Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Chocolate, Vanilla, or Strawberry?

Three Choices.

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Lined up before me like a hepatatic glucose-producing smorgasboard, it was time to make a decision. And be quick about it- as my stomach demanded some sort of instant caloric appeasement. (fasting for 9 hours prior)

" Heidi?" Gabrielle, the research nurse, was waiting for my decision.

"Strawberry." The only one I've never tried(you know, this is a popular drink at ADA + other diabetes conventions) and thus, the only one I don't automatically hate.

"Strawberry it is. Want a cup- or will it be straight out of the bottle?"

"Bottle's fine." She comes back in, carrying 2 bottles of water. Unscrew. Hold nose. Take swig.
Emi, the other nurse, glances across the room. "Why are you holding your nose?"
"Tastes bad. I can't stand nutitional drinks."
"Really- most people say it tastes pretty good."
(I have my own theries about those types of people, but I keep those opinions to myself)
"Not me, I'm afraid." Down rest of bottle, take 3 swigs water.

"So, what's her glucose now?"
"Starting glucose was 174. We need to get this IV access (thingie) in."

Poke around on left arm. Poke around on right arm. Encase right arm in hot water balloon(gloves). Go back to right arm. Blow elbow vein. Go to left arm, blow hand vein. Call in reinforcements.
Senior nurse walks in.
"Ach, I remember you- you're the gel who ran over the poor cow." (driving simulator, several years ago)
"Yeah, that's right." Laugh. "I'm a much better driver, now,though."
Back to the right arm. Try for hand vein. Meanwhile, Gabrielle is poking my finger for a blood sugar and the onslaught of both arms seeing painful action is having me do cartwheels in the bed. "Just calm down, you're ok."
I am not ok. I am in pain...
Senior nurse gets it in. Do blood draw #1. "That should do it, dear, but don't you move a muscle. Hear?"

3o minutes later- time for the next blood draw. More trouble on the access site. Heparin flush- call other reinforcements back in. Poke needle back in left arm. Give up on left arm- go back to failed hand site and get that one to work.
2 more blood draws, both non eventful.

Research coordinator shows up and congradulates me on my starting blood sugar of the morning. (124) Apparently, some people are on their 4th time at coming in for this, because their morning blood glucoses refuse to cooperate(most too high). One guy, was 320 coming in,
they tried for an hour to get him down(via exercise) but he only dropped 10 points. The research doctor, apparently, was upset over that..

Final blood glucose- 390. Ah, the joy (apparently, I have no residual cpeptide production) Bolus well for that, eat provided lunch. Fill out pay forms. Turn in meter/pda to be downloaded. RC gives me some more strips/lancets to keep me going for a little while. D studies are sporadic things.

It is not such a horrible thing to be a guinea pig, if you can ignore the aftermath. You get to lie in bed, watch tv, and chug down Aqua while making bouques of moolah. Beats my job, any day.

Your research dollars at work. (Thank you, thank you very much!)

3 PM- I'm now 523 mg/dl, have the mother of all migraines, and after I take a shot, am going to bed. I can figure out what is going on later(I changed the set last night, and it worked like an utter charm all night, this is utterly ridiculous).

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Two Guys on a Roof

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It would have pretty funny, under any other circumstance.

They'd popped in the day before- knocked on the door, assured me that they were indeed hired by "that laidee down the streeiet"(aka landlady) to do work on my roof. Did some measurements and were shortly gone.

The vibrating/pounding started at 8 AM, sharp.(next morning)





Shaking the house. Shaking the remains of the bottle of juice, sitting on the nightstand. Shaking me awake. (I know, I should have been up by then anyway)

Over the course of the morning, you'd hear the
the earth-shattering
as one of them would hit some part of the anatomy with his hammer, while the other one would tell him to shut up. Then, the 2nd one would cut on the saw,(probably to drown out the first guy's reply). And it'd be back to work, as usual.

