Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye, 2013.

Out with the old; in with the new.  Sounds like a good plan to me.

In 2013, I didn't blog as much as I wanted.  I renewed my URL, but never quite got it applied because of the hassle I was going through and a lack of time.  I allowed aspects of my struggling work life to interfere with the life I enjoy, but at the same time, I made a lot of changes for the better.  What happened that was notable?

I was a reader on Live from the Kelly Writers' House on WXPN fm.

I had a couple of poetry features in different places.

I was published in APIARY Magazine, then later ended up joining their staff as Coordinator of Outreach and PR.  I met a lot of really great people by doing this, and my life is better for it.

I celebrated my 31st trip around the sun, and my 23rd year with Type 1.

I moved into the City of Philadelphia proper.  I am still learning the ways to make it my home, but it's coming along nicely.  I like it here.

Despite the anxiety and stress I've been under on the job, I still get up, I still come in, I still do my work.  2014 is the year the daily grind is going to stop grinding me down.  I will find something new.  The "daily grind" will be more like some fresh-ground espresso--exciting, energizing...good-smelling?

I made plans to get myself in gear after a really awful A1C.

I got a new insulin pump!  (Tandem T-Slim)

I decided on a potential name for my Dexcom G4: Jadzia.  If you ever watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, you will hopefully find this as amusing as I do.

Here in December, I began experimenting on Victoza.  I took a little break for the holidays, but I plan on being back on it by Thursday.  I am definitely going to share some experiences with you all.

I didn't write enough blog posts.

I got to be a guest on DSMA Live!

I dressed an insulin vial up for Halloween.

I wrote some new poems, but I definitely didn't write enough of those either.

I wrote one short-short story, and that felt pretty good.  I think I need to do more of that.

I changed my hair color a couple of times.

I discovered how much I love brightly colored and bold lipsticks.

I let my inner girly-girl win out and got subscriptions to Ipsy, Birchbox, and Julep.  (If anybody else out there would be interested, I think I have referral links you can use that benefit both of us in the end.)

I met Scott J!  And Cherise!  And Sara K!  And Mike Lawson!  And Hannah and Aaron and Jerry the Bear!  And Chris Snider!  And Colleen!  And I saw Allison and Kerri and Manny and others!  What a kickass year for DOC hugging!!  It deserves more exclamation points than I can comfortably continue to fit in this little line break.

Most of all, I am happy I made it through another year in relative good health and high spirits.  May we all learn something from 2013, may we all reflect fondly on the good things.  Happy New Year, Dorkabetic readers!  See you in 2014!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Nothing More Than Feelings.

I don't feel amazing.  The A1C I received recently can be accurately described as "total crap".  My body aches, my ankles swell.  My mouth has suffered the dryness of approximately one jillion cotton balls.

Winter, aka The Time I Am Most Likely to Be Down on Myself for the Silliest Things, is upon us.  I am less than thrilled.  Completely non-plussed.  Sometimes utterly discouraged.  I've beaten myself up psychologically before.  I've tried to pretend things that bother me might go away if I look in the other direction.

I get more anxious about my future than I do my blood sugar levels, and I suppose in a way, that's good.  I still feel like a mostly-normal human being, albeit sometimes a flawed and out-of-shape one.

But I'm still holding on.  I keep reminding myself to revisit all the good and great things that have happened lately, and luckily, there are a lot of those.

I just need to remember to learn.  To move on.  To not ignore the things that frighten me because honey, they ain't goin' anywhere.  I need to remember to wear my Dexcom all the time [dammit].  To realize that the numbers are very important, but they don't define who I am.

Can we all just take a minute to get all existential/philosophical and appreciate how beautiful and terrifying life can be, and that sometimes just still being here is a major achievement?  Can we all just give each other a hug?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Never Knowing

There's a person I follow on Twitter, and he's one of those people who posts at least two Tweets on the hour, every hour during the day.  He's got some good information and interesting personal stories, he likes to focus a lot on the oft-ignored effects of diabetes on mental health.  All good, right?

I suppose.

However, this guy makes me question myself all the time.  Many things that happen to me that I chalk up to depression, anxiety, or career-related ennui could potentially, according to things he says, be merely diabetes related.  Maybe this is supposed to serve as a relief to some people, but for me I am finding this unnervingly stressful.

If I snap at someone for no reason, can I just blame my bad blood sugars?  If things seem to be bothering me more than they would bother a normal person, can I just blame my diabetes?  Do I even need to see a therapist at all when I feel overwhelmed?  Would a perfect A1C just make me a happier person overall?

If what you say is true, Mr. Twitter Man, have I been doing it wrong all of these years?  

Because that's every diabetic's favorite thing to hear, right?  That we're doing it wrong and if we just stop doing (xyz) everything will be so much better.

I am irritated because I know there has to be some truth in what this guy is saying, and I'm sure he's not intending to make his fellow PWD feel bad about themselves.

