Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My life with diabetes: a year later

It has been exactly one year since my official diabetes diagnosis. It has been quite a trip. And not the all-expenses-paid, room-with a view, drinks-are-included kind of trip. It has been fraught with highs and lows and learning lots of information I didn't really want to have a need to know.

One year ago I felt horribly sick (and was horribly sick), was having paralyzing anxiety attacks and wasn't sure I would be around today to be blogging at all. I felt that bad.

But here I am.

I am thankful for that EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

My diagnosis has put me in very real touch with my mortality. The statistics are depressing. I am 2 to 4 times more likely to die of heart disease than someone without diabetes. I am 2 to 4 times more likely to have a stroke. 60-70% of people with diabetes have some type of nervous system damage. My risk of dying of kidney disease is tripled, my risk of liver cancer is doubled and my statistical chances of having Alzheimer's, COPD, blindness, digestive problems, dental problems and limb amputation are higher than in my non-diabetic peers. Diabetes will easily shave 5-10 years off of my life - if I am fortunate enough to not develop any of the above problems before then.

Awesome. Not exactly the kind of information that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Most of the time I work really hard to not become one of the above statistics. Most days I do pretty well - I make good choices and keep myself pretty healthy. There is some good news for me 365 days after my diagnosis. Even though I am still far from an ideal weight, I have evicted 50 pounds from my body (although pounds 48, 49 and 50 are kind of like boomerang children - they keep coming back when I send them out into the world). I have gone from having high blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, liver enzymes and blood sugars to being in the normal range for all of them (except my HDL which still runs a little low despite plenty of red wine and fish oil). Based on my current blood work, you would have no clue I have diabetes. I am off of my diabetes medication and still maintain decent blood sugar levels (most days) and I even exercise once in a blue moon. I have met some cool people through various diabetes activities and forums and I feel A LOT better than I did a year ago.

But despite the positives, the reality is that having diabetes really sucks. I realize it could be worse. I could have complications. I could have the added pressure of dealing with a continuous glucose monitor, insulin injections and hypoglycemic episodes. I could have family and friends that aren't supportive of me. I could have bad doctors and/or no access to the information I need to keep myself as healthy as possible. I could have bad lab results despite a real effort to keep my numbers under control.

But it still sucks.

I don't put a single thing in my mouth without thinking about how it will affect my blood sugar (I admit it doesn't always stop me from making bad choices, but I still think about it). I seem to have a very low tolerance for carbohydrates. Without a highly functioning pancreas or the benefit of insulin injections I can't enjoy foods that should be relatively guilt free (think nice juicy apples, fruit salad, low-fat yogurt, carrots, a warm piece of freshly baked whole grain bread) much less Girl Scout cookies, a loaded baked potato, a piece of apple pie or a serving of lasagna with breadsticks without seeing a blood sugar number that is too high. all fairness, I can drink water and eat broccoli - and I actually like broccoli - without guilt or deleterious effects, but really!?!?! Broccoli!?!?!

I have a whole new level of guilt when I can't get my butt up to exercise or I don't feel like tacking that extra few minutes onto my treadmill time. I can work myself into a tizzy if I think about not having the opportunity to see my kids grow up or be around when my husband retires someday (I mean who else will make him long for the working days if I am not around to drive him crazy?). It is difficult to eat out and no fun to fix two meals to accommodate my and my family's dietary needs. It is tiring to explain to others why and what I should be eating and I get cranky when I have to avoid most things on a table full of yummy food when I am a guest at other people's houses.

And it really is hard for me to go it (virtually) alone. Not many of the people in my close circle of family and friends have to deal with diabetes (fortunately) and therefore aren't bogged down in the details. Nor should they be. But as a person who likes to discuss, re-discuss and discuss things again, it is hard to have only a virtual sounding board in the form of online forums.

So where does this leave me a year later?

A year older. A year wiser. A year healthier. And 365 times more thankful for my life than I was a year ago.

