Author Archives: smashleeca

About smashleeca

I am a lot of things...a Californian, a T1 diabetic, a Crohn's pt, a daughter, friend, former athlete, forever student, blogger, worker, and most of all life-embracer. That sounds corny...but I'll leave it. I'm just your average 24 y/o girl with a story to tell.

Nashville

I’ve been there once.

I spent a week there in June. It was a great, drama-free week…until my last 9hrs. Then someone hit my rental car in a parking lot and didn’t leave a note. A kind stranger did, though it lacked some essential information, but it was MUCH appreciated. I also found the situation at about 3am. Yes, that’s THREE in the morning. I didn’t sleep at all, missed my flight, got delayed 3hrs on the next flight, missed my connecting flight and got back to CA approx 9hrs after the original plan. …it was quite a day. A nice farmer almost made me cry when he gave me a free peach at the farmer’s market…I don’t normally cry, it was due to my over-exhaustion. However, I was incredibly grateful and touched.

In spite of my limited knowledge and experience in Nashville, it’s becoming my new home.

Yep, home.

That’s huge for me. I haven’t felt at “home” anywhere since I was a kid. 16 years ago kind of kid. I had a “home” 11 years ago, but I wasn’t there very long. I feel like I’ve always been in transition. Now, I have a home.

Or at least that’s the plan. Looking at experience, plans are a bad idea…in my case. But I’m moving forward with faith and hope this is THE plan. The plan that’s going to be…finally.

I feel like it’s pretty solid since I have very few plans for this “plan”.

Things have kind of fallen together.

Very fast.

Very, very fast.

In June I was in Nashville for work. I had gotten a new job, a REAL job. I haven’t had a decent, full-time, grown-up job in 6 years. Craziness!

Back on topic: While in Nashville for work, I inquired about what the process may be to relocate to the TN office. It was kind of a far away dream, a “maybe someday” thing.

They advised me to speak to a couple people in the SF office. And, it’s about time I grew a pair, so I gathered the braveness I could, and asked. The first answer was “Yeah, definitely, that’d be great! Who knows when though, maybe a month, maybe a year.”

Woah, woah, woah! I laughed when I was told a month.

A couple weeks went by and there was no mention of timing or a plan. So I brought it up again, with a more direct supervisor. Who was on board and we came up with the plan of December/January.

Quick, but not too quick.

…a week later they came to me and said they’d like me to move in September. Ideally the first week, the second week would be fine, but definitely by the third.

Say what?!

I asked for a couple days to think about it, look at my finances, etc. They agreed, and cautioned me that time was of the essence.

Two days later, I agreed.

The week after getting back from Nashville I bought a car. So, I now have something reliable to move across the country in. I’ve gotten roommates. I’m in the process of getting a mattress. I’ll be starting work the day after Labor Day…in Nashville.

Could this finally be my move out of California?! I’ve waited so long for this. SO long.

I’m excited: this will be an awesome adventure, I’ll finally be able to start my life, I’ll be somewhere I WANT to be, it means my family and I will be on better terms (I hope), it’s a new season in my life.

I’m scared: every time I’ve left CA or tried to leave CA something falls apart (diabetes, getting disowned, Crohn’s, tonsils), I’ll be 2200mi away from where I grew up, I’ll be on my own.

I’m nervous. I’m happy.

Hopefully, life agrees with the plan. You know what they say about plans and God laughing…it’s the story of my life. Though, I feel like while I’ve been working really hard to get everything set up, I haven’t been doing much planning. Maybe planning isn’t the word, I haven’t been doing much to force the plan. I decided what I wanted to do, felt out the waters, dove in and it’s all coming together.

Moyer and I will be beginning our lives in Tennessee.

