Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Praise you in this storm...

One of my favorite songs of all time is called Praise you in this Storm by Casting Crowns:

My mom had the lyrics written on our fridge - the song was played at her funeral - I've listened to it a million times.  Its sad...but its hopeful.  I go to it instantly when I need to remember - when i need to refocus myself - I'm reading this book about worship right now - this song reminds me that our God is a God of mercy and compassion and we can trust in the promise that he is in control.  Sometimes I REALLY need that reminder.  The book about worship reminded me that worshiping and praising God in ALL situations is evidence of our faith in him.  And the peace, healing, wisdom, evidence of his presence.  So, i'm choosing to praise God.  Its hard sometimes.
That said...My best friend was diagnosed with stage 3 uterine cancer last week.  Actually, she's still in the process of being diagnosed.  She is 29.  If there were more words to explain my feelings, I would already be typing them.  But there aren't.  The level of...ache, that I have for her is beyond anything I have felt, maybe ever.  i feel helpless and frustrated.  I feel guilty for things that happened between us before the diagnosis (which is stupid and I suppose human).  I'm scared.  When I feel helpless, when I'm afraid - I research.  the Google version of research for cancer is never good.  I was scared in the beginning...when they found "abnormal cells" before the C word was even spoken.  I was scared, when it was cancer.  I was scared when it was endometrial cancer.  Then it had spread to her uterus (stage II), then it was in her lymph nodes (stage III) then I read about survival rates...then treatment...and I'm scared.  I lost my mom a year and a half ago...the thought of losing my best friend is...unbearable.  The thought of her being in pain seems unbearable.  The thought of not being able to hold her hand through every second of this process is unbearable.  

i am choosing to praise.  My job is easy.  My part in this is simple, its emotional - I don't make decisions, I don't get poked and prodded, I don't lose my reproductive system.  Choosing to praise, is like choosing to breathe, for me, right now.  Choosing to trust God, to believe that there is a my job.  Supporting my friend, hugging, listening, encouraging, reminding, driving, sitting, soothing, calming, my job.  And its easy...compared to her job.  So I am choosing to praise.  And trust.  I am believing that God will provide the wisdom, peace of mind, clarity and healing that I'm asking for...that I'm begging for.  

If you are a person that prays, I would love for you to pray for those things for her too...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

growing on purpose...

I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago.  ELEVEN whole days off of work.  I went to North Carolina to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin first - we had a great weekend - my uncle, cousin Kevin and I went shooting all 3 days that I was there, my aunt showed my how to get started making the tshirt quilt I want to make, and I got to spend good, quality time with everyone.  Reminding me again that my primary love language is absolutely quality time.  I don't remember the last time I felt so loved and refreshed.  For the other 7 days I went to Jacksonville, FL to visit my cousin (and very best friend in the whole world) and her family (husband and 3 little monkeys that I adore more than words can say)
Shannon and Carson 

It was so great to just see them and spend time with them...Meeting Carson was awesome and we spent hours hanging out, I got to read books to April and Charley before bed, make cupcakes with April, braid her hair before school, pick her up after school, do crafts with them, play outside with Charley...and best of all, just hang out with was...awesome.  It was exactly what we both needed.  We didn't do a lot - and I wouldn't have loved it as much if we had been busy with stuff.  
One thing we did while I was there was go to a running store and get fitted for running shoes - they watched us walk, and helped us figure out what shoe was best - then we both bought them.  Along with a key chain, magnet and sticker for each of us that just says "Run."  Its the best reminder in the world and I am creating some really good, my shoes completely rock.  
I sometimes have a hard time understanding my blood sugar and exercise...its a new kind of frustrating...sometime I think I might be getting the hang of it, then other times...its like my first day all over again...
I had a lot of time to think while I was on vacation and what I realize is that if I'm frustrated by where my life is at...I can choose to grow.  I can decide that I'm going to change and improve.  So I have been.  I've been consciously making decisions based on what I think is important.  I've been reading my bible on a regular basis - not because I "should" but because I truly WANT to.  I've been running - exercising...because it makes me feel better than when I don't.  Growing on purpose...its not a new concept, but its new to be so conscious of it, and I like the way its playing out...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CGM confusion

