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?