a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

Category: type 1 diabetes

playing catch-up

That’s what you can consider this post.  Me trying to update you on all that’s been going on with me and the hubs in the health and medical happenings department.

I’ve indicated a few times that he and I both have been really busy getting all sorts of tests done and then, when something comes up on a test, having some procedure or other done.  Unbelievably, this year it’s been mostly him having procedures.  More about those in a sec…

So far this year, I’ve had a mammogram (joy. not.), an eye exam (got my new glasses & can see MUCH better now, YAY!) I’ve had several blood draws, which is usual for me, I had another sleep study done (after about 8 years?!) and have a new C-PAP machine now, I had my first stress test and echocardiogram done looking for the source of my constant fatigue, that led to seeing a cardiologist and having my first-ever heart catheterization done, which came out fine, I’m finishing up my allergy shots along with getting weekly B12 injections, and now I’m going to physical therapy to get my shoulders and neck back into shape after going for years with constant stress-related pain.

Ha, I told a friend the other day if I could just get some new teeth (I want to get implants as soon as I can) and some liposuction, I’d be almost good as new!

As for my poor hubby, Tommy’s had a bunch of tests run as well.  I finally talked him into seeing my doctor and he really likes her, just like I said he would.  She has been working to find the source of his stomach problems.  He’s had scopes done, both directions, which led to the gastroenterologist telling him again to get off the NSAIDs.  He thought he WAS off them, but come to find out, the meds his old doctor had put him on for the pain in his Achilles actually was another form of NSAID, so his stomach had gotten all messed up again.

He was so worried about having to stop them since every other time he’s gone off pain meds, he has been just wracked with pain and barely able to walk, let alone anything else.  So we began looking for natural anti-inflammatories.  I found a good source for tart cherry juice concentrate and started him on two cups of that a day along with drinking “golden milk” which is a turmeric drink.  Turmeric is a very powerful anti-inflammatory as well.

After having his allergy tests done, we found out he is highly allergic to a ton of foods, weird things that are so common it was pretty discouraging to think about how we’d avoid them.  Like apples, tomatoes, and vanilla!  Just sit there a minute and think about how many foods are made with those ingredients!!

He has done really good with changing his eating habits but soon, his stomach really started to bother him.  I’ve been telling him for the past several years if he didn’t lose some weight, he was going to regret it.  He’s the type who will do the opposite of what you tell him just for spite, so he’s not been trying at all to modify his eating.  So now, with several doctors telling him it is a MUST that he eat differently, he’s finally on board.

When our doc began testing to see what was up with his stomach, she mentioned gall bladder, which put us on the search for ways to avoid having to get it removed.  That’s when we did the gall bladder/liver flush.  Tommy ended up doing it twice but still had to get his taken out.  Turned out he didn’t have stones, but instead his gall bladder was just grossly infected.

They had a horrible time getting him sedated, or rather, intubated and we left the surgery center with a letter from the doctor and anesthesiologist to keep with us in case he ever had to be sedated again.  Seems he has a very small airway along with a strange alignment of his esophagus that makes it impossible to intubate him in the normal way.  He has to have a bronchi-scope instead, which is a whole different set of tools for the anesthetist.  During his gall bladder surgery, they had to stop everything while the other tools were located and brought to the operating room.  Apparently, it was very stressful and maybe even dangerous to have to do this.  I didn’t understand all that she was telling me, but she said to make sure the doctors got that letter before he has another surgery or sedated procedure.

After the surgery, Tommy seemed to start doing better.  His terribly bloated stomach went down which made us realize that he’d probably been sick with that for a couple of years!  We didn’t realize it was bloating instead of just weight gain!  However, he has continued to have pain in his upper/mid back area.  So our doc sent him for another CT scan to check his kidneys.

This would be his fourth scan-type test this year after an initial ultrasound, then a CT for the initial stomach pain, then a HIDA scan, now this CT and then, after finding cysts on his kidneys, they sent him for another ultrasound to see if the cysts were something serious.

Turns out they aren’t and now doc wants to send him to the chiropractor thinking his back pain is muscular instead of internal.

I wasn’t thrilled about that since I’ve been a ton of times to this chiropractor without getting any relief for my neck and shoulders.  I really love the gal that works on me at physical therapy.  She’s a former masseuse so she also does some massage on my neck and shoulders, which helps a lot.  She’s trying to help me build up the muscles that are weak from years of trying to accommodate my misalignment due to pain.  The reason the chiropractor hasn’t worked for me is because all those muscles are so tight, even when the chiro aligns me, my muscles will pull things back out.  Until my muscles are retrained, any alignment isn’t going to stick.

I’ve been to the PT three times now.  Yesterday was an unusual day, though.  I was late getting there, which made me nervous and stressed anyway.  She put me on this bike to do hand pedaling and then over to the pulleys to do some exercises when I began to feel extremely tired.  Tommy texted about that time to tell me my sugar was pretty low.  I had seen it about the same time and walked over to my purse to get something to treat the low blood sugar with…but all I could find was one solitary Tootsie Roll!!  My little zip bag I keep stuff for lows in was empty!!  ARGH!  I remembered then wiping that out when we were on vacation but never thinking to restock it once we got home.

By this time, I was beginning to sweat and feel shaky.  I texted Tommy, who had been planning to come by the therapy office to get his computer out of my car.  He had already come and got it though, so he was already gone when I asked if he could bring me a Mt. Dew or something.  By this time, the therapist had noticed something was up with me.  I told her what was going on and she spotted the number on my CGM app on my phone… it was 54 at the time and trending straight down.

She said, “Is that what your sugar is?!?”  “Um, yeah,” I told her.  Then she and the receptionist both started to wig out a little.  I felt so stupid having to tell her I had NOTHING to treat the low in my purse NOR did I have my glucometer with me.  I’d left it at home charging, thinking I shouldn’t even need it.  But now, I could have used it to be certain what was going on … to determine if the CGM was correct or not.  Obviously, it was, though because I began feeling really crappy.  The therapist ran to get me something she’d brought to work with her.  They were some kind of health-food choco-peanut butter things and I ate them, feeling like an idiot having to eat up her food!!  She told me it was fine and said: “they aren’t that good, but here…”  LOL!  I guess maybe I was doing her a favor by eating them??  Ha!

I knew they weren’t going to do the trick though since they weren’t very sweet and had a lot of protein in them.  Tommy called me about that time and told me he was coming to bring me something to eat.  Then I felt horrible that I was making him have to come all the way back because I’d forgotten to restock my purse.  I told the ladies (only the receptionist and therapist were there at that time) that my husband was bringing me something when the receptionist said she had a Mt. Dew and some honey in her car.  I told her not to bother, that he would be here soon.

The therapist said, “Go get your stuff.  I’m not going to sit here waiting on him while she passes out on me.”  Sigh.  So, I downed the soda when she came back and handed it to me, mumbling ‘thank yous’ and ‘I’m sorry’s’ between gulps.  They both assured me it wasn’t a problem, so I relaxed a little.

By the time Tommy got there, I was in the middle of getting the post-hypo freeze and slowly, my numbers started to come up from LOW to 42. He sat down on the table beside my chair and during the recovery, the subject of his medical stuff came up and he asked the therapist some questions about what would be best for him to do.

When I was finally up in the 90’s, they had decided between themselves that the therapist would text our doc to ask if she could see Tommy and try to help his back before the chiropractor.  I ended up not having any therapy yesterday, which stunk, but I think Tommy and I both felt better about him possibly getting to be in with the therapist instead of the chiro.

We will see what becomes of it all.

By this point in the game, we only lack a few hundred dollars meeting out out-of-pocket limit, so we are going to get all the therapy and tests done that we can and take full advantage of our insurance!  Lord knows we’ve sure spent a buttload of money on our health this year and it’s barely April!!

I sure do wish I could get my teeth done on the medical insurance, though!!  Siiigh.  Oh well…

Oh!  I forgot to tell you that in the middle of all this, we took a short vacation to Destin!!  It was actually “prescribed” when I was back in with our doc, talking about all the various appointments we had already had and those coming up soon, she said, “You guys need to take a vacation!”  I asked her to write a script for it.  Ha.  Anyway, we had bought this three-day package last year and it was going to expire soon, so we decided to just do it.

It was fun and nice to get away, but next time we go to Florida, it definitely needs to be longer than just three days.  Hopefully, that can happen before we get too old to travel by ourselves.  Heh.

Okay.. I think you’re all caught up now!!  Later!

getting back to nature… sorta

Hey!  I’m back.  We’ve had lots of appointments and “to dos” lately and I haven’t been able to post anything.  Not sure I’ll be able to put together anything comprehensible today, but we’ll see what I can come up with.  grin

Today is daughter-in-law Melissa’s birthday.  I hope my card got to Ohio in time!  I also had an appointment with my endo this week which went really well.  Despite my struggle with highs, my A1c was the same as last time.  I guess that’s not too shabby to stay at 7.3 for six months?  I would love for it to be lower at the next check up though, and hopefully, the tweaks to my insulin pump settings will do that for me.