It’s really strange for me to think of him in Tennessee. He’s spent all three years of his life in California and now I’m taking him to Tennessee. I wonder if he’ll forget CA. Or if he’ll like TN. Or if I’ve babied him too much and he’s a weird dog in TN. (I realize these are very strange concerns to have, he’s a dog) But what if people laugh at him when he needs a coat to go out in the rain, because he refuses otherwise? Or what if I’m a weirdo for loving him as much as I do? I hope he doesn’t get too homesick. He’ll probably never come back to CA or see my sister’s dog or who knows if my family will ever come out to TN, so he may never see them again either…it’s just weird. I hope he’ll be happy in TN. I’ll be there, and he’s pretty happy when he’s with me, so it would make sense for him to be happy.

One thing’s for sure, life’s an adventure.

I’m glad I’m getting to embrace it. :)Image


Consistently Inconsistent

Pretty much sums me up.

 

This last week or so has been pretty difficult. I’m behind in school, work seems a bit messy at the moment and my personal life is taking its toll. As a result my blood sugars have been a mess and my Crohn’s symptoms have returned with a vengeance. And as a result of that I’m falling farther behind in school, work is more difficult and my complicated personal life is harder to manage.

 

I feel incapable of having a positive attitude. I mean, life goes on, it always does. It dishes out what it dishes out and you find a way to survive. But, I like to be honest and life is kicking my ass right now. I’m not sure it really has to do with my attitude or outlook, more so I’m stuck pausing my life to deal with my health and I’d rather be doing something else…being productive. Perhaps I need to accept “pausing and dealing” as being productive. Reality is that if I don’t pause, I’ll make myself sicker and less able to have a life. …which is just frustrating.

 

Less than a month ago I was in Montana, was doing great, school was great, work was working itself out and I felt awesome. The last week and a half has been hellish. I think I’ve slept twice as much because it’s the only real way I’m able to deal with the pain.

 

The only consistent thing about my health is its inconsistency. It makes me feel like a flake.

 

There doesn’t seem to be much I can do, except trudge on through…again. However, I’m looking into some more natural approaches to helping my body out. I’d like to hope that if you treat your body well enough it’ll start treating you decently. I took some evening primrose oil today and that seemed to help a little with the pain. I think I’d rather be a hippie and take a natural approach than dependent on drugs that have almost as many bad effects as its positive results. Too bad medical insurance doesn’t cover herbs/remedies and they’re willing to cover drugs. :-/

 

I’m not always doing poorly, and when I’m not I like to do the best I can at enjoying life. When my body acts up, I feel like I’m stopped in my tracks and unable to really function.

 

I’d really like to be consistent at something besides inconsistency.


No D Day

No D Day…being that I rarely blog specifically about D, I thought this would be easy. Then I realized it’s always brought up some way, because it’s a huge part of my life. So here’s my attempt of a no D day post…

Consequences are a you know what. I don’t believe in karma, but I fully believe in consequences and fully support them. Coming from that perspective, consequences are really frustrating. I made a poor choice, which led me to more poor decisions, and things progressed from there. I am dealing with the consequences. It’s unbelievably frustrating to know it’s completely your own doing that puts you in a crumby place.

It’s fairly common for people to think I’m a cold person. I don’t get emotional about things, I can be rational to a fault. Seriously, I get myself in trouble way too often. Yet, I made irrational decisions; I knew better. Not that there’s anything I can do about it at this point, but I’m disappointed in myself. All I can do is pray for grace.

I have a friend whom I admire greatly. When I was in high school he told me whenever asked how he’s doing he’ll always respond “better than I deserve”. I understand not everyone can identify with that statement, but to me, it’s an incredibly humbling perspective. Because, honestly, I am always doing better than I deserve to be. Yes, the world is full of injustice, and life is cruelly unfair; but it’s still better than what I deserve. By this I mean, I don’t deserve to be with God in my life. None of us do; it’s really only by His grace I have the choice to have a relationship with Him. (I know you may disagree, and I’m not trying to argue, I promise)

The last few months have been incredibly emotionally draining. But it’s a position I put myself in, by choice. It’s been so hard, so much harder than I expected. And I’ve spent a lot of time asking “why?” And, yes, someone else’s choices and behaviors could have made this less draining; but people are free to make their own choices. When you involve yourself with others, you put yourself at their mercy.

