Monday, January 31, 2011

The Yahoo Group...

When Lily was diagnosed on October 7, 2007...our world changed forever. We had the best medical care you could ask for, the best support from our family and friends, the best support from her school (a bunch of the moms even got together and bought us books on type 1), etc. The one thing missing was a diabetes community. I live in Houston. The 4th largest city in the US with 5 million people. Yet I could not find ONE other family with a child with type 1 diabetes. Not one. This was shocking to me. I spent countless hours on the Internet looking at sites like and . I got nowhere for a couple of months. Then, I met Molly, the executive director of the JDRF Houston office. She has a son with type 1 who is now an adult. Molly became my sounding board and a very dear friend.

That December, I organized a little seminar on stem cell research and it was there that I met my first family...through Molly and JDRF. Freyja (pronounced Fray-ya) has a little girl named Caris that is now almost 5. She was diagnosed a couple of weeks after Lily. Freyja and I immediately hit it off. We talked for hours on end about what we were going through. We discussed the need for emotional support and wondered why there was none?!?!

After serving on several committees within the hospital and trying to get them to start some sort of group, I gave up. I kept hitting walls with HIPPA laws. So, I started a yahoo group a few months later. We started with a group of about 12 of us that I had met through the JDRF or the hospital over a 9 month period. Starting the group is free and I input everyone's email addresses myself.

The yahoo group is basically an email service. You get signed up and you get emails all day from others in the group. If you reply, the emails go out to everyone. It is a way of connecting with other families. It is a way of spreading the word on events and new research. It's a great way to get advice and support.

What started as a small group of moms of type 1 children has now grown to over 200 families in the Houston Metro area. I get at least 5 new families a week wanting to join. It has become a great resource and we have built a community. For example, you have all read about Meredith Kelly and her transplant surgeries. Meredith's mom is on our yahoo group. She has gotten over 60 cards sent to Meredith in support for her. Our members have started planning huge events with guest speakers. We get together once a month for mommy happy hours. We have playdates. We have made close friends. We travel to the Children With Diabetes Conference together. It has been a HUGE help to many of us to be able to get online and send an email out to 200+ other families saying "My second child is peeing a lot and I am freaking out." When you wake the next morning, you have 30 responses of support or advice on what to do. It's an amazing thing.

The thing I love the most about running this group is seeing how much it helps the newly diagnosed families. I get the names from hospitals now in town and I add the families at their request. They typically sit back for a while and don't take part at first. Then, all of a sudden, you start seeing their names pop up constantly and they are filled with questions and emotions and our seasoned families are right there instantly replying with their wisdom and knowledge.

It's such an easy thing to do that I think all cities should have one! The JDRF was crucial in helping me get members added. They have given my email address to every family that has contacted them. We are now a very strong, very loving extended family here in our diabetes community in Houston. The FOTOD (Families of Type One Diabetics) has started in Dallas now as well from one of our members. I hope to see it spread since it has done so much good!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Blue Candle...

Many of you know what the blue candle means for a family of a type 1 diabetic. For those of you that don't, it means that a life was lost to this disease. This week, five lives were lost. Five. It never gets easier to hear that someone has lost a loved one to diabetes.

Diabetes does not discriminate. Regardless of sex, age, race or gender, diabetes can take your life. The people that died this week ranged in age from 18 months to 27 years old.  There was a woman in Australia who died after going into DKA while her parents were on vacation. There was a 24 year old and a 16 year old. There was a 9 year old little girl...her story I will never recover from. She took her own life because she couldn't handle the stress and depression this disease brought to her. She should be riding a bike and dreaming of butterflies. She should be studying for a spelling test and learning how to make transitional sentences. She should be anxiously awaiting the new Justin Bieber movie and making plans to go see it with her friends. She should not be her own hand...because of this fucking disease. And lastly, there was an 18 month old baby whose doctor MISSED the diagnosis. The baby died from complications of DKA...unexpectedly to the parents. This is what brings me to write tonight...

I started this blog with the sole purpose of raising awareness for type 1 diabetes. It has morphed into all sorts of topics and become a therapeutic escape for me. It is still a means of me raising awareness first and foremost though. I am sure people who do not live with diabetes read my status updates on Facebook and wonder why I publicize deaths from diabetes and probably get sick of hearing about it in general. They probably wonder why I change my picture to a blue candle. Well...the reason why is to prevent something from happening to them like it did to the family of the 18 month old. For some reason, type 1 diabetes goes the media and by a lot of doctors. A lot. I will do everything in my power to spread awareness about this disease. Death can be avoided in the beginning if someone recognizes the signs: frequent urination, frequent thirst, lethargy and weight loss are the most common. I can tell you so many stories about children I know personally that were misdiagnosed or the diagnosis was just skipped over. These children ended up in DKA and in the ICU for days, sometimes weeks. I find it infuriating that something so easily taught can be forgotten or left behind or just plain ignored by a medical professional.

So, here I am, on a Sunday night, on my couch, with no kids...and all I can think about are these five people. These five people from my very large extended family. All of a sudden, anything that I thought was so important today just doesn't seem so important anymore. I just can't wait to hug my little angels tomorrow when I see them again.


She received her second pancreas transplant tonight and is so far, doing really well. Fingers crossed and prayers being sent your way, Meredith!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Guilt...

I took today off of work and went to the girls' school for the morning. Abby had a pj's and pancakes party and I volunteered to help the teacher with centers in Lily's class. It was so nice to just be a mom again for the morning! I haven't been up to the school ONCE this year. The WHOLE year, like since August. For those of you that know me personally....this is just weird.

Ever since my girls started school at the age of 2, I have been a fixture in their classrooms. I have served on every board, planned every party, been room parent countless times, been gala chair, President of a mom's name it. It was my job...stay at home mom. I have a little too much energy to just stay home so I kept myself super busy with volunteering. That way, I was always with the girls too. It was great!

Then, I got divorced and went back to work full time. This is bittersweet. On the one hand, I LOVE going to work. God how I have missed having a JOB and using my MIND every day. I've missed going to an office, having adult conversation all day, and a paycheck! I even missed the clothes!

On the other hand, I was really sad for part of this morning. I sat in Abby's class on the circle rug with her in my lap. As I looked around, I realized that these moms are in the class a I was. They all know each other well. They all do things together. They volunteer for every party. I am THAT mom now. You know the one...the one that no one really knows. The "OHHHH....THAT'S Abby's mom" mom. I felt a yearning to have that life back...if even just for a week! It is GUILT. I feel guilty. I said it. It was the same once I got to Lily's class. The moms in there volunteer frequently. They had the routine down. I was clueless.

