Can’t Hate the Wait

I go to my endo about every three to four months depending on his availability and my schedule.  He’s a busy man and I know I am lucky to have him as my doctor.  But I HATE how long it takes me to get through my appointment.  Here’s the rundown:

  1. My meter, pump, and CGM are downloaded and I am weighed and my blood pressure is taken. That’s quick. (10 minutes)
  2. I go into another “lab” to get my finger poked and my A1C test is done.  It sucks my insurance doesn’t cover this test but I love how I get the results within 10 minutes. (5 minutes)
  3. I am escorted into a room and wait for usually a Certified Diabetes Educator.  (10 minutes)
  4. We go over any changes, troubles I may be having, suggestions, questions, thoughts, prescription refills. (15 minutes)
  5. After she has finished, I wait. (20 minutes)
  6. Then I am moved to a room across the hall and… I wait. (20 minutes)
  7. Doctor comes in and we high five. (Awesome second)

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Alright, so the high five doesn’t actually happen but I pretend it does.

But in all honesty I can’t hate on waiting for my doctor.  Why?  Because he takes as much time as I want and/or need.  I have questions about rising sugars at night?  I’m trying to lose weight and keep going low?  I’m traveling overseas and need to figure out the time change?  Any teeny tiny thing I want to talk about, he does.  And he doesn’t rush me.  He gets answers for me.  We talk about options and different ways we can go about treating me.  He makes me feel comfortable and confident talking to him.  There’s a reason my a1c is in great shape.  So much of it has to do with him.

I hate to admit this but I will.  I was diagnosed in 1996 and after five years of living with it, I hated life.  (Diabetes life) My a1c was around a 12.8.  My doctor at the time made me feel like a terrible person.  He shamed and guilted me.  (yeah I know it’s not a word) Every time my mom drove me to the doctor I would get this pit in my stomach.  I felt like nothing I did was ever good enough so I stopped trying all together.  Oh and did I mention I was 13?  And losing weight by not taking insulin? Yeah… life.

Then I switched to the Barbara Davis Center and met Dr. Gottlieb.  Thank goodness.   At my first visit he said, “Well your a1c is a bit high but we can work to get it lower.  Let’s see what you are comfortable with and we’ll go from there.” And from there, I turned my a1c around.  It took me about three more years to get a serious grip on it but hey, I got there.  Now I am proud to say that 12.8 a1c is down to a 5.7.  I know it took a lot of work on my end but I really have to thank Dr. Gottlieb.  People say, “it takes a village to raise a child”.  In my opinion “it takes an amazing staff and doctor to keep an a1c in check”.

So when I get antsy waiting on him I have to think to myself, he’s helping another patient just like me.  I’d hate it if he shuttled me in and out under three minutes so it’s okay.  Take a deep breath and deal.

P.S.  I’ve been watching a ton of Scrubs lately so… EAAGGGGLLLEEEE!

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A False Positive

And no, I’m not talking about being pregnant.

Usually when I wake up in the morning and have to pee (like really have to go) it’s an indicator that I’m high.  Lately though, I’ve been getting a false positive.  I use the restroom and take a guess at where I’m at.  I’m thinking…maybe 237.  I test and I’m at 103.  Wait, what?  Did I drink a gallon of water the night before and not remember?  Where is this “urge” coming from? Sorry if this is more than you wanted to know but I’m sure we’ve all been there.  Happy Friday!

In the Middle of the Night…

About a week ago I had a bad low while sleeping  As I sat on my kitchen floor drinking Capri Suns and eating Crasins with my dog looking for a hand out, I started singing “In the Middle of the Night” by Billy Joel.  Then I started laughing like a madman because I thought of the line, “in the middle of the night, I go low in my sleep”.  I thought it was hilarious, though it very well could have been a side effect of the low.  But that song has stuck with me so I decided to change the words of the one and only Billy Joel, and make it into a D-Song.  So if you play Mr.Joel’s music video and sing the words below, I found it very catchy.  And now I sing it all of the time.  I may have too much time on my hands.  Oh well.  Enjoy. (and fyi Roxy is my CGM’s name)

In the middle of the night
I hear Dexcom go beep
From the mountain of pillows
To my dreams so deep
I must be feelin’ something
Something sweaty and shaky
But the sugars too low
And it’s too hard to move

Even though I know that the kitchen is there
I walk down every hall and I stop and stare
I try to fumble with the light switch off
So I can finally find what I’ve been looking for…

In the middle of the night
I go low in my sleep
Through the panic and fear
I hear Roxy go beep.

