Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Low Symptom . . . .

I was a mere 2 hours into my 6 1/2 hour flight Sunday (which was almost more like 7 because we boarded on time but took off over 30 minutes late). Suddenly a wave of homesickness hit. It didn't seem odd - I like to travel but I also always miss home too. But when the homesickness got so strong that I found tears streaming down my cheeks I knew something wasn't right. The first thing I thought to do was check my blood sugar. 34. It seems that I had silenced my low alarm while napping in my seat.

Once I treated it, I found I didn't feel the aching homesickness any more. But during the remaining (LONG) hours of the flight, my low alarm would go off every time I started to feel the homesick feelings creeping back in.

Just when I think I know all symptoms of a low, diabetes tosses a new one at me. How about you? Have you found any new low symptoms recently?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Awkward Moments . . . .

awkwardIn my opinion, I’m one of the most awkward people around.  And I have diabetes, which is awkward in its own ways.  Misconceptions, being tethered to a medical device, lows and highs that mess with my head . . . .  diabetes is rife with awkward landmines.  And that’s the topic of my latest post over at The Loop.  Feel free to check out my most memorable awkward diabetes moments.

How about you?  Do you have any awkward diabetes moments you’d care to share?

** My Medtronic disclosure can be found here. **

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bernd das Brot . . . .

When Pete and I used to take ballroom dance lessons, our half-German instructor told us about a puppet called Bernd das Brot.  Pete and I stumbled across his “Musikvideo" on YouTube and it stuck with us.  Our American Muppets have nothing on Bernd!

Anyway, his name translates to Bernd the Breadloaf, but I’ve always thought of him as Burnt Bread.  So why am I thinking of him today?  Well, unlike Mr. Breadloaf (who isn’t really burnt), I have moved well beyond lightly toasted and fallen full on into the flames.

The worst part of my current bout with burnout is that I have an endo appointment on Monday.  I did get my labs done, so there is one point in my favor.  However, the fact that I haven’t worn a sensor all week is going to leave a pretty big info gap in my pump download.  Every day I promise myself I’ll insert a new sensor tomorrow.  And every tomorrow I put it off yet another day.  I’m also randomly grazing and bolusing instead of counting carbs and eating actual meals.  My Fitbit is laughing at me because I’m barely getting any steps in.  And the leftover Halloween candy considers me its new best friend based how often I visit.

So I’m dreading Monday’s appointment even more than usual.  My endo is great and I’ll be completely honest with him about what is going on.  But I can’t help but be very embarrassed to admit how little I care about my diabetes these days.

Just call me Burnt das Karen.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My New Low Glass . . . .

I used to treat low blood sugars with juice all the time.  I bought juice boxes marketed to toddlers because they had just enough carbs and I didn’t have to measure anything out while low.  But then some (probably fake) disgusting“news” item was going around Facebook about juice boxes, and because I’m so easily grossed out I haven’t been able to drink a juice box since.

Pete likes juice so we always have a large bottle in the refrigerator.  But determining how much of it I should drink while low is pretty impossible for me, so I don’t bother with it.  Until now!!  Because National Etchings sent me their measuring glass to try out.  I.  Am.  In.  Love.


Seriously, this is a beautiful glass all on it’s own.  It’s shiny and pretty and feels nice and solid in my hand.  The quality is so good that I’d expect it to be priced higher than it is.  But the big draw for me is the measurements etched into the side.  It means I can pour out three ounces of juice to treat, even when a low blood sugar has my brain pretty scrambled.

Want a new low glass for yourself?  Well, you are in luck, because National Etchings has offered a second glass for me to raffle off!  To enter, simply use the widget below to “Like” the  National Etching Facebook page.  The contest will close on Friday, October 31st.  Good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Harder for Others . . .

dsmaI believe diabetes is hard for everyone, regardless of type.  However, I also believe there are some things that are harder for other types than for me, as a Type 1.  And that is the focus of the #dsma blog carnival this month.  The question is from a September chat that asked “anything easy about living with your type of diabetes that isn’t easy for another type?".

Yes, yes, oh yes!!  I believe there are plenty of things that are harder for Type 2s and people with gestational diabetes and LADAs and every other kind of diabetes.  Don’t get me wrong, Type 1 is hard too.  And some things are equally hard for all types.  But some things are harder for one type or another.

