Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Regurgitated: A Year, Reviewed

January: 10 Reasons I just LOOVVEEE My Meter!

February: Green Glucose Tabs and Ham

March: Pumpers Anonymous (in which I get back ON the bandwagon and start going to pump meetings again)

April: Oysters on the Bay

May: The Last of a Trilogy: Hail to the Chief

June: The Case of the Serial Diet Coke Spiller

July: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

August: The Tale of a Morphine Shot on 08/08/08..epic for more then just the Olympics

September: A Divabetic in DC

October: The Sweetest, Coldest Place on Earth

November: YES, WE DID!!!!

December: Double Digit Diagnosis Day

Recap: my diabetes turns 10, we visit several historical places, first wedding anniversary, a bowel intesseseption/electrolyte problems, go to FFL conference and finally meet several very cool bloggers, pumpers anonymous, green glucose tabs + ham, visit Hershey Park, finish my cross stitch project and begin a new one, get a new Ping Pump, get a new Endo...(ad naueseum)

Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lockdown at L.A.X.

The security guard does not look happy.

"Why isn't your boarding pass stamped? Didn't they check your I.D., at the gate?"

"No. No one was there, not when we came through."

"No one was there AT ALL???"


He ushers me forward to a hold cell, compliments of my pump setting off the detectors + goes off to get my boarding pass stamped. Next door, my husband is also being detained for a non-stamped pass. Suddenly, "BRAVO, AIRPORT PERSONAL" crackles over the loud speakers and everyone freezes in place, like being suddenly dipped in liquid nitrogen. As I'm thinking the worst-a bomb has been found, it might go off and we'll all have to evacuate into the chilling Californian morning (with no coat and bare stocking feet) two minutes pass, and just as suddenly, the all clear is given. People unfreeze, and go about their business. It must have had something to do with the non-stamped passes.(which I don't think every airline does-this one is extra picky) I resume my stay in hold-cell jail but it's not my fault someone was off chatting instead of doing their jobs. A truly fine security system they've got there, protecting us all. You've got to wonder if the people who run the scanners ever "stop" doing that too and anyone could just sneak by. (and it just takes one, folks)

I'm wanded, patted, and everything else, and then released. Making it 2/2 times I've gone through security and set them off. (with the new pump) I'm thinking it'd be simpler to just stow it in the basket and let it go through. Doesn't damage the pump-right? Getting held up each and every time for a 5 minute patdown is not the highlight of my day. I think this pump has a particular sensitivity toward setting everything out there, off.

"That was embarrassing," my husband remarks. (he's not one to ever set off alarms.)

"Join the club," I say,"Various alarms going off IS my life." We both laugh.(perhaps inappropriate given the setting but it was a shared diabetes joke)

And the backup syringe, vials, and juice on my carryon goes completely un-noticed
and un-commented on. Ahhh, the ever-so-logical TSA.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Highest Low

This morning, as I awoke, sopped in sweat, heart racing and jittering to the tune of a Merry Christmas Eve hypo, I thought I'd better check first. (something I rarely do)

303 mg/dl

I treated anyway, said strips were obviously wrong. 2 hours later, I awoke again, and checked:

225 mg/dl

At that point, I thought I'd better check on another meter, with differant strips. As luck would have it-I DIDN'T pack another meter.(why am I so stupid as to think nothing will ever go wrong? whatever you don't pack, that you will need)

different strips...

215 mg/dl

So off we went to CVS, where I bought a One Touch Mini.(but what else are you going to do-the meter has issues) There is nothing more psyche damaging then buying a meter when you've got 20+ of them at home. At least this CVS had a coupon scanner + a couple of aisles of alcoholic beverages(something that is a rare/zero sight on the East Coast)


(and yes, I forgot my ping meter.Where is my brain these days??? I think I left it 4,000 miles away. Called Lifescan, and they're FedExing another Ultra/strips but I wouldn't be able to get through this vacation without a reliable meter)

Have a very merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

99 Things

99 Things
(stolen from MajorBedhead!)

Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars. (long, long ago)

3. Played in a band – the clarinetist! Elementary, middle, and high school
4. Visited Hawaii (honeymoon, last year)

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity (unfortunately, yes. I’m the one who could have benefited from charity)
7. Been to Disneyland/world – Disneyworld-twice! (CWD conventions)
8. Climbed a mountain - yes, many, but the hardest one ever was one pre-diagnosis when I drank everyone else’s water I was so thirsty.

