Meme time

Returning after days of exhaustion and studying to post the 7 random things about me meme. Thanks Bernard for tagging me!

So completely random fact 1)
I attended a private high school in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota my sophomore year in high school, De La Salle. It was a great experience but I didn't graduate from De for many reasons. But I did seek out that learning environment completely on my own and gained acceptance thanks to great recommendation letters from all my teachers from 7th to 9th grade.

Random thing 2)
I am nicer and more affectionate towards others when my blood sugar is low. Not sure why or when the low turns scary and this surge of nice-ness leaves; but its something I've noticed as has my beau.

Random fact 3)
I not only like the random, not so great movie every now and then, but I also have an odd addiction to reality tv shows, but only the terrible ones. Sunset Tan on the E! station is the first one that comes to mind, anything on E! that's a reality show I can zone out to and most of the MTV reality shows. This is really new to my life as recently as this summer so maybe that won't last. I only watch them when channel surfing and it isn't that big of a concern to me time wise, but I can and do watch them when I am bored. (like that makes it any better...)

Fact 4)
I don't enjoy living in the heart of a city. I would rather live in the suburbs than in the city. Its too loud and busy for my daily tastes. Once in a while its good, or even working in the city is fine, but take me home to land, quiet and open skies and I am happier.

Fact 5)
If I were to get another kitten I would be very fine with naming it Ginny. Jason doesn't like the idea though. I have to work on my suggestion skills some more...

Random Fact 6)
I am not a morning person. Getting up and ready before 8 is damn near impossible for me. I can go all day sleep deprived and stay up late. But get me up early and expect me to look presentable? Not happening. Or not that often.

Fact 7)
My favorite color at this very moment is sage.

So, there they be. The rules of this meme are:
1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

I am tagging Jenny, and Sasha, Nikki, Wil, and anyone else who may not have been tagged yet as I keep finding those who have! Nite folks!


Do you believe?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about evolution and biology lately. That is what we are covering in my biology class right now and I just casually talked to my best friend of over 12 years about it only to discover she didn't believe in it. I was floored. I think my jaw literally dropped to the table when she told me that.

I've come to the understanding now that it is fine for her to not believe in evolution because it really is her choice what she believes in, but out of curiosity I began asking other people close to me, "Do you believe in evolution? Why or why not."

I had forgotten how upsetting the evolution question is to people. Some people said they didn't want to believe we (humans) came from apes, while others said yes with no hesitation. Some said it conflicted with their religious beliefs, while some thought God was the puppet master behind evolution and accepted it.

I can't help believe in evolution; it just makes sense to me and the evidence is overwhelming. And I wonder if I feel so strongly about biology and evolution because of my diabetes. Diabetes really spiked my interest in biology as a kid and that interest continued into teens and adulthood.

As I take these two classes this semester I encounter biology, evolution, inheritable traits, genetics, environmental influences a lot and maybe because of this I've been thinking about my self and my disease more. Where ever we humans evolved from, whatever creation story you believe in, research in biology can save lives, can change lives and does every day. While I don't think I will be alive when there is a cure for type one diabetes I still hope for that day.

Biology, evolution, creation, cure, its as though they mean the same to me. I pray to God for advancements in research leading to a cure and I have faith that biologists will ask the right questions, study new things to come upon more answers. Where we came from I don't know, but I do know that the hope we don't talk of often in my life and that so many others are crying for can be found through biology. So I believe in biology, the evolution theory that comes with it, and God, and at times I believe that a cure is with in reach and waiting to be discovered.


Late night, no time to write

So my night of studying went well, I completed all but 4 or 5 questions of my worksheet for bio that I turn in tomorrow and those I can finish while at work tomorrow. In all aspects my biology class is going wonderfully.

Its the other class that worries me, developmental psychology. I have a test this Saturday in that class and am beginning to freak out about it. When it comes to classes that don't have a lot of direction from the professor and you're expected to know all the information from three chapters I am a little fuzzy on how to tackle that. Tomorrow and Friday I will be studying for that class.

I just realized that all of the sudden it seems my schedule got busy. When did that happen? I have something to attend every day for the next four days and when it isn't a social event that I agreed to attend, I have cleaning, studying, and spending time with my nephews who I hardly see even though I live with them. I guess I should become aware of this as that's how my life will go until I am done with the Nursing program.

And I am a little late in saying this but its world diabetes day, check it out.

Either way, its late, and though there is much to talk about I need to get to bed. Until tomorrow night then, adieu.


I'm not there, yet.

So this daily blogging isn't my thing I've decided. I don't have that much to say about diabetes, or many things that are actually uplifting, or inspirational; in fact more often I am just pissed off and trying my hardest to not let that show through my blogging.

But I can't, I just can't anymore. So I didn't blog last night because staring at the blank screen that used to be inspirational is no longer motivational, because I can't stay positive about most things and trying to find 30 minutes to an hour each day and chat lightly about the crap that happened with diabetes or with work and diabetes, or with life in general and then put a nice little twist on it in the end, no. No no no no NO.

Not that anger and pessimism is okay it's not, and it isn't healthy to walk around with negative thoughts all day and accepting those thoughts as true, and that isn't what I want to do with my blog. Somehow I have convinced my self that being positive is the way to go with blogging. And with that expectation I put a lot of pressure on myself to be that positive blogger that I want and yearn to be, but I'm not. I'm not there yet with my diabetes nor my life. I'm working towards it but I am just not there.

I hate this disease. I hate how it drains me and makes me tired after a low or a high; I hate the cost of this disease and how its draining my pocket book every month; I hate that my work place doesn't get it and sometimes even those close to me don't get it either, and I hate that I feel like I am always on the defensive with diabetes.

"No, I have type one; yes I take insulin; yes I can eat a piece of cake; yes I have to poke my finger a lot; no I don't know why my blood sugar is low ask me again when its back to normal and I don't have 20 other things to get back to so I can actually take time to look at my pump and meter and see what went wrong and when; yes I have a lot of lows I don't know why I need to talk to my doctor about it."

On and on with explanations and definitions and treatment descriptions and always seeking an understanding but never finding it, instead always trying to provide it to another.



So I forgot to mention that I found my iPod USB cable. Guess where it was. In my car, in the center console where I didn't think to look Thursday night. I found it on Friday morning.

Tonight we watched Amelie. It was great! Jason, my boyfriend, and I have a "quest" as I like to call it of watching all of our movies in alphabetical order. We both worked for Blockbuster Video for over 5 years, so combined we have a ton of movies, I think in total his collection is just over 600 movies and mine is around 200. Yikes!

This was his brilliant idea, and we started with the numbers in June this year. We are still in the A's and will be for a while. Our average is one movie per week, mainly because of me and school. We will allow ourselves to stray if there is a new release on DVD that we both want to see (or that one can convince the other to watch as in License to Wed last, that was all my choice and pleading).

Before Amelie there was Alphaville, last night before I got low. It was a visually striking and beautiful movie but not my taste. I can appreciate the ideas behind it but something just didn't feel right about the plot, as if there were chunks of the story left out or missing. I don't know, I am no movie critic, I leave that to him. Last Sunday's choice was okay. Not as funny as I had hoped but okay. I liked Because I Said So better though (talking of Mandy Moore movies).

American Beauty is our next movie. Its number 28. The B movies start in at least 20 more titles, not counting mine. Maybe this was a crazy idea...but then again, its entertainment that we own already and some of our movies we haven't watched together. Like All That Jazz, from my collection, he had never seen.

The goal to to watch our movie list so we can experience them together. I admit, I am a little worried about Moulin Rouge because I love that movie and I don't think he will, but then again that's what this quest is all about. Giving each other the chance to see what we both love in films, sometimes again (like 300 or Adaptation) or for the first time together (like AI or Amelie).

American Beauty is a duplicate for us, we've seen it together before but not in a long time. Its my guess that it will take 8 years to get through the list. We are both aware of the length of time that it will take, but aren't daunted by it. I've known him since high school and hope to know him for the rest of my life so, 8 years of movie watching - here we go.



When I'm 54 I feel like I'm a child again. I can't think logically, I run with my emotions and wants, I don't want to listen to anyone.

