Tag: hypoglycemia


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.

Blessings,

G~


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!

 


frankly friday: to glucagon or not (it shouldn’t be a question)


Hello all you happy people.  I’ve got another diabetes issue clanking around my brain lately.  First, let me explain about that funny word in the title…

GLUCAGON- n. (gloo-KA-gon)  Glucagon is a naturally occurring hormone.  It raises blood glucose whenever it falls too low.  …in a REGULAR person, that is.  For us diabetics, we may or may not still secrete some glucagon naturally.  The thing is, if we’ve over-dosed our insulin or had more exercise or stress or missed a meal… we could end up with LOTS more insulin in our bodies than would ever happen normally in a non-diabetic.  So, if that happens, and we still secrete a little glucagon ourselves, it will still not be enough to prevent hypoglycemia.  We will still go severely low and may lose consciousness or even die.  (here is an even better explanation!)

Low blood sugar is SERIOUS!  That’s why you always see a type 1 with tons of snacks or other means of raising blood sugar if necessary.

Yep, this is why most T1Ds carry huge purses (or the guys even carry a bag in the first place!) We have A LOT of stuff to keep with us!

RABBIT TRAIL:  While I’m on this topic, let me just say that it is tough having to treat a medical condition, a potentially deadly medical condition, with food.  Countless type 1’s have been heckled, bullied, scorned, gossiped about…you name it, over this self-preservation method we MUST use.

This is what a lot of people picture when they think of a type 1 needing to “have a snack”… *siiiigh*

Let me explain…let’s say for instance, you are in a roomful of high school students, taking a test perhaps, and you begin to feel your sugar dropping.  The rule of this class, from this teacher, is no candy in class.  The fastest way to counter the impending hypo is to quickly chew up a couple peppermints or glucose tabs or Lifesavers (my fave).  The teacher is aware of your condition (because you informed them, like a good diabetic) but the kids sitting around you may not.  Even if they do, because they don’t know anything about diabetes, they think you are faking, milking it or worse, doing it for spite.  Then there are those times (BTDT too many times!) when you have a substitute OR even a regular teacher who doesn’t understand diabetes and is completely uncooperative or gives you a hard time about treating hypos in or during class.  (remind me to tell you about the middle school teacher I had who had flunked out of med school & insisted on making a major production every time I went low in his class!!   GAH!!)

Then there are those wonderful times when, as an adult…maybe a parent, even, when you have to treat in front of children.  That’s always lovely.  Here… these photos will give you the gist of what I mean:

    

(thanks, Jimmy Kimmel, for these perfect examples of how kids respond when they think you’re hogging all the candy)

Then you have co-workers and such who will respond this way:

    

Yeah, no matter how many times you explain, no matter how much info you give them, they STILL don’t get why you have to stop and EAT FOOD and you call it “treatment” or say it’s because you are sick.

That’s the big problem…people don’t see food as “medicine”, they don’t relate food intake with how the body functions.  They don’t get that as type 1 diabetics, we must MANUALLY balance food intake with energy expenditures and insulin dosages.  EVERY DAY.  ALL DAY.  And even while we sleep.  They don’t get that if we have too much insulin (or perhaps overexert or expend too much energy for the nutrients in our bodies) or if we don’t inject insulin according to our food intake, or if we experience an illness (like a cold, people.  A COLD can derail our diabetes!) or excess stress, it can cause all sorts of problems for us simply because we do NOT have a functioning pancreas to do all that thinking for us like everyone else.

deep breath  Sorry…thought I needed to throw that stuff in there.  Heh.

Okay, so back to the glucagon question.  You see, like EVERYTHING ELSE with diabetes, (and most any other illness or disease these days!) medication and supplies are NOT cheap.  With diabetes, there’s a never-ending list of supplies that we need and most of those need to be kept with us, on our person, all the time.  Especially when travelling or any sort of activity where we are away from home.

                                                       just a drop in the bucket

The point to all this is…when trying to decide what to spend our family’s limited funds on, medically speaking, I sometimes have to choose what is absolutely vital over what is not-so-absolutely vital.  Yeah…stinky choices, I know.  So when I have to pick, I must choose my insulin (because without that, I will die) and all the instruments I need to administer the insulin (reservoirs, tubing sets, batteries, alcohol swabs, syringes in case the pump fails) and also testing supplies so I know how to dose the insulin (test strips, lancets, sensors, transmitters and batteries).  Other than those, I also need adequate food supply and foods that can be carried easily, so certain types of snacks and candy and/or glucose tabs or gels.  When figuring all this up, most often, spending another $50 on a glucagon kit, which always has a short shelf-life and will likely expire before I need it (which means it must be thrown away)  becomes an easy “no” and usually a very distant after-thought.

