Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The World’s Worst Sick-O (Sick-y?)

I’m sick. Real people sick. Not super sick, but I’m feeling icky, coughing, hacking, can’t breath, sore throat, swollen eyes, etc. I felt bad enough (coupled with the fact that several members of my family that I spent time with over Thanksgiving have an upper respiratory infection) that I went to the doctor this afternoon. I didn’t want to risk getting any sicker right now because I’m seriously swamped at work, running up on end of the month deadlines, and I have to sing on Sunday in my Community Choir’s Christmas concert.

I hate being a sick-o (sick-y?). It’s not fun. I whine. I want my mommy and I want to sleep. Basically, I’m a big, fat baby when it comes to being “real people” sick. I find it ironic that I will power through just about anything diabetes related. Even when I feel like crap, but I’m such a baby when it comes to other types of sickness.

I’ve powered through failed pump sites, horrid rebound highs, and most recently DKA, in order to continue doing what I was doing, or what I had planned. I refuse to let diabetes keep me down. I just won’t. I’m sure that I technically feel a LOT worse with some of these things (especially the DKA), but I just keep going.

But when it comes to “real-people” sick, I just want to cry and stay at home. Why is it that “real-people” sick is so easy for me to whine about? Perhaps because I feel like it’s the one thing that I can whine about. I don’t want to show weakness when it comes to diabetes, but “real-people” sick is a whole different story.

And is it just me, or do they go out of their way at the doctor’s office to poke a HUGE hole in your finger when they are taking blood? I swear the whole tip of my finger is sore. In fact, it’s slightly bruised, even though you can’t see it in the picture. Okay, I’m through whining now. I think. Anyone else power through diabetes related stuff & become a total softy when it comes to anything else?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Diabetes and the Christmas Season

The Christmas season is upon us. There are so many things that come into play this time of year. Gift giving, card sending, baking, decorating, Christmas programs, family, travel, and a host of other things that, while not regulated to one time a year, rarely fall all at the same time of year.

It’s easy to let some things fall by the wayside when you’re dealing with all of these other things that seem to take precedence. One thing that seems to be an issue for many of us is caring for diabetes. I’ll be honest, after Diabetes Awareness month in November, being thrust directly into the Christmas season, I’m often burnt out this time of year. It’s understandable.

My work has a “December Days of Eating.” Really. That’s what we call it. Every work day of December that falls before Christmas, someone signs up to bring something to eat for the whole office. Most of the time it’s something terribly horrible for us all, but oh, so good. I have one co-worker that makes this amazing cheesy buttery French bread that I swear I look forward to all year long. Another loves to bring a cheese dip that includes sausage and salsa. Another is queen of desserts. I, myself, usually take something like cupcakes or cake.

I have Community Choir concerts, shopping for presents, addressing and mailing Christmas cards, dealing with family things (two Christmas dinners anyone?), and all the emotional baggage that comes with the holidays in general.

Add all of this together and I guess my question is, how do I keep things under some semblance of control? Anyone else have feelings like this? What do you do to keep yourself from going over the diabetes edge?

It seems like when Santa comes into camera view during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, my life goes insane until about the 3rd week of January. Help me (and whatever reader’s I may have) out. Give me some tips, or just share your own frustrations about this crazy time of year. I’ll thank you. I might even bake you a cupcake.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Diabetes Blessings Week 2012

This is the time of year that we are supposed to be reminded of all of the blessings we have in our life. I have many. Even though it sometimes can be difficult to remember them all, God always has a way of dropping things or people in my life to remind me of how truly blessed I am.

Diabetes has a way of taking over your life sometimes. And not in a good way. There are times when the blood sugar readings, and insulin calculations, and carb counts can be so monotonous that you just want to not deal with it anymore. But as we know, diabetes isn't going anywhere anytime soon. And we need to look for the good in what we've been handed.
Mike, over at My Diabetic Heart had a great idea last year to have Diabetes Blessings Week. This is a week in which we blog about the blessings that diabetes has brought into our lives. I wish I could blog every day this week, but it's not going to happen. But in celebration of Thanksgiving (tomorrow!!), I wanted to post at least one post about the thing that I feel has been the biggest blessing to me.

