Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another generation loves Lo's lentils

If you, too, would like to make the face below, check out Lorraine's excellent #DFeast Friday recipe at This Is Caleb. It's so good, you don't even need teeth to love it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I've been thinking about switching meters and, thanks to a heads up from Stacey, ended up with a neat little coupon for $30 off a One Touch Verio IQ.

But before I committed - and it's a BIG commitment to get a new meter and strips, since I'm forced to do three-month supply orders - I wanted to see if people were still loving the meter after their initial tryouts. Naturally, this meant I hit up the DOC for opinions:

I wanted to know if anyone had success or trouble with insurance for strips and whether they liked the pattern feature or not. There wasn't a lot of input on the patterns, but there was some good intel from the troops:

Clearly a lot of positive things to be said about the Verio and, in my experience, it's unusual for anyone to have a good thing to say about their meter. But there was one more step to take before I could think about buying a Verio. Does my DME supplier carry them? (oh, how beholden we are to insurance!!)

I use Edgepark, and went to their site to check it out.

Score! They have them. But not only do they have them, they have control solution for two different ranges?! Verio, my oh my are you fancy.

If you have the Verio and love or hate it, let me know!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ten months!

Oh goodness, ten months. How did that happen?

My sweet girl, I could eat your cheeks. Your laugh is worth a million bucks, and there are few things in the world I wouldn't do to hear it. (Including tickling you mercilessly. I'm selfish, what can I say.) You give open-mouth kisses that leave a trail of drool behind, you like to grab my teeth with your just-slobbered-on fingers, and you think your toes are the tastiest treat in Brooklyn; in short, you're a hilariously grody little baby and I adore that. Don't ever be too precious, kiddo - keep it real.

You're just on the verge of learning to clap your own hands after weeks of clapping mine for me. Your sniffle-laugh seems to have gone the way of the dodo - to my everlasting chagrin - but you've replaced it with a little grunt-and-shoulder-wiggle that's designed to garner as much attention from your audience as possible. Truly, it seems like most things these days are geared toward that purpose. "Look at me! Love me! PAY ATTENTION, GROWN-UPS! There is cuteness over here." And we do, because the cuteness is overwhelming.

My tiny, flirty pixie! You big-hearted, funny, goofy, lovey child - watching you find yourself is the best adventure I've ever had. I'll be sure to sing and hug and clap you on your way.

love your sweet face,

Insulin for Germans!

Or, really, German. My one regret? That I'm not the one who gets to pop the orange cap off the vial.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Diabetes mitzvah - paying it forward!

I spend an outrageous amount of time in the nurse's office at work every week - the lactation room lives there. And, being a chatty sort of gal, I end up spending a lot of time chatting with the L the Nurse when I'm there. Unsurprisingly, diabetes has come up as a topic of conversation. Today I got a call from her.

LtN: Karen. I've got a man from Germany here. He says he takes Nov--[muffled shouts of "What is it again?!"]--Novolog. His pen is out...

Me: Oh, Ltn, I'm afraid I don't use pens, and I don't have any insulin at the office.

Ltn: No, no. He just wants to know how to get more. He's got--[muffled shouts of "How much do you have?!"]--he's got some, but he's running out.

Me: I'll be right down to talk to him.

The poor guy is here for work for two weeks and somehow managed to bring a bottle of expired Novolog (well, NovoRapid in Germany) with him for his set changes. (He was actually on a Minimed pump, not pen injections. Even nurses get confused about diabetes, guys.) A lot of time was spent back and forthing about how he'd get a prescription from a doctor, how much it would cost to fill it, and whether Novolog and NovoRapid are actually identical, not to mention searching on his iPad when the English-to-German translation got to be a little much.

I finally said "Look, I'll just bring one of my vials to work tomorrow and you can have it. I have spares and then you won't have to go through all this trouble." The guy looked extremely confused. "I use Novolog and you can just have one. It'll be unopened and sealed and everything. You can just keep it." He still looked dubious. "Seriously. Traveling with diabetes isn't easy, and I've had my share of bad luck. I'm happy to help out a fellow diabetic."

