Thursday, October 31, 2013

In No Particular Order: 36 lessons Learned - Not All Diabetes Related

I've learned a few things about life since my Halloween Diabetes Dx all those years ago - So here's 36 life lessons learned in no particular order & not all diabetes related~
1. Dietetic or “diabetic friendly” candy is anything but friendly~
2.  Exercise is good for your mind and your body - And those times you don’t want to exercise  the time when your mind need it the most.
3. Little moments end up being the ones that you remember for years to come.
4. Diabetes can make you cry and drive you crazy sometimes. 
5. Putting coffee in the fridge and letting it get cold before you pour it over ice is the key component in making good iced coffee.
6 If you think you can’t be technically savvy, diabetes will show you that can absolutely become technically savvy.
7, TIme goes by in the blink of an eye - Try your best to be in the moment. 
8. Hang your black/dark clothes inside out in your closet/folded in your drawers - It prevents lint from accumulating on them. 
9. Speaking of clothes, find a good tailor - He or she will save you all sorts of headaches in the long run.
10. My mother was right - Red/ Russet lipstick and mascara will perk you up both mentally and physically.
11. Speak up - Your voice really does make a difference.
12. Tell your parents how much you love them as often as possible while they are here to hear it.
13. Bronzer is not a great look for everyone.
14. Seriously, WTF! 
15. Old Dogs can learn new tricks. 
16. The Diabetes world is a small one -And that is a wonderful thing.
17. Meter accuracy is critical - StripSafely
18. Little kids tell it like it is. 
19. Wrap dresses hide a multitude of sins and give you more curves.
20. Insulin pumps clip to Spanks quite nicely. 
21. Once you actually get used to unsweetened vanilla almond milk, you will prefer unsweetened almond milk.
22. Sometimes  when it comes to family and friends it is better to be nice than to be right.
23. When you know better you do better - In life and your life with diabetes.
24. Dark Chocolate Goldenberg's Peanut Chews taste much better than Milk Chocolate Goldenberg's Peanut Chews.
25. Beware of handbags with a black lining - You will waste a redonkulous amount of time looking for your keys/wallet/meter - For your sanity's sake, don''t buy black lined handbags.
26. You have a lot to be grateful for.
27. Doorknobs have a damn near magnetic attraction to insulin pump infusion tubing.
28. Seriously, WTF. 
29. Everybody has a bad day. 
30. 90+ years is too long to wait between lifesaving diabetes discoveries.
31. Let your children participate in their diabetes - Even if it’s just reading the carb count on a box - It will make them feel like they have some control & ownership -And that’s huge.
32. Seriously, WTF. 

33. The Diabetes Online Community (DOC) is amazing and life changing - And it saves lives.

34. Your diabetes is not your fault.

35. Your biggest weakness ( in my case it’s my busted pancreas) can be come your greatest strength and biggest passion.

36. THe only thing you can’t do with diabetes is make insulin - Everything else is game on. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sandy - A Year Later.

A year later the sun is shinning brightly and I don't need a jacket - let alone flashlights, waders, rain gear and a waterproof duffle bag filled with diabetes supplies. 
And I appreciate all the little things that we never really think of - Things like heat, electricity to make coffee in the morning and a fully charged cell phone. 
And looking back I appreciate how nice my diabetes played while Hurricane Sandy did not.

And of course appreciate the Diabetes Online Community for not only helping me, but for helping so many people with diabetes in the Rockaways shortly after the storm! 

A year ago today I was huddled up with friends riding out the Hurricane called Sandy. 
I'd never seen a storm like that before or since - And for that I'm glad. 
I can still feel  
Sandy's presence today in my town and in the people living in it - And other towns and towns people  on the eastern seaboard. 
I still see Sandy's presence, not only in the landscape and the architecture, but in the faces and hearts of my friends who lived through the Sandy craziness. And while we are stronger than the storm for sure - It changed all of us profoundly. 
I took this photo one year ago, yesterday around 4pm.
A few hours later the real craziness began. 
A year later the Sandy Stories will still blow your mind - People, many connected to our Diabetes OnLine Community still need help recovering financially and emotionally.
So take a second to remember your friends and family members who survived Sandy, those who didn't & those still dealing with all of the Sandy red tape. 

