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.


Diabetes and depression: 1

This is not hard to talk about.

I actually haven't had problems talking about it to family and coworkers. Friends, too, although I haven't told all of them. It gets tiring, having the same conversation over and over again.

It's difficult to write about it. I was a star in English class in high school. I studied sciences in university, so I didn't spend much time in languages or the arts or courses where I could improve upon my communication and literary skills. I had one mandatory English 101 class; but that's about it. Writing, to me, requires clearly presented and well-articulated thoughts and arguments. Since I was a child I've always loved to read, so writing, to me, is reserved for masters of the art. Writing is reserved for people who do it well and exhibit skills and expertise in communication.


I do not have these skills. I started blogging because writing, even if I did it terribly and without any measurable success, felt like it helped me to clear my head. I feel better about whatever mess is in my head when I sit down and map out thoughts and arguments.


I've been ignoring or avoiding writing and blogging lately. My head has felt like more of a mess than usual, and that mess is very difficult to sort out into manageable piles that can be dissected into coherent and meaningful posts.


I am trying to sort through that mess.


It started last summer. I recognized that many of the feelings that sent me to therapy in the first place were edging their way in to my psyche. I slept a lot, spent more "me" time just resting and relaxing and avoiding big group outings and when I did attend these big group events, I found them exhausting. I slowly lost feelings. I used to feel happy, excited, enthusiastic, and passionate. I felt angry, furious, frothy rage-filled wrath. I felt love. I felt a deep affection, a longing, and a devotion to people in my life who inspired these feelings. I felt tired, but a tired that was so deep in my bones that the exhaustion went right through me because I deserved the feeling. I felt life, and felt it so strongly and deeply because I truly felt like I had earned it. That...changed. It's impossible to say how or why, but slowly that slipped away from me.


I started revisiting my therapist in September. I had seen this particular therapist last year, and found her to be excellent. I could feel that something bad was going on, so early September I gave her a call. Her schedule was pretty full, but I was able to see her at the end of the month.


I think she could tell right away that I was struggling. Back when I first saw her she had helped me to work on balancing the demands of diabetes and everyday life. She helped me to work through those things, and helped me to figure out my life so I could feel like I could handle it.

In my sessions in October I received assignments like:  exercise. Walk the dog. Take those walks with the Boyfriend. TALK to my family about when I felt crummy.
I tried these things. I really did try.

By November, she encouraged me to visit my family doctor. She talked about me taking some time off to recover. My family doctor agreed.

I had some conversations with Boyfriend, and some of these worried me. I could tell he was worried. He knew that something was going on, something a little worse than just a temporary thing.  I hate worrying him. It breaks my heart to see him hurting and wondering whether his continued presence contributed to all of this.


My people wrote each other letters. My therapist wrote to my family doctor and recommended to him that I take some time off work. She also suggested that we consider medication. He agreed with her assessment, and started me on a course of antidepressants.


The first few days were rough. I've been having some significant issues with nausea, and the first three days of meds were the worse. There was a lot of vomiting.... like a lot. Soooo much puke. That's gotten better, but not significantly. I'm able to keep down food by dinner every day -- sometimes earlier! -- so it's still improving, but slowly.


It feels like I am still working through the diabetes burnout. The funeral this week didn't help. Time to myself has been good, I think, but still it has been a slow process.



I had an endo appointment scheduled for today.  I don't normally look forward to these appointments. I have an excellent endo whom I absolutely adore, but that doesn't change the fact that medical appointments are never fun. Endo appointments always involve a trip to the hospital to do bloodwork in the week prior to the appointment, PLUS the whole download-pump-and-cgm-data thing, so overall each appointment ends up being a moderate amount of work.

I went last Friday (over an "extended lunch hour", where I leave for ~90 minutes to go to the hospital in the middle of the day, then stay late at work to make up the time. I really need to stop doing this on Fridays -- staying late on a Friday is never fun) for the blood stuff.  This morning I brought printed copies of my Carelink Device Settings, Sensor Overlay, and Weekly Logbook reports of my pump/cgm data to work. I also managed to turn my pinkie finger purple this morning (probably from a lancet set to go too deep? Love when that happens...not), which was a bummer.


