Lemonade Life

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Allison: 1. Diabetes: 0.

So, last night, at work, I went low.

Not that low. But still low. Which really isn't anything amazing, I think, considering I've gone low 5,030,230 times since being diagnosed 12 years ago (ok, probably not that many. But you get the idea).

So, anyway, back to the story. I'm low and at the computer monitor making my cheery little phone calls to people who are eating dinner (and, in my defense, I rarely call people when they're eating dinner. I think it happens maybe twice a night).

I drink my little bottle of apple juice and I'm thinking, "I'm not going to come up fast enough."

You see, I had just taken Symlin. Now, theoretically, Symlin is awesome. Slowing down the release of sugar into the system so you don't skyrocket and then crashland. Brilliant. Uh, not when you're low. That's when you want to skyrocket. And here I am, sitting at the computer monitor, at work, in quite a lot of pain. Lows, for me, aren't fuzzy hearing or blurry vision or really even slowed thinking. But they hurt. A lot. In the hands and the feet.

So after about 5 minutes, I test, and the meters like "Yo, you're 96." (Ok, it didn't actually say "yo"...). But I'm like "Dude, I feel like crap. Worse than I did 5 minutes ago. No way am I 96."


"Uh, Heather, my blood sugars all screwy and..."

"Do you need some candy?" Okay, this actually is a perfectly logical response. You see, when we get pledges on a credit card, the supervisors hand us candy. We have two large containers of candy at our disposal. But no, sadly, candy is probably not the smartest option. But wait! There's Capri Sun in the fridge! Amazing!

But at this point I'm actually having trouble sitting up straight and my hands are going limp. Do I pretend I can make phone calls or do I lie down? Hm. Conundrum.

"Um. You think I could lay down in the lounge?"

"Sure." So I go to the back, sit on the couch and lean my head back, staring at the clock. Heather was cool about all of it though. She even said, after I got back to the monitor, that if I still wasn't feeling well I could go home (and make up the shift another day).

But I didn't have to. Blood sugar bounced back up to a warm 174 by 7:00. I'm not sure why the Symlin didn't make the low blood sugar last longer, since the last time I crashed with Symlin, I was low for almost an hour. Maybe it was because my blood sugar the last time was lower? Farther to go up? That might be it.

Anyway, the moral of the story: After I got back to the station, and starting my phone calls to pledges (25 minutes after everyone else, mind you!), I was able to get 3 pledges, with 2 of them on credit cards! The goal for the evening is a 22% pledge rate and I made 25%! I rock!

So there, Diabetes! Ha!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What is Thirty-Three?

Yesterday, while waiting for the bus, I was flipping through a newspaper that somebody had left on the bench.

I picked up the TV Guide section and started perusing the grids, seeing if anything looked good (not that I have a television I could watch, I just wanted to see what was on).

My eye was suddenly and unexpectedly drawn to a pull-out section called "Sports Bites." I skimmed the questions to see what it was all about when my eyes stopped at this little gem:

"What was the number of Boston Celtics' Larry Bird?"

I laughed. Outloud. For a good solid minute. Maybe longer.

I nominate Larry Bird as the O.C.'s Official Mascot.

Who will second the nomination?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The 100 Day Experiment

Inspired by the recent surge of 100 day challenges to improve the quality of life (mainly by exercising), I have decided to institute my own 100 day challenge. But not of increasing exercise, or eating better, or testing more often. What is my 100 day challenge, you may ask?

100 of days of no diabetes advocacy.

Now, calm down. It's only 100 days, starting March 1st. It seems a bit dramatic and out of the blue. But it shouldn't, really. I think "Crash" more than displayed my burned-outness. I recently started a new job at the Annual Giving Program (which is going pretty well, despite how much I don't like it). I'm also taking 16 credits this term (and an expected 16 credits next term). With my desire for a social life so I don't become a complete hermit and my new fitness routine in the evenings, it's become more and more challenging to fit my various projects in to my schedule. And the fact that it's difficult has ironically made me want to do even more.

