Category Archives: Emotions

Poetry Tuesday – Diabetes Blog Week 2014.

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If you haven’t heard already, this week is Diabetes Blog Week, started by the lovely Karen!  I’m late to the party, but was able to put my writing cap on to get in a post for Day 2.  (I will certainly be catching up at some point on the Day 1 entry that I missed)

Poetry Tuesday.

 

 

Fear.

Needles.

Uncertainty.

Lancets.

Sadness.

Blood.

Routine.

Carbs.

Determination.

Sensors.

Numbers. Numbers. Numbers.

 

Hope.

 

A 32 year life with T1D.

Sisters.

Last night I returned from attending my fourth Diabetes Sisters Weekend for Women conference, this time in the Alexandria Virginia/DC area.  And I feel so grateful.

One of the things I was looking forward to most was seeing old friends and making new ones.  And of course that was one of the best parts.  The bonding that happens between women with diabetes at these events is truly remarkable!  But another part that I have found so rewarding through the years is the knowledge and motivation gained through connections and sessions to keep me empowered.  I consider myself an empowered person living with diabetes.  However dealing with the ins and outs of it day after day, for the past 32 years, can leave me feeling less powerful at times.  Sometimes a little push is all I need to get back to it.

We were fortunate to be in the company of Dr. Nat Strand.  I first met her at the 2012 conference and loved her.  She is so down to earth, knowledgeable and has a positive attitude that is contagious.  She lead a session this time around about Diabetes from Head to Toe.  While I basically knew all the organs and body parts that diabetes can have a negative affect on, hearing her talk about it just reiterated to me how important it is to keep a proactive approach to my health.  Although I have started with minor complications, I have had them diagnosed very early and that has been to my benefit and I believe what has kept them minor so far.  I have also had others ruled out by having the appropriate tests for them.  Especially these days, early diagnosis is key to proper treatment and hopefully preventing the progression of the condition.

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(Me with two lovely ladies, Nat Strand and Susan Weiner, RD, MS, CDE, CDN)

 

Although I am already active in the diabetes online community, it was fun to see Cherise and Kerri teach the group how to connect through blogging and social media.  There was also a DSMA Live meetup which was fun!

I actually got up at 6:30 on Saturday morning to work out.  I know, I don’t know what has gotten into me!  There were exercise options for the early morning session but instead of T’ai Chi or a walk around the town, I chose to get my butt kicked with the lovely Ginger 😉  It was an anaerobic workout teaching how to use your body as weights instead of equipment.  I learned that I’ve been doing squats incorrectly but have pretty good form for push ups 🙂 It was a hard but awesome workout.

There was a pretty emotional discussion about how diabetes affects eating and body image.  It was lead by a panel consisting of Asha Brown, Diana Naranjo, PhD, Rhonda Merwin PhD and Lorraine Platka-Bird PhD, RD. When put into perspective, how can anyone living with diabetes view food the same way as people without diabetes?  Food is one of the key elements in our management.  It could either be a life saver or it could be a derailment in blood sugar control.  Attention and calculation surrounds every single piece of food that goes into our mouths.  No wonder this poses the opportunity for psychological issues!

Claudia Graham, MPH, PhD, gave the keynote presentation and also received the 2014 Inspiration Award at dinner on Saturday night.  She is the Vice President of Global Access at Dexcom and has thrived with diabetes for over 35 years.  She spoke to us about how to be your own CEO as sometimes being a woman can have some stereotypes attached to it.  She also pointed out key things to know about your health as it relates to diabetes.  One key statistic she mentioned was that as a person living with diabetes, you will spend 8,760 hours each year taking care of it.  Your doctor on the other hand will spend on average one hour each year.  One.  This is the only disease that leaves 99% of the treatment in the hands of the patient.  And that is why it is so critical that we be empowered and be our own CEO.

We were all awarded with a stone, to commemorate the years we have lived with diabetes.  Mine was for courage.  And I have to admit, courage is one of the things I will take with me after being in the presence of such  inspiring, dynamic and valiant women.

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Thank you Brandy and Anna for organizing such a wonderful event once again!

I also want to thank my husband for joining me on this trip as he has the past three times. I don’t think he realizes just how much that means to me. I don’t know what I would do without his support.

 

Something Funky.

I realized today that I’m in some kind of funk.  I don’t know if it’s a touch of the winter blues.  I’m not sure if it’s from the sinus crud that has been plaguing me lately.  I don’t know if I have a bit of burnout.  But I do know that I haven’t really been feeling myself and can’t seem to shake it.