But, damn...diabetes still sucks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why do I waste brain power on these things?

The Duggar family of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting fame will soon be 20 Kids and Counting. This piece of news (which personally affects no one I know yet has taken up considerable Facebook conversation time for a lot of people I do personally know) has made me wonder why in the hell I care and why it make me a little crazy that Michelle Duggar is going to pop out kid number 20?

It isn't the fact the the Duggars are "whoring" (not my word here. I borrowed) out their kids to make some money on TV. I actually don't have an issue with that. I mean, the kids may be slightly embarrassed by some of their childhood antics as they grow older and you could blame that on the parents, I suppose. But seriously, how many parents don't threaten to show their kid's future spouses embarrassing photos of their childhood? Do these kids have to put up with people in their homes and perform for the cameras and wake up early to shoot "reality"? Yeah, but I don't call that abuse. Inconvenient, maybe, but not abusive in my book. In fact, I am pretty sure the paycheck has provided some nice things for that family and I know there are parents who do far worse things to make a buck to raise their families.

It isn't the fact that they use a whole lot of stuff. I mean, they are Americans, after all, and all of us Americans use far more than our share of the world's natural resources. Think mud hut in Africa if you aren't following me on this one. Just the fact that we use any kind of motorized transportation or electricity of any kind pretty much throws us into the "more than our fair share" category.

It isn't the fact that the older kids have lots of responsibility for the younger ones. Which, let's face it, they do. One mom and dad cannot possibly be there to wipe every tear and doctor every scrape and brush every tooth when there are that many kids in the house. But that is OK with me, too. They all seem to treat each other pretty well. Maybe it isn't "fair"that the older kids are essentially "mom", but we all screw our kids up in one way or another. I figure they can spend their adult lives doing whatever they want. And if the worst thing that happens to them is that they have to care for their younger siblings, they are doing pretty well, really. If you don't believe me, let me tell you a story about a kid who has a hard time opening her eyes all the way due to undeveloped muscles in her eyelids from being kept in the corner of a dark trailer for the first year of life.

I actually do understand all of the above arguments and don't disagree with those who stand on them. But none of those reasons speak to me. But I think I know the one that does.

Michelle is not a young woman. Difficulties associated with pregnancy and childbirth do not decrease as one gets older. The last Duggar pregnancy was fraught with complications and resulted in the birth of a micro-preemie. Mom and baby both survived and are doing well, but it was touch-and-go for quite a while. Does this mean she doesn't have a right to have more kids? No. I had a preemie and a complicated pregnancy and chose to have another child . AFTER consulting with multiple health professionals. Do I know that Michelle hasn't gotten the go ahead from her doctor and been told there is a 0% chance that she will have another complicated pregnancy? No, I don't know that for sure. But I do know that I wouldn't bet the farm on the odds of that happening.

Now to the real issue for me...Michelle and her husband have both said publicly that they will have as many kids "as God sees fit" and that if she keeps getting pregnant, it is God's will.

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Back up the hockey-team-converted-to-Duggar-family-transport-vehicle bus. If God lets you get pregnant again it is his will to risk your own life and the life of a child and possibly leave your other 19 children motherless? Isn't that kind of like the people who choose not to treat their children for cancer because if it is God's will for them to live, they will live without medical intervention? I may have missed the boat, but it seems to me there was something in that there Bible about free will and choosing to go down one path or the other. Last time I checked, the ability or desire to do something didn't necessarily make it a slam dunk in the what-would-Jesus-do "right" game.

So is it God's will for the Duggars to have 20 kids? Maybe. I missed the memo directly from God on that subject evidently. But the memo I did see (in the form of the most printed book of all time) is that as humans we are given free will and are indeed fallible. We don't always choose the right path, even when we think we are doing God's will. We are sinful. We are broken. We are selfish.

