Monday, January 31, 2011

endocrinologist questions

i need your help. 

tomorrow is my consultation with a new endocrinologist. i have been forming a list of questions/things to talk about with her, and it's time to write them down so i don't forget anything.

here's what i have so far...

  • lowering my A1C to under 7.0 (personal goal)
  • her approach to understanding living with diabetes
  • making sure i have all Rx - and make sure they are for the correct amount
  • insurance information
  • office staff
  • the whole cholesterol thing - her opinion on what my LDL was and help with lowering it
  • dietitian on staff? does she recommend one?
  • my toe that twitches sometimes/d-related? (this one makes me nervous guys)

i know there might be more things i should be asking, that i can't think of right now.

what would you ask?

Sunday, January 30, 2011


i had a letter in the mail from the endo concerning my cholesterol. got here yesterday.

it says - word for word people: 

Dear Ms Nancy Last Name (my last name is spelled wrong in this letter.):

The bad cholesterol (LDL) level was 135. It is acceptable, we usually prefer the level to be lower in type 2 diabetics, but there is no strong evidence to aim for a very low LDL in type 1 diabetics. 

Doctor's signature

ok so ... a few thoughts.

1. why is my name spelled wrong on a letter from the doctor? this should be a pretty easy check. it's on every piece of paper and my chart. i've held the chart in my hands, it is spelled correctly there. and i feel like there is a real lack of professionalism how these two sentences were written. ...maybe a lack of 'caring', just sharing the information. maybe i want too much?

2. honestly, if i had not already received a phone call from my family doctor about cholesterol, i probably would have been like 'what the bleep is she talking about?' ... maybe include something like 'your cholesterol level on the bloodwork we did on X date...' instead of just saying 'the level is...'

3. i am not type 2 diabetic. i really have zero idea why that is even in the letter. i guess what is said about type 1 is helpful, but if my family doctor is concerned and did follow up blood work, doesn't that tell me it is something to check on, in general?

4. OH and 'we usually prefer the level to be lower...' who is WE? you? your office? every endocrinologist ever? all the doctors in the world? the planet?

otherwise, i'm kind of at a loss for words.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

10 non-D things

i borrowed this fun little blog idea from erin over at hey baby que paso.

i share 10 things about myself. YAY FUN :)

1. i love sarcasm. and i'm pretty sure i don't know how anyone in the world can function without it and humor. and i'm also sure i don't know any of those people and if i do, there is a reason we aren't friends. i have actually thought about this before, how there are probably actually people in the world who don't joke around and laugh every day. i don't know how to do that.

2. i have one tattoo. some people have told me it doesn't count because it's the size of a nickel. but i love it.

3. i have a way i 'see' numbers, dates, days of the week, alphabet, etc, in my head. like, numbers are a vertical line that starts with 1 at the bottom and goes up. and when i'm doing math or think of a number, my brain automatically goes to that image of where that number is in the line ... and the days of the week are in a circle. and i 'see' in my mind where i am in the circle depending on what day it is. and the alphabet is a line from left to right (ya know, like one of those charts in elementary school) ...months are a list that go from top to bottom... we just came back to the top of the list for january. i always wonder if i'm the only one who 'sees' things this way.

4. i don't really try to be funny. i guess i just am. because people always tell me i am. unless they're all lying. jerks. 

5. i'm good at advice. i am really good at helping people and talking them through why they are thinking what they are and what they should do in certain situations ... people always tell me i should have been a counselor, and i did one of those tests once that tells you what career you should have and counselor came up as an option. funny.

6. i'm amazing at multi-tasking. i can talk to many people at once, work on something, check emails, etc etc ... and i stay focused. i get a lot done. 

7. people who still act like they are 16 annoy the crap out of me. we are adults. time to move on from high school life and be an adult. it's totally cool to be friends with the people you were friends with then, but they are adults too, so, be adults together. easy concept. people have been eliminated from my life because of this.

8. i am a hair-changer. i am not afraid of getting my hair cut, and i always go from wanting to keep it longer to cutting it short, then i convince myself not to do it, then i eventually will, then let it grow out again, and so on, and so on. right now it's about shoulder length, and i totally have the haircut bug but haven't done it yet... what do you think?:
 the shortest my hair has been - i don't wanna go that short.

little longer, senior year of college - don't wanna go that short either but i like it

longest i've had my hair after college (with mom)

last winter -oooohhh i like how dark this color is

 last summer - i went for fun blonde last year

9. i get annoyed VERY easily with people who are in, don't have common sense. seriously. life is not that difficult. 

10. most importantly, the one i have in common with erin. and scott. and many many others. i. love. diet. coke.

Friday, January 28, 2011

the one where i answer your questions (and it takes you 2 hours to read)

this week, i asked my facebook friends what their questions are about diabetes. some are serious, some are funny, some are funny to PWD but people probably seriously want to know the answer ... and i will answer them all. and if this post makes you think of others, please, write them in the comments and i'll answer those too!! there are no dumb questions. if you want to know, ASK, don't ASSUME. educate yourself and others! 

abbreviation key
PWD: person/people with diabetes
BG: blood glucose (same as blood sugar)
DOC: diabetes online community 

this is an answer to 2 similar questions: i think a thorough explanation on HOW you get diabetes would be great ... did you get diabetes because you ate too much sugar as a kid? first, i was diagnosed when i was 17. the name 'juvenile diabetes' has transitioned to 'type 1 diabetes' because not everyone is diagnosed as a child. i have type 1 diabetes, people usually get it when they have some sort of other sickness (for me it was probably the repeated sinus infections, or strep, or pink eye) and the body's defense system attacks some of its own cells and the pancreas starts failing. type 2 diabetes is more 'environmental', it can be caused from unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. every PWD has a different story and i don't think i've ever met two people with the exact same story/issues/etc. as far as how i found out i was diabetic, go here.

if you stopped eating candy would your diabetes go away? no. refer to the last question. my pancreas produces little to no insulin, which has nothing to do with what i eat. a diabetic can eat/should eat what a 'healthy' person's diet should be. a normal, balanced diet. do i always eat that way? no. am i perfect? no. sometimes i want candy, or sweets or pasta. i have learned to count carbohydrates and calculate the amount of insulin i need based on the amount of carbs i am eating. this calculation is different for all PWD, meaning that not everyone takes the same amount of insulin per carb. one person may take 1 unit of insulin for every 5 carbs they eat, another may take 1 unit for every 10 they eat. it's different for all of us.

