Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Okay, I know several of you have children out there. I also know that several of you have children around you. I have a question... is it normal for a two year old to be obsessed with me checking my blood sugar??

One of my closest friends and my godson have recently moved in with me. He just turned 2 in July. He doesn't have a lot of vocabulary yet, but I have noticed that every single time I get out my meter to check my blood sugar, he stops whatever he's doing and rushes to watch me. He stands in front of me and stares. And the last time he watched me, he stuck a finger out for me.

I had to laugh. But I told him he didn't want me to do that to him.

But, is it normal? Since I started taking majorly good care of myself and since I started insulin pumping, I haven't been around a lot of young children. I've had children that are around 5 or 6 ask me questions (that's the age I teach Sunday School), but never had a child as young as my godson watching me like he does.

So, that's my question? Does it happen a lot with you guys?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Houston...We Have a Problem

Before I went to bed last night, I had to change my pump site. I didn't have enough insulin to make it through the night, and I knew it. I don't like to change my site before bed. Too many things can go wrong. So I changed the site at around 8:30. After that, I didn't eat anything, but I did a couple of small boluses. I was chasing a high from earlier in the day. Both boluses went through, no problems. Usually, if I have a "No Delivery" message, it happens when I giving a bolus. Actually, I've never NOT had it happen then. Since my boluses had gone through, no problems, I went to sleep with the comfort that all was okay.

Fast forward to 2:30 this morning.

My pump was buzzing. I usually don't hear the beeps (I'm a hard sleeper), so it wasn't much of a surprise that the vibrations were what it took to wake me up. I looked down and low and behold, there was a "No Delivery" message. And immediately I knew it was right. My mouth felt like cotton, my head hurt, I felt like I had walked across the desert and was in desperate need of a drink...and a trip to the bathroom.

I got up, turned on the light and began to gather my items for a site change. I didn't even bother checking for ketones when I went to the bathroom. A quick blood sugar test showed my blood sugar was 387. I knew I had ketones. Didn't need that little stick to tell me.

What bothered me, first off, was that there was no kink in my cannula. I took a picture to prove it.

The second thing that bothered me...well, I probably wouldn't have noticed it if it weren't for my CGMS. I noticed, on my screen, that I'd been VERY high for a long time. Several hours. Why hadn't I heard (or felt) my CGMS telling me that?

So, then I went on to check my Alarm History. It showed that the first "No Delivery" alert came at 11:46. Another at 1:28. And the last, the one I finally heard/felt at 2:24.

Onto my Sensor Alerts. It showed a high been at 11:10 (before the first "No Delivery") and then there wasn't another until 2:12. I'm confused. Why wasn't there one in between. That's two hours between them. My CGMS is set to alert every hour. Was it the fact that the "No Delivery" was probably up on my screen? Did that "trump" the other alerts? I'm confused.

I'm even more confused (and sad) at the way this new Revel pump alerts to nighttime lows and highs. During the day, I hear my beeps. There are no problems. I LOVE the fact that it give high and low predictions and that it notifies when you are quickly falling or rising. These were the main reasons that I upgraded to the Revel from my MiniMed 722. Knowing what's happening before I hit my high and low markers can help me a lot in keeping myself in range. I know that.
But, and this is a big but that has had me contemplating switching back to the 722, the alert system is not that great for when I'm asleep. And that's a MAJOR reason that I need those alerts. I'm an adult. Until recently, I was living alone. I need those alerts. On the old 722, if you didn't turn your beep off, it would wait a minute or so and beep again. After about 5 minutes of that, it would switch to the continual beep (without a break, so that it was more like a siren), and then, if you still didn't get it, it would start to vibrate. And continue to do so until you turned it off.
That saved my life a couple of times with lows. But, with the new Revel, the vibrations don't work that way. It vibrates for about 5 seconds and then stops and doesn't do it again for a while. I'm not sure how long. Maybe around 5 minutes.
That causes a major problem for people like me who need something to pull us out of a deep sleep. The constant vibration always woke me up. I'm usually laying on my pump (sadly), which is a major part of the reason I can't hear the beeps anyway. And if that constant vibrations isn't there....well you get what I got last night. Or worse. What if it'd been a low, instead of a high? I could have gone into a seizure or anything.
Or, what if I hadn't felt that last vibration at 2:30 this morning. What would another 3.5 hours of no insulin done to me? That would have been a total of 7 hours without insulin. As it was, I went 3 hours without insulin, and who knows how long before that without adequate insulin (before the "No Delivery" was triggered).
This morning, I did check my ketones when I got up. Only "trace," thank goodness. My blood sugar was sill 217. More boluses. More water to drink. More trips to the bathroom to make.
Yet I can't help but think about how this could have gone differently (better or worse). And both bother me. So, this is my message to Medtronic:
Fix this problem!

