Archive for September, 2009


You Know You Have Diabetes When…

September 24, 2009
I wrote this back on April 12. Kerri‘s post today made me remember! Amy from Diabetes Mine had a fun one as well.
inspired by a thread on TuDiabetes

  • you think the Wilford Brimley lolcat is hilarious but no one else gets it.
  • you say you need to take a shot and your friend says, “COOL! I’ll take one with you!” (sorry dude, you’d probably die).
  • you let your friends practice giving you shots.
  • you have so many medical supplies (alcohol swabs, lancets, band-aids, etc) that the people in your dorm go to your room before they even go to the drugstore (lancets are awesome for removing splinters, btw).
  • you educate your family & friends on the difference between “no sugar added” and “sugar free.”
  • you get excited when you go to a new restaurant and they have more diet drinks than regular drinks (this was today!).
  • your friends/coworkers tell you excitedly when they meet other type 1’s.
  • you can drive down the freeway at night, test your bg, draw insulin, and inject (before I went on the pump).
  • something electronic beeps and you freak out, thinking your pod is malfunctioning.
  • you’re looking for articles in medical journals about Alzheimer’s but instead read the ones about diabetes (and find them more interesting).
  • [this one courtesy of Chris] when you lecture your husband’s pharmacy classmates about type 1 diabetes better than the professor.
  • you find test strips all over the place.
  • sometimes it hurts to play Guitar Hero because your fingers are sore from testing.
  • peeing on a stick isn’t about a pregnancy test.
  • even though you’re on an insulin pump, you inject before a meal so you don’t waste those last few units.
  • you think regular soda tastes NASTY.
  • your purse nearly qualifies as carry-on luggage.
  • you open your purse/supply kit and your backup syringes come flying out.
  • you say you need to “shoot up” because you’re “high” and people give you weird looks.
  • you remind your husband not to drink all the Capri Sun in the house (“I may go low in the middle of the night!”).
  • your parents ask “how are you doing?” and you know they really mean “how is your blood sugar?”
  • you wake up at 3am with a bg of 45 and you log onto TuDiabetes as you wait for your bg to go back up.
  • small purses make you sad because none of your supplies will fit in it.
  • you use a Coach makeup bag as your supply bag because it’s just so darn cute. ;)

A1C is in!

September 18, 2009

This afternoon, I got an email saying that my doctor had posted my lab results from Wednesday’s doctor’s appointment.

I logged into the website and waited patiently for it to load.


Finally, I got the results. Clicked on the link that said “Hemoglobin A1C.” Waited patiently for it to load.


Then I was greeted with this lovely sight:


It was a nice drop from my 6.9 earlier this year, and a far cry from the 8.2 I had before I went on the OmniPod back in 2008.

However, the sad thing was, I was completely alone in my office, and Chris was taking a quiz and wasn’t online. My first reaction was, “OMG! Are you serious?!” After that, I was a little bummed because the one person I shared it with didn’t have the slightest clue what I was talking about. It reminded me of my college acceptance into UC Irvine: both my parents were at work when I found out I was accepted. In excitement, I ran up and down the stairs and around the house a few times.

While the celebration was belated (about an hour or so, then Chris came back after his quiz), it was just as sweet. I’m getting closer to that magic 6!


Endo Visits

September 17, 2009

Today, I had my quarterly appointment with my amazing endocrinologist, Dr. Carrie Burns (of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center). I was excited to show her my CGM results and Kevin spreadsheet. We ended up tweaking some basal rates to tighten up control. Okay, not exactly rocket science, but it was good being able to see what was needed when, rather than playing a guessing game.

I also got my blood drawn for the good ol’ A1C. Side note: the lab tech was good; it only took her one poke! I’m curious to see what my A1C is like; since the last visit with Dr. Burns, we’ve worked on cutting out the crazy lows. I’m fully expecting it to go up (I had a 6.9 last time), but she said “I’d rather have you at a stable 7.2 than a crazy 6.9 any day.” Ditto! Now to work on the postprandial spikes.

We also touched on the topic of preparing for pregnancy, as the CGM is my first step in all this. Thankfully, Chris and I have three years before all this, but it’s never too early to prepare. I need to start tightening up (and I mean REALLY tightening up; none of this “holy crap my bg is 268 an hour after a meal, but let me to do a super bolus and be low an hour later”).

Oh, and here’s an interesting twist in my Ping vs. OmniPod decision: an hour before my appointment, I had a few units left in my pod and decided to change it. Well, it errored out during priming…with 200 units in there! UGH. That’s the second time in less than a month that happened. Again, I don’t mind losing a pod, as Insulet is very good at replacing them, but losing that much insulin hurts. Dr. Burns was on board with my switching over to the Ping, so hopefully that paperwork will get rolling very soon.

All in all, I love visiting my endo. I never feel judged, no matter how whack my numbers have been. That kind of doctor-patient relationship is priceless.


