Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Have a glorious, safe New Year!  Here's wishing you all the best in the year to come!  See you bright and early Monday morning for the first Diabetes Monday post of 2011.

Take Care!

Kathleen

Thursday, December 30, 2010

TOP TEN MOMENTS OF 2010???

Morning!!  As the year closes out, everyone is doing their "Top Ten" lists~

-TOP TEN SONGS OF 2010
-TOP TEN MOVIES OF 2010
-TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2010...

Well, you get the point.  The lists go on and on.  Reflecting back on this last year, I wondered... "What are your TOP TEN MOMENTS that you had this year?  What really rocked your world?  I won't list all of mine and bore you to death, but I did want to share a couple.

#1) Seeing my oldest daughter graduate from high school...
#2) Visiting with my kids...

#3) Watching my Dad turn 90 years old...

Those are my top three... I know that 2011 will hold a lot more special moments to come.  I have a packed year scheduled ahead and look forward to creating, sharing, and loving those in my life!

Take Care,
Kathleen

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THE NEW YEAR APPROACHES...

Morning!  What are your plans for ringing in the New Year?  I, myself, am working...but it is always fun to see how others plan to spend the evening.  There are a lot of "destination" hot spots like New York and Las Vegas are the obvious ones. 

But what if you wanted to go somewhere around the world?  Gayot.com has compiled a list of the top ten destinations to spend your New Years Eve.  Here is the link:  http://www.gayot.com/travel/features/newyears-more.html

I was pleasantly surprised to see Austin, Texas and Savannah, Georgia on that list, as well.  All of the rest of the destinations listed are from around the world.  Go, United States!! LOL

However or where ever you decided to spend your holiday, please be safe. 

Here is a picture of New Year's Eve in Kitzb├╝hel, Austria.  Looks absolutely FABULOUS!!



If you're not planning on going anywhere this year, there is plenty of time to plan ahead to ring in the year 2012!!
 
Take Care,
Kathleen

Monday, December 27, 2010

DIABETES MONDAY~2010 RECAP~



Good afternoon!  Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas Holiday weekend.  As promised, I'm going to do a summary of this year's Diabetic Monday Posts...Which will be super easy since I've recently only gotten back into blogging full time these last months.  The year 2009 was full of stress and grief for my beloved Mother who passed away late in 2008.  2010 brought forth a lot of changes to my life.  I'm can say that I'm finally hitting my stride, balancing work, writing, and life once more.


With that said, let's continue with the DM recap.  First, I want everyone who has diabetes to realize that the first step in dealing with this debilitating disease, is acceptance.  If you mentally aren't ready to face the changes you need to make in your life, then you won't be successful.


And you need to be successful in order to survive...


Remember, there are two types of diabetes.  Type I diabetes is a condition where the pancreas no longer produces insulin. Type II diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body does not recognize the insulin made by its own pancreas.


Diabetic "reactions" are related to either hypoglycemia (having low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (blood sugar being too high).  It is important to check your blood sugar levels several times a day so that you can monitor how you're doing.  Blood sugars should be kept between 110-180. Theses numbers are taken off hospital protocol.  Generally, most out in the community say less than 200, but greater than 100.  But you need to go by what your doctor recommends for you.


Diabetic complications can include, but are not limited to the following:


Peripheral Neuropathy
Heart Disease
Blindness
Kidney Disease



What can you do to live with this disease?  Eat right.  Exercise.  Take your diabetic medication as directed by your doctor.  Monitor your blood sugar levels.  See your doctor on a regular basis. 

If you don't have health insurance, money for prescriptions, or a doctor to help you manage your diabetes, there are a lot of resources to help you get what you need.  These are taken from the ADA (American Diabetes Association) Website:  http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/health-insurance-options/health-insurance-options-for-the-uninsured/

HIPAA-eligible



HIPAA-eligible individuals are provided protections under federal law when they lose their group health insurance coverage. These individuals have the opportunity to elect new coverage regardless of their health status.

Individual


Individual health insurance policies may be an option for people who do not have access to job-based coverage. Some states offer individual coverage to all persons regardless of their health status.


High-Risk Pools


Currently, over 30 states offer high-risk pools as an option for persons who are otherwise unable to qualify for health insurance coverage.


COBRA


COBRA allows individuals and their dependents the opportunity to continue their job-based health insurance coverage even after employment ends.


State Continuation


Some states offer continuation coverage that allows individuals and their dependents the opportunity to continue their group health insurance coverage even after employment ends. This coverage is only available to companies with 20 or fewer employees.

Conversion


Many states provide individuals and families the option to convert their group health plan into a non-group health insurance policy that is purchased from their former insurer.


TAA Tax Credit


TAA is a tax credit available to workers who have lost their jobs or whose hours of work and wages have decreased as a result of increased imports.


Pharmaceutical Companies
Most pharmaceutical companies have established patient assistance programs to help uninsured individuals get the medications that they need to stay healthy.Prescription Assistance


Free Clinics
If you or your loved one is unable to see a physician due to the cost of care, there may be a local community health clinic in your area. These clinics generally are free to patients or require a very small fee. Find a clinic in your area.


The year 2011 is right around the corner.  We have so many things to look forward to, including award winning Brenda Novak's month long diabetic auction in May!  The money raised goes toward diabetic research to try and find a cure!

Happy Monday!!
Kathleen






Friday, December 24, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Morning! Merry Christmas everyone.  I hope your holiday weekend is all that you've wished for.  No blog today!  Back on Monday for the last Diabetes post of the year...

Kathleen 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

INSOMNIA...ITS A BITCH...

I so need to have the above T-shirt!!  Lately, I've been having trouble sleeping.  Working the night shift has never been a problem because I don't function before 3pm, anyway. What does my opening sentence have to do with the other?  Seems a little random, huh?  Some people can't work nights because they just don't sleep during the day.  I am not one of those people and usually have no trouble sleeping once my head hits the pillow.

