Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's Elementary, of Course

Ongoing series on YouTube, too cute!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Left Coast Christmas

The proof is in the wrapper:

For an East Coaster, eating at a Carl's JR is a surreal experience.(It's HARDEES, people!!!) There's some weird thing tacked onto it now(Green Burrito), because anything thats not really Mexican food is not really popular(out west). But it was cool, regardless of that nagging little feeling that the name was all wrong and it should be Hardees, nationwide.

Had a good trip out west, flew into LAX Saturday night-Sunday morning. Stayed a few days in the SF Valley driving around,finishing up shopping,etc.Went to husbands parents house, stayed till the 26th.

Christmas Day-(morning)celebrations at their house. In the afternoon, went to extended familial Christmas celebrations.
Differences between my family and the rest of civilization:

We don't give socks,shirts,pants, or any other articles of clothing. And we don't open presents one at a time(we'd be all day doing it, due to the largeness of said family). In my new family..the exact opposite is the case. Most of the articles, clothing. I like new clothes but I'm not accustomed to it coming as a gift. And there is always the element of not liking something you've received.Something to get used to.

I was the only person(except for babies/kids) who wasn't drinking alcoholic beverages, eating extremely sugary carbo-laden goodies all day. I ate some,but exercised restraints. And the alcohol, I left alone enterily.(besides being a lightweight, my bgs were doing enough exotic things that day)
I felt, different. All over again. Normal people drink alcohol(several times a week, or more), drink juice for breakfast(I never drink juice, unless I'm having a low)
eat sweets with wild abandon, go out for a walk without computing the am-I-too-high-or-low-for-this? factor and do a ton of other things. You go to someone else's house,(on the other side of the country)and they are extremely wonderful people who would bend over backwards to make you feel welcome but there is no diet coke, nothing remotely healthful,and everyone else is partaking generously of holiday cheer and you can't help but to feel different. Just like that 17 year old, fresh out of the hospital + going into a radically different world. Will it ever change-these occasional flashes of being the alien from another planet?
I'm better at being accommodating + understanding of normal people's habits, but after 9 years the feelings of being different still reemerge and leave me wishing I wasn't different, wasn't the "diabetic," And explaining to another family about the carbs/sweets thing- generally impossible, in the name of politeness you eat SF stuff
and don't eat as much of the good stuff as you'd like.

Thank goodness Christmas is just once a year. Now we'll go down to my families Christmas celebrations, where I repeat the exact same scenario(but with the aid of
Diet Coke, I will prevail)Thank you, Coca Cola. Just once, I'd like to have a Christmas party D-style, fresh fruits/veggies/meats/carbo counts on everything/and no alcohol.(yeah,I know D's can drink alcohol but its just so difficult to figure out)
And no Food Nazis admitted.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pirate Loot

I love Kmart. Do not particurally enjoy the hours spent in explaining to cashiers,CSR's,and managers how to transact their own promotions, but lets
face it,Harvard graduates do not run this company.(or work in the checkout lanes)If
they did, they wouldn't have these promotions in the first place.Cashed out
big on this promo...$90 investment netted me a cool(well,you can count)and
I hope to go back for more. Hope the stores out in CA are lenient with this promo. Can finally get a new digital camera-my old one hit the dust post-Hawaii(+ I lost the pictures that were on it.(((because I hadn't downloaded them yet)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cops:Edition 201

The steady click,click, gnawing (precisely like a mouse,and believe me,I know mice) emitting from my car's hood wasn't diminishing. Quite the contrary, it was growing to epic proportions as my car creaked-groaned its way up the hill, onto the interstate.

My temperature gauge climbed as well-well into the "hot" zone. I eased off on the gas, trying to give it a break, but no go, in a couple of seconds, it would exceed the max reading. Panic- slow down, get off on shoulder. Put emergency blinkers on.

And then I see the lights. Blue, flashing, lovely lights. Cops!

Try not to hyperventilate, check blood sugar. I cannot be low, I cannot be low-visions of being hypoglycemic in a jail cell dance through my mind.
135. Not low.

"Maam, is something the matter?" the concerned cop asks.

"My car is overheating."

"Do you need me to call anyone?"
"I'm going to try to call my parents."

He nods, circles the car.

"Are you a student?"


"I'm asking because nothing on your car is legal. You need to pull up to the guardrail,this isn't a good spot to be parked."

Pull up. Open glove compartment, flash state stickers in cops face.
"See, I'm legal. Just haven't put them on yet."

"Ok. Where do your folks live?"

"20 minutes down the road."

Can't reach my dad on his cellphone, so agree to have vehicle towed. 5 minutes later, my dad calls back. Towtruck shows up.

"You should be good now."

Cops are generally wonderful people..servants of the public and all that but man they make me so nervous. I stutter, drop things, and act like an idiot(even when I'm NOT low)

Towed to shop, 2 hours (and many $$'s) later- thermostat replaced, gasket replaced. Good as new. Annoying thing is, I'd just had my car serviced 3 days previously and they didn't say a word(maybe it isn't something you can tell is going to happen).
I'm glad this didn't turn into the D edition of "Cops" (it did once, same breakdown spot,cop told the towtruck to take me to the Subway + get food into me before anything else). Ahh, the situations one can find one self in.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


The morning frost lies thick on the windshield, as I jam my key into the ignition, hoping it doesn't take forever to defrost. My wonderful husband has already brushed the snow off, and I have precisely 45 minutes to do that,drive to where I'm supposed to go,find parking,hustle inside,and do it.

Time for the big guns, speed up the process.

Slosh about a cup on the windshield, hoping it works. I've read somewhere Coke is good for this, and I figure Diet Coke should be too. It does ok, and I'm off.

Finish errand, its 11:14. Discover I've not packed glasses and bg meter. Frantic dash home, pickup. Get gas and chips(lunch). Windshield is now encrusted in thick white slime. Wait till I get past the 95-66 triangle before I pull over, (not very smart, because most of the time I was driving with the sun in my eyes + a messy windshield)rub snow on it, and wipe it off with Kleenex. Redneck guy laughs at me."Think its clean enough now?" Drive like mad to get to hospital by 3 pm.

Register, its 2:55 pm.Feel pretty good about getting there on time. Settle in with ipod. Chief Resident breezes by, recognizes me(pretty good for a 1-shot deal nearly two months ago) + apologizes for the delay. Sometimes I think these people either have a photographic memory-or I am so ugly no one could possibly forget what I look like. 4 pm, I go over to the front desk and ask where I am in the lineup. Discover it'll be another half hour because my appointment was actually at 2 pm, not 3. This does not delight me,I fume for the next 15 minutes. Eventually, someone calls my new name(which I still haven't gotten used to) and we go back.

There are some doctors that stand out, and this guy is definatly one of them. But not in a bad way, he doesn't say two words about the diabetes.I've had eye doctors tell me I'm practically a canidate for instant death(these aren't endos, mind you, just opthomologists) unless I get a handle on my a1cs. This guy loves to talk,and loves to talk to his patients about THEIR lives, not just x-y-z what are your concerns today. He asks if I've memorized the chart yet, which I haven't(but he has).
The next 30 minutes fly by, and there is no time to do one of the tests(visual fields). So he tells me to help myself to the stash of Oreos in the bottom lefthand drawer while he goes + checks on what to do about that one test.(automatically elevating his own status to world's funniest AND nicest resident) His own private stash, no less. He comes back, the list of VF testees for the following day was about
a foot high(no kidding)+ if I stuck around, I'd likely be waiting on nothing. So, I will have to schedule it later.(another 3.5 hr drive, one way) The VF test is important because it was abnormal back in October.Chief Resident initially said I had optic neuritis,but the MRI was normal. My eye doesn't hurt anymore so they'll just wait on this repeat test to see if its worse or better.If its stable or improved thats good, and if its getting worse thats bad + time for steroid therapy.

Head down to cafeteria,get sandwich to go. Jump into car, drive to B&BWorks where I get 9 Wallflower packs/2 soaps for $39(valued at $114.50). Hit up CVS,eat sandwich, drive back to hometown, watch "Enchanted" at movie theater(excellent movie,as anything with Patrick Dempsey just has to be) + stay overnight at parents.Next day, run a few errands, schedule VF test + go back up north(arriving on the Outer Loop just in time for the Fri.after work traffic) Spend a couple of extra hours moving 2 mph.This was 1.5 weeks ago.

Tomarrow,going to head back down there for the visual fields test. I also have to swing by the landladys(deposit has failed to appear), go to the Social Security office to officially change my name,return a slew of things to various stores,redeem several gift certificates that expire tomarrow,do some more Christmas shopping,+ generally tear my hair out trying to get everything done.Should be fun.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Reflections..on the O.C.Challenge

Back in January, a group of us D's(and type 3's) decided to go where no D has ever gone before, challenging ourselves in new, cruel,and unusual ways.

Many of us..didn't make our goals. I know I didn't, I think I stopped seriously thinking about it shortly after getting engaged in May. Too many other things to stress out about.

