Stop Diabetes

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Primal Stride Challenge, Join me to help build a healthy, stronger you in 2010.

The Primal Stride Challenge is an opportunity to join with others in meeting weekly goals of health and fitness.  The first challenge begins January 1st at 5am and is being called the 5 at 5 challenge.  For the first 7 days, simply complete a 5k each day beginning at 5am.  That's 3.1 miles.  If you walk, at a brisk rate, you can complete this in 45 minutes.  It doesn't matter how quickly you accomplish this, how gracefully you finish. .just finish.  The next week will be a new challenge, like, doing 250 crunches each day, or eating a new green vegetable each day.  For more information, follow the link and watch the video on the home site.  I'm really excited to take this next year to get healthy and really shake things up!

What I LOVE about this idea:
  • How many of us make New Year's resolutions that die off after 2-3 weeks?  We make it to the gym 4 days the first week, 3 days the next and before you know it, we're sitting on the couch again.  This is one week at a time and I don't know about you, but I can handle one week at a time.    
  • You get one "free pass" day per weekly challenge, so if something does come up or you're not feeling well one day, you're off the hook.  Just pick up with the next week's challenge and continue.
  • It's a community of people with a common goal of seeing each other succeed, pushing each other to achieve more and pulling you along when you can't get out of bed.
  • It's a chance to see what I can accomplish.  There may be challenge weeks that seem easy, there may be some that push me to the limit of what I can accomplish. . in between, I will have grown, stretched myself and become that much more healthy.
  • People will be blogging their experiences.  It'll be interesting to see how others progress as we compare notes, rantings and pictures.  
What I don't like about this:
  • The very first challenge starts at 5am!  Anyone who knows me, knows that this will be my biggest challenge right off the bat.  If I can wake up at 5am for 7 days in a row. . I will have accomplished my biggest feat EVER and the rest of the year will be easy, breezy, beautiful!  ha ha
Ok, I hope I've convinced you to join me.  It'll be fun to do something together, you and I.  It'll give us another dimension of our relationship. Please go to the Primal Stride Challenge website and leave a comment on his blog.  Then, please let me know so I can check-in on you, compare notes, and we can help each other succeed.  HAPPY 2010 to you and the new you you're about to become!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Woot! Yea, verily, triple woot!

Today the journey has a new starting point.  I went to KU Med to see if I qualify for a research study of Type II patients, currently taking the meds I'm on and possibly adding a third.  They drew blood, did an ecg, measured, weighed and poked and prodded me.  I gave them copies of all my lab work, chart notes, etc. I met Dr. Robbins and Debbie, my new CDE.  They're both extremely nice and made me feel very comfortable.

Dr. Robbins asked me to have my Dr. order a lab test, because he can't do it as part of the study.  I asked, what test is that?  "A blood test, I'll write it down for you."  He continued, "with your atypical presentation, I'd like to confirm that you actually are a Type II."  WHAT?  Really? 

He continued to explain how the study works, praised my hard work in getting my A1c down from 13.7 to 8.3 in just 6 months, marveled at the corrections I'd been able to make to my cholesterol readings in that same 6 months and overall talked about what a healthy specimen I am.

I had mentioned to Debbie (CDE) that I could feel whenever my BG was changing.  It feels very different when it comes down than when I've just finished eating and it's headed north.  Usually, within 20-30 minutes of eating anything (and I DO mean ANYTHING) I get this strange pressure in my head, and glaze over for about 5 mins as the meal turned glucose hits my bloodstream.  After that, I can join into the conversation again. It's funny, my hubby can tell too. . and responds, with "well, there it is. . "

After a few minutes of conversation, I asked. . "what was so atypical about my presentation?"  He said that generally Type II doesn't come on so suddenly.  There's usually a time of  BG creeping up, a general sense of not feeling well.  Mine just sort of hit me all at once.  Also, he said that Type II's don't generally feel their BG rising and falling as I do.  He's asking for a GAD65 Antibody that will determine whether my body is producing antibodies that fight my Islet cells and keep me from producing enough insulin, steadily to handle what I eat.

So, the bad news is. . I may not qualify for the study, if this indeed, is the case.  The GREAT news is. . they'll know what is going on, FINALLY, and be able to treat me accordingly.  YAY!  This doesn't reduce any of the work I've put in to self-managing my condition, but, it will make that hard work much more efficient!

Here's where I give credit to @Diabetic_Iz_Me and @devilishly_diab for their apt twitter diagnostic skills. Holla!

So, as @rpederse responded on twitter this morning upon hearing the news: Woot!  Yea, verily, triple woot!  Indeed!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There's never a good time. .

We were told yesterday that we need to move our offices by the end of the month.  Another lease was signed that would require our entire space and there may or may not be space available across the hall. So, I may or may not be looking for office space elsewhere or I may or may not be moving across the hall.  I don't know when to expect this information and/or should we be signing a new lease with another building or just hanging on.  The I.T. guy for the building starts his vacation tomorrow through the end of the month, so who's supposed to move our computer and phone lines?  The boss and I were going to take these next couple of weeks to gear up for a big marketing campaign to kick-off the new year, etc. 
There's never a good time. . .

