Friday, December 07, 2007

Mystery Hypo (or Senior Moment).......

This is one of my many hypo stashes. I use the baby juices because each bottle has 14 gm cho, they taste ok, and they are not something seductive that I would be tempted to binge on. I only use them when I'm starting to get low. If I'm below 50 the plastic cap is hard to open and the inner safefy seal impossible.

Last night I tested at 1:30 am and was at 88 - a very good place to be. Then, two hours later, I woke up and knew I had crashed. Meter read 37. I treated, went back to sleep and woke up feeling a little drained and rebounding at 250.

When I got home this evening, I was startled to open the refrigerator door and see three empty juice bottles on the door shelf. WTF?

Obviously I had consumed them last night and not remembered it. This is sort of freaky.

After all, I remember the hypo. I even documented it on my logsheet.

But I do not recall retrieving the jars from the cupboard. How on earth did I open all three? And why did I put the empty ones in the frig? It is sort of funny, but it also makes me uneasy. I live alone. Have I been doing other things that I have no memory of?

I fret a lot about my db - sometimes over rational things and other times over irrational things. It's hard to know where to put this new little worry monster. Maybe I'll just leave it in the frig with those empty bottles.

Have a good weekend, everybody - colder than blazes here, with 10" of snow. If this is an indication of what winter's going to be like, consider me in hibernation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I've been tagged by Amylia, Chrissie, Drea and Heidi.

Seven Random Facts About Me:

1) My paternal granny always dreamt about losing her purse (a big old purse containing cloth hankies and horehound lozenges). About five years ago, I also started dreaming about losing my purse. But, I find them!

2) In high school I was treasurer of the Taxidermy Club. Yes, we were pretty bored during those long Minnesota winters. I had to collect the money so the adviser could order the glass eyes for the animals (mostly road kill). It was a very cool club to belong to. No, I'm not kidding.

3) My favorite romantic song is "Tupelo Honey" by Van Morrison.

4) In college I embroidered an elaborate tapestry of Bob Dylan's silhouette. I later found out that my mother had sold it at a garage sale for a dime.

5) I inherited a banjo from my uncle. I took lessons for 5 months. I have since done much better on other instruments.

6) I am attracted to Aires men - always, without fail.

7) My middle name is "Joy". My father always called me "Rose".

If there is anybody else out there who wants to participate, please consider yourself tagged.

Thanks, everybody. I really enjoyed reading all the posts. This was a very fun way to start the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 09, 2007

D Blog Day

Oh mercy. I was fooling around trying to see how pictures would look for a knitting blog (not a good choice for those with time limitations) and put this one up instead of the one showing my hands at the computer keyboard. I guess I'll leave it, as I expect I have a weekend's worth of blogs to read.

A whole year as fled by since D Blog Day 2006. Not much has changed on the diabetes front for me. Yup, I still have it. Nope, it did not magically disappear. Thankfully, my health remains reasonable after 33 years of navigating the rocky-choppy db waters.

I often feel like I'm a big impostor - that I pretend that living with diabetes is easy and no big deal. I put on my smiley face and go through the motions of living as if nothing were bothering me. Who is asking me to do that? Nobody, really. It is a choice because sometimes the pretending is my only salvation.

I have many Type 1 relatives. One person died earlier
this year of multiple organ failute, and one was recently put on a kidney/pancreas transplant waiting list. This is reality - upfront and personal. The pretending is a necessary break from the choking burden of fear and apprehension.

But, there are other realities to my life besides diabetes.

I left home at 5:50 this morning, and, there it was - that indescribably, pre-sunrise shade of blue that fills the sky this time of year. I wanted to stand on the street and let it soak into my bones The contrast of yellow autumn leaves against that sky was stunning. One of my neighbors was also headed to the bus stop and we walked the last block together, debating whether that lone twinkle above us was Venus or not. Those 10 minutes were not pretend; they were not Pollyanna - they were real, true pleasure. As authentic as it gets. And I was able to accept this as the quintessential warm fuzzy starting my day.

