Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stuck




Unless things really improve with my mag levels in the next 2 weeks, I'm going to have to get a port.(in my upper arm or chest) All my arm/hand veins are completely shot. Ports scare the bejabbers out of me,& I refuse to have one done. But magnesium has to get in somehow. I'm trying to supplement with fast-acting magnesium liquid,& I 'm going to talk to my doc about Epsom Salt soaks(that is a very iffy method of upping levels though and my doc said he once knew someone who did it so much she put herself in a high magnesium coma that led to death). My mag levels are being drawn weekly.(and they are staying stable-low end with weekly infusions) I have to do something drastic,and it has to be hardcore or my levels will not go up and I'll have no choice but to get a port. Ports scare me because of the risk of blood clots/you have to take Coumadin/and your entire life revolves around the darn thing not getting infected and it can never come out,not at the rate I'm going and I'm afraid I'll need it forever. I'm fairly certain I'd need an anti-anxiety medication just for everyday functioning on the thing,not that I don't need one now but at least there's not something sticking out of my chest. I am willing to take magnesium,lots of magnesium,even if it makes me sick as a dog,to stabilize things. I just wish that they would stabilize because these veins need a break.I'm trying to take things a day at a time, tracking my levels and to be grateful for each day but it's not really working when my veins are responding by giving up the ghost..I got stuck 4 times today for an IV. Things really need to get better,soon.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The 31 Days of Blood Sugar Control




(28,29,30...as the case may be.Warning:the below post is about women stuff!!)

If you don't have diabetes, or much of a relationship with a PWD..you are probably laboring under the assumption that blood sugar control is easy. You are either "in" or "out." (Think Top Chef) This is an assumption that has permeated every inch of society, to the point where even educating those willing to learn TAKES YEARS for them to get.(Namely,that blood sugars are a living,fluid thing...not at all static and stuck on "104")

- you go low in the grocery store,a kind soul hands you a sugary drink..and assumes you are fragile,etc.

-you eat a brownie,spend the afternoon shoveling snow, drop to 42 and your relative just cannot understand why (or they get the idea that because you ate a bad food, THAT is why you had the low).

Head smack. I'm sure you get the idea. I have been thinking though,that for a women with t1 diabetes, control is a River in Egypt.(much like the Nile) Why is this, you may ask? Well,much of it has to do with that monthly inconvenience (or lack thereof) which means in addition to the meds/exercise/other illness/food/no sleep/etc. normal ness of life,you get to deal with some pretty potent hormones which (in a normal cycle) drop to "normal" on Day 1, go flat-lining along merrily to the middle of the month and then skyrocket for the later part of the month (as do the insulin needs.) That's how it is for many women,anyway. (Others will drop their bgs.)If you get pregnant,that progesterone kicks in like a son of a gun and you can expect to see more high blood sugars along with your Endocrinologist going a bit/lot psycho.(later,the drop comes) I think that's why I will never not have highs (and lows)..you can live a lifetime with diabetes and not figure it out. (I have a very non-predictable life.)It's not entirely bad though, estrogen protects against heart attacks and the like.(however much diabetes is messing with that) Life is pretty tough for a woman with diabetes(DON'T YOU DARE GET PREGNANT OR I WILL KILL YOU MYSELF) along with the daily highs and lows. Options exist to smooth out those hormones, but that comes with the potential side effects of strokes/heart attacks and the like but in the eyes of the Endo,still better then pregnancy. It almost makes a person want to have a voluntary hysterectomy. And I guess it is better to have those options not to get pregnant, but one has to wonder what 30 years of diabetes plus pill taking is going to wrack on the circulatory system. But for a women with T1, still easier then going through multiple pregnancies.
One's body is just not ones own..

and then you are violently thrown to the Diabetes Police,masquerading as Health Care Providers, the supposed experts...who have no clue what you are talking about/doing..you've just got to realize that you are not a textbook,they do not have Crystal Balls and the future is an open book. But yes, it gets scary, because you think they are talking about you. Long story short,blood sugar control is rarely "easy"...you are thinking 1,000 things to stabilize one deficient hormone.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Permanence of Performance

They don't know
that the pain I feel
Is not from IV tracks
Up and down my arms
A disease unleashed
Monsters knocking down my body
Making me fear the future
I only hope that I can die from diabetes in 30 years
And not from plummeting magnesium levels.
"What does this do
And this?!?"
Uncharted waters
Not easily measured
I trust my doctor
But I don't trust my body.
There is no roadmap
No blueprint
It is not diabetes,and Your Disease May Vary.
Will it get better
Will it stabilize
Can I go to sleep without worrying
Can my toddler know his mommy for a good long while
Will my husband still have a wife
Can I function
Will it eat up all the money
Will my veins hold up
Will I be living at the hospital
When can things be normal?
"You look so normal!"
(This is politeness
because)
I have two chronic diseases
There will never be normal.
Juggling must be automatic
It's what you do
There is no choice.
But I just want one problem,
Not 1,000,001.
My friend died from her disease
When she'd barely begun to live.
There wasn't another person on this earth who had both T1 and Bartters.
And there maybe will never be.
Alone with an unpredictable disease
Searching for some answers.


