Thursday, July 31, 2008

Indulge Me

I'm feeling incredibly self-indulgent today, which usually happens when a) I'm out of sorts, b) I'm celebrating something only I would celebrate, c) I'm a little sad, d) I'm having a full-blown pity party, or e) any of the above, plus it's close to that time of the month (sorry, gents).

Today I'm c and e, and the gist is that whatever whim I have, feeling I'm experiencing or wish I want granted, I let it happen and let it happen to the nth degree.

For lunch, I brought something very healthy and nutritious. Instead of eating at my desk and skipping my break altogether, I took an extra-long one, read my book and ate a cookie and a bag of bbq potato chips. For dinner, I'll probably order out, instead of saving my pennies and cooking at home.

For entertainment, I'll finish the last chapter of my book as soon as I get home (it's a really good book that I really want to finish), then watch really bad TV and channel-flip while wearing my pajamas in my living room and twirling the dogs' ears. I put a load of clothes in the washer this morning, set on a timer to finish just before I get home from work
(wasn't feeling quite so indulgent yet), and I'll have to put them in the dryer simply due to the mold factor, but I won't fold them when the dryer buzzes. I won't empty the dishwasher either.

I'll stay up a little too late either starting a new book or watching more bad TV from bed and adjust the alarm so it goes off an hour later tomorrow morning and I skip the exercise.

As for the diabetes, I'll check if I'm feeling low, but given what I'll probably consume for dinner, that won't be a problem. I'll be high, and for today, just for today, it will have to be okay. I'll take my insulin shot and all my other pills, because even in my most self-indulgent moods, I'm always a little bit responsible. (I want to indulge, not cause a hospital visit.)

I wish (and this is one I don't seem to be able to grant) that being indulgent meant spending an extra hour on the treadmill, or eating an extra helping of broccoli, or donating my time to a charitable organization, or some other good-for-me-good-for-you type of things, but alas, no such ambition arises from within. To indulge is to be a little bad, since the rest of my days are spent trying to be mostly good.

I've no doubt my funk will begin dwindling when I wake up tomorrow and that by tomorrow afternoon (after a purchased muffin or cinnamon roll for breakfast), I'll be in better spirits and I'll be back in the swing of things where I'm supposed to dwell, and generally don't mind dwelling. But for today, indulge me. Or, actually, I'll indulge me.

As always, more to come...

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Great Bagel Debacle (of '08)

I’ve been running low today (lots of trampoline work this morning). I ate lunch at 11:45.

Then someone brought in bagels around 1:00. I didn’t even check my sugar. I peered in the box and there was a cinnamon sugar one and I took it. And I ate it. And I haven’t had the guts to check my sugar until now.

Four hours later, and I’m still at 128. I know that’s not a terrible number, but it is if you want to eat dinner in the next hour.

Bagels just do terrible, awful, horrible things to my sugar levels. I know this. But I ate one anyway.

I refuse to feel guilty (well, maybe about 3% guilty). I accept that I ate a bagel. I enjoyed the bagel while I ate it. I accept my 128 and will scrape out the inside of my hamburger bun at dinner to lessen my carb count to the best of my ability.

Plllhhhhhh on you, diabetes.

As always, more to come…

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Seeing Is Believing

Yesterday I had my annual eye exam. While I may slack off on some of my other doctor’s appointments, I’m always on top of having my eyes checked once a year like clockwork.

I wear glasses for everything except reading. If I don’t wear them, I can’t see anything clearly that’s more than about eight inches from my face—this is not an exaggeration.

About a month or so before my diabetes diagnosis, I was getting some nasty vision headaches. I figured my prescription had changed, so I made an appointment with a random doctor—I didn’t have a regular person at that point.

The doctor was a “trainee,” overworked and with too many patients to see; he was just trying to keep up with everyone and everything and, unfortunately, I wasn’t a top priority (other people yelled louder than me). The exam wound up taking me two hours, including me sitting there waiting for my eyes to dilate for at least one hour. Had he been a little more on top of his game, or had I had a regular physician, they probably would have told me my blurry vision was a sign of the looming diagnosis—a classic symptom.