                                                                    The glucagon kit.

Fifty bucks might not be a lot to you, but to us, it’s a small fortune.  I have a REALLY hard time laying out $50 that most often has to be thrown away in a few short months.

However, when you are sitting on a highway in another state with no exits in sight and no way to get off the road (because you’re with the Hubby in his work truck pulling a trailer) and you are popping Lifesavers in your mouth, chewing as fast as you can, drinking a can of Coke and trying to fend off a very aggressive low that feels like it’s threatening to put you under…you begin to feel really stupid about not spending that $50 bucks.  That is, you feel stupid in between your life flashing before your eyes, wondering if you told your kids you loved them enough or hugged your mom the last time you saw her or if your best friends know how much you love them.

I’m not exaggerating.  That’s how it feels when you are close to passing out while your blood sugar is plummeting.  It’s horrible and you do NOT want to experience it.

So what’s a poor diabetic supposed to do?

I honestly don’t know right now.  I mean, if it was just a matter of scrounging up the extra money so I’d have the thing, it wouldn’t be a big deal.  But when it expires so quickly and it’s not every day/week/month or even year that you even need a kit??  It’s hard to know what to do.

However, it’s those times that you never suspect, the times you could never “plan” for, those times when you ~thought~ you planned everything very, very well–when you ate properly, counted all the carbs, dosed exactly as prescribed but STILL everything goes wrong….those are the times you keep a kit for.

How do YOU deal with this?  I have been reading and chatting with folks in the DOC about this and some have great insurance so keeping a good kit isn’t an issue, others speak of never being without several for their children (which would TOTALLY different!  it’s much easier to risk my own life…I’d never be without a kit for one of my children!)   So how do YOU handle this issue?  What do you think should or could be done??  I know making the kits more affordable would be an awesome first step for me.  Even half that price would be helpful.  I don’t understand why insurance doesn’t cover them more than they do since having one of these kits can help me avoid a trip to the ER or worse.

Before we discuss, let me drop this info on you…I know many people, even in my own family, who would shudder at the thought of having to mix a medication and give me an injection in an emergency.  I understand.  Opening a glucagon kit when someone you love is passed out can be intensely scary!  People panic, especially since it has to be mixed, not just drawn out like insulin.  Maybe I’m just way out of the loop on this, but Eli Lilly has an app to show people how to use glucagon!  I’m not sure how this would work, especially if you use a password on your phone (and I think most people do these days!) but there IS an app!!  Look: 

Cool!

Okay, so let’s dish…what is your stance on the glucagon issue?  Is it hard for you to afford and/or justify purchasing it for yourself?  How do you handle it?

Inquiring minds want to know…

 


frankly friday: more info = more control in T1D


hypo-unawareness is like walking blind toward a cliff-CGM lets me focus on the scenery instead

Happy Friday, folks!  I’m getting a late start, but that’s been my norm the past few weeks.  I won’t bore you with how flippin’ tired I have been and how much I’ve been sleeping, but trust me.  It’s A LOT and I’m getting really…*heh*… tired of it.  *psh!*

In other news… I just read this article about a study to see if more information (ie: blood sugar testing ..I assume via CGM) can improve the life and health of PWDs.  My first thought?

DUH!?!!!

As you probably recall from previous posts, we purchased out of pocket (we’re still paying for it, actually) a CGM transmitter for me early last year in the hopes that our then-insurance company would soon cover them so I could get sensors to use the CGM.

That was a dream.  It never happened, so when the four sensors that came with the transmitter were done, I had to put the thing in the cabinet and there it sits.  Pretty sick feeling to send a payment for something you paid over 5k for and only got to use a month.  Ugh!

So I’m looking forward to getting the CGM, in case you didn’t realize.  *ha ha*  I know they’re not perfect, but people, when you are walking around, helping move heavy furniture, thinking you’re fine as frog hair only to test because your honey thinks “You look kinda pale, hun.. why don’t you test?” and find that your sugar is 27??  That is NOT a good feeling!  It’s terrifying to know that you can’t tell when your sugar is dropping.  To clarify for you non-Ds, a low is more of an emergency situation most of the time.  You can drop so low, or so quickly…or BOTH that you COULD DIE from it!!

