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The Promise of Winter

Winter brought the Move Out. Our things were packed in copy paper boxes that I took from the office. The big black marker labeled the boxes “His” and “Hers” as we filtered our six years together into two separate piles. Memories were trapped inside of shoeboxes. We spilt the set of “ugly dishes” between the two of us. He took his black cat and I took the calico. And I left. To live completely on my own for the first time in my whole life. I paid rent. And all the bills. I reclaimed my heart when I moved out, but as time passed, I gave it to another.

Spring brought Six Until Me. Borne out of a conversation with Chris and in pursuit of others living with the same condition, I started my blogging endeavor and found others. Just a few at first. I stumbled upon Violet first and her writing served as Solace. It continues to. And then insightful, supportive Sandra. And Amy and her unflagging dedication. To Tek and her life undaunted. And Dee, with his beautiful, smiling daughter. Nothing brings me more hope than reading about the lives of these people, all these fantastic people, who are living with this every day. Just like me.

Summer brought the beach. And tan lines. And stuffing the pump into a cooler while I went to play in the water. It brought trips to The Block and late nights at the movies. A tiny kitten came into my life and she ate through my pump wire while I slept. I totaled my car on a rainy Thursday morning in June and cried more because of the loss of that car than the airbag burns coursing up my forearm. I fell in love with The Boy completely as he tolerated sand on his feet for me.

Fall brought the Itch. The itch to get out of my scathingly boring insurance job and pursue something Better. Something that requires thought. Something that allows me to use my creativity, ambition, and confident presentation to bring about great change. Time to start my career. Falls also brought my first JDRF walk, as Team Six Until Me. The support of my family, friends, and boyfriend yielded an impressive donation total. The decision to write The Book was finalized. I thwarted the Evil Cotton Wool Spot. And The Boy and I decided to share one home instead of straddling between two.

And now there are Promises. The promises of a Big Move next year. The promise of my first cruise. The promise of delicious martinis to come. The promise of an icy winter giving way to the quintessential rebirth of spring. The promise of the 27th year of my life being one of change and excitement. Of health and happiness. Of the many sprawling pages of my book. Of the growth of this community. Of the actualization of my writing career. Of continuing to smile.

Of everything.

A safe and peaceful new year to each and every one of you.

 

Super Friends.

I received this comment today from a self-proclaimed Anonymous Lurker. She’s a mother with a recently diagnosed 8 year old. I’ve posted her question below. If you have any words of wisdom for A.L.M. (Anonymous Lurker Mom), please offer them up. She’s looking for our collective advice on this: 

“Hi Kerri.

I’m a regular lurker and I have a question to put to the OC. I can’t figure out the comment are on the OC’s site, so i thought I’d start with you. I am a newly single mom … my daughter was dx’d at age 8 January 25, 2005. We have grown and learned so much during this year. I am so proud of her, myself and her brothers and sister. Should I commemorate the anniversary in some way or just do so privately myself? I’m not sure she will mention it although we are the type of family that makes holidays out of little things. If she does mention it, I’ll follow her lead … I guess I’m conflicted about what we’d be celebrating. any thoughts?

Thanks and a happy, healthy 2006 for you! ” 

And yes, eventually we can all get capes. 

And Secret SuperHero Names.

But for now, let’s do what we can.

 

“El Glutamine, we got you a sweater!”

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Keep in mind, everything I know about diabetes is through personal experience, so what works for me may not work for you. And if you decide to try out any of my suggestions, it’s not my fault if you gain 60 lbs or your face falls off or a Pegasus ends up on your night table. Consider yourself warned.

I experience the Dawn Phenomenon. Huge kick up in the bloodsugar levels in the morning. This is the Other Big Reason I pursued an insulin pump almost two years ago. (The First Big Reason was frequent, extreme hypoglycemic episodes.) And it wasn’t even the First Thing Testing that was garbage. It was more the raise I experienced at around 8 in the morning. I’d start out at 112 mg/dl and cruise up to 260 mg/dl by the time I got to work. Work stress has been rightfully isolated as a cause. So has the Dawn Phenomenon.

Good ol’ Charlene and I had solved that problem. My basal rate is 0.45 all day long, except for between the hours of 5 am and 9 am, when it soars up to one full unit per hour. Big increase there. But it solved the problem, and I’d wake up between 80 mg/dl and 150 mg/dl and I’d still be in that range by 10 am. Nice.

Enter L-Glutamine.

Backstory: The Boy is a very fit individual. He reads my blog so I won’t wax on, in that lovey girlfriend way, about his physique, but know that he works out hard and the results are very nice. And he drinks those whey protein shakes and takes L-Glutamine supplements. In keeping with my status as the Informed, Involved Girlfriend, I Googled L-Glutamine to check out its effects. And “decreases insulin resistance” came up a number of times. There were also references to lowering bloodsugar levels in Type 2’s and stimulating insulin production.

Kerri is now very intrigued.

So I gave it a whirl, after calling my doctor and making sure it wouldn’t interfere with my blood pressure and birth control medications. And I noticed a definite change.

I was getting low every morning at work. Every morning.

Not crazy, 44 mg/dl Get-Me-Some-Juice-I’m-Crying kind of low, but 80 mg/dl instead of the expected 140 mg/dl. I noticed that I didn’t have to take insulin to cover my morning cup of caffeine. So I lowered that morning basal increase just a tad. My bloodsugars remained more even during my mornings at work. To further reinforce my theory, the mornings I don’t take the supplement, I notice some spikiness. Again, we’re not talking about any big deviation, but enough of one to create a pattern.

