« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

January 31, 2008

Survey Says ... Ocular Migraine.

I am relieved."Okay, so when is the wedding date?"  I couldn't see his face but I knew where he was based on the miner's cap light on his forehead.

"May 18th.  Just a couple weeks away." 

"Mmm hmmm."  He aimed the light at my eyes and spanned it back and forth.  "So you saw some explosions in the left one?"

"Yeah.  Last night.  It lasted for about two minutes ... maybe five at most.  Bottom corner of my left eye."

"Right.  Look up?  Okay, now down. To the left ... bottom left ... okay."  The light was so bright that I couldn't see anything at all.  I felt like a little kid on the playground, staring up at the solar eclipse without my cardboard box.

"Anything?  You see anything in there?"

He kept peering in, shining that light.  "I don't like to have partial diagnosis moments.  I'd rather just make sure everything is fine and tell you that it's fine.  Do you know what I mean?"

"Completely.  But if you were to guess ..."

I could hear him smiling.  "If I were to guess, I'd say wait just a few more minutes."

I waited.  He pressed different tools against my eyes and checked my retina with alternating lenses.

"Kerri, there's absolutely nothing there.  Those hemorrhages from last time aren't even there anymore.  Nothing is wrong with your eyes, I'm happy to say.  That's good news, right?  I'm thinking, based on your description of the event, that you had an ocular migraine, which is like a migraine only without the headache.  Sometimes people see stars or flashes, and it usually lasts for a few minutes.  Are you stressed out?"

"I've been very busy lately at work.  And the wedding stuff is all over the place, too.  So yeah, I'm pretty stressed, I think."

"I think you'll be okay.  There's nothing diabetes-related going on in your eyes, so I'm not concerned in that respect.  I'd like to see you relax a little bit, and maybe take a weekend to yourself and not be so busy."

He clicked off the light and clicked on the lamp near his desk. 

"If you have another episode like this again, please call me.  I'm glad you were proactive on this.  I don't worry much about you because I know you'll let me know if anything seems out of place."

I am so relieved. 

I Don't Want To Talk About It.

For the past three days, I have had a flickery little floater spot in my right eye.  It dances out of the way when I try to focus on it directly, but I know it's there.

Yesterday, as I was walking into the gym, I saw these beautiful and terrifying explosions in my left eye, bursting just out of my line of focus and causing my heart to sink into my stomach.  They passed after a few seconds, but I thought about them before I went to bed last night, and remembered them against first thing this morning.

This morning, when I called my retiniologist and described my symptoms and my voice broke just a small bit, they cleared an appointment for me today at three-thirty. 

It could be nothing.  I could be over-reacting.  It could just be eye strain or exhaustion or any number of stressors. It could be one of those things that causes people without diabetes to rub their eyes, shake their head, and think, "Wow, that was weird."

But I know there's already something that's been noticed.  And for me, with more than twenty years of type 1 in my past, it's something I can't ignore. 

I don't want to talk about it.

January 30, 2008

D Meets Facebook?

I received an email from Jens Christianson this morning about his new social networking DiabetesFriends.net space for diabetics called DiabetesFriends.net.  I joined up this morning and the whole space has a pretty cool look - very "Facebook" in presentation with the blue and white theme going on and similar Wall and Groups features.

Jens says, "I was diagnosed a T2 diabetic in 2007. It was quite a surprise and very frustrating, as I knew extremely little about diabetes. I had many unanswered questions and used the internet a lot to find more information about diabetes."

There aren't too many members at the moment, but it looks like it has the potential to become a fast-growing networking space.  Another feather in the Health 2.0 cap or a real trailblazing network?  We'll be the judges on that. 

January 29, 2008

We Can Work It Out.

I have been busting my arse at the gym for the past few weeks, pushing myself harder than I ever thought I wanted to go.  Long workouts comprised of resistance training and cardio circuits.  I'm forcing my body to lift things it doesn't want to lift and go distances that are too damn far, and I'm finally hitting my stride.

I'm not gasping for air while I'm running anymore.  I'm also not watching the clock and praying that it ticks faster so I can decrease the speed after my ten minute intervals.   And thankfully, I've stopped worrying that I'm going to fly off the back of the treadmill and embed myself into the wall.

I've also noticed an increase in my strength, and not in that weight-lifting way, but in the real-life way.  I can bring in more grocery bags without having my biceps burn.  I can stand on my tiptoes steady enough to grab a teacup off the highest kitchen shelf. 

It sounds silly, these little achievements, but they mean so much to me.  It took a few months to not view my visits to the gym as "Arghh ... arduous crap!" and it's taken me many, many more months to see results from these work-week workouts.  None of this workout stuff has been easy.  Making the pursuit of fitness part of my intrinsic routine instead of some torturous event has been a tough road, but it's completely worth it.

Because yesterday, I had this (fictional) message on my voicemail:


"Ker.  Dude.  Larry here.  I haven't heard from you in aLarry, line two. while and I know your wedding is coming up.  Wanted to make sure you were doing okay with your workouts and you're ready for all that white-dress girly crap.  You know how I feel about giving 100% all of the time, things will work out in the end.  And in this case, you'll be healthy and happy and ready to become Mrs. Sparkling or Spaulding or whatever his last name is.  Keep at it, girl.  I'm here for you, just like Mr. Holland was for me. Man, this message is long!  I'm going to delete it now.  Going to re-record it ... now."

Thanks, Larry.  I'm glad you're (fictiously) with me on this.

January 28, 2008

Making Decisions.

Your feedback has been tremendously helpful on this CGM front.  Thank you SO MUCH for your help.  I've had a lot of moments lately when I'm not sure what to do next, because things are spinning so quickly.  Must write that article, must finish that edit, must call that vendor, must try the newest and latest diabetes technologies, must, must, must.  Oooh, and don't forget to sleep.

There's an art to time management, one that I haven't even begun to figure out yet.   I envied people who are able to take on several tasks and get them all done without compromising their sanity.  In my own busy brain, I figured that I just wasn't trying hard enough.  I needed to try harder, and then the work tasks would be done, the body would be well-managed, and diabetes wouldn't be sending up distress flares.

But I am trying hard.  I need to learn to be more forgiving of my own short-comings.  I need to live at peace with this disease.  While it wants attention at every moment of every day, and has demanding that attention for the last twenty-one years of my life, I can't always give it what it wants.  I have a LIFE going on here, one that isn't even close to dictated by diabetes.  

"Wait, wait.  What about your job?  Your job is about diabetes!"

