Monday, September 12, 2011
If I knew how much insulin had been pumping through my body before I was in control of it, I would probably feel reassured.
The fact that I have the power of my pancreas overwhelms and scares me. Not all the time, but lately, a lot of the time. The thought of over-bolusing terrifies me. So much to the point where I have actually under-bolused a lot of times. Too many times to count.
I've had countless conversations with myself...I know I need more insulin for this extra snacking I am doing...I know that has more carbs than what I am inputting...but maybe it'll be okay. And then it's not okay. And then I kick myself, because I knew I should have given myself more insulin.
I don't like seeing so much insulin in my system. Seeing anything over 4 units scares me. It gives me a feeling of dread and worry...and I feel so much better when I see that number dropping...like I have more control over what it does as it drops. The more insulin in my system, the less I feel in control. Like somehow, my insulin will rage out of control and make me drop low, and it'll be hard to combat it.
I also have a hard time with waiting for my blood sugar to be the number I want it to be--whether it's lower or higher. I know there's a delay...I know certain foods break down faster than others. I know that I should wait and not react so quickly. I see my my number drop fast and I think, I should eat a glucose tablet to ward off a low, when in reality, I just need to leave it alone. When I'm waiting for it to rise, I feel compelled to do finger pricks every 5 minutes, just to make sure it's coming back up. I lierally have to talk myself into not checking by saying things like, Val, I know you feel like shit right now, but it's going to be better in 10 minutes...just give it time.
I am not very patient and apparently, not very rational. I know I'm prone to anxiety, and so I wonder if that plays a part in how I handle my diabetes. I've gotten better at not constantly checking my number, but I am not better at not being scared.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I saw my endo today and my a1c is down 0.2% from 7.4 to 7.2. Not stellar, but I will still celebrate any drop--big or small! A couple years ago or less, I was closer to 6%. I try not to beat myself up too much for letting it climb back up to 8(ish)% and just focus on the fact I'm bringing it back down, slowly but surely. My endo asked me to test my ratios for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which means eating a known amount of carbs for each meal. I think I'd probably get better results with even sticking to the same meal(s) for a couple days. I don't know why I find it so hard sometimes to do these tests to make sure my ratios are right!
I also discussed with my endo how sensitive my blood sugar is to exercise--even just a 15 minute walk makes it drop! I'm dog-sitting right now and Jake, the dog, needs to be walked 2 times a day, which means I've getting at least a 20 minute walk in every day. That doesn't sound like much, but for me it is! It also feels weird to type that since I used to be an exercise fiend. Small steps, I guess.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Two months ago, I decided to apply for a diabetes alert dog. There was an article in the Oregonian that prompted me, so I signed up...plus, I love dogs and don't have one of my own. The dog in my picture is my brother's dog, and while I do live with a dog (my roommate's dog), it's not my own.
I'm not sure if I should mention the company's name.
I know the dogs are in high demand, but they were training dogs for limited locations, and Oregon was one of them. Plus the dogs only cost $150. They said that it can take up to a year and they require you to go through part of the training with the dog they select for you, but that doesn't guarantee you a dog. Plus, they don't even reply when you apply for one...because they're in demand, you might not even get a response for several months. I think that when you apply for something like a dog, you SHOULD at least get a response that says we received your application, just so you know it went through.
So TODAY, I decided to randomly check the site. And. I notice. It says they are currently only placing dogs in northern and central CA. When I applied, it did not say this. Confused, I emailed them to see what was going on.
I got this response:
We appreciate your interest in XXX. Over the past months we have reviewed and made changes to our training program in order to continue providing the high quality assistance dogs that our clients deserve.
We realize the effect an assistance dog can have on managing diabetes and we know the need is great The value our program results from the high standards we set, both in training our dogs as well as diabetic clients.
A decision has been made to focus our services on those living in the Northern and upper Central California areas and to discontinue our two week program.
Client feedback and data assessment indicate that the most successful partnerships are created when clients attend weekly training sessions over an extended period, and attend monthly follow-up sessions. We will continue to assess our program and hope to offer other training options in the future that will once again extend our service area to Oregon.
We regret we cannot serve you at this time. Please periodically check in with us on our website. While we do not have a specific recommendation for another program, you can check the website for Assistance Dogs International (www.
