Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DRANK THE JUICE SHELBY, DRAAAANK THE JUICE!!


When I was diagnosed in 1992, I had just turned 9. My birthday had been the week before, and my mom had purchased me rodeo tickets to go see Billy Ray Cyrus at the Houston Astrodome (swoooooon). To this day, I blame my diagnosis on the mullet king. Well..not really...but kind of. One of the first things that entered my young mind when I learned of my diagnosis was "Am I going to die like Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias????". My mom quickly assured me that I would, in fact, not die like poor Shelby in the movie (she dies from a failed kidney transplant). But something about this movie has always stuck with me, and many other women i my age bracket. It also set the bar very low as far as putting out correct information to the general public regarding type 1 women procreating. I wish I had a dime for every ignorant person that asked me if having my sons would ruin my kidneys like poor Julia Roberts. Or being asked " I thought type 1s weren't supposed to have babies??", or my personal fave, "Is your baby going to be fat because of your diabetes??". First of all, its non of your effing business....my uterus, my life, butt out. Most people would never dream of asking "normal" pregnant women personal questions about their health status, so why has our society deemed it OK to ask women with diabetes??

Susan Harling Robinson, the woman Shelby's character was based on, was a wonderful pediatric nurse, and her brother, Robert wrote Steel Magnolias as a play in celebration of his sister's life. She also lived with type 1 in a time where only animal insulins were available, home glucose testing was not the norm, and little research had been done regarding type 1 and pregnancy. While the movie portrays his sister in a beautiful light, it also does little for type 1 diabetes awareness and communicating accurate information.

Today, women have technology, education and designer insulins at their disposal. Diabetes related complications, both for the baby and the mother, have been closely linked to hyperglycemia. In a time where analog insulins, insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors are the norm, we are seeing a sharp drop in children being born with congenital abnormalities and complications due to the mother's diabetes. I hate to brag (But SOOOO am), I kept my A1cs in the high 4s-low 5s, and my children are free of any complications from my disease management (their weird quirks are being blamed on their father's genes).

Nothing makes me more sad or hot headed than to meet someone who blatantly does not give a shit about their glucose control, when really, its the unborn baby that suffers :( I have followed many of my type 1 patients (now also very good friends of mine) through their pregnancies, and its tough cookies! But holding a little bundle of perfection in the end is worth every time I cursed at my endocrinologist :)

A special shout out to my lovely, amazing, and wonderful friends that went through infertility and IVF on top of their 'betes. I couldn't have made it through anything without you guys, and I love you more than you will ever know!!! www.IVFconnections.com was our saving grace!

So if you are planning on getting knocked up, do me a favor, meet with your endo and make sure your glucose control is where it needs to be. Or I will hunt you down. Not really...but yes, 'll hurt you...just kidding...no, seriously.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The road to becoming a Kardashian is paved by many trips to the can....


As my 10 year high school reunion is rapidly, RAPIDLY approaching...so is the stark realization that I could shed a few extra pounds. This last pregnancy really took its toll on my poor body, I ended up gaining about 60 lbs with Big B (I've since lost a little over 70...but I digress). So my new 12 stretch marks and I, like any other impressionable twenty somethings, want a fast fix. Enter: Kim Kardashian...yes, KIM KARDASHIAN. I want her body..wait, I mean like I want to have a body like hers..not that...well, maybe...AHEM, where was I??? So $40 worthless dollars later, I had my QuickTrim starter kit, along with a plan to look like Kim in 3 months. Aside from intense caffeine jitters, and 4-8 daily trips to the bathroom to take my "Kardashian", as I so lovingly call them, I ain't seen a whole lotta curves and olive skin. **Sighhhhhhhhh** Guess this means I actually need to incorporate less carbs (insert blood curdling scream), more aerobic exercise (Couch to 2K, anyone???), and maybe some Symlin into my life. Wahhhhhhhh but I wanna look like Kim Kardashian NOWWWWWWW.

Post baby weight is a BITCH to lose....even a BIGGER bitch for someone pumping a fat converting hormone into their body. Meh. Its so easy to preach and tell OTHER women how to lose weight. I want to eat Mac n Cheese, drink 2% lattes, take Kardashian magic pills, and wake up with less dimples in my ass, OH, and don't forget the natural bronze glow. Is that too much to ask, readers???

The bestie and I have been discussing our interest in becoming runners....so, I'm thinking we are going to start small, and take up mall walking. Might pick us up a sugar daddy (no pun intended) in the meantime ;)

Well, I'm going to go take a Kardashian and come up with other, non-labor intensive ways to lose weight....let me know if you have any!

