Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Spot

What is a spot?  Spots can be good things or bad things.  Have you ever had the rare privilege of parking in the first parking spot?  At Christmas?  Right next to a cart return so you can deposit your children in a cart as soon as you get them out?  I have.  I kept checking to see if it was actually a spot reserved for people with handicaps.  Nope.  That was a good spot! 

A toothpaste spot on your blouse moments before you have to leave the house and you don’t have time to change into another outfit is a bad spot.  I have known too many of those spots.  That’s why getting dressed is the last thing I do in the morning.  Although that choice sometimes has me patting myself as if I’m my own security agent, making sure I’m decent and didn’t forget anything. 

My house is full of spots.  Some good.  Some bad.  It’s a perspective issue.  I also know that one day these spots will change and I will miss them. 

The recycle spot is the corner of the kitchen counter by the sink.  That’s where all the items that need to be recycled are stored until one of us actually takes it out to the recycling bin in the garage. 

Very important items that must not be forgotten are placed on the floor about a foot away from the bedroom door.  The hope is we trip over it or step on it in the morning and remember to take care of it.  This is not a fool proof plan.  Many items have sat in the middle of the floor for days while we strategically step around.  These are items that need attention but are not critical.  We smack our foreheads every time we realize we forgot to do something with the non critical item. 

The shoe parking lot is at the foot of the bed.  Hubby parks his shoes short term only.  His work shoes park overnight and walk out the next  morning.  My shoes don’t long term park as much as they simply live at the foot of the bed. 

My shoes could use some lessons from homing pigeons since I never know where they are.  If they aren’t in the shoe parking lot they could be in the shoe basket in the laundry room.  This is a spot dedicated for shoes unlike the shoe parking lot.  If I leave them out downstairs Little Miss wears them and leaves them who knows where.  Usually not together.  Some days I look everywhere for my shoes.  Just when I think I may have to find a different pair or risk making Bug late for school, I find my original choice in my closet where they belong. 

Laundry is another spot.  The kids have laundry baskets in their closets.  The boys do alright using it correctly.  Their socks have a tendency to lie around all over the house.  My pet peeve is the sock spot on the back of the couch. 

Little Miss’s new thing is to push her laundry basket out of her closet so she can stand in her closet with the door shut, then play peek a boo regardless of having an audience.  Once the laundry basket is out she then dumps the contents out so she can put the basket over her head.  It’s a mesh cylinder with a turtle lid that Velcro's on.  When it’s over her head it comes down to almost her knees.  She teeters around and falls a lot. 

We have two collapsible laundry baskets in Hubby’s closet.  One for darks and one for whites.  But I have a lot of shirts I don’t like to put in the dryer so those shirts spend time on the floor of my closet until laundry day.  Many times I forget about them.  Then I have nothing to wear!  I also have a laundry spot by the side of the bed.  When I’m in a hurry or I’m simply lazy, I will change into my pajamas and leave my clothes on the foot of the bed.  Then when I go to bed I’m too tired to put my clothes away so I sweep them onto the floor.  And there they stay until laundry day. 

The remote spot should be on top of the TV.  That’s where the universal remote charger is.  The remote can be found anywhere on the back of the couch.  Sometimes it’s on the counter or the table.  Sometimes we don’t know where it is.  We still haven’t found our last universal remote.  Hubby finally bought another one figuring we would find the missing one once he did.  No such luck.  At least we have a new universal remote.  I hate using five remotes just to watch a movie. 

Like most families, we have assigned spots at the table.  I have to laugh that for years my kids have created snack spots for themselves.  These snack spots are not their typical meal spots.  No, they like to eat their snacks where Mom and Dad eat meals.  Then they almost never finish their snacks so there are crackers and crumbs right where we eat.  Little Miss eats a few things at the table then grabs handfuls of snacks to be enjoyed somewhere else in the house.  Because she’s easily distracted, her snacks sit out wherever she left them.  And she will not eat them later.  The Little Miss can only eat fresh crackers! 

