I Was On A Boat.

 

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Jenna Mahan attempted to anonymously ask via the Ask the Darcy link if I would go kayaking and write a blog about it.  I chatted her via our internal work chat thingy and said “Did you tell me to go kayaking?” and she said “No, but I’ll go with you.”  About five minutes later I saw her in person and she could no longer uphold her lie and she admitted it was her.

Here is why I am scared of kayaking – there are things in bodies of water that might touch me, go into an orifice, stick to me, or bite me.  I am NOT afraid of drowning because I can swim and also I am incredibly buoyant.  You cannot sink me.  I could be used as a flotation device for others.

Jenna has two kayaks, and then our friends Diana and Cliff also have two kayaks, so we all went together.  We met at a park where they transport your boat devices SIX AND A HALF MILES up the Cuyahoga River, and then you kayak back down to where your car is. 6.5 miles.  Weak noodle arms.  I honestly thought I would end up sitting in the middle of the river and someone would have to tow my ass back.  But more importantly, I thought I was going to sink the kayak.  Kayaks have weight limits.  I exceed the weight limit (I think) for Jenna’s kayak.  The potential humiliation for sinking a kayak was second only to my fear of things in the water.

I tried to wear a life jacket but it just got in the way, so I depended on my natural buoyancy and said to hell with safety.  Here is a picture of Jenna and me with my life jacket on.

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We had to walk down a hill to get to the water, and the hill smelled like poop.  I got into the kayak and they set me adrift and guess what?  I did not sink the kayak!  In fact, I am sort of a natural kayaker!  I was awesome!  I paddled and I steered and I avoided obstacles and I am pretty sure video games prepared me for this.

My weak noodle arms did not give out the entire time!  I went over small waves and the water came into my boat and I sat in a puddle of river water.  I had mild panic that something would migrate some place it aught not to and that I would get some sort of brain eating amoeba, but it is now a week later, and my brain is still in tact.

Here are Cliff, Diana and Jenna before we were in the water.

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Here is a lovely view from the 6.5 mile journey.

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See?  It is nature.  Like, trees and shit.

I could not take other pictures because phone + river = bad.  I did manage to Facebook live some of it by holding my phone in my mouth while I paddled, and while the view is lovely, all you can hear is me breathing REALLY loudly.

We stopped to eat lunch (I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) and some people, I will not mention any names, peed in the wilderness.  This is something I would never do, no matter how much I had to pee.  I do not even walk in grass, let alone bare my ass to it.

It seems this has become the “Poor Me, I Have Dia-bee-tus” blog, because now I am going to talk about the terror of 6.5 miles of exercise for a sedentary person and what that does to blood sugar.  I had six 20 ounce bottles of Coke, my glucometer, my glucagon kit (a syringe that someone can stab me with if I am unconscious) and a huge zip lock bag of candy all stuffed at my feet in the kayak.  Exercise makes blood sugar go low, so I wanted to keep it on the higher side so that it could go lower without killing me, right?  But also high blood sugar makes a person feel like crap, and I wanted to be able to not feel like crap.  In the end, I did not die, but damn, it is a pain in the ass to have to think of all that stuff!

My natural kayaking ability was fantastic but it turns out I do not have natural Getting Out Of The Kayak ability.  We came to our parking spot, or whatever it is called when you make your kayak get stuck on a cement thing so you can get out of it.  I got my kayak stuck like I was supposed to, but I could not get out.  I managed to move my legs so they were dangling over the side, and I was basically a beached whale at that point.  Except I wasn’t beached, I was kayaked.  Jenna tried her darndest to get me out of that thing, but when it came down to it, I had to roll out of it in a really, really ungraceful way that left me on my knees up to my waist in water.  Also I was wearing my uniform of jeans and tennis shoes, so after kneeling in the water, I gained 75 pounds of water weight and could barely move.

I could not move my arms for three days, but other than that, I was uninjured!  And….I really liked it!!!  I would NEVER do it in the summer, I have very specific weather conditions that I require.  In the summer there are more bugs and if one came near me while I was stuck in a kayak, that would not end well.

I also have a new Ask the Darcy assignment.

Darcy, will you help me butcher out a deer I killed on Saturday. I think it would make for very good content!

Bring it, bitch.  You give me some sharp instruments and let me near a person who killed a deer, we’ll see how that goes for you.  Complete and utter spazz mode, in which I have been known to hit and/or bite people (and myself) without knowing it, flapping, rocking, and basic lack of control of my limbs…add to that a sharp knife in my hand, and we can have some fun.