Blogging about db has taught me that we each are as different as we are alike; that there are may ways to tackle a problem; that numbers are only information and don't need to be tizzed over; that transitioning to a pump is not particularly difficult; that challenging emotions don't last forever; and, that change is constant. I've learned that people of all ages have the strength and courage to adapt to new situations, such as this determined mother who is trailblazing new paths for her small children.

Diabetes aside, because I blog I have learned about henna body art, I now know what a curly coated retrievor is ("woof" to Skye), and how smart and perceptive service dogs are ("woof" to Ms. Dixie). I have received personal instructions on how to properly prepare acorn squash, and a kind offer of a bodyguard should I get the urge to scrounge the riverbottom for driftwood.

I don't like living with diabetes. I don't feel it's made me a better person. I continue to work toward acceptance and balance and use my What Helps?
list on days when coping seems impossible.

But, still, I allowed my heart to open when I read about the arrival of Baby L, Pepito, Izzie, Ian and Eleanor, and the forthcoming Baby Bonilla. These dear sweet babies are the fullfilment of the promise - that life is essentialy good, that hope is real, and that we will continue.

Happy D. Blog Day!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Tu Diabetes Word in Your Hand project struck me with a lot to comtemplate. After all, my hands are very important to me - my handcrafts and music are a mainstay in my life. My practice of tai chi introduced me to a greater awareness of my hands and the way energy moves through the body. And, many years ago, in what seems like another lifetime, I was trained as a massage therapist.

And then, of course, we have multiple contacts with our hands each day as we lance our fingers to get information which is vital to our health.

I spent the first two decades of my life with db paralyzed by fear. I made few decisions, refused to plan for the future and did not participate in basic "life navigating" because I thought I'd soon be dead.

When we sit back in a dark corner with our hand in a fist, we are angry and defensive - prepared to battle imaginary demons. A closed hand represents stagnation and being unreceptive to people, opportunities and kindness.

The simple act of opening our hand indicates that we are ready to receive - warmth, healing, understanding, and support. To walk through our days with hands outstretched means that we trust that the right things will come to us at the right moment, that we can handle whatver the future brings, and that we are ready to grab those fleeting bits of joy that float through our life, one by one.

Let's all put our hands together and give ourselves a big round of applause - for we are capable, determined, intelligent and wise. For we live with diabetes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More Fame

A couple of months ago I posted about articles in Diabetes Self-Management by Allison
and Kassie.
Well, a new issue arrived yesterday, and yet another blogger, Michko, had contributed an article - "Plannng Ahead for Sick Days" (page 16).
Check it out. I get a big kick out of seeing someone I know on the printed page. The power of the blogsphere.
Have a good week ahead, everybody.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Talking Stick

Last night I had a very fun time in the Tu Diabetes chat room with some delightful people.

We were talking about art and my beadwork and Beth asked if I’d ever done any beading on wood. I said yes, I had made a talking stick.

Several years ago I worked at a center for troubled youth, many of which were Native Americans. We decided to adopt some traditional rituals and use them as tools for healing. One of them was the talking stick.

Any type of group of people can use a talking stick - whether you are discussing a topic, trying to come to a decision, sharing victories and defeats, offering support - the list is endless. The one rule is that the person holding the stick is the only one speaking - no interruptions. When he is finished, he passes it to the next person. It was a great tool for shy people (of which I still am). Somehow, just holding the stick gives one the courage to speak their mind. It was empowering.

I have been blogging for over a year now, and feel that both the Diabetes OC and Tu Diabetes have given me the courage to put my thoughts down on paper. I was really “stopped up” for many years - just kept stuffing things as deep as I could get them. This certainly was not healthy.

Things are different now. I have friends who understand me. I have people across the country (and the world) that I care about. We are bound by the fact that we have diabetes, but also connected in our vision to take care of our health, keep up on new developments, nurture a positive attitude, problem solve, and live a vibrant and fulfilling existence. This has had a big impact on my life, and I say “thank you”. (sniffle, sniffle).

Anyway, about the stick - I love the Mississippi. I could sit on the shore for hours and watch the clouds go by and think of how the settlers came upstream by riverboat and how Minneapolis was once called The Mill City because all the big barges of grain came up the river to be processed. Cool.