So he gave me a new prescription and I got a new pair of glasses and they worked for a little while. Then came the diagnosis and the DKA. I was in the hospital for close to a week and didn’t need my glasses for the first few days, as I was pretty much passed out. When I started to stabilize and actually grew bored with sleeping, I wanted to watch TV—you know, hanging on the wall a million miles away from my bed.

I tried my glasses on and immediately entered a different universe, one I would liken to those after-school specials where they try to show you what it’s like when someone is high on drugs or alcohol. Everything was distorted, twisted and incredibly blurry. The only way I could make my glasses work was to wear them on the very far end of my nose and squint in what I’m sure was a very attractive fashion. I basically gave up, and when I drove myself home from the hospital, I didn’t even wear the glasses (I figured the other cars were big enough that I could see them—and I only live a few blocks from the hospital, so no lives were at risk).

I have a habit of keeping all my old glasses in a drawer, so when I got home, I tried on every pair until I found one that was at least tolerable—although I still had to take them on and off every few hours or the headache was enough to make me want to pass out under my desk, a rock, a couch, etc.

I also researched eye doctors in my area who knew about diabetes and that’s how I came across my current doctor. She’s fantastic! I went in for my appointment, explained my recent diabetes diagnosis and she told me that the sugar levels in my system were so high, that they were actually showing up in my eyes and causing my vision to freak out. (I’m sure there’s a more medical term for this, but this is how my understanding of it all shook down.) She said that the eyes are one of the first places you can look to see if there’s something wrong with the body; they’ll tell you everything.

So, she checked me very, very thoroughly, announced there was no damage from the diabetes, and gave me a new prescription.

I’ve gone back to her every summer, and every year she does not disappoint. She’s really thorough and keeps a close eye (ha! eye!) on my diabetes, not to mention my Graves disease (which evidently can make my eyes bulge out if things aren’t good. Nice, huh?).

Yesterday was my first day in her new office—she’s gone into practice for herself. I like the new digs, which are much, much quieter than her old place of employment. Also, there’s no doctor’s aid (or whatever you call an eye doctor’s assistant), so she does all the exams, eye-drop inserting and everything except take my credit card at the end. (Although she did give me a large and very welcome discount when she found out my insurance doesn’t include vision). In short, I wish all of my doctors were more like my eye doctor; she’s set the bar really high.

Oh—and she gave me a clean bill of health; still no sign of diabetes affecting (effecting? I never get those two right) my eyes. My vision has actually gotten better, although my astigmatism is worse. My prescription changed, but not so much that I have to rush to get new glasses. But there are some awfully cute frames out there that I’d love to try…

Wow. This got long fast. Good thing my eyes are up for it. Hope yours are, too—as my mom always said my grandma said, “You only get one pair of eyes; make sure you take care of them.”

As always, more to come…

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Hate Exercise

Did I mention I hate to exercise? I do. I really do.

However. (And isn’t there always a however when exercise is involved? So sneaky…)

However, when I exercise, it has an undeniable impact on my sugar levels—it keeps them consistently lower when I exercise regularly, and if I’m a bit high and really hungry, most times I can hit the treadmill for 30 minutes and bring my levels down low enough that I can actually eat. (I’ve also been known to imitate aerobic activity in my car on the way home from work because I know there’s pizza to be had (super-thin crust, of course, with the tomato sauce wiped off).)

The trick is getting me to exercise. I used to be a late-night person; I can stay up all night long watching old movies or bad sitcom reruns on TV, reading a book, playing Mah Jong on the computer or any other activity that mildly interests me. And I have. Somewhere along the way, I’ve had to re-train myself to be more of a morning person so I can exercise before I go to work (I get up, yes, but conversation within the first 20 minutes is useless). I learned early on that if I don’t exercise first thing in the morning, no matter how good my intentions are or how easy I make it, I simply won’t exercise when my foot steps through the door after work.

