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December 11, 2011

Trimming the Tree.

"Where's your Elmo, Birdy?"

She grabs my hand and pulls me over to the Christmas tree, where's she's been busy trimming.

Elmo is Father Christmas in this house.  Instead of "Ho, ho, ho!" he says, "Hee hee hee!"

"Nice."

She nods happily.  "Nice, Mama."

November 27, 2011

Fail Pancreas.

Every time I see the Twitter fail whale, I think of this:

The pancreas looks like a corn dog.  Or a twisted Louisville slugger.  Or a weiner.  Yup.

(Bigger version on Flickr)

It makes sense if you have diabetes.  ;)

October 16, 2011

Snapshots: Pump'kin.

No, I didn't waste an infusion set, silly.  I ripped this one out of myself and then stuck it into a pumpkin.  Sanitary!!

What do you mean, you don't know which one is mine?

April 12, 2011

An Annoyingly Addictive Game.

I usually avoid video games because they suck me in and I get addicted.  (See also:  King's Quest games from back in the day.  But don't see also: Angry Birds because my mother is so actively addicted to that game that I want her to dress up as an Angry Bird for Halloween ... or maybe just for breakfast.)

Knowing my propensity for playing, I was reluctant to click on the link Abby posted on my Facebook wall with the root URL of "addicting games."  "I do not need this," I thought, and then proceeded to attempt to beat the first thirteen levels.  Because I am a mega nerd.

But it involves sugar!  Sugar, Sugar, to be exact.

I made it to level 13.  Color me a sugar-free toolshed!

Abby justified it for me:  "It's like the lines are insulin, and they guide [the sugar] into the cups, which are our cells." 

"This is for work," I mumbled to myself as I fiddled with the game.  "Work, I tell you!"

Don't blame me if you find yourself trying to beat at least a level or two.  And if you end up wasting more than an hour, blame Abby.  (And if you can beat level 14, let me know how you did it!  I mean, good for you!)

March 01, 2011

Ways Life is Trying to Eff with Diabetes Control.

I sort of love that the dryer sounds like an ice cream van a-comin'.  But it does cause a helluva craving.Life is trying to further eff with my diabetes control.  (Or is diabetes trying to eff with life?  Is a zebra white with black stripes, or a horse with black and white stripes?)  I'm making efforts to get it together, but odd little things keep leaping in the way.   Oh efforts to thwart: let me count the ways!!

  • Recently, the jar of glucose tabs in my car was empty, so I was forced to stop at random store and buy a regular Mountain Dew from the vending machine.  But I had to open it and let it settle a little first before I could chug it, because draining a can of fizzy sugar would make me instantly ralph.
  • It snowed and/or was freezing on the days I went to the gym.  But on the days I didn't go?  Sunshine and warm weather.  Stupid weather wants me to be fat.
  • I lost my Dexcom receiver for about five hours, until I heard its muffled scream from between the couch cushions. 
  • The sound of the dryer finishing a load sounds like the happy tinkling of the chimes on an ice cream van.  Which spawns this borderline insatiable craving for ice cream.
  • During my meetings last week with PWoutD (people withOUT diabetes), my blood sugar cruised inexplicably into the stratosphere, forcing me to rage bolus in order to be able to eat more than the plate garnish during lunch.
  • But of course, I crashed hard and instead of enjoying the fact that the luncheon staff supplemented the decadent dessert with a lush bowl of fresh raspberries, I had to wolf it up and then ask for a glass of juice to chase it down.
  • At this same event, during the evening dinner, the group walked over to the restaurant later than I had anticipated, so I was already low by the time we were being seated, forcing me to beeline straight to the bar and ask for an orange juice ("without alcohol, please"), making me appear to be belly-up to said bar way too eagerly.  
  • Walking back from the bathroom to my seat on the train last week, my pump tubing got tangled.  On someone else.  And it took a full 30 seconds to awkwardly disconnect myself from the old woman's handbag.
  • (I also tried to get into an uncover cop car instead of the car that was sent to pick me up at Penn Station.  "Oh, are you here for Sparling?"  "No.  And you don't want me to be."  Realized there were lights mounted on the dashboard.  "I'm .. I'm ... you aren't a car, you are a policeman.  I'm sorry."  Excellently awkward.)
  • And lastly, BSparl tried to gnaw on my pump tubing, so I moved my pump to the other side of my body.  And didn't see Siah come up and grab my tubing.  Cat tried to drag me under the couch.  Like a demon.
Life, stop trying to mess with my diabetes control.  Back off.  Or if you're really dedicated to screwing with me, at least bring soft serve.

February 22, 2011

Diabetes Terms of Endearment: Third Edition.

Diabetes Terms of Endearment:  Third EditionPeople living with and caring for diabetes have their own special language; it's a language that includes terms like "no-hitter" and "tsunami" that people without diabetes wouldn't understand, but those with it nod their heads and say "Yup.  Same here."  This dictionary is compiled from input from the fabulous diabetes community and is definitely a collaborative effort. 

Bring on the dTOES (Diabetes Terms of Endearment): Third Edition!!

*   *   *

A1C twins
Two PWDs having the same A1C within the same week of endo appts

"Are You Unplugged?"
How to intimately ask if your partner has unhooked his/her pump site.  A way of subtly asking if it's sexy time.

Baby Bear number
When your number is in target, or juuuuuust right
ex. “It's almost time for lunch, go ahead and do a stick. What'd you get? Hey, great, you're Baby Bear!”

Basaling

The act or process of working out kinks in the basal rates 
ex.  “I was up half the night basaling.” or “We're skipping breakfast today because we're basaling.”

Bat Belt
The belt of a PWD (person with diabetes) who has all their diabetic accoutrements worn about their waist.  May include insulin pump, Dexcom receiver, and that grappling hook thing Batman uses to climb over buildings.


Beeg
The oral version of the abbreviation "BG" (for "blood glucose")  
ex.  “I’m checking my beeg!”

Bionic parts
A method of referring to diabetes technology instruments.  These items are often found on the aforementioned "Bat Belt."

Bolus-worthy
Food that is enticing enough that we'd take a ton insulin for it, despite any blood sugar results
ex. “That chocolate-covered cupcake looks bolus-worthy

BS-brain
aka "Blood sugar brain," the fog, agitation that seems to last all day and affects everything after a bad low or high blood sugar

Buddy Batteries

AAA Energizer pump batteries solely reserved for use in diabetes devices.  A lack of Buddy Batteries may result in an incident of D-Postal.

Case of the Ms
When your continuous glucose monitor graph looks like giant M's.  (Editor's note:  M's or W's.)

Case of the Shakies
A low blood sugar episode that causes shakiness


CDD
aka "Crappy Diabetes Day", when your blood sugar goes from 43 mg/dl in the morning, to 37 mg/dl an hour later, to 243 mg/dl at noon, to 321 mg/dl at 3 pm, back to 54 mg/dl at dinner, plus you might have an occlusion as well just to top things off.  See also: Gluco-coaster

Chaser
The bolus given when a PWD consumes a copious amount of food to treat a low blood sugar

Checka
A cuter way to reference a blood sugar check.  
ex.  “Time to checka your blood, mommy?”

Cluster-Beep
When you have to pull every single device out, from cell phone to CGMs, to figure out which one is beeping, buzzing, or just being a general pain in the arse. (It also applies to having to pull the same device out twice in 30 seconds)

D'Ambien experience
One of those middle of the night lows where you can't remember what you ate or drank, or how much, as well as any conversations you had. Quite similar to someone's night who takes Ambien.

D-Dumb
Term applied to people who just don’t "get" diabetes

D-Mom/D-Mama
The mother of a kid with diabetes, taking the disease on as their own.  See also:  Surrogate Pancreas

D-Postal

The act of lashing out as a result of societal misunderstandings of diabetes.  
ex. "You can’t possibly understand how hard it is living with diabetes, so I’d advise you to step down before I start beating you with my pump and a fist full of glucose tabs."

Diabadass
A PWD who does something awesome that non-badasses think diabetes should stop them from doing (e.g. having babies, biking across the country, playing in the NFL). See also: most members of the DOC

Diabetonese

The language of managing this madness! See also: all three editions of Diabetes Terms of Endearment

Diabuddy

A real life friend who also happens to have diabetes, too

Dia-
(can be an adjective, noun or verb) A prefix applied to any word when diabetes impacts said word.  Examples include "diafail," "diawin," and "diabadass."  Often found as Twitter hashtags and in the Clara Barton Camp dining hall conversations.
ex.  "I can't believe I forgot to bolus for the seven pancakes I ate for breakfast ... diafail!"

Diasecret
Those diabetes-related secrets that you have never told anyone

Diaversary
The anniversary of your diagnoses date, (aka the time you stick it to diabetes no matter what the blood glucose number is.  ex “We're having cake for dessert to celebrate your diaversary. You're 250? Then we'll just have to bolus extra.")

Disco Boobs
When a pump is hidden between a PWDs breasts, that moment of when it lights up and starts beeping, giving the chest area a look not unlike a disco ball.  See also: Iron Man

DOS Bag
aka "The D-Oh-Sh*t bag," the bag where a PWD carries around all of their emergency supplies (it goes everywhere) - extra infusion sets, insulin, extra strips, back up meter, juice, tabs, Glucagon, etc

Double Downing
When your continues glucose monitor graph has two down arrows, telling you you’re dropping fast

Double Rainbow Day
Means a line on the continuous glucose monitor that is inexplicably good and deserves ecstatic celebration.  See also:  What does it MEAN?

DSMA
aka #dsma aka Diabetes Social Media Advocacy.  Refers to a Twitter chat that takes place every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET, where members of the diabetes online community talk about diabetes lifestyle issues

E.T.

When your pump is still lit up inside your shirt

Exercise
Any form of physical activity, which most often effects blood sugar levels directly.  Such activities that may affect blood sugars include running, tennis, shopping, sexy moments, parking your car, lifting a pencil, and sometimes just the mere thought of exercise.

Flatlining
When your blood sugar is holding steady as seen on a continuous glucose monitor graph (see also: no-hitter)

Frankenbutt
When an old pump site is on the left side of your backside and you place the new one on the right, leaving the bum looking like Frankenstein’s neck with the bolts sticking out

Free Shower Day
Taking a shower on the day that your infusion set and/or CGM sensor are being swapped out, leaving your skin site-free

Glucocoaster
A crazy CGM graph.  Antonym:  no-hitter

Glucover
Diabetic version of a hangover. Is the after-affect of a bad late night low. Most often includes headaches and a bad taste of old orange juice and decaying glucose in your mouth. Cracker and candy wrappers and empty containers of food are often found lying around the person who is having the glucover. Most remedies include: brushing of the teeth, heavy applications of makeup to remove bags under eyes, Tylenol, and healthy binge eating.

Hard Low
There is a low and then there is a HARD LOW.  Most often coupled with standing with the refrigerator door open, eating the majority of a pound cake, and washing it down with half a bottle of grape juice.  Often followed by a Chaser

Hooked
When going about normal, everyday life and an inanimate object jumps out and grabs at an infusion set tubing, resulting in pain and/or cursing and/or the pulling out of said infusion set

H.A.B.
Huge Ass Bolus, usually taken in conjunction with huge ass meal

Insulin-Mama
The name my family calls me since my daughter regularly follows me through the house carrying crackers in her hand, saying "Insulin, Mama!"

Juicer
Another term for "insulin pump"

Lazy River Ride
An in-target CGM graph.  See also: flat-liner and no-hitter

Leaning
The act of standing quietly while low trying to hide a low blood sugar "lean" and someone notices you slightly tipping over

Liver Dump
When your blood glucose rebounds after a hard low (usually one in the 40s or below)
ex. "Hey, Mr. Liver ... thanks for the help, but it is a little too much and a little too late."

Make a Ladybug
To form that giant drop of blood that the old glucose meters used to require

Morning Boost
Refers to drinking coffee and the subsequent blood glucose spike the caffeine offers up

Mother-Birding
When a D'Rent feeds their young child glucose tabs or a sugar source

No-Hitter
A time period in which a diabetic does not hit their high or low threshold on their CGM. For a Dexcom user, they must be without any alarms during the entire day, and the day must be at least 24 hours. A diabetic who prevents their blood sugars from reaching a threshold is said to have "bolused a no-hitter."

No-No Cupboard
Where you (or your mom) keeps all your diabetes snacks that are off limits to others

Number
The glucose reading on the meter.  "Number" no longer refers to a phone number, jersey number, or the number you’re holding in line at the deli counter

On the Rise

When you're blood sugar has been low for so long, and then FINALLY shows signs of coming back up ex. "72. Thank goodness! I'm on the rise!"

Poker
Lancing device, also known as a "pokey"

Pump Envy

The feeling of T2/1'ers who are taking insulin injections 4+ times per day but do not qualify to receive a pump due to insurance issues or having a MiniMed or Animas or whatever-brand but coveting another brand or newer model

Pump-It-Up

What to do when you see a dessert that you just can’t resist (while simultaneously doing the raise-the-roof gesture)

SDD
aka "Shitty Diabetes Day."  May include any of and more than the following: feeling terrible due to blood sugar fluctuations, running out of low blood sugar treatment methods, needing to skip exercise due to blood sugar issues, and any and al instances that lend towards a "Diabetes: 1; Me: 0" day.

Sleep Treating
The act of bolusing, changing basal rates, or silencing ones CGM in the middle of the night without actually waking up to do so…(makes for interesting mornings…)

Stick
When ‘blood sugar test’ gets to be a mouthful

Sugar Baby
A name to call someone with diabetes, such as your daughter

Sugar Bloods
A more fun way to say blood sugar (especially with a southern accent)

Sugar Buddies
When you and another both have diabetes.  See also:  Diabuddies

Sugar Hang
The horrible headache that comes after a bad low or high

Sugar-Soil
When you get sugar on your fingers after treating a low which results in a falsely high re-check

Tsunami

A result of over treating a serious low blood sugar
ex. "Blood sugar at 38 mg/dl, can't hardly walk, grab the quart of OJ, not following the 15 rule. Result: two hours later a Tsunami blood sugar of 300 mg/dl.

Venom

What spews from our mouth when our blood sugar is off the charts high and we are less than sweet

"What’s off Limits?"
How to intimately ask where your partner’s pump site/continuous glucose monitor are located on the body
 
Winter Muted
When a pump or continuous glucose monitor is concealed under so many layers of clothes, its beeps are inaudible

Woodchuck
Safe word for “check your sugar” if you’re acting bitchy during a low blood sugar moment
(Editor's note:  Sounds like it could be "Wood-ya-chuck your blood sugar?"  PUNS!)

*   *   *

The first edition of dTOEs can be found on the old SUM blog, and the second edition can be found here. A compilation eBook will be available soon, with all three editions (and some bonus new terms) included!  Should be up in a few days.  Thanks to everyone for their input, and for Abby's help in compiling this edition.  :)

February 09, 2011

A CGM Visual.

When I look at the graph on my Dexcom, I like to see a nice, flat line.  You know, like a bread stick (that would be flat if I had rotated it a bit in Photoshop but I forgot and now it looks a little like it's a rising blood sugar holy run on sentence AGAIN #Bes).  Imagine it flat:

A breadstick.  Not to be confused with "Breadsticks," which is from Glee.  And Glee is awesome.

But some days, my Dexcom graph looks a little less friendly, and more like a big ol' mess.  Like a rollercoaster:

I can't even look at roller coasters without thinking "Oh!  Diabetes!"

Or the top of the Arby's hat (that's on days when my blood sugars really kick my ass):
Arby's burgers gross me out.

Or that picture from The Little Prince where a snake devours an elephant and it looks like a hat:
One of my favorite books.  Kid had his own planet!

And there are some days when the stupid thing looks exactly like a giant letter M, having tea with a giant letter W:

Oh cut me some slack.  I suck at Photoshop.  But that M and that W do look delightfully happy, no?

I aim for no-hitters as often as I can, but it seems like tea parties are all the rage these days.  I need more breadsticks.  

(And now I'm seeing CGM graphs everywhere I look, and it's freaking me out.)

December 20, 2010

What NOT to Say to the Parent of a Kid with Diabetes.

I didn't make this video, but the fact that it quotes questions I've heard people ask the parents of children with diabetes time and time again makes me smirk.  This video is anonymous - I don't have a clue as to who crafted it up.  It's a little bit sassy.  And my goodness did I laugh when I first watched it.  The second time I watched it, I paused it to write down my favorite line.

"There are only two things my daughter cannot eat:  poison, and cookies ... made with poison."

(Note:  If someone can hook me up with this moss that supposedly cures all things that ail ya, let me know.  I'd love some in time for the holidays.)

Found out where this video was born - on Joanne's Death of a Pancreas site. Thanks for the laughs, Joanne!

November 17, 2010

Marcel the Diabetic Shell.

Clara Barton Camp is awesome - this is an indisputable fact.  I talk about CBC all the time when I'm at conferences, because there is something so unique and incredibly supportive about knowing that your fellow campers are also insulin-dependent and aren't afraid to show it.

Part of what makes CBC so cool is that it makes you feel like having diabetes is ... sort of cool.  Almost everyone at camp has it, so if your pancreas happens to work, it makes you the odd one out instead of part of the WYOI (wear your own insulin) crowd.  What's more empowering than taking an isolating chronic illness and making it the common - and intrinsically cool - thread? 

Which is why this video - a diabetes take on the Marcel the Shell with Shoes On - is so brilliant.  It takes the Marcel the Shell concept and turns it on its diabetes head.  And if you're "in the know" with diabetes, it will make you laugh.  If you listen closely, you'll hear some of my favorite diabetes lines of all time.  (Including, but not limited to:  "One time I licked a glucose tab and went into DKA.")

It takes some serious (cotton?) balls to make this video.  I love it.  This video was created, voiced, and edited by the talented CBC team of Abby Bayer (who guest posted here), Savannah Johnson (her post is here), Allie D, and Alissa Carberry (I think it's time for Alissa and Allie to post, since I have nothing to link to for them).  

What else can I say, other than this video had me in tears from laughing last night.  Clara would be proud!  

September 02, 2010

Diabetes and Moving: Fun.

Every time I look at this bit of clip art, I picture the cats driving it.You know you're a diabetic moving into a new place when:

  • You pack extra glucose meter test strips, baby diapers, and toilet paper into the same box because you know you will need both on the first day.
  • You're watching at the window for the cable guy so you can get yourself back online and immersed in the diabetes blogosphere.
  • You don't care that there's an ice maker in the new fridge, but more than there's a handy compartment that's PERFECT for insulin storage.
  • There's a whole box labeled "Diabetes Supplies."
  • You're grateful that the hardwoods are being installed because it will be easier to find rogue test strips.
  • The washer dryer combo looks like a spaceship command unit and you have no idea how to work it.  (Wait, that's just me?  Domestic goddess I am not.)
  • Even though the fridge is almost entirely empty, there's still a bottle of grape juice at the ready.  (And a pitcher of iced coffee.  Priorities!!)
  • You buy a smaller garbage can for the kitchen to leave room under the sink for a massive, red sharps container.
  • There's a space in the walk-in closet that's dedicated solely to stacking insets, insulin reservoirs, and test strip bottles.  Not to mention lancets, which I've had the same seven boxes for the last four years and I never manage to use them up.  (Something tells me I should change my lancet today.) 
  • And: You test the wall outlets by plugging the Dexcom receiver in to charge.
Diabetes plus moving totally equals fun.  :p

August 23, 2010

Things I Wish I Made.

Sometimes, I watch an online video that makes me so happy I wish it was something I created.  This - Marcel the Shell with Shoes On - is one of those videos.

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

(Favorite line:  "Toenails from a man.")

August 03, 2010

You Are What You Eat.

I have the attention span of a ... of a ... hey, something shiny!Bullet points are fun, especially when you have the attention span of a goldfish.
  • I really want one of these, but I'm afraid to ride it in public.
  • I haven't figured out why Siah is stalking the twisty tie from the loaf of bread, but she's having a righteous time trying to show it who's boss.  
  • If you are what you eat, then I am only a cup of coffee until about noon, when I become a rushed Yogurt.
  • From about the hours of 7 am to 5 pm, I am a feeding/diaper changing/singing songs about how fun it is to be your mommy/burping (her, not me) machine.  This routine is making the walls of my house close in around me and I'm beginning to wonder if this is some kind of Indiana Jones-themed Candid Camera.
  • This is a fun link that feeds a steady stream of marketing muckity muck about the power of social media.  Beware of the "fern word" that's nestled neatly into the URL.  I've been populating it with mental thoughts of my own while I'm trying to fall asleep at night.
  • If I'm supposed to make hay while the sun shines, does that mean I am not encouraged to fight at night?
  • I know BlogHer is taking place this weekend in NYC, and I wish I was able to attend this year (especially since it wouldn't require a flight and because I had such a great time last year).  But Chris and I have such random, unreschedulable plans for this weekend that I am happily planning for next year's BlogHer event instead.  But I am sad to be missing the conference.  A bunch of bloggers hanging out in one place is a sight to see, indeed. 
  • The newest diaTribe is out, including a shiny new SUM Musings article.  This may be the only bullet point that contains useful information.
  • Oh wait, this is useful, too.
  • The images on this link made me uncomfortable and unable to look my Nintendo in the eye.  And this one is completely and utterly random.  
  • I can't imagine how many brain cells I still have left, but I think the last few firing synapses are evacuating the premises as I type this.  
  • Time to log off and get out of this house.  I'm attempting my first visit to the beach this summer - here's hoping no one notices that I'm one pasty Irish-lookin' lady.
  • And if the early bird gets the worm, I'd rather be the late bird.  I heard the late bird gets a plate of pancakes and a saki bomb.

