wish I could be…maintenance-free

May 28, 2012

I’m in such a freaking crankypants-y mood today. There’s a lot of stuff swirling around in my brain. I spent the morning doing chores around the house, and it feels like some hormones are elbowing their way to the front of the Line of Annoyance. Once there, the ever-gaining hormones keep poking me in the head. Constantly. Like a bratty little brother. I’d like to scream at them to knock it the hell off, but then I’d scare those around me in real life, so I won’t. Although those around me are probably afraid anyway, because of the way I’ve been acting today.

On this, the last day of the 3-day weekend, I vacuumed and washed the mostly hardwood and little bit of tile floors throughout the ground floor of our townhome. It’s not like it’s a huge space, so I really shouldn’t even think twice about it. And I’m glad when it’s done, for the few brief shining moments before dogs or daughter or adults get stuff on it and start the cycle again. I should be glad to be able to get into the work, get it done, and enjoy the results.

Except that lately, I’m just overwhelmed with the maintaining of everything, both diabetes-related and not. The second the last bit of laundry is done, there are more clothes in the baskets to clean. The clean dishes get put away, and there are more on the counter that need to be washed. The last square foot of floor is vacuumed and scrubbed, and the dogs come scattering through with hair and dirt and dogginess. It’s like a neverending run on the treadmill–lots of effort (sometimes), but never getting anywhere.

Add the diabetes-related chores to the list of  household chores that never end, and I am just not entirely sure where there is anything different from one day to the next. Blood test, bolus for carbs or correction, test, test, test, respond, treat low, test, test, test, exercise, deal with whatever happens due to exercise, change pump site/CGM sensor site, test, test, tell CGM to shut up, again, test, test, freak out about potential impending complications, freak out about new weird physical changes and whether or not they’re diabetes-related, test, test, stress…and so it goes. I’ve blogged about it before, too, so even that’s redundant. Nothing new.

Maintenance…

It’s a nevernending and never-certain chore, this diabetes maintenance. The only other option I see is non-maintenance, otherwise known as ignoring D intentionally or being in denial of it unintentionally, and neither of those seem like good options to me, for me. When I don’t test for several hours, and when I go on a rant of eating tons of junk food and sweets just because I feel like it and no one can stop me damn it, it doesn’t feel good. I have to fight for hours after to get my BG back down to where I feel okay. So that really doesn’t do much to help me feel less burdened from taking care of D. It’s a pain in the ass.

Truth be told, there’s not much to be happy and proud about when I’m doing all the d-maintenance stuff RIGHT, either. A lower HbA1c is great and nice and fun to look at when the test results are ready, but then what? There’s no gold star, no award, and no fun summer vacay as a result. Just get back on the treadmill and keep running, thanks. Don’t stop. Don’t slow down. Just keep going.

I think I have burned out. (I can’t stand the look of the word “burnt,” it just seems wrong.I just can’t use it. Besides, if I’m describing a negative result of having burned the candle at both ends, let’s say, then I want to use the word “burned”–it’s more active.) Not entirely sure how to fix it, how to get back into the swing of things. In a few days, hopefully things won’t seem so dire and forlorn when the hormones have lessened to some extent.

More maintenance chores: I have the annual Dr. D-eyeball appointment in a couple of weeks. Of course I’m freaking about it. And oh, look at that–I scheduled it for the day before my 32nd diaversary. Hmmm. I also requested the forms to see if I can get my medical records from 1980, when I was diagnosed with type 1 and admitted to the hospital for 13 days after coming into the ER, and from another time around 1984, when I was in the hospital for a few days with DKA after secretly refusing to give my shots for about a month or so. I’m trying to figure out if I need to go in, and if so, to what kind of dr., regarding my ongoing stint with super dry eyes and dry mouth that are driving me nuts. My mom was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome a few years ago, and I’m freaked that I might have it too. Autoimmune and all. The more the merrier. Or, the seasonal allergies could just be after me worse than ever before this year…who knows.

I’m just super tired of maintaining. But there’s not much else to do…just keep going. Wish I could hire a trainer to carry the worry and do all  the maintenance business for me, just for a couple of days. I’d like to try something new, and not have to keep doing it for years and years and years. Just be able to put it down when I was tired of it. Just for a little while. That would be awesome.

