Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is it Christmas yet?

You can't really tell from the picture, but that is a Christmas bow.  Nikedah is ready for Christmas :p  I got her two of them.  She hates them both.  I also got some cat food for the humane society.  Christmas makes me happy.  
Yesterday and the day before I couldn't seem to keep my blood sugar over a hundred.  I dosed correctly, even less after I realized it was happening, and still...low.  Nothing below 60, but anything below about 75 makes me shaky and...just generally unhappy feeling.  Ick.  
This afternoon I was at a happy 109 when I tested after lunch.  I did two things differently yesterday - I didn't work as hard at work, and I put grenadine in my diet Pepsi.  So, constant little shots of sugar for hours on end.  Okay, not great, I know.  But it worked.  I've opened the last 3 mornings. I love opening because the day goes by so quickly (but as a night person I start to dread 8:30, because thats generally the most productive time of day for me and now I'm exhausted.  Anyway, so I like mornings.  Once I've got the prep list done, I can just zone out and get stuff done for a couple of hours...then there is that time from 10 until about 11:30 that I'm running around trying to get everything done, drawers out, line check, stuff to the line, phone calls, etc...its less physical work and more mental, but that seems to have the same effect.  Today there was just less to do.  It was slow yesterday so the prep list was pretty small, I had a prep cook and 2 line cooks so...I just worked slower (and I did a lot of dishes).
Something I'll have to tweak I guess...less insulin when I open.  more when I close.  The restaurant world is unpredictable...diabetes is unpredictable.  I thrive on predictable.  I see this being a problem.
Tonight after work I went to Target (just to get more current yogurt obsession) and I got stuck in the Christmas'll happen a lot.  This is the first of many times :)  But I found the Christmas candy and I decided to make peanut butter kiss cookies tonight for a Toys for Tots meeting at work tomorrow. Well, its 8:40 and I'm obviously not making the cookies, but I also got Reese's bells candy...I can guarantee I'm not going to be low tonight.  oops.  Maybe I'll go for a walk after this.  
Okay...catching up on these questions.

What inspires you to take care of yourself when you are feeling down about living with a health condition?  Honestly, lately, its blogs.  Reading the blogs of other people who feel like I do is the most motivating experience for me.  Quite a few of the people around me know I'm diabetic...some ask questions, and most are misinformed, but no one gets it...not really.  They don't get that its a pain to test constantly, they don't get how frustrating it is to wonder if whatever I'm feeling at any given moment is a symptom of a high or a low, they don't get how important all these magical numbers are to me...and I don't need them to.  Maybe sometimes I don't even want them to.  But knowing that there are people out there who do know, and who worry about the same things...thats what inspires me to keep going when its hard.

What are you doing in your community to celebrate World Diabetes Day?  I'm ashamed to say nothing.  I thought about it all day.  I wore blue.  But I said nothing.  I was embarrassed, I didn't want to sound ridiculous.  Next year, I'll do better.  I promise.  

Who is a diabetes related person you admire, and why?  That's a tough one since I haven't had that much experience with the diabetes community.  In the few months I've payed attention to other diabetics I haven't MET any of them, I don't know anyone personally.  However, I look forward to reading Kelli's blog at Diabetesaliciousness every day!  Its dumb, but I feel like I can relate to her because her mom recently passed away.  She called herself an orphan in a post not long ago and I cried.  I related.  I feel like an orphan.  And feeling another orphan's pain makes this journey a little less lonely.

I'm excited for tomorrow's question.

Last time I wrote I talked about glass balls and plastic balls...and control balls too I guess.  I've been thinking so much about those things lately...
I have another thought about that.  I'm having to learn how to advocate for myself.  I'm low, I HAVE to stop for a minute.  I feel funny, I NEED to go test.  not just drink some juice, blindly, and move on.  I'm learning that I have to pay attention to myself more than I sometimes want to.  and for that, I'm not sorry.  But in the process of paying attention, of realizing that my health is worth the work I'm putting into it...I'm also realizing that I need to stand up for myself in life.  I'm NOT good at that.  I'm an understanding and a compassionate person, and I tend to let people walk all over me if they want to.  I blow things off because I want to be nice. I guess thats where all the glass, plastic, control balls thoughts have come in.  I am a whole person if I let myself be.  If I work at it, my health can be good.  If I work on them, my relationships can be good.  But people are unpredictable and I can't always know how they're going to react...I'm caught off guard sometimes, I feel hurt sometimes, I feel that I've been treated unfairly sometimes.  I can step back and let it happen...or I can advocate for myself.  Yesterday I said this to one of the most important people in my little world..."I thought I was fighting for our friendship before, but what I realize now is that I was setting a precedent...and compromising my own worth in the process.  I care...I care so much.  but I won't go thru that again." I stood up for myself and choose to react differently to a situation that I've always allowed to happen before.  It hurts...still today, it hurts...but I have a couple control balls...control over what I'll take and control over how I'm going to feel.  Diabetes is unpredictable too...I can do all the right things and still I'm low sometimes...or incredibly high.  I can step back and let it consume me, or I can gather more information and understanding and remember that tomorrow is a new day and I'll continue to fight the battle.  

