Thursday, June 27, 2019

This Week My Diabetes Has Been Batshit Crazy.

My diabetes this week.
Image courtesy of Design By Humans.


This Week My Diabetes Has Been Batshit Crazy - and I'm owning it. 

Cut to Monday morning (which was my scheduled site change day,) when I woke up at 5:17 AM, with a fuzzy mouth and blood sugar of 336. I believe the words “FUCK ME,” were uttered multiple times. 
Omnipod site had gone bad in the middle of the night and I slept through Dexcom’s high blood sugar alarm. 

I’d had 24 units left in my pod before I went to bed on Sunday night, with15 hours left before it was empty. Shit happens and I know that. Yet I'm mad at myself for the site crapping out and not changing it out the night before. But all signs pointed to me not having to. Shit happens. Accept and move on. 

Speaking of.. I felt like shit. Downed a huge glass of water, calculated and administered a correction injection, and changed out my site.

5:20 AM 
New pod’s occlusion alarm goes off and I have to change it out. 
Once again I utter “FUCK ME,” followed by “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!” 
Now I’m BOTH pissed and annoyed.

5:26 AM 
Second new pod site of the day goes in. I set my alarm an go back to sleep

7:30 AM
I wake up and my bg is 289. I think to myself that it should be lower, give myself a correction bolus and sent a 3 hour increased temp basal rate of 45%.

9:20 AM  
Bg is 240. I AM NOT AMUSED. A correction bolus of 1.05 units is given. 

10:45 AM
Bg is 266 and going in the wrong direction. I make the decision to deactivate the pod. 
3rd new pod put in.
Temp basal rate of 60% for 3 hours set. Bg slowly starts going down. 
Small ketones, massive amounts of water consumed. 

I'd scheduled take Monday afternoon off last week, so I answered emails plowed through, and hoped things would kilter out by 1:30 pm. 

1:30 PM 
Meet a friend for lunch. Bg is 210 and I’m like: Hey OK, things are getting back to normal. Except they weren’t. 
I have mahi-mahi fish tacos or lunch. They are delicious and I bolus generously.

3:13 PM  
Blood sugar is 260 and my head hurts. Correction bolus 0.80 given. 
Temp Basal increased by 45% and for three hours, and I down more water. 
My friend asks if I want to get a pedicure. I do, I really do.  
But I decline. I don’t feel good. 

5:09 PM  
Bg is 323. Temp basal rate is increased and set to 60%. 
Correction bolus of 2.25 given.
I drink 20 ounces of water, set the alarm on my phone and take a nap because I am exhausted

6:51 PM 
Bg is 281, with a correction bolus of 0.45 units. No way I’m eating dinner. 
Trace amount of ketones detected, more water consumed. 

8:22 PM  
Blood sugar of 215, with a 0.30 correction bolus. I still feel crappy and watch Brokenwood Mysteries on Acorn TV. Started watching over the weekend and it’s pretty good with a great musical soundtrack. If you haven't already, tune in.

I also check PeriodTracker and confirm that I am ovulating - which normally causes elevated numbers for a few days - but not even close to this current batshit craziness. 

9:13 PM 
Bg 198, 0.85 correction unit given. Drink club soda with a splash of juice and a few crackers because I have 3.3 units of insulin on board and the arrow on my Dex is pointing in a south east direction. 

Speaking of arrows, my graph looks like… well I don’t know what the hell it looks like, but doesn’t look good. 

12 AM Tuesday morning: Blood sugars have evened out and now in the 120s. 
The insulin tally for Tuesday - 71 units of insulin. I normally average somewhere between 39 and 47 units per 24 hour period. 
I turn off the temp basal rate, eat a few more crackers and officially have zero fucks left to give, and head to bed. 