So far, I have really been seeing the effects because I’ve had several lows in the past couple days.  Nothing serious, thank God, or crisis-causing, but after dealing with highs, the lows can be a little more scary than before.

The thing is, for the non-D out there, lows can come out of nowhere for no reason with no warning.  Especially if you are like me with hypo-unawareness, lows seem to just appear!  I had no symptoms of being 60 or 50, so when it gets to 40 and 30, I’m a little surprised (and panicked!)  That’s why I’m so thankful to have the Dexcom now.  At least that kind of thing doesn’t happen nearly as often as it would otherwise.

The only way it happens even with the Dex is that I can miss a calibration and the readings be off, like 20 points.  That’s not much if you’re in the 120-150 range, but when you’re in the dirt below 60?  20 points is the difference between conscious and not.  (remember my experience in November?!  yikes!)

So yeah, I’m trying to be much more diligent about at least timing the calibrations so that there’s not one due in the middle of the night.  That’s what happened before.

Anyway, so Tommy and I did the gall bladder/liver flush a couple weeks ago.  (see this post for deets)  My personal opinion is that it’s not horrific.  It’s not pleasant by any means, but it wasn’t a nightmarish couple of days.  And there was plenty of evidence that we both had some seriously gunked up innards!  Sheesh!  Since Tommy had been religiously drinking the apple juice as prescribed to soften stones, there was not a whole lot of “solid” evidence for him.  I only drank maybe 3 cups of apple juice total in the five days prior (when you’re supposed to drink four cups a day!!) so there were tons of pea-green “stones” anywhere from the size of a dried pea to a stinkin’ lima bean!  We also both reacted differently.  I was up about 2 hours after drinking the last of the potions for the first day (the olive oil and lemon juice) going to the bathroom.  He was able to sleep all night without getting up.  He started out with thin results whereas I started with thicker but definitely not-normal stuff.

I KNOW!!  I KNOW!!!  How gross that I’m telling you guys about our poop!!!  But c’mon now.  I’m getting close to the age where that’s normal conversational material, right?  Ha ha!!  Besides, we’re attempting to regain some health and hopefully help Tommy (and ultimately me too!) avoid gall bladder surgery!  So cut me some slack and go do the flush yourself!  I betcha you’ll be talking about what you discover too!  Ha ha ha!!  Seriously, I tried to be as tactful as possible here…just be glad I didn’t post you some pix as well!!  gasp

Changing the subject but not the topic, we’re still drinking “golden milk” every night.  (you can find the recipe here and one list of benefits here)

the most recent health craze: Golden Milk

FYI:  neither of the recipes on the links above are exactly the recipe I use.  I’ll try to do a post about that soon so you guys know exactly what I’m using here.

As for what it’s done for us?  Well, if  you recall, I told you after having the scope done on Tommy’s stomach, the gastroenterologist told us he has GOT to stop taking NSAIDs once and for all.  She took him off of them about 4 years ago but his GP put him back on something else we were told wouldn’t bother his stomach.  We’d never heard of the drug before and I guess were so busy and concerned by how much the pain was limiting Tommy (the man could barely walk) we didn’t question it.  Turns out?  It’s a form of NSAID.  Nice.  So his stomach is once again raw, irritated and close to developing ulcers and bleeding.

While Tommy was still mostly under the sedation, he mumbled and almost cried about this because he knew the doctor had already said in the procedure room that the NSAIDs had to go.  He was saying things like, “how am I going to walk?” and “how am I going to work?”  sigh  I felt so awful for him.  He was worrying so much about this stuff.

When the report came back that he needed to have a HIDA scan (which is routinely when gall stones are suspected) he began looking up all sorts of info about the gall bladder and came to the conclusion that it was important and not nearly as disposable as most doctors like to say  it is.  We decided that God didn’t put any spare parts in there, so we’d start researching ways to heal the gall bladder naturally with diet and nutrition.  (note that I’ve been trying to get the man to change his diet for several years now, especially this last year when he quit cycling and began to put on a lot of weight… rolling my eyes here)

Anyway, that’s when we ran onto the stuff about tumeric being good for the liver and gall bladder.  I’d been wanting to try golden milk already just in the hopes that it would help me sleep better.  We bought the few ingredients that we lacked the next day and made a batch.  We were pleasantly surprised with the taste and committed to drinking a cup of that each night.  We also started him drinking two cups of tart cherry juice each day.  Tart cherry juice is known as a great anti-inflammatory agent as well as tumeric.  So we hoped using both of these along with a lot of dietary changes (because of his allergy testing) would keep him from seizing up and having awful pain.

Orangey-yellowy tumeric root…

So far?  This is two weeks post-flush and about a month after the scope and he’s been using nothing but the cherry and tumeric (sometimes taking capsules of each of those along with the drinks when he hurt more than usual) and he’s doing really, REALLY well.  Seriously, before he would have been almost bedridden in about three days without those NSAIDs.  If we could start riding again, I’m sure it would help even more, but with his dad wanting to restore this old pickup (and Tommy loves doing it to, but it would be nicer if he could work on it in his own time instead of his dad’s schedule, which kills any time to ride bikes sad face) it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing that with any regularity.  He might surprise me and start getting on the trainer.  As for me, I’m riding outside!

The weather around here has been hinting spring for a couple weeks now and I am itching to get my bike out.  I’m going to be so bummed to see how far back I’ve gone since I haven’t ridden in over a year now, but maybe I can build back up quickly…ish.  ??

At this point, it doesn’t matter.  Frankly, I’m thrilled to be feeling good enough to even think about riding.  And that’s, I believe, another benefit of drinking golden milk each night.  I think it’s helping me feel better.

Hmmm…well, I wasn’t planning on this being all about golden milk and our experience with it so far, but in case  you’re all curious about the latest “fad”/trend or whatever you like to call it, and decide to try it before I ever get (finally) a post up about how I make it, let me share a few tips and a bit of info with you….

First of all, the body doesn’t readily absorb tumeric on its own.  That’s why there is (or should be) always fresh ground pepper corns in the recipe.  (if there’s not or it says you can omit it, don’t use that recipe or site!)  FRESH ground black pepper corns, yep, the same kind people have used for eons to flavor their food, is one catalyst for


helping the tumeric absorb.  Don’t skip it.  I am not a big fan of black pepper, fresh or otherwise, so I was a little hesitant, but when you blend it with everything else, you can’t even see the pepper, let alone taste it.  It just calls for a pinch so the other flavors easily overcome the pepper.   You can also just put in 2-5 peppercorns when you heat it then strain those out.  I’m too lazy for that.  Whichever way you do it, make sure it’s fresh.  It’s important for proper absorption.

Second, I don’t make the recipe that calls for making the tumeric into a paste.  No particular reason and I believe there’s no way it could make a nutritional difference.  It’s just easier to me to put in the powder.  I HAVE finally procured some fresh tumeric root (by driving 80-some miles to Whole Foods) so soon as I’ve used up the ground that I have on hand, I’ll try the fresh.  We already use fresh ginger root   and love it!

we try to use fresh ginger all the time!

Third, I DO NOT USE COW MILK!  I had to give up dairy years ago because it turns my head into a nightmarish snot factory before it even hits my tonsils!  UGH!  So, we use almond milk.  If you can find organic soy, that’s okay, but to me, it comes out way too frothy.  Now, I love me some froth, but there’s just so daggone much with the soy milk, you have to about scoop it off to get to the liquid!  Too much work for me!  I’ve also used coconut and it is great for this!  I would continue using it, but Tommy’s allergic, so… I only use it if he’s not here and I’m making for myself.  sigh

Fourth, I heat the milk in my Vitamix.  I am slap in love with that thing!  I’ve had it close to a year now, but have DEEPLY DESIRED one for decades!  I finally found a deal offering major discounts on returned units, so I jumped on it!  I use it at least once a day, but usually more than that.  I make Tommy a frozen fruit smoothie in the mornings and then I make our golden milk in there in the evening.  Lately, I’m also blending coconut oil into my coffee, too, so that’s at least three times most days!

check out that froth! just the right amount is heavenly!

Fifth, get organic ingredients whenever possible.  I know that’s a big buzz word in health news these days, but I think it’s important to ingest as few chemicals as we can.  Lord knows we are bombarded with enough harmful things out there that we can do nothing about.  I try to do whatever I can when I can.

Okay… there you go.  Oh wait… here’s a page I found talking about the benefits of tumeric.  It appears to be written by someone for whom English is a second language, but it’s very readable anyway.  It just points out the importance of the pepper!  Don’t leave it out!  😉  Use the whole-kernel/strain method if you have to!

