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!