Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year in Review: 2009

I am starting a meme tradition around here at Semi-Charmed Life. I did this meme last year and I loved it! It was so much fun going through the posts from 2009 and remembering what the last year had been like, what I had been through and what I had been thinking. It's almost like reliving a piece of the past. It's only been a few months but some things feel like forever ago (like moving into our first home) and some things just feel like yesterday (like the Gators winning the national title). And there's just something amazing about reading my thoughts in those moments. So, now for the second annual "Year in Review."

Here's how it works: Jot down the first line of a definitive or memorable post from each month in 2009. I don't think my first-liners are all that great and probably don't really reflect my entire post since I tend to ramble and wander from subject to subject. So, to give things more context, sometimes I broke the rules and included more than just the first sentence. There were some months were a bunch of big stuff happened but I just picked the post with the best first-liner. There were other months where the most significant post didn't have the greatest first line but since the post was particularly meaningful to me, I included it anyway.

January: Big changes, big week
"But what a difference a year makes"

February: NYC, here we come!
"So I've been eerily silent lately. I feel it, I know it. But really what is there to blog about when you are happy, relaxed and having a great time? Isn't this a place to vent?"

March: Lazy days
"I've been so lazy lately. I can't seem to motivate myself to do the stuff I want to/should do."

April: Omnipod
"So, one of the things I did with my month off was take the time to (finally) try out my trial Omnipod."

May: Baby fever
"So I don't really know where it came from."

June: Days since . .
"Wow . . . Kerri's recent post inspired me to figure out how many days it's been since I've been diagnosed. So I was curious and I Googled and found this website and . . . just . . . well . . . holy crap!"

July: Bad day
"So a couple weeks back I did something really stupid. I went to work . . . and left my insulin at home."

August: Blast from the past
"
Okay, so a couple months ago Kerri over at Six Until Me has had a few posts where she dug up some of her old school diabetes equipment and what-have-you and reminisced about the "good old days" back in ancient diabetes times."

September: N/A
Yeah . . . I suck and forgot to post for a month!

October: Pack your bags . . .

". . cause you're going on a guilt-trip."

November: My day at work
"Today (and yesterday for that matter) I took care of a very sick little boy who was dying."

December: Christmas cards and Christmas wishes!
"
Today I am mailing out this year's Christmas cards."

Honorable mentions:
These were thrown in for good measure. They are posts I loved but didn't quite make the cut.

Pity Party

"Recently a fellow D-blogger's post reminded me a lot of my 'wake up call.' I think every diabetic has one."

Suckage . .
"Recently I've realized that sometimes I just can't tell people the ugly truth, even when I really, really want to."

Introducing . .
"So I know this is random but there is someone who is a big part of my life and I think it's about time we've had a proper introduction, don't you?"

Big News!
"Well, I guess I finally have to spill the beans, huh?"

What am I thankful for?
"I am at work right now but I am thankful that the crew I am working with is the 'cool crew.'"

Accountability and the DOC

"Since it's the holiday season I've been thinking about all the trouble that the big "D" can get me (us) in during this time of year."

Here's to a happy, healthy, wonderful 2010!!
Happy New Year!
~Layne

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Question!

Well, Kerri is awesome. I'm sure most of you know this but I just had to say that she is just so great. I've been having some insurance issues and she mentioned a while ago that she often gets questions from readers and if she doesn't know the answer, she'll pass them on via her blog. So I thought it couldn't hurt to ask! So I emailed her earlier today and "Voila!" within several hours she'd posted it. So, like I said, she's awesome.

To fill the rest of you in, I have been trying to go back on the pump for some time now. I used to pump in high school and college but was never in love with it and stopped in 2001. I've been on MDI's ever since and my A1C's have been good (mid-6's). I've been happy with my control and MDI's just seemed to fit my lifestyle. Early last year Brad and I decided we were very nearly ready to start a family. I talked to my Endo about it because I wanted to know what (if anything) I should be doing to prepare. He has never pushed me to go back on the pump but for pregnancy he feels it's the best option. So we decided to submit the paperwork to the insurance company and try to get me approved for the pump.

