11
Aug

Misc thoughts that have been floating around

I've had a few thoughts and things that keep coming back. In no particular order:

  • We moved about a month ago. In the midst of unpacking and tidying, I've had a few lows that have fuelled house-cleaning rampages. These flurries of vacuuming, bleaching, etc are incredibly productive, if not particularly healthy.
  • Hoosband was away camping with friends about 3 weeks ago. I fired up the Minimed Connect and added my mom to the list of people to be alerted by text if I went low, since Hoobs wouldn't have any cell service. Night 2 of this camping trip, I had a bad overnight low and I woke up to my dad offering me a glass of juice. I really, truly thought I was in good shape and had a handle on my overnight blood sugars. Guess it just goes to show that things are never certain when it comes to diabetes. 
  • My mom came grocery shopping with me on my first shopping trip after the move. When I mentioned that I needed dish soap, she pulled me aside and solemnly explained how I should go for the soap with a flip-top instead of a pull-top, as the pull-top bottles tend to get all gummed up with soap. I ended up stifling a laugh as I told her that it is a new house, yes, but this is far from my first time buying dish soap. I know what I'm doing. Sort of.
  • I still haven't finished unpacking my pump supplies. I'll get to it... when the current box of infusion sets runs out.

Diabetes has been taking a backseat to the rest of Life lately. That should really change, soon.

14
Oct

Just dealing with it: easy, or not. Also, I get off-topic fairly easily.

I don't love anything overly simple.

I think if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I'm not alone. Tons of self-help and self-awareness articles will quote the same damn thing... but advice re: diabetes tends to be sort of scarce, when compared to general health advice for otherwise healthy people

Here's some of mine. It comes not from clinical studies or analyses thereof; rather, from life experiences of a girl who's still here after 23+ years. Or something.

Most of my advice is stolen. Literally stolen. The best piece comes from Joe Solowiejczyk: "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it.+"
Nothing says that you have to love the tens or hundreds of daily things you do to stay alive. You still have to do them.
I still work on this. I haven't seen a therapist in a while, but when I did, it was largely focussed on how tf to do this. In all honesty, I've been debating returning for quite a while, and with the wedding behind me I don't really have much of an excuse for postponing. This is a necessary conversation.

This is all completely necessary stuff. It's a little more than the average person needs to do to stay alive, but still. Necessary.
That doesn't make it any easier to do.
I know I'm lucky. After a solid week of job cuts, I am still employed. I still have some of an insurance category re: physio, therapy, etc (alllll under the same group). I can talk, I can decompress, I can try to work things out.

With my own prophetized future of Adult Who Has Her Shit Together, don't I kind of owe to to my future self to sort her current self out?

(and other reasons why I have a current buzzing sort of anxiety)
bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

 

 

 

+ I've had this quote pinned to my dresser for 3 or 4 years. I know it's from him, but I'm having a hell of a time figuring out where it came from. I believe here? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNOOIhyU04 ++

++ Part of the "Managing Teenagers with Diabetes".

 

*Also, Kinnickinick bread the best grilled cheese** sandwich. Like holy shit, that bread is fluffy as fck, even after being frozen and retoasted. I'm sold. I think it's fantastic.
** the cheese is
daiya cheese. Remember? I'm also allergic to dairy. 'sok. I remember. Can't bloody forget...

8
Sep

If my life was a novel...

Today's title would be "a shedding rabbit stores an entire 3xtra rabbits' worth of fur: and other things you do not realize while wearing a black shirt and deciding to brush your pet"

18
May

Telling an edited version of the story

I realized something slightly ridiculous today.

 

I told a lie about why I ended up waking up with a high BG this morning. I was out with a group of friends, but the migrane that's been edging in since I first woke up was getting louder and angrier by the minute. I spoke to the hostess to politely excuse myself so I could go home to sit in a very quiet room with the lights dimmed, and this kind, wonderful friend of mine asked what was up.

 

I told her, as well as her parents who had just arrived to the soiree, that I woke up with a high blood sugar and a splitting headache and it's been getting worse all day. I then shrugged. It must have been a kinked pump cannula or something, I explained. That's definitely why I woke up high.

 

It's not, though. I was 4.3 with 1.5 units of insulin on board when I checked before bed. I'd just started a new cgm and was still in the 2-hour warm-up period, so I had no cgm graph to indicate whether I was stable or dropping. I was uncomfortable going to bed at that number with insulin still on board, so I chugged back a juice box before brushing my teeth and going to bed.

