Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Today I read Bernard's blog about some books he's been reading about blogging, and it made me think of how I'd like to improve my own writing. I've been thinking lately that I wanted to share with you how bad I feel my writing has been on this blog so far, and how sorry I am for that.

I promise I'll get better. Especially if I can get some sleep. Because my biggest impediment to clear, concise, thoughtful writing on this blog has been the lack of sleep I have suffered from since my son was born. It robs me of almost all my abilities to have a comprehensible thought.

Also, I find that as a mom, I am always going through the day and thinking up some great post, but by the time I get to the computer, it is completely and totally gone from my mind. And by that time, it is late and I am tired. The result is the crappier-than-I-want posts that have been happening here. How do other people maintain such great writing when they are feeling as physically sub-par as I feel these days?

And then there's the fact that I've never written about my diabetes before. It's hard for me to know how to write about it and about the other facets of my life. I am doing all right on the other facets, but how to integrate them? I seem to be either writing posts that leave the rest out, focusing only on my diabetes, or I double-post here and on my other blog.

Hm. Food for thought. It's probably bad form to criticize and analyze my obstacles to writing on my blog, but hey, it's late and I'm tired. ;)

I'm gonna go get those books Bernard was reading and see what comes of it. Stay tuned for my daily attempts at improvement in both writing and diabetes management!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Balancing Act

One of the most challenging things about motherhood for me has been learning to sometimes put myself first. I think mothers have a powerful instinct to put their children first, which serves an important purpose, but I also think we often have trouble balancing between what they need and what we need. This is no revelation.

But the way my diabetes has affected my parenting is a revelation to me. Even though I still sometimes push myself too far--even though I carry him until my back is aching and my arms are numb, even though I am so far behind in sleep that I lose my blood stick kit every 5 minutes, even though I sometimes write horribly because my thoughts have completely disappeared by the time I get around to sitting at the computer--there are some things I simply have to do for myself. I cannot skip meals. I cannot forget to take my medications. I MUST pay attention to how much exercise I'm getting.

Sometimes this makes it harder on me. Some days I really wish that I could forget about taking my walk, or eating lunch before putting James down for a nap, or taking my Lantus before bedtime. But I have to do it. And ultimately, I think managing my diabetes while raising my son has taught me about balance, about how to carve out those times in the day to take care of myself through the all-consuming task of caring for a newborn and now a toddler.

So again I find myself giving thanks for my diabetes in an unexpected way. Don't get me wrong...I would be SO HAPPY if I woke up tomorrow without diabetes. I'd probably even skip a few meals just because I finally could. I'd definitely sleep in instead of getting up to take my shot, and I'd most likely sleep in even later and skip my walk if James would let me. Diabetes is not something I am happy to have. But in my quest to learn more about how this disease affects my life and how my life affects my disease, I'm happy to know that it's not all bad. I can find the positives. I can stay optimistic. I may not be able to "beat" diabetes, but I can use it, I can learn from it, I can grow from the experiences I am forced to endure.

And for this I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Seven Weird Facts

This has been a rough day. Last night was the 6th out of the last 7 nights that James was up in the middle of the night, from around 2 to 5 a.m. I am completely muddled, and had no idea how I was going to write anything coherent here today, but...

I've been tagged for a meme! Thanks, Donna!

So here are the rules of this meme:

1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

And here are seven weird facts about me:

1. I hate hate HATE it when shoes touch the surface of my bed. It gives me the creepy-crawlies. My husband says this makes me OCD or at least a little crazy. I say, what's the harm in being thoughtfully sanitary, people? Do you KNOW what you have on the bottom of your shoes?

2. I read books faster than anyone I know. I also read multiple books at once. This really isn't surprising to people who know me well, but even they don't generally comprehend how fast I really read or how extensively I read. Right now I'm reading two romance novels, one Jodi Picoult, one book about AIDS prevention in Africa, one parenting book, and one book about a hospital ethics committee. That's all I can remember at the time. I read while I'm eating, I read while I nurse James, I read whenever I get the chance. If there's not a book around to read, I'll read the back of a cereal box. While I type this, I'm reading a "Breakfast with Bernie" blurb on the back of my Annie's Cheddar Bunnies box.

