Sunday, April 30, 2006

I AM: ME! (Meme)

I am: ME! (PWD, Republitarian, writer, musician, insulin-pumper, EMT, nursing student, retailer,etc.)
I want: a happy, healthy family. (hopefully without my lousy genetics)
I wish: for a continuous glucose moniter
I hate: cooking. I'd rather clean..
I miss: spontainialty, to just hop in the car without the customary stash of medical supplies/food.
I fear: middle of the night hypos, that I'll never finish my (nursing) degree.
I hear: The neighbor kids, splashing in the pool, enjoying a sunny April afternoon.
I wonder: when there will be a cure.
I regret: Never telling the pediatric CDE she was a wonderful person. Never seeing past the end of my own woes, to see anothers. Funerals are too late for too many things.
I am not: organized.
I dance: to many types of music.
I sing: and I don't care that I sound bad!
I cry: over the sappiest novels/movies, and when I am exausted.
I am not always: a dedicated worker.
I make with my hands: crossstitch, gardens, a sparkling-waxed Nugget, and an interesting blog.
I write: because it is "art" to me
I confuse: words that sound the same
I need: more money...
I should: get a life.
I start: many things
I finish: Finish? What's that?
I tag: You!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Famous PWD's


With the old Cozmo Case:

With the new Cozmo case: (that just came in the mail)

I can't decide which I like better- differance(s) between the cases include:

-Flap cover over screens(accidental bolus protection)
-Doesn't look completely "medical"
-Slightly smaller
-No plastic covering menu screen/ buttons (Ease of bolusing)
- Sturdier black clip, pump not so likely to "fall off" waistband
-Stiff, needs breaking in(obviously)

There's a new D-life video on Jason Johnson:

Elliott Yamin- Still in the running for American Idol!I've car-chalked my back windshield, to show my total support (until he wins...or gets kicked off) We're rootin' for you,Elliott! ( I would post a pic, but the rest of my car needs a good wash(it's not very photogenic)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Drama in the Workplace

Had one of those truly mortifying lows yesterday, about 45 minutes before the end of work. 30 minutes before, had tested 133, put a temp basal till the end of work.(1.5 hrs) Started to get lightheaded, figured I was probably low, ate/consumed candy-but it wasn't enough. Then my knees buckled, and I was kneeling on the floor. I couldn't get up, after a couple of minutes of trying, I gave up and just sat back down on the floor, leaned against the side of the lane.
"You ok, Heidi?" a coworker in the next lane over asks.
"Fine," I lie, as I drain a bottle of juice. "I just need to sit here awhile, I'm having a low."
"Go right ahead- you look terrible!"
5 minutes pass. Word of the drama in lane #3 has reached the ears of two other coworkers, who pro-offer mini-Butterfingers, Kisses, and hard candies. This is a really weird low, I'm not dizzy now,my legs just won't support my body.
20 minutes later, I'm feeling slightly better. Stand up, and finish the order I'm working on(takes less then five minutes). Clean up work area.
3:30 pm-Quitting bell rings. Phone rings.
I answer.
"Why on earth didn't you let me know you were having problems?What happened?"
The voice of my supivisor jars me back into the realities of the working world.
" I'm fine, just got dizzy and I had to sit down. They gave me candy, I was having a low blood sugar."
"That's good, but if it ever happens again, I need to know about it. Are you ok now?"
It's called Saving-the-Company's Gluteus Maximus- if I would've injured myself on my journey to the floor, the company would be liable for medical costs/employment compensation. This isn't the first time I've had a low blood sugar there, but the last bad one was 4 years ago, I can generally treat/work through my lows. (nobody even knows I'm having them) If I took off for every low I'd ever had, I wouldn't get anything done! (and my supivisor wouldn't either)

I went home, fell into an exausted sleep for 3 hours, and rechecked my blood sugar.

