Friday, May 30, 2008

For the love of music.

I don't think it's much of a secret that I love music. My taste is varied, from country to alt rock, folk to R&B. I will listen to anything at least once. I'm always recommending songs to friends or picking what song will be the next big radio hit in advance. A job in the music industry has always been a dream, no matter how small the role.
Very few people show up to a concert solely for the opening act, but that’s what I did this past Sunday night. You see about a month ago I caught the tail end of a music video and I was intrigued. I needed to know more about the artist behind the beautiful voice, because he had that something. I immediately started searching the internet for more. I didn’t have a name or a song title just a few lines from the song, but I found him. Justin Nozuka, a 19-year-old from Toronto, Canada. After listening to two songs on his MySpace page, I knew I needed his album. I was in luck because it had been released two weeks prior, and I’m glad because waiting for it would have killed me. It’s rare that you can listen to an entire CD without skipping a track, but I didn’t skip a single one. From beginning to end Justin’s voice drives the songs with deeply emotional lyrics and amazing acoustic sound. He’s Jonny Lang with an acoustic guitar, Ben Harper with more of a voice, Joss Stone but a guy, really he’s just something I’ve never heard before.
Sunday was just amazing. His performance style was different from anyone else I had ever seen. He danced, had his eyes closed, and barely talked, almost as if the audience was just sneaking a glimpse of what he does at home in front of a mirror. After his set was over he signed autographs in the back and seemed surprised that people were acknowledging him. Of course I was in that "shocked I’m standing here talking to someone who has had a video on Vh1" state so I didn’t get to say much. Thankfully my amazing friend Lauren was able to talk to him a bit and ask him to take a picture with us, which he was more than happy to do. I could not get over how quiet and normal he was, or the fact that he continued to say thank you to us as if we were the only ones who came to see him. The next act was Marié Digby, who gained fame from her acoustic cover of “Umbrella” on YouTube. I would say her voice is somewhere along the lines of Mandy Moore, but Marié wrote all of the songs on her album and plays guitar and piano so that does give her music something more. The final act was Eric Hutchinson (think Ben Folds with a dash of Stevie Wonder’s funk). I was impressed with his interaction with the audience of just over 100 people. He accepted a t-shirt that a fan made for him, wished a girl happy birthday mid way through a song, and even replied that he would think about it when a girl screamed something about having his babies. At the end of the night he also signed autographs, and my friend Sarah was able to have her shirt signed. Eric was also generous enough to take a picture with us. After attending a concert at such a small venue, I don’t think I could ever attend a stadium or arena concert again. The artists were so accessible, friendly, and real, as if it were a private concert, except for the fact that it only cost me 20 dollars. What a wonderful night.

Here are a few pictures you can check out the rest in my Opening Acts! set on Flickr

Justin Nozuka

With Justin Nozuka

With Eric Hutchinson

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mary Tyler Moore on Oprah! Part 2.

Sorry it took me so long! It's not exactly straight. I had to record it with my camera because I don't have the equipment to transfer straight from DVR to PC. Anyway here it is. (In the first few seconds she was talking about not sleeping with Elvis, in case you were wondering.)




Sorry for the long absence. I have something fun to talk about, but I'll save them for tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I love Perez.


Okay I know most people think that Perez Hilton (his real name is Mario Lavandeira Jr.) is a horrible person who likes to spread celebrity rumors. His site is a bit much for some, but in my opinion he is funny, insightful, and honest. I'll admit I am one of the millions who check in every day for a little bit of celebrity dirty laundry. Recently he started dedicating posts to any cause he feels he should get some attention. Today he posted about the JDRF! He told it like it was when Halle found the cure for diabetes, and now he's asking his millions of readers to support the JDRF! Kudos to him!

Here's a link to the exact post. Be warned the site is definitely not PG-13. If you'd rather keep things G, the picture I provided is readable if you click on it. I've cropped out the ads and such.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mary Tyler Moore on Oprah!

I'm watching it now! Guess what Oprah asked her about?!! TYPE 1 DIABETES!!!! Can you tell I'm excited? Well I am. Mary did a wonderful job explaining a bit about how Type 1 has changed her life. It wasn't alot, but it was enough to get the word out. Apparently she has written a book about "growing up again" after her Type 1 diagnosis. She even plugged the JDRF! Yay Oprah has finally won my support back, I know I should credit her researchers for this but whatever.

At 5:30 CT you can click this link and read an over view of the show!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Double Time.

