When a Teacher Leaves

An early bulk of this blog detailed my life as a competitive and showcase ballroom dancer while living with Type 1 diabetes. Then life happened and I’m more or less a recovering addict of dancesport. I participated in showcases post-birth, but I’ve recently changed dance goal directives, putting a stop to solo showcases at the moment. This most recent hiatus is simply because I don’t have a full-time male instructor at this time.

The missing instructor wasn’t a surprise; all students had about a year of notice to plan for next steps and new instructors if needed. This was a vast improvement over what happened with a previous instructor, who turned in his two-week notice to his studio and students and promptly left the country. Being without another male teacher is not new for me, and “retiring” from competitive dancing coordinated nicely with this recent departure, but it’s probably a shock to the core for other dancers who don’t see departures coming.

So, what to do?


Errr… probably not.


Check with the studio’s plan. This kind of depends on how your home studio functions. There are dance studios that operate strictly as space, which then contracts instructors to use said space, or there are studios which hire instructors as employees. Getting and keeping male instructors around seems to be a universal problem in the dancesport community. There seems to be this weird issue of not having enough male instructors at a given studio. But if one does come around, it can be a challenge to establish a student base with an already ingrained community. There is a possibility that there are no immediate plans to hire a high-level instructor to replace the previous one. Maybe there aren’t any available. Studio HR dynamics are a separate post altogether; the goal of this post was to offer suggestions for students who may find themselves orphaned already.

Try the newer/different male instructor. This seems like the easiest solution, though it may seem daunting if you were with an old instructor for a number of years. New teaching methods, new communication preferences, new feelings. It’s going to feel like starting from scratch for a couple weeks/months. It might suck at first, especially if your expectations were molded by your old instructor’s habits. But, it doesn’t hurt to try. A different thought – the new instructor needs to build up his business and experience with students too.

Work with female instructors. They all have to know how to lead, so don’t worry about not being able to work on following. Plus, they can help with styling, connection, turn technique, and footwork variation ideas. (Just a few suggestions.)

Find an amateur/practice partner. Is there a similar-level male student at your studio with similar dance goals? Start practicing together. Share lessons together. (This is a great cost saver too.) Amateur competitions are loads cheaper than pro-am comps if competing is a common goal.

Practice on your own. Your previous instructor probably gave you lots of instruction during your time together. Now would be a good time to work on everything you were harped on during lessons; none of which probably need a partner present. This is a great post on solo practicing.

Form/Join a Small Group Ensemble. I still love performing, so I have been using my previous solo instruction time to work with an all-girls performance team. Still get to work on dance, have fun, and participate in showcases.

Learn the opposite role. Nothing tunes me into my connection with my partners than dancing as a leader. I can only really lead one or two dances, but I’m definitely available to lead socially when the is a leader shortage at dance outings. This option allows the freedom to work with any instructor in the studio for assistance.

Join/Audition for a Competitive Formation Team. This option isn’t always available at studios, but if it is – look into it. For ours, we get weekly coaching lessons by a master level teacher for a low monthly membership fee. Then we perform or compete around the region. The team does amazing things for dancing – plus all of the practice requirements fill out schedules nicely.

Try a new discipline. Was Standard your go-to dance realm? Try Latin. Or American Smooth. Or west coast swing. Not only will the challenge of switching to a new set of dances keep you on your toes, it’ll help your preferred dance. Or you might fall in love with the new dance and never look back.

Leave your studio and seek instruction elsewhere. This is obviously not my preferred suggestion, but if you want to keep dancing, you gotta do what you gotta do. This option is easier to do in larger metropolitan areas, but I can understand why someone wouldn’t want to leave a home-base studio. (I don’t want to leave mine.) But, if your goals don’t match what the current staff can help you with, then that’s a studio problem – not yours. A less abrupt suggestion? See if the pro can come to you every other weekend or so. (Or vice versa.)

How to continue your ballroom dance training when there isn't a pro around.


Friday Five: WTF Happened This Week?