It can be easy to get sucked into things like that. I was fixated on a few small things, minor issues, and perceived injustices: "UGH work is so busy, and I'm losing half of an afternoon to go to this appointment."  "UGH My finger has a gigantic bruise. It hurts to type/use a mouse."  "UGH TOO MANY THINGS ARE HAPPENING."


Later this morning, a shooter attacked a soldier standing guard at the War Memorial downtown, which is about a 5-minutes walk from the building where I work. Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was killed. The gunman got in a car and drove to the Parliament buildings, where he entered and again, shots were fired within the Centre Block. He was shot down by Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers.

My building went into lockdown shortly after the first event, and stayed that way for most of the day. We were allowed out of the building late this afternoon, and I walked about 40 mins to get to a transit station (about 1/3 of the distance of my total trip home) to avoid the traffic of people swarming out of the downtown core.

Of all of the things experienced by the people in my city today, my minor annoyances from this morning don't even deserve a mention. Perspective is a funny thing.



My heart goes out to the family and friends of those hurt or injured today. I feel so, so grateful for the heroes who stepped up today: our police, fire, and EMS first responders. All amazing people.



The pump arrives!

Last week was a pretty busy week (diabetes-devices-wise, that is). I received a phone call on Monday from the Medtronic rep who had been helping me navigate through the process of figuring out whether my insurance would provide cgm coverage – she was calling because when we had last spoken, I’d told her that my “pump start” date was in May. She called to ask me whether that was still the case, since her office hadn’t received my forms from my d-clinic.




A voicemail to my diabetes nurse was returned within a half hour, and she told me something must have slipped up and not been sent. She assured me that my form would be faxed over ASAP, and reminded me that once my pump is delivered, I was to open it and play with it (become familiar with how it works, etc) in preparation for my pump start meeting.


Phew... crisis averted! I’ve been waiting for this pump start appointment since September, so thinking that it might be delayed because of a pump shipping issue? Eep...


The Medtronic rep called me back the next day to tell me everything was in order, and to ask me details re: the shipping stuff. She asked which types of infusion sets I’d like to try out, as they’d be sending me samples of some of them to get me through the first month. Apparently going on the pump comes with a month of infusion sets and reservoirs, and after that patients are stuck buying the next month out of pocket before the government funding kicks in (boo....). I arranged to have all of my stuff shipped to my mother’s work address, since I can’t sign for anything at home (they deliver from 9-5) and can’t take deliveries at work. Shipments arrived the next day, so I got to spend the Easter long weekend playing with my pump!


Even better: Yesterday, two more boxes arrived. Apparently a new pump comes with a new meter (for wirelessly communicating BGs back to the pump and cgm), which is at the same time cool (whoa new stuff) and frustrating (I LIKED my contour usb meter...). The second box was filled with PUMP SWAG: the cool gear they sent along as a part of a two-week promotion for which I was lucky enough to qualify. They sent over a sport case, a sport waistband, a bra clip, and a silicone skin.


So far I’ve only just started reading through the (absolutely massive) instruction manual that comes with the pump.

First impressions: holy crap, it's going to be easy to screw this up.

I think it's going to be an interesting learning process!


DMPAD day 8: Organization


I've heard of it... sort of. I am familiar with the concept. Does this familiarity with the word keep me from jamming all of my d-supplies haphazardly into a cupboard immediately after retrieving said supplies from the pharmacy?



nope. not happening.




Photo prompts for the rest of the month are on Kerri's Diabetes Month Photo-A-Day blog post!


i am a test!

I am here to check if the email subscription works 🙂


Halloween 2013! ...plus a sucky low.

