Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hope personified.

I took my son to our local library branch for story time this morning. Shortly after we arrived a spunky grandma type sat down next to me. She had a little girl and some sort of fluffy toy dog in tow. (She quickly explained to the librarians that her pet was an assistance dog.) Normally I hate small, yappy dogs but Chocolate (hee!) was extremely well-behaved and never made a peep. She responded to her name when the librarians included her in the welcome song. So cute!

After story time was finished, I was wrangling a book and my son. I overheard a magic diabetes word which made my ears perk up just like Chocolate's had -- "...when I'm low."


When things had quieted down a bit I approached the lady. "Excuse me, but did you mention a low? Do you mean that Chocolate is trained to detect low blood sugars?" The lady smiled and said yes. I said I'd had Type 1 for about nine years. She responded, "Me too -- but for 58."



We exchanged the usual chit-chat about diabetes -- how things have changed since her diagnosis, was it hard for her to switch gears to carb counting, do you wear a pump, do you wear a CGMS, how is your pregnancy going -- but what struck me over and over was how vibrant, intelligent, and well...healthy she appeared to be. She even mentioned how she's hoping to "be a guinea pig" for a Swedish non-invasive blood glucose monitor. I mentioned that I recently attended a seminar for islet cell transplants* and she shared the experience of one of her Type 1 friends who has undergone the surgery. ("She's cured, basically, but she can't be around her grandkids or she risks getting very sick. It's been a tough trade-off for her.") So not only was this 58-year veteran of Type 1 looking great physically, she was also up to date on the latest diabetes gadgetry, research, and more or less hip with the kids in every way. I was so impressed, and so heartened for my future. She does have hypoglycemia unawareness -- perhaps an inevitable eventuality for every Type 1 after a certain period of time. But at least she has Chocolate to help her fight back! Turns out she didn't acquire Chocolate intending her to be a "low detector" but Chocolate rose to the occasion, so she's been officially certified.

Chocolate is awesome in more ways than one, yes? And even if I make it to 58 years with this damned disease, Type 1s like the woman I met this morning make me feel better about tomorrow. If she could survive the dark ages of urine testing, syringe sharpening, and a serious lack of ice cream ingestion, I can make it through our current dark ages. I'm actually kind of excited about the lights that might be ahead.

*More on this later...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sad? Or angry?

I dunno, I'm kinda going with angry right now. What a way to "celebrate" diabetes month. The 18 year old brother of one of my best (Type 1) friends was admitted to the hospital today with a blood sugar over 500. New member of the club that no one ever wants to join. CURE? NOW? PLEASE? I don't know what else to say. Yeah. I'm pissed.

Dumb diabetic deliberations

Last night I was treating a low with grape flavored glucose tablets. (My personal favorite flavor, although I really wish someone would come up with cherry already. What's your tablet of choice?) It was then that I noticed they matched the color of my pajamas exactly. This amused me way more than it should have. Or maybe it was just the 53 mg/dl addling my brain.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Because I never post here anymore

Why not do a meme? (I suck at blogging. Oh well, see first entry. I knew it from the start.) Saw it on Kerri's blog first:

What type of diabetes do you have: Type 1

When were you diagnosed: March 31, 2002 (Easter Sunday...damn you, Easter Bunny!)

What's your current blood sugar: Dunno, have yet to do my fasting. It's early, man.

What kind of meter do you use: One Touch UltraLink or the One Touch UltraMini

How many times a day do you test your blood sugar: Not pregnant, about 6 times a day. Pregnant (like now)...uh...well. With my first pregnancy it was about 15 times a day. With this baby so far, closer to 8 times a day. I'll be stepping it up as the second and third trimester insulin resistance ramps up.

What's a "high" number for you: Anything over 150 mg/dl, unless I'm only 1 hour post-prandial in which case I ignore pretty much any number.

What's do you consider "low": Anything under 80 mg/dl. 70s (and even 80s) are almost never stable numbers for me, and mean that I'm headed to the diabetes basement.

What's your favorite low blood sugar reaction treater: The quickest cures are 4 glucose tablets or a juice box, but eating a whole sleeve of cookies is more fun.

Describe your dream endo: Also Type 1. Preferably female. Realistic. Honest. Up to date on the latest technology and open to discussion. Sensitive to the emotional impact of diabetes. Way better at math than me.

What's your biggest diabetes achievement: Keeping my A1C in a good range since diagnosis? Having a healthy baby? I dunno. I think keeping my sanity while living with this disease is my biggest achievement.

What's your biggest diabetes-related fear: Being alone and low with no carbs and no way to get them. Or some sort of apocalyptic nuke/deserted island scenario. It pisses me off that I wouldn't have a chance.

Who's on your support team: My friends with Type 1, my husband, my endo (who isn't my "ideal", but who is pretty decent all things considered)

Do you think there will be a cure in your lifetime: Like so many others, at diagnosis I was told that it was a "great time to have this disease" because we were "so close" to a cure, and also that it was so much easier to manage than it had been previously. I agree on the second part, not so sure on the first. I think it's more likely that the diabetes community will have the opportunity to sample ever-fancier band-aids for our condition as medical care progresses, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to pick my jaw up off the floor when/if someone figures out how to stop my immune system from being such a crazy bastard AND manages to resurrect my pancreas (and thyroid). I think there will be an effective treatment for the newly-diagnosed before there is a treatment for the old-timers, which makes me both excited and insanely jealous.

What is a "cure" to you: A true cure would be as I stated above -- stop or reverse the autoimmune response, return all hormones and C-peptide levels and islet cells and who knows what else to normal. Normal function, without any mechanical bells or whistles or whatsits attached to or inside of my body.

The most annoying thing people say to you about your diabetes is: I can't decide between the "You can't eat that" diet assumptions or the "Your pump takes care of it all for you" assumptions. One assumes the disease is much more limiting than it actually is (and implies that I'm either some sort of saint or some sort of dismal failure), and one assumes that there's nothing to worry about.

Don't get me started on how angry the word "compliant" makes me. That goes way beyond annoying and into ignorant/offensive territory.

What is the most common misconception about diabetes: That it is controllable, 24/7/365. Also, if a person has complications from the disease, it is his or her fault.

