Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summa Time

Most years involve some sort of surgery/body organ failure. (It's just how I roll, apparently) In 2012 it was my thyroid(6 months post C-Section). Nothing in 2011. In 2010, it was ulnar nerve surgery on my left arm,& the year before that I think was the Tonsillectomy. And the year before that I had an intestinal intussesseption & spent the later part of the year A.twice in the hospital and B.getting magnesium 2-3x a week.

So it comes as no surprise to me that something else has popped up. I've had lower right abdominal pain issues for a month...and my doc sent me in for a CT scan with contrast die. The results of that were extremely enlightening(per radiologist: "You have a really,really,tiny pancreas. I mean, it's barely there. Were you born with this?"/no, and now you're saying that my pancreas is literally disappearing and one day I might have to take digestive enzymes as well as insulin? My Endocrinologist has since reassured me that as long as "it" looks normal/not Dierrea'esque it's probably not disappearing(exocrine function intact) & she'll do some more research on that) Primary Care wise, it showed a cyst. So it was a referral off to the OB-GYN who did a ultrasound and confirmed the and go back to pcp if pain does not resolve. Gave it two weeks, & went back to my pcp. My pcp orders an a full abdominal ultrasound which then showed that the cyst had gone (from what they could side was still rather unclear)but I have "sludge" in my gallbladder.
The next step is a HIDA scan.(which tests gallbladder function)(nuclear medicine) These require fasting at at least 4 hours in advance, & laying on a cold hard table for an hour while they take pics. That's scheduled for next Monday, provided nothing happens between now and then.

All things considered,as long as it doesn't mess up my Florida plans I can live with it. I still have all my "useless" organs(ie gallbladder, appendix,spleen) and if getting it out is required, well there could be alot worse scenarios.(just don't tell me that it has to come out eminently because I need this vacation) Being female,having D,being 30-40,and having had a baby pretty much
shoes you in for gallbladder issues.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Bucket List

Here's a few of the things I'd love to see happen in this life of mine...

1. Win the lottery. (oh, wait, that will never happen? well, a girl can dream. If I won the lottery, I'd set up a foundation for D-peeps to get needed supplies(test strips,insulin, glucagon, syringes, type 2 meds, etc.) I'd also take a longgggg trip around the world & perhaps buy a yacht to live on for the rest of our days) And I'd help my parents, sibs,family, and friends out. (financially)

2. Go to an Olympics. (opening ceremonies through closing ceremonies) I imagine that is pretty cool.

3. Finish the RN degree, finish the bachelors, finish the Masters.

4. Have another child.

5. Participate in more Artificial Pancreas research studies.

6. Travel. (see also: #1)

7. Perform an impromptu concert on UVA's grand piano (at the medical center).

8. Be in The Doctors/Ellen DeGeneres tv audience.

9. Be on Jeopardy game show. (live)

10. Live to a ripe old age. Although I'm not sure I want to live too long because at some point my husband would not outlive me (13 years age diff) and that is going to be awfully lonely. I want to go together. So, about to the age of 88.

11. Run a marathon. (yeahhhhhhhh...that one won't be happening anytime soon)

12. Get a puppy, and some gold fish. (and perhaps other pets that aren't cat un-friendly) Our cats are getting old though.

13. Move back to Virginia,(retirement?) get a rustic cabin (but not too far from civilization) and stock it to be prepared for any national disaster.

14. Volunteer at a diabetes camp.

15. Learn to quilt/knit/crochet.

16. Learn proficient Spanish.

and the last thing on my bucket list?

See a cure for type 1 diabetes come to pass, preferably applicable to me. I have a whole other bucket list reserved for THAT occurance, mostly involving foods that test out the realness of that cure.
Baby steps, though. (I'd take an artificial pancreas in the absence of that cure)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Random Bits of Double Up Arrows

Technology woes: I has them. On several fronts.