Lately, that has changed.  Probably due to the extra stresses in my life.  Well, there's no probably about it!!  I know my sleepless days are related to my stress.  As a medical professional, I have tried all of the reasonable non-pharmacological tricks of trying to stay asleep--like no caffeine after 3 am, for instance--but to no avail.

Next, I tried some simple over the counter stuff ie, benadryl or a mixture of melatonin & ginger root--but to no avail.

So, what's next?  Prescription sleep aids?  I tend to shy away from meds.  I just don't like to swallow pills.  Don't tell anyone, but I'm the biggest weeny on the face of the earth when it comes to taking pills or getting shots.  When I hand a patient a cup full of meds and he/she swallows them down like a smooth shot of bourbon I actually want to gag.  Ewww! 

Lord help me if I ever require medication to survive, because I will be one of those "non compliant" patients I sometimes read about simply because I forget to take the medication.  Oh, I start out okay...I may remember to take my vitamin or an antibiotic for the first couple of days...then I just forget.  

But...I digress.  Sorry.  Where was I going with this?  Oh, the insomnia!  See?  It's affecting me already! LOL.  But seriously, I thought I would actually look up insomnia and see what else I could do about it before making that doctor's appointment to see if he will give me a sleeping pill.  So, I thought I would share with you what I found out. Hope this helps anyone going through what I'm going through.

According to Google Health, Insomnia is defined as:

--difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, or having non refreshing sleep for at least 1 month.Okay, so that said, I've learned that insomnia is often caused by one of the following:



Stress
 
Anxiety
 
Depression
 
Medication
 
Caffeine
 
Nicotine
 
Alcohol
 
Certain medical conditions (like lung disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, or arthritis)
 
Change in your work environment/schedule
 
Poor sleep habits. This is an interesting one because I learned that habits that help promote good sleep are called "sleep hygiene." Poor sleep hygiene includes an irregular sleep schedule, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment and use of your bed for activities other than sleep or sex.
 
'Learned' insomnia. This may occur when you worry excessively about not being able to sleep well and try too hard to fall asleep. Most people with this condition sleep better when they're away from their usual sleep environment or when they don't try to sleep, such as when they're watching TV or reading.
 
Eating too much late in the evening.
 
After reviewing the causes for insomnia, I realized that stress may not be my only reason for not sleeping.  I also am guilty of "poor sleep hygiene" because I do have irregular sleep habits because of my work schedule which consists of 60 hour work weeks of 7pm to 7am shifts.  Caffeine could be aggravating things, too.  I have been drinking more coffee...
 
Google Health recommends the following to help treat insomnia:
 
~Changing your sleep habits and addressing any underlying causes of insomnia can restore restful sleep for many people. Good sleep hygiene — simple steps such as keeping the same bedtime and rising time — promotes sound sleep and daytime alertness.  (Or, in my case, I hope it will promote nighttime alertness). If these measures don't work, your doctor may recommend medications to help with relaxation and sleep.
 
~Behavior therapies~  



Behavioral treatments teach you new sleep behaviors and ways to make your sleeping environment more conducive to sleep. Studies have shown behavior therapies are equally or more effective than  chugging down sleeping pills. Behavior therapies are generally recommended as the first line of treatment for people with insomnia.


Behavior therapies include:

■Education about good sleeping habits. Sleep hygiene teaches habits that promote good sleep.


■Relaxation techniques. Progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback and breathing exercises are ways to reduce anxiety at bedtime. These strategies help you control your breathing, heart rate, muscle tension and mood.  Sounds cool, huh?  I wondered as I read about this how hard these techniques are to learn...


■Cognitive therapy. This involves replacing worries about not sleeping with positive thoughts. Cognitive therapy can be taught through one-on-one counseling or in group sessions.


■'Stimulus control.' This means limiting the time you spend awake in bed and associating your bed and bedroom only with sleep and sex.  Okay...I can do that! LOL


■Sleep restriction. This treatment decreases the time you spend in bed, causing partial sleep deprivation, which makes you more tired the next night. Once your sleep has improved, your time in bed is gradually increased.


■Light therapy. If you fall asleep too early and then awaken too early, you can use light to push back your internal clock. During times of the year when it's light outside in the evenings, you go outside for 30 minutes or obtain light via a medical-grade light box.


***Medications***


Taking prescription sleeping pills, such as Ambien,  Lunesta, Sonata or Rozerem, also may help you get to sleep. However, in rare cases, these medications may cause severe allergic reactions, facial swelling and unusual behaviors, such as driving or preparing and eating food while asleep.  And believe me when I say, people who are not used to taking sleepers and get one while in the hospital do some pretty strange things...Side effects of prescription sleeping medications are often more pronounced in older people and may include excessive drowsiness, impaired thinking, night wandering, agitation and balance problems. 

Infact, I had this argument with a doctor the other night who wanted to order my elderly patient something to sleep and I told him he was welcome to order it, but I wouldn't be giving the medication unless the patient already took it at home.  It has been my experience that elderly patients have a higher risk of being harmed when they take sleepers in the hospital which leads to agitation, increased confusion and higher risks of harm by falling.  Below is a simplified kind of cheesy photo, but what it doesn't show~Like a patient in an ICU may have a lot of IV's and most definitely a foley catheter in his bladder.  So, the blood and urine is usually all over the place!  Not a pretty sight, and definitely not fun cleaning the mess up. 


He looked at me and said, "Well, I hope you are never my nurse."  And I replied, "You'd rather I pump you full of meds that could cognitively impair your judgement to the point of where you don't know where you are, you rip out your IV and foley catheter because you don't know why they are in place.  Then you bleed all over and pee all over...And I have to change your sheets and give you a bath?  Not to mention, put the IV's and foley back in place!"  He grimaced and said, "I see your point."