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Monday, March 24, 2014

And the Winner is..





Alexis Nicole! Congrats and I'll contact you through FB!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Diabetic Dabs & More! Giveaway

I'm very excited to be holding The D-Log Cabin's very first diabetes giveaway..fueled in part by Elizabeth Sacco of Diabetic Dabs who offered a sample of their product to myself,and a blog reader. She's a mom to 4,and D-mom to one.(her son was dx'd in 2011 )






It comes in 4 packs of 50 sheets each. Each sheet is highly absorbent,and can be ripped off and discarded although I use them for as many blood blots as I can. Easily fits inside my meter case although it would be a bit bulky for your standard ugly black case. Each box is available on her website for $9.49 plus s&h. After reviewing this product, I feel like I'd have wanted to buy this anyway..it's not just like blotting your finger on some old paper napkin floating around. It's soft,blood wicks up quickly,and it's portable and convenient. And today, you'll get a chance to win a box....








Along with two boxes of Level Life Bars: (a good low carb snack)








A cupcake picture frame & $5 Radio Shack gift card:








A GoPicnic Meal:






And a blue organizer bag to put D-stuff in(or whatever...I just love organizer stuff).







To enter, just leave a comment. Winner will be drawn Sunday night.( 3/23) (also,it must be apparent that you in the D world..either yourself or a loved one has diabetes)




(The whole shebang of goodies)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Madness (part 2)

Day 13:

Slowly but surely, I think I'm getting better from this flu crud.(Yes, it was Influenza A..major good diagnosing skillz, Dr. Hyphenated Last Name of the Cardiology persuasion)
The fevers and sweats of last week have subsided, the cough is nearly gone and it's just the exhaustion that's left now. Rubber legs,that's me. I suppose it's all very normal but I don't recall having ever been this wiped out from the flu before. I had a follow up with my primary today(the office, as my real primary is off on maternity leave for the 2nd time in 22 months!) & they took some more blood to check my electrolyte levels. Tomorrow, I follow up with cardiology(repeat echocardiogram). In the meantime, I rescheduled my Endo appt to April..that was just not happening anytime soon. It's really done quite the number on my bgs, although I'm grateful that my meter average has come down to the lower 200's from the upper 300's, this stuff is brutal. My a1c was in the 8's. And I know that that number should be just a number but I know that I can do better,should do better, heck I've got all the tools of 21st century medicine and this is what I produce? I think a big part of that is A. My fear of lows and B. My lack of accountability so I am going to look at ways to address both of those issues. Regarding my fear of lows, I am going to choose a ranging (to target) that is far,far away from the danger zone..yet moving towards a better place. And I'm making an agreement with some T1 friends to chart my bgs(etc.) more. I'm going to use the MySugr app,it's really pretty awesome (I just have to wrestle the phone away from the toddler..) It just seems like when I get sick, upping my basal rates has zero effect, my basals are so low anyway.(doubling a 0.2 or an 0.3 is not going to do anything to lower that glucose-dumping liver of yours) I feel that I should do something,because that's the first thing everyone says to do when you are sick but I think my primary problem comes with meals..how much of a modified I:C ratio I should do. It's wild. I am really not sure why I bothered getting a flu shot this year..the flu still found me. I'm glad that it's the only respiratory thing I've had this winter,and even gladder that neither my hubby or child got it.(apparently it's just me with the screwed up immune system)



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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Madness

They say it takes a village to raise a child. And that it so true,.especially when the child is just two years old and needs full time supervision.

In my case, it takes a husband, a friend, and a babysitter for the week as I try to recover from the virus that put me in the hospital over the weekend & caused fluid to accumulate in the heart sac. I wish for my mom in circumstances like this,but she is 2 states away and works full time..not practical to come up,unless I'm dying.

