Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Traces, the number 100, and other things...

When I was a teenager, I realized that I loved words. I realized that whatever job I eventually had as an adult, if it involved writing creatively, I'd probably be pretty happy doing it. Since that time, you could always find "traces" of writing laced through my life, my home. The ink stains on my right index finger where the pen sits. The notebooks and napkins and business cards and junk mail with paragraphs and stanzas scribbled on them that you'll find in and on my desk, in my car, in my purse, and pretty much in or on anyplace or anything else that I visit or use with frequency. The books - oh, the books - on the bedside table, in the desk drawer at work, on the passenger seat of the car, in the bed or on the couch - everywhere. One wouldn't need the detective skills of Lenny Briscoe to realize that I'm having a love affair with words - to realize that if I could, I'd spend the whole day reading beautiful writing and/or dreaming up poems, stories, essays and writing them down.

I was reminded during a visit with friends from the DOC, of the "traces" of having diabetes that are just as prevalent in my life as those of being a writer. My powdery glucose tablet fingerprints on the back of a black sweatshirt after giving a hug got me thinking of those hints that tell others and remind me - in those rare seconds I forget - that I have diabetes. The trail of test strips that seems to follow me wherever I go and the deep and tough calluses on my fingertips from testing. The connect-the-dots pattern on my thighs and abdomen and hips from old pump sites from which there is no break - when one set heals, new dots appear. The hypertrophy and scar tissue that remain from years of multiple injections before I started pumping. The bag of supplies that never leaves my side. The square bump of my pump under my clothes. These physical traces make me feel like I'm carrying a sign with me that says "I have diabetes."

The truth is, these traces are probably more obvious to me than they are to any bystander. What in my head screams out and calls attention to this disease, more likely than not goes unnoticed by others. But they do so bother me sometimes. In those moments when I want nothing more than to forget for awhile - to feel 100% normal - it is these things that cruely take me back to the reality of this life. Caught in a daydream or a moment of bliss - and then I catch a glimpse of that supply pack or I see a wayward test strip lying in a place it shouldn't be or I look at my scarred fingertips and there diabetes is again - rearing its ugly head.

I suppose some might say that diabetes is as much a part of me as being a writer is - and that, of course, the traces of it are just as important in defining my life as those traces of my love affair with words. I couldn't disagree more. I WANT to be a writer - I couldn't imagine a life without the stringing together of words - I choose to pursue it because it makes me feel whole. And the physical reminders that I write are a soure of joy. When I find a strip of paper on which I've scribbled something and then forgotten, I am thrilled to rediscover what I've done. It is different with the traces of diabetes. I did not choose diabetes, it is not something I pursue - it is something I HAVE. And the traces of it are more often sobering or sad than they are amusing or thrilling.

And I wonder, sometimes, if a cure is found - will these traces linger on? Will there be whispers of this life still left? I presume so. They'll be there to tell me the story of where I've been - and how I got there - and to remind me that I'm strong.


As for the number 100 - that would be the # of this post on Curious Girl. I'm grateful if you're still here and checking back regularly, as I'm not the most consistent blogger and it's taken me a long while to reach this milestone. :)


More on the DOC/Pawsox meet up later... But, stealing from Shannon - I'll give some hilights.

*Shannon and Sandra - and Sandra's sister have the BEST kids. Brilliant really.

*Both of these ladies, and Mel are as cool and as down to earth and as beautiful in person as they seem.

*Minor League baseball players are a mixed bag - some of them have REAL attitudes.

*It is always nice to be in the company of people who understand.


I skated with the roller derby girls, folks - got some photos and other stuff to follow on that.

Friday, July 20, 2007


The pump arrived yesterday.... My sigh of relief filled the room. I can't believe how much I love this piece of machinery....

It's blue by the way - the gray is on back order...

Shannon, doesn't Brendon have a blue pump?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Still No Pump

Yeah, apparently there's a giant chink in Smiths/Cozmo's Customer Service. No pump AGAIN today - because of some error they made. I am tired.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pump? What pump?