can I get high off of your insulin? i had seriously never heard anyone ask me this! i personally don't know/don't think so/don't want to find out, and no i will not let you try. thanks for playing.
did you get diabetes because your parents have it? did you inherit diabetes from one of your parents? while i have heard before that diabetes is hereditary, no one in my family has it. i guess it has to start somewhere. lucky me! :)

do you have the bad kind? because you have to take insulin? i would never say that one kind of diabetes is worse than another. they are all equally sucky. diabetes is an equal opportunity employer. it doesn't care if you are rich or poor, black or white, tall or short, girl or boy. just because i take insulin does not mean my diabetes is 'worse' than someone else who has it. some people also think i 'have it bad' because i wear an insulin pump. no, actually the insulin pump makes my life so much easier because i don't have to carry around different vials of insulin, syringes and other things. it helps with calculating insulin dose amounts and i have a constant 'flow' of insulin all day long from my pump as opposed to taking 'long lasting' insulin as well as 'fast acting' when i eat food. however, the choice to have a pump is mine. it's not for everyone, some people prefer giving themselves injections. how one cares for their diabetes is their decision.

how is the disease pronounced? is it diabetus? clearly this is one of the silly questions, but it is NOT di-a-bee-tus. wilford brimley. it is not di-a-bee-tis. it is di-a-bee-tees. thanks.

here's my question: wwwbd? haha, not everyone will understand this so let me explain ... my JDRF walk team was named by my friend in 2010, and it was 'what would wilford brimley do?' (wwwbd) as for the answer, he would check his blood sugar. and check it often. and eat oatmeal.
 the 2010 walk at churchill downs

bragging for my team: we won a Bronze Achievement Award! our team total was $2,478.38!

bragging for myself: i won a Golden Sneaker Award for Excellence in Fundraising! (i raised $1118)

what affects does exercise have on diabetes? does it mean more insulin/carbohydrates will be needed? again, it's one of those things that is different for every PWD. some people have to reduce the amount of insulin they take before they exercise, some don't. for some people, it depends on what kind of exercise they are doing. i know that some PWD's blood sugar drops 2 hours after they exercise. some people it could a few more hours for it to drop, or it might not drop at all. exercising can help with maintaining healthy BGs. sometimes people do need to eat more carbs before or after they exercise to prevent the BG drops, but again, it is different with everyone. from my experience, exercise can help maintain healthier levels which means using less insulin because there are less instances of having high BG that would need a correction bolus. (which basically means giving myself an extra amount of insulin to bring the BG back down to normal range) also, if my blood sugar is over 250, i'm not supposed to do physical activity because it could backfire and make my BG go up higher.  

why does my dad (also diabetic) smell metallic sometimes when his sugar is high? i have never heard of a 'metallic' smell, but i have heard of a 'fruity' smell. i searched for more information because i was also curious, and a few things i found said that it could be a sign of ketoacidosis or it could be from BG that is too high ... we all know we shouldn't believe everything we read on the internet. is your dad aware of the smell? if it is a sign that his BG is high, it might be a clue for him to check it. i have had doctors ask me in the past if i still 'feel' my lows and highs, so that leads me to believe that it might get to a point where a PWD may not be able to 'feel' it and need to check. also, clearly i am not a doctor so a medical professional opinion might be best for this one since i have never experienced it. 

do refined sugars affect you differently than naturally occurring sugars? or is it all based on amounts? for me, refined sugars can affect me because it takes longer for the insulin to 'do it's job', meaning if it raises my BG it will take it longer to come down, or my BG might stay higher for a while, as raw sugars (like natural sugars from fruit) don't do that as much. again - it's one of those things that can be different for many PWD. 

i understand where you wear your insulin pump with your clothes, but can you explain how it works?
i have an animas ping insulin pump. there are many different types, all pump users make different choices based on what is best for them.
the pump is attached to me through an infusion set. there are different types of these ... mine is a small circle - and animas has color options, my infusion sets are pink.
the site that is attached to my skin has a small thin tube (called a cannula) that goes into my skin, the insulin is delivered through that (there is a needle when i insert the set, but i take the needle out).
i can detach the tubing/pump from the site on my skin if i need to, but for the most part i wear it 24/7, and have for the past 10 years.
insulin is inside the pump in a reservoir. the pump is programed with a basal rite that was determined by my endorinologist. the basal rate is a small amount of insulin that is delivered all day long. that means: every few minutes, the pump delivers me a tiny drop of insulin. this happens all day long. the pump is my pancreas. basal rates for PWD are all different, we don't all get the exact same amount at the same time every day.
when i eat, i take a bolus. this is an extra 'shot' of insulin, based on the amount of carbs i enter into the pump. i have a ratio that helps me figure out how much insulin i need, and it delivers that insulin to me over a period of time when i am eating. 
i change the site where my pump goes every 3 days, and i rotate sites around the middle of my body (around my stomach and lower back). 
here are a couple images i searched for, and you can find more information here if you are curious.

this is what my infusion set looks like. image from

  this shows how small the cannula is that stays in my skin. image from flickr search

how does stress affect your diabetes? it makes my BG go up for sure. i could let 'all of it' get to me every day, but i have to learn how to deal with the daily stresses of diabetes so it doesn't affect me. when i was diagnosed, i remember people being sad for me, and upset, and feeling bad for me... and i didn't really get why. i was like, um, this happened and now i learn to live with it. the end. but when life gets stressful, yes, it makes my BG higher. which makes me bitchier. and moodier. and just is all around a crappy feeling.

I'd like to know why the DOC is so spread out? hehe. diabetes doesn't care where we live. it's an equal opportunity disease. luckily, we can travel so we can have DOC meet-ups. :)

what do you miss most that you've had to give up? i haven't had to give up anything. diabetes doesn't control my life, i control my diabetes. food-wise, i can have anything, i just have to use common sense and moderation with some things. activity-wise, i can do anything i want, i swim with my pump, i can exercise, run, zumba, dance, camp, fish, anything i want to do! i just use my diabetes education to know how to deal with each individual situation.

what are some of the most common warning signs? hunger, thirst, frequent urination, tiredness, weight loss. yes, i had all of them.

how often do you check your sugar daily? i check my BG before meals and 2 hours after meals, and at bedtime. the reality is, that there are some times that not all those checks happen. usually i check before i eat in the morning, then if i feel low or high i will check 2 hours after, but most of the time i just check before lunch. then i check 2 hours after lunch, before dinner, and 2 hours after dinner or before bedtime. when i am sick, i check more often. when i do lots of physical activity, i check more often. if i feel 'low' or 'high', i check. lots of BG checking :) gotta stay in check. (more 'check' puns??)

have you ever been hospitalized because of diabetes complications? nope. well, this could be argued. last year over superbowl weekend i was admitted to the hospital ... i went (was taken/forced to go) to the hospital because my blood sugar was low (in the 50s) and would NOT come up. i was having a really upset stomach and i couldn't keep food down, which in turn made me not want to eat to help my BG come up. in the ER i was given fluids because i was dehydrated from vomiting, etc, and my heart rate was elevated. i was admitted for 2 days because they wanted to monitor my heart, and come to find out upon discharge that i had a stomach virus and my heart rate was elevated from dehydration. it was not a fun weekend that i do not want to relive. i got extensive heart tests done that i hope i never have to do again (and my heart is healthy!).

