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February 14, 2011

Won't You Be My Valentine?

Oh rotting, feeble pancreas of mine,I'd send my pancreas roses if it would get off its ass.
Won't you be my Valentine?
Won't you wake from your long sleep
And make some insulin, you creep?

What makes you sit, all shaped like a wiener,
Lazy and dull, with a pompous demeanor?
What makes it okay, that for your enjoyment
You've spent twenty plus years filing unemployment?

We need to start over; we need to be friends.
We need this whole type 1 diabetes to end.
I'm tired of shots and I'm sick of the lows,
So I think we should talk about ending this row.
I could use a break, my corn-cob-shaped friend.
I'd love to have 'old age' listed as my end.
I think that your time off has drawn to a close.
I'd like working islets, and plenty of those.

How 'bout it, old pal?  Care to start working?
Care to start minding duties you've been shirking?
I promise to be an attentive best friend,
I'll thank you each morning and as the day ends.
I won't take for granted the hormone you make
And I'll forgive you for the last 24 years' mistake.

I've brought you some flowers and a Border's gift card,
In hopes that when I bring milkshakes to the yard
You'll be so inclined to jump start all those islets
Who've been holding their breath for so long that they're violet.

So what do you say, oh pancreas of mine?
Won't you be my Valentine?

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!!

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 20, 2010

:: Headdesk ::

No way can I create a cohesive blog post this morning.  Welcome to the alphabet soup mashup that is my brain:

  • Last night's Entertainment Tonight fiasco has left the Sparlings scratching their heads.  The clip aired in some places, not in others.  (We didn't see it at our house, but my brother and several of my friends in Connecticut did see the short clip.)  Apparently, Buried was bumped due to Golden Globes coverage and the clip will be airing tonight (so we're told) on Extra and on MTV.com, but I'm not saying anything until we have confirmation from A.C Slater himself.
  • (I have tried hitting the locker with my fist to make it open, and have never succeeded.  How on earth did he do that?)
  • The D365 Project is forcing me to take photos of diabetes-related items in my life, and I'm fast realizing, again, that this isn't a struggle.  Weird mindset.
  • We leave for Sundance on Friday afternoon and I'm still not sure I have enough clothes that fit to get me through the 10 days we're there.  I hope all those fancy celebrity types are ready for my potbelly and seeing the same Target maternity shirt more than once that week.
  • "What are you doing on Saturday night?"  "Oh, we're going to see the premiere of my husband's film at Sundance."  This conversation actually happened.  And I actually laughed my ass off because my life is starting to look weirder and weirder every day.
  • As exemplified by the woman at the bookstore bathroom the other day who, while I was washing my hands at the sink, said to her five year old son, "See that lady?  She's pregnant.  And why is she pregnant?  Because a man had sex with her."  The exchange that followed was a bit curt. ("Excuse me? A man? My husband. I believe that's an important distinction to make, lady," with me drying my hands angrily on the automatic hand dryer, which is hard to do because you can't rip the paper out angrily and toss it into the trash can with conviction because there is no paper and nothing to throw out so instead I just blew hot air at her, at my hands, and stormed out of the bathroom.  Holy.  Digression.)
  • BSparl either really likes or really dislikes the movies, because when we went to see The Book of Eli last night, she was wailing away in there whenever things got too loud in the theater.  Little Miss Ebert in there, all opinionated.  Or maybe she was just bored.
  • This video makes my husband laugh.  And when he laughs, I can't help but laugh.  So we've watched it about three dozen times and now I want to go practice writing my name.  Some cookies would also be nice.
  • While I was working in our home office yesterday, I could hear the cat snoring.  From like two rooms away.  I think she needs to exercise more.
  • I'm not drinking coffee, yet my body is so amped up I feel like I'm mainlining espresso.  (Or, as Rhode Islanders say it, "ex-presso."  I love the RI accent.  Love, love, love.)
  • Wait, I have deadlines today?  I have actual work things that are due?  

:: headdesk ::

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.  :)

August 28, 2009

How Did This Happen AGAIN?

I have no idea how this happened.

Again.

This isn't normal.  

How have I stumbled upon this same scene more than once?  How is that even possible??  The first time was totally random.  But twice?  TWICE, in one lifetime?  Twice, this happens?

Twice, I see a giant stuffed bear buckled into a carseat in a parking lot?

ANOTHER one?  Dear lord.

At least this one was taking a nap, instead of wearing a necktie and sunglasses. 

If this happens a third time, I might die laughing on the spot.

July 07, 2009

The Name Game.

Before I married Chris, my name was mangled by teachers, employers, and the general public.  "Morrone" (pronounced "mah-rown") became a garbled mess of "Monroe," "Maroon," and my personal favorite, "Moron."

Flashback to eighth grade, which was part of our high school.  It was the second week of school and I was trying to fit in and not be noticed, all at the same time.  My mom was coming to pick me up for a dentist appointment, and I was waiting in my English class for the teacher to excuse me.

And over the loud-speaker came the follow announcement:

"Kerri ... Moron?  Your mom is here." 

(Oh the humanity!!) 

But I'm no longer a Morrone.  I'm a Sparling now.

Which apparently comes with its own set of troubled spellings.  Ironically enough, this was on my hotel slip when Dr. Val and I visited the Canyon Ranch Institute in Arizona:

Spelling.  As in, ur doin it rong.

I laughed, took a picture with my phone, and sent it to Chris.  "This is a new one," I texted, and he replied "Indeed - I've never seen that one before!"

My new last name has garnered such interpretations as "Sparkling," "Spaulding," "Spanding," and "Sparly."  But when I was in Philadelphia last week, I had one that surprised even me:

Sparlir?  How exactly did we get to that one?

I suppose it is better than if I hyphenated:  Moron-Sparkling. 

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. 

May 05, 2009

Tuesday Musings.

An exercise in trying to make sense of my thought processes:

  • The alarm went off at 3:11 am and my first thought was: "Hey, 311." 
    Second thought:  "Hey, that's not my alarm.  That's the Dexcom BEEEEEEEP!ing." 
    Third thought:  "I will eat frosting." 
  • So I ate frosting in the kitchen at three in the morning.  Dipped a Lorna Doone cookie right into the vanilla frosting can.  Classy.
  • Woke up at 153 mg/dl.
  • Showered, dressed, and grabbed some snacks while Siah paced pensively and hollered at me.  "Hey!  Make me a banana sandwich!" I imagined she was saying. 
  • I did not make her a banana sandwich, as she is a cat.     
  • Left the house for work ten minutes later than I meant to and managed to hit every traffic light possible en route. Making me later. 
  • Thought about the Dave Matthews Band and how Chris and I saw Dave Matthews filming something in NYC on Sunday.  Dave was walking across Vanderbilt Avenue in wicked slow motion, with everyone else on the street at regular speed.  It was very surreal to see someone crossing a busy Manhattan street moving at a snail's pace.
  • This sighting prompted us to try and walk in slow motion for a bit, but we ended up tripping gracelessly over ourselves. 
  • At this point, I decided to stop thinking about other things and focus on driving.  :)
  • Parked my car and as soon as I opened the door to get out, a pocket of rain fell out of the tree above me and slammed me in the head.
  • "Ooooooooooh!" is that I said outloud.  At a high pitch.
  • Went into working daydreaming about coffee.  Made that dream a reality before getting to my desk and mentally high-fived myself for my ability to feed an addiction.
  • Checked emails. Realized that blogging for four more years is far more likely than ever answering all the emails I have backlogged.  Debated full inbox deletion, but then decided against it.
  • Discussed Crumbs bakery with co-worker.  Decided that they opened a Crumbs in Westport just for us.
  • Received confirmation that the Fairfield County Dinner crew is meeting up again on Thursday.  Yay! 
  • Received confirmation that I'll be visiting a diabetes support group in NYC next Tuesday, which I'm very much looking forward to.
  • And then received confirmation that when the Dexcom sounds its alarm in the dead silence of my office, people twitter.
  • Which made me think about Twitter and I started wondering when the Twitter bubble will burst.
  • And then my brain finally settled down and let me focus.
  • Until I started to think about how my shirt color resembles black raspberry ice cream.  Which made me think of the beach.  Which made my brain wander off to our upcoming anniversary cruise. 
Oh forget it.  I'm spent.

April 29, 2009

Close Encounters With Shoes.

For the record, I like these shoes a lot.It seemed like any other day.  Little did I know, it would be a day I would remember forever.

I decided to stop home at lunch yesterday. I pulled into my parking space and fumbled with my unnecessarily enormous work bag as I opened the door to our condo building.

And then I heard it.

That steady, familiar clomp clomp clomp. I knew the cadence by heart, though it was slightly unfamiliar since it wasn't 3 in the morning.

Shoes.

I immediately panicked. OMG, Shoes. Now? Here? Now? Will she know it's me? Does she know how many times I've cursed her and her stompy heels and DogShoes and BoyfriendShoes? How many times I've wanted to banish her to sleep under the mailboxes?  

I was flooded with confrontational panic.  I'll just calmly introduce myself as her downstairs neighbor.  Maybe the bags under my eyes will serve to teach her a lesson.  I could imagine her coming home from work that night ...

"Hey, I met the girl downstairs.  She seems so nice, but she looks exhausted.  Do you think maybe it's us keeping her up?  Maybe I should take off my tap shoes after class and not practice my 80's dance moves on our hardwood floors.  You think?"

BoyfriendShoes would nod in agreement, gently setting down his cinderblock art project.  "You're right, honey.  I'll move my Cinderblocks in Repose outside near the mailboxes so I'm not making so much noise."

They hug as they take off their shoes and slip into soft, fluffy slippers.   DogShoes wanders out from the bedroom, and gestures towards his paws.  They smile and kneel before him.

"Yes, DogShoes. We'll take off the horseshoes from your feet.  You're right.   You don't need those.  It's just unnecessary noise."

... but this fantasy disappears as Shoes comes around the corner and I freeze.  She barely glances at me. 

"Hey."

"Hey."

We pass, two shoe ships in the night, me going to my apartment and Shoes moving towards the parking lot.  Her clomp, clomp, clomps Doppler away, and I suddenly wonder what the woman below me thinks about my 11 pm ellipmachine adventures.

Shoes.  You have taught me a lesson about love and respect. 

And the value of earplugs.

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 13, 2009

Easter Eggin' It.

I have a lot of traveling going on this week, so Chris and I decided to stay in CT this past weekend instead of thrashing the roads.  

We spent a wild Saturday night spent coloring Easter eggs. With the little cups lined up and holding a Paas egg coloring tablet, I poured an unfortunate smelling combination of water, vinegar, and lemon juice into the cups and watched the colors fizz.

While I was sticking sheep stickers onto hard-boiled eggs and using egg real estate to sell our cats, Chris made the world.

Rows of eggy goodness.
 

Best I could do was make a rather bunny-looking Siah Sausage.

The egg arsenal, 2009.

She was not amused. 

Chris tolerates me.  Siah does not. 

Chris humors me.  Siah, however, doesn't.

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 18, 2009

Knot What I Expected.

I have to admit - I'm pretty satisfied with this longer tubing option.  Maybe I'll be more annoyed in the summer when I'm sporting fitted clothes and no trouser socks, but for those freaking freezing months with bundly sweaters and long pants, I'm content to have an extra 20" of tubing. 

Thing is, I tend to get tangled in it when I take off the pump.  I guess I bunch the tubing together and just shove it in the waistband of my pants or, if I'm rocking the sock, it stays smooth as it travels down from my hip to my ankle.  But when I disconnect to shower or go to the gym, the tubing becomes a knot of chaos.