120. (this was 4 hours after I took my pump off)

Now, to figure out what had caused this rapid low. Thought it was a new infusion set prob, on the wise advice of people who know me just a bit too well, (I tend to keep my infusion sets in to long) but an hour post-supper my abdoman began rebelling against my Healthy Choice lunch, now I'm thinking none of it absorbed, hence the rapid drop in bg.
Healthy Choice- the next great way to lose weight, one way or the other. Called in sick today, as its still wracking its way through my system.

The DC Expo was great, despite getting there rather late (1:30 p.m.). I underestimated how long it would take me to get there on the Metro, but fortuantly the Convention Center was right on the Metro line. And there were plenty of helpful folks directing people towards the Expo(on the upper floor) Downstairs, the American Dental Association was having its thing (quite appropriate, actually, I wouldn't have minded listening in on some of those speeches).
I registered, and begun making the rounds.

2 hours later, figured it was time for a blood sugar check. (And why waste a strip...when there was a station set up to do it for free?) So I filled out a couple of permissary forms, got it checked (475, yay) got an a1c done, asked an endo a burning question I had, and completed the rounds.

It was definatly free pedometer day- everyone from NovoNordisk to Blue Cross/Blue Shield was passing them out. I got 5 differant pedometers. (I doubt it will inspire me to exercise more,though) Saw a Cleo sample, (very, very cool-I want some) partook of the various sugar-free-but-still-loaded-carbohydrate samples, and acquired too much stuff.(as usual)

Supper at Union Station, watched Ice Age 2, and back on the Metro.

Then the real fun began. It was raining hard, and I took a wrong turn coming out of the parking garage. Ended up circling Baltimore via the Beltway, for the next 2 hours. Eventually, I made so many wrong turns that I made my way back to DC, saw my "exit" that would put me back on the road I needed to be on, and was fine from there. Got home at 3 AM, extremily glad I don't have to deal with that madness every day.

Gas was $3.07 for a gallon of regular, that night. (vs the $2.87 around here) This isn't a political blog, but the whole situation is getting more +more ridiculous. Its not price gouging, when the supplies of crude oil/refined gasoline are gradually getting used up. And if we're not going to drill for more oil, we can expect those prices to keep going up. We need more efficient cars, and another source of fuel. (sooner or later, we are going to run completely out of gasoline and have to deal with these issues!)
I don't even get mad anymore(over the prices of gasoline), it could be much worse. (and I'm sure it will get much worse!)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Adventures in Bolusing

I don't like Coke, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Cherry Coke, or any other carbonated, highly sugared, beverage.

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But pretty much anything Diet, I'll drink- be it Coke, Pepsi, or Brand X. It isn't the sugar angle(that has me discomforted), it just tastes WEIRD. I never treat my lows with soda, unless its the absolute only thing available. I'd sooner eat glucose paste( another totally yucky thing, in my humble opinion) then drink coke. Apparently, some PWD's don't feel this way- they'll actually drink regular, and bolus for it. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with this. (heck, I will happily bolus for a mixed drink) So it must be the sugar-carbonation combo ( take either one seperatly, and my taste buds have no problem with it) that throws my taste buds in a whirl.

So what could induce me to voluntarily drink a 20 oz bottle of Cherry Coke?
Coke's newest promo.

In every Coke-Pepsi-Mt.Dew promo, the coded caps come out first on the regular drinks. (As that's good marketing sense, most people drink regular) Several weeks later, the diet drinks get them. (Except the Diet Pepsi movie ticket promo-that's exclusively Diet)
But the updated Diet Coke products are at least a week away, from making their grand appearance. And I wanted to start saving points NOW.

So I bought a Cherry Coke, did a split combo(1/2 then, 1/2 over course of 2 hours, I drank it over 2.5 hrs) and checked my blood sugar every hour. I am not used to bolusing for soda, since I rarely drink it.
1 hr later- 209
2 hours later- 213
3 hours later- 210
Very consistant, at least. I did a corrective bolus, (as my stomach rapidly churned up acid) sucked on hard candies/bolused for hard candies, and swore I'd never do that again. Not even for a bottle cap. Not worth it.