There is a reason that the 'Unfollow' button exists, but what am I losing or gaining by clicking it?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Knight

Glucolift glucose tabs are running their annual Gluc-or-Treat campaign. They say they'll take all Halloween-related photo entries, even mentioning that you can put your supplies in costume.  What do you get for sharing a pic?  You get a goodie bag of Glucolift treats!  You know how much I love free stuff.  It's a slow day today, so I may have fashioned some things out of office supplies...and so I bring you:


Sir Nov o'Log's blue circle helmet offers him protection.  He comes from the kingdom of Bantingbest, in the chilly north.

Sir Nov o'Log versus the Monster of Unknown Carb Count!  Can he use his wit and experience to solve the Monster's carbohydrate riddle, or will this end in certain disaster for our hero?

(I'm not going to lie.  Sometimes this is how the battle seems to turn out.  VICTORY FOR FRUITOPIA!  Better try swapping out that infusion set, Princess Tandem.  Take a correction via syringe or pen while you're at it.)

Sir Nov o'Log has vanquished his carb-y foe!  The Monster of Unknown Carb Count is slain, and Hannah's BG will not be awful after all.  Thanks for saving this fair maiden, brave knight.

Always keep Sir Nov o'Log, Sir Hum o'Log and their noble steeds Lantus and Levemir at the ready to battle those diabetes dragons.  (Note: Sir Regular and the other knights of the Insulin Table are less outspoken, but still handy.)

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Remember trick or treating is just as fun for kids with diabetes, and the whole point of Halloween is costumes and fun.  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To The D-Mom I Just Saw in a Comment Thread...

Her name was Donna, and she said that her son is on multiple daily injections rather than an insulin pump, because that is what works best for him, and doing something new would possibly compromise his quality of life.  Good for you, Donna!  You and your son are working with what's good for you, and I think that's the best way to do things.

She did say one thing, however, that I found a bit distressing.  She said it is tough for them to admit within the DOC that they are on MDI, because they are "looked down on" and people treat them as though they "are not up to snuff".

I don't have any children of my own, but being a member of this online community since 2006, this is where I put my concerned-parent face on.  My dear Diabetes Online Community, I am not speaking to any of you as individuals, because I don't know who the culprits are, but I swear we have been over this before.  My friend Bennet Dunlap has a phrase for this: YDMV: Your Diabetes May Vary.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but if someone isn't looking for advice, if someone's treatment plan is working just fine for them, then leave them to it.

Straight up, no-bones-about-it, my insulin requirement is high.  I am jealous when someone bemoans their huge 10 unit meal bolus.  Part of the reason I chose the pump I'm using now (the Tandem t:slim) is because it will remind me to deliver the remainder of a bolus that is over the allowable maximum.  I have had some clicking of tongues and shocked looks when I tell people my total daily dose, and I don't appreciate those any more than Donna appreciates judgement of her son's injections over pumping.

Look, DOC.  I believe in kindness and understanding, and I like to believe in the best in people.  I want to believe everyone is kind, flexible, and intelligent enough to know that what works for me may not even be remotely close to what works for you.  Here's the thing--that is totally okay.

Remember, very few of us are medical professionals, and even so, most of our blogs are no substitute for medical advice you can get from your doctor, nurse, or diabetes educator.

So to Donna, you keep doing what you're doing.  To everyone out there, keep doing what works for you.  And to the naysayers out there, remember, we are not all the same.  Be sensitive, especially if you're going around making assumptions.  The DOC isn't all about sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, but we can all try our best to not make others feel so excluded that they don't want to speak their minds.

End concerned female senior member of the DOC rant.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2013: I Choose to Be Bold.

Flawless selfie. Aww yeah.
I can get up on a stage and spill my guts.

I can put my original writings up to the judgement of random audience members.

I can blog candidly about living with diabetes.

I can pull off bright lipstick.

I can wear stripes even though I'm over a size 16.

I can confess to you that I wear over a size 16.

I can go out with no makeup.

I can use my skin as a canvas.

I can love whomever I choose.

I can crack jokes about having chronic illness.

I can make one hell of a baked ziti.

I can be an administrative assistant.

I can be a writer.

I can be an artist.

I can be a communications professional.

I can have friends across the massive spectrum of shapes, sizes, colors, orientations, tattoo patterns, hair colors, genders and sexualities, and they are all awesome.

I can hug with the best of 'em.

I can give myself an injection in a moving vehicle.

I can prick my finger and test my blood sugar at the table in the restaurant, because I'm prepared with a statement if somebody is uncomfortable.

I can often do better.

I can acknowledge that I'm only human.

I can live just as well, and possibly just as long, as someone without invisible illness.

I can do this on my own terms.

I choose to be bold.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Friends, I have been trying to get my official dot-com up and running again instead of using this freebie Blogspot address.  Blogspot is all well and good, and much more credible as a web address than it was seven years ago when I started this blog, but just has such a pleasant ring to it.

So my domain name expired, and Google made it pretty difficult to just renew it through them.  I hadn't set up autopay, so they wanted me to log in to my Google Apps account.  Google Apps, for what I needed it for, was no longer free.  I did some reading and decided to get a new domain name host.

I chose GoDaddy for decent reviews and overall affordability.  I was happy about this decision.

I still haven't gotten back on the net, except for a Google 404 page with a cute little robot on it.

