Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'm a worry wart

It's true!  I worry about everything.  Yes, everything... well, ALMOST everything.  I don't worry about the sun coming up as I know that will happen every day no matter what I do.  Everything else, you name it and I can tell you a reason why I would worry about it. 

The lump in the carpet:  Is the foundation acting up or just the padding bunching up?
The hollow sound in the garage floor:  Is it really hollow?  A sink hole?  My imagination?
Breakfast:  Will this raise my blood sugar today?  Too high?  Not high enough?  add weight?
Walking:  Why does my foot feel that way?  Do I have enough snacks with me?  Will I drop low?

Did I turn off all the lights in the house before I left?

Did I see all the kitties to make sure no one was trapped in a closet?

Did I pack enough supplies for my two day trip? 

What if my insulin vial breaks?

I have three months of infusion sets in my closet.. will that work, or should I place my order now (I run a bit ahead of the time schedule)?

This doesn't even start to list the worries I have when it comes to my daughter.  She's in college over 5 hours away.  I'll let your imagination run with that one.

However, there are some things I don't worry about. 

The sun:  It will always be there everyday.  It may be behind a cloud or two, but it's still there I can tell.

The moon:  Like the sun, it will be there everyday.  Some days it is hidden behind clouds, or in a shadow, but it is still there.

The earth:  It's still here.  I promise. 

Love:  God's love, my husband's love, my daughter's love... none of these worry me as I know they are just as constant as the sun rising every morning.

And THAT is what keeps me going.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interview with a Type Awesome



Please forgive the blurriness, computers have a mind of their own.

Last month my husband was me for one day.  He monitored my blood sugars with both my meter and my CGM.  He counted carbs, he bolused, he treated a low and a high.  He did almost all of it.  I interviewed him last night to get his take on how it went.

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Interviewer:  Let's start with some basic questions.  How long has your wife (Yes.. I know that's me, but go with me on this one) had diabetes?

Hubby:  I believe it is around nine years.  I know it was right at her birthday when she was diagnosed.

I:  How does she treat it?  With a pump or MDI? 

Hubby:  She uses a pump.  Freeda is it's/her name.

I:  How long has she had her pump?

Hubby:  Three years twelve days.

I:  Does she use a CGM and if yes how long has she had it? 

Hubby:  She does, and I think she's had him for close to a year and a half.

I:  Has she named that too?

Hubby:  Oh yeah.  This one is named O.D.  Her first one was George and her second was Darryl.  O.D. is short for "Other Darryl".

I:  What made you decide to be her for a day?

Hubby:  I wanted a better understanding of what she deals with every day and thought this would be a good way to get that.

I:  What all did you do?

Hubby:  I filled a cartridge for her pump and changed the infusion site.  I did all the carb calculating and bolusing for meals.  I treated both lows and highs.  Monitored her CGM and took care of alarms.. most of the time.  She let me sleep the first night.  She said she felt guilty waking me.  That list doesn't sound like much, but I will say this, there is a WHOLE LOT MORE to it that what it sounds like.

I:  Did anything surprise you?

Hubby:  Yeah.  The amount of calculating of carbs for blousing.  It was INSANE!  I was also surprised that she actually tested with her meter that often too.  I thought she was just being a hoarder when she pushed her insurance for 10 strips each day.  I was also surprised at how fast a high, or especially a low, can hit.  It's like she was fine one minute and then I turn around and she's right there saying, "I don't feel good". 

I:  What did you learn that you never knew before?

Hubby:  I never understood why she would get so frustrated sometimes when trying to bolus or a when a low hit.  Just how it truly effects her, and subsequently my, entire life.  There is so much to do to prepare to do anything; grocery shopping, hiking, going to church, or anything.  She always just seems to have it all ready so I never realized how much work it truly is.

I:  What did you take away from this experience that will help you to support her?

Hubby:  The realization of just how it is so intertwined and how it affects her every day being.

I:  Would you ever consider doing this again?  Why or Why not?

Hubby:  I would, yes.  Because it would be a holiday for her.  Then again, it may be more work for her to have to babysit me through it.  I just want to do what I can to take some of the load off of her sometimes.  Also, to better understand what is going on so I know better how and when to help.

I:  Would you recommend other 'type awesomes' to do a day for their loved one?

Hubby:  Absolutely!!

I:  Any final comments?

Hubby:  As a kid I watched diabetes kill my dad.  He had ulcers on his feet, amputations, and developed congestive heart failure, so when she was diagnosed, it was horrible.  I thought I would have to go through that again.  As a kid I didn't know what all was going on, but I still had the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.  It is not that way now.  I don't have those feelings, especially after doing this for a day.  It's a lot of work but I don't feel helpless anymore.

I:  Any final words for your wife?

Hubby:   Too many to put down, I wouldn't know where to start.  I'll just say, "I love you and I'm proud of you.  After doing this for just one day I can honestly say Holy Crap!!  You're a trouper!"




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So there you have it, a spouse's adventure in T1D management.  I believe he did a wonderful job and I am totally going to take him up on the offer of doing it again. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Overtreating

There are a lot of things to think about when dealing with diabetes on a daily basis, even on good days.  Throw a bad day in there, and your brain is even more consumed with diabetes related.. stuff.

As I posted a few days ago, I'm trying to exercise more.  So far so good.  I've only missed one day of Zumba (ok.. two days, but one of those I played Pickleball for two hours instead).  I've managed to walk over 5 miles this week and last week.  These miles are specific miles too, not just my normal everyday steps.

Last Sunday we did quite a bit of yard work.  We planted a new tree, dug out an area of grass that will have pavers instead, and cleaned an area of gravel and put new fabric underneath.  Let me tell you, yard work is better than any type of exercise at finding muscles you forgot you had.  Holy cow!  Ever since then, I've been sore just about everywhere.  I knew that if I just sat and waited to feel better my momentum would be gone, so I still did my daily lunchtime walk and my evening Zumba sessions.  I felt so much better after moving, that I knew I would be back to normal in just a few days....or so I thought.  It will get better.

One of the downsides is overnight blood sugars.  I'm doing better with keeping everything stable.  I'm figuring out which temp basal rates I need to do depending on the circumstances.

The other night, it bit me in the butt.

I tested as I went to bed at 11pm and was 105.  O.D. (my CGM) was showing a sideways arrow, indicating that I was stable.  I had just under a unit of insulin still on board, which was perfect.  I have a tendency to climb right around midnight so that unit wasn't a concern.  Or at least it shouldn't have been.  At about 1:30 I woke up feeling crappy.  I looked at O.D. and all I could see was the bright red LOW.  That means my blood sugars were somewhere under 40.  I stumbled to the kitchen and inhaled a juice pouch and tested right away.  It was 37.  I don't remember everything that I ate.  I know there was an apple, peanut butter, and a glass of milk in there somewhere.  I stood there telling myself, "Don't over treat you will just feel worse in the morning.  Don't over treat. DON'T OVER TREAT!"

I over treated.

I tested again at 2am and was a beautiful 114, so I headed back to bed.  My alarm goes off at 5:45 and I hit snooze.  O.D. then beeps at me that I'm running high, and my husband comments on it.  I quiet the alarm and get up.  I walk out to the kitchen, start the coffee, and test.  That's when I see the carnage on the counter, and the reading to go along with it; 380.  Yuck.  I over treated.