This was back in April. And I was very swiftly denied. Their words were that it was not "medically necessary" (aka my A1C's were already low "enough") and that the pump I wanted (the Omnipod) was an "out of network provider" so basically they didn't want to pay for it. Yeah, that was annoying. We have since appealed and they are standing firm with their original "No!" A couple of weeks ago, I got a called from my Endo's nurse (who handles most of the pump appeals) who suggested that we would probably have better luck if we asked for a different pump that my insurance company does have a history of approving for their patients. My second choice was the Animas Ping, so I called the Animas rep and she said that she does work with my insurance company and they have approved the Ping for some of their patients!! Yay!! So we have started the appeals process again, hoping to finally get approved. Well, here's were the problem comes in . . . no, believe it or not all that mess wasn't the "real" problem!

I'm starting a new job soon and will be changing insurance companies!! I'll be staying with my current insurance company (via Cobra) for the next 3 months or so becuase my benefits don't kick in for 90 days at the new job. But, if I actually get approved, I'll be a new pump user, so I'm not sure if it will carry over to the new insurance company?? Or will I have to go through all this appeals mess again?? I've already waited 8 months for this! And I don't really want to put the baby-making on hold any longer! ;o)

My hope is that, no matter how long I've been on the pump, whatever supplies I go into my new insurance plan using will be covered automatically without additional approval needed. But who knows? What if they don't have a contract with the pump I pick? Will they actually make me switch pumps? Can they even freaking do that? What if they don't cover pump supplies at all?

I'm stressing, can you tell? Anyway, thanks for listening to my vent and if you've already posted advice over at SUM, thanks for chiming in. If you have any other tips for dealing with insurance companies or advice from experience from this kind of thing, I'm all ears so please feel free to comment below!

Thanks all!
~Layne

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not for the faint of sugar. . er . . .heart

Okay, for those of you who don't already know, I absolutely adore cooking and baking. I love food. Trying new things, new tastes, experimenting, making things I didn't think I could make at home. . . and finding out how easy and delicious it can be. When a recipe works out and Brad actually likes it (he can be pretty picky, at times) it is such feeling of success!! A huge rush!! Anyway, I really, really enjoy it and try to do it as often as possible.

I also try to stay as healthy and budget-conscientious as possible which (unfortunately) takes a lot of the fun out of cooking. But a big pro of cooking is how much money you are saving by not eating out, which is a big vice that Brad and I have. We love food and eating out is fun and easy alternative to making dinner when we are wrecked at the end of the day. Besides the waste of money, eating out also tends to be much less healthy than making the same kinds of food at home. One fun thing that I love to do is recreate a dish that I ate at a restaurant that we both liked. It's fun to try to make it at home for less money and more health benefits.

But then the holidays come and all that health and budget stuff goes flying out the window. The last couple of weeks I have spent hours in the kitchen making goodies for the holidays and they are positively sinful. My best friend, Kristen, and I made a pact that whatever we didn't eat before New Year's Eve will be served at our New Year's Eve party. Because eating all that by yourself just isn't a good idea.

In other attempts to keep from consuming all these calories myself (with the help of Brad and Raina, of course), I have also taken to giving some of these treats out to friends. And, in response, I've gotten a few recipe requests. So I've posted some of our yummiest recipes over on our food blog but, be warned, these are NOT nutritionally or diabetically friendly!! But these treats are amazing, so allow yourself to enjoy some deliciousness . . . in moderation, of course!

Homemade Marshmallows (Yes, it can be done!)

Saltine Toffee Candy (Sounds weird but cast aside your doubts, this candy is phenomenal!)

And just so you know that I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I've literally got thousands of calories worth of homemade sinful-ness stashed in my fridge, here's the evidence!

Hope you enjoy!
~Layne

Note: Believe it or not, my sugars have actually been pretty good this holiday season. I had one day this weekend where my sugars where bouncing all over and I was dealing with high's one minute and lows the next (I hate that!). But eventually I got it under control and for the most part the rest of the time I've managed to stay on top of my sugars. But I won't say anymore for fear of jixing it!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Where is the dog?

