Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Storming the bridge

I just sent my annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes email to my friends and family, asking them to support Team Hoffmanderson with sneakers or donations. But there's a big, fat hole in that list - all the people I interact with online on a daily basis. I have connections here, on Facebook, and on Twitter that are just as important to me as those that exist in "real" life. What would I do without those people? Without the DOC?

So I'm putting a (very slightly) modified version of that email below because you should be included, too. Join us, won't you?

*     *     *

Hello all,

In a little more than a month, Team Hoffmanderson will once more take to the Brooklyn Bridge for the JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes. This will be my eleventh trek to raise money for the Walk, and I've done it year after year because it's important.

It's important because little girls worry if they'll still be pretty while wearing glasses and an insulin pump*: http://bit.ly/QPZlJ2 (check out 2:19!)

It's important because some moms have to wonder if they can still bake cookies with their kids: http://bit.ly/POYlGL

It's important because people still get a lot of their information about my disease from movies - http://bit.ly/Pq6wxg - but it's often incorrect.** That it IS incorrect is due to advances in research and treatment that make these sorts of things possible for people like me: http://bit.ly/NvCNmz

AND, holy hell, it's important because people STILL have a hard time pronouncing diabetes correctly***: http://bit.ly/RWfBPV

We're raising money for the JDRF to help diabetics like me and the others in the video above, to help kids like L who want healthy parents to watch them grow up, and to help all the thousands of people who've yet to be diagnosed. Like I said, it's important. So Team Hoffmanderson needs your support.

  1. A donation can be made here: http://bit.ly/Out7H8 Any amount will put us closer to our goal! PLEASE check to see if your company matches donations. I know my employer does, and that's doubling your generosity with very little effort! (See below for details.)
  2. Support us with your feet - join our team and walk with us on September 30th! Register here: http://bit.ly/Out7H8 
  3. If you already got this plea from B, apologies - I just wanted to personally invite you to do the Walk with us! 
  4. If you've already donated or registered, THANK YOU. Still, please click the links above. You should be reminded that you're a part of something vital. 
Thanks as always for your time and your generosity. (And really, if you do nothing else, click that first link - it'll give you hope for humanity.)

xoxo Karen and Team Hoffmanderson

TO MATCH YOUR GIFT: Please note that your donation should be credited toward me or Team Hoffmanderson and send your forms to:
JDRF - NYC Chapter
Attn: Walk Department
432 Park Avenue South, 15th floor
New York, NY 10016

* Spoiler alert: they are.
** Also because of bad acting.
*** Tip: It is NOT diabeetus.

Biohazard flower FTW!

Well, "walking" - she was in a stroller.

Team Hoffmanderson 2011

I'll show you my pump if you show me yours

I got an email from the JDRF last week. I merely glanced at it, as I'd thought it was for Team Hoffmanderson's Walk efforts and I've got aaaaages before that becomes a READ THIS IMMEDIATELY sort of thing. Two days passed, and then I noticed the word "meet-up." Hold on a second. A JDRF meet-up? Probably for moms of kids with T1, since that's what I see most often from the JDRF....but no. It's an adult meet-up. Here! In  New York!

SO. Do you have Type 1 diabetes? Do you happen to live in the tri-state area/near New York City? Then join me for this get-together! I believe we'll have appearances from Karen at Bitter-Sweet and Scott at Rolling in the D, too, and I wouldn't be surprised if other folks from the DOC show up as well.

It'll be a par-tay!

Friday, August 24, 2012

You are goin' DOWN - all of you!

When I'm "in the saddle" and working hard on keeping the D in check, one of the ways I try to keep focused is by keeping a written list of my meter averages and total daily dose of insulin posted on the wall of my cubicle at work.

The former is pretty self-explanatory, but the latter? Well, I've found that the less insulin I'm bolusing the less carbs I'm consuming and the more stable (and in range!) my BGs are. This is where I am now, as I get ready to buckle down:

I'm not happy with where I am, and I know I can do better. For comparison:

I was really rockin' it in January.
These are reminders that diabetes is inconsistent, but that I do have power over it - I can affect outcomes and drive change. It's empowerment on a Post-it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Diabetic socks

Poor things. How would they ever do a finger stick?

This Book Will Save Your Life (#2)

"America has two kinds of politicians - one has sex, the other has war--which do you like"?

