Monday, December 9, 2013

Miracle #3: The Party Starts Now

I've been very humbled lately. Some of that is related to some upcoming things that I'll talk about in a future post (sorry to be mysterious, but I don't want to dilute its value). However, a lot of that is due to the season. Everyone knows this time of year is supposed to be joyous. We get presents, we get to see family, we get to watch any number of sporting events on TV, or we get to watch Uncle Whoever drink too much egg nog and it ends up on Facebook. For some people, this season is not so joyous--and I totally get it.

For me, it's a different kind of joy.

Just over a year ago, I hit a wall. My heart had been broken beyond what I thought could be repaired, and I didn't know what else to do. At some point, I literally threw my hands in the air, looked up at the ceiling and yelled "Fine! You win! What do you want from me?!?" I was talking to (yelling at) God. I did the only thing I knew how to do--Facebooked. I contacted a friend of mine who I've known since high school. She also happens to be one of the most Christ-like, non-judgmental people I've never met. One of the main reasons I stayed away from the church for so long was because I felt like Christians were too judgmental--and not a lot of fun. I knew she would happily help me and meet me where I was. I couldn't tell you where that was.

As it turned out, I was going to visit my family that weekend, while she was going to celebrate her baby shower. We happened to be going to the same town--not the town we knew each other from. God? I think so. Anyway, she took me to church with her that weekend, and I left feeling a little more uplifted than I did when I first came in.  The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to find a church like it when I returned home.

After my five-and-a-half hour journey back to Austin, Texas, I went about The Great Church Search. My scientific method? Google. My search keywords went something like this: "Non-denominational+churches+Austin, TX" Luckily, Google returned results in English. I clicked on the link for the very first church and read every single page. The one that really spoke to me, though, was one that mentioned "healing". Healing? I had done enough in the decade-plus up to that point to require healing, so of course my response was "Sign me up!"

I took on the role of "Miss Putoffski", until my parents came to town sometime in September 2012. My dad is a very holy man and was feeling a little antsy at the idea of not going to church that Sunday, so what perfect timing? Frankly, I was also out of excuses. We drove the 40 minutes to see what this church was all about. After entering and being greeted by no fewer than a half dozen people, I turned around right as the praise band was getting started. Just when I wasn't sure if this was for me, the band fired up How Great Thou Art--a song that my grandpa and I had sang solo many times in church (we each had our own take on it). I looked up at the sky and said, "Got it."

That was only the beginning. I can't say every day has been perfect, but I've found that there are a lot more meaningful things to do with life, other than Keep Up with the Kardashians.  If you want to know the truth, I've found that there's a lot more joy, and a lot more to laugh about. While all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put my heart back together again, God could. He's the only one who ever could. I just had to let him. Some days, I forget that, but it's all about coming back around and trying again.

I have days where I say to myself, "Who am I kidding? I have no business doing this" or "People won't take me seriously because I haven't memorized scripture." The first one just isn't true. The second one is an ongoing thing, and what really matters here is that I am serious. I can also admit that I will not do this perfectly, and I hope others won't use that against me. All I can do is ask forgiveness, get back up and try again. I'm thankful to have people (spiritual mothers, if you will) I can be accountable to, people who encourage me, and still think I'm funny--people who have been there from the beginning, and new friends. If you ever start this journey, don't do it alone--make sure you have that support around you (particularly if you are funny--just kidding).

There are a lot more days when I say "Thank you, God, for insert-blessing-here…" It's a lot more fun to be able to do that.

It's also very humbling. When I look back at where I was just a year ago--that's not even counting a decade-plus before that--I am humbled this could have ever happened to me. I am humbled that God took a pretty crappy set of circumstances and turned them around.

I'm not here to get preachy, but as we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas, I am humbled at this miracle birth and what it would later mean for Christianity. This birth became the ultimate sacrifice, as Jesus was went through a horrific Crucifixion, but arose from the dead and we are now set free because of it. How's that for taking something crappy and making it into something beautiful? By the way--did I mention that I was re-baptized on Easter Sunday of this year? I truly did not plan that, but I find it very symbolic, especially given what and where I had come from. For me, that is very humbling. For a very long time, I felt unlovable, and God sacrificed His own son so that wouldn't be true. That's the supreme happy ending. That makes me happy. It makes me hopeful. I don't know anyone else who would've--or could've--made that sacrifice.

This is not a pledge drive to try to get more believers by the end of the year. If you want to pursue that, awesome! But this is just my story, and I think it's a good one--even if I do say so myself. And if it's not a story for a party, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Miracle #2: A Good Problem to Have

If you look at Merriam-Webster's online dictionary (because really, does a print-version dictionary even exist anymore?), the definition of a miracle is as follows:

"an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs" or
     "an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment"

So what? I guess if I'm going to do thirty days' worth of miracles, I should at least define for you--mostly for myself--what constitutes as a miracle. We've all heard the stories of people who were brought back to life after near-death experiences due to illness or injury. We've heard about people whose lives were completely transformed by an act or gesture. Could it be, though, that small, everyday nuances could also be considered miracles? I think so.

Herein lies my problem. Today, I have more than one.

If you read yesterday's blog, you read that it was a real struggle for me to come up with anything before 4 pm. However, as my day went on today, I had a lot of little things that could've been entitled small miracles. Such as:

I survived the American version of Running of the Bulls. This is also known as the dismissal bell at practically every school in the country.

I managed to eat lunch without spilling half of it down my shirt. You have to understand, this is genetic. All Moffitt women do this. Therefore, I'm defying all kinds of laws.

I had a good day of blood sugars. Let me have this one!

I managed to get to and from all destinations without losing life or limb, or worse--getting a speeding ticket. You may wonder why that's considered a miracle, but let's look at two things. First, I live in Austin, Texas. Getting to and from anywhere in a car is a heroic effort, and cannot be taken lightly. I am thankful every day for my SUV to fight off the bad guys (other drivers).

The second would be my track record. We really shouldn't go into how many speeding tickets I've had. Honestly, I don't even know. I think it's somewhere around two dozen, but I've actually lost count. Somewhere, a major thoroughfare will be named after me because it will be paid for solely by me out of traffic ticket fines. I know that I used to get actual birthday cards from an online defensive driving website. Now, I just get birthday emails. That means I'm doing better, right? Right? RIGHT.

I already know what you're thinking: "Why don't you just slow down?" While I'm continually working on that, you do have to admit that if I didn't have my record, you wouldn't have someone to laugh at while you silently thank your lucky stars it isn't you. Not to mention we wouldn't have this blog. So I'll accept your appreciation in the comments below.

I thought green meant you were supposed to go

Anyway, there you have it. I am fortunate enough to have more than one thing to be thankful for and consider to be miraculous. All in all, a good problem to have.

