Thursday, December 17, 2009

Diabetes Shots


I'M IN LOVE
Yes, with a gadget. I've been sort of anti-cell phone the last few years, having one only for emergencies. Then I started thinking maybe I'd like one that actually works. And I started having iPhone envy, gawking at strangers, demanding co-workers run me through a demo. And I bought one. And I can't put it down. My favorite health-related app? Rx Helper. It keeps track of all my prescriptions, the dosages, when the next refill is up, the pharmacy id numbers and all sorts of good info. It even keeps track of my dog Molly's medication and her syringe supply. It's pretty cool. I haven't found any diabetes-related apps that I really like yet, so if you've got one you think is the bee's knees, let me know.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ho Ho Oh No

Yeah. That's me. The person who hasn't even started her Christmas shopping yet. Hasn't given more than 30 seconds thought to what I might get who or what. I did buy my tree, put it in the stand and water it. No ornaments or lights yet.

I just can't seem to get there, to get into my holly jolly mood. Mostly, it all just seems a little exhausting.

I'm not bah-humbuging. Really, I'm not. I like Christmas. I like wrapping presents. I like my tree. I'm just waiting for the spirit of the season to give me a shot in the arm (Wait, that's cupid, right? Wrong holiday! Could explain why I feel off....). I'm sure it will come. I just keep waiting.

And eating the Christmas cookies that keep showing up at work.

As always, more to come...

Friday, December 11, 2009

My New Best Friend


He's adorable, isn't he? And he helps a great cause, too! I was walking by Bloomingdale's (okay, taking a shortcut through a mall to avoid the bitter cold) and saw him in the window. Turns out he's pretty special—Bloomingdale's donates $5 for every one sold to JDRF. The bear is only $18 (highly reasonable for Bloomies), so I bought two. I know I'm giving one to a toy drive being sponsored by my husband's company. I thought maybe I'd give the other one to my cousin, who just had a baby. Or maybe my niece, who might still appreciate a stuffed animal at age 16. But. You know. He's really soft. And cuddly. And maybe 41 isn't too old to appreciate a good teddy bear either...

As always, more to come...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diabetes Shots


LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE
Lora, with diabetes, on a camel, in Egypt (real pyramids, not a backdrop). I’m on my honeymoon (that’s the husband with me) and Cairo was a side trip from Athens. Diabetes may not take a vacation, but I do, and I go where I want, even the desert.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Diabetes Shots


SHOOTER
This lovely lime-green box should be filled to the brim with syringes, but alas, I’m in need of a diabetic supply order. There are only two bags left, 20 syringes. While I do have the Lantus SoloStar pens, my preference is to use the Lantus vials and a good old-fashioned syringe. Don’t know why, just do. Also, syringes are good to have on hand in case a pen malfunctions. I can still stick a syringe in the pen and get out the goods.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Vacation

I was on vacation all last week. I would like to say I went someplace exotic and saw wonderful things, but mostly I saw my couch. I rented and watched over nine movies (I love Redbox), got the oil in my car changed, bought a new battery for my computer, did a little sewing, a little baking, a lot of laundry and basically tried to catch up on life.

Oh, and I ate. A lot.

When I'm at work and on a regular schedule, I eat regular meals. When I'm at home, I graze. Constantly. I gained four pounds in nine days.

I kinda sorta took a vacation from diabetes as well. I tested very infrequently and randomly gave myself shots. Eight units of NovoLog every now and then during the day was the program I decided to go with. When I did test, I seemed pretty okay, but who knows about the other times?

It wasn't a good thing for me to do. I don't plan on continuing to do it. But I do have to say that not sticking myself constantly was a nice break. For my real estate, too, which actually has unbruised itself.

I'm back at work now, and things are still as crazy as ever. But I'm hoping I can convince myself to get back on the wagon and test more often and shoot insulin appropriately. It may take a couple days to get back in the swing of things, though. When I went to grab a sandwhich for lunch, I forgot my insulin pen...

As always, more to come...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Diabetes Shots


LAST CALL
Another fun container, with more fun diabetes stuff. This one is for my alcohol swabs. I buy the cheapest swabs I can find and store them in here. They come connected in twos and whenever I get a new box, I immediately separate them into single packs; it’s become a ritual of sorts. I know a lot of diabetes folks don’t really use swabs anymore, but I use one before every test and every shot. I find if I skip the swipe, I wind up with tiny red dots of angry.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Diabetes Shots


I HAVE THE 64 BOX
Stress can have an impact on my numbers, so I try to have stress-free moments of fun and relaxation. I loved coloring as a kid and I still do. I found this cool coloring book at the dollar store and snapped it up. It’s hard to find coloring books that are just for coloring; they all seem to be “activity” books” these days and I prefer my word searches to be under separate cover. And yes, I have the BIG box of crayons, including Periwinkle.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Well, Okay Then

Apparently, my body likes stress.

Because while I’ve had a lot of stress lately, my numbers have been good. Really good. Like bordering on awesome. There have been days when I’ve wondered if my meter was broken because every time I’ve tested, the number has come up at 110.

I’ve been eating badly because when I’m stressed, I want comfort food (Pop Tarts, mashed potatoes, hamburgers, beer cheese dip). I’ve forgotten to bolus until the end of my meal. I’ve haphazardly calculated numbers I know probably aren’t right, but I don’t have the energy or time to multiply in my head.

I’ve stopped my exercise routine because sleeping that extra 20 minutes in the morning, or going in to work 20 minutes early has been the only way to survive.

And still. Numbers good.

All I can think is that while I know stress can affect my numbers on occasion, this isn’t one of those occasions. This kind of stress—mostly work-related with a few odds and ends thrown in for good measure—seems to work with my body.

While this is a good thing on the surface, I find it a little scary and a little sad that I so regularly have this much stress going on, my body just absorbs it. My body operates better when stressed. (My mind, however, is another matter…)

Anyway. In an ironic twist, I decided this weekend (prompted by a get-together coming up in December for which I do not want to be 10 pounds heavier from beer cheese dip) that I needed to get back on the straight and narrow. That it was just as easy to consume a V8 and a Nutrigrain bar in the morning as it was to inhale a Diet Dr. Pepper and a Pop Tart.

I’m eating better as of Monday and even started exercising again as of yesterday. And wouldn’t you know it? My meter is NOT broken. I hit a 135 today. A little on the high side for me given the circumstances. Must be my stress levels starting to taper off. Less stress, higher numbers.

As always, more to come…

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Diabetes Shots


BOTTLED UP
I think somewhere, deep down inside my fractured thoughts, I have this hidden notion that the reason my test strips are so expensive is the money they sink into creating near indestructible bottles to encase them. Also, I think the little snap-cap containers are fun, and I’m convinced I will find an ultimate use for them some day. I have washed them out and brought salad dressing to work in them. My brother uses them for expensive drill bits. My husband puts his shaving ouch-stick in one when we travel. So I can’t throw them out, and I throw them in this drawer (along with what looks like electrical supplies, a jingle bell from Christmas and some marine glue…)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Perspective

I got an e-mail from an old friend this morning. She's one of the nicest people I know, with a great husband and a beautiful daughter.

She wrote to say she's expecting an addition to their family and she's 4-1/2 months along. I'm so happy for her. She's an excellent mom.

She also wrote to say she's been diagnosed with breast cancer.

While it's November, the month for all things diabetes, and I'm still planning on wearing my blue with pride, I've had some perspective shift. I no longer think the huge bruise on my thigh is quite so dramatic, or the fact that my sugars were running low yesterday is cause for freaking out.

It's November, but there are a lot of women who are stuck with October, and its significant pink ribbon, year-round.

My good thoughts, vibrations and karma all go into the universe for Danielle.

As always, more to come...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Diabetes Shots


FOOD MARKET
Diabetics are good to have as officemates—they always have a stash of food around. In addition to my requisite Juicy Juice boxes, I also keep NutriGrain bars, granola bars and random pre-packaged snacks in a basket next to my desk. Working late? Need a snack? Ask Lora!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Meme About Me, Me

This meme has been floating around for a couple of weeks, but since I’ve been out of the loop, I haven’t seen it. So I’m reviving it for today. Stuff about me you probably don’t need to know, but I’m telling you anyway…

1. Do you like bleu cheese? When it’s combined with other things, yes. I love a good bacon and blue cheese hamburger, and blue cheese in a salad is lovely. Oh, and blue cheese olives in my martini are a must.