This made me think about other times in my life when things have happened at the most inconvenient time:
You know, your checkbook is running thin and the tax assessment arrives for your house and it's due 5 days before Christmas.
One year, our dog ate a plastic trash can lid, seriously, a 40 gallon trash can lid. . . chewed it into little pieces and swallowed it up, bit by bit.  This required surgery to open her stomach and pull the pieces out.  $1K spent two weeks before Christmas.  We were faced with paying for this surgery or informing our girls that the dog would be going away to doggy heaven. . right before Christmas.  We're wimps, we paid for the surgery.
You have a huge presentation that could change your business for the rest of the year and you wake up with a sore throat, a crazy BG or stomach virus and can't go to work.
You have an ill child, one that's missed their nap, another lying naked on the changing table and the roof inspection guy shows up. The dog is barking to alert you that a stranger is approaching, the kids are crying, you have one hand over a diaper holding back the golden stream and trying to answer the door and hold the dog  back.
You get bad news. . you've got a chronic illness, a lump, a broken relationship, lose a job, lose a loved one, lose hope.
There's never a good time. . .

We are a people of planning.  We plan our days, weeks, months, years, lives in an effort to know where we are heading, what to expect, when we'll arrive and how that will be rewarded.  Anything changing that direction sends us reeling as we try to make adjustments to STILL reach that planned destination while fitting this detour in.  There's never a good time . . . as our time has been alloted, our money has been spent before it arrives, our emotions have been invested.

So then, do we find each life circumstance to be an interruption of an otherwise good plan, or do we examine it to determine if our final destination needs to be changed.

My mom certainly didn't plan on living her retirement years on her own.  She had a plan to travel and live in a 5th wheel visiting friends and family around the country, constantly being welcomed with a warm hug, new sites, new experiences.  That all changed in January of 2008, when my Father reached HIS final destination, at the feet of his Savior.  My mom could've just pulled up the sidewalks, locked the doors and windows and given up on her dream of travel and the warmth of a welcome hug.  Instead, she adjusted, changed course and rolled with it.  Since Dad's passing, Mom has moved to Kansas and visited Belgium, France, California, Tennesse and Oklahoma.

I just started a new life in KS, with my very handsome husband and our four girls.  I was already adjusting to a new city, new job, new church.  I got lost on a daily basis and never knew which direction I was driving.  I'm fortunate that we have a group of friends that accepted me in and loved me immediately.  

Now, I face that new life with diabetes.  I can either give in, decide I'm not going to make it to that final destination or I can adjust again. . adding new routines to my days, new information to my library, new frustrations but also new solutions.   I've also had the privilege of adding new friends, new experiences, new opportunities that never would've been part of this journey if I hadn't stumbled over the diabetes speed-bump.  So, I grasp this new life, hold it close and start running.  I know it's hard to  believe, but there have been some good things brought about by this bump in my road:

I've met so many inspirational, wonderful, funny, loving, smart people
I've lost quite a bit of weight
I'm eating so much more healthy
I'm exercising regularly
I've learned to notice changes in my body
I got to go without glasses for several months
I'm writing again. (you may not think that's a good thing. . but, I LOVE it.)

So, I change direction again and I'm back to finding an Attitude of Gratitude to start each day.  Today, I'm grateful that I can recognize when I'm starting to be bitter, grumpy and complaining early enough to adjust my direction and get back on the path.
  • I'm grateful that if I have to deal with a chronic condition, it's one that can be managed and LIVED with
  • I'm grateful for my family and friends who surround me, grabbing my hands to pull me up when I fall down, walking in front of me to guide me, behind me to give me that "push" when I need it and beside me to hold my hands and keep me at the right pace.
  • I'm especially grateful for my husband is the most supportive, helpful, cheerleader ever! 
  • I'm grateful for a God who knew me in my mother's womb, who knit me together, fearfully and wonderfully made me and knows what's broken and how to fix it. 
  • I'm grateful that I can use writing and art as therapy, to get my feelings out there for others to relate to and hopefully find kinship and hope in.
There's never a good time to face changes in our direction. . .but it's always a new opportunity to re-evaluate that destination and see if the entire journey needs an adjustment.  We might find that the new destination is that much more exciting than what we had previously dreamt of.  Have a grateful day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Exciting news and quite a gripe session. . .

So first, the EXCITEMENT!
Many of you know I've been struggling with my BG being 2-300 for quite awhile.  If you're on twitter, you've also seen some of the wonderful help and advice I've been getting.  Truly, I don't know what I'd do without my tweeps. . I truly believe they've saved my life, more than once.
So, my dear friend, Scott, was on his way in to visit with his CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) and he mentioned how I'd been struggling, that I hadn't been able to find an Endocrinologist to see, etc.  His CDE said to have me call her and she's see if there was anything she could do to help me.
I talked to her for a few minutes and was frankly, getting a little discouraged.  She would have to have a referral from my Dr. and then wouldn't be able to see me until February.  Then, she had a brilliant idea!  She told me about some studies that KU Med Center had ongoing and suggested I contact them to see if I would qualify.  At least, I'd be seen my a specialist soon, just to qualify me for the study.
Well, indeed, that's what happened.  I go in on Thursday morning to meet with them to qualify for a pharmaceutical study.  I'm taking the right meds, have been diagnosed the right length of time and am overall a perfect candidate.  Here's the best part: each visit is with an Endo and CDE, my meds will be monitored, my BG will be monitored MUCH closer than before.  I'll be seen every couple of weeks rather than every couple of months. She said that if they can help it, I won't be living in the 300's anymore.  WOOHOO!  And, on top of that, I'm helping other people just like me by testing the effectiveness of this medication plan.  I know there are so many others out there, like me, struggling every day to get their BG down to a tolerable level. This could change everything for them and I'm happy to have been part of that solution.