Tee hee....Nurses are always right!!!!   We just let the doctors think they are!  LOL


Now I would be remiss if I didn't advise you that doctors generally don't recommend relying on prescription sleeping pills for more than a few weeks, but several newer medications are approved for indefinite use.

If you have depression as well as insomnia, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant with a sedative effect, such as trazodone, doxepin or Remeron.

Over-the-counter sleep aids contain antihistamines that can induce drowsiness. But antihistamines may reduce the quality of your sleep, and they can cause side effects such as daytime sleepiness, dry mouth and blurred vision.

I'm so glad I decided to do this post...cuz as a good nurse often does, I'm going to fix myself and save the $15 copay to my primary care physician (whom I've been meaning to change--but since I hardly ever go to him, I haven't bothered).


I know I need to do the following:

Cut down on my coffee and energy drink intake...


Regulate my sleep habits, so the pattern is more regular and not so interrupted...

And increase my daily exercise routine so that I can relieve my stress.

And, I'm definitely going to try some of those behavioral therapies listed above...

Happy Thursday! Only two more days before Christmas!!

Signing off with a funny "beefcake" pic today...
Kathleen
























Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A LONELY HEART....


The other morning, I heard a song that made me feel real bad for the singer.  He just seemed so lonely and heartbroken.  Then I wondered, are there really that many songs written and sung by men that completely put their hearts and souls out there for the world to see?

Now much has been made of Taylor Swifts writing style and that she basically does what every writer out their does...she writes what she knows.  Ommiting names, of course.  But each song she writes comes from her real life experiences.  She's young and talented and as she grows, I personally think that we will see a lot of great things from her in the future.

Makes sense, though.  If you are knowledgable about a subject, you will be able to build an experience for the reader who has picked up your book, or in this case, listens to your song.  People love to be able to identify with the story on a personal level.  They need to care about what you write about.

I can think of many songs over a lot of different genres that are sung by women who have poured out their deep sadness and soul.  But men?  Not so much.  So, if you can enlighten me...please do.  The knowledge you share will go under that category in my brain of useless...mindless...facts... But most of all, it's driving me CRAZY!!!  Because I know they are out there but I can't think of a single one.  Been making myself batty trying...

The first melancholy song I'd like to share with you is by Kenny Chesney, called "SOMEWHERE WITH YOU"  He hasn't gotten over her, but he's doing his damndest to do anything but confess his love to her.  Sounds like a lot of heros that we write about... 

Watch:


  The next song is by Jason Aldean, called "The Truth".  His problem is that he doesn't want his girlfriend or wife to tell their family and friends that they've split, so he basically asks her to lie...  So the title of the song has a bit of irony to it.  Which is something I absolutely LOVE!!  But what he asks has also been done in romance novels across the genres by both hero and heroine.  If done right, the story can be extremely entertaining.

Watch: 




The last lonely song I'd like to share is by Joe Nichols.  I recently had the opportunity to see him live at Toby Keith's Bar here in Mesa, AZ.  An absolutely amazing performance.  This song is called, "The Shape I'm In".  He sings of getting by by basically taking things one day at a time, moving forward doing everyday tasks and of trying to get to that place of acceptance.  At least, that is my interpretation...His voice is smooth and sexy, which deepens the melancholy.





Kind of ironic that all three songs are country artists.  I'm interested to see if you know of any heavy medal or classic rock artists that "bleed" their heartbreak in a song?  If you do, please comment below.  I know they are out there and it is driving me crazy trying to think of who they are....

Here's wishing you a little mistletoe with one of Santa's Helpers!  Christmas is only three days away!!


Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Kathleen












Tuesday, December 21, 2010

GOTTA LOVE THOSE USELESS...MINDLESS...FACTS!!!

After yesterday's heavy post, I thought something light and fun might be in order.  As I've mentioned before, I'm pretty much a geek... I love mindless, useless facts that probably nobody really cares about.  I think they are fun and can be great conversation pieces if you're at a loss for something to talk about.  Here are a few fun facts that you might find interesting and amusing. I know I did.  :)  I couldn't help commenting after each one.  I listed them in red...  Have fun!

1)
In 1914, Charles Pajeau hired midgets, dressed them in elf costumes, and had them play with his new invention, Tinker Toys, in the window of a Chicago store during Christmas. This publicity stunt made the construction toy an instant hit. A year later, over a million sets had been sold.

Wow! Ingenious marketing!  Good for him.

2)
Your nose makes nearly a cupful of snot every day through the mucous membranes in the nose. When you inhale air, it contains lots of tiny particles like dust, dirt, germs, and pollen. If these particles made it to the lungs, the lungs could get damaged, and it would be difficult to breathe. Snot works by trapping these particles.

Glad to know there's a use for all that green, slimy stuff! But Ewwww!

3)
Ten thousand insects are required to feed a single toad during the course of a typical summer.

I have to wonder why when I go camping, there are still so many bugs about??

4)In ancient Germany, Heidenwerfen was the popular word for bowling. It means "strike down the heathens".

Sounds like a good beer name to me! LOL

5)
Even if the stomach, the spleen, 80 percent of the intestines, one kidney, one lung, and virtually every organ from the pelvic and groin area are removed, the human body can still survive. And even if 80 percent of your liver were removed, the remaining part would continue to function. Within a few months, the liver would have reconstituted itself to its original size!

This is very difficult for me to believe...but okay...if you say so.



6)

Vampire bats don’t suck blood; they drink it. By making small cuts in the skin of a sleeping animal, the bat laps up the blood while its saliva numbs the area.

I don't know...I still think I would feel it.  Creepy!

7)
A snail can sleep for 3 years.

Sometimes, I wish I could, too! LOL

8)
The average human eats 8 spiders in their lifetime at night.

Really?  ICK!  Where?  Now, I'm never gonna get to sleep today!

