Friday, March 29, 2013

One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

It's been one of those weeks...where the diabetes hasn't played nicely with life. It's the first week of Med Surg II(aka Mental Health) & it's been somewhat of a perfect storm.

Monday morning saw 5 inches of fresh snow so some things were delayed to later in the week. There was Orientation (Monday), a simulation (real patient aka paramedic instructor) Tuesday, a math exam & neurobiology lecture on Wednesday, & a Therapeutic Communication & a Central Line Care labs on Thursday. TC went fine but about 20 minutes into the other lab my stomach started rolling & I started to get extremely dizzy & I thought I was going low but I didn't want to start off a chain reaction of "where are you going questions" so I sat there,hoping it would go away. (Because you know,lows just spontaneously disappear when you will them away)Heart racing & jitteriness soon joined the list & I started sweating profusely but I still couldn't move. The instructor stopped speaking, looked at me and asked if I was ok & that was all I needed to burst out crying,have an excuse to get out of there,head to the restroom,swig juice & check my bg.(I hadn't brought my (replacement) Dex with me that day) It was 22 & I felt very much like staying on the floor,however long it took. After probably 30 minutes my instructor (& several other students)came looking for me. Low symptoms were in full force,with a low of this nature I always shake like I'm freezing to death & cry(for absolutely no good reason). So, this instructor's first impression of me was that of a hysterically crying,shaky,confused PWD.(yes,she will be my clinical instructor in the hospital in several weeks) She assured me that it was all ok & made me eat chocolate kisses( I have zero problem doing that) until my bg read 203. The rest of my body took some time to get over the adrenalin surge from heck,& my blood pressure skyrocket to 140/90,pulse 120 as the stress shot it up. Eventually (with the assistance of blankets,fluids,& time) the shakes went away,the BP went down & the bg went up to 260 & we went back to the lab where she finished the lecture for the other students & I finished recovering & went home to take a nap. I really don't remember anything from that lecture, & I didn't try.(post low) I think she was freaked out & now considers me "brittle". I've never had a low of this nature hit in class(or clinical) before, I should have been wearing my Dexcom & had something in my pocket to discreetly treat & it all wouldn't have happened.

Friday morning, I awoke to an email from the head instructor informing me that because of my low in lab, I needed to be seen by a physician and have a form filled out that my D was stable enough to go to clinical. This needed to be done before I go to clinical(in other words,today). Classes began at 9, & I managed to acquire an appt for 3 pm with my primary care office (I still had to miss the last class of the day). So that's all done & the form is ready for Monday. I am a little annoyed that I can't even have a low blood sugar (probably even mild,this wasn't,but still) this is MASSIVE overreaction on their parts.

So that's been my life this week. I also had to get my newly found but non-functional Dex replaced & I have yet to actually send it back,though I got the replacement.(I wasn't wearing the Dex when I had the low, I'd forgotten to bring the reciever) Mental Health rotations will be very challenging, I'm not allowed to bring anything in except the basics(hence why I had to get permission for my D-crap,yep,bringing syringes (etc) into a Rehab facility is a real situation. No coffee,tea,Diet Coke allowed.(for staff or residents) We (my group)are there 3x a week, it's going to be really,really rough days without my caffeine.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Last night at a D-meetup,I lost my beloved Dexcom.

I tweeted about it, & while the DOC still has its angels,it also has its "other" individuals. News Flash: not every PWD is your best friend forever. Someone said that they wish they had a Dexcom to lose in a bar..not the therapeutic response of the day. Whatever that means.(insinuating that I'm a rich,spoiled PWD?) I'm over their response, I'm moving on.(you don't know me OR my situation)I don't have $1300 to drop on a new one. I hope someone turns it in, I've called the restaurant & I went back & searched the parking lot..nothing. Hopefully they will turn it in when they realize its a medical device. (At this point, I hold out hope) This is the first time that I've actually lost a valuable piece of medical equipment(or had it stolen), for real.(& I'm 99% furious at myself and 1% furious at the person who took it)

Friday, March 22, 2013

A JDRF Summit

Several Saturdays ago,I left the toddler with my hubby for the day & drove to Bethesda for the JDRF Summit. I was kind of nervous,as Daddy DayCare tends to be alot more lenient then Mommy DayCare(basically,he doesn't freak out over every time the kid has something happen to him) so I only called home 5 times just to make sure everyone was still alive back there. They were all fine.(me,not so much) Despite that,I did have a pretty good time at the Summit...there were a few D vendors & I got to play with the new Omnipod PDM.