An hour after being 54 I am exhausted, tired, crabby. I can understand that I feel this way because how I felt moments before but I don't like it. Thats where I am now and I am going to sleep. I am testing at a steady 139, lets hope things go well over night.


D-Blog Day

This is pretty cool. I have only been blogging every so often this year but really appreciate the connections I feel to other bloggers. The simple knowledge that there are other people out there just as determed as I am, fighting just as hard, and just as easily scared or upset by diabetes helps me. So, thanks other bloggers for letting me feel connected when I feel so isolated most other times in the diabetes struggle. So here's to everyone. Cheers!


where is my USB cable?

So the day was going well. I got up on time, got to work on time, actually ate a breakfast, didn't have any highs or lows, got out of work early with time to study for my bio test, watched an interesting video in class, went home enjoying my ipod and decided to put some new music on it.

Then comes the anger, Where the hell is my USB cable for the ipod? This cable has been floating around the sea of my purse for at least a week, I saw it just this morning! Now when I need it, its nowhere to be found. What. The. Hell?!?

I am not the most organized person in the world mind you. When I loose something I often say that the missing item is "lost in the abyss of my car" because there is so much stuff in my trunk and back seat (even passenger seat some days when I am packing an overnight bag). Its a little unorganized right now because everything was thrown about when I had to suddenly break for some idiot who decided to turn left in front of me when I was going nearly 40 miles an hour and just entering the intersection. It was a scary stop but I was safe just jumbled, as was everything in my car. I know I know, I shouldn't have so much stuff in my car and should spend a good amount of time cleaning it out. I think I have a bag of 9 or 10 paperback books in my back seat that I have intended to shelve for the last few weeks, but its still there, books a skew now in my back seat, some on the floor of the car.

Either way, the point is that I tend to misplace things often either in my car or my huge purse that I carry for all my diabetes crap. When I can't find something I have had with me for a while in either place I begin to get upset. It used to be, years ago, that when I lost or misplaced something I had my whole apartment, bag and purse to search and I feel that I've gotten better at keeping things in place, even when their place isn't organized at least I know where it is.

A part of me questions if the damn cable would have even been with me if I didn't carry such a big purse and then it turns to simmering thoughts to diabetes because I really did buy the purse for that very reason - to carry more diabetes supplies with out feeling everything could fall out any moment. That and when I get upset either my blood sugar rises or my anger is all the quicker to flare because blood sugars aren't ideal.

And this little gizmo is new for me; I've only had it one month and used that cable maybe three times. I don't want to loose it and actually have to see how irresponsible and unorganized my life is despite how hard I try to keep it organized and stay responsible.

And maybe that's the root of my anger right now. I feel like I spend so much time thinking about my day and planning my day for work, school, diabetes, and general life that when something as simple as a cord going missing happens it just gives me more shit to think about. Did I only think I saw it in my purse? Did I leave it at Jason's? At work? Did it fall out when I was walking through my work? Or even worse when I was on campus this afternoon and evening? Did someone take it when I wasn't looking? Or am I just not seeing it?

sigh. Its silly I know. Silly that simple things can cause such a interruption of my night and that I let it get to me. For now I will just have to resign my self to the fact that the cable isn't with me, and I will need to be patient with myself in finding it. Until then I can use CDs or listen to the songs I have on the ipod already.

Its so easy to do that with loosing a USB cbale! You should see me when I misplace something important like my glucometer. Oh man, keeping me calm is nearly impossible at those times and I really do end up searching everywhere just in case, like in the old days. Thank God this isn't something crucial!


I may need an extra break

Yawn. I waited too long to work on a post and now I can hardly type or think.

I spent a good portion of my night going over practice interview questions with my step-Dad. There was a question that he asked me that gave me a pause, "Can you perform your job with reasonable accommodation?"

"Yes I can." I said and didn't hesitate. But then I stopped and thought, "Unless I have to treat a low blood sugar and need an extra 15 - 30 minute break. But this only happens once or twice a month."

No matter how often it happens or doesn't happen though, its an extra break that isn't scheduled, predictable, or even easily explained to someone who doesn't have experience with diabetes. Even when I do explain it sometimes I feel like it isn't really understood because I get that look that says, "Really? You need this time to drink some juice and even when you've drank it you can't get right back to work for another 10 or up to 20 minutes?"

For this reason, the fact that so many people in financial institutions don't understand health issues, is why I can't wait to finish my degree. Not that a health care job or a nursing job would be any more forgiving than any other job, but at least I know that it would be more understood.


Sensor, sensor, updates

I placed my order for sensors three weeks ago and they finally arrived this morning, yay! While its going on two months being on the CGMS it doesn't feel like it, because I've been spacing out using the sensors for the very reason above, they are always on back order. Its also nice to have only one site on my body to worry about instead of two. With a new box of ten sensors I am good for at least six weeks unless I decide to wear the CGM all the time.

Even though this little device is so new to my diabetes care I was jumping and shouting for joy when I saw the sensor delivery box at my door. There is something relieving having this hooked up, like I don't have to worry as much about lows in the morning or swings during the day because all I need do is take a quick peek at the menu and see whats going on with my sugars. The biggest down fall with it is that sometimes it just doesn't catch a quick rise or drop in glucose. Like two Sunday's ago when two hours after eating I was in the 500's, what did the sensor tell me then? 220. In a situation like this Borat would have a blast yelling "NOT" at my pump screen and poor body.

As it turns out from the time I tested that Sunday morning and ate lunch, my site some how kinked and I wasn't getting the bolus that should have covered my lunch, and lord knows about the basal but that was probably null and void too. Can sleeping on your infusion site (if its in your thigh) cause the cannula to kink? Because I will go one, two days with everything fine only to wake up one morning, eat something and shoot up higher can be only to discover a kink.

Hmmm, yea I don't know but aside from kinks the CGMS seems to really help with blood sugar swings. A part of me asks, "Does it really help, or do I just feel like it does because its something I can control that helps me control my diabetes?" I almost feel a little like a control freak! HaHaHa, nah if I were I wouldn't have eaten candy nearly every day for the last two weeks, damn Halloween... I just like the technology that allows this type of control and aids in management.

Changing thoughts now, I am hopefully trying out a new site area for the second time with the sensor, my thigh. It worked pretty well last time around, and I was able to get six days out of the sensor before it was torn out between charges of the transmitter. So we'll see how it goes this time.

Also, I keep telling myself to become more active and am thinking of getting some good work out play lists created, any suggestions of music that keeps you up and running and active?

Lastly, I have my school schedule figured out for the next year and hopefully by this time next year I will be able to confidently say I am a candidate and good competitor for acceptance into the nursing program. Until I can get accepted into the program I am taking the pre-requisites part time so I can work as much as possible. Planning my schedule helps keep me feel better about all of this work/school/diabetes/life management. So far, this semester is going smoothly, but I always get a little panicky around test time or when a big paper is due. Its getting better though, and I am definitely learning how to manage my time better and stay ... less stressed. Calm I am still working on but its getting there!

So, until tomorrow night then, Adieu.


Here comes winter

How long can one stare at the white computer screen before it becomes intimidating? Am I the only one who feels that way about blogging sometimes?

Sometimes I get so used to talking about the same things, and thinking the same things because I talk to so many different people about diabetes and work and school and life, that when it comes down to me and the blank screen I come up silent. My fingers don't know what to type, my mind asks the question, "Where to now?" and the answer that keeps returning to me today is the weather.

In MN its getting closer and closer to our first snow, at least in the Twin Cities, and you can just feel it happening. I almost expect to look outside on my lunch tomorrow and see snow falling. The wind is fast and crisp to your skin and the sky looks a little farther away, drawing away its heat for months and months to come. And that's how you know, winter is on her way.

I can't help but feel as though fall went by far too fast and that this winter will take too long. But we shall see.

There are always the snow angels to keep you company when it snows.


Bad Movie Sunday

I have a bad habit that I am indulging today. Mainly, terrible movies. Okay, not terrible movies but not the greatest most thought provoking films either.

