Monday, February 29, 2016

Bolus . . . .

I’m really good at multi-tasking.  However, I’m not so good at functioning in a pre-caffeinated state.  Which explains why I ran into a bit of trouble while trying to simultaneously brew the coffee and feed the cat on a recent morning.  I suddenly needed a third hand, but luckily my husband was standing in the kitchen with me.

CoffeeAndCat“Hold this?”  My request was met with a blank stare.


As he reached out to take K.C.’s food dish, he commented “Your words say please but your tone says something else.”

“Because I asked for your help and you just stood there!!  I said 'hold this' and you just gave me a blank stare.”

“Oh.  (pause)  I thought you said 'bolus'.  I was waiting for you to tell me how many units to punch into your pump.”

Oops.  Maybe I’m not the only one who doesn’t do well in a pre-caffeinated state  . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sick Day Plan . . .

Having a Sick Day Plan in place is one of the D-Shoulds for me.  You know, that list of things I’ve been told ALL PEOPLE WITH DIABETES SHOULD but somehow I kind of don’t always.  You know, things like change my lancet before each finger-stick (hahahahaha), never walk around without shoes on (hmmmm), don’t treat off my CGM (right) and always always wear medical I.d.  (even just around the house?).  And always have a Sick Day Plan in place.

Errr, well.  The thing is, I get a lot of colds.  A lot.  If someone even looks at me, I swear their cold germs rush over and take root in my system.  It’s been like this ever since I can remember and I just deal.  But I hardly hardly ever get a stomach virus.  Almost never!!  But yesterday was a different story.

intestinal-party-2400pxWhen Pete’s alarm went off yesterday and I couldn’t drag myself out of bed, I just figured I was tired.  I let myself sleep ( a perk of freelance / unemployment) and at 9 I finally got up and made some coffee.  But when the coffee didn’t stay down, I realized what was gong on.  And I thought about my Sick Day Plan.  Or actually,  my lack of one.

Luckily, I feel like I do know the basics through my interactions with the DOC.  I knew to check for ketones (negative, yay!), keep a  close eye on  my blood sugars (70s - 130, yay!) and stay hydrated.  By mid-morning I was able to keep down crackers and diet soda.  I didn’t bolus for the crackers until I knew they would stay.  And I had glucagon ready just in case things with my blood sugar went south.  All in all, I’d say I did okay.

But still, I think I should probably add a Sick Day Plan to the list of things to talk over at my next endo appointment.  Right?  Do you have a formal Sick Day Plan in place?  And if so, what does it include?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Check, Check, Check . . .

raemi-Check-mark-2400pxI recently interviewed for a job that would involve some travel, and I decided if I was hired I would apply for a Known Travelers Number for TSA Pre-Check.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job but I decided to apply for a KTN anyway.  Even without the job, I'll be flying at least three times this year alone (or six flights / trips through airport security) so it seemed worth it.

I wasn’t really sure what was involved, and as is my nature, I was very nervous.  But it was really easy.  First, I filled out the pre-application on-line and then booked my in-person appointment.  I’m happy to say that the staff at the Application Center could not have been nicer.  We simply went over the information I had submitted and they checked my passport.  Then they took my fingerprints electronically.  We laughed a bit when I admitted that I had expected ink pads and paper,  like in the ‘70s cop dramas.  Maybe I need to remember it’s 2016 and almost everything is done with computers these days.

Anyway, my clean, ink-free fingertips and I were finished in about  10 minutes or so.  Once I paid my $85 fee, I was given a receipt with an id number so I could check on-line and see where my status stood.  I was told I should see my KTN on-line in about a week and receive a confirmation in the mail in about a month.   For me, who is a total goodie two shoes, my KTN  was assigned by the following day!

Life with diabetes is full of hassles.  For me, spending the $85 for 5 years of TSA Pre-Check is well worth the (hopefully) reduction in travel hassles it will bring.  I’m excited to fly without being groped by a stranger first!

Monday, February 8, 2016

My Cure, Your Cure . . . .

If there is one thing I know for sure about diabetes, it’s that it isn’t one size fits all.  Some people do great on pumps, others flourish with MDIs.  Foods that spike me may not necessarily spike you.  I do best on Apridra, one of my friends does best on Humalog and another friend needs to use Novolog.  The list goes on, but it’s best summed up with the words of my wise friend Bennet, “Your Diabetes May Vary”.

Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with excitement over the progress being made toward encapsulating islet cells.  There were a flood of links to this article in particular and to other similar pieces.  Thrilling stuff, for sure, and I’m excited to see progress toward new treatment options.  But one word halts me every time I see the article.  And that word is “cure”.

Encapsulation, for me, is not a cure.  My definition of a cure would be my body producing its own insulin again.  Encapsulated cells in my body producing insulin will hopefully be a fantastic step forward in treatment, but I would still think of myself as a person with diabetes.  It’s my understanding the device would need to be replaced periodically.  Therefore, I’d still need to undergo procedures and that isn't a cure in my mind.  And what if I had an allergy to the device, or for some other reason it needed to be removed?  I’d still have diabetes and I’d be right back where I am today.

Some people with diabetes may consider encapsulation devices to be a cure.  And that is their right.  But I wish the media wouldn’t toss that word around so frequently.  Because just like diabetes, Your Cure May Vary.