17 years

June 10, 2012

to the love of my life…

my forever partner in all SORTS of crazy…

my co-mama in the growing and raising of Ms. Diva…

the best person to ever happen to me…

you were Type Awesome before we even knew what that was.

*****

type 1 diabetes is not fair for or decent to you, either.

when we met, I ignored the crap out of it.

I told you that I had it and what it was, because that’s what I do.

but that didn’t mean I took a tiny bit of care of it, or of myself.

this broken pancreas gets in your way, too.

thank you for not letting it scare you out of our life.

*****

you are here with me in every moment of d.

all of the annoyance, fear, pissedoffedness, anger, resentment

of the challenges and pitfalls d brings our way.

AND, more recently, in the joy of the “LOOK at this 24-hour/7-day/30-day/90-day average!!!!!!!”

the amazement of the first A1c of 6 or below

of finally feeling like something is going right with d.

you are here, and I am so grateful for you.

*****

I don’t know how we took some of the journeys we took without some major d-mishaps taking place–

pure luck, and the universe winking in our direction.

standing on line for Lilith Fair in New Mexico and boiling the insulin.

me leaving on a plane for Nashville, my pump sitting on the towel rack at home in New York.

that other time I took both sets of house keys with me to the conference in Denver

(not d-related, but my goodness, there have been plenty of things for you to complain about!)

scares with eyeballs, pumps, insulin, insurance denials, new endos, no insurance at all…

no matter what, you have my back and fight the good (and bad) d-fights with me.

thank you.

*****

you learned about insulin & sugar, carbs & IOB, potential complications & depression.

about how awful  450 mg/dl is.

the difference between BGs that lower just the right amount

and unsuspecting, unsymptomed lows that creep out of nowhere

you found me slumped on the kitchen floor, gazing into the open refrigerator, and got some juice in me.

you went with me to endo appts. with dr. wonderfulendo in a different state, when I told you

I needed to see an endo with a brain instead of the dr. crappys that were a dime a dozen where we lived.

you listen when I’m scared or mad or just burned the hell out.

and you help. even if I snap at you when you ask if I need help.

you help.

*****

you make everything okay, somehow, in ways I don’t begin to understand.

navigating mazes of EOBs and phone calls and blood tests and backdated referrals,

shouldering the bother and the annoyance, the crap and the everything

picking it up when I just have to put it down

just for a minute.

thank you for supporting me, for loving me and all that d brings with me…

when Dex screams all the freaking night long b/c it thinks I’m 40, when in fact I’m 80(!!!)

when I forgot to put the pump back on and we just got our InNOut order.

when I start testing my blood just when we’re about to have dinner.

when we decided that 6 negatives were enough,

and we already have the perfect amount of enough with us and our daughter.

we are enough. together.

*****

seventeen years ago we began.

in that time, so many lifetimes.

so many moments, and not just the d-ones(!)

thank you for every single one of those moments, those days

and every one still to come.

*****

happy anniversary, my love.


happy blogaversary to me! and 6 sentence story #hawmc day 29

April 29, 2012

A year ago, I created this blog and posted my first post. After doing d-blog week, I slacked and only blogged a few more times until April 1 of this year. Now, we’re almost to the end of HAWMC and I haven’t taken a free pass so far! 😉 I’ve had so much fun doing it, and plan to keep blogging at a much more regular and frequent pace from here on out. Thanks to everyone who’s commented and gotten into the smartDpants conversation with me!