Glub, glub.

July 26, 2010

Your Mom is Low.

Terrible habit, sarcasm.  Especially the "your mom" retort.  Like when my college roommates are out at the bar and someone asks for another beer.  Instantly, "Your mom wants another beer."  Immature retort?  Indeed.  But almost reflexive at this point?  Unfortunately, indeed again. 

(This intro has a point - bear with me.)

This morning, I woke up with my first bad low in a while.  For the last month or so, I haven't seen lows worse than 55 mg/dl, and my sensitivity to the symptoms seems to have increased a bit.  But while the lows of the last few weeks have felt mild, this morning's 49 mg/dl raked me over a little bit.

I woke up feeling groggy and warm, despite the air conditioning and the fact that I'd slept about seven hours straight.  (Yay for Sleeping-Through-the-Night-in-her-New-Crib BSparl!) The corners of my mouth were numb and I felt like my whole brain was encased in cotton balls.  I reached for the black meter case and brought it close to me in bed.  Fully intended to test.  But instead fell back asleep for a few minutes, with my meter snuggled against me.

Once I did wake back up, it had been another eight minutes.  And my symptoms were progressing, giving rise to shaking hands in addition to the cotton ball veil.  But it's strange, where my brain goes when I'm low.  I had a juice box right on the bedside table.  I knew I was low and didn't need to test to confirm, but I was on some kind of OCD autopilot.  I had to test.  Instead of grabbing the juice from beside me, I instead grabbed my meter from the bed, walked out into the kitchen, and set up the machine on the counter top. 

Sorry for the old photo.  (Your mom is an ... old photo?)

BEEP!

Shunk.

49 mg/dl.

"Okay,"  I said out loud, and took some glucose tabs from the cupboard.  (Chompy, chompy ... always a weird effort to get those things chewed up when I'm that low.) 

And then I heard BSparl stirring in the next room.   Not crying, but just stretching her little BSparly legs and easing into the morning routine.  I went in to stand at the side of her crib while I waited for my blood sugar to rise. 

"Hey sweetie girl.  Good morning!"

She kicked her legs and grinned at me.

"Hi!  Hang on just a few minutes, okay?  I'm having a low blood sugar and I need to wait before I get you up.  Just another minute or so.  I'm low.  Your mom is low."

And I thought of my roommates tossing the "your mom" retorts around with reckless abandon. I stood there giggling like a fool for at least a minute, the smile of irony on my face causing my daughter to bust out with an even bigger smile. 

"That's right, baby girl.  Your mom is low."  

Finally - FINALLY - the "your mom" actually makes sense.  (And with that, I've come full circle.)

June 29, 2010

Unicorns for Breakfast.

The other day, Chris and I were discussing the origins of the word "lunch."  (This spawned from a conversation about the literal nature of the word "breakfast" - breaking the fast.  We are word nerds.  And very boring to go for long car rides with.)  Our guesses were denied and confirmed by a quick Google search from my KerriBerry.

But a Yahoo! answers thing came up as part of the Google search, so I clicked through out of pure curiosity.  Because when the question is "Can I have a unicorn for breakfast?", one must find out the answer.  And when I saw it, I couldn't stop laughing.  Seriously.  I couldn't even read it out loud to Chris without cracking up at the last part and causing him to lean over as he was driving and say, "What?  What's that last part?"

Unicorn tree - just reading that makes me laugh.

Call me immature (I double-dog-dare you) or call me goofy, but the mental image of a unicorn tree made my day.  The sun rises and this young Yahoo! answerer stumbles out into their front yard and plucks a bright, glittery unicorn from the tree for their healthy breakfast before the Sweet Pickles bus comes to take them to school.

Unicorns for breakfast.  

This is what happens when sleep is replaced by coffee.

June 24, 2010

You Don't Belong There.

BSparl loves to sleep ... but on her own damn schedule, thank you very much.  She doesn't like naps between 9 am and 3 pm, she wakes up in the middle of the night whenever she deems fit, and she has no use for the bassinet that my very generous best friend loaned to us.  So we moved the bassinet into the living room and I have these lofty plans of getting it back to the NBF sometime before we leave for Florida.

Unfortunately, someone else had plans for this discarded napper:


Me:  "Siah, you are not a baby."
Cat:  "Meow, meow ...  I mean wah wah, hold me.  Also, I chewed on a pacifier and claimed that sucka, too."
Me:  "Good pun, but seriously, get out of the bassinet."

I can't stand this cat.

June 21, 2010

Domino, Yo.

It's Domino, yo."Do you guys have Splenda or Equal or anything?"

The waitress leaned in to hear Chris asking over the din of the restaurant.  "What?"

We were at a hibachi restaurant with NBF and her husband (the birthday boy last week - Happy belated birthday, Hubby O' NBF!), celebrating.  The place was dark, the music was pulsing, and the waitress was from another planet, I think.

"Splenda?  Or Equal?  Or something?  Do you guys have any of that?"  He gestured towards his tea.

The waitress nodded her head.  "Yeah, we have Sweet n' Low and Domino."

All four of us stopped and turned slowly towards her (Like in that StrongBad email when he's at the movies and slowly turns towards the popcorn-eating Cheat.  Click the link - it will make more sense.  And it's SFW.)  Chris shook his head.  

"Domino?  What is that?  Is that like a generic Splenda or something?"

"Domino?  It's sugar.  White sugar?"  The waitress twirled her pen between her fingers as she waited for Chris to decide.

"Oh.  Okay, I'll have two Sweet n' Low, please."  

She walked away, and the four of us held a quick conference.

"Did she seriously just call sugar 'Domino?' What is Domino?"  I asked, confused.

"I think it's that brand of sugar.  Domino?"  NBF said, furrowing her brow.

A smile tugged at the corner of Chris's mouth.  "I would have known what she meant if she had just said 'sugar.'  Either way, I'm safe.  I asked for Sweet n' Low."

I couldn't stop giggling.  Domino?  I have never, ever heard someone call it that before.  Who calls table sugar by its brand name?  ("Oh this?  This here is Stop & Shop brand table sugar.  Want some?")  And it wasn't so much that she called it by its brand name, but more that she said it all tough, like Domino was the street name for some sinister version of sugar.

By the time the waitress came back, we were are laughing too hard to order.  So she just plunked down the two packets Chris had asked for on the table.  

Of course, she didn't bring the pink packets.  

She brought the Domino, yo.

June 16, 2010

What Was I Going to Say?

Plunk my head on this and we're all set.  Oh, and please give me feet, as well.Instead of a high-powered rifle that shoots out these bullet points, I'm working more with a potato gun.  Or a straw and a few spitballs.  Here's the rundown:

  • I can't remember a freaking thing these days.  So far, since Monday, I've forgotten to call in for a conference call, I missed a doctor's appointment, and I actually forgot how to spell the word "forgotten."  Which is ironic on two levels - one because it's the word I misspelled in sixth grade to lose a spelling bee, and two because it's the word "forgotten." 
  • And this forgetfulness has lead to some disastrous health consequences, like last night when I forgot to "confirm" my dinner bolus and ended up eating a higher carb dinner.  Which gave me a really crummy reading of "Oh, HI!" on my meter (meaning I was over 600 mg/dl), which made me cry because I felt like such a failure, which was both true and frustrating because being that high absolutely blows.  It also took me four hours to come back into range. 
  • Highs like these (okay, not that high, but like in the 300 range) have been plaguing me, which is depressing.  Not helping the postpartum feelings I've been playing host to.  It's time for me to email Gary Schiener and take him up on his offer of help.
  • On paper, it seems like I'm falling apart, health-wise, but thankfully that's not the case.  I just need some serious re-tooling. 
  • I am starting to lose it a little bit, mentally, I think.  Mommyhood has me by the nose.  I'm swaying back and forth in the grocery store even when I'm not holding the baby, and I'm finding myself singing songs to BSparl that don't make any sense, mostly about food or the way she smells.
  • Case in point (sung in a tuneless sort of way):  "Baby girl, you smell like pickles.  That's not true.  You smell like Aveeno baby shampoo and I want to kiss your ears.  You are my banana friend.  Hey, why don't we get some coffee?" 
  • If I had a tiny triangle, I would gently hit it with a fork at the end of that song.  * Ting *
  • Aren't there reality shows on TLC that can help me make sense of my life?  "How Not To Act" or "Life Boss" or "Ace of Scheduling?"  "Say Yes to the Nap?" 
  • I tried on a few bathing suits before Chris and I went to Block Island last weekend.  I've never laughed so hard in my life.  Once I wiped away the tears from laughing, I bought a one-piece that looks decent and makes my stomach feel less like it's smuggling potatoes.  I have no plans to wear it outside of the safety of my closet, but it does fit.  That's a plus?
  • Yesterday, BSparl blew through so many receiving blankets (known in the Sparling household as "the burp cloths" or "spit up thingies") that a whole load of laundry was born.
  • Birds are spying on me as I type this. It's disconcerting.
  • I found a site last night on the Cheeseburger network that made me laugh really hard.  But it's not safe for work.  And it's not safe for humanity.  But while I was waiting for my blood sugar to come down so I could finally use the breast pump and then go to freaking bed, I looked through the site.  And laughed.  Despite being a mom, I haven't matured much.  (Link to site is here.  Click at your own risk, amigos.)
  • And now I must find a way to feed and bathe myself, the kidlet, throw a bag together with all of our collective "must haves" (diapers, wipes, Baby Bjorn, meter, glucose tabs, a bottle, that changing pad thing, license, keys, and some kind of monetary unit with which to buy an iced coffee OMG), and then scuttle off to look at a few houses for sale. 
  • (By the way, I'm going to look at these houses today because we forgot to go the other day.  See the first potato gun bullet point for that explanation.)
That's all I've got. 

June 02, 2010

Is the Low THAT Bad?

You know why this chicken looks so disturbed?

This chicken is clucked up, yo.

Because he knows that there isn't EVER a low blood sugar that warrants eating candy from his butt.

No WAY would I treat a low with these butt candies!  (Go ahead, Google.  Do your worst.) 

Oh chicken with the awkwardly placed treats, I love that you exist.

(No, I haven't slept in days.  What makes you ask that?)

April 06, 2010

Burnt Out - Needed a Meme.

Memes - they sort of rule.I have a post I want to write, but today is shaping up to be too doctor visit heavy for me to put my thoughts together.  And what's the cure for rattled thoughts on a blog?  Oh hell yes, a meme.  I lifted this from Karen, who offered up her archive of memes for my perusal. 

"Can you fill this out without lying? You've been tagged, so now you need to answer all the questions HONESTLY."  (For the record, I don't like when memes threaten me.  Of course I can fill this out honestly.  And without the use of ALL CAPS.)

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Cottage cheese.  Hospital cottage cheese.  Yeah, that sounds delicious, doesn't it?

2. Where was your profile picture taken?
With the iMac at my old job.

3. Can you play Guitar Hero?  Yes.  I suck at it, I get all nervous when I play because I just want to rock out, but I still play because I have no shame.

4. Name someone who made you laugh today?  Today, not too many.  But last night, my best friend had me in tears, I was laughing so hard at the story she was telling.

5. How late did you stay up last night and why? I stayed up until about 1:30 am, finally getting some work done now that the swelling in my hands has been alleviated a smidge.

6. If you could move somewhere else, would you?  This is the question of the moment.  I love Boston.  I love Rhode Island.  I'm curious about California.  But we're starting to look at buying a house, so this question is beyond relevant.

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?  Yes. 

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you on your FaceBook list?
  Hmmm ... I think the Batman lives closest to my current home, but I'm not sure. 

9. Do you believe exes can be friends? 
I've had some wonderful past relationships with very nice guys, and some I am friends with.  But there are a few from the past who should just remain there.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper?  He's about the only doctor not pissing me off these days. 

11. When was the last time you cried really hard?  Saturday.  I was lonely here.  The hospital blows.  And I'm wicked pregnant, so emotions are all over the map.

12. Who took your profile picture?  I guess I did.  But technically, the computer did. 

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?
  Not positive, actually.  I think the last person I snapped a photo of was my best friend's baby girl.  She's a lovely, photogenic kid.  It was either her or Chris.

14. Was yesterday better than today? 
Yes.  Chris was here with me at the hospital, which makes it better here.

15. Can you live a day without TV? Oh definitely.  I've never watched so much television in my life as I have over the last 10 days.  But a day without Internet access is troubling.

16. Are you upset about anything?  Little nervous when I think about the surgery scheduled for next week, but I'm more excited to meet the baby than anything else.

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?  Absolutely.  All relationships are worth it.  Even the ones that are difficult and acrimonious, because they teach me how to control my temper.  :)

18. Are you a bad influence? 
I think I might be. 

19. Night out or night in?  Depends.  Who am I with?

20. What items could you not go without during the day?
  Easy - Blackberry, glucose meter, and lip gloss. 

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?  My best friend, when she gave birth to her little girl.

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
  Ah, some things are just for me to know.  :)

23. How do you feel about your life right now?  I feel like I'm on the cusp of the biggest moment of my life.

24. Do you hate anyone? 
Absolutely not.  But there are a few people i could do without in my life. 

25. If we were to look in your Facebook inbox, what would we find?
  Oof, a bunch of messages I haven't had a chance to reply to yet.  And may never have a chance to reply to.  I am crap at Facebook inbox management.

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?  Yes.  I'd pass at any given moment.

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?  HA!  Only people who don't know me. 

28. What song is stuck in your head? 
Imagine, by John Lennon.

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., a secret lover or George Clooney?
It's most likely a lost monkey, looking for a banana and asking to use the phone. 

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?  Let's do that math ... I'm 31, my daughter is due in nine days, so that would mean she would be 18 and giving me grandchildren?  Oh hell no. 

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
  Sit in bed all day and hope my blood pressure stays stable.  Weeeeee!

32. Do you think too much or too little?  I'm, like, a total thinker.

33. Do you smile a lot?  Pretty liberally, yes.  I also have a tendency to furrow my eyebrows when I'm pissed off.

Bonus Round...

34. How many hours a day do you spend on the computer? 
i'm not going to answer that, out of fear of feeling like I never go outside.

35. If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be?  I think I'd like to be Siah.

36. Facebook or Twitter?  Depends on what I'm looking to share.

37. Chicken or Beef?
  Chicken! BAWK.

38. Mac or PC?  Both, though I'm currently on a Mac.  But I do love my old PC and my wee netbook.

39. Have you ever punched anyone in the face?  Never in real life, but in my mind?  CONSTANTLY.

40. Last music received or purchased? 
Lullabye by Billy Joel.  BSparl likes it.  :)

if you're a brainless blogger today and you need a blow-off-steam meme, grab this one and have at!

April 05, 2010

This Thing Scares Me.

Terrifying Easter plant

My well-meaning father brought me an Easter plant to cheer up my hospital room.  Happy little Easter plant, right? 

It scares the crap out of me.  There's something so eerie and unnerving about this little critter that I turn it to face the wall when I'm ready to go to bed at night.  A few of the floor nurses here agree with me, and they've taken pictures with their cell phones to send to their kids.  

"Call it 'creepy,'" I suggested.

Because it is. 

March 31, 2010

THIS is what the Internet is all about.

If this has me laughing like a total goofball after five days of captivity, I fear what might be funny by the second week of this bed rest journey:

And mark my words:  When I get home, I'm teaching Siah how to Trololo.

March 18, 2010

SEO-riously?

MORE diabetes SEO terms!If I'm looking for a laugh, I can head over to my Statcounter page and learn just how people are stumbling upon this here diabetes blog.  The top referrers are usually diabetes-related terms, and sometimes something involving my name, but other times - well, it just gets plain goofy. 

Here are some of the latest results from the SEO leaderboard. 

quippy phrase to sell adirondack chair - Honestly, this one is new.  I don't think I've ever even used the word "adirondack" on my blog before.  "Quippy?"  Yessir, I've used that word.  In my opinion, a quippy phrase to sell an adirondack chair would be "Ah, the wrong deck?  Get an adirondack!"  (It's good that I'm not in marketing.)

what is type 1 diabetes? tell me the truth - Okay, my child. Type 1 diabetes is a small, furry bird that lives solely on a diet of Cocoa Puffs and reality television.  It's most often found in temperate climates, and is actually the only mammal that is born knowing how to ride a unicycle. ... Oh, tell you the truth?  Fine.  Type 1 diabetes is a disease that causes the body to no longer produce the hormone, insulin. 

soxuntilme - Sounds like a Dr. Suess spoof.

Diabetes 365 project - YAY!  I love seeing the visibility of the Diabetes 365 project grow and grow. 

diabetes type 1 - when to go back to normal life again? - Define "normal."  Diabetes is a new normal, my lovely search term searchers.  If you've found SUM in hopes of finding "normal," you are out of luck.  But happy?  Score!!

oh no - Oh, YES!

six until me AND bret michaels - Were you looking for this post?  Or, perhaps, this?

Siah and Brett Michaels - boo yeah!!

March 11, 2010

Looking Back: Chuck Norris ... and Diabetes?

This is an old graphic from a wicked old post (2007?  Whoa, the internet has had a hold on me for quite some time now.), but it still makes me laugh.  

My favorite is the second to last one.

That's it.  And now I have the giggles.

March 04, 2010

Spanking?

"I'm here to pick up two scripts for Sparling.  First name is Kerri."

"Spaulding?"

"No, Sparling.  Like 'darling,' only with an S-P?"

The woman leaned in.  "Speaking?"

"SPAR-ling?"

She stretched so far across the counter that her name badge clanged against the formica top.  "Spanking?"

"Excuse me?" 

How was I going to get through this without laughing?  She wasn't mangling my name on purpose.  But "Spanking?"  That's another first. 

"No, ma'am.  Not Spanking.  Spar-ling.  Es, pee, ay, are, ell, eye, en, gee.  Sparling?"

"Oh!  Sparling!  Why didn't you say so?  I'll get those prescriptions for you.  Just a minute."

Sparkling.  Spaulding.  Spanking.  Tyson?

Still better than Moron, I say.  

February 08, 2010

Today, I Won't Puke on the Floor.

A guest post from Ms. Siah Sausage.  Strange little critter.

*   *   *

Siah in a bag.  Where she belongs. 

Today is Kerri's birthday, and she's taking the day off to spend the afternoon with her mom and then go out to celebrate with Chris tonight.

Whatever.

Birthdays.  I don't care about those sorts of things, unless they are my own, in which case I fully expect a carrot cake with cat nip frosting, and my own Snuggie and maybe something I can use to scratch the couch because sometimes it just plain makes my paws tired to spend all that time fixing the couch.  I deserve rewards for those behaviors.  I am, after all, very tolerant of Kerri and her affinity for picking me up all the time and snuggling me to her face.  She still has a face.  See how tolerant I am?

So it's her birthday, and the other cats and I have decided to give her our respective gifts:  

Abby has decided not to shed on the couch today.  This is a big deal because Abby is almost topping out at 18 pounds of fluffiness, so having her refrain from shedding means that Kerri doesn't have to vacuum today.  This is also a big deal.  Kerri hates vacuuming, but when Abby's fur becomes a tumbleweed that rolls across the living room floor, she starts swearing and promising to send us all to Belgium (which I would be fine with because I hear they have nice chocolate and I like chocolate and also Teddy Grahams - they are good), and then she brings out that huge vacuum cleaner that is so LOUD and sends us all scurrying for safety.  So Abby won't shed. 

Happy birthday, Kerri, from Abby.

Prussia promises not to sleep on her sweaters.  Kerri will be very pleased, because Prussia likes to get into bags of sweaters that have just been returned from that dry cleaning place, and then she sleeps on them.  Which, again, makes Kerri swear.  Creatively.   So no Prussia Cat nestled in the pockets of clean sweaters. 

Happy Birthday, Kerri, from Prussia.

And from me.  Her favorite, even though she claims to like me the least.  Today, in honor of Kerri's birthday, I have made a solemn promise to refrain from doing what she hates the most - I won't scurry over to the food bowls and devour as much as I can in one breath, and then go hide under the dining room table and heave my guts out in several different locations.  I won't make her crawl on her hands and knees under the table with that can of rug cleaner and a wet towel, mumbling as she mops up my offerings.  