But it isn't.  While I'm writing and editing articles about diabetes, my job isn't about focusing on my own diabetes.   It's about raising awareness of diabetes as a whole, providing information to the public about the disease, and enjoying the inspirational vision of this company.  Diabetes-related or not, this job comes with awesome co-workers, stressful deadlines, and a full range of chaotic fun. I enjoy my job.

"Okay, then the blog.  Your diabetes blog?  Doesn't that become suffocating?"

Yes and no, to be honest.  I like blogging, and doing it for almost three years now has been awesome.  But this blog isn't about diabetes so much as my life with diabetes.  LIFE.  I know I'm in a tough place, diabetes-wise, when I see that my blog posts are focused solely on diabetes-related matters and I'm all questions and stress.  I know I'm light-hearted and silly when the stupid cat makes an appearance.  This blog, though it deals with diabetes issues, is free therapy.  It makes me feel better to write it.  And I like going back to read how I've healed.

"... so your life isn't about diabetes?"

No, it isn't.  It's about ... me.  Diabetes is just a bit player on a big stage.  And for the next few weeks, I have a wedding I want to focus on.  My mom called me about my wedding shower today and I'm completely excited and nervous and thrillled.   I have my awesome friends who are just a state away and I can't wait to see them this weekend.  I have work to do here at dLife, working on content for the new shows and having some silly moments with co-workers.  I'll always have this disease to manage, but sometimes it's easier to manage from a distance, rather than with my nose pressed against the glass. 

I'm going to take a few more days off from the CGM.  I'll call Mr. Minimed in the next day or two and tell him my plan.  And I'll wait until I'm feeling less rumpled and more at ease with other aspects of my life before throwing in the frustration of a new, albeit potentially beneficial, device. Giant, Happy Chili Pepper.  Duh.

I'm making the decision to relax, have some laughs, and loosen up a bit.  It'll all get done ... no need for the furrowed brow.  I'm not myself when I'm being so damn serious.  It's against my nature.

(Notices the huge chili pepper posterboard cut-out taped to my office wall.) 

Totally against my nature.   

January 25, 2008

On The Cusp.

I have a confession to make:  I have been having a hard time making peace with the CGM.  

There's been a lot going on in my little corner of the internet.  I've been very busy with dLife items, personal freelance work, and some exciting side-projects.  But aside from the worky bits, there are the general "life bits" that everyone contends with, from housework to financial obligations to being an equal and active member of my new little family (even if the family is only a fiance and a handful of grumpy cats at the moment).  Now add some diabetes management to the mix, with a dash of wedding planning. 

These days,  my life requires a lot of work, and there are moments when To Do lists become encyclopedic in volume.

At the risk of sounding a little overwhelmed (is it possible to be just plain "whelmed?"), I need to step back from some of these spinning plates and see if I can regain better balance.  Unfortunately, the CGM is not playing according to my master plan. 

On Tuesday morning, I put in a new sensor early in the morning, before I had to catch the 6:44 am train to the city.  Since I didn't want to wake Chris up and ask for his groggy assistance, I opted to place the sensor on my left thigh.  Standing in the bathroom, I leaned against the counter and pinged the sensor needle into my leg.  I pulled back the needle and gave the site a little press to secure the sticky tape underneath. Looked up at the counter quickly to gather up the medical waste, then looked at my leg.

Which appeared to have been shot.  With a rifle.  

There was a ton of blood streaming from the site, running down my leg.  I had to grab a quick wad of toilet paper and mop it up.  Knowing the train was coming in twenty minutes and I was still standing in my bathroom, I had to slap on several bandaids, hoping I wouldn't end up with a stain of sensor blood on the leg of my pants.  No time to become upset.  Must work through the frustration.

Bloody CGM sensor.

Grabbed my stuff and ran for the door, scurried downstairs and bolted to my car.  I drove to the train station and ditched my car in a no-parking zone, seeing the lights of my train in the distance.  Running like a madwoman, I dashed for the train, the site aching with every sure-footed step.  My tickets were printing as the train was pulling up to the platform and I raced into the nearest compartment. 

After finding my co-workers on the train and connecting the transmitter to my sensor site, I hoped that the day would settle down and I'd enjoy the seminar in NYC in freaking peace.  

No luck.  

The CGM pinged all day long.   "Bad sensor."  "Cal error."  "Enter BG Now."  I calibrated the damn thing four different times, had to restart the sensor once, and even after it settled down and started throwing results, the numbers were in a completely different path than my meter numbers.  Meter said 130 mg/dl, sensor claimed 246 mg/dl, throwing high glucose alarms and generally wagging it's finger at me.

Yes, I was calibrating while my numbers were steady.  I was avoiding eating so that I could hit some semblance of stride and ensure that the sensor was getting solid results.  It just wasn't working fast enough.  I understand that this technology takes time to become acclimated to and that the first day of a sensor is the most trying, but the ache in my thigh, the blood dried on my leg, and the frustration of dealing with a crying sensor instead of focusing on the seminar put me over the damn edge.

I ripped out the sensor on Tuesday night, upset and frustrated, burnt out and discouraged.  I haven't put another one back in yet. 

I pay my diabetes plenty of mind on a daily basis.  I test very, very regularly, I eat well, and I wear an insulin pump in efforts to deliver my insulin doses with precision.   I exercise more than most non-diabetics I know.  I feel like I give this disease - this body, this life - my all. 

I'm not sure I can give it more than I feel it deserves.  I'm struggling with this issue today, unsure of how to proceed.  I know that real-time results can show patterns in management and can also help protect me from the ebb and flow of highs and lows.  But when the numbers aren't correct, the alarms are beeping, and I'm spending more time dancing with a device instead of enjoying the day, I start to question the quality of life associated with some of this technology.  

I know many of you have worn  CGM devices.  How do you feel about them?  From your experience, is there a "best time" to start on one?  (As in:  Am I over-extending myself by trying this during a very stressful and chaotic time in my life?)  For someone who has worn a CGM long-term, how long did it take for the sensor to become part of your routine?  Are the results worth the hassle

I'm at a diabetes crossroad, frustrated and not sure what to do.  Any advice you guys have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

SUM Tags: , , , , ,

January 23, 2008

Siah Gets Mail.

It's been wild at work this week already, from seminars in NYC to the new dLifeTV season to the Great Chili Cook-Off (more on that later).  I've been a bit short on time lately, but I have plenty of posts in my mental queue that I just need time to write up.

While I was going through my mail today, I noticed that I received a direct mail campaign from dLife.  It wasn't until several hours later that I noticed who the envelope was actually addressed to:

Siah gets mail.  Of course she does.

