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  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Five things

1. I had the scariest low I've had yet, last week.  I was 41 after I drank some juice and waited a while.  I woke up in the night and couldn't move...literally, couldn't force myself to move, I kept almost falling asleep but I realized that I was low and needed the juice box next to my bed, but I just couldn't do it...I knew from reading other people's blogs that I was starting to lose consciousness, and if it wasn't for that, knowing what was happening, reading other people's detailed accounts of their lows, I wouldn't have known HOW important it was to stay awake and get the juice.  It felt like an hour that passed, between forcing my arms to work, forcing myself to roll over, forcing myself to wrap my fingers around the juice, then fighting the clumsiness to get it open, and put the straw in the hole, then in my mouth...then drink...all of it, felt like I was climbing a mountain, and in slow motion.  So, I drank the juice, then I just waited...maybe I woke up soaked in sweat, but the first time I noticed it was after I had some juice...finally, after ten minutes or so I got up to test...41.  what was I before?  Not cool.

2. I'm going back to Bismarck to work for a couple of weeks...I'm looking forward to being back in my old store, working with the other managers there...I can't wait to see some friends while I'm in town!  But I'm nervous...I haven't been back since last June...since just a few months after I moved from there, and when I think about going back...well, its not going home anymore.  My moms not there and that's what made it home.  I'm sad, and I'm nervous, and...I miss my mom.  I just miss her...

3. I got 2 different kinds of insets to try - the kind that goes in straight and one kind that goes in at an angle.  I haven't quite mastered the ones that go in at an angle and I don't think I like them. 

4. I also haven't quite mastered WHERE to put them.  I learned the hard way last week that its not okay to put them right over your rib cage.  What on earth made me think that was a good idea?  Live and learn I guess...

5. I have the worlds most painfully difficult pro/con list going for a decision I don't want to make.  Its split 50/50 almost exactly and one side is purely emotional while the other side is completely logical.  Its annoyingly similar to this banter that's constantly going on in my head.  In terms of fight or flight I always use to see my self as a person who fought.  Fight for whats important, when it matters stand up and fight back, when the chips are down you stick it out, when you're backs against a wall, come out punching, yada yada yada... I don't know what happened but I changed.  Now I want to run.  I've reached the limit of how much I can be hurt in one lifetime, I'm done.  flight. Leave, get out before you get knocked out.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Junior High

Today I feel like I am in junior high more ways than one.  First, I got my period today and I had no idea that was going to happen.  I mean, come on...I'm 28.  12 times a year for the last 15 years this has happened.  I know the warning signs...and yet, tonight, I was completely surprised.  I cried yesterday, I ate chocolate like it was going out of style, and today...oh, today...and then it happened.  And I was shocked.  This hasn't happened since junior high.

Our boss is in town and when that happens, people go out and drink.  I enjoy it as much as everyone else does.  But tonight, I didn't get invited.  Most days, I love my job.  Most days I really like the people I work with...most days.  But there are some days mixed in there that I feel completely ineffective, or not respected, or just plain not liked.  Because my store has such a veteran staff, even though I opened the staff with a lot of them, I was gone for a couple of years and since I came back, I have not really felt like part of the group anymore.  I have made some new friends and reconnected with some old friends, not to mention that my boss is my best friend.  I've never needed to be part of the "popular" fact, my whole life I've generally disliked that group of people.  But here...I feel left a way I haven't felt since junior high...tonight I didn't want to be sitting at home after work watching tv...tonight I wanted to be out with everyone else, having a good time.  But, just like junior high, I didn't get invited...

I like  love my insulin pump.  Aside from the first time I did it myself when I either did it wrong or had a bad site or something, its been great...I can already tell its giving me more control and I am learning how to use it like a pro...but wearing it is tough.  I switched to my right side and all day long it drove me crazy...the clip pinched the skin on my waist, my work keys are also on my right side, I forget that its there and pull at my shirt...its annoying.  I'll get it, but its annoying.  Anyway.  I love it.  BUT.  I am SO self conscious about it sticking out under my shirt.  When I'm not working I wear hooded sweatshirts almost all the time, but at work, in clothes that are more fitted, I know it sticks out.  I feel like there are neon arrows surrounding me, that point to my pump and they all say, look, she's different.  Sometimes my thumb gets caught on the tubing too and when that happens I know the tubing sticks out the bottom of my shirt...I feel awkward and like I stick out...I know its probably not like that, I know its just a tiny little device, but...I don't like it.  I feel in junior high.

