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June 30, 2007

LOL Cats, SUM-style

I couldn't help it.  I had to. The temptation was too strong. 

I just had to.

LOL Sausage.
Sausage has been submitted.  Let's see if she makes the LOL cut.
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June 13, 2007

Grocery Wars.

The wheels on the grocery cart clatter against the store's tile floor as my Internal Motivational Speaker and My Stomach wage war inside my head.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  Oh Kerri, don't those organic cucumbers look delicious!  You can slice them up and eat them as a snack in the morning.  Grab two of those.

My hands extend out and grab two cucumbers.

Stomach:  Seriously, dude, if you don't get me something to eat I am going to make Total weakness for these things.that noise you hate.  You know the one.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  And raspberries!  They are filled with flavonoids.  Get those, too.

The raspberries make their way into my cart.  I shuffle through the grocery store on autopilot.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  Yes, yes.  Baby spinach.  Some sliced turkey and cheese for sandwiches for lunch.  Good idea.  Baby carrots ...

Stomach:  Baby spinach, baby carrots.  You eat babies.  Heh heh.  FEED ME.  I'm running out of patience. 

I turn right and make my way down the granola bar and cereal aisle.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  You liked those organic granola bars we bought last week.  Grab another box of those.  Keep walking past that cereal, too high in carbs for you.  You know if makes you spike.  How about some banana bread oatmeal?  That worked out nicely.

The area just below my belly button lets loose with a low growl, like I'm hiding a ravenous bear underneath my workout shirt.

Stomach:  See?  Told you.  You can't go to the gym and then come straight here without feeding me.  I've let the bear loose now.  That guy over there just looked at you because it sounds like you are about to throw up.  Ha ha ha.  Because you eat babies.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  Stomach, stop being so crude!  We'll be home soon.  Just be patient.

Stomach:  I am being patient.  You don't know what I've been through, lady.  She did abs tonight.  Do you know what that means?  She spent way too much time crunching and now I'm all tense.  Hey Kerri, grab those frosted mini-wheats.  I've earned them.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  No no!  Frosting on the outside means high blood sugars on the inside, you silly prat! 

Stomach:  They say whole-grain.  Do you see that, Kerri?  Whole-grain.  Grab 'em.

Whispering "Whole-grains are in these," to myself, I add the mini-wheats to my cart.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  I can't believe this!  You just went to the gym and now you're adding "frosted mini-wheats" to the cart?  I mean really, Kerri, you need to get your priorities straight.  Now come on and put them back.

Stomach:  Kerri, you have your priorities in fine order.  You are eating well and exercising and torturing the hell out of me.  Add those mini-wheats to your rabbit food carriage and let's get on with this.  I need a snack. 

The bear growls again.

Stomach:  Rocco's getting upset.  Better move on.Rocco has the wheats.

I move the mini-wheats underneath the bags of fresh vegetables.  My Internal Motivational Speaker sighs deeply.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  I can still see them, you know. 

Stomach:  Oh would you just shut up?

Internal Motivational Speaker:  I will not.  And another thing ...

I hear the sound of a heavy chain snapping and the ravenous roar of a hungry bear. 

Stomach:  Sick 'em, Rocco!

Internal Motivational Speaker:  Noooo!!  Oh God, I can feel his breath on my motivational neck!  Help! 

Her voice trails off.  And the mini-wheats stay in the cart.

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June 07, 2007

Lisa Roney, and then Some Sausage.

Three items in this post, two of which are very important.  (One is purely silliness.)

ONE:  My friend Lisa Roney, author of "Sweet Invisible Body" is the guest of honor tonight over at Diabetes Talkfest.  Log in to chat with her at 9 pm EST.  This is the logo that will appear.This is definitely a chat to be at!

TWO:  Be sure to check out the posts over at Your Story!  If you'd like to submit your own story, send an email to story @ sixuntilme dot com.  And if you'd like to post a banner in your sidebar that links to Your Story, click here for the html.

AND THREE:  (this is the silly one.) I'm sorry to be posting another YouTube clip (they make the blog look messy, in my opinion), but I was duped.  Sausage has been trotting around with a little notebook I received (from Ms. ChronicBabe herself, actually!) and bringing it everywhere with her.  I wanted to grab her escapades on video, but she wouldn't perform for me.  I sat on the floor for a few minutes, hopeful that Siah would do her thing, but she just sat staring at me.  I left the camera on the floor.  And the little rat bastard pulled a fast one.  (Guest appearance by Abby the Cat.  She also has a speaking role.)

Ah.  Cat blogging.  Completely ridiculous. (And the video is a little on the dark side. Working on fixing that now.)

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May 17, 2007

The Mother's Day Brawl

(I'm a bit delayed on this post, but it had to be told.  It's too ridiculous to not share.  And I promised Jenn I would.)

Mother's Day brought together various members of mine and Chris's family, gathering around a breakfast table at a little restaurant in South County, RI.  His mother, my mother, nieces and nephews, our brothers and sisters (except my sister was missing - we missed you, Court!), various significant others and one esteemed grandmother. 

Full table.  Lots of conversation.  We aren't exactly quiet people, so the noise level may have been slightly excessive.  There were 14 of us, after all, seated around this table.  Coffee was flowing.  Mickey Mouse pancakes were being devoured by little mouths.  I overheard the following exchange between my 6 year old nephew C and Chris's 5 year old niece MP:

C:  (excited bouncing on his heels)  So when Kerri and Chris get married, we'll be cousins.

MP:  (putting her hands up)  Awesome.

We may have been chatty, but it's Mother's Day, for crying out loud.  (If you are taking your mother to a quiet, romantic breakfast, you may need to rethink things.)  There was laughter and conversation and the beauty of two different families breaking bread together.

Our waitress, a woman who looked about 55 and spoke as though she had been smoking since she was in the womb, was walking by with the coffee pot when we heard her loudly address the table behind us.

"That's it.  That's enough!  You can get out now.  There are five doors - use one of them."

Indistinct mumbling from the table behind us.

"Leave!  Now!"  Hollering now.  Her rough right hand went straight to her hip and her left hand brandished the coffee pot as though it was Excalibur.

The couple at the table behind us violently drank down the rest of their coffee, wiped their mouths angrily with their sleeves, and filed out the door, shooting us dirty looks.

"What happened?"  Someone from our table asked.

The waitress pushed away the lock of hair that had tumbled loose from her ponytail in her fury.  "That woman was mocking you."  She gestured to my mother.  "And you, I think."  She gestured to me.  "She's a drunk.  And couldn't take that you guys were talking, I guess.  Every time you said something, she repeated it.  And then she started repeating me.  No one talks back to me.  So I told her where to go!"

That woman was mocking my mother?  And me?  Was there almost a Mother's Day brawl?

"What?  That lady?  If I had known, I would have gone right over there, sat down, and asked her Hot coffee heals all wounds.what her problem was."  My mother puffed up and offered her words angrily.  (Keep in mind, my mother is five-foot-three and has hands that muss hair and cuddle grandchildren - she is hardly a bruiser.)

The waitress refilled a coffee cup.

"I know!"  She pointed at my mother and I.  "You, me, and you - we would have taken her outside and,"  She dropped her voice for the sake of the kids (who could hear her anyway but it sounded badass and dramatic regardless).  "Kicked her ass."

The waitress topped off the table's coffees.

"Yeah! We would have!"  My mother added cream to her coffee and stirred it in. 

"That's right, Ma.  We would have handled her!"  I wanted to add my voice to this chorus.  I'm tough, too, right?

I leaned in to sip my fresh coffee.  In my fervor, I forgot to add cream and Equal, so it tasted bitter and lava-hot.

"Oooh!  That's yucky." 

So much for badass.

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May 07, 2007

Wandering in NYC

Chris and I hopped on the train, bound for New York City and ready to spend the day exploring the city and enjoying the fantastic weather.

We started out the day visiting friends on the lower East Side.  After lunch in a cafe that had their huge, streetside windows wide open, allowing the spring air to come skipping in, we walked around Chinatown a bit.  We also saw what was claimed as Moby's building, where our friends told us that the blue fish and the octopus on the side of the building were painted by Moby himself. 