If you could say one thing to your pancreas, what would it be: I'm sorry this happened to you. Let's go have some cake.

Friday, November 13, 2009


A1C: 5.9.
TSH & other assorted thyroid fun-guys: In range, as I suspected. Not even the littlest bit off.
Cholesterol: Fine. (I'm going to go eat a stick of butter in a few minutes just in case.)
Vitamin D: Dismally low! Apparently I am a vampire and didn't know it. Taking a supplement. Hoping for increase in the happies, decrease in the sads.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Schlumpin' around.

I'll admit it. I'm kind of depressed. On second thought, I don't know if you can be kind of depressed. Is it like being a little bit pregnant? (I'm not pregnant, that's for sure.) Maybe you just are depressed or you aren't. At any rate I'm definitely cranky and anxious.

I've got an endo appointment on November 2. Yes, I am the brilliant diabetic who scheduled to see my blood-sugar-stuff doctor the Monday after Halloween. Looks like I'm going to have to blame white coat syndrome on my wonky blood glucose readings again. (Seriously, that happens to me EVERY TIME. High or low, never in range when I see my endo. She probably thinks I'm a lying liar who lies when I say I test, I swear I test! And I don't live on cotton candy! But I wish I did! But now that I think of it, why do endos bother with that in-office test? One test in a day doesn't provide any valuable information, except for possibly, "Ha! Caught you being diabetic!" Or maybe the endo can console him or herself by saying, "Well, at least my patient tests once every three months. That I know for sure!") Oh and also due to the kind of depression and general sense of apathy I've been eating like...I don't know, like a six year old would eat if no one forced them to eat things with chlorophyll. Pop Tarts, cereal, peanut butter and jelly, ice cream, fast food...I'm scared of what my LDL is going to be. NOOOO, STATINS DO NOT WANT! Thankfully my blood sugars have been okay-ish despite the steady diet of junk, but I do have to own up to hitting "HI" on the meter one day after my pump tubing was sliced and I didn't realize it until 10:30 that evening. I was out of town and just kept bolusing, hoping I could get back in range...because surely it couldn't be my pump because I hadn't changed my site and it just worked an hour ago and ARGGGH! The pump has not been my friend lately; due to a handful of bad sites combined with my new horrid testing habits I've seen more than my fair share of 300s, 400s, and even a couple of 500s. This is not like me. Or maybe it's the new and unimproved me. One day I'll test fifteen times and the next day I'll test once.

Anyway, back to being kind of depressed, because the internet is for complaining. Since my hypothyroid diagnosis I've definitely noticed a distinct, increasing feeling of crapola. Maybe it's psychosomatic, but symptoms, I haz them. My laundry list includes ~*~TMI~*~ fatigue, chronic constipation, what is this strange concept that you call libido, fatigue, feeling like ass, and more fatigue. A fellow Type I & hypothyroid combo friend posted on DM about a book that claims to answer the question of why one still has thyroid symptoms when one is on thyroid hormone replacement medication AND one's lab values are in range. You know what, man? I really don't want to read that book. It's going to delve into the alternative medicine universe of "lifestyle chaaaaanges" that basically mean you can't eat pears ever again and you must take 50 herbal supplements and lol guess what, six months later nothing will have changed and you still feel like crap. And you probably have another health problem now, too! Go you.

Now I know I'm being cynical. I know. But really what I'm avoiding is that rising gall feeling that I know reading the book will give me because the main message is really this: I have an autoimmune problem. Doctors and conventional medicine are not addressing my autoimmune problem. My immune system is seriously, seriously pissed off. Something is pissing it off. It is this something that is causing me to feel like crap, not necessarily diabetes or hypothyroidism. They are fancy symptoms of the larger something. If someone could tell me, succinctly, that they could help me stop the something (and it'd be nice if they actually had a quantifiable success rate) I would be totally on board. But I'm so not feeling the 50 herbal supplements and not eating pears. Maybe I'm just whining about no magic bullet again, but seriously guys. I am so tired of autoimmune disease. I am tired of feeling 105 when I am 25. I want someone to figure this stuff out already.

I want to be able to go into my doctor's office and tell her, "Doc, I don't feel so good" and instead of having her go, "Hm, well, your TSH is fine and your A1C is fine so...? What do you want me to do with you?" I want her to go, "Yeah, you are suffering from autoimmune disease and we should really start doing something about that instead of putting fancy bandaids on your fancy symptoms." I have a feeling that's about as likely as a cure for diabetes in the next five to ten years. So instead when she asks me how I'm doing I'm just going to say, "Okay." And then I'm going to ask for updated prescriptions for my diabetes supplies and my Synthroid and come home and feel like crap some more.

Maybe I'm blaming my garden-variety kinda depression on autoimmune disease, though, and instead of my endo I really need to see a therapist. :{ Not another doctor...!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

TSH = 5.77

My birthday present to myself is hypothyroidism. (Actual diagnosis date 2/17/09.) My Hashimoto's thyroiditis finally kicked in full force...after a postpartum bought of hyperthyroidism, I'm at the other end. Burn out and then fade away, right? My Synthroid prescription is in the mail and I've got Living Well With Hypothyroidism on my Amazon wishlist. I am extremely tired, but I didn't really notice being distinctly MORE tired than usual. I've been exhausted since late May of 2008. So what else is new.

I don't know if I'm super bummed out or not. Maybe a little nervous is more like it. Compared to Type 1 diabetes this additional physical failing of mine is a walk in the park, but still. It's another autoimmune issue. I hope this is the last "thing" I get as far as me it's such a red flag. We spend so much energy talking about a cure for diabetes. What we really need is a cure for immune systems run amok. Knocking on wood against lupus, M.S., arthritis...the list is long and scary.

So. I've survived a quarter of a century (thank you, modern medicine?) and I've got two autoimmune diseases under my belt. Guess I'll just keep rolling with the punches. What other choice do I have?

Saturday, February 14, 2009


So, it is has happened to me. My seventh anniversary with Type I diabetes will be on March 31, 2009. How can I sum up my feelings on diabetes right now?

I don't give a shit.

I can't really think of another way to put it. I guess I could use more flowery language but I'd rather just say what is on my mind. Don't. Give. A. Shiiiiiittttttttttt.

