Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Case of the Exploding Inbox

I consider myself a fairly organized person. I like things a certain way, which is pretty clean and I can typically find things right away or within a few minutes if someone needs something. However, when it comes to my email account(s) it is a completely different story.

My main email account is the same account I used in college, started in the fall of 2004. It is the main account I use and today when I checked my email, 1,378 emails in the inbox. I have a problem: I have a hard time deleting emails. I fear that I never know if I'll need to reference them again. The logical thing to do would be to make files and file them away, but I never did that. So, I started to go through my 1,000+ emails.

As I started to go through the emails, there were 4 common people whose emails flooded my inbox: the director of the volunteer program I did after college, a friend that I lived with while doing the volunteer program, my co-teacher from my first year teaching, and my parents. There were also quite a few from Runners World that I deemed interesting and valuable at one time or another throughout the past 7 years.

As I was able to delete the majority based on their subject line, I did read a few so I knew what I was deleting, or not deleting. I don't keep a journal, but when I was rereading some of my emails to various people about various things I was getting a look back at different points in my life.

Some of the "highlights" include:
-Various emails about getting an insulin pump (2006), a new pump (2009) and a CGM (also 2009)
-Running information from the Flying Pig (Cincy 2009), Air Force (Dayton 2008) and Madison (May 2006 and 2007) half marathons along with the photo websites from each race
-Grad school projects, questions for professors, and many, many, on my final action research and paper
-One particularly funny one about how much I was excited to see Jason Castro in concert when a friend and I went to see American Idol and how if David Archuletta got suddenly sick and could not perform I would be happy

However, like all things, there was one item that stood out from all the rest. As part of my education degree for my undergrad, I had to take a psychology course about human development. I could not fit this class in until my senior year, second semester. It ended up being one of my favorite classes I ever took, partly because the professor was wonderful.

I always sat in the front row of "Dr. P's" psych class. "Dr. P" always started class with something in the news or a song...something just to talk to us about for a few minutes. I always enjoyed this part of class because I never knew what he was going to play or share with us. Some days it was some world crisis report that he would pull off of CNN, while one time he played a song on YouTube that made us all laugh so hard and think he was crazy.

I sent "Dr. P" an email during my first year of teaching stating how the final project I did in his class, involving inner-city education and psychology as well as Maslow's hierarchy of needs was useful in my teaching situation at the present time. I can vividly remember when I had to miss one of his classes to interview for the volunteer program I decided to do, he was in full support of it, with he being a former Peace Corps volunteer.

Below, you can find parts of the email that made me smile again.

Hello "Queenie",

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed your email and how great it is your final project is currently useful to you. I am still teaching Dev Psych in the same room as you, and I can't tell you how many times I've thought about you sitting in your usual seat and bringing a zest of life to my classroom! I couldn't believe that I would have the delight of you being in two of my classes! (I was also in another general ed. class of his for seniors called Capstone)

It doesn't surprise me that your students think the world of you in your unique approaches to "scaffold" them into a world of dream-filled possibilities. While I have not taught Capstone since our class together, I am reluctant to do so given the enormous evaluations I received. Guess I'm a little rim shy about starting over after such a fun and memorable semester!

Before I sign off, I do wish to state how much I have appreciated having you in both of my classes. You will never know the number of times I have praised God, that you filled my class with precision and inspiration. As you know in this business, there are many days when I leave the classroom that I wonder if I'll ever return. However, I would often feel renewed after your involvement in class or your encouraging words of appreciation following class.

At any rate, you should know that you too, have carved an indelible footprint in my life and on my role as a teacher of young adults. Even when I was overseas teaching and had often received complements on my cultural sensitivity to developmental psych, it still did not pale in comparison to the feedback I'd received from you and others last year in developmental and capstone.

As I said to you on more than one occasion, rest assured that "you" do not come in twins, and anyone who is blessed to enjoy your friendship, should be thankful indeed. All the best, Queenie.

All the best,
"Dr. P."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Bet You've Never Had a Worse Diabetic Day

Yesterday was the worst day of my diabetic life that I can remember - and I can remember all days I have had diabetes since I was diagnosed when I was four. That would mean worse than all 20.5 years of living with the D.

I woke up and my meter just read "HI." Being the perfectionist that I am, I was incredibly frustrated. I didn't understand why I was sooo high. I felt beyond awful as well which did not help matters. I decided to guess as to how much insulin I should take and ended up with 7 units. I had to keep getting ready and then left to go to school and teach for the day. At 9 a.m. I get a break and I tested again. My meter still registered 'HI!' I was furious.