"Miracle." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <>.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Miracle #1: I Made it Out of Bed

I'm going to review some information that I posted on the Facebook page yesterday. As it stands, the month of December is important to a lot of people because of celebrations, family, fun, whatever. However, many others see this as a time to recount various miracles. I am no exception. If I wrote my entire life story right here, right now, I'd first tell you to get a hefty snack (because you would need it). Then, I would remind myself that my life is a walking miracle. Seriously. That being said, I thought I would try to blog a month of miracles. 

As I said on Facebook, some will be very heavy, and others will be as simple as a Dallas Cowboys win. 

Today is simple. Appropriate for a Monday. 

I have to admit: it took some doing to really find anything that could be considered a "miracle". I woke up at 4:30 (two hours before my alarm was supposed to go off) because my insulin pump site decided to crap out, making me have to pee really bad and feeling like I was going to hurl. If I'm going to feel bad that early, at least let me have a fever or a hangover (actually, I'd prefer none of these). Anyway, I never really went back to sleep, which made me a grumpy monkey at 6:30. And again at 6:39. And again at 6:48. I hit snooze three times, in case you weren't sure about the random times. 

Anyway, there was the usual grumping as I moved like molasses to get ready for work. 

"I can't wait to go back to bed." 

"I still feel like crap." 

"DIRK! Take your stinking heart worm pill! Eat the peanut butter!"

You know how it is. Admit it. You've had some similar Monday morning lamentations. At least admit it so I feel better. 

If I were saying that the rest of my day was any easier, quite frankly, I'd be lying. Even by 3 pm, I still couldn't think about what I was going to say was a miracle today. 

I was texting with a friend of mine about this, and this post was going to go in a completely different direction until I read this message: 

"Cool idea. Sadly, I know someone that died today. Stupid cancer. :(" Apparently, this person had only been diagnosed a short time, but began experiencing complications earlier this morning. After going to the hospital, this person passed away peacefully. 

Then it hit me. For all the grumbling and wishing my day away, I could at least say this: I made it out of bed today. That person didn't. I bet that person's family wished they had. 

Those who know me well know that I am not functional--nor should anything be expected of me--until I've had a least two cups of coffee. I feel like there should be laws against having to do anything before 10 am.  However, I'm forgetting some key pieces. 

 I have a few reasons to get out of bed, including my pups

Yeah, I'm going to shamelessly plug them. I have a job. I have friends who kinda like me, and a family that would probably be looking for me if I came up missing. As you can see above, I'm not hurting for food (unless it's 11 pm, and then my hunger clock boasts an angry roar). All in all, not so bad. 

And one of the best parts? At the end of the day, I have a nice warm bed I can get back into. Better than that? If I wake up the next day, the miracle starts all over again. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snoop Cass

If any of you saw my daily proverb yesterday, you saw what I spend my time between Thanksgiving and Christmas doing: snooping. If you didn't see that on Facebook or Twitter yesterday, you're now all caught up. 

That's right. I admit it. I am a snooper and have been proudly since about 1991. I only remember that year because that was my ninth year, in which I had begged and pleaded with my mom and all known deities to please, Please, PLEEEEEEEZE bring me a Game Boy. My mom wouldn't allow me to have any gaming consoles, so I figured this was the best compromise. Never mind the fact that I spent a great deal of time playing Super Mario Brothers at a friend's house, sometimes without her knowing. Love you, Mom. Muah. 

I guess the joke was on me, though, as I spent so long playing that game one day that I had a seizure (another story, another time). 

Anywho, I knew as well as an almost-nine-year-old can that I was getting that Game Boy for my birthday. Then, one day, almost in a vision, it came to me where that glorious gift was: in the armoire in my mom's bedroom. 

I trekked down the hall, while everyone was at home and not asleep to see if I could pull off the Great Gift Find of 1991. I snuck into my mom's room, and I couldn't have hit a better stroke of luck if I tried: the key to the armoire was in the door!!! Pay dirt! I looked in the armoire, and sure enough, that beautiful box wrapped in cellophane with the Nintendo logo beamed at me. I would put a pic here, but I don't have one. Let me tell you this, Kidlets, the Game Boy would've killed the DS any day of the week. 

I would've wept with joy if I hadn't heard noise. I think I put everything back where it was supposed to be. 

As I would find out at my birthday party, either I hadn't put everything back the way I should've, wasn't as sneaky as I thought, or my mother really did have eyes everywhere. Either way, she was onto me and she let me know by enforcing a number system that would ensure that the Holy Grail was the last thing to be unveiled. Dang! 

I finally got to open the glorious package, and played with it so long I had another seizure. Oh well. That didn't stop me. Nor did it stop me from snooping. If anything, it just became a game between my mom and me. She worked hard to hide, I worked hard to find. I have to admit, the woman did well: one year, I got bonked in the head while taking the Christmas tree down. She hid one of the presents in the tree and I didn't find it until after New Year's. Nice. 

This year is going to be a little interesting. I know what I'm getting because I had to order it online myself because my mom doesn't have a computer and doesn't know how anyway. She actually said "You're not allowed to go snooping, either..." Yeah, right. Silly Mom, tricks are for kids...or you. Heh heh heh. 

**I know I'm not the only snooper out there. Who's with me?

**Addendum: my mother just informed me that I not only snooped, I also unwrapped, then wrapped the presents back. I'll buy that. And I won't have shame about it, either. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Priestess of Puke

I spent a great deal of time this week being productive--productive in puking. I was puking like a champ for two whole days due to a stomach virus. Let me tell you this about myself: when I get a stomach virus, I go hard or go home. If you don't believe me, take a look at this earlier post about international puking (make sure you have some time on your hands--it's worth it).

Between hurls of Exorcist proportions, I started thinking about my resume of puking. I have a fairly impressive one, but for whatever reason, LinkedIn doesn't find that to be a marketable skill. Whatever. They just don't know. You never know when you're going to need someone who can hurl across an entire yard and hit a target at fifty paces.

Five years ago, I would've been disappointed that the following tale hadn't been caused by drinking or something else fun like eating an entire pizza.

Anyway, at the beginning of sixth grade, there was a girl in my class that I was good friends with. We hung out, I met her parents, we bought each other Christmas presents, went to each other's birthday parties. At some point in the year, things changed, unknowingly for me. At one point, she wrote me a very long and articulate letter telling me what a terrible person I was and that she hated me. She also told me I dressed like a baby--a comment she would be very sorry about today. She had placed her heartfelt commentary through a locker vent, letting it hang out enough that I would notice it first thing. She hung out at her locker and watched while I read through it, and eventually started to cry. Nice, huh? I later found out that there was a teacher who facilitated the whole thing. Bad, Teacher--bad.