Exhibit A:

Knot a clever caption, either.

How did this happen?  It was on the bureau for exactly 20 minutes - just for a shower! - and when I went to snap it back into place, the whole damn thing was knitted into this insuiln pretzel.

(Should I mention that it also was wrapped around me, and Prussia the Cat, this morning?  I woke up to find the cat pressed against my side and the pump tubing casually looped around her paws.  Thank goodness she didn't pull a Sausage and bite through the thing.) 

It's weird to look into my diabetes supply closet and mentally map out my tubing options.  Now that the weather is starting to warm up a smidge, I'm thinking about packing up my winter coats and my wool skirts in exchange for my spring sweaters and dresses.  Long tubing works well for using the sock trick with a lower back infusion set, but it could be a pain in the everything when it comes to tucking tubing in a springy warp dress.  I'm planning to switch back to the 23" tubing in a few weeks.

I can't wait until the weather is warm again.  I've had a freaking-nuff of the snowy stuff.

March 05, 2009

I am Spam. Spam I Am.

F spam.Well this has never happened before.

Click.

Subject line:  diabetes 

Email:  rid myself from insulin lowered glucose from 600 mg/dl to avg of 69 mg/dl to118 mg/dl with an A1C reading from11.8 to 5.8 in 190 days check it out [name and URL redacted] doesn't cost a thing...hard to believe but that's life.... 

Fantastic.  Another spam peddler.  But I'm not looking for a war this morning, so I just filed it into the email folder called "Spamtastic" and proceeded to check my other new messages.

Click.

Subject line:  sorry

Email:  I email you before I read your blog sorry that you have a difficult life with diabetes 1 and am sorry I tried to help by referring a wed site to you as you stated "don't e-mail you with snake oils" it's just that somewhere somplace there is help for us for me it's the referral, Your so positive please stay that way and keep helping others as i shall. Sorry for imposing on you

Wait, what?  An apologetic spammer?  They read the How to Pitch to Bloggers post and the one about snake oil?  And they admitted that they spam people for the referral bonus?  Someone who is sorry that they imposed?  And bothered to email me to follow up?

This is a milestone.  I'm not sure what kind, but it's definitely never happened to me before.  Are we getting through to these people?  Are our raised voices actually being heard?

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 18, 2009

Blood Sucking Meter.

Normal blood sugar test:  Unzip meter, put s strip in it, wait until it gives me the "Hey, apply blood now" signal, and apply a droplet of blood.

This has been the routine for years now.  

So imagine my surprise when I put in a new strip, got the go ahead, and applied a blood sample only to have the meter continue to grin at me.

This meter is so confused it must be related to the cat.

"Apply blood!"

Okay.

Blink, blink.

"Apply blood!"

Um, we tried this already.

"Hey, um ... apply blood!"

"Meter, I already did this.  Count down already, would you?"

Blink.

"You have enough blood on there.  It's good to go.  Give me a result!"

"I like ... your shoes?  Apply blood!"

"Stop.  Being.  Miserable!  Give me the number, you bastard!"

"Hey look over there - is that Rocco?  Apply blood!"

It took three different strips before one actually gave me a result.  This has never, ever happened to me before.  Mind you, on Monday night, I wasn't able to get a result from six different strips from this bottle - kept throwing "Error 5" type-messages and absolutely refused to let me in on the result. 

I switched bottles (with 14 strips left), and all I could picture was tossing actual cash into the garbage can.  Those test strips are expensive!

Can a whole bottle go rogue on you? 

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!)

February 04, 2009

Sick Day.

Taking a sick day.  I am a sick cat, apparently.Yesterday's blood sugar problems were just trying to tell me I'm sick.  

"You are sick, Kerri," they whispered.

Only instead of whispering in my ear, they tagged me on the head with those over-packing penguins.

I'm taking a sick day today and recovering from this flu. Hiding out under the covers with Tylenol, tea, and television.

See you tomorrow!

January 30, 2009

Wax On, Wax People.

After we first moved out here, Chris and I visited Madame Toussuad's wax museum in NYC and hung out with some of our fake plastic favorites.  It was a bizarre experience, and one we had to repeat with NBF and her husband when they came to visit last weekend.

So I present:  Waxing Poetic, Part II.  (There were also plenty of photos of the guys, but those fellas are shy!)

Kerri and Bono ... reunited and it ... something, something.

I had a chance to check in with Bono again.  He's cleaned up his hair a bit, which I prefer.  And I told him so.

Kerri and Jess and Jerry!  Jerry!  Bitches battle.

NBF and I also found ourselves in a tussle on the Jerry Springer Show - I was like, "No, you didn't," and she was all "Bitch, I so did."

I liked it.  So ... you know the rest.

Also caught up with my girl Beyonce and we talked about waxing our armpits.  (HA HA HA!!)

We don't look cool, but I don't care.

And for some reason, there was a 4-D movie in the wax museum - something about the environment and whales and what have you.  (4-D appears to mean that when there are whales spouting up water from their blowholes, water comes out of the seat and splashes you in the ear.  It was startling, and I kept yelling "Oooh!" when it happened.) 

A dinner at Carmine's - awesome food, in my opinion - rounded out the night.  And Chris and I were excited to share some fun with our friends who braved the highway.  Note:  Hey RHODE ISLAND, it's not that far!!! Come see us!!

This weekend I'm heading home to RI to see my college roommates and have a night out in Providence.  Hopefully the freaking snow holds off until I get home safely.  See you Monday (and Fairfield County Dinner ladies, I'll see you Monday night!)! 

January 29, 2009

Abby and Dex.

(This is embarrassing.  But true.)

At night, when I go to sleep, I tuck myself in underneath the down comforter and the blankets, I snuggle up against my husband, and I fall asleep, usually with my head about halfway on the pillow.  And Chris and I sleep.  For about twenty minutes.

Until the cats come calling.

Somehow, all 16 lbs of Abby the Fat Cat manages to launch onto my side of the bed.  (I swear the bed lists to one side.)  And instead of curling up at the foot of the bed, like a normal animal, she takes up residence on my pillow. She tries to stick her paws in my ears, she snores, and she completely disregards the fact that the pillow is meant for MY head, not her whole fuzzy body.  (Usually, I end up sleeping on about 1/8 of the pillow.)

Unfortunately for Abby, things have changed in the Sparling household.  Not only is there a Chris and a Kerri in the bed, but there's also a Dexcom.  The Dexcom hangs from a headband that I have wound around the headboard of our bed.  That way, if it buzzes, Chris and I both are certain to hear it.

And two nights ago, the alarm on that sucker sounded at 3 in the morning.  Just as the sun was stirring, the Dexcom BEEEEEEEP!ed and I vaulted up from the bed.  Unfortunately for Abby again, the receiver was sitting on her back, and she also freaked out.

BEEEEEEEEEEEP!

"Meow!!!"  Her claws come out and sink into my head.

"Ahhhhhhhh!" 

BEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Unzip meter.  Shunk.

35 mg/dl.

"Chris.  I need juice."

'Mmmm hmmm."  Juicebox with orange juice in it appears out of nowhere.  

Slurp.

"Meow!"

BEEEEEEEEEEEP!

"You okay?"

"I will be in a minute."

I'm sweaty, shaky, mouth sticky with orange juice and sleep.  It's three in the morning and I want to go back to sleep.  But I know I should wait a few minutes, so while I do, I take picture of what a 3 am low looks like:

You do realize there is very little room for my head here...

 At least she keeps my head warm.

December 18, 2008

Things That Are Awesome.

To counter yesterday's grumped up mood, here's a clip from the show last night.  A little Wonderwall action:

We hit a pub before the show, had a few drinks, and by the time we arrived, Oasis was about to go on.  I've never seen them live before (Chris has, several times - they're his favorite band.), but they were pretty damn good.  

I'm off to work (took a 1/2 day today so I wouldn't be all bleary-eyed), but enjoy the clip!   

December 17, 2008

Things That Are Evil.

Things That Are EVILWell hello, snowy Wednesday morning. I see you've brought along many Things That Are Evil.  Let's count them, shall we?

  • Delicious coffee items that are frothy and wonderful and have about eight zillion grams of carbohydrates in them even though you told the home-from-their-first-semester barista that you needed the sugar-free kind.
  • Alarm clocks on the bedside table and across the room that are timed to go off 2 minutes apart from one another, having me lurch from bed to shut off one alarm only to tumble back to bed and lash out at the other one merely 120 seconds later.  And repeat.
  • The realization that a deadline has, indeed, passed and I completely forgot.  Need calendar that I actually look at.   Or a personal assistant-type person who can tolerate my absent-mindedness and the little gray cat's propensity for chewing on shoes as though she's a teething golden retriever. 
  • The BEEEEEEEEP! of the Dexcom as it tells everyone in the office YOU HAVE DIABETES, OKAY?!!
  • Coming to work and realizing that one of those mega tins of packaged popcorn has arrived - and Dex starts beeping in anticipation.
  • Carrying a shoulder-mangling work bag that has everything from hair ties to stamps to gum to a folder of articles but not a single safety pin to quick-fix the hem of my skirt. 
  • Red pens (I think having a red pen makes me an official "editor.") that leak all over my hand and I don't realize it until I go to itch my nose and then - WHAMMO - red smudgy nose.  Awesome.  Just in time to lead the sleigh.
  • "Chick lit" books that I bought to read with reckless abandon that instead ended up being about infertility and were not the escape I was looking for (as I detox from a decade of the pill). 
  • The ebb and flow of the heating system here at work.  Goes from tropical to arctic in less than five minutes. 

I believe I may need a bit of a vacation.  Our honeymoon in May was waaaay long ago.  Hopefully tonight's Oasis show in NYC will liven me back up a smidge.  I'm going to dig out my soul.

December 04, 2008

Wintuk.

With a year that's gone by in a blink and a holiday season that's already at my doorstep, I needed a little something to get myself into the spirit of the season. 

So last night, while New York was celebrating the lighting of the big tree in Rockefeller Center, Chris and I went to Madison Square Garden to see Cirque de Soleil's "Wintuk."

I had never seen a Cirque show until this past summer, when we saw Kooza in Hartford.  It.  Was.  Awesome.  Kooza was a circus for grown ups, and Chris and I spent the entire show with our mouths hanging open, muttering, "Did you see that?"  So when we saw tickets for Wintuk on sale in NYC, it made sense (not economic sense, but life sense) to take in that show.

And it, too, was awesome.  Different from the circus-esque feats of Kooza - more of an actual show than an interactive performance.  Trampoline acrobats, this flexible lady with a stash of sterling hoola hoops, and performers in the best dog costumes I have ever seen.  

And at the end?  Massive birds (like you do).

Wintuk in NYC

And thousands of snowflakes raining down from the "sky."

Paper snowflakes at Wintuk

With this weekend's cookie party on tap, Wintuk still fresh in our minds, and holiday parties cropping up at every turn, it's beginning to feel an awful lot like Christmas.  I may have to force Siah to wear some kind of Santa hat and join in the fun.  ;)  

November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving hand tracing 2008

In keeping with tradition, here is the Thanksgiving Day hand tracing, 2008 edition. (For turkeys from Thanksgiving past, check out the 2005 and 2006 editions.  I skipped 2007 for some reason.) 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving hand tracing 2008

In keeping with tradition, here is the Thanksgiving Day hand tracing, 2008 edition. (For turkeys from Thanksgiving past, check out the 2005 and 2006 editions.  I skipped 2007 for some reason.) 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 16, 2008

JCVD.

JCVDOver the weekend, Chris and I were in NYC and had a few hours to kill.  So we went to the AMC theater in Times Square and caught a movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.  JCVD, to be specific.

