Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Got Hit by the Holiday Truck


All I can say right now is ugh. It's that time of year when most people are hit by a truckload of happiness and good cheer. It's the holidays, after all. Yes, I too was feeling that way yesterday morning when I rolled into work at 9am. I gave my co-workers (all 4 of them) gifts, and I felt downright giddy that Christmas is finally here. I love being able to give people presents and to recognize how much they mean to me.

By 11:30am, it was a different story. At some point, a truckload of sick had pulled up and covertly backed right over me. Suddenly, I was achy, super-tired, and worst of all, feeling nauseous. Really nauseous. I can't tell you the number of times I travelled to the bathroom yesterday at work, whether anything happened, or I just bent over the toilet for a few minutes at a time, finding only a false alarm.

Also, my blood sugar seemed to be dropping pretty rapidly, so I drank an entire bottle of blue Gatorade. I was hoping to cut off my inevitable dehydration at the pass. I had gone from 118 to 94 in a matter of 15 minutes or so, and my last bolus had only been about an hour before that. I waited for the Gatorade to kick in and retested. 84. I disconnected my pump, found myself out of glucose tabs, and ate a couple packets of sugar instead. (Not as pleasant as I'd hoped it to be.)

Then (TMI ALERT, LOOK AWAY!) I went back to the ladies' room and barfed. Not so ladylike.

Still working through my misery, I went back to doing stuff. I warned my boss that I was feeling horrible and I might need to go home early. I am sometimes a disorganized person, though, and I had been slacking on my work for the week. I wanted to make sure everything was done, or at least close enough to done, before I left on my holiday vacation. The rest of the hours passed at an agonizingly slow pace. I was still disconnected from my insulin pump, and another check of my blood glucose revealed an 86. WTF? I thought to myself. These are the numbers people without diabetes have! Something really weird is going on.

Weird, indeed. My feelings of health, happiness and good cheer continued to go down the tubes. I had all kinds of stomach unpleasantness; I was hurting; I was super-duper-sleepy and probably came about thisclose to nodding off at my desk. (BG still at 97...disconnected for like 3 hours at this point! REALLY?!) I thankfully was able to stagger out of work at 5pm, and I made it home safely. Of course, I was incredibly unhappy about all of this because I then left my co-worker at work when she had planned on going home early. I really hate disappointing people, and I was doing just that.

Got home. Shed clothing. Checked BG again...84. Naptime. Husband got home, talked to him for awhile about how horrible I felt, how I know I have been letting down my co-workers with my disorganization then dealt them a double-blow with getting horribly sick. He told me I should just not worry about it for now. I should get some sleep, and just make sure I try not to worry over all our vacation time, that way I can start 2009 ready to kick ass. I like that theory. Then I slept some, woke up, checked my BG, which was 235 (finally? I'm sick, it should be high!), and promptly barfed again.

The past 24 hours have been horrible and draining. And let's not even get into how it's Christmas Eve, I'm still sick, and the presents aren't wrapped. At least today I can eat and drink without revisiting it all an hour later. My mom just called to tell me now she's sick as well, with what sounds like the exact same thing, and that there's been an ice storm in Williamsport. Of course, this was accompanied by its own directions of how to best get in the house, which are pretty hilarious if you picture someone actually doing them. It pretty much involves slinking behind the shrubs at the front of the house, directly in front of the living room window, then sidling up onto the front stoop and coming in the door.

Ugh. I am definitely still sick. I'm going to squeeze in another nap before Matt gets home and we need to hit the road.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, blogfriends! And also, specifically, best wishes for a Healthy Holiday!

*head hitting pillow, this is Dorkabetic, signing off*

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kitty Withdrawl

Every day, I end up parking my car half a block from my house. Our street is one way, with parking only on one side, so I appreciate having to do a little walking every day. Plus, where I park my car is free. Always a big plus as far as I'm concerned.

The biggest perk every day on my brief walk home is The House with the Cat. The cat is a big, fat, fluffy black kitty who is occasionally seated on the carpeted cat tree in front of the window. Other times I see him lumped happily on the back of the sofa, usually right next to his owner's head. I always look in the window to see if I can see the cat. Maybe this makes me some kind of Cat-o-phile. Maybe someone will make me go door-to-door in our neighborhood:

"Um, excuse me, ma'am, but if you see me within 50 feet of your cat, please feel free to tell me to get a life. Don't alert the authorities. I just want to pet him."

I miss having Sadako around. Sure, sometimes she was a bad kitty who peed on stuff, or kept us up half the night with her yowling when she was in heat, but she was a cute, sweet little cat. I miss having a cat. Of course, our present lease is what keeps us from having a cat. So I take every chance I can get to see kitties or pet them or whatever.

At least at holidays, I get to see this feline face:Porcupine, moments before she decides to bite you. While purring. And biting some more. My father-in-law tries to get her to go outside sometimes, but now that she's old and chubby, she's not so keen on that anymore. She likes to silently judge you from her position under the houseplant. Good kitty.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mum's the Word.

There are just some things I cannot discuss at length here in this very public forum. Some of you are already my good friends, some of you readers I've never even met in real life, but I consider you friends.

There are some relatively personal things that are bothering me right now, but I just don't feel comfortable putting them out to the world here. Some of you can expect a Facebook message in the coming days, I feel. Yeah, sounds totally dumb that I can talk about it privately on a social networking site but not publicly where I come to express myself most freely.

I am not really looking forward to the next few days. I fear the tension they could bring. I am already stressed out enough, but I do hope the steps I take will serve to help.

And that's all I'm going to say for now, world. If you want to really know, you should try to find me somewhere that I can truly be myself without worry.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Scattered and Low

I can't seem to find my thoughts these days. I am not really sure where they're going, but obviously they have not been going here. I really wish they would, but lately my time has just been kind of draining.

There is stress at work, stress at home, stress with my family. I feel like I'm in over my head. I'm no stranger to depression, and I am familiar with the symptoms of more-than-average anxiety. I think I am swinging back in the direction of needing medication again so I can deal with all of this. I have been having a lot of trouble focusing lately, especially on work and on diabetes management. I'm forgetting to finish assignments I've started. I'm forgetting to bolus. I'm forgetting to attend to the lists I make for myself, and I have no motivation to even take 5 seconds out of my day to test my blood sugar.

Yes, taking care of one's self, either with or without diabetes, can be an uphill battle somedays. I acknowledge that my life should not be a cakewalk, and that yes, it is perfectly normal to be stressed out about things and occasionally somewhat anxious. I just feel like too much of my time lately is spent being forgetful, drifty, sad, apathetic, drained, hurt and empty.

It's time to talk to a doctor about this, and I figure my endocrinologist's office is a good place to start, especially since I think this non-lifting funk is really messing up my A1C, among other things. In the meantime, that appointment won't be until January 23rd, so I need to find some at-home ways to tough this out for a month.

Despite all my emotional crap, I am having an excellent holiday season so far. Matt and I are both kicking butt at our jobs. My boss even wants to send me out to Financial Aid training in the near future so I can assist the students at our university even more, which is a big investment in this sometimes-absent-minded office assistant who has trouble getting the filing system organized. My friends are still super-fantastic. My car is still running. And tonight, I will be dressing up in this little number:

to attend Matt's holiday party for work. Food and booze on the company dime with Matt's fun work friends? Yes, please! It'll be so much more fun than last year now that we both know Matt's co-workers a lot better. And yes, we've been invited to the after-party. Among we dorks, that is a big deal. (FYI...this party will be filled with dorky engineers, so all mayhem and merrymaking will be done with a heaping helping of logic and brains. Note to any zombies reading this blog: no, the brains are not for eating.)

I am hoping that my overall mental state improves greatly soon. But we are all pretty familiar with the connection between diabetes and depression. I am going to work hard to get back to blogging with regularity. I miss you guys, and sometimes a girl just needs to vent to the entire internet. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh My Aching Ovaries

I think I may have yet another ovarian cyst that ruptured. Same symptoms today as the last ordeal that landed me in the ER.

Gynecologist is squeezing me in tomorrow morning, and she'll probably send me for an ultrasound.

I want an answer to my problems. This is the fourth time this has happened in a year.

Sure, there's a possibility it's not even my ovaries, but this has happened too many times now to continue to ignore it. It's also a problem my grandmother and my mother had. In fact, my mom is still dealing with female-hormone-related problems. Hooray for genetics.

This sucks. I'm going to use a heating pad and take a nap.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One of us. One of us. One of us.

Did you know that you can actually FOLLOW the exploits, stories, adventures and general nerdery of Dorkabetic? It's true!