One of my favorite things about the DOC - and the groups I belong to here in NYC - is the outpouring of support whenever someone has a diabetes disaster. A shattered vial of insulin, forgotten test strips, a failed pump, an expired prescription - I've seen all of these things, and I've also seen everyone rush in with offers of help. I'm glad I'll be able to help this poor German guy, and I can only hope he goes home to tell tales of how nice New Yorkers are....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

D-Blog Week Day #7: Diabetes Hero

Today's prompt:

Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”. It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3. It might be a fabulous endo or CDE. It could be a d-celebrity or role-model. It could be another DOC member. It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero??.

*   *   *

Oh, my heroes! I love all my fellow DOCers, but you guys are more like my comrades-at-arms. But my heroes? They're the Type 3s. The people who are there for me not because they're stuck with diabetes like I am, but because they choose to be. I have a lot of T3s in my life, but some of them loom larger than others - a lot of where I am today is because of my trio of T3s.

*   *   *

My mom was my first Type 3. She was there post-dx in 1993 when I was sobbing in the jam aisle at Hannaford, completely crushed and utterly lost. I'd been told to avoid foods with sugar in the top 3 ingredients and how could I possibly eat PB&J anymore? Or live my life like I had been? I was counting Cheez-Its, people. We weren't in Kansas any more.

She switched the whole family to diet soda and diabetic-friendly meals without batting an eyelash. She drove me to my far-away endo appointments, and tried to keep quiet about the fact I was logging weeks' of BGs on the way there. She managed to walk that tightrope of letting me take care of myself but also being there for me when I needed it - no small feat, as I was 15 years old and teenagers are HARD.

I went away to college, and Mom was the ultimate team player - we had a crazy insurance system worked out, and she battled them for every copay and reimbursement....all I had to do was charge my supplies. College was hard for me, and she was there for my first double-digit A1c, with a hug while I cried and without judgment.

My mom was a huge part of my formative diabetic years - a lot of why I take care of myself as well as I do is because of the determination and "Well, this is what I have to do" doggedness she instilled in me.

*  *  *

My little sister came a bit later to the party, when we were both adults. She is a giant biology nerd. She is the one that emails when she hears about new T1 developments, who is actually interested when I talk about new tech, who wanted to watch me change my set when I was new to pumping. She cheers me on for our annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, and she is an insanely generous donor.

Her interest in all the nitty gritty is invaluable. I could talk the ears off a fellow PWD about site changes or my excitement about upcoming Dexcom integrations - they would listen because they also have a vested interest in those things. But my sister? She's legitimately interested, and asks nerdy-bio questions no one else (often, not even me) thinks to ask. Guys, she even goes off to Google and researches stuff on her own. This is not your run of the mill support, and it means the world.

*   *   *

And then there's my ultimate Type 3 - B, my husband, my co-pilot, my rock. Did you notice where I said "our annual JDRF Walk"? B is why it's "our." Everything is our.

We were looking for apartments a few years ago. He found a duplex that looked interesting and went to check it out. His report? "There's a spiral staircase, so that's out." I had no idea what he was talking about. Why would a spiral staircase be a deal breaker? "I don't want you to have to use it if you're low in the middle of the night." The thought hadn't even crossed my mind, but it had been at the forefront of his - my disease is an ours.

I couldn't have managed my disease throughout pregnancy without him. I couldn't have summoned the bravery to try pumping without him. I couldn't have the control I have without him. He is the solid rock I lean on when I can't bear the unrelenting chronicness of it any more. He fetches juice without complaint, and checks to make sure we always have some on hand. He understands that sometimes I just need to eat a metric ton of french fries regardless of the BG consequences - that I need to blow off some steam, but that I'll get back on the diabetes horse again after I've done so. He's the least judgmental person I know. He is supportive without being pushy, lends strength without being overbearing. He tracks T1 athletes for me, listens to my d-rants, and never mentions all the diabetes detritus I leave around the house. He is the most tenacious fund-raiser I've ever seen, and Team Hoffmanderson benefits from that.

