Monday, September 19, 2011

30 Things- Invisible Illness Week

I'm trying to get back into the the school year routine and place a little more effort into my diabetes management. My A1c went up almost a full point over the 4 months of Summer and it's time to get it back down into the 6-er range. :) Here's 30 Things about my disease that you may not know.

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1988

3. But I had symptoms since: 1987- Ask my Mom about the sleepwalking. Good times.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Having discernment on which refined carbs are REALLY worth the effort. :)

5. Most people assume: That I did something wrong to get diabetes, like ate the wrong foods or didn't exercise enough.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Making sure I take care of myself AND still get my kids out the door on time for school.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey's Anatomy. Hands down.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My pump.

9. The hardest part about nights are: The fear of not waking up from a low blood sugar.

10. Each day I take 1 pills & 0 vitamins: I should take vitamins. I just always forget.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Know that there are none for T1D. Only insulin.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I love that I can hide diabetes until I’m ready to talk about it. Although I don’t think any illnesses are entirely invisible.

13. Regarding working and career: I am very blessed and fortunate to be my own boss. I am a private piano teacher with many wonderful students. I also substitute teach at a local school in the music department occasionally.

14. People would be surprised to know: I think about diabetes more than 10 times a day. And I've never taken a day off from thinking about it or taking my meds for 25 years.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: N/A I was diagnosed just before my 7th birthday and I have few memories without diabetes.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Go on multiple mission trips to third world countries like the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

17. The commercials about my illness: Wilford makes me giggle. Diabeetus. The Type 2 commercials generally drive me crazy because the distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 is rarely made.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Pancakes With Syrup.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: I honestly don't feel like I've sacrificed any dreams.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Carb counting. I'm so good at it.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Go hiking and bring all kinds of trail mix with extra m and m's, I'd go swimming under some waterfalls with no cares of being attached to a pump, and I'd eat smores before bed around a fire.

22. My illness has taught me: How many carbs are in everything. What food are really "healthy." I can spot a marketing scam a mile away. "Multigrain" "Low fat" "No preservatives" doesn't mean it's good for ya. :)

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: “Should you be eating that?" ARG!!!! Don't ever ask me that!

24. But I love it when people: Ask questions and then genuinely listen to the answers. And remember what I tell them. Or ask more questions.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full." - Jesus He motivates me every day.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: It gets easier. Some days are hard, but perspective is important.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: Diabetes forces me to be very "in tune" with my body. If I'm feeling off in any way, I catch it quickly. :)

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: There's no way to nail down one experience. My parents sacrificed a lot of time, money, and energy to take good care of me. My husband also does many awesome things to keep me healthy and safe. Even my kids get me juice sometimes. :) I'm blessed.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I thought it'd be fun to share!

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: That you are a VERY good friend and you care. Thank you!!

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    Friday, May 13, 2011

    D-Blog Week: Awesome Things


    Today's D-Blog Week topic was to write about AWESOME things that you've done BECAUSE of diabetes.

    A very special gift that diabetes has given me over the years, is a determined spirit that is quite unstoppable. I am the type of person who is motivated by being told that I CAN'T do something. I'm a problem solver. I will get what I want, no matter how hard I have to work to find a way to get it.

    Diabetes once said,

    "You shouldn't have children."

    Oh yeah? How about two? Cute ones at that.

    "You can't go on foreign mission trips where there might be no refrigeration."

    *Yawn* Been there, done that, Diabetes.

    "You can't fast for 30 hours to raise money for hungry kids."

    Hmm, funny... I just did that last weekend with about 17 amazing students in my youth group.

    I credit Diabetes for being my motivator in many aspects of my life.

    BECAUSE of diabetes I have also had the opportunity to make many friends in the diabetes online community. I am so grateful to share experiences with them. The DOC rocks and I'm honored to know some of the people in it!

    Many of my friends at church and I also share a special bond too, through the likeness of our pancrei. (ya like that?)

    So yes, diabetes sucks. Dur. (word of the day for me) It's all about perspective and I choose to not let it rob me of my joy, but to find contentment in the midst of a challenge. I hope you will choose joy too!

