Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Year's Blessings In Review

I have so many things to be thankful for. Family and friends who love me. A job that pays my bills. I am fairly healthy (excluding diabetes, of course). Overall, I don't have too much to complain about.
One area which I've never, ever been quite about being thankful for is being a member of the D-OC. This community is amazing. I know this isn't a surprise to any of you, but I wanted to point it out again. And mention just a few of the specific blessings that I received from the D-OC this year.

-I already posted about the awesome surprise I received from Colleen who blogs over at Meanderings. Such fun and so sweet!

-Because I didn't ask permission from the person, I won't mention a name, but when everyone was planning to go to Cali for the Ninjabetic Celebration, I was also trying to find a way to go. One of the members of the D-OC actually contacted me and offered me a place to stay if I needed, so I wouldn't have to pay hotel fees. It turned out that the plane ticket alone was way more than I could afford, but the thoughtfulness of this person meant more to me than they will every know (unless they read this blog post of course. ;) ).

-Then there is Brandi, who blogs at Wife, Mommy, Student but whom I know better from her Twitter account. She is a wonderful member of the D-OC and a sweetheart through and through. When I wrote a post about the price of my glucagon going up, she contacted me and sent me an extra glucagon pen that she had. She expected nothing in return and just did it to be help me out.

-Then, when my meter disappeared into the wild blue yonder, Karen (whom I feel so blessed to call my friend) over at Bitter-sweet Diabetes sent me an e-mail to let me know that she had a spare Ultra Link and offered to send to to me. While I could have gotten a prescription pretty easily, it saved me the co-pays that I would have undoubtedly had to have paid. AND when she sent the meter, she sent me this totally adorable cupcake that she knitted herself! Isn't she talented?

-Then, Kelly over at Diabetesaliciousness, had a great contest that gave away a set of PJs from PJs for the Cure. And I won! If you haven't checked these out, I highly recommend it. They are really well made and very comfortable. And if I had the money to buy a couple of more pairs of them, I would.

-Also, there have been e-mails, and facebook messages, and twitter messages this year that are too many to name. Messages that have given me hope when I was sad and made me laugh when I was frustrated, and made me feel like I have a whole 'nother family.

So, I say to you, D-OC, thank you for a year full of countless blessings. I look forward to 2011. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Questions With No Answers

During the peak holiday season, I always have a hard time controlling my blood sugar. It's too high, it's too low. I over correct, I under bolus. It's a never ending roller-coaster. But, usually, I manage to get back into the swing of things pretty quickly. And I have at least some decent blood sugar times.
Christmas Day and the two days after Christmas were a nightmare. I'm not sure how today is going to turn out yet. I'm hoping for a return to normal. But I have basically been chasing highs continually for the past 72 hours. After a daily insulin total of over 60 units (I usually take around 45) I'd had enough. Yesterday I turned my basal up to 120%. It helped. but still wasn't perfect.

The question is WHY?? Is it the lack of exercise due to being snowed in? The random snacking? Am I getting sick? I'm not sure. But I don't like it. I don't like not knowing. I hate being out of control (I'm a tiny bit of a control freak).

Regardless, I did a site change this morning and hopefully that will take care of everything. If not, I may lose my mind.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,

I’ve noticed that other people asked you for a cure for diabetes this year for Christmas. As much as I would like a cure for diabetes (this year or next), I’ll leave the curing up to God. Instead, I’m asking you for next year’s Christmas present right now.

It’s kind of technical and doesn’t really exist yet, so I figured I’d better give you and your elves plenty of time to get it together and perfected (and approved by the FDA, of course).

Santa, I’d like the perfect insulin pump/CGMS system. Yup, perfect. At least perfect for me. I have a great system, but there are other systems that have things that I like. So instead of switching systems, I just want you to invent your own.

Here are some of the things that I’d like the new pump/CGMS to include:

1.) Interchangeable CGMS. Santa, I’d like to have the option of which CGMS to use. I know that some CGMS works better for different people. So, I’d like the option to try them all and chose what was best for me…without having to change my pump

2.) I’d like the CGMS to read to my pump (like my current MiniMed system) complete with

alarms and warnings, but I’d also like it to read to a second PDM that is also my blood sugar meter. (kind of a mix between the Animas Ping and the PDM for the OmniPod).

3.) I’d like to be able to operate my insulin pump from the aforementioned PDM/meter in the even that I want to wear a dress and don’t have easy access to my insulin pump screen and buttons.

4.) I’d also like the sensor for the CGMS to be FDA approved for 7 days, instead of my current 3 day approval for MiniMed’s CGMS.

5.) I’d like the CGMS to be accurate more often than it is. Instead of a 70% – 75% accuracy, I’d like to see it up around 90%.

6.) I’d like the meter to be as accurate as blood testing in a lab. The “small” differences in readings can mean a big deal in accurate treatment of a low or a high. It would help to have more accurate readings so that my care could be better.

7.) I’d like the alarms on the pump and the PDM/meter to have adjustable volume levels. Sometimes my current system just isn’t loud enough when it’s under 3 blankets and I’m asleep. Having a separate PDM on the night stand might help, but also, having louder alarms would be great because it would wake me up much easier than my currently alarms on my CGMS/pump.

And Santa, I’m going to leave my comment section open so that my other friends in the D-OC can add in their own updates to make the perfect pump/CGMS system. We deserve perfect if for no other reason than we have to work so hard because our bodies aren’t perfect.

Thanks Santa!

Cara and the rest of the D-OC

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Because I've Lost My Mind...

Because I've lost my mind...or perhaps hit my head on something and had the sense knocked OUT of me, instead of into me, I've started a second blog. Yes, I can hear the crickets in the room as you stare in silenced astonishment at this screen. I'll answer you're unasked question: Yes, I've gone crazy.

But I figured that most of my D-OC people don't exactly come to my blog looking for theatre news and reviews. So I figured I should start a second blog that will focus solely on theatre. If you happen to be one of the D-OC who also shares my love for theatre, you can check out my new blog (which is MAJORLY still under construction!) at Country Girl/Theatre Geek.

My first post is up and it's kind of a rant. But I hope you enjoy it anyhow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Small Town Disadvantages

Most of you know I live in a really small town. The closest endo to me is almost an hour away. I travel over 2 hours to get to my current endo. In my town there are basically no specialists; only general practitioners.

Being in a small town can had it's advantages. But when it comes to having diabetes, it can be a huge disadvantage. I have heard from people in my town more times than I'd care to admit, being diagnosed with diabetes and being offered no follow up support at all. Mostly the "change your diet/take this pill/test once a day" stuff. That in and of itself is very frustrating for me. These people have no diabetes education whatsoever and are left with no answers and no questions to ask (because they don't even know WHAT to ask).

Several days ago I ran into a girl that I used to know when I was in school. She was diagnosed by a local doctor about 5 years ago as a diabetic. When I asked her what type she said that they told her she was type 1. And that they had first put her on Novolog 70/30. When she complained to her general practitioner that her blood sugars were all out of whack, instead of changing her medicine, he simply upped her dosage of 70/30.