So, once again, a hefty THANK YOU goes out to @devilishly_diab (aka Scott "that Old, cranky and devilishly good looking friend of mine) for caring enough to talk to someone about my case and get me in with an Endo.  I can't wait to see the difference this makes!

I'm also VERY excited for a special day our family celebrates this month.  Our youngest (or as we call her, the baaaby) is turning 18 tomorrow.  Dear, dear B, we love you very much and are so happy to be celebrating this milestone in your life.  But, you'll always, still and forever more, be known as, the Baaaby.  Ha ha You are wonderful, talented, loving, kind, beautiful and brilliant and we're very proud of you and the young lady you've become.  Have a WONDERFUL birthday!

Now onto the gripe session. .
I put these complaints at the bottom so you could ignore them if you want.  If you'd like to chime in with, 'Yeah, why do they do that?'  Feel free, but it won't hurt my feelings if you head on over to one of my friend's blogs listed to the side over there.

I have a few things piling up that I need to get off my chest.
1.  What is it with all the tweets about drinking coffee/tea will keep me from getting diabetes?  Here's a sample: "Four Cups of Coffee or Tea Daily Lowers Risk of #Diabetes by 25%"
Anyone that knows me, know that's a lie right off.  I drink enough coffee/tea to keep my entire neighborhood from being diagnosed with diabetes and yet. . here we are. I've been a coffee-holic for years and coffee bean, my dear old friend, you've let me down.  Not only did it NOT reduce my risk of diabetes, it apparently has been causing my BG levels to skyrocket.  This last weekend, I was wondering about my caffeine intake, felt a little dehydrated and started limiting my intake to one serving a day followed by LOTS of water with lemon (also said to help insulin resistance.)  I'm guessing that's what made the difference, it's the only change I made to my diet/exercise program and my BG started coming down . .a little at a time.  My buddy, Scott, then told me that indeed, being dehydrated affects your BG.  Thanks Doc, for letting me know that ahead of time.

2. I really, really think companies which list only the "net" carb on their nutritional labels without informing you that they're "netting the carbs" should be held accountable for this dangerous practice.  IE:  Cheesecake Factory has a "6 Carb Cheesecake."  That's what it's called.
The crust is made of nuts and it's sweetened with Splenda, etc . .it could be a 6 carb dessert, I've seen recipes that are close to this, so I wasn't crazy to think it could be real.  I normally order at the restaurant and they serve from a 10" cake.  The waitress was nice enough to inform me that the serving they deliver to the table is actually 12 carbs, an actual serving is 1/2 the size of that which is plunked down before the unsuspecting patron.
But, it gets worse.  I ordered a whole 7" cheesecake to take to a dinner party. Because the size was different, I asked for the nutritional label so I could measure out my portion accordingly.  I was HORRIFIED!  The "6 Carb" calculation is for people who deduct the ENTIRE fiber and sugar alcohol from the carbs. You know, people who are dieting for the sake of fitting into a smaller pair of pants, not people who could go into a coma.  MY carb count is 21!  That explains why when I ate 2 pieces a few weeks ago (hey, 12 carbs is allowable, if that's REALLY what you're eating) I felt like I was going to pass out.  I was actually eating 42 carbs, after a meal and I'm only allowed 30 carbs per meal and even 30 usually sends me into Jell-O head-land.  So, lesson learned. . .If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

3. This just made me laugh so hard tonight.  I was checking out recipes on (I LOVE THIS SITE!)  and there was a cookie recipe stating that the entire recipe yielded 60 cookies and the nutritional information was listed below that.  Ok, really. . some guy wrote in and said, "I'm a little confused, are you saying that this is the nutritional information for 1 cookie as one serving? or is one serving 60 cookies?  REALLY?  You put this in writing for everyone to see?  Where would you get the idea that a PWD would be served 60 cookies at one sitting and only ingesting 5 carbs?  I just shook my head and made that funny, mechanical (ya-ee-aa-ya-ee-aa) sound you hear in cartoons.

Ok, that is all. . I hope you're having a great month thus far and you've got great plans for the holidays.  I'll write more positive posts in the coming days.  Hang in there with me, won't you. . .what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  I just need to identify what those things are. . ha ha

Sunday, December 6, 2009

No D-Month = Fail

Ok, so I couldn't do it.  This was going to be a No-D month for me.  Since I completely unleashed that which is "D" in November, December would be full of stories related to my family, my hobbies, my faith. . . anything but Diabetes.  But, then. . .

My blood glucose started climbing and no amount of exercise would bring it down.  In an effort to share with you the power and the value of the online community, I want to share this story with you.  If you are not currently on twitter or taking advantage of sites like,, etc. . you are really missing an important piece of your diabetes management.

A few months ago, I had seen a few tweets saying things like, "BG too high, no #sweatbetes today" or "dang, I'm too high to work-out."  Because of these comments, I specifically asked my GP when should I NOT work out?  Is there a point when my BG is too high and exercise could be dangerous?  He basically answered that if I feel that I can exercise, I should try since that's the only way to get my BG down.

