Thursday, December 27, 2007

Type 1/Type 2: A Moment That Made Me Proud

As many of you know, I have often been upset by the public's lack of knowledge concerning diabetes and the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. I have often been disturbed by lack of knowledge among diabetics themselves, such as Ms. Berry. In fact, I get upset and frustrated by it so often, that I could probably write a blog post for every day of the year, just focusing on the above mentioned things.
But I have to say I had an experience on Christmas day that made me quite proud and made me think that maybe, just maybe, people are listening. When I went with my church to Nashville for our bridge ministry I rode in a church van with several people I didn't know. My church is a large church and although I recognized everyone on the van, I didn't know any of them by name.
On the way back on Christmas night we stopped to get a quick bite to eat. My blood sugar was low. I knew it. I usually can't feel my lows, but that was one of the rare exceptions. I tested and confirmed a 64. At the convenience store I grabbed a blueberry muffin (I know, not the best of dinner choices, right?) and ate it. I knew, however, that it wasn't going to bring my blood sugar up fast enough. I asked them to let me back in the van so I could grab a juice box, explaining that I was diabetic.
When we got back on the road, one of the women started asking me some questions. The first of which was, "How long have you had diabetes?" This is a standard question. "Since I was 4 years old," I replied. And then, another lady says, "Oh, you are Type 1 then?" and she turns to another lady in the van and says, "That means she can't ever get rid of diabetes. It's not a diet issue."
I couldn't believe it. How could this woman know the difference? It's so rare to find a person who does. I asked her a few quick questions and found out that she worked at a school in which there was a diabetic child and she had learned quite a bit in dealing with him.
I was blown away. And proud. And slightly hopeful. That woman may not have known everything about diabetes, but she could, at least basically, tell the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
I also have to note on here Diabetes Mine's blog post for the day. It was regarding diabetes etiquette. How wonderful to know that someone is thinking about diabetes etiquette and how to spread the news to all the non-diabetics in the world!
In regards to my recent Christmas gift, I leave you all with a clip of the great fiddle player, Mr. Charlie Daniels, and his timeless classic The Devil Went Down To Georgia. I'm not delusional enough to think I'll ever play like that, but seeing him play could be inspiration to almost anyone.
On a separate note, I will not be posting again until after the New Year. I am going out of town tomorrow and won't be able to post. I leave you all this year of 2007, praying that you all have a blessed and HEALTHY 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Under the Bridge

Yesterday was Christmas. And it was a very special Christmas for me. Christmas Eve, I spent with my dad and his side of the family. We had a wonderful time. Christmas morning I went to my mom's. I was truly blessed there also. I got a fiddle for Christmas (or a violin; I guess it depends on how you want to play it!). I don't play. I don't ready music. But I have said for years that I would some day learn to play the fiddle. I love to hear that instrument. It makes me smile!

Now I have the fiddle. Time to learn to play! :) I am currently trying to locate someone in my town that will teach me all I need to know about playing a fiddle. Wish me luck on that one.

The second part of my day was spent with my church, traveling 2 1/2 hours to Nashville to minister with the Under the Bridge Ministries to the homeless community. Our church raised close to $12,000 to buy 300 sub-zero sleeping bags. The ministry has a service and feeds the homeless under Jefferson Street Bridge every Tuesday night.

It was a very humbling and an experience that I will never forget. To know that I was there for several hours and how cold I was made me think how very lucky I was to have a bed to sleep in, an apartment to live in, and food to eat. I had never done anything like that before and I felt blessed to be a very small part of it all. I truly hope to go back to the bridge in the future.

I hope that you all had as wonderful a Christmas as I did.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

My Christmas has already started! I had Christmas Eve dinner and exchanging of presents with my dad and his side of the family earlier this evening. Tomorrow morning I head to my mom's and tomorrow afternoon I am going with my church to Nashville to deliver Christmas dinner to the homeless population that lives under Jefferson Street Bridge. Along with dinner, we will be ministering and handing out sub-zero sleeping bags.
A full and happy Christmas is what I am receiving already this year. I have been truly blessed and feel fortunate in so many ways.
I hope you all know how much I appreciate you! It means so much to have this community!
I pray you will all have a wonderful day tomorrow and that you all have a blessed time with family and friends.
Here's a little bit of holiday cheer for you. God bless!
(Just to note: this isn't my church, but my church youth group did this program for Christmas. It was AWESOME!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pharmacy Hopping!

Okay. As most of you who check out my blog on a pretty regular basis know, I have been having trouble with my insurance company & my prescriptions. I went to get a couple of other prescriptions filled today. One for my insulin and for my cholesterol medicine and I was running out of some vitamins that I also needed to pick up.
About 2 months ago I switched pharmacies because the one I was at took FOREVER to fill anything and you had to wait FOREVER to pick it up, even if they had it filled and all they had to do was hand it to you. I got sick of dealing with that and decided to switch pharmacies.
Every since I have switched pharmacies, things have been going nuts! My insurance won't pay for 3 months on the "new" strips. And today I was told that my insurance company had pulled the 3 month prescription contract with all the pharmacies and would only do 3 month supplies by mail.
I HATE mail order meds. Mostly cause I can't remember to order them on time. Call me spacey, but it's true. Not to mention I like to see who I am dealing with when it comes to my medicines. Someone who knows me cause they see me so often. And someone with whom I can talk if there is a problem with my prescriptions or I have a question.
I was highly upset and wanted to talk with my insurance company to find out what was going on. When I called them, the guy I spoke with was very nice, but didn't seem to know what I was talking about at first. I explained it to him in the exact way that it was explained to me at the pharmacy: Company X, which contracts all the prescriptions for Insurance X, was bought out by Pharmacy X (which is NOT my pharmacy!). Due to this, the only pharmacy in which you can get a 3 month prescription with Insurance X is through Pharmacy X (which isn't located withing an hour of my home).
The insurance guy started looking through whatever computer program or manual or whatever he had in front of him and then asked me what county I lived in. He then told me that Pharmacy A (my pharmacy) didn't contract with Company X and that's why I could no longer get prescriptions for 3 months from Pharmacy A. Then he told me that there were 2 pharmacies in my county in which I could get a 3 month prescription.
The first one he listed was Pharmacy B (the pharmacy I JUST SWITCHED FROM!!!!) and another, local pharmacy which I will call Pharmacy C.
On the plus side, I am going to switch my prescriptions to Pharmacy C so I can continue to get my cholesterol medicine and insulin in 3 month supplies.
On the negative side, this will be the 3rd pharmacy change for me in less than 3 months.
Sigh. Why does diabetes have to be so difficult??

Monday, December 17, 2007

For These Times

I experienced my first bit of sussy from the Diabetes OC late last week. I hadn't yet posted about it because I've been really busy this weekend and simply haven't had time.

I have to give my heartfelt thanks to Bernard, who read my impassioned rant about test strips and the current cost of my diabetes life. He contacted me and offered to send me a box of test strips, an extra meter, and the software & cable to download all of my pump and meter information. I have to say that is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. I have gotten the chance to experience the wonderful generosity of the Diabetes OC and it makes me thankful that I found you all.

And on that note, while I was cruising around on the Internet today, I found the video for Martina McBride's new song. The song is touching. It fits in with my mood and my idea of what people are really about. The video is also shot in one of my favorite cities, NYC.

I have listed the lyrics below:

In these times in which we live

Where the worst of what we live

Is laid out for all the world on the front page

And the sound of someone’s heartbreak

Is a soundbite at the news break

With a close shot of the tears rollin’ down their face

Blessed be the child who turns a loving eye

And stops to pray

For these times in which we live

In these most uncertain hours

Where the balance of power

Is a fight that is fought every day

And freedom is a word

Some cry out and some whisper

And some are just too quick to give away

Blessed be the one who stands by the one

On the battle line

For these times in which we live

Well give me a heart full of tender mercy

And arms I will open wide

For these times in which we live

Seems like the only answer is

Givin’ up on findin’ one at all

And we hide behind unsure

Pull the blinds and lock the doors

And hang a pleasant picture on the wall

Blessed is the believer who knows love is our redeemer

And the only breath of life

For these times in which we live

Well give me a heart full of tender mercy

And arms I will open wide

Yeah give me words full of loving kindness

And hands ready to hold up a light

For these times in which we live

For these times in which we live

I hope God truly grants me the heart to open my arms to those who need my help.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Picking My Battles

Last time I posted, I was discussing going into battle with my insurance company over the cost of test strips. I had intended on calling Monday, but got busy and work and forgot. Tuesday, I planned to call on my lunch hour. As I was walking through the door to my apartment for lunch, my phone rang. It was a representative from MiniMed calling me to discuss my CGMS. My doctor's office had contacted them to get help on writing the request for my CGMS that has to go to my insurance company.