On another note, I did a happy dance, right on the expo line at work, when I got an email saying I had a comment from someone yesterday!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Venting a litlte

There are 2 analogies running through my head and they're getting mixed up and have sort of morphed into one big one that probably only makes sense in my head, where they're already putting them on paper could be interesting.
There are glass balls and plastic balls...plastic balls are things like our financial situations and our jobs...if we drop the ball, they'll bounce back - they won't break.  Then there are the glass balls - these are things like our relationships and our health - when we drop those balls, they shatter.  Our lives are a balancing act - we're juggling all these balls...some are glass and some are plastic and its important to remember that if we drop a plastic ball, it may take some time, but it'll bounce back - when we drop the glass balls, they'll shatter and break.  Thats the first analogy.  The second one is about control in a relationship.  Say there are 10 balls, each representing 10% of the control - together they add up to 100% of the control in a relationship.  How many of the balls are you holding?  How many are the other person holding?  What happens to each person, the person who doesn't have enough balls and the person that has too many? 
Those two analogies don't make a lot of sense together...except that they're both about balls ;)  I've been rolling them around in my mind for the last few days though.
While we were discussing a friendship I've been feeling frustrated about, my counselor asked me last week how many of those 10% balls I was holding and how many my friend was holding.  I felt embarrassed and frustrated when I said I thought I was maybe holding one of the order to regain control of some of the balls she told me to stop and think about what need was being met through giving up my share of the balls...connection, being known, acceptance.  That's what I get out of it.  I wish I hadn't thought about it - I feel worse now.  And I feel angry because our friendship is a big one in my life, and its been there for a long time.  I don't want to feel this way about it...I want to be sure of it, I want to be able to count on it...but its not that easy.  And today, I'm frustrated.
I want this blog to be my journey...I don't want it to be complaining, or even venting about life...I want this to be something positive I can look back and see progress with.  So I'll be done with those thoughts for now.  Today was particularly frustrating in my world of juggling balls and I needed my thoughts to go somewhere.

On another note, I could not keep my blood sugar up for anything today!  I haven't had that problem in a while, but when we got busy at work it was sure frustrating.  For the most part I've stayed pretty in range this past week - I feel like I've got more control  and definitely more understanding than I have in the past, which is awesome.

And finally, Blog Carnival posts:
We want to know a little bit about you.  What are your interests, hobbies, when were you diagnosed? Well, I like crafts and art.  I paint with both oils and acrylics.  I LOVE baking and decorating cakes...of all my hobbies, that one is my favorite.  I like animals and have one cat (who thinks she is a dog) her name is Nikedah.  I was diagnosed last July with type 2 and realized last December that its type 1, so my 1 year diaversary is coming up soon :) 

Describe your worst diabetes day/event.  Um...I would have to say it was around this time last year, before I knew I was type 1.  I was having such bad leg cramps that everytime I fell asleep I got them and I didn't ever sleep for more than like 45 minutes at a time, I was exhausted from the high blood sugar, from not eating because I was trying so hard to bring down my blood sugar, and from not mom had JUST died and I was trying to deal with life...which was raising my blood sugar also.  It sucked.

