Monday, January 5, 2015

New Diabetes Firsts

When you've had Type 1 for a while, you start to forget the first - the first finger stick, the first shot, the first infusion site, etc. You remember them in these vague ways with hazy memories with pinpoint details about the pain and the size of your tools.

Today, I had not just one but two firsts (which after more than 15 years is always surprising). I woke up feel laden down but convinced myself that checking my blood sugar would help sort out the source of my morning apathy. This fingerstick glucose test is one thing I've done several thousand times. Today was the first time that I lanced myself while pulling the highly engineered poker out of its holster. It happened so fast that I'm still struggling to grasp what happened. In one swift motion the elastic cocked the spring and somehow pushed the button before the tester was entirely free of its holster. So my PSA for the day: don't grab your poking device quickly, otherwise you'll get stabbed when you're least expecting it.

Hand wrapped around lancing device
The incorrect way to remove a lancing device from a holster
Don't try this at home!
Of course I tried to use the blood drop that squeezed out. The little red point on my abused finger seemed like a reasonable size, but of course, I got the dreaded "Error 5: Not enough blood on the strip" message. After grabbing  another strip and shoving it into the mouth of my meter, I squeezed the same finger hoping to save myself from another stab. Apparently, I squeezed a little too hard or a little to vehemently but it turned into a squirter. Not suprising for anyone who sticks themselves with sharp objects. What was surprising was that not only had it squirted along my finger (which happens every now and again), but also it had squeezed with such violent force that there was as Bob Ross would have said - a happy little red puddle on my chin. Never have I ended up with blood on my face because of my unruly pancreatic condition. Until today. Yay.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#DBlogWeek Changing the World


I love science. LOVE. Love. love. SCIENCE.

And I have diabetes... (because my busted pancreas told me so)

So naturally my favorite advocacy effort focuses on research funding. I volunteer for JDRF at as many of their outreach events as I can. I'm not a great fundraiser - I'd rather tell you about all the interesting advancements and explain all that I know about beta cell encapsulation, insulin pump algorithms, and the latest and greatest and not quite out in the world yet (but in a few decades?) glucose responsive insulin. I'm not an expert but I am a doctoral student in the biomedical field so I hear tidbits here and there. I understand more of the science than your average bear. 

Even though I've been kind of crummy at it lately, I also love the sense of community that we build with each other and with the world at large. Twitter's my go to for connecting with the diabetes online community and unfortunately I've let it go a little silent (along with this blog). BUT I do try. My favorite days are when someone asks "why are you stabbing yourself?", "should you be eating that?", or "is that a beeper?". Guerilla advocacy -- answer their questions and teach them a tidbit or two about diabetes. Almost everyone knows someone with diabetes at this point, and yet there's such a lack of knowledge and serious judgement out there. So I'm educating the world one person at a time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oh Hi There Late Night

Being a perpetual college student, I spent many many years sleeping 2-4 hours a night without a problem. As I've progressed in my studies and gotten older, I realize that my body doesn't respond well to major changes to my odd but regularly scheduled eight hours of rest that needs me to be in bed by midnight or 1 am. While my schedule is flexible, it has some preferred order on most days.

Case and point: Last night, I stayed up well past my bedtime and woke up less than two hours later in a sweaty panic-driven mess. I wrestled all of the sheets and blankets of me and wrestled the pillows to find my CGM aka Eggy unusually silent. Not quite at the LOW stage but definitely in the red at a reading of 51 mg/dl, I gauged whether or not my legs were solid enough to handle my weight. The shakiness of my knees while I was still laying down said definitely not. Stop. Think. Think. Think. Where's the sugar at? Juice boxes! Luckily, I had stocked up on those weird Capri Sun packs during my last bulk buying binge. Except during my last cleaning binge, I had put the boxes just outside my beside reach. I destroyed the Jenga game I was playing on my nightstand with my water bottle, tissues, lamp, vitamins, books, snack pile, etc. without a care. I stabbed the first pouch and thought I gulped it down too quickly. Of course there's a little grape juice puddle on my pillow... In my still ensuing panic, I reached and stabbed another packet. But I still didn't feel like I had satisfied my low blood sugar eating rage so instead of rushing to the kitchen to find the plethora of health-*cough*sugar*cough*-laden treats that were hiding on my kitchen table, I grabbed three handfuls of almonds and stuffed them to my face. Chomping down on them like a chipmunk made my heart stop racing.

Fade to the morning where I woke up to a reading of 179 mg/dl, little chunks of almonds in my gums, the sheets twisted into a rubberband ball, and a headache. Gotta love the D rollercoaster ride.