Thursday, June 30, 2011

Number Four

Four years ago today, I married my best friend.

There are so many reasons I love him.  Little ones and big ones.

Sometimes there just aren't enough words.


Happy Anniversary, honey.  I love you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Better Day

Thanks for all the support, team.  I was really feeling the DOC love yesterday.  Seriously, thank you.

I'm feeling much better about everything now.  My numbers aren't exactly where I'd like, but some things got figured out yesterday.

Thankfully, I was able to take a sick day and stay home and rest.  Although thanks to the thunderstorm, I was resting with no power until noon.  At least you don't need power to sleep!  I didn't get much sleep over the weekend.  When the power came back, I painted my nails and watched Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Also, this allowed me to spend several hours on the phone, both with my CDE and Medtronic support.

I was beginning to worry that the wonky numbers meant there was a problem with my pump.  I had used sets out of different boxes.  I had opened a new vial of insulin.  No change.

So I upload my data (did I mention that I LOVE that Carelink works with Mac now?  Cause I do).  And I call my CDE and leave some long rambling message on the verge of tears to the effect that I need help.

She calls back an hour later, and tells me to call Medtronic for troubleshooting to make sure the pump is ok.

So that's what I do.  I spend about an hour with the technical support guy.  He walks me thru multiple troubleshooting steps.  He also waited with me on the phone while I tore the house apart looking for my pump box.  Those little blue clips that come with the pump?  Yeah, they're for no delivery alarm testing.  I didn't know that until today.  You use them to crimp the tubing and cause an occlusion.

So after about 10 minutes, I finally found the box and the blue clips.  The alarm went off just as it should.  So my pump is fine.

Sidenote: someday I am going to write a post entirely about how AMAZING Medtronic's customer support is.  Seriously.  I freaking LOVE them!!!!!

Anyways, so I call my CDE back, and here's my reenactment of the conversation:

Me: "Hey, so the pump's fine."

CDE: "That's great!"

Me: "So what do I do?"

Her: "Are you on your period, per chance?"

Me: "It's next week."

Her: "Hmmm, ok.  I think that's probably what's going on."

Me: "Yeah, I've noticed since I got the CGM that I do tend to run higher the week before.  But it's never been THIS extreme."

Her: (Pause) "Well, you sound stressed."

Me: "Well, um, yeah..."

Her: "Ok, let's crank up that basal, and keep me posted."

Another sidenote: know who else I freaking love?  My CDE.  LOVE her!

So I'm rocking an increased temp basal for now.  And it is helping.  It's going to take some experimenting to see what percentage will work best.  And that's how I'm trying to think of it.

As a diabetes science experiment.  Thank you, Ginger!

Also on a positive note, my mom and I did a virtual 5K for JDRF last night!  Take that, crazy high blood sugars!  Woohoo!  See Tara's blog for more info.


Here's to an even better day today!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Quit!

Consider this your warning.  This post is not going to be pretty.  It is going to be long, and it is going to be me venting.

I'm not sharing this for sympathy.  I'm sharing because we've all been there.  I'm sharing because insulin is not a cure.  I'm sharing because I was reminded how much we in the DOC need each other, and how important the You Can Do This Project is.

Saturday was the WORST diabetes day I've had in a REALLY long time.  Seriously.

Started out nicely enough.  It was free shower day!  Woohoo!  After the shower, I go put a new CGM sensor in my butt.  It went in fine; I felt no pain.  But as soon as I turned around, I immediately felt like I was going to pass out and throw up.

I sit in the kitchen chair, and call for J.  He comes running, holding me up in the chair in case I do pass out.  Also, I am sweating.  A lot.  Like dripping.  It's gross.  I am simultaneously trying not to vomit and telling myself over and over again, "You will not pass out, you will not pass out..."

I'm also thinking, "Crap, how high am I?"  And of course I took my old set out prior to my free shower.  And never picked up more syringes after I ran out.  Crap.

Eventually, J helps me to the couch.  And brings me my meter.  And we both breathe a huge sigh of relief when this pops up on the screen:


But now I am confused.  What's going on?  I roll over and rip out the sensor.  As the minutes pass, I feel less and less like passing out.  The ringing in my ears subsides, my stomach feels better, and the sweating stops.