To everyone who made(or will make) it, my hearty kudos. To everyone who tried + didn't, you're in good company. (the best, actually) In 17 days, you'll have a brand-spanking new chance to resolve better things.

At least my a1c went down(1.0 points)+ while my weight went up 5 pounds,I'm not quite on the verge of morbid obesity. Since I'm not working(currently),its easy to pack on those pounds even if one only ate one meal a day.(which I don't)Time to get me to a gym(actually,would make a nice Christmas gift,but if not,should invest in that for both me & hubby)after I find a half-way decent one up here. I don't feel like I failed, my a1c is a long way from my "dream" a1c, but realistically speaking I have only ever been close to that once.(6 years ago,after starting on the pump) Yes, it still sucks, but I'm just the type to want results NOW.(versus 3 months from now) I'm thankful for another year of avoiding horrible complications(dumb luck),+ I'm resolved to keep getting on/falling off the bandwagon for the rest of my life.(hopefully doing more getting on, then falling off)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Aloha from Oahu

Monday,Nov.12, 8:30 AM.

I don't want to get up, but its obvious that I'm having the first reaction of my married life. Mild-but present.

71 mg/dl.

Quick glucose shot,
3 tabs. 20 minutes, 134,during which time I think about glucagon +shrieking fire engines and I know,husband isn't ready for that level of in-your-face diabetes reality. I'm not either, but no one EVER is. (jelly limbs, mushy brain,flailing limbs a la carte)

Our Lanai(porch,with ocean view):

Off to Micky D's. On the corner, there's a guy passing out restaurant bucks + telling everyone how much better they are then McD's.Plus, a buck cheaper. Well, maybe.(that remains to be seen)

In Hawaii,fresh pineapple trays come with every extra value meal(easily the most nutriotious thing on the menu) and you can get coconut mini-pies all day.(instead of apple pies,here on the US mainland) An interesting cultural touch.

4 units of insulin-gonna be soakin' the beach, and that may drop me like a stone.Would rather underbolus...back to hotel,hang on beach, enjoying sun + gentle waves for the next few hours.Waikiki Beach is pretty, but way too rocky.(leastwise,our part was!) Feet got pretty sore.

277 (1 unit)

Well, all things considered, not bad(for 4 hours off the pump).Sometimes you just don't know what direction you're going to go.
5 hours later, my back erupts in a fiery red swirly pattern(aheee,forgot the sunscreen on certain parts). Welcome to Paradise. Then, my sensor goes completely kaput(not enhanced by the sand irritation)+ I yank it, its just too hard to keep it from being irritated.Pump set does I change it. It is very windy, and sand goes everywhere.(head to toes) Hence the exotic sunburn.Good thing I packed the Aloe Vera gel.Husband got burned too-never underestimate the power of the Pacific Sun.(even in November)

Ocean View:

Later, we walk around Honolulu, go to the (humongous,largest in Hawaii) mall,3 floors-160+ shops. There are no Bath & Body works stores there,which makes the Hawaiians desperate to buy that stuff on Ebay.(trust me,I know)A mall without B&BW feels sort of incomplete to me-because I always stop in there,when I go to a mall.They had most everything else,and a ton of stores that only millionaires would frequent.Ate a late supper there, walked back to hotel.
Pearl Harbor was next on our agenda.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My Wild Spending Spree

Most intelligent action of day:

Yanking out my 6 hour old sensor.($60, down the drain) I was so mad at myself, especially since the last sensor lasted 13 days.

Second most intelligent action of the day:

Yanking out my 4 hour old infusion set.($12, down the drain)

I am sooooo clumsy. Time to lather up in superglue. Leg sites tend to be a more of a problem then abdominal sites, in this regard...but I never thought that they wouldn't even last a day.(they were in differant legs)I don't think I trust myself with another sensor tonight.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Officially Here

(Last weekend, we just got the rain..anyway,I love the first snowfall of winter, it's so pretty-assuming you don't have to drive through it in rush hour traffic.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Your Virtual Endo Consult

Press "1" if you're experiencing a health question or concern.

Press "2" if you'd like to speak with a nurse(sometime in the next month.)

Press "3" if you'd like to schedule an appointment.

1. Hello, this is your virtual endo speaking, how can I help you today?

-My blood sugars are whacky.(A)

-I have another D concern.(B)

-I'd like to know the results of my latest & greatest
a1c test(C)

-I'm bored, and I just wanted to know if you would
tell me again if avoidance of that box of KK donuts
will absolutely add another 5 minutes to my life or
if I just go ahead and live it up.(D)

-How much is this consult going to cost me??(E)

2. You have reached the message box of EMT-B Heidi.Please leave your name,email,and credit card number + we'll get back to you asap.Thank you.Sorry if you expected to reach a real doctor,that ain't happening. But if it makes you feel better,someday I will be a nurse,if you plan on sticking around that long.

A. Press (!) if you're over 600 mg/dl
Press :-((((( if you're under 40 mg/dl
Press :) if you're perfect
B. Choose your concern:
A1. Complications
B1.Insurance Woes
C1.My Neighbors Cat
D1.Everything else.

C. ER, yes. Ok, now enter your Medic Alert number...

D.Dude, KK is ALWAYS worth it.That's not the ADA line,but its what you wanted to hear,right? So go ahead and bolus well,don't let D dictate your life.Just remember,all things in moderation.

E. It all depends.So far,$10 per word,or a measily $2000+. Keep reading.

(!) So you're high.Wayyy too high,as you well know.How long have you been this way?
!1 under 2 hours
!2 2:4 hours
!3 4 + hours

!1Check ketones..troubleshoot pump.Take injection immeadiently.Recheck ketones+ bg, in a couple hours.
Drink tons of fluids.

What are you now?
J1moderate ketones,250 mg/dl
J2trace ketones, 200 mg/dl
J3moderate ketones,300 mg/dl

J1 You're not out of the woods yet.Keep drinking fluids,sugared as well as plain,to replenish calories.Take additional boluses,as needed.

J2 You're fine. I don't care if your stomach is throbbing fit to beat the band,ketones are nasty little buggers + thats to be expected.You're out immenant danger. Plus,you probably just have a little stomach virus.(its always a stomach virus!)Nothing for us to waste our valuable time over.

J3 Take more insulin.NOW. Go back to !1

!2 Repeat J1,call if bg not coming down.
!3 Go to the ER(if ketones not coming down).That's assuming you're still conscious.

A1-B1. Worried about complications,yes,we feel your pain.America is eating itself to death,T2 and T1 is on the rise,and many people can't even afford basic meds.
Keep your chin up,and do the best you can, that's all we can say.

C1 So,your neighbors cat does its business all over your front bushes?It very likely may have diabetes.See if you can get a dipstick reading off it..and if its positive,you have your answer right there.

2C- 00000000000001
Your latest a1c was 7.6 Keep it up,you'll get there.

D1 I wasn't aware there were any,thought I'd covered it pretty well. Press "3" to schedule an appointment,we should obviously talk about this.

#3 Ok, you wish to make an appointment. How soon?
O.Sometime in the next week
W.SOmetime in the next month

N.You're in luck!we have an appointment for you in 10 minutes.Would you like to accept this appointment?
Y or N
Yes-I can make it
No-That isn't enough time to get out of the house,much less to your office.

O. Sorry,nothing available.Switching to W...

W. Thank you, your appointment is scheduled for Dec.24 at 4:45 PM.Have a nice day,and we look forward to serving you!

A:-(((( Eat, eat,and eat.Call us back when you're able to hold a rational conversation(assuming hypos don't resolve) You should really reduce your basals by 0.2 h/hr and your bolus ratios to 1/20. And no, you're not having a second honeymoon.Nor are you turning into another Halle Berry.You're a type 1,and there's obviously a reason for this.

A:) Perfect, huh?Enjoy it while it lasts,because it won't. Please press "2" if you wish to share with the medical community your secrets for a persistantly euroglycemic state.We're all dying to know.

See,there's nothing to be an endo..very predictable.I know what they're going to say before they say it.I know what they should say&don't and vice versa.I hate diabetes,and like Chrissie I abhor ketones.Even when you're down(bg wise)you're not really "down."(ketones)But its ceased to be a concern,since your bg is now fine..

Friday, November 30, 2007

Where the Union Jack Meets Stars/Stripes/and Bars

Up at 4:30, Dulles airport by 6. Uneventful pass through airport security.
(nothing patted down,wanded,or set off) Oh my gosh,first class is POSH.
(I've never experienced that before,heck I've never even had anything
more then nuts or pretzels on 4+ hour flights!) Complimentary breakfast of omelet/mushroom,fruit bowl,sausage,yogurt that I can't half touch because we
just had fruit cups prior to getting on the plane. That,however, does not stop me
from making a valiant effort on breakfast #2. Just a 4 hour flight, but we're served a f/u snack 2 hours later.(nuts) Watch "Transformers"(in-flight movie) and the time goes by very quickly.
Get into Housten,hour layover. Waddle on over to the next flight,which is even more deluxe.These seats actually lay DOWN,the ultimate mark of convenience. Continental,first class.(you only live once..and what better time to do it,then on your honeymoon)
And,the 4 course meal...