    Bummer

    I'm having some issues with my Mac Book Pro and sense a trip to the Mac store is coming for tomorrow. I tried to post my 10 Things list last night and Blogger wasn't working, so unfortunately I minimized the document (instead of saving it....dur.) and today my computer turned off without saving it.

    My screen keeps randomly going to the log in screen and closing programs, so I won't be posting again till my computer is all better! Sorry! Very sad to miss this!

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    D-Blog Week: Diabetes Bloopers


    This one is going to be short and sweet! (for once!)

    You got a taste of this story yesterday in my letter to my beloved juice fetcher.

    One night, during a very extreme low, I stumbled into the living room and looked at Justin.

    I wanted to say, "Hey honey. I just tested my blood sugar and I am 31 mg/dl and I could really use some grape juice right now if you don't mind getting me some."

    But what came out instead, in a slurred, drunken speech was:

    "I am diabetes!"

    Luckily, Justin is fluent in Windy-has-low-blood-sugar.

    And now, my friends and family say that phrase to me every time I say something stupid. Even if it is not a result of diabetes. haha.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    D-Blog Week: Dearest Juice Fetcher,




    Dearest Juice Fetcher, (a.k.a. Justin, Hunkaliscious, J-Smooth)

    I love you for all these reasons. And many many more....

    You bring me juice in the middle of the night, and the middle of the afternoon, and sometimes the middle of the morning too.

    When I say, "I'm high." you know that in fact I am not strung out on marijuana, but I just need you to watch the kids for a couple hours until my blood sugars drop back into range enough for me to function.

    Before the days of Dexcom CGM, you woke me up when I was unconscious and face down on the floor and called 911 and told me in my ear that I would be okay, even though you weren't sure that I would.

    Later... you made light of it by creating our inside joke about my low blood sugar ramblings, "What's that Windy? Timmy's stuck in a well?"

    I love inside-diabetes-jokes.

    Which brings me to these three words. "I. Am. Diabetes."


    You never, ever, EVER make me feel unsexy for wearing multiple medical devices on my body.

    You tolerate brown rice, flax seeds, hummus, cottage cheese, sugar free yogurt, and whole wheat pasta in our house. You'll thank me when we're 60... I promise.

    Justin, I love you so much. I fall more in love with you every day and I am so thankful for the special care that you give to me in my weak moments of having diabetes. The word "care taker" makes me feel like I am some 90 year old geriatric patient... so I won't use it.... but you do play a big role in managing that aspect of my life and you do a phenomenal job and don't get thanked enough. I am thankful to be in a marriage where my husband is also my best friend and confidant. *and now I'm humming the Golden Girls theme song in my head*

    Thank You for being a frriiiiiiiiiiieeeeennnnndd...........


    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Admiring Our Differences


    I have had Type 1 diabetes for 23 years this August and I have learned so much from the brave people in the Diabetes Online Community. There are three who stick out to me this morning, that have really encouraged and taught me in unique ways. I want to share them with you in this post!

    Cherise has taught me a lot about Type 1.5/LADA and provides awesome opportunities to connect with other diabetics through the DSMA online events. When I am able to participate, I always learn new things that help me in managing physical and emotional aspects of diabetes. Thanks Cherise!

    Scott- is always my encourager. His honest blog entries always have an undertone that resounds, "Never give up!!!" I find myself constantly relating to both his triumphs and his frustrations! Thanks Scott!

    And Missy- Oh heavens, have you read about Missy? Missy Foy is a very decorated ultra marathoner who can run like 15,000 miles a day. OK, not really... but just one glance at her "Long Run Day" entries about running 40 miles... and what she gets to eat before, during, and after a 40 mile run.... it's just jaw dropping and inspiring that she never lets diabetes stop her from doing what she loves. She always inspires me to get off my butt and do something. Thanks Missy!

    There are so many dozens of other wonderful people! Spouses and parents of PWDs, Type 2s, Type 1s, Children and Teenagers, even Unicorns who support diabetics! I love the DOC so much and respect the diversity which we represent!!

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    A Good Day


    Today was beautiful. I love the heat of the Florida sunshine. I've only seen snow one time in my life on a ski trip in the 9th grade. That was enough... I missed the sand.

    This afternoon my kids and I jumped in the SUV, picked up my niece, and drove towards the beach.

