Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hauntings!

Looks like Halle Berry is going as a Type 2 Pregnant Lady for Halloween. More details, Ms. Berry? The rest of us Type 1's are DYING to know your secrets. (Yes, you can all start rolling your eyes. Thanks to Kerri and Kassie for the tip...)

I remember Halloweens past, post-diagnosis. My mom informed everyone in the neighborhood what was going on with me, so every person on my street made up a Trick-or-Treat bag just for me. I'd get toys, pencils, packs of gum, sugar-free candy...and from a couple of people I didn't know, I'd get the regular stuff.

Back on the good old food exchange system, I wasn't supposed to eat any regular candy at all, ever. Or at least that was my family's interpretation of it. If I got regular candy in my bag, I'd then sell it to my parents. Hey, a nickel a Snickers seemed like a good deal. Then, I would always end up with a bunch of candy they didn't like--Nerds, Gobstoppers, Sour Patch Kids, etc. Sometimes it would be thrown away. Sometimes I'd give it to friends. A time or two I ate it myself, and I'm not necessarily proud of it, but had I known how to correct for a handful of sugary treats back then, I could have saved myself some guilt.

How do you/did you deal with diabetes at Halloween? (Whether it's you or your kids, I'm interested to know!)

Now if only I could keep my insulin pump from popping out over my corset top....

Here's a Halloween song for you, kind of. With the Misfits, every day is Halloween! Listen to "Dig Up Her Bones", bop around the room, and most of all, have a Happy Halloween/Dio De Los Muertos!

Monday, October 29, 2007


I am about to embark on a strange, magical journey. I have accepted a challenge--in November, I will post on this blog EVERY DAY. This includes weekends. This includes blurbs of utter sillyness, complete nonsense, and most likely a meme or two.

So expect more from me, and expect it more often.

But first, I need to go out and pick up some Halloween costume elements. I know it's late, and I'm running out of options. However, I've never been any kind of goth fairy, and that's a pretty easy costume to put together which always looks fun in the end. Plus, I love an excuse to buy fishnets (or striped tights) and black eyeliner. I already have a froofy skirt and a bustier! Hopefully somebody has some black lipstick left somewhere...

Coming tomorrow, Moving Day: Day 2, in which I find a desperate need for a Glucagon kit...for someone else! Catch you then.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Needy for Needles, and Other Stories

No Symlin for me for the past couple of days because I keep forgetting to go down to Walgreens and get my syringe prescription refilled. Thankfully, the pharmacy I used in Delaware, Happy Harry's, is now owned by Walgreens, so I visited the pharmacy counter at the Walgreens down the street, they pushed some buttons on the computer, and now getting my prescriptions is really really easy.

As I type this, I yell to Matt that we should stop at Walgreens before heading into Philadelphia tonight...

I have more moving stories, but for now, life goes on. Tomorrow we're driving to Williamsport. Anybody know if you can transport a gas grill in a car? My mom has one to give us. The real reason we're driving north is because it's my uncle's birthday.

You may recall my uncle was diagnosed with AIDS, and my mom put him in a home in Williamsport, so he could be closer to family. Well, the good news is that his dementia is much better. He generally is completely aware of where he is, and he can now walk without a cane. He's back to being stubborn and sarcastic, but that's not saying he's completely normal.

They moved him to an assisted living/group home sort of place for AIDS patients, so I hope that he will be able to cook there and maybe socialize with some folks his own age. I sincerely hope he can find someone who knows what he's going through.

Mom also tells me my Nana, her mom, isn't doing very well. She's having more and more difficulty getting around, and apparently her short term memory is getting worse.

I just worry about the overall sadness that will inevitably hang over us all at the dinner table. When my mom talks about the problems at home, she makes it sound like she is asking me to help somehow, but I don't know how to help. I feel too far away, too powerless. My heart breaks, but my feet carry me. I worry too much as it is, and I feel that if I stop to worry about things too much, I will surround myself with darkness and won't be able to break free.

So I unpack boxes, I write blog entries. I hope for the best. I find a nice card for my uncle for his birthday, but do you know how awkward it is trying to find a birthday card for someone who may not see his next birthday? Suddenly every card that talks about "cherishing every moment of you life" sounds like a lecture instead of a happy greeting, every card that wishes you "many more happy birthdays" could just be construed as an insult, a pipe dream.