I had seen the effects of exercise over the previous few months.  I was 480 one day (which would've sent me to the ER if I were on the Dr. Oz show.)  My Dr. explained that it was because I hadn't been working out and  that my choices were simple; work-out or die.  I went home that afternoon from his office and started walking.  I walked for 45 minutes and got my BG down to 190.  I felt triumphant!  I felt VICTORIOUS!  I also felt nauseous.

Since that day, I've experienced a few days a week where my BG has been over 250, even 300 and I dutifully break out the jump rope or start walking.  Occasionally, my stomach will start to hurt, I'll get nauseated, feel like I can't catch my breath, but I push through and get my BG down below 200.  This last week, late in the evening I was at 424 and once again, changed into my workout gear despite feeling like I would really rather step out in front of a bus.  I jumped rope for about 20 minutes and started feeling nauseated again.  I rested for a minute, then I started getting cramps in my stomach and in my legs.  Before I knew it, I felt like I was having an asthma attack.  I couldn't catch my breath, I was hurting, sick to my stomach, home alone and more than a little frightened.  I assumed I had just gotten my heart rate up too high, so took an extended rest and got on the computer while I waited.

I tweeted with some of my friends: @Diabetic_Iz_Me, @sajabla, @rpederse and @devilishly_diab. (If you don't currently follow them, you need to add them to your list!)  They shared my pain, talked about high BG levels and how horrible it feels and generally encouraged me and talked me through my fright. . but then. .
I tweeted that I was going to work out some more because I had only gotten my levels down to 324.  @Diabetic_Iz_Me aka Cherise quickly tweeted back, "you're not over 250 are you?"  but I didn't see it, I had already started my work out video and would come back to this message 30 minutes later.

As I finished my exercise and had gotten my BG down to 212 I came back online.  Hmmm, why did she ask that?  The following 1/2 hour was full of information, links to websites, stories of what "could've been" and an overall education that I SHOULD have gotten from my Dr. when I had asked a few months ago!

People with diabetes are generally told not to exercise if their BG is over 250 with ketones present or if it's over 300 AT ALL.  To exercise in this state can put you into a state of ketoacidosis requiring immediate medical attention.  This can be deadly if not treated.  The symptoms of ketoacidosis;  yep, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing.  So, the next day, I was still having trouble breathing and went in to see another partner at my Dr's office and he confirmed that this is true, and I, indeed, could have a serious problem if I hadn't paid attention to my body.  He said many people just assume they're out of shape and try to push through it, and they end up in the hospital.  Lesson learned.

But, the existence of this condition is not the only lesson learned here.  I also learned the absolute value and power of the diabetic online community.  I valued this group previously for their care and concern when I had written in the past, but they had now possibly saved my life with information that I truly needed.  They've always been there with a shoulder to cry on, ready laughter when I joked and information to help me cope with this chronic condition, but the information and concern they showed that night was unbelievable.  So, to you, my DOC, thanks for everything!  I'm still struggling with managing this disease, but I'm never alone.  Help is never far away!

Thanks also to the friends who have since heard this story and offered their assistance at any time.  My mom even offered to spend the night whenever my husband travels out of town so I'm not alone.  I am well-loved and hope that my appreciation for you all is evident.  Hugs to all!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

'ecember - Because December will be a No-D month.

My friends and family have been so patient with me as I've been learning about my diabetes management.  It seems like I'm obsessed, well, I am a bit.  It's hard to NOT be obsessed when you feel so crappy at least once a day and your life is so altered.  I'm grateful they've all put up with my millions of tweets, dblog and Facebook messages about the "D" word.  But, I am SO much more than just a person with diabetes. (PWD) 
I thought the one month that starts with a D would be the perfect month to declare a No-D month.  During the month of December, unless asked specifically, I will not be talking about diabetes.  No complaining about what I can't eat, no need to explain to the restaurant servers why I'm ordering a certain way, no tales of daily highs. (I've only gone low 2 times since being diagnosed, so that's not usually a topic of conversation.) You will all be able to read about other pieces of my life for a change.  I've got plenty to say about my faith, my hobbies, my family, my friends, my job.  All these things are probably far more interesting than what I've been sharing.
I was amazed that when I first mentioned my diabetes on FB, how many friends wrote to tell me they too were diabetic.  That's odd, I've known them for YEARS and never knew.  Perhaps I just don't need to be sharing my every Dmoment with the world.  It'll be tough, I'm a pretty open gal, as you've probably noticed, but, I'm willing to stick with it to have some different conversations.
So, what are some things we have in common. . here are some of the things I'd like to share about myself:
  • First, always, I'm a Christian and love my God more than anyone or anything.
  • I've got a GREAT husband who takes very good care of me.  We've been married for 1.5 yrs (still newlyweds) and even though I never would imagine it possible, I love him more and more every day!
  • We have four beautiful, bright, witty, talented, daughters. I'm not biased at all.
  • My mom lives near by and we're really close.  She moved to KS when I did and I'm really happy to have her so close.
  • I LOVE paper crafting; scrapbooks, cards, gifts, etc.  You name it, I'll try to make it.  I teach basic scrapbooking as well as some more advanced classes at Joanns and would love to have you join us for a class.  I'll post some of my projects this month. . hopefully, you'll be inspired to get creative.
  • I am still in contact with my closest friends from elementary thru high school.  I'd like to introduce you to some of them and share how they've inspired me and been such an important part of my life.
  • I've also made some great new friends this past year in the DOC and offline.  They've inspired me in ways other than my D-management and I'll share that too.
Well, I said all that to say this; I have plenty to talk about this month of 'ecember.  So, stay tuned, I hope you all learn more about than my blood glucose level this month.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving according to FB

I polled my Facebook friends last week, asking for their best Thanksgiving memories.  What struck me, is that most of them wrote about time given to their community or time spent with others.  I didn't have one person focus the Black Friday sales, traditional foods, football, napping or parades.