I dosed for breakfast, along with a large correction, and hoped that I would land softly and not continue the glucoaster all day. 

I call this a win.

Diabetes, you may have won that overnight battle, but the war isn't over, and I'm bigger than you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Trees Show Support

When I go walking at lunchtime, I try to take different routes just to keep things interesting.  The area is one of the older parts of town and therefore the trees are HUGE! 

I must really like this tree.  I found four different pictures of it on my phone.
I would love to have a couple of these trees in my yard.  I do have a few new trees, and I know eventually they will be big and beautiful.  It just takes time.

Another area where there are trees that I enjoy looking at is along the main street going through town.  A few years ago the city decided to beautify the area and put in a median with trees and bushes.  They also planted trees along the side of the road too.  These trees are getting really big and with the cooler temperatures, the leaves are changing.  It is so much fun, and so relaxing, to drive down the road as the leaves are falling.  It makes me feel like I'm in a movie. 

One of the things I've noticed about these trees along the street are that some are quite a bit larger than others.  They are the same type of tree, planted at the same time, but some have flourished more than others.  When I look around and take all the variables into consideration the thing I notice the most is that the larger trees are planted near grassy areas. 

I know, I know.. DUH!  The trees have more water that way and therefore can grow bigger faster.  I know the science of it, but the parable of it is what makes me smile the most.

Think of the trees as PWD (people with diabetes) and think of the grassy areas as the DOC (Diabetes Online Community).  We get so much support from our online family that we can flourish that much faster.  Like the trees, the bigger we grow the more we can support others too.  Now, not every tree needs that extra support.  We've all seen that lone tree out in the middle of an open field standing strong and proud. 

I am not that tree. 

I am a tree along the street struggling to get through every challenge and being very grateful for the support I find in the grassy area called the D.O.C.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Time to step up my game

I think there is a automatic shrink machine in my closet and it has targeted my favourite jeans. 

Oh how I wish that were true.  It's not, and I know it, but I would feel a lot less guilty if it was.

It is easy to come up with reasons NOT to exercise.  My first excuse was that my foot hurt.  It really did.  I had a strangled nerve and a severely damaged tendon in my left foot.  Walking just exacerbated the pain.  My second excuse was that I was healing from surgery.  The incision was quite a bit longer than I had expected it to be, and made wearing shoes more difficult.  My third excuse was that it was too hot.  Daytime highs were ranging from 108-115 (Fahrenheit).  It isn't exactly a good idea to be exercising in that heat.

I'm tired of my excuses.

I'm tired of my favourite jeans not fitting.

I AM doing something about it.

My best friend and I have started a little competition.  Every Friday evening at 8:30 we report to each other how many miles we have walked/ran during the week.  The one with the most, wins.  The prize?  Bragging rights.  Come one, we all know bragging rights are sometimes the best prize.  We wanted to set an attainable goal and increase it overtime.  It would be useless to start too high and get discouraged before we even started.  A beginning distance of 3 miles per week was agreed upon.  As we get more comfortable, and huff and puff less, we will increase the distance.  One foreseeable problem is winter.  Even though we live in the desert, the winters can get pretty cold.  Add in the wind, and no one wants to be outside.  Thankfully video games can help.  My Wii has a walking game on one of the disks so I'll still be able to get my mileage in.

I know walking is a great first step (pun totally intended).  I also know that it isn't enough.  I asked the DOC on Twitter last week if anyone had done Zumba and what their opinion was.  I received positive feedback about how much fun and how much of a workout it was.  I have a problem though.  I don't dance.  Honestly, I don't.  The thought of having to "dance" in front of people will keep me home.  This is where video games come into play again.  I know that it is a lot easier to make my husband disappear for an hour than it is to tell a room full of people to not look at me. 

My husband and I went on a mission yesterday to find me a Zumba game for our Wii.  SUCCESS!!  Let me tell you, that is one heck of a workout.  I started with the tutorial to make sure that I could at least do most of the moves.  Barely, but I could.  (Yes, my husband disappeared for an hour.  No, the cats didn't, but at least they don't have camera phones.)  I then did the 20 minute routine for beginners.  Overall it took me about an hour.  I plan on doing a routine three times a week, and increasing in difficulty a little at a time.

One think I need to work on is remembering to set a temporary basal rate.  I didn't this first time, and seeing that 104 on my CGM was nice, but the two arrows down was not.  I don't want to run low during, or after, and have to stop and eat something.  I also don't want to be high throughout the exercise either.  How do I know how much to reduce by? for how long?  Sounds like I'll be testing this out for awhile.  I doubt I'll get it perfect, but keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get at least close.

Even though I had fun, and will be doing this regularly, I don't expect it to help me be comfortable dancing in public.  I'm not sure anything would.  I am hoping that this will scare the automatic shrinking machine out of my closet.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

D in the wild

My husband and I have been wanting to replace one of our couches with recliners.  The couch is a dark brown with orange-ish specks hide-a-bed.  It really has served us well over the years, but we're wanting something different.  And we want to put our feet up in the evenings.

There are many a few specifications that I want.  The back can't be too high, or too low.  The seat can't wrap around or be too deep, and I have to have enough room to sit cross legged (perfect book reading position).  On the other hand, the seat has to sit down far enough to make the arm rests truly that... rests, not items three inches below my bent arm.    The colour has to be just the right mix to hide as much cat fur as possible.  With four cats ranging in colour from white to nearly black, I know that will be difficult.  We also don't have the most space, so size is an issue.  Needless to say, sales people love me.

The second place we went to we had the best sales rep.  He wasn't pushy and showed us everything that fit our criteria.  At one point, as I was standing up from one chair, he asked, "So how long have you had diabetes?"  It took me just a second to realize that my pump wasn't hiding under my shirt.  I told him when I was diagnosed.  He said he had just recently found out that his blood sugars were higher than what his doctor liked.  He was going to be going in for a glucose tolerance test soon.  He admitted to being a little nervous about the outcome.  I reassured him that, if the results came back with not so good news, He Could Do This.

I hope his results come back with great news.. but if they don't, I hope to see him around here.  The DOC family always has open arms!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Empty nest is not what I expected

It has been almost two months since we dropped our daughter off at college.  In that time my laundry has decreased by more than half, my groceries have decreased, and my own household chores have increased.

Did you know that going from a household of three people to two people literally cuts the laundry in half?  You would think it would only reduce by 1/3, but no.. half.  This fact still baffles me.  However, a downside to this is that I don't have 'full loads' anymore and my dear husband ran out of socks.  I need to rethink my schedule here.

The decrease in groceries wasn't surprising at all.  We almost lost a gallon of milk though.  I don't drink it very often, and neither does my husband.  So when I saw him having a full glass every meal for the last three days I knew something was up.  I guess we need to downsize to half gallons now.  The irony of this is that my husband just finished the gallon yesterday morning.  As he was making dinner last night he went to get some milk, and there was none.  We had to change the menu for the evening, but all worked out.  We both had a good laugh about it though.

The chores.. well.. what can I say.  I don't like chores.  If I could get the cats toilet trained, then I'd have less to do, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

All in all, this empty nest isn't so bad.  I miss my little bear and love the phone calls and texts I receive from her.  I know she'll be home for the holidays as well as random long weekends.  The most important thing is that she is doing what she has always dreamed of doing, and being successful at it.  In my book, I call that a win.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It snuck up on me

I just sat down and was thinking about what I wanted to do for my birthday in two days and it dawned on me; today is September 24th. 

