Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009: Year of the (No) Cure

Taking a look back through the months...

January: Back to the Past

February: Of iphones and iApprovals

March: Change.

April: Goodbye, ER.

May: Gym Rat.

June: The Placebo Effect.

July: Marcus and the Post-Tonsillectomy Hamburger

August: Across the Atlantic Soup(part 1)

September: Crossing the Line

October: Between a Rash and a Hard Place

November: Notes from a Spinning Planet: Tweetup!

December: Gift

It's been quite a which definatly changed me.(I now have to un-addict myself from reading Twitter feeds 24/7, that's one of the bad habits I've picked up)
On the diabetes a1c has dropped 1.4 from last year at this time(thanks, Dexcom!), on the cultural front, I have been to another country for the first time ever & that was awesome. I think I am not so blase' with higher blood sugars..because I've learned that tight(er) control is important. I'm not there yet,
the seizure I had a couple weeks ago reminded me of that all too well. It seems I can't be one of those PWD to just wake up & treat the bg, that irritates me to no end. There is such a thing as Killer Control.(it'll kill you one way or the other)
I'm tonsil-less, and strep hasn't plagued me once.(since then) I participated in a rather novel research study,one that will hopefully help someone, somewhere. And I hope that 2010..will bring us closer to a cure. I'm not sure if they've made any real progress at all(on that front),it sure doesn't seem like it. Just better tools for diabetes management.(don't get me wrong, that's good,but I'd much rather have a cure)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Beginning to look alot like...Alaska

So much so,when you see a big ,tough,handle-it-all vehicle down FROM Alaska in the parking lot.I'm sure they're feeling right at home.(20 inches,ugh)It was a workout just shoveling out the

Line at the post office on Monday.Literally, the worst day of the year to be there,the line stretched to the doors & beyond.And the one guy who mailed 50+ packages didn't really improve the wait time.(it was a 45+minute wait.Maybe an hour)Merry Christmas!

(drift of snow as tall as me..I think I need snowshoes for Christmas!)

On Saturday,the mail truck got stuck in a ditch (near our house).Snow was coming down a mile a minute,& it was pretty nasty out.(the very fact that they were delivering at all was amazing) So some guy hitched a cable from his 4-wheel drive to the mail truck,& while he pulled,everyone else,pushed.(sans me,I confess I was more engrossed in capturing it on video) Truck got out of the ditch, fishtailed across the road,swerved back and forth and eventually got back on track.I guess by that point our mail lady had had more then enough and went home.(no mail for the next few days)It may look like Alaska here,but we sure don't deal with vast quantities of snow well.

Off to Virginia for a few days and then (hopefully)to NYC...very excited,because this Southern gal has never been to NYC.It'll be bitterly cold,I'm sure.(but cool beyond words)

Merry Christmas,everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Elfster Express

Allison, over at Lemonaide Life once again this year organized a Elfster exchange with the DOC/diabetes crowd. My Elfster, Shannon, sent me one of these...($25)

Which I promptly blew, on these..

(Gift #1, Diabetic Athlete's Handbook. Bought, in the ever-so-desperate of attempts to get myself to the gym more then once a week, this holiday season. And it's a wonderful just makes me wish that I were more disciplined!)

(gift #2, a chick-lit. book. I don't suppose I can stop that guilty's like diet coke, once you're hooked, you're hooked)

(gift #3. Star-Wars themed Nintendo DS styluses. Fun, yet actually NOT just a filler for the free Amazon shipping cut-off. I'm sure to be an instant hit with the niece/nephew crowd, this week.)

And that's what I spent my gift card on,sometimes(ok, more then sometimes) the best gift is one you choose yourself! I love the Elfster exchange..though I tried to get my draw what they actually wanted, I don't mind at all if someone gives me a gift card. Thanks, Allison-and thanks, Shannon!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I truly had no idea who was calling,as I uncerimoniously dumped my purchases on the floor of the store,and grabbed my iPhone,amid the hustle and bustle of the shoppers around me.

"Hello,Heidi.This is your instructor at XXXX."

Oh yeah,that course.The one I'd just finished,taking the final exam on the 9th. And the one that,oddly enough,I had absolutely no immeadiete desire to learn the outcome of.Because I know what my average was,going into the final.

"It turns out I made some mistakes calculating your final grade,you didn't get a C."

Long,long,long,lonnggg pause.

"Great," hoarse squeek from myself,envisioning D's and F's in it's place & how could this happen?I poured my guts into that final.

"So I'm changing it from a C to a B."

"WOW!" Stunned silence on my part.

"Like I said,I miscalculated.So I thought I'd call and let you know,the changes aren't up on the website.But they should be,by Monday."

"Thank you sooooo much!This is such awesome news,I really can't believe it."

"You're welcome.Have a nice weekend."


And that's one of the best gifts anyone can possibly give..the rebirth of a dream.B means I do not have to retake the course.B means I have 1 more course to finish,before I could get into nursing school.B means I am not a blathering idiot.

B means,see you next semester!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Dear Diabetes,

I guess it's official, there's no use denying the obvious. Today, you turn 11. These days, that's pretty much solidly entrenched in the entire teenage mindset. You're a Tweenager!(oh joy)

I remember back to that day(another Thursday), in that hospital room, when the intern told me that you would be sticking around forever. I didn't cry, not just then. Nor did I cry when the CDE handed me a syringe(sans practice orange) and told me to have a go at it. The tears came two days in,when the social worker tapped feelings I never knew I had.(I didn't know how the heck I felt about it all,but somehow that was the trigger point to the tear spigot) I was so scared of you, of the unknown. It was a whole New World...and not a brave one.

I'm still scared, but I know that I can peacefully co-exist with you 80% of the time.(It'll never be 100%, don't push your luck) If it weren't for lows, and highs,and complications (in other words, everything) it wouldn't be a bad deal. If I could just take insulin,and check my blood sugar,and that was all there was to it it wouldn't be the proverbial Sword of Damocles hanging by a single thread, waiting to devour me with a single mistake. I can never forget the tremendous danger that can strike at any moment.

The Toddler years were not so great..being 18, my primary objective was to deny that you ever existed & tantrums were fast and furious.(a diabetes tantrum is a seizure) Which annoyed me even more. Going on the pump was a great thing, but it didn't stop them...only time would get me out of that teenage quagmire and lend some maturity to the situation.

I have made peace with you being forever, diabetes. I think of people (some in the DOC) who have had diabetes 25,40,50 years and are living their lives with courage and purpose. I look at their medals/certificates and I am awed. I don't want to have diabetes another 14 years just to get a medal, but if I do, I am ok with that.On the other hand,"forever" is a concept that applies to other diseases besides diabetes,and there will never be a cure.Diabetes is still the more serious of the diseases,but it takes the unfairness out of "forever." I don't think it will be forever,but you can't live your life waiting for something that may or may not happen. One day, cure or not, I believe I'll be diabetes free.(if not in this life)

I have a good life, diabetes. Despite the ups and downs,and the fact that there is no "figuring" you out(much like a marriage,every day is a new adven..disaster). There is no fixing you,or making you do what I want you to do. I do, however, have to do what you want me to do or you get nasty and start making me sick. I'm in *two* marriages, and you're most definatly the more demanding of the two. I have to obey you. So here's to many more years of (relatively) peaceful coexistence.

Happy D-Day to us.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Last of the Year

I'm not sure why I feel a compulsory need to blog right after every single endo appointment.(there's only so many times I can do this without boring everyone off) But I do,so here it is.

I wasn't expecting miracles out of my a1c. (my sole requirement was that it not be worse.Thanksgiving week was a doozy.)

