Friday, April 13, 2018

Kindness Counts

Not a diabetes post, but from the heart. 
Wait, I take that back. Kindness counts in life and life with diabetes - so while this post isn't about diabetes - kindness matters when it comes to life.... and life with diabetes
SO, YEP. 
#####

I was on my way to get my stitches out at UrgentCare the other night. 
Traffic was bordering on crappy, I was getting hungry (and bordering on hungry,) so I decided to stop at the Starbucks looming in the distance, grab an early dinner and “wait out,” the traffic.
With knapsack on my back and Starbucks coffee card in hand, I grabbed a table, took off my coat and plopped my knapsack down on the two-top, then went to place my order. 
I’d noticed when I walked in that many of the small tables had been pushed together and the single occupants of said tables had spread out their stuff and made their own office cubicle - and just because they could. 
And that really bugged me. Why take up two tables and 3 to 4 chairs for one person - especially when seating was scarce. 
But I didn't say anything because sometimes I’ve been accused of making a  mountain out of molehill — and I was bordering on hangry - things could get ugly quick. 
So I said nothing - and I didn’t feel good about it.
 Nope, I just stood in line and ordered my egg white, spinach and feta wrap with extra sriratcha. 

Cut to 25 minutes later: My delicious wrap devoured, computer set up, and yours truly typing away on a WORD file at my tiny table. 
The front door opened and 3 elderly women walked in, one of whom was struggling to use her  walker. 
The ladies stopped in their tracks - midway between the counter and seating, when they realized their wasn’t a seat to be had. 
I know I wasn’t the only who watched them struggle to find a place to sit - but nobody offered to give up their extra table or seat. Nobody did anything.

So I did. 

I stood up, looked around and assessed the situation. I asked the girl sitting behind me if she was using her extra table - she was - her boyfriend was in the bathroom and  her mom were in line grabbing coffee. 
I asked if I could use her extra seat, (there were 4 chairs,) and she gave it to me willingly. 
Another woman at a table near the wall offered her extra table (which I didn’t even realize she had,) and I asked a man sitting in primo spot near the outlet if I could have his extra chair - and he said, “SURE.” 
Everyone was nice…. except the teenage girl’s mother who had just come back from getting her coffee. She gave me a dirty look and told me I’d taken her seat. 
I didn’t have time to make a federal case and I didn't take it personally.
I apologized, put the chair back, grabbed my extra seat and set up the table next to mine. 

Then I motioned for 3 women to come on over. 
It took less than 2 minutes from start to finish and the 3 ladies were shocked and grateful. 
Head Lady In Charge: I was watching what you were doing, but I didn’t know you were doing it for us - THANK YOU.
ME: No worries, there’s room enough for everyone!

The teen's mom tapped me on the shoulder and apologized - and told me quietly that she didn’t realize what I was doing. 
 I could tell she felt bad. It was a misunderstanding and I told her just that.
 And I meant every word.

Between you and me, when I saw those three women, images of of my own beautiful mom popped into my head. And I thought of my friend Mark who would take my sister Debbie to the mall - wheel chair and all, when I’d lost patience with her
I also thought of my friend Cathy, who drove her 93 pound dog Misty to the Rehab Center 
35 minutes from where we lived, to visit my Uncle B (who loved dogs,) in the rehab center after his health had taken a turn for the worse and 4 weeks before he died. 

And in my head I thought: KINDNESS COUNTS

BECAUSE IT ABSOLUTELY DOES. 

And Kindness matters. 

15 minutes later, a Starbucks employee walked up to me on the sly, bent down and whispered in my ear so that the 3 ladies couldn't hear: “what you did was so awesome, THANK-YOU,” and dropped a $10 Starbucks Gift card on my keyboard. 

And then it was my turn to be shocked and appreciative of her kind gesture. 

It doesn’t take much to look up from our screens and do the right thing. 
It doesn’t cost any money to be nice and engage with others - we all need to do that more often. 

We all need to look up from our screens more than we do, look around and consider others, not just ourselves. We need make sure everyone has a seat at the table of life. 

