Saturday, December 31, 2011

The year in review: 2011

I'm not usually all about the memes over here, but I've decided to steal one from Kerri, offering up the first lines of an illustrative post per month from the year. I've never really looked back at BlahBlah this way, but 2011 has been such a monumental year that I want to take a moment to reflect on all the changes - and giant gobs of happiness - as it comes to a close.

January: "I've been seeing a lot of 2010 wrap-ups out there - it's fun to see where everyone's been for the past year, but for yours truly 2010 was a bit of a struggle."

February: "I've been so absent from this blog, and it's because I've been waiting to write this post for oh-so-very-long."

March: "For better or worse, I think Steel Magnolias becomes a part of your life once you're diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes."

April: "Last Tuesday was our second fetal echocardiogram."

May: "Nowadays, when people look at me, tilt their head, and say 'How are you feeeeeeling?' I finally have something to say other than 'chubby.' "

June: "Other than finding out an actual date for BabyH's arrival (eek!) and sobbing to the tunes of MJ, B and I have been super busy."

July: "You came screaming into the world today at 9:57am - a whopping 6lbs 8oz and 20 inches long."

August: "As promised, for those who are interested in the actual birth story, this is how the munchkin joined our family:"

September: "The JDRF Walk is coming up, and I'll be walking again as I always am."

October (Momtime): "So. Um. In other 'recent' momtime news, 11 weeks ago today Team Hoffmanderson did the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes."

November: "Do blue-and-brown stripey owl onesies count for Blue Fridays?"

December: "Oh, Kerri. I've no idea how you did it."

Thanks for everything 2011 - it's been nice knowing you.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fun with search keywords

I don't know that I could be any happier with the utterly bizarre mix of search words that bring people to BlahBlahBklyn:

Dexcom after hours

Middle of the night feeds are no fun. (How could interrupting sound sleep be fun?!) But I usually take the opportunity to check my blood sugar, hit the bathroom, and drink (yet another) glass of water. Truthfully, they've been helpful - I've discovered a surprising number of not-felt lows this way in the past five months!

Last night was no different. L woke up just before 4am, I reached into my pillowcase to grab Dex for a quick idea of where I was. And where I was? "System Recovery Check Complete." Shit.

Thirty minutes later our feed-n-diaper routine was completed. I climbed back into bed, popped the now-functioning Dex back under my pillow, and settled back down to sleep.


I pulled Dex out, and it was back to its initializing screen. Which meant it crashed again and we were headed right back to the System Recovery screen...and probably the Exclamation Point of Death. And that's when I realized I hadn't done a download in a really, really long time. Shit.

So I leapt out of bed - the clock was ticking! I scrambled to the living room, started the laptop, and rushed to get the Dexcom software up and running before the receiver was done with its system check. Once it was done, I plugged in my USB and started the download, willing that bar to move to 100% before Dexcom died for the third (and probably final) time and rendered all of my data inaccessible. Holy stressful, Batman.

C'mon database records!!

VICTORY. I got my download in. But wait. What the hell was this second bar?!

Event log?? WTH is an event log?

Wait, wait. ANOTHER bar?!

There's an error log too??

No matter. Surprise bonus bars be damned - I managed to get my download completed.


Adrenaline pumping, I closed down the laptop with relief and headed back to bed. Popped Dex under my pillow and curled up next to B.


Ah, Exclamation Point of Death. I'd been expecting you.

Well, at least I anticipated it. I got my download in, so I didn't lose all of my data. It still sucks - my data died with that receiver, since Dexcom's software doesn't allow multiple receivers per patient record. (More later on this pet peeve of mine.) But I had my old receiver in my meds box, a leftover from when I reupped with my insurance - an embarrassment of riches, but one I liked to have knowing how unlucky I've been with receivers. So yay! No real lag in CGM.

Or so I thought. This morning I plugged in my receiver, planning on using the old one until my replacement arrived from Dexcom. And then this happened:

You've got to be kidding me.

Yes, folks. The second Exclamation Point of Death in less than 12 hours. I'm officially Dex-cursed.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yeah. This happened.

"But the baby's asleep and dad's home from work! I'll skip the Christmas crowds!" is NOT sufficient reason to go to the grocery store after 11pm. Especially not when you're sleep deprived.

And of course it was smelly minced garlic.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A few of my favorite things...

You know how you get a favorite dish? The go-to dish, the one you use all the time, the one that always seems to hold the right amount of food? I had one of those.

