Lemonade Life

Monday, November 28, 2005

Peek-A-Boo, I See You...

I'm turning into an obsessive-compulsive counter checker.

A counter checker? you ask.

Yes. I obsessively check StatCounter.com to see how many people are visiting me, where they are from and what website told them about me. It's ridiculous. It's insane. I also don't think it's very useful.

I don't understand where these counters get their information since it always seems like they're leaving people out. Maybe it's because I think people live places other than where StatCounter is recording. Maybe it's because certain people are visiting more often that I would have imagined. But the point is that I know there are people, lots of you in fact, who are visiting on at least a some-what regular basis.

You can't hide, I know you're there.

Now, I don't know if you randomly dropped by because you're searching for a lemon merangue pie recipe or because your teenage daughter was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. But for those of you who are returning or regular readers, I want to know more about you! Mostly for kicks. Tell me your name, your cat's name (or dog, or goldfish), if you're personally affected with diabetes, where you're from, the coolest thing you've ever done, why on earth you have any interest at all in the life of a 20-year-old kid with diabetes.

Even if I already *know* you, say hi.

Come on. Do it for the children.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Turkey Day

Well, I started out dinner a little high... 219. 1.4 to cover the high, and a whopping 12.8 units to cover the completely guessed 90 carbs I ate. Honestly, 90 just sounded nice...

Three hours later, 110. Pumpkin Pie and egg nogg. This is exactly why pumps were invented. 9.6 units.

Three hours later, 111. A couple of cookies to keep me company while I do my English reading. 2.9 units.

7:20 a.m. 311. 6.3 units.

8:04 a.m Site looks a little red. Rips set off in grandious there-no-hair-left-on-my-stomach fashion. OK, bit more red than expected. Reinstalls pump set and plugs herself back in.

10:17 a.m. 162. Whew. Catastrophie averted.

12:40 p.m. 401. Or not. Guess which genius forgot to prime the pump?

4:15 p.m. 240.

I'm thankful for the technology that tells me how sick I am. I am thankful for medication that makes me not so sick. I am thankful for lucky days that let me enjoy the holidays with my family.

Now why can't they create an alarm that squeals and buzzes when you do something critically dumb like forgetting to do a fixed prime for your insulin set? They've got all their bases covered except for one: Human Error. For that, I am not thankful.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was going to write a post listing everyone and everything that I'm thankful for. But then I realized it would probably be Christmas by the time I finish.

Thank you. For Everything.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Happy, Mother?

Santa delivered early this year:

It says "Peace" then "Love" and then "Hope." Which is traditionally how I sign most of my emails... "peace, love & hope for a cure."

I had the hardest time taking pictures that came out clearly. I took about 30. These were the best two. I'm a lousy photographer. I stick with words to paint my pictures.

I bought this bracelet at Creative Medical ID. This is a much better quality picture. But it doesn't have the same words as mine. Great website, lots of cute beaded bracelets to choose from. It was a really hard choice. I actually chose another one, but then I was talking to the woman who designed it about what I was looking for and she showed me this one.

I really like it. Which means I will (most likely) wear it. Which means if anything ever happens to me, the EMTs will (probably) be able to look at my cute little bracelet and find out what's wrong. Which will (almost certainly) save my life.

So to all my "mothers," "uncles," "big sisters" and East Coast "dad": are you happy now?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

And the winner is...

You disappoint me. All of you. I can't believe you picked astronomy over Frodo. How could you? Except for Kerri. Kerri, you can stay.

Just kidding. ;-)

Actually, the results didn't surprise me at all. I thought most people were going to say Astronomy, though you focused more on the aesthetic appeal of stargazing than the applicable nature of the class towards my graduation requirements. I have to admit, taking Astronomy is the wiser choice.