Here is a VERY brief list of things that happened on this day in history: 
  • In 1493 Columbus' 2nd expedition to the New World.
  • In 1789 - The U.S. Congress passed the First Judiciary Act.  
  • In 1896 F. Scott Fitzgerald was born.
  • In 1936 Jim Henson was born.
  • In 1960 The Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched.
  • In 1982 Prince's "1999" single was released.
  • In 1991 Children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, died at age 87.
  • In 2004 I was diagnosed with diabetes.
I remember nearly every detail of that day, so it surprised me when I nearly missed it this year. 
Am I getting complacent with diabetes?  No. 
Am I forgetting about diabetes?  No. 
Am I still hoping and praying for a cure?  Yes. 
Do I still have days of frustration beyond all belief?  Yes. 
Am I going to celebrate today?  YES! 

Why?  Because I am alive and that in and of itself is worth celebrating.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Fall Yumminess

I love my garden this year!  Well, it's the first year we've had a garden in a very long time, but I still love it.  My daughter wanted to plant eggplants, because we love them so much.  We started from seed so it took a long time for plants to actually show, let alone produce anything edible.  Look at it now!  I'm so excited.


Baby Eggplant

 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Low before ice cream

Most of the time I am able to treat my lows in public without too much notice.  If I'm out shopping I grab a fruit snack from my purse and go peruse the greeting cards.  It's the perfect place to just stand there.  Now that I think about it, that would explain some of the cards I have at home. Hmm...

Last week, my church was getting together at a local ice cream shop to celebrate everyone who has a birthday in September (the best month of the year, if you ask me).  My husband and I had just finished grabbing a bite of dinner after having a tire replaced on my car.  Have you ever noticed that you always seem to be buying tires?  Or is that just me?  No?

I bolused for dinner but did not add on for ice cream even though I knew we were headed straight there.  Who knew how long it would take everyone to get there, when we would start, or what item on the menu demanded my attention.  I'm glad I waited, but I still went low.  Can I tell you how odd it is to go low while waiting to eat a very sweet dessert?  I had to treat because I was 52 but didn't want to treat too much because I wanted to have a decent sized dessert.  As I stated up top, I normally can treat lows in public without notice.  This time I couldn't.  I was sitting there talking with a friend, and I knew I wasn't making any sense.  I wasn't making any sense to me, how he understood me I'll never know.  I apologized and asked for about 10 minutes to recover.  I laid my head down on the table.. ah, the cold table.. and waited.  I'm sure it must have looked rather funny, but having people around me that knew and understood made it a much less embarrassing experience.

I was better in no time, and was able to proceed with sharing a banana split with my husband without further issue.. or a subsequent high later.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Emotional Impact

“This post is my August entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2013/08/august-dsma-blog-carnival-3/
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"What can a parent of a child with diabetes, or a person with diabetes, do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for diabetes?"

What can I do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for my diabetes? Holy cow that is a loaded question.

Recently I had a rough low. It was one of those where you want to eat everything in sight, but still have the wherewithal to not (a rare case might I add). I actually didn't feel the low until I laid down and the world took up spinning. Not good. I opened two packs of fruit snacks and waited. I may or may not have actually chewed the snacks. What made this low so much different than others, was that I broke down and cried. I'm the first to admit that I'm not much of a crier. Very rarely do sappy movies even evoke a tear. My daughter will confirm that. However, here I was at 5:30 in the evening bawling my eyes out over a low of 54.. or was it 45. It was just too much for me to deal with right at that moment. We were two days away from moving my daughter to college and becoming 'empty nesters'. That in itself is an emotional roller coaster. My daughter has been there to help with my middle of the night lows, my stubborn highs and subsequent rage boluses (boli?), my "I hate food" dinners, and everything in between.  It was then that the thought sunk in that I wouldn't have one of my biggest Type Awesomes right there, and I would be just a little more on my own. 

So how can we reduce the emotional impact?  We can surround ourselves with an outstanding support team.  Family, friends, physicians, people who may or may not "get it" but will ALWAYS be there for you.  They may carry fruit snacks, insulin, test strips, alcohol wipes, glucose tabs... but they will always and forever be Judgement free.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The one who...

I've been thinking about this alot lately so it needs to be a blog post, albeit a short one.

Last November Alanna of Life on T1 suggested that we all write about our lives outside of D.  I did one post and a couple others not related to D, but that's about all.  I still think it's a great idea, and plan on doing a few more posts.

I've been participating in the DOC in the Twitterverse for over a year now, and I've gotten to know quite a few great people.  One thing I was noticing, when talking to my husband about it, was that if I referred to everyone as "the one with diabetes" it wouldn't help him at all.. nor me, really.  In fact, I think it would be extremely confusing.  Afterall we are NOT just diabetes, we are real people outside of D too! 

How do you refer to DOC family members without mentioning diabetes?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Confusion on the Real Estate front

Have you ever stood there at the kitchen counter with your insulin pump all refilled, tubing primed, and the only thing you have to do is insert the site but you just stand there looking confused?  Well, I have, and more often lately that I'd care to admit.  It isn't because I don't know what to do, after all I've been doing this for over 2 years (yes.. a short amount of time in comparison, but still).

One issue I have is residents on the Real Estate front.  When I first started using an insulin pump I was told to change out my site every three days, and to not use the same area all the time.  My current endo said the best thing to do is to find ten spots and rotate through them.  That allows each site to heal for nearly a month before being used again.  This worked GREAT!  I have two sides, left and right, and so all I really needed was five spots.  I chose arm, boob, belly, back, and butt, with a spare of thigh.  It worked for me.  I started on the left side and went clockwise, as if someone else was looking at me as a clock.  I always knew where my next site would be and how long it had been since I'd used it.

Fast forward a year and enter CGM.  This absolutely wonderful device threw a kink into my schedule.  I won't put a pump site close to the sensor so I have to alter my rotation.  Combine this with scheduled activities and adjusting my pump site to accommodate, and you can see where I get confused.  Did I use this site recently?  Will it be in the way of my massage this weekend?  Will my CGM sensor need replacing before this site does?  How well did that spot absorb last time?  Should I let is rest more?  And these are just some of the questions that I'm thinking while standing there. 

How do you keep track of where to put your infusion sites?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Weird food combos - Yummy Snacks

My husband has always given me a hard time about the various food combinations I used to eat. I will admit, some of them were a bit odd. Bread and butter pickles with Cool Whip was the weirdest, in my opinion. The toasted cinnamon raisin bread with butter and sliced avocado was.. and is.. really good. So is the sloppy-joe mix served on cinnamon graham crackers.  These gourmet combos were brought to me by cravings.  Not pregnancy cravings.  I craved "normal" food while pregnant, bbq ribs and baked potatoes was my go to meal during my incubating days.