It’s Friday y’all. So much happened this last week that didn’t involve a certain reality TV star getting the GOP nomination. Here are some of the highlights and things to look forward to.

  1. United Healthcare teams up with Medtronic to only offer their insulin pumps and supplies to their subscribers. The Diabetic Online Community is buzzing about this. There is a lot of GOOD commentary about why this is a strange and somewhat scary decision and how all of this effects PWDs. Especially for the future of finding better care and solutions to simply exist as a normal person. I’m not going to throw more opinions out there since I’m still trying to formulate my own, but here are some  links/blogs to check out to get a background:
    Storyfy – the series of tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media tidbits from all parties involved to get the gist of the story from a facts perspective.
    How is Milk like Insulin Pumps? – Christel/ThePerfectD’s analysis of what this means in a real-world example.
    Choice is Necessary – Stephen/Happy Medium’s thoughts on the new relationship and how this helps showcase their parent company’s mission statement. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.)
    I Could Be Mad – Test Guess and Go’s feelings are similar to mine and I share a lot of Laddie’s thoughts. This one hit home.
    A Chain of Thoughts – Scott/Rolling in the D doesn’t post as often anymore, but I wish he would. I agree with him on the call for government oversight to end insurance companies acting like medical professionals. I also wish to use this post to squash fear that Big Government Run Health Care will act as a “Big Brother,” collecting and storing your data, so you may or may not get the care you need. Hello! This already happens in the private sector.

  2. Along these lines of healthcare, my podcast addiction, Pantsuit Politics, is actually covering the Affordable Healthcare Act next week. Between all of my Bernie Sanders friends touting  universal, single-payer, healthcare vs. my conservative friends pushing for the return to the free market for health insurance, I’m actually really anxious to hear what the hostesses have to say in their analysis. Given that this topic is hot and constantly thrown in my face, I’m struggling to figure out what the hell I want in my ideal healthcare system. Currently, the ACA IS my ideal choice, pending it actually worked properly. (Yay, public sector technology!) It’s a faux free market, which allows me to shop for a plan with a pre-existing condition, but I still (for now) can get a plan which will cover a multitude of diabetes durable medical equipment based on what my priorities are. (E.G. do I want one option for my insulin pump supplier at 100% coverage, or can I managed 80% coverage but switch pump companies as I choose?)
    Anyway, Beth, the conservative leaning hostess, posted a Primer on the ACA in preparation for Tuesday’s podcast. You can check it out for a very brief overview.

  3. It’s Spring Show Week! Quite possibly, my last Spring Show in a pro-am partnership since my instructor is moving across the country this summer. But, I’m not saying this is DEFINITELY my last showcase, because I said that one year and it didn’t actually happen. Anyway, I ran into another PWD performer during dress rehearsal. Meeting dancers with Type 1 diabetes is a rare occurrence – meeting them at your studio’s showcase is probably a 1 in 1 million shot. But, there we were, discussing where we could possibly put insulin pumps while wearing spandex and then performing.

  4. Capsule Wardrobe Related. Yes – I still have a small-ish selection of clothes to chose from in the morning and still plan on maintaining it for the remainder of the year. There have been a few hiccups lately when I realized that I didn’t keep a lot of my sparkly, trendy items in my ballroom costume bin, which probably would have helped when I was figuring out an alternative costume for my Spring show piece. (I didn’t need it, but I would have liked the option.) But I’ve moved from keeping only a certain number of items in my closet at once to making sure that what I have in my closet actually works, and that new pieces I purchase are from places with good sustainability practices. (And that my discards get recycled rather than tossed out.)

    I have been following a group on Facebook that focuses on Ethical Shopping . I don’t think I have the lifestyle (or the size) to dive into that kind of shopping head first. (Especially when simple t-shirts can cost $18+ and I have a messy toddler.) But, I figure I can do what I can by seeking out USA made items, or supporting a local business (part of the reason why I like Golden Tote so much). Second hand shopping online is super cheap and easy. And, I’ve reached a point where I don’t feel like I NEED anything in my closet – at least until the weather changes again. So – no shopping equals more money in my pocket for our vacation in November. Win win.

