Monday, October 17, 2005
I've hardly slept a wink...
Children, chronic illness, working full time and living in NYC don't add up to a good night's rest. The solution? Try harder to get to bed early? Well, if you've tried it, you know it isn't easy, plus the "trying harder" part seems antithetical to the effort. Exercise? It works, but finding the time to do it regularly is not easy. I've tried opting for the multi-tasker's dream solution: do it all, just not that much of it all! Although the guilt I feel for not being able to do everything recommended is hard to overcome, I am trying to be satisfied with the idea that if everyday I'm trying at least one of the things on the list, I'll be OK. I try to exercise regularly, but sometimes that only adds up to once or twice a week. Going to bed early? Maybe three times a week if I'm lucky. Taking multi-vitamins? I can do that everyday. Eat a completely healthy diet? I'd say that if pizza's not completely healthy, then I get a good 6 days in. Check my basals, bolus ratio and correction ratio? On Sundays I try to sum up my week's numbers and re-adjust, it just isn't easy to do it everyday. All together that's not too bad. When I think of one thing at a time, I feel like I haven't done much, but when I add it all up, I get a little relief. And of course, if I've stayed up late to read Peter Pan to a hyper tornado sweetheart so that school will be fun tomorrow, I can forgive myself for not being able to do it all.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
NYCIDDMDIY - If you know what than means, you are in the right place!
I find that I either can't afford or can't stand a lot of the pump accessories. In addition, with kids grabbing and kicking at me all the time, I need stuff that is truly durable. After accidentally breaking my minimed clip 3 times, I gave up and started making my own! Here's how to make your own leg band - with your own style. NYCIDDMDIY stands for "New York City Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus Do It Yourself!" So....go to it! Post your creations.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Girls who wear glasses...
Got a great suggestion from a friend who dealt with her mother's illness! I asked how she would handle it if her daugher was interested in getting her own pump when she gets older, and she suggested comparing the pump to my daughter's glasses - something you need to wear, but not too much to worry about. It worked like a charm. Instead of asking when she's going to get a pump like me, she asks me to make sure I have it whenever she puts her glasses on.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Work, Work, Work
After a long day at work that involves paying attention to 120 children, then a long evening at home that involves somehow more attention paid to 1 child, I wonder how I ever get around to paying attention to myself! Needless to say, it ain't easy. I have a few things I do to make mental and physical space for myself. All parents have trouble finding time for themselves, I imagine that parents with chronic diseases that require their attention need more tips than most. One of the best tips I read was in the book "Diabetes Burnout." It suggested little things that make being a diabetic more tolerable. For example, I've tried to say to myself that I am "checking" my blood, not "testing" it - as a teacher I can see how using the word test adds a little pass/fail moment into the day that doesn't need to be there! Another great tip from "Diabetes Burnout" - slow down when you eat. After my daughter was born, my husband and I noticed that we gulped down our meals as if they were prison food, knowing that we were not going to last long at the dinner table without a spill, splash or scream! Well after our daughter got over this stage, we were still eating like hounds at a kill (of vegetables, but still). Now we try to consciously slow down, taste our food, etc. For more on this way of thinking, check out http://www.slowfood.com/ - an intelligent movement who's subtle message probably has a lot of meaning for stressed out diabetics.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Moms and Stress - Inducing Type 1 in Kids?
An interesting new article (http://www.lifescan.com/diabetes/news/20051006elin021/) suggests that extreme stress in a Mother's life can induce an autoimmune disorder (Type 1). I have found that reducing stress, with my health and parenting, is incredibly tough. This article is inspiring me to move to Maine! At least it would be a bit less stressful. What do you think? To tell the truth, it seems misleading and incredibly negative to title in such a blaming tone - perhaps "Stress Reduction Could Reduce Incidence of Type 1?" Much better....
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
My Last Seizure, or Why I Got a Pump
See previous post for "part 1" of this story! Entitled; "Yoga and the Homeless Diabetic."
