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Kickin’ Diabetes Ass Since 1994!

January 27, 2008

Today started out great.

I awoke to a slightly higher than normal blood sugar of 178 mg/dl, but since I wasn’t planning on eating very much until the late afternoon, I was quite pleased with this number.

I took a shower and then subsequently scrambled around through my closest looking for something to wear to the city.

Today is my 14th anniversary of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and I had a dinner planned at a nice restaurant in Manhattan. I also, surprisingly enough, was also invited to the city by the NYC Type 1 Diabetics group from, who just happened to decide to have a brunch on the same day as my anniversary! I didn’t want to be too dressed up, but I also wanted to look nice – which is surprisingly difficult! On top of that, I had two very specific accessories that I wanted to wear – red patent leather flats and a chunky jeweled necklace – that seemingly went with nothing in my wardrobe. After three wardrobe changes, I finally settled on a red sweater and brown slacks. Color-coordinated by not too overwhelming.

Before I could take off to the train station, I had to do a set change. Well, I didn’t have to. My blood sugars were decent and the site didn’t hurt, but it was starting to itch a bit and I just didn’t want anything getting in the way of me enjoying my day. So I did a quick site change and out the door I went.

Two trains and way too many transfers later, I finally arrived at Luke’s Bar and Grill on the Upper East Side. Out of breath and starving, I settled down at the table occupied by ten other diabetics – none of whom I had met – and quickly became absorbed into the conversation. Introductions were made and I was quickly announced as “the girl who blogs” (hello everyone!). One lady sitting across from me was testing her blood sugar, so I decided it would be a good time to whip out my case and do a some finger-poking myself.

396 mg/dl.


And here I was thinking my dry-mouth was from gulping down icy winter air. No, no. That would be too easy. I racked my brain trying to figure out what happened when it dawned on me – I didn’t prime my set when I changed it earlier.

Whoops! The pump suggested just shy of eight units to bring me down from the stratosphere, and I quickly returned to the conversation. The discussions were typical diabetic talk – insulin pumps, various insulins, physicians we like (or more specifically, physicians we don’t like…) – while mixed with normal people talk – where we live, what we do for a living, and trying on necklaces that one girl brought (she’s a jewelry designer!).

Towards the end of the conversation, I tested again.

355 mg/dl.

Seriously? Come on!

Determined not to let a high blood sugar ruin the possibility of having a yummy dessert that evening, I decided to overrule the insulin pump’s recommendation of .2 units (because of all my insulin on board) and instead took two and a half units.

You all know where this is going right?

I had about two hours to kill after we left the restaurant, so I hopped on the subway and headed down to Greenwich Village anyway to have a look-see around. I stopped by the new Apple flagship store on 14th and Ninth, played around on a Macbook Pro (it’s nice, but I like my HP laptop that was free from work!) and while I was there, tested again.

149 mg/dl. Excellent!

Excited that I had so quickly nipped that one in the bud, I decided to keep walking around some more, despite the desperate please from my feet to do otherwise. Of course, it was a Sunday night and not a darn thing was open except bars and restaurants, so there wasn’t much to do except walk around aimlessly. Which I did. For a good long while.

With half an hour to go until dinner, I was starting to feel… you know… funny.

Setting up my meter on the windowsill on the outside of a warehouse (or maybe it’s a nouveau chic-y club, it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes!), I tested again.

59 mg/dl.

Oh, lovely.

Of course, being the amazingly brilliant fourteen-year veteran of diabetes, I neglected to bring juice with me. But never fear! There was a diner just two blocks up that looked like a good place to grab a soda. I walked into said diner and sat down at the bar.

“Pepsi please,” I asked the bartender (it’s Manhattan. They have bars in diners.). I handed him my debit card (!).

“Would you like to leave this open?” he asked.

“No, I just needed the Pepsi,” I replied. “I have low blood sugar.”

“Oh okay…” he laughed.

“I know. It’s weird,” I said.

