Sunday, May 30, 2010

The CGM is on the way!

So...I told you all that I had a story regarding my CGM. After getting home from vacation (see pics below!), my Hubby and I attended an informational class at our local medical center/my doctor's office. I was trying to decide between the DexCom CGM or the Real Time System with Medtronic that will simply just become a part of my pump.

I went to this "informational meeting" with a couple questions in mind.
1. What is the cost going to be?
2. Is this going to hurt?

To make a really long story short...the class was helpful and I had a chance to talk to some other D's that have either just started using a CGM or are looking into it like me. Included in the class was this woman who was a T1 since the age of 9. When she became an adult, her kidneys began failing so she received a Pancreas/Kidney transplant. Her new pancreas worked for 17 YEARS and then just decided to stop working. Can you imagine being "cured" (minus all the meds you probably have to take) and then having it fail again...only to have to re-learn about managing Diabetes in 2010? She's on the list for another transplant, but the D educator was trying to tell her that if she gets everything under control, maybe she wouldn't want to go through another risky surgery. I don't know...but I felt bad for her and for a moment considered myself lucky to not have to make those choices.

At any rate, I decided to go with the Real Time System with Medtronic. Although I hear that the transmitter itself hurts a lot worse than DexCom, I already have the pump and it would be one less thing to carry around.

If I had the Dexcom...I would have to carry...
1. Dexcom Device
2. Wear my pump/ and infusion set
3. Wear the transmitter
4. Carry my BG meter

1. Pump
3. Meter


So, I made the decision and told the D educator who informed me that in addition to getting the CGM, I needed to take classes that go along with it...including a 6 hour/2 day class about reviewing DIABETES MANAGEMENT! Give me a fucking break.. I do not need a review on managing Diabetes.'s the costs $800....$800! No way....but then she told me that I HAD to take the class or the doc wouldn't write the prescription. In addition, D educator mistakenly told everyone that they have these classes for research I'm a guinea pig. I left very pissed off and feeling defeated.

I went ahead and ordered the CGM anyway...the stupid doc had already faxed in the prescription...what's she going to do to me when I don't take the class? I told the Medtronic rep my situation and she tried to talk me into taking the class...I told her I would take my chances.

So, the system is being shipped. The D educ. called me the next day and told me that the doctor waived the classes for me. I still have to take the sensor classes, but at least that seems a little more reasonable and I don't have to take 2 separate afternoons off at work during my busiest time of year.

The CGM is arriving on Tuesday...I'm excited to use it but hope I don't have some of the problems that many of you have had.

I posted some vacation photos below! Enjoy....I miss it already!

VEGAS! Outside the Bellagio! Beautiful day!

Yosemite National Park in California...on our way to Bridalvail Falls...absolutely beautiful!

On the way to low blood sugar reading on the ferry required me to pop some Life Savers!

The Hubby and I at Lake Tahoe!

Andretti Winery in Napa Valley, CA

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm Back!

Well, I must say that the last 2 weeks have flown by! Vacation was absolutely amazing and I completely forgot how wonderful it feels to relax and not think about work!

Napa Valley was first time there, but as an avid wine drinker, the entire atmosphere of the town is right up my alley. We took a tour, drank and tasted lots of wine...revisited lots of wine and bought lots of wine! For those of you who have never been to Napa, if you purchase a "tasting", you can ask for a "revisit" and retaste all the wines again at no additional cost. AMAZING and it feels like you get a better deal for your sometimes $15 tasting!

We stayed in a little beach house in Bodega Bay which is about an hour North of San Fransisco. We had a direct view of the Pacific straight from the front windows. Slightly chilly but the cliffy views were absolutely spectacular. Bodega Bay is known from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" which was filmed in this small town. We even stayed in one night to enjoy a viewing of the movie...made the trip all the more fun!

We did the night tour of Alcatraz Island in San Fransisco. I experienced a low blood sugar on the cruise over to the island. The wonderful Hubby took some pictures of me popping Life Savers on the way over...will post those soon!