Kindness not only counts, kindness matters and a little kindness goes a hell of a long way in a world that needs more kindness and compassion

Kindness makes us feel good and gives us perspective on the world around us and the people in it. 


And kindness comes back to you -  which is also very cool. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

My GTMH Bag... That Goes Inside My Big Bag

We all have our own diabetes idiosyncrasies - I certainly have mine! 
They make us feel safe, keep us organized - even if they can occasionally annoy the crap out of us!
######
I was leaving a meeting the other night — walking down the darkened hallway, the last out the door — besides the organizer and a couple of stragglers. 
I reached inside my work bag to make sure that I had my Omnipod PDM before walking out the door and to my car. 
I’d tossed my PDM (in its funky Owl PDM case),in my work bag after checking my blood sugar during the meeting, but hadn’t placed in the zippered “Go-To /Must Have,” bag 
( and which shall be referred to as my GTMH Bag for the rest of this post), I keep in my work bag. 

My GTMH Bag contains my phone, wallet, pod ppm/test-strips case, an extra tube of glucose tabs, and lipsticks in various shades because I'm all about options.

Yes, bags/cases, inside bags. Say what you want, but that medium size, cheapo, zippered bag keeps all my important must-haves in one spot and prevents them from spilling all over the inside my jam-packed big-ass bag. And that works for me. 
Also: D-Bags are important!
Also: HA-HA  

Earlier, I'd checked my blood sugar during the meeting and on the sly and hadn't put it back in the GTMH Bag 
  
I felt around my work bag and knowing it wasn’t in the GTMH Bag. 
I couldn’t find it. And I started to get a little nervous, but I played it cool. 
“Wait one-second and sorry guys, let me just make sure I have my insulin pod’s PDM,” I said all nonchalant and while my heart was beating a million miles per minute  
I knelt down, slightly embarrassed and full on determined to be quick about it. 
I stuck my hand in my bag and felt around, finally finding my pod case next to my notebook and a KIND bar — safe and sound and exactly where I’d put it. 

Me: FOUND IT and sorry for the hold up, guys.
Sally: That’s OK - it took 10 seconds! It must be hard always having to carry stuff around.
Me: Nahhh, not hard. Well OK, sometimes it is. 
But it's a luxury and a necessity that I’m grateful to have - even if it comes with some crap annoying moments. We all have stuff to deal with— mine happens to involves extra electronicals, food, and other D stuff. 

And then we said our goodnights, walked to our perspective cars and  people started driving off.  
Right after I locked my doors and put the key in the ignition, but before I put my car in DRIVE and headed home, I took a beat.
Then turned on the overhead light and made sure that all my important items were in the my GTMH Bag.
Phone, wallet, extra roll of glucose tabs and lipstick case — all exactly where they should be.
Then I grabbed my pod PDM/test-strips case, tucked it in my GTMH bag, zipped it up tight, and placed it back in my work bag.


All was right in my world and I was good to go~

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Mondays Man....Amirite? Also: Sometimes We Do Stupid Sh*t.

Hey guys - HAPPY APRIL and HAPPY….. spring?

The first day of spring brought snow and followed by a short week and holiday weekend.  
Easter/Passover weekend kicked off Friday night and well into the early hours of Saturday morning -with several bad sites, resulting in multiple omnipod site changes - including one a few minutes before 5 a.m.
Can somebody please invent a Dead Spot Detector, STAT!!! 
Saturday required copious amounts of caffeine, completing deadline that I had planned to start at 9 a.m. on the dot, but didn't start until closer to noon. But I did it!
And finally, trying on and ordering much needed new prescription RX sunglasses at a great price — and to match my new prescription specs - also purchased at a great price.
More on a good deal re: fancy and much needed new RX eye wear once I see (also, see what I did there,) if my second pair works out.  

 Easter Sunday was peaceful and involved a 3 mile beach hike on the one seasonably/warm day in forever, lots of sea glass and Easter chocolate. Yep, it was a good day. 

Then Monday came along. Mondays, man…. amirite? 
Yesterday was most certainly a Monday - and involved me receiving ten stitches on the top of my foot. 
Sometimes, we do stupid shit. 
Like, breaking a glass on Saturday - and even though you swept and vacuumed, DO NOT walk around barefoot — and if you wear glasses because you're blind as a bat - WEAR THEM.  

