Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's Been a While...

So I haven't written in a while. Not really for a lack of ideas or thoughts (cause if you ask, I have exactly 10 or so rolling around my head at any given moment), but more so a lack of time at my laptop, energy, and organization. Because 2 or 3 sentences makes a tweet and not a blog. And while I love bullet points, they don't help my writing skills blossom. But alas, my mind just breaks down from all the clutter rolling around in there.

I managed to pull out not just ONE, but TWO infusion sets placed on my thighs within exactly 3 hours of each other last week. I think there was something wrong with the adhesive after they ventured into the great outdoors with me for a night. But considering I typically "accidentally" tear out a site once every 6 months, I was quite angry cause I despise changing my infusion sites. Plus, it screws up my rotation schedules for "landing zones".

Another first for me (today in fact) was the first time I misplaced my insulin. I'm on a pump. I change my site & reservoir every 3/4 days, but I always keep my medical bag packed especially when I'm travelling (read DRIVING everywhere). I was panicking after I noticed that my Novolog was missing for the bag when my reservoir was running on EMPTY just after eating a large dinner at 8pm at my parents. I guess that as I was hectically putting in extra infusion sets in the bag, it rolled out. Insulin 5 hours aways doesn't help me now. Absent-vial-syndrome hasn't EVER happened to me before. Thankfully, the CVS by my parents is open til 10pm and they had enough in stock to fill my prescriptions. Crisis averted.

I'm on the hunt for a cool diabetes shirt that says "Even though I don't look sick, I still deserve a cure for diabetes" preferably before the Non-Communincable Disease Summit in NYC (I'm going and you should too! More info here!). Anyone know someone who sells one already? Otherwise, I'm totally hitting up http://diabetees.spreadshirt.com/ to make me one (because I really want to order half their website already). Anyone else interested?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sleeping... Or So I Hoped

It's funny for me to think about when I was in college and managed to fall asleep in all the strangest places at all the strangest times. I had (have?) a habit of running myself ragged, doing everything I possibly could, before my body would just decide naptime was required and I would be out like a light. (bonus story at the end!)

To this day, I'm still a pretty heavy sleeper. Except when the Diabetes Dragon exacts it's toll.

I remember being a teenager and having my endocrinologist ask me if I ever woke up in the middle of the night for water or to use the bathroom. Most often the answer was no. Thinking about it now, I always wondered why they never asked, "Do you ever wake up in a sweat?" or "Do you ever just sit up in bed?" Living with diabetes brings about a lot of good things like healthier eating and more attention to lifestyle choices, but with sleep, I wish I didn't have it. Luckily for me, I always woke up anxious or trembling when my blood sugar was dropping (usually at the 40s or 50s, but at least I'd know) [easily my mom's biggest fear]. In terms of high readings, most often I wake up groggy and dehydrated when I get to about 250 mg/dl.

The reason I bring this up today is because today I experienced random awakeness for the first time that wasn't D related. No cold sweats. No shaking. No anxiety. No dying for a liter of water. Just AWAKE. My body never ceases to amaze me. Why am I awake before 10am in the middle of my vacation? Because I think I've trained myself on 6 to 8 hours of sleep. I've been working on getting more sleep all summer and now it comes full circle.

I was overcome with this wave of exhaustion at about 11pm last night. Passed out on the couch kind of exhaustion. I woke up to 5am on my cell phone. I don't see 5am often for a reason. We're not friends. I understand doing this once school starts, but really, I'm trying to savor the last few weeks of freedom from craziness. On the upside, the internet always has something for me to do to keep occupied. On the downside, I really just want to close my eyes for a few more minutes of zzzs and can't.

Bonus story: When I was a sophomore, I went over to my friend's apartment to study for an organic chemistry exam we had coming up. We were sitting on the couch and flipping through our books, when her roommate came out of her room to ask my friend something quickly. I think they were talking for maybe 2 minutes. My friend turned back to me and I was out like a light right there on the couch next to her with my textbook in my lap. Woke up 2 hours later, very very confused.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Can't Get Out of My View?

So today I spent about 7 hours in my car. I made a point of putting in a new Dexcom sensor just after breakfast, because as awesome as testing at 70 mph hour is (shh, don't judge) it's really hard to accomplish.

Unfortunately, regardless of my fairly spotless record with Dexcom's accuracy, today did not reassure me that it works well. My Egg-shaped-friend (Eggy for those of you who are friends) beeped away ALL day. 2 of the 35 times were actually correct. The rest were waaaaaaaaaaaaay outta whack. But because I stopped trusting it, I missed the really bad one this evening.

After my 7 hour drive, my mom requested that I attend a dinner party at the neighbors. Drive, dress, dine (wheeeeeeee, not). Dinner was quite fabulous even though I didn't eat very much. I was much more enamored by all the little kids around, but I digress.

Most of the riveting conversation of the evening revolved around the children's food allergies and the struggles that they bring. I listened intently and gently prodded about difficult moments. Having diabetes changes my relationship with food, but exclusionary diets are extremely painstaking to maintain especially when those food cause life threatening reactions. Everyone was sympathetic, but only the two moms of kids with allergies REALLY got it.

