Friday, April 27, 2012

Sick of it

I hate diabetes the most when I'm sick.  Not only do I feel rotten because I'm achy and stuffed up, but my blood sugars run so high.  After seeminly endless fiddling with my basal and bolus and a couple stable readings, I start experiencing the lows that indicate the virus has run it's course and I'm back to my normal ratio.  Grrr diabetes!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bit by bit

I relish mornings like this one.  Mornings when it's time to switch out both my pump and my sensor.  Pump every 3 days, sensor every 7.  So about once a month, there's a morning where I have no electronic bits anywhere on my body for thirty minutes or so.  I love lathering up and drying off without needing to navigate around these devices.  Even better is stepping on to the bathmat and looking in the mirror and seeing just skin.

Then I insert my sensor, fill, prime, and adhere my pump, and head out the door.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Free(dom) Weights

A lot has changed since July 2011.  Scrutinizing food labels for sources of added sugar.  Racing my liver in the early morning to see which one of us can get glucose into my bloodstream the quickest.  RL had told me that my early morning highs when I delayed breakfast were the result of my liver detecting minimal blood glucose and dumping its reserves into my bloodstream.  Praying, deep breathing, doing anything to maintain a state of relaxation and keep my body's fight or flight response - and the associated glucose release - at bay.

But what I miss most about my life before Type 1 diabetes is the freedom to run, lift weights, stretch, crunch, and twist whenever I'd like to.  To push myself for however long I can withstand it.

A friend and I had planned a phone date a couple nights ago.  The appointed time came and went, and I hadn't been able to get ahold of her.  I pondered all that could happen between feeding two young boys and tucking them in to sleep - quite a lot - and reconsidered how I'd spend my evening.

My first thought was how good it would feel to get a solid workout in before bed.  My second thought was how I'd just eaten a hearty dinner and given myself insulin to cover the whole thing.  I couldn't work out without risking a low, unless I had a pretty substantial snack.  And after my hearty dinner, even a small snack wasn't going to fly.

During my last appointment, Dr. G suggested strategies to fuel my workouts.  Reducing my basal.  Which I'd already tried.  I had turned off basal delivery entirely during workouts, with little effect.  I had reduced mealtime bolus by one unit, two units, anything various sources advised would do the trick.  The only thing that seemed to work for me was to skip my mealtime bolus.  My sugar tends to drop by more than 100 points during workouts, and skipping my bolus has been the only way I've been able to maintain my stamina.  Yet, I fear the effects of letting my sugar run 100+ points higher than it should be just so there's room for it to drop.

Dr. G suggested bringing gels or other quick forms of energy with me to fuel workouts rather than skip my mealtime bolus, something I still need to try.

I'd really love feedback on what has worked for you all.  How do you fuel your workouts without running too high or risking a low?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I underwent a procedure a couple weeks ago for periodontal disease.  Dr. P assured me there was nothing I could have done differently to prevent myself from developing it, that having had undiagnosed diabetes was the likely culprit.  Yet, it was disappointing to be diagnosed with a second chronic illness - and just a few days after M and I returned from our honeymoon.  It would mean another set of quarterly appointments and hypervigilance about oral hygiene.  But, after a week on a soft food diet with black sutures between my teeth, my joy at being able to savor a vegetarian turkey wrap and to be rid of those unattractive black threads was such that my gratitude far surpassed any lingering concerns about managing this new disease.

I could now smile without looking like I got into an altercation with a spinach salad.  And smile I did.  I also began to recognize that I was the lucky one in all of this:  I still have my smile.  I still have my oral health.  The challenges associated with the procedure were only temporary.  I can still thrive.  And I can still love.  Which, really, is what this life is all about.  Nothing had stopped me from living the life I've imagined.

I suppose I could say the very same for my diabetes.  And for that I am truly grateful.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's the little things

M and I went out for date night last night to this quirky little place with really tasty really healthy food.  Once the server set my salad down, I eyed it quickly - mentally counting the carbs it contained - and excused myself to the restroom.  Upon opening the door, my eyes widened, and a smile lit up my face.

It's the little things, folks.  I'd become proficient at testing my sugar with little more than a toilet paper holder to balance my supplies.  But here, in the restroom of this quirky little place, was a richly stained wooden cabinet.  With marble finishing.  At waist height.  I set my purse down on the smooth finish, spread out my supplies, and tested my sugar, enjoying every second of this delightful gift.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A1C Me Go! (Part II)

Received fantastic news (and a high five) from my endo yesterday morning!  A1c of 5.9!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Things that go Beep in the Night

Another night of less-than-optimal sleep...My Dexcom has been going off around 1am every morning alerting me to a low.  One of the more dangerous lows.  The below 55 lows.  Except when I check my blood sugar, it's in the 80s, right where I'd like it to be.  It's gotten to where I've had to stash my Dexcom in another room just to get some shut-eye.

