This is my blog…nacho blog

This is NACHO BLOG!

Hey all! Thanks for visiting! Whether you're a new reader or someone who has been here since the beginning - I welcome you with open arms! I hope you find peace & humor here because that's what this blog does for me. It makes me feel less alone in this crazy world. And if you have negativity to share? Let me show you the door...

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See ya 2015!

Where in the hell did this year go?! Time really does fly and I swear that it speeds up with every trip we take around the sun, science schmience. ;)

I like to wrap up every year thinking of what made the year great or what didn’t make it great and how I grew. I also like to look ahead to the new year and what I anticipate it will bring. I’m not a resolution maker per se but I definitely have goals for my life in the coming years.

Today let’s talk about what happened in 2015.

Ryan & I went on a wonderful honeymoon to San Francisco in January. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, rode a cable car, walked up Lombard Street, visited Fisherman’s Wharf and visited NINE breweries in the area (Rogue, Anchor, 21st Amendment, Thirsty Bear, Lagunitas, Half Moon Bay, Cellarmaker and two I can’t remember which maybe aren’t in business anymore?). It was awesome! It was the first real vacation I’ve taken as an adult and the first time Ryan & I had traveled together. We talk about going back for our 5th or 10th anniversary. And NOT staying 45 minutes outside the city (which with traffic means 2 hours – no matter the time of day. Traffic was my ONLY complaint about this trip)

I became a Jamberry consultant in March. I’ve learned a lot about running your own business this year. I still don’t know if I’m cut out for it but looking forward to continuing to try in 2016.

We moved in July to a bigger, nicer place. It was a nightmare of a move for many reasons but we love our new home now. It’s (hopefully) only temporary (more on that in my Welcome 2016 post!) but is everything we were looking for – bigger kitchen, more storage, washer & dryer – in other words, everything we were looking for in a home to be able to start *really* discussing having a baby.

We also got a new bunny! Noodle joined our family shortly after we moved. He’s a sweet, fluffy boy who is super mischievous. He & Grier still can’t be out of their cages together but I did catch them bathing each other through their cages the other night.

My mother’s Early Onset Alzehimers diagnosis was confirmed. The diagnosis itself isn’t tough. It was an answer we’ve been fighting for for a long time. We have a long battle ahead of us but I’m grateful for online communities of support and the support of family members who’ve already fought this battle. I am still trying to decide to get the genetic testing to see if I carry the gene. As a chronic illness patient I am tempted. I don’t want to be “surprised” by a diagnosis again. On the other hand, besides early interventions (that will end with the same result ultimately), what is there to gain from the knowledge? See, an inner struggle. I am FABULOUS as self conflict – go ME!

After 9 months of being VERY sick(lack of appetite, nausea and lots of other fun gastro symptoms NOT including weight loss), I went gluten free in October. I had seen 6+ medical professionals (including but not limited to: PCP, therapist, naturopath, endocrinologist, CDE/Nutritionist and gastroenterolgist) endured endless rounds of tests (one involving eating radioactive eggs and waiting around the hospital for 4 hours) and countless med changes I decided to take the sage wisdom of my good friend to heart. What could a 3 week elimination diet hurt? Nothing. And within DAYS I was finding relief. I’ve remained gluten free since and I have no intention of turning back. It’s a HUGE change but there are so many options fog gluten free living if you know where to look (hint, the gluten free aisle at any grocery store!). I know I don’t have Celiac (even though being T1 increases my chances of developing it as they are both auto immune disorders) as I’ve had a gluten tolerance test within the past year. I have no interest in testing now since that means going back to gluten for three weeks (makes me sick just to think about it) but I am fairly certain I have NCGS. All I know is gluten makes ME feel like shit. But I’m not gonna walk around expecting everyone to transition to gluten free. You do you people. BUT – if you’re suffering from undiagnosed gastro ailments as well as headaches, fatigue and acne, just try to eliminate & see what happens.

I’ve maintained an A1c of under 6.5 all year. I am INCREDIBLY proud of that. With being so sick for so long, my diabetes care suffered. But it shows my good habits have actually become habits and even when I don’t want to, I am somewhat taking care of myself. Yay!