The gentleman was calling from a local Tennessee office only a few hours from my home. He asked me a series of questions, requested my pump and meter download information, and gave me both his name and phone number to call if I had any questions about anything. This is basically the first real step to getting the CGMS. If the insurance company denies the request (which they nearly always do), we will work on appealing it.

While I had him on the phone, I asked him when it looked like the meters were going to be changing to the One Touch meters. He said they are still saying spring, but he had heard rumor that they were looking at March. That piece of information made my life very happy. March is only a few months away.

With that on my mind, I decided to pick my battle. I know they keep records of all our phone calls, complaints, requests, etc. at the insurance company. Due to this, I do not want to cause too much of a fuss until I get my CGMS approved. If March is an accurate date for the One Touch switchover, then I will suck it up, pay the extra cost, and wait on the One Touch.

This reminds me of the recent posts of Amylia, over at Amazing Grace. She has been discussing the cost of diabetes. With or without health insurance, diabetes is expensive. In this instance, I am going to have to pay $40 per month, for several months, for my test strips. I understand that this is a great deal cheaper than if I had no insurance at all. I am always thankful for my access to good health insurance. But it is still hard to make it on one income (and not a very big income at that!) when you are paying out of pocket-costs every month. It's like another loan payment. But this one never gets paid off.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Test Strip Wars

I went to check with my pharmacy today about my test strips. I kind of guessed that I was going to have to pay another $40 for the rest of my test strips, but I was hoping to just go ahead and get my 90 day supply. I was just going to let it go and pray that Medtronic switches to the One Touch meter A.S.A.P. Right now it is saying Spring 2008. So I am hoping before May... but you know how companies can be. Sometimes they end up pushing stuff off for months.

The had gotten in my strips. They had to order them from the new company since the BD company is no longer making test strips. I knew this was going to happen. When the pharmacist handed the bag to me he said, "There are 6 boxes in there. That should be for 10 times per day."

What? That is 10 times per day for one month, but not for 3 months, like my prescription was written for. I asked him about this right away. He said that my insurance company denied the claim since it was a new company. They basically said they would only pay for 30 days at a time. This pretty much sucks. $40 for 3 months is much better than $40 per month.

Oh, dear Lord, I can't wait for the One Touch meter! I know my co-pay for those strips is only $20. And I know I can get a 3 month prescription.

So, now to the title. Basically, I am getting ready to fight the test strip wars with my insurance company. The only reason I didn't call them today is because I wanted to calm down before I call them a BLESS THEM OUT! It is the SAME STRIP! Just made by a different company.
So wish me luck on Monday when I take up my armor and head into battle with the insurance company....

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Endo Appointment and the Crazy A1c

Yesterday I had my check-up with my endo. I got all my prescriptions straightened out. That's a plus. I also got some good news about my CGMS. They are going to have to re-submit the letter as it did not have the correct codes, but the nurse in charge of the whole CGMS thing said that she's had another patient in the office with the same insurance that I have and he was approved. This gives me hope. Hope for a lower A1c.

Lately I haven't been being as diligent as I should be with my blood sugars. I've been testing regularly, but not being so careful what I eat and when. Because of this my blood sugars have been running a little bit on the crazy side. My 3 month average, according to all my meter downloads, is 136. This is higher than I would have like. I've also been having fewer lows, which for me means higher blood sugars overall.

I went into my doctors office toting a stack of graphics and print-outs from my pump and meter software, a list of all the vitamins and medicines I take, a list of the prescriptions that I needed him to write for me, and a list of questions that I wanted to ask him. Call me the good diabetic. :)

The last time I was in the office, my endo had not written me a lab order to get my A1c done. And to be honest with you, I had forgotten about it (bad diabetic!). Maybe it was my subconscious not wanting to know what my A1c actually was...

When I sat down with my doctor we looked over my blood sugars and made some major changes to my pump settings. We changed almost all of my basals, 2 of my carb/insulin ratios, and we also changed the active insulin time from 6 hours to 5 hours. This was after looking over the last 4 weeks of graphics and discussing the trends. He sees stuff I never can.

I also asked him some questions about Dr. Bernstein and what he thought about low carbs and no carb diets. He, of course, did not agree and spouted off something from the ADA that says we need at least 160 grams of carbs per day. I am not sure that I agree with that. I would much rather keep my carbs per day under 100. Although I have trouble doing it most of the time.

I also asked him about the vitamins I have been taking. He told me he wanted me to take more Vitamin D. So that's next on my list of stuff to buy.

Before I left the did an in office A1c. It was one of the home-type tests, I think. When it came back it was 5.6. That is CRAZY! I know there is no way that my A1c is 5.6. Not when my average of blood sugars is 136. It doesn't add up. If I believed it was correct, I would have jumped up and down and screamed for joy. I just don't think it was. So basically I am pretending like that A1c never happened and I made sure to get an order for lab work for my next appointment.

Honestly, I don't know what the deal is. I just know that my doctor called me "motivated," which I took as a complement. I figure that I have a right to be obsessive compulsive about my diabetes care. I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to still be alive when there is a CURE!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Endo Office Screw Up.

I was running out of test strips. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday. I knew I couldn't make it until then to get another prescription for my strips, so I called my doctor's office to ask them to call in some test strips. I didn't recognize the lady I spoke with. I'm not sure if she was new or just not someone with whom I normally deal. Either way, I gave her my name & told her I needed test strips called in. She said she would have it done.
"No problem," I think to myself.
Several hours later my phone rings. It's my drug store. I recently transferred to a new drug store, so they don't have any of my old prescriptions on file. They called to ask me what kind of meter I had. "Strange," I think to myself. But I tell them and they say they will be ready soon.
When I got off work I had a friend in to visit from out of town. We made a quick run to the drug store. When I got there, the pharmacist tells me there are lancets and alcohol pads in the bag also. I told him I don't need them. He said, "They called in testing supplies, so that's why we added them. We will take them off." He was very nice. I should have suspected something when he said that. But I took the bag and paid my money. I was in a hurry and excited to have friends visiting and I made the ultimate mistake: I didn't look in the bag.
About 3 hours later, as we were settling in for the night, I opened my bad and found inside..... (imagine suspenseful music playing here): two boxes of test strips. Total test strips: 100. I test 10 times per day minimum. This will last me for a total of 10 days. I nearly had a mental breakdown at that point. I was yelling and saying lots of things I'm not exactly proud of.
Here are the things I know: my insurance won't pay for anymore strips for 30 days. That means I have 20 days of strips that I will have to pay for out of pocket. 20 days x 10 strips = 200 strips x $1.00 per strip = $200. Right before Christmas. I can't afford that when it's not Christmas. Let alone now.
After I calmed down I got to thinking. The lady with whom I spoke on the phone obviously didn't look at my chart. She just called the drug store and said "testing supplies". The drug store just did what they were supposed to do. They filled for the average recommendation of testing per day, which is 4 times per day. They were most certainly not at fault. I was partially at fault for not looking in the bag before I left. The lady at the doctor's office was really at fault for not pulling up my file to see what to call in.
This morning I made a call to the drug store to ask them if anything could be done. The lady I spoke with there was very helpful and told me that she would call my doctor's office and confirm my number of tests per day and then call my insurance company to get an override to pay for more strips. My only worry at that point is that I pay a $40 co-pay on my strips since they are non-preferred on my insurance. Am I going to have to pay another $40 because my doctor's office screwed up?
Basically I have decided that when I go to the drug store, if they ask me to pay again, I am going to have them hold the strips until Tuesday afternoon. At that point I am going to go to my doctor's office and ask for 200 strips. We know they all get sample strips. I am not going to pay for something that they were at fault for.
I will find out something in the morning about the strips when I call the drugstore. Hopefully, all will have worked out.
This is just frustrating. Part of me will be glad when Medtronic changes their meter that goes with the pump from BD to OneTouch. I like the OneTouch much better and they are preferred strips on my insurance, which means only a $20 co-pay. I also wonder if I should say something to the office staff when I go into my appointment on Tuesday morning.
I hate dealing with insurance and doctor's offices and co-pays and premiums and other insurance related and diabetes related stupidity.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving.

