Saturday, December 31, 2005

Gold Nugget(s)

This is my new car, this is "Nugget." Officially Christened thus, when my dad asked me how much gold (aka years of my life) it was going to take to pay it off. Nugget and I, have a bond already. (both get joked about)

Last night, I had a dramatic Diabetes Nightmare, and I wasn't allowed to check my blood sugar during the dream. (I have the weirdest D dreams) I woke up, and my blood sugar was 263. Who says dreams can't induce stress, thus sub-consciously raising the blood glucose?

Last day of 2005- don't forget, that'll make it one less year to the 5 year cure..


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Little Steps

Rome wasn't built in a day. Rome wasn't built in a day...

I'm feeling frustrated over this blog. Can't find the right place to plug in the html- so it will get to looking how I WANT it to look.

So, I'm taking this in baby steps. Thinking about the one thing that bugs me the most- and attempt to fix that, not take on the whole mess. Reviewing the help links ad nauseum. It will eventually get through. (to my thick head)

Vacation week, so I'm mainly just chillin'. My gp wants to see me again(and having put the appointment off several weeks, its time to go take my medicine like a women), the appointment is for today.

I know why he wants to see me. Officially, its to discuss my neuro-opth appointment, but really, its to discuss my latest a1c/diabetes control..Last time I saw him for something(in Oct.) he took my a1c again. (I'd had it done 2 weeks prior-at endo appointment) Unfortuantly, it was .5 higher then it was at the endo's, which put him in a very agitated state of mind.

Do you have any idea what you're doing to yourself??!??

I must confess, even I did a double take when they told me what the a1c was. It was not good, and while I could partially blame it on August's hospitilization, it was time to get more serious about post-meal numbers.

So I attempted to improve that.But I'm not letting him take another a1c. He's not a jerk, he yells because he's genuinely concerned, but its not a matter of simple will power, (My next a1c will be 5.5, no sweat!) and that, he doesn't understand. He apologized once for yelling at me. I'm thick skinned anyway, it bounced right off.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Mice need chocolate, too

This is the story of a mouse, a stash of chocolate, and a meter. One night, El Mouso decided to switch bedrooms, and take up residence in a closet- where he discovered a now-forgotten stash of liquor chocolates. He proceeded to eat THEM ALL, and leave the little bits of tin foil.
Do you know whats worse then a live mouse? A drunk, dead mouse. Put out some more sticky traps tonight. I hope that mouse dies of hypoglycemia.. I didn't even get to taste those chocolates!
The meter part (of this story) comes when the owner of the closet discovered the little bits of chewed up tin foil, shrieked, went up 50 points, and then tested.
At this point of the story, I should mention that I keep my alcoholic beverage stash in my closet. (closed containers, though!) Periodically, families of mice come to visit, (this is a farmhouse) and I put out traps and catch them. This might expain why I once discovered a dead mouse in my bed (when I got up in the morning). Maybe he got drunk, crawled into bed, and was summarily squashed.
I don't like mice.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Bolus Baby, Bolus!

Had a wonderful holiday, but haven't seen a number under 180 in two days. Overnight- well, overnight I've ranged 400-500. Major dawn phenomenon, or something! Taking a bolus right before bed does not help.
So, is it...
1. The inactivity
2. My insulin going bad
3. All of the fat-protein kicking in
4. The alcohol I've been consuming in large quantities
Forget the carb factor-I am more then generously bolusing for them!
This morning- upon facing another holiday eating marathon(eggs, pancakes, biscuits/gravy, juice,eggnog, fruit salad, fruit platter, sausages, coffeecakes), and a 390 blood sugar-I knew it was going to be rough, just tasting each item, without losing it. As the ketostix revealed large ketones- first I took a shot, 15 units. 1.5 hrs later, I was 225. Slightly less nauseus, so I put in a valient effort toward breakfast, and shot another 12 units. I guess it really doesn't matter- as long as the insulin gets in! I know my set is still good, it was working last night..(well, relatively, I was 190's) I've decided to keep shooting it, since obviously neither it, nor bolusing, is doing much good. My usual correction factor is 1/40, 1 u/10 carbs...
12 pm- Now I'm 205, time for another 3 units. I've just bolused more insulin (just to handle one meal) then I generally take TOTAL, in a day!
2:45 pm- Went to see "Narnia" again, with the family. 139 now, ketones trace. Ate popcorn, bolused, drank a liter of diet coke.
4:50 pm- 193. 5 more units- 15 carbs chocolate. Don't think I'll ever get rid of these darn ketones! Still trace.
6 pm- Another sumptuous feast of mashed taters, potroast, cornbread, saurkraut, mincemeat pie-cake-cookies, tea, carrots/peas, fruit salad. If I weren't so high, I'd be packing on quite a bit of weight off all this! (not that being high is better then gaining weight!) This time,
I ate lightly, and shoveled in 10 units insulin.
9:30 pm- 153,no ketones. Mystery of the high blood glucoses solved, I now have a fever. Feels like the start of the flu.
My parents didn't pay for the car- but they did pay for a alternate method of transportation. (new bicycle) Tomarrow, I intend to pick that out.
New bike- new car loan- lots of sugarfree candy(I still have a box from last Christmas..) its been a great holiday!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Day before Christmas