Now that I am back home and relaxing and have had time to think, I realize that I shouldn't feel guilty at all. I have stayed home for seven years. My girls had me that whole time...100% of me. And they still do, except for the hours they are in school. I am lucky enough to get off of work at 3 so that I can get them from school. It was one of my stipulations when interviewing. I am doing what I need to do in order to take care of them and myself. And I am satisfying a part of me that had been left behind for years. I have a love of knowledge and a need to really utilize my brain! It's like makes you feel so good. So, why the guilt? It's normal. I did a complete 180 and they are used to seeing me on campus all the time. After this year, they will be more used to the idea that I am not there all the time. I can always take a couple of mornings off a year and volunteer in their classes. I don't need everyday off though for sure! Have a great weekend! I am solo this weekend so I plan to try to catch up on sleep and do some Skyping with my love!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Road Less Traveled...

I have a contractor working on my house right now named James. Life is funny...James works for a friend's dad. He is doing some carpentry work and general repairs before we list the house officially. The other day, I was standing in the attic with him, telling him what I want to keep and don't want to keep when we came across a big, grey tub. He said, "You know what's in this one?" I said, "Nope but it's super old." We opened it and it was a huge tub full of my wedding stuff. The wedding planning binder that was 8 inches thick, stuffed with pictures and articles and fabric swatches and advertisements, etc. There was the Guest Book, my dried up, shriveled bouquet. The ring bearer's pillow was in there, baskets I had used, candle sticks for the unity candle, the cloth we used to break the glass, my guest goes on and on. All wrapped up in a perfect tub, sealed and placed in the attic. Right next to my preserved gown. Hmmm. I looked up at James, "Do I keep it?" He looked at me, scratched his head, and said, "I have no idea."

So, James and I started talking. He too is going through a divorce. He is a very philosophical man and questions just about everything concerning love. We stood up there for a while swapping stories. Later that night, he came into the kitchen with a book, The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck. I have heard of this book but never read it. He told me about different parts and how much it helped him, etc.

I started the book that night and I am finding it very interesting so far. Last night, James came downstairs and I told him all about my relationship woes and how everything had finally ended with the marriage. He could totally relate to all of it. He said, "Love is synonymous with forgiveness." He told me that couples do make it through tough times, even a very bad decision. He told me about another book by CS Lewis about the four loves. He explained to me also that the key, he feels, to a couple being in a successful and happy relationship is them being on the same growth path. You have to constantly grow YOURSELF as well. But if you and your Other are in the same stage of growth in life, you will probably survive.

James is seeing someone he reconnected with from middle school. She lives 1000 miles away. Our lives are so parallel. He is in love. He is trying to figure out how to make it work.

It's things like this that make me believe that people come into your life for a reason. He has given me so much clarity and comfort while working on my house. He is a good soul. He's a deep thinker. He reads endlessly about love and life and how to improve yourself. I now have a long list of books to keep me occupied. My Other is reading The Road Less Traveled with's a beautiful thing to want to grow together.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Decisions...

What to do...what to do...

My house is on the market. My cute, cozy, little house that has been my home for the last 9 years. I have never lived anywhere for 9 years in my life. Ever. My dad was military and we moved around. After he retired, we lived in two houses outside of DC and prior to Houston, that was the longest I ever lived anywhere. So, I am feeling a bit sad about leaving my little abode. There are so many memories there with the girls! When I was pregnant with Lily, Eric painted a mural on her wall that is still there. She has slept in that room her whole life. When I was pregnant with Abby, we remodeled the house and added an upstairs so the girls would have a playroom. It has all of the arches that I love in older homes, etc. Most of all though, it is the FIRST place I have ever lived that I felt safe. My whole life has been one of fear when the lights are out. If no one was home, I was a wreck. I lived alone for many years and just didn't sleep much. I literally slept with one eye open. For some reason, in this house, I feel totally comfortable. I sleep peacefully every night without a fear that anyone in the surrounding area is planning to kill me.

The neighborhood I live in is extremely safe. It is in the center of Houston so the location makes it very desirable. We moved in during a time when it was very affordable, thankfully. I have been spoiled because of it though. Now that I have to sell the house because of the divorce, I am having to look elsewhere. I can't afford to stay in that part of town. So, I am having a dilemma and I am having a hard time deciding what to do!

First choice is to stay closer in town and move to a neighborhood outside the loop. It's a decent neighborhood. The houses are ranch style, around 2000 sf. The schools are horrible so I am feeling very blessed that the girls are already in private. The crime is about double what it is where I currently live and my ex said, "Yeah, you'll be safe but I wouldn't walk around at night." Hmmm. Not feeling so safe...being single with two little girls is a scary thing. Especially when you live in a city of 5 million people. Houston is not the "leave your doors unlocked while you sleep" kind of place. Not if you value your belongings...or your life. :) I may be exaggerating a bit but you get the idea.

My second choice is move to the burbs. It's a 15-20 minute drive. This is my top choice but not the choice anyone else wants me to make. It would be much more convenient for family and friends to have me around the corner. It would be more convenient for me. BUT...for less money, I can get a 2600 sf house that is fairly new and feel 100% safe. The burb I am looking at has pathways all over for bike riding, walking, etc. The pools are like huge water playgrounds. There is a golf course and an overall community feel. I did research and found several divorcees that live there. One, I have become good friends with already. So, I think I would have a support system "out there."

These are the types of decisions I seriously suck at making. It seems so FINAL buying a house. This is also the first house I am buying on my own so that's a bit scary! Also, throw DIABETES into the mix and things get even hairier. How far am I from the hospital? What if I need help in the middle of the night from family? I just don't think 15-20 minutes is an eternity given the traffic inside the loop in Houston anyway but that's just me.

Decisions...decisions...decisions. For now, I am deciding that I am going to crack open a bottle of pinot grigio tonight and decompress. THAT sounds way better than any more life changes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Ping...

Lily tried the Animas Ping this weekend. We went to a friend's house on Sunday morning who is diabetic, as well as her daughter. Her daughter and Lily are the same age, in the same class, at the same school. She is on the Ping as well. Lily wanted to see if she liked that pump better. She liked the part that attaches to your body but didn't want to carry the actual pump. Ugh. She thinks the Pod is too bulky and the Ping is too big to carry. I think we may be stuck on shots for eternity at this point.