I am really really excited to see License to Wed. It came out on DVD last week and I have just been dying to see it. Another one that I can't wait for is Enchanted, the Disney movie that starts animated but then turns to real life (and also has Patric Dempsey in it, that's made for oh, pre-adolescent girls, yea that one). Most things with Mandy Moore in it I want to see...and it just doesn't jive well with the rest of my movie collection.

The other movies I own, if they could talk, would say,"What the hell happened to your sense of dialogue?" or "I thought you liked emotionally charged dramas that made you question life, what are you doing with that in the DVD player?".

I don't know what else to say, so it goes. I like the good and the not so good movies, even the ones that are just to gain a profit; if it looks light hearted, has an actor I like that hasn't hit too big yet, or looks creepy but with good effects, I'll probably want to see it.

There are some things I won't see, like Saw 4, I mean really, how many movies does there have to be of the same idea? But I did see Saw in theaters and liked it.

So, trashy romantic, new concept of a horror film, anything with Mandy Moore, I'll probably see. But not the sequel, or the trilogy. Unless I really love it (Like Harry Potter or Elizabeth: The Golden Age; I loved the first and the sequel and would probably see a third if it was made).

Some things are just a guilty pleasure - only I don't feel too guilty most of the time about my joy of an average or even poorly rated film.


Darkness to light

So, I have been seeing a counselor for numerous reasons over the past few months. I usually see her on Friday mornings before work, and at yesterday's appointment we talked about my terrible Thursday with diabetes. I wanted to share that burden with someone who could talk me off my emotional ledge about it and help me stay off it. It helped, because she actually made me feel normal, like what I was feeling was understandable and okay. One thing led to another and she decided that on my next visit (probably few visits) we will go over a list of some of the most difficult times in my life, the traumatic times. We started with any childhood experiences that I remember or had heard of in stories but didn't get any farther than about age 2 or 3 because there just wasn't enough time. She asked me to think of those difficult times with out judgment so we can talk about them next time.

The big question I have is probably a silly one, but I have to ask it anyway: was being diagnosed with diabetes traumatic? Of course it was to our family dynamic and to my body, but when I look at my emotions of that time, it doesn't feel traumatic. In fact, of all the difficult times in my life I would have to say that this is the one time where I felt completely safe and supported and that it wasn't the end of the world. I was nine when I was diagnosed, and I hope to be able to write a more eloquent diagnosis story, because I know its a good one, but am not quite there yet. Maybe I will be by the end of the month (cross my fingers).

Here is the thing, I can remember life before diabetes. It was fine, I was a typical kid with an older sibling. I liked school and reading a lot. And none of that changed, the only thing that changed for me was what I could eat and that I had to take shots and prick my finger. I was still Amber, just with out the root beer float treats or the sweets at holidays.

I think its a little silly of me to question if being diagnosed was traumatic or not because I know it is, its a time where everything changed. But I took it well. It wasn't until my late teens that I began to feel something negative about being a diabetic. It wasn't until I noticed that diabetes put more limits on me than I wanted to live with when things really began to conflict. Some of those conflicts led to rebellion towards diabetes. I didn't want to test my blood suagr, I didn't cover my foods as I should have, I ate whenever and whatever I wanted and justified it because I could cover it. I didn't think it could stop me.

This post is a little jumbled I realize, but I guess I am just wondering where was the trauma with diabetes because it didn't seem traumatic until later in life. Until I started paying for the medical bills and prescriptions, and counting the minutes that I couldn't work because I was treating a low knowing that I couldn't get paid for that time.

I really wanted to be positive on this post, so I guess I'll end it by saying that all those feelings about diabetes is starting to get my attention and thought which can only lead to healing and hopefully better management. If I make my December A1c under 7 I will have spent a full year with an A1c under 7 for...I can't even remember how long! But a long, long time. To say that I did it will be a great accomplishment.

Thats what I will keep in mind, that there are always things to strive for and fight for, even when its difficult managing this disease.

"Small moves ,Amber, small moves."



I was sent an email by my sister to check out this article. Its from a local news station in MN and explains how Randy Gallemeyer, a type one diabetic, died in jail last month. His parents dropped off his meter and insulin and supplies the day he was arrested. He was held for 48 hours, at the end of which he died. His blood sugar was in the 1200's.

I am outraged and stunned at how something like this could happen. But mainly it just makes me really, really sad. I can begin to try and imagine what took place to cause a blood sugar in the 1200's, no basal insulin injection, no bolus for food or drink. Then comes the questions.

What the hell was the jailer doing that they didn't realize something was wrong?

Was he pleading for help and his requests were ignored?

Didn't anyone notice how often he went to the bathroom, the vomiting, the retching, the constant request for water. Do they give water to people in jail?

If not then maybe there weren't frequent bathroom trips, but there had to be something, anything to signal an alert to the jailer.

More questions like why didn't the nurse give instructions?

Was there a nurse there on Saturday? Was anyone there who had a functioning mind?

The family is considering a wrongful death lawsuit against the county and its sheriff's office. I don't know much about legal rights in jail or about law, but maybe someone else does. Lets get this horrible situation noticed, maybe there is a way to help.

The family is in my prayers.


Welcome to November!

So after an October filled with swinging blood sugars and extreme highs, an overall blood sugar average somewhere around 190, the first day of November is proving to be very different. I woke up this morning around 1:30am with a low of 53, starving and lost because my stock of juice was depleted. I wandered upstairs looking for left over Halloween candy and found two Butter Finger fun size bars, a fin size Twix, a Reese's Pieces peanut butter cup, plus two handfuls of Parmesan and Oregano Wheat Thins . Yum! Despite all of that candy and starch, I woke up at 7:30 with at a healthy 131.

That was the last time that I saw a normal blood sugar until 6pm. Let me just say, floating between 50 and 80 all day while working at a job that doesn't allow any personal time is a bitch. Luckily I had a break between work and school, but when I got to my car I just broke down and cried. It was so much energy and so stressful to feel sweaty, shaky, confused yet trying to focus for 8 hours while worrying where my blood sugar was and where it was going. It pissed me off and drained me; pissed off that I had to always be the one to try and fix these situations and prevent them in the future, pissed that my great doctor was on vacation and couldn't email me suggestions, furious that I couldn't explain why it was happening. Why, why, why when I haven't changed my insulin vial, my pump infusion set, nothing that should effect my blood sugar so drastically in one day was altered, so please God, why?

As I drove to class I debated on if I should go or not for fear of battling another low. I made it an hour and a half early to class and decided to talk to my professor, see what was on the menu for class tonight and how important it would be to attend. I walked into her office at an uncertain 78. She gave me the handouts and said that she didn't want me to feel obligated to neglect my health to attend class. Afterward, an hour away from class, I decided to go home and rest for the evening. Home being Jason's house and Jason wasn't home yet. I sat waiting for him and decided to test again even though it was only 30 minutes from my last test, I was worried about it dropping again. While pulling out my meter and poking my finger for a drop of blood I said to my self, "If its anywhere near normal, I'm going to class." 97. 97!

Somehow seeing that number lifted from me out of my slump of lows and I decided to treat my self to a double cheeseburger from Burger King. I had three hours of class to last through and I wasn't going on an empty stomach with a 20 ounce of Coke. I covered half what I usually would have for the cheeseburger, and hoped for the best. I kept a temp basal rate going of 50% what it would usually have been and lasted the entire class over 85 and under 130. It was wonderful!

Now, of course in true diabetes fashion my blood sugar is a little too high. Maybe the trends of October aren't gone completely.

I still don't understand what the hell was going on, but hey, I made it through the day and through my class. Amen for that.


Pump and Pills with formatting issues

I keep trying to get the format of this post just right but it simply isn't working. So here goes! Sorry for the odd spacing!

So I have been on the new Minimed Paradigm CGM sensor and pump for nearly 4 weeks now. Let me just say, this thing is awesome! I have figured out when is a good time to calibrate it and when it isn't, what time of day to start the sensor, and even what days of the week work best for me when starting or changing the sensor. I am still working on the first day because it seems to have extra calibrations worked into that first day and sometimes it is hard to find a "good" time to calibrate either because of a low or the fact that I just ate and my blood sugar is going up. That'll smooth out over time though.

