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The Diabetes & Stuff

Updated: 2018-03-02T10:54:14.200-06:00


It's Been A Long, Long Time


When I woke up this morning, I checked my phone, as I usually do. A calendar reminder was waiting for me: "Diaversary 7/3/03." I had forgotten.

And that's part of what taking a break from the blog was all about. Yes, diabetes is a part of my life. I check my blood sugar (sometimes more often than others), I do multiple shots a day (I prefer to stick than to pump), and my endo and I are regular visit buddies. I take care of myself.

But the blog. The blog was helpful when I was starting out, because it helped me work through things in my head. I'm a writer and reader by instinct and by trade, so words on paper (or screen) have always been the most natural way for me to fully grasp and understand what's happening. I also liked reading other diabetes blogs, because I understood I wasn't alone, and other people had great advice (I still use the lancet someone recommended years ago when I was having problems with mine).

But the blog. The blog became too much of a soul-stealer. There were and are so many other things I wanted to do, to try, to accomplish. And slowly, after figuring out who I was as a diabetic and how diabetes fit into my life, I realized I could do those things, and I wanted to start doing them.

Yesterday, I got out of work early for the holiday weekend. I work a lot of hours, so the extra 2-1/2 hours of free time was a gift. In the past, when the blog was in full swing, I may have spent the time figuring out my next posts, taking photos, ruminating on what needles and tummy bruises mean to me. Instead, I took out a starter kit of watercolors, something I've always wanted to do, sat on my back deck in the late afternoon sunshine, and made a painting of the orange, pink and yellow flower basket hanging in front of me. Emma (my canine companion) was sitting on the deck next to me, and we both enjoyed every minute we spent getting speckled with paint.

My garden is beautiful, I'm several classes in to getting my masters degree, I'm planning my vacation in November (flights, time zones and everything), I hand-made 15 Christmas gifts last year, I spent an obnoxious amount of time picking out the perfect new chandelier for my living room, I'm an amateur expert in aromatherapy and I have a standing monthly massage appointment. My A1c is 7.1. It's a little higher than normal, but we've been making some insulin adjustments lately, and both my doctor and I are okay with that number.

I haven't given up being a diabetic (if only I could), or even a good diabetic. I've just integrated diabetes into my life the way it works best for me. It's there, I pay attention, but I don't let it consume me. Which happens too easily when I'm writing about it on a regular basis.


Happy 12th Diaversary to me. I'll see you around the blogosphere. Sporadically. Very sporadically.





I'm losing my hair. While I wish that was figuratively speaking, because the metaphors I could roll around in the hay with are so seductive, I mean that literally.

I did what every red-blooded girl with a centimeter of vanity would do and I Google'd my loss, expecting to find article after article backing my suspicion that I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled and perimenopause is to blame. But the universe likes to test my limits and just generally fuck with my mind and the first link I clicked on stuck a dart in diabetes, saying this annoying little condition of mine can affect hormones and cause my tresses distress.

Based on other symptoms, I'm still inclined to believe I'm headed into perimenopause territory. But why did Google have to go and do that? Why can't I, just once, have some sort of mental, physical or emotional condition that can't be tied to diabetes? It's not even a pretty word, diabetes. It has no elegance or grace. But evidently, it has a list of side effects that is never-ending.



My instinct is to write "Moving On" or "Moving Forward," but in truth, I don't know if I'm doing either. I'm just moving.

Life can be complicated, and time can suck the life out of you, making you feel as if you have no permissions or rights granted; you only exist to mark its existence. Time waits for no man. Time will tell. Time after time.

Is there such a thing as a seven-year itch with diabetes? Seven and a half? Time goes by, and I go on, listening to the seconds tick and the minutes tock and the hours slam like a brick wall against every moment I try to claim as my own. Diabetes takes time. Time takes me.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I don't know where I want to wind up. I'm simply following a road and marking the miles. And I have miles to go before I sleep. (And miles to go...)

