Thursday, May 29, 2008


Until today, I've never cried.(from it) Until today, the pain of a needle has never sent me over the edge. Until today, I have never witnessed the extreme callousness of someone who just doesn't give a flip + is just waiting till 5 PM and the end of a workday.

The needle was large(not 16 gauge, but large and entirely un-necessary for 3 lousy tubes of blood) and I was expecting a shock but not like that. The phlebotomist shoved it in very fast, and I've never felt that kind of paralyzing pain before. I've been tracked up on both arms for usable veins, I've given donations of blood many times, and I've had a few Arterial Blood Gases in my time. I've had IV's, and blown IVs. I've had gushers, and I've had sets hit nerves. None of them compared to this.

I dissolve-erupt into a fountain of tears, the phlebotomist grabs my arm roughly, slaps a band aid on it and tells me to have a nice day. Shows me the door. No apologies, no inquires as to whether I was ok. I think that that is what hurts the most, I understand people make mistakes(and I'm ok with that) but deliberately reeking physical and mental damage is extremely unprofessional. I guess I've just been extremely lucky, in that phlebotomists have always been polite, at the very least..they can't all be painless but all I really want is respect. I won't be going back to that facility, the bruise goes deep to my soul.

The Last of a Trilogy: Hail to the Chief

Washington's digs aren't nearly as big as Jefferson's or even James Madison's. But he
had alot more land/various outbuildings.
(plus, at Mt. Vernon there is an actual food court in the visitor's cream sure hits the spot, much more so then a lukewarm cola from some vending machine)

Anyway, we finally made it up to Mt. Vernon on Memorial Day. Place was packed,as usual.(its open 365 days a year)
It was the final stop on the "3 Presidents" tour, having been to Monticello and Montpelier over the past 2 years.

Washington preferred simplicity, but even he would have balked at this:

Family Bible:

Washington family pew:

Watering can:

A cooking pot so large you could take a bath in it:

Washington is watching you:(this was pretty freaky, as you moved his eyes moved with you)

His surveying equipment:

The dock:(during spring fishing, they could catch up to 1.6 million herring in just 6 weeks!)


This is how they got around:(riding chair, which was apparently much more comfortable then the carriage)

and a carriage:

His tomb:

Inside the main house, of course, no flash photography was allowed. We also took the audio tour(headphones,device) and that was definatly worth it,found out alot of extra stuff that guides weren't around to tell us.
All in all, I must agree his assessment of the place:

I would love to live there...situated on a hill RIGHT above the Potomac River, thus breezy + a temperate climate. I would not love to be bled four times before dying, but apparently Washington died of the throat infection(went out riding, got sore throat, it progressed, had difficulty breathing/fever, his doctors bled him four times the day he died, he suffocated-it was a 36 hour illness) Today, they theorize that antibiotics would have cleared it right up. Horrid way to go.
Interesting fact..his only surviving(well, the only one who had kids) offspring(a step great-grand daughter) married Robert E. Lee, they had 7 kids(none of whom died,during the Civil War) and I'm sure that's how the Custis-Washington legacy survived. Kudos to Lee, even if you don't like how he fought for the South.

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.." he was truly a great leader, without which the United States may not have come into existence. And he could have been President for life, how many leaders today would voluntarily step down after just two terms?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Tomorrow promises to be very, very interesting... in more ways then one. I'm excited about meeting other OC bloggers, but the thing that's got me worried will I ever FIND the place.(point #11,I'm horrible with directions. And maps. I always get lost the first 1-2 times till it sinks in the o'le memory bank)
My one consolation, close to the Atlantic, you can't TOO lost, there are only so many roads, all of which will lead you back to major highways in a comfortingly familiar SW direction. So I may be a little late but I plan to get there.

