The hips…they don’t lie.

16 May

One Thing to Improve – Wednesday 5/16 Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

So here it is. My confession.

I’m terrible with site rotation. I’m a creature of habit. I only use my hips, above the belt line 3 days left, 3 days right and back again. Nothing else is comfortable. Arms burn, never had a leg site that didn’t bleed or rip out. Below the belt is out of the question because I always become super paranoid about the sites ripping out and they usually do. Comfortable real estate is limited and I always wear my Dexcom sensor. Lately, I’ve noticed my sites are dying at a rapid pace. I used to be able to go beyond day 3 without a second thought. Now by day two my numbers go a little wonky. I’ve had more leaky sites in the past few months than I’ve had in my 4 years (HOLY CRAP) of pumping. I know what I need to do. Be brave, take a little arm burning or wear dresses three days straight for a leg site.  Give my hips a break, so they can continue to serve me. I guess I’ll take the plunge…literally and switch it up.

Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira

I caved…

15 May

Okay I signed up. I’ll probably fail, but I can’t miss the opportunity to join this wonderful celebration of all things D. So here’s today’s topic: One Great Thing

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

What’s my one great thing? If I’m not prepared, I’m always ready to improvise. I can only think of 4 times when I haven’t had exactly what I needed to handle a diabetes situation and even then I always found a way to make it work.

Dead pump battery? Pulled one out of a calculator. Another time, ran to the school book store and paid a regrettable sum for regular alkaline double A’s. I’m a lithium girl, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Insulin is running low in my pump and I forgot to replace the vial that I fill cartridges from which is basically empty. Turn the basal down and draw up a syringe from dregs of the insulin bottle.

Flooded infusion site and the only spare I had was one I used to show people how they worked. Well, I popped it in because I didn’t have much of choice being 30 minutes from home in the middle of a school day and having class until 5 PM.

All of these instances have taught me. I know to always have extra everything. Two spare infusion sites, two bottles of strips, emergency glucose tabs, a syringe, batteries in my backpack, my kit and my purse. A car emergency box. It even goes beyond typical diabetes stuff. I’m the person to ask for a bandaid, antibiotic ointment, pain reliever, hand sanitizer, two pairs of scissors in art class. You name it, I probably have something that can solve your problem. I have friends that call me “boy scout mom” because I’m always prepared. It’s a diabetes thing.

Timing is everything.

14 May

There are no coincidences, right? How perfect that I am finishing up my very long and emotional spring semester right in time for D-Blog Week? It’s a great opportunity for me to catch up on all the DOC goings on in a short period of time. I don’t have the time to participate, studying for finals and an endo appointment are taking up this week for me, BUT I’ll be reading. And if I find the time maybe even writing an update. I’ve missed you all, whoever you may be. I’ve missed what writing does for me. So here we go again…

27 Jan

My sister says I haven’t been writing about Nana in the way that I should. If I’m being honest with myself I know she’s right. The problem is my way of coping with things is to rationalize, be cold, and try to forget. Probably not the healthiest plan, but I don’t know how else to deal with this.
There are so many unanswered questions. So many things I keep wishing I had said or done. Things I think about like how one day I’ll forget her voice or or how I didn’t ask enough about family history. How even though it was impossible, she’ll never get to see me fall in love, get married, or start a family if I’m lucky enough to do any of that. So because my words just aren’t cutting it. Here are some of hers:

20120127-185215.jpg

And I know you’re shining down on me from heaven

17 Jan

So here we are.

On the other side of the worst possible thing that has ever happened to me and my family. On Saturday, we buried my wonderful Nana. I can barely say or write her name without feeling choked up. I spent most of the drive home Sunday randomly crying and speeding, things that do not go together. Don’t worry I made it home in one piece, physically. Mentally is another story. Every little thing sets me off. A comment from my father, feels like judgement and yelling. Thinking I lost the claddagh ring she left behind. Having a nosebleed. Are now all tearful experiences.

I keep thinking about my Pop Pop. My grandparents would have been married 60 years this November, but they’d known each other since they were in grade school. He lost the true love of his life. Their love story is perfection to me. Bumpy, but filled with greatness. An example to live by. And now he’s all alone in that big house, one she stayed in even when it meant being basically trapped on the first floor due to her lack of mobility. It’s just so sad. I don’t know how he’s going to go on. Even if we could financially bring him to live with us, I don’t think he would agree to it. That’s the house he was born in, the last place he lived with her, I don’t think he’s leaving it.

To top it off, my Pop Pop’s closest friend (Mr. M.) had a seizure during the service which caused everything to halt. Later we found out that the seizure was a result of an aneurysm, and Mr. M passed early Sunday morning. Trying to put a positive spin on things, our family joked that my Nana who was a nurse made it possible for Mr. M to be in a church surrounded by people who could help him instead of alone in his house when the aneurysm burst. So, not only did my grandfather lose his beloved wife, but also his best friend in less than a week’s time. Mr. M. could have been a great help to my Pop Pop, he lost his wife a few years ago. It’s not fair, but what in life is?

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get the images of my Pop Pop, mother, sister, uncle, aunt, and little cousins crying in that church as we walked out behind the casket. The little ones are the worst. My cousin (M) started crying as soon as they wheeled the casket from the back of the church to the front for the start of the service. (He’s really hurting. The poor kid changed the password on his iPod to Nana for goodness sakes.) My sister, who played this whole situation very cool, lost it during the service. And by the end my youngest cousin (R) was crying as my sister carried her out of the church. It was awful. Just awful. It’s not fair. My sister and I had her for the longest, I only hope that they have a solid memory of her. Our Nana was the greatest, I hope we all do a good job of helping them remember that.