7 AM Tuesday morning: Wake up with a glucose of 240. 
Whatever the hell is going on with my body -  be it hormones, fighting off a cold or allergies, or just because it’s freaking Tuesday - my body requires a higher temp basal rate and more insulin.
Numbers hover between 180 and 215 all day and my 24-hour old site (my leg,) starts to hurt after dinner. 
I don’t want to change it out - but in my heart I know it’s crossed over and become a zombie infusion site

10:42 PM Tuesday Night: Change out site and numbers immediately start to depart zombie land. I stay up late to make sure every thing is stable re: my numbers and watch the final episode of Brokenwood, season 5. Bummed it was the final episode and looking forward to season six. 

As of today (Thursday,) I’m still running a temp basal rate that’s increased by 15%. 
Not sweating it, though. My numbers are on the decent side of normal and I know for whatever reasons, my body needs the increased basal rates right now.

I know this to shall pass and I have too much adulting to do to pinpoint the why(s).  


Monday, June 24, 2019

Ascensia Diabetes Care Guest Reporter At #ADA2019 - Day One Coverage ~


Day One of ADA included Sessions on diabetes apps, diabetes tech, circadian rhythms & meal timing.
As mentioned previously, I was this year's Guest Reporter for Ascensia Diabetes Care , covering the American Diabetes Association's 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, June 6 through June 11th, 2019. 

My first post (in a series of three,) is up on Ascensia's website and it's all about my key takeaways from day one. Including: diabetes apps, diabetes tech, circadian rhythms & meal timing. You can read it (and I hope you do,) by clicking HERE. 

Disclosure: Ascensia Diabetes Care paid for my flight, lodging, and expenses, and provided me with a stipend for my time and talent. 
worked hard, learned much, and as always - all thoughts are mine and mine alone. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Kim H - I Will See You In Every Rainbow~


We lost a member of our Diabetes Online Community family last week. 
Kim Hislop was great people, a fantastic Diabetes Advocate, and woman who changed the way we talk about D complications. She was also super goofy, a Walking Dead freak, a Disney Head to the 11th degree, had a custom and much deserved Super Shero cape made  - and wasn't afraid to wear it. And Kim was a person looked for rainbows in every nook and corner of the universe. 

She also created the them. 

You can read about Kimberly's life, HERE. 
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Fancy Kim
“Kim would tell you that her life was a beautiful storm. She found a rainbow almost every day of her life. She was a loving wife, fur baby mom, daughter, sister, and devoted aunt to her three nephews and niece. Kim loved her life, her family, friends, and her animals. Her passion was to travel and share as many experiences as possible with her friends and family. She especially loved her trips to Disney World with her family and friends.”

Being part of the Diabetes Community (the DOC,) has given me friends/family around the globe as well as a global voice. I am blessed. 

I’ve been lucky to meet some of my tribe in real life - including Kim.
We were able to hang out in real life @ multiple Children with Diabetes, Friends For Life conferences & in Atlantic City @ the Diabetes UnConference.


Kim’s spirit was stronger than her body - she was a resilient trooper who took the cards she was dealt and celebrated life by traveling the world with her husband and friends, helping many along the way, and much of the time with a rainbow attitude to boot …and these past few years - with her portable kidney dialysis machine. 

The really tough thing about having a diabetes tribe is losing a member - be it happenstance in life.... or because of the very thing that brought you together - diabetes.

The last time I saw Kim was July 2018, at Friends For Life in Orlando, Florida. 
Emotionally she seemed really strong and wise - while cosplaying in a pineapple dress that was almost as sunny and bright as she was.
Kim told me that life was short, and that there are no guarantees - that she was going to the things that made her happy, and encouraged me to do the same.

Her words are playing over in my head a lot as of late.  

Many DOC members are making the trek to say goodbye to Kim - including her amazing D Girl Squad.  
I'm compartmentalizing a lot this week - especially when it comes to Kim.
Unfortunately I’m unable to attend Kim’s celebration of life ceremony this weekend - but I will celebrate her just the same - setting aside time this weekend to look for rainbows in all shapes in forms. 