3. When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to be an architect, and I collected house plans like mad. I drew my own house plans a million times, as well as designing museums and play spaces for kids. I'm not sure why I gave up on that, because I still like that kind of stuff. And I REALLY don't think most people know that.

4. I rub my feet together when I'm in bed at night, and it helps relax me. When I was in college, I found out through an informal survey of friends that many of my female friends did this, and none of my male friends had any clue what I was talking about.

5. There are quite a few "classic" books/authors that I really don't like. Examples? All Edith Wharton. Animal Farm.The Scarlet Letter. Moby Dick. Wuthering Heights.

6. I'm obsessed with germs, microbes, diseases. It gives me an odd kinship with my husband, who's obsessed with tornadoes, lightning, and hail. I'm also fascinated by genetics, which my husband simply doesn't relate to.

7. I have had "episodes" of low blood sugar in the night where I don't fully wake up and I'm in an awake-dreaming state until my blood sugar comes up. It is very strange. When it happens, I only remember it as you remember a dream, vaguely, without full comprehension. Luckily, my body knows what to do, and I get up and eat on autopilot.

And now I'm supposed to tag 7 people who also have to do this....So I choose:
Megan and Manda, because they might appreciate NaBloPoMo fodder;
Laura, because I'd love to hear seven weird things about her pregnancy;
Elin, because I want to know what passes for "weird" in Iceland;
Sandra, because she needs to blog more so I can read more;
Jerilyn, because she's just plain weird (just kidding); and
Jimmie, in the hopes that this will wake her up from her blogging coma.

Go forth and blog!

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Life in Diabetic Moments

Age 1: I am nursing. I will be breastfed for what counts here in the U.S. as an "extended" period of time. Theoretically, this offers a degree of protection against developing diabetes. Someday I will become one of the unlucky ones who gets it anyway. And then I will nurse my own son and hope that it works for him. But for now, I am just a healthy, average, nursing one year old without a care in the world.

Age 6: I'm reading a book from my favorite series, The Babysitters Club. It's called The Truth About Stacey, and it's all about a girl who has diabetes telling her friends about it. I know what diabetes is because my grandmother calls herself a "borderline diabetic." I am sitting in her living room, which is littered with bright pink Sweet'N Low packages, among other things.

Age 8: I'm sitting in the hospital, watching Dirty Dancing for the 8th time, still not catching on to the "unwanted pregnancy/abortion" plotline in that movie. (As a teenager, I will watch the movie again and receive quite a surprise when this time I "get it.") I'm reading Get Well Soon cards from my classmates, and feeling frustrated that my nurse seems to think she has to explain diabetes to me yet again. Hello! I've read The Babysitters Club. I know all about this disease. But still, she makes me practice giving oranges and baby dolls shots. This is slightly disturbing and not the least bit like giving myself a shot, as I'll discover for the first time in a few days.

Age 8, part two: I'm back in school. My blood sugar is high--200. I have to jump rope for 5 minutes in the principal's office to bring it down. If it doesn't go down, or if it gets too low, they'll call my parents again and make them drive the 30 minutes to come get me, again, because the school staff can't handle it on their own, and I'm not old enough to take care of myself yet. By the end of the year, I'll be homeschooling.

Age 10: I'm playing on the trampoline in my back yard with a friend. My mom calls me in because it's time to check my blood sugar. It's normal. I run back outside and keep playing.

Age 11: I wake up in the middle of the night to discover medical personnel in my bedroom. I've been having a low-blood-sugar-related seizure. This will only happen 3 or 4 times, ever, but it makes me feel weird, like my body is not my own if it can do things that I don't even remember.

Age 14: I'm in my cabin at diabetes camp, listening to Abba CDs, when my friend Alice has a low-blood-sugar-induced seizure. I feel relief not only that everyone knows what to do, but that here, it's not such a big deal, that no one will freak out and make her go home. That I'm normal when I'm with these people.

Age 19: I'm at college. It's 2 a.m. and my friends want to order a pizza. We sit around in our pajamas in the lounge (In PUBLIC! In our PAJAMAS! So LIBERATING!) and laugh and talk until we're exhausted. But I don't eat the pizza because I'm worried what it will do to my blood sugar. When I wake up in the morning, I'm low, and I regret my self-control.

