Monday, April 30, 2007


Seconds tick, and the latest REM cycle begins, peaks, and dies, in the blink of an eye.
It creeps into the dream subtly,stealthily, this overwhelming urge. Not the usual food gorging, because that would signify
an impending reaction and the body's subsequent automatic kick-in, pulling one quickly back into the familiar safety of the real world. The brain knows when it needs sugar.

No, this urge is too slight to be noticed at first, especially if you're engrossed in your one humdinger of a dream. But like a hangnail, it grows on you and soon the dream has been overrun by this one thing. And then it hits you-crap, it isn't normal to be drinking so much fluid! and I'm not even full. So thirsty. A familiar thirst, and yet you can't quite place it.
(the fact that you've got diabetes and might be insanely high never occurs to you)
Like most horrible dreams, it goes on and on and on and on until you finally wake up, still thirsty + knowing full well what that probably means.
536 mg/dl.
(don't worry,this DIDN'T happen last night. I'm over it.)

Its odd how this stuff can creep into our dreams, but I wonder why the body doesn't wake up so much for highs. It certainly needs to. And how high do you need to be before it affects the dream? I don't dream about highs, when I'm in the 200's. One of those times I wish I had a CGMS.

Highs...just encourage that urge to sleep.

I must be a dreamcatcher- I dream about everything.
(I've also had some real humdinger of diabetes dreams, everything from being hounded by Secret Service Endos to being diabetic in an 1942 German concentration camp but that's a subject for another day) I don't mind dreaming about diabetes, as long as I'm not high or low. It can be quite interesting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pumpversary '07

I have this hangup about about communicating any sort of diastrous news.Especially not to my landlady. Stuff happens, but I don't want to tempt the fates(the housing situation around here is very tight).

Sunday night, went to bed around 8:30 + woke up at 11:30 for the final half hour bid countdown on a hot item that I really, really wanted. The price was right-and I was drooling in anticipation of sniping several(it was muliple item) in the last frantic minute of bidding. Wouldn't you know, my connection dies at 11:52 PM-and it took 10 minutes to get back to the auction. The cookies(or whatever) on Allison's blog sent my glucose intolerant PC into a Hypersmolar Coma + it froze up right then and there.
By the time I got back, the auction was very much over. Dead. Went back to bed, there goes Monday.

5:30 AM- Wake up-56 mg/dl.

At 6:30 AM, my plumbing system backs up into the shower so I clean up that mess, notify the landlady, call in a personal day + check my blood sugar again(now
265 mg/dl.) Open all the windows, trying to air the place out.

8 AM- Landlady calls, plumbers might or might not get out today. Not the end of the world, there's alternate facility options in town.(restaurunts, showers@ gym)
8:30 AM- 263. Bolus.
9:30 AM- 267. Change set.
10:30 AM- Brush teeth.

3 PM- Dentist appointment.

I arrive early, am duly ushered in, and have plenty of time to chill out on Novocaine while my dentist works wonders on the girl in the other room. Who, from the sound of things, was having a rougher time then I was about to have, being the proud owner of five new cavities, an impending root canal, and the eventual need for caps on every single one of her teeth.
I need to start drinking more water- I have a terrible addiction to soft drinks. That is why I'm in this chair in the first place. Diet Soda isn't as bad as Real Soda-or I'd probably have 5x as many, but the acid isn't good for your teeth.
Check blood sugar, as I want to know precisely what 2 shots of the big N has done to it. And whether it did it immeadietly- or has a strungout effect.(something I've never really been too observent of, in the past, I've just checked post-appointment. And been high.)
265. Of course. Must be all of it at once...Bolus 4 units.

"Ok Heidi," my dentist greets me,"ready to rock?"

"Heck yeah, lets get 'er done."

I don't dread making small talk with the dentist anymore- ever since I discovered that she's human too.And has a mouth full of fillings, despite religiously flossing/brushing/doing everything right.
Some people are just genetically wired to get them, according to her + now I don't feel quite as guilty.
And now I know why people become dentists in the first place, so they'll be able to pay for all the dental work they have to have done on themselves. It makes them more compassionate, I think, to know what their patients are going through.

One filling clamped, wired, and filed down. One cavity drilled + filled.

Post appointment blood sugar- 85. Darn, now I gotta drink something. Last time I tried that, I dribbled (like a two year old) red juice all over my shirt + had to cut the basal down and just ride it out. Novocaine is so interesting. But its not so bad today, as only one side of my mouth is still numb. Drink water, to try and reduce the effect of new sugary microbes on a spanking brand new filling. I don't like diabetes, and neither do my teeth.

Get home, and the plumbing is fixed(Yay!) despite the dire warnings of my landlady about what they had to do the last time this happened. (total pipe replacements) It appears Charmin toilet paper is the plumber's worst enemy when it comes to evil blockages, and I shouldn't use Charmin any more. Man. I don't even pay attention to what brand I get, I get whatevers the cheapest. Ok-I promise not to use Charmin, ever. As long as stuff goes (and stays) down the right pipes.