2. Have you ever smoked? Not on a regular basis. I’ve done the “I’m drunk, can I bum a cigarette” thing in my younger days, and I’ve smoked clove cigarettes because I was a liberal arts major, but nothing for years.

3. Do you own a gun? A jumbo super-soaker squirt gun to keep the dogs in check when they bark at the neighbors’ dog through the fence.

4. Favorite type of food? I like all kinds. I’m big into seafood, Italian, French, pizza…just about anything as long as I think it tastes good.

5. Favorite type of music? Something I can sing or hum along to.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Awesome at the ball park, pretty good on the grill at home.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Love Actually, the original Miracle on 34th Street with a tiny Natalie Wood, and Meet Me In St. Louis with Judy Garland.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Juice or hot chocolate.

9. Can you do push ups? I can probably pump out a few…

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I love my engagement ring because it came with love. I love my watch because I bought it for myself, also out of love.

11. Favorite hobby? Watching TV, sewing, reading, baking, driving aimlessly, little crafty projects I dream up.

12. Do you have A. D. D.? Nope. I’m pretty focused.

13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? I wear glasses. I started as a freshman in high school, only having to wear them to see things far, far away. Now I have to wear them 24/7. I always pick cool frames, though. I figure if I’m going to wear glasses, I’m going to WEAR them. (Tried contacts, hate them.)

14. Middle name? Michelle.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I hope my boss comes in a little late today, is this too long for people to read?, it’s going to be a long day.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink: Water, Ocean Spray Sugar-Free Cran drinks, juice.

17. Current worry? How much trouble the dogs are getting into because they’re home alone more often since I’m working crazy hours.

18. Current dislike right now? Too much work, not enough time for me.

19. Favorite place to be? With people who make me laugh.

20. How did you bring in the new year? At home, with my husband, and some really good food.

21. Someplace you’d like to go? Everywhere! A beach right now sounds good, as does Moscow, Croatia, Argentina and Washington D.C.

22. Name three people who will complete this. Most of you already have!

23. Do you own slippers? Yes, several pair. If my feet get cold, it takes forever to warm them up. I try not to let them get to that stage.

24. What color shirt are you wearing? Red, with a grey sweater over it.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No! They make me sweat, as do satin pajamas. I like cotton.

26. Can you whistle? Barely, and it took me a long time to learn how to do even that!

27. Where are you now? Somewhere I’m not supposed to be working on personal items...

28. Would you be a pirate? Not a bad, evil one. Is there such thing as a do-good pirate? Then I wouldn’t mind travelling the high seas and going to foreign lands looking for and burying assorted treasures.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t sing in the shower. I’m pretty much an in-and-out girl. When I bake, though, I like Carly Simon.

30. Favorite Girl’s Name? Molly—my dog’s name.

31. Favorite boy’s name? Charlie—my other dog’s name. (I don’t have kids and don’t plan on having them, so we really only think about potential pet’s names. There’s a newscaster named Dane Placko and we think that’s pretty cool…)

32. What is in your pocket right now? Clothes pockets, zip. Jacket pocket—gloves (we’ve just about hit that season in Chicago).

33. Last thing that made you laugh? My husbands red-light camera ticket. He got a speeding ticket yesterday morning, then I came home and found a notice in the mail he got caught via camera blowing a red light. I laughed at him whole-heartedly.

34. What vehicle do you drive? Saturn SUV. It’s like an overgrown station wagon. It’s old and completely paid for and I’m going to drive it into the ground.

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I broke my arm when I was really little, but I don’t remember much about it. I did have a nasty toe infection one summer (pre dx, but possibly foreshadowing of?)

36. Do you love where you live? I love Chicago; I think it’s one of the best cities in the world. My personal abode could use a little work…

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Two hooked up, two sitting on a shelf.

38. How many computers do you have in your house? Just my laptop.

39. If you changed your job, what would it be? In a dream world: pastry or dessert chef. In the real world, down the road: grade-school librarian.

40. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be? A cure for diabetes and all other diseases, tax-free money to become debt-free and a personal assistant to take care of all the day-to-day annoyances.

As always, more to come...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Overheard

Do not do this to me. This is not appropriate.

What's wrong with that? That's perfectly round.

Come on, man. How much blood do you want?

Pffft. I'm practially hemorrhaging here.

$%&!

Seriously? Seriously?

*Conversations with my test strips when they don't work...

As always, more to come...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lora In Life

It's Sunday and there are about 2.6 million things I should be doing other than writing, but this is where my mind has taken me, and I followed.

Life has been on the crazy side as of late, and it's hard for me to catch my breath. I'm working a lot of hours, the house has needed some court-mandated work (don't ask; it's Chicago), and my dogs seem to have swallowed a batch of obnoxious pills. (I love them and love having them for company, but I'm seriously considering a small bird for my next pet. (Hah! My own version of Tweeting!))

I had a birthday in there somewhere about a week and a half ago, which was nice. Lovely, lovely dinner at a fabulous restaurant, some new shoes, pretty flowers.

And with all the rushing and moving and shaking, you'd think I'd be completely out of whack in terms of sugars and numbers. And yet, I haven't. Granted, I'm not testing as often as I should be, but there were a few days in there I actually thought my meter was broken--it continually said 110 no matter what I ate or how much insulin I did or did not give myself. It wasn't until I got cocky and ate a caramel apple and a Pop Tart without bolusing and hit a high that I got that not-so-subtle reminder to shoot, baby, shoot.

(Sidebar on Pop Tart: I haven't eaten them in years, but have been craving them as of late. I've discovered the 7-11 across from my parking space for work makes awesome hot chocolate that doesn't trick my sugars, and oh yeah, they have Pop Tarts sitting right next to the hot chocolate. I caved. Good news, though, as long as I remember to actually give myself insulin, I can totally eat them. Also, if I don't mind absolutely no nutrition value whatsoever and massive calories...)

(Sidebar on Caramel Apple: Love, love, love them. Only eat them once a year when they're in season. My office building gave them out to all the offices. I had three (over a period of multiple days). Fall is officially fall because of this indulgence, and it wouldn't have been officially fall otherwise, regardless of how many pretty leaves are now clogging my new gutters.

My biggest diabetes news is that I've finally broken the virgin seal of clothing. (I could make that sound less... and more..., but it's more fun this way.) For those of you who've been doing this for a while, it's no biggie, and Kelly K2 told me it was just a matter of time before I'd be doing it, but the first time I did it, I felt like quite the daredevil.

Yes, I've been shooting insulin through my clothes.

It's heading into cold-weather territory in Chicago, which means layers. Which means I'm not pulling down my tights every time I want to shoot in my thigh. I still have tiny fears that microscopic clothing fibers will wind up in the pin-prick wound, but I'm slowly dissolving those, since it hasn't happened yet.

I could write more, since I seem to be in a babble mood as opposed to a change-the-sheets kind of mood, but I think I'll end here and try to whittle that 2.6 million to 2.5 million. But I'll end it with five things making me happy right this minute, thereby making all the other flotsam a little less daunting...

1. The Bears won today (closet football fan).
2. I carved out time to carve pumpkins and the two jack o' lanterns flickering in my living room are very cool, even if I do say so myself.
3. Molly (one of above mentioned dogs) is asleep across my feet, keeping them warm. She's dreaming, and I believe she's almost caught that squirrel...
4. It's only 4:30. You wouldn't think that extra hour from Daylight Savings Time would have that big of an impact, but it does. 60 extra minutes is 60 extra minutes.
5. My husband fell asleep on the couch, so now I get to take over the remote control.