And take a moment to enjoy the sun on your face and the quiet wind at your back today~
Today the sun is shining Jersey strong~

Monday, October 28, 2013

Writing Exercise: 'Words Of The Day' That Make Me Think Of Diabetes~

Old ass 'words of the day' that make me think of diabetes.

When I was younger and bored and bitching about it loudly, my father would tell me to read the encyclopedia or the dictionary - I'd make fun of his suggestions of course, but every now and then I'd listen to him. Encyclopedias weren't half bad reading. Dictionaries? Not so much.

My father also spoke Latin fluently (he had 12 years of Latin back when Catholic masses were still said in Latin. Grades K through 8 in Catholic School and  and 4 years in public high school,) and he was constantly taking apart words and telling you want the prefix, suffix & root said word meant in Latin. 

Yep, turns out 12 years of a dead language really did come in handy and I wish I'd taken 1 year of Latin before I tackled French - But I digress. 

His word dissemination also came in handy when I was studying for the SATs and those Dad word breakdown memories always make me smile when I think about them.
So I was thinking about writing and my dad and I decided to do a writing exercise that would certainly John Kunik approved if he were still with us. 
I Googled the phrase 'word of the day,' in the hopes of a little post inspiration and yes, all sorts of interesting verbiage popped up - And a couple of those words, while not really diabetes related, reminded me of living with diabetes. 

The first word that sounded interesting to me was the world "Filipendulous,' an adjective which literally means to hang by a thread.
It's Latin, derives from the word filum (thread) + pendere (to hang). It's European in root (s)pen- (to draw, to spin,) and it's also a source of other more familiar words like; pendulum, spider, pound, pansy, pendant, ponder, appendix, penthouse, depend, and spontaneous. 

And I was like, yeah, I can relate to feeling filipendulous for sure. 

Because sometimes dealing with diabetes 24 X 7 makes me feel like I'm literally hanging by a thread of sanity because of the blood sugar pendulum that's not only hovers over my fingertips, but swings over my head as well. Causing me to pound the lancet over said fingertips, not to mention keyboard. 
And Diabetes makes me ponder all sorts of things and makes being spontaneous somewhat challenging at times, but never impossible. Yep, I get that filipendulous feeling for sure.

And then I found the word "Dilly," which I immediately wanted to follow with dallie, but didn't.

Turns out the world dilly is a really good thing, as is being called a dilly. Dilly is a noun that means something or someone regarded as remarkable and unusual.

And according to the people at, "Dilly is thought to have come to English by combining the first syllable of delightful and delicious with the -y suffix meaning full or characterized by."

And dilly reminded me of the Diabetes Online Community - An amazing group of remarkable and unusual characters connected to one another thanks to busted pancreases and screwed up metabolisms and who are always there for one another- Especially when we are feeling filipendulous!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Diabetes + Pride + Being Wifty = Me On Thursday Morning. #fact

    • Yesterday morning I woke up, made coffee, showered and got ready to go to work. 
Yesterday morning I woke up, made coffee, showered and got ready to go to work. 
And about 15 minutes before heading out the door, I filled up a new reservoir for my insulin pump - And I was pretty damn proud of myself for not leaving the house with only 5 units in my reservoir. 
Yep, I was proud, I knew what I was doing - And if memory serves me correctly, I even uttered the phrase: I ROCK! 
While I was waiting for my pump to rewind, I placed the pump on my bed and decided to be all super delicious efficient.

I went to the kitchen with my new filled reservoir in hand, tossed out the empty bottle of half and half that was perched on the counter into the recyclables; unplugged my coffee maker, grabbed a granola bar and went back to my bedroom to finish up with my pump. 
And the moment I picked up my new tubing was the very moment I realized that I had no idea where my newly filled insulin reservoir was.