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Moby Fish
Not sure if that is a load of crap or not, but here's the picture.  Can anyone confirm that this literal fish tale is true?

After lunch, Chris and I headed off to 14th Street and explored Union Square park, where the flowers were in full bloom and absolutely gorgeous. 

So pretty.  No idea what kind of these flowers these are.

And I could not resist frolicking in the tulips.

Kerri amongst the tulips.

We explored Madison Square Park, as well, and found what appeared to be two baked potatoes in their natural habitat.  (What the hell are these things?  Art?  I'm so confused.) 

Baked potatoes, in the wild.

I also stumbled upon a very handsome man, sitting contemplatively in front of a statue of William Seward.  Oh wait, that's my future husband.  (Can't.  Stop.  Grinning about it.)

Handsome Chris.

Fruther in Madison Park, we saw two enormous metal "battle trees" created by conceptual artist Roxy Paine, part of a public art series.  Very impressive.

Roxy Paine's battle trees.

After dinner at The Crooked Knife on 30th Street (delicious food here, by the way, and fantastic bathrooms.  I would like to model the bathroom in my home after the one in The Crooked Knife.), we trotted around Times Square for a spell, enjoyed a hot cup of coffee, and hopped back on the train for home.

And for tomorrow:  Our NYC 3-D Experience.

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May 02, 2007

Bird is the Word

Bird plays for Team SUM.The phone rings.

Kerri:  Hello?

Larry Bird:  Hey Kerri.  What's  up?

Kerri:  Dude, I haven't talked with you in ages.

Larry Bird:  (laughing) Yeah, well I've been working on a new workout for you.  I know you've been working out really hard lately.  What's with all the focus?  Did you get engaged or something?

Kerri:  (almost spits her coffee out, giggling)  Larry!  Come on!

Larry Bird:  Of course I already read it on your blog.  Well, congratulations to you and Chris.  So anyway, I've been thinking about some different ways you can mix up your workout, starting with that cardio routine.  Are you still jumping rope?

Kerri:  Ah, not as much as I was before.  But I'll reinstitute that tonight.  I've increased the incline and speed on my treadmill circuit, though.  Still at 33 minutes, of course, Mr. Bird.  But I'm looking to tone up my arms, too.  Any suggestions?

Larry Bird:  Well, try those tricep kickbacks I told you about.  And the tricep dips.  Do your best not to fall over.  I know how clumsy you are.

Kerri:  (blushing furiously but it's a phone call and he can't see it)  I do my best.  I'm just awkward. 

Larry Bird:  No trouble, Ms. Bride-To-Be.  Try those exercises and your tri-s will be fly in no time.

Kerri:  (pauses)  Larry, that last part was ridiculous.

Larry Bird:  I know.

Kerri:  Okay.  Well, thanks for checking in. 

Larry Bird:  Keep it cool, Kerri.  And by the way, thanks for sticking to the 33 minutes of cardio.  You're like the new Eric James Torpy.  Later.

Click.

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April 16, 2007

Pump, O Pump

Pump, O Pump, you are number one.

When it comes to my sugars, you sure get things done.

For so many years, I took gobs of injections

“Too many,” I thought, after one night’s reflections.

I called up my doctor, jumped through some hoops,

Nagged my insurance and rallied the troops.

You showed up one weekend, arrived by FedEx,

Your buttons were tricky, your innards complex.

Yet we worked hard together, me and my pump,

To become familiar and get over the hump.

 

And now, ah now, O Machine on my Hip,

You’re as much my routine as a bloody test strip.

I am the Wallace to your savvy Gromitt.

When I’m feeling high, buttons beep and you’re on it.

My blood sugars fall from their highs with such ease

As the tubing snakes down from my thigh to my knees.Pumping poem.  Ah!

You sit, small and patient, at rest in my sock,

Sending units of insulin right round the clock.

 

Of course, we’re not perfect, our little D-Team,

There are times when you make me so mad I could scream.

When your tubing is kinked or your cannula bent,

I think about all the of the money I spent

On your infusion set goodies or IV prep wipes,

And all of pricey insurance-based gripes.

But then I see numbers, like my A1c,

(Which one time were bouncing, but now it's held steady)…

 

I’m reminded of why I chose pumping for me -

To help keep myself healthy for as long as can be.

 

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April 10, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Photo credit to BostonDirtDogs.com

I walked up the sidewalk from my car towards the parking lot as the sun rose behind the train station.  The street was bathed in a golden, early morning light and everything seemed calm and peaceful.

I approached my building and saw some people standing outside, milling around in their red jackets.  Familiar blue caps with the red "B" stitched to the front.  And before these heroes was a pile of beer as they waited for their bus to take them to Boston for opening day.

I couldn't help myself.

"Excuse me?"

The oldest man in the bunch turned to look at me, a soft look of understanding in his eye.

"Yes?"

"I'm sorry, but am I seeing things?  Are there really a bunch of Red Sox fans outside of my western CT office?"

His face eased into a smile and he put his hand on my shoulder.

"Yes.  We're here."

"I'm from Rhode Island.  I love the Red Sox..."  It was all I could choke out.  I am constantly surrounded by Yankees fans (I'm marrying one, for crying out loud) and Mets fans out here in western Connecticut ... was I really seeing my beloved Sox fans?

He laughed.  The rest of them quieted and leaned in, like monks in red jackets.

"We're here, my child.  You're never alone."

Then the crew of them errupted in laughter.  They offered me a beer.  I respectfully declined, thanked them for making my day, and went into my office, proud of the pack of wild Sox fans that waited for their Boston-bound buses. 

GO SOX!!!

Go Sox!!!

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March 29, 2007

Virgin Islands Pale Ale ... and Road Critters.

Right off the plane, we trot over to Budget to pick up the keys to our rental Jeep.

"Reservation for Chris Sparling, please."  Chris leans against the counter and we revel briefly in the fact that we're now in our tropical paradise.

"We don't have a car for you."  The customer service representative behind the counter snaps her gum.

"Excuse me?  I have a reservation.  I gave my credit card weeks ago to hold this Jeep."

"Reservation doesn't guarantee a vehicle, sir." 

Re-serve (verb): to retain or secure by express stipulation.

After much discussion, Chris and I ended up in a Taurus instead of a Jeep Wrangler.  Not the best arrangement for our hilly St. John adventure, but we were determined to keep it from ruining our vacation.  (By the way, an eight page letter is en route to Budget as we speak.) 

Road Cow

However, we weren't the only "bulls" on the road.  Driving along the windy streches of road in St. John, we were accosted by wild pigs charging from the woods, a handful of bleating goats, and a few big ol' Road Cows. 

The view from the Tap Room.

We stayed for part of our trip with one of Chris's friends, enjoying the beer he and his business partner created and drinking into the wee hours of the night at their bar - The Tap Room.  You have to try the Virgin Islands Pale Ale.  I'm not a beer drinker, but this stuff is so nice and mango-infused that it tastes much better than the regular "carbonated bread" tasting beer nonsense.  Note:  0.8u Humalog per one beer, for me. 

The Engagement Eco-Tent.  :)

For the other part of our trip (the engagement part!), we stayed at the Concordia Eco-Tents, which were tucked into the southern part of the island and provided the most spectacular views.  We  hiked out to Ram Head and saw both breathtaking shorelines ...

The View from Ram Head
... and very odd looking plants.
Odd plants indeed.

And yes, of course I was sure to test along the way.  I tested all across the nine miles of St. John - on the beach, on the hiking trails, in the eco-tent, and on the Red Hook ferry.  And I did my best to keep all test strips contained, though I fear that one may have leapt out as I traveled.  But damn it, I tried!  (Chris, my fiance - yay! - kept snapping diabetes-related pictures as we traveled.  "For the blog, baby."  Ever my content editor.)

Testing blood sugar

We had such a terrific time.  And now we have the next year to plan our wedding.  Do you think Ms. Sausage will be able to behave herself as she traipses down the aisle?  (Yes, I'm kidding.  Mostly.  Damnit, now I have to go get Larry's address so I can send him an invitation.  He's going to be thrilled!)

