I’m a total baby when it comes to having blood drawn. It goes back to long before diabetes, but my panic over having lab work was exacerbated when I was dehydrated and having hourly draws nearly two years ago.
On Friday, I needed to go in to get regular testing done, including
losing giving 3 vials of blood and peeing in a cup (having diabetes is all fun and games, didn’t you know?). Because of Good Friday, I ended up with the afternoon off so I headed out to the lab. When I got there, I thought I’d have to wait for a long time because there were several people in the waiting area. I didn’t even wait 5 minutes, come to find out all of the waiting room people were waiting on people who were already being seen. I was the only one there on my own which was strange.
Anyway, Friday’s draw was by far the best experience I’ve had since I put into practice the things I’d learned from past bad experiences… and I thought I’d share my tips for anyone who might be a bit of a wimp when it comes to blood work… like me.
- If you are not required to fast for your blood work, don’t. Being low on energy then having blood drawn is a recipe for bad news. If your blood work is fasting, eat a snack before bedtime and go early in the morning. Take a snack along for directly after.
- Be well-hydrated. The more water I’ve had before a draw, the easier it’s gone. Dehydrated Rachel veins like to collapse and I end up getting poked more times than necessary. I gulped down 3 big glasses of water right before leaving on Friday and only had to be poked once. As a bonus, if you have to have a urine test as well, you’ll be prepared.
- Don’t think about it. When you know you have to go, think about something else beforehand. I have a horrible habit of psyching myself out beforehand. Listening to music on the way in and reading my Twitter feed in the waiting room helped a lot. Read the rest of this entry
Let me start by saying that I really love you two! You make life easier in so many ways and work very hard for me. I take you both for granted and don’t express how thankful I am to have you often enough… well ever (until now!).
I’m sure you watched throughout the first year or so as I abused your finger friends. Their tips became bruised, freckled, rough and painful from the many pokes per day. I tried to spare you the same fate for as long as possible. Alas, I was unable to spare you forever.
I’m terribly sorry for having to poke you, it started as an act of desperation when none of my other digits were able to produce a sample for testing. You complied so well that I trust in you two for when your friends can’t handle the pressure.
I hope that you know that I didn’t have any other choice. Please don’t blame me. Blame my deadbeat pancreas.
Thank you for your continued service in this and many other daily activities, including texting, typing and giving friends the thumb’s up sign.
It happened last night. It was one of those moments when your heart stops and you want to close your eyes so you can open them to find out it didn’t actually happen.
But it did.
Brad and I were baking yesterday evening and had placed our wedding rings in their little bowl that lives in the kitchen, specifically meant to protect them from goopy food stuff or harsh dish-washing. I reached over the sink to grab the ring bowl and mine flew out of the bowl straight into the sink drain.
I froze for a second and then did the only thing I could think of. I yelled. “BRAD!“
He came rushing to my aid. It had fallen into the garbage disposal side of the sink. Which ended up being basically the best situation. Once he knew where my ring had gone, he threw open the cabinet and unplugged the disposal, snagged a flashlight and was eventually able to lift my ring to safety with his grilling tongs.
Sink drains are not surprisingly high on the Top 10 Places Women Lose Rings. Yesterday’s ring drama was very upsetting and thankfully the solution was quick.
Will I be more careful in the future? Absolutely. The bowl will be my farther from the sink next time as well.
Wedding band rebellion
Things my husband says
My boss had a cold last week. My husband developed a cold last week.
I was doomed to develop a cold this weekend.I’m currently a sniffly, coughing mess.
Now that you have that mental image… I’m still being thankful. With Thanksgiving being THIS week, I think it’s important to keep acknowledging both the big and small things.
1. My Home. It’s beautiful, safe, warm and ours. We finally received our deed in the mail so it’s “officially official” as Brad would say. Back in April when we first saw it, I thought it was a place I could be happy, but it’s so much more. It really is home and I love it.
2. My Education. It was expensive, it was stressful, it serves me every single day. The classroom learning, the life lessons, the internships, everything that happened in college on campus or off either served to increase my knowledge… or make an excellent story.