  5. Happy Mother’s Day! Which is Sunday, by the way. Make sure you call your mom, your grandma, or other maternal/parental figure this weekend to say “you’re awesome!”

Dizzy, Spinning, and 54

Unhelpful Dexcom - SeeJenDance
If you are a PWD and haven’t heard of Kerri at SUM, I sincerely question your Googling skills. I catch a lot of her posts on Facebook and she re-shared a blog post today from 2012 that stopped me on my too-short of a lunch break.

The post was titled, Lows in Public – a phenomenon I’m all too familiar with. Especially as a dancer and someone who just enjoys a night out. The example of stumbling off to the bar asking for a cup of “just orange juice, please” is a scene I’ve played out several times. (Though, sometimes it is a regular Coke, or gah, a Red Bull.)

Kerri is correct, though. There isn’t ever a convenient time for a low. Especially one that leaves you with your mouth dry, the room spinning, your limbs shaking, and the desire to eat the entire contents of your pantry.

While dancing, or during any sort of exercise, things escalate quickly. It’s easy to get lost in the music or entranced by the power of a great lead. So the usual telltale signs of a problem aren’t generally noticed. That is, until your ability to communicate the partner dance basics – frame and connection – become frail, disjointed, and those turns take way more out of you than normal.

In a lesson setting, these lows also effect my ability to process any information, no matter how mundane. I’m easily frustrated. My ability to speak is labored and my eyes glaze over or blur. My teachers are pretty aware of when something is wrong, and understanding if I need to take a break. “It’s cool, Jen, just wait it out. I’ll explain something/choreograph/do something that doesn’t involve thinking for 10 minutes.” But, have I finished out a lesson while ignoring my symptoms? Yes. More than a few times.

The frustrating part of it all is that I want to keep going. I don’t want to randomly stop a social dance and awkwardly exit stage left. Usually, if I’m dancing with a stranger, I can’t give a two second speech on why I’m suddenly hungry and need to get off the floor. But man, if I’m 54 mg/dl, and there are two minutes long left on that song, it’s the longest two minutes ever and I’m hoping that I can remain upright. (Because, well, passing out is probably equally awkward.) And the dance just goes downhill from there.

Or the lows that creep up when I need to leave my house and drive to a private lesson. They are usually the ones that stick with me. The ones that take about 3 treatments before 50 turns into 60… and then turn to 240 an hour later. I have treated and just made the drive before. It is never a great decision if I’m still recovering from the lingering low feelings beyond when the latest test is back at a safe level. (Adrenaline is a bitch sometimes.)

Classes tend to be easier to escape, unless it’s short on followers. And then I get the guilt of putting the effort into making it out to class only to be sidelined for 1/2 of it. Why won’t these glucose tabs work faster again?

Between cutting a dance short or interrupting a Master teacher mid-thought, diabetes is the bane of social dance etiquette. It’s already an inconvenience for me; why should it be an inconvenience for someone else (well, the passing out thing… again)? My thought is if I can just push through it with semi-consciousness, I don’t have to feel even more helpless than I already do. Where I have to succumb to the inconveniences of hypoglycemia and I can no longer pretend to be normal.

Does See Jen Dance Still Dance?

So the question you might be asking is did I ever return to dance post-baby?

Short answer: Yes-ish.

The pattern that plagues our studio since it has a huge student base from nearby colleges is that once a major life event occurs, be it graduation, grad or medical school, marriage, or baby, a very involved student can suddenly drop off the face of the earth.

This problem probably isn’t unique to just our studio, however, given that a good portion of the student base is younger, a considerable drop off occurs during certain parts of the year.

I was once a very involved student. Classes 6 days a week. Multiple partners for competition. Practice groups. Teams. Multiple lessons with my instructor to take on multiple routines for Showcases.

Nowadays, I change into my black dance/yoga pants in the evenings… and sit on the couch. Because parenting is exhausting. Or, if I find a class I’m interested in, I realize I will miss 2/3s of the month due to work travel. So I skip it.