Mommy, Daddy, all I really want for Christmas is this 1999 Chevy Cavalier...

It is a beut, that I grant you. Its gold colored. If I transfer to the University of Virginia, (nursing) I'll fit right in. (their official mascot is a Cavalier) But the price tag gave me heart burn.

Auggggggggh I could get a new pump for this! Are you sure you people won't take a trade-in on my MiniMed 508?

Ok, so I'm not very experienced in these matters- cars #1, and 2 were bought with cash, and I've never taken out a loan before. I've excellent credit (card) history- but that doesn't precisely cut it for a high profile loan. So my brother had to cosign for it..

This is Saturday, at 12:30 pm. Most places are already closed down for the holidays. But our friendly local used-car salesman was more then willing to keep showing us things till I made up my mind.

Its a good car- maybe it will last me another 10 years, till I'm nice and rich. Or nice and married, whichever comes first.I'm satisfied.

So Tuesday, we'll go back in and wrap up the deal. Makes me dizzy thinking about it. Its scary, committing to a loan!

Tonight, we have our annual Scroogefest. Basically, a bunch of friends come over, we watch "Scrooge", (Albert Finney version) eat and drink way too much, and get in the holiday mood. Pretty much fun. Wil- I second what you said about blood sugar goals for the next 2 days- staying out of a coma is my goal as well!

And on this Christmas Eve, what else do I get? A friendly
"Don't-forget-to-complete-your-next-chapter-of-BGAT" reminder email.

Man, cut me a break. Don't these people have any sense of timing???? I have been very lax on my homework the past few days, but I fortuantly have the US-Ultra cable, so I can just download my numbers and plug in a few reasonable sounding guesses...

Off to change my resevoir, infusion set, battery, tubing...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas(I think)

Got this at a CWD conferance. I'm not a kid- but I found it to be inspiring. Shots are just a pain in the butt(to remember), to me...
My ride (brother) forgot about me yesterday evening. Got off at 3:30 pm-at 6:45, a friend picked me up. Otherwise, I'd still be at work, celebrating Christmas with the mice and bugs and other critters that inhabit distrobution centers. Finished up Xmas shopping, picked up prescriptions.
Food is the hardest thing about holidays. My sister, in particular, makes things challenging. Says I can't drink alcohol, yet proceeds to bring such carbohydrate laden foods that I can't eat much of it as I don't know the carb count.. I proceed to drink the alcohol anyway, and deal with the disapproving stares. I rarely drink alcohol, its always in limited quantities, and I (like anyone else) like a special treat around the holidays. Unfortuantly, she doesn't listen when I try to give some basic education regarding such matters.
Sister gets in this evening. (for 4 days) I hope I survive.
Merry Christmas to all you fellow bloggers!(and Happy Hannukah...)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Crunchy Insulin

Q.How is a vial of insulin like a tablespoon of Rice Krispies?
A. They both Snap, Crackle, and Pop when you step on them.

Yep, I officially "broke" my first insulin cartridge today. (it was a pen backup) Vials are much harder to break, I've dropped plenty of them and they never even cracked. However, 100+ lbs of type 1 proved too much for this poor cartridge, it cracked- fortuantly, it didn't leak very fast so I had time to rapidly dispose of it in the trash can. There goes $5 of my copay...

Neuro-opth called back today. (7 hours after I called him) I was duly impressed, I didn't think he would. Its the first time I've ever had someone of that magnitude condescend to answering a telephone call (well, his secretary made the call, and switched it when it went through) and, wow, they did it at the right time of day (20 min. after work) and everything. (generally, doc's offices play phone tag with me for a couple of days till the schedules perfectly align) Said he wasn't surprised that the EMG was negative, it sometimes is.Asked about surgery-and he said it needed a couple more months and another evaluation, he wasn't going to operate on me now and have it go screwy tomarrow. Say what, there's not even a name for whats going on with me, but it has been relatively stable for the past couple of months and I'm not likely to spring any surprises between now and then. But I can see his point, he doesn't want to rush into things. I just don't get it though, if its not Myasthenia why is it ACTING like Myasthenia? If I have the surgery (muscles of left eye) and that corrects the right sided vision, its not going to do anything about the occasional screwyness that goes on on the left side, which means they might want to do surgery over there too. I'm confused, neuro-opth is probably likewise (at this point).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


