Saturday, October 3, 2015

Another Year

I was wandering through my online pages and noticed it's almost been a year again here on Blogger.

Life is different, again.

We paid everything off in February. It was and is a wonderful feeling. We have a fully funded emergency fund.

I was told Shoe Carnival would be closing it's Logan location.

Our last day of sales was July 19th.

It was a sad thing to lose that job. I really enjoyed working there. The job served it's purpose. It bought us a second car, dug us out of debt and fully funded our emergency fund. It provided more management experience to my resume. A different kind of management from the gas station.

Zane worked as a manager for a short time to help fill a gap in management before we closed our doors. His working there, the gas station and working Walmart got him the attention of a hiring manager at Thermo Fisher. He was able to snag a job there after we closed our doors at Shoe Carnival. He was able to leave Walmart after five years. He's really excited by this new job. It has lots of room for growth and AMAZING benefits.

This closure pushed me to get back into school. I applied and got reaccepted back into Utah State University. I start again in January. I plan to do Spring, Summer and Fall to knock out all the courses I need to get to ARN. I'll apply to get into BATC's LPN program in Fall 2017. After that, do the LPN to RN program.

I was able to snag a job as an assistant manager at Spirit Halloween to keep me busy until school starts. This job will pay for my Spring 2016 Semester.

I'm still an assistant manager with the gas stations. I hit 5 years in August. I plan to stay until I can snag a job as an RN but we'll see. The RN program is M-F 8-4. I also still have my University job which will soon be switching to 1pm-12am Saturday and Sunday.

I want to pull it all off but we'll see. I need to see how well I handle the school work.

I did a trial run of Adderall while I was in-between Shoe Carnival and Spirit. It did not go well. After about a week, I realized that much of my anxiety and suicidal thoughts from high school likely stemmed from the stimulant. I tried the Adderall for about two and a half weeks before some serious suicidal thoughts caused me to decide that stimulants for my ADD are a no go from now on.

I need to follow up with my Doc and take another crack at the non-stimulant medicine I had initially decided were a no go in high school

To follow up on the family front, we did a little research into the infertility. We have some ideas as to what is going on. We'll do further research next year when we opt for the lower deductable insurance at his new job. It may be a simple fix. I think it's going to come down to deciding to pull the trigger on starting our family. We have some timing to weigh but we don't want to wait too much longer. Zane is 30 this year and I would rather not wait much longer. We're shooting to have a down payment saved up inside the next year, once we've settled into a house, we'll likely pull that trigger.

As always, it's different but always happy. Another year has brought more friends and more memories.

Here's to another year of accomplished goals.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


My last post was over a year ago. At least I'm consistent. I need to update.

I've picked up another job this year. I was asked to come be a manager for Shoe Carnival. Bringing my paid hours a week to 80. Yes, I work two full time jobs and squeeze in USU. Along with a bubbling and happy marriage. (Coming up on six years, woot!) Even in this mix I still find a bit o time for friends and personal education. I'm not entirely sure how, but it's happening.

I finished up the two pre-requisite classes I could take from BATC. The rest have to be taken at USU and I decided I would finish my financial goals before I looked into figuring out when to take those classes.

Currently we are three months from financial freedom. Can I say that again? THREE MONTHS! Freaking excited. We will have paid off close to $45,000 in the last five years. When you work minimum wage jobs and have had the medical expenses we've had, I think that's amazing.

Something magical will happen in February, our income will be ours to keep and direct. Between the two of us, we work an average 140 hours a week. It will be fantastic to finally get to leave that cash in our bank account. By next October, we will have $16,000 stashed in our account for our fully funded 6 month emergency fund. Yes, I follow Dave Ramsey's teachings on finances. The dude has got it down. Starting next November I will be able to start savings full bore for retirement. (On a side note, I will be getting a 401k in April from Shoe Carnival. Woot!) Then college cash, here we come. Once I get that cash for school stashed it will be time for a reevaluation of what to do next.

Crazy as it sounds, I do like all my jobs. Though I am exhausted, after six months, I've mostly adjusted to the hours. To be honest, brains don't function at 100% with that many hours packed in a week. (At least mine short circuits from time to time.) I'm very lucky to be employed by some awesome people. I've got a rock solid schedule and they're kind enough to let me work it.

With this job at Shoe Carnival, we were catapulted forward by well over a year on getting out of debt. It's been a blessing.

It's been grueling but so satisfying. We plan to take a small excursion in February to visit family to celebrate our freedom.

I still want to be a nurse. I'll get my degree from the technical school and hopefully I can find an employer to help me pay for a Bachelors in Nursing. Maybe even a Master's in Business. That'd be fantastic.

Somewhere in the future, a house will come along. Not quite sure where, have to see how the chips fall as we go forward. The goal is to have the house paid off in less than five years.

With a paid off house, no debt and hopefully a rocking job, we can start stashing to get this clinic out of dreamland and on the path to reality. It may not be exactly my own building when we get there, but we'll just have to see. There is still a need in this valley (along with most of the world) to provide better care and support for people living with diabetes.

