Sunday, January 29, 2006

Let me see those...knees

While sorting through vast quantities of newspaper articles I've saved, I discovered a truly intruiging article, written by some doc (a D veteran himself for 50 years). He doesn't do fingersticks (on himself) anymore, as a physician, he thinks it provides ample oppertunites for blood borne infections(Aids, etc.) as well as blunting the finger nerves. (sensitive fingers are an important diagnostic tool, in medicine) So, he ran a series of 40 finger-knee-lab tests (Gold Standard) and the results were very close. By knee, I mean the center area right above the knee. According to him, less painful then a finger stick. I decided to test that theory out..
Ultrasmart- 186
Knee- 176
Ok, I don't have a lab, so I don't know how "accurate" this actually is. But I trust my meter (well, relatively), and this is pretty accurate in my book!
There are several drawbacks to this unusual method. First, you have to be in a place where you can drop your pants. (and not get arrested) Second, not everyone can get blood (just like arm testing, I guess). Third- you can't lick the blood off, so you have to carry spare tissues around! Arm testing never worked for me, couldn't get blood, and never was very accurate. Despite having the two strikes against me (According to the good doctor, since I'm fat, and I'm a women) my knees do yield adequate blood.. It is painful though! Certain fingers do need some recuperation time.
I may have a new motto.
"Oh, I don't EVER use my fingers, I prefer my knees."
Sure to raise some eyebrows at the endo's office.

Drumroll Puhleasee...
I've completed BGAT. Time to break out the champeigne. I got this nice little "Certificate of Completion" which really wasn't all that impressive. (All it basically said is, you've completed BGAT. I was expecting a bit more pizazz(name, date, etc.) It was a dissapointment.

So what have I learned? The "blood sugar" battle is never over. At the end, I had to set further goals, if 70% of one's blood sugars are "normal", 20% high( 180+), and 10% low, you are doing a very good job with the diabetes. Your symptoms will probably change with time, and you've got to be constantly OCD about it all. But I knew that. It did, however, obtain its objective (in making me be more sensitive to changes in my body). Highs in particular. I turn into this grumpy, tired, fluid-guzzling individual at numbers above 220. I never payed much attention to that before, just checked, bolused, and went my merry way. Now, I know that I'm probably high. My lows, I usually always feel anyway. (before they get bad) Except when I have them excessively, (4+/ day) I don't catch those as quick.

Thanks, BGAT- for everything. Can I have my payment check now?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Eyes, Egotistical Individuals, and Endos

Its been one of those lonnnnnnnnnggg Fridays, that never seem to end. But end it did, FINALLY..
Update on eye- MRI slated for next week. Still painful. It flashed for over an hour this morning. 58- and I didn't feel low. Kinda odd. What would constitute an emergency- loss of vision, light flashes that don't let up? I'm assuming so. Not worsening is good news.
I had supivisor problems(I've had them all week). She sent me off, to the opposite side of the building, to do the dirty work. Seniority means nothing to her- if you're on her black list, you're history. I'm on her black list. Supivisor problems lead to blood sugar problems, and I spent the afternoon in the 400's. Supivisors are not good for diabetes control. (Supervisors SUCK)
I didn't spend all night at Chick-Fil-A. More then 100 people were camped out in the parking lot at 8 pm the night before..mainly poor college students. Not that I'd have minded getting free food, but I wasn't going to turn into an icicle to get it. Plus, it would have been a stretch- getting to work on time the next morning.
The answer to the previous post- David Sutherland, MD, PHD- U. of Minnesota. I'm sure you all knew that.

My endo is an awesome person. Wrote me out a larger Novolog RX, no questions asked. (and with several weeks till the next appointment) It still falls into the beliavable category (with the insurance company), the pharmacist isn't giving me dirty looks quite yet.. I haven't hit the wall yet (with Novolog), on test strips, (several years ago) when I was testing 15 x a day the insurance company did go rather bazooka about that. Had to get all kinds of autherizations, etc.
They sure charge enough for the copays! (and taking it out of my check)