I thought about starting a new blog. A new chapter in the same life. But this isn't a new me. This is simply another part of me. So I'm continuing with this blog. I'm just writing it for myself now. A journal away from my journal. To keep that diabetes thing separated somehow. To give it a special place to take over as much of me as it wants, when it wants, without having to weave the test strips and the numbers and the apathy and the schedules and the bruises and the guilt and the gratitude and all of it through, around, in and out of my other bits and pieces. I write in a big black book with a fountain pen late at night about me. I type on a Mac with Georgia font in other hours about me and my diabetes.

Insert One Year Here


Diabetes Shots


Yes, with a gadget. I've been sort of anti-cell phone the last few years, having one only for emergencies. Then I started thinking maybe I'd like one that actually works. And I started having iPhone envy, gawking at strangers, demanding co-workers run me through a demo. And I bought one. And I can't put it down. My favorite health-related app? Rx Helper. It keeps track of all my prescriptions, the dosages, when the next refill is up, the pharmacy id numbers and all sorts of good info. It even keeps track of my dog Molly's medication and her syringe supply. It's pretty cool. I haven't found any diabetes-related apps that I really like yet, so if you've got one you think is the bee's knees, let me know.

Ho Ho Oh No


Yeah. That's me. The person who hasn't even started her Christmas shopping yet. Hasn't given more than 30 seconds thought to what I might get who or what. I did buy my tree, put it in the stand and water it. No ornaments or lights yet.

I just can't seem to get there, to get into my holly jolly mood. Mostly, it all just seems a little exhausting.

I'm not bah-humbuging. Really, I'm not. I like Christmas. I like wrapping presents. I like my tree. I'm just waiting for the spirit of the season to give me a shot in the arm (Wait, that's cupid, right? Wrong holiday! Could explain why I feel off....). I'm sure it will come. I just keep waiting.

And eating the Christmas cookies that keep showing up at work.

As always, more to come...

My New Best Friend


He's adorable, isn't he? And he helps a great cause, too! I was walking by Bloomingdale's (okay, taking a shortcut through a mall to avoid the bitter cold) and saw him in the window. Turns out he's pretty special—Bloomingdale's donates $5 for every one sold to JDRF. The bear is only $18 (highly reasonable for Bloomies), so I bought two. I know I'm giving one to a toy drive being sponsored by my husband's company. I thought maybe I'd give the other one to my cousin, who just had a baby. Or maybe my niece, who might still appreciate a stuffed animal at age 16. But. You know. He's really soft. And cuddly. And maybe 41 isn't too old to appreciate a good teddy bear either...

As always, more to come...

Diabetes Shots


Lora, with diabetes, on a camel, in Egypt (real pyramids, not a backdrop). I’m on my honeymoon (that’s the husband with me) and Cairo was a side trip from Athens. Diabetes may not take a vacation, but I do, and I go where I want, even the desert.

Diabetes Shots


This lovely lime-green box should be filled to the brim with syringes, but alas, I’m in need of a diabetic supply order. There are only two bags left, 20 syringes. While I do have the Lantus SoloStar pens, my preference is to use the Lantus vials and a good old-fashioned syringe. Don’t know why, just do. Also, syringes are good to have on hand in case a pen malfunctions. I can still stick a syringe in the pen and get out the goods.

K2, This One's For You





I was on vacation all last week. I would like to say I went someplace exotic and saw wonderful things, but mostly I saw my couch. I rented and watched over nine movies (I love Redbox), got the oil in my car changed, bought a new battery for my computer, did a little sewing, a little baking, a lot of laundry and basically tried to catch up on life.

Oh, and I ate. A lot.

When I'm at work and on a regular schedule, I eat regular meals. When I'm at home, I graze. Constantly. I gained four pounds in nine days.

I kinda sorta took a vacation from diabetes as well. I tested very infrequently and randomly gave myself shots. Eight units of NovoLog every now and then during the day was the program I decided to go with. When I did test, I seemed pretty okay, but who knows about the other times?

It wasn't a good thing for me to do. I don't plan on continuing to do it. But I do have to say that not sticking myself constantly was a nice break. For my real estate, too, which actually has unbruised itself.

