Photo Week in Review 1/21/13

Just some images that explain this week (and happy Friday).

Wk review 1.21

From top left: NEW D toys matched up for the first time since my robot self was upgraded in December.  I love that they matched at an awesome number (yes, I have doggie sheets).

My Dec G4 sensor was more OFF than stuck ON me by Tuesday.  I was waiting it out since I still hadn’t received new sensors and was growing concerned.  I’d only received 4 sensors with my initial shipment (unlike my 7+ where I got 3 boxes from the beginning).

Look what arrived!  Yep, a phone call and less than 48 hours and *presto*!  Sensors Ahoy!

It’s Friday which means Blue Friday and me taking off pics of myself at my desk.  Since it is FREEZING in my office, I will be wearing this cozy scarf all day and possibly gloves and my hat with ear flaps.

The Friend

Monday night = gym time!  Last night, while retrieving my stuff from my locker to head home, I overheard some girls talking.  From the 2 seconds of conversation I paid attention to, I quickly realized they were early 20-somethings, like most people at my gym seem to be.  I turned my body to partake in my ritual of attempting my locker combination only to have it finally open on the 3rd or 4th try.  As I did this, I realized that the banter between the two girls near my locker had become one-sided.  One girl continued talking while the one closer to me seemed to be stumbling over her words and then abrupt silence.  It hit me immediately what was happening, as this exact scenario has happened multiple times over the years.  I imagined it as this:

Girl #1 was standing closest to me.  As I attempted to open my jerk of a gym lock, the back of my arm was directly in her view.  She saw the Dexcom sensor and was distracted enough to cause her to lose her thought as she conversed with her friend.  As Girl #2 asked her what the heck she was talking about or if she was even paying attention, Girl #1 frantically tried to motion with either her eyes or head or both, to her friend what she is staring at without saying anything (being polite).  Then Girl #2 saw it and my lock finally opened.  They returned to talking sort of,  but were staring.  Also note, in this scenario, the Dexcom sensor could be replaced by insulin pump or the Dexcom receiver resting on the bench.  One of these devices has caused an interruption in someone else’s conversation.

Last night though, I got my lock open (on the second try. Woo hoo) and the 2 girls did NOT resume their chatter.  I threw on my scarf and coat and turned to leave.  I took one step and heard a voice, “Is that a continuous glucose monitor?”  WOW was I shocked!  When I had the Dexcom 7+ there was the occasional, “What kind of phone is that?” or a finger pointing at my arm followed by, “Hey does that play music?”.  This time was different.  A continuous glucose monitor? OMG, yes… was this one of MY people?  A sibling or friend of one of MY kind? Or someone in a D related profession?

I spun around and with people walking around me (6pm at the gym in January is nuts I tell you). I told her it was a CGM and she asked if I liked it.  As I started to answer I realized I had both girl’s undivided attention now (along with some other ladies at their lockers) and explained my Dexcom G4.  I told them about my previous experience with a Dexcom 7+ and how less cumbersome the G4 receiver was.  I showed them the screen and felt a sigh of relief when I opened that silly snap case and saw my bg.  I’d suspended my bolus during my workout and now was at 104… whew.  Her friend asked if I still had to “check my finger”.  They both looked a little disappointed when I said how the Dex needs to be calibrated via blood check.  i also explained that the Dex can be “off track” and I can’t trust it over my meter when it comes to bolusing but how incredibly helpful I’ve found the trending arrows.