And then, there were times when they'd start up with a few choice 4 letter word exchange(s), when things weren't going as planned. The fact that someone(me) was obviously in the house, was of no consequence to either of them.
Drop something(on ground)
"Ah, **** **** Joe, you carnt do **** raught!"
Lights flicker, on and off. STOMP STOMP STOMP. I seriously wonder if something (or somebody) is going to come through the roof. Turn up the music and try not to worry.

A total shoe-in for an America's Funniest Video. I was tempted, to sneak out a 45 second blurb on my trusty Kodak, but too scared of getting caught doing it.

Over the course of the morning, they got politer to each other and after lunch, there were no more cuss-outs. Maybe they got too tired.
Those are the professionals working on my(well, my landlady's) house. More then likely, from West Virginia. But as I said, it's my landlady's house + not something I worried about. I would say that..the combo of accent + ineptness+ interesting dialogue is what makes it really funny, for customers it is not quite faith-inducing that these guys know what they're doing. You had to see it, to know how it was.
And I still had a roof at day's end- and that's what counts.
Random Thoughts to finish out the post:
#1 I've finally registered on YouTube- how do I post one(on the blog)?
#2 W2's- what every single, broke, PWD lives to see (come January's end). I don't know much about medical expense deductions, but I do know I definatly qualify, whatever it is. Spent entirely too much money on staying alive last year.
#3 What I plan to watch, tomarrow afternoon:
#4 Had to postpone the RS, on account of A. Not being able to keep up with the testing/trials and B. waking up too high, this morning. Oh well.
#5 How long are those individual packets of artificial sweetners good for? (aspertame,Splenda, whatever) I've got a large collection of the things(that my mom gave me, when I moved out) which makes them at least a year old + probably 1-2 years older then that, as my mom doesn't throw anything out. They look perfectly all right, but I don't want to be taking chances on stuff like that..

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Super Test: Sunday-Friday

Crunch time.

I have exactly 2 days and 12 hours(that's 60 hours) to squeeze in 26 blood sugar tests(and record them on the pda). Less- if you consider the fact that they probably don't want to see hourly checks the night before. The PDA also doesn't let you record more frequently then once an hour. Each PDA trial takes a good 15 minutes to complete.
I could...
Check 13x on Wednesday
Check 10x on Thursday
Check 3x before 9AM, Friday morning
Luckily, strips aren't the problem. The problem, is remembering to do them almost every freakin' hour. Waking up in the middle of the night(and going through all that). I am going to have to program test reminders in my pump-so I'll get them all done.

And, the diet.2x a day snacks(lots of fruit), 3x a day nutriotionally balanced meals.(I am not one for schedule-that's why I got a pump) How the heck can I go cold turkey from my Twinkies?
Super Bowl Sunday? Hey, it's got nothin' on these fingers, they could breeze right through the onslaught of deluctibles and test lest frequently then I've had to this week.
I won't have much(if any) time to blog for the rest of the week, diabetes is my 2nd job for a few days.
Oh, and I'm out of diet coke. I'll need a case of that, case of Diet. Mt.Dew, and 2 liter bottle of Diet Sunkist if I hope to survive the week.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Warning: Smoking may be Hazardous toward your Coworker's Health(and Sanity)

Put your sweet lips, a little closer, to the hose
Breathe monoxide in your lips, and out your nose
You might feel, a little tingling, in your toes
Cuz when Kevorkian make a house call- it's time to go.

(Glick and Phillips(Sorta!) Live, Volume #1 )

I'm a pretty tolerant person, I believe that an individual (as long as he's not doing harm to anyone else) should be able to drug ,snort, smoke, booze, and whatever else he wants to do to his/her body, legally. It's their life- whether or not it's the responsible thing to do isn't the issue, you can't legislate stuff like that. People will do it anyway. I do have a problem with it, if you get behind the wheel(under the influence) of said mind-altering substance and do harm to another, because of your own stupidity. Otherwise, go knock yourself out.