Last night I ended up eating another weird food combination, accidentally.  I had a small bowl of snack mix (Chex mix like but from Costco) and a couple large marshmallows.  I was in the middle of treating my low (45) when I noticed what I had in my hand.  I must admit, it tasted pretty darn good.  I tweeted it out.  I heard back from ThePerfectDBlog that it sounded delicious.. then she went to check her own bgnow.  Then Bennet commented that it would make some "kicked up treats that would put rice crispys to shame".  Now I must admit, I seriously thought about stopping my dinner making, and whipping up some Snack-Mix Marshmallow Treats.  The only thing stopping me was the lack of anymore snack mix.  Don't worry though, it is on the grocery list for this week.

What is the weirdest food combination you've ever eaten?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Out of towels to throw in? Be thankful.

There are times when life gets the best of you and you just want to throw in the towel. That's when you look around and realize you're out of towels. You could complain about no towels, or the fact that you have laundry to add to your list of things to grump about. Or you could be thankful.

It's hard to be thankful when everything is going yucky. When you realize it is 11:30 at night and you still have 4 things to do before you can even head to bed all the while knowing that the 5:30am alarm is just around the corner. When you have family that is getting on your last nerve and making no sense. When you have a day of high blood sugars and nothing you do seems to help bring them down. When you know you have a lab request buried somewhere on your desk but can't find it and you need to have blood drawn before next month's endo appointment. These can get the best of anyone.. me included.

When I get to that point I *try* to step back, take a deep breath and think of something positive in each circumstance. True, that 5:30am alarm is early, but that means I have a job. True, family can be the most irritating and make the least sense, but that means you're at least still talking with them. True, an entire day of unexplained high blood sugars is frustrating beyond belief, but that means you're still functioning well enough to check and that you have the necessary items needed to check and treat. True, you have lost paperwork, but you know if you call your doctor for a new order they will gladly give you one. 

It is hard to be thankful in everything.. trust me, I know.. but I am trying..it is a work in progress. 

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Adventures in Surgery

This post talks about my recent foot surgery.  I have refrained from posting any graphic pictures, and tried to not be to graphically descriptive.  However, if you have a weak stomach and vivid imagination, consider this fair warning. 

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This last Thursday I had foot surgery. It was supposed to be for ganglion cyst removal, nerve un-strangling, hardware removal, and possible tendon repair. A blue light special as my podiatrist put it.

It started a few months ago. I couldn't wiggle my big toe, by itself without it hurting. I could manually move it.. wiggle it with my hand.. just not on it's own. The ultra-sound showed a rather large cyst with floaties in it. Dr. Foot suspected a ganglion cyst. He tried one shot of cortisone..much to the dismay of my blood sugars, but that didn't help at all. The next option was to go in and remove it, especially since it also appear to be pinching off a nerve. Have you ever had a hair wrapped around your toe? Imagine that feeling all the time.

So we set the date for July 11.

I got my time to report for surgery... 2pm. I was NOT a happy camper. Everyone knows that before surgery you stop eating at midnight. How in the world was I supposed to go from midnight to 2pm without food?! Having Type 1 diabetes is no fun, but it does allow silver linings sometimes. Being scheduled first for surgeries is one of them. I tried to argue and get an earlier time, but I had no luck. I was, however, allowed to eat breakfast and clear fluids.

Thursday afternoon finally arrived and I show up at the surgical center. My podiatrist came in and informed me that he'd been talking with my anesthesiologist about my CGM and he was fascinated. Dr. Sleep came in and wanted to know exactly how it worked and what to expect. I gave him the full low down. He was excited! He said being able to see what was going on, so he knew what needed to be done and to help the others in the OR with IV fluids was going to be so nice. Everyone was a bit concerned about one part of the surgery and how it would interact with my CGM. At one point, I get hooked up to a "zappy *" machine that "melts *" the ends of blood vessels to help control bleeding (*Dr. Foot terms). They put an additional pad near the site for the electrical current to go to. It was on my upper leg and my CGM was on my OTHER leg. It shouldn't have been a problem.

Surgery went very well. Come to find out, there was no cyst at all. My tendon was severely damaged and the screws from my previous surgery were very much stuck in the bone. To repair the tendon, Dr. Foot took another tendon from the same foot and moved it over. This relieved the nerve at the same time. The nerve immediately sprung back, almost like it took a deep breath. Yay for no neuropathy! He was able to remove the screws, but it took a bit more work.

Anesthesia and I don't get along very well.  I normally take quite a while to wake up, and it likes me to revisit anything I may have eaten on the sly.  I was given a dose of anti-nausea medicine to help.  I was told it wouldn't spike my blood sugars like the one normally used.  So I was hopeful that my night would be good.  No such luck.

When I was fully awake, I look at my CGM graph and was hovering around 160.  I was content.  The odd part was the approximate 30-45 minutes of no reads.  I wondered if Dr. Sleep had wandered away too far, or if all the other equipment interfered with the signal.  I was hoping for interference.  Come to find out, the screen went blank mere seconds after the "zappy" machine was used.  Oops.. no permanent damage done though.

When I got home I was STARVING!  The funny thing is, I don't remember what I ate.  I do remember how rough a night it was bg-wise.  That anti-nausea medicine that wasn't supposed to spike me?  Well, it failed at that.  I climbed the whole evening.  I had corrected and still didn't come down.  At one point, I think it was about 1:30 in the morning, my level was 439.  UGH!!  I switched out insulin, cartridge, and site in hopes to help.  It brought me down to upper 100's as long as I didn't eat.  First food brought me to 300+ in no time.  I was frustrated.

Friday was doing better.  I was walking around.  I hadn't had to take any pain meds.  My numbers were still high.  This is where the love of the DOC comes in.  Sugarfreesweety checked in on me and suggested increasing my basal.  Now, why I never think of that myself, I'll never know.  I increased basal, and that helped budge my numbers.. but I was still running high.  Doughuss popped in and reminded me that surgery will do that, and it could be a couple days.  *sigh*  Thankfully, by Saturday I was pretty much back to normal.  I was exhausted, but doing decently. 


I don't think I'll be running any marathons anytime soon.
 
Now, if I can only remember all the extra steps needed for when/if I have surgery again.   

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

An inspiration to me

One thing I know about life is that we are all dealt a hand that we don't always like. There are days when it would be easier to throw all the cards away and ask for new ones. Then there are days that we look at what we have and couldn't be more thankful.

Living with Type 1 diabetes is exactly that. Some days the cards are different and some days the cards are the same, but the outcome can be different.

Another thing I know is that if you look around you will always find someone who inspires you. Katie is one of those people for me. I met her a few years ago through my daughter. They went to the same high school. In fact, Katie's dad was the commander of my daughter's JROTC class.

Confession time: When I first saw Katie I noticed she looked different, but I also noticed that it didn't slow her down.. I didn't know what had caused her physical difference, but I learned. Katie has Treacher Collins Syndrome. Here is a description of what Treacher Collins Syndrome is.

Over the last couple years Katie has been through more surgeries than I can count (somewhere upwards of 30+ if I remember correctly). I've kept up on them the best I could and have been amazed at her positive attitude and strength. It has truly inspired me.

Now I don't know about you guys, but before Katie I had never heard of Treacher Collins Syndrome, have you? I know she would love to spread awareness for TCS. I hope that this post has done just a little bit of that.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Twice in one month

I should have known better. After all, I dealt with hot insulin once this month already. But no.. I have a thick skull.

