Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nerd, Party Of One.

Actual conversation (via text messages) between Aaron and I last night, while he was sitting in night class:

Aaron: Guy sitting in front of me is wearing a Ping.

Me: WHAT

Aaron: GUY SITTING IN FRONT OF ME IS WEARING A PING! Better?

Me: You know what I meant, dammit!

Me: Also, I have the urge to crash your class and tackle hug him. But maybe that's just me.

Aaron: Well, he's sitting, so that would be weird. Plus you might disconnect his pump.

Me: I can be ninja-like in my pouncing. Plus, I'd have a spare infusion set on hand for him. Win!

Aaron: I think every ninja should have a spare infusion set on hand for that exact reason.

Me: I think that's the best rule in the history of the world, ever.

I will seriously tackle hug this guy if I ever meet him. And if he ever reads this, it will be just that much more awkward.

Nerd, party of one? Oh, yes. That's me.


Monday, August 29, 2011

You Can Do This Project - Updates.

I've got a couple of things to share with you guys.

First, last week marked the sixth giveaway from Hope Paige Medical to the You Can Do This Project community, which was originally supposed to wrap up the contest.

But wait!

Hope Paige Medical has graciously offered to continue the giveaways, in support of the YCDT Project community. Every other week for ten more weeks, you'll have a chance to win a free engraved medical ID from the six designs listed in my original giveaway post. Yay!

Starting with the giveaway that will happen next week, the contest is moving to www.youcandothisproject.com, so look for the reminder posts (every other Thursday) - and winner announcements (the following Fridays) - there. (When the project started, I didn't have the domain yet - and didn't want to change up the giveaway rules in the middle of the contest. This seems like a good place to transition.)

Speaking of which - last week's winner is...


Congratulations, Sue! Please send me an email at textingmypancreas@gmail.com (including your phone number), and I'll get you in contact with Hope Paige Medical to redeem your free medical ID.

And second, I got an email last week from Faith, who wanted to contribute to the You Can Do This Project in a different way. She already has a "store" established on Zazzle for her photography business, but has now added several items with the YCDT logo - you can find them by clicking here.



If you're wondering about where the money goes: Faith has set the prices to as low as Zazzle will allow, which includes a 10% royalty. Faith and I talked it over, and this 10% will be donated to the Diabetes Research Institute. It's a win-win!

I thought it was a cool idea - a way to carry a little reminder of the project around with you. A little mental pick-me-up when you need it, but can't watch a video. A reminder that you're never alone.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Go.

This post is mostly for me. Sorry.

I need something to go back to, to remind myself of what I often allow myself to become too busy or distracted or exhausted to recognize. I've done it so many times before, and I know myself well enough to know that I'll do it again. And again.

But maybe this will help me remember a time or two.

With that in mind, Kim:


When things are going north, go for a walk. Bring the dog with you. It will be fun, and you'll feel better, and that graph will get whipped back into shape. You'll feel better tomorrow, and have better numbers, and probably be a little less tired too, although I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


Just go for the walk.


Just go.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Diabetes Art Day 2011.

Do you know what a week from today is?

...yes, it's Thursday.

...yes, it's also the first of September.

...oh, right, and you probably saw the title of this post.

September 1st, 2011 marks the second annual Diabetes Art Day, created and facilitated by the fabulous Lee Ann Thill, and I'm super excited! Last year, I did a drawing by hand representing how I feel about the robot parts I wear. This year, I'm actually not sure what I'm going to do - but I'm pumped (ha) about whatever that will be.

If you aren't familiar with Diabetes Art Day, here's the scoop (in Lee Ann's words):
It’s a way for us to tell our stories so we can connect and share with each other and with our loved ones. It’s a way to generate diabetes awareness outside of the DOC by sharing artwork on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and community websites. 
Diabetes Art Day is for people young and old with any type of diabetes and their families, so children, spouses, parents, siblings, or anyone who is affected by diabetes can participate. For this one day, you’re encouraged to break out of your linguistic comfort zone, bust out some art materials, and make a piece of artwork – painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, an installation piece, a mixed media something or other, or whatever you can imagine.
 Whether you have lots of experience making art or none at all, Diabetes Art Day is for you to show the world what it’s like to live with diabetes in that “a picture is worth 1000 words” kind of way.
Details on how to participate (like, for instance, where do I upload the dang thang?) can be found on the Diabetes Art Day website, and if you'd like to talk about it on Twitter - hey, there's a hashtag too! (It's #DArtDay.)