There's a very good description of insulin reactions, in the book"The Human Side of Diabetes" by Mike Raymond. He says there's three types of reactions.
The first, you recognize your symptoms, and eat everything in the refridgerator.
The second, is the black hole reaction- "whoosh" and you're on the floor. Never saw it coming.
The third- is the overnighter that the liver (more than) adequetly treats, and you wake up high.
I remember when I was a brand new PWD, undergoing training at the hospital, and learning about insulin reactions. I thought"Man, I hope I never have any of those- they sound really weird" until the nurse told me I could treat them with cake gel and I immeadiently wished I could have a reaction! Two weeks later, I had my first reaction and that cured me of such desires. It also educated me on how easy (reactions)they are to get!
Last night, I woke up, tested (I rarely have lows at night, but felt low) , it was 89. Feeling likeI was dropping- I drank 15 carbs of juice. Promptly fell asleep- next morning, bg was 211.
Low #1. (I think my liver handled that one)
Low #2 came 2 hours after breakfast.
Low #3 came 30 minutes after lunch.
Low #4 came at the time supper was supposed to be, 5 pm.
Tis the season for lows. Every so often, I get a 7-9 day "low streak", and average 3-4 reactions a day. Once spent 12 hours off my pump, ate 150 carbs during that period, had 2 lows and 2 regular meals and never broke 130. I think I'm going into a low streak.
If I have one more low today, I'm going to scream.
Otherwise, the day was ok. EMG was negative- so I'm calling the neuro-opth back tomarrow. I want to get the surgery over and done with. (hopefully, in Jan.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Poetry- the language of the soul

I love poetry, I love writing poetry, and unless its funny, I don't like reading other people's poetry. 'Nuff said. (The below is mostly mine-several lines were used from Glick and Phillips- set to the classic poem...)
Some people think a women's made of grit, mud and bone
My PPO thinks I'm made of money and blood
Money and blood, all of it showin'
To get sick now, you've got to take out a loan.

Refrain: You get sixteen tests, and what do you get
A prescription, a pill, an antibiotic
Saint Peter, don't you bother me cuz I can't go
I need prior approval from my PPO.

Well, I went to the doc cuz I felt kinda sick
He turned dead white and moved mighty quick
He read me like a book, and I couldn't tell a lie
I got the nagging feeling he was former FBI.

Four hours later, an IV in tow
I was lying in the hospital a coughin' up dough
I thought- this is service, I've not seen the like
Since I busted my head on a barbed wire spike.

Well, my family started right into crying
So convinced were they, that I was a- dying
I said, Dry up- I'm not dead yet
First I gotta buy insurance a nice, hot new jet.

Refrain: You get sixteen tests, and a loud run around
A shriek in the halls- a most disconcerting sound
Saint Peter, don't you you call me, cuz I'm otherwised engaged
I haven't seen a doctor yet cuz he's being paged.

I got me dx'd, with type 1 DM
I heard it from the intern- and I didn't like him!
He said- Cheer up, we'll take care of you
Cuz you still have a pulse, and you aren't turning blue.

Hospital sent out the lovely copay
And it really, really, went and made my parent's day
It was rough for them, even more then me
Cuz they got the bill- and I just got D!

I grew up, and the shots and blood pokes
Were all up to me, and not to my folks
I grew up, I wish I were still young
The older I get- the more I get strung.(for money)

Refrain:You get sixteen tests, and a needle to the gut
And you'd better just keep that old yapper shut
Its a high cost trip back to your Maker
First you pay the doctor, and then the undertaker.

Now they pour drops in your eyes, and tickle your feet
And ask a ton of idiot things I'll not repeat
I don't have the money to pay my rent
Cuz I done paid insurance my very last cent.

They save your life, to die a slow death
And your kith and your kin, on the grave hang a wreath
But Saint Peter, when you call me, and I do go
I'll have had my day, and had something to show.

Ok-depressing, I know. (if you were offended by it, I apologize) Made me feel better to write it, though...