Blah.

How YOU doinnnnn??

Dating in college was mostly fun for me. I chose to keep my 'betes under wraps until a guy proved himself worthy of my time and affections. This was back before my pumping days, and was easy to keep on the DL. Testing before leaving the house, and insulin shots in the bathroom were my norm. I'm very lucky to have never required assistance for a severe low sugar, so fear of dropping low was never realized by the likes of me.
I have a friend who went on a great date, and really connected with the guy, only to wake up to EMTs mainlining dextrose into her arm, while her date, almost in tears, tried to recall her last name for the paramedics. This annoyed her greatly, but proved to be true love for him (he soon got the boot for being too clingy).
Soon after the start of my dating relationship with Dr. C, I really began to look up to his attitude about the 'betes. He tested right at the table, he lifted his shirt for injections, no matter who was watching, and he had this "take it or leave me" air about him that I was so envious of. One night, I was at his place for dinner and a movie, he had begun to act goofy, and I thought nothing of it (I mean, c'mon, most guys are immature and act like little boys when they flirt), until he got up and started running laps around his dining room table. I kind of looked around, to make sure I wasn't being "Punkd", and finally asked him WTF? He answered me in garbled spanglish....to this day I have no idea what he said to me that night. Once I was able to get some Starbursts into him, we had a good laugh about it, although I could tell he was embarrassed.
After a good 6 weeks of dating, Dr. C said the 4 little words a girl never wants to hear "we need to talk....". My heart in my throat, I listened as he proceeded to try and break up with me because he "didn't want his kids to be born with type 1". Amid the hurt, confusion and anger, I was also somehow empathetic to his feelings. I left feeling lost for words.....
Dr. C couldn't stay away...I was his "type" (har har), whether he wanted to admit it or not. Not long after "the talk", which we ended up pretending never happened, he presented me with a sparkly sign of his affection.
Dating sucks...dating with diabetes sucks even harder. There are dating websites out there for people with chronic diseases, disabilities, weird fetishes, even one for people with STDs!! But none really for just us type 1s. Not that I would have necessarily sought out a partner with type 1, my life has turned out pretty good, considering. He's had all of his "shots" (again, har har), and gets me and my plight like no other. Have we been criticized for procreating, and creating children with a higher chance of developing type 1, you bet. And to all of those critics, go eff yourself. My kids are amazingly gorgeous and healthy, and would it be my worst nightmare for one of them to end up with this disease, hell yeah!! But, who better to care for them than Dr. C and me??

So, sports fans....what challenges have YOU met in the dating world with diabetes? And for those of us that are married with/to type 1, what advice do you have?

Diabetes sucks

As a diabetes nurse educator, I am a member of a few (very exclusive, be jealous readers) medical-type societies/organizations. All of us are required to put in continuing education hours as health care professionals, and usually, meetings of these groups goes towards servicing our needs (that's what she said). Here, as of late, I find myself, literally, falling asleep during these presentations...or daydreaming, wondering if the hotel bar can make a Mojito con Splenda (thanks, my Jewish looking friend, you know who you are).
I want more!!! I want to know that there are (quasi) normal people, such as myself, out there, that live normal lives with type 1 diabetes! Not to exclude the type 2s, but c'mon, ya'll are just a different population. Type 1s are the cool kids, we make up less than 10% of the diabetic community. I want doctors and educators to treat us accordingly! We have needs not met by social medias and public knowledge, I want the type 1 community to know that DIABETES SUCKS, but you know what, we know how to make your life next to normal (as long as you do what I say....aaaaaand not always as I do). I want patients to be able to talk with their health care providers about type 1 and: dating, sex, pregnancy, parenting, social stigma....just to name a few.
Soooo, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to write...I'm going to share my story...I'm going to answer the nitty gritty questions....and frankly, I want to make you laugh. Living with a chronic disease isn't fun, but, I want you to at least be able to find some humor in it, like I do.
An esteemed colleague recently told me that "blogs are so 2004", and you know what, he's right (as usual!!!), but I think this is the best media for now. So share with me your funny stories, comment on my posts, email me, add me on Facebook or Twitter, ask me Dear Abby questions...I want to hear it all! (Except complaints and criticism, you can just keep that to yourself).
Warning to all, this is not meant for kids, there may occasionally be vulgar language and taboo subjects, so if its going to offend you, then go AWAY...that is all :)

Love, Nurse Kelley