What?  I don't strike you as the type to watch the Muscles from Brussels?  Really?  ;)

Chris was all hopped up to see this movie and, basically, I was just along as the patient, dutiful wife.   

But it turns out I was on the edge of my seat and very into it.  Which was as shocking to me as making a meal that didn't taste like ... burnt stuff.   The trailer site touts the movie as, "When the life of Jean-Claude Van Damme collides with the reality of a hold-up in Brussels, Belgium, suddenly the huge movie star turns into an ordinary guy, filled with fears, contradictions and hopes. How can he be up to the legend he has built? What can a film hero do when the gun pointed to his temple isn’t charged with blanks? JCVD finds himself at the turning point of his 'hero' life."  Watch the trailer for yourself - it's not what you think.

The press has been raving about this movie, and the critics seem to be pretty aligned in favor for it.  I expected to hate it and I thought it was awesome.  (See also:  300.)  Has anyone else seen - or heard of - this movie?  Am I losing my mind or was it actually good? 

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 29, 2008

Hannah Montana Does Diabetes?

Old school TigerBeat.  Ahhh!  Luke Perry!Here I am again, stepping waaaay outside of my comfort zone and admitting that I've seen that ridiculous TV show "Hannah Montana."  My niece M (formerly "Chris's niece M," but now that he and I are married, she's my niece, too!) has made me watch Hannah Montana many times, and it makes her giggle, so I tolerate it.

Now we all know that Hanna Montana is played by Miley Cirus.  Miley Cirus used to date Nick Jonas.  (Gag - I can't believe I'm writing this, but there's a point.  Bear with me being all TigerBeat.)  Nick Jonas was diagnosed with diabetes in November 2005.  And in an episode airing on November 2nd, diabetes makes an appearance on Disney's Hannah Montana show.

I've come full circle.  Finally.  ;)

This upcoming Hannah Montana show was brought to my attention by one of the wonderful CWD parents (full disclosure:  I love the CWD parents.  They remind me of my own mom and dad, and they rock!), and she wanted to know if I could help get the word out about this upcoming episode.  I watched the bootlegged show on YouTube several times, and I can see why the parents are up in arms about this.

Parents are protectors.  That is their job, and the parents of kids with diabetes are the ultimate protectors, acting as external pancreases while maintaining a normal life for their child.  So when a show that kids are rabid for, like Hannah Montana, highlights diabetes, there's this sense of hope.   Like, "Hey, Disney is involved with Nick Jonas.  They are tuned into kids.  They won't screw this up."

But did they?

If you watch the episode, you'll see plenty of references to diabetes, some accurate and some completely eye-rolling.  Calling the character with diabetes "sugar boy"?  Pointless.  (I'm not the most PC person you'll ever meet, and if someone called me "sugar girl," I wouldn't care.  But if it were my kid receiving that moniker, I'd rip heads off.  Yet I've digressed.)

However, the thing that struck me as completely off-base was the constant theme that Oliver couldn't have any sugar.  He spends most of the episode drooling after sweets, fantasizing about cotton candy, and even diving into a trash can to retrieve a tossed out candy bar.   The other kids in the show kept talking about how they need to keep sugar away from Oliver, at all costs.  This is what made me think, "Uh oh."  I get that the show is trying to talk about diabetes in ways that kids can understand, but this theme was dangerous. 

So what if Oliver gets low at school?  And needs sugar?  Is the lesson here that diabetics can't ever have sugar?  Holy food police training video.  This message sets a dangerous precedent, one that could leave a low diabetic child being denied sugar, if all their peers have to base their knowledge on is Hannah Montana.  And yes, I know that education comes in more forms than Hannah Montana, but lots of kid watch this foolish show, and I don't want their impressionable heads filled with misinformation.

I'm not blowing the whistle on this episode, not entirely.  I'm glad that diabetes is making its way into mainstream media, and I'm also glad that the end of this show had Hannah Montana and her friends reassuring Oliver that he was still the same guy and still their friend.   That's pretty damn important.  I just want to see this positive message of acceptance accompanied by accuracy. 

Watch the video (there are three parts) and let me know what you think.  Do you feel like this episode presented factual diabetes information?  Were there parts you liked?  Didn't like?  Wanted changed?  Are you of the mindset that all exposure is good exposure?  That intentions were good with this episode?  Or do you expect more from Disney?  Are you inclined to write a letter?  Plain don't care?  Are you sick of my questions?  Who the hell is Hannah Montana, anyway? 

Phew!  I'm off to read the newest issue of TigerBeat.

October 28, 2008

Prepping For Halloween.

We're working on getting in the spirit for Halloween here in Sparling Country, and to help prep, we checked out a very cool jack o'lantern exhibit here in Fairfield County.  The layout was impressive - there were a few hundred jack o'lanterns on display, and they ranged from simple to simply amazing. 

The impressive pumpkin patch

There were dinosaurs etched into the sides of these massive pumpkins.  Political pumpkins.  A little Beatles action.  And each new pumpkin patch was accompanied by a specially selected musical track. 

Taking pictures was tough because it was so dark and I don't have a tripod, but we were able to catch a few pumpkins with clarity.  This one, with King Neptune on it, was very, very cool.

King Neptune, the PumpKing?

And other jack o'lanterns were just plain neat to look at.

We thought this one was cool.

The experience was amazing, and definitely has us ready for Friday.  Full photo set on Flickr, but be prepared - some of them are wicked blurry.  I'm getting ready for my Snickers bar - ahem, Bennet - are you?!

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 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 23, 2008

Irony.

I cooked last night.  (Contain your shock, please.)  I made chicken and vegetable soup, whipped up some delicious sugar-free pudding, and baked a chocolate cake for my co-worker's birthday.  Nothing caught on fire, nothing turned to sawdust, and consuming aforementioned tasties did not kill anyone.

Damn you, chocolate cake!

However, the cake baking was a little bit of a thorn in my side, because I was soooo tempted to lick the mixer beaters (no, not while they were spinning) and to stick my finger in that thick, chocolate frosting.   

But HA!  I did not succumb to temptation!  I baked that cake, frosted it, and put it in the fridge, all without even a taste.  HA HA!!!  Take that, diabetes! 

After the cake was all done, I sat down on the floor with my laptop to go through my emails.  But the screen was too bright.  The colors were all ... off.  And my hearing was fading in and out, like someone was shaking a blanket out to spread over the bed.  My head was in a complete fog, and Abby was weaving between my elbows, meowing frantically.

So I tested.  

And after all that baking, after avoiding that delicious treat and trying to "stick to the plan" and "be a good little diabetic," I saw "35 mg/dl" winking back at me from my meter.  Eight gulps of juice later, I was laying on the living room floor, telling Chris, "I didn't feel that one coming at all," and "If I lay still enough, I sort of feel like I'm on a record player, spinning."

Damn you, irony!

September 12, 2008

Le Friday Six.

(That title's for you, CALPumper!) 

The Friday Six:  September 12, 2008 editionI need a break.  :)  Here's The Friday Six, because if I had to string more than three sentences together, my brain would turn to ice cream cake.

1.  I'm looking forward to the fourth (had to edit - there have been three already and my brain went to mush on this fact) Fairfield County dinner on Monday, September 15th.  So far, there are about seven people coming and I'm excited to meet everyone.  If you live in the Fairfield County area and I missed your email, drop me a line at kerri (at) sixuntilme (dot) com and I can send you the specifics.

2.  Also, the first winners of the TuDiabetes "Word In Your Hand" project are up, and they are remarkable.  (My personal favorite is the "secret" one ... very cool photo.)  If you want to get involved and submit your photo, check out the details on TuDiabetes, and say hi to Manny and Landileigh!

3.  And I'm proud to say that Blogabetes turns one year old this month.  I've had the pleasure of working with Carey, Nicole, Julia, Lindsey, SuperG, Rebecca, Michelle, Kim, Andy, and Scott over the last twelve months, and I am always impressed and inspired by their writing.  If you haven't visited dLife to spin through their posts, you're really missing out. 

4.  In news I'm confused about, I've received several emails from companies asking to make me "part of their blogging team" by adding my posts to their RSS feed.  I don't mean to sound daft, but is that a good thing?  I know plenty of other bloggers have been approached by these kinds of companies and I'm still on the fence about whether or not that's a good thing, since I've also heard that Google penalizes you if you reproduce blog content across the wilds of the Internet.  For my fellow bloggers - how are you guys handling these requests?  Do you let them add your feed?  I am unsure how to handle these requests and I don't know enough about Google to guess if this is a good idea or not.  Help!  I need brain power from the blogosphere. 

5.  dLife has been subjecting me to cute overload this week, starting first with some of dLife's finest teeny dogs and culminating with a crate full of newborn baby chicks.  My co-worker has chicken business (I know) and he brought in a dozen baby chicks for the morning, so we could all coo and chuckle over them.  They are so damn cute.  I stumbled upon my co-worker, diligently answering emails with a baby chick in his pocket.  I love my office.  It's productive, yet eccentric.  I dig that.

6.  And thanks for your uplifting messages yesterday.  You guys, with a little help from Fudgy the Whale, made a bit of a dreary day much brighter for me, and I really appreciate it.  I know I've said it before, but this community is one of the best things to happen to diabetics since ... well, insulin, and you all make this journey a little easier.  So thank you.  And go get an ice cream cake, because damn that makes everything better. 

Unfortunately, no time to vlog this week.  But next week, I will definitely think of something worth waxing on about and will fill your computer speakers with nonsense once again.  Until then, have a great weekend and I'll bother you on Monday.  :)  

September 09, 2008

Lunch Hour Education.

Not in the mood to educateDuring my lunch break yesterday, I dropped by the local Ann Taylor store to poke around in their sale rack.  An older woman, maybe about 55 years old, approached me and asked if I needed a dressing room started.

"No, I'm all set, thanks.  I'm on lunch, so this is just a quick visit."  

"Oh!  You work in the area?  I've seen you in here before."

"Yes, I work at dLife."

She pursed her lips.  "dLife?  What's that?"

"It's a diabetes media company.  We have a website?  And a show on CNBC about diabetes management."  I ran my fingertips down the seam of a black dressy top that I loved.

"Diabetes.  Oh, the sugar!  I have that.  I have diabetes and my doctor told me to try and lose weight."

"That's good!  You're taking the right steps."  I moved away a little bit, perusing another sale rack.  She followed me.

"You know, I see all these fat little kids at the high school when I drop my daughter off.  I see them and I can't help but think that they are all going to get diabetes.  Like me.  They'll end up taking shots and losing their eyesight, you know.  Diabetes is a very serious disease."

I smiled at her.  "Diabetes is a very serious disease.  But diabetes isn't always caused by being overweight.  There are different types of diabetes."

"I know.  The kind I have?  It's because of being overweight.  My ex-husband told me that."  She adjusted her glasses.  "But I want to lose the weight so I don't end up taking shots.  Did you know that some people have to wear a machine all day long that gives them their shot?  My goodness.  Those people must be sick as can be.  No ma'am, I don't want that to be me.  I take my pills.  I'm not going to end up like those people."

I was on my lunch break.  I didn't want to get into a big diabetes discussion while I was shopping.  But I couldn't let this lady ramble on, thinking diabetes was her fault and also thinking that pump wearers are on their death bed.

"Well, diabetes isn't your fault.  It's a disease, not a guilt trip.  But it's good that you're taking your pills and trying to lose weight.  That's a step in the right direction.  I also have diabetes - type 1 - and I wear one of those machines that gives me insulin all day long."  I smiled again, trying to show her that I wasn't dying.