Have I mentioned I'm nuts?

It's rather bittersweet, actually. I really enjoy managing Diabetes Teen Talk and the Diabetes O.C. websites. But I'm looking forward to having more time to read books that are not part of the curriculum, write poetry and maybe a short story, go bike riding, read the Bible, pray, have coffee and lunches and dinners with friends, go to guest lectures, and actually visit the brand-new art museum that opened up on campus last spring that I still haven't gone to.

It was the summer of 2001, and I was 15 years old, when I became a diabetes advocate. And I've done a lot. I don't always think I do a lot because one of my biggest faults is comparing myself to other people. "If they can do it, so can I!" so I'm chronically unsatisfied with my level of activity and always want to push myself, even when it's clearly the dumbest idea ever.

So what does all this mean for the future of Diabetes Teen Talk and the Diabetes O.C.? Well, I have it figured out a little bit.

Diabetes Teen Talk: A friend that I met last September at the CWD San Diego Regional Conference has agreed to help me out by moderating the message board and providing periodic content for the website. Mostly it will be on hold, and will only be updated when Jenny is able to write content.

The Diabetes O.C. Official Website: This, too, will be on hold. I've put a notice up on the main page saying that I am hiring. This, of course, is an unpaid position but very rewarding. Details are provided. If I don't find someone to take over as Temporary Director, the O.C. just won't be updated for 100 days. So, if you value the O.C. website, want to keep it current, and have time to update it with new bios, please e-mail me.

Everything Else: Kind of up in the air. I might do a couple short term projects. I'm still going to the Gala and the Seminars. Blogs and message boards are still fun. Hm. We'll see.

Remember, I'll be back (but not in the Terminator sense of things).

Yet Another Big Announcement:
I'm moving!

I've decided that as part of the 100 Day Experiment, this might be a good idea to finally do what I've always dreamed of doing: synthesizing all the different part of my life and becoming Whole.

The Diabetic. The Christian. The College Student. The Role Model. The Writer. The Friend.

With this, I'm opening a new blog, called Everything Related. Because it'll be about everything related to Me! The New Blog and 100 Day Challenge starts on March 1st. End date: June 8th. I'll post a link to the blog when I've finished putting the pieces together.

One of the reasons I want to start a blog is because this will psychologically convince me that I don't always have to think about diabetes. Because when you're a diabetic (or PWD, depending on your side of the coin) and you're a diabetes advocate, you tend to think about it. A lot. Probably too much. There are other things I'm interested in. I'm not a static individual who thinks about needles and neuropathy all day long. I know, it's amazing. But true.

Lemonade Life will stay here as it is, for reference and so people will be able to find Everything Related easily.

I know, a lot of changes to get used to. But we're diabetics, we should be used to change!


I hope this doesn't cause the axis of your world to start spinning wildly out of control.

Edit: Just so you know, I'm not completely abandoning the O.C. for 100 days, I'm just not going to be manning the Official website. The blog Everything Related is totally open to be read and commented on by the O.C. I just won't always be writing about diabetes. In fact, unless Something Big happens, I might not talk about it all that much. That's all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Expert Strikes Again!

This month, I am featured as a guest advice columnist for JDRF's E-newsletter "Life with Diabetes." The question was from a mother who was dealing with a rebellious 13-year-old son who resented "nagging." Overbearing parents and deliquent teens are issues that I hear about a lot, so it was nice to give my two cents on the conundrum of when to let go.

If you're a parent dealing with this situation, or just want to take a peak at the future, take a look: JDRF E-Newsletter

Merci beaucoup.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


My friend Kayce once suggested this. I am desperate, so it's worth a shot. So, without further ado: Affirmations.

I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.
I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.
I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.
I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.
I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.
I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.
I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.
I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.
I, Allison Blass, will not get sick this week.

Hey, do you have a better idea?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Sometimes I feel compelled to say something witty.

Sometimes I feel compelled to say something of consequence.

Sometimes I feel compelled to say something of emotion.

