Spare A Rose

Life for a Child

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Of Juice Box Lows & Being A Grown-Up



I was food shopping  - Something I don’t aways love to do, but ALWAYS make sure I do none the less. 
I walked down the “JUICE” aisle  as I popped some glucose tabs and saw that the Apple and Eve Fruit Punch juice boxes were on sale. 
You know, the ones with the cute little Elmo on the front of the box? 
They’re my favorite and I was hungry (more than hungry, I was starting to get that low feeling in my belly,) so I grabbed two eight packs, stuck them in the cart’s kiddie seat and immediately started ripping open the packaging. 
Stocking up for the first day of school?” Said a mom who was making her way towards me from the opposite end of the aisle.
'Not really,' I said as I tore the wrapping off the tiny straw and pierced open a juice box. They’re for me. 
Mom: Ohhhhh.... Well, we’re all big kids at heart.
I took a huge gulp and said: Yep, I totally am. Alsi: these juice boxes are the perfect size to treat a low blood sugar like the one I’m having now.
She gave a look like I had three heads and I continued walking down the aisle... slowly, but at the same time hurried and deliberately like - And I sucked down my juice box dry in record time. Then I lanced another Juice box and sucked that one down.
I didn’t want to have a conversation or go into greater detail or make small talk.
I wanted to keep going so I could get back to the business of feeling normal.  

The end of the Juice aisle ran smack dab into the Store Pharmacy, and that would be precisely where I stayed for the next 10 minutes while I waited for normal to begin again. 

Normal did return, the hanger subsided and I got back to the business of filling my cart.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Acclimating

spent a few hours this weekend cleaning out my old car and getting it prepped to give to my nephew. In the process I found my favorite beaded flip-flops from 5 years ago shoved under the driver’s seat. And in the glove compartment I found a bag of petrified Jellybeans I’d used to treat a few lows from a few Easter's ago. 
In the console I unearthed a spare pair of cheap sunglasses, a hard-as-nails Lara bar that must have been four years old, along side a long ago roll of expired glucose tabs, Tropical Fruit flavored. 
I also found two unopened infusion sets and reservoirs.
I LOL’d when I found my D stash and my flip-flops and felt a little nostalgic. 
My car had been good to me, much better than I’d been to it - And soon I would be saying good bye to it for good. 
My ‘new to me car,’ is only two years old and is currently reinforced with the following diabetes supplies in the center console: Three infusion sets/ reservoirs, a full bottle of glucose tabs and a filled bottle of glucose bits. 
There’s also non D essentials like hand sanitizer , 2 pens and a pad of paper, 79 cents in spare change, 3 small hair clips and 2 rubber-bands, not to mention 3 dollars in freshly minted CVS Bucks and a laminated map of New York City. 
I’ve been driving my new car for a little over 2 months - And it feels like my car now - I can recognize it's idiosyncrasies and soon it will feel like it's always been mine.
Still, I really do need to read the owner's manual more thoroughly  - And I will.  
My old car feels smaller and less "Kelly like."  

I can still parallel park the old Green Goddess in one fell swoop, though (I'm freakishly good when it comes to parallel parking,) and I can't quite do that with my new car, YET. 
But soon I'll be able to parallel park The Gray Goddess (it's a gray car,) without thinking twice about it  - I won't be so concerned about nicks and scratches because I'll just be able to parallel park without thinking.   
Acclimating to a new car sort of reminds me of acclimating to a new insulin pump. 
You know how a new insulin pump works and you now how to make it work - But sometimes it takes a while for a new pump or meter to become a part of you both spacially and instinctively. 
But when you achieve pump acclimation, it happens so seamlessly that you don't even realize it - It's automatic~

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP: Robin Williams. #depressionlies