why do diabetics have issues with their feet? diabetes complications can occur and one area it can affect is the nervous system. the way it was explained to me was that the feet are the farthest extremity you have. that's a long distance of nerves/nerve endings. peripheral neuropathy is a loss of nerve function in the legs and feet and peripheral vascular disease is impaired circulation in the legs and feet (yes i googled the 'real' names). those complications can lead to loss of feeling in the feet, burning, tingling, that pins & needles feeling, feet falling asleep, etc. PWD can also have dry skin on the feet, and if they get a cut on their feet it takes longer to heal. this is why i feel that pedicures should be doctor prescribed and i should get them monthly. paid for by insurance. haha! until then, i pay for my own :) it's a nice treat that is good for me! If PWD keep their diabetes under control, they can very easily live their entire lives without having any issues with their feet. I plan to be one of them.

when I was pregnant, I found a lot of my other health issues were chalked up to the pregnancy. it actually annoyed me because I really felt some of them were because of something else. i've often wondered if people with chronic conditions go through the same thing? or are all those things really because of diabetes? it depends on what the 'things' are. and what else is going on in their life. for example, my feet are dry, more so in the winter - that is from diabetes but also because in the winter people have drier skin than in the summer. so, it's related and it isn't. if i have a migraine, it could be from my blood sugar being totally wonky and going from really high to really low in a short period of time, but it might have been caused by something else. i don't like to 'blame' everything going on in my body on diabetes, but sometimes, it is the cause. it depends on what the health issue might be.

what is the lowest/highest your blood sugar has been? my lowest has been in the 30s (i don't remember exactly, maybe 36?) and my highest was when i was diagnosed, it was 467.

is diabetes contagious? will you always have it? it is NOT contagious. although my family and some friends have a running joke that they can't share a drink or food with me because they'll get diabetes. ;) it's all in good fun, friends. i will have diabetes until i have a cure. until then, you'll find me sporting an insulin pump - until they come up with the next great thing.

what does it feel like if you are high/low? when my BG is low, i feel different things. some things i don't always feel, some i feel every time ... shaky, hot, sweaty, dizzy, confused, sensitive, tired, weak, hungry. when my blood sugar is high, i feel moody, very thirsty, it's hard for me to focus, and sometimes frequent urination goes along with it.

what happens if you aren't low but you eat a lot of sugar? i either have to take insulin or my blood sugar will keep rising and that can be very dangerous. it could lead to
ketoacidosis which is very scary and could lead to hospitalization. 

do you have to get up in the middle of the night to check your blood sugar or take a shot? when i was first diagnosed i had to do this for a few weeks i think, my mom might remember better (right after i found out i had diabetes, i spent a lot of time sleeping, i was exhausted from all the time i was spending at the endocrinologist learning and my body was trying to get 'back to normal' which took a lot out of me, so there are some things i don't remember). There are some occasions when I might have to check in the middle of the night, like if my endocrinologist thinks we might need to change the amounts of insulin i am getting at different times of the day, he might have me check my BG every few hours for a few days. in those cases, i do check in the middle of the night.

What if you forget to take a shot? i don't personally take shots, but if i forget to take a bolus of insulin  with my food, my blood sugar will likely rise and it will be high, which will lead to me feeling bad and having to take a correction bolus later (which is where i take an extra amount of insulin to bring my BG back down into a desired range).

Where does insulin come from? today, it is man made. ya know, in a fancy lab somewhere i guess. PWD used to use bovine (from cows) insulin back in the day.
whenever i donate blood, the questionnaire you get before your donation asks if you've ever used bovine insulin. i have not.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


this morning i had to go have fasting labwork. good thing the vein in my right arm is used to this.

i must admit, i was a little (when i say little, i kind of mean a lot) nervous when i got the phone call about it yesterday. my family doctor's office called and said they got my bloodwork from my endo appointment earlier this month (didn't know they sent them to him but that rocks) and he wants to do a more extensive test.

i called back and nervously asked why they wanted to do the test (and have a follow up appointment) and the sweet girl i talked to explained that my LDL cholesterol was higher than the 'good' range so he just wanted to do a little more thorough test.

gulp. i don't know anything about having high cholesterol, i've never heard it before. i called my dad and asked about having a family history, and we do (probably something i should have thought to ask before now, but it's okay).

so you all know what i did after i got off the phone. the one thing i always say 'DON'T DO THAT' about ...

i googled. 'diabetes and high cholesterol' ...BIG. MISTAKE. of course the first thing that pops up - i didn't even click it, it was in the snipit shown: High cholesterol and diabetes are two conditions that can be a recipe for a bad heart.


i refined my search to 'type 1 diabetes and high cholesterol' but i half read the first thing i clicked on and made myself stop. no need to freak out just yet, maybe it was just a fluke. maybe i had crap food before that lab. deep breaths, try to stay calm.

and listen to dad when he says: 'google the solution, not the problem.'

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

'it makes me sad'

earlier on facebook, i wrote on my status that i think i've come to the conclusion that i can't eat panera. at most, i can probably eat it on a rare occasion, because they just always jack up my numbers for the day. i was steady this morning and before lunch, then i got a lovely 353 post-lunch. i had a friend comment that it makes her sad that i can't 'eat whatever in the world i want.' she said she takes for granted that she doesn't have any problems with diabetes, and i realized i was in her shoes before i was diagnosed. i never thought about what i ate, what it would do to my blood sugar, my body, anything. i was a worry-free teenager and didn't have to think about it for the first 17 and a half years of my life.

 my 'reward' from panera, a free sweet. sitting on my desk because that 353 means no cookie right now.

i explained to her that for the most part i can eat whatever i want - you all know the speech - but sometimes i have to make the 'grown up' decision to eliminate foods, or only have them on rare occasions, because i know how it is going to put me out of whack. it's not my favorite thing in the world to do, but i know i have to do it. it's for my health. and that pesky A1C that is always bugging PWD.

it made me think about how it makes her sad. sometimes, it makes me sad too. it makes me sad when my BG is not what i want it to be. it makes me sad when i miscalculate and feel dumb and have to face those high numbers. it makes me sad when my A1C is not what i had hoped it would be. it makes me sad when my BG is too high to have a random afternoon work snack of cookies that are left over from a meeting. it makes me sad when my high BG is making me moody and i take it out on other people and feel bad for it. it makes me sad when people don't understand why i'm not downing chocolate with them, or have to turn down cupcakes or sweets they are offering me. in all honesty, it makes me sad that so many people (including those that i can now call my friends, who i have met in the DOC) have to live with diabetes every day. damnit, why can't we just eat whatever the hell we want, without pricking our fingers, programing pumps, giving injections, getting shaky, getting headaches, having fuzzy vision, feeling sweaty, woozy, confused, annoyed, frustrated, and just plain TIRED?

it's just the hand we've been dealt. and the thing is, we can't dwell on the sadness. because if we did, we would all be depressed. sure, we might get down in the dumps about it every now and then, but we can't let that overwhelm us, because, well, it's not healthy.

sometimes we bitch and complain, but we also stay cheerful, we support each other, we joke around about food and BGs, and we don't dwell on the sadness. sometimes we have those occasions where we have to laugh, because if not, we'd cry ... and sometimes we make the food choices we do - because we have to.

but sometimes, damnit, we eat cookies. AND ICE CREAM. AND CAKE!

