Saturday, December 31, 2011

All kinds of catching up...

Here's a secret: I'm great at resolutions.  I keep them.  I'm the annoying, responsible person in any room, I follow thru, I like to accomplish things...I like to cross things off a list, I like things neat and tidy...overall, my OCD need for these things, makes me less fun than most people.  But sometimes it comes in handy.  and January 1st is one of those times.  Because I'm a resolution rockstar.
My Google Reader is full of resolutions and reflections this week and it makes me want to do the same thing.  Last year was a  year of changes, of survival, of just-get-thru-it.  Last year was hard...there were so many firsts...not the good kind of firsts.  When I think back on last year there is a montage in my head of times I sat down in the middle of whatever room I was in, overwhelmed, and sobbed, because I had no idea it was possible to feel this alone.  I miss my mom.  I don't say it out loud too often, and when I do its to the same person and one person can only hear the same statement so many times before they're desensitized to it...I wish the same held true for saying it...because each time the words come out of my mouth, they hold the same amount of feeling as crying on the kitchen floor.  I just miss her. It seems this whole year, changes, etc...held that sentiment...
January and February: were a blur...I worked, I packed up my moms things, I cleaned out her house, I transferred titles and policies, I paid off bills, I sent letters to insurance companies, I returned mail and cancelled subscriptions.  I came to St.Cloud...a lot.  I hid here.  I cried here, I felt safe here.  In February my best friend Priscilla and I had "do nothing day" - it may have been my favorite day of last year.  We played video games (Mario, of course) and ate junk food and watched movies and we may have played a game or two.  We watched an informational DVD about Ireland.  It was relaxing, and safe.  We didn't leave her living room floor for an entire day.  It was glorious.  
March: held several things, but all I cared about was moving.  It was my last month in Bismarck and while I needed to get out of there - I needed to not live in my moms house anymore, in the back of my mind I knew the minute I drove past the city limits, Bismarck would never be "home" again...there was nothing left there...I have lots of Memories of March.  My last appointment with my doctor in Bismarck, a call from my dermatologist saying a mole I'd had removed came back as full blow melanoma (really, God?), closing the door of my moms house for the last time, pulling away from the yard following the Uhaul with my whole life inside.

 giving my moms dog, Libby away...the family pet we've had for 10 years, watching them drive down the street with Libby watching me thru the side window...

March was tough...March was mostly good byes...
April and May: were a blur.  They were unpacking and adjusting (again).  They were learning the routines of a new restaurant.  They were reconnecting and establishing myself.  If its possible to say it, they were uneventful.
June and July: were tumultuous.  Honestly, some really painful things happened in June and July...some work related, some personal and all things I don't want to think about anymore. 
August: Family vacation to Holden Beach, NC.

The balloons in all the pictures represented my mom.  She left a letter that I found after she died saying to use some of the life insurance money to take my family to this beach (our favorite place) and remember her.  We got family pictures taken and I wanted her in them.  This picture of me letting the balloons go has been as cathartic to look at as it was to actually do.  

September and October: are different than November and December in only one way.  The firsts were the hardest...My moms birthday is the end of September and the anniversary of her death and the preceding week in the hospital was the end of October.  They were really difficult months.  I cried a lot, I talked less than I should have, I didn't connect with people well during those months, and that made me a basket case.  I honored her on both of those days in small ways and mostly in my mind...they were really hard, but knowing I got thru them is huge. 

November and December: I've heard often that the second year is worst than the first when it comes to grieving, and in many ways I think that is true...real life has set in and now its just adjusting to the new normal. But overall, I am coping much better now that the firsts are done.  I dreaded the unknowns so much, I didn't know how I would feel or react to the firsts and sometimes that was felt like being out on a cliff and just waiting to see how hard the wind would blow and which direction would it come from.  Christmas was still hard...and I'm beginning to think it always will be.  