We even moved about 10 minutes away from the dance studio… and I still can’t find motivation to go on a regular basis. (Though, starting off the new year with an epic cough isn’t helping.)

I do social dance every couple weeks which helps with the whole “need to exercise” thing. But since I’m not actively working on anything super specific, like competing or a looming Showcase, it’s difficult to find a reason to go in. (Though, I do miss the people I dance with so I’m thankful for social dancing.)

So have I joined the ranks of the dance-enthusiast retirees? No.

I did participate in this last Showcase in December, which was exciting. It took twice as long to prep for the routine than usual, but I knew that would happen given my broken schedule. I never found the time or energy to practice like I used to, though. It was a running joke with my instructor leading up to the Showcase. In the end, I had something that I was happy with and that Bean cried all the way through because she couldn’t be on stage with momma. It was one of those routines that I could just perform the shit out of and keep the dancing basic. That instructor I have is pretty smart.

Coming into the new year, I have plenty of options, including fading into the background if I so choose. My instructor, who I’ve been working with for just over five years now, is going to be leaving in the fall to pursue higher education elsewhere. I hate that I have to end yet another dance relationship, but appreciate that he’s giving me more than a two week warning before up and leaving the country. (Yeah, that happened.) I now have the daunting decision to pick one final solo dance routine to do. And actually practice it.

I’ve been invited to participate in about three different dance troupes. One ballroom; two not. All sound exciting, are on weekends, and would allow me to be a free-range student for a while. I definitely can’t do all three. But whichever one coordinates best with Bean’s naptime will win.

The studio also offers Baby Ballroom classes for children under three, so I suspect I’ll be spending several Saturday mornings at the studio with Bean watching her grow and love dance. At least I hope so.

Okay there. That should fulfill my Ballroom Village blog quota for the month. 😛

The Sweeter Side of Pending Parenthood #dblogcheck

So, hey. Howdy. Hi. I thought I’d check in and let folks know I’m still alive. I was prompted to write after I saw a Twitter notification email about #dblogcheck day and thought, “hey! What a great way to get back into blogging.” Turns out it was two four days ago. Oh. Oops.

I’ve mostly been hanging around a chat board for the last, oh, month and half, which supports moms to be and such. I’ve run into a great group of ladies battling diabetes in some form; whether it’s T1, 2, or GD. Since we’re all collectively due around the same time, many of them failed their GTT recently and have now been thrown into the depths, somewhat blindly, of metering, diets involving low glycemic carbs, and 2 zillion doctor appointments. Since I’m kind of an open book when it comes to advocacy (I did blog for quite some time before the positive stick test), I do my best to offer real world advice when questions come up. And in turn, I’ve learned about what current treatments are for ladies with GD and T2, and what’s safe for pregnancy. (For example, Glyburide sounds a whole lot like NPH – and is just as volatile. Ugh.)

Personally, I’m feeling much more pregnant now that I’m nearly in the 3rd trimester. My MFM is very pleased with how I’m progressing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not taking more insulin than I ever have for meals… and I’m only going to need more in the next 13 weeks. My latest A1C is at my practice’s standard for non-PWDs, so that’s gotta say something, even though my 1 hour post-prandials are not in their target range. Let’s face it… they probably never will be. But – I always come down. Since the blood sugars aren’t a consistent battle, I can focus on things like Target screwing up my registry, washing and folding lots of little people clothes and putting them away, what to do about my back pain and expanding ribs, and feeling my little girl try to punch and kick her way out of my uterus. (Bananas still make her go crazy. As does sleeping on my side… sweets… breathing…)

I learned that my pump can give a maximum bolus of 25 units the other day. I may have to get creative in the next few weeks as I gave myself 24 units to cover my meager breakfast this morning. (And was still 141 one hour after the meal…) I half cried, half laughed when my MFM changed my breakfast carb ratio to 1:1.5. She told me some of her other T1s were on 1:0.5. In the back of my mind, I know I’ll get to that point, but I didn’t think it would be this early. Or that I’d be lucky and it wouldn’t happen to me. For the time being, I dial in my carb count and blindly hit “Act” twice to start the bolus without looking at the final number. I think I’d just freak out.

