Tag: insulin pump


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!

Blessings!


frankly Friday: how do you feel about “a cure”


Okay folks, once again, Friday is for us PWD’s (that’s People With Diabetes) but as always, I hope you will all enjoy the post and it will get you thinking about things maybe for the first time!

I just read this article that initially sounded like yet another “we’re closer to a cure for diabetes” thing, but when you got into it, I found that it’s about getting closer to a way to detect future development of T1D and then possibly a way to prevent it from ever developing.

You can read the article here:  Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough: Scientists Identify Key Molecule Targeted By Immune System

See what I mean?  The title is like “DIABETES BREAKTHROUGH!” and you’re all like “WOW!  YAY!  YIPEE!”  then it just tells you they’ve discovered a fifth molecule that is attacked by the immune system during the development of type 1 diabetes.

depressing letdown  Yeah.  I mean, that’s great news and obviously it’s progress, but for me, it is definitely a little anticlimactic!

How does it make you feel when you hear news about a possible cure for diabetes?  I’m not talking about the okra-water cures that are constants on Facebook.  I mean the news reports from legitimate sources researching a cure.  What goes through your mind?  Whether you are a diabetic or not, I’m interested in how that makes you feel.

For me it’s a mix of emotions.  I’m usually like, “Yay.  Thank God those coming behind me might be spared living with this nasty disease.”  I never feel hopeful of a cure for me.  If you ever look at the clinical testing sites, they want people who were diagnosed t1d within the last year or two, or maybe sometimes you’ll find a study looking for people who have had t1d for as much as ten years, but forget being eligible if you have had it over 20 years.  I know this isn’t the case, but to me it feels like they’re saying, “Oh man, you’re practically dead from it already.  Sorry, we can’t help you.”  Pshhh!  Sorry… did I shock you with my killer negativity?  Yeah, I apologize.  It sneaks out sometimes.  grin

Personally, I don't think us diabetics 'get used to' injections or finger pricks. I think we simply accept that it's necessary to survive.

 

So how do you feel when you see things like that?  Are you “new” enough to have hope that a cure will be found in time to benefit your life?

If I’m totally honest, my conspiracy-theory self thinks there is already a cure, but it is being suppressed because just think of all the money that would be lost if we didn’t have to pay out big bucks to live??  See?  I have this completely pessimistic side and she comes roaring out when it comes to stuff like this.

ANYhow… it IS encouraging that they are learning new things about how diabetes occurs and which genes might be responsible for the misfire that causes our immune systems to attack themselves.  Really, guys, it is.  I just can’t get too excited because progress is so slow and it’s really already too late for “a cure” to save me.

the workings of the t1d brain

Heh.. I was telling some friends last night that I’ve had diabetes for so long, I don’t know any other way to live.  If I got cured right now, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.  How do you go from spending every waking moment calculating and figuring out food values and dosages for everything that crosses over your teeth and trying to decide how this or that activity will affect your fickle disease to … well, to NOT worrying about those things constantly?  Ha ha… I guess it’d probably be a lot easier than I imagine, but wow… it’s just not something I can really fathom.

diabetes doesn't define me, it just helps explain meI’m gonna close now, but something has been on my mind that I want to share… a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend while waiting for a low to pass so I could drive home.  (fyi: don’t drive when your sugar is low, ‘kay?)  I was explaining something or other about dealing with diabetes when she said, “I thought your pump took care of that.”  I’m pretty sure I contained my dumbfoundment enough that I didn’t bump my chin on the floor, but I was really stunned that she didn’t understand any better than that.

minion: the look you get when explaining diabetes to peopleI guess I just assumed she’d been around me enough to realize, but I guess that’s not the case.  Or maybe I had never really discussed the finer points with her specifically?  I dunno and really, maybe I shouldn’t have been so shocked, but I guess it really floored me that she thought my insulin pump was essentially like a cure.  That as long as I was on the pump, I didn’t have to worry about the disease anymore.