There's been some changes with the BGAT study, I've got to do some more follow-up paperwork soon(instead of in a year). I'm really not that fond of paperwork... but they sent me another E-gift Certificate, ($50) so its ok.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Five Years on Sunday

I'd better just post this now...because I don't know if I'll be back (or awake enough) to post Sunday. The ADA Expo is Sat, and I may turn it into a weekend deal.

7.5 years with diabetes. Five, on the pump. Five year (increments) anniversaries always feel like big ones.

There's the "1" year (diabetes for one year, pumping for one year) anniversary- you think you know everything.

5 years- You bemoan the fact that there STILL isn't a cure, or a decent continuous glucose monitering system.

10 years- I expect to feel old, but I hope diabetes technology will have GREATLY improved. Always knowing what your bg is, would be so wonderful.

15 years- By then, a cure. Period. End of discussion.

But back to that day...

Monday, April 23, 2001 dawned clean and clear. I was more then ready- I'd been waiting months for this day.

6 A.M. (knock on parents' door)
"Dad, can we leave now?"
"NO-it's 6 AM. We don't have to be there till 9:30. Go back to bed."

7 AM (knock on parents' door)
"Can we leave NOW?"
"No, we're leaving at 8- we're not getting there really early!"

8 AM (knock on parents' door)
"Can we puh-lease leave now?"
"Ok. (sigh) Got all your stuff?"
"Daddd, of COURSE." (teenage indignation)

9:30 A.M.- Sitting in the CDE's office, impateintly waiting for the other trainee to show up. My dad, after talking to the CDE, leaves. (I'm a big girl, I'll pretend to be fine for the next 30 hrs.)

10:15 A.M. - Still no other trainee. I've bounced around, triple-checked my new pump + supplies, visited the restroom and read the the too numerous journal articles lining the walls of the room. Things need to start, before I go nuts.

10:30 A.M.- 12 year old trainee shows up, with her mom. It's re-training for her, she's already on a Disetronic.

Carb Counting. Basals/Boluses. Infusion sets. A brand new world.

And a brand new meter- the One Touch Ultra has hit the market. Pediatric CDE gives us both one, along with strips/lancets/ Minimed sets.

Blood Sugar Check- its time to put the training in action. 5,4,3, 2,1- I'm never going back to the 45 second Accucheck. This meter is so unbelievable.


My fellow trainee smirks from across the table. "Ha ha, I'm 186."

Brief irratation at this immature juvenile. "Big deal, that's not a great number either."

Mom isn't watching. "Andi (CDE)- can I get you to look at her stomach sites? I'm really concerned about them."

CDE looks at them, studies them, analyzes them to the nth degree. Leaves room.
"She's got a rash- better stop using the stomach for awhile, put lotion on them. Talk to Dr. (X)
if they don't clear up."

CDE is busy quizzing me on what to do next. "How much insulin would you take for a corrective bolus?"
3 units, ok. Knew I'd be high anyway, I'd skipped the prior evening's Lente. (as per instructions)
12 year old is punching in her bolus like a pro. Well, she has been pumping 7 months. I try not to gape. Someday I'll be doing that.

Stuff all my new stuff into my supply box, self-consciously adjust the pump onto my jeans waistband, and prepare to move on out.
Next Step: Admission.

"Here, I can take that." My CDE relieves me of the supply box, I've only got my duffel bag and backpack to take care of now.
Past the Medical School Auditorium. Down the elevator. Down more hallways.
I see a sign for the Morgue.
"Are we near the morgue?!?"
"Yes, this is the basement."
I wish I hadn't asked. Probably lots of people who didn't take to pumping, ended up down here.
Up another elevator. Around to the cafeteria.
"Hon, I can take your stuff up. You can eat lunch with (the dietician), and she'll bring you up when you're done."
I hand over the rest of my stuff. "OK, thanks."

