Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Signs of the New Semester

#1 My A&P prof(don't ask, the first go around was not a transfer worthy grade) is a Hungarian MD- PHD with a NIPRO insulin pump. Be still, my heart, life is so much weirder then fiction. I haven't told her yet of our unusual teacher-student bond, but she'll think its cool too,she's very much a people person.

#2 My psych class is ok, basically a repeat of everything I learned over the summer. It's going to be mind-numbingly boring(and easy). Thank goodness it's only going to be 2 hours,because if it went 3 I'd be psychotic. The instructor is not scintillating, or funny, or original. If it weren't for the required attendance policy(as in, you miss, your grade goes down) I would not be there.

#3 My Sociology prof, a venerable white haired gentleman, is anti-textbook + rages against them quite frequently(not endearing himself to the faculty, apparently). So he gives out 7+ handouts every class, to discuss next class. By semester's end, I will have a nice little book of handouts but at least I don't have to shell out $50+ for the book! This class will be interesting, but it goes to the very end(9:45 pm)and after almost 3 hours of sitting in class(no breaks) it would take an earthquake to keep me interested/alert at that hour.

Found out today that my SIL(the one who had pancreatitis) has acquired diabetes + is taking insulin. Why insulin(and not pills) I'm not sure. I also don't know whether her type is temporary(caused by the pancreatitis) or developing into type 1? guess I need to do some more reading about it. I'm going to try to help however I can(my vast store of knowledge, inflicted on her) someone else in the immediate family getting diabetes makes me feel a little weird, it's been a lonely (solo) disease for the past 10 years.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Move Over, Michael Phelps....

For this prestigious athlete, winner of a gold medal in US Men's Volleyball! A tremendous moral booster for all of us living with diabetes.(and we need it, since Gary Hall JR didn't make the cut this year)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One World,Minus One

The world feels emptier this morning, my FIL passed away last night. He was a great person and always made me feel welcome, part of the family. I am glad we got married when we did + for every single trip out there,it meant alot to them.(if we'd have waited they wouldn't have been able to come to the wedding) I only wish there'd been more, it takes time(and proximity) to really get to know someone. The funeral will be held in Kansas, because that's where he grew up.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Catchup: 8/05/08

CWD, Quilt for Life:

As usual, I was late to the party(Tues.afternoon-evening)but I got to help take down the quilts at 6 pm.(a 1.5 hour process, it was tougher then I'd thought it'd be because everything had to go in the correct box, in order, etc.) As I took down my quilt, it was the first time in 6 years that I've actually got to feel it(a very emotional moment, I got a little choked up). It was so long ago(6 + years?) that most of the information on it is obsolete but it is what it is. An antiquated piece of diabetes history that little children will ask their parents what in the world a MM508 was.

Someone else's, dx'd 3 days before me:

The FBI were on hand, at some other nearby festival:

I also browsed the American History Museum in the afternoon. That was pretty cool, definatly have to go back and see that.(more throughly)

After packing up the quilt, and being weighed down with as much glucose tabs/wristbands/water as I could carry(I was the only type 1 around, and the individual was trying to get rid of them)I walked backed to the Metro,went home(actually made pretty good time, the evening traffic jam was over). I learned something about CWD's Ask the Diabetes Team feature.. just WHO all gets to read that submitted question before it gets forwarded to the appropriate medical professional. I don't think I'll be asking any more questions,ever, of them.
(there are other places you can get your D questions answered) It made my hair straighten.(and that's saying something)

But the real reason I went to the CWD conference had to be this:

The absolute coolest thing I got in Orlando, a clip for my Deltec Cozmo. Gone are the days of Medtronic pump envy, how I stayed ignorant of the fact that Deltec had a clip too is beyond me. I thought I was pretty "in" when it came to earth-shattering events in the D-world. It's thick, it's sturdy, and it rotates 360. Four weeks later, I'm still marveling over it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Magnesium Wars

For the most part, the tall people get all the breaks, they are the Olympic champions.(except maybe gymnastics)
Beach Volleyball(Kerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor are KILLERS)
Basketball(double duh)
It's kind of sad, because even if you have the drive to excel you can't be a champion unless your body type matches up.