Changes, firsts, and just-get-thru-it's...survival.  That was a summary of my year...if you're thinking I wasn't very positive and I didn't find many good things in last year, well, you're right.  I struggled last year.  But thats what new beginnings are for, right? :)  
And speaking of new beginnings...
I decided on the Animas Ping, it arrived yesterday and I have my pump start appointment on Tuesday!!!!!  I'm SO excited :D  I just finished the paperwork for the DexCom and will be starting that the beginning of February.  
So...resolutions and hopes for 2012. 
1. Health.  because last year was mostly about survival, my health took a back seat...that's understandable considering the circumstances, but it doesn't need to anymore.  I know it will be tough, but I am determined to do better this year.  I'd love to make some lofty and specific goals like how many times a week I'm going to work out, and how much weight I'd like to lose and what I'm not going to eat, but we all know that doesn't work.  For me, the blog world has been about diabetes.  I read about other people who are like me and I feel supported, I write about my diabetes because its hard to talk in depth about (and if you haven't guessed it already, I process by talking :p).  But this year I want to write about health in general.  Being healthier emotionally and physically.  The only for sure goal I'll set is this: the first half of the year I want an A1C below 7 and the second half I want at a 6.5 or below.  Challenging and manageable.  Perfect :)

2. This is my big one.  I don't know when it happened, but I got quiet and scared.  I stopped having an opinion when I thought it was going to cause a problem, I got scare of making people upset, and I cared more about being liked than respected.  I have kept quiet at the expense of my values.  This year my main resolution is to be more direct and honest.  
I'll start here.  

So...for me, 2012 is going to be a year of rebuilding.  Myself, my health, relationships I let fall to the edges...I'm ready for it :)


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thankful for the availability of insulin...

Something kind of scary happened over the last week or so.  It started about a week and a half ago, I stopped at Target Pharmacy to let them know I needed my test strips, Lantus and Humalog refilled and said I'd be back the next day.  The next day when I got there they had 2 ready but one didn't have any refills. Okay, cool - they said they'd already faxed something over to my doctor to get a refill on the Lantus, they'd call when it was filled.  A couple days went by without a call so I went back in...she hadn't heard back from my doctor, so I asked who she sent it to.  Cindy - my endo in Bismarck (I moved here in April) - so I explained that I moved from North Dakota and gave them my new endo's information...he is in Maple Grove, about 45 minutes from here (when I first moved there was an 8 month waiting list to get in here, so I went somewhere farther away for the time being...I put it off for months, until I was consistently so high I was getting scared and I was beyond the point of being able to pull myself back...) Anyway, I like the guy in Maple Grove, but 1.its a pretty long drive for someone you're not head over heels in love with and 2....I kind of think he is autistic (nothing against him...he just isn't for me), so when I had the opportunity to get in here in St.Cloud, I took it.  Alright, so back to the pharmacist.  I gave them the name and number of the guy in Maple Grove and left, assuming it would just be a day or so...this was a Friday - I came back the next Tuesday and STILL nothing!  I still had over half a pen left so it didn't seem like a big deal - I asked them to re fax the request and hoped they'd hear back soon...I came back Thursday.  Still nothing.  Now I was just getting mad.  What if it WAS an emergency?  What if I was out of Lantus??  So I called them myself and left a message (of course there is no way to actually talk to the nurse when you call...) they didn't return my call.  I came back on Friday.  Still nothing.  On Sunday night I clicked my pen as far as it would go and realized that Monday night (last night) was my last full night of insulin...I started to get nervous...I mean, its right there behind the counter, they couldn't not give it to me, could they?  I went back in on Monday and explained the situation to yet another tech, who suggested that I call the St.Cloud endo office, even though I'm technically not their patient yet and they can't prescribe me anything without seeing me.  So I did.  I explained my situation to the receptionist, the dietitian (I don't know why...thats just who I was transferred to), the nurse practitioner, and finally, someone else, who I do not remember, who said I should call the place in Maple Grove and try again, and maybe I just didn't convey the urgency of the situation.  Good plan, I hadn't thought of that.  grr.  But I had no other option at this point, so I did it.  Then I called the pharmacy just to check and see if maybe possibly someone had called it in.  They hadn't, but the very nice tech informed me that even if someone had called it in, they were out of the Lantus pen until Tuesday.  So, my over thinking, normally anxious anyway brain started to assume the worst and began to wonder what might happen if there was a storm or something and they didn't get their order of medication in the next day?  What if there was no insulin available?  what if...400 things that probably wouldn't ever happen, happened?  Honestly...I should be slapped sometimes.  So, I woke up this morning to 2 voice mails from the nurse practitioner here in St.Cloud saying to call her back because while she can't prescribe something for me, she can give me samples until my appointment in a week and a half.  So I came in 5 minutes after we got off the phone and actually kissed the beautiful box of life saving liquid :D