I think that’s a decent wrap up. What was the highlight of YOUR 2015? xoxo

 

 

 

Burnout

It occurred to me today than I am deep in the trenches of diabetes burnout. I’ve been feeling it creeping in over the last few months. I don’t know if it’s the 2 years I’ve been working SO hard on my A1c that did it? Maybe the slight A1c increase at my last endo appointment – the first in almost three years? Maybe it’s that I’ve been sick and my eating & exercise patterns and habits have been off for 6+ months. Maybe it’s because I’ve been having trouble finding patterns so that I can make corrections to avoid these lingering lows and crazy highs that require many SWAG and rage boluses.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about how naive I was when I was diagnosed. How I thought diabetes was something that would be difficult at first but I’d learn to manage it effectively and lead a normal, albeit much more medically expensive, life. I’m struggling to come to terms with the fact that is not true.

In the early days of my diagnosis, I was also going through a divorce. In light of the emotional fallout I was experiencing, I didn’t really consider the weight of what was happening to my body. Yes, I learned as much as I could as fast as I could, but for some reason I still thought that the longer I had diabetes, the easier it would get.

I suppose in many ways, it has. I use a pump and a CGM now as opposed to 10+ daily fingersticks and 7 or more daily injections. I know how to maneuver through the medical system to get what I need in a timely manner. I’ve developed a network of in real life AND online friends who share my burdens, my struggles and my joys in my life diabetes in a way which few can understand.

But I’m struggling to come to grips with the fact that diabetes isn’t a war I can win*. I will never be victorious when it comes to this disease. I will serve as my own pancreas for the rest of my life without a single break or vacation. I will live in fear of a nighttime low which I don’t wake up from. I will forever be scared of the complications that may be in store for me down the road – even with good management.

I am learning though that diabetes can be a compromise. And it doesn’t sting so bad when you think of it that way. I think of diabetes as my enemy, but it’s a PART of me and we need to work together to stay healthy – even if that diabetes pipsqueak rarely lifts a finger to help with THAT!

But for now, I will sit in my admission: I’m experiencing diabetes burnout. Maybe it’s time to FINALLY pick up that book from Ginger (how lucky I am to call her an IRL friend – who is also serving as my mentor as I transition to gluten free living). I wasn’t ready to read when she gave it to me. I think I’m ready now. Until then, I know I’ve done the hard part. I’ll pick my head up, keep moving forward – and set some alarms on my phone to make me do more than 2 fingersticks a day!!

xoxo

* I am not positive I’ll see a cure in my lifetime. In all honesty, I don’t even think I’m hopeful for it. But I am grateful for the technological advances that keep being released that continue to change and improve my diabetes management.

ReMARKable

My family visited Nova Scotia this summer and decided to send some of my brother’s ashes into the Atlantic. I wish I could have been there but my dad took a video so i could feel like I was there.

I’ve been watching this video over and over and over. And crying. Tears of happiness, appreciation, awe and profound grief & sadness. I wanted to share it with you all.

It Started With a Heartbeat

I was supposed to be a boy. I know this because when I was younger I found some audio cassettes marked “Baby John’s Heartbeat.” I mean, it was 1980. It was before the ultrasound technology today so there are no pictures of me in utero (thank God, I was an ugly baby!) but there exists a sound recording of my whooshing heartbeat at about 30 weeks gestation. I thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever heard. But I was so confused as to why it was labeled “John” when I clearly was a “Jessica.” My mom informed me they had been told throughout the pregnancy that I was a boy (again, ancient technology – or lack thereof) and they had planned to name me after my father’s older brother who succumbed to cancer at 19.

I’d say it was about that time, at 6 or 7, that I started viewing my relationship with my father differently. I felt surely he was disappointed that not only was I NOT a boy but he had another daughter after me and no son AT ALL (this speaks much to my psyche even today in that I will continually attempt to change or better things for others, even when there is no need or point). So I began wanting to do things that which were more on the tomboy side. We played catch. He put up a basketball hoop and taught me how to shoot. Unfortunately, coordination is not one of my strong suits (also still true today) and I wasn’t very good. But it was fun to hang out with my dad and I felt like it brought him some enjoyment too.