At least the floor is clean. Or was for a few hours, before the dogs came back inside.


my diabetes shero

May 20, 2012

My “diabetes shero” is my daughter, Ms. Diva. She does not have diabetes, but she is the daughter of this mama with type 1. And she is amazing.

She has never known anything different than her mama with several buzzing and clicking little devices hanging on or around her body, even when she didn’t know what they did or why I needed them. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to go when it came time to tell Ms. Diva about diabetes. I read some different blogs about other moms’ worries, and decided I wasn’t going to think about it until the girl brought it up herself. Then I’d figure something out.

She was 5 years old when it happened. One day, Ms. Diva watched me prick my finger, squeeze blood onto a test strip, and said “Mama, why do you have to do that?” She’d seen me do it many times before, but that day, something provoked her to find out.

“There is an organ in our bodies called a pancreas. Mine stopped working when I was 7. Yours works great. It makes something called insulin, which helps your body use the food you eat to keep your body strong. The pump (point to pump) holds insulin. The meter (point to meter) tells the pump how much insulin to give me, through this tube. It works hard to try to keep the sugar in my blood at a healthy level.”

“Your pancreas doesn’t work?”

“Nope, babe, it doesn’t. Hasn’t for a long time.”

“What happens when you need a juice box?”

“Well, my pancreas still doesn’t work, but I’ve either taken too much insulin or eaten not enough food, or exercised too much. Then there isn’t enough sugar in my blood. Like when I say my blood sugar is low, you know? That’s when I need some juice.”

“Okay.” And she went about her day, to play Dinosaur Train and read some Fancy Nancy books.

The next day as we were sitting at the dining room table, she asked me a question. After I answered it, she looked at me intently and said, “Mama, your blood sugar is low.”

“Sweetie, why do you say that?”

“The way your voice sounds. When your voice sounds like that, you need a juice box.”

Ms. Diva was oh, so correct. My BG was 45.

“Thanks, honey.”

“No problem, mama. Will you tell me about the no-hitter on your Dex again? Do you have one right now? Can I see it?”

That girl. She had all of my heart from the moment we saw the little peanut in my partner’s very first ultrasound, and of course from the moment she was born, and a zillion times after that. But that day she let me know she’d noticed my diabetes without thinking that it made me different or less of a mother; noticed and remembered what I needed to take care of the diabetes problem at an annoyingly imperative time; and let me know that it was no big deal. She relieved some really giant fears I’d been carrying around inside without even knowing it.

I so love that my dumb pancreas and my diabetes are NBD for Ms. Diva.

I love her so much.

She’s my diabetes shero.

So many other cool diabetes sheroes and heroes right here, go read some more!

D-Blog Week 2012, Day 7: Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”.  It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3.  It might be a fabulous endo or CDE.  It could be a d-celebrity or role-model.  It could be another DOC member.  It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero??


saturday snapshots with D

May 18, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out all the other Saturday Snapshots right here!.

D-Blog Week 2012, Day 6: Back for the third year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.


what they should know

May 18, 2012

I’m not stupid. My blood sugar is 40 mg/dl.

I’m not a bitch. My blood sugar is 398.

I’m not a whiner. My blood sugar is 285.

I’m not a spaz. My blood sugar is 52.

I’m not paranoid. My blood sugar is 36.

I’m exhausted. My blood sugar just dropped from 357 to 102 in 2 hours.

I can’t make sense of the sentence I just read 10 times on my computer screen. My blood sugar is 45.

I just started a fight with the woman I love, even though I know I’m wrong and she’s right. My blood sugar is 259.

I’m enraged. And crying. And hopeless. My blood sugar has been riding between 250 and 325 for 12 hours and nothing I’ve done has made a damn bit of difference.

I’m overwhelmed and can’t make a decision. My blood sugar is 55.

I am terrified and I’ve eaten 120 carbs. My blood sugar is 67.

I wish I could just feel my “real” feelings, and not have to wonder whether I really feel the emotions I think I feel, or whether the feelings are caused by the amount of sugar in my blood.

I’ve been called “emotional” many times throughout my life. I’ve never been ashamed or felt bad because of my emotions, and in fact I’ve been glad to feel them–the real ones. But I wish I knew how much of my emotions are due to wonky BGs and how much is really me, my emotions.

The BG-related emotions are fake to me. Imposters.

