Friday, October 29, 2010

Talking About Type 1 Talk.

As much as I love my friends in the online community, it's tough to not want some face-to-face contact with other people who have type 1 diabetes.  Making a connection with someone in your local community helps deter the lonely, "going it alone" feeling that so many of us have.

The support group pickings around my area are pretty slim.  We have a JDRF-affiliated support group, but it is geared towards families.  (I went for the first time a few weeks back, and ended up spending my time assisting 17 small children with craft projects - I didn't quite fit the demographic, and I think they didn't quite know what to do with me.)  One of the local hospitals has a diabetes support group, but it is for type 2's.  I don't fit particularly well with either group, and I know others out there have this same dilemma.

Some of us have expressed our frustrations about this situation.  We know there are other T1s out there, but how do we find them?  Strike up a conversation with the other people in the waiting room at your next endo appointment?  Wait in the "diabetes care" aisle at Walmart until someone shows up? 

JDRF has caught wind of this need to connect T1s on a local level, and announced earlier this month a project called Type 1 Talk.

What is Type 1 Talk?  Here's what you need to know:
  1. The idea is for local meet-ups to take place all over the US, all at the same time (3:00pm EST) on World Diabetes Day, which is Sunday, November 14th. 
  2. In addition to meeting each other and discussing what matters to us locally, everyone is invited to watch the live JDRF webcast addressing five topics that we picked out and voted on.
  3. All of the events are being coordinated through the Type 1 Talk Facebook application.  Go there to search for events, create your own, RSVP, and ask questions.
  4. You can search for an event in your state, and if there isn't one registered yet, consider hosting one of your own!  (That's what I'm doing!)  It doesn't have to be fancy.  If you're going to watch the webcast, you'll need a computer, a web connection, and sound. 
  5. You can make the event as big or small as you want, by setting a maximum number of attendees.  JDRF has made it pretty easy to get prepared for the event by uploading ready-made materials you can print off, like a sign-in sheet and Advocacy information.
I'm looking forward to the chance to meet some other T1s in my area, and I'm hoping to have more than just me show up.  :)

If you are interested, or know someone that might be, please pass this onto them.  JDRF isn't asking for donations - they're just asking us to get together.  To Talk about Type 1.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


It happened as I finished lunch today.  It's glorious.  I wanted to start cheering - or maybe dancing.  As you can see, I came perilously close to it not happening, but I was able to avert danger both times.

I'm marking today on my calendar, because today is the day that I got my first honest-to-goodness No-Hitter*!


My No-Hitter - brought to you (unofficially) by Chobani Pinapple
Greek Yogurt.  That free case I'm getting won't last long, if this
is what happens.

*The term "No-Hitter" was coined by Holly, of Arnold and Me.  The official definition, from her website:
"A no-hitter (also known as a streamline) is a time period in which a diabetic does not hit their high or low threshold on their CGM. For a Dexcom user, they must be without any alarms during the entire day, and the day must be at least 24 hours. A diabetic who prevents their blood sugars from reaching a threshold is said to have "bolused a no-hitter"."

I didn't vary anything significant in my routine - in fact, thinking back, I actually ate more carbs than I normally do on a weekday.

Some days are just luckier than others.  Today's a good day after all. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Running With Invisible Friends.

When I first started running in a semi-serious way, it was easy to want to give up.  I'm not sure what my body is built for - reaching things on high shelves, perhaps; or enjoying the heck out of sushi - but I'm not built for running. Add in the rollercoaster that can be diabetes + a new workout regimen, and you can guess how much fun those first few weeks were.

I was out of shape, got winded easily, and it just plain hurt.  I would bribe myself with new workout gear, or new songs to listen to on my iPod, or a change of scenery - knowing that no matter how I got to that point, all that mattered was that I ended up there.  I needed to be motivated to work out, because there was no turning back - I had signed myself up for my first half-marathon.

Running on a treadmill at my old gym was tolerable.  The times I switched to outdoor running were quite unpleasant.  Cement just doesn't have a lot of give, and there wasn't a place to stash glucose tabs, Jim, and a water bottle.  Instead, I got to wear what amounted to a fanny pack.  Sexy!