I love MiniMed too much to just walk away from it. Besides, how would I know if anything else was better without trying it first? The point is, I love MiniMed. And I know that this is just a choice they made when designing the new Revel. But I'm telling them it was the WRONG choice. And they need to figure out a way to fix it. Because someone's life could be hanging in the balance.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Meme!

Apparently this week is Invisible Illness Week. I found this meme over on Karen's blog and thought I'd "steal" it. :) I hope you enjoy.

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1986.

3. But I had symptoms since: at least a few months before my diagnosis.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: realizing that I'm not alone in this (the D-OC helped a BUNCH!!)

5. Most people assume: I can’t eat anything with sugar in it.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: dealing with my crazy after breakfast blood sugar spikes.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: I don't know that I have one. I like House okay I guess...

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my insulin

9. The hardest part about nights are: the (sometimes) constant alarms on my CGMS.

10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. currently none. I should be taking some vitamins....but I'm lazy

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: think they are a load of __________.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I like the fac that people can know me before they make a judgement based on my diabetes.

13. Regarding working and career: I do what I can in order to keep decent health insurance. What I want to do is impossible because I can't afford/get health care on my own.

14. People would be surprised to know: that I worry about the future more than I verbalize to anyone.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: It's always been around (since I was 4), so it's not really a "new" reality.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I was never given any restrictions, per se, so there's nothing I've done (yet) that I think would be a problem with my diabetes.

17. The commercials about my illness: make everyone seem old and/or fat or a child. What about the "normal" people?

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: I don't remember much pre-diabetes....but I would say that I would love to be able to have a meal without calculating carbs.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: I've had it so long that I don't really remember giving anything up.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: blogging? That's probably the only diabetes related thing I've started... once again, I've had diabetes so long I've kind of done everything since then.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Normal? What's that? But if I was d-free, I'd probably eat whatever I wanted and not worry. :)

22. My illness has taught me: that people need each other. I can't do this on my own.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Are you sure you can eat that?

Um, yes, I am. I've been at this for 24 1/2 years. I think I'll live.

24. But I love it when people: ask me question...and actually LISTEN. :)

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: John 10:10 The thief comes but to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come to give Life and give it more abundantly. (that's not word for word, but it's darn close!)

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I know it seems like the end of the world right now, but it's not. You can do this. And you can beat it (as much as it can be beaten, without a cure) if you want to badly enough.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: the number of people who live this life with me. (I LOVE you D-OC!)

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: take me to the hospital and sit with me while I was hooked up to an I.V. (that's another story for another time...) even when we had barely seen each other in months.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I think it's a great thing to be involved in.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: a little bit closer to you....I'll feel even more close if you do it too! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stangely Out of Place

The past couple of weeks, I kind of disappeared from the online community. Work and real-life were both getting to me. But, in addition to that, I was feeling overwhelmed by the online community.

There are no amount of words that can possibly express how much I love the D-OC. You guys have been there for me when no one else could be. You are supportive, wonderful, and you keep me sane. I thank God every day that He has placed such wonderful people in my (digital) reach.

When I first found the online community around 4 years ago (through Kerri!) there weren't many bloggers. Well, I suppose there were quite a few. Several hundred on Kerri's blogroll (if I remember correctly) at the time. But active bloggers were few and far between.

When I started blogging, I found other bloggers. Sure, I never read every blog. I don't claim to have visited every blog in the D-OC at that time. But I'd been to a lot of them.

