Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another Lesson in Diabetes 101

The human body is really, really amazing.
(No really, just keep reading)

The not-quite-right feeling hits me around 10 am. Am I dropping? No, I'm 153, its a long drop
to Hypoland. But just to be sure, I swig down half a bottle of juice, put the pump on suspend.

10:40 AM- I check again, this time I'm 100. Really unexpected. Commence to finishing juice, eat
a sucker as backup.

11:40 AM- Low # 3,599 strikes full force, right between the eyeballs. I am dizzy, shaky and out of juice. So I eat a York bar(32 carbs) and a butterscotch(8 carbs) knowing it won't work as fast as juice, but hey, its better then nothing...

12:10 AM- Low feelings dissapate, leaving in their place a RAGING hunger. It is not a "low" hunger, it is a concentration-camp-haven't-eaten-for-a-week hunger. Fortuantly, its lunchtime,
so I trot off to the cafeteria + rapidly consume:
-1 packet Hot Pockets
-a banana
-crackers 'n cheese
- medium sized bag of Cheetos
-another chocolate bar
-20 oz Diet Coke

4 PM- Finally up( at 396), I bolus 6 units + leave work.

5:30 PM- The feeling strikes again, the meter reads a cranky 123.
-pb sandwich
-mountain of mac 'n cheese(leftovers night)
-mountain of baked beans
-baked chicken wing
-V8 drink
I'm amazed at my body's ability to consume vast amounts of food, (and not gain any weight, its like my metabolism speeds up) and I'm amazed at the hunger. (where that came from, I couldn't say, this is not PMS week) Is it from dropping-or do I just need it?
It looks like there may be another "low" streak in the works. According to the endo,
such experiences are likely due to non-ovulatory vs ovulatory cycles (because it always begins
as menses is ending, a couple of times a year). Thrilled me to death to learn that its completely unpredictable as well, there's some sort of basal temp testing you can do(to learn what type of cycle it is, I assume) but there's no "fixing" it. (everything makes you low)
Guys have it EASY, they don't have hormones playing havoc with their blood sugars every month (And pregnancy) till menopause!
And speaking of food, our town's 4th of July 3rd annual Hotdog Contest is coming up.
This is a horrible experience for a D to partake in...but I had the burning desire NOT to let
anything, including the D, stand in my way. I was in the first one(missed it last year)
-12 contestants(10 guys, 2 girls)
-12 long hotdogs PER contestant (buns included)
-1 gallon pitcher of water to wash hotdogs down.
-4.5 minutes on the first round.

2 minutes into the round, I'd just finished my 3rd hotdog + starting to feel the effects( knew I'd never win the thing). 2.5 minutes and 2 hotdogs later, my stomach was rebelling + I was actually glad I'd lost the contest. (although I did beat out 6 big, hunky guys!)
My prize?
-a quart of ice cream (took it home)
-a though dislike of hotdogs for the next 6 months
-the look on my mother's face when she found out what I'd done
- the 300 range numbers that graced my meter for several hours later
- a yellowish-red-water-soaked tshirt to take home and wash
- no one even GUESSING that this 5"2 gal had D..
The winner chugged down 12 hotdogs (in 3 rounds).
Tres impressive.
(I'm going for 6 this year)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

When the Lights Went Out

Pitch Black.


Scary Black.


Is this a retinal detachment?!?

A blood curdling yell pierces the darkness, keenly sharpening my already on edge nerves.

"Lucy must be playing with the electrical system again," a nearby coworker dryly observes.

I grin, yet I'm relieved that its not just me." Think so?"


I lift my head back and yell like the best of them.

It feels good, this oppurtunity to yell out my

frustration (at a world in general) doesn't come around much.


"Geez, Heidi, it's not a vacation, don't get so worked up." (This from a person who hasn't gotten excited in something for over 20 years...)

There it goes, I feel better already. Maybe, just maybe, I'll make it through the rest of the working
"Don't blame Lucy for everything," another coworker chimes in. "Might just be a bad thunderstorm."
The main overhead lights flicker briefly.
And die, yet again.
"Nice going," coworker #1 grumbles. "Ticked her off."
"Nah, Lucy is a NICE ghost," coworker#2 retorts. "Wouldn't hurt a flea."
" Yeah? Maybe not HERE, but what about back then? Must've been some reason they did
away with her."
"Hey you guys," I cut in, "It doesn't matter. Just be glad for the break, it would suit me fine
if the lights NEVER came on."
"Yep, then they'd issue flashlights and make us do it in the dark. Wouldn't that be fun?"
Sunlight streams in from a distant open window.
"Oh darn, its not raining- its gotta be Lucy then."
15 minutes later, backup generators cut lights on.
Breaktime's over, folks.
Long ago, our Distrobution Center was an Indian burial ground. In the 1850's, supposidly an Indian princess was buried alive(at said site) and has haunted
this place ever since. We get the occasional power failure (weird, unexplaned ones) several times a year but its been a long time since anyone has claimed seeing "our" ghost. I wouldn't
know if "Lucy" actually is real, the one person I knew who claimed to have seen her has since
quit. (Lucy is a pretty shy ghost, apparently)
We should give tours at Halloween.(if nothing else, it'll scare the kiddies senseless, which is
the general idea of that holiday)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

