Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not Worth It

I have decided this stupid continuous glucose monitor is not worth it. I have found out that I really should be calibrating 4 times a day. That only saves me 3 tests a day. I am not supposed to trust the sensor when it tells me I am high or low. I have to test from my finger before taking action. I didn't realize that before. Maybe I was told that and I wasn't listening or didn't get it or whatever but I didn't know that. So that puts me back up to testing as often as I was before. I don't have to test after I eat. Some days I would forget to anyway so really this isn't changing anything. I just have to wear this extra thing that, the truth be told, bugs me.


Last night my sensor was way off. It was telling me I was dropping low when I got readings over 300. Too much discrepancy. I finally decided to take out the sensor because it obviously wasn't working. It had pulled out a little on its own. It wasn't all the way in my skin. I don't know how it happened but stuff like that happens sometimes. I may have gone to sleep sometime after 1 am and woke up at 6 am because my blood sugar was low. But it was the best sleep I have had since I got the sensor!!!


Hubby is working from home this morning which is nice because the new sensor isn't working. I keep getting a lost sensor warning. I can't even get it to transmit and I just put it in. It bugs me that the whole process of putting in a new sensor can take almost an hour. There is a lot of down time while I wait for things to work before I can move on to the next step. It's a calculated waiting game. There is nothing I can do about it to speed it up but I'm beyond annoyed that it's been in for an hour and now it's not even transmitting data.


I'm snapping at everyone because I hate being forced to do something I don't want to do and I don't want to do this CGM anymore. I really just want to give the doctor enough data for him to make some changes. Hopefully in a couple of months I can say forget it and not wear it anymore. I can't imagine doing this for the rest of my life. I can't. I was starting to give up on the whole thing yesterday. Then the bad sensor and now this new bad sensor are not changing my mind! We can't download any info from my pump because the software will not work on any one of our computers. Hubby tried several different things to get around it but he still can't get one file from the CD they gave us. So I am basically wearing this thing that I am constantly aware of for my doctor who I see once a month. Not worth it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Very Own CGM!

This is the most unflattering picture of me and with my black shirt it may be difficult to see. Nevertheless this is my right arm. I am wearing my very own CGM (continuous glucose monitor) in my arm! I am pretty excited about that because I didn't like having the trial CGM's in my stomach. The first trial was fine but the second trial was irritating the whole time. So I really wanted to try to wear the CGM somewhere other than my stomach. I hardly notice it at all.


The nurse educator was very nice. I was glad she left me a big packet explaining everything she verbally explained. Sometimes I thought I understood and I would think back to the trials I did and have an ah-ha moment. But really, I am so overwhelmed with new information! Hubby was there most of the time. He had to chase Little Miss around some of the time. He says he understands so I think we can figure this all out. It just felt like she explained all these things that could go wrong and with my gloom and doom outlook I am convinced something will go wrong and I don't think I understood how to fix it. Everything went wrong with my last trial but it didn't matter because I went to the Dr.'s office and had it removed and I walked away. No big deal. Now the CGM is mine and I guess I need to know what I'm doing. It will be fine. The benefits outweigh the inconveniences.


One thing I wanted to talk to her about was the fact that my transparent dressing is crappy. I got this new box several weeks ago and the dressing falls off completely in the shower. It's like all I had on was a piece of Saran Wrap. The tape underneath comes off too. Actually, it kind of disintegrates. It's weird and really annoying. Well, Lisa was talking about the dressing and she said that I could wear different dressings that I can buy from Wal-Mart or Target. I guess Mini Med will let me buy dressing for my pump but the exact same dressing for my CGM is more expensive! Sounds like something a medical supply company would do. Then she said something about how the dressing was originally designed to be put on the skin and have the pump infusion set go through it. It's for people who are sensitive to the adhesive. That's me! So when I change my infusion set later today I think I may try that.


