Monday, February 27, 2012

The Power of People (with Diabetes)

Photo courtesy of Kerri/sixuntilme.
Saturday was special.  I spent the entire day in Conshohocken, PA at the Children with Diabetes Focus on Technology conference, surrounding by some of my favorite people in the DOC, plus some local D-pals.  I did learn a few new tricks, and of course got to walk away from the event with some excellent conference swag, plus an unexpected supply surprise (more on that tomorrow). 

I think the biggest thing I learned is just how important it is to be with other people with diabetes.  Whether we were tweeting from an iDevice or a phone,--we literally had 7 iPhones and 2 iPads at our table during the first session of the day--chatting up a fellow "green bracelet" in line at lunch, or playing BG Bingo after dinner, just being around people who get it is liberating. 

For the record, I had the second lowest post-dinner BG at 156 mg/dl.  The winner was our buddy Faye with her 89 mg/dl, which had the bonus of being "twinsies" with her Dexcom. 

Friends without diabetes are great, especially friends who are supportive, kind, and always willing to lend a hand when asked; however, friends with diabetes just "get it" in a special way that normal people cannot.  On Saturday, we may have been giggling and snarking a little louder than other conference attendees.  We compared bags--everyone was carrying a pretty large one since diabetes requires so much stuff all the time.  We talked numbers without judgements, without one sideways glance.  Everyone reached into their pockets and waistbands because at least one person somewhere in the room was beeping. 

I think this is what it's all about, that moment of becoming a majority in a group after being a misunderstood minority for so long.  Thank you, Diabetes OC, for introducing me to such amazing friends. 

The whole experience makes me consider attending Friends for Life this summer in Orlando.  We shall see what's in the budget and the summer plans.  We shall see.

Friday, February 24, 2012

No Matter Who You Are

So in the week since my birthday and party have passed, I wish I could say I had some epiphany about life or something.  However, it's mostly the same ol' things I always know.

And diabetes-wise?  Well, let's just say I took a quick break from my Dexcom to let my sites rest a bit, but as a result of said Dexcom, I did remember to check my blood a fair amount on my own.  That's one thing I slip up on constantly--remembering to poke my finger at the bare minimum 4 times a day.  Honestly, that is the biggest change I can make for myself this year.

Tonight, I will slap that sensor back on and get back in the CGM saddle.  Tomorrow, I am off to the CWD Focus on Technology conference where I will be among many beeping glucose meters, buzzing robot pancreases (pancreai?), and of course, fellow people with diabetes and their families.  Best of all, I will be in the good company of a bunch of D-Bloggers.  And you know what happens when we get together.

(Author's Sarcastic Note: We eat carbs and drink alcohol!  Noooo!  Call the diabetes police!)

Anyway, I'm sure it will be fun, and informative, and potentially a place where I can pick up some diabetes swag?  Like, a prettier skin for ye olde Dexcom?  Eh, my lunches are already paid for and I get a free t-shirt.  Keep an eye out for pictures, recaps, and everything else.

I have a theme song today.  Just a reminder to put myself out there.  Sometimes my biggest obstacle is my attitude, sometimes it's my fears.  But I feel rockstar mode coming on, and I hope it sticks around.

Here's to a weekend of hopeful things and realizing you ARE a shining star, no matter who you are.  No matter what your pancreas does or doesn't do.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Not My Strip

In the ladies' room at work, I saw this on the floor. I haven't been using my OneTouch meter lately, so I can't help but wonder where this came from. My colleague with diabetes uses a Freestyle. Will the owner of this test strip please stand up?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thirty Looks Pretty Good

It's my birthday today.  Of course, I have been working all day.  Working until 8pm, which is only a few minutes away.  After that, celebration!  Heck, I think most of the week will be celebration, culminating in my [hopefully] epic 30th birthday party on Saturday.  It's gonna be fancy--no, really, that's the theme.  Fancypants.*

So how do I look today?  Maybe a bit stressed, but I am excited because I feel like I am getting back onto the right track.  Whatever that is supposed to be.  

