Category Archives: Husband

My Insulin is Artisanal Water.

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Oh hi. I’m still alive, just buried under work and anatomy books. I came out of hibernation to vent! Isn’t that fun!?

It’s been one of those (14) days where I want to take a large hammer to my insulin pump. It feels like my average blood sugar has been 1,000 mg/dl. On the real, I’m holding steady in the 170’s at the lowest — usually in the 200’s. I have brief periods where I see 140 and below.. but brief is the operative word. I increase my basal rates and bolus extra to no avail. Last night, my CGM said I was 80 with double arrows down, and I didn’t even flinch. I knew it wouldn’t last.

I hear you asking: did you change your sites? How about new insulin? Change the location of your sites to avoid scar tissue? Increase your basal? Exercise? Are you eating right? Drinking enough water?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

I’ve done it all! I threw away a half vial of precious insulin, I’ve gone through a pump set every two days (and I’ve put my set basically everywhere except my side boob and my forehead). I have very few options left to consider, it seems like (and thank you to my dear friend for troubleshooting with me this morning).

  • Husband’s theory: Insulin pump has gone AWOL. It’s delivering only half of what I tell it to give me. I feel like my pump is sophisticated enough to sense that, though. Plus — normally I can feel it when Animas boluses (because it injects at 75mph).
  • My most obvious theory: Basals need to be jacked up across the board. Seems odd to have happened all at once, but maybe it’s been happening more gradually than I’ve realized, and now I’m just frustrated. Today I’m rocking a 10% increase for 24 hours (and I’m still at 170 after bolusing extra for my peanut butter waffle this morning). I’ll try 20% tomorrow and then, *UGH*, some basal testing this weekend 🙂
  • My “I don’t even know if this is really a thing” theory: Have I developed antibodies to Novolog? Would my body be that cruel? I did some research and alas, this does seem to be an issue with some folks.
  • My far reaching theory: When I sleep on my pump set, I’m squishing the cannula, so I’m high at night and it’s setting my up for failure for the rest of the day. I can argue, though, that I haven’t changed my sleeping habits in the last 17 years, so..
  • Another logical theory: I’m stressed out. I don’t feel ridiculously stressed out, but I do have a lot on my plate right now.
  • My enemy theory: Someone at the pharmacy) hates me and my insulin is actually artisanal water flavored with bandaids.

Any theories from you guys? Any funny stories to distract me from beating a really expensive medical device against the pavement? Thanks for letting me vent. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with more stable sugars, more fun updates and better stories — my last pre-requisite course is done in May!

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Diabetes Blog Week: What Brings Me Down

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I’m participating in Diabetes Blog Week this week.I’m hoping these prompts will re-inspire my writing and encourage lots of blood sugar checks 🙂

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

This is a hard topic to cover in a succinct or eloquent manner. I’m anticipating the fact that I’m about to let myself explore the many tough (emotional) aspects of diabetes — and I’m okay with that.. because that’s life and because I’ll balance it out tomorrow with positive. Work, appointments and my new addition of SCHOOL (more on that another day) called for this morning to begin at 4am. It’s a list kind of day.

Emotional Issues
-Judgment by those who don’t know better (or even those who do..).
-Guilt due to high blood sugar. Or low blood sugar. Or forgetting to put a new bottle of strips in your purse. Or change your pump set, or refill your glucose, or call in a script. You catch my drift.
-Not feeling 100% — fighting with yourself to push through they day and not let diabetes hold you back from doing something.
-Wondering why your sugar is high or low. Troubleshooting.
-The financial impact of diabetes.
-The impact that ALWAYS PLANNING has on your well being. I never stop thinking.
-Fear of the future and what complications it may (or may not!) hold. When is the future?
-Fighting with food. Being pissed that I *shouldn’t* eat that burger because my blood sugar is over 200 mg/dl. {“But I don’t like to let diabetes hold me back from doing things! But I also don’t like to feel like shit, and I want to prevent complications” (see, mind always racing).}
-The simple fact that this impacts my husband.
-The incurable-ness of this disease.
-Seizures in the middle of the night. The indescribable feeling of mortality that envelopes you when you finally realize what just happened and why you’re lying in a pool of apple juice and sweat. (I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a worse feeling than this.)

How I Cope?
-Exercise that I love. Yoga, especially.
-Eating well — and being excited about the things I eat that I know are good for me.
-A fabulous support system made up of my friends, my family, and my superhero husband.
-Escaping reality for a bit with a good book.
-Writing this blog. Reading your blog.
-Continuously learning.
-Reminding myself that I can do this. So can you.
-Calling my sister (also T1) for a diabetes bitchfest.

Are there other things that make this disease emotional? Hell yes. Do I cope in more ways than what I listed? Absolutely (and some of the ways may not be healthy, like pretending I don’t have diabetes for an hour, or longer).

The most important thing to remember? I’ve come this far, and I’ve got all of you behind me. I’m not just a diabetic, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without diabetes (for instance, maybe I wouldn’t be such a planner!).

38.

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I wake up and my husband is leaning over my legs. He has a giant needle in his hand and the sharp tip is pushing against my thigh, almost breaking the skin.

“NO!” I scream.

This wasn’t a nightmare. This was my reality last night.

