Sunday, December 31, 2006

Parting Thoughts of '06

Pull the cord...

And out pops Lambo JR! (Just how he ended up under the couch, I'm not quite sure)Little bugger.

Remembering the old year...

And welcoming a new one.

Wishes that might happen:
1. An a1c under 7
2. A degree(only got a couple more classes to finish it up)
3. A Dexcom, or Guardian RT
4. Another place of residence
5. An early spring(I'm not fond of this wet, rainy,miserable, winter)

Wishes that won't happen:
6. Winning the lottery
7. That a tall, dark, handsome man would wisk me off to a castle in the Alps where I'd live happily ever after.
8. That this will be the year I learn to play piano
9. That I'll get organized.
10. A CURE

Happy New Year, everyone.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wanted- One Runaway Insulin Pump

Description of Missing Entity

Aquamarine colored. Likes long tubing, frequently roams refridgeraters at midnight.
Answers to "Lambo JR."(it's a long story how said pump got name-involving a 3 AM alarm,Lycra,and a negative radio wave from the Land Down Under)
Prefers a full resevoir. Frequently gets knots in tubing, for no reason whatsoever.
Difficult to live with, but impossible to live without.

Last Seen: Sometime Friday morning, before owner decided to disconnect + clean the house.

Last seen wearing: Black clip-on case.

Reward: The satisfaction you'll get of helping a Type 1 PWD regain her sanity.

Additional Bonus:
Anyone who would like to come over and help clean house/search for pump will also get a generous supply of Sugar-Free Christmas Candy.(I have tons of it, as usual)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Promise

He stood nearby, a tall,imposing, white-clad figure of a man. He'd just finished delivering the 411 on diabetes, and his patient lay silently, her eyes glazed over with this overload of information.
Time to soften the blow.
"Questions?" he smiled broadly, inviting her to ask something, ask anything. Because he'd definatly know the answer, he'd been doing this for the past 21 years. Answering the kids' questions. Answering their parents' questions. The common ones, the not-so-common-ones, the ones that made him think. Diabetes is a very question-filled disease.
Too many questions, as of yet unknown. Which to ask first, is the real question.
"Can a diabetic give blood?"
It pops out, this new fear of having somehow "tainted" blood. Not being normal. Not being useful.Memories of a father giving blood, and now wondering if she'd ever do the same.She'd
never given blood, but being diagnosed with diabetes suddenly brought up the desire.
"Actually, they used to not be able to,but the Red Cross revised its guidelines a couple of years ago and yes, you should be able to. You've never taken animal insulin."
Yeah, baby.Something D's can "do." Life isn't over. Giving blood is not an option just then, but it's a thought for the future.
- - -
August,2000. First blood donation.
- - -
It used to be that the Red Cross phlebotomists would go into major spasmodic conniptions + pull out their Medical Guidelines books whenever I mentioned I was an insulin dependent D. Questions about bovine insulin, whether I'd had a change of insulin therapy during the past 2 weeks, whether I was in "good" control, etc. would invariably follow.Concerns over whether the pump might induce weird bacteria into my bloodstream.(very stupid concerns) It was like an act of Congress, getting through the entire process. Now, things are much better(I don't even have to declare the D-just check off a bunch of boxes).
Haven't given in awhile, since July + the crud. But I gave today, #31.And it felt good. Someone out there, will benefit from me-the drain-on-society diabetic. There are normal people who can't say the same. And if I can give, I will continue to do so.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Post Yuletide Greetings

May I do a bit of unprecedented, out-and-out, no holds barred, Extremius Maximus bragging here?
(to heck with it- I'm doing it anyway)

