Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Joining the Ranks

I. am. officially. beyond. esctatic.
(and they're nuts if they think I will wait to get trained on this thing, I'm a pumper and it can't be much more difficult then that). I think I can figure this out
on my own.(and should I get stuck-with the help of others, who've posted about their own experiences)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pre-Halloween Special

I had to follow this guy onto the interstate- talk about scary...(tractor trailers don't merge very easily!into 70 mph traffic)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Boring Sunday Afternoon(and the dissection of an OmniPod)

(size comparison)

(What's inside????????)

The small batteries are 357-precisely the type used in the MM508. I don't know about the later models, but I still have my 508(for old times sake). I'll keep them, for that.(in case El Lambo hits the dust) Anyway, this was quite the informative experiment, the main section houses the pump "resevoir",(its saline,folks,never fear) some weird spring, and a metal needle that leads to the outer cannula.The clear piece is the bottom, the cloudy piece is the outer shell, and the computer chip makes it all that much more beyond my capabilities to understand it. The Omnipod is pretty cool, but I'm not sure I'd like to wear one on a regular basis(I'd all the time be losing the remote!) and it looks like a giant tumor... Wore one for a couple of days at FFL + it felt REALLY weird. I'm used to looking like a technogeek + maybe no else notices if you put it in the right spot but I'm used to my pump(you can put it anywhere) + the Omnipod, you definatly cannot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Season for Goodbye

Sure, I remember that day.

Starry eyed, young,nervous, greener then the freshly mowed grass just outside the entrance doors. Waiting there with the other new hire, who lasted about a week. Paperwork, signing my life away. Incredibly naive, it was my first "real" job. But not naive enough to tell anyone about the diabetes, it was 3 months before someone saw my medic alert and the secret leaked out(to various individuals).I wanted to prove myself first.

I remember getting my first health insurance plan,(Dec.) only to have it switched 1 month later. I remember immeadiently filing a request for an insulin pump, which took 2 months to approve. And that first medical leave, off in April(for an overnight admission + college final exams). I remember thinking that it was all worthwhile, no matter how little they paid me, I was getting a free pump!

I remember the dead of winter fire drills, shivering in the single digits till security made up their minds to let us all back in the building.

I remember the blackouts, with the power cut off + people shrieking "Lucy!"(our resident ghost)as the spooky eeriness took over the situation.

I remember funny coworkers + entire bizarre conversations, held only with 2 feet +contorted facial expressions.

I remember the layoff of '03, where the remaining employees(in that section of the building) played the
"where are we going next?" lottery + I just barely missed going to nightshift(seniority wise, 2 spots off)

I remember my one and only LOW.(under 10 mg/dl) I remember telling my coworker I was going to die, + she'd better tell my then boyfriend PRONTO because my blood sugar was very low. I remember asking him to give me the glucagon shot, and getting upset that he wouldn't. And I remember eating 120 carbohydrates + not passing out, but still being upset with the boyfriend because he WAS an EMT + knew how to do it.

I remember wanting to become an EMT, partially because whenever they got a page, they got to skip out on their regular jobs/jump on the giant red tricycle and zip all over the building, saving lives.

I remember September 11-listening to the radio, hearing the worry in people's voices. I remember my coworker, frantic with worry, trying to get ahold of her daughter(who had switched planes at the last minute). I remember the 7 people who died, all of whom were moms and wives and sisters and daughters + buyers for this company. (I didn't know them, but some of the supivisors did) I remember (Fri.)Sep.15, going to the memorial service, eating Chinese + getting the flu/skyrocketing blood sugars + having to leave work.

I remember the anthrax scare-looking at any white powder that came in on a box with a supiscous eye. Actually sent some off for testing, but it came back negative.

I remember the first day in my new department, where I had to learn 14 people's names all over again.

I remember the bomb scare, the day the entire plant cleared out in 10 minutes flat. 900 employees. I remember police + sniffer dogs going through the facility that weekend, and a cop car parked out front for several weeks after that. Didn't find anything.

I remember 1,000 lows where no one ever knew, and 3 that they did.

I remember people who came and went, and wishing I could leave. I remember free coffee (vending machine) days and the annual passing out of Thanksgiving Turkeys(all ordered at discount from the poultry plant down the road).

I remember supivisors that knew about the D, and ones that didn't. Unfortuantly, that had to do with whether or not I had a bad low on their beat.

I remember "surfing" the mechanical moveable line(via a box) and getting yelled at by my supivisor). It was still a blast, though.