So my pump failed yesterday. At around 6:30 am. Battery dead alarm blaring wildly. I got up, took a look at the blank screen, remembered I'd changed the battery just one day prior, and called Smiths. The clinician promised to send a new pump, a new battery cover and a spare battery cover. Excellent. Just 24 hours of blech without my semi-pancreas. No big deal, right? Yeah, not so much.

I called the doc's office, ordered up some Lantus and gave my first injection - 19 units. The 24 hours following were an up and down rollercoaster of neverending "fun."

Arriving at my office this morning, I was presented a box from Smiths. With a battery cap in it. Just one f-ing battery cap. I kid you not. It was noted on the packing slip that the other battery cap AND my pump were on "Back Order." Way to call the customer and let them know - right? So, I call Smiths. They put me through to another clinician who explains that yes, the black pump is on back order, but that the issue might have been just the battery cap and that I should try using the one they sent. OK, I say. And I try it. And it seems to work... So they cancel the order for the new pump... Even though I express that I'd be more comfortable keeping it in there... Whatever.

Fast Forward to 2:30 pm - in a constituent meeting - with a low bloodsugar that I've had to ask for some juice to treat. And the blaring alarm begins. You have to be f-ing kidding me, right? But this is no joke. Pump has failed again. I unscrew the battery cap to stop the noise, finish my juice and carry on with the meeting. When it breaks, I use my cell phone to call Smiths from my boss' car. (Did I mention my boss was in the above mentioned meeting - great...) When I explain to the clinician what's happened, she points out repeatedly that I have cancelled the order. I point out repeatedly that I know the order was cancelled, in spite of the fact that I would have prefered to keep it in and that it doesn't negate the fact that the pump is now broken. Again. And that I need this pump to live. I got a bit fired up... It wasn't pretty. In the end, I will likely receive a blue Cozmo pump tomorrow AM - if they don't decide to just send another battery cap.

I gave another shot of Lantus this afternoon... And I was so reminded of both Kerri and Shannon's recent posts about how much it sucks to have to do the shots thing. Really, it bites ass. And I don't like it one bit.

Also - I had a dentist appointment tonight. Which ended up not happening. Thank you to whatever tooth-gods are watching out for me for that little bit of mercy.

Oi. Happy Birthday to me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Your Opinions, Please...

So, I have a Gala Event at the end of the month. I am still not fully decided on the garments...

I ordered this today:

And I'm considering spending an insane amount of money on these (but they're just so frigging great):

I also have this dress (already in hand):

And these shoes (in hand):

Any thoughts? Please. Help me decide. Purple and insane amount of money - or black with silver shoes that I already have?

Monday, July 09, 2007

An Award? For me....


I am honored that Shannon Shindigger has bestowed upon me this award:

Honestly, Shannon and Kerri are among my top picks - and if I could, I would throw it right back to them - like a football...

But there are so many Rockin' Girl Bloggers... So here are my three:

Sandra at A Shot in the Dark. Sandra sometimes makes me laugh - hard, she sometimes makes my heart ache, but she always leaves me thinking and feeling right out loud. And I am grateful for that. I am inspired by her love for her children, her tenacity in standing up for what she knows is right, and her talent as an artist.

Hannah at Dorkabetic. A poet with a wicked (in both senses of the word) sense of humor. Often she'll write something and I think "Yup, that's what I would have thought/said/done." Dorks of the World unite!

Rachel B at Tales of My Thirties. Even though Rachel won't participate in RollerDerby with the rest of us OC gals because she claims pacifism - I believe she'd probably kick some major ass. An excellent writer, her chronicles of life with diabetes times two, working toward writing for a living, and cats galore, typically leave me better informed and often leave me smiling.

Please, ladies, do pay it forward.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Feeling Like a Kennedy

Alright - minus the money, and the politics, and the massive compound in Hyannis. I'm mostly talking about the football.