I hate today.  I hated junior high and I don't want to repeat it again today.  I think I'd better go to bed.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

The emotional state of my blood sugar

I know that stress tends to raise blood sugar numbers.  But sometimes I'm unsure of whether my emotional state is caused by my blood sugar or if my kitty-wompus (yep, I said it) blood sugar is whats causing my emotional state.
This morning I woke up with this feeling in my stomach that something wasn't right.  It could have been that I was up every hour or so testing, and I had spent the last 12 hours worried that I did something wrong when I changed my set and I maybe wasn't getting any insulin.  It could be that something dumb happened yesterday that was still bothering me today.  It could be that the same dumb thing has happened four hundred times and sometimes that means the beginning of another crappy thing...though it only means that half of the time and I was unsure which kind of time this was.  It could be that I was going back to work after 2 days off and I didn't know what to expect and I hate hate HATE feeling unprepared. Or in the dark.  Or blind sided...I just hate not knowing. could be that I was hungry and sugary juice at 4:30 this morning was the only thing in my stomach and I was misinterpreting that icky feeling as emotional when it was physical.  Was I a weird kind of irritated/crabby/emotional today because my blood sugars were up and down on their own little roller coaster for the last day or was I THAT upset about this stupid thing that shouldn't have bothered me (but on the right day may have done so no matter what) that it was messing with my blood sugar.  
Frustrating questions I don't really want to know the answer to...because either way...I feel like I'm not in control.  Either way...somethings got to be done...because I might be making myself crazy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Diabetes doesn't care...

I'm learning something...and I'm stubborn so I'm making it more difficult than I need to I suppose.  Diabetes doesn't care.  It doesn't care that my favorite foods are the ones it hates, it doesn't care what time it is, and that time might be 3 in the morning and maybe I'm sleeping...I'm still low and diabetes does not care.  It doesn't care that I'm at a wedding, and the bride and groom are in the middle of their vows...things still beep.  Diabetes doesn't care.  It doesn't care about when we're busy at work and I don't have time to stop and eat something, it doesn't care that today was suppose to be a day to do doesn't care that I took all the right steps and it looks right now like diabetes didn't even notice that I set a higher temporary basil because I was planning on not leaving the couch.  It doesn't care that I OVER bolused for the pizza I ate, without apology.  Diabetes obviously doesn't care because 7 hours after I ate the pizza my pump FINALLY stopped telling me to treat my high and test for ketones.  But not by blood sugar is 4 points below that warning.  
I've had this pump for almost a week.  I'm not great at it yet.  I'll get it, and while the first few days were a frustrating medley of lows, we lowered my basil just a TINY bit and I'm feeling better...I'm feeling good enough to see the benefits.  I opened on Friday morning at work and before I left my house I set a temporary basil at -30% knowing I would be putting away the truck then prepping for a few hours and for the first time since I was diagnosed, on an open, I didn't get low!  I was so excited I did a happy dance at the 97 that came up on my Ping :D  I saw it work when my correction bolus was a .6 and I knew giving myself that .6 instead of having to take a full unit as a shot was the difference between correcting a small high and over correcting and probably waking up low.  I see it working when I notice the bruises disappearing on my stomach (only to be replaced by the mark the tubing leaves, but we're not talking about that).  I like the pump.  I like it a lot.  
Today I changed my set by myself for the first time (first two times are done at the doctor) and I was proud of myself, first for only needing to count to 3 once before pushing the button to insert it (lol if you'd been there to witness the first time, you'd understand what a big deal this is!) and second for not forgetting something important.  I know it was the pizza, but shortly after that is when my bg started to go up...I got nervous that I did something I kept testing every half hour or so...266, 289, 297, 299...and the correction bolus my Ping said I could give each time so why in the heck was it still going up?!  Diabetes does not care that I am frustrated and confused.  Guess what happened after 299?  Your max TDD has been reached, bolus not given.  fantastic.  I don't know what that means and its 11:30 at night, how do I find out?!  I'm irritated now.  Diabetes still doesn't care.  So I call Animas to find out if I'm just not getting the bolus I tried to give or if I'm not getting the basil insulin either...neither.  I am getting neither.  Safety setting...I get it.  I know I'll be paying for this trigger happy response in a few hours.  now I'm pissed off.  Diabetes doesn't care.  
11:45...266...not a good number, but I may have lost my mind at 300.
So after the nice Animas rep tells me she'd be more than happy to walk me thru raising the amount, but it does reset at midnight so I could just wait 8 minutes and it'll start giving me insulin again.  Then she says, did you just require more insulin than normal today?  and I tear up and bite my lip as I say yeah, I ate pizza and I shouldn't have.  Stupid, stupid me.  Stupid pizza.  Stupid diabetes.  
Midnight...228.  Its probably not the site...I probably didn't mess it up.  It was probably that dumb pizza.  But I'm not convinced, I'm still nervous.  So, I type...and I catch up on my google reader.  And I get ready to watch the cutest video ever right here:
And I remind myself that this happens all the time...I read about it in blogs at least a few times a week and I cheer these people on until I get to the end of the blog and I hear that it all turned out okay.  
And then its 12:30 so I test again... 266. Awesome.  its going back up.  Of course it is, I didn't get any insulin at all for a while.  I'll give it until one before I completely lose my mind.  But if I do...diabetes won't care...