"Oh my.  How long do you have?"

"Excuse me?"

"How many years?"

(Is she seriously asking me this?) 

"Left?  Ma'am, I'm not dying.  This machine doesn't mean I'm dying.  It's just another method of insulin delivery.  So instead of shots, I wear this pump.  It's okay.  I'm in good health.  I've been diabetic almost 22 years.  It's complicated, but it's not my fault.  Diabetes brings enough to the table - we don't need guilt, too."

"Well, I don't want to wear that thing."  She gestured quickly towards my pocket, where my pump was clipped.  "I'll just keep taking my pills.  I don't want my diabetes turning into what you have.  No offense, sweetie.   You look very healthy, and I never expected you to have it, too.  And I never expected yours to be that bad."  She smiled sweetly, making her remarks sound even more ignorant.

I'm all about educating people and raising awareness.  But sometimes I'm not up for the challenge.  I wanted to buy a pretty shirt, go to the bank, and then go back to work.  I didn't have the patience to be tolerant that afternoon.

"That's great, ma'am.  I wish you and your health all the best.  And just so you know, I don't want to wear this pump, either.  But it keeps me healthy.  And I want to be healthy.  Have a good one."

Turned on my heel.  She was still talking, something about "We're having a sale on suits, did you know that ..."

Lady, if I have just one day left or a million years in my future, I don't want to spend another minute of it talking with you.

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 07, 2008

Because I Got High.

High blood sugar nightmares?About two months ago, I woke up at around 3 am after a terrible nightmare.  The dream was graphic and felt so real that it took me several seconds to realize it didn't actually happen.  (I dreamt that I had run over my own cat in the driveway and was holding its twisted and bleeding body.  Horrendous dream, and I woke up crying.) 

Once I was fully awake, I tested my blood sugar and saw "291 mg/dl" on the screen.  Holy middle-of-the-night  high.  I dialed in a correction bolus and went back to sleep.  I didn't think anything of the nightmare correlation until last night.

I dreamt that my husband was murdered by the guy who lived next door to me growing up.  It was a horrible dream!!!  I heard the gunshot in my mind, felt the heat of panic, and the tears on my face were hot and real.  I woke up with a start and reached for Chris, who was safe and asleep next to me. 

The clock read 4 am. 

The meter read 354 mg/dl. 

(The reason for this high was unknown, but it was a gross, sweaters on the teeth kind of high that made me want to pee and brush my teeth at the same damn time.)

I don't usually have nightmares, and I find it odd that the nightmares I remember most clearly corrrelate very neatly with a blood sugar issue.  Normally, my dreams slip away from me once I've been awake for a few minutes, and I rarely remember the entirety of them.  But this nightmare, I can still taste.  It was terrifyingly clear.   

I have heard about low blood sugars causing nighmares, but has anyone heard of highs doing the same thing?

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.

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: , , , ,

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 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 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 16, 2008

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Low.

You wouldn't like me when I'm low.  Or maybe you would.

While we waited for the traffic to disperse this past Friday night, we went to see The Incredible Hulk.

So Ed Norton (who I love ... loved him in Fight Club and The Illusionist) plays The Hulk and spends the better part of the beginning of the movie trying to keep his rage under control because ... you know ... you wouldn't like him when he's angry.  He wears a heart rate monitor to help keep him safe and controlled.  It's one of those wristwatch bits that beeps as his heart rate climbs and wails insistently when his numbers are too high.

"Dude,"  I lean in to Chris.  "I didn't know the Hulk wore a CGM!"

He whispered back, "I know!  I thought the same thing!"

The movie continued, and Ed Norton finally loses it and becomes The Hulk.  After his episode is over, he's shivering, weak, and holding his tattered pants close to his body.  He looks completely spent and in need of a solid nap.  Much like how I feel after a wicked low blood sugar.

"Only minus the tattered pants part," I explained to Chris after the movie.  

It's strange how movies depict diabetes.  I remember watching Panic Room and seeing the little girl experience a hypoglycemic episode.  She was blue-lipped and sweaty, lying helplessly on the floor while her mother scrambled for sugar.  But I didn't see myself in this Panic Room character, even though she was written as a diabetic and her symptoms were "appropriate." 

Instead, I empathized more with The Hulk as he closely monitored his heart rate, those numbers taking precedence over all other things, their fluctuations determining many of his actions.  And I felt a pang of recognition when he came to after an "episode," bewildered and fragile and not knowing quite what happened. There are strange bits of empathy and recognition found in the most unlikely of places.

I bet if The Hulk needed a CGM, insurance companies wouldn't deny him.

"Hulk smash ... insurance companies!"

June 04, 2008

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.

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. 

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 13, 2008

Beyond Insulin.

Moving away from home has been tough. 

Almost two years ago now, Chris and I moved from our respective hometowns in Rhode Island and ventured out here to western CT.  Work for both of us has been productive and has advanced our careers, but socially it's been a little lacking.  We do have each other (and he is my best friend and fiance, so we can actually hang out and have fun), and Chris and I have explored so much of our new town and surrounding areas.  We've dined at great restaurants, found some fun new places, and created bits of comfort in this strange new place. I still really love my job and my co-workers have gone from "office mates" to people I feel are my friends. 

But at least twice a month, we go home to RI and hang out with our friends, visiting Boston or Providence or teeny seaside towns like Watch Hill or Narragansett.  Even though CT has great job opportunities and the excitement of NYC just a quick train ride away, Rhode Island and its sandy beaches will always be home.  And my friends will always be my friends, whether I live in the same town as them or I live thousands of miles away. 

I realize that RI is only about three hours away from our home in CT, but sometimes it feels like we're living out on the moon.  It gets a little lonely at times, and I've missed my friends and family tremendously over the past few months in particular.  As the wedding draws nearer, my bridesmaids call often and my mother and I talk several times a week, but I miss having these conversations in person.  Truth be told, I'm homesick these days and I miss my friends to the point where I'm starting to whiiiiiine about it.

Blogging, and the internet in general, does provide a certain social outlet.  I really enjoy writing and am grateful for all of the people I've "met" in the last few years.  But there's something sterile and a bit detached about the internet.  I feel very lucky to have met people like Nicole, Shannon, Julia, and Christel who have really stepped past blogging buddies and into the parts of my life that are beyond diabetes.  For me, it's about building relationships that actually mean something, not just collecting "friends" like they're baseball cards.  And so much of that real connection is possible within this community.

Last night, I had dinner with two women who I connected with through the Fairfield County chapter of the JDRF.  One I've met before and the other is actually the sister of a guy I work with here at dLife.  (Everyone here has some connection to the disease.)  It was terrific to hang out with new people - in person! - and realize there was way more than diabetes to talk about.  The three of us tossed around the idea of a Fairfield County monthly dinner or something, and I'm totally game.  So ... long blog post short, if you're living in the Fairfield County area and would like to join us for a monthly "It's More Than Diabetes" (or something like that) dinner, drop me a line at kerri [at] sixuntilme [dot] com.

In the meantime, I'll be analyzing how much time I spend online and how I want to reposition the internet as it relates to my life.  Life is short -- too short to spend more time face-to-face with a computer instead of ... a face. 

Too linked in?

March 11, 2008

A Good Tune.

I even own some Yanni.  I know...For as far back as I can remember, music has been such a crucial part of my little world.  When I was a little kid (we're talking like six or seven years old), I can distinctly remember listening to my mom's Elton John tapes on my Fisher Price tape player.  I also remember buying my first tape cassette when I was 10 - Beethoven's 9th Symphony.  I played that tape over and over until it wore out and the actual cassette tape warped.

In my mind, my life has a constant soundtrack.  If I trip and fall over my own feet while walking downtown (often right in front of a coffee shop window where people are sitting and, of course, looking out), I hear the sounds of a stumbling tuba, a la Droopy Dog.  When Chris proposed on the balcony in St. John, I heard the swells of some wildly romantic Italian aria.  Even as I sit at work and watch the emails file in first thing in the morning, "Flight of the Bumblebee" runs frantically through my head.

I LOVE live music and have seen plenty of awesome bands in person - The Frames, U2, Muse, 311, Jewel, Radiohead, Gomez, Damien Rice, Stereolab, and The Beastie Boys.  There's something so intense about hearing these musicians perform their songs LIVE, in front of my face, streaming right into my ears and dipping directly into my soul.  Gets me fired up, makes me feel alive.

There are definitive genres of music that are called into play when I'm trying to write, as well.  Regardless of whether or not I'm writing something upbeat or emotionally evocative, I always head to the same kinds of tunes:  moody sorts of music that is someone was going to guess my personality type by listening to my iTunes, they'd think I'm itching to off myself.  Radiohead, Damien Rice, The Frames (especially the new stuff from the "Once" soundtrack and tracks from "The Swell Season"), Nick Drake, Tori Amos ... and soundtracks.  Like "Schindler's List" and "Braveheart" and "Last of the Mohicans." 

I know - pretty damn moody for someone who spend the majority of her day laughing.  Looking at my iTunes library makes me look all emo and crap.  ;)

I spend the majority of my day plugged in to headphones or listening through the speakers, doing my job, and enjoying tunes.  Over the last few months, I've been listening to the same music, but I rec'd a mix cd from Carey a few bit ago that introduced a whole new cache of bands into my playlist.  Now I'm itching for some new songs and new bands - it's like I need a musical spring cleaning, shuffling out the old stuff I don't really listen to anymore (sorry, Snow Patrol) and bringing in the new blood. 

So, O Wise Internet - what are you listening to these days?  Anything worth sharing?  Can I usher in the Spring with your playlist?   

March 10, 2008

Things I Found.

Gold stars -- they're all over my purse at the moment.Things I found in my purse yesterday:  Three loose Mentos candies, fourteen (!) dead test strips, one key to the dLife office that I keep forgetting to put back on my keyring, a dollar bill, and a package of gold star stickers. 

Things I found underneath the bed:  A CluckCoo cuckoo clock (which lead to the box being opened, which lead to a battle between two cats), a strand of white Christmas lights, my old notary public embosser, a dust bunny the size of a toaster oven, and a pair of expensive black high heels that I have never worn because I totally forgot they were there. 

Things I found in our fridge:  A huge jar of minced garlic, eleven bottles of Humalog insulin,  one lone sharon fruit, two bottles of dessert wine, a jar of eye cream, and one of my birthday cards - cannot explain that last one.

Things I found out while arguing with my fiance:  The wedding is so close (69 days from today) that I'm starting to lose my mind and am tweaking out unnecessarily.  I also realized - yet again - that I hate arguing with the person I love the most.  I need to remember this more often.

Things I found will make me laugh instantly these days:  Any mental image of Siah tucked inside that banana, remembering Grape Ape and how he was driven around on the top of a van driven by a beagle, the fact that cats don't get wrinkles, and any pictures of old people in party hats.  For some reason, those items are putting me over the edge today.

Things I found in the pot of my plant at work:  The dismembered leg of an action figure I have here at work.  Leave those production guys alone in here for a split second and they make a creative mess of things.  

Things I found that effectively end a post:  . 

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 27, 2008

No Birds?

We get so much stuff in the mail here at work - ranging from tasty Edible Arrangements to hand-written dissertations about diabetes to piles and piles of diabetes-related media publications.  (Sometimes there are sussies, which are the very best bits of mail.)

We've also received Omaha Steaks, which I had never heard of before my last job. "No gifts" policy?  Pffft.  Food has no boundaries, it seems.  And along with these steaks, there was a package of conversation starters (this one was Set 3) with little chatty prompts written on it.  Relatively general stuff, like "Where is the most beautiful place you have every been?" (My answer:  St. John) and "If you were in total solitude for one year, how you would spend your time?"  (My answer:  alone)

But among these somewhat generic questions was one I didn't see coming.  One that gave me a pause and then made me burst out laughing.  This treasure of a query was buried last in the bunch:

"What would be different about the world if there were no birds?"