Due to health reasons (among other things), she lost her job and hasn't been able to work because of wildly swinging blood sugars. She's frustrated and at the end of her rope. She finally went to a different doctor in a different town and that doctor was smart enough to get her on Lantus and Novolog and refer her to an endo. She's still waiting on her appointment now.

When I say that she was given no diabetes education, I mean NONE. She's on a sliding scale and has no idea how to count carbs. She's basically on an exchange system.

I tried to refer her to the D-OC, but she doesn't have internet and has very limited resources. I did suggest that she go to the public library and do some of her own research though.

This incompetance of medical professionals frustrates me to no end. I don't understand how or WHY a general practitioner wouldn't know that 70/30 insulin is not appropriate for a type 1 diabetic or refer them to some basic diabetes education classes.

How do we fix this problem? How do we get help to people in rural areas? I could teach her things like carb counting and insulin to carb ratios, but I'm not a medical professional. She needs more help than I could even begin to give her. I know there is a lack of diabetes education classes in my town. I know there's a lack of general knowledge by medical professionals in my town. But how do I fix it??

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Beauty

There are so many things I love about this time of year. I love snow (when it doesn't interfere with my plans!). I love family gatherings. I love buying presents for people. I love giving and receiving Christmas cards. I love seeing children get excited about Santa and Christmas break.

Sure, there are totally annoying parts about Christmas, like feeling obligated to buy presents for people you don't know well or don't like, and dealing with the family drama that seems to come around the holidays when we are forced to spending time with family we don't normally see. There's the commercialization of the holidays that I think is a total travesty.

But overall, Christmas means so much to me. Christmas takes me back to the roots of my Christian faith. Christmas is the day that God sent His Son, my Saviour, into the world to be an eternal atonement for my sins. Christmas celebrates the start of a journey that would end in my ability to have a way to Heaven.

I think my favorite part of Christmas is the abundance of praise music that fills our ears. In all other times of the year, music that showers Him with praise is rare to hear in a secular world. But around Christmas, we hear songs like Jingle Bells and Santa Clause is Coming to Town...and right in between them, and on either side we hear O Holy Night, and Go Tell it on the Mountain. We hear Hark! The Herald Angles Sing and Silent Night.

Many people simply look at these songs at Christmas songs. I look at them for what they are: Praise. Praise to God. Praise to His Son. And a chance for me to sing praise music in public without people looking at me like I've lost my mind.

So in celebration of Christmas and the meaning I hold deep in my heart for my favorite holiday, I wanted to share my favorite Christmas song.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Driving Without a Map

When I first became interested in CGMS, my doctor at the time explained it to me in interesting terms. He said that testing your blood sugar gives you a picture of that exact moment in time. The down side is that you are unsure if your blood sugar is rising or falling. He said, "You wouldn't drive a car if you only saw pictures of the road, right?"

CGMS has been very good for me and my diabetes care. So much so that I fought insurance for it, I've dealt with the "negatives" of CGMS (i.e. long needles, some inaccuracy, extra expense), and in doing those things, I fully believe I have much better control over my diabetes.

Since starting CGMS, I've not gone more than a day or two without CGMS. I don't like to be without it. In a sense, I've become dependant on the knowledge it provides me. I've gotten used to listening for "high" and "low" alarms.

In the past couple of weeks I notice something... I screwed up and forgot to reorder sensors. I notice when I pulled my next to last one out of the box. Of course, I immediately called to reorder, but once again insurance had to give an approval. I thought it had been taken care of last go around, but apparently the approval that the insurance gave last time was for a one time order. So, approval had to be sought again.

Since I get about a week out of a sensor, I wasn't too worried about it, but I ended up not hearing anything about my approval from MiniMed or the insurance. My second to last sensor was due to come out last weekend. The timing was really kind of perfect. I was sick. And while that would seem like a bad time to be without a sensor, it really isn't. I find that the medicine usually makes the accuracy even worse than normal. And when I'm sick my blood sugar runs a little high anyway, so I don't have to worry about those pesky lows.

Luckily, as I'm getting better, I contacted MiniMed and found out that they shipped my order of sensors on Friday and they should be arriving today. I'll be putting my last sensor in this morning and I'll be feeling much better knowing that I have more than random snapshots of my blood sugar levels. I'll have a map to help me out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Patient

I have had the same General Practitioner for the past 15 or so years. I loved him. I rarely went in because I'm rarely sick, but he's been straight with me every time I've needed him to be. I credit him with me getting my diabetes life back in order.
December 1st his office closed. He has moved into a different kind of care and is no longer going to have an office. I didn't think a whole lot about it because I figured I'd go pick up my records and switch doctors sometime after the new year.

I'm never sick. I've not had more than a cold in almost 3 years. But this weekend I got hit hard. Bronchitis and a fever got me. I knew I needed to see a doctor, so I went into work for long enough to reschedule my appointments at work and started calling around town.

Every single office that I called said the same thing: It would be 1 to 2 weeks for a new patient. I'm sick. I need care now.

On my insurance, my ER co-pay is $75 and the closest walk-in or urgent care clinic is almost an hour away and it was snowing all day. So I opted to call the new doctor in town. I really didn't want to go to him (for reasons I won't discuss online) but I was desperate.

Anyway, I went in and ended up with a shot and some anti-biotics. I'm already feeling better, though still not great. And let me tell you, shots HURT! My hip is still sore. And despite the fact that I have good health insurance, the office requires all new patients to pay $50. I don't pay co-pays. I only pay 20%. But yet I had to pay $50 upfront.

My annoyance with the day, however, is that no one would see me without a wait time of several weeks. I wasn't sick enough to go to the emergency room. I'm not a "doctor hopper". I wasn't wanting pain pills or other narcotics. But everyone said "one to two weeks".

How is that fair to people who are honestly sick? People like me, who's PCP has left town or the office has closed. Or people who are new to an area and haven't had a chance to get a new doctor yet? How is that good medical care?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End.

Okay, not the end of my blog... but the end of NaBloPoMo. :) I only missed one day. I'm a little sad about that, but overall, I'm proud of myself for sticking to it, even after the missed day.

But, now that the month of November is over, I plan on taking a day or two off. Maybe even til Monday! Ekk.

I hope everyone else had fun this month. I know I did!

Oh, and welcome to the Christmas season. :) If you want a Christmas card, e-mail me your address. Cards will be going out later this week.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Monday: Thanksgiving Parade

My favorite part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade every year is the performances from the shows on Broadway. This year, my current favorite show, American Idiot, performed "Good Riddance" which is the song they do during the encore of the show. Here's a YouTube clip... enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Have you ever put anything off just simply for the sake of putting it off? I was supposed to have a doctor’s appointment on Monday. I decided to reschedule it. My excuse: work. And while it is partly true that have a ton of deadlines to meet before Tuesday, it was mostly an excuse (a good one, but still an excuse) to put off my doctors appointment for a little while longer.

There are several reasons for this. I should have gone 6 months ago to get another eye exam. I didn’t. I had talked with my nutritionist about upping my exercise. I’ve actually stopped it all together. I wanted to work on my eating habits to try to get some weight off. I’ve gained a few pounds.

