Thursday, September 24, 2009

On the road again


This canary will be fleeing her horrific coal mine before she dies of the black lung. Huzzah. The new gig? Back to books, kids.

Da books! I am happy to go back to them.

I'm nervous about The Epic Return, but also ridiculously excited. I've been out of the industry for nearly two years, and Me now is vastly different from Me then - I was beyond burned out, couldn't bear to read books, and got a stomachache whenever I considered another publishing job. I've recovered somewhat... not to mention having acquired intimate knowledge of what a bad job REALLY is.

So I'm going into this with a sunny disposition - I won't be editing this time. No author hand-holding! No heartbreaking failures to acquire! No abysmal sales responsibilities! No awkward, blind-date agent lunches! Just free books, reading about books, talking about books, living and breathing know, what I already do anyways.

I am hoping that's the key to successful book employment.

Gah! Cuteness!

Is there anything cuter than miniature anything? Stumpy legs be damned...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hungover again

But not in the traditional sense of hungover - this one's BG-related.

Last night, B and I settled in for takeout and TV. Thursday nights are often this way, and with the season premiere of Fringe and The Office in the wings...well, wild horses would have had to drag me off the couch. I got a meatball parm sub and was looking forward to it immensely - it's been crisp here the past couple of days, and I've been craving warm foods like nobody's business.

The sandwich was giant. I was starting out in the 60s. I did a conservative estimate of 70g of giant breadliness, bolused and we sat down. Maybe an hour later, and I noticed I was slurring and losing my train of thought - BG time. 38. Crap.

Juice + freaking out, trying to figure out what this meant for the next few hours: Why isn't dinner hitting at all? The tomato sauce should have bumped me, even if the bread was taking forever. How much should I treat for? Current low, or is this gonna be a sticky low I'm battling for the next 4 hours?

I opted for present-tense (working on not being too paranoid about those IOB numbers Dig keeps showing me) and did a generous 10-sip treat. Went back to the couch. And was rewarded with a 53 an hour later. Ugh.

Suffice it to say, I thought I got it all under control. My BGs were cruising under 120. At 11, I tested, got a 96 and was pleased - brushed my teeth, washed my face, hopped into bed. And jumped back out again 10 minutes later, feeling weird. 242 - a huge leap in just 38 minutes. Ugh.

I did not see a number below 200 again until 11:30 a.m. today. I feel like ass - dry and headachey, exhausted, just plain old gross - and I'm frustrated. I have no idea why it happened or why all of my BG reactions were so insanely severe. This wasn't a normal night for yours truly, and I'm just sitting on crossed fingers that the weekend won't see a repeat performance.

Eff meatball parm.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jack and Lucy

Jack seems to have finally made peace with his new friend. Thank goodness.

Sleeping parallel is fun!

Nothing like a little double leg-cuddlage

Pump report: 48 hours later

So the Big Day was this past Tuesday. I spent Monday night wide-eyed and trying to fall asleep - with very little success - so I met the waaaay-early wakeup call for the trip to the center with a lot of grunts and desperate clutching of my coffee during the subway ride uptown. Glutton of punishment that he is, B went with me.

My first Paradigm hookup

We arrived with very little fanfare, and the CDE asked if I was okay with an coworker observing who'd never seen a pump start before. Sure! Who wouldn't mind a complete stranger tagging along for a day sure to include a spaz-out from yours truly?

The four of us spent the next 90 minutes going over (painfully and painstakingly) stuff I'd already learned through all of my pump preparation. It got interesting, of course, when the hands-on stuff started. I am proud to report I inserted my first set perfectly. And without crying.

It has been 48 hours of some serious adjustment:

I have forgotten to hit ACT for that final okay to bolus about a dozen times.
Me: "Why isn't that showing up in my bolus log?! I know I did insulin! [Hours later....] Oh. I think I forgot to hit the button again once the dose started flashing. D'oh."