I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to all you blog readers out there. It is a time for family and friends and remembering what's important in life. I am currently decorating a cake & preparing to cook Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow to celebrate with my dad and his family. We are very thankful this year that my Grandmother is out of the nursing home. While she's not doing as well as we'd like, she is doing much much better and we are so glad to have her home.
On Thanksgiving, after we eat and rest and clean the kitchen, I am heading to a friend's house for the long weekend. We are going to try to shop some and just hang out. I have taken Monday off work, simply to extend the time a little.
I have to say that I am truly thankful for my health with 22 years of diabetes under my belt. I am thankful more than they will every know, for my family and my friends. I don't know what I'd do without them.
And I have a new item to add to my thankful list this year. I am thankful for all of you in the Diabetes OC. Since I discovered this world back in April, my life has improved in many ways. I am so blessed by each and every one of you. You bring me back to myself, when diabetes tries to make me forget who I am. You live your days with me, checking blood sugars, going to doctor's appointments, and sharing our lows and high (both literal and figurative).
I truly hope you all have a joy filled Thanksgiving filled with friends and family and wonderful food. And don't forget to count those carbs! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Beth at In Search of Balance, had tagged me with the lovely seven meme. This is a first for me. So, here are the rules:

The Rules:
1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

1. I was adopted at birth (pretty cool, huh Beth?) and have actually met my biological mother & her family. I went to visit them when I was 18.
2. I once was hit on by a telemarketer who was trying to sell me a long distance plan. He couldn't get over my Tennessee accent. It took me 10 minutes to get off the phone with him since I didn't want to be mean and just hang up on him.
3. I am probably the only person I know who is very "county" and yet LOVES Broadway.
4. If I were not a diabetic, I would still drink diet drinks. I don't like the taste of most non-diet drinks (that comes from 22 years of diabetes).
5. I once stood out in the COLD weather (Pittsburgh in December) at 4:00 in the morning to buy tickets to a play that I wouldn't see. I was helping out a friend.
6. I am not dating anyone & don't have any prospects for marriage, but due to my best friend getting married in May, I already have my wedding dress, theme, and some decorations picked out. Pretty pathetic, I know.
7. I am short! Not even 5 feet tall. 4' 11" if you want to get technical. And one of my best friends is 6' 4". We look funny standing next to each other. Total opposites.

Now for the tagging 7 others.... it took me a while to find 7 people who don't have a tagged blog up. So, if you get double tagged, I'm sorry.
Here they are:
Jillian at Diabetor and Me, Paige at TN Mountain Cur, Ed at Ring the Bolus, Jim at Jimmy Fitz, Scott at Scott's Diabetes Journal, Seonaid at Diabetes Blog, and George at The B.A.D. Diabetic. Sorry if you guys have already been tagged and I didn't realize it.
Have fun.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend of Shopping

I went shopping on Saturday in Knoxville, which is about an hour and a half from where I live. I went with a dear friend of mine, whom I will call D, who is a Type 2 diabetic. We were friend before her diagnosis, but since then, there are things that I can discuss with her that we couldn't talk about before. It brings to light different things in our friendship. Even though I am Type 1 & she is Type 2, there is still an underlying connection there. We can discuss A1c's, blood sugar levels, and what different foods do to our BG levels. It's nice to have that connection with another person.

I have that connection on a regular basis with those of you in the OC, but I have to say, a real, flesh and bone human that I can talk with face-to-face is also really nice.

In some ways I am jealous of those of you who have gotten to meet each other. I want to do that someday.

D & I went to a health food store in Knoxville, called Earth Fare. I live in a really, really small town, so I don't get the chance to shop at places like that very often. I bought several things, but I have to say I walked out of the store with one bag that ended up costing $36. That's sad. So in a way, I guess it's a good thing that I live in a very small town. Otherwise I would be broke from grocery shopping.... oh wait, I am already broke from grocery shopping, so I guess I would just be in the poor house all the way around then. :)

We also went to a mall, Best Buy (I love the Best Buy!), and another little shop. I spent way too much money, but got several people's Christmas presents out of the way, so I guess it was a good thing in a way.

The best part of my day, however, was lunch. D's birthday was on the 14th (WDD!) and I took her out for lunch as my present to her. That is kind of our present to each other on our birthday's. We went to P.F. Chang's China Bistro. I know there is one in Nashville and one in Maryland, so I am pretty sure it is a large chain. I have been there several times and absolutely LOVE it! I can't remember what D ordered (although I can tell you it was good). But I got Ginger Chicken and Broccoli. I have to say, it was one of the best things I have ever gotten off their menu. The food is always fabulous, but Ginger Chicken made it to the top of my order list. I highly recommend that you try it if you get the chance. It's a little pricey, but more than worth it. The also offer you the choice of white & brown rice with your meal, so you can eat healthier if you choose. (I was a bad diabetic: I had white rice.)

On a side note, I just looked up P.F. Chang's on the internet and they have their entire menu listed on the website with nutritional values! If I'd known that, I would have had an easier time with my carb counting.... I'll have to remember that for my next visit.

Overall, I had a good day. Decent blood sugars all day long and lots of fun that was non-diabetes related.

On another note: My niece has been back in the hospital for fluid around her heart. I am pretty sure, though not positive because I haven't talked to them in a couple of days, that she got out of the hospital today. The put her in on Thursday and they had to drain the fluid and she was in ICU for a while. So, once again, please keep her and my family in your prayers. This cancer is not being a nice thing. But she is a strong person and has a good attitude and we believe she can beat this thing!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Diabetes Day 2007

Today is World Diabetes Day 2007. I didn't do anything special on this day. I should have, and feel like others may have done more than I. It passed, just like any other day for me. My hope, however, is that others that don't have to live with diabetes every day, had their eyes opened to the struggle that so many in the world make every single day.

Some of you were in another country, watching the lights make the world aware of the day. Some of you were able to highlight the effect that diabetes has on the people around the diabetic. Some wrote beautiful posts about diabetes and how it exists in your world. There was even a post with everyone's favorite diabetes spokesperson.

All over the world, buildings lit up, people joined together and spoke out about diabetes. Even though I feel like I should have done something on this day, I know that there are others out there, like me, who woke up this morning wishing that there was no need for a World Diabetes Day. Knowing that today was going to be a bad day blood sugar wise (and it was. Believe me, it was.) and wishing that there was no diabetes.

Today was another day that I don't get a day off. I don't get a break. I don't get to eat what I want without a care. I don't get to go more than 4 hours without a test. To be honest, I didn't even want to test today. It seemed too much for me. Too hard. Too time consuming. But I did it, although not as often as I should have.