When you tell a friend a secret, you’re trusting them to be kind with it. When someone chooses to open up to you, they are being vulnerable. My past has made me very weary of allowing myself to be vulnerable…and I’m clearly not great at identifying the right people with whom to share. But, you live and learn.

I guess that’s why I’ve been able to remain joyful, despite the challengingness of this Summer; perspective. I’m still alive, still learning and have a life so much better than what’s deserved.


Diabetes Art Day!

I’m definitely not an artist. And I wasn’t really brought up to appreciate art. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to respect it a bit more, and even enjoy it…just don’t ask me to go to a ballet or musical…I’ll fall asleep.

In school I’m making teeth. I’ll be a toothsmith. The thing that’s so great about it is that it’s the perfect marriage between art and science. It’s practical art!

My biggest issue with art has been it’s apparent impracticality. Diabetes Art Day proves all art can be practical.

You look at how many people it brings together, its therapeutic process and all the recycling that gets done. Anyone on a pump knows how absolutely un-environmentally friendly diabetes can be. Also, it’s a great gateway for non-DOC members to get educated.

Frankly I kind of forgot about it this year until the day of and made two plaster dental model bases to start my project. I did the model making, gluing, and drilling in class. At home I did the painting. My family is oddly pretty uneducated when it cones to diabetes, but when they saw my finished project it opened the door to some conversations…and an explanation of what D.A.Day is all about.

You probably still won’t see me frequenting any galleries, but Diabetes Art Day is definitely important and incredibly awesome.

Here’s my contribution this year:

image


On Hold

I’ve been on hold for almost 30mins now & have run out of Twitter updates and Facebook statuses to read. After a moment of pondering, blogging was the obvious next course of action!

Life has felt like it was kind of on hold for a while…by a while I really mean the last two years. Right now is a really exciting, albeit scary, time for me. It’s mostly little things, but it’s still pretty awesome!

I’m in a toothsmithing program and loving it! What is toothsmithing?, you ask…it’s making teeth. Dentures, crowns, bridges, implants: the whole shebang! It’s the perfect combination of art and science. It’s also the first time I’ve been a full-time student in 8yrs…totally scary!! But I got my first two tests back today and both were 100% A’s! I think I maybe can do this whole student thing!!

I started teaching swim lessons last week. As a kid, when I was learning to swim, I remember wanting to one day teach kids to swim. It’s kind of a weird early memory I suppose, being that I was about four at the time. Now with diabetes though, holy moly, it’s scary. But I’m determined to prove I can do it!

Why is swim teaching such a big deal with diabetes? Lots of reasons! I’m in the water for 5hrs at a time with kids depending on my ability to help them and keep them safe. My insulin pump is waterproof (thank you Animas!!!) which is incredibly helpful. Dexcom is not…meaning my ability to monitor my blood sugars during that fairly active time period of 5hrs is pretty challenging. Testing on a meter is also hard, since my fingers turn to raisins and my hands are covered in chlorinated water. BUT, thus far I’ve made it work and am determined to keep making it work. Gatorade has become ny new best friend and watching what I eat before teaching has become a much bigger deal. It’s exciting and scary; which means it’s totally awesome!

Yeah, I’m still on hold…lame!

I’m also taking this hour long hips, thighs & ab class this semester and it kicks my butt! And makes it hard not to be paranoid. I’m a control freak and exercise makes my blood sugars anything but stable. So far things are going well, which is great! Even better, things have been going well even without wearing my dexcom!

Like I said, it’s nothing too big or amazing, but it’s awesome anyway.

At this point I kind of want to hang up…but I’ve already invested all this time…and mobile battery.

This Summer has been pretty trying on my emotional sanity. And I’ve managed to keep things mostly in control diabetes & Crohn’s-wise. Minor issues yes, but overall pretty okay. I’m hoping the catalyst for my issue has been removed & I will try to be smarter with my relational choices from here on out.

I’ll be headed to Montana for a few days in 2 and a half weeks. I’m totally stoked! I’ve missed the West so, so much.