My electrolytes tanked again and had to have more IV magnesium.They didn't admit me because it wasn't "critical" (its hard to get in the hospital and even harder to get out + the definition of critical varies by the physician) but if the dierrea doesn't stop and I don't start absorbing the supplements I'll probably be back in there. The gastro dr sent off more bloodwork + cultures to make sure its not antibiotic associated. None of which I'll know the results of, since its a weekend.
Also my FIL has taken a turn for the worse, is in hospice,and my husband flew out there today because its not expected to be much longer. I'm not going, much as I feel guilty about not being there I've got problems of my own. A cross country flight would kill me. I'd originally wanted to go down and help my parents with their big fair exhibition, but its more likely they'll be coming up here and bailing me out. Life sure gets weird sometimes. My dad donated his Obama portrait to the Democrat booth and his McCain portrait to the Republican one and they both absolutely love him now. Both parties love's that for mind-blowingly amazing?! My mom says they are passing out balloons and when a Republican gets a hold of an Obama balloon or vice versa, they immeadiently pop it, it sounds like WW3 in there. (hilarious!) Ah, the sights and sounds of an election year.
I got an ipod touch..don't really need the iphone but I really like all the features.(such as internet) Plus, my contract isn't up, so I gotta hang onto the cellphone awhile longer. It's weird having a non 410 area code,I am definatly the weirdo.(the entire state is 410) I'll be selling my old ipod on Ebay.

New neighbors are moving in this weekend, and they are the closest neighbors we've got.(we live at an intersection) They apparently have two humongous dogs.. and we have two cats. Perfect neighbor combo.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Tale of a Morphine Shot

There are certain things in life that you can't see yourself ever experiencing, until you actually do it. Take, for example, not eating, not drinking, and not being hungry but not nauseous either. My SIL recently went through a month long process by which she did neither, post pancreatitis. I never thought that would be possible for a D.(I love my Diet Coke) The stomach needs its food.

Until last Thursday.

It started at 11 AM prompt,abdominal pains that came in waves + as expected, necessitating much time spent in a certain small room. But there was something weird about this was severely constipating and 2 hours later, when was over, there was still pain. No appetite. By 5:30, I thought it prudent to go to the ER, its not the dierrea that concerned me, it was the lack of dierrea. Nothing is budging. My gut, with the exception of the odd stomach bug, is a healthy surgeries, diseases, or other issues down there but this is weird + the pain is not getting any better. It's pretty busy that night and the PA on duty just thinks I've got the local bug(or whatever), it's rather difficult to make her understand its not the dierrea, its the now lack of it, that concerns me. Thankfully, there is an MD over her...who comes in, pokes around on my belly,and decides I need a CAT scan. Blood work comes back, white blood cells are high. Start antibiotics, move me to another part of the ER.
3 hours pass, get through the CAT scan, watch the final episode of "Hopkins" + hope I'm not going there. At 1 AM prompt, two doctors(never a good sign) march into my room with the results and inform me of a bowel intussusception, I need to be admitted and possibly have surgery. The nurse on duty that morning, seems a little different when it comes to D care-she's taking bgs every couple of hours(very overkill compared to everyone else in the hospital) she has a daughter on the pump. She "gets it" and informs the surgeon I can't go off my pump. She freakin' rocked.(would be that she could be cloned)
3:30 am, I'm admitted. I don't sleep and at 5:30 am the other side of the room starts to stir. Tries to get out of bed, pulls out catheter, etc. In general, is a busy girl for the nex two hours. Alarms keep going off, nurses keep coming in and at one point she engages me in conversation. I tell her she could ask the nurses(not that I could help her, I've got too much hardware on myself to be going anywhere) and she lets loose with a string of unflattering words regarding my character. Alzheimer's is bearable if you're the nurse(and getting payed) or if you're the family member and have memories of a time when that person was with it, but when you're the unrelated roommate it isn't. By 7:30 three nurses are in the room, trying to control her and I wish someone would give her a huge shot of Haldol, I'd do it myself in a heartbeat. Room-mate-icide is a perfectly acceptible option under those circumstances. Fortuantly, 10 minutes later they put me in another room where its much more peaceful. The surgeon comes by and says they need one more test to see if I need surgery. Go down to barium and xray. 3 pm the surgeon comes back and says I don't need surgery, my bowel has straightened out + it does that sometimes. Whether this means I can go home is debateable but I'm on my last(don't ask how old) infusion set and I need more. (it is looking very bad) I call up my endo's office, right across the street and my endo calls me back promptly. By 4, she delivers sets and resevoirs + some "pump hospital info" that I know Wendy in particular, would just love. Basically, I have to agree to be the perfect little diabetic for however long I'm in there or its back to injections for me. Performed a perfunctory exam, made sure I had an appt. with her relatively soon(Sep), and ordered a thyroid test.(what is it with endos and thyroids?) At 5, I get a pain shot while the hospitilist is talking to me and immediately become a blithering idiot. The hospitilist isn't releasing me yet, neither liquid or food is a possibility at this point and the barium has swept through my intestines like a bottle of Drano. Husband comes by to keep me company, but I'm in lala land for the next 12 hours. Bg stays steady at 185, 165.(it's easier when you can't eat) More antibiotics, more IV bags.