The only thing that would make this even better, is if sense of taste would return. I might as well be eating gruel, for the sensation is the same. So very dead. I usually eat all the disgustingly healthy things I cannot stand otherwise,(during such times)because A. I need it and B. I'd never eat it otherwise. I'm beginning to get concerned,its gone on a little long + the congestion isn't horrible enough to warrant all of that.(sinus infection,maybe?)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

drawkcaB dellepS emeM

#1 I eat pizza, pie, and all triangular shaped foods from the crust, to the tip. Precisely opposite from the way most people do it. I started doing this as a teenager, after hearing the story about an American spy in WWII who got caught because of the way he ate his pie. No one is ever going to indite me on something, based on the way I eat. Now its just 2nd nature to eat them like that.

#2 I dislike sweet and salty ingredients in the same dish. Pineapple pizza? yuck. Waldorf Salad? can't stand it. I eat cottage cheese packs one section at a time.(CC first, put jam on bread) because mixing it tasted disgusting. Sweet salad dressings- no go, I prefer salty.

#3 My first car was a '89 Pontiac Grand Am. My second, a '95 Dodge Spirit. Both of them lasted an average of 2.5 years before being I totaled them. Hoping to get more mileage out of car #3.(2 years, 5 months, currently)

#4 I love motorcycles, wish I owned one.(to be a black leathered chick racing down the freeway at 80 mph is a reoccurring fantasy of mine.) My life is pretty dull, in that regard.

#5 I've lived 9 places in 26 years, mostly the result of landlord's offspring getting married + repossessing the houses. Getting married=large scale reproduction plans(especially in Old Order Mennonite country) so we had to move around alot.

#6 I want to give blood in each of the 50 states, before I die.(which also requires actually visiting said states...)

#7 I dislike cooking immensely, I'd rather clean up. I think it has to do with the inconvenience of reading glasses, having to whip them on/off half a zillion times during the process is pretty annoying and I'd rather just heat something up in the microwave to avoid all that. Top Chef, I am not.(but I do enjoy everyone else's cooking..)

#8 I don't wear red, it brings out the zits. Apparently, those teenage hormone's are still runnin' strong and the zits..they never really leave.(been there, tried that)

#9 I have a famous ancestor,(well,kinda,he wasn't married) which unfortunately I can't even blog about due to what he was famous for. (think highly mortifying) Regardless, I hope someday that the billions in royalties will find their way across the Atlantic + to our branch of the family tree(and if it crosses,it will) and we'll all be set, for life.If that happens, I'm going to hire my own researcher and get myself cured.(plan #1)

#10 I wrote my first book at the age of 11. I'm still writing,(nothing published, yet) but my spelling doesn't seem to have improved at all since then. I have atrocious spelling. I once lost a spelling bee in which there were only two people(me, the other kid) and the other kid was 1.5 years younger then I.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Season Finale(s)

I feel a little more alive now.. the fever broke this morning. Yes,it was the flu(not a cold). Haven't had a cold (since last August) and the last time I had the flu was 4-5 years ago so I guess I was long overdue. There's one interesting fact about the flu..hypos are never an issue, you could bolus for a meal, not eat the meal,and still be high 4 hours later. The body requires a lot of insulin when there's a fever.

So anyway, as I was hanging out w/all my paraphernalia last night, alternately watching/crying/sneezing through the season finale of "House" it occurred to me how utterly repetitious and boring season finales have gotten.
First, it was Meredith of Grey's Anatomy going into a coma/near death experience.(talking to Denny Duqette)

Then, it was Eli Stone going into a coma/ near death experience.(talking to George Michael)

Now, it's House/going into a coma/not quite death experience.(talking to now deceased ex-girlfriend)

I can't wait for tonight..maybe one of the Davids in the American Idol Season finale will sing/bore the other one into a coma/and when he wakes up, he'll figure out that there are so many other MORE worthwhile things that he could be doing..
(sorry, a bit of sarcasm there)
Or I'll be bored into one myself. I'm sure I'm missing some of the coma finales, because I really don't watch alot of tv shows but this is just a trend I've noticed.