Life is exciting right now…and pretty “boring.” It’s a totally new concept for me. Usually life is not so pleasantly exciting and I’m being pulled in a million directions. But now it’s exciting and normal; I have a routine & it’s working!

Before I go…because let’s face it, blogging from a smartphone is a pain & makes your fingers tired…I’d like to point out how I started with my life being on hold & I’m writing while on hold…pretty clever, right? Hopefully I’ll be ending with no longer physically being on hold, since my life isn’t really anymore.

One can always hope, right?

…I think so, since I had on tattooed on my wrist and all…


Thank you…Really

It’s funny here in the DOC.

Granted, I haven’t been as active as I once was. But I always know we’re all here and I can always come back. I wish I came back more often…that I could take part in FFL and the Roche summit so I could actually meet so many of you.

Recently, I was inspired by some “real life” experiences to, once again, re-up my membership to the DOC. All the FFL pictures and posts have also contributed. But, really, my actual experiences are the ones that have made me so grateful for what we have.

My work situation right now is not ideal (but we can discuss that some other time). Due to this less than ideal situation, I am working in a lot of different locations and with a lot of different people. Thankfully, I love people so it’s actually good in that regard. I met a guy not too long ago in one of our stores; someone told me he had T1 too when they’d seen me injecting. I found it to be an interesting fact, but didn’t rush to go tell him I was T1 as well. A week or so later he saw me inhaling some Skittles and I said what a pain it was to be low at work. He did a double-take and asked if I’d just said “glucose” (apparently I said glucose in whatever I actually said…I was low, I can’t quite remember). I said yes, and then he was SO excited and asked a million questions and we talked about diet, low correctors, insulins…all the diabetes-lingo. Turns out I was the first person he’s met with T1. He has been T1 since he was 8 or 12 years old and I think he’s 21 or 22 now. I was shocked.

I first stepped into the online world of diabetes with Diabetic Rockstar, in January 2008. I double checked my dates, so I know I became a member of the DOC only 3.5 years after my diagnosis. I was so shocked by this whole new world that knew what I was experiencing and was SO grateful. This guy I met, he’s gone about 10 years without really knowing anyone with T1. TEN YEARS!!

Hands down, there’s no way I’d be even half as functional without the support I’ve gained from all of you.NO WAY. NONE.

Shortly after I met this guy, I met this girl. She too has T1. She’s on a Medtronic pump. We were at In-N-Out together, in the same group of people, but didn’t know each other very well, I took out my pen (we can also discuss my pump vacation later) and she was shocked too! We don’t talk much about T1, but being in the same general circle of friends, we had an instant connection. It’s odd, we’re not as close as I immediately became to all of you, but we definitely did have a sudden quasi-closeness.

I’ve always been grateful for everyone I’ve met through diabetes, especially those online. Crystal, Ashley and Sarah are some of my closest friends now…as well as so many others. It wasn’t until the last month or so that I’ve been able to see exactly how grateful I am.

You’ve been with me through figuring out diabetes. Dating with diabetes. Moving to a forest. My health falling apart in the forest. Moving back in with my parents because of my health falling apart. Becoming not just a diabetic, but having Crohn’s too. Family craziness. New dogs. New jobs. Everything. I could never have asked for better friends or a more accepting surrogate family.

I love all of you, you’re all amazing and matter so much to me!

…Sorry for being a giant sap.


What a Year it’s Been!

Where has the year gone?! Seriously!

Last year on June, 5th (aka a year ago today), I got Moyer. Moyer is my dog…though some refer to him as my son. He’ll be two at the end of next month. It’s amazing how the last year has flown by and all that’s happened.