I can't help but wonder if maybe Michelle and Jim Bob aren't just a little swayed by what THEY desire rather than determining what it is that GOD desires. Do I have any clue (much less hard evidence) what it is that God desires for the Duggars as far as their family size goes? Ummmmm, no. But I am pretty sure no one else does either. Maybe they are just a little bit selfish - kind of like the rest of us mere mortals. And doesn't that leave open the possibility that they are making ill-informed decisions and then justifying them in a way that is hard to argue with (i.e. God's will) since no one knows that for sure?

Of course I don't know any of this for sure. But, as always, I have an opinion. That I am definitely not afraid to share. After all, if I can share it, it must be God's will that I blog about it all I want to, right? Argue with that one, people.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why is this friendship thing so hard?

I happened across this post that I started back in March and find the subject still screaming at me loudly. I guess that means it is time to address it. Somehow spitting these things out on "paper" helps me sort through them in my mind. So here it goes...

Friendship is so complicated. So full of emotions and expectations and evolutions. I WANT it to always be effortless and sweet and mutually fulfilling. I don't want much, do I?

In a world of limited time and energy, I find that I am needing to modify my "friend list". I want to stop wasting time and energy on people I don't enjoy. I want to focus on the friendships I deeply value, some old and some new. I am just not exactly sure how to cut through the rest. "The rest" aren't necessarily bad people. I just want to focus on feeding the good parts of me and certain people are better at helping me do that than others.

I was recently talking to a long-time friend about losing Laurel. He didn't know her well (friends from different life seasons), and I was trying to identify what it was about her that had such a profound effect on me. What came out was that she just was so good at helping me be more of what *I* wanted to be. She made me stop and think about what was at the core of me and what I wanted and then nudged me down that path without judgment or argument. She just made me want to live a bigger life and be a better me. I haven't ever met anyone else who was quite as good at that as she was. I miss knowing that she has my back.

Which brings me to the "seasonal" nature of friendship. The friendships that develop because of an association in time or place are quite disturbing to me in a lot of ways. I tend to bond intensely and then mourn the loss of that bond as time and/or distance erodes it. Not to say that all of those friendships disappear or even really lessen, but the evolution of the nature of the bond is hard for me to handle. It makes me feel like a failure. Like I haven't done enough to nurture the friendships that are/were so valuable to me. Or, even worse, like I picked badly when I realize it is time for me to let a friendship go - that the "season" has passed and for one reason or another that particular friendship is no longer valuable to me. It is hard to let go.

So I guess the deal is this...I need to figure out a way to draw those people that feed my soul closer to me and cut the others loose. And then in return, I need to figure out how to help those people become more of who they want to be. Because Laurel taught me that THAT is the kind of friend I want to be. Now to figure out how to accomplish that.

Why is this friendship thing so hard?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The best birthday gifts ever! Along with my wonderful hubby, of course (not pictured - I'll catch him next time, though!).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

One of those days

You know...the kind where anything that can go wrong seems to go wrong?

Dead car battery. Lost car keys. Water leak. Internet problems. Class issues. Strong willed and stubborn 3 year old in tow.

And just to add some misery - a trip to the DMV where they only take cash or checks. Which then requires loading the screaming 3 year old back into the car to go to the bank for cash.

Good times.

But above mentioned 3 year old did provide some comic relief. After screaming in the DMV for about 10 minutes while I tried to renew my license, he stopped crying and promptly announced to all of the workers:

"I am done pitching my fit now".

Thanks little man. We're glad to hear it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I would like my normal back now, please.

I just can't seem to right my ship. I can't find my normal, but I know I want it back.

Laurel's death has left me in a place I haven't found myself before - in a spot that I can't "reason" myself out of. No logical thought, step-by-step process or rational thinking is taking me from point a to point B. I am flabbergasted that this loss has knocked me down in a way that nothing else has. I mean, I didn't talk to her everyday. I haven't physically laid eyes on her in years. I hadn't even met her two youngest daughters. But that girl had worked her way into my soul - obviously into one of those places I didn't even know existed because I don't know how to deal with it now that it is exposed.

