Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane not-Hannah

So Irene seems poised to dump all kinds of crazy rain and wind and overall badness onto my neighborhood, by which I mean the greater Philadelphia area.  I hope everyone is safe, comfortable, and that you still have power.

I have been in Williamsport all weekend at my mom's house for a cousin's wedding.  I brought extra pump supplies, etc. just in case I would be stuck here.  Not so much because I'm afraid of what the storm will do here.  I'm in north central Pennsylvania right now.  We might get some rain, but nothing like we're having at home.  Matt is still at home, diligently keeping an eye on our sump pump.  He even tied down all our lawn furniture, as he should have.  I'm just worrying that I may not really be able to get home tomorrow because of road closures, downed trees, the potential of flood waters.

Mayor Michael Nutter in Philadelphia has warned Philly residents to be prepared for the worst flooding in 50 years.  Granted I am probably a good 20 miles from the city proper, but that is still close enough to worry about my home.  To worry about all that crap we've had in the basement for two years.  To worry about my friends in the area just a bit...okay, more than just a bit.  Seriously, guys, I hope you're all okay and that I will still find you to be okay in the morning.

Much love and hope and good vibes for anyone in the path of this nasty storm.  I just hope I can get home soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Two Weeks on Symlin

I remember now what this feels like. 

The random sweating during the day, the occasionally floaty feeling in my head.  Is my blood sugar dropping?  Is it just kind of a faux-low because I am going from high to normal? 

Symlin has been going well so far.  I am ramping up my doses very slowly, because I remember that's what worked best for me last time.  Going from one dose to another too quickly definitely brought on the nausea, and nobody likes that.  I was surprised at how simple it was to re-adjust to pen injections after so many years on a  pump.  I had forgotten what all that knob-twisting and priming felt like.  I tend to wear dresses to work, so I am perfecting the art of the quick injection through the clothes.  I did my injection so fast at lunch with a co-worker the other day that she didn't even notice I had done anything.  Stealthy!

(Hmm, just realizing you can't spell "healthy" without most of "stealthy"...)

I have been seeing a lot more numbers under 200 mg/dl, which is awesome for me.  I am satisfied with smaller amounts of food, and about that?  I'm finding if you don't take the Symlin at least 10 minutes before your lunch,  you will suddenly find yourself stuffed in the middle of whatever you chose for your lunch that day.  I tend to eat one thing at a time, so it's kind of a let-down if you were looking forward to soup while wondering if you are even going to be able to finish your salad. (First World problems!)

Not THIS kind of Symlin pen, silly.
What's really unpleasant is counting the exact number of carbs, bolusing, eating and then dropping like a rock an hour and a half later.  They are very spikey drops, and with no CGMS, I'm not really sure how fast I'm falling.  If I test after a meal, like last night, and my BG is at 92 mg/dl, and I'm experiencing low symptoms, it's a good bet to just eat some sugar and hope for the best.  I had some glucose tabs and an hour and a half later I was at 97 mg/dl. 

Those are the effects of Symlin right there.  I also forgot about how sometimes when I am on Symlin, my highs sometimes start feeling like lows, just a little.  Normally highs are just times when I'm sleepy, cranky and thirsty, but with Symlin, some of them have been joined by that weird adrenaline-rush drifty feeling. 

For the most part, Symlin and I are pals.  Will this progress into a long-term relationship?  I guess we'll see.  Stick around, and maybe you'll find out.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Self-Portrait Saturday #4

So what does my self-portrait Saturday initiative have to do with diabetes?  Nothing?  Maybe everything?  Hopefully you fine readers don't get tired of seeing my face every Saturday.  I suppose, if you think about it, this is the portrait of someone who's living with Type 1 every day.  Sure, it's always along for the ride, but it stays pretty quiet most of the time.  I have a great life, and I love the freedom that I have.

For example, the photo below was taken in our Yaris on the way to a performance of Matt's band in Philadelphia.  If you want to see a real dive, well, that's where they played--dark, not actually suited to be a music venue but it is anyway.  I left straight from work, so I rocked out my business casual dress with some eyeliner and a funky headband.  Being in a moving vehicle accounts for the blurriness.

A little bit business time, a little bit rock-n-roll.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Self-Portrait Saturday #3

Soooo...I tried to start this as an initiative, and I'm picking it back up.  #1 is here, and #2 is here, in case you missed them at some point in history.  Because you probably did.  How many people really read diabetes blogs on Saturday anyway?

You may have seen this if you are my personal Facebook friend.  It's still one of my favorite self-portraits of recent times.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Naked Truth

I do try to keep my blogging, for the most part, relatively safe for work.  In today's post, I am going to talk about nudity and other subjects as an adult.  If that's not safe for your work, well, you best read this at home.  Same goes for any kiddos out there--this one is probably at least rated PG-13 for mature themes and nakedness!

I was applying makeup with a girlfriend (we'll call her S) on Saturday in preparation for another friend's 30th birthday bash.  The theme our friend had chosen was "Topless Tapas".  Now, I'm sure there are not a lot of us out there who have ever been to a topless or clothing-optional party before.  Before Saturday, I was one of these people, but I have some very progressive friends.  In between critiquing our choices of eyeshadow colors, S confessed something to me. 

"I'm feeling really self-conscious," she said.  "I'm fat, and I've got bumps, and scars, and stretch marks, and I managed to get this stupid zit between my boobs.  I don't really know how I feel about doing this, y'know?"