If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, you too can become a follower of Dorkabetic! Everybody's doing it! Or, at least at this point in time (11/24, 5:35pm EST) two people besides myself are doing it! Yes, I am a follower of my own blog, but I wouldn't be a true dork if I didn't.

Speaking of things to follow, are you on Twitter? So am I! Also, if you are on Twitter, and you happen to use Blogger, what do you use to embed your tweets in your sidebar, as I see many of you doing? I want that too!

Also, are you a person who frequents the Diabetes online community? A diabetes blogger, Diabetes Daily member, TuDiabetes member, etc.? Then you should join the first-ever DIABETES OC SECRET SANTA! (Thanks, Allison!) I am already getting into the holiday spirit. I'm excited to find out who I'll be sending a gift to. Could it be you? You'll have to sign up to find out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A [World] Diabetes Day in the Life of Dorkabetic

Inspired by Kerri's vlog today, here's a rundown of a typical day in the life of this diabetic:

Wake up.

No, really wake up. Not the 4 times I’ve hit snooze so far.

Think about testing.

Go do morning bathroom routine, bleary eyed. Take a moment to be appreciative that I still have healthy eyesight, though I've always been nearsighted. Worry for a moment that my blurry left eye could be something more, but some yawning and rubbing does the trick. Looks like it's allergies, not retinopathy. I hate how many times a day this crap can creep into my head.

Did I check my BG? No? Guess I should do that.

Oh! Where are those shoes I wanted to wear today…found them.

Do I have extra pump supplies so I don’t have to run home today if something goes wrong? Stuff said supplies in giant purse.

Get in car. Drive to work. Sing if there’s something good on the radio. Walk into office. Greet co-workers. There’s something I’m forgetting here.

Right! A BG test! I was going to do that like 40 minutes ago. Testing…134. Cool.

Work work work. Answer the phone. Text the husband. Answer the phone again. Snack snack. Work work.

Mmm, 2 Hershey’s Kisses aren’t so bad.

OMG my mouth feels like it’s full of envelope lick and stick glue…I must be going high. I probably forgot to bolus for those freakin’ chocolates. Or the snack. Or both.

Test. 302. Ugh. Correction. What’s that smell? INSULIN! Dang it. Off to the ladies’ room. I’m wearing a dress today so it’s not like this is something I can conduct at the front desk. Infusion set change. Re-correction. Hope I guessed right since I don’t know how much insulin I actually absorbed off that leaky set.

Time passes. So hungry. Wow, it’s 2:00, guess I can go get lunch.

PANERA! Yum yum yum. Oh, and they gave me 2 whole grain baguette pieces instead of just one…maybe I’ll save one for later. Soooo goooood. Munch munch munch. So much for that saving business.

Crap! I forgot to test! Stupid stressful life. One of these days I’m going to get it right. I just have to keep trying. I’ll test after I eat. I know it’s not the best thing to do, but I’d rather head off a major high by ending up with a mild high.

Test. 274. Correct. Cross fingers.

Work work work. Answer the phone. Text the husband. Answer the phone again. Bz-bz-bz-bz-bz-bz!! What IS it, pump?

Ah, low cartridge volume, but enough to get me through the end of the day. Smooth sailing. No worries.

Work work. Greet the students. Almost class time. Almost go-home time. Bz-bz-bz-bz-bz-bz! Again? Really? Time to cancel out that cartridge message…oh, wait. The pump’s trying to tell me my battery is low. One more thing to do when I get home. Fantastic. Time to go!

Get home. Help Matt with dinner. Did I do a test? No, not yet, babe, let me do that now. Testing…174! Woo hoo! This is, amazingly, a lot better than I’ve been running at this time of day. I’m sure someone else finds this atrocious, but if I reach a personal best, I celebrate.

Hmm, now just how many grams of carbs are in Matt’s Mystery Mexican Dish? So many beans…he served it up with chips…ARGH! Take a wild guess, Hannah, it’s better than nothing.

Make a quick run to the grocery store post-dinner. We need some trash bags, not to mention some AAA batteries for the aforementioned buzzing pump. In line, I notice a “Diabetic Recipes” magazine. Aww, those poor recipes, I say to Matt. They have diabeetus! He informs me I’m wrong. No no, the recipes are diabetes-based. You know, like Insulin-Glazed Chicken. I crack up, then chime in, oooh, with a side of test strip pilaf! Please tell me there will be glucose-tab tarts for dessert.

Home. Relax. Video games. Voldo FTW. Matt is hard to beat. Xianghua FTW. Ha ha, a girl just kicked your butt, Matt. I am apparently good with imaginary swords.

Sitting on the floor. Pins and needles halfway down my leg. Back of my mind says, it's been 18 years, Hannah. Maybe it's catching up with you. I probably just haven't shifted positions in half an hour. These things happen. I hate thinking the worst during the mundane.

So sleepy. Bedtime. Do a test. Mystery casserole results in a BG of 287. Time to correct. Take pills and drink extra water. Let’s hope I don’t have to get up and pee at 3am.

Then you start all over again the next day, only with different distractions, numbers, foods, challenges, stress levels. Diabetes is manageable, but it isn’t always easy to manage. Factor in highs that make it difficult for me to stay focused, make me cranky, or make me sleepy. Then the occasional low. I don’t have a lot of those lately, so when I feel weird I wonder what the heck is going on. If I’m really high, I can feel like I’m low when I should be “normal”, around 110 for example. Everyone’s diabetes is different, but we all need to manage it. We need to know when to have fun, and when to take things more seriously. There is no cure for diabetes yet. I am grateful that World Diabetes Day is becoming a more widely-recognized awareness day. I hope everyone has used today as an opportunity to educate and inform a friend, co-worker, loved one, acquaintance or perfect stranger about diabetes.

And like all of you, I hope that a day comes when we no longer have to deal with all of these ups, downs, highs and lows. Here's to the day when we can all become former diabetes bloggers. I plan on using this space to write about fluffy baby bunnies and cupcakes from then on. What will you be blogging about after you're cured?

A Parody Song in Honor of WDD

(Dear Readers, note that "'betes" is pronounced BEETS, not BEE-TEES or BEE-TUS in this case...)

It's World Diabetes Day. What are you doing? What am I doing? Well, I guess I've screwed up NaBloPoMo this year by missing a day due to internet problems. Poo. Instead, I will post a couple of times today for this special occasion.

Right now I've decided to provide you with a parody to get you psyched up! Check out the original "We've Got the Beat" by the Go-Gos, then feel free to add in the following lyrics...

See the kids all dosin' insulin
They eat breakfast, do it all again
Checkin' glucose--is it high or low?
They take it in stride...

They got the 'betes
They got the 'betes
They got the 'betes
Type 1!
They got the 'betes

See the people frettin' over food
Exercising 'cuz it does them good
Take metformin or some other stuff
To get control

They got the 'betes
They got the 'betes
They got the 'betes
Type 2!
They got the 'betes

Feeling cranky when we're low or high
Gotta carry bags with our supplies
But we're happy, always on the go
We're gettin' control

We got the 'betes
We got the 'betes
We got the 'betes
We got the 'betes

(*claps and such*)

Everybody check out your feet
Don't want complications from 'betes
Count carbs-but have fun
We still gotta live

We got the 'betes

We got the 'betes


NOW JUST THE BLOGGERS SING! NOW JUST THE PARENTS! WHEE! Happy World Diabetes Day, everyone! More musings to come today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Survey Time!

One word survey which I borrowed from Nicole. Go ahead and do'll be fun!

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Your significant other? Amazing
3. Your Hair? Blonde
4. Your Skin? Albino
5. Your mother? Hilarious
6. Your favorite thing? Laughing
7. Your dream last night? Bizarro
8. Your favorite drink? Soda
9. Your dream/goal? Novelist
10. The room you’re in? Lobby
11. Your ex? Operatic
12. Your fear? Complications
13.Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
14.Where were you last night? Upstairs
15.What you’re not? Dainty
16.Muffins? DELICIOUS!
17.One of your wish list items? iPod
18.Where you grew up? Williamsport
19.The last thing you did? Sneezed
20.What are you wearing? Dress
21.Your TV? Plasma
22.Your pets? Nigel (LOL)
23. Your computer? Laptop
24. Your life? Hectic
25. Your mood? Spacey
26. Missing someone? Dad
27. Your car? Saturn
28. Something you’re not wearing? Socks
29. Favorite Store? Torrid
30. Your summer? Long
31. Like someone? Yup!
32. Your favorite color? Purple
33. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier
34. Last time you cried? Sunday
35. Who will respond to this? Someone
36. Whose answers are you anxious to see? Anybody's!

A Shorty....

Tired today. No real reason. Recovering from a crazy weekend, I suppose, which included a movie, a party, brunch with leftover party friends, and plenty of Soul Calibur 4.