As always, more to come (sporadically, perhaps, but coming)...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Diabetes Shots


NO CUPCAKE NEEDED
Icing can be great for treating a low if juice isn’t an option. I keep a couple tubes stashed here and there, just in case. These two cuties are on my desk at work, just at the base of my computer and within hand’s reach. The red one is slightly deflated, as I sucked a few ounces out during a nasty low one day. My tongue was scarlet for the whole afternoon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Diabetes Shots


DRINK UP
I’m not a fan of Crystal Light or some of the other traditional sugar-free, non-carbonated beverages. However, Ocean Spray has come up with a line of cranberry juice mixed with other fruit flavors and put them in these convenient little packets that mix right into your water bottle. I have all four flavors in my drawer at work, and drink about one a day. They offer the thought of sweet, without having any sugar impact—they have zero carbs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Aaaargghhhhhh

Having mind-numbing, time-sucking, stress-filled, fully annoying issues, situations and dilemman IRL. Back soon with actual, real-live posts and ability to read everyone else's.

Until then, good diabetes for those who have, great life for absolutely everybody.

As always, more to come...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Diabetes Shots


RIF
There was a campaign when I was little to get kids to read more. It was called Reading Is Fundamental, or RIF. I believe, if I’m not mixing up my Conjunction Functions, RIF was also a big red dog. This doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, since I’ve always been a big reader, even before the dog. I have a Chicago Public Library card, and I check out multiple books every couple of weeks. Reading doesn’t raise your blood sugar, which I like.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Diabetes Shots


A GIRL LIKES TO HAVE OPTIONS
I use a Novolog pen and need pen needles. It took some trial and error, but I finally figured out I need two sizes of needles to cover all my shooting real estate. I use the purple-tab ones (31G x 3/16”) for my thighs; it’s a shorter needle and my thighs don’t have much fat on them. I remember purple, because purple is the color of bruises, and I often wind up with bruises on my thighs. I use the blue-tab ones (31G x 5/16”) for my stomach and saddle-bag areas, which have plenty of extra fat on them. I also have some pink-tab ones (29G x 1/2”), but they’re way too long and I only use them as back-up when I’ve forgotten to order. Which means they should be in play in about three days…

Monday, October 5, 2009

Test Results

Finally! Had the endo appointment last Wednesday and my test results finally came in today.

I really like my new endocrinologist. She didn’t think any of my questions were stupid and didn’t even pause or look at me funny when I asked them. She just gave me the answers.

And every time I see her, I learn something new. For instance, she was able to look at my records, figure out an average number of units a day, then twist them into a specific calculation to come up with the formula that one unit of Novolog will most likely drop me 50 numbers on the meter. It’s not a “works-every-time” type of thing, I’m sure, but at least there’s something concrete there to work with. (And for those of you who might be saying, ‘duh,’ I have never, in three endocrinologists, heard any of this information before.)

She also tested my Vitamin D level. I told her I fractured my toe this summer and she questioned me a little more on that. I also told her my mom was being treated for osteoporosis. She said diabetics are more prone to fracture, and with the osteo thing, she wanted to make sure my Vitamin D levels were where they should be. Turns out they’re not, and I need to take a supplement. (Side note: This makes me feel a little old. I’m sure if I were 23 or even 30, this subject might not have come up. But I’m turning 41 this month, and I’m finding that some of my medical situations have to do just as much with age as with diabetes. Ack.)

TSH levels (thyroid-related) are too high, which means I’m taking too much medication, so she’s dropping my prescription down a notch. I’m a little worried about this, as this could mean a drop in energy level and an increase in weight. (Double Ack.) But I’ll go with it for about a month and if I don’t like it, I’ll let her know and maybe we can hit a compromise. As long as my heart doesn’t feel like it’s going to burst (most important and biggest side effect from too much meds—potential heart attack), I think there’s room to maneuver a happy outcome for everyone.

My A1C is up, but only a tiny bit, for which I am very grateful. I’m at 5.5%, which is definitely reason to celebrate. It means I’m getting the hang of the Novolog, despite the times I thought/think I’m really f’ing things up.

Oh, and for everyone who wants to shout “honeymoon” period at me, you may now feel free to do so without my wrath emerging. The endo told me that when you’re diagnosed with diabetes as a child, your honeymoon period usually lasts a year, maybe two. When you’re diagnosed as an adult, as I was, it’s possible to have a honeymoon period that lasts up to ten years, although not typically. So, six years and some odd months in, it is technically and medically possible for me to still be honeymooning a bit. Yes, I do try really hard to do all the right things with diabetes, and I bust my butt with calculations and carb counting and dreaded aerobic activity, and I think that my good A1C is the result of that. But if some part is due to a little side trip to honeymoonland, I’ll certainly take it—for as long as my body gives it to me.

As always, more to come…

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Couple Minutes Behind

I sat here this morning, thinking I needed a vacation. I left my kit in my work bag and didn't do anything about it. I ate a molasses cookie and didn't do anything about it.

Then I jumped on Twitter and realized I wasn't the only one who needed a vacation.

For work today, I'm writing about Hilary Duff. I wrote my to-do list in a red notebook with purple pages. I wrote my husband an e-mail. I wrote down what kind of hula hoop I wanted to buy (purple and green, with a surprise glitter color thrown in).

And now, I'm going to write about the fake lake I walk next to each day. It's a large pond, but in an architectural manner, because it surrounds the base of a downtown building. It's a very calm pool of water, with a basin in the center for bushes. It's not very deep, but it's long enough to do a lap in. And each time I walk by it, twice a day, five days a week, I think this might be the day I'm going to step over the ledge and walk through it. Sit in the middle of the bushes. Splash around for a while. Because I could. I'm pretty sure it would take the security guards at least five minutes to figure out I'm in there. I could cause a ruckus, get carted away by the po-lice. Watch for me on the local news.

I said I needed a vacation. I believe this post proves it.

As always, more to come...

Diabetes Shots


IT KEEPS ON GIVING
Long after the meal has been digested, long after the sharp has been disposed of, long after the insulin has been used up, diabetes is very generous and keeps on giving. This lovely bruise is just beginning its yellow phase, shifting from purple. So it goes. And it makes people wonder what you’ve been doing that you have a quarter-sized bruise in the middle of your thigh. I say keep them guessing whenever you can…

Monday, September 28, 2009

Diabetes Shots


SILVERWARE & SMARTIES
I have quick sugar-up items stashed in various places around my house. At work, at the beginning of each month, my work building passes out candy to each office. A couple months ago, they gave us Smarties, which are basically pure sugar compressed into tiny circles of fun. I kept grabbing handfuls of them from the receptionist’s desk, and began stashing them throughout my office, then my work bag, and eventually at home. These wound up in the silverware drawer in the kitchen. Forks, can-openers and Smarties. The house of a diabetic.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Diabetes Shots


PLUGGED IN
My computer. A diabetes essential. I’m a MAC girl all the way and my laptop was a gift to myself shortly after diagnosis. I mostly use it for the internet (to post my blog, Facebook, stalk celebrities on Twitter, e-mail friends), but I also keep a file for my medical records, checklists for grocery shopping and packing and random notes, projects, pictures and thoughts. On my screen? A really pretty flower garden in London. I like the pink pom-pom blooms. They make me happy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Operator Error

I’ve been keeping a log of what I eat, how much insulin I’m giving myself, what my numbers are and when, in preparation for my endo appointment next week.

And because I’m that kind of person, I’ve color-coded the numbers that are too low and the ones that are, for me, too high, so they jump out immediately at me.

And you know what I’ve noticed? Yes, there are a couple of wacky instances where the numbers did what they wanted despite my best efforts, but more often than not, I’m the one who caused the numbers, especially the high ones.

I can see the trends, and I go high when two things happen:
1. I underestimate the carb count of something.
2. I don’t give myself any insulin for what I’ve eaten.

Let’s review.

1. I underestimate the carb count of something. I know how to read a label. I have a scale. Sometimes, though, if I’m tired and I just want to sit in my chair with a bag of bbq potato chips and watch television, I don’t weigh. I guess I’ll eat about 2 carb units worth, shoot up, then just shovel the chips in until I’m bbq’d out. Did I eat 2 carb units? Did I eat 3 carb units? Did I eat 1? Who knows. What I really need to do is just take a bowl from the cabinet, put it on the scale directly below said cabinet and weigh. Seriously. Not that hard.