I feel like the 3rd trimester is when things can start to fall apart or go really well for me. Currently, my MFM is dead set on letting me carry to term and beyond pending nothing else is medically wrong. It’s a little different than conventional wisdom which basically states that if you have diabetes, you are getting induced any time between 37-39 weeks just because. I would love to be able to avoid to pitocin drip and I’m glad my MFM supports that. However, the little worries in the back of my mind still plague me. The idea that pre-eclampsia can knock me off my feet and out of the game is almost as scary as childbirth itself. Mostly because it’s something that just happens… with no warning signs or ways to prevent it or avoid it. Being the control freak that I am, I don’t know if I could handle it. And bed rest would bore me to tears.

Am I still dancing? Sort of. Back in May, I started working on a short foxtrot routine with my instructor for a performance in July (last weekend). As those 10 weeks progressed, I just got bigger and my lung capacity got smaller. Run throughs generally required a 5 minute break just to catch my breath toward the end. I think performing the routine at 26 weeks was a good idea. Any later and I don’t think I would have been able to handle the physicality of it. I also can’t turn without feeling dizzy or faint. (Yay equilibrium issues!) My exercise now comes from very limited, light, social dancing, and walking. I’ll be throwing prenatal yoga in there starting next week – hopefully. (I’ve been having a lot of trouble sitting as of late.)

Tomorrow, the hubs and I start interviewing doulas. We’re headed to a local event where you can meet a number of them at once and find out if any of them click with your birth plan. Our challenge is finding one who will help me through the first stages of labor naturally, but won’t try to push his/her ideals on us (or my doctors!) if we need medical interventions or when I call for my epidural. And as a high risk patient, I’m all about getting this kid out safely and sanely… even if it means throwing my ideal birth plan out the window at the last minute. If that person happens to exist, I’ll hire him/her on the spot.

Am I having a “normal pregnancy” otherwise? I guess; besides the litany of doctor appointments, blood sugar readings, screenings, and limited real estate remaining on my abdomen for infusion sites, of course. I hate maternity clothes and how expensive they are and if I could live in flip flops and yoga pants, I would. (WHY do the cheap maternity pants not have pockets!?) Our nursery is done, for the most part – namely because I didn’t want to deal with set up and building things if I were placed on bed rest later. I haven’t really gotten a ton of “snide comments” or “helpful advice” from strangers. I still visit Starbucks for a latte almost daily. (Half-caff of course.) No bizarre cravings – except I do enjoy the occasional doughnut and weekly trip to In n’ Out.

I can’t believe how fast this has gone. I’ve got less than 90 days left. On the flip side, I have less than 90 days left, and I’m just going to get bigger. X_x

Here is a sneak peak at her nursery, which I spent too much time making matchy-matchy. I don’t care – it’s adorable!


Friday Five – possibly more

Oh man, where do I begin? Haha!

1) That box of sensors I recently received is apparently jinxed. Sensor 1 – the one I blogged about, had all sorts of trouble, but managed to last about a week before it failed on its own. The really bizarre thing about it? It always petered out after it got wet. So, yes, post showering, I had no data for at least 2 hours while it “dried out.” But when it worked – it worked great. Sensor 2 was inserted shortly after – and failed 30 minutes later. Wow. I’m now on Sensor 3 out of that box, which will hopefully last the standard two weeks, allowing me to place an order as normal when I open my last sensor packet. I must admit, the breaks in the alarms was nice – but the sudden lows weren’t.

2) For those who might be asking – yes, I’m still dancing. Sort of. Definitely not as intensely as I was once. I find that I my stamina is no where near where it was, so certain dances and faster songs are just on hold for the next few months. (I swear I did one east coast swing song for 3 minutes and I was down for the count for a half hour!) I did compete in West Coast Swing last month for fun and had some great late night dances – but staying out until 4 am is just not possible anymore. (Was it ever?) Instructor and I are working on a small showcase piece for a mini performance in July as well – with many pregnancy-friendly modifications. (Who knew promenade could be even HARDER!)