Next time I write, it will be less crabby.  Promise.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pretty colors and organization

I like colors, I like bright, shiny objects and more than that I like it when things are organized...I live by the motto "a place for everything and everything in its place".  I don't try to, it just happens and there are often times I wish I could turn it off...but I can't.  So, I put things away, I buy those awesome little rubbermaid plastic compartment things, most recently, I got these cute, tiny Pampered Chef bowls that I just know will somehow help me organize spices or baking powder the next time I cook (As you know, baking powder needs a little more structure).  I'm also fairly new to this Type 1 - I'm constantly thinking about the state of my blood - thing...and while I hate waking up low, I really hate that I must be high because my eyes feel heavy feeling, I don't like that my hands are gross, red and dry from washing them 80 times a day just to stab them without apology...but more than anything else, I hate how disorganized all my supplies are!!!!  Okay, well, if you know me at all, you already know that the day I had more than one item to control I went out and bought it its own home (probably with a colored lid and handle), but its not enough.  It took a few times to find a needle I was comfortable with, and I saved the old ones (obviously) as back up, so I've got ten thousand needles roaming around, test strips, lancets, the case my meter came with, an old meeter, old lancets, old test know what the "stuff" consists of.  Either way, it'll probably need its own room soon...or at least its own closet...or shelf in the closet.  Whatever.  So.  there's a lot of stuff.  I contain it the best I can.  But when it comes to organization...Well...I really like it.  Lets leave it at that.
There isn't much I like more than knowing things are well organized (everything in its place...) except maybe creativity and colors.  My meter case is orange and pink (yeah, I'm 5, I know) I have fun matching skins on my meter and I used the outside to decorate my lancer.  When I'm bored I put stickers on my insulin, my computer has a skin on it, my retainer case is decorated with puffy paint...I LIKE to be creative.  I didn't say artistic, I said creative.  There's a difference ;)  Anyway, today I discovered that there are all kinds of sites that provide creative, colorful, organizational mechanisms for diabetes supplies!!!  Until tonight I was...curiously optimistic about a pump and CGM's...but did you know they make skins for those too?!  And these handy little totes!!  The organizational part of my brain is breathing a sigh of relief and the crafty side is overwhelmed by the possibilities!!  The practical side thinks that not sticking myself 20 times a day sounds like heaven and not having to stop what I'm doing, wash my hands and prick myself to have an idea of what my body is doing sounds kind fantastic too.
Technology is really cool and although my journey with T1 is only beginning, I'm already incredibly thankful I'm dealing with it now and not 30 years ago.  What creative people find to make technology more compartmentalized and user friendly, is even cooler. 
What brought that on?  Today I followed a blog and found this (!!!):

Todays question:
You are on a deserted island, what would you take with you?  Diabetes related?  I guess insulin.  non D related? my cat :)  My cell phone...with some form of solar charger :p

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tomorrow's another day.

Do you enjoy exercising?  Why or why not?  Once I'm done with it, I love that I did it and I feel great.  Getting started is the hard part...but I suppose most people feel like that!  I can definitely see a change in my BG when I exercise though.

I ate what I do every morning for breakfast, cereal and milk, perfectly measured out, with the same amount of insulin I take every time.  Normally I try to eat lunch between 4 and 5 hours later and on a "normal" day I'm in the low hundreds (provided I didn't eat anything when I did my line check).  Today, 218.  NO idea why.  So, I heated up my lean pocket, figured out my carbs, added 2 for being high, did my shot and ate lunch.  2 hours later...230.  Seriously??  So 6 hours after lunch I make dinner, test again and I'm still over 200!!  SO frustrating!!  I did everything right today even!  So, I ate dinner, then I was frustrated and figured it didn't matter, so I ate chocolate cake for dessert.  I gave myself a shot for it though...more than I needed to, then I went for a walk later tonight and when I got home I was low.  oy.  Tomorrow's another day...

It wasn't just my blood sugar that was off today.  It was a decent day, slow at work and I got a lot done...but it felt off.  So really...tomorrow is another day. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Catching up

I wanted to answer the Juvenation Blog Carnival Questions each day in November but I got distracted really fast and forgot.  So, I'll start catching up right now. 

Q1. What does your T1 diabetes mean to you, in 3 words?  Consuming. Tedious. Defining.

Q2. How has the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) helped you?  Finding other people who go thru the same things I do, day in and day out, has been a bigger relief and source of support than I could have imagined.  I read about how people who had out of control numbers buckled down and took charge of their diabetes and I was motivated to do the same thing.  I began to understand that many other people experience the pre endo dread, and fear the magic A1C result.  I realized that there are thousands of you that struggle with, why am I low, why am I high, I corrected the way I'm suppose to, the way I usually can and nothing happened, I did nothing and now I'm higher...I can't seem to get my number back above 60...everyone struggles with that, and reading others frustrations and successes make me feel like I can do it...