I'm not a web designer (beyond a WYSIWYG editor), and I sadly have not yet learned to code.  I'm not sure how to fix my issue here, mostly because I'm not sure what the issue is.  I've followed a couple of sets of directions to the T, and still, Adorable Googlebot says Adorable 404.

Do any of you have experience connecting your Blogspot name to your domain?  Admittedly, I can spend more time on the phone with GoDaddy customer service about this, but I always think of these problems in the middle of the day at work when I can't spend all afternoon on the phone with GoDaddy customer service.  If anybody has any tricks or easy solutions for me, I'm all ears.

Professionally speaking, I need to get back on my feet with all of my writing, blog included.  Having my own shiny URL makes things feel more important to me.  Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Things to say, things to say...

Things to say:  I have them.

I also have incredible amounts of stress that are just turning me into a lump of unmotivated glop.

I went to AADE 2013!  I have stories to tell!

I know fantastic people!  I have stories to tell!

My official domain name is WAY more difficult to get up and running than I expected it to be!  I have frustrations to vent!  (Also if you know the easiest way to connect your Blogger account with your GoDaddy domain, I need to talk to you.  All the things I'm *supposed* to do seem to not be working.  I hate feeling tech-stupid.)

I should tell you, I should tell you, I should tell you, I should write about, I should write about, I should document, I should photograph, I should tell you...

It's all coming, folks.  Thanks for being patient with me.  And I'm serious about that Blogger/GoDaddy thing--tweet me @dorkabetic if you have any ideas!

More stories soon, pinkie promise.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Good Idea? Check.

It's D-Blog Check day, so if you read this, be sure to drop something in my comments.  A "check", a smiley, an actual comment--anything will do!

I felt like the check-in was a great decision.  Thanks, Christopher Snider, for considering my comments to bring this day about.  Honestly, I am kind of burned out on my workdays, so I'm glad somebody picked up my suggestion and brought it to fruition.  I wrestled momentarily with the guilt of not making it happen myself, but here it is!  Guilt abated.

Do you ever get that "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" feeling?  When you read about your online dia-buddies being whisked away to conferences and focus groups and roundtables, do you wonder if your voice is being heard beyond the reach of the diabetes blogosphere itself?

I'll be honest.  I wonder these things sometimes; however, this blog is as much for me as it is for anyone who reads it.  I post with the frequency that I am able, even though that frequency may not be as often as I'd like.  I discuss the topics I feel are worth discussing.  I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had outside of my blog, and I'm also confident that when other bloggers get to go to all the bloggy events out there, they have my best interests in mind.  I don't make any money from this.  Sure, a little extra cash wouldn't hurt me personally, but as of now, I've been ad-free since my first blog post in 2006. 

That's right, 2006.  Dorkabetic turns 7 this year.  Many people probably don't even know I've been around that long, but that's okay.  When I started reading diabetes blogs, there wasn't a heck of a lot out there.  Now, it can be difficult to keep up.

I'm glad #dblogcheck is happening.  I hope we all find some readers we didn't even expect to see today.   I think that "community" is the biggest and best aspect of the Diabetes Online Community.  I haven't met a lot of you, but I see you all as friends.  Leave me (and everyone else out there) some love today.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Working Out for T1D[ummies]

Confession: I hate exercise.

Hate is probably too strong a word here, but I've always been an indoor dweller, a book reader, a laptop junkie.  For me, part of it just comes along with being a writer.  If I've got an idea, I want to be sitting somewhere committing it to paper or hard drive, not jogging along the street forgetting my next big idea before I even get home.

My ankles swell up on a regular basis.  It's one thing I truly dislike about my body.  It's hard to find a way to love a trait that makes shoe-shopping difficult.  It's hard to get the motivation to go out for walks when you feel too uncomfortable. 

I can't be the only person who doesn't like working out; however, I've come to a conclusion.  I've got to move this body.  I went to my regular (non-endocrinologist) doctor yesterday, and told her I'm concerned about some occasional pains in my knee.  It's also making a rather unpleasant crunchy noise when I go downstairs.  There are bad knees all over my family history.  "Strengthen your quads," said my doc.  "It'll help that a lot."

And so, I need to move it, move it.  And I need to move it, move it for not a lot of money.  I have a smaller living room now, so getting a Kinect or doing Just Dance on the Wii is not as feasible an option as it once was.  This is a shame because dancing is really my favorite form of aerobic exercise. The cruel irony of being out of shape is I can't dance as long as I want to!

I don't know how to ride a bike.

I don't mind walking, but I hate running.  Maybe if I were in better shape I'd like running, but I'm not a "push through the pain and keep your body going!!" kind of woman. 

And let's be honest--summer is upon us, and though I could go walking in my neighborhood, it's going to be hot.  Summer is my least favorite season.  I am less likely to do a ton of walking outside in the summer because I just find it oppressive.  Again, I'm not the greatest at pushing myself to do unpleasant, physically laborious tasks.

So how do you guys do it?  I really want some input here from the former-lazypantses among my readers.  Even if you are a fitness guru, I'd love to hear from you.