You know how most of the US is finallllllly getting to transition to the new Omnipods? (after being promised this since like, February. I'm not kidding.) Well, I'd estimate that 95% of my podding friends already have theirs. Strange silence for me, still. I have been ordering pods on a month-to-month basis because I didn't want to get stuck with 3 months worth of old pods that don't work with the new system. I get them directly from Insulet. Rumor has it that on the next "reorder" they will send you the new system/pods. I have not ordered in the traditional manner,& have somehow slipped through their (emailing)cracks. However, since they finally have approved me to get the new system(per over the phone), I was game to get a 90 day supply.

Not so fast. This,apparently, has to be approved by my insurance company like everything else. Why they wouldn't approve this when they already approve of the old pod system is beyond me. Then again,they will probably have to pay for the PDM (as well as the partial pod cost) and who knows how that will go down. The Insulet rep suggested I call & bug them,to expedite the process. Insulet isn't exactly helping the process along. It will probably be another week before I get approval/new system in my hands, which means its back to my Ping system for me.(on the last pod) Sigh.

And in other news, my phone is currently I was attempting to install/jailbreak to Cydia. Then I tried to reinstall my phone stuff, and couldn't do that because my Mac operating system(Lion?) needed a major (lengthy) update. I know not of what I do, which is why it takes me 3x longer then it would take anyone else. My phone is long out of warranty with Apple(it's an iPhone 4), but I just can't bring myself to get another one/sell this one until something majorly mind-blowing comes out or this phone dies.(in case you were thinking I deserve to get bricked, for jail breaking) I jailbreaked once before,successfully. Jailbreaked phones are just sooooo cool,you get a ton more options/programs that Apple doesn't give you.

Endo appt on Friday. I could very well get my first double-digit a1c since post-dx, things have been that horrid on the bg front. I know I need to go back to the educator and really work on the overnights. However, don't expect any sort of consistency on the shot/pod/tubed pump method because I have to use whatever works or whatever I can get my hands on. I've also had some pain issues (cyst) for the past month,so there is always a reason for these things. It cannot stop there though, it's so easy to say "this is how it is and I'm going to wallow in it." People who live to 100 don't have that attitude. Gotta fix it.

My MIL comes it's off to finish cleaning the house!


Friday, June 14, 2013

My Sugr: A Diabetes App Review

Several weeks ago, I got the chance to try out the My Sugr app (for a comprehensive review, you can read Scott's over at Scott's Diabetes) . Anyway, I'm fairly certain that the entire DOC knows about it at this point but these are just a few of my thoughts. The basic version is free, & that's currently what I'm using. (no one payed me for review of this app, all thoughts are my own)

Coming into this, I wasn't sure what to expect..diabetes apps seem to be a dime a dozen & none of them have really changed how I feel about logging.( HATE IT) I've always found paper logs to be more helpful then current apps.(at least, my Endo's spreadsheet log is. Very comprehensive. Only problem is, it's not exactly little &'s an entire page for just one day. And over time? Forgitaboutit, not easy to discern patterns. But my Endo & CDE both dislike the Omnipod program that's usually the path I go down when there is a major bg issue) But hey,why not? It just might not be like all the rest.

The first step was to name my diabetes monster. I christened mine "Sinbad the CGM" because that's the name of my Dexcom, & because I'm singerally short on good device names these days.

Sinbad & I were soon ready for action...I tapped the "+" symbol to make a new entry.



Picture(you can use ths for food, etc...anything you want to remember for later use)

Blood Glucose


Bolus (additional area to type specific foods)

Temp basal

Activity(ranging 15 min-12 hours, additional area to type activity description)


36 icons to "tag" activity..ranging from meal related to illness,work,alcohol, etc. can use multiple tags.

Each of the above activities adds points to your point pile, which you can use to try out the Pro Version for a few days. There are also challenges that you can take, mostly involving exercise, that will get you a day or so of Pro. I think this is a good idea, because I'd want to try something out before I bought it.(the Pro Version, that is) To my knowledge, you have to have pro before you can import/export your data.The challenges give you vouchers for the Pro version.