The first number to grace my meter (7 AM) Christmas morning was a lovely 124. I didn't deserve it, and I'm sure I have no clue just WHY it decided to drop 60 points overnight, but I wasn't complaining.
Breakfast was an onslaught of King Cake(sans icing, my SIL forgot to make it),Eggnog,smoked wienies, potato-sausage bake,and fruit salad. So awesome good(and stuffing) I had my doubts that I'd ever be able to eat again, much less another major meal later in the day.
12 PM rolled around, and I pulled out the test kit for a check on just how brutal the damage had been. I was pleasantly surprised when the meter read 178-I thought I'd at least be 150+ points above that.
By 2 PM, dinner was ready and I'm down to 108(feeling low,even though I'm not).Hungry once more, and ready to do battle with the succulunt sweet potatos(dripping in sweet sauce),garlic-y mashed potatos, ham + gravy, homemade rolls,
green bean casserole, appetizer platter...Forget the pie, I was stuffed. Bolus for that too.
6 PM- 188.I'm utterly amazed by the fact that I'm not 200's,300's,or worse-everything is actually working. Rarely do my SWAGS work out so well. Indulge in pecan pie/whipped topping and a follow-up ham sandwich.(ok,that's it,I'm really stuffed now)
11 PM- 170.
Does it get any better? (True,they aren't exactly ADA approved blood sugars but I'm thrilled,I had no clue how many carbs were in the vast majority of those things.I was just bolusing blindly.)Diabetes wise-Christmas ROCKED, and otherwise it did too-all my family got in,even my Marine brother + my sister from New Mexico. Occasionally,diabetes isn't the predictibly annoying, unstable,crud- things just fall right into line + you really think you're dreaming...
6 AM- 178.
12 PM- 188.
3 PM- 183
4 PM- Resorted back to the good o'le 200's. Nice while it lasted.

Work has shut down till Jan.4, so they can get stuff straight to work on inventory when we all come back. I know I've been an uncooperative party RE the insane amounts of overtime they've recently put us through, but now that I'm looking at 1.5 weeks of unpayed indolence,I'm bored already. True,this is a chance to get the house in tip-top shape + get caught up on everything else, but I guess its the social interaction that I really miss. Even being throughly and roundly cussed out by one's coworker(like I was last Thursday) is a thrill,of sorts. (at least you know you've made an definate impact in their life)
Come on,folks-get back from Christmas Vacation, I want to comment on some blogs..gotta do something with all this spare time.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Congradulations! Your Brain Age is... 284

I may not be the quickest around, but I can generally solve moderately hard mathematic problems in my head + try not to use the calculator, mental calculations keep the brain sharp. My coworkers regard me as a glutton for punishment in this regard, but my rate of mistakes is the same as theirs(using this method).

Several years ago, I was in a research study that was all about the brain’s function(on high and low blood sugars). Part of it involved using a driving simulator, but most of it involved 10 million arithmetic problems, color coordination, connect-the-dots, Suduku, and whatever else you can think of. It was during this time that I discovered that I absolutely cannot subtract (in increments of 9) backwards, when hypo. Adding, yeah, kinda, but not subtracting. Deeply intriguing. It was a pretty weird study to begin with, what with brain leads all over my scalp but what that might mean (whether certain parts of my brain activity shut down during a hypo) the researchers didn’t share with me. All I learned is, my sensitivity to insulin.(which promptly changed,2 weeks later..)

Yesterday, I got a new game for my Nintendo DS- Brain Age. Supposedly supposed to keep your brain young and sharp. Went through the first exercise, and this is what I got:

I’m in serious trouble, if this is really the mental acuity of my brain. 20 years from now= nursing home..
Aughhhhhhhh.(am I that hopeless?)The Brain Age "goal" is 20.
Sometimes when high, I get brain fog but that's generally when I'm really,really high.(like over 500) I think diabetes must be pickling my brain- on both hypos AND hypers, it certainly affects things.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My Top Five Christmas Songs

1. Feliz Navidad- The David Crowder Band
2. Snoopy's Christmas- The Royal Guardsmen
3. This Baby- Steven Curtis Chapman
4. Christmas at Ground Zero- "Wierd Al" Yankovitch
5. Still her Little Child

I have many more faves..but these top the list.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No more Beta

Blogger "Beta" is apparently all out. That's a good thing- but I kind of miss being bugged incessently to switch. Oh well,I'm sure they'll dream up some other "new" thing to switch to.