The wood for the stick was found along the river’s edge. It had been polished by the current (somewhat like driftwood). I have stopped going down to the spot where the driftwood accumulates because it is isolated and I am no longer young enough to outrun someone with harmful intentions.

But, the wood still reminds me of the grounded stability of the river and the current that keeps moving forward, as it has for centuries.

Life transports us onward, whether we are willing or not. I spent many years paddling upstream. It was exhausting and got me nowhere. By being a part of two blogging communities, I have given myself permission to flow with the bitter and the sweet, and stay upright in the process.

This is good.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Change in Perspective

Here is my Grandmother Tree, in her summer finery, overseeing the neighborhood last week.

And, here she is this weekend. Yes, that's a mini donut stand at her base.

My neighborhood has once again been invaded by the Uptown Art Fair, a gathering right outside my window (and extending for several blocks). It takes place the first weekend of August and lasts three days. We have to have our cars moved (mine is 8 blocks away) by Thursday night and I won't retrieve mine until after work tomorrow. People sit on the lawn right outside my window and eat corndogs and yell at their kids. I feel sort of trapped and claustrophobic and can't wait for it to be over. I love to complain about it.

But, as most of you know, we had a tragic event here last week, with the bridge collapsing. I really want to express by deepest thanks to all my online friends
for their messages of concern. I was very moved by the sincerity and compassion.

Yesterday we also had a small party for my mother's 80th birthday. Her health continues to decline and it was a very poignant gathering. She and my youngest niece were looking at photo albums and I was reminded that the wheel of life keeps turning for each of us.

So, upon returning home last night, I began to think that having my tranquility disrupted every summer by the Art Fair really wasn't such a big deal. In fact, it was nothing at all but a celebraton of summer, families, talent, and community festivities. If I tried hard enough, I might even find something to like about it.

So, this morning, the last day, I headed out early and chatted with some of the artists, wish them a good show, flowed with the crowd, and sat on the grass and people-watched.................and, concluded that I would miss it if it didn't take place.

We pick our own battles. And I believe this one has been crossed off my list

Monday, July 09, 2007

This weekend I went to visit a co-worker who was recovering from knee surgery. He was in the rehab wing of the hospital. We were chatting and looking at cards when a nurse brought his roommate in - a 24 year-old man who'd had a major stroke.
I was very uncomfortable with this, representing so much devastation to such a young person.
Then the nurse came back and said to him, "ok honey, let's check your blood sugar". My friend lowered his voice and said, "he's got real bad diabetes - that's what caused it".
I felt like I was going to burst into tears. Why, when I was having such a good day, did I have to be reminded of the devastation that db can cause? It just wasn't fair.
I calmed down and traveled through the rest of the weekend with the image of that man hanging around the edges of my mind, as I tried to stuff it away in a back file.
This morning on the bus I thought about my What Helps? list, but didn't feel very enthusiastic. One of the items was "be nice to someone". Well, that opportunity probably wasn't gonna happen at work. We are all covering for people who are on vacation and everyone is in a general state of crabbiness.
The day ended and I was browsing through the grocery store. I saw that raspberries were at a low price - 2 6 ounce trays for $4. That's about as cheap as they'll get, so I put two trays in my basket.
As I was leaving te store, a rumpled street person said, "ma'am, can you spare some change?". I told him no, but he might like some raspberries and handed him one of the boxes. He carefully opened it and said "have they been washed?" Well, no, I didn't think they had as I'd just bought them. I said "let's go into Starbucks and get some water". He told me that water cost a quarter and he had already asked them for some.
I went in and got a big glass of water (yes, for a quarter) and we sat down at a wire table and carefully poured it over the berries. I left him seated with a big craggy grin on his face, popping them in his mouth one by one.

I got home with one carton, and that was certainly enough for me.

And, by then, I'd forgotten about the bothersome chatter in my head.

PS - This post was going to be titled, Giving the Raspberries but Blooger wouldn't let me type in a title.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Trigger Finger

I had a visit to the ortho clinic today. For the last year, I've had a
trigger finger. This is a painful inflammatory condition where the tendons at the base of the finger swell and get caught in a little tunnel of ligament called a "pulley". When you flex and extend the finger, it can get caught in a bent position. This condition is more common in people with hypothyroidism and diabetes (I have both). It also doesn't help that I'm a craftsperson and do a lot of knitting and beadwork.