In order to keep me interested in exercise, there has to be variety. I have to have many options at my immediate disposal, and everything has to be made as easy as possible. Also? Gyms don’t work for me. They did when I was in my 20s and still thought of it as a social outing, but now that I’m older I see them as a pain in the butt to get to, overpriced and generally much smellier than I can handle. Plus, I’m almost 40. Do you really want to look at me sweating in ill-fitting capri gym pants I bought at Kohl’s and a T-shirt from 1992?

All my exercise equipment is in my home, collected over the years. First, we bought a treadmill. Then we bought a Bowflex. Then we bought a stationery bike. (I garbage-picked the Ab Machine from a very well-to-do neighborhood and sprayed it down with bleach; works great.) The machines are all in my spare office/bedroom—but we did just recently move the bike to the living room as a motivator for additional exercise. I also have hand weights that move through various rooms of the house at various periods of time, depending on when I think I might get the urge to do a few curls.

Upstairs, in my bedroom, I have a yoga mat, a giant ball that you sit on, a DVD player and about two dozen exercise DVDs. I bought a couple of them, but I get a lot of free ones from work. There’s pilates, yoga, kickboxing, weight-training, dancing, general aerobics, ball exercises—you name it.

And, just to round things out, I also have a hula-hoop, a jump rope and a mini, one-person trampoline.

Sounds excessive, no? Trust me, it’s not nearly enough to keep me constantly motivated to exercise, but it’s enough to keep me fairly consistent. I should also mention that I keep a pair of gym shoes and several pairs of socks right next to the treadmill; that’s their only purpose. Because if I have to hunt for a pair of shoes, I’m not going to exercise.

The treadmill always works for dropping my sugar levels—a simple walk drops me a few points; a hard-core walk playing with the slanty button or doing sprints drops me even further.

The bike? Doesn’t have any impact on my sugars whatsoever. I don’t know why, and it’s a damn shame, since it’s the easiest, most mind-numbing task.

The trampoline is like a shot of insulin. Five songs (that’s only as much as a I can do) on that thing and I’m sweating profusely, my heartbeat is way up and my sugars are guaranteed to run low all day long. I usually combine it with the treadmill, since my ankles kind of hurt after I use it and the treadmill seems to stretch them out.

Believe it or not, the hula hoop can actually drop me a little bit, too. I have to do it for about 30 minutes or more, though…

Any type of weight-lifting has so minor an impact that I don’t even count it. If I combine it with a little bit of aerobic activity, then yes. Same with pilates, yoga, stretching…nothing.

While not every exercise I do has an effect on my sugars, the fact that I’m keeping some sort of routine going helps me greatly. I can do the trampoline and the treadmill on Monday, the treadmill on Tuesday, the bike on Wednesday, the hula hoop and the trampoline on Thursday and some weight-lifting on Friday and I’ve managed to keep myself motivated for five days. (Although, to be honest, I usually let myself sleep in on one day during the week. I’m still me. I still hate to exercise and I have to be able to say no at least once a week or I’ll revolt.) When you’re motivated and in a routine for five days, it’s easier to keep going.

I always check my sugar before I exercise; if I’m under 100, I eat one carb unit. And I almost always drink a glass of V8 juice (one carb unit) before I exercise, not matter what my sugar is. I don’t exercise for more than 45 minutes, and I don’t check my sugar while I’m exercising, but I do pay attention to my body and I’ll stop if I feel anything weird. I haven’t been checking my sugar directly after exercising, because the first thing I do after I’m done is drink a glass of water and eat breakfast. If I’ve done a particularly sweaty workout, I do have to check my sugar starting about three hours later, because it can drop pretty fast if my breakfast wasn’t enough. I also check a little more often during the day, because the lower levels can last through to mid afternoon.

If I exercise regularly—four or five times a week, the sugar levels adjust and will stay consistently on the lower side. If I skip a few days in a row, the sugars will still be lower. However, if I skip a week, they’ll jump back up.

