Thursday, January 31, 2008

Trip-Part 2

On Sunday morning we got up and got ready to take a road trip to Philly. M and I had never been to Philly and we both wanted to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. I made A breakfast. Biscuits and gravy. Apparently they don't have biscuits and gravy up there. And so every time I go visit I have to make it for her. It's not the best on the blood sugar, but it's fun to have every once in a while, so I didn't mind.

We took our little road trip to Philly. It was great fun and once again, the company was everything. I'm quit sure M and I could have stayed in Philly and explored all day long, but there just wasn't time. We got there right around lunch time and made a visit to have Philly Cheese steaks! We went to Jim's Steaks. Everyone seems to think they are the best in town. I am inclined to agree. It was wonderful. And very, very crowded! I recommend it if you are in town.

After that we headed to see the Liberty Bell. I have to say I was blown away. It is just awe inspiring to be in the presence of one of the symbols of American patriotism. We also did a tour of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. That was also very humbling. Our nation's founding fathers literally committed treason in order to stand up for what they knew was right. I wish I could be that brave!

Now here's for the funny diabetic moment: They search all your bags when you go in to see the Liberty Bell and again when you enter Independence Hall. I have no problems with this. I understand all the security issues since 9/11. When they started to search my back pack (holding my purse, all my diabetic supplies, snacks, juice boxes, and a camera bag), the guy who was going through my stuff opened my meter bag. He looked at it and then looked at me and said, "Are you a diabetic?" I was very polite, "Yes, sir," I said, "I also have on an insulin pump." He looked at me and then was trying to zip my meter case back up and couldn't do it. I tried to help and he wouldn't let me.

All this time, the only thought I had, was that I really wanted to look at him and say, "Nah, I'm not a diabetic. I just thought it's be fun to play one for the day." And I didn't even want to say it in a mean way. It was just funny to me. Why would anyone be carrying around a meter if they weren't diabetic or with a diabetic? Unfortunately, I couldn't say this as the gentleman didn't look like he had a sense of humor.

I also discovered a new love on the way back from Philly....Starbucks. The closest Starbucks to my house is an hour away. And I HATE coffee. So I've never felt inclined to stop. But we stopped and I found a drink that doesn't taste like coffee and has only 18 grams of carbs in the grade (also known as medium). The Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte. It was yummy! I am now addicted. I've been craving them ever since.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Trip-Part 1

I am going to take a few days to tell you all about my trip. I went with a friend of mine (M) to visit another friend (A) in the D.C. area. A recently told us she was pregnant and we wanted to go visit her since she is going this whole experience alone. Not to mention that we just flat out missed her. I hadn't seen A since October and M hadn't seen her since May. So it was time for a visit.

We drove up. It took us around 8 1/2 hours from M's house (it's 2 hours from my house to M's on top of that). I usually don't like to drive, but with 2 of us going, it was cheaper than trying to fly up. Friday was pretty much shot as far as spending time with A went, since we didn't get in until around 12:30. It wasn't a horrible drive, just long. But any drive can be more bearable if you have good company.

There were no real blood sugar issues on the trip up. Things stayed pretty normal. I let the levels run in the mid to high 100's just because I didn't want any sneak attacks from the big D.
Saturday was actually when all of the fun started...

A, M, and I drove to Annapolis, Maryland to meet some friends of A. They were involved in a charity drive for Special Olympics of Maryland. It was called the Polar Plunge. Basically, what it boils down to, it people pay money to jump in the Annapolis Bay in January.

Go ahead, say it: THESE PEOPLE HAVE TO BE CRAZY!!!!!

I did. :) Only 1 of the friends actually plunged, but there were hundreds of people plunging. It was very cold and I wasn't even getting wet! But, all the money went to charity, so who am I to complain.

Although, just between you, me and the fence post, I would just pay the money and not actually jump in the water.

It was definitely an interesting day. They had all kinds of other stuff going on inside tents. The had games, and even pig races. Yup, you read correctly: pig races. I am from Tennessee, people. I grew up all around farms, although not on one. I have never seen pig races in my life. It was hilarious. It was just these little pigs running around in circles. And some guy dressed up like Old McDonald. I guess it was a novelty for the northerners...but it was a novelty to me, too!