Gym workout. Blessed with a gorgous run of 100-130 blood sugars for the rest of the evening. You mean, I can actually do things right on occasion?!? that's surprising. Kind of like that first night pumping..all those years ago. Still no upgrade pump in my possession, but it will be soon, soon as I watch all that training stuff. Just got the email from Deltec.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

New Toys

What happened last Monday devestated lives.
Individuals,families, institutions, a nation.
People came together, because in times like these,
you have to. You need support, and you need to carry
on.No one can deny that it happened, the evidence is
all too real.

What happened last Tuesday only impacted one life.
And I can't talk about it, not even on my blog because
the denial is all too strong. I'm stuck on stage #1.

I don't know about others, but being diagnosed with
diabetes wasn't like that at all. I knew I had
something, and was frankly relieved that it wasn't
cancer or anything worse.Acceptance of diabetes was easy. My d-life
struggles, revolve around stage #2 and #4. Although I
suppose denial, can refer to more then just a
diagnosis, it can refer to practically anything about
diabetes. (stuff to do, complications,etc.)
When I get over the denial, I'll talk about it. Probably
too much- especially in the anger phase. I know you guys
have probably gone through this(in some degree) so you know what its
like. It takes time.Right
now though, I'd rather talk about happier subjects, like the three newest toys in my life.
(grown-ups like toys too..)

This is toy #1
(tis the season...for a brand new mower!)

Toy #2
(having been ipod-less since early March, I hardly know how to act...I love Apple customer service!)

Toy #3
(my new automatic wrist blood pressure thingie. I hate to admit it,but its sort of cool)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Today, we're all Hokies

Not Cavaliers. Not Rams.Not The Tribe.


If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. Blacksburg, Virginia- the agricultural
Mecca of the Southeast, and not generally a violent town(compared to others in the region).
Please keep the friends/families in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dr. Jekyl and Miss Hyde

Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary-Emily Dickinson

I'm going to get a reputation as the blogger who will just not shut up about lows, that's for sure. But that's the current chapter in my life.

A D's Wish:

#1 When I shake, I need you to hold me.

#2 When I'm guzzling down fluids like I'm vacationing in Death Valley, I need you to pick up an extra 24 pack of Diet Coke at the grocery store.

#3 When I'm broke, I need a night in shining armour to chip in to cover medical supplies.

#4 When I sleep, I need to know that you'll make sure I wake up in the morning.

#5 When my a1c comes back smokin' awesome, I need someone to help me celebrate. (Someday,somehow..)

#6 When I cry, I need a shoulder to do it on.

#7 When I run, I need someone keeping pace beside me, all the way.

#8 When I eat, I need a non-judgemental human calculator, computing the carb-insulin-exercise-illness
ratio with the finesse of a nuclear physicist.

#9 When I test, and blood spurts sideways all over the computer keyboard, I need someone to see the humor in it all.

#10 And when I dream, I will dream of you..and know that a so/spouse would be one of the greatest gifts a PWD could ask for.

The Insulin Challenge
(or, how low can you go)

Earned a brief reprieve over the weekend, got a cold + didn't see a number under 200. Till yesterday. They'rrree back. I guess I am fortuante,if it weren't for the cold it would be worse.

Everyone has rough patches in their D-journey but at some point, you've got to pick up the phone + ask the powers that be for advice.

The response was fast.Surprisingly fast.(Chalk one up for my endo!) One hour later:

"Tell me what's going on."

"I've got lows,neverending lows, they just won't quit.This has gone on 1.5 weeks."

"When are most of them?"

"Morning-afternoon. Cut my basal down."

"What is it?"

"0.05 from 11-5 pm. Lunch bolus usually 3-5 units."

A deep pause on the other end of the line. "That's really low-practically nothing."

"Used to be 0.3, but I was having lows that wouldn't stop so I cut it to that."

We discuss it, and agree on a plan of action. Cut lunch bolus in half, cut overnight basals down. Blood thyroid,kidney tests. Going from there, another appointment to come in.

Meanwhile, I check, keep my hypo stash on hand, and try to keep above water. I wonder where it is going-what's happening-and whether this is going to get me some stupid new diagnosis that I do not want. I wonder what kind of shape you have to be in before the insurance company would spring for a CGMS. And I wonder if its time to give up a portion of my fierce independance(aka ask someone to check up on me)so I don't die in bed. This not the time for pride. There is no night in shining armour, and I must lessen those sources of stress in other practical ways.I'll make it through but I wish it weren't so scary.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The A&P of a Low

Ask the average pumper why they love their pump, and the answers come thick and fast.

