Friday, January 27, 2017

O.M.POD !!!!!

OMPOD !!!  LOL... I couldn't resist ... As some of you may have guessed, the 'P.O.D' is in reference to the new OMNI-POD that I have been using since mid/late June 2016.

I have wanted to write about the POD at so many different points, but just haven't had time .. UGH.  I must be sure to make more time, as I feel its so important to get the word out and to educate others on the options that are out there for T1D's, like myself, and other 'Insulin Dependent' diabetics looking for a better / more efficient way of taking care of their diabetes and diabetic needs.

So... my story is NOT your typical 'go to the doctor and get educated on the latest technology' type story ... LOL.. far from it !!    I had been browsing the internet, not looking for anything in particular, when a pop-up ad for the Omni-pod system happened to literally pop-up !  So I clicked on the ad and I was immediately taken to the site containing information, etc.

https://www.myomnipod.com/

I was intrigued, to say the least.   A pump without tubing ??  I would be able to swim, shower, etc. without having to take off my pump for any length of time ??   I could really wear the Omni-pod in areas that I never would think to wear my Medtronic ?  (ie..back area, calf, etc.).  Soooo, I decided to submit insurance information to see if I could / would even qualify.

About 3 days after my initial application online for insurance coverages, etc.. I was contacted by a representative of Omni-Pod, letting me know that my pods would be covered 100% by my insurance - and depending on my dosage of insulin, that would determine how many pods I were to receive per month.   YAY... I was truly excited to try...yet, there was a part of me that was scared half to death.  I mean, what would I do without my 'security blankie' ...hahaha.. errrrr, I mean my 'tubing'.   What would I do when in Walt Disney World, and knowing I can just jump in a swimming pool & not worry about getting the pump or any of its components wet ??!!!   This was new territory for me - after being on a traditional insulin pump for over 12 years.  YIKES !

So, they needed paperwork filled out by my doctor, and then I would be ready to go.  However, before I began the second part of the process, I wanted to make sure this was the best for me and the right thing to do.  I immediately went to Youtube and started watching other T1D's and what they thought, how they worked their pods, and inserting of the device, care, etc.   Judging by the Youtube video's ..it seemed as though everyone loved the 'freedon' they gained from it ...especially on a daily basis - to be able to do things they hadn't previously been able to do without tubing, etc.

What I had also noticed on these video's ...was that 75% of the Omni-pod users also used what is called a DEXCOM continuous glucose monitor in tandem with the Omni-Pod, and they were absolutely raving about the effects that both the pods and Dexcom had on their A1C levels.    Now, I had tried the Medtronic CGM before (Enlite), but hated it more than I liked it ..so it was barely used & supplies expired.   :(   Enter sad face here ... these are NOT cheap, either !

Before fully committing to he Omni-Pod, I did ask the representative if they could send me a 'sample' pod to wear, feel, try, etc... You are not able to fill this pod with insulin, but you can get a real feel for how it would feel on  your body, etc.  LOVED IT AS SOON AS I HELD IT.  It was smaller than I thought, and just gave me a feeling of 'freedom'.. lol.. I may have even had a tear come to my eye.

Doctors notes sent, insurance coverages taken care of , all that was next was for me to place my order & set up a meeting with an Omni-Pod educator.  Check, Check, CHECK !

Mid to late June 2016 .. here I am sitting at the local library learning how to fill, prime, and stick on this new little pod.  Little, flat, oval shaped pod .. you were now resting comfortably on the back of my arm below my shoulder.  WOW.  NO TUBING ??  Really ???    OMPOD !!!!

The rep went thru the PDM with me .. PDM stands for :  Personal Diabetes Manager (the PDM is a wireless/bluetooth device that you use with the Omni-pod.  This is where you enter in  your bg's, your carb ratios, and all information that you would enter into any other type of insulin pump.)   I could be sitting at the dinner table and nobody would even know that the PDM was sending a signal to the pod to administer insulin ... it looks like a small BlackBerry phone !!!)

I also asked my diabetes educator about the Dexcom and she highly recommended that I use it in tandem with the Omni-pod system.  So, there I was contacting Dexcom, as well.   COVERED !   Thank you Lord !!!

Fast forward to today ... I have been using the Omni-pod and Dexcom systems in tandem now for almost 7 months, and I have never been happier ... Okay, so there have been some little, timy, minor occurances, but all in all, I am so happy.   It's like a game for me to put the pod on a body part that I haven't ever used, and to see how well my body absorbs the insulin.   I have found out that my calf works ..but not initially.  Ha.  My sugars will be high for hours after placed on the calf, but at night after walking all day, etc.. the insulin will kick in, and then the lows were beginning.  UGH.   So, calf is out for me, but many, many love to wear it there.  I may have to explore that again, later !
Oh, so back to using the Omni-pod and Dexcom in tandem .. I cry happy tears when I tell you .. my A1C went from 9.1 in May 2016 - to 6.7 by end of September 2016.