My hope is not only that people become aware of diabetes and its global effect, but that there is a CURE in the near future. So I can have my day off. Twenty-two years is a long time to not get a day off. I'd really like that chance.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Bee & Me

I have discussed my diagnosis before. I talked about how my mother found out I was diabetic and what bits and pieces that I remember from that awful time in my life. But I don't think I have ever talked about this little guy:
This is a bee. I think. Actually I'm not sure that it isn't the love child of a bee and a troll. It's been through a lot of stuff. A four year old can do that to a toy. He (she?) was bought for me when I was diagnosed. I'm not sure if it was purchased in the hospital gift store, or my parents got it somewhere else and brought it to me.
I do know that I remember holding it while I was held down to get shots in the hospital. I remember it being a bribe of sorts for me not to cry. (It didn't work.) But I remember this little bee. It made me smile.
I found it the other night, in an old trunk (one I actually took to diabetes camp!) with a bunch of stuff from my childhood. I was thinking about this little bee, and I remembered that I had kept it. When I found it, I couldn't help but think about how it looked just like I remembered it. It took me back to being four years old and holding it while I lay on my stomach in a hospital bed in Cookeville, Tennessee just after my diagnosis. I can almost feel the hot tears running down my face.
But that's not the only time I remember it. I remember having it at home, playing in the bathtub (I always had lots of toys in the bathtub). I remember it getting water stuck in it and my dad taking his pocket knife to cut the hole in the bottom of it bigger, so the water could drain out. That hole is still there, of course.
This little bee went through a lot with me. And as I got older, I remembered it and kept it. When I was putting pieces of my childhood in that trunk as a teenager, in went the bee. Lots of things didn't make it into that trunk. But that bee made it. It is part of my memory of my diagnosis.
I can't tell you how long I carried around that bee, just that it survived my childhood. Not many toys can say that with any child.
So I got the bee out and took his (her?) picture to post on here. I wanted to share it with you because I know that others have some similar memories. I would love to hear about yours.
As a side note, I took the bee to my mother's house on Friday night. I asked her if she remembered it. She remembered the bee, but not when or how I had gotten it. Amazing what children remember. That little bee is something I won't ever forget.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy D-Blog Day!!!

Happy D-Blog Day! This is my first year to celebrate D-Blog Day. And I have to say that I am so very happy that I am here, in this great community, to share with you in our hurts, our fears, our triumphs, and our every day lives. I came to the OC when I felt like I didn't have anyone who understood what I was going through. I had spent time trying to explain my fears and frustrations with friends, and try as they might, they just couldn't completely understand. I am so thankful that I stumbled across dLife one day, which lead me to Kerri, who opened the door for so many of the wonderful on-line friends I have made.
You have changed my world in so many ways. My world was hollow at times. Lonely and sometimes scary. I wanted to find people who were living what I was living. Part of my didn't believe there were others who were living what I was.
Now my life is better. I won't say complete, because that will only come with a CURE! But it is better. When I am frustrated at the general public, you understand. When I am sick from a midnight low, you understand. When I get on my education soapbox, you understand. This is because you live it with me. You make me feel normal. You make me feel understood. You make me know that I can get up each day and smile and be thankful for a good day. If it's a bad day, you sympathize and tell me, "there's always tomorrow".
All in all, this online-community has saved me untold dollars in therapy (I'm really not kidding. I was considering seeing a therapist before I found this "world"), introduced me to people I would have never met otherwise, and let me be me without fear of judgement or condemnation.
Thank you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Head in the Sand: The Morning After

Last night I made chicken vegetable soup. It's just starting to cool down here in Tennessee and soup was the perfect meal for the weather. Not to mention the fact that I am running dangerously low on groceries and I'm too lazy to go to the supermarket until I absolutely have to. I had all the ingredients to to make this soup last night and I have to say, it was delicious.

I always find it a little hard to estimate my carbs for homemade soup. I usually take a wild guess and watch my blood sugars really closely for the next several hours. If it seems like I did okay, I use that same estimation the next time I eat the soup. Usually it isn't a very difficult thing for me to do.

So there I was, eating my soup. I had estimated my carbs at around 25 grams because I knew that I would have seconds and the soup had diced potatoes, corn, and peas. And seconds I did have. Two hours after dinner my blood sugar was 84. This almost panicked me into eating something else, or turning my pump off, but I instead decided to keep a closer eye on the blood sugars to see if they were going to keep falling, or hold steady. I was (of course) hoping for the holding steady.

Three hours after dinner: 85

Four hours after dinner: 82
Bedtime (about 4 and 1/2 hrs after): 80
I still had 1.1 units of active insulin left, according to my bolus wizard on my pump. This doesn't usually worry me because my blood sugar tends to increase after I go to sleep. My basal rate even increases, especially closer to morning to deal with the lovely dawn phenomenon.
I went to be feeling confident I would awake around 100.

Fast forward to the middle of the night (around 3:50 according to my meter; I checked the time this morning). I woke up, wide awake. This never happens to me. I felt almost frozen. Something is very wrong. I willed myself to open my eyes all the way, trying to get a bearing on my surroundings. I'm scared. I can't reach the two feet to my left to turn on my lamp, so I reach on the opposite side of my bed, where I lay my meter every night. Thankfully, there's a tiny flashlight on my meter case; my meter doesn't have a back light.

My head is spinning and I think to myself "This isn't right." And it wasn't. I was 55. I reached for the juice box I keep on my nightstand. I fumble with the straw and think that I just want to go back to sleep. I drain the juice box and lay there, box in hand, knowing that even though my blood sugar is low, it won't stay that way. The 25 grams of carbs in the juice box will bring me back up. I closed my eyes and drift back to sleep.

My alarm went off this morning & I pried my eyes open, hoping that it wouldn't be as bad as I knew it would be. It was. I have a splitting headache & when I turn my lamp on, my eyes squint to keep out the pain. It's almost like a hangover, minus the throwing up part. I grabbed my meter and checked my blood sugar. It's 122. I've survived the night, but from past experiences, I know I'm in for a long day.
I haven't had a low in the night in months. I don't know why I always wake myself up. Actually, I do: God, plain & simple. He's always taken care of me when I couldn't take care of myself. There always seems to be someone around who knows what's wrong and knows what to do when I don't, or I'm not able to care for myself.
Back to my day: I stumble around getting ready for work, feeling like death warmed over. All I really want to is go lay back down and go back to sleep. I contemplate calling in to work today, but know I have a full schedule of appointments that other's in my office would have to see or reschedule. I don't want to do that to them.
So I went to work. I took some ibuprofen to help with the headache. It didn't help much. I felt like I'd stuck my head in a pile of sand. My eyes were gritty feeling, no matter how much I rubbed them. They were heavy, feeling like sandbags were weighing the lids down.

But I worked. I worked all day and by around 4:00 this afternoon I felt somewhat like a human-being again. My eyes don't feel so much like I stuck my head in the sand anymore.

Today, while I was working, I thought about Kerri's experience with a low a few nights ago. I know exactly how she feels. I should have taken that swig of juice before I went to bed. But for once, it would have been nice to not have to worry about diabetes. A blood sugar of 84 is normal. Why can't I be normal and stay that way?? Kerri has Chris to help her out, but she seems to wake herself up most of the time. I always do. Or God does, I guess it depends on how you want to look at it.
As short tempered and ill as I was today, I worked all day. Tomorrow, after a good night's sleep and decent blood sugar readings, I will be in a better mood, I will feel better, and I will still be thankful that I'm here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hamburger Meat

That's what my mother always said my fingertips looked like when I was little. She didn't say it in a mean way. But she always said it sympathetically. Like she felt so sorry for me. Which I know she did. She felt so helpless to not be able to fix her little girl.
When I was diagnosed in 1985, testing was so much different. We didn't have the luxury of micro fine lancets, or lancet devices with different depths on them. They hurt. A lot. And they bled. A lot. And sometimes, especially to a little four year old, it felt like the lancet was going to go straight through my finger.
This left many many ugly red and brown dots on my fingertips. That's why my mother said it reminded her of hamburger meat. I, myself, still look at my fingertips and think to my self "Look. Hamburger meat." It makes me want to cry sometimes, knowing that I will probably never have beautifully manicured hands and soft fingertips that are free of callouses and tiny red spots. I don't think about it often, but today was a day I thought about it a great deal.
I was visiting Kerri over at Six Until Me. Her post today started out with a picture of her fingertips. I laughed. They were MY fingertips!!! How'd she get a picture of MY fingertips?? At that moment I felt loved, understood, and absolutely not alone in this fight against diabetes.
Then, this evening, I stopped by Amylia's blog, Amazing Grace. Yesterday she had posted a picture for diabetes 365. This was also a picture of her (my???) fingertips holding a cell phone. Again, I felt connected. This time to someone on the other side of the world. Again, I felt loved, understood, and absolutely not alone.
I live with diabetes every day. It's a part of nearly every decision I make. I don't complain about it very often. After all, what would the point of that be?? I just live with it. I test, I get turned down for short term disability policies, I go to doctor's offices where they know me by name, I count every gram of food that enters my body. It's just part of me and my life.
But sometimes, you can't help but feel different and alone. Today was not one of those days. So I'd like to thank Amylia and Kerri. Even though I've never met either of them (I would count myself blessed to be able to meet either of them), I feel like I know them. We share a common thread. We share a life. We share our fingertips.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Why are people so stupid?

