Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Woe is (mini) me

The countdown to vacation now stands at five days and I'm beside myself with excitement! Having done this last year with three kids and an airplane, I know a little more about what to bring and how to pack. Not like I've never traveled before, but if you've ever tried to get through airport security with a stroller, three kids and all that is necessary to keep those kids busy in a tiny airplane seat for three hours, then you know where I'm coming from.

So, with all the talk about the incredibly cute One Touch Ultra Mini, I thought I'd pick one up for the trip. Minimizing is great on these trips. I looked online and found that I could get one for about $20, which is like my favorite price ev-ah. Being as impatient as I am, I went to my local WalMart to grab one instead of waiting for one to be delivered.

When I got to the aisle with glucose tabs, alcohol swabs and Diatussin cough syrup, I found the Ultra Mini, and at only $18!! What a deal, I thought. I dug and dug through the dust-covered boxes, but (gasp!) no green! No pink! Just incredibly boring grey. Bbbb--bbb---but that's the whole point! I don't want one if I can't have one with some spice. Well, shit, I thought. Sigh. I resigned myself to lugging my enormous Ultra Smart in my purse.

On another trip-preparing jaunt to Walgreens for travel-size toiletries, I again found myself roaming the diabetes-supply area. This time, though, I had my sights set on a new ID bracelet since I lost my last one. My eyes were diverted to the sale sign: $14 for the Ultra Mini! Holy Crap, I thought. Always psyched by a bargain, I thought it was a good thing I didn't get the one at WalMart because I would have surely kicked myself over those $4. But, well, I should have known...no pink. no green. Is there no justice in my impatient world?!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's too early for this

Brushing my teething this morning, they stared at me.

“Whah?” I said with a red, foamy mouth (Colgate cinnamon).

“Nothing,” they said, sighing.

“Fi-ine,” I said with a gigantic eye roll. I am not a morning person.

I rinsed out my mouth. They kept staring.

“What do you want?” I said exasperated even though it was only 6:30 a.m.

“You never take us out anymore,” they blurted.

“That is so not true!” I said, looking at them in the mirror. “I took you for a walk just last week.”

They gave me that look, that oh-come-ON-you-know-better-than-that look.

“OK, maybe it was the week before that, but geez we went recently, didn’t we?”

“It’s not good enough,” they said. “You promised we’d go every day and we’ve been sitting up here on the towel rack, folded nicely, waiting patiently. We know you’re avoiding us.”

I sighed heavily. “I’m not avoiding you,” I said. “I’m sorry. It’s just, well, life, you know. And, geez, it’s so hard to get up in the morning, and I’m so tired all the time and we have so much to do these days, and I’m trying to work freelance and I have all these projects and—”

“You always have an excuse,” they said, defeated. “Remember…remember two summers ago when you were losing all that weight that people said it was just melting off of you?”

I dropped my eyes and leaned against the sink. Yes, I remembered.

“And remember how good it felt to see good numbers on your meter even if you skipped your walk one day?”

Tears welled in my eyes. Yes, I remembered.

“And you know, you wouldn’t be so tired all the time if you actually put us on and walked more often,” they scolded. "I mean, we're here all ready to go. You don't have to search for Socks or Shorts. Not even Scrunchie. We're all right here, ready to go every single morning."

“I know…I know,” I said sheepishly.

“Well what’s the hold up?!” they screamed at me.

“I…I, oh hell I have no idea. I have no excuses, I have no reasons. I…I just don’t know. I’m sorry,” I cry out. “I’m so sorry. I’ll take you down and we’ll go for a walk tomorrow,” I promise. "Please don't be mad anymore! I don't take criticism well!"

"We'll be expecting you at 5:30 a.m."

"Man, that's really early..."


"OK, OK. I'll see you tomorrow."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Look good on the outside, feel good on the inside

For the six years we've been in this house, we've been dying to fix up the front porch and yard. The house is so old and the porch so settled that it really needs to be completely redone, but we don't have the time nor the money for that.

So last weekend when my mom sent The Mr. some birthday money, we gingerly spread it around getting some touch ups for the front of the house.

There used to be these ginormous bushes on both sides of the house that The Mr. and I genuinely hated. It covered up the front of the house and took up nearly half of the front yard. So we tore them out with the intention of planting grass, etc. in that area. Well, that was about four years ago and we're just now getting around to putting in more stuff.

I was never really ashamed of telling people where I lived, but I did think twice about who I sent past our house since the paint was peeling on the porch and there were big holes and bare spots in the front yard. Now, I've been telling everyone who knows where I live that they should go by the house since we did some landscaping.