3. Parents. I had excellent parents. They weren’t perfect, but no parent is perfect. Now that I’m all grown up, I value my relationship with my mom more than ever. I’m sad that my father’s last conversation with me took place on the phone with both of us in hospital beds, miles apart but I’m thankful that I was able to have him here into adulthood.
4. Good advice. I’ve received some good advice in the past couple of weeks that I’m glad I took to heart.
5. Insulin. I wouldn’t be here without it. Read the rest of this entry
Yesterday, I recorded what I could about how diabetes plays into my day. Yesterday was not like every single day ever, but it also was not unique, I’ve had a lot of days like this.
7:00am – I wake up and test my blood sugar. 179. Too high. I bolus 1.10 units of insulin. My fasting has been great for weeks, I wonder if I might be getting sick or if last nights low is to blame.
7:15am – while showering, Dexcom alerts to a high. Brad tells me it’s reading 182 and clears it for me when I let him know I’ve already taken a correction.
7:30am – I realize I’ve left my test strip in my meter. I check my feet while applying lotion and select blue clothing since it’s Type 1 Day.
7:55am – test again, in down to 158 and bolus 3.2 units for 32 grams of carbs. I have .8 of my correction still active. Grab a Glucerna and leave for work. (27g for a Glucerna and 5g for the cream I’ll put in my coffee at work)
On my drive to work, I sip on my Glucerna and it’s halfway gone when I arrive at work.
8:37am – I’m drinking my coffee and find that my Dexcom reads ???.
11:23am – I’ve been busy at work and ignored Dex and hunger. Now I’m thinking about lunch, which I’ll eat at noon. Dex figured it out again and reads 133. I hope it’s accurate. I have a brief break in my day, so I log online to pay for my insulin that arrived yesterday. Medco’s online portal is not easy to navigate and I have to search to find where to pay them!
I’m also painfully aware today that I’m between health insurance plans. Since Brad started a new job, the great health plan ended yesterday. The less-than great plan starts soon, but we hope to not have to use it until next year.
11:40am – I test my blood sugar. The finger stick really hurts. It comes in at 90. I tag it as “Pre-Meal” and bolus 1.65 units for the 20g of carbs that my little sandwich has. Dex thinks I’m 123, so I calibrate with the 90 and it settles at 110. Close enough. I won’t be eating for 20 minutes still.
Noon – I can finally eat, I put my sandwich in the toaster oven and refill my water bottle. My finger still smarts from the last check and I post my T1 Day blog. Read the rest of this entry
Today is No D Day a day that I forgo discussing diabetes. So that is my final mention of that.
Lately it seems that inspiration for many things escapes me. For instance, I have nearly 100 posts in my queue that will never make it the interwebs because they’re completely lacking in content, tone and generally inspired topics. I feel guilty when I don’t post consistently and it saddens me that so many of those drafts are venting about stupid things that none of you care about. I would like to keep this blog fresh and hopefully add some value to the internet. Read the rest of this entry
This Friday Five thing might become a regular feature….
Anyway it’s time for some confessions of the week:
- I lost my credit card when I stopped to buy a head of lettuce at the store. I searched my purse, car and house before we reported it missing to the company. I’ll have a new card tomorrow. I found my “lost” card about an hour after the report, stuck to my driver’s license.
- I enjoyed a cup of coffee before my dentist appointment today (and after).
- I have already been plotting Christmas gifts for people, but I’m holding back because it seems so early to get them. Read the rest of this entry
There are just some things that I don’t “get.” For example:
1. Glass bottle trees. I don’t understand the whole idea around displaying bottles in your front yard. It looks a little bit like the recycling bin rebelled. So when I searched for a picture to share with you, I found out that people aren’t making these themselves (silly me!) they actually pay for them. The one pictured can be purchased for $30. Why?