I get to the point that I think I am on the right track, but then one little (or not-so-little) thing throws me off kilter again. I have less patience than normal (which means I now have ZERO patience), I can't keep the house picked up or get dinner cooked and I just want to run screaming into the night when the car battery dies or the cat pukes on the rug or I wash and dry a pen.

If I went to the doctor, I would bet I would get a diagnosis of depression.

But before my 3 readers (especially you, Mom) freak out and stage an intervention, I would like to say that I KNOW this isn't forever and I KNOW it will get better. I am not spending my days crying or contemplating suicide or coming up with an alternate identity so I can take off for parts unknown. I am familiar with the nature of these things and I fully expect that before long I will once again be riding the high crests of the waves rather than sputtering down here in the troughs. The long and the short of it - some things just suck right now. Not many things, not most things, just some things. And this is one of the blessings of living - having the ability to feel...ALL of it - the good and the bad. I thank God every day that I am here to feel it all. I know I am truly blessed.

But I still want my normal back. And sooner rather than later would be preferable. Pretty please?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I don't get it

I keep thinking that if I read enough of the news articles online, I will find one that says it didn't really happen. That my sweet, spunky friend and 3 beautiful little girls weren't really lost. That a doting father and husband wasn't really left here without them. That roads don't fail because too much snow or rain falls.

I can't find the article that says that.

Instead, Googling "Laurel Constantinides" finds nearly 500 articles, most of which state the facts of what they call an unspeakable tragedy. A few of those articles touch on the big hearts and kindness that this family possessed. But none of them remember exactly the Laurel that I remember because in every life she touched, she left something special and unique behind.

She loved tea. And sunflowers. She had this big personality in this little, bitty body. She was so sweet and smart and kind and insightful, but she could get mad, and a little sullen, too. But mostly, she smiled and was always up for a bit of fun (or a grand adventure if the opportunity presented itself). She was spontaneous and crazy and had the best stories. She laughed a lot and she always had some wisdom or insight that was totally appropriate for all of those emotional situations one finds themselves in as a college student.

I met her when I was going through sorority rush at the University of Wyoming and I can't count the number of times we laughed and cried together on thousands of fingers and toes. She slept on the floor in my room in the sorority house when I had a bad breakup - I went with her to take some things back to the ex-boyfriend after she had a bad breakup (let it be noted that he and she both came to their senses some years later and ended up married!). We cried at the end of the semester when we parted and we glared over our shoulders at each other after a particularly dramatic summer together in a rented apartment. I called her La, she taught me to crochet, we sang Billy Joel songs together, we planned how we were going to be cool, old ladies with our silver hair, our sharp wit and our stylish clothes. She put her extra money into mutual funds (who does that at 20years old!?!?) and I spent my extra money on beer. We thought we might move to Ogallala, NE for a summer just because the name was cool. We grew up, we left the Pi Phi house behind. She read a Bible verse at my wedding, I sent her some of my daughter's clothes when Hannah came and she modeled patience and solid parenting when I visited her in Colorado Springs with my particularly cranky child.

Although we came to the point where time and distance separated us, we kept in touch via Facebook - I loved seeing her posts and pictures of her sweet, funny girls and got nostalgic when she told me she missed me if I posted about a particularly crazy adventure. She gave me a list of fostering and adoption books when I needed help for a friend and she inspired me with her ability to be a grown-up but still be a little funky with her cool clothes, her dyed hair, her pink bike and her VW camping van. I loved seeing Alex's Facebook pictures and posts about his beautiful girls - every time I saw one, I thought how happy I was that Laurel had ended up with such a wonderful man to be her husband and a father to those girls.

