Thursday, November 1, 2012

Quiet and Busy

I have so much I've been wanting to say. After all, I did just take a huge step and started on the pump last week. (cue the balloons) But I have to admit I've been so busy working that I haven't had time to just relax. (I think I'll sleep when I'm dead at this rate...) My one day off last week was filled with "have to do's" and the one this week was an endo appt. and this weekend is a memorial service. (very sad and deserves it's own post) I didn't realize how busy I was until yesterday, when I couldn't remember the last time I was lazy for an entire day. So now I'm praying for a "voluntary time off" day that isn't really voluntary. (An unexpected day off would be nice right about now.) I promise, I swear, pinky swear even, to get a post up over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

That's how I roll...

CDE's are the nicest people.

Pump Start with my endo!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Best D-line EVER!

I was talking with a fellow nurse/coworker/friend yesterday about Blue Fridays and the DOC. She had no clue what I was talking about and when I explained that "DOC" stood for Diabetes Online Community, she said, "Oh! I thought it was a gang thing" and I said "Yep, the DOC gang! Don't mess with us, we're armed with needles!" I'm pretty sure our patient's thought we were crazy from laughing so hard!

I love everyone I work with, but I want to give a special shout out to Myla for helping me not sink last night. Myla, you are awesome!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thoughts for the day

The future depends on what we do in the present. -Gandhi
Every day with diabetes is a new day. It doesn't really matter what happened yesterday or last week, because it is my choice right now to manage diabetes in the way that works best for me. So each day I start fresh, let go of what didn't work yesterday and move forward. On the other hand, it's always nice to look back and be able to see a pattern of what works and use that to guide your current choices. I saw the endo last week and got my A1c results. (Note: it's just another number in the calculus of diabetes management.) It's now down even further than previously. Honestly, it probably hasn't been this low since before my pancreas when kaput. And the best part is, it's not due to daily doses of hypoglycemia, but due to diligent management. I've been trying to grab diabetes by the throat and hold it down.

I met with the CDE and the RD last week. Was very disappointed to learn that there is not a T1D support group in my area. I get the reasoning, that many T1D's in the area are busy and active young adults, but it would be really nice to find some local folks who are doing the daily diabetes dance, just like me. (Alliteration is fun when it's spontaneous!) I was talking with my boss the other day at lunch, and telling her about the lack of person-to-person support. She looked at me and said, "So you're going to start one." I smiled, because she knows me so well! So now I'm planning on reaching out to JDRF and ADA for support to get something going. I'm also wondering if it wouldn't be nice to have a T1D available to visit with people who are newly diagnosed, give tips and tricks, introduce new people to the DOC, and just generally love on people in a very trying time of their life. When I see the CDE again, next week, I'm going to bring that up. Perhaps there is something at the local hospitals that I can volunteer for, or at least provide my contact information to be made available to those newly diagnosed. I am feeling a definite calling to do this and am restless while I try to "get my house in order".
 My new Animas Ping pump came by UPS last Friday. It is a GORGEOUS blue.
OK, not the greatest pic ever, but it works!

When I ordered it I expressed my desire for a purple pump, and Caroline graciously sent me a complimentary purple pump cover! (Caroline, you are a genuine ROCKSTAR!!)
Freaking GORGEOUS! I'll be rocking my Kylee colors!

I've been checking the prices on the One Touch strips that go to the meter remote that came with my pump and HOLY COW! That's all I have to say about that. Let's just say it's not the $9 I currently spend for 50 strips for my Relion Prime meter. I'm not sure the convenience is worth the cost. I figure I'll use up the 10 strips that came with it when I get the pump up and running next month and go from there.


On that note, October 23rd is officially PUMP START DAY!! It can't possibly come soon enough, yet I know that time will pass quickly. 22 days and counting.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

No D day!

I was on a roll this weekend! I was the "House Keeping Queen". I moved two bookcases to two new locations in the house. Had to make room to relocate the two bearded dragons to the dining room. Vacuumed and cleaned the carpet under everything that was moved and got a little crazy and did most of the other  carpet in the house. Then I washed the blood from many walls and closet doors. Thank god Ruger's ear is now healed, and my house will no longer look like a crime scene.

