Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Shameless Plug for Walmart...

I've finally found a glucose gel that I REALLY like.

I buy alot of ReliOn (Walmart Diabetes) brand stuff anyway, its cheap(er) and just as good as the
popular brands.
-Ketostix(50 ct-$6.87, vs Bayer's $10)
-Sugar Free Tussin-$4.50, vs $6+ other places...
- glucose tabs-cherry,grape, green apple, orange, fruit punch, watermelon, raspberry,and their newest addition..English Toffee
-$7.50 BG poker(it works just as well as those $25 ones-and doesn't scar up your fingers, I was able to draw blood on every finger on the lowest setting. Looks cool too.)

The other great thing about this product is, it's got a carb gauge on the side, and you can see how many carbs you've consumed(5, 10, 15 gram increments)

When it comes to glucose gel products, I've been around the block. The only one I can consume(without gagging) is Paddock Laboratories Lemon Flavored Gel. (but they're expensive) Small honey packets also taste good-but its impossible to find any in the stores. (my source is KFC, when I go there)
Can't stand Insta-Glucose(cherry).
Can't stand Gluco-Burst(Artic Cherry).
Can't stand cake frosting in tubes.(I don't know why, I have no problem with it on cake!)

At the Rescue Squad, we used Insta Glucose. Severely-out-of-it PWD's were miracuously brought back to life with the stuff, and no one (on my observations) ever spat the stuff out. It never got the chance to expire. As a EMT Basic, that was pretty much the extent of my saving-the-PWD's experience. Towards the end of my membership, Basics got the medical-go-ahead from the EMS MD(director) to use glucagon, but I didn't get the chance to do that. (on someone else) Of course, I was the only Basic (even some Intermediate's didn't know how!) who already knew the glucagon protocals frontwords and backwords.
I'd like to go back to EMS, if things ever get less hectic.
Insta Glucose was an excellent motivator to check my bgs REALLY frequently, I did not want to have that stuff shoved down my throat. I had juice/glucose tablets with me at all times. I was considering putting in a request (with the paramedics I knew) to skip the oral glucose and go directly to the IV-D50, but that would have sounded kind of weird, so I never did. Generally, people sit/lie around dazed and confused until the ambulance arrives (half hour or so later), checks their bg, gives them oral glucose + they snap out of it. I either recognize the low- treat sucessfully/unsuccessfully. If successfully, within 30 minutes its generally up. If unsuccessfully, within 15 minutes I'm out cold.(fortuantly, its 99% of the time succesful) No sitting around for me. I don't know how some people can wander around for hours hypo, and not pass out...

I'm glad I found it, I've had some pretty amazing low blood sugars recently. By "amazing", I'm referring to the fact that I can chug down over 100 carbs before my blood sugars break 100. Its kind of odd, I'll have a 200's blood sugar-bolus a unit(just for the heck of it) and proceed to drop 150-200 points. (NOT like me at all, my usual correction ratio is 1/40) It's a nasty spiral when you go high, take a corrective bolus, drop like all get out(low again) and eat even more, its exausting.
I worked today, spent it hanging out in the 200-400 range. Took 3 corrective boluses, none of them worked till after work(when I proceeded to drop like a rock in 1.5 hrs). Thing is, my meter didn't show me severely low, I just feel the need to eat like all get out.
So I drank 80 carbs of Sunny D, ate an ice cream sandwich(32 carbs) and fell into bed(pump off), slept 4 hours. In retrospect, I should have left the pump on, I woke up at 292 again.
Yesterday evening, I was 56-ate glucose gel, an entire Big Mac-medium fries combo (w/added ketchup), only went up to 200. I think something is wrong w/my test strips, they did spend a brief time in the rather Death Valley'ish temps of the confines of my car. I think I'm reading higher then I actually am. I'm not feeling my highs- just lows, and when it reads 80 or lower, I feel it. So I'm thinking its probably 20- 30 points off. 60 or lower, it really doesn't feel like a mild low blood sugar, it feels like a moderate.
I've got test strips coming(mail order), but it'll be a few days(sometime next week, hopefully).
I'm viewing my blood sugar ranges as just approximate(s) right now, its too darn risky to go "by the book". If I aim for my usual (dream!) range of 90-140, in reality, I'm aiming for hypo (or gonna get there pretty quickly) bgs.

Which makes this recent mail freebie pretty sweet.