And diabetes wise- I have no problem watching other people eat whatever they want, though when most of it is simple carbohydrate items, its kind of mildly irratating but not overly so. Just find something you can eat w/out too much bg drama, and move on.

But when it comes to cigerrette smokers in the immeadiete vicinity, said tolerance ends. At work- the smoking lunch room is adjoining the non-smoking lunch room, on a sunny day one hardly notices the wafting stink.(alot of them will go outside-right off the side of the smoking lunch room) but on a wet/snowy day, all of them will congregate in the + the smell will seep into the nonsmoking room, by lunchtime its as bad in there as it is in the smoking room.

It's not just the smell-my lungs can't take it, I get wheezy and gotta go eat somewhere else.
I asked one of my (smoking) coworkers once if she even cared if someone ever fell over dead from her contributions, and she said I was just making a big drama out of it. Yep, thanks to these(and other such) responsible individuals- if I don't die immeadietly from an asthma attack, I can look forward to second-hand exposure lung cancer down the road. Many people in management also smoke, so it's not like they'd listen to a reasonable arguement.
I wish our facility had a no smoking on premises rule, but what really bugs me is alot of smokers don't care at all what happens to anyone else(in this regard, most of my coworkers are otherwise nice people).
Smoke at home, people. You're making my albuterol copay go through the roof.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

D's Just Wanna Have Fun

Unfortuantly, any plans I may have had towards this being the week of grand scale diabetes reformations fell dismally flat, based on the numbers I saw, if that average were corrolated to an a1c I would be well into the double digits. Really, seriously, awful. I will not be qualifying for the New Me first blood sugar goal(average under 170). Does anyone know how to erase your meter numbers? (Just kidding.) I overate, I bolused when I felt like it, I didn't count carbs,I fell asleep(overnight) without my pump on, I exercised only once... you get the picture.
Seems like when you do get back on track...there's this horrible average that takes forever to bring down. And that's not fair. Life should be a clean slate, after the crime.
Because its national news + the company is very, very large I feel like its ok to post
and to say that, if you've ever paid via cc/debit card at TJMaxx/Marshalls, now is the time to contact your card issuer and make sure someone isn't having fun at your expense. What I'm more worried about though is whether they hacked into other stuff(like the employee files) and got SS#'s, etc. Which of course, no one at Corporate would tell about(or put it in the newspaper).
Ahh, how I love my job.

The Latest Project:

Knitting: Learn to Knit Six Great Projects

Basically, I've always wanted to learn how to knit, just never have. Because I need things simplified to the nth degree- I got this book(Klutz guides are simular to Idiot guides) + it looks do-able. Something else I'll be able to add to my resume.
(knits a mean striped toboggan)

This weekend, for the first time in 6 years- I'll be back on a diet. Only this one is a no-holds-barred, eat as many carbohydrates as you possibly can diet. This 3 -day diet will replenish my liver glucagon reserves, and make the possibility of a reaction slightly higher then the possibility that a airplane will fly into the 8th floor of the research center. Anyway, I should have no problem complying with those dietary commands, I guess I can still exercise (and they won't get upset) or I'll definatly be more insulin resistant.(all the weight I'll gain!)
When I'm done with the diet- I'll have to fast(12-9AM) the morning before the grand finale, making sure my blood sugar does not deviate from the narrowly prescribed perimeters(70-200 mg/dl) or, they'll have to cancel everything and reschedule. And yes, they're going to check my meter + ketones(no help bluffing). Having a low would mess up the glucagon restocking thing, and being high
means I'd be very high by the end of the morning, as I'll have to consume some carbohydrate containing fluids without bolusing. (as part of the study) It'll be nerve wracking, I'm kind of anxious to get it over and done with + in control of the insulin-taking angle again.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Rewards of Exercise

Beneath the utterly unwilling body and the rapidly oscillating blood sugars, lies the underlying heart- throbbing forth a passion, a purpose, a drive to suceed at all costs.