WTF. They decided to change things and not NOTIFY anyone? What about all the people in Oregon and other states who applied? I never received any kind of notification about the change, and if I hadn't randomly checked their website, I would have continued waiting. I emailed them back and told them this...that I was extremely disappointed and that if I had known, I would have searched other places for an alert dog. I don't think it's fair that they didn't at LEAST notify people in Oregon and other states...and I'm sad thinking that some of those people might still be waiting for a response because they're not aware of this random change in their program.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Like that alliteration? :)
Last week, I noticed (or was reminded of) that my blood sugar is SO sensitive to exercise. That may be because I went from a workout fiend to...a person who rarely works out. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but at some point--between working later and feeling dizzy during my workouts--I started going to the gym less. I started getting frustrated that my blood sugar would drop so fast, so often. I got annoyed with having to cut my workout short or needing to stop and take a juice break. And then it just became a habit! Instead of figuring out my blood sugar so that I could work out, I just went straight home from work, made dinner, and relaxed. But, I know I feel so much better when I workout, and when I do, my blood sugar drops sooo quickly. Even just doing a 20-25 minute Jillian Michaels video made a huge difference. Not just for the day, but for the next day, too. I had to change my insulin ratio back to what it used to be when I worked out every day--1:15. On the 3rd day, I had to change my ratio back to what it is currently--1:12. This just shows me I need to workout more. And I need to work harder at figuring out my blood sugar for my workouts. I used to be good at it once upon a time.
Over the weekend, I went to visit some of my favorite people in Seattle! I love Portland, but sometimes I think about moving to Seattle. Two of my best friends from college live there--one actually just got done with grad school and moved back last month, so I was extra eager to see her. She was my roommate all 4 years of college AND we still call each other roommates. It was just us 2 for the first 2 years, then we acquired a 3rd roommate our junior year, and then a 4th senior year. My other Seattle friend, Laura, never lived with us, but we always lived close to each other and considered her our roommie, anyway. I always seem to luck out with roommates! Even now, after college.
So my boyfriend and I made the drive up to visit them, and we had so much fun. It was a short trip, but I plan on seeing them more frequently! The WEIRDEST thing happened when I was there, though I'm pretty sure I know what happened. My friend and her bf have 2 adorable, but semi-crazy cats. Well, my pump kept beeping because I was falling low. Every time, I woke up, I fished around for the wire and pulled my pump up to see what was going on. Until...I reached down and didn't feel the wire. I decided to start from the site--aha, there it is. Started trailing up the wire until my hand stopped--because there was NO wire. It was broken, cut, split off. I was so alarmed, that I shot straight up out of bed and looked for my pump. It was off to the side of my mattress (we were on the floor) with the rest of the wire attached. One of the cats had CHEWED the wire until it split! The weird thing is I wake up really easily and the wire didn't LOOK chewed. But that's the only explanation! My friend was a little shocked, but I told her it was no big deal and I had brought extra supplies so I just changed it out.
When I got home, I had to switch out my sensor and decided to try...the side butt spot. I usually go for the stomach region, but I wanted a change...and I've heard that people get good readings near the butt. But, I can only reach so far, and I don't want it to hit the toilet when I sit down. I don't know why that weirds me out (especially since it's covered by tape!), but it does. So I put it in a spot that's more like the side of my thigh. The only downside is that eventually it started pinching and getting a little tender. If I move my leg a certain way or my purse bumps against it, it huuuuurts. BUT, my sensor has been pretty terrific, and I don't want to give up a good spot just because it pinches every now and then. Gotta ride these sensors out!
A few pictures from over the years...including one from pre-D!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
They left me a name and number to contact, so I'll do that, but honestly I may just switch over to Medtronic because of faster shipping. I don't even blame the company I use for that since they're based in Florida, and clearly it's going to take a little longer to travel to Oregon. But if Medtronic can ship it faster, then I may switch over just for that benefit.
I know my blog isn't private, but it's always a little surprise when you realize that people do, in fact, read your words!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Picture is blurry, but you can see that these are test strips. One is blue. The other is black. This is my garbage basket full of peanuts from my shipment of sensors.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
It is really hard for me to relax, which seems weird because my overall attitude is laidback and I tend to easily go with the flow. BUT, I have always been prone to anxiety and I have always stressed out internally. So even though I appear calm, cool and collected when faced with various projects and deadlines, I internally stress out and my body feels every bit of it. And therefore, my blood sugar feels it.