I also did a bad D thing. I had a wonderful, sugary batch of heaven. Also known as a funnel cake. And surprisingly enough, my blood sugar didn't actually suffer too much.
Just 2 hours later it was around 150. I can't complain there.

We headed back to A's apartment after that and just hung out. We grabbed a bite to eat a California Pizza Kitchen (which I LOVE!) and watched Heath Ledger movies all night (R.I.P. Heath).

I'll finish up my weekend in the next few days. Keep on reading!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Going Away. And Just One Word.

Okay all, I am headed out of town today and won't be back until Monday night, so don't expect any posts for a few days. I will have lots of pictures when I get back I'm sure. As well as lots to blog about. I am taking a road trip with a friend to go visit another friend.

I am leaving you all with the post that's been going around the Diabetes OC lately.
Use just one word to describe me....

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Questions answered....and a meme!

There were a few of you who asked questions about what I did to get approved for the CGMS. Sadly, I don't have a lot of information to give you all. I talked to my doctor about it at my last visit in early December. He said he would write the request letter. About 2 weeks after that one of the MiniMed reps contacted me (Hi, Danny!) and asked me several questions and asked me to fax him some of my blood sugar and pump data. I did all this and he put the packet together and sent it to my doctor. Then my doctor sent it in.
I do have some hypo unawareness, but I haven't even been to the hospital since 2004, so I know that wasn't a deciding factor. When I spoke with the rep again the other day to confirm the next steps, he told me they had put together a packet that was basically "trial and error" until they found something that worked. He also told me he had half a dozen or more approvals in the past several weeks with my insurance company. So evidently, they found something that works.
I didn't have to fight or appeal. They approved it the first time through. I have my next endo appointment in March, so I may ask them to see the info they sent in. I'd like to know also.
Side note: my insurance is Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN. I have heard from others on some sites (like that BCBS is really good about this stuff (not just the TN version).

Now onto the meme. I did this one, I think, not long ago. But I can always think of things that are weird about myself, so it's no problem to do it again. I am not going to tag anyone, just consider yourself tagged if you want to do it! :)

1. I hate talking on the phone to people I don't know or don't know well. I was nearly out of college before I ever called the doctor's office myself to schedual an appointment. I also hate calling in pizza orders. The very strange part is that my job requires me to do this on a pretty regular basis. My dislike isn't improving, I am just getting used to doing it.

2. I have had glasses since I was 15. Today was the first time I ever wore contacts. I'm 26. And darn it if my right eye didn't give me the most trouble. It took forever to get it in and forever to get it out. :(

3. The first time I ever saw a beach was 2005. I was 24 years old.

4. I still like cartoons. I'm an adult. And I like cartoons. Some of the new ones are weird and annoying, but I love Disney movies, older cartoons, and the Pixar films. My favorite movie from last year was Cars.

5. I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I got my degree in one thing, did that for a year, and now I am in a totally different field. And thinking about what I could do next... I can be very indecisive at times.

6. I hate to wash dishes. It's my least favorite thing to do when cleaning. I tend to put it off to the very last minute. I told a friend of mine one time that if I could find a guy who would wash dishes on a regular basis, I'd marry him. :D

7. If you have ever seen the movie Beaches with Bette Midler, I have a friend like her. We met when I was 16 and she was 15 at church camp one summer. We didn't spend much time together, but exchanged addresses. 10 years later we still write, e-mail, etc. And we couldn't be more different. We are like night and day and we still are friends. We just don't want the sad ending from Beaches!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I just got my letter from the insurance company about my request for the CGMS! They approved it! First time through. I am so excited I can hardly breath! I have already talked to the rep from MiniMed and they are going to get the process started. Basically, this means I should be hooked up by no later than the end of February, if I am figuring correctly.

This is so exciting!

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Do you ever feel like you're not accomplishing anything?"