The PDMs are basically the same size..the difference,of course,lies in the home screen of the newer one(personalised with name that you have to confirm every time you turn it on) & the (meal)IOB addition. Still no basal IOB,which I think is stupid.(I need that,I'm sensitive to insulin) And the much smaller pods. (which they gave me a sample of, but somehow I lost)They said that existing customers will start getting new PDMs within 3 weeks. I refused to order new pods until they come out, so I'm now on my backup Animas Ping.(My copay for them (the pods) is pretty high,& I don't want to get stuck with a bunch of old pods) Oh well.(tubed pumps are ok short term)

They had various speakers...first the Artificial Pancreas team from the University of Virginia & some biochemist PHD from Duke. (I was much more interested in the former) Nicole Johnson,former Miss America,was the moderator. It was very interesting,by the end of the year the AP should be ready for "home" studies. (They've done it in an outpatient setting already)They've got a system called DIA that integrates CGM data & sends it to a smartphone,which can give you color coded signals(red,yellow,& green-much like traffic lights)as to how likely your bg is going to go either high or low.(&the time frame) At this phase,the "smart" part of the AP can take over & correct but I'm guessing its heavily monitored (like every 5 minutes monitored).
There are three components of the AP & they are doing pretty good with the meals part,but the exercise part still has to have more testing done.
Had lunch,that was a pretty nice spread of salads,sandwiches,& 3 kinds of brownie/cookies. I went over & said hi to the AP study endocrinologist.(we go wayyyy back..I think to 2003. Haven't seen her since 2007 though)
After lunch,it was more DRI-type lectures.(immune system tricking,drugs in development) & that was pretty interesting. There was a panel discussion at the very end,& I went back to my car to charge up my phone a bit. Came back, & most everyone had left by then but the UVA study coordinator said they'd probably be ready in May,for the next phase of the study.(I personally am chomping at the bit to try THE LATEST STUFF so I just about had a happy heart attack at this news. I haven't gotten to do anything at this level of coolness since 2007) But you hate to seem annoying with emails,so I don't.(not like they can speed things up)
Then another PWD,(that I met at another D event)her friend,& I went to the bar.
I rarely drink,the reason for this has less to do with diabetes & more to do with the fact that substances have an exaggerated effect in my body. 1 Tylenol or iboprofen generally will handle aches and pains just fine..even insulin I'm pretty sensitive to.Thus,1 drink (feels like three)will generally snow me under quite well.(yep,that's my limit) Plus, I was driving,so I ordered a very expensive Diet Pepsi instead.It is,however,nice to sit at a bar & have real adult conversations & have that power to order a drink,should I want to. And getting to talk to another T1's for a couple hours is pretty awesome,any day of the week. By 6:45, I figured I should be heading home & I missed my baby like c.r.a.z.y. & wondered how things were really going,at home. Bg was (still nutso high) 223, so I skipped dinner,skipped going to pick up cupcakes.(original plan..since I have a gift card & the place is 3 miles away) I didn't want to get lost in the dark trying to find the place.
By the time I got home,ate something,kissed my "MaMAAAA"ing baby,put him to bed & collapsed into bed,my blood sugar decided to go in the opposite direction & had to be treated with 45 carbs before it decided to go on the up and up. Then I slept for 11 hours straight.

All in all,a fun,totally exhausting day.

- (not)Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone,the stupid thing won't let me publish & I can't post pictures from my phone. Big headache.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013



I have a love-hate relationship with this particular series of posters in my Endo's office. (as in, I love to hate them) I realize that the purpose of it is to empower you to do better, but when I look at it, I see an unattainable goal (unless I'm A. pregnant or B. dead) much as I have really,really come to dislike the Verio meter, and as much as I came into this appointment expecting double-digits a1cs & a thyroid level off the charts due to said "noncomplience" issues & my own slew of stress highs relating to nursing school, my a1c actually came back 0.5 lower then it was the last time & my thyroid results are now normal. Oddly though, we didn't spent any time at all talking about my a1c. (perhaps she's given up trying to ever get me back to under 7) I told her about the whacky spells I get that I think are related to the generic form of the thyroid med(happening every couple days..I get shaky, weak,dizzy, heart races, and feel really horrible) and these happen at any and every time of day, regardless of blood sugar & she said she could switch me to the brand name Synthroid (to see if that fixes it). I can't very well stop taking it (well, for any length of time...oddly enough,if I don't take the pill that day it does not happen). And I hate the Verio meter because it seems like the highs are way off base(if I correct 1.5 units for a 322 with no IOB I will still be scraping the 60's 2 hours later, which is just stupid and unexplainable. I don't think I'm really that high.) True, the Verio reads high, and I guess I can thank it for dropping my a1c 0.5 but I want a meter I can trust, a meter that will give me readings that are consistent with the way I feel. So, once I use up my 3 month supply of Verio strips I am going back to the Freestyle. I'm currently using my old green Ping pump, as the new Omnipod system/pods have STILL NOT SHIPPED. Being back on a tubed pump is a little weird, but I haven't had a single set issue & its actually nice to not be using up so much real estate.(as one does with the Omnipod) Kidney tests came back ok, all is status quo with the magnesium levels. (I'm glad of that, as the big 15 anniversary approaches, one starts to worry more about whether kidney complications are going to be rearing their ugly head) I had a mild low seizure in February(mild, because I didn't have to go to the hospital..I became cognizant fairly quickly) & she said they'd prefer to know about that if it ever happened again. Haven't had a seizure in years,so the next day was pretty exhausting. All in all, it was a good appointment.

