Monthly Archives: January 2011

Diabetes Debacles

Attack of the Symlin

This is what the right side of my stomach looks like right now. The left isn’t as bad, but there’s less space to inject. Thank goodness I won’t be in a swimsuit any time soon.

Tubing Death Pt. 1

Sometimes I reuse tubing.

Tubing Death Pt. 2

Sometimes that’s a bad idea.


I Wish…

If more Americans could be induced to visit these scenic treasure houses the
public will come to appreciate their value and stand firmly in their defense.

Allen Chamberlain, Appalachian Mountain Club, 1911

100 years ago. How has it been 100 years? I wish we, as a society, embraced our public lands as steadfast as we embrace the newest iPhone, iPad, game console, movie, etc. They really are “scenic treasure houses”, it’s sad so few have had the opportunity to be awed by its existence.

…in other words, I miss Idaho


San Jose Sharks

I would say 95% of the people who read this didn’t know me in high school. Had you, you would have known I was a huge fan of hockey and the SJ Sharks aka my potentially unhealthy obsession. I mean, I don’t think it was THAT bad…but my mother definitely did.

Most junior high and high school girls had posters of NSYNC, 98 Degrees (that was the Nick Lachey band, right?) or Backstreet Boys…I had one poster I bought with some friends at the mall of Backstreet Boys. I didn’t purchase it because I liked them; I purchased it because as far as I could tell most of my friends were Backstreet fans over NSYNC. In addition to my one Backstreet Boys poster, I had a wall and a half (if I remember correctly) covered, no white wall showing through kind of covered, in hockey pictures.

My high school English speeches were almost always hockey or Sharks related. I studied the game: its history, rules, changes, expansions, player contracts, player association-league relationships. In my planner I had every game color coordinated (I’m still a girl lol) schedule written in, at the completion of the game I’d fill in the new team standings as well as scores, basic player stats, hits, shots on goal, etc. On game days I made sure to wear Sharks memorabilia and usually donned something Sharks related on other days. I begged my parents to let me go to as many practices as possible, they’d let me around 2 times a month. I have ALBUMS of player pictures. Albums wouldn’t be such a big deal if I had enough other pictures to create albums of those too…but I don’t. The ONLY full albums I have are filled with Sharks pictures.

In high school I was not at all in the “cool” group of kids. I wasn’t really in a group. Kind of a loner I guess. I had a couple close friends the first two years, a semester in a different school and acquaintances the remaining year and a half. My parents were also pretty strict so I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to enjoy extracurriculars…outside of school sponsored extracurriculars. Now that we have a basic understanding of my “fanship” and lack of a social status in high school…I would regularly be stopped by jocks to discuss Sharks news/scores/standings. Yep, that was how people kind of related to me…well the jocks, not so much other people lol. People really didn’t know much about me, which was sort of my fault I suppose, I was pretty quiet…aside from my teal clothing.

THEN…I moved out. And then moved back in. It’s a whole long story that really shouldn’t be blogged about. But when I moved out I left with a hockey room, when I moved back in I had yellow walls, porcelain dolls displayed daintily and a floral bedspread. Upon my return it was loudly expressed that hockey was too much of an obsession. I watched games, but I wasn’t allowed to yell/cheer/talk at the TV or at the games. AND, I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my hockey friend anymore. That was during the 02-03 & 03-04 seasons.

The strike…it was horrible. I was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes in August 2004. The lockout began Sept 2004. Then came the onslaught of medical confusion. And in May 2005 I moved to AZ. I didn’t have a tv for most of the 05-06 season. For the remainder of the 05-06 and all of the 06-07 season I didn’t have cable.

In May 2007 I moved back to California. By the time hockey season started the Sharks were almost an entirely new team-the albums of photos I had hardly resembled the team…AND I was working CRAZY hours. I was working on the campaign, there was no time to watch. There were the late night highlights and newspapers, but that was it. January 2008 I was out of the campaign and I no longer got Fox SportsNet. Thankfully the guy I was dating at the time was a sportsfan too and I could watch with him.

