For the folks coming here from Julie’s

March 31, 2006 at 7:33 pm | Posted in First Comes Love - Then Comes... GonalF?, Linky Love, Political Animal, The Sweet Life | 1 Comment

The (U.S.) diabetes blogworld has been buzzing
about s.1955, a bill which claims to allow americans better access to insurance.

Instead, it allows companies to circumvent state laws requiring insurers to cover certain services – including diabetes supplies.

I’m not sure why there hasn’t been a furor about this in the infertility and feminist blogworlds as well. It would also allow insurers to get around state laws requiring coverage of little minor details of women’s lives such as contraception and infertility. See this Consumer Watchdog report (pdf) for more details. Indeed, Planned Parenthood calls this the “lose your benefits bill.”

PLEASE. TAKE. ACTION.

NOW.

Oopsies

March 29, 2006 at 1:39 pm | Posted in The Sweet Life | 10 Comments

As I said here, I can eat pretty much anything I want, so long as I give additional insulin for it.

Nonetheless, it’s still kinda embarrassing to have your pump-educator/dietician catch you buying your celebratory post-appointment three musketeers bar at the little coffee stand outside the clinic.


Quote of the day: “Yeah, sometimes the boobs get in the way.”

Said by aforementioned dietician/pump-educator (and pumper) as I moved one of the twin peaks out of the way so that I could see what I was doing as I attempted to insert an infusion set.

Diabetes Pet Peeves

March 25, 2006 at 12:22 pm | Posted in The Sweet Life | 29 Comments

A little diabetes blog game as I am feeling diabetically peevish and very procrastinatory today. Here are ten of my own personal Diabetes Pet Peeves (DPPs). Between now and next Sunday, please add your own peeves to the comments. Next Sunday, I’ll post the BIG LIST of DPPs. Then you pick your ten favorites and put them in order. I will tabulate the top ten and post it the following Sunday.

If you’re not diabetic (or in some way a member of the diabetes-world) and you happen to be reading this, you can participate too! Please do tell us, what did you learn from reading this?

Art-Sweet’s Diabetes Pet Peeves (DPPs)

  • Diabetes “Drive-Bys” – “Should you really be eating that? I thought diabetics weren’t supposed to eat sugar? Would you like a piece of fruit instead of that nice luscious chocolate cake?”

Educational notes for those readers not familiar with Type 1 diabetes:

If someone uses a pump or a sliding scale regimen, they can eat whatever the hell [consult your doctor please, this is not medical advice, blah blah blah] they please, as long as they bolus for it with additional insulin. We all ought to eat healthy well-balanced meals, but that goes for you too, my friendly Person Without Diabetes reader. And a piece of fruit or a glass of juice contains simple carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar to spike more rapidly than that yummy cake you’re judging me for eating. And oh yeah: do you really think you’re being helpful? Unless you know me well enough to know that I personally am on a diet and have no business eating cake, asking me if I should be eating cake is being pushy.

  • “Shooting up” jokes. D’you REALLY think I haven’t heard that one before? Do you really think it’s funny? Do you really think I enjoy it when you associate something that I HAVE to do with taking illegal drugs? No, I didn’t think so. Gosh, you were just trying to be funny? Well, you weren’t funny.
  • The Case of the Disappearing Insulin Bottle/Meter/Finger Sticker/You Name It. It is a rule, that the warmer and snugger in bed you are and the readier you are to fall asleep, the more likely it is that some aspect of your diabetes paraphernalia will be downstairs on the dining room table.
  • The Case of the Appearing Syringes/Test Strips/You Name It. It is a rule that, the more you do not want your purse to pop open and disgorge syringes all over the floor in front of a new co-worker, the more likely it is to start spitting bloody test strips and used syringes everywhere.
  • Diabetes Horror Stories. Your Aunt/Grandma/Cousin/ Neighbor had a leg amputated? Went on dialysis? Crashed his car because he had a “diabetic fit” while driving? I’m very sorry for him/her and his/her family. But why do you think I would want to hear about this?
  • Confusion of Type 1/Type 2: “Can’t you just take a pill for that?” Um, if I could, doncha think I would?
  • “So, I guess your mom must have given you too much candy as a kid, huh?” Yup. It’s all her fault. And I’m so glad you think it’s okay to take potshots at my family. For the record, type I is an auto-immune disease that has nothing to do with sugar consumption… blah blah blah canned speech.
  • “Ooooh! You have to take shots? (gasp). I could never do that.” Yes, you could. And you would if your life depended on it.
  • Eating to exercise. I would like to lose weight. In order to do this, I need to exercise. Frequently, I have to eat in order to exercise. This seems ridiculously self-defeating. (yes, I know that a glass of juice is less calories then I’m going to burn, that I could avoid this with the pump. I do not want advice. I am venting. This is a pet peeve.)
  • That Lantus and Humalog cannot be mixed in the same syringe.

