Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Magnesium Wars

When you get dxd with diabetes,food goes from being food to being a collection of carbohydrates,proteins,and fats.(the same, I imagine,with any GI related illness) When you have problems with maintaining electrolytes food turns into a collection of potassium,magnesium,etc.

The above photo shows four types of magnesium with insulins,not all supplements are created equal. Magonate is the rapid-acting,chug it down and in 2-3 hours your acute symptoms with subside,stuff. Slow Mag is the gentler on the stomach stuff(kind of like UltraLente-longgggg curve of action) and Milk of Magnesia is just there to get things kick started in a gentle way. Mag Oxide can be helpful(it's sort of like Lantus..over the course of a day) but when it decides to ravage your gut,you'd better be near a restroom.(It's the most brutal) And,there's Mag Sulfate which is given IV over a few hours.

On Monday I had my colonoscopy..and in preparation, I went on a clear liquid diet (Sunday)and drank a bowel prep (Prepokick,which had a ton of magnesium in it). It all decided to kick in at 1-9 am,suffice to say I didn't get adequate sleep. Took J to the babysitter and hubby drove me to the hospital. Prep took about 1.5 hours,and then the endoscopy nurse wheeled me to the OR. My bg was 196.(the tech didn't bothered to check this,but I let the nurse know regardless) There was a brief "do you have anything to declare" by the anesthesiologist, and some "you'll do will be a lovely little nap" by the nurse and I was out like a light.(following administration of propanalol) It took about 30 minutes. Woke up and they said my bg was 156. The gastro came in and said everything looked good initially,took some biopsies and step up the game on the gut motility administration.(milk of mag) He didn't think it was absorption issues,because everything looked pretty normal in there follow up with him and my nephrologist. So,the stool test(for pancreas insufficiency) is unnecessary. If my gut isn't absorbing a nutrient,it's possibly because it gets overwhelmed by it(one has to work up to the dose, I guess). In the meantime..back to the magnesium wars. I get levels done weekly,and an infusion every week. Unfortuently, even with stuffing all this mag in my body I am still getting numbness,tingling,muscle cramps. (And lab values to match) I am thinking I may have to go to U of MD(or somewhere) to get another perspective outside of the problem because my neph admits that he's stumped. It's just not looking good at all.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dblog Week: Saturday Snapshots

(I guessed 80. I was wrong.)

(Tandom Twins!!)

(a history of old pumps)

(Bad day.)

(I hope.)

When Mommy has diabetes.

Splenda crop circles.

Low treatment.

Sale at CVS.

Or waddle.

And don't forget it!!!

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Dblog Week: Diabetes Life-Hacks

Dblog Week: Diabetes Life-Hacks

Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes. Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)

Life Hack #1

I'm amazed by the number of people who have never heard of Tegaderm/Opsite/IV3000...and then complain that they had to stop pumping because their sets/CGM sensors fell off. In my mind,that's not an excuse...THIS IS WHAT MEDICAL TAPE WAS MADE FOR. If you have an allergy to those products,this does not apply to you. (And this isn't meant to be medical advice) But really,there's a big,big internet full of D-forums with people who have had every sort of pump issue known to man and your pump trainer/CDE needs to be recommending these products in the first place. Do not say that pumping isn't for you because your set fell/got ripped off. There are ways to prevent that.

I personally use Opsite under my sets and over my CGM sensor. When I was podding, I'd use it over my pod.(guess what..I never had a pod rip out) The stuff is pretty awesome,in my book.

Life Hack #2

Let's play a game called "has this ever happened to you?" You are walking along,with your CGM or pump set displayed proudly on your upper arm when suddenly,someone asks you what that ugly tumor is on your arm. (It's happened(And then you get to explain your 'betes devices. And then it happens again,and again,and all day. Because people have no filters on their mouths,anymore. You may have just wished to be like everyone else that day,part of the crowd,but these devices catapult you to diabetes advocate #1...all day. Maybe this is agreeable,maybe not.

And then one day you put something like this

over it,and the awkward questions stop. Instead of geeky,you look super hip. And that,my friends,is a diabetes win.

Life Hack #3

I label when I open all my meds.(or kid's meds) I'm sensitive to the effects of meds,so I usually have to pitch the vial/etc.before it all gets skunky.I've also opened new vials before the original gets used,so it's pretty important that I know how long it's been open.(I keep them at room temp) Nothing is worse then wondering how old a vial is. I go through test strips much more quickly,so I don't bother with labeling them. I also put a piece of tape on my CGM site so I know when it was started,since I run my sensors as long as possible.(do not do this) 

Life Hack #4

Be prepared. I keep a diabetes case upstairs,and a diabetes case central locations that I know where they are. Inside are syringes,insulin,set change supplies,strips,emergency fast acting glucose,money. Said cases are brightly colored (and large)so I never have to worry about not finding it,and everything goes back in the case when I'm done. Hubby knows where the glucagon is(not in the fridge). And if there's an emergency I know what supplies I can quickly throw together to take.(with an emergency charger for all my diabetes/other devices) I hate not being able to find things.