Between the end of 07-08 and the start of 08-09 I kind of took a break from sports in general. I guess I was worn out. As avid of a fan I had once been before, I guess I was worn out from paying attention to so many and scheduling around it. It was kind of nice not to care about every college football team…it helped that my Michigan Wolverines were PAINFUL to watch. By last Spring I was ready to end my break. It’s weird, I know, I don’t really know a better way to explain it. I think I just needed a break from NEEDing to know what was happening in the sports world. It was nice to just not know for a while, but because I really do love sports, I didn’t need too long of a break. In early 10 I wanted to know what was going on again, I missed sports. So lame…I don’t think any guy sportsfan would really think that way or have that issue, but whatever. I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be exactly “normal”.

April 10 sent me to Idaho. I kept a few tabs on baseball over the summer and followed the NHL playoffs as best as possible. This past August I came back to California: sick and unemployed. Just in time for hockey. :) The NHL didn’t fail me this time. So, despite my lack of ability to watch my (VERY different) team on TV, I’m glad to listen. I’m happy to have the opportunity to follow them, just because they’re the team I’ve loved for nearly 15 years.

So it’s taken me a couple hours to type this, not because it took a lot of thought, I get distracted easily. But I can promise you I didn’t really mean for this to sound as sappy as it has come out. lol, oops. I’ve mentioned sports movies are the only ones that can make me cry, right?

Anyway, the real point to all this: it’s SO easy for people who regularly identify with being a “patient” to get caught up in just that, being a patient. We go on and on about how there’s so much more to us, but it’s taken a lot of effort lately for me to think of myself as anything but a patient. I see friends a couple times a month, usually hiding how crappy I feel; see doctors regularly; talk to the state and schools about disability related stuff – SO much of me is about being a patient.

Last Saturday (the day the Sharks broke the losing streak!! & my first full game all season-watching) was one of those days where I bucked up and saw a friend. I saw a friend I hadn’t seen since high school – before I was a T1, before I had Crohn’s…or a stupid root canal that won’t heal. Halfway through watching the games (both football and then the Sharks) I realized how much had changed, but sports hadn’t. There was still that. It seems a little silly and more sappy than I like to admit, but it was nice. If you’re a sportsfan, it doesn’t matter if you’re a diabetic, accountant or bodybuilder.

We, in the DOC, always talk about meeting so many people we wouldn’t have otherwise. We come from different places, do different things, are different ages, have different family’s and a lot of different interests. It’s something I think about all the time. But the Sharks or Wolverines or whatever team fans have that in common. You can be SO different, but it brings you together.

Going to practices so long ago, you met SO many different people. Old, young, in between. I went to a Sharks practice with a friend and my sister where the team was away traveling but the injured players were still skating; they invited the three of us and the couple others there to skate on the ice with them. I mean, it’s cool. You can go to a different state and meet a fellow fan and suddenly have a great conversation.

Maybe it’s me and I’m blind and just completely missed the similarity. I think the difference with the DOC and Crohn’s patients (I swear I need to come up with a word b/c it sounds stupid and cold…the other option is I could just move on…) is that we initially connect because of our disease and become friends; and then mention their disease casually as you discuss life. Reality is, our lives are filled with our disease. Not that it’s who we are, but that it’s something always on our mind. That’s not to say it’s always on the forefront of our minds, but it’s there. Knitters, sportsfans, gamers, athletes, car people (can you tell I’m not one? lol), whatever you’re into: most of the time you connect to “do” whatever it is you’re interested.

Does that make any sense? Maybe, hopefully, it at least does to people with chronic diseases.