Basically, I know there are things I need to get on top of. I know there are things that I need to take personal responsibility for. And I’ve not done them. And while I’m sure my A1c hasn’t risen much, if at all, I still feel like the other areas that I needed to touch on have completely been neglected. And I feel guilty. I feel like I need to do something about it. Get back on track before I go back to the doctor.

If I don’t, isn’t it just a wasted appointment? I think so. I mean, I’ve done nothing different since my last appointment. I don’t need any major change on my insulin rates. My blood sugars are running about the same. So the only things I needed to do or work on, I’ve not done or worked on. Which in my mind equals a wasted appointment.

While the holidays are the ideal time to try to get all this stuff done or taken care of, I am going to try my hardest to get it started anyway. If I can attempt some of these things then I feel like I will have done something positive since my last appointment. And I won’t feel like I’m wasting time and money.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hide and Seek

It has been a while since I lost a blood sugar meter. In the almost 25 years since I was diagnosed, I can count on my hands the number of times that I lost and meter. Most of the times it was either when I was a child (I once lay one down in a Sears store...we never saw it again), or when I wasn't taking care of my diabetes the way that I should (i.e. going weeks without testing). Since I started checking my blood sugar 8 to 12 times a day the most I've done is misplace it for a little while, or leave it at home and go to work (which isn't far).

But today I think I've finally done it. I had to change my sensor and infusion site this morning. I had to use my meter for that. My open insulin is in the meter case. After I finished changing everything, the only thing I did was take the garbage to the dump.

When I got back I started looking for my meter. I was hungry, my CGMS just beeped that it needed to be calibrated, and I was ready to have lunch. But I couldn't find it. I looked in the bathroom (where I keep the majority of my diabetes supplies and change my sites, sensors, etc.). It wasn't there. That is actually the last place I remember seeing it. I turned my purse upside down. Not there. I checked in my bedroom, under my covers, under my bed, in my closet, on top of my dresser...nothing.

I moved onto the living room and kitchen. By the stove, on my computer desk, on the bookshelf that sits by my front door, on my baker's rack, behind my roommate's son's toy box, under the couch, under the recliner....still nothing. Then I checked them all again. I even looked in the washer (I'd thrown my sheets in the washer earlier). Nothing.

Then my roommate checked her room (why it would be there, neither of us knew. But we checked anyway). Nothing. Then I checked them all again. And again.

By this time, I am getting very, very frustrated. I'm hungry. Cranky. And unsure what my blood sugar is because my new sensor had yet to be calibrated.

Then my lightbulb came on... I had an extra OneTouch Mini. I'll just use that to calibrate and eat and then resume the search for my OneTouch Ultra Link. I went to my closet, where all my extra meters, and pump boxes are...and then I remembered that I had given the OneTouch Mini away, along with a box of strips, to someone who didn't have insurance or a meter.

Crap. Okay. I'm still hungry. I still need to calibrate. Ug. So, I ran to the local drug store and bought another OneTouch Mini. Something to last me until I can find the magical disappearing OneTouch Ultra Link.

When I got back home with the new OneTouch Mini, all I could do is try to stay calm and that God that I live in a day in age when I can get a meter without a prescription. And that I can purchase one for less than $100. I remember life when you had to have a prescription. And they were still majorly expensive. But even in my thankfulness, I still am annoyed. My other meter has an almost new bottle of insulin in it, my Accu Check Multiclix poker, and my really awesome button that says "Wouldn't it be great if life were a giant musical?".

So, what to do? I'm hoping that it just shows up in some totally random place. There is a very, very slim chance that I took it out with the trash (either it fell off the kitchen counter into the trash, or the 2 year old threw it in the trash and we didn't notice). Its unlikely, but the only option, unless it shows up somewhere else.

Right now, I've eaten lunch. I have a meter that works (though it isn't my first choice), and I'm going to try to take a break from searching. Cause they say you always find something when you aren't looking, right? I figure I'll give it a week, max, and then I'll ask my doctor to write me a new prescription for another OneTouch Ultra Link and an Accu-Check Multiclix. As for the musical button...I'll have to reorder that one myself. Sigh.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Diabetes Blessings

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the States. This is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I get 2 days off, AND I get to spending it eating ginormous amounts of food and watching the Macy's Day Parade on TV. :)

But this week, thanks to Mike from My Diabetic Heart, it is also Diabetes Blessings Week. It is a wonderful idea in which we remind ourselves of the good things that diabetes has brought into our lives.

It can be easy to only think about the bad things that come with having a chronic illness. But sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that there is an up side to everything. And blessings, even in the storm.

One of the things that I am the most thankful for is the D-OC. Not only have I been blessed with friends that understand and live with the same illness that I live with, I've also been introduced to people whom I would consider friends even if we didn't share the common bond of diabetes.

I've met people who share my same interests, my same hobbies, and in one case, even my same birthday (Hi Karen!).

These people, that I consider friends, I would have never had the chance to meet if it weren't for diabetes. That is probably my biggest diabetes blessing.

But diabetes has blessed me in other ways as well. I have learned discipline. I've learned patience. I've learned to plan ahead. I've learned to always be prepared. I've learned about the kindness of strangers. I've learned to be kind to strangers. I've learned compassion. I've learned to eat healthier. I've learned the need to have regular check-ups. I've learned the importance of tooth and eye care.

Diabetes has some amazing blessings in the middle of all of the bad stuff it hands us. And I, for one, am thankful that I can and DO see the blessings that diabetes has brought into my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Opinions Wanted

In the D-OC, it has become easy to see that the Dexcom seems to be the CGM system of choice. I have the MiniMed system. When I first picked my pump, CGMS was so new that there wasn't even an integrated system yet. But it was coming. Within a few months it was to be released, so I went with it immediately in hopes that I'd be one of the first on CGMS. And I was lucky. Not only was I one of the first to be on MiniMed CGMS, MiniMed was extremely helpful in navigating the insurance system and I was approved the first time through (extremely rare at the time...and even now).

From the very beginning I have had good experience with my MiniMed CGMS. Each time the insurance had demanded reverification, MiniMed has been right on top of things. I have had great customer service experience with them.

On top of that, MiniMed CGMS has even saved my life a couple of times. I never had the various problems with the accuracy that most people have. Occasionally, I'll have a crappy sensor, but no where near as often as I've heard some people talk about. My accuracy is fairly good for the most part. Not perfect, but what CGMS system does?

My problems, for the most part, have been minor. I'd prefer louder alarms (for nighttime). And I wanted more predictor alarms. That's why, when I was searching for a new pump, and I found out about the Revel from MiniMed, I went with that one right away.

But then I was disappointed in the new system for alarming. I wrote a pretty detailed post when I had a scary night. With the changes in the alarming, the insulin pump didn't wake me up for WAY too long.

While I'm still pretty satisfied with the overall accuracy, and I don't have site problems (i.e. irritation, infection, etc.) for the most part, I have begun to wonder about the Dex and some of the benefits in changing systems.

This is where I need help. I need some of my fellow D-OC members to help me answer some questions. To see if its worth the time and effort (and fighting the insurance company) to try to get a new system. I don't want to leave what I know is okay, if I'm not going to get way better. Does that make sense?