To celebrate the end of the week, I am going to take 20 units of Novolog, drink a liter of Diet Coke, eat a footlong sub, and go to bed. (Not nessisarily in that order)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Once, there was a young doctor, just starting out. He wasn't rich, he wasn't well known. (yet) The MD behind his name, didn't mean squat. But he worked hard, put the passion into his work. He became a surgeon, he became one of the top gurus in his field. The field was new, the field was controversal. In the beginning, more patients died then lived. But he persisted.
And then, it started to work. Sucess rates shot through the roof. People still got infections, and died- but many more lived. It started to mean something. The medical community sat up, and took note. Could this be the answer, the best treatment for this dreaded disease?
To those who survived "treatment", they said yes. That't they'd do again in a heartbeat. But others weren't so sure. There were not yet as bad off as their fellow patients. The debate raged.
One day, a woman came to the medical center. She wanted the treatment, she wanted to be cured of the disease that had marked the past 25 years of her life. And she got it. Along the way, she also acquired a husband- the surgeon! He'd never married, the life of a surgeon is long and hard. But he fell for this women with the sparkling eyes, sense of humor, and un-nerving will to live. So they got married.
And then, something went wrong. There was waiting, and then it was back to the operating table. Uncertainty. Fear of the unknown. This wasn't any patient- this was his wife. He knew more then anyone, the effects this disease could have, but it took on a whole new meaning as it sook its latest victim. There wasn't anything to do, but pray.
His wife survived, she regained her health. She became an advocate (along with her husband) of the treatment.
The disease is uncertain.
The "cure" is just as uncertain.
But it has helped many people. (including surgeons, to get a clue...)
Guess who it is I'm talking about!

Chick-Fil-A is coming to town. First 100 customers before 6 am (tomarrow morning), get free sandwiches for a year. There are idiots camped out in the 20 degree, 60 mph winds, already!

(I'm ok, Ellen)

Sunday morning, I awoke with left eye pain and flashing lights. Thinking it was a headache, I took some iboprofen. Didn't help. So I took some migraine medication. Head didn't hurt, just my eye. That didn't help either. Called my insurance health line, and suggested the ER. 10 pm, I couldn't sleep. Went to the ER. Resident said I didn't have a retinal detachment, so I should follow up with my opthamologist. Gave pain meds. Drove back home. By then, it was 5 am, so I didn't have long to wait till the new "working" day. I called, opth called back. Went in to office.
No infection, retinal break, or inflammation along optic nerve. Suggested calling the neuro-opth.
4 pm. Called neuro-opth, he calls back(Tues. morning). I go up there. He's not real sure either.
If it continues, suggests an MRI of the orbital area. Ask if this is related to the double vision. (its the same eye) He doubts it. Says if I start getting a ton of flashing lights, that would
signify a detaching retina, but periodically flashing he's not sure..
The pain hasn't changed, nor the lights.
Time for an MRI.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Summer Adventures

Room reservations for the CWD (Orlando) conferance are half-booked ALREADY. (according to the chat log)
I'm a longgg way from being a kid, teen, or parent- but I've gone to a couple of them, and actually learned some things. (besides getting tons of free stuff!) I'd like to start being more useful- help out with volunteer stuff. (NOT TEENS)CWD has put my ex-endo on the speaker's roster- holy cow. Those were the days. I'll probably come to his presentation, just for the shock factor. (Not that I want to steal all the thunder, but I could be a BGAT poster child, I've been in a ton of their studies..)
(I can't wait to be done, I can't wait to be done!)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Free to Good Home...

200 back issues of Diabetes Forecast! Some from the 80's, 90's, and from 1999-present.
If you're interested, (for the price of shipping) say something. I need to get rid of these things.
I also have some from the 40's,50's, and 60's- but I figure those classify as antiquity, no way I'm getting rid of those. Back when I started "collecting" them, I thought I was going to get ALL the back issues, and they'd be worth something. That was stupid- I have little enough room as it is. Especially since moving. I have two big boxes of the things, and they weigh a TON!The old ones, however- are considerably smaller, like pamplets (and thus are easily stored).
Little known Factoid:
Dave in "Dave's Diary" was NOT a real person. As dissapointing as this may be, it was really some doc who wrote for "Forecast". (way back when) The Looksmart website used to have an article on this- but I don't think its there anymore.(
Still no internet connection. I've spent the day over at the parents, cleaning/throwing away, etc.
I think something is up with my meter- anything under 150 makes me feel low. (No, my control is not that bad..) I would check it with control solution, but I can't find it! (the joys of moving)
Yesterday, I called for the results of my hb a1c. And, great news- its 0.1 lower then the last one! (I won't tell you how bad it was, but it was pretty bad) Suffice to say, the study coordinator was not impressed, but I was ok with it. Means I won't have to get another one next month- she'll give me a print-out, I'll take it to my endo, and hear the resulting lecture. Oy yah.
Having no internet connection, though, has made me more serious about working on my book. Been working on "it" for about two years now,its a culmination of diabetes poetry, lists, etc. Its almost ready to send to the publisher, just have to rearrange the order of various things. (The full content is there)
Coming soon to a bookstore near you, stay tuned!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Work of Art

