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Update on … Stuff.

Siah: Siah (new kitten, weighing in at 2.5 pounds) thinks she owns the place. My other cat, Abby (weighing in at 11.5 pounds), does not agree. They are furry thunder all over the house, leaving tumbleweeds of fluff in their wake. Neither cat gets hurt, so I don’t feel guilty when I’m laughing too hard at the scene of Tiny Cat chasing Moose Sized Cat across the living room floor to stop them.

Summer: I have spent the nice days so far on Block Island and at Napatree Point Beach, so I have a nice tan at the moment. (For The Boy, who may be reading this: Yes, I am proud of my tan.) I love the beach. And this is my second summer with the pump, so I’ve achieved a certain comfort level. I am not embarrassed to have anyone see it. And I spent too much money on this bikini and others to not wear them. Charlene rests hidden underneath a t shirt next to me when I lay out. I tend to wear the infusion set on my thigh so it’s barely noticeable. The migrating tan lines are interesting, though. The pump pops into a plastic bag in the cooler when I go in the water. No issue whatsoever. The only funny look I’ve ever received was from a guy and his girlfriend a few feet away from me. He turned to his lady and confirmed, with infinite wisdom and a flexed bicep, that the “thing on that girl’s leg is a colostomy bag.” And the very notion of that man thinking I pump my own crap back into my leg was too funny to counter. Again, another instance of laughing too hard to stop him.

Future Plans:
 The Boy and I have been toying with the idea of going on a cruise in the next few months. Internet scouring for the best deal has begun. And I am excited. I am not a seasoned traveler and am scared to pieces to fly, so a cruise sounds like a good vacation to help make me accustomed to traveling, particularly with the pump. If anyone has traveled while on the pump, I’d appreciate any perspective. This will be all new territory to me.

My Job: My job is boring. I push insurance papers all day long. How did that become what I do? I can’t write too much about it because it blows my mind to think that I spend eight hours a day that bored. Yes, I’m looking. And yes, medical insurance is always a problem.

Responses to What I’ve Been Reading:
 On Candid Diabetes, I read Tiffany’s bit about using the breast as an infusion site. For the record, I am not squeamish. Nor am I particularly small chested. But I can’t imagine putting the site there. I admire her threshold for pain. And it is a great alternate site. I’m a big advocate for the leg site. But Tiffany, you’re my hero for wearing it There.

On V’s site, there was a discussion about summer clothing and the mystery of where to wear the pump. I personally trot about in skirts almost all summer and my pump rests in the Lara Croft leg holster (a la Medtronic Minimed), tucked into the waistband of my skirt, or I do “the bra thing.” I’ve found that the thigh holster tends to slip after a few hours. Does anyone have a fix for that?

And the hammock picture on Sandra’s site and the Father’s Day recap on Dee’s site made me smile. Every time I thought about it.

Telling off the Paramedics.

Abby. My cat.

She has never missed a low bloodsugar. There have been times when I was so low that beads of sweat collected on my forehead, making my face clammy and my t shirt damp with panic. Usually my body wakes itself up in time, leaving me just enough energy to stumble out to the kitchen and pour a glass of juice. But sometimes I don’t wake myself up.

That’s where Abby has never failed me.

She will sit on the pillow above my head, wailing like a banshee. “Meow!” She paws fiercely at my head and nudges my face with hers. I usually come around as she is pressing her nose fervently into my ear. “Me-ow!” More insistently now. She won’t stop wailing until I am trudging through the living room towards the kitchen. Siah hasn’t figured out this trick yet. But I’m sure she will in time. Or maybe Abby is just in tune with the way my body starts to panic.

Sometimes I feel waves. The ones that gently undulate and lap at the shores of my consciousness. I focus what is left of my resolve on remaining awake, waiting for the juice to take effect. Those are the worst ones. The ones where I am afraid I am going to pass out.

I’ve never passed out. In almost two decades of diabetes, I have never been unconscious. Of course it may happen. It could happen to any of us. But I have come close.

There have been some tricky lows, though.

There was one that I had in January of 2003, while I was living with my ex-boyfriend. The alarm clock went off in the morning, but I didn’t stir. He got up to turn it off. Usually I lean right over and grab my kit off the nightstand so I can test my blood sugar, but that morning I wasn’t moving at all. He had dated me for six years and he knew the signs of a serious hypoglycemic episode, so he immediately woke up and tested me himself. My bloodsugar clocked in at 44 mg/dl. He went downstairs and grabbed a glass of juice.

“Kerri, get up. Drink this. You’re low.”

Nothing from me.

“Hey. Drink this.”

Most often, I sit up, obligingly grab the glass, consume the contents with graceless gulping, and fall back upon the pillow until the tides of my sugar rise enough for me to sit up and say, “How low was I?” This time, I took the glass from his hand, told him to leave me alone, and proceeded to pour the juice all over the bed.

I’m known for being slightly combative when low.

He got another glass of juice. And the phone.

“Kerri, you need to drink this. If you don’t drink it, I am going to call the paramedics. “

After being told, repeatedly, to go fuck himself, Roommate dialed 911. Three paramedics showed up, one slightly chubby. I am in bed, at a minimal level of functionality. I don’t remember what happened from here on in, but Roommate told me I was belligerent.

