Monthly Archives: March 2007
Thanks to Scott‘s job description for a personal diabetes enforcer last summer (and probably numerous other bloggers around the ‘net), I present to you, my own job description:
Title: Person with type 2 diabetes, currently treatable with diet & exercise
Supervisors (may include any of the following): Endocrinologist, Ophthalmologist, Podiatrist, Dietitian, Primary Care Physician
Job Summary: Attempts to control blood sugar with diet and exercise, reports to supervisors on a regular basis regarding progress.
1. Checks blood glucose readings 1-4 times a day without being squeamish.
2. Exercises for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
3. Follows his/her diet within boundaries set by dietitian.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
1. Knowledge of basic math skills for carbohydrate counting.
2. Manages time wisely to allow for appointments with supervisors.
3. Communicates honestly with supervisors about concerns.
4. Exhibits self-control when faced with unexpected desserts.
Credentials (at least one of the following):
1. Family history of type 2 diabetes.
2. Body mass index (BMI) above 25.
(Go on, write your own job description! It doesn’t have to be about diabetes – it could be about a hobby or talent or status in life (i.e. stay-at-home mom, work-outside-the-home mom, etc etc). If you write one, send me an e-mail at dreaming.montana at gmail dot com with the link and I’ll start putting them in this post.)
Mother knows best.
The words were harsh, but full of honesty and the obvious truth.
There I was, a seventeen-year-old about to start her senior year of high school, but I was acting like a three-year-old…all because my doctor wanted my finger pricked for an anemia check and I needed a tetanus shot.
My mother had no other words to say to comfort, or to encourage, or to MAKE me do those two things in the doctor’s office. I was practically an adult, I could refuse to do these things in another eight months. But she said them and I am so very glad she did.
“Think about your father lying in that hospital bed after his bypass surgery, drugged to sleep with the tubes in his mouth and chest. Think about the pain of his heart attack and the cardiac cath procedure. Think about how he’s still not 100% two months later. Then you think about whether you really want to throw a fit about having a little blood taken from your finger or get a shot in your arm.”
I am not sure those were her EXACT words, but close enough.
Through another tetanus shot, a hepatitis B series of shots, a couple of oral surgeries requiring an IV, numerous blood draws, and countless pricks of the fingers for blood sugar testing, the words see me through moments of discomfort. I could always be going through something much worse and I could always be preventing a future where I’m lying in that hospital bed by having cholesterol tested. A little discomfort is NOTHING compared to those prospects.
Today’s the day.
Making picks. Watching point totals go up (and inevitably down). Cheering on teams from colleges and universities barely heard of before. It’s the thrill of the NCAA Men’s Tourney and all the sports internet site contests and office pools. But for the first year in a decade, I’m not making picks. My claim to fame surrounding the tourney picks is that I don’t follow regular season college basketball – all my picks come from researching those sports internet sites – and I usually do quite well. This year, I just don’t have the time to spend 3-4 hours doing that.
Another sign that I am on overload is that I just couldn’t remember what March 14 means to me when I woke up this morning. Whose birthday? Whose anniversary? Nope, that can’t be it. Mom’s birthday was Sunday, parents’ anniversary was yesterday, Dawn’s birthday was yesterday…though I can’t trust myself with birthdays and anniversaries half the time anymore, so I must be forgetting someone. Through a 30-minute workout on the elliptical and having breakfast, I could not figure it out. In the shower, it hit me.
Two years ago today was the phone call from the nurse at my doctor’s office. She told me that the glucose tolerance test I had done several days before was abnormal. That I had the official type 2 diagnosis. That I needed to see my doctor within a few days to talk about treatment.
Two days later, I sat in her office as she wrote out a prescription for metformin. I declined it, opting instead to go to an endocrinologist. I’d already lost 12 pounds in 2 months through hard work with diet, exercise, and being under the control of thyroid medication. I remember being infuriated with her as she told me that the weight I had lost was a result of high blood sugar and not my hard work. There was no mention of a blood glucose meter, either. I had to depend upon Greg’s meter for the next month.
The endocrinologist confirmed that diagnosis was early. The weight loss was a result of what I was doing, not my blood sugar levels. My fasting blood sugar was 136, my A1C was 6.4% at diagnosis, and I wouldn’t be having a meal mimicking the glucose tolerance test ever again. If my blood sugar levels had been stuck in the 200′s or 300′s at diagnosis, it would have meant weight loss by hyperglycemia. But they were in the mid-to-high 100′s for the most part, with fastings even lower. Diet and exercise seemed to be the right treatment for me.
And it still is. Even if I don’t have the time for everything I want to do. I need to focus on the things I need to do, then prioritize the things I want to do. And the NCAA tourney is not top on that list.
Margarita-induced musings about the People’s Republic of Boulder.
What were old dumpy-looking buildings are now new trendy buildings. What was a vibrant pedestrian mall is now a half-vacant strip of street vendors and tourists. What was an old, dumpy, indoor mall is now a new trendy mall with a mix of outdoor and indoor shops. One thing that doesn’t seem much different is the crowd at the bus station after 6pm on a Friday night – late commuters, homeless, loud college kids.
Boulder has changed quite a bit since I first moved to Colorado in 1998…but then again, so have I. Back then, we were living in Boulder while Greg was finishing grad school and now we live closer to Denver.
What I love about the city hasn’t changed much.
There is an emphasis on exercising outdoors, summer or winter. Every place I have worked in Boulder has had showers for employees. The medical products manufacturer had its own fitness room. Where I currently work allows for flexible lunches to go for a run or bike ride.
The diversity in restaurants is remarkable for a city its size – explore a little while and you can find Creole, Mexican, Irish, Italian, French, Indian, Nepalese, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Moroccan – and usually more than one of each type I mentioned.
The academic feel with the main campus of the University of Colorado permeates through the rest of the city. It’s what Madison would be if it was shrunk to 1/3 of its size and placed next to the mountains. (Okay, okay, I will admit Boulder has less diversity in people.)
When I spend too much time in Boulder, I do get overwhelmed with what a co-worker calls the “Boulder Bubble” and what has been referred to “twelve square miles surrounded by reality.” As one website declares, “Boulder is a very pleasant place to live if, in the same spirit as your standard ‘nice little university town’ all over the country, a tad on the expensive side and a place that sometimes takes itself too seriously for its own good”.
So yeah, Boulder is a good place to work and a good place to play, but I’m not sure I’d live there again. Though maybe I need a little less reality in my life…