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Diabetes update November 30, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — singlewhitediabetic @ 10:59 am

So, since this was started as a diabetes blog, why not take a minute to talk about the big D in the room?

My diabetes is doing great.  My last A1C (sort of an average of your last three months blood sugars) was literally the lowest it’s been since I’ve been diagnosed.  The nurse told me the number while I was waiting on the doctor and I was instantly in tears.  When the doctor came in she clapped and gave me a high-five.

What changed?  Walking more.  That’s mostly it.  I guess because I see my other numbers all day I’m also testing a little more.  But, mostly my numbers are great.  I’ve had a few lows but that’s not unexpected when you are staying closer to the right range.  I lowered my amount of long-acting insulin and that seems to have fixed the lows for the most part.

It makes me very glad.  I can’t always predict and control it, but I can take active steps to help make it manageable.

I will see my endo and my retina specialist both in December and am hopeful they will have more good news.

 

10,000 feet height vacation recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — singlewhitediabetic @ 10:39 am

(written on the route back and I refuse to edit)

Some people take vacations every year.  I have mostly used my vacation days from work for trips back home to see the family and/or long weekends.  It had been 10 years since I did the last true vacation by the definition most of us would use.  I don’t say that as a complaint – I know many people never get those definitions of vacation and I’d never trade my experiences thus far

Still…

I posed the question on FB if I could go a week without my laptop.  Everyone said yes.  And I did.  Of course, I had my phone so I did spend about 10 minutes of the week answering 3 work emails, but was mostly successful in setting that part of my life aside.

I’m extremely lucky that I love my job.  I work for a company and with people that I believe in.  I feel like I make a difference in the lives of the people I work with.  I believe I’m good at my job.  But, it was all I was doing. Wake up, check email, commute/start calls, spend 8ish hours in the office, commute, stop in for a quick dinner with mom and then home where i got back online and often put in another 2-3 hours.  I needed a break to remember who the rest of me is.  The non-project manager self.

So, several months ago I was conversing with a friend that we should take another trip together.  She mentioned Iceland had always been on her bucket list and she’d like to go there…we agreed on over Thanksgiving (fewer days off for the same amount of time) and booked it. It was also a milestone birthday for her.  Another friend decided to join.   After the booking of the flight and room, it was pretty much put on the back burner.  A few emails were exchanged with recommendations from others, but everyone was busy doing their own thing.  Normally this would stress me out, but there were other things taking immediate priority (like the trip to India).  I did make sure we got the pickup from the airport taken care of (to the Blue Lagoon!), but we literally had nothing else set.  We agreed it was everyones vacation.  We weren’t a family or young girls traveling together, so we could each make our trip what we wanted of it.  I/we did do some research, but there was nothing that could be booked through a tourism company that I felt like I had to do to make the trip a success.  What I really wanted was a chance to recharge and reconnect with myself.

I did do some of the tourist things – Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, walking to the pretty church on the hill, several great meals and so forth.  And those were fantastic.  Amazing even.  They made for some beautiful pictures and memories of things I can say I’ve seen and done.  But, let’s be real…none of my pictures are going to compete with what can be found from a simple Google Image search.  No, that’s not my take away.

From my conversations with friends, new friends and strangers I was reminded of the important things to me.  Laughter, meaningful conservations and taking a minute or two for myself.  I need to make time for myself to walk and challenge myself for a healthier lifestyle that regularly means appreciating the outdoors.  Snow, ice and darkness didn’t stop me from getting out in Iceland – why should it at home?  I would also like to seek out time for deeper conversations than what was had for dinner with new and old friends.  Like, why do police officers in America need to carry guns when most of the rest of the world doesn’t?  I need to learn more about what can be done to make an impact.  Not that these conversations can’t include my usual need for silly jokes.  I also need to put some time into every day to make sure I’m in touch with where I am and taking care of myself.

Life goes so quickly.  I don’t want it to be gone and no one be able to say more than “she was a good project manager.”  That is part of my life, but my life is more than that.

 

Five women who changed my life August 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — singlewhitediabetic @ 1:13 pm

Writing prompts provided by http://brittanyherself.com/aside/august-writing-prompts/.

I looked over today and it said “Tell me about the five women who have changed your life.”

Well, a lot more than five women have changed my life, so it gave me pause.  I’ll just go with top of mind and hope it doesn’t offend any of the many amazing women that aren’t listed.

