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