Appetizer: Smoked peppered Atlantic Salmon roulade w/cream cheese and horseradish dressing

Salad-Field greens, romaine/Belgian endive,cherry tomatoes,goat cheese,pecans,buttermilk dressing + garlic bread

Main Course-Herbed breast of chicken,topped w/sliced beef,marinara sauce,melted mozzerella,grilled Roma tomato,sauteed baby spinach,Lyonnaise potatos

Dessert-Vanilla ice cream,toppings

Did very well with the bgs,as said meal was spread out over 3 hours. I didn't eat all of the main course though.

3 hours later,MORE food was served.(Panini chicken sandwich,complimentary chocolates, chocolate chip cookie)2 glasses of diet coke and I didn't eat anything else for the next 16 hours.(I was that stuffed,and jet lagged)

Touched down at destination, took shuttle to exclusive resort (by exclusive,I mean not open to the general public) where I also had to produce MY ID even though Glenn(hubby)was the one who booked everything because its DOD.They want to make double sure about everyone.(that's all I'll say on that subject)

Next up: Where we went:days 2-4.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Princess&the Pancreas

You gotta read this

its hilarious!!!

Days of Our Lives(Chapter 2)

(more on this,when I get the 200+ photos duly copied,pasted,and transferred over to Flickr)You are also welcome to personally email me(er underscore watch at yahoo dot com) if you would like to see them all.I can't believe I'm actually putting a photo of myself on my blog..freaky.(both the concept and the actual picture)
(but I trust my readership is so few that it won't matter)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving



G I V I N G !

(more on, 10 zillion blog posts to catch up on plus 10 zillion other post honeymoon details later..regrets that I don't have the time to participate in OC memes for at least another 2 months! that turkey is me)

Friday, November 09, 2007

D-Blog Day

In rememberance of those we loved, and in dedication to the fine group of bloggers/s.o.'s that make our lives so much richer.(and less lonely) Tonight, sadness, joy,excitement,gratitude,raw nerves, and every other emotion under the sun run rampant in this brain o'mine.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Before you say "I do"

I'm having a problem, one that D kids in 1920 didn't have to worry about. The car in front of me is doing a circular jig + my brain is rapidly approaching shut down mode. I have to get off here, and I have to get off FAST.Before I pass out + crash.

Stuff Doritos into mouth, check Dex.

110-and trending down very rapidly.

I don't care what I actually am, I just eat. Pull off at exit, find nearest gas station, pull in + park. Appropriately enough, in front of the ice machines.(and across from the ice cream parlour)It's 32 degrees outside.

Drink juice. So cold, so dizzy. Dex has me at 80 now. Ah, my favorite gas station(Sheetz)- where else would I be getting low? Like Target, this place has
charms to soothe the savage hypoglycemic beast.

Lurch inside, buy more sugary drink. Go back to car, consume.

Dex shows me ???, I throw it into my bag in disgust.An hour later, I'm 311. And not shaking anymore, but still really dizzy. Recover from that, for the next hour. Bawl, feel sorry for self, hate diabetes.
Get back on Beltway. (the show must go on)

3 hours later, 376. Bolus 5 units.
1 hr later-180. Dropping like log, drink juice
2 hours later, 130.

3 AM- 260, high alarm wakes me up. Bolus 1.2 units

5 AM-62.(low alarm wakes me up) Yep, 1.2 units of insulin has dropped me 200 points.(if I'd have bolused like usual,I'd be dead) Eat.

7 AM-220

9 AM-300

10 AM-340

At this point, I figure infusion set is toast so I shoot 3 units and drop to 170 by 12 PM. Back on the Beltway, headed back home.

And things have been pretty good, without the pump on. Sure solves the prob of basal + bolus insulin colliding + dropping me like heck. Also had a low at lunch time yesterday, it was not a good day.

I obviously need some insulin though..but it needs a major overhaul! Just wish it wasn't now.

Got marriage lisence today, confirmed things with photographer. Rehearshal dinner tomarrow night,and Sat.morning it all comes together in the grand finale. Probably gonna check 10 zillion times that day..
(note to self: do NOT wipe finger on sleeve of dress, or suck it)
And oh, yeah. Happy birthday to these little dude(tte)
They are so much bigger..and even more cute!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Everything Old...

Something old:

Something new:

Something borrowed:

And something, er, obviously, blue...

Sensor went bad today.Started to hurt, and then I lost the signal entirely so I just pulled it out. Underneath, where I'd lathered it in Matisol and Tegaderm there were a bunch of red dots. Kind of like chicken pox, and not like a usual infusion set rash. Its pretty weird. I haven't used Matisol in awhile, maybe it goes bad!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

This is officially the last week of my singlehood. I don't know how I feel about that yet..other then things seem to be traveling at warp speed + I'm getting absolutely nothing accomplished. I'd planned to write all these blog posts pre-jetting-off-into-honeymoon-bliss, but its not going to happen. And I'd planned to anylize all my thoughts about the Dexcom, but thats probably not going to happen either. Here are a couple thoughts, though.

#1 I keep getting all these ???'s. Sometimes it means I'm dropping like heck, other time there is no reason.

#2 My sensor itches. It hasn't quite turned cherry tomato red/raised bump yet, but it is definatly not comfortable. I am not going to pull it out though, it is too expensive to ditch after only 3 days. I'm going to have to experiment with Tegaderm underneath, which should be interesting(as I have only inserted one sensor, I don't even know what I'm doing yet)

#3 Lows..still happen. The differance is, you can see it when you come back up + don't have to continue stuffing your face based soley on your symptoms. And thats useful,because you don't have to end up in the 200-300's later. I am still figuring this out, + how to treat a low with a sensor vs. a meter. Yeah I know I should doublecheck on the meter,but I just don't feel like it.(it hasn't dropped THAT low, not like 40's or anything)

#4 Got my cobra paperwork, and I'm going to have to take care of that tomarrow. Expensive, yeah, but getting in sync with his insurance will be a whole new ball game. At least I know I will be covered for anything for the next month. (Shark attacks, insulin reactions, hurricanes)

Adios till next time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dateline Dex(11/02/07)

Dateline, 10 pm. Somewhere at large on the frozen Virginia Tundra....

A Dexcom 7 spits out another unremarkable, utterly smack dab normal blood sugar.

First day on the Dex:
79-158 mg/dl.3/4 of those numbers were in the 110-120 range. Man, this is GOOD.(it took awhile to calibrate it right with the Ultra,but now its like within 15 points)

Of course, I don't believe that I am 100, I can't believe it. Its all relative, and I was probably 20 points higher. The hour I spent in the 80's, though, sure felt like it was pushin' a hypo.(ice cream plus 2 hours temp rate eventually brought it up to the 100's again)

What I did today:
-discover 6 still usable vials of test strips
-discover 2 vials that expired last month(grrr)
-discover 2 vials of insulin that are still in date but need to be used up
-rescue my antique sliderule + one-day-antique insulin vials from the trashcan
(my mom is great to help, honestly, if you discovered insulin vials that expired in 2001 you'd probably chuck them too but it nearly gave me a coronary)
- eat
-bolus, and watch my blood sugars not change one iota
- watch my Dex some more...
-throw away 6 trashbags of junk
-give away 5 boxes of stuff I'll never use

Moving Day Tomarrow!!!!!!
(for the vast majority of my stuff)It's somewhat differant this time, joining two houses into one isn't like a single person accumalating more junk for life on their own.(its more purging, this time around)I have entirely too much stuff.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Joining the Ranks

I. am. officially. beyond. esctatic.
(and they're nuts if they think I will wait to get trained on this thing, I'm a pumper and it can't be much more difficult then that). I think I can figure this out
on my own.(and should I get stuck-with the help of others, who've posted about their own experiences)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pre-Halloween Special

I had to follow this guy onto the interstate- talk about scary...(tractor trailers don't merge very easily!into 70 mph traffic)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Boring Sunday Afternoon(and the dissection of an OmniPod)

(size comparison)

(What's inside????????)

The small batteries are 357-precisely the type used in the MM508. I don't know about the later models, but I still have my 508(for old times sake). I'll keep them, for that.(in case El Lambo hits the dust) Anyway, this was quite the informative experiment, the main section houses the pump "resevoir",(its saline,folks,never fear) some weird spring, and a metal needle that leads to the outer cannula.The clear piece is the bottom, the cloudy piece is the outer shell, and the computer chip makes it all that much more beyond my capabilities to understand it. The Omnipod is pretty cool, but I'm not sure I'd like to wear one on a regular basis(I'd all the time be losing the remote!) and it looks like a giant tumor... Wore one for a couple of days at FFL + it felt REALLY weird. I'm used to looking like a technogeek + maybe no else notices if you put it in the right spot but I'm used to my pump(you can put it anywhere) + the Omnipod, you definatly cannot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Season for Goodbye

Sure, I remember that day.