We had a family cookout today and I led a group of 10 to 14 year old boys in a game of touch football. AWESOME.

I've never shared that I played football as a girl. My father told lots of my war stories today as I ran up and down the field with the sqad of kids - hurling the ball, chasing the TD, being as tomboyish as ever. "She was one of the best players on the Attleboro White Hawk team, you know. She ran right over those boys."

You'd believe it if you saw it. I can throw a pretty much perfect spiral - and hard. I know the rules of the game - and I know how to make them work on a smaller field (ie; 10 yards doesn't make a first down, but two completed passes does, and on a small field lateral movement of the ball is nearly impossible). When a fourteen year old boy comments "How long have you been playing for? You're good at this," you know you've got to be decent at the game. What's amusing is that I haven't played in years - I guess it must be a little like riding a bicycle though...

I even got my dad to join us for twenty minutes. He was on the opposing team and kept telling the boys on his side "We CANNOT let them score. I'll never live it down." And, you know what? We scored - and he won't live it down. I feel vaguely like a Kennedy - and an eensy bit like Shannon - who kicked her hubby's butt in triathlonning.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

For Rachel

Sick this on the internet SS:

I'm ready to rumble.

Bikers, wine, and cherries

Well, damned if that headline doesn't grab you.

Yesterday was the annual fourth of July party at John & Janna's house. Also known as biker central. Driving up, there are already 6 or 7 bikes parked out in front - even though the sky was overcast and the forecasts called for rain later in the day. A plethora of denim, black, and leather all around - I felt slightly out of place in black cropped pants, MaryJane Doc Martens, and a green tshirt. A woman with very long, very dyed-black hair and very blue eyes sits at a table, taking drags as long as her legs from a cigarette. Two burly bearded guys with strings of hair escaping from beneath rebel-flag printed do-rags stand talking bikes and horseshoes. There are several babies and toddlers around - along with the teenaged children of some of the guests.

I had picked up a bottle of this to have a glass of during the day. Of course, as the day went on, I had more than just one glass. Not maintaining the greatest balance of insulin to wine and not eating nearly enough food resulted in a rather inebriated - and low - Nicole by day's end.

It didn't help that someone had a bright idea around cherries.

Anyway - the only fireworks I saw last night were the ones on the backs of my eyelids from the low bloodsugar and too much libation.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Unexplained Bruises and Scrapes and Rollerskating...

This morning, I got up and got my butt to the gym for 6am yoga/kickboxing combo class. Intense cardio/stretching workout that makes me feel a little like a quaking pretzel.

Upon returning home and getting ready to shower, I noticed a fairly gigantic bruise on my right thigh. Nowhere near any recent pump site spots. It doesn't hurt at all - but it's dark purple and mean-looking. I also noticed another bruise, the same dark purple on the top of my foot. That one's a bit sore. And then, at work this morning, I realized that something on my left elbow was irritating the crap out of me. Sure enough - I look and there's a scrape and a bruise... Clear as day.

I'm wondering how these injuries are occurring. I am convinced I have either been playing rugby in my sleep:

Or maybe walking into things or falling down stairs and then forgetting:

Either way, my body looks sort of like a battlefield.

And onto - rollerskating. Someone asked me the other night if I might be interested in coming down and skating with some of these ladies: I don't know. I'm thinking I'm going to give it a try. Just once. It'll only be during a practice and I was told I don't have to participate in drills - which means, unless I fall on my own, I won't be subject to bruising, pushing, or broken teeth. So Why Not? I'll write more if/when this happens. Until then - imagine me - doing this:

Are you laughing yet? I am.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Exercise, Control, and Sunday Grocery Nightmares

Another lunchtime post...