Age 23: It's my wedding day. I'm in the "bride's room" about 30 minutes before the ceremony is set to begin, and I have low blood sugar. I eat some Disney Princess Fruit Snacks, and my photographer takes a picture. Then I go get married!

Age 23, part two: It's November and I'm sitting with my husband in the office of an OB I've never met, the first OB I could get an appointment with, because I'm unexpectedly pregnant after years of being told it might be hard for me to conceive because of my diabetes. My latest A1c was 6.5, within the "normal" range. The doctor walks in and her manner is all astonishment, because, well, don't I realize that I'm diabetic, so it's really dangerous for me to be pregnant at all, and what was I thinking, being so careless? She wants to schedule my cesarean for the following June. I'm only 6 weeks pregnant. I find another doctor.

Age 23, part 3: I've just found out that we're going to have a son. I call my sister and say, "Guess what, Sandra? You're going to be an uncle!" We laugh as I realize I'm low, and I eat something while we chat. This will become a lasting "inside joke" that will undoubtedly confuse my son's friends when they hear he has an Uncle Sandra.

Age 24: I am in labor. My blood sugar is low, in the 40s. I can't eat anything, so we ask the nurses to give me some IV sugar. It takes them almost an hour to get the ball rolling, so I have to force myself to eat in the meantime. I have some string cheese with crackers. It doesn't help. My mother or my doula finally tracks down some Sierra Mist. It will be a long time before I can look at string cheese without feeling vaguely nauseous, but I will always have fond memories of Sierra Mist.

Age 25: It's October. I have had crazy ups and lows for the past few days, so I do a Google search. I discover a million diabetes blogs and an entire diabetes online community. I realize that I need to connect with the d-world again. It's like coming home to discover all I have in common with these people, and to remember how wonderful it is to know someone who really knows what an "afterlow hangover" is like or how it feels to be a diabetic parent. To remember that with these people, I'm normal.

(Note: I got the idea for this post indirectly from Maggie Mason's book, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog. Indirectly because I've never read the book, but she wrote a post called #42 Make Your Timeline on her blog, which I did read.)

(Also note: I posted this on my other blog too.)

(Additionally: I should mention that of course, all moments since I was diagnosed are in some way "diabetic moments" for me. Those presented here are simply moments that I remember vividly, that show the way diabetes has shaped my life a little more specifically.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Maintain, Don't Gain...

...That's my plan for the holidays. I know I've heard that slogan somewhere, and it seems like a good one. But I have to have some actual ways that I'm planning to do this. And I have to share them with you for there to be the slightest chance that I will follow them.

1. From now on, a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise SIX DAYS A WEEK, period. No matter what the weather is or how tired I am. I've been walking to work with Ben since August now, and that's been great, but I need to find some alternate plans for when it's too cold or rainy. I'm thinking we could go to the mall and walk. And I can try to do some exercise video stuff, although I'm limited to VHS because our DVD player broke....and all I have on VHS are extremely old and cheesy workouts like Paula Abdul. Probably I shouldn't have admitted that I own that on the internet. Oh well. Also, I need to work out at least one weekend day to keep the blood sugars down and the metabolism burning. Which brings me to:

2. At least 2 days a week, I need to do something more intense and longer-lasting. That could be my 40-minute yoga routine or a longer walk with Ben and James somewhere, or whatever. But at least one day on the weekend we can do something a little more active than the usual 30 minutes. I must have this to get somewhere with the weight issue. Maybe later I can think of more things I can do for this. Right now I'm limited to long walks and one yoga routine. I'm worried I'll get bored with that. Hm. Maybe I can also walk Ben home from work on those days. It'll still be boring, but at least it has a tangible reward!

3. As far as food goes...I will eat my vegetable portion first. I will NOT get seconds no matter how good the food is. I will remember that I can always have leftovers for another meal. I will eat slowly. I will remember to drink lots of water.

4. I will try to pay attention to the fact that I need less insulin when I've had extra exercise. For some reason, this is a hard one for me, and I often forget all about the exercise I've had when I'm calculating my insulin dose. Why is that? I'm definitely at the point where I'd rather take less insulin and go up a little, catch it, and take more insulin than take too much insulin and get low like I have been doing.

And if I can do all of THAT during the holiday season, when I am most likely to slack off on new routines and especially exercise because of the extra events we have to go to and all that, and because I'm tired and stressed anyway...then imagine what I can do AFTER the holidays!

