Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Sunday night I ate a semi-late dinner. I typically eat no later than 7:30, maybe 8:00. Sunday I got busy and wasn't really hungry. Most times like that I would just skip the meal altogether.

This time, I didn't. Instead, I ate around 8:30. I bolused and by bedtime (around 11) I was clocking in fairly well in the mid 100s with some insulin still on board.

I have had problems in the past with not hearing my CGMS alarms at night. Typically it gets to the point where my pump has started vibrating. But, still, it wakes me up.

Sunday night, I didn't have such luck. Or better yet, my "luck" included me turning off the alarm every time it went off, and never doing a thing about it.

This is what my sensor alarm history looks like:

11:35 pm - 172 (I have my high alarm set at 170)

12:34 am - 242

1:35 am - 252

2:34 am - 190

3:35 am - 198

4:34 am - 228

5:35 am - 258

6:34 am - 212

My Insulin Bolus History shows no action was taken until I was awake at 6:00 am. I tested and was in the high 100s. I corrected and continued about my day, hoping for a better grasp on the blood sugars. Sadly, that didn't happen. I chased highs all day long until I began rage bolusing and bottomed out at around 3:00 pm.

However, my rage bolusing is not the subject of this post. My lack of action on the high alerts is my problem. I vaguely remember hearing one alarm. All the others I must have turned off in my sleep.

So far this has never happened to me before. My concern is what if it had been a LOW alarm, instead of a high alarm? That could have been bad. Very bad. I got my CGMS partly because I live alone, and I like the security.

So, I guess this is a call to MiniMed: Make the alarms louder. Or give us the option to make them louder (for situations like this).

Cause, maybe if they were louder, I wouldn't turn them off in my sleep without really waking up.

Monday, March 29, 2010

iPod Challenge: Part Deux

I hadn't done this in a while, so I thought I'd start it up again. A meme of sorts. :) Plus, I wanted to compare it to my list from last time. Oh, and just a disclaimer: I don't actually own an iPod. I have a Zune, which I love very, very much. It's just that everyone pretty much has an iPod. And I wanted a title that could be recognized.
So, put your iPod (or other mp3 player) on shuffle and list the first 25 songs that play....

1.) There's No Buisness Like "Show Business -from OBC of Annie Get Your Gun

2.) Just Might Make Me Believe -Sugarland

3.) Cold As You - Taylor Swift

4.) Friends - Band of Skulls (from the New Moon Soundtrack)

5.) Story of My Life - Bon Jovi

6.) Trani - Kings of Leon

7.) Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Miranda Lambert

8.) Complicated - Carolyn Dawn Johnson

9.) I Thought She Knew - 'NSYNC

10.) One of These Nights - Eagles

11.) Let's Fall In Love - Rod Stewart (from the Great American Songbook collection)

12.) Long, Long Way From Home - Foreigner

13.) Does the Wind Still Blow in Oklahoma -Reba McEntire w/ Ronnie Dunn (from Brooks & Dunn)

14.) Leaving You - Nickelback

15.) Don't Rain On My Parade - Lea Michele from Glee Soundtrack

16.) God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You - 'NSYNC

17.) Last One Standing - Emerson Drive

18.) Big Blonde & Beautiful - Hairspray Original Broadway Cast

19.) Cold Desert - Kings of Leon

20.) Endless Helpless Hoping - Josh Gracin

21.) Woke Up This Morning - Nickelback

22.) The Way You Look Tonight - Rod Stewart (from the Great American Songbook collection)

23.) All I Wanted Was a Car - Brad Paisley

24.) Time With You - Billy Currington

25.) The Woman With You - Kenny Chesney

The only justification on any of these songs is my 'NSYNC. My only excuse is that I dug them out to try to cling to my youth. At least I didn't break out the Britney. :P

So, join me. Try this for yourself. And give me some suggestions. I'm always about widening my musical horizons.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mamma Mia!

Theatre Thursday is here again folks! Lately I've been to see several shows, so I should have a Theatre post for the next few weeks in a row.
Back before Christmas my mother and I watched Mamma Mia!, the movie. We both thought it was thoroughly cheesy and we both loved it (If you know us, you'd know that both thoughts are completely possible at the same time...).

Through my wealth of useless knowledge about all things Broadway related, I knew that Mamma Mia! the Broadway touring production was coming to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (further known at TPAC) in the spring of 2010. Immediately, my mind went to Christmas gifts, and what a great gift it would be to take my mom to see the show.