My husband came with a delightful set of nesting Pyrex storage dishes. Nothing special - just three glass bowls with dark blue tops and wavy sides. Nice enough to drag to someone's house for a potluck, but still a pretty everyday kind of thing. My go-to was the weensy one. Perfect for leftovers, small enough to bring to work. And - because I found it indispensable - of course it fell to the ground, shattered, and broke up my perfect little storage set.

For a while, I tried to hunt down a new one. But it seems as though the "sculptured" set is no longer available, and I can't imagine a solo replacement piece for a cheap-o storage trio would be a priority in the Pyrex world anyway. So imagine my joy when I walked into my favorite local store for kitcheny goodness* and saw this sucker on a shelf:

Hello, you sexy home for leftovers.

It might not be the "Pyrex formal" wavy sided perfection of its predecessor, but I don't care. It's little two-cup self will be a welcome addition to my collection - I'm glad to have the team back together.

* I was buying a lidded jar for brown sugar. Yours truly is going to try going sweetener-free in 2012! More on this later.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

L has kind of figured out toys

But there's a real short distance between "Ooh! Fun! A toy!" and "I'MA GONNA EAT YOU!"

Amazon has Christmas spirit? (ed: Getcher free book here!)

I'm so confused.

As I mentioned before, I've hit a bit of a wall in the ol' diabetes management slog. It's partially my diaversary, since the annual reminder of how long I've been doing this can be a little weighty. It's partially the mad craze of the holiday season, where you don't have a second to just sit and breathe. It's partially all the food of this time of year. And this year, it's a LOT about running low on sleep and time as the mother of a 5-month-old baby.

My secret d-blahs trick? In the past, I've found buying myself something for my disease can be just the kick in the pants I need to buckle down. A new binder to store my logs in, some blue nail polish, a pretty jar for reservoir storage - these little things can work wonders for motivation. This time around, I decided to get a little bookish and I finally got around to buying Gary Scheiner's Think Like a Pancreas.

What I didn't notice while ordering was that I must have clicked the thing twice - I only realized it when two copies of the book arrived in my Amazon package. Which is a drag. I'm a busy bee, and dragging the peanut to the post office around Christmastime sounds like a torture reserved for a circle of hell. Still, having two copies of the book seemed silly. So I went to Amazon, and began their little return routine. Imagine my surprise when this popped up on my screen:

They've got me covered?!

Huh? This makes absolutely no sense to me. I would have to pay for the shipping, so why is Amazon willing to eat the cost of the book? I've been mulling it and, since it seems like there IS no good reason for them to do this, Amazon just wanted to give me a Christmas present. (Or they decided "Hey, Karen, hot DAMN do you need to get your act together. Please read this book!" Which is sad and Grinchy, so I choose to believe it's a present.)

So I want to pay it forward. Leave a comment below and I'll randomly pick a number through and send you your own copy of the book! Make sure you don't just leave one as anonymous! I need to be able to get in touch.

Merry everything, guys.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Momtime #2: Team Hoffmanderson

So. Um. In other "recent" momtime news, 11 weeks ago today Team Hoffmanderson did the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. And it was amazing. Not only was it L's first Walk (!), we also crushed our fundraising goal. Team Hoffmanderson raised $7455 as of today, and I think that when corporate matches roll in we'll be well over $8000. Eight. Thousand. Dollars. It boggles my mind, and kind of makes me want to burst into tears of happiness. I'm lucky I have such incredible, generous people in my life.

Below, you'll find some pictures that capture a few highlights of the day. (Check out my exquisite biohazard DIY stroller pennant! I hope I did Lee Ann proud.) I'm already looking forward to 2012!

See that achieved section? BOO YA.
First Walk to Cure Diabetes!
Why yes, those ARE test strip flower petals! 

Yay Team Hoffmanderson 2011!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Momtime #1: 18 years, baby

Oh, Kerri. I've no idea how you did it. Your Birdy was born and Six Until Me just kept chugging along as though things were exactly the same in the Sparling household. (Well, the same but with a way higher cuteness quotient, of course.) I'm impressed. These days, it seems as though just getting to work and home and back again is a feat worth a statue or two in some town square. So I've decided that old news is still news as far as I'm concerned - it's just on a different time continuum. Momtime. And in the spirit of observing and respecting the rules of Momtime, I'm just going to go ahead and post as though I'm not horrifyingly late in doing so. Whee!