Some generations remember where they were WWII started and ended, when Kennedy got shot. 
For me, I remember where I was when I found out about The Challenger disaster, Princess Diana dying, JFK Jr's plane crashing,the Twin Towers falling and I will always remember where I was and what  I was doing when I first heard the news about Robin Williams. 
I'm writing about Robin's passing today, not because I knew him, I didn't.  
I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but I sure wish I had. Like many, I felt like I knew him a little bit, because I grew up watching him and laughing with him - And learning from him. 
I'm writing about Robin Williams today because he made me laugh and learn and cry  - And I can't stop thinking about what happened to him and the reasons why he left this earth.
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Words to live by.
Photo courtesy of robinwilliams.com
I didn’t want to believe what I thought I’d just heard the Newscaster say and I was hoping with all my heart that I was wrong. 
30 seconds into the closing of the CBS evening news and I was no long paying attention. Instead I was looking at my computer screen, not my television screen and reading my Facebook scroll, just because. 
And then I thought I’d heard the announcer utter something along the lines of: There are unconfirmed reports on the death of beloved comedian Robin Williams, we’ll have more on this story as it develops. 
And I yelled “NO,” outloud to my empty living room. 
NO, It couldn’t be true. Not Robin Williams. Please not him, not the man who always made me laugh and cry and who fostered my love rainbow suspenders as a gangly not so cool grade school girl. NO, NO, NO. 
 I immediately googled the info and found several headings under the topic re: an internet hoax -  And I breathed a sigh of relief, until I clicked on Googles Search Tools bar and clicked on ‘Web’, and the sub heading, ‘Past Hour.’ That’s when I saw the coroners office Press Release from Marin County and the headline on Variety.com stating that he’d passed away.
Tears started to fall on my laptop and then and as if on cue, The CBS Evening News interrupted the first 10 minutes of Entertainment Tonight to officially report his death. 
It was at the moment all the world’s hearts broke collectively and it was so effing palpable - You could feel the grief shock and awe across the bandwidth. 
Millions of broken hearts sent their love to his family via social media - and shared their feelings of loss with one another - And that's still going on as I type this post. 
I spent a lot of time last night reading Facebook and twitter posts that made me cry. 
I couldn’t sleep last night for variety of reasons and I wish yesterday had never happened. 

To me Robin Williams was the person who made it OK to be different. 
He made it OK to laugh at yourself and he continually reinforced the power of laughter and empathy throughout his career.  
And Robin Williams made it OK to wear rainbow suspenders. 
OK, maybe not the coolest fashion choice for today's tween, but as gangly 9 year old who was different both pancreatically and personality wise, Robin Williams made it absolutely acceptable for me to march to my own beat.
And his Rainbow suspenders became both the uniform and a badge of coolness for everyone, especially for those of us who were decidedly different.
And Robin Williams was the man that my parents (who had 43 & 49 years, respectively to my 9,) and I would watch together  - And he'd have us howling, together as family. That was BIG. 
He made our family laugh, especially during those times when we wanted to cry - And he made us laugh until we cried.   
From all accounts, Robin Williams was even more kind than he was funny. 
Think about that for a second - He was incredibly gifted when it came to comedy and drama for that matter, but his many acts of kindness were just as legendary and endearing.
This “character,” was an extraordinary and compassionate man who had a wonderful character.   
Robin Williams struggled with depression and addiction and was open regarding his struggles with both in interviews.   
For one brief moment on August 11th, depression won out and Robin Williams took his own life. 
I hate it - I hate that it happened - I hate that his depression won.
I hope he's found peace and I'm hoping and praying for his family and I will continue to do so for a very long time. 
And I hope (and I know my use of the word "hope" is redundant, but it's the only word that fits and I'm all for holding on to hope,) that his struggle will shine the spotlight and remove the stigma of this terrible disease called Depression. 
Depression isn’t a character flaw or a weakness. 
Depression is a very real disease and is both genetic and generational, much like diabetes and heart disease. 
Depression manifests itself both physically and mentally and it’s tendrils reach out and hurt every single person it touches.

As a Kunik, I understand what depression can do. 
I’ve dealt with depression and I’ve lost loved ones to depression.
Depression can pull you down so deep that you believe that you’ll never be able to get up.  Here's the thing: #Depressionlies. 
You will be able to get back up. 
But you will need up.
Asking for help is really hard and it's really fucking brave and wonderful and it’s OK. 
So go ahead and ask for help. 
If someone you love (or know in passing for that matter,) suffers from depression, is showing signs of depression, or has put up a wall between the world and themselves as of late, please reach out to them. 
And if you suffer from depression and are in place that’s not good, PLEASE reach out to  someone you love and trust, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and ask for help. 
The world is such a better place with you in. 

I'm doing my best to be kinder today on many levels.
To check in on friends, to work and be patient and let things go that aren't important. 
Tonight I will be watching some Robin Williams movies that will remind me of all the wonderful lessons he taught all of us over the years - And I will do my best to take his words to heart and put them into action~ 

Monday, August 11, 2014

#AADE14: This Post Is All About How Amazing CDEs Are.

