Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Repeat...Sort Of

A friend of mine had her lovely daughter's 7th birthday party this past week. They had been at my house when I was making the strawberry cake with strawberry icing for my nephew. M loved it. She proceeded to inform me that very day what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday. :) I have no problems with this, as I normally make the cakes for both her and her younger sister. It is my gift to them. And a pleasure to do so as both of the little girls, along with their mother, have made my world a better place on more than one occasion.

When I found out that M would be having a pool party, I made a quick decision to switch from a cake to cupcakes, as it would be easier to deal with at the pool, and would require less work for her mom.
So, for my "chick-a-dee," M, I made these:

Happy Birthday M!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


First off, I'd like to say that I know that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a serious condition. I don't have it, and I truly feel for those who are effected by it.

Secondly, I'll say that there are certain aspects of my life where I can go completely OCD.

Most of the time I'm a totally disorganized person. My apartment is almost never completely clean. My desk at work is often a disaster. My purse...well, let's just say you don't want to try to find something in it.

But when it comes to site changes and rotation, I can be somewhat obsessive compulsive about it. I wear my CGMS sensor in my thighs. I can usually get 6 to 7 days out of a sensor. Infusion sites are in upper and lower stomach, arm, and upper buttocks.

I used to use only my stomach for infusion sites. I tried my thighs, but found that absorption was not what I wanted it to be, so I pretty much stayed exclusively with my stomach. A few endo visits ago, my doctor strongly encouraged me to find new areas to use. I knew that I needed to anyway. I've heard too many stories about those who have so much scar tissue built up that they have trouble with absorption.

So I branched out. I tried my upper buttocks first. I liked it. It was out of the line of my pants, so I didn't have to worry about irritating a site. Absorption was decent. And it was an area I could reach with very little trouble.

Then I tried my arm. This was an area that required some forethought. I had to purchase a separate box of infusion sets. I primarily use the 23" Quick-Sets. But with an arm site, I knew I'd need more tubing. So when I placed my new supply order, I ordered one box of the 43" Quick-Sets. And I discovered I LOVE using my arm for a site. It's my new favorite, actually.

Here's where my OCD comes in. My pump and sensor really need to be on the same side, in order to get a good signal. So I put my sensor in my left thigh. This will get me through 2 infusion sites. Usually I use my upper and lower stomach. After this, I switch sides for my sensor and then use my upper and lower stomach on the other side as well. Another sensor, back on the left side, and I use my upper buttocks and my arm. A sensor back on the right, and infusion sites go on my upper buttock and arm on that side as well.

By my calculations, this allows 21 days between infusion sites, give or take a day or two. Basically, I'm giving each infusion site around 3 weeks to heal before I have to use it again.

I can't say the same for the sensor sites. But for now, I've not had too much trouble with them.

It totally annoys me when I get off my sensor/infusion schedule. And it happened to me this past couple of weeks. It was a combination of a site that I ripped out of my arm on accident by running into a door frame (my momma always said she should have named me Grace) and trying to get a few extra days out of a sensor because I was running low.

Today is the first day that makes sense. I am back on track. A new sensor in my right thigh. A new infusion set in my upper right stomach. Whew.

Does anyone else have something OCD that they do when dealing with their diabetes? Maybe a specific time you test? Or a ritual before you change pump sites? Come on guys....don't make me feel like a total freak. :P

Monday, June 28, 2010

Peel Me a Grape

Last week there was a small conversation happening on Twitter in regards to peeling grapes. Some people had never heard of peeling grapes. Others had. Personally, until a few years ago, I'd never heard of it. "Who'd want to peel a grape?" I thought to myself.
And then I heard the song "Peel Me a Grape" by Diana Krall. Actually, the song is quite old and has been sung by several different people. But I didn't discover the song until I bought The Very Best of Diana Krall
So, on this Music Monday, enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Sugary Treats

Here are some of the things that I've been working on lately. Enjoy.

Strawberry cake w/ strawberry icing at the request of my nephew.

A birthday cake for a friend's fiance. He's a cop. Obviously. LOL The coolest thing was that he chain actually turned out like a chain. It moved and everything.