I am rarely high, and the effect of the high was tearing my body down. I was incredibly thirsty and my normal thermos of coffee made me want to throw up. I looked in my purse for my water bottle only to realize that I forgot it. How could I have done so today, of all days? Luckily, a teacher across the hallway gave me one. I chugged it down in 1 minute and refilled in numerous times throughout the day.

I continued to feel awful and was able to test again at noon - 598. Yay...I actually got a reading. I entered the number in my pump and took a major correct again. I was able to test again at 1 - 490. Good, I though, I am actually coming down - IT'S ABOUT TIME!

Not 2:15 I was 473. I decided to change my pump tubing and site and then took another bolus. It worked that time because by 3:30 I was 388. I then started to go down quickly; by 4:45 I was 265 and then by 6:15 I was down to 108.

I didn't eat anything because I thought I would just get sick, but I felt so weak from being so high that day that I had some cheese and celery. Those were the only two items of food that sounded decent.

I had somewhere to go last night and when I got back at 10 I was 120. I thought that was good but was scared to go to bed after the day I'd had. I set my alarm for 3 am to test. When the alarm went off, I turned it off and decided to roll over and go back to sleep. I woke up this morning on the low side - 64, but felt 200 times better. Today my body has been recovering from yesterday.

I know I cannot have perfect blood sugars all of the time but I thought I was going to lose it yesterday. I think my pump tubing had an issue because after I changed it out I felt dramatically better. I'm just glad yesterday is over and every day is a new day to start things over again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Everyday People

I have had the same running mix on my ipod for the past year - a total of 67 songs, some of which are great to run to (Mercy by Duffy - who can't break out sprinting to that one!?!?) while others are ones that I just like (Shattered by OAR) to ones that bring back memories (Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone). After this song plays every time I am left thinking the last line of the song: different strokes for different folks.

Today that got me thinking about life as a journey. Right now I am in what I consider a rut as far as diabetes goes. I am a perfectionist and cannot stand a reading on the meter above 150 and dislike the 140s. I know that the more I test, the better control I have and can stay in my favorite zone of 80-100. Except, now I often find myself lacking the motivation to test my blood sugar and find myself just guessing as to what my blood sugar is and doing what I deem necessary. What happened to all of my motivation last year? It is like it just decided to exit my life. I need and want to get it back, but can't figure out how.

It reminds me to when I was a junior in college. Everyday during this time of the year I ran 10 miles. It didn't matter how I felt, I just did it. Some days were better than others and I could clip off the miles at a good pace, while other days were quite the struggle. I didn't do a mile more or less: it was always 10. I was in good shape then but couldn't push myself to conquer more, to run more, to be better.

This is the bottom line: I am frustrated. I am frustrated with myself. I am not just an ordinary, everyday person like Sly might think I am. I need to rediscover the wonderful, legend-in-my-own-mind person that I am.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pure Happiness 1-5

Alison over at Lemonade Life started blogging about things that make her happy. I thought it was interesting reading what she posted, things that are important to her. I had a list going on my computer about things that I like/things that make me happy and am going to be posting them sporadically...not all at once. If you read my blog, you know that I love running, but you might not know what else I love. So, let the fun begin.

*Know that my things are in no particular order*

Family - I felt like although my list is in no particular order, I had to start with this one. My family means the world to me although I do not live close to them. I can't just go over to my parents house if I want, but I often call them to tell them things. My parents have always supported me in whatever I chose to do, from running to teaching to my education. I know I am bias, but I feel like I have the best parents in the world.

Jack Johnson songs - I love Jack Johnson's music. I wasn't a total fan when he first came out, but over time I have like him more and more. It is softer music that I turn on when I am stressed out or feeling overwhelmed and it makes everything better. My favorite song of his is Better Together, with Bubble Toes a close second.

Word Jumbles - In the newspaper where my parents live they have a word jumble everyday. I used to not like the jumble because I could never solve it, but this summer I started trying to do it and was successful. I have been hooked ever since. In case you are not familiar with the jumble game, you are given letters jumbled up and you have to form a word from the letters. There are typically 4 words. Some words have circled letters in them. You then must unscramble the circled letters to solve a riddle. I love solving them.

The book Nickel and Dimed - I had to read this book my 2nd year of college and it changed my world perspective. It is about a woman who works minimum wage jobs in three different towns in America and the struggles that she encounters. This book brought to my attention that there are many, many people who struggle to get by in America.