I'm back at work now, and things are still as crazy as ever. But I'm hoping I can convince myself to get back on the wagon and test more often and shoot insulin appropriately. It may take a couple days to get back in the swing of things, though. When I went to grab a sandwhich for lunch, I forgot my insulin pen...

As always, more to come...

Diabetes Shots


Another fun container, with more fun diabetes stuff. This one is for my alcohol swabs. I buy the cheapest swabs I can find and store them in here. They come connected in twos and whenever I get a new box, I immediately separate them into single packs; it’s become a ritual of sorts. I know a lot of diabetes folks don’t really use swabs anymore, but I use one before every test and every shot. I find if I skip the swipe, I wind up with tiny red dots of angry.

Diabetes Shots


Stress can have an impact on my numbers, so I try to have stress-free moments of fun and relaxation. I loved coloring as a kid and I still do. I found this cool coloring book at the dollar store and snapped it up. It’s hard to find coloring books that are just for coloring; they all seem to be “activity” books” these days and I prefer my word searches to be under separate cover. And yes, I have the BIG box of crayons, including Periwinkle.

Well, Okay Then


Apparently, my body likes stress.

Because while I’ve had a lot of stress lately, my numbers have been good. Really good. Like bordering on awesome. There have been days when I’ve wondered if my meter was broken because every time I’ve tested, the number has come up at 110.

I’ve been eating badly because when I’m stressed, I want comfort food (Pop Tarts, mashed potatoes, hamburgers, beer cheese dip). I’ve forgotten to bolus until the end of my meal. I’ve haphazardly calculated numbers I know probably aren’t right, but I don’t have the energy or time to multiply in my head.

I’ve stopped my exercise routine because sleeping that extra 20 minutes in the morning, or going in to work 20 minutes early has been the only way to survive.

And still. Numbers good.

All I can think is that while I know stress can affect my numbers on occasion, this isn’t one of those occasions. This kind of stress—mostly work-related with a few odds and ends thrown in for good measure—seems to work with my body.

While this is a good thing on the surface, I find it a little scary and a little sad that I so regularly have this much stress going on, my body just absorbs it. My body operates better when stressed. (My mind, however, is another matter…)

Anyway. In an ironic twist, I decided this weekend (prompted by a get-together coming up in December for which I do not want to be 10 pounds heavier from beer cheese dip) that I needed to get back on the straight and narrow. That it was just as easy to consume a V8 and a Nutrigrain bar in the morning as it was to inhale a Diet Dr. Pepper and a Pop Tart.

I’m eating better as of Monday and even started exercising again as of yesterday. And wouldn’t you know it? My meter is NOT broken. I hit a 135 today. A little on the high side for me given the circumstances. Must be my stress levels starting to taper off. Less stress, higher numbers.

As always, more to come…

Diabetes Shots


I think somewhere, deep down inside my fractured thoughts, I have this hidden notion that the reason my test strips are so expensive is the money they sink into creating near indestructible bottles to encase them. Also, I think the little snap-cap containers are fun, and I’m convinced I will find an ultimate use for them some day. I have washed them out and brought salad dressing to work in them. My brother uses them for expensive drill bits. My husband puts his shaving ouch-stick in one when we travel. So I can’t throw them out, and I throw them in this drawer (along with what looks like electrical supplies, a jingle bell from Christmas and some marine glue…)



I got an e-mail from an old friend this morning. She's one of the nicest people I know, with a great husband and a beautiful daughter.

She wrote to say she's expecting an addition to their family and she's 4-1/2 months along. I'm so happy for her. She's an excellent mom.

She also wrote to say she's been diagnosed with breast cancer.

While it's November, the month for all things diabetes, and I'm still planning on wearing my blue with pride, I've had some perspective shift. I no longer think the huge bruise on my thigh is quite so dramatic, or the fact that my sugars were running low yesterday is cause for freaking out.

It's November, but there are a lot of women who are stuck with October, and its significant pink ribbon, year-round.

My good thoughts, vibrations and karma all go into the universe for Danielle.