Next big thing: I like to bake. While I try to stick with recipes that list some sort of carb count, I don’t always. So I wind up guessing. And it usually takes me until the last brownie to find the right carb count. You’d think I’d write this down, to remember for next time, but I don’t. And you’d think I’d realize that if a container of harmless yogurt has 1 carb unit, the brownie most certainly has more than two, or three.

2. I don’t give myself any insulin for what I’ve eaten. If I’m really low, I’ll drink a juice or eat an applesauce, about 1 carb unit, and not shoot for it. This is fine. It brings my number up to a yes-I-think-I-can-think-now number, without pushing it too far over the limit.

But when my numbers are not low, when they are normal and I want to eat, I must shoot. This is 101, right? But it’s so easy just to grab that handful of Tootsie Rolls, or eat a tapioca pudding cup without even thinking. I don’t know why or how my mind/body justifies this, but it does. And I consciously do not shoot. And when I’m done eating, I think somehow, magically, the carbs won’t count. And then I test, and I’m high, and I know if I had simply done the shooting to cover the food, I would have been normal.

I’m not beating myself up, but I am giving myself a slap on the wrist or a flick on the side of the head. I’m responsible. It’s my body, they’re my numbers and it’s just a little stupid of me, I think, to be this slack with something that only takes an extra minute or two to control. Seeing those numbers on the page makes me realize how much I really am being lax, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to do better; I know I won’t always, but I think I should at least try.

As always, more to come…

*P.S. Never write a blog when you’re zoned out from sinuses, or sinus meds or slightly low blood sugar—or especially all three. I had to look up how to spell “conscious” three times, even though I’ve known how to spell it since the third grade, possibly the second… Cheese and crackers, one carb unit, one unit of insulin…

Monday, September 21, 2009

Diabetes Shots


I NEED A NEW ONE
I’m using my old Lantus OptiClick pen case for my Novolog pens. The case is bulky (because that nasty OptiClick pen was bulky) and too big for what I need it for, but I just don’t seem to ever remember to look for a better version. There are two pens in there because I left my kit at work one night, and had to bust out a new pen at home. I’m hoping I can use up the insulin in both of them and not have to throw one away because it’s gone wonky.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Diabetes Shots


HERE ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS
Massively worded, tiny-sized type, origami-folded instructions and disclaimers that come inside my Lantus and Novolog boxes. I’ve read each one once, the first time I took each form of insulin. Now I just think of them as padding, so my Lantus glass vials and my Novolog pens don’t roll around inside the box.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Don’t Feel 98

And, no, I’m not talking about my age (because sometimes I do feel like I’m almost a 100 years old…I digress).

I’m incredibly irritated right now—by the last e-mail someone sent me, by the magazines that are too close to my arm right now, by the marker that’s in front of the keyboard, by the fact that I keep having to delete typos and start over, by my palm, which stings from where I just tested it, convinced it was going to show me I’m dive-bombing into the 70s and below.

But I’m 98. And 15 minutes ago, I was 101, and an hour before that I was 120. So I’m not rapidly descending as far as I know.

But my head has that fuzzy halo. And I’m as cranky as Mr. Wilson. So my logical conclusion is that my meter is wrong, wrong, wrong. That my body is wrong, wrong, wrong. That the numbers aren’t computing to what’s actually happening.

And I have no choice but to break out the Wee Brie and crackers and have at it.

You have to play diabetes by the numbers, but sometimes you have to play by the instinct, too. Or the crankiness factor.

As always, more to come…

Diabetes Shots


OFFICE SUPPLIES
Colored paperclips: check. Large paperclips: check. Smarties: check. Standard office supply, no?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Diabetes Shots


I COULDA HAD
A V8, and I do, almost every single morning. I figure it gives me a little more nutrition than I might normally get and, for some very odd reason, regular drinking of said product keeps my acid reflux at bay. Go figure. Also, point to make: I hate tomatoes of any kind and it took me over a month to be able to drink V8 without holding my nose. Now I swill it like I’m a frat boy at a kegger with a warm beer—I swallow as fast as I can and don’t dwell on the taste.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ooops…

I kinda forgot I have an endo appointment in three weeks. I’d really like to bring in some good information, since this will be my first visit after being on the Novolog since Easter. (I had one quickie appointment about three weeks after going on it, just to make sure it wasn’t causing an allergic reaction/too much/too little/killing me—usual stuff.)

Unfortunately, I suck at the logging thing. My meter will keep my readings as long as I test often enough. HOWEVER, the diabetic world doesn’t seem to like to be compatible with MAC, and I’m not giving up my MAC, so I have to manually flip through the meter with a pencil and notebook to log them.

I also want to log how many carbs I’m eating and how many units I’m giving myself, and mesh them with my meter readings. Which means keeping track of the times I’m eating and shooting, so I can sync with my meter readings. Ack. It all sounds so horribly complicated and so time consuming and mind numbing. (Whine, whine, whine, bitch, bitch, bitch.)

So, as of tomorrow (because doing it today seems awfully daunting, and I haven’t picked out a pretty notebook yet), I’ll be in log mode, trying to write down all the tiny little details. And I’ll also wait to start until tomorrow, because I just realized my meter gained about 20 minutes of time somewhere along the way (scary; what else did it gain?) and the whole timing thing will be off if I don’t fix it before I start logging.

I’m off to change the meter time and find my notebook. I saw some really cool handmade ones somewhere. Life is always better with pretty paper.

As always, more to come…

Monday, September 7, 2009

Diabetes Shots


BOXED UP
I have many different boxes for my diabetes stuff, including a set of wooden boxes from Ikea. Some of the boxes hold office supplies, since the boxes are in my home office, but this one contains my Accu-Chek Multiclix lancets, my Freestyle test strips, extra batteries for my meter and my dog’s Percorten, which she gets injected with once a month for her Addison’s. My disease, her disease—it’s all good.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Attention, Please

I can be easily distracted. I admit this freely, and I think I may have even demonstrated this once or twice (okay, maybe three times) in my writing on this blog (my love of parentheses feeding this habit).

One would think, though, that in certain situations, my distractions would be limited and my focus would be 100 percent—say, upon jabbing a needle into my stomach. One would be wrong.

I’m standing in my kitchen, shooting up for the pizza that just arrived. I dial my Novolog pen for a large dose and insert the needle into my gut. Flish-flash and something on the television in my living room catches my eye. I look up and in some sort of instinctual linear movement, I lift my hand slightly as well. I look back down a split second later to see the needle hovering just above my body, insulin dripping from the tip. I check my stomach and see a slightly raised circle of skin—insulin that has pooled just beneath the surface instead of being fully injected into the fat region.

I hate when this happens. It looks creepy and it feels creepy. The first time I did it, I panicked for hours, thinking I had created some horrific medical disaster that could only end in severe trauma. I learned that the insulin eventually sinks in; it just takes a little bit longer.

I don’t panic anymore, but I do think it’s a little dumb on my part, possibly a lot dumb. It takes, what, five seconds to shoot insulin from the pen into my body? And I can’t stay with the task on hand for the full five? I can only handle two, maybe three seconds at best?

The only explanation I can offer is that it’s become so routine to shoot, I don’t think about the physical act of doing it as much as I used to. This is a good thing, in that shots have never been fun for me (are they for anyone?), so the fact that I don’t have to screw up courage to jab myself is a plus. This is a bad thing, in that it’s a waste of insulin, and the insulin that does make it to its destination isn’t absorbed as well as it should be.

What’s a girl to do? Well, other than turn the television off before I dial? Focus. (Folk us. Wee folk. Folk lore. Lore. Lora. Hey, that’s me.)

As always, more to come…

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Diabetes Shots


GIMME BLOOD
This is my trusty blood kit that goes everywhere with me. My main meter is a Freestyle Flash, but my lancing device is an Accu-Chek Multiclix, thanks to the Diabetes Online Community. I HATED the Freestyle lancing device, which gave me huge, gaping wounds and I mentioned it in a blog. The Accu-Chek came highly recommended and I’ve never looked back.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Strip Show

It’s time to play the diabetes strip game. That’s where you surf the Internet to find the most reputable place selling your brand of meter test strips for the lowest price.