Starry eyed, young,nervous, greener then the freshly mowed grass just outside the entrance doors. Waiting there with the other new hire, who lasted about a week. Paperwork, signing my life away. Incredibly naive, it was my first "real" job. But not naive enough to tell anyone about the diabetes, it was 3 months before someone saw my medic alert and the secret leaked out(to various individuals).I wanted to prove myself first.

I remember getting my first health insurance plan,(Dec.) only to have it switched 1 month later. I remember immeadiently filing a request for an insulin pump, which took 2 months to approve. And that first medical leave, off in April(for an overnight admission + college final exams). I remember thinking that it was all worthwhile, no matter how little they paid me, I was getting a free pump!

I remember the dead of winter fire drills, shivering in the single digits till security made up their minds to let us all back in the building.

I remember the blackouts, with the power cut off + people shrieking "Lucy!"(our resident ghost)as the spooky eeriness took over the situation.

I remember funny coworkers + entire bizarre conversations, held only with 2 feet +contorted facial expressions.

I remember the layoff of '03, where the remaining employees(in that section of the building) played the
"where are we going next?" lottery + I just barely missed going to nightshift(seniority wise, 2 spots off)

I remember my one and only LOW.(under 10 mg/dl) I remember telling my coworker I was going to die, + she'd better tell my then boyfriend PRONTO because my blood sugar was very low. I remember asking him to give me the glucagon shot, and getting upset that he wouldn't. And I remember eating 120 carbohydrates + not passing out, but still being upset with the boyfriend because he WAS an EMT + knew how to do it.

I remember wanting to become an EMT, partially because whenever they got a page, they got to skip out on their regular jobs/jump on the giant red tricycle and zip all over the building, saving lives.

I remember September 11-listening to the radio, hearing the worry in people's voices. I remember my coworker, frantic with worry, trying to get ahold of her daughter(who had switched planes at the last minute). I remember the 7 people who died, all of whom were moms and wives and sisters and daughters + buyers for this company. (I didn't know them, but some of the supivisors did) I remember (Fri.)Sep.15, going to the memorial service, eating Chinese + getting the flu/skyrocketing blood sugars + having to leave work.

I remember the anthrax scare-looking at any white powder that came in on a box with a supiscous eye. Actually sent some off for testing, but it came back negative.

I remember the first day in my new department, where I had to learn 14 people's names all over again.

I remember the bomb scare, the day the entire plant cleared out in 10 minutes flat. 900 employees. I remember police + sniffer dogs going through the facility that weekend, and a cop car parked out front for several weeks after that. Didn't find anything.

I remember 1,000 lows where no one ever knew, and 3 that they did.

I remember people who came and went, and wishing I could leave. I remember free coffee (vending machine) days and the annual passing out of Thanksgiving Turkeys(all ordered at discount from the poultry plant down the road).

I remember supivisors that knew about the D, and ones that didn't. Unfortuantly, that had to do with whether or not I had a bad low on their beat.

I remember "surfing" the mechanical moveable line(via a box) and getting yelled at by my supivisor). It was still a blast, though.

I remember the little ideosycracies of every piece of equipment, every department. I have worked them all.

Most of all- I remember you guys, the finest group of people in the plant.We've laughed, cried,
and put up with each other for the past 4.5 years.
I'll miss you.(and many thanks for the party,pizza,cake + presents!)

Things change...

And we must go on.
(7 years,1 month, and 22 days later)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pick the next Ultra Mini Color(+ ipod contest)


I love the orange.(but it doesn't look like it has much chance of winning!) Plus, you can register for a chance to win 1 of 10,000 ultraminis(not so amazing, I have 5 of them compliments of CWD FFL2007) and an ipod nano(preloaded with diabetes podcasts)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekend Plans

So tomarrow, I intend to do a little R&R up in the great vast urban sprawl that is Northern Virginia. R&R is, of course, shopping. Serious shopping. I have to pick out my getaway outfit,new jeans,several types of dress shoes.And appropriate work clothes. Because I look like a bum from West Virginia most of the time. I work at a place where its perfectly fine to look like this, because 98% of the people working there also look like that but in civilized, polite, professional society I'd be kicked out the first day on the job. Along the way,I've also got to check out some deals at Walgreens,Target,and ToysRus(which are either not around here or not carrying said deal). And,one of my favorite stores,Gabriels.(really cheap clothing) Then, I've got a gift certificate for a restaurunt(where I'll eat lunch) and a ticket to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert that evening. (Won from a radio station) After that, I'll stay overnight at my aunt's + she'll try out potential "hairstyles" for the big day. My aunt, like my mom and myself, is blessed(er,or cursed) with extremily curly poofy hair that's extremily challenging to manage. Most people think curly hair is great, well they haven't seen this type. It is beyond extreme, and I hate it passionatly(have to put tons of straightening goop on it just to make it managable).
I prefer to do all such shopping alone, because when I'm with other people I can't focus enough to get it all done in a very short period of time. I would be a complete bore. My mom thinks that driving up there alone is a very bad idea(she may be right about that) but millions of women do it every day + if you use common sense, you don't have to worry about being murdered on the Beltway. I'm much more worried about my blood sugars, then I am about being attacked.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another Twisted Billy Joel song(D-style)

Only the Good Die Young

Come out, Virginia, don't let it wait
Diabetic chicks start way too late
Sooner or later, you know its just fate
Whether you'll be the one.

Well they gave you a meter, told you to test
Brand new pump, baby, only the best
But they never told you, about all the rest
The things that you might have done...
Only the good die young-thats what I said, only the good die young.
(only the good die young)

You might have heard I run with a complication doomed crowd
Our black leather jackets to double as a shroud
We might have not with common sense been endowed
But that never hurt no one.(else, that is)

So, c'mon, Virginia, give me a kiss
Double diabetes makes some pretty sweet bliss
And that sweet naivite, that no one could miss
Never cracks in the sun.
Darn it, only the good die young.
(Whoa,whoa,whoa, whoa)
Only the good die young.

You got a great a1c and a party on your D(anniversery)
You got a brand new Medic Alert(plus a cool Running on Insulin t-shirt)
But Virginia, they didn't give you quite enough information
You've never had a HI
After eating the entire pie...

They say there's a cure, for those who are good
Stay healthy till then, do all that you should
If I could do that, you know that I would
But better D's then me have thought that they could...
You know that only the good die young, only the good die young.

You say that all I ever gave you was a reputation
Your endo doesn't care for me
Cuz I'm playing havoc with your fine bg
Oh,oh,oh, oh.

So, come out, Virginia, don't lemme wait
This is one party that can't be late
Two diabetics, make a very fine date
And maybe, just maybe we won't die young.

Sometimes I definatly feel like a wild child- I have made unwise decisions just because I didn't want to fit into the "good diabetic" mold. I've eaten those metophysical pies, and had more then my share of real life HI's to boot.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In Praise of the Lowely Sardine

I confess, when I read that sardines, may be one of the world's healthiest foods
it was like being told that chocolate is actually good for you.(complete shock-yeah,I knew fish is healthy but I didn't think it was that healthy) My exposure to sardines begun at a young and tender age, and like most, I disdained that particular food. But as my dad's signature dish (sardines,rice,soy sauce,frequently veggies/broccoli) quite often graced the dinner table the hatred of it dulled + eventually, I came to like it. I now eat it about twice a week.
Good news for me, good news for the D. This meat has practically every element one could wish for,and its especially benificial if your family has a history of heart disease.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Torture Chamber


(think fingernails + chalkboard)

Countdown 6 minutes.

tap,tap, tap


tap,tap, tap


tap, tap, tap


tap, tap, tap


tap, tap, tap


(traveling though head,centuring in left ear)



(switch to right ear vibrating + dying off in left ear)

Tap, Tap.


da bump, da bump, da BUMP, da BUMP, da BUMP, da BUMP, da BUMP, da BUMP,da BUMP
(repeat for 3 minutes)

"Ya ok in there??"


Chain saw starts up....

Zap, zap, zap, zap, zap.

ET phone home, are there any neurons left?

"Try NOT to squirm, or I'm gonna have to do this all over again."

I try. Cross fingers, toes,bite lip, try to think about something other then the time bomb that is my body.


Bo bomp, bo bomp, bo bomp, bo bomp, bo bomp, bo bomp BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP, BO BOMP.

Horridest music on the planet, I gotta say.

"We're done."

Really? Because I was just getting ready to spill my
guts about everything I ever did(wrong)..

"You ok?"

I feel for my head, I'm not convinced that numb thing on my shoulders is that, anymore.45 minutes of the unquiet-est(stay Stone Age, everyone)disturbing sounds on earth.(no music or even a call button for the freak-out crowd)
Ah, the marvels of modern medicine.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

October Showers-Part 1

I've duly arrived at the scene of the impending party, checked my blood sugar(96) and had lunch at a nearbye Taco Bell. And I've given myself a virtual pat-on-the-back for getting myself there, on time(actually 45 minutes to spare). Time to swap out my pump cartridge.

Reach over to back seat, move duffel. Gotta be here somewhere.