I remember the little ideosycracies of every piece of equipment, every department. I have worked them all.

Most of all- I remember you guys, the finest group of people in the plant.We've laughed, cried,
and put up with each other for the past 4.5 years.
I'll miss you.(and many thanks for the party,pizza,cake + presents!)

Things change...

And we must go on.
(7 years,1 month, and 22 days later)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pick the next Ultra Mini Color(+ ipod contest)


I love the orange.(but it doesn't look like it has much chance of winning!) Plus, you can register for a chance to win 1 of 10,000 ultraminis(not so amazing, I have 5 of them compliments of CWD FFL2007) and an ipod nano(preloaded with diabetes podcasts)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekend Plans

So tomarrow, I intend to do a little R&R up in the great vast urban sprawl that is Northern Virginia. R&R is, of course, shopping. Serious shopping. I have to pick out my getaway outfit,new jeans,several types of dress shoes.And appropriate work clothes. Because I look like a bum from West Virginia most of the time. I work at a place where its perfectly fine to look like this, because 98% of the people working there also look like that but in civilized, polite, professional society I'd be kicked out the first day on the job. Along the way,I've also got to check out some deals at Walgreens,Target,and ToysRus(which are either not around here or not carrying said deal). And,one of my favorite stores,Gabriels.(really cheap clothing) Then, I've got a gift certificate for a restaurunt(where I'll eat lunch) and a ticket to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert that evening. (Won from a radio station) After that, I'll stay overnight at my aunt's + she'll try out potential "hairstyles" for the big day. My aunt, like my mom and myself, is blessed(er,or cursed) with extremily curly poofy hair that's extremily challenging to manage. Most people think curly hair is great, well they haven't seen this type. It is beyond extreme, and I hate it passionatly(have to put tons of straightening goop on it just to make it managable).
I prefer to do all such shopping alone, because when I'm with other people I can't focus enough to get it all done in a very short period of time. I would be a complete bore. My mom thinks that driving up there alone is a very bad idea(she may be right about that) but millions of women do it every day + if you use common sense, you don't have to worry about being murdered on the Beltway. I'm much more worried about my blood sugars, then I am about being attacked.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another Twisted Billy Joel song(D-style)

Only the Good Die Young

Come out, Virginia, don't let it wait
Diabetic chicks start way too late
Sooner or later, you know its just fate
Whether you'll be the one.

Well they gave you a meter, told you to test
Brand new pump, baby, only the best
But they never told you, about all the rest
The things that you might have done...
Only the good die young-thats what I said, only the good die young.
(only the good die young)

You might have heard I run with a complication doomed crowd
Our black leather jackets to double as a shroud
We might have not with common sense been endowed
But that never hurt no one.(else, that is)

So, c'mon, Virginia, give me a kiss
Double diabetes makes some pretty sweet bliss
And that sweet naivite, that no one could miss
Never cracks in the sun.
Darn it, only the good die young.
(Whoa,whoa,whoa, whoa)
Only the good die young.

You got a great a1c and a party on your D(anniversery)
You got a brand new Medic Alert(plus a cool Running on Insulin t-shirt)
But Virginia, they didn't give you quite enough information
You've never had a HI
After eating the entire pie...

They say there's a cure, for those who are good
Stay healthy till then, do all that you should
If I could do that, you know that I would
But better D's then me have thought that they could...
You know that only the good die young, only the good die young.

You say that all I ever gave you was a reputation
Your endo doesn't care for me
Cuz I'm playing havoc with your fine bg
Oh,oh,oh, oh.

So, come out, Virginia, don't lemme wait
This is one party that can't be late
Two diabetics, make a very fine date
And maybe, just maybe we won't die young.

Sometimes I definatly feel like a wild child- I have made unwise decisions just because I didn't want to fit into the "good diabetic" mold. I've eaten those metophysical pies, and had more then my share of real life HI's to boot.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In Praise of the Lowely Sardine

I confess, when I read that sardines, may be one of the world's healthiest foods
it was like being told that chocolate is actually good for you.(complete shock-yeah,I knew fish is healthy but I didn't think it was that healthy) My exposure to sardines begun at a young and tender age, and like most, I disdained that particular food. But as my dad's signature dish (sardines,rice,soy sauce,frequently veggies/broccoli) quite often graced the dinner table the hatred of it dulled + eventually, I came to like it. I now eat it about twice a week.
Good news for me, good news for the D. This meat has practically every element one could wish for,and its especially benificial if your family has a history of heart disease.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Torture Chamber


(think fingernails + chalkboard)

Countdown 6 minutes.

tap,tap, tap


tap,tap, tap


tap, tap, tap


tap, tap, tap


tap, tap, tap


(traveling though head,centuring in left ear)



(switch to right ear vibrating + dying off in left ear)

Tap, Tap.


da bump, da bump, da BUMP, da BUMP, da BUMP, da BUMP, da BUMP, da BUMP,da BUMP
(repeat for 3 minutes)

"Ya ok in there??"


