Monday, September 27, 2010

Omnipods & Eye Exams

Tomorrow I take off down South,where awaits an eye exam & the next step of the Artificial Pancreas Project.And while I am not thrilled about the switch in insulin will definently be the learning experience of the year.I may love it or hate it,but it will not last forever...& I shall survive.Yes folks,I shall be trialling the Omnipod..stay tuned!!(I am also exceedingly nervous,given my uncanny ability to accidentally rip things off/lose devices) I shall be using that, together with their Dexcom,to manage(not manage) my diabetes for the next few weeks.(someone hold my hand & tell me I can do this)

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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Not-So-Funny Bone

(Orthopedic waiting room)

Today, I went to the orthopedic doc, my wrist/hand has been bothering me for several months. Wrist brace/anti-inflammatory meds have not done a whole lot of good. At first, I thought I'd broken it,because it all begun with an injury. My PCP said nope, it was likely a nerve problem & referred me over to the orthopedic practice.

Because it was a satellite office, there was only one doc there that day...and the patients stacked up like cord wood. It took an hour to finally get around to me. Didn't really mind, that happens sometimes,fortunately I didn't have any other pressing obligations the rest of the day.

Doc O came in, asked a few clarifying questions,and proceeded to poke around on my arm & delivered his opinion, which was it looks like a nerve entrapment at the elbow, possibly the wrist as well. The fingers/thumb on the left hand are significantly weaker then those on the right.(fortunately,I am right handed) All of which is common, in individuals with diabetes.(yay,yay,yay) He asked about my control,and said it didn't really matter if my control was stellar...accumulated sugar has a way of causing problems, regardless. Next step is EMG/nerve conduction studies,& I should add an elbow brace to the wrist brace.

(this is the area of pain/numbness)

If it is compressed,it will mean surgery.(I don't really know how it could not be compressed,given the symptoms)There are multiple scenarios that could be occurring-and maybe it is diabetes,just screwing up the entire deal. I really would like it be something fixable,as opposed to "just live with it." Yes, I have diabetes,but I also do alot of typing, etc.,and the whole thing did begin with an injury. I would appreciate docs NOT slapping diabetes as the cause, right off the bat.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wave of the Future

I got that feeling again.

"Take a look at your five years,it will be an obsolete piece of junk,gathering dust in the closet with the rest of your diabetes antiquities."

Errrr,seriously? This is one of the greatest technological breakthroughs,ever,(cgms in general)& just like that,the 7 (&7+)will be downgraded to nothingness?

The future beckons...& it's name is the Animas Symphony.Not at the FDA yet,& who knows when it will be,but it will be oh-so-cool when it is(& gets approved). Hopefully be around the time my warranty on this pump is up. I love the name,it's surely music to my ears to have an all-in-one device!

Having diabetes sucks,but the improvements are coming,fast and furious,& I have hope that I(& many other PWD ) will live long enough to benefit from them. Medtronic is steamrolling ahead with their artificial pancreas studies, JDRF-Animas is doing their thing...& rumor has it,that yes,Steve Jobs is in cahoots w/Dexcom integration into a phone(the iHelp,which may or may not be true,but would be totally rad if it were true)

and it's all a tad overwhelming,like standing on the edge of Niagara Falls,so much technology & potential to manage/cure diabetes. No one knows much yet about harnessing that awesome power,to the greatest good.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Great AmeriCanadian Road Trip:Niagara Falls

Day 2,we enjoyed the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

(thankfully,the breakfast nook had sf syrup.And Diet Coke,so I was good to go)


Standing on the ledge...
the amount of water that goes over every second is astounding.
Going "over the falls" is like flinging oneself off a 20 story building & hitting concrete at 200 mph,the undertow is very powerful & that is what kills people-they can't get back to the surface.


We opted out of the boat ride,it looked lame anyway.You don't go anywhere near the waterfall.(s,there are two)But the Journey behind the Falls was pretty cool,you go down an elevator & right up near the (Horseshoe)Falls.The iPhone stayed in my backpack,as one gets exceedingly wet from the blowing mist.

Right time,right place for a rainbow!

(the Rainbow Bridge)

Forays into the Gift Shoppe..

Went to see the IMAX movie about the history of the Falls. The first person to go over(in a well padded barrel)was a schoolteacher(& her cat). They both survived,but no immortal fame & wealth would result...she would die,penniless,17 or so years later.

There have been quite a few attempts,& a few deaths to boot.Not a good idea,even if you survive,you have to pay the fines/perhaps do jail time because it is illegal to go over the falls.

We can cross that place off the Bucket List was pretty cool.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Treasures of the Belmont

My last major task on Saturday,before heading home (from Virginia) was to hit up the big annual yard sale. This involved getting up @6:15,so I could follow my brother(& family) out there. Extreme early mornings never bode well for my blood sugars,the Dexcom went to town from 140 to over 300. I knew it would come down though,as I was doing alot of walking. Sure enough,it came down to 189 by the time I was ready for brunch.