Is it hard to get into yoga?  Am I going to spend a fortune if I want to find a gym with a pool?  Ultimately, here's what I want:  be in better shape, strengthen everything, get my flexibility back.

Is a FitBit or other tracker worth my money?  Any decent apps that are free or cheap?

Also, there's a Planet Fitness near me.  Are they serious with their $10 a month membership?  That's sounding like a tempting option.

Let's throw our thoughts back to the early 80's:  Let's get physical, physical.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DOMA No...Ma?

I will stand and say that not all the fights are over, some of the battles haven't even started, and most of us know that as a country, we still have a long way to go for true equality.

But with that being said, this blogger is elated that DOMA is overturned, that Prop 8 was struck down, and that many of my loved ones are hopefully on their way to being recognized as the equal persons, partners, and citizens I know them to be. 

This won't completely fix or eliminate problems, but it's a damn strong talking point when we need to address them.

Great job with this one, SCOTUS.  Love wins.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Diabetes Bargains: the DIY Insulin Pump Cozy


Socks.  They are versatile.  They keep your feet warm & dry.  They can be a marvelous fashion statement.  They make fantastic puppets.  But what else can they do?

As many of you know by now, I've got a Tandem T:Slim insulin pump.   I tend to wear my pump in my bra when I'm wearing dresses, and of course, my CDE recommended against wearing the screen-side of the pump against my skin.  It's no big deal to make sure it's turned the right direction, but it's summer.  You may have been taught that women don't sweat, but honey, some of us do.  So, much like keeping my feet dry and happy, I have turned to socks to keep my pump dry, soft and happy. 

Sure, you can buy a bra pouch for $10 or more, but I've gone the thrifty (not to mention more colorful) route.  At a discount store, I purchased a pack of 6 pairs of infant socks for about $4.  That's 12 pump covers, people! 

Granted, we may not all have the cleavage necessary to pack a pump into a bra without anyone noticing, but certainly this is a practice that could be adapted to all kinds of people, regardless of gender, age, or chest size.

The steps are simple.  Open pack of socks.  Insert pump into single sock.  Stuff into bra, pocket, TummieTote, whatever!  It's a quick and easy cover, and a cheap layer of protection.  If you're handy with sewing, you could probably put some velcro on the sock opening as well to keep things more secure. 

I'm enjoying this little discovery of mine.  It might work for you too.  It's a near perfect size for the Tandem.  Check out some photos!

Yes I have owls and little woodland creatures on my sheets. They're adorable. Anyway, check the fit!  And yes, I have them in blue as well as a bunch of other colors.

The T:Slim and an infant sock: well-sized for each other. Also, keeps your touchscreen and your entire pump out of the way of sweat when you want it close to your skin. Unrelated: I named that pink owl Nervert because he's obviously over-caffeinated and twitchy.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Insulin Pump MacGyver

You may have seen that I got hooked up to my new t:slim this week.  Actual impressions on the pump will be forthcoming, after I've been able to use it for several days and give some opinions.  In the meantime, I still feel like I'm in pump transition from my Cozmo.  Additionally, I think my brain is still in transition from last weekend's vacation.  Why?  I ran into some odd pump-specific trouble this morning.

I drove to work knowing I needed to refill my pump and change my site this morning.  I had a box of supplies in my tote bag, left over from pump training two days ago, so I figured I'd be fine.

Whenever you say "I'll be fine", you should probably accept that there's a chance something is going to go awry.  In that sense, I was correct.

After doing some things at work, I pull out my t:slim to refill it.  I can't slide the cartridge off right away, so that was a bit frustrating until I popped it out with a coin.  I open my box of supplies, pull out a new cartridge, and realize I am missing a fill syringe.

With the t:slim, the cartridge isn't like your usual reservoir.  It's different than loading insulin into the cartridge of a Medtronic, Animas, or my old Cozmo.  You get a big ol' 3mL BG syringe, and you inject insulin into a port on the t:slim cartridge, which you've just installed into your pump.  So there I was, the Syringeless Wonder.
Image found at:
But!  My Cozmo was still in my purse from training two days ago.  If I couldn't refill my new robo-pancreas, I could just use the old one!  They both have a luer-lock connection so my infusion set would fit either pump. I pull out my trusty old purple pump pal, ready to remove the reservoir, screw on the spare reservoir needle and plunger I keep in my test kit, fill it up and kick it old-skool pump style.


Yes, with my Cozmo, and even my Medtronic years ago, I'd keep a spare reservoir needle and plunger in my purse at all times.  You never knew when it might come in handy, and it was easier than carrying an extra reservoir for emergencies.  It also meant if I had to change out a whole set before schedule, I could save the insulin left in my reservoir.  Nobody encourages reuse of pump supplies, but I have a feeling a lot more of us have done it than we admit.

But I digress.

So I pull my handy-dandy Cozmo out from my purse only to find it is dead.  Dead for a ducat, dead!  (I don't mention it often but I'm a Shakespeare lover.  Digressing.  Again.  Unprofessional.)  I realize at my pump training Wednesday morning, I had a low battery.  I now had on my hands a dead battery, and not another AAA battery in sight.

So I've got a pump with no filler at a 75% charge, and a pump that I can fill but no power.