Chain saw starts up....

Zap, zap, zap, zap, zap.

ET phone home, are there any neurons left?

"Try NOT to squirm, or I'm gonna have to do this all over again."

I try. Cross fingers, toes,bite lip, try to think about something other then the time bomb that is my body.


Bo bomp, bo bomp, bo bomp, bo bomp, bo bomp, bo bomp BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP.

Horridest music on the planet, I gotta say.

"We're done."

Really? Because I was just getting ready to spill my
guts about everything I ever did(wrong)..

"You ok?"

I feel for my head, I'm not convinced that numb thing on my shoulders is that, anymore.45 minutes of the unquiet-est(stay Stone Age, everyone)disturbing sounds on earth.(no music or even a call button for the freak-out crowd)
Ah, the marvels of modern medicine.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

October Showers-Part 1

I've duly arrived at the scene of the impending party, checked my blood sugar(96) and had lunch at a nearbye Taco Bell. And I've given myself a virtual pat-on-the-back for getting myself there, on time(actually 45 minutes to spare). Time to swap out my pump cartridge.

Reach over to back seat, move duffel. Gotta be here somewhere.


Ok, maybe its on the floor.


Under the pile of fastfood wrappers on the passenger's side floormat?


In the car truck???


I panic, I've just managed to leave my entire medical kit AT HOME(a good 4 hours drive away). This wouldn't be so bad but for the fact that only 4.4 units of insulin remain in my resevoir and I've no vials of insulin on me.(none of the other meds are a matter of life and death) A quick rummage of my pocketbook yields 2 syringes. And I'm about to go to a dessert shower-for heaven's sake. Fortuantly, my meter kit is in my pocketbook + I have plenty of strips.
I consider the options:

A. Find a pharmacy, make panicked call to endo's office.

B. Ignore the situation, enjoy the shower, and go into DKA 4 hours later.

C. Drive home- and don't come back!

Go with option #1. The first pharmacy I see is CVS- which, amazingly, HAS my RX on file.(it's a chain store) Disaster averted, but I'll still have to take a shot every 3 hours.
Back to dessert shower, fiance meets me, we go in and enjoy the party.(despite my shot nerves) I do not eat much, and what I do eat is sugar-free. I do not feel like being the diabetic CDE today. We get several nice gifts from Bed, Bath & Beyond which will come in handy. It was hosted by his coworkers.
Back to CVS, pick up insulin. Shoot 5 units.
Back to his house. Check blood sugar-134, quite reasonable to take a 5 minute walk with. (5 minute walk to grocery store) Walk to grocery store, wander around getting stuff and I realize, I'm low.10 freakin' minutes after testing 134. Eat 6 tabs. Walk back, drink lots of OJ. Drive to another party, check(284), take another shot, overeat, test 397.
Take another shot.
12 AM, take shot
3AM, take shot
6 AM, take shot
9 AM, take shot
It's impossible to get any sleep when you're taking shots every 3 hours, but eventually my bg came down to mid 100's. It was pretty easy keeping it in the 100's-up until 5 pm, when it went back up to mid 200's. We were walking around Baltimore's Inner Harbor having an awesome time, but my blood sugar just kept going up.(300, 384)
Massive shots, it went down to 245 by the time we returned. Took another shot, and woke up 467 at 5 AM.
My worst symptom (when I'm very high) is this peculiar, hurting, thumping heartbeat.
I absolutely hate it, and I absolutely hate waking up to it.(more then anything else)
It usually signifies ketones & impending DKA.
Take another hefty shot...
8:45 AM- 200. MUCH better.
It's good to be back home, my blood sugars were a disaster this weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Diagnosis: Cyberborg


This is me to a T, I hear beeps, alarms, etc. 24 hours a day. I have thought my pump was on when it wasn't.(and vice versa)My life is ruled by technology. (its not just my pump..but my pump IS part of me)

Apparently, I am not alone.(crazy techies of the world, unite!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Needle and the Damage Done

Today I got my flu shot. Needles do not scare me(except perhaps jugular ones!), be it a hulking 14 gauge large-bore IV or a butterfly. I've had too many, and the repeated exposure to the entire gamut makes one hard, calloused, like a soldier going into battle. You come to expect just how much it will hurt.