That was just yesterday. Today, I cleaned out the spare bedroom. While it isn't done, it is amazingly better than when I started. It now has a floor that you can see! And the bathroom is now sparkling!

My poor dogs didn't quite know what to do with theselves as I ran in and out of the house. They just knew I had to be getting ready to leave, and finally, they gave up and just laid in front of the door. I just know they would have had a fit if I had grabbed my keys!

If I ever doubted what Dingo and Pogo (the bearded dragons) could see outside their glass cages, I have no doubt now. They are now placed about 18 inches from one of my aquariums. And here's Pogo:

His beard is black because he is ready to go hunting. For the fish...

I think that one. And honestly, the fish are never just "hanging out" on that side of the tank, so I think they were curious or teasing. I'm leaning toward teasing. The brats!
In case you are wondering why I'm waxing poetic about a clean house and goofy pets, today, Monday October 1st, is No D Day. I'm not mentioning D today. Just the other amazing things in my life. For other No D posts, check out the list here for some other great blogs NOT talking about the D!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Public Speaking Sucks

I am an instructor at my local community college in what is called the Medical Careers Exploration Program. We teach HS age kids and introduce them to the wide variety of careers in the medical profession. (Bet you figured that out from the name...) We have guest speakers come in to talk to the kids, go on tours of different types of medical facilities and give them all the tools they need to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. It is a way cool, super fun job.

Last year we had a guest speaker unexpectedly bail out on us. (Can we say "No call/No show"?) So in a pinch, I stepped up and talked for an hour (without any preparation) about dealing with diabetes and the things I need to do to remain healthy. It was nerve wracking (I don't like speaking in the public) but real fun. I showed off my D stuff and talked about how hard it can be at times.

The lead instructors were so impressed that they asked if I would do it again this year. How could I possibly say no? (After all, they are my "bosses") Now, I have two weeks until I speak and I still haven't figured out how I can possibly fill an hour of time talking about it. I had a tough time when I took Speech in HS and college trying to do a 5 minute speech on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

On the other hand, I have some wicked cool "Show and Tell" stuff. I saved all my D trash for a month to show how much garbage we generate. (Non recyclable I might add) and a couple of insulin vials. I also have an old Dexcom site, sealed in a baggie, and the trial Omnipod. And while I'm not using it just yet, I can show off my pump and hopefully an infusion set too.

I thought maybe a slide show of D-memes and cartoons up on the screen and trying to find ways to engage discussion would be helpful too. Any ideas from you all? I'd love to hear any. I kinda feel like it's a chance to educate and advocate.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Smile in Your Pancreas

I'm nearing the end of the book "eat pray love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend that you find it and read it. Somewhere in the 88th chapter she writes "I like the meditations he has taught me, the comic simplicity of  'smile in you liver' and the reassuring presence of the four spirit brothers." I bolted upright in my chair when I read it. It resonated like a bell chime up my spine. The Balinese healer told her, "To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver."

I'm struggling not with how to control my diabetes, but how to pay for my diabetes. I don't have an inner peace, right now. I have an inner war zone. I am daily consumed with worry. I have complete faith that everything will work out in the way it is supposed to. I just wish I knew how I was going to get there from here! Where will the money come from?

It's not the first time I've had these worries. I was essentially unemployed earlier this year following hand surgery. Amazingly, I was provided for in the time that I needed it most! And in a very unexpected way. In fact, several people were blessed at that time. Therefore, I can be assured that it will occur again.

My mind is just so busy with worried thoughts. "Should I ..... I wonder if..... How will I ..." I just need some peace.

The meditation style speaks to me. But I'm not going to smile in my liver, I'm gonna smile in my pancreas! Everyday, I'm going to try to let go of the worry and know, really know, that I will be taken care of.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We are all here for a reason.

I was reading over at Bittersweet, and I just had to share this. When I have tears in my eyes, I have to share.