I have forgotten to do my actual insulin (the D-brain does the math, assumes everything's accounted for, and its job is done. Insulin is not injected twice, so it can't be blamed I think). I have forgotten it's attached, and gotten caught in the tubing while tossing something on the chair. I have done a second insertion to replace the set I was SURE I'd messed up by the resulting yank on it. (I didn't mess it up. It just hurt. From yanking. Unsurprisingly.) I have pulled the tubing off doorknobs and out of our kitten's mouth. I have had to relearn trips to the bathroom and how to sleep with something hanging off me by a cord. I have become the proud owner of baby socks and five more tank tops with bras built-in (aka my new "pajamas").

In all, it is both better than and just as awful as I'd expected. Relearning how to handle D - a HUGE part of any T1's life - makes your brain explode a little. Everyone keeps telling me that I'll adjust, it takes time, blah blah blah. And they're right. But I still want to smack them. I'm sure it takes time to adjust to being blind or losing a leg, too, but that doesn't mean it doesn't suck to have to deal with either of those things.

I "go live" the morning of September 8th. I imagine that's when this will all get a little more exciting. I can't wait to be able to correct for a 135 BG! Mathy, nerdy excitement...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Endo? Bueller?

I've been seeing the new Doc since last month - not a heckuva lot of time, and there've been a LOT of changes (revamped Lantus and correction doses, to name a few). So it seemed like she was gung ho on the TBP and I was thrilled...

But ever since I mentioned The Great Pump Experiment, I've not heard a peep from her. And I email her weekly with my logs. I hear from my CDE, which is a relief - otherwise, I'd figure my emails were just vanishing into the ether. All I can imagine is that she figures "Do what you want for now, since it doesn't really matter. We'll need to start all over again on the 8th, anyway." Which makes sense, I suppose, but it would be nice if I'd been told that was the plan.

The radio silence is especially aggravating in light of the fact that my hair is STILL shedding (even more now, I think) and I'd love to find out the results of my thyroid test.

I'm happier with my care at the Center than I have been in a long time, even with the 200+ block commute. And I think I'll remain that way. But it's still hugely disappointing to realize that doctors all over the world consistently treat patients the same way - like little kids to be guided by the hand, rather than adults who are fully active and in control of their health management.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Every time I see "DOC," my brain immediately starts in with the theme song to that horrid/awesome show The O.C. - "Califorrrrniaaaaa." But, with a quick shake of my head and an inner "AHEM," I can usually switch back to regular programming. Which is, of course, all about The D.

I've been more and more active in the DOC as I've focused more on my disease. Reading a lot more blogs, subscribing to tons of Twitter feeds, checking out newsletters and on and on and on. I've found some great ones, of course - Six Until Me, Diabetesaliciousness, The Butter Compartment, 25 Units to Go - and it's been a revelation. I spend most of my time reading these blogs (and tweets and everything) thinking "Me too! Me too!" (TBC, especially - I can't tell you how many times over the last 15 years that some poor vial of insulin has taken a suicide leap from their little home in my fridge, and I have a good laugh every time I check out the blog.)

I wouldn't say I've ever been ashamed about my D. I've never tried to hide it, I've always been happy to answer questions, and I've pretty much contained myself to flinging dirty looks at people who act grossed out when I do a BG test or shoot up. That being said, though, I don't really talk about it either. I don't want to be a complainer, or seem like one of those melodramatic types who're always all "Ohhhhhh, my disease! I have a DISEASE!" I loathe a pity party and I prefer to avoid judgment from people...and I kind of just want to be normal. (Pancrea-typical?)

So it's quite a relief to be able to say "GAH! I can't figure out where that 247 came from!" and have people nod their heads and chime in with something similar. It's amazing to be able to see - in real time - other people fighting the good fight and getting the same mixed results I do. To see fights for insurance coverage, dealing with travel, and picking fave glucose tab flavors (moi: only CVS brand will do, grape or raspberry).