She was very nervous and kept asking me if it hurt. I told her no, I don't think so. I had tried the Ping myself when we were researching pumps. Now, I have a HUGE fear of needles. Perfect for the parent of a type 1 diabetic, right? So, Lily is nervous to try the infusion set and my friend comes up with the BRILLIANT idea of letting me try it first! Oh...yay! I held my breath and Lily held my hand and we attached me. It didn't hurt in the slightest. It felt like someone flicked me. I will say though, about two minutes after, it started stinging some and I just tried to ignore it.

Lily got very frustrated that evening when we discussed what she thought of the pump. She said, "I don't even need diabetes. It's so stupid." It is heartbreaking to hear her say things like this. It is heartbreaking to know that she has no choice but to have it. She asked when the cure was coming...again. How do I answer that? That is the toughest question that she asks. Birds and bees? Easy. How does a baby REALLY get out of you? Piece of cake. When is there a cure? Not so easy. I want her to have hope as we all do but I also don't want to give her false expectations. So, I just say, "I don't know but lots of people are working very hard to find one. In the meantime, we have to take care of you."

Her numbers have been decent but not nearly as controlled as with the pump. My only hope with all of this is that we are allowing her to have diabetes burnout without ignoring the diabetes. Hopefully, we are giving her the options she needs to deal with her disease in a positive manner. She is going to have this forever. I'm sure she will need a "break" every now and then from machines being hooked up to her little frame. She is even retaliating against the bracelet now.

I wonder how much of it has to do with being 7 also. It's a strange age. They are not babies really anymore but not actual KIDS either. They are entering a different level of cognitive development at this age. They are in the intuitive stage of development but about to enter the concrete stage where they see more logic. During the intuitive stage, children want to know WHY things occur. They ponder many questions. I studied kids and the stages of development in graduate school so you'd think I'd have a better handle on where mine are. It's so different when they are your own. So different. Everything I have learned goes straight out the damn window.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Hope...

I went to an event this weekend in Houston that was put on by one of my diabetes group members. It was at her church out in Cypress and I found it to be very enlightening so I wanted to share...

Now, first off, I am not a religious person. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. Spiritual, yes. Religious, no. I converted to Judaism when my girls were born so we'd all be the same religion. I believe in most of it, I guess, but I still do Christmas and plan to do Easter. I just cannot imagine childhood without Santa! I still wouldn't mind going to a church or temple every now and again to listen to a motivational sermon. I belong nowhere in organized religion and I'm okay with that. My point in this is that I am not promoting anything in any way. This was a message that I found helpful to me in my life right now.

The Family Life Pastor, Brian, gave a talk on Hope You Can Believe In. He was addressing parts of life that are beyond our control. He was discussing living with a chronic illness, fertility, etc. He said there are things in life that we do not get to choose. Among those are circumstances and feelings. I found this to be so true. None of us could control our children getting diabetes. None of us. Do I think God gave it to them? I personally don't but that's just me. I do, however, believe that our children are special no matter what. The father of a son with diabetes said he believed if God took his son's health, he replaced it with many other strengths. I found this comforting for some reason. Very comforting. Lily is seriously one of the strongest kids I know. She is no nonsense. She wants no part of the 1st grade drama. Her teacher said she literally walks away and finds someone else to play with if the girls are fighting, etc. She has told her teacher that she doesn't have time for that. She's 7...and very mature.

So, the pastor also said that the things we can choose are our responses to our circumstances and feelings...the things we think and do are completely of our choosing. I believe this to be very true. You can choose to live in a depressed state of a diagnosis or you can choose to celebrate that your child is alive. I firmly believe that you make choices each choose what to eat, what to wear, how to spend your day, and what kind of mood to be in. Do you choose to be a happy, functioning, positive person in society or do you choose to be upset, angry and pessimistic about you and your child's future?

The pastor said the things that infuence how we respond are personality, history, people, and information. The #1 influencer is what we believe. Now, he meant faith. I chose to take it as how I believe to live my life. How I choose to wake up each day and how I choose to handle all of life's battles. That is the #1 influence on me. He is correct in that my personality, my history of events in my life, the people I surround myself with and the information I seek heavily influence me as well.

So, I took all of this information this weekend and really let it settle. I have been at a crossroads for a while now and I have finally made some decisions to move forward, to forgive, to accept love, to work on myself, etc. One thing he said was "Life is bigger than me" (Psalms 139). This was huge to hear. And this is funny...but Carolyn, the BFF, told me the other night that "Sure, people will talk, people will have opinions, people will judge and you are going to be dinner conversation. BUT those who love you will trust your judgement and decisions and stand behind you. are not so important that you are all people think about." Kinda the same thing...more bluntly in full Carolyn style that I love so much!

The other quote I scribbled down was "Good things can come out of very hard things" (Romens 8:28). I believe this as well. I believe in a weekend of decisions for me that I was meant to hear this man speak. For many reasons. I believe that diabetes is a very hard thing. It has changed our course of life though. It changed my career. It changed how I view others and the fact that I no longer care to judge anyone. It changed my faith in humanity (thank you to the DOC). And it has helped in making Lily the beautiful, strong little girl she is. Now, I would gladly yank it from our lives at any time and I don't believe she was "chosen" to carry this burden. She is an innocent child. It has helped strengthen her though and make her who she is.

And lastly, the pastor said there is always hope...not that what I want will happen but that something will come out of what's happened. I love that. Love it.

Cards for Meredith...

If you'd like to support Meredith and send her a card, her mom would like to decorate the walls of her hospital room with them to show her the support she has behind her! I am always so impressed with the DOC and I don't think Meredith even knows any of us are out there!!

You can send your well wishes to me at work

UT Physicians
Kimberly Coan
6410 Fannin, Suite 1500
Houston, TX 77030


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Update on Meredith...

MANY have asked for an update on Meredith and her kidney/pancreas transplant. I am so extremely heartbroken to say that she lost the kept clotting and there was no blood flow. The kidney however is working beautifully and this is the vital organ she no cure for her diabetes but she is alive! Please keep saying prayers...she doesn't know yet since she just got out of surgery.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Eating Out...

I have decided I hate eating out. At least I hate eating out with with diabetes. Loathe it actually. Last night, Lily had basketball. We pass one of her favorite restaurants to and from basketball each time we go. I had quit taking them there a few years ago when the prices started to rise...a lot. So, last night, she brought it up again while I happened to be checking mail. Low and behold, TXU sent me a $55 gift Visa card. Don't know why and don't care...we went to dinner.