On the longer runs I did outdoors, I found that my music alone wasn't sufficing.  I felt miserable, and tired, and even my trusty playlist of T.I., Jay-Z, and Lil' Wayne couldn't keep me going.  This would inevitably also be the point at which I was furthest away from home.  I wanted to complain.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to give up.  No one could do this for me - I had to do it.  And I had to do it alone.

Or did I?

For reasons I hope do not indicate insanity, my outdoor jaunts started to include an imaginary man running with me.  Was it Jesus?  God?  The DudeForrest Gump?  I'm not sure; I never pictured a face.  I just daydreamed someone who could be there with me, every step of the way, through this gruelling journey.  He was wearing the same stupid fanny pack I was, and he had it stocked with glucose tabs for me, in case I needed more.  He'd ask me how I felt, and encourage me to not give up.  When he saw me get tired, he'd slow down with me until I was ready to go fast again.  And when I felt as though I couldn't push anymore, he'd cheerily call out "You can do it, Kim!  You can do anything!", and we'd keep moving.

I had sort of forgotten about my Imaginary Running Friend.  It occurs to me now that he never really left me; in fact, he's been around for quite a while.  He's there on Twitter, when I talk about having a crappy diabetes day.  He's there on Juvenation, enticing me to have a reason to post to the "What was your last blood sugar?" thread.  He's speaking through a friend who asks me to tell them about the diabetes advocacy I'm doing, and then actually listens to all of it, and is excited for me.  And he's there in all of you, when you post here and keep me engaged and entertained.

Every time I sign up to do something new to help our diabetes community (online or offline), I have a moment of wondering if I'm taking on too much.  Will I have time to do this new thing in the manner I think it deserves to be done?  Will it make a difference?  What I'm learning is that each opportunity brings me a sense of fulfillment and belonging that I'd never otherwise experience, and if for only that, I need to keep going.  It's a selfish sort of philanthropy.

I wanted to say thank you, Imaginary Friends.  This journey sucks a lot less when you're all running the same race beside me.

"Can I be The Dude?"  "Dude, we're ALL The Dude." 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Babies Are Taking Over My Brain.

Ever since A and I started talking seriously about planning a family, babies seem to be materializing everywhere.  It's as if the infants of the world have some sort of centralized database and GPS system on me, and they're planning a strike.  Everywhere I look, there is a baby in a stroller or sling of some sort.  There are baby clothes.  And baby shoes.  And baby socks.  And baby Husker apparel.  And the huge baby section in Target.  And the baby section I have to walk through at the grocery store to get to the organic section.  And then the baby section I have to walk through to get to the freakin' restroom at Kohl's.  They're taunting me.

A and I went to Omaha for the morning, and even at my favorite breakfast spot, I could not find solace.  It only makes sense that we would be seated in between two tables with...  well, you can guess.  One of the suspects kept turning around to look at A.  And, because that is what he does, A kept making goofy faces, which would cause the kid to giggle and turn back to her table.  She'd playfully turn around again, and this cycle of events would repeat and repeat.

It's cute... it is.  And while I'm very excited for what the future may hold for us, I've admittedly been trying to squeeze in the largest amount of non-pregnant behavior I can lately.  We're exhausting the wine supply, I'm eating as many ceasar salads as possible, and I made sure to choose a breakfast dish this morning that included hollandaise sauce.  I'm also enjoying what could be my last few cold turkey sandwiches for a while. 

And while I'm doing all of that, I'm taking pre-natal vitamins and folic acid (holy cow, those pills are HUGE).  I'm getting more of the regular exercise that I should have been doing all along.  And, I'm finally getting that closet cleaned out in the office/future kid room.

Every time I talk about babies, or share the things that I'm doing to prepare for one, a small part of me wonders if I'm jinxing something.  I sometimes feel that I shouldn't be talking about it, until I have some "it" to talk about - but, here I am, talking about it anyway. 

Part of it is being newly married, I think.  Part of it is being 31, and knowing that if I want to do this in the recommended "safe" time, I've only got 3 1/2 years to go.  (I know that they are numbers, and they won't apply to everyone, but I feel that I've already tempted Fate enough in my life so far.)  Part of it is being the only one of my cousins who doesn't have children - on both sides of my family.  Apparently, I am susceptible to peer pressure.