    When we arrived the kids immediately started digging a "hot tub" with their shovels and buckets. Then they made pillows out of the sand. Then castles.


    The waves were pretty big. We went in the water to cool off, jumping over breaking waves and squealing as each one knocked us over.

    As the kids were building their various creations together, I took a moment to just soak in the perfect moment that was happening. I mean really just sat there, with tears in my eyes, thanking God for this perfect moment, trying to sear the memory into my brain.



    I lost a good friend to cancer last week. Her Celebration of Life service was yesterday. Just a couple months ago she was giving me advice about my Kindergartener who was being mischievous at school. She was a mentor and a friend in so many ways. The impact of her life was shown yesterday as countless people gave testimonies of how she encouraged them, sacrificially gave of her time, efforts, talents. It was amazing to hear. Now she's gone.
    Just like that.

    Life is such a fragile thing.

    We always say that, but yet we often don't live like we believe it.

    So today I savored every little moment intentionally. I gave to others sacrificially. I reflected with a grateful heart all God has done for me. I spent time with good friends. And I sit here in gratitude for one more day I've been given here on earth. I tried to make a difference.

    I really want to live every day like I did today.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    I Dream of Tetris


    Have you seen the Diabetes Mine Design Challenge? I always enjoy reading the posts and watching the entries each year! Inventing tech-y-ish things isn't exactly my forte. I'd rather write a sonata or something.... :) But there is one thing I've always wished for, especially when I was just a young buck. So if you need an idea. Here's mine and you're welcome to make it a reality for me.

    Tetris on my insulin pump.

    Or any games really!

    Snake? Pong? Angry Birds?

    This would have been especially fun when I had boring high school/college classes and got busted for texting or playing mindless apps in class. This is how it goes in my mind:

    Teacher: "I'm sorry, I'm going to have to take that and you can get it from me after class."

    Windy: "Oh! I'm sorry, it's just my insulin pump."

    Teacher: *feeling ashamed and dirtbag like* "Oh! Well, I....er... didn't know. Go ahead and finish."

    Mu-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

    I know. I'm terrible. But you know it's funny.


    This may require a super-man like battery to power it. One made out of cryptonite or something. But, dang-it, it's 2011!

    Make one Super-geeks!

    Can't a girl get a fun insulin pump?

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    "Shut Up!!"

    I love my Endocrinologist so much! She is great! If you live in the Tampa area.... really, she's awesome. So is her staff... which is sometimes just as important!

    Anyways... today I got my A1c done in the office at my quarterly check up and as the little machine shook and jiggled I sat their nervously chatting with the nurse.

    She sent me into the exam room before it was ready. I opened up the Diabetes Forecast and pretended to be interested in a healthy dessert recipe....

    *Knock Knock!*

    "Come in!"

    *big smile* "6.7!!!"

    "Shut up!!! I mean.... really??"

    At this point... we both may or may not have kinda done "The Running Man" together for 15-30 seconds.

    My Endo took almost an entire half hour answering my questions about my CGM data charts, tweaking my basils, and explaining to me how to go on a "Pump Vacation" by going back on Lantus shots and Humalog pens for a weekend that is coming up (and I just want to be wire free for it, goshdarnit!)

    So anyways... we (my family, not my endo... haha, I mean you gotta draw the line somewhere) celebrated with Mediterranean take-out. (Falafels are awesome... And so is James Taylor... who talks about falafels in this song...)

    Whoa... anyways....

    I'm pretty happy with a 6.7! It's a half a point lower than my last visit. I really tried to stay in range over the past couple months.... and sometimes I wanted to throw my Dexcom 7 Plus in the toilet when it said BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP over and over again at ungodly hours of the night! But having some sort of tangible success in the form of a number, that may or may not have made my doctor dance like a totally rad 80's rock star... kinda makes it worth it. :)

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    P90x For Diabetics: The Completion Vlog...2 Years Later

    I recently noticed through my site-tracker (thanks Kerri!) that I get a lot of traffic from my P90x blogs back in 2008 and 2009 and I realized that I never wrote a review of the work out program or told everyone about the results I got after completing the program! If you don't want to spend 5 minutes watching my video, my main results were the following...