Seriously? Why? I was reading in Countdown Magazine, that I picked up at the Middle TN JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes, that 7% of the population is affected by diabetes. They say by 2020 that the number will be 33%. That's one-third. One third of the nation that has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Why do people not seem concerned by this? Why do people not want to learn about this disease that affects so many people? I know that it's hard to be concerned by something that doesn't affect you. But so many people THINK that they know about diabetes because their second cousin's grandpa had it. Or their friend from 30 years ago had it. And they spout off stupidity because of it. No, I won't "outgrow" diabetes. I can't. I have Type 1. I have a friend who had Type 2 and was on an insulin pump for years. The last time I spoke with her she'd lost so much weight that she wasn't on insulin at all anymore. But she's still Type 2. If someone tries to tell me about their sickness, I try to listen. Even if it doesn't really affect me. Who knows what I might learn? When I found out my niece had cancer, I waited to find out what KIND of cancer. Then I researched it. Then I talked about it with her. I tried to inform myself. Why is that so hard for the general public? I know I have been on these rants before, and I am truly sorry if I am annoying anyone who's reading this, but it is constantly on my mind. I want to EDUCATE people. And I don't know how to do it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Example of Ignorance

I was visiting Kerri's site today, as I do most days, and she had posted on her page a comment on the sidebar relating to Halle Berry. We have all known that Halle Berry was a diabetic, but I know most of us couldn't figure out whether she was a Type 1 or a Type 2. Apparently, she doesn't know either! The page stated that Ms. Berry was diagnosed as a Type 1 but had "weaned myself off insulin" and now considered herself a Type 2 diabetic. At first I wasn't sure if I should be ticked at the media or at Halle herself. The media prints nonsense like this EVERY DAY without researching what they are writing about and the public believes what they read. But I believe Ms. Berry is the one to blame here. Shouldn't one be knowledgeable about their own disease? Shouldn't one want to know how to control their disease, care for themselves, and be up to date on related topic? I know I want to do these things. Obviously Ms. Berry was misinformed by her "wonderful" doctors at her time of diagnosis and never bothered to find out for herself. So, in turn, she is misinforming hundreds of thousands, and possibly even millions of people about diabetes and the differences between Type 1 & Type 2. As I sit here on my lunch break, eating my chicken salad and trying to feel better from a morning of continually rising blood sugars, I am disheartened to hear that even diabetics themselves can be, and are, sadly misinformed about their disease. In my world, knowledge is power. The more I know, the better off I am. The more I learn, the easier caring for my diabetes will be.
I'm glad Halle Berry is no longer and insulin-dependant diabetic. It's good that she was able to accomplish this task. But I am sad that she doesn't know the basics of a disease that she lives with every day.
How do we change the way the world looks at diabetes? How do we inform and educate? How frustrating it is, especially for Type 1 diabetics, to deal with people telling you there is a cure. There is NO CURE for diabetes at this time. I hope for one. I pray for one. I work for one. But there's not one yet.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Those of you who read Harry Potter know that name Voldemort strikes fear in the hearts of Wizards and Witches everywhere. The word being spoken caused people to cringe and shudder. I have found a word that is the equivalent of Voldemort in my world: CANCER.

I have very little experience with cancer, thank God! I have known people to have cancer. I have an aunt that survived breast cancer, My maternal grandfather passed away on my eleventh birthday from lung cancer. My paternal grandfather died when I was in college after a long battle with prostate cancer. Outside of this, I haven't had to deal with cancer. I haven't been around for most of these. I didn't live in the areas of these people that I love as the dealt with cancer.

But I have recently had another brush with The-Sickness-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named. My niece is eighteen years old. I was seven when she was born. She spent most of her life not living in the same town as me. I remember being at the hospital the night she was born. My brother came out of the delivery room dressed in his blue scrubs smiling from ear to ear. I couldn't understand why they wouldn't let me see the baby that night. I was only seven; hospital policy didn't register in my mind.

I remember holding her when they brought her home. She was so tiny, and I loved babies. My brother & his family lived all over the country until 10 years ago. They moved back to my town and I spent a few years, before moving away to go to college, getting to be around my niece and nephew. I enjoyed it.

After my brother & his wife divorced, my sister-in-law moved to Michigan & took the kids. My nephew lived there for a year or so & then decided he wanted to come back. My niece, however, is in her element. She loves it in Michigan. She has lots of friends and has made a life for herself. She graduated from high school in June and has a job.

But last week she found out she has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This cancer of the lymph nodes has attacked her and she will now have to have chemotherapy. She is going to loose her hair. That's the part she is most worried about. But this word: CANCER.... it strikes fear in my heart. Fear for her. She's so young. She has her whole life ahead of her.

I did some research on my own, and thankfully, this type of cancer has a really good survival rate.

But that fear is still there. Every time I say the word CANCER, I cringe. Like Ron Weasley does every time Harry Potter says "Voldemort".

So those of you who are here, in this diabetes community with me, know what it's like to live life with a chronic illness. We live it every day. We are uninsurable. We know this. But now my niece has, in an essence, join the ranks of living with a chronic disease. Please pray for us. I am many miles away from here. I can't be there for her. But my prayers can be. And any extra prayers you may have will be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Craziest Hobby Ever (For a Diabetic)

There are people who's names fit them. Like the dentist named Moller. Or the teacher named Learner. It happens. Sometimes people and things just fit together. I am a little bit different than that. I have a lot of different hobbies. I love, love, love to scrapbook! I like to sew, and have been learning to knit. I also like to cook. I read everything I can get my hands on.

But I have this one hobby that should be a total no-no for a diabetic. I love to decorate cakes. Yeah, I know its crazy. Let's give the diabetic a cake mix and a 2 pound bag of powdered sugar and let her make a cake. It makes perfect sense, right? Or not. Sometime I wonder if inhaling all that powdered sugar, as I am making my frosting, is making my blood sugar go up. Is that even possible? I don't know.

But all you diabetics, know that I don't actually eat all the cakes I make. I usually take them to family, or friends, or to work (they love going in the break room and seeing a cake). Yesterday I made a cake and took it to my neighbors today. I didn't even taste it.

I just find it kind of ironic, that as a diabetic, I would pick a hobby that puts me in close contact with the very types of foods that we should stay away from. Or at least only have in moderation. Oh well, I never claimed that I was normal. It's just something else about me that is hard to explain.
Is there anything that you like to do that doesn't fit "the mold" of a diabetic?

Friday, October 12, 2007

No Delivery

I changed my infusion set yesterday morning. Nothing different about the change. No weird feelings or anything like that. My blood sugar even ran pretty normal all day long. I didn't have any insane spikes or crazy readings.

Then last night I got my dinner made and was just sitting down to eat. I tested my blood sugar. It was 73. Not terribly low, but it was certainly time to eat. I bolused and started to eat. About three bites into my food my pump starts buzzing like crazy. Without even looking at it, I knew what it was. I didn't want to look. I didn't want to see. But I knew it had to be done.

I pulled my pump out of my pocket..... NO DELIVERY. Of course this has happened to me before. But not in several months. I've really had not major problems in quite some time.

So, I sit my plate aside, walk into my bathroom and get out my pump supplies and change my infusion set. Oh well. It all worked out. Sure my food was a little cold when I ate, but no biggie. It could be worse. I might not have a pump. Or I might live somewhere where I have no insulin. Or we could live in a world without the technology to home test for blood sugar levels.

I guess when it comes down to it, as much as I hate those stupid NO DELIVERY alerts, I feel pretty lucky. I feel blessed to not have complications after 22 years of diabetes. I feel blessed to have a job that provides me with great health coverage. I feel blessed that I have an insulin pump. I feel blessed that technology has come so far in the years since I was diagnosed.