I checked on my bed and under it - NOTHING. I went back into the kitchen and checked the counter and then I dug through the bag of recyclables and again - NOTHING.
I went and checked on the bathroom counter even though I didn't remember going in there - Just in case - And nothing! 
I even looked in my jewelry box because I'd gone in there to get the necklace I was currently wearing - Also, things that sparkle tend to easily distract me. 
It wasn't in my jewelry box either, but I did find the mate to an earring I'd been looking for on Saturday... so that was one mystery solved. 
Wherever that brand spanking new filled reservoir was, I couldn't find it - And I needed to get to work. 
Yeah, so much for me ROCKING.
But I didn't have time to dwell on it because the clock was ticking. 
I grabbed another reservoir; filled it with insulin, attached it to the new tubing, primed it, put on my coat, grabbed my bag and keys and high tailed it out the door. 

And yep, I felt like a total idiot & I was mad about the wasted insulin - And I knew that I was darn lucky to have plenty of backup pancreas juice on hand. 
But still, I had to laugh because it was kind of funny. 
Me being all proud and full of myself for remembering to change out my reservoir before I left the house in the morning, only to misplace the new one and waste more time in the process - Yeah, I got it together - NOT SO MUCH. 
For the record: I still haven't found that reservoir & and that granola bar I grabbed  to take to work yesterday stayed on my bed because I forgot it.
But lucky for me I had an extra one in my bag ;) 

Anyone else out there have any other "wifty" diabetes moves as of late that you'd care to share? 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Of Hitting Close To Home & Being Grateful

This morning Kerri vlogged about “The People In The Computer” and the “intense connection” the Diabetes Online Community brings to her. 
How important and powerful those connections are and how she no longer distinguishes between online and offline friends - And I agree  with her 100%. 

I’m sure you’ve seen her vlog already, but if not: WATCH IT NOW - I’ll wait. 

Ok, how cool was that!! Anyway, A big thanks to Kerri and her vlog post this morning - It hit really close to home for me today... And here’s why. 

This morning before work I had my eye exam - And as always I was nervous and anxious and really dreading it. 

It was cold, wet and rainy and the thought of dealing with my eye exam was worse than dealing with the weather outside. 

I go to the eye specialist religiously and without fail - But it stresses me out and brings up all sorts of issues for me - especially the whole 1 in a million thing. 
It’s a Pavlovian reaction - The minute I walk in the building my heart starts to race and the what-ifs drive me damn near crazy. 

Today was no different, but I still went - because l had to.  

And today things went really well. According to my Dr, my eyes look good - Of course I asked all sorts of questions, and he was all sorts of kind and accommodating. 
I left the exam room,scheduled my next appointment and left the building happy and relieved. And I felt much lighter and more fluid exiting the building then how I felt when I'd entered it. 

Before I drove off to work, I posted the following Status on Facebook: 

Retinas look good, pressure is normal, eyes are dilated like an anime character & I am breathing normal again.

And posted the following picture of my anime eye(s)

And my DOC/CWD friends and family (and none DOC/ CWD) gave me lots of thumbs ups and encouraging words that made me smile and laugh and yeah, tear up a bit - A few even sent texts~ Same goes for tweets. 


The fact that my friends and family who live with diabetes “get” what I was feeling and understand my fears makes all the difference to me - Good results or not so good. 
And knowing that I have a community of very real friends behind me, friends who understand, care and are supportive is downright amazing. 

Having people who not only walk in our shoes, but who also walk with us and beside us and who sometimes carry us when needed, makes living with diabetes so much easier. 

People who speak the language of diabetes without ever having to utter the D word is the gift that keeps on giving and it's pretty damn precious! 

So thanks for the gifts of your friendship, support and healthy doses of humor and snarkiness

Speaking of gifts in the form of friends, today is @Lee Ann Thill’s 35th Diaversary!!

Happy Diaversary, LeeAnn! Be sure to celebrate all the fantasticalness that is you & thanks for inspiring our community!  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Helper

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Fred Rogers

Strange, isn't it? Each person's life touches so many other lives. When they aren't around they leaves an awful hole, doesn't they?  Clarence The Angel - It’s A Wonderful Life~

The Diabetes Online Community is filled with so many amazing people.
Some are known to many, some are known to a few and some never leave a comment but are an integral part of our community none the less. We are a community of helpers and doers and we rely on one another in good times and bad.