We drove 16 hours one day from Bodega Bay all the way to Las Vegas. We had a WONDERFUL life changing 4 hour stop at Yosemite National Park. The waterfalls were absolutely breathtaking and it was nice to get out and breathe the mountain air. I so badly wanted to see a bear...or a mountain lion, but that was a no go...I'll settle for the deer we saw brifly running into the woods.

Las Vegas was a blast! We had a little luck on the Roulette Wheel which allowed us to have fun for the entire weekend we were there, but unfortunately we left a little poorer than when we got there!

I'm glad to be home after 2 weeks away, but upon our arrival, our home computer crashed this morning, so we are out looking for a new one. We may possibly get a Mac Notebook but are trying to justify the cost. I'm currently suffering through using the Hubby's work computer on a limited basis....please pray that I get a computer by the end of the weekend!

At any rate, I didn't really think about highs and lows over the past couple weeks, but it's time to get down to business again. The CGM arrives tomorrow- will post more on that venture soon!

For now, I will spend some time catching up on all of you and your lives over the past couple weeks! I really did miss the blogging!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 7: Life after a Cure...a little dream of mine!

First of all- I would like to thank Karen for making this Diabetes Blog Week possible. I feel more connected and NOT alone this week than I ever have as a person with T1. It's really easy to see through all this blogging that I'm not alone and I'm not the only one.

Life after a cure is a little scary to think about. I think it's because I'm scared it Won'T happen. But, I'll give it a whirl.

The first thing I would do is CRY...cry...cry............and cry some more.

Then...I'd eat a GIGANTIC Hot Chocolate fudge sundae and a blizzard from DQ and go out for a nice large Italian dinner...followed by a late night of beer drinking and pizza.

I would then get rid of every blood glucose meter in my household (I think 7 total although I really only use 1). I would empty boxes of infusion sets and test strips, rid myself of needles and prescriptions, and cancel doctors appointments.

I would then probably go have a regular Coca-cola- out of spite and top that with some vanilla ice cream to create a giant Coke Float!

I know I would get down on my knees and thank God for returning me to my normal life...but also thank him for the challenge he layed before me and the lessons I learned along the way. I would also thank him for allowing my children to be free of their mother's disease.

I would also hope to continue with this community of bloggers- sharing stories about Life After the Cure...because we wouldn't all be connected unless it were because of Life BEFORE the cure.

Thank you all for this wonderful week- I'm on vacation for another...will continue posting upon my return!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 6: I'm using the Wild Card!

I would love to participate in the lovely D-photo blog spree, but my posts have been pre-set because I'm in CALIFORNIA on vacation...I'll post some pics upon my return...and hopefully some comments to all the lovely blog postings that I'm missing. I will not apologize...I'm on vacation!

I have a few really short and STUPID diabetes mistakes that I've made over the past couple years that I will share instead!

Mistake #1- This seriously all happened in the same day. While getting in my car...I pulled the infusion set out of my abdomen for the very first time. I was in a hurry and I was PISSED that I pulled it out. I ran inside..grabbed my stuff...and plunk! Dropped my insulin bottle on the ground and it broke...smelling of horrid band-aid everywhere. I then ran back inside- reinserted the infusion set, back to my car...and bam...pulled the infusion set out of my abdomen AGAIN! FML...I've never ever pulled it out accidentally since then.

Mistake #2- I once had a bunch of girlfriends over for a girls' night. My friend who was known as a horrible cook once made this delicious looking chocolate/marshmallow delight. I was on a humalog pen and decided that I was going to indulge in this yummy dessert, because there is absolutely NO WAY it was going to taste bad....I was wrong. I took 10 units of insulin....took one bite...ran into the kitchen and spit it out. Not only was the dessert horrible...I then had to eat something else to cover for the 10 units of insulin I just took. Granola bars galore...but a hilarious story!

Mistake #3- I once went on a road trip to Iowa with my best friend (helping her move) and I took all my insulin supplies...and forgot the infusion set supplies. I had to stop at a random pharmacy and ask for needles...I think they thought I was on drugs..not a fun feeling and it pretty much made me worry the entire road trip.