Did you catch that?  I could DIE because I am unable to tell when my sugar is falling.  My body no longer sends me signals to warn me that I need to eat something or suspend my pump and chug a can of Coke or scream for Tommy to come and help me until I begin to feel that being-pulled-out-of-myself feeling that I can only imagine means I’m about to pass out.  It FEELS like I’m about to die.  Seriously.  I detest that feeling.  It’s terrifying and I’m looking forward to not dealing with that, not having to worry when I’m by myself somewhere or when I’m driving.

Is more information important for people with type one diabetes?  You bet your bottom dollar it is!!  Why do we need a study to prove that?  I guess because insurance companies are still denying CGMs to people who have documented hypo-unawareness and doctors’ letters saying their patients need them.  Because people out there still don’t understand how T1D affects us or how serious it is.  (remember me telling you my friend thought because I had a pump, that “took care of everything” and I really didn’t have to “do” anything regarding diabetes??!!)

hypo-unawareness is like walking blind toward a cliff...CGM allows me to focus on the scenery instead

So yeah, information is crucial.  Knowing what our bodies are doing with the replacement hormone we inject ourselves with daily in order to live is kinda important.  Knowing whether our blood sugar is too high or too low or just right is vital to our safety,  not to mention the safety of our children or YOU, in the case of driving or operating machinery.  Think about it.  If YOU didn’t know your body was doing something…for instance, if your body didn’t recognize that it was blind or deaf, do you think that might cause a problem?

That’s silly, you say?  The only reason it’s silly is because you can visibly see (or not, as the case may be!) when a blind person needs help or a deaf person needs assistance.  It’s not at all visible with diabetes.  All our dysfunction is on the inside, but it affects the very system that controls our entire metabolism!

*sigh*  I’m thankful for the technology of CGMs.  I’m looking forward to having it and feeling more confident and safe when I’m by myself or with people who may not understand diabetes enough to help me if I needed it.

I’m curious what this study will determine.  I can’t eve imagine it concluding anything other than more info equals more power to control our disease.  At least more ability to keep ahead of it!

What do you think?  If you’re not a PWD, have you or are you learning anything more about T1D from these posts??  Please let me know.  Interaction is like air for me!!  Like the posts or comment!!  I am dying to know what you guys think.

Have a beautiful weekend & a blessed Lord’s Day!

G~


frankly friday: how about an inhaled glucagon?


spine

Say what?  Yes, I just read about this new stuff that could be coming out soon.  Instead of depending on someone who is with you knowing how to mix and inject a traditional glucagon pack for you, they could just spray it up your nose!

Locemia Solutions

That’s a pretty awesome idea!  This company who’s been doing research, Locemia Solutions, has basically been working in secret on this stuff but is now sharing that they are ready to apply for all the FDA crapola to be put on the market!

For those of you who don’t know, THIS is the current and ONLY method for delivering glucagon:

As you can see, it’s NOT a simple task even for someone who’s used to drawing syringes and giving injections!  And realize that glucagon is an EMERGENCY measure.  It’s meant to be administered by whoever is near you when you are unconscious or unable to eat and drink on your own because your blood sugar has gone extremely low, so if that person or persons don’t happen to know you’re a diabetic, or even if they do, chances are they won’t know what to do with this stuff.  There ARE detailed instructions inside the case, but seriously, do YOU wanna depend on someone in a freak-out moment doing it all right and possibly saving your life?

Me neither!

About the worst they could do giving a shot of spray in your nose is give you a nosebleed, right?  And how much less freaked-out might they be having to do that instead of mixing, drawing and giving an injection?!  Let us know, any non-T1Ds out there…which would YOU rather do for your friend or loved one?

This was especially close to home for me this morning because last night, I did it again.  insert furious face here  I have had my pump for about 12 years now.  I have NEVER taken a break from it, never opted to go back to MDIs (multiple daily injections) for awhile.  Getting that thing really saved my life, and as much as I hate it sometimes…like when the tubing gets hung on a doorknob as I’m working in the house or when I’m struggling to find a comfortable place to wear the thing with some more fashionable clothing, I wouldn’t part with it!

