Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today is the first snow of the season.  As much as I complain about the cold and snow, it does loo pretty.  My kids were so excited that we actually saw accumulation on the sidewalks.  It was hilarious to watch my teenage daughter run outside and start making snowballs.  They weren't very big, but she couldn't hold back her excitement.  She reminded me of a small child in her excitement. 

Today is also a day for NaBloPoMo excitement!  It is the last day and I won.  Like my teenager running out into the snow, I also have that child-like excitement.  Some days I really wanted to go to bed, but I was motivated to keep going.  I had a goal and wanted to follow through.

That's also how I feel about managing my diabetes.  Some days I want to ignore it, but my husband and children motivated me to keep going.  My goal for diabetes is to stay healthy for my family.  Isn't it amazing how a topic can start with snow and find it's way to diabetes?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Leftovers - YUM!

Monday, November 29: “Mouthwatering Monday” – How long did those Thanksgiving Day leftovers last? Leftovers can be a useful strategy in saving money and making your portions smaller, but many people don’t like them. How do you feel about leftovers?

I love leftovers.  I live for leftovers.  Some of our menus are planned out to have leftovers.  We started out with two gallon size ziplocks full of turkey leftovers plus various sides in bowls.  However we're not the type of family that keeps eating leftovers until they're gone.  Friday was a no leftover day.  Saturday we had leftovers for lunch (sandwiches or heat up a plate).  On Sunday, hubby made turkey stew for lunch.  That's all we've had for leftovers.  Hubby and I need to pack lunches tomorrow, so maybe I'll make him a nice turkey sandwich. 

Planning on leftovers does help with portion control.  I don't feel like I need to eat more to avoid the meal going to waste.  I know that we can put the leftovers in the fridge or freezer to save for another day.  This not only helps me in managing my diabetes, but also my budget.  A large turkey can be divided into several meals.  Varying the amount of meat in the meals can increase or decrease the number of meals based on our family's budget, tastes, and dietary needs.

We'll probably use up the rest of the leftovers by the end of the week.  We may freeze some, but if we're going to do that, it needs to be done soon.  Tomorrow our dinner plan is pizza bread.  Maybe we'll have some turkey out as a topping!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What to blog about today?

I've never blogged this many days in a row, so I do have to admit that I'm not easily thinking of a topic tonight.  At first I was looking at the ADA prompt for today.  Then I looked at the prompt over at NaBloPoMo.  Neither really called to me.  Then I started writing about our evening at church polishing handbells, eating dinner, and participating in an Advent workshop.  Nothing was flowing.

Over the last two and a half years, I have been dealing with diabetes firsthand.  There are some days when someone asks, "How are you?" that I've wanted to honestly tell them the truth.  Some days I want to say, "The dog ate the garbage, I've been playing taxi driver all day, dealing with the never-ending mound of dishes and laundry, and my sugar is high.  How are you?"  Of course I don't say that, but there are times I've been tempted.  It's like calling the doctor's office only to hear, "Can you hold?" and wanting to reply, "No, I can't!"  (Unfortunately I had to reply that once when my youngest fell and cut her head, requiring stitches.)

Thankfully I've been blessed with a very supportive family.  I know I say this a lot, but honestly I don't think I can say it enough.  My husband and children are my biggest support.  They understand what my glucose numbers mean.  They understand carb counts, even if they don't totally understand what a carb is.  If I'm having a low, they don't hesitate to get me a snack and watch to make sure I'm ok.  They've never played diabetes police, though my hubby sometimes teases me.  "Ok, diabetic.  Put down that brownie.  You've already had one."  Although I know he may be serious, he says it in a loving, joking way to get his point across without getting me upset.

Some day there will be a cure for diabetes.  I am confident in that! Medications such as Metformin and insulin are not cures; they are treatments.  I pray a cure happens in my lifetime, but if it doesn't I know my children will continue the fight to rid the world of diabetes. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Best Thing

Saturday, November 27: The Best Thing – Yesterday was “Black Friday” when many Americans shopped till they dropped, looking for the best possible gifts. What’s the best diabetes gadget, phone app, book, or other tool you have?

Well, given my current diabetes state (diet and exercise controlled), the obvious answer here would be my glucometer.  I have a meter in my purse at all times plus one in the one in the bag I carry when substitute teach.  I use it when I need to check my numbers as typical, first thing in the morning and after meals.  Then I also use it when I'm feeling "off."  For example, while making dinner with my hubby this evening, I wasn't feeling right.  I was still feeling groggy from an afternoon nap, even though I had woken up about two hours previous, had a headache, and my stomach felt a little queasy.  What was the first thing I did?  Yep!  I had one of the kids bring me my purse so I could get my meter.  Thankfully my numbers were good and I'm starting to feel better.  Praying the bug going around isn't about to hit.

