Saturday, October 27, 2012

No Fun, No Fair

As most of you probably know, I'm a huge fan of live theatre. It's so wonderful to get to see a show, especially if it's one you've been wanting to see for a while. Today I went with a couple of friends of mine to see a show in Nashville. Nashville is about 2 1/2 hours from me, so it was basically an all day trip.

This morning I got up and it was full diabetes change time. Basically, new pump site and new CGMS sensor at the same time. This happens occasionally, and MOST of the time, nothing bad happens. I changed my site, changed my sensor, grabbed a granola bar and headed out. My blood sugar was around 126, so I wasn't worried about driving or about anything else d related.

I noticed about 2 hours into my trip that I wasn't feeling that great. I suspected my blood sugar was high. When I stopped to test, it was. Over 350. I kind of flipped out at this. I bolused a LOT. It gave the insulin and I continued the rest of my drive into Nashville, as we were supposed to be meeting another friend for lunch before our show.

When I got to the restaurant, I tested again and was over 400. At this point, I feel like crap AND I'm sure that it's my pump site. But HOW??? If I have a kink, I get a "no delivery" alarm. I hadn't gotten one!

I grabbed my spare infusion site and headed to the restroom to change it. When I pulled it out, it was MAJORLY bent. Like, almost all the way over. This SHOULD have given me a "no delivery" alarm. But it didn't. At this point, other than being sick, and annoyed, there isn't a whole lot I can do. I wasn't going to miss my show. I gave an injection, put in the new site and went out to wait on my friends.

My stomach was bothering me and I knew I wasn't going to be eating anything at all for lunch, but I was drinking a ton of water and one of my friends got the bread, while we waited on the other friend. It was a garlic cheese bread, which I normally love, but my stomach was such a mess it made me feel even sicker. My other friend showed up right about the time I realized I needed to RUN (read: sprint like a crazy person) to the bathroom when I proceeded to throw up. And up. And up.

It kind of freaked me out. I haven't EVER thrown up from a high blood sugar that I can remember. My mom says I got sick once as a kid, but I don't remember it (thankfully). I had a couple of choices. I could go home (which meant I was not only wasting a ticket to a show, but ruining it for my friend who road down with me). I could go to the hospital (but what are they going to do, really??). Or I could tough it out. Take some more insulin. Drink some more (a LOT more) water. And go see my show.

I will admit, I felt better after my trip to the bathroom. I drank water the entire time we were at the restaurant. I had a head ache, but it wasn't anything I couldn't deal with.

I am glad I chose to tough it out. I wasn't at 100% at all today, but I managed to do okay.

After my long drive home, I'm sitting here being thankful that it wasn't worse. Wondering why my "no delivery" alarm didn't go off. And wondering what to do about the ketones still floating around in my body (I checked them when I got home. They were between small & moderate) when my blood sugar is basically back in range.

I still have a headache. My throat hurts from throwing up. And I think diabetes is a pain in the rear. I HATE that diabetes almost ruined my day. I hate that I had to feel like crap all day. I hope a good night's sleep will solve all my problems. 

Also, I hope I NEVER have to throw up from a high blood sugar again. It is NOT fun. Throwing up in general isn't fun, but knowing it was the cause of diabetes made it that much worse.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Steel Magnolias....Updated or Not

On Sunday night the new "updated" version of the classic movie (based on the classic play) Steel Magnolias. I've written about my concern and worry about what this movie reboot would be like. Many of the people in the D-OC have been worried about how diabetes would be approached in the movie. Rightly so, as the original basically made it look like if a woman with diabetes had a baby, she was doomed to die and leave her child motherless.

First off, let me say (in case you didn't read what I've written previously), I adore the original version of Steel Magnolias. I cry every time I see it. Secondly, let me say that the Lifetime reboot, with an entirely African-American cast, was handled very well.

I don't get Lifetime, so I went to my mom's on Sunday night to watch the movie. She typically wouldn't watch the movie, just because she's the mother of a daughter living with Type 1 diabetes (ME!) and what mom wants to watch a movie that a person with said disease dies? But my mom watched it with me, cause she's super awesome like that. If you don't believe me, go read THIS.

Overall, the "updated" version of Steel Magnolias was nearly IDENTICAL to the original. There were a few exceptions. The cast is the first and most obvious of the changes. There are a plethora of cell phones and newer technology devices, along with the occasional pop-culture reference in the script. The line dancing at the wedding reception was replaced by some more updated, and culturally appropriate music and dance for the "new" cast. But so many of the things were exactly the same. The lines, the infamous armadillo cake, the pink wedding with a ton of bridesmaids. Sometime it was the same right down to the camera angles.

Is it weird that I'm glad that they stuck so closely to the original? I am. The areas that were improved were the areas of diabetes information. It was pointed out very early in the movie that the reason Shelby shouldn't have a baby wasn't her diabetes, but her chronic kidney condition. It was never mentioned if the two were related, but most of us can assume it probably was.