And then, in walks my endo....pregnant!(6 months, to be exact.Maybe she'll have a Valentine's Day baby. Which means she'll be going off on maternity leave & I'll be seeing someone else, the next time. It's her first kid, so it was somewhat of a shocker seeing her pregnant.(it wasn't obvious in Sept)

Then I got bombshell #2-my a1c was .3 better then last time. Woohooo! At least it's moving in the right direction. It's been improving by increments for the last 3 appointments, I'm not one to drop 2.0 improvements from appointment to appointment. So, yeah, another 1.0 reduction & I will be a happy camper.(I just pray that it doesn't take another 9 months)

Everything's status quo..all my yearly checkup thingies have been taken care of & I only needed one rx. She's pleased that I'm going down, & I'm pleased that I haven't gone up(more like, in shock). I have Hashimoto's antibodies,(at diabetes diagnosis, I took Synthroid for a year till it just sorted itself out)that's something that bears watching, yearly.(levels since then have been normal) It was something that went out of whack pre-diagnosis,and since 1 year post, has been fine.
(don't ask me why, not even the doc knows why)I guess it wouldn't affect my ability to get pregnant,though I'm starting to suspect it(higher antibody levels) could be a reason for a miscarriage.

(and six days left in the semester,I'm really looking forward to dropping that stress for the holidays...I much prefer holiday stress to school stress)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Overheard: Midflight

Overheard: (on the airplane,mid-flight from LAX to Raleigh)

Call light going off...

Passenger:"Could I have a blanket, please?"

Flight Attendant: "What's the Emergency, sir?"

Passenger: "Would you happen to have a spare blanket available?"

Flight Attendant: "I asked you what the EMERGENCY was, sir. What's the Emergency?"

Passenger: "Do you provide blankets, or not?I'm just wondering."

Flight Attendant: "If you wanted that, you'd have to purchase our ($7)set."

Walks off.

Apparently if something isn't broken, bleeding,or bending at 110 degree angles it's not worth said flight attendant's time. I miss the old days,when they took customer
service seriously.Now they don't even feed you pretzels/peanuts on some flights.(including ours,5+ hr flight)

Monday, November 30, 2009


I love deals like this.


Item 616854
Sharpie® Accent® Grip Highlighters, Assorted, 8/Pack
business-day delivery: Tue 12/01 Qty: 1
at $9.29 8/Pack


Item 37585
Sharpie® Calligraphic Metallic Marker, Gold, Each Expected business-day delivery: Tue 12/01 Qty: 1
at $3.99 Each


Item 37586
Sharpie® Calligraphic Metallic Marker, Silver, Each Expected business-day delivery: Tue 12/01 Qty: 2
at $3.99 Each


Item 592682
Sharpie® Mini Fine Point Permanent Markers, Assorted, 4/Pack Expected business-day delivery: Tue 12/01 Qty: 1
at $4.99 4/Pack


Subtotal: $25.38
Coupons: $0.00
Tax: $1.52
Delivery: $9.95
Total: $34.72
(less 9.95 as I'm a first time Staples online purchaser,shipping is free)
(less $25.00 for the buy $25+ of any Sharpies product(through today only),get
$25 off-you have to place the order then call customer service for the refund)

Total cost: $0.38 for a bunch of Sharpies! (which I really don't need, but hey, I'm sure someone will be thrilled to get them in their Christmas stocking)The Gold & Silver Metallic ones sound pretty cool.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cops:Edition 301

Despite there being no spot on the front of my car for a 2nd lisence plate,I have been ticketed for not having one.(and no screw holes either) 2 years I've lived in Maryland, they
don't have (as) stupid vehicle laws in Virginia.Ignorance of the law is no excuse though...I've got to get a welder to PUT something on.Ugh.I dislike cops who follow you for 1/2 mile just fishing for reasons to throw the book at you.I don't even think I have the second plate anymore.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Notes From a Spinning Planet:Tweetup

Yesterday was pretty neat,in the evening I got to meet fellow OC'r Cherise & her daughter N.(dinner at a Mexican Restaurunt) My mother-in-law was a bit paranoid,about meeting people on the Internet & told me I was making a big mistake.Normally,I'd say such fears are justifiable but with all of the D-Peeps I've met it just isn't like that.They are who they say they are.I had a good time,talking D & iPhones and everything else.In retrospect,I just should have NOT told her where I was going,I am not some 15 yo kid.My husband is fine with whatever D events I want to go to.I had a salad,bolused for that salad,yet still crescendoed to 217.I think avacados must have more carbs then I thought..and I'm glad Cherise wanted to meet me too,it was great.

Anyway,had a good time in Cali,celebrated my husbands birthday yesterday & got to meet another PWD as well.I hope I can meet the rest of those cool Cali PWD,one of these days.(as well as alot of other D-bloggers all over the country)

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Tweet TurkeyDay

Thanksgiving, blood sugar wise, was not too bad. There was the rapid spike,followed by the drop.(all to be expected)

And then we went and watched "New Moon". Adrenaline kind of delayed the drop(yes, I had to bolus for the movie,and then I had to cut back on my basals most of the night to keep from tanking). If you've ever read the book Sweet Blood,(written by a type 1) it's pretty hard not to think of diabetic vampires while watching such a movie. (yes, I lick the blood off my finger after testing..though NOT in public,and my fingers are always clean first) But it was good to spend time with my Marine brother, who lives on the opposite side of the country.(while not the movie I would have chosen,sometimes you just gotta go with the flow)

Back on the wagon again today.(but will post about today, tomorrow...)

Recap: Virtual Endo Consult

Originally posted December it is again, for your viewing pleasure. Especially relevant after a humongous T-Day meal.

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.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..

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wipe(d) Out

Have a wonderful & safe Thanksgiving,everyone! Travel day today,which is why I'm utterly & completely too exausted to say anything else..witness the lamest post ever.I will do better the rest of the month, I promese. I just can barely remember my name at the moment,after a 3am wakeup,a cross country fligt(involving many delays)a carb overload(hello,300 mg/dl) & the traffic jam from heck at the final destination.(however,I love the 70 temps & totally would just like to stay here for the winter.It is bliss.) But I'm committed to NaPoBloMo,so here it is.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Of TimTams and Pink Gloves

Australia's favorite cookie has now hit the States, en masse:(thank you,Pepperidge Farm)

Having never been to Australia, I've never tried them before but now I get to.( have known about them for years..via an Aussie Diabetes website. They look pretty good.(and if they aren't...I hope my husband will like them. It helps, being married to a non-D, he can eat the rest of the culinary temptations that really wreck havoc on my blood glucose and I need to exercise restraint with)

And if you haven't yet seen this video, you need to-it's awesome.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rethinking the System

Last night I was getting caught up on my blog-reading, and came across this article. Read it, it will make you mad.(or it should)

Screaming Headline: Is Uncontrolled Diabetes a Reason for Divorce?

There are many,many blogs(some even in the OC, you know what I'm talking about) out there complaining about their spouses, significant others not taking care of their diabetes. About how they can't take it anymore,and are just so fed up they could leave tomorrow, etc. I'm not here to minimalize the fact that their spouses(as well as the blog writers) are acting like irresponsible jerks. That they should be more considerate.(we all can)

But it is not a diabetes issue. And pinning all this on the diabetes, because you can't believe that the person you married would EVER act like that,if they didn't have diabetes,is just plain stupid. People are complex creatures, & what governs their actions is not just one's many. If you're yelling at your spouse/mistreating the kids/etc. you have issues that go way,way,way beyond your chronic disease. And if you're not "taking care of it", the following speech will not improve your compliance. (quote)
"Diabetes is not a disease or blood sugar. It is a disease of blood vessels. If you can imagine everywhere blood vessels go (which is everywhere), diabetes will destroy that part of your body. It will lead to a horribly disabled and miserable existence. I described all aspects that she had to look forward to from uncontrolled diabetes

* Memory loss
* Stroke
* Blindness
* Heart attacks
* Arrhythmias
* Heart failure
* Gastroparesis
* Ischemic bowl
* Painful neuropathy
* Diabetic myopathy
* Claudication
* Amputations
* Frequent infections
* Life threatening illness with septic shock

The list can go on and on and on. I told her that 1halfof my hospitalized patients are likely there as a direct result of uncontrolled diabetes in one way or another. I told her about the life changing disability she was in for. I told her she presented with a high risk of death due to an acute illness within the next two years. Her admission now should be a wake up call for change." (unquote)

Telling people horror stories makes the exact opposite closes off their willingness to listen. I have been told horror stories,and I'm one of the ones who actually attempts management of this disease. I just wonder why, after 80+ years of T1 diabetes history and the hundreds of thousands of diabetics who have been preached at by their physicians(more so in the later part of this century) why the physicians haven't gotten a clue yet that said scare tactics don't work, 99.9% of the time. Despite that,it's a scene that repeats itself hourly, daily,all across America.(and the world)

I will tell you what a goes through the mind of someone with diabetes, when they hear something like that.

