Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oysters on the Bay

There's a semi-annual event we like to attend, a seafood extravaganza of sorts.. located at a gazebo-type place next to (where else) the Chesapeake Bay. (The Bay is huge, so I trust I'm not giving away private info with that statement) Anyway,last weekend we show up, get our tickets, and start right in on the ham/beef sandwiches(sliced right there, I've never seen one of those slicers) on choice of rye/wheat bread, find our assigned table and socially mingle. Beer, tea, coke, diet coke, and water is free, and flows in abundance as the DJ blasts out canned dance music at the top of the decibel scale, strobe lights streak across the floor. It was impossible to hear oneself think, so the only recourse was to keep eating + drinking (until you either popped or passed out). Go back for more..some sort of sweet fish dish, mashed potatoes, green beans/carrots, chicken leg. By which time, I'm rapidly approaching satiety and haven't even yet gotten to the piece de' resistance, the oysters.(kind of the entire point of the event)

I get in line again.

"You look like an oyster fan!"

Hmm, interesting assumption. "I've had them approximately three times in my life, I'm not sure I'm at the "fan" stage yet."

"But you love 'em, right?"

"They're ok." (try to block out painful memories of the oyster soup of two years ago)

"How many?"

"Two."

"Plates? or pieces?" Laughs.

"Err, pieces. Oh ok, make that three, they look small. Thanks."















Blood sugar at 159 mg/dl. (a safe number, if these don't stay down.) Eat oyster #1, just like I remember it..like eating ketchup covered, crunchy-snot-dotted eggwhite. (the red stuff is not even ketchup..its salsa)Not even much taste, the sensation is what's annoying about it. By number three, I'm glad to have only gotten three. Guess I'm just not a raw food sort of person, I can't believe people pay top dollar for these.

Pic of the Bay:














Go back inside, finish up with cake(definatly stuffed to the gills at that point).
Around 9 pm we left..it was fun.(any later and the number of drunken individuals would probably have made it not so fun) Only it was odd that the oysters came from Louisiana, NOT the Chesapeake Bay. It wasn't exactly a genuine Bay party, but it was 95% of the way there.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Random Blogging Thoughts on the Smart Pix & Apidra

Several years ago,I participated in a research study..and the end result, was this. At that point, it definatly wasn't a plug-in device, it was a computer program on a PDA that you had to manually enter the info.(blood sugars, hypo treatment, how you felt symptom-wise on a 1-5 point scale) Took way too long,it was a pain in the butt. And it took an entire week to spit out a number.(up to 0-50?) Most of the time..I was on the "Extremely Variable" range, though by the end of the study I'd worked that down to a "Slightly variable" range. Seeing those numbers inspired me in a way that my a1c didn't, it was real, it was now, and there was a chance to make it better. Now I'm wondering...would getting such a device be worth it? of course I have five million meters (including Accucheck) so that's not a problem. The scientist in me likes trying out new toys..I may get one with part of the tax stimulus check.(based on my SS#, should be in my checking account by May 16) And I think I heard a rumor that Dexcom will soon be compatible with all the meters.
(someone correct me if I'm wrong) Not having to use a Ultra all the time will be more convenient.

Also..does anyone out there use Apidra,(or have tried it) and why did you switch/love/not love about it? No insulin is "fast" enough, if the effects can still be seen up to 4 hours post-bolus.(though Novolog has proved the best(out of Regular,Humalog,and Novolog) thus far. Novolog, has this lovely little tail that drops me in the final hour-half/hour and its annoying sometimes.(when one is high, it's ok but when you're normal and not expecting a drop it's not welcome)

And one final thought..don't the individuals in this article look kind of young to be practicing medicine? The doc,in particular,I'm not sure if he could even grow a beard.
(this is a not a commentary on how well they do their jobs,from the sounds of it, they are very caring and up-to-date on things) They just look, really,really young.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Date my Diabetes: A 24/7 proposition

Ever seen that new tv show Date my House? Prospective home buyers get the chance to "try" out the house, before purchasing it. Anyhow, on the show there are ten cardinal rules to "dating" a house.