This is what the home screen looks like. (it's a good summary at a glance screen)

Sidebar Navigator:

Logbook breaks everything down, day-by-day,in a color-coded (for exercise,carbs,insulin,etc) format

Analysis gives bg averages for 24 hrs,7 days,and 14 days.(as well as for each month)

In reports,you can export the info to your kindle app/iBooks/email/print. This is only an Apple app at this point,though they are working on an Android app.


Overall, I like this app. I would like to see bg ranges(adjustable for time of day, not just one flat range). I'd also like to be able to plug my basal rates into the settings & have that remembered, as that generally doesn't change on a day-to-day basis & it's a pain to keep entering that. The Pro version would really motivate me to buy it if it contained secret challenges that would give periodic Amazon gift certificate rewards.(yes, I'd pay extra for that element of surprise) I don't enter all my info,or those graphs would look significantly different(I'm really lazy) but hands down,this app trumps paper logs.(if used in the manner intended)


Friday, June 07, 2013

A Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe: Friends for Life '13

It's coming.

Friend-for-life-itis: an uncharacteristic phenemena experienced by a person with diabetes, family member, or a health care professional most usually in the weeks leading up to the event. May exhibit behaviours such as excessive list making, packing, checking the weather in Orlando, searching for the same such hash tags on Twitter, and squealing in excitement when anyone whenever someone posts to the Facebook page. Does not entirely dissipate upon completion of the event,but can be managed via upon seeing pictures, reminiscing, etc.

This summer, my mother in law will be coming to visit. For three weeks. I expect it to go well, the last time she was here the J-baby was a newborn. He is now mobile(walking), has a world of likes and dislikes, and says a few words. One of his dislikes hates is flying on planes/strangers/hotel rooms, and so I think that this year, it's best if he stays home with Grandma/Daddy. He'll be a much happier camper & not to mention thats the entire reason Grandma is transversing the entire country. I am slightly worried, because I've never been away from my kid for 24 hours much less a week but I think if I A. Call/video chat B. leave voice recordings, etc. he'll remember me.(but if he starts to cry, it will break my heart & wonder if I'm the worlds most horrible mother for doing this & should I jump on a plane immeadietly. I would take him, but I think Grandma deserves first priority.) For over two years, he's been a part of my life & I can't just turn off my Mommy brain & decompress from that in the space of a few days. (He will be fine. I will be too. Temporary Separation must happen eventually, or he'll be 18 years old & off to college & I will have never dealt with it & be a complete mental wreck.)

Friends for Life in the Disney venue is pretty cool, for a variety of reasons. I've always taken advantage of the Magical Express bus(free transportation), and I use Southwest Airlines to check (2) free bags (I take an extra bag with me to fill with free conference goodies. People have joked that I must have a body in there, it's generally that heavy.) Last year was an exception to the rule, as 3/4 of my suitcase contained baby items & no,no way were we bringing home STUFF with the sheer amount of baby, suitcases, several backpacks, car seat, and stroller to juggle through the airport. I also bring back my plastic Disney mug(they sell these for a fee in many of the Disney Hotels) (free refills on fountain drinks) which saves having to spend any money on drinks. (YEMV. They might make you buy a new mug, but I've been lucky. I recycle from year to year.)And if you know anybody with a car, there are nearby Walmarts,etc. where you can get snack/breakfast items to cut down on the cost of food. (the Conferance runs from Wed.night-Friday night,with Sat./Sun morning breakfasts. Most people stay till Sunday morning...which means you will be buying overpriced Disney food at some point).I don't trust their mini-fridges, I have both baked and frozen my insulin vials in them. (necessitating fellow conference attendees generously giving me some) I always travel with a Frio case, & just leave it in the room. (I try to learn from my mistakes)

Also characterized by the desire to hug everyone in sight. I'm not usually an exceptionally huggy person, but that's what FFL does to you. For 1 week out of the year, diabetes isn't so sucky and you are surrounded by 3,499 people who also get it. Working in some park time also helps the whole "magical week" feeling.

I hope to see you there.