Maybe that’s why it’s such a habit for me to just press that button and dose without stopping to think sometimes.  That’s pretty much what I did last night.  Yes, again!!  I was SO angry with myself that I probably shot it a bit lower just from that emotional surge, ya know?  (Tell me I’m not the only one who does that…intense emotion can drop my sugar!  Do any of you experience that??)  I was up watching TV by myself since Tommy had gone on to bed.  He’s staying super-tired from all his projects out in the garage so after trying to settle in with him, I found I just wasn’t sleepy yet and thought I’d catch up on something from my watchlist on Hulu.  I had the munchies for some reason and wanted to eat a few chips.  I rarely buy those, but heh there was a special at Kroger, so I had some of my fave bbq chips.  I faintly recall bending over to get them out of the pantry while simultaneously pressing my trusty button…and I have no clue what I gave.  After I realized what I’d done and was in the middle of trying to treat myself for the hypo (about 20 minutes later) I looked on my pump to see how big a dose I’d given.  SEVEN UNITS!!  What?!  WHY on earth did I do that?!?!  I don’t even know other than it is such a habit for me now!!  Especially after that last episode doing this kind of thing?!?!  WHY!?!?  I could have just strangled myself, really.  SO angry!!  And scared.  Not a good combination when you’re trying to raise a low blood sugar.

If any of you Ds out there have had this sort of issue, how did you STOP yourself from going auto-pilot with your pump dosing?  I am thinking of putting some tape or some sort of fuzzy sticker on the button so I’ll stop and think about what I’m doing.  Maybe I should just put the whole pump in a ziplock or some sort of case so that I have to take it out to use it?  Have you tried any tactics like that to retrain yourself to test first or at least THINK before you dose??  PLEASE don’t tell me I’m the only one who does this?!?!

woman

Tommy commanded (yes, he did!) me to go pick up a glucagon.  I haven’t yet, but we will probably do that tomorrow.  I’m getting ready to call the endo’s office right now for a prescription AND to find out if they can help with another insurance-related problem that is making me furious.  Maybe I’ll share about that once I ever get any hint that there’s a solution.  SIGH

Happy (& SAFE) weekend to you all!   Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms.

Blessings!

G~


will I ever learn?


depression symptoms

DISCLAIMER:  Let me say right off the bat that I KNOW I messed up in the story I’m about to relate to you.  I’ve been dealing with this disease for over 40 years, day in-day out.  It gets old.  It gets tiresome.  It gets almost impossible sometimes.  So yep, most of us T1D’s will at least once in our lifetime (usually many more!) fall off the proverbial wagon of good diabetes management.  Therefore, I really don’t need you to scold or lecture me about what a big no-no it was, okay?  Thanks for your understanding.

I wanted to title this post Oops, I Did It Again but all I knowRead More »


a stinky little story


Once upon a time, many years ago, I was a little girl.  Yes, I know, hard to imagine, right?  Just play along….

shocked face

I was perhaps 11 or 12 years old.  My sister would have been 7 or 8 at this time, but that doesn’t matter because in this story, she was at Mamaw’s house anyhow.

So back to me.  This was back in the day of the stereo.  If you were born after 1990, you have no clue what this is.  Go google it.  But anyhow, I had a stereo and I usually kept the radio playing at night.  Not loud, but softly because it helped me sleep.  I had my own room with these heavy thermal drapes on the two windows, which would help block out the street lamp that was just outside one of them.  We didn’t live on a street, we lived in the woods actually, so we just called it a night light, but it was one of those huge bulbs up on a pole that came on at dusk and went off at dawn.  That window was right behind my stereo and at night, I would draw the curtains almost closed so that only a thin shaft of light could come into the room and I wasn’t in total darkness.

This is important, trust me.

During this time, my mother had a ceramic shop in the basement.  You might not know what this is either if you are a post-1990 model person.  You can google that too if you want, but as you might have guessed, it was a shop where people could buy and paint ceramic chachkies.  It was all the craze in the 80’s.  Often Mom would spend hours upon hours down there because she not only sold the ceramics, paints and brushes, she also poured and dried her own pieces.  She was big-time into it.