Well, a fainting episode is one thing. Next, even after trying very hard to control my low reactions, I was soon to experience seizures. (see other posts, like Seizures and Why I Loved the Red Sox for 2 Minutes, for some hilarious, in retrospect, stories there.)
After having my daughter, I was still trying to keep my sugars low, and still experiencing too many reactions. When she was 4 months old, I'd had enough. I had to quit breastfeeding, it took too much unexpected sugar out of me. I had a seizure induced by a flu one night while my little cutie was vomiting all over the place and my husband, the lifeguard that day, had to get us both back on our feet. I woke up the next morning and started making phone calls. It took me months of fighting my health insurance company (via the various faxes, permissions, etc) to approve the pump, and thanks to a dedicated clinic endocrinologist, I was in the "Minimed" program as of Dec. '01. Ever since, I've felt like my life is much safer, much more predictable. Not entirely, but better is better.
Monday, October 03, 2005
The Bake Sale
I would be interested to hear about your attitudes toward diets in general. For example, I find myself wanting to make whole-wheat cookies and low-sugar treats when I'm called upon to make my daughter a bake sale item. Not just for her, but for the whole darn world! America is fat, they say! Once I've gotten on this self-righteous bandwagon, the gig is up. That is a bit exaggerated, but when you see the plate of healthier snacks drying out in the late summer sun, you wonder why you don't just indulge and make butter cookies with macadamia nuts and chocolate chips. Are you finding that you have the urge to cure the world?
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Background Info: Seizure Number One, or Why I Loved the Red Sox for 2 Minutes
There's a long lead-up to this story, but the short version goes like this: I eat a huge dinner (Thai food) and have a long walk. I must have miscalculated something somewhere - the walk? the rice noodles? I get sleepy after dinner. Then I realize I can't move. I'm conscious, but I can't move. I've landed on the couch, and I can't say anything, or move my muscles.....eventually I'm in the hospital, and I am still listening to the people around me organize to revive me. I'm stunned by the whole process, and frustrated beyond belief that my body's stopped working.
There were two attending physicians at the time, young guys having a laugh while they worked on their "unconscious" patient. They start arguing about baseball, and whether or not Boston's had a 'chance.' This is 1999. The Doctors are funny, but to them I was just another wacko in a NYC emergency room. No reason to keep me in the loop, right. I desperately wanted to communicate but my mouth wouldn't move.
To tell the truth, I have usually been a Yankees fan, but I spent my summers in Boston and as the Glucagon kicked in....instead of saying who I was or what my condition was....I shouted "I'm From BOSTON!" The doctors had a good laugh. They had no idea I was listening.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Background Info: Yoga and The Homeless Diabetic
I have so many funny, sometimes bittersweet, stories to tell about reactions. This one is the one the put me on the road to getting an insulin pump. Before I was married, I decided to take Yoga classes to get a little exercise. I was under the mistaken impression that it wasn't at all aerobic, and that I was going to just "stretch" a lot. I ignored being tired after class, thinking it was the cumulative effect of a long day, not the rigorous workout. I took classes at a truly lovely spot in Brooklyn, and I was terribly impressed with the teacher. I didn't want to do anything wrong, I wanted to be "in the moment," etc. Well, during one great session, I started to loose track of what was going on with my body. I ignored the signals. I just thought, "breath." My teacher asked if I was ok, and I said, "sure!" thinking my problem was totally internal, a matter of mood. ------------then I wake up surrounded by people, and I see my local homeless liquor store loiterer giving my teacher some juice. I drink it. I come too. What just happened? Well, it turned out that this man, whom I'd walked by many times every day, was also a type one diabetic. Someone in the class knew this, and went to get him for help. He instructed my teacher in how to handle the reaction, and Viola, he was gone. I tried many times after that to buy him a meal, get him some new shoes, keep him company. But like the fable this experience seemed like, he refused my help. He nodded hello, sympatico, but wouldn't take anything from me. It taught me a lot.