Friday, May 16, 2008

7 Excellent Reasons to Hang at 300+ Mg/Dl

While attempting a reservoir swap this morning, I cracked the cartridge case+ a piece came off.(on top-you can see the hole) Called Deltec, because it wasn't cooperating(stuck on a certain screen)-put in another cartridge and that worked. Unfortunately, when you chip the cartridge case, it can't hold in the reservoir of insulin and it becomes unsafe to use.(envision 300 units of insulin being jolted into your body) Replacement cap should be here by noon tomorrow, (Fed-Exed)but its back to shots for me. They really should make those things tougher.

#2 I have a cold. Or something. Not allergies, throats don't feel this way for no good reason. Besides, its been raining + my husband also has the bug(which he kindly gave to me) + the pollen count is essentially zip around here. Gonna be a fun weekend.

#3 I'm craving Chinese food, chocolate,ice cream, and pizza. Feed a cold, starve a fever(so the old adage goes) + despite the fact that its about the worst possible thing to eat when you're well, much less sick, high carb stuff is about the only thing I want right now. Really weird.

#4 This.

Just the earth transcending heavenly scent, is enough to put you in full-blown DKA.

#5 It's almost a full moon.

#6 Speaking of months and moons, its simerarily that difficult, basal rates need doubling, week.

#7 Narnia opens this weekend..and Indiana Jones the next. Can't see either, because we're going to go with friends(who are,maddingly, on vacation). Cannot wait.

Hope your weekend is better then this.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Van Gogh

(click picture for close up)
It may not look like much, but after 3 years and 3 months of periodically slaving away at the thing it is finished. (Hurrah!) This is entirely free form, nothing was off a pattern. The poem is original too. Now to get it framed(but not at Micheal's prices, they quoted me $260+.)While I think this item is valuable, its more of the sentimental kind. I may frame it myself. I intend to enter it the county fair this August. (the murky smudges is the camera's fault.. the actual piece is flawless) I wanted to give it to my EMS instructor(originally) but it took too darn long to complete..

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Wisdom of the Juice Box

Especially as it pertains to difficult-to-treat hypos.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tucking in the Tubing

In keeping with the "arm sites" experiment, I'm also trying more convenient places to put my pump. There are the obvious places..and if I had really long hair(I don't) I could even put it in there. But right now, my favorite is the Schwarzenegger look:

Pump carrier: ipod arm band. The tubing tucks up nicely, and I look like muscle girl when I pull down my shirt sleeve.(hmmm, maybe I should do the same for my Dexcom on the other side, to match)

Inspirational quote of the day:

"Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint." I need to remember that, when I get obsessed with doing everything exactly right/right now, the big picture is, you need to balance it with all the other obligations in your life. D will likely be around for many more years(much as we all hope for a cure), this super marathon has many more miles left in it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Made of Honor

A year ago today, I said yes to the most wonderful man in the world. It's been a life changing, wonderful year..and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
(now to go watch Made of Honor..very appropriate movie to watch, on one's 'versary, sooo romantic)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

That River in Egypt

This has been a very exhausting week, and if I never again set foot in a Kmart/Sears store it will be too soon. I completely abhor them.

It makes me just about ready to sign up for THIS, the ultimate lazy excuse. (the only problem, you have to be a perfect physical specimen to participate) I sure could use $17,000. But the strict schedule(being awake 16 hours, asleep 8) would be extremely difficult, if I'm in bed, I want to go asleep. It would be ok if they just induced a 90 day coma and did what they wanted to me. Wake me up, hand me the check, and I'd leave.

My car got flooded several nights ago(windows open, thunderstorm, dead sleep= several inches of water inside) so its been kind of disgusting/smelly. Great thing is, I still had to drive all over the place..and its still rainy, so nothing is really drying out. I hope next week is sunny.

The blood sugars have been a mystery, fairly ok but sometimes when they're just sitting on 90-130 and you feel hypo it drives you absolutely nuts. Because you aren't hypo, multiple checks have confirmed that. And you're also not dropping, so that's not to blame. Effects of caffeine..maybe, who knows. I don't drink caffeinated coke everyday though, and its been happening everyday.(and on some of the real hypos,come out of the blue) I have to learn to deny myself the urge to treat/eat.(not very easy)

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.. go out there and do something special for the moms in your life! (wife,mother, grandmother, etc.)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Chapter Meeting of D.E.S.A.