Monday, January 24, 2011

diabetes is like barbie

i know you're asking yourself, how is diabetes (and PWD) like barbie? this makes no sense at all. au contraire my friend. (don't get all excited, i don't speak french. just that.) as i was thinking of blogging topics last night, and people who think they are little princess barbie, the two ideas meshed together. and here we are. let me explain.

you may think of barbie as one doll, but she has many personalities: veterinarian barbie, mommy barbie, fashion barbie, doctor barbie, among others.
many people see diabetes as one disease, but we know it has different types: type 1, type 2, gestational, etc...

barbie has many accessories: shoes, purses, hats, sunglasses, jewelry, the list goes on.
diabetes gives PWD many accessories: blood sugar meters, insulin pumps, insulin pens, (blunt) lancets, medical ID jewelry, the list goes on.

barbie does many activities: singing, dancing, swimming, soccer, volleyball...
PWD do many activities: singing, dancing, swimming, soccer, volleyball...

barbie has a 'virtual world' (did you know this? yeah, she does. when i was little she didn't. i googled for blog research purposes).
PWD have a virtual world! we have the DOC! :D

barbie looks like she doesn't have any flaws, but make her 'life size' and she'd fall apart.
diabetes is invisible, you might not see anything 'wrong' with us, but it is affecting us, all the time.

barbie inspires girls (and some boys. hey, don't judge) to grow up to be whatever they want (see personalities above)
PWD inspire everyone to be whatever they want to be, and to be who they are. in the DOC, everyone can be themselves, not be judged, and are encouraged by one another to achieve anything they set their mind to.

and finally...

barbie looks pretty and nice, but she can be a real bitch sometimes.
diabetes isn't pretty and nice, and it can also be a real bitch.


also: what the hell is THIS?:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

where my pump lives

the topic of 'where do you put your pump?' has come up quite a bit lately, so i thought i'd reveal some of my best concealing locations.

now, if you're going to be that person that says 'why do you hide it? i don't hide my diabetes from ANYONE!' ...good for you. i don't hide the fact that i have diabetes from anyone, i will tell anyone, GLADLY. but ya know, sometimes the silhouette doesn't look as fabulous with a rectangle box sticking off your side.

may i present to you: my pump locations. :)

my favorite spot is in my right pocket of my jeans. now, i am picky, and i can't put it in the pocket of just any pants. if the pocket isn't 'snug' enough, the cord doesn't tuck in nicely and i risk catching it places. i actually wore a hole in my favorite jeans from my pump, and my mom sewed a cute little patch of heart fabric behind the hole so i could keep wearing them. hehe:
 see that hole there? it's bigger. and patched :)  mental note: no blue shirts with blue jeans. more importantly, with dad, dipping our own bottles at makers mark!

for the occasions when i'm not wearing jeans - for example, shorts, 'nicer' pants - i tuck the pump in the back waistband of whatever i'm wearing. it stays there too, it's like one of those microphone box thingies that people on reality tv wear. i'm totally cooler than they are. for example, today i am wearing my favorite style of casual dress pants from old navy (i have like 6 colors, seriously) and i don't like how the pump 'sits' in my pocket, so it's in my waistband:
eww ignore my bad nailpolish. i'll be removing that tonight.
(photo taken by hypoglycemic work buddy

now, when i wear a fancy dress, it can either be tucked in the back of my unmentionables (yup, just like the waistband thing, girls, it works! (i guess, that is, if you have an ass. i was blessed with enough of one to not have a 'flat butt' so it stays where it belongs), or i stick it in the upstairs department of unmentionables, ifyouknowwhatimsaying:

oh and there was that one time (the only time) a few years ago when my best friend got married and the pump slid right down from it's cozy spot in my waistband and hung. next to my leg. during the wedding ceremony. in front of the entire church. and i had to not laugh. or freak out. yeah. that time:

and the time i was running and fractured my leg and twisted my ankle. i had learned that when i was running, i needed to attach the clip when it was tucked in the back of my waistband, because if not, it would slide down (eww. sweaty.) so it was tucked in, but also clipped on:
 see that little black thing sticking up behind me on the left? pump! with clip!
next to me cuz it was not comfortable to wear on that awesome ER bed.

oh yeah and back when i used to do this:
it sat snugly in my waistband then too. (yes, that's really me. awesome.)

where does your pump live?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


i don't really have anything to blog about right now. i'm having blogger block. which is not good because in the next few weeks i have to set up two interviews and write two articles. i need to get it out of my system.

nothing feels blog-worthy.

i'm switching offices at work. started today, will finish tomorrow. more room, less cramped, maybe hip pain relief because of that. plus, WINDOWS. :)

i have had the song 'black and yellow' stuck in my head since saturday. except i've been singing 'green and yellow' - packers. - and i figured someone would remake the song ... i was right.

i'm modeling in a bridal show for my friend who owns a bridal shop on friday. i like doing it, dressing up and getting your hair and makeup done. that will be fun.

today started good, and then things started getting on my nerves. comments, rudeness, people asking questions they should know the answers to. the kind of things that make me say to myself, 'why are you bitchy? check your blood sugar.' and i check it. and it's fine. 94.

and then i remember. my bitchyness will subside in a few days. ifyouknowwhatimsaying, women.

the hater's coming in town. 

(i heard it called the hater by a guy friend, which i found quite funny.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

the DOC

sometime last month, when i was catching up on tweets, at about 9:30 on a wednesday night, i found some tweets from the few d-bloggers that i was following that had at the end of their tweets. being relatively new to twitter, i was unsure what it meant. since the posts were diabetes-related, of course i clicked the hashtag out of curiosity, and stumbled into the best online community i've ever found. EVER. you'll see them affectionately referred to on my blog as the DOC (diabetes online community).

i discovered that this hashtag was a part of a weekly discussion and it stood for 'diabetes social media advocacy' (SIMPLE questions, thought provoking responses-strengthening the Diabetes community one tweet at a time). i lurked for a few weeks, just reading the posted questions and people's responses, and slowly built up my list of other PWD (people with diabetes) to follow.

i finally mustered up the courage to participate in the chat, ya know, because i'm so shy [insert sarcasm font], and i feel like i've found an online family that i belong to. we all have a common bond, and it's so nice to have people that really, truly understand exactly what you mean when you tell them about your bg or how you feel, or what foods 'did to you,' or why your site is crappy, among many other things - and they understand you, without having to explain it all means. don't get me wrong, i am all for explaining to non-PWD, i want people to learn and understand instead of just guessing what i am talking about or spreading false information, but sometimes it's nice to have people that can relate that you can instantly get a response from!

for now, i want to thank the following PWD, and tell you i appreciate you. and i sincerely hope that with time, my DOC friendships will grow and expand to include more awesome PWD. and maybe someday i'll have money to go to a conference and meet you IN. PERSON. 

