Monday, November 30

Tender Mercies, Answered Prayers

I have neglected to mention how my Savior has blessed me personally in the last few months, and decided it's better late than never.

My grandpa died this evening of heart failure. It was only last Thursday that I saw him and celebrated Thanksgiving with him. He looked so good, even though as a family we knew that the doctors had decided there was nothing else they could do to prolong his life. He was quite talkative, even getting around better than I would have ever known to expect. He talked sports with the male members of our family, even going as far as to joke about his beloved Denver Broncos, calling them the Denver Donkeys for their lack-luster performance as of late.

To be truthful, my relationship with my grandpa was a timid, simple one. I didn't know him as well as I would like to have known him. I remember seeing him as a little girl, making visits with my mom and sisters to see him and my step-grandma who preceded him in death. I know things such as he was an occupational para-trooper soldier in Japan after WWII. He had an 8th grade education, having grown up on a farm with wild brothers. He drove buses to support his family. He loved to play cards. He loved to play bingo. He smoked for many years and quit, which says a lot about his strength of character. He was a very simple person, living frugally, but happily for many years until my step-grandma Jo died when I was a freshman in high school. She was his soul-mate, and now he is with her.

About a year and a half ago, my mom and uncle moved him out to a assisted living center in Denver. During this time, my mom was able to get to know him better than ever. He was never a talkative person, but shared a lot about his life with my mom. My mom considers this time a true gift as she didn't know much about her dad until recently. The residents of the center where he spent his final days loved him. He loved chocolate, and loved sharing it with the staff and cafeteria people. As of late, he enjoyed Hershey's Bliss Chocolate, some of which he shared with me just last Thursday. There are stories of him handing out chocolate to the cafeteria cooks so they would make him omelets for breakfast, or to staff who helped clean his apartment.

I didn't have the ideal relationship with my grandfather, but he was a good, sweet, and caring man. I am grateful for the knowledge that he didn't suffer, and that his passing was a quick one. Prayers were answered that he would not suffer terribly or for a prolonged period of time.

He will be missed by everyone who knew him. I am grateful for what I do know of him, and know that he is finally with my grandma Jo, after all these years without her. I am grateful for the knowledge that the Gospel gives me. I know I will see him again. I know that someday he and I will be able to know one another better, and forge a relationship that we weren't able to have in this life.

My dad said that his passing was a peaceful one. It is this peace that only God and the Savior can provide. Though it is a sad time for my family, my heart is full.

Tuesday, November 17

Good Thing My Parents Didn't Name Me Grace...

This is too funny not to post about.

Last week I went and team interpreted with one of my favorite people at InterWest, Miss Dawn!

The building where we worked together had a secured elevator, the kind where you have to swipe your employee ID card to get both ON and OFF the elevator. This fact was unbeknownst to me because we were in a big group of people escorted down to the room where we would be working, so I didn't notice the escort swipe his ID card. When the appointment was over, Dawn stayed behind to work a little longer, because I had to leave early for another appointment. I pressed the button for the elevator, and the doors opened. I got in and pressed the floor I needed AND.....


I pressed the button again. NADA.

I tried other floors. The elevator didn't budge, nor did any buttons light up.

I'm not a clausterphobe, but I started to panic. It was hot in the gol' durn thing, and I started to sweat from nervousness, and the fact that it was hot in there.

I tried the phone button to try and talk to someone, ANYONE. I got the stupid "We're sorry, this number had been disconnected or is no longer in service".


What the $#@%?? It's not a phone line, it's a emergency call button to say "I'm stuck!"

My last resort was the alarm button, and by looking at my watch, I had been in there over 5 minutes and little did I realize I was crying! So I pressed the dumb thing and hoped for the best.

Then I heard a ding, and as the door opened I looked to see who my rescuer was, and lo and behold it was Dawn, who saw me with the panicked look on my face, and she started laughing....

Har Har. Go ahead, laugh all you want at my expense.

Then TODAY happened. I was leaving an appointment while walking down the stairs, talking to a client. I tripped over my pants and fell down 4-5 stairs. Unintentionally (I'm still working on this one) a four-letter word escaped my mouth in the process.

Heavens to Betsy, was I embarrassed.

