Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Other Papa

I call both of my grandfathers Papa so for the sake of not confusing people anymore than I do, they’ll now be known as Momma’s Papa and Daddie’s Papa.

I got a text today about Daddie’s Papa.  He had a surgery scheduled for his shoulder and the prep tests ended up showing three major artery blockages.  As soon as they can make sure all the Plavix is out of his system, probably Friday, they’re going to preform a triple bypass.

Momma’s Papa is living proof of the power of prayer so any positive thoughts and prayers you can send up for him are much needed and greatly appreciated!

Daddie and his girlfriend drove down to Corpus today to be with him so I should be getting fairly regular updates, but we’re just a little freaked out.  He came to town less than a week ago for Christmas and now this.  Oh, well.  Positive thoughts only!

How to Add Text to a Video

Momma shared my video on her blog and some of her readers asked how I added the text to my video so I made this video to show you how.  I apologize for the rambling, snorts and the fact that I sound like a man.  I wore flip flops Christmas Eve and was freezing my butt off Christmas Day.  Gotta love Texas weather.

Anywho, without further adieu, here’s my first attempt at ever showing someone how to do anything.

I hope that helps and you can actually follow it!  If not, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

‘Tis the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Here’s to full bellies, safe travels, plentiful gifts and enjoyable family time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I’ll probably get a lot of crap for this.

I used to love Christmas. Decorations! Lights! PRESENTS! I loved coming home from the late candle light service at church. It was already Christmas and I went to bed knowing that Santa was on his way and I’d wake up soon to find presents under the tree and cookies eaten.

I know Christmas isn’t about the presents and Santa. It’s about Jesus’ birthday and family, but the Santa part is a nice little perk. At least it used to be.

I stopped really enjoying Christmas when I got into high school. I’ll admit that if we had get togethers I might like it a little more, but when your parents are divorced and your family isn’t as close as most, once the opening of presents is done, there really isn’t much more to do for the rest of the day.

I’m the only child between my parents and the oldest of four between my dad and his ex-wife. Growing up, they didn’t make ridiculous amounts of money, be we had what we needed and come Christmas and birthdays, we got a little something extra. now they’re divorced and my dad makes more money that he ever has, which means the kids get more for Christmas now than I ever could have imagined. I realize life isn’t fair and that’s jut how things work, but it still sucks.

I am an adult now and I don’t expect to get as many presents as I used to, but just because “I’m grow and should be out on my own” doesn’t mean that it hurts any less.

As I sit here, The Bubs is complaining that Daddie owes him money for some toys that were left at Daddie’s ex-fiancée's house. Never mind the fact that it’s been almost a year since he’s seen them and they’ll just sit in his room, rarely being touched. Daddie owes him the money because they were left over there.

He gets more for one Christmas than me and my two sisters ever got growing up and he takes that for granted. All I asked Daddie for this Christmas was an Epiphanie bag. I realize that, yes, it is a lot of money, but I’m okay with this being my only present. What bothers me is that The Bubs is asking for an Xbox for Christmas and Daddie keeps reminding me that I asked for such an expensive gift.

I’m older than the youngest kids. I know that. I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with the fact that they get spoiled beyond belief when it comes to Christmas and I get the short end of the stick.

I don’t want to come across as ungrateful or whiny, because I know there’s more to life than how many presents are under the tree come Christmas morning and I’m grateful to even have a tree to put presents under.

Just because I’m older and don’t believe in Santa anymore thought doesn’t mean that it hurts any less when I get a few presents and The Youngins are opening present after present after present.

The joy in Christmas gets taken away when you spend most of the morning fighting back tears because your feelings are so hurt.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

As one of my last assignment in Political Science, we had to write a letter to an elected official expressing our opinion on something we feel needs to be changed or praising things that have been changed.  I chose the first of the two. 