Sat. morning dawns and I feel much better. Breakfast is a clear liquid diet, but it stays down. 3 pm, the surgeon come by and again tells me I can go home. A new hospitalist comes by and tells me I can't, my potassium is in the tank + with the dierrea its not a good idea. GI doctor comes by, and says I may need that test where you swallow some camera if my dierrea doesn't resolve. Get moved to another room.

Sunday- They want to move me back to the room with the room mate from heck,I refuse.
I get a room mate. It's freakin' official, I'm getting bored to tears. I would do anything to leave. Morning blood draw, breakfast, internal medicine doctor comes by to inform me my potassium still sucks and do I have any ideas about why, since I've been pumped and pilled full of it for 2.5 straight days? That would be yes, you'd better check my magnesium, I have a kidney issue and leak it like a sieve. It gets pretty low sometimes. Gastro dr comes by and perclaims me good to go, dierrea has temporarily stopped. Run check on magnesium. Eat lunch. Watch Olympics. Do cross stitch. Meanwhile, all 10 relatives of room mate show up and party hardy from 10 am to 8 pm. I don't really mind, they are funny + very pleasant. Internal medicine doc shows up again and informs me that I was right, my magnesium level was 1.0(bordering on heart attack) and unless it got better with two bags of IV mag. I wouldn't be going anywhere. 5 hours later, it wasn't. Another night spent in paradise. Another bag of mag. Dierrea reappears.

Monday morning: Tank up on more mag,potassium, Immodium. Dierrea stops. Only three of room mate's relatives today.(better...)Internal medicine doctor comes by again, another gastro doctor. Another blood test. 5pm, internal medicine doctor comes by and says my mag. and potassium are now normal and I can go home.I could just kiss him, I'm more then ready to get out. The great thing about IV magnesium is it doesn't cause dierrea but you also can't get it without being in the hospital. Gotta schedule appts with my primary care doc to recheck levels + watch the gut if it reappears but it really feels great to be out. Missed my internet, my blogging,that was the worst part.I didn't have much severe pain, it was more an issue of the fallout of the event that kept me in the hospital. Narcotics also knock me out for a long time + I hate asking for them.(although, ibuprofen is freakin' harder to get then narcotics when you're in the hospital, it takes five hours to get the orders written, delivered, and dispensed. If you've got a headache, smuggle in your own) Oh, and yes, my room mate is a type 2 and has absolutely perfect blood sugars(110-130) despite being on Byetta, metformin, and 70/30.(weird combo) I, on the other hand, range from 170-400 and get chewed out by the nurses on a regular basis.

Ich Bin Ein Marylander

Olympic Champion..Baltimore resident, #1 Ravens Fan:

(apparently, he also attends Ravens games so I might just might see him, if I go to a game!!!)

Go Katie Hoff!!!!

(ok, I confess, I still don't like(hate) the Ravens but I think the place is growing on me. Just maybe, its possible to feel like a Virginian and a Marylander simultaneously.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

If PWD's ruled the World

...there would be a cure. Pure and simple. But in the absence of a cure:

1.Police would check for a medical alert first before throwing you in the car, destination night in the slammer.

2. Children with diabetes would be able to check blood, etc. in the classroom, in short, be able to manage their D without the teachers/lawyers/ whoever going beserk.

3. At convenience stores, there would be 101 types of diet sodas/flavored waters/teas/carb free drinks and one 2-3 "real" drinks, in case you needed them for a low.

4. Your car would have a built-in bg meter and you couldn't start it without testing(being at LEAST 80) initially and every 2-4 hours.

5. CGM's would have mandated, 100% coverage.

6. Bathroom stalls would each have a little ledge to balance meter, etc. Bathrooms are extremily unhygenic places to do the diabetes business but everyone ends up doing it there, sometimes.

7. Saying "Should you be eating that?" would be a criminal offense, punishable by 6 months of hardcore CDE brainwashing and the concurrent diet of black bread and water.

8.Test strips and insulin would not cost $1 each +$110/vial, respectfully. Supply would far outstrip demand.

9. Swimming pools would come equiped with an optional "Low Station" booth, which could be stocked with tabs, juice, glucagon, etc. And we'd not be banned from access to food or drinks.

10. Lifeguards would be trained in giving glucagon.

11. Endocrinologists would have to pass a "Trial by PWD's" ever five years, to make sure they were fit to be practicing medicine.