Somethings that I don't like about the sensor are if it has a weak signal for too long (and I forget the actual length of time) you have to restart with a 3-hour wait again. Thats a little dissapointing especially if it happens in the first 6 hours of the sensor. Also I still haven't figured out a good place to attach the sensor. My body and the equipment seem to respond best to my obliques, but my sense of fashion doesn't like this. Lastly, the sensor has actually been great about notifying me of a low but highs it seems to miss all together. I will check the pump screen to see what the sensor says and test only to find out that I'm in the 200's, a sharp contrast to the 140 the sensor says.

Overall though I am really liking it! If anyone has any suggestions on the calibration or good sites that work for you I'd really appreciate it.

The Diabetes Expo is in town this Saturday. I am excited to go and see some of the new products offered as well as the presentations. Unfortunately because of class I will miss out on the morning altogether, but the afternoon looks promising.

I have started two new medications for cholestrol and blood pressure in the last month too. The blood pressure pill is mainly a precaution. Over the last year I have noticed that my blood pressure is testing higher and higher when ever I visit the doctor. I am really scared about developing hypertension . It was actually ironic when I told my Endo this, because for the past 9 months he has been telling me to take a pill for cholestrol and I resisted him entirely. I think initially in February the conversation went something like this:

Doctor B - "Okay Amber we need to get you on a cholestrol pill."
me - "Ahh, no, I don't think so." (with a smile)
Doctor B - "Really, why don't you think so?"

me - "Give me 3 months to really crack down on diet and exercise and I bet my cholestrol will be better."
Three months later -
Doctor B - "So, you really need to take a cholestrol pill."
me - "Are you sure?"
Fortunately I have a great doctor and he doens't get mad at me but just laughs, which makes me laugh because I know he can tell I am really resistant to this.
Doctor B - "Yes, Amber. Why are you so against this pill?"
A great question! Why am I? I thought about it for a while.

me - "Its like a life sentence, once I start taking it I have to continue. Its just another thing that I have to continue to do to manage this disease. But if I can better my habits or my life style and naturally lower my cholestrol I would like to do that than taking a pill."
Doctor B - "And how has that been going? Are you exercising frequently?"
me - "No, not consistently, but its been really difficult!"

My Endo smiled, and nodded in agreement. It is difficult to form that habit if it isn't there, even if you do exercise regularly continuing to do so is also a challenge.Then he said something that has really stuck with me.
Doctor B - "Amber your diabetes is great in all areas. As a non-diabetic, I wouldn't be concerned about your cholestrol. As a diabetic though, that is the one thing that is preventing you from having great management."

He gave me a prescription, I held onto it, finally filled it weeks after seeing him and groaned to discover how TINY the pill was and that the pharmacy gave me a pill that I had to cut in half. I didn't have a pill cutter. Guess how long it took me to get one?

Three months later -
I send him an email before my third endo appointment this year to ask about labs and if I could get them done before my appointment. "Oh and by the way, I didn't start taking that prescription you gave me three months ago, I just now got a pill cutter."

I fought him for 9 months over that damn pill. Needless to say he was shocked when I mentioned that I thought I was pre-hypertension. After looking at my chart he noticed the trend too and sighed to have to give me another pill Rx.

A little side note, I really like my endo. He is great, lets me email him concerns and always seems to know the right question to ask and the right encouragement to give. When I brought up the pre-hypertension thought I was fearing, I didn't expect a pill. I was just as shocked as I am sure he was when he handed it to me.

But then he asked, "Why is it that I had to fight you to take a cholestrol pill, but you are willingly taking a hypertension pill?"

I wanted to cry because that is a great question to ask. And all I could say was, "Because I am scared. Scared of what not treating it can do. And I still haven't been exercising regularly."

I really feel defeated when I think about those pills. Insulin I can handle, that makes sense to me, these pills just seem to confirm my bad habits. Damn.

Lastly its was CSR appreciation last week at work. Me and five of my co-workers dressed up as the female village people for our 70's day on Friday!
Then after wards I went bowling with friends and that was awesome!! Here is me, Nichole and Becca who put together the evening activities or dinner after work and bowling (Becca was the cop in the Village Veople).

Even though apparently I can't bowl, but that is a different story!



So there are a lot of new things going on.

I started going back to school (part time) for nursing and classes started this week. I think I may have found something I can attend school for and be successful at while working and managing good diabetes control. I'm trying to take it one assignment at a time so as to not overwhelm my self.

This Thursday the sensors for the MiniMed Paradigm CGMS will arrive after a long wait of nearly 4 weeks since order. I CAN'T WAIT to get started on the CGMS. YAY!!!
And I just saw on MiniMed's site that they have signed a deal with LifeScan for a new glucometer that will work with their pumps and the CGMS which will be released in early 2008 (cross our fingers). My first meter was a One Touch and I have always preferred LifeScan meters over other brands. When I got the pump I switched to the BD meter that worked with it and was sad to say good-bye to my OneTouch. Exciting that we will be reunited next year

So, good news! I'll update on the new CGMS after the classes and I start using it. (So excited for that day!)


"...Its my dreams you take"

I've been quiet lately, not between my beau and I, no, but on a whole quiet. I feel the need to spill those thoughts that I have been silencing in my head. Yet another thing I am sorry for, these terrible thoughts. The lack of belief, faith in anyone, especially myself.

God, depression, it hurts so much and yet seems to stem with absence. I am reminded of the novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. How sometimes the lightness of being is so freeing and yet such a crushing freedom to some at the same time. Depression is never freeing, yet I find it to be especially crushing. Some days I just want to sleep, keep those heavy lids closed to the world because finding the joy is difficult lately. I am forced to ask my self if this is how I will always think, is this how I will always feel, will it never go away and most importantly, how can I make it stop?

I have never been good at editorials or expressing my opinions. Ask my opinion and I will try to find the least offensive answer, but there in lies the problem, an opinion isn't an answer. The topics from which you will get a straight opinion out of me are health and education. Yet I have so little to offer to these topics! I ask myself what words of wisdom can I share, what great experiences do I have that will enlighten others, help others? I look at my experiences with a deep regret and sadness. Very few experiences am I happy I had the chance to have. Yet all of them were found from seeking a dream I held close to my heart.

I have tried so many times at college, none with success. Hamline went OK the first year, but I drove myself insane and my A1c was so high, 17, starting my sophomore year at Hamline my doctor told me I had to quit work or school or else I was going to end up killing myself. So I left Hamline, regret number one. The colleges since then have only proven to be worse of an experience, either I dropped my health or dropped my grades or both. Yet college was my dream growing up.

Tomorrow (later today I guess) I am supposed to go to Century College and attend an orientation for their nursing program. Slowly reality is beginning to hit me though. What makes now any different than the other failed attempts? In reality I am a in a far worse situation to go back to school. My diabetes is finally good, true, but my finances are shot to hell and my car isn't working. My credit it terrible and I live paycheck to paycheck with little or no extra cash from one to the next; unexpected expenses are out of the question. So what am I doing, trying to go back to school? What the fuck am I thinking? I sit here awake though I should be sleeping, trying to decide if its even worth it going to that last minute orientation tomorrow (later today). I said I would go, I took the time off to go. But really, how can I?

I can sense already what it will do. It will inspire me to work hard, it will give me false hope that I am not trapped in corporate America with my care giving nature overlooked, it will make me taste the possibility of a better life. The next day I will go to work and think and ponder over how I will pay for it. Then later this week I will apply for student loans and be denied because of bad credit. I'll try multiple lenders, hoping for a miracle yet fearing the day I will have to pay it back because I struggle with the loans I currently have. Fearing the day where I can't do it all. I can't work 30 hours a week and take classes; I can't lack in sleep and go to class, I can't focus on school at work and I can't let the stress of work go because it really effects me so much it sucks the joy out of the rest of my life, let alone a life I am merely hoping to attain.

And I just cry thinking about it all and how terrified I am. Terrified of staying where I am and remaining this unhappy, terrified of trying again because what if it doesn't work? What makes me think I can do this?

To top it all off I just feel alone. I realize there are other diabetics out there, other amazing people who have overcome a ton of obstacles while managing T1 diabetes or any disease or life challenge. What kept them going?