I also had the chance to wear the pod and dexcom while in Disney World, and YES ... I jumped in a pool, unashamedly, with pod and dex attached to my arms !!!  Best feeling ever not having to worry about removing insulin pump/tubing, being without insulin for any length of time, and not having to worry about keeping insulin in a cool place.   I was told that I could wear the pod in a hottub, too... up to 104 degrees celcius... OHHHH Y AAAHHHHHHH !!!!   hehehe

It is not end of January, and I am still loving the pod.  I fill just below the 200 unit mark, as I don't go thru that much insulin in a 2 day period, but I noticed if I put it at around 160-175, then I am not wasting as much insulin as I was in the beginning.   Omni-pods are only to be worn for 72 hours and then are to be de-activated and thrown out/recycled.   Yes, if you are wearing it over the 72 hour mark, you do get an additional 8 hours .but beward .. lol.. it will sound the most high pitched, annoying alarm (that is almost impossible to turn off - I had to smash mine... literally) that just wont quit.  Its a noise that everyone around you will hear, too .. lol.. especially when you are at work in a very quiet environment .. hahaha.  yup...you will have everyone within earshot wondering 'what is that noise' !  hahahaha    #joyofbeingdiabetc  #ompod   #omnipodsoundsoff

If you are new to the pumping or are thinking of changing after years of being on one type ... I would encourage someone to at least try it out.  I have heard that some endocrinologists have systems you can take home and try (filled with saline) so that you can see if this system is for you & your needs.

I'm glad I tried... I am happy with it, and just like everything else, we as T1D's and insulin dependent diabetics go thru, there is a learning curve, etc., But, once you learn how much good this is doing for you and how much more control you have - it's pretty amazing.

I give this TWO thumbs up !!!

like I stated earlier ... OMPOD !!!!    :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

"2500"

The number '2500' has significant meaning to me this week ... it is a number that embodies 'challenge' to me, and its a number that I am working toward achieving...in steps !   In my last blog I mentioned that my office was doing a GM Walking Challenge, and that we were to monitor our steps daily, and it would be a competition between groups, etc.  I am in a group with 4 others who, as well, are limited in some capacity or they want to do this for fun and in a 'non-competitive' way; Self Challenge.

2500 signifies that number of steps I want to achieve daily !  2500 is the number that I chose to work toward each day- and the number of steps where I can build my core strength (without totally overdoing it & quitting before I get started), and build a foundation to move toward my next goal of 2750.  This may seem like a very small and insignificant amount of steps..but let me tell you... with each step I become amazed at how far the Lord has really carried me thru everything !  I went from not walking at all (after surgery)  for 14 weeks, walking about 10 steps daily for a week, and then to about 100 steps daily..and now, three weeks after I've actually begun to walk again, I am inching toward my 2500 step a day goal !!!  MAN IT FEELS GREAT !!!   Okay, so the joints are a little rusty...hahaha... but I am working toward a goal, and I will not slow down (no pun intended) until I can reach the ultimate goal of 10,000 steps per day + a bike ride for good measure !!

Every day I can tell that my strength is starting to return, my leg muscles are becoming stronger, and I can tell that my countenance is much happier and confident!  I am becoming that person I knew I always was inside !  Woooo-Hoooo!!

I have the iFit Vue around my wrist, I have my tennis shoes on, and I am ready to GO !  LOL... okay, one more lap around the floor....to join the others who are getting up and moving for the challenge.  2500 is a great number and I am almost there .... I can't wait til next week when I strive for 2750.

Life never felt so good !  Always CHALLENGE yourself !   #2500

Til next time...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Never deFEETed !!!!

Never 'deFEETed' !!  That is definitely my mantra this year !!   The feet may have been failing me, but my God & my faith is GREATER!!  I feel like I may lose some small battles, but when it really needs to count - I'm winning wars that no one should have to battle.

As some of  you may have read - I was diagnosed in 2010 with Charcot foot/Charcot joint - where in only 1-2% of Diabetics, the joints are affected to where the bones become 'softened' and they easily fracture and break.  When left undetected - the foot swells, becomes red and warm to the touch.  My initial podiatrist shrugged off my broken foot (fractures in multiple places and metatarsals) as a plantar fasciitis..never took one X-ray, etc.  Well, we see how that turned out, right ??  But, through it all I found a few very amazing doctors who really took the time to help me in my treatment, healing, and ultimate goal of wearing a normal pair of tennis shoes !!  LOL

Heres a little bit more about Charcot Foot if you are unfamiliar:
Charcot Foot / Charcot Joint


December 28th - I had surgery #3, and the second one on the left foot to correct the charcot.  The procedure was again the 'Charcot Planing'...which is the shaving down of the bone that had fallen/is protruding, and to cut out any ulcer that may be in the foot/where the protruding bone would not allow the ulcer to heal properly.

I was a little less nervous this time around, as I was very familiar with the process, the healing time, etc, but what I was concerned about was that the doctor was going to lengthen the Achilles tendon - which is supposed to help the bones 'relax' and not pull on them to the point where they start to take on the 'rocker bottom' form, etc.  My doctor assured me that the Achilles lengthening was nothing more than three (3) punctures within the tendon - and would only take a few stitches per 'stab' !

