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Monthly Archives: May 2015

A First Time for Everything I Suppose

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Here’s to my first LOW reading on my Dexcom.  I didn’t get a picture of it but just before I was 45 slanty arrow-down and my meter said 47.  So I’m not sure just how low LOW was.  It didn’t stay LOW too long.  I’m at a happy 63 slanty arrow-up as I type.  Funny thing is I didn’t even have a clue that I was getting that low.  I’m not sure why I didn’t hear the alarm come to think of it.

Trying to reconstruct where I went wrong is always a mystery:  I was getting low and knew dinner would be late so I bolused for my before dinner snack of crackers and a cup-of-noodles (approx. 20 carbs).  Then, when I sat down to dinner I was high with a arrow-up.  I estimated my carbs (29g) and bolused for dinner.  I didn’t think anything of the double arrow-down alarm since I was so high.  Next time checked Dex and was arrow-down at 97. We continued our game of charades with the kids.  The next time I checked my Dex was after brushing my teeth.  47 slanty arrow-down.  What?!   Meter test confirmed Dexcom reading.  I didn’t feel anything yet.  Only a while later did I feel slightly numb in my fingers and my daughter said my hands felt cold.  It’s not until now at 87 arrow-up that I feel a bit of heart pounding.  Definitely not a typical low for me.

So where did I go wrong?  Rhetorical.  Diabetes is questions and guesses.  Answers?  Not so much.

Well, I’m level now at 102 so I really need to turn in for the night…

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Blink Blink Another Week

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I have wanted to sit and write another post this whole week but life kept getting in the way.  I sometimes wish I could neglect DM for a while too but that wouldn’t end well.  So, in the interests of not going weeks and weeks without writing anything I will be inserting past blog posts that I’ve made at least once a week.  I have blogged offline, so to speak, for about a year in the hopes that I would one day start a blog.  I won’t include all of the entries since they were mostly notes to myself about my Dexcom alarming in the night for the umpteenth time or eating 11 Doritos with my salad and shooting to 349 with the obvious observation that it was time to add a bolus regimen.  It definitely helped me to write things down and not overwhelm my husband with all the details.  By nature he likes to fix things and by nature, conversely, my pancreas is not fixable.  He has been an enormous help and support throughout this entire journey though.  It’s strange how isolating the diagnosis can be at first despite having such a wonderful and loving support.  After all, it is only those who have DM who must think about each and every thing they put in their mouth and the learning curve that first year is pretty intense.  Granted, I was already somewhat carbohydrate savy having been misdiagnosed as a type 2 for so long.  It’s another thing though to have to take insulin and balance it all. So what follows is my first real attempt to get some of this out of my head. As I read over this I really remember the emotions…

May 31, 2014

Well, it’s been a year since diagnosis. I’ve been successful in bringing my A1c down.  I’m pretty strict with my diet but actually eating what a person should be eating to begin with.  I know that I will soon be starting a bolus regimen.  I’d like my A1c to be closer to 6 so I can avoid the ravages of this disease later in life.

I guess what I want to touch on today is the emotional side of diabetes.  I have a wonderful husband, truly.  It’s funny how I can feel so isolated from him because of my diabetes though.  I know he tires of daily references to it.  It’s hard to talk to someone about something that they don’t wish to focus on (nor should they have to).  It doesn’t help that I can be a royal pain when I am high (grouchy and hyper sensitive).  And it’s hard to know when to stop talking when someone asks the casual question.

Sometimes though, when I read the type 1 blogs on the Internet, I feel like a pretender.  I didn’t have the ER visit/diagnosis.  My diabetes was easy to manage with diet and exercise (when I was first diagnosed as a type 2) until my A1c started climbing last year.  Would long acting insulin (basal) have helped me in those early years had I been correctly diagnosed early on?  Maybe, maybe not.  I did quit taking my insulin for a couple of days to see just how much it benefited me and found that it was indeed keeping me in more normal range.  If I happen to forget to take my basal injection in the morning my blood sugars will run much higher all day and it takes a couple of days to get back to the under 140 2 hours post meal.  Morning basal insulin works for me best for a couple of reasons.  It is part of my morning routine; wake, test, inject, dress, stumble downstairs to eat breakfast.

The truth is that diabetes has more than just the physical act of replacing/balancing insulin/glucose.  There is dealing with the frustration of not being able to eat a single meal without thinking about how to balance something that my body used to do so perfectly with nary a thought before.