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March 28, 2007

Postcards.

This whole place looks like postcards. 

Trunk Bay

White sand beaches, (Which, Shannon was completely right.  They are a product of fish poop, or at least a large percentage of the sand is.  I was impressed and horrified, all in one fell swoop. A poop swoop.  Oh dear, I've already digressed.)  towering palm trees, and the clearest, most crystalline water I have ever seen.

St. John is a small island and very hilly (read: we drove up mountains at a 60 degree incline in a Ford Taurus ... more on that rental car later), so every clearing in the road provided a new, more spectacular view than the last. 

Gibneys

Out of the dozens of beaches on the island, we stopped at as many as possible.  Armed with our bookbags, a beach blanket, and bathing suits, Chris and I tanned at Hawksnest, snorkeled with trumpet fish in Trunk Bay, and climbed down a secret staircase to Gibney's beach.  My insulin pump joined us on these excursions, laying sand-free and safely in a little zipper bag by my side.  Funny thing is, we were so active and swimming around most of the day that I remained disconnected for 45 minutes stints at times.  I tested frequently, but blood sugars stayed stable for the most part.  (However, infusion sets did not.  All that salt water had my sites peeling back after barely three days.) 

Safe and sound little insulin pump.

At these postcard beaches, we snorkeled, after a fashion.  Being a little wary of sharks and other sea critters, Chris and I found ourselves with masks, snorkels, and about eight inches of water.  It was kind of silly, despite the fact that we were having a blast.  We saw little tropical fish scooting around near their coral homes, trumpet fish (that we called "baby barracudas" because it made us sound tougher), and these white, tropical fish that kept circling our heads.  Despite the fact that we're a little bit chicken, we eventually ventured out into the deep.  All was well until we heard two small children excitedly exclaim, "Hey Mom!  We just saw a hu-uuuge octopus!"  Huge?  Octopus?

It was at that point we swam like hell back to the shore.

But there was also our frequent visits to The Tap Room.  And then there was that freaking car.  Oh, and I can't forget the wild road pigs.  How about that Eco-Tent?  And the hike to Ram Head?  More to come.  :)

(And thank you so much for your congratulations messages!  We are so excited and are already in the planning phases of our wedding.  Bridezilla, here I come!)

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March 25, 2007

"This is the part where you say yes."

Just before he proposed.He insisted on making dinner, cooking up a meal of pasta accompanied by a bottle of wine, and we dined on the porch of our cabin, overlooking Salt Pond Bay and out to the southern-most tip of the island.  We talked about our hike to Ram Head that afternoon and tried to decide what beach we wanted to visit the next morning.

We cleaned up our plates and enjoyed our wine on the patio, listening to the waves crashing against the rocky shore.  This Tuesday night was brilliant and clear, with thousands of stars in the inky blue sky.  We had seen so many gorgeous beaches and had so much fun, and we were barely half-way through our vacation.  Chris's birthday was the next day.  We were sun-warmed and relaxed. 

This was the easily the best, most relaxing vacation ever.

I ducked back into the cabin for a minute and when I came back out onto the patio, Chris got up from the table and dropped to one knee, a little red box in his shaking hands.

"Kerri, I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?"

"Oh my God.  Oh my God, are you serious?  Are you really serious?"  My hands flew to my mouth and my eyes welled up.  "Are you serious?"

He smiled at me.  He was serious.

"This is the part where you say yes."

"Oh my God, yes!!" 

He slid the ring on my finger, where it remains (and the sparkle keeps distracting me as I type). 

I am very, very proud to announce that I am engaged to Chris - the man who inspires me, makes me proud, makes me smile every day, and writes my name in the peanut butter.  I love him dearly and am so proud to be his girl.

There are plenty of stories to post about our trip, but this one ... well, I just couldn't wait. 

His birthday night, after the proposal.

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March 08, 2007

Even More Goodies!

What makes a writer a writer?  I've mused about this a bit over at EXIST and discussed it with my boyfriend at length.  Is it recognition?  The ability to spell?  Owning an old, almost rusted typewriter that inspires you to spin out crime novels?   

Hmmm ... maybe I'm on to something with that typewriter.

Last weekend, NurseBestFriend and I ventured into NYC to explore the flea market circuit.  We checked out one on Columbus Street (The Flea and Green Market?  I can't remember what it was called.) and I saw it. 

It's in here somewhere...

Buried in a metal working kiosk, a tray of rings made out of actual typewriter keys waited for me to come and find my "K."

"K" is for Writer?

And now, in a fit of unbridled ridiculousness, I feel like a real writer.  I also feel like a goofy fool, but I'm trying to ignore that glitch.  I love this ring.  I think it's cool, despite the fact that it keeps getting stuck on my gloves.

dLife

Also, it's my complete pleasure to annouce that there are two new Viewpoints columnists over at dLife:  Christel of DiabeticFeed and Rachel from Tales of my Thirties.  Welcome to the fray, guys!  And congratulations on joining the dLife team. 

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February 22, 2007

Siah Fits In.

What is die-a-beeeet-es?  What are all these little toys she plays with?  Test strips are fun to chew on.  What is that beeper thing?  I see the delicious wires poking from the top of her sweatpants before bed.  And I love those fun little plastic caps.  I steal them off the dresser and hide them underneath her desk.  Sometimes she mutters, "I can't find a damn pump cap anywhere!" but I know where they all are.

I wanted to know what it was like to have this die-a-beeeet-es.  I want to fit in.  So when she jumped in the shower after she came back from the gym, I tried out her stuff.

Make sure the site is clean!

I made sure my paw was clean before I tested. 

Stuff on my cat, anyone?

I pushed some buttons on this beeper thing like she does before she eats, but then became distracted by the tasty tubing.

Snacktime.

Okay, use the pricker thing.  Push buttons on the beeper thing.  Eat snacks.  Got it.

tuckered out

This die-a-beeeet-es is a lot of work!  I need a nap.

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December 11, 2006

Law and Disorder

*Dun dun (the Law & Order noise)*

Prosecution Attorney:  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you the evidence.

Exhibit A:  One young woman, Kerri Law and OrderMorrone, and her recently changed out Minimed infusion set.  As you can see here, the set is placed in her right thigh and was changed at approximately 4:41 pm.  Her blood sugar was steady at 146 mg/dl.

Exhibit B:  Miss Morrone and her boyfriend, out to dinner.  They order their meals and Miss Morrone boluses 4.6 units of Humalog to cover her delicious hamburger.

Defense Attorney:  Objection!  Relevance of the hamburger being delicious?

Judge:  Sustained.  Counsel, may I remind you that the deliciousness of the meal is not what is in question here.  Please don’t make the jury any hungrier for lunch than they already are.

Prosecution Attorney:  Understood, Your  Honor.  Moving back to the evidence, I present Exhibit C, which is the logbook for the night in question.  As clearly seen here, her blood sugars were steadily on the climb, despite Rage Bolusing that took place over the course of the dinner, totaling more than 10 units:

7:48 pm:    265 mg.dl
8:08 pm:    312 mg/dl
8:45 pm:    394 mg/dl
10:12 pm:  445 md/gl

It was at this time that Miss Morrone and her boyfriend decided that the infusion set was crap and ...

Defense Attorney:  Objection!  Crap, Your Honor?

Judge:  Overruled.  If the prosecution states that the set was crap, it was crap.  Let's move on.

Prosecution:  Upon arriving home, Miss Morrone took an injection of Humlag, using a syringe, and stated to her boyfriend, “I’ll do a 2 am testing.  If my blood sugar has come down only as a result of the injection, I’ll rip the site and replace it because obviously it’s crap.”  (Casts a glance towards the Defense Attorney, who rolls his eyes.)  Her bedtime blood sugars were 375 mg/dl at 11:19 pm and 257 md/gl at 11:48, before she went to bed. 

The alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but she woke with a start and just started talking out loud.

