Saturday, January 31, 2009

Big changes, big week

Alright, so this is a blatant rip-off of one of my post titles from last year about this time. It came to me, sounded familiar and sure enough, I'm already starting to repeat myself. Not a good sign, my friends. But you know what? It's apropos and I'm keeping it. Especially after reading it's namesake. It's so hard to go back and look at what I was going through then. My head was swirling, I head no idea what to do and I felt like life was throwing me for one loop after another and I was just holding on for dear life.

But what a difference a year makes. This week has been big, this whole month has. Exactly 3 weeks ago Brad and I moved into our first house together (I owned a condo that we lived in but whatever. That doesn't count.) So this is our first house together and it just so feels like home. I can't believe we've already been here 3 weeks, but it other ways I can't imagine living anywhere else. We love it. Well, I haven't loved the extra 20 minutes that it adds to my commute to Melbourne for work . . .

And that brings me to the other big change this week! As of this morning around 7am, my torture is officially over. Uh, I mean, it was my last day of work as a practitioner in Melbourne. I'll definitely miss the people there. I met some very sweet, funny, overall wonderful people there and they were really great to me. It's sad that I won't be seeing them any more. But I sure as sh!t won't miss the B.S., the hypocrisy, the mismanagement or the DRIVE!! I bought my car brand new on August 30th with only 6 miles on it. As of January 31st it has over 12,000 miles on it. That's right, folks, 12,000 miles in 5 months. Yeah, I'm so done. And the feeling I have knowing that is absolutely euphoric. As most of you know, it wasn't just one thing about that job. There were lots of little and big things that added up to make me completely miserable there. I'll definitely miss being a practitioner but I think it's more important to have a fulfilling, satisfying personal life. And my next job will give me that. . .

Which brings me to the 3rd and final big change. This week I was offered a nursing position at the Level 3 NICU at Florida Hospital. No, I didn't get the practitioner position. I found out a few weeks ago and I was pretty disappointed about it (read: bitter). I felt like I'd been stalking that job for over a year, I knew about it and had been in contact with people every few months working towards an interview, just waiting and biding my time for the position I knew would be opening up to become "official." I even met with the team there three times before my official interview. I mean, I peed all over that place. It was marked, it was my territory. Well, wouldn't you know about a month before the interviews were scheduled 4 other candidates came out of the woodwork, one with over 15 years of experience? And wouldn't you know that they had the gall to hire her over me?!? ::insert shocked expression here::

But I was so miserable where I was there was no turning back. I decided to pick myself off, dust off the embarrassment and humiliation and get a job as a nurse at Florida Hospital. Because FH is still an amazing place to work, in any capacity. Not to mention it's 15 minutes away from my house! WOO HOO! Sign me up! It's a little depressing to take a step back in my career but it's time. I spent most of 2008 miserable in a job that I hated. In 2009 I'm choosing my happiness and my personal life over my career. And the good news is that another practitioner position should be opening up by the end of the year and they have specifically asked me if I would interview again. So there's hope. Plus, I love nursing and I love working in a Level 3 NICU. So I'm getting back to what I love, even if it's not exactly in the way I thought it would be. So, even though it may not seem like it, this is good news. I start my new job on March 2nd and I'm stoked!!

So I have a month off! Very exciting. I'm sure I'll be bored after the first week but I'll make do. There are more projects to do around the house and I really enjoy diving into stuff like that. So to end on a happy note: I promised pictures and I'm about to deliver. They aren't the best, there are still undecorated corners and un-hung pictures and it's not every room in the house but here are some pics of the new crib!

Enjoy!
~Layne

Friday, January 23, 2009

Diabetes Police

Alright, I found this video last night and felt compelled to share it. It's a look at the dreaded, the annoying "diabetes police." For all you diabetics out there, "hollah!" I know you know exactly what I'm talking about and can relate. And for all of you who know me in real life, please remember, I love you anyway. ;-) I used to think that this stuff and these "people" only happened to me. But after 18 years of different people all asking the same questions and making the same comments, I kinda figured it was just how people are. I mean seriously, how many times am I going to hear the phrase "Should you be eating that?" Or even better "You can't eat that!!" Sure enough, it's so common that diabetics at large even have a nickname for these "people!"