As our community grows, sometimes it becomes harder to keep up with everyone who makes up the DOC - And sometimes life gets in the way of being as active and in touch with our community as we like, but we always try and we always find ways to help and it's in the helping that we find our way back. 

I didn’t know D-Mama Blogger Shamae Gneiting Lyon very well - Except for reading her Crazy-Happy-Life blog, a few funny email exchanges between us and the lovely and from-the-heart comments she left on my blog  - And were much appreciated. 

I do know that Shamae was a HELPER in every sense of the word & in the way Mr. Rodgers described - She helped so many dealing with something so scary, their child's type 1 diabetes diagnoses and part of the way she helped was to lead them to the Diabetes Online Community.

She was a Helper in the form of a D Blogger in the early days of the DOC - A great mom to her 3 children, (including her t1 daughter,) and a beacon for many parents of newly and not so newly diagnosed children with Diabetes. 

I know she inspired and helped so many D parents and directed them to the Diabetes Online Community - And many of those that she helped became bloggers and active members of the DOC. 
Shamae passed away in her sleep and I know that her presence and strength will be missed by her family and so many D-Mamas who I consider my friends and whose hearts are hurting because of her passing. 

I urge you to read Shamae's words and to learn from them - And to pray for her husband, 3 children and extended family and friends who are and will continue to feel her loss. 
And to those of you who have a memory or lesson that Shamae taught you, pay the help forward and reach out her family and share your memory/memories with them. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Max Brenner - Chocolate By The Bald Man~

Twill make Old Women Young and Fresh; Create New Motions of the Flesh. And cause them long for you know what, If they but taste of chocolate.
from "A History of the Nature and Quality of Chocolate", James Wadworth (1768-1844) 

"Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso." (Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick.) Spanish proverb

Because every once in a while, a bit of dark chocolate is exactly what is called for -And  who am to argue with the universe?~ Me
Purchased @ Max Brenner Chocolate in Philadelphia, PA.
3 squares (and they are sizable) have 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber,
15 grams of fat, 0 trans, 0 cholesterol,
10 grams of sugar and incredibly bolus worthy~ 
#fact #indulge 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


168 - According to Google it’s the number directly after 167 and directly before 168, which of course is a given. 

It's also a leap year that began on a Thursday of the Julian Calendar, (and not to be confused with the ever popular Julienne Salad,) a calendar started by Julius Caesar in 46 BC; a bus route to Kent in Washington state, a short film, the number of hours in a week and part of a time management book title currently available on Amazon - And those are just the top of the Google 168 iceberg. 

168 represents a lot of the stuff too, including the blood sugar number I seem to be stuck to these last few days. 
Even with numerous site changes and temporary basal rate started last night, 168 seems to be the go to number of my body these past couple of days.  
 It’s annoying for sure & it makes me feel slightly decafey to boot, but it could be worse - So I’ll increase my temp basal rate again and keep on keep on keeping on. 
Hey, maybe I’ll even play the lottery with the number 168, or a series of numbers that equal 168, or the square root of 168, which happens to be 12.9614813968157
Diabetesalicious minds want to know: Did you ever “get stuck” on a blood sugar number/a series of blood sugar numbers for a few days? 
And if so did it make you a little nuts in the head - Because being stalked by 168 is annoying the crap out of me!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

So Yeah - I've Been On A "Diet" Since I Was 8.

My dad used to make fun of the word diet. Anytime someone would say: I’m on diet, 
my father would reply: Diet? What color are you going to dye it?
Yeah, he was a funny guy. I miss him.

