Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2009

Hello! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted!! A LOT has been going on! My husband and I got a new puppy this weekend! We’ve been talking about getting a dog for a few years but we just never felt the time was right. They are a LOT of work and require us to be home more than we usually are. We were going to wait until we had children since I’m planning to stay home with the kids and we thought that would be easier with the puppy/dog as well.

Well, hubby’s co-worker got a new puppy for his 15 year old son for Christmas. He got her a 6 week old AKC yellow lab. I LOVE kittens and puppies so of course I wanted to go meet her! They just picked her up 1/17/09 so she was still so tiny when we went to visit on 1/24/09.  She was such a good girl, and very smart. They had already taught her to sit, and to stay on the kitchen floor and off the carpet. She did well in her kennel already to! Hubby had been telling me all the things his co-worker had already gotten for her….a huge kennel that she could still use when she was full grown, a couple blankets, food, food dishes, treats, a brush, a collar, shampoo, urine neutralizer, bitter apple spray to put on things so she wouldn’t chew on them, toys, bones….the list when on and on. Not to mention how much SHE cost. AKC dogs are expensive! It confirmed in my mind that we couldn’t afford a dog right now! All those things were very expensive, not to mention the food we’d always have to buy, and the vet visits.

So, we went to visit the cutest little puppy in the world. My husband fell in love and the whole way home talked about dogs. There are a lot of positive sides….I’d love to have a dog for protection. Even if it’s not a guard dog, the bark will usually scare predator’s away. I’d also love to have a dog to go jogging with me, and get me to go at least for a walk every day. And to go spend time at the park with, playing fetch. A dog would be a great companion for going to the beach, camping, or to the lake! But, the expense and the work involved pushed the idea out of my mind.

The next morning hubby got a phone call from his co-worker. His son wasn’t taking care of the puppy and they had a talk with him about it. They said if he wasn’t going to commit to taking care of her, they were going to have to get rid of her. He said he just didn’t know all the responsibility involved and with sports, friends, and school he just didn’t have time to take care of her. SO they wanted to offer her to us before placing an ad in the paper. They’d give her to us WITH all the things they had bought for her, for $400. I knew that was a great deal but it was still a lot of money and still a lot of work.

Hubby and I talked about it for hours, and finally decided that we were ready for a dog. We called his co-worker back and accepted. We picked her up and brought her home, and she is pretty much the cutest thing ever. We named her Emma. We are already in love.

Emma at 7 weeks old

Emma at 7 weeks old

We are enjoying raising a puppy. It is a lot of work, just like everyone says. We figure it’s good practice for having kids!! We are getting up 2 – 3 times a night to let her out, and she keeps us busy from when we get home until we go to bed. Luckily she is very good in her kennel and she is great about waiting until we can let her out before using the bathroom. We are able to come home for our lunch break everyday which is great for letting her out. She is a blessing.

Having her has made me forget about everything else though! Yesterday I forgot to put my pump on after my shower because I ended up following her around right after. When I remembered I got it hooked up but got distracted by her again and forgot to un-suspend it! Sheesh! Get it together Michelle! It took me 2 hrs longer than normal to get dinner ready, and it wasn’t my normal balanced, nutritious meal….it was just a “get something on the table!” meal.

Somehow I am being blessed though, because my blood sugars have been really good. They have actually been pretty good for the past month! I still have a few slip-ups, but compared to the past 9 months, the last couple have showed a lot of improvement! Hopefully I can keep them in this range!

One question I do have for all your dog owners…..Emma LOVES to chew and she seems to seek out my pump tubing and try to chew it. It would be very unpleasant if she managed to succeed before I caught her. Any suggestions?

Read Full Post »

I don’t know about you guys, but I for one, got tired of all the questions people had to ask about my pump when they could see it.

When I first got my insulin pump, I wore it on my jeans waistline using the clip Minimed provided. So it stuck out like a pager or cell phone on a clip would, only bigger and with tubing coming out the top. If there is one thing I try to avoid, it’s sticking out.

I would get several questions everyday from people. Here’s what a normal conversation would go like:

“What is that?”

“It’s an insulin pump.”

“What does it do?”

“I’m a type 1 diabetic, which means I need insulin to survive. This pump gives me the insulin I need.”

“Oh. How does it do that?”

(the part I hated explaining)

“Well, I put in a small cannula that attaches to the put through the tubing and it gives me the insulin.”

“Can I see?” (kinda rude….personal space people)

“Sure.” (pull up shirt a little to reveal infusion site)

(Look of shock on questioners face….GASP) “That whole thing is in you? That must hurt!”

“No, the whole thing is not in me, just a thin flexible cannula. It’s thin a short like a needle, but flexible so it doesn’t hurt me.”

“Oh.” (with a look that says they don’t understand at all and think I’m a freak machine)

It’s just easier to avoid that conversation all together! So, right away I tried to find ways to hide it. The tubing doesn’t always make it completely hidden, and it is a good size rectangular chunk of plastic so to some extent it is visible, but my favorite hiding place is just my back jeans pocket. The tubing comes out the top and I stuff it down my under-ware, so some people may see a little clear tubing coming out of my back pocket, but no one has asked about it. And you can tell something is in my back pocket, but it could be anything….a cell phone, IPod, PDA….they don’t know.

