Friday, May 11, 2007


Freshly gussied up after my work out, I proudly show up at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles on day before by license is set to expire.

I am ahead of the game. And I am going to look damn good for my photo.

I get right in and give the lady my license and proof of address. I revel in my good fortune.

I take my eye exam and do just fine.

She tells me I have to take a driver's test--but just the written.

My stomach falls a bit. But it's just the written, right?

But wait--

She is writing something on a piece of paper. She slides it toward me.

"You need to call this number to get reinstated. Your license has been suspended."

"But why? Nobody told me!"

"Do you have any unpaid traffic violations? Speeding tickets?"

"I haven't had a speeding ticket in years. My parking tickets are paid up."

"Call the number and they'll tell you why and what you have to do."

So I call.

"Ma'am--we never received proof of insurance for a traffic accident that you had...June 22."

"I sent everything in right away."

"We never received it. You'll need to go to to your insurance company and get proof. Send it to the reinstatement office."

So I do, stunned that I have been driving illegally for almost a year, and that I had never heard from the BMV or the insurance company. Thankful that I had not been caught. Laughing at the incredulity that it is by trying to stay legal that I have discovered that I have been illegal.

But there is more to come.

After I visit the insurance office, I call the reinstatement office to see if I can take care of the paper work locally.

"No, ma'am. You can mail it in to the Indy office, where it will take 72 hours to process. Or, you are welcome to drive down and do it in person."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Molasses in my veins

Molasses in my veins.
Sluggish, I test. 518.
Tubing not hooked up.

But these are the least
of my woes. One month of good
now 3 days of high.

Not two-hundred high.
Three-hundred, four-hundred, five-
hundred high. Testing a lot.

Insulin doesn't help.
4 units bring me down
only eighteen points.

Insulin is fresh.
Sites have been changed. Too often.
I'm not eating much.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Sweet Feet

I have a weird-looking thing on my right foot (from sandal season) and (unrelated) shooting pains in my toes. Although these are probably nothing to worry about, I find this story quite comforting: "Honey Could Save Diabetics from Amputation." See, sweet things aren't so bad for diabetics after all!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Things are looking up

The sun is shining and it's warm out, and with the clearing of Lafayette's clouds comes the clearing of my head, heart, and soul. I am thankful that the blood sugar gods have been kind to me this last month, because it has been a hard one in other terms. That crazy cycle of "is the writer's block and weather causing depression" or is "depression causing the writer's block (and the weather!?") manifested itself throughout April. I did not post because, honestly, all was fine on the diabetes front and everything else was a mess. Well, not everything. I am so blessed with a wonderful husband and a supportive family, as well as a network of academic and Christian friends. But depression and writing are, ultimately, just-me things, and both depend on how I see myself at any given moment. And though I try not to see myself, believing that God would prefer that I see Him and the needs of other people, it was a miserable month, not least because my dissertation in its entirety is due on June 18th. And throughout April, I kept thinking "I have X days to X days..." and I'd stare at my screen and...cry...because I didn't know what or how to write, and with no productivity there was no progress and with no progress there were only X days remaining...

Thankfully, God has allowed encouragement in my life. My advisor read portions of the chapter I am working on and muttered the glorious words "fine" and "good"--enough to make me think that maybe my work isn't so fruitless after all. There is the opportunity of employment in the fall, a possibility that has done wonders for this dissertationless, job-less self-image of mine. My students have expressed gratitude for my teaching and one emailed me to say that mine was the first class in which she thought that learning--as opposed to grades--was the true objective. My husband continually tells me how proud he is of me, and encourages me verbally and through his deeds (he cooked tonight and it was good!).

And today, although the body-impacting anxiety has visited me a few times, with the shortness of breath and utter panic that comes with deadlines and wavering confidence, it is much less, much less frightening, and much less powerful than it was one week ago. I am so thankful. Things are looking up.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Generally I don't dig Easter. I treasure it for what it celebrates--the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior and Lord--but the whole trappings don't do much for me. Maybe because I was diagnosed with diabetes over the Easter weeken of 1989, and I remember being given a toned-down Easter basket with strict warnings to make those sweets last. Easter in the hospital stunk, but worse was the pity that accompanied my diagnosis. I itch just to think about it.