Group question-(I realize there's some way to figure this out, but I'm dumb)
How many carbs(ie,grams of dextrose) are in an IV bag of D50? I can't find an answer anywhere(not even on CWD's Ask the Diabetes Team) and its been bugging me-it's one of those things one should know. Hospitals frequently administer D50, and if you had to bolus for it you'd need to know that.Or are there "ampules" of dextrose that they add to the IV that makes it D50? I've also been experiencing a run of lows lately, which always makes me a tad nervous. Runs being defined as low after low after low after low. My liver needs some serious glycogen restocking.Should get started on the traditional chocolate covered cherries early this year..Work's been rough,I'm glad tomarrow is the last day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

When 1+1(doesn't) = 2


It's in the type/amount/quantity of food, exercise(or lack thereof), concurrent medications, stress, caffeine, other illnesses, hormones, age of the insulin, absorption of the infusion set, temperature outside, body temperature,alcohol consumption, and a thousand other little factors. Sometimes, there appears to be no earthly reason for it.

You can graph carbs.
You can graph boluses/basals.
You can graph exercise.

But how can you graph a morning in which you consume 3 caffeine-laden beverages,(exact caffeine amount "unknown") run around like nuts, clock in a 205 at lunch(stress or caffeine?) bolus for that plus lunch, promptly get low 1.5 hours later and again 3.5 hours later, go high and the infusion set promptly falls out..
I'd give up, but that's apparently not allowed. Neither is sledge-hammering one's meter or shaving one's head/joining the Peace Corps.

It's still tempting, though.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Apple Pie High

Take a good whiff.

One sniff, and I was stoked. Nothing like a Home Interiors Apple Pie candle to bring you back to what it's all about. (Best of all-this Apple Pie doesn't do a number on your blood sugar control.) Doubly so, when I found out we didn't have to work
Saturday.(this was on Friday)
Monday, however, is going to be a tad nuts. (coming in an hour earlier- and they'll be combining two departments into one(OURS). The prime objective, is to blow all the orders completely out by the end of Thursday, for a nice, long, holiday weekend. And since someone's on vacation, their job falls in my lap(and I'll have 18 people to overlook, versus 8. It's going to be a headache.)
Had a coupon for a $25 gift card, with a transferred RX from another pharmacy. Most of the stores around here honor competetitor's coupons, so the fact that the coupon was from an entirely differant pharmacy didn't matter. So- I take it in to my local, friendly, WallyWorld, where I wait 1.5 hours where they simultaniously manage to get A. My address B. My last name and C. My insurance info all wrong, and I've had things filled there before. Recently, in fact.
Then, the Customer Service Manager(CSM) gets paged back to take a look at my coupon,and after some weighty deliberations she tells me "Sorry,can't do it-we have a policy of nothing free with coupons."
I point out that Other-Side-of-Town Wallyworld apparently doesn't have the same policy, because they once did the same thing over there, no problems.
She repeats "Sorry,can't do it."
Ok. I need the RX anyway, so I pay for it.The pharmacy tech hands me my insulin + sends me to the middle window to "talk to the pharmacist."
Pharmacist: This is in-sul-in. Do you have any questions about it?
Me: No. I certainly know what insulin is by now. Thank you.
Slightly odd that the pharmacist would think I have questions about a transferred insulin prescription, that I've obviously been taking for quite some time.
I'd have to say that particular medication would be the last thing I'd have a question about.
I'm definatly going to transfer the RX back-I got much better service with the other pharmacy.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday at the Woodgrill

For some reason, I can't post replies on some people's blogs..kind of frustrating. Blogger won't let me sign in.

The Scene: Main Street.

