Thursday, July 28, 2011

Calling all Non-bloggers!

Currently I am on a diabetes blogging hiatus. Mostly because I have no inspiration right now for various reasons. But, I don't want to leave my readers hanging, so I'm starting up a little project. I'd very much like to share the stories of my non-blogging readers.

If you have diabetes, care for someone with diabetes, are a sibling, relative, friend of someone with diabetes, and you have a story to share, e-mail me at . I'd like to share your story with my readers. Because even though you may think you have nothing to say, everyone has a story to tell about diabetes. :)

I may not get to post all of them, but contact me and we'll see what I can get done. I'd really, really, really like it if there were some people who are not traditionally connected to diabetes (i.e. has it themselves, or is the primary caregiver of someone with diabetes). I'll take anyone, but I'd like to hear how your parent's diagnosis, or your best friend's low blood sugar while you were shopping, or your grandchild's first overnight stay with you after diagnosis went.

If you read this and you are a blogger, but know someone who might want to share their story who maybe doesn't read my blog, pass the info along.

There are a lot of ways that one can be affected by diabetes. I'd like for more people to realize in how many ways diabetes effects the people around the actual person living with the disease!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Was Right

Tuesday was my appointment with the nurse practitioner at my endo's office. I knew I was way overdue for an appointment. I also knew I have not been taking care of my self like I should be. My blogging has been very honest about my diabetes burn-out/depression, along with the fact that I know my slacking in diabetes care is my fault and something I am going to have to fix.

The day came my A1c was the first thing they did. The number itself was one that a lot of people would work really hard for and be thrilled with. But for me, it was horrible. It was higher than it had been in over five years. And I knew it was coming. I was praying that it wasn't quite that high, but it was still a punch in the gut to know that I am back to a range where I personally do not feel comfortable.

My nurse practitioner is wonderful. She actually told me that she was happy with that number and that I shouldn't worry, but if I wanted to get it back down that it wouldn't take a lot of work. And she's right. It could be back where I wanted it in a month or so, if I buckle down and start paying attention to what I'm doing.

The great thing about my endo's office, and the people that I see there, are that they listen to me. They are supportive, and understand that even though a number, or a goal might be okay for some people, that I want to work harder and I tend to hold myself to a different standard than most people.

Even after reviewing all my pump and meter downloads, the NP and I talked about the inconsistency of the highs and lows and I was upfront with her about why I believed that they were that way. There's no pattern to my highs and lows because I have been slacking off. We talked a little about my diabetes burn-out, my frequent travel, and my depression. At then end of the conversation she said "I don't think we need to change any of your pump settings." And she was right. I told her that I needed that number so that I could kick myself into gear and she agreed with me, but in the same breath, told me not to stress so much.

It's nice having a great health care team. One that will support me and help me with my goals, but don't feel the need to berate me or tell me all the things I need to be doing differently. I left the office feeling down. Disappointed in myself. But at the same time, having that tangible number has given me the information I need to start making changes. I know what I am, so I know where I need to go to get back where I want to be. So even though I was upset with my number, I have hope and knowledge that I can fix it.

I meet with my endo in October. Let's see what will happen between now and then. I know one thing is for sure: I CAN DO THIS!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When Sensors Go Wrong

I'll admit that I love having CGMS. But it has it's down sides as well. One of the things I hate is that the needles are so long. Another thing is that they aren't more accurate. Over time, I've found the best place for me to insert my sensor is on my thighs. My stomach just can't handle it. But with inserting them on my thighs, I've had some scar tissue build up in the past several years. As a result, sometimes my sensors don't want to go in as easily as they should.

Last week I was putting in a new sensor when I go the typical "thunk" that I get when I know I'm going to have to either take the needle (that's part way in) out and reinsert it, or that I'm going to have to push it in the rest of the way by hand. Either way, I HATE it when that happens.

The weird thing about this specific time when I was inserting was that I just felt like something was off with the needle. When I looked, I saw this:

I know it can be a little hard to see, but basically, the sensor that is encased in the needle for insertion purposes was sticking out slightly at the tip. Basically, it was bent out over the edge of the needle, making it impossible to finish the insertion process. Luckily I got a new sensor out and was able to insert it easily, but I'd never had anything like that happen before in all my years of CGMS usage.

