Spicy Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms – Low Carb, Gluten Free

I’ve been a bad girl. I’ve been sorely neglecting this poor blog. You would think with school not being in session I would have more energy to post, but it seems like forces are conspiring against me. We went downstate for a wedding at the beginning of the month and ever since then it’s been harder and harder for me to even get out of bed – and when I do, things like my duties in the lab and taking care of my family have taken precedence.

Sharing a computer has also proven to be a challenge, as my husband likes to hover over my shoulder and comment as I write while he waits for me to get off so that he can go back to playing his video games. I find this incredibly disrespectful and annoying so I just stopped. I ended up getting so sick that I went out and bought myself a cheap tablet so that I can go back to having a quasi-social life online and with every intent of keeping this blog up.

I will also readily admit that I have been distracted in my garden. I returned from vacation pleasantly surprised that not only had my plants not died, but they were thriving. My sugar snap pea plants that I had left as small scraggly things had grown to not only have flowers but have a few pea pods and I was able to harvest several baby carrots in the process of thinning. My zucchini plants have also been thriving in the two weeks since my return, much to my delight as I love me some zucchini.

These plants have been blossoming like crazy and I had remembered reading recipes online that actually used the male blossoms. I figured, why not try this out? I had tons of male blossoms, may as well give it a shot. So I picked a few, leaving one so that my female flowers could be pollinated and started by simply deep frying them. Which ended up being hands-down one of the most delicious things I had ever eaten. They taste much like zucchini, except sweeter and more delicate. I was also delighted to discover that they’re not only quite low in carbs, but also very high in vitamins. A win-win, if you ask me.

I’ve been picking them religiously every day now, along with hand-pollinating my female flowers as I haven’t seen too many bumblebees nor butterflies and I’m concerned about them being pollinated by traditional methods. I’m relying on this zucchini crop to keep me supplied with zoodles for the next few months and it’s crucial that the plant produces good fruit. But I do leave at least one or two flowers just in case. I have still been able to get roughly 3-5 a day though, and after a bountiful harvest of 6 yesterday and another 4 today I decided that it was time to try something new.

I had been contemplating stuffing the flowers for quite some time, having only just battered and fried them previously. I had some pickled jalapenos in the fridge as well as a block of cream cheese, and thought “why not do a sort of jalapeno popper with these?” A bunch of things got thrown into a bowl, and the spicy stuffed zucchini blossoms were born.

This post admittedly also provides me with the opportunity to express my love for Susie Gibbs’ Keto Crumbs. These things are a game-changer, my friends, and incredibly simple to make too. I confess I use the Parmesan cheese in a can, but us spoonies sometimes need a few cheats in the name of convenience. The mix comes together incredibly quickly and keeps well – I keep mine in an old Parmesan can as suggested by the author as it makes sprinkling easy. You need these kept in your fridge at all times and you need to go make a batch right now.

Seriously, now. I’ll wait.

The reason you need these is because not only do they make for a wonderful oven-fried chicken, they are also the breading I used for this recipe. I debated between traditional deep frying and oven frying and went for the latter for one simple reason: I was running out of spoons and baking is just easier. I’m glad I did, as they came out wonderful. I also made the wonderful discovery that this is another three-part recipe and that all three steps can either be done in one day or split up into several days – as a matter of fact, I would recommend allowing the filling to sit for at least a couple of hours so that the flavours meld together. I ended up stuffing them and then letting them sit in the refrigerator for about five hours and they came out perfect, and I would wager that they can even be kept there overnight.

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And then they got put on a plate, sat in the middle of my now blossomless forget-me-nots so I could take pictures.

In the end, they came out a touch on the spicy side and I would heavily recommend serving them with ranch. If spicy really isn’t your thing, feel free to reduce the amount of jalapenos. Alternately, one whole diced jalapeno pepper can be used as well. We keep pickled jalapenos because not only do they last longer, but they are seemingly spicier – just how my husband likes them.