Tuesday, November 10

After Nearly 5 Years.....A New Start

In 3 weeks, it will be 5 years since I have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Since that time, I have had shot after shot after shot of my life giving insulin every time I eat. I have roughly given myself 4-5 shots of Novolog insulin (the insulin I "shoot up" every time I eat) and 1 shot of Lantus (the insulin I take every night before bed). If you times 5-6 shots daily for 365 days of the year (you don't get weekends off from diabetes :)) times 5 years that is roughly 9,125 shots I have given myself. And you know what? I am ready for a change. I am sick of feeling like a walking pin cushion. I am ready for the funny stares in public places every time I pull out the syringe and a vial of insulin, to stop. I am not ashamed of my disease, seeing as how it is a part of who I am, just ready for a change. Seeing as how a cure isn't in the works right now, the change I am ready for is still a miracle in and of itself.

I am grateful to be a PWD (person with diabetes) during a time of medicine and amazing technological advancements. 100 years ago, the diagnosis of diabetes was more or less a death sentence; now it's not. People with diabetes live in time of hope, meaning a time where diabetes is a very liveable disease and SO not a death sentence. Part of this hope is the change that I am now ready for. I am choosing to start insulin pump therapy. The pump is something that I was very opposed to for a while, but now that I have been educated on the subject, I can't believe that I didn't at least look in to the idea sooner! The pump primarily works to function somewhat like a normal pancreas, and helps with better control of the diabetes. I love that with just a few pushes of a button, instead of shot after shot, I can give myself the insulin to get the energy I need from the food that I eat.

The pump enables diabetics to live a more normal, healthier life. A common myth of people who use pumps is that their diabetes is "serious" or "really bad". This is not the case. The pump just allows people who choose to use it to have a better handle of keeping blood sugar within range to avoid complications later in life.

For the last week I have been using a "trial" pump to see if I would like it. And I can't say enough positive things about it. I feel better, have the control that I have needed for so long, and feel more confident in being able to take care of myself. What more could I ask for? I am on my second "trial" pump right now, testing different types of pumps to see which one I want to get. I have a few days to try it and see how I like it, then I will make the decision. Then the fun of dealing with insurance will come. Hopefully it will all work out!

Here's to a new start with my diabetes.

Thursday, November 5

Apple Pie, Couple of Cuties, and Quacks

Last weekend I made my first homemade apple pie. I got the recipe from my wonderful mother-in-law while we were in Idaho celebrating my father-in-law's (I call him What's-His-Bucket) 60th birthday. (Oh, I will post some belated pictures of this) And it turned out really well.
I went over to my sister Katie's house last night since Brandon was working late, and I was going to try to help my sister do her hair for her formal dinner that she has this coming Friday night. I was over there for quite a while and was able to spend some time tickling and loving on my adorable niece and nephew. The cutie above is my 4 year old niece Janae. I love this little girl because of her spunk and sweet little voice. Oh and she has one of the greatest laughs you have ever heard.
This is my 6 year old nephew Joshua. He is my buddy. He loves to laugh, play practical jokes, and is just an all around good natured little guy.
Before you jump to any assumptions as to my sanity/state of mind, let me explain. My sister Katie and I are a dangerous duo, but add my oldest sister Jenny in to the mix, and we are just plain nuts. Sadly Jenny wasn't able to be here for our trip to Target last night, but Katie and I subjected the poor shoppers at the Layton Target to quite a show. Probably from about the moment we walked in to the store, we were laughing. We walked around looking at the clothes, when we came to the pajama area and found the ugliest pajamas I've ever seen. Katie joked that they were definitely what you might call "mood killers" or something you would wear if you have no desire for "pillow time". We were seriously laughing so hard I was nearly in tears. Then we walked around to the purse/wallet/scarf department and found some of the BUTT-UGLIEST winter hats and scarves you've ever seen. The hat above gave us some laughs, let alone the stupid goofy expression on my face. Katie tried on the hat below, and the first reaction out of my mouth was that she looked like a retarded Christmas Elf-hence the expression on her face as well. We were laughing so hard I wondered if any store staff would show up to escort us out of the store.
One thing that is GUARANTEED when hanging out with my sister is that you will laugh. It had to have been a combination of being tired, bored, and kidless. I love my sisters. I couldn't ask for more funny, witty, thoughtful, crazy people to be my sisters. Even though we are a bunch of quacks.