“Chris, I need to test.  I need help."  Her voice was deadpan, as though she was merely conveying directions to the market or ways to scramble an egg.

In one swift movement that didn’t even require turning the light on, her boyfriend took her testing kit from the bedside table and unzipped it, handing her the lancing device.  The moments that followed were blurry to my client, but her logbook and her juice-stained mouth reflect what happened:

2:02 am:  47
2:13 am:  37
2:30 am:  66

It was at 2:30 that the alarm finally went off.  My client, feeling much better after some juice, ventured off to the bathroom to rip her site and replace it with a new one.  Upon removing her site, blood came pouring from the site and my client needed to use a bandaid to stop the bleeding.  She replaced the old site, washed her hands, and went back to bed.  Your Honor, her boyfriend spent the rest of the night waking up to check her blood sugar to make sure things were okay.  The results are as follows:

3:53 am:  153
6:46 am:  164
9:37 am:  83

Your Honor, it is our position that the infusion site was indeed not performing its assigned duties and caused unnecessary pain and suffering for my client, also not allowing her to enjoy her cappuccino at the end of the evening because she was so high she felt like she had sweaters on her teeth.  We are requesting that the infusion set be sternly reprimanded and given to the cats to bat around until it is unrecognizable.

Judge:  I see.  We’ll have a short recess, after which time the defense will state their case as to why their client, The Infusion Set, refused to deliver insulin and allow Miss Morrone to enjoy her evening out.  We will reconvene after the recess.  Adjourned. 

Defense Attorney and Prosecution Attorney gather up their things, all the while sticking their tongues out at each other.  I smile gently at them from my seat, feeling much better and thankful that the ridiculous ping-ponging from the night before was over.

*Dun dun (Law & Order noise again)*
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December 07, 2006

Happy Birthday to my Personal Trainer.

Happy Birthday, Larry Bird!We've been through so much together.

You've helped me discover that daily exercise can be fun, inspiring, and beneficial to my diabetes life.  You call me to check in on me and you make me feel like I'm never alone with this. 

Remember when we went to that bar in Boston and then took that cab ride up to Cambridge and threw our peach pits into the Charles River?  Or how about when you waited in the waiting room while I was at a Joslin appointment and you made friends with that little kid who kept asking for your autograph?  Didn't he start for you on the Pacers?  Or the time we got stuck on the T and accidentally ended up at the aquarium, so we just went in for the day? (Granted, you made me do laps around the penguin mountain for three hours, but I've forgiven you for that.)

Larry, you've been so good to me and you've really helped me stick to my exercise plan.  I'm fitter and happier, thanks to your dedication to my health.  My boyfriend thinks you are a good influence.  My mother likes you.  Even my nephew likes you, and called your "Big Bird" when he first saw your picture.

You once told me, "Kerri, there's more to life than diabetes.  But there isn't anything more important than basketball.  Now practice that jump shot." 

I just want you to know how much you mean to me ... sniffle ... I promised myself I wouldn't cry! ... Happy Birthday, Larry Bird! 

Dinner is at eight, right? 

(Note:  Everything you just read is complete fiction.  But it would be cool if it was true.)

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December 06, 2006

Rockefeller Center

5:45 pm:  Traffic was a little grumpy.  I chatted up a friend on the way home from work.

6:00 pm:  Changing my clothes to make the 6:42 train to Grand Central to meet up with Chris.

6:15 pm:  Noticed that I had been trying to read the same email for about ten minutes.  Man, I had a headache.

6:16 pm:  Unzip meter.  *Click*  Oh good.  30 mg/dl.

6:16 and a half:  Eight guzzled sips straight from the juice bottle.  Cats are milling around at my ankles, keeping tabs on their home-alone owner.

6:25 pm:  Fumble to finish dressing.  Still feeling like garbage.  Must make train.  Must talk like robot.

6:38 pm:  In the car, mostly dressed, feeling better but still a bit crummy.  Eating a piece of frozen wheat bread that I grabbed from the freezer (obviously) because when it's frozen, I can gobble it down easier than chowing on a dry piece of bread.  Text Chris:  May not make train. 

6:41 pm:  Park car.  Run like hell from the car to the platform.  The lights of the train are approaching as I coax a ticket from the automated machine.  "Come on!" I mutter.  Half a piece of frozen bread still clutched in my hand.  Ticket prints.  Doors open.  I scramble on.  Finish my froast (frozen toast).

7:45 pm:  Meet Chris in Grand Central.  "What happened?"  he asked.  "I was low.  And I had to run.  But everything is cool now."  He nods and takes my hand.  And we commence our travels to Rockefeller Center to see The Christmas Fun.

snowflakes and angels, of course.

I'm such a tourist, but it is just so amazing to see all these sights.  The snowflakes in the background here actually were part of a music and lights show.  I took a video.  It's linked here.

Ornaments

These ornaments impressed the hell out of me.  They were across the street from Radio City and I just couldn't rip myself away.  The sound of the water rushing, the steady hum of the city ... it was awe-inspiring.

The Skating Rink God

Chris took this shot and I thought it was absolutely beautiful.

Kerri and the Tree

And, of course, the tree itself.  The camera fritzed out a bit, but we scored a few shots of the massive Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, all twinkling and gorgeous in the night air.

Kerri and Chris
Christi, we thought of you the whole time.  ;)
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December 03, 2006

Christmas Chaos.

Don't go to Wal-Mart.  Not even for wrapping paper and ribbons.  Because here's what you'll find:

First off, what is Speed Stacking?  This game is the first thing we saw tonight.  The object is to stack cups.  Into a pyramid.  That's it.

Speed Stacking.  Of course.

Mind you, this game costs $18.97 (because Wal-Mart is incapable of pricing anything out in a normal fashion).  Almost $20 bucks to stack plastic cups and be timed performing this task.  I'd rather go to a party and do this for free and also score free beer.

Secondly, we found a dead, singing deer tied to the top of a bouncing Jeep.  See for yourself. 

Note:  We stared at this in horror for three full minutes.  Then Chris turned to me and said, "You need to record this."  And then we laughed until we were almost tossed out of the store. And there also is no "thirdly."

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November 25, 2006

Shopping Chaos

Adventures on Black Friday:

Oh, delicious.

The vast expanses of coffee in the marketplace at Grand Central.  (They don't sell cups of coffee, however.  I had to trot out to the Oren's in the station itself to grab a much-needed cup of java.)

Just for the sugar-free set.

There are some very bright people in NYC.  Especially the people who knew that diabetics do love their sugar-free holiday treats.  This sign was like a blog-beacon. 

When you least expect it.

It was a nice surprise, these gorgeous flowers dotting the landscape along the back wall of the marketplace.  The colors were tremendous.

Skating

Of course, we ventured off to Rockefeller Center and watched people skate around.  I saw one girl who appeared to be a professional, spinning like the proverbial top until she came to pause in a flurry of ice.  I also saw a bunch of clumsy fools (much like I would be) who fell over one another every five minutes and laughed like lunatics.

Not much shopping was accomplished, although we did brave the turmoil of Toys "Backwards R" Us that churned with the excitement of 50 million kids.  And I also scored a terrific Kate Spade knock-off on a sidestreet. 

And while in Saks, I saw one tall blonde-haired girl wearing boots over her jeans (explain this horrific trend to me, please) pick up a $710 Prada wallet and murmur to her equally-as-fussy friend, "Oh, this would be a great trinket for Missy."

A $710 wallet is a trinket?!!  Sounded more like rent to me.

Today, Ellis Island.  After that, some freaking sleep, please.  :)

 

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November 24, 2006

I've Got The World on a String...

We watched from The Blue Fin, which is located on the corner of 47th and Broadway.

Broadway and 47th

The M & M guys watched from a billboard across the street and made me laugh out loud when I saw how intently they were "watching" the balloons go by.

I like the yellow guy. 

Scooby scuttled by, low and lazy due to the rainy, whipping winds. 

Scooby Dooby Doo.

Garfield kept a low profile, too.  Chris' niece whispered in my ear, "That cat is almost as fat as your Fat Cat," and nodded to make it true.

Fat Cat.