This past weekend, and through this week, my area of the world has been super hot. I know there are other areas that are a lot hotter than here, Phoenix for example. Yes.. yes.. "it's a dry heat". I will agree that dry and hot is better than humid and hot, but 115 is hot no matter how you look at it.

This was taken at about 4pm

Saturday morning, while getting ready for the day, I debated preparing my Frio pouch for my insulin pump. I knew I would be in and out of buildings, but figured I would be fine.

My post church lunch was delayed due to an extra sermon (very good sermon..totally worth the extended time), so instead of eating at the park with friends my hubby and I stopped by my office to eat. It was already hot outside, and I figured the coolness of my office would be good. We ate a quick lunch, and headed to a funeral for the dad of a dear friend.

The service was good, hugs were given, and tears were shed, then we were off to the cemetery. This dear gentleman had served in the Army during the Korean war and therefore had a full military burial. I truly felt for the honor guard as they were in full uniform. Those uniforms are not cool by any means. Talking with one of them afterwards I found out that ours was their third of the day.

The graveside service took maybe 15-20 minutes. There was a little bit of wait time, but not bad. All in all, I was outside for maybe 30 minutes. I made sure my pump was on my shaded side, and kept it covered with my clothes. When we got back in our car I checked my CGM and noticed I was climbing, two arrows straight up. That's when I knew I should have brought, and used, my Frio. We went back to my office for me to switch out everything. Thank heavens for spare supplies at work, right? I corrected, even with a syringe, and it still took a few hours to come back down.


Yup.. it was a rough day.
Needless to say, I've been using my Frio every day since.  It is a little bulky, but workable...  especially when compared to cooking insulin.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My hubby's opinion

Have you ever wondered how your choice of diabetes care affects your other half? Maybe you discussed it with them before you got the pump.. or opted for no pump. Maybe he said, "Whatever you feel works best for you." Either way we know they have an opinion, but do the express it.

We all know that diabetes is a family condition. There isn't one single person living with you that isn't affected by some aspect of it. Be it a super grumpy high or a "clean up the carnage in the kitchen" low, the family feels it too. Plans can be delayed, or changed, because mommy (or daddy or sibling) does not feel good. I know I do everything within my power to be as healthy and in range as possible to maintain as 'normal' of a life as possible. But lets face it, diabetes has a mind of it's own sometimes.

Last night my husband notice the spot on my arm where my last Dexcom sensor was.  It left a bit of a red spot and a small bump.  It had been there for three weeks.  (YES.. 21 days, can you believe it.  WOOHOO!.. Um.. I mean.. not recommended... I digress.)  While we were talking about how long my sensor sites stay on and how long my infusion sites stay on, it dawned on me, I never asked his opinion of all my robotic body parts.  We joke about them, refer to them as family members with given names, talk about how they are moody sometimes, etc.  So I asked him, "How do you feel me having a pump and CGM has personally affected you?"  I prefaced it by saying he couldn't refer to me at all in his answer.  He tried though.  After a couple answers where I was still mentioned, I told him to be utterly selfish and think of only himself.  He finally said, "I like the pump and CGM because it makes things feel more normal, and normal feels good."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Excuse me...

Last Tuesday it was time to switch out my G4 Dexcom sensor. I have almost always used my stomach. The one time I tried my leg with my 7+, the readings were never close enough for my comfort.

This time I needed wanted something different. I have two areas on my stomach that look a little patchy from the tape. I figured it was time to give them a break. It's been a year since my first sensor. It was time.

So Tuesday while at work I switched out my sensor. My co-worker helped me as I wasn't sure I could get the angle right without some major yoga moves.

I think taking a picture of the back of my arm was actually
harder than inserting the sensor there.

I thought it would be fun to keep track of the different comments I received while wearing the sensor in such a visible spot. I knew I would at least get a couple questions and a few comments, but I wasn't expecting some of them.

Here is a list of what I heard:
  1. So you're trying your arm, huh? (said by a co-worker while she poked it)
  2. So what is that? (said by another co-worker)
  3. So is that a new thing in your arm? (yet another co-worker.. side note.. we are a talkative office)
  4. It looks like an electronic tumor growing on your arm. (said by my supervisor. He meant it in all humor)
  5. Nice robotic blister. (This one made me laugh! My daughter's boyfriend is a riot.)
  6. So what's this new patch you have? (co-worker.. see, we're a talkative bunch)
  7. Excuse me, may, I ask you what that is on your arm?
While all of them were polite and appropriate in accordance with whom I was speaking with, the last one was my favourite. My husband and I were just leaving Costco (for under $100.. can you believe it? .. sorry.. I digress), and this lady walked up beside me and said, "Excuse me, may I ask you what that is on your arm?" I answered as simply and to the best of my ability as I could. I even showed off my receiver. In the back of my mind I was hoping that I wasn't high, I was actually running low. The screen showed "80mg/dl LOW", which was a perfect example of why a CGM is so important. She was fascinated and stated that she had never heard of such a device and thanked me for taking time to talk to her.

The entire interaction was less than 5 minutes, but I know the ripple effect will go far. As this lady was getting into her car she was explaining what she learned to her companion. I could hear the excitement in her voice.  You know the sound.  You could almost picture her going home and telling a family member about this new device that she saw and how much help it would be for so and so. 

The ugly tape, the funky tan lines, the weird looks.. it is all worth it because one lady now knows more.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

UGH!! One of those days.

Yesterday was horrid.  Absolutely horrid.  I (re)learned a valuable lesson, or two, but it was still a horrid day.

Let me explain. 

Tuesday evening I was by myself.  I love those times.  I have the opportunity to pop in the ear buds and sing off key with no one rolling their eyes at me.  My daughter was at work and my husband was at his second job.  It was me time.  So you know what I did?  I cleaned.  Scrubbed litter boxes (four cats can be messy), kitchen floor, bathroom floor, and rugs.  Yup.. I'm a party animal.

I think I might have over done it outside.  It is so much easier to hose down the box with the garden hose, than to finagle it in the bathtub.  It had cooled off a little from earlier in the day.  I think it was down to 94f or 95f, so I wasn't too worried.  It gets a lot hotter than that so I didn't think anything of it.

I didn't run low while scrubbing.  In fact I did really well.  I popped a couple peanut butter cups between doing the kitchen and bathroom, and all was good.  Bedtime came and I test and was a bit higher than where I wanted to be.. around 150ish, so I corrected and was sound asleep by 12:45am.  I woke up about 5am extremely thirsty.  Daryl (my CGM) was saying I was in the upper 200's.. ok.. closer to 300.  So I check with Charlie (my meter) and he said 396.  WHAT THE CRAP?!?!  I was not happy, but was also super tired.  So I corrected and went back to sleep.  My alarm goes off at 6am and I check Daryl.  I was mid 200's and dropping.  Whew.  Ok.. Time to make the coffee and breakfast.

Breakfast was normal.. two eggs over medium, piece of homemade toast, and a cup of coffee.. not necessarily in that order.  I bolused.  I ate.  I did dishes.  I hopped in the car to go to work.  Here is well it all fell apart.  I KNOW I should have extra supplies and insulin at work, but I don't.. well I didn't (that's fixed now).  I got to work and checked Daryl again...


It was not looking pretty.  We were having a birthday celebration for the CEO in the morning.  No treat for me today.  Afterwards, I corrected.. and went for a mile and a half walk.  It was 10:30 and it was already warming up outside.  When I got back...