Sometimes it's hard for me to do it, but I need those breaks...I need those reminders to relax and those self-checkpoints to make sure my shoulders are not tensing and I am actually breathing. Yes, when I stress or am anxious, I tend to tense and hold my breath and do other not-so-good-for-me things like not drink enough water or not look away from my computer, or move much for that matter.
So as I completed my work today, I was thinking about how I need a mantra for Monday (or any day really!) when I realize I am starting to stress out. My therapist actually recommended some kind of meditation workshop, which I should probably look into before I see her again so I don't seem like I'm slacking.
It's just crazy how much stress really IS a factor in your blood sugar levels. My blood sugar is normally so much better on the weekends because I'm much more active and usually there is nothing to stress about! I have actually witnessed my blood sugar dropping after work as I drive home.
OH and I FINALLY started logging my blood sugar #s, food intake and my boluses. Happy Monday to all!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Then comes...10g of carbs. Doesn't seem like that much, right? All I had was a multi-grain waffle and a few sips of coffee. I've had this breakfast plenty of times...I even bolused 10 min before eating this time, which I usually don't do in the morning because usually I am running late.
I feel fine...slightly hungry, so I test. Sensor shows me at 205, but I figure it's off since it's been 3 HOURS since I ate breakfast and I should be good to go by now.
Test shows 258. WTF?!
Ugh, I can't tell you how annoying it is when a measly 10g of carbs makes your blood sugar rise. Yes, it's the first day back to work after a 3-day weekend, but I don't feel stressed so I can't figure out WHY my blood sugar would rise that much. And it's even more annoying when you're hungry and want to eat. When I'm this high, I never eat, even if I'm hungry. I'll wait at least 30 min-1 hour so the correction has time to lower my level. I have a sit-down job, so I can't really do much exercise to help bring it down unless I take a break and go for a short walk...but that's hard to do when you have deadlines and it's a short week.
I'm also annoyed because I still don't have my shipment of supplies, which I knew would happen. I'm actually going to call and complain, even though I really do like my medical company. I really didn't like the last lady I talked to, and she was the one who said, "well, you shouldn't run out of supplies, so hopefully they'll be there Friday." BUT, she was snotty about it. All I asked for was the supplies to be sent out a DAY earlier because I knew they'd be delayed with the Monday holiday. And yes, I still have enough supplies, but that's not the point! They used to tide me over with an extra box of test strips, and she seemed to think they shouldn't be giving me an extra box. And that ONE extra day of not having test strips can make a difference, so I feel like I should call in and explain my frustration.
Meh, I don't want this kind of stuff to ruin my day, but it's definitely making me a little annoyed!
Friday, July 1, 2011
If you have or know something with diabetes (which I think ya DO!), then fill out a postcard. It just takes a couple of clicks--and if we all do it, it will hopefully get the message across that this is urgent and necessary and SHOULD be a priority.
I'm outraged...are you?
If we all take small steps, it will lead to one BIG stand. It's time to stand up for yourself and the one(s) you love!
Happy Friday :)
Thursday, June 23, 2011
This happens when I eat certain granola bars, like Odwalla. No matter what, I always need a few more units because I always end up a little on the high side.
And it happens with chips. All I had for lunch was a tuna fish sandwich on wheat (26g) and Kettle Honey Dijon chips (30g for the bag). I'm feeling fine right now, but my sensor is showing me in the 250s and it's been 2 1/2 hours since I've eaten. So I check and my meter says I'm actually 290.
Shit. Not good. I should not be 290. Correction says 1.5 units.
That's like eating another 18g of carbs (for me). So where does this 18g of carbs come from? I know my ratio is right (or so I think) because it works fine with other foods. I've noticed I'm a little on the high side after lunch, which could be work stress...so maybe I just need more insulin, but 1.5 extra units? This always seems to happen with chips...even the "healthy" kind that don't have as a many carbs.
Do any of you (or your kids) have foods that throw a wrench in your ratio? And I'm not talking about eating a bunch of foods in a row...obviously it is a little more difficult to bolus when you eat several things with varying levels of carbs/fat/protein. I'm talking one food item that does serious damage...that makes you say, "really?" when you check your blood sugar 2 hours later.