The surgery went well, and a first for me was a cast on the foot !!  LOL.. I have had wraps and splints with the other feet, but never a cast from toes to knee... and to tell you the truth, having to wear the cast was worse than having the surgery !!  LOL... I've never been so miserable NOT being able to itch my leg - and I tried everything from a ruler, to a yard stick, to a pencil, pen, comb, etc.  NOTHING REACHED THE SPOT or HELPED !!   I would just rock the foot back and forth til the itching subsided...but in the meantime I caused a few small blisters to form on the sides of the foot due to the rubbing, etc.  OY ! The blessing in being off of my feet for such an extended time - came from the fact that my company allowed me to work from home while I healed.  They understood that I was unable to walk, yet was fully able to work from home via my laptop, etc.  THANK YOU, LORD, for such an amazing group of co-workers, supervisors, and managers!  I think if I hadn't been allowed to work while healing, I would have went insane...not to mention I would have hated to come back after 4/5 months to 12000 emails and have to catch up on everything that is going one.  YIKES!

Today, as I sit here on my break at work, I truly am thankful for such amazing technological advances in the medical community, for advances in Diabetes care, and for doctors and surgeons that are realizing Charcot is something that is real, and something that isn't just a plantar fasciitis, a fracture.  Charcot is debilitating, it's depressing at times, its limiting, and its a handicap...if you let it become one.   I push myself.  I push myself to the point where you might never know, from the outward appearance, that there is something wrong...like today, I purposely left my cane in the car.  The can has been my 'security blanket' for the better part of 4 years, and I don't want to get so dependent on it that I forget to try.  I've been doing really well with out it.. .I'm walking slowly, but I am doing it with out my 'crutch'.

Funny...but, before I had these feet issues, I would 'judge' some people that were on scooters, or needed to sit while standing in lines, etc.. as they looked totally "normal"  (I know, I know..who am I to judge, right ??!!).  Well, I have become one of 'those' that needed to do these things/use these aids - and I don't look sick, and in fact I probably look healthier than most.  There was a great lesson in this for me, and for that I am grateful.

Like I mentioned earlier in my blog... i may have lost some of the battles, but I truly am winning wars !!!   Never deFEETed !!!   :)

PS... my work is doing a GM Walking Challenge, and although I won't be walking distances anytime soom, every little step counts, and I have signed up to do a 'self challenge'... I challenge myself to go further each day...whether it be in steps, in thinking, in healing, in my faith, or in the work that I do here in the office.. I am challenging myself to remember I am NEVER deFEETed !!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Time to take a breath ..FINALLY !! Pt.1

Wow..it's been a while since I've actually sat down at wrote anything for my blog.  I think I've been mad. Okay, mad may be one of the emotions that I've been  feeling, but it almost goes deeper than that .. I think I've been mad and bitter. As I look at my life, it's been full of wonderful memories, blessings in abundance, and a lot of hard work & determination! And, although I've done my best to keep a smile on my face and an upbeat positive attitude, I'm afraid that all that is human and fallible within me does creep out at times.  So why was I so mad and bitter ??  I think most of it is from frustration .. frustration of not being able to exercise like I want .. to do Zumba, run, jump, move, turn, twist, squat .. NO, I have to be extra cautious of how I move on my feet - so that I don't cause fractures, breaks, etc.  I think I'm frustrated that I can not burn calories - and I'm gaining weight, and I'm frustrated that my once size 8.5 medium width feet are now a 8.5 XXXX+ size.  Yeah, try finding a shoe that fits those feet !!  LOL
But through it all (the diabetes, the Charcot, the auto-immune), I think that I am finally coming to a place where I can sit back and take a breath !!!

Let me explain... Since July of 2013 I have had a diabetic ulcer on my right foot that has gotten larger and deeper in size. My podiatrist had tried every thing in her 'doctors bag of tricks' to try and manage/heal this ulcer, but it would not go away.  She tried steri-strips, she trip debridement, she tried antibiotic creams, etc., but nothing would work.  Yes, I had a hole the size of a golf ball on the bottom of my foot, and yes, it hurt like nothing you would ever want to feel...but, it was my 'hole', it was my 'ulcer', and I felt like if the ulcer was there on my foot - then I was assured that my foot was still attached to the leg... see where I'm going with this ??  I took ownership of this ulcer!
Then in September 2014 - my podiatrist started to talk to me about a surgical procedure known as 'Charcot Planeing'  (much like an Ostectomy).  I looked up every possible and imaginable piece of information that I could on the internet (which, by the way, is NOT always the best way to research a surgical procedure!..yes, I know, I know...).  Charcot Planeing .. eh ?   Took me some time to really think about it, as I had mentioned before, I was assured that as long as the ulcer/hole was on the bottom of my foot - that my foot was still attached to the leg, and my biggest fear was losing a limb.  I had read somewhere in the realms of 'cyber space' that most people have Charcot an average of 4 years when they have to have limbs amputated, etc... UGH.