A birthday/graduation cake for a friend's step-daughter. She loves muddin' (that's what we call it in the South anyway...).

My favorite part was all the "mud" I got to put on the jeep! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What to do....

What to do when your favorite form of treating a low stops being sold in your town......

Go out of town and buy another store out. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010


As you know, I was having a little GIVE-AWAY here on my blog. The first ever. And with 27 entries, I may have to have more of them! :) I had several first time commenters and readers. Yay! I love it.

So I wrote everyone's name down and put them in a "hat."

And stirred them up.

And picked one out.

And it looks like the Carb Free Cupcakes are going to be making their way to Michael from The Diabetic's Corner Booth! Congrats to Michael.
And keep reading....I think I'm going to look for more fun stuff to give away.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Who Takes Charge?

I live in (and grew up in) a very economically depressed area. The very small town in which I live used to be a factory town. When NAFTA was happening, nearly every factory left town. Currently we have 2 that employ a very small amount of people. In my town there are very few jobs. I am one of the lucky ones. Not only do I have a decent job, I have a job with fantastic health insurance. I do okay, on my own.

When I was growing up (until their divorce) both my parents worked. This is an area that it really takes two incomes to make it without relying on state and government assistance. I was diagnosed with diabetes about 6 months before I started kindergarten. This was in early 1986, so it was in the days of exchanges for food, brick sized glucose meters, and NPH and R insulin that was administered twice a day. I took a shot at breakfast and at supper.

Because of my twice daily insulin regimen, my parents didn't have to worry about anyone, outside themselves, giving me insulin. But it was still a constant struggle of highs and lows, morning and afternoon snacks, and teachers that could test my blood sugar if I needed it. By first grade I was testing on my own, but still under teacher supervision.

If I had a bad low, my mother was in a job that she could, if absolutely necessary, leave to come be with me.

These were all things that helped make it easier on my parents when it came to raising me. There were no 504 plans made for me. My county didn't have school nurses until after I graduated from high school. My teachers knew the signs of a low and knew what to do if it happened. Other students looked out for me. They also knew the signs. If I needed a snack, I got it. If I needed a drink, I got it. There weren't questions about it. There was never any trouble. Or any real need for parental intervention when it came to my diabetes care while I was in school.

That being said, diabetes care has improved greatly since I was in school. There are insulin pumps, multiple daily injections, carb counting. Heck, we even realize we have to test more than 4 times a day. Because diabetes has become a constant care situation, there is a need for someone to be able to help small children with their diabetes care while they are at school. The first suggestion, of course, is that a nurse should be there to help that child.

But what does a parent do if there is not a nurse at the school? Or a nurse isn't there full-time? Who makes decisions then? Who administers insulin, glucagon, counts carbs and helps determine insulin dosages?

Those of us who live with diabetes every day realize that it take time to learn what to do, but that it is possible to do it on our own. We have to do it on our own or else move into a hospital.

Earlier this week I read two different blog posts (one at The Corner Booth and another at Diabetes Mine) that informed me that the state of California has overturned a ruling that allowed teachers and other school administration the right to help administer insulin and glucagon to diabetic students. Basically a nurse must administer all medications.


California is notoriously short on school nurses at this time. Who's supposed to help a child with the immediate care they need? Apparently a parent. But wait...don't most parents WORK? I mean, mine did. IF a family is lucky, they MIGHT be able to have a parent stay home full time. This would be nice. But in reality, you are dealing with a huge number of single parent homes and houses where both adults work.

So in a single parent home, say the parent (most likely a mother, but could be a single father) has a diabetic child. Suddenly the school says "Sorry. We're no longer allowed to take care of your child when he/she's in school. But there's a nurse here on Mondays from 10-2. How's that for you? Does that work?"

So single mom, or single dad, has to quit his job to take care of his child. And the home they owned/were renting, they can no longer afford. Not to mention they don't have insurance. So what happens then? They go into a social services office. And suddenly, because the state of California couldn't allow an intelligent adult the right now help a diabetic child, you have a family on the system receiving federal health care, probably cash assistance, housing assistance, food assistance, etc.