But also, I think this is from Jenna, too, and she does not kill deers.  Her eyes lit up a little too brightly when I said that I would do whatever was suggested via the Ask the Darcy button.  What Jenna does not realize is that I will be making her my guide on all of these 😉

I Am A Diabetic Superhero.

This is the beginning of an influx of Joshua Bell posts.  In my three days in Jamestown, NY, I had enough weirdness for multiple posts.

This one focuses on the day I got there.  Friday.

I checked into my hotel and did my standard check for bed bugs.  I found none, so that made me happy.  I was looking at things in the area and I found the Lucy and Desi Museum, but that was kind of it.  I asked at the front desk where I should eat, and they directed me “downtown” and said there was a car festival of some sort going on.

This is what it looked like outside of my hotel, and it smelled nice like trees.  But also there was a giant cemetery to the right of this view.

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I got down there and got very confused as to where to park, but ultimately I ended up with Bastard Parking (Bastard Parking is such good parking that people say “That bastard” because they are jealous) by accident.  I walked down the street and sure enough, there were cars.  The entire street was blocked off and cars were all over the place.  And Car People.

I walked up and down the hill/street and tried to figure out where to eat.  I walked into a bar that was recommended by the Hotel People, and it was….a rectangle.  Like, you walked in and it just went straight back, like a train car, but it was not cool like a train car.  Then I saw the sign that said Cash Only, and I scooted my way back to the front door and left.

I had been walking for about 45 minutes at this point.  Here is a quick lesson in Diabetes.
Insulin lowers blood sugar levels.  Exercise = insulin, so exercise lowers blood sugar levels.  Food raises blood sugar levels.  That is all you need to know for this.

My blood sugar was low.  I had to decide on a place to eat, so I went to another recommended place called Forte, which turned out to be very fancy.  They sat me in the front window, which was super cool for two reasons.  I could watch people:

And I was between two Pokestops that had lures going:

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I ordered Pepsi (mmmm, real Pepsi) and then attempted to read the menu.  It was all spicy things that I do not like, and seafood.  I recognized steak and I recognized chicken. I asked which I should order and the lady said “Do you like anchovies?”  Obviously I do not.  So she told me to order the steak.

While I waited I caught Pokemon nonstop.  It was amazing.  And every five minutes the Pokestops would let me get the free stuff.  Then I was presented with a giant round ball of bread, which turned out to be the most amazing bread on the face of the earth.

Then came the steak, which was on top of mashed potatoes.  There are two issues with this – one is that I hate it when things are put on top of each other, and the other is that the mashed potatoes had onions in them.  Then…I didn’t know what fork to use.  I knew I was already being judged because I was sweaty, underdressed (jeans and tee shirt), alone, and I was playing Pokemon in a fancy restaurant.  I texted everyone I knew with this picture:

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I sat there for about 5 minutes waiting for someone to tell me which fork to use, and in that time, the waitress came back and asked if everything was alright.  I did not want to say “Yes, I am just waiting for someone to tell me what fork to use” so instead I said “Yes, I am sure it is but I have not tried it yet because I do not know what fork to use.”  At that exact moment, Jocelyn texted me with the answer, and before the waitress could say anything, I said “Oh, never mind, I’ve got it.”

I am not normally an eater of steak, so I cut off a hunk and shoved it in my mouth and bit, and it was a hunk of fat.  You know that feeling when you bite into fat?  That is exactly why I do not eat steak.  I panicked and immediately spit it out into my napkin.  I tried to keep my napkin secured on my lap with said chewed up hunk of fat in it, but at some point, it fell out on to the floor.  Then I had to text people and ask what to do when I drop a chewed hunk of fat on the floor.  The only responses to that were my nieces, ages 13 and 10, and the 13 year old’s friend.  “Kick it further under the table and pretend you don’t see it”, “Drop your napkin and bend down and pick it up” and “Stand up and say “someone put steak under my table”” were my options.  I opted to ignore it.

Two Pepsi’s, steak, and bread pudding later, and I did not take any insulin.  Here is the thing – when you walk, and you generally do not walk, that can affect your blood sugar for up to 10 hours later.  I was terrified of dying again so I was bound and determined to keep my blood sugar high and not let it drop suddenly.  I did not take any insulin at all to account for the food I ate.  Around midnight, my blood sugar was 430 – super high.  Around 1:30am it was around 350 – super high.  At 1pm the next day it was 111 – perfect.  All without me taking insulin.  All because of the walking affecting it over the course of the night.