The original conversation starter said she noticed my pump and that she isn’t on one.  Ahhhhh, she WAS one of my people! And as soon as she said it, her friend added “Yet” and a big smile.  I told them stories of sleeping through a low warning on the Dex 7+ and my boyfriend hearing it and waking me up.  I told them about how what I intend to eat and what I actually eat at a meal can really vary and I’ve found using a pump has made those times run smoother.  The friend (aka Girl #2) asked when I went on a pump and I saw the look on the face of Girl #1.  I remember making that very face.  Curiosity mixed with fear.  I explained how I’ve been diabetic since I was six and I decided to go on a pump after college, in my mid twenties.  I used all my mentoring JDRF skills mixed with common sense… I explained how it was the right time for me when I decided to get a pump and many people are perfectly successful on MDI.  How I’d flip-flopped back in forth for 2 years trying to decide if I wanted to be a pumper.  How I’m glad now that I made the decision but that I had to do it for myself, in my own time, and not be pushed to do it.  I saw the look of relief on Girl #1’s face.  I wasn’t selling her on it, I was just answering questions and telling relatable anecdotes about my BF eating food off my plate and having the ability to bolus incremental amounts through a meal has been an enormous help to me (like I’m dating the Hamburglar or something).

Girl #2 said if you go on a pump you can always go back to shots right?  I explained how the pump is expensive but mine was covered by my insurance and how I knew people who took pump breaks and go on shots for a bit.  I also explained how I had zero desire to take a pump break and the only time I did was when my pump actually broke and I laughed at my own joke about pump-breaks vs pump-broke (yeah I laugh at my own jokes, so what?).

We chatted a bit and I told them how I’m usually at the gym at this time on a Monday night if they had any more questions, and then it happened, Girl #2 reached across the bench, shook my hand and told me her name.  We all exchanged names and I left, but I kept thinking about what had just occurred as I rushed home (and I regretted that i didn’t give them my business card or contact info).  I’ve spoken to many people over the years about both my using insulin pumps and adding a CGM into my diabetes care.  I’ve spoken to friends-of-friends, I’ve spoken as a JDRF Mentor, and I’ve spoken to people considering pump therapy at the request of my doctor’s office, but I rarely (read:never) get to meet THE FRIEND.

This morning I was thinking about The Friend again.  I was lucky.  When I finally decided to take the pump plunge 12+ years ago, I was still dating my college boyfriend.  He’d lived through my year long thesis project on a non-invasive glucose monitor/ insulin dispensing system.  He’d watched the Minimed videos with me (yes, I said video, as in VHS tape, I am old, what of it?).  Years later when I found myself curious about insulin pumps, and deeply investigating options, he’d been the support I needed to take a leap of faith and learn something new.  THE FRIEND.

I hope I see those girl’s at the gym again.  I hope I see THE FRIEND.  That person who doesn’t flinch at D stuff.  That one person who may not get it, but who is there.  THE FRIEND deserves a pat on the back.  If this Flu season-everyone-has-a-cold stuff didn’t make my germophobia at a level 10, I’d say THE FRIEND really deserves a hug.  Screw germs, hug THE FRIEND.




Do Good, Feel Good

Do Good, Feel Good is a phrase I say a lot.  I probably tweet it even more often.  It’s one of those phrases that just sticks in my head and plays over and over (kind of like The Cranberries’ Zombie or recently Kris Kross’ Jump.  I’m sorry if you now have these songs sticking in your brain too).  I digress.  Oops.  Yes, Do Good, Feel Good.

When I researched getting a CGM, specifically my Dexcom 7+, I started reading diabetes blogs in a mildly obsessive way.  That was my introduction to Kim from Texting My Pancreas.  Her blog led me to other wonderful diabetes blogs.  When I decided to bite the bullet (well in this case, let my boyfriend attempt to insert the Dexcom into the back of my arm), we watched her video twice possibly without blinking.  When I put the Dexcom in my arm the first time solo (I’ll admit it, I was scared), I watched that video two more times (this is the part where I must mention she has better gravity where she lives).  Anyway, Kim was a big help to me and I frequently refer to her in my diabetes mentoring program when questions about CGMs arise.

Kim started an “event” for the month of December called Give All The Things (you really should click that to see what I’m talking about).  I was immediately more smitten with her than I already was.   I won second place at the very beginning of the month of giveaways.  I won a small plush pancreas.  Oh you don’t know what a plush pancreas is?  Well you can see it here.  It made me laugh but it got me thinking about Kim’s pay-it-forward idea, an idea I try to incorporate into my own life.  I contacted Kim and told her a little about my jewelry design business and it’s connection to my fundraising walk teams, Alecia’s Stem Cells.  I offered to give her a pair of earrings for her giveaway.  Although it is not totally diabetes related, the jewelry IS made by a T1D (me) and 10% of the proceeds go to JDRF.  Kim wrote the sweetest note back.  It put a big goofy grin on my face.

