20 October, 2010
12 October, 2010
I thankfully have only lost a few loved ones in my lifetime, but in the few funerals I've attended, I've come to the conclusion that eulogies consist of all the things we wish we could have said. Hopefully this post doesn't come across as morbid, but I'd rather get these thoughts out there now - I don't want to have to wait until my grandma is gone to tell the whole world how awesome she is. As any of you who have met them know, I have had the pleasure of growing up with two sharply opposite grandmothers, but both entirely amazing. But this particular post is reserved for sharing my thoughts and feelings about my Grandma Ruth, while she is still here on Earth doing what she does.
10 August, 2010
Perhaps you are one of the lucky few who was given the opportunity to read RoDaBeBe: Trying to Understand the Problem, written by Becky Ward during our first year of college (I apologize in advance, as this snippet does not even come close to her caliber of writing). Or perhaps you have come to know one or all of us through our various adventures in life. The third and most unfortunate group you might fall into is the group of people who are thinking to themselves, what is a RoDaBeBe? No matter which group you fall into, I promise that you will walk away from this with an entirely new understanding of who we are.
RoDaBeBe is a dietary restriction nightmare. RoDaBeBe is a vegetarian, a diabetic, a lactose intolerant, and a kosher. Allow me to take you on a RoDaBeBe tour of the food pyramid. If the four members of RoDaBeBe were to gather for a meal, the grains group can only appear on our table with a side of insulin. Anything from the dairy group is accompanied by a lactaid pill, or eliminated from the table completely, as we also have an anti-cheese among us. The meat group is all but wiped about between the vegetarian, the kosher, and the picky. While that group also contains nuts, eggs, and beans, who can make a meal out of just those?
I know what you are thinking – what’s the big deal? Stick to fruits and vegetables and you all will be good to go. We don’t do anything that simply. Fruits and vegetables are all fine and good, as long as roasted red peppers are not a part of the dish. And while you are at it, add kiwi and apple allergies to the list too.
I would normally say that dessert is the best part of a meal – after all, who doesn’t have at least one dessert that they find to be delicious? Try to name one that doesn’t have dairy, sugar, gelatin, or turn your tongue a funny color.
Amazingly enough we are able to walk into almost any restaurant and all find something we can eat. From time to time we even manage to cook a few dishes together that manage to meet all of the above requirements and restrictions. It only ever gets to be a tad bit challenging when we are guests somewhere and someone else has prepared food for us.
Good thing our prodigious personalities make up for what our plates lack!
Oh yea, in case you still don't understand, RoDaBeBe is a name Robyn came up with in high school to refer to the four of us - it is made up of the first two letters of each of our names.
07 June, 2010
02 May, 2010
19 April, 2010
One hundred eighty two days ago my life changed for the better; that was the day that I gave up my sugar high. Like most people who make such a life change, I feel happier, healthier, and more alive. In contrast to most addicts however, I had to pick up the needles in order to clean up my act.
Six months ago I drove to an urgent care place for an 11pm appointment. For two weeks I had been drinking like crazy (water, people…water!). I couldn’t get through a lesson without drinking a full bottle. And the obvious result was that every hour I couldn’t get to the bathroom fast enough. I don’t exactly have a job where it’s acceptable to be leaving constantly to pee, especially when the nearest bathroom is nowhere near my “learning cottage” of a trailer. So when I started getting pain in my kidneys, I made the appointment that landed me in a swine flu infested doctor’s office at almost midnight on a school night.
Like most junkies, all it took was some pee in a cup to see that I was positive. The urine test led to a blood test, and the rest played out like a scene in a crappy lifetime movie. The tech pricked my finger and read me the glucose monitor result of 500; she then hurriedly left the room. I already knew what this meant, but being that I was in a doctor’s office (of sorts) I was waiting for someone to give me an official diagnosis before trying to process anything. For those who know me, although I wasn’t trying to process anything, my brain was already moving at 5,000 miles an hour.