But more than any of those things, it's something I very much want.  I know A and I will be good parents, and we feel comfortable that now-ish could be the best timing.  It will always seem a little scary, because that's how life-changing experiences are.  It may never seem like the "perfect" time, but...

"If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved."  - Maurice Chevalier

Friday, October 22, 2010

D-Feast Friday: Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Risotto.

This is a recipe adapted from "Junior Master Chef Australia".  (Is that a real thing?  I don't know; I found it through Google.)  Everything was measured in liters and kg, soooo...  I just guessed a lot.  Here's roughly what I did.  I made it Monday night, and it was delicious!


32 oz. low sodium chicken broth
1 leek, finely sliced (I didn't do this.)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 tbsp-ish of olive oil
20 or so frozen shrimp - I used a bag of Target brand ones that were already detailed, deveined, etc.
2 garlic cloves, pressed or crushed
A splash of white wine (I totally didn't measure.  "Yep, that looks good.")
A handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
1-ish cup of loosely packed fresh basil leaves, shredded
1/2 cup cream

Serves four, or two really hungry people.


Heat chicken broth in a saucepan on medium heat until almost simmering.  Reduce heat to low.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat.  Add leek (or don't) and cook for 2 minutes or until soft.  Add the rice and stir until well coated with oil.

Add a ladleful of broth to the rice, stirring until the liquid is almost absorbed.  Continue the process, adding a ladelful of broth at a time until the rice is almost cooked.  This should take about 15 minutes.  Place lid on risotto, and set aside.

Heat other tbsp of oil in another large pan over high heat.  (Sorry, you're going to be doing a lot of dishes later.)  Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, turning once until just cooked.  Add wine and cook for one minute or until wine is reduced by 1/2.  Add tomatoes, basil, cream, and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the cream sauce has thickened slightly.

Gently stir shrimp mixture into the risotto, or pile on top.  Garnish with basil leaves, if you're fancy.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Not Crazy.

If you see me standing frozen-stiff-still while staring off into space, I haven’t lost my mind. I’m counting the vibrations of my insulin pump to be sure I’m administering the right dose.

Pay no attention to the swooshes of air in the bathroom stall next to you. It’s just me, jumping up and down and punching the air. I’m trying a last-ditch effort to get my blood moving faster, so that the insulin I just took can go to work more quickly.  (Where else am I going to get my impromptu exercise on while at work?)

A carefully counted pile of candy doesn’t mean I’m neurotic. (Well, I guess that’s just my opinion.) I’m doing it so that I can get an accurate carb count of what I’m eating.

When I ask the waitress for Diet Coke, and then ask her again, “So this is Diet, right?” when she brings my soda, please don’t think I’m being difficult, or that I think she’s stupid. I’m trying to save myself from an emergency extra bolus of insulin.

It’s true that it may seem odd for someone who wears an insulin pump to also still take injections of insulin, but in perilous situations of stubbornly elevated glucose, an injection will bring me back down much more quickly.

An unusually high tolerance for pain, needles, and the sight of blood doesn’t actually make me brave, or a badass. (My black belt in Tae Kwon Do does.)  It’s just how I’ve acclimated to the life I was handed.

Yes, I’ve named inanimate objects such as my CGM. I also do a mean impersonation of him, when he gets confused (Also known as "???"). It doesn’t seem as juvenile when you consider that I spend more time interacting with this piece of equipment each day than I do with any one human being.

Eating the same breakfast and lunch every day isn’t a reflection of how much I enjoy these meals (though, I do most days) or an indication that I’m stuck in my ways. Repetition and consistency help me manage diabetes more easily.

I’m not crazy. I just have diabetes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sometimes, I Forget.

Towards the end of my workday yesterday, I noticed that my “emergency stash” was depleted. Even though I almost always have something like glucose tabs or fruit strips in my purse to treat lows with, I like to keep some back-up candy in my desk drawer. It’s there for times when I’ve run out of the aforementioned options, or for the times when candy sounds a lot tastier than fruit-flavored chalk. (Which, surprise!, it always does.)

