Friday, August 27, 2010

Kickin' it to the curb

- Fast Food, that is.

I've been eating out quite a bit over the last several months. Many things led to it - the first was moving. Driving back and forth 45 minutes across town one direction multiples times a day for a couple weeks - with a baby - made it almost a necessity to eat out more.

Then, finding it more difficult than I anticipated to adjust to our new home, I was spending more time away just "doing" things with Rylee - causing us to be out during times Rylee should eat - so I'd buy food out.

That led to just plain wanting fast-food a little more regularly.

There are several problems with this for me:

1. When I was working full-time - before Rylee was born - I was just buying food for me. I'd get the "cheap" items from Taco Bell or something and it wouldn't cost that much. NOW - I'm buying food for Rylee and myself, so eating out is costing me almost twice as much as it used to. - So it's getting expensive! With Kenny going back to school that's one expense that should definitely be cut out!

2. It's so not healthy! The Fat content, Caloric content and Carbohydrate content of fast food is just awful! Definitely not good for me, and not good for a growing baby! I do try and get the 'healthy' menu items as far as fast-food goes (I prefer Tacos over Burgers, that kind of thing). BUT - it's still not to be eaten often.

3. Along the "unhealthy" lines - it's awful on my blood sugars! It causes icky spikes - usually caused by the high fat and carbohydrate content. That's another little side-note: the high fat-content also just kills my stomach. My poor gall-bladder needs to come out at some point, and fat exacerbates it.

I've taken it upon myself to try and have the same control over my diabetes I did when I was pregnant. I was bound and determined to eat well, not snack, and keep my blood sugar in the best control I could - but I didn't beat myself up over a few bad days/numbers here and there.

To expect that I would have the exact same kind of control would be ridiculous - and honestly not realistic. Chasing after the munchkin every day is a full-time job itself, so is being back at work 2-3 days a week (where I get to bring munchkin with me), there is also my photography and and and and.... LIFE.

But because I am living life - it'd be best to live. So, I'm working on improving our overall quality of life by taking inventory of the things we eat as a family. I always feel so much better when I eat healthier - Kenny notices he feels better as well when we eat healthy together. So, I'm going back to that. I don't expect perfection, because sometimes its fun to go out and eat together, and sometimes you end up being stuck in town and necessity demands it. I'd like to make eating out the exception rather than the norm.

So, that's my new goal. And I like it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Numbers, Blues, and Gadgets.

I've mentioned before that one of my biggest concerns - one I also have no way to do anything about - is that Rylee will become diabetic too. I know the signs and get a little panicky whenever I think Rylee is exhibiting any one of them. Then I force myself to realize that she's fine, it's a normal toddler behavior to drink and pee a lot - just because they are playing AND it's hot out, and she definitely doesn't do it all the time. Nonetheless, it's still always in the back of my mind. 

So, when she scratched herself pretty good the other night and had a nice drop of blood sitting on her nose Kenny and I thought "hey! We should test her blood sugar just because we shouldn't waste such a nice drop of blood" (uh, yeah, we're freaks).

Can you guess how surprised we were when this came up on the meter:

Yeah, Kenny and I both looked at each other with that "oh crap" look. Then we both thought, she's got to have sugar on her face, she's a kid - she's *always* got sugar of some kind on her skin. So I broke out the alcohol swabs (being a "pro" at being diabetic, I always feel that I have risen above the need to use those things), swabbed her hand, put a new needle in the Lancet - poked her hand a retested. I nice 104mg/dl showed up.

We breathed a sigh of relief - she did just have sugar all over her face - like usual. We both swear she's a sticky factory.

Moving on... sort of... I snapped this picture the other day:

Cause it struck me funny.

No, I really don't love that shade of blue. Seriously. I'm more of a bright/turquoise-ish blue person. My pump is that color blue because I was tired of Black and Silver - and Blue was the only other choice I was allowed. My phone's case is only that color blue because it's the case that came with my phone - not the color I would have chose if I were, you know, choosing it. My meter - well, that just happens to be the particular one I could find in a pinch last week and it made its way into the rotation for the currently used meter.

