Lemonade Life

Thursday, September 29, 2005

NEW ARTICLE: Interviewees Wanted!!!

Here's the low-down on my new article for Diabetes Talkfest:

I am doing a PROFILE SERIES for Diabetes Talkfest, which means I will be doing several interviews with people who come from a particular "group" of diabetics. I'll be interviewing a man and a woman for all categories.

EDIT (9/29): People with Type 1 diabetes who were diagnosed over the age of 25.

Please send me:
- Name
- Age
- Diagnosis date
- Where you are from/What you do
- Current treatment
- Three fun facts about you
- What you would like people to know about living with diabetes.

If you are interested in being interviewed and would like to share your story with the diabetes community, this is an *excellent* way of reaching out to others and sharing your voice on a variety of topics. Please don't hesitate to comment or email me if you have any questions. If you expressed interest in being in the last article, now is a great opportunity! I'll be accepting emails of interest until Saturday, October 15th.

EMAIL ADDRESS: AMBlass@aol.com.

If you are not a Type 1 diagnosed over the age of 25- never fear! There will be more interviews later in the Profile series.

Thanks. Hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Symlin and School

I'm convinced that Symlin is like insulin. It takes forever to figure out what dose you should be on, and when you do figure it out, you wonder how it took you so longer to figure it out in the first place.

Today was night 4 of Symlin. 2 nights I went skyrocketing to the 300s before mellowing out in the 100s (without high-bolusing, mind you). One night I was great, then went low. And tonight, I was great, and now I'm going high.

I've gone from 2.5 units to 5 units. I may attempt square bolusing tomorrow night. Side effects haven't been to bad, actually. A bit of nausea the first couple of nights, but there wasn't any tonight.

Today was also the first day of school, and with the first day of school comes all the lows. I always go low a ridiculous amount my first week back because my schedule is so different.

Here's the run-down:

  • Volunteering at the elementary school: playing with 5-year-olds is fun. I think it helps you de-stress when you have a bunch of little kids who think rainbows are cool and eating graham crackers is a highlight of the day.
  • econ: I hate econ, but the prof seems decent enough.
  • ballet: teacher is a sweetie. But we didn't do anything besides going over the syllabus. I need to buy a new skirt! I have a feeling I'll be wearing a leotard and tights under my clothing 4 days out of the week for the next 10 weeks. oh joy.
  • planning, public policy & management: haha, prof reminds me of my 10th grade chem teacher who would make a pun out of everything. Not that this guy makes a lot of pun jokes, but he is funny. 2 hour class might kill me, but at least I'll die laughing.
  • prin. of pr: My friend peter makes us all feel bad about being pr majors. Luckily, blond girl 2 rows back reminds us that we *can* be ethical. so ha.

    Tomorrow: English! yay! mrs. dalloway! chekov! the sun also rises! I'm a writer, I live for this stuff.

  • Monday, September 19, 2005

    A few words about Diabetes Portal and my life

    Hey, I'm home. Plane didn't crash, engine didn't burst into flames, the wings remained affixed to the aircraft. And they gave me chocolate covered raisins. So all-in-all I'd say it was an excellent flight.

    And now, a word about Diabetes Portal:

    Some have you may have noticed that Diabetes Portal has closed. For the story, visit www.diabetesportal.com. Deb Butterfield's closing note explains pretty much everything. It was just getting too hard to run such a large enterprise with so few people. Especially now that Deb has her new daughter, it really isn't fair for us to expect her to carry the burden of raising two children and managing Diabetes Portal.

    When I found out at the end of last month that Diabetes Portal was going to be closing, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I had several ideas... starting a new Teen Talk off-site, starting a differently themed diabetes website, just maintaining this blog, writing a book (which I still might do, although I have no clue what to write about...any ideas?) and... quitting. Yes, I thought about quitting for an astounding 0.82 seconds.