It is inconceivable to me that I won't see her at Homecoming or a Pi Phi reunion one of these years. That her three girls don't have the chance to grow into adulthood - Laurel would have been the best grandma ever.

I don't dare go through pictures or old letters or think too hard about those times shared years ago because I know my heart won't be able to take it right now. Laurel was a rock to me during the years that I was far from home and learning how to navigate through this world. I never imagined life without her in it.

I am no doubt one of a zillion people whose life Laurel touched in a positive and profound way. There will no doubt be a zillion people at the memorial services and my stories and memories will blend in with all the rest. But I feel profoundly blessed to be one of those to have stories and memories that I can hold on to...for all of those who didn't know Laurel in this life, just look for a bright, shining light in the next - believe me when I say you don't want to miss knowing this one.

Rest in peace, Laurel. You will be missed.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I can immediately hear the frenetic music (Billy Joel, of course) when I think of this song. It feels like that music has been the background music for my life for the past few months and I would welcome a calmer tune. I just can't seem to get my life slowed down to a comfortable pace - maybe this is the nature of this season of my life. Or maybe I am just a bad manager of time. I am betting on the latter.

I have a million things I should be doing (like reviewing library director applications or grading class stuff) instead of blogging, but an old classmates recently started blog reminded me what good therapy blogging is for me. To take some time to do something that I do only because I WANT to is something I don't do often. Unless you count the hours of my life lost to Facebook...But I digress...

We had a good couple of months. A trip to Wyoming, visits from all of the parents, a canoe trip, some time to enjoy the pool and another good health report for me. But, good Lord, I have been busy, frazzled, stressed. And things aren't looking to slow down so I better figure out how to manage it.

Bryn is headed for public school next year. The reasons are many, but generally uncomplicated. Suffice it to say we have decided that paying for a less than stellar education jam-packed with a heavy dose of Christian judgment didn't seem like a good idea for us anymore. The pastures may not be greener on the other side but maybe my kid will be able to focus on something besides whether or not her evolution-believing parents are doomed to a very hot eternity.

Library director applications are in and we are reviewing them tonight. The thought of many interviews and the organization that will require makes me tired, but I am hopeful we can secure the right candidate and have a happy ending to this process.

The library budget for next year is under fire from the city. Not easy to deal with when there is no director. I must admit I kind of feel like the council needs to go pick on someone else who has someone in charge besides a bunch of volunteer board members.

Bryn heads to camp this weekend. We haven't even started packing.

Grant is not at all on board with potty-training. Not only is he not on board, he protests the process loudly and violently - basically the way he reacts to just about everything. Very tiring. I think I need a couple dozen nannies to take care of this child-rearing thing for me.

I feel good and my most recent lab reports were great, but I am currently frustrated with a slight uptick in my blood sugars due to a decrease in my meds. Although still within normal range, I want them to be the perfect readings of a non-diabetic. Too bad that isn't ever going to happen for me - I get to hope for a really LONG hold before what I pray will be a SLOW decline. Ahhhhhh...the joys of chronic illness.

There is a whole list of other exciting stuff going on - starting a food pantry at church, the new Harry Potter movie, 12th anniversary, high school reunion. I better work on my time-management and "being-in-the-moment" skills or I am bound to miss it all! I am working on that background music in my head- surely there is a slower tune I can get stuck on.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lesson for the day

Long rides in the (i.e. zero physical activity), fast food and a trip to the ER to get Grant's head stitched up are not good for the blood sugar. Oy.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I am currently reading a very interesting book called "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs. In this book, the author spends a year trying to follow ALL of the rules of the Bible. His initial list of rules is around the 750 mark. That's a lot of rules.

For the couple of weeks, I have been feeling quite "pebbled". In the book,the author loosely tries to obey one of God's rules to stone sinners. He finds one, but decides that throwing stones is a bit extreme and ends up throwing a pebble at the man instead. The description of the whole experience made me laugh out loud - the idea of "pebbling" someone was quite amusing. Until I began to feel pebbled. Not stoned, mind you - I haven't had any big hits. Just a lot of stings ranging from slightly annoying to those that produced enough adrenaline to make my blood sugar go up.