9)
Only female mosquitoes bite.

Figures...something else to blame on us females...

10)
Every night, wasps bite into the stem of a plant, lock their mandibles (jaws) into position, stretch out at right angles to the stem, and, with legs dangling, fall asleep.

Okay...ummm...Sounds a bit awkward to me, but okay.

11)
All of the clocks in Pulp Fiction are stuck on 4:20.

Hmmm...Really?  Now I have to watch this movie again!

12)
There are only four words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous

Okay, are you like me, wracking your brain for one they forgot? 

13)
Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button. It was eliminated when he was sewn up after surgery.

This is a picture in my mind I definitely could've done without! LOL

14)
A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

Oh, come on!  Really?  That's not nice!

15)
A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.

Now I'm wishing...Oh, never mind...hahahaha!

16)
The Ramses brand condom is named after the great Pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.

Busy guy!

17)
A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

There are a few people I know that have this same problem!

18)
It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

There's a respiratory vignette that says otherwise...Watch...



19)
Turtles can breathe through their butts.

Hahahahahahahaha!  That's funny!

20)
Question:  What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laserbprinters all have in common? Answer: All invented by women.

Enough said! LOL



All these useless facts and more can be found on the google widget that I have posted on my desktop homepage called "Useless Knowledge".  When one pops up that is interesting, I write it down.

I'm going to leave you with a Christmas card from me...to YOU!  Merry Christmas to you and yours....  Enjoy the Sexy Santa below!



HAPPY TUESDAY!!! 
KATHLEEN

Monday, December 20, 2010

DIABETES MONDAY~FACT 20~ DKA VS. HHNK



Morning!!!  I hope everyone is having a fabulous Monday!  As promised, I'm going to try and go over the differences between two very dangerous hyperglycemic states in diabetics in terms hopefully all will be able to understand.

Now, if you're a geek, like myself, when warning bells shoot off that old robot from "Lost In Space" starts waving his metallic arms and shouts "Warning! Warning, Will Robinson...."  LOL

And if you're a diabetic with blood sugars climbing despite taking your regular medication used to treat your diabetes (either insulin or oral agents such as glucotrol) you should be listening to that robot!  The potential of your body going into either DKA~diabetic ketoacidosis  or HHNK~ hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma is extremely high.  Both conditions are life threatening leading to coma and possibly death.  So pay very close attention...

Let's start with DKA~Diabetic Ketoacidosis~

Simply, DKA is a complication of diabetes that occurs when the body cannot use the glucose that is circulating in the blood.  Remember, our food is broken down into sugar to be used by our cells as "fuel".  Lack of insulin is a result of the pancreas not producing insulin (or not enough insulin) and/or the body doesn't recognize the insulin it does produce.  So, in turn, the body starts to break down our fat stores and uses that as our energy source.  A by product of the fats being broke down is called a ketone which is an acid.  When ketones build up in the blood and urine it puts your body into a metabolic state called "acidosis". 

 Remember basic biology?  You got to play with testing strips checking ph levels of different stuff? Normal body ph is 7.35 to 7.45.    If your ph level is less than 7.35 you're in an acidotic state and if it is greater than 7.45 then you're in an alkalotic state.

Symptoms of DKA~ Blood sugars usually higher than 300~

The warning signs that you are becoming very sick might include:

•Deep, rapid breathing


•Dry skin and mouth


•Flushed face


•Fruity breath (breath odor)


•Nausea and vomiting


•Stomach pain


Other symptoms that can occur include:


•Fatigue


•Frequent urination or thirst for a day or more


•Mental stupor that may progress to coma


•Muscle stiffness or aching


•Shortness of breath


•Abdominal pain


•Breathing difficulty while lying down


•Decreased appetite


•Decreased consciousness


•Headache

Next up...HHNK~ Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Coma~

Again, HHNK is characterized by high glucose levels--usually greater than 600!!  Most often occurs in the elderly, with those who have type II diabetes, and usually is precipitated by an illness such as the flu or pneumonia. Or, if you have a chronic condition such as kidney failure or congestive heart failure and you have an exacerbation of that chronic condition, you could go into HHNK. 

The difference between the two conditions--the ketones.  In HHNK, no or very little ketones are produced.

Symptoms of HHNK can include weakness, increased thirst, nausea, lethargy, confusion and ultimately, convulsions, and coma. Onset of these symptoms can be slow and insidious, building over a period of days or weeks.


You must come to the hospital immediately!  You will be placed in the intensive care where you will receive round the clock glucose monitoring along with frequent lab draws, and fluid/electrolyte replacements via an IV and be placed on a continuous insulin infusion. 

 Please, please please!  Don't crab at your nurse because you've been poked  with needles for the one thousanth time!!  Or, because the doctor ordered you to be NPO (nothing to eat or drink).  There are reasons why we have to keep measuring the chemistry levels in your blood and if you eat...it will only elevate your blood sugars even more because we will have you on an insulin drip.

I won't go into specific labs that are monitored because then it gets complicated, but on a basic chem 7, the nurse and doctor can see when you are no longer in DKA/HHNK. 

Once your condition evens out, we will need to discuss how you got into your state of either DKA or HHNK so we can prevent it from happening again...

Hope this clears things up!  The main point of this discussion is to get you to monitor your sugars closely.  And just because you are sick with a flu bug or a cold, don't skip taking your insulin or oral diabetic agents!!!  Even if you are not eating because there will be more sugar floating around in your blood because the cells in your body need that sugar to get over the illness.

Happy Monday!!!

Kathleen




Friday, December 17, 2010

STRONG SEXUAL TENSION...