I have zero energy.  If I didn’t have real life obligations, I think I would stay in my pj’s and robe and watch tv on the couch all day.  I’m finding it very hard to get out of bed in the mornings, even when it’s 10am on the weekends.  I don’t feel like doing anything at all.  I’ve only worked out a few times in the past 2-3 weeks and I was doing so good.  While my blood sugars haven’t been terrible, they haven’t been stellar either.

I’m trying to determine the cause of this so that I can work on the solution.  But I can’t seem to pinpoint it on any one thing.  I believe my sinus issues may play a part – while I don’t have an infection, I have been suffering a lot from allergy symptoms for some reason and I know lethargy is a big symptom of many things sinus.  I know I need to push myself but I can’t seem to find the motivation to do that.  What I’m really hoping is that this is only temporary.  Because I would like more than anything to feel like me again.

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Recap of 2013.

Hi friends!  It seems like I’ve had a lot going on this year and my posts have been sporadic. But I’m still around and I’d love to recap what my year was about.  When I DID post that is 🙂  I’d love to call them highlights but honestly a lot of them don’t seem so exciting to fall under that category!

December: 32 years ago today I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

November: Oops.

October: What I am very glad about is that I am an empowered patient and have the wisdom to make this sort of determination.

September: Have you ever felt that something in your life needed to be “recharged”?

August: This is a fairly new collaboration within the diabetes online community to spread knowledge about the fact that the glucose test strips we use today, yes in 2013, are not completely accurate.

July: Talking with a true inspiration.

June: This isn’t really diabetes related.  But it’s about a huge part of my life – my twin sister.

May: Like the past conferences, I had a wonderful time.

April: I am honored to be hosting the Best of The ‘Betes Blogs for the month of April.

March: It was a little after 1am when I woke up kind of suddenly.

February:  Lucky for me, the great people over at Sanofi Diabetes asked if I was willing to share some advice or tips if you will, on traveling with diabetes.

January: When I was growing up with diabetes, there weren’t many books around that I knew of on the topic.

I cannot believe that we are getting ready to say goodbye to another year.  Is it me or did this one just fly right by?? I want to wish all of you a very happy and healthy new year.  May 2014 be good to all of you 🙂

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A Day Late.

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Yesterday was No D Day.  It is something that my friend George started a few years ago.  “It is one day a year when we all try our best to NOT mention diabetes online, all day. ALL DAY!  We all spend a lot of time talking about Diabetes and our lives are filled with more that that disease. We are more that a disease!”  While I am a day late, I still wanted to get my No D Day in.

Ever since Kerri posted her Anti Rant a couple of weeks ago, it has been on my mind to do the same.  So here goes my list of just some of the things I am thankful for 🙂

  • Pumpkin.  It sounds cliche but I love pumpkin flavors or scents.  My living room smells delicious with the wallflower scent of Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin from Bath and Body Works.  So do my hands for that matter with the same scent of cream.  Who doesn’t love a pumpkin latte?  I’m on the hunt for some pumpkin pie spice to add to my meal replacement shakes in the morning.  And a pumpkin cupcake from Crumbs?  I’m not even going there.
  • Boston.  My hubby and I have visited there 5 out of the last 6 years.  We love it.  We just enjoyed a weekend there and the weather was absolutely beautiful.  Boston Common has got to be one of my favorite places on earth.  I could sit and walk around there all day 🙂

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  • A good workout.  Honestly.  I don’t know why I fought exercise for so long.  100% of the time when I am done, I feel great.  Whether it’s a ride on my spin bike or one of the few programs I have at home, it’s all good.
  • Easy days at work.  I work for an investment bank so my job is a high stress environment.  There are times when I feel too burnt out for my age after working in this industry since college.  But there are those rare days that are not completely filled with meetings or deadlines or audits or issues.  And I cherish those.
  • Sleep.  I am not one of those people who get up before their alarm on their own.  Ever.  Now that it is the time of year that it is dark when I get up during the week, it is so much harder to actually get up.  I hate it.  I count down the days until the next time I can sleep in!
  • A good book or movie or TV show.  I love when I’m reading a book that I cannot wait to get back to or even make extra time to finish reading.  Any book by Elizabeth Joy Arnold is one of those.  And thank goodness for Netflix!  During our long trip to Boston over the weekend, I was able to start catching up from the first episode of New Girl.  Hilarious show.  I highly recommend it if you don’t watch it already.
  • These kids.  My daily life is very different from those of you who have children.  It’s quiet 😉  I can do whatever I want, wherever I want, whenever I want.  And while I enjoy that piece of my world, there is always that part of me that deeply misses out on having my own children.  But these three?  They come pretty darn close.  (Especially since they could pass as mine thanks to the identical twin genetics that I share with their mother!)