1."It won't happen to me." (It likely will-but they know that anyway,and you telling it to them won't do any good. They're in protection-denial mode)
2. "Might as well go out with a bang."(eat, drink, for tomorrow I might die)
3. "You have no clue what diabetics go through everyday. You don't HAVE diabetes,or you wouldn't be lecturing me like this. You don't know what its like to
swing madly, no matter what you do."
4. "Is it lunchtime yet?"

For a type 2 diabetic,it's likely to be so much harder to come to terms with diabetes. You feel fine(most of the time), and you'd rather not think of yourself as sick/needy in any way. I don't know what the solution is,but a positive outlook/support system is the first step. High blood sugars breed depression, both mentally and physically(they may say they aren't depressed but it's impossible not to be)

One thing I do know..for the millions of "non-compliant" PWD out there, there has to be a better way of reaching them then scaring them into an early grave.My heart bleeds for my 'betic brothers and sisters. I don't think anyone is unreachable, and I don't think anyone deserves the complications of diabetes.(compliant, or not)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


On the cross-stitch front.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Top Ten Other Jobs of Your Endocrinogist

1. Relative Geneticist- "Once upon a time,the top Two Beta Cells got together & threw a big bash, for all the other Beta Cells in PancreasLand. Unfortuantly,they got so sugared out that evening that they all died the next day & that's how you got diabetes."
A friend of mine was singerally dismayed to find out she'd gone & moved next to an endocrinologist.Quite the friendly type,from her description. Well he came over,saw her pump,and offered to be HER endo. She politely declined,on the grounds that it would just be too weird...every time she threw a party he might think it was his responsibilty to provide the glucagon,question her bgs,etc.
Not deterred,he still offered his future services.
3. Statician-"Based on the range of your latest quantitative bg range-there's a 99.9% chance that your a1c will reach the mean average of a type-1-in-complete-denial squared.(divided by the number of times that you tested this year)
4. Mission Control-"Housten,we have a problem..Our pump cartidge just ran dry & I'm 77 miles from the nearest pharmacy with a bg of 488.Abort???"
5. Lawyer-Going to bat with the insurance companies.Not for the faint of heart.A good Endo stops at nothing,to get the best care for his patients.
6. Blood Brother-Your Endo also has diabetes,your bgs are simultaniously low..and they "get
7. Tattoo Artist- As you watch your Endo frantically scribble notes at a mile a minute,(on the back of his arm) , it occurs to you that probably 20% of said records and 80% of it is guessing,that's why they call it "practicing" medicine.
8. Archiologist:
-Unearthing 2 month old bgs from the meter innards..
-Deciphering hieroglyphic scribbles(it's the night before the endo exam and you're frantically jotting down notes that no one can read the next day)
-Telling diabetic mummys-to-be that they're scaring you.
9. Mob Boss:
"Yo, bub.Time to cough up da dough,da moolah. You got me? This diabetes practice ain't cheap, I gotta keep up my standards of living. This is my team. Meet Joe Surgeon. Joe takes out the kidneys of anyone who crosses me.Don't mess with Joe. And this is Frieda Food Nazi-our resident dietician.She reports directly to me.Ciao-you'll meet the rest of the team next week."
10. Knight in Shining Armor-
You thought those days were a good 1,000 years in the past-until your new patient did a Carpe Carpum(Seize the Carpet) on their first appointment with you. As soon as they regain consciousness, your first question to them is not "Are you having any chest pain?" rather.. "What's your blood sugar?" Instant popularity points.(an Endo always thinks low bg first) The above account is,unfortuently,completely true.I was never so mortified at an appt. in my entire D-life.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, November 20, 2009

Naughty or Nice

For today's post, I refer you over to this medical blog for a really funny(and true) guide to the personality of your physician. I'm not quite sure where Endocrinologists fit in on that chart(Sane:hardworking: nice/or mean, there should also be a dumb/smart option) but it's fun imagining where they'd be.

Go check it out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


(Not that a device can
be one..but if it could,it would be)

Awakening to the blackness
in that state of semi-awareness
still figuring out what my body expects of me
until my cgm vibrates & alarms,

Automaticlly,I grab for my meter with one hand
with the other,glucose tabs on the standby
and confirm it to be true,63mg/dl,double arrows down.

Not a whisper of a symptom has presented itself.
Until that minute,when it buzzed off
forcing me to read & process,
spelling it out for me
that yes,I was low.

I treat, and go up.
Because of my cgm,
I will live to fight another day.

Tonight,the hundreds of times it has gone off on irrelevent tangents does not matter.
It has done it's job..& it is a lifesaver.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lessons of the Lima Bean


"Hi,are you coming tomorrow night too?"

"Oh heck yes,it's like diabetes week-wouldn't miss it for the world!'

Fellow CWD'r and I exchange greetings,shooting the breeze before the pump meeting.The Speaker is running late anyway,so no one is doing anything anyway.

7:20 pm.I am by no means early,but I'm not late either..people come trinkling in behind me.The last person sits down beside me,& it immeadiently becomes apparent that they have ingested a foodstuff known for it's anti-attraction properties. We chat,and that suspician becomes confirmed.

Garlic-she's digging it.2 cloves every day,for immune boosting properties.Now she's a very nice
person, but even the nicest of people can be repelling if they are radiating it from every pore.There is such a thing as tablets,which would have the same healthy effects.

159 mg/dl,trending down.By now,it's becoming apparent that the speaker isn't coming,so it's just a regular pump meeting discussing H1N1,hospitals,sick day tips,etc.We get the handout (but not the speaker).

8:30 pm-69 mg/dl,Dexcom goes off.I go off to drain a juicebox, get back,meeting has ended.

Apparently Lima beans(which I had for supper) cancel out all the other ingested carbs(45 grams rice & chicken,2 units insulin) Dropped 80 points, to boot.Or the garlic immersion had weird bg lowering properties.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Evening with a Type 1 Endo

Recap from the D-meeting last night...

-Learned that the Navigator has the largest insertion needle, at 21 gauge. However, the thing that actually stays in the skin and "senses" is only 5mm. I have never tried a Navigator(I probably would if the situation ever presented itself) so I really can't comment, but the Medtronic needle is 22 gauge and the Dexcom's is 26. The bigger the gauge, the smaller the needle.(and the Medtronic one hurts like the dickens) At this point, I'm very much partial to the Dexcom, for that & other reasons.

- I knew this before, but it was reinforced strongly last night(into my thick skull): DO NOT TREAT BLOOD SUGARS OFF YOUR CGM. Especially lows, since the lag time is even greater then.(blood goes to the vital organs,not so much to the skin) Highs, it isn't so bad to treat off your cgm(which I'll do, if I've been really stable blood sugar wise, it is generally very close on the meter) Meters aren't that accurate, cgm's aren't accurate, and it's really all just a crap shoot anyway. However, if you are swinging like heck it's always best to go off the meter results, the cgm doesn't have a chance of being anywhere in the real blood glucose ballpark.

-Dexcom has plans to make the receiver to send signals to an alarm clock, which will ring, should the user fail to respond to any alarms.(at night) I would not be wild about that option, until the thing gets a whole lot more accurate. Generally the vibration wakes me from the dead anyway.(I put it under my pillow)

-Tylenol can effect sensor readings for up to 3 hours after taking it; it's helpful to know precisely how long it will be screwed up. It's best to turn off the sensor,and restart later.

- As people lower their a1cs, the greater the percentage shift of in-range blood sugars go...for someone with high a1cs, most of their in-ranges come from fasting prandial glucoses & horrid post prandial glucoses; as they lowered it, most of their in-ranges came from ppg. Having a wonderful,rock-solid fasting blood glucose(great basals overnight) is not enough to get me a good a1c-I gotta get those post-meal numbers down.

4 Steps to Successful CGM Usage:

A for Alarms should mean something. Double-check with the meter, to make the best decision.

B for Break it In. Most sensors aren't worth a flip in the first 12+ hours, so it's a good idea to put it in prior to switching over from the old sensor.