I got my revenge about a week later, though not intentionally. My only regret was that Teach hadn't been in the room when it happened.

As with any good stomach virus, I started feeling kinda weird on the drive to school. I didn't say anything because--you'll think this is weird--I hated missing school. Even back in the 90s, daytime TV was terrible. Maybe I should start telling kids this whenever they're faking sick to go home.

Anyway, I reached school and homeroom. At 7:45 am, it was like any class--utter pandemonium. It was not doing wonders for my symptoms. The more it went on, the worse I felt. Then, ex-friend came over and decided to hold a conversation right in front of me. It was probably about me, but that's not really pertinent at this juncture. I kept saying, "I don't feel good", and still she stood there.

I know you know where this is headed, but hang with me, because this is good.

I finally said, "You should really move." She was turned to the side and looked at me with eyes in narrow slits, and then it happened.

Oh yeah, I puked on her. But I didn't just puke on her. I puked IN…HER...HAIR and IN…HER...FACE. Oh yeah! I nailed it in TWO spots. TRIPLE BONUS!!! I hit someone in two spots, and it was someone I didn't like.

My mother has always said I have an impeccable sense of timing. The entire class came to a standstill.

At that point, one of us was screaming; the other was crying. You could try to guess who was doing what and you'd probably be right, regardless of the guess. We were both sent home from school immediately thereafter. It was a Friday. She spent her weekend getting her hair cut , and I spent mine continuing to puke. In fact, that was the beginning of a week-long puking stint during which I lost eleven pounds. Yeah (don't be jealous--it was no fun)!!!

However, I would be lying if I said nothing good came from this. I would cite the weight loss, but as I was only four feet tall at the time. That really wasn't healthy, nor would I recommend puking to do it. No. Now when kids come to me puking and crying because they're embarrassed about it, I tell them this story. They generally look at me in horror with the look that says, "Wow, no matter how bad this is, at least I didn't do that!" Even the little kids know that's gross.

That being said, I guess it would be a bad idea to encourage the young'uns to aim for someone they don't like the next time they feel the urge to hurl. It was just dumb luck that it happened for me. But it's probably still considered bad form, isn't it?


Monday, November 18, 2013

"Squawk, Bacock!"

A couple of years ago, I had a rare opportunity. Okay, it wasn't really that rare, but I was terribly excited about it. I went to see "The Muppets"!!! Kids of the 70s and 80s rejoice! Actually, I was really fortunate that I was able to convince my mom to take me. Did I also mention I was in my late twenties at the time? I should say what happened to me at the theater was rare (though not really for me), but keep reading.

Now, if you haven't seen "The Muppets", drop everything you're doing and go watch it. NOW! I adored it, watched it several times and currently own it. I have always loved and identified with Animal. Frankly, I love his passion for life, and we both have unruly hair, so it works. Observe.

I'm pretty sure we have the same facial expressions and make the same noises--especially when I'm sitting in traffic. Again, observe. 

Anyway, while I love and adore Animal, he is not my main focus. Sad face. 

I'll try to give a quick plot summary. The Muppets are reunited by three superfans in order to save their studio. They decide to have a telethon to raise the money. The Muppets perform their acts as they were known for during the series (example: Gonzo shooting out of a cannon). Oh, and by the way, this movie is really meant more for those who grew up watching the Muppets (age-wise), as opposed to the young'uns today. 

I should also tell you: I don't remember Camilla and the Chickens very well as I watched the Muppets growing up. This movie gave me a new appreciation of them, and I now love them as much (I can't say "more than"...yet) as Animal. When I saw this, my whole world changed. 

Y'all: when I saw this, I don't mean I laughed--I guffawed. When I say I guffawed, I mean I was howling loud enough for the whole theater to hear it. Even now as I'm re-watching this video to post it, I'm laughing so loudly my dogs are wondering if I'm going to be dragged off to the Funny Farm before they get their dinner. 

But then it happened. 

I was laughing so hard, so loud, snorting with tears and snot, when I rolled out of my chair and onto the floor in fetal position. I was still "squawking and bacocking" and my mother was mortified to say the least. At least I was in the wheelchair aisle, so I had some room to roll around. My poor Mom was pulling on my arms, begging as much as one can beg in a whisper to "Get up off the floor--YOU'REEMBARRASSINGME!!!" Everyone: I was literally ROFLing.

I'm here to tell you that I was laughing so hard that my sinuses cleared out, and I very nearly peed on myself. My face actually swelled up. I'm not sure if it was because I was crying so hard or because I couldn't breathe. My nursing background tells me it was probably a combination of both. I missed a good five or ten minutes of that movie due to my inability to stop laughing--or breathe, for that matter. 

I was only able to get out of the floor by putting my arms in the chair seat and weakly pull myself up with the help of my mother. She will no longer watch that movie with me. 

That scene, compounded by my reaction to it, is one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life. It's right up there with the Epileptic Cat or a friend of mine who was carried off by a bowling ball when said person went to bowl (other stories for another party). While it embarrassed the "pee-waddlin'"--as she would say--out of my mother, it was pretty glorious. It was glorious to laugh like that, and the fact that it embarrassed my mother was a double-bonus. 

Please don't tell her I said that. She can still scare me with a fly swatter. But seriously, go see The Muppets--NOW. And imagine me rolling all over the floor as a crying, laughing, snotting mess with a red face. If that doesn't make you squawk and bacock yourself into oblivion, you may very well have Bell's Palsy. Go look that one up.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Who Brought That Guy?!?"

How appropriate that this story took place at where else? A party. Yep. So what we actually have here is a story I would tell at a party--about a party.

Wow, I'm barely into this story and I'm already digressing. Don't act surprised. 

Anyway, before I get too far into this, I should tell you something about myself: I love basketball. I don't mean I enjoy watching it; I mean that, other than the weather, September through June gives me a new reason to live. When I have to go visit my parents for various holidays, I usually have to hide in a bedroom to watch a game, or chew on my nails while refreshing my ESPN app. When I worked in the hospital, I was thankful on days when I had a sedated patient so I could hijack their TV (don't worry, no one was harmed). People who know me joke about how I throw things at the TV when the game isn't going my way. I named one of my dogs--Dirk--after my favorite player, for crying out loud! 

Get it? I'm a fan of the round ball. 

One of my friends was having an engagement party and I was stoked for my friend and her engagement, but I was also a little proud to show off my date. 

Isn't it funny how the joke's always on you? Keep reading. 

Anyway, we were doing the usual party thing: eating, drinking, being merry, telling embarrassing stories--you get the idea. 

I didn't realize I was about to become the embarrassing story. I was in the middle of giving my pre-season commentary regarding the Dallas Mavericks, when, at a break in the conversation, my date asks--in all seriousness--"Didn't Michael Jordan play for the Lakers?"!! You know that cliche about hearing a pin drop? The silence came over the party in waves, and then it was totally true. I heard someone mutter, "Who brought that guy?" 