1.) Do the sensor and the receiver loose contact with each other often? I have noticed that if I don't wear my sensor and pump on the same side of my body, it will lose contact. Also, what about under covers at night. I often sleep with 2 or 3 blankets. Will this be an issue with the sensor and receiver communicating (I wear my CGMS on my upper thigh currently, so it would be completely covered up).

2.) Does the Dex give prediction alerts. i.e. Do you get alerts for rapidly rising or falling blood sugars, and do you get alerts when you are approaching your high or low limits (the MiniMed does this on the Revel).

3.) What happens if you don't turn the receiver off after an alert? Does it keep beeping? Does it beep louder? Does it vibrate?

4.) Do you have problems with leaving it places? One of the reasons I liked the MiniMed system so much is that its integrated and there's no chance of me leaving it somewhere. I tend to be a forgetful person. Not always. But I have been known to run off and leave my meter or my cell phone at home occasionally.

5.) How is the accuracy? If you've used both the MiniMed and the Dex, which do you find is more accurate? If you've only used Dex, are you satisfied with the accuracy?

6.) How difficult was it to get approved? Insurance. Can't live with it, can't live without it. :/

Monday, November 22, 2010


Yup. I failed. Its official. I forgot to post yesterday. You know when I remembered? At about 12:30 a.m. when I woke up from a dead sleep. If it hadn't been after midnight I probably would have gotten up and posted something. Anything. Cause I really, really hate to fail at stuff that I've said I'll do.

Oh well, I'll do all the rest of the days this month and I guess I can feel good that I only missed one day, right?

Better luck next year I guess.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cake Suicide

Well, I don't have a picture of it. My roommate told me I should have taken a picture. And put google eyes on it. But the Snickerdoodle cake I was to make for my job's Thanksgiving meal decided that it wanted to commit suicide right before I finished. At 10:00 p.m. the night before I needed it.

Just imagine a cake, face down on the kitchen floor....I'm sure you can conjure up a mental picture.

It was my worst nightmare come true. The only positive is that it wasn't an important birthday or wedding cake.

R.I.P. Snickerdoodle cake. R.I.P.

Friday, November 19, 2010

DOC Awards!

Ohhhhh. I LOVE awards. Awards shows on TV, online voting contests, even those crazy "who wore it best" things on the internet. Nerd? Totally.
And there are new awards to check out.

We get to nominate for several different categories, and then voting will begin December 9th.

Go check out the page for information on how to nominate someone. I've already got my list started....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

#DSMA Guest Post

For those of you who Tweet, most of you probably know about #dsma, or Diabetes Social Media Advocacy. The lovely Cherise is behind this idea. Every Wednesday night, we can "meet" on Twitter to ask questions and discuss specific topics related to diabetes. I miss it every week because I am at church during this time, but Cherise posts the round-ups on the DSMA website.

Several weeks ago Cherise asked me to write a post for the DSMA blog/website for Diabetes Awareness Month. I was honored to do it.

My guest post is up today, so if you have a chance, go check it out. And join in on the #DSMA chat on Twitter every Wednesday evening.

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, there are a few words....

You know you live in the house with a diabetic when you see things like this:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Traveling in Style

Just the other day, Kerri posted this about her long pump tubing and the benefits when working out. Her blog post was aptly titled "Portable Pancreas." The funny thing about the post is that I had this picture ready to post on Monday (I ended up pushing it back a day because I didn't have time to finish the post).

The story behind the picture:

In early October I went on a rather long road trip. I don't know if others have this problem, but when I have my seat belt on I can't always get to my pump easily if the CGMS sensor beeps. And even if I can get it out, I can't easily get it back in my pocket or on my waistband.

The door handle was my solution while I drove. My pump tubing was long enough that I could have my pump lay in the door handle where I could easily access it if I needed to. I wonder if the car maker ever thought their door handle would be used in that way? :D

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music Monday: Lauren Pritchard

My obsession with all things Broadway led me to a new musical discovery. Lauren Pritchard, who's actually from Tennessee. She was in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening, and now she's just released an album called Wasted in Jackson. So far, the hard copy is not available in the United States, but the digital is on iTunes and other music outlets.

She's something different and I thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

World Diabetes Day

Well, I almost failed on NaBloPoMo....and on World Diabetes Day to beat all! But I'm here. And I'm praying that all of you had a wonderful day. Although none of my activities were diabetes oriented (living in the middle of nowhere leaves few options), I thought about it all day and have only just now gotten a chance to get a blog post up.

In Nashville, which is over 2 hours from my house, they lit up the capitol building in blue all weekend long, to commemorate World Diabetes Day. On the Middle Tennessee JDRF facebook page, they wanted people to post pictures they took at the capitol building, but I only saw one. I'm hoping more go up later.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great day, and sorry I'm such a slacker on my blogging...especially today, of all days. I'll make it up to you. I promise.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

One Last Chance Folks...

Tomorrow is World Diabetes Day. Click a few more times! Let's reach our 100,000 views. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Lesson in Etiquette

Etiquette. It can be kind of a big word if your vocabulary is small. But no matter what words you use, MANNERS are something we should have been taught as children. Simple things, like not talking during church, or during a meeting. Not jumping line. Turning your cell phone off in a hospital, funeral home, or place of worship.

But some people, it seems, never quite got the lesson. Including the 3 older ladies who sat behind me during a play I saw last weekend. They talked through THE ENTIRE SHOW. Even when I thought I'd be smart and say something about it loudly to my friend who was with me during intermission. But it didn't work, since they talked through the entire SECOND act as well.

For people who aren't aware, it is very rude to disrupt other people while they are at a movie. But at least with a movie, you can rent it when it comes out on DVD. To me, it is even worse when someone distracts you at a live performance. There is no getting that time back. You see it, and you never get that exact experience again. Sure, you can laugh or elbow your theatre buddy. But I have no need for live commentary. I can see the show myself. And I'm sure that your theatre buddy has no need for commentary either.

And for that matter, why do you feel the need to have that commentary be composed entirely of "Oh, that girl sings so pretty!" and "I saw him in two other shows here." and "Where did that other character go? I don't see him on stage anymore." and "Look at that guy dance!". Really, I don't need that. I'd rather watch the show and talk with my friend about it later. Just like you should have coffee with your friends afterwards and discuss the show then.

So, here are the rules for any live show:

1.) Do not talk during the show.
2.) Do not sing along with the performers. If you were that good, you'd be up there instead of them.
3.) Turn your cell phone off. Or at least put it on vibrate.

There are only 3, really. If you follow them, everyone will have a better time at the show. Including you. I promise.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

Remember that freedom isn't free. Thank a member of the military.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Small Amounts

You've heard it before... "Every little bit helps." And it does. Just the other day I was picking up my prescriptions at Walgreens and picked up this JDRF shoe as well. Because even though I support people in the diabetes walks every year, every shoe purchased it another little bit toward a CURE.

So, just remember, when you think you can do anything to help, if you can find $1 (check the change in your car's ashtray, or between your couch cushions!), you can help find a cure for diabetes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

D-Blog Day 2010

6 Things I Want YOU To Know About Diabetes

1) No matter what type of diabetes a person has, it is NOT their fault!

2) Most people with diabetes don't want pity. We want to teach.

3) Sometime we are in grouchy mood, just because we're in a grouchy mood...not because it is diabetes related.