For one, brief, shining moment, I had an insurance Camelot and I could get 100 test strips a month for a co-pay of $10. All good things must come to an end, though, and my new insurance has a different policy on “non-formulary” items. It now costs me $50 for 100 strips at the pharmacy. Still not a bad price, but I hate the pharmacy and I hate that I have one more prescription. I’d much rather just order all my “non-formulary” items online, where I can get them in bulk and get them for about the same price. If I look.

I’ve been using Hocks.com for a while; they seem to have everything I need and at good prices. Shipping is free when you order above a certain dollar amount (not hard to do when buying test strips), and you can earn “dollars” that you can apply to future orders, which means I almost always get four or five bucks off my total. They’re really reliable, too, and they’ve only messed up one order one time and immediately fixed it.

Every now and then, though, you gotta do the comparison-shopping thing. Who knows? Maybe someone got a good price on a huge box of test strips and they’re selling them off cheap, or someone has a good heart and is selling them for what they’re worth, not what the mark-up is.

Here are this week’s findings. Each price is based on 50 strips. Stunning, really, when you see the varying prices…

Health Warehouse: $28
Drugstore.com: $59.99
WalMart: $103.04
American Diabetes Wholesale: $28.78
Allegro Medical: $32.95
Walgreens: $114.99
Overstock Drugstore: $29.98
OTC Wholesale: $31.99
Hocks: $27.99

Hocks is still my winner, although there are a couple of other places that come close—but they don’t let me earn dollars and some have a shipping charge as well. I’ll also order my pen needles and my syringes at the same time—they have a really good inventory. And, I can get 200 alcohol swabs for $2.39. AND, they have Sugar-Free Tums!

I’m not being paid by Hocks to write this. It’s just that I’ve been all over the Internet for the last six years (except for my time in Camelot), always looking for the best prices and decent service, and I was hoping to save someone else a little time and trouble. Hocks doesn’t always come up in searches for Freestyle test strips, so someone might miss them.

And, of course, I’m always open to hearing if someone else has found a gem of a place to order diabetic supplies in bulk, online, for cheap.

We gotta stick together. These strip shows don’t come cheap—a dollar here, a dollar there…

As always, more to come…

Monday, August 31, 2009

DIabetes Shots


BUTTER AND INSULIN
Like a lot of diabetics, I keep my insulin in one of the shelves in my fridge door. While I try to keep the butter separate, it does often end up mixed in. In case you're trying to read labels, there's a box of Lantus SoloStar pens, vials of Lantus, and boxes of NovoLog pens. I keep the insulin in my fridge until I'm ready to use it, then try to take it out the night before so it has a chance to warm up a bit. I hate injecting cold insulin.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Calorie Shmalorie

I’ve given up my calorie-counting ways, or at least the documentation of them. For about two months I noted everything I ate, what I drank, how much I exercised. It was a good lesson in portion control and learning to look at a nutrition label for something other than carbohydrates.

However, I realized at some point it started to become a royal pain in the arse to keep dragging out my computer every time I wanted a snack. I also realized that I was focusing so much on numbers of fat grams, calories ate and calories burned, that I was starting to lose my grip on the other numbers, the ones on the meter.

I’m not good with numbers to begin with, so having two sets of numbers rule my life seemed like the beginning of a very bad idea.

I lost a few pounds, I can fit into a couple pairs of jeans that used to cut off my circulation from the waist down and I’ve gotten myself into a very nice exercise pattern. So now I’m just going to wing it. This little calorie song-and-dance number is over. Exit, stage left.

As always, more to come…

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Diabetes Shots


ROLLING ALONG
This is my exercise “bike” I have under my desk at work (those cords are for my computer). When I’m doing something online that doesn’t require full-on concentration, I try to ride my bike. I have to lower my chair a bit, so I doubt my fingers on the keyboard are ergonomically correct, but I can still type, so it’s all good. It came with a timer, and most days I try to do about two hours, randomly spaced throughout the workday. It’s not a full-on exercise bike, but it’s better than just sitting there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Old Switcheroo

Used to be, I had trouble with my numbers at night; I couldn't keep them down where I wanted them. During the day? Perfectly fine. Nary a rumble of disgruntlement.

But now. My diabetes is exercising its right to vary.

Nighttime numbers aren't the issue anymore. It's the 4pm high that's killing me. It's like my body all of a sudden has decided lunch, well, we don't really need that, do we? Or perhaps we should only eat one carb unit at a time, wait until the numbers level off, then move on to the next one?

Pfft. I'm hungry. I want to eat my sandwich, my applesauce and my animal crackers, all at the same time. And give myself one shot to cover all of it. One. Shot.

I'm asking a lot. I know I am. I guess I'm just going to have to keep testing and playing with the Novolog until I can get it right.

Pfft. Stupid diabetes.

As always, more to come...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Diabetes Shots


PITCHER PERFECT
My kitchen is ground zero for most of my diabetes activities. I dump my bag on the counter at the end of the day, pull out my blood kit and my Novolog kit, and they stay there until I reload the bag in the morning. I test on the counter and I shoot on the counter. As a result, there's often a lot of diabetes debris on the countertop. I finally, after much urging from the husband, grabbed a small container to store the flotsam in. This pewter pitcher is about four inches tall, and despite the fact that my actual garbage can is less than ten feet away, I find it easier to stash used test strips, swab wrappers and needle caps in here. I wind up emptying it about twice a week, depending on how stealthily I've crammed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

K2 + L1, Part Deux

((Note: If you’re travelling here from Diabetesaliciousness and want to get straight to it, go ahead and skip to START HERE. If not, read on…)

If you’ve been hanging around the DOC for any length of time, you undoubtedly know who K2 is—Kelly K. at Diabetesaliciousness. Kelly is wise beyond her years and a rockin’ good chick who makes a mean mojito (or so I’m promised). The L1, that’s just me—Lora, with one L. I don’t have a cool nickname (although Kelly did refer to me as Lorabetes, which I thought was wicked fun).

Kelly has had diabetes for a really long time, and was diagnosed as a kid. I’ve had diabetes for a relatively short time, and was diagnosed as an adult. The two of us got together and decided to have a conversation about how different and how much the same our experiences have been with the Big D.

The conversation actually starts on Kelly’s blog, Diabetesaliciousness, and finishes up here (two, two, two blogs in one, errr…one, one, one blog in two!). After you’ve read part one…

START HERE:
Kelly: Your turn to answer: How and when did your diabetes education formally begin?

Lora: Baptism by fire. You know how the doctor said I should go to the hospital if I started throwing up? On Sunday, the day before I was supposed to go back to the doctor and learn everything, I was home alone and started throwing up. Projectile vomiting all over the bathroom, every five seconds. After about 15 minutes of non-stop, I finally caught a temporary break, grabbed my car keys, my bottle of Lantus and drove myself to the hospital.
I ran into the emergency room, threw the bottle of Lantus at the nurse and told her I had just been diagnosed with diabetes. She asked me what my blood sugar was and I told her I didn’t know. She started to lecture me and asked me why I hadn’t checked and I told her I didn’t know what she was talking about. She started to cuss out my doctor for not giving me a meter when I motioned that the vomiting was about to commence again. They immediately threw me in a bed and I spent the next week on an insulin drip in the ICU.
I thank that hospital every single day because as soon as they realized I had no clue what I was doing, they set up appointments with a CDE and a nutritionist and I got a crash course on how to be a diabetic, and some lovely pamphlets to take home for reference.

Kelly: You did go through baptism by fire! Hey, was “Mr. Hypo Is My Friend” one of the pamphlets??

Lora: No. Because I’m sure I would have remembered that one, and probably hung it on my fridge! Let’s talk about shooting up. Did they teach you how to do injections while you were in the hospital? Were you scared? Did your parents shoot for you?