This is when the reservoir in my old pump, combined with the needle and plunger, came brilliantly into play.  I filled my old Cozmo reservoir, stuck the needle into the t:slim fill port (after a test that the needle itself would fit), and muscled some insulin into it.  There was a lot of resistance, I couldn't get all 3mL out of the Cozmo reservoir into the t:slim cartridge.  Cozmo reservoir needles are not meant for injecting, obviously.  I managed to get about 2mL into the t:slim and called it good enough.

I ran the priming sequence on my t:slim, and so far it's working just fine.  I'm anticipating a big SWAG-gy, carb-y dinner tonight, so most likely I'll have to refill again tomorrow.  With the proper new needle, of course.

I feel like MacGyver.  I took the parts available to me, and I made it work.  No explosions necessary, though some kickass 80's background music was most likely playing in my head while I worked this whole thing out.  While I am mullet-free, I am now, once again, full of insulin.

What have you wrangled up in a diabetes emergency for yourself?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's the T, girl?

beep boop

The T:Slim from Tandem Diabetes!  It's mine, all mine, and I'm up and running!  I anticipate the next several weeks of techno-joy.  At least I hope so.  I'm looking forward to telling everyone about it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

D-Blog Week, Day 5: Freaky Friday

Friday:  Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

When we talk about Freaky Friday, are we discussing the Jodie Foster version or the Lindsey Lohan version?  Because in the end I'd rather be Jodie Foster.  Or Jamie Lee Curtis.  Can I just switch with one of them in real life?  I know there are quite a few jackasses out there who feel feminism is like a disease.

This is a tough question to answer.  My initial thought was that just straight-up hypothyroidism might be simpler than diabetes.  Of course, only having to pop one pill every day sounds quite appealing, then you go out to the internet and read that it has its own complications.

What about a chronically high cholesterol level?  Heart disease is pretty strong in my dad's side of the family, so I don't think that's any better either.

So then I started to think, what if I didn't have diabetes, but had only one of the other issues I've got now?  Yes, I probably wouldn't have worried that my tachycardia was diabetes-related, but would that be more or less comforting?  Sometimes I am pretty sure that tightening up my glucose control would lessen some of my mental health issues.  But would I be more depressed and anxious without being able to attribute some of it to diabetes?  As if to say, "I am having this mood swing out of nowhere, I must be bipolar!" instead of "I am having this mood swing out of nowhere, maybe I forgot to bolus for my afternoon snack!"

Is one chronic disease better to have than another?  I don't really think so.

If I were to personify my diabetes, would I give it a hug and say, "Hey buddy, I hope you stick around forever because I love you"?  Never.  But if I could, would I leave diabetes for something else?  I'm not so sure. 

Actually, I think I just made a decision.  I might trade diabetes for being a Never-Nude.  I might just accept having to wear a bikini in the shower if it meant I never had to worry about blood sugar levels, insulin boluses, or carb counting ever again.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

D-Blog Week Day 2: We, The Undersigned

It's D-Blog Week...join your favorite diabetes bloggers as we write about/share/mouth off about different diabetes-related topics all week.  Links and learn more at: Bitter-sweet Diabetes!

Tuesday: Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?


(I'm pretty much addressing the grownups here.  D-Moms & Dads, I'm not trying to make your kids grow up too fast, but face it.  Your kids will be my age one day.  This is just to say...we're all grownups at some point.  We'll be okay.)

We, the undersigned, hereby believe that people with diabetes are just as hot as people without diabetes.  Many, many people with diabetes are in successful domestic partnerships and marriages.  Many people with diabetes have rich, interesting dating lives.  We are tired of seeing various postings on the internet that reflect self-doubt over body image or worthiness of loving relationships, just because of having diabetes.

Say what you will about Halle Berry, she does look pretty good in a bikini.  Recent scientific studies have shown that people with guitars have greater sex appeal, so what about Crystal Bowersox?  And there's always the cutie-patootie from the days before One Direction, Nick Jonas.  There's delectable chef Sam Talbot. There are actors, musicians, athletes, racecar drivers, and Supreme Court justices, all with their own brand of hotness.

The point we are making is that people with diabetes are cute, sexy, wonderful, loveable people. 

We, the undersigned, agree that:

...we have the right to walk out on any date who would consider our diabetes a dealbreaker.

...we can be confident happy people who ask for what we want in bed, even when what we want is a glass of juice because we're going low. is not a burden to check a BG or disconnect a pump before getting intimate.

...diabetes alone is no excuse.  You can have a love life/sex life just the same as anyone without diabetes.

...there are challenges we may face as people with diabetes in relationships, but people in any sort of relationships have challenges.  Always remember you're not alone.

...PWD are allowed to be just as kinky as people without diabetes...and we're not talking bent cannulas or insulin pump tubing.

...we are dateable.

...we are worthy of finding partners we can love and trust.

...we can be just as gorgeous and confident as any celebrity.  We can strut in our favorite non-diabetic shoes.  We can get nekkid with an infusion set on.  We are just as smiley and charming as anyone.

...we're sexy, and we know it.  Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah.