Today, I won't puke on the floor.

Happy birthday, Kerri, from your favorite Sausage Cat. 

You're welcome.

*   *   *

Thanks, Siah.  For making me feel so ... like this.

January 28, 2010

SEO Bloggy Bits.

More SEO for bloggy bits.I love, love, love the search terms that bring people to my blog. As I've mentioned before, most of the terms are related to diabetes, but there are some real ringers that come through ... and those are the ones I want to share today. 

first man to describe type one diabetes - I thought, at first, that this said "first man to walk on the moon with diabetes."  It doesn't actually say that.  It doesn't say anything close to that.  The end.

sexy infusion set placement - What's sexier than an insulin pump infusion set?  Not much, actually.  No matter where you stick it, it's proof that you're aiming for good control.  Rawr.

is martini good for diabetics - Yes.  So is proper verb/noun agreement.  Next question?

baked and fried diabetes brains - I can't even respond to this. 

nothing says lovin' like a bun in the oven - And nothin' says lovin' like leavin' off the apostrophe.  '

no one understands how much I love Yanni - I do, dear friend.  Testing 1 ... 2 ... Yanni?

should I marry a man with type 1 diabetes - Yes.  It would be sweet.  (PUNS!  Love them.)

up to my ears in cats - Don't I know it, sister.

... I'm sorry.  I can't get past the baked and fried diabetes brains ones.  I'm going to have to talk to Google and find out what the hell sent that search term here. In the meantime, what's the weirdest search term to lead to your blog?

December 24, 2009

Sausage Paws is Comin' to Town.

(To the Tune of Santa Claus is Comin' To Town)

You watch out,
You'd better not cry!
(You'd better take insulin
Or your numbers will be high.)

Sausage Paws is coming ... to town!

She's making a list,
With her Christmas Elf,
But the only one naughty,
Is her own stupid self.AHHHH! SHE'S COMING!

Sausage Paws is coming ... to town!

She stares at me when I'm sleeping,
She sniffs me 'til I'm awake.
She's us-u-ally bad, not good,
So beware for goodness' sake!

OH!

You'd better watch out,
You might want to move,
This little gray cat has something prove.

SAUSAGE PAWS IS COMING ... TO TOWN!!!

[fin]

December 23, 2009

NinjaBread Cookies.

Yesterday, my mom and I made attempts to make a bunch of Christmas cookies.  We started out early(ish) in the morning, and with some normal looking cookies and with our brains fully functioning.  We made some delicious winners, like these tasty Hershey Kiss cookies that have a tinge of peanut butter and are melty and awesome.

Hershey Kiss cookies are the BOMB.

However, after too many cookies cycling in and out of the oven, and after decorating dozens and dozens, we started to lose it a little bit.  Maybe we got a little punchy.  Or bored.  Or a dangerous combination of both.  Either way, by the time we got to the gingerbread people, we were both silly.  We tried to keep them standard, like this Santa Claus cookie, complete with little paper present and sassy raisin eyes:

But then we digressed into gingerbread kitties (made from the regular gingerbread man shape, only with added cat features to fool consumers into thinking this cookie should have a tail):

Gingerbread Kitty?

"Oh NO!  MR. BILL ATE MY LEG OFF!"  Or some such comment from this mushy gingerbread man, complete with bloodied stump.  (My mother stopped calling these "cute" and instead starting asking me if I had anything I wanted to talk about.)  

Imagine he's screaming, "AHHH!  MY LEG!  THAT NINJA CUT OFF MY LEG!"

And these, the best of the bunch:  NinjaBread cookies.  GingerNinjas?  (For you, SuperG!)  However you slice them, these cookies weren't baked, but instead stalked themselves into crispy, sneaky perfection:

Gingerbread Ninjas - George, this guy is lookin' at YOU!

The ninjas came in both purple and green, had red cinnamon ninja "stars," and took to hiding in the fake snow in my mother's Christmas village, where they were joined by the cat cookie.   Then the snowmen pretzels wearing their sombreros visited the scene.

Of course.

... I'm a little nervous that my baby may not understand me.  ;)

December 17, 2009

Ceiling Gnomes.

Dear Shoes,

It's been a while since I dropped you a line, and I'm thankful for that fact - mainly because I'm not living anywhere near you and your clompy-heels-on-the-hardwood-floors.  It's not that I don't miss you, but more that I'm really enjoying sleeping through the night now, before Miss BSparl arrives and changes that whole dynamic.

Oh Shoes, you and I have quite a history.  Three and a half years of memories.  Do you miss me as much as I miss you?  Did you know that I actually wanted to get a broom and bang it against the ceiling when you were playing with DogShoes or hollering at BoyfriendShoes, banishing him to sleep underneath the mailboxes?  I never did these things, Shoes, because I'm not an 80 year old wizened woman, but still, my internal wizened woman thought about it.

The new place is very nice, and no one lives above Chris and I, except for the bright blue sky and the clouds.

Oh, and the ceiling gnomes.Le Ceiling Gnomes

We live near some open fields, and there are all these geese that hang out there, smoking cloves and making out.  They toddle around and ultimately end up on the roof, where they sleep for a few hours and then run like hell for the edge of the building, taking off into the sky. 

But from my apartment, it sounds like we live beneath a commune of ceiling gnomes that scamper back and forth throughout the day, most often in the morning when the sun is shining brightest.

The cats aren't sure how to handle these critters.  When the pitter patter of gnomey feet starts progressing across the rooftop in a hurry, the cats all stop DEAD whatever they're doing and they turn their furry faces to the ceiling, bewildered.  

"What IS that?"  Siah breathes as she scurries across the floor, trying in vain to follow in the footsteps of the ceiling gnomes.  

Shoes, it's the weirdest thing ever.  The little clicking footsteps, and then NOTHING.  Silence, once the geese take off, leaving the cats unsure of what to do next, other than stare frantically at the ceiling.

But it's funny.  And it entertains me endlessly, especially when all three cats stop and stare in perfectly synchronized motions.  And I find it oddly calming, that I live beneath ceiling gnomes instead of your high heels.

Kisses to you, my Shoesy.  Hope you're well, and torturing the new tenants.

Love,
Kerri.

October 09, 2009

Ninjas in the Mail.

We had a package arrive in the mail on our second day in the new place.  A small, brown box without any descriptive markings.

Obviously this was the arrival of our housewarming Ninja.  Courtesy of one Ninjabetic, who spreads his yarny minions around the country.  (He's awesome, George.  We love him!)  And since his arrival, Ninja has been acclimating himself to his surroundings and becoming part of our new place. 

Ninja believes in the importance of exercise, and he's been using the ellipmachine day and night.  And then again in the afternoon.  Ninjas do not sleep.

He keeps his ninja muscles firm.

He's also environmentally-friendly, taking care of the banana plant in our bedroom.  

Ninja loves the greenery.

He's been an excellent influence when it comes to oral care, and he's been stealthily encouraging me to brush and floss ... sometimes threatening me with his ninja stars, but I can deal.  It's for dental health!

Ninja wants me to banish plaque!

Ninja has offered to handle the laundry folding, but he does NOT do the washing.  He doesn't like bleach.  I think he's scared the bleach will leave stains on his gi.

Ninja is good at keeping that one red sock out of the whites.

But his biggest battle so far has been against one formidable enemy, who apparently exists somehow without a brain.  Here, it looks like Ninja is about to be stalked by the Sausage.  But he knows she's there.  

You can't sneak up on Ninja.

He always knows.

Thanks again, SuperG, for this wonderful housewarming Ninja!!!  He's currently hanging out with Syn and plotting world domination.  Chris and I are thoroughly entertained.  :)

July 24, 2009

It's in the Fridge.

I have a boatload of photos to upload from the Roche Diabetes Blogger Summit, but I'm currently at the BlogHer conference in Chicago and the bags under my eyes are hollering for SLEEP.  Photos next week!

However, since Ms. Rachel has already outed me on my Walgreen's purchase, I figured I should just tell this story and get it over with before someone else makes fun of me.  (Ahem, Scott Johnson.)

So this morning on the bus going from the hotel in Indianapolis to the Roche headquarters, I was sitting next to Scott.  And we're talking and then all of a sudden ...

"Oh my God!  Oh shit, I left the curling iron in my room!"

We'd already checked out of our suites and our luggage was waiting in the foyer of the lobby for our return.

"I have the number for the hotel - can you just call them up?"  Scott rummaged in his wicked cool Cozmo bag for the hotel reservation print out.  

"Yeah.  But, um, I'm embarrassed."  Blushing and realizing how goofy this sounds, "My curling iron is in the fridge."

Scott laughed at me, unsure.  "The fridge?"

"It was hot after I used it so I put it in the fridge to cool it down so I could pack it in my suitcase.  And I forgot to grab it."  I tried to make this sound like a normal thing to do.

Scott was laughing at me and could barely speak.  "Oh, I can't wait to hear this phone call."

I dialed the number and did my best to be discreet on the crowded bus.

"Hello?"

"Hi, I just checked out and I realized I left my curling iron in my suite.  Is it possible for someone to grab it and stick it in my suitcase?"

"Hi, yes we can do that for you.  What is your room number?"

"Nine, sixty-three."

"And where is the curling iron?"  I could hear her typing as she spoke.

"Ha.  Well, it's in the fridge."

Her typing stopped.  "Excuse me?"

"It's in the fridge?  It was hot and I stuck it in the fridge so it would cool down and I could put it in my suitcase.  So the fridge.  It's in there."  I spoke calmly and tried to ignore Scott's shaking shoulders as he giggled at me.

Silence from the woman on the other end of the line.  I had to say something.

"What, you've never heard that before?"

She lost it.  The woman let loose with a guffaw that I think other people on the bus could hear.  

"No, that's a first for me, miss.  Let me get your Sparlings taste like chicken.last name and we can rescue your iron from the fridge."

"It's Sparling.  S-P-A-R-L-I-N-G."

"Tyson?"

"Tyson?  No!  Sparling!  Like darling with an S-P!  How did you get Tyson?!"

And then I remembered I was the one who was calling to retrieve her curling iron from the refrigerator.

And so I shut the hell up.

July 02, 2009

One Lump or Two?

Like I wrote a few weeks ago, "Even though I do not like the disease, there are some diabetes-related simple pleasures that make me smile." 

But on the flip side of that, there are some diabetes-related things that make me grimace.  (Not Grimace, but grimace.)  And when I'm feeling down about the hard parts of managing this disease, I often turn to humor to lift me back up.  (For me, a little gallows humor goes a long way in keeping me from really falling into a depressive state.  It seems like a counterproductive idea, but it really helps me.)

This is where Haidee Soule Merritt's book comes in:  One Lump or Two?  Her book more than resonated for a 20+ year diabetes veteran like myself.  It's taken me a long time to build up this much amusement at a disease that's trying its hardest to take me out, but now I'm in the thick of the smirking-despite-the-chaos.  

As I read through her book, I laughed.  I laughed and nodded my head in agreement, thinking, "Oh hell yes, I hate those geyser fingerpricks."

How many times has this happened to you??
Who hasn't this happened to?  (Image credit:  Haidee Soule Merritt)
 
I snicked despite trying to be classy when I saw the one about low blood sugars after sex.  (Trust me, not fun.  And also, awkward as hell.)  

Low blood sugar after sex.  Oy.
Been there.  Done that. (Image credit:  Haidee Soule Merritt)

Diabetes isn't easy.  Neither is laughing at it.  But laughter, finding something that alleviates some of the anxiety and fear that comes with a chronic illness, can make such a huge difference in health.

If you want to order your own copy of Haidee's book, visit her website (and enjoy the duck sounds on the buttons, because they quacked me up).  As you thumb through your copy of One Lump or Two?, you'll find yourself smirking with understanding, too.    

June 23, 2009

Channeling Grammie.

I can't ever buy apples again.Last night after work, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things on my way home.  The place was post-work packed.

I was wearing a dress with a bit of a busy print, and loud, clacking heels, so I wasn't really a shrinking violet.  But it wasn't a big deal to be a big over-dressed for grocery shopping - I was just running in and running out as quickly as I could.

I go to the produce section and fill my cart with a few items, then I remember that Chris asked me to get fruit.  So I went over to the selection of apples, which had apparently just been refilled, as they were piled high.  High as in like two dozen levels of red, shiny apples.  With a plastic bag in my hand, I reached out and grabbed an apple.  And then another.  

And then I reached for a third.

Which must have been precariously placed.

As every apple in the stack came tumbling towards me.  Like in a cartoon.

"OOOOH!"  I yelled, whipping my arms around like a windmill in effort to stop the avalanche.

"OOOOH!"  I yelled, as I pressed myself against the side of the shelving to keep the apples from hitting the floor, letting them pile up against me instead.

"OOOOH!"  I yelled as the apples created a slope against my body and then starting falling faster from the tower, rocketing off my shoulder and flying high into the air.

"OOOOH!" The woman a few feet away yelled, as an apple ricocheted off the shelving and landed in her cart. 

I was dying of embarrassment.  The apples were hitting the floor with a loud thunk and people were staring and the grocery store produce guys were running over, trying to help, but their laughter rendered them useless.

"Oh my God, please make this stop.  Please, can you just make the apples stop their onslaught!"  I pleaded, my arms filled with fruit.

The produce guy closest to me tried to stem the flow of apples, but it was fruitless.  These apples were powered by inertia and determined to make a spectacle of me.

"Miss, you need to step away from the apples so we can clean them up.  Can you move back a few steps?"

"If I move, all the ones I'm holding will fall.  And then I will of shame."  I tried to talk without moving my mouth, as to not further enrage the apples.  

The produce guy tried to hide his laughter.  "Miss, step away from the apples.  I'm ready to deal with them.  In three ... two ... one ..."

I moved back and all the apples I was holding in my arms tumbled to the ground with a SMACK.  A sea of large, red marbles on the tile floor.  My face was as red as an ... well,  you can guess. 

"Can I help you clean up?  Or can I go?  Can I just walk away and pretend this didn't happen?"

"Run, lady.  You might want to run."

I fumbled for my purse and my grocery cart and tried to eek away gracefully (as gracefully as one can, with loud heels and a noticeable dress), turning my ankle on an apple only once.  People were smirking and laughing, and one old man started to applaud.

I left the grocery store, my face on fire and laughing to myself.  I called my mother from my car and told her the story through my embarrassment and tears of laughter.

"I think I'm channeling Grammie," I said.  

"Oh Kerri ... you're right," my mother laughed.  "Grammie was known for wearing platform shoes in the grocery store and falling over at the deli counter.  And you know what?  I wore platform shoes to the deli counter when I was your age and I fell over, too!  It's hereditary!"

Note to self:  Do not buy platform shoes.  

June 11, 2009

An Open Letter to Brett Michaels.

Idiot.Dear Brett Michaels,

Really?  Really?  I'm going to hope that you were misquoted.  I'm going to hope that maybe the reporter took your comments out of context and made you sound like an idiot, instead of you actually saying the following:

"Brett Michaels:  The only time it [diabetes] will ever affect you in bed is if you have extremely low blood sugar and you go into insulin shock, at which point you won't be standing up, let alone performing sex. However, I will sometimes hold off on the insulin, which will jack my blood sugar level up to the low 200 range. It's like how a prizefighter will want to go into the ring with his blood sugar levels high. It gives you the stamina of a bull. So, yes, sometimes I will endanger my own life to pleasure a woman."

(source:  Huffington Post

You dumb shit.  Brett, going low during sex is a pain.  I know.  I've had to stop for snacks, and I've had to stop entirely.  I've had discomfort and the inability to perform due to high blood sugars, too.  I've had sex while connected to my insulin pump, and I've also had to find ways to feel comfortable with sharing my diabetes with sexual partners.

But you, saying that you purposely run high "like how a prizefighter will go into the ring?"  Gives you "the stamina of a bull," you say?  You don't sound cool - you sound like a toolshed.  I was under the impression that high blood sugars are among the main reasons for sexual complications for diabetic men.  Are you hearing me, Mr. Michaels?  If you run purposely high, your manhood runs the risk of malfunction.  And stamina of a bull?  Pffft.

High blood sugars aren't steroids.  They're toxic and cause lethargy.  They are dangerous for a diabetic.  They make your breath smell like airplane glue, and telling a reporter that running high makes you shag like a rock star is a bit of a misleading statement.  (Are sure you're rocking these women as passionately as you claim?)

Dude, you are in the public eye.  You are among the very few celebrities who are living with type 1 diabetes.  I'm not saying you have to be Johnny Advocate, but don't spread misinformation.  Don't encourage some young guy to skip his injection in pursuit of being good in bed.  You know as well as I do that good diabetes control is what leads to strength and stamina.

You know better.

Or maybe you don't.

Best,
Kerri.

June 05, 2009

The Friday Six: Stuff on my Twitter.

NERD ALERT:  This post will reference Twitter.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter, it's a websiteThe Friday Six:  June 5, 2009 edition that serves up 140 characters worth of people's thoughts and links, illustrating just how much time people are spending on the Internet talking about their need for, oh, let's just say coffee. Or diabetes.

And apparently I'm spending some quality time there, too. 

I wanted to share, here on SUM, some random bits I came across over the course of the last week or so.  It's a Friday Six, Stuff on my Twitter edition.  (Nerd!!!!!)

1.  This is a "literal video version" of Total Eclipse of the Heart.  My co-worker found this and passed it on to the rest of us, which left the editorial department in tears from laughing for at least five minutes.  Favorite parts: Slo-Mo Dove, zoom camera under the arch, and "this classroom has a fan." 

2.  Goths in Hot Weather.  I've seen my share of "goths," but I've never thought about how the summer heat must affect their personage.  Sweaty goths must have tough summers, but man are they fun to read about . (This one, with four of 'em standing in the Pacific surf, brought me great, mascara-smudging joy.)  

3.  Yes, I missed the original Ellen clip.  And no, I hadn't seen this Hawaiian Chair infommercial until my boss's daughter sent it my way.  I want to try this thing out so badly and see if I can stay on it for more than a minute.  It could be like the bar rodeo bull, only for work.  Pondering ...

4.  And THIS freaking hysterical (and supposed) ad from a 1955 issue of Good Housekeeping had me and my college roommates giggling like idiots.  I can't even wrap my head around this.   "Speak in a low, soothing, pleasant voice." "A good wife always knows her place."  Oh dear.

5.  Rambo on a unicorn?  Don't mind if I do.  Seriously.  I'm getting one of these on my forehead.

6.  And finally, there's that FML (F*$% My Life) site and usually the posts on there are really crass and not the best stuff to share with everyone.  But this one was so cute and so sweet that I want to find the person who wrote it and hug them.   

Oh the Internet - always at the ready with something entertaining to click!

May 22, 2009

Guest Blog: Siah Steps In.

I'm not sure why I'm even letting her do this, but she asked like a million times.  So here is a guest blog from Ms. Siah Sausage. 

Siah laughs at all of us.

Sigh.

*   *   *

I'm not as bad as she makes me out to be. I'm a little gray cat and I barely cause any trouble at all, so I'm not sure why she's always complaining about me.

Sure, I like to use the litter box and then attempt to snuggle with her, but I'm just as shocked as you are that she doesn't want to appreciate my olfactory contributions.  Every scent I make is lovely, I assure you.

And of course I have to pad around the bed while they're trying to sleep. But how am I supposed to know which side of the bed is softest and comfiest unless I try both out, repeatedly?  She's just grumpy because she goes to bed late and gets up early.  It's not my fault.  I just lay there, against her ankles, forcing her to sleep like she's the Vitruvian Man.  (I looked that up.) 

Yes, there's also some truth to her issues with me stalking her in the bathroom. But that's just fun for me.

Also, this whole "the cat ate my pump tubing" complaint is just plain silly.  I am a cat.  If something plastic and bouncy dangles in front of my face, I will go after it.  Instinct, people!  I haz them.  Besides, insulin has a nice, chewy band aid sort of taste to it. Same goes for playing with and hiding test strips.  Toys are toys - I don't care if they have your DNA on them.  (Yes, I also looked up "DNA."  I may be a cat but I can use Google.)

The plain truth is this:  She loves me.  When people aren't looking, she picks me up and snuggles me.  She balances used test strips on my head and laughs at how I walk around without knocking them off.  She talks to me when Chris isn't home, and I wouldn't be surprised if she was on the verge of issuing a commemorative plate in my honor.  

So don't listen to her rantings about what a pain I am.

The woman thinks I'm my own pajamas. 

*   *   *

I don't even know what to say.

May 11, 2009

Diabetes Mor(r)on(e).

Is this thing on?I just felt off.  For like an hour.  My head was wrapped in cotton balls and my reaction time was just a half second slower than it should have been.

Internal Motivational Speaker whispered in:  Hey.  You've been a bit of a work nut lately.  How about taking a few minutes and maybe walking around?  

"No, no.  I'm good.  I have to finish this and I have the cruise the week of my anniversary, so I'll have a whole week to collapse and lay on the lido deck."