I had one cortisone shot a year ago, which did nothing. I decided to go back for another before having surgery.

The hand specialist had retired so I saw his PA. He is a big, strapping, football player looking guy. We discussed symptoms and options and he went to get the cortisone.

I decided to test my blood, and was doing so when he came back. Just to be sure he'd read my entire chart, I said "oh, you saw that I have type one diabetes, didn't you?". He replied, "Yes. I have it too - since I was 10".

To my amazement, I blurted out,
"but you don't look diabetic". Where on earth did that come from? How is my head defining how a person with diabetes should look? Why did I say that?

I apologized and we then went on to chat about various aspects of the condition.

He gave me the injection, which felt like hot oil traveling up my finger, and wished me luck.

I've been thinking about this all afternoon and conclude that my image of a pwd goes back to my cousins, and growing up among a number of them whose health was in various states of unraveling. Am I defining myself like that also? It certainly can't contribute to a sense of well-being. I think I better reframe this.

Take a look at the members on Tu Diabetes, A Social Network for People Touched By Diabetes. Look at all the smiling, vibrant faces. Of course, I know that most everyone with the disease goes through struggles and endures great moments of rage, sorrow, and despair, but the joy of life still shines through on these faces. This is what pwds look like. I'll try to keep it in mind.

Happy first day of summer, everyone!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Last night I was sorting through my week's mail and saw that the May/June issue of Diabetes Self-Management had arrived. I've gotten this magazine ever since its inception and really like it - lots of information.

On page 39, there was an article on diabetes blogs, written by none other than Allison.

I started reading and soon there was a reference to Super George. Hey, this was getting really exciting. My friend, SuperGeorge, in a national magazine. How cool is that?

There were also great references to Amy, Kerry, Penny and Rachel.

I was so pleased to see this. I quickly scanned the rest of the magazine, and here was an article by Kassie, "Talking to Your Children About Your Diabetes" and George again is on the printed page (page 68).

What can I say - good job everybody. What a nice surprise.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I had an appointment this week with the "health psychologist" at a diabetes center here in town. He has T2 and we usually start out the session bantering back and forth about him thinking there's little difference and me thinking there's a major difference between T2 and T1.
I scheduled the appointment because another one of my T1 relatives is seriously ill. Actually, close to death with multiple organ failutre. I told him I felt very
ungrounded. He thought I was referring to "grounding" as the punishment my nephew gets when he uses too many of his cell phone minutes.

I think that in a way, me spacng out is a protective mechanism - if I'm in lala land, I don't have to be so close to the pain, the loss and the fear that I'll be next. However, being a fuzzball does not bode well for one's concentration and focus - the stuff that I need to perform my job, pay my bills, and managed my db.

One of the ways I try to deal with ungroundedness is to be outside as much as possible. And, without 4 feet of snow on the ground, it is much simpler. The above is a picture of the path I take each morning when I walk to the bus. It is wonderfaul - very peaceful at 6 a.m., with a few of the neighbor dogs who stop to say hi while on their walks. The trees and grass are calming and in a sense, protective. Nature's healing at its best.


And this, is my Grandmother Tree. Can you see her, standing with arms outstretched?
As I walk, I see her up ahead, those loving arms ready to enfold me. I always feel such a stunning sense of belonging and connectedness when I look at her. She is a great reminder that I have a purpose for being, even with diabetes.

My ideal home would be a rustic cabin on a lake in the northern Minnesota pine forest, where I would roam in the woods daily.

But, in the meantime, the beauty right outside my door abounds. I am thankful.

This weekend, spend some time outdoors, wherever that might be, and return home with a renewed sense of wellness.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Unhappy Today

Yesterday I had my AlC appointment, one that I'd moved out a few weeks because I knew my numbers had been high.

I blamed this on my mother being seriously ill since November, resulting in a lot of stress and poor eating patterns (oh yeah, we can throw in Xmas, Valentine's Day and Easter too).