PS--How dare I leave out the intellects, artists, authors and scientists with diabetes?  You guys, statistically speaking, are probably the ones I'm most attracted to.  Sexy smarts, grrrrowl.

Monday, May 13, 2013

D-Blog Week, Day 1: Share & Don't Share

It's D-Blog Week...join your favorite diabetes bloggers as we write about/share/mouth off about different diabetes-related topics all week.  Links and learn more at: Bitter-sweet Diabetes!

Monday:  Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see?

1.)  Today, I left my insulin pump at home.  I commuted all 40 minutes to work and then realized it was still on the bed.  My normal routine was interrupted this morning by a cable/internet installation.  I didn't give myself my usual pre-commute patdown to make sure my pump is on my person somewhere, be it in a pocket or under a bra strapYou may think I wouldn't want the healthcare team to know about my snafu, but honestly, I trust mine enough that they were the first people I called.  "I have Novolog and syringes.  What's my game plan for the day until I can get home to my pump?"  We looked up basal rates and bolus amounts.  We discussed extra testing and doing corrections.  It hasn't been the most pleasant day, but it's been okay.  I'm thirsty.  I'm tired.  I'm getting by.  I think I'd really want the healthcare team to know that information in the clutch is appreciated and vital to what could otherwise have become a diabetes emergency.  Daily life with diabetes can bring very unexpected things.  Your prompt assistance is welcomed!

2.)  I wish a lot of healthcare providers could see that many people are shy to talk about what's concerning them the most, even when they say you can tell them anything.  In my experience, doctors don't necessarily talk diabetes and vices (sex, drugs, alcohol, rock 'n' roll) unless you really bring it up.  Teenagers and college students wishing to experiment with such things, and wishing to experiment safely, don't really have an outlet for this kind of info if they can't trust their doctor/nurse practitioner/diabetes educator.  I'm not the only one who's wished we had more resources for learning about what some might consider less-than-appropo topics!

3.)  I hope you DON'T just see noncompliant patients who won't do what they're told but walk around like everything is okay.  I hope you DO see real people with real stressful lives sometimes, people who sometimes need patience, encouragement, and a game plan that fits their lives so they can manage their health accordingly.

4.)  Stop making judgments on the health of people with diabetes before you've appropriated examined things.  I have left doctors because they've acted like I've brought a health problem on myself due to uncontrolled Type 1.  Do some tests.  Give me some scientific proof.  I married an engineer, and I'm pretty smart myself, so logically prove to me why and how some issues I have are related to my diabetes, and then we can talk about them.  Otherwise, I feel discriminated against.  You're a doctor.  I expect you to do tests, not to dismiss me based on your personal judgment.

5.)  I honestly hope my healthcare team would see most anything.  I don't think there's much of anything I'd want them to miss.  I feel like having a more personal relationship with our healthcare providers makes us a stronger team together.  If it weren't for the great family doctor I saw in Phoenixville, I may not have such an awesome endocrinologist!  I may never have gone to a psychiatrist and eventually a therapist to talk about depression/anxiety.  I think we should all be able to trust our healthcare teams!  Now, whether or not you'd want to tell them your favorite song to sing in the shower or your biggest celebrity crushes is entirely up to you. 

Stay tuned for more D-Blog Week dorkiness right here!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Take Your Mama Out All Night, Yeah...

Happy Mother's Day!

Not just to all the moms of the Diabetes Online Community out there, but to MY mom as well.  She may not like this picture, but here it is anyway:

Taken in 2011, Back row, l-r: Mom, Aunt L, yours truly, cousin B (who has a beautiful 1-year-old now), cousin N (holding her youngest). Front row: cousin N's first daughter and my Nana. My fam has a lot of smart, sassy women in it!

She's always been there for me, even in the days before the internet and massive online gatherings of d-parents.  She encouraged me to learn how to manage diabetes myself, even if I never logged enough for her liking.  (I still probably don't.  At least I can just plug my meter into my laptop now.)  I know she's had a lion's share of worries about me, but she's always encouraged me to be happy and do what I think is right.

My mom is a writer, even if she doesn't think of herself as one that often.  She wrote all the time when I was a kid.  If you want to talk nerdy things, I always wanted to play with her electric typewriter, and when I was little I marveled at how she could type without looking at the keys.  Mom now congratulates me on poetry features, asks how the slam is going and yes, she even reads this blog.  I know you're doing it.  Why else would I talk about you?

And while my mom is not a self-professed geek, she helped make me the Dorkabetic I am today.  Thanks for all those trips to the library and all the VHS viewings of classic movies.  I also think most moms didn't actively enjoy watching cartoons with their kids the way my mom did all the way through college, nor do they still quote those shows with their kids today.  Thanks for all the rides to various rehearsals and practices.  Thanks for coming to my band and choir concerts, even though I know sometimes the parts without me bored you.  My mom still has my original Nintendo Game Boy (the greenish LCD one), and when last I checked, it was still working so she could work on her Tetris skills.

I hope that most of you are or have been as lucky as I am, to have a mom who is always proud of your achievements, who just wants you to do what makes you the happiest, who loves you all the time no matter what, and maybe, just maybe, a mom who is currently beating you in Candy Crush Saga.  (I'm just sayin' level 35 is positively dreadful and Mom's off on level 38.)