Thats some of the smoke emitted from the burning thoughts in my head.


What do YOU think? I need some opinions!

Okay I have decided to look into a CGMS system and wanted to know what others thought about the MiniMed paradigm pump/sensor.

I found out my insurance rocks and will cover the cost and supplies 90% but I don't want to invest in it if it turns out it isn't a great product.

So, anyone using a CGMS: what do you like about it, what do you use, what don't you like about it?

I am all ears!!


Sometimes I feel like I should apologize (for who I am).

I am sorry I am a little neurotic and random.
I am sorry that I sometimes have a negative view on life.
I am sorry that I didn't do better in college and am now paying for it.
I am sorry that sometimes my low and high blood sugars control my mood.
I am sorry I suffer from depression, a deep silent killer that wears me down daily, I'm sorry.
I am sorry I wasn't strong enough to see as a teen that I was letting diabetes get the better of me, along with everything else that happened in those years.
I am sorry that I find it hard to manage my diabetes.
I am sorry that I am not better at it.
I am sorry that it can consume me on days and exhaust all of my being.
I am sorry that I detach myself from others because I feel they don't understand.
I am sorry that to the above statement I want to finish with the comment, "But, really, unless you're living it, you don't understand."
I am sorry I don't thank those close to me nearly enough for all your help and all you put up with. I'm working on that.
I am sorry my sister feels she will have to donate a kidney to me one day.
I am sorry my Mom cries when talking about the day I was diagnosed and the worry she feels for me every day.
I am sorry I feel so alone and can't reach out to those closest to me and mend that feeling.
I am sorry I never talked to anyone about it and still find it difficult to do so. I am sorry.

Please forgive me; for all this and any future errors or mistakes I may make. I am only a young woman, trying to find her place in this world and work with her disease. Late is better than never, right?


Late but fun Meme

I may be a few days late but its still fun!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
ugggg, I should do something with my hair

2. How much cash do you have on you?
cash, what cash? I may have some spare change...

3. What's a word that rhymes with DOOR?

4. Favorite planet?

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
KK my sister

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Ringtone 10 - its this odd calming tune, but I don't use it because I'd never realize that my phone was ringing.

7. What shirt are you wearing?
Merona scoop neck 3/4 sleeve in cream

8. Do you label yourself?
sometimes yes

9. Name the brand of the shoes you're currently wearing:
Mossimo (what can I say I love Target)

10. Bright or Dark Room?

12. Why is there always a missing question?
what missing question?

13. What does your watch look like?
I actually don't wear a watch, I carry a pump and a cell phone

14. What were you doing at midnight last night?
just getting to bed

15. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say?
"u luv her" from my sister about her cat that leaves evil piles of litter out side the litter box

16. Where is your nearest 7-11?
no clue, do we even have those in MN??

17. What's a word that you say a lot?
particular or really

18. Who told you he/she loved you last?
my madre

19. Last furry thing you touched?
My sister's cat - Peachie!

20. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
good ol' Novolog, I don't think I even took painkillers!

21. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
none, but there are a lot of digital pics that we need to print!

22. Favorite age you have been so far?

23. Your worst enemy?
Umm, not sure, maybe my pancreas??

24. What is your current desktop picture?
no pic -- we can't have them at work and my home computer is on the fritz like my car

25. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"Thank you for calling, have a nice day"--at work, or in a conversation I willingly started, "yea, the Vikings as people aren't the greatest..."

26. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, what would it be?
I'm going for the "gold"

27. Do you like someone?
Well, I love my BF but I also have this odd facination with my Endo...

28. The last song you listened to?
In Gods Hands by Nelly Furtado

29. What time of day were you born?

30. What's your favorite number?

31. Where did you live in 1987?
I think West St. Paul, MN in "The Bungalow"

32. Are you jealous of anyone?
Natalie Portman! She is a movie star, beautiful woman and she is now going to an ivy league college; she's got it made.

33. Is anyone jealous of you?
not that I know of, but I couldn't imagine why one would be

34. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
In my dorm room just waking up. It was crazy, classes were canceled that day and we sat watching the news and then there was a lot of conversation on who was behind it, why, and the shock.

35. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
try pushing the button multiple times then accept defeat and sigh deeply

36. Do you consider yourself kind?

37. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
on my neck or wrists or by my right hip

38. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
French or Latin

39. Would you move for the person you loved?

40. Are you touchy-feely?
Not with people; I am with animals and when I shop, I like to grab things and put them back or admire them

41. What's your life motto?
I don't exactly have one grand sweeping motto for my life, just little motivational boosters

42. Name three things you have on you at all times:
minimed pump/glucometer, ID, my WF Visa Debit Card

43. What's your favorite town/city?
I really liked Salem and Boston!

44. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Diet Coke from vending machine at work. Other wise, I paid my sister in cash for our shared car insurance last month

45. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
at the end of my junior year in high school ...

46. Can you change the oil on a car?
no, probably not, it seems simple enough but I tend to break things and I'd hate to mess things up (more) with my car!

47. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
Still with him - He just told me he wants to get a new job and he is willing to pick me up from work tonight

48. How far back do you know your ancestry?

49. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
I wore a strappy, empire waist dress that was a natural brown color for a wedding I attended with Jason (my boyfriend) June 9th.

50. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
my neck and head, I always have a headache it seems...

51. Have you ever been burned by love?
I have been deeply hurt by what I thought was love, but I see in hind sight that it wasn't love

52. Do you have a crush on any bloggers?
No, but I am finding new fascinating blogs every day so that could change I suppose :D

53. Where would you like to live?
I am torn between MN, AZ and somewhere on the east coast, but I haven't visited enough places I am interested in to be able to say "HERE is where I want to live"


And yet again the vial gets to me...

This isn't working. Look:

It is large and the vial is difficult to get to. This is the "new" glucometer case that BD sent me to accommodate for the larger vial. It just doesn't work. The strip touches the case when the meter is left in the case and is tilited up a little from the case getting in the way.Ok, maybe I am expecting too much from them, I mean, you have to be able to get your whole finger in a vial to get the test strip out, of course!
None the less I am so disappointed in this change. It is inconvenient and becoming a hassle to test my blood sugar. When testing becomes inconvenient and frustrating I tend not to do it and I can see that happening as I sit here fuming at this terrible design. I don't want to test. Just looking at the case pisses me off. Let alone trying to maneuver the strip vial or the actual glucometer so that I can fit the strip in the meter with out having to take the meter out of the case, a task which I am sure will not be accomplished, but I'll try it for the next day or so.

I really am just fuming at this and I am trying to determine why. Is it because of the larger vial and thus the larger case, yes...
But at the root of it is that this new design for the meter that accommodates my pump which revolutionized my diabetes management is discouraging me from testing. For the last 19 months I was finally able to do what took me 12 years to accomplish - testing freely, openly, many many times a day. I did that when I was first diagnosed and for the first few years but then, around the age of 12 or 13 I just stopped testing as often as I knew I should. Maybe it was that damn adolescent time, probably it was my way of acting out with out anyone but me and my doctor knowing. But it was a hard hurtle for me to leap to test as often as I have been since I got the pump. This change is reminding me of why I didn't like to test all those years, it was inconvenient. That wasn't the only reason I know, but it was a part of it. And I don't want to be in that place again of not testing, not wanting to test.
There it is in a rather large nutshell. It discourages me from testing. Now I just need to figure out how to get over it...


Inspiring Massachusetts!

Whew! The last week, no more like two, have just been crazy!! First there was Taylor's wedding which took a lot of time and energy. Then we went to Massachusetts last week for a mini vacation and another wedding. We had so much fun and saw so much! I have to say that Massachusetts is a very green place, not that MN isn't but our green is a yellow-green or medium green but in MA it was vibrant green all over and there were so many sights and trees everywhere!
There were two things, okay many more, but the two things that really stand out this very second were seeing the sun rise at Winter Island Park in Salem, MA and seeing the grave of Sam Adams (gasp!). There were many graves that we saw while in Salem and in Boston, but Sam Adams' resting site really hit me hard. A founding father of our country, organizer of the Boston Tea Party, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and so much more. I can't even begin to speak about Sam Adams there is just too much, and I was never good at history (although I would like to think I am getting better at understanding and remembering it now versus when I was in high school...).
I can say that seeing his grave has sparked a new interest in me to revisit American history which I was never interested in before; I knew to appreciate it and honor our historical background because it gives us what we have today - our freedom, our nation, our life and all the opportunity one can dream of! Also, our next National holiday is approaching and it only seems appropriate to recollect on such things.
So, in an odd tangent away from diabetes, wow to Sam Adams and all our founding fathers. Thank you Boston and Salem! And man! was it inspiring and fun to visit!!