We were so excited. It was like Girls Night Out with me and the girls! There was a fireplace with a fire going, it was all cozy, great Greek food, etc. When we first walked in, the waitress that used to wait on us so many years ago, immediately recognized Lily. She almost died when I told her Lily is now 7. She was much younger the last time we had seen her. And it was pre-diabetes.

We go in, sit down, color, order, I get wine and olive bread (who can resist), and I pull out all of our hoopla for checking Lily. I've got needles, alcohol, wipes, insulin, etc. all laid out on the table. Abby picks this precise moment to need to pee. So, we ALL get up and go to the bathroom. When I get back to the table, the poor little waiter guy is standing there with my wine staring at the diabetes mess I had left out. He looked at me and said, "Umm, I didn't know where to set this." I said, "How about on the table?" It was a little rude, I admit, but WTF? It's not like there wasn't a square of space left. Use your brain people...medical supplies aren't going to kill you.

I check Lily's blood sugar and can feel all eyes on us from people sitting around us. I am used to this but for some reason, last night, it was making me uncomfortable, sad, and angry all at the same time. I looked up and saw our sweet waitress looking at Lily dumbfounded with tears in her eyes. She had no idea what all had occurred over the last few years. It was the strangest feeling. I wanted to get up and hug her and tell her we are okay...yet I wanted to smack the shit out of her for staring like that too. What if Lily had noticed? What if Lily does notice and I don't realize it? She is so damned young to have to deal with this! I hate it. I hate this monster. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. With a passion I hate diabetes.

Lily orders a chicken gyro sandwich and has one piece of olive bread. I cover what I thought was a good amount of carbs. Well, at 11 PM, she was in the 300's. Nice. I give her insulin and set the alarm for 1:30. She's in the high 400's. Ugh. I give her another shot, pick her up, and carry her to my bed since I know I have a long night of blood sugar checks ahead of me. I was exhausted and it's easier to just roll over than to get up and walk around. Her number came down and she was in perfect range this morning. She bounced off to school all excited for "Open Work Day." I dragged my ass to work...exhausted and annoyed. Thank God it's Friday!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Act of God in Many Ways...

I mentioned in a blog the other day that a friend's daughter, Meredith, underwent a pancreas and kidney transplant here in Houston. I am happy to report that she is doing very well so far, as his her kidney donor. I am asking that everyone keep them in your prayers due to the long road ahead that Meredith has with anti-rejection meds, etc. She will no longer be a type 1 diabetic though. This is going to be a LONG blog today but worth the read! I am so happy for her family right now. Although I have not met Meredith personally, her mom Judy, has provided me with comfort and great advice in the past when it came to Lily. Meredith's brother is also a type 1. Her kidney donor is a woman from Judy's church...I am continuously amazed at people's generosity...this woman gave a kidney to someone. Wow.

Update as of today:
Things continue to go smoothly. Meredith did very well yesterday. She got out of bed and into a chair for an hour. She had a little trouble with pain last night, mainly because she would fall asleep for a while and not press the button on the pump that gives her pain medication until the pain was bad enough to wake her up. Overall it was a good night though. It's already been a busy morning. The physical therapist got her out of bed and she walked about 20 feet and then sat in the chair for another hour. All of the doctors have already visited and are very pleased with her progress. Her creatinine is down to 1.0, within the normal range. They are planning to start decreasing her insulin infusion over the next few days to allow the pancreas to start working. The Nephrologist started her back on blood pressure medication because her BP has creeped back up again, mostly due to pain and the volume of fluids they are giving her. The most exciting thing for her was to have the tube removed that was placed in her nose and into her stomach. So, I think most of the excitement for today is already done, although she'll probably get out of bed another time or two later on. I spent a little while visiting with Kim yesterday. She was doing very well other than the expected pain. Her remaining kidney function was completely normal. We're hoping that Meredith gets out of the ICU before she is discharged so they can be together on the same floor and visit some. God definitely blessed us with an amazing donor who provided a perfect kidney.

Meredith's Story as told by her husband on April 3rd, 2010:
For those that are reading this and aren’t familiar with our family, I’ll start with an introduction.  I’m Jason Kelly, and I’m writing this from Kandahar, Afghanistan, my home for the past 3 months.  My wife of 7 years is Meredith and she is the subject of my writing…more about her in a moment.  She is the wonderful mother of our two sons, Quinn who is 4, and Keegan who is 2.

I’m writing this as a plea for prayers and to provide some insight in regards to Meredith’s medical struggles.  As a background, when she was 10 years old Meredith developed Type I or Juvenile Diabetes.  This disease involves the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin resulting in the need for insulin replacement indefinitely for survival.  The long term complications of diabetes are numerous.  In 2005 and 2007 our sons were born prematurely following very complicated pregnancies as a result of the diabetes and preeclampsia.  We now have two healthy and wonderful sons, but Meredith’s body paid a high price.  After Keegan’s birth she developed congestive heart failure (which is now completely resolved) and since then we have never been able to get her blood pressure under control, despite the use of as many as six blood pressure medications at one time.  One of the long-term consequences of diabetes is kidney damage.  A consequence of poorly controlled high blood pressure can also be kidney damage, which in turn can result in further problems with high blood pressure.  We’ve known for a couple of years that Meredith’s kidney function was headed in the wrong direction.  This deterioration seemed to speed up about the time I left for Afghanistan in late December.  We decided that nothing significant was likely to occur during my 6 month deployment so I proceeded with my commitment.  Unfortunately we were wrong.  Meredith’s blood pressure, which had stabilized for several months began to worsen again.  During my absence she moved from our home in Wichita Falls down closer to family in Houston.  She went through the difficult process of finding a new set of medical providers and ultimately underwent a kidney biopsy about a month ago.  We hoped this would give us some insight into why she was having so much trouble with her kidneys and lead us towards a solution.  The only insight we received was that they were just about done functioning and the only solutions were eventual dialysis and transplant.