(due to the password sensitive nature of this program, I can't give the exact link, but this is the general homepage)
And I've finally done it(well, in 3 days anyway.. total of 4 months and 21 days after starting), after hiking the Virtual Appalachian trail from Georgia to New York, I've acquired enough points to get my reward- a 4 person tent. I'm psyched. (at 10 points a day, with the occasional 50 pointer for crossing state lines, I thought I'd never get here). I think that any member of BC/BS can sign up for this, and they send you a free t-shirt as a starting motivation. The prizes aren't insanely valuable(clothing, camping, small value electronics) but still pretty good for being free. In three more days, I can redeem my points for a 1,850 point reward!
And I can tell you that I'm still not a big fan of exercise, though by now I guess I'm supposed to be. Kudos to my insurance company for getting me to actually do it, though. I think the main reason I dislike it, its impossible to predict what blood sugars are gonna do-you eat(to prevent a low), they either still go low or go high. Normal basal needs just don't apply anymore, and diabetes is even more of a guessing game. If I were one of those people that exercise didn't reek complete havoc on the numbers, I'd enjoy it more. (normal people at the gym don't know how lucky they are, not to have to consume twice as many calories as you exercise off..)
Now on....
To bigger, better things.
(Up Next- Operation A1c!)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Not on the Agenda

Accidents shake me up.


Something about that vehicle-to-vehicle contact, even if a "fender bender" can reduce some competant drivers to a total, complete, incompetent mess. All in the day of the life of a policeman, making peace between the two parties.

It's the Three-Way Battle of the Intersection at quitting time. I must be the only one concerned about (MY) right of way, but I'm not about to go head-to-head with the various(bigger) vehicles that are plowing their way through. Finally, I squeeze my way in, intent on making a quick right turn onto Main St.

BAM. I'm rear-ended. The jolt leaves me shaky, not sure of myself or what the heck the person behind me is doing. Turn off into a side parking lot, go to the police station, exchange info.
Just scratches on the car..
The last accident I was in, was very traumatic (totalled car, partially totalled me) and it all came back today. I am a freakin' accident magnet.
(please pass the Ativan)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Expert

Jaded. Cynical. When did I turn into that?
I tend to view doctors as diabetically ignorant, until proven otherwise. I am the expert on 95% of issues pertaining to my diabetes, after all, I've lived with it longer then some of them have been practicing medicine. I don't know it all- but like anything else, the same issue will pop up again + you just run through the trouble shooting list until one of the options works. Sometimes I wonder why I even go to the endo- it's not because I don't know everything she'll say. I think it's more for the support (that I'll feel like doing everything she says). She gets it, and I appreciate that.

So many people take a devil-may-care attitude when it comes to their diabetes - never check, attempt no self-management whatsoever. And doctors/healthcare professionals slap them with a "noncompliant" label + feel obligated to try and manage their disease for them.

I'd lived with diabetes for a month, when I had my first low blood sugar. It was a bad one, dropping 50 more points in the space of 10 minutes. And my parents, panicking, used the glucagon kit. Afterwords- they called the doctor.Asked how it could have dropped that fast. And there were no answers, its just the nature of the disease.

I guess then is when I discovered no one knows how to manage diabetes. Not doctors, not nurses, not CDE's. And if I did everything "by the textbook", I'd be seriously screwed up or dead by now.
Case in point- treatment of low blood sugar.
50-70 mg/dl- Responds within 20 minutes to 30 grams juice.
Anything lower then 50- Needs glucose gel, plus the juice.
Under 30- Passed out. Or about to.
If you're an adult and mentally competant- you can't depend on anyone to try and completely manage your disease for you. You've got to be ever vigilant. Support is a wonderful(and necessary) thing, but its still mainly the PWD's responsibility.

That's how I turned into that. (What you don't know- will kill you) So even if you don't have two initals behind your name- remember, you live with it- and that makes you more of an expert then they'll ever be)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Site Currently..

Under Construction.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Walk the Line(II)

I love Johnny Cash. For Christmas, I bought myself this and I've now got 104 songs running through my head, brightening up the day.