The diabetes- and LL Lambo(Jr) (my loaner pump, a long story) both behaved today.160, 210,60,120, 140. Worked like a dog (at work), hence the low- I'm amazed I didn't get any more lows. My pump set is only two days old (I usually leave them in at least five), but the Tegaderm is peeling off already- and the shower tonight will make toast of it.
Tomarrow- A fun day at the hospital!!!!!!!(yeah,right..)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Its Never as Simple as it looks

HERE HE IS! My brand new Pumpernickel, the pump monkey.. Got it from Fifty-50 a few days ago, along with a medical ID bracelet and EMLA type numbing spray. He's so cute, his tubing can come out of his mini-Cozmo, and its very realistic. Like me, his infusion set never stays in..
(you gotta tape it on)
And in the working world,I received an email from Austria recently. Yeah, thats right, Austria. I don't know anyone in Austria, but it was sent through Ebay- so I figured it wasn't spam.Subject title was in German. Good thing the email wasn't in German. (I don't know German!)
Buyer wanted to know why their item (that they sent specific instructions to be sent to a friend of theirs in CA) wasn't there (in Austria) yet. So I told them, and that hopefully cleared up the miscommunication, haven't recieved any neg. feedback or death threats..
Ebay is awesome this time of year. You can sell things used, (good condition, of course) for more then you payed for it originally. Triple the amount, then it usually sells for. One month ago, a certain computer cd game was barely clearing $5- mine sold for $30 today. Good thing too, because I'm spending as much as I'm making. (buying people gifts!)
I'm on chapter 2, in BGAT. Talk about confusing. Its about the insulin overlapping action.
Plugged in all my basals, boluses, (and times) and it gives a nice little graph showing WHEN you're most likely to be high, or low from the insulin surges. (Interlapping basal- bolus) It bears no corrolation to the real world, in which I'm most likely to be low: midmorning, midafternoon.
Their graph says I should be low early evening, and high after lunch...
This is next week's homework.
And this, is my insulin plot graph. (that I've yet to truly figure out)

This week, on Tuesday, I'm due to go in for my EMG. (local hospital) I'm going to tell them I don't want to know the results till after Christmas. I'll also return my meter( Lifescan Study), to have that downloaded. Thank goodness that study, at least, is done! Because its nearing the end of the year, its time to get all 7 prescriptions refilled, and another box of syringes. (for Symlin) I think every year the insurance companies make it their resolution to raise copays, but especially RX's. Mine are bad- but I'm sure they'll get worse!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Odds n' Ends

Icy storm blankets Southeast,Link
And I'm very glad to be safe at home. I got up too late, did not refill my resevoir, rushed off to work, and discovered I had 17 units left to last me the day. Wasted 3 of those units to get down from my 202, 4 more for breakfast. 9 AM found me staggering around, with the vague reliazation that i could be low. I wasn't feeling like I usually feel( i.e., carb-a-holic) but I was dizzy and not making rational decisions, so I decided to check. First, I estimated "Ok, I'll say I'm 70- because if I'm 199, this will look pretty stupid to be estimating I'm REALLY low."
5, 4,3, 2, 1... I'm 61. Would you like a snack? asks my brain, and I accept the offer. Juice, followed by a nutrious post- breakfast of Cheetos. Bolus .5. (about 1/4 of usual)
11:30. I'm Wind-Dexing a power jack, when my low radar starts beeping again. How can I be low- I didn't bolus much at all! But then I discover, neither did I lower my basal rate temporarily. Ok, this time I'll guess 65. I've got my regular symptoms (hunger, shackyness), I'm sure I'm low.
60. HOT DOG, I'm a good guesser. Butterscotch candies (2), and 2 glucose tabs. Lunch is in 45 minutes, I should be fine.
And I'm fine...
3:30. Get off work. Blood sugar is 318. Uh oh, looks like I didn't estimate those lunch carbs right.
Resevoir shows 2.7 units left. My correction factor is 1/35, which puts me about 4.3 units short. Bolus 2.2. Run out of insulin (completely) 1/2 hour later.
4:30 pm- Ride arrives.
5:30 pm- I arrive. (home) Take shot immeadietly, I need to change out the whole deal tonight (resevoir, tubing, set) anyway.Its nasty weather outside, by morning it'll be pure ice.
And in other news, some guy developed a new type of glucagon injector device. Link That looks very intriguing, and exactly what some of the individuals in my life would benifit from. A family member has not given me an glucagon shot in over 5 years, but making something like this easier (and recyclable) sounds like a very good idea to me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The End is NEAR