I ran across the street to the drug store and spent a little while pondering my hypoglycemia-resolving choices. (Starbursts are a favorite, because 4 ‘bursts will bring me back up to normal without overdoing it. Also, I’m a fan of the fact that I get to have one of each flavor. The symmetry makes me happy.) As I started backing away from the candy, fists full of Rainbow Taste, something odd happened.

Apparently, an older gentleman had been watching what I was doing. As I caught his stare (because, indeed, he was staring), he broke into a sly grin. His hands then performed the “tsk tsk” action, and he walked away.

My first reaction was shock.  I wanted to yell at him. Or maybe throw some candy. I did neither – I think I just gave him an incredulous look.

What I realized over the next few seconds was that I was taking his reaction out of context. There was no way he could have known, in that moment, that I had diabetes. My insulin pump was concealed, as was my CGM. I wasn’t wearing medical ID, nor was I in the middle of checking my blood sugar. To him, I just looked like a lady who really loves her candy, and he apparently thought I was “pigging out”. Of course, my diabetes-centric mind had immediately jumped to defense mode and I had initially assumed he was trying his best as a D-Policeman to rain on my sugar festival.

Diabetes is something that I’m always thinking about, but I have to remember that it doesn’t mean diabetes is always on everyone else’s mind. Sometimes, I forget.

Monday, October 18, 2010


One of my friends on Twitter, Sarah, was having a rough morning, BG-wise and ketones-wise.  I sent her some reassurance, and the whole situation got me thinking that we need some ground rules on what to do when diabetes is being naughty.  We need to know what is allowed, and what is encouraged.  I came up with a few Diabetes Rules... That I Just Made Up.  Please feel free to add your own in the comments section.  :)
  • You are allowed to yell at your blood glucose meter.  You can do this when you think it's wrong, when you don't like what it's telling you, or when it's Tuesday.  This is especially appropriate when that jerk tries to be all friendly and chipper, with a greeting like "HI".
  • Calories consumed while overtreating a Holy Crap! Low do not count. 
  • If your hand is shaking so badly due to hypoglycemia that you can’t hold a mirror still, maybe it’s a good day to skip mascara.
  • Shutting down an annoying and inaccurate CGM receiver is totally legit.  I mean, that little guy probably needed a nap anyway.
  • When you are at your endocrinologist's office, you need to have them celebrate your accomplishments with you.  A1C under 7?  High five.  Under 6.5?  Exploding fist bump.  Under 6?  Free puppy!
  • When you hit 300 mg/dL, cursing is not only allowed, but encouraged.  I’m pretty sure it helps flush out ketones, too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Relearning "Normal".

I am Kim’s Diabetes Paradigm Shift.

A large part of getting my A1C into range has been changing the way I think about, and react to, lows. The physiological and psychological effects of hypoglycemia are quite uncomfortable, if not a bit terrifying, to experience. This leads many of us to do whatever we can to avoid the feeling. As Henry Stewart put it in his series Insulin is Not a Cure, “hypoglycemia feels like a slow descent into death”.

For my readers without diabetes, allow me to give you some analogies of what severe hypoglycemia feels like.
  1. Imagine yourself at your most hungry state. You haven’t eaten all day, and it’s now 9 p.m. You are ravenous, and feel like you could a horse.  And then maybe the barn he was in, too. Your brain and stomach are both in Full And Complete Panic Mode.
  2. Think about a rollercoaster ride. The particular moment I want you to envision is the moment when you’ve reached the top of the first incline, and you start to see how far down you’re about to go. Think about the rush of adrenaline, how your body starts to shake a bit, and how you feel a little bit scared about what’s in store for you. Now, take out the fun part.
  3. Now, for those of legal drinking age (because you’re all good boys and girls, right?), think about how you feel when you've overdone it. You lose a good deal of your motor skills, balance, and rational thinking. Also, again, take the fun part out.
  4. Now, I want you to add in heart palpitations, a really bad case of the shakes, and a general feeling of helplessness. You can also add in “taste buds going numb”, or “feeling like you’re vibrating”.
So, to recap: You’re eating a horse, on a rollercoaster, while drunk.

