Diabetes Grief

Today – one of the attendees of the Diabetes UC (UnConference) posted this:
My biggest struggle lately has been the grief over diagnosis. Before attending, I’d been having some rough weeks with sadness and worry over how my life was going to be now that I had diabetes. But something clicked over the weekend, and since returning I have felt so much more positive.

And yes – that was me, 10 years ago.

And yes – it’s still me, now.

D sucks. And you can “Pollyanna” it all you want. (And I’m one of the best Pollyanna people around.) But Diabetes sucks. Lots of other diseases suck – but I don’t have one of those at this time.

So for now, Diabetes sucks.

I can be positive. I can be angry. I can be sad. (I’m really, really good at sad.) I can be happy that there’s all these DOC people in my computer who help me. I can be angry that there’s all these DOC people in my computer who are stuck with the same sucky disease.

Sometimes it’s hard to be positive.

I’m lucky. When I started pumping, I was invited by our Animas Rep to join a group that met about an hour away. It was awesome. The pumping people were friendly and helpful and nice. Unless it was snowing, I drove to every meeting. Sitting around talking with other d-people made a HUGE difference. I wasn’t scared. I learned stuff. It really, really made me more confident in pumping.

Then – Animas phased out our Rep. She went to Rhode Island. And that was better for her family situation but, I miss her and our meetings…

And – apart from this – in speaking w/ a doctor’s office this week, and saying that I have Type 1, the person (nurse/receptionist/whatever) told me that she has a friend with diabetes who just doesn’t take care of herself. And she was angry. I told her that it wasn’t easy, and to try to NOT be angry at her friend with diabetes. And I told her that maybe her friend just needs another d-friend and gave her permission to share my name and number. I am far from the perfect d-person but sometimes, as we all know, just having someone else say, “Yes, me too.” makes a huge difference.

 

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TSA Cares – Really!

Several people have written about contacting TSA for a passenger support specialist to make it easier getting through airport security.

So I did.

And received this reply within 24 hours.
Good afternoon, Ms. Skinner,
I am sorry I was unable to reach you earlier today.  We have received your request for assistance from the TSA Contact Center.  Certainly a  passenger support specialist can be provided to assist you through the checkpoint and the screening process.  When you arrive at the airport feel free to contact the manager on duty, *******.  Either Mr. **** or a checkpoint supervisor will arrange for the PSS to meet you.   Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please give us a call at this office.

Our flight from Manchester to DC was at 5:50 am – crack of dawn. Our PSS met us at the airline desk and from there – life was easy peasy – zip-zip through the lines (got to take “cuts!”). The woman actually thanked me for taking the time to contact them. She said they want to help but can’t if people don’t ask.

And Las Vegas – no contact but – we both ended up as TSA pre-checked. And again, life was good. M zipped right through. I requested a pat-down and so had to take off shoes but that was it. No liquid inspections – and M got to leave his CPap machine in the bag.

Kelly wrote about her good TSA experience in Philadelphia last week – go read it here:
This Trip, A Philly TSA Agent Made Traveling With Diabetes Way LESS Stressful!

So yes, we went to the very first annual Diabetes UnConference. It was awesome. And because we live in New Hampshire where it’s still very, very cold – and there’s still snow on the ground, we stayed the whole week. That was also awesome.

I can’t write about the conference – yet… I will – lots of people are writing lots of good stuff.

I will say that I have to get back to blogging. The blogs were such a TREMENDOUS help to me when I was first diagnosed – 10 years ago this month. And sometimes you think (or I think) well, gee – no one’s reading it so why write it. There were a whole bunch of blog lurkers at the conference and so, you never know who might be helped just by a few words from you. Just knowing that you’re not the only person who forgot to put your pump back on, bolus for a meal, order supplies, etc… is comforting. Trust me – been there done that (and more…).

For now Christel has earned my total respect for making an UnConference such a grand and enjoyable and fun and organized (and warm) UnConference!

Oh – thought I’d be the oldest one there. I wasn’t.
Thought I’d be the one who traveled the farthest. Didn’t happen…

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Medicare, I did it…

In April I will be 65 years old. Holy sh**! Really?

Anyway, I signed up for Medicare this week. It was easy. It was kind of fascinating to see my “earnings” report. Not that I earned much. I was a teacher – Special Education. Then I was a substitute teacher for years while our sons were in school. Then a volunteer thing at the church turned into a job. Moved here to NH and I’m a parish secretary. Being a parish secretary is truly the last thing I ever thought I’d do. To be honest, I never thought of that when it came to, “What I’m going to be when I grow up.”

I won’t be activating the Medicare thing right away as I plan/hope to continue working for awhile. Why? Well, that would be because I have health insurance. I like my Dexcom. I really like my Dexcom. Medicare won’t pay for Dexcoms. (I would give up my pump to keep Dexcom.)

