Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tingly-Lipped Low

The thing about low blood sugars is that they aren’t all the same.  They can come with a vast variety of symptoms.  There is the fuzzy brain low - when you just can’t focus on anything.  There is the barely feel it low - when you are surprised to see that number on the meter.  There is the sweaty low, the eat everything in sight low, the cranky low, the I’ll just ignore it and it will go away low . . . .  the list goes on and on.

But right now, I’m dealing with my most hated kind of low . . .


The Tingly Lipped Low.  The kind where it feels like your lips are resting on the washing machine during a spin cycle.  That feeling that your lips could vibrate right off your face.  It’s weird and uncomfortable and just plain freaky!!

Yup, out of all the different kinds of lows I have, I think the tingly lipped low is the worst.  How about you?

Monday, February 21, 2011

The End ‘o my Endo??

I returned home from a lovely lunch out on Friday to find my caller id showing a call from my endocrinologist's office.  My appointment isn’t for a few weeks, so I knew it was way to early for them to be calling to confirm.  I figured maybe a conference had come up or something, so they were calling to reschedule.  I was secretly a little bit glad, because I’m always happy to procrastinate an appointment.  But I was not prepared for what I heard on the message:
“Hi, this message is for Karen.  I’m calling to let you know that “Dr. Awesome Endo who I Love” has moved his practice to “a town far far away”.  His new number is “blah blah blah-ty blah”.  If you need a recommendation for a local endocrinologist, we are referring patents to “some local endo in a different practice than theirs-which seems weird to me, right?”.  Thank you.”   (** Italicized portions have obviously been embellished by me)

Oh crap!!!!  My endo is gone!!!  Okay, he’s not really gone-gone, but his new practice is now about 45 minutes away.  To be honest, I can’t say I’m overly shocked that he has moved on.   Dr. Awesome Endo never really seemed to fit in with the doctor who heads up that practice, which I’ve always felt was a good thing. The other endo seems gruff and cold and I glad she isn’t taking on his patients because I wouldn’t have wanted to see her anyway.   But that is beside the point.

The point is, now what do I do????  Do I start over and try to find another local endo who I love?  I mean, I know there must be other great endos in the area.  But seriously?  The thought of starting all over again sucks!!  I have huge amounts of doctor-anxiety, and even with Dr. Awesome Endo I get really really nervous for each appointment.  But honestly, once I’m there I’m so comfortable with him.  And more importantly, I am thrilled with the care I receive from him.  He is supportive.  He is realistic.  He is up on the latest technologies.  He listens to what I want and need and works with me.

So is this worth driving 45 minutes for appointments?  As crazy as it may sound, I’m starting to think it is.  Honestly, my since my blood work and other labs have been constantly coming back great, we’ve been scheduling my appointments about 4 to 6 months apart.  So provided things stay stable, that’s two or three visits a year.  Sure, there is no guarantee that things will stay stable, but I suppose if the time comes when I need appointments every couple of months I could look for someone closer then.  On the other hand, maybe it makes more sense to look for someone in the area now, before it becomes a problem.  And heck, I don’t even know if Dr. Awesome Endo’s new practice takes my insurance??

Endo stress.  It’s not something I’ve thought about in years.  But you can probably tell it’s been running rampant in my head all weekend.  And it sure isn’t fun, is it?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Odd Places . . . .

I’m not surprised by finding blood in odd places.  I know that must sound weird to people who don’t live with diabetes, but to those of us who do it’s pretty inevitable.  All those finger sticks are bound to leave traces behind now and then.  A dab on my white shirt.  A spotlet on the couch cushion.  A tiny drop on the bedspread.

Today as I laced up my shoes for my workout, I noticed something on the floor.  A few tiny drips of blood.  I was a bit confused at first.


But I quickly realized my finger hadn’t stopped bleeding from my pre-exercise check.

Blood on the hardwood floor is a new one for me!!  It may be kind of gross to ask, but I’d love to know what odd places you’ve left droplets in!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine to Diabetes . . . . .