    I'm currently working on moving Teen Talk to a new site. I have a friend who is designing it for me and so far, it looks pretty good. I'm aiming to have it opened sometime in early November. I'll post the date when I have it. I'm hoping to have former Diabetes Station guests contribute to Teen Talk, so you may be seeing them at a website near you.

    I'll also be a contributing writer to Diabetes Talkfest. I'll be starting a new article at the end of the week, so stayed tuned to find out if you qualify to be an interviewee. :-)

    I'm still a volunteer with JDRF's Online Diabetes Support Team and I'm still here at Lemonade Life. I'm also starting my junior year in college, and I'll be working, volunteering at an elementary school, working on the leadership team of Campus Crusade for Christ and hopefully getting involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America.

    I also need to sleep. And eat. And wash my hair.

    But I may just find enough spare minutes to write that book.

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    The City of Angels

    So, when we last left our heroine, I was still in San Diego with my grandmother. A week later and I've moved 100 miles north to los angeles. I'm staying with my friend Julia who I went to high school with. here's a brief recap:

    wednesday: arrived, toured the campus, had lunch, bought a purse and watched fight club. as much as i hate being a girl, i'm really glad i'm not a guy...

    thursday: went to julia's gay literature class. interesting topic of conversation. a girl snuck her puppy in and we laughed. had lunch, and i walked around south central for a bit while she went to work. hung around the house for a bit and then we went to EatStreet Cafe (worst restaurant i've ever been to) and then we went to Spudnuts, a donut shop. made up for the crappy dinner.

    friday: drove up to the valley and visited my great-aunt for awhile, which was fun. spent about 2.5 hours in traffic, however, so now I more completely understand why people bitch and moan about LA traffic. yes, I hate it too. Then, Julia, her roommate Cindy, and I went to Melrose to get my nose pierced. Yes. Your eyes are not deceiving you. You have not entered the Twilight Zone. I got my nose pierced. And I look pretty darn cute too. We meandered down Melrose for a while, browsing at shops we can't afford and eating crepes named after celebrities (audrey hepburn is yummy) and eating gelatto. mmmmm, gelatto. Almost makes up for the fact that you can't get water ice on the West Coast. Almost. We went party-hopping later that evening. The first one we went to was ok- pretty good music and I had my first rum & coke, which was better than I expected. I've heard bad things about rum, but I liked it. The alcohol definitely dropped my blood sugar, but I had lowered my basal rate so there wasn't any problems.

    saturday: inland invasion: a huge rock concert put on by LA's KROQ. Weezer, Beck, Oasis, Cake, Garbage, Madness, The Bravery, Live, Jet... and more. I was afraid I was going to go low being at an all-day pavillion style concert. I turned my basal down at the beginning, but I went high because we actually didn't do much walking around or dancing because it was so hot out. So I went back to 100% until it looked like I was going to be moving more.

    Everything was so expensive, so we ate before we got there and I had to spend $3.50 on water. We split something called a Hurricane, which tasted like lemonade and tequila. I took 1 unit to cover the lemonade, and lowered the basal for a bit to cover whatever amount of tequila I had. Around 5:30, when the main line-up was starting, I was 151 and I backed my basal down 30%. An hour and a half later, I was 109, lowered the basal another 10% and ate some popcorn and bolused half of what I normally would have. Somewhere around 10pm, I felt low, but I couldn't see my meter well enough to test (we were outside), so I popped 6 glucose tabs and felt fine. But I think I was feeling low because I was tired, right around 12:30 when we were driving home I definitely felt high so I bolused 4 units and went to bed. I woke up at 91. Yes, I should have tested. But if you had just come home from an 12-hour concert, you probably wouldn't have tested either. I didn't even wash my make-up off. I fell asleep with my headphones still on my head.

    Sunday (that's today): not much has happened so far. Julia is at home doing homework for tomorrow and I'm at the school library. We're meeting up with another friend from high school later today. We're going to Santa Monica and Beverly Hills for a bit.

