Monday, March 30, 2015

Pain at the Endrocinologist Office.

Endocrinologists have a tough job.

They work with a variety of Diabetics, all with different types of diabetes, all with different preferences of management - Pills, Injections (Pens, Syringes), Exercise, Insulin (Humalog, Novalog, Apidra, Lantus..etc.), Insulin Pumps (Animas, Tandem, Medtronic, Asante, etc.), Blood Sugar Meters (etc. etc. etc.) Not counting insurance companies, non-compliant patients, over enthusiastic patients, parents of patients, and every other type of patient in between.

That is a lot of factors and variables to keep track of, while also making decisions that basically control a persons life, and even closeness of death.

I had a great Endocrinologist. You can see the word and emphasis on HAD.

In May (ish) of 2014, I received a letter from my Pediatric Endocrinologist office, saying that my endo, the one I had had for years, was no longer going to be working at the office, and that the office, would soon be closed entirely. Forcing each of it's patients to find a new endocrinologist office.

They supplied a list of Pediatric offices currently accepting new patients to call and go to, and then we were supposed to tell the old office so they could send records over. Doesn't seem like much of a problem. However, did you see I mentioned Pediatric office? I was 22 years old. I was not going to accepted into another Pediatric office. I was given no leads on what I was supposed to do. After making multiple calls to my old office, they finally gave my mom and myself two names for adult endocrinologists.

So I called the nearest one, to schedule an appointment, and the soonest they could get me in was October. I was angry. I would be going 6 months without an Endocrinologist visit, when I used to have them every 3 months.

So while all the other pediatric diabetics were just getting a new Endo in a Pediatric office, which would follow similar procedures as the one I came from. I was to be getting a new Endo, in an adult office.

I was nervous.
I was scared.

I had read online of multiple people who had horrible experiences when transitioning to new Endos, and even adult care. The trend was that adult Endocrinologists did not take the time as much as Pediatric ones to make sure everything is going okay. Not only was the Endo different, but the office was geared to type 2 diabetics, and no longer was there a nutritionalists, social worker, and multiple nurses to talk to at every appointment.

I was also worried that my new Endocrinologist wouldn't respect me as a Diabetic, and as a person who is very informed about the Diabetic Community. I was also worried about her not understanding my need for staying on injections verses a pump. The only thing that calmed my mind a tad, was that my mother remembered her name as an Endocrinologist who came to the hospital when my brother was diagnosed.

My first appointment arrived. I saw a nurse, and my new Endo and that was it. A big change right there. There was also a sign in the office telling patients to not clip their toenails in the office...1. Yuck. 2. I miss the crayon drawings that used to be on the walls of my old office. My mother went with me, because I wasn't ready to face it alone.

I ended up liking my new Doctor, although she does have a somewhat difficult accent. But I surprised her with my wealth of Diabetes Knowledge....and my last worry- the Insulin Pump. I ended up walking out of the office after putting an order in for a Tslim Insulin Pump. So I guess she semi-talked me into that option...although I think my mind was actually made up to give it a shot before I even entered her office. I was finally ready.

I have now been to the office two times, and have another appointment coming up in April. I am happy with my pump, and the people of the office.

So thankfully I wont have to change endocrinologists anytime soon again! Once was enough for me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Continuous Glucose Monitor

Imagine the following is possible...
A little tiny sensor device is inserted under the skin. It then transmits to another device. Portraying a graph with a dot for every blood sugar reading taken every five minutes. Not only is it portrayal of current blood sugars, it lets you know if your following a trend, going up or down. Not only that, but it will beep and warn you if you are going low and high.

Sounds to good to be true right?


I'm talking about a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM for short. This device has been on the market through two major companies, for years. At one point in my life, I had talked to my doctor about getting one of these, but the misconception was and still is, that this device is only for people who are unable to tell when they are going low, and even for uncontrolled type 1 diabetic students living away from parents or alone (such as at college). So that was the end of the conversation about this life changing device.

Well, when I received my Insulin pump in November, in the package, although I never talked to my doctor about it, was the Dexcom G4 CGM. I was very surprised to see that with my shipment, but excited none-the-less. Since being more attuned to the diabetes circuit I had seen the growing use of the CGM device, and was excited to start it up as well.

I started my CGM and my insulin pump on the same day. So I have no comparison of what my blood sugars were like 24/7 before I had the pump.

Now I am on information OVERLOAD!

My first day using my Insulin Pump and CGM (receiver pictured). 
The top is the Dexcom Sensor Site. 

My CGM receiver.  Using a graph of my blood sugars. Not too bad!
My second day using my CGM and pump. I was a perfect 100 (and going down)

It was days like this that I was thankful for having my CGM. 
And Nights like this that look so awesome to see!

