Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Wallflower

"Diabetes care..has come a long way since the induction of insulin, in 1923. Some of you,(who he's known forever)in this room, remember testing your urine for sugar. And some of you(looks pointedly in my direction) are younger then the pump technology, you've always known convenience. But its changing, and five years from now, blood glucose testing won't be the same as we know it today. CGS's will be more accurate, more trustworthy."

My hands shake, my heart races, a fine sheen of sweat evaporates from my forehead(soon to be replaced by the all over sensation that I'm pouring off liters of the stuff). Not an insulin reaction, not here, not now.

"When I was a medical student, I participated in a study(they had just started to be able to measure the amount of cpeptide in the blood) to see if the body started secreting insulin just looking at food. We were starved for 24 hours, and sure enough, just looking at food was enough to send the body into I-want-it-mode. Problem is,a closed loop system won't really tell when/how much you've eaten, there's got to be some sort of user input to tell the body that."

Thunk, thunk. Decision time, why is it there are rarely any carb laden snacks at pump club meetings? I so need juice, before I become the main attraction here. But I can't drink it here..without everyone noticing.


That's my cue to sneak out. I'd rather hoped, that the room would be dark + he'd be presenting a slideshow(instead, I'm a mere 3 seats away so they entire table is looking in my direction) but no such luck.

"I'm on a cgms, etc....."

Lurch up, across the room, to doors. Medtronic rep gives me the puzzling eye (like he knows I'm low) Or at least that's just my hypoglycemic paranoiac perception. Bathroom,juice, get steady. Return to discussion.

"Other experiences?"

Wave hand...


"Yeah, I was on the Guardian for a research study..I think there is a tendency to trust them too much,slack off on the testing. It really changes your diabetes care(not always for the better) If you get to trusting them too much..and your meter says 100 and you're really 180, and only test twice a day because you're just going off the CGS that is a real detriment ion to your diabetes care."

He smiles. "You must be one of those perfectionists about your diabetes care."

"Not really. I'm about as unperfect as you can get, and the CGMS(which I wasn't wearing that night) just gives a chance to further exercise my irresponsibility. I'm a horrible diabetic."

Laughs. "Well, that's interesting..I agree with you that they aren't perfect, and they require the user being on top of things, but I think they're going to get better."

Further discussion, discussing dual chamber(glucagon,insulin, amylin), biological cures(whether islet cell transplantation will hit the market before the closed loops systems), the role of symlin, etc.

Escape to refreshment table, the shrimp is gone. Only carrot sticks/broccoli remain.Darn. Blood sugar, 159. CDE sitting on my right looks over my shoulder(and thankfully, doesn't comment). That's a nice number. Should be good to brave the Inner Loop with.

"Hey, I thought you might be interested in this."

A flyer, it seems the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association(Rick Philbin) is starting up a Baltimore chapter.(orginization meeting, May 7) Cool. I just might check that out..

Revert to I'm-the-preteen-wallflower-at-this-party mentality, not that I want to be that but I'm just not good at inserting myself into conversations that I perceive to be private. And, they've known each other for eons and who am I to demand someone talk to me, when they'd rather talk to their friends?

So I stand against the wall, hoping something will happen.

Dr. Saudek passes by, and takes pity on me.

"And what's your name?"


"New to the group?"

"Yes. You probably know my ex-endo, a GB..."

"Yes, he and his wife and son are good friends of our family. We were co presidents of the ADA one year."

"Yeah, great guy. I really miss UVA."

"How long have you lived up here?"

"Five months."

"Welcome to the area."

"Thank you. I'm still getting used to it."

Grab a diet 7up,slowly filter out with the rest of the group. Not every meeting is the "letting it all out" kind, at least the discussion/talk by Dr.Saudek was good. And I think maybe,the reason alot of them don't talk to me is they don't think they have much in common(and I respect that). It just feels like a waste of time, if I don't have at least one good conversation with someone.


Anonymous said...

Just want to mention that at our pump support groups, when someone is low, everyone scrambles to find all the food we can to hand to the person: granola bars, glucose tabs, other candy, crackers....It's ok (at least at ours) to say hey, someone have something I can eat? My bg is low. Who better to understand? We would worry if you left the room to treat. You're such a nice person. Let the group get to know you!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to let you know that I have been in a pump group where a group member had a severe low and was unaware. Those of us around her realized before she did and after giving her a few minutes to recognize the low herself, we fully supported her. It was uncomfortable for her, as I think it might be for me, but that is why we are there, among those who should best be able to understand and do understand. It is not a personal negative reflection upon us to go low, it is the disease, a part of it we can not always control. It is understood by pump members, and if we can't feel comfortable "letting down our guard" there, where can we? Where will we? Please don't feel uncomfortable. Others truly understand and will not judge. I am hoping the next group meeting provides a more comfortable and satisfying experience for you.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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