Top 10 Rules for Dating a House

1. The first impression matters, so beautify your house before any prospective dates check it out.
2. Attractive houses that have put in a little extra effort always get more dates.
3. You can look and you CAN touch.
4. Don’t just judge on looks; get to know more of the house’s potential on your date.
5. Go ahead – find out what your friends really think of your date.
6. Shoes and shirt not required on your date!
7. Don’t keep your hands to yourself – check out my frame and my plumbing.
8. You should get intimate and spend the night with your date right away - make sure the house fulfills all of your needs.
9. Give your date a chance. You might just fall in love after you get to know the house.
10. Even if your date needs some improvements, it doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship!

Here are some rules for dating when diabetes is involved:

1. First impressions matter..so never delve into the horror stories on the first date.Act like you are in control.(even if you don't really feel like it)
2. The people with the matching pump cases always get the best dates.
3. You can look but you'd better ASK before you touch. Someone's life is at stake, and they don't want you adjusting their pump settings if you don't know what the heck you're doing.
4. Don't just judge on looks..insulin pumps aren't the most attractive items, you should get to know the person.
5. Go ahead, find out what your friends would do if you checked the other person's bg when they were lying on the floor unconscious. Scream? Pass out? You need to get some new friends..
6. Shoes are required on the date..proper footwear is something every D needs to keep in mind.
7. Don't keep your hands to yourself..cook them something.(healthy + delicious)
8. You should get intimate and learn about their toys(pump, meter) right away. It's a tremendous turn-on, for a D.
9. Give the (person with diabetes) another chance. Try to overlook the bright red spot of blood adorning the bottom of their shirt, accidents(gushers) happen.
10. Even if your diabetes care truly sucks, you're not out of the game yet. (as the book of Ecclesiastes says, better a live dog then a dead lion) Get back in there and give it another whiz.

I'm so glad I'm married and don't have go dating with diabetes all over again. That was a real trip, at times.

Now dating my endo...(trying them out) is a whole other story, that would (with one of them)have been a horror series right there.

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.

"Questions?"

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...

"Yes?"

"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?"

"Heidi."

"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.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Five Minutes for 100 Test Strips

Click:

Found this in a forum I frequent, you can get 100 Freestyle Lite test strips for the initial(and followup) surveys.

they even had my docs name in their database,after as I typed out the first two letters!toooo weird.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

22 Actions on a not-so-lazy Saturday

Today, I have...


1. Got up. Tested. Got shocked, because I was 196 mg/dl. (expect the worst and get pleasantly surprised)Swigged a diet pepsi, chucked a fruit bar, and husband + I drug out yard sale items to the tarp/tables/ironing board in the front yard, spend next 30 minutes getting it all set up.

2. Gave away 7 free blood glucose meters, feeling warm and fuzzy because one gentleman couldn't stop thanking me. He was truly grateful. Why can't the meter companies give them all away free..instead of charging $70+ to older folks who STILL have to buy the strips? Geez...
(every diabetes conference, I obtain too many of these things)

3. Sold 58 cans of diet(cherry) and cherry pepsi. Now I only have 36 cans of diet pepsi to get rid of.(I can handle that, but glad to get rid of the regular since we don't drink that)

4. Drank 5 cans of diet pepsi, 1 glass of water, 1 cup of chocolate milk over the course of 5 hours.

5. Listened to an elderly gentleman complain that I was taking away all his Social Security money, and replied that he can feel better since he's contributing to MINE. (item is cheap enough..no one is forcing you to buy this, sir)

6. Saw another insulin pumper.(who bought 2 items) Yeah, I know another reason why I like pumpers-they know a deal when they see one!

7. Testing again, 3 hours later. 176. Yay, for the effects of the boiling hot sun.

8. Listened to an elderly women complain that I shouldn't be selling a pan for .25, it should be free. Listened to similar complaints for the next 10 minutes, wanting to tell her that it was my yard sale, not hers, but she was buying stuff so I had to smile and bite my tongue.

9. Gave away 20 bottles of Boost. I don't drink it anyway.(not unless its a research study, and they're paying me to do it) Did happy dance that the stuff is finally GONE.