Today I’m thinking of my Type 2 friends and the thing that I believe is tougher for them is STIGMA.  Yes, I’m yelling it.  STIGMA.  I hate the stigma that comes with diabetes.  Diabetes is not anyone’s fault, no matter what type a person has.  And I think sometimes T2s get stigma not only from the general public, but also from people who have other types of diabetes.  It’s wrong and it isn’t fair.  And I wish I could take the stigma away.

This post is my October entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2014/10/october-dsma-blog-carnival-4.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What’s That Wednesday - Meters #WalkWithD

I have identical meters - a purse meter and a home meter.  My home meter is older and also gets a lot more use.  (Apparently I don’t get out much.)   Lately I’ve been  nervous that it might be time to replace it.  So I decided to do a side-by-side test with both meters.  I used the same drop of blood and strips from the same vial.  And I held me breath to see how closely the two tests would line up.


Yeah baby!!!  This really put my mind at ease.  And it was a perfect slice of diabetes life for me to share as part of the Walk With D campaign.  Have you shared some moments of your #WalkWithD yet?

Friday, October 17, 2014


There is an important discussion with the FDA coming up, and diaTribe has arranged a short survey you can take to make sure your opinion is heard.  Read the flyer below for all of the details:


You can find the survey at  diaTribe.org/survey.  I believe it's only open through the weekend, so be sure you share your thoughts now!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Lose my Mind . . .

Fasting blood sugar - fine.  Bolus for and consume coffee.

Pre-breakfast blood sugar - fine.  Pre-bolus for breakfast smoothie.  Make and drink breakfast smoothie.  Blood sugar remains stable.

Two and a half hours after drinking breakfast smoothie - CGM high alarm.  Test to confirm, and yes, I am high.  I figure it’s the smoothie, even though it seems odd that the spike didn’t start sooner.  Whatever.  Take the 1 unit suggested correction and head the the grocery store.  The grocery store is a drag, but I’m secretly happy to go because grocery shopping always brings my blood sugar down.

Come home from grocery shopping, put everything away, dust the entire house.  Still high.  Hmmm, that’s odd.  Correct again and set a higher temp basal for good measure.

FrustrationCGM high alarm repeat is set to 1 hour, meaning that it will alarm once an hour as long as I remain high.  All afternoon it continues to blare hour upon hour upon hour, despite continuing to up my basal bit by bit.  At 4:00 I finally admit that the 200+ blood sugar I’ve been stuck with all day can’t be due to the smoothie I drank at 8:30.  Decide to change my site, and am happy to see that it’s also time to open a new bottle of insulin.  Yay for eliminating two variable at once!

Insert new site, but it feels “weird” going in.  Not sure exactly what I mean by that, but my gut tells me something isn’t quite right.  Already frustrated enough that I haven’t been able to make my blood sugar budge all day, so immediately pull the new site and replace it again.  Then take a 20 minute walk, confident that I’ve now got this under control.

Two hours later blood sugar is STILL the same and that confidence I felt is replaced by complete exasperation.  Curse the fact that I keep forgetting to check for ketones, and give in to the temptation to rage bolus.  When even that doesn’t help, decide it’s time to do a third site change.  Pull the practically new site and it looks fine, but a few small drops of blood dribble out of my body.  Insert new site yet again and call husband and cry.

Finally make it into the 190s.  Pretty sure it’s a bad idea but decide to eat dinner anyway.  Eat a half portion and test again to see that I’m in the 120s.  Yay!!  Eat the other half of my dinner!

Watch a little TV with Pete.  We chat a bit and then he says “Do you think you're low?  You kind of sound like you're low?”.  I’m sure I’m not low but agree to test before getting up to wash the dishes.  41.  WTF.  (Also, what is this "sound low" symptom Pete can spot??)  Must be falling fast because CGM shows me in the 80s, but soon after the rapid down arrows appear.  Eat but still feel like I’m going to die.  Curl up in a ball on the couch while Pete is stuck doing the dishes.  At this moment, I feel like I absolutely can not live one more day with diabetes.

There are many hard things about life with diabetes, and this is one that people outside of the diabetes bubble probably just don’t understand.  I’d stick a million needles a day in my body - that pain only lasts for a moment.  But the emotional pain of trying every single thing you can think of to get your blood sugar back into range and nothing works?  Knowing that people think diabetes is no big deal because you just need to take your insulin and not eat sugar and that’s it?  On days like this one, these are the parts of diabetes that will truly make me lose my flippin’ mind.