Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Questions of the Universe

And so today, I met with my course advisor...& got the deep, hard, questions rolling.

In a couple of weeks, my OB course will end...and the Medical/Surgical one is slated to begin. Now I know I'm going to sound like a total wuss, but I have my doubts as to whether or not I can hack it. A thousand questions are flooding my mind (is this going to put me in premature labor, could I have really stellar diabetes control & do better by the baby if I just didn't take this,this course is so difficult that NON-pregnant people frequently fail 1-2x, what if I manage to do well but still have some medical complication and have to drop out 3/4 of the way through(I don't want to take a course I'm just going to have to repeat anyway)...questions to which there are no answers,questions that float out there in the stratosphere.

Medical/Surgical is a demanding course, a full time course. (OB is a piece of cake, by comparison)And I'm going to be living fulltime in the doctor's office anyway, as the
third trimester brings with it increased monitoring/tests in the pregnancy. (just because things are going well now, does no mean that will be the case 10 weeks from now)

So, I have several options. I can drop out in several weeks(miss the 2nd class of the semester), start up again in March.(and be one semester behind) I can drop out in several weeks,take next semester off, and be 2 semesters behind. Or,heck,I could take the next two years off & still be eligable for readmission to the program. I don't want to do that,& I don't for see having to do that, but there are no answers out there...for either my advisor, or for me.

And LifeChange 101 is coming our way,& there's a part of me that needs time to get ready for that.(call it my "nesting" instinct)
I want to create the nursery, & get everything in order (and that includes my mountains of junk,let's hope this kid does not inherit my messiness traits) and 2-3 weeks at the end of the semester doesn't seem adequate. (especially not when you have grown so big that you don't want to move) This is what I want,& this is a decision that may never come my way again.(whereas, with nursing school, yes I could do this at age 42) This is the decision that is "best for me" as my advisor would so eloquantly put it, although no one can tell you what to do, the answer in this regard is becoming clearer.
Its admitting that I can't do everything which is a tad hard. People do this, people have emergencies/babies/circumstances routinely that they have to take time off...& get back into the program,graduate,become nurses.(it isn't some bad thing when you can't) I just really wanted to have completed the semester before I did that, it feels like a thorn in my flesh if I can't, like a task unfinished.

Time will tell, I guess. (whether or not I'm nuts enough to take on Med/Surg.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The $1,200 Baby Care Class

I don't know nothin' about birthin' no babies! - Gone With The Wind

The third trimester looms,& one thing I know...I still don't know much about birthing no babies. Or that much about caring for one. But I do know,that this nursing rotation has cut down by 80% the actual amount of classes we'll need to take.( Dad101 & BabyCare 101) as I've learned about what labor will be like,what preterm labor will be like,all the drugs that they might give,breast feeding vs.formula, a preemie is going to be different then a 38 weeker,all the maneuvers & monitoring tests that they do,under what indications they ship you off for a
C-Section,how diabetes doesn't just put the infant at a risk for hypoglycemia/being too large but also a risk for placental abruption/bleeding to death right there, etc.Some of it I wish I didn't know. Will it be the sort of pain that makes me want to throw up/die (kind of like the intusseption) or will it be more pressure then pain? It is nice to have a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips,because the OB doesn't have the time to educate you about all this stuff. Most of this stuff is geared toward the Mom(of course), but there seems to be a never-ending amount of childcare classes being offered at the local hospital. (I picked the two that might have relevance to either/both my husband & I) I just need the nitty-gritty hands on stuff,since I already know what labor/etc.will be like.(& my husband needs hands/on too,labor can be summarized with the words "long & painful."

Yes,this $1200 baby care class is well worth it. I feel a little more ready for what is coming our way.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, September 17, 2011

30 for 30: My Invisible Illness

(aka 30 things for the 30 year old!)

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: Dec. 10, 1998.

3. But I had symptoms since: May 1998...I recall getting personally acquanted with every single water fountain/restroom on all 3 floors of the high school. (it was the summer of driver’s Ed)

4.The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Snacks, Eating, and not being my own person anymore.

5. Most people assume: That I’ve got it together by now, & my blood sugars never go over 120 or below 70. (“Do you have it pretty well regulated, dear?”) Yeah, right. (I’d like some of whatever you’ve been smoking) Every day is a constant battle.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: That they exist. (period)

7.My favorite medical TV show is: The Duggars/Greys Anatomy/Private Practice/What Not to Wear/etc....I don’t think I’ve got an absolute favorite, per say.

8.A gadget I couldn’t live without is: You probably think I’d say my insulin pump, or my Dexcom...but I could probably live without those. My iphone is the love of my life, though.