Let me know if you try this…what you think of the taste and what it does for you!  YAY!

the worst one yet: a hypo story

So yeah, in this post I mentioned that the reason it was delayed is because I ended up in the hospital that evening.  I promised to tell you about that, so here goes…

I’ve been really REALLY sick since the end of August.  If you’ve visited at all in that time frame, you probably know this already.  I was just miserably sick with some sort of bronchial-slash-allergy illness from Hades!  I was on and off antibiotics and steroids and all sorts of allergy medication, nebulizer meds, inhalers and nasal sprays.  I was using an oil diffuser, vitamins and herbals, teas, Vicks on my feet… you name it and I tried it.  For the longest time, I just could not seem to get better at all, or I’d get better for a couple of days and then go back or get worse.  Finally, FINALLY, I started to feel like I was over the hump and improving a little.  I had started immunotherapy and either that was helping or The Sick just got tired of me at last and went to torment someone else.  I honestly don’t know.  I just knew I was thankful to feel almost human again!

That was a couple of days before Thanksgiving.  I felt good enough to help plan the meal.  I even baked a turkey sans stuffing specially for Corey because poor Mom couldn’t seem to understand that even if she only put stuffing inside the turkey, it could still cause his celiac to flare and had loaded hers full of regular, gluten-laden stuffing.  I also made him some gluten free dumplings, gravy and dessert before going up to Mom’s to make my usual batch of dumplings for the rest of us.  It was a great day, the best Thanksgiving we’ve had in a while.  My cousin Gabe was able to be with us and about six other random friends of ours or our kids were there with us unexpectedly.  I was thankful that my parents didn’t flip out having so many people over, but they seemed to enjoy it once the initial shock wore off.   We were there until almost 11 pm playing games and having a really good time.

That was on Friday.  Yes, I know Thanksgiving is on Thursday but for whatever reason, Mom had decided we would do our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday, and so we did.  So I got through the weekend fine and continued to feel better.  So much better I was beginning to tackle the house, which has been in a horrific state of neglect for MONTHS now.

Then on Monday, I once again was feeling really good.  It’s not often I have days like that, and especially after being sick for so long, so I was relishing the fact that I didn’t need a nap before noon and that I was actually able to finish several tasks without getting wiped out or discouraged.  It was starting to seem possible to get the house in shape enough to get ready for Christmas!

I had gone to get my allergy shots around 9:30 so being dressed and out and actually getting an errand completed by that time of day was a major accomplishment!  I switched out some laundry, folded and put a load of it away, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, washed the big dishes and put them away and scrubbed the sinks.  I felt like I had conquered the world!  The only downer at that point was that my sugar had been hovering around 200 for much of the day.  I ate leftover dumplings with Tommy for lunch around 11:30 and had struggled to get the number down ever since.  By 2:00 it was still up and of course, my CGM was “screaming” at me every five minutes.  It just kept alerting me that my sugar was high.

Really?!?!  Yeah, I know already!  I really love my CGM and it’s a great tool to have, but I wish there was a way to make it not continue to make that noise after you already know it’s doing whatever Dex is alerting you about while you’re trying to correct the problem!  Gah!  I had started a post earlier and now it was finally finished.  I just needed some photos to compliment the theme, so I was busy searching, uploading, transferring and editing so I could publish when I suddenly got extremely tired.

It wasn’t a “low” tired, but then again they never seem like “low” tireds.  sigh  I just figured that all my energy had been spent and it was time for me to recharge.  By this time it was about 3:30 – 3:45.  While I’ve been sick, I got in the habit of just laying down whenever I felt tired and napping instead of fighting it.  I figured if I slept for 45 minutes to an hour, I’d feel lots better and could get some more done around the house.

That’s the last thing I remember before the ambulance.

I can remember hearing unfamiliar voices.  I can remember the sort-of fading-in of voices asking me questions … it was like tuning in a radio station.  I couldn’t understand the words for a time until I got them “tuned in”.  Then I would hear someone talking about me.  Saying what my blood pressure was, talking about turning “her” or that “she’s starting to come around”.  I think that last sentence is what caused me to realize what was going on and open my eyes.

Somehow, I knew I was lying on the floor of my bedroom with my head at the foot of the bed next to the closet doors.  I remember wondering how so many people were able to fit in such a small space then I began to wonder what in the world had happened.

About that time, I heard Corey’s voice and spoke his name.  I’ve gotten in the habit, ever since I started having those sudden severe lows, of stating what I can see or hear in an effort to let people know that my brain is operating, at least a little.  Then I saw Taylor’s face and spoke her name.  Both of them said things like “it’s going to be okay”, “you’re okay” and “it’s alright now”.  I started trying to ask what happened but must not have been doing a good job when a man to my right leaned over and told me his name was Daniel.  That’s when I knew I was in real trouble, or at least I had been.  I could see his EMT uniform and the creepy blue gloves on his hands.  Beyond that, I couldn’t tell anything else was going on with my body other than I was freezing.  I began saying, “Cold.  Cold.  COLD.”  That’s when they counted and I could feel them lift me with a blanket and plop me onto a gurney.

I could see I was being wheeled through my kitchen and out the door onto the porch.  It hit me then.  The realization that I’d been the cause of yet another medical bill.  I began saying, “I’m sorry.”  And I was, both for racking up another bill to pay and for worrying my kids like this.  Corey told me there was no reason to be sorry.  I continued telling them I was cold because folks, a post-hypo freeze is nothing to be toyed with.  One nurse later told me a severe hypoglycemic episode can put you near hypothermia!  I believe it!

They loaded me into the ambulance and both Daniel and Corey climbed in on either side of me.  I began asking Corey what had happened.  He started off by saying I had probably busted my nose, but it was okay.  That was puzzling because my nose didn’t hurt.  I touched it and it felt fine.  I didn’t know what he was talking about.  Then I felt the stiff remains of dried blood on my face, then the stickiness of something else… Corey gently wiped at my face with a tissue.  “It’s okay.  You’ve got some blood on your face.  We’ll get it off in a minute.”  I said, “Sticky.”  He said, chuckling, “Yeah, I got a little syrup on your face.  We’ll wash it off soon.”  Then I asked him again what happened.  He said, “You got really, really low, Mom.  But you’re okay now.”

I listened as he and Daniel talked about me and then about the job.  Daniel remembered hearing about the EMT Cadet program that Corey had been part of before it shut down.  He said, “I could tell you’d had some sort of training by the way you handled things in there.  She’s up to one-nineteen now.  That’s much better.”

When the ambulance stopped, I remember noticing all the red brick and then seeing Casey, Melissa and Taylor standing outside the open doors as Corey and Daniel began to move me out into the cold air.  Then I saw Tommy, who I hadn’t even had time to wonder about.  They got me into a little room in the ER and another guy came in and tested my sugar.  “Sixty-nine,” he said.   Then he asked Daniel what my sugar had been last time and decided to give me a second dose of D50.  I’m not sure why this was done since by then I was able to eat and drink.  After researching about D50, I learned that it’s not good on the veins and Lord knows, I have bad enough veins to begin with!

I finally began to get warm after about 2 hours.  And my sugar began to rise too.  I had found out by now that Tommy had had Corey remove my pump as soon as he found me passed out.  I connected back to it and bolused for the 170+ sugar.  From that moment on, I would have to fight for every single unit of insulin I received during my 22-hour stay.

The hospitalist had me disconnect from my pump.  Don’t get me started on how little most hospital staff know about diabetes.  In this instance, since at that point we weren’t sure what had happened and thought maybe it had been a pump error that caused the severe low, I was okay with removing my pump.  However, I was NOT okay with the hospital’s method of dosing.  Nor with their schedule for testing my blood sugar.  According to them, if it wasn’t done on their glucometer, it wouldn’t be scanned into the system.  Whatever.  I still don’t want to wait til  you think it needs testing.  So when I check and it’s 198 and I tell you I need some insulin, don’t tell me it’s not time, you’ll bring it with my supper or you will be right back with it (then don’t come back for three more hours).  It was INFURIATING trying to manage my sugars in there.  

Also, don’t confuse your medical degree with my decades of first-hand, 24/7/365 experience of dealing with my own disease.  Thank you.

I’d forgotten how horrible diabetes-in-the-hospital can be.  When I complained to the hospitalist about the fact that my sugar was approaching 400 and I had asked several times for insulin, she told me in the ER (because apparently, if you work in the ER, you only know abut ER stuff??) they usually see diabetes patients with sugars well above 600 and have no clue they are running that high.  I informed her that —I— was not one of those patients and when my sugar got above 200, I felt sick and I wanted to keep it under that.  She agreed and said she’d write it in the chart.

I don’t know what “it” was, but the treatment I got regarding my insulin in no way resembled control.  I won’t keep going on about this.  Maybe it’s fodder for another post instead, but the reality of ill-educated medical staff when it comes to diabetes is just epidemic!