It’s really hard work to pull myself together and not completely freak out about the emotions that accompany high or low BGs. It feels like a huge load to carry.

And sometimes, I AM just stupid or bitchy or whiny or spazzy or paranoid or exhausted or confrontational or enraged or overwhelmed or overeating, and my blood sugar is a so-called perfect, normal 104. But I don’t want to hear anything about it from anyone. There. I said it.

WTF.

For other What They Should Know – Friday 5/18  Link List.

D-Blog Week 2012, Day 5: Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September.  The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.


what a girl wants: fantasy diabetes device

May 16, 2012

I just want everything to be all in one place, easily accessed by all kinds of wireless devices, not exorbitant in price, covered by both private and government insurance as necessary, reliable, and accurate beyond any accuracy we think we have today.

My dream diabetes technology is something that does it ALL. By all, I mean:

  • continuously tests/checks/monitors glucose levels. I’m not rabid about where the glucose is found–blood or interstitial fluid, whatever works and is the best that science says it needs to be, but it has to be continuous as I want moment-in-time readings as well as trends.
  • infuses insanely pretty much instantaneous insulin, preferably directly into my blood. I know, that sounds scary and all, but really. We shouldn’t have to be waiting around forever to get insulin that might decide to work in the next 10, 20, 30 or more minutes under the fat layer of our skin and then wait for it to get into our bloodstream. That’s crazy talk, yet that’s our lives. And that’s just for the “rapid” acting insulin.
  • can point at food or beverage, look it up in some colossal carb/calorie/nutrition index in the cloud, and spit the carb count directly into my bolus formulas AND my downloadable logs! BOOM!
  • ALL my data, from all the glucose tests and monitoring and insulin infused and carbs eaten to all the exercise completed and stress levels and real people sickness and day of my cycle and HbA1c both current and historical and other health monitoring data from external tests and hell, let’s put amounts of SLEEP in there too.
  • available in pretty, easy-to-understand, colorful (but not TOO colorful) infographics.
  • let the data flow into reports or forms that look like log sheets, if that’s what the medical community needs to be able to understand it.
  • with reminders. and prompts. and fun messages from my endo and CDE.
  • instant messaging with them would be great as well.
  • I think I’m describing a device as well as an app. a power app. one that looks and operates the same on Apple or android. and is available on the web as well.
  • keep it all on the cloud. with all kinds of security and whatever else to keep it reasonably safe from being erroneously posted on my Facebook page, but really, honestly, I don’t care if it is. I just want it easy to access and available when I need it. And I want dr. wonderfulendo and CDE, dr. wonderfuleyeMD too, and whatever other medical professionals need it, to be able to access it too.
  • the device also needs to be tiny. Seriously tiny. I think I’m thinking of 1 device to wear, that would communicate with a smartphone or iPod, iPad,  computer, whatever.
I just want it to be easy and accurate. Condense all of the crap I have to carry with me everywhere, and condense the amount of crap I have to remember and do and figure out and share, so that I can concentrate on other things. And, as I’ve said before on a similar topic, make it look super cool and fun. A little glitter never hurt anything!
Check out what other d-bloggers have to say about this here.

D-Blog Week 2012, Day 4: Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary.  Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be.  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?


just call me jenga-girl

May 15, 2012

…in pure confessional mode tonight, especially since I’ve been quietly raging against planking blood sugars in the 160-199 range since about 4pm this afternoon. (It’s almost 11pm.)

I’m a stacker.

When I don’t pay attention. When it’s been a couple of hours and there is no down arrow on Dex the continuous glucose monitor. When a perfectly good, accurately-calculated correction bolus has been given ample time to work and yet that damn BG just. won’t. come. DOWN.

I stack correction boluses.

If I’m feeling extra special feisty, I’ll throw a bolus for some carbs in the middle of a correction bolus stack, because I’m just that pissed at the infernal high BG and I’m hungry.

Numerous times my CDE and endos have looked at my logsheets and mentioned, “You tend to stack a little.”

Sometimes the wonderful D-team will follow the previous observation with: “Do you think you could wait longer before you correct again? Maybe 4 hours?”

They see my face–4 hours? Seriously? “Well, how about 3?”

(I do mean it, they’re wonderful. They really read over my entire logsheets and ask good questions, and help me think through some solutions to my current d-dilemmas.)