 

I was, in case you can't tell where this is going, very mistaken about the effects of my on-board insulin. I woke up at 14 -- by far not the worst blood sugar I've ever seen upon waking up, but still high enough to give me the headachey, fuzzy-mouthed irritability that comes with a few solid hours of high BGs.

 

The part that's truly baffling though, is why did I lie? I'm positive my friend could not give less of a shit about the finer details. Why not just admit that I was scared of going low overnight, so I overreacted? There would be no judgement from this friend; no chastising me for not waiting it out or setting an alarm to check overnight. No finger-wagging or tsk-tsk-tsking at how I jumped the gun and treated a low that hadn't happened yet.

 

I know my actions weren't ideal. I think my reasons (fear of going low) are perfectly reasonable, but still I obviously overtreated. Why did I hide that information? Why treat it like I have something to hide?

10
Sep

Ben says WAKE UP (or, Blood Sugar Dog to the rescue)

Pump says low.

Melody says shhhh pump, I  sleep.

Boyfriend is not home.

Pooch says NO HUMAN WAKE UP YOU ARE BEEPING WAKE UP EMERGENCY OMG OMG OMG.

image

Low alert

Thx pooch.

7
Aug

Family and diabetes/the frustration of having no impact

My heart is aching.

 

Right now I've got so much to talk about. There is so much I want to share and discuss. I met a PWD and his parents in my area when they came to my rescue the night before I left for a vacation. I've got a technique for extending the life of my sensors and recharging my transmitter without accidentally yanking the whole thing out (which I think is pretty cool!). I got in touch with the Ontario ADP office and asked the folks there to send me the documentation that was used to justify their decision not to cover CGMs and sensors along with insulin pumps, and I've been immersing myself in the research and papers that they provided.

 

Lately, though, I've been hung up on a conversation that I had last weekend.

 

Let me rewind a bit: Last weekend Boyfriend and I travelled about 6hrs south of home to attend my cousin's wedding. The wedding itself was absolutely beautiful, the bride; stunning, the ceremony; flawless. The reception and party following the ceremony? It was one heck of a party!  The only part of the evening that was in any way unpleasant was a conversation I had with my Uncle S (the bride's father). Uncle S has had diabetes for a few years, and manages it with Metformin and diet. As usual, when we get together we shoot the shit about diabetes, mental health, public and family support, etc.

 

This time around our conversation was a little different. My aunt and uncle are going through some difficulties and are currently separated. They spent a long time trying to work it out, but it looks like this separation is going to end in divorce. I hate seeing how painful it's been for both my aunt and uncle as well as my cousins, but I know sometimes there is only so much you can do.

 

This separation and impending divorce has taken quite a toll on my uncle. Last time I saw him (July of 2014) he was using e-cigs as a method of helping him quit smoking. He told me how the e-cigs were doing wonders for him and were helping him to quit the habit. Last weekend, though, when we spoke it was out on the patio at the wedding venue, as he had resumed smoking.

When I asked how his diabetes was doing, he said that his cholesterol and a1c levels were excellent. He told me that last time he visited his dr's office those numbers were great, and in addition to that, he had recently lost 40 lbs (likely due to skipping meals during the day and eating better/healthier meals at night, combined with the stress and challenges that accompany the end of a marriage). Knowing that a decent a1c isn't exactly the quintessential measure of diabetes care, I asked how his numbers were throughout the day. His response, that he didn't know as he rarely checked his sugars at all, blew me away.

 

Also, keep in mind: we were at a wedding. I had enjoyed some wine with with (and after) (and before!) dinner, so while I was equally (or more) talkative than usual, I was nowhere near my normal articulate and well-read self when I blew up and gave him a lengthy, repetitive, somewhat irrational but mostly still accurate lecture on the importance of testing his BG throughout the day. He tolerated my well-meaning but still mostly critical tirade, but by the end of this conversation I was positive that nothing I said had changed his mind about his method of treatment.

It scares me to think of how easily complications can set in. It scares me even more to think that if he ends up with any serious, debilitating complications, he won't have my aunt close by to support him any more. I know there's no sense in worrying about the future, but it feels hard not to worry when a specific version of the future seems guaranteed.

So that's what's on my mind these days. Makes it a bit tough to focus on the more exciting stuff (see above; the new PWD friends or the ADP research).

12
Jun

A new chapter

Tomorrow afternoon something big is happening. Huge, even. A monumental and serendipitous event is taking place.  Tomorrow my best friend in the world is taking a huge step with the love of her life.