Before I got on the second mushy-yay-DOC topic, I meant to say: I hope I start writing about more than my health. It doesn’t look like that’s getting any better ANY time soon (or in the long run), I should expand my horizons. I mean it kind of (actually REALLY does) sucks right now. Doctor told me on Friday that “we’re not actively controlling” my disease. She also said I should probably see the actual doctor in a couple weeks; I typically see the PA. Also my mouth is still swollen, still hurts and is still infected, I’m on a new, stronger, antibiotic. I guess for a while the Sharks had a bit too much attention and now I feel like my stupid health has too much attention. It isn’t going anywhere, so I’m just going to have to expand my attention giving capacity.


You Can’t Escape Reality For Too Long

It seems there’s always something to say with diabetes and Crohn’s. So, no hair talk today. Just plain and simple health jabber. Though, I wouldn’t say it’s simple at all, when it comes to me…my health is rarely simple. Diabetes and Crohn’s make that a near impossibility.

My root canal is complete. They’re not sure if it’s successful. They won’t be able to determine its success until they try to put a crown over it. If it’s failed, the tooth will ooze some kind of substance. If it fails, I need it removed. They’re hoping a couple more days will eliminate the infection on the side of my gum. I have my doubts, it’s been there for 3 years and I’ve been on numerous rounds of antibiotics. The crown is going to cost $831. I have NO idea how I’m going to come up with that.

I called my GI office Tuesday and they’d like me to come in because of the bleeding. I go tomorrow, Thursday. Not really sure what they want to do, I was there last week.

Thursday was supposed to be my endo appointment. Since I don’t really have a dire need of going, in the grand scheme of things, I moved it to February 7th. Hopefully by then I’ll have a paycheck so I can afford my $40 copay.

Financial/family stress is a bit high. They are burdened, as I have no means to paying for my health needs. They did say they’d help me, when I came back, but it’s still been a burden. Their apparent burden burdens me. I know I’m getting help my sister isn’t getting. I know they have their own financial needs to meet. I know they don’t appreciate western medicine the same way I need it. I know they don’t approve of my medical choices. It makes me appreciate their help more, but it makes me feel even worse for accepting it.

Breathe in, breathe out. One day at a time, things will change…they sure as hell better improve when they do too. Or at least I really, really hope they do :)


Hair

This is not going to diabetes or Crohn’s related. Except this…

What the heck is up with diabetes being lowercase and Crohn’s being uppercase because it’s a name?! I always feel like I’m somehow discrediting diabetes. Using “T1″ makes me feel a little better, because that’s usually used in uppercase. BUT, then I feel like I’m not appreciated other diabetics.

My other issue is “diabetic”. I’m a diabetic with Crohn’s. What the heck is THAT?! Why isn’t there a Crohn’sic? Or even IBDic…if that didn’t sound so inappropriate I’d probably use it.

Now, because I think I’m entitled, I’m going to take a moment and just be a girl in my mid-twenties…

You all know, or most people do, I have an addiction to dying my hair. It’s an addiction I’m trying to tame.

I love, love, LOVE my current hair color. It would be wonderful to keep this hair color. The problem is…embarrassing, please don’t think less of me for it. It cost $95 for this color. I had a gift card, because a nonexistent income doesn’t budget in such an expensive hair expenditure…or any hair expenditure for that matter.

Now that it has been a few weeks, maybe a month? I don’t remember exactly, I have roots. BLONDE roots. For those of you who do not have naturally blonde hair…light roots with dark hair look ridiculous. It looks like you have a gap between your scalp and your hair. My golden locks are shiny, gold-shiny, below the red/brown color. My color tinting shampoos and conditioners have done almost nothing to resolve this problem. It’s a dark blonde, which is better than light blonde but blonde nonetheless.

I don’t really know what to do. :( I want to keep it. I can’t really get rid of it. (because I have no money for that either) Last time I used a box dye I almost lost all my hair. There has to be an option other than getting a buzz cut. Help?


Do You Paint Your Toes ‘Cause You Bite Your Nails?

I love this song. I loved it more when I paid attention to the lyrics; b/c I totally do that. I also paint my toes because I feel like I have perpetually wet nails when I have my fingernails painted.