So, that wasn’t exactly the news we were praying for.  We expected kidney failure eventually, but we didn’t expect it to be so soon.  However, in some ways we’d been looking forward to a kidney transplant because that meant that she could possibly get a pancreas transplant as well.  As I mentioned previously, in Type I diabetes, the pancreas no longer produces insulin.  A new pancreas can cure the diabetes and halt the progression of other complications.  It wouldn’t reverse the kidney damage that has already occurred but it could prolong the survival of the kidney transplant.  Fortunately, Houston boasts the biggest medical center in the world and one of the few locations where simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplants are performed.
Well, we were optimistic that since she was in the perfect location for the transplant things might go smoothly.  Unfortunately insurance and some unexpected turns stood in the way.  Tricare is the insurance company that provides health insurance for military families.  The insurance program is great in many ways.  It is provided to us at no cost and in most cases provides 100% coverage.  Unfortunately, it is not popular among physicians because it does not reimburse them very well at all.  Many providers do not accept Tricare because of this and those that do accept it often only do so out of a sense of obligation to the military.  We expected some headaches from the insurance side but with only just a little stress Meredith was able to obtain a referral to the transplant team at Hermann Hospital - right where she wanted to be.  Last Wednesday she had her initial evaluation from which she left reassured, but also fearful.  I’ll save the details of what a transplant involves for a later post but it is by no means an easy path.  Unfortunately, in terms of longterm survival it is the only viable option once the kidneys stop functioning.
Her oldest brother, Ryan, accompanied her to the initial appointment to undergo tests to determine whether he could be a donor for the kidney.  Kidney transplants from living donors are much more successful than those from deceased donors so we prayed that Ryan would be a match.  Pancreas transplants can only come from deceased donors.  Meanwhile the lab at Herman ran several tests on Meredith to look at how resistant her body would be to potential donors.  She left the appointment encouraged because the team felt she would probably be fairly easy to match and regardless of whether her brother was a match it would probably only be a matter of weeks before a match was found for both organs.  I started making preparations to return home so I could be there when a match was found.  We were expectantly awaiting the results of a lab test referred to as the PRA.  This provides a rough estimate of what percentage of potential donors Meredith’s immune system would reject. We were optimistic that this number would come back in the 10-20 range.
Two days later, last Friday, the call came in with the PRA...79.  This means that Meredith is not compatible with 79% of potential donors.  Again, not the news we were looking for.  The team had her father come in to be tested as well because they knew it would be difficult to find a match and we would need to test any immediate family members that are able to donate.  So, again we waited on test results.  This Monday the results returned...neither Ryan or Mike were a match.  Immediate family members tend to be the best matches and now that option was not available.  So, that leaves Meredith with a deceased donor or someone outside of the family who is willing to undergo surgery and part with a kidney.
Before the bad news of the past few days could really even sink in things took another unexpected turn.  Meredith was scheduled for a day of extensive testing this Thursday.  She still had to be accepted as a transplant candidate.  The presence of other medical conditions that could decrease the chance of transplant success must be excluded.  Wednesday afternoon she got another call from the transplant team.  They could no longer provide her with medical care because her referral from Tricare was no longer approved.  She would need to find another transplant team that was in the Tricare network.  As I woke up Thursday morning in Afghanistan to read her e-mail about this I decided this must be a cruel April Fool’s joke she was playing on me, but no, it was true.  After already carrying the burden of a several days worth of bad news Meredith had to start making phone calls to determine what happened and where to turn next.  She has a great Case Manager at Tricare and a great coordinator with the transplant team.  However, this went well above them.  Hermann Hospital management was no longer willing to provide medical care to her.  I was shocked that it wasn’t a problem with Tricare but as it turns out it partly was.  As I mentioned earlier, Tricare does not have a favorable reputation when it comes to reimbursements.  Well, based on their previous experience with Tricare, Hermann apparently no longer accepts Tricare patients for transplants.  The options are significantly limited when it comes to facilities that perform dual pancreas/kidney transplants and suddenly the facility with the team that we feel gives Meredith the best chance for success will no longer treat her.  It seemed rather ironic that I am serving my country in Afghanistan yet the insurance made available for my family is not good enough to be accepted by Hermann Hospital, the hospital where I received most of my medical training.
Fortunately, I’ll wrap this up with some great news. Meredith and her mom made a few phone calls to some influential figures in the Houston area, including U.S. Congressman John Culberson. Within just a few hours Meredith received a phone call from Hermann letting her know that things were back on again. She even received a phone call from the CEO of Hermann who felt it was important to personally let her know of the change so she would not have to worry about it over the Easter weekend. We are extremely grateful to everyone that helped out with this and to the Hermann staff for accepting Meredith’s case. I’m not quite sure why this hurdle arose and fell the way it did but we thank God for allowing it to fall and that Meredith will be able to continue working with one of the most experienced kidney/pancreas transplant teams.  So, that’s where we are in the process for now.  We remain optimistic and faithful that things will continue down the road to a successful transplant in the near future.  Please keep Meredith and our family in your prayers

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Crystal...

This is a reminder for myself...

When someone gives you their love, it is the most special gift that can be given. It should be treated like an intricate and fragile crystal. It should be handled with care. It should be put in the most special place you have, protected from any hurt, and safe from any disaster. It should be in a place where you can admire it's beauty every day that you open your eyes and every night that you close them...kept there as a reminder of why it is so special and how it makes you feel to hold the most beautiful gift that this person has given you. It is not something you contemplate altering or destroying. It is invaluable and priceless. It is is the most important, selfless, beautiful thing that any person can give to another. This includes children, family, friends, and significant others.

So, if you have offered someone this very special gift...and they have treated it as if it is a useless, meaningless prize..they are not worthy of your crystal. They cannot handle it with the care that it entails. They will tarnish it and scratch it and not keep it in the fragile yet secure state it should remain in. So, kindly leave that small part of it with them and save the rest for someone who will admire it...and love it back.

Never forget what you have and what you are giving to someone. Never look someone in the eye and hurt them. Especially children. They hold scars for much longer than we do. Most of our adult scars are wounds from our childhood.

This is what keeps me going through today.

And on a MUCH more important side note...we are asking for prayers here in Houston! Meredith Kelly is undergoing a kidney/pancreas transplant as we speak! Her mother, Judy, is a diabetes advocate and the mother of two type 1 children. Meredith is a wife and mother herself and has been patiently waiting for a donor. She went into surgery a few hours ago so please say a prayer for her, her family, the family of her kidney donor, and the family that lost their loved one who was kind enough to leave a working pancreas behind.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Pendulum...

I am looking forward to a nice, long weekend. The girls are with Eric so I am going to try to get caught up on sleep tonight. The boyfriend flies in tomorrow morning so that will hopefully be a nice visit. The distance has been getting the best of us lately so I am hoping we can overcome some of this stuff this weekend. It's not easy to be 1200 miles away from your other.

We have been at a crossroads for a while. Things have been like a pendulum, swinging back and forth, over and over. I have had to really sit down and think about what is important to me, to my kids, to my life. I have been trying to figure out how I can live the best life possible. And he is doing the same. Fate is working against us though it seems...or at least the timing is just really off. So, we just wait and wonder what our future holds. It could be a couple of years before we are able to be in the same city. To do so beforehand would be asking him to give up his dreams and I simply am not willing to do that. My children have their father here so me leaving would never be an option. I would never take that from them nor would Eric let me.

