Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Historic day in MA

I am proud to say that Massachusetts has elected it's first African-American governor, Deval Patrick. Patrick is also only the second Afro-American governor in the history of the US!!!! Rock on Massachusetts!!! Next, protect same sex marriage!!!

Your it!

It occured to me afew minutes ago that I probably need to tag other people (5 is it)? Well, I don't really know 5 of you wonderful d-bloggers so, if you read this and haven't been tagged I hereby tag you.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Yay, my first time being tagged!!! Thanks Kassie!

Ok 5 relatively unkonw things about me:
1. I was the Massachusetts State Champion in Tae Kwon Do when I was 12 for the 12-14 year old age group. That summer I went to the Junior Olympics where I came in (gulp) 4th. I got my black belt the next summer.

2. I am dying to go back to CBC for many reasons but one nagging reason is that I went for 11 summers but couldn't be a double Bartonian because I was still a camper my last year.

3. I have a very hard time being organized. I mean it's really bad. When I am stressed I can't see my floor and there are almost always Diet Coke bottles in various stages of emptiness all over. I try to make the distinction between being messy and being dirty, but honestly, sometimes, things get kind of dirty.

4. I only did 2 years of formal high school, graduated a year early, and now, I am graduating from college 3 years late. Lesson learned: Nothing goes according to plan and it isn't worth fighting it..work with what you've got and keep going, even when it feels futile.

5. I am obsessed with Tina Fey (from SNL). I mean, stalker obsessed. In fact I am obsessed with a disturbingly large number of actors/acresses. Like Maura Tierney, love her and her character on ER. Chris Meloni from Law and Order SVU: like him, love his character. It is very embarassing. I never intended to be one of those people who lived vicariously through TV but I do, I talk to the characters/actors while I am watching TV. Needless to say I find myself watching TV alone most of the time.

Oh, and I loooooove Insta Glucose.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Since my last post...

School started and life got complicated, well, more complicated. Here's a brief overview (in list format):
1. My poor time management skills have lead me to a state of periodic physical and emotional disaray.
2. I am 24 and living in a dorm, my suite-mate has had a total breakdown, and won't live with me or her roommate anymore yet won't move her stuff out.
3. Diabetes care??? What's that? I have to do things??? Testing several times a day? Oh, must have missed that memo. I thought that was only when you aren't busy.
4. I am getting fatter everyday. I mean seriously. Yet I don't seem to be doing anything about it.
5. Senior year...grad school starting two weeks after graduation...it all seems a bit overwhelming.

So..in addition to to finishing the academic portion of my serior year successfully I need to:
1. test my blood sugar somewhat regularly
2. exercise and eat healthy
3. take the MTEL (the test for liscensure for teachers in MA) so I can start grad school on time (anyone remember what a gerund is???)
4. have a little fun!!!

The good news: Over all I am happy. I have great friends, great mentors, and I continue feel in control of my life. I have no intention of losing these things, I worked hard for them and they are here to stay!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I am alive. More to follow. Over and out.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Courtesy of 20 years of diabetes

So I have had some gastrointestinal issues for years. Reflux, some pretty awful shall we say irregularity and related stuff. I have been on antacids, laxatives, powders, pills. Nothing really making things normal, but it has been manageable. In the last 8 months or so I have been having more trouble and I have been super bloated ALL the time. I can't eat normal sized meals unless I am wearing an elastic waist band. I finally went to my GI doctor because I was just so uncomfortable. Turns out it is something fairly common in people who have had diabetes as long as I have. Gastroparesis. Ugh.. It basically means that my GI muscles don't work well and my food sits in my stomach instead of moving down my GI tract. It causes my severe reflux and bloating and makes my irregularity even less..well regular. I know it could be worse. I really do. I am grateful that I have my eye sight, my limbs, etc.. but I find an additional inconvenience courtesy of my diabetes irritating. I mean it's amazing how much one can take digesting and pooping for granted. I guess it's just another reminder that hey, even when you're in control, your diabetes is there, throwing a tiny wrench into the machinery. So armed with some additional tools (meds) I'll take my skills as a diabetes mechanic and make it all work as best as possible. But if my body is reading this, I would totally appreciate a break from this crap (no pun intended).