And if you spill tortilla chips on the floor; then think you stepped on one of the chips as you grab the dust pan to clean up, then wipe said “chip” from the bottom of your right foot to the top of your other foot, (and think for one split second , look how dexterous my toes are,) and before you bend over start sweeping up - MAKE SURE IT’S A DAMN TORTILLA CHIP - and not a freaking shard of glass. 
Also, even if you clean the big ass cut on the top of your foot with cold water and antibacterial everything — do not wipe it down with alcohol IV Prep pads — because the sticky stuff will get all over and make your cut look weird, and you will start to freak — until you remember that’s there’s sticky stuff on the IV Prep Pad. 
Then you have to clean it all over again, apply pressure, and keep your balance/embrace your inner contortionist while doing all of the above. 
Also, your heart will beat super fast as all of this is happening and you might feel a little nausea when you see all the blood.
ALSO: When in doubt, get checked out. 
I went to UrgentCare because I wanted to make sure the big old cut on top of my foot was clean and bacteria free - you could have knocked me over with a feather when they told me it required stitches - 10 of them. 
That would be when I freaked a bit - OK, a lot a bit. 
Because quite frankly, I’d remained weirdly calm from the time I cut myself; cleaned myself up, drove to UrgentCare, and right up until the moment they told me I needed stitches. 
Living with type 1 for as long as I have and knowing about what can happen when it comes to our feet and or any part of our bodies when it comes to wounds and all the many  “what-ifs,” , I couldn't hold back anymore. 

Yep, the waterworks started. 

The Positive: I texted friends to mentally calm myself - like if I was going to bleed out, 
(YES, I can get a lttledramatical,) at least a few friends would know what was going on
My friends are indeed good and they eased my mind.
The nurses were kind, and the Doctor on call administering the stitches was an extremely talented (and very sweet,) retired cardiac surgeon  - so you know my scar is going to look fierce! 

My blood sugars behaved quite nicely and I appreciated that. 

Rest, Ice, and elevation for the first few days - and walking around in sneakers - the left one knotted on the side, not laced on top, all week.

It looks like stepping up my spring cardio will be postponed until I get my stitches out next Tuesday. Speaking of steps… as in walking, National Walk to Work Day is on April 6th — which is more like "National Walk at Work," week for most. Either or - read my article about it, HERE

Today was better than yesterday, tomorrow will be better than today, and I am a lucky duck, indeed~

Monday, March 26, 2018

Little Diabetes Victories Mean A Lot.

Much like little ripples making big waves, little diabetes victories strung together can turn the diabetes tides to a wave of awesome - celebrate the ride, no matter how long or short. 
##########
Two weeks ago, I decided to check my bg stats for the day on my Omnipod's PDM and before I went to bed. 
And you could have knocked me over with a g*ddamn feather when I learned that I'd been in range for 91% of the day and wondered if my long since dead pancreas was somehow revived and producing insulin again. 
FTR: It was not - and my daily stat 3 days later - where I was in range for 13% of the day clearly proved that... but I digress~
Sidebar: My CDE and I have been tweaking my basal and carb ratios since the Friday before Christmas via Glooko, and I'm happy with the changes - so is she! 

But back to the story, I celebrated by posting a pic of my stats on the Instagram
Not because I wanted to brag and not because I wanted to compare myself to others. 
I posted because I wanted to celebrate having a damn good diabetes day and share with others who understood why I was celebrating. 
And obvi, I post about my diabetes struggles on the Social Media, too. 