So we stay stuck at this crossroads...not sure of where to go next. Both afraid of holding on,  and of letting go. It's cruel the way the world works at times. You finally find that something you have been looking for and at the exact same moment you find it, all of your other wants and needs are being dangled in front of you. What is the purpose behind that?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


So, I am in a mood. And not a good one. I wanted to update on Lily's appointment though and I never had a chance at work since I was busy today! Yay for being super busy!!! The UT Physicians Type 1 Diabetes Center is finally moving along and I am so proud of the work we are going to do!

Anyway, Lily's A1C did not go up or down, still at 8.1. It is higher than we'd like since she has held steady at around 7.3ish for a few years. you all's been a rocky few months and with the change to MDI, I'm okay with that number. We made some I:C ration adjustments and hopefully, things will get better. Our doc said her emotional health is just as important as her diabetes health so just go with the flow at this time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Today is our quarterly appointment with our endo. Yay! and Boo! I love today so that I can fire off tons of questions that have been building up...I hate today because we find out if her A1C went up or down. I am not usually too worried about this except that we had a major change between visits by going from pump to MDI. Her numbers have been awesome this week but prior to this week they have been all over the place with no rhyme or reason.

Lily also has a dentist appointment to fill a cavity tomorrow. Her 2nd. I got my first and only cavity at 36 years old. My ex has great teeth. Abby has great teeth. None of us are drinking chocolate milk or juice at 3 AM without brushing afterwards though. So, I guess we chalk that up to the big D.

Lily also has an appointment scheduled with a dermatologist to find out if her arms will EVER heal from the pump sites. It looks eerily like eczema. But do you get eczema from adhesives? Is she having a skin reaction from alcohol? From the constant flow of insulin? Hmmm...

I have also scheduled an appointment with Dr. Peter Chase (THE diabetes guru, THE man who wrote the Pink Panther books we all love, THE principal investigator on the Artificial Pancreas Project, THE lead research dude for TrialNet, the father of a type 1, etc...) Can you tell I am totally excited? I met him when I went to the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes for work. I immediately asked him if he'd see Lily since they aren't accepting any out of town patients anymore (they are in Denver). He agreed and I just finished setting it up for March so I will certainly let everyone know how that turns out! We are seeing him, the CDE, a Social Worker and a Nutritionist. I wanted to experience all they had to offer. I spent an almost 8 hour day picking the brains of the folks behind the Barbara Davis Center and now I want them to look at my daughter and give me their opinions. My job here in Houston is to get our UT Physicians Type 1 Diabetes Center up and running and who else better to learn from than the best? A special thanks to the ex-in-laws for giving us the amazing gift!

So, exciting things are coming our way in the D world. Hopefully, we will get as many kinks worked out as we can. The only thing I feel is controllable about diabetes is the food you put in your mouth and the knowledge you choose to acquire.

Back to work!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Endless supplies...

I woke up this morning to Lily spooning with me and Abby laying across my legs (apparently they were a pillow and my robe was her blanket). The dog was in my face whining. And we were late. Again. I got a few cuddles and got out of bed, reluctantly.

I took my shower while the girls watched some TV in bed. The whole time I was thinking that I should have checked Lily prior to getting in the shower so that she had a good 20 minutes for me to back up her insulin since this makes her numbers better. Shit.

I got out of the shower and immediately went to the endless amount of supplies I need in the morning.

1. alcohol
2. two syringes
3. Lantus (long acting insulin)
4. Novolog (short acting insulin)
5. Lancet (Multiclix)
6. Blood Glucose Monitor
7. Test strips
8. Calculator
9. Log Book
10. Pen

So, I load up and go find Lily who has now moved from my bed to the couch. She gives me that "Mooommm" look and sticks her pinky out for me test. 232. Shit. So, this brings me to last night. I check her at dinner, 92. I cover 17 grams for her corn on the cob. The pork tenderloin and salad needed no insulin since neither had carbs. I check her after dinner and she's 169 and wants ice cream. So I give her ice cream. No bolus. I am afraid she will go low, and since we are on hiatus from the Insulin On Board feature attached to her body (although if God had planned better, there would be gauges everywhere showing you insulin amounts, breast milk amounts, etc...just saying).

I put them in bed. We do the "scratch tickle" on the back, we giggle, we give multiple kisses, we make plans for the next day, etc. I then get a glass of wine, Skype with the boyfriend, catch up with a few friends, catch up with Dad, etc. At 9:30, I turn "The Bachelor" back on and a wave of concern hits me out of nowhere. I pause the TV and go get the meter to check Lily. The whole time I am thinking "something's not right. I bet she's high since I didn't bolus for the ice cream."

I creep into Lily's room trying to not wake her. I have the usual flashlight in my mouth and all of the endless supplies. I grab her little finger, test her, and the machine beeps WAY too quickly and this usually means she's low. She's 59. WTF happened there? And OMG what WOULD have happened had I waited to check her at 11 like usual. These are the moments that your heart stops for a brief second and you can hear the eery silence inside your body. There is no beating, no breathing, nothing. And then you exhale and realize that your child is fine...that by some intervention, call it intuition, whatever, you checked. So, I woke her up (sorta, she just sits up, eyes closed, swaying) and gave her milk. She drank it pretty quickly and went right back down.

At the 2 AM check, she had wet the bed...I'm sure from the milk and the fact that she was 302 now. UGH!! I chose not to dose her. What if she dropped low again? This was obviously a bounce back from the milk and low. So, I left her alone. And we woke up with a 232...but we slept. Both of us.

I just pray daily that my mother's intuition, or whatever it may be, stays up to speed and doesn't flake out on me...EVER.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Her wish...

There have been so many changes in my life in the last six months. So many. Too many. And I am just now feeling like I am getting my head wrapped around things in my everyday life. I am starting to feel like I am not so clouded when it comes to single parenting or being alone. Tonight, I stayed in without the girls...I went to Central Market earlier and got food. I opened a bottle of Malbec, made a delicious butter lettuce salad with tomato, feta, garbanzo beans, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sesame sticks. I made penne pasta with a bacon, tomato, basil and garlic sauce. I have a cherry pie in the oven cooking as I write. And yes, I am home alone. And it's wonderful. I am finally OKAY with needing a break. I am not Superwoman.