The homework spot is next to the boys’ computer.  One of Bug’s first homework assignments of first grade was to write where he will do his homework and then draw a picture of it.  He wrote something about doing homework on the desk next to the computer “because the table is too messy!” 

Remember when I used to always have a clean house?  Pre Little Miss?  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change like keeping my house spotless. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanks for calling me fat!

Of all my responsibilities as a diabetic, my favorite is to visit my imbecile endocrinologist.

First of all, I have to get a babysitter. I hate asking for help.

Then I have to drive. On the freeway. I hate driving and I have mini panic attacks on the freeway.

I park my behemoth of a van centimeters away from the large vehicles on either side of me. Are we just bad at parking? No, the parking lot is just tiny with tiny spots I think even my husband would have trouble parking his Mini Cooper in. And his car is so cute and little it fits in your pocket!

I walk into the office that is the size of my living room. I’m talking the whole thing, patient rooms included, is roughly the size of my living room. There is a sign on the tall counter stating that HEPA laws require people to have a seat and wait if someone is being helped at the desk. Even if people whisper I know every word they are saying. It’s a miniature waiting room with acoustical hardwood floors. Who are we kidding with the sign?

Nobody is at the counter except me. I check in and sit in one of eight chairs behind the coffee table filled with an assortment of outdated tabloid and medical magazines. Then I wait. And wait. When I’m done waiting, I wait some more. I wait an entire 45 minutes before the nurse calls me back.

She has me drop off my things in a room. Then she makes me stand on the scale so we both have concrete evidence that I am 30 lbs overweight. She never says anything about it. She’s skinny as can be but after all, she is a woman and knows what a sensitive subject weight and BMI’s are. I like the nurse although she talks faster than I do when I’m hyper and my blood sugar is dropping low. It’s hard to keep up with her small talk sometimes.

She takes my pump to download all the data for the doctor. Not that he looks at much more than the data from the continuous glucose monitor sensor and how often I change my infusion set sites. I hate my doctor but I’ll get to that in a minute. I love that every time the nurse gives my pump back she also hands me an alcohol prep to clean the quick release before I reconnect it to the rest of the tubing. I know she is being conscientious of germs and whatever. She is a nurse. It’s her job. But what I see her do with my pump is put it on a shelf next to the CPU and shut the door while she pulls up the Pro Link program. Unless she’s breathing into the quick release, I can’t imagine what germs could have touched it. I can’t really get the alcohol prep in there anyway.

Then I sit in the room rereading every poster I memorized early this year. I wait for another 15 to 20 minutes. That’s right. I have been waiting for over an hour beyond my scheduled appointment time. I’m so glad they can read my mind and know how much I love wasting time, not to mention my friend’s time while she takes care of my kids for me. Remind me to send the office a holiday card thanking them for the exorbitant amount of my time they have wasted this year!

Finally the Wizard of Oz himself opens the door and graces the room with his presence. My mind starts racing. What do I ask for today? A heart? Courage? A brain? I shouldn’t ask for a brain. Since he is in desperate need of one I think it’s safe to assume brains are in short supply.

His face is impossible to read. His tone of voice stays even. He asks how I am doing. I never know if he’s going through the motions of a traditional greeting or if he thinks my response will give him some clue as to what’s going on. I have answered both ways. The one time I told him I was doing crappy he spent the next 8 minutes (since I only get to see him in the flesh for 10 minutes, if even that. Some days it’s only five minutes) telling me that I’m being too hard on myself. It’s too early to tell if I don’t like the CGM (continuous glucose monitor). His whole attitude was that of a kind handyman. We can fix this. Don’t cry!

Today I wasn’t even nervous to see him. I knew what to expect. Increases in my basal rates at the exact times of day I tell him I experience a lot of lows. Why infuse personality in my voice? I know my fate. So I answered as dead pan as he greeted me.

