Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Permanence of Performance

They don't know
that the pain I feel
Is not from IV tracks
Up and down my arms
A disease unleashed
Monsters knocking down my body
Making me fear the future
I only hope that I can die from diabetes in 30 years
And not from plummeting magnesium levels.
"What does this do
And this?!?"
Uncharted waters
Not easily measured
I trust my doctor
But I don't trust my body.
There is no roadmap
No blueprint
It is not diabetes,and Your Disease May Vary.
Will it get better
Will it stabilize
Can I go to sleep without worrying
Can my toddler know his mommy for a good long while
Will my husband still have a wife
Can I function
Will it eat up all the money
Will my veins hold up
Will I be living at the hospital
When can things be normal?
"You look so normal!"
(This is politeness
I have two chronic diseases
There will never be normal.
Juggling must be automatic
It's what you do
There is no choice.
But I just want one problem,
Not 1,000,001.
My friend died from her disease
When she'd barely begun to live.
There wasn't another person on this earth who had both T1 and Bartters.
And there maybe will never be.
Alone with an unpredictable disease
Searching for some answers.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

And the Winner is..

Alexis Nicole! Congrats and I'll contact you through FB!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Diabetic Dabs & More! Giveaway

I'm very excited to be holding The D-Log Cabin's very first diabetes giveaway..fueled in part by Elizabeth Sacco of Diabetic Dabs who offered a sample of their product to myself,and a blog reader. She's a mom to 4,and D-mom to one.(her son was dx'd in 2011 )

It comes in 4 packs of 50 sheets each. Each sheet is highly absorbent,and can be ripped off and discarded although I use them for as many blood blots as I can. Easily fits inside my meter case although it would be a bit bulky for your standard ugly black case. Each box is available on her website for $9.49 plus s&h. After reviewing this product, I feel like I'd have wanted to buy this's not just like blotting your finger on some old paper napkin floating around. It's soft,blood wicks up quickly,and it's portable and convenient. And today, you'll get a chance to win a box....

Along with two boxes of Level Life Bars: (a good low carb snack)

A cupcake picture frame & $5 Radio Shack gift card:

A GoPicnic Meal:

And a blue organizer bag to put D-stuff in(or whatever...I just love organizer stuff).

To enter, just leave a comment. Winner will be drawn Sunday night.( 3/23) (also,it must be apparent that you in the D world..either yourself or a loved one has diabetes)

(The whole shebang of goodies)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Madness (part 2)

Day 13:

Slowly but surely, I think I'm getting better from this flu crud.(Yes, it was Influenza A..major good diagnosing skillz, Dr. Hyphenated Last Name of the Cardiology persuasion)
The fevers and sweats of last week have subsided, the cough is nearly gone and it's just the exhaustion that's left now. Rubber legs,that's me. I suppose it's all very normal but I don't recall having ever been this wiped out from the flu before. I had a follow up with my primary today(the office, as my real primary is off on maternity leave for the 2nd time in 22 months!) & they took some more blood to check my electrolyte levels. Tomorrow, I follow up with cardiology(repeat echocardiogram). In the meantime, I rescheduled my Endo appt to April..that was just not happening anytime soon. It's really done quite the number on my bgs, although I'm grateful that my meter average has come down to the lower 200's from the upper 300's, this stuff is brutal. My a1c was in the 8's. And I know that that number should be just a number but I know that I can do better,should do better, heck I've got all the tools of 21st century medicine and this is what I produce? I think a big part of that is A. My fear of lows and B. My lack of accountability so I am going to look at ways to address both of those issues. Regarding my fear of lows, I am going to choose a ranging (to target) that is far,far away from the danger zone..yet moving towards a better place. And I'm making an agreement with some T1 friends to chart my bgs(etc.) more. I'm going to use the MySugr app,it's really pretty awesome (I just have to wrestle the phone away from the toddler..) It just seems like when I get sick, upping my basal rates has zero effect, my basals are so low anyway.(doubling a 0.2 or an 0.3 is not going to do anything to lower that glucose-dumping liver of yours) I feel that I should do something,because that's the first thing everyone says to do when you are sick but I think my primary problem comes with much of a modified I:C ratio I should do. It's wild. I am really not sure why I bothered getting a flu shot this year..the flu still found me. I'm glad that it's the only respiratory thing I've had this winter,and even gladder that neither my hubby or child got it.(apparently it's just me with the screwed up immune system)

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Madness

They say it takes a village to raise a child. And that it so true,.especially when the child is just two years old and needs full time supervision.