Spicy Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Per serving (2 blossoms per serving):
Carbs: 4.25g
Fibre: 1g
Fat: 22g
Sodium: 330mg

Ingredients

10 zucchini blossoms (see Notes)
8 oz Cream cheese, softened
1 oz Pickled jalapenos, diced
2 tbsp Onion, minced
1 tbsp Mayonnaise
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Parsley
1 Large egg
1 tbsp Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Almond milk
1 batch Keto Crumbs

Destructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, jalapenos, onion, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, oregano and parsley. Mix until smooth.
  3. Remove the stamens from the blossoms. Roll approximately 1 1/2 tbsp of the stuffing mix into a ball and gently place into the bulb part of the flower. Twist the petals to close.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the egg, mayonnaise and almond milk to form a creamy mix. Place Keto Crumbs onto a plate. Dip the stuffed blossoms into the egg mixture and then into the Keto Crumbs. Arrange blossoms on baking sheet so that they are not touching, with approximately 1 in of room between blossoms.
  5. Bake blossoms at 350⁰ for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve warm with ranch dressing.

Notes

Zucchini blossoms may be a difficult ingredient to source if you do not have a plant. Your local farmer’s market is a good place to look for them. They go soft and yucky quickly and as such aren’t often carried in stores. If you have a local co-op they might be a good place to ask about getting some as they quite often get their produce from local sources and know a lot of the local farmers. They may even be able to get their hands on some for you. If you have your own plants, be sure to harvest only the male flowers. These ones grow on the long, thin stems and have stamens, which kind of look like yellow, fuzzy, pointy swords. The female flowers will have pistils, which look like a group of fuzzy yellow balls and will grow a fatter nub that looks like a mini zucchini. When harvesting male blossoms, be sure to leave one or two on the plant so that your female flowers still have a chance of pollination. I have successfully stored them in the fridge for about 30 hours, and I would wager they might survive for 48. I doubt they would make it anywhere past that though – not that you would be able to go that long without cooking and eating these delicious flowers!

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Male flowers

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Female flowers

The Spoonie’s Guide to Low-Carb Living

Life is tough when you have a chronic medical condition. It’s even tougher when you have multiple chronic medical conditions. It’s intensely tough when you have multiple chronic medical conditions and want to maintain a healthy low-carb lifestyle.

There are surprisingly few pre-made foods out there that are low carb and aren’t filled with questionable ingredients. And when you feel like you’ve been nailed by a Mack truck all you want is a quick TV dinner and bed. You don’t want to grocery shop, you don’t want to stand up and you sure as heck don’t want to cook.

However, sometimes you have to. Sometimes you have a medical condition that requires low carb eating. Often you think that eating well just might make your life a little better. And all the time you just want to feel better.

I would be lying to you if I told you that low carb living was easy. I am not lying to you when I say that it can be done. It just takes digging your heels in and making it a priority. But, these few tips and tricks just might help.

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1. Plan, plan, plan

If there is any piece of advice I give you, take this one. Plan your meals out in advance. I will plan out lunches and dinners for four days and I write them on a whiteboard I keep in my kitchen. This has several benefits:

a. Grocery shopping will be easier. Why? Because you have just planned out your meals for the next few days. You can now build your grocery list off your plans.

b. It takes the pressure off of figuring out what’s for dinner because you have already decided. As an added bonus, when someone asks you “what’s for dinner,” you can point them to your list.

c. It will help you keep on the low carb track. If anything, because it takes too much effort to change plans.

2. Cook when you feel good so you don’t have to when you feel bad

Making a casserole? Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. Do it on one of those super hefty paper plates so that all you have to do is take off the plastic wrap and throw it in the microwave. It will be a homemade TV dinner, and much better for you than the ones you find in the grocery store.

3. Make your freezer your BFF

To follow up on the previous tip, make extra and freeze it. Buy meat in bulk and freeze it because it’s cheaper. Frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh. I have even stocked up on butter when it was on sale and frozen it. I would recommend though organizing your freezer better than mine is…because I often hate opening my freezer for fear of having a long-forgotten bag of flax seed falling on my face.

