Monday, March 30, 2009

Hello, Old Friend . . .

or should I say Enemy??  Either way, my treadmill and I were re-united this morning.

In my third post for The Diabetes O.C., I talked again about how much I dislike exercise and how I manage to make up any excuse not to workout.  Little did I know, that post inspired me to try AGAIN to get back into an exercise routine.  The last time I tried, I kept getting a ton of lows, both on the treadmill and through out the rest of the day.  After four days, I talked myself out of even trying.

March was a really good blood sugar month for me.  But, if I'm going to be honest, I haven't felt all that good.  I'm tired all the time.  I don't sleep well.  Last week, I had a head-ache almost every afternoon.  I think a lot of that can be solved with some exercise.  Getting in shape will help me feel more energetic.  It will help me sleep better.  And better sleep will probably solve the head-ache problem.

So I'm starting the exercise routine again.  I started slow, with just 20 minutes today.  I began with a blood sugar of 98.  I had a sip of orange juice half-way though.  And I ended at 91.  Last week I bought some Nurta-Grain bars, and although I bolus for the carbs, I find they spike me anyway.  But I had one for breakfast after my "work-out" and only went as high as 107 on the CGM.

Of course, as I write this post, my low alarm has just gone off.  My CGM shows me at 66, and a finger stick shows me at 49.   I'm drinking a juice box and making a note in my logbook to drop a unit from my breakfast bolus tomorrow.  Because I will walk on the treadmill again tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Poor little K.C. has been sick.  The first time, we chalked it up to the stress of settling into her new home and the stress she felt emanating from us after Pete got mugged.  The second time, we thought it was a urinary tract infection.  She was better by the time the test results came back, but they ended up showing nothing had been wrong.

Now, it's starting all over again.  My fear all along has been that when she was spayed, it was incomplete and she is actually going into heat.  I had mentioned that to the vet before, but she assured me it is highly unlikely.  But now that the same symptoms have returned yet again (and in such a cyclical fashion), she agrees that it looks likely after all.  She is researching when the best time to test K.C.'s hormone levels will be, and who the best vet to do the surgery is.

In the mean time, my kitty is uncomfortable.  She's restless.  She cries all day and yowls all night.  I hate to see her suffering, but there is really nothing I can do for her right now.  I'm helpless.  And I understand how my husband feels when diabetes rears it's ugly head.  How my parents felt all those years since my diagnosis.

I understand how it hurts them to see me shaky and sweaty and fuzzy-brained from a stubborn low.  I understand how hard it is to see me with a throbbing head, achy muscles and a cranky demeanor when I've got a bad high.  How they hate watching me force that needed snack down when I'm not hungry, or struggle to resist eating until my levels come down even though I'm starving.

Feeling helpless is just as difficult as feeling too low or too high . . .  or in heat.  (Although that last one is not from personal experience!!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The wisdom of Thumper . . .

When I was little, the first movie I ever saw in the theaters was Bambi.  (Or maybe it was Pinocchio, but I'm pretty sure it was Bambi so let's go with that.  And no, it wasn't the same year it was released - thankyouverymuch.)  Anyway, there are great lessons to be learned from the movies of our youth.  In the case of Bambi, it was Thumper who taught me the most important of lessons.  "If ya can't say nothin nice, don't say anything at all."

I read a blog post this morning in which a fellow diabetic was remembering back to a particularly bad morning when he woke up with a blood sugar over 300.  He shared how hard it was on him physically.  And what a delicate balance it is to correct a high without over correcting and ending up way too low.  I think any Type 1 diabetic can understand, because we've all been there ourselves.

Imagine my shock when I opened the comments and saw a particularly ignorant and nasty one had been left.  This person called names and insulted the blogger.  The definitely didn't "say nothin nice".   Don't get me wrong, I believe in freedom of speech.  I believe in gentle constructive criticism that can help a person.  That comment didn't have anything constructive or helpful in it.

As diabetes bloggers, we put ourselves and our disease out there.  The good and the bad.  The triumphs and the failures.  All on the web for the world to see.   The Diabetic-OC has helped me find friends who understand this disease I cope with every day, because they cope with it too.  None of us asked for it, and we make the best of it that we can.  I appreciate the support my D-OC friends give me.  I hope my posts can be helpful to others.  I am thankful for the comments I get, for advice or understanding.  But please, when surfing though blogs, diabetes blogs or any blogs, remember the comment you send into the vast internet is received by a real person with real feelings.  And just maybe, if ya can't say nothin nice, don't say anything at all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How low can you go?