  1. My mom.    My first best friend and still my single biggest supporter.  I’m not sure everyone is as blessed as I am to have someone that they can be completely honest and themselves with and know they will still be loved.  She’s an awesome grandma to my fur-babies too.  One of the things I’ve always admired about her is how hard working she was to raise me and my brother on her own.  This included when she was about my age completely changing her life by going to school to become a nurse.  This decision couldn’t have been easy but she touched many people with this profession.  She’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever met and I’m not just saying that because she’s my mom.
  2. Tisha Black. My first non-family best friend.  We met in fourth grade but didn’t seal our friendship until sixth grade when we began playing at recess, spending most weekends together and writing notes to each other non-stop.  Once I moved away in 7th grade, back in the days before email and cell phones, we recorded hours talking to each other on cassette tapes and still writing long letters.  We haven’t lived in the same town for the vast majority of our (near) 25 year friendship, but we still always have a great time when we’re together and know we can go to each other for prayers, hugs and pretty much anything.  I started this by saying non-family friend, but she is family in my heart.
  3. Felicia Jewell. When I was 16, I went off to a residential high school.  I arrived to find a *tiny* room that had been intended for one person but they had to put two of us in there.   That very first night, as we laid in our bunk beds, we began talking to each other and discovered we had an almost eerie set of similarities in our lives.  That pretty much sealed the deal for friendship.  It was 20 years ago this month.  During those 20 years we’ve been through a lot as friends and individuals and it’s been awesome to always have the other to turn to.  I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years brings.
  4. Kathy Gray. Kathy & I met riding the bus to school together in middle school.  I believe I was the first stop and she was the second stop, so we had a loooong time to talk.  We sat six rows back in the seats right beside each other and experienced a lot of the joys of school together.  Our friendship took a bit of a break as we went our separate ways for further schools, but we managed to keep in touch with Christmas cards and the occasional lunches when I was back in town.  However, when I moved back to Arkansas in 2012, our friendship got much closer.  She’s my #1 texting buddy and is one of the least judgmental people I’ve ever met.  I’m so happy to count her amongst my besties.
  5. Kristen Ray. When I was 22 I packed up my first Honda Accord and moved across the country to Baltimore.  I knew a few people, but quickly found I needed to venture out of my comfort zone and make some friends.  One of the ways I did this was through the Jaycees – a great organization.  While I made many amazing friends, I was so blessed to become friends with Kristen.  She became my family away from home and we experienced so much of our becoming adults together – from travel to heartbreak to just growing up.   She’s such a thoughtful and kind person and has added so much to my life.

Well, that’s five.  Like I said, there are many more women who have changed my life, but lunch is almost over.  More blogging to come as I read the prompts.

 

 

Growing Gratitude List October 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — singlewhitediabetic @ 9:08 pm

I was challenged to write a gratitude list that I add to EACH day.  So, starting 10/14…

1.  God’s grace

2.  My mom, my friend

3.  Insulin.  Keeps me alive!

4.  That I had almost 34 of my years with my Uncle Donald.  He went to heaven in 2012, but I still love and appreciate him.

5.  My sweet friends.

6.  My Annabelle, my pooch.

7.  Coffee

8.  My job

9.  A reliable automobile.

10.  Scentsy.  lol.

11.  My cozy home.

12.  Family.

13.  All the folks making meals for me and mom!

14.  Volunteers.

15.  Caffeine.

16.  Fall colors

17.  My kitty cat

18.  My temporary roommate!

 

 

Resentments March 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — singlewhitediabetic @ 11:14 am

re·sent·ment

  [ri-zent-muhnt]  

noun
the feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.
 
I’ve recently been working on clearing out those pesky resentments I carry around in my life at people, places and things.  While not a fun task, I have found it healthy and helpful.  However, I have, for months, neglected writing about all the resentment I have at the big D.  When challenged of why this is the case, I realized its because diabetes isn’t going anywhere.  A lot of other things were single actions/times that took place in the past.  They aren’t part of my future.  It makes it feel a lot different.  It also shows the importance of why I need to come to peace, as best I can, with the resentment I have at this disease.  
 
So, my new plan is:
  1. Write about why I’m resentful about it now.  
  2. Pray about those things.  
  3. Plan on how to continue to improve my care for the future.