I know it's been a crazy day when the cat getting mail seems somewhat normal. 

SUM Tags: , , ,

January 22, 2008

An Open Letter to The Edges.

Dear Edges,An Open Letter to the Edges.

You've been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  When I was a baby, I used to lean on you in my crib.  Then there was that day when I was two years old and broke my nose against you on the fireplace.  My mother used to keep my baby bottles on you in the kitchen.

Oh Edges, you've been around forever!  From resting my elbows against you on the table in anatomy class senior year to the you above my bed where I had a library of books, you have always been there.  And we've lived in relative harmony, until the last few years.

Edges, I know you know what I'm talking about.  Listen, I understand that I've added these shifting bits of technology to my body - a pump infusion set on the outside of my thigh or on my abdomen, or the CGM transmitter on the back of my arm or on my hip.  I realize this adds an additional inch, maybe three inches at best, to my overall surface area.  But must you grab at these bits so much?

Was it really necessary for you to snag my pump site over the weekend?  I was undressing for my wedding gown fitting and the edges of my pants caught a small bit on the infusion set.  Granted, I moved slowly enough to thwart a complete site removal, but still. 

And did you really have to reach out for me when I was picking through my jewelry box this morning in search of the stupid matching earring?  I leaned against the edge of my dresser and didn't realize I was pressing up against the infusion set until I stood up straight and felt that ping of pain when the feeling came back to my thigh. 

But the last straw was this afternoon at work.  You know exactly what I mean, when I was talking with H about something and then I turned around quickly.  It was like you came darting out at me, snagging my shoulder on you and pulling the CGM transmitter almost cleanly from my arm, but not cleanly enough that I was sure it came out.  Just enough so that it stung in that oddly warm and slightly painful way, enough to make me wince but not enough to make me grimace.  I had to go into the bathroom at work, push up my sleeve almost to my shoulder, and see the sensor needle dangling from the back of my arm like a tooth that just needed a quick tug to come free.

Edges, I had just put that sensor in this morning and it was calibrated perfectly.  The results were working and I was watching my afternoon trend happily away.  But you had to reach out and say hello, didn't you?  Couldn't just sit back and let me sport this sensor for at least 24 hours before you grabbed it and yanked it out?

I am putting another one in today.  I am going to use my leg, I will tape it down to eliminate any variables, and I expect you to keep your grabby little edgy hands off of it for at least three days.  Three days, damnit. 

If I have to walk around with a giant nail file and round you all out, I will.



SUM Tags: , , , ,

January 21, 2008

Every Bit the Bride.

Not my wedding gown, but sort of close.The dress gathered in beaded ivory folds at my feet.  I stood on the fitting pedestal while the seamstress sat, pinning up the edge of the dress and adjusting the seam of the beading so she would be able to hem my wedding gown

"Hemming this gown is tricky because of all these pretty edges," she said through clenched teeth, her hands busy folding and pinning with precision.

"It's going to be beautiful."  I looked in the mirror and felt every bit a bride, despite my smudged make-up and my rumpled hair.

"It already is beautiful.  That dress fits you perfectly, Kerri."  My mother grinned as she watched from her chair. 

"It's going to fit perfectly after I take it up a few inches, my friend."  The seamstress laughed a bit and stood up, admiring her pinning job.  "This will work fine.  Just a lot of work to move those beads!  Okay, now tell me about the pocket."

"It's for that insulin pump.  It will need to be off the seam and big enough to fit this,"  I reached down and lifted the edge of the dress so she could see the insulin pump, hiding out in my trouser sock.

"That?  Okay.  Do you need to keep that on or can you take it off?"

"It's for diabetes.  For her insulin?  It stays on all the time."  My mom asserted from her seat, shifting around a bit.

"Yes.  It can't come off.  And the pocket needs to have a hole in it for this tubing, so it can be fitted through all the layers and reach my thigh.

"Show me this tubing."  The seamstress put her hands on her waist and furrowed her brow.

I lifted the dress and removed the pump from my sock, following the tubing up to the infusion set on my outer right thigh.  "Here.  This is the pump itself, and this plastic tubing needs to be fed through the layers of the dress so that it can reach this, "  I tapped the plastic cap of the infusion site with my finger.  "It delivers my medicine this way and needs to be connected, but hidden at the same time."

"Okay."  She reached into her sewing kit and removed a seam opener.  "So we'll just open this here and," She opened up the seam of my wedding dress and placed pins on either side, pushing the pump through the hole.  "We'll sew in the little pocket.  Maybe add some edging to it so you don't notice it.  A bit of velcro to keep it closed.  Very small.  Very pretty."

I watched her in the mirror as she took her seam opener through the different layers of my dress - from the gown itself to the petticoat layers underneath and then to the slip.  I knew once she was done with the alterations that the dress would fit me perfectly, and would have the perfect hidden pocket for my insulin pump.  A little makeup would cover up the small red marks on my arm from the CGM transmitter.  I raised my chin proudly.  I have had type 1 diabetes for over 21 years, and I have found good health and strong love and support in those decades. 

I caught a glimpse of my mother in the mirror's reflection.  Her eyes were a little red and her smile was a little softer as she watched her oldest daughter fitted for her wedding gown, the seamstress holding my insulin pump in her hand.

SUM Tags: , , ,

January 18, 2008

The Wedding Weekend Six.

It's going to be a weekend filled with wedding stuff, and just in time because our wedding is exactly four months from today!  (Holy crap.) Welcome to the Wedding Weekend Six. 

Weekend Wedding Six.First, my mother and I are going to sit with the florist and work out what we want for the wedding and the reception.   I've been reading up on tips from my pile of wedding magazines and the biggest tip for flowers seems to be "pick ones that don't stink - literally."  I have very little knowledge about flowers and which ones smell the nicest, last the longest, and are the loveliest.  Any advice from the wedded blogosphere on this one?  What did you guys have?

Weekend Wedding Six.Then, we're going for my first dress fitting - YAY!  I will be meeting with the seamstress so she can hem my gown (I am not as tall as I'd like to be) and we can figure out where the pump will live during my wedding.  It's a bittersweet feeling.  If you asked me about my wedding when I was a kid, I would have assumed a cure would have happened.  Now, I'm wondering if my "something new" will be the transmitter placement.

Weekend Wedding Six.We're also attending a wedding cake tasting on Sunday morning, thanks to my mother and her baker-wrangling skills.  My mother told the woman who is making the cake that I am diabetic - "Does she want a sugar-free cake?"  Hmmm ... even though I appreciate the gesture, it's my wedding day, damnit.  I plan on having my cake and eating it, too - sugar and all.  Crank up the bolus, baby.