    I fly home tomorrow. I will be in Portland for two days and then I start on Symlin, and I can guarentee you'll be getting a play-by-play on that little adventure.

    Symlin and back-to-school... why do I get the feeling I'm just going to be starting all over again?

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    Hola from sunny San Diego!

    Well, actually it's 9:15 at night, so it's rather dark, but it was sunny earlier today. Anyway, I have arrived safe and sound in San Diego, CA. I know, I'm sure all of you were just sick to death with worry over whether I had made it or not. I apologize for not updating sooner. I've been busy. Flew in thursday after an ass-long plane ride. sheesh. I only flew 1000 miles, but it took forever. Mostly it was because of my layover in San Jose. blah. And it's the most boring airport I have ever been to! and I've been to a lot! Avoid layovers in san jose when possible.

    The first part of Friday I spent grocery shopping with my grandma, but the majority of the day was spent en route to the Children With Diabetes pump conference in San Diego. Took me *3* freaking hours to go 45 miles. oh the joys of public transportation. The reception was fun though. I was only planning on going to the reception to meet people and then I was going to come back on sunday to hang out with Gary Scheiner. But I ran into my friend Julie, of Pump Wear Inc. and she convinced Laura, the conference coordinator to let me come to the entire conference for free!

    Odd diabetes occurence: Friday during the day I had perfect blood sugars (well, kinda... 83, 67, 118). Then, upon arrival at the conference, gearing up to eat dinner, I test and I'm a whopping 377. Whaa?? Didn't forget to bolus. Not running out of insulin. Set is perfectly fine. Craaa-zee. Dumped in the insulin. 2 hours later, I'm down to 248. Whew. Okay, everything's fine. Get home, talk with grandma, get ready for bed. Test. 365. OK, God, very funny. High bolus again (ok, yeah, I know I should have changed, I didn't, I'm a bad diabetic, moving on...). Wake up, 333. Now, I'm starting to think it's because of the whole prementrual cycle (as if being a woman wasn't bad enough). Finally change the insulin and site. Dump in more insulin... I check about once an hour out of sheer anxiety... slowing creeps down and by noon, 102.

    Still no period. Blood sugars up and down but not going above 280. Anyone wanna wager a guess as to what happened or did my body temporarily do a "F&%$ you" to my insulin?

    Saturday: John Walsh's session on advance pumping concepts (pumps good, testing good)...found out I could spend the night in Julie's room so I wouldn't have to worry about going home and coming back early in the morning... shopping at Westfield Shoppingtown... dinner at Bennigan's... ice cream social at the conference. Which of course resulted in a 277.

    Sunday: breakfast. Natalie Bellini's talk on infusion sets. Which I only went to half of. I like my infusion set, the Minimed silhouette. And apparently Natalie approves of it to. Chatted with this very nice young woman named Meagan for awhile. She convinced me I just *have* to go to Orlando next summer. Really wants me to go to Cancun in January, but I'm already committed to going to Campus Crusade's Winter Conference and, unless God turns the rain into dollar bills, I can't afford both. I was going to go to Kim Kelly's talk but I kinda forgot about it. Chatted with the Animas pump rep Tammmi and the Minimed pump rep Linda. Very nice women. I like them. After lunch, I dragged Gary to Old Town San Diego with me because I wanted to see if they still had this store called Del Sol, that sells clothing and accessories that change color with UV rays. And it was still there! I was so excited! I bought this T-shirt. That's really about it... didn't do much in the afternoon... watched some football (bo-ring and even worse cuz we lost) and then went to wendy's. and then I came back to my grandma's.

    It's been a busy couple of days and I still have a week left of vacation! I might update later this week, when I get to Los Angeles. I'm gonna finish checking email and sign off because I'm on dial-up and this thing is sooo freaking slow. Dial-up should be illegal.


    P.S. Yes, I realize my re-cap of the conference sucks. Visit the CWD website for a more detailed report with pictures.