Q3. What is a normal day for you like?  Be as descriptive as you want.  Okay.  I'll do tomorrow since most days are different depending on what I work.  I open in the morning so I'll get up at about 5:20, make a cup of coffee,  test, shot, and eat breakfast, get dressed and go to work.  Cole and I will finish counting inventory, we'll put the truck away and put up the prep list, set up dish, then I'll get numbers ready to send off, and get the packet ready.  tomorrow I'll finish with dish machine quotes, write the manager meeting notes and meet with a guy about the dish washer at 8.  Then I'll help with prep until its time to get the FOH set up, be on the floor until 2.  Then we'll have a manager meeting and after that I'll be in the kitchen for a little bit, probably take the Anderson Trucking catering then I'll be done with work.  I'll test a few times, and eat lunch hopefully at some point.  Tomorrow I'll make dinner when I get home (I'm making a beef pot pie thing), and probably clean for a while while my dinner is cooking, test, shot dinner, watch tv for a while, then pack my lunch for work on Tuesday.  The diabetes related parts of my day, test, shot, are monotonous and not worth repeating in here but I want to include it.  At the end of the night I'll take a few minutes, replace my needles, make sure I'm stocked up for the next day (tomorrow night I know I'll need to take another Humalog out of the fridge cause I'll run out sometime on Tuesday) and write down my blood sugars from the day.  I'll double check to make sure I've got juice next to my bed, and glucose tabs and nuts or some other protein in my purse. 

Q4. If you opened up your fridge what is the first thing you would eat?  Why did you choose that food and how many carbs does it have? black olives and diet Snapple.  I'd choose that because I'm pretty high right now and don't want to deal with the shot, test, process anymore today.  There is 1 carb in 4 olives and none in the diet Snapple.

Q5. What is your blood sugar right now? 213. ouch.  I ate a cookie earlier and obviously didn't dose enough for it. I tried to make up for it when I realized but it was too late.

Q6. How often do you test?  Do you skip a lot?  which meter do you have?  Do you use monitoring software?  which finger do you use the most? Take a photo of your finger and lets see if we can connect the dots!  I test somewhere between 10 and 12 times a day, I skip when I forget, but lately that isn't very often...I usually remember to test but sometimes forget to give myself a shot afterward.  I have an AccuChek. and I generally use the index finger on my right hand if I'm not thinking, or my pointer finger.  and I tried to take a picture but none of my dots showed up on the camera...the dots on my stomach on the other hand are another story...

Yeah, caught up!!  Today I went to the cities to see my dad then I had dinner with a friend tonight.  I'm finding that the most frustrating things are going out to eat...Its hard to know exactly how many carbs are in things ESPECIALLY when I know I'm not going to eat everything on my plate.  So I try to order things I know.  But even that is hard and most of the time if I know it its something I can make at home and thats not what I WANT to order at a restaurant!  My dad and I had Outback for lunch.  I had a salad, so I could pretty accurately guess the dressing and croutons, a serloin - no carbs.  and a sweet potato with only butter.  I have a pretty good idea on that too, depending on the size.  Seems simple enough, but I was still high when I tested a few hours after lunch.  So frustrating because that should have been the easy meal.  So Kara and I went to Flame (? I think) for dinner and I had a chicken sandwich and mashed potatoes.  I know better than to eat those, but I did it anyway.  So again, fairly simple.  Chicken, nothing.  So I've got a bun and potatoes.  I WAY over figured it plus 2 extra units because I was at 212 still.  and still, its 11 and I'm over 200.  My dad made cookies and I ate one on the way home...that was dumb.  I might have been fine otherwise.  So...anyway.  I was looking forward to getting to bed early so I'm not tired all day tomorrow, but it looks like I'm setting an alarm to test in a few hours anyway and I always have trouble falling asleep after that. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

She was on her way

"She wasn't where she had been.
She wasn't where she was going...
but she was on her way.
And on her way she enjoyed
food that wasn't fast, friendships that held.
hearts glowing,
hearts breaking,
smiles that caught tears,
paths trudged and
alleys skipped.
And on her way she no
longer looked for
the answers, but held close
the two things she knew for sure.
One, if a day carried
strength in the morning,
peace in the evening,
and a little joy in between,
it was a good one...
and two, you can live
completely without
complete understanding.

She was on her way.