Do I feel guilty? Only when I consider the possibility that I could get pregnant and the fact that I have a child who depends on me to you know, be his mom. I should maintain my formerly high(ish) standards of self-care for my son, if not for nothing or no one else. He deserves for me to be around for a little while.

I'm still testing, I'm still bolusing, I'm still making and keeping my endocrinologist appointments. But the emotional investment? The motivation to really care about the numbers that blip up on the meter screen? I feel nothing more than a momentary twinge when I'm high. Correction bolus, move on. Maybe to some this would signify a healthy state of mind but to me I feel like I've totally checked out.

It's been a rough while since I last posted in August, which I am sure explains my apathy for all the micromanaging diabetic bullshit that happens to me every day of my life. My grandmother and father both died in October -- one death a mixed blessing, the other a tragedy for my family. I miss my father with a physical, mental, and emotional ache that nothing else in my life has ever touched for sheer I CAN'T STAND THIS MAKE IT GO AWAY PLEASE RIGHT NOWness. I do stand it, though. I don't want to. I can't tell what stage of grieving I am in at any given moment and it doesn't really matter, right. I just want him back. I remember so many little details of my life with him and am horrified by my loss, even moreso by his loss of life...and then further horrified when I contemplate the fact that one day my memories will dim. All those platitudes about how one day it won't hurt so much? One day I'll be able to think of Dad with a smile? Sure, I get it intellectually but right now so unhelpful.

I'm not incapacitated by grief, but it sure has a way of making the world all grey and fuzzy. My son is a spark of happiness of course. I don't feel bad about revolving 99.99999% of my thoughts and my days around him right now. He (finally) started sleeping more than two hours at a time by 6.5 months. I am so blessed. I had forgotten what it was like to be a human being. We decided to try "crying it out" but the first night we tried he wouldn't cry long enough for us to do the ole Ferber method.

I'm still meaning to do a post on diabetes and motherhood whenever the mood to be lighthearted and wordy strikes. I wish I had kept this blog up a little better, if only to have a detailed record of what I was thinking back when my life was still normal. All in all I have to say diabetic motherhood has been easier than I expected, but that might be because infants are relatively easy to care for (once you get past the newbie uncertainty). I've lost a huge portion of my me time, but it's still easy to test when the baby isn't mobile yet. Holding a baby in one arm and fiddling with a test kit in the other isn't so easy though. Jason loves to grab at the lancing device and attempt to give it a good mouthing. Argh!

Topics I want to touch on...
  • inheritability of diabetes (or the crème de la crème of Mommy Guilt)
  • breastfeeding (and how it has been awesome for my blood sugars)
  • post-partum diabetes and health issues (insulin sensitivity, thyroiditis, taking time to care for one's self)
  • relating to mothers without chronic illness (not a rant, promise)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Highs and lows of a different sort

No, I didn't die in childbirth...but I have neglected my blog in favor of keeping a small human alive. I figure in the battle of blog versus baby, baby should always win.

Introducing . . .

Jason Patrick
June 4, 2008
8 lbs 3 oz
21 inches long

Here's a picture of Jase when he was 2 weeks old. He is infinitely huger at this point, but still amazingly cute.

I have promised myself that I will eventually write up a birth story to record all the ins and outs, but for the sake of staying on topic here's a quick summary of things I learned about diabetes during my stay at the hospital:
  • Not eating anything once you are admitted is annoying. I had to sneak a few juice boxes overnight (note to medical staff: I didn't die).
  • Sugar-free Jell-o is not a guarantee; it is a gift from the heavens, much like manna. But less carbs than manna, I'm pretty sure.
  • Yes, labor is intense, but no, I didn't need to reduce my basals to 30%. Apparently not all diabetics need a dextrose drip! Glad I got out of that one.
  • Running 130-160 during labor will not necessarily give your baby a low blood sugar. So stop freaking out. (Jason's first sugar was 47, normal for a newborn.)
  • No, just because the placenta was out doesn't mean I needed to lower my basal rates. I was in the 300s for the first day following delivery until I finally wised up and realized that in my case, I still needed a significant amount of insulin.
  • Waiting to nurse your baby just because the nurse wants to take his fasting blood sugar is stupid. Why would I want to delay a feeding and cause blood sugar issues just so a chart looks pretty?
  • Hospital food is AWFUL, both on the blood sugars and on the palate. Bleh!
I'll definitely write more later about what it's been like to be a new mom with Type I diabetes. I can honestly say that diabetes barely pings on my radar these days, unless whacky numbers cause me to lose sleep. It's kind of nice to clear my brain of the constant diabetes chatter.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


As someone who lives with a chronic disease but still can't let go of my self-perception that I am essentially healthy, this quote practically jumped off the page and screamed at me; does it resonate with you? And yeah, I'm linking to another blog. Bloggedy-blog-bloggaroo.

First seen at
For what is health? I say (and of late years I am astonished that the World Health Organization agrees with me) that health is when nothing hurts very much; but the popular idea is of health as a norm to which we must all seek to conform. Not to be healthy, not to be in “top form” is one of the few sins that modern society is willing to recognize and condemn. But are there not as many healths as there are bodies?

- Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man

Monday, May 26, 2008

Can't sleep, clown'll eat me...

Okay, no clown. But something is keeping me up. Perhaps the small ape in my stow-match.

This whole third trimester insomnia thing is pretty disheartening. I'm on maternity leave. I'm supposed to reesssstttt. I'm supposed to take it eeeeeeasy. I'm supposed to do enjoyable, low-key activities during the day that I will never* have the opportunity to do again (*never = until my child is a sentient being). I'm supposed to be totally chill.

Instead I have spent most nights for the past two weeks either waking up every two hours with a contraction or a "full" bladder, or both, or just plain not feeling sleepy until well after three in the morning. I suspect my sleep cycle is royally messed up at this point, and I'm freaking myself out as I feel my energy stores depleting. Do I really want to go into labor as a zombie just because watching the last half-hour of Fatal Attraction seemed more interesting to my body and mind than sleep?

