending wondered if we could have our own little DOC event instead. Martin from Diabetically Speaking suggested a topic for today's posts: When has diabetes got you in the door, VIP treatment, etc.? I don't have any long, witty stories to share on this one, but I can think of one particular perk. So, here we go...

* * * * *

"Would you mind if I put some snacks in there?"

There was certainly an advantage to rooming with me in college.


No, it wasn't my fabulous KoRn and Deftones posters (shut up, okay, it was the late 90's!) plastered all over my side of the room. It wasn't my stash of oddly-hued makeup or hair dye (oh, Manic Panic - you were so messy, but so pretty), or the music blaring from my CD walkman as I fell asleep.

And it certainly wasn't the fact that, at the time, I didn't drink alcohol and found the activity a bit repulsive... yet, I belonged to a sorority. (Irony!)

Nope - I was in demand because I had the elusive mini-fridge. The house, where I lived during my sophomore and junior years of college, didn't have air conditioning anywhere but first floor. And guess where all of the bedrooms where? Yep. Trying to fall asleep when it's 97 degrees out (and in!) is "fun".

You can see where I'm going with this - insulin has to be kept cool, plus I needed stuff like juice around. And so, I became the only person in the sorority house to be allowed a mini-fridge, probably ever - which became very convenient storage for non-medical essentials, like cheese and diet soda.

Not a bad perk.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Puppy Lows.



I love this pup; I really do.
This pup, who on a brand new stair gate, likes to chew.

I love his smile; his spunk; his ears; his glee.
Even if sometimes I have to clean up his pee.

He's a puppy, you know - they do that stuff.
They play and they play until they've had enough.


I'm usually ready to rest well before he -
to down a juice box, or two, or twelvety three.

We run, we walk. We (sometimes) fetch, we play.
We frolick until sunset ends our day.

I knew that life with this puppy would change
And it REALLY affects the amount of time I'm in range.

Has my CGM learned yoga? Perhaps. So I thought I'd blog
The new position Jim seems to have learned: Downward Facing Dog.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pancreas Bonfire.

One of the things I love about the diabetes online community is the way we don't have to have any clear lines drawn around us. We're type 1, type 2, LADA, type awesome. We're teenagers; we're senior citizens. We're patients; we're caregivers; we're doctors and dietitians. We're newly diagnosed; we're veterans.

And even though none of us would actively wish for more people with diabetes, our circle keeps growing around this pancreas bonfire. (That's a weird mental image... and totally just became the title of this post.) 

So how do we find these voices? Sara and George have come up with a great way to do just that.

It's called Best of the 'Betes Blogs, and it will showcase community-nominated blogs each month, in a variety of categories. In their words:
"As you read blogs during the month, take note of any posts that you think are a perfect example of one of the categories (please no self-nominations). From the 21st to the 28th of each month email bestbetesblogs@gmail.com with your nominations for the “best of”. Then on the 1st of the month visit BestBetesBlogs.com to see the winners."
For the full details, read the rest of the post on Sara's blog! Thanks to George and Sarah for putting this together - I love finding new blogs to read! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yikes.


To pull, or to not pull - that is the question.
That reddish purple ink blot seeps slow and wide, but I feel no pain.
I think, "I must be doing something wrong."
And yet...
Sensor: accurate.
Adhesive: still sticky. (Amazing.)
Which can only mean...
Kim: indecisive.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Swear, I'm Not A Ditz.

Do I lay the appropriate blame, or do I try for an Oscar?

It's a tricky line, that. When I'm sitting there at work, doing my best to hold myself together - to not let the impaired motor skills, the emerging sweat, the mind fuzz show - I really want to pretend things are totally okeh. (Not "okay" - because they're not. Just "okeh".) Sitting in that silence, I can pull it off.

But when someone comes up to me, at that worst possible moment - the charade is up. My cover; blown.

"Kim, do you know who these forms go to?"