I had a very sleepless night and thought that it would be nice if the clinic went back to their old ways of mailing you the results vs. getting them while you're there. That way I wouldn't have to explain myself to the doc.

Mean nurse comes in and puts the bp cuff on the same arm they'd drawn 5 tubes of blood out of. I suggest using the other arm, and she's already inflating it. A big arc of blood shoots out, onto the floor, the desk, my t-shirt and hair.

Doc comes in and asks what the hell happened and I started sobbing - since I take brain meds, I rarely cry, and this startled me. After things were cleaned up, he asks how I am and I start crying again, saying my mother's been sick and I'm having a hard time dealing with it-
and oh, by the way, my sugars have been very high.

He swings the computer screen around and says, "yes, you're AlC is higher than last time - it's up to 7.5".

7.5 - WTF - I was expecting at least 9%. This must be a lab error - wrong patient, wrong day, something is screwed up.

"No, Kathy - that's you on the screen. Now let's just take a look at your records. Hmmmmm. The numbers do seem pretty high at times."

He asks if I have any other issues to address, and leaves. I drift out, feeling like diabetes is always trying to play games - show me that I'm not as smart as I think I am.......I hate it. This was just as bad as someone who expects a lower readng and it comes back high. The unexpected. Unpredictable. Major suckage.

I then go back to the counter and ask to speak to the doc again.

"Maybe I have anemia."
"No, Kathy, you don't have anemia. We did a full blood count."
"Maybe I have some other problem with my red blood cells - something life-threatening."
"That's highly unlikely."

Mean nurse, who is leafing through a Crate & Barrel catalog, looks at me like I'm a crazywoman. At that point, I sure felt like it.

I have the right to expect some consistency - this is the first A1C that I've been way off at guessing, and I feel stupid and inadequate. Diabetes does not have a right to do this to me. That big old troll needs to stay under the bridge.

Monday, April 23, 2007

For Vivian........

Oh my, did the post over at Aiming For Grace get me thinking about classic rock of 30+ years ago. Great times, Great music.

This one is for Vivian, who I fear was a wee tyke when the original hit the charts, but who I also know trusts in the healing power of music.

And, with a special thanks to George, who got me so curious about YouTube that I had to dive in myself.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

National Poetry Month

It's about 30 degrees here today, with bits of snow dancing in the air. I couldn't resist the "half-off" bin of Easter treats at the grocery store this afternoon, and bought a hollow chocolate bunny, ate just the ears, and gave the rest to my neighbor. Pleasantly satisfied, with just the ears...............

TerriLynn,Julia and Zazzy have all mentioned that April is National Poetry Month.

In honor of living fully in the present moment, and the promise of good things yet to come, here is my all-time favorite poem.

So Much Happiness Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
A wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
Something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
And disappears when it want to.
You are happy either way.

Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful treehouse
And now live over a quarry of noise and dust
Cannot make you unhappy.

Everything has a life of its own.
It too could wake up filled with possiblities
Of coffeecake and ripe peaches,
And love even the floor which needs to be swept,
And soiled linens and scratched records.

Since there is no place large enough
To contain so much happiness,
You shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
Into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
For the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
And in that way, be known.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Five Questions

These questions were graciously provided by my neighbor up the interstate and supermom extraordinaire, Milemaster Sarah.

1.What purpose does blogging serve in your life?
Blogging validates all of the feelings I have about diabetes - the fear, anger, frustration as well as the celebratory emotions of pride, accomplishment, and victory. I am amazed at the depth of closeness I feel to people that I haven't met in person. It is comforting and my sense of isolation has vanished.
Also, I hadn't done much in the realm of self-expression except journal writing, and now I have joined a story telling group and a poetry group.

2.Choose one tree in your past that has touched your life and explain to us why.
It is huge maple tree that I have looked at every morning for the last 20 years as I walk to the bus stop. She affirms the cycle of life with her snow covered branches, with the spring buds that are just now beginning to show, with the bountiful green leaves that provide shade all through the summer, and the crimson colors that signal a time of approaching rest. When I look at her at the top of the hill, her branches look like outstretched arms, like a loving Grandmother who tells me that I matter, that I have a right to be here, and that I am safe.