2. Fake pockets. There’s nothing more annoying than to need a pocket and only have the fake out ones.
3. Dust jackets on books. I like book covers, whether illustrated or not. But dust jackets have always annoyed me and gotten in the way. They fold, flop, wrinkle and tear plus all of my books that have jackets look 100x cooler without them. Read the rest of this entry
A few weeks ago I tweeted: It may have seemed unfair at the time, but I’m glad my parents made me work and pay for non necessities (like a car) it made me responsible.
One of the biggest things I owe my parents is thanks for lessons that may have seemed unfair at the time, but actually shaped me into a responsible, independent adult.
Example 1: My parents didn’t take my sister or me to get our ears pierced at 18 months, like many of their peers. They waited until we were 12, for two reasons. They deemed 12 to be an age where we were capable of deciding whether we even wanted to have pierced ears and at 12, they deemed we would be responsible enough to care for them on our own (you know the cleaning and turning). For my sister’s 12th birthday, she got her ears pierced. I was almost nine and I really, really wanted mine done too. At some point, my parents discussed with me the responsibility involved and I had to wait three whole years before I got mine pierced for my 12th birthday. (Then at 15 my mother agreed to sign for me to get another set of holes in my ears.)
Example 2: We had chore charts with stickers and when a chore on the list was done, we got a sticker on the chart. When the chart was full, we got a book of our choice. I loved reading so the next book in the series I was reading was a true reward.
Example 3: As we got older, our parents encouraged us to get part time jobs. I kind of stumbled into my very first job at age 14 (back when minimum wage was $5.15 per hour! It’s now $7.70 per hour in Ohio if you were wondering). I only worked a couple of hours each weekend assisting with a children’s safety class, but having a paycheck to deposit in my account was awesome! My parents had taught me to save a long time before that by requiring that a part of the Christmas money my grandfather sent be put in the bank (for the rest, I was allowed to pick out a present and then I had to write him a thank you letter and tell him what I picked out).
Example 4: The rule was that if you wanted a driver’s license and a car at 16, you would work to pay for drivers education and you would save up for a car. Shortly after my 16th birthday (and after the speech season ended) I was able to take an accelerated-schedule driver’s education course and my dad took me out to look at cars. I was proud of my first car and proud to have my license. Driving at age 16 wasn’t a parent-supplied right, it was an earned privilege.
Sometimes my parents’ rules didn’t seem fair. Especially when I was seeing my classmates in high school being given the things they wanted (like cars, designer purses, etc) by their parents.
It’s sad to hear my generation be described as feeling entitled because for me it’s not the case. However, I get it. I know my peers and I saw the lessons that many of them haven’t learned (or learned too late).
In college, it was frustrating to have to go to bed early on a Friday night to be at work at 7:30 Saturday morning. But it was motivating to work hard for my scholarships and for a future career. I understood that I was paying good money to be there and make the most of it. The fact that I don’t have to work a frustrating evening and weekend job now is wonderful, I don’t trudge through my hours just to put them in. I like what I do and I get paid to do it.
The thoughts in this post were inspired by a conversation my husband and I had about what had happened over the past year and our plans for the future. I can’t imagine being where we are in life if I hadn’t married someone with the same sense of responsibility and work ethic. I remember shortly after we started dating, my dad told me that he liked Brad, thought he had a good head on his shoulders and appreciated that he understood the value of hard work.
Growing up is hard work and it’s not always fun, but the lessons seem much clearer to me in the rear view mirror.
When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the word diabetes appeared on every piece of medical paperwork… I started wondering about some things and decided to do some research. Then a Twitter friend asked if she could donate blood with diabetes. Even though I don’t meet donor requirements for other reasons (weight limit) I looked it up.
Some things require “reasonably controlled diabetes.” With diabetes you can still:
- Donate blood
- Donate organs
- Donate plasma
- Have healthy babies (see here, and here…there are a lot of diabetic moms out there)
- Climb mountains
- Be a rock star
- Be an athlete
- Be a body builder
- Be an Olympic medalist
- Hold a political office
- Win a Nobel Prize
- Become Miss America
Also, we can eat cheeseburgers if we so desire (I’ve been asked that a lot).
There are a few limitations that we’re stuck with because of diabetes, but this list is much, much shorter than what you can do. Read the rest of this entry