It’s a great time to have a first blogaversary. It’s also a great time for a visit from my mom, who got here yesterday to hang with us for a week. Here’s my 6 sentence story about what we did yesterday…

love, smartDpants

**************************************************************************************

We parked the car several blocks from downtown and walked past stately old houses with beautiful lawns, roses, snapdragons, and gardenia and dogwood trees to get to the center of all the action. Our family eagerly anticipated this year’s local celebration and festivities of all that is butter, eggs, and other dairy products. A, Ms. Diva, Gma and I wandered about the streets of downtown Petaluma eating free samples of string cheese, vanilla bean ice cream, and of course, tons of candy once the 139-float parade began. Today was sunny–hot, even–with a very slight breeze that we only felt while standing; once we sat, the sun beat down upon our unadorned (and hence, unprotected) heads. After several hours of strolling around, even though it was in no way fast, plus sitting in the heat, my continuous glucose monitor started screaming and my blood sugar started to plummet. Even (maybe especially) on this glorious day, t1d couldn’t stand not being the center of attention.

 

 

wego health activist writer’s month challenge, Day 29:  Six Sentence Story. In this day of micro-blogging – brevity is a skill worth honing. Can you tell a story and make it short and sweet? What can you say in six sentences. Check out some here: http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/.


d-challenges & victories #hawmc day 27

April 27, 2012

I don’t know where today went. that’s not right. yes, I do. but I’m here, under the wire again, and going to do this while it’s still Day 27. booya!!

5 smartDpants challenges:

1. Remembering to take care of my diabetes.

That sounds stupid, diabetes is here all the time, there’s always something to pay attention to, how could anyone forget to do what needs to be done? All I know is that it happens, like when my pump yells at me that there’s only 30 units of insulin left in the reservoir and we’re 5 minutes behind schedule to get everyone out the door to kindergarten and work and the other work, and the oldest dog needs his Rx and both dogs need water and someone needs to pull the laptop cord out of the wall and omg, where did the homework go and are we TEN minutes late now? I’ll refill it when I get to work in an hour or so…except sometimes, I forget.

2. Paying attention to what the numbers say, and how they’re trending.

It’s gotten pretty easy to look at a Dexcom reading of 80 with a horizontal arrow and think all is well. Except my BG’s habit these days is to decrease really suuuuuuuuuuuper slowly. So I don’t get any fancy down arrows screaming at me to test and treat IMMEDIATELY. I get these lazy, sauntering downward CGM’s…from 80 horizontal…to 75 horizontal 15 minutes later…to 70 horizontal 20 minutes later…and so on…I get lulled into thinking all is well. With my “hypoglycemic unawareness” business that leaves me symptomless with a 35 mg/dl, it sometimes isn’t so well. I need to pay better attention to what’s going on.

3. Entering all the numbers.

BGs, 10-15/day. Basal rates, currently 5 a day that can change every few days. Boluses given, any time I eat (at least 3 times/day usually) or correct a high BG (some days 1, other days 3-4). Carbs eaten, either SWAG’d or actually counted. I do so much better when I enter ALL the numbers in my log/spreadsheet, every day, and sometimes I get that done. Some nights, my partner has to listen to me ask her “what did we eat for dinner on Monday that was 30 carbs?” when it’s Thursday. (She’s super awesome at remembering. Love you, A!)

4. Choosing the healthier/less fun/more difficult choice.

I make a big deal out of saying I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and I’ve lived with D forever and it can just go screw itself because damn it, I will have a cupcake and so there. It is what it is. I can, and I’ll do what I need to do so I keep my BGs in a decent range. But the thing is, my BG is such a freaking flatline when I eat fewer carbs. So it would be better, and feel good, for me to eat salad at most meals. I like salad, a lot, don’t get me wrong. And I do it eat it, a lot. Without bread. But constantly making the choice wears me down.

5. Loving myself just the way I am.

Sometimes I’m just so pissed at my body for failing the way it has, and my dumb pancreas for making my life this way. I can go through and do the gratitude thing or the “this is how it’s made my life so great” thing or the “I wouldn’t have had these experiences without this massive problem” thing, sure. I can. I wish I didn’t have to, though. I wish I could love this body with its brokenness and failed endocrine and autoimmune mess that makes parts of my life a huge pain the ass. Meh.

5 small smartDpants victories:

1. I have rocked an HbA1c of 6.0, 5.8 or 5.9 since November 2010. I never thought I could ever do that. I’m in a little groove.