A side note: The freshmen arrive Sunday and as an orientation leader, I get to introduce them to the world of college. Having done this in June as well, I can definitely say that I will keep my age (now a lovely 24 years) a secret this time. Apparently when you are 17 or 18, 24 is old. I don't remember thinking that way at that age, but hey, I'm so old I may be losing my memory.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's been a while...

Wow, I feel like it has been years since I posted anything here. I have been on vacation, working in Wyoming (don't get too excited, it was only for 3 days), and then visiting a camp I worked at 2 summers ago. I have lofty blog re-entry goals, but tonight is not a night to accomplish them. I am tired after a 4 day sickness and have an early morning, but I felt like I needed to make contact, to remind myself that I am still connected to this wonderful, supportive community. So, hello all! I'll be catching up on reading your blogs and catching up on writing my own in the next few days. xo

Oh, some of you know from my previous blogs that I decided to let go of my fear of driving and go fro my license. Well I did, and I am now a licensed driver!!!!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A good site is useless without a properly loaded reservoir

So today I had what I have the urge to deem a "poopy" diabetes day. Very mature I know. Yet is just feels right. I had been very happy with the site I put in on Monday. It just felt great, well didn't feel at all, painless going in and painless from then on. Usually I change my site every two days or so, meaning that even last (Wed) night would have been a reasonable time to change sites. I also have my pump alarm when I get below 40 units on board, that is a little less than a days worth of insulin, and I had reached that point Wed night. But being so happy with my perfectly placed infusion set I decided to go until this afternoon without changing. Well, with a fasting bloodsugar of 106 and a small breakfast I was down to 22 units by 11am. I stopped at Starbucks to take advantage of the wireless internet and realized that my pump was alerting me to the fact that apparently, the reservoir had been removed from the pump. I was sure this was wrong since it looked fine so I just sort of humored the pump by reloading the current reservoir (even though it was time to change anyways) and thought, hmmm everything's great now, no worries. Uh, no Nicole, big worries! Now it's 2pm and I just left an appointment and I am feeling shitty but I am assuming it's the horrible heat here in Boston. So off I go to my next task all the while feeling worse and worse. "Well Nicole, perhaps you should test, you are a person with diabetes and as such, you may be experiencing high or low blood sugar." But no, I was sure all was well and I would wait until I reached my next destination to worry about such issues. Well, now it is nearly 3 and I feel AWFUL!!!!! I mean barf city. (Yeah excuse the apparent body function fixation, I sometimes get stuck in preschool mode). So, hell, I decide I might as well test. HI. Yes, HI, like over 600. Yuck. Pump was not so fine after all. So I am rockin a high BS in the city which has had a heat index of over 100 degrees for over two days now. Blah... So I test once more just to make sure. Yup HI now I've got two of those messing up my frickin meter average. Take insulin by injection and change the pump. Waiting, waiting, thanking God that my brother has a prescription for powerful anti-nausea medicine. Going down, down, down, now I am low. GRRRRRR........

What better prescription for a migraine than heat, high blood sugar, followed up by precipitous low blood sugar. So after a slow rise to a healthy in range blood sugar, I am on the very comfortable couch of a family that I babysit for enjoying their great fresh fruit that I can't enjoy in the dorms while the parents are on a date and the kids are quietly sleeping. So rough day, but decent end. Tomorrow begins a whirlwind of fun and relaxation and work. I don't anticipate much blogging, but I have come to enjoy it and value the time it gives me to reflect and share, so we shall see.