I do go through jeans faster because they get worn out where the pump always is. Darn it! But it’s worth it.

Another good hiding spot is in my bra. As I am not well endowed, that one is a little tougher for me to pull off. I have to have the right shirt to hide the rectangular lump. But when I do have the right shirt, it works like a charm!

If I’m wearing a low cut dress I will just wear some tight under-ware and put it in the top of them, on the waist band part. That works great, although sometimes it slips down and that is uncomfortable! I’ve also had to fall out completely and all the sudden it’s swinging below my skirt between my legs. No one has caught that before me YET. Or if they have, they haven’t said anything. 🙂

Anyone have any other good hiding spots or similar issues? Anyone else tired of all the questions??

Read Full Post »

Thank God It’s Friday! This week has seemed to drag on and on. At the same time, the days all went by quickly, just the WEEK dragged! Either way, I am welcoming the weekend!

My husband is my greatest support! I love him and respect him so much. I value his opinion and he helps me so much with my diabetes management! Last night however, at 11:30 pm, I wasn’t feeling so grateful for his advice.

We rarely bump heads when it comes to my diabetes. We usually try and figure out the problem, be it lows or highs, and come up with a solution to try and fix it. After I had my diabetic coma from a low, and then 2 more almost coma’s, he has gotten much more strict about me not having lows – ever. Of course I understand where he’s coming from. It’s scary to see your loved one out of consciousness, or almost out of consciousness and knowing that if you hadn’t woken up they could have died from it.

In my 7 years as a type 1 diabetic, I have seen LOTS of lows. Ranging from 69 – 28. When I used to have a low, my husband would just go get me some juice or something to bring it up. NOW, I get a lecture for every low. Especially if I have one before bed.

So, last night I tested at 10:30 and my blood sugar was 45. Eeek. Not only was it really low, but I had taken a bolus at 9pm, so it still had a half hour to act. I suspended my pump, and reported to DH. He was not happy. He went and got me something to bring it up and we laid in bed and waited. And argued. He wanted me to to keep it higher, like around 150 instead of around 80. He’s already told me that and I have made an effort to keep it more around 120. At the same time I wanted to point out that keeping it to high wasn’t good either. I don’t want to keep it at 150 or more. At this point he was ready for me to keep it at 200! Anything to keep me from having a low, especially during the night.

200! What?!!? I couldn’t even believe he said that. Maybe I was being a little irrational since my sugar was so low, I don’t know, but I argued that point into the ground. 200 was just not ok. I told him maybe he should meet with my doctor.

Not that I should keep it low either. I know that! He kept reminding me that he was more concerned that I could die from a low in one night, and it would take several years for me to die from having 200’s.

It was now 11 and I was really irritated. How could he not care when I have a 200? I HATE when my blood sugar reads 200 or higher. We re-tested my sugar to see where the food had gotten it. No where. It read at 45. Crap. Now he was even madder. At least the last basal I’d had was now out of my system.

That was the wrong thing to bring up. I got some bread to eat to bring up my sugar, while hubby told me that I need to not eat anything past 8pm anymore so my insulin is done by 10 and we can test it and if it’s low, bring it up by 10:30 – 11 at the latest so we can get to bed on time.

Well that just didn’t seem fair to me. We often have snacks or hot cocoa at 9 or 9:30 while we’re watching tv. Now I can’t be a part of that? What he was requesting does make sense. It would be the safest way to handle my diabetes and lows, but it just didn’t sound good at the time. I want to have the freedom to eat whenever I want! Realistically I can’t do that, but wouldn’t it be nice?

At 11:30 I was tired, irriated, and just wanted to go to bed. I re-tested my sugar hoping that it was up, and the reading showed 69. Thank goodness!

My 3am test was 180. DH asked what it was and when I told him he didn’t say anything. It irritated me. I took .4 units to bring it down….but not to much.

At 7am I asked hubby what he thought of my 180 reading and he said it was fine with him. He was happy with it. It helped him sleep. If only he knew how frustrating it is for me when my reading is anything over 150.

Again, let me point out that he is a lifesaver and so helpful in helping me figure out whats going on with my blood sugar! Minus this one area….where I don’t feel like we are working together.

Anyone else have similar frustrations??

Read Full Post »

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, all my doctors suggested that I get an insulin pump. At the time, the whole thing was new to me and just the thought of shots scared me! The thought of attaching something to me scared me much more. Especially since I had no idea how it was attached. I am not a fan of pain at all. So I told the doctors I was not interested in the pump then.

I took insulin shots for about 3 years before deciding to research the insulin pump more. I was tired of the up and down blood sugar patterns I was having, and I’d heard that the pump provided a much more even range.

I looked insulin pumps up online and found lots of information about how wonderful they are. I tried to find pictures of how you attached them to you, and I couldn’t find anything! I wanted to see pictures of how the process worked before I committed to it. How big was the needle? How did you get it in you? Did they just leave a needle in for the 2 – 3 days it was in before you changed it?