My mother has never been to New York. She's never seen a Broadway show before. But she spent a lot of time growing up doing plays at school and singing show tunes in choir. In fact, she sang me more show tunes than lullabies when I was a child. She is basically the reason I love musical theatre so much.

After confirming that I could get tickets before Christmas, I knew right away that's what I was going to do. I also purchased the movie, unwrapped it (and let's be completely honest, I watched it, too) and put the tickets inside the DVD case.

She was thrilled when she opened her Christmas present. And I knew that I'd not only get to hang out with my mom (which I don't do nearly enough anymore), but I'd also get to see a show. And what's better than a show? Sharing it with people you love, of course!

This is a few weeks ago now, so I figured it's time for the theatre critic in me to come out. First of all, I'd like to say that both my mom and I, along with a great friend of mine that went with us, had a fantastic time. Second of all, I'd like to say the the show is every bit as cheesy and fantastic as the movie. Actually, a little more fantastic, just because it's live theatre and not a movie.

Mamma Mia! has been on Broadway for several years now. It's currently playing in the Winter Garden Theatre (where Cats was for so many years!). The poster even says "The Global Smash Hit". And it really is global. The show currently has productions in London, New York City (of course), Norway, and Mexico. There is also a North American Tour, an International Tour, a Dutch Tour, a Spanish Tour, and an Australian Tour. Whew! If that doesn't say "Global Smash Hit", I don't know what does.

Now, onto my review:
For those of you who have never seen the movie or the musical, I'll give a brief synopsis. The show is about a young woman, Sophie, who is about to get married. She has been raised by her single mother, Donna, never being told about her father. In her desire to meet her father, she discovers that her mother doesn't even know who it is; there are three possibilities.

So, without Donna's knowledge, Sophie invites all three men to her wedding, hoping to discover who her true father is.

Of course, hilarity ensues, especially upon the arrival of Donna's old friends Tanya and Rosie, and her three ex-beau's, whom she's not seen in twenty years.

Throughout it all, Sophie learns that family is what you make it, and Donna learns that sometimes it's okay to ask for help and that love doesn't always go away.

And the greatest part of the show: every single song is an ABBA song. I wasn't born when ABBA was popular, but like most people (at least people with good taste in music ;)...) I've learned many ABBA songs over the years. And I can assure you that nearly every song that you would know by ABBA is in this show, from the title track, Mamma Mia, to Dancing Queen. There are 22 total songs in the show, and I knew about 80% of them going in.

All the actors and actresses did a good job, but Rachel Tyler, who played the role of Tanya, and Kittra Wynn Coomer, who played the role of Rosie, stole the show. Their comedic timing was impeccable and they were probably the most talented of all the actors and actress in the show.

So, is Mamma Mia! the greatest musical ever written? No way. Not by a long shot. But it's fun, and funny, and is something even a non-musical lover could enjoy, if for nothing more than the songs. There seemed to be a large number of women enjoying the show with friends, especially women who were young during the ABBA reign. And I know that I enjoyed every second of it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Adoption Story

I realized, in the past few weeks, that many of you don't know that I'm adopted. Some of you may. It comes up in my conversations (especially when relating to diabetes) quite a bit. Since Elizabeth Arnold, who I've gotten to know on Twitter, and more recently, in her new blog, is adopting, I thought I'd share my story with all of you.
To save on confusion in my story, any reference to mom, dad, or parents refers to my adoptive parents. Any time I am referring to my biological family, I will use the term "birth" or "biological".

My parents met, and were married in southern California. Both had spent a majority of their childhood, and all of their adult life in California. When they married, my dad already had a son from a previous marriage and my mom and dad were unable to have children. My mom wanted a child.

At the time, they were attending Calvary Chapel in Downey, California. Calvary had just started an adoption ministry called House of Ruth. Years later, I would write to the director, Karyn Johnson. She told me I was one of the first adoptions that House of Ruth helped to facilitate.
My mom and dad never hid the fact that I was adopted. I always knew. My mother had a cross-stitched picture that she kept on my wall in my bedroom. I still have it. It was of a mother holding an infant. The poem under it reads:

Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone
But still, miraculously, my own
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart
But in it.

That's how I always felt. My mom and dad told me how special I was. Because they got to pick me. That someone loved me enough to give me to my mom and dad, who could take care of me better and love me more. As a child, that made me feel wonderful.

