It’s been a year.

2013 was a big year. In January, I turned 30. In February I got my wisdom teeth out. In May, I almost died. In July I found the #DOC (diabetes online community). In August my husband started his master’s degree, my older daughter started kindergarten, my younger started preschool. In November we bought our second house. In December we moved.

It’s been a year since I almost died.

One year ago, I finally convinced myself, and then my doctor, that something wasn’t right. I’d been to the doctor twice, with one wrong diagnosis (and unnecessary antibiotics) and then no diagnosis. After about 2 months of INTENSE thirst, insatiable hunger, lethargy and extreme weight loss, I told my doctor that she NEEDED to run some tests. Two days after the initial blood draw I was called in for another because the only thing they found was an elevated blood glucose level. The nurse drawing the blood asked me if I was anorexic, did I mention extreme weight loss? My second blood glucose was MUCH lower (thanks to literally eating zero carbs for 3 days leading up to bloodwork part 2) but my A1C was 16.3. Those of you who know what an A1C is know that’s an extreme number. My body was eating itself. I was dying. All because a 30 year old woman with a slim frame is not considered at risk for diabetes, certainly not type 1.

My presentation was classic. There was really no doubt.

I learned my lesson. If it doesn’t feel right, check it out.

It’s been a year since I almost died, and now I do it every day.

Today is what we call a Diaversary, the anniversary of my Diabetes diagnosis. I’m so glad to be healthy again, even if I’m frightened at what it takes to feel that way. So today I will celebrate, I’ll eat an insanely sugary, unhealthy dessert, because and every year is worth celebrating,whether it involves major changes or not. And yes, I CAN eat that. Last year was a big year, and I’m praying I never have a year that big again.

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The Honeymoon’s Over…or is it?

So my BG’s have been downright CRAZY lately. My spikes are higher, my lows are faster, and my diet/activity level/food choices are pretty much the same as always. I’ve increased my insulin a tiny bit, which I guess it a lot when it comes down to 3 units instead of 2 for a standard 45 carb lunch or 60 carb dinner.

I still don’t bolus for breakfast. And that’s where it starts. I usually eat 30 carbs at breakfast with eggs. Today, I cut it down to 25 in a blueberry muffin with eggs, and spiked to nearly 250. I rarely break 180, certainly not 220. So naturally, I bottom out at 60 afterward, because diabetes. And did I mention I spent the morning in my daughter’s preschool class for her 4th birthday? So yeah, riding out a hypo in preschool…not fun.

Cut to lunch, Chick-fil-a (because again, 4th birthday, it’s a big deal). A meal I’ve had many times, generally ending perfectly in range or maybe slightly high (we’re talking 110-140 post meal on a normal day, maybe higher if I’m high-ish to start). End at 98, but dexcom has an arrow straight down, so naturally I eat a small piece of birthday cake (no icing, I’m not insane). Dexcom is not amused, arrow still down. And it keeps going until I HAVE to go get my kindergartener from the bus stop. I pop some candy and walk, 42 and slowly dropping. Say what?!? Get the bus stop “low” and can you guess? Dropping. Bus is early, thank God. Walk, shall we say briskly, home, pop some more candy, wait. 42 is back with a southeast arrow, then steady arrow. Now I’m sitting, 50 and steady, hoping and waiting for the arrow to head up, more than an hour after cake, two doses of candy, praying I don’t rebound too horribly high, but wondering if I should keep treating.

Thanks Diabetes, for being more inconsistent than  this year’s weather. And I can’t help but wonder what that c-peptide test will show in a couple weeks, and what that will mean for my insulin needs. Can I get an I:C ratio figured out please!?!  For now, I’m just grateful for the new Dexcom, because I can’t imagine surviving this day without it, I never even felt low until it read 42.

Three weeks until my first Diaversary, can anyone tell me it gets easier? More consistant? Less exhausting at least?

Professionals

I’m always excited to meet with a medical professional. Whether it’s my general practice physician, my endocrinologist, the CDE, a nurse, even a pharma rep makes no difference.

And my expectations are always the same, that I will learn something NEW about my diabetes. Not that I will receive a pat on the back (although that’s always a plus), nor that they’re confirm my assumptions or inferences, but that they will teach me something new.