Ten minutes later and I headed over to my second stop of the day, 5Ninth. On my way over, I ran into my two friends, Caitlin and Gayle (who also brought her fiance – I’d tell you his name, but then I’d have to kill you) and the four of us walked over to the restaurant. We had perfect timing, as we arrived at the same time as Tara (web editor for Diabetes Self-Management) and her boyfriend Andy.

Gayle’s tenth anniversary is this Thursday, so it was really great that we could do something special for it. Typically I just get a small gift from my parents. On my first anniversary I got my ears pierced, in subsequent years I received dolls or necklaces, and on my tenth anniversary I received knitting needles and yarn. I sadly never really got into knitting as much as I had hoped.

I find celebratory dinners are more my thing now that I’m older and more mature, and spending the evening at an intimate restaurant with good friends seemed a perfect way to start the fifteenth year. Like the early gathering, there was a mix of diabetic and non-diabetic conversation. The conversation flowed back and forth between insulin pumps and sensors to scuba diving in Malaysia to diabetes in third world countries to Caitlin’s experience of having her appendix taken out in South Africa during a diabetes conference (she tells the story much better than I). We all enjoyed our dinners and I indeed had my dessert: a chocolate brownie with peanut butter mousse and vanilla gelato.

No, I didn’t share.

I shared a cab back to New York Penn Station with Gayle and her fiance, and on the train back, I tested again.

126 mg/dl.

I have a feeling that will go up once the wine leaves my system, but I’m hoping I didn’t do too much damage. Of course, I completely neglected any sort of point counting for Weight Watchers today, but I figured, how many times does one get to celebrate fourteen years of complication-free diabetes with her friends at a fancy Manhattan restaurant? Points be damned!

Here’s a little souvenir from our evening, taken by our very patient waiter. Today also marks the day that I will start the Diabetes 365 Project with everyone. While I know the pictures need to be taken by me, I am hoping that this can be an “honorary” photo in the collection. I plan to take a picture of my life with diabetes everyday this year, culminating in the final photo which will be taken on my fifteenth anniversary on January 27, 2009.

Diabetes Anniversary Shindig in NYC
From (l-r)
Me, Caitlin, Gayle’s fiance, Andy, Tara and Gayle.

Today ended great.
  1. Sara permalink
    January 28, 2008 12:51 AM


    I don’t know my dx anniversary but I know my pumping one. Can I celebrate that? 😉

    The pixs don’t have to be taken by you, btw – Beth did a whole week of her husband taking them actually! Glad to have you as part of the d365 crew!

  2. January 28, 2008 9:17 AM

    Happy Happy Anniversary! Diabetes be damned and that dessert sounds fabulous! Your picture counts like Sara said, and yay for joining us!

  3. January 28, 2008 9:42 AM

    Congratulations !! sounds like you had a great day- 14 years complication free really is something to celebrate! good luck with diabetes 365, too.

  4. January 28, 2008 10:08 AM

    Funny, we have the same anniversary, only I was diagnosed in ’97. Synchronicity.

    I never really got presents for it, though. I think I’ll call my mom and demand some, retroactively. 11 years of presents, all at once!

  5. Tara permalink
    January 28, 2008 11:32 AM

    It was a great night out! We really enjoyed meeting everyone…OK, and the food. =)

  6. January 28, 2008 1:23 PM

    Happy D-anniversary Allison. And here’s to many more.

    BTW having proof of your d-anniversary is useful in case you decide to apply for the Lilly or Joslin medals after 25 years of diabetes.

    I’m so happy that you’re joining the Diabetes365 project. Have fun!

  7. January 28, 2008 2:41 PM

    Congratulations Allison!

    I love that you celebrate the day in grand style. It shows great heart and attitude!

  8. January 28, 2008 8:06 PM

    Happy D-Anniversary! You celebrated in style. I’ve never really celebrated mine. I may need to rethink that in June this year. Thanks for the idea.

  9. January 31, 2008 4:54 PM

    Happy anniversary Allison. Congrats on 14 years complication free.

    I look forward to seeing you pics in D 365.


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