I sit up, and J brings me supplies to get a new set in.  And I feel fine.

The consensus is that I hit something when I put the sensor in, maybe a nerve, I don't know.  But that was likely a pain response, even though it didn't hurt.  Crazy, right?

So I go about getting ready, since I'm now feeling like I can go to dinner like we were originally planning, when I notice that my stomach is hurting again.  And it feels like a ketone stomach ache.  Lovely.

I check my bg, and this pops up:


Lovely.  I look at the set, and oh good, I can see blood in it.  Rip it out, and it's a total vampire cannula- full of blood.  Change set again, bolus, and start chugging water.  Guess we're not going to dinner.  Oh, and that set left me with this parting gift:


Ok, about an hour later, and ketones are gone, and bg is


FINALLY, we can go out to dinner!

About an hour later, my CGM starts freaking out.  It's rocketing up, saying 313, double up arrows.  But I put it in only a few hours ago, so it can't be right, can it?


Ok, fine, I QUIT!!!!!  Oh, I wish I could quit for the day.  Let the rage bolus commence.

And then the tears started (thankfully, we were home already).  Lots of tears, full blown ugly cry.  I couldn't take it any more!  I was DONE!  On days like this, I want a cure so badly it hurts!

Bg finally settled down, and I stayed up way too late watching You Can Do This Project videos.  Thanks to everyone who's made one.  I NEEDED them last night.  I needed people to remind me that I can do this.

What really gets me about all of this?  My poor husband.  J was a trooper.  He held me when I thought I was going to pass out.  He wondered whether or not to call 911.  He held me when the ketones made me feel sick again.  He held me while I sobbed.

It was a hellish day for him too.  I can take whatever D throws at me, even if it's a day like Saturday.  But what I hate the most is that it affects J too.  I HATE diabetes for doing this to him.

Sunday, we did nothing.  We were wiped out, both of us.  And as I'm sitting here writing this Sunday night, I'm staring at this:


WHAT THE FRUCTOSE????  Do I need to change my set again?  I know I had mexican for dinner, but seriously?  What the hell?  Guess I'm not going to bed anytime soon.

And I am so grateful to have you, my DOC friends.  Cause I'm not really feeling like I can do this right now.  Maybe I'll watch some more videos while I wait for the rage bolusing to catch up...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Guest Post: Holy Pump Supplies!

So this week, I'm volunteering at Vacation Bible School at my church!  Woohoo!  Super-fun, but it means I have no life for the week.  Luckily, I have some amazing guest posts lined up for all of you!


Today's post come from my friend Caroline!  She and I have a lot in common (i.e. we are HUGE nerds).  Caroline blogs over at ACT1 Diabetes and you can follow her on Twitter.


So Jess is doing vacation Bible school this week. Isn't that darling? I grew up as an involved Presbyterian, but somehow I never participated in VBS. Diabetes did give me the runaround in my high school youth group, though...Every summer, my youth group FISH (Fellowship in Senior High) went on a retreat to Assateague, MD. It was a time to camp on the beach and sing, swim, pray, play, and talk about God and life. In my senior year, I was among a small group of people going down early to help set up the camp. I was more excited than anyone in their right mind should be about hammering stakes. I was also a total procrastinator* and had an unfortunate history of leaving important things like deodorant behind. So I stayed up all night packing.


“Don't forget your pump supplies,” my mom kept harping to me before she went to sleep. I, in turn, kept rolling my eyes at her and telling her I would be (sigh) fiiiiiiiiiine.


Except I sat by the front door at 3 AM, waiting for the enormous yellow Penske truck to come chugging down my quiet street. And once I hopped in and the truck started chugging towards church, I realized I had left my meter on the kitchen table.


“Hey guys?” I said timidly. “I, um, forgot something at home...it's kind of important....”


So the big yellow moving truck went back to my house, waking up our neighbors all over as I dashed in to retrieve my meter.


Not a crisis, right? Just a little embarrassing. Until we got to Maryland, unpacked the truck, and set up the tents. I started pawing through my bag for a change of clothes, only to see.....I had forgotten my pump supplies.