I don't know if it was the unmistakable shock on my face, or the fact that I dropped my cake and started to cry, but either way, it was soon evident that I was, in fact, the one who'd brought that guy. Luckily, someone brought me a new piece of cake without much hesitation.

I don't really remember how it was all resolved at the party, because there was too much visible pity. However, I do remember asking a few obligatory questions on the way home, such as, "Do you know who Michael Jordan is?!?" or "Do you know what city the Lakers play in?" and "Do you know that the basket in basketball is actually made out of net or chain, and not wicker?!?" Fortunately for all involved here, we weren't together much longer after that.

**Note to the boys in the yard: after this incident, several of my friends felt it necessary--rightfully so--to put together a dating application. If you can't correctly state the answer to the question of who Michael Jordan played for, or what sport (principally) he played, you're out. This is your fair warning.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Now What?

I remember being four years old and people asking me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I never had to hesitate before I would say, "a nurse." That changed in third grade when I had a teacher tell me I should aim higher, so I decided I wanted to be a doctor. Again, I was deterred when I was ready to go to college. After many twists, turns and six years of college, I finally realized my prophecy from toddlerhood: I became a nurse.

I began my career in the Medical Intensive Care Unit of a Dallas hospital, and continued from there as a pediatric nurse at Children's Medical Center Dallas--the very hospital where I was diagnosed with diabetes. I reached my dream and the pinnacle of my career four years ago when I became a pediatric certified diabetes educator. Now, I'm a school nurse and not a day goes by that I don't have a great story or some kid who makes me smile. My career--albeit short--has provided me with great reward, great stories, a fantastic knowledge base, fairly decent medical care for myself, and flexibility to move around, grow and attempt a work-life balance. Yes, there are circumstances that make you want to retire sometimes, but for the most part, the rewards are greater than the trials.

And you know what? I don't want to do it anymore.

WHAAAAAAAT?!? You may--or may not--be thinking one of the following: But it's such a great career! You can do anything you want! You'll always have a job! Nurses make such great money! Nursing is such an honorable profession! I don't want to make assumptions, but given that I hear these all...the...time, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that, somewhere in there, I'm right.

If you think I haven't beaten myself up about this, you'd be sorely mistaken. My "granny" was a nurse--for 32 a psych hospital. Many of the nurses I've met have withstood some pretty shoddy conditions to remain in their honorable profession for 25-plus years. Many others still that I graduated with not only stuck it out, but have gone on to earn advanced degrees. So what's wrong with me?

Absolutely nothing. There is nothing wrong with the fact that I am ready to move on. I've been in healthcare for the last twelve years. No, that's not my granny's 30-plus years, but by today's standards, that's quite a long stretch. It's not going to do me--or you--any favors to go into why I'm ready to move on. It should be enough (and it is for me) that it's time.

So now what? I don't know. That's okay, too. I just have a process to go through to try to figure out what's next. What am I good at? What would I want to wake up and do every day? How can I do that and still have medical insurance and buy dog food (yes, there are some logistics that remain)?

Maybe I'll arrange flowers. Or be a rodeo clown. Or a bricklayer. Or a basketball player. Or a hobo. Probably not a hobo, but I don't want to leave any stone unturned.

The reason I'm putting this out here is because I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who feels this way. But I do think many times we're shamed into keeping quiet about it for a multitude of reasons; a lot of them boil down to keeping up with the Joneses (money, a "stable" career, making enough money for "stuff"). I'm not going to lie and say I'd be happy becoming a minimalist, but that just proves my point. All of this is really hard to say out loud, or put into print, where it will be forever (or until I decide my blog sucks and I want to take it down)!

I don't know what your story is, but this is mine. And I'm going to bet there are many like it. I really thought I needed permission to for it to be okay to want to do something else, and I did. From me. Now I have it, and in doing so, I realize there's absolutely nothing wrong with that or me. So I would encourage you to do the same if you're finding yourself in the same "crisis". LIfe is too short not to.

Wow, with all that wisdom, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. That's the fastest ten pounds I've ever lost.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Letter I Wish I'd Written

Today, I had an experience that was nothing short of infuriating. In all honesty, it's been ongoing for about the last week, but today the fat lady sung. The fork was jabbed in. The camel's back was broken.

How fitting, because this post has to do with my gimp back...and neck. For those of you not totally caught up, I was in a car accident back in May. According to doctors, I shouldn't have lived through it, much less walked out of the hospital (albeit on crutches, but I digress...). There. You're now caught up.

Anyway, things seemed to be moving along in my treatment until last Wednesday. Then, I received a set of steroid injections that a) I didn't tolerate very well, and b) was the beginning of a downward spiral. The day of, they even asked me if I was okay, telling me that I looked like I didn't feel very good, and I confirmed that I was indeed out of it. I didn't think much about it, but little did I know, that was the beginning of the end. On Thursday, my back was burning at the injection sites, which, oddly enough, I wasn't too concerned about, as that can sometimes happen.

Friday was a completely different story. Late Friday afternoon (of course it always happens on a Friday), I felt searing, burning, stabbing, constant pain in my lower back--almost like my tailbone and lower spine were going to poke right out of my back. I was wailing. I was actually contemplating asking other doctors I knew if a tailbone was really necessary and could they surgically remove it? I was in agony. Those who know me--and if you don't, I'm about to tell you--it takes a lot for me to say that. It takes even more for me to call the on-call doctor after hours, and more still, to actually make a trip to the emergency room for some relief. One thing I was not, however, was making any of this up by any stretch of the imagination.

After several days of being made to feel like that was, in fact, what I was doing, the final straw for me came today when I followed up with my pain care doctor. What was so different? The physician's assistant called me a liar without using those exact words.

This sparked a very eloquent but forthright nastygram to my attorney (minus profanity, even!), but in thinking about things, there are a few things, that, if those health care professionals were sitting in front of me right now, I wish I had said. When I first set out to write this, I wanted to tell these people what jacktards I thought they were, and what jacktards I thought their mother, and their mother's mother were, but we all know that wouldn't get me very far. I wanted you to know that if you were ever under my care, I would get back at you by hiding the key to the door that houses all the medications. I'm not going to publish what I wrote to my lawyer because of some confidential information, but I think this will get the point across as to what happened, and most of all, I'll get to feel better without violence or profanity.

To those of you involved in my events related to car accident-induced pain over the weekend: 

I am shocked. Shocked and sad. Over this past weekend, I have dealt with pain that, before last Friday, I didn't know existed, but I hope I will never know again--particularly after the way my situation was handled. 