Mistake #4- The day of my best friend's wedding (same friend mentioned above), I left my insulin pump on another friend's side table in her bathroom from taking a shower. I stayed with this friend the night before and then she left to go out of town. I went about my day preparing for my best friend's wedding for 4 hours before noticing I didn't have my pump. When I realized where I had left it, my other friend was 3 hours into her trip and had to call another friend to come let me into her apartment to pick up my as the Maid of Honor for I believe a split second my very best friend and beautiful bride worried about me more than her wedding for a minute!

Stupid things happen...but at least I can laugh at myself and my stupidity!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Diabetes Blog Week Day 5: To exercise....or NOT!

Exercise is one of my biggest struggles and I know that sounds like a cop-out but it really is. Since diagnoses, I've gained over 20 pounds and I often dream of the skinny thing I used to be. However, since diagnoses, the gym has NOT been friendly to me.

My Hubby tries really really hard to keep me motivated to stay in shape, but I usually get upset and twist it around to mean "you're calling me fat!" For our anniversary last July, we purchased gym memberships and signed a 2 year aggreement....motivating for about 3 months, but hardly used.

I even purchased a bunch of really cool looking gym clothes- still sitting in the closet or I use them to work out in the yard...hardly what I purchsed them for.

I hate to run, love to walk...but walking doesn't always do it. We live...literally...1/4 mile from a Metro Park in which there are huge hiking I go as often as I should...NO!

Now that the weather is turning nice and we are TTC, exercise is becoming a larger priority for me...however, I'm constantly battling the lows. Now that I have my BG under control (so it feels)- I really feel that it's time to get my act together and use the expensive gym membership I've purchased. do I overcome the lows and woes at the gym? I either turn off my pump or set it to a temporary basal rate ahead of time and extend it for a couple hours after completion of my work out....I still go low. I may take the advice of a fellow blogger and just leave the pump at home all together...a sense of freedom!! Why didn't I think of this before?

At any rate..there is no excuse not to find a solution..and this is my next goal in Diabetes management...wish me luck!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Diabetes Blog Week Day 4: carb or not carb?

First of all- please don't follow my advice. I am a horrible example for eating in general, let alone a bunch of diabetics who are looking to see what else is out there.

You have to remember, I was not diagnosed until I was 21, so I ate what we call "normal" throughout all of my childhood and boy am I paying for that now. Unfortunately, I have a very strong tooth and from time to time still mourn the loss of eating a piece of chocolate cake whenever the hell I want to.

When I was first diagnosed (4 days before Thanksgiving), I started on shots and used an exchange diet- that totally sucked. I also had to eat at certain times of the day because of my long-acting/short acting insulin that I was taking. Talk about horrible, in the middle of a college class and I have to whip out my bologna sandwich because it's time to eat. I found a new Endo at that time and she amazingly switched me to a humalog pen which gave me a little more freedom.

My insulin pump changed my life. I had to take a 6 month class at my local hospital to even get it- included all the carb counting and training I would ever need. When I first got the pump- I went crazy with eating, making statements to my friends and family like - "It doesn't matter what I eat..I just bolus for it!" That attitude put me at a 7.7 A1c which is not what I call "being able to eat what I want."

Number 1 rule I follow- no sugary drinks- no regular pop, no juice(rarely is more like it), and no sweet tea.

Number 2- I always carry my Carb Master book with me which has local restaurants and food items that can help me carb count.

Number 3- I still eat cake for birthdays and ice cream several nights a week and pie at Thanksgiving.

Number 4- Pizza and past will ALWAYS make me high, no matter how many methods I've tried to "figure it out"- there's little elves in those foods that create sugar as we scarf down the food.

Number 5- In the past few months since TTC, I've been loading up on the fresh stuff. Lots of fruits and FRESH veggies- this has done amazing things for my BG.

Number 6- I rarely eat the same thing 2 days in a row- I know that works for many people because they can predict their blood sugar, but I get bored with food easily.

Number 7- I think it's pretty safe to say that I almost always under carb count- I am trying to be honest with myself about what I'm actually eating and I'm seeing huge results- simply from admitting to my insulin pump that "Yes, I'm eating 90 carbs right now" instead of faking it and pretending I'm only eating 50. Does anyone else ever do that?

