Category Archives: Writing

That one day.

June 2009. Social anxiety, be damned. Eleven years here, and everyone I know locally is either a co-worker or one of his friends. I need to meet other people.

It takes a lot for me to gain the courage to walk into that coffee shop and meet a group of women bloggers, that up until a few days prior I never even heard of before.

Just like the day I moved into the dorms my freshman year of college and managed to set aside all the worry for awhile to meet neighbors, I end up enjoying myself.


It is only now that I realize how much I needed to venture out that day. It is only now that I realize the impact of that day on how the next couple years unraveled.

The thing is, I had been unhappy for awhile before that day, but the scariest part of trying to do what would make me less unhappy was knowing that a local support system outside of work and his world was lacking. As I got to know a few of the women I met that day, I started to feel like maybe I could do it after all, even after my health failed me for a few months.

Thank you, JoAnn and Jen and Jolene and Denise. (And also to Aimee and Tracy, who were not there that day, but still have been a huge part of my starting over.)


End of year.

Sitting where I never expected to be this time last year.

Still in Colorado. Still in the same apartment. Still at the same job.

Sitting at the flimsy card table that masks as a kitchen table, waiting a few more minutes to log into work for the newly approved Friday telecommuting. Thinking about whether the Bears will make the playoffs, thinking about whether the Broncos will make it to the Super Bowl. Thinking about London in a few weeks, knowing that fulfilling a promise to myself will not underwhelm.

Dreaming of what the next year will bring, knowing how easily it could be vastly different than today’s expectations. The GRE retake may interfere with the dreams set for beginning graduate school in August. The changed tax burden may interfere with the dreams set for buying a little place to settle down for a while. The chronic health issues may interfere with all that and more.

Hoping for a good year after three years of health and personal struggles, acknowledging that things will not always be picture perfect. But confidence has returned – with co-workers and superiors encouraging strength in the workplace, friends and family encouraging strength outside of it. Being loved and supported and feeling confident allows for the hope and promise of the new year.

Bring it on, 2013.

Here to stay, for now.

The tagline of my good friend Kerri‘s blog reads “diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me”.

Endocrine disorders and mental health conditions don’t define me, but they help explain me.

There’s something else, though.

The reason I ended up in Colorado doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.


It was just another ordinary day, with another ordinary walk at lunch, a few weeks back.

All of a sudden, someone intersected my path. Someone who I had only met once before in person, but with whom I had interacted with plenty online. Someone who tried to convince me to stick around Colorado all summer long. Someone with an completely strange intertwined connection, if you consider my life as it was twenty-five years ago.

On that day, I could admit I could stay in Colorado for awhile. On that day, someone was headed on a different path, but did not quite know it yet.

I could shout, but what about all the convincing for me to stay here. But I am not.

The thing is, I had already decided to stay. I started to make plans for a life here, well outside the reason I ended up in Colorado fourteen years ago.


Sometimes I wonder if I am just scared about more change – so much having had happened in the past three years.

Sometimes I wonder if I can handle some of the responsibility I intend to take on in the next few months with graduate school and a mortgage.

But sometimes I think I can do it all. I can really do this, I can redefine myself here.

Seven year itch.

Tomorrow marks the seventh anniversary of this blog. It has endured name changes and hosting changes, all while providing me with an outlet for writing about life…and its changes.

Each year, I managed to learn something new.

2006:  Thirty kind of rocked. And I kind of rocked thirty.

2007:  When everything else in life seems out of control, you can control what you do with your hair (said old co-worker A). Here’s a recent example:

2008:  Change is good, even if it comes slowly.

2009:  Being in the hospital and having major surgery sucks.

2010:   There is absolutely no way to know what lies ahead at any given moment in life.

2011:  ”It looks like freedom, but it feels like death.” – Leonard Cohen

2012:  Resilience. 

(And tattoos don’t really hurt…OK OK, it’s a good sort of hurt.)

What lies ahead.

At any one point in time, there is absolutely no way to know what lies ahead.

Three years ago, I had no clue that the twinges and the nausea I felt were signs of a serious illness only remedied through two major surgeries and hospital stays.

Two years ago, I knew my world was turning upside down; yet had no clue if or when or how it would turn right side up again.

One year ago, all I wanted to do was run away from all my problems (and all my triumphs) and be closer to family.

Today, I am relatively healthy. Today, I am relatively happy. Today, my world feels relatively stable. Today, I am creating new dreams and new plans for myself in the place I have called a second home for fourteen years.

Today, I feel closer to a future I never could have imagined three years ago. It is still scary and still weird and still difficult at times, but it is getting easier each and every day to accept what has happened.