Sometimes its just in how you look at the situation that makes it easier to handle.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Diabetes Crazy

The past few days have been absolutely crazy in my world. I had family in from out of state, my grandmother was put into the hospital and is now, temporarily, residing in the nursing home, and I have been dealing with blood sugar readings that are driving me NUTS!!

I think that the crazy readings are partially due to the stress and also have to do with me not being as careful about what I eat & when I test. It's frustrating that a time like this can have such a control over my diabetes. But I think it is just part of life.

So for those of you who read my blog, please remember me in your prayers and thoughts. Hopefully by the end of the week things will have slowed down and my life will be getting back to semi-normal.

Thanks and sorry for such a short post!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Meter Comparison

While I was at the JDRF Walk last Saturday I picked up two meters from booths. I have been thinking about getting a new meter, not to mention the fact that I did not have a spare meter on hand. The meters that I got were the Accu-Chek Aviva and the Bayer Ascensia Contour. I am currently using the Paradim Link from BD that is linked with my MiniMed Pump.

This is what I found about each of the meters:

I really liked the Accu-Chek Aviva's case, it's thin design, and the lancet device. Actually, I LOVED the lancet device! The multiclix lancet device was really comfortable and the lancets aren't single. It is a drum with 6 lancets that you can change each time (or less) and you only change the lancet drum after using all the lancets. The Accu-Chek also is a preferred strip on my insurance. Which means less out of pocket for me.

The Bayer Contour was a nice machine. As I will talk about later, it had the results that were closer to my current meter. I did not like the lancet device. It was (in my mind) a throw-back to the older lancet devices in it's design. It wasn't painful, but it was just kind of odd in shape and style. The Bayer strips are not on my insurance's preferred list, therefore it would be more out of pocket cost than some other strips.

The Paradigm Link is my current meter. I have been using it for a little over a year. I really like the fact that it links to my pump and all the results (from both my pump & my meter) can be downloaded to my account on the MiniMed website and I can see averages, trends, etc. I don't like that I waste a LOT of strips when testing with this meter. If the amount of blood is not exactly right you have to retest. I also don't like that the strips are not on my insurance's preferred list. I end up paying more out-of-pocket costs for my strips.

This were the major likes and dislikes of these 3 meters. Then came the biggest thing of all: the blood sugar results. I checked my blood sugar on all three meters at the same time. The results were disturbingly different.

BD: 103
Accu-Chek: 151
Contour: 119

On the second testing at a different time:

BD: 135
Accu-Chek: 160
Contour: 124

The strikingly funny thing was the the Accu-Chek was higher than the other two meters both times. And the Accu-Chek was also the only meter of the 3 that was on the preferred list for strips on my insurance. So are the other 2 meters the better meters? And therefore I have to pay extra for my strips? Is it just because the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the strips for the meters that are more accurate?
Has anyone else had this experience? I swear the more I learn about diabetes the less I feel like I know. And this is after 22 years of living with this disease.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

JDRF Walk!

September 29th, 2007 was the Nashville Walk to Cure Diabetes. I went with my mom & sister & we had a wonderful day. Lots of free stuff (I got 2 new meters to try out!) and free food. And just in general spent some time around others wanting the same thing I do: A CURE!
It was the first time I had ever attended an even like this. I was highly impressed & had a lot of fun. I am hoping to go back again next year. I raised a total of $535. I figure for a first timer, that was pretty good. Next year I'll shoot for more! Thanks to all those who helped me out. Know that it went to a wonderful cause.
I haven't been posting lately, so I am very sorry about that. I am going to be working on posting at least a couple of times per week. I have got to get better about this!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Follow-up for CGMS

I went to the doctor's office yesterday to talk with my doctor about the results from my trial with the CGMS. It was very good, I think. We talked about the fact that it wasn't always correct with my meter results. But he was still very happy with my "graph" for the 3 days. He said that it looked like I had very few spikes in my blood sugars. The only things he seemed concerned about were my low blood sugars. Which is really what I have been worried about myself.
We decided to change a few of my basal rates and change my insulin to carb ratios for lunch time. These were things that I had contemplated doing myself, but wanted to wait to get the opinion of someone else.
I don't have any issues with making changes on my own, if I think they are needed. I just knew that a doctor's appointment was coming up, so I held off until I could talk to him about it. And turns out, he said to do exactly what I was going to do. It was nice affirmation that what I am doing is the right thing.
We talked a little bit more about my getting the CGMS for myself. He said he was going to send the letter to the insurance company to see what they would say. I really hope that they approve it. In my doctors words, it would be a tool to help me with my already good control. It would simply help me shave some more digits off my A1c. Which is exactly my idea. I want a LOWER A1c.
Sure, I know 6.7 is good. It's below the recommended 7.0. But it still isn't 6.0. Which is what I would love. Which would mean that my body is basically living like a non-diabetic most of the time. This means less damage. Less complications. And less wear and tear. And with 22 years of this diabetes thing already wearing and tearing on my body, the lower I can get my A1c, the happier I will be.
Wish me luck as I navigate the jungle known as the American health insurance system.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Diabetes: The Invisible Disease

This weekend was a long weekend for me. I left work early on Thursday and took Friday off. It was like a min-vacation. I really needed a break, so it was very nice. A friend and I went to Savannah, Tennessee to go to Darryl Worley's Tennessee River Run. Basically it was a festival-like concert on the Tennessee River at Pickwick State Park. It featured Savannah local Darryl Worley, the legendary Charlie Daniels, Trick Pony, and Jason Michael Carroll.

We spend the weekend at Pickwick State Park at their Inn, which was beautiful, clean, and had a wonderful view of the water from our fifth flood balcony. Just having those relaxing few days was very nice.

I have lived fairly close (about 45 minutes) to a lake most of my life. It has given me a love of the water. It is so peaceful and seems to bring a wonderful spirit to my heart. Even on the worst of days I can spend a few hours sitting on the edge of the water and the world seems to fall back into perspective.

Diabetes wise, I had a relatively easy weekend. Nothing about 180 and very few lows. The interesting thing that I discovered is how very invisible diabetes can be...except to other diabetics. I've always known that people don't realize I have diabetes most of the time. I've known people for months and them say, "I didn't know you were diabetic!" Others find out in a very short time. It just seems like it comes up sooner in conversation with some people than with other people.

While I was at the concert on Saturday night I was looking around at the people. I tend to be a people watcher at times. I think it is part of my inverted nature. There was a couple sitting about 15 feet away from me. They were probably in their early to mid 40's. The man got up and went to get something and I looked at the woman. She wasn't looking at me, but I saw her, very discretely, open a small cooler and get out a glucose monitor and some insulin. She was so good at hiding what she was doing, I didn't catch the brand names of either product, but I could tell that she checked her blood sugar. Then she drew up insulin in a syringe and gave herself an injection through her jeans. Unless you were really paying attention, you would never have known what was going on. Unless you were another diabetic, I would venture to say, you wouldn't have noticed it at all.

I didn't say anything to the lady. I don't know who she was, what type of diabetes she has, or anything else about her. But I know that we share a bond. She may never know about it, but I do.

So diabetes can be invisible. Almost. Us diabetics can almost always pick up on it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Adventures in Constant Glucose Monitoring

Okay, so I went on Friday to pick up the MiniMed minilink CGMS from my doctor's office. It was basically a loaner for 3 days. I left work at noon and headed, with a friend, out of town to go to my endo's office. My endo is about an hour from my house. My friend wanted to get some shopping in and needed to go to Verizon. I just needed to stop by my doctor's office and get "hooked-up" to the sensor.

I went into the office at about 1:30. This is when the nurse and I had agreed for me to come pick up the sensor. When I got there she came out to tell me that it hadn't been brought back by the last patient and asked me if I could come back closer to 3:30. I told her this was fine. We went to shop for a while & then headed back to the office.

When I got there I will have to say I was a little nervous. I don't really know why, but I think it might have been more "I'm on my way to get my brand new car" nervous more than a "I am getting ready to jump out of a plane" nervous. The nurse actually inserted the device for me. I was kind of disappointed about that, as I wanted to do it by myself, but that was okay. It didn't hurt and I was ready to go in about 5 minutes. Short and sweet. Just like I like my doctor's office visits.