End of statistics, that is. After studying all day, taking a 2 hour test, going to class and taking 2/3 of my exam (2.5 hrs)- I didn't have time to finish. I'll have to do that tomarrow. The Final is rough. Its not multiple choice, and its got about 2-4 sections PER question. I've now got a migraine and a blood sugar of 500. (it was 209, pre-exam) and its not even done.That is what extreme stress does to my blood sugars. The last time (Aug. ) I had a headache like this, my blood sugar was HI, wouldn't come down, necessitating a stay in the hospital. Bolus city tonight.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Week before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the plant
Each Saturday scheduled- we were having our “rant”
Of social injustice, of sweatshops and more
Each face was not cheerful, each minute a chore.
The weather was rainy, cold, ugly, forlorn
I guzzled hot chocolate and tried to keep warm.
As I crawled on a box, pulled on my blue cap
It was afternoon break- it was time for a nap.
I dreamed of Old Santa, his bag full of tricks
His toys, and his games, his coal, and his sticks.
And down in Select Pack, Marking A and B, Dome
Idle employees were soon sent to roam.
Some got VTO, but our all wise PM
Is a man who embodies the MEANING of dim.
When, from way up in Shipping there arose such a clatter
I fell off my box, to see what was the matter.
Poor Santa can’t know, he’s not welcome here
As he goes on his way, to spread holiday cheer.
“Have you been a good girl?” he asks one and all (except the guys- but this plant is predominantly female)
Till a small voice pipes up “ Please, Mr. Claus
All we want for Christmas, is a week VTO
Is it too much too ask, for three feet of snow?” (3 feet of snow- they DO close the plant)
As the management turned three deep shades of red
Old Santa leaned over, and patted my head
“You’ll get your wish, dear, let it snow, let it sleet
On Route 42 and main (Name of town) Street”
Now, on Dasher- Dixon-Blixer, and et. all
I’ve a long way to go, and its just my first call.”
“Mr. Santa” I said, “Please accept this new coat
It looks like your old one got et by a goat
And its not quite befitting for a man of your girth
Its light as a feather- it’ll take you off earth.”
He took the new coat, and he whistled a tune
For the rest of his reindeer, at the height of new moon.
As he rose to the skies, his face filled with glee
Shouting “Early Christmas to each- make it all it can be!”

Is it Friday the 23rd yet???????? No blizzards in the forecast, unfortuantly.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Well, my role in the BGAT clinical trial is NOT over. Now the control group has to go through BGAT. There are 7 "chapters" in BGAT, each to take a week.

This chart is my referance "Error Grid." It tells me what kind of faulty logic I'm committing on a regular basis. ( every time I test!) The line down the center indicates perfect agreement between the estimated blood glucose, and the actual glucose. And the dark gray area indicates almost perfect agreement. (lower A, upper A) Say you think your blood glucose is 420, and its actually 380- its not going to greatly affect your decision on what to do. Every bg meter has a +/- 10 accuracy rate, too..( to be considered acceptable)
Lower B means you estimate your bg lower then it actually is.
Upper B means you overestimate your bg. Again, it depends on the numbers as to whether this is dangerous but those babies are in white, so its not of much concern.

Lower C (C is yellow, for caution)- estimate bg much lower then actual BG. I've done this(haven't we all?) Its a fine excuse to overeat, and wonder where the resulting 400's came from.
Upper C- estimate bg much higher then actual bg. Its a case of "I'm thirsty, I must be high, so instead of checking I think I'll just bolus a couple of units."
Lower D (D for Danger- Red)- Estimate bg in target, when its actually too high. You won't do anything about it, and that really screws up your next a1c.
Upper D- Estimate bg in target, when its actually low. It'll shortly dip into the upper E zone.
Lower E (E for Emergency-Orange)- Estimate bg too low, when its actually too high. You eat, thereby making the problem even worse!
Upper E- Estimate BG too high when actual BG is too low. Just don't even think about this one- this has got to be the worst! (taking extra insulin, passing out, maybe not even surviving!)
I'm getting fairly good at guessing in the A zone. In the mornings- I just go ahead and guess 300's anyway, because I have a major dawn phenomenon thing going on. No sense in guessing what I WANT it to be. (I also have the problem with counting carbs sometimes- I want it to be x amount, so I'm going to bolus for x amount, and don't bother me with what it really is!) But its making me look horribly irresponsible (on paper), so I'm trying to do better, trying to be as exact as possible. I think there should also be a sub-category for guessing wayyy too low when you're actually slightly low! That effects how many carbs you should eat, and I've never in my life had just 15 carbs work for a mild low, much less the biggies.
Now I've progressed to the "homework"- estimating, checking symptoms, time/date and my BG zone, in a chart. That will be for a week- then its on to chapter 2...
And meanwhile, I've still got 5 days left on the other diabetes clinical trial, I'm probably spending several hours every day just recording numbers, carbs, etc! This is too much like statistics.(final exam on that is Tuesday, last test on Monday)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