  - the first d-blogger i ever found online a few years ago and followed religiously! she made me less afraid of pregnancy with diabetes ...and, well, she's damn funny. and that little bsparl sure is adorable!

- i think we love diet coke equally. and i'm enjoying what i've read of his blog so far!

- i enjoy her blog title, and i'm trying to help come up with a logo, because ya know, us d-bloggers need business cards!

  - um, we pretty much share a brain. do i need to say more?

- all i can think of is our reaction to toddlers and tiaras. no words.

- i'm pretty sure he is the closest (geographically) PWD to me out of the whole group!

  - aww, i love hearing all the stories about nickel. :) and sometimes wish i was going to dance with her.

- the best chat moderator EVER.

- i enjoy her thoughts and hope we share more convos soon!

- she's a great dietitian, one of the nice kind who understand what it's like to be diabetic :)

this is just a glimpse into the big community, and i hope that with time my group of online friends continues to grow!!

...and i'll catch up with all the blogs eventually :P

Thursday, January 13, 2011

cuz i'm tired of complaining about doctors

this is an oldie but goodie, i've answered this before but now it's updated (plus i've never filled it out on a blog before, woop woop!).

What type of Diabetes do you have? type 1

When were you diagnosed? june 26, 2000

What is your current blood sugar? it was 158 before lunch, i think because i changed my site it jumped up a little

What kind of meter do you use? animas ping that goes with my pump ... i have other one touch meters as well, but the ping gets the most use.

How many times a day do you test your blood sugar? let's see (doing math in my head...which we know i'm awesome at...) at least 4

What's a "high" number for you? well my doc just decided to tell my pump to correct over 130 so i guess 130 ... her math is working, i've stayed under 160 so far!

What do you consider "low"? below 70

What's your favorite low blood sugar reaction treater? i use good ol' glucose tablets, which NO ONE will try even though i swear they're good ... i don't really have a favorite. my LEAST favorite is coke. coke is so disgusting and thick and sweet. GROSS.

Describe your dream endo: one who listens, is understanding, not condescending, has people skills as well as brains, will let me try things if i want to (like a CGM, i just wanna try it for a few days!), WHO HAS A NICE OFFICE STAFF ... oh and takes my insurance.

What's your biggest diabetes achievement? every time i lower my A1c i feel like that's an awesome accomplishment.

What's your biggest diabetes-related fear? honestly ... blindess or dying before i'm really old.

Who's on your support team? my parents, family, bryan, my friends, now the DOC!! ... i have a pretty big team.

Do you think there will be a cure in your lifetime? i've been hearing there's a cure 5 years away for the past 10 years. i don't know if there will be an absolute CURE but there will be more major advancements.

What is a "cure" to you? [wrote this answer in september but i still like it] i have been hearing about these closed loop insulin pumps ... which means not having to check blood sugars and killing your fingertips 6 times a day, the pump is so smart that you don't have to enter the carbs you're eating, it would automatically know  and you can just EAT and not have to calculate. and it will know when your blood sugar is dropping and adjust your insulin levels, and it will alert you when you're getting low ... sigh. i wish that would happen REALLY soon.

The most annoying thing people say about your diabetes is: 'can you eat that?'  UGH. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE. i've been doing this 10 years. i'm pretty sure i know what the hell i'm allowed to eat (which is anything within moderation thankyouverymuch)  OR when people say 'oh you must have it pretty bad since you use an insulin pump', no, actually that just makes my life easier. you know what happens when you assume?

What is the most common misconception about diabetes? that we got the disease because we're lazy and eat crappy food, or we got it because we ate too much sugar. and people don't know the different types of diabetes. they think it's all the same.

If you could say one thing to your pancreas, what would it be? stop sucking at life. GET A JOB AND WORK.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

adding salt to the wound

so glad i left this part out of my story from yesterday. more things happened this morning...

during my appointment, i was explaining to the dr how i needed insulin and the Rx i had wasnt enough because i am down to half a vial and i was not 'allowed' to refill til yesterday and thats not right, i have always gotten like 9 vials at once and i only got 4 last time (the first time i got an Rx from her).

so i was asking her about it and she was said, 'where was the Rx from?' (uhh, YOU?)  i explained that i called the Rx company and they told me she would have to fax the Rx and so it came from her office.
she looked through my file, and i saw what she was looking at, there was no copy of an Rx that had her signature - there were no copies of an Rx, and that was the only one i had prescribed by her thus far.
there were other forms that she had filled out but she was said 'i never sent anything' and she ASSURED me they ALWAYS make copies of prescriptions that they sign and send out and keep them in patient files. so i said 'how could i have gotten a Rx without your signature?' and she basically had no response. 
um, you are the doctor! how could you not know this?

this morning, i was on the phone with my mail-order Rx company about my new prescription, because she did give me a new one with the appropriate amount of insulin ... and i found out it has to be faxed from the dr office or i have to mail it, grr i should have known. well, i don't have enough insulin to last me through: mailing it, processing it and waiting for the insulin to get to me.

while i had them on the phone, i asked about the last Rx, explained i was having some 'issues' with the office and if the Rx company kept a copy, so she looked it up and lo and behold, they HAVE the Rx with my doc's signature! they are going to mail me a copy. funny how they have a copy but the doc doesnt because she 'never signed one' ...hmm.
i had to go over to the dr office this morning (good thing i work across the street) because when i called to ask about the dr faxing the Rx today, they said that she won't be back in the office til tuesday. i am adding that to my list. i don't like that she is only there two days a week. TWO DAYS! i guarantee if i had left a voice mail and not talked to someone directly, they would have let it sit until she got back. the woman who i talked to on the phone came up to the desk when i got there and she filled out the fax form while i watched because i told them i didn't feel comfortable leaving until i knew the Rx was being faxed.
well, at least the Rx got faxed. sigh. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

bad day at the office.

i had an appointment with my (relatively new) endo at 3:45 today. i scheduled it after the first time i met her, which was the beginning of november.

we got some snow this morning. maybe an inch-ish. schools were closed, so i thought maybe i'd call the office around lunch to make sure they were good to go, as scheduled.