It's a instant (up to) $25 Rebate on the new NovoNordisk Glucagen Hypokit.
Scans like a credit card, after insurance kicks in.
Which essentially makes my prescription free, if I get it as a one month supply.
All I have to do is convince my endo I need 3 kits in one month (probably not
as difficult as it sounds, due to my recent track record) at my appointment next Friday.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Notebook

In the beginning, it was just that. Just a plain o'le journal (green cover) chronicalling the day-to-day struggles of a newly diagnosed type 1.
A1c's. Lows. Highs. Conflicts with parents, with doctors, with self esteem (on dates), with growing up. It was a time of great change, of tremendous upheaval.
The Notebook changed too. Stopped being a journal, switched to more inspiring stories, clipped cartoons, other various assundries.
Reality Check became a big part of it.
(LL Lambo-truly a great MAN + my inspiration...)

But it still retained its peculiar (unimaginative)psychodelic nominer.

One day, the last page of The Notebook was filled. It was time to start a new one.

Enter Notebook #2.

This one was much more organized.A section for everything, and everything
in a section.
-Top Tens
- Inspiring articles
- Research News
-Funky Medical

The selection process is long
and tough. Only the best stuff (and believe me, there's plenty of stuff out there to weed from)
makes it into The Notebook. Generally, its printed out half a year before I get the time to cut + tape it in there..

The Notebook chronicles d-care through the years. From fads that didn't go anywhere(the Glucowatch) to stuff that took off running. (The Evolution of Diet Crap- er, Coke- into a gazillion flavors, gazillion $ per year market.) Its kind of interesting to remember how things were back then.(pumps were not so much in vogue)
One day, I'll cut and tape my final entry into The Notebook. (#20, or thereabouts..)
It will be news of The Cure..(and yeah, I still believe in that)

Till then, the Notebook(s) are a vital part of my D-life. A legacy for future generations- stuff that absolutely cannot be forgotten. (Those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it-and all of that) Blogging is great-but that serves an entirely differant emotional (dealing w/D)need. I need both.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lifestyles of the Not-so-Famous(or Rich!)

Add Patch Adams to the list of movies some PWD's shouldn't watch.

Now "Patch" aka Hunter Adams- is this incredibly funny guy who decides to go into medicine (after a stint (as a patient) in the psychiatric ward). Bear in mind, it was all based off a true story.
2 years later, he enters the Medical College of Virginia (now Virginia Commonwealth University).
As a first year medical student, he isn't permitted patient contact( and has to find a way around that). So when he and a friend mistakenly end up at a meat packers convention, + they see the white jackets- they get the brilliant idea of trying to sneak into hospital rounds wearing those jackets.
And it works, as long as they kept their arms crossed(to avoid showing the packer's logo!)

I watched this right after my Silhoette adventure, and immeadietly regretted it.

"We've got a 30(or thereabouts) yo Juvenile Diabetic w/ gangronous diabetic ulcers," the attending physician
drones on. "Plan?"

"Stabilize the blood sugar, treat with antibiotics, amputation if needed," pipes up one of the entourage.

"Any osteomylitis?" asks another student.

Flash over to patient, lying up in bed, legs akimbo. (Right?I think) leg is this blackish red thing that looks kind of like someone's discarded art project.
She's scared-it's written all over her face.
And I can sure indentify with THAT.

"Does anyone know the patient's name?" Patch pipes up from the back. All eyes turn to him.
"Uh, lets see.." + someone has to check the chart.

Movie never showed what happened to the gal, but as the year was 1971(truly, truly The Dark Age of Diabetes Care) you can guess. Loses leg, maybe gets another infection + dies.

And then there's the guy with pancreotic cancer (that PWD's are at a greater risk of getting, btw) that Patch connects with before he dies.

By the end of the movie, of course, you're crying bucketloads of tears over the fate of Patch's girlfriend + wondering how things could possibly get any worse.
Patch (finally) gets his degree-and it ends with a somewhat happier twist. (with the dream for the Gesundheit Institute).

I just wish there'd have been happier outcomes for the pancreotically challenged patients.

Desperate people do desperate things.

No, I don't drive around w/ posterboard taped to the back of my car, it would probably fall off. It is, however, displayed promenantly for all the world to see. (I live on a pretty busy road) Tried to get some stuff sold off on the radio(weekly "phone yard sale") but the buyer changed his mind. I'M MOVING, PEOPLE- I WANT THIS STUFF OUT OF MY LIFE! (w/some cash on the side)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

That's why its called a "Convenience" Store

Happy Birthday, Elliott.