My official diagnosis came in the form of the tech and the doctor’s conversation outside of the hardly soundproof exam room door. It went sort of like this “500? Really?” “We don’t get people like that here.” “I don’t think we’ve ever had to tell someone that.” As much as it sounds like something that would only happen on TV, this conversation went on for must have been at least another ten minutes. And then another ten minutes passed. Finally the doctor came in and the great words she managed to come up with after her 20 minutes of planning were, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have diabetes.” Really? That’s the best she could come up with after all that build up? This was followed up with, “Did you want us to call an ambulance, or did you have someone who could drive you to the hospital?”
So, not really knowing what else to do, I called my parents’ house, woke them up, and gave an explanation about as brief as the doctor’s diagnosis was. They of course agreed to drive down, but that meant another forty-five minutes of sitting in the exam room waiting. To make things easier, the doctor and the tech took turns coming in every ten minutes to ask me how I was doing. This was honestly the most irritating part of the whole event. I was doing just fine; after all, I had had a whole extra twenty minutes to digest my diagnosis before they even gave it to me.
Fast forward twelve hours, and I was walking out of the hospital a new person. Or a slightly cranky, tired, and hungry less than perfect version of my new self. I had spent about four hours in the ER waiting area (again surrounded by the hamthrax) with a poorly placed needle in my arm connected to absolutely nothing. Apparently they do this when you first get there so that when they finally see you days later it will be that much quicker to hook you up to whatever you need. I was then seen for a total of five minutes by the ER doctor, who must have received her schooling in the same place as the urgent care doc. She walked in, looked at my chart and said, “Well, it looks like you have diabetes. When the diabetes educator and nutritionist get here around 8am we will have them meet with you.” And she walked out. The next four hours consisted of me being hooked up to IV fluids in an attempt to lower my glucose level. And waiting. And waiting. The diabetes educator and the nutritionist tag teamed me for the next four hours, explaining how my new life would work.
So, I walked out of the hospital and started my detox. Interestingly enough I received zero insulin while I was in the hospital; my first dose occurred after I picked up my prescriptions and got back to my apartment. I was finally working towards cleansing my body of the useless sugars that had been poisoning me for portions of the last three years. And like any body that had been used to something that was taken away abruptly, my body revolted against my lowering glucose levels. I felt hungry constantly. I wanted to use so badly; I just wanted a damn big bowl of pasta with a side of fruit and a pile of sugar on top.
Over 900 finger sticks and over 700 insulin injections later, I’m pretty certain that the disease that tends to cut people’s lives a bit shorter will actually help me live mine better. Although my endocrinologist says I can eat what I want (in moderation, just like the rest of the world), I still think more about what I put in my mouth (insert dirty joke here). I started to workout again more seriously; partially because I felt well enough to do so again, and partially because I know it will help me maintain healthier glucose levels. I drink less; not that I don’t still have a little fun when I go out, but this was the official end to the complete belligerent nights of my college past. Basically it put an end to the irresponsible way that I was treating my body.
I’m content with the fact that I have diabetes. I was lucky enough to get this disease at what I think must be the easiest time. My parents didn’t have to go through worrying about a young child with diabetes. I didn’t have to be that weird kid that has to go to the nurse all the time. I didn’t have to sit out of rec sports events, or get sent off to sleepovers with a long instruction booklet on how to deal with me. I got to enjoy college to the max with things like homecoming morning breakfasts of mimosas and jello. I also wasn’t at a point where I was too old to care about making changes to my life. I welcomed the changes I had to make; they were necessary whether I was given this disease or not. Diabetes was just a convincing catalyst to get my stubborn self to follow through with becoming a less reckless adult.
So I wake up everyday happy to be alive. Happy to have a disease that has made me a better person. Happy that I didn’t have to be one of the people that has lived their whole life like this. Happy that my diabetes is well controlled and easy to manage. Happy that I have the motivation to prove to myself that I can run further, faster, longer. Happy that I finally know what made me feel sick for periods of time over the last three years (and that I wasn’t just imaging the symptoms). Happy that I’m six months sugar-clean.
And yes, I realize how overly dramatic this is. But that's who I am. :)