I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my blood
Something I’d like to eat
Something to keep me in control

I don’t know why I go low at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to eat anymore

I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until my blood sugar stops dropping down no more

In the middle of the night
I go eating in my sleep
Through the pantry of food
To the freezer so deep
I know I’m searching for something
Something sugary sweet
That I can shove in my mouth
Hopefully a delicious treat…

In the middle of the night

I’m not sure how many carbs are in this
God knows I try to stay between the lines
I fantasize that I’m perfect as I eat
Hoping that it’s only fifteen or twenty grams..

In the middle of the night
I go up and down in my sleep
Through the sugary maze
And the trials of the “D”
We’re all looking for balance
We all want that safety
That our CGM brings
To the sleeping d-peep
In the middle of the night

Now if only Billy Joel would record it with these words… That’s tomorrow’s project!

$*!%&#@(#$*%^&@

I’m frustrated.  Expletive frustrated.  My blood sugars have been wildly out of control this week.  I keep waking up to sugars in the 300’s.  I bolus and it drops but only slightly.  I take injections usually around 10 units just so I can see a dent in my sugars.  I use increased basal rates while I’m sleep which I hate to do but I am so over being woken up by my Dexcom I don’t care anymore.  I’ve changed out pod after pod thinking maybe it’s faulty.  My insulin is fresh, my skin is clean, I’m not eating outrageous things that make me spike.  Argh…  I don’t want to blame the Omnipod but I swear I haven’t had problems like this with any other pump so I once I run out of insulin in this pod (which at this rate won’t take too long) I am going back to my Animas.  Or hell… maybe even my Medtronic.  I am beyond frustrated and just want to see a number below 170 (my green line on Roxy) and stay there for more than an hour.  BLERG!  That is all. Carry on.

Why “Push My Buttons to Turn Me On”

I am a bit of a self proclaimed nerd.  I like, no, love, Battlestar Galactica.  I dress up every Halloween, sew pinafores, dye my hair, buy “finds” at thrift stores just in case it might come in handy some day all for that one day.   I recreated a scene from Titanic out of Barbies and her pink corvette sinking in my bathtub because I love creating “films”.

So when my pump arrived, I thought, score… I am now a machine.

Then the day came along when I met a boy that I liked.  And that day turned into a relationship.  And then the relationship made its way into the bedroom.  (Please stop reading here if you have no idea what may come next.  I don’t want to scar your delicate, frail mind.)  And sometimes items you use to manage your diabetes pop up in the bedroom.  Sure significant others know about finger pokes, low blood sugars, and what your pump is… but me being the nerd I am, and in my awful attempt to “flirt” I said, “Push my buttons to turn me on”.  And yes, I said it in a robot voice.  He laughed and I told myself I had a keeper.  (Keeper until the next one came along!)

But I thought the witty play on words,” turn me on” and the voice of a robot, because clearly I am hooked up to an electronic machine, might be a good ice breaker.  And it was.

So there you go.  Why I chose “Push My Buttons to Turn Me On”.

An Educated Guess

For the past week or two I’ve been waking up around 3am SUPER high.  Above 250, sometimes reaching the 300’s.  In my book, that’s a nightmare.  I wake up to a blaring Dexcom and a full bladder.  Sorry if that’s tmi, but we all know what I’m talking about.  The first couple of nights I chalked it up to something I ate that had a long lasting effect on my sugars.  A piece of cake, dinner was unusually unhealthy.  Then I thought maybe I’m stressing out and tossing and turning while I sleep.  Bad dreams?  Finally I adjusted my basal rate.  I amped it up half a unit and would wake up low so after a few nights of trial and error I finally figured my new rate.  Nothing better than guessing and hoping for perfection.

Then two days ago I swapped out my Omnipod for my Animas.  (That’s another story)  Woke up last night at 2am around 320, then at 3am at 190, then at 4am at 250, then at 6am at 170.  Test, bolus, repeat (about four times). Finally I wake up this morning at 70.

A Sugary Nightmare
A Sugary Nightmare/Last night’s numbers

WTF… Then I remembered when I switched pumps I had forgotten to change  my basal rate.  Son of a…  So tonight I try again to conquer the random “why am I going high in the middle of the night after years of it being steady” blood sugars.

Wish me luck!