"...um, I think...  4th floor?" (Everything comes out sounding like a question.)

"Okay... but do you know who specifically?"

"It's... um... maybe, Cassandra? I'mnotsure?"

An in-range Kim could answer that question definitively. With far less vocal fillers. But when I'm not - when I'm that kind of low that makes me want to muffle my CGM receiver in some far crevasse of my purse, and curl up under my desk for a nap - I struggle to string together words, and I just hope that they make any small amount of sense.

There are around 100 people in my building, and I don't want to have to explain to each one of them that heeeey, I've got a low blood sugar right now. Which, oh yeah, means I have diabetes. It's not always a conversation I want to have while my insides are riding some sort of rollercoaster. I just want to get that conversation over with, and move on.

But the risk of that decision is that I likely come across as an airhead.

Which, actually, would be exactly what I need right about then.



***I have not yet heard from Friday's giveaway winner, "Life as an Empty Nester". If that's you, would you please send me an email at textingmypancreas (at) gmail (dot) com with your name and phone number? If I have not heard from Friday's winner by the end of tomorrow (6/21), I'll be choosing a new winner at random from the remaining entrants!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm A Jumper.

"Nope, nope... that doesn't have anything to do with diabetes. It's just a normal thing some people have."

Whew.

For the last several months, I've noticed an occasional floater in my field of vision. It isn't always there, nor is it always there in any particular situation.

The only times I see it are at work; specifically, sometimes when I'm looking at my computer screen. But, not always then. It's just this bean-shaped blob that moves around with what I'm looking at.


Frankly, I'd been a bit scared about it.

My opthalmologist had seen a couple of microaneurysms in each eye shortly before I started using a CGM, which would have been in 2009. The technical term is mild non-proliferative retinopathy. In subsequent visits, he's told me that they've been healing/shrinking/running away scared, which is super, but it still scared the crap out of me that something was happening to my eyes. That I wasn't somehow immune to complications, after all.

I know it's a mild complication, but it had felt very major to me.

When I started seeing this floater, my mind understandably went to Worst Case Scenario - that 25 years of diabetes had finally started to take its toll. That my recent not-as-tight-as-before control was to blame. That I was to blame.

But I also told myself - if this was diabetes-related, wouldn't I be seeing it all the time? I guess that's the line of thinking that had me keeping my original yearly exam date, instead of scheduling the appointment for much earlier.

I didn't mind putting off the answer. If it was bad, I didn't want to hear it quite yet. (Yeah, I know.)

So when Dr. D asked me if I'd had any changes in my vision, I told him. I described what had been happening, and when. He took a look.

"Oh, no. No, your eyes look great. Actually, it looks like they're still getting better. That thing isn't diabetes-related. Some people just get those from time to time; you get just the right lighting or look a certain direction, and they show up for a little bit. Nothing to worry about."

Their opthalmologist must use
really strong dilation drops.
I drove home with my anime eyes, wanting to believe those last four words so much. But it's hard to put six months of worry into reverse so quickly.

And as for the title of this post - something must have been written down in my file, because when we got to the part where the thing touches your eye (I'm very technical with my terminology here), he had an assistant come in to hold my cranium against the head holster. Seriously; she applied force so that I couldn't react! (She was very nice and gentle with me, though. No rough-housing.)

I'm a jumper, apparently.

* * * * *

The winner of this week's Hope Paige Medical giveaway is....

Life as an Empty Nester!

Please send an email to textingmypancreas (at) gmail (dot) com with your name, phone number and email, so I can get you in contact with Hope Paige Medical!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway - we'll do this again in two weeks.

(Comments were numbered chronologically, and I used random.org; a random number generator; to determine the winning number.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting List-y.