I am tired of being so restrictive with my diet.  Especially as I see its’ effectiveness diminishing and my occasional variations yielding unacceptable spikes.  I full well realize the role I have to take on as this disease progresses.  I am grateful that I had time to ease into the role of being my new pancreas, if you will.  It certainly gives me compassion for those who have to deal with it all at once.

DIABETES BLOGWEEK; DAY 7 – MAKING CONNECTIONS

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Wow.  This has been a great week.  I’ve enjoyed reading many posts from my fellow participants.  I still haven’t quite finessed my way around wordpress (GRR, I just accidentally closed my draft and it didn’t save the last hour of work – deep sigh.  Moving on…).

Thank you everyone for all of the posts. A special and huge THANK YOU to Karen of Bitter-Sweet Diabetes for hosting/creating this Blogweek.  As far as new blogs to follow there are simply too many to list them all and I’m sure I’ll be discovering more as I continue to work my way thorough the wonderful posts from this blogweek.  Here are a few blogs I’ve discovered during this week;

Below Seven

Type 1 Writes

1 Little Prick

Type 1 Diabeter

The Blood Sugar Whisperer

Principles of Uncertainty

Unexpected Blues

Thanks again everyone for a wonderful week.  I’m so glad to be a part of it all.

DIABETES BLOGWEEK 2015; DAY 6 – Favorites and MOTIVATIONS

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Clearly since my first post was on Monday, my topic for the day will be MOTIVATIONS.

The phone call came on a monday morning in mid-July.  I was bustling around the house settling in for a much needed “spring” cleaning.  I was on a mission.  I was finally on track.  First visit to the endocrinologist out of the way; check.  Prescription for Metformin filled; check.  Plan to document a week of diet, exercise and glucose readings before starting Metformin to get a baseline; check.  Kids bustled off to Grandma’s house for a month; check.  This last being the first time I had ever been away from my kids for that long and I was going to keep busy.  It was the perfect opportunity to get my life and my house in order; perfect time to do those projects I had been planning but never had time to complete in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Things were looking up.  Sure, the Friday before I had received a call from my endo with most of the results from the previous day’s bloodwork.  The verdict? My A1c was even higher than the last time despite my kept New Year’s resolutions.  (That’s ok, it would just take a little more time, that’s all).  The rest of the bloodwork looked good but still waiting on a couple more tests.  No worries, I had a plan.  I was sticking to that plan.  I was going to get it all under control; house, projects, diet, exercise, A1c.

The phone rang mid-stride on the way to the laundry room with an armload full of laundry.  A glance at the phone lying so innocently on the buffet showed my endo’s name.  Pause.  I had already heard from him.  I set my clothes down and swiped the answer button.  “Hello?”  And with that hello my life, all of my precious plans, were changed.  I didn’t have a life and death experience.  I wasn’t rushed to the hospital in DKA.  I wasn’t lying in a hospital bed fighting for my life.  Nevertheless, the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes rammed into me like a speeding train.

I didn’t have any friends who had diabetes.  I had an aunt who was diagnosed as an adult but that’s all I knew about her.  I had a idea of what Type 1 was but had more questions than answers.  I remembered another mom mentioning she had Type 1 diabetes at my son’s basketball practice.  I reached out to a mutual friend for her contact information.  Meanwhile, I searched the internet for answers.  I spent days on the computer while my husband was a work;  all projects and plans abandoned.  I needed to understand this diagnosis.  Although I could talk to my husband, although he had supported me in countless ways through two gestational diabetes diagnosis’ and six years of Type 2 diagnosis, I couldn’t place all of my fears and frustrations on his shoulders.  He couldn’t be my rock if I buried him in the torrent of emotions bubbling beneath the surface.  That’s not to say I didn’t cry upon his shoulder or talk nonstop about carbohydrates.  There’s only so much this girl can hold in. It took time to moderate myself.  And I know it took a toll on him.

I found the DOC;  Diabetes Mine, Six Until Me, Bitter-Sweet Diabetes, Test Guess and Go, LIfe After DX, Our Diabetic Life…just to name a few.  I found real people bravely facing a disease that doesn’t play fair.  In many ways I felt like a pretender reading those blogs that first year.  I didn’t have crazy swings.  I didn’t yet require mealtime insulin.  I hadn’t been to the hospital with a hypo.  I was eating an extremely low carbohydrate diet.  I only had one shot of long acting insulin per day.  I still had a few working islets of Langerhaus.  I know there are other people with LADA but I didn’t really find their blogs at first.  So I started an offline blog in Microsoft Word.  I figured I would join the DOC at some point.  I “blogged” in Word.  And when I saw this year’s Diabetes Blogweek, I knew the time had come.

