Some Updates.

I realize I have not been blogging much lately so wanted to say hello to everyone and let you all know what’s been going on around my neck of the woods and keeping me busy.  Or maybe distracted.

 

  • It seems my blog anniversary completely slipped by me!  The end of August marked four years since I started here and I want to thank everyone that has ever stopped by to read, to comment and support me.  This wouldn’t mean to me what it does if it weren’t for all of you.
  • In July, I had a repeat gastric emptying scan done.  Unfortunately it confirmed what both me and my gastroenterologist figured, my gastroparesis has progressed.  Compared to the first one I had four years ago, it is still considered mild but it has gotten worse.  She prescribed two medications to take as needed and luckily I’ve been able to manage without them.  My hubby did some investigating to see if there were any natural remedies to help and he found out about ginger root.  I have been taking capsules before most meals and have noticed that it does help.  Thank you hubby!  I have learned a lot about this condition and it is not something that I would wish on anyone.  I’m truly hoping that managing my blood sugar as best I can will help keep it mild.
  • A few weeks ago I had my very first insulin pump infusion site infection, after almost 8 years of pumping.  I had removed the pod from my lower back and it was a little sore which is not completely unusual.  However the next day it was extremely painful and with the advice of a friend, I had it looked at by a doctor.  It was indeed infected so was put on 10 days of an oral antibiotic.  It has healed nicely but I have to admit I’m a bit weary of getting another one.  I’m hoping it was just a one-time-fluke type of thing.
  • I have been more involved with IRL citizenship and advocacy type efforts.  I am part of the citizenship committee as well as the disability network at my job.  It is very fulfilling to be part of such great networks and helps make my “regular” job more worthwhile.  I am also on the walk committee of my local JDRF chapter this year.  It makes me proud to be part of an organization that has announced such exciting advances in type 1 diabetes research in recent months.
  • Over the past 2 months, I haven’t exercised and my eating habits weren’t always the greatest.  While I’m finally working on changing that now, I was extremely surprised at the results from my endo appointment this past week.  A1c went down, not up like I expected and also one of the lowest I’ve ever had.  Also I lost a couple of pounds.  None of this makes much sense to me and really not the motivation I was hoping for to get back on track but honestly I’ll take it.  It makes me think back to all the times I was expecting and hoping for an A1c a lot lower than it turned out to be.  Sometimes diabetes is just unpredictable.
  • Most importantly, on September 3rd, my Mema (grandmother) passed away.  It wasn’t sudden as her health had deteriorated rapidly since earlier in the year but I still cannot believe she’s gone.  I’m glad I got to spend more time with her the few weeks before she passed, even though she may not have realized it was me.  I’m glad and thankful she was a part of my life for so long.  I’m glad that she lived such a full life – she would have been 95 next month, had 8 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.  I’m glad that she went peacefully and is now in a better place.  But it still hurts and I miss her dearly.

 

I suppose that’s most of it in a nutshell.  I’m hoping for more peaceful times to come and to make a better effort at blogging more often.  Especially with a big month coming up with a lot to do and say.  Oh, one more thing.  I got the new iPhone 6 on Friday (I was one of the crazy people who pre-ordered early in the morning on September 12th and not the crazy person who got on a line at the Apple store two weeks ago) and would highly recommend it for other iPhone lovers out there!

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(image credit goes to the internet)

Happy Birthday Daddy.

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Today is my father’s birthday and he would have been 72.  It’s hard for me to imagine him at such a mature age, since it’s been so long that he has been gone.  While the ache in my heart from losing him isn’t new anymore, it is still there and always will be.  I found the below images and found them to be perfect for today.

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Happy birthday Daddy.  I will always miss you deeply.

 

What Brings Me Down – Diabetes Blog Week 2014.

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Today is Day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week and the topic = May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

 

To me, this is probably both the easiest and the hardest topic to write about.  The easiest because there is just so much that goes into managing diabetes psychologically so the material is endless.  The hardest because sometimes it just seems simpler to not confront the negative emotions that come with dealing with it day in and day out.

I think what brings me down the most was seeing first hand all the complications from T1D my father endured for years, ultimately losing his life from it all.  There is not much more heartbreaking than losing a parent, especially losing them to the same disease you yourself live with.  However instead of dwelling on those dreadful, heartrending, painful details I focus on the life that I am living.  I have had T1D for over 32 years already.  And while I have started with minor complications, they are minor.  I am extremely fortunate to have access to tools and resources that help keep me on top of my diabetes as best I can.  Early detection is critical which is why I have routine exams with multiple doctors.  While I’m fearful of complications that may occur, I do not want to encourage the progression of those complications by discounting them.  My father was diagnosed during a very different era of diabetes management and I need to remind myself of that.  He also went undiagnosed for a long period of time based on symptoms.  I on the other hand, was diagnosed very early, thanks to the knowledge he and my mother possessed.

I try my hardest to focus on the positive.  I take one BG at a time.  I take one doctor visit at a time.  I strive to accept the things I cannot change and since I cannot change having T1D, I need to accept it.  If I let it, the fear and weight of his suffering and his loss would consume me.  So I choose to not let it.

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 🙂

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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Ashamed American.

This isn’t really diabetes related.  But it’s about a huge part of my life – my twin sister.  Many of you may know that her house in Staten Island, NY was ruined by Hurricane Sandy back in October of last year.  Her and my brother in law have been through absolute hell since then, trying to get their house repaired so they can move back.  Sadly, that is not feasible and they are trying to work out an alternative plan.  I actually wrote this some time ago and forgot about it.  It came up while talking with her over this past weekend and I thought I’d put it out there.

Imagine living in a country where you pay a decent amount of money each year toward government provided services.

Imagine paying for insurance every month, year after year, to cover your home and belongings in the event of a disaster.

Imagine living in a flood prone area and paying extra in insurance to protect your home and belongings in the event of a flood.

Now imagine surviving a major flood resulting from a super storm with a house, the one that is covered by both flood and home insurance and state and city taxes, that is almost completely destroyed. You would think your house could be rebuilt with the coverage you’ve been paying for, right?

Think again. In the US, NYC and NJ no less, there are thousands of families who have homes and businesses ruined from Hurricane Sandy. It has been just about 8 months since the storm and not one thing in terms of recovery has changed. The red tape that President Obama claimed would not play a role in the recovery from Sandy, is all over the place. Insurance companies are not paying for total damages, sometimes nothing at all. Banks are withholding insurance checks from clients. Mortgage companies are penalizing homeowners for not being able to pay mortgages on a home that is unlivable. And even padlocking those homes illegally.  It is a disgrace that this is how our state, city and government officials are allowing the recovery efforts to go. I am ashamed to live in a city, state and country where this kind of thing happens and its citizens are allowed to suffer like this.