Whew again.. Ok.. I can do this!  I waited, and waited.. and ended up around 216 with southeast arrow.  I was really hungry by now... it was coming up on 1pm and my sandwich was calling my  name!  I skipped most of my lunch and just had the sandwich. 

It was half a chicken sandwich with lettuce on homemade bread.  It was good.  I was feeling good.  Two hours later....


UGH!!  Logically the insulin wasn't working and I should have just changed it all out.  I only had 8 units left by this point.  Problem was, I didn't have any insulin or infusion sets with me.  I would have gone home.. but I was the only one in my department, everyone else had appointments they had to go to.  I only had an hour and half left so I stuck it out. 

I felt miserable when I did get home.. and GRUMPY!!  Oh man was I grumpy.. just ask my daughter.. poor thing got the brunt of it.  I did a complete change; new site, new cartridge, even new insulin vial.  A couple hours later, I was coming down, and saw my first lower than 200 all day.  It was a relief.  In fact, at bedtime I was 106 (I missed that picture.. I was tired).  I couldn't have asked for better.

So, what were my lessons of the day?  Lesson 1: Keep supplies at work, you never know when insulin will go yucky on you.  I now have three complete change out sets and an unopened vial of insulin in the fridge.  Lesson 2:  Heat is not a friend to your insulin.  Wouldn't it be nice if the insulin changed colors when it went bad?  Think how nice that would be.  It could change to fushia if overheated or frosty blue if it got too cold.  Hmmm....

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Strengths and Weaknesses

“This post is my May entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/may-dsma-blog-carnival-3/ "

As with most things in life, it is easier to see the negative in yourself and diabetes is no exception. I have many weaknesses and strengths. In fairness I will list an equal number of each, and end with the strengths.

Weaknesses
  1. Bolusing 15 minutes before eating. This is HARD, and not just when eating out. Even at home I have a tendency to bolus as I'm walking to the table with my plate. I want to make sure I know the amount of carbs I'm going to be eating, and the best way to figure that is to have my plate filled first. That creates the problem of sitting there while everyone else is eating and my food is getting cold. So I bolus right as we start to eat.
  2. Carb counting. This is HARD. I've taken the classes. I've studied the books. I've read every label in my house and I still S.W.A.G. it most of the time. One of the items that really throws me for a loop is homemade bread. I make the bread for my family (ok.. that sounds way better than it really is. I throw the ingredients in my bread machine and hit start. Three hours later.. voila!) and my bread machine doesn't attach a label telling me the carb count, nor does my cutting skills make the same size slice each time.
  3. Logging my numbers. To be truthful, I don't do this at all. Between my meter, my pump, and my CGM they are all basically logged for me, right?
Strengths
  1. Keeping supplies on hand. This may sound simple, and it truly is, but oh so nice. A couple years ago I had the great privilege of switching insurance companies right after having my three month's supply of insulin, test strips, and pump supplies filled. This meant I had to get new prescriptions for everything BUT I could get them filled right away without there being a delay because of the "too soon to reorder" issue. There are times it is tempting to let my reorder slide a little longer because of what I have on hand, but then I remind myself that there may be a time when I can't get them or afford them. By having a good stockpile I feel I'm a little better prepared.
  2. Keeping my doctor appointments.  I hate going to the doctor as much as anyone.  Even though I always have my book and my phone with me to keep my occupied while waiting, I still hate the wait.  There are a couple doctors I REALLY don't like to go to.  For the most part, they are nice, but I just don't like it.  The eye doctor for instance.  Dr. I is pleasant and thorough, but oh so monotone.
  3. Changing my infusion site every three days.  Ok.. this one is a cheater strength (but not logging numbers was a cheater weakness.. so fair is fair).  We're supposed to change sites every three days no matter what.  It helps prevent scar tissue, and absorption issues, and darker than necessary funky tan lines from the tape (it's summer now).  Right now, I go through a full cartridge in my pump every three days, give or take a few hours depending on the occasion.
How about you?  What are YOUR strengths and weaknesses??

One chapter complete

Last week was the close of a big chapter in my daughter's life.

She graduated high school.


She was excited to have cords with tassels. Her reasoning?
"So I have something to play with during the speeches."


It's been a long and short 18 years. We've had the long nights where a project was put off until the last minute (coffee was my friend.. and life juice). We could also swear that the first day of Kindergarten was just a couple months ago (wasn't it?). We couldn't be more proud of her.

Dad gave a great speech at her BBQ afterwards. Yes, there were tears.


I could ramble on and on about all of her accomplishments and her plans and all the embarrassing moments of her life (I've been banned from posting THOSE pictures), but I'll put it simply...





Her next chapter will be an even bigger one.  College schedule is set and dorm room is reserved. 

And many .. many boxes of mac n' cheese and ramen have been purchased. 



Thursday, May 30, 2013

I finally heard it...

I have ready many a blog post and twitter post about how irritating (and wrong) it is to be called "fragile" when referring to diabetes. Until recently, I had never heard it first hand.

My daughter recently graduated high school (I am working on a post about that too.. I am a Proud Mama Bear, after all) and she wanted to tell the world, or at least everyone she's known for the past 18 years. One very dear couple moved away a few years ago, and I couldn't find their updated address. I really should get an address book, but who sends snail mail anymore? Anyways... my daughter called and left a message to call me back. J called me back and we played catch up for about 20 minutes. They are a retired couple, and traveled in accordance with the seasons. Snow birds. J and her husband lived in our area around the time I had my diagnosis corrected. She is a retired nurse and thoroughly enjoyed hearing about all the new information I had, and all the new technology. She had never seen an insulin pump before, so that was a lot of fun. 

Needless to say, she asked how I my diabetes was doing.  Yes, that is a frustrating question, but you gotta pick your battles, right?  I explained that I have my good days and bad days depending on what I ate, how I slept, the direction of the wind, and if the butterflies in Africa had beans for dinner or not.  Lately, I had been running really high, and my recent A1C came back .6 higher than my last one.  It's not like I'd been running non-stop for two months or anything.  Nope.. not at all.  I told her that it had been a rough little while, and she replied, "Oh.. so you're still fragile?" (hear concerned grandma voice).  REALLY?!  Had it been anyone else I might have said worse, but I bit my tongue (literally), and said, "No.. not fragile, just human." 

I know her comment wasn't meant as insulting.  In her defense, she is from the time period that "fragile" was an actual description, and she has been retired for many many a year and isn't up on all the latest.  It still hurt.  I'm still mad.. not at her.. just mad. 

We're all fragile.  Everyone, whether their pancreas works or not.  Don't call me fragile, diabetically speaking.  Call me fragile and yourself fragile and everyone fragile, humanly speaking. 

I saw a plaque not too long ago, and I think it's appropriate here:

Life is fragile.. handle with prayer.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Let's Trade

Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions? (Thanks to Jane of Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE and Bob of T Minus Two for this topic suggestion.)