I also have to watch my insulin intake. I was up to 40 units of Lantus nightly, and not being as ambitious with my exercise, so the 40 was doing fine. I’ve amped up my routine again and in the past week, I’ve already dropped down to 38. I’ll keep dropping a unit every couple of nights until I see the lows even out a bit, then hold steady. I’m guessing I’ll end up somewhere around 36 in the next couple weeks—if I can maintain.

I hate exercise. I do. And I’m not one of those people who says they dread doing it, but feel marvelous afterward and have such a rush. I don’t. I don’t like it before I do it. I don’t like it while I’m doing it. I don’t like it when I’m done. The only thing I like about it is that when I’m finished, I know I won’t have to do it again for another 24 hours. But that’s the way the diabetic, sugar-free cookie crumbles. Exercise is good for me, so I do it.

As always, more to come…

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random Thoughts

My mind is being a bit flibberty-jibbity—I can't seem to stay focused on one particular topic (could be my work assignment today, which requires piecemeal thinking). Thus, therefore, so, hence, I'm just going to write ten of the thousands of random thoughts that keep floating in and out of my conscious and subconscious brain...

1. What do I buy a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old I barely know for a birthday present? The things I do to remain a member of polite society.

2. The Vodka Theory. More on this after I've had a chance to corroborate my studies. But the title is already in place and keeps weaving through my thought patterns. The Vodka Theory. It just sounds cool. (Okay, maybe I should step away from the James Bond novels...)

3. Insulin is expensive. Duh. I know this, but my insurance has been making it dirt cheap. I get three bottles at a time (a three-month supply), and the pharmacy often screws up and charges me one co-pay instead of three (I'm going to hell; I don't correct them). Which means that I've been getting each bottle of insulin for $3.33
(Lora can do math). Due to a glitch in my insurance, I had to pay the full price the other day: $270 for the three bottles. Ouch. Luckily, the insurance company is supposed to reimburse me. (Don't even get me started on the cost of the other prescriptions I picked up that day. One credit card actually denied the transaction because they thought it was stolen with such a large purchase...)

4. My feet hurt. I'm wearing very cool, very pretty purple shoes with straps going across the toes. It's only the second time I'm wearing them, though, so they're not fully broken in. It's not actually my feet that hurt so much as my big toes. Need to streeetch that strap.

5. "Oh, sure. I please me. Don't nobody love me more than me." --50 Cent. I won't go into exactly what he was referring to, but if you take the quote out of context, it's perfectly benign and quite sage.

6. Sometimes I look in the mirror, shrug my shoulders and say, "Eh. I'm going to be 40. What can I do?" But then I read which celebrities are going to be 40 this year, and I say, "You know what? Not so bad."

7. It's hot outside today. "Like Africa hot." (Anybody see Biloxi Blues?)

8. Okay, maybe I'll just stop at 8. That's a nice, round number. Journalistically pleasing to read. And, also, as well as, in addition, the rest of the thoughts running through my mind will either certify me as crazy, annoy the hell out of particular people, expose tightly kept secrets or drive me insane by adding credence to their existence. And, of course, ruin my standing as a polite member of society.

As always, more to come...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm Starving

Sometimes I eat when I’m depressed. Sometimes I eat when I’m bored. Sometimes I eat when I’m restless. Sometimes I eat because my blood sugar is low. These days, though, I’m eating because I’m starving.

I’ve changed my workout slightly and I’m burning more calories. That’s all I can attribute it to, because there’s no other logical explanation for it. I’m just hungry.

When I was under the weather, I upped my insulin to cover the fever and such. I had plans to drop it back down, slowly, but given the extra food I’ve been eating, I’ve only dropped it one unit and I’m still seeing some highs (always at night, dang it) that I would rather not see.

I’m trying to reconfigure my eating habits so at least I’m inhaling good carbs. One night for dinner I grilled all sorts of veggies and had a major pigout on them. (Okay, okay, so I followed it with a mini ice cream sandwich with butterscotch sauce and Cool Whip; 152, thank you.) I’m also addicted to mini fresh mozzarella balls—no carbs, but fat. Sprinkle them with a little salt and I’m in heaven (any kind of cheese, really, inspires all-around glee).

