Update to Shut Your Face

Update:

Well…that was the result of rainy weather and depressing music. Darn you, musical influences!

My whole point in an overly depressing manner was that we choose our own paths. We can choose to wake up and be a crab apple and poison everyone around us or we can make the best of it and be positive. I chose the latter, and a wise one it was.

I debated taking the whole post down, as it was not something I would normally put out there. Again, darn you music! Oh well, it is what it is. My life really wasn’t that depressing at the time. I’m good. No worries. 🙂

Shut your face.

Two months ago I went to a check-up at my diabetes doctor, and I heard words I never wanted to hear.

“I found a lump on your thyroid.”

My whole life, well since I was diagnosed with the Type 1 diabetes (basically my whole life), my doctor had always felt my throat at every appointment. I never really thought about why he always did it. It became routine and in all my naivety I never bothered to learn more about complications that could develop from the diabetes…until two months ago. The lump she (I recently was switched from a he doctor to a she) found isn’t uncommon in diabetic patients. It’s an immune system thing and my Type 1 is an immune thing, blah blah blah. Actually, lumps on thyroids are pretty common in diabetics and non-diabetics. They will be more likely to show up in someone like me and that is why the endocrinologists are always digging around at my throat. The doctor didn’t seem too worried about it, she said I needed to go get an ultrasound and depending on that I may need a biopsy. Logically, I knew if the doctor wasn’t worried then I shouldn’t be that worried either. Easier said than done though. Naturally, I’m going to start contemplating my life and what am I going to do if it turns out cancerous. It was depressing. I became depressed. I was sick of things always popping up like this. I have to deal with the type 1 the rest of my life, did I really need to deal with this now too?

Naturally, I took to the internet when I got home and for the most part found that if I was going to have cancer this was the type to have. Seemed to be easily cured. Just remove the thyroid and go on a pill. Not too bad. The chance that it would even be cancer in the first place was slim to none.

Anyway, I got the ultrasound. Got a call the next day. They found a large lump on my left thyroid and a small one on the right. The left one was too large, I would need to go back and get a biopsy. Cue another freak out. I kept to myself for the most part, talked to a select few about it. Some blew it off, it was nothing, don’t worry. Again, easier said than done. The chance of cancer, easily fixed or not, is still a scary thing to face. After a week of insistent thinking I got the biopsy, and $2,000 later it is nothing. A benign nodule. I’ll need to get ultrasounds every once in while to make sure others aren’t popping up like acne on a teenager, all in all not too bad. All that depression and worry for nothing.

This whole thing made me think about who I wanted to be. About a year ago I was probably the most depressed bum in the universe. I hated my job, and I let that hate and negativity affect every aspect of my life.  After a couple of months I decided to start choosing to have good days, and let the hate roll off of me like water on the back of a duck. Shocker, it worked. I started taking pleasures in the small things in life and chose to see the good and not always the bad. The lump situation sort of derailed me, but I’m back on the track and plugging (or should I say “chugging” )away. I try to do a random act of kindness a day, and I try to put myself in the other persons shoes when they start to annoy me…mainly Wal-Mart shoppers, and all retail cashiers. We are all people trying to get by, and I would hate for anything I do to put a damper on someone else’s day.

I’m done now. Not a funny post this time around. I’ll see what sort of shenanigans I can rustle up for next time. In the meantime, I challenge all of you to do a random act of kindness. You’ll like it. I swear. Peace out!

Troubles When You Get High

Rewind to…oh… 21 or 22 years ago. It’s is the early 90’s. Saved by the Bell is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Scores of kids are either inside playing with their new Super Nintendos, watching an awesome tv show (Saved by the Bell or Full House) or maybe they are outside shooting some b-ball pretending to be Michael Jordan (Amanda, that was for you and your fam…ha! I’m totally kidding!).