Last night my PDM joined in the chorus and chirped around 5:30am.  I should have changed my pod right then and there - or planned ahead and changed it last night - but being in the morning haze that I was, I acknowledged the alert and fell back to sleep.  To be awakened one hour later by the "Change me now" alert.  So I did and was up for good before 7am on a Saturday.  *Sigh*.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Letting Go

I alluded in my last post to having begun practicing yoga again.  For me, one of the blessings of going through difficult times is the way I turn to my spiritual practice for relief, and grow.  It was after a particularly trying day that I gently shut the bedroom door, selected a yoga video, and nestled onto the ground, in a comfortable seated position, eyes closed, hands placed gently on my knees, breathing in and out through pursed lips.  

I remember the first time I practiced yoga.  The discomfort.  The ensuing frustration when I allowed the discomfort to overwhelm me and broke a pose.  Two weeks ago when I pulled up a yoga video online, I was pulsating with energy.  Anger, upset, maybe even resignation coursing through my veins.  I felt discomfort this time around, sure, but I breathed through it.  Each time I wanted to break a pose, I focused on my in breath, and my out breath, and on breathing into the discomfort.  And each time I made it through.

Several quotes I've (over)learned throughout my life have been resonating with me during my practice, and have helped me to appreciate the way yoga not only nurtures my mind but my spirit as well.  The way it helps me to cope with Type 1 diabetes just a little bit better.

A few days ago, my practice was winding down, and the instructor was getting into position for a headstand.  Now, I'd never done anything even remotely close to a headstand, and when we would get to this point in a class, I would opt for the gentler modification.  But this time I sat up tall, leaned forward to rest my chest on my knees, then tucked my head into my interlocked fingers.  And slowly, ever so slowly, lifted my feet off the ground.  Higher, ever higher, until my body created a beautiful vertical line.  The question, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" reverberated through my body.  It was with this mindset, this shrugging off the possibility of falling that allowed me to attain this beautiful posture.

A few days later, I found myself in a Warrior pose.  Those tend to be some of the most uncomfortable poses for me.  My thighs burn, and I feel tight all over.  In an effort to loosen up my body a bit, I concentrated on relaxing my inner thighs.  And experienced the pain of letting go.  The joy of surrender.  The adjustment helped me to appreciate that pain will inevitably enter my life.  And that I can surrender to it or attempt to protect myself against it.  Either way, I will experience it.  But it is in the surrender, the letting go, that there exists true peace.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Peri - (Oh no!) - dontal disease

We had just returned from our honeymoon, blissfully (yes, blissfully!) happy.  Marriage was even better than we had anticipated.  Somehow, after saying our vows, we entered into an even more intimate, comfortable, secure, loving relationship.  Taking care of each other became our top priority. And we constantly teased, hugged, loved.  I remember thinking, "It doesn't get better than this."

Three days after we returned from our honeymoon, I attended a routine dental appointment.  Water shot out from Dr. L's high-powered cleaning device to clean the surface of my teeth and the spaces in between.  His assistant maneuvered a suctioning device around my mouth as Dr. L cleaned, and at one point she removed it.  I took the opportunity to swallow.  And tasted blood.

Dr. L pulled up a chair after the cleaning and told me that he was concerned about the amount my gums had bled during the appointment.  Usually this is a result of tartar build up, he told me.  But I had none.  He was concerned that my having had undiagnosed diabetes for awhile had led to the development of gum disease.  I couldn't believe it.  M is forever teasing me about how thoroughly I brush and floss.  How had this happened?

One week later, I was at Dr. P's office.  He was the periodontist Dr. L referred me to.  He used a measuring tool to assess how deep the pockets between my teeth and gums were.  The deeper he could submerge the tool beneath my gum line, the more concerning the pocket was.  I had remembered Dr. L telling me that 3's were normal.  When I heard Dr. P read out 4's, 5's, even 6's to his assistant, I fought back tears.  Closed my eyes against the pain and focused on taking one breath at a time.

Dr. P pulled up a chair after the procedure and told me I had periodontal disease and would need to schedule surgery as soon as possible.  Untreated, periodontal disease would lead to tooth loss.  This was all so overwhelming to me.  Within the space of 8 months, I had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, learned how to manage diabetes with fingersticks and injections, began using a continuous glucose monitor, and a pump...and now diagnosed with periodontal disease.  And this in addition to all the good stress, the moving in with M, planning our wedding, taking and passing my licensing exam, getting married...

I've had about a week to adjust to this latest news, this new chronic condition that I'll have to manage for the rest of my life with quarterly visits and hypervigilance about oral hygiene.  This news stole M's and my bliss for a time, until we fought to regain it.  Until I renewed my commitment to yoga and my spiritual practice.

J, Dr. P's assistant, met with me before I left my appointment.  She told me that whenever she doesn't understand a condition her daughter was born with, why it was that other little girls don't have to manage what her daughter does, she tells herself that it's because they wouldn't be able to.  That if we're given it, we can handle it.