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo (in the shower) (yeah, of course)
11. Bungee jumped – nope but I want to!

12. Visited Paris (but I want to!)

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. I incorporate my own ideas/with that of the experts to make my own unique oddities.

15. Adopted a child.(perhaps someday…)

16. Had food poisoning. (heck, yes, two years ago Red Lobster leftovers put me in the hospital for two days)

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (actually-I'd rather take the elevator!)

18. Grown your own vegetables. (I was a farm girl…we grew everything! And canned everything)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train. (no desire to do so, sounds uncomfortable)
21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. (how else do you get to an endo. appt?when technically, you’re not “ill”…)
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb.

26. Gone Skinny Dipping. (NOPE)

27. Run a Marathon- I’m doing good just to navigate three flights of stairs.

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise – right up my alley! But not yet

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors – no

35. Seen an Amish community –no, but plenty of Old Order buggy-driving Mennonites.

36. Taught yourself a new language. Spanish

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. (not sure that’s possible!Even billionaires aren't happy, money does not satisfy)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance – Multiple times. And I’ve done the transporting.

47. Had your portrait painted. (I could have my dad do it, but I don't think posterity needs to be reminded that I ever existed)

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud (doesn’t every kid?)

54. Gone to a drive-in theater. (they do still exist…must find one)

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood (42x, before my body started falling apart)

65. Gone skydiving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check(s,s,s,s)(I am not proud of this)

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar (Eww)

72. Pieced a quilt (my grandmother made one with me + I treasure it)

73. Stood in Times Square (want to, so bad!!! maybe one New Year's Eve)

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London

77. Broken a bone – kneecap, finger, toe

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car. (if we had tons of money and could afford it)

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House (no, but I’ve been on Air Force One!)

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish, turkey, chickens)

88. Had chickenpox. (and Shingles)

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous.

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (I hear its nasty)

97. Been involved in a law suit (with my recent luck on Ebay, its probably a'comin)

98. Owned a cell phone.

99. Been stung by a bee

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Last night, as I flipped the stations to ABC's "Private Practice",(read-extreme boredom, is a show with absolutely no plot and I never never watch it, all they do is sleep together + deliver babies vs Greys Anatomy which at least has interesting story lines and good actors interspersed with all the mushy stuff) as luck would have it, its a back episode. A kid-patient with an insulin pump and the doc calls the prescribing physician to run a "check" on the pump serial number(uh-shouldn't you be calling the pump company and would they even give you that info if you weren't the police?) and finds out the kid is reported missing, the father kidnapped him. So he and the kid go back to his office for a little heart-to-heart chat and the kid confesses they left because the mom's bf was abusing him. And then, the kid collapses on the office floor and has a seizure. The doc immeadiently jumps in to action, sticking a humongous needle into the kids KNECK(what an interesting place) and gives him something, presumably glucagon. Cut to gurney speeding towards the ER and the dad saying "But I checked his pump five hours ago!" (very, very, classic ABC) Later the doc tells the dad that his pump malfunctioned and over delivered insulin.(which no normal pump has done in like 15 years?) And it shows the kids infusion set, which looks like an Inset(pink, no less, not many boys would stand for that) and it actually does look like an infusion set-tubing and all. Someone tips off the cops about the dad, and the doc dumps a bag full of D supplies on the bed and tells them to get going and remember to take your insulin, check your bg, blahblahblah. They are out the door in like 9.99 seconds and the cops don't get them. No repercussions for the doc.
There were so many inconsistencies in that episode it was hard not to gag all the way through it. Dear ABC, do the world a favor and leave diabetics(especially pumpers!) out of your story lines.
And tomorrow, they are doing surgery for the veins are officially toast + they're doing it tomorrow,right before the holiday week. It is under local anesthesia but not exactly any less stressful. (still get duped out)Port=semi-permanent infusion set. Till one doesn't need it anymore and they take it out. It could have waited a couple of weeks but paying for the entire thing(fresh, new deductibles) circa New Year
is every bit as scary AS the actual surgery. No thanks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Of Cats, Trees, and Pancreases

I promise that the huge, ugly header will not be up there forever...just for the holiday season. Just wanted to show off the cats. (the humongous one is Jack, and his smaller (brother) is Cozmo. Not named for my pump, he was born in 2001.(before there was such a thing as Deltec Cozmo)

what were 1/2 people (known of) born with no pancreas? Like this little boy? I really don't have much to complain about, half a pancreas is better then none.(at least you don't have to take digestive enzymes). I feel bad for all the parents of diabetic kids but because this is so exceedingly rare he may not live to grow up. (its not just diabetes) It takes a tough person to be strong for your sick kid.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Grown-Up Christmas List

#1 family together....