Is L-Glutamine to be applauded for this pattern? Is there some credibility to the supplement craze? I’m taking my insulin and testing consistently and monitoring my diet, but are there other things I could be doing in my Quest for Control?

I’m not sure, but I’ve got my theory.

Five Random Facts.

Julia has tagged me. And while I’m pretty sure I was on Goo, Goo-oool, Goal, or whatever you called your Safety Zone when you played tag as a kid, I’m here to offer up Five Random Facts About Six Until Me.

Random Fact One: I am painfully OCD about CDs and DVDs. CDs are arranged by genre, then by artist within the genres, and then chronologically within artist categories. DVDs are arranged by genre, then by either director or lead actor, depending. Yes, all sequels are nestled in accordance with their chronology. My mind sort of explodes a little bit every time I notice that a piece is out of its home. (Mind you, I have over 800 cds and I date a filmmaker. I’m a Media Maven.) I don’t think this habit is healthy but I can’t stop. I’ve tried.

Random Fact Two: I think I sound fantastic singing. I can hit any note. My vocal range has been likened to Bono, Damien Rice, and Jewel. In my car, with no one else in there and the windows completely rolled up and if I sort of know the words, I am the world’s best singer. Ever. No, I don’t sing in public. And no, this assertion as World’s Best Singer has never been confirmed by another living soul. But it’s never been denied, either.

Random Fact Three: In keeping with my stellar reputation as a songbird, I must admit to never knowing the words. I’ve mangled the chorus of “Panama” by Van Halen, thinking they were singing “Cannonball.” In the Whitesnake ballad “Here I Go Again,” it was “Like a twister I was born to walk alone” (instead of a drifter, but to me it still makes sense). And in that favorite Christmas diddy, Sleighride, those famous lines “Giddy-up, Giddy-up, Giddy-up, let’s go Let’s look at the show…” have been reduced to “Giddy-up, Giddy-up, Giddy-up and go, dit dit dit di, SNOW!” I make up the words when I don’t know them. And, I must admit, I’m never really horrified to find out I’m wrong. Just embarrassed that I’ve been singing them wrong my whole life.

Random Fact Four: I can’t swim. Not a single bit. I can float and I like to frolic about in the waves, but if I were told to swim in some crazy triatholon, I would drown. Easily. Or I’d have to whistle for dolphins in hopes that they’d come save me and let me hang onto their fins until I reached the shore. But without those dolphins, I’m in trouble.

Random Fact Five: I have never seen “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Everyone tells me it’s the greatest Christmas movie ever. And that Jim Stewart’s performance is epic. How have I survived all these years without seeing that movie? Kerri, you have to watch that movie. It’s the best. So poignant! But you know what? I just don’t care.

Now it’s my turn to tag people, I think. If I’ve pegged you to provide your Five Random Facts, don’t feel compelled to comply. Just know that I’ll be at my desk at the insurance office, crying big tears, waiting for your blog to update.

No pressure, though.

Life After Dx
Curious Girl
Sugar Overdose
Noncompliant
Diabetes Rant

 

The Undisclosed Service Center’s Attempt at Holiday Cheer

I work for a Fortune 500 company.

Our CEO reaps the benefits of 17 million dollars a year. My office alone houses 80 people, dwelling in this fantastic cubicle farm. My company “is one of the world’s largest and most successful multi-industry companies. Founded in 1923, it has grown into a network of businesses with total revenues of $10 billion, and more than 44,000 employees in nearly 40 countries, serving a diverse and global customer base.” And this is according to the company website.

So one would think that the Christmas Party for such an enormous corporation would be, for lack of a better phrase, swanky as hell.

Last year, there was a Saturday night Christmas party. Everyone attended dressed to the hilt. I even bought a fancy dress for the occasion. My date wore a suit.

This was a night on the town, Faithful Reader. Make no mistake. Swank-filled.

This year, however, rang in a small bit differently.

Despite a company poll requesting another evening party, the Christmas festivities were scheduled on a Wednesday afternoon. “Formal, festive lunch.” Okay. “Transportation to arrive at 11 o’clock and the ETA for the return trip is 2 o’clock.” Um, okay.

Not a shred of swank to be found.

Went to work. Worked diligently (ahem) until the 11 o’clock hour drew near. As I sit within view of the windows on the side of our first floor office building, I oftentimes watch the sun set in the late afternoon. Sometimes I see the huge trucks from the construction firm next door tooling by.

On this day, at 10:58 a.m., a huge shadow was cast across my desk. I looked up only to see the tailpipe smoke from some great beast.

At 11:03 a.m., my pupils dilated in horror as the second bus drove by. Vast. Orange. Boasting “Providence School Department” etched across its belly.

Our “transportation” had arrived.

The Fortune 500 company had sent school buses to pick up is employees.

We sat in those cramped leathery seats, grown men and women dressed in their business casual suits and skirts, bracing for the potholes and unsticking our shoes from the gum littering the floor. The windows of the bus were perpetually cracked open. It had a scent not unlike P.E. class and biochemistry. 

The wheels on the bus went round and round.

And I realized then, at that moment, why the CEO made 17 million per year.

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