Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Corgsmas!

I'll be taking a bit of a vacation here next week - recharging my blogging batteries, so to speak. I hope everyone has a happy New Year as well, and I'll see you back here in January! (Unless something comes up and I feel the need to post before then. And I'll still be on Twitter, so there's that.)

Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


You've heard of planking, right? It's highly ridiculous, but pretty entertaining. The idea is to lay face-down in an unusual place, while keeping your body completely straight (like a wooden plank - get it?). The more difficult the situation, the funnier/more impressive the planking is. All the kids are doing it!

In that spirit, I'd like to coin a new Diabetes Term of Endearment. For those times when a CGM graph looks so straight that you actually test your blood more often because you don't believe the graph. For the times you've tested four times that day and all results were between 150 and 155. For the times you have no explanation other than, "I'm cured!" when your blood sugar is much, much more in range than you expected it to be.


image courtesy of @jeffmather

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Changing It Up.

You may notice that this isn't a Ping meter remote...
yeah. The batteries died in mine, and I didn't have any AAA's
around. I've been using my back-up Ultra Mini for the last
couple of days, and I'm liking the purpleness. I might stick
with this for a few days longer. (Whatever works, right?)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You Know, That Thing?

You know that thing where you've just woken up and done a blood test and you see that you're 222 so you dial up and administer a correction bolus only to find a minute later that your pump site is all bloody so you pull it and red-tinged insulin of some unknown amount leaks back out so you have to totally guess as to how much insulin you just lost and do an injection instead because now that the site is out you're thinking it could be a halfsies free shower morning? (Because your CGM sensor is still plugging along just fine?)

Yeah, that thing. That's today so far. (That, and run-on sentences.)


Update: And then you know that thing where you subsequently get the song "That Thing" stuck in your head, because that's what you named your post for the day? That's happening too.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Not So Different.

A dear friend and I were having a conversation recently - one of those "stay until they shut down the coffee house, because we have that much to talk about" kind of chats. She's not part of that bubble of health activists and patients that I am so often surrounded by online; in fact, health isn't a topic we talk about often. We grew up together, and while she does not have diabetes, she does have other life-long health adventures to navigate. As I'm looking back on the conversation now, it's surprising me a bit how much of our conversation was actually dominated by our health. (It could be because we're getting older and more comfortable talking about these things out loud; it could be because she knows I talk about my own health online; it could be because it was just time to let it out.) While we may have been dealt different cards in the health department, so much of what we discussed was the same.

The thing is, everyone has something. Diabetes, asthma, back pain, MS, family issues, debt, anxiety, depression... no one is perfect, and no one is without problems and challenges in life. The differences can lie in how we react and respond to those things, and how much we let the world in on it. (And let me say this - there is no "wrong" response. Everyone has different life experiences to draw from, different emotional states, varying preferences when it comes to privacy - and that's okay. It doesn't necessarily make one person's "bad" any worse than someone else's.)

Having that talk with my friend highlighted something important for me to realize as an advocate for people with chronic health conditions: while our afflictions may not be the same, we - as people, as emotional beings - are not so different. When my friend was talking about the medication she takes, she noted, "I'll have to take it for the rest of my life". I remember feeling that way - dreading this truth - when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. There were already "things" in my life - why was I getting another one? Would taking this new medication change my personality; who I was? I didn't want to take another pill every day for the rest of forever!

And when we talked about the stigma surrounding anti-depressants, "I was upset at first, but now I realize, it's just that my body doesn't make that stuff anymore. I have to help my body out by supplementing it... just like insulin!" I smiled, because she hit the nail on the head. We find out what's missing, and we take care of it. It is no one's fault, and blame serves no one. We find the issue; we find a way to patch it up; we move on. The way we get ourselves to "normal" doesn't speak to our character, morals, work ethic, or decency as a human being - but our grace in doing so can.

Those of us who have to do that supplementing share many of the same concerns - how different will I feel? Will there be side effects? Forever is a long time to be on a medication... can I afford this? Can I afford not to take this? How will this condition affect how others view me? Am I going to allow this particular "this" to define who I am?

People with chronic health conditions have much in common, and we're stronger when we can come together over what we share.