Paige wrote about times spent four-wheeling in the desert with family from California. Another year, they served meals with Victory Outreach and then stayed home together watching movies.  I know this family fairly well. . I can see them all curled up on the couch together, giggling and teasing. 

Cindy also wrote about serving meals at the Salvation Army kitchen with her hubby.  It delayed their trip home to be with the extended family, but she says it was SO worth it. 

While Annette talked about the smells and tastes of her grandmother's wonderful cooking, she also talked about sharing the meal with her family and building some great memories.

Veronica spoke of crawling up on her grandfather's lap to watch football.  I wonder if it was really the football game she remembers or the warmth of building that moment with her grandfather?  I'm thinking the security, love and inclusion by G'pa was the whole holiday for her.

And finally, but certainly not least, my friend Tahmina spoke of inviting 15 for dinner and having 40+ show up.  She is quite famous in the SLC area for her incredible cooking.  She includes foods from many cultures and countries.   But, it's not the cooking that we all remember (well, it is but). . it's being a part of a world-wide community in her home.  We were so fortunate to have people there from Congo, Sudan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Iran, Bosnia, and even some of locals.  We always had the best time sharing food, culture, music, dance, prayer, conversation and some pretty amazing stories.

I'm pretty convinced that it is NOT the turkey, dressing and cranberries that bring us together each year in November.  It is the draw of our heartstrings, pulling friends and family ever closer to help us meet the challenges we all face. . TOGETHER. 

Thanks to each of you responding to my request.  I wish you and yours a fantastic holiday season and know that you are in my hearts and prayers always!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When someone cares. . .

I had an interesting conversation with a 1st grader tonight.

We have a group of couples (and their children) from Sunday School that get together for dinner on Sunday evenings. We're all very close and I honestly, don't know how we would've gotten through this transition in our lives without the love, support and prayers of these wonderful friends.  It is exemplified in this story, as they've passed those caring skills on to their kids. Two of the daughters, "N" and "B," are my buddies.  They always give me a hug, tell me about something exciting in their day, and giggle endlessly.

Tonight, we went to Jose Peppers for dinner.  Prior to being diagnosed, I LOVED this restaurant.  I'd always have the Corona Shrimp Tacos with rice and black beans.  But, the crowd favorite there is the Espinaca, a spinach, cheese dip; SO yummy with their crispy, thin tortilla chips.  Since my DLife, I usually order a salad and bring my own chips that I've made by baking low-carb tortillas.  Again, tonight, I brought my chips in a little bag and started dipping into the salsa and espinaca and "B" asked why I have my own chips?  I told her that those chips make me feel bad, and I make my own.  She seemed satisfied with the answer.  Then it happened. .

"N" leaned over and told "B", "Barb has diabetes." They argued back and forth for a minute before "N" asked to confirm.  "Hey Barb, you have diabetes, huh?"  Yes, yes I do "N."  She then turned to "B" and said, "See, I told ya.  Barb has diabetes and she can't eat bread or chips or rice or potatoes."

I know many of you out there will tell me that I CAN eat these foods, but for me, they really spike me and require a GREAT deal of exercise to get my BG back down.  I'm only supposed to eat 30 carbs for a meal, so to have any of those things would really take me over the limit and I'd be a zombie within 20 mins.  That's really not the point of this story. . .

Really, the point of this story is that "N" is SIX YEARS OLD!  She remembered these details about my life because when she learned it, it affected her, it moved her, she realized it was something important to remember about someone you love.  I've got friends that are MUCH older than that, that can't remember I have diabetes, let alone a list of what I can't eat.  Honestly, when I heard her explain this to "B," I wanted to cry; because I felt so loved, I felt so HEARD, I felt so important to a little girl that I adore.

When someone cares, they hear when you speak.  They feel when you hurt.  They remember important details about you.  They want to come hang out with you. (She's dying to come hang out in my scrap booking studio.)  They're not afraid to show you affection.  They're so excited when you walk into the room.  I think I need to take a lesson from my buddy, "N."  It made me wonder if I show the same kind of care for my friends and family and if I don't I'm sorry.  I'm taking this lesson from "N" and hoping to love the way she does.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ever have one of those days?

Do you ever feel like you're having one of "those" days.  No matter what you do, nothing goes your way? This poor kid stopped the ball, ran to the line, just like she was taught. . but instead of throwing the ball, decided to kick it.  Now, I've go to admit, she's probably got a better kick than me and I'm sure her little flip-er-doodle would be even funnier coming from a 47 y.o. chic like me. . but, kick it she did.

Sometimes, it's just that our fundamentals aren't there.  She was probably taught to scoot the ball down the field as the other kids were doing.  She was obviously taught to grab the ball and run to the line with it.  Was she ever taught the proper skills for kicking the ball with distance from that position?  Was she given time or incentive to practice that move?  She's pretty young and looks like a fairly new soccer enthusiast.  As a former coach. . that's what I see in this video. . and in my own life experience.