As I grew older, I learned a more about the story behind my adoption. It's never that simple, is it? When we are children, a child-like terminology can explain it all. As an adult, the story and details behind it make it so much more special.

My parents signed up on a list of adoptive parents through House of Ruth. Shortly after that, my parents moved to Tennessee. My father had spent his early childhood in Tennessee and still had family here. He and my mother moved and began their lives here, while waiting to hear something about a baby.

My mother had prayed and believed that God had promised her a baby girl. But it was 3 years and several let downs before I would enter the picture. And even my entrance was filled with drama. My mom tells me there were several birth mothers who pulled my parents' profile. They would be all excited....up to the point they found out that the baby would be living in Tennessee. I'm not sure, but I think there were people who still believed that there was no indoor pluming here.... and that we never wore shoes. (Totally not true, by the way...I have had indoor pluming my whole life. And we do wear shoes...most of the time ;P )

But my parents kept praying. And my mom kept believing that she'd get her baby girl.

When my birth mother and her family contacted House of Ruth, I believe the fact that I would be far away from California was a positive for them. My parents had little time to prepare for me, if I have it timed correctly in my head. My birth mother was in her 6th month before she told anyone she was expecting.

The the surprise. I came a month early. I was sick. Very sick. When the doctors called my parents, they told my mother not to bother flying to California because I wasn't going to make it. I had a valve in my heart that wasn't working properly. They were flying me from Los Alamitos General Hospital in Orange County, to Long Beach where there was a more capable NICU.

After talking with the doctor, she told him that she'd be on the first plane out of Nashville because God had promised her a baby girl and she wasn't going to lose me now. She said "God's working through your hands, doctor. She'll be okay."

The story goes that the doctor, a known atheist, got on the helicopter and informed the flight nurses that they'd better get a move on because "Ladies, God is apparently working through my hands today. Let's go take care of this baby." My mom said when she finally got to the hospital in California, that all the nurses came out of the back to see "the lady that had made the atheist doctor talk about God." I've always just thought it was a wonderful example of my mother's strong faith in God.

At the hospital, they were trying to use a new drug to get my heart to start working correctly. If that failed, they were going to have to do heart surgery. But the drug worked. I was in an incubator for 17 days. In the hospital for a little longer than that. The picture below is of me at 3 weeks old. The bear next to me was a gift from my birth mother. I still have it. I always thought I was an UGLY baby. My head was HUGE and kind of wrinkly. I think I looked like a little alien. Mom says I was beautiful (of course) and that I grew into myself very quickly.

My parents took me home to Tennessee. I am pretty sure that my mom sent pictures a few times. And when I was 4 years old and diagnosed with diabetes, my mom said she contacted someone to find out if T1 ran in the family. To their knowledge, it didn't.

For a long time, I don't think there was any contact. Then, when I was about 15 or 16, my mom was contacted about my birth mother wanting to meet me. My sister was still a baby, and I wasn't going to go on my own. But by the time I turned 18, we were contacted again. I agreed to go. I spoke with my biological grandmother on the phone and she sent me a collection of pictures of my birth mother, my aunts, their husbands and children. Some were of my birth mother and her sisters when they were younger. It was interesting. I could see myself, somewhat in those pictures.

I started college in the fall of 2000. For my fall break, I flew to Idaho (where the family was now living). It was only my second time on a plane (not counting my flight from California to Tennessee when I was a baby). It was my first time ever flying alone. My dad was a little worried about me going. My mom wasn't. I'll never forget the conversations I had with both of them that day.

That morning, I had a complete melt down. I was terrified. Of what? I'm not sure. I lay in my bed crying. I begged my mom not to make me go. She said to me, "You've blessed my life for 18 years, Cara Elizabeth. I'm your mother. I'll always be your mother. But you need to go be a blessing to these people too."
I went. Willingly. My dad drove me to the airport. This was all pre 9-11, so my dad went with me to the gate. He sat in the chair and didn't say a whole lot. He usually doesn't say a whole lot. But that day he said, "Promise you'll come back. I don't want you to go out there and not come home." All I could do was hug him and let him know I'd be back. I'm my daddy's baby. I had to let him know no one could take his place.

