Friday, December 21, 2012

We Still Have Hope

The holiday season is a time usually full of joy.

Except when it isn't.  This year, it seems to be full of grief.  It has been one week since the shooting in Newtown, and our entire nation is grieving.  Myself included.  People in the path of Hurricane Sandy are still struggling to recover.

It's hard to be joyful when you know so many families are suffering. And on a personal note, this holiday season marks 10 years since I lost one of my best friends.  So much grief.  So much pain.

And yet.  Hope still lingers.  Search the hashtag #26acts on twitter and prepare to be amazed.  So many people doing acts of kindness for others.  There is good in the world.  There is peace.  There is joy.  Even when we can't see it, it's there.

I've been listening to this song quite a bit this week.  If you've never heard it, please take a moment and listen.  We still have hope.

"Oh when you're still waiting for the snow to fall
It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all
Still waiting for the snow to fall
It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all

Those Christmas lights
Light up the streets
Down where the sea and city meet
May all your troubles soon be gone
Oh Christmas lights, keep shining on

Those Christmas lights
Light up the streets
Maybe they'll bring her back to me
Then all my troubles will be gone
Oh Christmas lights, keep shining on

Oh Christmas lights
Light up the streets
Light up the fireworks in me
May all your troubles soon be gone
Those Christmas lights keep shining on"

Christmas Lights- by Coldplay

"May all your troubles soon be gone
Oh Christmas lights, keep shining on"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

There Are No Words

Since news of the shooting in Newtown broke on Friday, I have been a big ball of emotions.  It's difficult to know what to say.  There are no words.

Last night, I saw this article with quotes from Mister Rogers.  This one jumped out at me:

“There’s no ‘should’ or ‘should not’ when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.”

From The World According to Mister Rogers

Such a very wise man.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Never Crossed My Mind

Back in March, I wrote about my new love: Sure-T infusion sets.

But they did not love me back.  After a torrid affair, I have switched to a different set.  Why, you ask?

I thought I was going crazy.  Unexplained highs.  I could NOT figure out what was going on.  This summer, it was ridiculous.  I was having so many highs and could not explain why.  I don't mean binge eating highs, I mean highs FOR NO REASON.

I was changing my set every other day.  I thought it could be the insulin, so I replaced it.  Maybe something was wrong with my pump?  I called Medtronic multiple times to troubleshoot, to no avail.  Still high a lot.  Scar tissue?  None that we could find.

I called my CDE in tears.  After several months of this craziness, I was done.  I was about ready to give up on the pump, because I could not figure this out.

My CDE was out of the office when I called, so I spoke to another CDE in the practice.  Barely got my words out, I was so upset.

"Have you tried different sets?" she asked.

The thought had never crossed my mind.  I LOVED my Sure-Ts.  The steel cannula can't kink, I can barely feel it when I put it in.  My beloved Sure-Ts couldn't possibly be the culprit.

Oh yes they could.  I started using Mio sets.  And guess what?  All those random highs?  Gone.

What the eff?

Since then, I've talked to a couple different people on Twitter who've had a similar experience.  For some reason, my body really doesn't like the steel cannulas.  The insulin just doesn't absorb.

I want to be clear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Sure-Ts.  It's not the sets, it's my body.  I don't think I'll be able to use any kind of steel cannula set.

For several months now, I've been using Mio sets.  I miss the Sure-T.  But I don't miss all the highs.  Or feeling like I was losing my mind.  But I do like the Mios.  I've been having good luck with those.  They hurt more than the Sure-Ts to put in.  But they work.  At least mostly.  I still sometimes have kinked sets, occlusions, and hit bad spots.  I have diabetes, after all.

But my body absorbs the insulin just fine from the plastic cannula.  Thank goodness!  What a relief!

And at least the Mios come in pink.

Aftermath of a set change

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Please Don't Retire Anytime Soon

Back before Thanksgiving, I made a trip to the endocrinologist.  I do this every three months.  But this visit was different.

In my nineteen years of living with Type 1 Diabetes, I have only had two endocrinologists.  When I was diagnosed at age 10, I started seeing a pediatric endo at my local children's hospital.  Dr. C was my  endo until he left the children's hospital after I graduated high school.  It was time to find an adult endo.

So I started seeing Dr. H.  He was referred by a couple adult T1s my mom knew.  Ten years later, he's still my endo.  Why?  He is always supportive, never judgmental.   Even in the throughs of my binge eating and depression, when my A1c was more than a bit high, he only said, "We can do better."

I actually felt pretty good going into my most recent appointment.  I mean, I was nervous.  I don't think I'll ever not be nervous about going to the endo.  But since things have been looking up, I was confident that my A1c and Dexcom reports would reflect that.

Dr. H comes in the room and we're chatting as we wait for my A1c results to come back.

"How long have you been coming here?" he asked.

"Ten years," I replied.  "Can you believe it?"

"Wow," he said.  "It doesn't seem like that long."

And this is where this appointment became different.  Dr. H looked at me and continued:

"You know, I've been practicing for 30 years.  When you're a young doctor, you don't think about how your practice will grow and change with you.  I have patients who've been with me the whole 30 years.  They came as newly diagnosed Type 2s in their 50s and 60s.  Now they're in their 80s and 90s, facing new and different challenges in their diabetes.  It's really mind boggling."

I sat there, almost speechless I was so moved at what Dr. H had said.

I swallowed the lump in my throat and mustered: "Well, I think that's a tremendous testament to what a wonderful doctor you are."

Dr. H just smiled.  At that moment, the nurse came in with my A1c.  Dr. H's smile got even bigger.  He showed me the piece of paper.

My jaw dropped.  "Does that really say what I think it says?" I asked.

"Yes it does!" he replied.  "Way to go, kiddo!"

YOU GUYS!  My A1c dropped again.  I am now officially at the best A1c of my life.  Safely.  Without too many lows.  I still can't believe it.

I know my A1c is just a number.  It doesn't define me or my diabetes.  But hot damn does it feel good to see tangible evidence that I'm not just feeling better, my health is better.

I wanted to hug Dr. H.  I wish I had.  I could tell how proud of me he was.  He knows about the binging and depression.  My amazing CDE at his office is the one I sought help from in the first place.

So thanks Dr. H for all your support.  For never making me feel like a failure.  And for helping me and so many others for so many years.

Please don't retire any time soon.