Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Type 1 Diabetes’ Category

First of all, my apologies for not posting for so long! I have had an overwhelmingly busy couple weeks!

My mom called me Friday evening, the 20th of February, and told me that she and my dad had just finished booking an all-inclusive resort in Cancun. My hubby and I went to a resort in Cancun last year and came back telling them how wonderful it was and how they HAD to go! So they did it. My mom asked if we wanted to go with them….which of course we did, but it just wasn’t in the budget. She said she knew that, and thats why they would pay half! They were already getting a screamin deal, so our half for 7 nights in an all inclusive resort in Cancun, with airfare, would be $1000! What an amazing deal. We couldn’t turn it down! So, thanks to my wonderful parents, we are leaving on March 23rd for Cancun! We’re just going to stay in our resort, eat, drink, and lay on the beach or swim in the pool! I am really looking forward to it. This is the first year that we haven’t planned a vacation at all, but things worked out.

I guess that just goes to show that I need to trust things can and do work out. I have been unbelievably discouraged lately because my husband and I have been trying to concieve our first for a year now, with no luck. I don’t know if there is anything more frustrating. I have been living the healthiest lifestyle, and DH has been doing his best as well. But I understand his frustration when he goes 2 – 3 weeks without a drink, and it doesn’t seem to be making a difference anyway. He likes to have a glass of wine or 2 in the evenings, or a bottle or two on the weekends. Honestly, so do I! But we’ve flipped our world upside down trying for this, and still nothing. Meanwhile, I feel like all my friends, even those who weren’t planning or trying for a baby, are getting pregnant. The reason this month is especially discouraging, is because after this cycle, if I’m not pregnant again, I have to start the uncomfortable and expensive medical testing to see if there is something wrong with me.

Don’t I have enough problems? Why is this being added to the mix? I don’t know, but it sure is discouraging.

Enough of that! That has nothing to do with diabetes! I have been working with the bolus wizard for the past 3 weeks. I am still making little tweeks, but over all it’s going well and I like it. I had an appointment to review my progress with my doctor yesterday afternoon. I like my doctor, and type 1 diabetic doctors are hard to find in my area. However, sometimes she seems more stumped by my numbers than I am. She usually has some great advice and great things for me to try, but yesterday she just seemed bothered by the fact that my basal went from 1u, 1u, 1.3u, 1.2u, to .1u, and back to 1.4u. I explained to her that I have lots of lows in the morning and I tend to be high after lunch….but it just bothered her. Maybe it should, but it’s working and I just figured it out and I don’t want to have those terrible morning lows anymore! She wants me to even it out. Also, she is as stumped as I am that my sugars have so many inconsistencies. One day it’s doing one thing, and the next day it’s doing something else. This was the whole reason I originally asked for the CBGM. Since she couldn’t get my insurance to approve it, she wanted to work with me to try and fix my problems manually. Which I am all for, but it is frustrating to me when my doctor seems so confused.

So, now she wants to see me again in 2 weeks, and she wants to have her type 1 diabetic pumping doctor friend come meet with me as well, and hopefully be able to clear some things up.

I am having LESS lows which is great, but I am still having lows and I am so tired of it. I’ve decided to set a weekend “pattern” (I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before) since I ALWAYS have a horrible low if I sleep in…and I sleep in every weekend! I tried that for one weekend day last weekend, because I thought of it Saturday morning after my terrible low. Sunday my blood sugar was just fine and I slept in until almost 11! I changed it so in the early am I am basically taking no basal. It seems to be working.

I don’t understand why it goes so low on the weekends when I am sleeping. Even on the week days I usually don’t have breakfast, and my sugar doesn’t drop low. Of course, this stumped my doctor to. But we have to do what works.

So, thats where I am right now. I am hoping for no lows this weekend, and no highs either! Have a great weekend everyone.

Read Full Post »

Oh and by the way, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY to everyone!! I hope you all had a great one. My husband planned a weekend getaway for us! We had a great time. It was very relaxing. We left the puppy with a friend and it was a much needed getaway! A beautiful hotel, amazing meal, and a trip to the zoo! I love the zoo. 🙂

And I stayed away from MOST of the treats. Thank goodness my husband doesn’t get me chocolates for Valentine’s Day, because I LOVE chocolates and don’t need them! We ate subway for lunch, and had salmon with crab, veggies, and rice for dinner, and Greek food for lunch the next day. It was all pretty healthy! Valentine’s Day can be hard on diabetics! Even the sugar free candy still has almost as many carbs in it as the normal stuff.

Read Full Post »

At my last doctors visit, my doctor told me that there is no way she will be able to get my Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance to approve a CBGM. They say there are no studies showing that it’s helped anyone avoid lows or highs, and until there are, they won’t approve it. It’s ” investigational” for now. Bad news.

So she said she wants to work extra hard with me on avoiding my lows/highs. Right now she is more concerned with my lows, and so am I. I am tired of them! Plus, I’m starting to worry that my body is losing it’s awareness that I am having them, because I have so many. Not good.

So, we went over my last week or so of sugars. Unfortunately I still don’t have the software to just plug my meter in to my computer and have it plug the numbers in, so I had to manually enter the number into a spreadsheet which was very time consuming. I really need to get that software! I’ve just been drowning in medical bills and have a hard time even coming up with the extra $50 for it. I know it will help so much with finding trends and I’m sure I would be able to achieve better control over my sugars if I got it. I really need to get it.

Anyway, after looking over my sugars, she asked if I’m using the bolus wizard. I said no. When I got diabetes, I started with shots so I learned how to count my carbs and figure out how much insulin I needed. I didn’t want to forget how to do that by having a machine do it for me, so I never set it up when I got the pump. That was back when I ALWAYS had a 1 unit to 10 carbs ratio so it wasn’t hard to figure anyway. NOW, my morning is different from my afternoon, and my afternoon and morning are different from my evening!

So we put in all the settings to get the bolus wizard ready to go. I’ve only been using it for a week, but so far I think I like it. I still haven’t perfected it…I still have highs after lunch, and lows after dinner. But I am tweeking it and every day I’m excited to see what my sugar will read 2 hours after a meal. Did I fix the problem with yesterday’s tweeks? I’m getting closer!

So, I would recommend using the bolus wizard if you’re not. At least give it a try. You can always go back! This just takes the human error factor out of it. And I’ve noticed that I’m taking almost 10 units less a days since I’ve started using it. I always like taking less insulin!

Read Full Post »

This article is very interesting about using a special tattoo ink that will change color based on what your blood glucose reading is. I’m not for having a huge tattoo, but they say just a small one would work and the ink wouldn’t have to go as deep into the skin as a regular tattoo’s ink.

I like the idea of not having to constantly poke myself to check my blood sugar, plus have a tattoo that changes color is pretty cool to! Check it out:

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/02/12/diabetes-tattoo.html

Read Full Post »

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 »

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 »

Older Posts »