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There is so very much that I am thankful for.  But I wanted to keep this post at a reasonable length 🙂

Recharge.

Have you ever felt that something in your life needed to be “recharged”?  I have been going to my current diabetes care office for about 14-15 years.  When I met my husband, I think I was still seeing my pediatric endo!  Fortunately my mother in law worked in one of the local hospital systems and recommended an endocrinologist to me, one that she knew of from the hospital.  And so I went.  I was pleased with Dr. R and the rest of the staff including both CDEs that I have been seen by.  It was under her encouragement that I went on an insulin pump almost 7 years ago.  Then about 2-3 years ago (I think) Dr. R left the practice to go somewhere new and since then I have been seeing her replacement, Dr. K.  I am very comfortable with this office.  They always get back to me and get any paperwork or prescriptions filled out pretty quickly. They even know me by just the sound of my voice!  I go for my visits every 3 months like clockwork.  I don’t dislike Dr. K at all but sometimes I feel that she may be too easygoing.  Only ordering blood work at my own request.  Not fully understanding why I have some minor complications after 31+ years.  I have been feeling recently that maybe an overhaul of my health team was in need.

 

This past weekend we were at a friend’s 40th birthday party where I met a fellow person with T1D.  We chatted briefly and she asked who my endocrinologist was.  She told me hers and said that she loved her.  That got me thinking even more.  I made a call to this new doctor yesterday to find out if she was accepting new patients.  She is, however a referral from a doctor is needed in order to be seen.  Even though it sounded strange to me, I went in search of who could provide me with the referral.  Lo and behold, my awesome gastroenterologist was willing to provide me with what I needed.  And I have an appointment scheduled for early next month.  I have such mixed emotions.  I’m hopeful that maybe I will love this doctor.  I’m scared about seeing someone new and being in a new environment.  I feel bad about finding somewhere different, like I’m cheating on my current health team.  I’m optimistic that my diabetes management will get the boost it possibly needs.  But most of all I’m nervous that it will turn out to be me, the one who has been too laid-back with things.

We Can Do This.

Happy Friday everyone!  And a happy Labor Day to my US friends too!  I’m not sure how it got to be the end of summer already but here we are … September is approaching and pumpkin is everywhere 🙂

I am taking Kerri’s lead today and posting about a very important issue.  The Strip Safely campaign is well under way.  But there is something else that is needed from us to ensure that the tools we use to manage our diabetes is taken very seriously by the FDA.  They are planning future patient meetings on various diseases and conditions to better understand them.  Don’t you think they need to get a better view of the challenges of living with diabetes and how the tools available play a huge role in that?  Don’t you think since the number of people being diagnosed with diabetes keeps growing and growing, a solid understanding of this disease from the people who have it would help?  I do.  And I’m sure many of you would agree.  So let’s get together and make our voices heard.  Take a few minutes to sign this petition, please.  And pass it along.  We need 5,000 signatures so get to it!

Please sign here.

Three Years Old.

The big three

The Girl with the Portable Pancreas turns 3 on Sunday.  I cannot believe how time flies.  It wasn’t my start at blogging, as I had already been blogging for my friends at ACT1, but I started my own three years ago.  I am very happy to be able to reach out to people sharing my own experiences and knowledge and be part of such a powerful community.  I hope you continue to read and know that together we can do this.

I will leave you with wishes for a wonderful weekend and some motivation to keep you going strong 🙂

Optimism

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Grief Then. Grief Now.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night from a nightmare.  My heart was pounding so hard I swore Joe could hear or feel it.  It was about finding out my father passed away.  When I woke up I realized it wasn’t really a dream, but a recollection.

Today marks ten years that my father passed away.  Ten years.  As much as I hate it, my life has gone on.  So much has happened in the past ten years, especially in my diabetes life, that I wish I could share with him.  I know he is watching over me but I wish he was here in real life.  I still have those moments where my heart truly aches from missing him.

I would give anything to be able to talk to him again.  Hug him.  Hold his hand.  Make tea for him.  And as long as I live, I will hate diabetes for taking that away from me.  But today I won’t let diabetes win.  I’m not going to reflect on what I lost.  I am going to celebrate the wonderful father I had.  I am going to remember the good times we shared.  I am going to cherish his memory.

In my dreams
I’ll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I’ll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you’ll be
And everywhere I am
There you’ll be
Lyrics from There You’ll Be by Faith Hill, the song we danced to at my wedding

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