At any rate- eating what I want is what keeps me happy- just focusing on being more honest about the realities of what I put into my body has helped me make healthier choices...and with a hopeful baby in the future...this shows me I'm ready for the challenge!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My best "over the shoulder boulder holder" (Supporter)

Okay...the title comes from GLEE if you don't watch the of my favorite lines...but ultimately is very accurate in meaning "support!"

My biggest supporter of my pancreas failure is of course my Hubby! He has been through it all and has experienced the same emotional triumphs that I have, but on the opposite end of course.

My husband (then boyfriend) was with me from day 1 of diagnoses. He actually drove me to the hospital at 11pm after an indulgence in M*CH*G*N after Ohio State kicked their butt in 2005! I was sick the entire weekend of the football festivities, throwing up, but didn't want to ruin his fun. Once we were in the car for hours driving back and I continued vomiting and most likely going in and out of consciousness (I was in DKA), he drove me very swiftly to the ER where hours later I was diagnosed with (GASP) Diabetes with an A1c of 14.5. I tore my esophagus in the process of vomiting, so I had other complications with air around my heart, but at any rate, he stood by my side holding my hand the entire time. It is an image I WILL NEVER FORGET. I can remember laying in the ER and him helping me undress and get into a hospital gown. He neatly folded my clothes and placed them on chair where he undoubtedly worried as tears streamed down his face. He politely told the ER doctor that "she was definitely NOT smoking weed" as he thought I had been. He gave my parents the horrifying wake up phone call at midnight and they quickly drove the 2 hours to see me, arriving shortly after 3 am. I very vividly remember my mom waking me up and seeing my Hubby break down in her arms and cry.

He stayed with me as I lay in intensive care for 2 nights, and brought me movies to watch on my last two night in the hospital. He brought me magazines and talked me through my first manual shot of insulin.

He helped me through the pain of Thanksgiving the day after I was released and realized I couldn't eat whatever I wanted. He limited his portions and only indulged in a small piece of sugar free pumpkin pie just the same as me.

These devastating moments are now the images I hold on to when things get tough. If we can make it through Diabetes, we can make it through anything. Those horrifying few weeks in which I was diagnosed was also the moment that I realized I would be with him forever as he reassured me that he would be with me forever.

Almost 5 years later, and happily married for almost 2, he continues to support me through encouragement to take care of myself. He lets me cry when sometimes the pain of inserting another infusion set brings me to tears. He reads and follows up with my numbers. He asks me questions, brings me milk when I'm low, reads books with me when we discuss trying to start a family. He will attend in a few weeks a class with me on starting a CGM.

My Hubby is my biggest supporter and I'm very fortunate and proud to walk through this journey with him!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 2: Making the Low go....

Ahhh! I love this post! As much as the lows really suck, it's a little snipit of time in which I feel like I can eat anything sweet that I want to!

For the past 4 years, I've been using those awful glucose tablets (orange flavored) to treat the lows. Never a favorite, but they do work really really quickly and only have a few calories. However, over the past month or so, I've been using Life Savers! Talk about a LIFE SAVER!! Thanks to Lyrecha from Managing the Sweetness Within for the amazing suggestion! I feel like the Life Saver candy has given me a whole new perspective on low blood sugars. Like last night, I was at 43 just before bed- ate 6 Life Savers and it was like a little delicious treat! Plus, they fit nicely in my BG monitor case so I always have them with me.

Other favorites to treat low blood sugar.......AHHHH...CHOCOLATE MILK! Love it love it love it and it works really quickly. I've also been known to scarf down a few oyster crackers- not the best choice...but delicious!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Diabetes Blog Week Day 1: A Day in the Life...with Diabtes

First off- thanks to Karen for a late addition to Diabetes Blog Week! So happy I can still participate!

Here is a typical day...

6:15am- Alarm clock goes off...I hit the snooze. The Hubby rustles a bit.

6:30am- snooze one last time...Hubby get up to take a shower.

6:45am- Bob Nunnelly and the C-Team on NBC4i News....must see pet pics at 6:54am so Hubby and I can get a good laugh at stupid comments.

7:00am- Watch news headlines and finally drag myself...and my pump...out of bed.

7:05am- De-pump and get into the shower. I'm wondering what my BG is by this point.