My motivation was me.  My motivation was my loved ones.  My motivation was to be a part of the online community of people who knew what it was like.  My motivation was the person, like me, who could benefit from knowing they were not alone.

DIABETES BLOGWEEK; DAY 5 – FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD!

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I realize this post isn’t really on topic of what I eat in a typical day with Diabetes.

That’s because I was watching a documentary on eating disorders yesterday.  It really bothered me.  I think I was drawn to it because, after I was diagnosed, I talked far too much to my family about carbs.  I wondered about the impact of my hyper-focus on what I was putting in my mouth had on my children.  I can’t say that the documentary really gave me any great insight into my family.  It did, however, cause me to reflect on my journey with T1 thus far as it relates to food.

When I was first correctly diagnosed as a Type 1, I was prescribed a once-a-day long acting insulin.  I tried to avoid taking mealtime insulin as long as possible.  I restricted my carb intake to veggies and meat.  There was a part of me that hadn’t completely accepted that it wasn’t a “reversible” condition.  I had vestiges of guilt lingering from my years mis-diagnosed as a type 2 thinking that I had somehow caused this to happen or perpetuated it by my diet choices (I am NOT implying that Type 2’s cause their diabetes by diet choices – just to be clear).  It is odd how always having to focus on what you eat can skew your relationship with food and the trickle-down effect it can have on those around you.

I have compassion for those effected by eating disorders and their families.  While diabetes isn’t an eating disorder, it definitely can be hard to maintain a healthy attitude towards food at times.  There are still days when I think, “I don’t want to eat, but I’m sort of low so I should- ugh!”  Or times when I’ll bolus for a meal and realize after a few bites that I really didn’t want that but then I have to either find the equivalent in carbohydrates or just eat it anyway.  There are times when I blissfully forget about diabetes and eat a snack only to have my Dexcom jolt me back to reality.  I’m grateful for that.  I am also grateful that I have the pump because it knows just how much insulin I have on board and how much I need to bolus for the correction.

Thankfully, I am back in a healthy place.  I am learning not to think of high glucose numbers as “bad” but as information to act upon.  I’m learning to let myself have those carbs and monitoring how my body reacts to them.  I’m taking the lows as they come and learning how not to over-treat.  I am grateful that I am on the pump and don’t have to eat at certain times of the day.  I do tend to get hungry at regular intervals but it is not necessary to be as scheduled as MDI seemed to necessitate.  I’m happy that I can delay breakfast on the weekends if I want.  I’m getting back to my new normal and a healthy balance.  It feels good.

 

DIABETES BLOGWEEK; DAY 4 – CHANGES

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One of the best changes for me came when I started using the Omnipod.  It enabled me to fine tune my night time basal requirements.  Additionally, I had more flexibility with the times that I eat and the variety of foods.  I also use the Dexcom G4.  The graphs and trending arrows really help me with my daily management.  I haven’t taken advantage of the Share technology but see where it could be a huge benefit for some in their diabetes management.

I feel pretty lucky to have been diagnosed in this era of diabetes care.  Having read many of the DOC blogs, I realize what a gift it was, especially for my mother, that I was not diagnosed as a child.  Obviously there are many innovations in trial and development.  One that interests me is the Freestyle Libre.  I like the idea of eliminating fingersticks.   If it is indeed as accurate as the current meter technology that would be a huge benefit.

Changes I’d like to see in the near future (besides a cure of course)?  That the Dexcom, like the Freestyle Libre, gets rid of the need for fingerstick calibration AND becomes so accurate that it is approved for dosing insulin.  If I’m really going out on a limb; that I would be able to control both my Omnipod and Dexcom from my phone without the need to carry the seperate PDM or Receiver.  And finally, that all of the information be automatically saved to a cloud with easy sharing technology for appointments.

DIABETES BLOGWEEK; DAY 3 – Clean It Out

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It’s not that I’m super tidy but my diabetes “treasure” chest is fairly well organized.  I do have a couple of extra meters though.  My insurance quit carrying the testing strips for them.  Therefore, when I went to refill my prescription I got a new meter.  What exactly do you do with old meters?  It seems a terrible waste just to toss them in the trash.  My old meters still work.

Now that I think about it I have quite a few spare lancing deivces as well…

Humm.  Perhaps it’s time to re-organize.