3. What food is most akin to you? Explain why.
The first thing that came to mind was beef stew with baby carrots and new potatoes. Simple, nourishing, and sturdy. ............hmmm.............maybe I said that because that's what I'm hungry for right now.

4. If you had the power to heal, only yourself, and only one cndition, what would it be, and why?
Yes, it would be the db, because of its all-encompassing effect on daily living and its system-wide effects on the body.

5. What is your most redeeming character trait? Your least? and Your Favorite?
Most redeeming - my sense of empathy and compassion for others; least - my compulsive perfectionism; favorite - my delight and joy in the simple things.

These were great questions, Sarah. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

33 Years of Adjusting the Focus


The end of this month will mark my 33rd year with diabetes. Back in those early days, I didn't even consider that I'd make it to 20 years, which seemed to be the cutoff for many of my T1 relatives.

Yet here I am - still kickin', despite long periods of neglect. I have gratitude that I came to my senses while I still had a core of health to nuture. Seems somewhat miraculous, No?

A couple of years ago I won a great digital camera in an office contest. Tinkering with all of the settings makes me think of living with db - all the tiny little adjustments that need to be made to result in a good photo - light, shadow, focus - more of this, less of that. Just when I think I've got it down, I delve further into the instruction manual and discover something else to try.

I love the challenge of seeing how much detail I can capture with the macro mode, yet it prevents me from considering the bigger panorama. The details of db make it easy to forget that I am greater than the condition. I am a friend, neighbor, co-worker, daughter, sister, auntie, musician, craftsperson and OC member.

When I look at the top picture of the syringe, I see the endless drudgery it represents, along with the suffocting emotions of anger, shame and fear. But, if I move back a couple of inches, I see the lovely piece of embroidery that my Norwegian granny taught me to do.


Another step back and I see the candles I light that calm my mind and connect me to a larger sense of being.

We navigate the path of human-ness together. And, the journey is the reward. May everyone make wise choices and travel well.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sometimes We Cry

This is for Penny and all the rest of us..................

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Ok, Chrissie, I read your post this morning and had all day to think about it!

Seven Things to Do Before I Die
1. Stop worrying.
2. Live fully in the present moment.
3. Mend a fragmented friendship with H.
4. Talk to my family openly about diabetes
5. Find a doctor who I can be 100% honest with (right now I'm at about 90%).
6. Bike theGrand Rounds Scenic Byway in one day.
7. To walk around all three Minneapolis inner city lakes in one day.

Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. Stop worrying.
2. Say "no" to people at work who ask me for favors.
3. Stop craving chocolate
4. Stop hording yarn and beads.
5. Get my passion flower vine to bloom indoors.
6. Stand on my head.
7. Keep a tidy home.

Seven Things I Find Attractive in Others
1. Honesty
2. Integrity
3. A curiosity to try new things.
4. A fondness for Bob Dylan.
5. Respect for self and others.
6. Warmth.
7. Sense of humor.

Seven Things I've Been Known to Say
l. That number can't be right - it must be a lab error.
2. Oh, my goodness!
3. Oh, my stars in heaven!
4. Oh, for pity damn sake!
5. No, Denise, I'm not getting on the scale today. (Denise is the nurse at my clinic.)
6. It is what it is.
7. You're kidding.

Seven Books I Love
1. The Secret Life of Bees
2. Prodigal Summer
3. Daughter of Fortune and Portrait in Sepia
4. Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, and Teacher Man
5. She's Come Undone
6. The Master Butcher's Singing Club
7. Running with Scissors
1. Life without Ed
2. Psyching Out Diabetes
3. Chronicles, Vol I
4. Undaunted Courage
5. Healing Into Life and Death
6. Dark Night of the Soul
7. The Empty Mirror

Seven Movies I Recommend
1. The Goodbye Girl
2. The Big Chill
3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
4. Babbete's Feast
5. Tortilla Soup
6. Legends of the Fall
7. The Last Waltz

I tag everyone else who wants to participate. And, if you're a lurker, this would be a good way to dip your toe in the water and start blogging!