My "duh" diabetes moment of the day:

In the car on the way home, I disconnected my insulin pump as there was a blockage detected which I aimed to fix when I got back to the house. My BG was okay, I wasn't about to worry about it since relief was 15 minutes up the road. I placed the disconnected pump where I always place my techno-gadgets when driving--in my cup holder.

Then, unthinking, I placed my cell phone right next to it in the same side. Something started vibrating, and I reached for the phone, thinking Matt was actually returning my call about dinner, only to realize it was just my pump reminding me I had disconnected.

Ain't technology grand?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Love in the Time of Insulin Dependence

Happy D-Blog Day 2008, everyone! I want to take this opportunity to:

1. Say hello to all my readers and lurkers!! (Yes, I am waving at the screen, because as the title will tell you, I'm a dork.)

2. Thank the DiabetesOC for making this happen again this year.

3. Talk about a subject that has been on my mind for the past several days, and that I think plays a very important part in the lives of everyone with diabetes: LOVE.

A little over a week ago, Matt and I celebrated our anniversary. Not the wedding anniversary, but our actual meeting and dating anniversary. We were both 16, and we met at our friend's Halloween party. My husband and I have been pretty much inseparable for a decade. 10 years. Where has all the time gone? I can't believe how fortunate I am, how blessed, to have married my best friend. He has seen me through food rebellions, my first insulin pump, my grouchiest high blood sugars. He's often the one asking if I've checked my BG before I go to sleep--sometimes I'm just too tired to remember.

This is D-Blog Day, and I feel that I have the right to get up on my big ol' soap box to tell the parents of kids with diabetes and singles with diabetes that there is someone out there for you. Diabetes shouldn't have to keep you from being able to truly love someone with all your heart, and it definitely shouldn't keep you from being loved back. A while ago, when I first found the DiabetesOC, I was frequently bopping around the message boards over at the ADA site. There were multiple postings from frightened parents worrying that one day their children would never find someone and be happy, just because diabetes made them "different". There were horror stories and tales of woe from singles with diabetes who just couldn't date anymore because so many people were complete assholes when finding out about their companion's condition.

But Hannah, you may say, I am single and lonely and I scared someone off with my shot at the restaurant. But Hannah, you may say, it will be so much different for my child when they grow up and start dating.

But readers, I will tell you, love at its most basic doesn't change. And look at all the happiness out there amongst my blogging friends. People who found awesome partners. People like George, Kerri, Scott J, Gina, Amy, Scott S. (Also, these are mostly people who really inspired me to blog early on!)

And readers, I will tell you, not everyone you date is a soulmate, but that doesn't necessarily have to do with The Big D. Maybe some dude will bug out on you for taking insulin or pills, but who knows? Maybe that dude would also take issue with the number of times a day you brush your teeth. Maybe some girl is freaked out because you had a low blood sugar right before dinner, but some other girl could run screaming because she found a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue under your bed.

If you can't find someone to love you, diabetes and all, settling shouldn't be the way to deal with it. Nor should becoming a hermit.

There is no cure for diabetes...yet.

And there is no good cure for a broken heart, I realize that.

I'm just saying that in my eyes, true love is someone who will walk downstairs to get you a glass of OJ at 3am when you're low. It's someone who will try and tell you how many grams of carbs he estimates are in that surprise casserole he invented on the fly for dinner.

I don't think diabetes and worries about having a love life should go hand-in-hand, ever. Diabetes is worrisome enough as it is, and you haven't even picked out something to wear!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Warning: May Contain Mild Irritants

I am excited and grateful that World Diabetes Day is coming to Philadelphia this year. They are going to light the city's major landmarks in blue--and Boat House Row! And the Art Museum Fountain! They're giving out free flu shots. They're offering all kinds of health screenings for anyone who comes, and there will be lunch, entertainment and seminars. It sounds like a very productive afternoon, but I am just a little concerned that the major proponent of the festivities is the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. Don't get me wrong--I am pleased that those who frequently care for folks with diabetes complications are promoting awareness and healthy habits, plus, I hear Temple has a terrific program. If I had foot complications, I'd think about going there.

Part of me feels a little irritated that this wasn't a product of our local ADA or JDRF chapter first. I am happy this is happening. I am a little confused and annoyed that the hosting body ultimately makes me think of slightly negative connotations to life with diabetes. The writer in me really wants to go out and cover this event, but I don't think I can get out of work this coming Friday. Grrr.

Tonight, we party! It's Nigel's birthday and a housewarming. I hope people remember to bring their own is still a bit sparse in our place. It's NaBloPoMo. See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Crackpot Nutritionist

Sometimes all I want is a hot dog and a pile of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese. It may all be questionable in origin, and it may be a little nutritionally unsound, but growing up in a working-class household, this was the weekend lunch of champions. That, or grilled cheese and tomato soup. Meals at our house frequently centered around whatever meat was on sale that week surrounded by side dishes that some folks would consider plebeian: mashed potatoes, minute rice, green beans, broccoli with the occasional slice of American cheese melted on it. My best friend Cari always wanted to eat dinner at my house because we had "identifiable" foods. Her dad is a great cook, but quite the foodie, and Cari had no interest in vichyssoise or tomato-basil reductions with everything. I guess we had the classics at our house.

I enjoy eating healthy. I also enjoy eating un-healthy. I love all kinds of food, and sometimes I realize just how much more I know about than some people, all thanks to 18 years with type 1.

I remember having trouble with nutrition lessons in health or home ec at school because the teacher was trying to instruct the otherwise inexperienced class on the 4 Food Groups, and I think at least once I talked with a teacher saying, "Well, I have to eat differently, and I break my food groups down into starches, proteins, fats, fruits/veggies, dairy and free foods!" Teachers were sometimes confused at this, but when it came down to the lessons in which we needed to read food labels, I was awesome.

If someone were to ask me what a good diet should be, I'd say well-balanced eating with plenty of whole grains, fruits and veggies. But that doesn't mean you should deprive yourself of the occasional treat, whether you're diabetic or not. However, I like a lot of stuff that some people think are the worst foods ever: Splenda, white bread, pasta, ice cream, pizza, burgers, fries. I can't always tear myself away from the processed stuff because I find it delicious.

My inner dietitian gets a little peeved when people say things about food that are just not true, especially people who think they know a lot about food. I can be a nerd for food stats if the conditions are right. Someone, and I don't feel like naming names right now, was saying something the other day about the protein-richness of beans which led me to believe that:

1. She thought a serving of beans had just as much protein as a serving of meat.
2. She thought all beans are equally rich in protein.

From what I can find quickly on Calorie King, the only cooked beans with just as much protein as a serving of meat is a serving of edamame, clocking in at 22 grams of protein, which explains why those darned things are so filling. (But does it explain their deliciousness? Not necessarily! They just are!) Many other beans, like black beans, kidney beans, etc., seem to have between 6 and 10 grams of protein in a serving. Compared with a serving of chicken breast, which according to Calorie King has about 16g of protein, that's not a lot of protein. And what's your definition of bean? Green beans don't have much substance at all when it comes to protein!

She was also trying to argue for the amount of protein in chicken broth, which is there, but not much--3g according to my research.

I know these kinds of things come up just because of inexperience, but I just get peeved at anyone who says, "Oh, but it's so good for you!" without any logical basis for their argument. I think hearsay and nutrition information don't belong together, and sometimes, I feel a little uptight because of it.

I also get annoyed at people who always blot their pizza no matter how much grease is on top of it, people who tell me I'm going to get cancer because I like Equal/Splenda, and the people who made those "High Fructose Corn Syrup isn't at all bad" PSAs. (LOL, VP-Elect and Delaware rep Joe Biden apparently says HFCS is more likely to kill Americans than terrorists!)

So does all of this make me some kind of Nutritional Snob?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yeah, They Were All Yellow

Just sharing the view from my morning commute. I love autumn. Two days ago, all of these trees were completely full of those bright yellow leaves, and it was so striking with the road and the yellow lines. I didn't think to take a photo until today, and they're thinning out. I take the back roads to work in the morning. They're less crowded, faster, and definitely prettier!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama Mama.

I voted today, and I hope you did too.

After voting, I stopped at the nearby Wawa (fancy convenience store/gas station/coolness, but not as good as Sheetz in other parts of PA...) for some gas and a diet green tea. Walking into the store, a black lady in her mid-50's was walking toward me. She was dressed in the brightest blue-state blue jogging suit, and her face was thickly made up. She had a broad, friendly smile.

She made eye contact with me, and I smiled back. "Excuse me miss," she said, "did you vote today?"