Photo Friday: My Spring

March 24, 2006 at 6:18 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, Bringing Home the Bacon, First Comes Love - Then Comes... GonalF?, Photo Friday | 7 Comments

A few minutes ago I was outside, walking around in my brown, soggy winter garden, and composing a sulky blog post in my head about how my spring is no spring at all.

(Y’know, that whole regenerative, new life business.)

I was seething from a crappy day at the Job that Blows, contemplating why it is that people who are no good at doing their own job are so damn good at interfering in, criticizing, and/or taking credit for other people’s work. And feeling so utterly hopeless, after reading that adoptions from Guatemala may be suspended in January of 2007. Which leaves me feeling like:
We. Will. Never. Have. A. Child. Period.

And then I saw this.

And even this.

Stubborn little tulips, working their way through the cardboard box that blew in from somewhere. Still with a patch of snow for good measure.

I came inside and re-read all of your supportive, wonderful, commiserative, hopeful comments. And felt something warm and spring-like in my bitter, grey, dried out winter soul. (My g-d, send her back to Creative Writing 101, please, please).

So that’s my spring. One hesitant crocus. A tulip pushing its way through a cardboard box. A job interview next week. Another FET cycle starting soon. Not the most glorious show of daffodils ever, but it’s something.

Photo Friday is a good thing. It makes me post about something else even when all I really want to do is just keep howling at the unfairness of it all.

Nope.

March 22, 2006 at 11:22 am | Posted in First Comes Love - Then Comes... GonalF? | 23 Comments

Negative.

In g-d only knows how many cycles of trying this shit, we have never heard anything but this.

We have never seen anything but one-lined pee-sticks.

I’m so sick of it. I want my fucking tiger already. Two and a half years, and we don’t even have a damn goldfish in a little plastic bag.

Now I will go see my therapist, who went to the same clinic, and now has two kids, and last session told me how there’s nothing like the feeling you get when you hear that you’re pregnant. And she will try to tell me that there is nothing essentially the matter with me, with us, that the reason it works for everyone else but not us is just bad luck.

And I may fire her. Or slap her. Or just crumple up into a ball on her stupid little white couch and howl.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock

March 21, 2006 at 6:20 pm | Posted in First Comes Love - Then Comes... GonalF? | 7 Comments

17 hours to go.

Thank you for all your superstition comments. Please keep ’em coming.

It is fascinating (and distracting) to learn other people’s superstitions about TTC, diabetes, and life in general.

Pili thanks those of you who have assured me that you had no early pregnancy symptoms.

She says it means I have to stop poking her in sensitive places and going: “Does that hurt? Well, does it hurt MORE than usual? Oh right, that could be the PIO shot anyway.”

So tonight’s question: Is it better to pee on a stick, or not to pee at all? (This is 10 days after a transfer of defrosted embryos, frozen at day 5.)

I guess not peeing at all doesn’t really work, does it?

So stick, or no stick? And if stick, what’s your favorite brand?

(if this makes absolutely no sense to you, I apologize. If it makes sense to you – please answer the question!)

Just another…

March 20, 2006 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Bringing Home the Bacon, First Comes Love - Then Comes... GonalF?, Meows | 13 Comments

… come on 80’s fans, fill in the blank.

My mind is full of disconnected thoughts.

Beta is in 41 hours.

I forgot to call and make my annual opthamologist appt for the 10th day in a row. Despite writing “Optho” on my hand in sharpie.

I got a call back about the job. They sound very interested. They want me to come and interview in person. Oh. My. G-d. Did I mention that this job would involve moving? Not far, far away, but it’s not commutable from where we live now.

One of our only very good friends in City-I-Dislike finds out this week if she got the job that means she will be staying here for another three years or moving somewhere exotic for a year, possibly forever.

Beta is in 41 hours.

Pili reports no pregnant feelings. Please tell me all your stories about not feeling the slightest bit pregnant until the baby popped out to remind me that this is not unusual.

I’m terrified that I will use up all my luck on this job thing and the beta will be negative.

(beta is in 41 hours)

Logically, I know there’s no connection between the two. Speaking of which:

Superstition: Please Discuss

Two years ago, we found out that Sambar (orange kitty, sweetest cat on the planet earth) had a brain tumor. We came home from work one day and found her staggering around the house like a drunk, bumping into walls, meowing piteously, periodically collapsing on the floor. She went to see a kitty neurologist. Our options were paying $5000 for kitty brain surgery, or trying her on steroids to control the swelling. At one point, as we tried to face the reality of losing her, Pili suggested that maybe her soul was meant to be reincarnated in our child.

(Beta is in 41 hours)

Two years later, the steroids seem (so far, knock on wood, etc. etc.) to be working fine (aside from the diabetes side effect). And we still don’t have a child. Coincidence? Superstition. I don’t know. I hate to think there’s a connection, but part of me wonders.

(Beta is in 41 hours)

So please distract me. Stop lurking and tell me: What are your superstitions?

Photo Friday Saturday: Baby Pictures

March 18, 2006 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Bringing Home the Bacon, More than you ever wanted to know about me..., Photo Friday | 6 Comments

Baby Me

I was an early reader. And an early n*dist. One of those things has changed.