9. The hardest part about nights are: Sleeping on my side...but that’s not diabetes related, that’s pregnancy related. I was a back sleeper for 29 years and suddenly, I had to go cold turkey. (no easy thing) No one ever told me about that little thing known as “Supine Hypotension.”

10.Each day I take (X) pills & 0 vitamins: Well, it depends. I take at least 1 pill, and I’m supposed to take a prenatal(very lax on that one though) & there are the random aches & pains & allergies that I’ll occasionally have to pop some more pills, but yes, one a daily basis, just one. I’m trying to keep the pill brigade to a bare minimum right now. I do pump insulin 24/7, though.

11.Regarding alternative treatments I: if it works for you,& it hasn’t been shown to be toxic/damaging/etc. I think “alternative” treatments may have additional benefits. But you can’t “replace” insulin altogether, & you need to keep your HCP in the loop. I have taken supplements/herbals in the past, but I don’t pretend to speak for the DOC at large.

12.If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I’m going to go with the invisible illness. If I don’t want to share it, I don’t have to share it.

13.Regarding working and career: I dunno what I want to do exactly...I’m leaning towards something in either pediatrics or research. I’m still very much the naive, impressionable nursing student. I don’t think being a CDE is in my future, I’m not the teaching sort. At this point, I’m just crossing things off my list (of RN jobs I don’t think I could ever do).

14.People would be surprised to know: That “Yes, I can eat that!!!”

15.The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been:
That the “Golden Years” probably won’t be so golden, unless there’s a major breakthrough/cure. I fear the impending complications.

16.Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was:
Every day, I wake up & discover something else that I can do that I never thought possible with diabetes. Fear Factor. Job(s). School. Pregnancy. The list grows as my life goes by, & sometimes I look back & think “I did what?” (in my wild and crazy youth) Diabetes certainly throws monkey wrenches into the above, but it doesn’t have to “stop” any of it.

17. The commercials about my illness: are interesting, I feel a sort of “bond” with some of them in question...but the meter ones make me feel like smashing something.

18.Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Drinking an extra-large, sugary Slurpee on a hot summer day. I’m sure its entirely possible, but I’ve never been brave enough to try to figure out the bolusing sequence on that one.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: I wanted to enter the military, & well that was obviously out.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Cross-stitch. I enjoy stabbing things (that aren’t body parts) with needles. (a sort of diabetes voodoo)

21.If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: I’d eat a zillion carbs, & wash it down with a couple of Daquiri’s & veg out in front of the tv for the rest of the day. (of course, “normal” in this case means no D, & the absence of pregnancy)

22. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: “Have you had it since you were a baby?” (I know its called juvenile D, but why don’t you just ask me WHEN I got it?)

23.But I love it when people: just listen, and don’t judge!!!

24.My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: You can do this!

25.When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: It’s going to be ok, you can do this.

26.Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: that most of the time, I deal with it fine. You get used to it.

27.The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Brought me soup/liquids & made sure I was doing ok. (& called the doctor for me)

28.I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: It’s going around the DOC!

29. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Hopeful for humanity. Invisible or not, we all need to be more understanding of others.

30.My illness has taught me: To be prepared for most “disaster” scenarios. Diabetes doesn’t have as much power over you, if you’ve got the antidote to the whatever it throws at you. I try to stay one step ahead of the ballgame, so when that disaster comes, its not "as bad."

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Techno-Dgeek

My devices have names. I don't feel like this is so unusual, the DOC is thronging with the "my pump-meter is named such & such" (I'm in good company). I have nick-named everything,from my car to my husband. (that's just who I am)

My first pump, a MiniMed 508,was named Code Blue.(it was always having one emergency or the other)

My Deltec Cozmo was Lambo,Jr. (named for an Australian acquaintance of mine)

My Animas was "The Green Hornet."(insulin stung going in)

And then along came the Omnipod, which was dropped into my lap(& after some time, I finally decided that yes,I'd keep). A year has passed,& I still have no clue what to name it. The two separate parts are referred to as "the pod" & "the PDM" & it really hasn't much more personality then that. I wish I could find a name for it,for all my other pumps have had actual names. Even the Dexcom name(s) came easily.("Dex" & "The Cockroach"(transmitter) I really would like the devices to meld into one system so I could just call it "Artie" (short for artificial pancreas),that won't be happening for quite awhile though. Such is life. I certainly would like to participate in future phases of the AP project,but again,that will likely be several more years down the road. It's exciting stuff & I believe in this project more then any other research out there.("curing" diabetes is a stretch,but giving individuals the power to live normal lives with mostly normal bgs isn't)