Kelly: I was terrified of needles and would immediately start to shake and cry. I remember one nurse being afraid to give me a needle and saying something like: “She’s terrified. I’m afraid she’s going to pass out if I give this to her. She’s shaking.” I remember trying not to cry when it came time to shoot up. I’d actually stop crying and start shaking. The whole being- afraid-of-shots thing was why I was in the hospital for three weeks after diagnosis—they didn’t want me to leave until I could inject. Which I just realized now. WOW.
When I came home, my parents and my sister began giving me my injections. About a month later, I started doing it myself. My first shot took forever to inject and it was in my thigh. I remember my sister telling me to just stick it in and get it over with, but I did it my way—slow and steady.
After the first one, no one in my family ever gave me an insulin shot again! I realized that when I did it myself, it hurt less. Plus, and this might sound odd, but being able to inject my own insulin at age eight really gave me confidence and freedom. My friends thought I was brave. I remember my friend Theresa being amazed when I tested my urine sans the tape. I used test tubes and fuzzy pills and my bathroom looked like a lab—COOL. Also, injecting meant I could go on sleepovers without having my mother come in the morning to give me insulin. I knew what to inject and the sliding scale for high glucose levels in urine. I was proud I could do it on my own. Looking back, though, it might have been better if my mom had come over in the morning. But this was preglucose testing and the rules were different—and incredibly archaic.

Lora: Sounds like you were able to take control pretty quickly. Maybe there was an actual bit of Quincy in you…

Kelly: What about you? Were you afraid when you first starting injecting?

Lora: Terrified, just like you, even though I was 26 years older! I was the little kid who had to be held down by my mom and two nurses so the doctor could give me my vaccination shots. My first solo shot, I sat on the edge of my bathtub for over half an hour, reading the Lantus instructions and trying to screw up the courage to jab my thigh. I kept shaving off a couple of minutes each night until I could do it in a timely manner. Still not my favorite thing to do, but you do what you have to, right?
And by the way? I agree that’s it’s much easier to give yourself a shot than to have someone else do it. I’ve never had anyone give me an insulin shot.

Kelly: Seriously—you’re my SHERO! SO, did you ever blame yourself for your diabetes?

Lora: At first. I thought maybe if I had eaten better, kept my weight under better control and exercised more, I could have held the diabetes at bay for longer. After all, I had gone 34 years before it reared its ugly head, couldn’t I have gone even longer if I’d made the planets align just so? I was also in a bit of denial. I kept thinking maybe the test the doctor gave me was wrong. Did I have Gatorade that morning, thinking it didn’t count as fasting? Could that have thrown my blood sugar off and caused a misdiagnosis? Then I’d stop myself and remind my brain that DKA doesn’t happen because someone drinks Gatorade.
I could be wrong, but I think as an adult, you tend to look for reasons why and to place blame. As a kid, I think you just accept that’s the way it is, even if you don’t like it. I think my parents were a little more like the kid in my diabetes diagnosis; they didn’t really know what it meant, and they accepted what I told them. How did your parents handle your diabetes?

Kelly: My parents were very much into making me take ownership for my diabetes. They wanted me to be independent, and they set some wonderful examples. Exercise was paramount, as was diet, yet they still allowed me to have ice cream and be a kid. Honestly, Lora, our house was a diabetes pressure cooker. Looking back, I know my parents were under a tremendous amount of stress, and I truly think they were overwhelmed by diabetes and were just doing their best to survive day to day. I think they felt worse about it then I did. To this day, I have no clue how they did it.

Lora: How did you handle your diabetes as a kid?

Kelly: I hated that MY disease hurt my parents so much. I felt so guilty. I tested my urine and yes, sometimes I lied about the results. I’m not proud about that, but I was afraid of my family’s reaction to a high reading. I saw how upset and sad they became when my tests were high. I started lying about my results so I wouldn’t see the pain in their faces. I don’t blame them; they had SO MUCH on their plate. But, I was and am a people pleaser, so lying about my numbers made sense at the time.
I didn’t want my parents worrying about me. I kept a lot in as kid. I’d make them laugh and admitted to nothing. Everything was always fine, even when it wasn’t; I would rather cry in my room at night than worry the people I loved.
I remember getting the flu in the middle of the night and not telling my parents until the morning. I just grabbed the bucket, some ginger-ale and Saltines, and went back to bed. I told them I was sick in the morning. They were so mad—they were afraid of me going into DKA. But I saw how much time my sister being sick took from them, and I just wanted them to get a good night’s sleep.

Lora: Sounds like, as a kid, you felt more accountable about your diabetes to your parents than to yourself… At what age do you think you truly took control of your diabetes, and did it for yourself?

Kelly: There was no real “this-is-all-me” moment. I knew that when I moved out of my parents’ house, and even when I was in it, that my diabetes care was up to me. I didn’t do great with my diabetes in college or immediately after. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I started really owning it. Once I started owning my diabetes, it ceased to own me. I became empowered and I felt great.
I started the pump in my early 30’s, after my endo begged me. Pre-pump, My a1c was very low, around 6.4, because I was working out like crazy at the time. BUT, my stomach looked like a freaking color wheel—various shades of green, yellow, and purple. My endo made me a deal: If I tried the pump for one year, I could get rid of it if I really hated it. I agreed and have never looked back! I love it!

Lora: We’ll definitely have to have the pump discussion down the road. I think I’m as reluctant about it as you sounded. Do you remember life before diabetes? As a seven-year-old… ;)

Kelly: Lora, I’ll answer any pump questions you might have—I know that you’d LOVE it. Life before diabetes barely exists in my memory. Before I was diagnosed, I was surrounded by insulin junkies. I grew up drinking Tab even when I didn’t have to.
Before my diagnosis, I remember Pixie Sticks and Fun Dipp; “The Wonderful World of Disney” on TV every Sunday night; tap-dancing lessons on Saturdays; and gymnastics on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Summer days were spent on the beach and going to the Margate Movie House for free whenever I wanted, drinking ginger-ale from a real glass during “Bambi” because my brother was a theater usher.
Those same things occurred after dx as well....sans the Fun Dipp and Pixie Sticks. That pre/post diabetes line is severely blurred, which is probably a good thing...
Of course there were times when I wanted to be “normal,” but diabetes didn’t make me feel not normal or dorky. I felt different because of my looks and my interests, not necessarily because of my disease. I’ve had my F Diabetes moments of course, just like everyone else.

Lora: Sounds just like my childhood, complete with Donald Duck and minus the gymnastics—I’m so uncoordinated. Definitely not gifted in that area…

Kelly: But gifted in others…because of diabetes! What gifts has diabetes given you?

Lora: A true appreciation for irony. I hated shots as a kid, now I have them daily. I hated math all through school, now I have to count, multiply, divide carbs and insulin units every couple of hours. All the foods I love the most are the ones that mess with my sugars the most.
I also have a little more courage than I used to. I’ve always wanted to travel and had just started about three years before my diagnosis. I was afraid diabetes would stop that and I refused to let it. Four months after dx, I flew to Tokyo for vacation, just to prove to myself I could do it, and everything else I wanted to. Without the dx, Japan might still have been on the back-burner, while I explored safer options. I had to come up with that courage and keep it in the forefront to conquer quite a few things.
I’d also have to say I’ve come out of my shell a little more. I can be shy by nature, but I realized really quickly that if I need information and answers about my diabetes, I have to speak up and ask the questions. I also put myself out there with my blog. I’ve kept a personal diary since I was 10 and have always kept everything pretty close to the vest. With the diabetes, I felt like keeping it too close to me wouldn’t do me any good; I would obsess without anyone stopping me and have pages and pages of worries and admonishments if I left it all in my journal. Externalizing everything I’m thinking and feeling and worrying about with diabetes helps me keep things in the proper perspective.
And, of course, I consider the folks of the DOC a gift. I don’t know anyone personally who has diabetes, so it’s nice to read about what other people are doing. I learn a lot about the technical side, and the emotional side. K2, you are an excellent teacher!

Thank you, thank you, thank you (K2 and L1 take a deep bow). We’re here every day on the DOC—you just gotta look for us….