    1. Lost 30 lbs over 4 1/2 months, kicked my metabolism into gear and I've kept the weight off
    2. Decreased my basil rate by 20 units per day on my insulin pump over the 4 month period
    3. It gave me a lot more energy and strength to chase around my kids and enjoy life! :)

    I am having a slight panic attack about the decision to include before and after photos in this video, but I am definitely never running for public office, so hopefully these will never come back to bite me in the you know what! Enjoy and be kind! :)

    In closing, P90x is definitely not the ONLY way to get this kind of results. Any type of commitment to daily exercise and healthy eating will give you some type of results! The more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it I'm sure! The hard part, as always, is sticking to it and not giving up! My best wishes to all of you! Cheers!

    video

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Mentoring



    "More time spent with fewer people equals greater Kingdom impact." Regi Campbell

    I am turning 30 in a few months (gasp) and mentoring is an a word I've recently been focusing on. Jesus began his public ministry at age 30 when he turned the water into wine at Cana. (I've always loved that he started his ministry up by hooking up the party goers. What an awesome God we serve!)

    Over the past several months I have kind of felt scattered in this area and decided it was a high priority to get some principles in place to help me be more effective and efficient with my time and energy in this area. My husband is a student pastor and I am a music educator by vocation, so this is an area where having the right tools is essential to being successful in pointing people in the right direction.

    I sent out an email to a few trusted and respected friends (some of them mentors to myself!) and one sent me a book called MENTOR LIKE JESUS. It is written by an elder from Northpoint Church, Regi Campbell, who has had great success mentoring groups of men over the past several years. He lays out some VERY practical ways to help with mentoring. I am not using his exact model yet, but have incorporated a lot of his ideology (which really ends up being Christ's methods with his disciples) to be more intentional with some of the girls at our church.

    And low and behold, the flood gates have opened with opportunities now that my heart is in tune with the Holy Spirit's nudging on this. The Type 1 diabetic sixth grader who is trying to control his disease while not letting it control him, the fifth grade girl who has decided to get baptized and learn how to play worship songs on the piano, the two high school foster boys who are searching for acceptance and direction, the Freshman who initiated starting a youth praise band for our Wednesday night youth group meeting, the seventh grade girl who is planning a 30 Hour Famine to raise money for World Vision, and the long lost cousin in prison who is reaching out for hope and a fresh start.

    I can't even explain how thankful and humbling it is to be able to be living out what you know you were born to do every day. God created us with a need to feel purpose. And when you discover what that is for your life, you start living it with a passion that you've never felt before.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    2011: BLOOM


    I've never officially done a word theme before. I mean it's not like I've been busy these past few years having babies, raising babies, or moving three times. *insert sarcasm here* I decided to try it out this year and have been praying for about a month that a word would come to mind for me to use as a focal point for some emotional and spiritual goals this year.

    Yesterday I spent some time praying for friends, family, my community, and myself at a Prayer Journey at our church. It was a pretty powerful experience to be able to go from station to station and really spend some quiet, alone time focusing on God. Then I got to the healing table...

    I always have a hard time with the healing table, because my pancreas broke when I was 7 years old. And it's still broken.

    I began to pray and read some of the Scriptures that were provided at the station.

    2 Corinthians 12:7-10 hit me in a way it never has before.

    "Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me..."

    Here's the awesome part!!!

    "10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

    I began to cry.

    I've lived with a disease where I am reminded that I have a "thorn in my flesh" almost every hour of my life. Finger pricks, set changes, carb counting, low blood sugars, high blood sugars, ketones, insurance coverage; there's always something on my mind.

    But the God of the whole universe gave me His grace. His grace is manifested in me. And when I am weak in myself, I HAVE to go to Christ and receive His strength. He sustains me in all my troubles, my hurts, and my frustrations.

    I have learned so much over these past few years.

    2007= A year of extreme pain and learning
    2008 = A year of forgiveness and letting go
    2009 = A year of growing and new experiences
    2010= A year of new beginnings

    This year I feel I am finally ready to BLOOM. I feel rooted and thankful and excited.

    I feel refreshed.

    This year my children will both become school age. I will turn 30. And I will have been blessed with a "thorn in my flesh" for the 23rd year. A thorn that reminds me every day that my strength does not EVER come from myself, but ALWAYS from Him.

    Happy New Year Everyone!