       

I’m still a bit of rugrat. Crazy hair, crazy shoes, crazy face. So, one day I’m heading home from school on the school bus sitting next to the weirdo who tried to give me a cupcake when I first became type 1 diabetic, We shall call her Al. Al and I are sitting on the edge of our brown, plastic bus seats, ready to jet off the contraption and head to her house where we will get a Nutri-grain bar from her cupboard, pull up a couple of kitchen stools as close as we can to the TV and watch…wait for it….wait for it… Saved By the Bell. On this particular day I happen to be quite a bit more on the edge of my seat as I have to pee…and I mean really really really have to pee. Finally, after years and years of waiting for our 10 minute bus ride to end we are out. We rush to Al’s house and as we get to her front door it happens. My pants are getting wet and a puddle is developing at me feet. Uh oh. I peed my pants… again… only five feet left to salvation, but I didn’t make it…

It is not until years later (and constant teasing from Al) that I realize what was happening to my body. My blood sugar was high. See, when we diabetics have high blood sugars it means there is an excess of sugar in our blood and our bodies are trying to dispel it through urine. I can always tell when I’m high because I constantly need to use the restroom, and if the blood sugar is higher than high the need for a restroom can be extreme. Think about a time you really really had to go then multiple that by 100. That is how bad it can get if you don’t go in a reasonable amount of time. I have since gained control of my bladder regardless of the highs. I haven’t peed my pants since the early 90’s, although there was an almost accident a few years ago during a vacation to Long Beach Island, NJ with a college chum for chum. (“a chum for chum” is from Finding Nemo), but that’s another story that would take too much time to type right now. Also, I’m trying to cut back on the length of my posts before I start losing my readers…

One more thing…for future reference… sometimes when I say or type a word it may remind me of a movie quote and I must say/type it or my head will explode. And I’m still typing… ok.. I’m done! Geesh! Peace out, and as Ellen DeGeneres says at the end of all her talk shows… “Be kind to one another.”

Below is a link to a “You might be a 90’s kid if…” type of thing. Might bring back some memories.

http://youtu.be/Agl8K5NgXfU

Crazy Face? or Crazy Low?

She goes to her closet and picks out a blue dress covered in sequins. As she puts it on she struggles with the zipper. It doesn’t quite go all the way up. Darn gremlins must have got in her closet and re-sewed her dress tighter again. Oh well. She takes a look in the mirror, adds a tiara to the ensemble for good measure and heads out of her room. She’s anticipating the response she will get when she walks into the living room where her audience awaits…oh man, here it comes…

“Emily! Are you low!?!?”

Not quite the response I was going for, but I’ll take it. See, I occasionally like to do weird things at my parents home to see what kind of reaction I’ll get. My mom’s usual response is to blame it on my blood sugar and my dad barely pays attention to my hijinks… as if it is normal that his 27 year old daughter (this particular incident happened two years ago) would put on an old dress and crown from high school and prance about the living room on a Tuesday night. To give my mom credit it is not completely out of the realm that she would blame my blood sugars when I’m being exceptionally strange, however, in this particular scenario my sugars were normal.

This brings me to the point of this post. Low blood sugars. When I’m low I go through stages: crazy (seems like I’m drunk), weak, emotional, crazy, and then belligerently crazy. At the last stage it almost seems like a switch is flipped and I can’t control what crazy thing happens next, and I don’t usually remember much of it.  Below are a few low blood sugar incidents that I remember:

The low blood sugar grocery store fiasco.

When I’m low I get exceedingly hungry. If I’m in a store at a low moment I will come home with the most random things. Here are my most recent low blood sugar purchases.

1. Jar of pickles

2. 2 boxes of Jell-o (Lemon and Lime) – I don’t like Jell-o. At all. Let alone would I want to actually make it.

3. Bright green sheets – I had been planning on buying a spare set of sheets, but bright green in no way goes with my bedroom scheme.  They have been returned.

