Monday, July 30, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

(sing it with me now...oo wee oo wee oooooo wah wah waaahhhh...)


Only a week now until the National Poetry Slam. Will our rag-tag team of crazy Delawarians (and one Philadelphian) make it to semis this year? We haven't yet, but you know what? It's all in fun. Actually, as long as we perform better than last year's team, that's all that matters to me. We mesh really well, and we are representing a brand-new venue. I hope our performances are good enough to leave impressions on people. I also hope I get to make some new friends in addition to hanging out with some people I haven't seen in ages.

I wonder if I am the only poet with diabetes at NPS. I really have no idea, but what I do know is that my husband has a poem about my diabetes and I do not. I really want to change this fact. It's just a matter of figuring out how to tackle it.

When I return from NPS, I have been offered a couple of poetry features, and I'm very excited about this fact.

Honestly, I cannot rave enough about the guys on my poetry team. Not only do I get to work with my brilliant husband and best-friend roommate, but I also get the excellent company of R & S. We have put together some work as a group that I think is pretty phenomenal. Thanks to the generally-vigilant coaching of L, we're really making something of ourselves. Also thanks to Sadako, our fuzzy, meeping unofficial kitty mascot of practice.

More good...Nigel has broken it off with The Leech. Happy dance! Happy dance!


My dad had a procedure last week on his bladder to remove a growth they found there. Turns out the growth was extremely-early-stage cancer. The bright side to all this is that chances are good they got everything. In 3 months, he'll go back to the doctor to see if anything has returned. If it has, they'll treat it. If it has not, they'll continue to watch him to make sure it doesn't come back.

Scheduled an appointment with Nancy the Nurse Practicioner for when I return from NPS. I'm rather nervous about it, as usual.


My uncle John is in the hospital now. My mom and my aunt have gone to New Jersey to clean his house, take care of his bills, talk to his lawyer, find help, etc. Tests at the hospital are showing late-stage HIV-related dementia, which is a sign of the onset of AIDS. He also has a rash on his face generally associated with the onset of AIDS.

If I think about all of this too much, I just cry. Just about a year ago, he was helping me select registry gifts for my wedding at the Macy's store where he managed housewares. Less than a year ago, he was driving me and my wedding dress to the church after a quick stop at Nana & Pap's house to borrow some slippers. He seemed thinner at Thanksgiving, but he was always wanting to lose weight. He seemed even thinner at Christmas, and my mom started to get concerned. It was downhill from there.

I'm scared in a way I haven't been before. I do not want to see my favorite uncle when he's not his feisty, snarky, "let me make you dinner sometime", Britcom-watching-self. But what really breaks my heart is I know he doesn't want to see himself that way either, whether he tells anyone else that or not.

And I don't know what's going to happen to his cats. He has 2 cats whom he loves to death, Molly & Nora, aka "The Girls". I am hoping my mom will take at least one of them--I think she's needed a cat for a while now. I know she's lonely. I'm sure Uncle John would not have his girls carted off to a shelter when they could just go live in someone else's home and continue to be spoiled, happy kitties.

I don't know what to do or what to say. Heck, I'd even take at least one of the cats if Sadako weren't so damn insistent on being the only pet.

The amount of death in today's news isn't helping to ease my mind. How am I going to learn to deal with this?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Diagnosing Everything.

I am upbeat on the phone with my dad. He already had enough to worry about, but this summer he's been dealt a triple-blow to his health. First was his back surgery, so now he's spending his days at home, counting the days until he can return to work. I think his physical therapy is starting soon, which will be good for Dad. He's always been a talker, even moreso than me, chatting up strangers, making buddies at his favorite coffee shop, so getting out and seeing new faces usually does him some good.

He tells me this Wednesday he has to go in for another procedure. They've found a growth in his bladder, but they don't know what it is. It could be as simple as some scar tissue from his radiation treatments for prostate cancer four years ago, or... We acknowledge it, but we don't say it.