Today Kim is giving away the earrings at Texting My Pancreas.  I saw the tweet about it this morning.  I immediately smiled.  What started as an overwhelming day still is overwhelming, but her post lightened me. Twice I have checked the comments (which is how you enter her contests) and both times I smiled more and “may” have had some extra moisture escape my eyes (must be allergies, I certainly am not crying again, right?).

If you have some time, check out the comments of some of her other Give All The Things posts.  It will immediately remind you how fortunate you are to be part of the DOC.

Do Good, Feel Good.  Thanks Kim.

Not a Quitter

Shortly after I got moving this morning, THIS started:

Sensor change

When I checked my Dex post shower I was quite surprised that my bedazzling was not only still intact, BUT my Dex is hardly frayed around the edges (it has indeed been a whole week).

Dexcom Sparkle

In one week I haven’t used any IV3000 to keep Dex stuck to me (shocking) and a bunch of rhinestone stickers have survived my workouts, longer than should be acceptable showers, and the various outfit changes I seem to make on a daily basis.

So what has changed?  Nothing that I can think of EXCEPT the rhinestones are a new decoration!  If they are helping keep Dex in place, then guess what folks?  I am going to remain one heck of a bedazzled, glittery, pretty pony.


My Love Affair

I’m having a love affair. I can’t deny it, it’s true. It started in November. I’d seen him before. I did what we all do, I Googled him but quickly decided he wasn’t my type. I’m a rather independent woman. From what I learned, he wanted someone who was a bit needy. He seemed like a bit of a know-it-all too. I had enough going on in my life but I kept looking at him. I asked around. Others knew him but there were mixed feelings. Some people thought he was absolutely wonderful, they praised him but still others said he was unreliable, inconsistent, not worth the effort and that I should just get a dog.

I’d briefly gotten attached to his “type” a few years ago. That one scared me a bit, but we were inseparable for 3 days. Something was missing and I knew it. I never truly felt comfortable. Perhaps we just didn’t click and in the end I was disappointed and frankly, I felt let-down. I guess I was a bit oversold.

Years had gone by and I tried to keep an open-mind, I kept looking at him online. Oh let’s face it, I stared at him online. I just needed to be brave (or so I kept telling myself). Put myself out there. It started with an email. I was testing the waters. It led to more emails. I kept Googling and staring. A date was set, right before Christmas. I was nervous, but excited. He arrived at my home. It was awkward at best. I’m fairly certain he found me cold and perhaps distracted. Our get together ended rather abruptly. I was too nervous and uncomfortable. Later I checked him out online again. I downloaded an app on my phone so I could check him out from there too. I wasn’t giving up hope but it was easier to drag my feet since the holidays were right around the corner. It was a good excuse. I decided I’d try to hook-up with him after the New Year.

After New Year’s, I decided my initial discomfort was with the one-on-one aspect of our initial meeting. I made a decision, made a couple calls, and within 24 hours, we had plans for a group lunch date. I was nervous but we were surrounded by other group dates and suddenly this seemed doable.

Now, over 9 months later, if we go on a date, he never pays. He can be downright irritating, almost preachy, if I’ve under-bolused or have indulged a bit too much. Once, I took Sudafed when I wasn’t feeling well and he went absolutely nuts. We don’t fight often, maybe, but when we do, we’ve learned to start over. A fresh start seems to be best for both of us.

Now I see there were plenty of times I didn’t feel safe on my own. That’s all changed since he came into my life. I’ll admit it, it may not be perfect but we sleep together every night. He wakes me up more than I’d like but I’m glad he’s there.

Thanks for keeping me safe Dex.