So, in taking in consideration this surgery, I spoke with several women in the office to get their feedback on the doctor.  I mean, if any one knows the doctor and her follow up care - it would be the women that work most closely with her, right ?!  Well, it was definitely unanimous - they all said they would have no hesitations to go to her (and they were NOT just saying that) or to send family members to her.  Okay - round one of questioning done!
Round two - was to talk to my doctor to see when she felt I should have this done, and her answer was as soon as possible.  It was only October - and I knew that my greatest window of opportunity would be to have this done before Christmas, as my company is shut down between Christmas and New Years, and I could really get some great rest & recouperation time in.   I had casually tossed the date of December 19th (a Friday) to my doctor, and she whole heartedly agreed ... well, I guess that's that, then.. December 19th !

As the day of surgery approached, there were issues at work that I had to deal with  - nothing 'job' related, but the thought of having to ask my supervisor/associate director / HR department for almost 8 weeks of time off .. UGH.. this was more daunting to think about than the actual surgery itself.
Once the surgery date was settled upon, I did go right to the HR department at my job, and they told me that I would have to use up any un-used 'sick' and 'vacation' days that I had left. Okay, no problem there.  Then they told me that to go on FMLA - I would be without one week of pay, and that after that I would only get 60% of my actual pay.  I let them know that I would be able to work from home, I just wasn't able to put any weight/pressure on my foot  (in hopes that they would 'read between the lines' of what I was asking), and HR looked at me and said they had NO problems with me working from home, as long as my supervisor/manager was okay with it !!!!!   YES!  One thing off my list & off my mind.

Step two - tell my supervisor and associate director  that I will be having surgery on December 19th, and that I will need 6-8 weeks of 'off my feet' time.  I called them both into a small conference room, and I explained to each of them what was going on and how it was currently effecting my health, my work, etc.  I let them know that I will be fully able to work and to do things from home ..but that I am not able to walk, stand, move around until I am fully healed.  They looked at me, and they were so compassionate and sympathetic .. they said NO PROBLEM !  Keep them posted as to the dates I will need off for surgery, recovery, and then I could work from home until I was able to return to the office.  Thank you, Lord !  Item #2 off my 'worry' list !

Now ... I was breathing ... not in the usual way of inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale .. but I was finally really BREATHING !  I was not worried about the actual surgery at that point, I wasn't worried about losing health insurance, I wasn't worried about losing money due to FMLA, I wasn't worried - and for the first time in a very, very long time .. I took a breath !

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sadly enough - Some will NEVER 'get it' !

Life is good most days and some days it's amazing to be me, to be alive, and there are even days when it's okay to be a juvenile (type 1) diabetic.  I think about the diabetes daily ...I have too... there isn't any day that I can just sit back and say 'today is the day that I will NOT have diabetes, and I'll just pick up tomorrow where I left off today'.  Ha! I would love to do that for hours/days at a time - ahhhh, but alas, my body plays really mean tricks on me and the moment I would decide to do that - my near normal sugar reading would sky-rocket to the 400 or 500's and in somecases I find a 550 (or higher ...yikes!).

Some will 'Never Get It' .  What I mean by this is just that .. "Some will never get it".   Some will never 'get' what we as JD's go thru, and a larger number of people will never 'get' what it's like to have a condition called 'CHARCOT FOOT'.  I was diagnosed with Charcot foot in 2009/2010 - and it's caused from neuropathy of the feet, where the bones begin to soften and fracture, and then the bones fall, arches fall, and the feet become deformed.  I live with this on a daily basis.  Not being able to walk disntances longer that 100 meters at a time, not being able to ride a bike, jog, run, etc...
here is a quick synopsis I found in a Yahoo! document that might give you, the reader, a better understanding of what this is: http://voices.yahoo.com/all-diabetics-know-symptoms-charcot-626762.html

I work in corporate america ..you know the place where all the men and women wear suits, skirts, heels higher than my ruler and pointier than a sharpened pencil, and where the dress code needs to be 'dressy' so that the clients think we have it all together !  Well, I haven't been able to wear anything other than New Balance Tennis shoes and C.R.O.W. Boots for almost 4 years now - and amidst the stares and looks that I get, I do have some ask questions like 'when are you going to be out of that boot?' ... well, it's so mundane always having to tell the same stories ... I have Charcot foot, the bones are breaking and falling, my feet are becomming deformed, yada-yada-yada.  I do get the 'awwwww' moment, but then five minutes later these are the same people asking me to run up and down for them the entire day.  I guess they don't see that I'm in extreme pain most times and that I now walk with a cane.  I guess they missed the line on the doctors note that says I must not do anything that requires lifting, walking, and must stay in a seated position.  These are the one that 'will never get it' .

The last month or two I've now had to walk with a cane - the feet are just too sore to stand on and walk on.  I limit the amount of activity that I do..and I dread this most of all, because I don't want to gain any more weight.  Walking with a cane isn't any fun - I just wish some people would 'get it' !

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This chicks not on 'Auto-Pilot'...I'm on 'Auto-Immune' !!