I spoke some encouraging words about how my own body is decidedly not perfect, and everyone at the party has very different body types, weights, skin types, and levels of fuzziness.  (Seriously, folks, my most Papa Bear-esque friend was not the hairiest boy at the party by a longshot.)

All the while, I was silently weighing my own thoughts about baring some or all of my body to the whole room.  I am plus-sized and busty, but I have narrow hips and my ass is kind of round-ish and kind of flat-ish at the same time.  I have a massive appendectomy scar.  I'm quite pale.  My ankles have a fun hobby of swelling up all the damn time.  Oh yeah, also I'm a cyborg with an always-connected tube somewhere on my abdomen, red marks from old sites, gray patches where adhesive just hasn't quite washed off in the shower.

I don't have a problem with getting naked overall.  I mean, I'm not shy.  I have never been timid about showing my body when in bed with someone.  I'm not one to demand that somebody needs to turn the lights off.  Leave 'em on!  Put on some extra spotlights if you feel so inclined!  The way I've always seen it is this--if you've had the fortune to find yourself in my bed, you are there to appreciate me, and if you see something you don't like, well, that's your problem. (Just please be careful, too many sudden movements near one's infusion site can spell disaster!)

This party was being attended by many of my nearest and dearest pals, people I've been emotionally intimate with for a while now, people I trust wholeheartedly, but still, I was nervous.  Was it because there were going to be some strangers there?  What was making me so anxious about running around without a top on?

I guess it's just because you'd think it would feel different hanging around like that.  You have stripped away your barriers, your physical disguises.  My friends would pretty much have no choice but to see an infusion set, a length of tubing running down into the pocket of my shorts, gray blotches of adhesive that don't come off my bright white skin until I scrub with some solvent.

I was shocked to find I felt shy because of diabetes.  Even though it was playing a relatively small role in my anxiety, it was an odd thing to acknowledge.  A cyborg pancreas can be fun, but the thought of a bunch of strangers seeing my boobs and asking what that plastic thingy was all about made me grit my teeth a bit.  I didn't bare all that evening.  I took off my shirt and showed the world my fabulous bra, but that was as far as I went.  I was happy and comfortable, plus my friend's house does not have AC, and trust me, there is no worse sweat than boob sweat.  (TMI?  Sorry, friends.  I only speak the truth!)  There were a few people at the party who didn't disrobe at all.  Overall, it just felt like your average 30th birthday party with tapas, booze, birthday cake...oh, and a bunch more exposed nipples than usual.

The next evening I found myself in bed on my laptop in nothing but my skivvies.  My pump was next to me, tubing stretched out a bit.  My laptop was plugged into the wall.  My headphones were plugged into my laptop.  They led back to my head.  I had to stop and laugh at what a picture this was--one almost-naked woman and a mess of wires, both inputs and outputs. 

I guess the point I am trying to get to with all this is that it's okay to be naked, to be exposed when you have diabetes.  Nobody feels uncomfortable about showing a few red dots on the fingertips from too many BG checks, but not everyone is willing to hike up their shirt or skirt to show someone what a real pump site looks like.  Hot diabetic celebs are not posing in bikinis or bare chests to show off their sexy new CGM transmitter/infusion set combo.  Type 1 pin-up girls are not posing suggestively with insulin pumps peeking out of their retro lingerie.

Have you ever sent somebody a suggestive picture, but you've had to angle it so they don't see a giant red mark on your arm from an injection?  Do you always wear sleeves long enough to cover up your Omnipod?  Should we all get naked with our diabetes?  Like, really really naked?  Have you ever, physically, made a bold statement that says "Yes I have diabetes!"?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Keyword Craziness

Everyone loves a good post on silly keyword searches on your blog, right?  While mine are not as wacky as Kerri's or Allison's or some other folks', I think these were some gems worth sharing:

Dorkabetic:  Sure, it seems pretty obvious, but come on, it makes me say, "You like me!  You really like me!"

Bleeding madras washed:  So apparently, a lot of madras plaids are actually (or have been) known as "bleeding madras", I guess because the way they are woven and then washed, the colors bleed into the whiter parts of the fabric.  At least, that is the gist I've gleaned from this little essay from Lands' End, who I'm pretty sure sell nothing short of a shit-ton of madras plaids.  However, there's this one time I just happened to be wearing a madras plaid, and then I bled all over myself, so I guess now I'm showing up in someone's search results.

Bridge Camden Philadelphia:  I have a poem in which I mention the Ben Franklin Bridge, but I've never posted it here.  I've taken a few trips from Philly into New Jersey and back.  I have no idea why this brought someone to my blog.  None.  Also, I've heard that NJ now charges you $5 to get out of the state.  Seriously, you never have to pay a bridge toll going into New Jersey, but now they are charging you $5 a trip to get out, regardless of whether you are on the Ben Franklin, the Walt Whitman or the Delaware Memorial bridges.  Sheesh!  I am not going to stay, NJ!  I will scrape up the five bucks!

Getting a dorks attention:  Oooohhh, this one is my favorite.  Here are some tips.  First, maybe send me an email, I'm pretty likely to respond.  Oh, maybe they weren't looking for information on me specifically?  You can probably search out most dorks by finding and participating in the things they like to do.  Do you play World of Warcraft or other MMORPGs?  Do you like to LARP?  Have you ever attempted to pick someone up at a poetry reading, a bookstore, a library or a comic book shop?  Do you enjoy any of the following fandoms:  Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, etc.?  Your prospects for getting a dork's attention are endless, dear readers!  You just have to be creative!  And encourage them not to be shy.  And seriously, if you're looking to get my attention, I'm listening.  Email me.  :)