10. Walked down the street, bought a bag of 12 fabric paints for $1.

11. Watched in slack jawed amazement as someone cleared out 1/4 of my Bath and Body Works merchandise.(paying generously)

12. Replied 10 times that no, we can't take $7 for two brand new, worth $20 apiece pillows.

13. Finally took $4 for one of the pillows...

14. Replied 20 times that no, we weren't selling our two awesome white rocking chairs that we were sitting on. (Just bought 'em)

15. Sold 15 bags of Halloween-Easter-Christmas candy.

16. Sold 3 cds, did not sell 75. Crudddddddddddddd.(can't even sell them on Ebay)

17. Got acquainted with the neighbor lady who almost bought our house 17 years ago, and still absolutely loves it.

18. Watched husband cart over a weight set from the neighbors across the street. They were free...but rusty/dirty enough to be from the last century. Oh well.

19. Sold extremely ugly (fashionably) cracked candle holder(that was a wedding gift). Yes, we appreciate the individual's thoughtfullness who gave it, no, we cannot keep it.

20. Sold 2 of the pans/griddles that we got as wedding gifts.(we got about 10, no joke) Not enough storage space to keep them all. (nice as they are)

21. Packed up about 1 pm, dug out a few things for the last person lurking 'round who couldn't make her mind about what she wanted(putting everything back, getting it, putting it back, getting another item, putting former item back, repeat). I did my best to help "It's better to have this on hand-then need it, and not have it" but she was more undecided then everyone else combined. Yay, for the yard sale finally being over.

22.Checked again.(150 mg/dl) Ate lunch, counted profits, blogged about it, and took a nap...
Love them yard sale days. I could never make this much money,(in one day) with the exception of in-patient research studies. Kind of like a mini tax rebate check.
(time to do a little shopping...+ pay a few bills) I was pretty surprised how many people showed up, our street only had about 8 people doing yard sales on it. We were the first house-so prime time location, that definatly helped.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Flambe' de Baked Alaska

Fueled by this:


















for an instant pyromaniac high:(watch the tablecloth catch fire)


and a blood sugar high too,
but given the amount of alcohol soaked into the cake it came down without too much argument. Stuff was strong.(but very good)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Meme "Needs"

Weird, weird meme circling around the blogosphere:

Heidi needs: to shut up

No, I don't. I'm generally the quietest in the group. I'm told I should talk MORE.

Heidi needs: to finish her latest novel, and make it very very good, in order to land that agent.
I sure do, although I have 2 currently in the works + another book that I should have finished years ago.

Heidi needs: nine girls that look like her to help model the clothes.

Absolutely not, I wouldn't wish my body type on anyone.

Heidi needs: chocolate

like oxygen...couldn't live without it.

Heidi needs: prayer

We all do.

Heidi needs: royal visitors


Not really, can't see how that would benefit me.

Heidi needs: to crawl back into that hole she oozed out of

Nah. Life is good, in the sunshine.

Heidi needs: to develop her skills in using materials and processes and to think more creatively about how these are used.

Yep-I need to grow + develop as a writer.

Heidi needs: money

Don't we all?

Heidi needs: to wake up

3 Diet Mountain Dews should "dew" the trick.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The National Cherry Blossom Blizzard

It goes without saying, there are some places that you definatly don't want to go low. Not the type of worry that you'll just wake up in the ambulance..because you're still in civilization + the 911 system operates very effectively. No, this would fall under "if they can even get to me,it will be WAY to late" category of worry. Nothing can go wrong, or you're toast.














Let me explain. You're looking at a up close and personal view of the Jefferson Memorial...not from the opposite side(flanked by the most gorgeous cherry trees in the city) but from the middle of the Tidal Basin.