Granted 2011 was far less crazy than years past. No major medical diagnoses, no new piercings, no new tattoos, no new states of residence, etc. Last year in March or April I was supposed to get my diabetic alert dog, as you can tell, that hasn’t quite panned out. My sister brought home a 10 month old husky in February of last year. As soon as I notified the organization, I was disqualified. I had been on the list three and a half years!!! I was heartbroken. BUT, I decided I’d train my own dog…with help of course. So the hunt for another ensued. In late May last year a puppy came to work that I loved. His name was Mugsy, a little bull terrier mix. I convinced myself…and my family, he would be a great dog to train. I have since met this dog…I’m pretty sure he would not have trained very well, at least for alerting me. The day I was supposed to get Mugsy, 10 minutes before he was supposed to be mine, I got a call that they had given him to someone else. That weekend was Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon, it’s a weekend in June where they waive all adoption fees in most of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties. It’s a great event and it gives a lot of animals new homes. If you are looking for a pet in the area, this year it’s THIS coming weekend 6/9 and 6/10.

I had Sunday (6/5/11) off work so I went on a hunt across most of the East Bay. My sister felt terrible about disqualifying me and about my losing Mugsy, so she helped out too! She thought I wanted a tiny dog. I wanted a normal size dog. I ended up with a HUGE dog. All afternoon there was nothing that quite fit. They were too small, too young, too old…just not right. So, on my way home, in a last ditch effort, I stopped by the brand new shelter less than a mile from my house. There was only one dog left. Her name was Emma, she was a lab and pit bull mix. In the last “dog suite” there was another happy (HUGE) black dog, but he was being petted by his new owners. I asked if I could meet Emma, I went out on a walk with her and one of the volunteers. This volunteer was special, and I am grateful for her everyday, she was a cadaver dog trainer for the government but had taken a leave of absence to deal with a dog hoarder issue out in Livermore. We got to talking about why I was looking for a dog…to add to my herd of already three. She said that either Emma, or a dog named London would be great. It turned out that the big black dog had NOT been adopted! So we went back to the shelter and took him,Londonwas his name, prior to that it was Jake (apparently shelters change the names frequently), for a walk. Emma was strong headed and needed a constant reminder of who was in control. London was much more mellow and easy going, though he walked through every puddle and loved romping through every bush. The trainer and I talked, and I thoughtLondonwas a better choice…she agreed.

I rushed home and had the dreaded discussion with my parents. I said I found THE dog! He was right around the right age for training. He was very trainable and people focused. But he was big, like really big. My father grumbled, my mother reluctantly agreed. Then came the big test, meeting the aforementioned herd. At the time, 12 y/o Sophie (a Keeshond), 6½ y/o Rawley (a Miniature Rat Terrier) and 14 month old Kaya (a Siberian Husky). We started the walk with my mother walking Sophie, my father walking Rawley and I had Kaya. The trainer/volunteer had London, she walked with him and our three then approached him. There were NO problems! Rawley hates the world, so he grumbled, but he was fine. The trainer, other volunteers, my parents and I all talked when we finished the walk, I said I should be back, but we needed to discuss a little more. So my parents and I walked home. My father was NOT happy. He didn’t want a huge dog…and he didn’t want a fourth dog. My mother was resigned. And I begged. They said I could get him! So I drove back to the shelter. The trainer started to cry…they started calling him London because she was from the UK and they had bonded. She was so happy I was taking him, as she already had 5 dogs and didn’t need a 6th. I was SO excited. And Moyer was too.

I went straight from the shelter to my work, inFremont, to pick up my paycheck so I could go get some supplies for him the next day. My father refused to pet or talk to him…or me for a couple days. My sister was shocked. My mother remained…and still remains resigned.

Last night I mentioned it’d been a year since Moyer came into our house at a rare family dinner. My father commented on what a horrible day it had been. I said he liked Moyer now though…he excitedly said he LOVED Moyer now. Every so often my mother asks if I can trade him…since he is so big. He sits in dinner chairs and lays his head on the dinner table. But, she loves him too…deep down, I know it! She’s even started to say of all the dogs, if he were a bit more mature, he’d be the best all-around dog. And she openly admits he’s the most loving.