It has been unseasonably. . well, not unseasonably, but definitely unusually . . . cold here in Florida this week. Raina has been enjoying some relaxing lap time with us and we have broken out the much-hated (by Brad) dog sweaters. Raina actually likes them because she really does get cold very easily and they really do help. And I just think they are too darn cute! All this lap time is much less exciting for her than her usual window-jumping, barking, mad-dash adventures but does provide some much needed warmth for her skinny, little, close-to-the-ground body.

Well, a few days ago I decided that it had been a while since I had seen Raina around. No barking at the window, no lap time and no familiar tap-tap-tapping of her little claws on the wood floor. So, like the nervous "mother" I am, I decided to try to find her and make sure that she was not only okay, but also had not gotten into any trouble since I had last spotted her.

First, her living room bed. . . nope.Then, her office bed. . . nope.
Then, her crate in our bedroom . . . again, nothing!
And, yes, she really does have that many beds! I called and called but she didn't come. One last room to check, the guest bedroom. But surely she wouldn't be in there. .
Wait a minute . . . ?
That little shit!
Ugh! But she's just so stinkin' cute! ;-)
She's really not supposed to do this. The guest bed is the only bed in the house that is low enough for her to be able to climb on unassisted. Every so often she'll decide that burrowing under the pillows sounds like a really great idea! It's been a while since she's done it but I guess the cold weather just got to her. . . so much so that her "Santa's Helper" sweater just wasn't doing the trick.

But, like I said . . . she's just too freaking cute! And we end up in a puddle of giggles rather than punishing her like we should. Oh well.

Spoiled dog.

~Layne

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

So far I have had the most amazing Christmas! There is still more to come but I wanted to pop on and wish everyone out there a very merry Christmas. I hope that everyone is feeling as much love and joy as I am.

Merry Christmas everyone!
~Layne

PS: And as absolutely stuffed as I am, my blood-sugars have been amazing (seriously, 70's and 80's) all day long!?! I'm off to my third (or fourth?) Christmas feast of the day so here's hoping it lasts!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas cards and Christmas wishes!

Today I am mailing out this year's Christmas cards. For the last several years, this has become a tradition, to have a family picture taken and sent out (in Christmas card form) to family and loved ones during the holidays.

This year's picture isn't my favorite. (Last year's was cuter even if we lost Raina a little in all that black!) But it's still a cute card and since this is where my "blog family" is located, I thought I would share it with all of you!

I really do wish all of you a safe, happy and Merry Christmas! And I hope this year everyone has the time to sit back and reflect on what this holiday is truly about. The blessings that He has bestowed on you and the wonderful people (and puppies) that God has made a part of your life. This time of year can be stressful (baking and presents and shopping, oh my!) but it can be such a magical time too, if you let it! I am so grateful for all that I have. . .

. . . an amazing husband who adores me and who sometimes I wonder if I really deserve.

. . . a sweet little dog who loves to cuddle one minute and bark her little butt off the next.

. . . an infuriating, but wonderful family who I couldn't live without. Especially a mother who has always put me first, even when I'm all grown up.

. . . and a wonderful group of friends that I know would do anything for me if I ever needed it.

. . . Oh! And the DOC, who always lends an ear and a shoulder when life just gets to be too much and I can't quite take it anymore.

I really am grateful. There isn't much more in life that I could ask for (::cough:: baby ::cough::). May you all have a blessed Christmas!

~Layne

May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Monday, December 14, 2009

Semi-Charmed Life, Pt 1

So I recently realized that I have never explained the reason for my blog name. I thought for sure that, at some point, I must have . . . but I looked and nope! So here goes. . .

I'm sure most people remember the song "Semi-Charmed Life." It was by Third Eye Blind, one of my favorite bands of all time and was released in 1997, square in the middle of my high school years. It was a pretty popular song for a while. I loved the song as soon as it came out and for me and my friends it became an instant beach song. You know, the kind of song that you blast in the car over the summer as you and a car-ful of friends are driving to the beach with the windows rolled down, singing into your hairbrush. I'm sure everyone has that song (or two or three) that just sums up a certain time in your life. Well, Semi-Charmed Life was that song for me for my high school years.

It's a song about a dude who does crystal meth and his descent into addiction. The chorus talks about wanting something more in life but not really knowing what or even how to get it. So why did it resonate with us? With me? A 15 year old kid who made great grades, never got into trouble and who wouldn't know what to do with crystal meth if you handed it to her!