C for Calibration is key. With the Dexcom, it will take whatever you tell it and spit out an average of that, and your last blood sugar (can take several calibrations to get back on track) With all the cgms, a calibrated CGM is a much happier CGM.

D for Direction. Where were you, and where are you going?(blood sugar-wise) I'm glad the Dexcom has arrows now..on the older model, it didn't. That information is extremely vital, and helps me from overtreating/undertreating.

But for all that, it's still just a device, one that is a long way from perfect. CGM's are still in their infancy, it will take time to get right.(much to my disappointment, the endo didn't put up any of his own CGM downloads-probably they're just so perfect we'd all be bored to tears looking at them)

I was very much the baby there last D-years. At one end of the scale, was a 62 year veteran, at the other end of the scale, was me.(11 years) In between, there was a 56,52,44,46,27,28,19,17,16,14(along with significant others) The endo had had it for 42 years. Being in that room with 200+ years of type 1 diabetes was just incredible.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Notes from a Spinning Planet: D-Week

This week, I plan to attend four diabetes every evening. Rarely do they all line up in such a nice little schedule(something is always conflicting with something else)

As well as school(I won't be getting a refund, so I'm just going to make the best of it and try to pull off the best grade possible) Just three weeks remaining, in the semester.(and two tests,yippee)

As well as a million & one other things(getting picture take for Christmas cards, etc.) Next week we'll be be flying out to California,& if I thought it was hard posting every day while at home, it will be more so on the road. But I have my iphone(well,when I get a new SIM card for it), and my MIL has a computer so I just have to make time for it.

Tonight's event will be hosted by one of my very favorite (local) speakers..check out this. Full review, tomorrow.(it won't be on the same subject, so I expect to actually learn something)

And I've already told my husband to expect to be a diabetic widower this week..which is similar in concept to a football widow.(only in reverse) I most definatly have a problem with being unable to say no to going to hear kick-butt D speakers. I need this.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Techno X

Today,(or rather, yesterday) my long-suffering iphone went completely beserk and semi-died. No internet capabilities for 23 hours. It has done that before, but only for about 4-8 hours at a time.

So I called AT&T, getting the wrong dept. in who knows what section & didn't get anywhere there,after a very lengthy delay,and several dozen pointless questions, the person couldn't even find the right extension to transfer me to, and suggested I look off my bill. Very (un)helpful, AT&T. (I'd have thrown something at the wall,but the already defunct iphone was the only thing available & I didn't want to throw that)

Checked it again..and voila, it was working! Wow, maybe it was just a weird glitch.

For about ten minutes, which was enough time to look up the (wireless)phone number AT&T (on the internet) for the point of letting them know it was having issues. I then tried to check my email, & got error messages.(it had died, again)

AT&T went through a long testing phase, checking various things out & declared it wasn't a problem on their end.(no out-ages in my area having been recorded)

So I called them again, for the 3rd time. The next step, is to go to a AT&T corporate store and get another SIM card. If that doesn't fix it, it's an Apple problem.

I miss my Twittering..I am so addicted, and it's a very painful thing when you have to go cold turkey.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Beta Phases

Since April, Ebay has been testing the beta phase of their Ebay Bucks program. Basically, in each 90 day period, you earn 2% back on most of your purchases.(excluding Ebay Motors & real estate) And I was fortunate enough to be chosen..granted, 2% is not a huge deal of money but when you are such a hard-core Ebayer as I am every bit helps. ($200 max back per transaction, $500 max per quarter. Though you'd have to spend $25,000 to earn that much back, & not many people are THAT much of spendaholics.

The first quarter, due to several large purchases(airline tickets,etc.) I got about $23 back. The credit works as a add-on to your paypal payment, when you buy something on Ebay. Happily, I spent that..and then I had a problem with an Ebay Seller, who ripped me off big time.(on Disney tickets) Eventually, Paypal refunded my money but then Ebay didn't like the fact that I'd earned bucks off a transaction that got cancelled & they put me in the negative, buck wise.

Quarter #2's purchases went toward erasing that negative debt. UGH.

It's now quarter #3,and I'm back in the red. I still wish Ebay didn't punish you for being ripped off by a seller..something which happens more often then not. Ebay could really make me more of a loyal customer if it would A. up the percentage back rate and B.slash their horrendous selling fees. But its better then nothing, and I'll take it. There's really no alternative to Ebay, and for all the inconveniences, the amount you can save makes it worthwhile.(cost, and time wise)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Youtube: Mary Wells, 1982

Because I love this song-LOVE IT. Mary Wells rocks it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Strike Three

Well I flunked a critical test.There is now no earthly way that I could get a B,and the C won't get me into nursing school.And there's only 1 month left,in the course.I am going to go cry into a pillow now,I am an abysmil failure at everything I do.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today We are Two

We're celebrating our second wedding anniversary today. Whereas last year a "paper" card would have sufficed, now things have gotten a whole lot more expensive.(socks? finger blotter handkerchief? t-shirts?)
Just kidding...on the cost part of things. As long as he likes what I get him, nothing else matters.

I would do it again tomorrow..every year is an achievement, in this world of Brittney Spear type weddings and one-night stands. I want to be that 80-90'sh couple you see in the mall,after 50+ years together & still going strong.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Saying the Hypo(D-Blog Day '09)

National D-Blog Day, 2009

Almost 2 years ago I made a vow, one that I intend to keep. Forever.

But almost 11 years ago, I made another myself, that I'd beat this thing they called diabetes. That I'd go to the funeral of the doctor who told me I'd be dead(within 15 years) of heart disease,retinopathy,neuropathy,renal failure,blindness,and amputations. That I'd have a career, marry, have kids, and grow old.(he's still alive,for the record, and I hope he's gotten a clue since then)

Unfortunately, to avoid complications, or even to slow them down, that requires sacrifice. Dietary moderation, exercise, etc.

And alot of lows. I am not a big fan of lows, in any way, shape, or form but the more normal your bgs, the more you will have them. Some people absolutely love them and court them as fervently as any wooer, for me, they simply are, more then that,death by hypo is my greatest diabetes fear.I kind of think that the people who love them, have had too many of them(and have an IQ of about 70 now). They also have probably never seized, or had a huge whopping glucagon needle shoved into various body parts, or vomited on rescue personal.

There's really no way around it, even with the best of technology at your fingertips(CGM, pump) you will have lows. The best you can hope for, is that that that technology helps you catch/correct any serious ones.

Reluctantly, I will say yes to the(mild) hypos..and hope that one day good control will not include such unpleasantries. Because that's the best technology can deliver, for now.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Demise of a Ping

Fact: I never should have signed up for NaPoBloMo. I don't recall it being so hard to do last year.(maybe it was because everyone was doing it?) Be that as it may, this week(happily) has three days already carved in stone(what I shall blog about). Beyond that, though,the ideas are just periodic blips on the radar.

On Thursday, my Ping Remote let loose with a 2 minute shriek and promptly died, displaying an Error 1 just before doing so. Error 1= a call to customer service, and I did so. I should mention that I don't use the Ping consistently, and hadn't at all that day. I use all Lifescan meters, and as long as there's one of them around, I'll use that.(it's usually a One Touch Mini one)

Did you know that you can now order supplies 24/7, on Animas' website? If I didn't before, I sure do now- because for 30 minutes I listed to that endless recorded loop-de-insanity. And I am sure there are ways to cut that out but I don't know how. (I'm also sure that an endo's office could use that as a way to brainwash their D-patients-" You WILL exercise 30 minutes a day. You WILL exercise 30 minutes a day. You WILL exercise 30 minutes a day...") Figuring that the one Customer Service Person was taking an extra long coffee break, I just hung up. (surely if they were actually answering calls the wait time would not be 30+ minutes) Another peeve is, they don't give you any sort of estimated wait time(again, not really necessary if they don't get many simultaneous phone calls) This was about 3:30 pm, not in the middle of the night. So I called my rep and left her a message, thinking that maybe she could help, or at least tell me that the Error message was nothing bad. Well, 6 hours later still no callback from her, so I called Animas again & since it was after hours, they patched me through to someone & they said I needed the whole shebang replaced. Meter AND pump. I think it's a RF thing,each ping remote is specific for that pump? The pump, was fine to use solo but not the remote so they were replacing both of them. Next morning, the rep called me back(by that time, the problem had been taken care of). By Sat. morning, the replacements had arrived.(which I plan to hook up when the current reservoir runs out) Not the easiest of exchanges, there are a few things about the pump companies that is less then five star service.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Dear Abby: Take II

Dear Abby,
I have diabetes,and frequently,as I'm driving around I
will hit every red light in town.Every blinking one.Is it just me, or do these things plague other PWD as well? I mean, don't we have enough to deal with while driving without this? Can I get a free pass somewhere?