Oh, and wish me luck on my driving test: August 15th the day before I leave to work in Wyoming for a few days and the day before my 24th birthday!!! Gotta remember to check my mirrors and use my turn signals. ;)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A new diabetes responsibility

Well, after 8 years of avoidance, I am getting my driver's license. I think it was CBC that made me so nervous, I mean phobic. I was a very silly girl and loved to be hyper and energetic and funny when I was at camp. I remember being 6, 7, 8, 9 etc.. and people always joking about how they would be sure to stay off the road when I got my license. I am sure no one ever really meant it. If they truly knew me they knew there was an old lady sharing a body with my silly little girl self. Someone cautious and nervous and neurotic. I truly took those comments to heart and when my 16th birthday came around, I heard all of those voices in my head and pretty much decided that I would probably kill someone if I drove. And so, here I am 24 years old and just learning to drive. Well, not learning, I know how, but learning to deal with my FEAR around driving. I have gone on the road several times now and haven't killed anyone, or even come close to bumping into something. YAY!!! As a PWD driving involves even more responsibility than it does for the average driver. Being low is waaaaaayyyyy bad, I mean talk about a good way to fulfill the "fears" of all of my camp elders. Being low is a great way to get myself killed or perhaps even worse, kill someone else. Being really high isn't great either. I feel very sick and dizzy when I get too high. So this means it is super important that I learn to find a safe driving bs level. What can make this a little difficult is that I am nervous when am driving and my nervousness feels like low blood sugar. Sooooo, I have decided to keep myself around 180 and when in doubt, pull over with plenty of glucose and nabs handy!!! Every so often life changes, even a little, and there's diabetes just to remind you that some things never change. And, hell, at this point, that's just fine with me.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Putting a price on Dads and Diabetes (beware, I ramble)!

My relationship with my Dad is rocky at best. Actually rocky is a really positive take on it. It's a disaster. Now that's a long story and not one that needs to be told, but some parts are relevant to the story I am about to tell. The important background info is as follows: My dad has always been a little off. My parents got divorced when I was six because he was unpredictable and well it was in everyone's best interest that my mom and Joey (my younger bro) and I not live with him. Now Joe and I still saw him on weekends and my Dad did have quite a few lovely attributes. There has never been any doubt in my mind that my father loves me. As I got older my Dad's problems became more and more pronounced and in the last 3 or 4 years he has really gone downhill both physically and mentally. I have no doubt that in addition to the mental illness he has always had, there have been other physiological changes in his brain function. So as it stands now, my father is extremely narssisstic and really has no issue knocking other people down in order to get what he wants. He is VERY sick.

Ok, so I see my dad as infrequently as possible even though he lives only 10 miles away. It's just too painful. But I love him despite the fact that I don't particularly LIKE him and I hate to see him in such pain. The other day I saw him and for the first time in several weeks and we had a somewhat normal father-daughter interaction. We talked about diabetes, and shared our common experiences. The fact that I at 20 years have no complications (although the eye doctor says I have very healthy eyes "for a person with diabetes" so I guess there is something noticeable) and my father was blind, having heart trouble, and many other things by the time he had had diabetes for 20 years came up. I actually felt supported by him.

Well, a day or two later he called and let me know that he had something related to my health that he wanted to talk to me about IN PERSON! Ugh...this is how he sucks people in. I called and told him that I would of course be willing to see him but that I was leaving the next day for a week long vacation and that it would be very hard to relax not knowing what he wanted to speak to me about. He was relentless and would not tell me what it was. He said that if I let it ruin my vacation is was my fault. Soooo...I go off to VT and manage to have a good time. When I get home I go to see my dad. I am dreading it, God only knows what he is going to tell me. Well when I get there the woman he lives with that I guess could be referred to as his "girlfriend" (they met on a phone "chat" line and he got her to move up here from South Carolina with her 16 year old son having never met)is walking out because he has kicked her out for the second time and she is off to live in her car. No worries, she was back the same night. SO we start off buy him telling me all the awful things she did and I tried to strike a balance between being supportive and playing devil's advocate.