I have done so much thinking in the last couple of weeks that I am exhausted mentally. As a working mother of two very active little girls, one being diabetic, my days and nights are full. There is not a lot of time to unwind. When they go to bed, I am still up doing finger checks, calculating insulin, etc. It would be SO easy for me to be a very grouchy, very negative, very difficult person to be around. The way I see it though, I have a choice. I have a choice to let diabetes run my life or to let it be a part of my life. I choose the latter.

Lily made a wish this weekend. We passed a that clearly was not meant to throw money in but hey, I let them anyway. She played with her penny, twisted it around in her fingers, closed her eyes, and said "I wish for a cure." Then, she threw it in. Most children would wish for a toy, a trip, a play date, etc. My daughter, my innocent 7-year-old little girl, she wished for a cure for diabetes. This is not the first time that I have heard her make this wish...and it won't be the last. And let me tell you, it will never get easier. I have just learned to not let my girls see my heart breaking with each word. I have learned to suck in a deep breath, pat her on the head, and say "Let's eat" like it's any other wish. Then, I sit down at the table with a multitude of needles, insulin, alcohol wipes, calculators, log books, lancets, monitors, etc. while the waitress politely looks away while I test Lily. It's second nature to us. It's a lifeline. Do I choose to feel sorry for us? Sometimes. Do I choose to let it ruin my day? Never.

The way I see it...with any parent who has a child with anything health-related whether it be allergies, autism, cancer, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, heart disease, name it...there are 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an takes me all of 5 minutes in one hour to manage her diabetes. The 30 seconds it took for her to throw that penny in were awful, heart-wrenching seconds. The other 50 minutes of our lunch were fun. If I CHOOSE to not look at MY situation this way, in tiny increments of our life, then I will go crazy. I will be depressed. I will spend my time obsessing over trying to change something that I have ZERO control over.

So, I have spent quite a lot of time lately thinking about the choices I have made regarding how I feel daily, how I choose to live my life, how I choose to treat others even when I am having a terrible day...I choose to accept that this is what I have: a beautiful family made up of two of the most beautiful, creative, challenging, lovable, affectionate, smart, funny little girls, one of which takes a little more time to manage but the alternative is unbearable. I have realized that I am deserving of a break at times. I am not a super mom. I am a human being. I need to refuel. I need to have time to myself. I need to be around people that are positive and happy in their matter what comes their way. So, I have my day, I hear the wishes, I come home and refuel...I write to get it off of my chest...and I move on to tomorrow. What other option is there anyway?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ricki, Ricki, Ricki...

Ricki Lake...HUGE mistake this week. The D-OC came together and you apologized...profusely. As did Good Morning America. So, thank you to the both of you. I know that people make mistakes and words get twisted and it's just what it is. It is unfortunate that it happens on live television frequently and that a lot of the people that saw the segment probably didn't see the retraction or apology I said, it is what it is.

A little background for you non-D folks...Ricki Lake was promoting her new product about childhood obesity and stated that "Juvenile Diabetes" is preventable by exercise and eating healthy., it is not. She clearly misspoke and meant Type 2 Diabetes is preventable. So, she retracted her statement on Twitter by stating that Type 1 Diabetes, or Juvenile Diabetes, is hereditary., it is not. Jeez people. Do you not have a fact checker? Seriously?

Every time one of these celebrities misspeaks on Type 1 diabetes, we take a few steps back to make the repairs. You know what I want? I want GMA or Oprah or Today Show or SOMEONE to do a show on the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. My child did not inherit this, a lack of exercise or overconsumption of sweets did not cause this. If they knew what caused her pancreas to essentially just BREAK, there would be a cure. And I want them to have fact checkers prior to talking about diseases and such that they just don't understand. The Type 1 community works effortlessly to bring education to the public about this disease. It is one of the most preventable DEATHS if diagnosed early enough. Do you know the signs? If someone asked  you what the difference was, would you be able to answer?

There needs to be a movement since Type 1 is growing so rapidly. There needs to be a universal campaign in relation to Type 1 Diabetes. The organizations need to unite in order to do this. We, the families, have united. We all want the same thing...a cure.

Okay, I am stepping down from my soap box for the day and getting back to my work...educating the Type 1 community in Houston.

This is a weird thing to put at the end of my post but it must be done...

Dear Anonymous Caller,

If you insist on calling my house regularly at around 11 PM CST and just listening to me say "Hello, hello, hello?" and hang up...would you mind doing it a tad bit earlier? You have woken Lily up twice and well, she gets woken up A LOT to be tested for her blood sugars and to be treated for lows. Abby has awakened a couple of times as well. I would just block all Anonymous or Blocked calls from my home phone but then the doctor can't call either.

So, whoever you are, if you insist on getting your kicks by prank calling (so 80's by the way), I would certainly appreciate you stalking me a bit earlier in the day so that my children can sleep at night. Oh...and FYI...when I move, my new number will be unpublished so you had better get your kicks all in now.

Are we clear? Great...have a good weekend.



Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Women...

The relationships that women have with each other are so important...almost vital to my existence. And I have a rocky road with women in my life. From girls that were bullies at a very young age to women that were bullies at a much older age...yes, I have had my fair share of bitches in my life. But you learn from them if you are open to learning.

So, last night I met a group of friends for dinner and drinks at Oporto. We were a very eclectic group. There's Ellen...I met her when I was researching the burb I've been looking in. She is single, no kids, lives in the burbs...and funny as hell. Then there's Sarah...the married, two kids, drop dead gorgeous blonde bombshell with a wicked sense of humor and a love of politics. And Josette...she's divorced, no kids, hilarious, honest, caring and super successful. Ellen's friend Jennifer came to and she is single, no kids, non-practicing attorney who just moved to Shanghai to teach the LSAT, extremely articulate! And of course, there is my Carolyn. Carolyn is divorced and the mother of my future son-in-law, my closest friend, the first completely non-judgemental, supportive, unbiased, and funniest woman I have ever met. My partner in crime. My other "other."

So, we laughed, we drank Argentinis (martini made with citrus, Malbec and a Vodka made from Malbec grapes), ate olives, risotto balls, crab crostini, curry chicken empanadas, goat cheese pizza (I passed...ixnay on the goat cheese). We drank lots of wine too. We talked about relationships, about work, about current was all grown up, intellectually stimulating conversation. And fun, fun, fun. And it is exactly what I needed at this time.

These relationships, with women of this stature, are as necessary to me as working out and eating healthy. The whole idea of a night with girls is therapeutic. From waking up excited to see friends and unwind, to getting all dolled up to go to the newest, trendiest, fun bar in the city, to the actual night itself. It's all just...needed. And even though I am a little party-lagged this morning...I feel refreshed. I feel a little stronger every day. My legs do not wobble as much. My head is clearer. My posture is getting straighter and my chin is getting higher up. And I just feel pretty damn good.