No doubt, there will be new twists and turns. Because, after all, there is absolutely no way to know what lies ahead.

Wordless Wednesday: Autumn Thunderstorm.

When lightning strikes…



No flash, long exposure.



Not at work.

I don’t take it to work with me. Not the meter, not even in the midst of a glucocoaster. Not the mindset of lower-carb living, not even when Operation Carb Control is in effect. Not the name of the condition.

I don’t take type 2 diabetes to work with me, and there are many reasons why not.

I took the You Can Do This Project bracelet to work with me. People asked about it, I told them I was supporting a friend’s project. (It is true, after all.)

People want to know more…I am not ready to tell them. Not at work, anyways.



The rambly fifteen, #19.

Fifteen minutes straight writing…begin…right…now.

Coffee. I do believe it is starting to tear up my tummy, even though I rarely have more than a cup per day anymore. Sigh.

Cats. They make me laugh. This is not a huge place, and they’re both considered “senior”, but they still manage to run around like wild women.

Challenges. Work (in a good way), name change and finding my next apartment (frustrating), health stuff (always).

Cooking. Not doing enough of it, buying lots of Whole Paycheck prepared foods for during the work (and workout) week.

Watching Andre Dawson visiting the WGN broadcast booth at a Cubs game. Why am I watching baseball? Ahh, the memories of pre-steroid and pre-strike era baseball.

Why am I watching television? I hardly ever turn it on anymore and wondering why I bother paying for cable. Football season will remind me, I suppose.

There are tales to tell, but they need conclusions. Stuff like getting prescriptions through my new mail order pharmacy and whether I’ll have sufficient identification in new name to travel in less than two weeks.

Rambly, indeed.



The rambly fifteen, #18.

Fifteen minutes straight writing…begin…right…now.

Tonight’s #dsma was intruded upon by a Paleo fanatic perpetuating myths about T2 diabetes and carb intake and remission and shit. So not cool. (At least he didn’t say the “c” word – cure, right? Ugh.)

A couple things I later tweeted:

Extremists in food philosophy can bite me. Respect my choices that bring me health, I’ll respect yours.

Don’t pay attention to what others say you should/shouldn’t eat. Everyone has to decide for themselves (Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, etc etc).

Off healthy eating soapbox.


At a crossroads. Lots of decisions need to be made in the next few weeks. Dealing with it in the usual Rachel way – procrastinating by focusing on less meaningful stuff. Okay, so reading isn’t meaningless, it just distracts me from what I need to be doing.

Insomnia is back, which doesn’t help. (Maybe because I’m procrastinating on big decisions? Or did I get mildly addicted to Benadryl after two weeks of hive control?)

My family is awesome. I used to have a hard time saying that, but the birthday cards this year? All around, perfect. Gives me a little push out of the procrastination.

Especially the words of my sister’s card (from Carlton Cards):

“Believe in the power of wishes, hopes, and hugs. That small things can be mighty, and big ideas can be reality. That anything is possible. And most of all… Believe in yourself. I know I do. You’re a great sister, and I hope this year is really happy for you.”

(Of course, drawings from two-and-a-half-year-olds warm the heart, too.)




The rambly fifteen, #17.

Fifteen minutes straight writing…begin…right…now.

I had more to say last week. To write, to explore. Not much this week, and so begins another edition of “the rambly fifteen”.

Watching the D-1 women’s basketball championship. Kind of hoping for a Notre Dame upset, which is a strange concept. The part about wanting Notre Dame to win, I mean.

There’s some study out this week that says 33 is the perfect age for happiness. Ha. Other than my twin nieces being born, 33 was a pretty rough year. A major health scare of another family member, my own emergency open abdominal surgery and a five-day hospital stay, then finding out that my reproductive system was/is a hot mess and knowing I’d need another open surgery to clean up what couldn’t be done during the first one.

That being said, I am holding out hope that 36 is a great year when I turn that age in a mere six days. That it will be the year of awesome. I deserve that after a few years of suck. Right?

I wrote some crappy poetry tonight amidst the pizza-and-wine routine I partake in every week or two. What can I say, National Poetry Month brings out the crappy poet in me.

I wrote some crappy poetry, and I’m writing this rambly blog post. When I should be working on my résumé. Getting some cold feet about such a big move, though. Which makes me wonder about those hives being stress-related.

After a week of those hives, I think the itching and scratching is finally over now that none of that has happened for 48 hours. Avoidance of ibuprofen is now of utmost importance until I can confirm with an allergist. Or dermatologist. Not sure which I should see when I am ready to confirm that sort of information. Again, it could all be stress-related.

Snow is over and spring will return tomorrow. As a friend said, I see the snow as flame-retardant against wildfires…


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