Hmmm.  So explain the dizzy?  Why are you feeling so dizzy right now?

"I don't know.  Maybe because I've been staring at this computer screen for like five hours straight without much of a reprieve.  Maybe my eyes are fried."

Could be.  Or you could have some kind of brain deformity.  

"What?  Why the hell would you say that?  I'm just a bit burnt out.  And I've had like a LOT of caffeine.  So I'm sure I'm just a little rattled."

Or suffering from some undiscovered, undiagnosed illness that starts with dizziness as a symptom.  Google it.

"No.  I am not consulting Google.  NO.  Back off and let me finish this."

Dr. Google calling.  Come on, Kerri.  You've been dizzy and sort of disoriented for over an hour now.  

"You ... stop it.  I'm not going to let you get me all frantic.  I'm fine.  I just want to finish editing this one article and then I'll take a break for a few minutes.  I promise."

Fine.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

"Warn me?"  I took quick stock of how I was feeling.  I was very irritable, short-tempered, and this weird feeling of swimmy dizziness was dominating my brain.  Granted, I'd been sitting at my desk for at least an hour and a half straight and focusing intently on my column, but maybe I should think for a second and address this nagging feeling of disorientation.  So, despite my better judgment, I Googled "causes of dizziness."

And five minutes later, I was convinced I was dying.

"Oh em gee, I'm dying.  Like today."

I told you.  You can't let something serious like dizziness go undiagnosed.  

"Wait."

And it's also important that you listen to me when I talk to you because I know what I'm talking about.  Finding out what's wrong with you, at least physically, is part of my job and ...

"Wait a second."  I took out my meter. 

Your health takes priority and you need to stay very tuned in to your body and thank goodness you have me because obviously you'd be lost with me and ... 

53 mg/dl.  I reached for some glucose tabs.

Oh.  And then there's that. 

I think it's waaaaaay past time for a vacation. 

April 20, 2009

This Is Your Captain Speaking.

Last week I had the honor and pleasure of traveling to the Canyon Ranch Institute in Tucson, AZ with Dr. Val to co-lead a workshop about social media, blogging, and the hot topic of Twitter.  It was a beyond-cool experience, talking about the impact of blogging on people's health management, and showing how the patient blogging community can improve health both on and offline. (Val has a wonderful recap of the experience on her blog at Better Health.)

After our stay was over, we went took the shuttle back to the Tucson airport and checked in for our flight. 

"We wanted to make sure we were sitting next to one another on the flight," Val said to the This was the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me.attendant at the American Airlines counter.  

"You actually aren't.  You have good seats, though.  Do you want to try and change them?"

Val didn't even have to check with me.  (She had to fly out to Tucson with me from NYC, so she's familiar with my flight anxiety.)

"We'd like to sit together, if that works."

The attendant checked the system.  "We have two seats in row 31.  That's in the way back of the plane.  Is that okay?"

"Fine with us," we said almost in unison.

"I wouldn't want to sit in the back of the plane," said a man in uniform who appeared behind the counter.  "Right near the engine?  Awful."

I was nervous.  Who was this guy was just leaping into the middle of the conversation to offer his snarky two cents? 

"Hey, I like the engine.  I'm very pro-white noise, you know.  Love it.  Soothing stuff.  It's going to be a great ride."  Tried to flash him a disarming smile, hoping he wasn't sitting next to me on the flight.

He grins and walks away.  Val and I board the plane and settle into our seats.  My seat is directly next to the engine, as advertised.  

"It's cool.  White noise, right?"  I joked to Val.  She laughed, and we prepared to take off.

Once the plane was up to cruising altitude, the PA system on the plane chimed into action.

"Good afternoon, everyone.  This is Captain Frank [Name Redacted] and me and my co-pilot will be taking you all to Chicago today." 

I tuned out a bit, still trying to feel relaxed.  Val was already almost napping beside me in her seat.  The captain continued to talk.

"So we're at 31,000 feet and we'll eventually climb to 33,000.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.  And I'd also like to welcome Valerie and Kerri to our flight today and hope they're enjoying the wonderful white noise there at the back of the plane."

Val woke up with a start.  "Did he just say our names?"

I couldn't stop laughing.  "He did! That guy, from the counter!  He's the damn pilot!"

The flight continued on without incident to Chicago, and as we prepared to land, the pilot came over the PA.

"I want to let you know that we're going to start our descent into O'Hare, and the current temperature is 72 degrees.  We hope you've enjoyed flying with us today, and we thank you for choosing American Airlines.  And we hope the white noise wasn't too much for our back of the plane passengers."

Val and I erupted into laughter again.  The captain buzzed over the intercom one more time.

"That's just an inside joke today, folks.  Flight attendants, prepare for landing."

Once the plane landed, Val and I had to reintroduce ourselves to the captain.  "We couldn't help but overhear your messages!" 

The pilot laughed.  We handed him our respective business cards.  "We're bloggers," Val said. 

"Would it be okay if I wrote about this?" I asked.  "I don't want to break any rules."

"Sure.  I'm with it.  I am on Facebook.  I don't know much about the Twitter thing, but I am pretty savvy for a guy over 50."

We actually stood there for over ten minutes, talking about Twitter with the pilot of our flight. 

That has to be the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me.

April 08, 2009

The Guy with the Heart Pin.

I.  Said.  HEART.(This has nothing to do with diabetes, but I had to tell this story at a dinner a few days ago and it made me blush all over again.)

When I was in college, I met my mother for dinner at a town halfway between her office and my dorm.  We decided on an Italian chain restaurant and asked to be put in a corner booth.  

"We're kind of loud," my mom said.

So we settled into our table and ordered our food from the waiter, who was wearing a white button down shirt, a red vest, and a black apron.  (And pants.  Don't get all crazy on me.)  After our waiter walked away to place our order with the kitchen, my mother noticed that a bus boy, clearing tables, was wearing a bright red  heart pin on his collar.

"Mom, do you know what that pin means?"

I always notice pins, ribbons, and other awareness jewelry. 

"No.  Our waiter didn't have one.  Ask him, he's right over there."

So I leaned across our table a bit and said, pretty loudly:  "Excuse me?  Why do you have that heart on?"

The tables closest to us stopped chattering and turned to stare, a shared incredulous look on their faces.  But I had no idea what was wrong.  So I cleared my throat and tried again, only louder this time.

"I'm sorry - excuse me?  Why do you have a heart on?"

The busboy stopped dead in his tracks and a bright red blush took over his cheeks.  "Um, what?"

(Oh.  My.  God.  What did I just say?!)

"No, no - oh my God.  I said a heart.  Like the heart pin on your shirt.  The heart.  Not hard.  No, no ..."  I'm crying, laughing, and trying to forget that the rest of the dining room heard something decidedly less appropriate than "heart on."  He shuffled over, about to burst into flames.

"Um, I'm wearing this pin because I made a donation from my check to the Heart Association and they gave me a pin to wear on my uniform to show what I did and okay?  That's why I have a heart on.  A heart PIN on."  The words came out of him in one steady stream, like a firehose.

"I am so sorry!!!"  I buried my face in my hands, laughing.  My mother was almost out of her chair, cackling, "You're asking him about a heart, not his manhood!  Not his manhood!"

The dining room errupted into laughter, old ladies dabbing tears from their eyes. 

The busboy shuffled off to call his therapist. 

And dinner arrived shortly thereafter, with a seven waiter escort because they wanted to see the perverted patron who accosted the busboy.  I could barely whisper a word, I was so embarrassed.

"I said HEART."  

March 26, 2009

SUM (More) Diabetes SEO.

Searching for ... Sausage?I went poking around in my Statcounter statistics for the search terms that are sending people to Six Until Me.  Most of the anticipated terms are there in full force, like "diabetes," "Kerri Sparling," and "blogs about insulin pumps," but there were some real zingers this week that I wanted to share. 

Another version of SUM SEO, right after this break tag! 

diabetes pun - I love that this term brought someone here.  I LOVE PUNS!!! 

aluminum foil in my aquarium hurt - I'm sorry, what?

i had a dream that i was diabetic - Funny.  I had a dream that I wasn't. 

why did my diabetic friend act crazy the other night - If I had a nickel for everytime my friends said this ...

making animals out of towels - This is a direct throw-back to the cruise I went on with Chris a few years ago, and I was enamored with the towel animals.  Still am - they amaze me!

can a type 1 diabetic ever drop down to just taking pills instead of insulin - Sigh.  Halle Berry, are you Googling for answers again?

xanax slogan - Makes Kerri "plane" happy!

snorkeling with an insulin pump - You may be better off using a snorkel. 

that cat Siah - Yes!  Siah is her own search term.  Now maybe she'll stop.  staring

type one diabetes weird facts
- We eat tree bark?  We can smell colors?  We can turn Jell-O into minature bicycles?  Oh, and we don't make insulin. 

frozen toast on a stick - FROAST!!!!

Even though this is a diabetes blog, the non-diabetes search terms make me laugh the hardest.  Especially this one:

Was Grimace a dinosaur? - Of course.  Of course that sent you here.    

March 03, 2009

More Things I Found.

I found this handbag online, too, and I love it.It's become apparent that I'm more scattered these days than ever before.  I think I need a personal assistant, but one who can tolerate my mood swings, coffee addiction, and propensity for making up my own curse words.  Maybe someone from California Closets would be a good place to start, judging by the crap I found this morning:

Things I found in my workbag:
  Two iPod shuffles (both of which I thought I lost months ago),  a bottle of test strips with Code 22 (like every bottle I’ve opened in the last three months),  a TubeGuard, the cord that connects my meter to the computer for blood sugar downloads, the electric bill (whoa), a moleskin journal that I drag everywhere with me, and one lonely penny from 1994.

Things I found in my car:  Three discarded test strips, two Elbow cds, and a center console crammed with Dunkin Donuts napkins.  (Does that sound like the 12 Days of Christmas to anyone but me?  No?  Bueller?)

Things I found in the grocery bag: 
  Ahem

Things I found in my email inbox that I forgot about:
  An email from my mom asking me to confirm that I’m alive.  (Whoops – sorry, Mom.  I’m alive!)

Things I found hiding between the shower curtain and the liner when I climbed into the shower this morning: 
Siah.  I yelled.  She purred.  It was an odd scene.

Things I found in the work parking lot:  One small bird who was trying desperately to get inside of a discarded coffee cup.  I watched for a minute to make sure it wasn’t stuck, and laughed when I realized it was trying to snuggle up to it.  Apparently this bird didn't dig yesterday's snow extravaganza!

Things I found in my coffee cup:
  A tea bag.  That was unexpected, and proved how tired I was when I was trying to get my caffeine fix this morning.

Things I found in my bed this morning:  One fat Abby cat hiding under a pile of blankets and a rogue Dexcom receiver floating around.

Things I found funny:  This link from SomethingAwful - Real Books That Look Like Photoshops.  The "Barkley vs. Godzilla" made me laugh so hard my nose threatened to fly off my face. If you can look at these books without laughing, you are way more mature than I am.

Things I found out:  That I am in dire need of a vacation! 

February 09, 2009

Thirty Reasons.

Birthday!!!!!My birthday was happy.  I have thirty reasons.

  1. We stayed at a bed and breakfast that was so out of the way that it was like being in another country.
  2. The bed was king-sized with many fluffy pillow and ZERO cats milling about.
  3. Our room had a jacuzzi tub and a fireplace.
  4. I'm now mature enough to write "jacuzzi tub and fireplace" without feeling like pointing out something shiny.
  5. Hey!  Something shiny!
  6. (Being 30 doesn't mean I am devoid of the ability to blush.  Scratch off No. 4 - it's obviously a lie.)
  7. An early day-before-dinner included onion rings.  That, in and of itself, means certain joy.
  8. My cell phone stayed OFF for hours on end, only checking occasionally for birthday messages from my friends and family.
  9. An early birthday message from my oldest friend in the world included a link to this photo, which made me smile and think about first grade.
  10. I woke up on my birthday without setting an alarm, and had the most delicious coffee and eggs for breakfast.
  11. I didn't feel any different, and I felt good that I was marking another healthy year.
  12. The weather was edging towards warm, the sun was bright, and my husband is excellent company.
  13. I had a beer and French Toast for lunch.  That was a first.
  14. When we returned from lunch, we found that the woman who ran the B&B had left an African Violet for me as a birthday gift
  15. The woman who cleaned the room also didn't fuss about the used test strips that almost made it into the garbage can.  Instead, she stacked them up quite nicely on the bathroom sink, in case I needed them.
  16. This made me laugh.  I can't exactly explain why.
  17. We watched movies, took a nap, and talked about our future.
  18. You couldn't see my pump at all in the black dress I wore to dinner. 
  19. Thanks to the magic of the GPS, we made it to the restaurant for dinner without getting completely lost.
  20. We consumed eggplant, fresh bread with olive oil and sea salt, fried mozzarella, and lemon meringue dessert and my blood sugar stayed so well-behaved I thought I might be cured.
  21. When I mispronounced "meringue" as "merengue," Chris didn't die laughing.
  22. Birthday text from NBF:  "It's the beginning of the best part!"  Damn straight.
  23. Champagne makes the best POP! noise ever.
  24. My pump infusion site needed to be changed after only two days due to excessive time spent in aforementioned jacuzzi tub.
  25. I can't think of a better reason to have to change a pump site.
  26. We came home early in the afternoon and discovered that the cats cleaned up decently enough after the party they surely threw.
  27. In unpacking, I found a pair of shoes in the closet that I have never worn, making them new all over again.  Unintentional birthday gift to myself, it seems.
  28. I checked the Internet out and saw so many wonderfully kind birthday messages that I got a little bit emotional.
  29. My handsome husband gave me a hug.
  30. Life is good.
(Now I just have to wait a few years until my Larry Bird Birthday.  Look out!)

December 24, 2008

Christmas Puns.

'Twas the night before Christmas, and we're on the road.
Driving home to Rhode Island, the traffic was slowed.
The stockings were hung, but they weren't hung by us.
We're en route to see family, to bond and to fuss.

Flanked on all sides by the cars in their lanes,
We tried to distract ourselves with silly games.
"Let's sing a song," he suggests, and she tries.
But the lyrics that she knows are all improvised.
"A night moose?  What is that?"  He laughs as he steers.
And they're laughing so hard that they almost shed tears.

But then, in the distance, the brake lights do flash.
And our heroes press hard with their hands on the dash.
For what, in the distance, do they spy through the glass?
It looks like a sleigh, but what's that gray mass?

"That's Santa!"  she yelled, her hands through the sunroof.
"That's his red hat, his jacket ... but those aren't reindeer hooves."
And they stared out in awe as the wind gently tosses
A Santa sleigh lead by ... is that Siah Sausage?
"No way,"  he remarks, as he pulls to the side
Of the road as we watch Siah fly through the sky.

Her gray coat was dusted so lightly with snow
And her little gray nose had a slight reddish glow.
Behind her, the rest of the reindeer troop flewSiah Sausage leads Santa's sleigh!!
With Ms. Sausage in front of this Christmassy crew.

"Wasn't she sleeping when we left the house?
Wasn't she quiet, on top of the couch?
Is this really happening?  Or am I just low?"
"How she knows Santa is what I'd like to know."

They stared as the sleigh was pulling out of sight
With Miss Siah flying with all of her kitty might.
She soared above cars and she pulled the big sleigh,
She aimed to help Santa deliver that day.
And with the roar of a kitty who know a good pun,
She yelled, "Meowy Christmas to you, everyone!"

December 11, 2008

Irony: The Thrice Edition.

(No, I'm not sure if that title makes sense either.)

After my last few days of completely screwing up, I tried to do at least one thing to improve my diabetes - I finally created a real emergency kit for work.  

This little gem has everything I need for a diabetes moment on the job:  I have a backup infusion set, some lancets, several boxes of test strips, a Humalog insulin pen, a spare One Touch UltraMini, and even a SkinTac wipe for any CGM sensors or pump sites that go rogue.

Neat and tidy and prepared.  Hang on .. let me adjust my Boy Scout badge.  It's the one for diabetes preparedness. 

But what's missing from this kit?  Fast-acting sugar?  Nope - my office has a handy stash of candy for low blood sugar reactions and sweet teeth (sweet tooths?) alike.  How about the Quick-Serter for the infusion set?  Nah, I live five minutes from my office, so if the site isn't working out, I can pop home and fix it right quick.  Battery for the pump or a just-in-case syringe?  Both are safely tucked into the meter case.  This little box appears to have everything I'd need for a short-term fix ... what could be missing?

Oh, I know!  Irony!

Godiva!  You saved me!

Irony once again:  keeping backup diabetes supplies in a Godiva chocolate box. 

December 04, 2008

Santa Sausage.

Well here's something that made me laugh out loud.

Siah as Santa ... Claws.  HA HA HA! 

HUGE thanks to Jaimie, who is working her magic on people's Twitter avatars and took on Ms. Siah Sausage as a favor.  According to her Twitter feed: "@JaimieH can do Santa Hat for ur Twitter image. She's collecting donations for TuDiabetes.com: $1.50/hat." Good fun, good cause, and who doesn't look good in red?

Santa Sparling 
The Island of Misfit Bloggers?  But I wanted to be a dentist!  ;)

November 29, 2008

Sweaters (and HA!)

My sister-in-law and I were talking about deoderant last weekend, and I told her that there's this crazy strong kind called Certain Dri.

"It will totally fry out your armpits.  But it works!"

We laughed.  And then I promptly forgot about the conversation.  But when she went to the store that week and saw Certain Dri on the shelves, she emailed me, saying, "I saw it today [Certain Dri] - sweaters of the world UNITE against wetness!" 

My response:  "All I can picture are a bunch of mohair turtlenecks uniting against wetness."

Then she emailed me this picture, and it struck me as so funny that I had to share it.  Notice how cheery they look, "holding hands" up there and uniting against wetness.  I'm starting to laugh all over again.

Sweaters!  United against wetness!
 
The message she sent with it said it all:  "Dude, I have way too much time on my hands."

Sweaters (and HA!)

My sister-in-law and I were talking about deoderant last weekend, and I told her that there's this crazy strong kind called Certain Dri.

"It will totally fry out your armpits.  But it works!"

We laughed.  And then I promptly forgot about the conversation.  But when she went to the store that week and saw Certain Dri on the shelves, she emailed me, saying, "I saw it today [Certain Dri] - sweaters of the world UNITE against wetness!" 

My response:  "All I can picture are a bunch of mohair turtlenecks uniting against wetness."

Then she emailed me this picture, and it struck me as so funny that I had to share it.  Notice how cheery they look, "holding hands" up there and uniting against wetness.  I'm starting to laugh all over again.

Sweaters!  United against wetness!
 
The message she sent with it said it all:  "Dude, I have way too much time on my hands."

November 22, 2008

Birthday Party.

Here's a random post, but we're partying at my friend's surprise birthday party. She was surprised. Success!!!

November 20, 2008

Just Another Morning.

Wake up with a start as the alarm begins to blare,
Groggily come to and push aside my mussed-up hair.
Reach out to the nightstand and retrieve the zipper case,
Fumble with a strip and finally get the thing in place.
Lance my finger, squeeze a bit, and for five seconds wait,
Hear the beep, watch the screen, and see the "108."

Disconnect the pump with a quick and easy snap,
Grab that little plastic thing that I call a "pump cap."
Bring the Dexcom with me and connect it to the door
So I can shower, get all clean, and data will still store.

Towel dry - so careful, watching for the set and sensor,
Grab my robe and reconnect to the insulin dispenser.
Blow dry hair, drag a comb, and make attempts to dress,
Aim for outfits that conceal my pump with learned finesse.

Make my lunch and grab some snacks, minding carb-y grams -
Greek yogurt, green beans, protein bars - my morning snack grand slam.
Throw it all into my bag - I just have one more thing to add!
Toss in a tube of glucose tabs for all the lows this week I've had.

Snake the pump tube down my leg, tuck the pump inside
The trouser socks I love to wear - perfect for pump to hide.
Check the Dexcom to see for sure that I'm okay to drive,
Pet the cats, throw on my coat, and I'm out the door in five.

So much is diabetes, but it isn't my whole life.
I'm a daughter with type 1; I'm a diabetic wife.
It's in the fabric of my day, in the subconcious of my mind.
It explains so much of what I do, but I am not defined.

October 30, 2008

Guilty Pleasure Time.

