At the beginning of September I finally signed up our YLC team for the Boston JDRF One Walk. I got my typical donations, but I felt like I was stuck in a fundraising rut. I noticed that Steph had been thanking people on facebook for weeks, and I was wondering what her trick was. She suggested Facebook messaging ALL of my friends. It seemed a little intimidating and excessive, but I figured I’d go for it. I am amazed at the people who stepped up and donated. There were people donating who I haven’t spoken to in years. On the day of the walk, our team had raised nearly $5000 and I could not have been more proud to be a part of this team.
I am proud to welcome the next two presidents to YLC! I have been waiting for this since we tried to host a fundraiser. Looking back, I realize that I was not in fact the right person for the job. When it seemed as though no one else would step up, I stepped up. But when it came time to recruit new members, or solicit donations or plan hosting details, I had nothing. I don’t have former colleagues (I mean, I do, but they’re children). I don’t have connections in the business world. Negotiating is not my forte or anywhere in my knowledge bracket. I was not successful. I had ideas, and I’m proud of those ideas. I just didn’t have a way to implement them. I think that this new duo has both the ideas and they are both capable of implementing them.
From what I understand, this opportunity fell into our lap. I am really excited to share it with you, and hopefully you can be there! “We’re pumped to be a nonprofit partner for The 3rd Annual Boston Fall Finale at The Revere Hotel on Friday, November 7th from 10pm-2am. The formal event will feature a full open bar, delicious hors d’oeuvres, great music, and an awesome crowd! Check out the event page at finale.squadup.com for more information on partners, pictures from last year and a link to buy your ticket!”
If you have found this event through my blog or any other JDRF information source, then go here to buy your ticket!
If you want to check out the event on Facebook, you can do that here!
If you want to save $10 off the ticket price, enter the code jdrfvip at checkout!
I know that we’ve all experienced a wrong fast food order (and if you haven’t, please share your ways!) I was in Maine buying breakfast for everyone at Dunks and it was remarkably empty and quick and I was amazed. I bolused for my food, which included a delicious & sugar filled pumpkin coffee.
I understand that we’re all human. I understand that we all make mistakes.
Do they know that when they give me the wrong order, they’ve essentially given me the wrong dose of insulin? Do they know that an over bolus might make me need to pull off the road and sit and wait for my blood sugar to come up? Do they know that an under bolus might make me feel like I’m going to pee my pants because my blood sugar is so high? Do they know how weak a low blood sugar might make me feel? Do they know how dangerous being low while working on a house can feel? Do they know that I’m not complaining just because it’s not what I want?
1. I was hungover as shit, but going on the date anyway. My blood sugar was still high because of the drinking the night before, and I bolused for that in my car. Luckily our plan was only coffee. I started drinking my coffee and completely forgot about the insulin needed. When I finally remembered I pulled out my pump and didn’t try to hide it. I held it above then below the table as he was telling a story and he stopped short and said “Is that a pager?” (I held it below the table, so I wouldn’t seem rude if he thought it was a phone.) I explained what it was, he asked how long I had had it and he thought over if he knew anyone else with diabetes. It was a very quick piece of our date, and it was probably the easiest diabetes conversation I have had with a date.
2. Sometimes you leave and think, “did he really just say that?” and it has nothing to do with diabetes. Dating is hard. To me, it feels like interviewing over and over and over again.
3. My dexcom site was on my arm and it had been there longer than 7 days (but I don’t remember exactly how long). The tape was looking pretty gross and the shirt I wanted to wear would have made it very visible. At this point, I have mostly gotten over people looking at my CGM. But it looked gross and unclean and it was not a sight that would make a first impression. I yanked it and was left with this:
I was so worried that my tan lines would make diabetes a focal point of the conversation. It didn’t. It was fine (of course it was fine!) But there was a LOT of thoughts running through my mind getting ready, driving there, etc. (Maybe he didn’t notice because he was on his phone before our drinks got to the table?)
If there is one thing I wish I could tell you, it’s that my #WalkWithD is different every day. Or hour. Or minute. That’s why this initiative is so important. And if you want to learn more, go here.