Okay, so when Tommy and I started going back through the history on my pump, we saw that I had somehow (“somehow”) given about 20 units more insulin after my meal of dumplings.  Obviously, I had needed more than I estimated, but not THAT much more.  When we looked at the times of the boluses, we could see that I’d given several of them either in my sleep or at such a low level that I didn’t realize what I was doing.  All I can figure is that I went to sleep frustrated over trying to give enough insulin to get my blood sugar down and had heard my CGM go off so many times that day that when it continued alerting, now for lows instead of highs, I would automatically bolus thinking it was still saying I was too high.

That and also what the pump trainer said… after bumping up my basal rates in tiny increments over the last several months, having the lung infection then being on all those meds, and then finally getting well, my body went back to its former insulin needs quicker than I expected or could adjust for them.  So it was another perfect storm as far as situations that combined to cause this horrible low.

I’m just immensely thankful to be alive.  I’m working to train myself out of the habit of just hitting that bolus button before testing and actually not to use it at all, but instead use a temporary basal rate to correct highs and an extended delivery (a square or dual-wave) bolus when I eat so all the insulin isn’t hitting my system at once.  Tommy, bless his heart, has been off all week watching over me and helping me test these adjustments to see exactly what works best.  He gets extremely stressed and fretful if my sugar gets to 60, which is something I’m not used to.  He’s usually the most calm, collected person I know, but after seeing me bleeding, lying in the floor seizing and thinking I was dying right in front of him, he now worries any time my sugar even hints at going low.

I am truly blessed with the best family ever.  If not for my hubby, who had called to check on me when I was around 50, but I don’t recall talking to him.  When he thought I was treating my low myself, he hung up with me, but then got busy with his work and didn’t call again until 30 minutes later when his app alerted him.  When he couldn’t get me on the phone, he called Corey to see if he could go check on me.  As soon as Corey found me, he called his dad and just said, “You need to come home, Dad, it’s bad.”   Tommy called 911 immediately and tore out of the work site heading home.

I’m not sure when Taylor and Casey arrived, but I’m pretty sure Corey called Casey and he called Taylor so she could come straight to the house when she got home from work.

Hopefully, my sharing these kinds of things will help you understand how hard it can be to manage and regulate diabetes.  That it’s not a cut-and-dried medical issue, not one-size-fits-all treatment and not even this-works-every-time because ultimately, Diabetes does it’s own thing sometimes and it doesn’t have to make sense.

It’s a cruel, exhausting disease so when you meet a person with diabetes, be kind.  Be sympathetic.  Be nice.  Shoot, just be that way all the time, but please extend a hand to the PWDs in your life.  As the meme goes, be kind to PWDs, we deal with enough pricks already.



the time I ran over my foot with the lawnmower…

Yes, it happened.

The year was 2012.  And I just realized recently that I hadn’t really posted about that whole incident.

It doesn’t seem that long ago in a way, but it also seems like it happened forever ago, too.  Isn’t that weird?

Here is the culprit...this isn’t ours, but yeah, we still have it and still mow with it.  Up until the middle of the season, I was mowing with it.  That’s when we figured out that my sinuses did not like to mow at least as much as the rest of me.

That mower, or rather, the evil one, still liked to play games with my mind when I was mowing and gave me a lot of anxiety.

So anyhow, back to the day it got real up in here…

I often would mow the yard with our John Deere 316 hydrostatic transmission mower.  It was (is) old, but Tommy had kept it running and looking fairly nice after going through it to replace what was needed, including a new seat and a new paint job several years ago.  We don’t throw nothin’ away, folks.

I would trim as close as I could to the house, sidewalks and trees so that there wasn’t much left for Tommy to weedeat or to use the mower on himself.  Behind our shop however, there is a steep hill.  The shop actually sits “in” the hill, having dug out to fit the back corner into it so that at the top of the roof on that side, you can stand almost level with said roof.  Actually, you can take a step up onto the roof and walk across it if you don’t have any sense.  But I don’t do that…I have sense.  Our shop is about 20 feet high to accommodate the 7-ton car lift we have in there.  At the opposite end of the shop is where that hill levels out and joins the rest of our yard.  The shop is 60 feet long, so whatever pitch that creates in fall…if you are a mathematically inclined personage, you can figure that out for me.  If you do that, you let us know and then we can all be grateful and know how steep that makes the dreaded hill.

Okay, so for some reason, maybe because Tommy was working late, I decided I’d help him by mowing that hill.

Boy, I helped alright…

I had no clue how he mowed it.  I tried not to watch because it scared me.  He’s not worried about keeping me from freaking out when he’s doing these kinds of things.  (remember walking across the shop roof?  that would be Tommy checking the gutters)  Myself, genius that I am, figured that the logical thing would be to mow from top to bottom, right?

Am I right, ladies?  Isn’t this how you would do it??  From the angle I was at the top of the hill, it didn’t look quite as steep, y’know?  So off I started when I immediately felt the thing slip.  I don’t know if it actually slipped or if something mechanical did, but it made me take notice.

I thought to myself, “Self, if this thing decides to flip, you’ll not only be off of it, you’ll be underneath it.  That’s probably not good.”

“Yeah,” I agreed with myself.  “Prolly not.”

“Self,” I said again, “you should prolly try to get off this thing soon as you can so you don’t end up under it.”

“Yeah,” I agreed again, then, “ummm…how should I do that, ya think?”

“Self,” my wiser, sager part responded, “I believe if you jump reeeeally hard, you can clear the deck with no problem.  Whaddya think?”

“Uh, well alrighty then,” I again concurred.  “I guess I can do that…”

Of course, that entire conversation took place in maybe a second and a half.  Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the ground probably 4 feet from the very bottom of the hill, watching the mower plod right on past me where it came to rest with its front nosed up against what is now the chicken run.  I remember thinking, “That thing’s gonna kill my butterfly bush!” and wondering how big the hole would end up being that it had begun to dig with its back tires.

[Because it’s the first question most people ask at this point, I’ll stop the story to address it here.  The auto-shut-off under the seat was disconnected because we have a lot of slopes in our yard, besides the steep hill.  I was constantly having to shift my weight from one side to the other, and every time I did it (and sometimes for Tommy, too) the motor would shut off.  It was maddening, so yeah, that was disconnected, but it happened so quick, there’s no way the blades would have been completely stopped before they hit my foot and I in no way feel this is something to be blamed on anyone.  It was a freak accident in which I made what was possibly a less-than-stellar decision. Um…yeah.  End of subject.]

Then I noticed that my left shoe was gone.  I looked over my right shoulder to see it about 12-15 feet up the hill from me.  “How in tarnation did that get up there?” I wondered to myself as I started to do what I knew I had to… I had to look at the foot.

[author’s note:  No, people.  I don’t normally talk with so much country flair, but if you listen to me, you can definitely tell I didn’t come in on the bus.  However, when I’m pondering these happenings in my mind, they come out all peppered with these words.  I’m just puttin’ em down just ‘zackly like how they come to me.]

There was no pain, oddly enough.  I saw blood but that’s all I knew.  I couldn’t see where on my foot it was coming from only that it appeared to be the back half, so I took my right foot, which still had a shoe and rested it on top of my left heel.  My rationale here was that would create pressure.  Pressure’s good for bleeding, right?  Even when you can’t tell where the blood’s coming from?


That’s when I realized I was saying, “God help me, God help me, God help me,” over and over.  I remember that’s when the thought, “Oh no, Geannie, what in the world have you done to yourself?” while visions of amputation and living the rest of my life in a wheelchair sped through my brain.  Along with visions of kicking myself with my one stumpy leg for being so stupid…

I remembered that I had my phone with me.  I normally don’t take a phone to mow.  My boys had lost too many of their phones that way, so I just didn’t, but that day I thought, “Hm, there’s a button on this pocket, it won’t fall out,” as I tucked it into the back of my denim shorts.

I had seen Corey’s work truck come in at his house just a few moments before I started my fateful climb up the hill, so I thought to call him.  Melissa answered and I asked if Corey was there.  She said yes, but he was in the shower.  I said, “Oh, okay.  Can you tell him to call me when he gets out?  I fell off the lawnmower.”  She says I hung up on her, but I could have sworn I said, “Bye.”  The only time I’ve ever hung up on someone was trying to be the first to hang up or if I was really mad.  Mel, I’m about positive I said ‘bye’!  This will bother me til I die, folks.

I then dialed my husband’s cell number.

He answered and I said, “Hey, whatcha doin’?”

He said, “I’m fixin’ to come home.  What are you up to?”

“Oh, I been mowin’.  I fell off the mower,” I said in this amazingly nonchalant manner.

“Are you cut?” he asked.


“Are you bleeding?” he asked.


Next thing I heard was, “Boys, I gotta go!  Geannie’s wrecked on the lawn mower.”

About that time, I saw Corey walking up from his house.  Melissa was with him and he said something to her while motioning her into the house.  He walked over, knelt down and began putting his couple years of EMT cadet training to good use.