Walk the Line
Mmmmmmm.....I keep a close watch on this pump of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep my waist size below a thirty-nine
Because You’re mine
I walk the line.

Mmmmmmm... I find it very, very easy to be true
And always do, the things that I should do
Guess I’ll admit, that I’m a slave for You
Because You’re mine
I'll be just fine.

Mmmmmmm...As sure as light is day, and dark is night
You’re like a kid- can’t let you out of sight
These grayish hairs I’ve got, proves that I’m right
Because you’re mine
I’ll skip the wine.

Mmmmmmm...You’ve got a way to keep me on my toes
To slide into, another run of lows
For you I know I’d even eat those Sloppy Joes
Because You’re mine
I’ll finely dine.

Mmmmmmm....I keep a close watch on this D of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I just now checked, and I’m a ninety-nine
Because You’re mine
I walk the line!

Diabetes Prison Blues

I heard the doctor comin’, to get me back on track
I can’t rewind the clock, no, man I can’t go back
I’ve got to face the music, to hear this newest fact.
Now I’m stuck with diabetes,
And time keeps dragging on
And Life just keeps a-rolling,
Through the years, I’m told.

When I was just a young-un, my mother taught me right
I exercised like crazy, ate mostly only “lite”
But I still got diabetes
My islets up and died.
And when I saw that doctor comin’
I hung my head and cried.

I bet there’s lots of people, who smoke and drink and cuss
And live a ripe old age-their body doesn’t fuss
Well, I knew that it was coming- this virus of the first degree
But those people keep on gorging
And that’s what’s bugging me.

Well, if they cured me of the ‘beates, if I was once again
Pancreotically Perfect- like I once had been
Far from shots and doctors, that’s where I plan to stay
And I’d let a quart of OJ
Wash those cares away.
I want to majorly change this blog-the template, everything. It's boring + ugly (like anything, if you look at something too long you eventually feel the need for change)
+I've seen lots of people doing things to their blogs, which makes me want to do something to mine. It's gotta go.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Forecast- Cloudy, Chance of Lows

New Year's Eve-
Cloudy, rainy, cold. After a Yankee New Year Dinner (mashed potatos,Saurkraut, Pork Roast-for my dad,who hails from PA) and the watching of nephew's Christmas Movie(Alice in Wonderland) it was early-to-bed. No watching the ball drop on our town's Courthouse Clock- no watching it on the tv either. A cup o'tea, and a quick hitting of the sack. Am I getting old, or what?

My lows have been weird lately, my heart rate goes bazooka(not a typical low symptom), they feel more like heart attacks then low blood sugars. Heart rate has gone bazooka at several other odd times, which prompted a call to the doctor's office + a subsequent blood draw.(Friday)
And the good news is: It's not all your head, dearie. My primary care doc called me back today + after the quick pleasantries( How are your blood sugars doing?) he got right to the point.
That would explain it.. I am relieved by the news,it's the best it could be. Nothing wrong with the old ticker.
Course of action:
-daily multivitamin
-lots of dark,leafy,disgusting veggies + Bananas Bazooka
- daily iron pill
- daily(100 mg) potassium pill
-daily(350 mg) magnesium pill
If that doesn't work,will have to resort to the potassium-upping diuretic(Amiloride)
I've had to take in the past. Although, the last time I took that was in 2005- my magnesium/potassium levels have been great for a long time.(they were low in the hospital,but they got them back up) And my iron levels have got to be the result of giving blood.(two days before)
Then, my doctor drops the bomb- I'm concerned that your kidneys may be starting to malfunction + I just about drop the phone.
Although, your last microalbumin urine screen was negative he continued,you've been consistently having iron problems in the past two years. Do you have heavy (you know whats)?
Yes. Always have.
Well- just continue to take x,x,and x and we'll recheck in a couple of months. Keep up the good work on your blood sugars.(yes, apparently lots of hypos is doing a good job)
Oh, man. Thanks for punching my worry button. I need to call my endo about this one.