Long, long ago, the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association was named I.D.A.A.(International Diabetic Athletes Association) They dropped the diabetic and the international parts for the sake of political correctness. Anyway, I learned that and a whole slew of other goodies at last night's founding chapter(Baltimore D.E.S.A) Doug Dressman(Executive Director) and Rick Philbin(Animus, diabetes exercise guru) were on hand to kick things off, and then a local CDE falicitated the meeting. (held, where else, at the most humongous health club I have EVER seen, it was like a Super Walmart with two stories. If it weren't so far, I'd consider joining it.) was inspiring. All these triathletes/marathon runners/cyclists/mountain climbers/parents of kids with D, and about 7 CDE's from every hospital in the state.(And just plain me..there to learn, from the pros) I think it will be a good group, DESA is not just about type 1's. It's for the type 2's, parents, and anyone who knows someone with diabetes. DESA is about "hookups", (not that kind, mind out of the gutter, please)matching people to people with similar interests. (type 2, type 1, CGMS users, etc)

The DESA International Conferance will be held in Toronto this year. Of course, that's totally infeasible to attend but the entire schedule sounds really amazing- not only do
you learn from the experts, you get a darn workout every day(whether you were planning to just kick back, eat yourself into a stupor, and fall asleep during the lectures) or not. Then on Sat..they have a soccer tournament.(Italy vs The World)
I love soccer, have played it since I could walk all the way through high school. Never got any awards, because kids on homeschooled teams just don't, but I'm still good.(to toot my own horn) It would be cool to play on a team again.

Refreshments: tofu sandwiches and water. I've never had tofu sandwiches before, they were actually good.

Now.. I want to get a Running on Insulin t-shirt, it will inspire me to greater heights. That's one of the cool things about diabetes..we get to wear t-shirts like that! Non D's don't.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Remember Me, part 1

This is military appreciation month.. go here for ideas on how you can show support. Some of us fight battles within ourselves, and some of us fight the external battles-its a good thing everyone doesn't have diabetes.(not sure which is more difficult, but I rather suspect the diabetes wars are) I wonder if people in other countries(like Israel, where military service is mandatory) who have type 1 can be in the military. Anyway,I am grateful for their sacrifices..and just wish that so many of them didn't have to pay the ultimate sacrifice.(that doesn't make me bitter about current administrations though)Freedom isn't free,and if someone I loved died defending this nation I'd have to honor that.(through the pain)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Golden Tickets

The night air, slightly nippy, had the pollination enrichment impact of a swarm of honeybees over a field of flowers. Pollen, pollen, everywhere, reeking havoc upon the sinus systems of the individuals who suffer from seasonal allergies.

"Please just open," the girl in front of us moans.

Ahh,Choo! I sneeze, grab a tissue from my pocket, and nod my agreement. 7 more minutes till we get to go in. Hope the tissue stash lasts that long.

"Ticket?" a store employee inquires.

"You bet!" (that is one of the reasons I'm here...)

7:30 pm. The doors spring open, and as we, the favored few dash through the entrance, the employees(lined up on both sides) cheer us madly. Very, very, bizarre. I've never been cheered like that before.(I could totally dig the celeb paparazzi life, it was nice)

First, we head for the stockpile of Wii's...obtain one, wander about the store, husband goes off to get us some drinks. I'm browsing in the video section when a women asks me if I'm staying and gives me her raffle ticket. Look at the stoves/ranges + get a cheaper one, but still nice.(ours is pretty old) Hang around store, until...

8:58 pm. "Will ticket number #20019006 please come up to the front, you've won a $50 gift card."

I start jumping up and down. "That's me!" (the ticket the women had given me, not like I ever win anything otherwise) Last drawing of the night. Pick up gift card, check out. Use the gift card I already had, save the one I just got.

Get home, and realize we'd failed to get the freebies that you were supposed to get as you walked out. Winning that gift card made me so excited I forgot about the other stuff.(I'm going to try to call about it today and see if I can still get it, since I have the ticket) Head for the Claritin, which (in addition to the adrenalin still pumpin') revs me up so much I don't get to sleep till 1 AM.What a night.