I don’t know if it’s my experiences with diabetes over the last five years, or if it’s my advancing age and therefore, advancing wisdom, but I’ve learned to listen to my body a lot more. When I was 25, I’d ignore the hunger so I could still fit into my favorite jeans. Now, when I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m tired, I sleep (yesterday I took a 15-minute catnap at lunch time in a semi-comfortable chair in the mall next door to where I work, while pretending to read Slaughterhouse Five…). When I feel like my blood sugar is going low, even if the meter doesn’t register it yet, I eat (and about 75% of the time, I’m right). It seems to be working for me.

Now, I just have to listen to what my body is telling me, then give it a really good reply (yogurt, not mini ice cream sandwiches with butterscotch sauce—at least some of the time. But not all of the time. Because life wouldn’t be life without butterscotch sauce. And mini ice cream sandwiches. Or cheese.).

As always, more to come…

Friday, July 11, 2008


Q: What kind of shoes do mice wear?

A: Squeakers.

That's what I get for sneaking an extra piece of grape Laffy Taffy.

As always, more to come (but no more corny riddles, I promise)...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Molly's Issues

I have a dog named Molly, who I think I’ve talked about before. Molly has Addison’s disease and requires a monthly shot to keep her alive. She’s very sweet, incredibly loyal, a little on the large side (about 80 lbs), looks like a bit like a Holstein cow (hence the nickname Molly Moo) and, if truth be told, a little on the dim side occasionally. But she’s my Moo and I love her to tears. My husband says we have a special connection because we both have to shoot up.

The infamous, fabulous Molly Moo (aka Moomi, Molly Dolly, Moo-Moo, Pumpkin). For some reason, her brown ear went straight up about a year ago and has stayed that way. So picture her with her ear up...

Molly went to the doctor today to get her shot. When we were there about four weeks ago, she had a blood test done to make sure everything was okay. She’d been looking a little down lately, and had had some trouble with her back legs on a walk we took, so we were a little worried. At the vet today, he said her test results showed that a couple of numbers were a little out of range for her kidneys. Odd, ironic, crazy that my dog’s tests are the same ones I would have, and that her results are the stuff I dread will happen with my results.

In order to test further, they need a urine sample from Molly Moo. My husband has already informed me I’m in charge of this. Also odd, ironic, crazy because my mother’s dog required a urine sample about a month ago and I was incredulous. “How do you get pee from a dog?” She told me she used the drip pan from the George Foreman grill and slid it under her dog while she was relieving herself. I hope I still have my Foreman grill from ten years ago hidden in a cabinet somewhere. I can already see the circus that’s going to be my backyard later tonight…

I’m a little worried about Moo, but I know she’s in good hands with her doctor, who’s a specialist in his field. I wonder if he sees human patients…

As always, more to come…

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Thing Done

Okay, okay. I did it. I finally ordered my testing supplies this morning.

As always, more to come (including insulin, even if it is coming slowly because I can't figure out which refill prescription number is the most current and therefore valid one)...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Diabetes Freeze

I'm basically an organized person. If there's any chaos in my life, it's usually controlled to some degree, or chaotic because it's better for me that way. However, there are certain chores in my life that sometimes fall by the wayside—I'd like to say accidentally, but I'm beginning to think it's a subconscious thing.

I have a lot of prescriptions. I've managed to get most of them to the point where they only have to be filled every three months, but I have some that are monthly. I've also recently had a few doctor switches—same medication but with a new doctor and a new refill number—which means my refills are coming at different times.

As for my testing supplies (lancets, test strips and alcohol swabs), I order these online; much, much cheaper. I try to time it so I only have to order every few months.

So, I know I've been running out of strips for about two weeks now. I was hoping I still had that spare bottle in my nighttime kit under my bed that I could use if necessary, but I wasn't sure. This morning, with only three test strips left, I finally walked up the stairs and checked. By the luck of the strip gods, it was there. Because I still haven't ordered any more.