Sometimes I feel compelled to say something of God.

But tonight, the only thing I feel compelled to say is this:

I am so in love with people.

Their dreams. Their ideas. Their struggles. Their strengths and weaknesses that mirror and complement my own. Their triumphs, the big and little victories that make their heart smile. Their new and ever-reaching dreams.

I am so in love with the world.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Because Seven Is A Darn Cool Number

1. Today was my first official day at the UO's Annual Giving Program. My job is to call total strangers and ask them for money. What is it with me and asking strangers for money? Girl Scout Cookies, JDRF's Walk for a Cure, and now this. It's a good thing I'm taking my "Resource Development for Non-Profits" class. Teaching me how to weasle money out of your pockets. Good life skills.

2. I hate exercise! I hate doing it. I hate what it does to my blood sugars. I wish I was still in ballet class. I never had this kind of problem with my blood sugars in ballet. I was a pretty little ballerina and I rocked. Going to the gym makes me feel like a failure. It SUCKS!

3. I get to go to Portland this weekend. Woohoo! Another wonderful weekend OUT and AWAY from Eugene. I'm really starting to hate this place. Which is bad because my job is to sell the school so you will give us money. But I really hate living in Eugene. You have to be 21 to do anything fun. The rest of us get stuck going to the $1.50 movie theater (because saying the Dollar Theater would have just made too much sense) and having late-night breakfasts at IHOP. Which is cool in theory, but in practice, it gets old after, oh, the first week. Anyway, off to P-town for a Navigators retreat. The Navigators is Christian group on campus. Woot woot. We're going to do a service project, chill in Downtown (maybe swing by Powell's bookstore? You don't have to say it, I can sense how jealous you are), and then go to Sunday services at Imago Dei. That means Vision of God in Latin. How cool is that? It's a very proactive church. They're really active in community service non-profits. It's fun stuff.

4. It rained this morning and I was sad. It has been sunny and bee-YOU-tee-full for the last three days and I'm just soaking up the sun. I hate the gray. Blech. Sunshine all the way. You would think after twenty-and-a-half-years of living in Oregon (and thus perpetual rain for six months out of the year) I would be used to it. But no. I think it has made me hate it all the more. So when I woke up this morning and saw white skies and drizzle, I was very not happy. But then sunshine broke through in the afternoon and it was happiness again! Keep it up, Mother Nature.

5. After viewing photos of the Nor'Easter online, between blizzards, pumping my own gas (which I have never done in my life) and paying sales tax (which I only do if I'm on vacation and only if it's for something essential like food), I'm fairly certain if I ever do move to the East Coast I will just stay inside my house and never leave. I'll just send my minions out for groceries, I'll do all my free-lance work from home (my husband can take of that little insurance problem), and I'll just order all my clothes online, when I visit Oregon. I could drive to Delaware, but that would probably require me to fill up my gas tank at least once. Oooh! I could have the minions do it.

6. So, I was interviewed on ChronicBabe a couple of weeks ago and I never posted the link to the article. So here you go. I was also interviewed on Dear Janis, but that interview never got linked or saved or something, so it's not on the website. But I was indeed interviewed. I just don't have any proof. Hm. Oh well, if I'm ever interviewed again and if it is every posted on the internet, I will make sure to let you know.

7. My blood sugar is outrageously high right now (it's a three-digit-number than begins with the number 4) and I just ate a bag of popcorn. Mmmmm. And surprisingly, I'm feeling pretty groovy right now. Popcorn makes me happy.

Love & Happiness!!

And popcorn.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Don't Worry, I Was Just Abducted By Aliens

What a week. First I was abducted by aliens and taken to their homeworld, Tralfalmador. But I escaped with the help of my glucose meter, duct tape, a hairbrush and a rabbit. (MacGyver ain't got nothin' on me). Crash-landed from outerspace, crawled a thousand miles through the barren desert with only a lizard to keep me company, and then hitched a ride with a trucker from Albuquerque who sang show-tunes and drank green tea who slowed down to five miles an hour so I could jump out of the truck when we reached Eugene.