Celebrating the beautiful storm that each of us possess from within - while remembering the beautiful storm that was and is Kim~ 

Kim in Super Hero Mode at Iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes booth at Friends For Life -
She encouraged and supported me a lot that weekend - I needed it and appreciate still today.

Kim and DOCers at the Diabetes UnConference in A.C.
The last picture I took of took of Kim, at FFL in 2018 - back from the parks with custom made ears!
 



Friday, June 7, 2019

I'm Attending #ADA2019 In San Francisco And Full Disclosure



Hi guys - Happy Friday!

I’m currently writing this blog post from the first day of the American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, CA! 

I’m excited to be attending the sessions; learning all I can, and reporting on my experiences in a series of articles on the Ascensia Diabetes Care website and just like I did last year.

When each new post is up and running on their website - I will let you know.

Full Disclosure: As I mentioned above, Ascensia Diabetes Care hired me as their Guest Reporter for ADA. 

Ascensia is covering all my expenses, (travel, lodging, meals,) and providing me with an honorarium for my time and my talent. 


As always - All thoughts are mine and mine alone. 

Follow the sessions in real time via twitter and by clicking on the #ADA2019 hashtag.
You can find me on Twitter @diabetesalish .

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Carry-on Bag: MacGyver Trapper Keeper Vs All My Diabetes Supplies

I don't know about you, but sometimes in life.... and life with diabetes, I need to remind myself that I am a lucky duck. 
Also: This happened in the a.m.
 I've been thinking about gratitude a lot as of late, so I decided to write about turning this morning's bitch frown upside down.
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New Mac sitting on old, big ass, shiny red Ma Book Pro, padded case.
Fuchsia ( I know it looks red, but it's definitely fuchsia,) knapsack, specs, car keys, water bottle. 
This morning I put my brand-new and super streamlined (not to mention super light,) MacBook in my old MacBook Pro’s red, shiny, padded laptop case. 
And I was like:  I'm effing brilliant - I'm talking MacGyver level smarts! 
There was so much damn room that I could fit my trusty/always on my person, 5X7 sketchbook as note book; current paperwork, and a spare pen on the other side of the sleeve divider with room to spare. Slap a rainbow and unicorn stickers on that sucker and it was like a grown up version of my Trapper-Keeper from grade school!!

I was impressed with myself and said out loud: I don’t need to get a new laptop case - I can fit my new Mac and more in my Trapper-Keeper! 
Then I placed said "MacGyver Trapper-Keeper" and its contents in my trusty fuchsia backpack and was all types of happy - until reality set it. 

I absolutely required a new streamlined laptop case/sleeve and the reason had everything to do with diabetes. 
I’m heading to San Francisco next week to attend ADA (more on that early next week,) and need to carry my MacBook, various charger(s), diabetes supplies (spare Omnipods; insulin, glucose strips, a spare sensor, glucose tabs, snacks, etc.,) on my person/in my carry-on bag, a.k.a, my knapsack  - and I need all the room I can get. 
I momentarily forgot that my shiny red padded MacBookPro case always makes for a tight fit re: D supplies when it's crammed for travel. MacGyvering it only adds to the cramped quarters.

MacGyver Trapper Keeper 20.19 was a no go. 

And for a few seconds (OK, more than a few - at least sixty seconds,) I was annoyed because I thought I could forgo buying a new case and save a few bucks.  
After all, I’d just spent a shit ton on a much needed new Mac - and  I am so incredibly grateful that all the stars aligned to make make it happen

My old Mac was a 2012, purchased in February of 2013, is officially slower than molasses, riddled with software issues, and weighs 4+ pounds. 
Also - and I'm only partly joking - I was  afraid it could blow up at any minute, software wise.

It was long past its expiration date, and now “my old friend” sits in a place of pride on my desk, as my official backup/home computer, no longer accompanying me on the road.  