Morning!  Took yesterday off from blogging for my birthday!  Today, I thought I would share two scenes from a couple of my favorite movies.  A strong romantic at heart, I fell in love with the remake of Pride & Prejudice.  There is one scene in the entire movie that makes me lean forward in my seat and hold my breath.  It is so frought with tension as the hero and heroine let their emotions take over.  Mr. Darcy confesses he loves Miss Elizabeth and asks for her hand in marriage but does not realize she just found out he was the one to ruin her sister's chance at love and happiness.  Watch:



Do you see it?  The universal laws of attraction as they are shouting at each other, they move in closer.  His gaze touches on her mouth and his head moves forward...She realizes that he is going to kiss her and her breath catches... Then BAM!  The spell is broken as Mr. Darcy remembers everything they'd just talked about and his "pride" and anger has him drawing back, stating, "Forgive me, Madam.  For taking so much of your time." 

*Sigh*   LOVE IT!  

Now, let's propel ourselves a couple of hundred years.  My next scene comes from an unexpected movie.  One I thought was going to be completely lame...(sorry Mr. Movie Maker, but lame movies do happen from time to time).  


Do you recognize Alex and Gigi from "He's Just Not That Into You?"  Remember how he coaches her throughout the film, telling her the rules of dating?  Basically, all women are the "Rule" not the "Exception". 

My interpretation of what Alex is saying is that when women tell each other of these stories where they have a friend or knew of a friend of a friend that had been dating a guy treating them absolutely rotten but lived happily ever after...those women are the "Exceptions".  Meaning, those scenarios are few and far between and women tell each other these stories to give each other hope.  The reality of the situation is that all women are the "Rule" expecting "happily ever after", but will never find "the one".

As the movie progresses, it is Alex who ends up falling in love with Gigi.  When he realizes this, he comes knocking on her door....   Watch:




I love his honesty in this scene, but mostly, I love how Gigi's character has evolved into this woman who isn't making the situation easy for Alex.  If this had been in the first few scenes of the movie, she would've caved to Alex right away.  Instead, she is using her brain, thinking his words over and not giving in to her own emotions.  But when alex says, "You're my exception..." and kisses her...  How FREAKIN' ROMANTIC IS THAT??????  Poor Gigi has been treated poorly by all the guys in the movie, she deserves her own HEA!  And when she gets it, it's a huge payoff for the audience.

I hope I've given you something to think about...

Happy FRIDAY!

Kathleen


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DISAPPOINTMENT...


Hahahaha!  Poor James T. Kirk!  Ooops.  I should be a little bit more empathetic to his plight.  I woke up this morning thinking about disappointment. Not sure the reason why that was, but here I am when I should still be snuggled under the warm blankets for at least a while longer...

Dictionary.com defines disappointment as:


1. the act or fact of disappointing: All of his efforts only led to the disappointment of his supporters.


2. the state or feeling of being disappointed: Her disappointment was very great when she didn't get the job.


3. a person or thing that disappoints: The play was a disappointment.
 
Simply, we can be disappointed when we work hard to achieve our goals and they go up in the proverbial puff of smoke, in ourselves, or in others. 
 
I've been told all of my life that "life is full of disappointments"--meaning, deal with it and get over it already.  But I have found that  life can be full of so many wonderful possibilities, too.  I guess that is the eternal optimist in me that keeps me focused on what's next. 
 
Upon examining the disappointments in my life clearly, this is what I find:
 
Maybe my expectations at this point and time are unrealistic and I need to readjust my goals to make them more achievable...
 
Maybe I am expecting more than a person can emotionally give...
 
And maybe...I shouldn't be so damn hard on myself! 
 
Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath in...hold it....exhale.  Now open your eyeballs!  Take a look around you.  The world is still rotating on its axis.  It's still freezing ass cold from the Midwest to the Eastern seaboard.  The sun is heating up the Southwest.  Plants are growing.  Children are playing.  The world around us didn't implode just because life handed us a spoonful (or bucket full) of disappointment...life goes on.
 
In my own humble opinion,  I believe how we handle the disappointments life dishes out says a lot about our strength of character.  People crumble or they use that disappointment to drive them forward. 
 
That said, what are your biggest disappointments of 2010?  Write them down.  Examine them carefully.  How did you deal with each?  Did you find that you were able to learn from each experience?  Do you think back and still feel defeated because of what happened?  Or, can you look back and say, "Yeah, it sucked that happened, but if it hadn't then I wouldn't be..."
 
My heroine in Dating Impossible,  Dr. JJ Jones, makes a series of decisions before I start writing page one.  She is disappointed in herself for the choices she'd made and is struggling to live with those choices.  My goal for her is to have her learn that because she is a good-hearted person, she'd made the only possible choices she could have.  She will stand behind her choices and grow from the experience.
 
Now, I will leave you with the December, 2010 "Most Beautiful Man" Winner, Nick Ayler!  Nothing to be disappointed with here... Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Kathleen
 
 

Monday, December 13, 2010

DIABETES MONDAY~FACT #19 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TYPE I AND TYPE II


Good morning!  My dear friend, DeeAnn requested that I go over the differences between type I and type II diabetes once more.  A lot of this information has been put on my blog during DIABETES MONDAY posts, but it is always good to get a review of the basics.


All of the food we eat is first broken down by our digestive system into sugar so that it can be used by our cells as energy.  Energy that we need to heal, grow, and maintain our overall health.  Simply said, but it is a huge process that involves the pancreas.  Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas.  Insulin is important because it "grabs" the sugar and "carries" it past the cell membrane taking the sugar into the cell.


Type I diabetes is a condition where the pancreas no longer produces insulin.  Usually, Type I diabetics are diagnosed as children or young adults.


Type II diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body does not recognize the insulin made by its own pancreas.


Symptoms of diabetes are the same depending if you have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).  Let's take a look at each. This list was taken from The ADA (American Diabetes Association) actual website so I wouldn't have to sit here and cite from memory then wonder if I'd forgotten anything...