Today has been a day of awkwardness already.  To wit:Mrs. Kerri Clumsy

  • I tried to get into the wrong car this morning because I forgot that I don't drive the Jetta anymore.  Whoops.  But I'm trying to blame that on a lack of coffee in my system.
  • I walked into work with my skirt tangled in pump tubing, because I forgot to adequately tuck it all in before I got out of the car.  Argh.
  • Made coffee in my fancy pants SUM mug this morning without realizing that the remnants of yesterday's coffee were still floating around in there.  Yuck.  Had to rinse and renew.
  • Went to sit down in my chair while talking to someone and almost missed, nearly landing my arse on the floor.
  • (Mind you, it's only about 9:30 in the morning at this point.)
  • Fired up iTunes and blasted ... Yanni.  Yes, Yanni is sometimes the soundtrack of my editorial days.  I love him.  I want to put him on the cover of the romance novel of my life.  Yanni ...  (Awk. Ward.  But I love him.)
  • Laughed out loud at something when the office was completely silent.  Nothing like waking everyone up with my mega-decibel giggle.
  • Went for coffee downstairs and gave the lady a one instead of a five, causing me to stand there cluelessly while she neglected to ring up my purchase.  "You gave me a one instead of a five."  I returned from the mental moon.  "Oh, shoot, sorry about that."
  • And walking back up the stairs to the office, the thigh holster I was wearing to hold my pump started to slide, causing me to grab for my leg and hold the strap in place while trying to waddle to my desk, where I could hitch the holster back up.  Nothing like having the people in the board room thinking my underpants are falling down as I walk up the stairs.  Fantastic.
Grace:  Im doin it wrong.

October 21, 2008

Shoes Never Sleeps.

Shoes, you need a pair of these.My Darling Shoes,

Hey girl.  I know you had a tumultuous summer.  Seems like your old roommate and DogShoes have moved out, and it's you and RoomieShoes.  I was mistaken in thinking BoyfriendShoes moved in - no, he's just coming by every day and adding his clompy shoes to the cacophonous noise. 

So this weekend was a wild one for you, eh?  We heard you guys come home at 1:40 am.  No problem there.  It's a Saturday night and going out for a few drinks and having some fun?  Go for it.  Been there.  Still there, actually.  

But.

At 4:48 am, I woke up with a start at the sound of Faith Hill being blasted through the ceiling.  It was like the speakers were up to eleven and directed at my face.  Shoes, this is not cool.  First of all, you are blasting music at my bedroom at 4:48 in the morning.  I was asleep, did you know that?  Secondly, you and RoomieShoes and BoyfriendShoes and Other Pals were apparently dropping blocks of ice against the floor, judging by the deafening noise.  Was this really necessary?  Were you out of ice cubes and absolutely needed to have cold drinks?  And thirdly - come on, Faith Hill?  This is what you choose to blast?  

Chris and I sat in bed for a bit, staring at the ceiling and wondering what exactly was up with you. I brought my hand up to my eyes and rubbed them, then shook a sleepy fist at the ceiling.  "Shooooooooes!"  You responded by tap dancing inside your bathtub while wearing coffee cans on your feet.

Shoes, we moved out to the living room and set up our blankets there.  We could still hear your stereo (now booming some obscure rap song from the 80's), but at least it wasn't throbbing over our heads.  "Maybe we can fall back asleep out here," I said to Chris, just as you and RoomieShoes decided to run giggling from one side of the apartment to the other, throwing rocks at the floor.  Mind you, it's now almost 5:45 in the morning.  And I'm sleepy. 

I'm kind of starting to hate you, Shoes.  I see your car and I want to peek in and see if it's crammed with boxes of stilettos and coupons for the ice factory.  I don't care if you're partying.  Seriously.  Don't care at all.  But 6 am?  You still haven't taken off your heels?   Don't your feet hurt, dear Shoes?  Maybe you need a pair of bunny slippers to help ease your tired feet.  I know I would be happy to pick you up a pair.  Would you prefer pink or white?  Just let me know.

And you know what?  I almost miss DogShoes.  At least he slept from time to time.

Kisses,
Kerri.

October 06, 2008

Working For The Weekend.

Work used to be confined with the hours of 9 and 5, Monday through Friday.   The idea of conferencing with my boss after work hours or on the weekend was laughable, back when I was working in my crappy insurance job.  But now, working at an internet/new media company and running SUM, work spills into the weekend almost effortlessly.

Which, if you ask me, is crap.

So I made some attempts at disconnecting this weekend.  My KerriBerry was still fired up and I occasionally checked in with Twitter, but I spent Saturday going on a hike with my husband and enjoying a nice dinner out, then Sunday at The Bruce Museum in Greenwich and then cooking steaks and drinking champagne on the beach with a friend.  We spent more time enjoying each other's company, instead of getting lost in the abyss of the internet.

And we saw some odd things, for certain. 

While we were hanging out on the beach, we spied on some people taking photographs nearby.  Just a couple high school kids, most likely in need of new Facebook profile pics.  Fine.  But then we saw a guy in what looked like Confederate solider gear, standing on top of a cannon.  Not exactly normal, but could have been a photo shoot of some kind.  

Soldiers on the wall.  Right?

Looking closer, however, we noticed that his buddy had something slightly anachronistic.

Vacuum man.

One guy in his solider gear, the other holding a vacuum cleaner. With the hose pointing towards the ocean.  Bold.  Poignant.  Contemporary art?  Either way, I almost laughed myself off the picnic table. 

October 03, 2008

Whine.

Wine, whine?I woke up high this morning, thanks to a late-night snack of quinoa that didn't get into my system fully until well after I'd gone to bed.  Pre-bedtime test was 94 mg/dl, but I woke up at 7:30 am with a full bladder, sweaters on the ol' teeth, a backache, small ketones, and a blood sugar of 298 mg/dl.  I cranked in a correction bolus and went about getting ready for work.

I don't usually fall fast after highs.  It takes me about two hours to really settle back into a steadier range, and sometimes longer to even start the blood sugar tumble.  So I showered, reconnected the pump, got dressed in a hurry, and shuffled my almost-always-late ass out the door.   Mind you, only 38 minutes had passed from the time I bolused.

Got to work, turned on my computer, and started picking through my work emails.  But I had that feeling of foggy distraction - the sound of a coworker tapping her fingers against the keys were resonating in my brain too loudly.  And I clicked on "new" about three times before realizing that I was trying to "reply" to an email instead.  Brain was malfunctioning.  So I tested, knowing something was up.

Or down, since the result was 53 mg/dl and falling fast.  

I reached into my small, compact work bag (lie: the bag is enormous and I'll end up deformed from carrying around so much unnecessary crap) and pulled out a bottle of juice I'd had stashed for a few weeks.  It was a bottle I used at the gym once before and just refilled for an emergency.  I twisted off the cap and heard a distinct hiss, like I woke up an angry grape juice rattle snake.

Juice doesn't normally hiss, does it? 

I gave the contents a quick sniff and realized that the grape juice had fermented and was now spoiled and closer to "wine" than "reaction treater."  Thankfully, I had a can of juice in the fridge at work, so a quick pull helped elevate my blood sugar.

Kerri, take note (from yourself in third person):  Juice becomes wine when you have it go from hot to cold a million times.  No juice when you're low becomes whine.  Though the pun is delightful, stick with glucose tabs, okay?  They're less apt to spoil.

September 01, 2008

Whipped.

Maine was gorgeous.  We took a ton of pictures, ate at some very ecclectic little places in Bar Harbor, watched the sun rise from Cadillac Mountain, and hiked all over the place in Acadia National Park.

And then we drove.

Oh how we drove, for hours, to get back to RI for the night.

All this travel has caused a wild case of exhaustion and, thanks to a few appointments in Boston tomorrow, no time for blogging.  I'll be back tomorrow night with a real post, but for now I need to catch up on some sleep.  In the meantime, here's something that made me laugh out loud:

Nunchucks.  Awesome.

Tacky?  Yes.  Completely ridiculous?  Yes.  But delightfully punny?  Oh hell yes.

August 29, 2008

I Love The Dirt.

The Friday Six:  August 29, 2008 editionIt's been almost a month since my last Friday Six, so I thought I'd dust off the photoshop file and revive it for this fine Labor Day weekend.  You know why?  Because I'll be in the woods this weekend.  Camping in the wilds of Maine.

Stop laughing. 

So yes, Chris and I are making the long trek to Maine this weekend to spend our holiday in a tree.  I mean in the wood, camping.  And before you collapse into laughter, I have camped before.  Back in high school, my friends and I used to go camping in the summer all the time.  I love hiking, and there's something so serene about being in a place where there's no television blaring, computer whirring, or people connected to any kind of network.  We're camping out in Acadia National Park one night, then staying at a bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor the next.  I'm very excited to disconnect from EVERYTHING for the weekend.  And it's my first camping trip with the pump, so I'm hopeful that I can keep it clean and safe from the freaking bears. 

In the spirit of camping, long car rides, and packing (oh my!), I've realized that a simple walk in the woods requires some serious backpack stocking-up.  We hit the grocery store last night and I bought several protein bars, high-carb power bars, and a few sports bottles of juice.  At home, I took quick stock of the supplies I need to bring "just in case," like insulin and syringes in case my pump craps out in the woods (i.e. stops working, not craps out in the woods ... you know what I mean), extra infusion sets, test strips, and a cooler to store all the cool-temperature supplies in.  Diabetes means hoping for the best and planning for the worst, and for me, that translates into not packing light.  (We did pack marshmallows, a chocolate bar, and graham crackers, of course.  We are going camping, after all, and what's a night around the campfire without s'mores and insulin?!)

In quasi-political news, a certain flash file made me laugh out loud.  Something about the iced coffee and the grinning faces made my day.  And Biden doing the Cabbage Patch in the back seat.  See for yourself and blame my brother for sending me the weirdest things on the internet.

Team Six Until Me is walking again at the Rhode Island JDRF Walk on October 26th!  If you are in the RI area and you'll be at the walk, please come by and say hello!  Just look for the rag-tag crew of silly people, anchored by my grinning head and the grinning heads of my friends and family. 

Last week, Chris and I visited NYC and went to the Top of the Rock.  Yes, it's a big ol' tourist draw and I can't pretend to be anything more than a tourist.  (I'm from Rhode Island - we hardly ever leave the borders of our own damn state! Living in CT is like breaking all the rules.)  Anyway, going to the top of Rockefeller Center was very cool.  The view, as you can imagine, is remarkable.  Of course we took a pile of pictures.  We haven't had much time to get into the city lately, but I'm always impressed with what it has to offer every time I go.

And unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to do a vlog this week, but I'll do one early next week.  And I think I may need to finally respond to the gauntlet laid down by Mr. Bennet himself - for the Whack-A-Meter challenge.  I have plenty of old school meters in my home that don't work and I don't think there are even strips being made for them anymore.  It may be time to take out my aggressions on those symbols of diabetes.  Anybody with me?   It may actually feel good.

Have a good three-day weekend, and I'll see you on Tuesday!  (After I pick the spiders out of my hair.  Oh good Lord.)

August 28, 2008

Everybody Exercises.

There are days when I feel like I'm draaaaaging myself to the gym.  Literally, like scooping my legs off the floor, forcing them into my workout clothes, and dawdling over to the door.  The weeks after the wedding and through the beginning of August were particularly hard, because my numbers were on the level of "sucking royally" and my body was infected with a general feeling of "vlah." 

Thank goodness that Chris is usually ready to roll.  It helps to have someone who is also dedicated to being healthy, because it makes it easier for me to keep from slacking off due to my own laziness or vlah-ishness.  Especially when work gets busy and freelance is hopping - getting my sorry butt to the gym becomes a real challenge.  Chris and his equal quest for good health and a long life serve as more motivation to get moving.

It also helps that the Sausage does her part.  

By trying on my running shoes. 

The cat wears sneakers.  Enough said.

Wrong foot, Siah.  The other one.

There you go, Siah.

There you go, piggy.  That's the correct foot.

Diabetes requires support on all fronts.  Even from the cat. 

August 25, 2008

F-Ing Insurance Company.

Over the last three months, I've received no less than ten phone calls from a collections agency:

"Mrs. Moron?  You owe us $100 for insulin pump supplies."

"It's More-own.  Actually, it's Sparling now.  And I do not owe your company anything.  I've been paying my co-payments with each order."

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Sparkling.  Our records show that you owe one hundred."

I tell them they are wrong.  They say they'll check their records and call me back.  About a week later, the phone will ring again:

"Mrs. Sparlinc?  Your balance is $60 owed to us."

"That is incorrect.  I don't owe you guys anything.  Can you send me supporting documentation?  I want to make sure our records are synching up.  And my last name is Sparling.  With a g at the end."

"Okay."

They send another bill, instead of supporting documents.  The bill is for $100 (I thought they just said $60?)  I call them:

"This is Kerri Sparling.  I received another bill from you, but I believe it is incorrect."

"Yes.   You owe $40."

"The bill says $100.  Last time you called, you said $60.  Now it's $40?"

"Wait, I was wrong.  You owe $60.  Please send a check or we will have to pursue legal action."

"This is ridiculous.  Do not call me again.  I am writing a check for $60 today.  Don't call me, don't bill me without supporting documentation, and please, please get my name right."

I mailed out the check last week, on August 19th.  I received correspondence from them today, dated August 21st:

Idiot insurance company.

A refund of $40, made out to "Kerri Morron [sic]."  Frigging idiots.  Now I'll wait for them to send back my $60.  In the meantime, I'm sure they'll send me a bill.

August 15, 2008

The Diabetes Police.

The diabetes police are usually well-meaning, usually nice, but most often think they are the resident experts on all things diabetes. Frustrating for sure. Dealing with the diabetes police usually means supressing a sigh, carefully explaining the situation, and hoping it sinks in.  But when the person policing you is someone you love, it can be tricky.

My video post this week is a short cartoon about being hunted by the diabetes police and how Siah, a little iced coffee, and the support of some friends can make a difference. 

Stick people have it easy. They don't even have faces. And cookies fall from the sky.

August 08, 2008

My Glucose Meter Talks To Me.

I spoke with my meter about whether or not he's comfortable talking on camera.  After some cajoling, Meter decided he was ready for his close-up.  He wasn't happy about the nose, and he was a little frustrated that cars kept driving by as we were taping, but overall he was pleased to share his perspectives with the diabetes community.

My Glucose Meter Talks To Me.

Coffee?  Yes, it's making me do strange things.  Why do you ask?

August 05, 2008

SpiderWoman.

AHHHHHHHHHH!Last night, I started the long trek back to RI for today's Joslin appointment.  I threw my bags into the Jetta, queued up a few good driving cds, and began the drive.  Once I was on the road, I took a few minutes to call my dad back.  We were mid-conversation when I felt a little tickle on my left arm.  I looked over absently and saw an enormous gray spider sitting patiently, wearing what looked like a sweatervest.

"HOLY CRAP!"

"What is it?"

"DAD THERE IS A HUGE SPIDER ON MY ARM OH MY GOD I AM FREAKING OUT."  My voice was at a fevered pitch but I was doing my best to refrain from completely losing it while I was driving.

"A spider?  Just brush it off, Kerri."  I could hear the laugh in his voice.  I was not amused.

"DAD I CANNOT DO THAT.  IT IS LOOKING AT ME."  Panic rising.  The spider laughed.  I freaked out and flung my arm against the window.  The spider yelped, then fell into my lap and ran down my thigh towards my feet.

"DAD, I HAVE TO GO.  I WILL CALL YOU BACK IN A MINUTE.  I NEED TO MELT DOWN FOR A MINUTE." 

He sighed.  "Kerri, keep it together.  Call me back."  He hung up.  I drove on in silence, screams trapped behind my tightly-closed lips.  I took the first exit, drove to a restaurant parking lot, and put the car gently into park. 

Then I threw open the door, half fell out before realizing I needed to undo my seat belt, and stumbled away from the car yelling something that sounded like, "Oh my God what a massive spider AHHHHH! I cannot believe AHHHHHH!  Ewww!!!"

My hands were scraping invisible ceilings above my head.  I kept touching my legs to make sure there weren't spiders crawling around on me.  My ponytail came loose and I was sweating.  Thankfully, there was a truck filled with guys just finishing their construction job parked right next to me.

"Um, miss?  Are you okay?"  The driver stepped cautiously out of the car, putting his hands in front of him and moving towards me slowly.

"I'm fine.  Spider.  There was a big spider."  Breathing hard.  Feeling so, so stupid.

"Is she havin' a fit?"  A voice from within the construction truck, followed by another man murmuring.

"Nope, just a spider.  Miss, do you want me to check your car for the spider?"

I'm sure I looked like a lunatic.

"Yes, please.  Please check.  It is gray and seriously huge.  It's wearing a sweatervest, for crying out loud." 

He laughed.  Two of the guys checked my car while I watched from a safe distance of at least fifteen feet.

"Miss?  There's nothing but these things," one of them lifted their hand up and showed me a collection of used test strips that were cached underneath the passenger seat. 

"No spider?  He was just there!" 

"He's gone now."  AHHHHHHHHHH!

I smoothed my hair back and thanked them with the most mature voice I could muster.  They laughed at me and told me not to worry, because the spider was more scared of me than I was of it.

Somehow I doubt that.

SpiderWoman.

AHHHHHHHHHH!Last night, I started the long trek back to RI for today's Joslin appointment.  I threw my bags into the Jetta, queued up a few good driving cds, and began the drive.  Once I was on the road, I took a few minutes to call my dad back.  We were mid-conversation when I felt a little tickle on my left arm.  I looked over absently and saw an enormous gray spider sitting patiently, wearing what looked like a sweatervest.

"HOLY CRAP!"

"What is it?"

"DAD THERE IS A HUGE SPIDER ON MY ARM OH MY GOD I AM FREAKING OUT."  My voice was at a fevered pitch but I was doing my best to refrain from completely losing it while I was driving.

"A spider?  Just brush it off, Kerri."  I could hear the laugh in his voice.  I was not amused.

"DAD I CANNOT DO THAT.  IT IS LOOKING AT ME."  Panic rising.  The spider laughed.  I freaked out and flung my arm against the window.  The spider yelped, then fell into my lap and ran down my thigh towards my feet.

"DAD, I HAVE TO GO.  I WILL CALL YOU BACK IN A MINUTE.  I NEED TO MELT DOWN FOR A MINUTE." 

He sighed.  "Kerri, keep it together.  Call me back."  He hung up.  I drove on in silence, screams trapped behind my tightly-closed lips.  I took the first exit, drove to a restaurant parking lot, and put the car gently into park. 

Then I threw open the door, half fell out before realizing I needed to undo my seat belt, and stumbled away from the car yelling something that sounded like, "Oh my God what a massive spider AHHHHH! I cannot believe AHHHHHH!  Ewww!!!"

My hands were scraping invisible ceilings above my head.  I kept touching my legs to make sure there weren't spiders crawling around on me.  My ponytail came loose and I was sweating.  Thankfully, there was a truck filled with guys just finishing their construction job parked right next to me.

"Um, miss?  Are you okay?"  The driver stepped cautiously out of the car, putting his hands in front of him and moving towards me slowly.

"I'm fine.  Spider.  There was a big spider."  Breathing hard.  Feeling so, so stupid.

"Is she havin' a fit?"  A voice from within the construction truck, followed by another man murmuring.

"Nope, just a spider.  Miss, do you want me to check your car for the spider?"

I'm sure I looked like a lunatic.

"Yes, please.  Please check.  It is gray and seriously huge.  It's wearing a sweatervest, for crying out loud." 

He laughed.  Two of the guys checked my car while I watched from a safe distance of at least fifteen feet.

"Miss?  There's nothing but these things," one of them lifted their hand up and showed me a collection of used test strips that were cached underneath the passenger seat. 

"No spider?  He was just there!" 

"He's gone now."  AHHHHHHHHHH!

I smoothed my hair back and thanked them with the most mature voice I could muster.  They laughed at me and told me not to worry, because the spider was more scared of me than I was of it.

Somehow I doubt that.

July 30, 2008

KerriBerry.

(We interrupt the CWD recap to bring you yet another moment in Kerri's graceless, awkward life.) 

A few months ago, a small crack splintered across the screen of my Motorolla Q.  It wasn't too noticable, but I resolved to replace the thing once my contract ran up in August. 

Monday morning, as I was talking with my editor-in-chief, the Q slipped out of my hand and smashed against the concrete dLife floors.  (I am so clumsy.)

Holy busted Q.

"Oh darn!"  I said, substituting "darn" with another, more colorful exclamation.  The screen was destroyed.  Just running my finger along the surface sent little sprinkles of plastic everywhere.

After consulting with my boss, my co-workers, and the fine minds at Twitter, I was urged to call Verizon and see if they could bump up my renewal date.

"Hi, this is Kerri Morrone."  (The post-marriage name change hasn't happened on my bills yet.)  "I just accidentally smashed my phone against the floor and now there are pieces of the screen in my ear as I speak with you.  Can you help me?"

The customer service guy laughed.  "Oh no!  We need to fix that!"

"Would it be possible to move my renewal date to today?"  I crossed my fingers, bits of screen stuck to my left cheek.

"Ms. Morrone, I'm making that change as we speak."

Twenty minutes later, I was buying my new addiction.  This thing: 

Crackberry for sure.