I spent 4 or 5 days with them (I don't remember exactly; it's been 11 years!). Stepping off the plane walking into the arms of the people who I share DNA with was surreal. Over the time there, I met my birth mother, her mother, my two biological aunts, their husbands and 3 first cousins. All along, I found little things (and big things) that were like them. Some things I would have never considered genetic and after meeting them, I think they might be.

I'm a lefty. There were other lefties in the family (although my dad and niece are lefties, too, so that could go w/ genetics, or learned...). There were two teachers (I have a degree in education). My biological grandmother and I had a very similar taste in books and colors. At night, I take a bottle of water, or something to drink w/ me and sit it by my bed. Sometimes I may drink it. Sometimes I may not. But its there if I want it. I found out that everyone in my immediate, biological family does the same thing. In my family, I don't know of anyone who does this.

Overall, my trip was wonderful. I learned so much about my "other" family. It was a fantastic experience in so many ways and is something I will never, ever forget, or regret. I've not been back to visit since, but I stay in contact by phone with my biological mother, and on the internet with other various family members.
Many people have asked if I consider my biological family as part of my family. In many ways I do. But my true family, the family that I will always consider my family is the family who raised me. They took me in willingly. They loved me. They cared for me through this lovely chronic illness we call diabetes. They've continually supported me in everything I've done.

I just happened to be a lucky one. I have two great families. And I love them both.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dentists and Eye Doctors, oh my....

Today I had 2 different appointments. I set up my dentist and eye doctor on the same day to basically get them both out of the way. I was overdue for a dentist appointment and a little late for an eye doctor appointment. Getting them both in one day helps with work also.

I chose to put the dentist appointment first because I knew, after eye dilation, that I would be useless for the rest of the day. My eyes take an abnormally long time to return to their original state.

At the dentists, it was discovered that one of my fillings had chipped. This means another appointment to get it fixed. Also, I apparently have a wisdom tooth coming in. I didn't know it. And I've not had any come through before. The dentist said since it's not bothering me that we'd not worry about it for now.

A good cleaning and fluoride treatment later, and I was ready to go. No new cavities. Nothing major, other than the chipped filling. I have to say, I left feeling pretty good about myself.

I asked my mom to drive me to the eye doctor. I've been going to the same eye care center since I was about 15, save for a couple of appointments in college. During my time there, I've only seen 2 eye doctors. One of them, sadly, passed away when I was just starting college. The second doctor had been there every since.

Today, I found out there's a new eye doctor. Apparently the other one moved on. When I saw the new doctor, I nearly fell over. I went to high school with him! He was YOUNGER than me! And he's an eye doctor. Okay, that makes me feel really old. I don't think he remembered me. Which is fine. But I have to say, I almost yelled, "Oh my GOD! You're my DOCTOR???"

However, he did a good job and was very professional. It's just a little weird having someone younger than me, be my doctor.

Sadly, when he was done with my eye exam, the bad news came.

I have bleeding. In both eyes.

After 24 years of diabetes, and only 1 other time of having any bleeding at all (which was gone the next time I went in), I have bleeding in both eyes.

He was very positive about it. The right eye, he expects could be gone at my next eye exam. It's that small. The right eye, he sounded like he didn't expect it to go away. He did say it's on the outer area of my eye, so it's not an issue at this point, as far as vision goes. He even said it could possibly get better.

But he didn't sound like he expected it to go away.

I have an endo appointment next month. He planned on sending my report on to my endo. He also said he didn't really thing that I needed to come in for a 6 month appointment. His words were, "It's such a small issue right now, unless you have a change in vision or some other problem, I don't even feel like we need to see you again for a year. Six months is not necessary."

But I'm scared. I know it's not a big deal. I know, after 24 years of living with diabetes, my eye issues are minimal compared to what they should be. But I'm still scared.

Some people with diabetes fear loosing a limb. My greatest fear is losing my sight. I could figure out how to deal with being in a wheel chair or on a walker. I could figure it out.

But being without my sight is so very scary for me. So many of my joys and hobbies depend, almost totally on my sight. Reading, cake decorating, watching Broadway shows, blogging. Even my sign language. They all require my sight.

Could I do it? Could I live without my sight? I'm sure I could. God won't ever give me anything I couldn't handle. I meet people every day that say they couldn't have diabetes. But until you have it, you don't know what you can do. But I have to say, I hope I don't ever find out what it's like to live without my sight.

And knowing I could do it, doesn't make me any less scared of actually having to do it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Choices, Choices, Choices...