One Cold, December Night

I remember like it was yesterday...
4 pm, NP's office. "Hon, your blood sugar was off our meters- you probably have diabetes. You need to go to the hospital immeadietly, would you rather go by ambulance or car?"
Shock, disbelief, brief blackness. Random thoughts racing through my brain. Diabetes?!? no more don't even know if its diabetes and my blood sugar is off your meter?! its not cancer..I won't die, maybe I'll feel better eventually! NP and my Mom staring at me like I'd keel over any minute.
An injection of insulin- my first. It doesn't hurt so much when your brain is numb. "We're giving you this, so you don't go into a coma on the way over."
I look at Mom, then the NP. "No, I'm not going in an ambulance. "(Teenage self-consciousness)
Frantic telephone call to university ER, an hours drive away. "I've got a patient coming in with a blood sugar of 1,100 mg/dl- she needs to be seen, STAT!"
Go home, pick up a few things. Go to bathroom a couple more times, drink a large drinking bottle of milk. Have the wild urge to eat everything I know I'll never be able to eat again. (but Mom won't let me)
Hit the road. Arrive at ER. Triage Nurse- Whats your bs? I don't know yet (really) what a blood sugar is, but my NP said 1100 so I repeat that. She looks at me, looks at the paperwork, and says "Oh! you're telling the truth" which immeadietly offends me, like I'm going to lie about that? Get immeadietly hustled back to the ICU. ("Our stat is here") Residents show up. "You're the highest blood sugar we've ever seen!" Get hooked up to various IV's, moniters, etc.A zillion people come in, the sicker one is, the worse it is. Spend next 8 hrs in ICU. Blood sugar comes down to 450's- get admitted up to the pediatric ward. Get checked all night..1 hour of sleep.
Next morning- breakfast. Tastes bad, but that doesn't matter when you're starving to death.
Pediatric endocrinoogist shows up ("You'll feel terrible until your body adjusts to lower bgs, but don't worry, that's normal") Meeting educator. The first "shot", which I didn't have a problem giving myself (in the leg, anywhere else was a no-no). The nurses shots didn't hurt, and I was so blissfully ignorant regarding diabetes I was good teaching material.
Next 2.5 days spent in hospital.
Two days later- phone call from ER. Back to hospital,(another 12 hours) potassium levels are scewed up. Spend next month taking potassium supplements.
7 YEARS AGO TODAY!!!( gee, and still no cure yet..)
I plan to go see Narnia today (with a friend). Since I still don't have a new vehicle- they'll provide the transportation, I pay for the flick.
Over a year ago- I entered the BB King poem promo. Didn't win- but my name was one of the 1,000 first online enteries, so they mailed me the new cd. Got it today.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Life is sweet...

Got payed today for the Blood Glucose Awareness Training research study. $100 gift certificate to I thought I was going to get payed cash- but this is ok. I think, because I was in the "control" group, I got less. I will also get the BGAT program on cd (whoopie). For this study(which began in August, and I finished up a week ago) I had to use a pda to estimate bg, answer a few questions about do-you-think-you-need-to-exercise-eat-take-insulin, check bg-enter it into the pda. 70 times. Then, I filled out an online questionaire. Because I was in the control group- I didn't go through the "training". After the user group was done, there was another round of online questionairres for all, and another PDA marathon. I mailed the PDA in about a week ago.. and got the email gift certificate today. I'm sure that whatevers in the BGAT, is not new info (the endo who "created" it, was my ex-ped endo). Staying in touch with your body-checking often, counting carbs, following the rules...
It took under an hour- to get online gift certificates to itunes,, and Lego (for future gifts), Blockbuster, Regal Cinemas, Bath and Body, TJMaxx/Marshalls.. Since it isn't redeemable for cash- there were no guilt trips over my shopping spree! (If they'd have payed me cash, I'd have used it to pay bills!)