Today, I got to be..
An artist.
Upon running out of work (in my department), we were immeadietly shipped back to Domestics. ("Dome" for short) Now, in Dome, they have enough picture frames/luggage sets/ugly household furniture to supply all the third world countries. A coworker and I, were duly put to work on the pottery jars, which stood two feet high (each)and weighed a ton. Each one had to be put in another box(standing 5 feet off the ground, I'm 5'2). Each one, shed a fine layer of brown/red/white/blue sediment over everything in its path. We got filthy, needless to say. For the rest of the day- (5 hours), I only checked my blood sugars at break (0nce)- because I was too filthy to do a fingerstick.I S.W.A.G'd to the extreme, but the break BG was 159. (not bad, in my book.) I drank a regular A&W (root beer) , I thought I was getting diet from the machine-but it was regular. And I wasn't going to waste that .65! It tasted weird, I never drink regular. (Even on lows)
So suppers blood sugar was 309.
Got the weekend off- yay!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I'm Backkkkkkkkkkkkkk

I'll be perfectly honest-4 days of no internet access (whatsoever) just about killed me. And a week of no blogging, thats even worse..
So, much as I wanted to come back with a bang(and put up all kinds of cool pictures), the reality of the situation is, I still don't have internet access. The phone service not yet being in operation.
Friday night- Sunday night we had an Arctic Blast, complete with snow/rain. It was utterly miserable, moving in the stuff! Actually, we waited till the precipitation had slacked off and the only challenge was surviving the wind/mud puddles. My brother/dad moved the furniture- and I, moved much of the rest of my "stuff" in Nugget. I still have a few boxes, and a major cleanup job to do in my ex-room.
I've been dying to say this, and I'm going to. I'm not popular enough to get "tagged", but I'll still tell you 5 random facts about me you'd never guess...
#1 I once missed competing in National Jeopardy by a lousy five points. Jeopardy tryouts are very intense- you (along with about a hundred other Ken Jennings wanna-be's) are packed into this small room about the size of a sardine can. Fifty questions- 8 seconds per question. Never felt so dumb in my life, but if I hadn't been so nervous I'd have done better. People who survive the tryouts, go on the "wait" list for the Nationals.(I'll be back.) I felt slightly better, when someone else told me this was their third year (trying to get in). They did make it. We did, however, get this cool pink "Jeopardy" pen, which I later sold on Ebay, it got broken, and I had to refund the buyer's money...
#2 The first letters of the last names of all of my endos, go backward, starting at "C".
Clarke, Barrett, Anderson...
Next up? Zitney, when my current endo retires.
#3 I hate talking on the telephone-I sound like a cross between a frog croaking and a hyenea on laughing gas. Pity the poor person who gets to listen to a voice recording of THAT.
#4 I've given blood 27 times. Maybe its because there's so much PWD's AREN'T allowed to do, that makes me want to do this. And needles/IV's haven't bothered me in along time. I want to do this, in case my own kidneys hit the dirt in the future and I can't do it anymore. The first year after diagnosis, I couldn't do it, I had too many health challenges (lowering a1c, cataracts) or it'd have been more.
#5 I'd love to go hang gliding. I think it'd be so cool!

While packing/throwing stuff out, I came accross a 1959 copy of Dorland's medical dictionary. Just for fun, I turned to the "D" section.
diabetid- Cutenous manisfistation of diabetes. This might refer to the dark patches type 2's get- although back in 1959, who can tell. Before I was diagnosed with D, my skin was thicker and dryer.
diabetiphobia-Fear of diabetes. Hey, I've got that! haha. Any intelligent person realizes that its a serious disease. However, they might be talking about these hyperchondriacs who are absolutely convinced they've got/get it- despite normal GTT's and all of that. A person can find better diseases to worry about, in my humble opinion. Pick a cool disease, if you want to worry about something!
Had a new experience at the dentist's Monday. They checked my bp- using one of those wrist thingies! It was just a routine cleaning. They found two new cavities( ah, the joy) which are slated to be drilled in Feb. For the first 23 years of my life, I didn't get any- then I got five in one year. I am considering greatly cutting out diet coke/tea, (along with brushing more) I think thats whats doing it.
Living on my own is too cool. My landlady can (and will) talk a person to death, but she's ok.
I worry, though, about severe reactions and nobody being around. This is not a rational fear, the last time I had such a reaction was over 3 years ago- but its a fear nonetheless. Part of my symptom reportoire includes such fear anyway- and when I wake up in the middle of the night and stuff it for several hours, trying to get blood sugar back up, when it finally does go up I can't sleep. Its like the fear sticks around. Think I need a shrink?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Auf Wiedersehn