I didn't even realize that my main gadgets were all matching until the day I snapped that picture. I had them all sitting next to each other during a infusion site change (yes, it took me until they were all right next to each other). Seriously, though, that's not my favorite color.

My new pump -  it's going to be lime green! It'll match my bed spread and I'll probably lose it in my sleep. But it'll be great.

Okay, I'll leave you with this:

I said it was falling apart. There's more to the "falling apart" but that's the most notable/visible.
Come ON doctor! Get that dang prescription faxed back to Animas stat!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Still Waiting

Well, I put in all the information for my new pump to Animas last week. After playing phone tag back and forth with the pump rep we finally got a few thing hammered out. It seems that although my current insurance company didn't pay for my original insulin pump AND my coverage says that it's covered as long as I pay the deductible and 20% of the total cost - they are still being hesitant to completely approve it.

I had to fax them 30 days of blood sugar logs (do you know how annoying that is? I HATE, and I mean HATE - absolutely Detest logging, I could barely keep it up while I was pregnant). Animas called me back later to "confirm" that my current pump is malfunctioning - before the insurance company would approve it. - it is, it's definitely falling apart. I should post pictures of my poor sad pump, maybe I will try to tomorrow.

So, as of last Wednesday all we were waiting on was the prescription from my doctor and final insurance company approval before they could finalize the whole thing. Gr. That's about all I have to say about that. It's really irritating to me. I can be a very patient person, but I would really like my new pump now. My current pump is falling apart, I question how much longer it will last me in its present state. Also, I HATE - absolutely HATE the infusion sets I'm being forced to use through my prescription plan.

I think they are a huge cause of why I've been able to get sick so easily these days. These infusion sets fail so much faster than my old ones. They are about 20 inches too long, so they get caught on EVERYTHING. I have found holes in my tubing more times than I can count with this brand. All in all I am beyond fed up. - Why is this part of getting a new pump? Well, once I meet my deductible I can get the infusion sets that I like (or that I KNOW will actually work) via the Durable Medical Equipment clause and end up paying just a couple bucks more than the prescription plan.

Kenny and I've both decided it's worth the couple extra dollars to not constantly have failed infusion set sites.

So, I'm sick of waiting now. I've been "good" and not plagued Animas with phone calls just to see where we're at in the process, but I think I might tomorrow. Heehee.

In the mean time, I'm alive and well. My little episode last week didn't linger on past Thursday. I've been catching up on my house work and errands that got seriously set back from my 2 days down and out cold.

Rylee has had a major growth spurt and is seriously taller than most of the children her age that we regularly see. I wish she'd quit growing. I miss my little infant child.

Aaaaand to finish this all off - Kenny goes back to school in a month! It's going to be an epic year, that's for sure!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Getting hit by a train

- figuratively, of course.

I've read stories from other Type 1 Diabetics where they go from feeling fine to DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) just from being mildly sick with something that wouldn't typically phase "normal" people - but I had never experienced it myself.

...until Tueday.

Oh my gosh I was so sick. There are only 2 other times in my life I can recall being so sick:

1st time: The week leading up to my diagnosis as Type 1 Diabetic.

2nd time: being a stupid teenager and not taking care of myself I wound up in serious DKA that landed me in the ICU for several days, unconscious and a dozen wires hooked up to me.

This time - it hit me like a train.

My husband was out of town for a few days starting Monday. A few hours after dinner I realized I felt funny - checked my blood sugar and saw "HI" (blood sugar over 600mg/dl). "CRAP!" My infusion site had failed on me so I changed it out, had a new one going and took a ton of insulin. I put our daughter to bed and decided to sleep on the couch - I don't like sleeping alone in the bed - it's too lonely.

I woke up around 2am and wondering why the heck I'm awake if my daughter is still asleep - that shouldn't happen - I casually checked my phone, and my email - then it hit me: "I'm going to puke!" From the point on Tuesday was spent in agony.

SO thankful to be living with parents that day - my mother-in-law took Rylee and took care of her, while I continued to puke every hour or more. She brought me water and toast - none of which I could keep down for more than an 30 minutes (and the dang dog kept eating the toast!).