Thursday, March 01, 2007



OK, so we've had some snow. The second round came today - about 9" in my neighborhood with as much as aanother 6-8 to go. Whopee.

The photo below is a snowbank I attempted to cross on my way home from work today. Since the temperature is pretty mild, I was not bundled up and had a little more agility in my step. I was carrying my purse, my TlDM enormous tote bag, two sacks of groceries, plus balancing an umbrella as the snow was heavy. I did not want to walk all the way to the end of the block where a tiny pedestrian path had been gouged, so thought I could just scale up the bank. I fell, fortunately forward, face down, splayed out like a scarecrow. First thought: OMG I hope nothing's broken. Second thought: Please don't let anyone I know drive by. Third thought: Did all those expensive tangerines stay in the bag? I really don't feel like pawing through the snow looking for them


All ok. Winter in Minnesota.
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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Snow Day Project


We had our turn with the cold weather, and now we've got the snow. About a foot. Lovely.

People are just starting to shovel their sidewalks and many of the cars parked on the street are now enclosed in a big lip of snow that the plow left. Minnesota at its best.

I settled in and finished a lingering project - a beaded vessel. It is about 4' tall and each small seed bead is indivually stitched. Not of much use, but pleasant to contemplate once finished.

Sometimes it's hard for me to be alone with a long stretch of time in front of me - I start thinking about lingering problems, like diabetes; existing problems, like my mother who needs to transition to assisted living; and imagined problems, like future complications. Hobbies help. They help a lot. And, so does knowing that at present, right now, everything is just fine.

Hard to believe February is nearly over. Have a good week ahead.
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Friday, February 09, 2007

Subzero Temps., Hypoglycemia, and the F Word

This past Tuesday was a grizzly cold day. I woke at 5 a.m. to the radio saying, "It's 10 below in the Twin Cities this morning, and the windchill is minus 35". I have been taking the bus to work for many years and know what to wear for the 7 block walk and the wait on the streetcorner - long underwear, down vest under my coat, assorted layers of mittens, hats and scarves. When it comes to dressing properly, I epitomize common sense (and look like a lumbering polar bear).

Just before lunchtime, an announcement was made on the PA - "L is going to make a Ho Fan (the nearby Chinese takeout) run - if anyone wants the lo mein special, let her know". I love having lunch personally delivered to my desk and immediately placed my order. Ho Fan's lo mein is a solid glob of noodles and soy sauce, with perhaps a half ounce of chicken and sprinkle of green onions. It's not within the realm of "moderate" as far as carbs go. My usual insulin dose to cover lunch is 3 units. For the lo mein, I decided to take 9.

That afternoon, as I was getting ready to leave, I tested at 115 - a perfect value for going home. That is, a perfect value if I'd had only 3 units for lunch. I still had at least 1-2 units on board. I'm pretty sensitive, and at that time of day one unit can lower me by about 80 points. I forgot.

I rode home, got off the bus, and had traveled no more than a block when I got the sensation of the sidewalk moving under me, like on a treadmill. My clearcut signal. I forgot. I kept on walking, and within just a few minutes I was really headed south - still four blocks away from my condo building and getting colder by the minute. I ducked into the security entrance of another building and decided to test (I should have immediately crammed some tabs, but I forgot.)
Take my meter out and it feels cold. Strips don't work when they're cold, but I forgot. Tried to lance my finger, but it was too cold, and no blood came out. Stood there, my mind totally blank, not having a clue what to do next. (Better put mittens back on).

In an agonizing step by step effort, I made it to my building. I forgot how to get my key ih the door and one of my neighbors helped me.

Rather than immediately eating, I decided to test with my nice warm at-home meter - 32. That seemed absurdly low so I searched for my spare meter to confirm, but the battery was dead. Still no eating. Eventually I got out a Juicy Juice box, but could not get the tiny straw in the teeny hole. Then thought of the maple syrup that came in the Xmas breakfast gift box. I opened the cute little jug and had several big swigs - in fact most of it. 2 hours later I was at 420, but, safe at home in my flannel pj's.