You can bet that anything out of my mouth with “God” or “holy” at that moment was definitely NOT a prayer.


I went outside and paced on the sand, considering my options. There was no way I could last a week with the one cartridge and infusion set I had in my backpack as backup. But this would mean 'fessing up to my parents that, despite their constant reminders, I had still forgotten my diabetes gear. The horror! Finally, I decided to wait until that evening, then pulled out my brick of a cell phone and called my mother.


“Hi Mom,” I said cheerfully. “I'm not being eaten alive by mosquitoes just yet, but I was thinking....I only brought the bare minimum of pump stuff, and I'm worried. What if I sweat off my infusion set, or sand gets in my cartridge? So...could you mail me some extras?”


Looking back, I bet it was immediately more see-through than Swiss cheese and Anthony Weiner's excuses about his junk.


“Well....sure, sweetie,” my mom said, playing along. At least until I specified that she should really overnight everything....I mean, you never know what could happen!


When I came back, tan and happy, she gave me a serious Mom Glare. Whoops.


I went back on multiple daily injections a month ago, after many years of pumping was giving me scar tissue problems. I'm slightly amazed at how much less packing this means-- just toss some insulin pens in my bag and go, as opposed to remembering sets and cartridges and IV prep pads and adhesive removers and, oh yeah, insulin. There's still the question of actually remembering to bring the pens with me, though....


Maybe I need to put all this churchiness to good use and pray really hard that I have everything with me?


*note: in addition to still forgetting things....I am still a huge procrastinator. Fortunately, I usually remember deodorant now.


Thanks Caroline!  Who hasn't forgotten D supplies, right?  Oh, the things we put our parents through.


Thanks to all my guest bloggers this week: Rachel, Dustin, Elisa, Simon, and Caroline!  It was an honor to have you all here.  Should be back to business as usual next week, once I catch up on some sleep...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guest Post: Casting My Lot


So this week, I'm volunteering for Vacation Bible School at my church!  Woohoo!  Super-fun, but means I have no life for the week.  Luckily, I have some amazing guest posts lined up for all of you!


Today's post comes from my friend Simon.  In addition to be my favorite Australian, he's lead singer for Blunt Lancet.   


Simon blogs at Simon From the 70s, and tweets too.


In my younger years I was quite the fisherman, well at least that's what I convinced myself.

The average day would begin full of optimism as I prepared my gear in the back shed. Arriving at the jetty, I would cast my line in along with the other punters and try my luck. No matter what the day yielded, it always ended with tales of regret, of the one that got away, of opportunities lost and what might have been.

It seems so much of my life with diabetes has mirrored those fishing expeditions. I'd set out each day full of optimism and hope;  I would get my boluses spot on, I'd correct any pesky highs and test diligently to male sure I was in range, only to stare despairingly at my glucometer by days end, revealing another tale of woe.

As diabetic complications began taking root in my life, it seemed I was doomed for a future of regret and missed opportunity, all until the day I met people like Jess here in the Online Community

Today just as in days of old, I'll toss my line in the waters of diabetic life afresh. I'll set out with the same optimism, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. By days end there will be more tales of regret and missed opportunities but now the pain is shared as I cast in my lot with a group of people I am honored to call friends. Somehow in their company, I can bear the failure that once shattered me and find the courage to bait up for another day.


Thanks, Simon!  Life with D is much better with the DOC at your side!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guest Post: Light At the End of the Funnel


So this week, I'm volunteering for Vacation Bible School at my church!  Woohoo!  Super-fun, but means I have no life for the week.  Luckily, I have some amazing guest posts lined up for all of you!

Today's post comes from Elisa, whom somehow I didn't meet until recently.  As a fellow diabetic who has also recently started trying to get a better handle on things, Elisa has helped me a lot.  See this post from last week.



Ohhhh candy bar! Time to eat that without checking or taking insulin.  This is how I lived with diabetes for a good 18 years.  I never really thought about the transition from a "out of control" diabetic to an "accepting my disease" diabetic, until Jess asked me about it.