I wish every PWD could have someone like him around to help them out when the diabetes burden is too much to carry alone.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

D-Blog Week Day #6: Saturday Snapshots

Today's prompt:

Back for the third year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like! With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

*   *   *

I'm trying to cook more - my BGs always respond
better to homemade food. Also, YAY TOSTADAS.

Gushers come with the territory.

No regular soda for this PWD!

My supply shelf! It's not nearly big enough...

so I also have a supply box filled with reservoirs and sets.

Sometimes the diabetes cooperates.

But more often it doesn't.

I've never worked harder for good control than I did for pregnancy.
Or felt prouder as a PWD.

Friday, May 18, 2012

D-Blog Week Day #5: What They Should Know

Today's prompt:

Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September. The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”. Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes. Have more than one thing you wish people knew? Go ahead and tell us everything.

*   *   *

Yes, I can eat that. I just need to do the appropriate amount of insulin to cover it.

No, I don't care about your Great Aunt Enid who died from diabetes. Or your friend who had an amputation. Or your coworker who had a heart attack because of the 'beetus. I'm not any one of those people.

I "don't look fat enough" to have diabetes? I "look really healthy for someone with diabetes"? You're rude and misinformed.

Just because I need insulin does not mean my diabetes is "the bad kind." All the kinds are bad kinds because it's a disease not a prize, and insulin is just one of the methods of treatment (and the only one for Type 1).

If I choose to drink diet soda or use sweetener, that is my decision. Judge not lest ye be judged.

Sorry, that's not a beeper - those went out of style in the 90s. That's my insulin pump.

My low candy is not a treat for you. It is for hypoglycemia emergencies only.

I carry a purse so I can lug around all of my disease equipment, not your wallet/keys/sunglasses.

Yes, I know I create a lot of medical waste. My other option is dying, and I'm not into that kind of population control.

I'm sorry about the noise. My Dexcom is loud, but it's for a good reason. I need to know about the alarms.

Sigh. YES, I've seen Steel Magnolias. YES, I had a baby. NO, it is not surprising I survived.

All the above is to say this: Rather than assuming you know something about me or my disease, please just ask. I will be delighted to share my knowledge and experience with you, and I will consider myself lucky to be advocating for me and my tribe.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

D-Blog Week Day #4: Fantasy Diabetes Device

Today's prompt:

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary. Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

*   *   *
I'm not much of a tech person. As B always tells me, I think we should all be living in 2054 and using tech that anticipates everything we need, that never takes time to load, that never fails us. Clearly, I have unrealistic expectations. (But damn, is 2054 going to kick ass.)

But I'm writing to a prompt, so, my fantasy diabetes device? Well...

It always knows exactly what my blood sugar is - no calibration needed, no worries about accuracy or poorly washed hands, no strips that can be nuked by heat or moisture. 

It reacts to said blood sugar magically with insulin, without any prompting by me. This insulin dose is perfectly aligned for both correction and bolus calculation, including any external factors like exercise, stress, food intake, or that damned butterfly who flaps its wings and usually throws off my D calculations. 

The insulin is never skunked or boiled, there is no interference from bubbles or body heat, no suicidal vial leaps from the butter compartment. The insulin is also crazy-fast and super-smart - it works in a matter of moments, and then shuts off when it's no longer needed.

When I'm sleeping or driving or even just sitting at my desk at work, my magic device prevents me from going low so I never have to worry about lethal hypoglycemia or sounding like a babbling idiot at the office.

I can eat whatever I want, because my magic device SWAGs like nobody's business. 

I no longer contend with YDMV, because all the "V" is taken care of - it is not influenced by scar tissue, hormone fluctuation, or a bad day.

This magic device is a pancreas. I used to have one that worked, and it was glorious. I don't anymore, so I make do with the tools at hand. I'm glad for what I have, believe me, but short of an actual functioning pancreas there's no tech out there that will fit the bill for me. I will always wish for more accurate blood sugar meters, faster insulin, and smarter pumps and CGMs. I will be thrilled if and when we have access to an artificial pancreas that actually works.