Friday, December 16, 2011

CitySights NY: Toys For Kids With Diabetes.

You know those double-decker NYC buses you see in movies (or, I guess if you live there, you'd see them in person - you lucky duck)? There's a company called CitySights NY that runs these, and I got an email last week about an event they were doing on December 13th.

(And here's where you're thinking, Kim lives in Nebraska - and is deathly afraid of buses. Wait, no, that last part isn't true, but really... why did they email her?, and I'm thinking, I know, right? I was confused at first, too.)

It turns out that they do a toy drive each holiday season, and this year's event provided 2,000 toys (and the chance to meet some celebrities) to children with diabetes at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center. I thought that was a neat idea and wanted to mention it to you guys, as I didn't know that 1. there was a toy drive anywhere for children with diabetes, and 2. that this diabetes center even existed. Pretty cool!

Aaron Carter, Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011,
Danielle Doty, Miss Teen USA 2011,
Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011, and
Kelly Bensimon with children at the Diabetes Center

photo credit: Rob Loud

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Those Things They Ask.

I had a doctor (not endo) appointment yesterday, and it got me thinking about Those Things They Ask. I can get a little weird about my answers to Those Things They Ask, because not every medical professional I see knows my whole deal, and as immature as it sounds, I'm afraid that I get unfairly judged sometimes because they don't have the whole picture in front of them.

image credit
Do you know what I'm talking about?

1. How's your diabetes doing?

Well... you know... it's still here.

This is such a weird question to answer - do they mean, how am I doing with diabetes? How is my A1C? Are they wanting me to have a heart-to-heart over coffee with it? I mean, my pancreas is still old and busted. I work hard at compensating for that, and do the best I can. Giving them a number isn't going to reflect that hard work. Which brings me to...

2. What was your last A1C?

I know that this is the go-to, "easy" way to gauge how things are going for me, diabetes-wise. Logically, I know that. But what I also know is that when I tell a medical professional that number, I get put in a category. "Compliant". "Good". "Bad". "Out of control". And the thing is, those labels and numbers don't always provide an accurate assessment of "how I'm doing". A1C is an average - I could be bouncing between 40 and 400, and they wouldn't know - they might assume I was staying at 150 all the time.

Not to mention that the numbers aren't the only things we should pay attention to when it comes to lviing with diabetes.

3. Do you have a lot of highs/lows?

What? Really? You know I have diabetes, right?

4. Are you still on the "Humalog pump"?

I know that they mean "an insulin pump, using Humalog insulin", but it still makes me giggle. Humalog is not an insulin pump brand.

So, here's what I'd prefer instead: a little bit of empathy. I'd love to hear an acknowledgement like "That has to be so frustrating", or "That sounds exhausting - you're doing so well.". It doesn't have to be a big drawn-out conversation, but it would be great to hear one of Those Things followed up with Something I Actually Appreciate Hearing. I like doctors who recognize the hard work behind those numbers they ask about.

It's a small wish that could have a big impact.

Wordless Wednesday: This Appeared In My Mailbox.

Hashtag jewelry... now why didn't I include that in my "gifts for PWDs" list?

I am simply blown away. I am in the process of finding a chain to wear this beautiful, awesome pendant on, because I want it close to my heart (and I want people to ask about it, so I can tell them about how wonderful the DOC can be!).

Thank you friends - I absolutely adore it, and what a wonderful surprise it was! :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

So Good You'll Want To Quiche It.

That was the best quiche pun I could come up with.



If we're not Facebook friends, you might not realize that over the past two weeks, I've turned my kitchen into a fine-tuned holiday carb-producing machine.

I've been baking Christmas cookies, pumpkin bread (last night, and my house still smells yumm-o), and last weekend I - for the first time ever - made quiche. And I'm in love with it!

It's super easy. You'd have to try pretty hard to mess it up. And pretty much anything flies - throw whatever veggies you want, bacon, sausage, ham, cheese of every kind, etc. It all works.

Plus? If you're cutting it into 8 slices (and packing each piece separately to be reheated for breakfast each day during the week, as I did), each serving of the pie crust is only 12g of carb. TWELVE!

If you want to give it a go, here's the recipe I used.