-This Book Will Save Your Life, A. M. Homes

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This Book Will Save Your Life

"People should pay more attention. Everyone wants attention, but no one wants to give attention."
-This Book Will Save Your Life, A. M. Homes

Monday, August 13, 2012

Low grade stress

means a Dex graph that is consistently higher than I want it, no matter how much insulin I bolus.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dreamed: boys and leg art

A boy was drawing on my leg with a pen - a giant design all the way up and down and around my leg. It was a stunningly gorgeous drawing, and I loved it. I loved it so much I was then dream-transported to a tattoo parlor, where I asked them to please make the drawing part of me forever.

* Side note: what the hell is going on with my dreams?! 

I get emails like this now.

Oh, how life has changed. I used to have my big celeb sightings while wandering the streets of NYC...and now it's on Sesame Street.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm gonna go out on a limb...

and say maybe this had something to do with yesterday's D-difficulties.

OneTouch paranoia, part 1 jillion

No, really! You don't need to switch your meter!! Stay with OneTouch! Or, uh, if your warranty's up, maybe you'll consider switching to Animas?

Dreamed: bedskirts and Marshall

This morning, I woke from a dream in which I was desperately trying to explain to Marshall (of How I Met Your Mother fame) why he should replace his ruffled bedskirt with a nice flat pleated one.

He had the girliest bedroom!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Epic D frustration

Nothing is behaving as it should. Salad Dex graphs look like I gorged on French fries or pizza. I raise my basals and still end up hovering way higher than I should, and these damned numbers are completely unbudging. I know I've stopped nursing, and I was expecting some hormonal and diabetes changes because of it. But this? This is unfathomable.

This evening, I pre-bolused 7.6u for dinner (popcorn!) at 7:03 pm - a dose that included a correction for my blood sugar, which was 158 at the time. I had not eaten anything except for roasted almonds for lunch, and some string cheese sticks during the afternoon while I played with L. I was waiting for my 40 minutes (20 pre-bolus, plus an extra 20 to see if I could drop my BG to a sweet spot before eating) when I got a phone call. It went on for nearly an hour and a half. Understandably, I was worried - I'd pre-bolused and wasn't eating! I was going to crash! But I figured I could nosh an apple and just change my food plans if I needed to.

Well. I got off the phone call and checked to see where I was. I expected a 60 to peek out at me...and I got a 119. Dex was flatlined at 126. An hour and 40 minutes had passed. My pump said I had less than 3 units active. Where the hell did those other 4.5 units go?!

I've never experienced anything like this before. Even pregnancy progressed in a more predictable pattern.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

RoadID'd: Now, a little safer

I had a medical ID bracelet. I loved it. And then I got De Quervain's. My orthopedist gave me a cortisone shot for it in January (result: no weird BGs that day, but my skin is permanently messed up over that portion of my tendon) and had to wear a wrist brace 24/7. I took off the ID so I could wear the brace...and then we moved apartments. The ID, of course, vanished without a trace.

So I've been ID-less since January. Walking around the streets of New York - often with my infant daughter, no less - without any ID explaining I have Type 1 diabetes, or that I pump, or that I take insulin, or anything. I've been feeling guilty about it. I KNOW I'm being irresponsible. I KNOW better than to be anywhere without ID. And then this popped up in my Google reader: Lorraine's well-timed post on RoadID. I was inspired, both by how cool the thing looks AND by the cost - my last bracelet set me back more than $80. I loved it and wore it daily for years, but $80 is $80.

It arrived!!

Fun shipping packaging!

It came with a fancy case!

I took it from far away so you can't see my info, but it looks badass, right?

I love it. I'm so very glad I bought it. I even got a blue band I can wear for Blue Fridays! If you need one too, I wholeheartedly recommend it. And if you go to to RoadID's site to buy your very own, this coupon code - ThanksKaren17668345 - is worth a dollar off your purchase price (it can be used 20 times for the next 30 days).

Sixteen bucks is a bargain for peace of mind.

This is not what a salad graph looks like

This is a french fry or pasta graph. Looks like I need to do some tweaks on my pump settings. Sigh.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Adventures in peeing

I freely admit that I'm not one of those people who diligently checks for ketones. Frankly, I've never had a problem with them when I didn't have a wicked high blood sugar and I've never been made horribly ill by them, so my treatment is basically bolusing corrections, chugging water, and monitoring my BG through CGM and fingersticks.

However, I've recently been working harder to keep a vial of Ketostix on hand just in case - I've had a few problems with vertigo/extreme dizziness after a night of high blood sugars, and I wanted to see if that's ketone-related. 