Here’s the issue. Blood glucose has a very large range – you’re probably dead at 0 mg/dL, and you’re probably in DKA at 600 or so. The target area resides within a very small fraction of that range – 80 to 120, if I'm being strict. If I fall outside of that, I’m taking some sort of action: more or less insulin, or more food. That’s a very small range to shoot for, and when so many factors out of your control can influence the results, you can start to see how this disease can be a frustrating monster. You can also see how scary it can be to try to aim for 80, when a mere 30 points less than that has you wanting to crawl out of your own skin.

In the past, I was always trying to avoid going low, at whatever cost. If I ran a little too high, that was okay with me, because it was better than the alternative in the short term. But, priorities have shifted. I’ve got something I’ve been working towards being ready for, and this has required me to re-evaluate what my goals are.

Using a CGM has made all the difference for me. I talk a lot about why I love it, but I really can’t ever stress enough the difference it’s made in my life, diabetically speaking. To put it simply, my CGM is a safety net I can rely on while I walk the tightrope of glucose control.

I don’t have to fear a lot of things anymore.  Going low while sleeping is less of a concern, as Jim will do his best beeping and vibrating in order to wake me up.  While I may never have taken corrective insulin for a reading of 130 in the past, I feel comfortable doing that now, for the sole reason that I can see in almost-real time what will happen.  And I can feel confident when I walk to the other side of our neighborhood, because Jim will let me know if the exercise has caused me to bottom out.  I don't have to wait until I feel the lows anymore.  I can take pre-emptive measures.

A reading of 80 mg/dL doesn't seem "low" to me anymore, and it turns out that, for me, a fasting blood sugar of 65 doesn't need to be treated.  If I can force myself to just wait it out (which I usually can, lately), I have learned that the mere act of waking up will cause my glucose level to rise about 20 points - which puts me right back in range.

This is a whole new world for me.  Trying to change two decades' worth of viewpoint is hard, and anything but easy.  I'm retraining my diabetes brain.  I'm still not "perfect", but I tend to question anyone with diabetes who claims to have "perfect" control.  Diabetes is a fickle monster, but it's not the whole picture of your health.  I'll do what I've always done, which is to do the best I can.  It's all any of us can do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Staying Motivated.

***Note:  This post originally appeared as a guest post on The Diabetes OC website, here.

I’m a little obsessive about blood testing. The amount of finger sticks I do each day varies, but it can be up to 22 per day. My average, the last time I looked, was 16.

It’s not that I enjoy the feel of sticking a shard of metal into one of my fingers every hour. I don’t particularly relish in the sight of my own blood, though it doesn’t bother me. My calloused fingertips aren’t big fans of this behavior, either.

I’ve had several fellow PWD (people with diabetes) ask me over the past year how I do it. How am I so motivated to test that often, and how do I keep up that motivation? I’m not claiming to have a magical one-size-fits-all answer for this, and I’m certainly not an expert (though, I like to think of myself as a “veteran” – 24 years with type 1, no major complications, and going strong) – I’m just going to share what works for me.

Some people are motivated by fear – of complications, of overnight lows they won’t wake up from, of a family on the horizon. While those things certainly are motivating for me, they’ve always been there for me, every minute of those 24 years. It’s only in the last year or so that I have really gotten serious, borderline obsessed, about this – so what changed?

The key for me can be divided into three parts: attention, accountability, and acceptance.


Back in January of this year, I started using a continuous glucose monitor. (I named it “Jim”.) I could go on and on about why I love my CGM – it helps me learn from my mistakes, and alerts me when something has gone terribly wrong. Two days into using it, I felt like I had learned more about my body’s glucose patterns than I ever had in the previous two decades with finger sticks alone. A blood test gives you a snapshot of where you are right then, with no clues as to where you’ve been prior to that, or where you’re headed. It’s the difference between a photograph and a video. Finally, I could start to connect the dots.

While CGM usage has given me many great things, it also brought with it a heightened sense of awareness. On finger sticks alone, I could forget about diabetes in the time between blood tests. It was easy to not worry about it unless I chose to. With a CGM giving me a new reading every 5 minutes, and beeping VERY LOUDLY when I fall out of the target range I’ve specified, it’s pretty hard to ignore diabetes. In fact, over time it becomes hard to not check the CGM receiver every time I think there might be a new reading. Because the CGM can, but will not always, have fluctuation in accuracy (due, in part, to the fact that it takes readings from the interstitial fluid in your body, not blood), I find myself constantly second-guessing the results – and doing a blood test to verify. Some people might find this stream of information irritating or annoying, but I find it fascinating. Having so much data available causes me to want even more of it.