Or at least, that's how I feel.

Do you ever have "one of those days"? I had a whole week of them.

Three days of job training for a very scary, stressful job, two midterms that I was not ready for; one article for JDRF, a phone meeting with dLife and my blood sugars were all messed up and Gary was in Denmark! ::hits head against wall::

But I survived. And I took myself out to a movie last night. I saw Brokeback Mountain, which is really good, but really sad and I'm still debating whether or not that was the best choice. But I really liked it. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are h-o-t-t! I snuck in Taco Time for dinner and because they messed up my order they gave me those cinnamon chips for free. Mmm-mmm-yummy! I also bought a bag of chocolates and Beck's new CD at Target with the gift card Mumzie gave me for my anniversary. Oh, and shampoo and a bottle of Diet Pepsi, too.

But then it took me almost an hour to get home because the bus schedule is all messed up at night. And I ended up having a bit of a nervous-breakdown last night right before going to bed.

But then I slept for 12 hours and that was very nice.

But then I had to go back to the theater this morning because I ended up leaving my glucose meter there by accident.

But then I had pizza and ice cream. And then I went grocery shopping.

I guess it's just one of those weekends that you enjoyed, but certainly wouldn't want to do over again.

(P.S. If you get the Tralfalmador reference, you are my new best friend)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Ow! I've been Tagged!

Four jobs I’ve had in my life:

Youth Programs Manager for Diabetes Portal
University Housing Dining Center
UO Alumni Student Call Center

Four movies I can watch over and over (defined as movies I've watched a lot):
Garden State (8 times)
Star Trek: First Contact (over 10 times)
Ever After (over 10 times)
The Princess Bride (four times, I think)

Four places I have lived:
Aloha, OR (the first house I lived in, until age 2)
The-Portland-Suburb-I-Visit-On-Weekends-And-Holidays, OR (I prefer not to mention the name as my mother gets kind of antsy).
Eugene, OR

Four TV shows I love to watch:
Gilmore Girls
Law & Order: SVU

Four places I have been on vacation:
New York City
San Francisco

Four of my favorite foods:
Cafe Yumm bowl (brown rice, beans, cheese, tomatoes, salsa, avacado, sour cream, olives and cilantro- an Atkin's worst nightmare).
Indian Food - I'm with Sandra. I love all of it! And I used to live with a Pakistani and an Indian, and would cook for me. There's just no comparison to the real thing...
Oreos with peanutbutter (taken directly from The Parent Trap).

Four websites I visit daily:
Six Until Me (I, too, use her as my jumping off point for updated blogs.)
Diabetes Talkfest Forums
Diabetes Teen Talk Forums
My Livejournal Blog

Four places I would rather be right now:
New York City
Portland, OR
New Zealand (visiting my little Hobbit friends)


You're it Viv, Kerri, Megan and Ellen!

Friday, February 03, 2006

It's a Friday Night:
Do you know where your Allison is?


I just want to make that clear. I just got home from watching Shop Around the Corner with my friends Annie and Kayla. Sooo cute. It was the inspiration for You've Got Mail (another totally "Awww"-worthy movie).

This week as been Busy. ::screams into pillow::

If I ever complain about being bored or not having a lot going on, please slap me. No, really. I give you permission. You can even refer to this blog entry for proof that I verified and approved of this slappage.

Yes, slappage is a word. At least, as of right now. So says Allison.

We last left our Hero as she was try to battle the Exercise Lows Demon. Has she prevailed? Well, not yet. Actually, it seems the Exercise Lows Demon has transformed into the Adrenaline High Monster. Which sucks just as much.

Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome my good friend Recap:

Wednesday: I was gone for 12 hours. I left the house at 10:45 and I returned at 10:15. First I had my Tolkein class, followed by PR Writing (in which I was caught sending an e-mail to Paula Ford-Martin of dLife and got the stern "Don't-Make-Me-Embarass-You" look from my professor, whom I adore).

