Lemonade Life

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Just A Quick Note to Say...

I am drinking bad instant coffee at midnight while writing an English Lit essay about a poem about a tree that is due in ten hours.

Ah, the joys of college.

How many more days until I graduate?

Monday, October 24, 2005

My voice is back! yay!

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Greetings from Portland, Oregon!!!

Hey y'all. I really wanted to call you and say "and now, live from Portland, Oregon!!!" and pronounce Oregon all wrong and everything and then teach you how to say it right... unfortunately, the flu has given me a touch of laryngitis, and I sound *awful*! So bad, it's really funny... So sadly, I can't call you. But I'm checking in from my parent's house (my former abode). It's Mumzie's birthday tomorrow and we just got back from seeing Broadway's The Lion King and dinner at The Macaroni Grill. Very *very* cool. The Lion King, not Macaroni Grill (though the dinner was delicious).

Everyone in the world should go see the Lion King. I love Broadway shows, but this is sooo different because of the way they do the costumes- it's like half human/half animal. It's really amazing how the dancers are able to mimic animals movements while still retaining the gracefulness of stage performing. The singing and the production were awesome!!

I'm talking to my friend Catie online and she's telling me that I got her sick. :-( Poor thing... I hate being sick. Though I did practically get a week of vacation from it, so that was..not cool at all of course (hehehe). I had a fever on Tuesday and ketones on Wednesday and being real sick + diabetic sick = pain in the butt! Gah!! However, *one* cool thing that came out of being sick was that I'm now the proud owner of a yellow Spongebob Squarepant thermometer that I bought for $7 at Target. It's sooo cool. It's like my favorite thing in the world now.

Anyway, Diabetes Teen Talk is coming along quite nicely. I'm no longer panicking about getting that site up by Nov. 14. *However* I am a little worried about not getting any coverage about it because, well, I haven't put an ounce of time or energy into getting coverage. Which is lame, because I'm a PR major and this is what PR people are suppose to do.

::le sigh::

OK- I need to make an emergency trip to Target to get one last little thing for Mumzie's birthday present (I bought her adorable blue fuzzy socks and I'm going to go get her a blanket- she and Father enjoy renting films on the weekend- but shhhh! don't tell!)


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hello All

If you haven't been keeping up, read "Life as a College Student with Diabetes", then "Cutting Honesty" and then listen. Otherwise, it might not make sense.

this is an audio post - click to play

Parental Guidance Suggested: I use the F-word once... just thought you might like to know...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Cutting Honesty

(If you haven't been keep up-to-date, read the "Life as a College Student with Diabetes" entry and comments before reading. Otherwise, it might not make sense.)

I just spent the last hour crying in a chair in the Memorial Union.

I feel a mix of emotions- fear that I've let everyone down, anxiety that I'm not good enough to do my job and more worry that people will stop taking my opinions seriously, embarrassment for not doing what I know I should be doing and anger because you haven't seen my life for the past year to understand why the people I spend the most time with seem to know me the least.

A lot of that is a bit cryptic, so I'll elaborate. Just as a disclaimer, I'm not doing this to justify myself or to negate the value of your thoughts and opinions of my actions.

I didn't start hating my diabetes until my 10th anniversary. It was like a bomb went off. I went from being passive to furious in an instant. I rarely if ever complained about my diabetes. It was a part of me, like my hair color, and it didn't seem to matter to anyone that I have it. It just is.

But after my 10th anniversary, things started going downhill. Not necessarily my health, although that suffered from my sheer proximity to the campus coffee shop. For years, my parents and I would go to support group meetings and we would counsel families to not take one reading so seriously. "Do not judge yourself based on a bad reading. Focus on the A1C." But taking my own advice has never been my strong suit. I would stare at my meter with another 317 and let the tears run down my face. I had failed- again.

Freshman year in college, on the whole, was fairly good. I instructed my roommate, Karrie, on how to use the glucagon and I even showed her how my meter and set worked. But she moved out in February, and I never got another roommate. Another girl in my hall had diabetes, and that made me feel a little better- but she had worse control than me and I'm not sure what good she would have down had anything happened. I told some professors and a few friends that I had it. I wasn't shy about it, but it seemed that these people, these college students, viewed diabetes differently than my high school friends. They'd rather just not have anything to do with it.