Now we get to putting a price on diabetes: When things calmed down he gave me an envelope and in it was a very cute congrats card with a kitty on it. He said it was in honor of 20 years of hard work and whatnot. So I open it and there is $10 dollars in it. Now, I have to say I wasn't expecting anything, but dude, that's $0.50 a year. I mean WOW! I was almost insulted. Of course that made me feel guilty. I mean my dad lives on disability and has a mortgage and just really has no money, so this was nice. I said thanks as enthusiastically as possible and he looked at me. He said "Do you think that is a fair amount for 20 years of diabetes." I had no idea what to say. At this point I could tell that it wasn't the amount he was really going to give me. I figured probably $50 so that's what I said. He responded "Oh, wow, Nic I have a mortgage, I am living on disability..." Picture me looking like I was just stabbed in the gut. But then he said, well yeah, that's how much, and handed the envelope back to me. I opened it and there was a fifty dollar bill in it...along with 19 more of them.

SHIT! Now I am crying hysterically and feel happy, surprised, and a bit guilty. I thanked him and told him I couldn't take it. I know it's bad form to do so, but he can't afford it and in all honesty, at the risk of sounding like a complete douche bag, you don't get anything from my Dad without him already having an idea of what he wants in return. How the hell would I be able to pay this one back? Well, I realized that thinking this way made me sad and unable to be truly appreciative and didn't give my Dad any credit. I mean, he may be doing this while being in touch with that part of him that loves me and wants me to feel special regardless of whether or not it will get him anything. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and felt honored.

Well, it has been a week since he gave me the gift. His lady friend is back in the house, they even drove to Maine for a few days. I have paid my mom back for the new bike she got me a few weeks ago, and there is still plenty of money for me to use when I go to the Cape and for books next semester. Dad has asked for a few favors and I know he is expecting me to visit him more, but I have decided to let myself believe that it is the shrinking yet still present healthy part of him that wants to see me and spend time with me and not the sick part that wants to hurt me, or blame me for his pain.

Is diabetes worth 50 bucks a year? I don't know. My guess is that if I remembered not having diabetes, I'd say hell no, I wouldn't live with it for 50 bucks a year. But I don't know anything else, and hell, I'm doing alright, and diabetes is part of what's made me, well, me. And I like me now, so sure I'll take 50 bucks! But if anyone reading this is thinking of giving more..I'd take more too!

p.s. Please know that I love my Dad, but sometimes, even love can't heal everything. So yes I am angry with my Dad, but I see the good in him, even at his worst, and I do appreciate those parts.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Introducing Ginger

Well I will admit that deciding on a name for my pump was difficult, there were 4 very good suggestions. I decided to go with Kassie's suggestion which was Ginger. It was the reasoning behind Kassie's name that sealed the deal. For those of you who don't know, my camp name was Fred (courtesy of Kassie) and the idea of me (Fred) and Ginger (pump) doing our diabetes dance seems very appropriate. Plus, who wouldn't want to be part of the Fred and Ginger pair, they were quite the dancers!!!! So welcome Ginger!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pump in need of a name

Now I name almost everything I own that is of value to me. I never named my current pump however, nothing has struck me as the perfect name. Seeing the blogs of so many pumpers with names for their pumps I have decided that I must follow suit and find a name for my blue Deltec Cozmo. I am looking for suggestions. So, if you have a name that you think is particularly great for a lovely blue pump, then let me know. I will post a pic of my pump later in the day.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Diabetes pet peeves installment 2

6)When people assume that Steel Magnolias is the fate of all women with diabetes both before becoming pregnant and after. The other day I was talking to someone about having children and they started to reference the movie and I wanted to flip out on them, but politely explained that most women with diabetes do not go on dialysis at least not in their early 20s and do not die after having children. I'm not sure they believed me. Arghhhh...Like I don't know about the disease I've had for 20 years. Come on people, give me a little credit here.