Well, I've been tagged by Ashley and Cara so I thought I should get this done before someone else tags me too! They have called me funny, honest, and fun so I hope I don't disappoint.

Rules:

Once you’ve been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird, random, facts, habits or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 6 people to be tagged, list their names & why you tagged them. Don’t forget to leave them a comment saying “You’re it!” & to go read your blog. You cannot tag the person that tagged you, so since you’re not allowed to tag me back; let me know when you are done so I can go read YOUR weird, random, facts, habits and goals.

1) I eat sandwiches in a circle. You know like bite, turn, bite, turn.

2) I can cross my littlest/pinky/baby toe over what I guess is the ring toe, but only on my left foot.

3) I can not stand Corvettes. They just scream LOOK AT ME AND MY AWESOMENESS! But I hate to break it to you Mr. 40 year old balding banker, you look like a complete idiot and we all know you're going through a mid-life crisis.

4) I have a craft lair. It was formerly my play room with doll houses and games gallore. Now it's the place where all things crafty happen.

5) I would make the best personal assistant. I often admit to having few concrete life goals. I once heard from the o' so wise Rob & Big that a personal assistant should not have dreams, their dreams should be that of their employer. I thought to myself could so do that.

6) I want to be Diane Warren. I doubt that I could even actually write a song, but if there is one outlandish dream I have it is to write a hit song.

7) I am biracial, my mom is Causcasian/White(I'm trying to be PC here) and my dad is African American/Black, but people always ask me if I'm part Asian. I think it's the strangest most amusing thing.

8) I love acoustic music. I think you can really tell if a performer is actually good with an acoustic song. I can spend hours watching acoustic performances on YouTube.

9) I have this thing about cups. I refuse to use cups. I'll use a plastic cup that you can recycle you know like the red ones, but I will not use an actual cup/glass that is a typical household staple. I once found mold in one of our cups, which of course made me flip out. From then on I would either scrub any cup I wanted to use or drink straight from a can or bottle. I don't really know what it is, because I can drink out of glasses at restaurants, but not ones at home. I'm weird.

10) I've already named the children I hope to have in the future.


I choose:

Shannon because she's pretty awesome and that's reason enough.

Sara because it drives me crazy that there is no "h" in her name/I know she hates memes!

Seonaid because she's an excellent writer. I'm sure has has something wonderful to share.

Suzanne because she has quite the story and it's amazing what she has been able to accomplish in the past few months!

Courtney because she always has something interesting to say.

Hannah because she's from Pennsylvania. Okay seriously I just want to see what she has to say.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Office.

Well, I totally under estimated my doctor. But really what else is new? I am so quick to make things worse than they are. He was actually really pleased with my averages, and even called them beautiful. Under my breath I muttered, “No they look like crap.” My A1c went from 6.8 to 6.9, and he said he was extremely happy with that as well. We discussed that exercise was really my only missing link, but that’s up to me to deal with. He didn’t comment much on my insulin intake. I think he’s finally realized that I just happen to require a lot of insulin to achieve better numbers, unlike so many doctors of the past who hesitated to up my intake. Seriously, how can he argue about insulin intake if the numbers are relatively good? We talked about the JDRF walk, and he told us about a fundraiser idea he’s been working on. It involves being dunked for donations! I would pay to see that.

When we went into the exam room there was a chair like the ones used in dialysis clinics. My mom asked him about it, and he basically explained that he will be starting a trial next week that involves 14 days of IV drugs to send newly diagnosed Type 1 into a non-permanent remission, as a part of the Protégé Study. He admitted that if it were his choice he wouldn’t choose to do it because staving it off isn’t quite good enough, but that it would hopefully help on the path to a cure. I thought it was good that he was honest about that, and I actually agree with him.

So the morale of the story is…I am the queen of unnecessary flipping out. I need to look at the broad picture of my numbers, not just the terrible individual ones. I should work on relaxing just a bit.

*10 PM update. After I wrote this post my blood sugar was 55mg/dL, so I apologize for any thing that doesn't make sense.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This one is all over the place.

First of all, Happy (Belated) Mother’s Day every mom!
Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs on the planet, and you deserve more than just a single day of recognition.

My thoughts have been extremely tangled lately.