But this Easter I will treasure as one of the best and most meaningful I've experienced. Each year my church produces and performs a Passion Play for our community, and for the last seven years I've declined to participate because...well, it's a time drainer, it comes near the end of the semester, yada yada yada. But I realized this year that this might be my last chance, and that to not even try it, just once, might be something I would regret. So I signed up for the choir. Now, I love to sing, but this was a bit risky since...well, I can't harmonize. I sing what I hear. And I am, I like to say, "An alto masquerading as a soprano."

Last Monday through Wednesday was spent at the theatre rehearsing--songs, "stage pictures," entrances and exits. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights we performed. And this was so wonderful. While the performance itself was exhilerating, what was so cool was the way the cast and crew came together. I didn't socialize a lot "below stage," but I loved observing how believers co-exist in a close environment...offering encouragement, joking, praying. How when we were told we'd have to do a second run-through on the night of dress rehearsal, after little to eat and a long day already, nobody argued or complained but just did it and did it well. Most heart-warming, though, was seeing a group of 15 year-olds praying together in a corner doing their down time. I was so humbled, for I was in the corner breezing through a very good, but certainly not very edifying, book. Also humbling (and edifying) was the thanks that people gave--people who've been coming to the show for years, and others who had never seen it before, hugged us, shook our hands, and thanked us for this ministry. It is hard to begrudge a week and a few weekend rehersals with that kind of response.

I also learned some things about diabetes and diabetics this week.
1) Never rely on food. I ate full meals on Monday and Tuesday even though each night people are slated to bring food for supper. You never know what will be provided, and on the nights I ate the pickings were good. So I ate twice. Wednesday, then, I didn't eat beforehand...and I discovered that a meal of cookies is not such a good thing. There were lots of sweets and no savories, certainly nothing substantial. Not ideal for a diabetic!
2) Never rely on others for your diabetes supplies! I didn't intend to do that...but I walked off with my meter lying on the kitchen table, and my CGMS needed to be calibrated. So I did what anyone else would do, and asked Diabetic #1 if he had his meter with him. He shook his head in a guilty "no." So I asked Diabetic #2 if he had his meter with him...and he, too, had left his at home. We laughed pretty hard at the fact that none of us 3 diabetics were "responsible."
3) Stage fright screws up those blood sugars! Before each performance I would start to climb, climb, climb. I ranged from 250-350 each performance, beginning about an hour before curtain. Saturday I got smart and cranked my basal to 200%--and it made absolutely no difference. So I was cranking in the boluses each night, to no avail...until it all caught up with me on Saturday!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This is my brain off Paxil

I've been quiet this last month. And anyone reading should be glad. You see, I get a little stubborn about going to the pharmacy and dealing with prescriptions. And so, when my prescription for Paxil ran out, I dragged my feet on refilling it. I not only had to call the doctor to have her refill, I had to switch pharmacies. And so I just didn't refill...and didn't refill...

And soon each day was cloudy. I'd open my computer and start crying. To get anything done was impossible. And I would watch myself, knowing full well that something was wrong. I would say, "Nic, you're not thinking logically. The glass is half full," and although my brain knew the glass was half full, my heart was telling me that the glass was shattered, broken in thousands of pieces. I was a broken beaded necklace and I could not get the beads restrung in the proper order.

And I was angry. I had some reasons to be angry, I think. I am not making progress on my chapter. I got my last official rejection from my interviews. My husband was unemployed. I was angry that those who interviewed me strung me along for months beyond their promise. I was angry that I've been on the job market for 8 months and that it has consumed my life. But the degree of my anger did not match the circumstances. And it did not help that people were telling me that. I knew that. I just couldn't fix it. And it's terrible to blame people for your (non-existent) problems and know that it's wrong but do it anyway. I hated myself. The river (flooded) seemed appealing. And I hated that, too.

I love Paxil. I hate Paxil. I need Paxil. I hate that I need it. But now I am back on it...clearly it's not all about Seasonal Defective Disorder. Clearly there is something fundamentally wrong with my system. I hate that, too.