"I certainly did!" I exclaimed, happy to have just come from my polling place.

"Did you vote for John McCain?" It seemed a loaded question. I couldn't tell if she liked or disliked the man. It was really none of her business anyway, but having already voted, I felt passionate about my candidate of choice. I noticed a pile of pamphlets in her well-manicured hand. They were red, white, blue, gold--they could have been any candidate's literature.

I decided to be honest. "Um," I lowered my voice, sounded a little more serious in case this lady was a super-duper-Republican, "actually, no, I did not."

The woman's face lit up. "Oh thank goodness!" she exclaimed. "I was worried for a minute!" This saucy stranger gave me a hug and handed me an Obama pamphlet. I told her to enjoy the rest of her day, and we both bounced off feeling a little more optimistic.

"His Story is Our Story" proclaimed the front of the Obama brochure.

I sure hope so, I thought, shuffling towards the refrigerated cases.

Time to leave work, go home, and watch election coverage until I drop. GOOOOOOBAMA!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Sometimes I Hate the Beets, boo."

It's 2am. I am sleeping peacefully until...


But soft, what light from under bedsheet breaks? 'Tis my Cozmo, and I am annoyed. I went to bed with a nasty, sticky, obnoxious high. High enough that I corrected via syringe instead of my pump. I figure I forgot to bolus for dinner.

I check my glowing pump. Matt stirs next to me for a minute, but doesn't wake up. "Blockage Detected--No delivery." I had been sleeping on the same side as my infusion site. I figure this must be the problem as I clear my error, delivery restarts, and I roll over onto my other side.

Back to sleep. A little while later...

"Bz-bz-bz-bz-bz-bz-bz-bz." Same error. Clears just fine. Delivery restarts just fine. In my sleepy fog, I don't even think to recheck my BG from before bed.

4am rolls around. "Bz-bz-bz." You are shitting me, I think to myself as I grope around under the covers for my pump. It can't be another no delivery alarm. My sleep for the night is ruined enough as it is. What the hell? I squint at the too-bright pump screen in the bedroom darkness. "Cartridge Volume Low." Whew. Not so bad. I have enough insulin to last the few hours until I need to wake up for work. I clear the error. I go back to sleep.

It feels like I've been sleeping for about ten minutes when..."Bz-bz-bz-bz-bz-bz-bz-bz!!!" Oh. My. God. Why? I'm tired. Why me? It's 5:30am. If my pump could take action, it would surely beat my face into the pillow all night.

"That's it!" I declare aloud. I scramble around the bedside collecting a new Cleo, more insulin, a new reservoir. Matt half wakes up. "You seem frustrated," he mutters, putting his hand on the small of my back. "Are you okay?"

"No. Stupid pump keeps giving me stupid no delivery alarms. Looks like I need to just change the whole damn set. I slept like crap and now it's 5:30 and then I'll only get to sleep well for another hour until you wake up and go to work...UGH!"

"I'm sorry," says Matt.

I lean all of my weight on him, collapsing onto his chest for a moment for a big bear hug. "Sometimes I really hate the Beets, boo."

"I know," he says. "It'll be okay, baby. Do you need the light on?"

"Just the one in the closet will do."

I am lacking in sleep. I feel crappy. I still feel sticky. Finally, a finger prick reveals a BG of 306. I bolus through my pump just to make sure everything is working okay. I go back to bed.

I wake up around 8:15am still feeling like crap. My BG has coasted back down to about 170, but my stomach feels queasy. I decide to stay home today. Damn it, diabetes, sometimes I hate you more than anything. I gave you the benefit of the doubt this morning, blaming my general bad feelings on some potentially old chicken salad I ate for dinner last night, but I think it was you screwing up my entire day. I hate missing work because of you. It just reminds me of the fact that I have an illness and that illness is sometimes unpredictably out of control to a degree that I can't stand.

It's National Diabetes Awareness month, and I hope that the whole world is aware of just how serious and sucky this damn disease is. It can ruin a night, ruin an entire day, ruin an entire lifetime if you let it.

I have a good life, but sometimes the D just gets the best of me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stuff I've Done


I went to the classiest bowling alley I've ever been to.

I ate at the Hard Rock for the second time in my life.

I got to hang out with some fun lady-types.

Coincidentally, I was drinking a bit.

I bowled like CRAP! I haven't bowled in like 2 years and I totally suck at it now. Boo hiss.

I went dancing. I love dancing. Thankfully the two sketchy dudes in the club didn't think I was attractive enough to grind up on.

Thanks to the magic of Daylight Savings Time ending, I got an extra hour of sleep.

I felt guilty for not blogging more. ;) We shall amend this, friends. That's what NaBloPoMo is about.

Happy NaBloPoMo!

First post of November! Woo!

Short here because using mobile web from a classy bowling alley in Philly. Yes such things exist. It's my friend's bachelorette party, it's a great time, and she's drrrunk.

It's cool 2 be out of the house and shaking my booty to poppy music. Last night was fun too. "Hannah Montana" was a pretty big success. Pictures to follow. Talk more at ya soon, blogville!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! (I Mean It)

Yes, this is me. No glasses. Fake-singing into my hairbrush in a bathroom self-portrait. Why? Because I'm Hannah Montana today! Happy Halloween, blogville! FYI...that's a tank top, not my underwear, and also, NOT my real hair. I am cutting some bangs into that wig when I get home for authenticity.

I still need to obtain a teenybopper-y shirt and a scarf. I have skinny jeans and either boots or Chuck Taylors, depending on my mood. I promise more pictures after I go to my party tonight. My indie-rock friends will certainly laugh, and I know some people won't get it at all. I had also considered being Sarah Palin, but I decided I didn't want to spend any money on a suit that's more prim and matronly than I would ever want to wear again.

Plus, being named Hannah, I get called Hannah Montana pretty frequently. It used to be Hannah Banana all the time. I do wish that would make a comeback...

It's Friday. I am the only one in the office, and severely lacking motivation. It seems like a good day to clean stuff here. That way when my boss comes back in on Monday, she will be impressed. Instead, I am blogging and waiting for coffee to kick in.

NaBloPoMo starts on Saturday, and I'm excited to bring you an entire month full of blogs. Who's with me?

It's Halloween. Oddly today, my thoughts are not about the outrage I feel for diabetic kids whose parents won't even let them near candy, or stereotypes about people with diabetes and sugar, but of my dad. The past couple of weeks have brought me to tears at random moments--discovering a pic of him on Matt's computer that we snapped when we were trying out our new camera at Christmas last year, getting a copy of his will in the mail--but I realize so many of my Halloween memories come back to my dad. Dad liked to dress up at Halloween. One year he even greeted trick-or-treaters at the door in drag. It was this awful purple taffeta bridesmaid dress my mom was supposed to wear to her friend's wedding. However, the dress was hideous and HUGE, and thankfully Mom's friend admitted it was not her best sewing work, so Mom bought a different dress from a catalog.

Anyway, Mom helped dad with this monstrosity of a dress, did his makeup, and tied up some pillows to make him a huge ass and boobs. I think he greeted people Mrs. Doubtfire-style: "Helloooooooo!" Priceless.

My dad cut out and painted Halloween decorations for the front yard: ghosts rising out of the ground, a tombstone, the grim reaper. We had the sharpest-dressed Halloween house on the block. When I went trick-or-treating, he'd call it "Halloweening". He was often the one to take me out. It all made me realize how much I miss him.

Oh...the best thing about Halloween when I was a kid? The neighbors my parents were closest to all knew I had diabetes, so they would prepare special treats for me: apples, Halloween pencils, stickers, toys. If your kid is growing up in this day and age, be grateful. When I was little, there was no mention of bolusing for any candy I'd eat. I'd have to sneak some into my coat pocket outside, then sneak it into my bedroom and hide it next to the bed.

Let your kids live a little. If there's 15 carb grams' worth of chocolate that they want to eat, just make sure they bolus.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yes, now that I have a fancy new pink Palm Centro, I have decided to try out this whole Twitter business.

Care to follow my mundane and silly life updates? Check me out here, and start following me, however you go about doing that. I'm not sure I completely understand this Twitter stuff yet. Give me another day or two. But rest assured, I'm already following some of you out there.

Wait a sec, that makes me sound like a stalker. Anyway, friends, I'll be watching you see you around the inter-tubes! It's okay, you can follow me around too. It'll be pretty, er, tweet. I mean cool. Yes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

NaDoFiMo 2008

You may look at the title and think, "What the eff, Hannah?"

I shall explain! Don't worry!