As always, more to come...

Diabetes Shots


Diabetics are good to have as officemates—they always have a stash of food around. In addition to my requisite Juicy Juice boxes, I also keep NutriGrain bars, granola bars and random pre-packaged snacks in a basket next to my desk. Working late? Need a snack? Ask Lora!

Meme About Me, Me


This meme has been floating around for a couple of weeks, but since I’ve been out of the loop, I haven’t seen it. So I’m reviving it for today. Stuff about me you probably don’t need to know, but I’m telling you anyway…1. Do you like bleu cheese? When it’s combined with other things, yes. I love a good bacon and blue cheese hamburger, and blue cheese in a salad is lovely. Oh, and blue cheese olives in my martini are a must.2. Have you ever smoked? Not on a regular basis. I’ve done the “I’m drunk, can I bum a cigarette” thing in my younger days, and I’ve smoked clove cigarettes because I was a liberal arts major, but nothing for years.3. Do you own a gun? A jumbo super-soaker squirt gun to keep the dogs in check when they bark at the neighbors’ dog through the fence.4. Favorite type of food? I like all kinds. I’m big into seafood, Italian, French, pizza…just about anything as long as I think it tastes good.5. Favorite type of music? Something I can sing or hum along to.6. What do you think of hot dogs? Awesome at the ball park, pretty good on the grill at home.7. Favorite Christmas movie? Love Actually, the original Miracle on 34th Street with a tiny Natalie Wood, and Meet Me In St. Louis with Judy Garland.8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Juice or hot chocolate.9. Can you do push ups? I can probably pump out a few…10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I love my engagement ring because it came with love. I love my watch because I bought it for myself, also out of love.11. Favorite hobby? Watching TV, sewing, reading, baking, driving aimlessly, little crafty projects I dream up.12. Do you have A. D. D.? Nope. I’m pretty focused.13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? I wear glasses. I started as a freshman in high school, only having to wear them to see things far, far away. Now I have to wear them 24/7. I always pick cool frames, though. I figure if I’m going to wear glasses, I’m going to WEAR them. (Tried contacts, hate them.)14. Middle name? Michelle.15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I hope my boss comes in a little late today, is this too long for people to read?, it’s going to be a long day.16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink: Water, Ocean Spray Sugar-Free Cran drinks, juice.17. Current worry? How much trouble the dogs are getting into because they’re home alone more often since I’m working crazy hours.18. Current dislike right now? Too much work, not enough time for me.19. Favorite place to be? With people who make me laugh.20. How did you bring in the new year? At home, with my husband, and some really good food.21. Someplace you’d like to go? Everywhere! A beach right now sounds good, as does Moscow, Croatia, Argentina and Washington D.C.22. Name three people who will complete this. Most of you already have!23. Do you own slippers? Yes, several pair. If my feet get cold, it takes forever to warm them up. I try not to let them get to that stage.24. What color shirt are you wearing? Red, with a grey sweater over it.25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No! They make me sweat, as do satin pajamas. I like cotton.26. Can you whistle? Barely, and it took me a long time to learn how to do even that!27. Where are you now? Somewhere I’m not supposed to be working on personal items...28. Would you be a pirate? Not a bad, evil one. Is there such thing as a do-good pirate? Then I wouldn’t mind travelling the high seas and going to foreign lands looking for and burying assorted treasures.29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t sing in the shower. I’m pret[...]



Do not do this to me. This is not appropriate.

What's wrong with that? That's perfectly round.

Come on, man. How much blood do you want?

Pffft. I'm practially hemorrhaging here.


Seriously? Seriously?

*Conversations with my test strips when they don't work...

As always, more to come...