Normally for a meal of that caliber, I would have taken at least 18 units of insulin.

When I drove back to my hotel, I took side streets and I drove really slow so I could catch Pokemon.  Instead, I caught a real live cat.  He was just sitting there, so I stopped and hugged him and pet him and talked to him and put him in my car.  He was happy to come with me, but then I thought that he looked very healthy and he seemed to enjoy where he was, so I thought maybe that was his yard.  I put him back on his sidewalk, and he appreciated not being catnapped.

That was my Friday night, stay tuned for Saturday!

You Knew It Was Coming.

Of course I have to write a blog post about almost dying.  I pretty much said everything about it on Facebook, but I am going to write about it here, too.

I almost died, you guys!  At first I thought it was kind of funny, like, haha, I totally could have died but I did not die.

Then I thought about it, and I COULD HAVE LITERALLY DIED.

You see, what happened was my blood sugar went really low while I was asleep.  In 25 years of being Diabetic, I have woken up when this happens.  Every time I woke up.  Never have I not woken up.  Usually I start having a nightmare about blood sugar levels, and then I wake up sweaty and I know my blood sugar is low.  I kind of considered it my super power – in 25 years I have never passed out or needed medical assistance because of my blood sugar.

This time, I did not wake up.  There was also zero reason my blood sugar should have dropped that low in the first place (it was about 20).  ALSO – my blood sugar has been lower than that and I have been conscious.  My mom randomly decided to look in my room at 6am and tell me to turn over because I was snoring weirdly.  My mom is never up at 6am.  She also does not usually come into my room.  She tried to wake me up, and then my dad tried, and I did not wake up.

As far as I knew, I was asleep and not dreaming.  Then I started having really weird dreams about people standing over my bed looking at me.  In the dream, it wasn’t anyone I knew, it was strange men.  Then I actually woke up, and the men were really there, they weren’t a dream at all.  And I had an IV in my arm.  And my parents were there looking paler than anyone I have ever seen.  And my first thought was that my blood sugar was low and this wasn’t really happening.

Here is the thing about low blood sugar – and I have written about this before – when it is low, it seems like your body and face are not connected to the rest of you.  Like you are watching someone else sweat and eat three bowls of cereal, but it is not actually you.  You can stare at someone right in front of you, and you hear them like they are under water and you aren’t really sure if they are there or not.

So I wake up, and I was 99% sure they were not really there, but they were.  So I said “Oh my gosh, I thought you were in my dream but you’re really here”.  Surreal does not even begin to describe waking up to people in your room.  I didn’t have my glasses on, so that made it even more weird.  One of the EMT guys said something like “It’s not every day you wake up to guys as cute as us in your room” and I said “Where are my glasses so I can see how cute you are?” and someone handed me my glasses.  They were cute.  And I was wearing my CLASSIEST pajamas – a wife beater tank top and shorts.  The last time I shaved my legs was 2012.  I was also probably drooling, but I don’t know that for sure.

30 minutes later, the EMTs are gone, I’m eating peanut butter toast, and I realized my cat has not made an appearance.  I was positive he was in the house because he is not inclined to run outside, but we didn’t know if he got so scared, he just ran out with the EMTs, or what.  So my parents scoured the neighborhood…and found a random black cat. I stayed in the house eating my toast and shaking a bag of treats and searching every corner.  TWO HOURS later, Mr. Meow Meow came downstairs.  I have no idea where he could have been.

But anyway – I could be dead right now and that is a weird thing to think.  If I were, I am happy to report it would have been painless and I would not have known anything happened.  The shock was waking up, not NOT waking up.  So here’s to dying in your sleep, but also, I do not want to die!  That is not something that should happen yet.  If my mom didn’t randomly stop by my room, I would never have woken up.  If I lived alone, boom, dead.  This is why I will never live alone – I must marry a gay man.

So that is my story.  You’ve all heard it at this point, but now I have written it in my blog, so that means it officially really happened.

Here is a picture of Jenna holding a pile of kittens.

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Here is a picture of Mr. Meow Meow.

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Things I Say When My Blood Sugar Is Low.