The Setting: Grand Opening of the latest "Woodgrill." 1/2 price off, including the complimentary drink + baked potato. I'm standing in line, with the rest of the local yokels to get in on this deal.There's a nip in the air, and its getting darker,as the daytime 50's gradually drops on down to the 20's. Man, I wish I'd worn my coat.
Jam up ipod volume, wave arms around, stamp feet. Reach door.
"DKA" cuts through the static + I reach for the pause button. What was that? Who in the heck says DKA, unless they're also a real live type 1 PWD..

The tall, lanky,sandyhaired stranger to my left smiles at the middle-aged women behind me. "Nah, I haven't been in a hospital in 23 years, not since I was diagnosed."
"Lucky." The women nods. "Not a good situation to be in."
"Well, it's not something I ever plan to be in again."
"People should just take care of themselves..."

I look with respect at this fit,trim,example of diabetic longetivity. They exist, they really do. People who are completely healthy- except for the diabetes. People who don't take 10 other drugs w/their insulin. People who've never been in the hospital, except at diagnosis. Amazing. Even more so, if this guy was diagnosed by any of the docs around here..I often feel like the only type 1 within a 200 mile radius, so finding another local PWD is a rare/never occurance.

And then, I go in, polish off 1. plate of Chinese 2. Baked Potato 3. Salad 4. Fruit 5. 3 types of pie, ice cream, and a cookie 6.Coffee/tea and put that insulin pump to good use(thank goodness for technology). And thank goodness my appetite has returned. en masse. No seafood though.(not for a long time)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Luck O' the Pumper

Every one of 7 infusion sets (over the past couple of days) has fallen off, they aren't staying in very well. Usually, I put a layer of Tegaderm or IV prep, then insert the set(manually) through that. You'd think it was summer, the way that Tegaderm is sweating off. When the Tegaderm layer is 3/4 off, and the Silhoette patch is flapping up and down(the tube just BARELY in) it usually is just a matter of an hour before the entire thing just goes to pot. No matter how careful I try to be, not to bump it.
Time to break out my limited stash of Smash-and-Apply Matisol ampules. (kind of look like those emergency snakebite things.)

A day later- it's already starting to come off, but the fact that it lasted a day is very, very impressive. Lasted longer then the other sets did! I really think I need superglue.

And I'm not the only one in the OC to be having recent infusion set

Saw a bumper sticker today that said "HI- It's the only way to live life" and while they were obviously talking about marijuana(and other assundries), I could only see it from the diabetes angle. Having been HI(and just about every number in between), I can say that HI's make a pretty lousy life. I can't see a drug high being any better, both produce temporary exotic sensations and are extremily bad for your body. Don't do it, folks- try to be kind to your meter this holiday season.

And speaking of having every blood sugar on the meter, that's not quite true. I've (consciously) had 60's,50's,40's, 30's, teens, and 1 LOW- but have never tested in the 20's. I've probably been in the 20's, just never tested then. Back when I was going through a rough patch of not feeling lows,(till around 40) when I did get low I'd be too freaked out about how low I was so I'd eat like all get out + not test.
Now, I feel my lows pretty well but if I'm really low I always just eat(and test, to make sure I'm coming up.) The last thing I feel like doing is testing in the middle of a low, and testing is not going to change anything about the course of action. My lows have also changed(in that, I'm completely blockheaded during them) it wasn't like that when I first got diabetes. I could be in the teens, and holding a perfectly lucid conversation. I guess that's a good change, it could trigger someone else to the fact that I'm low.Like if I were ever considering matrimony, and thus a potential Husband Hypo(r) Alert. Must be nice.

And on a side note, I didn't eat at Taco John's last week, but I would also recommend not eating at certain (chain)seafood establishments, at least in this state. Every time an ad for seafood would play(on the hospital tv set),I'd have to turn the tv off(before throwing up)-I am not a big fan of seafood right now. Seafood didn't cause it, but it certainly helped.(other family members didn't get near as sick)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fourscore - 72 years Ago

It's a day that lives in infamy.