Looking forward to reading others tips!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dblog Week: Pollyanna Moments

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day. Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day. Is there something positive you tell yourself? Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through? Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost? Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

If you look for the good in something,you surely will find it.
-Abraham Lincoln

There is still good in you,Father. I can feel it.
- Luke Skywalker

Rough days-I've had a lot of them lately. (Spoiler Alert: I am not Pollyanna)And diabetes,bless it,is along for the ride. But on those days which are particularly bg-sucky, there is no magic saying that will make it all ok,that will make me feel physically and mentally ok.

Time,fluids, and perhaps a nap help. And of course..insulin. Usually rough days involve hyperglycemia and my brain is too tired to get frustrated...if it involves hypoglycemia I can and do cry. Once upon a time, in my first year of diabetes, I frightened many small children by bursting into tears for absolutely no good reason on the daycare playground. (My blood sugar was in the mid 40's.) I was led inside to recuperate(and drink juice) from my haywire emotions..and then I was ok. (Except for the embarrassment.)I think that everything just builds up until I explode, and that's hardly a good way to release stress. But I try to find joy in something,anything,each and every day. Living in America, with 21st century medicine at my fingertips(!) and having a wonderful spouse/son and an adequate existence you'd think that this would be easy. The human brain,however,creates (or zeroes in on) the things that could be better.
And that's just the nature of things. But focusing on just one good thing can help you feel marginally that moment,whether it's an in-range blood sugar,a butter compartment full of insulin, or the crispy tang-ness of a Diet Coke when you are dying of thirst from a high blood sugar.

Because life,should be about hope.(and joy)

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#Dblog Week: The Mental Stuff

In nursing school, I cared for a patient with a leg ulcer. This person did not have diabetes,but they did have impaired circulation to their feet,as a result of cardiac conditions. And the resulting cascade of unfortunate events(leg gashed on trailer hitch) left a wound to the bone,& a subsequent infection of the worst possible kind.(when I looked at that leg ulcer, it was like staring into a "maybe me" future.
The amazing thing to me,is that he felt no pain. This was a wound easily the size of my hand,and redness all around. Inside,there was yellow pus and black eschar(dead tissue) which stuck to the bandage. I had no idea how on earth I was supposed to get that all out of there,but my instructor said that that wasn't the point.(patient has to go to the OR for a wound "vacuum" incision) My job was to rinse it with saline,pack a ton of wound cream in it,and put a bandage on it. And,with her assistance, I did so. (All with no pain on his part) It was a very real and graphic representation of what diabetes can do to a person,and really what nursing is all about.(at one point I thought I was going to vomit from the smell,the nurse just looked at me and said "yep,it takes getting used to." (I did it though,and it was even something that I enjoyed. It was real nursing care.)

(This is my banged shin. I don't have leg neuropathy,so it's delightfully painful. This won't stop me from worrying about infection,though.)
I hate that diabetes steals so many legs,eyes,and kidneys. I hate the smell of a wound ulcer.I hate seeing blue candles. I hate the pain that diabetes causes. I hate that I see myself in an uncertain future. So,so many things I hate..and as much as this is meant to be releasing we could be here all day. Most of all,

I hate that there is no cure.
(The End.)

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dblog Week Day 2:Dance of the HyperFairy

(This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. After you’ve posted it on your blog, share it on the No Sugar Added® Poetry page on TuDiabetes, and read what others have shared there as well!)

Numbers dance
A beautiful symphony of life,through the lens of a dysfunctional CGM.

It is my normal.
To be otherwise
is something so foreign
(Yet so exotically appealing)
as to wonder
"What else would I be doing
with my life?"

Site changes
post-brushing teeth lows
doctor appointments
$$$$ medical supplies
constant analyzing
random 400's
not sleeping through the night
It's been my life,for so long.

I don't remember how it really "felt"
to have a flatline blood sugar 24 hours a day. (Although I'd certainly not object to a return to that.)

But there is a method to the madness
Purpose to the willy-nilly
Meaning to the insanity.

Dance on,you crazy beautiful life.
My CGM is a performance of rawest form.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Dblog Day 1: Changing the World

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

Diabetes is the leading cause of they say.

