Thursday, August 23, 2012

Common Questions

A post on common questions people ask me about having diabetes...this is probably the best introduction I've ever written for a post. Go me :D

...On the Pump

My pump model-so fashionable
Can you play games on that? Always asked by the guys. Sorry it doesn't have pacman on'll have to resort to the games on your graphing calculator to survive another hour of math.

Is that a pager? Okay, okay. I know my pump looks like it was made in the 90's or whatever, but what teenager uses a pager? Ah what can I say...I'm behind the times.

What happens if I press that button? Depends on which button you're pointing to. I don't recommend pressing random buttons-it'll yell at you if you do. No really, it gets angry and makes lots of beeping noises. Might explain why some people think its a pager.

...Are you sure you can't play games on that? Um, yeah. Kinda disappointing.

....On Everything Else

Does that pokey-thing hurt? My poker is a device I use to draw blood to check my blood sugar throughout the day. You get used to it, although it can leave scars on your fingers if you're not careful.

Woah that's a cool device thing! Can I check my blood sugar? If you want to, I'd have to change the needles for sanitation reasons.

Actually I changed my mind! I'm freaking out. I'll just watch you do it.  That's fine too. 

Will you die if you eat too much sugar? Technically, yes. Very few diabetics die from high blood sugars though. I'd have to eat an unreasonable amount of sugar without giving myself insulin and get extremely sick as a result. High blood sugars aren't as dangerous as low blood sugars-it's a very very slim risk. I'd realize my blood sugar was way too high before that could happen. Anyways, best to stay away from the super sugary foods in general (aka regular pop, doughnuts, anything screaming HEY CARBS EAT ME! I don't eat all that cake I bake and decorate-I just like making cakepops and food for people).

So what are low and high blood sugars like? Ah I could write several posts on I'll just sum it up.

    Low blood sugars (60 or below)-Impaired judgement, dizziness, confusion, trembling, fatigue, anxiety, inability to focus, numbness in mouth and tongue (can cause slurred speech or just harder to communicate in general), etc...
    High blood sugars (180 or above)-Increased thirst, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, abdominal pain, just totally out of it etc..

Wait, there's two types? Most people know there are two types but don't know the difference. And there are some that don't know there are two types at all. Type 1 (the one I have) is genetic, Type 2 is related to obesity but some thin people are known to get it.

Do you miss being non-diabetic? To be honest I don't really remember what it's like not having diabetes! Can't miss what you don't know-although a cure for diabetes would be amazing.

What is your lowest and highest blood sugar? Occasionally every diabetic will have an "off" day (or week) blood sugar wise. My lowest blood sugar was a 20 (happened a couple years ago), my highest being 600 (happened when my pump site didn't work and I didn't realize it). Normal blood sugars are in the 100's. Those were extreme cases! 

How long have you had diabetes? 10 years now! Today is my anniversary-hence the post.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

10th Anniversary

As of tomorrow, I will have had type 1 diabetes for 10 years.

10 years ago I had no clue what it meant to have Type 1 diabetes. I hardly knew that the disease existed. When the doctor said that from now on, my life was going to be completely different, my 7 year old self couldn't quite grasp the reality of the situation. I saw the concern on my parents' faces-I knew how sick I'd been.

I was both confused and scared when I received the news. I was even a little relieved to finally have answers, and to be rid of my biggest fears of what my illness meant. Then I figured that the disease would simply disappear after awhile and the rest would just be an awful nightmare. I wanted to go back to how things were, but it soon became clear this wasn't going to happen. The disease, unfortunately, stuck.

My parents had their work cut out for them. They were the ones that had to give me the shots, remind me to check my blood sugar, to push me into a routine, and to teach me to live a completely different lifestyle. And to be honest, I probably didn't make it much easier for them at the time. I really respect my parents. They were the ones that really helped me understand my situation and grow from it. They have always supported me through the highs and the lows (no pun intended). And I'm blessed to be able to benefit from the medicine and technology that keeps me healthy today. Diabetes affects every aspect of a person's life-emotionally, physically and even socially sometimes. However, having diabetes has caused me to become more aware of my health. It's taught me some valuable lessons-some were hard lessons to learn.

Mostly I'm just thankful that my brother and cousin, both who are at risk for diabetes, haven't developed the disease. Hopefully they never will. And who knows, maybe someday I'll be able to say that I had Diabetes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Way to Go

Second day of your last year of high school! How did it go?