LOL... yes, being a juvenile diabetic we've all heard the words 'Auto-Immune' for most of our lives. And for those of us that DID get JD from an attack of the pancreas, we know (although it is still a mystery more often than not) that by some act of mutiny by our own bodies - we were attacked and our pancreases were left for dead ... literally!
I always thought when I was younger - and newly diabetic - that you could only get one disease in your lifetime ... you know, some have cancer, some have lupus, some have thyroid, etc... but the older I got, I see that it NOT the way it works at all ... especially in a body that is prone to 'auto-immune' diseases.  So besides the juvenile diabetes and the low-thyroid, I have recently found out that my body is allergic to gluten, or in auto-immune terms...Celiac Disease. 
Let me tell you a little bit about the Celiac ... its rather interesting that I've gone to several so called 'specialists' in the last dozen or so years ...yet, no body has ever told me that I had this recently, but I was really glad that my current Endo did the 'high end' blood test and found that this is what I have. I guess, too, the fact that my symptoms were a little opposite of the 'usual' symptoms experienced by those with Celiac, plus other doctors (including my family doctor) would always find a way to say it was 'age', 'weight', or the 'juvenile diabetes' .
I was at work, May 17th, and it was a typical day ... cereal in the morning, oatmeal for a snack in the mid morning, Jimmy Johns sandwich for lunch, and then.... a phone call from the doctors offiice.  The nurse on the other end of the line started to tell me that my blood tests came back and I tested positive for Celiac Disease ... well, I didn't even know I was being tested for this, but I said 'thank you' and began to research everything that I could on the internet - as quickly as I could !  It didnt seem toooooo bad, but then again I was thinking this is it...I have to do this ..just go cold turkey and do this now!!
The more I read the more I decided that this might be a 'blessing' in disguise ... and you know what ?!?  After being 'GLUTEN FREE' for 10 weeks (in 2 days) ... I have a ton more energy, my choices of food are healthier on average .. wtih the occasional McDonalds Egg McMuffin - minus the muffin !! LOL!!
There are so many choices now a days for celiacs ... there are markets that actually make home made gluten-free pastries, cakes, donuts, etc.. and they even have gluten free pizza in many of the main stream pizza places !  I do eat a lot more salads and drink a lot more water than I used too, but this is part of that 'blessing in disguise' for me!
So now I am a Juvenile Diabetic wtih low thyroid and have Celiac Disease ... BOY! What a total random mix of activity going on in my body ... hmmmmm... wonder why 'weight loss' can't be part of the 'auto-immune' plan !!  Just my thougths !!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SERIOUSLY ...? And YOU'RE an ENDOCRINOLOGIST ??

HA!  Being a Juvenile Diabetic does  not make me a 'rocket scientist' (too bad, then I really would qualify for being 1 in 1,000,000) , nor does it make me the 'smartest girl in the room', but SERIOUSLY...you're an Endocrinologist ??!!  I would hope that in my 26 years of being a JD - pump wearer for 6or7 of those years, that I've gained some knowledge on this disease, and have grasped some idea as to how the disease functions in my body, and what it is that I can do to help ease the 'sick' feeling that I get when I know something is just...'off'.   However, because I can only go on the facts of how I feel, how I've been feeling, and how I don't want to feel, I have an Endo (short for Endocrinologist) that I see regularly - and she is supposed to be someone that I can trust for 'top-notch, 'I'm worth the $45 co-pay' medical service' ... You would think !!

Let me start from the beginning ... I've always had male endo's, which were fine - but getting to be a little older and starting to experience some womanhood situations (you know...like the hot flashes are beginning, possibly a family to start, etc..) I wanted to see a female endo that could relate.  I searched thru all the great online resources to find one that would be specifically in my region, area, county, in my insurance network, at the best hospitals in my area, etc.. So this was not taken lightly by me!  And then...EUREKA !!  I thought I has struck gold!  There my new doctor awaited in a picture on the web - with credentials that would knock your socks off... she had done it all and seemed to be a pioneer in her own right with some of the extensive classes, certificates, and fellowships that she had done.  On the internet and on paper, I was impressed - and it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to my medical care !  So, I called the office and made my appointment, got in rather easily, and thought to myself 'this is going to be the answer I was looking for'.  The appointment was nothing to be amped up about - it was an ordinary 'hi, nice to meet you, lets take your blood pressure, lets check your feet, here are your prescriptions, now where's my $45 co-pay' type visit.  And that routine lasted for the next year and a half worth of visits - with each visit growing less and less enchanting.  What made me decide to find another endo you ask ...?  Let me tell you !!