It's scary how November is almost upon us. Where the heck does the time go, anyway? Mine has been draining into some extra hours at work and lots of time getting our new house set up. We are still pretty far from looking organized, but we make a little progress each day. Maybe if we weren't all so freakin' exhausted when coming home from work each day...anyway. I feel I've been neglecting the blogging life lately, and it's not sitting well with me. Something must be done. But what?

Then I realize...November is almost upon us! And if you are a writer around the internet, you know what this brings:

NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. Every year several thousand crazies from all over attempt to write 50,000 words in just 3o days. That's 175 pages, people! Is that a lot to do? Would I be crazy to take on the challenge? I've got a lot to say, and a lot of fictional ideas. I actually used to write fiction a lot more frequently than I do now. I am majorly considering NaNoWriMo this year, even though I've never done it before.

Many of you will remember doing NaBloPoMo last year in November. Somehow, National Blog Posting Month has expanded to something EVERY month. In my mind, that seems like it's a bit besides the point, and not exactly what NaBloPoMo should really be about. However, I think I may take on the challenge of one blog post a day for every day of November again. November is a great time to do it, especially here on the Diabetes OC, since it's National Diabetes Awareness Month, and World Diabetes Day occurs on November 14th.

So I think I'm a definite yes on the Blog Posting Month, definite maybe on the Novel Writing.

But here's a question for any and all of you out there: What do you, the readers, want me to talk about at some point during the month of November? I want some suggestions! Some writing prompts! Anything at all!

I am tired to being a blog slacker. Help me get out of the rut.

It's time for Hannah's NaDoFiMo, which stands for National Do Fings Month. "Do Fings!" is a phrase we throw around our household pretty frequently, meaning "Do things!", which depending on the context can have a variety of emotions behind it. The rest is up to your imagination. I can't explain away every last one of my inside jokes, can I? I don't really think so.

Oh, and for anyone out there who cares...GOOO PHILLIES!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bits, Pieces, Videos, Web Comics!

Tidbits of the Day:

Have you signed the Google Doodle Petition for World Diabetes Day? If not, please click this button to see what it's all about. A Google Doodle would be an excellent way to raise awareness about the Big D, and it would be even more effective and less lame than a car ribbon magnet:

The button will stay in my sidebar until we get like a zillion signatures. Please consider it. And you don't have to donate anything if you don't want to--ignore the petition website if it asks you.

Speaking of making people more aware of your diabetes, are you a young person? Say anywhere from your teens to your late twenties? Do you have a diabetes-related message for our future president or the whole world? The Young Voices: Life with Diabetes contest needs your video submissions! For every video submitted, Novo Nordisk will donate $10 to the JDRF, up to $25,000. Selected videos will be shown on World Diabetes Day in New York City at an event held in the ESPN Center. Go here to find out more.

Now the only action you must take is to laugh your pants off. And I order you to laugh your pants off. I love when you can tell that a webcomic is written by someone who either has diabetes or is close to someone with diabetes. I have not yet read any of the other Saturday Matinee comics, but this one was sent to me by Carrie this morning on Facebook, and it made my entire day. I just put the up the tiny pic as a preview. Please click here and check it out--trust me, it will give you a new way of thinking about sneaking in carbs around your buddies. Mmmm. Ice cream. Oh my gosh, there's an ice cream place that I can walk to from my new house. I guess it helps me use my insulin more efficiently if I have to walk a block and a half to get a dish of chocolate peanut butter cup, right?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Food, Glorious Food!

I kind of started unpacking our kitchen this evening. I didn't get far, but Matt made some tasty burgers on the grill. I decided then to do this food meme, which I found from this curious girl that I know...

1. How do you like your eggs?
Scrambled, fried, over medium, sunny side up, and especially deviled, ESPECIALLY especially if my mom made them. Yum. My mother makes the world's most amazing deviled eggs.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?
Coffee--with Splenda, preferably lots of half and half
Tea--with some Splenda, unless it's at a nice Japanese restaurant. Or unless it's chai, which I just take however it's fixed for me.

3. Favorite breakfast food:
All of them, preferably more than one at a time. Eggs and bacon. Bagels and cream cheese. A bowl of cereal and orange juice.

4. Peanut butter:
They're all good--I prefer creamy, though, but I loooove peanut butter so it doesn't matter that much. Also, Nutella is a delicious and dangerous substance.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?
Ranch, a flavorful balsamic vinegrette, or some sort of Asian Sesame.

6. Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Dr. Pepper!

7. You’re feeling lazy. What do you make?
A box of Kraft mac-n-cheese.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
Pepperoni and mushroom.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?
Baked ziti, or chicken with green beans and Stove Top stuffing. Maybe some cheese enchiladas or a nice stir-fry with Sezchuan sauce.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?
Homemade raviolis. Pretzels. Teaberry ice cream. Home-brewed iced tea.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?
Not really. Maybe egg salad occasionally, as I got some food poisoning after eating it in college once.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?
BACON! Nigel claims he does not have a bacon obsession, but he's got a bacon obsession. And beer reminds me of Matt because once he started homebrewing, he became a beer snob.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?
Peas by themselves as a side dish. I can eat them mixed into stews, casseroles, soups, etc., but I just kind of hate peas. Lima beans.

14. What was your favorite food as a child?
My mom's homemade macaroni and cheese.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?
I never ate macaroni salad or potato salad when I was a kid. I didn't like mayo. Now I do.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?
Apparently, I really enjoyed peas when I was really, really little.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable:
Fruits: Apples, oranges, grapes, grapefruit, pineapple, plums, most all fruit, actually. I'm not crazy about kiwis, but they're okay.

Veggies: Baby carrots, broccoli, green beans, well-prepared fresh asparagus

18. Favorite junk food:
Tastykake Kandy Kakes. Pringles. Cheese balls.

19. Favorite between meal snack:
A bowl of cereal!

20. Do you have any weird food habits?
I like to eat one thing on my plate at a time. I eat all the way around an apple sort of removing the skin, then I eat the rest.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
Water. Fruit. Whole grain bread. Tea.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?
Ice cream ice cream ice cream. And cookies.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
Fairly mild. I like tasting all the flavors, not just the hot ones.

24. Can I get you a drink?

25. Red or White Wine?
Depends on my mood or the dinner.

26. Favorite dessert?

27. The perfect nightcap?
One with alcohol, please. Haha.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Soul Calibur 4 and Other Ways to Avoid Checking Your Glucose

I now have digital cable with Hi-Def. I have a Nintendo DS, and an incredibly underrated platformer, "Super Princess Peach". I have Soul Calibur 4 on Nigel's Xbox360.

And to play at least 2 out of the three of them, I need to walk up 2 sets of stairs. It seems to be a decent strategy. A little exercise for a little couch-potato fun. All I need is a Wii, and maybe I'll get up off my butt more often.

Anyway. I've been too busy settling in, unpacking, and collapsing in exhaustion over all of that to blog a lot lately. Sorry, all. I'm still around. I'll catch up as soon as I can consistently have a more comfortable chair to sit in. Folding chairs are convenient, but don't exactly cushion you in relaxing, pillowy comfort.

I love my new place, and my new town seems pretty sweet so far. I'm pretty happy here.

See you around the blogosphere, readers. That is, if I can just put down this damn controller.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Now We Are Two.

I see so many posts out there in various internet forms, and they are frequently the same: parents of children with diabetes wondering if their kids will ever find a special someone to love them, care for them, understand them...

Well, parents, single people, readers--I've done it for two years now.

Happy anniversary, Matt!

Mmmm. That was some damn good cake, too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Enough Running.

Why are these people running? What are they running from? What makes these folks want to flee from a movie theater that is obviously "healthfully air conditioned" and most likely showing a kickass Bela Lugosi flick?

I'll give you a hint. It's kind of purple-ish, slimy, sticky, and from outer space.

That's right--it's THE BLOB!! And you know what? The running-out-of-the-theater scene from the original Blob, with Steve McQueen, was shot at the Colonial Theatre in my very-soon-to-be new hometown of Phoenixville. The Colonial is walking distance from my new place. They are working on remodeling it, and it's still showing movies, including b-horror classics. Every year since 2000, Phoenixville hosts Blobfest during the summer. In the summer of '09, I can join the crowd in a re-enactment of the running-out-of-the-theater scene, where I too can pretend to run from the Blob!

I feel as though I've been running, and it's been difficult to stop. Things are whizzing by me, and I'm not even noticing, and while that doesn't necessarily matter in a number of mundane daily tasks, it does matter to my diabetes.

Granted, I've had a lot on my mind, and a lot of stuff going on. But I have been neglecting the following, and that is a no-no:

Testing before meals
Bolusing before meals (I've been lazy and doing it after...)
Testing before bed
Bolusing for every meal (Again, the lazy, or maybe the spacey or too hungry to care...)