About 6 weeks before I went on my first diabetes diet. 
A year or two after my diagnoses - Still on a diet.
Also: GO USA

Technically, I’ve been on a diet since I was 8. 
Yes, I was an extremely under weight 8 year old who downed 2500 to 3000 calories a day on doctor prescribed diet to gain weight after my type 1 diabetes DX & I literally cried from having to eat so much.
And ever since then, I’ve been on one form of another of the “many incarnations of diabetes diet." 
I grew up counting diabetes exchanges and downing artificial sweeteners that caused havoc with my gastrointestinal system because I wasn't allowed regularly sweetened things -  And I graduated to insulin sliding scales and counting carbs. 
I've dabbled in both vegetarianism and the paleo diets - And snuck a lot of forbidden food in-between . 
I’ve questioned and dared to eat a peach & have developed my share of food idiosyncrasies over the years.
During my diabetes life timem there's been a never ending assessment and diabetes math equation when it comes to the food that goes in my body - And that's turned me into a Diabetes Savant - And I bet the same goes for you if you're reading this post and live with diabetes!

I hate the word diet and what it means to living with diabetes. 
I hate that the word diet has made me feel less than acceptable, less attractive and less confident  - And diabetes or not, no one should let word rob them of their value,  self worth & self esteem.

I don’t use the word diet anymore - I'm done with the d word - I find it destructive & counter productive -  At least for me. 
Instead I just try and make wiser choices when it comes food - Nothing is off limits - except for liver and gizzards - but that’s a personal choice because I think liver and gizzards are disgusting.

Recently a friend mentioned to me  that I should try and stay with in the caloric intake of the diabetes diet. 
And I literally said: WTF, girl! Your Diabetes May Vary  - And my caloric requirements are different than yours and hers and his. 
Diabetes caloric intake isn’t one size fits all - There’s body type, activity levels and body idiosyncrasies.. And it's more about counting carbs, testing blood sugars, accurate insulin/carb ratios to accurately bolus, not just about calories.
I've been on an effing diet since I was 8 - And I’m sick that word and what it means. 
And here’s the Ironical thing:  When my blood sugars are tight, sometimes I weigh slightly more because I have more lows to treat - And when my type one diabetes runs on the high side, I l tend to drop weight and people tell me how great I look.
Do you see how effed up that is? 

It’s a delicate balance and I’m always teetering on the edge of either scale - pun totally intended.
Same goes for people living with type 2 - They are always perceived as fat and over weight, and that’s not always the case - But people judge them none the less. 
And if they do have lose weight - Why do we ridicule them and and call them names? That's not right either. 
Dieting and weight and is never ending when you live with diabetes - And regardless of the type. So please, bring up calories to me - Calories = the word diet to me - And I’m over that word!

And kudos to my friend, because she got  where I was coming from and  totally understood what I was saying and we changed the subject.  

But the comment still rubbed me the wrong way  -  Primarily because after almost 36 years of  diabetes diets in all dimensions, I'm done with dieting.  I'm all about choices - As in wise ones when it comes to food and blood sugars and carb counting - In my wise choices include treats every now and then - Because flexibility in the bolus worthy treat category makes eating healthy much easier :) 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

People From New Jersey & People With Diabetes - More Alike Than You Think~

"NJ, our Garden State, an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other.”
 Abraham Browning 

I'm from New Jersey - And damn proud of it!
Greetings From The Real Jersey Shore~

So yeah, I’m from New Jersey - South Jersey to be exact - Yep, born and raised on the southern beaches of NJ. 
And no matter where I live on this earth,  I will always be Jersey proud and Jersey strong. 

When I tell people I’m  from NJ , they usually say one, several or all of the following: 

1. But you don’t sound like you’re from NJ - 
Me: This is what People from South and parts of central NJ sound like
2. Like the Jersey Shore, NJ?? 
Me: NO, not like the folks from that Gawd awful show! 
For the record, none of the people on that show were actually from NJ, they were from Long Island. 
But I have a feeling that my friends in Long Island were none to proud of their behavior either. Their behavior was cartoon stereotype, not stereotypical NJ or Long Island for that matter. Also: Don’t assume and don't believe in stereotypes.
3. New Jersey, like The Real Housewives of New Jersey  or The Sopranos?
Me: NO - Look we have our share of both demographics - As does every state. But come on  - give me break - We’re better than stereotypical demographics.  Ohbytheway - Did I mention my niece was on The Sapranos

4. But your hair’s not big.
Me: Yeah, well you didn’t see me in High School - or in college when my hair was flowing down my back and wavygravy long thanks to genetics, hairspray & a perfectly functioning thyroid back in the day

5. But you enunciate your words. 
Me: Yes of course I do - I’m from New Jersey not Mars, nor do I have a speech impediment that prevents me from doing so. 