There are times in my life when I feel that I am just beating my head against the wall. . whether it be at work, in relationships, my faith walk or my diabetes management.  I just can't seem to advance and feel that I'm accomplishing anything.  Is it that I'm not trying hard enough?  Am I not diligent, sincere or well-meaning enough?  Perhaps it's that my fundamentals need a little practice.

In relationships, perhaps I haven't been simply gracious enough.  We all like to talk about our own situations and try to relate to others.  Have I listened with full attention when my friend has shared something important to them?  Or did I just jump right in with a solution or a "like" situation to relate with them.  Sometimes the best response is just a nod and a hug.  So, feel free to say Hey, Barb. . shut-up and hug me. 

My husband travels, ALOT.  Have I thanked him often enough for the sacrifice he offers every week when he leaves his family and gets on that plane?  Do I do enough to help him prepare for his trip?  Do I let him know how happy I am when he arrives home?  (Thanks Babe!  You work so hard to provide for us and I want you to know now how grateful I am.)

I'm in a fairly new position at work.  I've been a banker for so long and in February, I started working in marketing.  My boss is wonderful and has taught me SO much.  But, at times, I really feel like the dunce.  It's not that I'm stupid, my fundamentals just need some work.  I need to know what abbreviations like, SEO and PPC mean.  I'm really learning about market research and the difference between quantitative research and anecdotal research.  But, that doesn't come naturally to me.   These conversations with clients take practice and we rehearse all the time.  He understands the importance of my practicing my fundamentals.

Diabetes is new to me.  I didn't grow up watching a relative make proper food choices, bolus before/after a meal or talk about checking their feet for open sores.  I've scoured the internet for information, talked to my diabetes medical team at length and joined every diabetic online community I can find.  But, I'm still learning the fundamentals.  Just because I have 30 carbs available for my meal doesn't mean I can spend those 30 carbs on anything I want.  Some foods cause my BG to soar into the 300's with others simply raise it enough to verify I've eaten.  I've had to learn what time of day is best of my meds, my vitamins, my fish oil, my fiber, my exercise.  The fundamentals of testing my BG, making the right food choices and exercise are the fundamentals of self-managing my diabetes.  And BOY, does all that take practice.  I definitely relate to this little girl when it comes to this.  There are days when I not only feel that I've scored one for the other team, I've also done that flip-er-doodle and landed on my behind!

Sometimes, I feel like my prayers hit the ceiling and fall back to the floor around me.  Is it that God has taken a vacation to the Bahamas?  Is it that I don't know how to pray?  Perhaps my fundamentals need some practice here too.  Maybe when I'm spending my quiet time with Him, I'm doing too much talking and not enough listening.  Maybe He's trying to show me an area of my life that needs some tweaking, and I'm going on complaining about how unfair it is that I have a chronic disease.  The fundamentals of memorizing His Word, spending time with Him and listening for His voice and taking the time to see Him working all around me may need a workout.

When I coached softball, I was amazed that when I asked college coaches about what they were looking for in a softball recruit, many of them said they didn't care, they had to reteach the fundamentals from the beginning.  Many of the players arrive at that level with bad habits, poorly formed skills and feeling like they were superstars.  Let's not make the same mistakes.  Let's remember that the fundamentals will always get us through, but we need to continually hone our skills in whatever we do.  Let's not be so arrogant as to think we're better than we are and we don't need practice.  As I used to tell my team, practice doesn't make perfect, PERFECT practice makes perfect.

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Day - Wow!

I've gotta tell you. . this weekend is one of those that you just know you'll never forget. . .

I was diagnosed July 24, 2009 with Type II Diabetes.  I really had no clue what that diagnosis would mean to me, how it would change my daily routines, how it would change my life.  I did nothing for two weeks while I waited for the meeting with my dietitian.  I had been on Weight Watchers before and thought that since that was a healthy diet, I'd go back to that until someone told me differently.  I was eating the right number of points, but most of them were carb-loaded and I still felt horrible.  I tried to stick with salads and meat after the first few days. . that helped.

I met with the dietitian a couple of times, and with my Dr. a few others.  They gave me great guidelines, meds and advice, but neither of them have diabetes and my Dr. even said he's not a specialist, so he was basically following whatever my dietitian said to do.  I was able to use their guidelines to get my BG down out of the Danger-Will-Robinson-Danger levels, but still found myself feeling like I was floundering around trying to figure this out.  That's when I went to the internet.

I found so much information that fed my head. . Mayo Clinic research the ADA websites.  Still, I was needing something that spoke to my heart and emotions to let me know I was going to be alright and that I was not out there alone.  I stumbled on some of the DOCs like,, Diabetic Rockstar, etc.  I also decided to do a search on Twitter to see what people were saying about diabetes and the lifestyle I was about to embark on.  I was amazed to see how many blogs were referenced, how many people seemed to know each other. . it really felt like a community of friends.

I started reading some of the blogs on a daily basis, dropped some, added some more, until I had a pretty refined list of bloggers who spoke to me, gave great information, great encouragement, made me laugh, basically talked me off the ledge.  They became my "Rockstars."   You know, those people that you really admire, respect and wish you could just sit down and have a conversation with them.  And then it happened. .

