Thursday, March 27, 2008

Looking Back...

I have just spent today looking back on when this journey began. I cannot believe it has only been around 4 months since I was "born again". I am amazed at how far I have come and how determined I still am. I know that it was my choice, my determination and my strength that brought me to this place, but I don't think the decision would have been so clear or my strength nearly as strong if it had not been for everyone that I have met online. Following your stories and having the opportunity to speak about my story has been incredibly motivating. I feel blessed everyday by your presence, and I hope you do the same.

This journey has taken me so far: From starting fresh in the beginning, with my old pump, my old basal rates, and my old ideas about my diabetes to having to go back to shots when my pump broke to now having my new pump with all of its glory and wonder!! Just four months ago I hadn't checked my blood sugar more than 5 times per year, for just about the past 10 years or so (sometimes temporarily getting back on track, but then very soon after falling again). I know I will still face a lot of struggles, and I do now, especially with my weight, but I am holding on.

It was so easy to fall before because I felt so alone. I could fall and no one knew, or cared. But now, I feel as though people CARE about how I am doing, and I don't like to disappoint :). Although, even when I do feel like I am disappointing, I just get a pat on the back, a "that's ok" and a "let's try again".

The entire online diabetes community to me is represented by a complete circle of friends. In that circle, we are all leaning against each other in the circle. It is so hard to fall, because there is always someone there to catch you and if I do fall, it is as though the entire circle feels the tug as the circle moves in that direction and everyone reacts. There is always someone there to help me back up and to allow me to again lean on them. No one in the circle can keep someone up. I know I have to carry my own weight and stand with my own strength, but you are all there supporting me and are there to pick me back up. I won't be perfect, and I will sometimes lose my strength, become weak, and occassionally I may even fall...but I know that with everyone there around me, it won't take me long to get back up.

My hope is that everyone with diabetes can feel as inspired by this community as I have. As always, I hope to also be there for others who are struggling or just need a friend who understands. I can't judge you because I have been there, and I know how scary and lonely it can be. It is a hard journey, and it may be a long one, but I promise you can do it!! You just have to believe it, too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Site Change-Oh the Drama!

I will first admit that I do not follow the "You must change your site every 2-3 days" Rule...I usually linger somewhere between 5 and 6 days. I have the MiniMed 722, so it holds 300 units of insulin, and my old pump also held 300 units, which means that I can get away with it. After about 5 or 6 years of pumping, so far so good. I have had a few minor "infections" but nothing serious that didn't clear up immediately.

Back to the point: I had my first site change with my NEW pump yesterday. Ok, I am a slow and methodical injection giver and I am also a slow and methodical pump site changer...which means I change spots at even the smallest glimmer of it beginning to hurt. It really is a tedious process that has reduced me to tears on more than one occassion, and, I will admit, although less frequently, I have been reduced to angry tantrums...

Well, my new pump comes with this great and neat little do hickey that will automatically inject it like a trigger (I am sure many of you diabetics know what I mean). Well, first, I told them to not even send it to me...I wanted NOTHING to do with it!! There is nothing slow, methodical, nor is there any possibility to move sites at the sign of pain with this little blue contraption...and I apparently like torture. Well of course they sent it.

Needless to say it took me around 15 minutes of holding it to my stomach saying, "I can't do it, I can't do it" "Honey, don't look at me!" "I can't do it" "I am not brave at all"...not quite in tears, but if it had gone on much longer, they would have been inevitable... (oh, have I reminded you lately that I am almost 27 and have had diabetes for 17 years??)

I think my husband (honey, hon) must have thought he married a baby...a scared little braveless baby. And to be honest, I felt like one.

Finally, somehow, and only God knows how, I did it. "Is it in???" "It's in!!" "That wasn't bad..."

Isn't that how they always say it goes...doesn't matter, I'll see you in 5-6 days with clamy hands, almost in tears and mumbling things like a child...

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I feel like a kid in a candy store!! Or a diabetic who can now do what she wants :) Of course, I had a pump before, broke a few months ago, so I have been on shots. Well, I had been getting pretty sloppy with my shots lately and so I called to finally get my new MiniMed Paradigm pump set up. They had me come in the next day!!! Wow!

I was so nervous because, as I said, I was getting a bit relaxed with my shots and blood I didn't have many to go off of (not that what I would have had would have helped much anyway since I am so all over the place due to old info and laziness). But, I got it all set up and I am LOVING my new pump!! My old pump only gave a basal rate and bolus...which was all I thought I really needed...until now!

This new pump allows me to put in my carbs and it calculates my insulin based on that. It even wirelessly connects to my meter so when I check my shows up ON MY PUMP! How neat is that!! It can then use that number to determine if I need any extra insulin. I mean, talk about cool! My insulin had been between 80 and 120 all day (yes, I know it has only been a day, but I don't think that has happened in YEARS!

I am so excited and feel so encouraged!! Just wait until I get the CGM attached to it as well! Yay!! I can't believe I was missing out on all of this before! If anyone has any questions about the pump, feel free to ask. I am happy to help :)

Hoppy Easter!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Home Again, Home Again...

This weekend I made a trip home to my parent's house. They recently got a new pool, or what I like to call an oversized hot tub. Going home is always very stressful for me. My Mom and I have not always been on good terms when it comes to my diabetes control. I went through a lot of really bad times through high school and college and wasn't always the best at taking care of myself, which caused her to severely tighten the reigns on me and resulted in what I felt was complete control over my life.

As an adult, I know she did it because not only was it somewhat necessary, but because she loved me. However, even now, when I go home I feel her watchful eye carefully following me and trying to determine: "did she pee too much, is her BS high?" "Do I smell the sweet scent of DKA on her breath?" "Have I seen her check her BS?" "Is she drinking too much water?"...which results in me doing all of my checking, peeing, and drinking out of sight. Even when I do take a sip of water I feel so guilty because I think she must be wondering whether I am becoming dehydrated due to high BS.

It is getting better and the thoughts aren't as consuming as it may seem in print...they just lurk somewhere hidden in the back of my mind... I try to remember that her concerns are valid, considering I was only "born again" in the past several months. Eventually she will know that I am ok, but for now, I will just try to deal with the stress and be patient with her glances...I certainly do owe her that much!