Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stalking the Wild Blood Sugar

In the medical field, the common diseases are referred to as "horses" and the not-so-common-ones, "zebras". Diabetes is of course, about as as equine as you can possibly get- but the lines do blur sometimes.

Is it type 1?

Is it type 2?

Is it type Halle Berry?

Is it gestational?

Or is it secondary to something else, and transiet?

Periodically, my blood sugars go off on a wild tangent, and nothing gets them up. Nothing. Everyone gets this sometimes(due to exercise, illness, etc)but I've yet to figure out exactly what prompts mine to go off. The last time, lasted two weeks. Two weeks of averaging about 5-8 units a day and still having lows.(usually use between 20-27U/day) It hasn't ever lasted that long so I asked my endo about it, their response was type 1's can periodically produce some insulin and studies really haven't been done to see why sets that off but glucose is very toxic/supressing to the islets and thats probably why it doesn't happen more often.(with me,given my less then perfect control) So I asked about checking my cpeptide the next time it happens and they said they could do that. It'll be interesting to see what exactly this pancreas of mine is up to.
If I understood that...what makes it go off,maybe there is something I can do to help those little spurts of whackyness toward excellent control. I would love to take so little insulin on a regular basis,it makes hypos less likely, the a1c better,life so much better. I do not think they have type 1's with residual insulin production take pills(thats for type 1's/2's with insulin resistance)and I wouldn't want to take them even if offered. But having a steady cpeptide would be a great thing.(every bit helps) This occasional zebra of mine might be unpredictable, but I'd take that over the regular horse (fill in the blank) any day.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A V-Log of Three Insulin Pumps

And if it sounds like I've got a bug in my throat, its because I do. Strep throat, to be more precise. Hopefully I will get better at this vlog thing,thoughts more collected + not sounding like an adolescent squawker.(and hopefully the drugs will start doing their thing soon)Strep sucks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dancing with the Stars


Ebay star color changes are neat, here's the scale:

Yellow star () = 10 to 49 ratings
Blue star () = 50 to 99 ratings
Turquoise star () = 100 to 499 ratings
Purple star () = 500 to 999 ratings
Red star () = 1,000 to 4,999 ratings
Green star () = 5,000 to 9,999 ratings
Yellow shooting star () = 10,000 to 24,999 ratings
Turquoise shooting star () = 25,000 to 49,999 ratings
Purple shooting star () = 50,000 to 99,999 ratings
Red shooting star () = 100,000 to 499,000 ratings
Green shooting star () = 500,000 to 999,999 ratings
Silver shooting star () = 1,000,000 ratings or more

Fairly certain I will never get to a shooting star-it took me 7.5 years just to get to 1000 feedback. And most of the transactions you do, you have to beg for and still don't receive any fb. Which makes any fb you do get twice as valuable.
My feedback score is excellent, only 1 negative. For as much as I may complain about certain individuals who have no business owning a credit card much less being let loose with one on Ebay, I've gotten a good many wonderful deals over the years.
(like a roundtrip ticket that would have cost me over $900,for only $50 and it was at the local airport only a mile from my house, thus saving me 5 hours of driving time and lots of sleep!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Attack of the Carbs

I luuvvveee the Doughboy, my first vlog is probably going to be some drama about the PD, the plateful of evil carbohydrates + the powerless PWD. Which, now that its spring break, I have time to work on. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Planet Diabetes: Survival: Hospital

(a Dlife video on this subject)

Monday evening the husband and I went to a D-talk entitled "Being Insulin Dependent in the Hospital." Not that unusual,I mean, there are many such topics of conversation being revisited all around the country, ad nauseum, at various pump group meetings. This place...was at a location I've never been to(some other D-group, not pump specific) and the guest speaker was a type 1 endocrinologist himself. With such a resume I could hardly NOT go, it was like being written a blank check to the secrets of the universe. (or at least to the hospital) I needed the hubby to come with me because #1 he was interested and #2 he's been to the general location and can therefore find the place much better then myself. Finding out what makes a hospital + the rulers therein tick would be more then beneficial in the future. Plus I figured I could get some questions of my own answered...beyond the generic "you may want to change x-y-z" material.

The meeting room was small..and decidedly packed with PWD of all sorts and sizes. After the "Hi, I'm x and I've had diabetes for x years"(personally referring to myself as a diabetic still leaves an incredibly sour taste in my mouth and I rarely do it) intros the endocrinologist, sporting a Dexcom and Ping pump(bonus points for him!) launched right into the discussion.