But none of that stuff, awesome as it is, will ever replace what I lost eighteen years ago. 

Check out other Fantasy Diabetes Device posts!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fun with search keywords

Most of these aren't crazy...but murder weapons and bloody underwear?! WTF?

D-Blog Week Day #3: One Thing to Improve

Today's prompt:

Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at. Today let’s look at the flip-side. We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

*   *   *

It's hard to pick the one thing you're good at with diabetes because I would bet most of us don't feel good at our disease on most days. (YDMV is really just a euphemism for "Screw you, fickle disease!") But the list for possible improvement? It's hard because the options feel infinite. Still, if I had to pick just one, it would be logging.

I was reading The Power of Habit last week. Partially for work - it's always good to be familiar with our bestsellers - and partially because I wanted to know if I could do some Jedi mind tricks on myself to get into better disease management habits. Less of the full-throttle-then-fizzle and more of the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race, if ya know what I mean.

The entire book was amazeballs, but the one pertinent piece was about "keystone habits":
If you focus on changing or cultivating keystone habits, you can cause widespread shifts.... Keystone habits offer what is known within academic literature as "small wins." They help other habits to flourish by creating new structures, and they establish cultures where change becomes contagious.
For me, logging spills over and creates positive changes throughout my day. Even if I don't set out to do it, I start testing more. I'm more cognizant of what I'm eating, and if I'm high or low at a certain time of day. I take a quick peek at BG graphs, I see patterns, I start tweaking basals. It's not my intention - it's more like a happy side effect.

So that's my goal. Logging! I started Monday night and hope to make it every night for one week. And then, if I hit that goal and get my "small win," maybe my little D train will just keep chugging along.

PS - OMG, you should really read The Power of Habit. It was fascinating. At least click the link above! The stories are so jaw-dropping, I'd run right home to B with a "DUDE, you have to hear what I read in my habit book on the way home today..."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Against my better judgment...

I ignored the little voice in my head that said "maybe you should be near the paper towels before you yank the infusion set"....

D-Blog Week Day #2: One Great Thing

Today's prompt:

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”. But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit. Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly! Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

*   *   *

For me, something that I do "well" is something that is done effortlessly, without forcing yourself to do it. To that end, for example, I am spectacular at reading books, drinking wine, loving babies, finding B amusing, and spending time with my friends. But diabetes? It's a lot of work, a lot of mental effort, and not much about it is easy. Except for using my Dexcom.

I am proud of the fact that I unfailingly wear a sensor. When one croaks on me, I replace it immediately. When asked if I wear it 24/7, I can honestly say I do. I'm not a perfect Dexcom user, of course - I could download my data and number crunch a helluva lot more than I do. But hot damn am I good at wearing the sensors.

Monday, May 14, 2012

D-Blog Week Day #1: Find a Friend

Yay Diabetes Blog Week! Today's prompt:

It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends. With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections. Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!! Let’s all find a new friend today!

*   *   *

Oh, man. Could Karen G. have chosen a harder first topic for Diabetes Blog Week?! I have forty-eight different diabetes blogs I subscribe to in Google Reader. Forty-eight! So very many that I rarely get to zero unread posts...and yet I feel like I'm only ever skimming the top of the d-blogs out there. It seems as though every time I manage to check in for a #DSMA night I get another couple blogs to add to my feed. 

For better or worse, the majority of my book publishing career has involved professionally reading. From manuscripts to catalog copy and book proposals to TI sheets, I've been paid to look at writing with a critical eye. But rest assured this doesn't mean I'm (too) judgy or that I'm a (rigid) stickler for grammar. It just means that I have very little time for leisure reading, and those things I do choose to read on my own time had better be worth it. The blogs that live in my Reader, for some reason or another, have a voice that resonates with me as a diabetic, as a mom, as a New Yorker, as a book nerd, as a whatever. So how could I choose just one of these? They all satisfy different purposes. I don't read just one blog, so I'm going to recommend a handful instead:

Like many other PWDs out there, the first d-blog I came across was Kerri's. It's still the first one I recommend to people who aren't familiar with the DOC, who are recently diagnosed, who need a solid "OMG there's someone out there like me!" to get them over whatever slump they're in.