My CGM (Thunder) Doesn't like it when I'm sick.  Its confused, I think.  I have bronchitis and sinus infection and haven't had a voice since Thursday.  I've had a fever and have slept a lot and eaten...well...not much.  I've still been running high and I know thats normal, but Thunder is constantly either double up or double down arrows (accurate about 50% of the time) OR consistently 220 or 80 for hours at a time, even when I eat and KNOW there should be fluctuation.  3 or 4 times now I've had to change it over 150 points one direction or another.  At work tonight it said I was 248 (which I didn't question until I got dizzy because I was expecting to run high) when I tested I was 64.  Last night it said I was 81 and when I tested I was 309!!!  Grr...and then the other half of the time it was spot on.  Is this normal?

In other news, I went to Sioux Falls for work last week and had the BEST week ever!!  I LOVE the store I got to help out in, already had friends that work there (which made it even more fun) one of my best friends lives there and just had her first baby so I got to spend all kinds of time with them:
(Brooklynn Rae)
Another of my best friends came up from about an hour away and spent a couple nights with me, and a friend from another store was training to be a manager in this restaurant so I got to spend a bunch of time with her!  Oh, and a friend from home just moved there to manage a new restaurant that is opening in Sioux Falls - the opening was while I was there so I was able to go and support him as well :)
(My friend Mike)
It was SUCH a great week.  There were two managers in training while I was there, which would normally make me want to pull my hair out, but since it wasn't my store and my only job was to run a shift, it ended up being a lot of fun.  I keep remembering that I wanted to put this conversation on here.  One of the MIT's was...ugh.  I don't have a good word for her.  Dreadful.  And that's being kind.  This is what happened.

MIT: Hey!  Do you chew??
Me: uh, no?
MIT: Whats that big bulge in your back pocket?
Me: oh, its called a CGM.  I'm a T1 diabetic and its this cool little device - that I affectionately refer to as Thunder- (she didn't even smile.) that checks my blood sugar every 5 minutes.
MIT: oh.  I'm hypoglycemic.  
Me: yeah, thats not the same thing. (under my breathe of course)

Then for the next 2 days whenever she saw me test or look at Thunder she made sure to let me know that she was having trouble keeping a consistent blood sugar.  I wanted to punch her.  Not for that, but because everything she did was irritating.  That just added to it :)

Tonight I was catching up on my blog reader and I read something about how in 1997 most people were just getting internet in their homes.  I think it was 1998 when we got it.  I have no idea when we stopped using dial up, but it occurred to me that even 10 years ago this kind of support wasn't available.  I'm reminded often how lucky I am, as I catch up on my google reader and drink my coffee in the morning, that the information and insight and... camaraderie that I gain from that 10 minutes in the morning is right at my finger tips and these people who are actually strangers to me, feel like friends that I've known for a long time.  Tonight when I realized just how recent this kind of technology is compared to the length of time that some of you have had diabetes, I was reminded again of how lucky I am to have access to this stuff.  Not just a CGM or a pump, but also to the minds of people who are so similar to me...

That's all for tonight :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Because there wasn't much to say...

"Does your employer/school/friends know you have diabetes?  Why or why not?"

This is a DSMA blog carnival question and...well, I like these.  