I hear a rumor that with the hospital's expansion, they may bring an endocrinologist into Cache Valley. That'd be fantastic.

Which reminds me, I finally went to my boss' CDE. He freaking rocks. For the first time in almost eight years, I spoke to someone who knows more than me about diabetes. It was fantastic. (My favorite word right now.) He's enthusiatic and has a way of seeing clearly and finding a goal to work on. I'm currently working hard to pre-bolus. Something I've always been scared of doing because I would always go low. His guess was that I was a bit aggressive with my insulin. I've been working his plan and it's going good. Working as much as I do, diabetes is really just simmering on the back burner. I'm taking care of it, but mostly just enough attention to keep the pot from boiling over.

Me and my man are still just as nuts as we have always been. He's my best cheerleader and best friend. He works his tail off. He always puts me to shame. I can only try to be as diligent as he is. But I am trying. This year, as I said, is six years married. January is seven years together. Being married is my greatest joy. In nothing have I ever been so happy. I love working day by day, side by side.

We talk about kids as we always have. We don't know when they're coming. I will probably look into fertility testing as we get closer to our financial freedom. If nothing else, we are setting up a home to possibly someday foster or adopt children. Family is in the future, we're just not sure of the timing. But all the same, we're happy.

Life is good, we're working it hard. Be back in year? Probably.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I Have A Dream

So here's the dream, buy gas stations and start a not for profit diabetes clinic for Cache Valley.

How do I accomplish this?

I'm still figuring that out. I have a number of steps to take before I get there, but I'm determined to land in the ball park of this dream. Cache Valley is in need of a clinic specializing in diabetes. People with diabetes are in need of education, care and assistance that they can afford.

I just finished up my CNA class at BATC on Thursday. I really enjoyed the class but I kind of wish it had been longer. Just to soak up more information from the teacher. He has a lot to offer but just not enough time.

My goal is at least an RN and becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator.

To accomplish my goal, I need to finish up at least the RN, get experience working where diabetes is the focus of the majority of my work, get certified as a CDE and business degree? Then build the money to get the clinic out of dreamland and into reality.

At this moment I can't quite see how to get there and hold down my 60 hours a week of work. I need to add more working hours to maintain my CNA license as well.

For now, I'm working on getting my pre-requisites out of the way for the LPN program. Then I'll figure out how to do the 8:30a to 4:30p, M-F schedule of the LPN program while maintaining my position as Assistant Manager at the stations.

Then I assume I'll be doing the same for the RN. Along the way I need to be holding down a health care job and building contacts to be able to bring this dream to reality.

I finally understand people who say they need more hours in a day. I need more days in each week and every year.

The pace may be grueling but that's not necessarily the challenge, it's mostly fitting all of it into each week while maintaining relationships and chasing after my exasperating health. (But I'll not say the pace is a cake walk.)

I'm excited and a bit terrified to be taking this path into health care. I find health care to be an intimidating career with all the things that have the potential to go wrong. But the rewards just beg to be considered. Helping people is my passion. I don't need to be paid to do it, but I need more time to do it. To have more time, I need to make helping people with diabetes my profession. Teaching about diabetes, assisting with care of diabetes, answering questions about diabetes and just being a friend who "gets it" really make me happy at the end of the day. When I can make a connection with people, I'm just tickled pink. But there's even more satisfaction when I can make a difference in someone's health and sanity as well.

And why do I want to keep those gas stations? Well... a lot of reasons. Working there, I've built myself a community. I adore customer service. After a while, it's not customer service, it's seeing your friends every morning before they go to work. Seeing how they are all doing. Encouraging when they need a bit of a boost to make it through another day of work. Sharing and celebrating success.

There's also the people you work with, they become like family after a while. Everyone putting their best effort into making each store a success. It's team work and it's hard work at times.

I adore the work, it's different every day because people are different every day.

At the end of the day, it's very satisfying and enjoyable. I feel a bit possessive of the stores because of the work we have put into them. I couldn't stand seeing them fail. We all put blood, lots of sweat and some tears into each store. It would just feel wrong to leave. To me, it's not just a job, it's just my every day.

Cross your fingers for me. I'm prepping to do some mountain climbing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Friends are Better Diabetics...

I had a disturbing realization last night while grocery shopping, that my friends have gotten better at the eating like a diabetic than me. I've told them how to walk the walk, talk the talk and then I just stopped doing it. This shames me because they all go out of their way to accommodate me, spend a little extra on dinner when I'm over and are very mindful of my needing to eat low carb.

I want to be excellent in my care of my blood sugars, an example to help others and here I'm dragging bottom on taking care of myself. I'm eating crap because it's cheap. Noodles, potatoes, poptarts. Telling myself I have no other way, that I work too much to spend time cooking good food and doing it affordably. I hate how much diabetes costs to do it right, the time and money. So I decided I'll just deal with the consequences, I'll be tired, I'll feel gross. Then, at least, I won't feel I'm using more than my share of our resources. I tell myself, I'll just go after high blood sugars and pull them right down. Except, it doesn't work that way. The more I do it, the worse I feel. It stacks. The up and downs wear out my body. It wears out my work ethic. Too tired to do this, too tired to do that. The house slips, I'm not doing my jobs as well as I should, I'm freaking moody and taking it out on my poor husband. It affects my relationship. It just keeps piling. I go through these runs of burn out. A lot. I'm currently trying to get the 'you-can-do-it' steam going again. I just don't know how some people do it. Some weeks, all I feel capable of doing is making myself keep my pump on, replacing the site when the insulin stops absorbing enough. Check a blood sugar here and there. Pump in insulin to bring down yet another high blood sugar.