Ok, maybe its on the floor.


Under the pile of fastfood wrappers on the passenger's side floormat?


In the car truck???


I panic, I've just managed to leave my entire medical kit AT HOME(a good 4 hours drive away). This wouldn't be so bad but for the fact that only 4.4 units of insulin remain in my resevoir and I've no vials of insulin on me.(none of the other meds are a matter of life and death) A quick rummage of my pocketbook yields 2 syringes. And I'm about to go to a dessert shower-for heaven's sake. Fortuantly, my meter kit is in my pocketbook + I have plenty of strips.
I consider the options:

A. Find a pharmacy, make panicked call to endo's office.

B. Ignore the situation, enjoy the shower, and go into DKA 4 hours later.

C. Drive home- and don't come back!

Go with option #1. The first pharmacy I see is CVS- which, amazingly, HAS my RX on file.(it's a chain store) Disaster averted, but I'll still have to take a shot every 3 hours.
Back to dessert shower, fiance meets me, we go in and enjoy the party.(despite my shot nerves) I do not eat much, and what I do eat is sugar-free. I do not feel like being the diabetic CDE today. We get several nice gifts from Bed, Bath & Beyond which will come in handy. It was hosted by his coworkers.
Back to CVS, pick up insulin. Shoot 5 units.
Back to his house. Check blood sugar-134, quite reasonable to take a 5 minute walk with. (5 minute walk to grocery store) Walk to grocery store, wander around getting stuff and I realize, I'm low.10 freakin' minutes after testing 134. Eat 6 tabs. Walk back, drink lots of OJ. Drive to another party, check(284), take another shot, overeat, test 397.
Take another shot.
12 AM, take shot
3AM, take shot
6 AM, take shot
9 AM, take shot
It's impossible to get any sleep when you're taking shots every 3 hours, but eventually my bg came down to mid 100's. It was pretty easy keeping it in the 100's-up until 5 pm, when it went back up to mid 200's. We were walking around Baltimore's Inner Harbor having an awesome time, but my blood sugar just kept going up.(300, 384)
Massive shots, it went down to 245 by the time we returned. Took another shot, and woke up 467 at 5 AM.
My worst symptom (when I'm very high) is this peculiar, hurting, thumping heartbeat.
I absolutely hate it, and I absolutely hate waking up to it.(more then anything else)
It usually signifies ketones & impending DKA.
Take another hefty shot...
8:45 AM- 200. MUCH better.
It's good to be back home, my blood sugars were a disaster this weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Diagnosis: Cyberborg


This is me to a T, I hear beeps, alarms, etc. 24 hours a day. I have thought my pump was on when it wasn't.(and vice versa)My life is ruled by technology. (its not just my pump..but my pump IS part of me)

Apparently, I am not alone.(crazy techies of the world, unite!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Needle and the Damage Done

Today I got my flu shot. Needles do not scare me(except perhaps jugular ones!), be it a hulking 14 gauge large-bore IV or a butterfly. I've had too many, and the repeated exposure to the entire gamut makes one hard, calloused, like a soldier going into battle. You come to expect just how much it will hurt.

Later on, as I stood in line at the pharmacy, requesting my 100 ct. box of 3/10, 29 gauge syringes, I was struck at how easy it was for anyone to get ahold of them.

"And what will you be using these for?" the cashier inquired.

I'm tempted to say "Drugs", but I'm not that stupid.(Regardless of the fact that yes,
they'll be used for a legal drug) I can just envision her shocked look + hasty speed dial to the local drug-busting unit.

"Insulin," I say, like every other Joe Blow that walks in there. I will use them to shoot down highs, rather then spend hours in ketosis waiting on the infusion set.(which has likely gone to pot)

"Sign the book,please."

Name, age, address, medication. It will be tracked, monitered for signs of suspicious activity.(excessive buying) But if someone wanted to buy alot of syringes,all they'd have to do is drugstore hop. Making them all prescription, is that the answer? It just makes it harder for people who can't afford a doc/don't have insurance(syringes + some insulins are over the counter), which is a horrid situation but one that many people are in. It also makes it inconvenient for people like me, who buy syringes OTC because it is cheaper then the copay for the things. Drug abusers abound, alas, + I've heard heroin + insulin sometimes ends up in the same syringe(that's partially why you can't even give your own injections in jail).

Sometimes the needle does as much harm as good.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Endo Exchange

Endo #1:
So, I've got this patient...

Endo #2:
Yeah- and you can keep them.Good gosh, I've got enough of THOSE types in my own practice.

Endo #1:
Just listen to me for a minute. She's moving to your neighborhood-and might be investigating you(based on my recommendation). Back when you were my resident,you may have run into her.

Endo #2:
I doubt it, the name doesn't look familiar.

Endo #1
Just wanted to give you a heads up. And she isn't that bad, she's just somewhat of a trainwreck who will probably never have an a1c under 7 + die of every complication in the book- but those types need just as much support, maybe more. And I think you could handle her.

Endo #2
Thanks,I'm flattered by the moral support.

Endo #1
Anytime after Nov.10, be on the lookout.

Yesterday's appointment(unlike some previous) was actually productive, I felt like it was worth the $20 copay. My endo recommended someone she knows in that part of the world,(that I'm moving to) and even said she'd talk to her(put in a good word) if she could accept a new patient. As Endo #2 will be in town this weekend, the above verbal exchange is entirely possible. They took alot of blood(as I've been avoiding the place since May),
and I gave her more updated forms for the CGS/Insurance coverage battle. I could have just faxed them, but stuff gets misplaced very easily there + even when it goes to the right place, it takes a good 7+ days for the endo to even look at it. I felt like I needed to reinspire her(and myself) to the cause.

And my blood sugars have been uncharacteristically flat line-several days of 120-140 range, so my endo really didn't even have much to say in terms of insulin adjustments. I usually have a post breakfast spike(low 200's), followed by a severe drop(4 hours of no insulin and still having to eat) so she recommended square waving my meal to avoid that. But the past few days have been amazing, everything I do, works. I eat/bolus, and two hours later I've got a gorgeous blood sugar that stays gorgeous till the next meal.I hardly move 15 points in either direction. Overnight, I'm steady as a rock.(or drop slightly) It's kind of nice. I'm used to things always moving, requiring frequent input + this is pretty bizarre. Maybe my a1c will come back lower too.(helped by the research study's blood letting)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Winter Rush

These are just too cute- I wish they sold such items around here.(instead, they ship them to California, Maine,Florida) They're socks-in case you were wondering. When I go to our stores around here, I rarely find anything that I can't get at Walmart/Target for half the price. Even with my employee discount. But anyway, these made my day just a bit less monotonous!:) We're processing all the Christmas/winter merchandise now,and that sure beats pots,pans, and other cookware.(boring)

Monday, October 01, 2007


Life is good, life is GREAT. 2 months,8 days and too much money later, my computer runs again. Having it fixed, however,was cheaper then buying another computer. I've really missed Ebay sniping,
chats on TuDiabetes(and elsewhere), and knowing what's going on in general.(news,etc.) I've missed it all-it is so good to be connected again.(going to the library 2x a week just doesn't cut it). I don't know if I'll be posting more often, this month and next will the busyiest ever.(40 days till I tie the knot)

I'll take a virtual one of these:

and invite you to do the same!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Great Gym Motivator

Oh yeah, I'll be there. Probably doing little more then just sitting on the bicycle but that's at least better then sitting on the couch,scarfing potato chips + getting fatter by the minute,right? I do expect to burn a few calories..
(no cable here-so that's where I gotta go to watch the premiere!!!!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

#1 with a Bullet(A girl, a Guardian, and the GCRC)