The week began with the resignation of the local library director. As the board president (who is quite comfortable just coasting along and running the monthly meeting), this produced almost a full-blown panic attack. I don't know the first thing about searching for and hiring a new director except that it will probably take longer than the few weeks we have to find one before we are director-less. Shit. Coasting is no longer an option.

Finding water in the basement on the tile and parts of the carpet was less than welcome. Fortunately, it was an easy fix (mis-directed output hose from the water softener). And heck, the new water ring stains look mighty nice with the holes in the ceiling from when said water softener was installed.

Some smaller pebbles ranged from not enough people signed up for the mission team garage sale to my 3 year old screaming at me constantly to students begging for last minute extra credit and grade changes after not working hard enough all semester to get the desired grade.

And then a bigger pebble - one that makes me think that it might just be time for me to sit down, shut up and be still. I desperately need a certified postal delivery on this one. Although a burning bush would be just fine. And making it the Russian sage out front would be fine - especially if you burn it up in the end.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This is the fourth time I have started this post. With a whole lot of randomness swirling around in my larger than average noggin (saying nothing about my brain size - I do truly have a big head), I can't seem to put anything together. So here is the randomness as it comes:

*My head hurts and it sucks. There are no painkillers I feel comfortable taking as they ALL interact with one of the two meds I am on. If there is no other motivation for me to attempt to get my blood sugar and blood pressure normalized, the fact that I would love an ibuprofen and a swig of Mylanta is enough.

*I sure hate the fact that my grandma is in the hospital in Casper and I am here and my mom is in Arkansas.

*I wish my house was clean. A dust bunny fell out of the (indoor) sky last night. Getting rid of the interim housecleaner was a bad idea. I am going to call her and beg her to come rescue us before we are buried under piles of gunk that should be in my vacuum canister.

*I will continue to be aggravated by the people in the school drop off line. I should be able to come to terms with the fact that it becomes only a minor inconvenience to me when people want to act like their kid is going to perish if they don't get out under the awning (even on sunny days), but I just can't.

*My life would be much more peaceful if I did a serious purge of some Facebook "friends", but I just can't do it. I like to think it is just because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but it is much more likely that I am just a weenie.

*I am concerned that my kids are going to develop some sort of horrid affliction from watching too much television.

*I really want to eat an egg roll, some wontons and 40 million crab rangoon right now. This diabetes crap really sucks.

*I am so tired. I would like to curl up in a sunny spot on the carpet and sleep for three days.

Wow...not much in that brain worth mulling over at the moment!

Monday, February 7, 2011

For the Longest Time...

Ahhhh...Billy Joel...Takes me back...

Anyway, the last month has been busy, busy and I have no idea really what I have been doing. Without referring back to my calendar to refresh my memory, I am hard pressed to guess where my time has gone.

Girl Scout cookie season has officially ended. I managed to get 1500 boxes of cookies distributed to the girls in the troop and then get money turned in for those 1500 boxes. having that finished almost feels like winning the lottery. But without the influx of millions of dollars, unfortunately.

Bryn and I went and saw "Shrek: The Musical". It was a lot of fun and reminded me that I don't get out enough for "girl time" with Bryn.

We have had enough snow to last for a few years, I think. Bryn has been out of school for at least 7 or 8 snow days since Christmas and although shoveling the driveway is fine exercise, I am about over it. Putting that pool in just in time to close it up for the winter has been a form of torture for us - let's get to swimming weather already!

Went to Chicago to visit Grandma and Grandpa with Nicole and Jeremiah. It was a quick trip, but we had a good time.

I have spent lots of time testing my blood sugar and learning about diabetes. Not exactly good times, but I am adjusting.