Amidst all of the ridiculous emotional turmoil there have been many good things. My husband has a job. He's on week three. He likes it and is thinking of it as a possible career. We have insurance. We are getting a tax return that will help us pay down our credit card. My students are wonderful. My blood sugars have been fairly good. I know that we will not be moving to CA, OK, NY, or WV this year. My friends have been so encouraging. And God is always here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

All Aboard (In other words, the "7")

Seven Things To Do Before I Die:
1. Finish my dissertation!
2. Knit something other than scarves
3. Go on a missions trip
4. Learn to speak Spanish fluently
5. Live abroad
6. Cultivate a quiet spirit
7. Learn to play the guitar

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Sew. Or anything creative or artsy, really. I aspire to creativity, though.
2. Be articulate
3. Tolerate sloth
4. Tolerate incompetence (if it's my own, it's different, of course)
5. Understand why people don't discipline their kids
6. Resign myself to nylons (which is why I was bare-legged in 20 degree whether yesterday)
7. Curl my tongue

Seven Things That Attract Me to… The Mr.
1. His gentlemanly qualities
2. His gentleness
3. His hysterical, out-of-control guffaws when he's really tickled
4. His problem-solving-spirit
5. His sense of style
6. His rebelious streak
7. That he doesn't want six kids!

Seven Things I Say:
1. Praise the Lord!
2. I'm not complaining, just observing
3. Darn tootin'
4. Good grief!
5. Oh, for Pete's sake!
6. It's alright, it's okay (picked up from my two-year old niece who whispered it to her cheesecake before plunging her fork in!)
7. You're "special"

Seven Books That I Love:
1. Bodie Thoene's Zion Chronicle and Zion Covenant series
2. Ursula Hegi's Sacred Time
3. Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby
4. Coetzee's Disgrace
5. Austen. All of Austen. But I really love Emma. Well, I love Knightley. "Emma, if I loved you any less..." sigh.
6. Elizabeth Stoddard's The Morgesons
7. You mean I only have one choice left? This is hard...Willa Cather's O Pioneers

Seven Movies That I’ve Loved:
1. Fletch and Fletch Lives
2. Mrs. Doubtfire
3. Hotel Rwanda
4. Love Actually
5. Sense and Sensibility
6. Life is Beautiful
7. Stranger than Fiction

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I am a rule-maker and a list-maker, and am a very big fan of post-it notes. As of Monday, each time I open the pantry, a notecard greets me with a question: "Nic, have you eaten a fruit today"? And on the refrigerator is my exercise checklist, which reads: Curves, run, Curves, aerobics, Curves, cardio.

These two reminders are the result of some serious body image issues, issues that have nothing to do with my body and everything with what I am doing to it. I am no heftier or pudgier than I was one month ago, but in my mind I am. Due to car problems and motivation issues, my Curves attendance has been once a week instead of 3 times a week; due to snow, I am not walking; due to diss and job-related things, my mouth thinks it needs to be chomping all the time. And it is.

I can be quite disciplined when I want to be. I ask, "Nic, do you really want that trail mix?" And if the answer is no, I can usually turn away. But there are times when the "I deserves" or "I needs" trump this discipline, and this has been the case for the past month. What I am not getting in contentment and security I am getting in calories.

But no more. Those calories have been replaced by a lot of Extra Sugar-Free gum. I've been to Curves twice this week, and I ran on the treadmill yesterday. I am still struggling with snacking, and with a string of lows that make calorie consumption necessary, but I am trying to get this under control. I am resolved to do so.

Friday, February 23, 2007

They like me, they really like me!

Well, they don't necessarily like me. They like it. My committee, that is, liked my latest dissertation chapter. Now, the last time I met with them, I cried. In front of them. So I was understandably a little nervous about this most recent meeting, especially because I couldn't tell if my chapter was good or bad. I thought it was good but I was so close to it that I didn't know anymore. Imagine my joy when Prof. R said, "I loved the part where..."