Get out your pencils, markers, stickers, paint, pastels, charcoal, glue, glitter, frosting, googly eyes... and get to creating already!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It Was A Ruff Walk.

So, we've got this dog, right?


Like good doggie parents, Aaron and I have been trying to get in the habit of taking him for a walk as often as possible. Which, as you may guess by the shenanigans I mentioned in yesterday's post, didn't really happen this weekend.

I felt bad.

Last night as I left work, I thought, This is it! I'll make it up to him! Billy Corgin and I will go on such a long walk that he won't even know what hit him!

Instead - I was the one who got hit with something.

I had packed up my CGM receiver, phone, glucose tabs, lip balm, and plastic bags in my not-a-fanny-pack-dang-it, filled up a thermos with water, coaxed him into his harness and leash, and off we went.

With a pre-sweatbetes blood test of 84, and a Juicy Juice and Nutrigrain bar freshly deposited into my bloodstream, I felt confident that this walk would be epic. I would get through this without a low. Billy and I would stay hydrated. I would do that polite head nod thing to our fellow pedestrians, and Billy would happily wag his tongue at them, and we'd get our workout on like normal people.

It was going to be like this:


You may have guessed where this is headed.

First, he was a poop factory, and I ran out of plastic bags. (Sorry, neighbor on the other side of the 'hood - I'll bring more bags next time.)

Then, he'd start pulling away from me (like he needed to do his thing), but instead he'd just plop down in the grass to take a breather. "No, dude, keep walkin'. We aren't even halfway yet." And so I'd tug, and he wouldn't put his legs out under him until the last second (the last second being the one before he hit pavement). It felt like dragging a pancake on a string around. I felt like a horrible dog mom, certain that the driver of each passing car was mentally chastising me and my unsophisticated canine motivating skills.

When we had reached our halfway point at about the 30 minute mark, we both took a water break. I had noticed that my legs were feeling a little bit noodley, and took a gander at my CGM.

Say it with me: Nooooooo...



I was lucky that little William was content to sit in the shade while I shoved my face with glucose tabs recovered.

And when we finally got going again, but I still didn't feel great, he seemed to know that it was now his turn to be the motivator amongst us.


It's cool, Mom. I'll take it from here.
He's a good pupster, that Billy Corgin. He's a keeper.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sometimes.

Sometimes diabetes tries to ruin your pajamas.


Sometimes you have the willpower to turn down cupcakes made of ice cream.


Sometimes you finally get around to ordering a medical ID for yourself, because apparently all of the cool kids are doing it.


Sometimes diabetes goes with you to a concert, and you feel compelled to take a "this is what I'm holding up instead of a lighter" picture.


And sometimes you win a ridiculous amount of tickets at Dave and Busters because you watched one of the games long enough to figure out how to win every other round. 

Shhhh.

(It was a fun weekend.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Friday, Yo.

A couple things to leave you with, as I bid you a happy weekend:

1. Last week's giveaway winner was "Jennifer from Hurricane", but I have yet to hear from said Jennifer. If that's you, would you please send me an email at textingmypancreas@gmail.com? Thanks. :)

2. That U.N. Summit scheduled for September 18th has hit a snag - read more about that here.

3. Billy is so totally ready for football season. I mean, he may not be HAPPY about it... but he's ready.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Please Don't Notice.

Low blood sugars in the workplace are one of my least favorite things.

I had one yesterday - but not a run-of-the-mill, shaky sweaty kind of thing. Nope, this one walked right up and punched me in the face with one of those huge Incredible Hulk fists made of concrete and carbonite.

image credit
See, that's the worst part for me - that WHAM! feeling of helplessness, where I'm trapped at my desk and I'm just praying that no one who comes within a five foot radius of me decides to strike up a conversation, because every bit of my energy is focused on trying to appear Okeh. My mind is this scared, panicking child trapped in an adult body and that child is pleading with all its might that no one notices what's happening.

If only Jodie Foster would come rescue me.

(I might also hope that no one notices that I've had three snacks that morning already - none of which seem to be doing a darn thing, I'd like to point out.)

Rationally, I know that I just need to treat the low and sit tight for a bit. Rationally, I realize that people are generally kind and understanding, and that if I really needed to, I could go hang out in the break room and not be bothered.

But "rational" isn't the state I'm in when my blood sugar is in the same range as my age.