This is all just miserable on the physical side. All of my muscles ache and burn, my stomach aches, rumbles and burns. High blood sugars are just miserable. The lows suck too. It all sucks. -whine, whine, whine-

The doc looked at my blood sugars and was confused as to why I was upset with my lack of control. My A1c was 7.4% (8/13/12). He looked at my blood sugar charting. He kept saying it's not as good as we'd like but it's not terrible. He felt I had no reason to be chasing down other routes.... It felt pretty terrible the whole ride. It was painful, burning and nauseating. I'm just blugh.... and that's all I seem to be. I put up the chipper facade (it's not always a facade, I do very much enjoy my job) all day at work because customers don't need anything besides their soda.

I want to do better and I keep trying. It just doesn't feel like I've got any forward motion. I CAN do these 60 hour weeks but I'm starting to wonder if I should.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Officially just a lurker

I do still run around the blogosphere but I certainly don't ever publish anything I ever write. I've got like 20 posts unpublished.

This past year has been troubled by watching friends become diabetic. I recently lost a good friend to diabetes. She was one of the first to listen and help me come to terms with being diabetic. Damn diabetes.

I've decided to become a nurse. I just can't stand to watch yet another friend let out of the hospital so unprepared for what lies ahead of them. Too many friends and some day friends who are being and will be hurt by diabetes. I have to do something. Nursing is where I think I can have the most impact. Wish me luck.

To update from the last post forever ago, my pump is long paid off. I'm thinking I may go Animas when I need to replace this one. The integration with the Dexcom catches my attention. Along with many of it's features. But I can't deny that Medtronic has always been reliable. The whole, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. ~shrug~ We'll see when I cross that bridge.

I do love diabetes networking. I want to be the person people turn to or recommend when they need diabetic advice. I want to be there for them. Someone who understands. There's something about knowing that someone actually gets and has felt how you feel. Diabetes makes you feel in such a way that just can't be described and understood well except by someone who's been there, done that.

I want to see endocrinologists in Logan. If, by the time I can, someone hasn't started a clinic, I will work in every way I can to get one here in Logan. I have so many ideas but I just have to trudge through schooling and waiting before I can do much. So I'll just keep moving forward and helping who I find along the way.

I wish I could say I'm peachy keen on diabetes lately, but I'm not. It's kicking my trash. Last quarter was great, I felt on top of it all. Then my A1c came back and just wasn't quite what I wanted. I've been trying for two years to get back under 7.0%. I thought I'd gotten it. But I missed by a mere 0.2%. For some reason, that just felt like a slap in the face for all my hard work (I had less lows, less highs, and did serious work on retweaking basals as needed, I felt like I had never done better in all my five years). I'm in search of that golden 6.5% and it seems I just can't get there. I want that number so that I'll feel safe trying to start a family. But whatever. I'll just keep working at it.

This quarter, I started a second job. My husband and I are both working two jobs now. Both putting in 60 hours a week. Along with our weekly social commitments it's been exhausting. It's been a little over three months and I feel like I may finally be getting on top. But my blood sugars have really suffered along the way. Between the stress, the lack of time for cooking good meals and the lack of rest, it's been hard. Along with the fact that three of my bottles of insulin got fried and didn't work consistently. Ugh, it's been hard.

Can I just bitch right now how much the cost of diabetes pisses me right off!? If I weren't diabetic, we'd be buying a house right now. Sitting quite comfortably paying extra down on our mortgage each month and putting away a cushy savings. But all the costs of diabetes eat 80% what extra income we get from our second jobs. So instead of piling cash like most couples who work four jobs can do, we pay all our bills, my medical expenses and save a very small amount on the side. Making it feel like we'll never be able to get into a house. Just freaking pisses me off. My diabetes is stealing from me and my family. I get so mad that my illness holds us back like this. Zane always tells me it's worth it, he'll always want my health over anything else but for some reason, saying that just doesn't ease the anger.

If I don't repost in over two years again, feel free to come find me on Facebook. I'll just be trudging along. Usually in much higher spirits than this post finds me today. Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Demand an Update!

I must update this blog. I've had a few things to post but life gets in the way of writing.

Anyway, brief-ish update. Life has been good. Coming up on two years being married. It's been awesome sauce. I've changed jobs, couldn't handle Walmart AKA The Empire for any longer. It's hard to work for a company you just can't stand. My health has had it's ups and downs, I think my current A1c is about 7.1%, so doing beautifully. I compared my charts from my pump to my charts from last year. They're about the same. While I wish they were better, they're not worse which is good.