Corey’s so good that way.  Both our boys are, come to think of it, really calm in stressful situations.  They are the guys you want with you if something bad happens because they can assess the situation and make good, rational decisions.

He asked me if I knew how bad it was.  I told him no, I couldn’t see for the blood. He had me take my right foot off the left, and took the bottle of water he’d been drinking and splashed it on my foot.  I barely caught a glimpse before turning away.  I was afraid that if I saw it, I might easily go on into shock since I felt I was close to that already.

That’s about the time Tommy came barrelling into the yard with his truck.  He pulled over to where I was still sitting behind the shop.  By this time, Melissa had brought about 5 towels out of the house and Corey had moved my foot onto one of them and wrapped another around it.  My dad pulled up about that time, too.

My poor dad…he is well-known for passing out at the sight of blood.  I have no clue what he thought he was doing, but as Tommy was lifting me up to put me in the truck, he came running over to help.  I’m not sure what I said, but all I could think of is how bad it’d probably hurt if he dropped me when he fell over, so he didn’t need telling twice to back up.  Bless his heart.

Corey helped Tommy get me on into the truck and we took off.  I heard Corey saying he would look for the rest of my foot.

I can recall thinking to myself, sorta as a passing thought, “Well, that doesn’t sound good.”

Tommy was absolutely flying and scaring me, so I did the next thing I could think of and that was to get a prayer chain started.  I wanted to get my Emmaus family praying for me as soon as possible so the first person in my list of contacts was Shawn.  Why?  Simply because the poor boy’s last name starts with an A.

There’s a great backstory here that I’ll link to this post later, but Shawn and Tommy have a history through Tommy’s work.  I didn’t know him that well, but through Emmaus, and Christ, he was now my brother, so I didn’t hesitate to call his number.

He answered and I asked how he was doing.  I’ll never forget him saying, “I’m blessed!”

I told him he may not think so once he found out why I was calling.  I told him he was the first name on my Emmaus list and then the reason for my call.  He asked me what I wanted him to do…did I need him to come get me.

blink, blink  I’m a little confounded at this since he lives a good 70 miles from me at this time.  I told him no, but please get people praying for healing.  I said that we didn’t know anything about it yet, but were almost at the hospital.

When he finally saw me later, I was in a wheelchair with my foot elevated, toes poking out of the thick bandaging.

First thing out of Shawn’s mouth is, “There’s your foot!  You tole me you cut it off!”  He’s pointing to it the whole time as if it might be a fake.  It was hilarious, but he still swears right up and down that I told him I had cut my foot OFF!  Lord help it, he thought that my foot was literally gone.  I think he has hysterical hearing, that’s what I think.

When I got to the emergency room, the first thing the doctors asked after “What happened?” was “How long was she out?

I asked if he meant “passed out” and he said he did.  Tommy explained that he wasn’t there right when the accident happened,  “… but our son got up there pretty fast and he said she was sitting up.  She had called him and then me, so I don’t think she passed out at all.”

The ER doc did a double-take, maybe because I hadn’t cried the first tear either and shook his head.  “Wow…okay then.” and that was the end of that.  To this day, I’m not sure if that was a good wow. like, “Man, she’s a tough one.” or a bad wow, like, “Man, she must be one of those psychos.”  I wish I’d thought to ask him…

I can’t recall the exact order of events past this point.  I was admitted, of course.  The surgeon came in the next morning and said he needed to do a procedure to clean out the debris before he could know positively what needed to be done.  He did a lot of poking and prodding at the rest of my foot, asking if I’d had nerve damage from the diabetes already.  No, I hadn’t.  He told us the cut was down to the bone, but no major nerves had been hit.  The whole inside slab of my left heel had been lopped off, but even though Corey later brought the piece to the hospital, they couldn’t reattach it.  There was a nick just behind the ball of my foot where the tip of the next blade had hit.  If it had been any further up on my foot, it would have been really bad news.

This is when we began to realize and see God move in mighty ways and truly understand that even in the midst of a terrible season of your life, He can create a calm place where you can rest.

After the surgery to clean the cut up, I began to shed tears.

Lots of tears.

They had me on pain meds afterward, but then my blood pressure started dropping, so they stopped the heaviest ones.  I have an extremely high tolerance to pain medicines for some reason.  The anesthesiologist always tells us after a surgery that they had to administer the highest dose permissible to do the operation.  So not being able to have the stronger meds wasn’t good for me at all.

I recall the miserable night I spent moaning and crying out from the pain.  It was horrible and felt like the longest night of my entire life.  Looking back now, I feel so bad for poor Tommy having to listen to me when there was nothing anyone could do.  He’s the world’s best nurse, trust me.  I’ve had him tend to me too many times over the years.  He may wait til I’m about to die, but once I’m to that point, when I really need him, he’s right there through the puke and blood and blisters and whatever else happens to erupt from me.

After that one awful night, things got better.  It was determined that a skin graft would need to be done in one or two months, depending on how well the cut healed.  That was the big question now…how well would this thing heal?

I call it a cut, it was a gaping wound!!  I have posted photos HERE for those who would like to see them.  I know we’re not all medically inquisitive by nature, so I have only put the much-later photos here on the post.  With THIS link, you’ll be taken deeper into the site where, hopefully, no one will accidentally click.  See, I’m here for you.  I got your back!

But seriously, if you can stomach it, you should GO LOOK.  They’re supposed to be in chronological order, but the app in WP made it a monumental task to do that, so I captioned them the best I could, so that stinks….but still….it’s really amazing to see how it changed from day to day.  The pix are all thumbnails you can click to view as a slideshow if you want.  God really healed that nasty foot AND the donor site better and quicker than most hangnails I get.

People with diabetes tend to heal very slowly because our blood sugar is constantly fluctuating up and down.  We can’t hold a steady level especially through stress or when there’s an infection or even a wound that may become infected.  Any extra stress on our bodies will make the diabetes do weird things, cause problems in some way.

Here is a what’s going to blow your mind…you can choose to disbelieve, but I was there.  It happened TO ME, I have no choice but to believe it because I saw it happen.  Since I already believe there is a sovereign God who created the universe and all the beings within it, including you and me, I believe it was God who did this amazing thing.

Remember when I told you about getting Shawn busy on letting people know to pray for me?  Well, he did and this Emmaus bunch, they are some serious pray-ers.  During the second and third day I was in the hospital, I had to disconnect my insulin pump.  My sugar kept falling repeatedly, so we finally just took it off.  The first time a meal came, I tested to see if I needed to give insulin for the food.  It was still at normal levels, but I think I did give some insulin for the carbs in the food…and I ended up going too low.  The insulin made my blood sugar drop too low.  From then until I reconnected my pump, I didn’t use any insulin at all.  Two days.  For those two days, I was healed.  I believe that people were praying so hard for me to be healed, that God literally healed me of diabetes for those two days.

Now, that will beg the question, “Why did God give it back to you?”

I don’t have a clue.

And. That. Is. Okay.

I don’t know why this wasn’t a permanent healing.  However, it was a healing just the same.  During a time when my body needed stable blood sugars so it could do its job with the trauma my foot had sustained, God showed Himself to me in such a real way.  And He didn’t stop there.

Nope.  He continued the healing of my foot (and later, the donor site for my skin graft)  The nature of this wound required a wet-to-dry packing.  We put saline saturated gauze on the wound itself, then a couple squares of dry, so that it would dry from the outside inward.  That kept the wound “fresh”, which is what you need to do a graft.  But even though they were doing that, keeping the wound open, fresh, whatever, you could still see it changing and healing.  You could see the flesh that had been under my skin begin to rebuild itself.  You could see the fatty portions recreate and begin to move to the surface where they belonged. You could see that wound that had always been concave, bowed inward, begin to fill out and prepare for some new skin.

God kept working after the graft was done.  I had more pain with that ol’ graft than I did with the actual wound (except for that one night without pain meds!)…it stung and burned like a deep sunburn the entire time it healed.  It didn’t matter that the skin they’d taken off was such a minuscule thickness it couldn’t be shown without measurement tools, it hurt like the dickens.  The mere suggestion that there was a possibility my heel might reject the skin and we would have to do another graft made me all the more determined that this graft WOULD take the first time!

When I went into the orthopaedic’s office for the pre-surgery meeting (in about a month) we saw a different doctor.  Our doc was in the other office that day, but wanted me to be seen anyway.  So the guy is examining my foot very closely, he’s saying it looks great, it looks like a fine candidate for a graft.  We mention that we’re grateful it healed so well in spite of the diabetes.

He stops suddenly and picks up my file, flipping through it hurriedly.  He stops, looks up and asks,

[My D-peeps… don’t you just LOVE when this happens?  You realize the doctor who’s examining you has no clue you have diabetes?  Yeah.  Me too. (NOT!)]

“But you’re type 2, right?”

“No, type 1 actually.”

He furiously flips some more, then asks, “How long ago did this happen?”