Then he tells me the doctor took him off the Avandia. I figure this would happen, I mean, it seems like the right thing to do. My dad has not been diagnosed with Type 2, but I think as pre-diabetic. At least in years previous. The doctor (Dr. Funk--everybody dance, but that's his real name) tells my dad that his fasting glucose is 160. So now, Dad is on Januvia and Metformin, was given an Accu-Chek monitor of some sort, and was told to make an appointment at the Diabetes Center. I don't know if Dr. Funk didn't officially diagnose him as Type 2, or if my dad is just kind of denying it for the time being, but it sounds pretty close to being diagnosed to me.

If this is an official Type 2 diagnosis for him, I am grateful that he was able to learn some from me as I was growing up. He was telling me on the phone he limits his sugar intake most of the time anyway. His favorite cereals are unsweetened (unfrosted shredded wheat, corn flakes). He takes his tea without sugar these days, as he has for years. He stopped putting sugar in his tea after I was first diagnosed, because I liked iced tea almost as much as he does. And I still do, and he still doesn't sweeten his.

I hope this is easy for him. Even if he has to consider what he's eating more carefully than before, it will be good for him. Dad's had 2 heart surgeries, one angioplasty and a bypass, respectively. He's had prostate cancer. He's tougher than he realizes. Different eating will mean new recipes, and he loves to cook these days. Eating healthier will be better for his heart. At least, thank God, he's stopped smoking.

It's one thing after another these days. The annoying girlfriend of Nigel is the least of my problems. Especially because it's seeming that her days with Nigel are numbered.

My dad's got problems, my grandfather is having back surgery, my mom's good knee has suddenly become her bad knee...but there's the thing I hoped I'd never have to hear. I may have mentioned that my favorite uncle has been ill. Not acting like himself, falling asleep at work...he said he was just depressed.

That's not all. Now my family finally has its favorite gay uncle, as we were fearing, is HIV+. We're all just glad to know what's been wrong all this time. Hopefully he can get on some meds, get the weight back on, and get back to being his stubborn, curmudgeonly self in no time, cooking us meals, cuddling with his kittycats, and snarking about those South Philly Shrews, the very bane of his retail existence.

Maybe all of this is why I'm so nervous about making an endo appointment. I'm worried that I'm next for something bad. I will just keep telling myself, "Two weeks 'til Austin; two weeks 'til Austin..." This will keep me going. Actually, I may go punch in some numbers over at to get out some of my frustrations. I hope things are better in your life, dear readers. Take care of yourselves.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Opposite Day!

So for the past two days, I have enjoyed the incredibly unpleasant sensation of a low blood sugar at least once a day. Yuck. The only problem is, my blood sugar hasn't been low either of those times. Respectively, they were 176 and 259.

Generally, with those numbers, I feel super-tired, super-thirsty, and I'm moderately cranky. Instead, I was feeling shaky and a wee bit lightheaded, not to mention super-hungry.

In short, I feel like poo. I had some really good numbers about 2 weeks ago, but now they're back to being crap. I'm sure the extra stress in my life isn't helping. I want to go home and take a nap. Whine whine whine.

Bleh. We get to go home early today, but that's still like 2 hours from now. Sigh.

Unhappy Hannah. Not fun.

The weekend will bring fun, but only if I start feeling better will I be able to really enjoy myself.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"Earn Money From Your Blog!" (or, Eventual Berfday Wishes)

Does anybody out there actually use Google AdSense with their blog, and do they find it's worth it? I'm just curious. It looks tempting every time I see that little Sign Up Now button.

My pump is buzzing away in my pocket, as if to say, FEEED ME. FEEED ME, Seymour! I am not a fan of the at-work site change, but I woke up a little late this morning, so I didn't have time to do it there. Guess I'll attend to that shortly.

