Monday, June 30, 2008

Well, my body is definitely adjusted!!

Ugh, I had a high blood sugar yesterday (yep, trying on clothes and forgot to reattach the pump). I didn't check, because, well, I still have the fear of seeing that HIGH number on my meter...and knowing that there is proof it existed. And having to explain it to my doctor when I turn it in to them and getting the disapproving look.

Well, it couldn't have been high for more than 3 hours or so, based on the time I detached to the time I felt so ill I thought I was going to throw up. I mean, I felt bad. Deathly ill. How on earth did I live with a blood sugar consistently over 400??? How could I do it. I couldn't manage 2 or 3 hours of it that high without feeling unable to move!!!

So, I am glad to say that my body is adjusted to a good blood sugar level and I am so happy about that. It can now warn me when I am high and low, and that is just fantastic. I must be doing something right :)

In other news, my husband and I leave for Virginia on Thursday to spend the 4th with Brad's family. It should be a fantastic time and I am so excited. But, it will be my first big vacation since getting things under control, so I am afraid I am going to forget something...although, I am pretty much an over packer, so forgetting something seems unlikely ;)

Hope you all have an amazing Fourth of July as well!!! I am so blessed to be in a country where I can get test strips, insulin, a pump and a CGMS to make sure I have the best care possible. Some things are slow in coming, but the struggle isn't nearly what it is for others.

God Bless America!! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wanderings of a Hypoglycemic Mind Revealed

I know I left a teaser in my last post, but really, it isn’t anything profound. Here is how I think my hypoglycemic brain was linking my “cure” to the events that happened on that day. Remember, we bought a new car. Well, cars take money.

Ahhh, money. Sometimes I wonder how on earth everyone without diabetes could not have millions of dollars to spare. I mean, we survive even with spending large amounts of money on diabetes: supplies, healthy food, gym membership, all that doggone food I have to eat when I am low… but, I digress, a tad.

I have always saved my money. It’s what I do. I save it in case I need it. I save it in case one day that magic cure does pop up. A cure will certainly not come free. Just look how long it took for insurance companies to approve test strips…TEST STRIPS!! One of the most vital parts of our diabetes care is to actually know what our blood sugar is and we cannot do that without those ridiculously expensive little plastic pieces that somehow mysteriously end up all over my house, my car, my office, in my bed…I even found one on the kitchen of my sisters new house that I had only visited once like 3 weeks prior! And now we have the CGMS, which are also so absolutely and amazingly beneficial to our care. These things will end up saving so much money on treating actual complications that could result from NOT having them!!

So my entire life (ok, since I was 9, but it feels like my entire life) I have saved for every birthday, every Christmas, every graduation. People would just laugh when I would tell them I don’t spend my “gift” money. It isn’t for me to spend on clothes or spa days or fun. I am waiting for my cure or, to be honest, treat any complications that arise. I don’t have the luxury of living pay check to pay check. If for some reason I lost my insurance or needed some type of medical care related to my diabetes that was not covered, I want to know that I will be ok. My savings to me is my lifeline. When people say “you only live once” I can only think, “well, I am no worse off not having a new shirt or new jewelry. I do live. I live life to its fullest and I treasure all of those little moments and I allow them to take my breath away. But, you’re right, you do only live once and I want to make sure I live the longest life I can, so when they find that cure that I have been promised since I was diagnosed at 9, I want to be first in line, money in hand.”

Well, we used some more of that money for the car. Heck, it is a necessity and we needed it and we got a GREAT deal. I don’t regret the purchase at all. But parting with money that I have worked so hard to save, with hope that I WILL spend it one day on something that will save all of our lives, is hard. So I think that when my blood sugar was so perfect, even with no insulin on board, at the same moment I was signing that check, it was just weird. And my mind goes crazy places when it is low and groggy and stressed, and so that is what I was thinking all night, as I waited for my blood sugar to creep back up to sanity.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'd say I'm cured, but then there's that 260 this morning...

Yesterday was a weird and crazy more ways than one. Soo...Brad and I bought a new car. Wow. Never in my life did I ever think we would be the owners of a brand new vehicle. But we are. We got a great deal. A steal, really. We got a 2008 Mazda Tribute. Just the basics, no fluff...but I have so much fluff in my diabetes life right now, simple is just perfect! Brad's car was about to fall apart...and I am pretty sure I mean that literally. So, car shopping we went and landed this deal.

Well, in all of the chaos of the day, that included negotiating with dealers, discussions with my husband, and the plain fear of entering into another huge financial commitment, I forgot to change my insulin cartridge before leaving the house and it ran out at about 12:30. Well, luckily I had my back up insulin pen in my desk and took what I needed for lunch, but that was it. I had no basals at all. I was worried. I just knew I was going to be high for the rest of the afternoon, which also meant grumpy.