I'll be posting on how this plan goes for me. Probably I'll do an update just after Thanksgiving to see how that went and looking ahead to Christmas. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Elephant in the Room

I have had diabetes since February of 1991. 16 years. I had to do the math in my head, because that is just not the kind of thing I am used to thinking about on a daily basis.

Somehow, diabetes became one part of my life that I paid attention to but never really thought about. You know, I never skipped my shots, I tested my blood sugar (although at times it was...less than frequent testing), I went to the endo, all that biz. But I just didn't really let myself THINK about it. Like how I felt about being diabetic. Or how being diabetic affects the rest of my life.

And I'm still trying to figure out exactly why that is. Maybe it was easier to get through life that way at the time, but it's not anymore. I want to talk about it. I want people to ask me about it. I'm just not sure what to say.

And it is one of those rare times that I seem to be at a loss for words. I can't blog it with ease like I can the rest of my life. I feel like this blog is lacking so far because I can write so much on other topics but I'm sorta sucking on this one.

So I'll continue making myself blog about it and hopefully things will start coming out. Tomorrow, I think I'm going to lay out a plan for the holidays. Because, let's face it, that's a really hard time for a diabetic. Stress, overeating, travel, unusual dinnertimes....And, before, I would have just winged it and not even thought about it until the critical moment. (Like the Fourth of July on the lake where I forgot to pack extra insulin. Not good.)

But this year, I will have a plan. And I will share it with you, Internet, in the hopes that that will keep me honest.

So far, so good.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tribute to my mother and my diabetes.

(copied from my other blog)

Mom, most of the time I don't even think of you and my diabetes in the same mental sphere. You are two very different parts of my life. I am blessed to have you, and I can't say I always feel the same about my diabetes. In fact, diabetes is the one major part of my life that I could really do without, while you are a wonderful mother and grandmother, and a cherished part of my life.

But today is World Diabetes Day as well as your birthday. So I was forced to think of you both together. Thus I present you with...

Some Things You Two Have in Common:

You have been central to my life for as long as I can remember.
You have shaped my character, made me strong and compassionate.
You frequently influence my decision-making.
You and I have shared our good times and our bad times. The highs and lows alike are unforgettable.
You gave me a sense of responsibility that most of my peers achieved much later in life than I did.
It was especially hard for me to deal with you during my teen years.
I may not always have liked the things you do, but I respect you greatly.
You have taught me how to find answers for myself, how to trust my intuition and knowledge of myself more than checklists and formulae and well-intentioned advice.
At times, you make me laugh hysterically.
The older I get, the more I appreciate how very different my life would have been without your influence.
I am thankful for all you have taught me about life and about myself.
You may not always be with me, but you will always be a part of me.

Happy Birthday, Mom. And Happy World Diabetes Day. May there be many more happy birthdays, and may WDD be unnecessary because we find a cure!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Feeling very blah

Here I sit, being low and having a head cold. I was going to go to bed but...I was low. And I was thinking that not posting every day during NaBloPoMo might be like blogicide. And I don't want my new d-blog acquaintances to just disappear into the aether. Knowing that there are other people out there who know how much it sucks to have had a couple of days of crazy highs and lows and then figure out that it was because I was getting sick makes me feel a million times better. Also, you know how much it sucks that I'm tired out and want to go to bed but have to sit here and eat even though I'm not hungry!

So here I am. Still here. Just breathing through my nose and checking my blood sugar and adjusting my dose constantly until I get through this illness. Yet another thing that can be so minor and yet so big in the differences between my life and that of a non-diabetic. I am so tired, but I can't sleep and get over this thing just yet. Ah well. I'm looking forward to a lot of great posts on all the d-blogs for tomorrow, though!

Happy Blogging, hope no one else has this yucky thing. G'night.

P.S. Seriously, I can be fun and funny. And I can do more than complain. I can write...and stuff. Coming soon...just please stay tuned. Stay in touch. All that. I'm just not up to it this week. Sorry. I'll be back soon with hilarious thingamajigs. I swear!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

50, 67, 182, 64

That is a list of my blood sugars from the last couple of hours.

No wonder I have trouble being comprehensible. Sometimes I'm surprised I can even type.