At one point I considered having my Mother-in-law take me into the doctor but I thought if I could just get my blood sugar under 300mg/dl I'd be okay. It was 2pm by that time and I hadn't been able to see a number under 300 despite taking tons of insulin. An hour later it finally broke and I got down to 209,  then a little later 126mg/dl - but I still felt like dying.

My husband came home a day earlier because they got the jobs they were working on done quickly. He came home and saw me sprawled out on the floor - it was cooler there and my back didn't hurt as bad on the floor either.

I told him I thought we needed to go to the ER, I hadn't been able to keep anything down all day, my blood sugar was 84mg/dl and I was afraid of then having a nasty low blood sugar reaction due to the serious lack of food and hydration. He called a nurse - packed me up and away we went.

After getting to the ER they got me into a bed quickly. I almost (mind you - *almost*) felt guilty - they got me in ahead of every one else sitting in there except a little infant - she got to go ahead of me just by minutes.

They got an IV started, gave me an IV line of anti-nausea meds AND some Morphine. I started feeling better once that Morphine kicked in. I've never had the stuff before and let me tell you - it was the strangest sensation as it hit my body. But it took away my back pain, the raging migraine I'd had all day and all the other aches and pains - because everything hurt. I was able to relax finally - no longer feeling the intense need to throw-up and getting rid of all the bodily aches.

After some blood-work they determined I had some sort of infection, possibly from food poisoning or some other bug. They gave me another IV bag of antibiotics, another full bag of fluids, and a prescription for antibiotics for the next couple days to make sure whatever was getting me would be gone.

The attending doctor was a neat guy, he gave me a prescription for anti-nausea meds too - for "in the future" if I do get a stomach bug again I can take those and hopefully avoid another ER trip.

Looking back I don't think this trip was avoidable at all, like I said: it hit me like a train. I came home from a full, but good day out helping my dad and running errands. I was hungry so had some left-overs in the fridge, since Kenny wasn't going to be home I didn't need to worry about making dinner. I had a snack later - realized my infusion site was bad - fixed that - went to bed - woke up ILL. No signs. No warnings - nothing.

No, this one hit me hard. Hard enough that the next day I spent napping - except for having my mother-in-law take me to the store. Today I *still* felt weak. It's frustrating not being up to my normal self! I'm a "go go go" person, not having the energy or strength to do it is strange.

So now I guess I do understand a little better how something so simple as a stomach bug can hit us diabetics harder than normal. It just might change the way I think about being around sick people too - I certainly would like to avoid a repeat of the last few days!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010


This organization helped me SO much when I was first diagnosed nearly 9 years ago when I was a a lost 14 year old. Their website was one of the few out there at the time where a kid could go and find some sense of acceptance and normalcy to this new life of Type 1 Diabetes.

When I was in the hospital I got this awesome backpack - in it was a bunch of goodies: A Rufus Bear (Being a teenager I wouldn't admit it to friends, but I snuggled that thing at night for years), A One Touch Ultra meter kit (it was the latest and greatest at the time), A lot of literature on how children with diabetes can live perfectly normal lives, and a bit more I don't remember. Most of it had that good 'ol JDRF stamp on it.

I spent hours on their website (and too). Researching diabetes, learning the ins and the outs. Learning about complications if I don't take care of myself, teaching myself all the tricks of the trade from other more seasoned Diabetics. Being the book worm I am the internet opened so many more avenues of learning for me - so I made sure I was always up-to-date on the latest and greatest treatments and gizmos and gadgets.

What is it about a nice new gadget? I just LOVE to have a new thing - even if they are nearly always diabetes related. I love new treatments that will help make things "easier" to deal with. Yet, I've never been one to jump on all the latest trends. When CGMS first came on the seen I was excited about it, but knew it was too new to be accurate enough to be worth it for me - AND those first receivers were freaking huge! Haha.

Anyway, I have wanted to, pretty much since I was diagnosed, participate in The Walk to Cure Diabetes. as My husband and I went down to the park it was being held at the first year we were married - we walked around and talked to some of the vendors - it was really cool to talk to people who "understood" me. Real people, Tangible people. I LOVE the DOC (Diabetic Online Community) it has been my only real support group of people who understand the life since I was diagnosed. So being with people who were real was a whole different experience, and I liked it!