Disclaimer: I actually really like Steel Magnolias, it's just the right combination of damn funny and sad, but as far as a representation of PWDs, not a fan.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

On being chubby

Ugh...So as a young woman and a pwd I am very aware of my weight. I come from a family of uhhhh, shall we say, solid women. None of the women on either side of my family are what you would call thin and even when we are at our healthiest we have athletic builds. In other words we will nevber be size 3's most of us never size 5's. That's fine. We are who we are. But sometimes it isn't as ok with me as it is at others. I mean I need to work very hard to not be overweight. I have to eat very well AND excerise. I understand that much of the population is in the same boat and most of them probably don't complain, but sometimes it just drives me crazy. I mean I have to test all the time, take my insulin, count my carbs, etc..to stay healthy and I can never take a break from that and be safe and healthy. On top of that, if I want to look ok, feel ok, and not gain 5 to 10 lbs I have to eat well and excercise nearly every day. What frustrates me is that I seem to have a very large number of friends who don't exercise and eat like crap and still remain thin. I mean actually thin with decent abs and all that stuff. I mean I love my body 75% of the time. It has done pretty well by me, but sometimes, I wwould like to be able to take a week or two off from exercising 5 times a week and not gain weight. I guess part of me needs to let go of wanting to look like other people. I am who I am and I always will be so that's that. But sometimes that same willful 6 year old that doesn't want to test or take care of her diabetes doesn't feel like exercising all the time and wants to look good and feel good physically in the weight department without making an effort. Or at least be able to take a break from some aspect of my physical identity.

And call me crazy, but I think when I start a new exercise regime I actually gain weight until I figure out my insulin and eating. I mean I go between being really high and then low and being low means eating more and then when I go high from being to skimpy on the insulin or to hewavy on the food I have to take more insulin which doesn't help with weight loss. And of course some exercise hits me right away like running, but others, like biking hit me anywhere from 2 to 4 hours later, so I have to figure out when to decrease my basal, when to eat more, etc... Oh I know I am a whiner, but sometimes, I wish I could take a break from thinking about my body. Sometimes, I want to just be. That's all, just go about my day and think about what I am doing at the moment and not worry about basals, boluses, miles run, hours biked etc.. It's hard to truly be in the moment when you have diabetes and health is your number one priority.

So, my closing thoughts:
1)Being healthy all the time is stressful and tiring even though necessary.
2)One area of control I can take is not always associating weight with attractiveness. I want to exercise and be a healthy weight so that I can live a long, productive life with as little illness as possible not to look hot (although it is a nice added bonus)
3)The body I have is the one I have for the rest of my life and I guess I just have to honor it and try to focus on the wonderful things I have accomplished with it.
NOTE: I guess these things are just easier said than done.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ugh..Nicole's biggest diabetes pet peeves!

Note: I recognize that I am guilty of doing many things that are probably someone else's pet peeves. That fact does not escape me so please don't take offense.
And now, in no particular order:

1)When people say diabetIs. It's an E guys, not an I. Even worse variation of this: endos who say diabetis (I know a few, but in their defense, they are wonderful docs).

2)When people find out that I have diabetes and then ask me if I should be eating the cupcake/cake/ice cream/etc.. that I am trying to enjoy!! (Yes I should, and anyways, it's none of your damn business!)

3)When people ask me if I can eat salt. Where the hell did that come from in the first place, I mean I get the sugar thing to some extent, but salt???

4)When after finding out that I have diabetes people say, "So, did you used to be really fat/lazy/eat a lot of fat and sugar?" I mean people, where the hell do you get your social skills. First of all, type 1 diabetes is not associated with being overweight/sedentary/etc... Second of all, who asks that shit? I mean grrrr...whatever, not worth getting upset right now!

5)When people start assuming that everytime I am feeling anything other than super happy that I must be low. Oh my gosh, is it against the law to be sad/angry/cranky without it being caused by my diabetes? I apprectiate the concern and the attention to my health, but just a reminder, people with diabetes have (non-hypo induced) fellings too!!!

Ahhh..feels good to let that out! I know that people who do these things are probably just trying to show concern, interest, etc...or to pronounce something, but I just can't help feeling irked by this stuff.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Keeping the momentum going...