It began with a diabetes patient blog I stumbled upon, which then led to many others. I found diabetes online communities I bonded with. I was searching for answers; for friendship; for support. The diabetes online community (DOC) as a whole has been a wonderful gift to find. Reading the successes and failures of others helps me feel less alone in this fight, and more inspired to try my very best at wrangling this beast every day. The achievements of others give me the courage to reach for such goals myself. When I see others posting their BG readings online, I am motivated to test and do the same. And, when all else fails, I make a game out of it – Can I stay under 200 mg/dL today? Can I get myself to test every 2 hours, exactly? Can I eat that previously troublesome meal, and see if I can rock it BG-wise this time around?

Sometimes a long road looks too daunting – but that shouldn’t stop you from taking even the smallest steps down it. It’s easier to do when you have someone to hold your hand and keep you pointed in the right direction.


The third component has involved coming to terms with this state of living. It’s taken a long, long time to get there, but I feel like I’m in that last stage of coping with the death of my beta cells – Acceptance. This doesn’t mean I’ve given up hope, or feel resigned to the fact that I’m somehow a broken body. I’ve had my denial, plenty of anger, and a large heaping spoonful of depression. I wallowed around in self-pity for far longer than was acceptable. I was spiteful and bitter. (And although I still feel this negativity at times, it’s no longer for as long, or in such large doses.)

What it means is that I understand and respect the gravity of the situation I’m in. I know what I need to do, and why I need to do it. I’ve also realized that life is too damn short to feel sorry for myself all of the time. It’s a fruitless use of my energy.

For as long as I get to stay in the ring, I’m going to keep throwing punches.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guest Posting.

This week, I am the Featured Blogger on  That's where most of my blogging energy will be directed this week, so go over and take a look!  I will have a few posts there throughout the week.

(Thanks for having me, Gina!)

My Bad Romance... With Adhesive.  (A new post, featured on Monday, October 11th, 2010):

Staying Motivated.  (A new post, featured on Wednesday, October 13th, 2010):

Childhood With Diabetes.  (Featured on Friday, October 15th, 2010; post originally appeared on this website on September 18th, 2010):

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Bad Romance... With Adhesive.

***Note:  This post originally appeared as a guest post on The Diabetes OC website, here.
I love the technology that helps me stay healthy. I use an Animas insulin pump, and a Dexcom Seven Plus continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and I’m certainly thankful that I have these tools on my Diabetes Utility Belt, so to speak. They assist and allow me to take the best possible care I can of my diabetes. I’ve never been as healthy, diabetically speaking, than I am right now.
But sometimes I feel like my gear is taking a cue from Lady Gaga.
What I mean by that is, most of the stuff she wears is… fragile. She’s usually wearing something breakable, easily torn, strategically placed, or something that most people wouldn’t be able to walk, let alone sit down, in. I imagine that if she turned around too quickly, or moved the wrong way, some part of her get-up would pop or fall apart. (Bubble dress, anyone?)
It’s a lot like how some of the adhesive on my diabetes equipment makes me feel.
The first few hours of a new CGM sensor feel pretty weird to me. I’m very aware of the sensor on my body, yet I need to leave it alone so it can marinate in my interstitial fluid to be ready for calibration after two hours. The adhesive needs some time to “set” as well, so in other words, I’m trying to not move around a lot. Those CGM sensors are expensive little suckers, and disturbing a brand new one is a sure-fire way to get me from zero to Incredible Hulk Angry in about two seconds.
Similarly, an insulin pump infusion site will sometimes need reinforcements. My tape of choice is Smith & Nephew’s IV3000, and while it works pretty well for me most of the time, it’s still an imperfect solution. While it stretches a little bit, I still feel like I’m wearing tape. If it’s on my stomach, I get paranoid about twisting and bending, for fear that it won’t twist or bend with me. If it’s on my hip or thigh, I’m struggling to not catch any clothing on it when I’m changing clothes or doing some bathroom business. (Speaking of bathroom business, how the heck does Lady Gaga use a restroom in those outfits? At least she has assistants, probably – I have to do pump tubing yoga on my own, if I want to avoid accidentally ripping out an infusion site.)
Like most of the technology we have available to us for diabetes management, it’s not ideal, the technology and accuracy is imperfect, and I’m looking forward to the next thing that comes along. But, it’s pretty amazing that it even exists, it’s better than previous technology and options, and I’m thankful for it.
The next time I have to send in tape reinforcements, I’m indulging my imagination a bit. Next time, I’m pretending I’m sporting some sort of bandage dress, and it’s fabulous. Who cares that my get-up is hard to move around in? It’s my look, and I’m rocking it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