Weekend Wedding Six.In other news, I heard from my friends David and Elizabeth that they have launched a new health site called DailyHealth.  According to their welcome page, "We are a thriving community of people seeking long and healthy lives. Our goal is to be the friendliest and most helpful place to find advice and support. An amazing group of volunteers helps ensure that we never waver from this goal."  Stop by DailyHealth and give them a warm welcome to the medical community!  

Weekend Wedding Six.The CGM and I have been disconnected for the last few hours, as I mistakenly pulled the sensor from my arm while taking my sweatshirt off at the gym.  Getting used to this new gadget includes a definite learning curve, and I'm taking it slowly to ensure that I give this a fair trial.  My MiniMed dude sent me the linking cable so I can load my data up from the pump to Medtronic's CareLink software, so that's my mission for next week.  I may leave it off for the weekend, though, so I can not deal with anymore hardware than necessary during my dress fitting.

Weekend Wedding Six.And in techno-geek news, I am now working on my first iMac at dLife.  Until today, I've been one of the only staff members tooling around on a PC.  But now - YAY - I am learning the ropes on thisThe Friday Six:  January 18th Edition new iMac.  It's very jazzy and is wicked fun (even though I have no idea where I stashed my old files ... ooops).  If I like it for work, it may be time to upgrade at home, too.  Hmmmm ... honeymoon or iMac?  

That's it for today.  I'm off to finish up some work, head out to the gym, and then go see Cloverfield with my fiance.   We've been excited for this movie for months - I hope it's worth all the hype.

Have a great weekend, FR's!  And if you haven't already, please cast your vote for SUM in the MedGadget Best Patient Blogger awards - I appreciate how many of you have already voted.  Thank you for your support on this, as I'm proud to even be in the running.  :) 

SUM Tags: , , ,

January 17, 2008

SEO, Revisited.

Another crack at SEO.Back in November, during the trials and tribulations of NaBloPoMo, I posted about the popular search terms that lead new readers my way.  There's always the "diabetes" and "diabetic blog" ones, but some of the more random ones make me laugh so hard I almost fall off my chair.  Here's another peek into the search engine terms that are leading people to SUM. 

  • "uses for bacon bits"
  • "taking garlic with xanax"
  • "my wedding is coming - i'm freaking the f*&k out!"
  • "diabetics who are badass"  (Why, thank you, I think!)
  • "medtronic insulin pump when working out"
  • "who you calling diabetic" (Willis?)
  • "no one understands why I like sausage"  (Damn, Siah has finally been optomized.)
  • "dLife and the magic beans"

And today's best search term:  "Sex until me mom comes home."


SUM Tags: , ,

January 16, 2008

Owning It.

Diabetes is more than than results on my meter,
Or keeping my blood from becoming much sweeter.
It's more than the insulin, more than the food,
So much of my management stems from my mood.

I'm usually chipper, I'm real quick to smile,
But sometimes, when my sugars are running all wild,
I find myself feeling like Ms. Crumbs Morrone,
And I just want to leave this disease all alone.

Mananging numbers that just won't behave!
Feeling I'm spending far more than I've saved.
The more that I focused, the worse it became
Until I realized it is me that's to blame.

Overthinking this stuff makes my head implode
My emotions go into toxic overload.
So while I'm maintaining a top-notch Kerri,
I need to remember my health, mentally.

So this morning, I woke with a cat on my head,
I kissed my fiance and rose from the bed.
I took a long shower, wiped steam from the mirror,
And suddenly everything seemed a bit clearer.Phew - thought I lost these.

It is a disease, just a small part of me.
I'm  more than my numbers and my A1c.
I don't need to give up my life for these reins.
It doesn't define, it just helps explain.

I shook off the mood that has eaten my week,
I left behind panic and embraced the "tweak."
I'll handle these numbers with grace and with rhyme,
And make myself healthy, one day at a time.

SUM Tags: , , ,

January 15, 2008

CGM Sensibilities.

An Exercise in Jotted Thoughts, by Kerri Morrone:


I am on day five of the sensor (placed it last Friday into my arm) and it seems that the longer I MiniLink transmitter - photo from Google.wear this, the more accurate the results become.  Last night, I tested with my OneTouch and saw 132 mg/dl.  My CGM said 130 mg/dl.  I'll take that.  I just want accurate results.

The thing is, this sensor stung a bit going in.  The site itself is slightly reddish and a little sore to the touch.  I know I should change the site today, but I'm reluctant to because I don't want to wait the 24 hours for decent results again.  I spoke with another Minimed Rep last night and she told me that the first 24 hours tend to be a little dodgy for everyone.  It's a difficult decision, making the leap from "trialing" to "purchasing."  Every time it buzzes when I'm high or low, it's hard to think about taking it off.  But every time it buzzes because it's bored or lonely (or whatever the hell it's buzzing about), it's hard to think about not feeding it to the cats. 

I'm still on the fence as to its place in my diabetes life.  But for now, I'm trying to learn from this experience.

I was working out last night at the gym and during my run, watched my numbers hold steady for about 15 minutes, then make a sharp turn towards hypoglycemia.  Testing to confirm and then taking a quick swig of juice, I finished my cardio workout at 108 mg/dl.  Watching workout trends helps me better determine when I should hit the ol' juice bottle and when I need to watch out for falling sugars. 

Also during my workout, while wearing a sports bra and a tank top on the treadmill, I noticed a woman staring at the exposed sensor on my arm.  It made me feel self-conscious for a minute, then oddly empowered.  Go ahead and stare, lady.  See if you can find it next week, when I put the transmitter somewhere else. 

One thing I'm definitely picking up on, like I did with the Dexcom, is that my numbers cruise around when I'm not counting carbs with precision.  I know this sounds like diabetic common sense, but when I bit into that sharon fruit this morning, I didn't bolus for the actual carbs, but I dosed instead for the estimated carbohydrate content.  Apparently, this sharon fruit had more than 18g of carbohydrate in it - more like 22g - and my numbers after consuming were in the 190 mg/dl range.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  If I want a tight A1c, I need to buckle down and pay attention to all the details, both delicious and detrimental.

It's been a week of serious diabetes stuff, with tangled emotions and blood sugars alike. 

Good thing I had a little Siah Sausage to wake up to this morning, her small nose pressed against my cheek and her paws on my face, the sound of her purring like a jet engine in my bedroom.  It felt strange to wake up laughing.  Damn cat.