Diabetes is fucking hard; it's all encompassing, there's no such thing as "time off for good behavior," and diabetes burnout is VERY REAL and incredibly debilitating. 
So when something good happens D wise and a little diabetes victory occurs, 
I do my Diabetes Victory Dance (which some have described as being similar to the Elaine Dance,) and hope others join in. 
And you know I bust out my Diabetes Victory Dance moves, when others celebrate their own D victories - and I'm looking forward to celebrating yours! 
I celebrated being in range 91% of the time and posted on my instagram.
I posted to help others and to help myself.And to remind myself: 

1. it not only happened,
but that I was the one who made it happen

2. When I have diabetes day that kicks the shit out of me, I have photographic evidence that I can do it!
#littlediabetesvictoriesmeanalot

Thursday, March 15, 2018

#tbt - Dear Lady Sitting In The Magnolia Bakery

I originally wrote this post on September 8th, 2009 - and it's about how awesome  Diabetes Meet-ups are - even when you don't know they happened until it's over! 
Hope you enjoy!
#####

Dear Lady sitting in the Magnolia Bakery:
You kept looking at me and I wasn't sure why.
I was waiting in line with my friends in cupcake anticipation and wondered why you kept staring at me.
I thought it might be because I laugh way to loud- - you know, from my belly.  
Or maybe you thought I was being to silly for swooning over my cupcake like a giddy little schoolgirl, which of course I was!
My friends and I were laughing and recovering after three days of wedding activities. 
N (the bride) was still glowing from her wedding the night before.
We were a chatty, happy, and tired group looking forward to our cupcakey goodness and final moments with friends, both old and new.
My weekend had been truly bolus worthy, on every level. 
A whirlwind of wedding activities, and a flurry of meeting all types of wonderfully interesting folk.
I’d had lunch with a D Blogger Shero on Friday (a post and pic on that VERY soon) and had experienced diabetes moments of bonding with other guests of the happy couple, but I digress.
The line to pay was long and I was DYING for just one bite of the sprinkled frosting- it was torturous to hold my cupcake topped plate and act like an adult. 
Cupcakes me happy and I want the world to know it!
There you sat, a party of 1, at a table for 2-with and with a plate full of crumbs and a folded up Metro Section of the New York Times.
I caught you staring at my pump, YET AGAIN.
I thought maybe you were going to reprimand me, tell me that I shouldn’t indulge if I wanted to be healthy. Maybe you’d say “NO DIABETICS ALLOWED,”unless they behaved.
I looked away and then looked at you again, and you were still staring. Then you smiled and said: I’m leaving, take the table and enjoy your cupcake.
Me: Thanks, but we need a bigger table. 
You glanced at my pump one last time and got up. 
You grabbed your handbag and Times & turned to leave, but just before you walked out the door you turned, looked straight in my eyes, and flashed me your insulin pump and a smile.
You were gone before I could say anything and my friends (who had missed the whole lightening quick exchange because they’d been debating between Vanilla Banana pudding Vs cupcakes) and had missed it all. 
I could have run out and tried to catch-up, but I still hadn't paid for my cupcake. 
I smiled and said nothing. It had happened in a matter of seconds, in a crowded Cupcake bakery of all places.
It was unspoken moment of D-bonding at the Magnolia Bakery on 69th and Columbus, in the city that never sleeps.
Another beautiful moment in a weekend of many.
Thank you for sharing, without even uttering the the "D WORD." 
Kelly K

Monday, March 12, 2018

Diabetes By The Numbers - On A Monday & Before 3:30 PM

Diabetes By The Numbers  - on A Monday & Before 3:30 PM
I've decided to catalogue today's numbers because it's amazing how much time, energy, and thoughts we devote to our diabetes throughout the day - even when out numbers are in range.... and especially when they aren't.
Also, diabetes is fucking weird, man.
####
7 blood sugar checks so far today. SEVEN - and started at 2:54 a.m.

2:54 a.m. - I woke up from not the greatest of slumbers and thought I might be low. 
I was 129 and didn’t correct. 
WHY DIDN'T I CORRECT? Because I was 159 when I went to bed and didn't correct, because I had 0.60 insulin on board and didn't want to risk going low in the middle of the night. 
When I woke up at almost 3 a.m., things were heading in the right direction.

7:15 a.m. bg 249 and I'm like: WTF, there’s no fucking way that can be right. I check again one minute later.
7:16 a.m. bg reads as 241- W.T.F. 