Another gadget that I love is my android phone.  Honestly it does help me in my diabetes management.  I'm a member of a great website called SparkPeople.  They have an android app that works with my account.  From my phone I can enter my food intake and exercise.  I'm able to see the whole picture for my diet, including carbs.  Their database is huge and rarely do I have to manually enter the nutritional information myself. 

These two tools help me manage my diabetes with diet, exercise, and checking my glucose.  Since I love gadgets, I use them often.  Now if I could use the "gadgets" (equipment) at the gym more often.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I've been taking part of NaBloPoMo this month.  The idea is to write on your blog every day during the month of November.  Wow!  So far I've done it!  I admit I've had the help of the alarm on my cell phone, set to 9:00 pm every night to remind me to post on my blog.  Tonight, however, I slept through that alarm.  Due to shopping at midnight last night then again this morning, I was sleep deprived.  Snuggling up to watch movies with the youngest two in the comfy recliner put me to sleep.  I only caught it when I staggered out of the chair and started heading toward bed.

My cell phone wasn't where I had placed it.  Instead it had found its way to where my second one had been sitting.  She has a silly habit of taking my phone and changing my Facebook status.  I turned on the phone only to find out (thankfully) she didn't post anything silly on my behalf, rather she had taken a picture with my cell phone.  It was a picture of the Christmas tree set up in the foyer.  She worked on that this afternoon with her two youngest sisters while hubby and I took the middle one to see Harry Potter.  (The two eldest saw it on Sunday with a group from church.)

The thing that strikes me in this picture is the perspective.  She took the picture from her spot on the couch.  The tree is looking pretty, all lit up and decorated.  The stockings are hanging from the banister.  Under the stockings is a picture the second one painted on newsprint.  It's a picture of a fireplace with a beautiful fire.  In the bottom left corner of the picture you see my feet up on the recliner's foot rest.  I'm wearing running shoes, though I don't run.  The shoes are very comfortable and worth the extra I spend on them.  On my right shoe is a pedometer.  I find it more accurate attached to my shoelace than my waistband. 

Of course I'm sitting here trying to figure out if there's some symbolism in this picture.  Yes, I believe their is.  On Christmas, we celebrate the gift of the baby Jesus.  Each Christmas I also celebrate the gift of diabetes.  Stay with me here a moment.  Yes, my blog icon contain the words "Diabetes sucks!" and it does.  However, as I have mentioned many times before, I have decided to find the positive side of my disease.  Diabetes has given me the opportunity to educate and advocate.  I have met some wonderful people thanks to diabetes.  People I might not have met if it wasn't for the common bond we have in diabetes.  Trust me, having a chronic condition really sucks, but if we can find the gift in our condition we can gain even more energy to fight it.

November has been an amazing month of self-discovery as I've posted in my blog over the last 26 days.  NaBloPoMo has only four days left, but I look forward the the future with my blog and where it will take me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was a good day overall.  We stayed home and had a simple dinner, just the seven of us (yes, I like saying that).  My husband, as always, made a wonderful dinner.  Turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing (technically dressing since we don't stuff the bird...whatever), cranberry sauce (canned and homemade), and gravy.  I added to the meal by making a creamed corn casserole.  There were also some olives, though I don't eat them.  It wasn't my mom's recipe, but it was close.  Dessert consisted of homemade pumpkin pie (hubby) and pudding pie (the only pie I make).  Our second one also made chocolate chip cookies.

 The kids behaved overall.  The holidays wouldn't be the same without a squabble or two (or three or four...).  Dinner was pleasant with a cease fire for almost an hour.  My glucose level went up a little, of course, which made me a little cranky, of course.  Hubby made me drink a little water before I took my little turkey-induced nap. 

I could honestly go to bed for the evening now (little after 9pm), but I'm planning on hitting some midnight shopping.  Then of course there's the 5am shopping as well.  Yes, I'm one of those crazy people.  Living in a small town helps.  The shoppers are usually polite through the craziness.  I already hit two stores today.  I didn't get everything I was hoping for, but I'm not one that gets angry if something sells out or if corporate doesn't send enough to meet our demand.  My hope during my holiday shopping is to be thankful for what we can provide for our children and do it in the loving, giving spirit of Jesus, whose birth we celebrate.