SUM Tags: , , , , , , ,

January 14, 2008

Sleep Deprivation.

When I was in college, I carried a full load of credits every semester and also worked a full-time job as a waitress.  My life was a swirl of 6 am breakfast shifts, afternoon classes, and closing the restaurant at night, not to mention the ridiculous parties we threw on the weekends. 

Needless to say, my hours spent sleeping were limited.  But for some reason, I functioned without too much issue.  (I should also add that during these ridiculously scheduled days, my A1c was dancing around the edges of double digits and my parents were in the middle of a very tumultuous divorce, so my physical and emotional heath were not at their respective bests.)

I'm several years past college at this point, yet still keeping the same kind of schedule.  I'm up early for work, spending nine hours at my job, hitting the gym on weeknights, and staying up late to work/watch movies/hang out with Chris/dine out/whatever.  Most often, my head connects with my pillow past midnight and the alarms start clanging around 7:15 in the morning.  The biggest difference this round is that I'm a. not drinking nearly as much and b. my A1c is tighter.

The sleep debt is starting to affect my credit.  ;)

I've had some trouble sleeping for the past week, thanks to alarming CGMs, pathetically meowing little gray cats, the power of a late night cup of coffee, and the thoughts being tumble-dried in my brain at all times.  Last night, I worked on some freelance projects until almost midnight, then spent three hours dealing with a lingering low blood sugar that refused to budge (and the CGM refused to stop bleating at me).  Was it the intensity of my run yesterday afternoon?  Is it the fact that I was back on the hormones in my birth control pill?  Is the the fact that I have a wedding gown fitting this weekend and can't stop thinking about it?  Was it the project I was immersed in last night, my brain excitedly churning out new ideas? 

Whatever the reason for my insomnia, it's taking a toll on my diabetes.  Even though it seems to be "all the rage" to be a twenty-something who crams everything she can into a 24 hour day, I don't know if this pace is something I can keep up.  Taking a spin through the 24 memory on my MiniLink, I see that I'm normal-to-low all night long, then taking a sharp spin into the oblivion of the 200 mg/dl range around 10 am and hovering there for about two hours.  Hmmmm.  I'm not going to react to this until I see it a few more times, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on. 

Sleepless nights cause distracted days for me.  I'm getting my work done and burning through my to-do list, but I'm not feeling very creative.  I'm also having a harder time reacting to my numbers.  MiniLink beeps that I'm over 160 mg/dl and I clear the alarm but don't check the insulin-on-board and lace in a correction dose, if necessary.  I'm just plodding along, drenched with apathy and craving a nap.  It's like diabetes is just a blip on my sleepy radar. 

Tonight, I will go to bed early, task-list be damned.  And I'll be bright-eyed and inspired for tomorrow, ready to deal with all the curve balls that life, including diabetes, can toss my way. 

Do sleepless nights affect your diabetes care?  How do you deal?


SUM Sleepy Sheep.

SUM Tags: , , , ,

January 11, 2008

What's Best.

Last night, Chris and I wrapped up on the couch and watched Signs.  As we watched the movie, I felt Chris absently start rubbing my shoulder.  His hand started at the top of my shoulder and went down towards my elbow.  I felt his fingers skip up against the CGM transmitter.  It made my eyes fill up, and I’m not exactly sure why.

I have been receiving some good data from the MiniLink so far.  It has confirmed that my overnight basals are pretty much spot-on, with a small bit of tweaking to be done for the weekends, when I sleep past 7:15 am.  It has shown me that my run at the gym makes my blood sugar plummet after about 15 minutes.  I like being alerted when my blood sugar is over 180 mg/dl because I want to spend as much time away from that high end as possible.  I feel somehow safer wearing this device; a watchdog while I am otherwise indisposed.

All of this information can help me better manage my diabetes.  Tight control can help me reach my goals of good overall health.  I’m being proactive.  I am testing and bolusing and making use of the latest diabetes technology in efforts to live a long and healthy life

That is what’s best.

It’s just hard to be so focused at all times.  I've been emotional lately.  I lost my edge.

Today, the alarm sounded on the CGM all morning long.  “Bad sensor.”  “Cal error.”  “Bad sensor.”  “BG Now.”  This rotation went on for three hours.  I had resolved to leave the sensor in and go home at lunch to change it out, but after a series of seven errors in a row, I stormed into the bathroom at work and ripped out the sensor early.

I went home at lunch and inserted another sensor into my arm, with Chris’s help.  It was the first sensor we had done on our own, so I had some trouble figuring out how to pull the needle out.  I tried.  Chris tried.  Unfortunately, we were tugging at the wrong angle and my arm became a bit mangled in the process.  The long needle remained stuck in my arm as I tried to wiggle it back, with Chris holding onto the side of the sensors.  Feeling under the weather both physically and emotionally, with the bruise already visible on my arm and a sharp pain edging down towards my elbow, I burst into tears. 

“I can’t get this out.  It hurts a lot right now.”  Tears, without asking my permission, fell into my mouth.  “I can’t do this.”

“We’ll figure this out.  It’s okay.”  Chris grabbed the CGM manual and started flipping through the pages, looking as quickly as he could for the page about removing the needle.  Frustration mounted, along with the soreness from the lodged needle, and I pulled the set from my skin.  Blood poured from the site.  Tears streamed from my eyes.  I felt defeated and frustrated and foolish.

It took several minutes to calm down.  It wasn’t about the sensor mishap.  It wasn’t about the infusion set two nights ago that stung all the way down to my toes.  It wasn’t about the low that had me sweating as I slumbered last week.  It wasn’t about the counted carbohydrates or the glucose tabs in my car or the press releases that I read every day, outlining diabetic complications.  It was simply an overwhelming sense of everything.

What’s best for me?  Is it all this concentration on diabetes?  Is it taking advantage of the technology that this decade, this job, and this blog have given me access to?  My physical health is of the utmost importance, but I value my emotional health just as much - maybe more - than I value my A1c.  Lately, my emotions have been capped up to keep me focused on my numbers.  Today, the bottle uncorked and they flooded me, leaving me bleeding and vulnerable and crying.

I dried my tears.  Chris gave me a hug.  I asked him what I should do.

“Do what you think is best.  I support whatever you decide, baby.”

Sometimes it just takes a good cry and knowing that you’re loved to make it easier to realign your heart and your head with "what’s best."

He helped me insert another sensor into my arm.  We were calm and focused.  It didn’t hurt at all.  It only bled a little, and he grabbed a tissue and blotted the blood with careful hands. 

“See?  Much better that time.”