Here is what I wanted to title this, but it will not let me do the line through the word in the title:  Things I Say When I Am Drunk Hypoglycemic.02aa91a33f8f48ad80a6c0ed1c785603

Yesterday I went out to dinner with some new coworkers, and when I arrived at the restaurant, my blood sugar was low and I knew it.  This meant I got to drink Coke, which is really amazing because I do not get to do that very often.  So there I am, drinking my Coke and “chatting”, but really, I am not chatting because my blood sugar is low and I cannot really follow any conversation that is happening, and quite frankly, I am not even positive there IS a conversation happening because there is a weird delay in my head and I am clenching my teeth for no reason and my face feels like it is not there anymore.  So…”chatting”.  Someone asked about my tattoos – or maybe I shouted something about my tattoos because that is entirely possible.  I pointed to one and said “This is my Green Day tattoo”, I pointed to another and said “This one means ‘fighting spirit'” and then to another and said “I don’t know what this one means.”  Everyone looked at me and said variations of “how can you not know what it means?” and I kept saying “I don’t know, I just don’t know what it means, isn’t that weird?”

I know damn well what my tattoo means and ironically, it means resilient.  I was not resilient in that moment.

Tonight I went out to dinner with my friend Karyn and her husband Nick, and once again, my face felt like it was not attached, I was clenching my teeth and starting sentences without finishing them – but this time I was not self aware enough to say “Dip shit, your blood sugar is low, STFU.”  So I kept talking.  One of the things I said was “Alex is Australian….wait, no he’s not.”  He is.  Alex absolutely is 100% Australian.  And that was my entire “story” about Alex – that he is Australian.  Somehow I decided I was wrong, and I corrected myself and just stopped.

Many years ago in high school my blood sugar went super low while I was the Chief of Police for the day.  I was doing this cool ass ride along with a police officer, and there was a lunch with the other city employees (i.e. my classmates who were elected as Mayor, etc) and their actual real life counterparts.  My blood sugar went low when we pulled a guy over for speeding.  I knew it was low, and I started eating Lifesavers, but they were not helping.  I ate an entire roll, and nothing.  My blood sugar kept plummeting.  I said some nonsense when the officer got back in the car, and then we went to the lunch where I ordered…iced tea.  A beverage with no sugar in it.  Because here is the thing about being Diabetic and having your blood sugar go low – you will NEVER admit that it is.  I do not know why.  “Darcy, I think your blood sugar is off” “NO IT IS NOT I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I AM DOING.” So iced tea does NOT help low blood sugar, Coke or juice does.  But denial.  So lower and lower it goes until I have no idea where I am, what is happening, I cannot feel my face, my eyes are so blurry I cannot see, I hear voices but cannot understand what they are saying, I am sweating profusely….and I decide now is the time to leave the lunch by myself and call my mom.  The thought to order Coke still did not come into my brain.  I felt my way along the wall until I got to the front desk (the lunch was a hotel restaurant) and I asked where a pay phone was.  Yeah – this was in like, 1993.  I go to the pay phone and call my mom, panicking and crying, saying I do not know where I am and she has to come get me and something is wrong.  We later apologized to the Chief of Police who thought I had a stroke or was in the active throes of death or something.

Often my blood sugar goes low in the middle of the night – 3 or 4am.  I wake up sweating profusely (I am talking pajamas SOAKED), and here is the extra weird thing – my left thigh goes numb.  I lie in bed for a good half hour trying to convince myself my blood sugar is NOT low, and finally I go downstairs and drink a glass of orange juice.  Here is another thing you may not know about low blood sugar – it makes you think you have not eaten in years, and that you are not only capable of eating, but you MUST eat every single thing in sight.  It is not uncommon for a Diabetic to eat 3 bowls of cereal, cookies, orange juice and a banana in a low blood sugar stupor.  I am 99% sure I posted about this before, and I am 99.5% positive I posted these memes before, but I cannot find that post, so here it is again.

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And it is not just me, obviously.  THERE ARE MEMES.  That means it is true.

All this is to say, if we are ever together and you look at me and I have the appearance of someone who is not sure if they are actually there or not, or I say that Alex is not Australian, or you see me eating multiple bowls of cereal, just gently say “Hey Darcy, why don’t you check your blood sugar?”  Chances are I will just yell at you and tell you I know for my damn self if my blood sugar is low, and you know nothing.  But then also I will drink glorious Coke and become normal again.