On a side note...if you read the blog...become a follower! I have no clue who reads this! I have been getting random emails from people that I didn't even know had seen it!!! I'd love to have you follow it!! Enjoy the rest of your day!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Patience. This is not something that I possess much of. But patience comes in many forms. There is the kind of patience when you are running late for work and the person in front of you is driving 10 miles under the speed limit. I do NOT have this kind. There is the type of patience when you are waiting in a doctor's office for your visit and they are running an hour behind. I somewhat have this type, especially if I have my Kindle. There is patience with blood sugar numbers and waiting to see if they come before making a decision of what to do next. Definitely have this patience. There is a special kind of patience with kids and waiting for them to understand, not losing your cool. I do pretty well with this one too...most of the time.

Then, there is patience that has to do with your future and making future plans. This, this is the patience that I have ZERO of. I have patience with my kids. I had patience with my marriage and waiting to see if things would change for us. I have had patience with my current relationship and waiting for my boyfriend to get his feelings in order. I do NOT have patience with waiting to see what happens a year from now. It makes me insane. I am such an instant gratification kind of person. If I ask a question and it's something really important to me, I'd like to know the answer 2.2 seconds after I ask it. And if I do not get that answer, I will obsess over it...uncontrollably. If I make a decision to do something for my future, I want to do it that second. It is hard for me to even wait until the next morning. When the thought crossed my mind at noon on a Sunday that I wanted to work for the UT Type 1 Diabetes Center and get it up and running, by 2 PM on the same Sunday, I had called the necessary people and had an interview in the works. By Thursday of that week, I had the job. It's how I roll. But this year, 2011, I would like to slow down...train my mind to take things one day at a time. Let things settle in. Let the changes settle in. It's okay at times to go for the gusto with full force but not all situations should be handled that way. Especially when other people are involved. Especially when other people don't roll the same way I do. So as with everyday of my life over the last few months, it is a learning process and a time of reflection. I want to better myself. I am happy with who I am. I am happy to be a strong-minded person. I am happy to be aggressive. I just need to learn to control all of these feeings and not just react or act upon them immediately.

Big, huge sigh. This is not easy for this very type A little lady.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Banging the Head...

I would have seriously banged my head against the wall this morning if I wasn't so damned tired to do so. I hate shots. With a passion. A strong passion. Actually, I hate diabetes today...I will just go ahead and say that out loud. I FLIPPING HATE IT.

So, here's the run down of  the last 12 hours:

6:00 PM: BS 133, give .5 units Novolog for 10 grams corn on the cob (she eats the whole thing, should've been 17...pump would have been nice at this point)

7:30 PM: BS 287, put her in bed afraid to give her more at bedtime in case she drops

11:00 PM: BS 385, give 1 unit Novolog, no ketones

1:30 AM: BS 140, do nothing but go back to bed paranoid that she's dropping so quickly (wishing I had the pump to do a temp basal)

3:30 AM: BS 110, ditto from above yet can't sleep because I'm convinced she is going to go too low and have her first seizure. Yet don't want to treat so she doesn't jump back up to the high 300's.

5:00 AM: BS 190. Praying that someone breaks in and shoots me just so I can sleep.

6:00 AM: Alarm goes off...hit snooze and wake up after 7...flying out of bed since we are now late.

7:30 AM: BS 201, correct and dose for breakfast.

7:32 AM: Have nervous breakdown upon realizing that today is the first day back at school and someone (ME) forgot to tell them she is now on shots. Lovely.

8:15 AM: Drive to school like a bat out of hell and disrupt entire first grade class to drag teacher/nurse out to train them. Get multiple hugs from said teacher/nurse telling me I need a day off. Wow, just had a whole weekend off...must look a wreck.

9:05 AM: Sit down at work with coffee and look for toothpicks to hold eyelids open...

Just another fun, fun, fun day!! Oh...and to top it all off...looks like I am not going to get to buy the house I had found and wanted that wasn't in the burbs. AND...ticked the boyfriend off...AGAIN. Good thing I have a positive attitude and just KNOW today is going to get better. I am seriously looking forward to another round of Jengha with the girls tonight accompanied by a glass of wine and homemade tortilla soup...followed up with multiple hugs and kisses from the babies.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How I Got My Groove Back...

I woke up Saturday morning...well...not feeling well. I had a little too much fun Friday night with my sister and the "girls" at the Cozy Corner. We watched karaoke, met new friends, discussed relationship woes with gay couples, got decorating tips, and danced the night away...oh, and lost my credit card to boot. All in all, it was a memorable night. Saturday morning through Saturday night was spent in my jammies, on the couch, doing a Detroit 1-8-7 marathon while Skype texting my equally hungover boyfriend...discussing our relationship woes and how we are going to handle long distance over the next year. We went from breaking up (twice) to staying together (thank God) and putting a plan in place. All is good in that department and I finally feel at ease.

So, I went to bed a happy camper. I woke up Sunday morning even happier. I felt revived. It was the first night in MONTHS that I have slept completely through the night without waking up once. In fact, I don't think I moved once. I was in the exact same position I was in when I sent my last good night text. And I literally flew out of bed! The birds were chirping and I had no desire to squash them. It was a new day! A new year (well, one day late)! I felt like running! I couldn't though since I had brunch plans with a new friend.

So, I met my friend for coffee and mounds of food and we shopped all over Rice Village. It was so nice to just have some girl time...and much needed. Like during the day, giggling and gossiping girl time.

I left her and went to Central Market. For those of you that don't know about Central is my version of Heaven on Earth. It is pure joy. It is gourmet food, aisles and aisles of fresh, organic produce. Case after case of all natural and organic, never frozen meats and fresh, snacks, all the bulk items you can dream of. I could live there.I used to live there basically when I had more free time.

So, I shopped for over an hour, taking it all in. I wanted to try some new recipes (finally) and do some cooking this week. I wanted all of the healthy food that I have been so good about eating the last few years up until recently. I got some shrimp cocktail, green beans, and salad stuff for myself last night and got some great new recipes for the girls and I this week.

I went home, cleaned my house from ceiling to floor...washed anything that even looked remotely dirty...had a glass of wine...and watched Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters. I got to Skype for real (video) with the boyfriend and went to guessed it...a happy camper.

It never ceases to amaze me what a little sleep, healthy food, positive attitude, and good conversation can do for your psyche...oh, and less drinking!!