I was sitting at the table with my cousins and friends in my too thin dress for the weather. But I had bought it just for my birthday and damn it, I was going to wear it. I grabbed the warmest sweater that looked good with it, and that’s what I wore. I was so excited and so determined to be happy for my birthday. I turned to my cousin and said, “is it getting really warm or is it me?” It was me and my blood sugar was dropping. The waitress came over for drink orders and even though I had a margarita and a water in front of me, I ordered a sprite. I was hoping it would come immediately (but didn’t think to ask to make sure it would), but it was getting hotter and hotter, so my friend went and grabbed sprite from the bar. (I had liquid glucose with me, but had forgotten to grab my bag of airheads, so was saving the limited glucose for later if it was needed.) A different friend came over with a shot for me, but I knew I couldn’t take it yet. I needed my blood sugar to come first. So I sat there with my sprite, margarita, water and shot through dinner. I couldn’t reach the food because of all the beverages. I felt ridiculous. Who lets a shot sit on a table through an entire meal? I kept looking at it. I’m not one who does a lot of shots in the first place, and here diabetes was ruining my chance. But! I knew more than anything else that I needed to focus on raising my blood sugar before I thought about drinking anymore. Low blood sugars + alcohol = makes me the most nervous. So I just kept watching it. Want to know the first thing I said when I was done with it? “That was really sweet!” All my friends were laughing at me and saying “too bad you couldn’t just use that to treat your lows!” We joked, and I laughed, and I wasn’t upset with their jokes because they were said with understanding and a hint of “diabetes would be better if…”
My drink choices that night were the shots, margaitas and ciders. Yes, I bolused for my food and one of my margaritas because I know that works for me. And because I was over 200 with 2 up arrows. I finished the night in the 100s and flat lining. I had my friends around me asking how I was every now and again. And as much as that might annoy me most of the time, I was happy to have people who realized this was the night I wasn’t going to be the responsible one, and knowing that they could take over if needed.
That’s not how I wanted to make diabetes my own, but my hand was forced. Living with diabetes means that plans & schedules & timing somtimes have to change. And even though it might not be what you want, there is a way to make it work. And when I think back on my birthday as a whole, waiting to take a shot is not what I remember. It’s the friends and family and acquaintances who came out and hugged and laughed and smiled with me.
I’ve been absent. Only blogging though (at least I think).
To say that this summer has been a roller coaster would be a large understatement. I’ve been changing goals, changing how I reach goals that have stayed the same, enjoying & embracing the time with family and friends. I’ve been diligent in my Dexcom use, but only because everything else has been so out of control, that it was the only way for me to keep somewhat responsible in the diabetes world.
As I was thinking about how to explain this to you, in a more detailed manner, I realized it didn’t matter. There were experiences I wanted to share, but couldn’t. There were emotions I wanted to yell about, but realized it wouldn’t change a thing. There are ways to make decisions that need to be changed, but I don’t have the power to do it. There is family that is gone. Read that last one again.
My goal here is not to make you feel sorry for me. The thing is that with all of this SHIT that I’ve experienced, I’ve also realized that my life is so much more full than it was a year ago. I’ve spent more time with friends than I could’ve imagined. I’ve had more people to call after a bad day. I’ve had people say that they’re happy to be my friend, not just thank me for being their friend. I had a terrible vacation, which I was able to make look great through pictures, because I had friends who stepped in when all I could say was “I need to escape.” To the shy, scared, intimidated me of the past, this is a huge deal. It’s made dealing with all of this SHIT able to be dealt with. I didn’t even realize just how much I had been through until I went to send an email. I was asking for advice and then I explained everything I thought they might be able to help me with. It took me HOURS to write the email because I couldn’t stop sobbing. That day I realized just how great my life is.
I can’t tell you about diabetes because I honestly don’t know. I know that my blood sugar was high all the time during vacation; I also know vacation was the worst week of summer. Hopefully life and diabetes calm down soon. Until then, thank you: whether you knew you were helping or not.
We know that I can run. And far.
I kind of gave up running after the half. I hated how much it had taken over my life and I dreaded running (which is why I believe I will never run a half marathon again). In the spring I resolved to start running again and I did. I just couldn’t get any sort of distance because the shin splints were terrible. It got to the point where I would wake up with them, even if I wasn’t running. I resorted to kayaking as my workouts (so much more fun, but also more expensive).
I did research about ways to get rid of shin splints and one way I found was how you land on your feet. I decided it was time I re-trained myself how to run. Because let’s be honest, I love a beer tent at the end of a 5K. I’ve been focusing on form and only going short distances. This week I ran a whole 1.8 miles and yesterday I didn’t have to think about my form. It’s been frustrating and empowering.