Thank you.  Happy Diabetes-ing.

Honey, You Are Nowhere NEAR New York.

About two weeks ago my coworker Matt said “We’re going to the Westminster dog show” and I jokingly said “If I wear a purple shirt, can I show up and pet all the dogs?”  (Purple is our color)  Matt said “We have an extra ticket, if you want to go.”  By “we” I mean the place where I work.  There is a part of the show where there are booths set up for each breed and you can go and pet every single dog.  That is the part I am going to.  The rest of the time I will be stalking theater tickets.

That was all I needed.  In two weeks I planned a trip to NYC, and of course, I could NOT just go for the weekend, I had to make it a week.  I bought a ticket for the show Disaster! on Thursday, so I have to get to NYC by 7pm on Thursday.  It is generally a 7 hour drive from my house to NYC.  To be on the safe side, since it is winter, after all, I figured I should allow 10 hours to drive.  I do not wake up that early.

My brilliant plan was to leave Wednesday night, drive at least 4 hours, and stay in a hotel so that I could wake up at a normal hour (11am) and just meander my way in to the city.

I said a long goodbye to my cat, taught my mom how to FaceTime on my iPad so that I can talk to him while I am gone, and packed up Hamster Car and left.

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My mom packed me a special bag so that if my blood sugar goes low I will have rescue items.  I think that is adorable.  What is even better is the bag she used.  I am fairly certain she has had this since my parents got married.

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Here is what was in it:

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What you see is a Thermos of orange juice, graham crackers, Pop Tarts, peanut butter, and my vitamins and a few prescriptions.  Oh, and the stuff I use to make flavored water.  I love this.

I set out ready for the road, listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I drove for three hours.  And because of snow, I ended up at 11:30pm, less than an hour and a half away from my house.  I am at a hotel in Pennsylvania, wayyyyyy closer to Ohio than New York.

I came in and said “I was supposed to drive halfway to New York tonight” and the lady said “Honey, you are nowhere NEAR New York.”

Here are some of the reasons I did not get very far despite three hours spent in the car:

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You might notice that it is not actually snowing.  There was no snow falling from the sky.  It is on the ground, and even then, not in an impressive amount.  Pennsylvania just could not be bothered to plow it, so no one could drive.  You see how there are tracks that you could follow?  I followed those.  When I took this picture, the person behind me was blinking his lights and honking at me because I was driving 20 miles an hour.  This will be a puzzle for you to solve – please look at the picture and tell the asswipe SUV behind me exactly WHY I could not go any faster.  He did not seem to realize that a Hamster Car cannot just drive over a semi truck.

So anyway, I asked Male Australian Siri where the nearest hotel was, and he told me, and I got off the highway and chose the hotel that was nearest to the hospital signs that I saw, because this is me.  There is every chance I will need that hospital in the next 18 hours.  I might as well be within walking distance.

The only place with food open was the 24 hour McDonald’s.  Believe it or not, I do not eat fast food.  I eat a LOT, I just do not eat fast food.  But I got McDonald’s and sat in my hotel that has two beds, and I decided the one bed could be The Bed On Which I Eat McDonald’s and the other bed will be the Bed On Which I Sleep.

Before I even entered the room, of course, I checked for bed bugs.  This is imperative.  My fear of bed bugs is equal to my fear of lava and earthquakes.

I made the TV go on and it told me that Tropic Thunder would be on at 1am.  Given that I drank a Venti Iced Vanilla Latte in anticipation of driving until 1am, I am awake and looking forward to that.  I love Tropic Thunder.  While I am waiting for Tropic Thunder there is a show about Boko Haram and it confirmed my theory that men should live on an island by themselves.  But now it is about messing around with genetics to create designer babies and I do not know how it went from one subject to the next.

Also I want to be eating more food, because I eat at night, and I have no snacks.  I cannot eat my low blood sugar snacks because then my blood sugar will go low and I will be without snacks.

I am going to try to post in “real time” my NYC blogs so that I do not leave anything out.  That probably will not actually happen, but we will see.  Oh, and I forgot my scarf.  And I do not have a winter jacket.  I do have gloves, though.  And new shoes because my old ones had holes in them.  Ok and I am a horrible person – I mean, seriously, I have shame for posting this, but I sometimes think midgets are funny.  OMG.  That is so wrong.  You are not allowed to say that.  But look – this one hotel room accommodates Little People.  It is only one room, but that is better than none?

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