Well, around 4ish, I started feeling jittery. I thought that I could be low, but instead of checking my blood sugar I just took a few sips of some real coke and passed it off as nerves. I should have been checking anyway since I needed to keep a close eye on my numbers to make sure they didn't go high, but well, I didn't.

So I headed home to take care of some things at 4:30. husband called as I turned into our carport and said to meet him at the dealership (which by the way, is what I wanted to do initially anyway and I was furious that I now had to drive back through 5 o'clock traffic to meet him after he convinced ME it was best to go home...) So in my fit of anger I just turned right around...forgetting all about my insulin.

I could only imagine what stress, anger, and having absolutely no insulin in my system was doing to my blood sugar, but I decided to just go on with the plan and go to the dealership to at least look at the Tribute. We liked it, we wanted it, we sat down to talk. And talk we did...forever!

I started getting jittery again at about 7:30. I knew I just had to check to see where I stood, terrified I would see a ginormous number on the little screen. 64. What?!?! I checked again. 62. I mean, I know I hadn't eaten, but I am getting NO basals, and already had some coke. I had no insulin since 12:30. And the stress alone should have spiked it. I drank an entire Dr. Pepper and was 140. Now I was really scared about it spiking with nothing to bring it down.

Got home at around 9 with our new black beauty, and ate a sandwich without taking any insulin. At 10 pm it was 174. That is when I finally changed my insulin cartridge. I swore I was cured. I just knew it. I had to be!! I went to bed happy...although dreams about getting an extra $200 off the car kept me restless. Oh joy!

At 5 am I woke up sweaty and my mind was racing...I needed sugar, and fast. I had honey next to my bed and took a few big gulps (ugh, so gross!). My husband woke up and asked me to check my blood sugar (such a great guy!!). It was 44. After all of that and it was still 44. Maybe my body was just so happy to be cured it was producing insulin overtime! That is nice, but it needed to stop. Brad got me some juice and I finally settled down.

Well, at 9 it was 260. I am not cured. But I am happy to have a new vehicle and to be back on my sensor. Good enough for now! Why do I feel like this is double deja vu? I think I may have been cured before =:~)

And I'll elaborate further on the link between a new car and a cure that I came up during my 5 a.m. low next time...oh how the sleepy hypoglycemic mind rambles.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just Keep On Keeping On

Not much to report on this end. I am taking it easy and just doing what needs to be done. It's been good. I haven't been overly obsessed with my diabetes and things have been running smoothly. I should probably check a tad more, but when I do check, it is all generally good.

I do have a little bit of very exciting news to report, though. Yesterday, when I went to workout, my blood sugar didn't go low!! How awesome is that?!? I ate and didn't take anything. Before exercise it was around 230. I then checked about halfway through and it was 177. I took my pump out then (since I forgot to when I started) and then checked about 15 minutes later and it was 122. Perfect! I figured I should stop before I dropped it too much, since I figured it was still falling a tad. I actually forgot to put my pump back in and when I checked it about an hour or so later, it was 180. Success!! It was a huge relief to have finally DONE IT!

The day before, I had started out similarly. Started at around 260, took out my pump, exercised and then within one minute on the same meter got blood sugars of 450, 350 and 400. I am not so sure about the accuracy of my UltraLink, but I figured I could at least trust that my blood sugar was HIGH. I am sure this will happen again, as well as lows, but there just isn't much I can really really do about it except keep working and tweaking and playing with my body and how it reacts to things.

Hey, no one can say my life isn't exciting and full of puzzles!! I always did love a good mystery ;)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I've Figured It Out!

Well, the good news is that everything that I was going through, the ups, the downs, and the highs and the lows are apparently all just plain normal. I've come to realize that even though my blood sugar may not be perfect 100% of the time does not mean that I am doing something wrong. It means I correct the blood sugar and move on. That's it. I don't need to judge myself or my effort or feel as though this is impossible. Sometimes, the impossible is ok. It's just how it is.

The bad news is that everyone out there gets just as frustrated as I do, and I am certainly sorry for that. It sucks. It is so scary to be managing an impossible thing (I don't like the word disease) that has so much control over your health and your life and your well being and your entire future. But, all we can do is what we can do.

I got frustrated with it all. I took out my sensor and I tried to just give up. But I can't do that now. Giving up for me is just another impossibility in my life. It used to be so easy, but now I honestly just cannot do it. Each time the thought crosses my mind, I see a little baby somewhere and know that I can't. Every time I try to just not care, I see a picture of my husband and mself and know that it just isn't going to work.

I think taking out the sensor was a good thing. Having the sensor in gave me a new meaning to diabetes 24/7. It was too much. I think I just need to use them in phases. Do my 6 days and then take a few days off, for my sanity's sake! It was a good thing to have it. I really absolutely love it, but having some freedom from my diabetes is good too.

