Monday, September 14, 2009

A Dirty Word.


Mine doesn't work. Chances are, if you're reading this, yours doesn't work either. Or you know someone with a broken one.


It's the reason I have an invisible illness. It's also a particularly nasty place to get cancer.

My dad died a year ago today. I still miss him, always. It's weird--I didn't feel terribly sad today, I was able to make it through. Sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday, sometimes it feels like it's been years since I've seen him. Now I find it almost fascinatingly odd that Patrick Swayze has passed away today from the exact same thing.

Pancreases are tricky little things, aren't they? No wonder they don't get any respect until something goes horribly awry.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Friday Haiku Quickie

I say, "Let's eat cake!"
You say, "Are you kidding me?"
Damn diabetes.

You may commence the beat-poet finger snaps now.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Have Supplies, Will Travel (Or, Labor Day Trips Rock!)

One of the biggest everyday annoyances, year in and year out, of living with diabetes, especially Type 1 diabetes, is the sheer stress and irritation that comes along with having to lug a ton of extra supplies everywhere you go. Ever since the summer of 1990, I am never without a purse, a bag, a suitcase, a lunchbox or whatever the choice tote is for the trip I'm taking.

As a kid, my constant companion on day trips (aside from Mom & Dad) was the Young's Bag. We're not talking a special brand or anything here, but more the logo that was screenprinted on it. This wasn't a Berkin bag or a Butler bag, not a Kate Spade, it was a branded giveaway from Young Industries, where my grandfather spent his career. He acquired a couple of these bags at a company picnic and bestowed one upon my family. It was simply a soft-sided six-pack cooler with a shoulder strap. Gray bag, blue strap, I recall.

The Young's Bag (which I believe I've written about in an old entry, too) was always there with us. It held Junior Juice boxes and packs of peanut butter crackers for lows, my original One Touch glucose meter (that old, gray brick), syringes, a Glucagon kit, alcohol wipes, extra lancets, test strips, my logbook and a juice-box sized, mini soft cooler that held my insulin, both NPH and regular. None of those fancy Frios for me, no sir!

Were Frios even on the market in the early '90's? I don't know, but sometimes I think I could definitely use one now. It's difficult to find $2.00 juice box coolers at the grocery store these days!

Parts of my childhood can be summed up thusly: Sleepover? Young's bag. Dinner at a restaurant? Young's bag. Daytrip to Knoebel's Amusement Park? Young's bag, dropped off at the First Aid station until it was time for my afternoon shots. You get the picture.

Recent years have brought about the need to travel with entire boxes of supplies. Pump infusion sets, reservoirs, etc., all depending on how long you plan to be on a trip. I always overprepare in terms of backup supplies. You never know what's going to happen, especially if you are travelling out of state for an extended period of time. Heck, sometimes you travel, you think you have everything, and then you're in for a difficult surprise! Back in March, I went to Chicago for two weeks for work training purposes, only to realize I had forgotten the extra insulin I intended to pack. I had enough for a few days left, and I had to have Matt FedEx the stuff to my hotel the next day.

Boxes and boxes of supplies tucked under my bed in college. Syringes always tucked into a corner of my purse in case of pump malfunction.

Nowadays, I am constantly carrying The Purple and White Thing. It's a cosmetic bag I got as a freebie for buying too much junk at Ulta (again) or maybe Sephora, I don't remember. I like makeup, even if I don't always wear it. Anyway, this little circular bag holds a few Cleo infusion sets, a couple of reservoirs, insulin, test strips, sometimes a small tube of glucose tabs. It's peace of mind in a cute little zippered bag. It gets me through mid-workday site changes and trips through the airport. It's my new companion on daytrips, and the only thing that could make it better would be if it were insulated!

We are always carrying something. They are always trying to come up with some newer, cuter way for us to tote our supplies about, and for that, I'm grateful. What's the most creative container you've had for your diabetes supplies?

I get by with my midsize purses and additional bags. The fact that GIGANTIC purses seem to be in style has been fun--plenty of diabetes supply space. I could carry 3 meters and not find any of them!

But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could go on vacation with just a tiny little wristlet, my ID, money, maybe a single lipgloss. And that would be all I'd need.

I hope everyone has a really happy Labor Day weekend, regardless of travel, picnics, bumming around at home, or having to work retail. We're headed to Virginia with some friends for a trip to Busch Gardens and Virginia Beach. I am so looking forward to car-tripping with Matt--he's my favorite road trip buddy. And the beach. And rollercoasters! Whee!