Sophomore year started off badly and it ended even worse. A lot of it is attributed to personal crap with people in my social circle. It really doesn't deserve to be explained beause of how ridiculous it is. But it did compel me to go to therapy. Therapy is something I should have done for a few years prior because- drum roll- I was a cutter. My weapons of choice were my lancet and cigarettes (I put cigs under the cutting category because as I told my friend Annie - "It's like cutting on the inside"). I could write a book about why and how and when exactly I did all of this, but the point is I did it because I felt I deserved it.

By this point (and we're talking January of sophomore year), I didn't have any friends and I didn't like or trust anyone. I barely talked to people about the weather, let alone my health and how I would spend hours at night pleading and yelling at God to make it go away (just for one day). I only tested when I felt like it, though I did okay with remembering to bolus. By April, my A1C was 9.2. I rarely went to class and I spent so much time by myself that if something did happen, there's an 80% chance I would have been alone when it happened.

I was in therapy until this past August. I'm finished, feeling better and I have no desire at all to hurt myself.

I've had to work very hard to not view my life or my diabetes with the "what did you do wrong?" mentality. It's a very easy mentality to get into and it was detrimental for me, and I'm sure it is very for many other people.

It's also very hard because I've been a diabetes advocate for 4 years. I've had Teen Talk for 3 of those years. And I can't count the number of times I've wanted to quit, run away and hide under my bed because I'm not doing what I'm 'supposed' to do.

I'm very sorry if I was at all misleading about knowing the 'right' way of doing things. I most certainly do not. I have a funny way of thinking, and acting, and I have a feeling a lot of people think I'm a nice, mature, responsible adult. Well, I like to think I'm nice... not so sure about the mature and responsible part.

I am trying. I really am. It's hard. Maybe I will try harder this year. I hope you aren't mad at me, and I hope you aren't disapointed in me. I'm doing the best that I can.

I really do love my life and, most of the time, I really do love my job. I like being able to give you a realistic idea of what it's like to be a college student with diabetes, but more than that, I want to show you who I am. I am not a stereotype and I am not an example. I'm just one out of many. This is my story, this is my life. And God continues to reveal His plan for my life in very odd ways. Which is just the way I like it (most of the time).

Hugs and Loves,

Saturday, October 15, 2005


We totally won.


Huck the Fuskies!!!!

GO DUCKS!!!!!!!


this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, October 14, 2005

Life as a College Student with Diabetes

I'm sad, only one person posted a question for me (I love you Gina!!!)

Anyway, here's my answer:

Diabetes in college is, I would imagine, very similar to diabetes in any other work situation. Most people don't know you have it. Those who do know don't care that much. And when they do care, it's usually because you're inconveniencing them somehow.

That being said, I've managed to keep a pretty low-profile on campus with regards to my diabetes. When I was a freshman, I went and got a letter from the Office of Students with Disabilities that explained to my profs that I was allowed to have juice in class if I needed, to leave if necessary and that I could postpone tests and what-not if I needed to. I showed it to all of my teachers, they were like "whatever" and we never talked about it again. Since then, I haven't actually told any of my professors that I have diabetes because I felt that it hasn't really been necessary. I'm usually awake early enough before any tests that if I'm low or going low, I can drink juice so my blood sugar is back up to normal. I've never gone low during a test. I can't even remember a time when that happened in high school or middle school.

I test during class and no one cares. With the advent of cell phones and the fact that *no one* seems to remember to turn their's off, my beeping is probably shrugged off as someone turning off (or on) their cell phone. I've gone low a couple of times, and in those cases, I've left, gotten soda and come back, or just left period if it was a dumb class (which they invariably are). In college, unlike high school, no one really cares if you're there. The only time it would potentially be a problem is during a test, and as I said before, this has yet to happen.

I will say that the teachers I do talk to about my diabetes are my dance teachers. Participation is a large chunk of my grade, and I don't want to get docked points if I have to stop dancing at any point. Right now I'm taking dance for non-credit, so I can leave and not feel bad, but it's good to have the teachers know I have diabetes just in case I pass out.