4) Having an insulin pump doesn't mean I have "bad" diabetes. All diabetes is bad.

5) Low blood sugar doesn't mean I need more insulin. It means I need less. And some sugar to bring up the blood sugar. (You'd be surprised at the number of times people ask me if I need more insulin when I am low)

6) Insulin is NOT a cure. It is just something to keep me kickin' in the meantime. We still need that cure.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Forgot

Yesterday I forgot it was Lancet Changing Day (a.k.a. Time Change!). Gasp! So, I did it this morning instead.

I hope everyone had a Happy Lancet Changing Day... and if you forgot, like I did, GO DO IT NOW! :P

Sunday, November 7, 2010


...hitting my pathetic attempts at blog posting. And it isn't even half-way through the month yet. Oh, boy. This should bode well for the rest of November, huh? :)

One of my favorite bands, Sugarland, just put out a new CD a couple of weeks ago called The Incredible Machine. This is one of my favorite songs on the whole CD. But, like always, I pretty much love everything on the whole album.

Listen & Enjoy!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Sugary Treats

These were for a friend's Halloween themed baby shower. If you notice, the cupcake papers have candy corn on them... so of course the icing had to match. :)

This cake was made for a friend's church. They were celebrating Pastor Appreciation Day. I made the tiny fruit out of gumpaste. All the icing is buttercreme.

The verse written on the cake is Galatians 5:22-23, which talks about the fruit of the spirit.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Diabetes Questions

Back in May, when I was on my yearly trip to New York, I got to see A Little Night Music. At the time I saw it, the 2 leading ladies were Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury. After I saw it, Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch took over those roles. I'm sad to say that I won't have the chance to see the show with the new cast before it closes in January, but I still enjoy reading about the 2 new leading ladies. I've been a Bernadette Peters fan for most of my life (hello, people... she was in Annie!). But, having not followed Broadway until I was older, Elaine Stritch is a new person in my fan world.

And boy does she deserve the fans. She's won 3 Emmys, a Tony... and too many other awards to count. Just yesterday I came across an article in the New York Post about Elaine Stritch. The title: Where Life is Suite.

The article was interesting. Apparently Elaine Stritch lives in the Carlyle Hotel in New York. Not temporarily. Full time. Kind of fun, huh? Kind of like Eloise...

But my questions came from a comment she made while talking about the hotel staff helping her out.

"I'm a brittle diabetic," Stritch says. "That's about as diabetic as you can be. But I don't have to be nervous. If my blood sugar acts crazy, I just pick up the phone. In a minute, they're here with orange juice or whatever I need. So I never feel alone."

That's where my question runs in.... Is she a Type 1 diabetic? Typically, that's what I assume when people say "brittle" (a term of which I am NOT a fan). When was she diagnosed? How old was she. Curiosity killed the cat. So I'm gonna be one dead cat. I'm on a mission to answer those questions for myself. We'll see how that works out. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Theatre Sadness

As most of you know, I'm a huge theatre fan. I follow many different shows and websites, and several months ago there was news on a little girl named Shannon Tavarez. Shannon was 11 years old and had played Nala in The Lion King on Broadway. She was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and was helping get the word out about lack of bone marrow donors, while they were searching for a bone marrow match for Shannon, herself.

They were unable to find a bone marrow match, but did an umbilical-cord transplant in late August instead. According to, Shannon had been in a children's ICU struggling to stabilize. She passed away on Monday.

Below is a video of Shannon singing earlier this year at Harlem School of the Arts.

A statement released by the family stated that they would "work tirelessly to carry out her wish through"

Some of you may remember that my own niece battled cancer. She is in remission now, thank God. But cancer is not just a disease of the old, just like diabetes is not just a disease of the overweight. I send my prayers to Shannon's family and I hope that her mission to help increase bone marrow donors will be very fruitful.

The world lost a light and a talent. I send my prayers to Shannon's family.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life for a Child

Diabetes Awareness Month brings a lot of attention to all types of diabetes. I'm proud to say that I'm part of an online community that works so hard to bring attention to diabetes year around. This disease is life altering and can be deadly.

If a person has Type 1 diabetes they MUST have insulin to survive. No pill or type of diet will keep a person with Type 1 diabetes alive. Insulin has to be available.

Sadly, not everyone in the world can afford, or had readily accessible insulin. This is a tragedy in itself. However, in this month of November, The Diabetes Hands Foundation has something called The Big Blue Test. It is an initiative to get those with diabetes active. Exercise is wonderful for those without diabetes. To those with diabetes, it can be better and more stable blood sugars, better insulin sensitivity, and healthier effects on the already strained vital organs.

To promote The Big Blue Test, The DHF has put together a video to encourage those with diabetes to get out there and get active (and to participate in The Big Blue Test, of course!).

On top of that, Roche Medical company is donating insulin for every single view of the video. For each time the video is seen through World Diabetes Day on November 14th, Roche will donate a week's worth of insulin to a needy child.

So, even if you do not have diabetes, or if you don't even know anyone who has diabetes, watch this video anyway. Remember, 1 minute and 49 seconds of your time will save a person's life.

So, watch and pass it on. How many times will you be able to say you saved someone's life?
Oh, and I know many of these people. And each and every person in this video has diabetes or is a family member of one with diabetes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Attempting NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo is this month. I think I’m going to attempt it this year. I did it year before last, and I hesitated to do it this year because I’m so busy right now. But, I decided to give it a go anyway. I was doing well by posting a couple of times per week there for a while, but I have started to slack off again, but I think NaBloPoMo will get me back into the blogging world.
Will every post be about diabetes… NO WAY. I can’t do it. But, I think a lot of the posts will be. It will be hard for them not to be, with it being Diabetes Awareness Month, and the month of World Diabetes Day.
So, wish me luck in this month, and ignore any annoying ramblings that may occur in my attempt to post something every single day of November.

Monday, November 1, 2010

SAE it Loud!

Today is November 1st and the first day of Diabetes Awareness Month. This month is all about making people aware of this disease that so many of us deal with every day.

Last week the lovely Sarah (a fellow Southern gal!) from over at Sugabetic came up with a wonderful idea. It is a fantastic way to get this entire month off with a bang.

SAE it Loud! is Sarah's brain child. SAE (pronounced "say") stands for Support, Advocate, Educate. And these are three things we really need to be doing. Year around, but especially in his month.

For each of these I have something planned that I've either done today, or have done in the week leading up to today.

First up: S = Support. I plan on reading AND commenting on at least 10 blogs today. Finding time... that'll be rough. But I'll do it.

Second: A = Advocate. This I did over the weekend. The Presidential Proclamation on National Diabetes Month had incorrect information about Type 1 diabetes. I used this link to contact them and let them know that they needed to update this information as to not misinform the American people.

Third: E = Educate. I think that this may take a little longer, but I am going to see about writing an article for my local newspaper this month in regards to diabetes and Diabetes Awareness Month. We're supposed to be educating people about diabetes. The different types, treatments, preventative measures for T2's, etc. And I am going to see if I can't get something into the local paper as part of my Educate.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just Because...

Just because we blog about diabetes, doesn't mean we have it all under control.