I feel that I have been running from the most basic of Type 1 diabetes basics, and let's face it, they're not that scary. I don't have a real reason for ignoring this stuff. Maybe my life is too busy. Maybe I need the visual verification of how I'm doing that a CGM or some good meter software can provide me with. Maybe it's a combination of factors.

All I know is that I want to be doing better. I too am on the run from something slimy and sticky. I'm sick of my numbers sounding like something out a cult-classic horror film. Thanks to some help from members of my rockin' care team, I am going to get back into leisurely strolls around my numbers.

Panic-stricken dashes have their place--I just want to remove the unneccessary ones from my personal diabetes plan.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lemony Yellow! Grapeity Grape!

Okay, so there is no grapeity grape or orangey orange in my new house, but I'll bet you don't have a lemony yellow living room with a fake fireplace:

Beginning this weekend, we'll be hauling stuff off to our new digs in Phoenixville, PA. The town itself is pretty sweet--small town, up-and-coming with boutiquey shops and plenty of places to eat. A library building donated to the town by Andrew Carnegie. A huge movie theater and Target are only a short drive away, and my commute to work should be at least a bit shorter than it is now.

Matt and I went to Phoenixville yesterday to get a feel for a bit more of the town. We stopped on Bridge Street to have brunch at Irish Joe's Cafe, which is a cute little breakfast/luncheonette type place. They're only open until 1pm on Sundays, and we could only order breakfast. Those were some of the most awesome home fries I've had in forever. I got a little choked up over my coffee, because my first thought after looking around and ordering was, "Wow, I need to tell Dad about this place!" My dad loved diners of all kinds. He started watching that show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network, and he was always asking me if I'd been to any of the places he'd seen in the Philadelphia area. I guess every time I visit a new hole in the wall, I'll think of Dad.

I'm doing a lot better than last week. I don't feel so sad all the time. Thank you friends for your well-wishes online and in snail-mail card form. Can't wait to show the world more pics of the interior of my new domicile!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

With Rain, Sunshine.

Thank you so much readers and friends. Your kind words are like big ol' virtual hugs, and I feel blessed and touched to have so many people out there (most of whom I've never met!) who care about me.

In the midst of all this sadness and nostalgia, I got some super-happy news today. We've been looking at less-expensive places to rent in the area, and we have been approved for the most kickass place that I can imagine! It's in a different town than Blue Bell, but it's not that far from here, and a closer commute to my job. Looks like we'll be starting the whole moving process again at the end of this month.

You may be asking, "But Hannah, didn't you only move in a year ago? Why are you leaving now?"

The answer is because my new place (which is still in PA, just 15 or 20 minutes from here) has just as much living space plus a basement and potentially a garage, a lemony yellow living room, a MASSIVE walk-in closet, and, oh yeah costs about $500 bucks less a month. Do you know how many test strips that could buy a girl?

Haha, the answer to that is "Still not enough.", but anyway, there are still good things happening out there in this world. I also got a small raise at work--turns out they really, really like me. I haven't even been there six months, but everyone does performance reviews at the same time, so...I get a raise. It was news I got to share with my dad the last time I saw him, and I told him how I was hoping we'd get this house. Dad seemed especially proud that I got the job that I have now.

Tomorrow it's off to Williamsport again, with the memorial service on Thursday and burial Friday. It'll be a rough couple of days, but I'll have family and friends beside me--actually, a couple more friends than I expected. I'm sure you'll be hearing about it later on from me. Take care of yourselves.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rest in Peace

My dad has battled cancer for months.

When I got news earlier this week that he had fallen at the nursing home where he was staying, I knew I should go home and see him this weekend. They moved him to a nice hospice in Williamsport. He had broken his hip, and the doctors said as sick as he was, the best they could do was keep him comfortable.

Matt, Mom and I went out to see him late yesterday afternoon. I honestly wasn't expecting much, but he was surprisingly coherant. We had a little bit of a conversation before he went off into his state of confusion. Mom helped to feed him some soup, and as he was rambling, he mentioned something to her about being ready to go.

I think she answered something about how he couldn't get up and go anywhere, he was in the hospital.

I tried not to cry because I was pretty sure that wasn't what he meant--I thought he meant he was ready to go.......well, you know.

This afternoon, we had lunch at mom's. Matt and I were going to go visit him before we headed back here to Blue Bell. We had lunch, packed our suitcase, and I went to the bathroom. Then the phone rang.

He was gone.

The nurses said he went very peacefully in his sleep. Said they talked to him this morning and he was incredibly coherant, he knew it was Sunday, and that it was September. He knew he was in the hospital. I guess he even managed to have a little breakfast. Then he started to get uncomfortable, and they found his lungs had fluid on them. They gave him some medicine to keep him comfortable, and eventually he fell asleep. They went to check on him around 2 I guess, and he was gone.

I'm glad you don't have to suffer anymore dad. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We Can Dance If We Want To

If you give me a beat, I will dance to it. It doesn't matter if it's hip hop, disco, pop or rock--if I like it, I will be shaking my booty. Lord knows there's a lot of bad stuff in my life, but I can always dance to my favorite tunes, and I'm happy.

On Sunday night, I had the opportunity to go check out a rock-n-roll dance night at a small club in Philly with Matt, Nigel and our good friend Mike. When we left, I was exhausted, my ears were ringing, and I was grinning like a maniac. Why exactly?

Because "Take It Off" by The Donnas was playing when I walked in the door. Because I skanked, unashamed, to Rancid's "Time Bomb". Because Mike and I gleefully grabbed hands and ran for the center of the dance floor when "Boys Don't Cry" came on. Matt came out to join us eventually, but he, sadly, does not always recognize a good song by The Cure within the first few notes.

Dancing has always brought me joy, and let's face it, it's a great form of exercise. I just need to find a way to do it more often. There's got to be music I like somewhere on a Friday or Saturday night. Sundays are cool, but then comes the fact that Monday morning I have to drag myself back to work. It was fine this weekend since it was Labor Day and all. I think it would be hard to find a dance club that really suits me though.

I don't want to dance to rap all night, nor do I want to dance to techno. If I were to make a dance mix right now, I'd put the following songs on it:

I Love Rock 'n' Roll by Joan Jett
Knights of Cydonia by Muse
Glass Danse by The Faint
Gone Daddy Gone by Gnarls Barkley
American Wedding by Gogol Bordello
99 Problems by Jay-Z
Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Criminal by Fiona Apple
The Impression That I Get by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Wolf Like Me by TV on the Radio
Brass Monkey by Beastie Boys

Now then...where can I find this in the greater Philadelphia area on a night were I am free to go shake my groove thang?

And more importantly, who is coming to my hypothetical dance party, and what song must we play if you're coming?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Feeling Super Low

We're not talking numbers here (well, not much anyway--my numbers haven't been low in...let's not even go there).

The past few days have brought a pile of stress. A phone call from my mother on Friday had me heading home Friday evening with Matt. My dad had taken a turn for the worse. Visiting him on Saturday and Sunday morning had to be one of the most difficult things I've done in a long time, if not ever. There were moments of excruciating heartbreak. Each day I left his nursing home in tears.

I also cannot tell whether I should feel indifferent or enraged at his girlfriend's lack of appearances at the home. She doesn't seem to call either, and I don't really feel surprised about it. My dad's family has actually been slowly filing into Pennsylvania to visit him. They're an odd bunch--they can go for months, even years without speaking yet they can rally when one of them is ill. It's what they did for my grandmother (their mom), and what they did for my Aunt Kathy when she passed away less than a year ago. I am trying not to feel too nervous about how my dad's side seems to be so plagued by cancer. I hope that I can avoid that for myself in the future.

Is there a polite way to tell well-wishers that my dad most likely isn't going to get better? I really doubt many have survived stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and now that I've seen him, I know it would take a miracle to make my dad better.

Had more Cleo issues over the past few days. Had a stressful day at work. ARRRGH I need to find some time to have fun or I'm gonna lose it!

I don't even want to tell you what my blood sugar is doing. Yuck, it just looks hopeless.

I know I'll be okay, and I'll get through all of this somehow.

I just wish I didn't have to worry about infusion sets or where the heck my numbers will go next in the midst of all this crazyness.

But there was happy news this weekend.

My grandparents celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary! Go Nana and Pap!

I hope that I can enjoy my marriage for the next sixty some years and beyond. Have I mentioned how much I love Matt lately? Well, I do. He's the front line in dealing with me dealing with all this stressful stuff, and he's handling it pretty well. If you ever get to meet me and my hubby, I hope that you agree that he rocks.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cleo Nightmares

When you are under a lot of stress AND you have to manage your diabetes, I think there's always a risk of a major meltdown. It can be caused by even the stupidest, littlest things like not enough blood on the test strip, a low blood sugar that keeps you from going home on time, or in my case, some rogue adhesives that refuse to do their job.