I've often said I'd rather have a low blood-sugar than a high one. To me, highs feel like failures. Lows make me feel like I've done something right - even though that isn't true.

For the most part, I can tolerate lows pretty well. When I hit numbers in the 40s I'm a bit fuzzy and have to concentrate extra hard, but with a little more effort I can still function. I've even seen scary numbers in the 30s and high 20s and been okay.

Over the weekend, though, I had a "bad low". I was feeling lousy that day, like I had caught the cold Pete was getting over. So I spent the day on the couch. As Pete warmed some chicken soup for dinner, I tested my blood sugar and rang in at 73. I let my pump deduct some insulin for the lower reading and bolused. I guess I was dropping fast, because by the time the soup was ready I was feeling really ill. I forced some down, and then an overwhelming urge to sleep came over me. I told Pete I was really tired, put down my half-eaten soup, and shut my eyes. Pete got my meter and asked me to check my blood sugar. I was surprised at the low number I saw.

Pete got me a juice-box, which I quickly downed. But this low was fierce. That 36 reading brought along an overwhelming feeling of fear. I was sure my blood sugar wasn't going to come back up, and that I would pass out and there would be nothing I could do to help myself. My panicked brain told me that if Pete called 911, they wouldn't get to me in time. I can't ever remember feeling so scared from a low, and I let Pete know how I was feeling. He got me two big spoonfuls of frosting.  Then I had two peanut butter eggs. About five or ten minutes later, the fear was gone and I felt more like myself. A few hours later I was trying to bring a 223 blood sugar back into range - but for once I didn't care that I was high.  I was glad I ate everything I did, because I just wanted that scared feeling to go away and never come back.

I always stress to Pete that it's very important not to get lulled into a false sense of security about my lows.  I was actually fine this time, but I didn't feel fine.  It's important to treat each and every low as an emergency. Just because I handled a 47 yesterday, doesn't mean it won't knock me out today. And Saturday night was just a little reminder of that fact.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meme Monday - some Crap that's Honest

For this week's edition of Meme Monday, Lee Ann has tagged me with the Honest Scrap meme.  Apparently I have to fill you in on some crap about me, but it has to be honest.  Okay, here are the official rules . . .

The Honest Scrap award comes with a caveat or two. Firstly you have to tell your readers 10 things about you think they may not know, but that are true. Secondly you have to tag 10 people with the award.

Wow, ten things about me. This is going to be hard. Okay, here we go.
  1. I'm very shy.  You might not be able to tell that from my on-line activity, but that is because I find it much easier to write than to talk to people face to face.  I was even worse when I was younger.  I was the kid in school who almost always knew the answer, but never raised my hand because I hated talking in class.  Even now, I get really, really nervous in group situations.  Meet-ups cause me a lot of stress in the days leading up to them - even though I always have fun once I get there
  2. I have way too much yarn.  I know that's not a surprise for most of you.  Right now, in my house, there are 117,795 yards (or 66.92 miles) of yarn in my stash.  Of that yarn, 49,015 yards (or 27.85 miles) of it is sock yarn.  I know this because each skein is painstakingly entered into an Excel spreadsheet I devised, complete with columns that total my yarn up for me and a graph that shows how my stash grows and shrinks each month.  Although it almost always grows and almost never shrinks.
  3. I still think I don't have enough yarn.  When Christmas and my birthday rolls around, my favorite gifts are the gifts of yarn.
  4. I get very addicted to anything to do with the computer.  Right now, I have 244 feeds in my Google Reader.  I used to spend a lot of time on Ravelry, but lately I'm on Twitter and FaceBook more.  I have a fake job at a fictional on-line paper company.  And Yahoo games (especially this one) has kept me from getting house-work done on more than one occasion.
  5. Even with the computer addiction, I've been feeling some sort of computer burn-out lately.  I can't find inspiration to post.  I haven't been reading or commenting on blogs like I used to.  My e-mail is sadly neglected.  Although I think I'm starting to get my blog-mojo back again.  I guess we all just need a break sometimes.
  6. I'm not really sure, but I may be in the midst of a mid-life crisis.  All that "40 is the new 30" stuff is a crock.  40 feels really old, and don't let anyone tell you any different.  Especially when you are trying to decide on a new career path.
  7. I believe in things we don't really understand.  Like ghosts and guardian angels.  And that there is more to our dreams than most people believe.  I think there are a lot of psychics out there who are fakes, but I also believe there are real psychics who have a gift.  I also believe that twins have a special connection.  In fact, I've seen it with my father and his twin brother.  And I find it very fascinating.
  8. I am extremely accident prone.  At any given time, I can find random cuts and bruises on my body and have no recollection of where they came from.  In fact, I just found a cut on my hand now, which prompted me to write this.
  9. I am the worlds most terrible speller.  When computers began having the spell check feature, I found out that I was an even worse speller than I thought.  I was surprised at how many words I was spelling completely wrong.  In college, my best friend used to threaten to send my letters back with the spelling mistakes highlighted.
  10. I like to do Memes and don't mind being tagged, but I hate to tag others with them.  I always think everyone else will think they are silly.  They have more exciting things to do in life than memes.  And they will get annoyed at me for tagging them.
Phew, there are my 10!  Obviously, I'm not going to tag anyone - but consider yourself tagged if you want to be.  And let me know so I can come read your honest crap.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Vlogging Snacks