As we go from Thanksgiving into the Christmas season, may your family be blessed with many things to be thankful for!  Every day I thank God for my husband and five children, our extended family, and the many friends that have blessed our lives. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I'll let Kerri explain my feelings about diabetes being an invisible disease.  We both look healthy and fine, but we're not.  She explains it better than I can.  Her low is what I call an airhead moment (I also have them when my glucose is high).  I probably have them more often than I admit.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's hanging on the wall

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
What's on your wall: prints, posters, photos, paintings? What makes you want to hang something up?

I'm going to focus on the wall above my computer.  It has some signs that my 14 yr old made as a reminder to buy a new power cord for the "kid" laptop.  Of course a few weeks after it was replaced, the cord was tripped over and pulled out the tip enough to cause it not to work.  I've left the signs up to remind me to order another one.  I also have a sign from last years Step Out walk.  It says on it "Sue's Sweeites", the name of my team from last year.  Above all that is a sign my 9 yr old made when she was 8 and in VBS (Vacation Bible School) that says "VBS is my FAVORITE thing!" (followed by five rows of exclamation points)

There's no fancy artwork, though some of the power cord reminder signs have some cute drawings.  Nothing that would be hung in an art gallery.  Nothing that would be in a doctor's office.  Everything here is family-centered.  It shows how much my family means to me.  They are the center of my universe. 

The walk team sign is at the center.  My family is my central focus.  They are the reason that I fight.  They are the reason I am so motivated to keep in control of my diabetes.  I call it "my diabetes" because I own it.  Diabetes doesn't own me.  I have to keep diabetes in focus in order to make sure that I stay in control.  On days I've ignored diabetes, my diet and exercise are not where they should be.  As a result my numbers are way off.  I feel like the stuff that sticks to the bottom of your shoe.  I'm not a pleasant person to be around. 

Yes, I would love to ignore my diabetes.  I'd love to pretend like it doesn't exist.  However, like the team sign on my wall, it's right in front and at the center of everything.  My family are still there.  They are the best support system I could ever have, but I need to take care of myself so that I can be there for them.  Some day that team sign will come down off my wall, but my team will always be there for me.  As I hope to be there for them!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Counting my blessings

This evening I've been working on a project to help someone else that has in turn helped me.  Tonight I have had time to contemplate how lucky I am.  I have had the opportunity to count my blessings.  All too often we take things for granted.  I am blessed to have a wonderful family and a great extended family.  We are also blessed to have a caring church family and lots of friends.  All too often I forget just how blessed we are.

Even when dealing with diabetes, it is easy to lose focus on how lucky many of us are.  Many of us have insurance that helps pay for our supplies and medications, at least in part.  Many of us have access to healthy foods.  Many of us don't think twice about having the resources we need.  However, we do know there are people in the world, more than there should be, that don't have access to diabetes testing supplies, medication, and insulin.  Not everyone has a supporting family with a spouse who will adapt favorite recipes to make them lower carb or a daughter who will step up and raise money for a cure. 

As we prepare for Thanksgiving this week, let us concentrate on our blessings.  Be truly thankful for all that you have and pray for those that aren't as fortunate.  Find a way to help out someone else this week.  Be a blessing in the life of another!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Being thankful

Sunday, November 21: Being Thankful – It’s almost Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for? Has diabetes helped you realize your appreciation for anything?

I am thankful for my husband, our five wonderful children, our parents and siblings, and for my health.  Yes, I have diabetes, but you wouldn't know it from just seeing me on the street.  I am thankful that I am able to control my diabetes with diet and exercise.  I am thankful for the wonderful woman at church that gave me hope that I could possibly maintain this control if I maintain the right lifestyle.

Diabetes has helped me realize how lucky I am, actually.  I have met several people with various chronic conditions.  Many of them are severe enough where just leading a normal life is a struggle.  I pray every day for a cure, but I also pray that I will continue to function at my current level, if not better, for many, many years.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's almost that time

Thursday is Thanksgiving and you know what that means.  Christmas shopping!  WOOT!

Yes, I'm one of those crazy people that will shop on Thanksgiving and on Black Friday.  I've been checking out the ads online and making a list of what I'll probably buy from each store.  Right now I'm making a list of things I'm considering, then I'll go through and make my actual list.  Who is the easiest to shop for?  Hands down, the youngest.  Even though she "needs" nothing, she's the easiest to shop for because there are so many neat products out there for six year olds.  The hardest?  Probably my middle one who is 11 yrs old.  The tween years are the hardest to shop for.  Not quiet a teenager but starting to outgrow the little kid stuff.  Sort of in limbo.