After 15 years, I've decided to try the pump. A HUGE step for me. For a while, I thought it was because the new endo gave me the "If you hate it, you can stop" back door out of it. But now that I've had some time to think, I'm betting on the DOC. Seeing everyone else live with it, struggling with their own management, has given me a sense of courage that I haven't really felt in a long time. I know that if I get the weepies from a bad site change (SO scared of the insertion device!) or can't figure out a weird BG pattern or just want to throw something at the wall, that there's someone out there in that same exact position and we can all get together and flip the D the bird. I'm so very grateful.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lantus, My Lantus

One week after starting with the new endo, she dropped my lantus dose by four units (four! units!) - I'm now on an 8/8 split. She did so because of some of my middle-of-the-night lows. Well, it seems that those have certainly abated. Yay Golds! But, hoo BOY has this been a friggin' learning curve. All of my carb:insulin math is totally out the window... or at least all of my eating-out math is. And I'm a New Yorker. Eating out is our thing!

I spent most of my weekend over 200, and visited the land of three-hundredia a number of times. I can't for the life of me figure out how to fix it. I mean, I sure as hell am not at a 5g to 1u ratio. I do that with an apple, and I'd kill myself. But ice cream? (And I'm talking a piggo entire container of ice cream = No error on my counting. I'm going strictly by label!) Fuhgeddaboutit. Sky's the limit. Or, rather, the BG is sky-high.

Clearly, fatty meals are always tricksy with the ol' insulin. But could I really have changed all my math that much? I know, I know -- four units is a lot of lantus. Especially when you stop to consider it was 20% of my daily intake. But is it THAT much? Was I really using it to clean up all my "bad" BGs?

I need to get a grip on all of this before I (fingers-crossed, knock wood) go on the pump!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why I hate my job

The Temp Head Honcho has been stealing my diet Pepsis from the community fridge for a while now. I knew she was and wasn't going to gripe, until the Interns joined the pilfering. So I put a "Help yourself, just give me money" note on the soda case in the fridge.

Temp Head Honcho (THH) just came to my desk -- with a diet Pepsi in her hand --and told me she'd asked a coworker to buy a new case of soda from Costco. The conversation:
THH: Does it need to be any soda in particular?

me: Yes. Diet Pepsi.

THH:  Pepsi One?

me: Diet Pepsi. Like the one you're holding.

THH:  What about Coke?

me: Diet Pepsi. I buy diet Pepsi.

THH: Well, I guess I can text K and tell her to get diet Pepsi. But if they don't have it, what about Coke?

Good. Grief. I have to get a new job. If only Penguin hadn't gone with the other candidate...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dipping my toes in

I've mentioned the T-1ness before, I'm sure. But to be perfectly clear, I'm a type-1 diabetic and was diagnosed more than 15 years ago with the disease. It sucks, blah blah blah, I know. But what has been sticking in my craw for the past, oh, year or so is The Baby Question.

I got married in September 2008. B and I had been talking about babies for a while before we'd even gotten engaged - he's always known my feelings about a) wanting kids and b) getting one of 'em with all the diabetes hoops we'd have to jump through. So it's no surprise that we're already starting to hunt down answers to The Baby Question.

Or at least I am.

I do the doc visits, I do the blood sugars, I do the worrying and the obssessing. (He mostly says "I support you" and provides offers of help. ) I get it - this is a pretty solitary disease. He can't count my carbs for me or do my injections. He can't work out my log book or do a blood sugar. But he might just get conscripted into the doc research aspect of things because I am, quite simply, terrified.

How do you pick a high-risk ob/gyn if you've never had to think about babies before? How do you make the decision about who's best equipped to both deliver a healthy baby AND deal with my freakouts about boiling said baby in toxic blood sugar? I've read too many horror stories about crappy docs (and hell, I've had a bunch of them myself) to have any sort of confidence in the process. But this seems like too big a deal to leave to chance, too much of a gamble to not make researching it a huge priority, and way too frigging important to do my usual "FINE. I'll just take care of me myself, you dumbass."