Fast forward to January 2012 .......  One Thursday night in the beginning of January, I was getting myself ready to go to bed (like any other Thursday night), got out of bed, checked my blood sugars, bathroom, teeth, and then to fill an ever 'hungry' insulin pump.  But, when I went to go and prime the pump - it began to count down some weird sequence of numbers and gave an E-70 error, then it went dead.  I'm not talking still working but won't rewind dead, I mean - the whole pump just shut itself down, dead.  Now keep in mind that the time is just after 11:00pm and there isn't anything I can humanly do except to call the manufacturer of the insulin pump's 24hr service line. They were most helpful (Thank you Medtronic!!) and they did let me know that the error was cause by my pump being in contact with an x-ray machine or an MRI machine, etc..  Well, that made tons of sense - since I get x-rays of my feet done when I'm at the podiatrist, etc...and I've never thought/been told to take off my pump.  They were sending me out a pump ASAP...but being that it was now after midnight they would have to send it out the next day and I wouldn't receive it until Saturday morning.  Okay - so what do I do now ...?  I told my mom what was going on, and the plan of action was to take small units of insulin every 1.5 - 2hrs since my body was used to having a steady bolus of insulin - and now it would be getting nothing close to that ..Yikes!  So, good 'ol mom .. she grabbed her pillow from the other room and nestled herself next to me in my bed with an alarm clock ready to wake her and I every 2 hours.  So for the next 8 hrs that night I was awoken to the sound of an alarm clock to take a blood sugar reading, and to administer a small amount of insulin via syringe (something I haven't had to do in years !).  In the morning when I woke - did I really sleep, though? - I called my Endo - who was, of course, not in the office on a Friday... 'cuz when you make that kind of money - you DON"T NEED to work Friday's and Weekends, and nights, and the girl in the office said I could come down and get an insulin penlet and some syringes.  I made the trek to the office and picked up the goods - and went back home to try and keep the bg's as close to normal as possible (bg = blood glucose).  The entire day was spent giving myself small doses of insulin and another night of my mother laying with me and waking me up ever 2 hrs...I couldn't wait for the new insulin pump to arrive ... I was like a child waiting for Santa Clause to arrive on Christmas Day! HA!   10:30am - the pump arrives and I am opening it with much gusto - I set the pump settings that I was given from my endo (yes, they were all old settings...she never kept the updated settings in my file, so I made an educated guess on where I should be / was) and the pump began to work it's magic.  Ahhhhhhhhhh... the thought of Novolog insulin running thru my veins and breaking down those sugars was music to my ears !!!  LOL.    I thought the worst was behind me ...

This is when the real fun began.

Thru the next 90+ days I was not feeling my 'old self'.  True, I am 'old', but I wasn't feeling well ... I thought flu, sinus - since we've had such a mild winter, food poisoning, and even went as far as to think 'pregnancy' ... OY!  So, I began to eliminate what it could have NOT been ... pregnancy, check!  Sinus, check!  Flu...maybe, Food poisoning ... possibly.  Mom and I had gone to dinner the night of the Superbowl - to my favorite sushi restaurant, and I thought maybe I couldn't tolerate the sushi, etc... Who knows!  So I had to take the day off of work due to the nausea and the dizziness I was encountering.  Two days later - still no change.  Flu ?  Okay, maybe it was the flu..I thought !  then the bg's started to go high during the day - and I would take enough insulin to cover the spikes, but they were not budging.  I was eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, I was on Weight Watchers and was losing weight up to this point - so I knew there was something going on ... I just didn't know what it was.  It was at this point that I began to wake up @4:30am with extreme low bg's as well ... Hmmmm...high all day and really low in the middle of the night.  I would frantically check my pump settings, I would check to make sure all the tubing and needles were in place correctly, etc.. and I was truly baffled.  This went on for the next 20 days.

My birthday - February 25th - went to dinner and the casino with the BF and another couple.  We had a great dinner, although I hardly ate because I wasn't feeling too well, and then off to play a few slot machines!!  Up a few dollars - we all took off before our luck ended.  When I got home, I discovered that my bg was over 500 ...infact it was almost 600/  and I was baffled because, once again, I hadn't done anything that I wasn't supposed to do... I ate next to nothing (and certainly not enough to make up for the $37.00 buffet), I only drank water and un-sweetend iced tea, and I KNOW my sugars shouldn't be that high.  So, I took enough insulin to cover the high # ... it was close to 18 units, but I knew that in a few hours I would be good as new !!

That moment never came .... my first memory was 'dream like' ... men, standing around me - me looking up, and in unison they were all calling my name, asking what I did last night, asking me questions that I couldn't answer.  Then I remember the cold air and feeling cold.  Then my next memory was of my arm burning...my right arm.  It was on fire (or so I thought) and I kept asking these strange men if I had a heart attack ?!?  The dream was a real odd dream - until I became conscious enough to figure out where I was!!!  I was in a hospital ... I was at Mt. Clemens General Hospital ... and those men in my dream with the buzzed hair cuts, well, those were obviously the firemen and paramedics - Yikes!  Thomas left work and was by myside and I was finally released to go home shortly after 12pm.  BUT WHAT WENT WRONG ...??  I was doing everything right !!  My head was starting to hurt with all the thoughts of how this happened running thru it.  So I replayed the night of my birthday back and forth, forth and back ... atleast a hundred times - trying to figure how my blood went from almost 600 down to 19 ... baffled, and bewildered, I called the on-call dr at my endo's office and was told to call the next day (Monday) and to come in to see my doctor.