School work has been the main priority, and that of course causes me to think about my future. When I think about my future there are three things that always come to mind. The first is somewhere along the lines of, “I can do this. I’m really making progress. College is really an attainable goal.” The second is more, “What if I can’t do this? It will never be enough. No college will ever want me. I’m a failure. My life sucks. I look like absolute shit on paper.” The third and hardest to think about is the fact that no matter what happens with my academic career, I’ll be watching my friends from the sidelines. I won’t have a graduation ceremony with the white robe and the smiling family in the stands. If I decide that college isn’t the right path, or I don’t feel that I’m ready, I’ll have to see my friends go off into the sunset leaving me behind. It’s hard to even write this. I guess most of all I’m just so scared that it will turn out that way, even if I do everything I can for it not to happen. The circumstances surrounding my decision to start distance learning were difficult to deal with, but now it’s even harder when thoughts like this make me doubt the choice I made.

Tomorrow I have my quarterly endocrinologist appointment. I had blood drawn last week, and I know for a fact that the results are not going to be good. If they are I would be completely surprised, and I would feel undeserving. I can see my grip slipping, and the proof is on my meter. My averages have started climbing up reaching the 140’s. At first I was writing it off. It’s stress, that time of the month, or just a fluke, but it’s gotten worse. I can see patterns in my eating habits, lax in my corrections, no logging. I’m not beating myself up, I’m acknowledging my weaknesses. I’ll get it together, I have to. I just hope that my endo doesn’t rip into me. That’s not really his style, but you know how easy it is to expect the worst the night before an appointment. If he mentions anything about my weight or how much insulin I’m taking, I can already see myself crying about it. I would appreciate if he would offer better solutions than taking Symlin or exercising more. He always says things like, “Your weight is up” or “You sure do take a lot of insulin,” but he rarely offers more than those few words. I want to scream at him, “Would you like me to start cutting my insulin?!” If I wasn’t as obsessed with striving for good management, I could see his words driving me to a bad place with my control. I know he means well, and he’s actually one of the best endos I’ve ever had, it’s just frustrating sometimes.

So until tomorrow…

Friday, May 9, 2008

One...

I’m a day early, but I’m going out of town for Mother’s Day so I have to post this today.

It's time for a blogiversary!

(I looked back and the first post you will see is dated May 11, 2007, but the real first post was May 10, 2007. It's safe to say the first post was completely terrible, at some point along the way I decided to delete it. Sorry! Don't bother reading this blog from the beginning. It's terrible, seriously I wish I could go back and rewrite it all. )

It’s been one year since I decided to share my story with the world. I came to you a scared 15 year old girl searching for something that I could not find in my everyday life. I needed support and reassurance. I needed to know it would be okay. That the years of terrible doctors, doing the best I could, and hiding my disease from the world could be turned around. What I found was something remarkable. A wonderful group of people, who took me in, taught me what I didn’t know, and extended help whenever I asked. I'll never be the poetic eloquent one, so I present...


One Year in Highlights (lots of links in no particular order):

I’ve seen my A1c drop from 10.5% to 8.2% with the help of online resources, asking questions, and actually talking to my doctor.

I turned Sweet 16.

I marked 11 years with Type 1.

I started Diabetes 365, and so far I am 208 days in.

I made the decision to switch to an insulin pump. I was no longer worried about the exterior marker of Diabetes, and I felt I finally had enough knowledge to handle the responsibility.

I learned to drive, and did the responsible thing by letting the MVA know I have Diabetes.

I had my first A1c under 7%, a lovely 6.8%.

I walked in my first JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes.

But enough about me…

I just need to say THANK YOU! I could never write anything to sum up how much each of you mean to me. I know I'll never feel alone with this disease again. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

JDRF WALK!

I'm home and very tired. The walk was a lot of fun. I have a new hobby, pump spotting! I exceeded my 500 dollar goal! I met Naomi! It's time for a nap, but I'll have way more to say tomorrow. Until then a picture of my team and a video that explains why I love these girls so much!


video

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day! I've got a KeyNote.

When I got an email from Albert last week about testing out the WaveSense Keynote, I’ll admit I kind of laughed to myself. I have always wondered why he was blogging about Diabetes with little more than an outsiders view. I don't doubt that is he really is interested in what it means to live with either type of Diabetes, but this email just made it all click for me. Anyway I jumped at the chance to try out the new meter and I replied right away. I’ve waited patiently for the "assessment package" and it arrived today. Of course I immediately ripped open the UPS box to find all the loot.

