Friday, July 24, 2009

Lot 8 recall

If you use a Medtronic pump, I'm sure you know about the Lot 8 recall. And, if you know me at all, I like to be prepared.

After getting a letter from Medtronic, I went through my inventory of pump supplies and dug out all of the Lot 8 infusion sets. I consider myself to be fairly new to the pump still, as I have only been on it 3.5 years. It was not until my Lot 8 recall letter came in the mail that I realized how many supplies I accumulated. I had enough extra supplies so I would be able to use my pump for over a year if the company went out of business (which, by the way, they are not).

As I was going through the house and locating all of my pump supplies, I started to wonder how I had gotten so many. I change my pump site every 3 or 4 days. Sometimes, especially in the summer, my sites need to be changed more often. When I got everything together, I started to count the number of boxes and individual infusion sets, just as Minimed requested: I had 18 unused boxes and 13 individual infusion sets!! That would be 1 year and 7 months worth of them, not including my 4 boxes that were not Lot 8.

When I called Minimed about my supplies, I asked them when I would be getting my replacement infusion sets. I was told that I would be mailed 1 every 3 weeks, to which I responded, "you are going to mail me one box every three weeks for over a year?!?" I have yet to receive one in the mail. It has been about 3 weeks, so maybe one will come today?

I realize that Minimed had to recall many, many infusion sets, and I don't need my right away. I just think a year is a bit excessive. Yesterday I opened up a piece of mail from the president of the company, stating how sorry he was for the Lot 8 recall. Although it was a nice gesture, it would be more helpful to replace my sets promptly.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Unlikely Friendship

When I lived in Ohio, I belonged to a large gym. I liked it and would occasionally say hi to a few people, but had one main goal every time I went through their doors: to run/workout. If I were friendlier, I bet I could have met more people. Maybe I wasn't because I knew my time in Ohio was limited? Or, maybe I'm just not friendly (hopefully not!)?

Now that I'm back in Iowa and have been here for over a month, the most time I've spent here for five years, it is very evident how different life is here. Although, by Iowa standards, I live in a city (65,000 people); by Ohio standards I would live in a mere town. The neighborhood and city is incredibly safe and many people don't even lock their doors. The pace of life seems much slower, along with the driving. It was hard to get used to driving 30 mph on city streets compared to driving on I70 or I75.

There is no large gym here for people to belong to, however there are a few smaller ones. After getting injured, I knew that I would need a gym to work out at since I would be using the elliptical religiously. Instead of paying to join a small gym for 2 months, I decided I would just use the gym at the country club my family belongs to. Their workout room consists of free weights, about 5 weight machines, 2 ellipticals , 5 treadmills, and 2 stationary bikes. I go during the day when the normal person is at work, so I never have trouble getting on machines. It is just very different than what I was accustomed to.

There is a sign when you enter the workout room that tells you to "sign in, please." We are very polite here! There is no membership card that needs to be scanned or receptionist to tell you to enjoy your workout, rather, on most days an empty room to welcome me. About a month ago, a couple older guys would come to the workout room on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. One day, one of the guys asked me if I knew someone because he saw my name on the sign-up sheet. The person ended up being my aunt, and after a while, one thing led to the next and we figured out I went to high school with his granddaughter.

Ever since that day, this man and I exchange greetings when he enters the room. We have talked about many things, from living in Africa to living in Chicago to injuries to golf. One thing that i can always count on is that he will have a smile on his face. The other day he came into the room and was grinning, ear to ear. He told me that he shot his age - 78 - during a round of golf last week. He was so proud and it made me smile.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that it is the little things in life that count. It is not about how fast or how many miles I can run or how perfect I am being, but rather, about being nice to people and simply saying "hi" to them. As someone once told me, it doesn't cost a penny to say hi.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Race to Cure Diabetes

Yesterday I was trying to find some races in the Chicagoland area in the fall, but found something even better - a race that supports diabetes research. The Dash to Cure Diabetes is located in Barrington, Illinois in May, and you can guarantee that I'll be participating in it next year.

When I found out about this race, I intuitively clicked on the link to go to the website. In bold font, it states: "Imagine you have an incurable disease... imagine that you're 4 years old." As a matter of fact, that is how old I was when I was diagnosed with diabetes. However, as a 4 year old, I didn't really understand what diabetes was, or that it was incurable. In my young mind, it was just something I got and meant I couldn't eat some things.