I've had my frustrations with getting a Dexcom but I did secure one. Now the irony, after all the fighting to get it, I can't stand to use it. It bothers me terribly, it's hard to put on and it's hard to carry around. I kept knocking it into things. And while it gave me awesome data, it drove me nuts at night. Apparently if it ended up on the other side of Zane, it couldn't recieve data from it's sensor and started wailing like a very irritating alarm clock. I also kept having to re calibrate it which drove me nuts. I may have given it more of a run for it's money if I'd had a local resource to ask for help and encouragement. But for now, it's being kept in the closet. I will most likely suck it up when we finally hit the point of having kids. It'll be my best friend once I get pregnant.

I have some excellent friends who are always good for a rant about my blood sugars and they're all well educated on the topic. So my poor husband doesn't have to bear the brunt of all my frustration.

Life is good, the bills are being paid and the medical debts are almost gone. Got about $100-200 on the pump left. Wahoo! Now to get the school debts gone.

Also, on the home front, I have a total of three nieces and a nephew now. Only one am I related to, but they're all adorable and have me wrapped around their little finger. If you go through my facebook, I'm sure you'll find pics of all four.

I am grateful for the resources, family and friends I have. They keep feeling just like everyone else, I'm normal, just diabetic. They're always good for a laugh, and my diabetes, while everyone knows it's serious, we keep it light and humorous, which makes everything easier.

See you in a year! (Hopefully not so long, but hey, look at my track record.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Day!!

Today is an awesome day. More is taught about diabetes today, than any other day of the year. Today is World Diabetes Day. A day dedicated to raising the world's awareness of how dangerous diabetes can be. We diabetics take today and give our quiet disease a voice. Many blog, many participate on Twitter, and other's take extra time teach their friends, neighbors and community.

Diabetes is a chronic illness. There are three main types: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational. There are many others too, such as LADA.

Since I'm Type 1 myself I'll explain about that one.

Type 1 usually refers to diabetics who's ability to live is dependent on their injected insulin. Without insulin, they would not survive. Most people pick it up as a child. But not all people get diabetes at a young age. Personally, I didn't get it until right before my 18th birthday. I know others who don't get it till their 20s and later.

Generally it's caused by the immune system becoming confused and attacking the part of the pancreas that produces insulin. This causes a deficit of insulin, causing blood sugars to soar and the child is usually sent to the hospital and diagnosed within a month. Over about a year, the body eventually stops producing any insulin at all. This year is called the honeymoon. The pancreas produces a little insulin but eventually wears out because it can't produce enough insulin because of immune attack.

It's taken care of by a regimen of either multiple daily injections of insulin or a nifty tool called an insulin pump.

The second main step is eating a careful diet. This does NOT mean, they can't eat sugar. They just have to watch their carb intake and bolus (take insulin) appropriately. I personally try to make sure I eat about 300 grams of Carbs a day. This is one place where family and friends definitely help me a lot. We eat at friends often and they are always sure to save carb counts of everything they've made and keep track of all the ingredients in their dishes. They also usually have diet pop on hand and now almost always use whole-grain in everything they make. I can't say how much this means to me and how much it helps me.

The third main step is exercise. About 30 minutes, five days a week. Very important and definitely something I need to get back into the habit of doing. Exercise is a great way to lower blood sugars and keep them low.

And last, but probably the most important, is testing your blood sugar on a very regular basis. Personally, I try to test when I wake up, before and after every meal, before I drive and before and during heavy exercise. Usually, I'll test about 7-10 times a day. Some people think I'm nuts, but I think it is critical to watch my blood sugars very closely to keep my HbA1c as close as I can to 6.5%. (This is my personal goal) By doing this, I prolong my life and live healthier every day.

There are many other things that go into caring for yourself. As a Type 1 myself, I could go on for hours about it. My most helpful resources for caring for diabetes are my wonderful husband, my family and my awesome friends! Without them, I wouldn't be in the pretty awesome health I am.

If you have any questions, definitely drop me a line. And on a more personal note, my blood sugars have been awesome the last few weeks and it looks a CGM has been approved by my insurance! Woot! And hopefully, I'm going to be in school this Spring semester. Now I have Gotta get to work.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2007 (January 24th)

3. But I had symptoms since: For about a month. Type 1 Diabetes is quick to make it's self well known. At least for me.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: That I have to stick to a schedule, be consistent and NOT lose my damn meter. (Which is currently hiding somewhere in the apartment, I hope.)

5. Most people assume: That Type 1 Diabetes must be awful. (Usually goes, "Wow, isn't that the worst kind? Doesn't that suck? I couldn't do it.") It's not to me. In fact, diabetes has been a blessing. It's taught me so much and is teaching me, by force, that I must be responsible. Rather ironically, diabetes forces me to be more healthy than I ever would have been without it. Diabetes is just a daily pain in the ass, literally some days.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Waking up to a low or a high that makes me late to work because I can't drive until it's taken care of.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Does Bones count? There's medicalish stuff in there.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My insulin pump and meter.