I kept tripping on flat ground today. Not to self: don't buy cute flip flops if they happen to be a little too big for your feet. Doesn't work out. Go figure! I tripped about 5 or 6 times today, that's almost a record for me. I got flat-tired a couple of times in the halls too. Klutz with over sized flip flops = klutz just might do a face plant on the sidewalk. Not that I actually did a really!

To wear the cute flip flops or not to wear the cute flip flops? That is the question...

Exhibit A: Obviously a high quality picture
The wear on the flip flops is the result of me tripping multiple times. Way to go me, way to go.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Night Owl

About sums up my week

If  I could have conversations with my brain....
1:00 am
Brain: Hey. Hey guess what.
Me: It's one o' clock, I'm going to bed. What?
Brain: Ha! That's funny, because that's not going to happen. Pulling an all-nighter tonight!
Me: There's work tomorrow, remember? I need to sleep.

2:00 am
Brain: You can't go to sleep yet! 
Me: Didn't you see the clock? I'm tired, let me sleep. 
Brain: No. Not happening.
Me: You do realize school starts this Monday?
Brain: Oh shush. Don't complain, go clean your room or something. Honestly, it's a mess.

3:00 am
Me: Okay, really tired now. I cleaned my room.
Brain: You know you've been doing a lot of conversations in your posts lately. Like this one. You should try to be more creative.
Me: Fine, fine. Can I please sleep? 
Brain: I'll think about it.

4:00 am
Brain: What's the meaning of life?
Me: 42. Do you know what's crucial to survival?
Brain: Uh, coffee. Obviously.
Me: This is exactly why I've been staying away from caffeine this summer.

5:30 am
Brain: Sheldor the Conqueror. AFK. That was a great episode.
Me: Stop thinking of Big Bang Theory quotes and let me sleep. Please?
Brain: A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a drink. The bartender replies "for you, no charge". Ha! I liked that episode too.
Me: You're impossible.
Brain: If you don't mind, I'd like to stop listening to you and start talking.

6:00 am
Brain: I give you permission to sleep now. Have a nice nap. I'll wake you up in four hours.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why North?

It's about time I explained the reason behind my pen name, North. Often times in novels, when a character travels south, it is usually a forewarning that their experiences or plans are about to go haywire. South is the direction that you don't want to go, if you happen to be a character in a book. North then, is the direction that one wants to take in life. North is the direction you want to follow. North being truthful, loyal, sincere, etc, etc. I hope that by the time the last chapter of my life is written, my life will ultimately point North. And as a Christian, I know God has many plans for my life. 

I won't insult your intelligence by explaining how north relates to travel. When I was little, as soon as I heard that we were going to take a trip, the first item to pack was always my journal. I wanted to write down every detail-everything I saw and learned on what, to me, was a new and exciting adventure. I knew that by writing down all that I experienced I would keep those memories forever, sealed in black ink. As St. Augustine put it, "the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page". Traveling has opened my mind and has made me more aware of my world. Sure, I haven't traveled all over the globe, but that doesn't mean my experiences were any less real.

Traveling has sparked other interests in my life as well. Not only does it feed my curiosity and encourage me in my writing, but it has given me an interest to study other cultures. A couple summers ago, I spoke with a bilingual man that knew Hawaiian. He told me that learning a second language was one of the best decisions of his life. As he put it, "learning two languages allows you to see the world in a different light. You see a tree, but you also see a kumula'au1You can express yourself in ways that you never knew you could before, and communicate with people that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to." He was interesting to talk to, and it was sometime after that I began to seriously think about becoming fluent in another language.

In short, North represents my love for writing, my faith, and my curiosity about the world around me. Of course, it was only after I picked this name did I realize the irony in it.

I'm directionally-challenged. I get lost all the time...I'll blame google maps for this.

1 Hawaiian name for tree

Saturday, August 11, 2012

2:00 in the Morning

School starts in a week. And I, being the overachiever that I am, didn't finish my summer homework. Actually I lost the entire packet. I came to this realization last night at 2 in the morning. Since I wasn't going to be getting much sleep anyways, I decided that looking for said packet was my only option.

Spoiler Alert! I didn't find the packet. Really the only thing I accomplished was destroying what once was a fairly clean and organized closet. I did, however, find several items I didn't realize I had.

Things I discovered:

1. A license plate.
2. A twilight book? Wait what. That is definitely not mine. Anyone want it?
3. A shoe I painted in 5th grade (for an art project)
4. Narnia
5. An old collection of CDs. Score!
6. Yeah I didn't really find anything that exciting. I was pretty happy about finding the CDs.