FebBlogCarnivalDear Diabetes,

Today is Valentine's Day and I have to tell you - as a life companion, quite frankly, you suck!!  You are selfish and demanding.  You require almost constant attention and never give me even one day to myself.  You’ve been known to infringe on intimate moments with my husband.  You tag along when I’m out on the town with my friends.  You require me to cart around a ton of extra supplies so I can cater to your every whim.  You make me high, you make me low, you make me high, you make me low . . . . and in case you haven’t noticed?  I’m not a fan of roller-coasters of ANY kind (much less your blood glucose variety).  You make me feel like I have to work twice as hard to just have an average day.  You make me sweat, you make me bleed, and sometimes you even make me cry.  Honestly, if I could, I would break up with you and kick you to the curb in a heartbeat!

While it would be nice to dump you, we both know that isn’t about to happen any time soon.  So Diabetes, I guess it’s time to admit that you have brought some good things along with you too.  You have showed me that I can be strong.  You’ve taught me about staying in it for the long haul - planning and working not just for today but for a healthy future years and years down the road.  I think you have helped me to be a more compassionate person - and to understand that others may hide or joke away their struggles and fears too.

And, Diabetes, in the past few years you have opened up a whole new world to me.  Since engaging in the On-line Health Community, I have found support and friendship and a world I am truly passionate about.  I’ve made “virtual” friends all over the world - who are close to my heart even though we’ve never met face to face.  And beyond that, I’ve made many “real-life” friends, who I’ve been fortunate enough to share a day, a meal or a cupcake with.  You’ve given us a bond that others will never quite understand.

So Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Diabetes.  Sure, you bring challenges every day.  But in the long run, life with diabetes isn’t all bad . . . .

This post is my February entry in the WEGO Health Activist Blog Carnival.  If you’re interested in participating too, you can read all about here

Friday, February 11, 2011

Good things come to those who wait . . .

Remember that old saying?  Good things come to those who wait.  I’m not a very patient person.  I’m quite an instant gratification girl.  But the truth is, in my case good postprandial readings come to those who me when I wait.  After starting on Apidra a few years ago, my endo and I examined my blood sugar readings and were able to determine that I get the best results if I wait a full 20 minutes between bolusing and eating.  (Please note, this is likely not the case for you.  You need to work with your own endo or CDE to find how long you should wait.)

As it turns out, figuring out how long I should wait before eating was the easy part.  Actually putting that plan in motion can be a little trickier.  At times, I’ve been guilty of being lazy and just bolusing right before eating.  I’ve also been known to bolus and then get completely distracted by something else - and the next thing I know 45 minutes have gone by and I haven’t eaten.  I’m not happy with either of these situations, so I set about trying to come up with a way to make things easier.  And I came up with this . . .

A cheap little kitchen timer that I’m not even sure where, when or why I got.  I keep it tucked in our coffee table drawer since I usually sit on the couch to test and bolus.  I set it for 20 minutes and when it beeps I eat.  Quick, easy and no huge after meal spikes!  Who knew my little kitchen timer could be so important to my diabetes care?

Do you have any non-diabetes gadgets that you’ve turned into great diabetes tools?  Please share your tips in the comments!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

These numbers are not the same!!

Last night, as I lugged the laundry basket up the stairs, I knew something was wrong.  I felt that familiar shaky feeling.  So like a good diabetic, I grabbed my meter and tested.


Hmmm, okay, 84.  I figured maybe I was just tired.  It has been a stressful week dealing with the car accident and the insurance company and trying to get a rental car, so I guessed I was just rung out.  I started putting away the laundry, working harder than usual to focus on sock sorting.  Then my CGM began to wail.  So I decided to lest again, just to make sure.

 Ah ha!!  44 seemed more in line with how I was feeling.  But just to be sure, I tested a third time to confirm.

 I know I’m not the first to blog about a meter variance like this.  And unfortunately, I know I won’t be the last.  But it still needs to be said, over and over and over.  Our insulin and food decisions, our very lives, rely on the numbers we see on our blood glucose meters.  What if I hadn’t tested again after seeing that 84?  What if I simply went on the assumption that my shakiness was stress catching up with me?  What if I just went to bed, not knowing that my blood sugar was really in the low 40s?  I don’t want to think about what could have happened.  And honestly, my meter should ensure that I don’t have to . . . .