I know they need to be ordered, I know they take about a week to get here (I'm cheap and won't pay for express shipping), I know that if I have to buy them at the regular drugstore, each bottle will cost almost double what I'll pay online. But still. Yet. However. I made absolutely no move this weekend or over the past two days to log onto the site, click one "reorder" button and have it done with.

I also have to call the pharmacy and have about four prescriptions refilled. I'll be cutting it close, but I won't have any emergencies—especially if I get my butt in gear and actually call in the next day or two.

I know this has to be done. I know I have to call in refills and pick up prescriptions, that I have to order new supplies. So why do I procrastinate? Why do I, at least 25 percent of the time, let it go until the 11th hour? I used to think I was just busy. Now I'm beginning to think it's some sort of subconcious mental block. But just because I don't have a pill to take or a strip to test with doesn't mean the diabetes freezes. It just means I'm going to drive myself crazy hoping the mail delivers everything faster and racing to the pharmacy to get there before it closes. Because in the end, I always get what I need to have.

As always, more to come...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fire Up

In Spiral City, I mentioned that my next adventure might have something to do with fire. I had something in mind and it actually came together.

As the last part of my anniversary celebration, I decided to do something I've always wanted to do. First, it should be said that I'm petrified of open heights. An airplane? Perfectly fine. A ferris wheel? Never been on one; never could muster the courage. I hyperventilate, get panic attacks, scream in a high-pitch. (My siblings have taken great glee in torturing me on swinging bridges.) While I don't think never being on a ferris wheel has had a tremendous impact on my life, there are things I do even though I'm terrified, because they're a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I did go to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the top of the Duomo in Florence, and I climbed all the steps to get to the top of La Familia Sagrada in Barcelona. (I contained my screaming, but there was some hyperventilating involved...)

Anyway, despite this fear of heights, I've always been intrigued by hot-air balloons. I've never seen one up close, and I've certainly never ridden in one. Until now.

One of the suburbs has a huge festival with a carnival, bands, foods—and hot-air balloons. They even offer rides in a tethered balloon. I decided this was my opportunity. The balloon would be secured to the ground so we wouldn't go too, too high, and it would only last a few minutes. If I freaked out, I could survive by shutting my eyes and holding on for dear life. If I decided I liked it, then I could plan something bigger, longer, untethered.

So we went on Saturday night. We watched them blow up the balloon, which didn't seem like much when it was on the ground, and even just beginning to blow up.

When it was fully blown up and standing in front of me, only a few yards away, I felt my first familiar tingle of panic. My husband was with me. We had been waiting almost an hour in line, and he said there was no way we were going back now. He knew I needed the little push. Although I knew was going to do it no matter what.

Our turn came and we climbed in the basket as the previous riders climbed out. Up, up, up we went. It was a slow, smooth ascend. I took a picture while we started going upward—it's blurry; I refused to let go of the basket to steady the camera with two hands and the one holding the camera was a little shaky. I took another couple quick shots looking up inside the balloon, then put the camera away to hold on tighter as we went higher. It only lasted about five minutes, then we began to descend. I climbed out as the new riders climbed in. I did it.

I did it, and I liked it. It was a smoother ride than I thought. It was louder than I thought—the flames shooting into the balloon. But the husband and I both decided if we got the opportunity, we would go for a full-on ride. (With a fully licensed, very nice, very capable, professional balloon company with plenty of good references and an excellent, no-fault safety record.)

Afterward, we watched them blow up about a dozen other balloons, including the Energizer bunny balloon, rumored to be the biggest one in the U.S. (it was about four times larger than all the other balloons). As a bonus, we got to listen to a Bon Jovi tribute ban in the background and drink ice-cold beer from aluminum bottles. All-in-all, a lovely day.

And guess what? I rode in a hot-air balloon.

As always, more to come...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is my five-year anniversary of my diagnosis of diabetes.

While I don’t necessarily celebrate diabetes, or having it, there are several things I am celebrating…

✽That I’ve managed to survive for the past five years. When I was first diagnosed, I was scared. After I went into DKA 24 hours later, I was terrified. There were days I just sat and cried, because I didn’t think I’d be able to figure it all out. I just kept telling myself it would take time, and that five years from now, I’d be okay. And I am.