If this whole thing has done anything for our family, it’s brought us even closer together. Bringing old friends to a house left silent by the absence of my grandmother. A house where holidays used to mean high school buddies and beer, once again had life this weekend. To celebrate one of the greatest people I’ll ever know. My little cousin R is right, Nana is an angel now. Because she always was one.

 

One Sweet Day” – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men

Aside

Nana.

10 Jan

It happened. Just after midnight.

It’s kind of weird because my dad left to go, and on his way there he called my aunt and uncle who told him my grandmother had flatlined. So, he called my sister and I to tell us our grandmother had passed away. Turns out, by the time he finally made it to the hospital, she had some how “come back”. Between the time we received the phone call and the time we found out the news was false about an hour passed. In our haste to celebrate our grandmother’s life, my sister and I alerted the world through what else… Facebook. Then, a text from our dad told us that no, she’s still breathing. So we immediately deleted the posts and waited.

This morning my dad called again, apologized and told me that this time it was for real. I talked to my mom, she sounded surprisingly okay and she asked me to look through pictures for the obituary. I’m trying my hardest, but all of my pictures of Nana look the same. I loved capturing her when she didn’t know. As she looked across a room at my little cousins or gazed taking in the entire family before her. They don’t work for this situation. So I feel like I’m failing a little bit.

I then had to call my sister and tell her that this time it was for real. This is all very strange to me. There aren’t appropriate words for any of it. I’m crying, but there really isn’t anything to cry about. It happened while she was sleeping, I think. It’s what we all know she wanted after years of suffering in a body that just gave up. But it still doesn’t make the fact that she’s gone any less difficult. I hate when I can’t understand things. I don’t “get” death and I don’t “get” why I’m crying because I’m totally okay with it. If I have a life anything like Nana’s I’ll be the second greatest woman to live. She had a great run. I learned so much. I’m okay. It’s going to be okay.

Here are some of my favorite pictures…

Nana & Nana with the all grandkids…about a month after my youngest cousin was born celebrating Nana’s birthday, I think. (2006)ImageImage

Easter Egg Dye (2010). We have this great book that she wrote for us. It says that she always wanted to bring cheer…she did.

Image

Nothing like a Nana hug and special whisper. (Christmas 2009)

Image

She had the greatest and funniest stories. Nana and my mom (August 2011). The last picture I took.

Image

Image

Nana

8/1/1929 – 1/10/2012

But it’s nothing to cry about ’cause we’ll hold each other soon

9 Jan

I don’t want to be the girl who cried wolf on this one, but I’m pretty sure today is going to be the day my Nana dies. She’s in intensive care with pneumonia and lungs filled with fluid and a DNR order.

I just feel the need to write this down, to get it all out.

You see this is the first person who matters to me that is going to be passing away. I mean there have been countless elderly aunts and uncles over the years, but strangely because I didn’t see them often it didn’t mean much. It’s almost like they just drifted off and I forgot. Is that terrible? I’ve never even been to a funeral, just one memorial service last February for my best friend’s grandmother. I lost my dog in September, although it happened suddenly, it was my choice and he was suffering. Even though I know it was the right choice, I spend a good amount of time thinking I made the wrong decision. But this is a person I’ve known my whole life. I have no control. I know she has been suffering for so long. Her body is giving out, that’s what happens. We have had so many extra years and memories with her that were a gift. But I just keep thinking so many things.

I didn’t go to visit her at the hospital on Christmas, because I was tired, a bit angry, and I’d seen her in a slightly better state over Thanksgiving. I’d like to think she understands. No, I know she does because for all our differences she got me and all my quirks.
I sent the present I make specially for her every year, a calendar filled with pictures I’ve taken over the previous year. She’s not even going to make it though the first month, a yellow rose probably my best one chosen for just that reason (secretly).

I’m thinking about my mom. I hope she knows how much I love her. Her mom is her best friend. I’m extremely close to my mom, but not the way my mom is with her parents. I hope if anything this brings us closer together, because so far it’s just ripped us apart. As much as I would have loved to have spent the time with my mom in the car on weekends like we used to do, it wasn’t possible this time around for so many reasons. But I’m so glad my mom had all those weekends to sit in a room with my Nana as she told her stories of her stories of her past, my mom has that. What I wouldn’t give for a few more stories. God only knows what my mom wouldn’t give for a few more.

I’m thinking about my Pop Pop. He’s been living in their house alone since August, both of them hoping that she would one day come back. That’s not going to happen. He’s already so sad a shell of who he used to be, but that hope being gone, will break him. They’ve known each other since they were little kids. My Nana yelled at him for stealing her doormat to play in the street (a story I’ve heard so many times). They are my ideal. That house is the only other house I’m completely comfortable in. He’s lived in that house all his life. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. She should outlive him, it just would be better that way. What happens now? Does he move in with us? My uncle? Away from his siblings. His doctors. Does my mom keep spending long weekends there? Ultimately, what happens when it’s all over, and that house and that town aren’t the places we go in the summer, for holidays, for random weekends.

This is a transition I’ve never faced.

So I wait and there aren’t words for it.

Just a lot of tears I didn’t expect to fall.

My dad is leaving for the 3 hour drive.

I have to stay here and wait for my sister.

She doesn’t know.

I don’t know what to do.

I just want my mom.

My mom just wants her mom.

I’ll just hold on, close my eyes, and wait.

Because that’s what you do when you’re scared.

Is it over, yet?

I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab For Cutie