Sunday, January 20, 2008

Transistion time- to CGMS, no more Spirit Cafe, and other such changes

Yes, you read correctly. I started my wonderful Minimed CGMS (continuous glucose monitor system for those needing translation) on Jan 16th. It was supposed to start Jan 8th, but I was quite under the weather with a stomach bug that landed me in serious DKA, not to mention my friendly local ICU for a 24hr stint. My first stay since I was 14, so that considered I guess not too bad, though by the time I got there my lab numbers were't too pretty.... I'll spare you those boring details. The data from the sensor is, well, enlightening. I've adjusted some basals, hopefully we'll see some improvement soon. It's been accurate as long as there isn't a huge change in blood sugar. I'll share more once I get past this first week as to what I think, how well it works for me. Though, the irony is that I finally got insurance approval because of my hypoglycemia unawareness, and the way my numbers are right now, I'm using the high alarms mostly. But the goal is to change that around, safely.

Spirit Cafe is the contemporary service my former pastor started in 2003, at a time when our church need a change. I had been invovled with the band, then other parts of helping this service become a success. The goal was always to reach out to others in the community, and to provide an alternative to our more traditional Sunday services. It was great, but sadly, it seems to have run it's course. Attendance had started at around 70-90 people, now we're lucky if 30 show up. Plus, the pastor who started it and spent lots of time each week preparing it retired last Feb. He's enjoying a much deserved retirement, but some people felt the need to leave after he did. We tried a lot of different ways to get people to come, from internal advertising, to evaluating what we were doing. And for awhile I clung to the scripture in Matthew where Jesus that says that "If two or more are gathered in my name, then I am there" (parapharsed). But nothing changed attendance, and so next Sat is the last Spirit Cafe service. It was tough to sit through this weeks, and sing along with some of my favorite band songs, getting choked up that this space, this time wasn't going to be there soon. My left brain kept reminding me that it was the right decision, but my right reminded me of all the memories we've made in the last 4 years. It was there for me when I needed it, during some tricky transition times in my life. A place where I could come and feel God's prescense in a different way than on Sunday morning, where I could really get into the music worship and the message was more hands on. I know that now that I've been nominated to serve on the call committe for the next senior pastor, along with two other Spirit Cafe team members, we'll have a say in making sure the next pastor is innovative and creative in worship. But this time each Saturday will be missed.

And now that both grandfathers have Alzheimers, that reflection time I used to offer up prayer for both of them and my grandmothers I'll have to create. Grandpa was diagnosed "officially" between November and December. The meds helped initially, but don't seem to be doing as well now. Pop Pop, my mom's dad was diagnosed awhile ago now, and is somewhat stable on his meds at the moment. As much as I hate diabetes sometimes, I hate alzheirmers more. I know how to handle diabetes, I learned that a long time ago. But with my grandfathers' Alzheimers I sometimes feel helpless, eventhough the RN part of me tries to deal rationally. So for now, I just do my best to be there for all of my grandparents, just as they've been there for me.

Pop pop, in a pic taken by Mimier recently

Grandpa, at Laura's wedding

Someday we'll have a cure for both of these diseases. In the meantime, check out this link from Amy T's blog about where our candidates stand on healthcare issues.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NY State World Diabetes Day

I know I'm late posting this, but that's partly because I'm late finding it. I happened to be on the NY State Health Department site for work, and saw this link encouraging New Yorkers to get tested for diabetes. It's an interesting article. I'll write more when my life slows down a bit...haha.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where were you that fateful day?

It's been six years since the September 11, 2001 attacks. It's hard to believe that much time has passed, because I still remember the events of that day. I realize that some of us would rather move on and not dwell on the sadness of the suffering that was inflicted that day, but I feel as though the moments of silence observed by many today are appropriate. 2,997 people lost their life that day, many because they were doing what they always did- going to work, traveling, responding to an emergency call to try to save lives. Alan Jackson released this song afterward, inspired by the events of that day. There were many videos to choose from on You Tube, some which had video montages of images from that day.

September 11th taught me that while we can do our best, there are somethings that are unpredictable. Life has to be lived in the moment. And when things don't go the way we want or expect them to, there is always a chance to grow. Mercy Me is one of my favorite Christian music bands, and I love their song Bring the Rain because it talks about being able to be grateful even when life throws you challenges. The inspiration behind Bring the Rain, which includes one of the band member's sons being diagnosed with diabetes is discussed in this video.

Bring the Rain by Mercy Me

Let us not forget.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Fun Music Friday

Kelly Clarkson's third album, My December, was produced and released with much controversy over how she had to get Clive Davis's support to release the songs she had personally cowritten. Is it a change from the lighter, happier songs in her first album? Sure is, but let me tell you this woman has guts and a voice to match the gut-wrenching lyrics she wrote that were borne from real life. Her true fans will stick by her, and I have a feeling once you hear "Sober" one of the best songs on My December, you'll see why. If you go to You Tube to watch this video, and click on the "more" next to the title it will show you the lyrics. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's been a crazy summer, so I thought I'd give an update post.