My friend and I headed out to do some more shopping and to look at some things for her upcoming wedding. As we were leaving on store my pump all of a sudden starts beeping like crazy! It was like it had a mind of it's own. I got my pump out and read the screen: "Sensor Error: Sensor failure. Self test. See owner's manual."

You know, that would be my luck. I tear everything up. So I got out my cell phone and called the office back & told them what it said. She asked me if I could come back in. I went back & she looked at it. Studied the owner's manual. Pushed a few buttons. And them promptly looked at me and said, "I have no idea what's wrong. It's never done this before." Gee. How lucky can I get?? We finally got the screen to clear back up. It appeared to be working and she told me to go ahead and leave & if it didn't start working to come back in on Monday and they would try it again.

Luckily, I left and the sensor started working pretty quickly after that. I have no idea, still, what was wrong with it. I don't think the nurse does either. Oh, well.

Overall the weekend was a little crazy for me. I have about a million things to do and part of me become OCD about checking my pump & then testing my blood sugar to verify. For Friday evening, Saturday, & then Sunday morning, the CGMS was nearly 30 points off almost every time I tested. It failed to catch my low blood sugars a couple of times and there were some high blood sugars that didn't show up either.

To be honest, I was starting to get a little worried and frustrated with the whole deal. But then Sunday afternoon it started matching up. It was within 10 points nearly every time I tested. (If you listen closely you can hear the hallelujah chorus!) Then, I talked to someone today who told me that it usually takes them a few days before the CGSM and the meter start matching. This person wears the sensor for around a week at a time.

I have an appointment next week to discuss with my doctor the results of the three day trial. I am going to voice my concerns over the sensor not matching for the first couple of days. But, to be honest, I still want one. I think that the technology is going to keep improving and I think it is still a nice thing to have, especially if it starts matching up withing a few days.

I'm still not sure about the insurance thing. How that will go is still up in the air. I'll keep you all updated on how it goes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Long Weekend and CGMS News

So, it was a long weekend. No work yesterday. And I think I am more tired now than when I left work on Friday. So here's how my weekend went:
Friday I left work early. I went to meet a friend's sister to catch a ride to Shelbyville, Tennessee. Locals know that the last week in August through the first Saturday in September is the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. It is 11 days of horse shows that ends the first Saturday night in September and crowns the World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse. To some this may seem boring. To those who have experienced it, you know better. Just imagine the Kentucky Derby. Only 11 days long and all the horses are Tennessee Walking Horses instead of race horses. There is a lot of dressing up and expense that goes into the clothes and the shoes and the purses and the jewelry for the women. Not everyone dresses up, but it is almost like a contest for some of the people to see who can dress up the most.
Anyway, I went down on Friday night to catch the Friday night show and then the Saturday night show when the World Grand Champion was crowned. I have gone for the last three years and I have to say it is one of the highlights of my year. I stayed with friends who were also going and spent a lot of time running around. Below is a picture of Master of Jazz, this year's World Grand Champion with his trainer, Jimmy McConnell

The bad part on the diabetes (and the weight) was that I ate out. A lot. Every meal. It was hard to pick and sometimes just to find healthy foods. I don't always eat the best in the world, but I do try to keep a decent type diet. The really funny thing was that one of the concession stands at the show grounds (think cheesburgers, hot dogs, and funnel cakes) had "fresh fruit cup with dip" listed as an option! I was shocked. This just goes to show you that there are people trying to eat healthy in the world. I ordered the fruit cup (no dip). It was a good sized serving of fresh melon, grapes, and strawberries. It was nice. The really bad part is that I also ordered a serving of fried Oreos. That's right. You read that correctly. Fried Oreos. Basically they are dipped in funnel cake batter and then fried. And man were they good! I didn't think the would be, but I had to buy them just to see what they were. And they were the best thing I have had in a long time. Yes, I hear all you health nuts gasping in astonishment. That's okay. I understand. But I looked at it this way: At least I got fresh fruit and fried Oreos instead of a cheeseburger and fried Oreos. Which is what I really wanted.
So here's my advice to all the diabetics: try fried Oreos at least once in your life. You might like them.
I really didn't have any horrible lows. And not horrible highs. The highest my blood sugar was all weekend was around 170. And I did have a 59, but it was corrected with a juice box from my purse and a pack of Welch's fruit snacks.
So food wise, my weekend wasn't the healthiest. But blood sugar wise, I did okay. Eating all of schedule was a little weird. And eating at all hours of the day was very weird. But I survived.
And the most important thing is that the Celebration was wonderful and I had a great time!
Now for the CGMS news. My doctor's office called me today. They want me to come in Thursday or Friday to get the sensor from the doctor's office. I will basically borrow it for 3 days and then I will take it and my graph results back to my doctor. This may give him more to use when he asks the insurance company for me to get my own CGMS. Not to mention that I will have a basic idea of how it works and what to expect if I should get one of my own.
I am a little bit excited. And a little bit scared. I will keep you all updated on when I get the sensor and how my days with the sensor are working out.
Part of me thinks that I will hate it and not want one. The other part of me thinks I will love it and not want to worry about catching my low blood sugars anymore. That would be a miracle. And very nice.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The little victories and little defeats

I had my doctor's appointment today. Before I went I downloaded all my pump information & printed off the results for my doctor. I made a list of things that I needed a prescription for and made a list of all the things that I wanted to ask my doctor about. I was ready to face my doctor, get my A1c results, and find out what I needed to do to get a CGMS for my pump.

Of course when I got to the office I had to wait for TWO HOURS before I could get in to the back. And then waited another 15 minutes to see the doctor. I like him. Really I do. But the booking is a little crazy.

Anyway, back to my story. I got called back and they weighed me. I don't weigh at home. I would be obsessed with it if I did. I knew I had gained some weight back. It was about 5 pounds. A little defeat. I have been trying so hard to keep the weight off. I hate it that I had gained some back. This makes me that much more determined to start exercising on a regular basis. I want to loose about 15 to 30 pounds. I know it can be done. I just have to get off my butt and do it!

When my doctor came in and gave me my A1c results I was really hoping for a lower A1c. It didn't happen. My last A1c was 6.6. Today it was 6.7. I know it's not much of an increase. But it's there. And I don't like it. Another little defeat.

Now on to the little victories. My microalbumin urine test came back good. No problems. No spilling protein. My cholesterol was okay. And there were no other abnormal test results. This is very good to hear. Twenty-two years is a long time and I know sometimes that I am playing a fine line to have no complications. I want to keep it that way for as long as I possibly can.

Another good thing is that I spoke with my doctor about getting the Constant Glucose Monitoring System for my Minimed 722 pump. I have wanted this for some time, but was afraid that my insurance would turn it down. But one of my co-worker's has the same type of insurance that I do and they pay for her husband's CGMS. So today I asked my doctor what we could do about getting it for me. He asked me several questions about my blood sugars. When do I go low? How often? Can I tell when my blood sugar is dropping? Then he said he would write a letter of medical necessity to the insurance company and we would see what would happen. My doctor's office also has the Minilink that he loans out for about 3 days at a time to patients to try out. He put me on the list to get this and set me up and appointment for 6 weeks from now.

So, I had some little victories. I had a few little defeats. But overall, there was no terrible news. There was nothing that needed to be changed drastically. I got my prescription for test strips increased to 10 per day. I got prescription for a glucogon pen.

I will definitely let you all know when I get the CGMS on trial from my doctor's office. It may be a little while, but I will keep you all updated. Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I finally did it!

Okay, after having my diabetic melt down the other day I decided that I needed to get off my tail and download my pump & meter to see how much damage has truly been done. When I posted last, I said I hadn't downloaded in almost a week. In fact, as of today, it had been 9 days. More than a week. I didn't realize how far off I was.

But I did it. I downloaded all the information. And as it was generating reports, I couldn't help but be a little worried. I knew I wasn't going to like the results. My two week average blood sugar: 139. I'm not happy with that, since lately it had been running around 120. I like 120 much better than 139. The last time I was on, I looked at my 3 month average & it was holding steady at 129. Today, it was 130. Not a huge difference. But it still shows that the last two weeks has had an effect on me.