4. Invest in a good slow cooker

A slow cooker is a spoonie’s best friend. I am not exaggerating when I say I use mine all. the. time. I haven’t made a roast or baked a cake in the oven since I got mine. My slow cooker of choice is the Hamilton Beach Set-And-Forget. It comes with a temperature probe that you can jab in your roast then program the cooker to cook the roast until it hits the temperature you set and then will automatically turn to ‘warm’ so that you don’t burn the meal. It takes all the guesswork out of whether or not your meat is cooked all the way through – and when you’re immunodeficient like I am, that is huge. It also makes the most moist roast chicken you will ever have and your cakes will be amazingly rich. I don’t normally use them since I’m a little eek about cooking plastic, but use a slow cooker liner to keep cleanup to a minimum.

5. Keep a whiteboard (or two) on your fridge

Those locker whiteboards you get in the school supply section of Wal Mart (dirt cheap in late August, at that) have been a godsend. I keep it on my fridge so that whenever I realise I need something I can just turn around and jot it down. Before I go to the grocery store I take a photo of it and then load it into a drawing app so that I can cross off items. Super simple and saves trees. I also use whiteboards to calculate nutrition facts for quick meals that I want to eat immediately.

6. Grocery shop online

Online grocery shopping is seriously a thing now. And it’s awesome. It makes life a lot easier for the spoonie. No getting up and going out. As an added bonus, you can help bloggers support their activities by buying items from their stores so that they can keep bringing you free recipes. Many recipes contain affiliate links. Seriously, click on them and buy your almond flour through them. I have a suggested list of things I keep in my kitchen regularly available through my store. It’s a work in progress and updated somewhat regularly.

7. Make cooking fun

Cooking is a chore for a lot of people. You have to stand up, think, mix, source ingredients and ultimately clean up afterwards. But there’s an element of fun to it, the thrill of things coming together to make something delicious gives me a high.

Maybe I’m just crazy. But food highs are WAY cheaper than drugs.

The key to happiness is to find joy in everything. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort to find a minuscule amount of joy, but it’s there. If you can focus on that itty bitty bit of joy in cooking, you will be happier. Sometimes all it will be is the smell of a comforting meal cooking – and often, that is all you really need.

8. Clean as you go

I spent a very long time working fast food. Longer than I want to admit, and long enough for me to realise that it sucked and it was time for me to go back to college. But I did learn several valuable lessons working fast food that I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to anywhere else. While the big one was “be nice to your server, no matter what,” the one I want to talk about now is “clean as you go.” I spent a good chunk of my career closing, often not getting out until 3 in the morning – and sometimes 4 when the kitchen was trashed. Those nights were not fun and they could have been easily avoided if we had simply wiped things down as we went, did dishes when we had down time and kept the floor swept. Taking home those habits is crucial for the spoonie – it takes minimal extra effort to throw trash out or quickly wipe down a counter. Keep a large bowl in your general vicinity to throw wastes in so that you only have to walk to the trash can once when you’re done. No one wants to cook in a dirty kitchen, and keeping it clean is crucial to wanting to cook. Cleaning it in small increments instead of all at once helps make what could possibly be a daunting task a little easier to handle. In that vein, however, be able to proritise which chores need to be taken care of immediately and which ones can wait a little bit. I often leave the dishes for my husband. 😉

9. Break up larger, more labour intensive recipes into smaller, more manageable tasks done over several hours – or even days.

It is not uncommon (AKA I do it all the time) for me to start getting things prepared for supper after breakfast. This is when I have the most energy and am able to get the most things done. Often, supper is nothing more than just throwing a couple pork chops on the grill and serving sliced vegetables, but I will usually rub down the pork chops with my seasoning blend of choice in the morning and then slice the vegetables after lunch. I have taken three days to prepare a casserole (this is where planning meals in advance has an advantage): Day 1 I will chop up the vegetables, Day 2 I will make the sauce and on Day 3 I will throw it all together and put it in the oven. Planning in advance makes it so that I can easily break up tasks, that way when life throws me a sudden knock-me-on-my-butt event I can still put supper on the table with minimal effort or  even have my husband do the final bits for me.

10. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

The amount of times I have heard people tell me that they often won’t try making a recipe again because they failed the first time makes me sad. For every good thing I have made and goes into the “must make again” rotation, I have likely had 5 or 6 failed attempts, ranging from “meh, could be better” to “ohmygod I’m eating baby vomit.” I take these failures as lessons and will immediately think of ways to make the end result meet my taste expectations. There are very few recipes I use where I haven’t tweaked to meet my personal taste preferences. Never be afraid to alter a recipe, even if it’s not your own. And if it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try again. Tomorrow is another day, after all.

Low carb living is not easy. But with a little work, a little planning and a lot of kitchen time you will be able to do it. Just don’t give up!

Invisible Disease Friday

I really needed a day off.

As each day went on, I had been getting more and more worn out, more and more unable to get up when laying down, more and more exhausted. So a couple of days ago, I decided that since one class was done and the other two were doing finals reviews, I was going to take today off, sleep in, be a lazy bum and not take care of anyone but myself.

Instead, I got stuck carrying the baby down the full flight of stairs that lead to my front door to take her to daycare so I could have a day alone. I got stuck going to campus and taking care of some missing equipment out of my drawer in chem lab. And out of the goodness of my heart I made a lunch run for Lord Imp, who is feeling crappy and I knew was going to need to eat.

And now all I want to do is cry. Because I don’t get to take care of myself and only myself.

All I wanted was 36 hours of not doing anything – not getting out of bed, not cooking, not cleaning, not doing homework and not taking the baby. Instead, I got out of bed at 7:30, struggled down the stairs, took care of the baby for a bit, took a nap, woke up and struggled up and down the stairs several times, struggled to get the baby changed and dressed, struggled to get her in the car seat and prayed as I teetered precariously down the stairs carrying her to the car. In the middle of all that, I had to deal with listening to Lord Imp bitching about how tired he was and how he didn’t feel well.

I really wanted to scream this, but didn’t. So I’m going to scream it here:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

I am tired ALL THE TIME. It is not uncommon for me to wake up and legitimately wonder if I have the physical capability of getting out of bed. It is not uncommon for me to not be able to move without an exceeding amount of effort. It is not uncommon for me to fall asleep in classes or want to take naps.

BUT I STILL GET STUFF DONE, and with minimal complaining.

I still do laundry. I still do dishes. I still make the baby breakfast and get her dressed. I still vacuum. I still go to class. I still study. I still do research. I still go to work.

EVERY SINGLE DAY. Despite feeling the same way you are (minus the congestion). My head is ALWAYS foggy. I am ALWAYS tired. And I am ALWAYS woozy.

BUT I STILL GO ON.

Don’t EVER mistake the fact that I am still plugging on without complaint as that I am fine. I AM NOT FINE. I am only moving because my options are to keep going or to die.

And I would kinda like to keep going.

The sad truth is, I’ve been taking spoons from the next day for a while now. And today I woke up with very few of them. And instead of trying to regain my spoon count, I spent today spending them.

I sent a copy of the Spoon Theory to Lord Imp. I hope he finally gets it.

</rant>

Dear Diabetes, I Quit

You can quit a job for any reason. You can quit school once you get past the state’s legal dropout age. You can end a relationship very easily and you can run away from home.

What you can’t do, however, is quit a medical condition. 

Today, however, I sure did try.

I like to keep a low-carb diet. It helps me keep my blood sugars in much better line. I’m not necessarily ketogenic since my main goal is to just keep stable levels and there are some non-keto things that don’t raise my blood sugars so I don’t worry about them (coconut palm sugar is one thing that comes to mind – it’s not on the keto list, but since I don’t need insulin to handle it I don’t give a shit). I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since having Baby Imp while on a low-carb diet, and I have actually grown to prefer the dishes that I’ve been making.