The Energizer Bunny was unaffected by the weather, tall and proud and an obnoxious shade of glucose-tab pink.

Keeps going and going ...

Occasionally, we ducked back inside of the restaurant for a refill on coffee and a chance to warm our noses.  It was as I was taking a long sip of cappucino when I almost spit it out at the shock of seeing this enormous bandit through the plate glass windows, running like he'd stolen someone's purse.

Mr. Potato(e) Head!
Floating, freakishly odd-looking elves marked the coming of The Big Guy.
Elves
And Santa himself brough on the promise of the biggest shopping day of the year:  Black Friday.  I avoid malls at all costs on the day after Thanksgiving because I can't imagine fighting with another woman over the last pair of Cole Haan boots.
Santa Man. 
But we're doing it anyway...  braving the wilds of NYC on Black Friday.  If you need me, I'll be the one wearing body armor.

 

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November 23, 2006

Giving thanks.

Since I'm short on time to post today, save for these few lines, I'm leaving you with the November edition of Generation D.:  Giving Thanks.

And, like last year's foolishness, I offer up my hand turkey:

 

Hand Turkey.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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November 20, 2006

New York City - What a zoo!

Cityscape Zoo.Penguins are interesting little critters.  They waddle all over the place and when they run, they stick their arms out behind them and waddle with vigor.  Very interesting indeed.

We saw them at the Central Park Zoo yesterday. 

We had never been to the Central Park Zoo before, and the juxtaposition of the wildlife set against the skyline of New York City was something that gave me pause.  (No, not paws.  That would have been markedly more zoo-appropriate, though.)

“Look, a polar  bear!”

“Yes, and look!  A skyscraper!”

Aside from some amusing (yet highly stinky) penguins, we explored the jungles of Africa, saw enormous snakes, watched sea lions leap in a fountain, and checked out three cuddling monkeys.  (The monkeys, for the record, kept staring at us until we felt uncomfortable and left.)

Three cuddling monkeys

Zoos are always excellent fun. 

And so are merry-go-rounds, like the one in Central Park.  It went a lot faster than we had anticipated.  For $1.50,  you can't have a better time. Even grown men like them.  As seen in Exhibit A:  The Chris-Go-Round.

Exhibit A

A leisurely stroll through Central Park brought my blood sugar to about 58 mg/dl.  Never fear!  Glucose tabs are here!  (Good thing, too.  I felt crummy.)

Thanks to a late start and that low blood sugar, we snagged a cab to take us to Times Square instead of hoofing it.  We ended up in one of those black Lincoln town cars (you were right, Lyrecha!) and convinced the driver to reduce his rate to something less astronomical.  He did.  Victory for the Rhode Islanders! We met up with my friend Batman and her boyfriend for dinnerNot lost?  No way! in Times Square.  (Note to self:  A hamburger is never worth $16.99.  Ever.  Don't let the lights dazzle you.  It should only have cost $6.00.  Thieves.  They burnt the bun, too.) 

And we didn't end up lost.  Not even once.  Which is a record for our directionally-challenged selves.  Which is also why this picture exists:  Me, standing exactly where I should have been standing, not lost in the slightest, looking surprised as hell. 

"Hey!  Know where you are?"

"Times Square!"

"We're not lost!"

"Yay!"

*click*

 

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November 15, 2006

An Open Letter to my Pancreas

(With a tip of the hat to Julia and McSweeney's

Dear Pancreas,

Dear Pancreas,

I’m not sure what the hell happened to you, but you’ve taken it upon yourself to stop working.  You did have that job for about six years, where you got up early every day and produced my insulin, but apparently that was too much for you.  You were laid off or fired or something.  Don’t blame it on that virus again.  I think you just slept through the alarm and were let go and you just don’t want to admit it.

All you do is sit around, hiding out behind my stomach, reading smut novels and watching reruns of The Facts of Life.  Sure, you push out the occasional juices and you can sound important when you talk about “trypsinogen” and “chymotrypsinogen,” but you and I both know that you don’t do much.  It’s not even like you empty the dishwasher or anything.  The least you could do, after I’ve been testing blood sugar levels and bolusing all day long, is have dinner on the table when I come home.  Is that too much to ask?

Oh no, you’d rather just sit there like a bump on the duodenum, letting me do all the work.  Don’t worry, Pancreas, I’ll make sure I count the carbohydrates in every little scrap of food and bolus accordingly.  No, no, don’t get up.  God forbid you raise an islet these days to let me have a cup of coffee. 

And I don’t care that you’re jealous of The Pump.  I’m sick of listening to you whine about it.  “She gets all the attention.”  “Everyone loves her best.”  “You never made me a special pocket in your skirt.”  Sigh ... Pancreas, if you would just do your job, I could toss The Pump forever.

Remember what it was like when you were working?  How happy we were?  I was playing outside and drinking the Bug Juice Kool-Aide that Grammie made and you were secreting insulin and everything was cool.  We had fun, didn’t we?  Just you and I?  A Girl and her Pancreas?  No pump, no measuring cups, no medic alert bracelet.  Just you and me. 

And now this:  Unemployed.  Lazy.  Would it kill you to even just make some glucagon?  Or maybe cover a meal or two? 

I miss the way things used to be.

That’s it:  you need to find a job.  I’ve had just about enough of this.  Tomorrow morning, we’re going to load your resume onto Monster and see what happens.  I know that the Wonkas are always looking for help.

Signed,
Kerri

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October 22, 2006

The Finery of the Winery.

White SiloWe heard there was a wine trail in Connecticut but didn't entirely believe it.  So Saturday morning, after breakfast and our daily gym excursion, we loaded up into Chris’ car armed with a bottle of water, a full insulin pump, and no map.

“We shouldn’t bring a map.  It will just make us more lost.”

“Agreed.”

Directionally challenged and agreeing that “north” meant “in front of the car” (vs. “west,” which meant “to the left”), we heading up Route 7 towards the White Silo Winery.

It was like a scene out of Sideways.  Tiny little farm off the side of a country road, far from the chaos of New York City, a woman behind a small wooden counter served fruit wines and told us the stories of how the wines were crafted from succulent raspberries and blackberries.   

After the tasting and buying a bottle of rhubarb wine, we poked around the farm a bit.  Found a wheelbarrow hiding behind a fence, casting shadows on the thickets of berries.

Wheelbarrow

Our next stop was the Hopkins Winery up the "trail" a small bit.

Perfect driving weather:  cool, crisp, and hosted by a sunbathed landscape.  We stopped the car every so often to explore the scenery.  We found these train tracks lining the edge of a small river.

Train Tracks.

Towards our second stop, we spied a waterfall near a quaint street of shops.  Chris climbed down into the ravine (and slipped on the slope, dipping his elbow in the dirt) to take a few pictures.

The hard earned photo.

Arriving at Hopkins Winery, we tasted the award-winning wines and toured the fermenting room.  (Which, by name, reminded me of the Inventing Room from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - the Gene Wilder version, not the creepy Johnny Depp disaster.)

It's the fizzy-lifting room?

Chris took stock of Hopkins' finest ...

Definitely Hopkins' finest.

And I snapped pictures of the blooming labels.

Sunflower wine

Charmed by the country charm of western Connecticut, we retired to the vineyard gardens and (after I promptly fell in a ditch and Chris tried to eat the contraband grapes that were twining around the silo) enjoyed the sunset.

Pretty flowers.

 

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October 15, 2006

JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

The Temple at RW Park

The day dawned bright and crisp.  Roger Williams Park in Rhode Island served as a gorgeous backdrop for Team Six Until Me. to make their second annual JDRF Walk appearance. 

There were over 4,000 walkers this year and among thSandra and Kerri.em were my mother, step-father, Chris, Chris' sister and brother-in-law, his adorable niece, oh, and a Special Guest:

Team SUM had the pleasure of Sandra Miller and her sister joining up for the walk! 