I'm also really good friends with my Health Center. They know me by name. We have a Certified Diabetes Educator on campus, so I say hi to her every few months or whenever things are starting to go a little hay-wire. Though since I've been doing the remote services with Gary Scheiner, I haven't had to go in.

So that's my answer! I'm sure it's not very comforting to people. Maybe if I run into some fiasco with a prof I might be more inclined to make a bigger deal about it, but I would rather just not go low during a test than having to convince them that diabetes is the culprit (and not the fact that I waited until 2 in the morning to start studying... not that I've ever done that...).

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Being trapped in the library

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, October 10, 2005

My first audio post!

this is an audio post - click to play

What would you like to know?

About diabetes, about me, about being a diabetic in college, about being a teenager with diabetes... Ask me anything by commenting to this post and I promise to write an entry answering the questions in a few days!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, everyone.

Tell me about something that happened to you this week. Tell me about your plans for the weekend.

My week:
I wrote my first English paper since high school. I had coffee with a woman from my church and we're going to be doing a "discipleship" series. I started taking Symlin at breakfast.

My weekend:
Painting the living room, kitchen, dining room and hallway at the guys' house. Watching the UO vs. Arizona game with my friends from youth group and hopefully be loud and obnoxious. I'm also finally going to church after a brief hiatus for a month. I also have to work Sunday night at Hammy's, which is the University's knock-off version of Subway. I may also do homework. And I plan to sleep a lot.

What about you?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I am one busy girl.

I have become so busy that I had to resort to getting a mcdonalds happy meal for dinner. I went through the drive-thru. I never go through the drive-thru.

My days are just insane now. And it's kind of nice. Gives me a nice, warm, fuzzy productive feeling. Mondays and Wednesdays are insane. I wake up around 7 (between 6:45-7:15 depending on when I go to bed the night before). I have to be at edison elementary by 7:55 and I volunteer in lisa's kindergarten class for 3 hours. Twenty-four 5-year-olds for 3 hours. That'll wake you up. I'm there until 11 o'clock. Then i go home and eat lunch. Then at 11:45 i walk to class. i have class from 12-5:20 straight. Econ, ballet, public policy and public relations. On monday, i then have "free time" to do homework before going to work at 8. I'm at work until 11. On wednesdays, I go to my college ministry (Campus CRUsade for Christ) at 6:00 and I'm there until at least 9, if not later.

Tuesdays, I have one class from 10-11:20 and ballet from 12-1pm. Tuesday nights at 7:30 is bible study. Thursday nights, I have Cru's weekly meeting meeting from 5:30-7:00, and work from 8-11. Fridays, 10-11 class, 12-1pm class, work from 2:00-4:30. saturdays are pretty much off, and Sundays I have church, Cru leadership meeting, and work from 8-11.

And now we've begun full-on design and content-building of the new Teen Talk, henceforth known as DiabetesTeenTalk. I've also agreed to do some web design and content-building for Cru's website as well.


I've begun taking a daily multi-vitamin because I'm afraid this schedule might kill me. I don't know why I agreed to sign up for so much stuff. It's nice, because I feel like I'm being a productive member of society and can somehow live up to other people's standards and not feel like such a loser who doesn't do anything.

In other news, my blood sugars are doing pretty good... the Symlin seems to finally be taking some desirable effect, though it's still in the beginning stages. Because of Symlin and it's immediate effect on blood sugar, I've been testing an hour and two hours each time I take Symlin, sometimes even when I don't take Symlin, just to see what my blood sugar is. Honestly, I think I should just get hooked up to a CGMS because I've gone through almost entire bottle of test strips in two days.

My uncle, who works for Symlin, is in DC giving a speech about the future of diabetes research to the Congressional Diabetes Caucus. I'll let you know more about what happened where I hear from.

Well, it's 11pm... time to do the dishes!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I don't have time to write in full sentences. Go:

- works well in morning. not so well in evenings.

- meh.
- i prefer elementary school where i volunteer.
- must start petition to turn the name "intro to planning, public policy and management" into "how to harrass elected official 101."