1 9-inch unbaked pie crust (Pillsbury is what I used)
1 tsp. butter/margarine
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cups shredded Swiss (though I'm told that Sharp Cheddar works better)
6 slices lean bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 cup low-fat milk
Optional: 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg (I didn't use these)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion (BTW, I thought the whole onion was way too much. Use at your own risk. I thought half of it would have been plenty, thank you.) and sauté for five minutes, or until soft.

Roll out your pie crust and stuff into a pie plate (or, if you're fancy, a specialty quiche plate).

Transfer onion to medium-sized bowl. Toss with the cheese, bacon and flour. Spread in pie crust.

Using the same bowl that you just emptied, whisk the eggs with the milk (and the salt and nutmeg, if you like). Pour over pie mixture and bake uncovered for 35 minutes - or until center is set and top begins to brown slightly. Makes eight servings!

P.S. I also want to wish my Mom a very happy birthday today! (And thanks for sharing your quiche recipe!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Am An Awkward Turtle?

I have two stories to share from this week. The first tale doesn't have much point, except to let you know how absurdly awkward I can be (and so that you may have a laugh). The second one has a smidge more relevance.

On Tuesday, I was meeting up with a couple friends for bowling. I'll mention here that I don't bowl often, so this wasn't a normal stop for me (and hence, I was not familiar with this particular parking lot's terrain). It's also all kinds of wintery (read: snow and ice) in Nebraska right now. Have I given myself enough excuses? Okay.

I parked and attempting to vacate my car, but it turns out I couldn't stick the landing. With my right foot still in my vehicle, my left foot swiftly slid forward (I was also holding onto the car door and steering wheel) on that skating rink of a parking lot. I remember thinking, "Nooooo..." as my body then did this swivel move, and I ended up halfway under my car. On my bum. Missing a shoe. (It hopped off of my foot mid-fall and stayed in the car, alright? I couldn't blame it. I would rather have been there, too.)

I had to sit there for a few seconds, to make sure I was still all in once piece. Then I sat a few more seconds, waiting for either the snickering or "Are you okay?"s to start. I heard nothing.

I pulled myself up and looked around - no one had seen me! Huzzah! Still hurt, though. (I'm fine now.)

And then yesterday, my three-month order of Dexcom sensors was scheduled to arrive via FedEx. Beloved Dexcom sensors! I have them sent to my work address, as they won't get left out in the cold that way (their accuracy and such can get compromised when exposed to extreme temperatures).

For reasons that escape me, I must have asked that they were sent to my house. You know - outside. Where no one was there to retrieve them from the aforementioned snow and ice.

I'm smooth like that.

Luckily, my parents live close to us and my mom (bless her heart) was able to drive to my house and rescue them (thanks Mom!), but not before I had a minor meltdown about it. That would be one expensive ice cube.

Here's hoping your week was far less cringe-worthy than mine. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ninja Scarves?

This is what comes to mind when I think about what people with diabetes might have on their wish lists this holiday season.

This is also what happens when I have a respectable amount of caffeine and cabin fever.

Happy Holidays (a wee bit early)! :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Diabetes: Kid-Sized.

The portable carbohydrate choices that amount to 15 grams are often the stuff designed for the wee ones: the juiceboxes, the applesauce in a squeezy packet (seriously, have you tried that stuff?), the Cheerios in a Ziploc bag. The little fruit snack pouches. Two clementine oranges. (I am currently addicted to those.)

Why does diabetes, by the evidence we carry around, have to make even us adults appear to be small children?

Nothing Says "Diabetes Blog" Like Pictures Of Corgis In Various Displays Of Winter Enjoyment.

Billy's first big snow! (There was much
more than this later on, but it got harder
to take pictures without getting very
expensive electronic equipment
wet and ruined.)

Enjoying a friend's tree (which provides
plenty of "shade" from their very large
Labradoodle puppy who will chase
Billy around the house until he just
gives up and lays down in defeat.
And exhaustion.)!

Reluctantly wearing his winter jacket.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One Hundy.

What it looks like on my meter:

What it looks like in my head:

(If you're down with celebrating the little victories like I am, check out Go on, celebrate it!)

(And yes, I really do see the confetti/streamers/balloons/chorus line in my head every time I hit that century mark.)