Please tell me how that makes sense? Please? Because I'm at a loss here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Protecting Myself?

I consider the D-OC my support group. There are so many of you out there who are my friends and the people I can talk to, complain to, and laugh with. You've each done something special for me. Some of you may not even know the ways that you've touched my life.

That being said, we all know how much we love our Meet-ups. There's something special about seeing each other face to face. Have someone to talk to in person is a very unique thing.

A little over a year ago the Middle Tennessee JDRF chapter started up an Adult Type 1 support group. I went several times, but the drive is nearly 2 1/2 hours, so it's difficult to make the trip. After a while it seemed like I was always busy on the days they were having the meetings, or I was out of town. Something always seemed to get in the way. This month I actually got my act together and made it to the meeting.

Several of the people I'd met before. And there were a few newbies too. I love getting to meet new people with diabetes.

During the course of our meeting, the subject was brought up about sharing with people how diabetes effects your life. Not sharing with other diabetics. But sharing with your family, significant other, friends, and co-workers. I'm pretty much an open book....up to a point.

I will tell my friends or co-workers that I'm not feeling well because I've had a crazy blood sugar day. I'll share that I've had major highs or lows. But I don't really get that deep into it. I will leave it at "Oh, I had a rough night. My blood sugar was way too low and then I over treated and it was way to high. I'm sick/exhausted/have a headache, etc." But I don't really get into the emotional aspect of it. Or how bad it really was.

I have said before that I like to protect my family (especially my mother) from my extreme highs and lows because it scares her and makes her worry and cry. These are things that I don't want to make my mother do/feel. I also don't like my friends to worry about me. I tend to skim over details with them and let it go at that. It gives them enough to know what's going on, but keeps enough from them so that their worry and panic isn't taking over.

One of the other people at the meeting said that they don't want to protect their loved ones. That they want them to know what's going on and the implications. And then someone said that not telling people wasn't something they did to protect people. Essentially what the person said that that he/she wanted to protect himself/herself from dealing with the questions and worry from others.

On my way home (I had 2 1/2 hrs to think about it after all), I was thinking about that. And I thought to myself, "Am I really doing that to protect the people I love. Or am I doing it to protect myself from the guilt?"

And after thinking about it for a while, I really do think I do it to protect myself from the guilt and the questions. I don't like to worry my family and friends. I don't want to deal with the incessant questions that come when I have a particularly bad high or low. I don't know how to deal with the guilt of making my mother cry and my friends worry.

So I do my best to deal with it on my own. Sure, sometimes I have cracks. My loved ones see the toll that diabetes can bring to me physically and emotionally. But overall, I do what I can to protect them....and to protect myself.

P.S. Don't forget my give-away.... You have until Friday, June 18th to enter to win CARB FREE CUPCAKES!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Carb Free?

So "carb free" is a phrase we hear tossed around alot. Also "Low-Carb." But truth be know, most of us eat too many carbs.

My weakness: Sweets. I have a sweet tooth. I'll admit it. It drives me crazy sometimes. But I love sweets.

I know several of my fellow friends with diabetes also like sweets. A lot.

A favorite that seems to resonate within the D-OC are cupcakes. There are so many of us who seem to have bonded over our love of cupcakes. Allison even posted earlier today of her love for cupcakes in her "Things That Make Me Happy" post.

Well, guys and gals, I've found what we've all been waiting for....

Carb Free Cupcakes!!!!!!

Yup. Carb-free. Aren't they cute? These little creations are cupcake shaped crayons made by Gaddy Nipper Crayons. When I saw them, I knew I had to buy some right away. So I did. I sent some out as surprises, but I have 1 box left.

And I'm gonna share them with you! So here's the deal, leave me a comment and you'll automatically be entered to win these adorable carb-free cupcakes. I'm leaving the contest open until Friday, June 18th. At that time, I'll randomly pick a winner. (No worries, I'll use the whole names in a hat method.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Diabetes Can Take A Hike

For the past month my diabetes control has been crazy. I knew when I was on vacation that I would have some trouble, but usually within a couple of day after returning home, I'm right back to where I was before.