We have a very healthy lunch- which the dietician payed for. I couldn't eat anything sweet, until boluses were figured out, but I wasn't hungry anyway. Dieticians can be nice people- despite the intial awkwardness. She made sure I bolused appropriatly, for every bite.

Lunch being over, we headed up to the pediatric ward, where the nurse/intern on duty were waiting.
First, its the nurse's turn. Tons of paperwork. A blood sugar check, revealing a number deep into the 400's.
She freaks, and goes to tell the intern.

The intern shuffles in. Tall, skinny, shaved head. Facial complexion a chalkish white-green. Either an Ex-Member of the Grateful Dead, or having some serious medical issues himself.
"What're you in for?"
Brief confusion- aren't they supposed to already know this stuff?
"Starting an insulin pump."
"Ok. What's that?"
"Ummmmm, its a pager type thing, and it goes through a tube to my skin," I reply, wishing I could explain it better.
"Ok." Nothing on his face reveals whether he gets what I'm talking about. Suddenly, I wish very strongly that my own endocrinologist would show up + prevent an ensuing disaster. I don't feel confident that this guy knows squat about type 1 diabetes.
"Ok. Let's talk about your current medical history."
Diagnosis: Perfectly healthy in every regard, except the D.
He reads the nurse's note. "Checked ketones?"
"Yeah, I'm moderate."
"Ok. Let me check on something." Leaves room. Comes back in. "Take 8 units."
I remember how to bolus, and I do so. Take nap, drink fluids, feel rather nauseus.
6 pm- Supper arrives, on the dot. I eat half of it, bolus for the whole thing.(still feel high)
8:30- 121.
Hourly blood sugar checks, all night. Study for final exam, watch movies, fall asleep.
7:30 AM- Ped. Endo checks in.
"Your overnight basals are were between 110-121 ALL NIGHT. Still have to adjust the daytime. Couple of hours, we can discharge you."
8:30 AM- I eat breakfast, bolus, and promptly skyrocket to the mid 300's. Not so simple, this pumping thing.
9 AM- Intern pops back in, medical student in tow. "Wanna show my student your pump?"
I do so(while the intern scribbles in the chart). Medical student is duly impressed.
9:30 AM- Ped CDE pops in again, reviews various things. I still feel incredibly dumb, but figure eventually I'll know it all.
12 PM- Lunch time. Unfortuantly, I'm still mid 300's, and I have got ketones (yet again). Ketones= no discharge, and I'm in panic mode (thinking I won't get discharged in time to make my final exam, and if I don't make it to that class, I flunk). Of course, the more I worry about it, the higher my bg goes. I bolus well, skip lunch, and pray to get discharged quickly.
2:30 pm- Mid 300's, but ketone free.
"Ok, we can discharge you."
I'm packed, and ready to go in a matter of minutes. I call my parents, and my mom starts out to come get me.
3 pm- Still waiting on discharge paperwork. I may have to start walking, if these people don't hurry up. Can't be late for class!
3:15 pm- Admit to the other side of the room. Chat briefly with the mom, think how lucky I am that I just have diabetes.
3:30 pm- Nurse arrives with discharge paperwork. I sign, grab belongings, and make a beeline for the elevator.
3:35 pm- Mom arrives, picks me up.
5:30 pm- Deliver speech on childhood diabetes, (final exam) get an "A."
6:00 pm- Classmate gives speech on kids with diabetes/insulin pumps, looks in my general direction, and tells me I might want to consider getting one. I am too incensed/embarressed to merit an intelligent reply, I hunker down in my seat and glower darkly.(A. It was a really bad speech, and B. I'd wanted the topic) And I see her Disetronic, for the first time that semester. Never knew she even had diabetes, thought she just knew someone with it.
I mutter something to the effect of "Maybe" and long for class to end. (Never told her I'd just gotten a pump)
Every "Pumpversery", I go out to eat (pump anniversaries are much more fun then dx anniversaries!) Don't know where yet- as I still may be in DC.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Bunny a Day...

Keeps the glucose hoppin'!