i didn't have to wait to call, because they called me.
her: nancy, you have an appointment today with dr so and so, i'm calling to see if you can move the time up to 1.
me: is your office closing early because of the snow?
her: no, she's had a lot of cancellations today and now she has a big gap in the day and she's not going to wait.
me: [pick my jaw up off the floor] ...silence... in my head: she's not going to wait?
her: um, could you come at 3?
me: uh, yeah i guess that's fine.
her: ok see you then.

um, i'm sorry, so what you're saying is, the doctor, who i pay, who provides me a service, who i set up an appointment with three months ago, wants to go home early, so you want me to shuffle my day around and come in early to suit her schedule? are you SERIOUS? now, if the question worded something along the lines of her children were out of school, she was trying to see if any patients are available to change their appointment times if it was convenient for them, etc., then i might have been more flexible. but i was shocked by the way she spoke to me and the attitude that she had in her voice when she called.

i made a few notes of things to talk about with the endo: Rx, BG questions, the phone call. the time for the appointment came, i arrived 10 minutes early as usual, in case they needed me to fill out paperwork or anything.

'nancy? so-and-so in billing needs to see you because you have a balance on your account.'
billing? why would billing want to see me? my mind started racing, because i always pay my copay before i see the doctor, i've paid them at all my appointments.

me: is this for copays or something? i always pay them at my appointments. 
her: yes.
she goes through my appointments and explains the charges. the front desk was charging me $15 less than what they should have been charging me - for two appointments (endo, dietitian). oh yeah and the time that i came in for about 10 minutes to get the CGM put on, they didn't charge me a copay.
her explanation: we didn't know if your insurance was going to charge you for that appointment so we didn't charge you. and we didn't know if they would charge you the lower or higher amount on your appointments so we charged you the lower. if we charged you a higher amount, then you'd have a credit on your account.

um, i'd rather have a credit on my account than HAVE TO PAY YOU $100 at once, three months later.
so i paid the amount, and my blood was boiling. how could they NOT say ANYTHING for three months???
i went back with the really nice nurse who i love (thank goodness, seeing her was a relief) and she took my blood. when we got to the room, she checked my blood pressure and said it was a little high. she asked if i had ever heard that.
me: no, but i'm really irritated right now.
her: oh gosh, did i say something to upset you??
i said no and gave her a quick recap of the billing thing and she said that when i was done she was going to take me to talk to the office manager so maybe they could 'fix it.'

so i met with the endo, forgot about the phone call thing from earlier because i was so pissed about the money ... but - the doctor herself was lovely, i learned things, i feel good, i'm healthy, do these things and i bet your A1c will be even better, all that fabulousness. 

so after i met with her, i go back to the nurse. while i set up my next appointment she went to tell the office manager i was waiting to see her. i was glad, i was going to tell her about the phone call rudeness that i had forgotten about.
so the person who had set up my appointment calls the manager to let her know i'm ready to meet with her.
'should i bring nancy back?'
after she hangs up, she took me back TO THE SAME BILLING PERSON. who sighs, and says 'okay, i've got it all open here to show you.' i could feel myself getting hotter, irritated that i was not meeting with the person i was told i would see.
so she showed me the charges. she showed the ones they didn't charge for and should have. 
now, on top of reviewing the same thing we had already gone over, there are two nurses standing in the same room. no privacy screen, no cubicle, no keeping her voice down, nothing that would make me feel like this was a confidential discussion. just saying all my financial information out in front of staff.which pissed me off even more. PATIENT PRIVACY??
and so i said, 'i understand the charges. what i don't understand is why no one has told me since november when i started coming here. i've been here more than once, and it was never flagged or anything.'
'well we didn't know if your insurance would charge you.'
she said they didn't want to charge me a higher amount if it only ended up being the lower amount, because then i would have a credit to my account. as apposed to this balance?? um, i'd rather have a credit than owe you 100 DOLLARS.
so she asked, 'what can i do to make you feel better about this?'
so of course i said, 'take the 100 dollars off my card.'
and she said 'well that can't happen.'  [insert shocked face at the rudeness yet again]
she said, 'i understand you are angry but i'm showing you everything...'
i said, 'shouldn't the people who tell me my copay KNOW the copay amount?'
'well not really, your insurance is really messed up and we don't know how they will charge.' 
now, this is what i call placing blame instead of admitting the mistake and apologizing. not ONE TIME did she say 'i'm sorry it happened.' she said one time she understood i was angry and she would be too. (how does that fix my situation? it doesn't.)

at that point i was so angry i could no longer process my thoughts in a kind fashion and i had to leave because i was so worked up with anger that i was on the verge of tears. i was angrier when i was leaving because instead of meeting with me, when i asked to see her, the office manager sent me to billing because she assumed that was my only problem. guess what happens when you assume?
she didn't even take the time to talk to me. i stopped on the way out and asked if she had a card, or an email or how i could contact her. because i didn't get to see her and i was so mad that i knew i needed to leave and calm down before i talked to anyone else. 

i am still appalled. where did the patient care go? and i don't mean the care from the doctor. i mean the other people in the office. it's not all about the doctor. i fully expect to be treated as if they care about their patients.
is that too much to ask?

Monday, January 10, 2011

we all have medical expenses!!

we all have money issues. all my buddies in the DOC (diabetes online community) have them, and it makes me feel a little better that they relate to the fact that i have additional expenses to daily living costs compared to someone else in their late 20s who has no medical issues.

i'm frustrated when i feel like i'm getting ahead and then something happens and it puts me right back in the money position i was already in. i had a lot of crap happen at the end of '10, and it did just that. put me right back where i was financially, when i thought i was finally getting 'ahead.'

  • new job/new insurance/new deductible to be met. okay, no biggie, medical supplies will be about the extent of my expenses. right??
  • preparing for a 5K ...fall. twist. popping sounds. LOTS of pain. trip to ER.= $  
  • misdiagnosis of 'just a sprain.' doctor follow up a week later shows sprain and multiple fractures in tibia, here's a BOOT, wear it for at least 3 weeks= $ ...oh yeah, you haven't met your deductible= $$
the boot.
  • new endocrinologist appointment because my old endo doesn't take the new insurance= $
  • i need medical supplies. order.= $ oh wait, that deductible thing again= $$ umm, i can't pay THAT MUCH right now, so i can only order a portion of my order instead of all 3 months. sigh, i'll be ordering again next month.
  • follow up doctor appointments for the leg, including new x-rays= $
  • appointment to get a CGM to wear for 3 days put on (there's a copay for this?)= $
  • oh look, supplies need to be ordered again=$ oh and insulin!= $$
  • merry christmas! presents for everyone! (on a budget)= $ 
  • new dietitian appointment= $
  • what's that sound? oh that'd be the furnace dying. buy new furnace before the year ends to get the tax credit, which is still a big purchase even though some money comes back= $$$
  • hello new year! woop woop! oh wait, have to meet the deductible again because it's a new year. and it's just about time to order supplies and insulin again because the new endo didn't write a 3 month Rx for it. awesome.