The following is a letter I wrote to my Congressman on behalf of my uncle’s fiancée:


December 06, 2010

The Honorable Ted Poe
United States House of Representatives
430 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-4302

Dear Representative Poe:

I am writing this letter to raise awareness on Diabetes. Specifically continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS) and the lack of support our health care system has given it. I come from a family that is well aware of Diabetes. Both my mother and grandfather are Type II Diabetics. My uncle's fiancée is a Type 1 Diabetic. She is highly susceptible to low blood sugar and tolerant of it as well, which is a dangerous combination. Sometimes, she doesn't know her sugar is low until it is so low she loses consciousness. Because of this she cannot work and is on disability which leads to her receiving Medicaid benefits.

Having been diagnosed at a young age she has learned to deal with the ups and downs that come with the high and low blood sugars. Recently her blood sugar dropped while she was home alone and left her unconscious for a good amount of time before my uncle came home from work. This led to her being in the hospital for twelve days. Soon after she came home, she checked her blood sugar level before lunch and it was normal. When she checked it after lunch, around 12:15 PM, it was in the 200s (normal range is 70-150) so she was given some insulin. Two hours later she was sitting in my living room telling me how she didn't remember any of her hospital stay. She suddenly got quiet and started shaking. I asked if she was okay and she didn't respond. Normally a few sips of juice pulls it back up and she is fine. This time, she was still not responding when we talked to her. After checking her blood sugar we knew why, it had plummeted to a dangerous 20. It took a whole bottle of juice and three glucose tablets to pull her back up into the 50s, which is still dangerous, but made her capable of responding to us.

She wears an insulin pump and that helps her out some, but it is not enough. Her doctor has suggested that she could highly benefit from a CGMS. A CGMS is a device that continuously checks ones blood sugar levels. A sensor is placed right under the skin where the blood sugar is checked every 10 seconds and sends the information to the device. The device then automatically records an average of the readings every five minutes, up to 288 times a day. If levels are too high or too low, users can be alerted and act accordingly. As with most medical equipment, the CGMS comes with a high price tag. The pump itself costs around $6,000 with the remote being around $600. That is just the hardware, however. After the pump and remote, the CGMS disposable sensors are around $50 each and are only worn for three days before being thrown away. Pump supplies run about $200 a month before insulin. Because of the monthly expenses being so high, CGMS are considered "precautionary" and are not covered.

If she were to get a CGMS she could become a productive member of society again. She could get a job and therefore be able to stop receiving disability payments and if she were to find a job that offers their employees health care, she would no longer have a need to receive Medicaid benefits. Although CGMS are costly, the possibility of her losing consciousness could have been eliminated. The pump could have alerted her that her levels were getting low and she could have acted upon it. That in return would have kept her out of the hospital and I am fairly certain that the cost of supplying her with the "precautionary" CGMS is far less than the amount of money spent running tests and keeping her in the hospital for twelve days.

Any positive awareness that could be brought to the situation would only help. A CGMS is not necessary to live, but as "precautionary" as it may seem, the benefits and services it offers to its users can ultimately save their lives. I thank you for your time and hope that with the future changes to our health care system some of them can be positive ones and benefit those who need it.


Katie B.

Now whether or not this will help, I don’t know, but it’s a start.  I used to think people were weird for writing letter/emailing politicians.  Now I know that if enough people do it, and do it correctly, that change can happen.  Nothing changes overnight, but we can start small and work our way up.  That’s what we elected the for in the first place, isn’t it? 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Here Comes the Bride

I know I said I was taking a break, but I just got back from my cousin’s wedding.  The wedding where I took 677 (or 3.79 GB of) pictures.

I had dream upon dream of every possible thing that could go wrong.  I almost had 2 panic attacks.  I woke up sweating.  I was beyond nervous.

Turns out I’m a big wuss.

 Bride and Groom First Kiss

I have a lot of work to do sorting and editing, but I’m happy with myself.  I’m not one to normally step outside my comfort zone too often.  I’m really glad I did this time.  I’m pleased with how the pictures turned out and I’m proud of myself.

Congratulations, you two!