9. The hardest part about nights are: Being visited by Mr. Ambitious (aka, my husband) in the middle of night and then stumbling around trying to figure out where the heck I put my meter and that juice I had stashed by the bed.

10. Each day I take: Insulin and usually at least one juice box (or sugar cookies) for a low blood sugar.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Think anyone who thinks I can live without insulin smoked a little too much pot while researching their latest 'cure'.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I'd really rather not be sick. But given the choice, I'll take invisible. That way, people can't make assumptions about how well I can do my job before they see me DO the job.

13. Regarding working and career: Diabetes doesn't hold me back. It does make me feel like I have to work harder to prove that Diabetes won't hinder my ability to do the job, though.

14. People would be surprised to know: That just because I'm not visibly sick doesn't mean I don't feel like a walking pile of crap. High blood sugars make it hard to stay awake, make me incredibly sore, and seemingly attached to the bathroom. Lows are usually embarrassing and irritating. I break down crying, can't talk or feel so floaty I feel I've lost touch with reality. But I usually just laugh it off and take action to correct the high or low. I don't like people worrying. If they're laughing, I can deal with diabetes better.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: That eating a huge stack of Oreo cookies with milk doesn't make the world better anymore. ;) Especially if I forget to take insulin with it.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I got married. It still amazes me that Zane married me knowing full well that I get sick often. That despite all the hard work in the world, complications may still claim me early. He never saw me as a diabetic. He always just saw me, Jess.

17. The commercials about my illness: Kinda suck. They're usually about Type 2 (and usually confuse people into thinking that all diabetes is the same)

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Indulging my sweet tooth. (I miss my Oreo's.) ;)

19. It was really hard to have to give up: The ability to sleep and eat whenever and whatever I want. I'm only 20 for goodness sake.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Blogging. Spending time researching and learning about diabetes and other chronic diseases.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Eat "The Sink" (an entire sink of ice cream with four different toppings) at Angies. Just to show Zane I can. ;) I would anyway, but I haven't figured out how to eat it without ending up in a coma for a few days.

22. My illness has taught me: Patience, responsibility, understanding. That consistency is indeed, crucial.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people do that gets under my skin is: What pisses me off faster than anything else? Taking food away from me. Telling me I shouldn't eat it. Just watch how fast I come unglued on you. People think it's their responsibility to tell me what I can and cannot eat. I've been doing this almost three years, I think I know what I'm doing. I know what those M&Ms are going to do to my blood sugar and my body. How do you know that my blood sugar wasn't low? Very sore spot for me.

24. But I love it when people: Just listen. When people honestly want to learn about my illness and are willing to let me vent at them. The most precious gift friends have given to me, is when they take the time to learn what diabetes is and how it affects me. Then support me, help me and provide a support network. There's nothing more precious to me than someone who honestly cares and understands.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: My personal thought: God is strengthening and teaching me by using Diabetes as a sculpting tool. It is not a negative thing, in fact it has helped me become who I am.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Get a support network, whether it's a local support group, a Yahoo mail list, a forum or the Diabetic Blogsphere. Find a friend that can learn with you. Diabetes is damn hard on your own. Finally, never keep it a secret. People can't help you in an emergency if they don't know what you need.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with this illness is: That's it's really not the end of the world. Life goes on at a break-neck speed. You still date, you get married, have a career, have a family and you can even grow old. 100 years ago, I would've been dead last year.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Zane called in to work and then took care of me for the rest of the day. Just being held made it that much easier to get through the roller coaster of blood sugars.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: It is vitally important to help healthy people understand what it's like to have a chronic illness.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: That you're freaking awesome, or just rather bored and stalking my blog or Facebook.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm Registered and Walking for a Cure!

So in lieu of yet another canned page, how about we get a little personal, eh?

For those of you who don't know any diabetics other than me, who don't know what it's like to live with diabetes everyday, let me give you a small (long winded) insight.

Imagine you're standing on a three foot long wood plank.

Now imagine your plank suddenly got set on a basketball and to make it fun, you have to somehow keep the ball rolling forward. (Life doesn't end when you're diagnosed)

If you fall off, you're gonna hurt like heck. Until you get back up, your body will continue to take lasting damage, possibly leading to drastic, irreversible complications. You're not allowed to take a break and very few other people are able to actually help. But they only can do so much.

Imagine now, you're told, "Now do this for the rest of your life. Don't mess up, don't trip, and never rest."

That is life with Diabetes. It's a constant balancing act, "Constant Vigilance" as Mad-Eye Moody said. Working your job, hanging out with your friends, going to school, getting sick all the while.

Watch your blood sugars, Make sure you get enough exercise, but not too much, Make sure you eat right, but not too much, Don't forget to get your insulin dose perfect too, but never too much.

It's always on your mind. Once diagnosed, there is nothing in your life that Diabetes doesn't touch, affect and change.

Just the thought of being able to walk on even ground again... This is what makes everyone, who has diabetes or has a loved one with it, fight for a cure, constantly hope for an end and the opportunity to live without worrying about how to just survive.