And it's so true. Who knows why complete strangers not only think that they know more about you and a disease that they don't actually have than you do and also feel ballsy enough to tell it to you to your face!?! It's incredible. And it might actually be funny if it didn't happen on a day when you were already killing yourself to keep your sugars in check, but it always does. Again, it's just how the universe works. It's right then that someone has the nerve to come up to you and act like they know better. Even friends and family are guilty of this. And, to some extent, I appreciate it. It lets me know that they care. A simple "Are you alright? You're acting funny"*. . or "You're pale, do you need to test" really goes a long way and tells me you are looking out for me. Even a "Hey Layne, have you tested/taken your insulin" is totally cool. Where it starts to cross the line from caring to frustrating is once I've tested and said I'm fine or indicate that I know what I'm doing and have a plan** and the other person doesn't drop it. Or even worse, they start the lecture.

Anyway, this video is very cathartic and had me laughing and picturing the people I would put in different categories. Friends and family: I love you and appreciate everything you do for me. Most of you have never crossed the line or if you have, it's no big deal. But if you see a little bit of yourself as a "diabetes police" ::cough:: MOM! ::cough:: just listen to the advice at the end of the video.

Enjoy!
~Layne



*Yeah, that's just me. :-)

**Yes, as a diabetic I plan for meals, occassions, etc in order to allow myself to do things that I don't always do safely and with my bloodsugars in mind. But I don't really feel like going into what I ate/did/will do and all the other details of the plan. Just know, I've been doing this for a long damn time. . . I've got it covered.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pity Party

Recently a fellow D-blogger's post reminded me a lot of my "wake up call". I think every diabetic has one. You know, the time where you have to tell yourself:
"Self, you're diabetic. Stop kvetching and get over it. Grow up and take care of yourself or prepare to live with the (really horrible) consequences. Because no amount of wallowing or ignoring it is going to change the fact that you ARE diabetic and you just going to have to DEAL."
Personally, I wallowed in self-pity a lot as a kid with diabetes. When I was younger, I wasn't under great control, but not awful either. My A1C's ranged in the 7-8's with an occasional 9 thrown in just to scare the crap outta my mother. I was consumed with the fact that I wasn't like other kids and it wasn't fair so I just decided to ignore it. Sure I'd test every now and then, usually when I felt like sh!t. But everything I did for my diabetes was just a quick fix so I could put the pump or meter or needles away and be able to forget about it again. But in college I finally realized that at the end of the day this is the crap card I was dealt and I'm only hurting myself by trying to pretend I don't have it and not taking care of myself. I think that's called being a grown up and I guess I was finally ready to do that.

Don't get me wrong! Trust me, I still have pity parties every now and then. Usually after a day of having to chase my blood sugars all over Creation. Up, down, up, down. Those days get to me. This disease is difficult enough to deal with but to have it throw curveballs at you just blows. It's not like other diseases where you take your pill on time, do the things you are supposed to do and it just stays in check. Hell no. Maybe it's that way for other diabetics, but sure as hell not me. For me, there are those days where I can be the model diabetic (taking the right dose, right on time, testing sugars often, eating well) and my blood sugar is through the roof. (Like last night where I had a snack before bed. My blood sugar was fine before the snack and I bolused for it appropriately. But this morning I woke up and my blood sugar was 346. WTF?!? Did I underestimate the carbs in my snack? Or was it my dinner earlier on? Who the hell knows!?! But it was so frustrating to know my blood sugar sucked all night long and I didn't know and couldn't do anything about it.)