The thing about low-carbing is that it’s a lot of work. I make EVERYTHING from scratch – hell, I even make my own crackers. It isn’t exactly a diet for convenience. It takes a lot of preparation, thinking, planning, grocery shopping and a lot of time in front of a stove. Supper tends to be just a meat and some kind of vegetable because by the time 6 o’clock rolls around I’m running low on spoons and throwing something on the grill and slicing up some cucumber is easy. 

I’ve had one hell of a time the last three weeks. I’ve moved, set up a house, started at a new school and new job and got acclimated to a new schedule. I’ve also been through the living hell of going through the motions of getting a whole new set of prior authorisations for medication and doctors. I’ve been living with the constant worry whenever someone near me in class coughs or sneezes. I’ve been dealing with yet another a fungal infection on my leg and increasing chest congestion due to not having my immunoglobulin for two weeks (BIG NEWS SIDE NOTE got a month of Hizentra approved by the insurance, but they don’t like the specialty pharmacy chosen by my immunologist and they’re still missing some paperwork so this month is to get me through until they get all of the paperwork they need in order. Supplies are getting shipped tomorrow since the approval came around 4:30, will have them by Thursday morning).

Life is exhausting.

As time goes on, I have less and less energy. And today I finally had enough.

This afternoon, I quit diabetes.

And I didn’t leave a two-week notice either. I just up and walked out the door, flipping the bird over both my shoulders as I exited. I turned around in the doorway and disco danced to “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” for good measure. Then I shouted that he was an awful lover, because no quitting scene is complete without a dissolved office romance.

Freshly alive with my newfound freedom, I ran straight into the arms of my secret lover: Hardee’s. He enveloped me with the scent of his curly fry cologne and caressed me with sweet words of encouragement. “It will be all right,” he whispered in my ear as the bag was passed through the window.

So I went home with my carbohydrate bomb, the ease of simply ordering lunch giving me the energy to go on. And I sat down. And ate.

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I even ate the cookie.

But, alas, despite my officially divorcing myself from diabetes, some of it still stuck around. Like I still went for the pump when eating. Because it’s only second nature.

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That’s about four times my average daily carbohydrate count…

And I found myself running into a problem.

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You shall not pass.

I purposely set my max bolus to 5 units because Baby Imp likes to grab at the pump, and it’s to prevent me getting an insane amount of insulin. I rarely take any more than 2 units in a sitting (and that’s only when my blood sugars end up high for some reason) so I never see that screen. Until today. I felt like a bit of a rebel, taking more insulin than I normally do. It was freeing, like the first time you go out on a date after leaving an awful boyfriend.

Soon the pump was shouting at me again, and instead of my usual “hey, I should take care of that…” response, it was more along the lines of “pfft, whatevs.” Because I quit diabetes today. 

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Nope, don’t care.

I ate everything. The burger, the bun it came on, the fries, I even finished the cookie even though it was highly disappointing.

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C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me.

138 grams of carbohydrates later and 8 and a half fattening units of insulin later, and I felt fine. Wonderful. Disappointingly wonderful. When you quit diabetes, you’re supposed to feel awful. You’re supposed to need to pee all the time, feel lethargic, and be reminded that quitting diabetes was a bad idea.

Although admittedly, I didn’t really quit diabetes. Like a codependent person, I came crawling back to it. I took insulin. I even checked my blood sugar beforehand (it was 71 mg/dL). And then I walked for like a mile and a half afterwards, which resulted in a 66 mg/dL pre-supper blood sugar about 5 hours later. For diabetes burnout, this was an awful example. For quitting diabetes, this was an awful example. But given how taking care of myself takes up every minute of every day and how dedicated I am to staying well, this was big. I consider myself lucky that the huge carbohydrate count in my meal didn’t end up with me having to bolus again even four hours later. While I didn’t check my blood sugar two hours afterwards (which is actually unusual for me, we can call that part of my quitting diabetes) I know by how I felt that I really didn’t get that terribly high. I don’t know why, but I didn’t. 