Yes.  My employer knows for several reasons.  1 - when I was originally (mis)diagnosed with type 2, I left work to go to the clinic because my vision was so fuzzy I couldn't see much of anything.  I missed the next couple days of work, and the company I work for is pretty small, so everyone knew why I was gone pretty quickly.  Beyond that, many of the people I work with are my friends, so of course I told them.  
Probably about half of the people I work with now know too.   Although I was diagnosed with type 1 over a year ago, the last 6 to 8 months have been a true time of adjustment for me - first, learning how important taking care of myself is, then learning how to use an insulin pump, and now using a CGM...all of those things have a learning curve and I'm not the most graceful person on sometimes diabetes has been a loud part of my life.
My friends know...they know I have type 1 diabetes.  Most of them know that prick my finger a lot, and because I'm not shy about my devices, they know I wear stuff...but I don't think any of them really KNOW (that's not true.  My friend Emily is a nurse, and she has been a very involved member of my diabetes circle since I moved back to St.Cloud...I appreciate her so much for that.) Even my friends that I share some of my diabetes thoughts with...that I'm low or high or feel like crap...that one of my batteries is going dead or I want my insulin to last until I get home to change my infusion site...they don't get it.  Maybe because they don't want to, but probably because they don't know how.  And that's completely okay.  But sometimes,  lately especially, that's a really lonely thing.  My mom would have gotten it.  She would have asked annoying questions and questioned my blood sugar constantly, she would have called me to make sure I didn't die in the night and it would have driven me crazy...but she would have gotten it.  Just another one of the many things I miss about her.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The most exciting thing about Kansas

Kallista and I have been going to get tattoo's since we were about 19.  We both turn 29 this week and we finally did it!  Eventually I want to add words, but first I need to forget how much this hurt :)
Last summer we almost got them when Kallista came to visit me but the place we went to wouldn't do mine on my foot because I am diabetic.  She said it would heal like an open wound and I would surely have a lot of complications.  Its almost completely healed and I have had no complications and I don't know of any open wound that has healed this way.  Suck it, St.Cloud lady.

Friday, March 16, 2012

5 things Friday

This was fun to much that I'm going to play too :)

Top 5 favorite books.

1. Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller - He's got a different take on religion but in the end a pretty classic view of God.  His books make me think less like a "Christian" and more like...someone who has a relationship with the Creator of the Universe.  I like it.  

2. To Kill a Mockingbird - I don't know what it is about this book - I've read it probably 20 times since high school and it never gets old.  The weird thing is, I hate the movie.  

3. The Giver - by Lois Lowery - in a strange way it reminds me of the Hunger Games, in that the story is set in a world nothing like ours, controlled by an untouchable government with rules we would never see in the world we live in today.  Its interesting and has this great twist of compassion that is both heart breaking and heart warming.

4. Beautiful Child - by Tori Hayden - Tori is a special ed teacher who writes about her students - the different kids she has connected with and how she has changed their little worlds.  She's an amazing author but I think she was probably an even more amazing teacher.  She saw potential in kids who otherwise didn't have anyone who believed in them.

5. The 21 Laws of Irrefutable Leadership - by John C Maxwell - I know its kind of nerdy but I've read it a couple of times and I go back and read parts of it sometimes when I want to learn something and it always catches my attention...I still learn new things from it every time I pick it up.

Today was frustrating.  Actually, the most frustrating thing about it was that the first half of my day was awesome - it was a slow but productive shift at work and we had a good time being there.  The rest of the day...took an unexpected and uneasy turn downward.  
So, I came home tonight, heated up the pot roast I made last night and started catching up on my google reader.  I love reading the thoughts of other people...It makes me happy :)  Tonight, I was trying to think of my 5 favorite books and after the first 3 I was at a loss - so I decided to see if my Myspace account was still is!  So, I looked at what my favorite books use to be (turns out, they're about the same) then I started reading my old blog posts...its fun and I'm not ready to stop yet.  They're all from before my mom fact, one of them is from on her birthday of the last year she was alive.  They're from when I lived in Sioux City and from when I moved back home.  They're from some of the last times I remember feeling like a whole person. They're sad, but they remind me of who I use to be...they remind me of how far I've come, too...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Catching up...