When M'Lynn is arguing with Shelby's decision to have a child, it's pointed out by Shelby that her medical records were an issue in the adoption process. This is something I was glad to be brought up because I've looked into it. While diabetes isn't a flat out "no," any chronic health condition is a serious hurdle to get past. I'm sure if you added in the kidney issues, a "no" would be likely. Shelby did say that she was tightening her control, checking her blood sugar 10 times a day, and seeing doctors specializing in high risk birth; all of these are things we can relate to and I'm GLAD they brought it to light.

Also, we actually got to see Shelby check her blood sugar. Only once, but it's an improvement over the first movie. Though there was never any mention of an insulin pump, CGM, or any other treatment. I can't complain, really. Diabetes was kind of glossed over (though not as much as in the first film), but the movie, in my opinion, is about the relationship between the women in the story more than it's about Shelby and her diabetes and kidney issues.

One of the things that most people wouldn't notice, unless they'd seen the staged play, was that M'Lynn's famous break-down was changed to more closely reflect the play. In the original movie, her break down happens at the grave-side. In this version, it happens in the beauty shop, as it does in the play. I appreciated that because I feel like it would be more likely to happen that way. The difference? I still like Sally Field's breakdown more than Queen Latifah's. Don't hate me. I love Queen Latifah, but the fact remains I was more moved by Sally's performance.

Same goes for Julia Roberts' low blood sugar performance in the original versus Condola Rashad's. The one thing about Rashad's low that WAS better was the guilt she felt when she began to come back to herself after drinking the juice. I've been known to do nothing buy cry and say, "I'm sorry." after a low like that. And the brought in the cold sweats as well. They never said it, but Queen Latifah was fanning Rashad. Someone without diabetes may not have noticed it or even understood what it was. But as a person who has suffered major cold sweats after a severe low, I did notice it and appreciated the attention to detail.

Honestly, the movie made me cry. I was expecting that. I didn't hate it. I wasn't expecting that. I truly enjoyed getting the chance to "live tweet" the movie with several other members of the D-OC. And I really appreciated getting to watch the movie with my mom.

The moment that will live in my brain forever, though, was something my mom said to me. We were both crying on the couch as Shelby had her low. Me, because I know what that's like. I've felt that. I hate that. My mom because..... well, let me just quote her. She said it so well. "It's so easy to forget what it's like when you aren't around it anymore. It's not fair that I can forget and you're still dealing with it all the time."

Final judgement, out of 10

Respecting the original: 10

Updating diabetes info: 10

New cast: 8

Overal: 9

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

So Many Questions

I was talking with a colleague the other day who knows a young person with diabetes. According to my colleague, this young person (not an adult, but more than old enough to be making adult decisions in regards to health) wasn’t doing a good job with diabetes management, even using diabetes control (or lack of) to “hurt” the caregivers emotionally.

It was hard trying to explain to my co-worker how complicated having diabetes can be sometimes. Sure, all of my co-workers see me with my insulin pump. They see me bolus for food. They see me test. They hear my cgms beeps. They’ve seen me go low and have to suck down juice boxes. But short of the two co-workers that I know who have immediate family members with T1 diabetes, none of them grasp it completely.

When my colleague was talking with me all I could think to tell that person was to think about how hard it was to be a teenager. Add to that a less than ideal home life. And THEN add a chronic illness that requires thought for every little decision that you make. A teen who has a need for control (or even an adult, because I could be accused of this) in an out of control time will reach for the things that they CAN control. For some teens, this leads to things like eating disorders, problems with depression, cutting, and a host of other issues. For a young person with a chronic illness like diabetes, there is another thing you can control (or chose NOT to control, which in a sense is some sort of control).

I could tell I wasn’t quite getting through and I knew it. So I tried another approach. I’m going to share it with you here.

You get to work late. You skipped breakfast and instead grabbed a pack of vending machine crackers to munch on. For most people, that’s it. For a person with diabetes, there is so much more to that. I look at that pack of crackers and I think:

-  “What’s my blood sugar now?”
-  “How do I feel right now?”
-  “Do I have any insulin in my system right now?”
-  “How many carbs are in those crackers?”
-  “Am I going to be eating lunch early today?”
-  “Am I going to be eating lunch late today?”
-  “Do I have anything with me to treat a low, in case I miscalculate my insulin?”
-  “How much fat is in those crackers? (It affects digestion, which affects insulin and how/when you give it)”
-  “Am I planning on being ‘off schedule’ for my day?”
-  “Will I be more or less active than normal?”
-  “How much insulin am I going to give?”

These are just some of the questions that float around in my head on a regular basis. And that was just for one pack of crackers. Even though each of those thoughts might not be individual conscious thoughts every time, they’re there, floating around in the back of my mind. For a pack of crackers cause I’m hungry. Never mind if I’m thinking of taking a car trip somewhere, or going to exercise, or eating a meal that’s not something I’ve eaten before.

That’s a lot to take on. For an adult, let alone a young person. When I finished telling my college about that series of questions, you could see the shock. People don’t realize how complex this disease can be. While my example may be a little over the top to some, it’s true. Diabetes doesn’t take a break. Ever.