“I was afraid if I didn’t do it again, right away, I would have given up for a while.”

He nodded.  I rubbed the sensor on my arm, telling myself that it was worth trying, that my moodiness would pass.  The pump was hard to adjust to at first, too.  Everything has an adjustment period, even what’s best.

I opened my mouth to tell him I loved him, but the sounds of the cats fighting over a cardboard box in the living room distracted us both.  Siah was leaping in and out of the box like a little gray gazelle.  It made us laugh.  And the laughter felt right.  I felt lighter.

Siah Sausage looks like she doesn't have a thought in her damn head.

Laughter, for me, is what's best.  It helps make sense of the rest of it.

SUM Tags: , , , , ,

January 10, 2008

SUM Questions Answered.

I've received a few questions about the Minimed CGM in the comments and I wanted to address them here, because when I started to answer in the comments section, I was waaaaaaay too wordy.  Here's the MiniLink FAQ, answered with my limited three day knowledge base.

Did your insurance cover your CGM?I love Legend of Zelda.

I had the good luck of finding a Minimed Representative who would let me trial the CGM for a few weeks in order to make a decision about making the MiniLink a permanent part of my diabetes management plan.  So this CGM is cost-free at the moment, or at least until I give it back and buy my own.  ;)

However, I have spoken to my insurance company, my various medical representatives, and other diabetics about getting insurance to cover a CGM.  The feedback varies, but the common theme seemed to be "need-based coverage."  At this point in my life, I have an A1C under 7% (believe me, this was a battle), I have not visited the emergency room as a result of diabetes issues, and I have not called the paramedics due to hypoglycemic unawareness.  From what I'm told, insurance companies look at me and think that I did fine without a CGM before, so there's no need for me to have one now.

Per usual, I don't agree with the sentiments of the insurance companies.  With my wedding in less than 5 months and motherhood on my radar, I want my diabetes to be as tightly controlled as possible.  Wearing a CGM to ward off excessive highs and to protect me from debilitating lows sounds to me like a terrific way to prepare my body for babies.  That's not reason enough to be approved for coverage?  I don't like being told that the only way I'll get a CGM approved is if I'm visting the emergency room.  Shouldn't the point of having access to this technology be aimed at preventing those moments, not reacting to them?

More on insurance coverage in the coming weeks, as I decide what role a CGM will play going forward.  But believe me, I will not go quietly into that insurance mess. 

What I want to know is how you got the sensor in your arm.

Ah, tricky one, this.  Thanks to my friendly neighborhood Minimed rep and my inability to be completely shy, my rep helped me place that sensor on my arm.  Otherwise, I'm not sure how I would have held the sensor in place while withdrawing the needle.  Even now, as I change the bandaids that hold the transmitter in place, I need to enlist Chris's help.  I don't think I could have placed it effectively without help. 

Does it feel weird to have it in your arm, though?

Not really.  Since I don't like employing my abdomen as a holding place for diabetes devices, I was happy to use my arm for this first sensor.  I have to be careful when I take my clothes on and off (like last night, when I almost ripped the transmitter from my arm with my bra strap), but I encountered that with my thigh sites when I first started using those for pump sites.  My brain just needs to adjust.

I did have a little trouble at the gym two nights ago, during my run.  Thanks to the bandaid becoming a bit unsticky and the fact that I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, the transmitter became a little loose and started shaking about.  I had to cut my cardio short to keep the sensor from flying out, but my next plan is to wrap a light ACE bandage around my bicep to hold the MiniLink in place.

I wanted the CGM to be unobtrusive and discreet for this debut.  The arm placement helped me achieve that comfort level.  Now I feel less daunted by the technology and more apt to try different placement sites. 

I'm happy to share my experiences with this device, and to answer questions as honestly as I can.  Thanks for your questions, and let me know if there is anything you're curious about, or what your experiences have been like.  I'm so new to this device that I appreciate all the feedback on it, good or bad, that I can find.

SUM Tags: , , , , ,

January 09, 2008

Thank You!

Thanks!  :)I was happy to find out today that Six Until Me has been chosen as a finalist for "Best Patient Blog" in the Medgadget 2007 Medical Weblog Awards.  I'm very honored!  Enormous thanks to those who nominated me. 

The polls are open, so if you'd like to cast your vote, please visit Medgadget and vote for SUM.  :)

SUM Tags: , ,

The Best Laid Plans of CGM.

Meep meep, says the Roadrunner Sensor.11:30 pm. 

Meep meep meep.

"What?"  This thing sounds like a little RoadRunner attached to my hip.

More mournful this time.

Meep meep MEEP.

"What is it?"  Exhausted from the night before, nursing the beginning of a nasty head cold, and already tucked into bed, I snake my hand under the covers to retrieve my pump from the waistband of my pajamas.  The screen beams green light my way - "BG HIGH.  Above 180 mg/dl target." 

"Okay, okay."  After clearing the alarm, I grab my meter from the bedside table to confirm this result and, sure enough, I'm 202 mg/dl according to One Touch.

"Here."  I push against the buttons and bolus up a unit, realizing I'm talking to my pump the same way I talk to my cats when they wake me up early in the morning to fill their empty food dishes.

The beeping stops.  I rest my head against the pillow and fall into a deep, blissful sleep, with the pump on my hip, the infusion set on my thigh, the CGM on my arm, a cat at my feet, and my fiance by my side.  Full house.

What happened next is not something I remember clearly, but the memory of my machines filled in the gaps for me.

3:19 am - Pump Alarm.  BEEP.  BEEP.  BEEP.  LOW BLOOD SUGAR.  64 mg/dl  WAKE UP, KERRI.  WAKE UP.

4:08 am- Meter Result.  49 mg/dl.

7:15 am - Morning Carnage.  One empty juice bottle, meter unzipped and used test strips all over the floor, covers tossed off in my low-induced sweat, body freezing due to being exposed and damp all night long.

Oh CGM, you tried to warn me.  I changed my low glucose threshold value to alarm at 65 mg/dl and you did.  You just weren't loud enough.  Or maybe I just turned you off, like I have mistakenly done with the alarm clock on occasion.  Either way, the best laid plans of my CGM were thwarted (or at least muffled). 

Today, my numbers have been all over the place.  I know this because instead of the plateaus of graceful blood sugars, I'm seeing stock market indexes all over the screen of my pump.  Thanks to the sneezing, stuffed up head, and feverish feeling I'm currently enjoying, I at least know why my numbers are erratic.  Even though we've just started our relationship, now CGM and I can enjoy a head cold together and I can see how my numbers dance when I'm feeling ill. 