A Diabetic Driver

Dear Diabetic Driver,

It can get quite frustrating out there on the road,especially when you're either low,or high. If you do need to check your blood glucose, or bolus, or even hunt desperatly in your overstuffed purse for that last remaining juice box..that requires at least 20+ seconds of undivided attention to the task at hand. So I suggest making the most out of your red light stops,and do one of those things .Conversly, many complain that they'll have all green lights any time they really need to do one of those tasks. The most important thing,of course, is to never compromise your driving with another task.If you need to,pull over to do your D-business.

Stay Safe!


-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, November 06, 2009

Dear Newspaper X

Dear Newspaper X,

On Saturday, November 14, thousands of people around the world will come together,
to raise awareness of diabetes, an annual event named World Diabetes Day.

But there are many millions of people YET to be diagnosed. The American Diabetes Association estimates that of the over 23 million people(8% of the total US population), about 6 million don't even know they have it. 1.6 million new cases will be diagnosed this year. Nor is this solely a US problem, cases of diabetes are exploding rapidly across the globe. In China, there are over 40 million people with the disease.

There is no cure for diabetes..but there is treatment. However, to the millions of people that don't even know they have it until presenting to a hospital emergency room with a heart attack, or waking up one morning blind from the effects of it, these people never got a chance to treat it. World Diabetes Day seeks to raise awareness of this disease, and the need for regular screening & treatment. So much suffering could be averted, if people could be diagnosed & treated early. Until there is a cure (for both type 1 and type 2), this is the best we can do.

I hope you will consider running a piece about it in your newspaper,(pre-, or on Nov. 14) this is a subject that cannot be ignored.As a type 1 diabetic,I know first hand the difficulties of the disease,but I am committed to awareness/education, because diabetes can be successfully managed. The effects of diabetes can be devastating, not just to the individuals afflicted but to the families and friends of those individuals. The voice of the media is the most effective way of getting the information out there.



Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Scent Bug: A Product Review

Periodically, I enjoy going to Bath & Body check out the latest scents & mini-splurge on myself. Most PWD would rather smell sweet then BE sweet. (I'm speaking for the women here, I don't know about the guys). Most times I don't have a game plan, except for the mandatory $10/$30 coupon I tote along, because I know I will spend $30 worth of stuff, it's that easy.

This time though, I knew exactly what I wanted.(a flyer had come in the mail,making me long for Nov.2 with a passion)

Meet the Scentbug, a new and novel scent diffuser. I'm very much the candle lover person, but tend to forget that they're burning & my husband is afraid that one of these days, I'll burn down the house.(and that's a very valid fear) The great thing about the Scentbug is-there's no flame involved, so it's great for people like me.
It comes in five lovely colors(brown,green, pink, black, white)and is also available online..but I choose to go to the store,no shipping costs and you can use coupons.

The Scentbug is battery operated, and fan driven.(and comes with 2 AA batteries, which are depleted in about 4 days-according to the cashier. Hey, that's almost as useless as my pump! but at least you can use rechargeable batteries for it)You pull out the drawer, douse the pad with a hearty 15-20 drops of fragrance oil, and close it.(if you run it all the time, expect to put in more fragrance oils every day) Pads can be reused, up to a point.(eventually they'll fall apart)

In the bottom, the battery compartment pops out and you can store your extra scent pads in there as well.

Then you push the side button, and it turns on. The whole thing glows in the dark, so it's a pretty cool thing at night(when you really shouldn't have a candle burning that long) And you can take/use it anywhere.

The cost of the Scent bug is $12.50 for the unit, which comes w/5 scent pads/2 batteries to get you started. Scentpad refills are 8/$3.50. You can put any fragrance oil in there..Bath and Body Works is currently running a sale on theirs,$4 each.(and they each should last about a month) And, of course, the cost of batteries, if you don't use rechargeables. I give it a 4/5, given the cost factor. I do use coupons, but compared to a candle(you just buy and LIGHT the thing) this thing is expensive. Otherwise, I think I am going to totally love it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Our Turn Now

It's OUR TURN now. Call it the rebound effect, call it what you will,but Virginia has just elected it's first solidly Republican Top Three cast since 1993(at least) . That's 16 years ago..back then I was far more interested in beating up my(1.5 year) younger brother then I was who was running the country.I didn't start paying attention till 1997. I may not live in Virginia anymore, but to the people of NJ,NY, and VA; I'd just like to say Thanks.You still have this odd habit of choosing the opposite party to be in power nationally (it must be the economy, a job is a very powerful fear motivator) but when it comes to local issues at least you have your heads screwn on straight.As for MD,it will always vote Democrat...that's just the way it is.No one expects that to change.


-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Generator: WDD

What should I do for World Diabetes Day?

I've thought about putting a large poster in the back of my car & just driving around all month, proclaiming this to to be National Diabetes Month but that seems to be an incredibly lame idea. I should do more.

What are you doing for WDD? (all ideas welcome)

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Pumper Pumpkin &The Pie

In honor of National Diabetes Month, I did a diabetes themed pumpkin. I'm better at decorating things then carving things:

You can find and vote for Mr. Pumpkin here, in the Slickdeals 2009 Pumpkin Carving Contest.(must be a member to vote, but I'm hoping someone else out there is) Help Mr. Pumpkin beat all the other non-diabetic pumpkins or at least win a free t-shirt.:-) He's entry #70.
(winners will be chosen by the judges, so as to prevent mass frenzied voting but I don't think they'll be considering entries with only one vote)

Alas, Mr. Pumpkin is no more...shortly thereafter he was transformed into something more palatable:

Which the real pumper & her husband will enjoy eating, for the next week.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Different Kind of Pumping

"It's possible."

The nephrologist squinted at the inch-high stack of papers I'd just handed to him and replied...

"Ok, let's see what you have here."

Magic words, those. It's kind of like when an endo actually takes the time to study your logbook vs blowing you off to the diabetes educator. It shows that they CARE, they are actually listening to you.

And he read every page. Every single one. (much to my amazement) A discussion ensued, and he semi-gave permission, pending pharmacy's response. I left that appointment on Cloud Nine.

The pharmacist, however, was another story.(Great Squasher of Dreams)

"You can't. It's too caustic, it would eat your skin alive & You'd need plastic surgery to correct it. Besides, no one has ever done it & we just can't do that."

But then I got a message on an internet message board from someone who actually does it. Who pumps magnesium, subcutaneously. Confirmation that I'm really not crazy and it's totally possible. Of course, she doesn't use an insulin pump, she uses another type of pump but its the same basic concept.

And because angels really do exist, & she knows more about it then the doctors & pharmacy staffed combined..she gave me info & help & even contacted her pharmacy(yep, they ship out of state). There are still many things to be worked out, but come Monday evening I'll be taking that first step and PUMPING magnesium, via my old Deltec Cozmo.(trial run) I am pretty jazzed about that.(and its not caustic, according to her..she takes a heck of alot more of it then I ever will)

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Smart Insulin & The Dumb Patient

"So basically I can't talk much about it, but yes, it will have to do with extending the action of the insulin."

Smart Insulin- coming soon to an RX pad near you!

Now in clinical trials..and the endo talking to our pump group that Monday evening was successfully making all of our mouths water with stories of a Futuristic World With(maybe out) Diabetes.