OmniPod vs. Animas Ping

September 10, 2009

Last night, I cheated on my OmniPod. I met with an Animas rep to check out the One Touch Ping.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my OmniPod. I love that it’s wireless, discreet, and that I don’t get tangled up in it while I’m sleeping. I also love that it’s a great conversation starter (and many times an opportunity to educate).

But I HATE losing insulin when a pod errors out or occludes. And frankly, it’s happened way too many times in the past month. When Chris and I were in California, the pod errored out while priming. During my equipment fail, the pod’s cannula was bent and no occlusion alarm went off, even though it was leaking insulin and not delivering my basal properly. Both times, I had 200 units of insulin in there. Ouch. I know Insulet will not hesitate to replace a pod, but who will replace the lost insulin???

What made me [initially] shy away from a traditional pump was the tubing. I didn’t like the idea of accidentally ripping out an infusion set, but as my perceptive husband pointed out, “at least you don’t lose insulin when you rip out an infusion set.” Touche, hubby, touche. ;)

I also compared prices on the two systems:

PDM: $1750
Box of 10 pods: $450

Animas Ping
Pump and meter: $6000
Box of 10 infusion sets: $135
Box of 10 insulin cartridges: $36.50

The start-up cost of the OmniPod is definitely way cheaper, but over time, the Ping will be cheaper. On supplies alone, my 10% portion would go from $45 to $17.15 per month! Over four years, I would save about $1300.

But I don’t know…I’m still VERY iffy about the tubing (mainly because I toss around like a madwoman in my sleep). Nonetheless, I filled out the form and gave it to the Animas rep. They still need to run it by my insurance and give me my final out-of-pocket numbers.

Ahhh, decisions, decisions!


Those Bad Habits

September 8, 2009

Inspired by Kerri‘s blog and other diabetes blogs, here are some bad diabetes habits I have…

  1. Overcorrecting a low. This gets me every time. Pre-CGM, I’d wake up in the middle of the night in the 30s. Freaking out that I’d pass out, I would drink three pouches of Capri Sun, eat two bags of fruit snacks (20 grams of carbs per bag), and eat a few crackers for good measure. I inhaled all that in less than 10 minutes. I’d wait the 15 minutes and test, and my bg would be in the high 80s, which is WAY too fast a rise in 15 minutes. Of course, an hour later, I’d be in the high 200s. It’s getting better now that I have Dex.
  2. Injecting in the same spot all the time. This explains my bump. Now, with my OmniPod, I keep using my arms. I notice they’re a bit chapped from the adhesive, but they’re my best spots!
  3. Bolusing extra for those sweet treats. My pediatric endocrinologist introduced this to me when I was in middle school. I totally abuse it. I need to stop!
  4. Skipping breakfast. I can’t help it; it makes me sleepy when I have something in my stomach. But it also makes my bg crash at 10am, thus making me somewhat high for lunch at noon.
  5. LOGGING! Or rather, lack thereof. Until Kerri introduced the Kevin spreadsheet to me, I kept starting and ending paper logs. Cute notebooks be damned, I couldn’t keep up. One night, I was doing my DexCom paperwork and realized they wanted 30 days of logs. Well sh*t! I realized I hadn’t logged in over a month. Yeah…that was a long night. I finally figured out that electronic logging is up my alley. So far, so good!
  6. Doing a crazy bolus if I’m crazy high. I’d rather correct a low than be sluggish from a high (overcorrecting that low aside). The other day, my bg just would not go down. I was in the 200s the entire night and morning, with no explanation. Finally, I got sick of it and injected 25 units. It worked at the time, but sometimes I crash an hour later. Sheesh.

I need to make myself feel better…Guitar Hero, here I come!


Hyper Aware

September 4, 2009

2009_09_04Ever since I started using Dex (it’ll be a week tomorrow evening, yay!), I’ve become hyper aware of what’s going on. Before, when I used to test four, six, ten plus times a day, I wouldn’t be able to see what’s going on in between these tests. Sometimes I’d eat lunch at noon, get busy with work, and test again at 4pm or so. Of course, at 4pm, my bg would be somewhere around 120, and I’d think, Woohoo, I’m totally in the zone! What I didn’t see was that my levels would skyrocket to close to 300 about an hour and a half to two hours postprandial…like they are right now. I’d like to see more (and more and MORE) of this.

Now, with my trusty spycam DexCom, I’m seeing the bigger, more detailed picture. Just because my numbers look good when I do a fingerstick does not mean everything is okay. Without Dex, I wouldn’t have been able to tell that I was hovering around 200 from about 1am to 7:30am. Without Dex, I couldn’t see that I was WAY up there after what I thought was a decent lunch.

Right now, I’m 264 and holding steady. What I want is to be 164 and holding steady, or at least 264 going down! So frustrating. I’m definitely going to make some major tweaks in my diet.


I LOVE seeing this level and trend arrow one hour after a meal!

September 3, 2009

Paired with the soft (ahem) rises and falls, I just feel like I’m doing something right. It’s such a far cry from last night/today’s roller coaster of going to bed high, waking up low, and going high an hour later.