I have so much I want to write about - the CareLink software that I'm going to try out tonight, my challenges and successes with CGM-ing at the gym last night, and the insurance angle of things, but I'm almost fully immersed in this freaking sneezy cold and can't form another complete tho ...

SUM Tags: , , , , ,

MiniLink, Armed.

MiniLink sensor in my arm.My Minimed rep was meeting me at the dLife offices after work to hook me up with the Medtronic Minilink and I joked in an email that he should hoot like an owl upon arriving so that I would know he was there.

Around 6 pm, my cell phone buzzed.  The message left was not someone saying, "Hi, Kerri.  [RepName] from Medtronic calling," but instead, "Whoooooooo!  I'm here."

That's the mark of someone who's on my level, that's for damn sure.

After exchanging grins, we settled ourselves at a table at a local coffee shop and laid out our drug paraphernalia on the table.  The box of CGM sensors, the MiniLink transmitter, the insertion device, and our respective glucose meters (my rep is also type 1) littered the table.  Conversation flowed easily as he set me up with the MiniLink.

"Okay, so now we're ready to place the sensor."  He loaded up the inserter with my first MiniLink sensor.

"Great.  Let's pop that in on my arm."

He paused. 

"Inserting a sensor at a coffee shop is a first, that's for sure.  But in the arm?  This is a series of firsts for me." 

With a little help and almost no pain at all, the sensor was inserted and the transmitter connected.  (I didn't have the opportunity to take pictures of the actual insertion, but I will do a photojournal for the next sensor I use.) 

After the first three hours, the pros and cons were beginning to show themselves. 

PROS:  The sensor is small - about the diameter of a quarter (maybe a small bit bigger) and about three stacked quarters high.  It's on the back of my arm and is pretty low-profile.  It's also water-proof, so no crazy-sticky shower patches that leave red rings on my skin for days.  The MiniLink transmitter, like the Dexcom, takes two hours to fully calibrate when you first put the sensor on.  (This term is called "wetting," which I think is revolting.  My rep and I called it "percolating."  Much less icky.  And hearkens to coffee, which I need desperately.  I'll explain why in the "cons" section.)

This sensor also works in tandem with my Medtronic 522 insulin pump, so I'm toting around one device instead of a receiver and an insulin pump.  It also is able to calibrate using any glucose meter, so I could continue on testing as usual, using my One Touch Ultra2.   One hub device is a huge selling point for me. 

CONS:  The transmitter is floppy and needs to be secured against my skin with a bandaid to keep it from coming loose or dislodging the wire.  This is the biggest con for this transmitter so far.

HOWEVER:  This frigging thing kept me up all night long.  After being instructed that the CGM results are about 15 - 20 minutes behind my actual blood glucose (i.e. the CGM says 100 mg/dl, my sugar is actually 80 mg/dl or thereabouts), I set my low glucose alarm for 80 mg/dl, assuming my number would actually be close to 60 mg/dl once the alarm sounded. 

Thanks to my vigilance with my overnight basals and the fact that they're set with precision, my numbers run close to 90 mg/dl all night long.  Due to this tight control on my overnights, the low glucose alarm went off eight million times last night.  That was issue one.

Issue two involved another alarm - this one reading "Bad Sensor."  Unfortunately, this alarm went off at 2:53 in the morning and I was not going to wake up again just to reinstall a new sensor.  So, against the advisement of my Minimed rep, I manually told the pump that I had installed a new sensor and recalibrated it.  It reset its timer for the two hour calibration, thus waking me up again at almost 5 am. 

Then the low glucose alarm went off again at 6:15, because I was 79 mg/dl.MiniLink - ha ha ha ha ha!

(Note to self:  Kerri, set the low glucose threshold at 65 mg/dl, for crying out loud.  Or you may never sleep again.  Seriously.  Every time the thing went off, you groaned, the cats howled, and Shoes most likely plotted revenge.  Raise the threshold.  Do it now, you silly girl.)

I have not slept well, but it's obvious that my numbers hold tight and steady throughout the night.  I'm hoping last night's escapades were a fluke thing and that a little tweaking will have me living in relative harmony.  

I'll have more on the technical aspects of this device throughout the week, but for now I'm going to check my number - ah, 113 mg/dl on the Link, 99 mg/dl on my OneTouch - and get another cup of coffee.

I am MiniLink.  :)

SUM Tags: , , , , ,

January 07, 2008

Equal Time.

Equal packets - that match.The coffee machine was whirring to life, and while the water heated, I poked through the little decorative bucket where the packets of Equal are stashed.

In the bucket, there were piles of blue packets, but there were different illustrations printed on each one.  "Do Your Drink Justice," "Power to the Packet," and "Ban the Bland."  There were a few different strawberry-themed logos, too. 

I've written before about my slight OCD tendencies.  The eight sips of juice.  My woofer-sniffing moments (oh how embarrassing, why am I bringing that up again?).  And I also need for my packets of sugar substitute to match.  The pictures have to match, both packets have to be right-side up, and facing the same way.  I cannot function any other way.  It's not certifiably OCD, but it's a borderline trait.  And until last week, no one had noticed.  Not even Chris.

So as my coffee was brewing, and not thinking I was being watched, I picked rabidly through the packets until I found two that matched (throwing back ones that didn't as though they were fish that were too small), lined them up, and ripped them open.

"What are you doing?"  Oh shit.  Co-worker saw me flitting through the bucket in search of matching packets.

"Oh, nothing."  The blush crept up my face without my permission.  "Okay, I was looking for matching packets."

"What?"  He laughed and put his mug on the countertop while I flustered.

"The packets.  Of Equal.  They have to match.  I have to use matching packet thingies." 

He raised an eyebrow.

"It's normal.  It's totally normal."  My coffee spluttered to a finish and I grabbed my mug, grateful for something to do with my hands.  

"It's very normal, Kerri.  Completely."  He was polite enough to keep the laughter in his eyes, but I could see the tug of a smirk.

I laughed, too.  I get the joke. 

But these OCD tendencies are just little snapshots of me trying to control things.  Sometimes my blood sugars aren't reigned in very well, and I compensate by making long lists of work-to-dos that calm my nerves.  I'll hit the gym every weeknight because I can control my attendance.  My checkbook is balanced to the very penny, to keep tight tabs on my controllable finances.  I'm constantly micro-managing other aspects of my life in efforts to compensate for what I can't control in total. 

(I'm also known to micro-manage my diabetes, hence my meeting with the Minimed rep this afternoon.  Real-time blood sugars in efforts to best control my body's natural inclination to fail me.  Control, control, control.)