That's how I feel today.  Sunday marked a year since my mom died.  I truly think that on Monday, I took a breath deeper than I have since that day...all the firsts are over.  Part of me is means she's farther away, I'll only remember her less now...but a bigger part of me knows that I got thru this last year...I can get thru anything.  Last year I made the decision to take my mom off life support (something that felt a lot like murder for a long time).  I planned her funeral.  I packed up all her things and gave them to goodwill.  I sold her car. I got rid of her dog.  I sold her house.  I moved away from everything that's ever been home.  And then I started over.  As an only only child with divorced parents...I think about how much of that I did alone.  At the end of the day, it is just me.  But the truth is, my grandparents provided so much emotional support.  My aunt has seamlessly stepped into the kind of role my mom has always played.  My best friend has stepped up in ways I couldn't have ever asked of or imagined her to.  I am not alone.  I lost myself this year in the chaos and the noise...I lost myself when I left everything I know.  I lost myself when I lost my mom.  But my aunt and my cousin and my grandparents and my best friend...held on to the pieces of me...and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I've begun to take them back and piece myself back together.'s where I'm going with this thought.  When my mom was in the hospital, one afternoon my grandma and I were back at the house looking for some insurance paperwork (her records were a MESS) and I found this letter in the bottom of her sock drawer.  It was an "if you find this, I'm gone" kind of letter...which is weird since her death was so unexpected...sometimes I wonder if she knew... Anyway, up to this point I've focused on the I love you's and the you meant everything to me's...they keep me holding on.  They remind me.  Our family trip to the ocean this summer was so important to me because its the one thing she asked of us...if something happens, take everyone to the ocean, walk on the beach and remember the good times we had.  I held on to that like a life raft...
She said something else in the letter though.  I've not paid that much attention to this part until recently.  It says "Please take care of yourself, Steph.  I didn't do a very good job of that for myself." I can do that.  Its tangible.  And I am.  I'm paying attention, I'm testing, I'm giving myself shots, my numbers are better, but more importantly, I'm caring again.  and Caring feels good. 
I have another thought...about testing and giving myself shots in public.  But I work in 8 hours and I hate knowing I'm the manager everyone avoids.  So.  I'm going to bed for my staff's sake :p 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day One

I've got to start somewhere, and I think better out this makes sense.  I've found so much good insight and support from other people who have blogs that write about their daily life with type I  Here it goes.
Last July I was diagnosed with type II.  I spent most of the summer and fall eating 15 to 30 carb meals, exercising and testing like a crazy person.  My numbers stayed decent...well, they were really good compared to what they've been since then.  My mom died last October and until recently that was the last time I cared about my blood sugar at all.  There were bigger things after that.  I was put on insulin before Christmas and diagnosed with type I shortly after that.  For the next 7 or 8 months I got lucky...I've read a lot about how pancreas function deteriorates more slowly sometimes in adults.  When I was busy pretending I was fine, my pancreas was taking its sweet time quitting.  In September, I finally found a doctor in St.Cloud and went in for my "3 month" (ok, 9 month) A1C, etc...visit.  It was 10.2. Ouch.  I guess thats what happens when you don't test or dose.  Then I went to the Endocrinologist. A1C again.  11.  So, I suck.  At least between the two I'd started testing again, so we had some idea of where to start.  He took me off the Metformin, lowered my basil (Lantus) and changed my rapid (Humalog) dose.  My numbers went up, but at least it was a base.  I felt like crap for about 3 weeks...until he started to adjust the dose based on when I was higher...Its been a roller coaster but after a lot of research, a couple appointments with the diabetic nurse and a dietitian and several endocrine appointments, I'm consistently in the mid to high hundreds (an improvement over the mid to high 300's) and sometimes even the low hundreds.  Last week I forgot to take my insulin ONCE and my BG was over 500.  Thank you pancreas for waiting for me to be smart before you decided to kick the bucket. 

Its a process...its a daily commitment I have to be ready to make...its not like taking an antibiotic where in ten days you can stop, and if you skip a dose you can take two at once...doing something for the rest of my life is tiring to think about, and knowing that if I forget, even once or twice it can have a life threatening effect, is scary.  Testing before meals when I have dinner with a friend is annoying and once in a while embarrassing.  Its a pain when I'm in a hurry and its scary when I feel off.  Its isolating to process all this information and not have anyone who really gets it.  Reading the blogs of some really inspiring women, who are my age, and struggling with the same things is really helpful.  But most of all, its motivating to see that other people are doing it...succeeding, and leading normal, active, healthy lives, makes me want to work hard and achieve the same thing. 

Anyway, I'm off to have dinner with Kim and Noah now.  I'm excited to catch up with both of them :)


AM: 154
before lunch: 212
2 hrs after: 126
before dinner: 332 (really?)