After I successfully tore apart both my closet and desk, I figured it was about time to use the help line. I now have the summer reading packet, thanks to a friend. And now I must end this rather pointless post to read a book on 'How to Read Literature'.

This really is an awful post. I should make it a personal goal not to write after getting only a few hours of sleep. So Reader, here's a random song to listen to.

I have this song on my ipod. It's pretty great.

Friday, August 10, 2012

7 feet, 5 inches

"It says here your daughter is 7 feet, 5 inches tall. We were just calling because we're fairly sure that this in inaccurate."

"Oh it's always been hard finding clothes for my daughter. It's a nightmare trying to find shoes for her. I'm kidding. She's really 5 feet, 7 inches. I can't believe she did that! I'm sorry."

This was a very recent phone conversation my mom had with one of the ladies at the office. Seniors had to give their height at registration-for when we put on those black robes and throw caps into the air. I don't know what was going on in my head when I was at the graduation table. My blood sugar must have been low at the time, either that or I was talking to friends while filling out the forms. Needless to say, I got teased about this. Not that I mind at all. I actually find the whole situation pretty funny. After all, I've always been the tall one in the bunch. It's scary to think that I'm going off to college this time next year. I'm sure my parents, and the office ladies, are thinking exactly the same thing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Abstract Thinker

I was given a fairly simple task to complete. Put the 3x4 puzzle box together while being timed. Simple. The puzzle pieces I had to use for this puzzle were oddly shaped and twisty. They resembled giant french fries really.

"People with concrete thinking often do very well for this activity. It will test how well you can put 3-D objects together," explained the test overseer. "If you don't test well for this then you're an abstract thinker." This was just one of the many hands-on activities I had to complete for my aptitude test. The test tells you what your natural abilities are, and that will help in figuring out a career. It even tests your tonal and design memory. As someone who has no idea what to do with their life after high school, this was the test I desperately needed to take.

It was about a minute into this particular test when my confidence started to waiver. Thirty seconds later, several pieces fit together. Success! I turned each block over in my hand, trying to ignore the fact the test overseer now had a very bored expression on her face and was attempting to casually glance at the timer in her hand. Three more french fry blocks to put in place. I felt very accomplished by the time the blocks once again formed a cube. Sure I had a rough start, but I think I made up for the lost time in the end. I just might be a concrete thinker after all.

And then the overseer set out a new puzzle box, this one more complicated. I can easily do this. 

I figured it out. Eventually. Although I was totally focused on the puzzle, I'm fairly certain my test overseer got a good nap in while I was at war with the french fry blocks.

Stick figures-I'm, like, so artist
Turns out abstract thinking is typical for people who are good at subjects like English, history and psychology. Abstract thinkers reflect on events and ideas. For example, if there was a female athlete was running while holding a torch the concrete thinker would see the painting in the "here and now." Concrete thinkers are more likely to see the athlete simply as she appeared to be, while an abstract thinker would look at the painting and argue it reflected the painter's values as the woman and torch represented The Statue of Liberty.

And on another note, did you know that the cubicle didn't get it's name from it's shape? It's name is actually derived from the Latin word cubiculum, which means bed chamber. Fun fact.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Workin' It

So my official job title is technically "Gate Guard". It sounds a lot more important than it actually is. Basically I make sure people sign in at the pool, get the occasional band-aid, that sort of thing. Most of the time I just read a book and avoid the sun as much as possible. Apparently having light skin, strawberry-blond hair and blue eyes is a recipe for sunburns, blisters, and lots of aloe. One thing you'll never hear someone say at the pool, "Nice sunburn! Dang, I wish I could burn like that". And despite having 75 spf sunscreen, I'm not going to take any chances.

Oh, did I mention the Weasley family goes to my pool regularly? Yep, you heard be right. Even got a couple autographs. I love my job.

Okay, okay fine. I lied. I didn't get an autograph... and I might have lied about meething the Weasleys too. Sorry. But hey, they could still be a ginger wizard family! You never know. After all, they never seem to get sunburned. They must have found the ultimate sunscreen of sunscreens, or they use magic to protect their skin from the sun. I'm convinced it's the magic.

Sadly, summer is almost over. I have to pick up my schedule of school soon. But on a happy note, I haven't gotten sunburned! I have completed one of my goals for this summer. Mission accomplished.

Post inspired by: Entertaining puppets with bulging eyes.

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