And one last story: Not long after Halloween, I was walking my dog when a little boy named Jason came running with his cape flying behind him as he swung his light-saber from side to side. He was yelling, “Hey! Is that a Ewok?” I laughed and introduced him to my golden retriever named Rainie. He wanted to know why she had a red jacket on. As I explained to Jason and his mom that Rainie is a diabetic alert dog and that she notifies me when my blood sugar is dropping rapidly, his mom began to cry — Jason had just been released from the hospital after being found unconscious due to low blood sugar. As we were talking, Jason looked up at me, with his arms around Rainie’s neck, and said, “If I had a dog like Rainie, she would keep me safe – just like my light-saber.”

We are where we are in our lives because someone needs us. Wow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Site Change

I've been whining all week because the first site I chose has been sensitive. Every little bump or rustle of clothing reminds me it's there with a little dull pain. And I think I'm getting Alzheimers, cause I just knew I put it in on Wednesday of last week, so I was super surprised to see Dex (who needs a new name) tell me I had 6 hours to change my sensor!

To be on the safe side, I pulled out the instructions and double checked that I did know what I thought I knew and got out my goodies:

The inserter
 What you can't see is the three alcohol swabs I also had with me.

In all it's glory!
 Step one: End the sensor session and remove the existing sensor.

Here is the 7 day old sensor/transmitter, prior to removal.

It looks worse than it really was. Didn't feel a thing when it came off/out.

Step two: Insert new sensor. Piece of cake! The needle isn't a 10 g, maybe more like 18 g. For the record though, it is still HUGE!

See the wickedly huge needle in there?
Step three: Remove the transmitter from the old sensor and attach to the new one.

Done, done, and done! The best part came when I had to put in two glucose readings after 2 hours to calibrate it. 101 on the index finger and 96 on the middle.

On a completely unrelated note, I have been asked to be a guest speaker for the Medical Careers Exploration class offered at Front Range Community College in October to talk about diabetes and tell my story. Is that way cool or what?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

When Dex says this....

And Optimus says this....

You know you are not having a good day!

Good news, no ketones. Haven't really talked about life with Dex yet. I'll get there. What I will say is that I think I test more now because I think "that can't possibly be right, can it?" and I do a fingerstick just to prove him wrong. Sometimes he is, but mostly he is within 20 points of the fingerstick.

Bolused 3 units of Humalog and we'll see where that gets us. Last night was a long one for the same reason, fingerstick, cursing, bolus, wait, fingerstick, cursing, yawning, wait, fingerstick, cursing, read a d-blog for inspiration, wait, fingerstick, finally below 200, go to bed. YUCK!

BTW, looking for just the right name for Dex, any ideas?

Monday, August 27, 2012


Dex is in Fort Collins!

Of course I'm working a long day today, so even if he's delivered today, I can't play with him until tomorrow. That makes me so sad. :-(

But he's coming!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A New Low

We all have had low experiences, in public, and been embarassed by peoples reactions. I thought I would share one of mine where the perfect stranger I was with at the time, had the best reaction.

No reaction at all.


No faces, no strange comment, nothing.

I was with my son in said person's office. We were having a meeting. Part way through, I realized I was having to try too hard to follow the conversation, which then led me to notice that I was feeling a little funny too. I pulled out my meter and tested (I even licked the blood off my finger) and got a lovely little 58. Leaving the meter with it's bloody strip on his desk, I pulled some cookies out of my purse and with slightly shaky hands got them open.

The discussion continued without interruption. Well, my son made a comment about seeing the number, but otherwise uninterrupted. My hands quit shaking as the "medicine" started to work and I put the meter away. Not a word was said about the whole incident, which was SO TOTALLY COOL!

I don't know if that person has a connection with diabetes in his personal life, but I thought his LACK of reaction was the best reaction ever. Non-diabetics take note. If I can test and I'm not acting funny, I'm fine. I may be low but I'm fine, and if I need help, you'll know one way or another!