I guess I don't really have a choice. I'll lay there and start feeling RLS-y. Twitch, jerk, change positions. Mind racing about fifty stupid or not-so-stupid things. Then I'll wonder if my blood sugar is okay, making up hypo symptoms and holding my hands up to see if they're shaking. Maybe they're shaking. A little. So I'll test. It's fine. Thirty minutes later I'll feel like something's going on, so I'll test again. And it's the same number. And in another thirty minutes, the same this point I am thinking a CGMS would've been cool, if only to ease this witching hour neurosis.

My diabetes has been pretty chill, actually. Not to say I haven't had my daily highs, but I can answer "good" truthfully when my docs ask how I'm doing (they do have an uncanny ability to pick the one day out of 7 that my fasting is 105 instead of 75 to ask me about that, though). I also got a sideways compliment -- not said directly to me, that is -- from a perinatologist on Friday. She had two residents or interns or whatevers observing my post-NST meeting with her.

Peri: "[to interns] She is Type I diabetic on insulin pump. [to me, banal Q&A about my blood sugars here]"
Intern: "mumble mumble hemoglobin A1C?"
Me: "I have it taken on a monthly basis by my endocrinologist, in addition to a fructosamine."
Peri: "Her A1Cs are quite good, in the 5s. We do not have many patients like this."

Heeeeey, did I just hear some encouragement from someone who isn't my husband or my endo? Really?

Okay, wishful thinking. But I'll pat myself on the back for the peri.

About 2.5 weeks until baby's proposed eviction date. Here's hoping I get some sleep between now and then.

Friday, May 9, 2008

NSTs are my favorite things ever.

As of Friday, May 16, 2008, I will be a free woman. At least from work. That's when the maternity leave starts.

But then looking at my calendar, not so free actually.

May 9, NST.
May 12, endocrinologist appointment.
May 13, NST.
May 14, my last childbirth preparation class (and my husband's birthday!)
May 16, NST.
May 20, NST.
May 23, NST.
May 27, NST.
May 30, NST.

Diabetes sure has a way of clogging your calendar. Those NSTs are happening twice a week until I give birth...NSTs are my LIFE. Oh yeah, and that birth thing? That's got a date, too -- June 10. I'm kind of hoping the baby decides to come on his own around 38 weeks or so. My biggest birth-related fear right now is that I will go in for a 39 week induction and my body will not be ready at all, and I'll end up with a c-section. My perinatologists did not do much to assuage this fear; I just got a staunch "You can not go past 39 weeks" reply. (Am not impressed with bedside manner of 3/4 of these docs, by the way.) If I'm already at the hospital twice a week for NSTs, why not bump those up in frequency and give my body some more time?

I'm hoping I'm worrying for nothing, and I am appreciative of the close monitoring, no matter how much unfun it is to lug my 8 months pregnant self all over the hospital campus twice a week. I still have to say though that as time goes on I am not impressed with this high risk practice. Yes, I have diabetes, but that doesn't mean I should be be treated as "one size fits all" -- as if I have had diabetes for 30 years and my A1C is 15 and my pregnancy has been difficult and horrible and the baby is on the verge of death at any minute.

I've had lots of confusing conversations like this:

Doctor, glancing at my chart for .2 seconds: "Oh, you're only a class B diabetic. That's great, you really have no complications! Everything is fine, see you next week!"
Me: "Wait, wait. So if I'm doing great, is there a possibility you'll let me go into labor on my own if everything looks fine with the baby and myself?"
Doctor: "NO WAY!!!!!111 PLACENTAL AGING!!111 FETAL DEATH!!111eleventy"
Me: "What about in the hospital? Can I get up and walk around some during the induction...?"

Holy crap. Maybe I should be more of a nervous wreck about this? I'd really rather not be, though. My endo seems very chill and has given me a lot of confidence.

Maybe it's not so much the high risk practice in particular as it is me getting tired of dealing with medical providers who aren't very well versed in diabetes, and therefore the care I receive is very rote, or totally over the top. They reads the book and they dos what the book says and that's all folks.

Bonus uplifting part of post --> BABY PICTURE!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Let me eat cake

So I missed blogging about Type I diabetes awareness on the appointed day...but I think I had some very real proof yesterday that I've done a good job edumacating my coworkers about Type I over the past year. It was my boss's birthday yesterday, and there was a small celebration planned for 3:00pm. Unfortunately I had an endocrinologist appointment at that time (how's that for being aware of Type I) so I missed the actual shindig. But when I got back, what was waiting for me on my desk?

A stunningly beautiful piece of chocolate cheesecake, complete with whipped cream and Oreo cookie crust.

Oh my. Oh heavens above. The deliciousness.

And you know what was even better? I didn't have to see a furrowed brow or suffer through another "Can you eat this?" inquisition.

They knew I could! (As for whether or not we all SHOULD've eaten it...well, heck. It was a birthday!) They knew about my trusty pump, they understood enough about the insulin-to-carb idea that they didn't assume no cake for Kendra. And they didn't skimp on the serving size, either. Totally awesome feeling, that one, considering I was fending off "can you eat that?" comments left and right at my baby shower this past Saturday.

I CAN eat, and I WILL eat, and I WILL have great blood sugars! Never said it would be easy, but it's wonderful to know that people are listening.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Am suffering.

Suffering from two non-diabetes friendly cravings, that is.

YUM CHA. Oh yum cha, how I love you. Even though I can't pronounce you properly and experiencing your wonders gives my husband ample opportunity to make fun of my chopstick "skills." Even though every time we go someone orders 50 varieties of shrimp dumplings which all taste pretty much the same to my white girl palate. I love them all. I even love the rice. I love the steamed buns with red sticky stuff in the middle. I love the egg custard deserts. Oh the carbs, the delicious carbs . . .

INDIAN LUNCH BUFFET. Oh Indian lunch buffet, how I love you. Your curries, your cardamom, your coriander . . . that beautiful basmati rice steaming oh-so-enticingly. I think the only dish in the entire spread that wouldn't send me spiking higher than the Himalayas is the Tandoori chicken!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Officially harder.

Yep, okay, now diabetes is starting to suck. Or rather, my body's reaction to insulin is starting to suck. I may have to start making some diet changes (don't wanna) or figuring out trickier ways of dosing to get the post-prandials that my doctors -- and I -- want to see (more likely).