I'm generally not "that person" who complains often and because I think the "squeaky wheel gets the grease"; in fact, I'm usually the one that stays quiet because, as a nurse, I have a deep appreciation for what you do and how busy you are. However, after being treated as though I consulted you for a "score," I've been pushed over the edge. 

As I mentioned, I am part of your club. I am one of you, and as such, I always strove to be the gold-star patient, because, as I mentioned before, I get it. I know what it's like to be so busy you feel like you can't keep your head above water, and then to have someone come in with what seems like a menial complaint that adds to your workload is infuriating. But my pain was--and is--very much real. You have to know that as a healthcare professional, it took a lot for me to even seek help in the ER. I didn't want to be there, but again, I was trying to play nice in the sandbox and do exactly what my doctor suggested I do. 

As it turns out, your colleague who saw me back in my room treated me like a real person who felt secure in her convictions that she was indeed in pain and it was in fact severe. She didn't cut me off at every sentence and let me know just how annoying I was because I had come in with a menial complaint. Perhaps you could take a lesson from her. To the physician's assistant in the ER who saw me, thank you for understanding that I had to think things were B-A-D to even darken your door. I don't think I should have had to push through "please don't blow me off--I'm not a drug-seeker" while crying and hyperventilating at the same time, but you didn't require that of me. 

To the PA who saw me at the pain care clinic today: I hope you're never in my position, because I guarantee you that, if you ever were, you wouldn't like it at all. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you did something worse than write a nasty-gram. Surely, as a professional working in pain care, you recall that pain is subjective. It is exactly as bad as the person experiencing it says it is. Perhaps you missed that lesson in your studies, but I guarantee you that was drilled into my head in nursing school. Then again, maybe you haven't had the greatest of teachers if your boss' response to complaints of pain is, "Ice is the best pain reliever." By the way--I asked him how it was possible that he has a job if that's actually the case; someone as smart and well-educated as he is didn't have an answer. 

Anyway, back to you. I don't know if you were having a bad day or what, but you had absolutely no right to take it out on me, and I won't stand for that. Just so you know, I've also told my attorney this, and I'll be curious to hear what she has to say about it. The thing I really want to say to you right now is How dare you? How dare you call me a liar and try to put me down for a) doing what I was told, and b) feeling how I feel? Again, I guarantee that if you had been in my position, you wouldn't have liked it very much. I don't know where you lost your bedside manner, but you'd better either reclaim it or find another job, because you absolutely cannot treat people the way you treated me today. 

I'm sure I could go on and on about this, but I think I got my point across. Do I think these people will ever see this? I doubt it. Do I deserve an apology? You'd better believe it. Am I going to hold my breath waiting for it? No. I've always been a firm believer in my industry and those who perform within it, but I can finally understand why people get so frustrated and angry; right now I'm both of those things, and it hurts my heart to say it. My feelings are hurt, which only adds to my pain. Thanks, guys.

In all honesty, though, my hope is this: if these people ever find themselves on my side of the coin--regardless of the condition--I hope they have better clinicians and caretakers than they were to me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School, Back to School

Today was a much-dreaded day across the state. No, there was no legislation against football, fishing or the death penalty. It was...well, the first day of school. School brings out the school supply nerd in all of us, or the worst Oscar the Grouch for us non-morning people.

As I watched multitudes of elementary school children be dropped off and photographed by their parents, I thought back to my own first days of school. Then I realized, I can't remember them. I was five. One of the few things I remember about Kindergarten were my Alf and McDonald's lunch boxes (those were so cool!). So I asked my mom to refresh my memory.

When I asked her to tell me about my first day of Kindergarten, her answer was short and sweet: "I don't know." Huh? How did she not remember?

"You wouldn't let me come with you. When I told you I wanted to take you, you said, 'don't go, Mama. I can do it myself!'." I don't know that I would have been that blunt... Oh, who am I kidding? Yeah, that sounds like me. I was saucy even then.

Here's another one from my earlier files that I'll share before I turn it over to you.

Did you know I have a little brother? No? Neither did my mom. Neither did anyone else. Except my first-grade teacher. Supposedly, he was almost run over by a car, but I pushed him out of the way. Aren't I an amazing older sister? Of course I am!

Were my heroic efforts documented in the town newspaper for all to read and then everyone adored me? No. You know why? Because there's no little brother. Now, why would my teacher make up such a story? She didn't. I did. Some people have imaginary friends. I had imaginary siblings.

And then my mom found out. And she was displeased--especially when my teacher wanted to know if her "other child also had diabetes." And it wasn't good.

How did I forget the story of MY FIRST KISS?!? It was so sweet. I changed schools in the middle of kindergarten for a semester. On my first day, one of the cutest boys in the class introduced himself to me by kissing me on the cheek.

You know what I did in response? I SLAPPED THE SNOT OUT OF HIM. And then I told on him. And then he got in trouble. And I was happy.

I'm sure there's a plethora (actually I know there is) of other bizarre, farfetched and downright mischievous tales from my school files, but I want to give you the opportunity to share. If you have a great story from your's or your kiddo's career, share it below! It doesn't even have to be great. You don't even have to spell it right.

Monday, August 19, 2013

How I Became the Whiz Kid

I like to think I'm reasonably smart. After all, I can read and spell my name reasonably well. So it stands to reason that those qualities alone would certify me as a whiz kid. Right?

I wish. 

Long ago and far away, when I was in eighth grade--so 13 years old--we had a very exciting event in our small town. Our high school football team made it to the regional playoffs. I grew up in a small town in Texas, so you can imagine. Football is a religion and playoffs are Heaven itself. Either way, the town was abuzz and we weren't missing this game come hell or high water. 

I'm not going to go into specifics of the game--not because it wasn't exciting (even though it wasn't), but because we lost, and I don't want to have to relive it. 

Nor do I want to relive what happened next. However, because everyone who's heard this story thinks it's pretty funny--only because it didn't happen to them--I've decided to print it here for posterity. You're welcome.

Anyway, we had about a 45-minute car ride home, so we had to keep ourselves entertained. We did so by playing Make Me Laugh. The game is exactly what it sounds like. At one point, very abruptly, I decided I didn't want to play anymore. I tried to play it off as in I thought the game was boring and wanted to move on, but my friends weren't having it. They demanded to know why I didn't want to play. However, it didn't take very long for them to figure it out. 

What did they do? What every good friend does--worked harder to make me laugh. It didn't take them very long before what was on the inside of my body--in my bladder--exploded to the outside. I was drenched, and so was the back of the van we were sitting in. I...was...mortified. 

Of course we had to tell the parents of the van, even though I was crying and begging them not to. And of course, I didn't have an extra pair of underwear. Who, at 13, thinks to bring extra underwear because they pee their pants?!? Certainly not this kid. 