I'm not sure what I want hubby to buy for me.  I have some ideas of things I'd like to buy for myself since they're on sale this week and I know that hubby will stay far, far away, but I know better.  Honestly I'd be happy with only one or two small things.  I'd rather spend the money on the kids, my own and my two nieces. 

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.  It will be just the seven of us, and we enjoy a day without any commitments.  Each day this week I'm going to make sure to think of something I'm thankful for.  Today I'm thankful for a husband who is an excellent cook.  Thanksgiving dinner is under his control and it's going to be awesome.  He loves to cook so holiday dinners are a time where he's not rushed and can spoil his wife and children.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friends & Family Friday

Friday, November 19: “Friends & Family Friday” – As the holidays approach, social events and family gatherings are bound to occur. If you could say anything, what would you tell your loved ones about your diabetes?

The only thing I can think of is something I try to say on a regular basis.  Yes, genetics is the reason I have Type 2, but I don't blame anyone.  No one is to blame for me having diabetes.  Also, I want to let those closest to me, those who worry about me, to know that I'm ok.  Yes, there are days I vent about having diabetes, days I even cry about it, but overall I'm ok with it.  I have learned to turn this into a gift.  A gift that I have been given to share and reach out to others to let them know it's ok.  To give others hope when all they see is despair.  I try to give my children hope that maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to find a cure so that they can avoid being diagnosed with diabetes. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today I subbed in a sixth grade class.  Lots of fun but after teaching today, walking home (about a mile), supervising my youngest at swim lessons, running errands, etc... I'm physically and emotionally drained.  I don't know how working parents with little ones do it!  I'm worn out enough with my part-time jobs and school age children. 

The more I think about it, the more I realize it's what you're used to.  When I worked full-time, I was used to that and the schedule that was involved.  For the past 17 years, I have been a SAHM (stay-at-home mom).  I've had working moms tell me they can't imagine doing what I do.  Yes, the schedule gets intense at times, but I was used to it.  Now I'm working at getting used to... well... working.  I can't always run to the store while the kids are in school, because I'm in school too.  On my days off from subbing I'm either working at the YMCA or working my craft business. 

Don't get me wrong.  I absolutely love my three part-time jobs (craft business, YMCA drop-in nursery, and substitute teaching).  Each one of my jobs bring me joy.  I love working with children and talking to other adults.  Although it's sometimes a challenge to juggle the three, I love the flexibility that each allow me to have.  I'm allowed to put my family first while doing what I love and earning some money while I do it.  Someday I might pick just one, but for now I'm enjoying the variety. 

And now, at 8:30 pm, I am tired.  Yes, very tired.  But I am happy.  Very happy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thank you to everyone who supports me!

I'd like to take a moment to thank the people who support me.  My husband and children are my daily support.  They are awesome and I love them all very much!  Our extended family and friends are also great!  I'm posting this video in honor of all of you.  It's a great song from the perspective of a "Type 3", people who support PWD (people with diabetes).  Thank you for all the Type 3s in my life!  I love you all very much!!!

Thank you to the Candy Hearts blog for posting this and World Diabetes Day for posting the Candy Hearts blog on Facebook.  Lyrics can be found here.  And George, you rock!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaching others about diabetes

Tuesday, November 16: FAQ – What question do you get asked the most when you tell someone you have diabetes? Do you use any of these opportunities to help teach about diabetes, or do they get annoying? Or both?

Most people ask me if I'm Type 1 or 2 because of my age and weight.  I'm not stereotypical Type 2 as I've mentioned before.  Of course next comes out the diabetes police.  "Can you eat that?"  It's frustrating.  I've been working up to gently educating people without biting their heads off. At a church luncheon, someone mentioned the desserts my kids were eyeballing.  "But you probably can't have any of that," she innocently said.  I know she meant well, so I didn't feel defensive.  Ok, maybe a little bit, but I didn't want to act on that.  Instead I decided to educate.  "Yes, I can."  I then proceeded to explain that they were serving cold cults with rolls I decided to just take meat and cheese, no bread.  I made that choice so I can save up my carbs for dessert.  It was good to educate her and the others at our table that people with diabetes can have sweets.  Moderation not deprivation!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tiring day and a funny

At 6:22 am, I received a phone call to be a substitute. What a fun but tiring day! I'm totally worn out and heading to bed. I had a two-week cold two weeks ago, but the cough still keeps hanging on. Wishing it would go away. Since I don't want to just ramble on, I'll leave you with this hilarious video.  (Warning: Some adult language.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day!  I started off celebrating by testing my fasting glucose, though I did eat a little beforehand so I'm not sure how accurate it was.  I picked out a blue shirt to wear in honor of the day.  At church I had a couple handouts from the American Diabetes Association that had requested.  I set up a little table in our church parlor with the handouts and a little sign I made with the World Diabetes Day logo