"Sorry I'm late," I mumble, as the RC's face lights up and she exclaims,"There she is!"(telephone in hand) It's 6:15, and I'm pushing the limits of having to reschedule the entire thing.
"Well, you are coming from far away-it's ok."
"Traffic was bad..."
"Don't worry about it."
Uncerimoniously dump overnight bag on floor, go off with nurse to have vital signs checked. 10 minutes later, time for blood sugar test(and supper). Sign RC's second consent form and she takes off for 3 weeks of blissful undisturbed solitude somewhere in the country of Spain. Well deserved(I might add), if I had to work nights and weekends I'd be ready for such a vacation too. Nurse puts in IV access #1, draws blood, lets me know my bg(167) and supper arrives.
Lemon pudding
1/2 baked potato
steak strips
diet lemon lime soft drink
"I've got to see you bolus for it," the nurse announces, firmly.
"WhaaaTTTT? You mean, all at once? Can't I split it up?"
"No, Dr. A. said you've got to bolus for all of it at one time."
This isn't good, my body isn't going to take to well to 9 units hitting En Masse,Immeadiente. I would do it if the endo were here, but she's not. I don't know if this nurse can handle hypoglycemia-I envision getting low,overeating,and skyrocketing from all the supper carbs catching up. I don't really need that (on the eve of the research study).
But I can't very well refuse. I bolus, she nods her approval, and I proceed to inhale my supper at warp speed. Pudding, potato,broccoli, steak. And juice, because I still think I'm going to get low.
At 9 pm, the resident doc comes in, gives me my black Cozmo, inserts the Guardian sensor into my abdomen, enters the first bg.(124) At 11:15, she enters the 2nd bg(130) and the numbers start appearing on the screen. I watch them march steadily upward till 12(170), and fall asleep.
3 am- "Wake up, you're high. Dr. A. wants you to bolus 2 units."
4 am- Something is shrieking, and I know its not my pump.(or rather, their pump)It sounds very simular to a dead battery alarm(on the Cozmo), but it has to be the Guardian. Flip light switch. Yeah, my sensor is having connectivity problems.(I forget the exact term) Notify nurse, turn off the alarm somehow.Clip the Guardian directly over the abdominal sensor. Sleep well, little one.
6 AM-"Wake up, you're still high.Dr. A wants you take another unit."
I bolus, resume slumber.
6:30 AM- More blood, another IV access put in. Give up on getting any more sleep.
7 AM- BG check(160)
7:15 AM-150
7:30 AM-142
7:45 AM-136
8 AM- Everyone's there by now: the endo,2 vampire nurses, blood runner, person running bg machine, and the graduate student.
"Morning, Heidi.You were sort of high last night- what's your basal?"
"The nurse has got 0.5 on here." She glances down, puzzled. "Are you sure?"
"That's what its supposed to be since 6 AM- 0.6. I haven't checked it on this pump."
"Give me your pump." She reviews the basal profile. "Oh, this is programmed for PM, not AM."
"You mean I've been getting the wrong rates since 9 PM?? No wonder I'm high, 0.2 units/hr is NOT me at 1 AM. I have pretty strong dawn phenomenon."
"She must have got them mixed up."
Great. Thank you, Dr.K.
"You're fine now, 130. We're going to try to keep you at that till exercise. We'll turn off your basal rates, and give you frequent boluses based on the algorithms."
This incites a small pandimonium as everyone has to adjust their timing to the time of the caught mistake. Takes a good 30 minutes to get straight.
Bg stays a nice 120-130 till 9:30, when the breakfast(1/2 bagel,a few scrambled eggs) sends it up to 190(despite an adequate bolus)
The nurse slides the needle into the port, fills a tube, discards that, fills another one-squirts it into small vial,caps it off, and yells "Bullet!" to the runner. That's my blood, headed to the bg machine. A bullet of blood. (Weird what they call some things)Two more tubes, get stuck in a container of ice to test endogenous and exogenous insulin levels. Every five minutes, till 1 am.
Time to calibrate the Guardian.
One Touch Ultra-170
Hospital machine-130
Lovely, it's at least 50+ points off.I'm not sure what I am, now-I leave it to the endo to decide that. She feels that putting the One Touch bg in the Guardian, will at least get it closer to the actual bg.
The hours pass, and "Top Chef" marathon fills the time. Unfortuantly, my bg isn't going down(stays near 200) and I have the urge to shoot a good 3 units but I'm not allowed to do that. It is stress that keeps at that range, despite frequent small boluses of 0.2-0.4 units.I'm not sure that Dr.A realizes that IOB isn't accurate,I don't think there's any insulin left(based on my bg not going down). I sure won't go low doing this. El Guardian has me in the 110-130 range, I want to shoot the thing.(I know I'm near 200,heck,I'm thirsty) Dr.K.shows up. I try not to think about food, but the food on "Top Chef" looks SO good. When my 4-H group took a tour of the Washington DC Culinary Arts School(and were subsequently cooked an exquisite dinner, I couldn't tell that it was cooked by students(it was all awesome). I know I have an untrained palate, but I think the judges on those shows are pretty rough on the contestants(it doesn't taste like compost,I'm sure).
1 pm- blood draws decrease to every 10 minutes.
1:30 pm-Exercise prep time. Strap on STS polar moniter, chest leads. Go down the hall to exercise room.Exercise physiologists show up.Attach leads to machine.
2 pm-2:45 pm.Ride exercise bike. Somehow survive.(the seat is hard,the moniter tight, and the room is about a million degrees)Definatly the worst part.
3 pm- Just an hour remaining. Graduate student leaves. Bg checks every 10 minutes. We continue watching Hour #6 of "Top Chef", having run out of things to talk about.(Weather, Weddings, and Whatever Else having been discussed Ad Nauseum)
4 pm- Dinner arrives.(salad,fruit salad, rice/mixed veggies, chicken, diet Lemon Lime) Despite being starved, its still way too much food! Food person asks me if I'd like some dessert. I cast a wary glance in the direction of the medical professionals and reply that fruit is a perfectly fine dessert. No one believes me, so they ask again later on, but I don't particurally like pound cake so I decline. Finish dinner, review discharge sheets, remove hardware.(it wasn't so hard giving up a Guardian that wasn't very accurate).
I'm not an expert, but I think if it had be calibrated more often it would have been closer to the actual bg. I also expected to see more numbers, not just a line and one bg on the screen. I think I'd like to try a Dexcom(I have no idea how, though,my D clinic doesn't have any) The Guardian, didn't exactly live up to my expectations.
The amount of blood taken(overall) was as much as a standard blood donation, so I can't give for a couple of months.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Youtube(How to test your cat)

I found this to be quite informative-heck, I don't know much about diabetic animals.
The only time I ever anything to do with one was during a brief summer job
stint in a vet's office.(and that was just checking the urine for sugar) I think
that animals,like humans,deserve better then that!
(and what do you feed a hypoing cat,anyway?)

Friday, September 21, 2007

3,2,1- outta here

It is over.
(Thank God)

That's all I have to say about that for the present, I am exausted. CGMS certainly was nothing like I'd expected.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Freudian Self- Analysis

I had a dream last night

Dreaming about tomarrow.

And while the needle, jammed into my flesh

Demands that fantasy, mix with pain

I'll still believe in Tomarrow.

Bittersweet, this nightly transendence

Into the mind's eye

Leaving the cares, the sorrows, the tears behind

However briefly.

But dreams don't stop reality from rushing in

Like an icy wave, slapping against the naked chest

Taking your breath away.

Wide awake- the pain now has a name

An infusion set gone south.

Yank cannula from leg,

And as bright red blood spurts against the once-white sheets

(Old Faithful-look at that gusher!!!)

the stress of the dream melts away.

Well, since I'm already awake, might as well check the o'le blood sugar

After changing the bedclothes.

No high, no low, graces that early morning scene.

132 mg/dl- precisely where it should be.

And yet, I marvel at the abilitity of diabetes

To steal shut-eye in another unusual way.

Sometimes, I know I have diabetes (in my dreams)

it manifests itself by frantic eating (lows)

and drinking water (highs)

Some weird form of ESP, no doubt

but this dream was just a sense of un-nameable pain

that I couldn't fix, couldn't help, couldn't wake up from.

I think that dreams,(be they subconsious, or conscious) in general, must cope with

said "thorns in the flesh"

reality bites, but life's like that.

They must coexist- you may never be a millionaire, might not make it to 100.

(statistically speaking,just not likely to happen)

Yin and Yang- pleasure and pain.

Because you can't stop dreaming, even if you wanted to.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

CGMS & ME ( Part II)

The piece of black leather lies lifeless before me, waiting to be cut, shaped, and sewn into some useful accessory.

"Think of what features you'd like to have, and incorporate those impulses. Experiment, have fun!" the group leader's voice inflects wildly, attempting
to channel her excessive charisma into group spirit.

I sigh heavily- the materials I have aren't sparking any creative genius.(as of yet)
Perhaps I should check out what other people are doing, it may give me a few ideas.

To my left, a teenager has ditched Project #1 entirely and is now meticulously arranging minuscule red and white sequins in an American Flag pattern.(to be applied to Project #2) Cute, but I think I'm a little old for decorations of that nature. And across the table, an engineer dad is building his pre-teen son the best sample pump case I've ever seen-ever bit as good as the real thing.(side packs,able to stand up on the table by itself) None of us can match that, least of all me. This session(in Friends 4 Life,2007) is not exactly the most popular, only about 15 people in the room. We are the ones who chose this class by process of elimination(Carb Counting 101, "Strike the Spike", and Managing Diabetes During Sick Days were not really something we'd wanted to sleep through for the next 2 hours). Few of us have much of an idea of what we're actually supposed to be doing. In the absence of inspiration, I leave Project #1 and go to Project #2(decorating the provided nylon clip-on case) I boldly apply red and green fabric paint, and leave it to dry.5 minutes later, I knock the case on the floor and it smears together into a Impressionalistic, Picasso wanna-be creation. Rather then start over, I just back to Project #1- decorating obviously just isn't my thing.

The teenager, 3/4's done with applying the decorations on her own case, looks over at mine.
"Can I see yours?"
"I dropped it on the floor," I reply, showing it to her."Not going to do it over."
Predictably, she isn't impressed, and returns to her own work.

Now to think of what I want in a pump case...
Material: Leather. Gotta be durable.

Color: Black. I don't like wild stuff.