That's when I get out the decorations, bake some cookies and throw myself a grand 'ole pity party. These are the times I want to pick up my meter and throw it at the wall. It's so satisfying to imagine it bursting into a million tiny pieces. (Ha ha, I'm joking. . . well, mostly. I mean it's not like I couldn't get another one for free, right? It's the stupid strips that break the bank anyway.) These are the times when I've done everything right and my blood sugar still SUCKS. No, I've never actually broken my meter (on purpose) but I do have downer days where I just get tired of all the mental and physical crap having diabetes puts me through. Sometimes there are tears, other times there are irate rants . . . my husband is there for them all. (Gotta love him.) But I think that's okay and it kind of comes with the territory. For me, it's cathartic in a way. This disease sucks and my thought is I'd rather vent every now and then. And the next day I feel better and can move on and keep taking the best care of myself that I can. Rather than bottle it up and get bitter and feel like the only way to handle it is ignore it and make myself sick.

To add to all of this, I worry a lot about complications. "Complications" is a word that makes any diabetic shudder. All these awful possibilities loom before us as reminders of what can happen when we don't take care of ourselves. When I was in nursing school, I saw examples of these conditions everyday and if I wasn't scared before, that did the trick. As diabetics, we are probably all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will this be the day that the doctor comes back and tells me I have (fill in the blank)? Who knows? I'm very lucky to be able to say that after 18 years of being diabetic and being hospitalized with DKA 4 times in my youth, I still don't have any complications to show for my stupidity. I count my blessings every day. And I keep hoping that every day that I take responsibility for my diabetes and keep it under control now, will somehow erase one day in my childhood where I ignored it and made stupid decisions. I'm not naive enough to think that's actually how the universe works but a girl can hope, right? Of course the healthier I am, the less likely I am to get complications so I'll keep trying everyday to do my best. Still, it doesn't erase or excuse the past. So I'm just gonna keep on keepin' on. I'll do my best every day. And when I have to I'll feel frustrated and sorry for myself for a minute, breathe deeply, exhale and move on.

Praying for a healthy 2009,
~Layne

Friday, January 9, 2009

24-14

"Florida beats Oklahoma to win BCS national title"

That was the headline late last night to let everyone know that the University of Florida Gators are No. 1 again for the second time in 3 years!! I said it's great, to be, a Florida Gator!

I worked last night and, of course, every night that I work and secretly pray for a quiet night for whatever reason, ends up being a trainwreck. Last night started out simply enough. Our census was the lowest it's been in days (9 in the newborn nursery and 7 in the NICU, which is still a decent amount). But then we had a 30 weeker who was going to come before midnight. Fine, okay, we've got it. But that was in addition to a full Labor and Delivery floor (that's right, not one empty bed) that cranked out an average of one baby an hour. The 30 weeker ended up delivering at 11pm. Then at midnight our quiet night was kicked to the curb when a woman came in by ambulance and before anyone knew it she popped out a 25 weeker. No one was prepared and the doctor was barely in the room when she delivered. I got there a few minutes after the baby was born and he was tiny and critical but we were able to stabilize him. So obviously I missed the second half of the game. I love my Gators, but the babies come first. :-) Besides I knew they could handle it without me . . . And if they couldn't, I didn't want to watch anyway.

I love the number 24. Always have. Anyone who knws me well, knows it's "my number." Glad to see it served my Gators well last night. Personally, I would have preferred to see that number doubled but, whatev. We are still national champs!! That game was insane. I wish I could have seen more of it. From what I saw it was a frustrating but exciting game. It would have been nice if we had our act a little more together so we could shut up all the nay-sayers. (Them: "Utah should have played in the nationals!!" Me: "What?? Don't be stupid.") But like I said, we are still No. 1 and that's all that matters. Tebow deserved it (I guess I'll forgive him those two interceptions . . . just this once!) And Meyer deserved it. And Harvin desrved it for being awesome despite his ankle injury.

"We are the boys from old Florida,
F-L-O-R-I-D-A.
Where the girls are the fairest,
the boys are the squarest
of any old state down our way!
We are all strong for old Florida
down where the old Gators play.
In all kinds of weather, we'll all stick together for
F-L-O-R-I-D-A!"