Breakfast blood sugar was 241 ( I have no idea why,) bolus for 40 grams because coffee (and yes, I like mine with extra cream and sugar,) and required an 8.25 correction and an extended bolus of 4.25 units followed by the other 
4 units, 30 minutes later.
2 mugs of coffee required - each with an individual bolus - the second one was for 1.9 units. FTR, I bolus for my 2 cups of coffee individually and I've found it to be helpful re: mid morning spikes. That works for me - YDMV. 
My breakfast was not large because 241, bg. Cheese sticks and a small Bartlett pear (8 grams after subtracting 3 grams for fiber) that was not  even close to ripe, but I ate it anyway.  

11:48 a.m. My blood sugar is 134.

12:27 PM  - My lunch bg, 107 - Didn't bolus for the 16 carbs of blueberry Icelandic yogurt or the Food Should Taste Good Chips because my blood sugar was 107 and I still had 2 units of insulin on board.
FTR: I almost always bolus for lunch - but I normally don't have so much insulin on board. 
SIGH.

1:41 PM - I am very well aware that I shouldn't check my blood sugar so soon after eating, but I'm curious because I didn't bolus for my lunch.  BG is 128.

3:04 PM - My blood sugar129

7 times I’ve pricked my fingers today and I will never be a hand model.

2 meals ingested.

48 grams of carbs bolused for - the majority for the two mugs of coffee. 
8 for the unripe, hard to digest pear.
None for the cheese sticks.    
None for the yogurt or chips. 

30.10 units of insulin delivered since midnight
Insulin Total Breakdown according to my Pod's PDM
Bolus(35%) 10.60 units
Basal (65%  19.50 units

I’m still trying to figure out the 241 at breakfast , but have decided to embrace my inner Elsa and let it go or it will drive me fucking nuts. 

35 ounces of water consumed. I need to drink more water - that's not enough. 

Again, still pissed about the 241 at breakfast because: 
  1. today’s numbers are weirdly good- except for 241
  2. I am not super hungry today, which isn't a thing for me - So I'm going with it... for now
  3. I would probably be down by 4 or 5 units of insulin today if it wasn't for the G*d damn 241 breakfast blood sugar!
  4. I'm thinking that my lower than normal numbers are due to yesterday's hike
  5. Still can't explain the fucking 241 bg. 
I’m hungry and I'm probably going to eat a KIND bar.
Twirling like Elsa and letting it all go because shit happens, so does diabetes.

I know and have accepted that tomorrow's numbers will be completely different - because diabetes is like that  - same goes for life. 

As of 10 minutes ago, I'm looking forward to a big dinner. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Another Diabetes Option: Accu-Chek® Guide SimplePay Program

Another diabetes option ended up in my inbox a few weeks ago in the form of a Press Release re: Accu-Chek Guide SimplePay Program ( a cash discount program for Accu-Chek's Guide meter and test strips,) and info re: a recent Diabetes Care survey that reported that “more than half (52%) of Americans living with diabetes report the cost associated with managing their diabetes has negatively impacted their finances.” 

OK, not a shocker and an absolute no brainer if you’re a person/family living with diabetes - but kudos to them for getting actual statistics on the subject.

Yes, the cost of living with diabetes keeps us up at night, as does the quality of care re: our diabetes tools of the trade. We worry, we cut back in all aspects of our lives so that we can afford diabetes tools that keep us healthy and keep us alive - the more affordable and accurate options, the better! 


How do you find out if you're eligible for the program and how do you get the card?  
Got online, answer some questions, see if you qualify. 
If you do, downloaded the card for free online at SimplePaySaves.com .

Is Accu-Chek® Guide SimplePay Program/Card insurance? No, it’s a cash discount program and it cannot be combined with any form of health insurance -And not everyone qualifies.

What if you're insured by a government healthcare program? 
If you are a Medicare/Medicaid recipient, are in the military or VA, you’re not eligible for the program. 

If you meet the requirements, the Accu-Chek® Guide SimplePay Program test-strip breakdown is listed in the graphic below. 


Bottom line: Life and life with diabetes is all about options, so take a beat, do the research in all dimensions, and see if the Accu-Chek® Guide SimplePay Program is a diabetes option that might work for you.