Two weeks ago - December 2nd - was my 18th diaversary. The only thing I know for sure about this year's anniversary is that I was touched by the number of people who remembered it, who wished me well or asked if I'd had my annual sweet treat to commemorate the day. My diabetes is often invisible to those around me - I take care of myself, I don't ask for too many accommodations as far as food and drink go, and, I dunno, it just doesn't seem to come up. So when they remember without me breathing a word about the date, I know they've made an effort to remember something that's important to me...and that's pretty huge.

Naturally, B was one of those who remembered.

But that's about other people. That's not me. My own feelings are conflicted. Years ago, my big plan was to get a tattoo for my 15th diaversary. That year would mark my halfway point - I'd be living longer with diabetes than without it, and somehow that felt so huge to me. Then I was told I had mild retinopathy and my "Eff you, D!" attitude imploded. Once again, my body had failed me. My bad genes had kind of won out - I had complications now. It was diagnosis year all over again, and I was crushed.

So I never got that tattoo. Instead, I took stock of where I was. It wasn't where I wanted to be - no one wants complications, amiright? - but it could be a lot worse. My observation of the day became decidedly more conservative. It was no longer a 10-person outing to Serendipity for ice cream sundae dinners. Now it was an ice cream cone with B, or some friends over for snacks and movies. I was sad to lose my fearlessness, my sense of domination over a shitty hand that life dealt, but I knew there were more important things. Mild retinopathy was hardly the end of the world. It wasn't the beginning of the end. It was just life as a type 1 diabetic. You do what you can for wherever you are, and if that changes so do you.

So I shifted my focus from that halfway point and began the arduous process of  prepping for the great/terrifying adventure of pregnancy with diabetes. It wasn't flipping off my disease now. It was bargaining for a year where I felt in control so I could have a healthy baby. And now I'm on the other side of that. I did something that I thought I'd be unable to do (screw you, Nan). I did it with a lot of hard work (soul-crushing, mind-numbing hard work), and I did it despite this crappy disease. I feel a bit of pride about it, absolutely. But there's also that nagging voice in the back of my head that tells me it was luck, that I dodged a bullet. The more years I get under my belt as a Type 1, the more I feel like it's just a matter of time before something else goes wrong.

And that's really effing bleak. It's the unvarnished truth, but it doesn't sit so well. I'll keep on keeping on, of course, doing all my finger sticks, doctor appointments and the like. But I don't feel so sassy about it anymore. I just feel tired. Or bored. Or just over it already. I need a diabetes vacation, and I know I'm not the only one. So until we can get ourselves one of those, I'll just have a cupcake and a bolus, and  I'll salute all the other diabetics I know out there in the wide world who keep slogging through the day-to-day alongside me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'm a sentimental fool.

Earlier this week, I noticed my Minimed had a crack on its face.

See it in the upper right corner of the display?

I had no idea if this was actually a bad thing, soooo...

And, of course, the DOC delivered! Meredith, Kim, Allison, and Jacquie all advised giving Minimed a call for a replacement pump, which turned out to be excellent advice. A crack in the case means it's no longer "waterproof."

I called Minimed, answered some silly questions ("Uhhh...has it ever been dropped? No, sir, not once in the 24/7 I've been wearing the thing since September 2009.* And no, the crack is not a result of a car accident. My last blood sugar was 134." Nosy, nosy!), and within 20 minutes of calling, a new pump was on its way to me.

I had mixed feelings about it, since I tend to become attached to inanimate objects. (See: Luxo Jr. and just TRY not to melt!) And this pump? It was fifteen years in the making. I'd been on MDI since my diagnosis, and was determined to never be on the pump. I didn't want to be tied to something, I didn't want to be reminded of my diabetes 24 hours a day, I was creeped out at the idea of a tube living under my skin, I was unable to use a lancet device and was loath to try something bigger and scarier for set insertion - basically, I had 4,000 reasons to NOT go on the pump and, with A1c ranges below 7, I figured I didn't need to. And then we decided to expand our family and the pump became the only choice. (Yes, only. As far as I'm concerned, NPH is NOT an option!)

After more than two years with this little machine, I've become more than just a little attached. I saw A1cs I haven't seen since high school. I am sporting the hard-won set scars all over my belly. I've had volcanoes of blood gushers. I've cursed it and sang its praises, but, ultimately, I'm intensely grateful I had it - and for the healthy baby girl it helped bring into the world.

So as glad as I was to receive my shiny new pump the very next day, I was terribly sad to see the old one go.

Shiny, new, and completely without memories :(

*Clearly I was crossing my fingers for this. How would ANYONE be able to say they'd never dropped or bumped their pump?