Little Me

It was pretty fun being three.

Note 1: These are probably the only pictures of me you’ll ever see on here. My cats are much more photogenic than I am.

Note 2: I uploaded way too many India pictures to flickr and exceeded my upload limit for the month. And I’m too cheap to go pro.

Note 3: 3 days, 13 hours til beta. Not that I’m counting or anything.

Note 4: The interview went fairly well, I thought. I hate phone interviews in general – I feel I do much better in person. But overall, I thought it went pretty well. He did ask me why I moved here, since my previous jobs indicated a higher level of experience than what I’m doing now. I just said, for family reasons. Filial piety, thy name is Art-Sweet. And it sounds like a very interesting, very challenging, job – that I’d really enjoy. So we shall see.

Complicated

March 15, 2006 at 8:33 pm | Posted in The Sweet Life | 9 Comments

A letter in the mail from McClinic.

My stomach seizes up. I slide my finger under the flap. I hesitate. They would call if it was bad news, right? Maybe I should wait til Pili gets home to open it. Do I want to open it in front of Pili if it’s bad news? Or do I want to process it myself first?

Visions of my hectic day – the lunch I’m now snacking on before dinner, the cookies and chex mix I actually ate for lunch (quick glance at the side of the bag of cookies, quick estimate that happens with barely a nod to counting and calculating) – spin through my head. Without opening the letter, I think, yes, this is what you get. You get what you deserve. For not always, every moment of the day, putting the disease first or even second. For being normal.

I open the letter, unfold the paper. Biting my lip, tensing up for the blow. Scan down the page.

Urine microalbumin or total protein: This is a test for early kidney damage due to diabetes. Normal levels are 30 mg/g of creatine or less. For this test to be significant, it must be consistenly above 30 on repeat testing… Microalbumin levels are also used to follow the rate of progression of kidney damage.

Your microalbumin was 2.0 . This result is considered: normal

Yes, this is what you get. You get what you deserve. For not always, every moment of the day, putting the disease first or even second. For being normal.

I don’t know if this thought will be inspirational or terrifying for those of you in the OC whose children have diabetes. I hope it will be reassuring, because I can pretty much assure you that your children will not have AICs under 7 every day of their lives. And that that doesn’t mean that their world is going to come crashing to a halt in a blind-limbless-incontinent mess.

In the comments over at Sandra’s, Shannon wrote:

When you hear of complications, you can’t take for face value that the individual did all they could to care for themselves properly. How often did they check themselves? Did they guess at doses or did they take care to calculate how much insulin they needed based on glucose numbers or carb counts?

It takes approximately 15-20 years for complications to show if they do at all.

There are a number of PWD’s here who blog who have had diabetes for more than 15 yrs with Zero complications. They have tight control over their management. Do any of them have complications? No, they don’t.

Have I been fortunate enough to avoid complications for twenty years so far? (knock on wood, don’t notice me evil eye, keynahora, tut-tut-tut)

Yes.

Is that attributable to my never guessing at doses and testing ten times a day?

Um, no.

Right now, I’m striving for four or five times a day – and that’s born again diabetic territory for me. So do I deserve complications?

…………………………………….

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, when you hear that someone doesn’t have complications, you can’t take on face value that they have done all they could to care for themselves properly. And on the flipside – when you hear of someone who has developed complications – you can’t be sure that they didn’t do everything possible to take care of themselves.

I can imagine that that’s a pretty scary thought for the parent of a child with diabetes. All this work – this getting up in the middle of the night and calling at school and testing, testing, testing – might not make a difference.

That’s not what I believe. The DCCT told us that it does make a difference.

But, it also means that maybe, it’s okay to relax every once in a while.

And that no one deserves complications.

suggestions needed

March 14, 2006 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Bringing Home the Bacon, We are Family | 9 Comments

I have a phone interview later this week for a job I thought I really wanted.

In preparation, I googled the guy who will be interviewing me.

One of the things that came up was his alumnus of note profile from his undergrad institution. A pentecostal school. In which he talks about being guided by the lord in all that he does.

Am I a coward to think that maybe this is not the right job for me – just another nice jewish lesbian? How will I answer when he asks what brought me to city where I am perpetually underemployed (Pili’s job)? Am I being close-minded to assume that we might not work all that well together?

On first glance, I pass as straight fairly easily. But I have no interest in being closeted. Which is not to say that I announce: “Hi, I’m Art-Sweet and I’m a Jewish Muffm*ncher” the minute we meet. But I’m going to talk about Pili the same way my straight friends talk about their partners. When you ask me what I did this weekend, well, Pili and I went skiing. We had friends over. We rented a movie and spent way too much time petting the cats.

Your honest feedback and advice, please!

A random postscript: Gmail gives you ads based on the content of your email. I get my comments emailed to me. So the ad I saw above my inbox, based on the comments from the last post?

“Fart Spray only $1.79 – Zymetrical.com – Why pay more somewhere else? Qty. disc. Secure online ordering.”

I’m almost tempted. I mean, why pay more somewhere else?

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