I've been sitting her most of the day thinking about this post. I've read many a blog post and for the most part, everyone feels the same. We don't really want to get rid of the monster we know and trade it for a monster we don't know.
Lets set some ground rules:
  1. The trade would last for only 24 hours.
  2. You would have to work as hard as you could to maintain and manage your health during that time. (ie: no cupcake parties at 11:30pm just because you knew you were almost done.)
Ok.. rules all agreed upon? Good. Now lets trade...for everything. We all get to experience every chronic illness for 24 hours each. The downfall of this would be that it would take quite a bit of time to get through all of them. The benefit would be the better understanding of what everyone goes through. Think of all the misconceptions that would be gone because everyone would "get it". Think of the dedication to finding cures because after experiencing (insert chronic illness here) everyone would understand the need. I also think that there would be a DOC style groups for every condition.  THAT alone would be worth it.

BIG/small Accomplishment

{Ok.. Ok.. so this is a day late.  I promise not to list punctuality as one of my accomplishments.}


We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hillary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)

I have not mastered carb counting.  I don't exercise anywhere near as often as I should.  I could do a lot better on my meal choices.  Don't ask about a bg or food log. 

There are many things I have not accomplished.  One thing I have is having other people give me my shots and/or change out a pump site. 

From the first day I started on shots I had everyone in my house give me one.  They had to draw it up and inject.  No one was exempt.  My daughter's friends have all had their turn.  Even one of the youth at my church has taken a turn.  When I started on my pump, I went through the process again.  Each member of my household (well... those with opposable thumbs that is) got to perform a complete site change. 

It may not seem like much, and maybe a little odd, but I look at it this way.  If ever I am not capable of doing it myself there will be someone right there who can do it for me, and do it with confidence.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memories


Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere.... your or your loved one's diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)

Memories. They can be good, bad, pretty, ugly, or weird. Have you ever done something that you hoped no one would remember? You made a complete fool of yourself and you just knew that everyone would remember it for time and all eternity? Then years later you ask your child if they remember the time (insert embarrassing event here) and they say, "I totally remember the dog with the polka dotted bow on it's tail!" You then wonder if YOU remember the event correctly because you could sware that there was no dog, or spoon. Sorry.. I digress.

Back to un-tweaked memories. I have many memories about personal diabetes victories and failures I've dealt with. That high that stayed that way for hours, no matter what I did. The low that caused my grocery bill to skyrocket for the week. We've all had those. I'd like to focus on memories of my interactions with others on big diabetes days. After all, it's the people that help us get through every day.


Good memories:

The weekend I was diagnosed was a big one. I was diagnosed on a Friday. Saturday morning was our church's annual ladies retreat in the mountains. Saturday evening, one of my co-workers was getting married. Sunday was my 29th birthday.

The ladies at the retreat knew my birthday was that weekend, so they brought a carrot cake with a Pooh Bear figurine on it. They didn't know, but they felt horrible when they found out. I reassured them, that I hadn't died from carrot cake before, and I wasn't going to die that day either. Many hugs were given, and cake was consumed. I still have that Pooh Bear. He rides on the dashboard of my car. I love those ladies.

My co-worker was so concerned about my doctor's visit the previous day, that when we got to her reception and started going through the line, she stepped out, came up to me and asked how I was doing. It was her wedding. It was her day. She thought of me. She has assured me over and over that my diagnosis was not then, nor ever will be, a cloud over that day. I continue to hope not. Her husband used to bring me a large bottle of Dr. Pepper when he wanted to take her for a long lunch, or out for an early dinner. After that day, he changed it to a large bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. I love that couple.

Not so good memories:

To say the relationship with my biological mother is strained would be the best way to put it. (I won't delve into the reasons behind that here.. the proper place or format.) It was about a week or two after the correction of my diagnosis from Type 2 to Type 1. I had the approval for my insulin pump from my insurance company. I had ordered my pump, and was waiting to hear back from the supplier on the details. I was on the phone with my mom when the call came in. I quickly interrupted her (one of my pet peeves - btw.. but this one was kind've justified), said I had another call but I would call her back. I was ecstatic! My pump would be delivered in just two days to my endo's office!! I called my mom back and apologized for the quick exit and then filled her in. Her response? Her EXACT words? "Oh.. Well.. I hope that works out for you." Ya... thanks for the support Mom.


So those are just a couple of my memories.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dream D Device - The Life Long Test Strip


 
 
Today's suggested topic was to create a petition.  I've been reading through many blogs today and I really love all the petitions I've seen.  As it is, I would need to have a rubber stamp made to keep my hand from cramping from signing so many.  So I've decided to use a wildcard suggestion and tell you about my dream diabetes device.
 

My Dream Diabetes Device:  Permanent Test Strip
 
Think about it.  One test strip.. FOR LIFE!  No more random strips found literally everywhere.  no more money spent on an item smaller than my pen cap, but costs more than the entire pack of pens. 
 
I got to thinking about this at lunch.  About a month ago, a couple of us were chatting on Twitter about how many test strips we go through.  Jenny of Sugar Beat started collecting hers in a plastic container.  On April 14th I started collecting mine in my meter case. 
 
One Day

One Week


Almost One Month





I'm not sure I would want to see the size of the pile after six months, let alone a year.  What do you think?  Would you like a permanent test strip?


Monday, May 13, 2013

Hey Dr. Endo!

Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see? (Thanks to Melissa Lee of Sweetly Voiced for this topic suggestion.)

I love my doctors, especially my endo. Well, she not technically an endo, but she is who I see every three months for insulin adjustments, A1C tests, prescriptions, and life updates. I have mentioned in passing a little about my blog, ie: a post I had about a particular thing. I don't think she reads it. I could be wrong, I have been known to be wrong before, but I would be surprised. That being said, if she DOES read my blog, there are just a couple things I'd like her to know.

I may write about a lot of things, and not always my diabetes, but trust me.. it is ALWAYS first (or second) on my mind. I have a life outside of diabetes, and by golly that is what I find more interesting. My daughter is SUPER important to me and I try my darndest to not let diabetes interfere with me being with her and doing things for her. If that means I run higher for awhile because of the stress (Did you know that the HS senior year is a pain in the butt for the parents?! I sware it wasn't this way when I was a senior.. right?) it doesn't mean I'm not trying, it just means that diabetes is a pain in the butt and doesn't play well with others.

I am scared to make adjustments without your approval. I have done them, and I'm feeling more confident in doing them, but the kid in me still expects to be scolded for changing something without permission. I know ultimately I'm the one taking care of me, and I need to feel better about taking control of little things like that. I'm getting better, I really am, especially when the change I make actually works.

For the most part, things I don't want anyone to know I don't write about, so if she does read my blog, there is nothing there I want to hide. However, there are a few things I do (and I know others do as well) that aren't exactly best practice. I have changed my infusion set at 2am because my pump ran empty. I don't like wasting even 1 unit of insulin.. that stuff is expensive.. so I have had a snack before bed just to use the last little bit of insulin in my pump so I can replace the cartridge before going to bed so I don't have to get up at 2am. Yes.. this usually makes me run high all night, and I have a hard time getting it back down even after breakfast. Ok.. ok.. this is something I may need to reconsider. Is 1 or 2 units worth it? Hmm... let me consult my checkbook.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

#HAWMC - No Social Media - Day 23

An optional suggestion for today's topic was "How would your life change if there was no social media?" 