When I feel that way, I know I can't do my best work. (Actually, sometimes I can't even form thoughts or words very accurately - so work is pretty down low on the ol' totem pole.) I know I shouldn't try to do anything right then because my mind isn't operating at full speed, nor are my motor skills cooperating. And yet, I can't help but feel guilty if I do what I need to do - which would be sitting there and recovering for a few minutes. Because "sitting there and recovering" looks an awful lot like "slacking off and not working", and I'm not all about that.

Lows at work feel worse than any others, because not only am I dealing with the symptoms of that lack of glucose in my bloodstream, but I'm also trying to (over) compensate for myself. 

The hardest part is balancing the appearance of a "normal" outside with the temporary raging chaos inside.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make Sense, It Does Not.

There's a monstrosity of mostly-carnivorous celebration once a year nearby, named "Ribfest". As the name would suggest, there's a lot of food to be tried - ribs, pork, brisket, and just anything you can name On A Stick. Midwestern sterotyping at it's finest.


Aaron and I headed there for lunch on Sunday, and investigated several options before landing on a 1/3 slab of ribs and a pulled pork sandwich to share between us. Afterwards, we thought we'd give the funnel cake a go. (Okay, the funnel cake was mostly for me - Aaron got the cookie dough on a stick. Neither disappointed our 'This Is So Totally Bad For Me' tooth.)



Seeing as how the composition of a funnel cake is much like a donut - mostly fat and sugar - I expected significant CGM graph shenanigans for the next several hours. I tested; I bolused; I ate; I waited for the rocket launch.

Except that it never came.

Somehow the magical combination of walking, sunshine, mega-bolus, and luck meant that I never left the 105 - 135 range. Success!

Later that day, we had sweet corn for dinner. Just sweet corn - we weren't that hungry, and a stop at a roadside farmer's stand meant we'll be eating fresh, locally grown veggies all week. (Yay!)

I guessed 30g of carb for two ears, based on the Ping remote's food listings of "corn on cob wht - 13" and "corn on cob yell - 25". (They were speckled with both.) It wasn't until ten or so minutes after eating that I heard Jim vibrating from the kitchen counter.

"HIGH - 180". My CGM was currently reading me at 226, and I stayed above 200 for the next few hours, despite the two correction boluses I threw at it.

So let's get this straight - a funnel cake keeps me in range, but sweet corn sends me to the moon?

I'm not sure even Yoda could explain this one, but I'd sure like to hear him try.




Friday, August 12, 2011

It Is What It Is.

Some days, I'm super confident.
Some days, I'm super NOT.
Every once in a great while, I think I might be "cured":


Then comes a day that reminds me that I'm most certainly not.


I'm not perfect at this, and I likely never will be...
But I'm getting around to being perfectly okay with that.
I make a lot of mistakes - but, I would bet that you do, too.
Sensors fail; boluses (bolusi?) don't match up; fingers won't bleed.
Food choices; exercise - never quite "right".
My body behaves in ways that betray me - Stop shaking so hard; pull it together; I don't care if you're low and at work and feeling helpless - you're embarrassing me.

It is what it is, and I can only do my best.
And even when what I'm doing doesn't seem my best - it really is; right then. You know?

I will take diabetes seriously, but not myself.

I will refuse to let this consume me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Unite For A Healthy Future.

If you live in or around New York City (or, if you don't and want an excuse to travel), you should check out the Unite for a Healthy Future event happening in Central Park on September 18th. (I won't be able to attend, as my own local JDRF Walk to Cure is also that day. Sad face? I can't decide.)

Related to the "O is for Outrage" campaign I wrote about last month, this event is being organized by the International Diabetes Federation and other civil leaders to call attention to something important. Taken from the event's Facebook page:
On 19 and 20 September 2011, policy leaders from around the world will come together for the United Nations High-Level Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) - cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes. During this high level meeting they will focus on the global threat caused by NCDs.
 This is the only 2nd Health Summit in the history of the UN. HIV/AIDS led the way in making history changing the way policy makers and the world see this devastating disease. We now have the opportunity to be active agents of change.
To celebrate this the International Diabetes Federation and civil leaders are organizing a half-day celebration in Central Park, New-York City On 18 September, the day before the UN summit. Our goal is to raise the awareness that Non-communicable diseases are the leading killers today and are still on the rise. But together we can change this.
As of the writing of this post, "Unite for a Healthy Future" has the support of organizations such as The World Heart FederationFramework Convention Alliance, Livestrong, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Team Type 1, Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Diabetes Daily, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Einstein Global Health Center. This is going to be a big deal!