When I need a laugh, I head on over to visit Jacquie at Typical Type 1

If I want a jolt of "I Can Do This!" excitement, a shot of ridiculously cute pups, or an affirmation of my love for the JDRF, I waggle my mouse at Kim's Texting My Pancreas

Cherise is all over the place, but she reigns supreme as the Queen of Blue and manages to inspire SO many people to raise diabetes awareness.

If I were a CWD, I would want Lorraine/This is Caleb, Leighann/D-Mom Blog, Scott/Arden's Day, and Sherry/Jenna's Pet Monkey to be my d-parents. Their actual CWDs are so very lucky to have them!

My inner New Yorker always wants to hug Stacey/The Girl with the Portable Pancreas, and not just because she's always on top of all the d-tech that's out there. I love her BG comparison series.

A little love for the T2s in my reader: Rachel/TalesofRachel and Sir Bob/TMinusTwo

For my diabetes journalism - all the d-news that's fit to print, natch - I click on over to Amy, Allison, and Mike at DiabetesMine. I also look forward to my e-newsletter from diaTribe, which is an insane wealth of information that every diabetic should get in their inbox.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! I just started following I Run on Insulin and Sweetly Voiced, and I'm sure I'll have a jillion more by the end of D-Blog Week. Do you have a blog I should add to my Reader?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Man. Modeling is tough. (Even for babies.)

I'm sure it has to do with clothing sizes more than setting a kid up for smoking, starving, and hitting the runways in Paris in their later years, but it certainly comes across as creepy!

At her current height and weight, L would be the Kate Moss of the baby modeling world.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week is a comin'

I'm so excited! I feel like I often get too bogged down in crazy work schedules to do any of the big DOC events - for whatever reason, the schedule has always overlapped and I end up missing out on things like Diabetes Art Day. But not this time!

This year I'm in, Karen G. If you head on over to BitterSweet Diabetes, you can get more information - Karen has linked to the topics for this week and is setting up a sign-up form.

Looking forward to it, and to reading everyone else's entries!

Friday, May 4, 2012

We love you too, JDRF.

So you don't need to worry - we'll be there on September 30th. No need to send any more save the dates!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oh, my rage. It knows no bounds.

I get a message from B this morning - my endo's office called to say I needed to reschedule my May 23rd appointment. This is upsetting, since I've timed my previous batch of bloodwork to that May 23rd appointment, since I'd made that appointment two months ago, and since B and I have to juggle our oh-so-carefully planned childcare arrangements for such things.

So I called. And was told I'd be given her next available appointment...on July 23rd. I gritted my teeth to keep from completely losing it, and had the following stellar exchange:

me: Wait, what? Two months? I have to wait another two months? How exactly did this happen?

lady: Well, you see the doctor, not her fellow, right?

me: Yes. I see my doctor.

(And I should get an Oscar for acting so calm at THAT question.)

lady: I scheduled you for her fellow. I need to give you an appointment with the doctor.

me: So let me get this straight. I called for an appointment TWO MONTHS AGO for an appointment with my doctor, I was scheduled to see her fellow instead, and now I have to wait TWO MORE MONTHS to see her?

lady: Yes. But I could add you to her waiting list!

me: That sucks.

It's bad enough that we have to wait so long for appointments with specialists. Hell, it's bad enough that we all even NEED specialists. But this? This is a pile of bullcrap. I was being responsible. I was trying to get a firmer grip on the reins, to get everything buttoned up and back on track. And now I'm getting penalized for some stupid mistake by their office staff. It's like the cosmos is trying to flip me the bird.

Plus it's cold and raining out. Screw you, Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012