12. Fashion designers would incorporate more hidden pockets, etc, into pump friendly clothing.

13. Being "HIGH" would not cost you your job.

14. Toilets would automactically check for ketones, when you flushed.

15. Once a month, there would be a national "I Hate Diabetes" day + anything you wanted to destroy(of your own, that is) or eat, would be perfectly permissable.

16. Spas would give out "Pamper the Feet, Keep the Feet" massage vouchers to every PWD.

17. Caffeine would be measured and recorded in beverages. (I know I'm not the only one who spikes from it!)

18. Movie theaters would have built-in back lights on the back of the seats for testing blood sugar in the dark.

19. Hospitals would not discharge you with a blood sugar level of 390 mg/dl.

20. We would not callously ignore the unconscious individual laying on the subway platform..honestly, who does something like that?(read the news) We know what its like to be in need of assistance)

21. Every restaurant would have nutritional info for everything on their menus.

22. Meters would come in the full spectrum of colors..per gratis.(why pay $70 when you can get one free?)

23. Duct tape and pump tubing would fix anything.

24. We'd all have the same weird symptom at 70 mg/dl and we'd be able to recognize and treat before it progressed.

25. Test strips and empty vials would be biodegradable.

26. Meter's would be 100% accurate. None of that +/- 30% crap, what you see is what you are.

27. An a1v under 6 would put you in the Diabetes Hall of Fame...right up there with Gary Hall, JR.

28. Meters would spontaneously combust, if your average was too high.(I hate a high average, it's like screw this for the next 2 months!)

29. "The Dawn Phenomenon" would be the name of the next blockbuster summer horror movie flick.

30. People would not be judged, on how many accountermants they needed to live a healthy life..your not a weirdo for needing a pump, glasses, wheelchair,CGM, etc.The personality of the person,would speak for itself.(not the preconceived notion of what the individual could or could not do)

31. The "Quilt for Life" would be a permanent exhibit in one of the buildings in DC.

That's my list..what do you guys think it would be like, if PWD's ruled the world?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Numbers Game

This wasn't the session(It's Not Just a Number's Game) I'd envisioned myself ever attending, to be perfectly honest, I'd wandered up+ over to this section of the hotel intent on finding a computer and easing my internet-deprivation pangs ASAP. There was nothing on the time slot agenda to suit the tastes of this finicky type 1.

And then I saw it. Maybe it wouldn't be so boring, I'd met the guy several years ago at my first FFL and he is anything but boring. I wander in, and sit next to another renegade type 1. (you could tell, by the green wristbands...everyone who didn't have type 1 diabetes wore orange wristbands)

Take 1, roll tape recorder. Two minutes in, I know that it's worth my time to stay-this guy has hit the nail on the head. It's mentally refreshing to hear someone else(someone with 40+ years of diabetes under his belt) hate diabetes with such a fervor and his sense of dry humor is right up my ally. I'm not sure how many of the parents would have rushed out and backed their car over their kid's bg meter as a form of therapy but everyone is enjoying the mental image of doing that. As a family therapist specializing in D for over 30 years, he's been around the block, seen every trick a kid with D can pull and his ways of dealing with those situations are extremily unconventional- making both the kids AND the parent(s) hate his guts.(temporarily)

I think many of the great psychologists/therapists have a screwed up youth, and where diabetes is concerned, which fuels the desire to help people.Back in the 60's, they didn't really talk about it and blame was rampant so I'm sure his was pretty difficult as well. Heck, it's still hard 30 years later, my parents didn't deal so well with it either. Being involved in your kid's life,even if they are a teenager is a must. (you certainly don't want them to turn out like me!) Also, the most important factor in a kid's a1c 1 year+ later is the ability of the mom to "keep it all together"(Dstuff,life in general) I thought that was pretty interesting.(if I were to have a child with diabetes,their a1c would probably be horrendous)

"Is that you beeping?" the woman on my left asks.

Of course it is..I have 4 electronic devices on my person, and three of them are going off. Cozmo is reminding me it's 1.5 hours after the meal, the Dexcom is telling me I'm over 250, and a pump I'm trial-ing with saline is going off too.

Not just a number's game, but I do feel the urge to rip them off my body + forget that diabetes even exists. They didn't have to do this in 1925, worry constantly about postmeals and pre-meals and malfunctioning sensors. Numbers
can be the absolute worst part about diabetes, in the absense of complications.

(check out Yoda's little pump!I meant to include sound clips from the lecture, but they didn't record very well.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Total Copay: $0

This is pretty cool....heck, he's probably a better diagnostician then the local ER doc!