Fresh from the blistering Wisconsin cold and recovering from a surprise party in MA the night before, Sandra made the jaunt to RI to walk with our team.  And yes, as you probably guessed, she is as warm and gentle in person as she is on her blog.  Funny, quick to smile, and fiercely passionate, Sandra and her sister were a much-appreciated addition to Team SUM.  (It was cool watching her and Chris chat about "Uzi" and seeing she and my mother exchange hugs even though they've never exchanged words before.  This internet is an amazing thing.)

We walked.  We chatted.  (Chris served as our photographer.  Thank you, Chris!)

Walk Chats.

We saw Ronald McDonald.  And I had this uncontrollable urge to hug him. 

Ronnie.
Our team crossed the finish archway after a brisk 5 mile walk (yes, that is a just-in-case can of juice in my hand) and I was just so damn proud to have this collection of people in my life. 
The Finish Line. 
Walking in that enormous pack of people, all supporting the same cause and harboring the same hopes, I felt like I was a part of something bigger than just testing and shooting and counting carbs.  All of those people, walking for a cure.  It highlights one of the best parts of the human spirit:  that sense of unity.

We're all in this together, no matter how far apart we seem at times.

Steve.

And, of course, my man Steve was there again.  Here's to you, Steve.
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September 24, 2006

What's New.

I hope you’ve noticed the change here on Six Until Me.  I have a shiny new logo, designed for me by a graphic designer here in Norwalk.  She worked closely with me to create exactly what I wanted, right down to the jazzy (threw that “jazzy” in there for you, Diane) hibiscus flower.

She also created a terrific logo for the JDRF walk t-shirts for Team Six Until Me.

Team SUM logo

I love it and think she did a tremendous job.  Check out how her design translates on to t-shirts and whatnot over at the SUM CaféPress Store.

If anyone needs a graphic designer that is extremely talented, open to any and all feedback, and a complete pleasure to work with, email Ashley Plumly at this email address or feel free to contact me for further information.  (Note:  She’s not a co-worker or Chris’ best friend or related to me in any way.  She’s just plain GOOD and deserves plenty of freelance referrals.)

Up Next:  Tom Carvel, Kettle Cooked Popcorn, and Shea Stadium 

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September 21, 2006

The one about the Pedicab.

We had scheduled to bring EXIST to a media conference in NYC last night.  Chris was already in the city for the day, so I worked at dLife and then hopped the train to New York. 

The train dumped me off at Grand Central Station and I made my merry way to the concourse, happy that I at least knew what direction to go in.  It was 6:19 pm and the conference started at 6:30.  I was right on track to be fashionably late. 

Texted Chris:  I’m here.  Just getting a cab and I’ll be to you in 20 minutes.

Walked out onto the bustling sidewalk.  Roads were closed due to the UN summit, so there were even more people spilling out than usual.  Horns beeping.  A man dressed as a piece of pizza shoved a flyer in my hand and hollered (to no one in particular), “Everybody loves pizza, man!”  I walked towards the corner of the street, heels clicking, fashionably late … very Mary Tyler Moore of me.  Started humming “You’re gonna make it after all.”  Raised my arm to hail a cab, for the first time in my 27 years.

No one stopped. 

Maybe I wasn’t out far enough.  Maybe they couldn’t see me.  Raised my hand again as a trio of cabs ripped by.

Hmmm.  I am clearly doing something wrong here. 

There was a police officer standing about 30 feet away from me.  I walked over to her, keeping my eyes locked on the gridlock for an empty cab.

“Excuse me?”  The cop turned around.   “Excuse me.  I need to catch a cab.  Would I have more luck on another street, because of the roads being closed?”

The cop looked me up and down. Not my pedicab, but A pedicab.

“Would have helped if you wore a skirt.” 

 “Excuse me?”

“A skirt.  A skirt would help.  Next time wear a skirt.  But good luck finding a cab tonight – roads are closed, it’s rush hour, and everyone is looking for a cab.  Cross your fingers, miss.” 

Feeling more and more like a country mouse, I stepped back to the curb and scanned the road for cabs.  A man with luggage and a cell phone walked up beside me.

“Waiting for a cab?” 

I nodded.

“Good luck with that.  It’s crazy in this town.  I’m just in from San Francisco and I’ve been waiting for ½ an hour for a cab to stop.”  My eyes widened.   I heard a bell ring.

“Hey lady!  You need to get somewhere fast?”  A voice called from the street.  Out of seemingly nowhere, a bicycle cab/rickshaw peeled out next to me and a tall, skinny man leaned off his bicycle and shot me a craggy grin.

Oh for crying out loud.

“Yes, yes I do.  Can you get me to The Puck Building?  Off Lafayette?”

“No problem.  52 blocks from here.  Gonna cost you $60.  Hop in.”

It didn’t look safe.  It was an updated version of a horse-and-buggy outfit, only instead of a horse pulling the cart down a country road, it was a skinny guy with an almost-beard toddling through Manhattan traffic.  I shouldn’t do it.  And sixty bucks?  I definitely shouldn’t do it.

“Okay.”  I climbed in.  He buckled me in like it was the Scrambler at the fair and off we plunged into the sea of buses, town cars, and cabs that didn’t want me as a patron.

Texted Chris:  I’m on my way.  I’m in an f@*&ing bicycle rickshaw.  This is my life.  $60.

I have never been so scared in my life.  This skinny man rode like he was rally driving, weaving in and out of traffic, skimming by the sides of buses, pitching wildly in potholes, and occasionally pointing out the scenery.

“Lady.  That?”  He pointed, taking both hands off of the handlebars and causing my heart to almost stop.  “That’s a very beautiful art exhibit.  It’s so nice.  I like art.”  We came about six inches from rear-ending a Mercedes.  “You like art, lady?  You been to the city before?”

The wind blew through my hair and I clutched the side of the seat for dear life.  “NO!”  I yelled, hoping these words wouldn’t be my last.  “BUT I LOVE ART!  I REALLY LOVE ART!  AND LIFE!  I LOVE LIFE, TOO!”

Texted Chris:  I may die in this thing.  I love you.  Don’t forget to feed the cats.

“Hey lady!  I take pictures.  You like pictures?”  He didn’t wait for a response.  “I would like to take your picture.  I have a nice, Polaroid camera.  You like to have pictures taken?”The view from my camera phone.

“NO THANK YOU, SIR!  I WOULD JUST LIKE TO GET TO THE PUCK BUILDING, THANKS.”

“Okay.  I take good pictures, though.”

Life continued on for 30 harrowing minutes.  We finally turned on to Lafayette.  My hair was enormous.  My cheeks were wind-whipped.  My knuckles were white from hanging on for dear life as he pedaled furiously down Manhattan streets. 

He cut through a gas station, crossed between three buses and another bicycle cab, and drove up the sidewalk, to the very base of the Puck Building.  People were staring.  We skidded to a stop.

He rang the bell.

I unbuckled myself from the cab and he took my hand, helping me from the cart as though I were some sort of Disney royalty.  It was 7:15.

“Thank you very much, sir.  Here’s your money.”

“No charge, lady.”

“What?”

“No charge.  You can’t look that scared when you’re waiting for a ride, though.  Someone might take advantage of you!  You seem nice, lady.  Where I am from, we are nice to our women and we make sure they are safe.  No charge.”

I handed him a twenty dollar bill and shook his hand.

“Thank you very much, sir.  It’s been quite an experience.”

He jerked the bike back onto the street.  “The subway is probably more scary than this.  I see you next time, okay?”  And off he went, towards some semblance of a sunset, but most likely within two inches of the bumper of a bus.

Texted Chris:  I’m here.  My hair looks a fright.  People in New York aren’t as mean as I thought.  I may make it after all.

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September 13, 2006

Six Thoughts on a Wednesday

Kerri, Courtney, and Darrell1.  My sister was up from Virginia this past weekend, for the first time in almost a year.  She’s a good kid and we love her dearly.  Now she’s gone and I miss her goofiness.  Here’s a picture of my brother, my sister, and I on the back porch of my mother’s house.