While the rest of life moves very quickly,the advances in the diabetes field move very,very slowly...& sometimes I wish I could just jump to the future & have it all NOW. I know that sounds selfish,but I've had more then enough years of diabetes & I need a break, I need some of the awesome burden to be lessened (for me & everyone else out there). Decades & decades & decades more with this disease just doesn't sound do-able.( I know others have done it,but there are days where the best I hope for is to finish the day alive)
Technology and diabetes care have become interwined, from the advent of blood glucose meters to the pump/CGM combo.(and for all it may drive you crazy,it's the future,it's (for most people) the best of diabetes care) (not everyone chooses one,for various financial & personal reasons).

But I & technology are joined at the hip...for better,or for worse.It makes my life a whole lot easier,a whole lot less "different" from the rest of humanity.My iPhone contains everything from diabetes management apps to recipes to Twitter/Facebook(essential for my coping mechanisms)...as well as it being the link to the pharmacy,doctors office,etc.(everything a PWD could ask for) And I realize I'm lucky,in a world where many people don't even have the means to buy insulin/test strips (lucky,yet "unlucky"....the great oxymoron of the 21st Century)..I don't dispute that. I do love my technology.(given the chance, I choose to utilize those opportunities)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


My first Maryland Crabcake, a culinary adventure worth...well,worth waiting for!
(and deserving of it's own blog post)

I think it was bacon encrusted,because wow,that thing was sooooo good! (I believe the "gotta have one" hype now)

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Up & Up

I keep hoping that in one regard, I won't be the "typical" type 1 going through pregnancy. I don't mind the weight gain, but taking a boatload of insulin is a bit scary.

The Placental Express has yet to hit with a bang,but my blood sugars are definatly creeping up. Especially overnight. (gone are the days of hanging out at 70-90 overnight) If I do nothing, they remain stable. (versus dropping multiple times per night, in the first trimester) If I treat a low, even 15 carbs will skyrocket me from 60 to 130 by the morning. Which, by this point, doesn't put me in a good mood. There was a time in my life where waking up to 130 on a persistent basis would have thrilled me to death. But now, it doesn't (I NEED under 100). It just makes me annoyed at diabetes, & the fact that it never plays by the rules. (you can't not treat a low) My total daily dose has increased by about 10 units, but some of that is just the fact that stellar control was not my thing pre-pregnancy. Most of this is in the way of basal increases...my ratios are still about the same. (although I just upped breakfast again,with a 1/8) As the day wears on, I get a whole lot more sensitive to insulin (ending at a 1:20 for supper)

So, what I don't quite understand is how much of the insulin increase is related to the placenta and how much of it is related to weight gain. (I'm aware that both just really go to town post 20 weeks) It's very much a YMMV process (as to both),but someone who gains 25 lbs versus 50 definatly has less of an insulin increase. Gaining too much (or too little) weight is not a good thing, you don't really need to "eat for two." (more like 1.1) That being said, I'm most definatly feeling pretty pudgy these days.
(I hope colder weather comes soon, because I've outgrown every single pair of non-sleepwear attired shorts that I own) I've gained about 12 lbs. I just wish I knew just how much of an insulin increase I'm due for, but there seems to be no real way to estimate that either. (other then 2-3x pre-pregnancy daily doses)

As I'm much hungrier, (for everything under the sun) avoiding junk food is impossible. Although I'm aware that such cravings are normal, and "some" is ok, I sometimes eat it 24/7 (especially during class days) and that's not good. I just can't seem to be satisfied on just "healthy" food.

I think that the days of daily basal changes are just around the corner,& that insulin resistance is here to stay.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Diabetes Art Day: Body Art!!

It is a far,far,better thing that I do then I have ever done before.-A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

You're worth the 3 AM check,the 12 AM check,& all the checks in between.

You're worth the 200+ kicks daily,mostly in the middle of OB class(a veritable Mexican Jumping Bean). As I learn about Leopold's Maneuvers and fetal monitoring strips,you don't want me to be too caught up in delivering other people's babies that I forget about my own.

You're worth the heartburn,nausea,caffeine/food deprivation,random joint aches,& back pain.

You're worth turning 30 for.(happy Birthday,& don't start falling apart twice as fast now,self)

You're worth the Endo gruel-downs.

You're even worth having diabetes for,although I don't suppose one has anything to do with the other. But diabetes defiantly influenced who I married,it influences so much.As much as I hate the circumstances,there is a silver lining to many a dark & dire cloud.I'm doing my best not to screw this up.

And we're halfway there.

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