Time flies. I keep thinking I need to slow down and savor, but who the heck has time?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sometimes it's the little things...

that make me happy. After my last post (in which I apparently sounded like I was headed for the nearest tall bridge or building based on the number of concerned calls and messages I received), I thought I would get back to blogging about the more mundane parts of my life...

Here are some of the "little things" that have put a smile on may face in the last week or so...

* Finding a show that hubby and I can watch together without one of us wanting to claw our eyeballs out. That actually brings our together-TV-show total up to 3.

* Some snow to make things look clean and white and new. Until all the cars roll through it and the dog pees in it, anyway.

* A new USB blood glucose meter that plugs right in and creates all kinds of fancy graphs and tables. If I have to be diabetic, I should at least have cool gadgets, right? As an extra added bonus, it was FREE because it was on sale and I had a coupon - now I can spend that $74.99 on something fabulous like test strips to go with it.

* Coffee. I had a cup of coffee the other day for the first time in a month or so. Yum.

* Aaron and Grant in their matching "wife-beater" tank t-shirts. I am not sure how I feel about Grant walking around actually referring to his shirt as a wife-beater, but he looked pretty cute.

* A couple of new non-stick skillets. I can even "legally" put these in the dishwasher because they actually said "dishwasher safe" on the box.

* Bryn "forgetting" to give me her report card for three days and then opening it and finding out that she truly did forget - her grades were great.

* My sparkly red fingernail polish. I will go more subdued this next time, but I love that after almost 3 weeks, the gel polish has just shown its first sign of wear and tear.

*Grant signing his goodnight songs with me - all out of tune and garbled, just like I sing them!

I am so thankful for so many big things (a wonderful husband, great kids, fabulous friends and family), but sometimes it's the little things that really remind me that LIFE IS GOOD!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I guess it depends on how you look at it

It has taken me some time to get myself together on this post. Christmas has come and gone and I didn't blog about it. The kids have done some funny things and I haven't blogged about them. I have been distracted. I got some news in late November that has changed my life as I know it. It was either an early Christmas present to my me for my health or the most devastating health news I have ever received. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

I have Type 2 diabetes. It has changed virtually everything about my life. I poke my fingers and check my blood sugar a million times a day, I obsess about what I eat, I cry, I worry about every ache and pain, my house is a wreck because I can't get my life back to "normal" and I worry I am going to die tomorrow and leave my husband and my kids. I often feel like I am going crazy, I am not sleeping well, I am experiencing what are probably medication side effects and I spend a lot of time feeling nauseated and tired. I blame myself for getting fat and out of shape (although I have learned that winning the genetic lottery is also a requirement for Type 2 diabetes because not all fat people get Type 2 and not all Type 2s are fat).

But before you think I am going to completely lose it before tomorrow, there are some positives. This diagnosis could very well allow me to live a longer and healthier life than I would have otherwise as it will force me to pay closer attention to my health and my habits. I have had tons of tests that have come back OK - my heart seems OK, my liver and kidneys seem fine - and I am eating well and exercising and am more in tune with what affects my body. I have lost 12 pounds this month, I have stretches where I feel pretty good for hours at a time, I have met some supportive and inspiring people on-line, I have become something of an expert on many things diabetes and I have a new appreciation for the life I do have and all of the good things in it.

I will never be "cured" but in 2011 I hope to learn how to balance my new chronic illness with my real life. I know there will be good days and bad days, I know that there will be times where I can't function and leave Aaron holding the bag and I know I will have setbacks. I also know that every cloud has a silver lining - sometimes it is just a little harder to find than others. But I will be looking hard because this is my new life and I don't plan to let diabetes get the best of it. So I hope to laugh a little harder, play a little more, love like it can all be lost in an instant and worry a lot less. I hope to learn to live in a way that I haven't always before - finding joy in all the moments and focusing on the real blessings in my life.

Diabetes. Blessing or curse? I guess it depends on how you look at it.