Friends. They are so, so precious. Most of the time we are limited by geography when it comes to our friends. Sure, they may live other places, but we've mostly come into contact with them face to face and shared time with them. The Diabetes Online Community brought me to some of the best friends I've ever had. Through the internet and a shared problem of a dead pancreas I have some amazing people who've made their way into my life.
I've been blessed to meet some of them in person, but all of them are friends, regardless of how we know each other. Because of the D-OC, I have Christmas cards going to at least three other countries. For a girl from small town U.S.A. who's never left the lower 48 states, that is a big deal.

All of the people in the D-OC? I wouldn't know if it weren't for diabetes. Sure, diabetes sucks a big one. But even a rainy day can give you a rainbow. My friends from the D-OC are my diabetes rainbow.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Keeping It Stuck

The other day a fellow D-OC member posted something on facebook that another person was looking for ways to keep her daughter's CGMS taped down as it kept getting ripped out. I have a very complex system. Really. ;)
But I wanted to share it and since I changed sensors this morning, I thought I'd share through pictures how I keep my own sensor stuck.
As a note, I put my sensor in my leg, so all of these pictures are of my poor, white, pale legs. Sorry ahead of time.
I use cloth tape and two pieces of IV-3000 tape to keep my sensor in place.
I insert my sensor first.
Then I use a piece of cloth tape on the sticky part of my sensor.
Then I attach my transmitter.
Then I put another piece of tape over the plastic end of the sensor.
Then I put a piece of IV-3000 tape down.
I cup my hand over the tape after I pull the top off as the heat from your hand causes the tape to suction to your body. I can't remember who told me that, but it was someone on TuDiabetes.com.

Then I take a second piece of IV-3000 tape and put it the opposite direction (so that the two pieces of IV-3000 are kind of like a cross).
I also cup my hand over that piece to make it stick to me better.
And here's the final look!
It works. I've rarely had trouble with it coming out, though I sometimes have to replace the IV-3000 tape part way thru the life of my sensor.
I hope this helps some of you if you're new to CGMS. But remember: it's different for everyone. What works for me may not work for you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World Diabetes Day 2012

November 14th, 2012
World Diabetes Day
Diabetes unites us. It's made us friends, family, soul mates. 
But as much as we are about the people that diabetes has brought into our lives,
we'd all love to have a cure.
Take a minute today to tell someone why you're wearing blue. Speak up if you hear someone say something that's untrue about diabetes. Share a piece of yourself with someone who might not know much about diabetes. Being an advocate doesn't take much. You don't have to have a blog or write a book or be a public speaker.
On a different note, It's funny that our official symbol is the blue circle, but we have so many other little symbols and inside jokes. Glitter, bacon, sprinkles, cupcakes, unicorns. 
Honestly, I'm a little unsure where the love of all of these things came from and how they came to be such a part of our Diabetes Online Community. But they are there.

I felt the need to incorporate as many of them as possible into my postcards that I made for the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange. I am sticking them in the mail today (if my glue dries in time). One is headed to the southern part of the country (further south than me) and the other is going around the world to Australia.
I'm looking forward to getting some postcards myself! I hope you joined in this year.
Oh yeah, and


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Photo A Day Challenge: Diabetes Style

Today begins a month that is dedicated to Diabetes Awareness. Diabetes Awareness Month is a time when we all try to bring awareness, truth, and understanding to diabetes. Not that we don't try every month, but November is kind of "official." :)

One way you can help people understand a little more about diabetes is by joining in on the Photo A Day challenge. If you are on Twitter or Instagram (or both), post a photo a day. Topics are below (in lovely artwork by Sarah. Be sure to attach the hashtag #NDAMphotoaday

Here's my photo for Day 1: #struggle
Join in!