3) On the baby front – M and I are moving right along getting the nursery established. My goal is to have as much ready by August in the event I’m placed on bed rest for any possible reason during the 3rd trimester. (Getting Pre-E is actually what I fear the most because there is no way to prevent it.) The room is painted; we have a crib and a chair… and a crib. Yeah – long story short, I ordered a dresser for the nursery during Memorial Day weekend and the vendor sent me a crib instead. The unhappy UPS guys did take it back and now I have to wait another 2 weeks for the dresser to show up. But – at least it’s just June and not September, right?

4) Regarding pregnancy blood sugars – I haven’t hit the point of no return with insulin resistance yet. However – that doesn’t mean the highs don’t happen at all. My MFM finally dropped my I:C ratio at breakfast to 1: 3.5, and it STILL wouldn’t cover my breakfast. So rather than drop my ratio further, I’ve decided that it’s finally time to change my diet. Sigh. I knew this day was coming. I just can’t eat carbs in the morning. I’m really glad my aversion to eggs was temporary, otherwise I’d be screwed right now. This morning’s meal featured a Level Life protein shake, a small glass of milk to get me out of the 70 range, and a fritatta with lots of veggies. So far, so good.

5) Our anatomy scan was last week. Baby looks great and is growing on track. All the measurements were within a week of my reported gestation and there were lots of kicks and punches. (None that I could actually feel, however.) And for those who were placing bets…

We’re on Team Pink. 🙂


Look she even has excellent Latin turnout!

However – she is stubborn… like her mom. Standard practice at my hospital is to order a fetal echo for all pregnant PWDs. But since I started pregnancy with such a low A1C, my MFM said that if we could get good photos of baby’s heart during the anatomy scan, we wouldn’t need a fetal echo. Well – baby had other plans. When the head radiologist got called in to take another look at baby, she promptly flipped over and fell asleep. So – no additional, important heart photos were taken. Off to Pediatric Cardiology I go. Hopefully she cooperates then.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Still Here?

I am, I promise. Life just sort of happened.

My Dex is here and now has a shiny new purple Tallygear case! I have a whole post drafted from about a week ago with photos and thoughts and funny analogies. But the words are mostly still in my head and I haven’t had a chance to sit and write it all down. Since work has been sort of busy, I didn’t feel right typing away an ode to Dexcom and the new bulge sitting on my abdomen. Don’t get me wrong – I love the Dex’s accuracy, but the transmitter is ginormous.

And while I had every intention to write this weekend, I also competed at another west coast swing convention and won all the things. No – seriously. I placed in the top three in every contest I entered. (One had 60 entries!) That said, I’m now out of the Novice division and can start competing as an “Intermediate” dancer. And the prize money won reimbursed me for my convention pass. Score.

More soon. Stay awesome.

Friday Five: Good Things Edition

A few notes just because I just got back from work travel and don’t have a ton of energy left. I ate horribly for the last 3 days, not really by choice, and my blood sugars are paying for it. (And my arms are really sore, so I don’t want to be on a laptop for very long.)

1) MY DEXCOM IS COMING! I got a call from my rep at Diabetes Specialty that my pre-auth was finally signed by my doctor after three freakin’ weeks. My doctor didn’t really seem to know where the authorizations went, but was ready to sign them whenever… so they were probably getting lost in someone’s inbox. Bah. This is why our insurance industry is so slow, kids! Anyway – it should be here next week.

2) My guest blog is out. I did a guest post for Stefanie over at Biggest Girl in the Ballroom and it was released yesterday. 🙂 It rambles a bit, but mostly covers all things dancing with diabetes entails. (Without being too long.)

3) I was contacted by my area t:slim rep shortly after I posted my blog, and I may get a proper demo after all. However, time is running short on my warranty, so I need to make a decision rather quickly. (Especially if it takes three weeks for my doc to sign off on anything.)