 

Tomorrow, my favourite Miss Nancy becomes a Mrs.

 

I've always admired the certainty with which Nancy faces her future. She's known right from the start what she wants for her life, and in those goals she's never wavered.

 

I am so excited to be there to witness as she starts this next chapter with a kind, clever, funny, perfect-for-her man by her side <3.

1
May

Hey! Back off!

image

No, rabbit, I will not share. Dex tabs are for humans only. Get your face out of there.

7
Apr

Ketones and thoughts about lows

About two weeks ago I had an interesting experience with DKA.

 

I went to bed as usual, but woke up around 1:30 to go to the bathroom. I noticed my mough felt fuzzy, dry, and cracked, and (sorry: TMI moment coming up) peeing... hurt. This raised some alarm bells for me, since normally it isn't uncomfortable to pee.  I briefly panicked and wondered if this was the first symptom of a UTI. I've read several articles that discuss how UTIs are more likely to occur in people, specifically women, with diabetes, so given my symptoms, that was one of the first things I suspected.

 

I checked my bg and found that I was suuuuper high. The bathroom discomfort prompted me to check for ketones which, I discovered, were present in my  body in HUGE quantities.

 

I quietly wondered: Is it supposed to hurt to pee out ketones? <<file away under the "Google this later" category>>

 

 

I feel very lucky to have access to the healthcare team that I've got. When I realized I had ketones, I gave a correction bolus for how high I was and called my hospital. They directed me to the endocrinologist on call (since it was the middle of the friggin night), who called me a few minutes later to discuss what was going on. I explained the situation, and described how I don't usually have ketones, so I wasn't really sure what to do. Should I give extra insulin for the ketones? What if that extra insulin made me go low? Could I still go to bed with extra ketone-fighting insulin on board?

 

My worry was that if I gave the extra insulin that's normally required to treat high ketones, it would actually be too much, and in the morning I simply wouldn't wake up. I explained this to the doctor.

 

 

I don't think that anyone with diabetes has it easy, but I am pretty fortunate in that I am able to, with the usual loss of sleep and consultation with a medical team, tighten up my overnight insulin (basal rates) so that my blood sugars stay pretty stable overnight. This tends to change a few times a year, or when I experience extra stress, but for the most part I only tend to do a HUGE basal-rate-overhaul maybe 3 or 4 times per year. I only mention this to explain that when I go to bed, with basal rates that usually work for me and with the added benefit of my cgm, I don't always worry about whether I'll wake up in the morning. This night, I worried.

 

 

This story doesn't have a very interesting ending. I corresponded hourly with the on-call doctor, who gave me instructions for insulin and water consumption, and had me report on blood sugars and ketone levels until everything was back in range. I admit I did still wake up low, but it was a "mild" low ("mild" as opposed to "my glucose-starved brain is pretty sure I'm going to die, BUT maybe I can stave off death if I eat everything in the fridge"). I think I woke up at around 3.8, which for me is still a BG from which I can wake up. Low 3s or below means I won't wake up.

 

Looking back, it feels almost strange to think that at 3.8 I can accept that I woke up low but it was ok, whereas a 3.2 would probably have had me unconscious and missing my alarms, laying in bed until Boyfriend (or BFF) noticed something was wrong and gently nudged me, repeatedly, all the while shoving a ready-to-drink juicebox in my face and hoping I wouldn't throw it at him(/her) or drip the whole thing over a pillowcase (I've never done that while low... I swear.).

 

0.6 mmol/l (or around 10 mg/dl) can make the difference between waking up and not. I'm really not trying to be over-dramatic...just stating a fact.

 

It's weird to think of your own mortality. Some nights (some mornings...some days) I think I get closer to death than most. I guess one of the sad things is that you sort of get used to it over time.

 

 

21
Feb

Overnight lows

I've been having some issues with overnight lows lately.

 

I've been setting a 70% basal overnight for the last few weeks. Most of me knows that a 70% basal will make me wake up ok; fortunately for me I have a pretty solid network of friends who help me to fee not-so-terrible when I've had some delicious delicious wine.

 

My overnight basal rates have been too high for a while, and the weird thing is that it seems to take having friends over for dinner and drinks to figure out that I need to do something more permanent than a 70% overnight basal.

Bah! I don't want to have to re-jig my overnight insulin rates! Sometimes changes, whether stress levels or natural life stuff, BLOW.

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