1. The ability to look like a VIP, anytime, anywhere. "Sorry man, gotta go-my beep's going off."
2. The ability to STOP a low blood sugar in its tracks-simply program in a 0.0 basal, and insulin will no longer be coursing through your bloodstream, resisting the futile onslaught of a simple carbohydrate overload.
3. Membership in the "Club."
"You pump? Cool, how long?"
"Six years, dude. Back when I started,they freakin' admitted you to the hospital."
4. A greater acceptance of diabetes. You'll never be happy happy joy joy about it, but the pump is one of the better aspects of the disease.
5. One more electronic device to keep track of, along with cellphone/pump/meter/DS/pager/whatever else.
6. The ability to exactly pinpoint basal/bolus needs-completely impossible on shots.
7. Spontainiality- sleep late, run a marathon, eat like a pig!
8. Another excuse to throw thousands of $$'s at the disease-all those supplies add up.
9. A few less pricks..
10. Something to keep you company in the wee hours of the morning.

Ask me why I love my pump, and I'll tell you one thing:
Commitment. It & me- we're a team, out to manage diabetes
as best as possible.(for better and for worse, till death(or a cure)
do us part.

Sometimes, there is no "managing" diabetes. Take this week,when every night I have skyrocketed 100+ points and every afternoon, dropping like a rock. Current basal requirements look something like this:
12-7 AM 1.2 (usually 0.6)
7-12 PM 0.3 (regular)
12-5 pm 0.05 (0.3)
5-9 pm 0.4 (regular)
9-12 AM 0.6 (regular)
Afternoons are like being cured..and nights are like pumping cortisone. Weird.

A few weeks ago, my video ipod met an unfortuanate demise(Diet Coke vs Ipod) and shorted out.I'm not ready to commit it to the garbage bin quite yet, I want to make sure it can't be fixed.(those suckers aren't cheap) So it looks like I'll be taking a trip to an Apple store, and as there are a grand total of FOUR stores in the entire state(3 of them in the DC area) that trip will be to Northern VA. I wanted to coincide it w/an ADA Expo, but there won't be any this year.(which isn't fair- the ADA HQ are in Arlington, and they can't even do a DC Expo?) The cherry blossoms are also out, and I wanted to see all that too. I've got a 5 day(starting tomarrow) weekend- this is the perfect time to do it all.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Her Code Name Was: The Hypogal

Once upon a time, there lived a girl,a chronic disease, and an insulin pump.

This girl, who did not exemplify a model patient in any sense of the word(despite a recent 0.7 drop in the a1c, whoo hoo!) was especially hard-headed about wearing bodily identification proclaiming an association, however loosely, with that chronic disease. Most of the time, it didn't matter who did, and did not, know. The important people all knew.

One beautiful spring day, as the girl dashed about town doing errands, she pulled into the gas station to top up the o'le tank. After she had finished pumping, she felt the familiar exotic buzz of the legs turning to jelly, signifying an impending reaction. A quick quick of the blood glucose confirmed that to be the case. Predictably, no fast-acting carbohydrate was in the vehicle so she went inside the gas station to buy something. Deciding on a sugar-ish drink that didn't quite taste as disgusting as coke, she picked several bottles up and headed to the counter to pay for it.

"Something wrong?" asked the kid behind the counter.
The girl, confused, set the bottle back down. Did something look wrong?
"Something wrong with it? You're looking at it kind of funny."
"No, I'm just looking at the nutritional information."

The kid laughs. "Not much, I'm afraid."
(mental slap of forehead, great response there..)

The girl went back out to her vehicle, drank some of the Vault. Reaction got worse. Meanwhile, she was being closely watched by security's white Toyota Cruiser,
and after about 10-15 minutes they pulled up beside her + motioned for the window to be rolled down.

"Maam, is your vehicle broken down? would you like to call someone?"

"No, I'm having a diabetic moment."

Security looked askance, and quickly backed away. It must be something they do not do, get involved with diabetics having weird spells.The girl drank the rest of the Vault bottle.
This reaction wasn't going away anytime soon.

The shriek of sirens/flash of lights from across the street brought the girl to (what was left of)her senses- crap, did they call out the cop-paramedic brigade on her?
She panicked, started the car, and drove 10 feet to the curb.

10 minutes passed, then 20. Finished 2nd bottle of Vault, the adrenaline shot the blood sugar up (temporarily) to 200's. Ate a sandwich- bolused VERY lightly.(1 unit)

2 hours after treatment #1, the girl's blood sugar was back to normal + she had learned an important lesson.Some people just don't care one way or the other about your medical problems, what matters is if you're impending the revenue flow. Really restores one's faith in humanity. It's not that they should have called for help(obviously, I wasn't passed out yet) it's that they didn't even ask me if I'd be ok, or checked later on. (they didn't care) As I wasn't thinking all that clearly myself, to be able to express myself.One needs all the backup they can get.

She wears that ID now.

The End.