Yes, I’m a stacker.

I don’t MEAN to do it, not in a “I’m going to intentionally harm myself because I don’t know well enough what I’m doing and/or I think it will be fun.”

But. Just about the most frustrated I ever get is when I’ve done all that I can do to get a high BG to lower, and it won’t budge. Over several hours. Sometimes I end up crying because it feels hopeless. And I just feel sick–headache, sick to my stomach, fuzzy teeth, dry mouth, a heavy feeling as if concrete is slooooooowly inching through my veins. Blech.

I stack those boluses.

I’m impatient, not only about high BGs coming down but about many many other things in life. I get impatient that correction boluses don’t work immediately, even though I use rapid-acting insulin.

Really? Rapid? It’s not rapid waiting hours and hours for a BG to come down. Not eating anything because I’m afraid of what will happen then. Guzzling water and sparkling water and diet soda and ice cubes while I just want to eat some real food.

This being my confession, I can also say that I have improved at not stacking so much over the last year or so. Yet the possibility of stacking is always there in the background. I have to be really mindful, all the time, and stop myself from giving another bolus when I still have insulin on board (IOB). It’s a process, for sure. But I have gotten better at blocking the stacking urge.

Like right now, for instance. BG is 224, it went UP in the last few hours! Grrrr. Now I’m thinking that I messed up the carb counting at dinner, which added to the stuck BG and risk of my stacking tonight.

And so I’ll start again tomorrow, trying and working hard not to stack. It’s a neverending process.

Check out the other posts about One Thing to Improve here.

D-Blog Week 2012, Day 3: Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!


just one thing

May 14, 2012

Wow. I didn’t think this would be very hard, and yet it totally is. I can think of a zillion things with diabetes that I could stand to improve (I guess some of that’s for tomorrow’s post). But one thing I do really well?

Huh?

This is silly, but I seriously couldn’t think of one thing to put down here. So I turned to A. next to me on the couch.

I asked, “Honey, can you think of one thing I do really well with my diabetes?”

Without skipping a beat or looking up from her laptop, she said “You test like a FIEND.”

She’s right. I do test like a fiend. I test, on average, about 13 times a day. My little One Touch Ping is always at the ready–I put it, my good old BD poker, and my current canister of test strips on my desk at work every day, so it’s always looking at me and reminding me to test. Other than that, my testing paraphanalia is in my purse, which I keep near me at. all. times. (When we went to stay with friends for Thanksgiving last year, they noticed that my purse was always near me, and if it wasn’t, I was looking for it. Yes, it’s a little strange. But it works for me.)

I generally test around the following times:

*wake up (6/6:30am weekdays, 8am weekends if I’m lucky and Ms. Diva sleeps in)

*when I get back from walking

*before breakfast

*when I get to work (9am-ish)

*mid-morning

*before lunch

*after lunch/mid-afternoon

*late afternoon/before driving home from work

*before dinner

*after dinner

*later evening

*before bed (11am weeknights, 12 or 1am weekends)

*in the middle of the night, whenever one of the dogs or Ms. Diva wakes up and wakes us up, because really, if any of them wakes me up, I may as well make good use of it!

I also test during exercise. Whenever Dex the CGM screams at me irrationally, or constantly, or without any rhyme or need other than to just be annoying. If I feel really sick, or am actually RPS (real person sick).

I have been testing on this sort of schedule for about 3 years, since I started thinking about trying to get my HbA1c lower than the 7.4 where it was stuck. The more I test, the easier it is for me to keep the BG lower. I like feeling as good as I do with my current BG average and HbA1c, regardless of how anything else is or isn’t going. So I test like a fiend.

A FIEND.

And it works for me.

Your diabetes may vary, of course. Everyone doesn’t have to do what I do.

(After typing the word so many times, the word “test” is kind of bugging me. But it’s what I grew up saying, and it’s still the term I often use. Once in a while, I’ll say “check” my blood. Anyway, it doesn’t usually bother me. Hope you’re okay with it too. I DEFINITELY don’t think any of us succeed or fail by what number our blood “test” says!!!)

Like a FIEND.

Thanks for the help, sweetheart. 😉

 

 

Click here for the One Great Thing – Tuesday 5/15 Link List!

D-Blog Week 2012, Day 2: Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”. But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit. Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly! Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!


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