As always, more to come…

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sucker.

See also: Lora.

As a diabetic, I count carbs. I’m so focused on this aspect of food, that when I check nutrition labels, I often zone in on the carb count and forget to check the calories.

Unfortunately for me, I’ve been trying to watch my calorie intake as well as my carb intake, and I totally goofed. Last week we went to Sam’s Club and I bought a box of Ferrero Rocher. Three pieces is a serving size, and it’s only 15 carbs per serving. Only one unit! Yes! Perfect! I could have a little taste of chocolate, not blow my diet and not blow my carb count.

Ferrero Rocher, if you’ve never had one, is a very rich chocolate, which, according to their Web site, is “a tempting combination of luscious, creamy, chocolaty filling surrounding a whole hazelnut, within a delicate, crisp wafer…all enveloped in milk chocolate and finely chopped hazelnuts.”

Pure joy. Pure evil.

You know when they use the word “enveloped” to describe a food item, it means it’s really rich, really good, and really full of calories. 220 calories for three pieces, to be exact. Only one carb unit! But 220 calories.

And, it being Sam’s Club, the box is the big size. While I have yet to scarf down the whole thing in one sitting, it has not been an uncommon occurence for me to crinkle six gold wrappers within a five-minute time period. Only two carb units! But 440 calories.

How easily I’m suckered into eating something just because the carb count is low. How easily I’m suckered into buying shiny chocolate. Sucker Lora must remember to read little (or very large) number next to “Calories” in addition to number next to “Carbohydrates.”

As always, more to come (until the box is empty, that is)…

Damn. Now I want another one.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Saw Donuts And, Well…

I take my inspiration where I can get it, and today, it came in the form of frosting and sprinkles. I needed a little change. (So did you. Admit it. Everyone likes a makeover.)

Okay. So the whole Twitter thing. I do have a log-in, and I do try to write something every now and then, trying to do my part with the hashtags and getting diabetes as a trending topic. (I hope I used all that lingo right.)

But the truth is, being on Twitter for longer than five minutes is difficult. At work, it’s hard to justify why I would be on it for any sort of duration. At home, I stay off my computer as much as possible, since I’m on it all day. And, since I’m being honest here, I’d rather watch an episode of Leverage or The Closer or Make It Or Break It, or sit outside with my dogs (where my Wi-Fi doesn’t reach) and read a library book than roam through the Internet. As such, when I do log on to Twitter, I usually have to go through 24 hours or more of Tweets to get caught up, and even then, I miss a lot of stuff.

I think Twitter is great for instant community support, and if I ever find myself in a job where I can just monitor and add a note as I please, I’m sure I’ll be addicted. But until then, I like the blogs. I like reading what everybody has spent some time thinking about before posting.

I even like to make a comment here and there. But sometimes I don’t, just because I feel a bit out of the loop. I’ll hit the “comments” button and see a bunch of people have congratulated or commiserated about something not written about in the blog, but Twittered. I feel a little dumb just saying what I was going to say, ignoring something that seems so obvious to everyone else and making me appear, in my mind, like I’m a cad for not acknowledging something important.

So. (And I do love that word; it’s such a lovely, easy transition.) So. I’m just going to go with being in my own little blog world, reading everyone’s posts and commenting as I normally would. Please excuse me if I don’t say the appropriate thing or don’t get what everyone else is talking about. It’s not that I’m being rude or mean, it’s just that I’m not Twittering.

As always, more to come (#bgnow 95)…

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why Is It...

...when you only have five test strips left in the bottle, and no back-up bottles with you, that it takes three strips to get a test result?

Six hours to go, two test strips left.

As always, more to come...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Vacay

I’m not officially taking a summer vacation; I usually don’t. Perhaps that’s why I’ve somehow, without my approval, decided to take a break in other areas of my life.

I’ve been good about keeping up with my exercise, the laundry, my Tivo, returning the library books. What I haven’t been good about is keeping up with my diabetes. I just realized when I finished my last test strip in the bottle yesterday that it had been a very long time since I’d opened that bottle.

I should be testing six or seven times a day, but I think I’m somewhere around two or three. I usually test first thing in the morning; it’s become as routine to me as hitting the bathroom right after rolling out of bed. This morning, I let the dogs out, fed them, did my weight-lifting exercises, turned on my computer, got everything out of the fridge to make breakfast and lunch and realized I hadn’t yet tested.

I’ve also been bad about the insulin. There’s been times in the last couple of weeks where I’ve finished my meal and realized I never shot myself. I try to do the after thing, but it doesn’t work as well. And there have been times where I just didn’t shoot at all. Then I didn’t test, so I don’t know what the numbers even were.

I’m not purposely doing it, at least not consciously. The whole diabetes things just sort of slips my mind. I know it can be a pain, but I’m only in my sixth year and I have a lot of years ahead of me of doing the testing and shooting routine. I’m hoping this is just a temporary break, and that I can get back on the bandwagon. I’d hate to have to plan a real vacation just to put myself back on track. Wouldn’t I?

As always, more to come…

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good Enough For Me

C is for cookie, and that’s good enough for me. It’s better than good, it’s my heart’s desire right now, my obsession, my one and only true thought and my demon.

There’s only an hour and 15 minutes to go before I head home from work. I haven’t taken a lunch break yet, though I ate my sandwich and applesauce about four hours ago (diabetes has its occasional perks; I’m the only one allowed to eat inside the actual office). It’s really, technically too late to take lunch, yet I know I could hop the elevator downstairs and walk right into the built-in bakery/cafĂ© in the basement of my building and buy a cookie and be back in a flash.

I could buy five crispy, soft, thick half-dollar-size chocolate chip cookies that are really, really good. Or I could buy one jumbo, giant toffee cookie that would feed a small village and tastes incredible, thereby satiating my cookie urges for at least three days.

I might normally indulge. But not only am I in carb-counting mode, I’m in calorie-counting mode. Carb-wise, I could bolus for the cookie, but then it would throw off my sugars for dinner and I’d be a mess for the rest of the night. Calorie-wise, I’m trying to lose a few pounds and I’ve been succeeding, but now I’ve hit my plateau and I need to stop the cookies or I’ll be stuck forever in the half-way there zone.

So I’m not going to buy that cookie. Even though I really want to.

And what does this all mean for you, my gentle readers? It means I’ve just managed to kill another ten minutes of not buying a cookie. Only an hour and five more minutes to go. (Sorry for luring you in with the hope of an insightful entry, then using you for my own horrible purposes of killing time.)

As always, more to come (but NO COOKIE, not even a C)…

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

All By Myself

It’s official: I’m in a commuter marriage.

The husband got a great job with great benefits, great career experience, great company, great people. One small glitch: it’s one hundred and twenty miles south of where our house is.

The daily commute would be about 2-1/2 hours each way and virtually impossible to do. So we packed him up a week and a half ago and moved him to a small studio apartment near his new job. He drives home on Friday night, we spend the weekend together, and he drives back Sunday night or Monday morning and spends the week in his apartment. And I spend the week in our house. Alone.

While I do have two dogs for company and security (they like to bark), I realized this is the first time since my diabetes dx that I’ve lived alone. I’m not obsessively worried about it, but I do find myself taking a different set of precautions than I normally would.

My general rule of thumb is not to go to bed unless I’m over a 100. I’ve bumped that number up to 110, and I pay more attention to what I’ve eaten, how long ago, how my sugars might be affected. The other night I ate Chinese food and miscalculated how much insulin I’d need to cover it. I tested right before bed and I was high. Normally, I would have given myself a correction of a couple units, but I paused, thought twice and didn’t. What if I dive-bombed in the middle of the night? My dogs are good company, but they’re not very adept at getting the straw into a juice box.

I don’t have a history of waking up low in the middle of the night—it’s only happened a couple times in my six-year diabetes history. But there’s always a chance it will happen, and I’m going to do my damnedest to make sure it’s a fluke, and not some stupid, “Oh, I’ll be okay,” lapse-of-judgment moment on my part.