If you have the means to help by donating money, it's greatly appreciated. If not, take the time to do a little research and learn more about Type 1 Diabetes. A little knowledge goes a long way.

Thanks and Appreciation to all,

Jess and Zane Kuddes

Here's where you can go donate:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Strike One!

So first of all, Dr. New has lost favor. As anyone who has talked to me recently has been told repeatedly.

One of the next things I've been working towards getting is a CGM. (A CGM is a Continuous Glucose Meter. This, Dexcom, is the one I've been working on getting. It basically checks your blood sugar every five minutes and actively charts your bloodsugars so you can see if your blood sugars are rising, dropping or actually behaving for once.)

I've had my eye on one since I learned about them. I'm finally in a situation where we can afford one. We both have full time jobs, we both have insurance. I'm dual insured and I thought I had a proactive doctor who was willing to bat for me.

In our last appointment, he not only fouled out, he downright pissed me and Zane off.

If he'd pissed me off by just saying I need to work harder, I would've taken that. But instead he blew me off.

We talked about how well the new basal rates are working. I showed him the filled out logbook that he requested. I mentioned that I've been having lows just before dinner and he wanted to radically change my rates all over again. He wanted me to change every single rate. Not just the ones around dinner. I tried to explain that I disagree but he ignored me and continued changing my basals. So I moved on, figuring I'd give it a run for it's money and see how it goes.

As all doctors do, he asked if I have any questions before we're done with the appointment. I told him of my plans to get a CGM. All I need is him to help me finish convincing insurance that having one would increase my health. Providing me with a longer more livable life.

Instantly he started balking the idea. By the end of the conversation Zane and I were seething. He essentially told me that I am not important enough for him to back me up. He doesn't want to tarnish his reputation. Rather saving his reputation for more important patients, such as one who is a surgical doctor or one who has gone repeatedly to the ER. Telling me that my line of work isn't important enough, nor am I close enough to dying for him to think me important.

I'll never understand reactionary medical practitioners. You'd think, provided the opportunity, you'd jump on the chance to take preventitive measures. Tighter BG control from the beginning, rather than waiting till the disease has begun to take it's toll on me.

He said he was afraid of being seen as an over prescribing doctor. I'm trying to understand where he gets off on saying that. I'd bet a good amount of money that he has a challenge just to get most of his patients to even test more than once a day, let alone take a proactive role in their care.

I want to prolong my life, I want a better quality of life. I want to have low blood sugars stop sneaking up on me. What would happen if I'm driving down the road and I don't feel the low until I've already caused an accident? What if I'm slicing meat and lose a finger?

Explain to me why I'm not important enough? I thought doctors were doctors to help people, not build their reputation.

I've got everyone working for me but a man who is supposed to be a central node to my health care.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dr. New!

So post-Dr. check-in.

I think I may just kiss my new doc. He has a thick accent but definitely isn't thick headed.

So I fell in love with the clinic before he even walked in, the nurse did her normal stat checking stuff and asked me for my meter so she could upload all my numbers. So cool! Never had that happen before.

Dr. New entered the exam room and gave us both a handshake and grinned when I asked how the heck he pronounced his name. I'm gonna guess he's from India, considering his name and accent.

Anyway, he was all business after the introductions had been taken care of. He asked me what all my stats were on my pump, my ratios, my basal's and then took a look at my bloodsugars. After explaining to him that I couldn't get out of the 200s he took a few minutes doing some math and came out with new basal's for me to try out. Although, I had to correct him on the time that the basals needed to change. He had a hard time getting his head around the fact that my morning is at 12:30 pm-1pm and that I don't generally get to bed until 5am. But once I convinced him that that was truly my standard day, he redid the times. Anyway, he then has me going to a diabetic nutritionist that he works with. They are both going to work with me to get my numbers back into a semi-normal range. Zane and I will be visiting her Wednesday.

I'm excited to finally have a proactive doctor who doesn't shove a ream of information at me and tell me to have fun. He saw my problem and instantly started helping me figure out how to fix things.

We've upped my basal's and changed my Carb to Insulin ration from 13:1 to 10:1 and my sensitivity to 1:25. So far the basal change has made quite a difference. My fasting BSs have gone from being 200 to 85. And throughout the day, I've been staying between 80 and 120 except when I eat. I'm hoping the nutritionist will help me figure out what I'm doing wrong with food. Though, eating burgers, salads and Malt-O-Meal cereal everyday might not be the most nutritional diet. Interestingly enough, I've lost 10 lbs on this diet. -shrug- Who knows, maybe it was all the walking before we had a car.

I'm just happy. Life is good. And it looks like I'll finally have a doctor who can help me with diabetic stuffs. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Still here, Just have no time.

Here's a nothing post to say I'm still alive and kicking, just have no time. At all. I swear.

I work in the Deli at Walmart now, work full time and the past few weeks I've been at Walmart for nearly 50 hours a week. We're a little short staffed. But the job is good and I think the managers like me quite a bit now, at least the personal thank-you note I got the in mail made me happy. (putting in overtime probably helped).

Next, Um... Zane and I are coming up on six months married, and I never realized that you could be more gaga than when you first fall in love. But apparently you can. We're sappy proof.

