Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Diabetes Education

I know I have talked before about how much I love my CDE. I have been going some since the beginning of the year since my insurance allows up to $500 in diabetes education per year. I mostly wanted to go to have a second (or third, if you count my Endo) pair of eyes to look at my blood sugar readings and to help me make some adjustments.
I went to see my CDE again yesterday and we have set up 1 more appointment for this year. My CDE said I was doing so well that she really didn't see any reason for me to come back this year unless there was a problem I was having or I had questions for her. Which I don't. So we made another minor adjustment to my insulin to carb ratios at lunch time and I will see her again next month.

I also have an appointment with my endo next month. If, by looking at my blood sugars, I were to guess my A1c, I would say it is going to be around 6.5 again. This is okay for me. I would like it a little lower, but I can't complain.

I like good reports. The bad part is that after I left her office, my blood sugars started doing funky things and I chased a high all night last night and on into this morning. It has since returned to normal and I have been really good ever since about 9:00 this morning. But it was frustrating to deal with the highs after a good report with the CDE.

By the way, my favorite band, Sugarland, has their new CD out today. Check it out if you even think you might like it. It is great work.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Scary Low

I don't have scary lows very often. Most of the time I catch them (either by CGMS or by my very frequent testing) and treat them and that's that. I have, for the most part, lost a lot of my ability to detect my lows. Some of that is starting to come back with the use of the CGMS, but it's still not perfect.
And, CGMS isn't perfect. Sometimes the sensor is "off" or my blood sugar just drops way to quick for the sensor to keep up. This happened to me yesterday at work.
I have noticed that I get hungry between 10:30 and 11:00 almost every day at work. By lunch time I'm usually starving.
I have a co-worker who is getting married in a few months and I was looking at a cook book with her and we were discussing food for the reception. I was so hungry that I put the book up. And then I checked my pump. It said 94, but showed a continual downward slope for about the previous hour, so I went to check my blood sugar. Other than being hungry (which wasn't too unusual) I had no symptoms. When I checked, my blood sugar was 52.
I am sure this was completely mental, but I started feeling symptoms almost immediately. And they hit hard and fast.
I went into "panic eating" mode. I consumed a juice box, a banana, a handful of candy, and some blackberry cobbler. And I still was feeling extremely sick/shaky, etc. I was sweaty and shaky and felt like I wanted to cry. I almost scared myself into asking a co-worker to come sit with me.
Of course, hours later, I still feel like crap, but my blood sugar is through the roof.
The last time I had a low that scared me that badly was around New Year's. I figured that averages out to about 2 per year, so I can't really complain. But I hate that feeling of complete and total loss of control and that feeling of fear.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Attentions Tennesseans....and all others!

Okay, after reading about Bernard and the 1st Annual New England Diabetes picnic I have decided that those of us in and around Tennessee need to do something like this. I am hoping to get something organized before fall sets in and it gets cold, but my first step is to put out feelers to see how many of your would be interested. I have already posted on the TuDiabetes group, TN Diabetics. But I am also posting here on my blog.

If you are interested in this, please let me know. It would probably be mid-state so it would be more centrally located. It would also be easier for me to plan as I live semi-centrally.

If you have any ideas, know of anyone who might like to come, or have any questions, please let me know.

There is nothing set in stone yet, but this is just my way of getting an idea of how many people might be interested to see if it would be worth planning.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I posted yesterday about how great my CGMS is. Sometimes, though, I just need a break from it. I never take more than a few days at a time off.

Today was the perfect example why I don't leave CGMS off more often than I do. I took the CGMS off yesterday afternoon.

I woke up with a high blood sugar this morning. It was 250. I corrected, proceeded to get ready for work and when I checked my blood sugar before I grabbed a quick bite of breakfast, it was already down to 153.

At lunch: 119.

I ate cereal for lunch. I know it wreaks havoc on my blood sugars. I almost never keep it in the house because of this. I LOVE cereal. I could eat it 3 meals a day if it weren't for my blood sugars.

I bought a box of cereal the other day. I ate cereal for lunch.

Two hours post lunch at around 2:00: 278. Correction.

I knew my blood sugar was high this afternoon. I have been running to the bathroom and drinking water like crazy. My breath was even beginning to smell bad. I know this isn't good. I know it's a sign of ketoacidosis. By the time I got off work at 4:30, I was feeling physically ill. I checked again: 298.

Another correction. I am still drinking water and running to the bathroom. And on top of that, my breath smells funny and I feel sick to my stomach.

For all of you that worry about me, I'll be fine in a couple of hours. I will keep a close watch on it and if it seems to get worse, I will certainly go the the hospital. But for now, I am not worried. Just sick.