D-Feast Friday: Cream Cheese Penguins.

As a follow-up to yesterday's No D-Day post, I'm sharing how to make the adorable little dudes known as Cream Cheese Penguins!

18 or so jumbo black olives, drained and dried off
1 oz. of reduced fat cream cheese, softened
18 or so small black olives
1 carrot, peeled

Cut a slit in the side of each jumbo olive, lengthwise.  Okay, that was the easy part.

If you want to get fancy, scoop the cream cheese into a Ziploc bag, and snip off one of the corners. If not, use a knife to carefully fill the jumbo olive with cream cheese.  If you're using the bag, fill that sucker.  Make sure the cream cheese is really packed in there.  We don't want him to be easily smooshed.

Cut the carrot into about 1/4" slices, and cut out a notch for the foot (keep the notch - this is the beak!).  Stick the jumbo cream cheese-filled olive on top of the carrot slice.  Hey, it's sort of looking like a penguin torso.

Set a small olive on top of the large olive for the head, with the top facing forward (so you can stick the beak in there, pointy side out).  Stick a toothpick vertically through the whole thing.

Do this 18 or so times until you have a small village of penguins.

Admire your hard work, but not for too long.  Those things need to be kept refrigerated.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cute Food.

There is a Thing Of Which We Do Not Speak today. The community of those of us who live with this same chronic condition, this Thing Of Which We Do Not Speak, have decided that we're taking a day off.  As George put it, “We are more than a disease - a lot more.  Tomorrow is a day to share some of that. There are many facets to each one of us and since we do talk so much about our D lives, we maybe miss some other cool stuff about each other."

So here, today, I will share something else about myself: my love of making cute food, and my according affinity for the kitchen gadgets that help make them.

I find it kind of funny, because I don’t think of myself as the traditional ‘domestic goddess’ or whatever. I’m not all that girly – I’d much rather be wearing jeans and a t-shirt than a dress. I dread having to color my hair or get it cut. High heels? HA! Not likely.

But, for some reason, I totally dig food prep. Specifically, baking and appetizer assembly. Something about the presentation and preparation of food really appeals to me – it’s a calming ritual, in a way. I had a brief stint as a Pampered Chef consultant, but my lack of hard selling skills put a swift end to it after a few months. I’m actually okay with that, because I ended up getting some pretty neat kitchen tools in the process.

My husband and I like to have people over often, so it gives me a lot of opportunities to try stuff out. Here are a few of my favorites.

Cream Cheese Penguins.  On a penguin plate, of course.

Guacamole Deviled Eggs.  They are delicious,
and yes, those are Wheat Thins.

Baby Cupcakes! 

And, of course, Baby Bottle Mini-Cupcakes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Want A Superhero.

I want a Diabetic Superhero.  And I want to call her Betey.  (Pronounced like "Betty".)

No guilt, no frustration, no sadness.  No unexplained rollercoaster, no worry over complications, no mental struggles.  Just a whole bunch of compassion, strength, and ass-kicking ability.

Some superheroes have a utility belt with a grappling gun, stun grenades, and smoke pellets; Betey's belt would have glucose tabs, a glucagon kit, and an insulin pen.  And probably a Diet Coke.  And maybe some throwing stars made out of lancets.

Her outfit would be blue, of course.  Boots of steel, to protect her feet.  Betey's insulin pump would double as a flamethrower.  Instead of a regular bow and arrow, she would have a really, really huge crossbow, and over-sized CGM sensor needles for arrows.  (The mere thought of that setup actually existing would deter me from crime all-together.  Terrifying.)