It's nearly bed time and I am laying in my bed with my trusty iBook (gosh I love laptops) and I just realized that I need to take my medication and test my blood sugar before I can go to sleep. The thing is, I don't feel like getting up and testing and finding a drink and blah, blah, blah. Now, I know that I have to test, I mean of all of the times of day to let it slip, bedtime is probably one of, if not THE, worst time to do so, but I am tired, and in my bed, and could totally roll over and fall asleep. This struggle-the struggle between doing what is best for me, and doing what the willful/tired/busy/whatever part of me wants to do-is daily. I have been struggling to do an adequate amount of tests each day. My meter keeps a 14 day average and 14 days ago, I had a total of 20 tests in 14 days. Not good. Not only was the number of blood sugars not so stellar, but the average bs wasn't so great either. I don't like the way I feel emotionally or physically when I am not taking care of my diabetes, but sometimes I let "life" get in the way. I put testing off for 5 minutes, then I forget and an hour goes by, then 3 hours, and on some days it ends up being all day. I will admit that in the last few months there have been several days where I have tested only once and occasionally not at all. This is unhealthy, and not good for my morale either.

Now, I give myself a little credit because in my younger days (like a year ago) I would have avoided Joslin like the plague, not wanting to see or have my CDE or endo see my awful control. But what I decided recently, was that ultimately there was nothing they could/would DO to hurt me. It wasn't like they were going to punish me, or perhaps even worse in my mind, abandon me for struggling. So I have been to Joslin 3 times in the last 6 months and have been honest about my difficulty and the result has been wonderful. The amount of support that I have received has been phenomenal. And none of it has made me feel stupid, or like a failure, or like a helpless kid faced with more than I can handle. In fact, I have felt empowered. With the help of my treatment team I have allowed myself to acknowledge the fact that I have a touch of diabetes burnout perhaps made more intense by the realization of my 20th anniversary. At first I fought this because I, Nicole, do not get burned out!!! After 20 years I should just be used to diabetes and all it entails and be thankful that it isn't something terminal or disfiguring or totally disabling. With a little guidance I realized that this way of thinking only makes my life more painful. I don't need to be perfect, in fact it's impossible and that's ok. So with my new found acceptance of my diabetes related stress/exhaustion I have started doing my best to build a routine which includes healthy diabetes habits. When the alarm on my pump goes off, out comes my meter and within 45 seconds the whole thing will be over and I can get back to what I was doing. No putting things off, no making it out to be a bigger task than it is, just getting it done and over with.

I recently checked my meter (like an hour ago) and in the last 14 days I have done 62 tests which comes out to 4 1/2 tests a day. Some days have had 5 tests, most 4, but none with less than 3. And after sending Kelly, my CDE, my blood sugars, we were able to adjust my insulin so that many of those 62 blood sugars, are just wonderful! What is that Nike slogan "Just Do It"? Well that's my new diabetes slogan. And as I see the number of blood tests I am doing increase, and my average blood sugar decrease, I am enjoying taking care of myself. All I need to do is keep the momentum going and when I start to slow down, to remember how wonderful caring for myself feels.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Clara Barton Camp (best place on earth)

So, the round about way that this blog came into existence involves CBC and a search for alumni campers and staff. I somehow came upon Kassie's blog during my search and was motivated to start my own blog.

Now, a slight side note, it was a delight to find Kassie's blog because she was one of the best parts of my Barton expereince which spanned 11 years starting in 1989. Kassie was the best camp director (although they were all wonderful) and made camp a home from day 1. In one of Kassie's posts, you'll notice that she mentions learning every camper's name. Whe she got to the Pixie's table (which was the youngest kids at that time, I was 6) I was too shy to tell her my real name, so she named me Fred. It stuck. To this day many camp people remember me as Fred, some don't know my real name. I then started to call Kassie by her middle name, Agnes, and the rest is history. That was a really long side note, but I like to sing the praises of wonderful people!