It was around 12:30am last night that I unintentionally put my emotions and those of my husband's through the wringer. Everything started off normally and innocuously enough. I was getting ready for bed, changing my entire infusion set. I use the Cleo 90 sets with my Deltec Cozmo pump. (See pic above.) I definitely like the Cleos—they don't get as bent up as some of my old Medtronic sets did. Once you can get them on, they're usually pretty well stuck unless your waistband or belt decides to get pesky. That's only happened to me twice.

However, sometimes I have some trouble getting the Cleos to stick initially. I always use IV Prep wipes, and sometimes I wonder if I have a bad batch of them. Some days I try to put one on (or in, however you want to look at it), and the first one doesn't work. The Cleo has a brilliant mechanism that makes it super-safe as soon as you use it. The introducer needle retracts into the inserter's housing, making it impossible to accidentally poke yourself or someone else with it. Sounds great, right?

It is. Except, if your adhesive doesn't stick properly, you can't try to stick yourself with the set a second time. If it's not staying, you're done. You pull out the depressingly empty cannula and proceed to bleed all over the place.

This is the brief, easy overview of my bedtime last night. The long, emotionally draining version is a little different.

One Cleo didn't work. Frustrating, but common for me. The second one doesn't work. I'm tired. I just want to sleep. Why does this keep happening to me? I just want to go to bed like a normal person without having to do this crap. Matt comes to bed. Everything goes downhill from there. I am almost in tears anyway. He asks me what's wrong, and I answer him truthfully, but I'm short with him. I ask him, trying not to snap, to get me another Cleo. This is the third. Third time is the charm, right?

It doesn't work. My eyes flood with tears, and I can feel my entire body shaking. I feel like my only reaction at this point can be a violent one. I twist the protective cap back onto defective Cleo #3 and grip it hard in my hand.

"What the fucking SHIT?!! Fuck!" comes out of me from a very guttural place as I pitch the Cleo and it hits the bedroom wall with an almost satisfying clack. I am crying, shaking staring straight ahead. Matt moves to hug me and I just feel too down low to even want to accept the affection. Matt assures me it's okay. He says he understands because he gets really frustrated when things don't work as well as they're designed to.

Before I know it, I open my stupid frustrated mouth. "Yeah," I say, sobbing, "but you don't have to worry about how your stuff malfunctioning leaves your health out of control, and that doesn't make you think about how no matter how hard you try, maybe you'll go blind, or your kidneys will fail, or you'll lose a leg...or you'll never have enough control to ever have your own children."

Then I am instantly wrapped in Matt's arms before I even know what happens. I regret the words I've said as we both sit on the bed and weep. I am drained, and I still need to get the infusion set in.

I try the fourth. It fails again. More cussing. More throwing of failed Cleos. More tears.

The fifth one finally works. I breathe a sigh of relief. I apologize to my husband for the freak-out. I go to sleep.

Was it worth the anger? The blinding rage? The bottomless feeling of hopelessness? I don't know. But when my every day life is bringing me the stress of my job, the stress of looking for a new home, and the stress of my father's failing health, sometimes it takes a few extra bleeding holes in your body and failed medical devices to put you at your worst.

Thanks again, diabetes, for showing me just how much hurt is in my life in the ugly hours when I'm trying to make the most of things. Thanks a lot. (Yes, folks, that's sarcasm.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mmm. Frosty.

My new favorite site to laugh at is the Fail Blog. You may ask me why, so here's the best reason I can provide for you:

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

On the other hand, I love Frostys, though ultimately they result in something really obnoxious...


Hmm. I think I need to make a picture, even though you guys are the only ones who would really appreciate the joke.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update on My Dad

He's not doing so well. Now has a blood clot in one of his legs. Because of the pancreatic cancer, they are not going to operate.

I guess they are trying some blood thinners, but if they don't work and then the clot moves to the heart or lungs...

My aunt is trying to get him into a nice hospice. I don't know that Dad realizes yet that's where he's probably headed. His girlfriend apparently has remarked that she can't take care of him, and basically doesn't want him to come back home. Can't say that I'm surprised--I've never been terribly impressed with her.

Sometimes I feel like I don't know what to do with myself. I wonder if I should be doing more, but then I realize I'm doing all I can. I know that Dad just wants me to do what makes me the happiest, so I call him as much as I can. I send him notes. I put his care into the able hands of his healthcare providers and my aunts (his sisters, both of whom are nurses) who are helping as much as they can.

I know that in the long run, things aren't going to be fine. This won't end well. But for now he seems to be in good spirits, and he's comfortable. That's really all I can ask for at this point.

I thought, as my loyal readers and friends, you all deserved to know.

As for me, I'm holding up pretty well considering. At times I'm probably a bit more emotional than normal, but I'm just trying to go about my life as usual. I know for a fact my dad doesn't want me sitting around and being upset all the time.

So tonight Matt, Nigel and I are going out to look at a different place to rent. Don't get me wrong--I love our current house, but I'm hoping to find a place I'm equally fond of that will save me a couple hundred bucks a month. We've been running into a lot of pesky car repairs lately, plus other expenses we weren't expecting and with our rent being what it is, we're still unable to get new furniture. We have been discussing furniture for months, and it's just never quite enough in our budget. Granted, we are better at staying afloat now that we're all working, but a cheaper rent means we can get more of what we want--a new couch, nice chairs for the dining room, a real bedroom set...

Whatever happens, we'll all get by. Hope you're well, blogosphere.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Calling All Experts on Type 1... is searching for an expert on Type 1 Diabetes! I don't think I'm the expert they're searching for, but maybe you know someone way more scientific or medical who could be qualified! Or maybe you have more time on your hands than I do right now to research all your Diabetes P's and Q's.

Click this little ol' link right here, and then scroll to the "Type 1 Diabetes" description.

It could be a really cool opportunity for the right person!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Eat Some More Pills, Pillhead.

I have never quite understood the people who refuse to take medications because they don't want to have "all those chemicals" or what have you in their bodies. Recently, an acquaintance of mine mentioned that she might have to have her wisdom teeth out soon, but she wasn't really into taking medication, so she was wondering if she could bear it without the painkillers. She worries about taking medications because of her family's history of drug & alcohol addiction and abuse, which I suppose is a great reason to not drink, do drugs, or maybe avoid heavy use of prescription painkillers.

However, and isn't there always a however when I get on these bloggy rants, she won't even take over-the-counter meds for the same reasons. She's just uncomfortable with getting in the habit of putting chemical stuff in her body. Yeah, it sounds noble, but the poor girl has migraines and really terrible acid reflux when she eats acidic foods. She takes nothing, and then proceeds to sit around looking miserable. All because she seems afraid of actually becoming dependent on Excedrin or Pepcid.

I also get really annoyed by people who only trust natural medicine exclusively (hey, supplements can definitely do some good, but you don't want them alone) as well as people who refuse to take their children to doctors because "God intended this to happen".

You know what? Medication exists for a reason, and I wouldn't be alive without it. It's not just the diabetes either--I had a lot of sinus infections and strep throat as a kid. I absolutely cannot identify with those who refuse to take it, and I never have been able to sympathize with people who won't even do the smallest amount of work to ease their own suffering.

Oddly enough, while writing this post, the song "Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine" by The White Stripes has come on the ol' iTunes.

I wonder how those who are anti-medication look at me. If you knew me today, and you decided those who fill their bodies with "needless" chemicals are in the wrong, are you trying to tell me that you'd have preferred I died in the throes of DKA years ago? Medicine has pretty much given me my whole life, so don't come around me saying that maybe I should JUST drink herbal tea for those PMS cramps, or that I should just tough out my pain.

I'm a human who has good faith in science. So give me some Tylenol already, because this rant has given me a headache. Look, if there happens to be some insulin out there that you don't feel like taking, send it my way. I'd appreciate it, thanks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big Business

It was one of the most surreal moments I've had in a while. I was sitting in the Philadelphia airport at 7:30 in the morning, attempting to get Wi-Fi access waiting at the gate for my plane. I was surrounded by other people like myself, checking computers, chatting endlessly into their cell phones, dressed in nice business casual.

"Who are you, and what have you done with the real Hannah?" demanded my inner artsy punk rocker.

"Oh, shut it," I told my internal monologue. "You are a mere chameleon among these people. Besides, you're flying out to Chicago for a training, not a business meeting. Besides, I'm still wearing these pink plaid Rocket Dog sneakers."