Glucose Meter and CGM represent!!! 

If I didn't have this awesome device, I would never see what my blood sugars would do at night!

Some days look like a Roller Coaster. 
Some days are perfect. 

Good thing my Dexcom was there to warn me of those lows!

A Comparison of Blood sugars between my devices. 

I was so Low, that my CGM only registered low. 

A roller coaster for sure. 

Sometimes the sites look bad afterwards..bruised, and irritated. 
Red site, mixed with a little peeling of the adhesive. 

The amazing capabilities of technology. 
I cannot imagine life without the CGM. His name is Dex for short. I am thankful for the moment that I have such great insurance that helps covers the cost of supplies to keep Dex running. Although, the new year is having me apply everything towards my deductible. One month of sensors for Mr. Dex cost me over $300.... ouch. It costs to live..literally!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Umm..Pump Life?

So you might have been surprised about the random mention about having an insulin pump.

It might have caught you off guard just a tad...didn't I write an entire post about the reasons why I did not want an insulin pump? Why yes, yes I did. And you can read it here ---> 15 Reasons Why I don't have a Pump

If you don't want to read the is my 15 reasons:

  1. My brother had a pump and to say the least, it gave him so much trouble. 
  2. I played a lot of sports. An insulin pump would only add extra stress to my life.
  3. I hate adhesive and sticky things. 
  4. I sweat a lot when exercising..therefore needed to use more adhesive/stickyness on the pump site.
  5. I toss around in my sleep, I would get wrapped up in the cord. 
  6. Omnipod is cordless but large/bulky. 
  7. My A1C was good, so my doctor didn't force the idea of a pump on me. 
  8. A pump requires more diabetic supplies to be carried. 
  9. I would have to relearn everything. 
  10. Where would I wear a pump?
  11. I didn't want to become a cyborg. 
  12. On MDI, I can have an out of site, out of mind concept about my diabetes. 
  13. I like to travel and a pump would hinder me at airports with security, all the extra supplies.. etc. 
  14. I don't mind taking shots.
  15. I was healthy on MDI.
  16. I like to say "I'm shooting up!" loudly in public, and wouldn't be able to with a pump. 
So. Those were my reasons. In the following 15 (ish) blog posts I am going to refute, discredit, and wash away all my previous misgivings about having an Insulin pump. 

So let the MDI bashing begin! 

Spring is in the air

It is officially Spring!!!

Although, it really doesn't feel like Spring yet. It's 34 degrees outside currently, and it looks like it's been ready to rain/snow all day long.

Yet I still say Spring is in the air.

I am ready for this cold and long winter to be over. I am ready for sun, shorts, dresses, and a whole new insulin pump wardrobe deciding session.

It has been almost 5 months with my Tslim Insulin pump. I have now, mostly, figured out how to wear my pump. But once it warms up, and I bring out a whole new variety of clothes that aren't sweaters, I get to figure it all out again. Not only will I have a whole new wardrobe issues, I will have to determine if the heat affects my blood sugars, site locations, swimming, and keeping my pump cool.

Only once this winter did my pump yell at me saying it was too cold to function. I was walking the streets of Chicago with some of my friends, ironically on Spring Break. We were headed to my hotel late at night. My pump was hidden from the weather, but that didn't stop the cold. Good thing I was low and needed my pump to stop giving me insulin anyway, and I was only a block away from our hotel.

These are just extra things someone with diabetes has to think of on a daily, and definitely seasonal basis!

Until next time.

May the FORCE and the INSULIN be with you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I think I'm cured.

Okay, so I don't actually think that I am cured, but I do think that my Pancreas is up to some funny stuff lately.

The Diabetes Roller Coaster has been in full swing. I go from moments of perfect/almost too low, to untouchable high bloodsugars. We are talking about hanging out in the 65/70 range for two days, and then shooting up to the high 300's for a day.

I was scared last night, and it really hit me, more than normal, about this disease I live with everyday.

I decided to check my bloodsugar as I was getting ready for bed, and realized it was 50. So I drank a juice box. A little later, I gave myself my normal amount of Lantus (25 units). I was really ready to go to bed, so I decided to check that blood sugar before I went up to brush my teeth (I live in the basement currently). My bloodsugar was only at 67, a good hour plus from when I treated my low. So I had 15 more carbs, and waited 15 more minutes. I felt just fine, and proud of myself for following the 15/15 rule. So I checked again, and my blood sugar was a beautiful 57. 57?!!! I was so angry. I went down from before, so I ate two fruit snacks and sat in my bed fuming. Thankfully I had a book (Good Ol'e  Harry Potter!). Fifteen minutes later I checked again, and I was 69. The thing is, i Still felt perfectly normal, and didn't recognize the lows I was having all night at all. I lost track of time while reading, and decided to go brush my teeth. Before putting my book away for good, my final bedtime number was 134. My goal is to be above 120 before I fall asleep. I was so sure though that I was going to by SKY HIGH by this morning at breakfast.