Oh, I couldn't stop giggling for some reason.  No birds?  The silliest answers kept leaping to mind.  My car would have no bird crap on it.  Carrier voles would replace carrier pigeons.  Sesame Street would have been graced with a big, yellow aardvark.  Hitchcock would have been taunted by sea lions?  This question made my imagination run rampant, and sent me into a fit of giggles every time I pictured a bunch of bears sitting on telephone wires, teetering awkwardly and growling at passerbys.

No bears were harmed in the making of this photo.

So to you, my dear Faithful Readers, I pose this question.  What would be different about the world if there were no birds?

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. 

February 20, 2008

Strip.

I am a relatively clean person.  I don't like dirty dishes, hampers filled with needs-to-be-washed laundry, and I despise knowing the cat box has those teeny morsels of yuck in it.  Sometimes, late at night when I should be getting ready for bed or relaxing on the couch, I'm hit with these cleaning fits.  I'll scrub away at every last stain on the counter, reorganize my underwear drawer (yes, it's organized for the most part), or start chucking the expired items from the fridge. 

I clean up my desk whenever I leave the office.  I can't stand messy piles of paper or a filthy, unwashed coffee cup with that tell-tale ring of grinds the bottom.  I don't like when the garbage can isn't emptied every night.  

Clean.  I like it that way.

So why, oh why, do I find myself completely and utterly inept when it comes to properly disposing of used test strips?  

These little buggers are everywhere.  I've written about them before (stuck to Chris's face, on the floor at the gym, and even discussed in dictionary entries), yet I still haven't found a way to solve the problem.  I test anywhere from 8 - 15 times a day, so these used strips accumulate and are inadvertently stashed in parts of my life like those hidden picture things from Highlights for Children

Glucose meter strip on the floor.

On the floor just next to my garbage can. 

(And that's a sticker from an apple.  I couldn't get it to peel back up.) 

Bag o' stuff.

At the bottom of my massive work bag (with many other assorted bits).

Even in the damn camera bag.

Even in my relatively-new and almost always zipped camera bag.  How the hell did it get in here?

Crafty little testy suckers.  I do my very best to make sure I do not leave a pocket of test strips when I visit new places or people, but I always find a pile of them hanging out in the spots I frequent the most:  my car, my office, and my home.  I keep trying to get them in the garbage can but it's like the bin takes a step to the left every time I go to toss one out.  Are garbage cans across the country uniting to thwart my best intentions?

I need to sharpen my disposal skills.

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: , , , ,

January 07, 2008

Equal Time.

Equal packets - that match.The coffee machine was whirring to life, and while the water heated, I poked through the little decorative bucket where the packets of Equal are stashed.

In the bucket, there were piles of blue packets, but there were different illustrations printed on each one.  "Do Your Drink Justice," "Power to the Packet," and "Ban the Bland."  There were a few different strawberry-themed logos, too. 

I've written before about my slight OCD tendencies.  The eight sips of juice.  My woofer-sniffing moments (oh how embarrassing, why am I bringing that up again?).  And I also need for my packets of sugar substitute to match.  The pictures have to match, both packets have to be right-side up, and facing the same way.  I cannot function any other way.  It's not certifiably OCD, but it's a borderline trait.  And until last week, no one had noticed.  Not even Chris.

So as my coffee was brewing, and not thinking I was being watched, I picked rabidly through the packets until I found two that matched (throwing back ones that didn't as though they were fish that were too small), lined them up, and ripped them open.

"What are you doing?"  Oh shit.  Co-worker saw me flitting through the bucket in search of matching packets.

"Oh, nothing."  The blush crept up my face without my permission.  "Okay, I was looking for matching packets."

"What?"  He laughed and put his mug on the countertop while I flustered.

"The packets.  Of Equal.  They have to match.  I have to use matching packet thingies." 

He raised an eyebrow.

"It's normal.  It's totally normal."  My coffee spluttered to a finish and I grabbed my mug, grateful for something to do with my hands.  

"It's very normal, Kerri.  Completely."  He was polite enough to keep the laughter in his eyes, but I could see the tug of a smirk.

I laughed, too.  I get the joke. 

But these OCD tendencies are just little snapshots of me trying to control things.  Sometimes my blood sugars aren't reigned in very well, and I compensate by making long lists of work-to-dos that calm my nerves.  I'll hit the gym every weeknight because I can control my attendance.  My checkbook is balanced to the very penny, to keep tight tabs on my controllable finances.  I'm constantly micro-managing other aspects of my life in efforts to compensate for what I can't control in total. 

(I'm also known to micro-manage my diabetes, hence my meeting with the Minimed rep this afternoon.  Real-time blood sugars in efforts to best control my body's natural inclination to fail me.  Control, control, control.)

Sometimes it feels like trying to spin the universe in a different direction. 

SUM Tags: , , , , ,

December 26, 2007

Uncle Traveling Matt ... and Kerri.

From the far corners of CT to the nooks and crannies of RI, we've done so much driving over the last few days that Uncle Traveling Matt has nothing on us. 

It's been a very nice Christmas holiday here at home, with some time spent catching up with Batman, NBF, and my college roommates.  We spent the holidays with our families, opening gifts on Christmas morning with my mother, having breakfast with my father, and a big family dinner hosted by Jenn (Chris's sister).

New Pump and I are hooked up and getting to know one another.  So far, it's been a very smooth and seamless transition.  (Seamless in the technological sense -- there were a few wild blood sugars moments over this holiday - more on those later.)  And like my fellow 522 pumpers, I'm enjoying being able to see the time without clicking the button to the left.  I'm touching base with my Minimed rep this week, so hopefully I'll be linked up with the CGM by next week at the latest.  Very excited to try that out. 

Yesterday, I managed to catch a hometown tradition on my camera - the Route 78 Christmas Tree.  Someone, no idea who, has been decorating a pine tree on the side of a highway in my hometown.  Every holiday season, this tree ends up with tinsel and ornaments on the lower portion of it.  I don't know who has been decorating for the last ten years, but every year I'm impressed at the continuation of this bizarre tradition. 

On Christmas morning, we pulled over on the highway and snapped a quick picture.  I love odd little holiday traditions.

The mysteriously decorated tree on Route 78.
We're driving home to CT in a few hours, so this is my quick internet stop-over before the long drive.  I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and I'll be back to regularly-scheduled blogging tomorrow.

December 13, 2007

New England Snow Day Survival List.

1.  Bread.

2.  Milk.

3.  Shovel or soup pot to shove aside snow with.

4.  Bucket of sand to throw on the icy sidewalks and porch, or cat litter, which is a weirder yet still effective alternative.

5.  Ice scraper to remove the caked up layers of winter wonderland from your windshield.

6.  Moments consulting the "Dopplah radah," which advises as to the track of the storm.

7.  Warm, fat cats to sleep on your feet to keep your toes warm yet awkwardly immobile.

8.  Enough insulin in your pump to make consuming mass quantities of bread-and-milk soup possible.

9.  Job that makes it easy to work from home while the snowflakes fall fast and furiously.Onward!  To French toast!

10.  Internet connection.

11.  Extra carton of milk, just in case a pack of wild Vikings come to visit and clamor for French toast.

12.  And more bread.

December 10, 2007

I Like Your Hair.

Maybe Paris for our honeymoon?It had just opened two weeks ago, but the Christmas lights around the door and the promise of fine, French cuisine drew us in.  He ordered steak tartare again and I opted for a chicken dish.  We ate, drank, and generally felt quite merry.

"I need to duck into the ladies' room for a second."  I said, taking my napkin from my lap and excusing myself from the table.

"Sure," he said.

I walked over to the small, two-stall bathroom, dimly lit by several lamps with gilded shades.  It was like peeing in the vault of a bank only known to celebrities, or maybe to Scrooge McDuck

As I conducted my bathroom activities, the main bathroom door swung open and in clicked a pair of ladies' heels.  She leaned in towards the mirror and smoothed out her smudged eye makeup with her index finger.  Then she stopped.  And stared from the mirror. 

Right into the stall I was hiding in.

Feeling a tad exposed, I leaned to the left to avoid her gaze, quickly finished my business, and rescued my purse from the hook on the door.  She was pinning back her flyaways, still at the mirror.  I rolled up my sleeves and ran the water over my hands at the sink next to her.

"I like your highlights."

Her accent was thick.  French?  Faux-French?  Maybe German?  Not New England, that's for certain.

"Thank you," I replied, the water hot on my hands.

"I like them very much.  I look at them while you pee."

(My goodness.  Is there an appropriate response to that?)

"Well that's very kind of you."

She brought her face next to the glass and peered into her black-lined eyes. 

"I look so fan-tahs-tic."  She nodded to herself.   "Very fan-tahs-tic."  Adjusted her hemline.  "I go now."

She opened the door with a flourish - this woman who admired my hair while I peed - and strutted out into the dining room, leaving me wondering what the hell just happened.

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 29, 2007

A Blogging Nightmare.

Trapped in the blogs!Last night, when my fever was spiking and the chills were coursing through my body like contractions, I hid in my bed and tried to fall asleep.  Tossing and turning, thinking of talented writers of Blogabetes, columns that still needed to be looked at, and my own personal blog that required some attention, my brain was spinning with incompleted tasks.

I fell asleep, fretting.

And I dreamt that I was inside a computer screen.  Not trapped behind the glass, per se, but stuck right in between two open Explorer windows.  I was pinned and flailing and unable to just reeeeeach my hand around and press the "X" to close the window and let me out.

I woke up with a start and put my face against Chris's shoulder as he slept.

"I had a nightmare.  About blogging."

"Mmmmmmhmmm.  Do you need juice?" 

(Poor guy is on autopilot.)

"No.  I'm not low.  I had a nightmare."

"It's okay."  He fell back asleep.  I stared at the ceiling, still reaching for that "X" in my mind's eye.

And when I heard myself describing this nightmare to my co-worker this morning (Her response:  Your life is based on cartoons even in your dreams?  Oh great day!), I realized how grateful I was that November only has one more day in it.

One.  More.  Day.

November 23, 2007

The Concoction.

Thanksgiving day was a combination of family, fun, and food.  Chris and I had the pleasure of seeing many members of our combined extended families for the first time in a few months, so it was a very nice holiday.

One stop on our Thanksgiving food trail.

For some reason, at my aunt's house, this strange discussion about what people would be willing to eat cropped up.  The discussion quickly spiralled out of control (as things often do), resulting in a dare and The Concoction:  a plastic cup filled with samples of each dish, mixed together with some olive juice, whipped cream, and a pickle.  My cousins and I sniffed the mixture before we offered it up to the brave contestants.  It smelled horrendous.  No way would I eat this - ever. 

Instead, my Uncle Mark battled my mother in a test of tastebud tolerance.

Uncle Mark takes the plunge.

"What do we win?"  Asked my mother before she took her bite.

"Ma - bragging rights.  What else is there?"

"Agreed."

My mother takes the spoonful like a champ.

I'm proud to say that both Uncle Mark and my mom consumed The Concoction without gagging, and they are now branded as the toughest members of the family. 

Or at least until Christmas.