I don't mean to complain so much, really. But I was looking forward to writing some in-depth posts, especially about what my life was like as a pregnant Type I with an A1C of 4.9. Yes, you read that right, 4.9! I was so excited and had no one to share it with. More on that some other day...when my blood sugar doesn't leave me seeing stars.

In the meantime, thanks everyone for your comments. Another thing I'd like to explore on here is food diaries and counting calories and how people with diabetes lose weight. Ever since I got pregnant, I have had some extra pounds because I had such tight control (see:4.9!) and had to eat when I got lows, which was obviously somewhat frequent, even though they weren't necessarily major lows. But I just can't get that weight off! And I don't think I overindulge, but I have to find a way to compensate for when I HAVE to eat because I'm low.

It's a conundrum I can't solve at the moment...because I'm low.

Maybe tomorrow I'll find the answer. Or at least write a decent post.

I'm off to eat some more. Sigh. I'm tired of eating, I really am. Isn't that sad?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy D-blog day.

Today I was going to write a deep, meaningful post about how diabetes affects my life, and how excited I am to have made contact with some really great online diabetics, and how happy I am to finally feel that sense of community. But then two things happened:

1. Kerri beat me to it.

2. I had an absolutely horrific day today. My son didn't sleep well for the third night in a row, and woke up about 2-2.5 hours early. I was supposed to leave the house for work at 7:30, but didn't leave until 7:45. And then I realized I was almost out of gas. James felt wretched all day, I had back-to-back working engagements, there was no napping or resting happening. I had a horrible headache. Then I realized that, in the morning rush, I had forgotten to take my Lantus. My blood sugar was 300. MY BLOOD SUGAR IS NEVER 300!

Then, after a reactionary low that was entirely my fault, I put James to bed over an hour early and fell asleep with him. Almost didn't make my daily post on my other blog. So sorry, it just isn't going to get very deep today. Just more complaining about how bad I've got it...followed by the realization of how good I really have it.

Every day that I wake up? That's a good day. And one bad day of stress and blood sugar ups and downs? I've dealt with it before, I'll do it again. Hopefully, this time, with a little help from my new friends.

And I'm too tired to figure out how to put up the little logo from Gina's diabetes talkfest blog where she started D-blog day...but here is the link-back.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Silver Lining

Today was a crazy day. Last night, James woke up about 5 times in the night, each time CRYING with tooth pain....and then he'd thrash around for who knows how long before finally settling back to sleep. Needless to say....I didn't get a lot of sleep either. Poor guy....poor mama.

And this morning I woke up early to go to work! (Not something that happens very frequently these days.) I felt like total crap, even though it was a good day, work-wise. I had a splitting headache from the lack of sleep. My back was sore from getting up in the night and walking James around in all kinds of crazy contortions.

Then I missed lunch, because the bread that I thought I had available? It was moldy and inedible, and all I had left was some Annie's crackers.

Then I came home and James hadn't taken a nap and was supremely fussy for the rest of the day until bedtime.

And guess what? My blood sugars today...practically perfect. I usually eat lunch around noon, and didn't get to eat anything but the aforementioned crackers then....Then I had lunch around 2:30. No highs, no lows. Okay, slightly low before dinner because I wasn't hungry at 5:30 since I had eaten lunch so late...but 68 is so NOT low in the grand scheme of my life!

I was thinking about what a crappy day I had, and wishing that just one thing would go smoothly for me, instead of everything having to be rough all at once. And then it struck me that my diabetes was the silver lining of the day.

Well, okay, that and the paycheck I got to take home!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Post Numero Uno

Hi. I recently posted an introduction to who I am on my other blog. You can go read that if you want to know about the rest of my life, the part where I almost never mention my diabetes.

But I want that whole not-talking-about-my-diabetes thing to change. So I started this blog as a way to make myself talk, and also think, about my diabetes control, my diet and exercise goals, patterns I may notice in my ups and downs ("highs" and "lows" to the d-savvy).

I have had Type I diabetes since February of 1991. But I have only recently noticed how alone I feel when it comes to dealing with my diabetes. Or how I really need some diabetic friends to talk about my diabetic life with. This is especially true since I became a mother. Hence, what life is like with Momabetes is what this blog will be about.

Stay tuned!