I think today, after meeting with my CDE (who was wonderful, despite not having a personal D experience) I have finally learned that I can’t expect anyone to know more about MY diabetes than I do. I have learned countless things from the DOC (diabetes online community), mostly from reading people’s firsthand experiences with diagnosis, medications, cgms, pumps, etc. I believe it requires that firsthand knowledge (and a lack of FDA oversight) to really be able to teach the kind of daily care that we PWD’s (persons with diabetes) have to administer.

That said, I’m so grateful for every PWD who has put their life out for me to learn from. I appreciate the bloggers, the tweeters, those who have created non-profits and forums and radio shows. Thanks to you for being MY professionals, and teaching me to be a professional PWD, because none of the ‘professionals’ have that ability.

Miss Manners said what?

Dear Miss Manners,

I’m sorry that I try my best to live, and that for me to do so requires the unsightly act of minimal drops of blood or a needle smaller than your post earring piercing my skin a few times each day. I’ll try really hard not to let it bother me that it bothers you. That said, I’m going to continue to perform my life-saving medical procedures wherever I happen to need them, because that’s what diabetes requires. I agree with a comment I read on another blog responding to you that if it bothers you so much, YOU may go to the bathroom. I certainly will not be performing my tiny, inconspicuous medical procedures near a toilet. I have too much self respect and concern for my already immune-compromised self. Most people are too self-absorbed to notice anything going on with strangers anyway.

Thanks so much,

Hannah

 

I’m bad at this.

Well, my twitter profile says I might blog once in a while…I guess 2+ months is long enough to go silent.

After 9 months of diagnosed type 1, I finally met with an endocrinologist last week. It was a great appointment. My numbers are still good, she took me off unnecessary meds, and she encouraged, but didn’t push, wearable devices. That said, the rest of the week was FILLED with hypos, so I’m trying to get in touch with the Dexcom rep to see if I can do a trial before I drop money on something so expensive as a CGM. I’m not at all sold on getting a pump, just not ready for that, and so far I really don’t mind the shots. But I do believe a CGM would help me feel better and avoid these frequent lows! Plus, after seeing a sensor in the office, it’s smaller than I expected, which is a relief. She also told me I could switch my Lantus to morning instead of night, which seems to be going much better so far. I believe I was waking up with nighttime lows but I wasn’t really conscious enough to get up and test, so hopefully having it kick in during the daytime will make any lows easier to avoid.

Overall, I’m looking forward to finding some normalcy, this honeymoon period is really starting to wear on me, and she said because of my age it could last a few years, so we’re doing a c-peptide before next visit to see if we can determine how much insulin I’m still making. As much as I appreciate only taking a few units a day, it would be nice if there was some consistency. I’m also hoping to get a half-unit pen so I can try to fine-tune dosing and figure out mealtime ratios. There’s been too much feeding insulin!

Unrelated, I really want this winter to go away. My kids want to be in school. I’m tired of being cold, and my hands being dry and cracked and bleeding. Also, driving while it’s raining ice is not fun, when the highway speed is 45 and people are tailgating like its their job. But that’s just a temporary worry, and I’m kind of glad that there are still temporary worries in my life.

I’m Good Enough

I’m a self proclaimed realist (read, in denial pessimist). That said, I’m fed up with the kind of affirmations that just end up making people feel inadequate. Here’s the affirmation that I believe in, despite it’s inherent cheesiness.

If you watched SNL in the early 90’s (or reruns for the next few years) then you’re familiar with Al Franken’s character Stuart Smalley. I think he could teach us a lot about life. I know he/it’s cheesy, but I often remember his tagline, I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! 

No matter where I am in life, this awful skit has followed me, and I’m so glad that it has, because not only is it funny (and so so awkward), it’s true. And what’s better than a little truth with a big laugh?

I hate food

There I said it. I hate food.

Ok, it’s not the food I hate, I love food. Who doesn’t love food? What I hate, is the effort I have to put in to EVERY SINGLE MEAL. I can’t just plop some meat and veggies on my plate, I have to carefully plan, and measure, and dose accordingly. It never ends. Every day. Every meal must be thought out and calculated and insulin calculate to match it. Sometimes I just want it done, and I don’t want to be the one doing it. Is that really so much to ask?