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!