You da man, you're an all- around great singer, son, diabetes advocate, and person. You're also too honest for your own good...

Thought about you today as I drove down the interstate, having clocked in a 95 BG. Suspended for an hour. Reached destination, pumped gas. Realized that I would have to go inside and get something to eat also, I was low + didn't have any tabs (or otherwise) on me. Got a drink. Stood in line, low getting worse. Being the exceptionally honest individual that I am, I couldn't drink it till I payed for it.

The wait feels like forever. I slur out a number + immeadiently wonder if that really was my pump #? But it must be, he is doing it right.Autopilot takes over, I hand the guy my credit card, squiggle a John Hancock across the receipt, grab the juice, drain the juice, and head for the door.

The next thing I know, a paramedic is standing over me, asking if I'm ok. Which I am, now that my blood sugar is a comfortable 202. (juice + glucagon finally kicked in) They want to take me in, but I refuse. Didn't bump my head hard, no concussion, no reason to go in.
I sit up, retrieve my cellphone from the purse. Call a friend to come pick me up, I don't think I should drive home. (actually, the paramedic wouldn't let me) Paramedic sticks around till my friend shows up, + I sign the refusal form, go home.

Thought about you again when I read the above article. Can someone please inform every new PWD that is OK to drink/eat something before you pay for it? No one really wants to have to call 911, after you've passed out.

I really shouldn't be so honest-(shoulda drunk the juice while in line), its more trouble then its worth. Sure I'm not the only OC'r this has happened too.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Surfing the Web

I got lost on the internet today.

I was reading Kerri's latest post, which of course led to Exist Magazine, Patient Consumer Parade, + lastly, Chronic Babe. Darned if that didn't lead to a host of other cool sites (and a bunch of fellow D-bloggers I never knew existed.) In the interest of the moment(ok, hour)
- wondered what would happen if I popped this question to my doc (not that I have an immediate proposals, but it never hurts to be prepared for these things.
- wished like heck I was basking in the Florida sunshine... It didn't work out to go this year, I'm trying NOT to reflect on it too much. (wahhhhhhh) Last year's was really awesome.
- won this baby.. (its too bad it takes 6+ weeks to get here! I need it now, I'm in the process of moving) If you're thinking about winning one of those Chrysler Crossfire Roadsters, forget it. There are people who have been saving points from day 1(and are up in the 7,000 range by now). People who buy boxes of candy direct from the retailer,(for the discount) use the codes, and chuck the chocolate. It is very much a business venture(from their line of thinking). Spend $5,000- get a $15,000+ car.
- checked out ipods on Ebay. (My own ipod has hit the dust, + I need a new one) Served me faithfully for almost 2 years. The price is much better this time around- back then,I thought I was getting a great deal at $175 (for a mini), now its more like $80. I still like mini's, unless someone gives me a vidio ipod I'll get another mini.
- checked out rentals/roommates, found a couple of potential-bil-i-ties that could be investigated.
Sometimes its fun to just go wherever your clickin' mouse takes you. (as long as you don't pick up any nasty viruses)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summertime Survival Tips

Of course, its hot outside. Even hotter inside...
My brother and SIL tried to help. Came and put in an ac unit last night, in the bedroom. Last night was such a wonderful experience, it actually got COLD in there.
Not that the rest of the house has that problem. Closed all the windows, so the ac coldness wouldn't escape, but the coldness doesn't spread to the rest of the house.
I think my insulin has freakin' spoiled in my pump, its so hot.
(Blood Sugars of the day-337,236,186,418,218, 503.)
Chucked the bottle of insulin, doing a full change.

Kind of odd, because I'm more likely to go low in hot weather. The insulin has got to be bad.
Between the heat and the blood sugar, (fluidwise) I've polished off 5 cans of diet coke, several gallons of ice water, a glass of milk +8 ice pops today.(the last two didn't improve the bg situation but I just wanted something with calories) I feel like I'm about to be diagnosed with diabetes all over again! (hmm, maybe this time it will be type 2.. I'd be a double diabetic!)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

To Suck, or not to Suck

Suck is the perfect diabetic adjective. (but I digress, you already knew that.)