I have always been a fairly active person. I have always tried to get exercise in at least three days a week - and I have mostly been successful in that effort. Lately, though, I've become somewhat obsessed with exercise. Everyday for about three weeks, I've tied on my running shoes, or put on my swimsuit at least once a day and gotten at least 35-40 minutes of aerobic exercise. Some days I'm doing both a run and a swim. And at least 4 days a week, I've spent some time doing yoga or pilates or some other kind of toning. The result - a net loss of 16 lbs since my appointment with my Endo back in May.

I must admit, I think I'm getting a little addicted. I'm actually enjoying, most days, the energy that comes with increasing activity. I'm getting up earlier, I've lost a dress size - (which does me no good at the moment since I'm not going to go out buying new clothes and lots of my things are hanging off of me), and I'm more aware of my eating because I hate to ruin my efforts with poor consumption habits. So - here's to continued daily exercise. Made easier, I think, by my new friend.

You'd think that an increase in exercise would decrease my overall insulin needs - right? Hmmmm... Not quite. Perhaps it's stress, or the heat, or something else - but my needs during the day have been increasing over the past few days. And my morning bloodsugars have been mostly low or high - with only a precious few days anywhere near my target. It's frustrating me to no end. I'm freaked out as I watch my TDD increase, even as I'm working hard to eat well and exercise. Any ideas as to why this could be happening?

Finally - Sunday Grocery Store Nightmares. I went to the local grocery store yesterday to pick up stuff for the week. The place was, as it usually is on a Sunday afternoon, a total zoo. Children everywhere - pushing carts into my shins, screaming down the aisles - a kid on the front of the cart like one of those women on the front of a pirate ship and another pushing as if his life depends on it and then jumping up and riding top-speed toward innocent passersby. People standing right in the middle of the aisle, cart blocking the right of way, reading boxes and generally getting in the way. I do most of my shopping and then head for the deli.

I find grocery store delis to be incredibly uncomfortable, especially when they're crowded. All those people, all in one place, and you can feel the energy of everyone being annoyed at having to take a number and having to wait and being inconvenienced by all the other wait-ers. It's kind of terrible. I take my number and stand with a mass of other people trying to breath and not feed the bad-energy torrent. I am in my own little fantasy land.

A tall, dark-haired man stands to my right. "It looks like you eat pretty healthy," I hear him say.

"Oh." I realize he's talking to me... "Yeah, I guess so." My knee jerk reaction is to look at his cart. I see water, fruit, bread... Not that different from what's in my cart.

"Don't you hate this?" He asks.

I'm a little uncomfortable now... But I respond, "Waiting at the deli, you mean?"

"No," he laughs, "Grocery shopping."

"Oh. No. But I do hate waiting at the deli."

"Yeah, I guess this part kind of sucks. So - pretty girl like you got a boyfriend?" He asks...

What??? This is not happening. I am at the grocery store. I have no make up on. I am wearing yoga pants, a totally ratty t-shirt, and sneakers. And I'm at the GROCERY STORE... Is this guy trying to pick me up? It is all I can do to stifle a burst of raucous laughter.

"Oh, yeah, I do," I say.

He looks - what? Disappointed? Surprised (I mean, I looked terrible)? Amused, maybe (at how uncomfortable he was able to make me)?

"Too bad." He says. And we stand there in silence.

I was unreasonably grateful when his number was called and he stepped away to place his order. He got his things - with me still waiting on my turn at bat - and as he wheeled away, he gave a little wave and said "See you."

I mumble "See ya."

Although I have to say I was a bit flattered by the whole thing, I was mostly just surprised and amused. First of all - I didn't know that people looked to pick other people up at the grocery store. And - you had to have seen me to get the full picture of how truly awful I looked. I laughed all the way home.

Now, I feel almost obliged to try to look at least half way decent next time I go to the grocery store. I mean, really, like I'm going to a meat market... Or maybe I just shouldn't go to the market anymore - avoid feeling uncomfortable altogether.

What's more amusing? I don't think I could pick the guy that tried to pick me up out of a line up if I had to. When, upon hearing this story, my friend Mona asked what he looked like, I had to admit "I don't know. I wasn't really paying attention."