I am experiencing full-on TechnoJoy.  Instead of reading the manual cover to cover, I've instead just started banging away on the buttons and checking out all the new features, making up "how" as I go along.  My boss is blue-toothing me ringtones.  My brother is hooking me up with tips.  And I actually registered at a site called (God help me) Crackberry.com.  While I love a well-tended garden, waves crashing against shore, and the overall brilliance of nature, this little techy gadget thing has me completely enthralled.

Chris made fun of me and my new gadget addiction.  He called it a KerriBerry. 

I agree:  A life would be good.

In the meantime, if you have a suggestion for a Blackberry tips site, or a useful forum I should check out for fun bits, please let me know!  I'm hopelessly addicted already.


SUM Tags: , , , ,

July 17, 2008

Give Me The Sample!

Antisocial little droplet
Hiding in my fingertip.
I called for you - you did not answer!
Forcing me to now reprick.

I lanced again, into the tissue,
Calloused hard from all these thuds,
I squeezed my finger with the purpose
Of procuring bright red blood.

But no!  My body stayed so stubborn,
Not giving me a proper sample.
"I'll change the lancet - then I'll finally
Get results."  My smile was ample.

Knowing that it wasn't time
To change the clocks or check detectors,
I still swapped out my old lancet
For a fresh, sharp blood collector.

I pressed the button, heard the shunk
And felt the sting of proper lancing,
Squeezed my finger, saw the blood
And did a jig of happy dancing.

I'd forgotten how convenient
It could be to just prick once -
Leaving me, the lancet horder,
Feeling like a mild dunce.

I suggest, my Faithful Readers
That you heed my sage advice.
Don't forget to change the lancet -
Prick your finger once, not twice!

Three little blood droplets, all in a row...

July 15, 2008

Bolus-Worthy?

Last night, I was in the city with my co-workers for Ricky Gervais (guy from the original Office) and we left straight from work.  Gervais, though he played for only about an hour, was terribly crass and clever and peppered his jokes with British witticisms and some aptly placed f-words ... which means I laughed my ass off at every inappropriate bit.  (Granted, he's not as funny as Eddie Izzard, but there aren't many who are.)

Ricky Gervais in NYC

Before the show, the group of us stopped at a restaurant near the WaMu Center and grabbed a bite to eat.  I decided to go "off the carb wagon" and order up a cheeseburger.  Then my co-worker got a slice of red velvet cake which made me crave my wedding cake.  So I snaked a few forkfuls of that, too.

Needless to say, this meal took about seven units to cover it.

For me, there are plenty of foods that are worth garnering the "Whoa, you're eating that?" response.  Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting would be one of them.  Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory in Providence is another.  Oh, and fresh baked Italian bread dipped in extra-virgin olive oil with sea salt and garlic chips.  That may be the most bolus-worthy carb influx of all time.  And a few years ago, a chai tea latte was totally worth the insulin (but now I can't justify drinking calories - I'd rather actually eat them).  My bolus-worthy choices change with the tides, but there's always those few items that I'm willing to crank up my pump for.  Black raspberry ice cream from St. Claire's Annex.  A bowl of linguine with alfredo sauce.  Strawberry shortcake in the summer.  Yum, yum, yum.

Food is one of those things that walks a fine line in my life.  I'm usually very consistent with my dietary choices, sticking closer to green beans and chicken than pasta and meatballs.  But I'm not one to assign "good" and "bad" attributes to different foods.  That's always struck me as a tricky attitude.  An ice cream cone isn't "bad" - it's just meant for a certain time, place, insulin dose, and blood sugar level.  Denying myself some culinary treats doesn't help me maintain a healthy food-i-tude, but instead can make me want to go hide behind the dresser and eat a pint of ice cream in secret.  (And believe me, I binge-ate in secret as a teenager due to complicated emotions about food and diabetes.  Was not fun.)  I want to enjoy what I'm eating.  Having access to technology like an insulin pump, fast-acting insulin, and a CGM opens up eating options that weren't easily made part of the equation when I was diagnosed over 20 years ago.  While a lower-carbohydrate diet keeps my numbers steadiest, I can indulge in the occasional delicious treat without sacrificing blood sugar control.

Holy crap, that last sentence sounded like an advertisement.  How 'bout this:  Cake or death?  Um, cake please.  Side of insulin, thanks.

What are your bolus-worthy foods?  (And here's a short Ricky Gervais clip about Humpty Dumpty, which made me laugh so hard I cried.)

July 14, 2008

Donald Trump Sausage.

(This is another bit of a grost (gross post), but it made me laugh too hard not to share.)

I had to groom Abby the Fat Cat on Saturday morning.  The aftermath included a happy Abby and a disgusting ball of AbbyFur. 

Somehow, the furball ended up on Siah's head. She sat there, patiently, balancing it like a seal.  And she looked so much like Donald Trump that it made me laugh.  Hard. 

Donald Trump Siah Sausage 

There is no reason for this cat.  No reason at all. 

Also, there was no reason for my entire morning today.  I woke up feeling fine (a bit tired, but overall fine) and headed into work.  Around 9 am, my head felt like it was splitting open on the left hand side and my eyes couldn't even look at the bright computer screen.  My co-worker, who has experienced migraines before, confirmed for me that I was enjoying my first migraine headache.

"You mean it's normal for me to feel like my eyes were dilated and now I can't see right?"  I asked.

"Not abnormal."

"This is crap."

After an hour of attempting to write and focus on work, I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to drop off the radar for a few hours to reclaim my brain.  After a nap in a cold, dark room in my apartment, I felt much better and returned to work.

Do you guys get migraine headaches?  This is the first one I've ever had and it was wicked.  I do not ever want to experience that again, and I have such respect for people who have these headaches regularly.  Is this a common occurance for people with diabetes?  How do you manage your migraines?  And what the heck can I do to keep this issue from cropping up again?  Any help you can offer would be much appreciated.

Headaches suck. 

(And, in case you haven't noticed the changes, I've done a bit of a reshuffling of the content here on my blog.  There's a new archives page and a three-column layout now, in addition to a bunch of other crap that I'm still muddling through.  Let me know what you think!)   

July 11, 2008

Fur Coats.

IdiotsI was on the highway coming to work this morning, looked over to my left, and saw a man.  In his black BMW.  Wearing a full fur coat.  In July. 

Can't say anything else about this - it was too startling all on its own.

July 10, 2008

Slackin' A Bit.

Larry Bird is my workout buddy.  In my mind, at least.The phone rings.  I look at the caller ID and groan.  I do not even want to pick this call up because it's going to be nothing but a bunch of nagging and I don't want to ...

Kerri:  Hello?

Silence.

Kerri:  (sighs)  I know it's you.  

Larry Bird:  (laughs)  Dude, you always know.  How do you know?  It's like you have a sixth sense or something.

Kerri:  Or caller ID.  You're calling my cell phone.

Larry Bird:  Oh.  

Kerri:
  Besides, I sort of figured I'd hear from you this week.  But I have a good reason!

Larry Bird: 
Kerri, I can't think of a single good reason you haven't been to the gym since Monday night.

Kerri:  Larry, Chris was sick with a nasty cold.  And I wanted to stay home and keep him company ... you know, hang out a little bit?

Larry Bird: 
Great, so instead of going to the gym and doing me on the treadmill, you decided to stay home with your husband's germs and see if you can get sick, too?  (giggles)

Kerri:
  I wanted to hang out with him!  I don't need to justify that to you ... dude, why  are you giggling?

Larry Bird:  I said (giggles uncontrollably) "do me on the treadmill."  Out of context, that just sounds ridiculous.

Kerri: 
(laughs)  You have a point.  And I'm going to the gym tonight, so get off my case, okay?

Larry Bird: 
You know I only bug you because I care.  Otherwise I'd just call you, say "Merry f#%&ing Christmas," and bury another three-pointer.

Kerri: 
Another good point.  Okay, thanks for checking in on me once again.  I promise to be more on the ball with getting some exercise in.  But I swear, I've been to the gym five times a week for a good long time now.  It's officially a routine.   I won't let it slide.

Larry Bird:  Good to hear.  Best to the husband.  Be good to him, okay?  There can only be one.

Kerri:  Merry f#%&ing Christmas.   (laughs)

Larry Bird: 
Smartass.  

Click.

June 30, 2008

Radio City Music Izzard.

Our seats were, admittedly, kind of crap.  But being waaaaay up there in the third mezzanine of Radio City Music Hall wasn't the worst place to be on Saturday night.  I mean, we were in the presence of greatness:  Mr. Eddie Izzard was performing.

The view from our seats.  Gorgeous theater!

Thanks to the power of a wicked zoom lens and the fact that there really is no bad seat at Radio City, Chris and I took in our first Eddie Izzard performance this weekend.  And Eddie was fantastic.  It took him a few minutes to get rolling, but once his act was in full gear, we were hooked on every word.  From musings about keeping gazelles in a bag to a discussion about covering thy neighbor's ox, I realized that Eddie Izzard may be the cleverist comedian on the very planet.

Weird thing is, he wasn't dressed in drag.  Izzard normally performs in drag (see: Dress to Kill), wearing fabulous kimonos, high platform shoes, and a whole pile of make-up.  The first time I saw his act, I was like, "Who is this guy in drag?"  Now it seems strange to not see him dressed in women's clothing.  This past Saturday, he wore a tuxedo jacket and jeans.  No make-up.  He even had a goatee.  (Sorry, Hannah.  No fabulous shoes.) 

Eddie Izzard, that handsome devil.

It felt good to sit there and laugh.  Like the kinds of laughs that errupt out without permission and make you throw your head back a little bit.  We took in the performance, snapped a few pictures as Eddie ran up the platforms so he could bow to us folks up in the nosebleeds, and then had a nice quiet dinner at a place in Chelsea. 

We spent Sunday checking out the Beardsley Zoo and then visiting a few vineyards on the fine CT wine trail (we love the wine trail).  Sunday afternoon ended with us having iced coffees at a java house in the Middle-Of-Nowhere CT (where we caught part of a set by local musician Mike Griffin - surprisingly talented singer, considering we just stumbled upon him playing for a group of five people in this coffee house). 

I love spending time with my husband, disconnected from work and the internet and instead reconnected with each other.  That's the way life should be sometimes.  :)

June 26, 2008

Surprising Gym Results.

I like my gym.  It is small, tidy, and there's never a wait for the machines.   Chris and I go there every weeknight for about an hour.  My workout varies from resistance training, circuits, and sometimes just some plain old cardio.

Last night, I did a cardio circuit that involved 10 minutes on the elliptical machine, 10 minutes on the treadmill, 3 minutes jumping rope, and then another 10 on the stationary bike.  (Thirty-three minutes.  Larry Bird, baby.)  After I was done on the bike, the machine beeeeped! and flashed a message of completion which took me by such surprise that I yelped.

Slut!!

Excuse me? 

Apparently the machine was programmed in the wrong language, because as it cycled through the results, it offered me my snitt fart count, as well.

Snitt Fart workout!

I do not know what language this is.  All I know is that it surprised the hell out me.  And I ended up with an impromptu ab workout due to uncontrollable laughter.

June 23, 2008

Of Course It Is.

I had to make a call to the Public Relations folks at Disney World this morning to gain access to some of their editorial images. I dialed the number and absently checked my email as I waited for the House of the Mouse rep to pick up the phone.  After just two rings, a very cheery, very high-pitched voice answered.

"Hello!!!"  

She spoke in exclamation points.  Immediately I had the mental image of the bouquet of helium balloons floating above her desk, serving as some kind of snack.  

"Hi.  My name is Kerri and I'm an editor at dLife.  I'm calling about [insert work reference here]."

"Okay!! You just need the media username, password, and your own email address to get started!!"  Garage doors in Florida must have been going up in unison as she spoke.

"Great.  Can you share that username and password with me?"

"I can!!  The username is 'disney'!!"

"No kidding.  That's very clever.  And the password?"  I felt my voice dropping deeper and deeper in contrast to her pinging little twitter.  I could imagine her sitting there at the desk, a pair of Minnie Mouse ears anchored on her little head and her hands dancing along the keyboard, clad in white Mouse gloves.

"The password?  Why it's 'magic,' silly!!!!!"Silly!

Of course it is.

Silly!!!

June 20, 2008

Dexcom, Batman, and Gaseous Emissions.

The Friday Six:  June 20, 2008 editionWelcome to this week's edition of The Friday Six - your source for diabetes information, random websites worth checking out, and the occasional fascinating game about farts.  (Because farts are perpetually funny, despite my best intentions to grow up and act like the adult I'm supposed to be.)  Consider it "brought."

Uno.Now that my insurance appeal letter has been sent, I'm in the 30-day waiting game that Oxford Health plays.  I'm hoping that I don't need to go through a second appeal process, but I'm assuming that will be the case.  So while I wait for a response from my insurance company, I'm compiling data.  I've officially switched over to the OneTouch UltraLink, so now every time I test, I hear the subsequent "beeeep" of my pump receiving and logging the result.  When I upload my data this weekend, I'll be able to see what my numbers were and how my boluses correlated.  I'm also pulling records from when the paramedics were called in 2003 for a hypoglycemic episode and my last string of A1C results.  When the insurance company comes back with a "no," I'll have an arsenal of information to offer up.

2.  Also, the diabetes community is indeed a tight one - this was proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt this week.  While I was away on my honeymoon, the dLife CEO met with a Dexcom representative in our area.  While they were talking, it came out that I worked for dLife.  Turns out that the Dexcom rep was someone from my diabetes past.  This representative is the woman who used to baby-sit me when I was young, when my parents went away on vacation.  Her son is a type 1 diabetic and she was the person who guided me and my parents through those first tenuous years after diagnosis.  Now, she's my Dexcom rep, and she's coming to hang out with me next week to discuss the finer points of Dexcom'ing.  Small world, eh?

3.  In decidedly non-diabetes news, I came across a link yesterday that really brought out the grown-up in me.  It's a very serious online game that deals with such mature topics as gaseous emissions and space exploration.  In fact, PuzzleFarter was one of the most serious links I've ever sent around my office.  No, it did not make me giggle like a five year old, silly.  (Hat tip to my brother, who continues to find the oddest damn things on the internet.) 

4.  Another link I've come across in the last few days has been the one where people are recreating their childhood photos.  Have you seen this?  The pictures are part of a site called ColorWars 2008 and the pictures are the "YoungMe:NowMe."  I love this one.  It makes me happy.  And this one just plain makes me laugh.

5.  Tonight we'll be trekking back to RI to hang out with friends and family, and to celebrate Batman's birthday!!  My superhero friend is ringing in her big day tomorrow and this is the first time in seven years I haven't been able to buy her the new Harry Potter book for her birthday.  Strange rite of passage.  But if you are feeling like wishing a happy birthday to the Batman friend, feel free to leave her some love in the comments section.  :)

Six!And lastly, this one last website almost caused me to end up on the floor in shock.  Prior to today, I wasn't aware that cat sharks existed.  Now I know.  And knowing is terrifying. 

Have a good weekend, Blogosphere!  :D  See you on Monday.

June 19, 2008

Cannot Deal.

It's been very busy at work this week and projects at home have been even busier.  (Try bringing piles of wedding gifts into an already packed apartment.  We're blessed to have such generous friends, lucky to have had such a nice wedding, and currently weeding through our belongings and tossing the old to make way for the new.) 

Thank goodness all three cats have simultaneously gone berserk in the last few days.  

Prussia has taken to jumping from windowsill to windowsill, trilling her little brains out until one of us claps our hands to quiet her.  She also has been making out with my shoes on a regular basis, which is making me slightly uncomfortable. 

Abby went from being fat and docile to fast-pawed and overzealous.  More often than not, I see her waddling at a precarious speed towards the other cats, trying to use her lightning-fast double paws to cuff them in the head and incite a riot.  She then attempts to hide under the couch, but realizes that she's about three hundred meals past not fitting.  (Poor Abby.) 

And then there's my arch nemesis:  Siah Sausage.  This annoying little biscuit has been clawing at the bedroom door every night, wailing to be let in.  She has successfully eaten half of the carpet outside of door and once I open the door for her in the morning, she proceeds to stalk me while I'm getting ready each morning.  Yesterday she ran off with one of my earrings.  Today she managed to snuggle up to the black sweater before I had a chance to put it on, leaving a furry little Siah-shaped furball on the front.  

"Sausage, I'm trying to get things done around here.  Please stop tipping over the laundry basket."  "Please do not jump up on the counter and trot off with half of my sandwich."  "Please refrain from sticking your cold kitty nose in my ear while I'm sitting, unsuspecting, on the couch."

Her response?

She's meeting Mick for sushi today.

She does not take me seriously. I do not know what to do with her.

June 17, 2008

Summer Shoes.

Dear Shoes,F-ing Shoes.

Goodness it's been hot lately in our building, right?  The sweltering heat, the insane humidity, and the constant hum of air conditioners in everyone's windows.  People are hot.  Irritable.  And sometimes it's tough to sleep at night in these early summer conditions.

So I'm wondering, right, why you and DogShoes are thrashing around in the apartment at two in the morning?

Aren't you hot up there?  I hear DogShoes thundering back and forth, chasing whatever tennis ball or stick or Playmate cooler you are throwing down the hallway for him to retrieve.  I also hear him barking at BoyfriendShoes when he comes home from work at night . DogShoes must really, really like your boyfriend because her bark just booms with deafening joy upon his arrival! 

I know you are taking precautionary measures to keep DogShoes cool in this relentless heat.  I mean, it's so swell of you to have him running laps in the wee hours of the morning - when the sun is down, of course - instead of during the day when the sun's rays are the hottest.  You are a good owner, Shoes.  Always thinkin'.

I know you and BoyfriendShoes are doing your best to control DogShoes.  Between the moments of doggy feet pounding against the hardwoods, I hear you two talking animatedly about "Throw it in the tub and see if he jumps in," and "I saw you talking to her again outside of work and so help me God if you are cheating on me I will throw you out on your ass."  I appreciate your dedication to DogShoes' exercise habits and to the fidelity of your relationship, I really do.   I'm just an eensy bit concerned about the luggage taking residence underneath my eyes.

I'll wait it out until it dawns on you that most people are sleepy at two in the morning.  Or that they don't want dog thunder rolling in our ceiling.  If I was taller, I'd bang on the ceiling with a broom.  But I'm not taller and I can't reach the ceiling without teetering precariously on a chair.  And I'm also not 74 years old  with a spindle in the back bedroom.  I can handle the noise, Shoes.  I just don't like it.

In the meantime, I'll stay downstairs with my husband and my melting doormat cats.  And someday, when I'm taller, I'll let loose on that ceiling with a hammer.

Cuddles,
Kerri.

June 10, 2008

Believe It, Or Not!

A few weekends ago, Chris and I found ourselves wandering through NYC.  Actually, we went to the city with intentions of being all educated and high-brow, venturing into The Met for an afternoon of "Oh, how educational!" and "Wow, my brain synapses are firing like maGarbage cans are art, right?d.  Aren't yours?"  If we were to drink tea, it would be with an extended pinky finger, for certain.

The planetarium was beautiful.  Because I was feeling so damn brilliant, I didn't want to miss any of the exhibits.  As we walked around the Hayden Planetarium, I motioned for Chris to climb the stairs towards another small display.

"Chris, come over here.  There's one more." 

"Kerri, there's nothing over there."

"There is.  Over here."  I walked confidently towards a black silo-shaped exhibit with hole cut out in the top.  Would it be a video of how the planets were formed?  Maybe something about black holes?  Oooh, what if it was about asteroids?  I looked inside as Chris followed behind me and saw ...

Garbage.  

It was a garbage can. 

"Kerri, that's a garbage can."  Chris was starting to smirk.

"I know.  I knew it was a garbage can."  I tightened my grip on my purse and started walking towards the stairs.  He followed, on the verge of laughing.

"You didn't know it was a garbage can, did you."  

I turned to face him.  We were in NYC, enjoying a great museum, all smarty pants.  

"Dude, I had no clue."

We laughed until we cried.  I was laughing so hard that a security guard looked at me and playfully said, "No laughing in the museum."   My gasped response:  "A garbage can ... I thought ... art!"

Recognizing the fact that we are just two ridiculous people, we left The Met and found ourselves at the Ripley's Museum (right next to Madame Toussaud's).  This was way more my speed.  We spent the rest of the afternoon oogling the oddities, including an iron maiden, a sculpture carved from camel bone, and a moment with the tallest guy in the world.

Mr. Robert Wadlow and Mrs. Kerri Sparling

At least considering the garbage can to be an exhibit here isn't much of a stretch.  ;) 

June 04, 2008

Where's Waldo?

Holy crap - this made me laugh out loud.  Part of yesterday's post involved Nick naming my new insulin pump "Waldo," since it's always hiding and people are trying to find out where it's stashed.  I liked the name and thought it was pretty damn funny.

So this morning, I received an email from Michelle.  She attached this:

Where's Waldo?  Oh wait, he's right here.