Later, the conversation turned to fashion. Particularly, my custom "culturally" appropriate pants with pockets. Most Pakistani pants are baggy and don't include pockets. My mom had to pay the tailor extra for each one, but I was rather happy to have somewhere to put Eggy and my cell phone. That was when the conversation turned to "You're diabetic? Explain ALL of it." Usually, I over explain it but I did my best to squeeze in the vital information before dessert was served. Then, I casually walked over and explained how carb-counting worked. Fairly normal for me to SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) the carbs in a homemade dessert. I looked and sounded very convincing. I felt convincing. UNTIL, an hour later when I was tucking myself into bed.

PJs? Check. Brushed Teeth? Check. Blood sugar? I kept putting it off. I kept reading things on my phone and started getting this strange sensation of tunnel focus (just off the tip of my nose). I heard Eggster buzzing away but ignored him because of his track record. The feeling of tunnel focus was starting to make me uneasy so I pulled out my Mini and tested to find a fabulous (not) reading of 33 mg/dl. Eggy says nothing but Low (dun dun dunnnn). And then it all started to make sense. I ran downstairs for a tall glass of orange juice. Waited 15 minutes. 45 mg/dl. Not quite right. More orange juice followed by some rice cause (surprise!) I was STARVING.

In the end, the story has a happy ending. I leveled out nicely to a 110 mg/dl after it was all said and done. The scary feeling was the knowing something was wrong but my lack of ability to do anything about it. It's been happening more and more with my lows and I don't know how to snap out of it. My focus was fixed but not on what I needed to survive but some little lighted screen in the palm of my hand. Gotta fix that. Gotta listen. There are always signs. Little breadcrumbs. Gotta follow them to keep my life with D on track for survival.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bad Sites

I feel like putting in an infusion site nowadays is like digging for gold: Random and nonsensical.

A few weeks ago, my CDE and I discussed potential alternates from my stomach. After having an insulin pump for about a decade (2 upgrades later, that seems crazy) and recently acquiring a CGM that actually works for me, I feel like I need to give my tummy a break. There are little white scars everywhere on my brown skin that make me feel like I'm artificially giving myself reverse freckles.

Anyway, now the outside edges of my tummy (aka my lovehandles [eww]) are reserved for the Dexcom and the infusion sets are wandering. I've been comfortable enough to try the back side of my hips. I was afraid mostly because I didn't think I was flexible to comfortably get the site in with the sil-serter (makes me think of soft serve ice cream for some reason [#takethatwendell anyone?]). It's awkward but I've gotten to work for me with one very large caveat.

I can only use my left hip. Every site I've tried (I'm up to 4) on my right hip has ended up being a vampire infusion set. After putting one in that seemed fine for the 10 minutes I was watching it, I went shopping today and found the following image awaiting for me in the dressing room mirror.

It's a little hard to tell, but basically that's a lot of blood that's crusting around somewhere where there should be any. That's definitely an infusion site fail. The little dot to the left of it is one of the earlier ones that bled out and left my blood sugar running high for about 8 hours overnight (reasons not to change infusion sites before bed). I thought human bodies were supposed to be relatively symmetrical. I just want it to work. I hate having to change them early. I also don't want to be worrying about not hitting a vessel in addition to worrying about not hitting scar tissue. Some part of my body has to play nice, right?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Feel It Coming

Funny tidbit: Blogger only let's me update html post from my phone. Weird but I'm just happy to be writing despite no "real" broadband internet til Friday.

Anyways! Today is day one of unpacking into my new place. Let's just say that I'd rather be anywhere else doing anything else. So I kinda chalked up my lack of motivation to distaste for the task instead of low blood sugar.

Normally, I'm as bright eyed and bushy tailed as everyone else (and sometimes more so). Today, I experienced that slow, losing steam at the cracks sort of feeling. Arms that felt like lead made me think that maybe I just needed to relax for a few minutes on my bed and troll the web for something exciting to read. Somewhere, the better half of my conscience said, "It could be a falling number." But I looked at my CGM and saw a flat arrow at about 90 and decided it really was just too much moving stuff around.

Gradually, I became more and more tired, like a gradual fog settling in on the folds of my brains. I said to myself, "This kind of feels like a mild low. I should test. Where's my meter?" That notion was immediately battled by my inner child with a very whiney (sans cheese), "I don't want to. Please don't make me get up. I'm comfy."

That should've been my sign. But no. I kept reading and putzing. Meandering from site to site until I got really sleepy and suddenly Eggy buzzed loudly in my ear. 52 and slanty down arrow. Got up and tested to find a 49 waiting for me. I actually ate 6 glucose tabs (21g), set an alarm for 15 minutes for the recheck, and started to wait for that feeling of preparedness to come back.

Instead, I started zoning out while thinking of bookshelves and grocery lists. Luckily, I set a 15 minute timer on my phone because apparently I fell asleep on my comfy little airbed otherwise I would've missed the second reading of 49 on my little black OneTouch Mini.

I worry about my meter and my sanity when I see the same number. I always question myself as to whether I really ate those glucose tabs or whether that was low bg hazy delirium. And if it's a high, I ask myself, "Did I really push the ACT button?" and immediately pull out my pump to check the last bolus. The worst cases are late at night but sometimes it happens between meals and really freaks me out, because I know my body. I know there's no way my sugar levels have been at a constant for 4 or 5 hours after eating sometime. Is there such as thing as diabetes coincidences? Or does my meter just have an affinity that day for that particular number? This post makes me think that might just be a possibility.