#2 beautiful bgs...

#3 that our soldiers would get the best Christmas possible:

#4 that my Chia Tree would start to grow,pretty please...

#5 Snow, Snow, Snow!

(here, not the place we're going to-I want it to be 60-70's there!)

#6 and an end to these:

and lastly, because I am only human, one of these!!
# 7

what's on yours?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Morning at the Educator

Went to D-education today(due to needing some majoro help) and the educator wanted to play around with my Ping, because they rarely see those. So I handed it over and she zapped it up to her glucose meter-pump-educator system.
Reviewed my written records, and then called downstairs to my endo, who was in-between patients and who I haven't seen since an early September hospital admission and who I won't see till Feb. because she is so backed up. That's ok by me, as I know that they'll always get back to me if I've got a problem. I guess that D-educators here, even if they are RN's, cannot make basal or bolus changes without the endo's blessing. (whereas, at my former endo's, they could make small ones) The endo came upstairs and made some very radical changes to my basal rates and in retrospect, I'm glad she was the one to do it. I wouldn't have dared, nor would I have wanted the educator to do it.(they were that severe)
So its back to wait and see. I've officially decided to christen my ping pump "The Green Hornet" because insulin goes in so insanely fast that its like being stung.
Got the official training Sunday(yeah, I could do it myself but had no desire to spend hours leafing through the manuals), and so far, I really do like it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Double Digit Diagnosis Day

Five plus Five equals...

A) a cure for diabetes, times 2
B) the cost of 8 test strips
C) the number of people diagnosed every 80 seconds
D) how many units you have left in your reservoir at 2 am

On this date in history:

A) Bill Clinton was being impeached
B) Nicole Johnson was reigning Miss America
C) Gas was under $1.00 a gallon
D) Al Gore had not yet invented the Internet so we were forced to spend our time in much more productive ways

But it was more then that, it was the day that turned everything upside down.

4:01 pm, the world stopped with the words, "You probably have diabetes, your blood sugar was off our meters and you need to go to the ER right now-ambulance or car?"
The NP directs this question to me, not my mother. Slightly odd to deliver the bombshell and then ask the teenager want they want to do about it.

Numb brain. Number body. Long drive to University ER. On the way, I drink over 100 carbs of milk and go to the restroom four more times. The triage nurse awaits, and asks me my blood sugar. I repeat what the paperwork says(1100), she checks, and says "Oh-you were telling the truth!" which slightly offends me. Taken back immediately and the intern and resident show up, again, immediately.

Tonight's Project: Show, Tell, and Run a billion tests on the kid to make sure its just a nice, simple case of DKA.

Tonight's Project Manager: the intern. Otherwise known as Dr. Bill. I have the dubious distinction of being their highest bg, ever, and that is deserving of a constant stream of individuals entering, asking,(not)asking, poking, prodding, and otherwise making sure there will be no sleep that evening. Along the way, I'm told what lies in store(shots), and oddly, it doesn't disturb me at all, I feel too crummy. However, the chosen words of comfort from Dr. Bill do.("We're not going to let you die!") Not the best thing to say to a freaked out teenager who was unaware that they could die from this. To his credit, he didn't let me die(checking on me every 5-10 minutes to make sure I wasn't in a coma) Along with being asked to breathe ketonic yuck breath occasionally, a very odd experience.

So to you, Dr. Bill Hurtig, now probably out there in rich-powerful Attending Land(or private practice) I wish to say Thanks. You handle DKA with the best of 'em.

The rest of the experience is fairly straightforward, crash eduction/envying my room mate's unlimited food choices/giving the first shot + no one passing out. Stuff everyone does.

Five plus Five equals yeah, now I really feel like it was a long time ago. Wondering what the next 10 will bring. More intriguing, very cool individuals into the OC for sure.. but I'm rather hoping for a cure.