I love you, Mom!

PS:  Everyone and their mama should rock out to this song this weekend.  I think it's actually about coming out, but it's very simply about showing your mama a good time and letting her know you turned out okay.  Bonus points for use of giant silly puppets and costumes in this performance.  My mom would definitely approve of that, especially the singing watermelons.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I Did It! (Or, an update on the last post regarding moving and stuff)

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Dorkabetic readers...lend me your ears eyes.  I have a new home!  A lovely little rental in what so far seems to be a friendly neighborhood in Philadelphia proper. 

It's only been about a week or so.  We're still settling in.  There's some furniture yet to be rebuilt, and there's definitely a lot of boxes still unopened.  We're getting there.  When I have a housewarming, some of you are going to be on my first-to-know list!

Am I really ready for this?  Am I crazy for moving to the city at 31 just to see what happens?  The answers are, in this order: I think so...and no, I'm not crazy.  I've never done most things in a normal way.  Why start being normal now? 

In another update, my T:Slim is here, and I'll be trained on May 29th.  I can't wait to be beeping and booping my way through life with a fancy touchscreen robot pancreas!

There's not much more time to catch up right now.  I have yet to have FiOS moved to my house so internet at home is sparse (read: 3G wireless).  But I'm there!  I'm in the city!  I'm just like a married Mary Tyler Moore!  I'm Gonna Make It After All! 

That's a lot of exclamation points there, folks.  I'm running on caffeine and adrenaline today.  Go easy on me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Moving Right Along

There's a lot going on out there, Diabetes Blogosphere.  I'm sure most of you have read it all by now.  I know I have.

All this talk is just making me realize how much I love the word nomenclature

When are we all going to realize that the only two types of diabetes are the "good kind" and the "bad kind", am I right?!  If you think I'm actually right, then you have a lot to learn about diabetes, and you also have a lot to learn about my sense of humor.  I suggest reading more of this blog.

It's been hard to keep up with everything.  There's a lot of great points being made out there.

What's really been keeping me busy?  Moving.  Where am I moving to?  Philadelphia proper, at least I think so.  It's an exciting and terrifying process.  I'm thrilled to try life in the city, I'm horrified because I'm not actually all that excited to pack up my house and go.  It's been pretty much five years where we are now.  I've been misty every other day for the past week or so because I realize I'm getting closer to the part where Phoenixville isn't going to be my home anymore.  I've been panicking [in a pretty bad way, actually] about moving because we still have yet to nail down where we are moving to exactly.  Matt and I have to be out in about a week, and we haven't signed a lease yet.

It's a weird transition for me right now.  I can't wait to know where I'm going to be, and to have a new home (at least for the next year).  It's been hard to find time to blog while I'm doing all this moving stuff:  moving my house, moving forward in life, moving along with some new ideas.

And for all my nerves and worries about the downsizing I will probably be doing with my home, I'm excitedly scavenging the internet for small-space design ideas, and looking at the pages of various cat shelters because our new digs will hopefully be pet-friendly.

Thanks for sticking with me, d-blog pals!  I can't wait to show you where I'm going next.  I'll let you soon as I know. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

All in a Twist

Seriously, how does this happen? What was my pump tubing doing all night? Must be quite the game of Twister you're playing there.

Thankfully it didn't stop insulin delivery.

If I ever wake up with it in a braid of some sort, I am going back to injections, because surely supernatural forces will be the ones governing my pump tubing. No human amount of wriggling could make that happen overnight.

We are serious about soft pretzels here around Philly, but this is not the kind of soft pretzel I had in mind.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Self-Portrait Saturday: Faceless Fashion Edition

Bright tights, 80's inspired skirt and my favorite boots.  Where was my pump?   Honest answer? Cleavage.  I'm not thinking that's going to appear in any future Self-Portrait Saturdays.  I try to keep things at least semi-professional around here.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Can I put poetry in motion for PWDs?

So a couple of weeks ago I was honored to be featured on Kelly Writers' House Live, airing on Philadelphia's WXPN 88.5fm.  I'd like to thank my friends at Apiary magazine for inviting me to appear, and I'd like to thank Michaela Majoun for her gracious hosting.  Also a big thanks to the University of Pennsylvania for having such an awesome Writers' House and a great bunch of people in it, including Alex (I could have her name wrong) who was running the show.

It'll be archived online soon enough, and I'll let you all know where you can go listen once it's up.

But all this poetry stuff has me thinking--is there a way to combine writing with helping people with diabetes?  Has anybody done writing workshops for PWDs?  Do you think people would be interested?  I am seriously contemplating how to facilitate this one; I think it could be a cool exercise in patient empowerment.

So much brainstorming right now about so many different subjects!  This is merely one thing that's on my mind, but I figured a great thing to bring up among my diabetes community compadres. 

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Any takers?  Maybe?

Have a great weekend, all.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Seriously, How Do People Do It?

This post is mostly crowdsourcing...for me, and for you! 