Sometimes it feels like trying to spin the universe in a different direction. 

SUM Tags: , , , , ,

January 04, 2008

The Friday 3Six5.

The New Year is off to a sprinting start, like a gazelle sporting some Adidas(es?).  Here are the Friday Six:

One!On Monday afternoon, I'll be meeting with a representative from Medtronic to get suited up with the MiniLink CGM component.   I've used the Dexcom in the past and even though the device was a bit of a pain in the ass to wear, the data I had access to was amazing.  I'm hoping that just adding a transmitter that works with my pump (instead of a whole second device) will be easier for me to integrate into my lifestyle.  I'll be blogging about it, for certain.  From Dexcom Warrior to Minimed Maven.  Bring it.

Two!This made me giggle:  Top 62 Ways to Tell You Can't Cook.  Even though this is an old webpage from 2005, it made me laugh out loud.  Number 56 is my favorite, for the simple fact that it was unexpected.

Three!The New Year didn't get off to the strongest start, workout-wise.  I was just at the gym for the first time since 12/30 - shame on me.  But jumping back in wasn't too hard, and my muscles apparently remembered what I was asking them to do before.  I'm up to 15 minutes on, 5 off in my running routine and I'm putting some serious focus on toning up before the wedding.  I haven't noticed any changes yet, but I'm hoping that by February I'll be feeling fitter and ready for a white dress.

Fore!  (hee hee)Speaking of that dress, my mother called me yesterday to let me know she was picking up my bridal gown from Ye Olde Bridal Shop(pe).  Immediately, I was tossed into a wave of panic - I need to get the invitations ordered, finalize arrangements with the church, schedule my first dress fitting, talk to the reception hall about the bar, figure out who is sitting at what table ... ahhhhh!  It was my first real experience with HOLY CRAP I'M GETTING MARRIED.  I felt like I had been hit with a bucket filled with ... panicking brides.  There are only a few months until my wedding day, and Chris and I have to get on the ball.  I hope this isn't the dawn of my reign as Bridezilla. 

Five!It was nice to come across this video, especially after feeling rounded out from the holidays and that slight (cough) panic attack about the wedding.  It's from the Dove Self-Esteem fund, part of the Campaign for Real Beauty.  I read a lot of health and fitness magazines and dabble in the trashy magazine realm (read:  US Weekly!), and we need more out there in the media about loving, instead of changing, who you The Friday Six:  January 4, 2008.are.  Have you guys seen these videos? 

Six Until Me.Finally, I've taken the plunge and joined the inspiring photogs in the Diabetes365 Flickr group.  It's strange, but not surprising, to notice how diabetes is folded into the moments of my life.  I have no idea if I can keep up with the level of dedication that the seasoned members have exhibited, but I'm going to give it my best shot.  (Oh diabetes puns, how I love thee.  And a camera pun!  Twofer.)  I'm excited to be a part of this!

If you haven't already, visit the Project Diabetes365 website and get a feel for what this project is all about.

Have a great weekend!!

SUM Tags: , , , , , ,

January 03, 2008

Vampire Cannula.

It ached a small bit. 

I noticed the ache when I leaned up against the kitchen counter to grab a mug from the top shelf for my tea.  Not a holy-crap-that-hurts sort of feeling, but more of a latent bee sting.  It didn't feel right and I knew it would be painful once I focused on it, so I pushed the pain out of my mind and instead reverted my attention to the tea.

I tested:  180 mg/dl.  Bolused half a unit to bring me down.

An hour later, I tested again:  186 mg/dl.  That bolus did nothing?  Didn't seem right.

Waiting for the shower to heat up and planning to change my infusion set afterwards, I pulled out my site.  Immediately after I pulled the plastic away, a drop of blood seeped up and scurried down my thigh.  The cannula revealed its vampiristic tendencies:

Vampire cannula.

This explained the dull ache at my site location.  It also explained the fact that a 1/2 u of Humalog fell into some kind of useless void. 

No problem.  Changed the infusion set, laced in another half unit to correct the high, and slid a garter of garlic around my thigh. 

When it comes to these vampire cannulas, you can't be too careful.

SUM Tags: , ,

January 02, 2008

Pump Reservoir Revisited.

A few weeks ago, I was out to dinner with Chris and rang in at an excessively high blood sugar after taking part of my meal bolus.  Wondering if my site was conking out, I rummaged through my bag to find my always-on-hand insulin pen.

Well, almost always-on-hand.  This time, I had left it at home. 

Never fear - Old School Syringe is here! 

That experience pretty much encapsulates why I carry a syringe in my meter bag at all times.  Here's how I bolused in a bind:

A blast from the past.

In the side zipper part of my OneTouch Ultra2 meter, I keep an unused syringe, orange cap and all.

Reservoir in the pump.

Wearing my pump is like carrying a teeny little bottle of insulin at all times. 

Reservoir, loose from pump.

I unscrew the reservoir from the main housing of my pump.

Reservoir disconnected from tubing.

Then I disconnect the reservoir from the pump tubing.

Inserting the needle into the reservoir.

Using the syringe, I poke the needle into the spongy access point in the top of the reservoir.

Drawing back a dose.

And as though it were a bottle of insulin, I pull back a few units.  After I inject with the syringe, I reprime the insulin pump to make sure there are no air bubbles stuck in the reservoir or the tubing, and I reconnect to my infusion set.

This little trick has bailed me out a few times and can also be used in a pinch if my insulin pump ever fails on me (or if my brain fails on me and I forget my trusty old insulin pen).

Over the last twenty-one years, I have seen plenty tricks of the trade.  What have you come across?

SUM Tags: , , ,

January 01, 2008

Bit of a Sloppy Start.

Last night, moderation wasn't exactly the secret word of the day.  In the company of friends, we ate too much, we drank too much, and starting from 7:30 at night and spanning well into the wee hours of the morning, we laughed our heads off.

Maybe that's why my head hurts a small bit today?

Regardless of the empty Corona bottles we left in our wake, my blood sugars remained freakishly steady, holding between 89 mg/dl and 190 mg/dl and never hitting that "drinking low" that I sometimes encounter.  And we had a damn good time. 

2008 was rung in with style last night - dinner at Paragon in Providence, a few hours at the bar, and then a house party - and now I need a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow, once the elephants in my skull stop trampling on my remaining brain cells, I will have something productive to offer. 

Until then, Sausage says happy new year, too.

Happy New Year, from Siah.

SUM Tags: , , ,

Visitors since November 7, 2005