I came to a realization this weekend. I think the anniversary of my diagnosis was sometime last week. It seems odd to me that I can't give you an exact date. So many of you with diabetes out there know the exact date, the time, and all the details of going to the hospital. When I was diagnosed, I was going into ketoacidosis. I was 8 years old, and I remember it must have been a weekday, because my parents whisked me off to my pediatrician because I couldn't breathe, and I remember being in his office. Then I remember being taken into the hospital, then it's fuzzy, then I remember staring at some dirty ceiling tiles while some doctors cut open my ankle to start an IV. I was dehydrated. My blood sugar was 700, I think. There are other things I can remember, but they are probably for a more serious post for a more serious time. Here's to more healthy d-anniversaries, and eventually, NO D-Anniversaries, because all this will be cured for all of us.

In the meantime, now the happy stuff! It's Nicole's birthday! Wish her a happy one if you know her! Many curious returns! And if any of you are wondering, I found this picture here. It's about what to do when you're a kid and someone in your family has diabetes.)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dorkie's First Award

See that there in all its pink, girly glory? That's my first EVER bloggin' award! Nicole is the raddest and passed it along to me. Yes, this thing is going all over the internets...Kerri has one too. But the job is to receive it, be gracious, and then pay it forward. So big huge thanks to Mademoiselle Pukeface (lol, she'll understand), and now, some attention for the rest of the blogword:

over at The Nefariouspoo of Sarah is someone to admire. She juggles 8759374 different tasks in her life, or so it seems, not the least of these things being her own diabetes and caring for her son with Autism. Then, she blogs about them and is still a down-to-earth person. Whew!

Speaking of paying it forward, this post from Minnesota Nice of PurpleHaze puts things in perspective, I think. She's another award winner here, because I think her posts give everyone with diabetes insight. Even if things don't turn out perfect, she shows us our lives can be full, grand, and maybe just what we'd like them to be.

And the non-d's (at least that I know of):

Go Fug Yourself.
Oh my God, I do love me some Hollywood fashion faux pas. Once in a while the commentary is irritating, but this is the ultimate collection of "what was she THINKING?" celebrity outfits.

And because no Dorkabetic awards are complete without something totally dork-tastic, I would like to award Grammar Girl. Quick tips for those of us who are writing-obsessed, or those of us too busy to read the whole Strunk & White guide if we need to do something for work. My grammar is probably far from perfect, but DO NOT get me started on improper uses of the apostrophe. Please visit Apostrophe's a picture of my everyday nightmares.

So that's that. Let's see...other matters to attend to...I owe Nicole something else. Since in theory, we are starting up the Diabetes OC Roller Derby Team, I promised some roller derby names for myself. Here's a list, including the diabetes-themed names.

Minnie Med
Insa Lynn
Hard-Hearted Hannah
Mrs. McDeathblow

I think I'll go with the latter. Woo hoo! Tonight, good things like dinner and a movie. Date night with my hubby!

Tomorrow may be a little more trying. Going to visit my mom at my aunt's house. My uncle, their younger brother, is ill. Not quite sure what he has, but it's not good. He's not himself at all, and he's having spells where he's losing time. He's probably only 47. We don't know what's going on. They're getting together to talk about it, and Matt and I are going to see them. More on that situation when I know more.

I hope everyone has a fantastically awesome weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Funnies

I promise a better post later, like one about how Nicole P. gave me an award and it rocks, my visit to the gyne-chiatrist (not too much info, I promise, don't go running off now), and all the troubles I've seen.

In the meantime, here's a list of random thoughts:

1. Just caught one of my bosses listening to some kind of contemporary opera music. Not any kind of strange thing, but it's just funny considering this guy is so Italian he already looks like a Soprano. Don't mess with him. I'd be willing to bet money he's got Mafia relatives.

2. Poetry reading tonight! Just like every Wednesday, but I'm just excited. We had a really great reading 2 weeks ago, and we have a TV crew coming tonight to tape a promo airing on a local access show.

3. The Leech is making me nuts. Nuts I tell you! My roommate hugged one of his friends who happens to be a girl, and The Leech blew up in his face! She slammed his door, and from his account, proceeded to argue with him for half an hour about how much his contact with other people "really upsets" her. It was a 2-second hug. Why does Nigel continue to date this girl? And furthermore, why does SHE think she can handle the trip to Austin with us for a week? I refuse to let her ruin anyone's good time, but I can see it now...