On to slightly more interesting topics…

I’m in my last 24 hours of a three-part root canal. Two Thursdays ago I went to my new dentist. This is gross, sorry: in late 2007 I developed a nasty puss filled blister on my upper gum. I was told pulling my wisdom teeth would resolve the problem, so I started the process of getting those out. Then I changed insurance. In August/September 2009 I was in so much pain I needed my upper wisdom tooth removed immediately. They started me on antibiotics and pulled the tooth. All was supposed to be well. March 2010 I had another tooth infection and needed another wisdom tooth pulled; I opted to pull the remaining three. My dentist thought I may (keyword: MAY) need a root canal in the tooth in front of my initially removed wisdom tooth eventually (another keyword: EVENTUALLY). In the mean time, I needed a deep root cleaning. So, I used the remainder of my dental insurance and had the deep root cleaning done. April-August 2010 I was in Idaho. When I came back and had seen my GI, Endo & PCP I looked into getting my tooth fixed. November 2010: hello change of insurance, followed by holiday madness. January 2011, here we are. My new insurance approved dentist referred me to an endontist and I got an appointment for the next day, two Fridays ago. They take pictures of my teeth and tell me they can’t start the root canal yet, I have to be on penicillin first. She could start the procedure Monday. So, Friday I started the antibiotic and came in Monday morning. It took at least an hour to numb the correct area of my mouth and they started drilling. My doctor then told me I have an “interesting” tooth. JUST what I wanted to hear. She told me my tooth was black inside, they needed to TRY and save the tooth, they’ll pack it with antibiotics and give me a temporary filling. If they cannot save the tooth I will fall into one of two categories: the tooth will need to be removed or I will need oral surgery of some sort. The waiting time for the antibiotics is a week, so tomorrow, the hope is, I will complete the root canal from hell. Continue reading


So Long & Hello

I am deeming 2010 ‘The Year of My Body’s Revolt’.

2011 came up with a theme pretty quickly. ‘The Year of Tech Revolt’.  

I will finally keep my word when I say I’ll keep this short. My laptop broke. I restarted it & now that’s all it does…over & over…and over.

My iPod broke…the moment I switched with my dad for a new iPod. Thus far he’s letting me keep the new, working, one. I feel really bad though.

My phone started putting up a fight when it was only 2 months old. But it’s continuing misbehavior. Verizon gave me a new battery, since then it’s made a slight improvement.

Thankfully my diabetes gadgets are minding, for the most part. I’ve had a couple failed Dexcom sensors that hadn’t really failed. My blood sugars have decided to do whatever the hell they want, whenever they want. I can’t blame tech for that; I’d say it’s a tie between my family’s temptation, my self control, all my meds, my low lying infection & my pump settings being off.

This week my car hit 200k miles, I am hoping he stays alive for a while longer. ‘A while’ meaning, until I have a job & can save for a new one. I really love my Volvo, we’ve taken many long trips together & I haven’t always been the nicest to him. 

I have my very first root canal Monday. It was supposed to be on Friday but with the pre-testing unveiled my infection’s severity. It was going to be too bloody and puss-y (see what I did there, I saved myself from using inappropriate language) so I have to be on antibiotics PRIOR to the root canal. :( And there’s a possibility the infection has spread to the tooth next to the one that’s the current problem tooth. It was just a year and a half ago I had my first cavities (8), so two root canals to start 2011 isn’t bad, right? 2010 I had three wisdom teeth pulled. Oh, I also bruised my gum. 

So I can’t say 2011 hasn’t had some health related challenges, but I’m hoping for fewer hospitalizations and no more diagnoses of chronic diseases. 

My whole family is battling a cold, I have a tooth infection that is particularly nasty & can spread & an immune system that’s not great at fighting quickly. That’s an exaggeration, my immune system sucks; it likes to go with the long and slow way. My immunosuppressant doesn’t help matters. So I’d really, really, really like to avoid getting sick. Really, really.

Goodbye Year of Failing Health and hello Year of Failing Electronics!

(Maybe it’ll just be Month of Failing Electronics?)


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