8 Cool Things I've done in my life

8 seems so, insignificant, but that's all the years I've had diabetes. (Counting the Summer from
Heck) Circa Kassie's Cool Meme, here is mine:

1. Was born (1981) just after midnight, in a small hospital in Western Virginia- the same hospital my grandmother(1911) and mom (1951) were born in. (continuing the grand tradition)
I was small, (a preemie) I was ugly, and I had the biggest head the doctor had ever seen. After running multiple tests on me, they concluded I'd just inherited my
father's big head. Eventually, the rest of my body caught up,(in porportion) but I'm still big headed about some stuff. (I like to think its all brains)
2. From 1986-88, we lived in Jackson, MS. Very differant from Virginia, it only snowed once
(about enough for a snowball) and ice storms were frequent. When the tornado sirens would go
off, my "spot to hide" was in the bathroom closet dirty clothes hamper. (not very pleasant smelling) Fortuantly, the tornados never struck anywhere close.
3. Participated in multiple sports( soccer,tennis basketball, table tennis, baseball, rollarblade hockey)
all my life... (and only broke a kneecap, once)
4. Got my first "real" job at a daycare center, stayed at that job 1.5 years.(Summer '99)
5. Got my permanant job, (in retail) after finishing HS. (Sep. 2000)
6. August 2000 to present- have given blood 29 times.
7. May 2001- Got an article published in the ADA's "Diabetes Forecast." (Reflections)
8. Jan. 2006- Moved out(on my own). Discovered more of what life in the real world is all
about. Still trying to get myself better organized, which may take awhile (before the love of my life sweeps me away to Paradise, I need to reform my act). How did my parents ever manage this? D just makes me more unorganized..
That's my life in a nutshell. Of course, I've done more then this- just can't list it all!
Yesterday I discovered TWO of my 100 ct. boxes of test strips had expiration dates of 4/06.
Darn. So the question arises, do I use them? I got a refill last month, I'm pretty sure that Caremark sent them (I have alot of test strips floating around at the moment) but I removed the labels and (thus) the proof. I'm sure they won't want to replace them. So it looks like I'll have to use 'em up(quickly)....and put aside the box I'm currently working on.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Weave Me the Sunshine

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Why do people go jogging in the dead of night, with absolutely NO reflective clothing/gear

Why do some folks take a siesta (right in the middle of a 4-way intersection) so they'll be assured
of getting their left handed turn (while the rest of us are forced to wait for them?)

Why are there male gynocologists? (Enough said, you might love yours, but I find it hard connecting to a doc whose never PMS'd in their lives)

Why is the carb count on sugared cereal NEVER right?

Why do some folks just keep reproducing (and mistreat the ones they've got) while others spend tens of thousands to be able to adapt just one child off the streets? Why is it so hard
to adopt?

Why is a cure always "Five Years" away?

Why does a fresh crop of bills always arrive in your mail box right after you pay off the old ones?

Why is so hard to change an a1c?

Why does it always rain a monsoon the weekend the lawn needs mowing/trimming?

Why do pumps always die on holiday weekends?

Why do people park in TWO parking spaces....

Why do people feel the need to eat themselves sick at buffets? (myself included)

Why do very fat people only have to pay for one seat on airplanes, when they take up 2-3?

Why is the genetics of diabetes so tricky- antibodies may increase the risk, but no one will
predict when you'll get it.

Why does that fancy Lamborgini Contash (at work) always park so close to you you're afraid to breathe when you get out of the car- you don't want to hurt it...you don't have that kind of insurance..

Why is it impossible to totally defrost the windshield of your car on a cold, frosty morning-
and you're forced to drive to work with it half-done, you're fortuante not to get in late(or have an accident)

Why do test strips work their way into so many odd places?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

C- Day (x 7)


The setting is an Ophthalmologist’s office.

Act 1.

Resident: I’m afraid you need surgery- it’s the only thing that might help, no guarantees. We can’t visualize the retina, so its unclear if there might be more problems, but its worth a shot. Since you’re underage- it’s the guardian’s decision. What do you think?

Patient: (looking over at parent) Uh, Mom?

Mother of Patient: (slowly) Ok. When can you do it?

Resident: We’ll set it up pretty quick-as it’s an emergency. Ever had surgery before?

Patient: No.

Resident: We generally use general anesthetic for all our younger patients so they don’t freak out. Elderly folks don’t get as upset with people digging around in their eyes, so we use local with them. But it’ll be fine. We’ll stage them two weeks apart, so if there’s an infection or other prob with one it won’t spread to the other eye. Let me read you the risks.

(long list of rare risks)

Any questions?

Patient: No. I’m totally freaked out about everything now, I’m scared to death.