Monday, December 05, 2005

First Snowfall

Winter has finally arrived in Western Virginia. (the snow flurries on the day before Thanksgiving, don't count!) Starting about noon today, commenced to heavy duty dumping, will get up to 6 inches. My coworkers (the ones that don't live in town) are planning to a (wo)man to call in. Me, I'm not worried. Its not ice- and the roads will probably be cleared pretty quick. And plus, my dad is driving me to work (he's a much better driver then I!) so I'll be ok. I hope school is not canceled tomarrow night, or final exams will be pushed back.(and I want to be DONE with that stupid statistic class!) They closed school early today, so I couldn't take one of my make-up tests. If school isn't cancelled- I'll try to get the make-up done before class tomarrow night.
Two memorable things happened at work today. One- the vending machine gave me .50 extra change, and two- I had these heavy, green, ugly, pillow sets to process. Each of the tote stacks weighed more then I do, and there were 12 stacks of them. A coworker helped me push/pull/yank/jerk/ slide/ drop them to the appropriate place. It took awhile. Definatly on my list of the most horrible, unforgettable work... (Other goodies on the list are: Soggy boxes from Hell, Missouri that were filled with confetti and styerfoam, protecting these extremily ugly Chinese vases.. Fake rabbit furs that had everyone breaking out in hives.. Luggage sets with boxes that were taller than I was.. Jeans that smelled like dead fish(from the stuff they put on it in manufacture).. Glass vases with various weird-looking flavorings that leaked around the top of the seal and had to be double-triple bubble-foam wrapped or it'd crack and the entire oily mess would flood the floor... White powder all over various clothes(this was around the time of the anthrax scare, and yes, they did take a sample!) Retail is very exciting sometimes.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Html Frustrations

This blog has some serious work to be done to it. Must've entered the html code(links) wrong, the webpage colors are ugly.. Likely I'll be switching templates alot until I get it just right.
Started the Lifescan study (Ultrasmart meter) last night. I've used an US meter before, but didn't care for it. You've got to enter carbs/blood sugar/ miscellanious; graph all of that on the research paper log, enter all of it AGAIN in your pump, and enter the bolus total on the paper log/US meter. At least its only for two weeks.
Despite last nights correction(1.6 units- 170), my blood sugar was 263 this morning. I think my overnight basals need overhauling. Had granola, bolused a 1/10 with 3 units Symlin..and my meter graced me with a 113 at lunch. I don't use Symlin all the time, but its very effective in keeping those post-meal blood sugars down!
Family came over today for my two year old nephew's birthday party. My sister-in-law, one of the best cake makers this side of the Mississippi, made this cute cake:He throughly enjoyed did the rest of us.. Lunch was a DKA'ish carb smorgasbord of iced tea(1/3 Splenda, 2/3 sugar), rolls w/apple butter, salad, carrot-jello salad, rice with beans/sausage gravy, and the cake, ice cream. Over 200 carbs, easily. I'll be checking every hour to see if I guessed right!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

'Tis the Season

I love this time of year. The foods, the checkout lines, the busyness, the blood sugars..
But I don't love the cold temperatures.(ugh!)
Retail is buzzing- worked 8 hrs today. They also took volunteers for Sunday.(8 hrs) I'd volunteer, but I have two tests (this week) and the final exam( next week) that I'm not ready for. I can't wait till schools out- then I can enjoy the holiday season properly!
And here's my latest top ten(I'll be publishing a book of these, eventually)
Top Ten Diabetic Road Signs...
1. STOP- Do not enter...(next to favorite restaurunt) You’ll eat way to much!
2. Caution- Pumpers at Play. (Bungee jumping, Twister, Bolus-that-Barbie, etc)
3. H- Does it stand for Hospital, Hypo, HI (hyper), orHeatstroke?One thing for sure- better up those fluids before your engine starts sputtering. (No, it doesn’t stand for Heidi's House!)
4. Reserved Parking- for Endo’s (and their favorite patients) only. Don’t think my a1c quite cuts the mustard(for that envied category)
5. One Way Street- No, you do NOT inject into your ankle, there is one main rule that guides where you should inject. ( pinch an inch)
6. Handicapped Parking- No, your insulin pump does NOT put you in this category, unless you’ve got secondary complications from D. (Such as limbs amputated) You need the exercise anyway, so break out those walking sneakers. (Its good for your blood sugars)
7. Speed Limit- 120 (this incorporates km/ hr and mg/dl) Don’t go above 120...
8. Don’t Walk-blood sugar is 400, positive ketones. No walking for you today, dear,take the bus.
9. 4 Way Intersection- Bumping into 3 other DM'rs at a party. Who’s got a meter- I’m not the one that's low...
10. Emergency- D’s MAY TURN IN HERE. Or go ahead and crash-whichever is more convenient. You’ll still get your blood sugar checked.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Of Medic Alerts and Hypo Unawareness