Fortunately, someone did have extras. I'm not sure what's more disturbing here: that I, as a teenager, had a major toileting accident, or that someone else in the car had extras because of their own (possibly?) toileting issues and I was about to be wearing them. 

Regardless, we pulled over to the nearest gas station to remedy the situation. I think my friends felt bad, because they shuffled with me, one in front, one behind in order to get to the bathroom with as much dignity as was possible in a situation such as peeing your pants between the ages of six and 60.  I changed, used the restroom for good measure, and off we went. Life was good. 

Or so I thought. About ten minutes into our journey, I felt a familiar sensation. I won't waste time building it up: I had to pee again. Yep. So I informed everyone in the van that I needed to do business again, and we saved another embarrassing situation. 

Again--I wish. My "voice of reason" prevailed and I decided that, by God, I would make it home to the comfort of my own clean bathroom. So I kept quiet. 

My voice of reason crapped out. The above scenario played out again. Tell me that this isn't weird: another change of clothes and underwear were produced that weren't mine or came from my mom. How many accidents were these people planning? Yuck. Regardless, beggars couldn't be choosers at this point. So we repeated the Pee Pants Shuffle, I used the restroom, changed clothes, and off we went. 

To make an already long story short(er), I'm going to kind of gloss over the fact that there was, in fact, a third incident about five or ten miles later. I was out of luck on clothes this time. This may have actually been a good thing, because I'm not sure what I would've thought if I knew there had been anticipation of three or more accidents in the same car on a given period. And I should probably tell you I was restricted from liquids at this point. 

If you think I ever lived that down, you would be wrong. In fact, I had a similar incident later on that year where I required two changes of clothes, but one was only because I fell in knee-deep mud  while rock-hunting and running from snakes on a science field trip. My senior yearbook is even inscribed with "Whiz Kid." But that's only because I'm super-smart. I know that because, now, I always have access to extra underwear.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Because I Can

I'm going to go ahead and give you fair warning: this one will be a little sappy, but it truly comes from the heart and I wanted to share.

I have been at Texas Lions Camp--a free diabetes camp for children located in the Texas Hill Country--for the last five days. I will be here another nine days. Camp brings out a wide range of feelings from "I don't know how you do that, "that sounds exhausting," to "camp is the best thing ever!" My response--in order--is this: "because I can," "it is hard," and "I agree--camp is the best thing ever!" 

For a lot of children, camp--of any kind--is a turning point. Because I'm at a diabetes camp, that's where my focus is going to be. And for me, diabetes camp certainly was a turning point. 

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with diabetes at the young age of 17 months old. I don't remember NOT having diabetes. I DO remember running and hiding when it was shot time, or refusing to eat--because I could. My poor mother will probably die early due to my diabetical hijinks. Sorry, Mom. you?

Anyway, I went to my very first diabetes camp--the one I happen to be at this week, by the way--in 1992. I was ten years old, and I had never given myself a shot. I wanted to learn to do that so I could finally go to the sleepovers I kept being invited to. That was my final hurdle to freedom. I wasn't quite ready on Day 1, but on Day 2? I was gangbusters. I woke up with a mission: nobody was going to give me that breakfast shot but ME. And you know what? I did. Because I could. In one split second, my life changed and I was awarded privileges most ten-year-olds take for granted.

I've watched that happen over the course of this week. I've watched kiddos do things they never thought they were capable of, and I've watched lives be transformed. Because they could. Because they did. 

Just because you grow up doesn't mean the victories stop. In fact, they become that much sweeter (pardon the pun). I'm not going to lie when I say I get nervous about impending lab results or eye exams, but when they come back and I realize I continue to put diabetes in its place, then I'm the first one to jump around my room like a banshee. Because I can. Because I did. 

I'd also like to be the first to point out that I can probably say these things because of a lot of luck, but I'd like to think there was a fair amount of hard work on the part of a lot of people that made that happen. I say that because I know a lot of people who haven't been as fortunate that have also worked really hard. I can't tell you why things worked out differently for them, but they didn't and I don't think it should be assumed it's because they did less work than I did. 

To get back to my point, though: I'll be real honest when I say that there are times diabetes sucks. It just does. Even the best jobs in the world have their days. However, I don't think this was all for naught. I truly believe that God picked me to be diagnosed for a reason. He knew I could handle it and wanted to use me to do great things with it. Things like being an educator, or going to camp and helping these kids realize what great potential they have. How much they really are "like everybody else." Do I wish maybe God would've chosen something for me based on my impeccable sense of style? It would've bed nice, but I think the things He chose for me are pretty great. To get to see these kids achieve and overcome is probably one of the highest honors I could accomplish. 

To those parents of the kids I've worked with this week: I thank you for the opportunity to get to be part of their learning and fun. I also thank you for reminding me to keep going forward. Today, I set a new goal for myself: I want to be the first Joslin Medal for 100 Years of Successful living with diabetes (hey--I'm only 70 years away!). Because I could. Because I can. Because I will. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let's Call It What It Is--A Tribute

I am 31 years old, and while I’ve been through a lot, I’ve experienced one thing that not many people my age have, and no one should ever have to: the loss of a best friend and mentor.

I first met Gita when I was 19 and working at my first hospital job. I started working in a pharmacy to decide if I really could stomach hospitals and the work involved before I went to nursing school. She was so smart, funny, and had the most infectious laugh and smile I’ve ever seen or heard. She was always after me to go to pharmacy school, but she was also encouraging during my pursuit of nursing. She even came to my graduation and gave me a Dallas Mavericks watch as a gift.

In addition to our love for medicine, we also shared a love of basketball, New Kids on the Block and dogs. She was always impressed that I, in my five-foot, ninety-eight pound glory, was not afraid in the slightest of her three German shepherds—each well over 100 pounds. If I could impress her that much over something so “small”, then I was honored.

To say she was mad at me when I moved three-and-a-half hours away would be an understatement. I thought moving would be the best way to handle a difficult situation I was going through, and she thought I was crazy—especially because I was going to a place where I knew no one and had no support system. However, when I flourished in career and life in general, I don’t know that anyone was more proud than she was. She was always one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Eventually, I got an advanced certification as a diabetes educator—a role I was born to play due to my own experience with diabetes. Life came full-circle the day I received a phone call from her asking if she could refer a patient to me for some help with initial teaching. She said I was the best educator she knew. I couldn’t believe it—a published expert pharmacist was referring someone to me. I can’t tell you how honored I was.

I still have the text she sent me back in December 2011 informing me of her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. I sat in shock with my mouth hanging open as I took it all in. She was 36, married with two kids, never drank, never smoked, no prior risk factors. This was one of those times when I wished I had no medical background. I was angry at the situation, and most of all, cancer. She told me not to worry, that she and the doctors were hopeful. 