My apologies for last week’s lack of posts. I worked triple time before I flew to the 2014 AADE Conference in Orlando last Wednesday and I hit the ground hard when I landed - Attending sessions,working the DHF Booth and meeting with HCPs one on one and face to face. I focused on listening, learning and passing info via tweeting and facebooking. This week, the blog posts will be plentiful.
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Today's post is short and sweet and it's not about all the amazing sessions I had the opportunity to attend - That post is on it's way. This post is all about about the amazing people attending AADE. Yep, it's all Certified Diabetes Educators, A.K.A., CDEs.
First and foremost: Certified Diabetes Educators are amazing. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. 
These women and men work their glutei maximi off when it comes to their patients with diabetes - Attending #AADE14 was a continual reminder for me just how amazing in all dimensions CDEs are.  
Much like their patients, CDEs are stretched thin when it comes to time, finances and lack of coverage, both in the physical and "hands-on" sense, as well as the insurance coverage sense. But that doesn’t prevent them from helping their patients - And fighting for them. 
CDEs must continually learn and educate themselves on all the latest and greatest in diabetes management, studies and care so they can pass that info on to us. 
And the majority of CDEs are receptive to learning from us as well, both in sessions and via one-on-one. YEP, AMAZING. 
CDEs brains are impressive and their hearts are big. They worry about us because they take our diabetes to heart - And that in and of itself is pretty damn amazing. 
Personally, I'm blessed to have a wonderful CDE and Endo, who work with and talk with and too me, not at me. Who teach me and learn from me all at the same time - And who help me navigate through the Diabetes Burnout so I can get back on track to the road called, Better
I was surrounded by a sea of Healthcare Professionals at #AADE14 who wanted all their patients to find the road to Better. And I remember the Diabetes Dark Ages - When there was no such thing as a CDE. THANK GOD times have changed!

Still, I'm always blown away when I hear of PWDs who haven't with a CDE since their DX or even worse, who have never worked with a CDE - And that breaks my heart. 
If you haven’t met with CDE yet, PLEASE, consider making an appointment with one - Click HERE for more help in finding one. 

Having someone to help you navigate the diabetes waters with is so incredibly important. Everyone needs some help when it comes to finding what diabetes routes work best for us as an individual with diabetes. Having a CDE as your diabetes Coach and Co-Captain helps to take the pressure off doing it alone. Knowledge is power and the more sources of diabetes knowledge we have as patients  both online and off) helps in building and maintaining our health and our confidence in how we manage our lives with diabetes. 
And if you already meet with a CDE and haven't had been in for a diabetes tune-up in a while. email them and set up an appointment - You're worth it. And while you're at it, give them a big THANK YOU - I know they'll appreciate it! 
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I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to attend the 2014 AADE Conference in Orlando, Florida, provided by The Diabetes Hands Foundation and Diabetes Advocates - I'm an active member and fangirl of both groups and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunities they provide me, including the scholarship to AADE. 
The scholarship covered my flight and hotel costs, but as always, all thoughts on my blog are mine. :) 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What A Difference A Week Makes: Finding Diabetes Support, Online & Off

What a difference a week makes. Last Thursday I wrote about my Endo appointment, my less than wonderful A1C, how burned out I was feeling from diabetes and how both my Dr. & CDE were amazing. Also, between you and me, I think I was also going through some CWD FFL withdrawal. 
Anway, last week my CDE Cheryl, invited me to an Insulin Pump Support meeting she was having. At one time I attended those meetings on a regular basis, but due to budget issues there hasn't been an Insulin Pump Support Meeting in years - until this past Tuesday. Here's how it went~
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My drive to Philly was shorter than expected and as I inched towards the Walt Whitman Bridge, I started to feel really good about things. 
My excitement finally bubbled to the surface in the parking garage elevator, as soon as I stepped in and realized that the woman next to me was wearing an insulin pump. 
And I knew exactly where she was going. 
Me: Are you on your way to Cheryl’s meeting?
Her: Yes, yes I am!!
And simultaneously we both grabbed our pumps, giggled and started talking. 
Together we walked towards our shared destination and we talked about our endos, how great the practice was and how amazing Cheryl the CDE was. 
And when we walked in the building, past the security guard and towards the room where the meeting was held, we saw Cheryl. 
And at that moment I was so grateful to Cheryl for being such an amazing type 3, for always being there for her patients and for getting the group up and running again after such a long hiatus... and for asking me to attend. 

And I’m not going to lie - I was really grateful that Cheryl procured food from Panara Bread, which included a variety of tasty sandwiches and cookies with the carb counts written out. 
FTR: A Panara big chocolate chip cookie is 58 grams of carbs - And it’s worth the bolus.
But I digress. 

I could write how amazing it was to be in a room with people who “got it" and how everyone said “OMG, that happens to me, too,” whenever anyone mentioned something D related. 
I could wax poetic about how people shared their feelings of being alone sometimes - even if they knew they weren’t. I understand that feeling very well -  I know you do, too. And I mentioned the Diabetes Online Community multiple times to the group - who wasn’t even aware that the DOC existed until: 
  1. Cheryl told them about my blog as we were going through the group introductions
  2. I told them about the DOC and give them twitter search terms like #dsma, dsma twitter chats, #doc #diabetes, Blog Rolls, Facebook groups and communities and how there is indeed a D Tribe out there online in the room we were sitting in, not to mention The Diabetes Unconference that's happening next year.
And they were really excited to hear that the DOC existed.
But this post is supposed to be about the awesome Insulin Pump Support Group meeting.  

