Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Another day bites the dust

I just returned from a scientific conference where I left feeling exhausted from five days of non-stop networking with little sleep but reenergized to make a dent in the scientific world with my research. Amped up and ready to do great science, I made a lengthy to do list for goals for the next few days, with every cell in my body intentioning to aid me in my enthusiastic drive forward.


This morning I woke up to a high blood sugar. "Eggy" my faithful Dexcom G4 CGM went off to alert me in my morning stupor of this detail, and I absentmindedly dialed in some more insulin assuming I screwed up something with my last meal. My robotic attachment also informed me that the sensor needed to be replaced (or restarted) in 30 minutes. With half a forethought, I readjusted my morning alarm and forcefully rolled over to catch a few more zzzs.

I woke up two hours later feeling even more lethargic and very confused as to what was going on. I thought  "Where is my meter?!"  and urged my muscles to move to alleviate the cement-in-my-veins feeling. A little stab later I found out that my blood sugar was even higher than the last reading which meant that either my infusion site was out of whack somehow, I didn't really bolus as I had envisioned in my dreamlike state, or that I had the world's least satisfying sleep-eating experience. Sadly, the rumbling in my tummy told me that I was not in fact a sleep eater. A quick glance at my pump told me that I did in fact have insulin on board from a bolus two hours prior. Last but not least, my prodding of the edges of my infusion site did not come away with any scents of feels that indicated a problem. Since my blood sugar was much higher and I was moving like molasses, I knew that the responsible course of action would be to take a shot and replace the infusion set. I disconnected the tubing from the site and took a quick glance to find the following:

Tubing torn through
The saddest (and only) tear in tubing I've ever seen
I have had diabetes for over 15 years. I have been tethered to a pump for more than 10 years. I have never even seen my tubing snap like this. EVER.

I did my due diligence and spent 10 minutes on the phone to report the incident (they're sending me a two pack replacement set) [note to self: write a post on why you should do this every time too!]. I trudged through long enough to take an injection of insulin that seemed to not budge my blood sugar for at least an hour. I replaced my entire infusion site and tubing (because that's the easiest course of action). But I lost four hours of my morning and my drive to seize the day. And at least 10 minutes writing this post. And while I'm still determined to stay productive and accomplish something great today, I wish that the balance of my success didn't rest in the hands of a tiny (albeit well engineered) piece tubing.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

And again...

Life with diabetes often feels like a washing machine going down a roller coaster, akin to my inexperienced perception of a 4-D roller coaster. You do the same things day in and day out but each day is a little smoother or rougher depending on where you're sitting and what the track is throwing at you next. I'm not excited for the next loop.

Next week, I have an endo appointment. The dread is starting to loom, and as always, there are two tracks playing in my brain. One says, "Stop stressing. These appointments aren't that big of a deal. She loves you. You're her favorite patient." Meanwhile, the negative nancy track is moaning, "Why haven't you been doing a better job? I've seen those spikes. Your HbA1c is going to be outrageous. Get ready to be ridiculed and torn apart for 30 minutes."

I'm pretty reasonable. I know the truth lies somewhere between these two, and realistically close to the former than the latter. But. I. am. tired. I'm a little burnt out with the rest of the roller coaster: grad school, injuries*, family issues, social demands, etc. Diabetes and other self care hasn't been high on the priority list. Should it be? Probably. I guess all I can do is wait and see what happens. Mentally stressing about it isn't doing me any good.

*I hurt my thumb. No, I'm not sure how. Yes, it's been a while  ~ 2 months. No, I don't think it's getting better. Yes, I did see a doctor. Resting your dominant hand sucks. I could rant about this for days, but it's not the point of this post.*

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.