I'm tempted to just not eat these foods, but maybe I should just be paying attention to them and bolus more since I know they will mess with me every time.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I need a break from these embarrassing moments! There is a new copywriter on our team and I called her over to my cube so I could show her some social media stuff. Of course at that EXACT moment, my pump starts vibrating...at this point, I'm not concerned because when I checked it last, I knew I wasn't low or high. I decided to ignore and keep talking, but it's hard to not be distracted when your chest is vibrating. And why the heck does it have to vibrate like 5 or 6 times in a row? 2 or 3 times...fine, got your notice, pump, but more than that? C'mon!
So I continue to talk and it continues to vibrate while I will it to shut up. As we're wrapping up our conversation, my pump starts BEEPING, which is what I get, I guess, for ignoring it. Well, I can't hide the fact that something is beeping when she's sitting right next to me, so I reach up, pull it out of my bra and say "that's my insulin pump." She thought it was a pager (of course), and I was like "no no, I am a type 1 diabetic and instead of taking insulin shots, I'm on an insulin pump that's attached 24/7. So it's just vibrating and beeping at me...it's complicated. " Seriously, why am I so awkward at work when it comes to this? I think it's because I'm not prepared for it. When I've told people in the past, it was because I wanted to and was prepared and I chose to, not because my loud, obnoxious pump forced me to do it! Anyway, we laughed and joked about it a bit, but it's gotta be weird to see something like that. I mean, think about it. Think if you didn't know anything about diabetes...what would you think if you saw or heard something like that beeping? What would you think if someone said the words "insulin pump" to you? Having diabetes definitely feels like being in your own little world sometimes! I think that's one of the great things about meeting other type oners--you don't have to explain anything. Everything is understood in an instant. It's that OK feeling knowing that someone else is "like" us, someone else goes through the same thoughts and feelings and experiences.
I don't blame them though--for not knowing more, for making jokes, for not knowing the "right" thing to say. People have different ways of reacting and processing information. I can't say that I knew all the intricate details of diabetes other than the classic symptoms. You don't really know until it happens to you, until you live it every day. And you don't always care about a cause unless it's close to you somehow--whether it's you, a family member or a friend. Yes, there are things I am passionate about that don't directly affect me or someone I know, but if you think about it, the things you care most about are usually related to you or someone you love. And I think that's human nature, so it's OK that not everyone understands--as long as they try once you tell them.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Yesterday was my first day with apidra. I don't know if I need to change my ratios AGAIN or if this is just due to being sick off and on, but I hovered in a somewhat high range all day yesterday. Today, my numbers are better, but I swear there is no rhyme or reason to it!
Example #1. I had the same breakfast 2 days in a row. One toasted Kashi 7-grain waffle with a small amount of PB and less than half a banana sliced on top and sprinkled with cinnamon + coffee. I usually only have a cup of coffee, but I almost never drink the whole thing. I've been worried lately that coffee is affecting my morning/afternoon readings, but it's not like I have that much, so I'm not sure if it plays a part.
My # seemed a bit high 2-3 hours after breakfast yesterday. Lame. Small correction. Get over it. TODAY, I had the SAME breakfast. I actually bolused less this time. I don't really know why I did, but I did. My # 2 hours later was better than yesterday's # 3 hours post-breakfast...and this was with LESS insulin.
Does that make ANY sense? No. It's so absurd sometimes that I just have to roll with it and move on, otherwise it would drive me crazy!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Yesterday, I talked about humalog vs. novolog. This morning, I had a breakfast that I eat pretty often...gave myself the normal amount of insulin and didn't really wait to eat. That was a couple hours ago and I am getting a teeny bit hungry for a small snack, so I decided to check my blood sugar just to see where it's at 2 hours after breakfast. Here's where I do my happy dance.
91! It has honestly been so long since I've seen a "good" number 2 hours after a meal. I've had so many spikes that I haven't been able to tame and usually my # 2 hours later is closer to 200...this has been going on for SO LONG that I cannot remember when I've had such an amazing number after eating. Yes, I am gushing, and yes it is kind of a weird thing to gush over. Again, it may be due to me being more active this last week, but I can't help but wonder if my body/blood sugar is reacting better to the different insulin.
Anyhoo. Having this happy moment is a nice change from the frustration of seeing a higher # than I'd like. It's a nice change from scowling at my glucose meter and muttering a "wtf" in my head. And I feel like I deserve a happy, "yay me" moment to negate all the terrible, unhappy moments I've been having lately. Time for a snack!