I'm in the third trimester. (FREAK OUT, no wait, WOOHOO, no wait, FREAK OUT, no wait, I'm tired.) Here's how things are going for me on a typical day:

Fasting blood sugar: Today, it was 72. FINALLY. That's after a week of steadily raising my basal rate overnight. The rest of the week? It was anywhere from 170 (ouch) to 85.

Breakfast: Yogurt and a piece of fruit, usually about 40g carbs. My I:C ratio is 1:5 right now. That works great for post-prandials, but sends me low by 11:00am. Good thing 11:00 = lunchtime. I still have to have a small snack, though, or I'll be feeling jittery.

Lunch: Usually about 75g carbs. 1:7 for my insulin, but ditto the lows by late afternoon. I don't mind eating all day to fight off the lows, but I wish I didn't feel like I have to. Messing with my basal doesn't seem to help, and messing with the I:C ratio means I'll be high at 1.5 or 2 hours post.

Dinner: Trying to cut back on carbs here, because although my 1 or 2 hour numbers look great...those 3, 4, and 5 hours? Those suck. I'll be 85 at 2 hours and 160 at 3. Or 100 at 1 hour and 200 at 4. Or 47 at 1 hour and 60 at 2 hours and then 150 at 2 am. What the. Doesn't seem to matter if I eat low fat or high fat, so I'm guessing it's a basal issue (and of course overbolusing into a low never helps when it comes to rebound highs). I'm steadily raising the evening basal here, but I may need to start doing a temp basal of 120% or so after I eat to nip the highs hours later in the bud.

Overnight: Yeah, see dinner. I've gotten up at 1, 2, and 4 am on different days of the week to see what's going on...I'm around 100-140 overnight, which isn't acceptable.

My basal needs changed FAST, guys. And I feel like I'll have just gotten it figured out for a week and it'll change again, no doubt. Argh!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

You know you are pregnant when . . .

this news story makes you want to cry at work. :D

In diabetic news, my A1C drawn yesterday was a 5.6. This makes me feel a little better in light of the gruff tone my perinatologist took with me when I told him my fasting blood sugars have been running 90 - 110 recently. (I'm working on it.) "They should be 70 to 85!" Sigh. Darn those 10 - 30 points!

I think one of the hardest things so far in my pregnancy has been balancing my natural, pregnant-lady urge to eat, eat, eat constantly with the requirements of my disease. A neverending, niggling hunger is settled into the pit of my stomach. I haven't gained much weight at all so far, but I can't satisfy my desire for food without suffering some blood sugar consequences. Last night I had a 194 at 2 am, which was probably a rebound high caused by a 47 at 11 pm. The 47 was because I had a half cup of ice cream around 10 pm and overbolused big time. If I indulge my cravings I have to be super zealous about making sure everything comes out all right in the end . . . but it just can't be perfect all of the time. I understand that, but it doesn't stop the flood of MOMMY GUILT. I keep thinking...just 90 more days. This pregnancy isn't 100% about me, it's also about my baby, and I have to do right by him. Maybe I should just lock myself in a closet filled with celery and call it good until June.

Friday, February 29, 2008

You are what you eat . . .

. . . and your unborn child is also what you eat. In my son's case, he is mostly composed of the following:
  • Subway (6 inches on wheat of turkey or Italian BMT, tuna once a week)
  • Baked Lays (sour cream & onion or BBQ)
  • crackers with peanut butter, or crackers with cheese
  • Quaker Oats granola bars (my favorite thing to treat lows)
  • Juicy Juice (Comes in handy 15g boxes; grape or fruit punch flavor. What I drank at least 2 of each day in my first trimester to keep above 50 mg/dl at any random moment.)
  • chocolate chip cookies (honesty, best policy)
  • cheddar cheese and mustard sandwiches on Nature's Own low-carb wheat bread (yeah, sounds gross; tastes like the nectar of the gods)
  • golden delicious apples
  • Mediterranean chicken salads from Au Bon Pain
  • Dannon light yogurt
  • oatmeal
Does it sound like a typical diabetic diet? Ha. My 14 day average is 102. I'm happy (AND STILL HUNGRY!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Aunt Minnie and me.

I've read a couple of posts recently on two of my favorite diabetes-related blogs (Kerri's and Scott's) that made me want to bring up a topic that upset me pretty badly recently. Ready for the whine? GET YER CHEESE OUT!

The "etiquette" of testing your blood sugar.

Okay, I have to be up front and say that that sentence alone makes me want to snort in disgust. Ridiculosity abounds! My gut reaction as a Type I is that testing blood sugar doesn't fall into the realm of napkin-on-your-lap excuse-me-please societal rules. It's just something diabetics have to do or we die. End of story. most of us folks with diabetes know, the rest of the (diabetes-free) world may not identify with or understand that at all. Even if they SAY they understand it, they don't.

So I read about Kerri and Scott's trials and tribulations when it comes to actually getting the used strips in the trash can. I'm not pretending like I don't have the same problem - just emptied out my purse this morning and there were about 10 of the little boogers hanging out at the bottom. I find them on the floor of my bedroom, on the kitchen floor, in my shoes . . . the point is, a diabetic is going to leave some detritus around at some point no matter how vigilant or clean we try to be. Usually our diabetic trash involves blood. Yeah, the blood is often a minuscule amount, but it's still blood. The idea of coming into contact with blood, even SEEING blood, squicks out many a non-diabetic (and many a diabetic as well). So how to deal with the etiquette problem of testing your blood sugar/taking a shot/changing your pump site in public, or in mixed company of any sort, when it's sure to cause at least mild disgust for one or two witnesses?

This very subject came up on a thread last week at the popular Etiquette Hell forums. Most of the posters chiming in agreed that testing blood sugar or taking a shot at the dinner table was just not in good form, at all. ANY blood in public is unacceptable (but I guess that guy coughing into his sleeve over there is okay, he can't help it and he's doing his best to contain his mucus). I mean, guys, can't you go to the bathroom and do that gross stuff? Jeez. My Aunt Minnie faints if she sees blood. How come you aren't taking my Aunt Minnie into consideration when you start splashing blood around at the dinner table?