But then I started thinking.  I'm lucky.  Diabetes is expensive...I think that's pretty understood.  I'm fortunate enough to have a good job and a consistent paycheck.  I'm lucky because my job offers pretty decent medical insurance...I'm lucky because I live in America where what we need is almost always right at our finger tips.  I'm fortunate because I live in a place where the availability of not only insulin but clean needles isn't even an issue or something I consider.  I'm lucky, and I'm grateful.  But I'm sad...because I know its not like that for everyone...I don't know what I'm going to do about it...but I feel like I have to do something.  I'm going to do some research and see if there is an organization I can help, because I'm sure they are out there.  I know they are.  I just don't know where.  So I'm going to start looking.  And one of my New Years resolutions (is it too early to be making those?) is to find away to help make insulin more available to people who need it and for whatever reason don't have access to it.  

That was one part of my day.  The other part was sheer productivity!  I have gotten so much done in the last couple of days that I actually feel mostly caught up on my life!  That's saying absolutely nothing for how I feel about work, but at least as far as life goes...I'm good!  My list went from being a full page and a half long to being pretty short.  Having 2 days off in a row does wonders for my sanity :)  

That said, I'm getting to bed before 3am tonight and if I'm really going to do that, I need to get off the computer.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Some Quotes

I like, I love them, I find them inspiring and I can't get enough of reading them.  I just followed someone from Pinterest and found a plethora of quotes that I love. they are :)  So many of them are applicable to diabetes management too :)

THIS is something I need to remember more!!  I tend to react quickly, and this year more than ever, when my life has felt more...meaningless and unimportant than ever...and I have a harder time controlling my irrational thoughts...this is a good reminder for me.  Because the truth is, things always look more promising in the morning.
Alright, well, this is far too mushy for my liking, but...with this weird wall up lately that interchangeably makes me want to yell and walk away or hold on tighter and pretend everything is fine...I actually teared up when I read it.  Good or bad, she's my best friend and I love her.
I love this!!

If you didn't laugh at this you have no sense of humor!  or a might be a parent.

yeah...this one is good.


This took me hours and I could probably keep going.  Its definitely bed time :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

highs and lows

I'm thankful for all the blogs that say anyone who says their diabetes is under control is lying, because it makes me feel better when I can't figure things out. I was high all day today.  I didn't want to over correct, especially because on a Saturday at work, if we get busy, I can't afford to not catch a low fast enough...So I under figured my lunch and tried to make up for a it later, but I was still high even after I thought I over corrected at dinner, but as it turns out...I didn't.  I'm still high.  Last week at this time I couldn't seem to keep myself above a hundred no matter what I did.  I'm exhausted today though so maybe I'm getting sick.
I open tomorrow morning and after that I'm off until 3 on Wednesday.  AWESOME.  I never have 2 days off in a row, so to open, be off in a row and then close...its almost like having 3 full days off.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself!  Not true.  I have a list...a long one.
The only thing on my list right now though, is bed.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Time flies...