I know I’m not the only one who spends time alone with diabetes, so if anyone out there has any good advice, tips, tricks, suggestions that I might not have thought of, please let me know.

As always, more to come…

Friday, July 17, 2009

What When Why Where How

Blogging by not blogging…

On the health front: Do I blog about the headache I woke up with and can’t get rid of? The skin tag I removed last night with nail clippers? The prescription refills I need to call in? The diabetic supplies I need to order?

On the home front: Do I blog about my pantry moths? My cloth moths? My silverfish? My need for an exterminator? How I wish I’d never torn apart my downstairs bathroom, which has been torn apart for two years?

On the dog front: Do I blog about how a stray gray cat taunted my dogs yesterday morning by sunning himself in our backyard despite their barking from every door and window in my house? About how I need to order Molly’s meds for her Addison’s? How they both desperately need to be furminated, and my whole house along with them?

On the work front: I’m not even going there.

On the Twitter front: Do I blog about what a time-suck, mind-suck, fun-filled activity this is? How I’m hoping the fascination goes away just like the Facebook fascination did?

On the let’s-pause-a-minute front: The sun is out in Chicago, steadily rising above the lake. Looking out my window, the water is sparkling like moveable glitter and there’s the lightest feather-wisp of a cloud stretched across the sky, a pale blue.

Wait. What was I talking about?

As always, more to come…

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Full Tweet

It was the peer pressure. 14K diabetics saying “c’mon, it won’t hurt.” The test didn’t. The Tweet did, just a little.

Led by TuDiabetes, it was suggested that diabetics round the world unite in a single blood test at 4pm EST (that’s 3pm my time) and post their results. In addition to posting on TuDiabetes, you could also post on Twitter.

I believe I’ve mentioned before I’m a Twitter stalker. I follow what a lot of different people write, but I’ve never written anything myself.

But at 4pm EST (that’s 3pm my time), I caved. I wrote my blood sugar was 132. Then I wrote a second Twitter.

I’m in now. Full Tweet. I’m Chicagolora if you’re looking, although I’m not making any promises as to quality or quantity.

As always, more to come (here, and on Twitter, oh, and FB, too)…

*P.S. Very, very cool to see everyone’s Tweets on #14kpwd. I feel like I’m part of a gang! A very cool gang (kool gang?).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shot In The Dark

Guess what I now own? My very own glucagon shot. It’s real nifty—came in a sturdy red plastic case with instructions printed on the inside of the lid. Almost like a new power tool from Home Depot.

After six years of being on insulin, my new endocrinologist is the first one who’s ever asked me if I knew what a glucagon shot is and if I had one at the ready. Of course not. That would have meant someone was paying attention, and frankly, I can’t really blame the diabetes educator who gave me my four-hour crash course in how to be a diabetic while I was still under the throes of DKA in the hospital for forgetting to mention it. Or maybe she did and it just went out the window, like so many of the things she was trying to teach me.

Anyway. The new endo arranged an appointment with her RN for me and the husband to go in and learn all about the glucagon shot. Husband got to practice shooting a squishy ball, since he’d be the one shooting me up should I need a glucagon shot. He’s never given me an insulin shot, but he’s given my dog her monthly shot for Addison’s for over a year, so he’s not syringe shy.

Afterward, we went out for breakfast and I had mushrooms with melted cheese and scrambled eggs and toast with just a scraping of grape jelly (not a big jelly fan; only do grape once in a while, and only sparingly; otherwise: gross). Not actually an important part of my glucagon-shot-owning story, but it was a really good breakfast and slightly more memorable than the story the RN told us about her diabetic cat.

So. Me. Owner. Glucagon shot. The prescription says I have 999 refills (not a typo, 999) that are good through July of next year. I’m hoping I never have to use the damn shot, let alone refill it 999 more times.

As always, more to come…

Friday, July 3, 2009

Psssttt...

To the right. Look to the right. See that date over there? 7/3/03? That means today is my D Anniversary. Six years.

I hear the city of Chicago is so excited for me, they're going to blow off some fireworks tonight.

As always, more to come...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Resonance Of A Dream

I went to bed last night with a splitting headache. I checked my blood sugar before I lay me down to sleep and it was a little on the high side, which I attributed to the splitting headache. I quickly wondered if the headache went away while I slept, would I drop? I quickly answered no, I was high enough that it shouldn’t make a startling difference.

I drifted off to sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream. Vivid snapshots swirled through my mind like classical music notes in a cartoon; I was scared, I was worried, I was full of sorrow, I was elated, I was in another world far, far away. I woke up all at once, sitting straight up before I was even out from under the dream. I was thinking, “this is it,” as I knew the reality of my mind had crashed over into another realm and I was forever lost. After minutes of seconds, I came to, fully bathed in sweat.

I reached behind me and turned on the lamp, damning courtesy all to hell (the husband would have to sleep through it or get woken up; he had no choice). I pulled out my meter and my lancet. He awoke and asked if I was okay. I looked at him, hoping the sweat running down my face would give him the answer. The meter beeped: 133. Perfectly fine. “133” I said out loud and turned off the light, heading back under the covers.

Sometimes, a dream is just a dream, and it rocks you to the very core. Sometimes a dream is not diabetes.

As always, more to come…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Toe Jam

The distance from my bedroom door to my bathroom door is approximately eight feet.

This eight feet appears innocent. It is not.


I woke up in the middle of Saturday night and walked that eight feet to the bathroom, half asleep. And about four feet into my journey, I ran into this:


That’s a ladder. A very sturdy, fiberglass and metal ladder. It’s great for reaching high things and I feel very secure getting into my attic with it. However, I do not recommend slamming your foot into it in the middle of the night.


Ouch. That hurt. That really hurt. That really, *really* hurt.
I went back to bed, pain in my foot, thinking I’d have a nasty bruise from an unpleasant toe-stubbing.


The next morning, I stepped out of bed with my right foot, then my left. Soon as the second foot hit the floor, I fell back in bed. Extreme pain. Swelling. Ugly colors beginning to appear.


I sat with ice on it, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, and watched Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon. I always forget how pretty Nanette Fabray is and I want about 75% of her wardrobe from this movie. I think I’d look very nice in fluffy skirts.

When the dust settled somewhere late in the day, it became obvious that while the whole foot is bruised and sore, it’s my fourth toe from the big one that’s suffered the most damage.
See? Not so pretty. (P.S. My foot is not fat and I do not have chubby toes. Thats all swelling. And while my camera didnt quite catch it, theres a lovely lilac shade covering most of the top portion of my foot...)


On Monday morning, I debated back and forth on whether to call the doctor. I’ve stubbed my toe before, a lot, and I didn’t want to feel stupid going to the doctor for him to say, duh (he wouldn’t really do that; he’s really very nice).

I waited until after my dentist appointment at noon (to replace temporary fillings with permanent ones) and just from hopping around from half a day, I knew I’d have to call. I did and went to see him at 6:15 on Monday night. He took a quick look and sent me for X-rays, letting me know he’d call with the results the next morning.

On Tuesday morning, wearing my very non-Nanette house slippers as office shoe ware, I listened to his message informing me I had fractured my toe. While he asserted it would most likely just take time to heal, he wanted me to see a foot specialist to be sure.


I
called to make the appointment with the foot guy, and the schedule lady gave me an appointment one week away. I questioned this, and I am very proud of myself for sticking up and telling her I needed to see him sooner. She transferred me to his physician’s assistant and I left a rattling voice mail. She called me back 10 minutes later to tell me I could see him the next day at 8am.

Wednesday morning and I arrived at the foot guy still wearing my non-Nanette house slippers (which, by the way, are not so good for walking in Chicago alleys). I spent 10 minutes filling out forms. I spent 10 minutes waiting for him. He spent about five minutes with me. He told me my fracture ran vertically from just below the joint down the length of my toe. He said it would hurt for about two weeks. He said it would take about eight weeks to heal completely, and would be swollen for most of that time. He gave me a fabulous sandal to wear so I could stop wearing my non-Nanette slippers.


I’d like to say something witty and wise here to wrap this all up, but really, all I can say is: this sucks.


As always, more to come…