The diabetics on the thread said hey, we've gotta do this, we're pretty discrete about it, we try to be clean, we're not always able to test in private. Some apologized for not taking Aunt Minnie into consideration in the past; some said they tested in the car before going into the restaurant or tested in the bathroom stall to avoid making others feel uncomfortable.

I have to admit that although I respect that some/most people have a serious problem with blood, I was flabbergasted by the attitude shown by the non-diabetics and the apologetic diabetics (ha, rhyme!) We don't care if you have to do it: we don't want to see it. It's gross. It's rude. Your best efforts are not good enough, if I have to see it.

Here's what testing involves, in my world:
  • About ten tests a day. Before I eat, and after I eat. Whenever I feel "off," too.
  • A lancet device, with a hidden needle to prick my skin.
  • A small drop of blood, that I touch to a test strip immediately after it surfaces. (In other words, I'm not starting a catheter up or squirting blood across a wall a la cheap horror flick.)
  • Disposing of any excess blood on a piece of tissue in my testing case, or, yes, in my mouth. YEAH, I'M A LICKER.
  • Tossing the used strip into the trash, or keeping it in my case until I can get to the trash.
  • Whole process takes about 10 seconds. I can do it my lap. 99% of the time, no one is the wiser.
Sometimes I'm testing under ideal conditions. I'm at home, or at my desk at work, and I can do the test privately and get on with my business. My blood sugar is good and my hands are steady. Other times, not so ideal. I'm in the toilet paper aisle in Target and I realize there is a problem. I'm shaking as I guide my finger to the strip with a Herculean effort while I stand behind my cart. Walking to the bathroom at that point, across the store, would be kinda fricken dumb. Am I supposed to consider the feelings of others when my blood sugar is 35? Or should I focus on not passing out or having a seizure? Where does etiquette come into play here?

While I admit licking blood off of my fingers is pretty gross, I take umbrage with the opinion that taking a shot in the car before a meal is preferable to taking it at the table. There is no guarantee when eating out that food is going to arrive in time to cover that insulin I oh so politely dosed ahead of time. That just doesn't work in the real world - in my diabetic world, that is incredibly foolhardy. I also take offense that because I could possibly leave a red blood cell on the table, I should be testing in a toilet stall in a public restroom and introducing gosh-knows-how-many pathogens into my bloodstream. In both of these situations, I'd be putting myself into real, physical danger because of the possibility of offending someone else.

The risk of not testing, or of testing in a grossly inappropriate place, seems to me of much greater concern than the comfort or disgust level of the non-diabetics around me. And the practicality of dosing insulin or testing when I am absolutely alone or in a private place 100% of the time is close to nil.

Am I rude? Do I care too much about what other people think? Is a diabetic's used test strip on par with radioactive waste that the general public should be totally sicked out by? What do you guys think?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What's the point?

It's a boy! :) After a week chock full o' doctors appointments (endo on Monday, pediatric cardiologist on Wednesday, perinatologist this morning) the baby is looking fine and dandy. We've decided to name him Jason and the nursery is coming together nicely. I'm so excited . . . but at the same time I'm going through a strangely boring period of the pregnancy. I guess I'm not big enough to be super uncomfortable yet.

My blood sugars were less than great last week, but my endo cleared things up for me. I went in with a week's worth of charts and a list of suggested changes, all of which she agreed with - but I let her do the math. Now my I:C ratios have me staring in shock when the bolus wizard calculates a dose, but I was prepared for this by years of community participation at Diabetic Mommy. I'm down to 1:5 at breakfast and 1:7 the rest of the day - holy cow! She said to expect the insulin resistance to ramp up and up from this point on. In the meantime it feels REALLY strange to take 10 units of insulin for breakfast, when I usually take 2 . . . but I can't argue with the numbers this week. They've been awesome. My most recent A1C was 5.4, up from the 4.8 but still great in my opinion.

We had a fetal echo cardiogram performed to check for any defects in Jason's heart. The tech and the cardiologist both asked me why I was there with a quizzical look on their faces - and although my response of "I have Type I diabetes" seemed explanation enough, the doc still seemed a little nonplussed as to what the fuss was about. She said, "His heart looks perfect," and sent me on my way.

Today was a routine check-up at the high risk OB's. I'm going twice a month now (and at 32 weeks will go twice a week, ouch) . . . I had the gall to ask the doc what the purpose of the visit was, and she seemed a little put out and didn't answer me right away. "You are just checking up on things then, I guess?" I offered, and she said yes. Ooooohkay. So I take a two hour chunk out of my day to tell her things I could tell her over the phone in 2 minutes (how are my sugars, what is your A1C) - and she gave the baby only a cursory glance on the ultrasound screen. "Look, there is his heart beating." Yeah lady, I know, I stared at his heart beating for 35 minutes yesterday. I could've told her he was still alive as he was kicking me at that very moment, and she didn't take the time to see if there was anything else to note besides his heart.

So, I'm trying to take away what is important and what isn't from my first experience as a pregnant Type I. I think the AFP and nuchal translucency tests are worthwhile. I think the echo cardiogram was worth it, kinda, although after getting an all clear at my Level II ultrasound it did seem redundant. I'm not sure that I will be running to a high risk practice with my second child, though - I feel like my doctors are honestly bored with me and don't spend very much time with me at all, even though this is my first pregnancy. They look, they see nothing to alarm them, and they shoo me out of the door. Next time I may try to go with a single OB - and let him/her refer me to a peri as needed.

I'm very relieved that thus far my diabetes hasn't had an impact on Jason, but I am a little disenchanted with the high risk fuss. I'm pouring out a lot of money in copays on people that ask me why I'm there (shouldn't they know?), or expect a lot out of me (do this do that wait an hour to be seen by me just to have me ask what's your A1C), but don't give a heck of a lot back (okay well, we're done here, bye).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Back and babbling on as usual!

So, a long overdue update. Why haven't I been here?