And wishing I had put on my CGMS this morning. It will go back on first thing in the morning, that you can be sure of. If I'd had it on in the first place, I would have caught the high before it got this bad.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Where does diabetes fit in?
I have been so busy these past several weeks, both with work, family, and friends. I've had a million things on my mind. And it would have been very easy for me to "forget" my diabetes.
We all know that we never really forget it. It's always there, hovering, waiting, acting up without much notice.
Just like the title of my blog, it's around us every day, every hour, every minute.
But these past several weeks I have been very glad for my CGMS. If not for this contraption that the insurance companies like to call "investigational", I can assure you my blood sugars would have been completely out of control.
I have forgotten to test before some meals, I have skipped meals, I have dealt with all the food on the Fourth of July. I have stayed up late some days, slept in late other days, and have basically lost my normal schedule. CGMS has kept me somewhat grounded during this time. Beeping at me occasionally to tell me my blood sugar is low, or high, or that I need to calibrate.
It's allowed me to correct several times, keeping me from having a single blood test over 298. Yes, I know that's high, but on that day, it would have kept on rising had I not had my pump beeping at me like crazy saying "Hey, stupid! You ate a piece of cake! You are supposed to give more insulin when you eat cake!" And I may not have caught it until the high 300s.
I have had so many things on my mind that I have let diabetes slide, ever so slightly, to the background. And CGMS has helped me let that happen. According to my pump, the last month's average blood sugar: 143. Average sensor readings: 130.
I know it's not perfect, but it's nice to know that CGMS is here to help me when I'm feeling like I need to have other things on my mind and in my life, other than just my diabetes.
Still, we fight. Some of us are lucky, and get approved for CGMS. Some of us, like Kerri, aren't so lucky, and she still fights on.
I just look forward to the day when we are no long tied to a machine (or two) that helps us control our blood sugars. I want to stay healthy. I want to stay as complication free as possible. Because I think that there is hope of a cure and better control for all of us.
So even if you are like me: busy, busy, busy. Just do your best to keep yourself healthy. CGMS helps me to do that.
I know this post has been kind of rambly, but it's because I have so many different thoughts going on in my head right now.
I'll post again in a few days when I've had time to get my life back to normal. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

God Bless America

Just a quick note, late at night on this Fourth of July. I just wanted to say that I am so thankful to live in America. I have both friends and family who are serving or have served in the military. And to them, this day, I say THANK YOU for all you do.

No matter what your political stance, left or right, liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, we are all blessed to be able to have our opinions and to live in this great country.

Take a moment, when you read this post, to think about how blessed you are. It might just take your breath away.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Fourth.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Meter Mania!

Okay, Amylia wrote a blog post that made me want to write one. Inspiration I'll say. Thanks Amylia!
I am not the most organized person. I like to say I'd lose my head if it weren't attached to my shoulders. I loose my car keys, a DVD, my wallet, my bills. Since i got my pump, I can't say that I have ever thought I lost it, like Amylia did, but I can say that I have thought I lost my meter many, many times.
I can't remember how old I was, but I remember my meter was pretty big. I couldn't have been more than 7. My mom and I, and another person (I don't remember who, just that there was another person there) were shopping in a different town. My town is so small that you have to go out of town to get anything other than a Wal-Mart. Actually, at the time this story takes place, we didn't even have a Wal-Mart. Just a Dollar General and a Family Dollar. So any time we went out of town it was a big deal.
I remember mom handing me my meter in a store and telling me to check my blood sugar. She helped me. I don't remember much after that, but for whatever reason, I was carrying my meter. And at some point, I sat it down and forgot to pick it back up...
Fast forward a little while and my mom asks me where my meter is. I can't remember. I'm scared. I think I was more scared of being in trouble than I was that my meter was gone. We tried to back track to find it. We couldn't. We went to stores that we had visited, retraced our steps, talked to managers. Nothing. This meter was gone.
My mom was mad. Looking back, I don't think she was mad at me. I think she was mad at herself for letting me carry my meter. I was so young.
This was around 1988. Meters were still very expensive. You couldn't go get one for $30 or $40. And companies weren't giving them away like they do now. So this was a very big deal.
There are so many other stories of times I have lost, or thought I lost, my meter. This one just happens to be the earliest one that I remember.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Today is a special day. A day when we all raise our voices and tell our stories. CGMS is a fairly new technology, but it has done wonders in the lives of many diabetics already. My life is one of those lives.

I was one of the lucky ones. I was approved the first time I requested CGMS. This was back in February. I had only been on CGMS for two months, and my A1c dropped from 6.7 to 6.4. This is a significant drop for me. And puts me that much closer to my goal of an A1c less than 6.0.

But now, as I am beginning to see all the wonderful parts of CGMS, my insurance company is trying to stop paying for the coverage.

I sent a letter to my insurance company that explained all of the things that CGMS has done for me. Some other things that have helped me are the slow regaining of some of my hypoglycemic awareness. It's still not perfect, but I am beginning to feel me lows better than I did before. I would love to see that continue.

As I sit here, on the sidewalk, outside my local public library, in the warm sunshine, I am not worried about if my blood sugar is low. I can look at my pump and see that I am right around 100. This gives me peace of mind.

Currently, I have been told that the insurance company had decided to "table" a decision to quit covering the sensors, but is currently looking at the policies of other insurance companies around the country. This doesn't look good for me, as I see post after post of people who have been denied continually.

I am not married. But I would someday like to be. I don't have children, but I would someday like to have children. After spending 23 years with diabetes as a part of my life, I am beginning to see the early signs of wear on my body.

My feet sometimes fall asleep much sooner than they should. I have high cholesterol and have to take medication for this. My eyes are beginning to get cataracts. These things have been held off for years by taking care of myself (for the most part). I want to continue to hold these things off. I want to be able to have healthy children and to watch them grow.

Part of the ability to do that is to take and aggressive stand against diabetes. To control it swiftly and to micromanage this disease that consumes so much of my life.

This new technology is a new way that I can do that. To anyone who works for an insurance company and that may be reading this: DON"T CAUSE ME TO SUFFER, and in the long run, be more expensive for you (via kidney, heart, eye, and limb problems).

Let us take care of ourselves. Let us live. Let us come out as healthy as possible, until there is a cure.