4) The Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign is BACK! Use your V-Day dollars for something more useful than overpriced and soon-to-be-dead flowers! ‘Nuff said. (And they updated their campaign marketing and logo. Way more awesome.)

5) Kind of excited for the Superbowl this weekend. I am not rooting for any team, nor do I really enjoy football. But there is always a ton of food and I love watching the ads. Let’s hope they don’t disappoint. 🙂

Obligatory “The Year is Ending” Post

I used to write up a list of goals for the coming year. I did it because I hated resolutions and all their empty promises to do things better. Check-lists were much easier to maintain over “Lose 20 pounds! Quit drinking! Join a gym!”


However, I stopped doing check lists too because for about 3 check lists, I said I was going to paint our guest bathroom. That hasn’t happened yet. And probably won’t unless we remodel.

So what do I have to look forward in 2014?

– More family-in-law gripes about their now-expensive health care. (And me shaking my head because my 30 year old brother-in-law shouldn’t be considered their dependent.)

– A new insulin pump and CGM system – whichever brand I decide.

– No ballroom comps to speak of. I’m kinda done with the spandex costumes, which leaves room for…

– More west coast swing conventions. Looking to hit a few I missed last year due to finances and traveling to a few.

– Getting our studio’s ballroom program back on track with some pretty awesome marketing by moi!

– A new refrigerator! Which should be here tomorrow to replace our slowly dying model. First the water dispense goes, then it’s hot to touch, it makes weird noises AND the light in the fridge finally burned out.

– A new laptop! (Which showed up today!) This replaces my 7 year old model, which can’t keep a charge for more than 45 minutes, won’t recognize any USB devices larger than a wireless mouse, and sounds like it’s going to take off into space every time I edit photos.

– Maintenance of the 6.2% A1C without nightly visits to my new fridge to reach for yet ANOTHER 4 oz cup of OJ or AJ.

– Paying off my credit card from said expenses.

– Paying off our 2nd mortgage and legitimately owning 20% of our house.

– Possibly re-designing this blog a bit. Not sure. 🙂

Happy New Year!

Random Number Generator

Or… How I felt about my glucose monitor last night.

Don’t get me wrong… I’ve had hypoglycemic episodes during my dance lessons before. My instructor is all too aware of the different sounds my insulin pump makes. (Though… Apparently he heard a new one last night… The temp basal/hour change alarm.) More often than not, he hears the alarms before I do. With that in mind, I consider him to be an honorary member of my broken pancreas club; mostly because he’s around me when my sugars drop the fastest – during exercise post-dinner.

Last night was a pretty traditional trend. I had a dinner that I may have blouses too aggressively on, my CGM reading was around 102 an hour after I ate, and I was headed into samba rehearsal. To be on the safe side because I felt a drop coming, I tested.



I went into treatment mode immediately. But paused because I didn’t “feel 49.” So I checked again while knocking down a Juicebox.


And because third time’s a charm, 74.

So… I was probably closer to the 70s after all. Finished the Box, set a small temp basal, and went on my merry way.

Half way through the lesson, my low alarm goes off.

“Do you need to take care of that?” He asks.

“No, I already did. It’s just a residual alarm.”


<10 minutes later>

“Yeah, I’m gonna go test again… Sigh.”

Meter: “52!”

Me: <facepalm>…What happened to that last Juicebox?

My CGM graph is trending downward into the 60s and I finally start feeling the low to the point of disorientation. But, I’ve treated said low, so I should be fine to run my routine at nearly full speed.


I nearly toppled over half way through. Hyperventilation, ghostly pale… just… an ugly ugly low. Needless to say, my lesson was over for the night.

The question still remains – what exactly was my starting blood sugar? I’m still not really sure.

Have I mentioned Strip Safely before? Yes? http://www.stripsafely.com/

I know – Congress is a wee bit backed up right now, so sending letters right this second is probably not going to do much good. But when we have a Federal Government again, jump back on this campaign. Do it for me, the zillions of other PWDs and their allies that see them go through this.