HYPOGLYCEMIA~
•Shakiness


•Dizziness


•Sweating


•Hunger


•Headache


•Pale skin color


•Sudden moodiness or behavior changes, such as crying for no apparent reason


•Clumsy or jerky movements


•Seizure


•Difficulty paying attention, or confusion


•Tingling sensations around the mouth




Check your blood sugar level to confirm that your sugar level is low and is the actual cause of your symptoms.  As you can see from the list of symptoms, a lot of different illnesses can be the cause of a particular symptom. 


Hypoglycemia is a life threatening condition and requires treatment immediately.   Simply, you need to get that blood sugar raised.  If the person who is having the reaction is conscious, the easiest way to increase blood sugar levels is to have them drink some juice or regular soda.


The ADA (American Diabetes Association) recommends 15-20 grams of carbohydrates to elevate blood glucose levels.  The list on their website is as follows:


•4 oz (1/2 cup) of juice or regular soda




•2 tablespoons of raisins


•4 or 5 saltine crackers


•4 teaspoons of sugar


•1 tablespoon of honey or corn syrup


15 to 30 minutes after you have eaten or drank something, re-check your blood sugar level to confirm that it is going up.  Then it is important to try to think what caused your hypoglycemia. 
 
Did you skip a meal or a snack when you'd already taken your insulin?
Did you exercise a little bit harder than expected, burning more sugar, and forgot to replenish?
If you did eat, think about the number of calories of your meal or snack.  Was it enough?
Did you double up on your insulin?  Meaning....did you take your normal dose got busy doing other things and thought, "Did I take my insulin today?" and thinking you had forgotten, you repeat the dose. (Let me assure you...this DOES HAPPEN!)
 
Okay...Now on to Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels.  Again, taken directly from the The ADA website for expediency and accuracy.
 
HYPERGLYCEMIA~
•High blood glucose




•High levels of sugar in the urine


•Frequent urination


•Increased thirst


As with  hypoglycemia, when you start to experience these symptoms you need to check your blood sugar to confirm that it is indeed, high.  Once you determine your glucose level, you need to get that sugar down before your condition turns from simply having high blood sugars to life threatening conditions such as HHNK (hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma ) or DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).  Next week I will go over the differences and similarities of each, so stay tuned!
 
Interestingly enough, the ADA recommends you exercise first if your blood sugar is high.  They also stated that if you plan to treat with exercise, you should check your urine for ketones first as it may have the opposite affect--raising the blood glucose levels higher.  Ketones are a byproduct from your body breaking down fats and will actually put your body into an acidosis...but more about that next Monday as it fits in nicely with the HHNK and DKA discussion.
 
Your doctor may have put you on a "sliding scale" regimen with your insulin.  As you check your blood sugar levels throughout the day, depending on what the results are, you may need to take additional insulin.  If you find your glucose levels are still high after following your recommended ADA diet and taking your insulin as instructed, you may need to contact your doctor to let him know that adjustments may need to be made to your diabetic regimen. Other reasons why your blood sugars may be too high could be due to illness, stress, and not being on the correct number of calories you are supposed to eat in a day. 
 
I'm going to leave you with some pictures of some famous diabetics! 
 
Dorian Gregory, Actor.



James Cagney, Actor


Jay Cutler, Quarterback


Bret Michaels, Singer


David Wells, Pitcher



Tommy Lee, Rocker




Happy Monday Everyone!


Kathleen

Friday, December 10, 2010

CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER~#4



Good morning!!  I chose the above picture because of the caption.  One of the things people are told when loved ones pass away is that "with time, the pain will ease--maybe even go away".  How a person may deal with his loss depends on the mental stability and coping mechanisms in place.


My hero in Dating 911, firefighter Jett Avery, loses his best friend in a fire.  He blames himself.  If only he had done things differently his friend would still be alive.  Jett over compensates for the loss.  The facade he presents to the outside world is not the man who day after day deals with bouts of depression and guilt. 


One of my favorite chapters I wrote for Dating 911 is chapter four.  It's pages are full of misconceptions.   No one participating in the speed dating is what he seems.  Each person  has his own agenda.  Our hero believes he is meeting our heroine for a 1 on 1 date when in reality she'd already had plans to attend the speed dating.  She didn't take too kindly to the fact Jett had "coerced" their meeting for the night.  And to her way of thinking.  Why date one when you havfe the opportunity to date a room full of men?  Things definitely go awry when Jett tells the other men interested in dating Roxanne a small little teensy weensy lie to get rid of his competition. 

WARNING: All information and works contained on this page are © 2010 by the author, Kathleen Grieve.

Here's a brief  unedited excerpt of my book, Dating 911 where Jett is trying to apologize for being an ass.  Well, his intentions were in the right place.  He was trying to apologize. LOL: 



“That hardly seems fair,” he said, using his most soothing voice. He pressed his lips against her forehead. “Me, ruining your life.” He brushed another kiss on her flushed cheek. “Why don’t you let me make it up to you?” he coaxed.


She tilted her head back and he glimpsed a flash of desire in her eyes. Her gaze fastened on his mouth. Her breathing accelerated as her pulse leapt under his fingers that still curled around her wrist.


“Jett,” she said in a tortured whisper. “I’m not sure this is such a good idea. We don’t even really know each other.”


He nuzzled her neck and nipped at her earlobe with his teeth. She sucked in a sharp breath. “That’s because I didn’t get my five minutes. I could be the man of your dreams.” A deep-throated husky chuckle escaped him. “At least for a night or two.”


That's the tease for now....Hopefully, 911 will be published soon and you all will be able to read how Roxanne reacts to his apology.