The “15’s”

It’s been forever and a day since I’ve posted, I know.  Two weddings (in both), all the events that surround them, business trip, fun trip, family emergencies… it has all added up.  Hope to be posting more soon but here’s this one for now.

Who decided the number 15 should be so involved in the diabetes world?

-Low?  Eat 15 grams of carbs and then wait 15 minutes!
Yeah, right.  More like eat 15 grams of carbs, times that by 3 (at the minimum), and if I really feel like it, just eat until I feel better whether that is 15 minutes from now or 30. (Especially middle of the night lows.  Those 4 glucose tabs ain’t gonna calm this sweaty train wreck down)

-Insulin to carb ration is 1 unit for every 15 carbs.
I think that is the starting point for almost every newly diagnosed diabetic.  Over time and trial and error you adjust.  I’m almost positive that was my ratio for years until I went onto a pump which then made fractional units possible. I know you can take ½ units with a syrine but even then… it’s iffy.  But who started it at 15?  Why not 10?

-Take your insulin (at least Humalog when prescribed to me 19 years ago) 15 minutes before eating for it to start working.
When I was first diagnosed they told me to take Humalog 15 minutes before eating so the insulin would peak at the same time my food would, thus stabilizing my sugars a bit more.  I had no clue about fatty foods taking longer to peak, dual waves, square waves, I’m not on a pump and you gotta be kidding me if I have to take another shot 1 hour after I eat wave…  But even 18 years later I RARELY do this.  I try when I drink coffee because it seems no matter what I do, I spike.  I wish I was better about doing it.  But at restaurants you never know how long it’s going to take to come out and I hate having to order a Coke if I go low.  At home if I’m not “cooking” cooking, I am usually just grabbing something and eat it.  It maybe takes 5 minutes to prepare if that and I rarely think to take insulin before then.  I’m hungry now, dangit!

So why is “15” so special!?

Avoiding the Test

Update!  Today is #dblogcheck day! Go leave a comment on every blog post you read in the diabetes community today – even if it’s just a simple, “Check!”. Read more about it on A Consequence of Hypoglycemia.

You feel sluggish, headache building, vision blurry, and let’s be honest… you’re getting a little pissy.  And there it sits, looming like a report card you don’t want to show your parents, your meter.  You see it all the time, so why is it causing anxiety?  Maybe it’s because you might be high.

It’s weird.  I don’t know why I get so nervous about testing.  It’s not like my mom is staring over my shoulder waiting for the 5 second countdown to either praise me or scold me.  I’m a grown woman, yet I still get that sickening feeling in my stomach sometimes.  And the thing is, once I find out my number, I can correct and feel better, so why not?  That’s my internal struggle.  Which feels worse, the high blood sugar or the guilt of why I have one?

I finally tested.  I was at 195.  Not horrible by any means but I still felt bad. Ashamed of myself for having that high and how long I might have left it untreated.

I don’t know if this feeling stems from my childhood…but if it does, that’s a whole other post.

I find it amazing though how a single drop of blood can cause a roller coaster of emotions.

The Panic Button

I recently got a new phone. It’s fancy and has all sorts of new gadgets on it like a heart rate monitor, pedometer and a killer camera. But the best new addition (maybe best for a diabetic) is what I call The Panic Button.

Side note: Another great feature is the ICE contacts. On the home screen (where I have my phone locked) has an option that says Emergency Call.

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It then shows up to four numbers you have designated as ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts.

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That way if someone finds you passed out, in an accident or you lost your phone, they can easily call someone on your list without giving them access to everything else on your phone.

Anyway, back to The Panic Button. So this feature is pretty amazing. You push the power button on your phone three times in a row and it sends an SOS message to your designated ICE contacts. It sends multiple texts saying either, “I Need Help” or “SOS”. It also gives your coordinates so they can find you. It takes a picture from the front and back of your camera so your contacts can see your surroundings. It will also capture a voice message if you are able to talk.

But when you receive a phone call and you feel like the in-call volume is too loud and you try to turn it down, MAKE SURE YOU PRESS THE RIGHT BUTTON! I accidentally tried to lower the volume using the power button thus causing me to send out Multiple SOS texts to my family. My mom called me right away and asked if I was okay. Nice to know people care but I felt terrible. My brother just laughed and texted back “I see you!”. (The picture unknowingly taken of me during the accidental send was pretty horrific.)

Overall I love the feature but I have to be SUPER careful about when it is in my purse, in my pocket or I am drunk. Or I am just trying to turn the damn volume down.