Senior Purple-Shirted Resident:
Hey, you’ll be ok. Most people come through this with flying colors. I’ll be doing your surgery.

Patient: Ok.

Act 2.

Scene: PreOp room- June 10, 1999.

Patient: Uh, Nurse? I think I’m low, could you check my bg please?

Nurse: Oh, I forgot about that. Let’s check you.

Nurse: You’re 349.
Patient: (feeling stupid) Ah. Most defiantly NOT low. I cut my Lente in half this morning like I was supposed too.. now I'm high.

Nurse: I’ll get dosing instructions.

30 minutes later.

Nurse: We’ll give you 5 units of Regular through your IV.

20 minutes later.

Anesthesiologist: Well, since you have no more questions- we’re ready to roll! Leaves room.

Orderly: Hi, I’m ready to take you over to the OR.

Patient climbs off bed.

Patient: Uh, you’ll have to lead the way, I can’t see squat.

Orderly: No problem. I’ll also take care of your IV bag- looks like you’re having some problems managing all this paraphernalia.

Patient: Yeah, and if I make it there without this size XXXXL gown falling off it’ll be a wonder.

Orderly: Here, take a blanket.

Wrap Self in blanket.

Patient: Thanks a lot.

Act 3.
Arrive at OR. Climb up on gurney, gown falls halfway off. Feel self-conscious all over again- as the only people you can hear are of the opposite sex…

Senior Resident: Hey there! How are you doing?

Patient: (knees knocking, teeth chattering, heart thumping away) I’m freezing.

Anesthesiologist: Let’s get another blanket-EKG, pulse ox on her..

Resident: So what are you doing this summer?

Patient: Well, I was studying for the ACT-before this happened. I don’t think I’ll be able to take the test this month-it’s in two days.

Resident: It’s ok-you’ll do fine when you take it.

Attending Supervising Physician: Are we ready?

Anesthesiologist: I’m just going to give you something to relax, you’ll breathe deeply and then you’ll wake up in the recovery room. Here we go…

Patient: (thinking) Maybe this is my last five seconds on earth.

Uncomfortable cramping sensation in legs, shift up.

Act 4

Recovery Room.

The sound of coughing.

Nurses Voice: Are you ok? (Worried)
Patient: Cough some more phlegm. Me? Opens eyes. Yeah, ME! (estatic) I’m alive!

Nurse: Um, yes you are. How do you feel?

Patient: Tired.

Nurse: We’ll let you sleep a bit longer before you go home. The surgery was successful.

Patient: Thanks.(falling back asleep in 2.5 seconds)

Act 5.

Opthamologist’s office-the next day.

Senior Resident: Let’s peel off your eye patch now, see how that eye is doing.

Takes off eye patch.

Eye promptly fills with water. Irratation- or tears of joy? I can see the resident, I can see the eye chart, I can see everything. I’d kiss the resident, but that’s probably a no-no.
Senior Resident(after through exam): It's doing great, we can probably do the other one in two weeks.

June 24- Second surgery also goes off without a hitch.
Closing Scene: Patient resolves to take better care of diabetes- heck, maybe even get one of those new-fangled pumps...All joking aside, the gift of sight does make one's life infanintly more fufilling.
Ah, Kansas. Had a good time, but its not exactly a popular tourist spot. My boyfriend's folks were nice(the hugging type, but nice) and I survived the multiple family reunions, graveyards, hot muggy nights(hotel ac's didn't work half the time) and limited internet access. (the hardest part) The only reason people go to Kansas(if they don't already reside there) is probably for family reunions. I can see why Dorothy wanted to get out of there(in the first place)

I exibited the patience of Job and didn't eat a single unhealthy dessert, it is quite impossible to explain (to some folks, older ones in particular) the fine details of carb counting/etc. Its hard enough to explain it to my boyfriend, ((what I can/can't eat at certain times) I probably should send him a copy of some basic Diabetes 101 books. Like Understanding Insulin Dependant Diabetes by Peter Chase,MD. I'm not going to marry someone who constantly rides me about my "diet." Everything I eat, I try to cover appropriately with insulin. If his elderly relations do it to some degree thats ok(one only has to go through that 1-2 x a year)
And when I got home, THIS is waiting for me:

Season 6! (Took 3 weeks to arrive from Australia)

(it really does rock, Caro)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I believe I Could Fly!

Given the price of gasoline,this might be a cheaper alternative. (At least, you'll make someone's
day. "Hey look, Honey- there's another whacko in the neighberhood!")

Tomarrow, its off to Kansas (boyfriend's family reunion, meeting the parents, etc.) I might just wish I could fly (home)- friends assure me that its much better to do all this PRE-anything-remotely-serious.
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(The Family Reunion...)

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I'm just not ready. (In addition to displaying Rarius Extremius Maturius over the course of a 5-day weekend, I'll probably have to answer zillions of questions regarding diabetes, not precisely my favorite thing to do. My family is bad enough-what if his is WORSE?)