Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sick Day Chips

We’re less than three days into Fall and I’m already nursing my first cold of the season.  (We are less than three days in, right?  Any counting errors are surely the fault of my aches.)  So while my eyes and brain take a little rest, I thought I’d resurrect “Bitter-Sweet Chips” and share some tasty morsels from around the DOC.
  • Do you live in the Tucson area?  If so my friend John, the co-founder of ShugaTrak, may need your help!  ShugaTrak is an app being developed that plugs into a meter and shares blood glucose readings by text or email.  John is looking for some people willing to sign up as test users.  You’d head to the Tucson office of the company that makes the ShugaTrak bluetooth adaptor to test and troubleshoot issues.  You need to be an Android phone users and use one of the following meters:  OneTouch Ultra, OneTouch Ultra2, OneTouch UltraMini, OneTouch UltraLink, FreeStyle Lite, FreeStyle Freedom Lite, Bayer Contour, or Bayer Breeze2.  If you’re interested in helping out, please email John Fitzpatrick at
  • The 2013 World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange is underway!  The WDDPE is a great event in which participants send and receive home-made postcards, and the exchange has been revamped this year to make it even more fun.  Click here to see all the rules and to sign up!
  • A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to meet and chat with RDN / CDE Hope Warshaw at a TCOYD event and I’m happy we PWDs have her in our corner.  So I’m flattered to be included in a wonderful resource she has put together to spread the news about the DOC not only to patients and caregivers, but also to healthcare professionals.  You can read all about it and download the flyer here.
  • Speaking of the DOC and HCP interaction, that’s the topic of this month’s #DSMA Blog Carnival.  Check it out on the DCAF website, where all #DSMA business now resides.  September is flying by, but you still have time to participate!
Phew, okay, I need a cup of tea and a nap.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Confessions of a Data Nerd . . . .

My latest Loop post is up, and this time I’m talking about my nerdiness.  I wish I was an adorable, cool nerd like Sheldon or Leonard or even Amy Farrah Fowler.  Instead I’m just the kind of dork that loves to pour over my CareLink graphs and charts on a weekly basis.  I sometimes plug the data into formulas to try to predict my A1C or to decided just how well (or not) I’m doing.  Crazy, huh?

If my  nerdy confessions haven’t scared you off, click on over to read all about my data addiction on the Medtronic blog.  And please, if I’m not the only one with nerdy diabetes tendencies, I’d love to know!!

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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pinning Diabetes . . . .

For a long time, I resisted joining Pinterest.  I can't keep up with the social media sites I’ve already joined and I’m perpetually behind on blog reading, so creating another social media account didn’t make sense.  But, of course, in the end the curiosity got the best of me and I found myself logging in.

I got sucked in pretty quickly.  I’ve found Pinterest is pretty great for finding recipes and planning out my weekly menu.  (I “like” the recipes I plan to cook that week, and "unlike” them after I’ve made them.)  I turned to Pinterest when I decided I wanted to change my hair, and it was easy to show my hairdresser the cuts I liked.  (Thank you Pinterest iPhone app!)  I have a whole board dedicated to our kitchen renovation.  I’m pinning cleaning tips and fashion stuff and decorating ideas and things I want to bake.  How did I ever manage without Pinterest?

About the only thing I don’t use Pinterest for is diabetes.  So I wonder if I’m missing out?  To those of you who are dedicated Pinners, I’d love to know if you use Pinterest for diabetes stuff.  Are there some great d-related boards I should be following?  Or is Pinterest not really helpful diabetes-wise?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ouch . . . .

After almost three decades of finger-sticks (not counting that big block of time during and after college when I didn’t bother) it’s rare that I feel anything more than a slight discomfort when the lancet plunges into my finger.  Most times I don’t feel anything at all  (thank you, callouses!).

But suddenly . . . . ouch!!  Each and every prick started hurting!!  #soundsdirtybutisn’t  The first time I thought “Well, yeah, sometimes they do just hurt”.  The second time I thought maybe I had hit a nerve.  The third time I thought I should make sure I wasn’t pricking the same exact spot over and over.  The next few times I just ignored it.  I knew I didn’t need to change my lancet, because I change it every morning.  (Weird, I know, whatever.)  Finally I had enough of the pain and looked at my lancing device.


What??  A depth setting of 4.5????  How ever did it get switched to 4.5??


Ahhhhh, that’s more like it.  Back to comfortable finger-sticks.  Well, relatively speaking - because it’s still puncturing my finger and making it bleed.  Thank goodness for those aforementioned callouses!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Guy at the Bar . . . .