i know i'm not the only one in this world with money issues. i know it could be worse, i know that i should be glad that i have insurance, that i have a job, that i have money - and for all these things, i am grateful ... but just for a minute, just for this short blog entry, i just want to get my frustrations out. i want to know that i'm not alone, that i'm not the only one who has more medical expenses than most of the people i know 'in real life' - like, not virtual world friends, people that i actually know and see on a regular basis ... some people who don't have the medical expenses that i have don't really 'get' it, or care to get it.

i guess i'll just stay on my budget, do my best to keep my BGs in a good range so i don't use too much insulin ($) or have to correct lows too much ($ on food) and stick it out and meet my deductible soon in 2011. whining isn't going to fix anything. so i won't whine (anymore) ...but i do like cheese. :)

how do you relate? i'm not alone, right?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

today's happiness

knowing you just used the last test strip and having to drive 20 minutes to get more because you forgot backups ... and finding a new container of test strips right before you leave! AND THEN testing and seeing 101. awesome. it's the little things. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

diagnosis details

i have read so many stories from fellow diabetics about their diagnosis. scary stories that involve ambulances, ER visits, long stays in the hospital ... mine involves none of that. but it is one of those days in my life that i remember almost every little detail of.

about a month after my high school graduation, on june 26, 2000, i was going to the pediatrician for a standard physical that i needed before i went off to college. on my own. for the first time ever. to do my own laundry! GASP! and buy my own groceries! i was going to be a FOR REAL adult. scary enough on it's own.

when we got to the to the office, a place i hadn't been in years, i asked if i could do my urine test right then, because i really had to go (it's so funny how clearly i see all the symptoms now).

tangent: we never really went to the doctor growing up unless we were really sick. even then, usually we'd just go to the immediate care center. the only time i can remember going was when i had strep throat, and that wasn't very often. my sister and i stayed relatively healthy. the only other times i remember going to the doctor's office were the times i broke my wrist and then my arm in 7th grade. yes, both arms in one year ... that's a story for another day.

back to the story ... urine test. i did that, went in the room with my mom and waited for the doctor. he came in, and the first thing he did was pick up the urine cup. 'drink a lot today? your urine is very clear.'

17-year old nervous me, 'um, yeah, i guess.'
he did the standard check up, and then it was back to that. 'your weight is a little low. are you thirsty a lot? drink a lot of fluids?'
'i'm not really sure, i guess so.'
mom starts answering too. 'yes, she does.'
'what about eating, do you eat enough? a lot? are you hungry? not hungry?'
'i eat when i'm hungry.'
mom answered. 'she eats ALL THE TIME. and she eats a lot.'

GEEZ mom, thanks for embarrassing me! she was right though. on the drive to school every morning i would eat pop tarts. and drink a full cup of diet coke or gatorade. followed by hanging out at the water fountain before homeroom. or buying a snack at the machine in the cafeteria and inhaling it before classes started. i'd spend all the lunch money my parents gave me every day, and usually spend my own money to buy more. a grilled cheese sandwich, sometimes two. two sides of fries, a dessert and a can of coke. and then after the next class, i'd be hungry again. or running to the bathroom. or to the water fountain because i was SO thirsty. when i got home from school, i'd eat a snack. sometimes, i'd drink an entire BIG bottle of gatorade and eat a whole box of mac and cheese while i watched sally jesse raphael and oprah. then i'd eat dinner and it was likely i'd be back in the kitchen looking for something to eat later on, wake up in the middle of the night and drink 3 glasses of water in the bathroom in the dark. and i was small. 5'3" and 93 pounds small. grossly skinny to me now, but then, it didn't seem like it. i had no drastic weight loss, i had lost 12 pounds in four years. someone in my class sent me to the counselor senior year, because she thought i was anorexic. a girl i can not stand to this day. she was never my friend, she just made an outside judgement (i can't really blame her i guess, i looked like a stick). my friends were questioned before i saw the counselor, and they all told her that i ate like a horse. i was offended when she asked if i threw up after i ate. why would i do that??

party at the beginning of senior year. that's me in the middle. seriously, look at my arms! 

the doctor continued his evaluation. 'ok meredith, i'm going to get some blood drawn. i think you may have a thyroid issue, or it could be diabetes.'
i just sat there, internally freaking out because i had never had blood drawn. not outside of the standard finger prick you get when you get to the office. i wasn't freaking about the outcome, i was freaking about the needle. (hahaha, oh the irony.)
he left the room to get a nurse, and mom and i looked at each other.
'it's probably just a thyroid thing.' she said.
'no, it's diabetes.' i told her. you know how sometimes you have a gut feeling? i knew that's what it was. at that point in my life i knew absolutely nothing about diabetes, except that people took insulin, and i thought they couldn't have sugar, but i just knew that was going to be the result.  'if it's a thyroid thing, how do they fix it?'
'you just take a pill every day.'
'oh.' we waited in silence until the nurse came to take my blood.

after that was over, the doctor came back in. 'meredith, it looks like you have diabetes.'
'ok,' i gulped. 'what does that mean?'
'well, you have type 1 diabetes. you're going to have to take insulin every day, and i am going to send you to an endocrinologist to learn everything you need to know. i'm going to send in a nurse to give you an insulin shot, and while she does that i'm going to call the endocrinologist's office and get you an appointment tomorrow. i want you set up to see him before you leave my office.'
'um, how did i get it?'
'well, it's hard to say. have you been sick recently? sinus infections, strep throat, flu, anything like that?'
i remembered the pink eye. 'i had pink eye earlier this year. but other than that i haven't had strep in a few years or anything.'
'it could possibly be that. your body likely attacked the wrong cells when you were sick, and it made your pancreas weaker and less able to do its job.' ...standard pediatric explanation?
'oh, ok.' i just sat silently, staring at the floor. i couldn't look at mom. or anyone. i didn't really know what to do. it seemed like a lot, and i didn't understand any of it.

the nurse came in to give me insulin. i think it was probably long-lasting insulin, they didn't say. i do remember that my arm felt so weird after she did it. by then, the doctor was back. 'okay, we got you all set up for tomorrow. don't worry about doing anything different tonight, eat what you want, drink what you want, and you'll learn more tomorrow, ok?' he sounded reassuring. i was confused. 'ok.'

it was almost 6:00 by the time we left from my 3:30 appointment. we rode in silence, until mom stopped for gas. 'it's my fault. i should have taken you to the doctor when you were sick.'
'it's not your fault! we couldn't have stopped it, he said that.' i didn't understand why it would be mom's fault.