WOW!  People of the world!  AN INSULIN PUMP IS NOOOOT A CURE!!   It is merely another tool in the arsenal that helps us manage life!  I guess I should admit here that I HAVE used the term “external pancreas” to describe the pump to people before.  Now I’m rethinking that!!  I can’t assume that people understand that while a pump is MUCH MORE like that than treating with MDI (multiple daily injections) for most of us, but we STILL have to calculate everything, still have to manage the unexpected, unexplainable lows and highs that can happen.  We still have to deal with going into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) if the cannula kinks or we put the port into an area with scar tissue that won’t properly absorb the insulin, or we sweat too much and the adhesive comes loose and the cannula pulls out or… I could go on with a list of possible things that could go wrong, but you get the picture, right?

That’s part of the reason I am writing more about diabetes here than I ever have before.  I believe this wholeheartedly:

I may have diabetes, but diabetes does NOT have me!

I have diabetes.  That’s me, I am a PWD, a Person With Diabetes, but diabetes, no matter how hard it may try, does NOT have me!  It doesn’t define me.  It makes me strong, makes me tough, makes me determined but it will not defeat me.  I may die from the blasted monster, but it will never control me.  I want to live my life to the fullest, be all I can be, yadda yadda… and diabetes may slow me down, it may make me do things a little differently, a little more cautiously, but it won’t keep me from doing what I want.  It may put me in The Pit (depression) for periods of time, it may make me more susceptible to The Pit, but it won’t keep me there.  Never.

ahem   Soooo…. how DO you feel about this??  Please share.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Let’s encourage each other, lift each other up, whether you are a PWD or not, if you know me, you have a vested interest in learning about diabetes, you have reason to be concerned about possible cures and other diabetes news.  Chances are, someone you know in your own life (if we aren’t friend IRL (in real life) that has diabetes.  It’s like a plague these days and we don’t understand it well enough to know why!  Get involved.  You don’t have to go join the ADA or JDF, but learn all you can.  Be knowledgeable.  What you learn could one day save my or another PWD’s life, after all!

Please share this post and share your thoughts here!!  THANKS!

mwah!

Blessings,

G~

Acknowledgement:  All images in this post courtesy of Type 1 Diabetes Community FB group


frankly friday: Eli Lilly & the rising cost of insulin


humalog insulin

I dunno if this Frankly Friday thing will stick, but for today, let’s roll with it.  I apologize to my non-diabetic readers, but this is a huge issue for us and if you love a diabetic, you should be upset about this too.  Let’s face it, it won’t be long before you could face this same issue with a medicine that you need!

humalogHUMALOG insulin: the stuff I, and tens of thousands of other diabetics, depend on to stay alive

I came across an article on Facebook about this and it just made my blood boil.  WHY are these companies allowed to do this?  deep breath  Sorry… I should probably let you in on the secret, huh?  Some jerk CEO at Lilly made some really callous, idiotic statements regarding the rising cost of one of their most popular products, Humalog.

eli lilly

Here’s a quote from this jackwad, Lechleiter:

Asked on the earnings call about the current debate over drug pricing, John Lechleiter, chief executive officer, said higher prices make sense because it helps the company fund the research needed to find better treatment methods or a cure.

Excuse me?  “higher prices make sense because it helps… fund research to find…a cure”?!?!?  Um, no.  I would love to know the total revenue generated by Lilly over the years they have produced insulin and find out exactly how much of that goes to researching a cure.

I don’t know who he thought he was talking to but all of us out here “in the field” trying to survive day after day with this disease know full well that no diabetes medication manufacturer is looking too hard for a cure.  They make too much flippin’ money selling us stop-gap measures, granted we need them to live, but when they make comments like that and tell us they’re trying to fund research while jacking the prices up for the ONE thing that keeps us breathing??

Nope.  You’re full of crap. Sorry if you’re offended by my watered down language.  I’m mad!!  I’m furious that this is allowed to go on.  It’s not bad enough that we have to deal with insurance companies that dictate which medicines we can or can’t buy if we want their policies to cover a fraction of the costs, it’s not bad enough that they can deny coverage of some things telling us they’ve been deemed unnecessary.  I have always believed that big pharma and insurance companies are in bed together.  Premiums go up, co-pays go up, covered percentages go down, cost of medications go up… you see the trend?  The only people this crap “makes sense” for is all those suit-and-ties in these companies who are making billions off all our pain and suffering.