GuyAtBarDear Guy at the Bar,

I’m not sure if my friends noticed you eavesdropping on our conversation, but you were in my direct line of view from my seat at the dinner table.  I could tell you were listening in, but we were in a public restaurant so to me it wasn’t a big deal.  We had already chatted about personal stuff like a new boyfriend, visits to college, and plans for a new kitchen.  But as our talk turned to diabetes I did notice you were listening in.  You listened at we talked about glucagon.  You listened to us talk about DKA.  You listened as we discussed new CGMs and exercise.  You listened as we talked about our last support group meeting and you listened as we got down to the business of planning our next one.  I didn’t really  mind - for all I knew, you could have been interested because you had a diabetes connection too.

As we hunkered down over our photocopied pages of topic ideas and discussion suggestions, you finally leaned in to ask us “Are you all teachers?”.  We all kind of snickered - I did so because I certainly don’t feel expertly qualified to teach anything to anybody, I’m just trying to fake make my way through this life as best I can.  After we told you we weren’t teachers you asked “Well, what kind of meeting are you having?”.  My friend to the right said “Ladies, do you mind if I share?’ and none of us did.  Hey, advocate when and where the opportunity arises, right?  Except that’s not exactly how it went down.

When my friend told you we were planning a T1 diabetes support group, you said “Oh, you are all nurses.”  We explained that no, we weren’t nurses, we were people with and parents of children with diabetes.  (In fact, our table of five included four people with diabetes and two parents of kids with diabetes.)  And then it happened.  You launched into a tirade of how the problem with our country is obesity.  I think we were somewhat taken aback and stunned into silence - I know I was.  We tried to explain some facts to you but it was clear you weren’t listening.  When my friend told you that she was exactly where she is supposed to be on the BMI you blatantly ignored her, even though it was you who had brought up BMI in the first place.  You said something about making your living in insurance - trying to keep people from having to pay too much or something like that.  In all honesty, I’m not really sure what you were blathering on about because by then I had pretty much tuned you out.  I think we all had, because it was clear you had no interest in anything we tried to tell you.  So we turned back to our notes and continued our meeting without giving you another glance.

It made me sad to realize something I know to be true, but luckily don’t run into all that often . . . . . .

sometimes people are just jerks.

An offended girl who thinks next time you should mind your own business and leave others alone with theirs.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

An Easy Decision . . . .

TheLoopMy latest post is up over at Medtronic’s blog The Loop.  This time I’m talking about why I decided to add a Continuous Glucose Monitor to my diabetes routine.  It’s funny, because my decision to start pumping was a very slow and gradual one.  But my decision to use a CGM hinged on one moment I always remember, which I’ve shared in my post.

Were your d-tech decisions gradual, like my pump experience?  Or did you make up your mind in an instant, like my CGM decision?  Or like me, have you had a mix of both?

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Little Mysteries . . . .

detectiveFor the past week or so, my blood sugars have been running high.  They weren’t hugely terrible, but mostly between 150 and 200 without a low in sight.  I was also having huge two-up-arrow spikes every time I ate, no matter what I ate and no matter how long I timed my pre-bolus.  I even went so far as to wait for my CGM to throw a “low-predicted” alarm before starting to eat.  It didn’t help one bit.

And then on Sunday, the highs just stopped.  Even during a birthday party I threw for Pete, with lemonade based cocktails and a chocolate peanut butter cake, I hovered in the 50s and needed to have some Starbursts.  It was crazy!

Of course, me being me, I want to know WHY my blood sugars completely misbehaved so I can fix it next time.  After some sleuthing, I’ve got three clues . . .  .
  1. I put my site back in my favorite spot - I get great absorption from (and have plenty of real estate for) “ upper-butt” sites.  But I still worry about building up too much scar tissue there, so I try to rotate around sometimes.  My previous two sites had been in my abdomen and upper arm.  I wouldn’t be surprised if neither of those sites worked all that well.
  2. Fresh insulin - When I changed my site on Sunday, it was time for a brand new bottle of insulin.  In fact, it was also from a new batch.  When I fill my prescriptions I get three bottles of insulin at a time. It could be my imagination, but often it seems that third bottle doesn’t quite work so well.
  3. Girl stuff - I know this is TMI, but my period started on Sunday.  Yeah, happy birthday to my husband.
So those are my clues.  But diabetes makes it hard to be Sherlock Holmes, because I can’t quite solve the mystery.  Was it the site rotation?  The new insulin?  The hormones?  Any combination of the three?  I suppose this will just have to go into the cold case files.