I'm supposed to do what at this age?  Sure.  Yeah.  Whatever you say.  *eyeroll*

*For the record, the author finds anything with sparkles, a tiara, a tie or an old-fashioned hat to be fancy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Getting on the Couch -- Week 2

So my last post was all about how I was heading to see a therapist for the first time.  What I didn't know until a couple of days ago is that it was voted one of the Best of the 'Betes blogs!  Woo hoo!  Yes, dear readers, honesty is the best policy.  A lot of you want to know how it went.  I'm not going to share all the details of all my therapist visits, obviously, but I do want to share a bit so you know what it's like.

I arrived at the office a few minutes early to fill out paperwork, just like going to any other doctor's office.  It was a Friday afternoon, and apparently their office doesn't have a receptionist on Fridays, so various psychologists/therapists/counselors would come in from a hallway door every few minutes.  Sometimes their patients were there waiting, sometimes they had to come back.  I was immediately made more comfortable by how personable everyone seemed when greeting their patients, but I was still nervous.  I am very slow when I'm writing by hand, so the first time my therapist popped his head out the door looking for me, I was not ready.  I was a wee bit embarrassed.

He came out again a few minutes later, and I was finally done scribbling.  He was smiley, had a very warm friendly vibe about him.  It could just be because he had nerdy glasses, and I tend to assume that people who dress like me are mostly trustworthy.  He apologized that the room we'd be going to didn't have any windows.  He said that being the newest to the practice, he didn't get much of a choice.  The room at least had comfy chairs, soothing lighting, and at least two boxes of tissues.

As far as I am able to tell, your first visit to your new therapist will involve filling out lots of paperwork and answering a lot of questions about your background and a little about yourself.  Hopefully, like my visit, it will involve feeling honest and content with the person you are seeing.  It may involve a tissue or two--I managed to not need any until the tail end.  I hope to have an interesting and enlightening experience with my therapist.  He apparently is also an art therapist, so of course I thought of Lee Ann when I was there and all the good that being creative can do for people. 

We'll see what goes on over the next few weeks.  Visit #2 is today at 3:00pm.  It's kind of a strange concept when it comes down to it--figuring out how to trust someone who is to be much more than a stranger to you, less than a friend.  I'm sure this is why your therapist will probably reassure you a number of times, as mine did, that you are in a safe space and everything you say will absolutely not leave the room.  (Unless of course, like in Pennsylvania, the state laws mandate that if you seem a true danger to yourself or others, you will be reported to...someone.  The therapist informed me this would not mean the cops would be waiting at my house for me.  And don't worry about me, I'm the variety of depressive who just mopes and gets cranky and wants to sleep.)

So I think it turns out your therapist is not someone to get nervous about.  You'll do fine.  I did.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting on the Couch

Well, I did it.  Tomorrow I will be seeing somebody.  I hope he is good.  The receptionist was extra-friendly when I called, and reassured me that not only is he a phenomenal therapist, but he is also super-nice.  She added with a bit of a knowing chuckle, probably about others at the practice, that some people are really great therapists but they're not as nice.

We'll see how it goes.  I am a little anxious about it.  Seems fitting, no? 

I picture Betty Draper from Mad Men splayed out on the therapist's couch, talking more to the ceiling than anything.  (Author's Note:  I am nothing like Betty Draper, except that we are both blonde.)  TV never seems to show a therapist caring about a patient.  Of course, TV is bad at a lot of things. 

So what's going to happen?  I'll fill out some paperwork, and then talking will happen.  That's all I know.  Maybe I will be able to tell you more tomorrow.  I'm excited to be doing something really good for myself.

In the meantime, I've been having a good week.  I wrote a new poem, and I have new resolve to kick ass in a major poetry slam that's happening next week.  If I win, I will be going to Colorado to represent Philadelphia in a national poetry event!  Competition will be tough.  I'm honestly a bit terrified, and I've decided that's a good thing.  More motivation to be awesome, I think.

Meanwhile, it's back to the usual workday routine.  How are you today, DOC?