And the results are in.. 35 minutes with the endo.(5/5/08)

Blood Pressure: 135/89 (I'm never that high???)
Thyroid antibodies: positive, I apperently have Hashimoto's but the levels are normal for now.(so I don't need any meds) Weird..because at diagnosis, the antibodies were negative but the levels were screwed up so I had to take thyroid medication for a year.
Cholesterol:(LDL) barely normal, but normal, thankfully
Kidneys: fine for another year, no protein
Hemoglobin A1c: 9.0. (up 0.5) Hasn't been that bad in awhile.

Give me a gold star, someone. I can fully explain the 9.0(had a run of 300-500's for over a week) but it is still embarrassing. Back to trying..weird thing is, numbers have been pretty great over the last week and endo didn't have to make many adjustments(just overnight).

Weight: Lost 6 pounds. Guess that's good.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Another Role Model

# May 1, 2008 8:27 pm US/Mountain

Jay Cutler Reveals He Has Type 1 Diabetes
CBS4 Broncos Insiders Sign Ups: Get Broncos Email Updates or text 4broncos to 66247 for free wireless text updates
Vic Lombardi

Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, he told CBS4's Vic Lombardi Thursday.

Cutler's business manager Marty Garafalo confirmed the illness Thursday night to the Associated Press.

Cutler told CBS4 he dropped eight to ten of pounds towards the end of the 2007 season and that he was not throwing the ball with as much force as he had in the past.

"I"m just excited about this year now that we know what the problem was," Cutler said. "I'm not the first person to get it and I won't be the last person to get it."

CBS4 medical editor Dr. Dave Hnida said Cutler may actually see improvement in his play now that he has a diagnosis and is getting treatment.

"He should look for a long and healthy [life]," Hnida said. "New things are popping up every day and the disease will one day be curable. It's just a blessing he caught this one early and I bet his advice to you would be to get screened if you have any signs or symptoms. You don't need to be an NFL quarterback to beat diabetes." (Read more in Dr. Dave's Blog)

The 25-year-old Cutler found out about two weeks ago that he was diabetic and needed daily insulin injections, Garafalo told The Associated Press.

He said Cutler was managing his disease and "in no way is his football career jeopardized."

Some 21 million Americans have diabetes, meaning their bodies cannot properly turn blood sugar into energy. Either they don't produce enough insulin or don't use it correctly. With the Type 1 form, the body's immune system attacks insulin-producing pancreatic cells, so that patients require insulin injections to survive.

"It's something that he's dealing with and something a lot of other people have," Garafalo said. "Even though it's a serious condition, it's a condition that can be managed. That's the way he's treating it right now.

"Everything's fine," Garafalo continued. "His condition is fine."

Cutler, entering his third NFL season, threw for 3,497 yards and 20 touchdowns last season after supplanting Jake Plummer with five weeks left in the 2006 season.

The 6-foot-3, 233-pound Cutler was taken by the Broncos with the 11th overall pick of the 2006 draft, becoming the first Vanderbilt player taken in the first round since 1986.

Cutler is expected to hold a news conference Friday.

Three other notable NFL pros have played with Type 1 diabetes. Jay Leeuwenburg played for the University of Colorado Buffaloes and went on to have a 9-year NFL career. Wade Wilson, currently a quarterback coach for the Dallas Cowboys, played in the pros for 17 years. Cornerback Mike Echols of the Tennesse Titans also has the disease.

Other athletes who have competed with diabetes include Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke, Charlotte Bobcats forward Adam Morrison, golfers Scott Verplank, Michelle McGann and Kelli Kuehne and Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr.

(in for the haul..its amazing how upbeat/positive he is just two weeks after diagnosis,when I'm sure it still feels like the end of the world!) it's nice to have role models, but I wouldn't wish anyone that I admire/respect get this disease. It's the toughest.
(my humble opinion, two weeks after my diagnosis I was doing my darnedest to prevent people from learning I had it)