Any way...I would love to talk to people from CBC, current or alumni alike. I would really like to talk to anyone who went to camp with me or during the late 90's who remembers the Pixie's, Squirrels Nest, Shangrila, etc... I have really had a strong urge to reconnect with camp after 6 years away. Please drop me note if you think we knew each other or want to swap camp stories, songs, etc...

It's the most wonderful place in the world.

The I AM meme...I just steal things from other people when I am not feeling creative.

1. I am a young woman (although old enough that people have started calling me miss and ma'am)
2. I have type 1 diabetes (20 years as of 07/07/06)
3. I am verrrrrry short (5'1")
4. I am a college senior
5. I am very loving
6. I am really great with children
7. I am sometimes cranky
8. I am painfully perfectionistic
9. I am a singer
10. I am energetic
11. I am addicted to my iPod (well music in general)
12. I am a proud pumper
13. I am a daughter
14. I am a big sister
15. I am a best friend
16. I am patient
17. I am honest
18. I am strong physically and emotionally
19. I am accepting
20. I am an activist
21. I am passionate
22. I am a lover of debate and intense conversation
23. I am intolerant of hatred or abuse
24. I am motivated
25. I am a lover of learning (I heart school)
26. I am a committed, loving, honest friend
27. I am learning from my past, living in and loving the present, and looking forward to the future
28. I am an animal lover
29. I am a HUGE fan of RENT (the musical)
30. I am learning to embrace my strengths and my weaknesses

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Happy 20th Birthday Nicole's Diabetes!!!!

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of my diagnosis and it was a bittersweet day. I woke up a little sad and finished the day happy and proud about 20 healthy and relatively happy years. In honor of this milestone I have committed myself to getting a little healthier. Biking, eating healthier, oh and testing more than once or twice a day. Let's hope that I can keep it up!!! Thanks to my friends and family who have helped me to make the best out of a sometimes sticky challenge.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I wanted to start linking people's blogs on my blog, but no matter what I do it won't work. Now, granted, I have no idea what I am doing so I am following the directions on the help page, but to no avail. Does anyone know how I do this?? Oh, and feel free to link me on your pages.

Oh, and thanks for the welcoming comments!

Things only a PWD would find exciting/interesting

Today I was waiting for the train and somehow became acutely aware of what a great job I had done with my current pump infusion site. I had been painless wshen inserting it, I couldn't feel anything when I bolused, and the tape was perfectly smooth, not a wrinkle or loose edge. I was getting really excited about this when I realized that most people would not only find the state of my infusion set less than interesting, but they may even thisnk I was a bit odd for feeling any sort of joy over it. So I started a mental list of other things that only a PWD would find noteworthy. Here it is:

1.Numbers (I find myself relating bus numbers, prices, addresses, etc.. to blood sugars, A1c's, etc.. I get ereally excited if I see a number corresponding to a recent test result)
2.Other people with pumps (I get really excited when i see people with pumps. I have been known to walk up to them with a big grin and say, "I have a pump too" or "Don't you just love the pump?")
3.Medic Alert bracelets (I love to look online for cool ones, particularly at ones aimed towards kids becuase they are so much better than any of the ones I had when I was younger)

I am sure more will come to me later.
Oh, and as I was telling my mother about this earlier, the woman ringing us up at the store we were in turned and I noticed that she had a pump. Needless to say, a very energetic conversation took place.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Anniversary Meme

I am following in Kassies's footsteps. Here is my 20th Diabetes Anniversary Meme.