It’s kind of sad that diabetes related stuff can make me so excited.
Diabetes 365 - Day 200 Blogging Perks.
The package included:
2 WaveSense KeyNote Meters
12 boxes of 50 test strips (600 strips)
1 copy of Zero-Click data management software
High/low control solutions
100 33-gauge lancets

After reading over the paper work, I opened one of the meter boxes to get started. I’ll admit that I didn’t read the instructions at first because I thought I would be simple to set up. Well apparently it’s not or I was just completely unable figure it out. So I sucked it up and actually read the set up pamphlet. I think the fact that I actually had to read it might say something about the user friendliness, but I could also just be really used to the way OneTouch meters work. I got through the alarm, time, hypo/hyper warnings, sounds, backlight set up pretty quickly. Next I set up a control solution test, which seemed fine ringing in at a 115mg/dL. I decided the next step should be a comparative test so I set up both meters for a real glucose check. Washed my hands, pricked my finger and drew enough blood to use that same finger for both tests. I placed the blood on each strip and waited the 5 seconds. The KeyNote rang in at 211mg/dL while my UltraSmart clocked in at 138mg/dL, uhhh not that close.
Wonky Results.
So I set it all up again. KeyNote: 165mg/dL UltraSmart: 132mg/dL, still not as close as I would like but I did kind of feel a wee bit high so I go with the 165 and take a correction just to see what will happen. Thankfully the difference between 165 and 132 doesn’t really change the amount of insulin or the outcome too much for me.
Wonky Results 2
30 minutes later I tried again, KeyNote: 167 mg/dL UltraSmart: 129 mg/dL. And now two and half hours later, Keynote: 120 mg/dL UltraSmart: 87 mg/dL.
Wonky Results 3
My conclusion is that I ultimately trust my UltraSmart, especially on the last reading because I can feel when I am on the lower end of normal very easily. I start to have mild hypoglycemic symptoms, and right before I tested I realized I was extremely hungry and kind of clouded in my thoughts. Plus it is also the time when my basal has been kicked up for awhile in anticipation of dinner, so that 87 was exactly where I thought was/I usually am. I’ll keep double testing to figure out the accuracy issue. I usually squeeze out too much blood anyway so I might as well put it to good use. Now for some more meter details and my first impression. I’m going to be very honest here so be prepared.

Hate:
  • The frigging batteries this thing takes. I’m used to buying a huge pack of triple a’s at Costco for my meter and pump. The KeyNote takes those stupid button batteries.
  • The case. It’s too small. I can’t fit my usual extra supplies in it. In my UltraSmart case I usually have alcohol swabs, a pump cap, a syringe, pen top needles, a full pump cartridge and a vial of insulin in the net zip pouch. I could not fit all of that in the tiny KeyNote interior pockets. I also had a lot of trouble sliding the meter into and out of the little plastic sleeve. I’m not sure if it’s the elastic not being broken in or what, but it’s driving me crazy.
  • The way the strips are packed so tightly into the vial. I thought 50 strips in a vial would be great, until I realized I couldn’t get them out very easily. I scratched around in the vial attempting to get them out. I finally resorted to lightly shaking them to the top like I was shaking a bit of salt into my hand. I can see this resulting in strips all over the floor.
  • The backlight times out really quickly. I’m not sure if that’s something I can change in the settings or if it’s just stuck that way.
  • It doesn’t store enough information. I may not always use the food entries etc on my UltraSmart, but I like the fact that they are there. The UltraSmart is like a Diabetes PDA. You can’t place the meter in the case any other way but the way it comes. Does that make sense? If it doesn’t with the UltraSmart you can place the meter in either direction in the plastic sleeve, KeyNote not so much. What’s up with no 7 day and 60 day average? Especially the 7 day, I love that on my UltraSmart. For instance I can see that this week I’ve had some really screwy numbers. 14 days doesn’t really show me as much.
Love:
  • The design of the lancet device. It’s petite and sleek. I’m not sure how I feel about the actual lancets. I’m not one of those OMG I HAVE TO HAVE THE MULTICLIX kind of people so I don’t really care.
  • The fact that the software came with this demo. I’ve used the OneTouch meters for 4 years without the software, just because I was too lazy to get it. So the fact that I’ve got some kind of management software to play with should be interesting. I haven’t used it yet so I don’t know if it would provide the information I like but it’s worth a shot.
  • The fact the strips are insert side up in the vial(does that make sense?) Let me explain…I hate with the OneTouch strips that you touch the side that the blood goes in when you take a strip out of the vial, I just feel like it contaminates the strip or something. I’m weird.

So that’s that. I’ll have more as I continue to use the KeyNote.