It has not been a drastic change for me in the sense that I kind of still do eat whatever I want but I at least check my sugars and dose for it now.  My main concern at the time I decided to deal with my diabetes was getting rid of the mind numbing headaches I lived with all my life.  I would literally say to myself if I went one day without a headache "what's wrong with me today?"  So to me once I noticed the change in my internal mood and that I didn't get headaches so often if at all is what made me realize I finally made the right choice. 


Sure I would love to get an A1c of a 6.5 but its something Im willing to achieve with baby steps. What good is an A1c of 6.5 if my sugars run 40 then 400 in a day?  I like to look at the big picture and I know an A1c doesn't speak to everything. My A1c was always high an ranged around a 10, but the one day my parents forgot to give me my insulin (dad would do nights and mom would do days, mistakes happen), I don't blame them for thinking the other was giving me the shot.  That night my A1c jumped to a 13. Until I can actually compare good numbers to my A1c, im not going to be completely satisfied or feel accomplished with a lower A1c.  Though as of using the pump I can definitely see an improvement.


Right now I'm just happy to be alive and living without complications.  Life for me since taking control of my diabetes has been amazing. I don't feel like death every single day. Honestly, ever since the depression is gone, nothing is holding me back anymore.


The best thing I would say about this transition is that I can finally accept that I have diabetes and don't feel like I have to hide it from everyone.  I feel like spreading awareness everywhere I go now! 


Thanks Elisa!  So happy to have met you!


Also, if you haven't seen Elisa's You Can Do This project video, you NEED to watch it! Seriously!







Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Guest Post: Pump It Up


So this week, I'm volunteering for Vacation Bible School at my church!  Woohoo!  Super-fun, but means I have no life for the week.  Luckily, I have some amazing guest posts lined up for all of you!


Today's post comes from my Twitter friend Dustin.  He recently started on an insulin pump, and had some thoughts to share.  Follow Dustin on Twitter, and check out his blog, DeeJay's 'Betes!

When I was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes six years ago, I never thought about the technology side of diabetes. I thought I would have to do nothing but injections for the rest of my life. The first five years before finding the Diabetic Online Community was reckless, and I didn't take care of myself the way I should have. I'm very surprised I don't have any complications from going DKA and having a high blood sugar on such a regular basis.

Once I came across the Diabetes Online Community, and saw people tweeting about insulin pumps and pods and how they help them with diabetes I listened, and did research. I didn't ask my doctor if I could get an insulin pump, I told her I WANTED an insulin pump and showed her how inspired I was to take on the challenge of doing it. I talked about the DOC so much to the doctors at Joslin Diabetes Center that they wrote in my file "has a support group on twitter called the Diabetes Online Community", and they think it's very important to have such amazing people to talk to, which is very true.

I've been on a saline trial for the Minimed Revel for the past week, and this week I start on insulin to do basal testing. All I can say at this point is that if it was not for the Diabetes Online Community I would have never thought about, or be inspired enough, to use an insulin pump. I would have just continued feeling miserable and not taking care of myself. So thank you DOC for inspiring me, and thank you for helping me improve my health. It means the world to me that you all exist. :)


Thanks, Dustin!  The DOC is so amazing and inspiring!  Thanks for being a part of it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Guest Post: From Fear To Friend


So this week, I'm volunteering at Vacation Bible School at my church!  Woohoo!  Super-fun, but it means I have no life for the week.  Luckily, I have some amazing guest posts lined up for all of you!


Today's post in brought to you by one of my IRL (in real life) best friends!  I'm so excited to share this with you!  Rachel was one of my college roommates, and remains one of my closest friends.


