16
Oct

Fun math problem!

It's 2am. You have had 6 drinks over the past 6 hours. 

You have had a 70% temp basal set for the past 3 hours. It is scheduled to continue for 8 more hours.

Your current BG is 10.0. 

Your cgm says 9.6 with a straight-ish line, so it's not too far off. 


You have 0.3 units of active insulin on board. Your pump recommends an additional 0.9 units to treat the high bg.
You are a 40 minute drive away from the people who know how to help if things go south. The alcohol makes you much more sensitive to insulin than you usually are.

If you wake up with a BG above 12, your hangover will be magnified and you likely won't be able to make the drive home tomorrow.  If you go below 5, your cgm will wake up half the cabin.
What do you do?

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).

19
Dec

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.

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