We have a car now, $200 special that we found in the Walmart parking lot. Little 1986 Honda Civic Hatchback. It's our first car... and our first Stick. :D That's been fun. We haven't killed it in at least a week now. Though we've had to jump start it three times now. But we adore our car, we affectionately call it Salt.

Hmm... Ah yes, I'm finally going to see an endocrinologist for the first time on Monday. I'm excited. I'm hoping, with a specialist, I can get my head on straight and get my diabetes under a bit tighter control. When 200 mg/dl is my general average, I think something is not quite right. My last A1c was 8.1. :/ But Zane and I doing our best, he kicks me into gear and I try not growl at him too much. ;) Honestly, we've just been so busy that I just set it in the background and let it slide. The latest A1c was wake up call that got us both into gear.

So all in all, we're doing well. :) We're just busy.

Edit: My A1c was actually 8.6, I misremembered.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Only A Year?

This past year has been a year that I will never forget.

January 16, 2008, I met this man:

We met at a Red Cross Blood Drive in the USU LDS Institute.

It was the last day and I hadn't been able to go until the last minute as they were accepting their last few people. So I slipped in, signed and sat down with Twilight for a good read. I was going to be here for a few hours. A few minutes later this man sat down.

"What you reading? Looks interesting." he said with a grin.

I explained a bit of the plot and then we started talking about other things, got to know each other a bit. And got into a really animated conversation about Anime, particularly InuYasha.

During this conversation, I had to show off my brand new toy, my insulin pump. He was extremely interested, found it an excellent invention. I explained about being a
type 1 diabetic. He smiled and listened, learning rapidly. Asking questions when he wasn't sure on something.

It was then our turns to finally give blood. We sat close to each other so we could keep talking. We raced to see who could pump out blood faster. If I remember right, he barely beat me.

"Man, let's hope we never get in a knife fight."


"We'd be gone in under ten minutes considering how fast we just bled out."

I laughed and he grinned bigger.

We sat down eating our snacks they gave us as I checked my blood sugar and bolused for the food. He was curious to learn what the number I had just gotten meant. I taught him and then we got back to talking about InuYasha.

"Hey, I've gotta go grab some books from the bookstore." I said standing up after 20 minutes.

"Mind if I tag along? I'd love to keep talking."

With a giddy grin I said heck yes.

Another hour later I had gotten all my books I needed and we were walking to the bus stop.

"Hey, do you have a cell phone?"

"Um... no." He looked slightly sheepish. "I have an email though."

"That'll work."

We swapped and I turned to go get on the bus. About to get on the bus I spun around.

"Hey! Hang on a sec.... What's your name?"

We laughed as he called back, "Zane."

When I got home I sent him an email and we began the novels of chatting that we have written.

We changed our status on Facebook to "In a Relationship" within two weeks.

He became my Sweet Guy here on The Lucky Druggie. He inspired my only favorited Twitter: Heaven help me, I think I'm falling for him.

And our first picture was taken:

We became fast and very close friends, even to now, best friends.

We helped each other through school. We studied and spent nearly every waking moment together. He learned my highs, dreaded my lows, but stuck with me every moment. Knowing my signs better than me at times.

We dreaded summer vacation's arrival but it came anyway. I helped him move out, met his mom and probably kissed him a good 50 times (even gave his mom a hug). Wishing we did not have to separate.

But separate we did. He to the Salt Lake area with his parents and I to little podunk Delta where my grandparents took me for the summer. We'd work during the day, come home and chat as soon as we could. Generally into the early morning hours. I became the self-titled "Hermit" in the room my grandparents had given me.

I visited my family in Seattle for a week on a spur of the moment decision.

Sweet Guy's family picked me up from the airport and I stayed with his family for the Memorial Day long weekend. We'd only been apart for a few weeks but it felt so much longer.

I started loving his family that weekend.

Two months later, at the end of July, we made a trip to Malad for an old friend's Mission Farewell. Staying with my parents. He laughed at just how small Malad truly was. A boy who'd always lived in Salt Lake, thought my town too small to merit it's full name of Malad City. He loved my family, thought my brother's awesome even if purposely irritating.

We visited the Salt Lake Temple talking of getting married there in May 2009. We saw the Christus and fell even deeper in love with one another.

Weeks later, August 12, 2008, we were chatting on MSN, like we did every night. Sweet Guy asked a question that I still get giggly about remembering.

"Want to get married sooner?"

And my prompt "Hell yes!"

After calling up my family via a four-way call. We moved up our date to December 20, 2008. And promptly changed our Facebook status to "Engaged".

The final months of the last year were a whirlwind. Finding a job, an apartment, staying sane, planning our reception, walking home from work together, kissing in the dark and always talking endlessly.

Our mothers, our families, our friends did so much for us, helped us get everything accomplished in the time we had. I just want to thank them all for all they did. Without them, none of this would have happened nor would all of it gone so well.

On October 17, 2008, Zane's family came up and we all went up into Logan Canyon to take engagement pictures. As we posed for the first picture Sweet Guy said, "Hang on, there's something you need before we can take these pictures."