I'm excited to see everyone at home, but I'm also apprehensive about what I might find there. I've been making sure I haven't missed any doses of my anti-depressants this week, or I might not make it through at all.

I am looking forward to the good times, and hoping that I can steel myself against the bad.

I hope your weekend is sunnier than mine, readers. Take care of yourselves.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Move-In Day 1: The First Fiasco

Since this is a blog mainly about diabetes, I will confess before I start telling any stories that my self-maintenance has been a little shoddy over the past couple of weeks. I have been better at treating the after-effects of stress, carb-heavy meals, more excercise than usual, etc. than I have been at anticipating any changes in myself. However, can you blame me? Moving is not easy, and I'm just trying to stay on top of things. I'm getting back into my diabetes routine now that I feel my life has a somewhat-regular routine again.


It was Saturday before last. Matt's dad and little brother had come to help us out. Friday night, we relaxed and caught up. Saturday, the packing and truck-loading bonanza began. Our friend Evan came over to help out as well. Things were progressing just fine. Then we got a little rocky news after lunch. Matt let his dad know the plan: we would pack all day Saturday, then move the stuff on Sunday. Our truck didn't have to be returned until Monday.

Matt's dad basically said, "Oh? Really?"

In all the stress, Matt had failed to inform his dad of this plans. Things were tense momentarily, but got back to normal quickly. More packing. I run out with Evan to the moving company's office to pick up some more bubble wrap and boxes. Matt calls me. Matt's brother needs to get back to Williamsport by 8am for a meeting at work. Packing shall resume at a breakneck pace. We are determined to leave Delaware by 8pm. Then Matt's dad and brother will drive back to Williamsport once we unload our moving truck.

I get back. I work. I stress. I stop to have a drink and a snack. I work. I pack. I pack some more. I whine. I test to find some kind of high number, so I bolus, I have some water, I get back to work.

My temper flares a couple of times. My anxiety kicks in when my back aches, and I have no place left to sit.

We have yet another surprise. Matt's brother has managed to lose his wallet somewhere back in Williamsport, so he can't drive Matt's car up to PA with the rest of the moving caravan. We'll need to make a trip back to Delaware on Sunday to pick it up. Fabulous.

We sigh. We deal with it and move on. We even manage to get our thrift store La-Z-Boy sofa down the three flights of stairs without it breaking. This leads Matt and I to decide that it can go on the truck. Hey, we'll need something to sit on in Blue Bell until we can get more furniture. It's outlived its $75 purchase price, so we can reward it with a new home.

I white-knuckle it up the Blue Route (aka 476, aka the Northeast Extension [of the PA Turnpike]) and through Plymouth Meeting. I've never driven to Blue Bell, and it looks quite a bit different at night. I'm used to visiting during the day. I see road signs for nearby towns. I wonder where I might end up working, how far it is to nearby shopping. Will I make friends? Will I find a doctor that I like? I pull in to our new home. The guys are already unloading the truck. I had to stop for gas on the way out of Delaware, so I told them not to wait on me, but to call if they needed anything.

I step into our townhouse, and my voice bounces off the walls. I can't wait to fill this place with furniture. With lights. With friends. With anything other than boxes!

Welcome home, I say to myself. The couch is hauled in, and I flop on it once it's in place. Soon our bed is set up. Soon my father- and brother-in-law are back on the road. I snuggle up against Matt and try not to think about how tomorrow we'll be driving back to Delaware. That's not even the first thing on our agenda. We'll make this work.

More moving stories to come...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Comcast Saves the Day!

Thanks to the adorable 40-something Comcast tech with the Japanese accent and the contagious smile, I have returned to the Land of the Bloggers! Unfortunately, the poor fellow could not figure out how to hook the cable up to our TV. Nigel got a wall mount, and our flat screen is now happily resting, picture-frame-style, on the wall, with the cables fed through the wall and under the stairs. The cable jack is somewhere in the middle of all this. I'm sure Nigel can fix it. I hope he gets home before The Daily Show.