My huge fear – driving without Dexcom. I don’t have a whole lot of lows. And for the most part, I can tell when I’m low. But – driving down/up the interstate? If I’m on the interstate, it usually means I’ve been to a mall or a doctor’s appointment (or lunch with Shannon Lewis!). Malls ( and Targets) create lows for me.  If I’m driving, I sometimes don’t feel the lows. I have Dexcom sitting right on the console. I keep an eye on it. And yes, I’ve pulled off the road to test and treat when needed when I’m by myself. (Juice kept in the car during 3 seasons – Skittles in the winter. I’ve learned I can’t drink a frozen juice box…!)  If my husband and I are together, we stop and switch drivers.

And a night time low? Those are terrible. And scary. If I needed an ambulance in the winter, it might not happen. During the winter, if it’s snowing, they wouldn’t even be able to get an ambulance up our road. I have asked what would happen. They would have to walk up with a sled thing if needed. It could take awhile. I might send Medicare a photo of my snowy road.

I’m extremely fortunate, really! I like my job. I like the people I work with each day. I like the parishioners. I like my 5 minute commute. So – working more? It’s okay. It’s actually very good. (I’m trying so hard to NOT say, “It’s a good thing.”)
goodthing
PS – Thanks to Kim Vlasnik, I can even insert the Dexcom in my arm, by myself. And this past week – I got one into my right arm using my left hand (I’m right handed). (Yay me!!!) I didn’t think I could do it. But – I can do this.

PPS – We’re going to the Diabetes UnConference in March. I’m hoping there will be no snow in LasVegas while we’re there.

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10 Years Ago

10 years ago I was 54 years old.

10 years ago I knew very little about Diabetes because…

10 years ago I didn’t have Diabetes.

10 years ago the flu shot was restricted to people older than 54.

And so, in 2004, I wasn’t able to get a flu shot…

A link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/health/17flu2.html?_r=

10 years ago, I got the flu, just after Christmas. I was really sick.
(Our furnace broke that week, too.)
(The only thing I wanted to eat was chocolate milkshakes. Yup, no joke…)

Three months after that, I was diagnosed with Diabetes.

March, 2005.

You know, sometimes, life just sort of sucks.

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself.
Who am I kidding?  I feel sorry for myself every single, damn day.
And then I feel very, very, very lucky that I found the DOC people.

And then – I read other d-blogs, other d-facebook posts…
And I coped – just like the rest of you – just like all of us.

Diabetes Sucks.

Happy New Year!

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November? It’s done? I ate pancakes…

2014-10-31 03Diabetes Awareness Month kinda got by me this month.

I did not do the blog every day thing. The boringness of it would have driven any reader (and me!) nuts.

I wore my new blue circle necklace to work every day and if I was out and about. I had a whole “spiel” ready for when everyone would ask, “Oh, what a beautiful blue circle necklace! Tell me about it.” It didn’t happen.

I think next year I’m going to make a sign – “Ask me about my blue circle necklace!”

I did sign petitions and write senators/representatives. I did the Big Blue Test (not as often as I should have…). I did read others’ blogs.

And this morning? Just because? I ate pancakes (two of them) for the first time in a very, very long time. With syrup. I took a whole, whole lot of insulin. I had to do a couple of small corrections throughout the afternoon but… We were driving home from Cape Cod (where it had the audacity to snow while I was there…) and stopped for a late breakfast at an IHOP in Plymouth, Mass. I can’t tell you the last time I was at an IHOP. But, as I write this the BG is 70 something so I guess I’ll live.

My brother? The one whose doctor said “pre-diabetes?” Doing great – normal A1c.

My cousin? The one whose doctor said “Type 2 Diabetes?” Off meds and doing a great job with diet – exercise.

The naggy sister/cousin (that would be me…)? Quite pleased for both of them and very grateful for the Type 2 d-friends who take the time to write about their struggles and successes.

And – my younger sister announced she’s retiring early. Wanted to know why we weren’t doing the same. And I sat there with a straight face and said, “We can’t afford to because of my diabetes.”

So – help us get CGMs approved by Medicare so I’m not the oldest church secretary in history. (Although to be honest, church secretaries seem to hang on forever.) I don’t want to be in that office forever…

Hope your Thanksgiving was delicious – and your bg-s manageable! (If you live here and celebrated Thanksgiving…)

 

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These are a few of my favorite things…

My friend (she’s probably yours too – she’s one of those friendly types) Charli was interviewed at Discuss Diabetes (and she even mentioned me! – along with other DOC people). Read all about it at:
Living with LADA
I met her in Kansas City. Those d-people in KC will meet up for just about anyone – including me showing up. They’re wonderful.

Another favorite…
The girls in the “All About That Cure” video. You need to realize that I had/have no clue about the original song but – love this one. It’s worth the time and the smiles to go watch and listen and yup, turn up your volume!

Favorite blues
The KC Royals play tonight tomorrow night in the World Series! Saw this photo on Facebook and loved it. Showed it to my husband who gets EXTRA, EXTRA credit because, he didn’t read it at first and assumed the fountains were blue for Diabetes. I married a good guy!
kcblue

Speaking of Blue… The Big Blue Test starts today!
bbt-logo
Go – jump, run, rake some leaves, whatever for 14 minutes and then – go report it at:
Big Blue Test!

Have a great week!

 

 

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Oh, Hi There!