I can say though that in my temporary “fuck it” experience, I did learn a lot. Normally when I splurge on a high-carb meal, I am later consumed with a rather large amount of guilt and a feeling of failure. It was nice to let loose without the down feelings that followed. That’s not to say that this will end up becoming an everyday thing and that I have completely fallen off the wagon and am being dragged by a rope tied around my ankles. Supper tonite consisted of pork chops and a salad with low-carb ranch dressing. It seems that old habits die hard, although admittedly this is an old habit that is a good thing to keep around.

I will admit that I really don’t know what diabetes burnout feels like. Yes, I get sick of having it and I get frustrated and occasionally say “fuck it” and end up in a Hardee’s drive-thru. I’ve eaten whatever I wanted and not cared. I even spent a good 10 or so years not checking my blood sugar at all. But I’ve always taken the insulin, which is often the most difficult thing for someone with diabetes to handle. The thought of being constantly held captive by a needle or a pump is frustrating. But that is the one thing that I never really had a problem with. After 18 years, insulin has been second nature. I can honestly say that I don’t remember life before I did it, and even though I was 11 when diagnosed pre-diagnosis life and post-diagnosis life for the most part are one in the same. I hear about people experiencing diabetes burnout and books have been written on how to deal with it, but I can honestly say that I don’t understand it. When I burn out, it’s usually only for a day. When I quit diabetes, I walk right back in the door the next morning, sit at my desk and start typing like nothing ever happened.

I guess in the end I’ve accepted that there’s just no getting rid of it. No matter what I do, it’s always going to be there and I will always have to handle it. It’s a part of me and who I am, and that’s just that.

Dear Diabetes,

I try to quit you, but you’re still here. May as well have a beer together and keep working things out.

Love, Lady Imp

Life is Exhausting

Especially when you’re a full-time student.

And a mother.

Working a job until way past your bedtime two nights a week.

With two chronic illnesses that are a full-time job to take care of.

And one of them you’re still waiting for your new insurance company to approve the prior authorisation for the meds for.

I bitch about how run down I feel after an immunoglobulin infusion. But now that I’m overdue for another one, I truly realise how much better I was feeling while getting them.

I really wanna curl up in bed.

But I have to be to work in an hour.

I also really want some fucking Hizentra.

But I’m waiting for the bureaucrats at Upper Peninsula Health Plan to give me the OK to get it.

They told me if it was marked urgent  by my doctor, it could be two to three weeks.

That’s cool, I could get a cold that will turn into pneumonia and I’ll leave you with a nasty hospital bill since I will likely have to be medevaced to Marquette. Not to mention the IVIG I will need to get. That shit alone costs a ton.

But hey, you assholes get to determine whether or not it’s ok for me to get medication.

I forgot that I’m only a dollar sign to the health insurance companies.

Sorry it’s short, but I’m running out of spoons.

The end.

Strength in Fairies and Stamina in Potions

What I wouldn’t give for a little more energy.

The perpetual battle, to get out of bed, to go on with my day, to function. The battle to fight infection, to keep blood sugars in line.

The fight to live.

Yet I am somehow able to pull something out, a final vial of the elixir of life, the small glass bottle containing that essential liquid. Shimmering, sparkling, I drink it and am able to carry on for just a little while longer before I am able to rest and recuperate and regenerate my own energy. Sleep and rest, the fairies come and sprinkle magic dust on me and I am able to at least get up and going in the morning. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, absolutely not, but I am at least able to function.

Until I hit a brick wall, the exhaustion sets back in and the phial with the magic potion comes back out. Contents consumed, I am able to continue on for a short while. The magic doesn’t last very long, it is quickly used and I am quick to find myself in a state of exhaustion.