Just because we don't share with you about a horrible "high" or "low" or "rollercoaster" day, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen sometimes.

Just because we brush off a comment made about how "bad" our diabetes is, doesn't mean that living with diabetes isn't bad.

Just because we act like we feel fine, doesn't mean we do.

Just because we eat what we want, doesn't mean that we eat what we want all the time.

Just because we work a job, doesn't mean that diabetes doesn't get in the way sometimes.

Just because we have healthy babies, doesn't mean it was easy.

Just because we live mostly complication free, doesn't mean that we didn't work hard for it.

Just because we are an "advocate," doesn't mean we are invincible.

Just because we prepare for everything, doesn't mean we're always prepared.

Just because we act brave, doesn't mean we're never scared.

And just because we do everything "right" doesn't mean that bad things don't happen. Sometimes with no explanation at all.

Yesterday, the world lost another child to diabetes. This one didn't leave this world because her parents withheld insulin, or because she didn't properly take care of herself. Eilish left this world, and her loving family, at 13 years old because of "dead-in-bed" syndrome. It's when you do everything right, and it just isn't enough. She went to bed happy and healthy. And didn't wake up in the morning.

This one hits closer to home than any other diabetes related death that I've ever dealt with. Not because I knew Eilish, or her family. But because this wasn't a case of neglect or a mistake. This was a case of total chance. The worst case scenario of a high or low that can't be explained.

For Eilish, and the mother, father, and sister she has left behind, I send my prayers and thoughts. For everyone else I say hug your family and friends. Tell them you love them. Live life to the fullest. Take chances. Play safe. And remember that life isn't when it starts or's what you do in the middle that makes all the difference.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Diabetes & My Christian Faith

I've been a Christian since I was 10 years old. Not to say I've always lived my life the way that Christ would have liked me to, but I accepted Him as my Savior shortly before my 11th birthday. He's been a constant in my life, even when I tried to avoid Him.

Another constant in my life has been diabetes. I've actually had diabetes longer than I've been a Christian. Wow. I don't think I ever thought about that until I was typing that sentence.

Seeing as how these two aspects of my life have been in my life longer than almost anything else, you'd think I'd come to terms with both of them.

And I have. But I've always had a problem dealing with them and how they relate to each other. I've never blogged about my thoughts on the "healing" crap that gets passed around by all the "miracle cure" people. But I've commented on several of the blogs by those who have voiced their opinions.

I fully believe that my Jesus died for my sins and that He took stripes for my healing:

- 1 Peter 2:24 Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

-Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.

Those verses alone tell me that He can heal me. His decision to do so is up to Him. I am faithful and will do what needs to be done. If I get my healing here on Earth... FANTASTIC! If I don't get it until Heaven, I still get it and will be thankful in eternity for His healing.

I do believe that He's had a hand in my life with diabetes. In regards to complications... I have very few. I've been living with diabetes for almost 25 years. My care wasn't always the best. A large majority of my childhood and my young adult life (up through college) I took minimal care of myself at best. When I look at the state of my body after all of that, I can see His hand on my life.

In spite of all of this, I've always had a hard time relating my diabetes life and my Christian walk. I know they are intertwined, but I've always had a hard time putting the two together in my head. Too many people have asked (maybe not directly, but still...) "What are you doing wrong, that you've not gotten your healing? Do you not have enough faith?" While I know those statements are absurd, I've always found it easier to keep diabetes and church.... separate, for the most part. Easier on me. Easier on my brain.

Not long ago I found out that the New York Historical Society was going to be having an exhibition called Breakthrough: The Dramatic Story of the Discovery of Insulin. This looking incredibly interesting to me. But as you all know, I don't live in New York. And my yearly trip usually occurs in May. This exhibit is set to close long before May.

I had nearly resigned myself to missing yet ANOTHER thing in New York (and asking myself AGAIN why I don't actually live there...) when my roommate suggested we take a very quick weekend trip to the city. And by very quick I mean less than 24 hours, sleeping on a friends floor and turning around and driving back. She wanted to see a show again (I won't lie... I wanted to see this show again myself) and she had to go to Maryland that weekend anyway. By the time you get to Maryland, you're more than halfway to NYC anyway.... so we went.

It required me to survive for 3 days on very little sleep, and to take a day off work, but we went to New York. Both of us went to see the show, she went to spend the morning at Comic Con, and I spent the morning at the New York Historical Society after a VERY quick breakfast with Allison.

Just a side note: all of my NYC friends, I didn't really tell anyone I was coming because I knew I wouldn't have time to visit with anyone. No worries though, I'm coming back in the late spring....this time for and entire week!

Going to the NYHS exhibit by myself was one of the best things I think I have ever done. And just so you know, God speaks to people in all kinds of places and in all kinds of situations. He most recently spoke to me on a Sunday morning in New York City while I looked at one of the most touching, wonderful historic exhibits that I've ever seen.

All around the exhibit is the evidence of life. My life. As few as 85 years ago, diabetes was a death sentence. If insulin had not been discovered, I wouldn't be alive right now. Had I been born in another century, I wouldn't be alive right now. That's a scary thought.

There are letters and log books and insulin bottles from the very beginning of insulin production through current types. There are pictures of children, nearly wasted away before they received the life saving serum, and after pictures showing healthy happy children. Children that you wouldn't even know were sick just by looking.

There were so many things that I couldn't begin to tell them all to you. But around one corner was a quote, written on a wall. This quote was by Elliott Joslin.

"By the Christmas of 1922 I had witnessed so many near resurrections that I realized I was seeing enacted before my eyes Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones."

Wow. For those of you who aren't familiar with the story, it is found in Ezekiel chapter 37. Ezekiel, a prophet of God was given a vision by God.

Verse 1: The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

Verse 2: And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

Verse 3: And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

Verse 4: Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

Verse 7: So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the ones came together, bone to his bone.

Verse 8: And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Verse 10: So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Although I've been familiar with this story for years (it's a favorite of my Pastor's), I stood and looked at that wall, with Dr. Joslin's quote, and realized that God was showing me something. He was showing me His hand in my diabetes. I was moved. I think I stood there for about 10 minutes, quietly staring, and praying. Thanking God for His hand on my life.

I knew my time was limited, so I continued on. Looking at pictures. Reading letters from patients that were sent to both Banting and Best (the scientists who helped discover insulin), and letters that were written to Dr. Elliott P. Joslin.

In one particular letter, written by a young adult who had received insulin and was living life quite well, there was another moment for me. I didn't write down the quote. I'm now wishing I had, but I can give it to you almost exactly. I don't think I'll ever forget it. The letter starts off telling Dr. Joslin of his good quality of life and thanks him for his help. Then, toward the bottom of the letter, the young man wrote "The persons who discovered insulit* should be thanked as they are following in the footsteps of the One who gives life more abundantly." Insulit was one of the early names/types of insulin.

John 10:10 has always been the verse I use to those who tell me that God gave me diabetes. I don't believe that. I never will. The verse reads: "The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

I can assure you that diabetes kills, steals and destroys. Therefore it cannot come from the One who give life more abundant.