2. Hundys. I get a BG reading of 100 mg/dl every so often. They’re fun. 😉

hello, hundy!

3. Flatlines, of the CGM kind, also known as d-planking. Those are also fun.

plank!

4. No-hitters, also of the CGM kind.

5. 31 years and 11 months of type 1 diabetes with no complications. #BAMthereitis!!

wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, Day 27: 5 Challenges. 5 Small Victories. Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.


a (free) day in the d-life… (#HAWMC day 7)

April 7, 2012


A regular ol’ day in the d-life of smartDpants.

6:30am: Alarm goes off, get up, walk across bedroom, turn it off. Sit back down on the bed. Reach to the floor beside my bed, grab my purse, test my blood. Deal with whatever the number says…If it’s below 65 mg/dl, drink 4.2 oz. of juicy juice apple juice, of which I have 8 or less boxes on my bedside table (that’s how many come in a pack). If it’s 120 mg/dl or higher, give a correction bolus of insulin to lower it. Sometimes that overnight basal rate sticks just right, I have a flatline throughout the 12-6:30am range, and I don’t have to treat either way. Love.

6:35-7:15am: Get ready for work. While I shower, leave continuous glucose monitor (CGM) on the bathroom counter. Disconnect insulin pump tubing and leave pump on the counter as well. Once in a rare while, I might get a “free shower” where either my CGM sensor or my pump site have to be removed and replaced, and I’ll remove it before, and shower without 1 of these items stuck to my body, and replace it afterward. Only once every several years does everything actually line up so that I get a COMPLETELY FREE SHOWER WITH NOTHING STUCK TO MY BODY. Bliss.

7:15am: Wrangle our daughter, 6 year old Ms. Diva, out of bed to get ready for school.

7:30am: Make breakfast for Ms. Diva. Get water in the outside dish for our 2 big boo-boo-dogs. Get water and food in the inside dishes for the boo-boos, invite them to partake in their breakfast too. Give 13.5 year old boo-boo his pain meds for joint/hip problems in a teaspoonful of peanut butter. Try to remember to take my OWN meds: multivitamin, 2000 mg Vitamin D, allergy OTC, and 81 mg aspirin.

7:45am: Test my blood again. The breakfast conundrum: If I eat the same breakfast that I eat 90% of the time, I don’t have to worry much at all about my BG for the next few hours. It fills me up, doesn’t have very many carbs, and is yummy. It’s a slice of whole wheat bread toasted with a slice of havarti cheese melted on it, with 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites scrambled on top. With it, my BG barely raises and I don’t have to think about it. But too many mornings I try to think of something different to eat, waste a whole ton of time, and end up having something that sends my BG high above 140. Sigh.

8am: Walk Ms. Diva 2-3 blocks to school. This tiny little amount of walking is a crapshoot–if I’m low or on the lower side of target range before we go, I have to make sure to grab a juice box or glucose tabs before we embark. If I’m high, I hope that walking will kick the insulin into a higher gear to get it back down. Even if I’m in the “no prob” range before, I better grab the juice just in case. Crapshoot.

8:30-9am: Drive my sweetie to work, then make my way to the office. Along the way, watch the CGM to see which direction the BG is going. Many times, have to do BG tests as well.

9am: Get into the office. Pull BG meter, poker and test strips bottle out of my purse and set them on my desk. It helps me remember to test with them sitting right in front of me throughout the day. My work involves sitting at a computer most of the day, with some meetings in the office and some on the phone. So it’s usually very easy to test, and I try to do it around 5-7 times during the work day.

12:30pm: Eat lunch. Hopefully I’ve remembered to bring mine, yummy leftovers from home. If not, I grab something from one of a couple places close by my office. Then it’s another quandry: high-carb but yummy and easy deli sandwich at about 48 carbs for the whole wheat roll, or very low-carb and yummy salad with grilled chicken from the Mexican restaurant, maybe 20 carbs with a few tortilla chips? Or just grab a protein bar from my desk drawer stocked with juice boxes, glucose tabs, peanut butter, and the bars?