I don't have words for how awesome the start of the You Can Do This Project was. I spent most of the day watching videos, reading blog posts, and trying to comment everywhere I could. (I'm still working through the list, and I hope I don't accidentally miss anyone!) I've got a few things I want to mention, so things are about to get listful. (Listless? Listmore? Something.)
  1. Today is the first day you can enter to win a free customized medical ID from Hope Paige Medical. In order to get yourself in the drawing, leave a comment on the You Can Do This page before midnight (CST) tonight. I'll announce the winner Friday morning here on Texting My Pancreas, the Facebook page, and through Twitter.
  2. I recently switched back to soy coffee creamer, and am now remembering why this stuff is so awesome - it tastes pretty good, and it doesn't turn my CGM graph into an Etch-A-Sketch drawing of Mt. Everest, either.
  3. Billy discovered yesterday that furniture is something you can climb on. Noooooooooo!
  4. And lastly, I had a doctor appointment yesterday. A1C hasn't changed much from last time (7.1 this round), but I think I can be okay with that, for now. I was also told, "Your bloodwork is boring." Music to my ears.
Please keep sharing your stories through the You Can Do This Project - yesterday was just the start. We're doing great things for others here, by talking about the tough stuff. I'm so proud of you all, and thankful for your honesty, bravery, and capacity for all things awesome.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You Can Do This - Kim's Video.

I'm standing on the edge of a cliff again. Looking ahead; toes wiggling in the breeze.

You know that feeling, don't you? The butterflies; the sweaty palms; the fluttering heartbeat. You're on the cusp of something big - it's almost here, but not quite yet - and whether your jump will be successful or disastrous is yet to be seen.

You hope it can do some good. You hope it won't come back to bite you.

Some would call it a "leap of faith". Some would call it "risky".

I call it telling my story.

My hope in doing so is to reach someone who needs to hear what I've done, and what I've been through, and that I'm here now - in this wonderful, amazing, imperfect life that I'm totally in love with. I wanted to make a video for the kind of person I was, way back when. Maybe that person is you, or someone you love. Maybe it isn't.

But if you are on the same part of the road I'm talking about here, I want you to know that I've walked there, too. I want you to know that I'd like to take your hand and help you walk just a little bit farther, down to the part of the road where things have gotten so much better.

So here I am, taking that leap.



This is why I wanted to start the You Can Do This Project. Not so I could upload a video of myself crying for six minutes - though, that happened anyway (yikes) - but because these are stories that will have value for others.

I can't wait to watch and read everyone's entries today!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Giveaway.

Tomorrow is the launch date for You Can Do This (!!!!!!!), and I'm excited to be able to tell you that there's even more Awesome in store for those participating. (And when I say participating - that means anyone. Not just those recording videos! Anyone who watches any of the videos, anyone who has ever said to themselves "you can do this", anyone who has ever said to themselves "I think I might possibly be able to try to do this"...)

The social media/PR coordinator at Hope Paige Medical contacted me last week to offer the You Can Do This community their support. (In case you aren't familiar with them - they make contemporary medical ID jewelry. In their words, "we take pride in changing the face of 'clunky' old medical ID jewelry and making it fashionable--something you would actually want to wear.") They are donating six pieces of their medical ID jewelry, and I'll be giving them away right here!

Here's what you need to know:

  • Six giveaways will take place; one every other week for the next 12 weeks. The first giveaway is this week. Winners will be announced on Fridays.
  • You don't have to record a video to win one. All you have to do is this: on those Thursdays (and I'll remind you guys), go leave a comment on the You Can Do This page on my blog (also found by clicking here). Make sure I can identify you - don't just sign it "anonymous", okay? I just need a name, so that I can announce the next day who the winner is. You have the full 24 hours on those Thursdays in which to enter yourself for the drawing.
  • On Fridays, I'll announce that week's winner (by random drawing). If you are named the winner, you'll need to email me at textingmypancreas (at) gmail (dot) com, so that I can pass your information onto Hope Paige Medical.
  • Each winner can pick which style they'd like as their prize (so, theoretically all six could pick the same bracelet) - and there are six styles to choose from. Hope Paige will custom engrave your jewelry with your medical needs, and ship it to you at no cost. (How cool is that?)
Here are the six styles you'll be able to select from:


Pandora Style

Rubber Blue Cars


Rope Brown & Khaki


Durable Rubber Black


Black Plate Dog Tag


Stainless Steel Heart Link

Thank you to Hope Paige Medical for donating to the You Can Do This Project community - the first giveaway entry day will be this Thursday!