And even though we really, really, really should have put that money towards bills, I think we both felt that we needed a little pick me up, a little something to make us puff out our chests and take pride in ourselves. I think sometimes you have to throw some serious caution to the wind and just do something different, something sort of out of character, something that makes you feel alive.
OK, so a little landscaping and paint might not be The Thing that makes us feel alive, but if you are/were feeling as hopeless as we are right now about our financial situation, just this little something is enough to push you back to that place where you remember what it feels like to not be at the mercy of the bank. And that, my friends, can give you a glimmer of hope.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The following is an example of a somewhat typical conversation between me and No. 2. If something like this happened once in a while, I would be OK with it, but this kind of thing happens all. the. freaking. time.

Background first: No. 2 is having "surgery" tomorrow morning to remove the tube from her left ear. She's on her second set of tubes and they've been there for about two years. Her ENT was able to take the one out of her right ear, but thinks the left one is caught up. So he'll knock her out and gently remove the tube without hurting and subsequently traumatizing her. No. 2 is interestingly anxious about tomorrow's procedure.

OK, this was yesterday in the car after daycare:

No. 2---Mom, what's tomorrow again?
Me---Tomorrow's Wednesday, babe.
No. 2---So, tomorrow's Thursday?
Me---No, tomorrow's Wednesday, sweetie.
No. 2---Oh.

Um, huh?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Let's make a deal

Pretty much since my first appointment with my endo, Dr. C, he’s been telling me that he wants me to start on Byetta, which is great since I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I went back to Dr. C about three months or so after the first time, had another A1C drawn (it was much worse than the first one, which was 5.9; the second was 7.3 I think), talked about meds, decided to start me on Metformin and talked about how long I would be nursing.

I really don’t know, I kept telling him. I never anticipated nursing more than a year, but No. 3 and I were really into it so I let her call the shots.

The third time I saw Dr. C he basically said there’s nothing we can do until you stop nursing. I had another A1C drawn (6.something this time, so the Metformin was definitely helping) and set up an appointment for May 1. At that time, May was a long way away and I really thought we would have been finished nursing. But in the middle of April, while I was already contemplating weaning No. 3, she showed no signs of stopping.

I called Dr. C’s office to reschedule the appointment. July 31 it was, and if things changed then I’d call back, I discussed with the receptionist. Three months seemed like an appropriate time.

So here we are barely two weeks into May and No. 3 has weaned herself. It’s bittersweet. It was really time to wean and I’m glad to have my body all to myself again and to have some freedoms I didn’t have while nursing, but I’m still sad that that part of our lives is over.

So now I’m wondering if I should keep my July appointment and try to get things a little more in order before facing the blood draw, or if I should just bite the bullet and try to get in to see Dr. C sooner. Part of me says to do it sooner so I can see what the walking has done, what the periodic Novolog use has done, and what the periodic handful of M&Ms is doing. Part of me says wait until you’re more compliant, but then I realize that that might not *ever* happen.

And then I think about what Byetta will do for me. Part of the benefit of the drug is that it’s an appetite suppressant. That’s actually a pretty good deal for me since I tend to eat all the flippin’ time—even when I’m not hungry.

So, dear readers, what would you do? Prior to writing this post I was leaning toward keeping my July appointment. Now, I’m leaning toward calling Dr. C’s office this afternoon to reschedule.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Field day

Here's No. 1 practicing for his first-ever baseball game.

And this is what happens when Mom's too busy taking pictures to notice that No. 3 has wandered off to the gigantic mud moat surrounding the baseball field.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The seed becomes a rose

I’ve had to remind myself over the last couple days that yes, I can indeed do this.

“This” is a photo session with the newborn of a friend/colleague of mine. I’m so nervous, scared and incredibly excited all at once. I’ve been frantically scouring the pages of flickr getting ideas and wondering how I could possibly pull off something “that good” tomorrow morning.

And then I look at my own flickr page, specifically the set for Saturday, 7 a.m., and remember how laid back that morning was, and how much fun I had with the kids and how I enjoyed using the natural light. And I remind myself that my friend knows where I’m coming from, she knows I’m not a professional, she has no expectations for perfection (at least I don’t think so!).

I’ve had to remind myself, too, that I’m a talented photography hobbiest. One of my favorite comments regarding my photography came from my parents shortly after my niece was born. My brother and his wife hired a professional photographer to take pictures of their newborn. After looking at the proofs online, my dad said, “Mom and I thought you could have done that.” My heart lept. I brushed it off at the time as my folks just blowing smoke, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I can do this.

In the back of my mind somewhere close to LaLa Land, I want this to be a ginormous success so that I can officially have a second career. (OK, not “this” as in just this one session tomorrow, but “this” as in the start of something.) Something to breathe life into our dried up checking account, to offer us hope for retirement and paying for our children to go to college. And, of course, something that breathes life into me.

A supplement, for sure, not a replacement for writing. Because heaven knows I’ve considered a life without writing and I’m just not sure I can do that. In fact, I can think of thousands of ways to write about how I’ve contemplated not writing! When I realize that, I realize that not writing is not in the cards.