I have a thing for Pillsbury Doughboy..and on the last stop of the day,hit the motherlode. I think I squealed like a kid in a candy shop,since I really don't have enough PD memorabilia.So I kind of went a bit crazy,with what money I had remaining,and for $6,I was happy with what I got.(below,plus large Doughboy in above photo) And it was all in excellent condition.

I also got other stuff..

(candy cane pin)

And snapped this pic,of an R2D2 Pepsi cooler. I couldn't have fit it in my car,but thought it was cool,nonetheless.When I whipped out my iPhone to take a picture of it,a glazed look passed over the face of the individual next to me,who had likely never seen anything like that in all of his 65+ years.He probably got that it was a camera of sorts,just not something seen in RuralVille,USA.

(and this was too cute & too cheap to pass up...given that I live near water & love the ocean!)

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Fall D-Meme

What type of diabetes do you have: Type 1.

When were you diagnosed: December 10, 1998 @ 4 pm.I recall that moment precisely, I was staring at the clock in the exam room when the nurse practitioner told me the news.

What's your current blood sugar:
186, at 5:30 pm.

What kind of meter do you use: One Touch Ping. Occasionally,I will use my Contour USB.

How many times a day do you test your blood sugar:

What's a "high" number for you:
150+, but I don't generally do something about it unless I have no IOB..or its 200+. I am sensitive,and drop quickly.
What's do you consider "low": Anything under 80 mg/dl.

What's your favorite low blood sugar reaction treater: Most often, I use juice or tabs. Airheads, Cotton Candy, or Candy Corn are all great ways to treat a low, providing I don't eat the entire bag.

Describe your dream endo: non-judgemental,tireless advocate,deliverer of world-class care,devilishly handsome (if male).

What's your biggest diabetes achievement: I don't have any. As of yet,I haven't achieved an a1c under 7, but I have lived almost 12 years with this disease and I consider that an achievement of sorts.

What's your biggest diabetes-related fear:Blindness. Everything else can be improved upon,(kidney machines,heart meds,etc.) but you can't fix permanent blindness. I love movies, watching the change in seasons,and so much in life that comes from that one sense. That cannot be replaced.

Who's on your support team:
husband, family, friends, local pump support group. And the cats-because I think they want me around as long as feed/care for them.

Do you think there will be a cure in your lifetime: No. But I do think type 1 will become more like type 2-more stable blood sugars,not fluctuating as much.
What is a "cure" to you: Anything that keeps my blood sugar in a "feel good" range(70-150) and prevents secondary complications. Like an artificial pancreas..I have high hopes for that project.

The most annoying thing people say to you about your diabetes is: "I could never do "that"(syringes,blood tests,diet change, etc.) Well, I'm not doing this because I enjoy a Spartan lifestyle..I'm doing this because I want to have a long and healthy life. You could and WOULD, if it were you.

What is the most common misconception about diabetes: that you get it from eating too much sugar!

If you could say one thing to your pancreas, what would it be: I'm grateful you didn't go totally kaput on me..but you islets are the wimpiest things EV-ER. I would far rather take digestive enzymes then take insulin, for the rest of my life!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Between Numbers

7.9 is a beautiful number.Not any better then 3 months ago..but not any worse,either. And the mental anguish of a 40 minute waiting room-doctor wait melted away the second my endo walked into the room & told me my a1c.In the time I waited for her,I snapped pics.

(waiting room)

(supply closet,just outside the door)

(weapon of death,used on all non-compliant patients)

We talked about many endo is very through,if nothing else. About my up-and-coming clinical trial(my endo used to be an endocrine fellow down there,& thus knows everyone)and about my sudden,drastic bolus changes(going from 1/10 to 1/20 amid other one's just because I felt like it was a tad shocking to her,to say the least) In my defense,when I did go back to the replacement pump,I didn't have any records of basals/bolus ratios & the CDE was on vacation & I didn't feel like playing phone tag with the endo so that's what those were.And most of them do work-my a1c did not suck,because of the changes I made.She really didn't believe me though.(Apparently I brought in the wrong set of bgs,I should have shown her the 250-400's of the several weeks prior.Sigh. Lab form..took a look at feet/eyes/thump chest/review meds.I do not need any refills of anything,because (most) of my d-supplies will be provided free,should I get into the clinical trial.I kind of think that although no changes were made,it was still a worthwhile appt..I did get some questions answered & was reassured that my a1c wasn't worse.Yes,there was guilt,but it wasn't an overwhelming,run from the exam room naked & screaming(crazy) sort of guilt.I am relieved that it's over,though.

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