How would my life change... hmm... 
  • I would probably be finished working on the Christmas project that I started last July, that I had originally planned on giving them last Christmas. 
  • I would have a slightly cleaner house that was mopped on a more regular basis.
  • I would have a shorter stack of books by my bedside.. (ok.. no I wouldn't, I would just have read more and there would be different books).
  • I would have a lot fewer pictures on my phone.
  • I would still be thinking that I'm alone in my struggles.
  • I would not have someone to chat with at 2am when I'm trying to bring up a low without eating the entire kitchen.
  • I would be in the dark about a lot of tips and tricks on how to deal with highs and lows.
  • I would not have some of the most awesome friends from around the country, and the world. 
I have heard it said that social media is the downfall of society.  I disagree.  There are areas in my life that may be better if social media didn't exist, but overall... I am better for it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

#HAWMC Day 19 - Vintage

Post a vintage photo of yourself, with a captain about the photo and where you were in terms of your health condition.

So here is a vintage picture of me.  Yes I know.. I was adorable. (sorry for the graininess.. it is an OLD picture remember)

 

I used to be a shy little kid.  Now I'm a shy big kid.  I was maybe about 2 years old when this picture was taken.  I was sitting on my Grandpa's lap while the rest of the family was in the swimming pool.  At this point in my life, my biggest health issue was.. um.. when was nap time and could I have an extra cookie for dessert.  I wasn't talking though so I had to grunt to express anything.  Don't get me wrong.. I did say my first words at the 'normal' age, but then I stopped talking for a couple years because everyone laughed.  I did start talking again but that was only after speech therapy and tape over my sister's mouth.  It's true... ask her. 

It would be 27 years after this picture was taken that diabetes entered my life. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#HAWMC Day 16 - Misinformation

Today's prompt is to give three truths and one lie about myself, my condition, or my activism.  This should be fun, especially since my siblings and I were taught how to lie by our mother.  Yes.. it's true, she taught us to lie...to our grandmother none-the-less.
  1. I feel blessed to have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
  2. I referred to Diabetes Brain in a talk I gave at church recently.
  3. I find it easier to "cheat" on foods that will raise my blood sugar when I'm in range already.
  4. I have an extremely difficult time actually saying the word Diabetes.
So there are my four things.  Now it is your turn to guess which are true and which one is a lie.

Friday, April 12, 2013

#HAWMC Day 12 - Hindsight

HAWMC Prompt for today - "If you could go back in time and talk to yourself (or your loved one) on the day of diagnosis, what would you say?"

Lately I've had song lines, and movie quotes, and cliches running through my head like the opening sequence from the movie Contact (see.. it won't stop.. cliches, quotes, and scenes oh my!). Needless to say this prompt sent a song through my head. So bear with me...

If I could turn back time to the day that I was diagnosed.
If I could find a way to get me to listen.
I'd take back all those words that I said that hurt me.
And I'd stay a little bit more calm.

I would tell myself that it would be ok.. even though my world was shattered and I felt torn apart, it would be ok. I would have family and friends and (good) doctors there to help me. It wasn't the end of the world. In fact, it was a new beginning of being able to show how strong I really could be... and how weak (there is strength in weakness.. odd, I know... maybe a later post I'll delve into that one). I would tell myself to not be scared to say the word "diabetes". It wasn't poison coming from my mouth, it may sound funny at first, but say it and own it!

I would also tell myself to share more. Don't keep it hidden. It doesn't do any good to not share your story.. in fact it does a world of good TO share it, so do.  You never know who it will help.. it may even be you.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Catching up on #HAWMC Days 1-3

Sooo... I realize it is April 3rd... and that the Health Activist Writer's Month started on the 1st... and that I'm late. Oops.

That's what catching up is for, right? I thought so too.

Day 1 - Getting Started!

Why do I write about my health online? A couple reasons, actually. Writing about my health, helps me to look back and see what I was thinking about at the time. Sometimes it works so much better than a log book! I write online because it allows me to share.. and typing is so much faster than pen and paper. I got started by reading other blogs. They showed me that sharing wasn't a bad thing. Often times it was more comforting than anything else.

Day 2 - Introductions

My condition is Type 1 Diabetes. I was originally diagnosed as Type 2, two days before my 29th birthday. It was six years before I was able to get it corrected. Five things I would like you to know about my condition and activism. 
  1. I didn't want T1D (type 1 diabetes), but I am thankful for it.  It has opened me up to a whole new world of awesome people.
  2. T1D is a pain in the backside!!  and fingertips, and stomach, and head, and bank account. 
  3. I am the only one in my family with T1D... and that was the best news !
  4. My activism is just getting started.  In fact, next weekend is my second JDRF walk, but my first being on the committee.  I am excited.
  5. My sharing on this blog varies.  Most of the time it is about my diabetes, but sometimes I just have to brag about my daughter (I'm one proud Mama Bear).  Either way, I hope you get something from it.  Even if you didn't, know this.. *I* got something from writing it.
Day 3 - Wordless Wednesday

A picture that symbolizes my condition and my experiences... This is a tough one..

 
This picture may seem a little odd.  Let's look at it this way.. the ocean is HUGE and no one can see the other side from where they stand.  The possibilities are ENDLESS and there so much yet to explore and learn.  Just like diabetes, we can't see the cure from where we stand, and there is so much yet to learn.  My experiences have been both great, and horrid.  Last but not least, this shows I'm not alone.  I am only one little drop in this ocean, and without others I would have dried up years ago.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Psuedopapilledema - or what I like to call "An Outie"

You ever hear of a particular medical anomaly and wonder "What the.. ?" Well I have.. and Psuedopapilledema is one of them. I call it an 'outie', you know.. like a belly button? innie vs. outie?

Let me give you a link:

Medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/pseudopapilledema

There are many definitions listed there from many different medical dictionaries, but the most common definition is : anomalous elevation of the optic disk. Typically the back of the eye has a valley in it, that looks somewhat like a drain. That is where all the nerves come together and exit the back of the eye. Sometimes, usually if there is something pushing on the back of the eye, this valley turns into a mountain

A few years ago we switched eye doctors for my daughter. I was a bit grumpy about it because I liked the one we were using, but this new one (we'll call him Dr. I) was covered by her father's insurance. The first visit was very thorough. They even did a scan of the back of the eye. That's where the fun started. The tech did the scan, but when the doctor looked at it he said it was inverted and needed to be redone. So they re-did it. When he viewed the correct scan, the questions started, and my fear increased. The main question was about headaches. Did she have a lot of them? Did they not like to go away? Thankfully, the answer was no. Headaches are very rare, and are usually fully explainable (like when she was hit in the head with a rifle).

So Dr. I was majorly intrigued and excited. You ever see a doctor get excited about something? It's kinda fun.. and scary all at the same time. He said he had heard about this but had never seen it in real life. He also said that for the next few years we would run a new test each year and monitor it to see if there was a change, but that for the time being, there was nothing to worry about. If persistent and frequent headaches started to call him IMMEDIATELY. We have done five different tests and the full scan twice now, and nothing has changed. Not the shape or size.

THIS is what got him so excited:

This 'mountain' is normally a 'valley'.

We talked a lot with the doctor as to why this happened, what causes it, and what we can do about it. Since she is not showing any signs of a brain tumor (the typical thing that pushes on the nerve), he figures it is a genetic condition. More than likely, her optic nerve is longer than normal and ran out of room behind the eye, so it's pushing into the eye.

To put is simply... my daughter has a lot of nerve.