2.  Pouring through diabetic recipe books for a project at work, I’ve noticed how hard the writers try to make a casserole sound scintillating.  I’ve also noticed that if the ingredients list contains more than five items, I can’t focus.  I’m not much of a cook.  My boyfriend and I live off a steady diet of about five dishes, three of which include chicken and one of which includes a phone call to my mother with me saying, “Ma, what exactly am I supposed to do with the pan??”

3.  My car is nothing but trouble and I am aiming to toss it in the spring.  BNot a VW.urns oil like a champ.  I think I may actually be ready to let go of my obsession with VW Jettas.  (Someone needs to talk me out of this.  Seriously.)  Any suggestions on a nice, reliable car that’s kind of cool and on the smaller side?  I’m thinking about the Acura RSX (I had one when I worked for Acura, many moons ago, and it was a hot little ride that went exceedingly fast), but that might not be the best choice for my lead-footed self. 

4.  I just finished “Magic for Beginners” by Kelly Link.  It was loaned out to me by Chris’ sister (I definitely took the book jacket off while I was reading it, for fear of wrinkling it up) and it was a Magic for Beginnersbizarre collection of short stories.  Some I found to be very interesting – the kid who inherits a phone booth in Las Vegas was tremendous - but there were a few that came across as abstract art-ish.  I could pretend I understood them, like that Seinfeld episode where no one understands the New Yorker cartoon, but that would mean I’d have to lie.

5.  Looking very much forward to meeting another fellow blogger next week.  They are one of my personal favorites, so it’s a bit of an honor.  It’s so odd to think that I’m meeting someone I don’t know, yet I know.  The gray areas of blogging are vast in that there are people who know the intimate details of certain areas of my life, and I have no idea who they are.  Same goes for me, poking around on blogs and thinking I know these people when, in fact, if they passed me on the street, I would have no idea who they are.

6.  Diabetes has been quiet and behaving itself lately.  No tricky lows, no sticky highs.  Bit of a red spot left from my last infusion set, but aside from that, nothing of note.  I’m going to ride this little moderate wave for as long as I can.  Feels nice.  That, and I put on a pair of pants from last fall that were slightly snug and now they are too big.  It makes those daily treks to the gym worth it, even those days when I have to dra-aag myself there and force my way through a workout.

But he whispers in my ear sometimes, while I’m working out.  You are doing a good job.  Keep at it, Kerri.” 

And I turn to him and say, “Thank you, Larry.” 
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August 31, 2006

The "Other" Superman in my Life.

Aside from Shannon's son being Superman and aside from Chris being my own, personal Super Man, there is still one other.

So, in response to Tek's comment about her fabulous cousin... 

"Routh", like "south."

Did I see him ...  I ran up to his waxy self and gave him a great big hug, damnit!

Signed,

Kerri. 

Official Superman Groupie.

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August 27, 2006

Waxing Poetic.

After spending Friday night at the movies (thank you, Mark Wahlberg and your Invincible self) and Saturday plotting out our next marketing moves with Exist over a delicious dinner at The Fat Cat Pie Company, Sunday was shaping up to look pretty boring.

"What do you want to do?"

"I don't know." 

Eyes light up as though someone hit a switch. 

"New York?" 

An hour later, we were on the train to NYC.  Our mission?  

Madame Toussuad's Wax Museum

Mork and Kerri.

Robin and I, reuniting after a long hiatus, discussed the possibility of bringing Six Until Me. to the stage.  I was unwilling to subject myself to red suspenders, so the deal never sealed.  Maybe next time.  He looks at me with such waxy affection. 

My main man, other than Chris.

Ah, our old pal Bono.  He's interested in writing a song about the plight of medical insurance in America.  I told him to consult the blogosphere for further insight.  Then we high-fived.  All wax.

My Girl Hil. 

I guess this sort of makes it official:  Hillary and Kerri in 2008. 

The Beatles.  And us.

After a few songs with the lads from Liverpool, Chris and I said our goodbyes and headed out to a little Italian cafe in Manhattan for pizza and a bottle of wine, as we waxed poetic about our afternoon adventures.

 ...Waxed poetic. I think the whole reason for this post was to utilize that pun.

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August 14, 2006

A Converted Mouse

The steady click clack click clack of the train as it rolled along the tracks almost put me to sleep, despite the fact that it was one-thirty in the afternoon.  I rested my head against Chris’ shoulder and watched the Connecticut skyline whiz by as we approached New York.

Ah, New York.

To be honest, I’ve never understood the pull of New York.  While I enjoy the chaos of a night out and the bustle of the city lifestyle, I’m much more the country mouse, content in a houseTimes Square by the beach with a beat up VW and a typewriter.  (Okay, so maybe I should have written “laptop,” but typewriter sounded so much more “author by the beach.”)  I don’t know.  My friends are all about The City and talk about The City and some have moved into The City.  I just didn’t understand.

I’ve been to NYC before.  I’ve gone to Central Park and explored Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope.  I’ve taken in The Met and navigated the Cross Bronx Expressway.  I’ve trekked my Country Mouse-self over to The City and enjoyed it immensely.  But I never felt caught up in the chaos of the city.

Until I walked out of the door of Grand Central Station on Saturday and saw all the Everything.

It was awesome.

We milled around Times Square, stopping briefly in Toy “Backwards R” Us to watch a magic demonstration and to marvel at the fact that there was a ferris wheel in the store.

WTC CrossLunch at a BBQ place just past the MTV TRL filming location (I could feel the mere presence of screaming teenyboppers as we walked by).  Big mess of a cheeseburger, ribs, french fries … nice, hearty bolus and a bloodsugar of 106 mg/dl an hour and a half after eating.  Ah, the lovely bloodsugar effects of walking around the city.

A long (read: expensive) cab ride to the financial district brought us to the site of the World Trade Center towers.  I had never seen the WTC while it stood and it was very sobering to stand where it once was, marveling at the wound left in the city.  A huge metal fence kept visitors on the peripheral, but our camera lens caught the enormous steel cross from 1WTC that was found in the crater of 6WTC.

A silent stroll, hand in hand, into the park by City Hall.  A fountain served as the soundtrack to our afternoon.  I noticed a father and his three little boys kneeling on the edge of the fountain, peering into the waters.  The youngest boy’s red balloon skimmed along the edges of the falling water.

And in that one moment, I fell in love with New York, too.

99 Red Balloons

 

 

Continue reading "A Converted Mouse" »

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August 02, 2006

Hot, Hot Heat.

Magical StuffInsulin is not a cure, but it is quite the magical substance.  Every single day, my body fails to produce its own insulin.  And every day, I am able to supplement my physiological failures with some nice, cool synthetic hormones.  Mmmm, delicious.

I’m very careful with my insulin supply.  I have the little white boxes neatly lined up in the fridge like my army of miracles.  I take careful note of the expiration dates and I always reorder on time.   One time, while I was in college, I dropped my last bottle of Humalog on the floor and it shattered into a million pieces.  I drove 2 hours to the closest 24 hour CVS to purchase a bottle out of pocket. 

I’m dedicated to the stuff.

Which is why this past weekend surprised even me.

Chris and I went home to Rhode Island for the weekend to visit grandparents and hang out with our friends.  A few of my College Roommates (there were seven of us) were heading to Narragansett Beach for some sandy shore festivities and I was running late (per usual) in joining up.

“I’m about twenty minutes away.”  The first sip of my iced coffee and a quick half-unit bolus on the pump as I waited at the stop light on Route 1 South.

“We are already at the beach.  Just park at the hotel and meet us down here.”

“Will do.” 

Drove like a maniac to the hotel.  Tossed the car into a spot, hung the parking pass in the mirror, and chucked my overnight bag (complete with change of clothes for later and all my medical supplies) into the trunk of the Jetta. 

My navy blue Jetta with black interior.  The one parked in the hot, hot July sun, no shade in sight.

Stupid girl.  Not thinking...

I spent all day on the beach without thinking much about my car.  There were other things to concentrate on, like trying not to kick sand up on other people’s blankets, playing in the Atlantic Ocean, and making sure my bathing suit didn’t suffer the consequences of the rough surf. 
A day on the beach laughing and talking and making plans for that Saturday night.  Around four o’clock, we walked back to the hotel and started calling dibs on who would shower first.