The meeting lasted about 2 hours and was not boring at all. Riveting talk/discussion, despite one or two individuals periodically launching off on some completely irrelevant topic then the one on hand which one couldn't exactly prevent/say something about because we're all there to support each other and sit through 10 minute rants on insurance not covering lancets.(for real-who complains about that??there are so much more worthy things to complain about) If you have a guest speaker, I think its pretty rude NOT to keep the questions to the topic of discussion. But anytime you have a physician and laypeople you are going to get
someone reciting their entire medical history as they ask their question. Everyone suffers through it.
And I managed to learn some stuff:

-you always have the right to refuse the sliding scale and stay on the pump but if you're going into emergency surgery just give it up and resume when able. Emergency surgery, you should just shut up and be grateful if you make it out alive.(plus they tend to give some real whack-you-out drugs in emergency surgery) Elective surgeries...ALWAYS insist on pumping and if the surgeon doesn't like it find a new surgeon. In the ICU they check bgs so often that being on a insulin drip is the best way to go because you're drugged up and not able to make insulin decisions. Sliding scale anywhere=EVIL and under no circumstances should you be on one because its given according to the staff's schedule, not to your needs. People die of hypoglycemia IN THE HOSPITAL on a regular basis, and you sure don't want to be that person. Give insulin, recheck patient 6 hours later and they are dead because lunch was an hour late and they were too out of it to eat their lunch. Get the doc to write testing orders every 2-4 hours,or whenever necessary.

-most surgeons are not sadistic hellions intent on inflecting as much inconvenience as possible, they are just uninformed. So says an endocrinologist. Um-I think I'll have to take a rain check on that one, guess I haven't yet met the "nice" type of surgeon.

-Always bring your own lancing device(+ meter) ,never consent to their gullitine near your fingers. Much less painful with own lancing device.

-saw several graphs documenting the 6x rate of complications/death from 200+ post operative bgs, even in people who don't have diabetes. (steroids can do marvelous things to the bg) Freaky scary.

Bolused about five times that evening, bgs remained stuck in the mid 200's.It always makes me feel guilty, being at a D meeting and being high(as a pumper you should have the problem licked in about 1.5 hours) Definably need a basal overhaul. He also talked about all the changes they've made to their program and I was impressed(the power of a type 1 endo in bringing about REAL change for all the PWD in the hospital. They are going to have studies of intravenous CGM's in ICU patients.(since that is the most frequent setting for extreme hypoglycemia). The takeaway message was...communicate with the caregivers, call your endo if need be(doesn't work, but nice in theory),advocate for the basics of care. Because you're worth it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Melanoma

Sometimes, it's just a mole on your back.

(I have a couple...let's just leave it at that. You don't want to see them)

And sometimes, it's a Melanoma.


Diabetes is my melanoma right now. Spreading into every waking and non-waking moment. Always there, silently demanding, yet giving back nothing in return.
I have never had cancer, thank goodness, but I have seen what it can do to people's spirits as well as their bodies. Psychologically it is really hard.(worse then D,I think)
I have to say, running to the CDE/Endo for fresh ideas makes the lag even worse sometimes. Let's get even MORE intense about something you're already 100% (immersed/sick and tired of) in!

Growing, growing,growing until the weight of the world is on your shoulders. As much as I'd like to obtain that stellar a1c instantly there are issues that will not be solved immeadiently(it took 10 years to make them and its not going to take 3 months to unmake them) and sometimes its too much. I need to feel like something other then a diabetic. I need to let it just be the mole on the back again...and not read,breathe,talk,sleep,live diabetes 24/7. And that might take the form of not posting on this blog or other D-sites as often. I cannot "stop" the basics of care but I can slack off in other areas to regain that "I'm something other then a collection of pancreatic cells run amuck" sense of well being.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Twenty dollars and eight-four cents.

That's the cost of diabetes on a daily, preventative basis.(supplies, low treatments, etc,ballpark figure for me...)

I got this bottle in January, as part of our church's fund drive to assist a pregnancy center. Coming off a raw recent emotional high of that very subject I wasn't sure if I could look at it without bawling so I put my spare change in another jar and planned to transfer it to the bottle when the time came.

But something happened in a month and a half. The bottle came to mean more then what could have been. It came to represent what can be.(maybe there's a chance for even me)

Change. I can change, I can do battle with my a1c to knock it down under 7. I can drag myself to the gym on a regular basis, I can stop inhaling junk food for breakfast/lunch/and supper and make it more of the exception, rather then the rule. Its still hard but when I look at that baby bottle sitting on my dresser I'm reminded that it's oh-so-worth-it. I couldn't give up that bottle now for anything, I wrote a check to the pregnancy center. They helped me without even knowing they did so.

It's not to large a price to pay for the rest of one's life...change can be a good thing. Every bit helps.