Well, first and most obviously was the beat and the music, it was just awesome. The music and the lyrics were all over the place and a bit A.D.D., which works great for any 15-year old. It was just good, happy music. Not so much the lyrics but the beat, definitely. It was energetic and we would blast it, start jumping around and just have a great time. The fact that it was about drugs made it "edgy" and even more fun. (It's 15-year-old logic . . run with me here.)

But the song wasn't just about addiction. If you listen closely and know the lyrics, you'll see that it talks a lot about being happy and then sad and confused about life all at once. And then there's that part about wanting more. Well, if that doesn't sound like an angsty teenage, I don't know what does.

This post is getting pretty long, so more on what about this song inspired my blog title to come. Until then, here are the lyrics to a great song, in case you never knew them and a little video to remind you of the song itself.

Enjoy!

Semi-Charmed Life lyrics
Do do do,
doot do doot do,
Do do do,
doot do doot do,
Do do do,
doot do doot do

I'm packed and I'm holding
I'm smiling, she's living, she's golden
She lives for me
Says she lives for me
Ovation, her own motivation
She comes round and she goes down on me

And I make her smile
Like a drug for you
Do ever what you want to do
Coming over you
Keep on smiling,
What we go through
One stop to the rhythm that divides you

And I speak to you like the chorus to the verse
Chop another line like a coda with a curse
I come on like a freak show takes the stage
We give 'em the games she play,

She said
I want something else
To get me through this
Semi-charmed kind of life (Baby, baby)
I want something else
I'm not listening when you say
Good-bye

Do do do,
doot do doot do,
Do do do,
doot do doot do,
Do do do,
doot do doot do

The sky it was gold, it was rose
I was taking tips of it through my nose
And I wish I could get back there
Some place back there
Smiling in the pictures you would take
Doing crystal meth
Will lift you up until you break

It won't stop, I won't come down,
I keep stock with a tick-tock rhythm,
A bump for the drop
And then I bumped up
I took the hit that I was given
Then I bumped again
And then I bumped again

I said, How do I get back there to
The place where I fell asleep inside you?
How do I get myself back to
The place where you said

I want something else
To get me through this
Semi-charmed kind of life (Baby, baby)
I want something else
I'm not listening when you say
Good-bye

I believe in the sand beneath my toes
The beach gives a feeling, an earthy feeling
I believe in the faith that grows

And the four right chords can make me cry
When I'm with you I feel like I could die
And that would be all right, all right

And when the plane came in
She said she was crashing
The velvet it rips, in the city
We tripped on the urge to feel alive
But now I'm struggling to survive
Those days you were wearing that velvet dress
You're the priestess, I must confess
Those little red panties
They pass the test
Slides up around the belly
Face down on the mattress

One, and you hold me
And we're broken

Still it's all that I want to do, just a little now
Feel myself, head made of the ground
I'm scared, I'm not coming down, no no
And I won't run from my life
She's got her jaws now locked down in a smile
But nothing is all right, all right

I want something else
To get me through this life.
Baby
I want something else
I'm not listening when you say
Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye, good-bye

Do do do,
doot do doot do,
Do do do,
doot do doot do,
Do do do,
doot do doot do

The sky it was gold, it was rose
I was taking sips of it through my nose
And I wish I could get there
someplace, back there
In the place we use to start our lives


Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas decorations!


Well, as promised, here are the much anticipated (note the sarcasm) pictures of our holiday decorations this year. I think we need to add a little more to the yard but it was our first year doing outdoor decorations and we didn't want to go overboard.

Sorry the outdoor pics are so dark but we were trying to the get full effect of the lights. For our first year, I don't think it looks half bad. I also included our family stockings that I made for each of us several years ago. Raina gets so excited when her's comes out of the box! Oh! And you can even see our Gator ornament at the center of our Christmas tree! :-) Although our star blends in a little since it's right in front of the red valence. Oh well, I still love our Christmas decorations. They make me happy!

Enjoy!
~Layne

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ugh . .