Last night was another wonderful #dsma tweet-chat. Just like last week, when the clock hit 10pm I felt good... I felt like there are people out there who feel like I do. This is only the second week that I've participated, but I feel like if I could make life go exactly as I wish, I would never do anything else on a Wednesday night between 9 and 10pm... It's really refreshing to connect with other people who know what it's like.


I feel like I sort of needed that connection, especially after Tuesday night. I was hanging out with Boyfriend, not doing much (lazing around...too tired to do much) and just generally feeling sort of blehh. I started feeling super sluggish, and since I'd been stable all day (I "spiked" to 7.2 after eating - that was my highest bg all day! AWESOME day! 😀 😀 😀) I chalked my tiredness up to it being a long and stress-y day at work. It didn't even occur to me to think that it might be bg-related.

Thennnn.... I started laughing. Hysterically. I had been talking for a bit, but had only just started to realize that I couldn't feel my tongue. Or part of my jaw. Or, curiously, the pads of my fingers on my right hand. The tongue/face tingling and numbness aren't new, but my hand going all spastic was a new one for me (for a low, anyways. I've got circulation issues in that hand from a few old injuries, but never before has the flare-up of my nerve stuff coincided with a bad low).  After I stopped giggling and regained my composure, Boyfriend graciously offered to go get me some juice (I think he might have doubted my ability to navigate stairs at that point). He asked how much I wanted, and I, judging by how bad I felt plus the knowledge that I was about to go to sleep, said around 20g of carbs. Being the wonderful human being that he is, Boyfriend measured out approximately the right amount of juice (he actually read the label! <3) and brought me a glass of juice. I gulped it back, waited the appropriate 15 minutes, and yay! I had gone from 2.6 to 2.7!


I was (understandably) not impressed. SO not impressed.

I was also very tired... and decided to wait it out. 10 minutes later I had come up to a nice 3.6, which is still too low for me. I didn't want to go back downstairs for more juice, so I cracked open a tube of glucose tablets that I found in the bottom of a drawer. They've probably been expired for...a little while (it said "2001" on the tube. Not "Exp: 2001" though.... just "2001"...so maybe that was a product code and not an expiration year?), but other than a weirdly chunky consistency they still tasted like glucose tablets normally do (like chalk). These also had a nutritional graph on the side that said that 2 glucose tabs equalled 4.75g of carbohydrates (super weird! I don't think I've ever seen anything like that in...well, since I can remember). I forced down 2 of them, brushed and flossed (again...) and went to bed. 4.75g of carbs, almost a half hour after 20g used to treat a low, should be enough to bring me to a nice # and keep me there til morning...right?


Ohhh, Melody. You know better than that.

Woke up? 13.2. Grumble grumble grumble.



On the plus side: It's Halloween! I carved pumpkins tonight :D. I know I'm super late - I normally have them done by mid-October, but this year I just kept pushing it back until...well, til today :P. I had around 200 trick-or-treaters last year, so I need to make sure my pumpkins are awesome. Don't take my word for it though: see for yourself!


Pumpkins (Halloween 2013)!

Pumpkins (Halloween 2013)!


I hope everyone has a lovely Halloween :). Happy haunting!




Know what makes me happy?

That feeling of "I went out for lunch/had to guess the carbs, BUT it ended up ok!"



Sleep Study #2

I have a sleep disorder. Actually, it's more or a respiratory issue - my airway collapses when I sleep, so between 13 & 14x per hour, my brain wakes up out of it's sleepy state to remind my airway to stay open so I can breathe. It's great (because I don't stop breathing) but also awful (because I never, at all, ever, can reach REM sleep because my brain is interrupted before it gets to that stage). I've seen a sleep doctor/respirologist, who was having me sleep in a sleep lab while electrodes stuck to my scalp/face/legs/body measure muscle movement and brain waves while I (try to) sleep.