How did that happen?!?

I was at the wedding reception until about 11PM Friday night. I had a slight low of 72 with great tiredness around 9PM and treated it with regular root beer then nibbled on M&Ms the rest of the night before going home. I didn't test after treating the low, figuring that about 6 ounces of regular soda would cover it, and I didn't test before I went to bed at 12:30. Man, I was just super tired and exhausted and hadn't drank (but for a glass of wine for the toast) so I wasn't worried about my sugar dropping low again.
I should have known better when I woke up at 5AM needing to use the bathroom. As I opened my bedroom door I was physically startled by all the people in my living room and the photographers from the wedding were waiting for me to rise and open a new roll of toilet paper.

- click- click- click -

"Just act like we aren't here!" exclaimed photographer A as I stumbled, confused, into my bathroom.

Okay, I guess its always fun to have a sun rise shot of the maid of honor, in her PJs, opening a new roll of toilet paper for a wedding album. I think to myself. Wait...that makes NO SENSE.

I finish going to the bathroom and slowly open the bathroom door and again its as though the wedding reception was continuing in my living room. It isn't even my wedding!

Now I am getting scared. I stumble over to the sofa in my living room and sit down looking out the window at the rising sun. Its so pretty, I think to myself, I would want sunrise pictures in my wedding album. But Taylor wouldn't, I don't think, so what is going on? I sat there for a few more minutes until the people faded and my living room was vacant. Slowly, I begin to remember that before I awoke to use the bathroom I was dreaming about the wedding. Ahhh, that must have been why I was startled when I went to the bathroom, I wasn't fully awake. And with that conclusion I drifted back to bed.

Jason asks me, "Did you test?"
"Yea it was 138."

But I didn't test. In the dream before going to the bathroom I tested, because at the wedding I tested and it was 138.

An hour and a half later I am having another crazy dream with Jason, Krystle (my sister) trying to figure out what was wrong with me and Nick (Krystle's future fiance) coming downstairs to see whats wrong.

"Amber's having a seizure" she says.

Nick leaves.

Its all a dream, I think, its all a bad dream.

Jason and Krystle are trying to find my meter and get the test strips. The code is different on the meter than the test strip vial.

"Amber how do you change the code?"

It's really easy guys,"Use the arrows." I think or say or a combination of both (I later was told I only said what I put in quotes).

They figured out the code, and were ready to test my glucose. She asks me what finger I want them to use. I don't respond so she takes my ring finger from my left hand, it used to be the only finger I tested with until recently. As she readies the poker I tell her, "No," and switch to the new testing finger, my middle finger, on my left hand. I don't remember that part but I do remember the reading - 63.

Jeeze guys, thats fine! Just get me some juice. What was all the big fuss about?
Then something becomes more real to me.
"What just happened?"
"You had a seizure. We gave you Glucagon."
Krystle is reading the long instructions from the glucagon kit frantically and talking aloud about how she isn't sure if I am supposed to go to the ER or not; Jason looks a little irritated but calmer than he was in my crazy dream.
"It says she needs something with actual carbs in it so she doesn't drop low again." Krystle says then shes gone and what feels like a moment later she is handing me a glass of chocolate milk telling me, "Drink."

I don't remember getting the shot but I remember parts, why do I remember parts? Why isn't my tongue all bitten and swollen? How did that happen? None of it makes sense.

I am still very confused and conflicted about last Saturday morning. I have no idea how it happened. I can see where I made mistakes - not testing before bed, not testing when I got up at 5AM. But I still don't understand. I also don't understand why it didn't even occur to me to check my glucose when I went to the bathroom. Usually anytime I am woken up to use the bathroom I at least think of testing if not actually test for fear of something being wrong. But this time it never entered my mind. I don't know why I physically reacted to what I thought was my dream coming to life.

I don't know and its just so frightening.
On a MUCH lighter note I am in Salem, MA today and tomorrow and am just psyched!! More about that later!


A great weekend!!

I got to meet some of my fellow bloggers tonight!

Thank you Scott, Sara, Molly (and Dixie) for sharing the evening with me and swapping diabetic stories!

It was really cool to meet the authors of some of the blogs I like to read. I only feel sooooo bad about stepping on Dixie's tail! :( So sorry about that! Usually I am good about avoiding animals and not stepping on them; the thrill of meeting everyone in person must have distracted me too much.

Taylor's wedding went by so quickly and the day was wonderful and exhausting, pictures to follow. I had a bad low the following morning though that I plan to elaborate on later, I am still trying to work through it myself.

But otherwise this weekend was a total blast!!

Lets do another MN gathering for those who couldn't make it this time, I'm all for it! Oddly enough I haven't met many fellow diabetics and would love the chance to meet more. I think meeting Molly, Sara, and Scott doubled the number of T1 diabetics I have met in person to date. Okay, that isn't entirly true but this is the first time where I have actually felt like I know and will continue to know the peole I met (I went to Camp Needlepoint a looooong time ago but didn't make any D friends that I am still in touch with, or that I even cared to continue to know outside of camp...).

I have a question that I intended to ask the OC group tonight but forgot to so I'll toss it out there to the web: as a diabetic what do you do about drinking alcohol? Do you find it easiest to just avoid it all together? Or do you just test like crazy while drinking? At the wedding this past Friday there were many people drinking, and because I didn't want to risk running low and missing out on any part of the event I just avoided drinking. This conclusion got me many a raised eye brow questioning my logic. While I understand my logic, and I am fine with it, I wanted to know what others do about celebrations where alcohol is consumed and some other tactics than always being the sober cab. So, what works for you when consuming alcohol?? Let me know. :D


Size does matter!

So I usually fill my Rx for BD test strips every 6 - 8 weeks and it was going on about 7 weeks since my last refill and I was running desperately low on test strips. So I called my pharmacy, placed the order and was told they would have it by Tuesday. Yesterday rolls around and I go in, pick up my large bag of test strips briefly wondering why the bag was even bulkier than usual. I shrugged it off. Well, time to start a new vial of test strips and I open my bulky bag taking note that the boxes of test strips are a lot larger now and no longer in the shape of a cube.
Strange, I think but again set this thought aside. That is until I am opening the new BD test strip box and notice that it only says 50 strips instead of 100 like before. And sure enough, instead of 4 cube shaped boxes there are eight rectangular boxes.
Odd, why would they make larger boxes? Then the little red circle catches my eye..."New larger vial!" is printed on the front of the box. My heart sinks then my temperature rises when I am done opening the box.
Are you kidding me?!?!?!!
Not only is the vial larger, its triple the size of the previous vials! The new vial can hold the old vial inside of it! Look!
Its like a damn pill bottle!! Its HUGE!!!
Okay, I understand, a lot of elderly people and children are using these products and with the old, smaller vial people couldn't get their fingers inside to get the strip out; I remember thinking that too when I got the meter with the pump in December of 2005. Then I grew to love, absolutely adore the smaller test strip vial because I could easily carry an extra one with me in my purse, gym bag, pocket wherever, with no worry of how much space its taking up. I became to appreciate that my test strips were more discrete like my pump and not taking injections. Not anymore!

I am sure this is for the best of most patients who use BD meters and the MiniMed Paradigm meter, but I am still displeased by the change. I mean...Its obnoxiously big now. It doesn't fit the old case that my meter was in, the case is designed for the smaller vial (notice the obscene vial above and blocking where the strip needs to go for a fresh test and sample).

Fortunately, BD foresaw this problem and are shipping me a new meter case and 50 free strips in the new, insanely large vial. I'm thinking that with a larger vial is an even larger case...I may need a new purse, my current purse barely fits all my "purse" and diabetes things!