When I read that reference to one of my favorite verses in scripture, I cried. I stood in the New York Historical Society building and cried. I cried tears of pain and of joy. Pain at what I, and every other person that lives with diabetes, deals with on a daily basis. Tears of joy for the message that God sent me "I am here. Even in the diabetes. I am as much a part of your diabetes as I am of you." And I cried tears of thanks that God used men to create something that has saved millions of lives.

When I left, I called my mother and cried again as I told her what I'd read, and what I heard from Him.

I know insulin is not a cure. I pray for a true cure on a regular basis. But until a cure, I thank God for insulin and the treatments that have allowed me to live a semi-normal life.

If you have a chance to visit this exhibit, please do. It is worth it. You may not get what I got out of it. I wouldn't expect you to. But I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. The historical significance and the items that are included are very interesting. It's worth it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sweet Fun

Cupcakes. :) Spaghetti cupcakes. With strawberry jam "sauce" and Ferrero Roche chocolate "meatballs" and white chocolate "Parmesan cheese".

Bumblebee from Transformers

John Deer with the help of my totally awesome roommate who cut out the deer and the letters. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wonderful People

Over and over again it's been shown how diabetes has a huge emotional effect on those affected. It's also been noted that the emotional aspect of diabetes is often overlooked. Diabetes can be a lonely, frustrating disease at times.
But some of us have been lucky enough to stumble upon, and join the online community. Yesterday Kelly posted a wonderful blog about not being alone in our lives with diabetes.
And right she is. As frustrating as our lives can be, this online community has pulled us together and given us support when we feel like our lives our completely out of control, whether related to diabetes or not.
That support and strength even comes off line, IRL as well. Meet-ups have made my life wonderful. I have friends that I'd never have met if it weren't for diabetes. So, in a way, I have to thank diabetes for that wonderful gift.
A perfect example of our online community coming offline to support a member happened this past weekend. George celebrated his 20th dia-versary AND did a JDRF Walk on the same day! As much as I wished I could have been there, I wasn't able to go. But George did have a wonderful support group. People from our online community came from all over the country to visit with George and celebrate with him. It just goes to show you how much one person can effect those around him.
And in order to include those of us who could be there, George requested pictures to make THIS beautiful slide show and performed his beautiful song live while showing it during the party he threw after the walk.
This type of support is why I stay around this online community. In an online world where we are continually robbed of our words, it can be disheartening to say the least. There have been times when I wanted to just stop blogging altogether. But I can't leave this support. I can't leave this community. I can't leave these wonderful people I've met, both online and in real life.
So remember to thank God for the blessings He's given you. This community is right at the top of my list in terms of thankfulness.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Okay, I know several of you have children out there. I also know that several of you have children around you. I have a question... is it normal for a two year old to be obsessed with me checking my blood sugar??

One of my closest friends and my godson have recently moved in with me. He just turned 2 in July. He doesn't have a lot of vocabulary yet, but I have noticed that every single time I get out my meter to check my blood sugar, he stops whatever he's doing and rushes to watch me. He stands in front of me and stares. And the last time he watched me, he stuck a finger out for me.

I had to laugh. But I told him he didn't want me to do that to him.

But, is it normal? Since I started taking majorly good care of myself and since I started insulin pumping, I haven't been around a lot of young children. I've had children that are around 5 or 6 ask me questions (that's the age I teach Sunday School), but never had a child as young as my godson watching me like he does.

So, that's my question? Does it happen a lot with you guys?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Houston...We Have a Problem

Before I went to bed last night, I had to change my pump site. I didn't have enough insulin to make it through the night, and I knew it. I don't like to change my site before bed. Too many things can go wrong. So I changed the site at around 8:30. After that, I didn't eat anything, but I did a couple of small boluses. I was chasing a high from earlier in the day. Both boluses went through, no problems. Usually, if I have a "No Delivery" message, it happens when I giving a bolus. Actually, I've never NOT had it happen then. Since my boluses had gone through, no problems, I went to sleep with the comfort that all was okay.

Fast forward to 2:30 this morning.

My pump was buzzing. I usually don't hear the beeps (I'm a hard sleeper), so it wasn't much of a surprise that the vibrations were what it took to wake me up. I looked down and low and behold, there was a "No Delivery" message. And immediately I knew it was right. My mouth felt like cotton, my head hurt, I felt like I had walked across the desert and was in desperate need of a drink...and a trip to the bathroom.

I got up, turned on the light and began to gather my items for a site change. I didn't even bother checking for ketones when I went to the bathroom. A quick blood sugar test showed my blood sugar was 387. I knew I had ketones. Didn't need that little stick to tell me.

What bothered me, first off, was that there was no kink in my cannula. I took a picture to prove it.

The second thing that bothered me...well, I probably wouldn't have noticed it if it weren't for my CGMS. I noticed, on my screen, that I'd been VERY high for a long time. Several hours. Why hadn't I heard (or felt) my CGMS telling me that?

So, then I went on to check my Alarm History. It showed that the first "No Delivery" alert came at 11:46. Another at 1:28. And the last, the one I finally heard/felt at 2:24.

Onto my Sensor Alerts. It showed a high been at 11:10 (before the first "No Delivery") and then there wasn't another until 2:12. I'm confused. Why wasn't there one in between. That's two hours between them. My CGMS is set to alert every hour. Was it the fact that the "No Delivery" was probably up on my screen? Did that "trump" the other alerts? I'm confused.

I'm even more confused (and sad) at the way this new Revel pump alerts to nighttime lows and highs. During the day, I hear my beeps. There are no problems. I LOVE the fact that it give high and low predictions and that it notifies when you are quickly falling or rising. These were the main reasons that I upgraded to the Revel from my MiniMed 722. Knowing what's happening before I hit my high and low markers can help me a lot in keeping myself in range. I know that.
But, and this is a big but that has had me contemplating switching back to the 722, the alert system is not that great for when I'm asleep. And that's a MAJOR reason that I need those alerts. I'm an adult. Until recently, I was living alone. I need those alerts. On the old 722, if you didn't turn your beep off, it would wait a minute or so and beep again. After about 5 minutes of that, it would switch to the continual beep (without a break, so that it was more like a siren), and then, if you still didn't get it, it would start to vibrate. And continue to do so until you turned it off.
That saved my life a couple of times with lows. But, with the new Revel, the vibrations don't work that way. It vibrates for about 5 seconds and then stops and doesn't do it again for a while. I'm not sure how long. Maybe around 5 minutes.
That causes a major problem for people like me who need something to pull us out of a deep sleep. The constant vibration always woke me up. I'm usually laying on my pump (sadly), which is a major part of the reason I can't hear the beeps anyway. And if that constant vibrations isn't there....well you get what I got last night. Or worse. What if it'd been a low, instead of a high? I could have gone into a seizure or anything.
Or, what if I hadn't felt that last vibration at 2:30 this morning. What would another 3.5 hours of no insulin done to me? That would have been a total of 7 hours without insulin. As it was, I went 3 hours without insulin, and who knows how long before that without adequate insulin (before the "No Delivery" was triggered).
This morning, I did check my ketones when I got up. Only "trace," thank goodness. My blood sugar was sill 217. More boluses. More water to drink. More trips to the bathroom to make.
Yet I can't help but think about how this could have gone differently (better or worse). And both bother me. So, this is my message to Medtronic:
Fix this problem!