With all new electronicals, there’s compatibility issues with old ones. Sound familiar diabetes peeps? 
Now that I have a new Mac, I require a new printer because my current printer wants nothing to do with my new Mac and refuses to recognize its existence in the universe

I now need a new printer/scanner. I get it, I am on it.  

Anyway, back to me being momentarily annoyed - I took a breath and was glad again, quick. 

Because I know how lucky I am to have a new Mac - I know that it will help me do my job today, next week - as well as future jobs, assignments, and personal projects - HELLO Light ROOM. 

I know I’m lucky to be attending ADA for work.

And damn straight I know how lucky I am to have spare insulin in my fridge and extra diabetes supplies in my hall closet. It's a luxury that many of us living with diabetes in the United States and beyond do not have.   


I have no right to complain because in the grand scheme of things - screw my MacGyver Trapper Keeper! 

$14/$19 new streamlined MacBook case is a small price to pay for peace of mind re: protecting my Mac while allowing me to have extra room for my diabetes supplies in my carry-on is a gift…. as is having insulin in my fridge... And I am a lucky duck, indeed~

Also: I use the words Mac, MacBook, and MacGyver a hell of a lot in this post. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Diabetes Scout Mode: Spontaneous Road Trip Edition ~

Living with diabetes makes me/us feel like a perpetual girl/boy/whatever scout  - we always have to get in scout mode and be prepared!
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I was away for a good portion of the holiday weekend - spending time with family - both the two legged and four-legged variety. 

It was a spontaneous road trip and I’m so glad I went for it! 

I laughed until my stomach hurt and I spent a lot of time outdoors - it was just what I needed to recharge my internal batteries. 

Packing for a last minute weekend trip meant bringing extra of everything… including diabetes supplies.

I need my diabetes shit and I need backup…. because you never know - and it’s my responsibility to be prepared - that’s part of being a PWD - and it’s part of being a grownup. 

That means packing extra pump supplies (including batteries); meter supplies, cgm supplies, four days worth of oral meds instead of two… and of course insulin + needles, because correction injections happen. 

It also means bringing my own beach cooler and ice packs, snacks (because it’s up to me to make sure I always have snacks on my person, not my host,) and a large bottle of Cran-Apple juice…. Because middle of the night lows.
Also: Sometimes I feel like having a vodka and club with lots of extra lime and a splash of juice!  

Of course being a grownup house gift means bringing a hostess a gift - an amazing and truly bolus worthy fruit tart, club soda and said big old bottle of Cran-Apple juice. 

I had everything I needed so I could enjoy my weekend…. And diabetes behaved most of the time. 

And when it didn’t - as in first thing Monday morning (which also happened to be site/pod change day,) when I was greeted with a pre-breakfast blood sugar of 320 - I didn't get upset and I didn't make a big deal out of it - I knew the high was due to the site needing to be changed. So I got my diabetes scout mode in gear and did what I had to do. 


I filled and put in a new Omnipod, did a big fat correction injection, and drank two big glasses of water before switching to my morning coffee. By the time I hopped in my car mid morning to battle holiday traffic - my bg was 170, post coffee! 

Diabetes didn't disrupt or take center stage this weekend - the people I love and were thankful for, did. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Stuff: Blogging, Exercising, May Is National Mental Health Month, CGMing, GoT

Yep, it's been a while since I've posted. 
My excuses: Things have been slightly crazy, I needed to regroup, one week of not blogging quickly turned into multiple and  accompanied by a wicked case of "what the hell do I write about/didn't I already write about that a million times already?! 
Because after blogging for almost 12 years about life with diabetes - sometimes I'm afraid "I've said and or written about that already." But you know what? Everyone who blogs about diabetes feels that way from time to time - and that's OK. 

After taking a short sabbatical - I'm back writing on the blog about my life and my life with diabetes! 

What's New? 
Lots: I've started exercising and thank God because I'm out of practice and I absolutely think better when I'm moving. 

Work has been active - lots of stuff going on and on the horizon  - I am both glad and thankful. 