She also had this thing…she couldn’t bear for someone’s eyes to be poorly painted.  Not their personal, real eyes, but the eyes on the various and abundant so-called life-like pieces of ceramic she sold.  We had Indians and cartoon people, Smurfs and all sorts of animals… rabbits, tigers, bears, beagles… you name it.  A lot of times people would just ask Mom to paint the eyes for them.  The type of people who usually did this were those who were too lazy or afraid to try doing it themselves, and granted, Mom liked doing it. But I suspect there were a few who knew that after everyone had gone home, Mom would go around and “fix” eyes on all the pieces left behind.  I think they either figured why bother if she was gonna re-do them anyhow, or they wanted to humor her.  I honestly don’t know.  It makes me laugh now to think about it, but I wonder how many were insulted by her doing that or perhaps so shocked at how well they had done on those eyes after they looked so awful last week.  Bahaha!

So anyway, that’s where Mom was on the night in question.  Dad had long ago stopped trying to get her to go to bed before the early a.m. and he had to work, ya know, so he’d just go on to bed without her.

Sometime before she finally came up to bed, I heard him out in the front yard making a horrific noise.  My dad is not like normal people.  SERiously!  There are SO many ways that could apply, but in this instance what I mean is that when most people get an upset stomach, they would go to the bathroom and do their get-sick thing.  But my dad?  Nope.  He goes out in the front yard.  Why?  I have no clue.  Maybe he didn’t want Mom to hear him?  Maybe he didn’t want me to hear him?  Possibly, but if that were the case, he probably should have shut the front door behind him then only the light-sleeping neighbors may have been awakened, but as it was, he left the front door open while he was ralphing all over the great, big, unsuspecting world.

So, in a bit, he must have come in, locked the front door back (because we are BIG door-lockers in my family—you don’t want any criminals getting in, do ya?) and went back to bed…and that’s where we were that fated night.  Like I said, my sister was at Mamaw’s so she missed the whole debacle, but me?  I was RIGHT THERE in the middle of the whole thing.

Actually, the “whole thing” came to me.

I think it must have been around 3 a.m. when an odd sound woke me up.  Like I said, I slept with my radio playing but unless the station went out or they played one of those god-awful “test of the emergency broadcast system” things, it never woke me up so I listened.  It was a kind of scratching sound and I couldn’t tell exactly where it was coming from.

I sat up and looked around the dimly lit room as best I could and shortly, I saw something move in the floor near the edge of my bed.

Oh yeah.  This sleepy head was ALL wide-and-awake now, you betcha!  I looked and looked, but had lost sight of whatever it was.

So remember that window by the night light and that shaft of light that fell into my room?  Well, about that time, “whatever it was” walked through that shaft and right under my bed…and I saw, quite clearly what was in my room.

IT WAS A SKUNK!!!!   AND IT HAD JUST GONE UNDER MY BED, PEOPLE!!!!!

skunk

I am SO not kidding!!  There was a real, live skunk wandering around in my room!  By this time, i had started hollering at mom down the hall. Not screaming or anything, just calling out to her.  That part of the house was layed out like this::  (be kind now, I’m no draftsman, obviously!)

So Mom and Dad’s room was basically at the end of the hallway from mine.  I knew there was no way that Dad would ever wake up, so I didn’t even try him.  Finally Mom came plodding down the hallway.  I knew she hadn’t been in bed long, but also knew she’d come because, love her heart, she always did…with my diabetes and my sister’s epilepsy, she never knew what might be wrong if one of us called out, so I hated to wake her.  But I knew we HAD to do something to get Mr. Skunk OUT of my room!!  At that time, yes, I had no concept or concern for the rest of the house, I just wanted that thing out of my room!

When Mom got close to my room, I said, “Mom, don’t come in here, just reach in and turn on the light.”  I remember being fairly calm and I have no clue why or how I was, but I just knew that I HAD to keep her from walking into the room.  I’m not sure why I didn’t just turn on the lamp by my bed other than I was probably afraid to reach beyond it at this point.

To this, Mom said, “What?” and I know full well she was thinking Crap, her sugar’s probably low again!   But I said it again, as calmly and non-low-blood-sugary as I could, “Mom!!  DO NOT come in here, just reach in and flip on the light.”  And to my surprise, she did it.  By that time, my dad was awake and standing in the doorway too in all his glory (that’d be his underwear)… he was mumbling something as I told Mom, “There’s a skunk in here.  Under my bed.”  I am cracking up as I write this thinking what in the world must have been going through their heads when I said that.

Possibly something along the lines of, “Good lord!  Other parents have kids who get scared of monsters in their closets, but no, our kid has to have skunks under her bed.  Maybe her sugar is really, really low…”  laughing so hard now  I just can’t imagine what, if anything in that sleep state, went through their minds.