4. Beef jerkey  – A kind that I had tried before and hated. This stuff isn’t cheap either.

5. Bag of marshmallows

6. Flour – I already have plenty and I don’t ever use it so…no clue.

7. Tapioca pudding – I have never had a desire to try this, but somehow I must have thought  “let’s do it” and bought some.

I bought other things too, but those were things I wouldn’t normally purchase. I had done this same thing a few months back and posted it on FB, but I can’t find the post. I was going to add it for comparison’s sake. I should have never upgraded to the timeline thing. 😦

Orange Ya Glad I Didn’t Say Banana

When I was of a grade school age I was sitting at the kitchen counter watching mom cook dinner. I was low and angry for no apparent reason so I picked up an orange from the fruit bowl in front of me and threw it at her.

London Bridge is Falling Down

In high school I went to London with a local group of random people, a few good friends included. We were walking all over London trying to find a Princess Di coin and we hadn’t eaten in what seemed like days. I got low, sat down on an escalator like a drunkard and had to be dragged off by a fellow traveler before i got sucked under the thing where ghost babies were waiting to murder me. I don’t remember this one well except that some kids on the escalator next to us going in the opposite direction laughed at me. Buttheads.

The Muffin Man

My sophomore year of college I got low, and was given a homemade muffin from one of the three girls I lived with and I sort of shoved the whole thing at my face, crumbs and muffin chunks going everywhere. I think I thought it would be funny, but I was in a weird mind state at the moment and couldn’t comprehend how absolutely nuts I looked. The look s of horror on my roommates faces were indescribable.

While it might be fun to watch me stumble around like a drunken sailor, low blood sugars are very serious. They can lead to a coma if past a certain point, and then cause death.  If I’m low I need sugar ASAP. It can creep up on me without my realizing (usually when I’m wrapped up doing a million things at once) and if people try to help me I can get violent…maybe verbally abusive. Luckily, I have not had too many of those times…at least that I know of…as I said before I usually don’t remember everything that happened.

So…if you ever see me weaving drunkenly around somewhere please give me some sugar. Literally. Not in a “Hey baby, give me some sugar *insert creepy laugh*” kind of way. I dislike affection (hugs) from strange people. Speaking of: If you are not a good friend don’t ever try to give me a friendly hug. I will literally karate chop you in the face.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Open curtain. It was a dark and stormy night, the wind was howling like a pack of angry coupon clippers who got denied at the cash register. Cue in on a young 5-year-old girl fighting her way through the night to deliver a single package containing a prized cupcake. She arrives at her destination, cupcake in hand, only to be denied at the door with a “She can’t have any sugar!” (This sounded a lot like the infamous line from A Few Good Men “You can’t handle the truth.”) The door is then slammed in her young impressionable face as a single tear rolls down her face…

Ok ok…that was an extreme exaggeration. The truth, without all the drama, is that when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes my best childhood chum, who lived a few houses down the street from me, found out I was “sick” and decided to bring me a cupcake to make me feel better. She didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed to eat the amount of sugar that would be found in the cupcake. She only knew that her friend was sick and she wanted to help. She has since learned her way around my lows and highs and gives me the tough love I need to take care of it.

Like her, I have had other great friends who have been a constant source of support throughout my journey, and I’m sure I have taken for granted how lucky I am to have them. They know when I am being weirder than my normal crazy self and prompt me to check my blood sugar. They let me know if I’m about to hop in a pool and I forget to disconnect from my pump (sadly, I have done this multiple times…I forget it is there sometimes). In grade school they would have me fake a low blood sugar and go get my “low blood sugar food stash” from my locker, so we could snack while watching videos about Bill Nye the Science Guy. In hindsight, it was not the best idea to fake lows for their gain and mine, but we were kids and kids do crazy kid things. In my mind if I was going to deal with this disease the rest of my life, I might as well use it to my advantage… That sounds bad, but that’s how I felt at the time.