Anyone else had this experience??

Monday, July 18, 2011


After years of years of listening to misinformation about diabetes (all types) and dealing with the misconceptions of people who don’t have or care for someone who has diabetes, I shouldn’t be surprised when I hear or read another piece of false information regarding this disease that I’ve lived with for twenty-five years. But, I am. Almost every time. The shock may not be as much, but it’s still there.
This past week a (I assume) well-meaning individual wrote an article about his disturbance that a fundraiser for diabetes research would be held as an ice cream social. He continued on by stating several statistics relating to diabetes and then stating a series of examples of people living healthier lives after changing their eating habits when they were diagnosed with diabetes.

Mr. Wendell Fowler wrote that offering a person with diabetes ice cream was on the same level as offering an alcoholic a drink. I’m here to take Mr. Fowler’s misinformation and break it down into fact & fiction for you. And then explain to you the truth about living with diabetes.
Mr. Fowler stated that 1 in 10 people in America have diabetes. Truth. And that number is growing significantly. He also states the fact that the CDC estimates that 1 in 3 people will have diabetes by the year 2050. Also a truth.

Here’s where the misinformation can begin. There are different types of diabetes. Diagnoses of both types are growing. No one knows why. Type 2 diabetes, most often (but not always) diagnosed in adults is attributed to an inability to make enough insulin or for that insulin to properly be processed by the body. In some cases, losing weight and changing your lifestyle (food, exercise, etc.) can let you control diabetes without medications. In other cases (especially in those with insulin resistance) the body just cannot process the insulin it produces. There is not always a reason why. Some people with Type 2 diabetes do not have a weight problem at all. In cases like that, how would losing weight help? It wouldn’t.

Another thing to look at is the fact that not all people who are overweight have Type 2 diabetes. That in itself should tell you that there are genetics and other outside factors that play a part in diabetes developing in a person. So why would it be fair to lay blame on a person for developing a disease? It’s not. People diagnosed with diabetes (of any type) do not wish for this. We don’t ask for it. And we certainly wouldn’t want it if we weren’t handed it on the big ol’ platter of crazy called life.

The second thing that must be pointed out is that this specific fundraiser that Mr. Fowler spoke of was not a fundraiser for Type 2 diabetes. It was a fundraiser for Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is most often (but not always) diagnosed in children. It is an auto-immune disease. Basically your body turns on itself and attacks the insulin producing beta cells in your pancreas. The end result is a body that produces no insulin. At all.

There is no reason that can be found for why the body turns on itself. Genetics, environmental things, a combination of both. There’s nothing that can explain it. When I was 4 years old, my body revolted. I ended up in the hospital and ended up with this disease that has been with me ever since. It’s not going anywhere. But I did NOT ask for it.

Although I am slightly overweight, my weight has nothing to do with my Type 1 diabetes. Even if I was firmly in my appropriate weight bracket, I’d still have diabetes. I’d still be hooked to an insulin pump twenty-four hours a day. I’d still have to count every single gram of carbohydrate that goes into my mouth.

A healthy lifestyle is important for all people. It doesn’t matter if they have diabetes and it doesn’t matter what type of diabetes they have. Moderation should be taught at home and in life. Healthy food choices are important for all areas of health, and it does bother me that Americans tend to make very poor food choices. But sugar is not what caused my diabetes (or the diabetes of anyone else, T1 or T2). So excuse me if I want to take my moderation and go out and have an ice cream sundae. Better yet, excuse me while I go get my pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. No worries, I’m not going to eat it all. Just a bite or three before I stick it back in my freezer until my next sweet craving hits.

Mr. Fowler, I hope you read this. If not, I hope you read one of the many other posts written by those of us who are sick of blame and guilt. We didn’t ask for diabetes and we shouldn’t be punished by people who feel like we should never be allowed to have ice cream again. So next time you see a person in an ice cream parlor that takes an injection, or gets out an insulin pump to bolus, don’t judge. Turn the other way. Unless you want to learn. And then ask. I’m sure people will be glad to give you a crash course in life with diabetes while you both eat your ice cream.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Good Night's Sleep

One of the greatest things about having a CGMS is the ability to have super tight control over your blood sugars. Tight control (without CGMS) can lead to horrible lows that are often not caught in a timely manner. Having CGMS gives you the ability to catch those lows (and highs) before they get too bad and makes the overall control easier.