Since I couldn’t find any photos, I took it upon myself to take pictures of myself going through the process. Maybe it will help some other scared type 1’s thinking about getting the pump and wanting to see some photos! I hope so!

The first step is to gather the supplies you need. I use the minimed paradigm 722 insulin pump and they have the option of a quick-serter. It is a spring loaded gadget that you put the needle part of the infusion set into, and then just press it against your skin and push the tabs on the side and it quickly plunges the needle in. It rarely hurts. Most of the time I can’t even feel it.  I know they have other options for putting the infusion set in, but this is the one I chose.

Here is a photo of the quick-serter, humalog, new reservoir, new infusion set, and iv prep.

Quick-serter, humalog, iv prep, reservoir, infusion set

Quick-serter, humalog, iv prep, reservoir, infusion set

Once I have everything, I load the new reservoir with humalog insulin. To do this I take it out of the plastic packaging, pull the plunger to the end of the tube, and then put the humalog vile on the blue connecter. I then push the air from the plunger into the humalog, and draw the insulin into the reservoir. Just like filling a syringe, only a big one.

Filling reservoir with humalog insulin

Filling reservoir with humalog insulin

Just filled reservoir
Just filled reservoir

Once the reservoir is filled, I can remove the plunger. The plunger is just screwed in, so I just unscrew it.

Just filled reservoir, plunger detached
Just filled reservoir, plunger detached

Next I open the infusion set.

New infusion set, just opened

New infusion set, just opened

Take it out of the plastic, and take the paper off the cording. I am now ready to attach the infusion set to my newly filled reservoir. You’ll see on one end of the cording there is the needle surrounded by adhesive, and on the other end there is a round knob looking thing with a small needle inside. To attach the infusion set to the reservoir you take the knob end, put it onto the top of the reservoir, and turn it until it clicks. Once it clicks it is locked on.

New reservoir filled and attached to infusion set, ready to put in pump

New reservoir filled and attached to infusion set, ready to put in pump

Now that the new infusion set it ready, you can rewind your insulin pump. Before you rewind it you will want to disconnect the old infusion set from your body.

Pump notification that it's ready to rewind

Pump notification that it's ready to rewind

Pump notification that it's rewinding

Pump notification that it's rewinding

Once it’s done rewinding, it will notify you and you can take the old reservoir out. This is done by just unscrewing the reservoir from the pump.

Old/Empty infusion set and reservoir taken out of pump

Old/Empty infusion set and reservoir taken out of pump

Now you are ready to put the new infusion set into the pump. You just need to screw the new reservoir into the reservoir opening on your pump. Once it’s in you need to prime it by pushing a few command buttons on your pump. It will have prompts to guide you through. Priming means you fill the cord with insulin. You are done priming when you see insulin coming out the needle end of the infusion set. Once it’s primed, you can set the needle end of the infusion set into the quick-serter. Pull the needle cover off the needle, and the adhesive covers off the adhesive. Pull the end of the quick-serter back to spring load it. It is now ready to put on.

new infusion set prepped in quick-serter, ready to put on

new infusion set prepped in quick-serter, ready to put on

Now you need to cover the area you are planning to put it with IV Prep. This disinfects the area and it is a little sticky, helping the adhesive stick better. Plus, I think it numbs the skin a little, but that’s just a personal opinion! You just wipe the iv prep on with the cloth it comes on, and wait for it to dry. You can feel your skin and when it’s dry your skin will feel dry but a little sticky.

What IV prep looks like once dried on skin

What IV prep looks like once dried on skin

Now take the quick-serter and press it to your skin where you want the new infusion set to go in.

Quick-serter loaded and ready to insert new set with the push of a button

Quick-serter loaded and ready to insert new set with the push of a button

Squeeze the buttons on the quick-serter and the spring loaded section will release and very quickly plunge the new infusion set into your skin. Remove the quick-serter. At this point the needle will still be in you.

Infusion set right after inserting, before removing needle

Infusion set right after inserting, before removing needle

Pull the blue cover off (which has the needle in it) and wallah, your new infusion set is in! The needle is surrounded by a very thin, very short, flexible cannula that is left under your skin which is how the insulin gets into your system.

Infusion Set

Infusion Set

Your pump will guide you through your “fixed prime” which is just giving you a little insulin to fill the cannula that is in you. Once you’ve done that, the pump will say it’s ready to work! You’re done!

Here is a picture of the needle you took out.

Infusion set needle, once removed

Infusion set needle, once removed

Of course you still need to pull the adhesive and old infusion set out. I always worried that this would hurt, but it never has.

Here is what the old one looks like. It shows the cannula that is what is actually under your skin. It’s so tiny! Especially compared to how it looks on the outside.

Old infusion set, removed

Old infusion set, removed

Thats all there is to it! The whole process only takes about 5 minutes. In writing it looks pretty long, but it really isn’t.

Any questions? Let me know!

Read Full Post »