We tell him.  He flips more, then almost throws the file over his shoulder onto the counter behind him and gets up close and personal with my foot.  I mean, his face is almost touching my foot as he eyeballs my heel…

“That is ah-MAZING!” he says.

We are almost cracking up now.  I said, “I know.  That’s what we were saying, God has healed me unbelievably fast!”

And so, when the doctors said it would probably be six months before I could walk I was walking in about 3-and-a-half.  When they said I wouldn’t be able to wear a shoe for a year, I had on tennis shoes in 6 months.  When they said it looks like the graft might not take, it took perfectly with no inkling of infection or complication.  That next summer, I forced myself to get right back on that mower, too.

My God is an AMAZING healer!!  And of course, there’s a backstory to this whole thing too concerning the weekend I spent helping minister to residents in a women’s prison in Nashville just the week before this all happened.  But that’s for another post…

Please comment!  Let me know if you checked out the pix!

crap sammich

That’s where I’ve been living for almost a month now.  Now, I don’t normally use the “other” word…$h!+.  So don’t go thinking I toned this phrase down for posting on my blog.  I assure you, I didn’t….but that’s about all I can think of when I ponder how my life’s been these past few weeks.  Just a big ol’ crap sammich!

They are telling me it’s allergies, but I’ve never had allergies treat me so bad in my life!  I mean, this started out like just a case of the sniffles.  Seriously!  Nothing major, just a bit of drainage…not even a sore throat, and then that cough started.

I guess I’ll never post any such declaration as> THIS <again!  You betcha!  I mean, the very title is just asking for a big ol’ dose of Murphy’s law or karma or whatever you wanna call it.

I don’t actually believe in those things, but if I was trying to decide whether to believe or not, these weeks since that post would make a believer out of me!  And God knows, I wasn’t bragging!  I was just trying to share my joy!  Honestly!  sigh

So here I am now, for whatever reason God has, with this nasty bronchial/sinus infection now.  After going to see a doctor I didn’t know, (because I couldn’t get in touch with mine due to a cruddy phone system) y’know, to get in front of this thing, and getting NOTHING done other than confirming no infection (and I am sure I didn’t have one at the time) I have ended up Friday having a Decadron shot, a round of antibiotics, doubling up on the guaifenesin, adding a steroid inhaler plus nebulizer treatments, making sure I take the nasal spray steroid (that I’m so bad about missing!) and now another 3 days of oral steroid just because my cough was still bad when my doc called me Monday.

In case you are a non-D person and don’t know, anytime a person with diabetes has to take a steroid, it sends their blood sugars soaring.  That’s just the nature of the beast, which is why some doctors are so hesitant to give them to a PWD.

I assured my doc I could adjust the basal rates on my insulin pump to handle the rise in blood sugars, but man, I had forgotten just how hard it is to manage my sugars while on steroids.  Egads!  Having high sugars makes you feel like poo all by itself, so it’s like a crap sammich with a side of poo, y’know!?!

Today has probably been the least fatigued I’ve felt since this whole thing started.  I’m not sure if that’s because my mom and my aunt came down to help with the house this morning or not.

I really, REALLY didn’t want them to come.   I mean, Lord knows I need the help around here but do you have any idea what the home of a depressed person with diabetes who has been sick for weeks actually looks like??  It is NOT pretty, folks.  And my mom is a perfectionist housekeeper.  We have had some doozies about my inability to keep my house up to her standards over the years.  But bless her heart, she didn’t fuss too much and I know good and well she wanted to.  I guess maybe she’s figured out I have been really, really sick.  Maybe it’s sinking in that dealing with depression on top of diabetes is a big load to bear and doesn’t lend itself to being an organized, always-on-top-of-it person who keeps their house spotless.  Especially not one of those who also has some hoarding tendencies.  Heaven help!

So yeah, I might be a tad better today.  I sure hope these steroids will move this cough on out, though.  I have one day left of those.  My doc wants to send me for a cardio workup just to make sure none of this coughing is due to a heart issue though.  I really don’t think it is.  The only time I have any sort of lung issue is if I :

  1. get tickled or
  2. get choked or
  3. get something like this

Then I’ll end up hacking my lungs out, sounding like a long-time smoker (no joke!) and needing a rescue inhaler.  I think the main reason Doc is sending me for cardio tests is that I had a nasty coughing fit in her office.  You could hear me barking all over the office.  They were bringing me cups of water and Doc wouldn’t let me leave til I had taken the sample steroid inhaler and then a nebulizer treatment.  It was awful and I was sure glad it wasn’t far to my house, but then I had to stop at the pharmacy, which was on the way.  Only, they didn’t have the one item I really needed right then…the cough syrup…so I had to drive back across town to get that at another location.  sigh  Ain’t that always the way, though?

Anyhows, so that’s where I stand with this lastest issue of Creeping Crud Magazine.  Ugh.  I am so ready to be done with this.  I realized though, thanks to Facebook and Timehop, that I’m always sick, getting sick or getting over being sick at this time of year.  If it IS allergies, then perhaps if I set a reminder on my calendar for the end of August to start being super-diligent with my allergy treatments, up the vitamin C, etc. if maybe, just maybe that would help?  What do you think?  Is that crazy?  I know if I don’t do that though, I’ll forget it completely.  Do any of you do things like that??…set reminders for yearly things besides birthdays and anniversaries??

So how are you guys doing with allergies?  I take allergy meds year round and have done so for decades.  Used to, this seasonal stuff really didn’t bother me but now, oh boy.  It sure jacks me up!

Hope you are all well and free of Creep-o Crud!

frankly friday: the D-word debate

So a guy I’ve gotten to know online who is a diabetes advocate (and a t1d himself) recently posted this great video about the whole issue of what to call someone “like me”….a “person with diabetes” or a “diabetic”.

Apparently, there remains a huge debate over this and some folks are really touchy about which one you choose to use.

Here’s the video I submitted as requested by my buddy in response to his video :  (btw–I’m planning to join the discussion if possible!)


I sorta-kinda used to be offended about being referred to as a “diabetic” back when I was first made aware of the idea.  I fell for the whole “don’t limit me with a label” and “you’re saying I’m nothing more than a disease when you say that!” mindset.  I say fell for because frankly, it didn’t last long.  It’s just not my nature to stay terribly upset by something like that.  I just got caught up by an idea that I’d never had before, I think.  That and it gets really old using that many words to say something that could be relayed with one word…and I find it awkward to always say “person with diabetes“.  Maybe that’s just me.

I really just got tired of being upset about it.  I wondered if, in the end, was it really worth my energy and emotional balance to get riled up about that, ya know?

Obviously, I’ve decided that for me, it’s not worth my time.  I don’t care if people refer to me as “a diabetic” or as “a person with diabetes“.  I try to use the terms interchangeably in my posts because I know there are people out there who really have an issue with it.  Since I don’t care one way or another, I try to be balanced with which term I use as a courtesy to my readers.

Here’s the thing…if someone says, “That’s Geannie.  She’s a mom.”  I’m not going to get all bent out of shape because, obviously, I am more than “just a mom”.  But that’s kinda a given, don’t you think?  Do YOU know anyone who is a mom or dad and absolutely nothing else?

No!  Of course not!  I guess I feel like this debate falls a bit too close to the whole “politically correct” atmosphere that seems to be epidemic everywhere in the US today.  My feelings are not that easily hurt most of the time.

I have come to really dislike hearing the fairly uncommon phrase “bad diabetic”, however.  Not that I go on a rant anytime someone says that.  I realize that it’s not meant as a personal insult or even a general one.  I figure that it’s just how some people speak, it’s how they were raised to talk about someone with a chronic disease.

But that got me to thinking that there’s really NOT another disease out there that is ever put into words like that.  I mean, you don’t say of someone “He’s a bad hemophiliac” or “she’s a bad pianist” ya know?  Nobody does that.  No one says “they are a bad cancer patient” when someone has had cancer for a long time.  I know that’s what at least one of my friends means when she introduces me to people that way (not EVERY time, but often enough to make me wince — ha ha!)  She just means, I think, that I have struggled with diabetes for a long time and it causes me various problems.

Honestly, I’ve never ever stopped someone or called them out for using that phrase.  Maybe one day I will, but probably not.  Anyone who has said that is either a family member or a friend.  People just don’t understand and I can extend them some grace for that.

People really DON’T understand diabetes at all unless they live with it or with someone who has it.  You can’t totally understand it otherwise.  But I sometimes assume people who know me know more about it than they do.

I have some friends who I love dearly, but we’re not super-close as in we don’t get together often or just chat/text on the phone regularly.  One friend, after being around when I had a hypo that kept me from driving home was sitting with me while I treated and she says, “I thought your pump took care of that.”


Yeah, I was stunned for a second.  I just didn’t realize anyone did, would or could think that a pump was essentially a cure.  It blew me away.  I quickly tried to expand her knowledge as best I could.  But I’m still not sure she really understood.