Welp, I found out that I was pregnant about a month after I made this post. October 12, 2007, to be exact. According to my perinatologist, I am 20 weeks pregnant today. Due date June 17, 2007. It only took us two months of active trying, and trust me, we're still shocked. (Happy! But totally flabbergasted.) I stepped back from the blog because it was accessible by people at work, and I didn't end up telling my manager until about a month ago. Now that the Ricola man has practically yodeled my pregnancy from the mountaintops, I feel it's safe to blab on the blog again ;)

I should probably make a post about how hard it has been to be diabetic and pregnant, but the truth is I haven't experienced serious insulin resistance yet. I did have some Fun With LowsTM during the first trimester; enough fun that I joked about hooking up to a juice box as well as my pump. This past week has brought a few changes and challenges, but so far it hasn't been anything that's made me want to tear my hair out. As an example, if anything I have upped my carb intake and my last A1C, drawn on the 14th, was a 4.5. That is just utterly and completely whack. I've heard it said that A1C measurements are not as reliable during pregnancy (if they are ever reliable in the first place), but the fact that I'm a whole 2 points lower than when I first conceived is remarkable to me. I would have been happy to be in the 6s throughout my pregnancy. I don't feel like my efforts have been Herculean, and for that I'm thankful - I hope my baby is still reaping the benefits of lower numbers. I test about 10 times a day, and I catch at least one high and one low per day. Most of these highs have been easy and quick to get down, but of course I'm already experiencing mommy guilt about the ones that weren't so easy.

The mommy guilt. That's what I really wanted to write about. I read a comment on today that made me so angry. Angry enough to rehash in tedious detail on my own blog! I wasn't angry at the commenter, but I was immediately on the defensive at the idea her comment suggested, at the possibilities it raised.

The commenter said that she would be happy to see the Type I gene disappear, and that she intended to adopt her children rather than pass on her genes. (She has an immediate family member with Type I as well as herself.)

My first reaction is that that's a very noble choice to make, if you are able and willing to adopt. I'm not just talking financial resources, although that's probably #1 for most people - but y'know China won't allow Type I diabetics to adopt even if they are willing. That thought tied into what really irks me about not passing on "the Type I gene." It's that there's this assumption of inferiority. And since Type Is are inferior, we should not raise children. We certainly shouldn't be reproducing, passing on our inferior genes. Hey, maybe diabetics should be prevented from having kids, full stop. And while we're at it, throw in all those folks with cystic fibrosis or autism or whatever particular flavor of the week we feel like eliminating. Why spend all that money on a cure when we could just have a little eugenics party?

That belief terrifies me and pulls up a bunch of yammering Big Brothers in my mind. GATTACA, anyone?

I think my bottom line is that I would rather my child live with diabetes than live a in world that resembles Winston Smith's or Vincent Freeman's; a world where the privilege of having children and a full, happy life is extended only to those with valid, or superior, genes . . . a world where there's a Big Brother deciding what valid is and what's best for each individual.

Would I have made the choice to get pregnant if I had a strong family history of diabetes? (I am the only person in my family with an autoimmune disease - and I'm extending that statement out to cousins, aunts, uncles. I do have a family history of heart disease, and to a lesser extent, cancer.) I don't know where I draw my lines, but as someone living with diabetes I still don't feel that I have the right to pass judgment on the reproductive choices of others. Maybe my mind is making some sort of arbitrary categorization of diseases. "Well, if I had that disease, I wouldn't have kids. But for diabetes it's okay." Is that because I have diabetes? Is it because that disease is so much worse, or more deadly, or more painful?

My gut says it's because it doesn't make sense to live in fear of diabetes. Yes, the world would be a better place without diabetes - but I don't think diabetes is going to disappear because diabetics stop having children. Scary genetic mishaps are in all of us, diabetic or not, and genetic mishaps are not the sole cause of diabetes. Diabetes does have a genetic component; for some this is more true than others. But me, with my random lightning bolt on an otherwise sunny day . . . why should I allow that one event to control my life any more than it already has?

That could be interpreted as me being hellaciously selfish. I can't apologize if you see it that way; my baby is healthy, today, as am I. I'm enjoying the rest of my sunny day, and I hope that others also seize the opportunity to enjoy theirs. I know that life is a privilege and not a right, but I don't feel that the privilege given to me should be cut down to an acceptable shape by a someone else's labels and levels and judgments of what is or is not good enough.

I promise the rest of my pregnancy posts won't be as dark or muddled. (Well, they will probably still be muddled.) I am very happy with my life right now; new home, new baby on the way. Tons and tons and TONS of stuff rattling around in my mind about the future, from paint colors to cribs to more nebulous events and concepts like impending birth and motherhood. Can't wait for any of it!

Level II ultrasound is tomorrow. Send an urge to flash to my child, if you would be so kind :D

Monday, December 17, 2007

You know I'm not dead!

I am still here...on blogging hiatus...hopefully not for too much longer. Miss blathering on for ages.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Diabetes in the office

It's been our busy season at work, so teh blog is getting ignored big time...but I did want to record the fact that I just met another person with diabetes in my office. He's a building operations manager - ie, runs around like crazy all the time. I went into the pantry to fill up my water bottle and I heard him discussing control solution with someone else.

I couldn't help myself so I interrupted (mostly to admit I haven't used control solution for ohh...5 years or so). He's Type II and is an older gentleman, so how we control our diabetes is very different (and I believe our understanding of the disease is different also - he's dead set on following this 2000 calorie diet, not so much on counting carbohydrates). Still so cool to meet someone else who deals with the big "D" on a daily basis.

Okay, back to the grind. Almost...over...I think...gasp...choke...

Friday, September 21, 2007


Complaining post 31,875:

So today I was being "trained" (ie, subjected to a long diatribe about something or other that I would learn better by doing rather than watching and half-catching everything the trainer was saying at warp speed). My brain decided to remember at that moment that I needed to change my site - and sho' 'nuff, I was out of insulin! I excused myself from the group quietly and dashed over to my desk.

I was rushing so as not to miss anything important. The site was in, all was well, and I turned to go. Somehow, my fingers got caught in the pump tubing....YANK. That site came out so easy it wasn't even funny! Guess the adhesive really needs time to start sticking. So, rushing again (because I learn from my mistakes, y'know) I put in another site pretty close to the old one. The adhesive on the second site covers the blood welling up from the previous site.

I go back to the training and think I'm good until I realize that there is blood seeping through the adhesive and onto my - of course - white shirt.


