I’m sick

I live with a chronic illness, which to some people means that I’m “sick” all the time. Personally, I don’t view my diabetes as a sickness.

However, I AM sick.

Sick of:

  • Living my life by numbers
  • Having to explain the mechanics of diabetes over and over
  • People thinking that my illness prevents me from doing great things
  • People thinking that my illness prevents me from doing normal things
  • People thinking that my illness gets me special treatment
  • People saying “you can’t eat that”
  • People asking what’s beeping or whose phone is that when an alarm or alert sounds
  • Having alarms and alerts sound all. the. time.
  • Sticking needles into my body

Continue reading

Diabetes Has Terrible Timing

I was going to title this blog post simply: UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But that wouldn’t be very explanatory and would do terrible things to the already weak SEO of my site.

Here’s the story:

I’m in charge of the monthly events for the professional organization whose board I sit on. I was hosting the summer networking event one evening. I was at the bar having just been served the Pub Exclusive: Great Lakes Buckin’ Mule Moscow Mule Ale and I pulled out my PDM to take a bolus for the beer and some food. The screen flashed on and then straight to a PDM error message to call customer service.

I knew the PDM would need reset, but was wondering if I could delay a bolus so I glanced at my Dexcom app on my phone. It was apparently the perfect time for a sensor error.

Let’s recap real quick: I’m running an event, I can’t bolus from my insulin pump, I can’t read my CGM and because of the PDM error I have no glucose meter either.

I excuse myself and dig in my diabetes bag for a syringe to take a bolus from my insulin vial. I find no syringes in my bag and have no idea why. So I go to the quietest place I can find (the event was in the bar of a hotel restaurant) and even then it was loud, but I called OmniPod customer service anyway. I spent 20 minutes of the phone with a sympathetic rep who took the information and tried to walk me through a reset using a “paperclip,” since I didn’t have a paperclip or safety pin or anything, I used my earring. The PDM screen blinked off, it went to the restart screen, blinked off again, restart screen, off, restart, off, restart… rinse repeat. We tried the earring reset again. Same result. We removed the batteries, waited, replaced them, and same result. That’s when the rep pronounced my PDM dead. “Okay, I’ll take shots until tomorrow and they’ll overnight me a new one,” I thought.

“Rachel, our records show that your PDM is out of warranty. We won’t be able to replace it, you’ll need to order a new one.”

I deflated. I had forgotten that I willfully allowed myself to run out of warranty in December in the vain hope that OmniPod would be releasing a closed-loop system. I had attempted to get an OmniPod DASH in order to do a review for DiabetesMine, but I couldn’t get my hands on one. It’s a long story.

“Do you have another form of insulin delivery?” He asked me. To which my automatic response was, “Yes.”

But did I? Continue reading

How do you present yourself?

Earlier this month, I was at an industrial trade show running media meetings for a large, well-known manufacturing client. I was standing in their booth during a particularly busy time in the exhibit hall and pitching in where I could until my next meeting.

A man, who looked a little disheveled and addled came wandering up to the display I was standing near. I said hello and he looked at the company name on the booth and said, “With a name like that, you must not be a Japanese company.” I responded that it’s an American company with a global presence. He was silent, looking at the display and not me, so I offered to get someone to answer questions for him.

“Oh no, I’m not a potential customer,” he told me and fished a business card out of his pocket. “I’m a PR guy, if you want to get more publicity for your products, give me a call.” He handed me the card and walked away. I didn’t even have the opportunity to say thanks, he was gone so fast. I stifled a laugh and turned to the product manager who had overheard the “pitch,” he too was laughing.

I’m not in sales or business development, I’m in marketing communications. For the purposes of that trade show, I was the “PR guy.” Never in a million years would I assume a greeting and closing line like that would be professional or persuasive. And I’d never hand someone a business card without actually introducing myself and getting the other person’s name. Whenever you present yourself to others, regardless of what business you’re in, you should strive to be professional and polite.

Here are a few easy communication tips for making a good first time meeting impression: Continue reading

We Go Big! Happy Birthday Brad!

Today is Brad’s birthday! For two weeks, he’ll be a year older than me.

We joke that we go big because something always happens around our birthdays. Last year, right around his birthday was time for Brad to replace his car, so he told people that I got him a car for his birthday. He makes me look like the best wife in the world.

This year is big too. We’ve decided to move.

We sold our house and bought another one in January and now closing is right around the corner. We close and move right between our birthdays. Our last week in our current hour will be Brad’s birthday and our first week in the new house will be my birthday. We’ve been joking that we bought each other a house for our birthdays.

We really do go big!

You know how they say, “Go big or go home?” I guess we’re just going big and going home.

But back to the birthday boy! I am looking forward to celebrating another year of Brad.

We’re upholding his birthday tradition of attending the Cleveland Auto Show and having cheesecake. However, it’ll probably be from the Cheesecake Factory since I’ve already packed everything but the bare essentials in the kitchen (for reference, wine is now served in water glasses at our house. That will soon be plastic cups!).

Happy birthday Brad! There’s no one I’d rather live out of boxes with.

Good Year/Bad Year

The view from my new office

As a kid, the one thing I remember the most about references to wine (from TV or movies) was its year. The phrase “X was a good year” stands out. I feel like and entire year can’t be all good or all bad, but some years stand out as leaning more to one direction than the other.

The years that stand out the most are the bad years. However with each of the bad years in my life, I feel like some of the most joyous things happened at the same time.

For example: Continue reading