The last couple weeks have gone by without my even noticing!!  I met some college friends in the Cities one weekend, my aunt and grandma came for a few days to go Christmas shopping, one of my best friends from high school came up from Tennessee (with her fiance!!), work got busier (finally) keeps going no matter what I guess...
Sometimes I want it to slow down or even stop.  Why doesn't the restaurant slow down when I get low?  Why doesn't time quit when I want to lock myself in a room and miss my mom?  And why can't it be February now so I can go to Florida and have a week off?  Time is dumb sometimes.
My next A1C is in 10 days.  This is my first time really, truly caring what the number will be as a person with T1.  a year and a half ago, I worked hard for my 7.9 - exercising sometimes twice a day, eating next to no carbs - truly proud of my 7.9 but terrified that I wouldn't be able to keep that in check for the rest of my life.  Fast forward a few months to several weeks over 500, right after my mom A1c was 12.1, and my endo was not an idiot so she ran some tests and thats when I got the T1 diagnoses.  That meant nothing to me...I didn't care.  Whatever, teach me how to give myself the shot, my mom is dead and nothing else matters...I didn't hear anything she said.  8 months went by...8 half hearted, mid to high 200's, walking slowly thru jello months.  I was in a fog, my life was as out of control as it could get without losing it completely.  Inside that 8 months I sold my moms car, I sold her house, I took 90% of her belongings to goodwill, I gave away her dog, I said good bye to my childhood home and moved out of state, I made a couple of new friends, lost some old friends and slowly began to...I want to say pick up the pieces of my life...but the truth is, there weren't really any pieces to pick up.  There was nothing left...the only things that came with me to this new place were my cat and my diabetes.  I am different.  Who I am now is not the same as who I was a year ago.  So, I began to rebuild...I made a dentist appointment, an eye doctor appointment and I tried to find a primary doctor (harder than I thought it would be), and I began the journey to finding a new endo.  I'm in a new place, so I'm a new patient.  They told me the waiting list was 8 months.  (Seriously?!).  So I made an appointment with someone an hour away.  Whatever, its something.  My first A1C (3 months ago) was over 11.  This guy...I think he's a good doctor...but I also think he's autistic.  He has some serious social issues.  I feel like someone must have written down what he should say on an index card, and he only knows to read that card...he is completely unable to deviate.  Its okay, he's a person who will tell me to do better, and I respond well to that.  My mom isn't around to make me care anymore, so screw you world, I don't care.  Well, thats not going to get me anything but dead.  And my autistic endo isn't really helping much.  So I tried again here in St.Cloud - they called me back to make an appointment (6 months out) and after making small talk with the receptionist she was able to get me in in 2 months.  Thats next week.  Only one thing changed since my first appointment with the autistic endo.  He gave me the website for the ADA and I looked it up.  From there I found an interesting note about online support.  I searched...I don't know, even...anyway, I found this blog: and how I feel about God changes from day to day...I am positively SURE that God himself reached into my computer and made this website pop up at the top of my Google search.  Magically, after about 4 seconds of reading, I began to see my diabetes differently.  I felt motivated and inspired and many other things that deserve the hallelujah chorus.  And I haven't looked back.
I test like I should, I give myself shots, my blood sugars have gone from the mid to high 200's (when I tested them once a week or so anyway, thats what they were) to the low to mid 100's.  I'm learning about my body...I'm learning how to balance my life differently, I'm taking control.  And it feels good.  My mom would be proud...and THAT feels good.  So, in 10 days...I have no idea what my A1C will be...but I know it won't be in the 11's, I will see progress and I can't wait.  Is it weird that I'm super excited about this??  It can't be worse...I know I've done better, and I desperately want the pat on the back that something under 10 will give me :)
Also...I like this...I like writing my thoughts, and I don't do it as often as I should because time doesn't stop just because I want to think out loud.  So, I need to get better at making time for it...because my head feels clearer already.