Regardless, I test. And almost always, I bolus. (Unless I forget to bolus, in which case, the next few hours are spent realizing that my BG is rising and figuring out the reason why.)

1pm: Far too rarely, I will actually remember to rouse myself from the office and get outside for a 15-20min. walk. Writing this has reminded me I need to get that back in the schedule. Soonest.

1-5pm: Research, email, write, talk, and write, write, write some more. Test the BG  several more times throughout the afternoon. Treat as indicated. Watch the CGM during meetings, silence the incessant vibrating as necessary.

5pm: Leave to pick up my sweetie at her work, and then Ms. Diva. Watch the CGM and be ready to test and treat as needed.

6pm: Get home. Figure out what to have for dinner. I don’t cook at all, and for our 16+ years together, my partner has done all of the cooking, and she’s amazing at it. Thank her. Again.

6:30pm: Test. Bolus. Eat.

7-11pm: Evening things: get Ms. Diva ready for bed, clean kitchen, talk with my partner, watch TV, Facebook/Twitter/email/blog, get ready for bed. Try to test 2-4 times before bed. Often, my pump will need to be refilled in the evening. Make sure to do that before bed.

11pm: Fight the sometimes-strangely-strong urge to watch Friends on Nick at Nite waaaaaaaayy too late during the week, and quite frankly, too late on weekends as well. Get ready for and go to bed.

Test. Drink juice, or correction bolus as indicated. Check pump for insulin on board (how much insulin is still available and acting from my last bolus). Check CGM to see which direction the arrows are pointing, compare to insulin on board. Hope that everything’s set so that my basal rates will get me through the night without the CGM vibrating its lights out again and again, and waking me (us) up all throughout the night. Make sure at least a couple juice boxes are on the nightstand.

11:30pm: There it is, another day in the life. Bolus-worthy sweet dreams!

This post is for wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge: Day 7. Health Activist Choice! Write about what you want today. Daily Schedule. Write a list of your daily routine from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. Be honest!

To find all kinds of awesome posts from all kinds of wonderful health activists, check out the wego health Facebook page.


time capsule (#HAWMC day 1)

April 1, 2012

For this first post for wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, I am pretending that I’m making a time capsule of me and type 1 diabetes that won’t be opened until 2112.There is so much paraphernalia associated with my t1d life, and most all of it absolutely necessary, that I hope the time capsule has LOTS of room! Here are just a few of those necessary items:

One Touch blood glucose test strips; sharps container; apple juice box (4.2 oz./15 carbohydrates); Tegaderm tape; cute little Clinique GWP bag for d-supplies; Dexcom continuous glucose monitor sensor; SkinTac extra adhesive; lancets; insulin pen; poker; insulin pump reservoir; OneTouch Ping blood glucose meter; Novolog insulin; Dexcom Seven Plus continuous glucose monitor; Animas Ping insulin infusion pump.

(do you love the other juice boxes on the nightstand in the background?)

The Most Absolutely Absolute Necessities

Of course I forgot to include a few other absolutely necessary items in the photos: diet coke (!!!), calorieking book/app, and glucose tabs, sure.

Finally, my most recent hemoglobin A1c results, on a big explanatory handout from my endocrinologist, dr. wonderful. I just got it last week, so it’s at the forefront of my d-thinking.

March 2012 HbA1c

I hope no one in 2112 has to know what an HbA1c is. I have no idea what people in 2112 will think of all the d-stuff in my time capsule when they find it…the one hope I have is that they look at it from an archeological perspective–that diabetes will be a long gone historical lesson by that time, and none of the items that are absolutely necessary to my life are necessary anymore. Cure by 2112? Yes. Please. Sooner? Even better.

This is Day 1/Post 1 for the wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (#HAWMC). Woot! 