Monday, June 13, 2011

Introducing.

Okay, first: last week, I was contacted by an editor at Diabetes Forecast magazine. The staff had caught wind of the You Can Do This Project, and she told me that they are all "really excited" about it! Lindsey and I chatted for several minutes by phone, and late on Friday afternoon, the article she wrote went up. Take a look at it here.

* * * * *

The rest of this post has nothing to do with diabetes, and everything to do with a new member of our family.

He was born in Missouri, recently learned that he loves walking on a leash and harness, and has only pooped in the house once. His interests include the mulch in our front yard, a cupcake-shaped chew toy, and having his tummy rubbed while he lays on his back. (It makes his hind legs kick in the air, like he's riding a bicycle.)

Everyone - meet Billy Corgin.

Don't mind the windblown hair - he sure didn't.

Everything in the world is safe when you can hide under a table.

Totally dominating a branch twice as big as he is.


This puppy loves cupcakes!
Really, I think he might be the Best Puppy Ever. (Too early to call that?)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Just Talking... Live.

Just a quick note I want to throw up here - in case you missed the media blitz yesterday (okay, I guess it wasn't a blitz exactly, but it felt that way to ME), here's a couple of places to go to hear me talking about the You Can Do This Project.
  1. I recorded a PSA (a mini-podcast, really - but don't tell the host I called it that) with Chris over at Just Talking. We spent around 20 minutes talking about the upcoming video project - how it came to be, what it is, and how you can participate. The subject of puppies came up, too. You can give it a listen here.
  2. I was also the guest on last night's DSMA Live Blog Talk Radio show - it's an hour of conversation between myself, and the three hosts (Scott Johnson, George Simmons, and Cherise Shockley) where we talk about both the project, and the DSMA Twitter chat that took place the night before. We talked about YCDT, how social media has shaped our view of the world, and what we've learned from others with diabetes.
I hope you all have a great weekend - and are ready for the barrage of puppy pictures coming your way!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Puppy!

My condolences to our yet-unmarred, unscratched and unchewed furniture. To our nearly new carpet and wood floors. So long, slacking on exercise.

I'll miss you dearly, no-fur-on-my-clothes.

Because, you see, we're picking this guy up on Saturday to come live with us:


Corgiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

And although I totally love dogs, and I've been dreaming of having a puppy for a long time, and Corgis are the cutest things I've ever seen, and I will pet him and love him and squeeze him and hug him and call him George (not actually calling him George), I'm frankly a little bit scared about all this.

I've mentioned before that I've never owned a dog, which is what's causing the majority of my apprehension. Aaron and I have been reading all about "puppy training" and "Corgi characteristics" online. We've talked to friends and family who have dogs. We've looked into obedience training. We're going to borrow some books. Plus, Aaron grew up with dogs - so he has a step up on me.

Yet there's still a part of me that wonders, can we do this? (Answer: listen to your own advice. Yes.)

So for anyone out there that has trained a puppy (this guy is currently about 3 months old) - or ever had a dog, actually - can you give me some advice? Recommend books? Tell me what you wish someone had told YOU when you were training a new dog? I could use the help.

(P.S. We do have a name picked out for him, but I'll wait until after this weekend to tell you guys. The suspense!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Birthday.

First: it's my birthday. No big deal. (I didn't even take the day off of work - what is wrong with me?)

image credit
Second, I'm thrilled to be the guest blogger today over at With A Side Of Insulin - so that's where you'll find today's post.