This afternoon, I participated in the Big Blue Test. The idea of this was for World Diabetes Day at 2 pm, test your blood sugar. Get active for 14 minutes (because of it being the 14th). Test again then enter your results at the site.  Due to our 4-H meeting, I had to delay this until 3:30 pm today. At first I was at 123. After a very busy 14 minutes of cleaning, including jogging across the house a few time, my sugar dropped to 67. I had to sit down and eat an apple to make sure I didn't crash further. Diabetes is so unpredictable. I never know when my body will play nice with the insulin and cause a low. More often than not my body resists the insulin and my sugar goes high.

Shortly after finishing the apple, my glucose levels were at 112.  That made me feel better.  However, I then emptied my craft business inventory out of the back of the van to then fill it with my oldest daughter's drum set so she could practice at a friend's house.  She brought the drums downstairs but I loaded them in the van.  To be on the safe side I decided to test when I finished.  I was in the 90s, so I decided another snack was in order.  After a Kashi cookie and a small glass of chocolate Soy Slender, I felt good for the day.  After that roller coaster ride, I allowed myself to have a dinner that was a little higher in carbs.

I was able to use my low to my advantage with the younger children.  Someone was stopping by the house and I wanted to tidy up the foyer, which the kids also use as a playroom (much to their father's dismay).  I was able to enlist their help without complaint once I told them how low my glucose had gone and explaining that I didn't want it to go any lower.  Yes, it was probably a mean stunt, but my foyer is tidy now.

Overall my World Diabetes Day was nice.  I shared my mission with some of the members of my church.  One of the ladies shared that she was diagnosed at 23 yrs old with Type 2 and that she had been managing it with diet and exercise for over 50 years.  Her story actually brought tears to my eyes, giving me hope for my future.  Of course that hope also includes a cure for diabetes!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Saturday, November 13 Unexpected Exercise – Raking leaves can be such a chore, but it can also be a great way to sneak in some exercise. What are some ways you sneak in some exercise? (And no, we don’t think “Jedi mind tricks” count!)

That was the ADA's suggestion for today's blogging. I had to post it because it just cracked me up.  Jedi mind tricks?  Oh yeah!  How I wish it was that easy.  I've never one that liked exercise.  I took JROTC in high school to get out of PE.  (Turns out I love military history, so it was a good thing.)  When I was working out on a regular basis shortly after my diagnosis, I got to the point where I loved working out.  My day was incomplete without a trip to the YMCA.  However, I had a set back in early 2009 that threw my routine out of whack and it's been hard to get back in the swing of things. 

Since I started subbing at the schools, I've found just teaching to involve unexpected exercise.  I wear a pedometer many days and I found out that when I sub that I wind up with twice as many steps as most of the days when I don't.  Of course on those subbing days I also wind up walking home more often than not which is a little over half a mile, adding a lot of steps.  Teachers are also all over the school plus walking around the classroom as they help their students.  It's tiring but also a lot of fun.

On days when I'm not subbing and I'm not wanting to exercise, I need to remember my motivation.  I'm not exercising for swimsuit season.  I'm not wishing to be a size 5.  I'm not wanting a specific weight.  My motivation is to keep my diabetes in check so I can take a walk with my grandchildren someday, on my own two legs!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The family knows no borders

I found this video on the World Diabetes Day website.  What a great reminder that our diabetes family is not just local.  People all over the world are also working for a cure!  The words are powerful!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Diabetes is scary stuff!

Most of the time I can keep light-hearted about my diabetes.  I have three or four meters right now.  Have I even mentioned how I like gadgets?  I love shocking people.  Watching their jaws drop when they find out I have five kids, five girls at that, and the oldest one being a senior in high school (I look much younger than I am)... oh that's so much fun.  Now I get to add watching their reactions when they find out that I'm Type 2 is also fun.  Yes, I have to admit it's fun.  "You can't be Type 2!  You're so young!  You're not.. umm..." (I think to myself, "FAT?")  "Yes, I know I'm not stereotypical.  I'm young and at a healthy weight."  Yeah, that's fun!  I love talking to others about the challenges of having diabetes.  The carb counting, exercise, keeping glucose numbers in check, stereotypes, etc.  Then reality sets in for a while. 

This afternoon I heard a commercial on the radio. Two men were having a friendly conversation and all of the sudden one stopped talking due to a heart attack.  Then a voice came in talking about about diabetics and their increased risk of heart conditions.  As I sat there in the car, I started crying. Diabetes is scary stuff! 