You see…people just don’t understand.  I always try to inform people as much as I can (when they show interest) about what diabetes is really like, what is means to live with it 24/7/365.  But not everyone can really grasp it all.

Like my one friend who will still refer to me as “a bad diabetic.  Bless her heart.  Even though I’ve posted various statuses about that or even mentioned something like that there really IS no bad/good kind of diabetes, she still doesn’t seem to understand.  And that’s okay.  It’s not on me to make sure she does.  We don’t see each other very often, so it’s not like there’s time or even a need to more fully educate her and make certain she is understanding.

And after all, it’s not like she’s calling me a “bad friend/wife/mother/singer/bungee jumper”… ya know?  There are a lot worse things to be called.  Ha ha!

But if you would like to understand more about how it is to live day in and day out with diabetes, ask me!  Ask me!!  I would much rather someone ask questions than make assumptions any day!

frankly friday: my top 3 type 1 peeves

I know guys, I KNOW!  I have really been awful about keeping up with FF posting, but it seems the past couple of weeks have just been so stinkin’ busy!  I promise I’ll try to do better.  I know the three of you depend on me for this.


Anyhow, okay, so I’ve got some diabetical stuff that is just irking the snot right outta me lately.

#1 – Dexcom alarms:  Okay, I REALIZE that’s what the thing is for.  To alert us before our blood sugar gets completely out of control, but c’mon!  Am I the only one who gets SO sick of these things?  It’s not so much the “urgent low” or “high blood sugar” alerts as much as like, when you’ve treated your hypo, it continues to BEEP, BEEP, BEEP at you and you’re all like, “I KNOW it’s low!  Didn’t you see me drinking that juice just five minutes ago?”  Of course, I know Dex didn’t see me, but sheesh!  Then, of course, there are the alarms that you are rising too fast.  Or when your sugar’s been too high and you corrected… okay, maybe you even rage-bolused and now it’s hollerin’, “Comin’ in hot!  You’re gonna crash, you’re gonna crash!  Pull up!”  That’s my interpretation of the dropping fast alarms.   It’s like, “DUDE!  I’m at 330!  It’s okay with me if it drops fast right now, mm-kay?  Now, knock it off!”  I know it’s a lot to ask, but there’s gotta be some way to program the receiver so that it knows when you are too high and it’s okay if you’re dropping fast, or that your last readings were too low and you need to be going up quick.  Is that really too much to ask?  😉

Peeve #2- keeping your CGM stuck to your body:  I know, I KNOW!  EVERYBODY has this problem.  I just hate it though.  I mean, you know that Dexcom knows good and well that most of us will keep our sensor in as long as possible.  They HAVE to know it.  (and so help me, if they start doing something else to make it so that we have to go through this stuff even quicker, I’ll scream bloody murder!)  And I know there are companies who are working to remedy the problem of long-term stick-on-ness, but GAH!  I mean, I love my GrifGrips, but after about a week, they start fraying on the edges and looking pretty sad.  I got some of the SkinTac liquid and yeah, it helps, but I need to apply it when I first put the thing on me and not try to use it to re-stick the edges after a week or two.  It doesn’t work nearly as well like that.  That stuff is STICK-EE!  I will be interested to see how much improvement I get from applying first instead of waiting til there are problems.  I also understand people with skin issues who have a hard time finding ANY adhesive material that doesn’t break them out.  Thank God, I haven’t had any trouble with the adhesive that comes on the sensor or the pump port, but I have had some issues, slight issues, but worrisome still with other adhesives.  I’ve used the Grifs about 5 or 6 times now and only had one time that it bothered me so much I had to take it off.  That was when I had it on a pump site on my stomach.  It was fine for two days and then started itching slightly.  I didn’t get concerned about it then, but by the end of day 3, it was itching pretty bad, but still with periods of not itching.  By mid-day 4, I had to take the thing off.  (yes, I keep my pump sites til the pump reads “NO DELIVERY”, so yeah, Day 4 which was going to be time to change out anyway)  I had the perfect outline of my cute little camo heart in red, angry skin.  It stayed like that for about 3 days, too.  Very worrisome, but I haven’t had problems with it on my arms.  Thank God for that!  So yeah, the whole how-do-I-keep-this-thing-stuck-to-me struggle…if someone could fix that, that’d be great.  

And the last thing on my list of peeves (for today) is….

Peeve #3-When your tubing gets hung on stuff.  I know you Omni
Pod people don’t have to worry about that, but let’s not start all that “I don’t have a tube” nonsense right now, okay?  This is about me and what irks ME.  Ha ha ha…  I have been with Medtronic since 2004 when I got my first pump and honestly, they’ve been great when I’ve had problems and I have just not reconciled the risk of knocking the pod off and losing 

all the insulin in it to the freedom of not dealing with the tubing.  Anyhow, so since I’m not ready to try the Pod, I’m still dealing with tubing issues.  They don’t happen all the time, but when they do, ARGH!!


Okay, so that’s my diabetes-related Friday post, kiddies.  I know.  Not much to write home about, but doncha dig my memes?  Ha ha!

Tell me what YOUR biggest peeves are!



frankly friday: t1d & the lockdown

To be perfectly honest, this is not something I’ve ever thought about.  Both because back in the olden days when I was in school (shut up) we never had lockdowns or any such emergency situations as are almost common today.  We didn’t have protocols for how to take care of chronically ill children.  We basically just did the best we could with what we could get a school to conform with for our individual need.

I know.  Scary, right?

But a few days ago, I ran across an article posted by my young mom friend who’s daughter was recently diagnosed with t1d.  She’d posted it on Facebook with this comment tagged to her husband…“One more thing we have to worry about now.”

That broke my heart thinking about how stressful it has to be having a child with type 1.  The article was about the problems that can occur for a type 1 child when all their diabetes supplies are kept in a nurse’s office if there is a lockdown of the school.

This literally never crossed my mind since I homeschooled my sons.  But to think of it in terms of diabetes care… oh my!  It’s terrifying!

So here’s a link to the article.

How have you dealt with this type of issue?  Have you needed to make adjustments for you or your child because of a lockdown?

(I also found this cool list of things “teachers” should know, but I think EVERYONE needs to know this stuff!  😉 )

I’m a slacker (or hypo?)

ADDENDUM:  I had this all ready to go Tuesday, feeling SO guilty for not having posted SOMEthing already when Chrome locked up on me.  (for some reason, it hates when I try to load a “featured image”  argh!)  so I fiddled with trying to get it to work until I gave up.  I’ve had major neck/shoulder pain for months & now that’s worse (plus this morning, my left jaw is killing me?!?!) so I went to lie down with an ice pack hoping to ease the pain some.  I ended up falling asleep and waking to the phone ringing.  It was Tommy & he’d apparently called a few times already.  He kept saying, “Go check your sugar!”  I kept saying, “It’s too cold!” but I finally realized I must have been really low (I was in the freezing stage after sweating so  much the sheets were wet!) So I tested:  35.  Sheesh!  Anyhow, I never got around to posting this yesterday… Argh!  #stupiddiabetes )

Seriously!  I completely missed posting anything this past “frankly friday”!  In my defense, it has been cray-ZEE around here.

Tommy and I are both serving Emmaus walks this month.  He just got back Sunday evening.   We are now a one-vehicle family until he gets this other truck fixed, so I took him down to camp Thursday afternoon.  It was hotter than blue blazes and I was sweating like a racehorse, but they needed some help, so I stayed and assisted doing what I could.

I had been given the “community laptop” a week or so earlier by the lady who usually keeps it since she’s moving out of town and told to give it to the director of the women’s walk.  It never dawned on me that they would need it for the men’s walk too.  Heh.  So, there I stood like a doofus with them asking me where it was.  “Hey, I was told to give it to her!  That’s what I planned to do!… NEXT week!”  LOL!  So, I needed to drive the 30 miles back home to get that computer and bring back.

Which was fine, but I didn’t plan on not getting to head out til after 10:30 that night!!  I will be serving as the prayer team coordinator, which I’ve done before, so it’s not a huge deal, but our daughter-in-law Taylor has been asked to be dining room coordinator, and she’s never even served on the dining room team before, so she’s a little stressed.  Anyhow, I’ve been DR Coord many times so I’ve been trying to help her with tips and ideas.  That position requires decorating the dining room for each meal and moving the tables into the various formations Emmaus uses.  That most often means borrowing decor from anyone who might be willing to loan what you need.  After doing this so many times, a few times at the last minute, I’ve gotten to where I try to do the most with the least amount of stuff possible.  It’s a lot of on-your-feet, hurry-hurry-wait-hurry sort of stuff.  All day, every day!  You also serve the meals and help clean the tables, so it can feel like you never get to sit down.  It’s fun, the decorating can be a blast, but it is definitely physical and tiring!