Before college, I had minimal and probably a somewhat typical exposure to diabetes. My grandparents were diabetic (what I now know was type 2). I did have a teacher who was diabetic and others who I knew who were diabetic. The summer before I went to college, I had worked at church camp with a girl who was diabetic and who gave herself insulin shots. But besides the “random” people that I knew, diabetes, was not a big part of my life.  
I first met Jess at college. I was one year ahead of her, and at some point in her freshman year we decided that were going to be roommates and ended up being roommates for the next two years.  
Prior to being roommates, and simply being friends, I knew that Jess was diabetic. I had seen her with her pump in the dining hall. When I fished around in her purse for gum, there was the small makeup bag that held the meter and test strips. There also was the tube of glucose tablets. So the whole diabetic thing was somewhat normal by the time that we moved in together. However, while I knew a number of people who were diabetic, I had never lived with anyone who was diabetic, so there was some apprehension. But, Jess being the amazing person she is, educated all of us and put the apprehension to rest. Jess showed us her pump, she showed us how it worked. She even talked to us about what it meant to be high and low and probably more importantly, how she acted when she was high or low (which after two years became a funny game, if she started acting loopy I would look at her and say “Jess check your sugar”).  As a roommate, she helped us to be comfortable with this being a part of her life. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have seen Jess change out her set on her pump. Before she got her newest pump and after she got it filled many of our phone conversations. It was one of the first things she showed me when we had lunch after she got it.
Having to live with someone who is diabetic, you have to have a great since of flexibility and patience. There were times that I remember that we were going to go hang out, and Jess would say that her pump was not working, and our plans would have to change, she would need to change out her set and make sure that her sugar regulated itself before our plans could really continue. You have to be understanding. 
This education of diabetes came in handy about 2 years after graduating from college when my dad who at that time as an obese man, was told that he had Type 2 diabetes. Having already lived with someone who was diabetic, who had to monitor blood sugar, it was not a scary thing. Through hard work, healthy eating, exercise, my dad has lost over 100 pounds, and is now not on any medication for diabetes and is currently able to keep it under control with diet and exercise. Through having friends and family members that daily have to deal with diabetes, I in someways have become an advocate, I try to correct misconceptions when I hear them and every year at the grocery store I buy a JDRF sneaker for a friend and many others who daily live with Type 1 diabetes. 
Thanks to all of you out there for helping to make your friends and family informed advocates. 


Thanks, Rach.  You totally made me cry!  ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We Can Do This

So I finally did it.

Made my first official vlog.

And I realized several things:
  • my hair gets in my face a lot
  • I say "um" a lot
  • I have a tendency to close my eyes and not look at the camera 
Since this is my first attempt, I hope these things can be overlooked.  Be sure to check out all the other amazing vlogs and blogs on the You Can Do This Project page.

I love you all!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Transition

So yes, I am still alive, in case anyone was wondering!  My summer schedule has been CRAZY!  Fun, but crazy and exhausting.

And I'm finally writing some thoughts down here that I've been processing for a while.  I had kind of a moment of enlightenment, per se, last week.

I was talking with Elisa on Twitter.  We both recently came out of periods where we didn't really take care of our D.  And I asked her how it's been for her to transition from not really taking care of herself to trying to get a handle on D.  And it was a great discussion.

And I've been thinking about that conversation all week.  And I realized that I am transitioning too.  And that I need to be more patient with myself.  As Scott said in his You Can Do This video, it's ok not to be perfect.  I'm trying to remember that.

I've posted about some of this before.  I spent years eating whatever I wanted, with my blood sugar running mostly in the 200s and 300s.  I now realize that I was depressed.

My epiphany was that I am still living in transition.  After I found the DOC back in November, I counted everything I put in my mouth, I exercised religiously, I was excited about taking care of myself.

This only lasted a few months.  Then reality set back in.  It was overwhelming.  Going from not caring at all what the number on the meter said to caring too much.  It was a shock to my system.

I have food issues.  I struggle with emotional eating.  I am doing better, but it's hard!  I wish it was something I could just turn off.  But my food issues aren't going to disappear overnight.  Although I REALLY WISH they would.  I really have trouble when my bg high.  My brain says, "I'm high already, what the hell?  Might as well pig out."  

I am working on my food issues.  It is getting better, slowly but surely.

I'm still trying to figure all of this out.  I can do this.  I am starting to believe that.  But progress, not perfection, needs to be the goal.  I am not perfect.  I am never going to be perfect.  And that's ok.

I can do this.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Better Late Then Never...

So remember how I said I've been busy?

My brain is totally fried.  Things have been kinda crazy around here lately.  And I've been feeling the stress.  And some burnout.

And I am such a hot mess, I forgot to post a link to my guest post on Meredith's blog on Friday.  Oops.

Sorry Meredith.  Better late than never, right?