DSMA blog carnival for july: diabetes tech

July 28, 2011

I’ve been procrastinating and putting off blogging for more than a month now, without any really good reason. To add some oomph with much-needed motivation to get me over the nonblogging hump, I checked out the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA) Blog Carnival prompt for July: (Thanks, Karen at Bitter~Sweet Diabetes, for the reminder! It WAS hot-but not melted!)

What improvements or adjustments would you make to current [diabetes] technology?”

Some context: I currently am privileged to be able to own and use an insulin pump with blood glucose meter/remote (Animas One Touch Ping), and a Dexcom 7plus CGM (continuous glucose monitor). I’ve been using those 3 major d-gadgets for about a year. Before that, I was a Minimed pumper since 1994, and a One Touch meter girl since waaaaay before then. I demo’d the Minimed Revel along with the Ping before deciding which systems to purchase convince/beg my third-party administrator to approve for coverage last summer. I tote around a CalorieKing 2011 book even though I also have the CalorieKing website bookmarked on every web gadget I own.

After all that prelude, here’s my wish list for diabetes technology:

1. Artificial pancreas/closed-loop system. Yes, please! I understand, we’ve got a while more to wait for this one. In the meantime…

2. If they are separate gadgets, then insulin pumps, BG meters, and CGMs should be on speaking terms with each other, and they should all speak and understand the same language. They should work TOGETHER, since they are all part of the same system. The one I use to manage my d-life.

3. Excellent, easy-to-use, data management systems. The “systems” associated with all 3 of the devices I currently use are, to put it really bluntly, crappy. Three different kinds of crappy. How the companies manage to develop such yuck is beyond my comprehension. They’re not user-friendly. They don’t use the same standards. And of course, they don’t look the same once the 3 different data sources are downloaded. See next point for more on this craziness.

3.5 The absolutely separate and specific INANE requirements for downloading the data (“dongle,” anyone? really?!!). Claire’s hilarious and unfortunately accurate post covers the intricacies better than my exasperated eye rolls can hope to convey. All I have to say is: Wireless. Seriously.

4. In this time of All-Apps, All The Time, I wish for an app that would suck the data from the 1 insulin pump/BG meter/CGM system and display the most useful, most important data that I need to make my daily–sometimes moment-by-moment–life D-decisions. I wish that app could be accessed from any device, Apple, Android, whatever. And I wish that it wouldn’t just do a big ol’ data dump with a bunch of averages. Some data points are most useful and helpful, and I shouldn’t have to dredge and yank them out myself.

5. The BG meter/remote should be able to operate all of the insulin pump functions. For example: I should be able to track my history for boluses, total daily dose, basals, primes; review and edit my basal rates; and set temporary basal rates. It’s crazy to currently be able to see so many different functions on the meter/remote, but not the same functions I need to work the pump. Especially with the following problem I’ve experienced a lot lately:

5. With its reverse type (white on black background), the Ping pump screen is completely unreadable in the light of day. I went camping last weekend, and couldn’t see to give a bolus directly on the pump when outside (most of the day, when one is camping) or to set a temp basal (important for me when hiking, in hot sunlight, in the afternoon). Luckily, I had the meter/remote nearby, so I could at least do the bolus, but not the temp basal. Major drawback!  No device screens should use reverse type.

6. The carb counting food list integrated into the system needs to include every product available at any Trader Joe’s.

7. Glitter. Rainbows. Unicorns. Cupcakes with sprinkles. Medtronic has a good start here, but that’s just a start. The possibilities…necessities really.

8. My top wish/priority for diabetes technology: Affordability. Availability. Access. Worldwide.

This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/july-dsma-blog-carnival/



31 years and some cupcakes, too

June 13, 2011

Here’s the thing: Today is my 31st anniversary of my type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

It’s my 31-year diaversary, if you will. And while I hoped to offer a post containing all kinds of witty musings and tender lessons learned, complete with inspirational how-to’s and potentially-scary things gone awry that turned out to be funny and fine after some unexpected help…I’m not really feeling it. Sorry about that.

