OK, I’ll stop now. Need more coffee, better puns.
For the first time in 15 years, I’ve placed my pump set in my thigh. I know I’m not good at math – but that could very well equal over 1,800 pump sites placed elsewhere on my body – including: stomach (used to use a LOT, but it’s super scarred now), back of my arms, lower back, upper butt (#makessenseifyouhavediabetes). Now that I write that out – there really aren’t that many options. I guess it was inevitable that I try my thigh out at some point.
So, how is it working out, you ask? As I mentioned on Twitter, I feel like I’m alternating between the urge to limp and the urge to tighten my thigh muscle. In time, I’ll get used to it! I’ll try to keep you posted on Twitter or Facebook about it’s absorption.
So, what not-so-normal spot do you use for your pump or CGM when you feel like all of your real estate has been used up? Has anyone used their side boob? Seriously, I know someone has. And seriously, I can guarantee I never will.
Last week, I was
forced asked to be a camp counselor. I work full time in recreation (special events, marketing), so doing something like this isn’t completely out of the ordinary, but it’s not the norm, either. My group for the week consisted of mostly boys – ages 12 to 15, and most of them were taller than me.
Being an older ‘more mature’ group (ha. ha. ha.) we went on trips every day. Guess what? Day one, drive time, my sugar was low. I had to make a decision whether or not to tell them that I had diabetes, and I had to make it immediately. I stalled driving until my sugar was back up, and I knew that keeping my sugars steady would be a challenge the rest of the week. Too low and I can’t’ drive. Too high and I feel like crap.
I wanted them to know what was going on in case I needed to pull over while driving somewhere. I figured 15 voices screaming “Miss Carlyn! Why are we pulling over?” while my sugar was dropping would probably not be good for the situation (never happened, though).
I got their attention – not a small feat. “Have any of you heard of diabetes?” I asked. They all stayed pretty quiet, most of them shaking their heads ‘no’. One of them piped up “I have heard of them, but I don’t really know what they are..” he said, with a confused but concerned expression on his face. It was hard not to giggle. I gave them a short explanation about how my pancreas doesn’t work right, and so I had to do the work for it. I told them that if my sugar got low, I would need to pull over to take care of it. That was that.
The rest of the week, they worked up the courage to ask my about my pump, my CGM, and if I was feeling shaky. Their intrigue was limited, but it definitely touched my heart. I was glad that none of them knew much about the disease. One of my favorites, though, apparently had a cousin who is a PWD. On the way back from one our last trips, totally randomly, I hear this:
“Miss Carlyn, what’s your favorite thing to eat when your blood sugar is low?”
I told him I eat glucose tablets mostly – but if I can, I like candy or cupcakes. He agreed with me, that he really likes cupcakes too. Kinda miss those kids 🙂
I’m currently reading Gary Scheiner’s book Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin and it’s amazing – but more on that later (I’m not done yet!).
Today, I was reading a section on blood sugar control (or whatever that means), ways to evaluate your control, and how to analyze different reports. He speaks very highly of daily written records and their use in fine tuning insulin levels, etc. Not necessarily every day, but maybe keeping a detailed record one week out of the month. He makes a good point – CGM and meter downloads just don’t cut it. I can’t tell what I’ve been eating or how much apple juice it took to over correct a 38 mg/dl based on downloads, but I hopefully can if I write it down.
More eloquently: “At this point there is no good replacement for a written record-keeping system. Downloadable devices and electronic databases fail to capture many of the key events that influence our blood sugar levels, and none present the information in a format that is practical to analyze.” -Gary Scheiner, Think Like a Pancreas
Valid point. Not to mention, writing things down relieves stress for me. Mind racing at work about all the things I need to do when I get home? I make a list. Instant relief.
So today when I got home from work, I searched my books for an empty journal (thank you Susie, for always making sure I have one around). I could only find one, so that would have to do. I opened it up, already sweating a little thinking about the best way to organize my records so they are easy to read and easy to jot down (OK, sweating might be an exaggeration, but not much of one). I opened the journal/my new logbook, and found this:
This journal has already been a logbook! For two whole days! In 2007!
I cringed just looking at how unorganized it feels. I totally understand why this didn’t last. It never lasts. I hate the tiny logbooks you can get with meters. I need something durable (but not gigantic) so it can float among my crap in my purse. I want something with lines, too, otherwise I hate my handwriting – and lots of lines, I have lots of thoughts.
So, this begs the question: what will work? What log book is worthy of keeping me feeling organized and motivated enough to actually write this gibberish down? What solutions have you found?