Poetry Fan: Wow, Nigel, is it? I loved your poem. Do you have a book I can buy?
Nigel: Yeah, it's $3 or I'll trade for yours.
Poetry Fan: Here's 3 bucks. Will you sign it?
Nigel: Yeah, okay! (signs: Thanks for rockin', Nigel B.)
Poetry Fan: Thanks, dude. See ya 'round! Bye!
The Leech: WHAT was THAT?
Nigel: What?
The Leech: That girl. She wanted your attention. I'm not happy about this. *sulks for the next 3 hours*

GAH, no. Sometimes I think if she tries to kill the National Poetry Slam fun for us, we'll just leave her in Austin. Right under the Largest Urban Bat Colony in America.

4. Must. Make. Endo. Appointment. I've been putting it off for way too effing long. Tomorrow, I call Nurse Practicioner Nancy and hope for a slot in the next couple of weeks. I'll need a letter to make sure I can get all my supplies to Austin without any trouble from airport security. Also, thanks to the account I set up over at SugarStats, I've been recording more of my blood glucose readings. Pushing buttons can make things more fun sometimes.

5. The weather has been disgusting, and now, it's pouring down outside. Instead of heat and humidity, it'll be me walking to my car an hour and a half from now in the rain with no umbrella. Sometimes you just can't win.

That's all for now. Back to work with me. I just feel more posts are in order these days. After all, now I'm an award-winning blogger. But like I said, more on that in my next post. ;)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I want my, I want my...

I want my as-par-tame! (sung to the tune of "I want my MTV" from Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing")

You know, I love my roommate to death. He is my husband's best friend, and one of my best friends. Our living arrangement works out just fine. If one of us has a problem with money, we try to work it out between the 3 of us. I feel like we're more of a functional family unit than just a married couple with a roommate.

That's why it hurts a lot when it feels as though I'm starting to resent him. This is by no fault of his. This is by fault of his girlfriend.

She is immature, a little nuts, and has been living with us for two months now. Correction. "Hanging out"...she just happens to be over every single night. It has gotten to the point where I think we might need to ask her for some money if she's going to continue always being over and eating our food. Matt and I refuse to shop for more than three of us if we don't have any extra cash coming in.

I have not told her that I have diabetes. I don't really consider us good friends by any means, and she's so leeched on to my roommate, I assume she knows anyway. I've checked my blood glucose, given myself corrections and whipped out my pump in front of her. I'm not sure if she's the type who's observant enough to notice. I also wonder if she'd notice, would she then storm off because she's weirded out by people who think they can do medical things in public?

She's a little bit like that. If a movie has too many naked women in it, she will get up, leave the room for my roommate's bedroom and slam the door. I think most of us in a similar situation would simply state that we feel uncomfortable and hide our eyes, or quietly excuse ourselves. She's 22 years old and taking the 12-year-old approach to things, and it drives me crazy.

But I'm drifting. I haven't told her that I have diabetes. She went out with my roommate last night to go to the bank and the convenience store. They decided to buy some 2-Liter bottles...and they only bought non-diet soda. This really irks me because Matt and I go to a lot of trouble to buy regular soda AND diet soda when we go grocery shopping. A girl who sits around our house all night and sometimes talks about how bad she feels for eating "all our food" doesn't even think past herself and her boyfriend. Grrr!

Maybe I'm overreacting a bit. However, it's getting to the point where I always feel overreactive with her. How else could I feel having to deal with an uninvited roommate every day? The worst part about this is that Matt and I can't talk to Nigel about how we feel because SHE'S ALWAYS THERE. She'd definitely feel attacked and go on the defensive, even if we were just asking her to pay for some groceries once in a while. If the news comes from Nigel, it'll soften the blow. He never asked her to move in anyway.

I'm supposed to be the crazy girl in my house. And I want my diet Coke, dammit.

Any advice on how to make a leeching significant other into a productive, helpful quasi-roommate?

I'm at my wits' end here.