In my case, it takes a husband, a friend, and a babysitter for the week as I try to recover from the virus that put me in the hospital over the weekend & caused fluid to accumulate in the heart sac. I wish for my mom in circumstances like this,but she is 2 states away and works full time..not practical to come up,unless I'm dying.

It started late Thursday morning, a heavy sort of chest pain with random stabbing action on the side. It didn't feel muscoskeletal or heartburnish,and iboprofen/Mylanta failed to do anything to it. I've been worried lately about the cumulative effects of diabetes on this heart of mine,and was convinced I was having heart problems of some kind..the hubby got home and I went to Urgent Care. They did bloodwork,an EKG,and a chest X-ray. The UC doc told me I needed to see a cardiologist,there was a minor irregularity on my EKG, don't worry about it but do get it checked out. I asked whether the irregularity was causing the chest pain and they said it was possible but they weren't cardiologists. I asked whether the irregularity could cause a heart attack and they said it was possible but not very likely. Joy. Went home,slept, woke up..spent much of the morning lying in bed (while my toddler played on my iPad beside me)feeling progressively worse,got an appt with my primary care office for that afternoon. They looked at the urgent care report,looked at me, and told me to go to the ER I might be having a blood clot. By this point, it was 4:30 pm and my husband would be back from work soon so I called him, called a friend to ask her if she could take me to the ER and drove home to wait for them both to get there. We drove to the ER, they take a bunch more blood/EKG/chest X-ray, eventually get called back to a room...the ER doc comes in,takes a listen,says I sound tight in my breathing and he's not sure if it's lung or heart related..they do a breathing treatment which fails to have an effect. I get up and walk around for him and after 10 feet I'm absolutely winded,with a heart rate in the 120's and a respiratory rate around lungs sound clear,I just can't "move" air very well. So then they do a CT scan which turns out negative for any problems. He decides to admit me overnight for observation. Move to a diff area in the ER. The nurse comes in and says its time for my nightly injection of glucagon, a rather scary proposition considering my blood sugar was 311. (Needless to say,that didn't happen. My friend and I thought it was hysterically funny,though. And that is why it helps to bring a T1 friend along with you. ) By 1 am,they brought me upstairs and my friend went home to sleep. I think I slept about 1.5-2 hours,the breathing treatment had me wired pretty well. I was also on a portable heart monitor and trying to bring my blood glucose down to earth.

(When you are 5'2 and have to wear a giant hospital gown with a pocket to keep this in it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "indecent exposure")

Also,my roommate alternatively coughed/snored/IV went off for much of the night. And because I was there to rule out heart problems,they drew blood every 4 hours. At some point they wanted to put a nitroglycerin patch on me and give me aspirin.(I agreed to the aspirin but my blood pressure is normal-low and I wasn't about to take a powerful vasodilator without a cardiologist talking to me first.) Morning came..they took me down for a treadmill test. Injected radioactive stuff in my IV and took images with a scanner. I couldn't walk very far & the treadmill part wasn't going to happen,so they were going to do an alternate injection of a drug to stimulate the same thing but I had drunk caffeine free diet coke in the ER,and that would invalidate the test results because it still contained caffeine. That meant another day in the hospital,before they could repeat the test. I was rather peaved at that turn of events,but it was what it was. They called a cardiology consult who came by a couple hours later. He took a full history and checked me out and said it sounded to him like I had a virus,but they'd like to do an echocardiogram (that day.) The nurse practitioner on the floor was a very jubilant/go getter/lets do this sort of person..coincidentally, the wife of a nursing instructor in the program I was in.(I was like, that's where I know that last name!!!) They did the hubby and baby came by for awhile to visit. (It was nice to see them again.)