So this year I decided would be the year, rather impulsively tonight, I would join in the walk! I don't anticipate raising tons of money or anything of the sort - but just to go down and meet some others, maybe I can help be a support to other young women or mom's who are concerned for their kids living with this blasted disease - that would just be such a blessing to me.

It doesn't hurt to ask, though, if you do feel like donating no matter how small, that would just be awesome. My Walk fundraiser page can be found here.

 Diabetes is not an easy thing to live with day to day. There is no "vacation" from it. We have to make choices every day that most people would consider trivial like "do I eat toast or cereal for breakfast" can actually be a big deal - "Well, toast doesn't raise my blood sugar as much as Cereal, but my blood sugar is a little low this morning so maybe Cereal would be the better choice in this case..."

Like Cancer and so many other things, we'd also like a cure to come around some day.

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day

 In the Neighborhood

To go out and get some donuts for breakfast with my husband and daughter. To go play at the track with hubby's truck 

Then later go out to a small lunch and get some pictures of a potential spot for family photos

Yeah, it's been a pretty awesome Sunday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Doctor Stuffs - Part 2

Yesterday I went in for what's called a HIDA scan.

I got to spend an hour laying underneath this funky contraption:

When I got there the really really nice technician started an IV and injected this dye into it. I had to lay on that thing for 30 minutes doing nothing but twiddling my thumbs - except not really twiddling because you have to lay *really* still. So I just laid there wishing I could twiddle my thumbs. We were waiting for the dye to become fully active - or something like that.

When the technician came back in he brought the computer screen over to where I could actually see it and showed me that my gallbladder was almost where they "wanted it". The screen looked similar to this:

That bright glowing thing is a gallbladder! Behind it is the liver and to the right side of it is the pancreas. (See all the cool things you can learn at a doctor appointment! haha!)

So, I guess when it was glowing "enough" or something like that he injected something similar to Bile into my IV - basically trying to make the gallbladder do it's thing so they could watch how well it was functioning. At that point I was supposed to tell the Tech how I was feeling - if I was feeling any pain, discomfort, nausea or nothing at all. Almost immediately my stomach started hurting. A few minutes later he gave me a second does and - Nausea! - I thought I was going to puke right there and ruin the whole test.

In order to get an accurate look at how the gallbladder is functioning I had to lay there another 30 minutes before I got to be done and go on with my day - waiting for a call from the doctor - or something - I wasn't really sure what was going to happen at that point.

A couple hours later the Urgent Care doctor I saw on Tuesday called me and said "Well, according to what we saw - your gallbladder didn't function at all and you're pain confirmed it! We'll get you set up with a surgical consult and get you on your way to feeling better."

I've got the surgical consult coming up in a couple weeks, not sure when, though, the actual surgery is going to happen yet. There are so many life variables going on right now.

Animas never got back to me about the process of getting a new pump. I'm assuming it's because it is so freaking hard to get a hold of any one that knows anything within our insurance company. - Or at least I'm hoping that's what it is, because Animas has always been so great to me. Heehee.

So, I feel a bit "validated" in a way - I haven't been feeling so terrible for nothing! I'm hearing of more and more people I know that have had their gallbladder out. I'm really not concerned about it at all. I'm looking forward to the minor surgery because then I'll be on my way to being a normal person again, considering this has been going on since before Rylee was born.

The question I've gotten from a few people that's surprised me (although I guess it shouldn't have) is if this is "related to my diabetes." Uh - No. People having their gallbladder out is far more "normal" than I knew before and definitely not anything to do with me being diabetic - just to clear that up!

No, my body just has a superiority complex and is deciding to allow all the non-essential organ fail me! Haha!

Okay, I'll leave you with that thought for the night.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Doctor Stuffs

Awhile back I posted about having stomach problems and suspecting it to be Celiac Disease considering it's also an auto-immune disease it makes me a little more likely to have it.