she got out to pump gas, and i felt like i was in another world. everything around me seemed so fuzzy, confusing, and overwhelming. and i didn't even know how my life was about to change.

when we got home, my dad was walking down the hall as i was coming in the kitchen. 'i have diabetes!' i said ... not sad, or scared, i kind of just stated it, like that. 'what??' he looked really confused and turned to my mom. 'yep, she has diabetes. she has an appointment at the endocrinologist tomorrow.'

i disappeared to my room for a while, left them in the kitchen. i called my best friend and told her. neither of us really knew what all that meant. mom and dad must have called lots of family, because i don't remember telling them but i remember everyone knowing. and i got lots of sympathy calls, people making sure i was okay, telling me they were so sorry ... and i just didn't get it. why was everyone so sad and upset about it?

another tangent: when i was a senior in college, at my sorority's alumnae ceremony, we read letters from our parents. my dad's talked my diagnosis, about how impressed he and all his friends were when he told them how i stated that i was diabetic that afternoon in the kitchen. no tears, no self-pity, no sob story. it wasn't til i read that letter from him saying how i treated it so maturely, as a part of life, just the next step and something that i was going to have to learn and live with, that i realized that. he was right. i didn't see it as a curse, or get depressed or cry for days. i had diabetes, i had to take insulin and learn new things to live healthy. so i did. it didn't seem to me like something to be upset over. diabetes wasn't all i was, but it was a part of me.

my senior picture, i was the only one skinny enough to sit on the 2000. my idea too :)

that night at dinner, i worried about what to eat. 'he said eat what you want!' mom told me as i looked at nutrition labels, confused. 'ok, you're right.' i dug into my meal and post-dinner cookies. and my late night snack. and my middle of the night cups of water.

the next day, my endocrinologist met me with a friendly smile and a blood glucose meter. 'let's see where you are.' i watched, fascinated, as he almost painlessly pricked my finger and let the strip suck up my blood.
he looked at me kindly, he made eye contact.
'is that bad?' 

...and my journey began.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

needle anxiety?

this morning, i was staring at the flashing cursor, clueless as to where i should start. i've tried this whole blogging thing before, and i always ended up quitting, or not liking my ideas enough (self critical, party of one?). hopefully i can stick to it. i feel more honest and accountable when i'm telling you all (my invisible friends?) about my blood sugars, feelings, and all that jazz so maybe this will be a good thing!

as i was emailing my hypoglycemic work buddy about blogging topics, she tells me about how she is always starving soon after she eats, and is always hungry right when she gets in bed, asking me if it's normal and if i feel those things ... and that she feels like her blood sugar is low RIGHT NOW and she needs to eat. i asked her when the last time she checked her blood sugar was. she totally avoided answering.

i ask her if she wants me to check it for her. four seconds later she appears in my office. i was surprised, because i know how she feels about needles. (not. a. fan.) she's already pacing. shaking her hands. asking me if it's going to hurt, then telling me she KNOWS it's going to hurt, she IS going to pass out.

so i go for my back up meter and get out a new lancet. 'omigod omigod omigod i can't even watch you do that.'
'do what?'
...pacing, deep breathing.

i said, 'if you don't want to do it, we won't. i was just offering.'
more pacing. 'now i'm SWEATING! i'm going to pass out.' she disappears.

my office is by the kitchen. she calls out to me 'cold water on the wrists! i just need cold water on the wrists.', i'm starting to laugh. and i tried to hide it, i mean, clearly she has some needle anxiety.'you know this is going on the blog that you're encouraging.' :)

she reappears. still sweating, still shaking her hands. 'give me your hand.' one simple request, i wasn't even HOLDING the lancing device or anything yet. 'ohmigod ohmigod.'  she pulls away.

'can you do it on my thumb?'

she reaches out again, and pulls away again. i BARELY touched her hand. 'ohmigod. ok. i'm sorry if i pass out on your floor.'
for a second i thought she might ACTUALLY pass out. i ignored her comment because she willingly put her hand back out.
'you do know that your anxiety about this is WAY worse than the actual prick, right?'
'okay. yes, okay. ...NO I CAN'T DO IT.' off to the kitchen she goes again.

enter male coworker. he sees her spazzing in the kitchen, and i can see him watching her. now, i'm laughing at his face as she explains the TRAUMA she is about to go through. he decides to have fun and tease her. 'well just do it now and get it over with. maybe we can prick ALL your fingers at once!' he says.

'i know. no, hold on, i CAN'T. i'm going to pass out.'

'you're helping.' i say to him as i went in the kitchen.'sit down.' i was totally using my teacher voice. and i'm not at teacher.
'because if you pass out, i'm not catching you and it will be easier if you're sitting.' she laughs nervously.
'talk to him and give me your hand.'  he tries to distract her, asking random questions.
'what? WHY? what do you mean?'
'just hold my hand like we are going to shake hands.' she FINALLY does it so of course i grab it and prick her thumb. OH THE HUMANITY!! can you BELIEVE i would DO such a thing to her?

'OW!' she squealed.
sigh. 'you're 78.'
suddenly, her normal voice returned. 'is that bad?'
'well it's not really bad, it's not too low, and you're hungry anyway, so eat so it doesn't get lower.'
and then she says, get ready for it ... 'you know, that wasn't as bad as i thought.'
hmm. no kidding? :)

20 minutes later, eating lunch, the drama queen is telling us how her thumb still. hurts. and she doesn't know how i do it every day. she gets the standard answer. 'if you had to do it every day, because your LIFE depended on it, you would learn how to do it and deal with it.' she's a smart girl, she gets it. i know she gets it, and i know some people have trouble processing how i could possibly stick myself multiple times a day, and do all this carb counting, insulin pumping and so on.

after more discussion about it through the day, and new questions popping into her head almost hourly, she decided she might see a new doctor, or at least get a second opinion about the frequent low blood sugars she's been feeling.

maybe they'll be able to ease her needle anxiety.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

you know what would go good with that?

it took me a little while to come up with a good blog title. but i am happy with my clever decision.

back story: my dad's FAVORITE 'diabetes story' about me is from my nephew's birthday a few years ago, when we were about to dig in on some delicious cake my sister had baked.

amidst all the fun of presents and playing with the niece and nephew, i lost my brain, joyfully sang happy birthday, and accepted my slice of cake and scoop of ice cream.

as i took my first bite, i said, 'hey, you know what would go good with this?' and my family stared at me, confused. 'some insulin!'  ... fail, i forgot to pump. they all bust out laughing, and now it's become a family joke.

he likes to perk up that 'some insulin would go good with that!' when we enjoy some sweet treats together.

good ol' dad. thanks for my blog title. ...of course, i could have made my title 'you know what would go go with that? some insulin' but that seemed a TOUCH long. i think a side of insulin fits quite nicely. and, i have all my meals with a side of insulin!

thanks for stopping by :)