- think i test too much (ha, if they only knew...)

- met diabetic girl at work. friend noticed my pump. yay for random encounters!
- another girl wants to start support group.

- Broadway's The Lion King! in Portland! orchestra seating!!!
- launch of DiabetesTeenTalk.

and we're:
- done.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Warning: Angry Post


I haven't had a reason to write an angry post in awhile, so it's fitting that when the opportunity arises, I write about it in full detail.

The people who own the house I live in (it's a converted sorority house- lots of girls and the landlords live on the second floor) are a part of the Christians at UO. Every year they have a Welcome Dinner for new students. Since I'm a Christian (though not a part of this particular ministry), they let me eat their food. Yay! Free food! And it's good food that I don't have to cook. Well, they also bring a lot of desserts because there are a lot of people. I, of course, underbolus for the food because I'm a terrible counter when it comes to sweets because I tend to not admit that I eat more than I really do. It's a curse, really. So later that night, I check and I'm in the high 300s. Well, crap. Of course, since I'm on Symlin, my pump doesn't want me to high bolus because my "active insulin" is more than my "correction bolus". So I think, well, I'll wait and then if I don't come down, I'll just ignore the pump and manual bolus.

Two hours later and I'm 439. Crap crap. High bolus but *then* my roommate Carmen and I decide to watch X2 and eat licorice. I totally bolus for it but of course, probably didn't bolus enough. Okay, okay, I know I totally suck and should be fired from being a diabetic because I don't make the cut. Well, at 1:45AM I finally go to bed and I check and I'm 303. Yay. I'm comin' down. I think "Woot, crisis averted and I can go to bed without doing anything because I'm coming down." Ha. I need to stop thinking.

Totally sleep in. Wake up at noon. Guess what I am: 484. Ok- this is a lesson in "do what I say, not as I do" because did I think I should changed my set? No, of course not. I came down last night so this must be another underbolusing related high and not a bad-set high. But I *do* take an injection (I should get some points for that right?). 10 units. Wonderful. Go eat lunch, bolus regularly. Go to the grocery store. Buy new insulin (I was half-way through my old bottle), some water, milk, veggie nuggets. Drive home. Maybe I should test and see how I'm doing: 432.

Okay, when I do something stupid and I go high, I'm okay with it. I did something stupid and this is what happens. But when I actually take insulin using a freaking syringe- IT'S SUPPOSED TO WORK. This is what the manual *says* to do. Everybody knows taking insulin via syringe is supposed to be the thing to do.

So at this point, I decide to be "mature, responsible diabetic" instead "silly, I-think-I'm-immortal teenager" and: change the freaking set using my brand-spanking new insulin, check my ketones (medium- eesh), take an correction bolus using a syringe, and drink a bottle of water.

It only takes me like 24 hours but I eventually wisen up.

Mostly I'm just a silly "teenager" who likes to try to get away with the least amount of work. Well, not really, but I guess I like to wait as long as possible before actually taking appropriate action.

Now I'm 261. I'm going to go check my ketones in about an hour to see where they are.

I kind of hate writing these kinds of posts because it makes me scared that you (the neurotically paranoid parental units- with good reason of course) will freak out and tell your children that they are not allowed to move out of the house and are sentenced to life at a community college or (for the brave few) will actually let them go to a regular live-in university (within driving distance of course) and will call them up hourly to see if they are still alive. Please don't do this.

If anything, just make sure they know what to do when something like this happens. Give them books or notes or something to walk them through, step-by-step, what do if something like this happens. Make sure they know where the health center or nearby hospital is so they have someone they can call if they really do have a question and can't get an answer. Make sure they have the ability to get help for themselves, and not just from you. Although parents are a wonderful resource, don't get me wrong. But your kids are probably not going to want to call you everytime they forget an insulin injection and have skyrocketed to the 400s. It's embarrassing to say the least.

CWD has a list of books for parents, adults and older kids with diabetes. I personally use this one.

Feel free to comment with books that you recommend! Hmmm, maybe I should make a list.

OK- done with my rant. Now I'm off to do homework, which is a rant all on it's own!