Finally keeping a doctors appointment I asked her to have me tested for it - she willingly obliged and the tests came back negative.

Back to square 1.

For awhile I decided to try the gluten free thing just to see if I'm "gluten intolerant" and it initially seemed to help but the symptoms never really went away and then started coming back just as bad.

Alright, it's not that for now. My stomach has been hurting more and more so I drug myself into an urgent care doctor cause I didn't want to wait a month to get set up with a doctor to "look at my problems." That was one of the best decisions I've made in awhile, Haha. They were very nice and I suggested to them possibly a gall-bladder issues - so we started doing tests for that.

They drew blood and sent me down for x-rays of my stomach just to rule out anatomical problems like a twisted intestine. The next morning was an ultrasound to check out the gallbladder, kidneys, spleen and (I think) liver. That found nothing too - no gallstones or anything.

The doctor I saw that morning, though, was even better than the previous one. She told me it definitely sounds like gallbladder. The blood tests the previous doctor ran were the wrong ones to check for gallbladder problems, apparently, so we had to re-draw those. She's also sending me in for a dye type test to check the gallbladder function. I've got that going this morning (so I should wrap this up and get ready to go).

I hope that they'll find find something there so at least I'll have an answer and can do something! Haha.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Breaks, Insurance (again), and Pumps

So, I've been taking a bit of a break from most social-networking. I've still been on facebook, just not as much. It's been a nice break. Sometimes for the sake of my sanity I need to disconnect from everything.

Anyhow, I think I'll be back more regularly again.

The glutton for punishment that I am - I'm going back into dealing with my insurance company.

My Insulin Pump's warranty has been gone since February. It's been proven that my pumps only last me about 6 months at a time before I need them to send me a new one - just because I'm so hard on them in every day use. The battery case ends up cracked, the rubber on the buttons wears off leaving electronics exposed, it refuses to prime... and so on.

In the name of tradition - my pump is rapidly falling apart. The rubber over the buttons is peeling off - and I've already done my best to preserve that. I accidentally exposed it to several X-Rays last week- it doesn't seem to have done any damage, but it's just another risk to it seriously failing me soon. I've already noticed some problems where it's not actually priming even though it says it is - leaving me with awesome high blood sugars, usually overnight.

When changing my infusion site the other day I realized that I will either

A. Need to order more supplies soon

B. Go back to Multiple Daily Injections (MDI)

or C. find out exactly how much a new pump is going to cost and see if that's even an option

I decided I've got a little bit of time before I'll need to order more supplies (a few weeks) so I'll call Animas and see what we can get going for me there. I had them run the numbers with my insurance company to help me figure out how much money I'll actually have to pay out of pocket after my 20% deductible and possible trade-in value for my current pump.

No one told me it takes 48 hours for them to talk to my insurance company and figure everything out so - impatient me called them yesterday afternoon and then I felt like an idiot after they told me it takes 48 hours so they'll call me tomorrow (now today). Ah well. I'll know more at some point today, I hope.

I kind of exciting prospective with possibly getting a new pump (under warranty!!!) is that we might be able to do a CGMS system for me too - we'll meet the deductible for the year and all the rest of my supplies will be covered 100% for the remainder of the medical year. - We'll see, though. Everything is all just "possibilities" right now and nothing is set in stone.

I'm really really really really hoping it'll all be feasible, though. The pump at least. If we can meet the deductible too - that would just be awesome. I absolutely HATE the infusion sets that I'm being forced to use right now because they are all that is covered under my prescription part of my medical plan. I could get the ones that I want under Durable Medical Equipment but at at 20% copay per box - it's just not a do-able option right now.

Here's a vent - Why does diabetes have to be so expensive!? It's irritating that my medical condition takes away from things I could be doing/getting for my daughter. It takes away from going out to dinner once in a while with my husband. Gr.

My husband is so sweet, though. Yesterday I told him I was feeling bad about possibly getting a new pump because it makes me a really expensive spouse - he told me "I married you knowing you're going to be expensive. I still love you!" Okay, he's definitely a keeper and the sweetest guy ever.

Alright, so I'm going to wrap this up for now. Here's to being back to some regular-ish posting!