A New Week

Last Thursday, everything went through and was approved for me to order my Dexcom CGM. RED LETTER DAY!! The unit was sent that day and I have the confirmation emails from Dexcom and FedEx.
Email from Dexcom...

And from FedEx!

We live in the "Time of the Internet", where we can get information in tenths of seconds. I can see at any time, exactly where my Dex is hanging out. Yet, to have that little bitty 2 pound box sent to me from San Diego takes 6 days. (SIX DAYS?? Are you kidding me?)

And we can track it on the internet, and find out that in two days it is sitting in a distribution center about an hour away from my house, in Denver. And it is seriously going to take 4 days to get here.


What the heck are they doing for FOUR DAYS? I have no patience for this! I want to blow off work and drive down to Denver and get it NOW. Ok, it won't do me any good to blow off work. (Bummer..) But I am that excited to get it! And I'll be working like crazy Monday and Tuesday that I probably won't even have time to open it and figure it out until Wednesday! (Probably why my impatience is hanging out, I don't want to wait any longer)

Why can't we have replicators like in Star Trek? I'd have had it up and running last week! Of course, I don't ever recall seeing a diabetic on any of the Star Trek shows, probably because if a pancreas quit on them, they just grew a new one!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The BEST (worst?) News Ever!

I saw the endo for the first time today. I've been diagnosed with D for 3.5 years and finally got around to seeing her. I think she is fabulous! She looked at all 113 lbs of me and said, "Based on what you've told me, you are a Type 1." I was so relieved when she said that. So relieved in fact, that I had to tell her just that! It was the best news I could have gotten! It's been a long, LONG, LONG road of self advocacy and trial and error to get to here. To have the Dragon named is so incredibly AWESOME! Of course she drew labs to confirm, but I am so positive that it is now the correct diagnosis.


It's the worst news ever, too. I mean, I was just diagnosed with a chronic, lifelong disease that I CANNOT ignore or it will kill me. End of discussion, game over, no more me.


And I'm relieved that I have it? How strange is that? Name one person who has been relieved to be told they can loose a leg or go blind or have a stroke/heart attack? Not one.

I guess you could say I'm a little conflicted. OK, that was a HUGE understatement, I'm seriously conflicted. I've been so focused on what's really going on that I never thought to look to the future. Some of the random thoughts that have occurred to me in the last 12 hours since I was in her office:
  • What is the average life span for T1D?
  • I've been in health care for 15years, and I have NEVER taken care of a T1D. My friend has been a nurse for about the same length of time. She can think of 1 and that was a child. Where are the "old" T1D's?
  • If there are "old" T1D's out there, where are they? Are they being well taken care of? Who manages their disease for them?
  • Will they still let them have pumps or do they have to give that up and rely on injections again? 
  • If there aren't any "old" T1D's, what does that mean? If it means anything.
  • What happens if I get dementia, who will take care of me? Can anyone do as good a job as I do taking care of me?
  • Holy crap, I've just gotten terrified of growing old!
Do T1D's get to do this?
I know when everything sinks in, in a few days, or over the next few months as we move forward obtaining a CGM and getting rolling with a pump, I'll get over these fears. The more I think about them, though, I realize that they are valid, incredibly valid questions, that I'm going to need answers to.

I go back to the endo in 6 weeks, to see how her changes are going, and I think I'm going to have to open that particular Pandora's Box. I need to know.

On a lighter note, I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I overheard the doc talking about me to her nurse in the hallway. She said I was "really, really nice" and had "self advocated herself on to insulin and getting in here". It was so nice to hear, she sounded proud of me. What a cool feeling from someone I just met!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Eenie, Meter, Minie, Moe

Sometimes I feel like choosing a meter is like choosing a mate. You really don't want to commit until you are sure it's what you want. Well, I have had my ReliOn micro for over a year and I like it. Meter is cheap and strips are cheap. It doesn't have all the fancy bells and whistles like the "expensive name brand" meters, but it is accurate and small. (Small is the best part!)