So – I’m not doing such a great job of writing here on this blog!

I’m also not doing such a great job of reading other blogs. So if you’re here reading this one, thanks very much. If you leave a comment I promise to go read your blog and leave a comment!

Oh, well.

We went to Ireland! And had a fabulous time!

2014-09-11 024 (600x800)I ate too much. I drank more beer in a week than I drink in  several months. And I learned that I really, really like Irish Coffee.

We totally enjoyed being tourists and visiting places we’ve only read about or seen on TV.

Favorite? The people we met were simply lovely and helpful and friendly and kind and fun and… you get the idea.

We did a tour thing – Irish Pubs and Folklore. It was our first tour thing. It was worth it to NOT have to drive on the left hand side of the roads.

The d-thing? I did okay. I brought enough supplies to outfit a small clinic (not really, but maybe…???) and didn’t have any mishaps. Yay, me!

2014-09-16 001 (600x800)I brought home candy bars. Not sweaters, not Waterford Crystal – chocolate candy bars. The ones made there taste much better than the ones made here.
And yes, I can eat these. Haven’t yet, though. They’re in the fridge for now.

 

 

 

 

Nope, I did not kiss the Blarney Stone. But I did walk up ALL those steps so I could take pictures.

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This was in a store window. Has nothing to do with Dexcom but it made me smile.

 

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Spotty?

I happened to look down at the carpet the other morning while trying to grab a shoe from under the bed skirt.

This is what I saw…

2014-08-04

Made me sad. It’s drips from juice boxes. I’d never even noticed. I don’t think it’s blood. That would be a lot of blood.

I don’t know why they’re so dark. My juice of choice is almost always apple.

They did clean up.

My “Pollyanna” side says, “At least Dexcom woke you up and let you know you were low.”

But it’s depressing.

Oh, well…

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It’s today! Fun, fun! Leave a comment!

You know, working a real job kinda gets in the way of d-blogging (and d-commenting). But – the real job is the health insurance and so…

And – one (yellow) tomato is almost, almost ripe!
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I worked at Camp Easter Seal (outside of Roanoke, VA) the summer of 1972. It was fun. I learned a whole, whole lot. (And even better, one of my campers is now a FB friend – who’d have thunk?)

One of the things we had to do was help our campers send a note home. Not an easy task at a camp for kids with different abilities.

But – the camp made it easy. We had “check here” postcards for the kids.

Things like:
I’m having a great time at camp!
Breakfast is my favorite meal!
I jumped into the pool all by myself!
Camping overnight in a tent was scary!

You get the idea.

So – rather than write a newsy Tuesday blog, I’m going to supply you with some comments that you can copy and paste to make this a quick and easy visit.

AND – then you can hop right back to other blogs and leave more comments!

I say this a lot but – please find a new blogger to meet; and take the time to introduce yourself. Think how nice it will be to have a new d-friend.

You may of course compose your own comment, but if you’re too busy and wondering whatever possessed Hannah & Chris to do this, then do a copy/paste with one of the suggested comments below.

And thanks for stopping by. And even though I live up here in the North, I spent many years in Virginia so…

“Y’all come back now, you hear!”


Check!

Hi, Colleen!

Hi! I’m a LADA like you!

Isn’t this fun?

So, what’s the weather like in New Hampshire?

Hope you will visit my blog…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping Up with the… “DOC Bloggers”

I have no clue whether this is happening on Monday the 21 or Tuesday the 22. Just take the time to comment where you read.

Believe it or not (no, I’m not walking on air…), I’ve been around awhile. I can remember asking a d-blogger’s permission to add their blog to my blog list. I used to read the d-blogs from my favorites’ list – no reader list. (And no, I never walked to school up hill, barefoot, in the snow. So, there!)

I can remember my first commenter and I’m not going to repeat it as I don’t like being one of those people who throw in lots of d-blog links to popular d-blogs. I do love throwing in a link or two when I find a sort of new blogger who’s not getting many, if any comments.

And so – Hannah (in 2013) (Yup – you need to read her comment over there)  & I guess, Chris,(redo for 2014) have taken up the cause of “We need to start leaving more comments!” And you know what? They’re right. (And yes, I just threw in two links to two well known d-bloggers. Oh well. Deal with it.

I really do love this idea. I’m a former Army Brat. I was always the “new kid.” And you know what, it’s not easy. I went to 3 high schools. Try that someday. It did make me sort of “in your face” with “Hi, my name’s Colleen!” in introducing myself at each school.

So – on Monday, (or maybe it’s Tuesday???) take the time to leave a comment on some d-blogs.

Take the time to say hello to someone new. It’s important.

And my own personal request – figure out how to moderate your comments so we don’t have to do the stupid captchas or whatever those are cuz the older I get, the harder it is to read them and retype them. And I believe that just might be stopping so many people from leaving a comment on blogs.

2014-07-14Oh – and boy, do I need to catch up. Here’s a screen shot of my Feedly list. I’ll have to have this cleaned up by Monday – July 21! 126 Type 1 blogs to get through.

I can do this! (and no, I’m not linking that, either!)

 

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