I'm scared I'll find someone and it'll end in a giant disaster. I'm scared I'll screw it up and spend the rest of my life regretting it. I'm just scared.

Tis sprung!

Or at least it felt that way this morning on the way in.

So happy! Yay Joralemon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm with the Skittles girl

I started a crap job in September. I thought it was going to be a good job, of course - the first non-publishing real job I've ever had - but it turned out to be the wrong choice. Now, after six months of crap-jobbing, I have developed a Starbucks problem.

I don't particularly like the coffee. But I've discovered that there is an iota of joy to be wrung from every single morning...if I buy a cup of coffee on the way in to work. The shop bustles with moms and kids and nannies running around, people quietly read at tables, new songs play on the speakers, and I find all those things to be soothing. Not sleepy soothing, but gird-your-loins and get ready for the suck-of-the-day-to-come soothing.

I angst about the cost of this Starbucks habit. I don't get a foofy coffee to lessen said angst - I do drip. So, $2.11 per grande cup of coffee. At that rate, for March alone, I would spend $46.42 on coffee. Which is a ridiculous sum of money for something I could make myself. Even more ridiculous for someone who works at a nonprofit, spent a year freelancing (read: being poor), and just got a salary cut. 

So I spend an inordinate amount of time working on its cost/benefit ratio. $2.11 per cup becomes $2 when you use their refillable mug. And I give 5 cents to Africa whenever I use their Starbucks Red card - $1.95 per cup. Add to that the free iTunes Tuesday (what was 99 cents, and I grab one for my husband), and my monthly coffee total comes down to $33 + a weensy bit of philanthropy.

I said I was angsting about this coffee habit.

Anyway. Today, I stumbled across this in the New York Times: apparently, with our economic world flushing down the toilet, people are looking to candy as a pick-me-up.
Since Piper Gray, 23, arrived in Manhattan from Memphis in September, she has lived on a tiny salary from a journalism internship and tries to remain optimistic about eventually landing permanent work, even though prospects look discouraging.

Beside two friends at Economy Candy on a recent Sunday afternoon, she sounded cheerful as she munched on mini Smooth ’N Melty nonpareils, joked about her addiction to Creme Eggs and scoffed at the merits of Swedish Fish. Candy has become her affordable escape.

“Apples and oatmeal only go so far,” she wrote later in an e-mail message. “It’s so tempting to pick up an 88-cent pack of Skittles as a little pick-me-up. So I won’t feel so deprived.”

And I realized that I do these little indulgences often. Buying a cup of coffee, having cheese and Hershey Kisses for dinner, buying crazy-colored shoes - I do all these things because, try as I might, I can't control my actual life. My job is crap, my health is precarious at best, and I'm constantly struggling for money. But I CAN buy a damned cup of coffee.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Today's Song In My Head Upon Waking

"Let's Go to the Mall," by Robin Sparkles (aka Robin Scherbatsky of How I Met Your Mother)

Monday, March 2, 2009

The weather outside...

is delightful. The first real snow in what feels like ages! I've been squirming with jealousy at all the reports of 3-foot snowbanks in Gville and, while we certainly won't be getting that kind of snow here, at least it'll stick. Huzzah!

Snow Grows in Bklyn

Friday, February 27, 2009

What the eff is a "brain thorn"?

A brain thorn is, simply enough, something that gets stuck in your head. Not literally, of course (Claire does NOT get brain thorns). More like a "What was the name of that guy from that show where Phoebe from friends played a waitress?" kind of something. (Answer: Paul Reiser. Or maybe Hank Azaria?) 

I also suffer from a tendency to mentally relive - over and over and over - problems and questions and happy memories and funny stories and everything else in the world.

Anyway. I have these issues often, and I've found that writing this stuff down can short circuit said issues (yay!), which is infinitely better than worrying at them like a sore tooth.