7:20am- out of the shower and into the closet. Trying to decide what to wear and most importantly...where to hide the pump today. I'm pretty clever at hiding it in my bra strap, but most often settle for the pocket pager look.

7:45am- in the kitchen, pack my lunch,check the BG and bolus for a cereal bar and head out the door.

7:55am- finally eat my Strawberry cereal bar and occasionally hit Dunkin Donuts for a Decaf on my drive downtown (being Monday, this is usually the case).

8:25am- arrive at work.

8:55am- for the last month, I've been checking my BG after an hour...all is good!

Work work work work work

11:30am- start thinking about lunch.

12:00pm- check the BG- 107- bolus for the frozen pizza (lean) I'm about to eat.

12:15pm- eat lunch- so delicious. I also snuck a few mini-snickers as a little treat- sometimes having candy around at work is awful. I'm working on self-control- the baby factor is motivating.

2:45pm- BG is high- I can feel it- test and correct.

5:00pm- out the door and head for home...quick stop at the store (I got a new crock pot!)

5:45pm- finally home- deciding what to have for dinner. Trying to think healthy but the fridge and pantry have slim pickins since we are leaving for vacation on Saturday. The Hubby is working late so I don't have to worry about him for dinner- this usually leaves less healthy option because I go for the easy fix.

6:45pm-finally fix dinner, test BG, bolus and eat.

7:45pm- test again, and sometimes the Hubby gets home by this time!

8:45pm- usually ready for some ice cream (always :) but we don't have any in the house so I'll be good for today.

9:00pm-watching some TV and usually the Hubby and I have a LAN party.

10:30pm- test BG again before bed- watch TV, talk about babies! Hubby falls asleep!

3:00am- alarm goes off (I think it's 6:15am every time) and I test again....if all is well, I go back to sleep.

If it's's a different story....and the cycle continues!

Adjusting to a New Norm

It's amazing to me how numbers impact my life (or my mood) at any second of the day.

Within the past few months, I've seen 41 and 403 and many numbers inbetween. For the past 5 years of my life, this has been the expectation, the norm for me as I constantly attempt to grasp this little life with Diabetes.

I finally feel some control in my life, some better grasp on reality. Maybe it's the idea of bringing a child into this world. I always told myself, "If I can't take care of myself, how am I going to take care of a baby?" That little split second thought always balances my never ending craving to be "normal." The reality is, I AM normal. I AM human, alive and healthy. It's about time I stop focusing on being different and focus on what I want to achieve as a normal person. I want to be healthy and happy. Yes, healthiness for me comes with effort, but what's wrong with a little effort? Kids take effort and willingness to be tired, but that's something I'm not giving up- so again-what's wrong with a little effort?

The past few months as we discuss starting a family- I finally feel that I have a grasp on what I need to do to stay and be healthy. The results are showing. My blood sugars are excellent and well within range most of the time. HOW MOTIVATING! For the first time in my life, I feel confident walking into the endo and confident that my A1c has dropped from the last time. No more surprises, no more denial of what I need to do. This is me adjusting to a new norm and it feels fabulous!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

7 Plus with DexCom or Real Time System with Medtronic???

I finally took the steps to get a Continuous Glucose Monitor...the question...which one do I go with?

All you pumpers out there...what do you recommend...what are benefits/downsides of these 2 systems? Is there a better system than the 2 I'm looking at?

Any help/feedback would be appreciated!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Not pregnant...

After a stressful night of me and the Hubby wondering about the results of my test yesterday....the nurse called this morning and confirmed a negative result for pregnancy.

I think by this point, I was not surprised. After stupid Replacement Doc made me feel like an idiot yesterday, I pretty much convinced myself overnight that I was NOT pregnant- I guess that's a good thing considering I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to feel.

As of last night, I thought I would be sad. But this morning I got the call in the parking lot on my way into work, so I didn't really have time to be sad. At any rate, we're leaving on vacation in approximately 11 days, so I guess I can somewhat enjoy that now without being worried the entire time or explain to my brother and his wife why I am not drinking a glass of wine in Napa Valley! I'll try to look at the positive least this month.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Why do doctors make you feel stupid? My story...