I felt like I had a large, extended family. Some you didn't talk to as much, but you knew most of them, and you cared about them.

But slowly, over the past 4 years, more and more people have been making their way into our "family". I am so glad that they are, don't take me the wrong way. But I feel like my "family tree" has gotten so large that I don't know anyone anymore. Between Facebook, Twitter, and regular blogging, I am overwhelmed. And it's been an ungodly amount of time since I even visited TuDiabetes (sorry, Manny!).

Last week I was really overwhelmed by it all and I just quit. I quit reading blogs. I quit checking Twitter. I didn't blog. But, I'm back on now. I just needed some time to regroup. And to remind myself that I always have room for new friends, and that I can always keep the old friends close.

My question is, do any of you (especially those of you who've been around for a while) ever feel overwhelmed by all the people that are coming into the community? And do you feel guilty for not keeping up with all the new people and new blogs?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Splitting the Difference

I have a very close friend who is a type 2 diabetic. Monday night we had our first Community Choir practice and she said to me, "My blood sugar was 137 this morning when I woke up. It's too high." Now most of you that are type 1 would LOVE to wake up with that number, but she's used to having numbers more in the 70s or 80s upon waking.
I had one right back for her. "I woke up 65 this morning. My empty juice box is still in my bed." I grinned at her.
Her reply: "Can we just split the difference? Cause then we'd both be happy."
And I couldn't help but think how true that was. And how great it is to have people with whom to share silly diabetic humor.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Money, money, money


Something that most of us don't have a lot of. Some are more blessed than others. This is true. But, when it comes to living with diabetes, money can be a serious issue. As most of us know, having money is important when it comes to living with diabetes (or any chronic illness, I would venture to guess). If you don't have money, you need fantastic health insurance.

In the past I've talked about my thankfulness for my job. I don't enjoy it as much as I'd like. But I'm thankful for it. It pays well enough, I suppose. But the main reason that I have stuck with this job for the past (nearly) five years is because of the fantastic health insurance that my job offers.

I had no fight on my CGMS. They approved my insulin pump with no problems. And for the past two years, all my diabetic supplies (minus the pump supplies, which are considered durable medical equipment) were free. Free test strips. Free insulin. Free glucagon.

But, the economy is hitting everyone and everything. People are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and save money. And it's hit my job. In an effort to save money my job is "changing" their insurance coverage.

In July, we got a new prescription plan. Since I order my supplies every 3 months, I hadn't had to get anything since this change. But while visiting my endo a few weeks ago I got a new prescription for a glucagon kit. Mine has officially expired and I knew I needed to get a new one. In 24.5 years, I've never, ever had to actually use a glucagon kit. In fact, until a couple of years ago I hadn't had one since I was a kid.

I currently carry one in my "emergency kit" I carry in my purse. I have at least 2 co-workers who know how to use it, so I felt safe having it there. Also, my current roommate knows where its kept and how to use it.

When I went to the drug store the other day, I handed them my prescription. I asked them to run it through so I could find out the cost. I had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn't be free.

It wasn't.

It was $75.

And I told them to keep it. I haven't had to use one in over 24 years, and I don't have $75 to basically throw away (after all, the past 3 I've had have expired without ever being used).


Non-preferred drug.

Please tell me, Mr. Insurance Company, how is a kit that could potentially save my life be "non-preferred"? And it's not like they have a generic version. I'd gladly take generic.

And, out of pure curiosity, I called a friend who works in a drug store to have them look up the cost if I had NO insurance. I didn't get an exact number...but I was told I was saving over half. Which means that without insurance, this little life saving pen would be over $150.

Oh, Mr. Drug Company....how is it that you can charge that much for something that might save a life? How is it fair?

As for the other changes in my insurance....we'll find out come January. I'm only hoping that the changes aren't so severe that it turns me into a pauper.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I'm back....sort of. I've been working on finding inspiration for a couple of new blog posts. Lack of inspiration has been a major part of the reason I've been surprisingly quite in the online world. But, to help start my return to the online world.... I give you the funniest youtube video I've seen in a long time. :)