I grew up in a really, really small town. Most of you would be amazed at how small my town really is. Until I was 8, we didn't even have a Wal-Mart. And when we got one, it was so small that they didn't build one any smaller. Ever.
I remember when it opened. My dad and I went in and I headed (like I always did...and still do) to the stationary section. I have always been obsessed with pens and pencils and notebooks and stationary. I don't know why. But I have. I'll never forget my dad saying, "There are just too many choices. How are you supposed to chose?"

I'm pretty sure he was joking. But I remember silently agreeing with him. How was I supposed to pick a new pen when there were so many to chose from? Different colors. Different sizes. Different inks.
Part of me is still that way, even though we have a bigger Wal-Mart now, and I've seen the wonders of Staples and Office Max in other places. Part of me still wishes, to some degree, that there were only 2 or 3 choices. Then it wouldn't be such a hard choice. You'd get what you'd get and you'd be happy with it. Or, as one of my Sunday school kids says, "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit."

Maybe I'm indecisive. But I also feel that way about insulin pumps. I began pumping on May 1, 2006. Which means four years is just around the corner. I'm (for the most part) happy with my MiniMed 722. I am (for the most part) loving my CGMS. But my warranty on my pump will be up in May. And my CGMS warranty has actually already been up for a while.

But sometimes I want to try something new. I wonder about other CGM Systems. I wonder about other pumps. And I wonder why I can't try one, really try one, without risking being stuck with something I hate for the next four years.

You know the grass is always greener on the other side....until you get there. And like I said before, I'm not UNhappy with my MiniMed system. But sometimes I just want to take some others on a "test drive". To see if the grass really is greener on the other side, or if I need to stick with what I know works. With what makes me happy and what works and what my insurance pays for.

So, my question today is, do you guys ever feel that way too? Do you wish you had more options? Or do you think you have too many options?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Latest Creation

I've not been caking much lately, but the next couple of months will have more due to several birthdays and holidays coming up. Here's the first of my new string of creations:


Monday, March 1, 2010

Elliott Yamin

Diabetes and Music Monday meet.

Elliott Yamin was on American Idol a few years ago. He was one of my favorites and he finished third. He is also a Type 1 diabetic. I know a lot of people talk about how American Idol uses the back story to promote different people. Some people like it, some don't. You would think that having diabetes would make for a great story. But I don't recall hearing about Elliott having diabetes until almost the end of the season. And I watched EVERY EPISODE. He had already become one of my favorites, but after hearing that we had diabetes in common, it quickly sealed my love for Elliott.

He has worked some with JDRF that I know about and I'm sure he's done other things in relation to diabetes.

Last night I found out that Elliott was in Chile when the 8.8 earthquake hit. I read about it on some news site (I don't remember which). I immediately went to his Twitter feed. I found out that he had been tweeting consistently since the earthquake and was doing some interviews with different media outlets.

I also found out that he was running low on insulin. Very low. He stated on his twitter account that they had only planned to be in Chile through Sunday and that he hadn't brought much more insulin than that. (He has been traveling quite a bit in the past weeks, all over the globe.)

The thought that Elliott (or anyone for that matter) would be caught in situation like that brought fear to my heart.

Two different times he Tweeted about being low on insulin. Then, earlier today, he tweeted an SOS message asking media people who were traveling out of the country if there was any way he could go with them since he was running so low in insulin. Again, I was scared for him.

He tweeted that they were telling him they could leave Wednesday. Then Friday. Then they weren't sure.

All I could think was that if he was running that low on insulin, he wouldn't make it to Wednesday or Friday.

Just a little while ago (around 5 CST), he tweeted that he was now doing okay on insulin and there was no need to worry.

I sighed in relief.

Knowing he had insulin made me a little more calm

I know some people may say "Why would you get so upset about someone you'd never met?" My only answer is that I can only imagine the fear that I would be feeling. The panic that would set in, if I were in that situation. I realize that in the event of any natural disaster, a lot of people can die from lack of medical care. But people think about lack of medical care regarding injuries, most of the time. They don't think about lack of medical care in regards to people with chronic illness. Elliott just put a face on that.

I wish Elliott a safe rest of his time in Chile, and a safe and speedy trip back to the States.

Lesson: Always pack extra times 3

Statement: Never yell at me for packing waaaaayyyy too much stuff when I got on vacation. There's a reason I have a suitcase big enough for myself to fit in....