The length of effect of that cordial seems to get shorter and shorter. And the amount I have in the vial gets lower and lower.

I frequently wonder just how much longer the potion is going to last. I wonder when the time will come where the fairies’ dust no longer has an effect. I wonder just how much longer I can go before I can’t open my eyes anymore, can’t maintain a vertical posture, can’t continue on.

I fear this more than anything I have ever feared before. The terror consumes me, envelopes me in an electric blanket that is turned up too high. I eventually find myself sweating and burning, and am unable to shake the blanket. Once in a while, I find my strength and break free. I burst out of that sweltering wrap, full of life and confidence. I can take on everything, I am invincible. I don’t allow my conditions to define me, don’t allow them to limit me. They don’t scare me, the future is not one of fear, I can go and take on the world.

But the vivacity only lasts so long, and before long I’m back in bed, hoping for an extra dose of fairy dust, praying that my phial will be refilled with my magical go-juice. Sometimes, I wake up lucky, sneezing from the sparkles, and the vial mysteriously containing more liquid.

And I still wonder how long that will last.

Complete and Total Freak-Out

Nothing makes your heart jump into your throat more than looking down at your insulin pump and seeing this:

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Ohhhh shit.

That folks, is what you would call a blank screen. That’s not what an insulin pump is supposed to look like. It’s supposed to have the time and the battery level and the level of the reservoir all nicely along the top. This folks, this is a completely malfunctioning pump.

Cue the urge to scream.

Of course, this had to happen when I was at work, half an hour away from my trusty 722 that has managed to keep me alive since 2009. At work, when I’m surrounded by people who think that having a piece of equipment that your very life depends on fails is something to joke about. Were I at home, I would have just grumbled, uttered a few choice four-letter words, called up the endo for my last pump settings, put in a few tweaks, reprogrammed the 722 and called the nice folks at Medtronic Diabetes support.

But I wasn’t at home. I was at work. With only one extra Energizer. Which got put into the pump to see if that was the problem. And, nothing.

So, shaking and trying not to start crying I Googled the Medtronic support number and gave them a call. And got fussed at twice for talking too loud.

Umh seriously folks, if you were in my shoes right now, you would be freaking out too. Not getting this fixed means I’m dead in 5 hours.

The lady at Medtronic went through the usual steps, and nothing. Batteries were changed (I found a few Duracells in the office, still no response), I checked the casing (still clean as a whistle), nothing. They’re sending me a new battery cap.

I’ve tried two different battery caps in that thing, and no response. Both of them are working fine in the 722. I don’t think it’s the battery cap but hey, I’ll take me a backup just in case if you’re gonna send me one.

Fortunately, I had thought this morning to throw a new syringe into the little bag I carry extra supplies in, so I was able to inject to keep going and I finished out my shift. Turns out I ended up injecting too much and I ended up crashing, but I was able to at least get enough insulin in me to keep going for the two and a half hours to get home and get hooked up to the old pump.

That syringe saved my life. And I should probably replace it.

I had to call up my endo for my settings from my last appointment. The settings that she told me to write down when I was in her office two weeks ago and keep a hard copy of somewhere in case my pump crashed. Well now don’t I feel like an idiot. Especially since I know my settings are now NOWHERE near what they were two weeks ago, my total basal is almost a full two units lower than it was two weeks ago. Fortunately, I’m in my settings often enough to have a decent idea where I was at, and I was able to get something at least close to where I was.

I know my endo is so doing this right now though: Told You So Song. Which I would embed in this but I can’t figure out how.

The good news is, in the end I was able to get home and hooked up to a new pump, and without going into DKA. The highest BG I saw was 173. Way higher than I like, but given the circumstances I am incredibly grateful for it being so low. The situation could have been extremely bad and I would have ended up in the hospital on IV and surrounded by doctors shaking their heads at me.

Instead, I am now on my way out the door to the hospital for my PFT and CT. Which I must say I am not looking forward to at all either…

P.S. All this excitement has left me with a very limited spoon supply…ugh.