There are some days I'm in denial.  Afterall I'm only 40 years old and at a healthy weight.  How in the world could I have a chronic disease like diabetes?  I actually just admitting in the last week that my disease is chronic.  What a blow!  Quite often I think of my grandpa who lost both of his legs from diabetes.  On those days I'm scared out of my mind!  I'm so young.  How can I keep this under control that long?  I'm hoping to live at least as long as he did.  Grandpa lived into his early 80s.  Mom, I love you very much.  Please don't worry.  My words probably sound worse than I actually feel right now.  I allow myself to have these momentary pity parties, then I pick myself up and move on.  If I've learned nothing else from my parents (and I have learned plenty), it's to not let life knock you down.  We're stubborn people that set out to prove others wrong when they tell us we can't do it.

You think I can't beat diabetes?  Watch me!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yes, my hair is blue!

Well, it's more "tinted" blue than dyed.  Since I have brown hair and didn't want to lighten it beforehand, the blue is very subtle.  If the light hits it just right, you can see the blue. Otherwise it just looks like I darkened my hair a bit.  As promised, here's a picture.  Since I don't post pictures of my face on this blog, my original plan was to take a picture of the back.  That was hard for me to do and I didn't get around to asking someone to help me.  (You know how moms are about asking for help!)  In honor of World Diabetes Day, I made a blue circle out of my face to show my blue hair.  Look, my shirt even looks blue!  It's actually purple but some things photograph a slightly different color depending on lighting, etc.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blue hair for diabetes???

Tonight I was participating in an open house with other home-based and small businesses.  It was held at a local church.  We had a great turnout and I had a lot of fun.  There was one person set up who is a cosmetologist.  She was sharing various hair coloring products.  I found the "non-natural" hair color, as I call it, interesting.  Especially the blue.  Afterall this is diabetes month and this Sunday is World Diabetes Day, represented by the color BLUE!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm pretty conservative.  Not ultra conservative.  I do wear blue jeans and have short hair.  However, except for the time in high school where I bleached my hair blonde, I've pretty much kept to my natural hair color with the occasional highlights.  There was the one time I had a little red added in, but it was pretty subtle.  Blue?  Really?

After talking to the cosmetologist, she told me that because I am not planning on lighting my hair beforehand, the blue would be more subtle.  It's semi-permanent so it will last for several washes, not several months.  I really wanted to take this leap, but I needed some encouragement.  I got our my cell phone and posted on Facebook, "Who thinks I should dye my hair blue for World Diabetes Day?"  Right away I started getting "likes" on my status.  Next I posted a reply, " If I get ten likes in the next five minutes, I'll buy the dye"  (I never said I'd use it! hehe) 

It actually took about ten minutes for the ten likes, but I was planning to buy it anyway.  I just needed some encouragement that I wasn't crazy.   Yes, I bought the dye.  It's sitting in my bathroom cabinet, waiting for me to build up the courage to use it.  My teenagers love the idea, though my husband isn't as enthusiastic.  Now I need to decide when I'm going to do it (if I am).  The sooner I use it, the sooner it will wash out.  I've never dyed my hair myself before and have never done it at home.  (Well there was that phase when I used Sun-In back in my early teens...)  Maybe I should have made this a fund-raising challenge.  If nothing else, it will be a good opportunity for outreach and awareness.

Yes, I will post a picture of my hair... if I actually go through with this!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Don't take life for granted!

Too many times we take life for granted.  It could be gone in just a blink of an eye.  Don't skip a day loving life.  Don't let others get in your way of being who God has called you to be, to accomplish what He put you on this earth to do.  Tell those around you how much they mean to you.  Tell your spouse, your kids, everyone that you love them whenever you get a chance.  Yes, even that obnoxious teenager that never says, "I love you, too" but just grunts or says "Umm ok." 