I hope you'll consider attending, to add your voice to this powerful movement.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blünt Lancet Sighting!

I saw a photo on Facebook yesterday that made my jaw drop. And then I giggled.

image credit: Kelly Rawlings

That would be Sam Talbot - yes, that Sam Talbot - wearing a Blünt Lancet t-shirt.

Who knew he was a fan?!

Thanks for being a good sport, Sam. This totally made my day! (And if I get to see a You Can Do This Project video from you, that will make my month! Year! Decade! Shameless guilt trip ending now!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Awkward Moments With Diabetes.

Explaining that yes, you CAN eat that... just, um, not right now.


Your "just going away for two days" bag looks like everyone else's "I'll be out of the country for a week" bag.


A low blood sugar ensures that you are "that person" at the movies.


Technology - you haz it. 
The ability to differentiate - not so much.






Ladies who use an insulin pump with tubing: 
it just takes a little bit longer.


Gentlemen: The Murse.


When the smoking hot intern at the endocrinology office leans in close to look at your "diabetic eyes", and you smolder. Just a little.


An ill-timed pump alarm interrupts Hug Time.



"Low" and "had a lot to drink" look awfully similar.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Diabetes On My Sleeve.

I'm new to the whole "wearing diabetes on my sleeve" thing. (And when I say "diabetes", I mean "my continuous glucose monitor". And when I say "on my sleeve", I mean "on my arm".)

Aaron and I were at a friend's post-wedding soiree (they got hitched in Vegas - photos looked beautiful! - and had a reception party at their home after they returned) on Saturday night. I was actually wearing the dress in the photo to the right there, so my Dexcom sensor was fully visible on the back of my arm.

I knew very well that it was possible - likely, even - I'd get questions about "that thing on my arm", and I felt prepared and okay with that. If any medical professional out there wants to know what being involved with a community of fellow patients does for someone with diabetes, here's one thing: because I have read the experiences of others who have worn their CGMs out in the open, I felt confident in trying it myself. I didn't really feel ashamed or skittish either - in fact, I think I might have walked a little taller with that CGM sensor out in the open air.

So there I am, plate in hand and spooning up some watermelon, when I feel something nudging my Dexcom sensor. I thought it was Aaron - maybe the tape was coming loose and he was trying to fix it? Nope. It was a lady I'd never met before in my life, with her hand on my Dexcom sensor. A lady who was old enough to be my mother - and therefore, old enough to know better, I'd think.

I had been totally thrown off of my game. Questions? They are totally are welcome, and I was prepared for those. Touching? Totally a WTF moment.

"Um, hi?", I greeted her with.

Still touching the sensor, she said in a very concerned voice, "Oh, my! Is this medication?" Her arm returned to her side.

[First reaction was to say: Yep, it's a nicotine patch. I'm reeeeeally addicted, so they gave me the Super Ginormous Mega one. But, I pocketed that angry and sarcastic response in favor of something more useful. Because, sometimes, I can act like an adult.]

"Sort of. It's a glucose monitor. I have type 1 diabetes, and it helps me see what's happening."

She paused. "Does it work?"

[No, ma'am... it doesn't. I just like how it looks. Don't you think it accents my outfit nicely and brings out the color of my eyes?]

"Yep; it works really well." I tried so, so hard to not make a "Is this really happening?" face, and returned to my meal gathering.

And then she walked away.

I looked at Aaron, to see if he'd witnessed what just happened. His smile and subtle head shake told me that he had.

The moral of this story? I'm not sure. But I do know that this situation didn't bother me nearly as much as it might have before I found the diabetes online community. Primarily because, even as it was happening, I knew that I'd have a story to share with people who could laugh at it right along with me. Having a support system of fellow patients helps me feel more confident in doing what I need to do in order to be healthy, and that's a great thing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Emo Pup.

I did the occasional clean-out of my phone's "photo gallery" (It sounds so fancy, doesn't it? Like I should be sipping wine and commenting on how well the negative space is balanced, or something.), and I found a few gems to share with you. They seem to revolve mostly around food and the dog - not so bad, I don't think.

Happy Friday!

This light fixture amazed me while I was eating lunch
one day - I may have also been wicked low, and would
have found pretty much anything to be amazing, but
I really do think it's quite neat.