Then the unanswerable questions. Why does it look worse this time? I don’t know, you tell me. We increased all your basal rates last time! I know. This is worse. I know. It’s too early for an A1C . . . you know it will be higher right? I know. Well, your vitamin D levels came back up. (There is a whole pharmacy story about that but I won’t get into it right now.) Good.

At one point I told him some days are better than others and cited an example. On December 3rd my blood sugar was over 200 for 12+ hours before I could get it to come and stay down. I sobbed myself to sleep that night after Hubby gave me a priesthood blessing. Obviously I didn’t tell him that last part! Then I told him that since that day I am low all morning. I eat at least three times before lunch.

He looked at the graph in front of him. The graph that only shows the data from the CGM sensor. Data I think is not a true reflection of reality since I am constantly having to calibrate the sensor when it is so off. Data that never reflects my lows. The sensor can be trending down but I have classic low blood sugar signs, test, and see I’m 33 or something ridiculously low like that. I can’t calibrate when it’s already trending in the right direction. Plus, I can’t calibrate when there are arrows on the screen showing that my blood sugar is dropping quickly. All I can do is wait for it to catch up. He looked at the graph in front of him and said, “I’m not seeing that . . . let’s increase your basal rates starting at midnight.”

He increased everything from midnight to 2 pm. The very time of day that for the last week I have not even bolused for the food I eat. I wake up in the middle of the night with a reading in the 30’s or 40’s. I eat a bowl of cereal. I am low again around 7 am. I have another breakfast. I am low again at 9 or 10 am. I eat another 30 or 40 grams of carbs. I am low again at noon. Too low to even bolus for my lunch. So I have to guess how much I should take for lunch since the bolus wizard on my pump won’t help until my blood sugar comes up. I know if I don’t bolus for lunch I will be crazy high in the afternoon.

Thanks for listening doc! You’re fantastic! I don’t need to sleep. Who needs sleep? I should eat my weight in carbs all night and all morning. Works for me. I don’t have kids or anything else to need to take care of. Bring on the insulin! Hook me up.

He never said anything. He just stood there with his arms folded across his chest. Then he offered to let me try Symlin. I told him I never heard of it. He told me it’s an injectable drug that curbs appetite. It causes me to use less insulin. People lose weight on it and that’s why they like it. Would I like to try this drug that I would inject three times a day? I said, “No, do I really have to do this?” He said, “No, you don’t . . . we could just play around with your pump . . .”

Everything in his manner implied that I was a liar. That I clearly eat too much or I wouldn’t be fat and I lie about all the cheating I do with my diet. I haven’t sworn in so long I can’t even remember all the good words! But my mind is full of the most hateful names to call this imbecile.

Tears started streaming down my face as soon as I walked out into the cold, rainy parking lot. I sobbed the entire way home. Then sobbed some more to my friends when I picked up my kids. The one whose house it was, led all the kids outside to jump on the trampoline while I sobbed shaking sobs in the arms of my other friend, who is a nurse.

I will be finding a new endocrinologist. Maybe the third time will be the charm. Maybe I can find one who won’t say, “At the end of the day I go home and live my life. You are still diabetic. What you decide to do is up to you. It doesn’t affect me.” Yeah. He said that. This one I have now is a word I am not going to use since my mother in law reads my blog.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Awareness

At the risk of offending people I am going to throw in my two cents. After all, I’m not The Piquant Storyteller for nothing!

Recently I saw on the news a story about AIDS Awareness. The supporters were hoping that people would put their money towards finding a cure.

I had a mixed reaction. Yes, it is sad that there are people in the world whose lives are affected by AIDS. Many of those people contracted the disease through absolutely no fault of their own. I am aware of that. At the same time I can’t help but feel strong emotion over pleas for a cure FOR A DISEASE WE KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO AVOID GETTING!!!!