But most of all, she'd be invincible.  Her strengths would be a direct result of her weaknesses.  Each encounter with a low blood sugar would make her fear them less and less.  Challenge and adversity would lay the way for motivation and determination.  Pump sites wouldn't dare clog up, for fear of what she'd do to them in return.  And with every person she helped, Betey would grow more and more confident.

I try to be more and more Betey-like every day.  I try to learn from my mistakes, and not let the daily challenges of diabetes get me down.  Some days are harder than others.  When do I get my darn cape?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Robot Meter Cases And Other A-Muse-ing Things.

A and I took a road trip to Denver, CO this past weekend for a concert - the headliner was Muse, with Passion Pit as the opener.  It was a whole lot of fun; it was the first time I'd seen either band play, and the first time I'd ever been to the Pepsi Center.  The show was pretty impressive.  In fact, it bordered on ridiculous.  Example:  Muse is fond of the power slide and the keytar.  Who can get away with that?  Muse can; that's who.

We did a whole lot of walking around downtown Denver, which was great for my numbers.  I was actually in range for several hours on Saturday, which is kind of remarkable considering all of the exercise and Jamba Juice I had.  It's times like those where I'm ever-so-thankful for Jim's help.  He lets me know when I'm dropping too fast, and lets me know when I've severely underestimated the carbs in that cheesecake. 

I've also been on the look-out for a new meter case lately.  The black cosmetic bag will still be in use, for more formal/conservative occasions, but I wanted something a little more "fun".  Something a little bit silly.  Something that would make the 10 - 15 finger sticks I do each day just a little less lame.


I know, it's a little bit juvenile.  And it's a "media case", not a meter case.  But it's like it was meant to be...  It's exactly wide enough to fit my meter and lancing device side-by-side, with the test strip bottle at the bottom, hanging out with the lancets.  The outside pocket fits alcohol swabs just so.  And look at the description on the sticker:

It's a "robot" case.  For my robot parts.  :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Very Diabetes-y Weekend: Part Two.

After the TCOYD festivities wrapped up, I headed back home.  I had to rest up - Sunday was the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Lincoln!

I've only ever been a walker and fundraiser at these events; this year, I also got the chance to staff a table.  I was there to promote Juvenation, JDRF's online social networking community.  As I've discussed before, the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) has been a great resource for me.  It's amazing to me that even after 20+ years of living with diabetes, I'm still learning new things about my disease every day.  Until I found the DOC, I never used words like bolus, SWAG, or my personal favorite, euglycemia.  (It just sounds fancy!  It means a 'normal amount of blood glucose'.)  There is always someone out there who can commiserate when I'm running too high, or celebrate with me when I've had a good streak.  I can get my questions answered by people who can best answer them - people who use the same therapies I do.  Need a recommendation for CGM adhesive?  No problem.  Want to know how other people balance exercise and BG levels?  Sure thing.  Wondering if you're the only one who remembers when JDRF was just JDF?  You're not.  Juvenation was the first diabetes community I joined, and it holds a special place in my heart. 

I was also able to make some new contacts at the walk, to help further my goal of "throwing out a line" this year.  I've put my name in for a few different opportunities; we'll see if I get to wear any more hats, so to speak.  I enjoyed getting to talk to the people who came up to our table - which amounted to quite a few, since we were the table with the ever-popular "I'm Walking In Honor Of..." stickers.  A few stick out in my mind - the abundance of sorority members, all with stickers saying they were walking for "Molly" (how loved this Molly must have felt to see her name everywhere!); the mother of a four-year-old girl, who showed off her daughter's OmniPod insulin pump to me when I asked who she was walking for.  I could see that the girl was watching my reaction closely, and I was happy to come back with, "Oh cool!  You have an OmniPod!  I have an insulin pump too, see?"  I pulled out my Animas Ping for her to see, and she smiled with recognition.  It melted my heart a little bit.

I don't know how many people we had, or how much money was raised yet, but it seemed like a successful event.  I'll leave you with a couple of pictures:

I want a huge Carb Count sign in front of every
building I go into with food in it.  AWESOME.

PUPPY!  It's Homer, the Lincoln Saltdogs Baseball Team's
mascot, who will be "Walking In Honor Of Everyone". 
What a guy.