The next day ... with my mom in tow ...we made the ride out to the Endo's office and gave her all the questions to her answers.  There was no blood taken, no exam, no testing of any sort ...just questions.  She seemed to be 'Out of it' ... as her wig was matted down and sideways (this made for a great laugh) and she wasn't talking in right sentences.  I was already disenchanted with this office and the care I was receiving - and this was really embarrassing to be happening in front of my mother!  So after checking my pump settings, going thru my readings, and my meter readings - she is telling me that what I am saying doesn't make sense. She is telling me that I am extremely high at night and low all day long - per the readings. I am trying to tell her that this is not the case - and I am not sure why I am going so low in the morning.  She again tells me that per the numbers, I am wrong.  THEN SHE THROWS HER HANDS IN THE AIR (IN FRONT OF MY MOM) AND SAYS 'I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG, I CAN'T FIGURE THIS OUT'.    Hmmmmmm.  So I pay the $45 co-pay (cuz she's a specialist) and I go home...more confused then when I went in!

Fast forward to 12:47am...

So I am up - and inserting the CGM to my abdomen area (cgm = continuous glucose monitor) and wanting to see what is really going on with the pump since this will take bg's ever 5 minutes.  So I am checking to see when my 'calibration' is due ... and it says 1 :34am on the pump, I look at the clock in my room and it says 12:47am, I look down at the pump and it is the same time 12:47 ... BUT WAAAAIIIITTTTTTT... it says PM instead of AM ... OMG, OMG, OMG... I THINK I JUST FIGURED IT ALL OUT !!!!!!

I ran to my moms room and told her the great news !!! IT'S THE TIME !!  IT'S THE TIME ON THE PUMP ... that's what was soooo wrong !!  We were all relieved .. really, seriously, relieved !!  It's as if a huge weight was lifted off of all our shoulders !!  I couldn't wait to find out if this were the actual reason ... I mean, it had to be, right !?
So I changed the pump time from PM to AM (where it should have been all along) and went to sleep knowing that the worst was over for now !!

As for the doctor that gets paid big money and cant figure out it was the time on the pump ... She is history!!!   :)




Monday, June 6, 2011

To SEE or NOT TO SEE ...

I guess one of the personality traits one must posses while having Juvenile Diabetes is a sense of humor ... seriously, if I was unable to laugh at half of the situations I've encountered because of this disease, I would probably be a total serious stick in the mud (lol ... if I'm not alredy there!!!), plus having a humor about it makes it seem less 'clinical' or technical.
I have realized lately that being a juvenile juvenile diabetic is so much more simple than being an adult juvenile diabetic, because as the adult version of myself, I worry about every little thing.  As a juvenile I still thought that the age of 40 was OLD and that blindness, kidney disease, and heart attacks could NEVER happen to me.  I praise God that these things have not happened to me (well...the blindness in the left eye, but that is a TESTIMONY in itself), and that I am leading a very full and productive life ~ yes, even with the 100 extra pounds I'm sporting... you know Insulin is a fat producing hormone, right??   (now THIS is something you need to have a great sense of humor about  ... but, hey! I'm healthy and always striving to lose 10lbs at a time!!)
So the sense of humor comes into play each and every time I walk into and walk out of a doctors appointment.  Now, I am NO stranger to dr's offices, appointments, etc.., but I always amaze myself at how humor mixed with serious thought can make a seemingly 'ugly' situation seem  more bearable. 