I woke up to a lovely 137. I pretty much did the happy dance. Something finally went right. Lets hope it stays that way for a while.

What really worried me was that, if I hadn't decided to check myself before falling asleep (sometimes it happens), would I have woken up this morning at all? I had to eat 90 carbs last night to cover the stubborn low blood sugar. 90 is about the same amount I eat for lunch and breakfast combined.

Diabetes is a scary thing. I thank the Lord that I had the smarts to check myself before bed, and that I have the means and resources to treat such a low blood sugar, and a good book to distract myself with.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Children. That's suchba descriptive title that could mean so many things...

Well this post is about the two beautiful girls who I am currently living with. 

When I was little, I had this "plan." It included, mostly, becoming a teacher and having my own family. Well that "plan" has changed drastically. I am not a teacher, and although I am not single, I have no immediate plans to start a family. 

That being said, I feel I don't have time in my plans to actually be able to do that part of the "plan."

But I'm getting a great dose of what that might look like in the future. I can confidently say though, I'm getting the best form of birth control there is. 

Now this is all fine and dandy, talking about kids, but what does it have to do with diabetes?! Well I'm getting there.

When I first moved into my cousins house where she lives with her 2.5 children and husband, I just passed off my diabetes care. It got put into the back burner. There was so much stuff all happening at once that diabetes and my management of it, unfortunately, had a little set back. I didn't want the 4 and 2 year old to see me do my diabetic care routine, so I hid that part of me away...that is until a perfectly times conference (the students with diabetes one) came into hand and reminded me to not be ashamed, and to take myself for now and the future. 

That being said, I've started to check my blood sugar and insulin no matter who is watching. Well little did I know that the two little "buzzereds" as I call them, would be completely intrigued. Every meal time, they ask me, can we watch you do that finger thing, and the pokey thing? At first I explained to them why I'm doing what I'm doing, and although they don't completely understand, they know it's medicine I have to have everytime I eat a meal. I try to keep them involved by asking them to guess my number, and then to read it off. Yes this also forces my number to be read out loud for anyone else to hear. This and their constant viligence in making sure I test is bringing me out of the diabetes slump I was in. 

So my fear about trying to explain what I'm doing wasn't needed. I can also see that oldest child becoming a doctor someday even. It's her favorite game to play. She's also very demanding that I check myself! 

However great having these children around is, it's not all rainbows and sunshine. We won't go into the screaming, crying, or butt wiping, but I will say that diabetes does get in the way. Last night, I was going to go push them on the swings before dinner, before I walk out the door and head to swings where the two girls were not very patiently waiting for me to help them on and push them, I decided to take a check. I didn't feel 100% I thought maybe I was about 70 or something. What I saw on my meter made my heart drop. It read 37! So before the kids would ask why I had fruit snack before dinner and they didn't, I shoved the whole thing in my mouth. Good thing my cousin was around because the look on my face after I read the number told her that there would be no swinging then, and that we should eat supper first. I'm thankful she was around and could handle the very pouty children as they were forced to come back inside.its situations like this that I wonder if I could ever have children without a constant feer or worry that I can't take care of myself first when needed. 

Children of my own is something pretty far down in my future. For now, I'll stick being the favorite cousin, who gets to play all day and doesn't have to do bath time! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Remember when...

If you're an avid follow of my life on the blogging sphere, you should recall my blog from last summer, revolving around my life and internship in NYC. As of yesterday, three of my diabuddies had their first day of their internship with JDRF in NYC, and I can honestly say I am extremely jealous of them. 

My summer internship last year was memories I will never forget, and I know this years SWD interns are going to be amazing. From their blogs that they are writing, I've already seen the passion and love for their opportunity showing through. Again, I can't say I'm not jealous of them right now, because I am, and reading about their experiences makes me miss the big city even more. But it also renews the fire within me to get myself into a job in the Diabetes Field. 

Speaking of which, I am looking into the options. I am in contact with the Young Leadership Committee for Detroit, to see how I can help out. I am also looking at some master programs in varying aspects such as health communication. 

I forgot how exciting it is to try and figure out life and the future. Yes it is scary, but I know there is a plan, and I know I have a purpose. It just might take a long road trip to get there!