One act of forgetting the "insulin on board" concept caused me to go hypo which caused me to forget a lot of other things. People hvae done a lot of recent posting about hypos, and I agree that many times they come out of nowhere, and that's where the frustration lies. Yet, this one could have been prevented, so I'm not in such a tizzy. I'll just try to remember next time.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Osteoporosis and the Flying Nun

Many years ago Sally Field starred in a cute little show called "The Flying Nun". Her nun's headiece had these extensions that looked like wings and she'd take off on the updrafts at unexpected moments.
This past week, during the 6 p.m. news, she was on a couple of times advertising a drug called Boniva, used to treat osteoporisis in post-menopausal women.
The commercial starts off with Sally lamenting about a friend who has to set aside time "once a week" to take her op pill, when Boniva only needs to be taken once a month. The first time I saw this, I was livid, thinking about how would these people cope with diabetes, which needs attention throughout each day - and here she is (or rather the script writers) attempting to appeal to consumers
with "once a month" versus "once a week". Give me a break.
This morning when I got up I was going to write a post about how once again we have evidence that those on the outside "just don't get it" blah blah blah. But instead, my heart suddenly started to swell with immense pride. Pride for all of us, - that we, in a noble, effective manner deal with the "daily grind" (as Chrissie puts it) of diabetes self-care. That, in itself, is a soaring victory.
I left to go shopping and my neighbor across the street said, "Hi Kathy, you look like you day's off to a good start". And it was, even when the cash machine ate my card.
Look for the good - it's out there.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

"Please wait. This may take several minutes."

Well, I appear to have finally successfully installed my highspeed internet service. The man at the mall who sold it to me said it would take 20 minutes to accomplish - for me it took 3 days. Yikes. But, I'm looking forward to hearing the music and seeing the videos that some of you use to embellish your posts.

Thanks to all of you who sent good wishes on behalf of my mother. Please know that your comments truly made a difference in helping me stay calm. She had been home for a week and doing relatively well - getting back into her routine and using some of the services avalable to the elderly in my home town. On Monday I was looking through my emails at work and saw one from my sister that said "Mom's on her way to the hospital again." I thought it was in my deleted items folder, but, it was current. Her 5th visit, and the buffoons in my hometown have sent her to a different metro hospitals each time.

They decided to do an interventional radiology procedure, threading a catheter up through her leg all the way into her head and injecting a compound that would seal off the mail vessel to the side of her nose that was bleeding. There was a 5% risk of stroke and 5% risk of blindness, but she agreed. So off I went to a huge surgical waiting area where there seemed to be a lot of drama going on. I noticed a frail elderly lady in a corner, sobbing into her hankerchief. I went over and asked if I could help. She said her husband was having emergency bypass and that her son was flying in from out of town and wouldn't be there for several hours. She was very frightened and confused about what to do with the pager she'd been given. It was heartbreaking, but I stayed with her until my pager went off and got the report that M's procedure had gone well and she would be sedated for several hours. I then returned to see if Helen needed anything more. She was a lot calmer and wanted to pay me for my help. Of course, I didn't take the money but did accept a tentative invitation for dinner once the Mr. was recovered.

So, my mother went home on Thursday and we are once again keeping our fingers crossed.

I am trying to put this all in perspective. We have Monday off for MLK day and someone at work said "well, Kathy, got big plans for the long weekend"? I felt like saying "don't you remember my mother is ill - how can I have plans for the weekend when the phone could ring any minute with bad news"? I recently saw an article on a mental health website on being "Addicted to Drama" - people who are so used to living on the edge that they are uncomfortable when things settle down. Maybe that's part of my problem - lookng at this as a potential life or death situation when it's actually just a natural part of the cycle of things - people get old and health deteriorates.

I got home that day and felt a deep sense of peace, until talking to one of my sisters who said that if "anything happened" as a result of the procedure, it would be all my fault - she had not agreed to it, thinking the risk was too big.
The next day, however, she'd settled down and seemed to have forgiven me.

Yesterday, in the evening, I realized that I'd forgotten to take my handful of oral meds that morning. I felt ok, my bp was 128/71, so it probably wasn't an end of the word situation in this case either.

So, on it goes. I'm hoping for some nice, uneventful days ahead.