I feel like I've been punched or kicked. And a little nauseaus. No, my blood sugar is fine. But the butt-whopping the Gators just got from Alabama was entirely too depressing for my taste.

Seriously bummed now. . .

There goes our season. . .

Ugh,
~Layne

I'm such a slacker. . .

Okay so I was definitely supposed to work this weekend. And it was a bummer because I'm SURE that you all know that today is the SEC Championship Game, Gators vs Alabama!! Meanwhile, I'm stuck at work. :-( Booooo . . .

On the other hand, our NICU has been having census issues, meaning that we don't have as many babies as we normally do and our nurses are getting called off work. It's kind of a blessing and a curse. Of course it's always a blessing when babies are doing well, going home and/or not getting sick in the first place. But we all need to make a living and the nurses are hurting with all these call-offs.

So that leaves me with this morning, when I was grumbling with another girlfriend at work about much it sucks to not be able to enjoy the game. We are both big Gator fans and we were both hugely bummed. Then one of the nurses who got called off this morning called into the unit asking if anyone wanted to go home early, because she wanted to pick up extra hours wherever she could. Well, I hopped on board!! So I got off work at 2pm in time to be back home, in my Gator gear and parked in front of the boob tube for the game!!

And the best part is that when my girlfriend heard what I had pulled off, she actually had the brilliant idea of calling one of the other ladies who got canceled this morning and offered her part of her shift!! So we ended up leaving together!! I am such a bad influence. ;-)

So, yeah, I gave up part of my paycheck to go home, be lazy and watch the game?? When did I turn into a man! Oh well! I'm just glad to be having so much fun this afternoon and I'll be back at work bright and early tomorrow morning. And I guess I better get going because the game is starting . . .I'm very nervous because it's a big game and no one knows whats going to happen. But aren't those always the best kind of games?

Go Gators!

~Layne

Friday, December 4, 2009

Explanation

Okay, so that last post was incoherent rambling at best. To explain, I have been having a LOT of lows lately. Most notably in the morning when I first wake up. And these lows have been breaking all my rules. Usually, if I make sure my blood sugar is over 100 before bed I'm okay throughout the night and morning. But I've been as high as 153 before bed and then taking a nose-dive at night and (barely) waking up with a blood sugar in the 40s or 50s. Um. . . annoying?

Especially when it's after a nice long night of sleep when I actually should be waking up refreshed and rested. . . instead I'm a sweaty, shaky mess and I feel completely drained. NOT a good start to the day!

So this morning, it happened . . . again. I woke up with a blood sugar of 48 and went into shaky, panic mode. Of course I over-corrected (because of the complete lack of willpower that happens when I go into the aforementioned shaky, panic mode) and ended up battling a high blood sugar for the rest of the morning. Until, of course, after lunch when I decided to go low again. Ugh. . . shoot me.

::Attn Males: Turn away if you are squeamish about girl-stuff::

If I had to guess I'm going to blame my period. I think that most diabetic women usually run high during their period but I don't. I think I actually tend to bounce around way more during my period. I will run low most of the time but then it seems to be way easier to over-correct a low when I am on my period, thus sending my sugars through the roof. Maybe I'm just more sensitive to both food and insulin at "that time of the month"?

Who knows? All I know is that it's really frustrating to have a routine and to have rules that govern the majority of this stupid disease . . . and then randomly all bets are off and my sugars go haywire. I can blame my period or whatever else but the truth is that I'll never know why my blood sugars are being weird. All I can do is guess and try to anticipate it in the future. But for the here and now my only option to get through it is to treat and move on.

Oh! And to quell the rising frustration that threatens to take over . . .I should do that too!

Grrrrrr,
~Layne

Low, low, low

I'm low. I'm here, sipping OJ and low. I haven't even tested but I know I'm low.

Okay, now I've tested and I'm 62. . . after the first round of OJ.

Lows suck. . . is it over yet?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just sayin'

And thank the Lord, too! Very satisfying but ::whew:: lots of work! Hopefully this has changed my blogging habits for the better, though. And believe it or not there are actually still topics that I wanted to talk about that I never had a chance to post. At least I can take my time now. My new goal (post-NaBloPoMo) will be to write a few posts a week . . . wish me luck!

~Layne