We may not have a cure for diabetes in the sense that it all just goes away, but all I can do is utilize the amazing things that we DO have to make sure that my body stays healthy. I need to just suck it up and do it. Stop thinking the negative thoughts all the time and just know that I just have to do it. I have no argument against that. None of the negative thinking and judgmental thoughts or getting frustrated about my weight helps or works or does any good at all, so why waste my precious time dealing with it. There is no point. (although, I know this is easier said than done. My constant negative internal dialogue has been running for 20 years now, I don't expect it to stop immediately, but it is a goal I tend to work toward!)

I am going to try my best to just change the way I think about things. When I get frustrated, I am just going to tell myself that it is ok to not be perfect. I am not perfect, but it is within my own power to do the things I want, to accomplish the goals that I have for myself and to be who I want to be. Life doesn't happen to us. We are in charge of our own destiny. Things may certainly go wrong and there will always be hard times in life and in diabetes, but the way we respond to those things is within our own control and all we can do is strive to make the right decisions. We've just got to do the best that we can.

Thanks for all of your comments and support that has helped me to come to this realization. I know I am not the only one who gets frustrated, and it is nice to feel like a normal person with diabetes. It has honestly been a long time!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What is the deal, here?

Ok, after having tremendous lows over the past week or so, I now cannot seem to be able to get my blood sugar under 200. Well, except when it randomly shoots extremely low and then shoots way back up again. This morning I woke with a 39 after being high ALL day yesterday, and then two hours later was almost to 300 and it is still lingering around 180ish (I know, not horrible, but why isn't my insulin working!!). I have changed nothing about my diet or my insulin. All I did was add in a little exercise.

I am so frustrated and am not having a very good diabetes week. The first 4 or 5 days on my CGMS, I was overjoyed and excited. I would flatline at around 100 and stay there just about all day. Now this week, I flatline around 200 and cannot get it down for anything.

Now that I am actually paying attention to my diabetes, I am realizing how truly confusing and complicated it all is. I hope I can keep this up for, for, well forever. Ugh.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Diabetes Just Plain Sucks!

I know, I know...we all know this. I suppose that since the time I became "born again" I have tried to stay very optimistic, although I am sure it hasn't always seemed that way...but internally, I have.

I guess I hit a lull yesterday. I am trying to get back on track exercising, but what is really the point?? I eat well all day and then attempt to exercise and my bloodsugar drops so low that I have to eat a hamburgers worth of calories just to get it back to a level where I can actually function. I am still playing with how exercise, food and everything else works in my body, but it is SO frustrating! I feel like I should know this since I have had diabetes for 17 years, but I have to keep reminding myself of that big 15 year break that I took...

For example: Yesterday I woke up at 40-something, had a low around 4ish and then for supper I was 178 and I ate and took no insulin for supper and then went to exercise: 52, then 42...AND I woke up low again this morning. I think I had about 3 juices (400 calories) , 8 glucose tabs (120 calories), 7 hard candies (140 calories) and a banana (100 calories) to equal a whopping 760 extra calories!! Ugh, now that is depressing.

I think my body is really finally adjusting to having really great blood sugars and so I need to adjust my basals to make sure I don't get all of these lows, but then I am afraid I will get the highs. And to me, the highs are worse! I absolutely love my CGMS, although it has really really brought out the perfectionist in me, as I kind of knew that it would. So when I see that blood sugar creaping up, I react to it, even when maybe I should just let it all stabilize on its own. I would rather have lows than highs, because well, we are aiming for a LOWER A1c, right?? (of course yesterday I didn't have my CGMS connected because my 6 days was up and well, I was delaying having to inject that ginormous needle into my stomach). If you give me numbers and goals, I just go crazy with them and try to make sure it happens, especially now that I can pretty much keep track of where my blood sugar is all day long.

I just became overwhelmed after we got back from the gym because it seems like I try so hard to do the right thing and it just doesn't work out. I know the low didn't help my attitude, but it was my first real "diabetes just plain sucks" funk. Goodness, it really really does. To have to monitor and track everything you eat all day long, as well as every bit of activity you do, as well as stress, the weather and the changes of the moon just for plain survival can become a pretty daunting task, if I do say so myself! It is overwhelming and not so fun. But you all know that one...

Also, as I told you earlier, I got my CareLink USB to download my info...well, I don't think the software works with Vista. Talk about disappointing!!! I tried to download it like 6 times AFTER I knew it wouldnt' work, haha! I thought it might eventually just feel sorry for me and decide it would work just for me. So far that hasn't worked, though...

Today I am back on the CGMS, and my blood sugar has gone from 52 this morning, to almost 300 and hopefully it is on its way back down now...however slowly as it may be traveling... I'll just have to make sure that I eat more before working out so I don't have to eat so much AFTER!

It is a work in progress, but isn't it always...