Lora In Life


It's Sunday and there are about 2.6 million things I should be doing other than writing, but this is where my mind has taken me, and I followed.Life has been on the crazy side as of late, and it's hard for me to catch my breath. I'm working a lot of hours, the house has needed some court-mandated work (don't ask; it's Chicago), and my dogs seem to have swallowed a batch of obnoxious pills. (I love them and love having them for company, but I'm seriously considering a small bird for my next pet. (Hah! My own version of Tweeting!))I had a birthday in there somewhere about a week and a half ago, which was nice. Lovely, lovely dinner at a fabulous restaurant, some new shoes, pretty flowers.And with all the rushing and moving and shaking, you'd think I'd be completely out of whack in terms of sugars and numbers. And yet, I haven't. Granted, I'm not testing as often as I should be, but there were a few days in there I actually thought my meter was broken--it continually said 110 no matter what I ate or how much insulin I did or did not give myself. It wasn't until I got cocky and ate a caramel apple and a Pop Tart without bolusing and hit a high that I got that not-so-subtle reminder to shoot, baby, shoot.(Sidebar on Pop Tart: I haven't eaten them in years, but have been craving them as of late. I've discovered the 7-11 across from my parking space for work makes awesome hot chocolate that doesn't trick my sugars, and oh yeah, they have Pop Tarts sitting right next to the hot chocolate. I caved. Good news, though, as long as I remember to actually give myself insulin, I can totally eat them. Also, if I don't mind absolutely no nutrition value whatsoever and massive calories...)(Sidebar on Caramel Apple: Love, love, love them. Only eat them once a year when they're in season. My office building gave them out to all the offices. I had three (over a period of multiple days). Fall is officially fall because of this indulgence, and it wouldn't have been officially fall otherwise, regardless of how many pretty leaves are now clogging my new gutters.My biggest diabetes news is that I've finally broken the virgin seal of clothing. (I could make that sound less... and more..., but it's more fun this way.) For those of you who've been doing this for a while, it's no biggie, and Kelly K2 told me it was just a matter of time before I'd be doing it, but the first time I did it, I felt like quite the daredevil.Yes, I've been shooting insulin through my clothes.It's heading into cold-weather territory in Chicago, which means layers. Which means I'm not pulling down my tights every time I want to shoot in my thigh. I still have tiny fears that microscopic clothing fibers will wind up in the pin-prick wound, but I'm slowly dissolving those, since it hasn't happened yet.I could write more, since I seem to be in a babble mood as opposed to a change-the-sheets kind of mood, but I think I'll end here and try to whittle that 2.6 million to 2.5 million. But I'll end it with five things making me happy right this minute, thereby making all the other flotsam a little less daunting...1. The Bears won today (closet football fan).2. I carved out time to carve pumpkins and the two jack o' lanterns flickering in my living room are very cool, even if I do say so myself.3. Molly (one of above mentioned dogs) is asleep across my feet, keeping them warm. She's dreaming, and I believe she's almost caught that squirrel...4. It's only 4:30. You wouldn't think that extra hour from Daylight Savings Time would have that big of an[...]

Diabetes Shots


Icing can be great for treating a low if juice isn’t an option. I keep a couple tubes stashed here and there, just in case. These two cuties are on my desk at work, just at the base of my computer and within hand’s reach. The red one is slightly deflated, as I sucked a few ounces out during a nasty low one day. My tongue was scarlet for the whole afternoon.

Diabetes Shots


I’m not a fan of Crystal Light or some of the other traditional sugar-free, non-carbonated beverages. However, Ocean Spray has come up with a line of cranberry juice mixed with other fruit flavors and put them in these convenient little packets that mix right into your water bottle. I have all four flavors in my drawer at work, and drink about one a day. They offer the thought of sweet, without having any sugar impact—they have zero carbs.



Having mind-numbing, time-sucking, stress-filled, fully annoying issues, situations and dilemman IRL. Back soon with actual, real-live posts and ability to read everyone else's.

Until then, good diabetes for those who have, great life for absolutely everybody.

As always, more to come...

Diabetes Shots


There was a campaign when I was little to get kids to read more. It was called Reading Is Fundamental, or RIF. I believe, if I’m not mixing up my Conjunction Functions, RIF was also a big red dog. This doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, since I’ve always been a big reader, even before the dog. I have a Chicago Public Library card, and I check out multiple books every couple of weeks. Reading doesn’t raise your blood sugar, which I like.