I have never imagined that diabetes is an incurable disease. I can remember my first meter, the size of a small notebook, which took over 2 minutes to read my blood sugar. I had to take out the test strip and wipe it off in the middle of the reading. Needless to say, those days are long gone. Technology keeps getting better and better, with new insulin pumps, CGMS, meters and more things available today.

Right now, there is no cure for diabetes (I wish there was, though!). It is hard for me to imagine my life without it, since I don't remember my life before it. But, I have always believed that a cure was attainable. Growing up, my parents always said that although there was not a current cure, there would be one in the future. They supported diabetes research, through JDRF, and more recently, through the SpringPoint Project. My brother raised money and ran for SpringPoint during the Boston Marathon a few years ago.

I believe there will be a cure for diabetes in my lifetime. But, until then, I'll support research to make that possible while doing one of my favorite things - running.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I have loved my CGMS and hated it during other times since getting it a few months ago. Currently, I like it. It has been pretty accurate and given me good, solid information to help me manage my diabetes better. However, there is one bad thing about it: it has left me scarred.

I only wear my sensor on my side, and it is apparent, and very ugly. There are little dots from where the sensor was in my body and also some light bruising. I am not sure if everyone who wears a sensor has these issues, or if it is just me? So if you have advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Until then, I'll remain scarred...

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm Moving Up

This week I was able to run 5 days according to my running regimen, logging 1.25 miles each day. To my surprise, I did not become too out of shape in the past month and a half, which I am very thankful for. I completed most of my runs in 9 minutes and a couple seconds. However, you really don't have to be in that great of shape to log that time. Next week will give me a better picture of my fitness level, when I get to run 2 miles for 6 days of the week.

I have not been injured since high school, when I got hurt playing basketball. I was on crutches for 3 weeks and then in a lovely boot for quite some time. For the past 6 years, I have been running injury free and seemed to have forgotten the tole of being injured. Not only do I require more insulin because I am not burning as many calories, it has also effected my mindset and presence.

Before being injured, I would have a goal in mind of how many miles I wanted to run. Sometimes I would run more, rarely less, or decide to run and then work out on another machine. I could spend hours at the gym, and feel great afterword. Now, I have to have a different mindset before working out. I have to prepare to only run for that set amount of miles, and then demand my body to stop so it can get better. This past week, I wanted to keep running, but knew that I couldn't. It made me feel sad.

I think the next thing is the hardest to explain: being injured has effected my presence. It is like there is something missing if I can't run so many miles a day. Running makes me happy, and although it is not the only thing that makes me happy by a long shot, it feels like there is a void in me right now. Running provides balance in for me and gives me time to think about things I need to think about. I don't really know how to explain it, but I do know not running leaves a void in my life.

So you might be thinking that "you are running again, so why do you feel this void?" I don't know...I think it is because I want to do more than I can. I had a little taste of running, but want more. For the meantime I'll stick to the plan and hope for the best.

Monday, July 13, 2009

On the Move...

The past few years I have had my fair share of moving - from Iowa to Minnesota to Ohio and in August, to Illinois. (feel free to ask any questions about living in the upper Midwest - I'm sure I can answer them) For the past two years I have lived in southwestern Ohio while completing my master's degree and teaching in a volunteer program. I never thought I would live in Ohio, home of the Buckeyes, since I always have been/will be a Hawkeye fan. But, I ended up there, and am glad I had that experience.

In June, I moved back to Iowa for a few months. This past fall I interviewed at a school in the Chicago suburbs and got offered a teaching job for the upcoming school year. It was everything I hoped for...I wanted to be closer to my family and friends, live close to a big city without actually being in one and teach in an affluent school. I am a little sad to leave behind some people/things in Ohio, but am looking forward to what comes next for me.

With this being said, I went to look for an apartment this past weekend. After touring various apartments, I chose one that is in the suburb I'll be teaching in. I'll have a five minute drive to my school and covered parking, both a huge plus. Covered parking means that I'll get to sleep in an extra 10 minutes in the winter instead of spending time scraping the ice and snow off of my car (and I'm not a morning person, so this means a lot!). Another thing that sold me was that there are a 5k and 10k trail about a 1 minute walk from where I'll be living.