I passed Pediatrics-final grade "B". (thank you to everyone who believed in me) Coming into the final exam, I had a 74.2 average (you need a 75 to pass the course) I went over that final exam 6 times to make sure that I'd gotten everything I could get right, right. It was more then a little bit stressful for the next 24 hours, because I really,really,really did not want to fail nursing school. (those 24 hours were basically one big panic attack) But I got an 84, so I passed. (its weird how much empthasis is placed on the can get a 76 overall average and still get a B for the course) Each question is like gold, each question has the potential to either fail you or keep you in the course. (or the program, as the case may be) 4 questions kept me in the program. And it's so, so nice to have a "Spring Break" week before the insanity of Med Surg II(aka Psychiatry) begins.

The baby is walking. Well, kind of. He (death)grabs onto my shirt or pants and I drag him all over the house, until he gets tired and plops back down on the floor. He certainly could walk by himself if he wanted to, & he'll walk pushing the walker we have for him, but I think he's still scared of going solo, and that's why he won't do it. (yet) It's a little bit concerning, as kids are supposed to be walking solo by at least 15 months (which he'll be next month), but I think he will get there by a couple of weeks. He's going through a "I hate ALL vegetables" phrase & screams bloody murder anytime you attempt to feed him any.(seriously, kid, you cannot live on fruit...much as you might like to) It's difficult to know how to discipline a 14 mo (if they get hungry enough,yeah they might eat it except he just won't,he spits it out & he doesn't understand why he can't have what he wants). I'm hoping he gets out of this phase REALLY QUICKLY. And then you try to find healthy ways of disguising veggies but he's smart enough to know they don't look anything like fruit, and he refuses to eat it. Sigh.

Yay, Spring! I'm so ready to get over this doom/gloom/rainy cold miserable weather.(we've had very little snow...perhaps because we're so near the Bay, it's not quite cold enough to turn to snow)

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

That "C" Word

The Cure is Coming.

Yes, yes, boys and girls...this according to the Diabetes Research Institute. Your days of blood tests & swag carb counts and wonky levels are numbered, according to one in-the-know blogger.

When I heard the "possible" news, I was briefly intrueged. Not because I knew it was a "cure" per say, but because I wanted to hear if their idea made any more sense then all the other ideas out there. Because, in 15 years, I've heard alot of "this is it, this is the CURE!!" hype & yes, I've actually believed that it could lead to the cure. Islet Cells. Some sort of Pancreas Wonder Pills. The Glucowatch. (& others) All promising ideas that fizzled out within a few years. I have always believed that there would be an eventual cure, even though I was fortuanate enough NOT to be fed the "5 Year Plan" at my diagnosis. The intern was a straight shooter, told me I'd have it forever, and I assumed that I would, that it could never be cured. And then I got out of the hospital, out into a world where EVERYONE was trying to cure my incurable diabetes.

It's still here. I'm still here. (despite wild take-out swings on both of us) And I've made my peace with diabetes, I don't need a cure. (not that I don't want one, I just don't need one to be happy in life) I realize that I write all this from the point of view of a person who can afford the meds/etc.needed to have a healthy life, who never had to choose between affording test strips or paying the electricity bill. I'm an adult with type 1 diabetes,and I've had a pretty good life. If diabetes affected my child, or another loved one,I would not be nearly as blase about curing it.

I'd want a cure, yesterday. And therein lies the reason to my non-reaction to this news. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with someone with this disease, to have your partner or your child have it, to worry about them every day. There are nights that (while I'm complaining about my blood sugars) my husband tells me "Please don't die on me" & I get to see a perspective from the other side. I'm certainly doing my best not to die for a good, good long while..but as a general rule, I don't do much worrying about complications. (apparently I'm still stuck in an adolescent invincibility complex)

And this latest idea, for reasons mentioned elsewhere in the D-blogosphere, certainly sounds nothing like a "cure." It sounds like a really good idea that may or may not pan out. (Get back to me in 20 or so years) Yeah,the same ole, same ole. But what I take issue with is with a blogger, who certainly knows the effect THIS news would likely have on a community that feels so passionately about a cure,went ahead and did everyone's hopes up only to be shattered the next day. He certainly feels passionately that this will be the next cure,but that's no excuse for toying with the emotions of hundreds (perhaps thousands of people). And that is what feels so, so wrong. I respect the DRI and the work that they are doing, but they won't be getting anymore of my monetary donations.