It's a thought that permeates my dreams, and the first conscious thought of the day.

It's the number that flashes across the meter screen- 145, decent, but still indicutive of diabetes.

It's the mental calculation of how much insulin for 1/2 a large muffin plus extra, for just sitting around all morning.

It's an entire day, a year, a decade.

It's part of life.

And I plan to live it all.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Still Snowless in the South

While the Winter Winds blow...

blares on the tv set. Ironically, its summer in Alaska (in Season 3,at least)- not winter, but watching winter in Alaska would make me feel even colder so I overlook the slight discrepancy.

Northern Exposure(Seasons 3+4), along with 10 DVD's from Black Friday are my project this week. I need to get caught up on my cultural experiences, and this is the method of choice under the circumstances.

Still no snow- some slight snow flurries last night(the first). No, I don't live in Bermuda(I'm sure that many of you guys are sick of snow), the "Valley" is protected from some of the severeties in weather + we don't get all that much snow. Which is fine with me.
Although,last year at this time, there was snow.

The telephone rings, and I leap off the couch to answer it. Paperwork is ready for pickup at the doctor's office, and they gave me an extra two days so I wouldn't have to go back to work today.
Thank you,God. Perhaps by Monday, the nausea will be completely gone.

And that's about it- do any of you guys know how to get Blogger to quit bugging me to switch?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Status Epilepticus

Over the course of the weekend...
My computer mouse died. Went into a hypoglycemic fit, and didn't stop. Or, at least that's what I think happened to it. That happened Friday. Poor thing.

- - -
1 AM, Sunday morning-I got the grade A, let it 'rip from both ends stomach virus.
Nothing stayed down, I exausted any "free puke" rules long ago. Didn't know if I had any ketones + frankly, didn't care. Blood sugars hovered in the mid 100's range.
9 AM, Sunday morning- Extreme abdominal pain, couldn't get up without passing out so that kind of eliminated any driving plans + I call 911.
9:20 AM- Puke up some more, en route to hospital.
12 PM- Dierrea begins. Puking temporarily quits. Spike temperature.
3 PM- ER doctor makes the decision to admit me. Hospital doctor asks me if I "stick to my diet". I'm so annoyed at this I begin to think even my pcp has a better grasp of things then this doctor.
3:30 PM- IV antibiotics start.
4 PM- Admitted.
6 PM- Eat jello. Cute pharmacist comes by with a spare AAA battery for my pump thereby saving me from a fate worse then death.(hospital sliding scale)You rock,dude.
7 PM- Go for xrays.
8 PM- Throw up jello.
Next morning...
Blood pressure stays low all day(80/40's low). Didn't know it was possible to have that and still be a functioning member of the human race.
9 AM- Doc in. Informs me that my electrolytes, blood pressure are still too low + the dierrea needs to stop before getting out.
Spend most of day conked out on anti-nausea drugs.
6 PM- Blood sugar spikes to 300's. Bolus.
300's all night..
6 AM- BP, electrolytes, temperature are now back to normal.
11 AM- Get out of hospital.
The local hospital isn't all bad, but they were still pretty clueless on all matters food related + insulin needs. And not once did they check urine ketones. You don't expect University style care, but its still kind of rough to have to handle such monumental dosing decisions when you personally could care less. Its still diabetes, its still up to you, and it never goes away.
Blood sugars have been upper 200's today-it seems bgs are much better when you're upchucking all those calories. Need to increase my basals tonight.
The one positive thing about all of this, it appears my a1c has gone down by .5 since that a1c in November. I can't wait to tell my pcp doc that..
Last week was kinda tough emotionally, but I'm determined that I will try to do better + not let it get me down.I'm on the right track.
And its the end of the grueling work pace-rest of the week I'm off work while my body recuperates.