I watched a movie last night. It was one I have seen about a million times. St. Elmo's Fire. It was an 80's movie about these seven friends and their life the year or so after they graduate college. I am a huge 80's movie fan. I have several. I don't know why I like them so much, but I do.
There's a scene in the movie where Wendy (Mere Winningham) is working as a social worker. She's trying to get this woman with about 5 kids to go into some sort of training program so she can get off welfare. The woman demands that Wendy just hand over her check. After the woman leaves, Wendy's love interest Billy (Rob Lowe) walks into the office and starts talking to her. Wendy looks at him and says, "Do you ever feel like you're not accomplishing anything?"
That is kind of how I feel right now. In general. Not necessarily with my diabetes. Just about life in general.
Some days I just feel like I'm a little hampster on a wheel running in circles, but not every really getting anywhere. Do any of you feel like that?
I think it might be SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Really I do. It's just right around this time of year, every year, I start feeling like this. A little bit depressed. Not really unhappy, just not content. It usually passes in a month or so. But sitting right in the middle of it is no fun.
So, do any of you every feel like you aren't getting anything done? Like you aren't doing enough? Or that you just aren't doing what you should be doing in the world in general?
I didn't mean to depress anyone, I am just curious to see if I am the only one feeling like this lately.
Here's the clip from St. Elmo's Fire. I just have to note that there are some wonderful actors and actresses in this movie. Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, and Andie MacDowell are also in this movie. Demi, by the way, is almost unrecognizable compared to what she looks like today!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Eyes and Teeth

Today I had a dental appointment and an appointment for my yearly dilated eye exam. To be honest about it all, I have not been to the dentist in quite some years. I have good teeth and haven't had a cavity in my life. Due to this, and lack of money (dental care's not cheap!) I hadn't been going to the dentist. Well, I went today. It wasn't good news. Basically, people, don't stop going to the dentist! I have five, count 'em: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, cavities! I am so disturbed. I didn't even know they were there. They caused no pain at all and until he told me they were there I was clueless. Sadly, I have 2 dental appointments in the next 2 weeks to get my teeth fixed. And I have learned my lesson: don't quit going to the dentist!!!
As for the eye exam, it went pretty well. There was no change to my vision (i.e. no need for new glasses) and no bleeding in my eye! I have to say, twenty two and a half years into diabetes, I count my blessings that there is no diabetic bleeding in my eyes. However, I do have the start of cataracts on both my eyes. I knew this last year, and the doctor said they had worsened some. But fortunately, they do not interfere with my vision in any way and the doctor said there is no need to do anything about it right now.

I also had to post my eye picture after viewing Scott and Landileigh's blogs of their January eye exam pictures. I figured I might as well join the group! :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I haven't felt the greatest in the world today. I woke up this morning at 59. I hung out the rest of the morning right around 70 to 75. Not low, but just low enough to scare me that I was going to drop quickly. With my hypo unawareness, it was nerve wracking.
After lunch the blood sugar rebounded and hung out in the upper 100's.

With the highs and lows, I have felt a little bit "off" all day today. And a little bit anti-diabetes. Mostly I just wanted to take a break. But as we all know, there never is a break. Diabetes is always there, Every Day, Every Hour, Every Minute.

Friday, January 11, 2008

CGMS Update

I called my insurance company today to see if they had gotten the paperwork requesting they approve CGMS for me. They received it January 9th and the lady told me it was due to be reviewed by their doctor and should be done in 14 business days.
Let's just pray they approve and that I don't have to fight it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


In school I had 3 subjects that I hated with every little bit of passion in me. The first was Physical Education. I hated it. I used to fake sick at least twice a week just to keep from having to run or play volleyball or do whatever else was on the agenda for the day. I am not an athletic person. I am not even a very active person. I don't know why, but it is something that I am having to work daily to correct. It's a goal I struggle with all the time.

Another subject I hated was science. I just wasn't good at it, therefore, I didn't like it.

The last subject that I really hated was math. This was also something I was never really good at. Numbers and I just don't get along.

Yet in some weird way, numbers control my life.

-Blood sugar numbers

-Grams of carbs

-Insulin to carb ratios

-Basal rates

-Prescription numbers



-Grams of fat

-Grams of fiber

Even my picture for today's post represents a number. The juice box that sits next to my bed in case of a nighttime low: 13 grams of carbs.

Numbers rule my world, yet they are something that I hate to think about. Something I hate to do. Ironic, isn't it?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's

I know it's a little late, but I was out of town. This might be a terribly long blog, but I have lots to say.
First off, I have to thank Amylia for the wonderful postcard she sent me before leaving Taiwan. It's beautiful. And a really cool souvenir. Also, lots of healthy thoughts I am sending her way since she and Figgy are not feeling well right now.