Moral of the story: Always, always pack two site changin' sets in your purse. Cos if I hadn't today, I would've been up the poop creek paddleless.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Food scales are cool, and other stuff.

So today I finally set up my shiny new Salter food scale (it's thisaone) after the constant nagging of my darling husband finally broke my "ehh I don't really NEED that" spirit. It was a gift to commemorate our matrimony so I guess maybe he was personally offended that I wasn't busting into it yet.

The truth is that I'm kind of drag-assy about learning new ways to deal with my diabetes. If it's not baroque, don't fix it, amirite? Actually, am just lazy.

So I opened it, and . . . IT IS SO FREAKING COOL, YOU GUYS. Okay, assuming that it actually *works* (because I haven't yet bolused according to its wisdom). But still.

I put an apple on the scale - something I would guesstimate at 30g, give or take. The scale says "25.1g" next to the carbohydrates section. NEAT!

I put a banana on the scale - something I would guesstimate at 40g, give or take. The scale says 37.7g. NEAT! Oh, and "LO" on the glycemic index as well.

I put an entire honeybear on the scale and made Will do the math. "Ummm, I think about 270g." Scale says 300.1g. NEAT! (Oh, and "HI" on the GI. Dur.)

So anyways there's my food scale, and I guess I'll be using it when I'm at home. I haven't figured out how to do more complicated foods such as, say, a taco . . . but even for fruit and unpackaged evils of that nature it's a nifty little machine.

Other stuff...uhhhhmmmmmm. I'm having some sort of existential crisis over here. I don't know, I'm not gonna whine about it because then I just solidify my patheticness for all of the internet to read about and LAWD KNOWS the internet has enough emo to go around. I suppose I still am just unhappy at work and I should really do something about that BUT guess what is more interesting than that will ever, ever, ever be?

BABIES BABIES BABIEESSS. I promise not to become a "mommy blog" or whatever (even though I secretly love mommy blogs), and at any rate I'm not even a mommy yet so I can't. But we are y'know, doing that thing that everyone in high school warned me about. The funny part is I'm not instantly 9 months pregnant and lurching to my Algebra I class. Nope. Turns out that in real life it's a little more complicated. I'll keep you posted, internet. In the meantime, keep practicing putting the condom on the banana.

Also, looking at real estate in the area. Why, Northern VA? Why? Why must you do dis to me, Dimmeh? Do I really want to buy a crapped up piece of crap for 500,000+ and call that a steal, and then subject ourselves to thousands of dollars in renovations? Or should we shell out megabux for a brand new (relatively) townhouse, subjecting ourselves to years of guilt every time we let the dog and the kid out to wander the wild outdoors (a 2x2 piece of "yard")?

Opinions? Hints? Stock options?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Justa grumble.

At work.

Just ran out of test strips.

Am worst diabetic ever.

Two hours to go.

Readings today: 70, 260 (DAMN YOU BLUEBERRY MUFFIN!!! DAMN YOUUUUU!), 190, haha dumbass, you're all out of test strips.

Lessons learned: Seriously Kendra, you can't eat muffins. Or scones. Or danishes. Any breakfast pastry you see is cackling in sweet, merciless glee at your attempts to bolus for its sinful carb count. Just back away from the doughnut lady, and no one gets hurt.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chronic Illness, as told by the spoons

G'wan and read The Spoon Theory.

I don't have lupus, but this rang true for me in many ways. Great analogy...I'm going to have to tell someone to be thankful I'm spending a spoon on them next time they get all up in mah grill.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Everyone else was doing it.

I've taken around 5 or 10 Myers Briggs online tests (and despite having a doctor of psychology for a mother, I've never been given an actual, real life test). Anyway, I always end up ISFJ.

And it always irks the crapola out of me that the first job is "Accountant." NOOOOOOOOOO, is this REALLY what I'm meant to do? "Librarian" sounds pretty cool though. Libraries smell so damn good. Books = friends.

Thanks for the diversion, Kerri and Julia.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Weird diabetic food concoction #682

  • 1 unsweetened tea from Subway drink machine
  • 2 packets Splenda
Rip packets of Splenda open. Pour into paper cup. Place plastic top on cup. Place straw in hole. Swirl.

Taste? Meh.

But c'mon, if a Virginia girl can't have her sweet tea in the summer . . . is life even worth living anymore?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm hungry, I'm hungry, I'm hungrrrrreeeee


I am subsisting on one damn piece of ricotta cheese pie (YES leftovers from the party WHEN will they all be digested, NO ONE knows). The ricotta cheese pie that earlier graced me with the 272.

Since then:

242 (11:30am)
210 (1:06pm)

So, pump appears to be working. Feeeebly working. But no lunch for me. Nope! Refuse! I should probably stop being squirrely and just break out the syringe but ah...nope, refuse again. My boss thinks I took a lunch break; in reality I took a blog break, and a cup-o-water break. And my stomach is grumbling.

Hey, did I remember to mention The Smashing Pumpkins? Like, I totally saw them at the 9:30 club on 7/10/07 and they like totally rocked. I shook Billy Corgan's hand, and as I was shaking it I realized I had offered him my BAND-AID HAND. The day before, I had given myself a lovely paper cut with the side of a plastic binder ( really, a plasti-cut). It gapped open deep enough that I swore I could see the Mines of Moria, so I band-aided the sucker. Unfortunately, the humidity in the city (whoa rhyme) caused the band-aid to get a little flaky before the band arrived. So, Billy Corgan shook my grody peeling-offy band-aid hand. Sorry, Crog, it's only a paper cut I swear.

This was seconds after I contaminated him:

Yes, I am somewhere in that photo...and no, I am not the bald guy. If I was the bald guy, I would say eff this crap and just buy a new pancreas for myself on a periodic basis.

And I would also cry a lot and beg James Iha to come baaaack, pleeease come baaaack to meeee....because damn it musta been fun to look at that guy all day long.

By la way, someone requested wedding pics. Here's a link to a few. Don't make fun of my armpit fat, I slouch and I know it.

What in the f*#@ing f!%k?


Buzzy head - check.
Yawning approx. every 2 seconds? - check.
Site change last night before I went to bed, coupled with a 184 fasting? - check.

If this doesn't turn around by 1pm or so, looks like I'll be riding the syringe train...