He dropped to one knee and reached into his shirt pocket, with a smile he took my hand.

"Jessica, will you be my companion for time and all eternity?"

He slipped the ring onto my finger and all I could do was just nod, smile and kiss him.

A week before the wedding, right after Finals finished, we booked it down to Salt Lake. He stayed at his parent's, I at his sister's. In that week we finalized all the rest of the reception that hadn't been finished yet and my mom baked... and baked and baked. She was who I asked to make our cake.

The entire week, it was snowing. And not just a little, enough that even seasoned Utah drivers were struggling to get from Point A to Point B. The snow stopped a good portion of family from arriving. December 19th was the worst night of them all. Snowing all day and all night. Leaving the roads a mess. We set up the reception that night and his father drove me back to Sweet Guy's sister's for the last time that week.

The morning of the wedding, Sweet Guy and his family left 2 hours to come pick me up from his sister's house. (A trip normally made in 30 minutes.)

They arrived just as my aunt's finished the touches on my hair and makeup. (I'm hopeless when it comes to either.)

We made it to the temple with plenty of time. And I'll simply say that the ceremony was even more beautiful than I ever would have imagined.

Before we came out, my aunt's and my grandma helped me get dressed up for pictures.

When Sweet Guy saw me walking up to him all dressed up in my wedding dress, with a veil and the whole shabang, I've never seen him stare so.

Our Facebook now says "Married".

Coming out.

My parents. Couldn't have done it without them.

Our Families.

Naw, we're not completely twitterpaited still.

My family.

My amazing mom.

The rest of my pictures are on:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wow, look! I Actually Posted. (It's long)

Hello World. Or rather family and friends who haven't given up on checking this thing.

I am alive still just uber super stressed and busy.


Um... life is still going.

25 days until we get married.

I'm going nuts.

Sweet Guy is going nuts.

We're enjoying most of it. Insanity is an interesting place. Honest.

I'm still at Walmart and will probably stay there until after the new year.

Sweet Guy's insurance coverage should be starting December 1st.

We'll be moving our stuff into our apartment on December 1st as well.

Sweet Guy is slowly losing sanity as he works 40+ hours at work and is taking 14 credit hours of 3000 level classes.

We're both very much looking forward to the week we're both taking off before our wedding.

Erm... my numbers were struggling a bit for the first half of the semester, but I've upped all of my insulin intakes and I'm finally living in a normal range. There has been a good amount of encouragement from Sweet Guy while I've been arguing with numbers.

My pump broke this last Saturday, but the people at Medtronic lived up to my expected standard and got my pump to me early Monday morning, and I'm good as new.

I learned which of my friends have needle phobia this weekend as I went back to syringes. There's more than I thought actually. Though I don't blame for cringing by very early Monday morning, I was testing and 'shooting up' every two hours in attempt to keep my numbers semi-normal. I actually got some decent numbers and saw my first 90 mg/dl in nearly two months. Made Sweet Guy and I both rather giddy.

Talking of giddy. That seems to be both he and I these last couple of days as we have now entered our last month before we get married. The count down has begun. As of right now, we have: 25 days6 hours56 minutes and 42 seconds until Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 9:20:00 AM.

Anyway, due to higher running numbers, I lost my awesome A1c from the summer of 6.7% to 7.9%. :/ But as I said, due to this number, I am taking a much more aggressive attack toward my care.

I've had a few lows due to the new aggressive tack that I have taken. I had a crazy one this weekend actually. I only caught it since I was checking and bolusing every two hours. So as it hit 9pm I grabbed my meter and jabbed my finger testing yet again. When I saw the result: 53 mg/dl I looked at my finger in confusion and then I showed the number to Sweet Guy who looked questioningly at me. Neither of us believed it. So I tested again on another finger: 47 mg/dl

"What the heck?" I showed him the new number.

"Well maybe you have some chocolate on your finger... wait, no that would cause a high number... why don't you double check with my meter?" (I have a back up meter at his apartment.)

I grabbed his meter and came back with a final number that scared the crap out of me: 40 mg/dl

We looked at each other in confusion.

"Well I don't feel like that at all but two meters and three results can't be wrong."

He agreed.

So I started eating some more of the Orange Sticks that we had been snacking on. 

After about five minutes, I swear it was like a wave that crashed over me and knocked me down. Instantly I started mumbling my words and losing all clear thought. I sat down on the bed and tried to remember where I had put my mini Dr. Pepper. It took me a minute to find it. Sweet Guy looked at me, seeing my nauseous look he asked, "It finally hit you?"

I just nodded and laid my head in his lap as I felt the room suddenly start spinning.

That nasty one had me stuck leaning on Sweet Guy for a good 20-40 minutes. I'm really curious as to why the same number can feel so different. Or how in the world did I not feel that number while I was in the 60s or even the 50s? And why the heck is it always impossible to find the sugar when it's right in front of your face?

So anyway, I may be a bit frazzled but I'm still as happy as ever. I have no idea when I'll next blog but hopefully I at least get one done in December.