I like lists, so lets do it that way.  In no particular order, I am resentful at diabetes because of the following:

  • It will likely never go away.
  • Its sometimes unpredictable and often unscientific.
  • It can cause death slowly or quickly.
  • There are a lot of misconceptions about it and stereotypes that cause others to judge me unfairly.
  • It scares me.  
  • It’s expensive.  Very.  Even with insurance.
  • It never turns off.  
  • I have to give it attention quite frequently:  before I consume any food, after I consume food, before any physical activity, any time I am not feeling “right”, before I go to sleep.
  • How it acts on a “normal” day can change drastically if I am sick, stressed or have my period.
  • Medical folks are often very ignorant of it and say things to me that are untrue.  
  • My belly looks like a battlefield due to pump sites.
  • I manage best when I have external devices attached to me and I hate to have external devices attached to me all the time.
  • I have had a harder time managing my weight with it and have gained quite a bit since diagnosed.  
  • I have to see a lot more doctors.  Assuming nothing is wrong I should have a minimum of like 10 appointments a year.  
  • Diabetic retinopathy.
  • Other potential complications.
  • It takes up physical space in my fridge and pantry.
  • Other people judge what I eat/do once they know.
  • I judge myself harshly on occasion.  

That last one is a bigger one than I’d like.  I wonder what things I might have done to contribute to my pancreas being a dud.  I judge what I eat and how I treat.  I get angry, sad, discouraged and overwhelmed on a semi-regular basis.  

Still, I keep going and dealing because there’s not really another option I’m okay with.  I have a brand new monitor coming Monday and that will be part of Step 3.  Closer control and better understanding.  

There are upsides, but that’s not what I’m posting about today, so I’ll close now.  :)  Thanks for listening.

 

Diabetes Blog Week – Day 7 May 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — singlewhitediabetic @ 8:21 pm

Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”. It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3. It might be a fabulous endo or CDE. It could be a d-celebrity or role-model. It could be another DOC member. It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero.

As true for much of my life, my hero is my mother. A Type-3 who knows and loves me + a lot of her family who have Type 2. Here are a few things that make her my diabetes hero:

–Before my diagnosis, my mother had bought a home big enough to be able to bring her mom and brother in to live with her. My grandmother was a type-2 and suffering from dementia. My mom administered her shots and testing every day. When someone has dementia, even these daily things were not always easy.

–Since my diagnosis, my mom has worked to learn a lot about the things I’m going through. I was an adult when I was diagnosed so she hasn’t had to give me shots or physically handle the care, but she’s worried as much as any other diabetic-mama. Anytime I fund-raise, she’s there on the list even if it means other expenses have to be cut. She listens to all my horror stories, has suffered through my two hospital visits from afar and I know would travel as fast as needed if it ever came to that. She’s my cheerleader when I’m hard on myself, my cheerleader when I’m proud of myself and my cheerleader when I don’t even know I need it. You get the point. It’s empowering to know someone loves me regardless of how well I’m doing. She’s always willing to listen and she’s also learned to be understanding that I want to manage how much I am checked in on when I’m testing around her and such. I’m sure it’s not easy.

–My mom also is now starting to help manage her brother’s diabetes. My uncle was paralyzed in an accident almost 15 years ago and was just recently diagnosed as a Type-2. He and my mom are both still starting to try and learn how to best manage. I know he’s in good hands with his sister (oh, she’s a nurse I didn’t mention) there to help him.

I love my mama and I appreciate her more all the time. I hope she never gets the D herself…she’s living with it enough already!

 

Diabetes blog week – day 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — singlewhitediabetic @ 7:31 pm

Back for the third year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like! With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Well, on this day I happened to be in a good place to show you what some diabetics look like…and as the people that house the diabetes, I thought I would post a few of my favorites!

Here is a photo that shows how diverse the diabetic women can look.

Diabetes Sisters 2012

Our keynote speaker for the conference was Natalie (Nat) Strand. She was part of the first women’s team to win Amazing Race and is a Type 1 diabetic. She stuck around for our special celebration dinner and then took part of a hula-hoop competition. From where I was standing, I could see the hoops pounding her Pod (pump) on her back, but she didn’t even flinch. There was no doubt that a competitor like her would never quit…and she didn’t. She won first with one hoop and then with two. She was very inspiring with her smile and great attitude.

And the winner is….Nat!

Then this morning it looked like women and men putting on their orange before 8 AM and walking around Raleigh.

Me, Lindsey and our two new sisters.