Which made me almost lose it.  I had to share.  Where's Waldo?  Oh wait, he's right here.  Waldo the Insulin Pump.  I love it. 

Not My Father.

My cell phone trills from the depths of my work bag while I'm driving.  I execute a quick, one-handed dive into the bag, retrieve the cell phone, and see that the caller's number is blocked.  It must be my mother, or my friend Batman, or a customer service call.

"Hello?"

"Hello, Pumpkin."

(Or my father.)

"Hi there.  What's up?"

"Not much.  Just calling to see how work is going."  He sounded very happy.  Which is bizarre because, let's be honest, he's not the most chipper guy in the world.

"Work is good.  I'm just getting back in the swing of things.  On my way back from lunch now.  How are you?"

"Good, good.  Hey, it was great to see you guys last weekend."

Last weekend?  He must mean two weekends ago.  Chris and I were on our honeymoon last weekend.  But whatever.

"Yeah, it was good to see everyone."

"Yeah.  So did you give Amelia any of those pills?"

(Silence.)

"Amelia?  Who's Amelia?"

It wasn't my father.(Now he was silent.)

"This isn't Melissa, is it."

"No, and you're not my dad, are you?"

He laughed.  I laughed. 

"You sound just like my dad.  And he calls me 'pumpkin.'"  I felt stupid.  "I feel stupid."

He laughed again.

"Me, too.  Sorry about that.  Thanks for the chat, though!  Now I need to go find Melissa.  Have a good day!"

"You too, Pumpkin."

May 30, 2008

Quite A Welcome Home.

A few months ago, we circulated a blog post around my office about office pranks.  There were some great ones, like covering someone's cube in post-it notes, wrapping all office supplies in tin foil, and the best one - filling someone's office space with balloons.  Funny, right?  Oh the fun of the internet.

Months passed.  And then I went away for my wedding.  The fine folks of dLife were spared of my silly jokes and incessant babbling for a full two weeks while I was off gettin' hitched and whatnot.  Then I returned to the office yesterday, complete with my new wedding ring and working off about four hours of sleep.

I walked in ... to this:

Holy cubicle balloons!

I couldn't believe it.  They actually pulled off the balloon prank!  I was very impressed.  And also very surprised:

Surprised Kerri.

They even incorporated the damn frog in on the fun:

The dLife Frog Prince 

Well played, dLife.  Well played, indeed.

May 06, 2008

Invisible Macy's Parade.

With the wedding just around the damn corner and our brains turning to oatmeal with every day that passes, silliness is reigning supreme in the Morrone - Sparling household. 

I present ...

Exhibit A:  Invisible Macy's Parade.

LOL Sausage

This is what happens when two highly-motivated, busy, and slightly stressed people are left alone on a Saturday morning with Siah and a camera.  This picture made me laugh so hard that I couldn't catch my breath.  Something about Abby sitting there, staring up from the background and looking so small as Massive Siah leapt from the chair and assaulted the foreground.

But ... she looked like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloon.  So, never to be outdone, we photoshopped the hell out of it. 

Exhibit B:  Visible Macy's Parade 

Visible Macy's Parade, of course.
 

Twelve days until the wedding.  And all I can do it collapse into giggles half the time.  Hopefully I find time between now and May 18th to grow up a little bit.   

April 30, 2008

SEO: Get a Pancreas!

Get a pancreas, will ya?After checking my statcounter today, I saw too many search terms leading readers here that made me laugh out loud - I had to share.  Here are today's search terms that made my brain melt:

"finger tips hurt when urinating"
(What the heck?)
"insulin pizza party time"
"I believe in love and rockets" 
(I agree.  I love 'Love and Rockets.')
"squirrels are in my pillow"  
(This is an issue that should be addressed promptly, no?)
"diabetes don't want to prick" 
(Too much of an open door with this one.  Let your mind have it's way with it.)
"needles hurt and make me want sausage" 
(A Siah Sausage?)
"do not have a big wedding" 
(Too late.)

And my personal favorite:

"Get a pancreas!"

Damn straight.  :)

April 28, 2008

dTOEs: Second Edition

Diabetes comes with its own set of jargon, that's for sure.  From "carbage" to "zombied," we've got the latest diabetes sniglets here on Six Until Me.  Submitted by readers who are living with diabetes (and some from me), these entries made me laugh out loud!  I present, for your reading and laughing pleasure, Diabetes Terms of Endearment:  Second Edition!

Diabetes Terms of Endearment:  Second Edition

 

 

3 am Break
For couples where one partner has diabetes, this refers to 3 am low blood sugars, wherein one person drinks juice and the other goes to pee.

Beedies (see also "Diabetus")
Expression used to refer to diabetes, usually spoken in the voice of an old man. ex. "I gots the BEEDIES!"

Bloodletting
Not using perfectly good blood from a cut from a knife or other household item for a glucose test because you recently tested. 

Blood Suckers
Collective term for test strips, blood drawing devices, and vampire cannulas.

Carbage
Term indicative of the collective carbohydrate content in an item, rhymes with "garbage."  ex.  "What's the carbage on that bagel?"

CCB
Crazy correction bolus.  See also "SWAG" or "Rage Bolus"

Cheap Date
Also known as "diabetics," as we don't normally order dessert on dates. 

Cramming
The act of over-eating to treat those pesky midnight low blood sugars.  See also "Sleep-Eating" or "Panic Eating"

Creepy Fingers
A term Jillian's sister uses for what over pricked fingers look like after a long swim in the summer, all pruney and holey and mangled.

CSI Dream
The blood stains on sheets and clothing from glucose tests.

Cured
Word often muttered under your breath when you end up low after precision-bolusing for a meal, as though your body didn't need the insulin.  ex. "I have no idea how I ended up low.  I must be cured."

Diabetes Medicine
What Shannon calls juice boxes so that her other kids don't clamor for one while she's treating her son's low blood sugar.  See also "It's Her Medicine."

Diabetes Sheriff
Any non-diabetic who feels it is their job to give their opinion on what we should eat.  Classic ex. "You can't eat this - you have diabetes."  Note that it's never a question - always an imperative statement.

Diabetus
Wilford Brimley's preferred pronunciation of the word "diabetes."  Usually followed by laughter and the viewing of YouTube clips. ex. "Hi.  Are you using Liberty Medical to get your diabetus medications?"

Diablandic
Sugar-free or diabetes marketed food that tastes horribly bland (ex: - Girl Scout Sugar-Free Brownies)

Dial in
The act of taking a bolus with an insulin pump. ex. "Dial in for that panini." Note: this expression does not make sense, as there is no dial on an insulin pump, but that reasoning makes me like it even more.

Dead Bees
Term given to diabetes by the classmate of a small child.  ex. "He needs juice because he has dead bees."

Droopy
Terri-Lynn's son's term for feeling low.  Also known as jiggly, fuzzy, d-fogged, and lost.

"Get The Machine!"
Can be said to anyone who is already familiar with your diabetes and has done something to make their finger bleed out a drop, i.e. a papercut, sewing needle prick, small scale kitchen knife or razor incident, etc.

Glucose Goblins
The fiendish critters that make our blood sugars high after an insulin set change.  ex. "I changed my site, didn't eat anything, and still ended up at 250 mg/dl.  Damn glucose goblins."

Gusher
After pulling out a needle or infusion set, blood spurts out all over the dang place. 

"Give Mommy the Finger."
A phrase often used by parents of children with diabetes, referring to a parent's request to test their child's blood sugar.  Often met by amused stares from strangers.

Flat Line
A welcome sight for people using CGMs. Refers to rock stable, flat, normal, wonderful blood sugars over a prolonged period (3 or 9 hr screens on the D7). Especially gratifying after pizza, chinese or bagels.

Flicked
Or "to flick" - When an infusion set is nudged or grazed by a doorknob, child's foot, random cat paw, etc.

Hangover
The resulting headache after recovering from a low or high blood sugar

Hans n' Franz
To change one's infusion set, to get "pumped up."

"Have You Checked Your Checkins?"
Phrase used by Seonaid's father, which means "Have you checked your sugar?"  Editor's Note:  It made me laugh out loud, so I wanted to make sure it made it to the list.  ;)

Insulate
The act of taking insulin.  ex. "Have you insulated yet - it's almost dinner time."

Insulint
The act of exhibiting a bad attitude, while also being diabetic.

"It's Her Medicine."
A phrase used by a friend once, when her date wanted to eat the emergency crackers I had in my purse.  "Can I have a cracker, Kerri?"  Before I could answer, friend leaned in with a knowing look and said, "No, it's not a cracker.  It's her medicine." 

Leash
Pump tubing.  ex. "I walked by the doorknob and it grabbed me by the leash."

Multiple Choice
When you don't even need to use a lancet to test because you can simply squeeze your fingertip and have blood come out of several previous lancings.

Non-Carbonated
Foods that do not have any carbohydrates.  Also known as "free foods."  ex.  Jell-O, pickles, air.

"Not A Toy"
Phrase used to explain to a young child why they can't grab your insulin pump or testing meter and run off with it.  ex.  "No, Abby, that's not a toy."

Old School Shot
Reverting back to injecting insulin via syringe after becoming used to bolusing with an insulin pump.  May also be known as "rockin' it old school" or "shootin' old school."

"Oh Donuts"
Phrase used by Michelle and her son as the preferred curse word to utter after seeing a high blood sugar reading.  Origin:  Started after they consumed donuts and her son said "oh donuts mumma."  She responded "Exactly."

Pepper Jolly
From the jump rope rhyme "HiLo PepperJolly."  In diabetes terms, "pepperjolly" refers to being in your glucose target range.  Note:  Origin credited to Fairlight.

Red Gold
After pricking your finger, blood comes out in geyser-like spurts instead of forming a droplet.

Shooting Up
The act of taking an insulin injection. This expression is most often noticed in public by uneducated bystanders who look over and raise an eyebrow. (see also "I'm high.")

Sleep-Drinking
The ability to consume juice while still actually asleep. 

Sugar Boogers
Little gummy candies that Lea's son Noah eats when low

Sugar Shy
Not telling anyone that you're diabetic

Sweaters
The furry, sticky feeling your teeth may get when your blood sugar is high.  ex. "I was almost 400 mg/dl, and I definitely had sweaters on my teeth."

Vampire Cannula
An insulin pump plastic cannula that has sucked up blood and refuses to push out the appropriate insulin dose.   

YDMV
"Your diabetes may vary."  Phrase used as a caveat after explaining how something affects your diabetes.  ex.  "Pizza makes my blood sugar spike, but ydmv."

Zombied
Fingers that are too cold to get any blood out of them.  Most easily remedied by sucking on them or rubbing them against your clothes to get the blood flowing.

April 24, 2008

Diabetes Sniglets: dTOE II ?

Waaaaaaaay back in the day (like in March of 2006), I wrote about the special language that diabetics, and the people who love us, use every day.  Phrases like "I'm so high," make people encourage you to take an injection instead of taking a drug test.  Or terms like "rage bolus," when you take a massive dose of insulin as response to the frustration and annoyance of a prolonged high blood sugar.  Or the ol' SWAG (Scientific, Wild Assed Guess) bolus, where you use more instinct than data to bolus an unexpected or uncalculated meal.

Just like the genius IT guys in my office, we've got our own unique jargon here in the diabetes community.  We walk the walk and talk the talk!  I'm looking to compile another edition of the Diabetes Terms of Endearment (dTOE?) - and I need your help again.  If there's a special diabetes-related phrase, or an inside joke, that you and your family use, send it to me!  Or leave it in the comments section. 

dTOE:  Second Edition?

Either way, I'm looking forward to laughing my arse off and nodding my head in recognition as I read the dTOEs.  (The "Daylight Savings Time" one gets me every time.)

April 16, 2008

Dexcom's Laboratory.

The Dexcom has added a whole new dimension to my existence:  Muttering.

Kerri:   (muttering, of course)  Okay, so you say 176 mg/dl.  My meter says 150 mg/dl.  But you say I'm rising. 

Dex:  (silence)

Kerri:  (checking her pump for any insulin on board)  Hmm.  I don't want to end up high.  I can see that the numbers are climbing on the Dex and ...

Dex:  (like a lion roaring through a megaphone, or maybe a jet plane taking off inside an empty pool)  BEEEEEEEEP.  High - above 180 mg/dl.

Kerri:  Ahhhh!  

Kerri's Office Mates:  Kerri, are you beeping?

dLife CEO:  (from office)  Is that you or me?

Kerri:  Yeah, it's me.

Dex:  Beeeeeeeeeeeep!

Kerri:  (muttering again) I don't want to be high.  Dex says I'm high.  I should take a little bolus to correct this.

Pump:  Boop beep boop.

Dex:  Beeeeeeeep!

dLife CEO:  (from office)  Did you bolus?

Kerri:  Ahhhhhhhh!

Working with the Dexcom has really enlightened me as to how quickly my blood sugars skyrocket during times of stress.  It has also shown me that my overnights are so finely-tuned that my numbers are flat-lined throughout the night.  (That makes me very, very happy.)  But Dex is also making me a little more OCD than usual, and I'm feeling oft-compelled to correct blood sugars when I should instead let them ride and settle neatly on their own.  I'm quickly developing a nasty habit of pinch bolusing for EVERYTHING, which is causing some tricky little lows. 

I need to learn to be patient with this new technology.  I also need to remember that the Dexcom updates much faster than my insulin works, so I can't be chasing every Dex result with the boop of a bolus.  Sometimes I just need to let my insulin work and learn to better manage the emotional blow of an upward cresting graph.   

(Unrelated:  I saw llamas today on my lunch break.  They did not have diabetes, but they did have wonderful personalities.)   

April 15, 2008

Congratulations!!

You guys are something else, you know that?  Everyone's posts yesterday were amazing, and the unity of the community (I love a good rhyme) was remarkable.  Thanks to everyone who raised their voices to make people more aware of our community. The whole day had such an inspirational feeling, and I'm so impressed by everyone's dedication.  Rock on!

In other news that is completely and utterly unrelated to diabetes, I was driving along the highway this weekend and saw this here truck:

The Bimbo Truck - Awesomely funny.

Bimbo?  I couldn't shake the mental image of a truck filled with bimbos, held captive by that cuddly looking bear - it was too much for me.  Then I made the mistake of checking out the website advertised on the side of the truck.  Turns out that this company, with their bread baking up in a rocketship and the giggles of their chef-hat-wearing mascot, appears to have a direct line into the thought patterns of my brain.  I laughed so hard at this that I almost fell out of my chair.    

Laughter is good for the soul, damnit.  There's the diabetes tie-in. 

April 09, 2008

Can't Change The Spots.

Good thing he went to college.Scene:  Last night at my local grocery store.  I'm standing in line with my purchases, thumbing through a trashy magazine that I don't intend to buy.  I overhear Grocery Manager and Cashier talking about a customer they just had in line.

Cashier:  You know what?  I am sick and tired of that guy treating me that way.  He talks to me like I'm an idiot - I can't freaking stand him.

Grocery Manager:  That guy?  He's a jerk.  He'll always be a jerk. He's been coming here for years.

Cashier:  I'm going to tell him off the next time he is in my line.  Let him know he can't treat me that way.

Grocery Manager:  (squaring off his shoulders and looking down at the Cashier)  Nah, don't bother.  I went to college.  I'm educated in the ways of these kinds of people.  I know his type, so don't waste your breath.  You can't get a lion to change its spots.

Cashier:  (staring blankly)  What?

Grocery Manager:  A lion ... you can't get that thing to change its spots.

Cashier:  I think you mean a leopard.  Right?

Grocery Manager:  (grunting)  Hey, you've got a customer here.  Start ringing, okay?

I laughed so hard that I ended up buying the trashy magazine by accident. 

March 31, 2008

Cartoons Are Based on my Life.

One of my co-workers once told me, after I had relayed my most recent bit of idiocy, "Cartoons are based on your life."

Apparently, there's now truth to that statement.  

Cartoons are based on my diabetes life.
 
For the full cartoon, skip over to HealthCentral to view!

Thanks, HealthCentral, for completely making my day.  (And for providing another visual of Siah stuffed into a banana ... that makes me laugh every time.)

March 24, 2008

NoBunny Should Laugh At This.

I laughed so hard at this that it's clear how necessary a vacation has become.

March 21, 2008

The Friday Six: Spring Edition

Friday Six!Yay for Spring!  Despite the chilly temperatures outside, I've switched over to my spring coat.  Granted, I froze my ass off walking into work today, but yay!  It's spring!  I'm beyond ready for winter to be ovah (thank you, RI accent that I wish I had) and I can't wait to hit the beach this summer.

Okay, on to The Six.

1.  This is wicked cute, just in time for spring, and courtesy of a fellow AisledasherClick anywhere on the screen and watch the flowers bloom.  It absorbed my attention for at least ten minutes.  And now it's absorbing it all over again.  Mmmmm flowers ... I mean, doughnuts ...

2.  And in keeping with the complete nonsense theme, it's been a walk down the proverbial memory lane here at work lately.  Between a co-worker bringing in her son's copy of Harold and the Purple Crayon and discussions about whether or not Lady Elaine was an alcoholic (look at that nose and tell me she's not drinking daily in the Land of Make Believe), it's been random.  This randomness led neatly into the rediscovery of this memory:  Meow Meow Telephone.  I've watched this clip so many times that it's permanently stuck in my head.  If I could make it my ring tone, I would.  If I could get it out of my head, I would do that, too.

3.  In diabetes news, there's a new site for young people with diabetes.  (Aren't there always new sites?  The Internet - it dizzies me.)  According to Daniel, the developer of the site, "Young Diabetics started with a few college students trying to make a difference for their diabetic friends, family, and acquaintances."  Check it out!

4.  Chris and I are heading home to RI (again) for Easter weekend.  I'm hoping that, between our nieces and nephews and younger cousins, we'll score some colored eggs to take home.  I loved coloring eggs as a kid.  The Paas tablets in my mother's tea cups, all lined up on the kitchen counter, are the concrete memory of Easter that I have as a kid.  However, since we've all grown up and are out of the house, so many of those traditions have been lost.  Traveling for the holidays has become an unfortunate trend in so many families, my own included.  How do you keep hold of those family traditions when so much time is spent flitting from house to house? 

5.  Busy, busy.  That's the trend, or at least it has been for several months now.  But a co-worker recently sent me a link that could help make sense of the mess I muck around in all day long - Sandy!  Sandy is touted as "your personal email assistant."  Looks like it works along the same model as Twitter (with the @todo sending messages directly toThe Friday Six:  March 21,, 200 edition "Sandy") and by cc'ing Sandy on emails with sentences starting "Remind me to ... ", this service keeps a running tally of crap you need to do.  I haven't really explored this, nor do I have the time today to teach myself how to make sense of a new service, but it's an interesting idea.  Having my own intern would also be interesting, but do interns clean litter boxes?  Hmmm...

6.  And lastly, today is Chris's birthday.  Happy birthday to my supportive fiance, my best friend, and my hero. 

Have a great weekend! 

March 12, 2008

What the ...?

I can't let this slip by unnoticed.  Have you seen the evil side-stepping gnome from South America?  The UK Sun says this is true, so it must be.

March 05, 2008

Like the Weather.

Last week, I was scraping snow off my car.  The heat was on in the apartment and we were huddled underneath piles of down comforters, often accompanied by a small and irritating gray mess.  This week, I've been carrying my wool coat into work instead of wearing it, and I'm window-shopping for kicky little skirts at Ann Taylor. 

The weather here in New England is about as predictable as my blood sugars some days.  And my moods.

As the wedding draws even closer (it's 75 days away as of today - holy crap), everything has started to seem like it's taking on some fast-forward zoom.  I blink and it's Friday again.  I fall asleep for what feels like an instant at night, only to realize it's been six hours.  It's not stress (I'm trying to leave that behind) and it's not the tasks that need to be completed, but more how quickly time is passing.  In a few weeks, it will be a full year since Chris asked me to marry him.  A week later is my wedding shower.  And barely six weeks after that is my wedding day. 

Life is a patchwork of loosely threaded fabrics with incongruous patterns and unanticipated frays.  I find my mind clutching to the most random thoughts - my imagination is on excessive overload.  I'm collapsing into fits of giggles constantly. I wonder if the people at work think I'm losing it a little bit.  Someone made a comment about how I must keep my cats in cages at home because they are so meddlesome.  I retorted with, "No, I usually peel a banana, remove the banana part, and stuff the cat inside the peel, then reseal it."  My co-worker laughed.  "The ol' cat-in-the-banana trick again."  (Oh how I'd love - LOVE - to see a Photoshop representation of this mental image.  Siah, all tucked into a banana.  I'm laughing all over again.)