Last night, L woke up around 4am for a bottle. I'd had a particularly irritating glucoastery dinnertime - a miscalculation for a carby dinner that resulted in a giant crashing low followed by a huge leap right before bed as my bolus was wearing off and the fatty highs were kicking in. Waking up to a "HIGH" reading on my Dexcom meant I didn't get off that glucoaster, and my finger stick clocked me in at an awful 373. 

The giant blank spots? A new sensor at the beginning and, sadly, I-left-Dex-home-today blank at the end.

I felt atrocious (albeit not dizzy) and figured I'd do a Ketostix before going back to bed to get a baseline reading - verdict: no ketones. When I woke up for the day a few hours later, I was at 244. Still high. So I did another Ketostix. And folks, even though I don't check for ketones regularly, I have been diabetic for more than 18 years. I am well trained to be nervous about peeing on sticks. I know enough to root for zero color changes. But when I did the test this morning, I had a bit of a heart attack. I still wasn't throwing any ketones, but holy hell was I passing sugar. My color change went allllll the way to the right:

I won a nice poop-brown reading from the top chart

The problem with this is I honestly have no earthly idea what that means. (And when was that even added to the sticks?! I've only ever seen the ketone test.) According to their little chart, I was spilling 4 zillion metric tons of sugar into my urine. No ketones, though. So...what? I mean, I was bolusing to bring my blood sugar down. I was drinking tons of water to flush my kidneys and the rest of my body. Does spilling sugar require a different tactic? Is it only a problem if I'm spilling ketones?

I tried googling how to use Ketostix and just got a bunch of results for people doing Atkins and Paleo diets. (How incredibly weird is it to think about people intentionally aiming for something I'm trying my damndest to avoid?) I found very little info about it, but did love this little gem:

It's embarrassing to buy Ketostix?!

I can't seem to find them listed on Bayer's U.S. site, and I no longer have the box. I'm sure this will be a non-issue tonight, as I've gotten my blood sugar down around 120 and am drinking water like it's going out of style. But man. Finding this info shouldn't be so complicated!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fear: A confession

Deciding to get pregnant was one of the hardest things I've ever had done. Big Nan had utterly convinced me that a healthy pregnancy was an impossibility, that I would be irresponsible and cruel to try to bring a child into this world through my toxic wasteland of a body. Clearly, Big Nan was big-time wrong about that.

I still worried, though, throughout the entire pregnancy. (Actually, I was kind of a mess.) It's hard to trust your body when it's already failed you once, y'know? So I worried and worked at BGs and visited doctors and did everything in my power to ensure my daughter would be healthy when she was born. And she was healthy. Happy ending, right? Yes and no. Yes, because - other than being a little skinny - she's the absolute picture of baby health. No, because I am forever worried about what sort of genetic hand she was dealt.

Last Sunday - after she'd had a week or two of fussiness, sobbing instead of napping, guzzling nearly double her usual amount of milk, waking twice a night to inhale a bottle, and utterly soaking her diapers - this worry reached a crippling extreme. I could not stop thinking about all the signs and what they could portend. I could not stop feeling sick to my stomach, certain that something awful was going on but not quite brave enough to face it.

I knew, though, that I'd never forgive myself for going through with a party when L should be taken to an emergency room. So I took a deep breath and made the worry tangible by saying it out loud: I asked B if he thought I was crazy to want to test L's blood sugar.

B was, as always, himself - calm and rational and supportive. He did not think I was crazy. He, too, agreed she wasn't behaving like she usually does. More to the point, he knew I was not going to be able to think of anything else until I saw proof that I was wrong. And so we decided to test. I took my Delica and lanced her teeny tiny heel, feeling like a monster all the while - my girl didn't so much as bat an eyelash. I put blood to strip and held my breath while it counted down to a 112. 112. I was crushed by the relief I felt - completely overwhelmed - and promptly burst into tears.

I don't want to be the T1 mom who can't let her kid be a kid, who's overprotective and always thinking the worst. But it happened to me, and it's happened to so many people I know in the DOC. Why not L?

I'm working on being positive, on reminding myself that I have no control over this and that all I can do is be vigilant without being crazy. And, honestly, deep down I know that diabetes is not the end of the world. I have an amazing life, and I've lived with this disease for 18 years. I know countless tremendous people who also have diabetes and are happy and live well with it. I wouldn't wish this disease on anyone, but I do know that - even if my worst fears were realized - L would be just fine.