Other things or people that like me (or things about me):

  • My friend SJ! She just drove down from Rochester, MN to see a Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with handsome hubby and I. We have been friends for 10 years, and she is (and has) the most lovely soul. She is a wonderful listener, and a wonderful friend to the diabetic me. When we travel, she travels with candy for my low blood sugars just in case. She makes me check my sugar. She asks, "is that enough" if she thinks I'm skimping on food. But she does it in such a SJ way that I don't feel harassed or babysat. And it's very few people who manage that.
  • My nieces and nephews. All 12 of 'em.
  • My hubby, who apparently likes me enough to stay married to me even though I am at my most insecure, annoying, neurosis period in our marriage. Ever.
  • My students. One even emailed me to tell me that yesterday's exam was "good." Whatever that means!
  • My blood sugars. I've been in the 80s-170s...except for...

Things that don't like me so much:

  • My insulin pump, or the cannulas, or something. Hence,
  • My blood sugars. After changing out my pump on Wed., I woke up 2 hours later trying not to toss my cookies and at a stunning 501. I of course shot up and changed again, only to be 466 at 7 am. With a purple pee-stick. And then higher. And then 300. And then, after rage bolusing my heart out, 62. Whereupon I rose above 100 only once the whole evening and have in the course of the last 24 hours been on the low end ever since.
  • The scale. I've gained 3 pounds since Feb. 1st. My motivation to get the gym went the way of corded telephones. And my motivation to watch what I eat? Well...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day!!!!!!

I am originally from Minnesota. I spent the first 21 years of my life, more or less, in the snow state. Snow does not impact me. It's snowing? Okay, get out the shovel, put a blanket in the car, and keep on trucking. I am, moreover, from Brainerd, which historically does not cancel school with major snow falls. All of the school districts around us would close but not ours. The only time I really appreciated Governor Arne Carlson was when he cancelled school for most of the state because it was snowing and 60 below.

It has been a major adjustment moving to Indiana, where schools shut down based on the threat of snow. As of Monday night, all of the schools had been closed except my University. I did not cancel Tuesday's class because as of midnight Monday, no snow had fallen. By morning, 2 inches had fallen. And it was windy. I got to campus and headed to the coffee shop to find it closed due to "inclement weather." (This did not sit well. I NEEDED MY COFFEE. The weather was wintery, not inclement). In my department, which had exactly four people in it, I was asked "if we were crazy to be there." My response didn't sit well. "I don't think so, but I'm from Minnesota."

By noon, however, we were crazy to be there, as the snow had picked up and the wind was blustery. So I headed home. By noon, the University had cancelled classes for only the fourth time its history. My sour, "Indianans are wimps" softened to, "now this is really snow, and it's a snow day!" We spent the day being goofy--driving to Walmart in my brother-in-law's 4-wheel drive jeep, building snow forts, drinking cocoa with marshmallows, watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Today is also a snow day. Yay for wimpy Indianans!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Raging Bolus

My tale begins at 3 am, when I awoke with a start. Usually when I do that, it means my blood sugar is out-of-control. And sure 'nough, it was. It was a nutty 423. Bleary-eyed, I did a shot of 3 units and went back to bed. At 9 am, I was an equally-out-of control 363. Clearly, my pump was malfunctioning--I had had that suspicion last night. But I was still sleepy. So I did a shot of four units and crawled back in bed. When I changed my pump, there were little globules of blood and fat in the cannula, so I think insulin simply wasn't able to deliver and absorb. That makes sense. What doesn't make since is that gazillions of units later, I am still high. I limited my breakfast to a piece of toast and did a more-than-enough bolus of 6 units. Two hours later? In the 300s. Another shot. After a nap, because it was all I was up for, I had come down to a more respectable 253 and gave into my stomach's demands for lunch. Again, I did plenty of insulin and then I braved the cold (with my loving, sacrificial husband) to try to walk off the high and the lingering high blood sugar idiocy. I am now 319.

This sucks. As does being unable to figure out if the problem is: insulin (likely, I'm room-templing a new bottle now); bad sets; a virus...the same old, same old. And as I try to play detective, I am waiting, waiting for the inevitable rage bolus low to catch up with me.