I’ve been trying to write this specific post in the few weeks since my last one. After I got all revved up and started with d-blog week 2011 (which was awesome, and quite the cool way to start this whole d-blog thing.Thank you, Karen!), I lost some steam. We had a ton of guests coming to stay at our house one week after another; lots of excitement with end-of-school-year and other special events; and just not a lot of time to actually sit down and type any of the things I’m thinking about D into a blog post.

However, I did have the opportunity to do a guest blog for Kim at Texting My Pancreas, and just finished another for Meredith at with a side of insulin that you’ll see on June 15.

Anyway, a lot has gone on. Other major life things happened, and lots of not-so-major life things too, that occupied my head and heart right along with D:

*Ms. Diva had her preschool “graduation” (Really? She’s five!) and kindergarten registration for August.

*Ms. Diva also had her first ballet performance, where she realized that she is meant for the stage with an “I belong here” look in her eyes as she promptly stopped doing much dancing so she could search the audience for her family and give us a huge smile.

*My mom traveled to visit us for the week of both of Ms. Diva’s events.

*My partner and I celebrated our 16th anniversary last week. And after a year in the new home/town, we actually found a wonderful SITTER(!) who lives just around the BLOCK(!) and whom Ms. Diva LOVES(!). Now we get to go to a movie next month, too! HALLELUJAH!!

*A good friend just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Hello, Baby M! Congrats, Mama and Papa!

*It was my nephew’s 2nd birthday this weekend. Happy birthday, adorable boy!

*My best friend finalized and accepted an offer for an awesome new job that will take her from Northern California to Rhode Island. I’m so. totally. excited. for her, and at the same time, sad that she’ll be so far away. Another of our supergood friends and I had a gorgeous farewell dinner with her, and then she spent a whole day with me, my partner, and Ms. Diva this weekend with all kinds of yummy treats (Sift Cupcakery and In-N-Out Burger, anyone? Yes, please!)

*I’ve been working on keeping up with 4-5 bouts of walking/running per week. I love this major life change, but it still takes a lot of my focus and attention in order to keep going and not slack off.

So…thirty-one years. That’s a hell of a lot of time. Most of my life. And what do I have to show for it?

So far, on one hand: A whole lot of not-too-much, for which I am insanely grateful and lucky. I’m not sure that I deserve not having much of any complications that my doctors and I are aware of at this point in time, other than recent root planing and laser treatments in all 4 quadrants of my mouth, combined with a grievance/appeal to my dental coverage to get an exception so they would pay the benefit.  Although it could change at any moment, I’ll take it and be thankful.

On the other hand, I have many many minutes, energy, dollars, focus, sweat, tears, concern, annoyance, anger, frustration, and ME to show for 31 years with D. It’s me testing the BG and glancing at the CGM throughout all of the special events above; chugging some juice before the ballet so that I can smile big right back at Ms. Diva while she’s on stage; SWAGing the carb count for the yummy Korean dinner with my BFFs; schooling the dental coverage provider that treatment of gum disease earlier than later is the standard of care for women with diabetes, so even though I didn’t have too terrible of gum disease YET, I needed the treatment; etc. etc. etc. It’s me thinking 24/7, making choices, balancing the best and the worst D-options and trying to come out with some solutions that work best for me, my loved ones, and the life that is ours.

After 31 years with D, I can’t spend 5 minutes with someone without showing them some small evidence of it. That’s okay. It’s how I need it to be. Diabetes is everywhere, a huge part of my identity, and unhealthy for me to ignore or deny.

D shows up all throughout my days and my life; but it is not the meaning of my day–or my life.

(Now, cupcakes, especially from Sift, could very well be the meaning of life! Or at least, the meaning of my 31st diaversary! I got a few to sample in honor of the day. Photos will be taken and posted soon, I promise.)


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