When I started 6th grade, I made a new best friend. Her name was Karen and her dad was the head coach of the high school boy’s varsity basketball team. My dad started bringing me to games where I got in some social time with my best friend but also learned about the game. That continued until I started high school where I took my uncoordinated self paired with my vast knowledge of the game of basketball and became a cheerleader (which is a sport BTW, a fight for another post!) for all 4 years.

When I went away to college, I would look forward to winter break where my dad and I would return to the gym of my alma mater and watch his alma mater play mine. We would catch as many games as we could, my dad always with a pocket full of tootsie pops and me flitting about being social while trying to keep up with the game.

When I returned home from college, my sister was in her freshman year at UVM. She had been tapped to be the person who performed the National Anthem before home games for the UVM Catamounts. With this honor, she received two tickets to every home game which she handed over to my father and I. It was the early part of the glory days. There was so much heart in this team. We began traveling for games with the team – for both championship games AND regular season games. We were utterly hooked on the magic that is Catamount Basketball.

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In 2004, the America East Championship Game was played at Patrick Gym, our home court. Tickets would be hard to come by but dad & I were determined. We made a plan that he would head over at about 4am and I would replace him in line about 8. Well, when we watched the 11pm news, people were already lined up. So we decided to join them. We packed blankets and pillows, snacks and games and spent one of the most memorable nights of my life surrounded by other die hard Cats fans. Coppenrath’s return from injury to score more than 30 points in a thrilling win over Maine was icing on the cake.

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The Cats went onto to lose in the NCAA tourney in the first round as a 15th seed playing #2 Connecticut. But we had hope for the next season. The final year of the magic that was Coppenrath, Jensen, Sorrentine, Hehn and Mopa Njila’s. They went on to win the America East tourney and upset Syracuse in the 1st round.

I think that was the height of my Catamounts fandom. The team has remained superb, usually finishing in the top 3 of the league (at worst). They clinched a second place regular season finish with a win over UNH last night, who handed them their first league loss this season. I still see games with my dad. Ryan has grown to love the Cats as much as I have grown to love the Patriots. It’s embarrassing to attend a game with me. It is normal for me to leave a game hoarse or without a voice. I scream during the opposing team’s foul shots. I yell at the refs. I cheer hard for my team. I am looking forward to this year’s playoff and at least one, if not two, home court playoff games after a change in the playoff rules this season that got rid of a tournament that ALWAYS required Vermont to travel.

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Basketball will always have a special place in my heart. In that place is an even more special spot for the Colchester High School Lakers and the UVM Catamounts. If there is a home game and I can afford tickets, win tickets (thanks Heritage Ford & Toyota!) or am given tickets by my boss (thanks Boss!), I am there. If not, I am streaming it at home. I stream every away game I can and at least check in via ESPN app if I can’t watch it live. I already have tickets to the first playoff game and we haven’t ruled out a trip to Albany should it necessary for the Championship. I am a lifelong, die hard basketball fan. And damn proud of it!  #IBleedGreenAndGold

#WordlessWednesday Help me choose a new bathing suit

19 options – which one is your favorite for ME and why?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Searching for Hope

This headline had me up most of the night, steaming with anger and crying for my brother. The time has come where I can’t stay silent any longer. While we’ve told our stories to multiple news outlets (locally WCAX & WVNY/WFFF and nationally through NBC News), I’ve reached the point where I want to scream it from the rooftops in hopes someone will hear me and help us find justice for my brother.

I should start by saying, it hasn’t been a good year for children in Vermont, specifically those under Department of Children and Families (DCF) care. In February, Dezirae Sheldon, 2 of Rutland, died from head trauma she allegedly suffered at the hands of her step father. This was AFTER she was returned to that home with two broken legs that were allegedly caused by her mother. This little girl’s story breaks my heart – as does any story of a child who is abused by the very people who should be protecting her.