Wow, its been a month and a half since the last time I wrote anything.  I've started a few times but not finished so this time, I'm not leaving the computer until I hit post.  Promise.
I my CGM about a month ago and started using it a couple of weeks ago.  His name is Thunder (which made the name Lightening, for my pump, a natural choice :p) and I don't know how I ever lived without him!  I've been hesitant about each new piece of medical technology...I don't like change...but each one has made my life easier to control and more manageable. 
My biggest problem has become where to carry all this technology?!  Bra, back pocket, belt clip...good thing there's nothing else because I'm out of room.  So, generally my pump lives in my bra - it seems to work out pretty well.  Thunder, in my back pocket at work normally, although I don't always hear it beep or feel it vibrate so I might have to find a better spot, and at home, it stays with my phone, which is never far from me.
I flew to Kansas this past week and traveling turned out to be another interesting gem :)  At MSP they just did the hand swab to make sure I wasn't hiding a bomb in my pump - no questions about Thunder or the transmitter - and other than being low on the plane ride there, diabetes wise, the trip there was a uneventful.  Kansas City is a slightly different story.  There was a sign to please alert TSA about any medical devices, so I did.  She rolled her eyes at me and told me to go on through.  So I do.  Then the lady on the other side gets upset because I didn't tell her.  I beeped, so I had to have the full pat down.  Its okay, I'm not hiding a bomb in my pump so bring it on. It took 45 minutes and if my flight hadn't end up switching gates and being delayed, I probably would have missed it.  There were a lot of annoying questions like can you take it apart?  Whats on your stomach?  (my answer...on which side? lol).  
Anyway...each time I sit down to write, I've got something to say, but now that I'm here not much seems exciting.  
I've been working on exercising more consistently, and thats been...interesting.  There have been some near perfect days - I turn my basil down at the right time, eat a granola bar and get in a good 45 minute work out - shower then eat lunch, and stay in a happy blood sugar range the whole time.  I'm proud of those days.  Then there have been a couple times I've forgotten to turn my basil down and realize it when I'm 9 blocks from my house  and the 4 glucose tabs stuffed in my shoe are not going to cut it.  I'm finding that a mostly protein breakfast is better than cereal...I notice it when I work out but Thunder tells me that, in general, cereal is a difficult food for me to bolus correctly for and might be why I feel like crap so often before lunch.  Which sucks, because cereal is pretty much my favorite food in the world.

As a whole, I'm figuring it out.  The new technology that I was so hesitant about, helps me understand my body more and that's worth the pain of not having room in my pockets for chap stick anymore.

As far as life goes - the last couple months have been a whirlwind...I spent a couple of weeks in Bismarck working, which I mentioned before I think.  It went well.  There were some really really hard parts about it.  The work side was awesome - I LOVED working there.  It was busy all the time - that was a lot of fun - I like the kind of chaos that can be contained...I like containing it :)  There are such clear boundaries there. For most people, that might not even be noticed, but its something I always liked about that store and being there for a couple of weeks helped me to regain my footing a little bit...remembering how I worked there before, and paying attention to the different way I handle situations in that environment versus how I handle them in my current store, I think helps me now that I'm back here too.  
Since I got back from Bismarck my friend Brittany came to visit for a few days and the next week my friend Allison came.  and last week I went to Kansas to visit my best friend from high school, Kallista.  Overall - I have been good...which is something I haven't been able to say too often for a while.  Connecting with people, having fun with people, catching up, enjoying things outside of work...they're important to my sanity.  I need to remember that.  When I don't do it for a while I start to feel very stuck...I NEED people.  I need the positive influence of people who care about me.  I'm better when thats a present thing in my life.  
Next month, provided there is a time that works, I'm going to Florida for a week - I can't wait to meet my cousins new little guy, Carson, and spend time with the other two monkeys, too.  I can't wait for a week of cousin time...and I can't wait to be just 20 minutes from the OCEAN :D