Go Gators!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The countdown continues . . .

That's right, folks. It's T minus 3 days and counting until Brad and I move into our first house together. I think I've been cheating a little, though, because I've been not only taking every chance to pop into the house ( . . "Oh, I'm nearby . . I really wanna see the house again. . . WTH, I'll just pop in!" . . .yes, I'm stalking my house, leave me alone!) but also bringing boxes with me and filling the closets, cabinets and pantries. We don't have any furniture there yet, but as of now, any built-in storage there has something in it! Especially as we get closer, I just can't resist packing up anything that isn't necessary for survival and carting it over to the house. Not only is it incredibly satisfying to put our stuff into our house! It's also nice to now that the more we do now, the less hell-ish move-day will actually be. So think of us this Saturday and pray that it's an easy move! Yayeee!!

In other news this week, I went to an endocrinologist for the first time since moving to Orlando. For the last 8 months I've been followed by a PCP and, trust me, I wasn't enjoying it. There really is no substitute for a great endo who you have a good relationship with and who will really take their time with you to sort out any questions or issues. My pediatric endo was wonderful. However, since then, I've been seriously lacking. This is the 5th endo I've tried and I haven't been too impressed with any of them. I'm hoping this doctor will be better. I was prepared for my appointment and I brought with me my list of questions and a book (for me, endos are notorious for long waits). Yes, I do actually bring lists of questions/topics for my doctor appointments. I'm just anal like that.

The first appointment was a little weird but I'm willing to give it another chance. The good news is he had an answer/opinion about everything I had to say. I asked about pumps, CGM's, Symlin and brought up some of my personal diabetes quirks that I've dealt with forever. (For example, I've always been extremely insulin resistant. My carb ratio is 1:5. And I tend to spike my sugar about an hour to two after I wake up.) I like an MD with opinions because, to me, it means they know their stuff, have actually had experience with the subject at hand and have something to add to my thoughts on the subject. The bad news is that he reserved making any judgements on changing my care until he could do some tests. But I can appreciate that. There were a few labs he wanted to check out and I think he thinks I have a thyroid issue, which I don't think I do, but I respect him covering his bases. He also wants to do a C-peptide level since I'm considering starting the pump. (Without a C-peptide to "prove" I'm a type 1 diabetic, the insurance won't cover a pump. After all, I've only been dealing with this for 18 years and my doctors and myself could be totally mistaken about my diagnosis?!?)

Probably the funnest part of my appointment was that he gave me a trial Omnipod. I've looked at the pumps out there and i really think if I were to go back to pumping, this is the pump I would use. It just fits my lifestyle the best. But I still had my reservations, so it's nice to have the trial version so examine and wear so that I can get the "feel" of how invasive it would be. I must admit it was smaller than I thought it would be. And I'm curious how obvious it would be under clothes. Not to mention, I had a habit of ripping my sites out so with this pump being so 3D, I'm worried it will catch on everything. This week is weird because of the move so I'm thinking of slapping on my Trialpod sometime next week. Should be fun! You know your a dorky diabetic when you are excited to try out your new D-gear! :-)

Alright, I had news on the job front, but once again I've rambled on and on. So I'll get to that in the next post. TTFN!

~Layne

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I just don't get it.

Last night. It's 2am. I'm getting ready for bed. I test and I'm 188. No food, drink, alcohol or insulin has been had for over an hour. Looks like my blood sugar is steady. I go to bed.

At 6:45am, I wake up. I pee. I don't feel great. Is it the alcohol? Or is it the blood sugar? I test. I'm 107. Awesome. I go back to bed. I had no food, no drink, no insulin. Just peed, tested and went back to bed.

At 10:30am, we wake up. Feel fine. I test and I'm 213. What?? Explain that to me.

I did nothing to make my blood sugar go up.

I did nothing to make it go down.

But up and down it went.

All night.

Diabetes. I just don't get it.

~Layne