Bottom line: Being a new Jersey native means that you are tough; resilient, kind, funny, empathetic, say what you mean and mean what you say. and being from Jersey means you don't give up.  

New Jersey folk are tough because we have to be. 
Why? Because people are always “assuming” all types of things about you when you mention your from the Garden State. People automatically assume you’re crass, uneducated and have never seen greenery  - HELLO, I live in the Garden State - And there's a reason it's called that. So travel it, see the Pine Barrens, the beaches and abundant farms & then get back to me before you say that Jersey is only chemical factories.  

And we're tough because we are Jan Brady to New York, Philadelphia & DC’s Marcia Brady’s in triplicate, but we hold our own just fine. 
Being The Jan Brady of the North Eastern states  makes you quick witted when needed. 

New Jerseyans for the most part are incredibly kind - except when you give them shit unnecessarily, cross them or the people they love - Then they throw your shit right back in your face.
People from Jersey are resilient and "stronger than the storm.” We keep taking hits be it from Mother Nature, the economy & late night TV hosts, but we get get back up and hold our ground - Because that's our only choice - And we prefer getting back up to being knocked up and down for the count..

People from Jersey have empathy - boatloads of it - Because being from Jersey makes  empathetic - Being from Jersey makes you relate and lookout for the misfits and root for the underdog. 

Being from Jersey means  you never give up - EVER. We were raised that way - it’s in our DNA, even if you’re one generation into the Jersey way, you totally know where I'm coming from. 

Here’s the thing: When I describe character traits of people from New Jersey, I could just as easy be describing character traits of people with Diabetes. Seriously, if diabetes was an actual state in the union, instead of a pancreas or a person's metabolism being in a busted state, that state would be NJ - And PWDs would be its inhabitants. 

People with diabetes are tough and resilient because we have no other choice but to be.  
We must pick ourselves up  by our diabetes bootstraps and forge ahead - even when it’s the last thing we feel like doing. 

People with diabetes are continually busting diabetes stereotypes that the media puts out there every single day while educating others in the process. - And with an attitude the size of NJ when needed!

People with diabetes have a twisted sense of humor and laugh at things that would make others cry. 

People with diabetes have boatloads of empathy for others because diabetes has cultivated our empathy - And we protect our own. 
So yeah,  the next time you make fun of someone being from New Jersey   - Think about this post and all that PWDs and NewJerseyans have in common - Because it looks like people with Diabetes have a little New Jersey in them after all!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Surprising A1C & Really Nice Talk With My Endo

I’m not really sure how the 6.0 a1c happened, but I’m glad it did. 

There used to be a time about 6 years ago and for about 10 years before that, my a1cs were in the mid high fives to mid 6 range - and then ever so slowly they started creeping up to the 7 to 7.4 range - And the a1c after my mom died was 7.8.
And I began a long game of tug-o-war with diabetes burnout. My numbers, weren't terrible - But not where I wanted them to be. 

The past 3 months have been crazy on this end. Lots of travel, lots of busy, a possible kidney stone (more on that in another post,) and just the craziness of a summer schedule. 

As far as diabetes was concerned, I did make concentrated effort to focus on being more aware re: diabetes - I mean I'm always aware of my diabetes - Just more... well, aware of my diabetes choices.  I continued to tested my blood sugars like crazy and I really tried not to snack when I wasn’t hungry. 
I noticed that I’d lost a couple pounds and that made me smile. 

But when I received my labs yesterday at my Endo’s office, I stopped in my tracks as I read them while following the blood tech to the scale to get weighed.  My a1c said 6.0 - And I literally said “WHAAAAT,” out loud. 

I shook my head and I didn’t understand - I mean I expected a lower a1c than the 7.4  (my previous a1c) because I'd been working on it, but how the hell did it go down 1.4 .points? 
Maybe there was a screw up at the lab - Maybe all my numbers were off - Honestly, it been so long since I was in the 6s that I couldn’t wrap my head around it. 