This carpet... it's so... FLUFFY... zzzzzzz

Tomatoes and basil from my "garden" (read: pots on the deck), and
cheese. Because cheese makes everything better.

PANCAKE!!!

Walmart - full of good spelerz.

Billy was helping me during #dsma last week. He looks very emo
 in this photo, I feel. Thinking deep thoughts, he is.

Puppy and pump(y), both doing their jobs well.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another Resource: This Time, Mini Size!

A quick (and very late) post today...

Last week, with Meredith's help, I made a flyer available for anyone who wants to help spread the word about the You Can Do This Project. I want to accommodate what you guys need when it comes to sharing this project with others!

Someone asked me earlier this week if I could send them some business cards (because they're far more portable and easy to carry with you), and it got me thinking that having options might be a good thing.

Consider this, um... "You Can Do This... To Go!"

You'll now find a business card sized flyer (which can be printed several to a page, if you're using a template) in .pdf form. It's quite colorful, so if you'd rather print it as a black and white version, that's totally okay too!

You'll be able to access this from the You Can Do This Project website, too, whenever you need it - under the resources tab.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dude.

I had my workout clothes on. Hair was in a ponytail, shoes were tied, and my it's-not-a-fanny-pack-darn-it belt was fastened. The sun was setting; leaving just enough light the way for our evening walk, but not so much that walking would feel torturously hot.

Aaron was addressing the Billsner; his tone a mix of cheerful and increasing simplicity: "Are you ready to go for a walk? Go for a walk? Go walk? Walk?" Billy just sat there, staring at him. "Whaaaaat?"

I started filling my kangaroo pouch: glucose tabs, lip balm, plastic bag (responsible dog owner, I am!), and instinctively reached towards the kitchen counter where my trusty Dexcom receiver usually resides. Except it wasn't there. "What? Where...", I trailed off. I wondered where on earth I could have left it, as I knew I last had it when I...

...oh, crap. The last time I remembered holding it was outside. When I had taken Billy out in the backyard. Which was a couple of hours ago. In the sweltering heat.

Noooooo...

I recalled placing it on the bottom of the stairs from our deck, as I needed both hands to be in full-on Dog Handling Mode. So outside I scurried, wondering how I could have gone over TWO HOURS without noticing its absence. (Because obviously my speed at that moment was going to be what would save my Dexcom.)

I stood at the top of our deck, and looked down. Whew.


I was glad it was still there, but I was even more glad that it appeared to be both untouched and unharmed.

When I reached it, I clicked the "OK" button, to see just how long it had been out there - by seeing how much data I had missed.

Which gave me an even bigger surprise.


It had taken intermittent readings. THROUGH THE HOUSE.

As in, this far:



Remind me to never again complain about the range of the Dexcom. Ever.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Avocados With Flail Maces?

A few tidbits from this weekend:

  • The doggie swimming pool we bought this weekend might have been the best $10 we've spent in a long time. (I recorded a very low-quality video of Billy enjoying it, here, if you want to see how ridiculous Billy Corgin is. Sidenote: how could he not be ridiculous, with a name like that?)
  • The perfect time for a CGM sensor to die is on your way to breakfast. (A breakfast full of hollandaise sauce, pancakes, coffee, and anything else guaranteed to make your blood sugars unpredictable for several hours.) And that's exactly what happened on Sunday, when I had even planned my outfit around the fact that I wanted to conceal the sensor on my arm. The irony; it washes.
  • Because my CGM sensor died on Sunday morning, and because it felt like a good time to take a mini-break from the constant BEEP! BEEP! BZZZZ! that is my usual routine, I took the rest of the day off from all things Dexcom. Two things happened, but only one of them was surprising: I ended up doing a heckuva lot more finger sticks that day than I normally would (duh), and I also saw a lot more in-range numbers than I typically do. Huh. Interesting.
  • And lastly, I saw this sign while grocery shopping, about how avocados can "battle diabetes". It opens the door to many questions, like "How are they going to battle diabetes for me? Avocados don't even have arms." (Which, in turn, makes me want to ask, 'What are you going to do, bleed on me?') Also, "What sort of weapons would avocados choose in said battle? Crossbow? Nunchucks? Pruning shears?" But in all seriousness, a friend who works for this grocery store saw my tweet and will be emailing the store about the sign. Advocacy FTW!