It started late Thursday morning, a heavy sort of chest pain with random stabbing action on the side. It didn't feel muscoskeletal or heartburnish,and iboprofen/Mylanta failed to do anything to it. I've been worried lately about the cumulative effects of diabetes on this heart of mine,and was convinced I was having heart problems of some kind..the hubby got home and I went to Urgent Care. They did bloodwork,an EKG,and a chest X-ray. The UC doc told me I needed to see a cardiologist,there was a minor irregularity on my EKG, don't worry about it but do get it checked out. I asked whether the irregularity was causing the chest pain and they said it was possible but they weren't cardiologists. I asked whether the irregularity could cause a heart attack and they said it was possible but not very likely. Joy. Went home,slept, woke up..spent much of the morning lying in bed (while my toddler played on my iPad beside me)feeling progressively worse,got an appt with my primary care office for that afternoon. They looked at the urgent care report,looked at me, and told me to go to the ER I might be having a blood clot. By this point, it was 4:30 pm and my husband would be back from work soon so I called him, called a friend to ask her if she could take me to the ER and drove home to wait for them both to get there. We drove to the ER, they take a bunch more blood/EKG/chest X-ray, eventually get called back to a room...the ER doc comes in,takes a listen,says I sound tight in my breathing and he's not sure if it's lung or heart related..they do a breathing treatment which fails to have an effect. I get up and walk around for him and after 10 feet I'm absolutely winded,with a heart rate in the 120's and a respiratory rate around 30..my lungs sound clear,I just can't "move" air very well. So then they do a CT scan which turns out negative for any problems. He decides to admit me overnight for observation. Move to a diff area in the ER. The nurse comes in and says its time for my nightly injection of glucagon, a rather scary proposition considering my blood sugar was 311. (Needless to say,that didn't happen. My friend and I thought it was hysterically funny,though. And that is why it helps to bring a T1 friend along with you. ) By 1 am,they brought me upstairs and my friend went home to sleep. I think I slept about 1.5-2 hours,the breathing treatment had me wired pretty well. I was also on a portable heart monitor and trying to bring my blood glucose down to earth.






(When you are 5'2 and have to wear a giant hospital gown with a pocket to keep this in it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "indecent exposure")

Also,my roommate alternatively coughed/snored/IV went off for much of the night. And because I was there to rule out heart problems,they drew blood every 4 hours. At some point they wanted to put a nitroglycerin patch on me and give me aspirin.(I agreed to the aspirin but my blood pressure is normal-low and I wasn't about to take a powerful vasodilator without a cardiologist talking to me first.) Morning came..they took me down for a treadmill test. Injected radioactive stuff in my IV and took images with a scanner. I couldn't walk very far & the treadmill part wasn't going to happen,so they were going to do an alternate injection of a drug to stimulate the same thing but I had drunk caffeine free diet coke in the ER,and that would invalidate the test results because it still contained caffeine. That meant another day in the hospital,before they could repeat the test. I was rather peaved at that turn of events,but it was what it was. They called a cardiology consult who came by a couple hours later. He took a full history and checked me out and said it sounded to him like I had a virus,but they'd like to do an echocardiogram (that day.) The nurse practitioner on the floor was a very jubilant/go getter/lets do this sort of person..coincidentally, the wife of a nursing instructor in the program I was in.(I was like, that's where I know that last name!!!) They did the echocardiogram...my hubby and baby came by for awhile to visit. (It was nice to see them again.)





(Baby snuggles)

My friend brought some food by(hospital food sucks) and hung out for awhile.








(Plastic,anyone?)

My room mate was very sick,newly dxd with several life-threatening conditions and ticked off at the entire world/the hospital. Needless to say,it wasn't exactly peaches and cream having to listen to that 24 hours a day.(they need private rooms) They gave me an IV for hydration and I got about 8 hours of sleep,despite the wake-ups and blood draws.

Next day,the NP came in and said that my echo had shown periocarditis (caused by a virus)and the cardiologist would be by to talk to me about that. I could possibly go home that day if I wanted to,but my mag levels had dropped to 1.0 and I needed a few grams of that.(through IV) The treadmill test was cancelled because they knew what was going on. I did want to go home, and since I knew what I had and that it wasn't something that would likely kill me. I just really needed to talk to the cardiologist about what the plan was,going forward, before I went anywhere. The cardiologist eventually came (6:30 pm-I was the LAST patient he saw) and we talked about the echocardiogram results. He said he still felt it was mainly a virus causing me to feel crappy,much like a cold virus would do(I had a cold about a week ago,but it's long cleared up). The echo needs to be repeated in another week,to make sure the fluid has cleared but there was not a lot of fluid in there and it hasn't affected the function of my heart. Soooo,basically I rest and recuperate. My friend came and picked me up (7:30'sh) as I got discharged. It's good to be home,but I still feel pretty crappy. If he's right,the virus will pass in 1-2 weeks,the fluid will reabsorb and I'll start feeling better. Meanwhile we have a babysitter for the days this week because I'm still in no shape to care for my toddler. I very much appreciate the people in my life who are helping me out,as well as my FB friends..I do not know what I'd do without them.








(It's 5 o'clock somewhere..while you wait on the doctor!)

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