That was followed by a delicious pita from the Pita Pit. Mmm. Pita.... Then hop, skipped and jumped over to the gym. I started at 240 and landed at 98. Huh. Well, no lows that time. The gym was then followed by Resource Development for Non-Profit Organizations which is a fancy term for Fundraising.

I'm learning out to weasle money outta you folks. Don't you just love college?

Class was followed by Nav Nite (a Christian youth group) which was then followed by coffee and a chocolate chip scone with my dear friend Sarah. That was followed by a little visit with Annie and Mike on the back porch of Roma, followed by HOMEWORK like none other. And sending random e-mail to people at 1 in the morning. Followed by a low at 2 a.m. Followed by another low at 3 a.m. Followed by a strongly-worded (not really), ranting e-mail to Gary about the fact that I was low at 3 in the morning.

I signed it "A-Very-Pissed-Off-Exhausted-Stressed-Out-Oregonian-College-Student" which seems to my theme of this week.

Gary says, "Don't despair. Diabetes sucks for all of us. And suckiness loves company. Or something to that effect." I heart Gary.

Thursday: I woke up late (obviously) due to aforementioned 3 a.m. low. I spent some of the afternoon reading.

I went to the gym!

But then I also walked to Williams' Bakery outlet and bought two cupcakes for $.79 and a bottle of Melatonin for $4.69. The Melatonin is to help me sleep because I've been having trouble falling asleep. The doctor on campus says it's gentle enough that my body's natural "Get UP!" alarms will not be impacted, so there is no need for worry about me sleeping through lows. The cupcakes were for kicks. I also talked to my dad. And I went to the library and wrote (most of) an English paper. And I read a little. I also spent a lot of time chatting online and checking blogs.

If I flunk college, I will blame the O.C.

Friday: I almost slept through Tolkein. Honestly. I am allowed 3 absences this term and I've only used one. Sigh. But I was a Good Little Student and I went. Then I went to Roma with Annie and drank coffee and ate a bagel. Then I went to Full City (another coffee shop) to meet up with Dana, a woman from church. We talked about work. Diabetes and such. She's really interested in what I do and I like talking to her about advocacy and the different organizations because she genuinely likes hearing about it and I like the feedback she gives me.

Afterwards, I had lunch and didn't do homework. It was SUNNY today so I decided to nix the gym and I walked around the track for a bit. I listened to Pink. I love Pink. I don't listen to her much but whenever I do, I always think, "Wow, I really like her." Showered, because that's just what you do after walking around the track listening to Pink. Had soup and pretended to write a conclusion for my English paper. Which still sucks in a "This Could Be Good If You Had Tried" kind of way.

Then Annie picked me up and we (that is, me, Annie and Kayla... and Stu, for like 5 minutes) watched A Shop Around the Corner.

Then I came home.

Then I decided to update my blog, because it's been awhile and I was starting to go through withdrawls. You know, shaking, anxiety, pacing up and down the hallway, moaning "I... need...Blogger...," and getting strange looks from my roommates as they back slowly away.

Okay, everything but that last sentence is true.

And Now: I shall really truly finish my English paper (blech, why do I take English classes that require me to write English papers that I don't like to write?!?!), finish my PR Writing packet of assignments (easy-cheesy), send out copious amounts of email that I still haven't written yet, put together this Sunday's Teen Talk update (God Bless Marissa Hitchcock for bailing me out of a very boring update!), writing the beginnings to an article on Teenage Independence for JDRF (I'm the Expert, remember?). I'm off to Washington (the State) tomorrow to visit Tina's (The Sweet Life Girl's) grandparents and to watch the Super Bowl.

I am driving 3 1/2 hours to watch a football game. I'm pretty sure this is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

Once I'm finished preparing for the End of the World, I will pop a couple of my friend Melatonin, put on my jammies, crawl into bed, snuggle up with Pierre (my teddy bear, thank you), and drift off to Dreamland listening to the rain falling on my roof.