So anyway, I had told Taylor I’d pick up some of the stuff from a lady there at camp so she wouldn’t have to make the trip.  Once I got to her house, she got a visitor, someone I also knew but not very well.  As I sat there, watching it get darker and darker outside while they chatted about stuff I wasn’t in the loop on, I started thinking about how late it was going to be getting back with that laptop.

The new dining hall (with chapel attached in back) completed 2013

LOL… so finally, company left and I loaded the box into the truck, drove straight home where all the dogs were waiting to be fed, the chickens to be watered, eggs to be gathered and then there was Max, who was nasty and needed a bath before he’d be fit to be in the house!

Once I got Max bathed and dried, I fixed myself a bite to eat.  It was now a little after 11 pm.  I contemplated just waiting to take the laptop early the next morning, but decided I did NOT want to get up at 6 am and drive down there and straight back (OR get caught down there doing something or other!  LOL)  so I loaded Max and the computer and took off.

Everyone seemed to have turned in already, so I left the laptop in the dark Agape room and headed straight back home.  Tommy called me about the time I got back to the interstate, floored that I’d already come and gone.  I didn’t want to wander around the men’s camp looking for him, and it was so late, I thought maybe he’d gone to bed.  Anyhow, by the time I got home the second time, it was about 11:45 or so.

I collapsed on the couch and thought, “I should sleep really good.” only… I couldn’t fall asleep.  I wasn’t even feeling a little sleepy.  SHEESH!

This happens to me all the time.  There’s something about Tommy being gone that keeps me from sleeping.  It’s not really that I’m afraid or that I hear every little noise, whatever… I just can’t rest.  Maybe it’s from all the years he worked construction and when I’d finally go to bed after getting too tired to wait up, just about the time I’d fall asleep, he’d get home and wake me up showering and getting into bed.  Then it would take me another hour to fall back to sleep.  Maybe I just got used to that??  I dunno, but whatever it is, I can’t sleep when he’s gone, so it was after 3 am before I finally crawled into bed and slept.

inside the new chapel

The next morning (er, afternoon?) I woke up just in time to realize I would miss the hair appointment I’d made.  ARGH!  I need my hair cut in THE worst way!  I called my stylist, who is also an Emmaus friend and she informs me that she was getting ready to call me because she was worried.  sigh  I explained and apologized.  She didn’t have another opening til Wednesday, so I’m still having to put up with this horrible hair!

I felt kinda crampy and my neck/shoulder has been a lot worse lately, so I didn’t get much accomplished other than a little laundry and a few dishes.  I worked on lists and schedules for the prayer team and later I went up to Taylor’s to help paint some decor she’d bought for camp.  I sat and visited with her and Casey while they ate supper, too so that was nice.

I rested a little better that night, but it was after midnight before I could fall asleep.  Saturday was busy since our eldest son, Corey, was going to be singing at camp that night for dinner and during special service.  I wanted to catch a ride with someone but wasn’t able to, so I ended up driving back home around 10 pm by myself again.  Ugh.

Sunday, I had to go serve at church for the early service, so when I got done there, after service, I drove through Wendy’s and got a bite to eat and headed on home.  I ate my food and flopped back into bed.  By now, the cramping was pretty constant so I didn’t feel much good at all.  I slept til about 2 pm when I got up and started getting ready to head back to camp for closing.

By the time I had checked on the things and talked to the people I needed to in prep for the next weekend, and we stopped for supper, it was about 8 pm by the time we got home and Tommy was exhausted and ready to hit the hay.  And so, we did.  LOL!

beautiful sunset behind the bell tower

I woke up around 11 pm, got up and took my night meds and went back to bed.  Tommy might have got up once to use the bathroom, but otherwise, he slept til time to get up for work the next morning.

So now I’m working to get the rest of my stuff prepared for the weekend (which will begin Thursday) and help Taylor finish the rest of her stuff for dining room.  I still have to pack my clothes and stuff, but think I’ll wait til I get back from my hair appointment tomorrow.  I also have to stop by the store and pick up some things I’ll need down at camp.

beautiful area on the grounds…

Right now, I’m trying to get some focus, some ‘stress-relief’, some ‘stop worrying’… ha.  I always love working at camp.  It’s such a beautiful place and working with other Jesus-loving people is always a great refresher for my soul.  Seeing God move in people’s lives is a great blessing too!

Now I need to go post the link to the 72-hour prayer vigil again.  I still have lots of spaces to fill before Thursday!  If you’d like to help by taking a 30-minute prayer slot, please use THIS LINK!  And THANK YOU!


ol’ Dex…

And I mean that literally!  I’m on Day 20 with this particular Dexcom sensor.  I hesitate to announce this publicly because, well, y’know, that’s definitely not recommended by the manufacturer!  However, I am out of sensors and have been for awhile.  We are awaiting a check that I’ll have to use to pay off the initial costs of getting my Dexcom G5 system in the first place so that I can order (and hopefully afford!) some new sensors and in a few more months, a set of new transmitters.  SIGH!

So, I decided to see how long I could wear this baby and it remain #1) attached to me (that’s the hardest part, guys!), #2) pain-free and without signs of infection (none whatsoever) and lastly, #3) remain accurate.  That last one has really surprised me.  This thing is STILL extremely accurate!  There have been a few instances when it was as much as 10 points off from what my fingerstick was, but the rest of the time it’s been as little as 1 point different!  That is pretty flippin’ amazing if you ask me!

Can you believe how good it still looks? (that photo is from today, Day 20) Now, I have had a GrifsGrip on it up until yesterday.  It had gotten pretty raggedy-looking, and I was tired of trying to find shirts that would cover the thing, so we took the risk and took the Grifs off.  Honestly, that’s probably why this looks as good as it does.  The Grifs protected it.

I’m not comfortable going without some extra stick-em when I have this on my arm, so I bought a small supply of the grips, which you can find here.  I bought a few for my pump port as well since summer time for me is notorious for loose adhesives and lost diabetical ‘attachments’.  Since we haven’t been on the bikes (WAIL) much at all this summer, I haven’t needed them as much as I would have, but I have them in hopes of more pedal-time this fall and next summer!  I am going to forbid Tommy from taking any extra projects, no matter who’s broke down or begging for his help.  Seriously, for both of us, relegating bike time to the back burner has been detrimental.  Both of us are heavier than we were at the beginning of summer, and of course, we are much less fit or toned.  I just HATE that we haven’t gone and yeah, I could go by myself or meet up with a group occasionally, but I just don’t enjoy it without him and I’d feel guilty if I went knowing he would love to ride too.  SIGH  What a conundrum!  But for reals, people.  If there are any of my real-life peeps reading, just don’t even think of asking him to do a project for you unless it’s going to pay extremely well.  That’d be the only reason to accept…the chance to pay off some bills.  Otherwise, we just HAVE to get ourselves back on those bikes.  Our health is suffering.  And I am sad.

Okay, the main purpose of this post was to share how freakin’ long I have been able to wear this sensor!  Granted, I am new to this stuff…extending CGM time as long as possible, but wow, after reading so much stuff about how short a life the G5 sensors (and transmitters) have, I have been pleasantly surprised.  And yes, I’ll be sure to snap a pic when I take this one off so you all can see how well my flesh held up under there.  I’m just glad there’s been no itchy reactions!

Wait…speaking of reactions…I’ve used a total of four GrifsGrips and have been really pleased with how well they work, how they are very flexible and keep things stuck on me.  I’ve had two for CGMs on my arms and two for pump ports on my stomach.  The first on my stomach did a wonderful job.  Anticipating an upcoming camping trip, I used another on the opposite side when I changed my sets.  That one started itching on day 2.  Not a LOT, but enough for me to notice.  I tried to leave it alone, after all, there’s not much you can do when one of those things itches.  The next day, it was noticeably worse and I tried to let it be, but by mid-day, I tore the thing off to find a perfect outline of the heart-shaped Grifs I’d had on in light red, angry-looking skin.

Sheesh!!  Since I just took this last Grifs off my arm today, as you can see in the photo, the skin looks absolutely fine so I’m not sure what’s up with that.  I will try them again on my stomach once this heals on up.

Another “stick-em” thing I just got in but haven’t used yet is this…

I’d been hearing about SkinTac for awhile, so I just asked about it on TuDiabetes and jumped in and ordered some.  So now I have it to use next time we try extending the life of a Grifs.  I hope I’m not allergic to it, but it seems to be pretty well tolerated for most everyone.  This also comes in wipes, but I felt the liquid would work better for what I want.  Some folks use the wipes every time before even applying their sensor or inserting their pump ports.  I may try that later if this works well.  Keeping those things attached is a major weight off the mind, lemme tell you!  (you may have seen my instagram photo of using an Ace bandage to keep a sensor in place…yeah…not fun!) 

So…I guess that’s it until I update you with some pix of how the site looks after I remove this sensor.  Check back for the follow up!




    I’m on the YouTube!

    frankly Friday (but not really) Prepping to attend Master Lab 2016

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