November 21, 2007

95 North, How I Loathe Thee.

I hate 95 North.Over the next few hours, I will be: 

Changing the radio station.  Talking about the wedding.  Working on an article.  Singing along to stupid tunes on the iPod.  Debating who would win in a battle to the death:  Batman or the Ultimate Warrior?  Wasting gas as we sit in traffic for HOURS trying to get home to RI.  Figuring out the complex settings on the new camera.  Taking pictures of his ear, his knuckles, and scenes from the highway.  Yawning.  Maybe napping.  Drinking coffee.  Testing.  Bolusing.  Picking cat hair off my black jacket.  Reading a little bit and then promptly getting a headache.   Wondering why RI is just a state away but sometimes feels like freaking Canada.

But once we make it to Rhode Island, it's all about family, friends, and celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.  I'll be checking in, per my NaBloPoMo addiction, but it will be spare. 

Have a great holiday!

October 11, 2007

Grimace.

SuperG, because your comment made me laugh so hard I almost dropped my coffee mug on the floor, this is for you:

Grimace is mad fine.  Look at those gams.

According to Wikipedia, "Grimace (pronounced /ˈgɹɪməs/) is a character in the marketing campaign by the McDonald's restaurant chain. Large and purple with short arms and legs, he is known for his monotonous face and slow-witted demeanor. His most common expression is the word 'duh'.

In the first campaign of McDonaldland commercials beginning in 1971, Grimace was the "Evil Grimace", with two pairs of arms with which to steal milkshakes. After that first campaign, the character was revised to be one of the "good guys", and his number of arms was reduced by two. Today, Grimace is generally portrayed in McDonald's commercials and merchandise as a well-meaning simpleton, whose clumsy antics provide a comic foil to Ronald McDonald."

SuperG, here is a photo of Grimace in his early days, when he was "Evil Grimace" with four arms: 

Evil Grimace.  Before my co-worker thought he was cute.

Now Grimace is a round fella who toddles around drinking milkshakes.  According to my extensive web research, Grimace wanted to create a blueberry-flavored milkshake.  He also had an Irish uncle named Uncle O'Grimacey.  (Note:  Another fictional food character with an Irish relative?  This feeds into my issues with Cookie O'Puss.) 

He's a happy-go-lucky guy who looks like a big purple gumdrop.  He's part of the McDonald's subculture and I remember collecting the toys from my Happy Meals when I was little. 

George, here is your wrap-up quiz:

1.  Grimace : ______________ : as McDonalds : Spongebob. 

a.  Falcore the Luck Dragon

b.  Patrick

c.  Brett Michaels

2.  True or False?  Evil Grimace had three arms.

3.  True or False?  Grimace loves a good milkshake and, if he could create his own flavor, he would chose blueberry.

4.  The candy Grimace most resembles is ____________________.

Bonus:  "Nothing can kill the Grimace."  Where did this quote originate from?

Answers later today.  :)

September 24, 2007

Apple Demons and Dress Decisions

Chris and I were driving home to Rhode Island on Saturday morning.  I brought along a few apples to munch on while we traveled. 

"Want your apple now?"  I asked him, reaching into my massive purse that was home to my wallet, my meter, some gum, assorted lip gloss tubes, one lone syringe, and various pieces of fruit.

"Yeah."

I handed it to him, but as I did, I saw the apple demon.

The apple demon, from afar.

"Oh my God your apple has a face."  We looked closer.  And right at the stem, where the leaves were once attached, was this little face staring back at us.

This apple demon is wearing a hat.  Of course.

So we took the apple demon's picture.  Like you do.

I spent Saturday up on Boston with my college roommates and we hit the Seaport for a booze cruise event.  The boat, playing host to almost 1,000 people, was listing severely to one side and we thought it was going to tip over.  Or maybe it didn't have a V-8.  Either way, we were dressed to match the "black-and-white" theme and we partied proper.

(Note:  While I'm not shy about admitting that I do drink, I didn't on this cruise.  Wasn't in the mood.  But I did have an arsenal of sugared orange slices in my purse in case of a low blood sugar.  Since I wasn't drinking and my blood sugar held steady without any issues, I handed out orange slices like I was some kind of candyman.  I mixed it with love and made the world taste good.)

The band played.  We danced and had a good time.  And when I excused myself to the bathroom to test my blood sugar, I was accosted by a happy, drunk pharma rep.

"You!  You are testing your blood."  She pointed at me and smiled.

"I am indeed.  Thanks!"  I glanced at the result - 109 mg/dl - and zippered up the black case. 

"I work for a pharmaceutical company.  I know what you're doing."  She turned to her friend.  "She is diabetic.  She's testing her blood sugar.  I know!"  She swayed slightly.

Ah, drunk and informed.  I grinned back at her.

"Yup.  Have a good night!"  I started to walk away.

"You too!  Good luck with your numbers!"

It's nice to be understood. 

(And I wore the black Ann Taylor dress on the cruise - the blue one made its last appearance of the season at the wedding Sunday night.  Now I have to find something to wear to the two weddings I have back-to-back in October.  My girl Ann Taylor, you can't fail me now!)   

September 17, 2007

Moose Wars.

Moose WarsIt was an oddly incongruous weekend, with Chris and I brainstorming at a diner in western CT at one in the morning on Friday night, espresso martinis with the girls on Saturday night, and the Moose Wars on Sunday morning.

Yes, Moose Wars.

Little MP (Chris's niece) has a stuffed animal moose, picked up during the course of the Great White-Water Experience of 2007.  At breakfast on Sunday morning, it was decided that there would be a contest:  Who could walk from the breakfast table, around the living room, and back to the kitchen with the moose on their head?

"First prize is Mommy!"  MP smiled, satisfied with this answer. 

"Mommy?  What?"  Chris's sister pretended to reel back in horror.  "I'm a prize?"

MP scrunched up her nose.  "No, wait.  First place is ... a lightbulb!  Second place is Mommy."

Makes perfect sense. 

Steve!  Now with more jazz-hands!

So, after breakfast, we all took turns racing around with the moose.  MP's father, Steve, sported both the Moose and jazz-hands, making him the winner of a very fine lightbulb.  Fortunately, Jenn came in second and won herself.  And since I have been working on my night moose (will I ever, ever learn?), I did okay, too.  I take my Moose Wars very seriously, as you can see. 

I'm all sophisticated and shit.

In completely unrelated news, I'm excited to be traveling off to Los Angeles again this October (I had a great experience the last time I was out there) and I'm stoked to check out some new places.  I'm also going to be on the hunt for free-internet, so if you know of any coffeehouses or cafes that cater to an editor-on-the-go, I'd love a head's up. 

Can you still go to the beach in October in California?  Is there a wireless signal on the beach?  That may be the best (read: most fun) option. 

See you tomorrow, for Grand Rounds 3.52, hosted here!  I just have this feeling that there will be some diabetes bloggers featured.  :D

September 10, 2007

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Dryer Lint

I am so excited to try on wedding dresses.

After a weekend including completely ransacking our home office and trying to make sense of all the business/wedding chaos, I've come up for air.

Update on the Wedding Front:  I'm shaking the dust off my wedding planner hat (which is bright blue and has a long feathery plume, at least in my mind) and kicking things into high gear.  We've booked the reception hall, we've booked the church as of today, and we have chosen our bridal party.  Next on my list:  photographer, DJ, and try on wedding dresses.  I cannot wait to try on every wedding dress I can get my little hands on.  My mother is convinced that we'll "just know" which one is perfect, but I have a feeling I may try on several (read: is a hundred too many?) dresses before I can narrow it down.  I'm so excited, though.  Our wedding date is just a few months away! 

Update on Diabetes-Stuff:  To follow-up on my eye dilation appointment from Thursday, my eyes are looking very healthy.  I used to see an optometrist for my dilations, with bi-yearly checks at the Joslin Eye Clinic.  Since moving to CT, I've started seeing a retinologist, who shines that light into my eye to the point where I feel like I'm having an out-of-body experience.  I wonder if I had any of these spots a few years ago, but my optometrist wasn't trained to detect them.    

"What do you see?"  I asked him, tears streaming down my face as my eyes revolt against what feels like the sun shining directly into them.

"Nothing, Kerri.  One teeny hemorrhage, but I can barely see that."  He hands me a tissue to blot my eyes.  "What do you see?"  I can hear the smile in his voice.

"I can't see a damn thing, Dr. Retina." 

He laughs and takes the light off my eyes.  "Looks good, kid.  No need for a three month follow-up.  Let's move to six.  I'll see you the month before you become Mrs. Sparling, okay?"For Darrell.

And on the A1c front, I'm hoping to have that result soon.  And taking a cue from the fact that a blood sugar of only 202 mg/dl makes me feel like I'm sucking on a popsicle made of dryer lint, I'm hoping it's a good result.

Update on Indiana Jones:  This is just as crucial as the wedding, and in about the same timeframe.  The fourth (and final?) Indiana Jones installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is being released in May 2008 and the title was announced last night.  I am a huge Indiana Jones fan - "You call him Doctor Jones, doll!" - and I can't wait until this movie is released. 

He is just too cool. 

August 27, 2007

Having a Few.

My favorite white wine.Diabetes makes drinking a bit of a tricky topic.  I take very good care of my health and my diabetes - I'm vigilant in monitoring my many numbers, eating well, seeing my doctor, and hitting the gym.  I work hard.  I am determined to be healthy!

But I also am determined to have a life.  And for me, part of "real life" includes having some drinks with my friends. 

This summer has had some fun times, and some of those times included alcohol.  The enGAGment party, a weekend at the beach with my college roommates, wine tastings, this past weekend out with the girls, etc.  No, I don't need to drink to have a good time.  But yes, sometimes my good times include having a few drinks. 

It's weird, though, because not a lot of diabetics talk about their drinking habits, if they have any.  I am not much of a drinker, but I do like to have a drink once in a while.  Not too often because I have such a low threshold for alcohol. (Please - ask any of my friends.  Two drinks and I'm completely silly.  Three drinks and I'll dance.  Four and I'm ... well, four is too many.) 

I'm very careful when I drink.  My meter makes frequent appearances on nights out at the bars.  This past weekend, I was out at a beautiful wedding shower for one of my college roommates, M, and there was an open bar.  So I had a glass of wine.  Blood sugar at 132 mg/dl. 

The night progressed to a group of us getting a case of Coronas, having some beers while we hung out, and then heading out to the bar.  Along the way, I was steady at anywhere between 130 - 160 mg/dl and that's where I'm most comfortable when drinking.  Once I started to edge towards 80 mg/dl, I hit a quick swig of juice from my purse to ward off any lows.  Rest of the night?  170, 143, 130, ended up at 180 mg/dl before bed.  Works for me.

For me, I can't pretend not to be diabetic.  That's less about what other people see but more about how I react to certain situations.  I don't care if anyone sees me test or spies my insulin pump, but I need to make sure that I'm always taking diabetes into consideration.  Does it seem irresponsible to be having some drinks with my friends?  Maybe to some people, yes.  Maybe it makes my mother a little uncomfortable to think that I'm deliberately putting myself into a situation that could become uncontrolled.  But I can't lie and say that I live my life in a big diabetes-bubble - I go out.  I party.  I drink.  (And I know I'm not the only one.)

I do my very best to remain as safe as possible - this includes educating my friends, carrying things like my meter and a bottle of juice with me at all times, and not being afraid to say "No," when it's not the best time for me to be drinking.  Case in point:  at the enGAGment party, I was having a great time and yes, enjoying some drinks.  I tested all the live-long day and once I started cresting up into the 240 mg/dl range, I stopped.  I calculated out an insulin bolus, waited for my blood sugar to come down, and actually decided not to drink anymore once I was back in range.  I know when my body's had enough.  Reaching the high 200's means it's time for me to sober up and regain control.  I'm all about a good time but I hate having my blood sugar that high.  Ruins all my fun.