I try to comment on most of the blogs I follow.  After all, I love it when I know people have read mine and found some value to it.  One day, I blogged on Dorkabetic's blog and the next day, the author of a blog I'd referenced sent an email saying she would be in town for a WDD luncheon and she'd like to meet me.  I was so surprised that she would want to meet ME. . I mean, really, I'm just a newbie Type II trying to figure this stuff out. . and she's, you know,  A ROCK STAR!

Anyways. . .the point of this story isn't to embarrass her or sound like I'm some kind of weird, stalker. . .I basically wanted to say that WDD has come at a great time in my journey.  I was able to meet THREE of the bloggers I follow every day as well as some other pretty fantastic people this weekend.  I felt like I was part of something bigger than me. . and the part I played was as important as anyone else.  I even had another one of the Rockstars of the DOC add me to his blogroll. . I was honored.

So for this WDD, my DH (Dear Hubby) bought blue light bulbs for our porch, I tweeted about it and before I knew it, others were doing it too.  I made a diabetic awareness ribbon pin, wore it to dinner tonight and got to share my story with some friends who had previously acknowledged my diabetes, but really asked questions and engaged in conversation about it.  I participated in the Big Blue Test and had saw how just 14 mins of exercise changed MY BG.  No more griping about not having enough time to do something active!
AND, I met some of my RockStars and found that they are indeed some great people that I hope become dear friends.  Thanks Cherise, Andrea and Sarah for sharing your stories online and your hugs in person and opening your world to those who follow.  AND. . to our DOC out there. . thanks for sharing this WDD with me and allowing me to be part of something world-wide, life altering and dang it. . a whole lot of fun!

Happy World Diabetes Day!  Love, Babscampbell

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fight the good fight

Today is Veteran's Day and I'm so grateful for those who have gone before to pave our way with freedom.  In reading through my daily blog list, many are speaking of veteran's who have influenced them, loved ones currently serving and individual battles being fought.  

I have several dear friends fighting cancer.  I have my battle with diabetes.  I know of some battling depression.  Others, wage war with financial concerns.  Still others battle loneliness, loss of hope, fear.

I get tired just imagining all the energy it takes to do all this war-raging.  I know my own personal struggles, and knowing that everyone has their own personal struggle, I multiply that times each person I know and you've got an awful lot of energy being spent!  So, we team up and fight those battles we can together. . sharing resources, covering each others' back and allowing our fellow soldiers a rest. One small victory at a time, we begin to make sense of it all.  That victory is shared with the community and all spirits are lifted, hope restored and a new vitality enlivens the troops to the next victory and then the next.  That's what the different online communities, support groups and our family are all about.

Fight the good fight and never leave a comrade behind.  Link arms with SOMEONE and make some headway.  We were never meant to face life's circumstances alone.

Thanks to for the inspiration today.  Check out his website. . gotta appreciate a fellow bacon lover.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude- I can see, touch, hear, taste and smell.

I'm grateful today to still have all my senses available to me.  This is a great video depicting how diabetes affects all our senses.  Diabetes truly does intrude on every facet of our lives, not just the food we eat or adding exercise to our daily routine.  There are so many complications that we face and are constantly reminded of.  Many of you know someone who has lost a foot, their vision, a kidney, liver function or have suffered a stroke or heart attack.  In fact, when I stop to think about it. . I am at least one degree connected to someone with each of these issues, all stemming from their diabetes. 

I'll admit, until July of this year, I knew so little about diabetes and its complications and now I wake up each day grateful to feel the earth beneath my feet, to see my Hubby's handsome face smiling at me, to taste my beloved bacon, to hear "I love you" spoken so often, to smell fresh brewed coffee and know that at least for today, I'm here to make a difference, to speak life, to share love.

I hope that this month of Diabetes Awareness is helping all of you, my friends and family, to understand the changes in our lives since this last summer.  I know I do go on. . .but, really. . I'm hoping that you can possibly take some of what I've shared with you to help you support others you may know with diabetes, if not give you the tools to get you through a diagnosis like this.  It's the biggest challenge we've ever faced and I don't know how I would've done it without the love and support of all of you, my diabetes online community and my medical team.

Have a great day!  Go taste, smell, feel, hear or see something incredible today!  Then, drop a comment to share it with the rest of us.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude - VACATION!

I haven't posted for a few days.  Really, it's not that I'm ungrateful, I've been out of town.  My DH and I traveled to Colorado Springs to support the USMA Black Knights as they played at least half a game against the USAFA Falcons.  We're Army fans through and through, cheering loud, wearing the garb, hanging banners, driving around town with a flag flapping in the breeze.  So, here's my gratefulness for the last few days. . .all rolled into one post.

I'm grateful to have had the chance to make this trip.  We were able to see some friends that recently moved from KS to CO, have dinner and catch up with all they're doing.  We were also able to take our favorite Air Force Cadet to dinner. He's graduating this next May, getting married and then he'll be off saving the world.  I know. . he's Air Force and we're Army. . but, really, if there's anyone giving my Army Lt. air support, I want it to be him!

I'm grateful for the MSP airport 'Start' walk path. I was a little worried about not getting exercise on my flight day. I was able to get 4.5 miles in while I waited for my flight.