Secondly, I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year. I had a really good night New Year's Eve and managed to be in bed by 1:30. Pretty good by my standards. I'm getting way too old to pull the all nighters. I was ready to crash by 10:00.

Thirdly, I have made some non-resolutions. I really don't like to call them resolutions because I will end up breaking them. Here are my non-resolutions:

1. Start exercising. I hate to exercise, but I know I need to.

2. Start taking fiddle lessons and/or violin lessons. I need to use my Christmas present!

3. Travel somewhere new. I am not sure where or when or even how. But I want to go somewhere that I haven't been before.

These may seem pretty easy to do. They are basic. That's how I need 'em. Otherwise, they will never get done!

Lastly, I want to share one of my bad diabetes moments from this weekend. I don't know about everyone else, but when I am out of town or out of my normal routine, my blood sugars can be completely crazy. Having an insulin pump helps a lot, but sometimes, not enough. I spent the long weekend with a friend and her family. They have really treated me like one of their own and have done a lot to make me feel like a part of their family. I love to spend time with them.

Saturday we spent most of the day working on the farm. They have a working farm with horses and cattle. That day, they were putting shavings in barn stalls. I always work when I'm with them. I like it. It's different. Some of it is stuff I've never done before. Some of it is.

It's also more physical exercise than I am used to. All day on Saturday I was chasing high blood sugars with insulin. I had nothing under 180 all day long. I even started stacking insulin, which I try desperately not to do since I know it can lead to lows, which I typically don't catch.

We ate dinner late that night; around 8:00. It was fast food and a type of fast food that I don't typically eat. I knew that I needed to be careful about how I gave my insulin since my blood sugar was already around 100 (my first normal reading all day long!). I bolused with a pretty good guess (so I thought), ate, and went with my friend and her brother to get on the Internet. I wanted to check my e-mail (I was having major e-mail withdrawls!) and they were looking up songs.

It couldn't have been more than 30 to 45 minutes after eating dinner when I started to feel sick. Not a sick that would say "Hey! You are having a low!" It was more like an "I'm really tired and dinner made me sick to my stomach." type of feeling. I even started feeling a little claustrophobic. I asked my friend's brother, who was sitting in front of the door, to move so I could get out. I vaguely remember walking to the kitchen and laying my head on the table.

I must have fallen asleep for a minute because I jerked back awake when I heard someone come in the kitchen. Then I just picked up my meter, opened the case & checked. I don't remember looking at the number, but the next thing I know my friend's mother asks me how the result was. She had to ask me twice for me to answer her.

I remember saying "I'm low. I need juice." In my mind, I knew I had a juice box upstairs in my purse, but my body wouldn't move. She must have told me there was juice in the fridge because the next thing I know I was in front of the fridge with the door open just staring. I couldn't focus. I couldn't find the juice. She came over, handed to me and I sat back down at the table.

I tried to open the bottle of juice, but couldn't. I don't remember him coming in, but my friend's brother was sitting at the table and I pushed the juice at him and said, "Open." He did. I downed the whole bottle in one gulp and then just started crying. I just cried and cried.

By this time, pretty much everyone in the house was in the kitchen with me. My friend's sister and boyfriend were also there. They told me later I cried and said it was because I thought my friend's sister was going to make fun of me.

I also started eating cookies. I know better than to do this, but when your blood sugar after juice is 66, you just start to eat automatically.

I remember bits and pieces of the whole thing. The rest they filled me in on. I haven't had a low that bad in several years. One where I had no control or ability to care for myself. It scared me. I hate crying, but when I have a low that bad, that's all I can do.

I hate that feeling of helplessness. That feeling of knowing what I need to be doing and having the inability to do it for myself.

I felt guilty. I hate depending on others to care for me. I know they didn't really care. My friend's father has Type 2 diabetes. They deal with this also. But I still hate doing that to someone. I think that's part of the reason I cry.

The rest of my weekend was good. I had a good time. Got to spend some quality time with my friend, whom I don't see nearly enough.

But to ruin a perfect weekend, the big D had to rear it's ugly head.

There is not cure for diabetes. Yet. (Thanks for that line Amylia)