Today I recorded another vlog post. For some reason, I decided to record it in the absolute ugliest spot in my house - the half pulled apart kitchen. Complete with the cabinet that is missing a door and has part of the paint stripped away. For an added bonus, I also stood in front of a sunny window. Hello, blinding sun glare!!! To make things even worse, for some reason my lips and the sound are out of sync, so it looks like you are watching a video dubbed from a foreign language. Oh yeah, and I babbled quite a bit. Then I talked with my mouth full. Good going, Karen.

So if, after all those warnings, you still want to watch it . . . click below. Don't say I didn't warn you!!

WTF is that line about the cheese being for St. Patrick's Day? It will never last that long. And why did I feel the need to specify that I found the frozen edamame in the freezer section? Where else would it be?

Yes, my vlogging still needs some work.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meme Monday - Name Game

I've gotten a bit lax about my Meme Mondays, but it's time to get them rolling again.  This week, I'm doing the Name Meme that I saw on Estelle's blog.

Use the first letter of your name to find a word for each of the following:

Your Name - Karen
Four letter word - Knit
Boy name - Keith
Girl name - Katherine
Occupation - Kindergarten Teacher
Color - Kelly Green
Beverage - Key Lime Pie Martini
Something found in a bathroom - Kleenex
Place - Kansas
Reason for being late - Kitty cat wanted to play  :)
Food - Krispy Kreme donuts
Something you shout - Knock it off!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How NOT to do an infusion site change.

Like clockwork, every third day it's time to change out my infusion site.  I remember last April, when I first started pumping, this seemed like quite an intimidating task.  I would sit with the instructions laid out in front of me and slowly complete each step.

As with most things in life, with practice come efficiency, confidence and ease.  Well, usually.  Some days, however, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.  So here is my step-by-step guide of how NOT to change your pump site.

First, gather all of your site change supplies.  Forget that this doesn't include one kitty cat who is in full-blown "play with me" mode.  Also forget that this DOES include your bottle of insulin.

Open IV Prep wipe and place on bed.  Watch cat lick wipe.  Throw away wipe, open new one, and swab insulin bottle and hip.  (Also say a little prayer that cat's system can handle a lick from an IV Prep wipe.)  Insert insulin bottle into reservoir and begin to fill.  Drop on floor and watch it roll under the bed.  Watch cat run under to swat her new "toy".  Crawl under bed to retrieve and admire all the pretty little bubbles.  Spend a significant amount of time getting bubbles out.

Attach reservoir to site tubing.  Try to remove plunger, only to find it must be glued on because it isn't coming loose.  Struggle with it while trying not to add bubbles back into the reservoir.  As you are doing this, try to keep cat from swatting joyfully at the dangling tubing and site.

Finally ready to prime?  No, because you didn't rewind your pump yet.  Wait patiently while pump rewinds.  Then, instead of removing needle guard, pull whole needle out from site.  Damn.  Get new site, attach reservoir again and start over, while cat repeatedly walks across your lap.

Thankfully, it's now time to put site in the inserter and finish things up.  Don't forget to be too gentle when pushing the inserter's buttons, so site only goes partially into you.  That's lots of fun.  Try to peel somewhat stuck tape off body and insert again.

At last, success.  New site is in.  Blood sugars are stable.  Cat has had enough fun for one day and goes to take a nap.  Be glad you only have to do this every three days.