(yeah, this'll do-hope the luck continues...)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Penny Saved & A Dollar Earned

(Size 8 shoe for length comparison)
My receipt, post coupons and CVS extrabucks printed out.(I'm one of those crazy coupon people you would rather not get behind)
Initial cost: $188.50
Final Cost: $21.48
(received $21.49 back in more extrabucks so I saved a penny on what I spent)
The cashier then proceeded to pay me the highest form of flattery there is...

"I want to be just like you with the coupons and stuff when I grow up!"

Far from making me feel old, it made me feel on-top-of-the-world-awesome. I'll treasure that compliment for the rest of the month.


Or as much of one that will ever be seen in these parts.(sigh..)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Of Socio-Economic Matters

Sometimes I sit in sociology class and silently fume, wondering how the instructor and my classmates could ever arrive at the conclusions that they do.
Last week, we discussed lobbying. Lobbyists are firms hired by special interest groups to take their cases before the the legislators. Lobbyists shmooze and booze the legislators with gifts until the the legislators cave and push those bills through. Lobbyists are often former legislators and know Joe Senator(s) + play the insider card for all its worth.
Lobbyists aren't the scum of the earth, the legislators are. Taking gifts/bribes should be illegal and you should be kicked out of Congress for doing it. I realize that this would eliminate 99.9% of the Congress but if you don't make strict consequences for something it isn't going to stop. And then we got on the topic of drug reps doing the same thing and I think that's a little differant, the doc still has an obligation to his patient.If the doc wants to be bribed, I don't see a problem with it, as long as the patient is getting good care. Obviously, I don't know much about drug reps and someone else can educate me on why thats a horrible idea. We don't elect doctors- we do elect Congressmen and they need to be pandering to the overall good of the people, not to the will of Corporation X. Lobbying can be good(more research for diseases) but the system is all wrong. Legislators are only thinking about making the special interest groups happy. Everyone says they shouldn't be doing it, no one wants to suggest radical methods to STOP the corruption.
Then, we got to discussing the rich, evil CEOs and I'm thinking, get a life, people. Yes, by and large they are not the phelanthropic sort but we pay our sport gods millions a year without batting an eyelid and then complain bitterly about shelling out for a CEO(whose jobs encompass much more personal responsibility and extreme stress) I believe CEO's should be well paid, they have important decisions to make. I don't believe their severance packages should be so well padded, they should get the same as the next dude.(have some concern for the company going under) And as it relates to the automabile crises...I think that its partially due to the recession, partially the fact that everything made in this country is slapped with such high taxes its just cheaper to buy foreign. If Congress can't see the importance of getting a fairer tax system, they'll have to continue to bail out the big dudes on a regular basis.

(1 day of finals done...2 to go!)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Insulin Machine

About six years ago, I went through a patch of being resistant to all forms of injected, snorted(j/k), pumped, forms of insulin administration. Lived in the 300-500's, double-triple-quadruple-checked EVERYTHING, no even injected insulin could bring my blood sugars down. Average TDD during this time: in the 60's. Back then, that was about double of what I took.

Happy days are here again, I've changed my sets,cartridges, lines, insulin vials, taken injections, checked the pump, doubled basals...and yet my average blood sugar remains at a level that you'd probably rather not read about. Constant ketones in the urine. Getting up three times a night to take shots.(and do other things) At this point, when not even injections are working trusting one's pump is not an option.

And I'm not sick. Nor are hormones in the picture. Last time, my endo said that stress could absolutely do all that but this just started this week. Yes, I'm stressed(final exams are two days away) but I'd have thought that would have started several weeks ago..

For occasions such as this, I will be consulting my endo. Because it doesn't look like I'm any closer to solving this thing.

Friday, December 05, 2008

December 5, 2009

I've set a goal for myself to have my JDRF themed cross stitch:
(that's part of it)

done, by this time next year. And then, I hope that JDRF loves it so much that they'll auction it off at one of their big-wig-fancy-pants auctions. Its unique, its special, and it deserves a home in some mansion, somewhere. (not sure how much people would pay for it but its surely got to be more then I could get if I sold it on Ebay) I want to do my part to fund diabetes research.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


When I was a young 'un with diabetes, each and every blood sugar test was an occasion for a complete stress-a-thon. Usually a parent would be watching, and I'd pray that God(or the diabetes gods, whichever one you believe in)would send down a number that would not put my parents in complete freak-out mode. Every number was carved in black and white with death or white for bright and shiny. In the 45 seconds it took for the number to pop up on Monster Meter I got pretty nervous.