Eat cake for breakfast!  Have dessert first!  Stay up way too late.  Watch silly movies with those you love and laugh!  Hug them!  Whatever you do, mean it.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight savings time

Why do we have daylight savings time?  Right now it is 8:30 pm and I feel like it's 11:30 pm!  Does anyone have an explanation for that?  I had four of the five kids up at 6:30 am this morning.  This totally messes up my sleep cycle and makes me cranky.  Tomorrow I'm subbing so I can't be cranky.  I need to be well-rested and in top form.  Of course that's hard to do when you want to go to bed at 8:30 pm!  I know if I go to bed now, I'll be up around 4-5 am.  In another half hour I think I'm going to start my bedtime routine.  I need to take my medication and vitamins, put away some stuff that's on my bed, pick out my clothes for tomorrow, make my lunch, brush my teeth, and put on my pajamas.  Hopefully that won't take longer than 30 minutes or so.  In the mean time, I'm yawning during every other sentence I write.  I think I might start making that lunch for tomorrow now... *yawn*

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Diabetes expo

Today our local hospital along with a kidney organization (sorry, forgot the name and yes I'll admit that I'm too lazy to go look) hosted a diabetes expo at one of our community college satellite campus buildings.  Overall, for our little town, it wasn't bad.  The last expo of sorts that I attended was at a grocery store and had three vendors plus a speaker.  This one had several vendors, exercise and food demonstrations, plus some health screenings.  They tested urine and blood, weight and BMI, as well as blood pressure.  My glucose was good in their eyes, 120 before lunch, but I want that to be my after lunch value.  I did find out I had a little blood in my urine, so I need to follow up with my doctor on that. 

My two youngest children came with me.  Considering they are six and nine years old, they did very well.  At first it was fun with all the freebies.  They even joined in during chair exercises with the other attendees.  I think it helped that they knew the physical therapist student who was leading the exercises.  She's a friend of mine and they know a couple of her children.  I loved the way she engaged everyone, my two young ones up through the young at heart.  Honestly, I feel that the more senior participants enjoyed having the kids participate as well.

The two girls did get bored toward the end when I was doing the health screening. You have to admit, having your mom go between four stations to get urine, blood, weight/bmi, and blood pressure checks done isn't as exciting as getting a new toothbrush and tote bag.  Thankfully they did have a few tables set up with coloring, so they colored for a while. 

This spring I am hoping to attend the ADA's diabetes expo.  I'm sure the one run by the ADA will have more kid-friendly and engaging activities.  It will be larger with more activities for everyone.  Even though I am looking forward to the larger expo, I am thankful for our small town hosting today's expo.  It's important to educate the community and increase awareness.  I have to admit that I did my part in educating some of the health care workers at the expo who assumed if I was diabetic then I must be Type 1.  The woman who took my blood pressure admitted to me that her ears perked up when I mentioned I was Type 2.  Just goes to show that we all have something to learn!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friends & Family Friday

Friday, November 5: “Friends & Family Friday” – Research shows that diabetes has a genetic component: Who in your family or circle of friends has diabetes?

I've already mentioned several times about my genetic connection with diabetes.  My mom has Type 2 as did her father.  I don't blame either one of them for my diabetes anymore than I blame them for my mousy brown hair (hmm, I think that actually came from my dad's side).  Like my hair color, I have a choice if I want to do something about it.  For a while I highlighted my hair, though now I have more natural highlights.  Actually I call them hairs lacking pigment.  However, unlike my hair, the choices I make about my diabetes affect my life and health.  Also in my family, though not genetically related are my father-in-law with Type 2, my husband's aunt with Type 1, and a couple other aunts and uncles with Type 2.

Yes, I have several friends with diabetes, Type 1 and 2.  Some of them I met before diabetes and some of them I met because of it.  Honestly, diabetes ties us closer together.  It's almost like a family.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Diabetes Celebrities

From the ADA's suggestions: 
Thursday, November 4: Diabetes Celebrities – From rock stars like Bret Michaels to professional athletes like Jay Cutler, people with diabetes are showing how diabetes has not stopped them. Who’s your favorite diabetes celebrity?

Wow, that's a tough one.  I know of a celebrity who has done diabetes a disservice by claiming to be "cured" because he lost some weight and watches what he eat.  He was not cured.  There is no cure for diabetes at this time!  We call that a diabetic under tight control.

Who do I admire for being honest with their disease and actually doing the diabetes community a service?  I've actually been thinking about this and I honestly can't think of one celebrity who stands out in my mind.  However, there is a boy I met last year at an ADA Step Out event that comes to mind.  His name is Jared. When I met him last fall he was 13 yrs old and in his first year with Type 1 diabetes.  I came by myself to that walk and he was there with his family. 

I don't know if it was our Red Strider hats or what, but somehow I clicked with this young man.  We started to talk about our diabetes.  We talked a lot during our three mile walk.  About the challenges of counting carbs.  Oh the look on his face when he said to me, "Someone who understands that it's about carbs and not calories!"  Although we have different types of diabetes and with that comes different challenges, we also had a lot in common.  We were both still fairly new diabetics (less than a year for him and just over a year for me).  We both found counting carbs to be a big challenge.  We both also had a goal of raising money to find a cure. 