I've been thinking about hypoglycemic unawareness recently. I knew a couple of people who died from it, and its not a very pretty subject. Especially for insulin-sensitive folks like me. I think being insulin sensitive, one is much more prone to hypoglycemia(and extreme hypoglycemia) Its been years since I last had a "paramedic moment", (fortuantly) I don't know how some folks cope with frequent, severe lows. I'm beginning to see the value of medical alert bracelets. Of course, I don't always wear one- my first(and second) Medical Alert bracelets have been lost for a long time. As a teenager, I hardly wore them at all( only on clinic days!) Over the years, I've gotten-cheap necklaces, sneaker tags, keychain thingies but nothing very expensive. (I refuse to spend more on the bracelet, then I will on copay for the ER visit..) I like the temporary diabetes tattoos (see pic) available from the T.H.O.R. Foundation, you can stick them anywhere (somewhere not noticeable!). The problem is, not very many EMT's/paramedics are going to look for them. Especially if they're half-worn off, they'll see the emergency sign, think "Ah, thats nice, I wonder what they've got" and proceed in their cluelessness. I am an EMT, and its shocking the number of paramedics who don't look for a medical ID! Someone on the Insulin Pumpers list suggested wearing two ID's (in various spots- necklace/bracelet) so they could find it easier. I'm not going that far- but I think it is time to get another bracelet ID, found a cute one:

that I'll probably get. Its not that I don't like the expensive(r) ones..I just can't bring myself to shell out the $$'s on an item I'd rather not wear. (but I know I should!)
I wonder what percentage of people that do things right, by-the-book, check blood glucoses frequently, etc. still end up with permanant hypo unawareness. There's a differance between transiet (having a rough patch of hypos) and permanant (they can't get it back even when the run higher bgs for awhile) How many years of D did it take for any of ya'll to start having problems with this?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A day in my life

Today was pretty intense.
First number of the day was 273, so I bolus that down and hit the road. Grab some breakfast on the road, but lose my appetite half-way through the sandwich.
Today is the day I have an appointment with the neuro-opthamologist, I've waited 3 months for this. My stomach is doing flip-flops.
A neuro-opthamologist is like a brain surgeon- you wait forever to see one. (only like 250+ in the entire United States) Rarely does anyone cancel- and its imperitive that you be there WAY early. ( So you'll have time to get lost, use bathroom, check blood sugar, etc. )
Drive several hours to major medical center. Wander around aimlessly till you find the right place. Get registered.
Back to exam room..
In bops the neuro-opth, along with his personal dictation device/recorder. Half of the time he talks to it, half of the time, to me. Its hard to tell whom I'm supposed to talk to.
Oh well, least it isn't a resident- this guy looks knowledgable.
Review chart. Gloss over faxed records. Answer a ton more questions. Most of them are about the D...
Get eyedrops put in, go off for various eye tests. (Another 1.5 hours) Get two more sets of eyedrops put in. Wait half hour for neuro-opth. to get back.
Nice and dilated now! Get through "retinal" exam. Everything looks nice and normal. (retina wise) Thank goodness he didn't ask my latest a1c.
Well- he absolutely loved the state of my interocular lenses.(6.5 years ago, I had cataract surgeries, and no clouding(thus no lasar, yet..) We talk about diabetes, and whether its to blame for my double vision problems. His take on the matter- probably not, generally when someone has a palsy of the(6th?) nerve they have got greater double vision then I've got, and, it goes away after several months. Enchanting- I'm glad diabetes isn't to blame for this. One of the tests turned out abnormal, so he wants a facial EMG done. (to rule out Myasthenia Gravis) Antibody test my opthamologist ran was negative- but it frequently is in 50% of the eye form cases. So, if the EMG is negative it doesn't mean I haven't gotMyasthenia Gravis, it means things will likely stay stable enough to do surgery.(on the eye muscle)
I'll be able to get the EMG done close(r) to home-which is good. Results faxed to them.
Signed up for another diabetes research study- this one was too good to pass up. I've been doing research studies for 4 years, it seems like every time I get done with one- they want me to do another one. This one is pretty simple-just using a One Touch Ultrasmart/their strips for two weeks, turn the meter back in. Lifescan wants to develop a "smart" (suggest an insulin dose) meter, like a smart pump I guess. Did a study two years ago, they determined my exact basal needs(a fairly complex process), its a follow up to that study. I pointed out to the research coordinator that my current insulin requirements could have changed from two years ago, she didn't think that was a problem.("Most people tend to remain pretty steady") End of study, they download the meter and then, I get to keep it. ($100 payment) I love free strips, and free money..(and it never hurts to have another meter)
1 pm- blood sugar 192. I've had worse, so this is good enough to drive home on.
5 pm- Rescue main blood sugar meter, pump, ipod, cellphone, and coat from car. Car is totaled(I had an accident Sunday) Haggle with guy over cost..
9 pm- Arrive home. Realize I've only eaten a salad, small burrito, half a breakfast sandwich(and checked my blood sugar twice in 15 hours)
Eat a Sub, bolus an ample amount. (don't feel like checking) This is probably why my a1c is less-then-can-be desired. Tomarrow, I'll do better(I tend to remember to check more, when I eat more!)