Monday, February 05, 2007


I am celebrating. 68 pages later and chapter 4 is finished! A dissertation chapter should be 50 pages so that when the diss is published it will be a 25-page chapter. Any longer is the kiss of death (at least for me, of short attention span fame). So, my chapter is at least 18 pages too long, but it is done and I am happy.

I am also happy because the Trumpeter Malbec wine that has been in my pantry for 3 months has now been consumed. I bought it in October and the deal was that I couldn't drink it until the chapter was finished. Handsome Hubby was a strict enforcer. And tonight we enjoyed it together, and I enhanced it with some espresso-flavored Ghiradelli.

In other news...nothing has changed in the diabetes front. But things have changed in the insurance front. My husband lost his job last week. They are closing his office. And while I am insured under my graduate student insurance, it only covers doctors' visits to the student health center. No endo, no Minimed. Handsome Hubby has a couple of job leads, but nothing solid. And my car decided to freeze up today (literally--it's cold!) and had to be towed home. When it rains, it pours.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sometimes I like Doctors

Usually I don't. Usually I need help with somethin--usually my basals or boluses--and they are unable to help me. And this inability (I usually take it as unwillingness, though this is wrong) makes me suspicious, and so I don't call for help when I need it. But my awful blood sugars prompted me to rethink my suspicions (spelling? too tired...) The thing is, despite my attempts to get my basals under control I have been skyrocketing after breakfast and then plummeting...right as I am teaching my English students. Then I have been yo-yoing the whole day, for a fabulous 38-41 finale at about 1 am. This is not acceptable.

My doctor agreed. And yesterday at my endo appointment she took my pump in her hands and redid all of my basals. She did the math on the spot (it takes me forever), adjusted the times and the rates, and...I am in love with her! Number of highs today: none. Number of lows: none. I went up to 194 after breakfast, which after the 300s is great by me.

All of my highs from the last two months are evident in my A1C. It was (as I said it would be!) 6.8. I'm happy when I'm between 6 and 7, but since I've been 6.4 for 6 months I'm a little disappointmed. Although the 6.4s were because I had a good string of I guess it balances out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My life in trash

Detectives often look in people's trash to get clues regarding their lives, habits, secrets. So I thought it would be interesting to keep track of what I threw away today...

1. 1 Starbuck's Venti cup (one day old; "calm" teabag included")
2. 1 foil creamcheese wrapper (Walmart brand; 1/3 less fat)
3. 1 medium coffee cup from campus coffee shop
4. 1 hershey's kiss wrapper--the silver and brown striped kind
5. 1 Snickers "fun size" wrapper
6. 1 USA Today (money and sports sections intact; cover and life sections disheveled)
7. 1 piece of plastic wrap, with tomato sauce on it

I'm noticing a food trend here, so I might as well continue the list. My munching pattern, today:

1. 1 Hershey's Hug
2. 1 fun-size snickers
3. 3 tablespoons cajun trailmix
4. 3 chocolate-covered almonds
5. several handfuls of chocolate chips and marshmallows
6. 2 Jello Jigglers (I had to eat those, my nieces and nephews made 'em for me)

...the above list is why I should not work at home.

Number of low blood sugars today:


Number of high blood sugars today:

too many.

Next doctor's appointment:


Projected AiC: 6.8

Weight: Too much.

Friday, January 26, 2007

CGMS Update

I have been abandoning my blog as I try to finish a chapter and keep up with course prep and grading. And I am really at a loss for words at the moment (this is what happens when you write all day). I do, though, have some CGMS discoveries to share.

1. I can only make a sensor last 6 days. Day 5, the sensor starts to hurt. Day 6, the numbers go wild. Day 7, the many warnings--CAL Error, etc--drive me bonkers and I rip the sensor out in frustration.
2. I like the sensor on my rear/back thigh the best. It's a little difficult to get to, but it isn't as uncomfortable as the abdomen.
3. The transmitter should be moved every 3 days. The first time I hooked up, I left it in one place and when I removed it my skin went with the tape. Ouch! It should also be moved because a tape residue builds that is very hard to wash off. The big grey circle on my thigh is proof, because I have scrubbed and scrubbed.
4. No one tells you how much removing the sensor and transmitter smells. Yes, smells. You know the damp, fleshy smell that accompanies the removal of a band-aid? Mulitply that times 7 days of very big tape (3 strips, to boot), and you'll have an idea of what I mean.