But, I have also noticed some down sides of having CGMS. I beep ALL THE TIME. Like constantly. Sure, it's good for knowing what's going on, but can happen at the most inconvenient times. One thing that tends to happen to me a lot is beeping in the middle of the night. I have weird episodes at night. Sometimes I will spike in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. Other times I will drop for no apparent reason. Making the CGMS a good thing. But causing me some serious sleep deprivation at other times.

Lately I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping. Not related to the beeping CGMS or diabetes. But trouble sleeping nontheless. However, beeping doesn't help the situation. And last night, my sensor finally died so I took it off to charge overnight. Part of me is scared to sleep without it, but there was nothing I could do because it was so late and a sensor would not have had time to calibrate before I went to bed.

I slept without the sensor on all night long. And I don't think I moved at all. I slept fantastically. I'm not sure if it was because I was so exhausted, or because I didn't have the beeping to wake me up. It was a wonderful night's sleep. But I woke up this morning with a blood sugar of 65. :/

So is it worth it? Do sleep better and risk getting sick or worse in my sleep? I don't think so. But sometimes I wish I could just take a break from the beeping.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Search Term Fun

Okay... everyone kind of wants to know what brings people to their blog. What are people searching for when they stuble across my own personal journal of my diabetes life?

Here are my top 5 for the month:

1.)  winner every minute

Winner every minute, huh? I'd kind of like it if there were a winner every minute on my blog. Sadly, it's not so. 

2.) sick

Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about someone finding my blog by searching "sick."

3.) country girl diabetic

Yay! Someone actually searched for ME!! :)

4.) - every day, every hour, every minute ... is new

This is exactly how it was typed. Strange. Very strange. 

5.) being sick sucks

Yes. Being sick does suck. I actually wrote a blog post titled "Being Sick Sucks," so that's probably why this search is picking up.

So, now that I know how people are finding me... it makes me wonder if they're actually reading! :D

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Diabetes is MY Disease

I have an appointment at my endocrinologist’s office in just a couple of weeks. I’m not seeing her. My appointment with her couldn’t be made until October. But I am seeing her nurse practitioner. I don’t have a problem with that. I like them both and they are both very good at what they do. I worry though. I am worried about how to handle the fact that I haven’t been doing what I should be. I have no idea what my A1c is. I am terrified that it’s going to be at a level that I haven’t seen in years.
But every time I go, it always comes down to the same question: “What are you going to do to fix it?” And that question is for me. They never come right out and say that, and they always offer to help me with anything I need. But the truth of the matter is that my lax diabetes care right now isn’t because of messed up basal rates or insulin to carb ratios. It’s due to the fact that I haven’t been on top of things like I should be and I know it. And they are going to ask what’s been going on, and I’m going to have to be honest.

Truthfully, I’m hoping that this appointment will kick me back into gear. Sometimes that external motivation is what I need. Emotionally, I’m doing better than I was a week or so ago. Oftentimes when I write about what I’m dealing with it helps me to process it and deal with it. Now I just have to attack the other areas. I need to make myself goals and I need to stick to them. I need to stop feeling so out of control with my life and my diabetes. I need to stop depending so much on my CGMS readings, and depending more on actual blood glucose tests.

It’s all one day at a time. Waking up and being able to say, “I’m going to do the best I can this morning.” And then saying at lunchtime, “I’m going to do the best that I can for the rest of the day.” At this point, I don’t even want to try to do a whole day at a time. And that’s okay. I know, ultimately, that I want to have the best diabetes control possible. And I know I’m the only one that can do that. Diabetes is my doctor’s disease for those 20 minutes I’m in her office. Diabetes is my disease every other second of every other day. Diabetes isn’t a doctor’s disease. It’s the patient’s disease. If I want to have a good, long, healthy life, I have to be the one to make it that way.