Later on, as I stood in line at the pharmacy, requesting my 100 ct. box of 3/10, 29 gauge syringes, I was struck at how easy it was for anyone to get ahold of them.

"And what will you be using these for?" the cashier inquired.

I'm tempted to say "Drugs", but I'm not that stupid.(Regardless of the fact that yes,
they'll be used for a legal drug) I can just envision her shocked look + hasty speed dial to the local drug-busting unit.

"Insulin," I say, like every other Joe Blow that walks in there. I will use them to shoot down highs, rather then spend hours in ketosis waiting on the infusion set.(which has likely gone to pot)

"Sign the book,please."

Name, age, address, medication. It will be tracked, monitered for signs of suspicious activity.(excessive buying) But if someone wanted to buy alot of syringes,all they'd have to do is drugstore hop. Making them all prescription, is that the answer? It just makes it harder for people who can't afford a doc/don't have insurance(syringes + some insulins are over the counter), which is a horrid situation but one that many people are in. It also makes it inconvenient for people like me, who buy syringes OTC because it is cheaper then the copay for the things. Drug abusers abound, alas, + I've heard heroin + insulin sometimes ends up in the same syringe(that's partially why you can't even give your own injections in jail).

Sometimes the needle does as much harm as good.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Endo Exchange

Endo #1:
So, I've got this patient...

Endo #2:
Yeah- and you can keep them.Good gosh, I've got enough of THOSE types in my own practice.

Endo #1:
Just listen to me for a minute. She's moving to your neighborhood-and might be investigating you(based on my recommendation). Back when you were my resident,you may have run into her.

Endo #2:
I doubt it, the name doesn't look familiar.

Endo #1
Just wanted to give you a heads up. And she isn't that bad, she's just somewhat of a trainwreck who will probably never have an a1c under 7 + die of every complication in the book- but those types need just as much support, maybe more. And I think you could handle her.

Endo #2
Thanks,I'm flattered by the moral support.

Endo #1
Anytime after Nov.10, be on the lookout.

Yesterday's appointment(unlike some previous) was actually productive, I felt like it was worth the $20 copay. My endo recommended someone she knows in that part of the world,(that I'm moving to) and even said she'd talk to her(put in a good word) if she could accept a new patient. As Endo #2 will be in town this weekend, the above verbal exchange is entirely possible. They took alot of blood(as I've been avoiding the place since May),
and I gave her more updated forms for the CGS/Insurance coverage battle. I could have just faxed them, but stuff gets misplaced very easily there + even when it goes to the right place, it takes a good 7+ days for the endo to even look at it. I felt like I needed to reinspire her(and myself) to the cause.

And my blood sugars have been uncharacteristically flat line-several days of 120-140 range, so my endo really didn't even have much to say in terms of insulin adjustments. I usually have a post breakfast spike(low 200's), followed by a severe drop(4 hours of no insulin and still having to eat) so she recommended square waving my meal to avoid that. But the past few days have been amazing, everything I do, works. I eat/bolus, and two hours later I've got a gorgeous blood sugar that stays gorgeous till the next meal.I hardly move 15 points in either direction. Overnight, I'm steady as a rock.(or drop slightly) It's kind of nice. I'm used to things always moving, requiring frequent input + this is pretty bizarre. Maybe my a1c will come back lower too.(helped by the research study's blood letting)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Winter Rush

These are just too cute- I wish they sold such items around here.(instead, they ship them to California, Maine,Florida) They're socks-in case you were wondering. When I go to our stores around here, I rarely find anything that I can't get at Walmart/Target for half the price. Even with my employee discount. But anyway, these made my day just a bit less monotonous!:) We're processing all the Christmas/winter merchandise now,and that sure beats pots,pans, and other cookware.(boring)

Monday, October 01, 2007


Life is good, life is GREAT. 2 months,8 days and too much money later, my computer runs again. Having it fixed, however,was cheaper then buying another computer. I've really missed Ebay sniping,
chats on TuDiabetes(and elsewhere), and knowing what's going on in general.(news,etc.) I've missed it all-it is so good to be connected again.(going to the library 2x a week just doesn't cut it). I don't know if I'll be posting more often, this month and next will the busyiest ever.(40 days till I tie the knot)

I'll take a virtual one of these:

and invite you to do the same!