Kim Vlasik, of Texting My Pancreas fame, posted this link to the Walmart Pressroom. Walmart has a deal with ReliOn to sell the ReliOn Prime meter for $16 and the 50 count strips for $9. Seriously, nine dollars! Next thing I know I'm off to Walmart and I have to check this out.

The meter was $16.24, compared to my micro at $8.94. (That's a one time cost, I can live with that) But the strips! I pay $36 for 100 strips for the micro, because that's a better deal than the $19.84 for 50. But it really was only $9 for the 50 count. Saving money any way I can, I bought it! I figure it will have paid for itself when I buy the next batch of strips.

Here's the proof!

Saving of the money, by spending the money. That's just weird but true!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guest Post from

The following is a guest post from My apologies to Jeff, who contacted me over a month and a half ago about posting this. After the long wait here it is!
 (This post should not be construed as an endorsement or disapproval on any medication or treatment by ME. Every person responds differently to every medication. Case in point, my Type 2 husband can take metformin without any side effects while I am miserable with cramping, nausea and diarrhea. Personally, I do not advocate filing lawsuits because your body responded badly to a medication. Do your homework people and KNOW what you are putting in your body. You always have a choice. (/rant))

There are a large number of medications that can treat type 2 diabetes. Some work better than others, and some have dangerous side effects everybody should know about.
The classes of drugs work in three ways. Some make cells more sensitive to insulin. Other drugs boost insulin production by the pancreas. Then there are drugs that slow down sugar digestion in the stomach.
Drugs that Work on Cells
The drugs that make cells more responsive to insulin are the most popular. They're called biguanides and thiazolidinediones. The only biguanide is metformin. It's one of the first drugs doctors prescribe because it brings down blood sugar so effectively.
The most popular thiazolidinedione is a drug called Actos. Actos is a best seller, but unfortunately it has dangerous side effects. Actos recently was found to increase the risk of bladder cancer by 80 percent or more. In fact, thousands of patients have filed Actos lawsuits against the maker of Actos.
Actos also has other dangerous side effects. In 2007, it got slapped with a black-box warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it increases the risk of heart failure. It also has been linked to eye disease and bone fractures.
Drugs that Work on the Pancreas
Drug classes that make the pancreas produce more insulin are sulfonylureas and nonsulfonylurea secretagogues. Be careful because sulfonylureas can bring blood sugar down too much and bring on hypoglycemia.
Nonsulfonylurea secretagogues are short-acting drugs. They are taken before meals to stop your blood sugar from rising when you eat.
Drugs that Work on Digestion
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, amylin analogues, incretin mimetics and DDP-4 inhibitors have few dangerous side effects. You take them before meals, and they stop your post-meal blood sugar from going up. Since these drugs work on your stomach to slow the breakdown of sugar, they can cause nausea and flatulence. Because of these side effects, they haven't been too popular in the United States.
Your doctor may have a favorite medication he or she likes to prescribe, but you can always ask them about alternatives to avoid risks like Actos side effects. Together, you can decide the best way to treat your diabetes.
William Richards is a writer for He uses his journalism background to investigate dangerous drugs and promote consumer awareness to better the community.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What was I thinking?

I'm sure we all have those moments where we look back over the last few hours (or days) and say to ourselves, "What the H3LL was I thinking?" I did that last night.

Yesterday was a good day! Got my therapy appointment for my hand, helping a friend move (I have the truck, because my hand is useless-ish), going with another friend to be with her thru surgery, and scheduled an interview for later this week, took the kids to the dogpark.

This is Brooklynn.

Rather fabulous day by any standard! I have been the dream patient as far as logging is concerned for over two months now, so imagine my suprise when I go to log my HS blood sugar and see I have logged only one other thing ALL DAY. Seriously, I have my fasting and my bedtime glucose numbers and that's it. WTF? I know I ate but I can't remember even taking any insulin.

Personally I am hoping that it was a one time aberration because I am too damn proud of having such great control lately and have no desire to see my A1c over 7.0% in August! It can't have been too overly bad since my fasting this morning was 142, but that is definitely higher than normal. So, nose back to the grindstone Marcie.