Not this time. My blood sugars have been uncontrollable at times. Running so high that I ran on 120% basal for almost a week and was still rage bolusing. Any lows I had (and they have been very few) were a result of a lovely rage bolus.

Every night my blood sugar has been spiking from between 2:30 to 4:30 am. Spiking up to the high 200s and even 300s. I've gotten so used to hearing my CGMS alarm go off at night that I have started completely ignoring it.

I can't remember the last time I slept all night without an alarm.

And basically, it's starting to wear me out. Physically, yes. But mostly emotionally. I am so sick of having to deal with diabetes right now. I've not been this frustrated in a while. At least not this frustrated for this long.

I'm sick of counting carbs and hearing alarms and not knowing what I'm doing wrong. I'm sick of worrying about my A1c and what the highs are doing to my body. I'm tired of feeling like I have no control over anything. I'm sick of having to remember to refill prescriptions and having to deal with insurance companies who want an "authorization" for my sensors even though I'm down to 2 and don't have time to wait on them.

This is one of those times when I wish I could have a vacation. Tina over at ACT 1 Diabetes wrote a blog post that says everything I am feeling. She's got it.

So basically, today I just want to say that Diabetes, you can take a hike.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mystery Recipe

As some of you may remember from Diabetes Blog Week, I am not a low carb person. But I'm also not anti-low carb either. If I find a recipe that I like, I make it. Carbs or no carbs. About a week ago I was thumbing through Diabetes Forecast Magazine. There were several recipes that caught my eye, but I tend to be lazy when cooking, so I look for simple recipes that won't take a lot of time or ingredients.
I love yellow squash and zucchini, so when I saw this in the magazine, I knew I had to make it.

I had to change a few things up, like changing some spices (the spice it called for, I couldn't get at my local Wal-Mart & was too lazy to hunt for it all over town). But overall, I think it turned out pretty good. My version:

The carb count on the recipe said a serving was 5 grams of carbs. I also made some lemon pepper chicken and a green salad. I thought it looked kind of pretty:

I ended up bolusing for 20 grams of carbs and it turned out great. Two hours after dinner I was 123. Can't ask for much better than that. This is one time that low carb was wonderful. :)
And as it is, I can't find it again. I tried to find the recipe, so I could put the name of it, and maybe a link to it on this post. But I have spent an hour digging through my old Diabetes Forecast magazine and can't find it for the life of me. Figures, huh?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why I Love Live Theatre

I had a diabetes post that I was writing to be posted today, but after this morning's news about Rue McClanahan's death, I started thinking about all the people we've lost in recent years. As many have pointed out, Betty White is the only remaining "Golden Girl". In 2008, we lost Estelle Getty and just last year Bea Arthur passed away.

Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Betty White

Something all of the "Golden Girls" had in common was that they, at some point in their lives, did theatre. Which brings me to my topic, and the title of my post.

Why I love live theatre. There are probably a million reasons that I could name. But the biggest one that I can think of is the intimacy. If you've ever seen a play or musical, even a school play or a local theatre production, you can understand what I mean when I say that live theatre is intimate. Watching a movie, or television show is not very interactive (unless you're like me and like to yell at your TV alot). You sit. You watch. You watch again on rerun or DVD. And every time you watch it, it is exactly the same.

With theatre, you never know what you're gonna get. Sometimes it's a misstep in a dance number, or a giggle from an actor, and a missed cue or line. Sometimes the show goes off without a hitch. But either way, you are in the room with the actors. Not in the room with the TV. Depending on where your seats are, you could be a few feet away from them. But sometimes, just being in the same room is magical enough.

I've been blessed to be in the same room with actors like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christine Ebersole, Delta Burke, B.D. Wong, Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Laura Bell Bundy, and Rebecca Gayhart. And most importantly, I've been in the same room with the multi-talented and legend Angela Lansbury.