The things we have to learn...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Three Cheers!

Thanks, Julia, for telling me how to get the title field. I feel legit now. Three cheers for you!

And three cheers for my blood sugars (and for all of the prayers that I know have helped them straighten out). I increased my daily basal from 13 units to 18, but they're level (hear me scream!). Today I did not go above 200, and I haven't been able to say that in a long time. (Maybe ever?) In fact, I think I might need to cut back a bit, since I've been maintenance suspending all day. But...the numbers are just so beautiful.

Because I made such drastic changes to my insulin, I cancelled my appointment with the CDE to discuss carb counting. It was supposed to be this morning, but since I only had 1 1/2 days of numbers I thought I would be better off waiting. And even with .5 more units of insulin to cover my mornings--I doubled my basal there--I still need 5 units to cover toast, peanut butter, and milk. So maybe I'm just a reject who needs a lot of insulin to cover breakfast and food in general. We're all "special", right?

Speaking of "special"...I have a huge bruise on my thigh from my latest exercise attempt. See, my New Year's resolution was to try a new form of exercise each semester. This semester, it was supposed to be water aerobics. I got as far as putting my swimsuit in my bag. After a week, I took the swimsuit out to use the bag for something else. So, to assuage my guilt I got a TaeBo video, since I've never done TaeBo and I could do it in the cozy comfort. Good gracious! It's only eight-minutes long but I had to stop the video twice because it is so intense. And the elbow-to-knee segments are killers--my sharp elbow and my fleshy lower thight connected. Ouch! My husband says I could be a model if God had given me any grace...

Friday, January 12, 2007

After whining on Wednesday, I made some drastic basal adjustments. I surveyed my trends and ups and downs and went back to the early pump days, where instead of having a gazillion basals I had four. I decided to make huge changes in the hopes that I could get things leveled out. What a difference a little whining (sorry! I feel guilty!) and basal changes can make. My nighttime sugars have been much better and I've actually been okay--if a little low--during the day.

This is good. But there is always a but...

The but is I'm losing trust the CGMS that I was beginning to love. Why? Because today it had me between 80 and 120 throughout the morning, just kind of hovering there. I was happy. And because I was hovering, and veering low, I had a brownie. And because I had down arrows telling me I was falling, I had a brownie with a bolus. I was not ill-advised to do this, since I munched on the brownie and since I've been falling in the mid-morning. At least, I thought I was not ill-advised. After all, 146 after a brownie without insulin is respectable, right?

Yes, it is, when you are actually 146. But when I went to calibrate I discovered I was not 146. I was not 246. Nor was I 346 or 446. I was, in fact, 530. See my jaw dropping?

One of the problems with the CGMS is you cannot calibrate when you are on a rapid rise or fall--that is, when you have double arrows on the screen, when you have eaten, or when you have exercised. My blood sugars last night were wacked for a different reason, and I couldn't calibrate until this morning. Perhaps something went wrong there. Or perhaps my sensor is starting to come out of my skin--it is a little sore, but I'm not ready to give it up yet. Whatever the reason, a difference of 400 is way to much to account for, and is certainly not healthy. From now on, I will be testing my blood sugar more often.

PS Can anyone tell me how to get "titles" to show up on my blog? I know it's possible with Blogger...I just don't know how to do it. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I am having envy issues. I read blogs in which people say, "I'm so upset, I've worken up above 100 for three days in a row" or, "I've managed to stay between 80 and 120 for 5 days" and instead of saying, "yay" my response is an uncharitable "shut up." Because I am trying, trying so hard to reign in my blood sugars. Yet the more I try the worse things seem to be. For instance: After three days of running high I decided to do an all around basal hike. My numers warranted it. I moved conservatively, only upped each time by .5. So, what happens?