1. I experienced the joy of being my sister's maid of honor on August 19th as she exchanged vows with her best friend and boyfriend of the last three years. (For you ladies who are wondering where the pump disappeared to- it was clipped to my bra in the front which worked just fine- no annoying thigh things to worry about). Those of you who have myspace or facebook can see a few more pictures on there.

2. The week before the wedding, my one grandfather had to be hospitalized and needed surgery. He's healing OK and at home now, but he did miss the wedding and was very sad about that. He also has Alzheimer's, which, watching him and my grandmother deal with the changes and struggles that it brings has given me a different perspective on my diabetes. Yes, my diabetes is challenging at times, but I can't imagine not being able to find the words I want to express what I'm thinking or not being able to remember what I was trying to say in the first place. He said to me recently in a moment of frustration, "They need to do something about this", and he was referring to the Alzheimer's. No matter what though, he'll always be my Pop pop.

3. I'm finally gearing up for the ADA Step Out for Diabetes Walk which for us is going to be September 30th. I'm holding a garage sale to raise money in a couple weeks, but some online donations from anyone who can would be much appreciated. If you click on my name under the team roster, from my page you can donate. Every little bit counts. My dad and my friend Stephanie are also walking with me, so they are also doing their own fundraising things.

4. I had the privilege of working with great CDE's at the Sugar Free Gang's Kids Camp in June. It is a local day camp given organized by the only support group for kids with diabetes and their parents in the area. We had 40 kids ages 6-12, and about 12 between 13-18. What was so neat was that I was assigned to the group with the one kid who had only had diabetes for a few months, so he was still learning a lot. He led us in our theme song, Lean on Me, the last day, and his parents had tears in their eyes. So many of these kids loved camp because, like those of us who blog about diabetes, they need a place where other people get what they deal with every day.

5. I recently joined Tu Diabetes, so look for me on there. A few of you have already found me. For those of you who don't know, it's like Facebook, or Myspace for people with diabetes.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Funny 80's List

A friend from college shared this with me recently, and I had to post it here since it made me laugh. The bolded ones are the ones I remember most- though it's a pretty good list if you ask me.

You Know You Grew Up In The 80's if...

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.

2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton

3. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom

4. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock"

5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.

6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.

7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school. (oh heck yeah, played that as much as I could on our Apple IIC Plus..)

(pic borrowed from

8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.

9. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)
10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.

11. You know the profound meaning of " WAX ON , WAX OFF"

12. You wanted to be a Goonie.

13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us...head-to-toe)

14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.

16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.

17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.

18. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence.

19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.

21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.

22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?"

23. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"

24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.

25. You have ever played with a Skip-It.

26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.

27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.

28. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.

29. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.

30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB"

31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class.

32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.

33. You just sang those words to yourself.

34. You still sing "We are the World"

35. You tight rolled your jeans.

36. You owned a bannana clip.

37. You remember "Where's the Beef?"

38. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?" (who didn't love Mr. T?)

39. You're still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren't you!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Atlanta trip

Two weekends ago, I flew to Atlanta, GA to visit my friend Mary Lou. Atlanta is a huge city, with lots to explore, but we were able to see the amazing aquarium, the High Museum, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Park.

This is a picture of some of the brilliantly colored fish we saw on Saturday at the Atlanta Aquarium.

I thought it was really neat that whomever designed the signs for the MLK National Park depicted one of his dreams- that people of all color would some day not be divided and be able to hold hands. If you look at the top of the sign, you'll see what I mean.
"I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers."-MLK from his "I have a dream" speech

Here I am in front of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi on Saturday.

This is a drawing of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr with each of their respective quotes. Martin Luther King Jr was inspired to use nonviolence by Gandhi's teachings.
"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."-MLK Jr.

On Sunday we got to explore the High Museum of Art, which had a wide variety of exhibits going on. One of them brought back memories of Italy, as I had seen these very doors in San Giovanni, outside of Florence. The exhibit was called "The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Renaissance Masterpiece" It was really neat to learn about the restoration process, and how the artist's techniques were learned during the process. More exciting though, was the ongoing Louvre exhibit showcasing things such as the art collections of the French kings, not to mention their exquisite furniture and other collectables. Although someday I'd love to get to Paris to explore the Louvre and see the rest of the masterpieces housed there, this was a great way to get a taste of it. We also had time to view the amazing collection of Annie Leibovitz's photography which included both photos of her family and a large variety of famous people. She's photogaphed everyone from Jamie Fox to Nicole Kidman to a few of the U.S. presidents and their family and fellow staff. One thing that stood out to me was her ability to capture the essence and spirit of the person she was photographing at the moment.
It was a great weekend, and I recommend all three of these stops to anyone visiting Atlanta in the future.