Sunday, April 29, 2007

Car Accidents....and Blood Sugar Spikes!

Okay, I just got my car paid off about 7 months ago. It was the best feeling to take that last payment (3 months early!) into the bank and get my title. My car is MINE!!!! I was very much a happy camper. It isn't much, and it isn't the best car in the world, but I own it. And it gets me where I need to go.

About a week ago I had new tires put on and the wheels aligned. I also had the oil changed & all the filters. I was feeling pretty good about the whole situation in general. I have been talking about getting a new car, but I intended on driving this one for about another year to save up some money for a down payment. That was the plan anyway......

Until 9:10 on Saturday morning. I was driving to town to get a biscuit at McDonald's (yes, I know it is fattening & bad for me, but I don't do it every morning!). I was coming up to a red light & had slowed down considerably when this truck turns at the light to come up the road I am on (he was going to be going opposite the direction I was going.) when he lost control & came right in my line of traffic. He hit a parked car on the right side of the road & I hit him. Bamm!

Let me tell you, it was not a great start to my day!

The poor kid was only 16 years old & had his driver's license for 1 week. I felt really bad for him. Neither of us were hurt, but his truck was pretty torn up, the parked car....well, let's just say the left side was demolished. And my car....well, I'll just put a picture up.

So, there you see. It is now the One-Eyed-Wonder! I can't get my passenger door open! I have no headlight or blinkers (on either side, seems I blew a fuse...)

Thank God no one was hurt! And both the kid who's fault the wreck was, and myself had insurance, so it shouldn't be too big of a deal to get fixed, but for now, it is just a pain in the neck. And an eye-sore.

And how does all of this relate to diabetes....I checked my blood sugar about 30 minutes before I left my house. I was 131. This is pretty typical for me in the mornings since I dropped my midnight to 7 am basal rate (previously I was waking up about 3 out of 5 mornings with low readings). About 15 minutes after the wreck occurred, I checked my blood sugar again. It was 262. Lovely what stress can to to those wonderful readings! It just makes you so glad to be alive.... you can all see my rolled eyes, right?

Anyway, just another thing to add to my craziness and my diabetic annoyances.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Skiing @ 65

There was a time when I didn't take care of myself. I didn't want to and didn't think about the consequences of my actions. As a young person, you often think about only the present. The future is so far off and has nothing to do with your current life. Or so we like to think. I believe this is often the case with diabetics who don't take care of themselves and end up with horrible complications. I understand that it is not fun to have to check your blood sugar. I get the fact that you don't want to have to deal with the lows and the awful feelings that come with them. I have lived this life for 22 years.
But, I also had a very dear doctor set me straight at a time in my life when I didn't think about all of these things. All I could think about was that I was in college and I didn't want to have to deal with diabetes. My general practitioner hadn't seen me in some time, and finally refused to refill my insulin until I came into the office to see him. When I did, he had an a1c done. When it came back it was 12.1. Twice what it should be. He looked me dead in the eye & told me not to bother finishing college 'cause it wouldn't do any good. He told me I was going to die, unless I did something to fix this problem. And it was the shocker I needed to get me on the right track to controlling my diabetes.
I didn't get perfect during this time. I didn't get better overnight. But I am at a place in my life now where I feel like I have a better handle on this disease than it has on me. I understand what I have to do to take care of myself, and for the most part, I do that.
The biggest thing that I want to be able to say is that I didn't die from diabetes! I don't want "complications related to diabetes" to be my cause of death. I want to die an old lady, in my bed asleep. Or in a boating accident when I am 65 and learning to ski. I want to have children and watch them grow up. And I know I can't do that unless I control diabetes.
People talk about how awful it is to be a diabetic. How many of their friends/sisters/uncles/second-cousins have died of diabetes. It's like they are wondering if I am going to die too. I refuse to die too. I don't want to become a statistic. And I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Just another day in paradise

Yesterday was my day to change my infusion set. I got up, got ready, & took my pump off. The change was no different than normal. I checked my blood sugar and bolused, ate breakfast & headed to work. I always set my pump to go off 2 hours after I bolus. This helps me remember to keep an eye on my post food sugar levels. When my pump went off that morning, I had been swamped all day and was already in a grouchy mood. I pulled my meter out of my purse and checked my sugar. Five seconds later 463 pops up on my meter screen. I nearly passed out. I immediately went to the restroom and pulled the infusion set. This was no accident on my part, I knew, there had to be a pump malfunction. And sure enough, the cannula did not go into my skin (how did that happen???), but was just on top of my skin, under the tape. This would explain not getting a "NO DELIVERY" alert. The insulin was delivering. Just not into me! This would also explain my grouchy mood & headache. I really should listen to my body better. I was having all the signs. Stupid me just ignored them.
I actually even checked my ketones at the same time. I was spilling moderate ketones. That made me panic a little, but with a number that high, I had to remind myself, I should have been spilling some.
I put in a new set & bolused right away. I also began drinking water like it was going out of style.
Still paranoid, about an hour later, I pulled the second set and put in another one. Rechecking my blood sugar levels showed that it was coming down some, but I was still way about 300. I bolused again. (I know, be careful not to "stack").
By this time, my head was swimming and I couldn't concentrate very well. And grouchy is just a nice word for my actual mood. I work with a lady who's husband has been a type 1 diabetic for most of his life. She offered to see my appointments and let me go home. But I am stubborn. I refuse to let this disease limit me. High blood sugars is not a good reason (in my mind) to go home. But I loved her concern. And her understanding. Her husband is also on a insulin pump.
At lunch time, I was down to about 230. That was getting better. It still wasn't great, but I could handle that.
By about 4:30, I was a nice, safe 75. I could eat dinner and still be okay.
Part of me was so upset and frustrated while this was happening. "Why me?" I wanted to yell. I mostly just wanted to cry.
But I didn't. I just picked myself up by the bootstraps (sorry for the southern reference, I can't help it) and went on. This is going to happen occasionally. It is part of life.
And yesterday, was for me, just another day in the paradise that is the life of this diabetic.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Being Normal