Well, my blood sugar overnight was consistent. As in, ranging a stead 240-300. As in, nothing below 200. So I corrected this morning and had my oatmeal and then began to plummet. Managed to stave off a low because of those handy double-arrows. And this afternoon I was steadily between 80 to 130, which would have had been dancing through the library aisles if not for the fact that steadiness was the result of a whole bottle of glucose tabs, consumed throughout the day; a Snicker's bar; and the handly little suspend function. The whole afternoon I had symptoms of a low even though I wasn't, and let me tell you, very little work got done. This is not good. Dissertation defense looms.

So I must confess I am having the "why me's?" And I hate that almost as much as I hate this disease.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


I read a blog awhile back in which the author wrote diabetes haiku. The haikus were clever and amusing, and have inspired me to write my own. I find it comforting ordering the disorder of diabetes into three lines, 17 syllables. Condensing everything and making in conform. I can't find the blog now to give proper credit where it is due, but if I find it (or if anyone can refresh my memory) I'll be sure to link to it.

Anyway, here is my attempt:

Post-prandial woes
306 after oatmeal
and seven units

...a continuous problem. I can't get my post-breakfast readings under control. I understand a spike is necessary, but really, shouldn't 5 units for 1 piece of toast and a glass of milk be more than sufficient? I keep upping my basals, but it's not working. So I hooked up the 'ol CGMS to see if I could get a handle on things. It was the first time I did it alone and it was really difficult. The soft-serter has a really sticky button and it's hard to push it fast like you're supposed to. The first time I tried to insert the very long needle it only barely went in. The second time my handsome hubby helped, and it worked just fine. I'm thankful for his help--he is calming and smart, and he had to overcome a definite aversion to needles in order to help. Even I find the CGMS needle hard to deal with!

Finally, two more really interesting NYT diabetes stories.

This one--"What's Making Us Sick is an Epidemic of Diagnoses"--is really thought-provoking and provides an interesting compliment to my previous post about to doctor or not to doctor. I agree that we are too quick to think ourselves sick, and that medicine is interested in proving we need "help." At the same time, as one with many friends and relatives with such "questionable" illnesses as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, I think it is imporant to take a balanced perspective.

This one--"New Job Title for Druggists: Diabetes Coach"--I found inspiring. It portrays the kind of hands-on, preventive kind of treatment that is necessary to have educated diabetics. I wish more health insurance companies would get this--that buy investing in measures such as those shown in this story (as well as technologies like the CGMS), we can help prevent the kind of complications that hinder our lives and that they have to shell out for later.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

As diabetics, we have more health problems to worry about than most people. Or maybe I should say, we have the threat of health problems to worry about. Not only do we face possible complications with our eyes, kidneys, hearts, and feet, we face higher risk of everything from gum disease to skin infections to frozen shoulder.

And, I am deciding, we face a higher risk of hypochondriachism, the belief that there is something wrong when, in fact, it's all in our heads. When we're told that we could lose a foot if we have a wee little cut, who can really blame us? My imagination, for one, can run rampant.

And this poses a problem. Because, what it boils down to for me is my imagination versus the probability that I am probably a-okay. As in, yes, my shoulder hurts, but it's probably just me shoulder just hurting. Yes, maybe I should go to a doctor, but it's probably nothing. He will scorn at me (and I hate to say it, but it's always a "he" that scorns) and roll his eyes at another white, middle-class woman with too much time on her hands. But...maybe it is, say, frozen shoulder, and if I go now I won't need surgery later. And what these scenarios boil down to, for me, is a push-me-pull-you of paralyzing indecision about whether to seek medical attention. It's why I had a sinus infection for a month before I went to the doctor, because it had to be a cold, didn't it?

But this post really isn't about a shoulder or a sinus infection. It's about the fact that I am beat. Wiped out. Absolutely without energy. I have had a sore throat for 10 days; I am still trying to get my voice back; I am ready for bed at 7 pm. And while I am aware that yes, I am diabetic, and that it takes a while to recover (though I rarely, if ever get sick), and that yes, a viscious cold is going around, and that yes, I just did four interviews in 2 days and traveled to boot...I am a bit unsettled. Partiuclalry because I am clearly no longer fighting this bug like I was, as is clear from my low-to-normal blood sugars. So I waver. To doctor or not to doctor, that is the question.

Anyone else go through this fear-of-hypochondria, fear-of-mortal illness dilemma?