In April, Peighton Geraw, 14 months old of Winooski, was allegedly murdered by his mother. A DCF worker had been in the home an hour before emergency medical services were called. There was an uproar that two kids died within two weeks whom DCF should have been taking care of. There have been several other cases of child homicide in Vermont this year but for my own sanity, I can’t get into them here right now.

Here’s the thing. To me, DCF is set up fail. Not only are they “woefully understaffed” but they receive so little support from our state, our government and our residents. A child dies at the hands of their parents and everyone points a finger at DCF. No one looks at the fact that DCF can’t just pull a child out of a home. That’s up to the courts – who ultimately made the decision to return Dezirae to an abusive situation that ultimately cost her her life. And for all we know, the DCF worker in Peighton’s case was petitioning the court for his removal – but an hour is just not enough time to get that done. DCF has all the responsibility, none of the power and now shoulders all of the blame.

My experience with DCF couldn’t be more different. The support they gave my family as we brought Mark home, through a year of fostering, being present at his adoption, coming to his funeral and still checking in with our family is something I will forever be grateful for. What’s failing our kids is the legal system.

There have been no trial dates set for any of the people accused of killing any of these children. Including my brother. If you read his autopsy, the cause of death is homicide. No one has even been charged in his death, even though only his biological parents were present (by their own admission) when the abuse that ultimately took his life occurred. As a matter of fact, his biological mother has had at least three more children after him (all were removed from her care and parental rights terminated) and from what I understand, Mark was not the first child removed from his biological parents “care.”

We met with AG Bill Sorrell in March  to discuss whether or not we had enough information for a case. The problem wasn’t proving that Mark’s injuries happened or caused his death, but WHO perpetrated those actions. He was kind and concerned. He listened to our stories, looked at our pictures and explained they were doing all they could to build a case. He promised to keep us in the loop. We left allowing ourselves to feel some hope that justice would be served for our little Markie. But in July, the AG had the victim’s advocate working our case (he couldn’t call us himself or arrange another meeting?!) break the news that because they couldn’t prove WHICH parent actually caused the injuries (even though not only did he have a TBI from being shaken, he had other healing wounds from breaks to his clavicle and leg)they couldn’t proceed with a case. So lemme get this straight. Someone shook this 5 week old baby so hard it caused a skull fracture, waited 72 hours to get medical attention, signed a DNR and ordered him extubated and THEN fled the state? How is that not BOTH parents’ responsibility? How are they not both at fault? But that’s not how Vermont law works. Only one can be charged with the abuse and death while the other is considered an accessory. And there is no law allowing both parents to be charged and allow a jury to decide which parent did what.

It’s disgusting. And disturbing. And now, even though he couldn’t help us, AG Sorrel is going to defend DCF, which is his job. HOWEVER, if he can find a case against them and reason that this man should get a payout, I don’t even know what I will do! First off, where was this father when his daughter’s legs were broken? Where was this dad when that poor girl was returned to that home? Where has he been since her death in February? And now he comes forward and Bill Sorrell thinks he might have s a case against the state? And what will he get from this case? MONEY! Not justice – that will hopefully be awarded when Dezirae’s step father finally has his day in court. It sure won’t bring her back – just like getting charges filed against Markie’s bio parents won’t bring him back. But the message being sent now is that DCF shouldn’t get involved either because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

We have a duty to find justice for these kids. But if our government can’t help and our legal system won’t help – what other options do we have?! I don’t know if anyone has the answer. I know I don’t. I know I have rage and an immense amount of sadness. What I need is hope. Hope that we can stop these monsters from killing their own children. Hope that justice will eventually be served. But that hope is fading for me and I don’t know where to find more. For now, all I can do is get this anger out of me and let myself believe that hope will find its way back to me. I apologize for the disjointed nature of this post. I’m sure I have left out details and missed some facts but if I didn’t find a way to assuage this anger, it’s not healthy. So here are the inner workings of my brain laid out before you in all their glory. XO

No One Calls Me a C Word and Gets Away With It

So for anyone that missed it, Ryan and I decided to take a mini “honeymoon” to Albany for the America East tournament at the beginning of the month. Shortly after we arrived and realized how ghetto not just our accommodations were, but the entire city, we decided it was not anything resembling a honeymoon at all. But we made the most of it. Our team lost (they were robbed. Another story for another time). 