I gotta get off here and try to calm down.  This stuff just sends my blood pressure through the roof.  What kinda price-jacked medicine do you want to sell me for that, Lechleiter?  puke

Wishing all my peeps a beautiful day.  mwah!

G~


sick as a dog


Hi everyone.  I had such big plans for yesterday.  We had another awesome sermon that filled me with all sorts of good thoughts and scripture to share with you.  If you haven’t checked it out, go watch the latest sermon series from our church or listen to the podcast.

The Creek Church – What Lies Beneath

I have to say, I had a really great weekend.  We had all our kiddos over Sunday afternoon for a cookout.  We haven’t been able to do that in quite awhile.  I put off hitting the house, really getting it cleaned up, til way late.  I’d been cooking, doing some make-ahead recipes and food prep after all.

Honestly though, I started on the house at midnight!  I’m thinking maybe I should always do that because by the time I went to bed at 2:30 am, the house was in better shape than it’s been in awhile.

Thumbs up

Granted, I don’t mean the entire house and we have those “unused” rooms that stay hidden from guests.  I need to just suck it up and start on them, but boy, those are going to take several days and I haven’t quite got the nerve up yet.

Anyhow, we had a great time and a ton of company.  We should’ve known since Tommy said something about taking a long nap after the kids leave.  He doesn’t often slow down and if he stops, he usually falls asleep, so it was odd for him to even think about a nap let alone mention it.  Me?  I am down with a nap anytime and almost any place.  I think I could sleep at just about any time of the day or night.  ALWAYS tired!!

But nope.  Surprisingly, our kids stayed longer than we had expected.  They usually have things they need to run off to do or people to meet.  Maybe they didn’t have to leave because several of their “peeps” came up to the house!  Ha ha!  We had about 5 of the kids from Corey’s church come up to the house.  Then a guy Tommy had sold a transmission to on eBay came from Ohio to pick that up along with his wife.  Someone else showed up in there somewhere but I forget who at the moment.  I think when we counted them all up, there were 11 people at our house Sunday!  That’s pretty unusual for us too.  So anyway, there was no nap taking done on Sunday.

The guys finished up a dreaded part of the Jeep modifications, so they worked a little later than normal and Tommy was wiped by the time he finally came in.

We had that awesome sermon and once again, it tied right in with things we’re discussing and studying in our LIFE group as well.  God’s working on us, I believe.  Moving us closer to Him, maybe preparing us for something.

Monday morning,  like I said, I had big plans and lots of ideas for a blog post.  Seems like I normally have a new one for Monday, but I didn’t feel so great when I woke up.  My first thought was that it was in spite of the sermon the day before (seriously, go watch it!  then you will understand my statement) and I tried to just ignore it.  It wasn’t anything in particular, I just didn’t feel good.  My initial thought?  The devil is trying to thwart my efforts to practice what was taught Sunday!  Hmph!  That may or may not be, but whatever the case, I was sick.  No ifs, ands or buts!

I'm so sick!

Around 11 am, I decided to test my sugar.  I’m almost out of strips and my shipment isn’t due for a few days, so I’m trying to conserve all I can.  Anyhow, it was 432!!  I about passed out from disbelief!  That is of course, way too high.  Normally with a blood sugar at this level, I’ll feel queasy and headachey, really lousy, but not much else.  I texted Tommy to let him know.  I gave a correction bolus with my pump (to “correct” my sugar), grabbed a bottle of water and went to lie down.  I downed the water since high blood sugar can dehydrate you and also the water helps flush your system.

bottles of water

By this time, I had a more serious headache, but I was able to fall asleep.  About an hour later, I got up, drank another bottle of water, tested 372 so I could see it was going down, but slowly.  SO SLOWLY!  I gave another correction bolus and went back to bed because I felt SO tired and was a little dizzy when I got up.  The headache had gone from highly annoying to alarmingly insidious.  I’m serious  you guys.  I have never had a headache that bad, not even a migraine.  Maybe I should clarify and say that I was really aching all over.  My arms hurt, sort of throbbing, my head hurt from my shoulders up and a weird, different kind of pain.  I was a little concerned but didn’t know what to do.  I had grabbed a soft ice pack from the freezer so I slapped that on my head and tried to get comfortable again.