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday


Something went really wrong with my CGM sensor insertion yesterday.  I’m not sure exactly what made it kink up inside me like that, but I knew something was wrong when I saw the scrunched up filament sticking out at a weird angle. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

On adrenaline and stress . . .

This morning started much like any other Monday.  The alarm clock went off way too early.  I packed a lunch for Pete, threw on some sweats, and headed out to drive him to the train station.  As we neared the end of our street, I heard Pete yell.  Then I heard a crunch.  Then the car began to spin and I realized it was no longer under my control.  Luckily, this all happened in a flash and before I knew it our poor car was wedged into the snow and ice on the side of the road.  We were stuck, but we were both just fine.  Everyone in the other car was fine too.



My blood sugars have been amazingly stable throughout the ordeal.  It’s incredible to test and see nothing lower than 91 and nothing higher than 115, but I’m beginning to understand that adrenaline seems to do wonderful things to my blood sugar management.  I remember being surprised at how stable my sugars were two years ago when we were dealing with Pete being mugged.

I know this is temporary.  Once the adrenaline subsides and the stress takes over,  my blood sugars will skyrocket.  But I can take it.  All that matters is that everyone involved in the accident is fine.  The blood sugars?  They are a small price to pay and I won’t let them rattle me one bit!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I know it’s preposterous but . . .

I’ve been low for about three days.  Drank an ocean of juice low.  Ate ice cream, full-sugar full-fat OMG-can’t-pin-down-a-working-bolus-for-it ice cream, with barely a blip on the blood sugar radar.  I have not increased my activity lately.  I have not made any insulin delivery changes.  There is nothing to account for the lows I’ve been having.

Plotting IsletsIt’s at times like these that crazy thoughts start to enter my mind.  I like to imagine that my islet cells are plotting against me.  I’m sure that after lying dormant for 31 years, they are getting bored.  I imagine them deep in conversation.

Islet #1: “Yawn.  Okay, we need some excitement.  Let’s toss some insulin her way just to screw with her.”

Islet #2: “Brilliant. And just when she reconfigures her carb ratios and turns down her basal, we’ll conk out again and watch her rant and rave about being High.  All.  The.  Time.  Oh this will be so fun!!”

I know this isn’t true.  I know it goes against all reason.  But deep in the night, when it’s very still and quiet, if I listen closely I swear I can hear my islet’s evil laughter.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

DSMA Blog Carnival? Yay!!

A carnival is defined as a traveling amusement show.  And no one knows how to be more amusing than we d-bloggers, right?  If you doubt me, just check out #dprom and Blünt Lancet, or ask about unicorns and glitter.  We are an odd a fun bunch!  That’s why when our DSMA Queen, Cherise, asked my thoughts on adding a blog carnival to #dsma I jumped on board fast!

With the DSMA Blog Carnival, you can travel around the D-OC and be amused by posts on a particular topic.  Each month, one of the questions from a recent #dsma chat will be presented on the DSMA blog  as that month’s blog carnival topic.  Your mission is to share your thoughts on your d-blog, without the 140 character limit of Twitter.  Once the month is over, we’ll have a little blog carnival round-up and highlight some posts that aren’t to be missed.  And then, the new month’s topic will be announced!

Sounds like fun, right?  So what are you waiting for?  Get on over to  the DSMA blog carnival post for all the details and join us!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I don’t care . . .

I don’t care that shoveling snow is great for my blood sugars.

I don’t care that balmy temperatures would make my insulin go bad.

I don’t care that wearing many layers gives me easy options if I chose to conceal my pump.

I don’t care that freezing temps are perfect for snuggling with K.C. and knitting with warm soft wool - which reduces stress and brings on happiness, which in turn makes blood sugars happy.

I don’t care about any of that, because when it looks like this outside . . .
and it’s snowing and sleeting right now . . .  and another storm is predicted on the weekend?  I just don’t care how great winter can be for diabetes management.  Bring on the summer before I lose my freaking mind!