I'll just stash my meter in my adult diaper bag with my granny panties, thank you! Who needs a normal sized purse when you have diabetes? Sheesh...


Can I have a new report card please?

I am tired today, not necessarily of diabetes but just in general. Over the last year after my A1c was more "normal" than it had been in over 9 years, I started noticing a new trend with symptoms of high glucose: I can't fall asleep if my sugar is too high or don't sleep nearly as well. Does anyone else have highs keeping them oddly awake or preventing a good sleep? Well, I am assuming that because I have better control over my glucose and a better A1c than I did for most of my adolescent and early twenties years that this is the only reason I am noticing this now (greeaaaat) .

For some odd reason it is very easy for me to let my sugars run too high or higher than ideal while I am asleep. I can't even remember the last time I actually woke up in the middle of the night just to test my glucose, and I only test it late if I happen to be awake which usually means I am out drinking with friends or I'm awake because it is high.

The latter explanation is why I am tired today. This week (or month) I have been slacking on tight glucose control before and during bed and now I am tired from letting my glucose sit around 200 for long enough to prevent a normal bed time last night. Since it was 1 am I decided to confirm the high and sure enough - 207. I was awake another hour when I finally just resisted the urge to fidget and forced my self to lie down in bed and breathe deeply. For fun I gave myself a quick bolus of 1 unit hoping it would help me fall asleep sooner.

Sigh. I don't know why I do that; I am good about testing when I wake up, before I eat, when I am out, before I drive but its as though once 9 or 10 PM rolls around my mind and body resist doing what I know I need to do and I slack.

One "good" thing came out of my high-insomnia last night: I uploaded my meters and pump to the MiniMed CareLink site for the first time since...oh far too long! And rediscovered just how fun it is to be able to run all those reports about trends or daily carb use, or pretty much anything you can think of it can generate, I mean its really cool! In all my excitement I sent an email to my doctor to let him know that I finally did it and asked if he wanted me to print certain reports for my appointment next week or what he preferred. He responded this morning with what to do and then the last line of his email was "Your A1c was 6.9 - FYI" ( I had gone in for the blood work last week for my appointment with my Endo next week).

I am pleased with this result but a little disheartened because it is up a small bit from last February and I bet its because of the night time highs and my unmotivated attempts to fix/control/prevent them.

I'll tell you what it is about this most recent A1c result - its a damn grade, and because I did better on the same "test" three months ago I feel as though I failed it this time. So silly, I know. But its true. I will admit I thought it was a little higher from noticing the increased restless nights since February but I also hoped that I was wrong.

I am glad to hear this today versus next Thursday and be bummed about it the entire day and the following day, which just won't do because its Taylor's rehearsal dinner and wedding next Thursday and Friday; I wouldn't want the damn grade ruin it for me, so there is a positive about that last sentence of his email.

So, one week until the actual Endo appointment where I am sure we will talk of the lack of bed time testing, the rehearsal dinner, and Taylor's wedding!! No matter how tired I am, I am not too tired for enthusiasm about that!!


Catching Up

Its been a long time since my last post, I know. I am not sure why, or rather there are a lot of excuses why but I don't think they are worth regurgitating here. Needless to say, its been a while. BUT man has a lot been going on!
So Jason and I have been better lately and we went on a weekend trip to Chicago the last weekend in April. That was fun, I had only been to Chicago once before when I was 16 so it was a nice chance to revisit it as an "adult". We were mainly around Andersonville, Lakeville and Wicker Park while there. Its very ... classic urban. I think of the Grand area in MN only more crowded! On Sunday we walked over to Lake Michigan from Chris and Amber's (Jason's friends who we went to visit) apartment and walked out on to a little pier.
Seeing the expanse of Lake Michigan was very refreshing and made me want to see Lake Superior again. In fact it makes me want to visit all of our Great Lakes!

Its a little sad to think that I have only seen two of the five Great Lakes. That amazing Discovery Channel mini-series, Planet Earth, has consumed me and made me aware of how little I have seen, and of all the amazing things to see on our planet the most accessible are the Great Lakes. So, that's a new little wish of mine, to see the great lakes before I turn ... 30. That seems do-able, no?
Then this month has been consumed with Mothers Day, helping my sister watch the boys while she studied for her finals, and helping Taylor with the preparation for her wedding on June first (scream!). Taylor is my best friend who I have known for going on twelve years (since 7th grade) and she is getting married. There was a lot of drama around this wedding initially but I think it is now smoothing out. Let me tell you, before Taylor's wedding I had never helped anyone with wedding planning and I kind of like it. It seems so fun! As a little girl I think I was one of the few who never thought of her wedding and what it would be like. I only started doing that this year while helping Taylor with hers so this a whole new world to me.

There are a lot of people getting married! The weekend after Taylor's wedding Jason's other close friend, Luke, is getting married and we are flying out to Boston (YAY!!!) for his wedding. I am PSYCHED for that trip; I have had a long distance love affair with Boston since I was a little girl. I think it was from doing a very long report on the Boston Tea-Party in the second grade that did it for me. That and being a historic city on the East Coast I think did it for me long ago and now I get to see it! We are flying out Wednesday the 6th of June and returning Monday June 11th so we can do some touring and sight seeing before and after Luke and Jennifer's wedding. As much as I am thrilled to be visiting Boston, I am more excited to see the ocean. If anyone has some suggestions for where good sites are in the Boston area please send them over, because neither Jason or I really know where to go (aside from the things listed in tourist guides but even with those, which place is actually interesting or amazing?).
The only other thing that has consumed my time the last four weeks is the fact that my car needs the head gasket replaced along with a few other things and now I need a second job to pay for the repairs. But I will be doing that search once the weddings are over with.

And about my diabetes? It has been well. I had blood work yesterday for my three month check up, and my thyroid because last February I guess my thyroid tested a little off, and I am meeting with my doctor May 31st. I feel good about my diabetes lately although, anytime I am mildly more active in my day my blood sugar drops so fast!

Like last night, Jason and I were organizing the downstairs in the town home ("my" area) and after re-arranging and cleaning for a couple hours by blood sugar dropped to 54! I wasn't even doing much just walking around and putting things away and moving furniture (which wasn't difficult at all) and man it just hit me. The only way I knew something was wrong was I had a pounding headache and one minute later was unable to decide what hanger to use for a tee shirt or if I should just fold it and put it in the dresser, not a big deal either way, and that was the sign that something wasn't right. I couldn't decide what to do with a shirt, sorta funny, sorta sad. Also our time in Chicago reminded me of this too because we did a lot of casual walking, and I didn't think it would effect my sugar but it did.

When I think of activities that lower my blood sugar I think of a strenuous walk, dancing, exercising, or lifting a lot of heavy items, but I don't think of those little things like just being on your feet for hours at a time. Good thing I learned this now versus the day of Taylor's wedding! Now I know that I should lower my basal rate for those busy "on your feet" days as I am sure that is bound to be one.

There it is in a nut shell. I am trying to take more time to blog more frequently although with the next three weeks being so jam-packed and then probably working an additional 20 - 25 hours each week after returning from Boston...all I can say is I'm going to try. I still read other peoples blogs because being in a call center that is one thing to do between calls but I can't easily post a blog of my own while at work. And again, if any of you know good, cheap, places to visit in Boston or good sites to view the ocean please let me know!!


Figure it out 'til we get it right...

Spring has returned to Minnesota! Or so it seems... ;)

So my diabetes is doing good but for some odd fasting results mid-mornings. Let me tell you I am not a morning person, not even close. Luckily I don't ever have to be to work before 9am but I still have a varied start time due to the position I have in the call center. There I can start anywhere from 9am or as late as 1pm and be scheduled for 9 hours with an hour lunch (love that lunch, it keeps me sane!). Even having my shifts start at 9 or later though, I still don't find time for breakfast. The late start is mainly to ensure I get enough sleep (I tend to go to bed late).