What about diabetes? There is no cure. I think it’s great that people try to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes by saying it affects children. Well yes it does but it also doesn’t go away when those children grow up.

I have lived with this disease for 22 years. I don’t often break down and have a good cry over my lot in life with this disease. Every once in a while it gets to me. Obviously I have good and bad days but the exceptionally over the top bad days take a toll on my mental well being. I give myself permission to cry. I think of people who get cancer and how nobody judges them for having less than heroic moments where they cry.

Cancer is another disease I would like to see a cure for. I know so many people who have had to fight the cancer battle. Unfortunately some have lost. The more we know the better the odds are for people who have to deal with it. Hubby’s grandma is a breast cancer survivor. She sent me a link to this video.

I made Christmas cookies with my kids. We had the CD changer on random and one CD had a couple tracks played. It was Troy Dunn’s Life is a Football Game talk to youth. I love that talk because it is so inspirational. He compares our bodies to a football uniform. He says that when Heavenly Father told us we could have football uniforms (physical bodies) and play in the game (come to Earth and live life) we agreed to less than perfect uniforms. I believe that is true. Some people’s bodies work even less than mine.

I need to remember that more often. We knew life would be difficult and we agreed to do it anyway. In fact, we eagerly agreed.

For anyone who feels trapped in a broken body or knows someone trapped in a broken mind or body, there is hope. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered every pain known to man. He is there to lift us up when we are weak. He won’t take our burdens away any more than we can take away our children’s burdens but He can comfort us. He knows what we are going through because He’s been there and then some.

I think what we are required to do as human beings is look out for each other, be aware of our differences, and help each other find a way to live as happily as possible in our broken bodies. One day our resurrected bodies will be perfect. How wild will that be! I can’t wait!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Evils of Modern Literature

I cannot stop rolling my eyes. I was looking through a book order online. Too much political indoctrination!

Too many books with a description along the lines of some talking animal who doesn’t want to look like the other animals in its species. The book is the story of the animal’s quest to be different. Oh please! Really?

There was a book that claimed a lighthearted and humorous story about a serious problem – snoring and sleep apnea. Ok, I’m not saying that those sleeping disorders are not serious but come on! Kids need a stinking book to teach them of such a “serious issue” in a humorous manner? I could see kids completely missing the point and only getting that Dad’s loud snoring is funny.

How to make friends, the talking animal that is always in trouble, and don’t get me started on all the Phonics packages that come with WORKBOOKS!!! Whatever happened to the classic stories? Why does everything have to overtly teach and preach until we gag?

One of my favorite movies is Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler and Courtney Cox. Courtney Cox is so extreme in the way she is raising her children. Her kids’ books were about talking animals getting bike helmets and other political garbage not necessary in children’s literature. I love that Adam Sandler starts telling stories and the kids learn to use their imaginations instead of having social rules crammed down their throats.

I believe that kids will develop a love of reading if the story is interesting and creative. When you make a child read about some talking animal depressed by social problems and then make them answer questions about it in a workbook, you are slaying the magic of literature!

In the last book order I bought “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” I thought we may see the movie until I heard it was pretty lame. But the book is great. It’s funny, creative, and interesting to children. My kids’ eyes were wide as their little minds were churning and imagining a make believe land where food fell out of the sky. I could be wrong but I don’t think there was any hidden agenda in that story convincing the masses of the communistic nature of grocery stores. It was just a story!

I think if people want to reproduce they need to be a parent to their offspring. Too many parents want it all. They want the spouse, children, successful career, vacations around the world, and the white picket fence in front of the house they pay the nanny and housekeeper to live in. Not to mention time for themselves. They expect the schools to teach values and morals. They expect their places of worship to be the sole provider of faith and spirituality. These misguided parents can’t even take the time to see a movie with their child or crack a book without expecting it to teach some “moral” lesson. They believe that it takes a village to raise a child. It doesn’t. It takes parents.

Have you sat down and had a real conversation with your child today?