And is it worth it? Absolutely.
I know you’re probably thinking “what the what is with the ceiling fan Briley?” I totally get it. And it’s definitely not what I planned to write for you today. (I don’t often plan what I write, but I still have Florida stories for you.)
I could hear this music, and I felt like there was steam coming off of my body. I looked around my room wanting to see the steam. The comforter was blocking it. Then the music. What the hell was that music. I looked around and my eyes stopped on the ceiling. I was TERRIFIED. That ceiling fan and it’s shadows were something out of a horror movie and I didn’t know what to do.
The music was my Dexcom and I was LOW for at least an hour. I knew that I was low, but I laid there on my back looking at the fan (which was off) terrified to move. I knew I needed to test, but what would I find when I turned the light on? I laid there until my Dex went off again. I was finally awake enough to realize that whatever was going to hurt me from my ceiling was less important than sugar (still not realizing it was just a shadow). I turned on my light, looked at my ceiling and that crazy thing was gone. I tested, just to see exactly how low I was, and I was 45 (I’m pretty sure I was already on my way back up). I grabbed the tube of tabs next to bed and had all 6. I then set a timer 15 minutes to test again and I was in the 70s or 80s.
Today I woke up smelling like I had gone to the gym in the middle of the night and not knowing how to function without coffee. It scares me that I was that low for that long, and that my symptoms were so severe, when they normally are not. My Dex currently reads 80 with a flat line and I am trying so damn hard to be happy, but last night is still at the forefront of my mind.
This is my “day of #dblogcheck” blog post, and I hope that you participate (not for me, but for you!)
1. This date is a one and only event. There were other pieces of the conversation that made me realize I had no need to get to further know this person. We were talking about traveling. We had briefly talked about diabetes before, and I had already checked my Dexcom and bolused for my food. I mentioned how I went to a conference with a friend last summer, and that I’m going back this summer. He asked what kind of conference it was, and I said it was for people with diabetes. I couldn’t go into how important it was to me, because I wanted to focus on all the other aspects of my life. He asked me how old I was when I was diagnosed and I told him I was three. He responded with “How many people are born with it like you?” I was dumbfounded at the difference in three years. I know that I was little, but I also remember being in the hospital. I responded with “well I don’t know anyone who was born with diabetes, but a lot of people got it around the same age as me.” I have no idea how we transitioned to another subject, but I was very glad we did.
2. It was a second date, and he was already aware that I have type 1 diabetes. We hadn’t actually talked about it though. We were bowling and he asked what the string was. I had to think for a second, because I thought I had tucked all my tubing in, but apparently I hadn’t. I explained that it was the insulin pump and I got an “okay.” It was pretty amazing. He went on to say that one of his grandparents had type 2 diabetes and I prepared myself for a horror story, but instead he said “I think that’s different than your type? Can you explain it to me? I’ve tried to research it, but nothing is clear.” Can someone knoweldgeable please make an information sheet so that others who want to know this can find it? It may help diminsh the misconceptions that live in this world. I explained briefly how I understand the difference: type 1 is when your body stops producing insulin and type 2 is when your body doesn’t use the insulin properly. We talked a little bit more about shots vs. pump, advances in medical technology, BG tests and how long I’ve been living with it. There was no mention of a CGM because I was in the middle of a brief Dexcom break.
3. I thought this guy was nice. We had similar interests and even though I didn’t know all that much about him, there was nothing apparent to make me think I shouldn’t try to get to know him. I mentioned that I have diabetes and told me that it creeped him out. There are so many things I should’ve said, instead I just sat there with my chin on the floor and trying to stop the conversation as soon as possible. Yes, I could’ve educated. Instead I protected my heart & fear that diabetes could get in the way of a relationship (also realizing that if it did, this would not be a relationship I should be in).
(You will get a real MasterLab post from me at some point, but to start, I’m just sharing what I wrote & retweeted on Twitter that day. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions about each tweet, but also realize I may not know/remember the information if it isn’t included in my notes. Also, I was focusing more on notes than twitter, so some of this may not make any sense to you.)
This was my favorite statement of the whole day.
After this I left MasterLab and sat on a bench outside in a zombie like state. Melissa carefully walked up and said, “Are you okay? Are you low or high?” My brain hurt with all the knowledge and I couldn’t believe everything I knew. (And I felt as though I might not have tweeted enough…)