According to the scale I’d lost 7 lbs - OK, I'll take that fact without questioning the scale. 

My blood pressure was normal and my blood sugar was 230  - Which made sense because of low at breakfast and a crazy morning. So 6,0 a1c or not, crap numbers happen - A lot.

The tech led me back to the office and wouldn’t give me back my labs - The attending and Dr. J needed to look at them. 

I sat in the office and just breathed.  Before the tech took my labs, I'd  noticed that one of my lab numbers was slightly high, but I couldn’t remember the test acronym to google it on my iPad. 
So instead I just read emails. 

The attending came in - And I gotta give credit where credit is do. Young Dr. Eric asked all the right questions, chatted and talked with me instead of at me - Yes, Dr. J was teaching him well. 

I won’t bore you with out discussion - except to say I asked all the typical questions re: my labs - Dr. Eric answered the best he could, and then went off to find the rocking Dr. J. 
I sat on the exam table,  swinging my legs back and forth against it repetitively,  like a small annoying child kicking the back of your seat on airplane - and just kept breathing. 

I heard muffled voices in the hallway and finally the door opened and in walked Dr. J

Dr. J: KELLEEEEEE!!! Sidebar: That's how Dr. J says my name!
Oh my God & way to go - I was shocked when I saw your a1c. How did you manage to get it down 1.4 points? 

Me: Yeah, me too. I don’t know. Do you think the lab screwed up? 

Dr. J: No - Not possible - The a1c is not a complicated test - and it’s been around for a long time - No, you did this. 

Me: OK, If you say so. 

Dr. J:  I do. It’s been a long time since you were in the sixes - I’m really proud of you - And I’m so happy - you made my day, Kelleee. 

And when he said that I could feel myself blush and looked down at the floor for a beat before I looked up at him and said: Yeah, mine too. 

Dr. J: What are you doing that helped you get to 6? 

Me: I don’t know, I’m just really aware of my numbers and snacking between meals. I still have a cupcake or ice cream, but I don’t know - i’m just aware. And I’ve traveled a lot this summer - so I don't know - that might have helped. 

Dr. J:  Oh yeah, where? 

Me: Conferences - Children with Diabetes in Florida - They had a session on Diabetes & Stress - that helped a lot. 
AADE in August, Chicago for ADA - Where I saw you. 

Dr. J: How funny was that! 
Me: Very. Um, I did couple patient conferences in Philly these past two weeks. 

Dr.J: Which ones? 
Me: ePatient Connections & World Congress on Patient Engagement 

Dr. J: I need to know when you’re going to do that kind stuff - email the office.

Me: Ok, I will. So yeah, I still need to exercise more - I need to do better with that.
How’s my cholesterol, heart and kidneys? 

Dr. J: Good, good, good.  Stop worrying.

Me: How’s my thyroid? 

Dr. J:  Yeah, slightly off for the first time - not by much. But we are going to keep on eye on it - Lets see how your numbers are next time, OK?  

Me: Ahhhhh, OK. 

Dr. J: Show Eric your pump, he hasn’t seen a medtronic yet. He saw a omnipod this morning and tomorrow he’ll see a patient who’s on an Animas - I want him to become familiar with all the pumps. 

So I showed Eric my loaner pump (which reminded me that I have to start figuring out a permanent solution with my insurance on that subject,) and Eric discussed insulin pump pros. 

Dr. J brought up the Minimed 530 G announcement on Friday and and we talked about the Animas Vibe getting the OK in Canada. 

Dr. J: So besides diabetes, how’s your life going? 
Me: I’m good - I’m moving in the right direction and that makes me happy.  Not quite where I want to be yet,  but I’m on the right track - And that’s good. A lot different then this time last year.

Dr. J: Yeah... losing a parent is so hard.
Me: Yep it is................ So, do you watch 'How I Met Your Mother?' 

Dr J: No... Why? 
Me: Well, you better start because my niece landed the role of the mother.