So check out my post, and those by other guest bloggers, about traveling with D.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My New Favorite Thing

So this is officially my new favorite thing:


Rickina from Stick Me Designs is super sweet, and so is her stuff!  When she had a giveaway going on, I signed up, and was thrilled to receive this Aqua Deco Clutch.  I LOVE it.

It has traveled on two roadtrips with me now, and held up tremendously well.  And it's big enough to hold all my stuff.  And has lots of pockets.


You may have seen that Kim has one too.  And that I saw her a few weeks ago.  And we totally forgot to get a pic with our matching clutches.  Epic fail, I know.

But the clutch is working out great.  I tend to switch purses and bags a lot over the summer, what with going to the pool and such, so having all my D gear in one place is great.  I can just transfer the clutch between bags and not be digging for stuff rolling around at the bottom of my purse.

A couple things I wish it had?  A waterproof (or bloodproof) exterior, and a more rigid shape.  It tends to get smushed in my purse.

But I most definitely plan on continuing to use it.  Check out Stick Me Designs on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.

And be sure to check out what Rickina's doing with her Very Important Pumpers and Stickers Program.

Thanks Rickina, for my new favorite thing!

I received this clutch from Stick Me Designs at no cost in exchange for blogging my thoughts about it.  As always, these are my thoughts only, and were not influenced by Stick Me Designs.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

Stuck On...Me?

In our lives with D, we all carry around A LOT of stuff.  I'm not going to list everything out for you right now (that's coming in a later post).  But there is an atypical item always rolling around in the bottom of my purse.

3M Transpore tape.  


Allow me to explain.  Since I started wearing CGM back in December, I have tried it in various locations on my stomach, back, and butt.  No, I haven't worked up the nerve to try it on my arm.

The spot that seems to work the best is my butt.  Especially the side butt (stop and read Jacquie's post please--hilarious!).  The problem is, my jeans really rub this area a lot.  I always use IV3000 tape to hold down the sensor and transmitter initially.  But after a day or so, the tape starts to come loose thanks to my jeans.

Hence the Transpore tape.  It holds that sucker down.  And not even my jeans can pry it loose. 

It was a happy accident that I discovered this.  Not long after I started the CGM, I was in my mom's office, my tape had come almost all the way off, and I didn't have any more.  Luckily, my mom had some Transpore tape in her desk.  It worked beautifully.

So it's always rolling around at the bottom of my purse.  Thank you, Transpore tape.

*3M did not ask me to blog about their product.  They have no idea I'm writing this.  I just wanted to share something that works well for me with all of you.* 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Just Visiting

travel-bags
image credit here
Hi everyone!

Today, I'm visiting Meri's blog for a guest post!  Thanks Meri for the opportunity!

Go check it out!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Laughter and Tears

So things in my life have been kinda crazy lately.  Not crazy in a bad way, just insanely BUSY!  But there are a few things I wanted to share.

Cupcakes! With edible blue glitter!
First of all, last weekend was Cheriseapalooza!  Yes, Cherise, creator of DSMA, came to town and we had an epic meetup!  Bob was there, and Scott, also Barb and Jon.  And even Kim came down for the weekend!  And yes, somehow I forgot my camera...

We ate BBQ and cupcakes (which I made, thank you very much).  There was serious talk, but also a lot of laughter.  My stomach hurt when I left from laughing so hard!  It was amazing to hang out with all these wonderful people!  To see in real life these online friends who feel like family.

Also, Kim came down a little early so we could hang out.  We got some yummy iced coffee and talked about all kinds of things, both D and non-D related.  And it was wonderful.

One of the things we talked about was Kim's project that launched yesterday, the You Can Do This Project!  I watched the video and turned into a blubbering mess...


Go to Kim's site to see the original post, as well as links for videos others have already made!

I needed to hear this so badly.  Hence the blubbering.  This week has been exhausting.  And I really just want my sugars to behave because I'm too tired to deal with all of it.  Can I have a day off?  Please?

And then I see this video, full of familiar faces, and I know they understand.  I know that if you or a loved one has diabetes, then you understand.  And I'm getting all teary-eyed typing this.

I can do this.  You can do this.  We can do this.