Wednesday, November 4

Occupational Hazards

Most people who know me know that I love my job. I don't sit at a desk all day, staring at a computer. I don't have the personality for that. I love working with people and doing something different every day.

And yes, while I love my job....there are some interesting "occupational hazards". One that distinctly comes to mind is having clients that seem to be numb from the brain down when it comes to personal hygiene/cleanliness. I have had one client in particular that once told me the water had been shut off in his/her apartment for the last 3 months, so he/she hadn't bathed since then. This same client picks his/her nose with his/her long nasty nails, withdraws his/her finger to inspect it, then wipes it on his/her clothes. I have had this person more than once and working with this person makes my skin crawl. (typing the gender confusing words is to somewhat protect the client) There are not words to describe the tumult of things my stomach does when smelling, seeing, or interacting with this person. But it all comes down to one thing: this person has just as much a right to an interpreter as the next person who is Deaf. He/she has just as much right to having access to things as you or I do. This just happens to be a client who tests my abilities to be kind and respectful to all of God's children/creatures. Whether a person is appallingly rude to others, smells like what comes out of an elephant's derrier, smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, or what have you, it is not my responsibility to judge, just to be a conduit of communication between a hearing consumer and a Deaf client.

Outside of this, the other day I was interpreting for a client that had me make a rather unpleasant remark to one of their constituents. I've even had to yell at myself because a Deaf person got upset with me for a very trivial reason that was out of my control. I have had to say some of the most unpleasant things to some of the nicest people on the behalf of someone who is Deaf.

With all of this said, here is a disclaimer or two: I VERY rarely have these kinds of situations come up, and in a weird and twisted way, it keeps my job interesting-to say the least.

So with all of these so-called "occupational hazards" I still love my job. Instead of sitting on a bench somewhere doing some "people watching" and watching interesting folks from a distance, I work in an occupation that makes me one of those people that actually interacts with those weirdos or truly interesting people. So bring on the weird ducks, the whack jobs, the complainers, the people who don't bathe but every blue moon....I am strangely grateful for their acquaintances because they teach me and remind me that there truly are all kinds of people in this world.

Sunday, November 1

Nightmare on 13th

So for the last 3 years we have gone to haunted houses. Being childless as of yet, it's how we celebrate our Halloween every year. I am not big in to Halloween like some people I know. I don't decorate, I don't pass out candy.. I don't do anything. I am your genuine Halloween scrooge. I could care less if there were no such holiday. In Utah, there is an abundance of haunted houses. There are the little kid ones, the amateur ones and the "supposedly" professional ones.

The entire month of October it is impossible to listen to just about any music radio station without hearing about the haunted houses in Utah. The commercials are genius and send chills down your spine, forcing suspicions in one's mind about the scary images one would encounter upon entering the haunt. I have heard awesome things about the Nightmare on 13th in Salt Lake. So we decided to check it out this year.

We decided it had been too long since we have hung out with our friends from college, Gary and Emmalee who are now living in Salt Lake City, and thought it would be fun to go to Nightmare on 13th. We went and had dinner with them at their cute little apartment, and then headed over to the well publicized haunt. We even bought VIP passes so we wouldn't have to wait in line.

Let's just say that after the overall experience, it was dissapointing. There were highlights here and there of things that were optical illusion cool, or things to make you scream here and there, but it wasn't at all as scary as I thought it would be. I didn't even have nightmares. Brandon and I agreed that the Haunted Hollow in Ogden was much better than Nightmare on 13th. But overall it was a fun time to hang out with old friends, have some laughs, some screams, the occasional swear word, and some dang good homemade apple pie. (I made my very first from scratch apple pie, and it was FABULOUS).

Here's my tangent (get this):
Already think I have issues? Here's a real humdinger....I can go to scary haunted houses, but I can't STAND to watch scary movies...they give me horrific nightmares. Movies are so much more realistic to me with the mix of suspense, music, and real-to-life stories that the images are somewhat embedded enough in to my brain to last through the night, not a pleasant experience.