Matt is loving his new job, though his commute is a bit long. He's got a break this week, because work sent him to a software class in King of Prussia, which is only about 10 miles away. It's nice having him home earlier. We clean, we try to unpack, then we give up and go rent a movie or get dinner.

So, Blue Bell seems to be a nice town. We are only a mile or two from gated communities near the country club of what I lovingly refer to as "McMansions", a term I first heard out of Matt's grandfather. You know the ones--huge places, pretty much made-to-order but mostly devoid of personality. You are bound to run into someone with money when you go out. You can see it in the cars people drive, in the attitudes of some people, but for the most part, Blue Bell is a quiet-yet-busy suburban town.

And the drive to Philadelphia is a lot faster, even if you do have to get hung up in traffic on I-76.

Moving in itself was an eventful, somewhat stressful process. As was returning the moving truck. As was the conversation I had with a Comcast rep one day. As was Matt being locked out and then practically breaking in the door (whoops). There are many stories to tell, but I'm just so excited to finally have internet that I am going to go catch up on what you all had to say for the past week or so.

More writing tomorrow. Promise. I shall leave you with a picture of Blue Bell, which makes me laugh. It's the first thing that popped up on the Google Image Search, and it's of the shopping plaza just down the road from our house:

That's Clemens-no-more. It's SuperFresh now, very fancy with adjoining stores on the inside. There's another story for you. Oh my, I will try to get you all updated tomorrow.

Friday, October 12, 2007


OMG it's my last day of work already! So much to do! So busy! AAARGH!


I'll make it through. Maybe with some tears in the end, but I'll make it. Longer, better post tonight. Promise.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Comfortable, Indeed.

We signed the lease on Saturday! We signed the lease on Saturday!

Our new place is so great, and I feel like I can say that with confidence. Granted, our visit on Saturday made me realize it might need a bit of dusting and maybe some Windex, but that's easy cleaning. I am hoping our great find does not turn out to be like my best friend CJ's last great housing find...she now refers to her place as the House of Usher. Eegh.

My main complaint are the MONSTER speed bumps surrounding the development. We bottomed out twice in Matt's Honda Accord...not exactly a low rider. Note to self, even though the road is crapper toward the left of the circle, the speed bumps are smaller. I think the pavement will attempt to sheer off the entire bottom of my Saturn.

In terms of proximity to things, it's hard to beat our new home. Two grocery stores, one less than five minutes away, one just about 5 minutes away. A library 5 minutes in a different direction. Ultra-Mega-Shopping 15 minutes away. Not to mention it's probably only a mile or two to the Kitty Cottage. Yes, that's a cottage full of kitties for those of you who are keeping score--cute, adoptable kitties. Too bad Sadako is not interested in a playmate. If I can't find a job fast enough, I may just end up volunteering there.

Matt had a busy first day at his job, and my heart went out to him because he had to return to a hot home to sleep on the floor. Since yesterday was Columbus Day, the electric company couldn't make it out to switch everything on. Hopefully tonight my poor hubby will have air conditioning, ceiling fans, hot water and microwaving capabilities. In the meantime, he's been holed up with candles and a flashlight. I keep asking him to introduce himself to the neighbors so they don't suspect he's a squatter.

So much packing to be done. We're not even going to talk about that.

What I am going to talk about is Symlin! I love it! Well, when it's not suddenly causing my blood sugar to plummet mid-morning, I love it. 63 this morning post-breakfast...38 yesterday. Not good! Well, good because it's working, but you know what I mean. One last visit with Nancy the NP tomorrow should hopefully give me a little insight. Unfortunately, my logging is lagging because of all the moving. I should think the numbers themselves should give a fairly decent insight, though.

I still can't believe I have to uproot my routines and go find a brand new diabetes care team. My new place also seems to be about 15 minutes away from 3 different endocrinologists. Sounds good to me. And let's not even talk about the seemingly re-donk-ulous number of dentists surrounding my neighborhood. Seriously 15 differently places to get my teeth cleaned. I'm overdue for that. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Time to go call Budget rent-a-truck and arrange to pick up boxes. Any helpful packing tips would be appreciated.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

As Usual, I'm a Day Late

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007
I realize I'm a day late on this one, but I spent so much time on my somewhat introspective post yesterday that I just missed it completely. So, if you're a lurker, de-lurk yourself! Reveal thyself! Avast! I just like to know who's reading, because I like new friends.

