Tuesday, April 24, 2007

From the local headlines here in Wilmington...

I wanted to share this story that was front-page of the Delaware News Journal today. Sometimes a disclosure of your diabetes, even to the youngest of your family members, is all it can take to save your life. (Note: to view the story they might ask you for a zip code and a birthdate or something...but I assure you, you won't need to actually register.)

Boys, 4- and 7-years-old, help make the call on their grandfather's hypoglycemia

2 things we can all take away from this story--make sure your family knows what to do in case of a diabetic emergency, and if for some reason you don't have a phone, make sure you know your neighbors in case you need to borrow theirs. (You might notice the comments at the end of the article made by readers who were appalled at the family's lack of a land-line telephone...)

Also, for those of you who are keeping score, Kerri is not the only one to have Quick-Set problems these past couple of weeks! I did the exact same thing this morning, and I nearly panicked. Thankfully my adhesive didn't seem nearly as stuck as Kerri's did, and my set and my blood sugar are still hanging in there. It was a 2-person job fixing it, though, with me holding the set itself and trying to hold the tape steady so as not to rip the whole thing out, and Matt pulling back on the Quick-Serter...ah, teamwork. Ah, l'amour.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Down wit' da Sickness

Sniffle. Cough cough. I've been out of commission for the past couple of days with one hell of a virus. It started off Monday like a regular cold, but Tuesday morning I had a fever of almost 100. As someone with generally lower-than-98.6 body temperature, I was pretty uncomfortable. Yesterday brought more coughing, stuffiness, a huge headache, relief from the fever, then dizziness. Then, a trip to the doctor. My super-nice PCP informed me I have the nasty cold that's going around, and she gave me some prescription decongestant/cough medicine.

Today I am at work. I can't say that I feel great, but I'm here, trying to catch up.

Remember my insurance woes? Soon, we're getting new group coverage through our employer. Just when I finally had everything fixed! Well, almost, then there was the issue of how I owe MiniMed some money and they put a hold on my account. Of course, their billing sucks, so I thought I was in the clear. I made a partial payment over the phone today, so I am only a few days away from a big ol' box of shiny new supplies! Huzzah!

Sign-ups for the new insurance plan are tomorrow. According to a co-worker who's been to an earlier meeting this week, co-pays on everything diabetes-related are $10. Considering that Humalog and test strips on my current plan are about $30 in co-pay each, it's maybe enough to make me click my heels.

Speaking of heel-clicking, today is droning on, and I still have plenty to catch up on, so I will just keep thinking, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home." until it's 5-something and time to hit the road!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rainy Thoughts for a Rainy Day

(And believe me, plenty of rain here in Delaware. Flash floods all over the place!)

In my job, I am often asked how I ended up here. That can mean a lot of different things, such as how did I end up in Delaware even though I was born in Pennsylvania and didn’t go to school here? How am I working in this office with a degree in communications—shouldn’t I be in a newsroom somewhere? How exactly do I handle the pressure when every salesman in our department wants something different from me?

In my mind, I often ask myself the why questions. Why am I not working for a PR firm? Why am I not an editor at a newspaper? Why didn’t I push myself more in school to end up with my dream job? Why can’t I be more like my friends who work for TV networks, for local news, for ad agencies? I start to doubt myself and my abilities, and I’m the type of person who really hates being down on myself. It still happens. It happens to all of us.

Then, I stop to think about all the good things I’ve accomplished since graduating from college in 2004. At my job, I have a reputation as being one of the most creative people in the building. People come to me with their publication design problems. People sometimes come to me for brainstorming a creative way to put together their merchandising displays. The people I work for appreciate me. I don’t have to be anybody’s coffee girl, and I don’t get stepped on by divas who are further up the ladder. I’ve been to two National Poetry Slams. I published a chapbook with some of my work in it. I write something every single day. I married the love of my life. I have friends who are more like family. I have a cute cat. I have settled for nothing—I’m living a life that I think is pretty great.