I was fully intending to eat this 1-lb chunk of heaven on earth, before my youngest brother showed up, bearing gifts:

A complete 31 inch tv, dvd , and vhs system with an impressive sound system. It took some rearranging of my (already cramped) living room to get it all in.
Of course, there's a reason he is getting rid of it- end of summer, he's going to Naval boot camp (so he's getting rid of stuff now)
Then, he cleaned out my refridgerator (what he didn't eat, he threw away), discovered the chocolate bunny, and the rest is history. Oh well- there's always Post-Easter specials. (I'll find another one)

And then my sweetie sent this over:

Flowers for Easter!:-)

My insurance company has denied coverage for infusion sets, period. (and they are still holding to their 400 strip/3 month policy)
I am so frustrated- and confused. Who on earth do I appeal to? I can't appeal to my insurance company, they don't do prescription services anymore. Can't appeal to the prescription supplier- because they don't make the policies, they follow them.
So I called up Corporate Headquarters HR yesterday. They told me I had to file appeals with my local HR manager.
Hmmm, this is amazingly difficult. (even for an insurance fiasco)

Have a wonderful Easter, all.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Great Cake-Off (and other matters)

126, 321, 221, 298, 213, 245.

Basically, my attempts at "Playing Pancreas" suck. I'd rather have my old one back.(functioning at full capacity)

Its springtime- the birds are singing, the flowers blooming, and the grass/weeds growing. (like mad) My landlady kindly reminded me of that fact, she stopped by at 9:30 pm last night, scared the living dickens out of me. (thought it was a robber) I assured her that the lawn WOULD get mowed this week,(putting her mind at rest) and she happily drove off. Now all I need, is a mower. (I'll borrow one from someone) Got my work cut out for me, this weekend!

The Great Cake-Off is in 19 days. Its not a very diabetes friendly event, but I don't believe in letting diabetes dictate every action of my life.
Contestants bake two cakes- one for the judging, one for the auction. (proceeds from auction go to a worthy cause) As for the judging...well, after the judges get done with it, its open season for anyone to taste.
Tons of cakes- carb count all unknown- even with a pump, it sounds like a formidable bolusing challenge.
I'm don't expect to win, but it sounds like a worthy cause to contribute to. Maybe someone would actually eat something that I baked...(without keeling over dead) I'm not a great cook.

Went to a doctors appointment, waited 2.5 hrs on the doc. Seemed like he was getting paged every 20 minutes, in between his scheduledees. It is not the longest I've ever waited in a doc's office, but it definatly felt more like the ER then a doc's office! By the time he came in, it was 4:45, almost quitting time so he didn't go through the usual "how's your sugar" 30 minute lecture. (one good thing) Poked around my stomach/back, checked a urine sample, and dashed off a quick scrip for an antibiotic. I like this doc, he does a through job of things but sometimes I think he prescribes antibiotics for everything, just because I have diabetes. Just because I have diabetes, doesn't mean my immune system doesn't function fine. (most of the time) I hate being different.

By then, it was 5:30 pm and the regular pharmacy had closed. Drove down the road to a Walmart,
where they transferred my info(from another store) and filled the prescription. Unfortuantly, they didn't have an updated prescription card, so it was either pay out of pocket or come back.
I comprimised, bought enough pills for a couple of days, and decided to come back later, (w/card and rest of copay) for the rest.

Saw a One Touch Ultra 2, (while waiting at the pharmacy). It's Lifescan's newest attempt at combining Ultrasmart features(graphs, etc) into an Ultra. It looks a little bigger then an Ultra- but it has the same shape. Looked interesting, I may get one (if it's smaller then an Ultrasmart). Before the Ultrasmart research studies begun, I was a Ultra fan(and I will go back to them, at the end of the studies, if nothing better comes along)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Family Ties

Age, environment, viruses, genetics. All important triggers, in type 1 diabetes.