It's May, which means it's National Mental Health Month. With that being said, I started seeing a therapist in March - because while I was going through the motions of my life, 
I was missing Olivia terribly at the end of the day and I was sad. 
I'm sharing because talking to someone is helping me deal with the trauma of losing my niece Olivia in January - and it's making me stronger in all areas of my life. 
If you're dealing with any form of stress, anxiety, or trauma - including diabetes burnout or grief - go talk to and with a professional.
Seriously - talk with someone - you are worth it! 

Is That  A CGM On Your Arm... Or Are You Just Happy To See Me? 
The answer is BOTH. 
I LOVE seeing you - you look great! And and yeah... I started wearing a CGM (Dexcom G6) in March because my Dr. and I need to make tweaks - I've committed to wearing it for at least 3 months. 
I was supposed to start in January, but Livy passed and I didn't feel like dealing with the learning curve while heading out west for her funeral. February I was bogged with assignments and starting on the Dex was pushed back into March.  

Initial Observations
Graphs have the potential to make you effing crazy!
I believe that people must be trained  on the anxiety that watching your graph can cause. Knowledge is great  - but so is realizing that when you/your loved one eat... or have a cold... are stressed... or just because it's Tuesday, your graph can and will go up. 


Also and I kid you not, we need to step away from the graph after a correction bolus. 
I knew all of the above before wearing a CGM  - and I was still looking at it way to much in the beginning!

CGM alarms are wicked loud.

Compression Low bgs are a thing - As in your CGM Low alarm goes off and reads 59, and you just ate lunch 40 minutes ago and you feel absolutely fine, do a fingerstick check. 
Because Compression Lows (unknowingly pushing against the sensor or sleeping/leaning on it can cause it to read low (at least according to my multiple friends and my CDE,) are real and they happen. Of course I learned about Compression Lows  after treating for said 59 low that really wasn't. HELLO 200! 

On the flip side - I barely felt a 53 low a few days ago that caused my alarm to go off.... at least until I did. It was real and I knew it! 

I'm more mindful of grazing since slapping on a CGM. That's a good thing. 

It's interesting to see how quickly certain foods impact your blood sugar via a graph.
It's equally as interesting and annoying to see how some foods seem to flat arrow for an hour or two and then spike towards the sky for a good three or four hours.
Ahhhh.... Good times..... good times. 

My graph was elevated the week before my period - I always knew this to be true - seeing it on a graph was trippy. 

Watching Game of Thrones absolutely impacts my blood sugars! 
Or at least I'm blaming GoT... and the Show Runners and Writers of GoT.
During last night's finale my bgs were running low. 
The previous weeks, not so much - especially when that ass of a Night King and his army hit Winterfell - I was topping 306 by the time that episode ended! 


Graph during the battle of Winterfell and dinner was not crazy high in carbs.
Also: Changed out my Omnipod site the next day (as in 1 day early,) b/c it was getting skunky.
So yeah, site starting to crap out might have had something to do with my elevated graph.
Whatever, I blame the Night King!

Graph during GoT finale.
I might have over bolused for my big tuna salad.
But the sucky writing certainly didn't help!
Also: Why'd you all demonize Dani and where the hell is my dragon!! 

Speaking of blood sugars - you ABSOLUTELY need to check your blood sugars via finger-sticks while wearing a CGM. 
Certainly not as much .... most of the time. 
My previous sensor required 8 calibration checks in one day before it started syncing - and that required massive amounts of self restraint because I wanted to rip out my sensor and start a new one... but I didn't and being things worked out.
My current sensor was within range on the first (and second) calibration. 
Depending on the day, how my numbers are running, physical activity, and how old my Omnipod site is - my amount of finger-sticks per day varies. 

Bottom line: My pancreas is stone cold busted - I need to make sure whatever robot diabetes part I'm wearing is reading correctly and that requires finger-stick checks~  

So that's all for now. HOW THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?