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    The Latest and Greatest

    hey everyone, okay, time for a happy post.

    I'm going to California on Thursday! I'm sooo excited about this. It's going to be an awesome trip. I've been basically in Eugene all summer (with the exception of a three-day stay at a cabin, and two trips to Portland) and it's getting really boring. But tomorrow is my last day at McDonalds (thank the good Lord) and I'm packing up and getting the heck outta dodge on Wednesday. I just have to pack up and pray that Minimed gets my diabetes supplies here by Wednesday morning ::tries not to panic::

    I'm staying at my parent's house in Portland Wednesday night and then on Thursday morning my dad is going to drive me to the airport. I arrive in San Diego that night. On Friday, I will be going to the CWD San Diego conference reception, although I'm not going to the actual conference. It seems like it's mostly for parents of younger kids and who are relatively new to pump (and I'm neither), but I want to see Jeff and Laura and meet some of the faculty and families there. On Sunday I'm going back down to the conference because my CDE is one of the faculty members, and I want to see him. He lives in Philadelphia, so we do everything over the phone and thru email. I haven't seen him in over a year!

    Finally, on Wednesday, I'm going to go up to Los Angeles to stay with one of my good friends from high school, who is going to school there. I'm also very excited about that. I'll be in Los Angeles from Wednesday night thru Monday night. Then I fly home from Burbank and I stay in Portland until Thursday because on Thursday... I'm going on SYMLIN!

    Going on Symlin is very exciting for me. My uncle works for Amylin, he's Vice President or something, and he has been telling me and my family about this drug for about 4 years now. And we've been waiting... and waiting... and waiting for it to finally get approved so I could go on it. Now it's finally approved and I get to go on it! How exciting! So I'll go on Symlin on Thursday and I'll work with the doctors to figure out the correct dosages. Hopefully it won't take too long because I start classes on Sep. 26th.

    So that's the latest with me... nothing too terribly exciting. I'm still raising money too! To donate go here. Something weird happened and it won't show what my goal is, but the donating part still works just fine. Please donate!

    Well, time for beddy-bye time. I have work at 10 in the morning. bah...

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Ka-trina, Ka-trina/Go Away/Come again some other/NEVER!

    In January, I switched from the Minimed 508 to the Minimed 715. Along with a brand-spanking groovy purple pump came new silhouettes, new resevoirs and new adhesive tape. The supplies they sent me lasted a good three months before I had re-order. When I did, they sent me a full set of supplies for...a Minimed 508 pump. I called and re-ordered the supplies and they sent me the correct supplies for the 715. The very nice woman from the Minimed store area told me she was going to transfer me to Customer Service so they could tell me how to return my supplies. However, my cell phone died and instructions were never given to me.

    For five months, 508 diabetes supplies have been sitting in a box that holds up my full-length mirror in my room....until now.

    I gathered up all old 508 supplies and a couple boxes of test stripes and drove down to the FedEx office after work today. I bought a bigger box and shipped them off. Cost me a grand total of $7.56... though they forgot to charge me for the box itself. Oops. Anyway, these never-been-opened, totally-useless, taking-up-space, life-saving supplies are now slowly making their way to Connecticut. Unfortunately, I'm a poor college student and I couldn't overnight that big a box (it would have been $50), so it will arrive on the 12th. But supplies are supplies and they will eventually get to someone who needs them.

    I called my dad this morning and told him what I was doing. He said it was fine and also told me that there were more supplies at their house. So come Wednesday I will be digging through the closet for syringes and unuseful test strips to mail out.

    I'm glad I have something useful to contribute to society. For some reason, a measly $5 doesn't really feel like it makes a difference. I know it does, because you can buy a lot of useful, live-saving stuff with $5, but a whole big box of diabetes supplies just feels like it'll make a big impact when it gets to its final destination. I just hope we're not too late.

    I hate hurricanes. I can't stand rain, let alone a catastrophic natural disaster. Boooooooooo!!!