But I cheated. I'm taking both classes:

Monday: ENG 199 11-11:50am; J440 12-1:50pm
Tuesday: ASTR 121 2-3:50pm
Wednesday: ENG 199 11-11:50am; J440 12-1:50pm; PPPM 481 4-6:50pm
Thursday: Tuesday: ASTR 121 2-3:50pm
Friday: ENG 199 11-11:50am

I discovered two things after I posted on Sunday:

  1. I was declared as a religious studies major, when I really wanted to be a minor. Thus, I declared as a minor. Because of this switch, I now qualify for the post-September 2005 requirements which means that I only need one (1) more Religious Studies class to get the minor. Yay!
  2. As you could probably tell by the schedule, there was actually two (2) Astronomy classes. By taking the second one I: 1) fulfill a requirement; 2) get to take a class with my good friend Dawn; and 3) still get to take the Tolkein class. Double yay!

This also means that I won't have two (2) 4-7pm classes. Once a week is bad enough, but two? Gah. I don't mind taking a class on Friday mornings because I will most likely still have to work that day and if I don't have a class in the morning, I will probably sleep til 1pm, surf the internet for a couple of hours, go to work and then come home and go to bed. At least this way, I'm up and hopefully productive. I plan to use whatever time I have after class to work on the diabetes websites I have going.

Still going to be volunteering at Edison Elementry school, because I enjoy it. But I'm switching the mornings to Tuesday/Thursday. I will also be taking ballet classes Tuesday/Thursday. I decided I needed to just do twice a week, because that's really all I go to now and my parents are essentially paying for a class I never go to. Which I think isn't very fair.

To be honest, folks, the whole "Decide Allison's future" was just a ploy to get people to comment on my blog. It worked pretty good, too. ;-)

I'm off to ballet!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Help Me Decide My Future

That's a pretty heavy request, huh?

On Wednesday, I will register for Winter term classes. So far, I have these three lined up as fairly for-sure classes that I will be taking:
- PR Writing (for my journalism major- it's required)
- Resource Development for Non-Profit Organizations (which is a fancy way of saying "fundraising" - it's required for my Non-Profit minor)
- Sociology of Religion (for my potential Religious Studies major/minor, depending on how many classes I can get through in the next 5 terms)

Now. Here is the important, crucial, life-altering decision that I must make.

Do I want to fulfill my science requirement and take Astronomy 121 (The Solar System) or do I want to take the not-required, non-essential but uber-interesting English 199 (Special Study: JRR Tolkein)? The classes are at the exact same time. You see my conundrum?

Now, theoretically, I might be able to take Astronomy another term, but there's no guarentee it will fit as nicely into my schedule. But we're talking about Tolkein. Middle Earth. Hobbits. But taking the class will do absolutely nothing to help me graduate. It won't even give me upper division credits. And it would force me to take a class on Friday (with Astronomy, I would have Friday off).

To further aid your decision making process, here are the course summaries:
ENG 199: This course examines the Middle-Earth novels and major scholarly essays of J. R. R. Tolkien. Primarily it asks, what is the relationship between Tolkien’s Middle-Earth fantasy and his profession as a 20th century philologist? In this class students will examine Tolkien’s writing not only as a reflection of its biographical and historical origins, but also as a critique of modern culture. Focusing on close reading and occasionally turning to the films for comparison, we will analyze how the texts situate war, religion, race, gender, technology and ecology, history, aesthetics, ethics, and language.

ASTR 121: Astronomy 121 is an introduction to the Solar System in which we examine how our knowledge base and thinking about the Solar System (and Solar System physics) have evolved over the years.

This is where you come in. I'm taking a vote.

Astronomy or Frodo?

Speak now or forever hold your peace.

(Disclaimer: I am under no obligation to follow through on anyone's opinions. This is merely for educational purposes.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How An "Ear Infection" Changed My Life

It was just supposed to be an ear infection.

That was why I asked my mother to take me to the doctors on January 27, 1994. Not because I was waking up four times during the night to go to the bathroom, not because I was making all the other third graders wait while I drank a gallon of water after P.E. (only to go back twenty minutes later), not because I was turning into a royal pain-in-the-ass because of constant high blood sugars.

I thought I had an ear infection.

My mother drove me to the doctors office, and while I sat in the little room after being examined, she mentioned to the pediatrician that I had been going to the bathroom a lot. Drinking a lot. Huh. Hmmm. Hrmph.