Thankfully, there's always the other drunk people.  Sometimes they pass out, wasted, in the middle of the street.  And what's better than posing near the wasted guy?  Not much.

Note:  No drunk messes were harmed while taking this picture.  He did this to himself.
(Yes, we made sure he was okay before we posed.)

August 24, 2007

Six Quick Friday Linky Bits.

Better late than never, right?

1.  Life has been spinning so quickly that I haven't had much time for blogging this week.  The result of all this work will be worth it, but now, in the throes of it all, I'm realizing how much money I spend on iced coffee each week.  Holy crap. 

2.  I followed a link on Julia's blogClick to view my Personality Profile page and took the Briggs-Myers personality test, online of course.  My results?  Apparently I'm in appropriate company:  Robin Williams, Dr. Seuss, and Balki from Perfect Strangers.  Of course.  And in the recommended career paths, I see "writer" and "massage therapist."  Of course again.  Take it - what's your result?

3.  Ever the walky-type, I've decided to do both the RI and the Fairfield County JDRF walks.  Team dLife will make an appearance on September 30th in CT, and Team Six Until Me will be making it a hat trick on October 21st in RI.  (Hi Nicole!  Would love to have you join us!)  Should be a rockin' time!

4.  Siah has requested that I let everyone know there's a new LOL Diabetes Facebook group.  Yes, Sausage, I told them.  No, you can't type.  No, Siah, leave the keyboard alone.  Siah ... stop messing around on the  oij 34tqg 24lkjmr wq olij WV .  That cat is a menace.

5.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  This is easily the most ridiculous site of all time:  KittenWar!  You visit, are presented with two competing kitten pictures, and you click on which one is the cutest.  Completely foolish.  I spent about an hour doing it.  I'm ashamed.  But it was fun.  (By the by, there are other cats named "Sausage."  I was shocked.)

6.  I've recently been outed (at the enGAGment party, but prior to that at the Sting conceStephanie!rt) that I have a serious musical guilty pleasure:  Beyonce.  I can't help it - her music gets stuck in my head and next thing I know, I'm priming my insulin pump and humming "Crazy in Love."  I re-discovered another guilty pleasure today - El DeBarge.  "Who's Johnny?" makes me sing along and also makes me long for Johnny 5.  (More input!)  Man, I loved Short Circuit.

Off to RI early in the morning for the bridal shower of one of my (six!) college roommates.  Ah, wedding season.  Maybe I should think about planning mine sometime soon. 

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday!

August 13, 2007

Muse.

I like concerts.

Live music just does it for me.  The sound of the band, the pulse of the crowd, and the fact that no one cares that you don't know the words as you sing at the top of your lungs. 

Over the weekend, after a stint at the RIFF where Chris's short film Balance was very well-received, we joined Batman and Friends in Boston for the Muse show. 

Despite the fact that locks can be picked with lead singer Matt Bellamy's skinny frame, his voice filled the whole damn arena at BU.  They hit picks from every album, ranging from the dancing piano of Newborn to the throbbing chords of Hysteria.  (I'm a huge Absolution fan, so anything from that album makes me very happy.) 

Muse on stage at the BU arena in Boston.

And, of course, they let loose with the balloons.  The crowd went berserk.  (And so did I.  I can't control myself - they're so good!)

A few luft balloons.

Excellent show!  Almost as good as Radiohead at the Field Day Festival (fiasco?) a few years ago.  (I have a hard time deciding what my favorite concert is - U2 and Radiohead compete for attention in my heart.  Your favorite?)

Closed out Sunday on the beach with NurseBestFriend and by wishing a Happy Birthday to another friend (pursuant to the post-it on the visor of my Volkswagen).  Next weekend is the enGAGment party - I'm already charging my camera battery for that.  And my Speak n' Spell.

August 08, 2007

Bits and Pieces

BlogrollHousekeeping!  And other assorted oddities.

The New Blogroll.  I've built a new blogroll here, with a text-only version and an alphabetical breakdown including screenshots and descriptions.  If your blog is on there and you'd like to add a short description, please email me.  If your blog is missing entirely - oh crap!  Send me an email so I can add you! 

Reviews.  I receive a lot of emails from diabetes product development teams regarding reviews.  If you have a product that you would like to have reviewed, please check out the SUM Reviews page and drop me a line.   I'm proud to be a part of this community and if we can help spread the word about a product that makes our lives a little better, I'm all for it. 

Subservient Chicken.  Oh how I remember finding this a few years ago and being completely astounded.  You can tell this chicken what to do.  It's all tied back to Burger King advertising, but visiting the site is worth the marketing subtleties.

Your Story.  There is a new Your Story up every Monday - have you submitted yours yet?  Email your story and any pictures you'd like to include to story@sixuntilme.com.  I'd love to heard from you!Was "Worried Walrus" on the Sweet Pickles bus?

Sweet Pickles.  Chris and I were talking about Sweet Pickles - that book series from the early 80's with the theme song - "Sweet Pickles is great!" - and the bus filled with weird animals that supposedly delivered the books to your home.  Personally, if a bus with furry creatures showed up at my house bearing books, I would be terrified.  Did anyone ever order these books?  And was there a frog in that bus?  I can't remember and can't find any video confirmation on YouTube. 

Tomorrow - a chance meeting at the JDRF walk kick-off luncheon.  :)

August 07, 2007

AADE: Chaos Theory

While my pancreas is woefully unemployed, I did find one at the AADE conference that had a job.

Pancreas, me, N, and Muscle

Only at a diabetes conference would there be a Pancreas and Muscle Tissue wandering around for photo opportunities as though they were Mickey and Minnie Mouse. 

Freestyle Butterflies were working at the booth across from dLife's - I sincerely hope they were paid handsomely for their time. 

"So can I have my picture taken with you guys?"

ButterflyOne adjusted her wings and tucked her ponytail back into her hood.

"Of course."

Freestyle Butterflies.  And me.

That night, a few of my co-workers and I shuttled down to a St. Louis jazz bar and saw Kim Massie - quite possibly one of the most talented singers I have ever stumbled upon.  Her voice grabbed my sternum and reverberated in my soul.  (Yes, she was that good.)  The bar was perfect, in that in the middle of nowhere, picnic table sort of way.  Empty beer bottles stuffed with white Christmas lights offered ambiance.

Beer Lights.

And the plane home.  This was my only messy moment.

We ended up switching flights to grab an earlier plane, so our dLife team was scattered all over the plane.  I was more towards the back, sitting in a row completely by myself.  Conveniently enough, my anxiety and nervousness threw me into a neat little low blood sugar, leaving me alone in my seat at 52 mg/dl and stuffing glucose tabs into my mouth.  Tears of panic caught at the corner of my eye.

A young stewardess, recognizing my symptoms, leaned in and handed me an orange juice.  I thanked her wordlessly.

Drinking my juice and waiting for the plane to take off, I wiped my low-induced tears from my eyes and clenched my hands nervously in my lap.  The xanax pills started taking their effect, making me a little looped.

"Excuse me?"  A man sat in the outermost seat of the trio as I remained nervously mushed against the window.  "You seem a little nervous.  It's going to be just fine.  I'm a pilot."

My brain couldn't register.

"You're the pilot?  You need to be flying the plane!"  (Thank you, Xanax, for making my brain melt at the most inopportune moment.)

He laughed.  "It's going to be fine.  You don't like to fly?"

"Not particularly."  Sniffle.  (My goodness, I'm a baby.)

"Well this is a short flight to NYC, so we'll be there in no time."

The plane and my blood sugar rose in unison.  My panic subsided once we were in the air and I caught this view from my window. 

Beautiful view from the plane.
Maybe flying isn't so bad afterall.

August 01, 2007

Every Move You Make ...

Last night, Chris and I took a little jaunt to see a band I never thought I would see live - The Police.  Despite the parking nightmare (thousands upon thousands of cars parked on a field with no marker posts or anything even remotely indicative of where we were standing), the concert was completely awesome.

A view from our seats.

I had seen Sting play once (which I made the verbal typo of calling him "String" to Chris and now that's how we refer to him - "Oh hey, going to see String tonight?") in Providence but not with The Police.  This was one of those huge shows from bands that toured when we were little kids and broke up before we were "of concert age."  We figured our chances of seeing them were sunk.

Until they reunited.  And oh man, were they awesome.

"String" and his pals.

There was a lady sitting a few rows down from us who was rocking so hard I thought her arms were going to fly off.  They started playing "Every Breath You Take" and she just went berserk, flailing around, screaming incomprehensible words, and tossing her short-cropped curls as she gyrated in her "I Love My Grandkids" t-shirt.  She made me almost as happy as The Police themselves.  (We took a video of her, and of a few songs, that I'll load up later.  She may be my new hero.)

And now I'm off to pack for St. Louis and get ready for the AADE.  If you're going to be at the conference, stop by the dLife booth and say hello!  I'll be the one ... most likely talking incessantly.  :)

July 31, 2007

An Update on Shoes.

Another Open Letter to Shoes.Dear Shoes,

You had been quiet for a few weeks, my dear neighbor, but I heard you today.  Oh thank goodness!  I was worried about you.  My ceiling has been eerily quiet lately and I was mildly worried for your well-being.

However, this morning at a crisp 5 a.m. you let me know you were okay.  The clomping and stomping told me that you were indeed back in your apartment and that all was well.  And the barking told me that you brought a new friend home with you.

The barking.  Oh hooray Shoes - you got a dog. 

DogShoes sounds like a hearty, robust breed, with a low, sonorous bark and feet that are apparently clad in tap shoes.  No little yappy teacup dog for you, eh Shoes?  You go all out in your little condo unit.  DogShoes must be weighing in at close to 70 lbs, judging by the noise he made this morning running from your kitchen to your bedroom.  I hear his joyful barking sounds and could almost feel the swish of his massive tail as he galloped down the hallway.

DogShoes likes to bark when the sun is rising.  Maybe he thinks it's a big ball that he can bound outside and play with!  I like when the sun rises, too, but I don't necessarily want to see it rise on a Tuesday morning.  Sunrises are for camping trips or pub crawls - not for a work morning, you silly DogShoes!  If I had a newspaper nearby, I would roll it up and bludgeon your owner.  Silly!

Oh Shoes, I know you have plenty going on in your life, what with the boyfriend you banish to sleep beneath the mailboxes and the friends who come over to tell you "Oh.  My.  God.  You are so going to piss her off with that skirt!"  You are a busy girl.  I know you're out often because sometimes DogShoes goes nuts when he's bored up there.  I can hear him trying to burrow through the floor.    

While I would love to have more sleep in my life, it's DogShoes.reassuring to know that you are back, Shoes.  Your absence has made the bags under my eyes go away, and I missed those almost as much as I missed you. I'm so happy you have a new member of your family now - DogShoes sounds like he could eat a ham hock whole!  I'm sure he's very cuddly.

Let me know if you need anything, at any hour, my dear neighbor.  I'm awake all the time now.

Best,

Kerri.

July 30, 2007

Thresholds.

Pastiche on the Hill.Thresholds.  Levels of tolerance.  For an English major like me, numbers take on a more connotative and emotional meaning.  And diabetes numbers play into a whole host of variables.

Like when I'm about to get behind the wheel.  I've heard people discussing what numbers are "safest" to drive at, and I think that's a personal preference.  For me, numbers like 131 and 92 are friendly and make me feel road-worthy.  I'll drive at 180 - 250 mg/dl as well, so long as I'm making attempts to correct it down.  But numbers close to 70 mg/dl or over 250 mg/dl are key-passers for me.  As in "Hey, you drive."  (See:  yesterday, when a freak incident caused me to throw a blood sugar over 400 mg/dl.  Chris drove.  I drank water and slept.  Miserable.)