 

Prior to these getaway, I’d never used Yelp though Ryan swears by it. After being very disappointed in our experience at a restaurant we visited within an hour of getting to town, I decided I couldn’t NOT tell people about what happened. So I started an account and I wrote some reviews:

 

2 weeks ago
 

3/11/2014

Was in town for the AE basketball tournament and decided to check out this place for beers when we got into town since it was across the parking lot from our hotel. Waitress was friendly as we ordered 2 large Coors Lights. After 5 minutes she asked us what we ordered. She stumbled A LOT. I watched several people get walked in on while using the restrooms because the doors apparently didn’t lock correctly. Waitress grabbed my debit card off the table and proceeded to go INTO THE BATHROOM with it and was gone for almost 10 minutes before she returned for my signature! Needless to say I cancelled my debit card, didn’t leave a tip (as a server for 10+ years I don’t do that often but this was warranted) and will tell anyone who will listen not to go there. To be fair, I didn’t try the food but even the pictures of food on the menu looked gross so…

To be fair, I did two other reviews that were much better experiences:

 

 

 3/11/2014

After a TERRIBLE experience down the street at another restaurant, we decided to check out Smokey Bones. We’ve frequented the chain before but this was our first time in this location. Casey & Sylvia were super friendly and it was much appreciated. We ordered just some apps and some beers. It was so great we went back Sunday after our beloved UVM lost in the AE tournament to drown our sorrows. Casey remembered us and was just fantastic. I don’t plan on coming back to Albany any time soon but if I do, I’ll be in!
 
And 
 
 

 3/11/2014

Wish I would have had more time to explore the menu but my husband and I had somewhere to be so we just ordered some nuggets and fries. I was please but he found the nuggets and sauces to be bland. Quick and super friendly service. Would love to try again!

As you all know, I am the first to speak out when I have a FANTASTIC experience with a company or person and also if my experience is really bad. I was very touched when I received a message shortly after my review went up from the manager of the restaurant. With his name and personal cell phone number should anything happen with my debit card. it didn’t, but that peace of mind was fantastic.

So imagine my surprise when I was notified I had two new private messages on Yelp this weekend. Here they are:

 

Cheap ass

Between Jaja J. and Jess B.

Jaja J.

Un-Block User

Yesterday

No tip? Not $1? You couldn’t part with $1? You are a cunt. If you were a server, you would never do that, unless you are a total cunt. I hope you got an STD from your motel sheets.

Your debit card

Between Jaja J. and Jess B.

Jaja J.

Un-Block User

Yesterday

You are mean and funny. Why are you so focused on the bathroom? You must not have been enjoying your company, or vice versa, ad you seem weird. What did you think the waitress did w your debit card in the bathroom? Seriously, what went through your head? Btw, the motel, not hotel, is a haven for prostitutes. So your debit card in the bathroom while she was probably making a call to her babysitter, and or freshening up wasn’t as nearly bad as the things that have gone on in the bed you slept in.

 

Naturally it stung a bit at first – I mean what did I do to this chick? Then I was pissed and not only did I block her, I reported her directly to Yelp (she had other very hateful reviews of other Yelp users on her page). Then I noticed she looked A LOT like the waitress we had that night. So I messaged that manager back and let him know the user name of the person bothering me and offered to forward the messages to him if necessary. 

Yes, we stiffed a waitress. Who didn’t do her job. Who expects to be paid for a job that wasn’t done well? I mean you had ONE job – bring me two beers. We were the only table in the bar that night – how hard of a request was that? I didn’t mention in my review that not only was I 99% sure she was drunk but I watched her try to take a man into the bathroom (my seat faced the bathroom for those of you wondering like Jaja J what my fascination was) There was also a thought that she could take ALL my money because who the fuck knows what she did with my debit card in the bathroom?!

Anyway, I had to share this because I find it funny and a perfect example of how NOT to use sites like Yelp. Especially if you were my waitress because I just emailed your boss and demanded you lose your job. Happy karma boomerang to you! xo

 

 

 

 

 

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