My move-in date is in early August - the 8th to be exact. I am excited to be moving and close to Chicago. Another exciting thing that I heard is that DESA might have their convention in Chicago next year, which I would love to attend. So if you are in Chicago let me know...because I'm guessing no one is coming to Iowa for anything anytime soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Week, Another Running Regimen

I'm in my second week of recovering from my stress fracture, and so far, everything seems to going fairly well. This week's running regimen is running 1 mile for two consecutive days, then taking one day off, then repeating it. The past two days I ran 1 mile and felt good during both runs. Today I'll be resting and spending some time on bike and elliptical before running again tomorrow. I'm hoping that my leg starts to get stronger, like how it was, because I can tell a there is a difference in my two legs while running, and after. I am just happy to be making progress!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On Being Cold and a Funny Story

I am cold about 99.9% of the time. Right now it is summer and I am wear long pants and a jacket, and it is in the mid 70s. I often wonder if ice runs through my veins..???

I recently went to a movie theater, a very cold place to begin with. The movie was good and held my attention, but my mind kept wondering off and thinking about how cold I was, which made me think of something that happened about a year and a half ago. Please know that as I am typing this story, I am actually laughing.

Two years ago I lived with three other people. As part of a program I signed up for, we had to do "community events" together. That could be anything from going to a movie (as in this story) to shopping to going out to eat. We were just supposed to spend time together.

We decided to go to a movie at night, which started at 9 or 10 I think...not too late. We got there, chose our seats, and talked with each other before the movie began. When the movie began, one of the people I was with dug into the bag she brought to the theater and pulled out a blanket. I about died, thinking in my head, "who does this?!?! maybe a child under the age of 5, but not a 20-something!" However, it would make more sense if you knew the person. She means so well, but is just socially awkward beyond belief.

Don't gets better. So the movie is playing and I was watching it, only to look over at the person with the blanket to see her asleep in her movie chair, covered with her blanket. A lot of times I fall asleep during movies, although I do it when I am in the comforts of a house, not out in public. As the movie progressed, I continued to sneak glances at her, and she remained asleep for the majority of the movie. My favorite line of the whole night was when we got back to the car. One person asked the blanket-sleeping person how she liked the movie, to which she replied, "it was really good." It took all of my might not to break out laughing.

This is a memory that I think I will always have of my time spent in Ohio. It always makes me laugh and always will. Another person who was at the movie theater with us that night and I talked about this event this year, and still laughed about it.

Although I am usually cold, it is for sure that I will never bring a blanket into the movie theater. I'd rather turn blue....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Running Again

I went to the sports medicine doctor on Monday for my stress fracture check-up. I was expecting him to say something like, "you've still got one more week to rest before you can start running again." He checked out my leg, asked some questions, and then I heard the best words ever: "YOU CAN START RUNNING AGAIN." I was in complete shock, but filled with happiness after he said those words.

In order to avoid future stress fractures, I get to complete an intro. to running program. My doctor, who competes in triathlons, said he has used this plan as well as many patients and it is pretty successful. The first week consists of running 1 mile every other day. When I read it I started to laugh, thinking that it is nothing. He told me to start running on Tuesday.

Yesterday I got to the gym and warmed up on the elliptical. I started using the elliptical last week and realized it is not as bad as I originally thought, given the fact that i had not run in a month. It seemed wonderful to be on it. After a nice warm-up and vague stretch, I ran my amazing 1 mile and although it did not last long, the feeling I got when I was running was something I desperately missed the past month.

I must admit I was a little nervous before I actually started to run. I know I am not in as good of shape as I was in, but still, I am in decent shape. I wanted to take my mile slow, so I started off and ran the first 1/2 in a little over 4. It felt okay, then as I ran on, my leg felt funny. I then started to play mental games and wonder if I could even run a mile. I ended up finishing my mile in 8 and some change. My leg did not have any problem when I was running, but my foot did. It was like it was not bending properly and I felt like my stride was awkward. However, although it felt odd, it did not hurt. Maybe I'm just not used to running? I am not sure, but I am going to do my 1 mile again tomorrow.

Running brings a sense of balance to my life. It gives me a chance to let my mind wonder most days. It brings me peace and happiness and I am glad I can do it again.