It's injected 1-2x a week(think UltraLente on speed) and would be that elusive "work-when-the-bgs-need-it,shut-off-when-they-don't" deal we've all been waiting for. In theory, that is. In reality, I'd have to see it to believe it and it would have to also "sense" bg levels & how in the world do you put that capability into an insulin? It won't be coming to market for a longgggggg time. Fascinating concept though, if it worked, pumps would be a thing of the past.(there would be no need for them, the insulin would adjust itself)

Let's just hope it will work better then this: (Apidra, is anything BUT smart)

but in better news, despite the stupid insulins we're forced to use, sometimes we can celebrate things like this:

(moving on down..I have confidence that I can get it under 7 by my December appointment!)

Being a full-time pancreas is a hard job.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ode To a Low

The journey of a thousand wishes
starts here,in front of the refridgerator
levator scapulaes elevating in silent harmony with the creak of the old metal door
willing,willing,willing it to be so.

Juice dribbles,spills,stains the floor
but the alien quaffing it by the carton takes no notice of this fact
it is not important,it can wait.

Time slows,it stops,there is only the present
and the promise of another dawn is no guerentee.

Wish One is so simple,so pure,like the Florida's pride OJ trinkling down the throat,curing the shakes
restoring peace & harmony to the Universe once again.

Wish Two looks at the cgm
wildly spiking it's merry way to a disastrous high
& wants a cure for this thing called diabetes.

Wish Three,the clock strikes three am
and the PWD staggers off to bed
suddenly too tired to care anymore
for diabetes will still be there on the morrow
and the need for sleep hits hard.

And the rest of life may use up those thousand wishes but the D-ones are pretty high up on the list.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In a Different Light:Turning it Around

I've been thinking of the whole issue of the diabetic psyche,which is,in reality,non-existant.We're ourselves first,and our disease second.That being said..we share so many issues and our responses to those issues tend to be the same.(there's only so many ways you can run with this) We are expected to do x-y-z, get our appropriate complication(s) and ultimatly expire,probably of said complication,because that's how it's done.From diagnosis,we're programmed to expect the worst.
There should be no guilt-it's a progressive disease,after all.But there is,guilt from the medical profession,guilt from society at large,self-imposed guilt.Even if you're fortunate enough to have an understanding medical team and a healthy attitude about your disease,guilt plugs the atmosphere like a block of Limburgher cheese,stinking up a room.What other option is there,if your a1c fails to deliver and there's a complication with a pregnancy or you seriously injure someone to a low bg then to rightly assume,it's because of your blood sugars?

We live with guilt,whether we like it or not.It's the elephant in the room,looming and everpresent.But it also means a second chance..time to put our mistakes behind us and work towards the best future possible.Yes,we make mistakes..and nasty D-stuff happens,but it won't define OR keep us from accomplishing what we want in life.It will remind us why we will do things right..not for any doc,or sense of
moral obligation but because it's best for us, to be the best that we can be.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Diabetes: Touch & Feeling (the video)

Find more videos like this on TuDiabetes - A Community for People Touched by Diabetes

And I know I'm not the world's greatest film maker, but it was fun to make, nonetheless.(would have been more fun if I could have gotten the hubby to fake a diabetic seizure while I could have given a fake glucagon shot but oh well. He'd never do something like that)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Youtube: Parental Fail 101

No 12 year old girl is THAT big, that you need to call 911. Besides it being a tribute to that woman's awesome parenting skills, that she can't control her own kid.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009


I am feeling incredibly discouraged at the moment..and it's not a diabetes thing. It's
a Bartter's (Syndrome) thing. When you've got any disease(double so on the rare ones), you've got to be your own best advocate for your health.

But I'm stuck. Stuck in the 20th century, stuck in the concept of how said disease used to be treated, stuck in a doctor's office where new and novel is not something they want to try. I don't blame them, off label use of something is hardly something most doctors want to do but this is something I want to try. More then that, this is something I need.

Stuck, in a rut. Stuck, in an endless,expensive, time consuming, rut. The need for magnesium infusions is not going away.4 hours a week..thousands of dollars a month. It's like being on life support.(if we don't go bankrupt first) I've read medical journals, I've heard its possible to administer subcutaneously(much like insulin), but when I asked about it(an endocrinologist and a nephrologist) I get a "no, not possible." It must be, I'd sooner take the word of JAMA, they're up on the latest research. And I've also heard it's possible to administer as a shot, though no one wants to talk about that either. Although I'd much rather use a pump to administer it..double pumping would not be a problem. (have done it before)

I need to get unstuck, I need to go somewhere where they're actually interested in rescuing me from this pithole of a disease. More then anything, it's the money-if they were happily giving away infusions with no effect on the bank account whatsoever, I could deal with it. And it apparently being forever, next of all. Something else has to work, must work, there is another solution to this. A major teaching hospital, is my best bet.I still may stay stuck,but it's my only shot.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Dental Diaries:#1 with a 'tude

Teeth are like diabetes complications.You
can only slow down/prevent more damage from being done,you can't fix what has been done.

Routine 6 month cleaning,my teeth get the equivelent of a "5.0"(if it were an a1c) I have been a fanatic about oral hygeine,trying desperatly to stave off the impending root canal that my dentist has been informing me for the past year that I'd be needing,at some point.

To no avail. I'd gotten it drained in July,and again in September,buying me a few months but it was time to face the post-tonsectomy music,the durn thing was collecting crud again & hurting up a storm.No amount of brushing/flossing changes the damage done.

So after the cleaning,off I go to the procedure room and the dentist comes in.(new to the practice)

He shoves needle #1 into my gum and I wince,I didn't recall the last time being so painful. Needles 2 & 3 hit bone,and the tears come,spilling down my cheeks like a frigging spigget, he leaves the room.Returns,with his assistant in tow. I'm semi-numb,so he goes in with the drill and HITS NERVE.
I scream,and propel off the chair halfway to the ceiling,promptly bursting into a fresh torrent of waterworks.I am not good at toughing things out,not that this was even on the same page as anything minor,this was more like having one's arm half amputated.The assistant looks on,silently,as the dentist says he'll give me a minute and leaves the room.

This guy is a real JERK.Not only does he wield needles like a toddler toting a semi-automatic,his bedside manner also leaves much to be desired.I can accept the fact that some dentists are more compassionate then others, but apparently the doctor (deity)complex also affects dentists too. 1.5 hours later,bg at 275,I vow never to go back to him,my jaw is a swollen,throbbing mess and I've mortified myself enough for one day.(adequate pain control,what's that?) To top it all off, he insinuated that this happens whenever I have any sort of procedure done(it doesn't,this is a first) and he just isn't getting that it's all due to his lovely tecnique.For the crown,I am getting the senior partner to do it.JERK.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, October 02, 2009

Between a Rash & a Hard Place

Dear Medingo,

I think that overall, your product is quite novel. When I first slapped on the trial-sized pod, I loved the (relative) smallness...the ability to side bolus, the fact that you can semi-disconnect + peel off the infusion part without having to toss the entire pod. I don't think the Omnipod has those options.
I think you're on to something there.

You can see the demo on Youtube:

But after 2 days, I removed the set, because the tape(set base) was half off anyway. And was greeted with this:

A very large,itchy, uncomfortable, raised, rash. I haven't had such a rash since I used the quicksets(some 8 years ago),and the thing took an entire month of hydrocortisone therapy to completely resolve.

So I don't know what you put on your tapes, but I don't think your system is for me. Maybe I'm just unlucky, maybe some factory worker inadvertently spilled cayenne pepper on that one set.I don't think I'll be trying another one to see if the reaction repeats itself. I don't know if putting an tegaderm type dressing under the set is possible, it doesn't look like the short insertion tube would go through it.


A person with diabetes

Thursday, October 01, 2009

3X Thursday: A Meme About... Stuff

(found this over at The Daily Meme..and as I'm incredibly bad at not mentioning That Which Shall Not be Named today, I needed a meme to keep my post on track)

1. Do you have a job? What is it? I'm a student.

2. If you don’t have a job, why not? Are you looking for one? What are you looking to do? If you do, do you *like* your job? like I said, I'm a student. And soon I'll make the leap to "nursing student",look for a degree by the time I'm 50.

3. What do you think of the job market in this country at the moment? Do you think it’ll continue to get worse before it gets better, or have we already seen the worst? it sucks. I hope it gets better,too many people are struggling but I'll believe it when I see it.

Pick 3 TV shows you love, and tell us why. If you don’t watch TV, pick 3 movies.