Now I'm older, and wiser- I realize that it's all relative. (unfortunately, I haven't yet convinced myself that this also applies to A1cs.) I've still seeking perfection. Every morning, I have a habit of picking out a different perfume scent for the day(because I am a Bath & Body Works addict and love 'em all)

and similar to that, you've got to pick out the right management for your D that day. Type A personality is not going to get you too far with this highly imperfect disease. You've got to learn to adjust, and adapt, and realize that the awesome control you get when healthy and running marathons is not going to be your lot when you're sick, in pain, and doing your best just to stay afloat. Every day you've got a different sort of D to deal with, and though you may prefer the sweet Rose like lull of a uneventful day, its likely going to be the rough and rocky Water Deep or Trouble. (from my retail days, I'd say that I've smelled most of the perfumes and colognes out there)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Back to the Future


I open my eyes and grope under my pillow, desperately searching for my Dexcom, so I can see if I'm in-range enough not to have to check, confirm, and correct, on my meter.

But it isn't there. Groaning, I head downstairs, hoping its on the counter top and not lost.

There's a strange teenage apparition (or rather, two of them): sitting at my table,laughing, and inhaling CocoPuffs at lightening-warp speed.

"Hey Mom," the older of the apparitions says cheerfully. "Breakfast?"

"Sure," I reply, dazed. "A diet Coke, 2 slices of toast,(w/jam) and some scrambled eggs."

She presses some buttons, and a machine whizzes to life(like the one in Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang) Presto, breakfast.

"Your meal has a total of 45.8 carbohydrates."

Immediately, my tube-less pump starts to vibrate, asking me to confirm the amount of insulin needed.
"You seem low, Mom. Did you scan this morning?"


"Yeah, like HELLOOOOOO- with the GlucoGadget? Like you do a zillion times a day?" She rolls her eyes, opens a kitchen drawer, and removes a small device which she then proceeds to use to "scan" my forehead, like I'm the upc symbol on a package of bacon at the local supermarket.

"You are 72 mg/dl."

"Drink this," she flips a box of OJ in my general direction. "I gotta run to my job..but no way I'm missing the party tonight. It's sooooo cool that there is finally a cure for diabetes. Ciao!"

A cure. I really must be dreaming.

Shaggy-haired boy looks up from his third bowl of CocoPuffs. "I need money."

"Son, that's enough sugar for the morning, go finish getting ready for school." I can totally do the parenting stuff, I know how teenagers think.

He grabs his baseball cap, slings it on backwards, and shuffles off.

So I'm 81 mg/dl. But what's this about a cure TODAY? I pick up my Iphone-like device(iphones by then will be obsolete) and dial my endo's office.
"Hi, it's X."
"Hey, don't forget about your 9 AM appointment this morning!"

"9 AM????"(it's now 8:22) Whatever this is all about, I'd better be hustling. My bag is already packed, by the door. Just gotta blitz through the shower.

8:59 AM. I arrive at my endo's office, where the staff greets me with humongous smiles and direct me to the operating suite where I am prepared for surgery.

My endo arrives. Wow, this is sure not 2008 any more...both of us sport more gray hairs then an elephant.

"Ready, Heidi?"

Of course I am.

The needle slides easily into my abdoman, she pushes the plunger and hundreds of encapsulated islets travel up my portal vein to free me from diabetes.

"All done."

I start to cry, the tears come faster and faster until through the blurry haze I can't see my endo anymore.

"I won't know what to do with myself after this."

She laughs. I continue to bawl.

"Thank you."

"My pleasure." She rests her hand on my shoulder. "You'll have to be monitored, of course, but this treatment has had a 95% success rate and the kinks have all been worked out..your body won't kill them and they're fixed not to overproduce or under produce insulin. You should be good to go, for the next 40 years."

I drift off on a cloud of morphine-induced euphoria, her words echoing in my ears.

And later that day, proceed to party hardy like there is no tomorrow. Because after that, there will be no more tomorrows with diabetes.

(the account is entirely fictional, except for the part where I bawl. Which I will, when there is a cure for diabetes)