Moyer is also known as Moyer the Destroyer, Moo, Moyster and Big Lug. He loves paper and has even eaten a lab slip, a prescription, bills and almost a $5 bill. He no longer bites EVERY dog’s tail that walks by him. He doesn’t wrestle nearly as much (THANK GOODNESS! He knocks everything over). He’s chipped one of my teeth. He’s split my head open. He loves his dental treats so much he sniffed out a brand new bag and consumed the entire thing…and then threw it up. At dinner he likes to sit at one of the empty chairs that’s away from the table, and stretch his neck across and lay his head on the table…yes, it’s bad table manners, but it’s SO cute and he’s only allowed after everyone has finished eating. He stretches his upper lip when he gets excited and smiles at you when you come home…if you don’t let him tackle you…which he knows he’s not supposed to do. He LOVES ice, opening the freezer door is the only thing that’ll get him up in the morning. He loves to sleep, especially like a person…with a pillow, laying length-wise on the bed. He goes to bed at 8pm and doesn’t want to get up til 10am. He’s a bit boisterous and occasionally injures those he loves (primarily me)…only because he’s so excited to see you. He thinks he’s a lap dog. As much trouble as he still gets into, he’s grown up a lot over the last year. And he’s a love…he’d be happy if you just sat with him and talked to him all day.

It’s been a good year. And I’m sure we’ll have many more…he’s been informed he’s not allowed to die…ever.

I apologize for my ridiculously long and somewhat embarrassing post today. I didn’t start out meaning for it to be all about Moyer…it just sort of happened. Maybe I’ll be more on topic next time!

A picture that’s up in my work :)


Diabetes Hero – Diabetes Blog Week 2012

I admire every diabetic and every parent raising a diabetic.

Though, there is a special place in my heart for parents of diabetics. I’ve been sitting here for the better part of an hour trying to decide to whom this post would be directed. After that first sentence it finally clicked…parents raising diabetics.

I honestly have no idea how you handle it all, I think each and every one of you is amazing. My parents tried to pray away my diabetes when I was diagnosed, thankfully I was 18 and only went along with it for a few months and only went one day without insulin.

Even after having diabetes for nearly eight years now, I don’t know how I’d handle raising a diabetic child. I can figure out how to deal with feeling like crap because of a roller coaster day and still function…but it kills me to think of anyone else handling it. I’m quasi-paranoid as it is about my sugars, I’m sure it’d be quadrupled if it was my kid.

Those who raise diabetic children amaze me; I am in complete awe of them. Having never been a diabetic child I’m not 100% sure what it’s like to be a kid with diabetes. Learning to inject myself and carb count while in elementary school…it truly amazes me.

And let’s not forget the kids with diabetes. Their resilience is amazing. (I need a synonym for amaze/amazing). There are a lot of days I’d just like to stay in bed all day because I feel like crap from my blood sugars (or Crohn’s) and some days I do stay in bed for most of it. Some days it’s just too hard to go out and take a hike with Moyer (the best dog in the whole world…even if he does chip your tooth and/or split your head open) – it’s frustrating on those days. If I were a kid, I’m sure I’d be even more frustrated to not be doing everything my friends do any time they do it.

Not that diabetics aren’t capable. But diabetes sometimes changes the way you do things or how you do them. Kids should just be able to be kids. Everyone says it, so I know it’s nothing new…but it’d be nice if everyone saying it could somehow magically make it true!


Saturday Snapshots – Diabetes Blog Week 2012

image


What They Should Know – Diabetes Blog Week 2012

Most people I regularly interact with know I have diabetes and know I need insulin to survive. They also know insulin is somehow related to my food intake. (They commonly think I need insulin when I am low)

I don’t particularly care that they know. I’d really prefer they understand.

Understand I’m not giving myself an injection to be obnoxious or cause a disruption. Understand when I’ve been high and low it’s exhausting. Understand I’m not being lazy when I’m taking things slow. Understand that I’m not incapable of doing the things most other adults are capable. Understand I don’t want to talk about it all the time, I live it all the time, I don’t need to discuss it.

Even if you don’t know something, that’s fine so long as you show some understanding and respect. Don’t assume you know, I’m happy to answer any questions, just don’t be an arrogant ass.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 860 other followers