I was sitting in a waiting room at the sleep lab last Thursday night, feeling jealous of the people who already have wires attached to their faces so they can go to sleep. I was also so very tired, and somewhat frustrated. My respirologist had ordered another sleep study to test my airway resistance problems when treated with a cpap machine, so for the second time in a few months I found myself at the sleep lab, late at night, waiting to have electrodes stuck to my scalp with sticky goop so I can go to sleep while the lab techs watch my brain.

I should point out that my frustration felt entirely justified;  I was told to arrive by 10 pm and arrived early so I might complete the mandatory medical questionnaire and be ready to start being covered with electrodes and tubes at precisely 10. As I sat there, it approached 10:40 before they finally took me to my room and started sticking wires all over me.

So I sat and waited, & was a man in the waiting room with me. He finished his medical questionnaire a few minutes after I had finished mine, and when he was done he brought it up to the counter just as I had done. He stopped, though, and detoured past the big tub of jelly beans to scoop up a handful on his way back. It makes me wonder what kind of magical lifestyle these normal people lead, the people who can  not only eat jelly beans without having to consider how their bodies convert carbs to blood glucose and how insulin helps to pull that glucose out of the blood stream, and how much insulin they need for the snacks they just had, but even more than that! It's the people who can EAT BEFORE BED! I can't do that!  Any food past maybe 9pm will send me on an overnight blood-sugar rollercoaster. It took me a while, and I still slip up occasionally somewhat frequently, but I'm sort of at a place in my life where I realize the value in not eating late for the sake of good, stable overnight sugars. I always sort of wonder if other Type 1s out there feel sort of the same way: understanding that they're sacrificing lifestyle choices (like bedtime jellybeans) for tighter glucose control, and also worrying about the long-term implications of these decisions on their mental and emotional health. (am I overreacting? probably. It's not that big a deal to not eat candy before bed...usually. It might be nice to have the option though).

It's a small thing, I know - they're just jellybeans. Life with diabetes is a lot of small things though, and small things can start to feel pretty heavy when you add them all up.

I don't even like jelly beans...


JDRF Ride, Medtronic talk, and an "oops" moment...

I'm excited!

Tomorrow is the day! It's the JDRF Ride event :D!

My team ride time is 1pm, so around 12:30 I'll head over to register & find out where my team's bike is stationed. I spoke to the local JDRF rep yesterday, and because my team still had 2 empty spots, she was trying to get us an extra team member. It turns out that several members of the Sens Alumni team are attending the event, and one of them (a former Detroit Red Wings player) works as a firefighter in the City and is attending the event, so he was matched with my team! I get a hockey player! 😀 John Barrett is going to be joining the City Hall team 🙂

Another super exciting thing for tomorrow: I'm attending an info session on the Medtronic pump+cgm combo. A Medtronic rep is coming to my area to discuss these things PLUS the new enlite sensor. I'm really looking forward to learning more about the devices, plus the change to ask questions in person is always nice :).

Also.....side note. I guess I got super caught up in everything that's been going on this week. Not just tomorrow's JDRF Ride and the Medtronic presentation, but work has been insane - my department had some major deadlines for reports and projects that had to be prepared for today, so I've been spending a lot of time at work lately. I've also been feeling so drained that I head to bed soon after I get home, so I haven't done my usual inventory of D-supplies.... so of course, I use my last test strip before dinner tonight, head to the cabinet to crack open a new bottle, and - surprise! I'm completely out.

I do have my spare, emergency, use-me-if-you're-desperate bottle of extra test strips...in my desk drawer at work.

Luckily I could still pull out my spare Contour Next meter, so I'm not completely out of luck til I can order new ones for my Contour USB tomorrow.

Spare meter to the rescue!

Spare meter to the rescue!


It's a bit of a bummer. I haven't let anything like this happen since I moved out and took over filling my own prescriptions (I was a lucky kid/teen/young adult...my wonderful mother would renew and pick up my prescriptions for me when I lived at home), but I've been so distracted over the past week and a half that I guess this just...slipped. Oh well - fixed by tomorrow, hopefully...




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