1. Grays Anatomy. I love it because its pretty believable, medically speaking,and the non-stop romance doesn't feel like General Hospital..its not sickening.

2. TLC's "What Not to Wear." I always feel better about my clothing choices after viewing the abysmal choices of others.

3. Discovery Health's "18 Kids and Counting." Ot reminds me of my childhood,and memories of growing up in a large family.(but not THAT large)

1. When you’re stressed out and you need comfort food, what’s your favorite? Why?
Chocolate. It releases serotonin, to soothe me.

2. What are your top 3 favorite comfort foods?
1. Chocolate Chip Cookies
2. Chips and Dip
3. soup

3. Speaking of comfort foods, are you a sugar fiend? What’s your sugar food/candy/food of choice? If you’re not into sugar, what’s your vice that you just can’t avoid? Oh heck, yes. I cannot live without my seasonal sugar rush..candy corn/cider in the fall,peeps/chocolate bunnies in the spring,cotton candy/marshmallow smores in the summer, eggnog in the winter. Smarties, year round.

1. How organized of a person would you describe yourself as being? Not very. Really, really, not very.

2. Are you good at separating how organized you are from how organized (or disorganized) someone else is? Why/why not? Yes. It's always easier to figure someone else's life out then it is your own.

3. Which do you think is better: being organized or being messy? Why? Being Organized. The few times that I have been, it's been nice, being able to find things you're looking for.

1. Do you use Facebook? Why/why not? Do you like it? Why/why not? yep. It's the only way to connect, with some people.

2. Do you use Twitter? Why/why not? Do you find it useful? Why/why not? Yes. EVERY DAY, I'M ADDICTED TO TWITTER. I can annoy the world with my senseless updates.

3. Do you do (or have you ever done) any other type of social networking thing? If so, what? If not, why not? Tu(X) Which I don't get on much.

1. Did you get any type of vacation in this summer? If so, what did you do? If not, why not? Yep, several days in California, a few days in Florida, and 2 weeks overseas touring Denmark/England.

2. If you could take the summer off (Say, June 1 – September 1), what would you do with that time? I'd volunteer at a camp for children with special needs.

3. Is there anything resembling a ’summer vacation’ anymore? Why/why not? No, life is too busy.

1. Where do you live? Do you like it there? Why/why not? The East Coast-near water. I'm not getting too specific here.

2. What kind of people make up where you live? What kind of jobs are most prevalent?
commuters, fishermen.

3. Are there any unique, “must see’ sites where you live? DC. Annapolis.(the Naval Acadamy) Baltimore, the inner Harbor.

Name and describe 3 things that motivate you in general. Why do they motivate you? faith family dreams

Name and describe 3 technology-related things you do everyday, and why they’re important.
1. Use my iphone
2. Use my medical devices(keeps me alive)
3. Use my computer

1. Did you watch cartoons as a kid? If so, which ones? If not, why not?
Speedy Gonzales, Wily Coyote, etc.
2. Do you watch cartoons as an adult? If so, which ones? if not, why not?
Rarely. Sometimes we'll watch the Simpsons.
3. If you have kids, do you let them watch cartoons? Wy/why not? If you don’t have kids, would you let them watch cartoons? Why/why not? No kids. I would let them watch some pre-approved cartoons.(the ones that aren't totally inane)

1. Was Michael Jackson’s death a surprise to you? Why/why not? No, when you're a celebrity you've got twice as much pressure/stress to keep it all together, and the temptation to turn to alcohol/drugs/etc. can be overwhelming. I am not surprised to hear of any celebrity's death by drugs.

2. Are you/were you a Michael Jackson fan? Why/why not? If you are/were, when did you start listening to his music? If you quit, why did you quit? If you never liked him in the first place, is there a reason? No, it's not the sort of music I listened to, growing up.

3. Do you think any *good* came from Michael Jackson’s death? If so, what? If not, why not? maybe it helped someone wake up and get serious about their own health..50 is not that old. Drugs can kill you, at any age.(and people have heart attacks with drugs all the time)

1. Do you collect anything? If so, what? If not, why not? Pins from places I've been, Red Cross memorabilia, stamped pennies. Old "that-which-shall-not-be-named" magazines.

2. Is there anything you’d like to start collecting? If so, what? Banana Peel stickers. Which may sound odd, but I've always wanted too.

3. What collections of things that people have accumulated over the years do you like the most? Why? old coins, old stamps, doll collections.

1. What’s the weather like today? Describe it. Overcast, with a 101% chance of rain. Low 50's, and chilly. Fairly typical, for this part of the US.
2. Did you/are you going to do anything productive (sure, it’s relative) today? What did you/are you up to? Absolutely, but I haven't figured out what yet.
3. Do you need to make some phone calls or send some emails to people that you haven’t heard from lately? If so, who? Here’s your reminder to do it!
Yep-don't we all!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Flea Market & A Type One

Friday night, I stuffed my car to the gills with stuff, as much as was humanly possible. The next morning, I checked my blood sugar(440,ugh) packed a breakfast/lunch/plenty of liquids and took off for the flea market.

It was still only about 5 am at that point,and it was incredibly black, save little blobs of light dancing along the flea market grounds. Whipped out my big flashlight and unloaded the stuff from my car, spread the tarp on the ground(no way to fit tables in a car) and arranged the stuff on the tarp.

While I was working, a guy comes up to me and asks how many of x do I have & wants to buy them all, $1 apiece, on the spot. I said no,hoping to get more then $1 for them.
And then everyone else started was like something out of the Twilight Zone. One guy wore a glow-in-the-dark skeleton sweatshirt. 5-7 of them would be crowded,with their miner hats/flashlights, all around the tarp, looking for treasures.(aka Gold/Silver) I am not sure why some people think they'll get great deals when it isn't even light out yet but a few of them bought batteries. It annoys me when they ask if I've got any gold or silver,I am not stupid enough to sell that at a flea market. If I had that to sell, I'd research the best way to get the maximum $$'s from it)
Then my flashlight died. And I'd just sold my last "C" pack of batteries.(predictably, so I went off the glow of the CGM)
The comptroller came by..and I gave away my profits(registration fee). In this state, you're only allowed to have 3 yard sales a year without a lisence.

Dawn finally came, and it was 3.5 hours of non-stop action. By 9,half of my stuff was gone & my blood sugar was down to 221.(FTR, holding one's bladder with a very high bg all morning is not possible,pit stop(s) are necessary. Neighbors kindly watched the stuff) Dexcom sensor had failed about 4 am, so that was of no help. Being a single exhibitor at a flea market, you have to be on your toes and have 10 sets of eyes to make sure no one walks off with your stuff. Priority #1, of course, was the cash box. I put that in the car.

By 1 pm, blood sugar was down to 201 so I bolused a unit, packed up, drove home, and promptly had a 67 after unloading/putting everything back. And that, is life with diabetes, you can't win. But it was fun..there weren't any nasty hagglers intent on getting everything you had for next-to-nothing. And I bought several things from the people next to me. There are some people who just totally rock, they come back 2-3 times and buy $40+ of stuff. (and that's a welcome change from the yard sale-ers who want everything to be free)
(I just wish that I had a trailer or a truck, so I could have brought everything I had to sell. I'll have to go back another Saturday)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The ABC's of Diabetes

A is for acceptance.

B is for building others up.

C is for coping just fine, thank-you-very-much.

D is for that darn disea...wait,that's not right.This is supposed to be a positive post.

E is for eating salads,fish,and whole grains.

F is for fighting.Never let it win.

G is for Ghideralli,I need some!

H is for a hemoglobin a1c under 7!

I is for IVs, jammed in a vein.

J is for juice at midnight.

K is for ketones, dark purple on the urine strip.

L is for lows-horrid are they.(best Yoda impersonation)

M is for Majorly Condescending Endocrinologist,it's time for a change.

N is for Noncompliant.(everyone who doesn't obey M)

O is for OC-all the other blogging D's.

P is for doesn't exist.

Q is for quirky, everyone's disease is different.

R is for running - do more of it!

S is for sight, I want to keep it.

T is for thyroid-gotta keep an eye on that too.

U is for University Medical School Torture 101.

V is for vigilant, 24/7/365. No breaks.

W is for wishing...for a cure.