Style: Waist-pouch. I don't have any, and on certain occasions it would come in

Other features: Clear plastic over the case, so I can see through to bolus/change
basils.Zippered pull. Monogrammed.

I can't design, and I can't draw, but between the sheet of paper and crudely constructed prototype, I manage to convey my wishes. I include my phone # though(just in case they have questions).

Several months later..

Tues., Sep.4. I return from my holiday travels to find a large package from Pump Wear sitting on my front porch. Rip it open, and there it, the case I designed! Not exactly(no monogram) but I'm pleased that A. they sent it and B. it looks pretty good, for something I created. Just what I want. The case, slides around on the belt. And it will come in really handy for the below scenario.It's functional, and that's precisely what I want.


Friday, was the initial meeting at the RC(Research Center), about 3:30 pm. Stuff was winding down for the weekend, and I was the last scheduled patient. The nurse took all the standard vital signs and EKG and then, the research coordinator came in to go over the entire consent form. Since they changed the amount of blood drawn from 18, to 19 tablespoons they have to make up an ENTIRELY new consent form(also to be signed). Seems pretty stupid to me,but I don't make the rules. Well, I discovered that graduate students are going to be suggesting my insulin doses based on their algorithmic models-which will either be accepted/rejected by the study physician, I'm still not to enthralled by the whole idea. She'll probably be pressured to accept at least some of their calculations,(part of the point of the study) and I'll go low and have to chug juice. Whereas, last time I was in blissful ignorance of my blood sugars/insulin doses, this time I will not be.(CGMS will tell all) Still, I can't make my own adjustments, the study doc will be doing that(someone else fiddling with the pump, weird concept)based on the grad students calculations. My new case will make it easy for her to access the pump.
Also discovered I have to do another blood draw since I'm not on Humalog.(and have to be on it 24 hours prior. Which means, getting up at an insanely early hour(3:30-4 pm) to be able to get there and back before work begins.(Tues.morning) Ugh.(I'm not a morning person)
The study doc came in, rehashed a few things, checked feet, etc. I don't particularly enjoy peeling off my (usually cotton) socks-weird white fuzzies
always fall out and I'm embarrassed. I'm sure endos don't enjoy the process either.

Then we got down to the #1 concern on both of ours' minds.
"You know, you can't be in it if your magnesium or potassium is to low."

Yeah, I know.Ever since she walked through that door,I've been expecting this.

"How's that been?"

"Ok, I haven't had it checked recently. I do have to take the supplements periodically but I've not had a bad dip in the levels in a long time.You know I've
got that leak, like Bartter's Syndrome.I guess I never told you that officially, since the end of that study."

"Last time, the real problem with the sudden drop in your levels was from the IV insulin clamp-with the pump, that won't be so much of an issue. I want you to really load up on those supplements, to further minimalize those chances. Also, your iron levels were a bit low last month so we need to recheck that, you can't be in the study if those are too low either."

CGMS alarms will be off, so I guess I won't know if I'm low/high from any of the alarms..The bg goal is 130 all morning, and 100 all afternoon. She said their next study will be with the Navigator/Cozmo- a closed loop system.(no time frame on when that would be) I bet that will be interesting.

Levels came back acceptable, so I'm on for Thursday night at 6 pm!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Power of a Low

Last night, I had a low. And it wasn't so much the actual blood sugar number, it was the amount of carbs I had to eat/did eat to feel right again.

Like most lows, there wasn't much of a reason for it-I'd bolused .5 to correct an 188 an hour previously.(Those numbers can go either way) That was the only bolus I'd had since lunch(4 hours before).

Sweats, wake up from nap. Stumble out to kitchen, eat entire (72 carb) bag of cotton candy. I'm aware that I should stop now, I've just overtreated this low by 42 carbs. But my brain says to keep eating, and I figure I can just make this an early supper too.

BG: 70 mg/dl. Some people wouldn't even consider that low..

Get started on monster-sized bag of potato chips, polish off 1/2 of that. Ham sandwich- why not. A tomato-cottage cheese sandwich sounds great as well. And grapes, shoot, can't leave those out. Topped off by a Diet Coke. At some point, I cease to care what the resulting fallout bg will be, I just need to eat.
In the end, I've consumed over 300 carbs(about 1.5 days worth in a single meal) to treat this low. And the final bg...

350. It should have been worse, much worse. I've never in my life eaten that much.(I think the last time was 120 carbs for a 19 mg/dl, 5 years ago)
It was really freaky.(after eating the cotton candy, I didn't even feel low anymore-just hungry!)

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Diabetic Dummy

It is the night of the State Test, and already, the line stretches to the set of double doors.

No, not THAT line. That line has several hundred extremily nervous, nail-biting, coffee-chugging maniacs in it. This is the other one- the volunteer line. And only slightly less nervous then the test takers.

"Come with me, please," one of the instructors, his cold, beady eyes sweeping the assorted mob, snaps out. "Probably can't use you all, but we'll see what we can do."
Heels clatter, shoes stomp, following him down the narrow middle school corridor-and we enter a teacher's lounge,now converted to a makeshift strategy room.

Victim #1 is chosen, receives her instruction sheet and moves off to an adjoining room for makeup. The rest of us stare in nervous fascination at the "gunshot wound with bone protruding" job on her right leg. Bone and blood ooze together in a very realistic representation of the real thing. (We are students, and impress easily)

Victim #2 is in anyphlactic shock.Multiple brown dots adorn his cherry red face.

And I am Victim #3. As I receive my instruction sheet, my eyebrows shoot up(practically to the hairline) and I think it is something more then coincidence that I will be role-acting the hypoing diabetic. (not that I'm not VERY good at it, I've had so much practice) It must be true, I must really look like one..Either that, or its because I'm small(and more easily lifted).

My makeup job is a chalkwhite face, complete with beaded drops of glycerin rolling off the forehead(to simulate sweat). I look very much the part(and am just sorry that Halloween was over two weeks previously, I could have had some fun with this).

As I leave the room with the designated scenario instructor, my EMT teacher looks at me and laughs. "Did you tell him you really are D, Heidi?"

I hadn't quite gotten that far in the intros- I glance over at the instructor, who is standing stock still(a glazed expression spreading across his pained face).

"Yes. I promise I'll do this RIGHT."

"I bet you will, but please don't do it for real!!!!!"
(Cross my heart, hope to die. NOT likely.)

We get to the classroom, finalize certain instructions, and the fun begins.(After confirming that I'm nowhere near hypoglycemia, at 149 mg/dl)

The first two test takers enter the room. They are exceeding nervous, as am I. I'm doing this for the experience, but I don't know what their instructor has(or failed to) taught them.

"Hey, we're Jack and Jill*- what's your name?"

The instructions say I'm allowed to state my name, the last meal of the day, and that I take insulin. Other then that, I'm supposed to act confused/answer the questions wrong.
So I respond, and promptly shut my eyes. Fake reactions are so much easier then real ones. I can moan + thrash around to my heart's content, make these kids really nervous. I can't simulate the shaking though. Jill takes my blood pressure, which is off a good 30 points from what it is actually. Not good to guess on ANYTHING, instructors know all. You'll fail the scenario.(they did)

Every group is different with the questions asked, procedures performed. One group thought an adequate treatment for my shock was a pillow under the head. While being thoughtful, it wouldn't have done anything for the hypoglycemia. I had a hard time not waking up from my coma and telling them they'd just killed me. (that was just the one group, all the others made the correct diagnosis) Another group of firefighter guys asked me what kind of insulin I took.(that's not exactly a crucial piece of info-most emergency personal leave it at "Are you on insulin?" My diabetic autopilot spat out "Novolog" before I could consider if I was supposed to answer that for real. They didn't know, but it obviously marked me as a REAL D. It was a timed test, with alot of steps to cover.

At the end, my own blood glucose rang in at 329 and I was somewhat cranky at the blood pressure cuff torniquet attempts, shined lights in eyes, and the stress of lying on the hard floor for 2 hours. Yes,I'd learned enough to be more relaxed/expectant of what my own test would be like(the following month) but if you're going to be the dummy patient for a group of (any) students, don't be the diabetic dummy. Go for something more a broken leg.(as long as you don't have to backboarded)

And speaking of life on the other side of the gurney,I've got to complete all my continuing education(CE) hours(to be turned in by Dec.2008) so I don't lose my certification.(I do not want to go through another 3 month class/state test) If I can't get accepted to any of the spring nursing programs, I will definatly be completing the CE stuff.(at least)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dashboard Confessional

I'm really, really psyched- my years of being a guinea pig have climaxed up to fufillment of The Dream Come True.(Kinda)

The phone rang, the 4th call in 10 minutes. Sigh. Pick up.

"Hi, Heidi. This is "X"- would you be interested in doing another study?"

As she explains what all is involved, it occurs to me this will be the very last study I'll be able to do for them. Darn, I'm gonna miss that. Plus the pay, of course.Bethesda studies don't pay at all.(good research place, they just don't pay their participants!)