You may ask, "Is that why you go? To see famous people?" Nope. Not at all. The first time I saw Kristin Chenoweth she wasn't famous. I had no idea who she was. Same goes for B.D. Wong. I had no clue who Christine Ebersole & Rebecca Gayhart were when I saw them. I will admit that some shows I pick because of who's in them though.

Delta Burke, Rebecca Gayhart, Lily Rabe, and Christine Ebersole in a scene in Steel Magnolias

When I saw A Little Night Music with Allison a few weeks ago, my sole reason was to see Angela Lansbury. Catherine Zeta-Jones was in the show too, but I have known who Angela was since I was a child watching Murder She Wrote with my grandmother. She's also had an amazing Broadway career, with a total of 5 Tony's to her name. Simply to be in the same room where she was performing her craft was an experience I will never forget.

Catherine Zeta-Jones & Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music

At each and every play or musical I've seen, right down to local and school productions, there is always a standout. Someone who catches my eye and makes the show. Sometimes it's a "star". Sometimes it may be a person in the chorus. Someone who may only have a line or two.

At each show I see, I think to myself, "This will never happen again. This show, exactly as it is, with these actors and this audience, will never ever happen again." That misstep. That ad lib. That glance at the audience member in the front row. It will never happen exactly like that ever again. In a way, each and every show is a part of history. And I believe that's part of what makes theatre so exciting. You feel the excitement of history being made. And when you're in a room with several hundred other people and some very talented actors, the energy and excitement is contagious.

I know it may sound like crazy rambling, but this is part of the reason I love live theatre. As we lose more and more Hollywood (and stage) talent, it's a honor to be able to say that I've not just seen their movies or TV shows. But to say I've seen them live and in person. Even shaking some of their hands and getting autographs. Not everyone can say that. So even if the star you're seeing the the star of their high school production, I encourage everyone to go experience the wonder that is live theatre. Because you'll never know what you'll get.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Confection Collection

As we well know, bags, purses, cases and the like that are specifically made for those with diabetes can be hard to find and/or afford. Some of them are majorly cute, but cost more (I think) simply because they are titled as "for diabetes supplies".
Occasionally, I try to find bags and the like that aren't specifically for diabetes supplies, just to see if they would work for some of my stuff. Up until recently, I never really found anything to speak of. Then I got an e-mail newsletter from a cake decorating site. They had a link to something called "The Confection Collection." You guys know how I am about cakes and cupcakes of all shapes &'s a passion of mine. So, of course, I clicked and found some of the cutest purses, wallets and wristlets I had ever seen! The purses were really too small for my many d-supplies, and I already have a wallet that I love, so those were both out immediately. However the wristlet seemed cute. And possibly small enough to hold my meter and testing supplies....

So, I purchased. Yes, it may seem ironic to buy a bag to hold diabetes supplies that is covered in carbs. But I like ironic. It makes me laugh.

Here's what I ordered:

When I got it, I decided it was still a little too big for my meter & testing supplies. But I still used it. For a while now, I've been carrying around an "emergency kit" in my purse. Basically everything for a site change, battery change, or sensor re-taping. And some glucose tabs (I consider those emergency, and not my juice boxes, because I hate glucose tabs. And I only use them if there's nothing else around) and my glucagon pen. That "emergency kit" was housed in a quart size ziploc bag (Thank you TSA...).

When I got the cute strawberry bag, I decided to see if my "emergency kit" would fit into it instead. It's much prettier than a raggedy old ziploc bag.

And guess what? It did.


I picked the chocolate covered strawberries because they were red and black. And currently, my purse is red and my wallet is red, so I figured that I'd stick with a theme. I almost bought the one with the cupcakes instead.....but changed my mind at the last minute.

So this is my plug for "The Confection Collection" by Christian Marie. The bags are surprisingly well made. And adorable. She has other items in her online store as well. And the turn around time was incredibly fast. I ordered on Tuesday and had it in my mailbox by Friday. Wonderful and quick service all the way around. Go on over and check out her items. And join me in being an ironic diabetic.

Oh, and don't worry...I still have my eye on THIS little number from Myabetic. I'll have it eventually. :)