Over the next few months, I regularly kept in touch with Gita via Facetime, texting, phone calls and email. She especially loved it when I sent her pics of Thing 1 and Thing 2. She would update me on how well she was responding to chemo, and tell me that she felt bad for me wearing an insulin pump after her experience with an indwelling port. I didn’t bother telling her she had the raw end of the deal.  I went to see her at home about four months after her diagnosis, and she looked great! There was some weight loss, but overall, she looked fantastic. I felt encouraged.

I spent my 30th birthday in New Orleans, and I remember the texts she sent me on July 2, 2012 to wish me a very happy 30th. I still have those texts, too. I asked if I could bring her anything, and she said all she wanted was for me to eat some beignets for her. I dutifully went back to Café du Monde and ate another three beignets (not that it was a real issue). I sent her a pic of it, and she responded with her happiness. I could totally see her smiling.

On July 5, I received a Facebook message from a friend I hadn’t spoken to in awhile asking me to call her ASAP. I didn’t want to. I knew. Sure enough, Gita had passed away at 3:30 am. I was sitting at Sonic when she told me. I tried calling Gita. She didn’t answer. Her husband called back, saying, “I guess you heard.” Basically, she started going downhill on July 3, and eventually drowned in the fluids that had been periodically filling her lungs since she was diagnosed. I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. I just remember wailing. I managed to call someone to come get me. I couldn’t see straight. I was hysterical. 

The next few days were a blur. I barely remember the funeral, other than her lying in her casket, bald head and all. I just remember really dreading going, because it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair that one of my best friends was dead. I didn’t even get to see her after New Orleans. It wasn’t fair that she knew the end was near and she was trying to save me. But that’s how she was. Always worried about everyone else. By sending me those texts, she was telling me goodbye in a way that I would always remember her the way she was. In hindsight, I can see the gift she was giving me.

I’ve struggled with writing this, mostly because I’ve wanted to make sure I give Gita a proper send-off, and that she—and you—would understand how much I loved (still love) her. I’ve worried that I wouldn’t write enough to really capture her essence, and most of all, that you wouldn’t want to read it.

I still miss her, and there are days I want to send her pics of my dogs and receive her happy responses. My heart bleeds as I write this, and I know I’ll go back and read this, and say to myself, “I need to write one more thing,” or, “I forgot this detail.” The fact is, memory isn’t linear, especially when you’ve had a friendship and professional relationship as long as we did. However, I can be thankful for this: that we had so many memories to even be non-linear, and she is permanently cemented in my heart. I hope she knows that. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

That Time I Almost Died

Today, I went to the doctor to have a steroid shot put in my back. You have to understand: I'm mortally afraid of needles in my back, which is almost ironic because a) I'm a nurse--you would think I'd be used to that by now, and b) I'm diabetical, and you'd think I'd be used to that by now. If I ever have kids, I'd rather just have laughing gas, because really, I should get to have fun with that.

Anywho, I was told I couldn't eat anything after 2 am. I just knew what was going to happen: I was going to be super-massively-hungry right around 1:30, shovel food like a refugee from a third-world country, and then they wouldn't give me the sleepy-juice I was looking forward to. As luck would have it, I was super-nauseous and didn't feel like eating. I'm not generally thankful to be nauseous, but these were different circumstances. Plus, it's kind of a pain in the tuchus (no, I don't speak Yiddish, but I can't imagine anyone would have a problem with my gentile self using that word) to have to do all the thinking that goes along with being diabetic and not allowed to eat. Take blood sugar at 1 am, if less than 100, drink juice. Eat last snack. If greater than 200, give half correction. If greater than 250, pee on stick. Set pump to go down 30%, Recheck at 3 am, repeat.... Garg. Aren't you tired? I am. And not just because I barely slept imagining a giant monster shoving needles into my back like jackhammers.

Before I go any further, I need to give a huge shout-out to my friend Debbie for being willing to get up absurdly early to take me to have this shot put in my back--and she brought STARBUCKS! Black, with nothing in it! Just like I like it! I couldn't wait to be done with all this so I could drink it.

So this was me before the Great Exodus From Pain 2013:

They put me in what was called the "VIP Suite", which was actually a cubicle with a recliner and a curtain. Whatevs. They took my vitals. Debbie and I discussed how we were going to get me out of the clinic, and we decided it would be funny if she grabbed me by an arm and dragged me across the floor and out to the car while we got someone to photograph the whole thing for posterity. You have to understand, Debbie is about my height, which is an even five feet. 

After they took some vital signs and declared that I was indeed alive, they went over the procedure with me. It went something like this: "Sothey'lltakeyoubacklayyouonyourstomachputsomestickiesonyoutomonitoryourvitalswipedowntheareawithBetadinegiveyouashottonumbyouit'llfeellikeabeestingthenthey'lluseanx-raysoheknowsexactlywheretoputthesteroidshotbecausewehavetobesafewiththatonethenyou'llbedoneit'lltakeabout15minthenwe'llbringyououthereinawheelchairandwatchyouinrecoveryforabout15minthenwe'llgiveyouyourdischargeinstructionsandyoucangohome. Any questions?" Nope. 

True to their word, they brought me back into a room that was so cold, I think they were trying to either cure my pain through hypothermia, or freeze me out until I cried "Uncle!" and said I was lying and really didn't need the steroid shot after all. Either way, I made it through the Lightning Round. Next thing I know, I'm lying face-down on a table that--I kid you not--looked just like the table they use for lethal injections at the State Pen. I knew I was in trouble if they asked me if I had any last words, because, quite frankly, I had nothing prepared. 

They did everything they said they would, including the initial shots (yes, I said shots--plural). Then, the doctor told me he liked my shorts (khaki with pink flamingos). Then, they told me that these shots would feel like a bee sting, which they did. In hindsight, I have to ask myself this: If I don't like bee stings when they're not supposed to happen, why would I feel reassured about this so-called numbing medicine that feels like a bee sting that is supposed to happen? I did not feel reassured. 

Then the x-rays started, and before I knew it, I felt like someone was pressing down very hard on my back, and I was squirming around on the table like a dancer from Soul Train. They kept telling me to relax, but I have to tell you: it's really hard to relax when you know four shots are going into your spine and could cause (albeit highly unlikely) me to never walk again. And if that happened, how was I ever going to run another marathon from the couch to the fridge? 

Notice something that did not happen between the bee stings and the pushing on my back? That's right--no sleepy-juice. So now, I've gone nearly eight hours without eating a thing, and I'm in a freezing room. This is an equation that goes something like this: Cassie+hungry+cold+very much awake for bee stings to my back=pissy. 