Roommate told them I rang in at 44 mg/dl. They grabbed the red and white tube of InstaGlucose from their med kit and advanced on me. In the throes of my low, I fought them off as best I could. They outnumbered me considerably; it took three paramedics to hold me down well enough for Roommate to administer the InstaGlucose in my fitful mouth. The paramedics let me loose. As the sugary substance absorbed into the inside of my cheeks, I turned to Roommate with a resounding “Fuck you!” I whirled to the most portly of the medics and growled, not unlike Linda Blair, “You too, Fatty!”

I came around very slowly. I don’t remember much of how I ended up downstairs, but I am told that I wandered down the staircase and stood at the front door, clutching my blanket around my shoulders and murmuring “I want my Daddy.” Because that’s not at all embarrassing.

Roommate told the medics that I would be fine in a few minutes, having just tested me and yielding a result of 68 mg/dl. “She’s on the upswing. She doesn’t need to go to the hospital.” To confirm my agreement, I had to sign a release form, stating that I refused to be brought to the hospital. I signed, half in a fog.

Fast forward to me in the shower, getting ready to go to work. The medics are gone. Roommate is sitting on the bathroom counter, monitoring me. I start to remember what happened. We talk about how everything is okay now, and how sometimes a low just sneaks up and destroys me.

I’m feeling much better. A little embarrassed that I was such trouble, but no harm, no foul, right? I smile sheepishly. Safe now. Abby was prowling about on the bathroom floor, making sure everything was okay now.

“Yes, Kerri. You did okay.”

And as the warm water washed away the traces of InstaGlucose from my arms and eased the tension in my muscles, I gasped in shock as I cried, “Oh my God! … I called them Fat Fucks, didn’t I?”

The laugh from the countertop confirmed.

Siah. Pronounced Sigh-Ya.

This is the New Kitten. Her name is Siah and she will be joining me and Abby (the other cat) on Saturday morning. The root of her name means “serenity” in Finnish. Not that I had any clue as to that tidbit when I thought I made up the name … it’s kind of like the Top Five game. I was convinced I had come up with it myself until I realized, um … I’m arrogant.

This cat is pretty cute. Looks like a baby bear. My landlords are going to kick my ass when they find out.

Yes, it’s true. I am becoming the Old Cat Lady at the ripe old age of 26.

Oooh, but look … she’s so damn cute.

And The Boy let this pearl drop from his mouth as we were on the phone tonight:  

The Boy, walking from his car to his friend’s house, says  “Whoa. What is that? [pause] Oh … I though it was a white cat but it was a bucket.”

True to Form.

I can’t always write about diabetes. Not lately.

Sometimes I feel like it’s too much on the forefront. I know the initiating purpose of this blog was to create an open forum for diabetes discussions and I feel that has been achieved. Between my blog and the talented company I find myself in, there are definitive forums for diabetics and their loved ones to come together and share. Or vent. Or just be reminded that they’re not alone. I find a lot of comfort in that. Not being alone.

I can’t always be Diabetic Kerri, though. I will test my blood sugar every day and be the Bolus Champion of the World but I don’t sit around thinking of myself as diabetic. It’s strange – so much of my life revolves around this endocrine core. I write about it. I talk about it. It is integrated into my daily routine. My friends and family are acutely aware of it. Even my cat seems to know when I’m dropping and wakes me up with her cold nose.

Lately, I have been thinking of nothing but numbers. Rising and falling blood sugar levels. Blood pressure numbers. Insulin to carbohydrate ratios. Fine tuning an aggressive exercise regimen. What’s my weight? What’s my A1c? What will my fasting sugar be in the morning? What is my cholesterol? How is my microalbumin level? What are the numbers? The numbers??? I was an English major in college, purely for the fact that I can’t add. Or multiply with any semblance of ease. And I think I may be slightly OCD. So dealing with all these numbers is making me crazy.

But I don’t want to think about it all the time. This is a venue for honesty, and I have to be honest: I am feeling overwhelmed lately. I have never felt sick before. No sicker than anyone else I knew, anyway. This whole bit with the cotton wool spot and my doctor’s recent allusion to a possible high blood pressure problem … my Brain and my Heart are having decisive battles over this information. Brain wants to find out more. Run more tests. Exercise and eat right and make diabetes my sole focus. Brain is frightened that Body will give out. And my Heart harbors the same fear, but a larger fear looms in the distance. I am afraid that, with my obsession with food, exercise, and all things mg/dl, I may miss out on the best parts of my life. What’s the point of all these neuroses if I forget to enjoy the life I’m working so hard to preserve? I need to have some fun.

I need to relax a little bit. I’m going to the beach this weekend. Napatree Point Beach is a twenty minute drive from my apartment and I’m there for the weekend. I am going to bring my friend Batman and my book and my new bikini. My pump site will make for an interesting tan line on my thigh, but other than that, I just want to take the weekend and mellow out. It’s been kind of a stressful last two weeks. I need to chill.

I’m trying to give more of myself than my numbers. I want to make it known that diabetes is just one facet of my life. Of who I am. So this explains the Top Five Game. (You guys were all fantastic players!) Even though I mentioned diabetes in that post, too. And I’m true to form on this post too, because even though I expressed my desire to write about something other than diabetes, this whole rant was endo-based. I don’t know how to separate myself from my disease.

Maybe that’s the point.

Coming Soon: A Post that will have NOTHING to do with Diabetes?

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