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He said I woke up because I was annoyed that I was sleeping in a pool of my own sweat. He asked me if I  had checked my blood sugar and I told him yes, a blatant lie. He asked me what it was. I didn’t know. This is when he took over.

He checked my blood sugar, I was 38. I was just thinking the other day how wonderful it was that I hadn’t seen a number in the 20’s or 30’s in quite a while. Streak ruined.

He said I was confused, and I was twitching.. like I do right before I go into a seizure. I wasn’t making sense. I guess I was also taking a stance against drinking my juice, too. I do sometimes get combative when I’m low, when I’m not giddy like a drunk. When he saw the twitching is probably when he grabbed the glucagon. When he tried to inject it is when I finally became vaguely aware of what was going on.

All in all, I drank three glasses of Simply Apple apple juice, each worth about 25 grams of carbs. I came up very, very slowly. 48 mg/dl 6 minutes later, 57 mg/dl 15 minutes later, 83 mg/dl 30 minutes later. Around two hours into the ordeal, I was finally at 117. Before I hit normal range, though, I gladly consumed a peanut butter bar, an ice cream sandwich (I needed something to cool my sweaty body), and a few kale and black bean tortilla chips (I have an obsession with tortilla chips when I’m low, which normally results in being high).

7:32am: 348 mg/dl. I took two units over a half hour once I got back in the 80’s. After everything I consumed, though, of course I got high. I had the low munchies. It’s unarguably a condition.

My point in all this? To get it off my chest. Today I’m scared. I’m tired (and continuing to get more tired). I’m emotional.. because lows like this always come full of guilt for me. Guilt that I had a brush with not waking up. Guilt that this happened at all. Guilt that John had to go through this and carry me through the night.

The guilt will subside and I will catch back up on sleep. I need to be thankful that John was there to help me (with zero complaints, ever, about anything, by the way. He’s amazing.), and was able to quickly mix up the glucagon, just in case.
Also, this shall serve as a reminder to get a new glucagon kit, stat.

i think i can. i know i can.

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I’m not really doing National Health Blog Post Month (30 posts in 30 days) this year, but I have been admiring some of the prompts, so I’d like to participate when I can.

Day 2 prompt (see.. I can’t even get to the prompts on the right day!) was this:

Write 3 lines that start with “I think I can…”

Then write 3 lines that start with “I know I can…”

I think I can always choose happiness.
I think I can 
do anything I put my mind to (with diabetes).
I think I can 
look at each blood sugar as a chance to maintain or improve.

I know I can always choose happiness.
I know I can
do anything I put my mind to (even with diabetes).
I know I can
look at each blood sugar as a chance to maintain or improve.

I just didn’t feel right about doing separate “I think I cans” (see “I know I can” #2).

ALSO, Diabetes Month Photo A Day. I’m behind.
Day 2 (check). Beautiful morning bike ride with the loves of my life? Check.

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Day 3 (snack). Cheating a bit and enjoying a deeee-licious buffalo chicken dip snack with friends and football. I always forget to take pictures before snack/meal is halfway gone.

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nicotine patches & grapes.

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I’m going to do my best to be matter of fact. I don’t want to complain about people’s ignorance about diabetes (I mean I do want to complain, I just know complaining won’t accomplish anything. Correcting people and teaching them might, though. Might.). I’ve had some interesting things said to me (or to my family) recently.

  • At a wedding last weekend, my mom went to get me some grapes because I was hovering around 70 mg/dl. She was loading her plate full and said to the person behind her something like ‘Sorry I’m stealing all of the grapes — my daughter’s blood sugar is a little low.’ The response she got? OH. GRAPES WILL KILL A DIABETIC. Mom walked away, laughing uncontrollably at what had been said to her.
  • Apparently though, I should be soaking apples and cinnamon in water and drinking it. The guy who told me this also said he doesn’t understand why diabetics eat cake when we know we shouldn’t. I had eaten cake the night before (successfully, no big spike) and made sure he was aware of that. I also made sure he was aware that apple cinnamon water sounds disgusting and said concoction wouldn’t convince my pancreas to start making insulin.
  • At the bar last night, multiple intoxicated people were surprised I was able to drink beer and not pass out. They were also shocked that I was not severely overweigh. They kept telling me to ‘keep it up’ but they felt like I could achieve a lower a1c. Husband convinced me that they had no clue what they were talking about, but I still day dreamed about pouring their beer on their head, flipping them off, and walking away.
  • At the same bar, my husband and I started playing corn hole with a (drunk) stranger. Please note that my dexcom is currently on my arm and it was visible. During the game (Drunk) Stranger says “SOOOO. Is one of us here trying to quit smoking?” I knew immediately he wanted to know what the fuck was sticking on my arm, but his way of asking seemed so rude. If you’re interested in the device on my arm, don’t sidestep around the question — I’d prefer you just ask. So I told him no, neither of us smoke, and asked him if he was trying to quit. He said no. I asked him why he had that question, and he said no reason. I called him out, asked him if he was referring to the thing on my arm, and was able to explain to him what it really was.

Moral of the story? Keep educating. And don’t pour beer on people’s heads. And don’t eat grapes? (Kidding. Eat grapes. Delicious, and not poisonous to diabetics. ARE poisonous to dogs, though.)