✽I’m celebrating that not only have I figured out to how to live my daily life with diabetes, but my extracurricular life has been good, too. I haven’t let the fact that I have to inject daily insulin stop me from doing what I set out to do. I’ve travelled to Tokyo, Venice, Cairo, Mallorca, Athens and beyond, all while dragging along every medical necessity and a whole lot of snacks. I’ve gone to plays, concerts, sporting events, resorts with no electricity, inside pyramids, shopping for an entire day, hiking along the beach, to work, to work functions, for walks by myself.
Some is big stuff, some is little, but they’re all accomplishments. I went from being scared to being alone (I was by myself when I went into DKA and drove myself to the emergency room), to small advances—an hour here or there, a small excursion outward—to not thinking twice about throwing a Nutrigrain bar in my bag and walking out the door at any given moment. I celebrate my freedom to do what I want, not despite having diabetes, but along with having diabetes.

✽I’m celebrating the fact that I can inject myself without hesitation. I went from being the little girl who required four nurses and her mom to hold her down so the doctor could give her a booster shot, to being the woman who uses needles daily. My first insulin shot took me 20 minutes to do—15 minutes to screw up the courage with the syringe poised above my thigh, 30 seconds for the actual injection, and another four-and-a-half minutes to stop hyperventilating.

✽I celebrate my ability to add, subtract and multiply—sometimes without having to count on my fingers. I hated math all through school and it was definitely my worst subject. I celebrate that I’ve made peace with mathematics, and I’m working on making peace with numbers, no matter how high they may be.

✽I’m celebrating that my husband, who was only my live-in boyfriend at the time of diagnosis, has managed to stick with me through all the trials and tribulations and has been open to receiving a diabetes education along with me. I celebrate my family and friends who support me, but still treat me like Lora.

In honor of my anniversary, my husband and I hit the “good” grocery store last night and bought two gorgeous steaks, giant shrimp, marinated olives, brie and fresh-baked bread. Tonight, we’ll have a nice grilled picnic on our deck and just enjoy what looks like is going to be a lovely summer evening.

Happy anniversary to me, and to everyone else who had one more great day, regardless of diabetes or because of it.

As always, more to come...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Spiral City

If you’ve been reading, you’ll know that I’ve been on a mission to develop a pattern on my arm with my testing “dots.” I’ve declared myself finished as of my latest test today, and here it is, a spiral of sorts… The beginning part of the spiral is less noticeable, as that’s the spot where I normally test, and the dots are on top of the callus. I decided to trail the spiral off a bit into virgin skin so they’d be more noticeable. In case you’re still having trouble seeing it, I’ve connected the dots in this version… And, just because I wouldn’t be a good diabetic if I didn’t know my numbers, here’s what each dot represents… While this was mostly for amusement, I did take away one important skill: lancing without the device. I realized after the first couple of tests that I couldn’t get the precision placement I wanted with the lancing device—it was always just a little bit off. So I started testing without the device, just by quickly poking the lancet in my arm. Turns out, not so scary after the first couple of times. Good skill to have, given that the lancing devices I’ve used have been known to break.

Now, on for the next big adventure in life. Maybe something with fire…

As always, more to come…

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Leveling Off

So back to the fever thing, just because I want to add some closure.

Did you know that you can have both a bacterial infection and a viral infection at the same time? I do now.

After taking my antibiotics, I felt a lot better. My sugars started leveling out almost immediately, and now, I'm actually monitoring to start dropping my insulin dosage back down. That's the bacterial infection that got zapped.

The fever, though? Still there—that's the viral infection still hanging in. It's a tiny number in the morning, bigger after a day of work and some stress. As of today, though, I'm going to stop taking my temperature and just let nature run its course. With the blood sugar and insulin dosage adjustments, I don't need to deal with any more numbers (I was an English major, for God's sake).

As always, more to come...