I've just been thinking today, about some things that I think have a way of coming to the forefront when you are a diabetic. I am 25 years old and I have a pill box. You know, one of those 7-day, old lady, pill boxes. That's pathetic. And kind of depressing. I take a pill for cholesterol, a daily vitamin, a vitamin c pill, a fish oil pill (has to do with the cholesterol. My doctor recommended eating more fish...I hate fish, therefore I take a fish oil pill.), and a cranberry pill (darn those pesky little UTI's). I think I take as many pills as my grandmother. That's sad.
Part of me just wishes I was normal. The other part of me just accepts it. I'll never be "normal". I can be as normal as possible, I won't let the diabetes get in the way of me living my life to the fullest, but I will never have a life free of a1C tests, insulin, endos, and constantly having a snack with me, everywhere I go.
Up until the past few years I never really viewed myself as different. Just normal with a medical problem. I don't know how I feel about it now. I think part of the change of mindset came when I started the insulin pump. I wanted a pump so badly. I was extremely happy about getting one and had wished that I had gotten a pump years earlier. But with it, also brings a constant thought of "how's this affecting me?" and "is my a1C getting better?". Plus, I think I am harder on myself now. I know I should have better control with the pump (and I do), so I get aggravated when my blood sugars run too high or too low.
Lately, I am just trying to get to a place in my mind where I understand my own thoughts on my diabetes. You'd think after 22 years of this I would have my own thoughts worked out...I guess I don't.

Friday, April 13, 2007

My diagnosis

I thought I'd write a little bit about when I was diagnosed with diabetes, since that is what this blog is going to be about. I was diagnosed in June of 1985. I had just turned 4 in May. I don't remember a whole lot about that time, but I will tell you all about what I do remember and what my parents have told me.
When I was a baby my mom tells me I never sucked a pacifier. I didn't want one; I would just spit it out. After potty training, I never really wet the bed. I was pretty much a normal child. Sometime before I was diagnosed I started sucking the middle & ring finger of my left hand. (Why not my thumb....I have no idea. You'll have to ask my 4 year old self). One thing I do remember is standing in my kitchen and my dad trying to get me to stop sucking those fingers. He picked me up and asked me why I had started putting those fingers in my mouth. I told him, "I get water from my fingers."
That was one of the first things that I can remember. I also started having nightmares. More than just a normal child. I would wake up shrieking like I was being murdered according to my mother. And I actually do remember one of these dreams. I was in bed and a white tiger was in my bed trying to get me. I don't know why it was white, and I have no idea if I had seen one on TV or something that would even make me know what a white tiger looked like.
And then I started wetting the bed 3 or 4 times a night. I would wake up and beg for water and drink till the water ran down the sides of my mouth.
By this time my mom thought I needed to see a child shrink. She took me to the doctor. He didn't even hesitate. He told my mother to take me to a hospital at a nearby town as quickly as possible.
I do remember some of the stay at the hospital. There was this nurse with buttons all over her white coat. And I remember being held down to give me shots. And crying for more orange juice because that was the only thing sweet they would let me have.
I am very thankful, on one hand, to have been diagnosed so young in life. I don't remember a whole lot about my life pre-diabetes. I think it is easier to not have to change a lifestyle that I remember. Diabetes is my lifestyle. I know nothing else.
This isn't my complete story, but it is part of it. And I hope that it helps people understand me a little more.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Frustrations and high glucose levels

Okay, today has been another sucky diabetes day. I got up this morning with a blood sugar of 159. Did a correction bolus, changed my pump (it had been 3 days), ate breakfast and bolused for that, and went to work. Two hours later I am 169. Didn't correct for this as there was active insulin still in my system. But at lunch, it was 197. Frustrated, I got my food and boulsed for the food and the correction. Got busy at work, but at about 3 hours later I was 201. No matter what I do, I can't get this one to fix. I did another correction bolus (my pump is working, nothing seems amiss). Two hours later I am at a friends house for dinner. I check my blood sugar and it is still 222. I started to give a correction bolus YET AGAIN, and I get the NO DELIVERY alert on my pump!!!!! Stupid me, didn't have my pump supplies with me, so I had to run back to my apartment and get my stuff to replace the entire infusion set and start all over. By this time I am just frustrated all the way around! I replace the infusion set, give a correction bolus, get food and bolus for that. Two hours later....275. Another correction bolus. My friends, although they do their best to understand my disease (one is an EMT for cryin' out loud!) make me promise to check my blood sugar before I go to bed and wake up for a midnight & 3 am test. This is gonna be a long night....
This is one of those days that I wish my diabetes would just go away. Some days it's easy. Today is not one of those days.