Still, if you don't have a family history of it, you wonder. What REALLY pushed things over the edge?
I was raised on the healthiest of diets. Farm girl- went to the doc extremily rarely, blah blah blah. When I got diabetes, I knew I couldn’t have gotten it from eating too much sugar ( that was eaten extremily rarely, anyway).
Sitting in the ICU room (at diagnosis) they asked if there was any family history of diabetes. I had no clue, I looked at my mom, and she said yes.
Two cousins, one diagnosed at 11, one at 17. None of them too keen on the concept of pumping, apparently. Another cousin passed away of DKA, in 1963. (At age 11)
And then there’s my cousin’s wife. Every complication in the book. Shortly after diagnosis, my mom took me to see her( to put the urge for good control in my heart) in the hospital. It hardly worked, I was as uncomfortable as anything (and just wanted to get out of there). Now, I hope I am more approachable(then I was then), I know it wasn’t all “her fault” for all the complications she sustained. I feel bad for her.
Nothing on my dad’s side. (other then one or two type 2's) Type 1, seems to be the maternal "touch" in our family tree. Every single case seems to have been inherited from the maternal side.
My one cousin(married, no kids) is in unbelievably great control. If ever there was a “poster child” for a perfect D pregnancy, she is it. (I haven’t seen her in years, she lives in CA) Sometimes I wonder- are my chances of having a kid with diabetes considerably higher then 4%? I wish my cousin would have some healthy kids, it would make me feel better about my (future-kids will still be a longggggg time off) chances. Having diabetes yourself is easier then your child having it. (My hats off to you moms and dads, I would be a nutcase) I’d have to rewire my thinking- start being very responsible about diabetes care!
But maybe T.C. (aka Thomas Crapper- the guy who got rich off the water toilet) had a premonition that one day, one of his relations would get diabetes and need one. Yes, on my dad’s side I am related to him. T.C. had no kids, thus no descendants. It goes to show- you can’t pick your relatives!(Especially those of such notorious, embarressing fame) I just wonder how many other type 1's were in the family tree, and died from diabetes.
I am glad to have diabetes in the 21st century (vs the 19th-20th) - and have the tools necessary to treat/live with it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Daylight Savings Time

Without exception, I always wake up low, when the time changes.
Doesn't have anything to do with extra basal/whatever. Its just a particular Heidi quirk.
Anyway, Sunday 8 am my Low Alarm went off. I was awake just enough to disconnect from my infusion set, and resume sleeping.
At 9:30, I was 124. (so it worked)
Saturday,hit the road by 8 am....

Add 45 minutes on the Metro.

Destination- Smithsonian!

Boyfriend and I had a quick lunch(hotdogs, drinks) before visiting:

Washington Monument:

Jefferson Memorial:

WW2 Memorial:

Holocaust Museum. Unfortuantly, taking photographs wasn't allowed (inside), and the main

show was sold out for the day...but it was still


Supper was a tres multi-culteral learning experience (cafe near the museum)- I had something,

I don't recall the name of, but it was quite good. Like a cheese bread( outside) and a mashed

potato-brocculi filling.
My rating- 7 stars out of ten. It'd have been better with chicken in it.

Boyfriend stuck with a tuna fish sandwich and fruit smoothie. (there is safety, in familiarity)

A quick visit to the Gift Shop....

The Tulip Library: (yeah, its really called that. Pretty funky name, if you ask me)

And back to the metro. (it was INSANE) Everyone was going home, or at least it appeared that way. To a country girl, its always a tad overwhelming (being crushed in a pile of folks just waiting to enter the Metro Station!) Standing room only (on Metro), until outside the DC limits. By then, I thought I was going to collapse from exaustion. Slightly nauseus. Sat down, checked blood sugar. (157)
It was a great day, anyway. Had alot of fun.

Monday was very uneventful at work. We had all these cases(same brand sold by Fifty-50) and it made me want to get some...
Then it was off to the dentist for some fillings.
Pre-dentist: 157
Post-dentist: 407
I was shocked to see that 400 number- I've never gone up like that before. Maybe they gave me some ephinephrine with that novocaine!