This will be my last post in awhile. I don't have anything particurally brilliant to say... I won't find out the a1c results till Friday.
Meanwhile, if nothing else- I am finding all the stuff that I lost LAST time we moved. (7 years ago) I stick it in a safe place, so I at least won't lose the exact same things again. I'm attempting to make this an organized undertaking, but I'll probably end up losing something.
Sign(s) that I am hopelessly addicted to Ebay-
I need to get rid of ALOT of stuff, and here I am, needing more address labels. Its stupid, however, to buy them in bulk- since I don't yet know what my new address is! It doesn't help, also, that I seem to have hit a "streak" on finding things that I'm interested in. There is going to be alot of mail being redirected, at this rate. (To take the place of everything I'm getting rid of)
No lows today, whoo hoo! I'd like to put a rain check on having lows- they can resume when I'm happily settled in my new place.
Adios, stay safe, folks.

Monday, January 09, 2006

It's One Big Happy Type-1-berhood

Had one of those extra special "Connect with a fellow type 1" moments today. (of which, there are approximently FIVE in this area) Um, no, I take that back- there MUST be at least 20, cuz thats how many are slated to be in the latest research study..
This one is another Ultrasmart one. A1c(6x over course of year), pda, free strips, all of that. Super neat. $200 payment, and at the end of the year-a "Boost" mixed-meal glucose tolerance test. (for another $250) I'm assuming they really need to prove we're type 1's. On the morning of the test- you've gotta be between 70-200, ketone free. (or they'll reschedule it) Once they've checked bg and ketones, they put in an IV, you drink your Boost, and they measure your bg, c-peptide every 15 minutes (up to 2 hours). This should be interesting, last time I had a cpeptide I was 0.4 and 1,100 mg/dl. (diagnosis) All officially overseen by the Research Unit's "Test" endocrinologist, who probably never wanted to see me again 2.5 years ago when I flunked her driving study, and I'm sure will still remember me. At the end of the testing, you get insulin, and lunch (whatever you want! last time I had to bring most of it home, it was alot) and it is pretty good... I'm concerned about how high my bg is going to go in two hours (Boost + stress!) Starting out with no ketones is great, but I'll probably have them by the end! I need to look up how many carbs is in a can of Boost.
So, while lounging in the waiting room, waiting for my a1c I get into a conversation with another person in the research study. We swapped diabetes info, horrible hypo stories, etc. like all type 1's are wont to do- he'd been pumping 19 years, started in college. I'm sufficiently awed (5 years seems so rookie)
- and envious that his endo is also a type 1!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Nothin' much

Weekends are a prime time to catch up on sleep. Went to see "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" yesterday, it was funny (but the reviews weren't wrong on it being horribly acted).

I ate some of my Christmas chocolates today, and twenty minutes later threw up. Right out of the blue. I'm not a puking kind of person, the last time I did so was pre-dx. I ate some of them a few days ago- and it didn't do anything. Not sure if its the chocolates, or not..
Blood sugar is 166, so I can rule out getting sick off bg.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Boxes, boxes, everywhere. Gettin' ready to move...

And on the positive news front, at work yesterday the Union had a 1.5 hour discussion. The director (of the Mid-Atlantic group) came down from Maryland, it was a big affair. Since March of last year, we've been without a contract, every time management/ local Union tries to discuss it, one, or the other of them gets mad and stomps out of negotiations. I'm not kidding, they act like a bunch of two-year-olds. A month later- they try it again. So, in December they thought they had a pretty good contract ironed out, and took it to the Union to vote upon. (I wasn't there that day) It was overwhelmingly rejected, by about 4/1! Now, however, after 2 days of brutal discussion, they think they have a pretty good one. We'll get back pay (we haven't had a raise since our contract ran out) within two weeks, and, we'll have a new "incentive" program implemented. (without the risk of the company firing us, for not making "production" numbers- it will be strictly personal incentive)
Sounded pretty good to me, so I voted for it. Find out Monday if it passed...
Top Ten Indicators you've been at The Job (my job)too long!
1. You're looking forward to surgery- 6 weeks of being off work..
2. You wake up in a dead sweat, with the supivisor's "Who cut the (insert appropriate 4 letter word here) line off?!?" ringing through your brain.
3. You schedule your vacation time to fall on a Monday or Friday- so they can't make Saturday or Sunday mandatory (to work) for you..
4. You drop out of the Union, because you're on the black list of all the officers on it.
5.You've got it down to a second, how long you can hide in the bathroom before your overbearing supivisor comes looking for you.
6. All the security people know your name (because you've lost your badge too many times to count).
7. "VTO" is the best three letters in the English alphabet.
(volunteer time off- unofficial "layoff")
8. You've worked in all 19 departments. (I've only worked in 15 of them)
9. Your paycheck gets smaller every year.
10. Fire alarms don't alarm you- its probably just a test! (they test about 2-3 times a week, thus no one pays much attention when they do go off!)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