And when I compare where I was when I started writing, it’s easy to remind myself that I wasn’t as good then as I am now. I’m not patting myself on the back, I’m just saying that I’ve grown and evolved. The same goes for my photography. I have to start somewhere. I have to take a deep breath and dive right in. I have to know that when I get home and start editing that I will think about the things I should have done or forgot to do. And even though I know that will happen, I have to just keep going and keep doing what I love. And take each photo one at a time.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Adventures in low blood sugars

Let me start by saying I started composing this post while in the shower this morning. (Again with the shower composing! I need to invent waterproof paper and pens that will write in the shower so I can write this stuff down while I’m actually thinking about it.) I had one of those I’ll-remember-this moments. And, of course, as I sit here at the computer, I got nothing. Can’t remember for the life of me where I started.

Anyway. Back to the task at hand. Hi, my name is Michko and I’m here to talk about blood sugar. Oh, wait, that sounds like an addicts’ meeting.

OK, seriously, I do want to talk about blood sugar and how lately mine’s been a little wacky. But wacky in a good way, if there is such a thing. For the most part, my blood sugar is fairly predictable. It’s not often that I get a number or range I wasn’t expecting.

Over the last two weeks or so, things have been not so predictable, though. In fact, my numbers have been quite lowish. Something I’m enjoying, actually. It's mostly lower than normal fastings, but also some post meal numbers that are under 130.

For example, I had been craving a steak, egg and cheese bagel from McDonald’s for a long time. I tried desperately to kick that craving in the ass, but to no avail. I hadn’t had one of these bagels in years and was almost desperate for one. Armed with my Novolog, I guesstimated carbs, fat, etc., and two hours later I was 95. Yes! I felt so good about that, thinking for sure I had simply counted carbs right.

A week or so later, I had that same hankering. Couldn’t shake it and since the cupboards were really bare thanks to my Sunday sickness, I went for the bagel again. (It wasn’t nearly as good as the first one and I think my cravings for that are over now!) My fasting that morning was 104. I knew I had time to get the girls to the sitter and make it to McDonald’s without going low. I shot up while in the drive through lane, ordered and then ate at my desk.

Just shy of two hours post, I started feeling the low coming. I thought for sure I was high and dropping. Not so; I had hit 65. I grabbed a handful of M&M’s and went about my day. I assumed I had taken too much Novolog. HOWEVER, again just shy of two hours after that, I hit 50 (with no symptoms of a low, mind you, until right before I tested).

Just an isolated incident and case of Michko over guesstimating? Well, this weekend I had a fasting of 61, which was weird by itself, but I took it. I had a slice of cheese toast for breakfast on bread that as of late has been shooting my numbers high enough to make me consider ordering my old favorite bread online that my WalMart doesn’t carry any more; I didn’t take any Novolog. Two hours later…59!

And most of this is happening during a time that I had stopped my morning walk for various reasons (working late, sick family, recovering from sickness). For roughly two weeks, I didn’t get up to walk, I was sick AND my period showed up, all of which (especially my period) usually kick my blood sugar into the 200s.

So this morning when I got up to walk (yeah, me!), I walked into the bathroom and felt the whoosh of a low. I felt sick to my stomach, I was having a hot flash/cold sweat, and all I really wanted to do was lie down. But no shaking, interestingly, which is really my signal for a low. I got dressed—determined to walk—and made it downstairs to my meter (I should really keep that thing by my bed). This morning’s fasting was 65. It wasn’t until then that I even considered the possibility that I’ve been taking too much Lantus. It was one of those d’oh! moments.

I still wondered, though, how too much Lantus could be affecting me during a time when I hadn’t been exercising and when all those other high-inducing factors were present. Could it be that my walking regimen had finally caught up and my body was responding this late?

Over the last several days I had also wondered about how my weight might be affecting my numbers. Since I started walking again and having a renewed sense of self, I also took the plunge and stepped on the scale. I have been fighting with about 7 lb. that keep leaving and coming back. After last weekend’s sickness, I stepped on the scale (yes, I was stacking the deck in my favor, but whatever, right?!) and found that I had lost those pesky 7 lb. I considered the weight loss, while minimal, could be the kicker that was making my numbers lower. But when those damn 7 lb. showed back up (maybe it’s the scale?!) and my numbers were still low, I had to think in other directions.

I still can’t really put my finger on what’s going on. And since I had stopped logging for some unknown reason, I can’t really look back to see any patterns. Yes, this is motivation for starting my log again, although I’m not starting off on such a good foot since I said last night that I would do it today, and, well, I haven’t.

I suspect that my lower numbers are primarily due to the walking, which is making my Lantus requirements go down. So, tonight I’ll take two fewer units than I did last night (thank God I’m comfortable self-medicating) and we’ll see where I am in the morning.

On a high note (no pun intended!), I've hardly been using the Novolog at all lately except for meals that I know will make me high.