terrible headache

I didn’t sleep as much as I just dozed in and out of sleep.  I was hurting really bad.  I guess it had been around 30 or 40 minutes when I started to feel sick at my stomach.  I eased off the bed and headed to the bathroom.  I also needed to pee really bad!  It was definitely time for the “flushing” part of all that hydration.  I reached into the laundry room right beside our bathroom and grabbed our trusty “puke pan” before I sat down.  I don’t get sick often and I hate throwing up as bad as anyone…but I got SO sick.  I hadn’t had anything all day besides the one cup of coffee around 8 am and then all that water.  And every bit of it came up.  After I dry-heaved awhile, each time seeing stars and worrying that I was going to pass out, I was finally able to get up and clean myself up.  I texted Tommy to see if he could come  home…told him I’d been sick and felt like I was going to pass out.  He said yes, he’d leave right then, bless his heart.  I dragged myself to the bed and realized I felt a bit better than before, so I called him back and told him not to come.  I didn’t feel “passy-outtie” anymore.

feel so dizzy!

DIZZY

Heh.

I drank more water and laid back down and slept pretty hard for about an hour and woke again.  Time to test again: 463!!  I was FURIOUS!  I get mad enough at myself when I’ve done something or forgotten to bolus for a food or miscalculated the amount of carbs in a food, but when I’m giving corrections and ingesting nothing but water and my sugar is still high, I get REALLY angry!!  Stupid diabetes!!  Why can’t you just sit over there and behave?  Why must you torment me this way?  ARGH!  So, I decided maybe my pump site was no longer absorbing or something and gave an injection of insulin this time.   Before I’d got out of bed though, I’d texted Taylor to ask her if she thought it would be okay, with my weird symptoms, to take some Tylenol.  I was about to the point of going to the ER just to get relief from the pain of whatever this was.  She said she thought it should be fine and she felt I probably had a virus of some sort.  I had to agree.  My sugar has been well over 400 before without making me feel this horrific.  Normally, I’d have been queasy, headache-y and felt generally crappy, but this was off the charts.  With such a short-lived high, I shouldn’t have been this sick.

Then again… it seems the D and me, we don’t get along as well as we used to.  I mean, I’ve never been really fond of Diabetes, but in the past few years, the symptoms that I’ve come to rely on have started to change.  I can no longer be sure that my dry mouth means a high blood sugar or know that I’ll have the shakiness, the cold sweats, the numbness around my mouth or any reliable symptoms of a low blood sugar in time to treat it myself.  For decades, I’ve trusted my body to send me those signals to tell me when something’s not just right and now, I feel betrayed because I can no longer depend on getting those signals or that they will even mean what they always have.

Oh well…whatcha gonna do?  There’s not much you can do when something like this happens.  Learn the new symptoms or realize there won’t be any and make yourself be even more diligent.  That’s all I know to do.  Thankfully, this time didn’t land me in the hospital.  I really should get a small bottle of keto strips, though.

ketones diabetes type 1

My endo asked if I had ketones and we didn’t know because we had no strips.  Like the issue with glucagon, I hate having something like that just expire without me ever needing it.  I don’t know if keto strips have gone down any in price, but I’m betting they haven’t.  I’ll just hope I can get a very small package that isn’t too expensive.  Seriously guys, I DESPISE paying for something that I know I won’t likely use up before the expiration date.  Drives me up a wall!

diabetes sick day rulesType 1 Diabetes Sick Day Rules

Bad, bad Geannie.  I know.  Deal with it.  Am I the only one who feels this way?  Am I the only one who doesn’t buy seldom-used diabetic supplies because they are not cheap and always end up expiring?  Tell me if I am.  (but I bet I’m not!)  🙂

What DO you guys do when you’re sick?  I usually end up low when I’m really sick like this, so that’s another reason I’m not sure it was the level of my sugar that made me so sick.  How do you T1Ds respond to illness?  Like the books say or differently?  Is it always the same?  Have you experienced changes in the way your body reacts to things after 10 or more years of T1D??  I would love to hear!!


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 »