I love MiniMed too much to just walk away from it. Besides, how would I know if anything else was better without trying it first? The point is, I love MiniMed. And I know that this is just a choice they made when designing the new Revel. But I'm telling them it was the WRONG choice. And they need to figure out a way to fix it. Because someone's life could be hanging in the balance.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Meme!

Apparently this week is Invisible Illness Week. I found this meme over on Karen's blog and thought I'd "steal" it. :) I hope you enjoy.

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1986.

3. But I had symptoms since: at least a few months before my diagnosis.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: realizing that I'm not alone in this (the D-OC helped a BUNCH!!)

5. Most people assume: I can’t eat anything with sugar in it.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: dealing with my crazy after breakfast blood sugar spikes.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: I don't know that I have one. I like House okay I guess...

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my insulin

9. The hardest part about nights are: the (sometimes) constant alarms on my CGMS.

10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. currently none. I should be taking some vitamins....but I'm lazy

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: think they are a load of __________.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I like the fac that people can know me before they make a judgement based on my diabetes.

13. Regarding working and career: I do what I can in order to keep decent health insurance. What I want to do is impossible because I can't afford/get health care on my own.

14. People would be surprised to know: that I worry about the future more than I verbalize to anyone.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: It's always been around (since I was 4), so it's not really a "new" reality.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I was never given any restrictions, per se, so there's nothing I've done (yet) that I think would be a problem with my diabetes.

17. The commercials about my illness: make everyone seem old and/or fat or a child. What about the "normal" people?

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: I don't remember much pre-diabetes....but I would say that I would love to be able to have a meal without calculating carbs.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: I've had it so long that I don't really remember giving anything up.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: blogging? That's probably the only diabetes related thing I've started... once again, I've had diabetes so long I've kind of done everything since then.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Normal? What's that? But if I was d-free, I'd probably eat whatever I wanted and not worry. :)

22. My illness has taught me: that people need each other. I can't do this on my own.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Are you sure you can eat that?

Um, yes, I am. I've been at this for 24 1/2 years. I think I'll live.

24. But I love it when people: ask me question...and actually LISTEN. :)

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: John 10:10 The thief comes but to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come to give Life and give it more abundantly. (that's not word for word, but it's darn close!)

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I know it seems like the end of the world right now, but it's not. You can do this. And you can beat it (as much as it can be beaten, without a cure) if you want to badly enough.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: the number of people who live this life with me. (I LOVE you D-OC!)

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: take me to the hospital and sit with me while I was hooked up to an I.V. (that's another story for another time...) even when we had barely seen each other in months.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I think it's a great thing to be involved in.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: a little bit closer to you....I'll feel even more close if you do it too! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stangely Out of Place

The past couple of weeks, I kind of disappeared from the online community. Work and real-life were both getting to me. But, in addition to that, I was feeling overwhelmed by the online community.

There are no amount of words that can possibly express how much I love the D-OC. You guys have been there for me when no one else could be. You are supportive, wonderful, and you keep me sane. I thank God every day that He has placed such wonderful people in my (digital) reach.

When I first found the online community around 4 years ago (through Kerri!) there weren't many bloggers. Well, I suppose there were quite a few. Several hundred on Kerri's blogroll (if I remember correctly) at the time. But active bloggers were few and far between.

When I started blogging, I found other bloggers. Sure, I never read every blog. I don't claim to have visited every blog in the D-OC at that time. But I'd been to a lot of them.

I felt like I had a large, extended family. Some you didn't talk to as much, but you knew most of them, and you cared about them.

But slowly, over the past 4 years, more and more people have been making their way into our "family". I am so glad that they are, don't take me the wrong way. But I feel like my "family tree" has gotten so large that I don't know anyone anymore. Between Facebook, Twitter, and regular blogging, I am overwhelmed. And it's been an ungodly amount of time since I even visited TuDiabetes (sorry, Manny!).

Last week I was really overwhelmed by it all and I just quit. I quit reading blogs. I quit checking Twitter. I didn't blog. But, I'm back on now. I just needed some time to regroup. And to remind myself that I always have room for new friends, and that I can always keep the old friends close.

My question is, do any of you (especially those of you who've been around for a while) ever feel overwhelmed by all the people that are coming into the community? And do you feel guilty for not keeping up with all the new people and new blogs?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Splitting the Difference

I have a very close friend who is a type 2 diabetic. Monday night we had our first Community Choir practice and she said to me, "My blood sugar was 137 this morning when I woke up. It's too high." Now most of you that are type 1 would LOVE to wake up with that number, but she's used to having numbers more in the 70s or 80s upon waking.
I had one right back for her. "I woke up 65 this morning. My empty juice box is still in my bed." I grinned at her.
Her reply: "Can we just split the difference? Cause then we'd both be happy."
And I couldn't help but think how true that was. And how great it is to have people with whom to share silly diabetic humor.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Money, money, money


Something that most of us don't have a lot of. Some are more blessed than others. This is true. But, when it comes to living with diabetes, money can be a serious issue. As most of us know, having money is important when it comes to living with diabetes (or any chronic illness, I would venture to guess). If you don't have money, you need fantastic health insurance.

In the past I've talked about my thankfulness for my job. I don't enjoy it as much as I'd like. But I'm thankful for it. It pays well enough, I suppose. But the main reason that I have stuck with this job for the past (nearly) five years is because of the fantastic health insurance that my job offers.

I had no fight on my CGMS. They approved my insulin pump with no problems. And for the past two years, all my diabetic supplies (minus the pump supplies, which are considered durable medical equipment) were free. Free test strips. Free insulin. Free glucagon.

But, the economy is hitting everyone and everything. People are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and save money. And it's hit my job. In an effort to save money my job is "changing" their insurance coverage.

In July, we got a new prescription plan. Since I order my supplies every 3 months, I hadn't had to get anything since this change. But while visiting my endo a few weeks ago I got a new prescription for a glucagon kit. Mine has officially expired and I knew I needed to get a new one. In 24.5 years, I've never, ever had to actually use a glucagon kit. In fact, until a couple of years ago I hadn't had one since I was a kid.

I currently carry one in my "emergency kit" I carry in my purse. I have at least 2 co-workers who know how to use it, so I felt safe having it there. Also, my current roommate knows where its kept and how to use it.

When I went to the drug store the other day, I handed them my prescription. I asked them to run it through so I could find out the cost. I had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn't be free.

It wasn't.

It was $75.

And I told them to keep it. I haven't had to use one in over 24 years, and I don't have $75 to basically throw away (after all, the past 3 I've had have expired without ever being used).


Non-preferred drug.

Please tell me, Mr. Insurance Company, how is a kit that could potentially save my life be "non-preferred"? And it's not like they have a generic version. I'd gladly take generic.

And, out of pure curiosity, I called a friend who works in a drug store to have them look up the cost if I had NO insurance. I didn't get an exact number...but I was told I was saving over half. Which means that without insurance, this little life saving pen would be over $150.

Oh, Mr. Drug is it that you can charge that much for something that might save a life? How is it fair?

As for the other changes in my insurance....we'll find out come January. I'm only hoping that the changes aren't so severe that it turns me into a pauper.