They're humoring me, but I don't think they have any idea how oddly wired I've felt lately.  I'm having a hard time writing non-fiction bits at the moment but have been penning so much fiction that it's making my fingers cramp.  My imagination is roaming around unsupervised, waking me up in the middle of the night so I can scribble down the thoughts I'm hosting.  Blogging lately has been a little difficult - maybe because my brain is taking all these unapproved vacations?  Diabetes, for the most part, has been giving me little to worry about, other than the daily maintenance routine, and IBanana - courtesy of www.chidiet.com  :) like it in the background vs. in the foreground clammoring for attention.  Yes, I'll test.  And eat healthy foods.  And sport the ol' insulin pump.  And exercise.  But I'm feeling highly creative, pretty damn moody, and a bouncing blend of extroverted and introverted.  At any given moment, I could either blurt out a poem or burst into tears.

Are these the chaotic emotions of a woman on the verge of getting married?  Is this part of a woman's monthly emotional ritual?  All three?  None of the above?  Is this normal?

Oh shoot, the banana's meowing again.    

March 03, 2008

Sleep - UR Doin It Wrong.

I've been trying to keep to a recognizable schedule for the past few weeks and my body has thanked me for it.  Just a handful of lows, no highs over 200 mg/dl, and the bags under my eyes have shrunk down to "clutch-sized" (vs. the "teacher tote bag" size they had achieved in prior weeks). 

I opted to stay in CT this past weekend and finish an enormous project that was looming over my head.  Chris headed off to RI by himself, so I had a weekend of quiet solitude and no distractions.  I worked all day on Saturday, taking short breaks to visit my local Borders and then the little coffee shop down the street to grab a cup of tea and read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.  (Remarkable book, remarkable writer, devastatingly sad story.  Now that I've read the book, I am allowing myself to see the movie.)   My weekend was an odd blend of relaxation and focused work, keeping me up until all hours of the night on Saturday.

So, at 2:30 am, when I decided it was time to break for the night and crawl into bed, I was ready to sleep.  The bed was empty, save for two down comforters and a cozy throw blanket.  (We like lots of blankets to hide under.)  I rested my head against the pillow and readied myself to sleep.

Then I heard it.

This steady wheezing sound coming from the corner of the room.   Faint at first, it steadily grew in volume. 

"Zzzzzzzzz ... zzzzzzz." 

I sat up in bed and stared into the corner of the bedroom.  There, on the floor, was a mess of chubby, muliticolored Abby cat, curled up against the floor board and snoring.  Real-deal snoring with every breath.  

"Zzzzzzzz ... zzzzzzzzz."

I hopped out of bed and grabbed her fluffy self, plunking her down on the edge of the bed.  From my past experiences with Abby's snoring problem, having her up on the bed stops her from making that baby buzzsaw noise.  I settled back in, anticipating that the problem was solved.

Until she took it upon herself to sidle up to the top of the bed, flop down on my pillow, and resume her snoring - but this time, with one paw on my face.

"Ridiculous.  This is ridiculous.  Abby, just because Chris is away doesn't mean you can slop all over the bed.  Stop snoring!"  Yes, I said this to her.  Yes, I talk to animals at 2:30 in the morning.  That's what you do.

Her response:  "Zzzzzzz ... zzzzzzzz ... meow."

Grumbling, I moved over to the other side of the bed.  She continued to snore.  I poked her in the belly.  She meowed, all grumpy, and stretched out.  Then continued to snore. 

"Abby, stop snoring!"  I picked her up and put her on the floor.  She toddled off (all 16 pounds of her) and hid under the bed.  Where she started snoring again, louder this time, and completely out of my reach.  Damn crafty cat - apparently she's the one teaching Siah all her tricks.  Good thing these critters are cute, or I'd have already sold them to any bidder.

Abby the Snoring Cat.

On Sunday morning, I slept in until almost 11 o'clock.  Weekends are just awesome, especially the ones spent at home, doing whatever I want in accordance with whatever schedule I wanted.  How was your weekend?

February 22, 2008

Prospectin'.

Two minature grizzled old prospectors sit on the corner of my desk at work, chewing tobacco and watching me work. 

"Blizzard's a-ragin' outside." 

"Yep, reckon 'tis."  

Leans towards spittoon - clang.

"Pilin' on up yonder.  I think she's fixin' to go home early and work from the confines of that there apartment."

"Seems that way.  With all them vermins."

"Cats.  They're cats, not rodents."

Clang.

"Makes no matter to me.  So should we give her a good scare before she leaves?  Rustle'er up a bit?"

"Yessir.  Let's wrangle up that pump site and shift it off course like a tumbleweed makin' its way through the desert."

Blank stare.

"She's wearin' jeans, Old Timer.  Let's rub the seam of the jeans against her infusion set until it spins a bit and comes loose from the site."

The piano stops playing abruptly. 

"You mean you want to stop that there insulin from gettin' in her?"

"A'yup."

"Okay, but just for a few minutes.  Just so she gets all riled up and has a little This here is a tumbleweed.  :: clang ::ol' fit.  A-hee hee hee!"

Kerri:  So I uncross my legs while sitting at my desk and notice that I could feel the cap of my site scraping against my jeans.  How the heck did that happen?  After a quick consultation with my thigh in the ladies' room, I noticed that the tubing had come loose from the hub of the set, leaving me without insulin.  I checked my blood sugar and saw a harmless 87 mg/dl, so there was no need to freak out. 

Then I noticed the two minature grizzled old prospectors with their spittoon, sitting on the corner of my desk.  I'd been done hornswoggled.

It was as this point that I decided I was burnt out and needed the weekend. 

January 22, 2008

An Open Letter to The Edges.

Dear Edges,An Open Letter to the Edges.

You've been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  When I was a baby, I used to lean on you in my crib.  Then there was that day when I was two years old and broke my nose against you on the fireplace.  My mother used to keep my baby bottles on you in the kitchen.

Oh Edges, you've been around forever!  From resting my elbows against you on the table in anatomy class senior year to the you above my bed where I had a library of books, you have always been there.  And we've lived in relative harmony, until the last few years.

Edges, I know you know what I'm talking about.  Listen, I understand that I've added these shifting bits of technology to my body - a pump infusion set on the outside of my thigh or on my abdomen, or the CGM transmitter on the back of my arm or on my hip.  I realize this adds an additional inch, maybe three inches at best, to my overall surface area.  But must you grab at these bits so much?

Was it really necessary for you to snag my pump site over the weekend?  I was undressing for my wedding gown fitting and the edges of my pants caught a small bit on the infusion set.  Granted, I moved slowly enough to thwart a complete site removal, but still. 

And did you really have to reach out for me when I was picking through my jewelry box this morning in search of the stupid matching earring?  I leaned against the edge of my dresser and didn't realize I was pressing up against the infusion set until I stood up straight and felt that ping of pain when the feeling came back to my thigh. 

But the last straw was this afternoon at work.  You know exactly what I mean, when I was talking with H about something and then I turned around quickly.  It was like you came darting out at me, snagging my shoulder on you and pulling the CGM transmitter almost cleanly from my arm, but not cleanly enough that I was sure it came out.  Just enough so that it stung in that oddly warm and slightly painful way, enough to make me wince but not enough to make me grimace.  I had to go into the bathroom at work, push up my sleeve almost to my shoulder, and see the sensor needle dangling from the back of my arm like a tooth that just needed a quick tug to come free.

Edges, I had just put that sensor in this morning and it was calibrated perfectly.  The results were working and I was watching my afternoon trend happily away.  But you had to reach out and say hello, didn't you?  Couldn't just sit back and let me sport this sensor for at least 24 hours before you grabbed it and yanked it out?

I am putting another one in today.  I am going to use my leg, I will tape it down to eliminate any variables, and I expect you to keep your grabby little edgy hands off of it for at least three days.  Three days, damnit. 

If I have to walk around with a giant nail file and round you all out, I will.

Best,

Kerri.

SUM Tags: , , , ,

December 05, 2007

Chilled.

With a smiley face on it, it actually looks a bit friendly.It's fricking freezing here lately.  Gone are the winters of 2006 where I barely turned on the heat and didn't bust out my wool jacket until almost February.  Here come the constant snow showers, rotten and battered hands, and frozen meters.

Yes, frozen meters.

Last night, after going to the gym, Chris and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for another attempt at soup.  (Pearl onions, chicken, black pepper, and celery.  It was definitely another good recipe from that book.)  Since we were just popping in for a few minutes, I left my gym bag in the car - with my iPod, water bottle, and glucose meter.

The wind was bitterly cold and biting through my sweatshirt.  I scampered over to the car and started it up while Chris loaded the groceries into the back seat.  (What a guy - always protects me from the elements!)  Feeling a little light-headed, I rescued my meter from my bag and unzipped the case.

"Whoa.  This thing is like a block of ice!"  I said. 

"What?"  Chris asked from outside the car, over the rustle of the plastic bags. 

I popped a strip into the meter. 

TEMPERATURE ERROR.  OUT OF OPERATING RANGE. 

Oh fantastic.  I rubbed the meter between my hands and blew on it, trying to thaw out its innards.  After a minute, I stuck the strip back in.

TEMPERATURE ERROR.  GOOD TRY, THOUGH.

Arghhhh.  Still feeling foggy, I cracked open the juice in my workout bag and took a few sips.   Then I opened the battery compartment and breathed onto the disc batteries, hoping they'd warm up. 

TEMPERATURE ERROR.  KERRI, TRY YOUR ARMPIT.

"Excuse me?"

STICK ME IN YOUR ARMPIT.
IT WILL WARM ME UP.
REFER TO OWNER'S MANUAL.

Is this thing serious?  I removed the meter from the plastic holding case, looked from side to side to see if anyone was watching, and then shoved the meter into the armpit of my sweatshirt.  After waiting another minute, I tried again with another test strip.

AH, THANKS.  CODE 22. 

I pricked my finger and applied a drop of blood.  Five second count down.  68 mg/dl.

DO YOU NEED A SNACK?

"I already had some juice.  I'll just wait to come up."

OKAY.  MAKE SURE YOU TEST LATER JUST TO MAKE SURE.

"I will." 

Chris opened the door and settled into the driver's seat.  "You will, what?"

"Nothing.  I was just ... nevermind."

LOL.

November 11, 2007

New to FamilyShoes.

BoyfriendShoesDear Shoes,

I saw the moving van outside the apartment building a few weeks ago.  I must admit, I became rather excited.  The two chubby, bearded movers and the one skinny kid with the backwards hat were bringing down handcart after handcart of items from the apartment right above mine.  Bins of clothes.  A very charming lamp shaped like a pig.  A metal-framed bed.

And Shoes, the glee that filled my heart was astounding.  Off you go!  Into the wild shoes yonder.  I felt a mixture of pride and respect as I imagined you, standing in the doorway of your now-empty apartment, DogShoes' leash clutched in your hands.  You raise your hands in a quick and dignified salute, much like that Growing Pains episode where Mike's best buddy Boner flunks out of college and joins the army.

And then you'd leave. 

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Your roommate was moving out.  And instead of you and DogShoes following, you brought in a new roommate.  BoyfriendShoes.

You and BoyfriendShoes seem to have a terrific relationship, running through the house at three in the morning wearing what sounds like coffee-can stilts.  But it's nice to know you two are getting along.  You get along all the time - I know, because your bed is apparently right above my kitchen.  I also know that you aren't getting along too perfectly, because I heard you call him a "SOB who couldn't make toast even if his hands were on fire."  Shoes, that's not very nice.  And what the hell does that mean?

He's a helpful guy, though.  I just heard him moving all the furniture in your living room while somehow bouncing on a pogo-stick with DogShoes, or at least that's how it sounded from down here.  And when you scream at him, I don't hear him screaming back.  I'm guessing he may be deaf.  Or in love!

Once almost banished to sleep underneath the mailboxes, BoyfriendShoes now rests comfortably in your apartment.  You, DogShoes the 90 lb giraffe, and BoyfriendShoes.  One big, happy family.  That lives above me.  Wearing steel shoes.

I'm buying earplugs.

xo,
Kerri.

August 31, 2007

Sam Talbot, US News, and a Senseless Purchase

Pearls from the blogosphere?  Don't mind if I do.

A pearl from the Blogosphere.Chris's mom originally pointed me in the direction of Sam Talbot.  "He's from Bravo's Top Chef.  He's been diabetic since he was a kid, like you!"  Of course I checked him out.  And, after a few family leads and some emails from Faithful Readers, I also noticed that Sam is up for "Glad's Steamiest Chef" competition.  According to the website, "For Sam's participation in the Steamiest Chef Contest, Glad is making a $5,000 donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research worldwide... If Sam receives the most votes in the contest, Glad will donate an additional $25,000 to help further the foundation's work."  If you haven't already, cast your vote for Sam!

A pearl from the Blogosphere.In other diabetes celebrity news, have you taken the dLifestyles of the Rich and Famous quiz?  I was stumped on a few of these - test your celebrity savvy and see how you fare.  Also, on the Halle Berry tip, the discussion about her diabetes has been rekindled over at LOL Diabetes.  (Thanks for starting the buzz up, Hannah!)

A pearl from the Blogosphere.Also, I've had the honor and the pleasure of being interviewed by a SUM on US News and World Reporthealth reporter from U.S. News and World Report.  Their "Profile:  Living with Type 1 Diabetes" is a look at the daily management tasks of diabetes.  I'd love for you to check it out.  :)

A pearl from the Blogosphere.Chris and I are off for the weekend - nice, long holiday weekend.  No laptops.  Cell phones will remain in the car, just for an emergency.  No blogging.  No email.  No roads to race.  No schedule to adhere to.  NOTHING but the quiet bed and breakfast we've booked, some nice dinners, and each other.  Not to sound completely unromantic, but I can't frigging wait.

A pearl from the Blogosphere.And in Senseless Purchase news, I now own this:Silly little electronic cat.  Oh why did I feel the urge to own you?

I have no good reason for owning an iCat.  However, I can plug my iPod into it and it dances, it meows when it's bored, and I'm guessing it will eat batteries faster than my pump.   It was $10 at Kohl's and I bought it and I'm a small bit ashamed, but it made me laugh.  (It's also a smidge annoying and if you grab its tail, it yowls.  My co-workers may kill me within the hour.)  I showed it to Siah last night and she puffed up like a blowfish.  It was worth the $10 just to watch that scene.

Onward to the weekend!  Have a good one, and I'll see you all on Tuesday! 

August 29, 2007

Smooshed.

Yesterday afternoon was crummy - I had a low that lasted for over three hours and I felt like that truck, chock-full o' penguins, had made another run through my body.  I managed a workout and trudged through two bottles of juice, holding steady at 74 mg/dl but feeling like I was teasing the edges of a low for hours.  (Yes, I should have skipped the workout, but I was feeling determined and, well, stupid.)

Later that night, exhausted and full of grape juice, I was finishing up some work in our home office.  I was feeling melancholy.  Moody, even. 

Then I saw her.

As though she had fallen asleep sitting up and had tumbled over, like a chubby man on a park bench. 

Mushed and asleep Sausage.

It struck me as so damn funny.  A laugh, louder than I expected, burst out of me.  I grabbed my ever-present camera and took a picture of my silly sleep Siah Sausage.

Funny how quickly that moodiness passed.  Thanks, Siah, for being a constant source of LOL.  (But don't think for a second that you can continue to torment Chris and I while we're sleeping.  You jumping all over our heads at 5:00 am is unacceptable.)

August 17, 2007

Coming Up For Air.

No cohesive thoughts this Friday morning.  Everything is completely tangled.  Life has been insane Unravelling, one thread at a time.lately (but fun!).  In efforts to unravel the threads:

Working remotely this morning.  I first tried to get online at my mother's office, but the Internet Nazis who set up her office's wireless wouldn't let me access anything resembling a social networking site.  Or my dLife email.  Or IM.  Or the goodies being worked through at Blogabetes.  So now I'm holed up in a Starbucks in Providence, drinking iced coffee and trying not to spill it on my laptop.  (So far, the "ctrl' key only has some crumbs from my Blueberry Nutrigrain bar.)

Tomorrow is our enGAGment party.  My mother, in charge of the cake, confided in me that she wanted to have a big cake with Cinderella and Prince Charming on it.  After seeing my face turn white with panic, she told me that she hadn't done that.  After seeing the flash of disappointment, she told me she still could, if I wanted.  (Note to self: Kerri, you are 28 years old.  Start acting your age.)  The enGAGment party will mark the first time that ALL of our family members will be at the same place.  I'm excited, and definitely charging my camera battery to make sure I don't miss a minute.  (Is it tacky to liveblog from your own enGAGment party?)

Siah's little paws are raw from typing, but she's doing a great job maintaining the LOL Diabetes site.  She's also building her own staff team - with the help of Kahlua from Rachel's crew.  Siah tells me that she's received many excellent LOL submissions, and she's readying hers for next week.  Damn silly cat.  Have you submitted something to Siah?  Email her and send her your LOL Diabetes moments.

After my grammie passed away, my mother and her husband ended up with Grammie's car.  My mom was driving it today.  When she was putting some tables for the enGAGment party in my car, I noticed a big wooden table leg in the trunk.

"Ma, what is that?"

"Oh, that's the beating stick."  She continued to load things into my car while I stopped and stared at her for a minute.

"I'm sorry - what?  The beating stick?"

She went over to the trunk and picked up the table leg. 

"This was under the front seat of Grammie's car.  She drove with it there all the time, in case she ended up on the side of the road somewhere and needed to defend herself,"

"By beating someone with a table leg."  I finished for her.

"Right."  She brandished it with a flourish, and then a grin.  She looked just like her mother - my grammie - for a moment.

I thought about my grandmother, silly and laughing and following through whenever anyone dared her to do something, like a handstand in the mud.  She once accidentally cooked a bandaid into an apple pie. She once was the star of a short movie my brother made called "Grambo," where she pretended to storm a military base (which was nothing more than a fort in our backyard.)  She hugged us a lot.  She was sweet and loving. 

And weird.

The mental picture of her, standing on a deserted roadside if her car had broken down, brandishing a wooden table leg for protection made me smile. 

It's true, that they're always with us.  I saw her today, reflected in my mother's smile.

August 15, 2007

LOL Diabetes!

When you think “chronic disease,” you don’t exactly think slap-stick humor. More like ketone-stick horrors. There is nothing funny about kidney disease or diabetic retinopathy. Testing blood glucose levels, counting carbohydrates, and keeping track of medications – all the daily tasks of diabetes care can become overwhelming, making it tough to find the humor in diabetes.

Which is exactly why we need to find the humor in diabetes.

This disease takes up so much of our time. There are very few moments in the day when I’m not at least considering my diabetes. And while I am not ruled by my condition, in order to survive and live a wonderful life, I need to focus on the details of diabetes to maintain good health. I need to maintain good mental health, too.

My grandmother used to tell me that laughter is food for the soul. My endocrinologist used to tell me that laughter is the waTake two and call me in the morning.y to achieve balance. Even Readers’ Digest told me that “Laughter was the Best Medicine.” This is true for people with diabetes, as well as people with other chronic illnesses.

I often find amusement in the places I find discarded test strips. Multiple daily finger sticks are a part of my daily duties, and the strips are expensive, so that’s not particularly funny. But finding a test strip in my shoe or seeing my little kitten trot by with one in mouth does make me smile. Priming my insulin pump is sometimes an arduous task, but my fiance walking by and saying I look like a mad scientist as I tap out the air bubbles from the cartridge makes me smile. It may not be funny to some, but it’s funny to me and it makes my diabetes burden far less heavy.

There are also phrases that other people aren’t able to toss around so lightly. The phrase, “I feel so high,” has a definitive meaning to a person with diabetes, but may raise the eyebrows of those who aren’t “in the know.” Or “Excuse me, I have to go shoot up.” Out of the context of diabetes, those words aren’t normally thrown around at dinner parties.

There are also the moments that you laugh because, if you don’t, you may burst into tears. I have experienced severe low blood sugar reactions where I’ve come to my senses and noticed juice staining my shirt, my hair stuck to my forehead with sweat, and my meter in a thousand pieces on the floor after having thrown it at the wall. Moments like these are enough to break you in two. But sometimes a laugh bubbles up from deep inside you, where you are the most scared and the most vulnerable, and it escapes. It gives you strength. It helps chase the fear away for a few minutes.

When diabetes gets a little tough, it’s hard to find that silver lining.

Laughter has a way of illuminating it.

LOL Diabetes

Therefore:  LOL Diabetes!

If those LOL Cats can make their home on the internet, why can't our diabetes humor?  Time to feed our diabetic souls with more than just insulin.  Siah, who has made it quite clear that she doesn't plan on paying rent any time soon, has chosen to earn her keep by playing Host at LOL Diabetes

Send your submissions to loldiabetes@yahoo.com.  Send anything funny:  Pictures, YouTube clips, essays, cartoons, one-liners, Overheard in the Endo's office-style comments - anything!  Anything that sends you into a giggle-fit and helps ease the burden of diabetes.

Please, keep Siah busy.  Otherwise she becomes very annoying and ends up dancing with the shower curtain at four in the morning.  Which rustly and loud.  And makes me crazy.  Make her earn her keep!

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