Sometimes, I feel the same way about keeping up this d-blog. I just come up with so many questions, a few self-doubts. Why should I be doing this? I am pretty far from being a role model. My A1c probably hasn’t been below 8% in at least 3 years, and I really need to get a handle on what I’m eating. I’m on anti-depressants and a ton of other meds. I eat candy. Sometimes I only test my blood sugar twice a day.

Sometimes I feel like there should be a big neon sign over my head flashing, “Worst. Diabetic. Ever. Don’t listen to her.”

Then, I stop to think about what got me into the Diabetes OC in the first place. I started when I stumbled across ChronicBabe, which led me to Kerri and Amy. They led me to George, Scott J., and Nicole. It grew from there. I’d never had any friends with diabetes in my life. Suddenly, diabetes goals didn’t seem so unattainable. Suddenly, I realized we all make mistakes. Sometimes we all eat candy, overdose on carbs, puzzle over sudden blood sugar fluctuations. Finally somebody understood the comedy in scolding your pet for playing with your used syringe or insulin bottle.

So, I am by far NOT the best diabetic in the world. But I love my blog. I love being able to share my experiences with people who really understand. I love that the only requirement for what I write is honesty. I love that support is only an entry away, but if I don’t feel like talking about diabetes that day, that’s cool too. There are many things I could do better healthwise, but I’m working on changing my ways. This blog is mine, and I think it’s pretty great.

Thanks for reading and for accepting my imperfections.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Left Behind

I didn't want to post this yesterday--didn't want anybody thinking I was April Fooling. (For the record, I think practical jokes are completely stupid and hurtful, but I think spoofs in the media are hilarious. Remember when Google was talking about building an office on the moon?)

Friday I ended up refilling my insulin pump at work. That's nothing new...I woke up late, and I knew I could just fill it as soon as I rolled in to my place of employment. The pump was filled, everything was fine. The day went smoothly and before I knew it, it was time to go home and enjoy the weekend.

After a relatively smooth Friday commute, I roll into my parking lot. I get out of the car, grab my bag and my coat from the backseat, and I realize something is missing. It's black. It's nylon. It's zippered. It's my pump supply kit, and I left it at work, on my desk, 20 minutes away. My first urge is to jump back in the car to go rescue my stuff. A string of high blood sugars or a long shower could cause a need for a set change, and when I think of trying to put that needle in without an inserter, I feel sick to my stomach.

The drive back to work would be probably an hour, round-trip. I am already exhausted. I resign to figuring out some kind of plan B, and I head upstairs. Teary-eyed, I tell Matt what I did, and admittedly, beat myself up a little bit. Not that I needed that, but sometimes it just happens.

I end up bolusing for most of the weekend by syringe. Thankfully my set never popped out. Then I had a moment of panic this morning--what if my little black case wasn't sitting patiently on my desk, waiting for my return as I had anticipated? In high school, my glucose meter was stolen once. I had used it at marching band practice, then left it sitting on top of my backpack. I came back from some outdoor rehearsing, and my backpack was there. My meter was gone, its small zippered case most likely mistaken for a wallet. One of the school janitors picked it up 2 days later, but there's always a little worry in the back of my mind that my supplies have been stolen.

I arrived at work today to find my kit exactly where I left it on my desk. Time to put in a fresh set, and definitely time to consider buying an extra inserter, even if it does cost a lot, that way this doesn't have to happen again.

Also in unrelated news, the clocks on the phones at work have mysteriously gained an hour. I arrived early this morning, looked at my phone, then had to stop and check the time on my cell phone to make sure I wasn't late (and losing my mind)! I'd better go put that set in...I've got instant oatmeal for breakfast today, and I'm starving!

Here's hoping your stuff never gets stolen, and hoping you can avoid leaving it somewhere. But if either of these things has happened to you, feel free to share your story!