Dr. J:  OhmyGod, I’m going to start watching -  what channel is it on??? That’s so awesome!
Dr. Eric: I love that show -& I saw her! She’s the pretty brown haired girl - She’s cute - And funny! And Dr. J,  it's on CBS, channel 3.
Me:  What Dr. Eric said!  

Dr. J: So everything is looking good - I love that. Here’s your lab script - Hey, do you need insulin samples?
Me: Yep I do, thanks! 
Dr. J: Let me go get you some. 

And he did. And when he brought them back, we said our goodbyes and he told me to book my  next appointment for February or early March - And he once again told me how happy he was for me. 

After scheduling my next appointment, I took the elevator to the first floor and like Elvis, I exited the building and walked out into the Indian Summer sunshine. And I felt happy. 

And regardless of what my next A1C is, I know for a fact that little ripples make some nice size waves, both in the ocean and in life. 

And I  know that my character is not based on my a1c, my life’s value is not about a number that describes the past 3 months of my diabetes management - And I believe that. 
And I know that all sorts of external forces factor into our a1c - forces we have no control over. 
But with that being said, I’ll take a good number when I can get it - along with the challenging ones - And I will learn from all my numbers. And I will keep trying and doing and becoming, regardless. 

And on the way back to my car I considered getting a cupcake to celebrate, but decided to save my cupcake for another day & order some kicking black high heeled leather boots instead. 

 Look,  I can have a cupcake any bloody old time, and I will -  But Lord only knows how long those fabulous boots will stay in stock and on sale!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No D - Day: So Did You Know Philadelphia Is Known As The City of Murals?

Today is No D-Day - A day started by George over at Ninjabetic a few years back.
Basically we can blog about whatever we want - As long as it's not about diabetes.
So yeah, I'm down with that.
To read others No D-Day posts, click HERE.
And to read mine - keep going!
So I'm sure everyone has knows that Philadelphia is called The CIty of Brotherly Love, but did you also know that it's also known as The City of Murals?? 
Yep, true story. 

It all started back in 1984, when Philly's then Mayor Wilson Goode hired Muralist Jane Golden to work with the Philadelphia Anti Graffiti Network - Hoping she could reach out the to 'graffiti writers' and have them use their talents to help create murals. 
Jane not only reached out to them, she took the time to get to them and to become their friends. 
And Jane saw their tremendous artistic talent of the graffiti writers/artists and (and I'm quoting directly from the Mural Arts website,) 

 'recognized the amazing creative force they represented, and she began to provide opportunities for them to channel their creative talent into mural-making. Mural painting also provided a support structure for these young men and women to refine their artistic skills, empowering them to take an active role in beautifying their own neighborhoods.'

Jane had and has a simple mantra: Art Saves Lives

And Jane saw art do just that as her program changed the lives of the artists that created the art, and those living in the many city neighborhoods in which the murals were created and permanently displayed in.

Cut to 1996 when then Mayor Ed Rendell reformatted The Philadelphia Anti Graffiti Network and turned it into the Mural Arts Program - A city wide public arts program that has inspired millions and garnered national attention
That same year and through all sorts of serendipity, Jane created the Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates non profit,  and together both programs changed Philadelphia's canvas for the better. 

The Mural Arts Program annually provides about 1,800 young people throughout the city with free art and education programs. 
Lives are changed forever in Philadelphia neighborhoods through art, education and beautification - Yep, awe inspiring and awesome! 

The murals themselves run the gambit as far as subject matters are concerned. 
Everything including, but not are not limited to: History (Phildelphia, US, World,) the culturally diversity that is the United States, causes (yes, there's a disease that will not be named because of No D-Day, mural in the City of Brotherly Love - 3 blocks from my old Fishtown stomping grounds,) and individuals - Like Philly sons Mario Lanza and Larry Fine

Philly's murals will stop you in your tracks and take your breath away - And that's exactly what happened to me when I came across the following mural at 13 & Locust a few weeks ago.
Thank God I had my iPad in my handbag &  was able to get the following shot up close. 

Yep, it took my breath away!

So the next time you're Philly bound, be sure to look around and appreciate the art (and the people who created it) that surrounds you!
Also, if you want to take a walking tour of the murals, click HERE and find out