I'm stressed out.  I haven't been on my Dexcom in weeks because I feel like it's just one more thing to worry about.  A large part of the stress is work, which also translates into work apathy.  Another part of the stress is looking for a new place to live.  Yup, we're planning on moving very soon.  We want to be closer to Philadelphia than where we are now in the suburbs.  This means rental-hunting and lots of considerations and list-making and deposit payments and--you get the point.

When you don't have a lot of time to relax, what do you do to unwind?  Can you relax and be productive at the same time?

Right now, when I get home from work, I just want to veg out.  However, in my vegetative "eat dinner and watch 2 hours' worth of Girls" state, I am still stressing because of all the work I'm not doing.  Didn't put clean dishes away first.  Could be cleaning the bathroom.  Could be folding laundry while watching TV except the couch needs to be vacuumed because of all the crumbs left by the kid I babysat.  I feel like I am full of excuses and zero motivation!  This is why I turn to you, friends and readers.

Let's have a discussion about beating stress, because for me, it sends my blood sugars to the moon, and when I last checked, my BG has not undergone astronaut training.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Eye Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore

If you want to know the annual doctor's appointment that gnaws at my nerves the most, it's not the gynecologist.  It's the eye doctor. 

Coming in second or third to the stories most people will tell you about their family member who didn't take care of their diabetes and lost a foot are the stories of somebody's uncle/aunt/brother-in-law (etc) who went blind. 

I never feel like I know what my eyes are doing there.  Are they just sitting in my skull, happily doing their jobs?  Is there more to it than that?  Retinopathy, sounds like the most insidious of all diabetes complications.  It just lurks in the backs of your eyeballs until your eye doctor discovers it.  Sometimes I have a bad blood sugar day where my eyes refuse to focus properly.  Near the end of a bout with what may have been the norovirus earlier this year (still not sure what illness it was exactly) paired with an infection, I became super photosensitive very suddenly.  Light literally hurt my eyes when I got out of bed in the morning.  I was terrified.  What would the eye doctor find in three weeks?

Luckily, the photosensitivity faded with my illness and the completion of my antibiotics.  It could have been a symptom or a side effect, not sure which. 

Two days ago, I was at my annual eye checkup.  I had a new doctor, who was a nice guy in his mid-40s.  He checked my vision, and while I need to change my prescription slightly, he encouraged me that I was looking great.  Even with my ridiculous nearsightedness that I've had since kindergarten, I can still be corrected to 20/20 vision.  There are new glasses in my future.  I'm excited and also sad to see these glasses go.  After that quick exam, I was given drops.

He said my pressure looked great, which is reassuring given the history of glaucoma in my family, but then I had to wait for my eyes to dilate.  That's the moment I tend to get a lump in my throat.  I paused in my mind to reason with my retinas.  Okay, guys, you're feeling okay, yes?  Maybe?  Please? 

Sitting in the chair for the moment of truth, I asked, "So be honest, tell me how they look?  I've been diabetic for 22 years now.  I've been told that you can tell I'm diabetic by looking at them but there's nothing to worry about."

"They look great!" he exclaimed.  He paused to look at my chart on the computer.  "Actually, they look better than last year.  I can see one micro-spot in your right eye, but it's practically nothing.  And like I said, it's even better than before."

Sometimes I feel like I will forever be dodging bullets, despite my best efforts.  It's always comforting to know I can fight another day.  My eyes are 99.9% perfect.  After 22 years with type 1, I feel happy just knowing that.  I feel lucky.  And of course, I always feel like I could do better. 

So for now I hope that eye squirrel stays friendly.  Or that he's maybe more of a transient eye chipmunk, or a degu.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Processing Times May Vary

Over the past 2 days, I've contacted both Tandem and Dexcom.  2013 is a year of New Diabetes Gearstuff here at Dorkabetic. 

Now I just need to wait, wait, wait on processing and companies contacting my suppliers.  Then I will wait, wait, wait on shipping.  I am not the greatest at being patient about such things.  Here is an approximation of what it looks like when I am waiting for something via delivery [USPS, UPS, FedEx, specific responses to emails, etc]:

Found via Google Image Search via some awesome person at

Here's hoping the waits aren't too long.  And don't worry, readers o' mine, I will certainly have plenty to say about my new diabetes "toys" when they arrive.  I apologize in advance to anyone without diabetes in my life for all the yammering on I will surely be doing about all my new gadgetry, but hey, listen in.  You might even learn something.

Let the mailbox checking begin!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Self-Portrait Saturday: Cat Hat Edition

"What do you expect?" I said to a friend after bumbling through an answer to one of his questions. "I'm a 30-year-old woman in a Hello Kitty hat!"

And I look cute in it too.  Bam.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Like a...Boss?

Do you ever get that proud yet somewhat reluctant feeling when you make a bunch of necessary doctor's appointments that you've been putting off?

That's what today is like for me. 

If I can top today off with printing up a log of numbers for my endocrinologist appointment tomorrow, I think I am officially a boss. 

Healthwise, though, I am long overdue for some of these things, and others I probably just need in general.  I spent this weekend sick, and it was a bit scary at times, but that is a post I shall make for tomorrow.