"You're one of the very few(12, to be exact) people to qualify for this study, based on the one you did in 2002 AND the Boost Test. If you had a cpeptide, you wouldn't qualify."

"That's good, I'm glad I don't have a c-peptide."(mild sarcasm)

Visit #1- paperwork, bloodwork. The usual.

Visit #2. Overnight(23 hour) admission to the Research Center. Gotta use their pump(Cozmo, with Humalog). I am a Novolog girl myself but it won't kill me to use Humalog. It'll just be, interesting. Haven't used it in like 4 years. IV, heart moniter attached.

But I get to wear a Medtronic REALTIME Guardian!(or a Dexcom-its a random decision) for 21 hours.(more or less) I don't think I'll sleep, I'll be too busy looking at my beautiful blood sugars.
And I can see what its like.

Next morning, its the typical overkill testing(ever had your blood sugar taken every bleepin' FIVE minutes? for 6 straight hours) that I went through in 2002 so I know what to expect. Then,from 2 pm-2:45 I ride an exercise bike and at 3:45 I get "lunch"(if you could call it that,more like an early supper) and that's the end.

I only wish I could keep the CGMS....

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Element of Glucose

Not to belabor the obvious, but the homeostatic range of human glucose is tight. Very tight. And I'm not just saying this as an individual with type 1 diabetes.

Normal people have highs(temporary) + lows too. Case in point: my fiance, who suddenly
needed to eat when were out shopping. I would have whipped out my meter to check his blood sugar, but he was already buying something and eating it. This is a guy who gets regular (yearly) physicals and is exceedingly healthy.(no D, or hypoglycemia problems) Probably nothing to worry about.(as a one time occurance)

You don't appreciate the fine tunings of the human body until something goes wrong.

When oxygen is like liquid gold, you just can't get enough.

When water is guzzled in gallons, to replete that 75% percentage body weight.

When various minerals need repleting, before body organs start malfunctioning.

And glucose, in its many forms, is no less essential. 20 mg/dl off, and the brain goes into fritz, the body starts shaking, and the urge to eat is stronger then beating of your heart. Conversely, 60 mg/dl in opposite direction and the kidneys start excreting the excess, dehydration creeps in and the excess sugar starts damaging organs,nerves,the whole enchilada.

If it were up to me, I'd make the "normal" range 60-250 mg/dl. That way, I'd be in range 99% of the time... It's such a fine balance, I wish it weren't. Attempting euroglycemia is like playing Russian Roulette between the brain(lows) and the kidneys(highs). Sometimes, you take a bolus + you know full well you'll be fighting hypoglycemia withing the hour but what else can you do, you just ate and gotta take SOMETHING. How much of that something depends on existing IOB, current exercise, bg, and sensitivity. Maybe I need overhaul my insulin carb ratio.

You just can't get away from it, just like breathing, if somethings not right the body lets you know it. It's great to be in range most- all of the time, mentally, it's so relaxing and a non-D just doesn't understand that but its just so wonderful. Having come down from Cloud Nine. Would be that this streak lasts awhile. When I get a CGMS, I will be a much more relaxed, energetic individual-normal bgs are so great.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone!
(goodbye, 25, it was nice knowing you!)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Top Twelve Indicators that Your Diabetes Control is Sub-optimal(aka, sucks)

Top 12 indicators that your diabetes control sucks
1. You know every member of the rescue squad by name.
2. Hospital food tastes good, you've gotten used to it.
3. Your blood sugar meter has gotten quite friendly of late as it greets you with frequent "HI's.”
4. Your blood sugar meter goes on strike and refuses to work anymore.
5. You never have any money- it all goes to co-payments to your health insurance company.
6. Your endocrinologist uses you as a "reverse" poster child an example of what every diabetic should NOT be.
7. You break down bawling when your endocrinologist asks how you've been.
8. You can't remember what it feels like to have a normal blood sugar and not crash low 15 min. later.
9. You are checking out medical center's pancreas transplant programs like normal people research for the car of their dreams.
10. You'd give your right arm to have a day that type 2's consider "bad". (6- 10 mmol/l, aka 108- 180 sounds just fine to ME)
11. You know your Medic Alert number like your social security number and can recite it frontwards, backwards, + while waking up from a massive hypoglycemic event.
12. The local convenience store apologizes for being out of chocolate bars. (you are their most loyal customer)

All of my bgs for the past 2 days have been over 350, and there have been 3 HI's(over 600) in the past week. Needless to say, I canceled my scheduled endocrine appointment + don't think I should reschedule till I have a month of solid good numbers under my belt to offset the impending disastrous a1c. I think, at some point,my pcp will communicate with the endo + there will be heck to pay but right now, I really don't even FEEL like being a good diabetic.(I'll settle for under 200)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ditzy with a "D"

One Word: Ace Inhibitors are NASTY. One other word, never start taking them when another medical issue is rearing up its head.

I am dizzy, and the AI hasn't really dropped my blood pressure but when you stuff 5 differant (potent) drugs into your patient, attempting to problemsolve its probably no wonder you're dizzy. Discharge,I made it to the door before the security guard drug me back to the lobby + told me to rest, got a blanket + no one bothered me for the rest of the night. Dizzyness is the pits.

Off to the restroom to puke, then call my gastro doctor.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Tax-Free Weekend

As you're probably aware, several states had their sales tax-free weekend last weekend.(and Texas, will be having theirs the weekend of the 17-19th)

Prime oppurtunity to go spend some cash-it was like Black Friday all over again. And, as an employee of Company X, I got a 20% discount that weekend(another excuse to go shopping).

First stop:

Kmart #1. The theme music from Mission Impossible dancing through my head, I grab a cart and zoom toward the pharmacy, where I deposit the RX to be filled. Next, I grab 2 Zest soaps+ an AA 8 pack and head toward electronics, where I'll shortly find out whether I'll be in this store for the next 2 hours.
"Here you go," the cashier hands me the soaps,batteries, AND the $10 gift card.

Darn. I'm going to be here awhile.

Head back to the pharmacy, where I pay for the transferred rx with the gift card and get another $30 gift card.(Kmart honors competetitors coupons)

Fill up with more soaps, batteries. Head for checkout. Cashier can't scan coupons,so I end up spending an extra 45 minutes at Customer Service, but when its all said and done I've got another $50 in gift cards.

Next stop: CVS.This goes considerably smoother, and I'm out of there in 15 minutes.It's a favorite, because they've always got coupons and Extra Bucks
to cut down on the cost. $2.36 gets me $26 worth of stuff.

Go to Kmart #2. Try out battery offer with electronics cashier, but it gets squashed when they call up front and find out the deal is dead.(at this Kmart)
Oh,well.Stock up on clearanced priced clothes, made sweeter by the $5 off coupon in the paper. Pay with gift cards.

Go to Target, Staples,TJMaxx,Walmart. Stop in at 5 Guys. Feel Re-Act-ion-Y, drink real coke while waiting for the burger. Eat peanuts.Shake.Wonder why, since the meter reads 100.Figure the hot weather has something to do with it. Eat burger, feel better.

Go to Barnes & Noble, spend the next 2 hours deeply engrossed in the latest book on the British royal family.At some point,every teenage girl develops a crush (on the king-to-be) That,of course,is now a pointless exercise(for anyone single) since he's (most probably) taken. It looks pretty solid for him and Kate.(since breaking up, and getting back together)

Got home around midnight. I hope to make enough gc's off the Kmart deal to get a new digital camera.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Weekday Bump

I need a bumper sticker that describes my frustrations with the lack of funding/D in general. Didn't find what I was looking for on, so I'll have to design it myself.

And, in other news, my doc's office has decided to stop being personally responsible for their patients when they're admitted to the hospital. I guess the workload was too great. Now, you're turned over to a "hospitalist"(the latest and greatest of 21st century medical care) who will provide whatever medical care you may need. You can read about my experience with THAT system here. It was a grand and glorious disaster,and if I'd have listened to that dude for my diabetes care I'd have spent much longer in the hospital.
I've made up my mind that, at any point,my doctor decides to admit me it won't be to that hospital. Said hospital has an even worse reputation then the one I live near.
Especially not since my doc wouldn't even be looking after me-I would never go there. If I needed hospitlization,I'd head over to the medical center where I know I wouldn't have to worry about anything diabetes related.(they're tops) They've got their disadvantages though(long drive,and its a teaching hospital)
Health care is more of a business these days, and hospitals are starting to wake up to that fact. The ones around here,just need to wake up faster.

The coffee vendor at work is running a promotion this week(unlimited free coffee,out of the machine)and its been extremely popular.(as you can imagine) I didn't take into account that the optional "sweetener" button meant sugar, so I've had quite a few really high blood sugars the past couple of days. Now, I know.(bolus ALOT beforehand)By the time I try all 30 flavors, I'll have my boluses down to a T.

Wedding plans are bumpin' right along- I've got tons to do, and its probably not going to end till its over! The date/time/rehearsal dinner/place/honeymoon plans/and cake have all been decided on. This week, I've gotta order the invitations + start checking out flower shops.
102 days,folks.