I'd like to show my female respect to all those hard working firefighters out there!  Gotta love a man in suspenders!   Or...Not!  
Happy Friday, everyone!
Kathleen


Thursday, December 9, 2010

CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER~#3

How many times have we sat through a movie or read a book all the way to the very end...only to be disappointed?  Often?  Sometimes?  Rarely?  I stick through a book or movie until the very end because the optimist in me keeps saying, "It's just got to get better!"  And when I see the  "The End" credit  I'm like, "That's it?  What about....  They didn't address the fact that...."   Grrrrr!!!  I don't like to have my precious free time (cuz I have so very, very little of it)  wasted!  Nobody, does. 

Along with great characters that people want to care about, we all want to be drawn in and entertained  by an interesting, well thought out plot.  Problem is, there's only  a limited number of plots to draw from.  It can be difficult to put down on paper something fresh and tantalizing when it has all been done before. 

Lucky for us, the human mind is wonderfully inventive.   And, we have lots of genres and sub genres to write in.  So, a murder mystery in say....Regency England spun by an historical author isn't going to be written the same way from an author who writes Steampunk. 

Television has captivated my attention with some really great plots right now.  Thank GOD for the invention of the DVR, or I would never be able to see anything since I work nights.  But if you love great plots with some serious characterization...check out these shows:

TRUE BLOOD~  Where there's nothing better when the supernatural beings are as F&%$*ed up as we humans!!

BOARDWALK EMPIRE~A lot of details for us to chew on since there's a lot of American history here.  The actual historical facts contribute to the realism of the times.  The writers really hit the mark.  Sunday's season finale opened up a lot of great possibilities for season two!  I can't wait for April, 2011--It seems like forever away right now.

JUSTIFIED~A lot to say here and I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE TIMOTHY OLYPHANT.  Oh, and his portrayal of a messed up U.S. Marshall isn't bad, either.  LOL.  Seriously, though.  You have a U.S. Marshall who gets into trouble and is punished by being sent home.  His father has spent quite a bit of time in and out of prison and the family dynamics are interesting.  In fact, the drug lord (his name escapes me at the moment, but he is the one the Marshall tries to put into prison in season one) has one messed up family of his own.  The characterization is fun to watch. And just when you think you know what the citizens of this back water town are going to do, the writers surprise you! 


WARNING: All information and works contained on this page are © 2010 by the author, Kathleen Grieve.

Now I can post as promised,  a small unedited excerpt from DATING IMPOSSIBLE, my current WIP:



Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God



The mantra screamed inside JJ’s head as she’d trailed after Ambra and took her place in line with the other bridesmaids. Had she really just stuck her tongue out at  Cruz Avery? How freakin’ childish and immature. Not one of her finer moments. 


The excited whispers of the other bridesmaids buzzed around her. The organ music began. One by one, they filed down the aisle holding fragrant bouquets of red and white winter lilies. Dimly aware of her surroundings, she followed Ambra. Her frenzied thoughts continued. How could she have mistaken Cruz for Jett? Sure, the men were identical twins, but they were such opposites. JJ had always known which was which. Always. Well, until now, she conceded.


Stupid…Stupid…Stupid


Her childhood crush was just that. A crush. She was no longer the flat-chested, gangly, awkward girl who longed for Cruz Avery’s love and attention. Without conceit, she was well aware her beanpole figure had developed curves in all the right places and her double D’s drew a man’s interest. They had certainly drawn Cruz’s interest just now. Her lips curved with pure feminine satisfaction.


Unable to resist, she snuck a peek in Cruz’s direction. As best man, he stood on the groom’s side of the alter. His attention should’ve been on his brother and Roxanne, but instead, he stared openly at her. Smoky grey gaze held a definite interest. He inclined his head. Outwardly, she knew she presented the picture of calm, supportive bridesmaid. Inwardly, her stomach fluttered with exhilaration. The young teenage girl that still lurked inside of her wanted to jump up and down, screaming her lungs out. God, she would’ve amputated her right arm to have Cruz look at her like that when she’d been in high school.


Easily six-foot tall, he’d slicked his short black hair to the side in his usual style. Clinically, she continued her assessment. Chiseled jaw… Check. Sensual mouth… Check. Broad shoulders that filled out his tuxedo jacket to a perfect “T”… Check. Heat spread across her cheeks.


Yowza! So much for being clinical.


He was still so freakin’ HOT! He winked, and her heart rate accelerated. Too bad he knew his affect on women. As a young girl, JJ often wondered if he’d known she’d been in love with him. She arched a brow in an attempt to feign aloofness and turned her attention back toward Roxanne and Jett as they promised to love each other forever. After all, Cruz had pretended to be Jett while she’d been trying to get into her stupid bridesmaid dress earlier. The rat!


A doctor of emergency medicine in her own right, Cruz Avery was her equal, and now her colleague. That thought dispensed an unwelcome chill. Recent events taught her not to mix business and pleasure. No dating co-workers. Not ever, ever again. Her fingers clenched the bouquet in her hands so tightly, a cramp developed. Slowly, she exhaled and loosened her grip.


Don’t think about what happened a voice whispered. It’s in the past. No one has to know.
 
But I know… JJ shoved unwelcome memories away.
 
 
Well....that's it.  Don't judge me too harshly, it is called a WIP (work in progress). LOL  Happy Wednesday, I'm sending you off with a peek at hunky Timothy Olyphant.  Season 2 of Justified begins in February, 2011.  Can't wait! 
 
Kathleen
 
 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER~#2


I absolutely LOVE this photo and the caption.  What's that old cliche?  Hindsight is 20/20?  Well, if we knew we were making a mistake at the time we made it, then it wouldn't be a mistake, now would it?  And if people didn't make mistakes at all....then how would we learn and grow from our life experiences?

I, for one think it is great that we humans are fallible.  Think about what life would be like if everyone around you was absolutely perfect.   I mean, really.  What would us authors have to write about?  It is enjoyable to throw a couple of characters down on paper and see what unfolds.  Again, good characterization is the key to a great read.  An avid reader (speaking for myself, here, but if you have anything to add, please feel free) wants to be able to identify and care about whom he is reading about. 