Are you a finger sucker? Or do you always use a tissue?
(Depends on the environment (with me) at home/work, I'll suck it, if in a restaurunt/restroom/public place I won't) I think it would be very
difficult(ie, almost impossible) to get a finger infection from such a practice.
(I'd be more worried about blood borne diseases)
Interestingly, blood tastes the same, with high-normal-or low bgs. You mainly
just taste the salt.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tales of a Pack Rat

Piles of junk everywhere. I never use this stuff- where did it come from? Pitching it would be so quick and easy.

Ok, so its 9 pm and I just don’t feel like dealing with the contents of multiple boxes piled up helter-skelter on the side porch.

12 VHS copies of films I now own on DVD. A back massager. 10 gazillion candles. No fewer then FIVE drug rep pedometers(compliments of various diabetes events).

I make tough, hard decisions. VHS videos-into the trash can. Candles and back massager? Donated to the Salvation Army, or another thrift store. Drug rep pedometers? (I’ll pick the nicest one-get rid of the rest)
I tried to have a yard sale. ( It was a failure, didn’t have it on the right weekend) I’ve tried to imagine ways to make this junk more palatable to the average bargain-seeker. But I’ve come to the conclusion, even if I put it out with a big FREE sign, it wouldn’t disappear.

6 months after moving in(to my very first dig), its time to move again. The lease is up. (And believe me, I’m ready to go-landlady and I haven’t been getting along too great) Not to mention the fact I could get a decent apartment for half of what I currently shell out. All I have to do?
-Find someplace else and move(lock, stock, and barrel) by August 1
Not an impossible proposition. I have next week off,(vacation) I hope to have a decision made (and be mostly packed) by week’s end.

The foot is back to normal, after getting it checked out by the NP. Warm foot soaks. Multiple (daily) triple antibiotic applications, followed by sterile dressing bandages.
No diabetes, you can’t have my leg- so shove off!
Score one for the over vigilant, OCD type 1.

The NP was less then gracious during the appointment. Something I should mention, this is the NP that diagnosed me + later ended up at the same doc’s office I currently go to. (Talk about bad luck following you around) Perhaps I should feel some sense of overwhelming cowed submission to this person, but I don’t. She is your 80-120, let’s talk about complications at every single appointment type of practitioner. Of course, I try to be polite. (But what can a person REALLY do about these sorts) I appreciate her excellent diagnostic skills, but not her sense of doom and gloom. I generally try to see someone (anyone) else at the office, but she was the only one available this week.

By the end of the appointment, I was an emotional wreck. Wished I could have about half a dozen (strong)drinks, to get out of the depressive mood NP’d put me in.( But I can’t drink, it interacts with a medication I take) So I went home and bawled instead. (That helped too)I’m glad I’ve never had an endo like that. NP has absolutely no idea what managing type 1 is all about.

Blood sugars have been going through a recent spat of a la extroidenare Dawn Phenomenon. Bed time blood sugars: 100-170. By 6 AM, I’m 350-400.
6 units of basal ought to be enough to handle my bgs overnight. My highest basal is during this time anyway-0.5 to 0.7 u/hr. Looks like I’ll have to raise it to 0.7 across the board. I very rarely have middle-of-the-night lows, my liver more then adequately handles the situation. Sometimes I wish it didn't work quite so hard...
By 8 AM, I've got the high down and am swinging in the opposite direction. Temp basal set. Eat snack. Go low. Eat more snacks. Go low again. Eat another snack. Normal at lunch. Spend afternoon high. Crash couch, immeadietly upon getting home from work.
I really gotta fix those basals.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Axims and A1c's

First off, I haven't been to the doc. But I will go. (Monday) This foot thing is somewhat of a puzzle, it doesn't look like anything-I've had paper cuts that looked worse then this. But it hurts(a lot), and its somewhat difficult to ignore pain. So I'm going. (if nothing happens over the course of the weekend that expediates the process)

The next phase of the clinical trial:

This is the Dell Axim(that's been my constant companion for the past 3 months). This is my month to use their(Lifescan's) handy-dandy computer program. (vs the research center's)

The gray bar is for Warnings-which I haven't seen any yet. If you're running very high, or lots of lows, that bar will tell you what you already know. (as in, you might be high or you may be low! so check frequently)
The pink bar is my personal info(study ID #, number of blood sugar entrys)
The light blue bar is my weekly hemoglobin a1c. It automatically updates every Monday. And yes, that's a 9 you see. (shoot me now, if you must)

The BG screen: (bottom blue bar is to backspace w/o doing any entries)

The purple is the variability index:

Interpretation- My blood sugars bounce. A LOT. 50-400, throw in a HI, and your vb is totally screwed.
Although, since I started the program,I've had my lowest ever variation(as of last Monday). All the others were uploaded to the computer, from my meter. I am motivated, I am on fire, and the novelty has not yet worn off. I'll be using this program till mid August. Its funny how seeing the numbers on the screen motivates me in a way that paper logs haven't(in quite a while). I want to do better, I want to see a lower variability, and I want that a1c to read 5.0.( hey, I can dream)
Tomarrow morning, I have to go back on Lantus-I've run totally out of pump supplies(and the paperwork got lost at the endo's office). The endo's been on vacation, busy, etc. (I dropped this off 3 weeks ago) Her secretary told me to refax it Monday morning, and she'd take care of it(including endo's signature)ASAP AND the endo called me this evening, but its inevitable, I'll be on Lantus (at least the weekend). If I can manage to bum a few sets/resevoirs off the CDE, (Monday) I can go back to pumping.
I love my pump, its so hard to do this. (screw endos)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Fifth of July

Yesterday evening, I stepped on a Silhoette (infusion set) needle. It snapped off- into the skin. Fortuantly, it was longways (not a straight up/down impalement). Got some tweezers + pulled that sucker out. Smothered sore spot in triple antibiotic ointment, put a bandage on it.
And watched it.

This morning, it started to throb. Minimal swelling, but painful. I'm not stupid, I know certain things you just do not fool around with. I've excellent circulation, but by virtue of being D that doesn't count for much. If the pain doesn't decrease in the next couple of days, I'll get it checked out. This makes the first time a needle has actually broken off into the skin=usually it just bounces off, once it hits the "OWWWW" trigger. I hope nothings still in there.

At lunchtime today, I discovered I was out of strips, and by quitting time, my pump resevoir had 2.5 units left. Which was promptly used up to treat the 287(when I got home and checked).
The site also looks pretty horrible, so it'll be a full change-out tonight.

I just want to sleep. (not cook, not clean, not take care of D stuff)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Multiples of Five

Drumroll, puhleaze.....

Today, after 4 years, 8 months, and x number of days- I graduated from a turqoise star to a PURPLE star on Ebay. Its been 3 years since my last star color change, I don't amass feedback very quickly. Still, I'm glad it didn't take me 5 years to get this!
500 feedback!:-) (it feels nice to be so appriciated by the Ebay community) Not that I haven't had the occasional scuffle with the occasional deadbeat-but I make sure I uphold my end of the bargain(buying, or selling) + my 100% positive feedback speaks for itself.
The next color change comes at 1000 feedback(Red). At that point, I can kick up my heels, relax, and stop worrying about it, because I'll be on that for the rest of my life.(Red goes to 5,000 feedback!)

This week, I've managed to somehow simultaniously delete my entire(700+ song) Itunes library AND lose my ipod. I am sure I could restore my library to my computer, if I could manage to find the ipod. I will tear the house apart if I have to, I can't accept that its gone(or stolen). I need my ipod like I need my pump-its indespensible.

This week, we've also managed to get rid of two supivisors- one to retirement, the other to a 3 week vacation on the sunny Medaterranean. If I had my way, I'd retire 'em BOTH, but one must take what one can get sometimes. Our replacement supivisor is a very nice person-work is going to be like a mini-vacation for everyone else too! We have tomarrow off(5 day weekend) and we'll work Sat. 8 hours. Nobody is wild with joy about that, but we'll survive. Worst thing is, they won't let anyone take Monday as a paid holiday(or vacation) so we'll work Sat. AND lose out on a day's pay. Not cool.

I've been thinking of making my own frio pouch-if I could just find that gel-lish stuff(in suitable quantity to sew together). Walmart sells these Aqua Cool neck bands that are obviously made of the same stuff, but I can't see how I'd make a pouch out of it. There's got to be a good source of it out there-I'll bet Frio makes tons of money off their pouches. (And they only last me 1 summer, I have to get a new one every year) Plus, handmade items are much more personal + specializeable to one's own exotic tastes.

My neighbors have been setting off firecrackers all weekend- not the illegal stuff(it doesn't even clear the fence) but of more-then-sufficient noise making ability.
"Wistlin' Dixie" never sounded so bad, I'm sure its cleared off every Yankee for miles. Probably even some dyed-in-the-wool-lived-here-all-my-life Rebs as well...
Eey-yah, very glad I'll be gone till late on the 4th!