So, the other day I had to go to the Opthamologist/Retinologist - specialist for the retinal area of my eyes ... and I was incredibly scared to go in the first place, because this was the first time going back to this dr. in one year ...after a 3-4 year run with my eyes needing extra TLC, I was so happy to be able to go one year without having to come back, I mean, I'm the one that was coming in daily, then weekly, then bi-weekly to see the doc and get a better prognosis on my eyes each time.  The prognosis imporved, but my co-pays only got more expensive ... yikes!! 
So the big day arrived on 5/24/11 and I made my way to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital to have my eyes checked for bleeding blood vessels ... (now that sounds really funny and could warrant a laugh or two ... I mean, which normal person goes intentionally to a doctor to see if the blood vessels in their eyes are bleeding??  Okay, maybe I have been diabetic too long ~ especially when it's a totally normal occurance!!) ... so I sat in the doctors chair holding my boyfriends hand and praying to God to heal my eyes, etc.. because I just KNEW there was something wrong with the eyes.  It had been a year with no eye exam... there was bound to be something the doc would see, right??  I mean, I have great insurance - so they could really cash in on  my eyes, right??  Oh, boy!!  Then out of no where I was beginning to feel a little twinge of pain in the left eye, and above all, it had been a YEAR of no eye checks - geeze - I need to slow down!! 
My name was called, and as Thomas and I walked to the little cubby hole area (tiniest little room with no door - so to me it's more of a cubby hole than a room)  where they check your vision field and eye pressures.  I look to the ceiling while the drops are being administered... right eye pressure taken ... left eye pressure taken ... I finally had to ask what the pressures were for each eye and the nurse said it was '15' in each eye!!!!!!  that's near perfect !!!!!!!  woo-hoo!!!!!  Thank you JESUS!!!!  Okay, so first hurdle down ... eye pressures are very, very, good - now time to see the doctor and have him check the retina and all those thousands of teeny tiny blood vessels!
Waiting in the room, Thomas and I tried to laugh about the long wait (why is it that all the specialists keep you waiting for atleast an hour in the waiting room and then another 30+minutes in the room??  Really ??  I want a discount for just sitting there and wasting everyones time!!  hahaha). 
Dr. Ruby comes in and turns down all the lights and turns on the brightest little light that he shines directly into the eye, and has my eye do a few exercises of it's own ... look up to the ceiling, right and up, right, right and down, down to the floor, down and left, left, and left and up!  Next eye...all over again!!  By this time I certainly am glad that I'm at the eye doctor, because I am actually 'blinded' by the brightness of his light and can't see at all ... so I'm in the right place!!  LOL !!
After checking both eyes the doctor sits down on his chair, makes some notes in my chart, and proceeds to tell me that everything looks GREAT!!  HUH???  WHAT???   REALLY???  (God certainly heard my prayers and took total pity on me sitting in that chair praying and praising !!)
Then the doctor says to me that he didn't need to see me back for ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR !!  Well, here is the humorous part .. I was not having that... No way!  No how!  I am not going thru another full  year without a check up ... I'm too worried about my sight for that!!  So, I looked at the doctor and asked him if it were alright if I came in in another 6 months, and that I would feel better if I could get them checked out at 6 months instead ... he looked at me and chuckled a bit, and said if it made me feel better than absolutely!!  Phheeewwwww!!! 
My boyfriend must think I'm a total nut case, but that is just part of what I consider the 'humor' to get thru this disease!!  Why should I wait one year when I can come back in 6 months and spend another $45 copay !?!  hahaha!!  Hmmmm... maybe Thomas is right...maybe I am 'not right' !!!
Until next time - Keep smiling and thanking God for all blessings, great and small !!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I JUST WANT TO RELAX ... Like Everyone Else !!!

Aaaahhhh... the day in the life of an Adult Juvenile Diabetic, any Diabetic for that matter, or to take it one step further, any one who suffers from any sort of chronic or on-going ailment ... All we want to do is RELAX like everyone else ... atleast, that is all I want to be able to do!!

It is one of those things where I am getting up in the morning ... and instead of racing off to the shower - I have to STOP, take my blood sugar...if its lower I need to make sure to eat something so I don't go too low while in the shower.  Then, after I begin to get ready, I have to make sure that I have some sort of sugar on me so I don't go too low while driving or taking public transportation, make sure to eat, make sure I have supplies on me incase something were to happen while at work ... always need a back-up plan.  Then there is the little frustrations of the batteries not working properly in the pump (it's set up to where if the battery is too old, if the battery is used, if anything is wrong with the battery) than it won't work - kicker is - you only have 5 minutes to get a fresh working battery into the pump before all of your settings are DELETED.  Talk about pressure.  One time I went thru 6 batteries before I found one that would work.  You have to screw the cap off, screw it back on, if it doesn't work within a few seconds you have to repeat the whole process... 5 min sounds like a lot of time, but when pressed for it, it goes quickly. 

Scenario ... yesterday ... getting off of work at 5:30 pm to catch a SMART bus to take me to my car ... bus comes at 5:38pm - it's 5:20, so I decide to run to use the facilities.  While gathering my self together - the pump snagged on my pants and the little sticky where the canula is inserted into my leg comes out.  The only way to get it back in is to re-insert a brand new quick-set.  NOT SO QUICK, however!  I absolutely could not be with out my insulin til I arrived home (could have been well over an hour or more) So I raced back to my desk ... with NO time to spare I am trying to take the old insulin resevoir and connect it to a new tubing, then I need to insert the new port area... I wasn't in the position to place it in my leg (I didn't have the time to run back to the ladies room) so the abdomen it was - the only visible area on my body that I could get to by just lifting the side of my sweater.  So ... quick set in place, insulin resevoir in place, and ready to catch the bus ... I ran.  I don't usually run (total figure of speech), but with this broken foot ... I had to very quickly hobble!!  Without a moment to spare the bus was barreling down the street and stopped just as I was able to step up the curb !!  See ... I JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO RELAX ... just hop on a bus and go.

Then there is the night time, BedTime.  Oh, I just can't fall asleep in front of a TV while dozing, etc... Oh, NO... I have to make sure to take my blood sugar readings, I have to make sure to take my medications, and most of all - I have to make sure I eat something...just to make sure I don't go too low during the night.  I am never able to just doze off after a big meal and relax ... I am constantly doing something that seems to be diabetes related.

Okay, okay, okay... it sounds like I'm just down right complaining ...but after 26+ years = I just want to be able to say 'The heck with Diabetes today, I think I'll just not worry about anything and RELAX' !!!  In a perfect world ... I would not have a tube constantly sticking out of some port on my body, I wouldn't constantly hear the beeping sounds that are projected from my pump letting me know it's time to check a blood glucose, or an error reading on the pump, or an 'auto off' alarn.  I hear these darned beeps in my head - even when they are not going off.. OY!!