video

Yep, last Saturday my husband(after some hardcore coaxing) and I rented a paddle boat and for the next hour,explored the entire basin via our own four feet +a two person peddle boat. It was definatly a check-the-dexcom-every-five-minutes sort of trip, and I broke the rules by bringing juice/food galore.(only diabetics can break those rules)Started out at 220..and I didn't I'd ever drop,(basal rate was 0.2) but that sort of exercise will drop anything. Dropped 50 points. Wore us both out..it was really hard exercise. I would recommend it to anyone, it was both fun & healthy. Just slightly un-nerving for someone with diabetes, as there aren't any motorboats on the Basin + if you go hypo, it will be a good 15-20 minutes before someone can get to you. Freaky.
Then, I got to thinking about the #1 place a person should not go low-a place where,if you dared,you'd be locked up forever(if not immediately shot).Coincidentally, the very next historical marker we want to go visit. I'm not sure it will happen, but if it does..you aren't allowed to have any bags,needles,briefcases,food/drink,ANYTHING but your keys and an umbrella. There are also no vending machines on the premises.And this place,is not going to bend the rules for some diabetic.(they could be terrorists too)I'm going to have to either get special permission + have my very own FBI agent on my heels the entire time, or I will not get to go. We'll see.


So anyway...after our boat ride, we snapped some more pics and went back to the Smithsonian. (hoping to get supper) Everything was closed by that point(it was 6 pm), including the street venders so we had to go all the way back on the Metro, that took another 2.5 hours. We were both ravished and stopped at a mall for Chinese.Blood sugars shot straight up, but I didn't much care.It was a really fun day.


Here are some pictures...(earlier in the day, we went to the Museum of Natural History) Where, I also saw someone with a Medtronic pump,and got twice as excited as I already was.
Smithsonian:(art-art,most of it extremely boring and not something I want to see)













Flower arrangement:















Marie Antoinette's earrings:















The Hope Diamond:
(it was so jammed packed with people in that room I'm not sure it was worth the wait)













A dinosaur:















A fossil:














Triceratops:















Another Jefferson Memorial shot:














Other side of the Tidal Basin:














A duck:














Unfortunately, we missed the rained out parade
but got rained on enough as it was. Being alternately petaled(pun intended) by raindrops and blossoms was definatly memorable. I got a lapel pin and a Smithsonian elephant pin to add to my collection of place pins.It was a great trip.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Raise Your Voice:My Type 1 Diabetes Plug















It's expensive. Verrrry expensive, as I finish wading through the multiple tax forms.(yep, I'm one of the procrastinators)
Prescriptions:$825
Premiums:$860
Medical Conferences:$150
Copays to docs/hospitals:$860
Eye surgery copay:$100
Dentist: $350
Durable medical supplies:$710
Cost of gas:ALOT...
Hypo supplies/ADA membership/all things assundry and related:Who knows.Diabetes just keeps taking.

Summary: One of the most expensive diseases on the planet, and that's JUST for maintenance. The sky is the limit..and unfortunately, the costs will go up in time.No one can afford healthcare,these days.

Hurry up and find a cure,people. Heck,I'd pay alot for a cure(a relatively safe one)..a lifetime without diabetes would be going-into-debt valuable.(you'll likely end up going into debt anyway,as time goes on)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Socially Acceptable

Warning: This is rant about body parts.

I hate my hair. Really, really, hate it. On a good day, it looks like Dolly Parton.. on a bad, it looks like this.
It has a mind of it's own.
So yesterday, I decided to get me a professional cut/straightening(something I've not done in forever) Got the cut,straightened(wanted to use caustic chemicals but got there too late for that). I want highlights, next time.

Now, I look something like this. Only, envision it extremely light, puffy,not braided,and with enough static electricity to full a small city. The hairdressers LOVED it,and my husband loved it, I hate it. I think my hair will never look good. If it were up to me, I'd shave it off entirely and wear hats for the rest of my life. No kidding. Another problem-when the hair actually looks acceptable, it highlights my rather plain,ugly,zitty face + that looks all wrong.(I can't do makeup right)If I hadn't have gotten D,I'd have gone to Virginia Military Institute + they shave everyone shorter then short there.No one would care what I looked like.
And, speaking of odd looking things, someone saw my tubing today and asked if I was wearing a cardiac monitor. Hmmm, never been asked that before.
Well, that's my rant for the day on the ugliest parts of my body.On to happier subjects.
My freebie tshirt, for giving blood 4x in 2007:(I have them from 2003-2007)Look forward to getting them every March/April.















Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Scarred

Meet the fingers:












Unfortunately, my Blue Cross infusion set appeal came back-marked no such street address. Thank you, unhelpful service rep. Back to square one. Someone kindly offered to give me a box of Cleos. (waiting in great anticipation)I am using Silhouettes, because that's what I've got in stock. They are so unreliable (failing every chance they get), leave ugly pitch marks + high bgs that I think I'd be better off on Lantus. Now I remember why I was so desperate to get Cleo's, Sils just do not work. I think I will call up the Deltec rep and attempt to charm a few off of them.
I have been losing my better lancing device with an alarming frequency(99% of the time), using torture devices(the needle STICKS out of them) hence the above picture of my right hand. Wow, I need to get on another Pelikan trial.
What's new: my mouth is falling apart. Apparently, my former dentist did a less-then-optimal job with my fillings and they are all sprouting new cavities. One, two,three, four. Root canal #1 is still waiting on the crown, which can't be put in till we take care of all the cavities. One other filling is in wait and see mode,as to whether it will also need a root canal. I've been there every week for the past month.(both dentists now know me on a first name basis)Don't get white fillings people, unless you're a movie star. They mask new cavities, and do not bond well with the tooth. What this will cost when all said and done I can only imagine. Dentist says I need full xrays,because of all the stuff that's going on. I love my new dentist, they're open till 8 pm and Saturday's(been there, done that too)just wish everything wasn't falling apart at once.
I've decided on a name for my new blog, now all I have to do is decide what blog engine I want to put it in. Those are the hardest decisions about the blog that I'll have to make.(everything else will be easy..)
I've got so much stuff I want to blog about..and just not enough time.(sigh)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Mr. Tambourine Man

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm too sleepy, for my bg is just forty-two
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
On another, clearer morning I'd be following you.

Though I know quite vaguely that something's not quite right
Control is way too tight
Leaves me dazed, confused, but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I'm dead upon my feet
I'm whiter then a sheet
And the crowded, busy street suddenly empty as I start dreaming.

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm too sleepy, for my bg is just forty-two
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
On another, clearer morning I'd be following you.

Take me on a trip, filled with coke and chips galore
As my hands bounce off the floor,and my head smacks hard the door
My feet too dead to step, wait only for the couch
Before I'm falling.
I'm ready to eat anything, I'm ready for to fade
Back into time and space, leave behind this daze
I'm ready to go through it.

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm too sleepy, for my bg is just forty-two
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
On another, clearer morning I'd be following you.

Though you might hear mumblin', yellin',stumblin' mindlessly along
It's not something to take hard, it's not right, and it's not wrong
The things we say when low are not for real.
And if hear loud crashes, would you please just get the kit
For its not a song we need, sugar is the only thing to heal
And don't pay it any mind,if we struggle and resist
For a hypo, is like being in a mist.

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm too sleepy, for my bg is just forty-two
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
On another, clearer morning I'd be following you.

Then punch me, pour me orange juice,patch the neurons in my mind
As the time rolls right along,but drags against the clock
Frozen, and yet faster then a reckless, speeding car
A man is not a castle, nor a steady, crushless rock
And it's just beyond the limits of what's considered par.
Yes, to dance again to music, with a normal, great bg
Not endowed with shaky knees, or a spinning, whirling head
That if you'd describe it, feels like heavy, molten lead
Feels so good to be so free, into tomarrow.

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm too sleepy, for my bg is just forty-two
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
On another, clearer morning I'd be following you.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Midnight Oil

Diabetes care can be a little too OCD, sometimes.

Case in point: If blood sugar goes up 40-50 points overnight(11-5:30 AM) and then goes down 40-50 points(5:30 AM-8:30 AM) leaving you within 2-5 points of the original overnight
blood sugar, and this goes on for 3 consecutive nights-what the heck is the problem? Do I even want to touch those basils? Ending up normal is what its all about.(that, and getting enough sleep)Sometimes messing with them does more harm, then good.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

'Toon of the Day














Gotta love them onions. I've been considering starting another blog..most of what I discuss on here is decidedly OT from diabetes and really needs some place else to grow, flourish, and impact humanity in a meaningful way. Big hang up though, I have no idea what I'd name it.(the idea for this one came relatively easily, but the new one has to encompass the other parts of my life/personality)