Oh,wait. That's not quite right..well-controlled diabetes is the leading cause of nothing.(we won't get into the semantics of "well-controlled"and genetics and all that jazz. That's a topic for another day.) But "control?" I think we can all agree it takes certain things to make that happen..medications,syringe/pump supplies, accurate AND adequate amounts of test strips,a supportive medical team, regular exercise, education & support. All these pieces to the puzzle. I think we can also agree that too few people have these..and too few insurance companies realize all that is involved in what makes up "control." If I could advocate, and if I ever won the lottery..I'd set up a foundation to help people get their meds/test strips/diabetes supplies. And I'd try to get on some famous person like Ellen's show to try and raise awareness of what this disease is,and the importance of treating it. Famous people have an incredibly platform to raise awareness. Meanwhile, the type 2 epidemic marches on. And there's not much we can really do about that until we cure both types of diabetes. We have to, before the costs from this disease bankrupt this country.(and others) And in the meantime,we all deserve treatment to keep our diabetes as well-controlled as possible. That's not to say that the average Joe Blow can't (& indeed,should) advocate but most people have jobs and responsibilities preventing them from doing so. It's just hard to see people A.not having the means to get supplies in the first place and B.being denied the treatment needed. Sometimes I think this diabetes battle can only be "controlled" enough to live a long,healthy life..if you are lucky enough to live in the top .0000000001%,first world,excellent health care,adequate funds to at least cover the out of pocket,all the advantages.Diabetes in the trenches is a whole other story. I would try to help people as I've been helped,to give them a chance to live a healthy life. I've never had to choose between food and test strips..and no one should have to.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

The First Mothers Day

Mothers Day, 2011.

As I stared into the church rafters that day, I wondered if I,indeed,would be joining those ranks soon. It was a melancholy sort of feeling..and an intense one,to boot. But it was far too early for even a blood test. I could hear the words of my Endocrinologist echoing in my brain..and she was of the opinion that this was it..time to batten down the blood sugar hatches. She would prove to be right.

Five days later, my world shifted on its axis ("hello,yes,you are pregnant")and every "am I or aren't I" symptom hit with a bang. (At 28 days) My little blastocyst lost no time in announcing his likes/dislikes to the world. (Most bizarre symptom:everything tasted metallic from weeks 6-9)At 7 weeks,an infected groin lymph node necessitated taking antibiotics for several weeks.(oh how glad I was that it wasn't appendicitis or a miscarriage) First trimester weirdness soon smoothed out to stability for the rest of the pregnancy.

Mothers Day,2014. I'm so glad to be his Mommy!! and that he's healthy!!

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Monday, May 05, 2014

The Early Bird & The EI Therapy

In the 80's(and prior), the popular opinion of the day was that if you didn't worry about your kid's development,they'd eventually catch up with the others and turn out normal. (I'm still not sure this worked on me.)Not speaking till the age of 4? Your little Einstein is just thinking deep thoughts...just relax, Momma. 30 years later, we've progressed to Early Intervention Programs and nipping those problems right out of the womb,so kid turns out As Normal As Possible.
My child is almost 2.5 now..and he's been in EI for about 9 months. He isn't on par with the other kids his age,he speaks mostly in one word requests(while most kids are up to two) and he's a tad cognitively delayed. In the opinion of EI, it's because he's very,very opinionated on doing things his way and tuning the rest of the universe out.(which is typical toddler behavior, but they(toddlers) need to be engaged with their environment to learn and develop). So the trick is getting him interested in activities that help him learn. He has a very short attention span, (for anything other then the TV or iPad) and it makes it very challenging. The 80's policies would not work on him at all.(he needs intervention) My mom tells me not to worry,that he'll turn out just fine some kids just take longer to get it..and I know all that, but I can't just let it go,it's my job to see that he gets the best. He doesn't have autism,but it seems like he's in his own little world and he rarely comes into mine. (He engages with the environment and with people) I think the main reason it feels this way is the lack of communication,or just basic one-word,pull on clothing type gestures. I can see that he has made progress in the program,but I can't help but wish it were a little faster.(it's uncharted territory) The Behavioral Therapist is in the same boat..learning along with me. He can be in this program until the age of 3,then the school district takes over.(another can of worms..this child cannot sit in a preschool/follow direction,no way.) And I don't think putting a high-strung 3 yo in a classroom situation is the right thing to do.(too early) but he needs intervention,and perhaps the state is the only one who can provide those one on one services. I grew up in a world of freedom,a world where you could run off all that energy in the backyard..and do the schoolwork a little later.(I was homeschooled with my siblings) But it feels different when you just have one child,they have all your attention & you want to see that they get the best.(I don't know what educational pathway that will take yet..I just don't know if I could do an adequate job homeschooling a special needs child.)

(My handsome boy in his Easter suit.)

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