 "... I'm just telling it like it is...I learned that the hard way. You have to walk the long walk, and I have strong legs." - from Blood Money by Laura M. Rizio

Ruger running in the creek.

Meekah loves to retrieve.

I had to put up pix of the other two so they wouldn't get jealous. They are avid readers of My Pancreas Hates Me. :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week Day 4

(Note: I can't believe I forgot to post this! I even wrote it last night! I'm such a goob.)

Diabetes Blog Week Day 4

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary. Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

Oh my good gravy! We can have some FUN with this one!

I already know what I want! And my birthday's coming! (in June, so it's really close!) I would like a device that is about the size of my Kindle Fire, and I want it to do ALL of the following:
  • Integrated glucometer for measureing my blood sugars
  • Integrated logging so I only have to check it and it shows up in the log (oh that would be nice)
  • User friendly logging, for adding in my insulin and carb counts. I use for logging and I love it. LOVE IT!
  • OH! And a carb counting app that really has everything in it! No more SWAGging then looking it up online when I get home!
  • Along those same lines, an app that figures out my boluses for me! I hate math.
  • And since we are dreaming anyway, I want it to still do everything my Kindle does and have a slot for a memory card!
I suppose if I was a pump user (working in that direction, believe me I wish I was...) I would probably add a remote for controlling a pump and ability to read a CGM on it. BUT since I don't have, I don't know what I'd want.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week Day 3

Diabetes Blog Week Day #3

Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at. Today let’s look at the flip-side. We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!
I have to apologize for waiting until late to make this post. I wanted to wait until after my appointment with my doctor (who is AWESOME) before I wrote this. OK I really just wanted to get my latest A1c before I wrote this, if I'm gonna be honest.

We all know there is something we need to improve on. As I waited to be called back to the exam room, I "cheated" and read the first 33 blogs posted on the Bittersweet list. What a familiar refrain! Get back on the wagon after falling off, exercise more, test more, change lancet/infusion set more, be more positive, relax more, etc. More, more, more. All things that we as diabetics struggle with on a daily basis.

I've been mulling on this topic all day, because, frankly, I think I'm in the catbird seat with control (more on that later...), I've actually changed my lancet three times since Friday (unheard of I know!), and for three days I have bolused for literally everything crossing my lips! So with that and my MD visit in mind, I have decided on what I need to improve on. Here it is:





I need to keep my eye on this prize, my control, but reach out and help others attain theirs. The best way for me to do that right now is this blog. I hope to keep up the momentum and add to this every day! (OK, every other day, or at least twice a week.) I'd like to become more involved in my local diabetes community and perhaps even my state! Big dreams I know, but if you are gonna dream, I say you better dream big! I've pretty much been keeping to myself on this, but I am feeling empowered after today's visit and want to reach out to others. That is what I can improve on.

Waiting for the details on my doctor visit and why I am so DAMN PROUD of myself? A year ago, I was struggling with my dia-dragon and he was winning. By December my A1c was a whopping 10.7%! That was when I made a determined effort to slay the beast. By mid-February, I had dropped it to 8.7%. I've made a few changes in the last two months and today, I was rewarded for all my hard work with an A1c of....

I know, I try not to let the numbers define who I am, but I have to admit getting that thing down almost 4 points in 5 months feels pretty damn good. Time to pay it forward!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week Day 2

Diabetes Blog Week Day 2
Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”. But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit. Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly! Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

Oh. My. Gosh. I'm sitting here wracking my brains trying to come up with the one thing I do well. I don't feel like I do aything well. Or, more exactly, each day it's only one phenomenal thing and never the same from one day to the next. Crap. What is there?
  • Change lancets - Nope. Wait, that's once a week, right?
  • Regularly check BS level - no where near as often as I should
  • Bolus for everything that enters my mouth - not so much, I'm still in the injection stone age and, frankly, it hurts!
  • Make bad jokes so I don't feel so bad for NOT being "perfect" - SPOT ON!
There it is! I'll be the first one to admit that I'm not perfect. In anything, let alone dealing with the Dia-dragon. But I do have a sense of humor to help keep everything in perspective. The humoristic sense is necessary to keep dealing daily with a disease that makes no sense. And I guarantee if I ever think I have MY dia-dragon slayed, he will get up and politely tell me the rules have changed. That's just the way he rolls.