Twenty pretty cool things that I have done in the twenty years since I was diagnosed with diabetes:
1. Learned to spell my last name.
2. Went to kindergarten.
3. Finished kindergarten and went off to CBC for the first of 11 wonderful summers.
4. Had my first real kiss (at a Joslin dance with a Joslin boy).
5. Learned to play the violin.
6. Became a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and attended the Junior Olympics.
7. Played softball, field hockey, and ice hockey my freshman year of high school.
8. Home schooled myself for my sophmore year of high school/
9. Graduated from high school a year early.
10. Went to UVM
11. Became an EMT and worked as a tech in the ER doing amazingly fun stuff
12. Left UVM because it wasn't the right school for me (that was a hard decision)
13. Started working with children with disabilities (particularly developmental delays).
14. Travelled to Italy (first time out of the country, I went for a class, I was sure I was going to go into DKA or go really low and end up in a foreign hospital)
15. Went to Simmons!!! The greatest place on earth.
16. Got involved in Hall Council, was an Orientation Leader, started grad classes, etc..
17. Started reconecting with old friends.
18.Went to Mexico to volunteer at an orphanage (one of the most amazing experiences of my life)
19. Sang in an opera (should have been up around number 5, I was about 10)
20. Somewhere in the last 4 years, I learned to love myself for who I am. I mean truly value all of me, the great parts, the good parts, and the not so great/I'm working on them parts. Probably the most important thing I've done in the last 20 years.

I love this meme!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Diabetes, the great motivator

Diabetes has motivated me to do many things: The majority of the time to take very good care of myself, sometimes to stop taking care of myself, to reach out to others, to go back to playing sports or doing martial arts...etc This time, it has motivated me to try blogging.

July 7th will be the 20th anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis and while I have been wearing my 20 years like a badge of honor for the last month or two, a sort of mild mourning has settled in too. It isn't overwhelming, but it's there. I think that acknowledging 20 years of diabetes is noteworthy has made me aware of the fact that had I treated myself differently I could be in an entirely different state both physically and emotionally. For instance, my father was diagnosed with diabetes 48 years ago at the age of 8. Within 14 years, at the age of 22 he was blind, at age 30 he began to have slight kidney problems, at 38 he had his first major heart attack, and at 41 bypass surgery on his legs. There have been 3 other major heart attacks, a cardiac arrest, he just found out he has lost about 75% of his kidney function, and to top it off, he now weighs close to 300lbs. Now, this is an EXTREME situation, I know that, but it does show that if a person with diabetes doesn't care for herself, she may end up with a quality of life that is far from desirable. It has made me feel a sense of mortality that I have denied for a long time. Even though it stares me in the face everytime I see my father, I have choosen not to spend time thinking about the complications that can come from uncontrolled diabetes. But recently, I've realized how much I have had to work to keep myself well. Diabetes is not a death sentence and it no longer means inevitable complications, but it still requires a lot of hard work, and sometimes I don't feel like doing the work. When I say it I feel like a 6 year old who doesn't want to clean up her toys, or take a bath, or go to bed. "I just don't wanna. You can't make me!!" The wonderful and yet sometimes scary part of being an adult is that no one can make me! I am in control. The point at which this moves from great to scary is when I don't feel like doing it and there is no one there to make sure that I do it anyways. There are days when I look at my meter and realize that I have tested 5 times in the last 8 days, and when that happens, I give myself a pep talk, and get myself back on track. But there are times when I give myself those pep talks for weeks at a time and it doesn't seem to help, the 6 year old part of me won't let go of her willfullness. She really does not want to have diabetes anymore. What I realized is that it's ok to acknowledge that part of myself, to recognize that there is a part of me that feels this way. It's ok to be tired, and to hate diabetes, and to wish that I didn't have to deal with it, but the important thing, is to not give into those feelings. To notice them and then let them pass, because if I give into the option of not testing, and not taking insulin, and not exercising then then the consequences will result in me focusing even more of my time on diabetes. When my eye sight changes or my kidneys start to suffer, I will have to think even more about diabetes, and it's not worth it.

So what does all of this boil down to? I guess it has left me with the following thoughts:
-It's ok to acknowledge that diabetes bums me out/pisses me off/sucks.
-I should be proud of the work I have done to keep myself healthy.
-In the long run, caring for the everyday parts of diabetes will spare me the pain of dealing with diabetes and complications.