I'm currently working a story where my heroine has made a mistake...well, two key mistakes.  One is the consequence of the other.  In fact, she's made such a mess of her life, that she ends up moving back to her home town to regroup, reorganize, re-energize... (so, not a word, but deal with it, okay? LOL)  And guess what?  She's in danger of making the same mistake! 

The questions arise...What did she learn from her last experience?  Will this affect the decisions she makes in her future?  Absolutely!  I see her handling a similar situation differently, but not necessarily for the better.  She is left just a tad bitter from her experience and this leads to a new series of mistakes...some good, some not so good.  Being the sassy, unorthodox woman she is, this has been one fun book to write!

Since my WIP is so not polished, if I have time tonight, I will go through and and spiff something up and post it sometime this week...but here's a little snippet about my heroine of my current WIP from my book, DATING IMPOSSIBLE:

Focused on her career, Dr. JJ Jones doesn't want to make time to date--and especially date the "player" of the ER.  JJ found out the hard way that romantic relationships in the work place don't mix forcing her to relocate and change jobs.  She's determined to spend her free time enjoying her Harley, reading true-crime novels, and learning about the new community she lives in, but she's dogged by the gorgeous Dr. Avery with his skillful hands, disarming smile, and hot lips, her resolve wavers.  For now, she's having fun making his mission down right impossible!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Kathleen

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

YOU CAN'T NECESSARILY JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER....

Seriously?  At first look, it is easy to judge him as a "loser" or a "drunk".  Or, a person who has had a little too much fun, maybe?  But be careful with your judgements.

Examine this picture.  As you look closely, do you start to wonder?  How did he get there?  Was this a one time incident, or has his life been spiraling out of control until he fell flat?  Does he have any support?  Where are his friends?  Does he have family?  Is he an alcoholic?  Does he do drugs?  Does he have a mental illness?  Has he just made a series of poor choices?  Simply put,---what is this man REALY like?

Characterization is key.  A person with strong character (in my own, humble opinion) has honesty, integrity, a strong backbone, and coping skills to manage whatever curve balls life decides to throw at you.  He can calmly assess a situation, gather data and facts THEN and only THEN, form an opinion and make judgements. 

It really upsets me when people form opinions about a person without knowing all the facts about a situation.  Honestly, the man in the above photo could've slipped on the wet tile and fell face first into the urinal.  Or, maybe he was accosted and robbed while in the bathroom.  Instead, people may and probably have misjudged him. 

Authors constantly work on their characterization.  It's what makes a great book.  Readers love to follow a hero/heroine through all of the obstacles that are placed in the way of them achieving their goals.  Conflict, conflict, conflict....

Here's  a great example of making judgements about others.....

Let's take two characters and marry them off.  They've entertwined their lives together.  Mrs. Successful expected to grow old with her chosen mate--sorry, couldn't think of a better term, here.  She went off to college, graduated, became successful in her chosen profession where  she evolved, developed other interests.  She works hard for the family that has grown and comes home day after day to a partner that has become less of a partner over the years--what does she do?

 She has given her partner every opportunity to continue with his education, develop other interests outside the home--years go by....say, at least ten.  Mr. Unproductive has never completed one single thing in his life.  He has quit job after job, started college and stopped so many times it makes your head spin. He spends his days playing computer games and watching sports on TV.   He has friends, family, and neighbors fooled.  When they ask about school or work, he always has some excuse as to why  he isn't currently enrolled.  Phrases like,

 "The waiting lists are too long"
 "They gave me the wrong information, so I missed the deadline for the entrance exams"
"I got called for an interview, but the pay wasn't worth taking the job"
"I was over qualified for the position"
"I'm not working there any more.  They were jerking me around on my hours"

 Mrs. Successful  comes home day after day to a house that is a wreck--laundry on the living room floor and dirty dishes in the sink.  Clutter in most of the rooms.  Beds unmade.  Empty water bottles on the night table next to the bed.  Bathroom sink littered with old shavings from the razor mixed with old toothpaste. 

The only bright spot are their children.  But the unproductive partner becomes jealous of the time successful partner spends with the kids...  Arguments begin...

Mainly, as Mrs. Successful expands her interests and grows, Mr. Unproductive becomes more domineering and controlling when she is home. He sabotages himself at every turn making it impossible for him to be a productive, healthy person.   His actions become self defeating, pushing the other person away---Let's say he goes so far as to push her into the arms of someone new.  Fights erupt constantly over financial issues, the fact that nothing is done around the house, that Mr. Unproductive won't finish school or get a job to help with the bills...

So, now you have a situation where one person wants out.  Seems simple enough.  Mrs. Successful wants a divorce.  Mr. Unproductive refuses and holds on tighter, stating, "You can't do this. Don't break up our beautiful family."  Promises he will do better.  He will get his degree--get a job.  Mrs. Successful feels guilty--especially where the kids are concerned.  She teeters between what could be--life with a man who is successful in his own right.  Who treats her with love and respect---And what is her reality--each day losing a piece of herself living with a partner who is a master of control and manipulation.

Finally, she decides that she can't go on merely existing anymore and says once and for all that she is leaving.  That's when the story becomes nasty.  Mr. Unproductive decides that if he can't have Mrs. Successful, no one else will.  Then the situation develops to where Mr. Unproductive consciously or unconsciously decides that he is the victim and spins that sad tale of woe about how the "successful" partner "isn't the same person he'd married",  was "brainwashed by her lover to give up such a perfect, loving, family",  and ultimately, turns the children, friends, and family against Mrs. Successful.

Conclusions are drawn on half truths, misinformation, and judgements made.  So far, Mrs. Successful is being persecuted because of these judgements.  Not really fair, but life isn't fair.  Is it?

So, how does the story end?  We will have to wait and see, won't we.


To be continued.....

Have a great Tuesday!
Kathleen