In the meantime, this is how I feel:

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 1

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 1
WILDCARD: Creativity comes in all shapes and forms, so take this where ever it leads you. Write a diabetes poem. Create some D-Art. Record a vlog. Write a diabetes song parody. Scrapbook, collage, sew, knit, crochet . . . . use your favorite creative outlet to create a diabetes project!

OK, so I'm a day late. But definitely richer for it. I spent my evening creating this piece of art.

Took me about an hour and a half and I had to do it primarily one handed because of the beautiful cast on my left arm. I was inspired by a mess created my my loving, four legged kids. They have a "no fail" way of letting us know that we should have taken them with us and on Mother's Day, they left me a pile of nearly 5000 puzzle pieces right in front of the door. Perhaps intended as a gift? I had been grappling with what to wrote for Day 1 of Blog week when it hit me, playing 5000 piece pick up and sorting out the shredded pieces of box and plastic bag, that I could wild card Day 1 with some art.

This is my first piece of D-art and I hope you all enjoy it. I promise to write more on the future posts!

For more on Diabetes Blog Week please visit Bittersweet Diabetes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why I am here, why you are here

I have diabetes. Officially it's Type 2, that's what my doc bills my insurance company anyway. I, on the other hand, don't buy it. Does it matter? Not really. The D is the D, if you ask me. You can take two PWD and compare them and get widely different stories, and stories are what this blog is about.

I am sarcastic. I talk to myself. Heck, I talk to my pancreas! (It completely ignores me. That's why I think it hates me.) I talk to my friends, my kids, my long-suffering husband, my co-workers, pretty much anyone or anything with ears. My dogs hear all about it. I love community and I love talking. I think sometimes I just want to know I am helping someone other than myself. That's why I became a nurse.

So here I am. Talking about me and the dia-dragon. Why are you here? Did you just hit the "next blog" button? Were you looking for some diabetes support? I like to think that the reason you (yes, you specifically who is reading this now) are here is that you needed a good laugh about a disease that makes no sense at all. That you were looking for yet another perspective on how to go do your daily battle with the dia-dragon.

I know I've had a whopping 6 views of this blog to date, so I'm hoping that you six keep coming back, that I can speak to you in a way that reaches you, and that perhaps, I can make a difference to you. If not, it won't be my first case of talking to myself!

So gear up for battle, because the dia-dragon doesn't take a day off.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One Armed Bandit

I had surgery on my left wrist two weeks ago. Fortunately, I am right handed, otherwise my darling husband would be hating me right now as I am left-hand-stupid. (Read- I can't do a damn thing right with my left hand.) The doc said I can't use that arm except for my fingers. Might as well have said not to use it at all!

For the first 4 days after surgery, I couldn't take my own blood sugar or give my own insulin. Talk about frustrating!

Me: "Honey?"

Darling Husband: "Yes, dear?"

Me: " I need to check my sugar and take my Lantus."

DH: (Grumbling...)

Me: (Grinning...)

By the fifth day, I had to do something. After much experimenting and several pokes that hurt like H3LLand didn't give up any goods, I found that by getting very creative, with one elbow, teeth and contortions of my right hand, I could manage a blood sugar. On to insulin!

I managed to crack that mystery also. That included careful balancing of said insulin between my partially numb thumb and hand, drawing up carefully with the right hand then dropping the vial in my lap.

I felt like I had solved string theory after I did it the first time! As I looked at the perfectly filled syringe, a disturbing thought trickled into my head. "How on earth am I gonna get this in me?" Any one that 'shoots up' knows that is a two handed process. I only have one right now! And it's not like I have any fat on me to speak of. After some creative cursing, then some creative thought, I found that I can 'pinch up' some fat, enough for my short needle anyway. Let's just say it's not good for my posture and I look like I'm having a seizure, and leave the rest to your imagination!