(Baby snuggles)

My friend brought some food by(hospital food sucks) and hung out for awhile.


My room mate was very sick,newly dxd with several life-threatening conditions and ticked off at the entire world/the hospital. Needless to say,it wasn't exactly peaches and cream having to listen to that 24 hours a day.(they need private rooms) They gave me an IV for hydration and I got about 8 hours of sleep,despite the wake-ups and blood draws.

Next day,the NP came in and said that my echo had shown periocarditis (caused by a virus)and the cardiologist would be by to talk to me about that. I could possibly go home that day if I wanted to,but my mag levels had dropped to 1.0 and I needed a few grams of that.(through IV) The treadmill test was cancelled because they knew what was going on. I did want to go home, and since I knew what I had and that it wasn't something that would likely kill me. I just really needed to talk to the cardiologist about what the plan was,going forward, before I went anywhere. The cardiologist eventually came (6:30 pm-I was the LAST patient he saw) and we talked about the echocardiogram results. He said he still felt it was mainly a virus causing me to feel crappy,much like a cold virus would do(I had a cold about a week ago,but it's long cleared up). The echo needs to be repeated in another week,to make sure the fluid has cleared but there was not a lot of fluid in there and it hasn't affected the function of my heart. Soooo,basically I rest and recuperate. My friend came and picked me up (7:30'sh) as I got discharged. It's good to be home,but I still feel pretty crappy. If he's right,the virus will pass in 1-2 weeks,the fluid will reabsorb and I'll start feeling better. Meanwhile we have a babysitter for the days this week because I'm still in no shape to care for my toddler. I very much appreciate the people in my life who are helping me out,as well as my FB friends..I do not know what I'd do without them.

(It's 5 o'clock somewhere..while you wait on the doctor!)

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Saturday, March 01, 2014

The Type 1 Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.
Kermit the Frog in the Muppets "Rainbow Connection"

I think a lot about diabetes,and not just because I have to..I wonder more about the mysteries of autoimmunity. Type 1,is,of course,a serious muck-up in the list of possible muck-ups but it rarely stops there. Diseases such as
Hashimoto's-both over,and under,active thyroid
Addison's Disease
Multiple Sclerosis

as well as asthma & food intolerances/allergies seem to run rampant in the type 1 community.(and those related to them) It seems to me that so,so much of it is genetic...and then there's that small,small subset of human beings whose only medical problem is T1...and no one else in their 5-10 siblings/extended family has it. (And what about those people who literally eat buckets of simple carbohydrates a day,yet their robust pancreas happily trucks along to a ripe old age,never failing to deliver)And then there's the whole "age at dx" gamut...ranging from hours old(!!) to 70+(I honestly dunno who the oldest person to get type 1 was.) Scientists/researchers have little clue why one really get it when one does.(breast milk does not prevent it...formula doesn't cause it,some people have viral like illnesses that provoke it,some people have antibodies, some people live in places where it seems like it is caused by the environment.)But it also seems to me that the more autoimmune drama one has in their life,the more likely it is to be passed on to offspring. Perhaps we will never understand the "whys," and really, I'm ok with that..if we could only cure the durn thing. But the other autoimmune diseases still crop up,still complicate lives, they can't be ignored. We need to understand a lot more about why the body attacks itself to be able to develop therapies to treat (and prevent) it. (And them)I think that there may be multiple paths to a cure,tailored to that particular PWD..someone dxd at 2 may need a different therapy then someone dxd at 45. (This is why I think there are many triggering causes...not just the "viral" one. We all have some immunity, but it seems like the bar on some peoples is extremely low, to get diabetes so young.

Somewhere out there,is an answer to this autoimmune mess...and I have faith that we'll find it,one day.

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