“I just have to grab my bag.”  I popped the trunk and retrieved my overnight bag.  The zipper was hot to the touch.   I still didn’t make the connection.

In the hotel room, I noticed that my pump site was completely sticky from sunscreen, sand and salt water.  I could barely get the infusion set to reconnect to the site.  Luckily, being ever-paranoid, I had the Quick-serter, a back-up infusion set and a bottle of insulin tucked neatly into my overnight bag.

A nice, steaming hot bottle of insulin.

Oh for crying out loud.

Almost a brand new bottle and I had cooked it.  Even worse, I didn’t have enough insulin left in the pump cartridge to freestyle for the rest of the night – the reservoir had to be changed.

“Moron,” I muttered to myself, sticking the bottle of insulin into the hotel fridge, hoping that the insulin would be magically useable if I just made it cold once more.  After a cold shower, I took the bottle from the fridge and began priming the pump.

“That wasn’t in your car all day, was it?” one of my Roommates asked.

“Yeah.”  I rubbed the IV prep on my thigh and waved my hand at it to dry it off.

“Is it still going to work?”  Roommate looked concerned.

“Here’s hoping...” Inserted the site, fixed-primed, and took a preemptive correction bolus.  “I’m 155 mg/dl now.  If my bloodsugar comes down, we’re back in business.”

“Otherwise you’re driving two hours to that CVS again, right?”

“Right.”  Flashed a hopeful grin.

About twenty minutes later, my bloodsugar eased down to a tight 100 mg/gl and my night of Fancy Dinner and drinks at the Coast Guard House was saved. 


Was this a fluke?  Shouldn’t this bottle be considered “ineffective” and tossed?  Why is it still working, to this day??  Has anyone else had their insulin supply survive an unfortunate turn of events?

Faithful Readers, insulin is a magical substance.  Not only does it sustain my life and keep my body running properly, it can also apparently sustain prolonged exposure to high temperatures.  It’s definitely not a cure, but it is tough stuff.    

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June 18, 2006

Getting Groovy

Sunscreen?  Check.

Bathing suit?  Check. 

Blanket?  Check.

Day off from work and finally no freaking rain?  Check and check.

Earlier this week marked my first visit to the beach of the season.  Blue skies, bathing suit rescued from the depths of the suitcase we took to L.A., and my infusion set sitting snugly against my right thigh, we traversed to South County, RI and enjoyed a day at the beach.

While we laid out on the blanket and talked, I noticed how little and white the infusion set looked.  Stark contrast against my tanning skin.  And so dreadfully medicinal. 

Then I remember those little "patch" things I had read about on The Diabetes Blog and on LaLa's HiLo Blog... Groovy Patches.  I had mentioned them in my last dLife article about pumping at the beach. 

I was intrigued.  Groovy Envelope

So I emailed the President of Groovy Patches LLC and she was extremely kind and accommodating in providing me with a few Groovy Patches of my own to try out. 

They came in this lovely packaging (yes, that is my thumb with the nail bitten into oblivion).  I tore into the envelope like a kid at Christmas. 

The concept is this little circle that covers the white infusion set patch.  I received twelve different designs, including tropical fish, flowers, flames, a leopard pattern, and stripes.  You just peel this little sticker off, line it up on your pump site, and reconnect the pump. 

So here's the "Before" shot, Pre-Groovy Patch.  (Yes, those little dots are my infusion set marks.  I love a good thigh site.  And I also love a good tan, because in about a week, those little suckers will barely be noticeable.)

Pre-Groovified

And here's the "After," once I had been properly Grooved.

Officially Groovified

I'll be the first one to admit that I don't care much for flashy pump cases and I chose the most basic colored pump.  Most of the time, my pump is completely hidden in a pocket, a bra, or a MacGyvered gizmo, but at the beach, I wear it in public.  It's out there. 

These patches make my normally mundane and medicinal pump site a little more fashionable and fun. 

I'll admit it:  I felt groovy.

Has anyone else checked out these patches? 

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June 08, 2006

MacGyver Morrone.

Little black dressIt was short.  It was low cut.  It was ever-so slightly slinky.

It was the opening gala for the Newport Film Festival and the dress code was "a little bit dressy."

Seriously, when can you go wrong with a little black dress?  It always looks classy and simple and suitable for almost every occasion.  I had a beautiful one from Ann Taylor in the closet.  Just grab a pair of black heels, some sparkly (fake) jewelry, and slip into that dress.  No problem.

... No problem until I went to slip into my Something Most Comfortable: namely, my pump. 

Most often, I don't have problems wearing a dress and the pump at the same time.  Usually I tuck the pump safely between my ... in my bra and that's the end of it.  Or I utilize the thigh thingie that straps around my leg and has a little sleeve for the pump. 

This dress, however, was too low cut to hide my pump discreetly in my bra and the damn thigh holster wasn't cutting it.  (I think the velcro in that foolish thing is clogged up and is un-velcro-y now.  Damn it.) 

I debated forging forward with the bra attempt and started planning answers:  "Yes, it's very nice to meet you.  I loved your film.  Um, yes.  I was born half robot but I usually don't speak of that to strangers," or "I'm actually taping this conversation with my boobs," or "I, too, enjoy injecting hormones.  Seriously.  I'm hooked."

I couldn't do that.  Besides, the little peeking loop of tubing clashed with my necklace.

I tried to set the pump in the waistband of my underwear, but that proved to be both nearly impossible and completely visible under the form fitting bodice of the dress. 

Damn it, damn it.

I had no long acting insulin at the house.  I didn't want to disconnect and be forced to test and piggy-back boluses all night long.  I wanted to wear the pump and get on with it.

The Solution?:  I rigged up a little contraption using the clip on straps to a convertible bra (thank you, Oh Secrets of Victoria), the case from the thigh holster, and the tiniest piece of duct tape.

The pump stayed put.  The film party patrons were none the wiser.

And MacGyver's got nothing on me.

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May 30, 2006

The Second Annual Memorial Day Duck Race

The ArmyLike a bouyant little army, the ducks stood proudly in the sunshine. 

"Sign Up For Your Duck Here!" 

Chris and I stood at the table, contemplating which duck to choose.  The one with the stars and stripes hat?  The one with the pirate kerchief?  The one with the black marker all over its tail?

"How about this one?"  Chris pointed to the smiling, orange rubber ... whale.

"Perfect."  Mutant Duck

We signed up as "Mutant Rubber Duck #14" and removed our "duck" from the table. 

The Duck Races are a new tradition in my family, inspired by the babbling brook in front of my mother's house and the constant flux of bath toys my 5 year old nephew brings to her house.  My mother is one of seven children and I am one of nineteen grandchildren, so every family picnic is a raucous, chaotic, and laughter-filled gathering.  Last year, the duck races were an impromptu walk down to the brook with our ducks in hand.  The Trophy

This year, my younger cousins Mikayla and Lisa orchestrated a race fit for a Mark Twain tale. 

A formal finish line stood ready at the end of the brook, just after two mini waterfalls and a bit of a whirlpool.  Two medals, made of construction paper and curly ribbon, were to be awarded to the runners up.  A trophy, fashioned out of an empty juice bottle and a gold painted rubber duck, waited for the victor. 

Last year, my ducky came in dead last.  Caught in the whirlpool and impaled on a stick, my duck had to be fished out and gracefully tossed across the finish line. 

This year, I came to win. 

Everyone gathered at the edges of the brook, standing on rocks and leaning against trees as Lisa prepared to let loose the ducks.

Ducks on the Loose"Ready?"  she shouted from the base of the little waterfall.

She was met with a resounding, "Ready!!"

The younger kids ran along the side of the brook as they followed the ducks.  Even the adults were grinning and cheering on their ducks. 

"Come on whale!  Come on,"  I yelled.

The whirlpool sucked a few ducks in.  Floating sticks deterred the paths of others.  Some ducks collided and twirled as they fell back from first place. 

And our little mutant duck?

The Winners!

My family.  By blood or by marriage, by sheer and beautiful luck.

United by ducks.

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