Unfortunately Jared and I didn't keep in touch.  I still think about him often, wondering how he's doing.  Not just with his diabetes, but life in general.  It's people like Jared that stand out as celebrities in the fight against diabetes in my mind.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

World DIabetes Day is coming soon!

(Thank you to one of the ADA Type 2 message board members for this reminder posted on the boards.  I hope you don't mind that I borrowed your post, altering just a little.)

As you may or may not know, November 14th is World Diabetes Day. The Big Blue Test group is asking everyone to test their blood sugar at 2:00 pm on that day, then do 14 minutes of activity followed by another blood sugar test.  You can post your results online at their website. You can also post pics if you want – a picture is worth a 1000 words!  Feel free to share your results here. You can also post your results on http://bigbluetest.org, in Facebook, Twitter or wherever else you want to post them. In Twitter, use the #bigblue hashtag and link back to: http://bigbluetest.org .  In case you are wondering why the "blue," it is the color used for World Diabetes Day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

Today is November 2nd - Election Day!  Growing up, both of my parents were in politics.  My mom served on the library board for, I think, 13 years.  Many of those years she served as president.  My dad was a village trustee.  He served on our town council.  I'll be honest, I don't remember how many years he served in office.  I remember spending afternoons and weekends taking pamphlets to front doors.  I remember my mom's reaction when she found out we had put them in mailboxes - oops!  She spent that afternoon going back to those houses to place them correctly.  In high school I ran for class representative.  I also participated in taking over village hall with my classmates, sitting in my dad's old spot.  (I did manage to get a road repaired from that experience!)

My childhood almost revolved around politics.  How ironic that now politics is one of the furthest things from my mind.  I have no desire to serve in office.  The closest thing I get to politics now is writing letters advocating about diabetes and healthy lunch choices in the schools.  I received an email recently from the ADA asking if I'd like to go to D.C. and lobby for a few days.  Now that I could see doing!  (Though my budget says not right now.)

Voting is sometimes very difficult for me.  I get overwhelmed by all of the information out there about the candidates.  It's hard to find unbiased factual information about each person's platform.  Even if you can, it's hard to know if they'll follow through.  Remember IL's former governor who had education top on his list then cut a ton of funding once he took office?  I refuse to play "eenie-meanie-miney-moe" while in the booth, so I do admit that I skip some sections.  I believe it is a right and a privilege to vote, but I also feel it's a right not to vote.  However, decisions are made by those who show up, so if you don't show up, don't complain! 

I've been dealing with a cold for over a week now.  I admit that I would have loved to stay in my pajamas, but I got dressed and voted.  Our polling place is in a church basement that houses a soda machine.  Knowing it was there and knowing I would want a drink, I put two quarters in my pocket before heading over.  Yes, this is the result. "I voted Diet Coke!"

Just a little election day humor! 

Help a child just by watching a video!

Watch this video! For every view, they'll make a donation to Life for a Child, helping children in the developing world get access to insulin and medical supplies.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Today is the day!

WOOHOO!  Today is the first day of NaBloPoMo!  Every day this month I plan to post to this blog as well as my blog the ADA site.  These posts may be the same or different.  Time will only tell.  This is also the first day of American Diabetes Month.  The ADA has made topic suggestions for this month of daily blogging.  Let's see what the suggestion for November 1st is...

Monday, November 1 Introduction – Tell us about yourself! Why did you decide to start a blog or share your blog with us?

Well, let's see...  My name is Sue, I'm 40 years old, the mom of five, the wife of one, and a Type 2 diabetic.  I work part-time at the YMCA in the drop-in nursery.  I watch the children of our members while they are working out.  Also, I substitute teach.  My youngest started kindergarten this year so it was a perfect time.  It's been nice to be back in the classroom after being at home for the last 17 years.  I also have a home-based craft business plus co-lead 4-H and Girl Scouts.

Why did I start a blog here?  Why am I blogging at all?  I'm not the stereotypical Type 2.  If you look up information about Type 2s, typically you'll find information about weight loss and exercise.  Yes, we all know that the stereotypical Type 2 is older and very overweight or obese.  If you find someone that meets my age and body type with diabetes, however, it will typically be a person with Type 1.  Although both are diabetes, the two types face different challenges, but also some of the same.  I was having a hard time finding others like me in the cyber community.  I'm sure there are other Type 2s who are younger, active, and at a healthy body weight or only slightly overweight.  I started blogging to find a way to express my ups and downs as well as hoping to find others out there like me. 

I'm looking forward to my daily blogging and I hope you enjoy the ride!