When I decided to do this blog I went to a couple of my nearest and dearest friends for their opinion and they were nothing, but supportive. Actually, one of them, Julie Wilkinson, helped me come up with the name of this blog and she has also written a nice little ditty about it on her own blog, Wilkipedia. She is a smart, creative and funny lady. If you need a good chuckle you should probably head over to her page and check it out. In the words of the Nike slogan, Just Do It.

Anyhoo, there are times I can get very frustrated and angry that I have this stinking diabetes, and the only people who can truly understand that feeling are the ones that also have a chronic disease. The stress of making sure you always have supplies on hand, dealing with insurance, the highs and lows, dealing with insurance, trying to act like a normal person, and dealing with insurance builds up until you just want to punch someone in the face. I know it is a manageable disease, and it’s not like I am dying of cancer, but it can still get the best of me at times. Luckily, I have wonderfully magical friends that will make me laugh and put my issues into perspective. I’m not dying of cancer. My disease is manageable. If I want to run around in circles screaming in joy, I can do that… and do sometimes. It’s how I roll, I’m a bit of nut.

The moral of the story is this: I love my friends, and am thankful to have them in my life. I will close this out by singing the theme song from The Golden Girls…

“Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confident.”

Note: I really did sing this in a strange high voice creation that I concocted on the spot. It was awesome… the cats (I have 2) were terrified. Success.

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Intro to My World

The year is 1989. I’m just a crazy 6 year old who has a wild head of hair that looks like a homeless man cut it. The plan is for me to stay at my Grandma Edith’s house while my parents ditch me to go on some sort of tropical vacation, why they wouldn’t want to take a young girl and her two brothers (age 9 and 12) is beyond me. I’m sitting in a movie theater with some cousins watching the best movie ever made (Disney’s The Little Mermaid) when suddenly my pants are getting wet and there is a puddle developing at my feet. Yes, I peed my pants.

Grandma Edith, a school nurse, starts to notice that I had been using the bathroom frequently, was constantly thirsty, and was lethargic. A doctor confirms what she had been beginning to suspect, I had type 1 (juvenile) diabetes.

I’m now 29 years old, and I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 23 years. Lately I have been a “bad diabetic.” I haven’t been checking my blood sugar regularly, I’ve been eating unhealthy, and I’ve been avoiding doctor appointments (for financial reasons). I’m on a path of destruction and I’m hoping this blog will help me get back on tract and hold me accountable for my actions. I do not want to loose any limbs or eyesight, which can be caused by consistent high blood sugars over a long period of time. On that note, you should know I am not a medical doctor, nurse, or medical anything. I’m only a gal living with diabetes, so please don’t take anything I say as fact.

Next, I must distinguish between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. I don’t want to anger any type 2’s who may be reading this, but I get extremely defensive when people lump me in with type 2 diabetics. Type 2 is what is in the news most often. You will hear stories about “diabetes” and how it is a growing epidemic and we must start eating healthier to avoid getting it. They are talking about type 2, not type 1.

Type 1 diabetes is an immune disorder where my body viciously murdered my insulin producing beta cells, leaving me with a broken pancreas that creates no insulin, a necessity to maintain my body’s blood sugar. It happens more commonly in young children, hence the “juvenile.” In order to survive I must give my self insulin. I started out giving myself a shot 2 – 3 times a day until I was a sophomore in college and I switched to an insulin pump. (This is one of the best decisions I have ever made.)

Type 2 is more often a lifestyle issue. Some get it because they are overweight, older, and it’s in the genes. I’m saying “some” because I’ve seen some skinny, healthy looking people get type 2, and I’m not entirely sure why. Note: my dad has type 2 and his dad before him had it. I feel for it, but type 2 is someone else’s story. It’s not mine.

Currently, there is no cure for type 1, but there are wonderful strides being made towards it. I hope that I will see the cure in my life time…although I probably won’t be able to afford it if it did come. Health insurance can wreak havoc on a diabetic. :/

This blog is going to be about me living my life with type 1 diabetes. I hope it can be viewed by other type 1’s and they can see that they are not alone out there. Until the next time, peace out!