(click, to see a larger image)
Decided to conduct an experiment, to more fully grasp what goes on with the blood sugars after a high fat, high carb, meal. I chose supper- and ate 2 double cheeseburgers, medium fries, 6 packets ketchup, and diet tea. Estimated 140 carbohydrates. Pre-supper number was 144.
20 minutes later- 189.Bolused 5 units.
20 minutes later- 170. Bolused 2 units.
20 minutes later- 115.
20 minutes later- 68! Felt absolutely fine, but drank juice just in case it was still dropping.
10 minutes later- panic mode, eat 15 more carbs. Set temp rate on pump. Heart rate maxes out for the next 45 minutes.
An hour later- Back at 179. Went to bed.
12 AM- Woke up, thirstier then all get out. Drank 3 cups of water, then checked blood sugar. 522! That must have been from the "delayed" fat.
3:30- 320
6 AM- 175. Boy, those 170's are sure popular.
It looks much more dramatic on paper, I have a graph, but I can't find my digital camera so I can't take a picture.

And that, is what Mc Donald's does to one's blood sugar. I must still been sensitive to that afternoon's exercise. (usually, after a high fat, high carb meal I go high, and stay high) I have bolusing for Pizza Hut down to a fine science, but Mc Donalds, obviously not!)

Chapter 4 in BGAT is about exercise. Each week's graph gets more complex- now I'm estimating bg, scanning for "signs", graphing estimated bg, checking if insulin action is H,M, L; checking if carb action is h, m, l; checking if exercise is H,M, L, estimating next blood sugar (that one makes NO sense- how the heck do I know what my bg will be in 3 hours???), and graphing actual bg. It stopped being fun- now, its something I need to get done..
Only 3 more chapters to go!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Got Debt?

Got a car? Check.

Health Insurance? Check.

A Job? Check.

A diploma? 3/4 Check.

A place to hang your hat? Ummmm....

Debt? Yes!

In the wonderful world of retail, its that magical time of year known as "Inventory Time."
Where, for the next month, we stick cute little yellow Post-Inventory stickers on the paperwork orders, use blue striped Post-Inventory tape (every year, its a differant color- last year was yellow) on everything, and take stock of Whats Hot, Whats Not as we plan our processing for 2006. Don't ask me whats hot- I'm just the hired help... I like inventory time, though!

My life-on-the-edge has been temporarily put on hold, I've come down with a cold. As what I plan to do requires absolute healthness, I've post-poned my plans.

Instead, I went apartment hunting.
And found an affordable house, two blocks from work.
I'll probably get it....
And take a hiatus from blogging for awhile. (Till I get settled in)


Monday, January 02, 2006


Last day of Christmas Vacation- tomarrow, its back to the o'le grindstone.

Rang in the New Year in true diabetes conscious style- dinner date at the Golden Corral, (In which I demonstrated extreme (unusual) maturity, did not eat too much and SKIPPED DESSERT ENTIRELY. My endo would be so proud!) followed by lots of walking around downtown. It was pretty cold, and there were alot of food/hot drink vendors out. We were considering getting coffee, until we passed a stand offering free food/drinks. Still stuffed(food-wise) from dinner, but their hot cinnamon apple tea was the best! Music, fireworks, the "Ball Drop", and a 121 blood sugar completed the evening's festivities. (But no diamond ring-sigh)

Nice and rainy today, which is precisely what its doing on the other side of the country. (Rose Bowl) Finally figured out how to operate my heater/defogger/windshield wipers. (Nugget didn't come with a manuel) I probably should go back to the car place, and get it..(maybe they just forgot to give it to me) I still haven't figured out how to change the clock time.

Tomarrow: Back to work, and the latest shocker that I haven't consulted the medical authorites about. No, this doesn't involve pregnancy, but this being a New Year, I feel the need to do something wild. Stay tuned.