X is for...ugh,I don't know!

Y is for You. More important then any chronic disease.

And Z is for Zapped of energy...that's all I've got!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Invisible Illness(es)

(this is for last week..I'm late, as usual)

1. The illness I live with is: type 1 diabetes, Bartter's Syndrome. One is decidedly more impactful then the other..but most chronic illnesses go hand-in-hand with diabetes.

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: December 1998. September 2005.

3. But I had symptoms since: May 1998. There are before and after pictures,but I just remember the thirst starting around that time. The Bartters onset was a sudden thing, and up to last year, did not cause many problems.

4. The biggest adjustment I've had to make is:eating on a schedule, eating snacks. When you're a farm girl,you eat around work breaks, not the other way around. I hated being different. Getting on a pump changed that but sometimes you still gotta chase that insulin.

5. Most people assume:that I can do or be anything I want to. Which isn't strictly can't fly a plane commercially or be in the military. The diabetes wouldn't stop from any of that,but the other illness says I've got to be in a civilized country where they can give an IV. And I can't simply have children,thanks to the D.(it's gotta be smack-dab perfect first)

6. The hardest part about mornings are: getting up. I'm not a morning person.(I require 2 cans of Diet Coke before I'm semi-awake)

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Greys Anatomy. 4 MORE DAYS TILL THE SEASON PREMIERE!!

8. A gadget I couldn't live without is: my ibaby.(iphone) If we're not talking medical devices. I LOVE MY IPHONE!!

9. The hardest part about nights are: Unwinding, I don't do that very well. I am a creature of the night. Muscles generally decide to do their cramping then too.

10. Each day I take: insulin via pump, 4 pills. I don't take much, its easily manageable.(in theory)

11. Regarding alternative treatments: Well, I'm not sure there are any in my situation but I'm all for whatever works(and has been shown to be safe)

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Visible.People can go ahead and get their discrimination out of the way early(instead of slapping it on you later on)

13. Regarding working and career: I don't let my diseases get in the way of what I want to do with my life.

14. People would be surprised to know: That it's hard. It really is NOT a matter of take a shot, you'll be fine in the morning.Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it doesn't. And it's not your fault.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: that there may never be a cure for diabetes & things may get worse, instead of better. I'm not sure how well I'd cope with some horrible complication. And with the Bartter's, accepting has been hardest with the need for the IV sticks/infusions.Those still suck.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: pass as a non-D. Haha.

17. The commercials about my illness: don't exist for one, and for the other don't accurately depict life with it.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: eating half a bag of marshmallows, drinking slurpees, hiking a mountain without going low. Mostly food stuff.(but really, not that healthy anyway)

19. It was really hard to have to give up: Chocolate, and so I haven't.(and I don't believe in giving anything up food wise, but the limit quantity stuff has been really annoying). Spontaneity, with the Bartters.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Writing poetry, blogging. It's how I cope.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Go to the beach, eat and drink to excess & not think about diabetes at all.

22. My illness has taught me: To make lemons out of lemonade. A cliche, I know,but you just have to make the best out of your illness because it's not going anywhere. To be able to help someone else always feels like your illness is not a totally bad thing.

23. One thing people say that gets under my skin is: that I'm not taking care of myself if I have a low, or a high.(in their presence) It's because I'm trying to take care of myself that I don't skulk off and save them having to see that I am human. I hate being judged (morally) for my disease.

24. But I love it when people: do things that show they are incorporating the inconveniences of diabetes into the day...and don't act like its a big deal.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:
"Into each life some rain must fall..some days must be dark and dreary."

26. When someone is diagnosed I'd like to tell them: We're all in this together,& you aren't alone. Don't give up on your dreams.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: sometimes you can actually forget about it. And that's really nice,until reality comes whooshing back.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn't feeling well was: got me a cold diet coke. Or a cold juice.(for the extremes in blood sugars)

29. I'm involved with Invisible Illness Week because:maybe someone out there will learn something,& treat another with the respect & support we all need.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: thankful that you'd take five minutes out of your day to do so...and hopeful that you will pay it forward!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jeg er en Amerikaner

In Europe, country-hopping is like state-hopping over here. Very common.

Day #6 of our journey found us on a plane to Amsterdam(45 minutes), and another plane to Billund, Denmark. Before taking off from London's Heathrow, I grabbed some fish & chips to go.(because who goes to England and doesn't eat fish & chips?) We went through security twice...once at Heathrow, and again in Amsterdam. I got used to grabbing the BAG THAT MUST NOT BE X-RAYED out of my carry-on, handing it to the screener, setting off the machine nonetheless(Animas pumps always do that), getting patted down,getting bags hand screened, etc. Traveling is a pain with diabetes, it adds an extra 15 minutes to everything.Do that twice, on top of everything else..and its enough to make you never want to travel again.

By that time my cold was in full force,and I couldn't taste anything. I had some of the fish & chips on the way to Billund..and though it was comforting, I wasn't sure it was totally worth the 7 lbs.But at least I did it.

My husband's cousin picked us up at the Billund airport, and we zipped away to her boyfriend's house for dinner. In Denmark, 99% of cars are stick shift and air conditioning is unheard of.(because in Denmark, it never gets truly HOT) She apologized, I thought the warmth was a welcome change from the London rain/chillyness. It wasn't even as warm as it would be back home... much less feeling like Florida. But they don't get warm weather there very much. And in Denmark,thank goodness, they drive on the right side of the road so you don't have to worry about which way you should be looking when you cross the street. So we had a nice the very IKEA-ish house of her boyfriend. There was wine(which most Danes have nightly), which I begged off because of the cold. Then we went back to her place for the night.
The next day, we went to Grostenslot Castle and saw the Danish queen + the changing of the guard.

There was a dinner party that day...over the hedge, you could hear people laughing, etc. Sadly, we weren't invited.

Then we were off to another cousin's house,to visit her family & be fed lots of food,etc. and exhibit the patience of Job for the sugarless adaptations they had provided me with. Really, it didn't matter, I couldn't taste anything anyway. We played a Wii for the first time(ever-sad, I know)and that was fun. I went to bed early,I was feeling bad from the fever.(the relatives were encouraging of me dissapeiring early)

The next morning,I couldn't get out of bed, I felt too bad. The worried relatives wanted to know whether I had H1N1(and at that point,I was beginning to think maybe I did). Spent that day in bed.

The day after that, I felt marginally better. We drove off to the family beach house..on the eastern side of Denmark(the North Sea). It was too cold to swim, but we got out on the beach. My husband's aunt and the cousin's daughter were there. We spent the rest of our time in Denmark there. At one point, the other cousin showed up for the day (he's really into politics & knows the Danish NATO minister(Rassmussen). Then we toured the TV station where cousin #1 is an anchor. It was cool, pretending to be on TV. Most Danes speak pretty good English,but the older ones may not.(my husband knows alot of Danish but I sure as heck don't) And my husband's aunt..doesn't know much English, so they translational services of the cousin were much appreciated. We had some weird food,(fishpaste on a mayo-bread thing)though most of it was pretty normal. Danes really like licorice candy, raw oats, and small potatoes.

The last day, we hopped on a train to Copenhagen (that took several hours) where we put our stuff in storage at the station & another relative took us to the graves of my husband's grandparents. One is buried in a cemetery..and one is buried in a Field of Unknowns. So my hubby laid flowers at their graves.

Then we went to a hostel,where we stayed the night. Hotels are really expensive in Copenhagen,and even the bare bones hostel cost an arm and a leg. By bare bones, the only things in the room were beds. It did have a skylight window, which let the cool breezes in and provided relief from the stuffiness but the 4 individuals getting drunk on the patio were hardly conducive to a peaceful night's slumber.We'd planned to go see the Little Mermaid but she was on loan to China.(figures)

The next day, it was up early to walk to the bus stop, take the bus to the train station,rescue our stuff from storage, take the train to the airport terminal, get checked in/go through security, fly to Amsterdam and go through a very THROUGH security check again,finally get on the flight to Detroit..get off, recheck our luggage and go through security & customs AGAIN,and get on our final flight home. It was only about 7 pm when we got home, but when you're running on Danish time it was 3 AM and we were both dead tired. We were happy to be home.