Or when I'm going to bed.  Bedtime basals have been nailed down solid for just over a year now, allowing me to go to bed at 99 mg/dl and wake up at 110 mg/dl.  There's barely a flux.  A few years ago, I would have stolen a swig of juice or popped a few glucose tabs to keep me steady through the night.  At Clara Barton Camp, anything under 120 mg/dl warranted a "double snack" coupon (which was awesome when it was pudding and graham crackers night but sort of sucked on apples and peanut butter night).  My thresholds for nighttime sugars are much tighter now.

Different numbers at different times.  Go to bed at a blood sugar of 90?  Yes, please.  Go to the gym at 90?  No way - time for some crackers, a swig of juice, and a pump disconnection.  I don't like starting a cardio workout at anything under 150 mg/dl, because exercise hits me like a ton of treadmills. 

A blood sugar of 150 mg/dl at the beach?  I'd leave that one alone because the sun and just five minutes in the ocean makes me drop hard.  

Feeling anxious?  If I ring in at 120 mg/dl and I'm feeling very keyed up, I know that a half of a unit of Humalog needs to course in to counteract the stress hormones that hijack my A1c sometimes. 

Each number plays different offense in varying situations.   It's a challenge to follow the playbook. 

The human body is absolutely amazing in the way each organ works together with such precision, maintaining our homeostasis and keeping us kicking.  But the mind of a diabetic is pretty damn amazing, too.  We have trained our minds to think like a pancreas.  We are the people who know how many carbs are floating around in a bowl of pasta.  We are the ones who can take a blood sugar number and fold it into any situation - 140 on the soccer field means more orange slices while 140 at the dinner table means correcting the high and navigating the meal.  We are the ones who are trying to compensate for some cells that simply gave out on us.  It's not an easy task, crawling inside the thoughts of a working pancreas and trying to mimic it's performance.  There are moments of elation.  There are moments where we stumble.  And moments when we just plain fall flat on our faces. 

This is very tough some days.  I had a bad weekend, blood-sugar wise, hitting both the 442 mg/dl and the 36 mg/dl ends of the spectrum.  I felt like I had been hit by that truck with the penguins, who are all carrying suitcases filled with bricks.  It was a perfect storm of crummy conditions, sending my meter average into complete disarray. 

I felt damp and wrung out with frustration at a few points. 

But then I had a cappuccino and a fruit dessert with Chris at Pastiche on Federal Hill.  I tested before at 87 mg/dl and two hours later at 132 mg/dl.  And then I found this in Newbury Comics:

For Shannon and Darrell.

And thought of how much Shannon and my brother Darrell would enjoy it.  Toofuses for all!  (Toofi?)

My threshold for certain numbers varies every day, but my threshold for laughter is without boundaries. 

July 24, 2007

The Wedding Crashers.

We started at Narragansett Beach on Saturday morning - early.  Armed with bathing suits, trashy magazines (oh how I love trashy magazines), and the company of some of my college roommates, we were on the beach and relaxing in the sun by early morning. 

"Kerri, only you would have that little pouch that matches your bathing suit."  My roommate said, gesturing towards the flowered blue case my pump was nested in.

"What?  I need to keep it fashionable!"  (Thanks, Donna, for the insulin pump pack!  It was a hit at the beach!)

Wearing the pump at the beach usually isn't an issue at all.  Infusion set on my thigh, pump tucked underneath a shirt to keep it shaded, and a spare pump cap for going in the water and I'm all set.  No one notices.  I've only caught people looking at those moments when I'm first arriving at the beach and the pump is clipped to my bathing suit bottom.  (Wires are essentially untuckable in those situations, so they are a bit exposed for a few minutes.) 

However -

The sand/ocean/stickiness from sunscreen presents a unique problem:  reattaching the tubing.  When I disconnect and put on a spare pump cap to go in the ocean, the salt water cakes up around the infusion set, making it sticky and tricky to reconnect once I get out.  I have to rinse the site profusely with clean water to unstickify it and even then the site clips back in place with a chalky groan.  (I use the Minimed Quick-Sets.)  At one point, I couldn't get the site clipped back on until I rinsed the site off in the bathroom sink.

Aside from those pumping glitches, blood sugars held steady in the sun, ranging from 80 - 212 mg/dl (forgot to bolus for that iced coffee - dang!). 

Lindsey, Kate, Heidi, and me - we couldn't decide which camera to look at, apparently.

After dinner at Crazy Burger (where something that looked like spinach with chocolate sauce was served, but it was actually spinach with a balsamic reduction) and some sangria at Turtle Soup, we hit the Coast Guard House. 

Standing out on the upper deck, a woman in a black dress came stumbling towards us.

"You girls need to come inside."  Her shoulder strap slid down a bit but she was too drunk to notice.  "Seriously.  You need to come inside and dance.  This wedding is so fun and you need to come inside."

We shot her a collective confused look.  She shook her blond head and smiled sloppily.

"I know.  I would be like, 'Who is this lady?'  But you should come inside and dance.  Come on!"

I think we were too taken aback to argue with the lady.  We filed in, watched as assorted bridal attendants danced like fools, and laughed our asses off watching the drunk blond lady girate all over the place. 

Is it possible to be invited to crash a wedding?

July 23, 2007

What Everyone Else is Writing About.

Yay!I spent the weekend in RI with some of my college roommates (we hit the beach, took foolish pictures, and ended up mistakenly crashing a wedding ... more on that once the pictures are loaded up), but first Chris and I made the loo-ong drive home from CT. 

Starting out at 10:30 pm and not even breaking free from New Haven until after 11:30, it was already shaping up to be a very long drive.  My constantly-nurtured Inner Book Geek was slightly itchy at the fact that the last Harry Potter book was being released at midnight and I was trying to play it cool.  I had plans to be at the beach in Narragansett with my roommates all weekend, so I didn't want to be obsessively toting around a 750 plus page book.  I wanted to relax and enjoy myself.

But as we shuttled past the exits on 95 North, I started to become very antsy.

"I may need to stop in Warwick at the Barnes and Noble and grab the book," I said to Chris, glancing sideways to gauge his reaction.  He smiled at me and my Inner Book Geek purred.   

"Of course.  Whatever you want to do.  I don't mind if we stop."

After another 45 minutes, we finally made it to Rhode Island.  And pulling into the parking lot of Barnes and Noble at 1:10 am, I was shocked to see hundreds of cars in the parking lot.

"Holy crap, are we serious with this?"

People dressed in robes were running back and forth.  Bookstore employees were holding brooms in one hand and megaphones in the other, ushering people into lines so purchases would be quicker.  I watched one little girl, no more than eight years old, clutch at her mother's hand and say, "Mom, I am so excited to read this book!"

Excited to read a book.  The concept just about made my brain melt.  It doesn't matter if you have read all the books, if you are against the series conceptually, or if you even care about the young, bespectacled wizard - the fact that kids and adults alike are lining up to read a book is astounding. 

I joined the line as one of the last and purchased my book.  Chris and I got back in the car to finish our late-night journey.  And as excited as I was to spend the next two days with my college roommates, I was thrilled to have this damn book in the car. 

These people standing in line - they were all waiting for a book.  There were no celebrities in the bookstore.  No one was signing autographs or giving away a trip to St. Thomas.   Just a book that people wanted to read.  And in this time of instant online information, YouTube clips, and podcasts, it's refreshing to hear the words, "I am so excited to read this book!"

I'm pretty excited, too.  My Inner Book Geek is very smiley these days.

July 20, 2007

Dr. Vineyard

Last weekend on our adventures, Chris and I visited part of the Connecticut wine trail.  We made our way up the western portion of the state, starting with the beautiful White Silo Vineyard where we had sweet rhubarb wine.  Our next stop was the Hopkins vineyard, where Chris found the "most delicious wine ever, seriously" (aka the ice wine they were featuring) and I tasted a wine that was more black pepper than grapes.  Lastly, we drove back towards the shore and stumbled upon a vineyard that wasn't on our Official Winetrail Map - DiGrazia Vineyards

View from the hilltop of White Silo Vineyard.

It was almost four in the afternoon and food had been spare so far, so when Chris and I took our seats at the wine bar and I spied the little plate of crackers, I couldn't keep my hands still.  Testing in at 90 mg/dl and knowing that there was more delicious wine on the horizon, I thought it would be good to snack.  So my fingers kept grabbing a few crackers, snaking them into my mouth, and then venturing back for more.

So many more that Dr. DiGrazia, the owner of the vineyard, came over with the box of crackers to refill our plate. 

"Hungry today, eh?"  His 70 year old brow furrowed slightly and he gave me a small smile.

I blushed, cracker crumbs on my shirt and one on its way to my mouth.

"Yeah." 

"Well don't be shy.  Eat up, and enjoy the wine."

Not needing to be told twice, I snacked on crackers freely and tasted a delicious blush wine, then a port, then a few dessert wines.  Blood sugar held steady at 130 mg/dl.  Feeling very smiley and wandering out into the vineyard garden with Chris, we were among the last at the winery that day. 

Dr. DiGrazia came out onto the porch and beckoned me to sit and chat with him while Chris wandered off with the camera.

"Did you enjoy the wines?"  He asked me, settling back into one of the Adirondack chairs.

"I did.  I enjoyed the crackers, too."

"That's fine.  Can't drink without eating."

"Agreed.  I'm actually a type 1 diabetic, so the wine definitely needs to be countered by something else."

He shifted in his seat and gave me a hard stare.

"Ah, diabetic?  Since you were a kid?"

"Yessir."

"Plenty of shots, then, eh?"

"I used to do shots.  I use an insulin pump now."  I pulled my pump from the pocket of my skirt. 

"Ah!  Never seen one of those before.  Aside from the vineyard, I actually have a practice in town.  I'm a doctor."

"No kidding!  Do you have any diabetic patients?"

He laughed.

"No.  I'm a gynecologist."

"Oh, I see.  Well, diabetics go to the gynecologist.  And they have babies.  So I bet you have some diabetic patients."  I gave him a wink.  He tipped his glass to me.

"Maybe.  I don't see many diabetics, or at least patients who talk about it if they have it.  So what do you do?"

"I work for a diabetes media company in Westport called dLife.  We have a tv show on CNBC.  And I also write a diabetes blog."  Chris came up and joined us on the porch.  "And we're getting married next year, so I'm a pseudo-wedding planner as well."

"Marriage, eh?  Well, when I deliver your baby in a few years, I can be on that dLife TV show.  And I'll talk about the health benefits of a good glass of wine."  He laughed.  Grapes on the wine vine.

"TV show?  Sure, once you deliver my future-baby, we'll put you on the show."  I smiled.  He was such a sweet old man and he made wonderful wine.

"But not on your blog."  He laughed at the kids these days and their blogs.

No, Dr. DiGrazia - never on my blog. 

July 18, 2007

Aghast.

Chris and I went into NYC over the weekend for a delicious meal in Greenwich Village and some general wandering.  Dinner was wonderful - fantastic bruschetta and parmesean-encrusted chicken with grilled asparagus - and the city was warm and alive.

Walking through the subway labyrinth, we saw a gathered crowd.  They were all staring at this:

The full farting scene.

So we stared, too.  People dropped dollar bills into the bucket and the performers would shift their scene slightly.  I noticed that one of the actors was sporting a rather unusual hindpiece:

This man needs a specialist.

His fellow performers reacted accordingly:

Aghast.

Ah New York.  I can't think of anything this city doesn't have.

Visitors since November 7, 2005