This is a good and a bad thing, but for the time being I am saying its good and using it to try and ensure my morning basal rates are set correctly. Well, the rates seem to be great for when I am in bed and asleep. I guess that is just fine for the dawn effect, but the time after I get up but before noon concerns me. I seem to run a little low after the higher basal rate drops back down to my normal rate. My tests in the hours from 9 - noon are running as low as 53 and all the way up to 69. I know, such a range! It isn't from bolusing too much, because I am not eating until noon or later it seems, and my pump is at the normal rate starting at 7:00am.

That I think is the error. The dawn effect increased basal should probably stop before 7am, so I pushed it back to 5:30am and gave a little more than the normal from 5:30 - 7, just in case. We'll see how that turns out.

"How did my increased basal end up returning to normal so late?" I asked myself, and I think it was when MiniMed replaced my pump last month and I reset my settings myself. I am sure I set it incorrectly then, and since these lows aren't waking me up I didn't notice until I started testing the minute I woke up instead of when I finally sat down to eat or drink something.

"Oh, thats right," that little voice inside my head chimes in, "I changed it to last until 7 am because I wasn't getting up to exercise and before, when I was getting up, I had it end at 5." Niiice Amber...

Guess thats a sign I should start exercising again...or stop meddling with my basal rates.

Ha, fat chance!


A Negative Day

Today, I hate everything about diabetes. I hate the way it makes me sleep in when my blood sugar is high, I hate the way I am a little crabby the rest of the day from a high blood sugar. I hate that in order to feel as though I have any control over my life I have to use that damned glucometer multiple times a day to answer the ever changing question of how is my diabetes now?

I hate the way I am attached to a damn device 24/7. I hate that the cord on my pump is just a few inches too short for me to be able to navigate comfortably in my shower with out having a little tug at my stomach to warn me I'm at the end of my leash. Yes, I know I don't have to wear it in the shower, but I found that when ever I take my pump off for showering my sugars skyrocket an hour later. That happens even when I am exercising and I suspend the pump, an hour later its through the roof, whats with that?!? I learned that I really cant leave the pump on during my work out but Sarah's blog on starting it again before the end of a workout is a good idea that I also tried, but only once, and that time it was still high just not as high, only the low 200's. WTF?!?!

I hate that it seems like diabetes is the only thing I can somewhat "master" and it isn't what I want to master! I want to go back to school, but I've learned that in order for me to be in school diabetes needs to be in control, good control, and I need to be ready to handle the extra stress of caring for it, working, and taking classes.

I hate that I feel powerless by this damn disease. I hate that it feels like no one in my circle of friends and family understands.

Sigh, breathe deeply.

I just don't like it today. I don't. It makes me want to not test my blood sugar all weekend, as long as I can go with out testing provided I feel "okay". It makes me want to cry and stop talking, to just shut down. That's what I hate.

Sorry this is negative, I just had to get it out.


Feeling Hurt for a Little While is Acceptable...

So, the past two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me. The entire month has been a challenge to stay positive when I really don't want to, but especially the last two weeks.
Let me start by clarifying my last post. Jason. Jason and I have known each other for 7 1/2 years. We met our junior year in high school and lasted through the start of sophomore year in college. We ended up at the same college, Hamline University, which I think may have been a mistake, but this isn't about that. I look back at him and I and there is just so much. I can't think of a non-relative who I have been through more with, including my best friend of 12 years, Taylor. And it seems like after all the joys, all the good and the bad times, that things should just fall into place between him and I. In my mind, and in his, we make sense.

It was October 2002 when we broke up the first time. We didn't date for a while, but we remained friends. There was a brief time in 2004 where we were together, but I lived in Arizona and he was still in MN so it didn't work out. When I moved home from AZ we both agreed that we would take things slow, get to know each other again and form the relationship we thought we could have. Again, it didn't work out; I wasn't ready and I was emotionally drained from my time in AZ (it was a bad time). And that brings me to now, the last 5 months where we have been together again.


Thinking of how to describe the past 5 months is a feat. To put it simply its been difficult. I don't understand how two people who want to be together so much can find it this hard to sustain a stable relationship. Are we too immature? Are we misleading each other with high expectations, expectations that aren't mentioned and only lead to disappointments? Are we not talking about the right things, or only talking about all the wrong things? What?? I don't know. I just know its very odd, especially when I can remember a time with him when we could talk for hours about anything. When there were no walls preventing the conversation from developing.

After this drunken kiss between him and a co-worker of ours on St. Patty's Day I was terrified. Terrified of what it meant, terrified that we couldn't talk about it, terrified of going into work when I was displeased of my job before this new situation aroused. I was also enraged. I was so mad that at a time where him and I are supposed to be giving our all to become stable he would let a stupid mistake like that happen. I was mad that it took him 5 days to be able to explain it to me, but once he did that anger melted away.

Then came last Friday. We were going to watch a movie at my place after work but my sister booted us out for some alone time with her future fiancee, Nick. Needing to kill two hours but not wanting to drive out to his place (I had to be home on Sat.), I suggested we go to Taylor's house for drinks and a movie with her and her fiancee, Tony. (Man, everyone is getting married!) But, he didn't want to for many reasons (he was tired, his eyes were dry and itchy, he didn't want to be overly social with people he didn't know, yada-yada-yada) and our Saturday evening was to be shared with them too. So, reluctantly I said call off our Friday plans and I'd see him Saturday. After two, two and a half hours maybe, with Taylor and Tony I decided that spending the night with Jason, even just cuddling, was what I wanted. So I trekked over to his place, got there at 1AM when, lo-and-behold, he wasn't there. Of course my thoughts jumped to the worst case scenario, that he was with her, who we can call Jo-Joe (because that makes me smile and isn't her name). I tried to be reasonable and thought he was just at the bar and would be home with in an hour, 90 minutes tops (bars close at 2). I wait, I wait, I doze off, wake up at 3:50AM, still no Jason. Clearly he is not at the bar anymore. By then I was pissed, just seething at the petty excuses he gave to ditch me and go out with someone else. When he did arrive home it was not a good time for either of us. I have a lot of anger towards Jo-Joe now too, which saddens me because I actually liked her before this. I thought I would be most pissed at him, but that isn't proving to be the case. And all through the weekend until last night I was just furious, at everyone and everything. But I finally figured out why.

I am hurt, plain and simple. I am hurt that it feels like he chose this girl over me and my friends (who are getting married in June and I am in the wedding party, I'd like for him to get to know them a little before then), that he stayed out all night with her, that they kissed, or she kissed him or what ever happened but that it happened none the less. That he talks to her so much more than me, that he can't tell me why. I am hurt that I thought she was a budding friend when now it is obvious to me that isn't true. I am hurt at being hurt, again. My hurt is fueling my anger and anger isn't helping.

I am telling myself that being angry all the time is not okay, but feeling hurt for a little while is acceptable.

Lately I also have worried that I always take the easy road out of any situation. I never thought that would be me but I look at the last 4 years and it seems to be true. I don't respect people who take the easy road in life, so I decided that I can't continue to do that anymore. The easiest thing to do right now would be to quit my job and leave Jason for good. But I can't do that, I can't afford to quit my job with out having another lined up, and I know that in a few weeks, or if nothing else at Taylor and Tony's wedding, I would miss him with all my being. And that's the truth, I don't want to leave him. I just don't want to hurt (emotionally) anymore. I think only time will fix that.

That being said, how has all of this affected my diabetes? Well, I also noticed the impactof this on my diabetes last night. I haven't been testing, I haven't been attentive to the alarms on my pump (so that I completely ran out of insulin in the reservoir last night and had to do manual injections through the night because I used my extra supplies the other week and didn't replenish my pump stock in the car, and I was away from home, again) and then I even managed to loose my meter completely yesterday! Its still MIA...thank God for back-up meters!

So, yea, I know. Baaaad Amber for not testing, not changing out the reservoir before it was completely empty, for loosing my meter and only discovering it really was MIA this morning when I got to work, for all the things I let get to me and let my focus from diabetes slip, baaaad...

How do people do it? How do you have an emotional month and still stay on top of diabetes? How do even continue to want to care for it when, damn-it, everything just blows?

sigh, well, at least the babies make me smile, and make the day brighter. My Darlin' nephews!! Devin and Levi, in that order.