There was no way I was about to walk around an airport in dress shoes. I think the women who do it are out of their minds, especially if they're in stilettos. Vacation travelers wandered all over the place, with Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. Businessmen in perfectly pressed suits.

My company paid for my trip out here to the greater Chicago area for training, and it's been a great week so far. I feel like I'm learning a lot about how to help our students at the university I work for, but it's sometimes alternating feelings of accomplishment and "how am I going to remember all this stuff?!" On the other hand, some pretty important people in our local bunch of schools have either complimented my work or mentioned what great things they hear about me. I guess this means the job is going well. I am typing this blog entry from my laptop on my huge king-sized bed, listening to The Raconteurs on my iTunes playlist. It sounds like I have a pretty cushy life.

It's been non-stop eating for like 3 days with no end in sight for this trip. I'm trying to stay on top of things, but it's not easy to balance all those continental breakfasts, company-paid dinners and post-training drinks with colleagues! Plus, all the food we've had has been SO GOOD. Chicago-style pizza, fancy Italian, a taco bar at lunch yesterday--I feel a food coma coming on. You know what a food coma is, right? When you eat a bunch and then just run out of energy or you want a take a nap. Not to be confused with a scary diabetic coma--this just refers to wanting to do nothing but lie down for a couple hours.

Illinois has been pretty hospitable so far. Someone is talking about a trip into downtown Chicago tomorrow night. Who knows, maybe on Friday I'll pass a famous face or two in the airport since Lollapalooza starts on Friday night! I would definitely flip if I ran into Eugene Hutz from Gogol Bordello. I love that dude.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Your Secrets Revealed!

Hey readers! Happy Friday! On tap for this weekend--my father-in-law's wedding. I'm pretty excited, as my father-in-law's fiancee is a wonderful woman, definitely smart with a great sense of humor. Congrats, Chriss and Holly! Sunday we'll be back at home in Blue Bell, then off to see the newly-minted Philadelphia National Poetry Slam Team in a big bout at the Sedgwick Theater in Philadelphia. Our friends from Baltimore will be there, too. Lots of excitement to cram into two-and-a-half days. I'm done here at work at 2pm. I may leave my car with Pep Boys--I think I'm having serpentine belt issues. My car sounds like a teakettle unless the AC is turned off. Ugh.

Also, go see The Dark Knight. I saw it at midnight, and while I'm paying for it now (glug glug more sugar-free Red Bull please...) it was completely worth it. It's got my approval for sure, enough that I wouldn't dare to call it The Dork Knight. Or would I? Heath Ledger's performance lives up to the hype and maybe even surpasses it. I left the theater happy about the movie, but so sad & angry that such a talent is gone.

So today is...secrets day! I will reveal all the secrets you anonymously posted for me over the past few days. I know I said I wouldn't publish them on that last post, but since everyone maintained their anonymity, I published them anyway. But here, for the world to see, are your Diabetes Secrets. Some are heartwarming, and some are completely heartbreaking. If you still haven't anonymously shared a secret, feel free to do it in the comments section of this post or the aforementioned [afore-linked?] post.

"I sometimes think I make a bigger deal about my diabetes then I should."

"While I pity them, I'm really annoyed when parents of kids with diabetes worry that their kids will never find a partner in life. Then your kids will end up blaming their terrible love lives on diabetes, even if that's not the cause! Great job, Mom & Dad!"

"I feel as if my life is more difficult –living with diabetes affects every second of every minute of the day, no breaks. I have a secret list of things in m y head that would be worse than diabetes, which include paraplegic,quadraplegic,/brain cancer/cystic fibrosis/muscular dystrophy/ALS/ (Of course, some of these are age dependant. If I got them in my late 60s, I may trade them for a life without diabetes!) Wow, the list is longer than I thought! Maybe I am not so bad off!"

"Although I'm a very healthy person with diabetes, I feel certain that my disease will somehow cause me to die before my husband. This secret feeling fills me with guilt because of the heartbreak I will eventually cause the love of my life."

"I have used diabetes as an excuse to get out of classes and tests that were too hard for me."

"I sometimes use ice-skating rules when giving my blood sugar range: I kick out the highest and the lowest numbers to make thing seem a little more in control."

"i was diagnosed as a young adult, and have had a hard time telling people about my diabetes from the beginning - most people who know me (even good friends) do not know that i have diabetes...i wish i felt more proud, and less 'ashamed' to talk about my diabetes."

"I am really afraid that my ex may take better care of my daughter's D then I do...and it breaks my heart for some weird reason! (even though she is in great health and has the perfect A1C for her age! - I just think I am weird!)"

"I can not stand when other Type 1's complain about taking "huge" amounts of insulin, when compared to others insulin usage it isn't even significant. It makes a person who requires a lot of insulin to manage their Diabetes feel like they are doing something terribly wrong."

"I'm afraid that, even after working so hard to control this disease, that it will take me while I sleep."

"Sometimes, I think taking care of my diabetes might not be "worth it." The fact that even people in excellent control get complications infuriates me - and gives me a perfect excuse when I want to do something I KNOW will cause a spike or a dip in bloodsugar. I'm ashamed of that."

"i know what i need to do, so where the heck is my motivation to do it?"

Author's Note: Thanks to all who participated in my little experiment. I will continue to share secrets if they continue to come in. Just make 'em anonymous!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dirty Little Diabetes Secrets

First, this isn't so much a secret. I received this as a comment on my July 4th post, and thought I should share so everyone can roll their eyes at it. Trust me, "Herbal Remedies", if I could make my pancreas make insulin by eating a bunch of oregano or cilantro or any other herb that ends in "o" or even some freakin' basil, I'd do it. Commence eye-rolling now:

Being totally emancipated from imbalances in the body can be found in the holistic treatment of herbal remedies which normalizes blood sugar levels naturally...without the usual side effects of the body. Happy In[sulin]dependence Day Everyday!

Also, I want you to tell me your secrets. (Not your Seacrest, as I nearly typed!) Did you see my post yesterday about sharing your secrets? Please, anonymously share your diabetes secret with me on my post from yesterday, and I will publish a big ol' secrets post on Friday.

Heck, if it goes well, I might make it a regular thing. Who knows?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Diabetes Secrets

I am feeling particularly inspired this week by one of my favorite blogs/web projects, PostSecret. If you've never read PostSecret before, it's basically a communal art project where people decorate one side of a postcard and send it, anonymously, to a PO Box in Maryland.

Seriously, go click the link and see the kinds of secrets people are sending in. I am impressed each week by the things that we all keep private. Some of the things are hilarious, some heartbreaking, some completely mundane. I find the phenomenon of anonymous secrets to be fascinating, and most likely therapeutic. I generally see a little of myself in each weekly post somewhere or other.

So today I got an idea.

Many of us blog several times a week, and it seems like everything about our lives with diabetes is out there for all to see. But there are a ton of anonymous lurkers out there, or readers who never give their real names. I think we all have secrets about our lives with diabetes that we never share.

I think it's a good week to put them out in the open. So here is my challenge to you, readers.

Share your diabetes secrets with everyone. Put an anonymous comment on this post. I will not publish the comments, but rather I will screen them, and then display them all in a bigger post on Friday. No names will be attached. Just a list of diabetes secrets. And please, for brevity's sake, try to limit it to two sentences at the most.

I hope this is a good experiment. Remember, be anonymous. On Friday, the secrets will go out to the world.

Got something you can't tell anyone else about your diabetes or diabetes in general? I hope we'll hear it here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Faster Than a Speeding Humalog...

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the awesomely fast Indy Car race at Watkins Glen, NY. This little beauty was being driven by AJ Foyt IV, and yes, it is sponsored by Lilly. I do not remember the exact message on the car, but it was something about diabetes being a journey.

Ha, a journey with no end, I thought. An endless race around a long track where no one hops out to wave the checkered flag.

I was quite amused by the great Lilly racer. "Insulin! Wooooooo!!" I yelled out at least once as the car zoomed by.

Somewhere around lap 48 or 50, the show was over for AJ Foyt IV and his Lilly car. Somebody tapped him, and the car itself was completely done for. As they hooked the racecar up to the back of the tow truck, I announced to Matt, "Well, it figures. When I hit 50, I generally want to crash out too." You know, meaning 50 mg/dl?

Look, we both thought it was hilarious. Hopefully it's enough to bring a smile to your face today.

And unrelated to insulin or Indy Cars, I am posting this blog entry from my new laptop! Hooray! Dell called this one a "scratch & dent", but the scratches are so small, who even cares? It just looks like I've had this computer for a few months instead of a few hours. I'm just happy to have a bit of computer to call mine!

This also hopefully means more frequent blog updates! Huzzah! It's late as crap, I should go to bed. I'll be talking to you more often now, so don't fret!