Third, I am so immeasurably glad that it won't be 100 degrees at any point today. I just can't take much more of that this early in the year. I'm not ready!

And fourth, if you'd like to talk about the You Can Do This Project with some other folks who plan to participate, you're in luck - it's the topic of tonight's DSMA Twitter chat! Join in by using the hashtag #dsma starting at 8:00 CST, and get ready for one of the fastest hours of your life. And be prepared to speed read.  :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Seeing Diabetes Everywhere.

Last weekend, Aaron and I decided to go out for some late-evening dessert and coffee.

We headed to one of our favorite places; a restaurant/bar combination. We were there late enough, and it's just far enough away from downtown that it wasn't heavily populated. Aaron and I sat at the bar; looked over the dessert list. I closed my menu and took a look at the bar in front of me.

Lots of colorful bottles; backlighting; glowing screens; sparkly glasses.

And then I noticed something.


Can't see it? I know; it's dark. Really dark. (Hey - it's a bar.)



How about now?


Let me show you in broad daylight.

My first thought? And I'm serious, here...

"Oh, someone was low."

...

Then I answered myself, "Wait, check that... probably a mixed drink." And then I felt kind of silly.

Diabetes will never leave my brain alone, will it?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Two Years.


Six and a half years ago, I met my best friend.
Two years ago today, I got to marry you.

Thank you for holding my hand; for winking at me across rooms; 
for making me breakfast.
Thank you for laughing at my lame jokes.
Thank you for continuing to be the funniest guy I've ever met.
Thank you for consistently being the calmest and most easy-going person 
in this here couple.

Thank you for killing the spiders.

Thank you for being who you are, and for loving me - just as I am and will be.

Thank you for agreeing to put up with me for a good long while.

I love you, Aaron. 

Happy anniversary!





Friday, June 3, 2011

Admiration and Grace.

I am sure I'm not the first to tell you that bad things can happen to the very best of people. Life can seem quite unfair, that way.

Sometimes those things engulf us. That misfortune takes us over; feels so much more powerful than our ability to deal with it. It's so hard to not let that happen.

But other times, you meet someone who somehow seems rise above it. They deal with those blows so gracefully; with such poise, that about all you can do is feel nothing but admiration.

That's my friend, Barbara Campbell.

She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (LADA) only a few years ago, and was recently also diagnosed with breast cancer. In her words, "I have Invasive Ductile Carcinoma, Stage 2b, Grade 3. It is aggressive and it is spreading... [but] I’m happy to report, that after three treatments, the tumor is shrinking." There isn't much information out there about people living with both diabetes and cancer - studies? Sure. But real-life "living with it"? Not so much.

In lieu of writing something of my own today, I want to ask that you go over to Diabetes Mine and read her guest post there today. Then, go read her blog. She's an amazing lady who I feel completely honored to know, and to be able to count as a friend.

Hugs to you, Barb. Many, many hugs.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This Is Why.

This is why I need you.
I can't do this alone -
at least, not well.
This is why people like me want that Artificial Pancreas so badly.
This is why one good number can't speak for the rest of them.

This is why I need this community.
This is why we need each other.
It's the reason we all need to hear "that happens to me, too."
It's why encouragment from those who "get it" means so much.
Because we can't do this alone.
At least, not always well.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The You Can Do This Project.

A while back, I had an idea.

Today, that idea is coming to life. Today, the You Can Do This Project is born.

Some familiar faces from the diabetes online community were kind enough to help me get this thing off the ground, by helping me make a video explaining what this project is all about. Watch it here:


You can now find a permanent tab on Texting My Pancreas (in the blue bar above) labeled "You Can Do This Project", which has a full description, FAQ section, and links to all of the ways you can add your voice.

I'm so excited about this, I could burst.

Launch Day is June 15th, 2011. Will you join me?

(P.S. A huge THANK YOU goes to Kerri Sparling for her help with the video.)