Fast forward a week to lunchtime today. Counted up my carbs, figured the dose and drew it up,  Then it hit me. Pre surgery, I could have just 'pinched and poked' right there at the table and no one would have noticed. Post surgery, every little thing I do has been miraculously transformed into a comedic production! I hate to leave the table after my coworkers and I had just sat down, but off I went! Fortunately, the restroom was empty at the time. Gyrations complete, insulin administered, I returned to the table.

I forgot the basic rule of becoming a One Armed Bandit, think EVERYTHING through, first step to last, so you don't get stuck in the middle! Pretty good metaphor for a lot of things in life, don't you think?

Monday, April 9, 2012

How to Count a Banana

For those new to carb counting, it can be very confusing. OK, I'm math challenged, so maybe it's me.

Woke up this morning with a BS of 79. Very good for me, but at the level where I usually feel the urge to wipe out the bakery stock. Fortunately, for my local bakery, I wasn't having that particular "Eat or DIE" feeling.

Look in freshly stocked kitchen for something healthy. I am completely willing to trade off a few carbs for better nutrition and good taste. Enter the common banana.

They look so innocent sitting there on the counter, pristine yellowness glowing in the morning sunlight. They are at the peak of ripeness. Beautiful. How many carbs are in a banana? Damned if I know. But I want one. Should I have only half, after all, fruit is nothing but a boat load of great tasting carbs with a few healthy additives, right? No, I want the whole thing.

So, I get on the internet and point my browser to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ( ) and enter "banana" in the search box. Holy crap! Mashed, sliced, extra small to extra large, and NLEA serving (whatever that is). Look over to innocent banana and think "they don't come with size markings and I'll be danged if I'm gonna smush this little beauty up and measure it!" So, I SWAG it, calling it medium, after all I've seen bigger ones, enjoy it's perfect banana-ness and bolus one unit for it. (25g).

Fast forward an hour and a half later. blood sugar now 145. Crap. I guess she was bigger than I thought. Eyeball her six sisters resting on the counter, guess the rest of you earned 2 units!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Maybe yes, Maybe no

I  I am 36 years old and have a stable weight for over 7 years of ~115 lbs. I was diagnosed as a T2 just over three years ago. Started on metformin, which was OK for about 6 mos. Then my sugars went haywire. Up, down, up, down.

Chapter 2: Lantus. Better control comparatively, but I was still going high every evening. Tried splitting the dose to no avail.

Chapter 3: Add humalog. Take Lantus mid morning. Marginally better control, but I am so sensitive to Humalog that I would have crazy lows at completely unexpected times, sometimes 5-6 hours after injections.

Fast forward to today: Been experimenting with carb counting, insulin-carb ratios, and the sliding scale I use. Interestingly, my highest BS today was my fasting of 167. Currently, I am 93. The idea to try this came after reading everything I could find about LADA or T1.5. I'm asking my doc to order the blood tests to confirm/rule out this form of diabetes.

Do I think this will work? Well, it seems to work for so many out there, so yeah. Is it going to be easy? Is anything related to the bees easy? No, it's a lot of work. But the satisfaction of having a day full of numbers below 160 leaves me feeling like I am the Maharajah. And, frankly, that's a pretty good feeling.

I AM a medical professional (nurse), but every diabetic is unique. My body will do different things than yours. My doc has given me permission to tweak my insulin, and I NEVER do so without telling my husband and best friend (both of whom are also nurses) for my own safety. Please, please, please! Do not make changes to your treatment regimen without consulting your doctor!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Late Nights

I hate these nights. I was high at 320 earlier so I took some humalog. Since I always eat when I take it, I ate a peanut butter sandwich and a few crackers. Check sugar before I go to bed, 402. Say many choice bad words and take more humalog. Now I have to stay up to be sure I don't drop too low.

My pancreas hates me.