At four o'clock in the afternoon, while I watched cartoons with my 4-year-old brother, the phone call was made. I had "juvenile" diabetes. My mother made a few more phone calls and, after arranging for our neighbor Kay to watch Eric, my parents drove me to Emanuel Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

I was put in the ICU.

I threw up.

I stayed up all night, and all day. I watched the clock from my bed and told the nurses about all the activities my fellow classmates would be doing without me. Reading, math, recess.

I learned how to prick my finger. How to give an injection (poor little orange, how I abused you). How to carb count.

I listened to Dr. James R. Hansen- the most amazing pediatric endocrinologist in the county (I don't care what anyone says). He talked to me. I was the one with diabetes. I don't remember very much of what he said. My mother sat to my left. My father sat to my right. Dr. Hansen stood at the foot of my bed, and calmly explained how my life had changed with a phone call.

It was just supposed to be an ear infection.

The following week, my mother and I marched into the office, armed with Tang orange juice, an extra glucose meter, log sheets and instructions on what "hypoglycemia" and "hyperglycemia" were and what to do about it. I explained what I would be doing at lunch everyday. I demonstrated how my glucose meter works, and reassured the secretary that I was not low as the meter counted down "43...42...41...". We spoke in front of my class. Told them what had happened. I did this in fourth grade, and in fifth grade. We brought a video to show my teachers. Everyone was very cooperative and supportive, except when they made me wait until I called my mother to treat a low blood sugar. That was a little frustrating. "Don't you realize how many times I've had this happen to me?"

By middle school, everyone knew and no one cared. My parents watched me like a hawk, and I cooperated. Except for taking an insulin injection in school- that was so not happening.

I raised some money. I talked to people if they asked. I was pretty chill about the whole diabetes thing. I sometimes cried, but only when I was tired, or as we later figured out, when my blood sugar was high.

I went to camp! Gales Creek Camp. Greatest show on earth. Sang songs, played soccer (badly), went swimming, hiked in a creek. Went low, went high. Laughed about all of it. It is true what they say: we were normal.

Became a diabetes advocate at 15. I decided I wanted to go to Washington with JDRF's Children's Congress and they said yes. Designed a website. I'm on my third one. Ad-libbed a ten-minute speech in front of 300 people at a gala (there was no podium, I wasn't just going to hold the piece of paper in front of me...). Baby-sat for children with diabetes all over the Portland metro area. Parents asked me questions about the pump, Lantus, school, sports. I was like a mini-CDE. Didn't they realize I was only 16?

Went to college. It is hard. At least for me. Everyone, as always, knows I have diabetes. But they don't know what that is anymore. I didn't get to stand up in front of class with my mother and show them how my glucose meter and insulin pump work. Some have asked to show me. Most continue to not care.

I have never had a seizure. I have never had DKA. I was discharged on January 30, 1994 and never returned to the ICU.

Dr. Hansen was my endo until he was diagnosed with liver cancer in 1998. Maya Hunter became my endo. I saw him several times though, twice through doctor's appointments, once at a children's seminar and once when he let me interview him about Lantus. He and his wife Katy were named Parents of the Year at our JDRF Roses for Parents gala. That was the summer before he died.

I miss Dr. Hansen. I wish he could see me now. I wish he could see us now. He was in love with technology. He would have gotten such a kick out of the continous glucose monitor. The children- we were his reason. We were the most important ones because we were the ones who had to do it. Sure, our parents thought for us, but we felt the needles, we felt the shakes and the pains. And one day, we would be doing both the thinking and the feeling. He spoke to everyone for as long as it was necessary. He never raised his voice. It was always the same. Smooth, calm, sincere.

His dream was to use the internet to help people with diabetes, to reach out to them. But he never had the chance.

I can't be a doctor, because it's not the plan God has for my life. But I can help people with the gifts that He has given me. I will help the people that Dr. Hansen couldn't reach.

November 9, 2005 - National D-Blog Day
In Loving Memory of
Dr. James R. Hansen