I'm grateful for God's creative art projects.  We were able to wander through the Garden of the Gods and hike up 7 Falls (both were great workouts and brought my BG right down. BONUS!)  These two parks were the amazing, breath-taking kind of beautiful.

I'm grateful for a Cracker Barrel breakfast.  What's up with the hotel breakfast bar?  Carb-City! We had a choice of bagels, waffles, toast, english muffins, cereal or juice.  I let them know that there are 8 million diabetics in the US and I bet many of them travel and stay in hotels.  Wouldn't it be novel to provide them with something to eat for breakfast?  They said they would look into it.  So, if you ever stay at a Fairfield and find the buffet to be diabetic-friendly. . you're welcome!  LOL

I'm grateful for high altitude = NO oxygen = EVERYTHING becomes aerobic exercise!  My BG didn't get over 140 all weekend!  It was fantastic to feel so well.  I'm thinking I need to move there.

I'm grateful for rental cars that have extra places to plug in my phone.  I was using it as a camera all weekend and really wore the battery out.

On the way home, my DH traded seats with me on the plane and I got to ride in First Class.  I felt pretty special. I'm pretty grateful for him and his generosity.

We had a great time. . but, you know what?  I still have diabetes.  All the carb-counting, calculating, exercise, metering, clock watching, etc. . is still a part of all I do, every day.   It didn't stop me from experiencing all the fun of our trip. But, it was still there, begging for attention. . every time we were trying to decide on a restaurant or activity.  Diabetes doesn't take a vacation. . even though I do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Attitude of Gratitude-The Unknowing Servant

Wow, today started out rough.  My BG has been so high for several weeks.  Occasionally it'll sneak down below 200 just to tease me, but, not for long.  My fasting BG this morning was 287, where do you from there, except up, right?  So, I went to work feeling really discouraged.
I came into the empty office, dropped my stuff on my desk, started to boot up my computer and decided it would be ok for me to throw myself a pity party.  After all, I was alone, no one would see me being less-than-stoic and upbeat. I sighed heavily and then I heard it.
Nicole Mullin-Call on Jesus

Weary brother
Broken daughter
Widowed, widowed lover
You're not alone
If you're tired and scared of the madness around you
If you can't find the strength to carry on

But when I call on Jesus
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call

Call Him in the mornin'
In the afternoon time
Late in the evenin'
He'll be there
When your heart is broken
And you feel discouraged
You can just remember that He said
He'll be there

Our office is sublet to a Christian organization and the president of the foundation was sitting in the conference room, affectionately known as the "War Room," just outside my cubicle. . just minding his own business, working on something, listening to music on Pandora.  This song was randomly chosen by some virtual DJ who probably doesn't even like the song.
I lost it
Right there, at my desk
Blubbering like a baby.

I went in to thank him for following whatever promptings he had felt that morning that had led him into that space.  He didn't know why, he just didn't want to work in his office this morning.  He wanted the space to spread out, or something and decided to park himself in the conference room.

I needed to hear that song, I also needed to hear his heart.  I told him about my discouragement and he began to share his story with me.

His son has autism and was undergoing treatment and doing well.  But, there was a 2 week period in which dad was in S. Africa speaking at a conference.  Son was home with mom and underwent some of the most frightening days he'd ever experienced.  His temper was raging and mom couldn't seem to get control.  Dad was unreachable for a whole week. . it was horrible.  On his way to the airport, he stopped to buy the kids some souvenirs and bumped into a gentleman he had met at the conference.  This man said to him, you know, the other day, I just felt like we weren't finished talking.  What's going on with you and your family?

Dad proceeded to share the story of his son's struggle, the rage, the fear.  This man happened to work with natural remedies and Dad just asked. . do you know of anything that could help my son?  The man answered. . nothing in the USA, but here in S Africa.  He gave him samples to try and low and behold, the son has been great ever since.
This isn't a story about natural medicine or autism or any of that.

To me it's this:  Be Available.

God may want to work some miracle through you, speak to someone's pain through you, paint his fingerprints on someone's heart through you.

Nicole Mullin didn't know the lives that would be touched, the fear that would be calmed, the anger that would be denied, when she wrote that song.

My friend didn't know what impact he would have on me today, just by sitting in another chair this morning.
But, they did as they felt prompted and my mood, my fear, my anger, my discouragement changed.
Thank you to all those unknowing servants, who follow their hearts and bring healing to mine.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Whimsey What does that mean?

Peter Pan teaches Wendy and the boys to fly by having them focus on their "Happy Thought," sprinkling some pixie dust and then believing they COULD fly.   This blog is an attempt on my part to learn to fly. .

When my girls where young and someone would upset them, I'd always say, "Hey, don't let 'em steal your whimsey!"  Once you lose your whimsical self, you stop dreaming, creating, solving problems.  I'm hanging on to every whimsical, happy thought I can.

Because I have so many facets to my life, there will be different kinds of postings here.  I love to teach paper crafting, card making and scrapbook techniques, so you'll see some of that.  I'm also an Army mom, a fan of 82nd Airborne and the Black Knights of West Point.  Finally, this page will chronicle my trials and triumphs as I fight Type II Diabetes.  So, there may be low-carb recipes, exercise ideas or just some random rants about my high blood glucose results.  I started a page on called Attitude of Gratitude and that will be copied over here as well.  So, hopefully, I'll share something meaningful to someone.

Come fly with me. . come fly, come fly away. . .