Thankfully…sorta… before they had time to question my sanity, Mr. Skunk came crawling out from under my bed and aimlessly wandered into my closet.  See?  I TOLD YOU there was a skunk in here!

Mom and Dad’s mouths kinda dropped open and Dad swears they didn’t do this, but I remember him looking at Mom, scratching his head all the while and they both turned and walked away, mumbling to each other.   They just left me sitting there in the middle of the bed.  So, I did the only thing I knew… I jumped off the end of my bed what felt like a full 15 feet out into the hallway and ran down to where they were by the front door.

Apparently, they had hatched a plan by this time because Dad seemed to be determined and awake now.  I don’t know why it sticks out in my mind so much…my dad always slept in his “draws”…his tighty-whiteys, but for some reason, I have vivid images of him moving around, dealing with this ridiculous situation in his ridiculous Undieman “costume” and I can NOT remember this whole incident without seeing him that way.  Most often I would be like ewww!

but that’s what I remember and so it cracks me up!! Every. Single. Time!

I can’t find an image that gives you anywhere near the idea of what it was exactly like, and I refuse to look anymore…and kids, do NOT google it!  Just use your imagination so you’re with me on the crack-up scale, okay?  It was FUNNY!

In my recollections, I call this Undieman VS Mr. Skunk: The Epic Battle.  Yes.  I do.

So I stood there with Mom in the foyer, Undieman went back toward my room, turning on the hall lights and reaching in to turn off the light in my room.

In just a few seconds, we heard BOOM, BOOM, BOOM as Undieman came running down the hallway toward his and Mom’s bedroom and SLAM! as he slapped the door shut and right on his heels was Mr. Skunk and we soon heard the sound of his claws scratching on the bedroom door as he tried furiously to get to Daddy!

Mom and I were stunned.  I know, this is one of those roll-on-the-floor-laughing-your-butt-off moments.  Trust me, I am with you, but at that time, we were just flabbergasted.  In a few more seconds the digging stopped and we watched, mouths hanging open, as Mr. Skunk plodded back towards my bedroom as if he’d just tossed a cat out of the house.

About that time, we heard Dad yelling to open the front door.  We seldom ever used that door.  This was your typical 1980’s style house with a front door back in the “L” of the house in a little nook that was dark and never used except for an occasional nocturnal, environmental puking session and my wedding.  (but that’s another story!)  But their master bathroom window opened up right adjacent to the door, so Undieman could give us instructions from his prison-slash-bathroom, which was pretty convenient after all.  He said he was going to try opening the door again, so we waited….

We could hear the click and rattle of the door knob and apparently so could Mr. Skunk because he came flying toward Undieman again when SLAM! Undieman smacked the door shut again and again, there was a minute of furious digging and then…silence as Mr. Skunk strolled back to my his room again.

U-man was back at the window telling us to make some noise so we might lure him toward the front door.  In a flash, (seriously, I don’t know where she got that thing so fast) Mom now had a heavy runner, you know, one of those long hallway rugs, holding it longways in front of her like a shield.  I was supposed to be behind her, but I stayed slightly beside her so I could see what was going on.  We eased down the hallway a bit and started talking, I guess.  I honestly don’t remember the noises we made… but as we did that, we backed up to our previous position by the open front door.

Soon, here came Mr. Skunk, slowly mosying his way towards us…none of us saying a word.  He stopped right in front of me and Mom and looked up at us as if to say, “How y’all doin’?” and turned to head out the door.

I’m thinking, “YES!  He’s leaving!  What a rel…”

My relief was interrupted…. I have no idea what possessed my mother at this point.  Some fierce she-bear thing or just a sleep-deprived adrenaline-fueled break with reality but she hollered “GIT OUTTA MY HOUSE!” and snapped that rug at Mr. Skunk’s behind.

I am TOTALLY not kidding you.

My dad almost passed out.  I can see him peeking out that bathroom window with a look of horror on his face as he said, “Are you crazy, woman??!!”   You know he meant business because Daddy never called Mom “woman” like that.

And so, that is how this saga ends.  Mr. Skunk went on his way.  He lived to terrorize some other unsuspecting soul, I suppose.  Undieman hung up his invisible cape and never battled Mr. Skunk again.

Although, there was that time a bat got in his room….