They wheeled me back to recovery, where a very cute nerdy medical assistant offered me juice, a granola bar, or water. I may have been hungry, but I was not about to eat a granola bar (I find them not terribly satisfying), so I took the water. They asked the usual questions: how are you? Still here. Are you dizzy? No. Can you feel your legs? Yes. Are you short of breath? No. Are you still alive? Let me look.

This was me after the harrowing procedure: 

After one more round of this, they read off my discharge instructions: take it easy for 12 hours, no chainsaw juggling, dirt biking, cross country marathons or driving a car. I've had jackhammers in my back and now I can't even do my usual form of Wednesday entertainment in the form of chainsaw juggling? Dang...IT!!! I was able to walk out of the clinic without any numbing to my legs, which was slightly disappointing, because Debbie and I were totally looking forward to that pic of her dragging me out of the clinic. Oh well. Maybe next time. 

The highlight of our trip was the post-trauma breakfast, which was fabulous, compliments of Central Market. This was the challah French toast that I had:

I would say that made the whole experience worthwhile, but that would be a tad overzealous. Perhaps this was more of a selling point: 

Nah. I kind of dig the idea of much less pain. I had also decided that if I saw the guy who hit us, I would run over him with my Prius and ask him how his back felt, but Debbie told me the law frowns upon that, and I realized she was right, so I decided I would visualize it in my head--which made me giggle. So no running over drunk driver. 

Well, all of this has taken a lot out of me, so I think I'm going to go take a nap. If I wake up, I might post an update later. If I don't, will someone make sure my mom gets Thing 1 and Thing 2 and the trust funds I set up for them? 

**UPDATE: As of 3:30 pm, Central Time, I have lived. Thank you for your support. As you were.**

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Princess Diaries: a Letter to the Royal Baby Part I

Dear Royal Baby:

Today is a big day for you! While you were cooking, you have been much waited for and already adored--not just by your loving parents, but by the world. The next few days/weeks/months/years (your whole life, pretty much) are going to be a whirlwind, full of nifty stuff like famous people, the Olympics, meeting presidents and stuff; and some boring stuff like meetings or high tea. Anyway, I wanted to offer you a short (haha, you actually believed that?!?) welcome to the world. 

First of all, can I say that I really, Really, REALLY hope your royal title is "Count", because it would be sooooo cool if your first words were "Onnnnnnne, batty, batty...." Just sayin'. Also, if you could do your little neonate thing and somehow communicate to your parents that you would like to be named after me (because trust me, after reading this, you will want to be), that would be cool, too. We're kind of neighbors, you know--my mom's side of the family is Scottish, which you guys practically own, so I'm pretty sure something could be worked out. Count Cassandro. That would be neat. 

If you think about it, you and I have a lot in common. First of all, we were born in July. Me on the 2nd, you on the 22nd. Thank God you weren't born on the 2nd. I would feel a little bit bad if you had to share your birthday with someone so important. Now, people can go to both our parties. 

I was a Duchess once. It was Homecoming Duchess, but it still counts. I had to dress up and everything. I was also named "Grinchess of C6" back when I worked at this place called Children's Medical Center of Dallas (you'll probably get to go visit on one of your royal visits someday). And that whole Scotland thing? Well, there just so happens to be a town there named after my familiy. Yep. My "mum"'s people were royalty over a lot that collectively "borrowed" cattle from Galloway--which is pretty tasty, I might add. That being said, you and I have the royalty bond going on. 

You and I will probably have had the finest educations...I would say "that money can buy", but mine was free until college. I went through the public school system, and I turned out pretty fabulous, so save your parents some money and security detail until you get to university. God knows you already have an automatic in to Eton, Oxford, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, whatever. 

You're a boy, I'm a girl. You're the first of Prince Charles' grandchildren, I was the ninth of my grandparents'... Okay, scratch that one--it's not really that important. I was still allowed to be Duchess and Grinchess, I'm pretty sure you can still be Count. 

No doubt you will be the most stylish baby since that Kardashian kid was born. I was also a budding young fashionista pretty much from the time I came out of the birth canal. Stick with me, Kid--we'll go places in the fashion world. If anyone--and I mean anyone--tries to dress you like Austin Powers, scream...LOUDLY. 

Well, I don't want to overwhelm you yet. I know you're very busy right now eating, napping, and pooping. Besides, you can't even read yet. But here's the take-home point: we're both pretty fabulous. Happy birthday, Baby--may you one day be as fabulous as me! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

If At First You Don't Succeed...Try the Fridge

I was reminded of the forthcoming blog post today when my darling friend Kelley Crumpler (author of Sugar's the B* Not Me--go check it out. I'll wait. posted the following on the Interwebs:

      If youuuuu were my Dexcom....where would you beeeee...?

I ask myself that question a lot--except take out the "Dexcom" (except for those instances when it actually is what I'm looking for) and insert whatever it is I happen to be looking for. Keys. Food. Charlie. Dirk. Whatever. 

Which is interesting, because for all the times I'm looking for food, I never seem to find it in the fridge. Everything else? Observe. People's Exhibit A.

See that black thing? It has my name written on it in cute little letters and hearts. That would be my glucometer, aka one of my lifelines. I use it to check my blood sugar. This would be the third one I've had in as many years. Why? Let's see. The first one was this really slick little meter to talked to my pump so I could actually give myself insulin by pushing buttons on the blood-sugar-checker-thing. Well...I lost it and couldn't find it for like two weeks (don't worry, my diabetical friends: I had a backup meter so I did not go untested for two weeks). I finally gave it up and called to order a new one. The cost? A "measly" $200--a price that I wouldn't even know of had I not lost the first one. On the day the new meter arrived, I decided it was time to clean out my fridge. Wanna know what I found in a bag of leftovers that almost made it to my Hefty trashcan? You guessed it--a slick little meter that talked to my pump. It will henceforth be known as "Meter #1". 

As for Meter #2...all I can tell you is that it definitely is not in the fridge. 

What you see in Exhibit A would be Meter #3. On top of the Chinese takeout container. Draw your own conclusions. 

I've lost two entire sets of keys in yards because they fell out of my pocket, or I accidentally flung them one way when Charlie or Dirk flung me the other. I now have to keep my keys on a long lanyard so I can easily spot them. 

Would you care to know what else I've found in the fridge? My wallet, and, at one point, my work pager...which I have since re-misplaced (is that even a term? Is that even a necessary term for anyone except for me?). I had to pay a $75 fine because of the second misplacement. I think that's stupid, given that hardly anyone knows what a pager is, let alone what one looks like. Craziness. Luckily, my fridge isn't big enough for Charlie or Dirk to fit in, because I guarantee you, I've accidentally closed the door on them a few times.  Don't judge me! I didn't know they snuck in there! 

So I think the take-home point is this: if you need me to hang on to something, glue it to me. I was going to go read a book, but since I can't find it, I guess I'll go get a bedtime snack instead. How convenient...