So now it's time. Time to pull myself up by my bootstraps, as they say down here in the South. I need to keep on. Monday is my appointment with the endo. I will finally get to see my A1c for the first time in 6 months. The last one was 6.6 and I would really like this one to be lower. Somehow, I don't know if it will be. Those of you who read this blog, please pray with me. And for me. I want all good things at this appointment. And I want to convince my endo that I WANT to be seen every 3 months. I have decided that this 6 month deal isn't working for me. I don't like it.

On my agenda for the endo:

-Check on CGMS as I think my insurance will now pay for it!

-Ask that my test strip prescription be increased from 7 tests per day to 10 test per day.

-Get a prescription for a glucogon pen (I have NEVER had one!)

I am looking forward to this appointment (Yeah, I know I'm weird). I am hoping for a lower A1c, but I am really hoping that I can get the CGMS. I think this would be a good thing for me and would really help me with getting tighter control. And that is my ultimate goal: tight control.

So wish me luck. And send prayers my way. I'll keep you all updated on what the outcome is.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Frustrations in General

I have to say the the past several day have not been the best diabetes wise. I have been continually fighting lows or highs. I will have some readings that are great (Like my 2 hr post breakfast of 120 today), but the majority of readings have not been so kind. A couple of nights ago I was waking myself up every 3 hours to check my blood sugar and bolus some insulin. That made for a very sleepy day the next day.

I'm not really sure, to be honest, if it is one of those freak blood sugar times when nothing I do seems to be right, or if I am just slacking on my carb estimations. Could be a little of both I suppose.

I am afraid to download my info from my pump and my meter. I haven't done it in about a week, when I had been downloading every 3 or 4 days. I am just afraid to see what my daily average is.

Could this be the start of diabetes burnout?? I hope not. I want so badly to be a "good diabetic." I really want to get my A1c below 6. Or at least to the low 6's.

I guess I am just flat out frustrated today. Being part of the blogging community,, and visiting various message boards helps. But sometimes I think its just not enough. Sometimes I just want to forget I have diabetes. I want to not count every carb I eat & not worry about what my blood sugar is. And not wonder, every time I'm thirsty, if I am just thirsty or if my blood sugar is high. And I am basically just sick of the constant balancing act that is diabetes care.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Friends

Those of you out there in diabetic-land know what I am about to say.... No one but another diabetic can really understand all that we go through. This is something that I have a hard time with sometimes. Even though my friends listen, and can have some idea of how I'm feeling, it takes another diabetic to understand when you say, "I feel like crap. My blood sugar is getting to me."
I go to church with a couple of Type 1 diabetics. But one is younger than my and the other older than me. So it isn't like I have the time or chance to really sit down and have a good diabetic gripe session.
I remember being at diabetes camp in Georgia when I was about 9 years old. I loved the fact that all the other kids had diabetes too. Even at that age, I knew that it was special that everyone else had to eat like I did and get shots like I did. But other than that time in my life, I have been around no other diabetics that are my age. Or anywhere relatively close.
This weekend I got to change that. A friend of mine came to visit me and brought a friend of hers. The friend of a friend has diabetes too. She is a recently diagnosed Type 1, but it was nice to be able to talk diabetes-talk and to actually know that the other person didn't only understand, but they also related.
It was a blessing this weekend. A chance to be with another person who I knew could understand and relate to me. Although I am not glad that she was diagnosed with diabetes (the thought of another person every having to live with this makes my heart ache), I am glad that I got a chance to meet her. I have made a new friend. One I can stick in the slot of "diabetic friend". It's nice.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Every Day, Every Hour, Every Minute

I have had this blog for several months now. It is a way of release for me. I am able to talk, to no one in particular, about my diabetes. I get to share my views, my frustrations, and other areas of my life that are continually effected by diabetes.

I started this blog after reading Kerri's blog over at Six Until Me. When I was trying to think of a title, I put on my "Kerri brain". This would be the brain where I try my best to think like Kerri. I'm not sure that she would agree that this is a good thing, but when it comes to writing, I believe it is. Kerri has a way with words that I wish I could have.

This would be what happened when I made up my title: I thought about how much that diabetes consumes my life. The first thing I do in the morning: check my blood sugar. The last thing I do at night before bed: check my blood sugar. Every bite of food that enters my mouth: carbs are counted & calculated. Every activity that I do: make sure the blood sugars will be normal (i.e. dropping basal rates, eating extra food, etc.). And constantly being sure that I have something with which to treat a low blood sugar, change an infusion site, or handle a drastic change in schedule.

Every aspect of my life is consumed by this disease. I can ignore it. I can make it less of a priority in my life. I spent years doing this. But I decided that it's "gloves off" time. I am not going to let the grim prospects that most diabetics face, come to me. I want to delay or prevent as many complications as humanly possible. In order to do this, I have to make diabetes a major part of my existence.

If you want the truth, diabetes and I have a love/hate relationship. It loves me (obviously, since it has been around so long! LOL) and I love to hate it. I have a choice to make. I can hate diabetes and ignore it. Or I can hate it and fight it. Head on. Face to face. And that's what I am prepared to do. Even if it takes Every Minute of Every Hour of Every Day.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hope for a Cure

I have been thinking quite a bit lately, about a cure for diabetes. More & more I am reading about scientists trying to delay the onset of diabetes and saving the beta cells when Type 1 is first detected. I think this is a WONDERFUL thing! To not have any more children have to live through what I did would be such a blessing. And those that are diagnosed later in life with Type 1, to know there would be hope that you could live without worrying about insulin & carb counting would be a miracle.
But part of me worries. I wonder what kind of strides they are making toward curing those of us who have been diabetic for years? It almost depresses me to think that there would be a cure for those newly diagnosed, while there are millions of us who would still have no hope. Is that selfish of me? I want a cure for us all. If a cure for the newly diagnosed comes first, great!
But please, please, please, don't forget the rest of us. Those of us who have 20 plus years of diabetic wear & tear on our bodies. Those of us who know that statistics tell us we will have a shorter life than the average man or woman. Those of us who know, even with the greatest control, we may still have to suffer complications.
We are still out here. Sometimes, on days like today, I start to loose my hope. I don't want that to happen. I want that hope to still be alive. I want a CURE!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I love you Mom & Dad

I love my mother. My Mom is one of my best friends. I say this, not to be cheesy, but as part of a fact of my life. There is little in my life that I don't share with her. She has been my supporter and I have been hers. Over the years, we have shared many experiences that I believe has made us much closer than we might have been.
I called my mother this afternoon. I talk to her almost every day. I called her this afternoon to make plans to take my little sister school shopping on Saturday. Mom and my step-dad need a break from work and stress, and I think I need to spend some quality time with my sister. What better way to solve both problems than for me to take Rach shopping and make her to cutest dressed girl in the sixth grade?
While I was talking to my mother, I told her to get on the Internet and had her look at the video that I posted earlier this week. She watched it and proceeded to cry through the whole thing. I had cried when I watched it. I actually cried the first 3 times I watched it. It just rings so true to my life.
I have often thought about my parents. I know about my life and how it has been effected my diabetes. But what about my parents? What must they have thought when they were told, "Your daughter has diabetes." How terrifying that must have been. They didn't ask for a sick child. They knew nothing about diabetes.
How do parents handle this? Do they cry? Do they shout? Do they blame themselves? Do they blame someone else? Do they go into denial? Do they wish that their child could have been born with some other disease? Or that they were diagnosed with something that could be cured? Or that it was them instead of the child?
I was blessed. I had parents that did take care of me to the best of their ability. They gave me enough self-reliance and also provided me with plenty of support and love. But I often wonder what their thoughts were during that time in my life.
Mom and Dad, I love you. I owe you so much. Thank you for being parents that care, parents that love me, and parents who looked in the face of diabetes and said, "We can do this!"
I'm sorry I might have caused you heartache (I know it wasn't my fault). I'm sorry you lost sleep, money, normalcy in the name of my diabetes. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being parents.