Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why are my fingers bruising?

I'll be the first to admit that I am not the best at changing out my lancet.  To be honest, I don't think I know of anyone who actually changes it after or before every use. 

I have mainly used the lancing device that came with my Animas Ping pump/meter remote.  I do have spare meters in various places of my life stops (ie: work, car, daughter, etc.) and each one has its own lancer.  My spare meters actually came with a more up to date lancer that uses the larger gauge (and by larger guage it really means smaller metal piece jabbing into your fingertips) lancets, the OneTouch Delica.  I wasn't overly fond of them because I didn't see where they actually worked any better.  They also didn't hurt any less... and I couldn't get the lancets in different colours.  You know.. the important things in life.  Also, they weren't the matching lancer to my meter.  I don't like breaking up sets of anything. 

Recently I was gifted a large supply of lancets (THANK YOU!!) and they are all for the newer lancers.  So I switched.  Who wouldn't?  Why continue to use something that you have to pay for when you have a large free supply sitting in the box in your closet? 

One thing I've noticed is that the new lancer seems to be leaving bruises.  It completely baffled me as to why.  I mean, it is a smaller gauge than what I was using, so why is it bruising?  Is it because my fingertips are callused and therefore need a larger gauge?  If my finger isn't bleeding enough and I squeeze it to help, am I squeezing too hard?  Do I have the depth dial set too high?  Since it is a smaller poker, I don't know if it should be set at a higher or lower depth.  I'm just hoping that I figure it out soon.

(I've tried to get a picture of the bruises, but they aren't dark enough to show up on a picture, unless I squeeze my finger and make it turn white and then click really quick before the white goes away hoping that the camera is in focus.  It doesn't work, you'll just have to use your imagination.) 

Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm glad I was sitting down

Of all the different medical professional people I have to see I will say that the eye doctor is one of my least favourites.  I've ALWAYS hated going to the eye doctor, well, almost always.

It all stems back to my freshman year high school.  One day during PE we were inside playing soccer.  I didn't run real well so no one wanted me on their team out on the 'field', so I usually ended up as the goalie.  There is nothing wrong with goalie, until someone from the other team doesn't like you (I don't know why.. it was high school after all so it could have been any reason.)  The ball came into the goal area, but not hard enough to actually score.  So, as the goalie, I did my part and bent down to pick up the ball to throw it back in the game.  That's when it happened.  The girl on the other team came up to the ball and kicked as hard as she could.  My face was on the other side of that ball.  It hurt.  A lot. 

I was taken to the eye doctor to see if there had been any damage done.  I had so many tests ran, images done, things stuck to my eye, etc.  I was NOT a happy camper.  Thankfully there was no damage but I wasn't off scott free.  The pressure in my eye was rather elevated because of the swelling.  Think glaucoma levels of pressure.  For the next year, I had to go back every few months to have it checked.  Each time I went the pressure was tested, and the back of my eye looked at.  My eyes were dilated, numbed, and had a something stuck to it so the doctor could see inside it.  The thing that was stuck to my eye reminded me of a small jewelers microscope.  Even though I couldn't feel it, I didn't like it. 

At the end of the year, the pressure in my eye had finally gone down enough to be in normal range.  Whew!!  The lasting effect was my hatred of the eye doctor.

Fast forward to yesterday.  My annual eye exam was once again on my calendar.  I knew the dilation would last 8+ hours so I scheduled the appointment as late in the day as possible.  (I really should think about moving it to the winter time, the sun sets earlier.)  My doctor is a great doctor and very competent.  He just needs to work on his sense of humour.  In fact, everyone in his office does, in my opinion.  Everyone is pleasant enough.  It's just that they are so serious and are rarely smiling or laughing. 

At my last year's eye appointment my A1C had been up from the previous year.  Dr. Eye wasn't pleased and said, "You need to work on that.  We don't want complications."  Duh!!  I wanted to throw something at him.  This year, my A1C was lower (and below 7.0 *woohoo*) and I was wondering if he would comment on it.  He did... with a smile.  I'm glad I was sitting down.  In fact, he was rather pleasant.  He smiled and was more chatty than normal.  He even chuckled at some funny response I had made to one of his questions. 

As his assistance was walking me back to the front after the exam, she commented that I was his favourite patient of the day.  Evidently, he'd been having a really rough day up to that point.  I don't know what made it rough.  Maybe he'd seen nothing but complications all day.  Maybe he'd been griped at by just about everyone.  Maybe the equipment had been giving him fits.  Who knows.  All I know is that he smiled and laughed during my visit, and I hope that the rest of his day went better.

Don't we ALL feel better after a good smile and a laugh?

{To answer your question, my exam came back with a clean bill of health.  No complications, or even signs of possible issues.}

Friday, June 13, 2014

Quarterly visit

It has been so long since I've written a post that I must admit, I am having a hard time writing.  It's like keeping up with a friend or family member.  If you talk every day, you CAN talk every day.  If you don't, you end up with these long awkward silences on the phone after commenting about how hot/dry/rainy/cold/windy it has been lately.

I've been going through a bout of "I have so much I want to write about but.... maybe it isn't a good idea."  I don't know if it's the introvert in me that is being more dominant and restraining me in a corner, or if I'm just hesitant because of some irrational fear.  Either way... it's time for me to dive back in.


Wednesday was my quarterly visit with my endo.  I was truly hoping that things had improved from my last visit.  My a1c had been on an incline for the previous six months, and I knew why.  I had been dealing with a lot of pain in my back and as we all know, pain raises blood sugars which in turn raises a1c's.  It's an evil cycle.  My pain has subsided significantly, and I do my best to keep up with my home exercises, so I was keeping my fingers crossed for an improvement but I wasn't holding my breath. 

I had been watching my numbers and kept noticing a trend of running high in the afternoon after lunch.  I didn't used to, but then I was also walking at 2pm every day.  That helped my afternoons at work go by faster... and helped me walk off any post lunch spike I may have.  Now that summer is here, a walk at 2 in the afternoon is just not possible.  One of the joys/curses of living in the desert southwest is the high summer temps.  Let's take today for example.  When I got up and started the coffee at 5:45 this morning, it was already 78F outside.  Yesterday at 2pm it was about 95F with a light wind.  When temperatures are that warm, and humidity is in the single digits, wind doesn't cool you off, it acts more like a convection oven.

I switched my walk to the mornings, around 10-10:30.  It is still warm, but tolerable.  I pop in my ear buds, queue up the chapter I'm on (audio books are my newest craze), and head out.  These morning walks are great, but have a couple downfalls.  First, my afternoon bgs are higher because my walk has already taken place.  And second, my afternoons drag!  I used to only have a couple hours left of my day when I would return from my walk, now I have more than half the day.  The first couple days were the worst for that, but it has been doing better.

To combat the difference in my walk time, my endo suggested creating a summer basal profile.  Since all my other rates were showing to be working properly, and the times of those rates worked perfectly with my cooler temperature walks, she didn't want to mess with that profile.  Even though I keep a log book of all my settings and changes from each visit, there was no need to have to redo it all in the fall.

I am now on day 2 of the new profile, with the afternoon basal time adjusted.  So far so good.  I still ran higher than I was wanting to, but by no means as high as I had been.  I will give it a week and see if I need to do a little more fine tuning.  Who knows, by the end of that week I may have to adjust my walk time even more.  This summer is just beginning to heat up, and I may end up having to walk while still in my jammies just to catch the coolness of the day.

Oh, and yes, my a1c had improved.