Setting a PR - I had to include at least one running thing in my first happiness post. The accomplishment of breaking my old personal best and setting a new one gives me an adrenaline high. I love it and wish every race could be a PR race. Crossing the finish line of a half marathon knowing that I shattered my former PR is my favorite feeling.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Gushers were a snack that I ate when I was young. If you've never had them or cannot remember, they are fruit snacks that are filled with a drop of fruit juice. I typically had them when I was low or needed something before a sporting event that would not upset my stomach. However, a few days ago the word gusher came into my mind as I was changing my pump site.

I fully admit I'm not the best diabetic - I don't change my pump sites every 3 days like I am supposed to, rather, it is more like 4. I realized a few days after I put in a new set that there was some blood below the circular band aid thing that attaches to my skin. It was getting more and more irritated as time went on and itched a ton so I decided to take it out. And it turned out to be a gusher!

As I carefully pulled the adhesive circle off of my stomach, blood squirted out in a direct line from my stomach. I quickly grabbed some Kleenex, only to find that a few moments later they were too wet from all of the blood and I needed more already. I am not sure how many tissues I went through trying to stop the blood from coming out of my stomach, but it seemed like a ton. I finally ended up holding an old washcloth to my stomach after awhile because I thought I filled a landfill with Kleenex on my own.

Today when I look down at my stomach I can see a perfectly round red dot where my gusher infusion set was located. It does not itch nearly as bad and hopefully will continue to heal. I must have hit a blood vessel at the perfect angle to get it to gush like that. Have you ever had a gusher?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Mania

Today was the first day of school after a nice 4-day break and all my students could talk about were the Vancouver Olympics. I love the Olympics and have watched some of the events so far and it is always fun to talk about them with my 35 lovelies. (yes...that is right...I have 35 in my homeroom)

I grew up an avid sports fan and went to many college and professional games when I was younger. I also played a variety of sports and know a lot about them so it only makes sense that I would love the Olympics. Granted, I love the summer Olympics more than the winter games, but both are great. Who could not want to watch an athlete flying down a snow-covered mountain in a beautiful area or speeding down the luge track? I have friends that are not as big fans of sports as myself, and I know I am on one extreme end, but it is the thrill of it all that just gets me.

When I was in high school I once wrote 100 goals that I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime. I don't have the list anymore, but I do have a pretty good memory and remember the majority of the things on my list. Some I have already accomplished, such as run a 1/2 marathon, while others are dreams - like go to the Olympics.

Part of the reason why I love the Olympics so much is because I am interested in peace and justice. The games bring the world together, all in one venue, where athletes compete against each other but not fight. No one will be killed because of another person. It is a celebration, not a war. In the fall I was so excited when the IOC was deciding where the 2016 summer games would be held, especially since Chicago made the top 5. On my high school 100 list was to go to the Olympics and that would make it possible since I live so close to the city. However, the IOC chose Buenos Aires instead. I am glad that the games will be in South America, but would have loved them in my backyard. So maybe that item won't get crossed my list in the near future, but, hopefully, it will someday. In the meantime, I plan on watching the games on TV and hoping that the spirit of the Olympics helps promote peace in the world.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Finally...a post

If you still read my blog, you've probably realized that there has not been much to read in the past 6 months. When I first started my blog, I was so excited. I like to write and still do, and love to read, and love to do that even more now. Before I even started my blog I got into reading other blogs and noticed that some people were dedicated and posted multiple times a week, while others would post a could items and then take a year or two off. That always frustrated me, especially when I could relate to what they were talking about on their blog. And now, look at what has happened to me. I've become someone who I would be frustrated with.

In the midst of moving, starting a new teaching job, trying to get healthy from a summer stress fracture, among other things, my blog fell off of my endless "to do" list. I always thought of it and read my other favorites that deal with diabetes and running, but just didn't post on mine. Hopefully I'll find more time now that spring is around the corner...kind-of. At least it is almost March, which means more races.

My last race was Labor Day weekend. I did a 5k in the city where I grew up, although originally I had intended to do the half-marathon before I got injured. My time was not great, but I was pleased since I had been running many miles. My final time was 23:03...but they did not have chip timing. So, to make myself feel better, I am going to say it was 22:59. I know I am capable of a much faster time that that. This spring I hope to run some smaller races aroudn the burbs as well as at least 2 half marathons.

One thing that makes me very happy are when people comment on my blog, so if you would like to make me happy, please leave a comment. It's good to be back.