So, I'm going to share my story- and you can either laugh at me (to yourself) or let me know if this has happened to you.

So...the last 4-5 days, I've been experiencing some symptoms of pregnancy. The last 4 mornings, I've woken up very nauseus and then it would continue on and off throughout the day. In addition, my boobs hurt soooo bad that I don't even have to touch them to feel the discomfort. My first reaction was of course- "I'm pregnant." Then...the symptoms kept on coming, "omg- is that my vision blurring?" and "I have I really?" Was I psyching myself out or is this the real thing? The emotions are way out of control!

I tell the Hubby how I'm feeling and he starts asking a bunch of questions of concern...ALL DAY! I love his concern about my health and everything...but every sound or noise I made, he's asking "what's wrong?" We run into the store and buy 3 pregnancy tests, but of course...I'm not expecting my period until May 10, and it's only May 3- too early to take a test.

I'm not a very patient person sometimes when it comes to knowing things, so I called this morning and made an appointment with my regular physician to get a blood pregnancy test. I was feeling better, and I'm pretty sure the slight rise in my blood sugar was because of the stress of worrying.

I walk into the appointment, the nurse didn't say a word which was completely disappointing and tells me to pee in a cup down the hall. I wanted to scream- "Lady- it's too early to do a urine test or I would have done it at home!" At any rate, I peed in the cup and waited for nearly 30 minutes back in the room. My regular physician was out, so I settled for Dr. Make you Feel like and Idiot. She asked me about my symptoms and I shot down the list and then tells me that my urine test was negative (NO SHIT- like I said before- it's too early!) I follow along and she tells me they are going to do a blood test (this is what I was waiting for)and crappy No Talk nurse walks back in the room- still not talking as if we had some huge fight.

Now- I've never been pregnant before- so I'm not sure how I will feel or what to expect or anything. So I ask the Replacement doctor- "Is it common for women to experience symptoms of pregnancy this early on?" She looked at me with her smirky smile and promptly reponded, "No...not at all!" Talk about making me feel so stupid! Is the internet all wrong? I mean- I've been reading all kinds of stories about women feeling pregnant before their period starts, but at any rate, she made me feel really dumb and I wished I had waited a couple more days to just take the urine test at home on my own.

Blood was drawn and Replacement Doc is of course doing "other tests" because my symptoms were so unusual and now I have to wait until tomorrow to get the results. I think my Hubby was relieved that I didn't have to tell him any big news over the phone.

So...I'm waiting as patiently as I can until tomorrow, praying that I'm right in my instincts so I can tell Replacement Doc that I'm not stupid and women can feel signs of pregnancy early on. But if she's right and I'm not pregnant- I'll probably be sad and feel even more stupid- but at any rate I'll have fun trying again next month :)

Has any other T1 women experienced early signs of pregnancy before a missed period??

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The flood gates are open!

It's such a freeing feeling to be able to write about whatever I feel and what I'm thinking. I started a blog a couple weeks ago (Pseudo Confessions of a Diabetic), but found that it was not quite working out for me since I had shared with some friends and family. If you happen to jump over to that old...but very real blog, please be discrete about the existence of this even more truthful blog! Thank you all in advance for this support. I know in this new blog- I will be of more help to all of you as readers in my honesty and intentions for my life and whatever else I write here.

My journey into blogging began as my hubby and I started discussing the possibility of starting a family. As a 25 year old Type 1 Diabetic, I have a lot of questions and an impossible amount of concerns as we start this venture. At any rate, I decided I wanted to read a book but found virtually zero books relating to Type 1 Diabetes and pregnancy. There was a small book published by ADA (American Diabetes Association) in I belive 2000- so I reserved it at the library. I also began searching the internet and came across Cheryl Alkon and her blog Managing the Sweetness Within. Through wonderful conversation and support- I also ordered Cheryl's book Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.

The book from the libary came in...I rushed to pick it in one sitting- COMPLETE disappointment. It was extremely outdated- so I anxiously awaited the Cheryl Alkon book to arrive in the mail :) It's here...and I'm reading it and loving it! Finally- a wonderful starting point for so many questions...and I feel that I'm really getting some good answers!