I’ll admit to being blown away by the fact that some of the group members had been living with diabetes for decades, and by decades I mean 60 years, 53 years, 50 years and 40 years  - They inspired me and I wanted to hug them and hold them tight. 
There were were people who were recently diagnosed as adults with t1 - or who’d who came to their t1 status by way of a pancreatectomy. All of them were doing what they needed to, even though change can be difficult - Especially when your pancreas is the one that decides to make the change, and after it's been working just find for you &well into your adult life. They reminded me about life throwing us curve balls just when we think everything is peachy. They inspired me and I wanted to hug them and hold them tight. 
And there were also people like me there. People who weren’t 50 years in, but who’d lived with diabetes longer than they hadn’t. And they inspired me and I wanted to hug them and hold them tight. 
In each of them I saw bits of myself. As I was, as I used to be... And as I hoped to become. I was grateful to each and everyone of them - just like I'm grateful for each and everyone of you. 
Whenever I think of the Diabetes Online Community or finding other's in our D Tribe in real life, expected and or by kismet, I ALWAYS think of the following quote by C.S. Lewis that I found on TwistedSifter. 
Yep, sums up the DOC perfectly!
Photo with quote courtesy of TwisterSifter
This thing called community - Of being there for one another - It's so important. 
If you're part of the DOC, you get that. 
And I know Cheryl gets that - She's always been so supportive and she asked me to present at  a future meeting on DOC resources. 
If your Endo's office doesn't offer a support group, reach out to them and suggest that they start one - And bug the crap out of them until it becomes a reality. 
And I know I don't need to tell you this, but I will anyway. 
If you know of any PWDs (people with diabetes) off-line who might be feeling alone, reach out to them and tell them about the DOC and then ask them if they'd like to grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine - And then bug the crab out of said PWD or PWDs (and in the nicest way possible,) until it actually happens. 
Peer support for every single person living with diabetes is so incredibly important - And a little red wine, or coffee, or cupcakes between PWDs every now and then doesn't hurt either ;) 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Diabetes As A Rorschach Test -

I looked down and saw some weird triple combo of a diabetes rorschach test, with some diabetes origami & "Still Life With Diabetes," portrait mixed in.... just to mess with my head - After all, we are talking about Rorschach test~ 
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So I got in my car, looked down and this what I saw. 
Actually, I saw this when it was clipped to my hip, but I couldn't get a good picture of it, so I ever so gingerly placed the insulin on my knee. 
And then I was said: Wow, it's like some strange Diabetes Rorschach Test, except the ink blot's been replaced with pump tubing. 
Also: Diabetes as Origami crossed my mind as well 
Damn, if the tubing had somehow maneuvered itself into at the form of a crane, that would have been awesome! 
Sidebar: I know, I'm weird. 
Diabetes as a Rorschach Test.
Images Provoked by said image:
Mouse ears and maybe elephant ears and also some weird combo of all the PowerPuff girls heads rolled into one.
Emotions brought on by said image:
For sure I was like: W.T.F. and how long has my tubing been like this!
BUT.... I have to admit to a healthy dash of wonderment a'la "that's sorta cool, not to mention a one in a million shot," thrown in for good measure~


What do you see? 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Things I’ve been reminded of as of late - The 2014 Summer Edition

Lately I've been reminded of somethings & I thought I'd share. 
Also: I'm a weird. 
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Some things I've been reminded of as of late~

The DOC always has my back - Same goes for my Endo & CDE

I am one lucky duck, indeed. 

Typing while wearing wrist braces makes for some interesting key strokes.
Thank God for the Edit, “Undo Typing,” option. 

In order to makes changes, you have to be the change - Not always easy, but necessary.

Sometimes you can bolus for pizza and actually be low 2 hours later. 
Sometimes you can bolus for a salad and be high a 2 hours later. 
File both under: WEIRD & INCREDIBLY ANNOYING

I’ve recently jumped on the True Blood bandwagon, thanks to 3 months of free HBO and the magic of On-Demand.
TB is a great show, but every single time I watch an episode, I find myself thinking that PWD blood would probably be just as coveted by the Vamps as Fairy blood - Especially if said PWD was running moderate to high blood sugars after a cortisone shot
Now depending on the Vamp, this can actually be kind of a great thing.... Or it could TOTALLY SUCK. ;)
Come on now, I can't be the only one who wonders about this..... or can I?   
Also: File Under: Diabetes Brain

Summer fruit and veggies are incredibly delicious, but when it comes to tomatoes I need to pace myself because too much of a good thing equals acid mouth. 

Forcing yourself to test your blood sugar on the hand you normally never test with isn’t as hard or as cumbersome as you think it might be.


But enough about me - What have you been reminded of as of late?
And it doesn't have to be about diabetes, either.