So now it's happy news day. Matt, Nigel and I will be moving into our awesome new townhouse next weekend. We get to sign the lease and start moving a few things this weekend. This whole relocating thing is starting to get exciting instead of stressful.

They found a replacement for me at work. Hopefully she starts before I leave so I can train her.

Happy belated delurking day! Maybe next year I'll get it right. Ha.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On Cankles.

In high school and throughout college, I used to complain about my fat ankles. I have slim, muscular legs, thank goodness, but my ankles have never been my favorites.

The right one bears a one-inch scar from my type 1 diagnosis back in 1990. I was in DKA, and dehydrated. My poor 8-year-old veins were so deflated, they had to cut into my ankle to start the IV necessary for insulin and fluids.

My ankles were always wide and strong, and to this day, they make buying pull-on or zip-up boots difficult. My feet are small, size 7.5 in women's, but I'm sure my ankles belong to a size 8.5 or 9 boot. Hell, my calves probably do too. I think the truth is my ankles were never fat, they were just too big in proportion to my little feet.

Except on days like today, they really are fat. I look down at my ankles and they are ballooned out with fluid, the way you'd expect a little old lady's ankles to look. I am glad that I do not yet have to wear any kind of orthopedic shoes, or things might look even worse. Why does this keep happening? No one ever offers me an answer. I'm guessing poor circulation.

Nobody mentions the word "neuropathy". Maybe it's because they don't want to scare me. Maybe it's because that's not the case. I won't know until my blood sugars are back in range for an extended period of time. Could that be the answer? Could more excercise be the answer? How long until my A1C is acceptable? I'm trying to get to that place, and it's getting easier, but it's still a challenge. I know I should be happy about what I have. I still have feeling in my legs and feet, and very rarely do I have any pain. My kidneys are normal, and allegedly, so is my thyroid. (I say allegedly because I keep hearing about differing guidelines in regards to what is "normal", and I don't know which guidelines my doctor follows.)

And I am happy. I am truly blessed to never have been hospitalized outside of my diagnosis, blessed to have never known a low blood sugar leading to a convulsion or even passing out.

But these uncomfortable appendages are so discouraging sometimes.

On Sunday, Matt and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. I was changing clothes, putting on an outfit I really liked, feeling absolutely adorable. I asked Matt to hand me a pair of shoes that I wanted to wear, and on the left foot, the shoe was reasonably okay. As I tried to put the right one on, I felt like one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters, trying to cram a massive, misshapen foot into a shoe two sizes too small. I'd have to put on the dingey-yet-comfortable shoes when I wanted to wear the cute-but-comfortable shoes. I wanted my husband to tell me I looked nice.

I felt my spine slacken a little, and I burst into tears right there on the bed.

Matt, best husband ever, sprang into action, wrapping me immediately in a hug. "Aww, what's wrong, Boo?"

I cast the unfitting shoe down onto the carpet and sniffled loudly. "Just once, I want to see my ankles again."

"I'm sure it's all going to be okay. Nobody's perfect, and right now you're stressed out, and we're not excercising enough because we're too busy with the move, and we probably haven't been eating the greatest stuff, and I know you're working really hard to get your blood sugars under control and..."

I cut him off just as my brain was about to turn on full-on-NOT-pretty-sobbing mode. "I'm just scared *sob sob* that I did this to myself, and it's never going to get better, and this is just how it's going to be from now on." My tears absorbed into a half-dollar size wet spot on Matt's t-shirt.

He held me, and he reassured me. "We'll get through this. I'm sure it's going to be fine, and no matter what, I'll always love you just the way you are."

On Sunday, that was enough. Enough to restore my faith in myself. It's not always that easy, but for whatever reason, it worked. "I'll give it time," I told him. "I think eventually, it will be alright." I got another hug. I smiled. "Now then, where the heck are we going to go for dinner?"

Dear Ankles,
Stop sucking so bad. Thanks.

PS--In non-ankle news, WE GOT THE HOUSE WE WANTED!! WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!! We sign the lease this weekend! More on this later.