I think I understand some of the settings better. She changed a couple of settings from what I had with my trial. Like the low BG alarm. It was set to 55 before. We changed that to 75. That makes more sense to catch a low before it gets super low.


She told me that it takes a couple of times changing it (or telling the pump I've changed it) to really get into a groove and feel comfortable with it. She also said that she picks one day a week to always change hers. She changes it every Sunday morning. So I will change mine on Sunday because that will be the two days the FDA wants me to change it. Then after that I can plan on changing it weekly. It takes some time to change it because I have to wait 30 minutes before hooking up the transmitter and then I have to calibrate it 3 hours later. So it's nice to plan on one day a week to do all that and know that's how that day will go. It sounds like I should only have to test 3 times a day. I can do that! This should be interesting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jake

Jake joined our family this afternoon. Sadly, Jake returned to his maker soon after.

Jake is a pill bug. He died at the expense of his exuberantly loving caretaker. My heart is broken. My son doesn't know. He thinks Jake is just really sleepy. Really sleepy! My son said the prayer for dinner tonight. He prayed that Jake would be good. My heart broke some more.

His dad was working from home today after his meeting in San Jose was canceled. He told our son to find five bugs outside. It was to get him to go outside and spend some time out there . . . and stop bugging Dad! So my son had his magnifying glass that is so scratched from little kid teeth and being scraped across concrete. He was a boy on a mission looking for bugs everywhere. He found a pill bug and carried it into the house to show his dad. Then he took it back out because it was lunch time.

I got the little kids down for a nap and fell asleep myself. My son had found another pill bug outside and decided to keep it as a pet. When I finally woke up, he was telling me about Jake. Something about how he was on a rock in a jar with another jar on top of him so he could have a ceiling. He asked what else he could give Jake. I suggested a twig. He was pretty excited about that because "it could be his blanket!" I'm not sure he knows what a twig is. He found a tiny caterpillar looking thing and put it on the outside of one of the Costco sized animal cracker jars that housed Jake. By the time I got out there Jake was not moving. Neither was the caterpillar thing. Jake was not squished so at first I didn't know what was going on with him.

When my son was about 18 months old I would point out bugs to him. I was trying to be a cool mom to my boy. He would pick up the pill bugs that were rolled into a tight ball. They knew what was coming. Then he would squish the living daylights out of this poor defenseless bug between his tiny fingers. I stopped pointing out bugs after that. My younger son discovered bugs on his own and was pretty proud of himself for stomping on a ladybug. Yes, my little boy who is deathly afraid of flies was proud of killing a ladybug. I saw smooshed ladybug by the garage door and felt deep remorse. I knew he didn't know ladybugs were good bugs. I gently explained it to him and prayed he never found another ladybug again.

I am near tears over Jake's passing. It saddens me to think that my little boy wanted nothing more than to enjoy Jake as his pet. He tried to make him as comfortable as possible. He found the perfect rock for Jake to sleep on. And Jake did. I guess I feel a little better knowing Jake died peacefully in his sleep. Ok, who am I kidding? Jake baked to death in his plastic tomb. The same way that babies and toddlers suffocate and overheat, forgotten in a car on a blazing hot day. My son was so excited about Jake that he wanted to learn about pill bugs. His dad taught him how to do a search on Yahoo kids. I read the info that came up. Pill bugs are crustaceans like lobsters. They need moisture. They also need dirt and someone with a little more knowledge than a 6 year old to care for them.

Rest in peace, Jake. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dear Diabetes . . .


Dear Diabetes,


I have been trying very hard to keep you happy. I know our relationship hasn't always been the best. I was a pretty stupid and rebellious teenager. Is there no forgiveness in your heart? Will you always carry this grudge and make me suffer now as my consequence?


It's been 9 years now that I have really tried to stay under control. I wear a pump, I change my sites as often as I should and I check my blood sugar at least 6-8 times a day. I don't binge eat anymore. Yesterday I honestly answered all of the questions posed by the nurse associated with my insurance company. She told me I was doing great. In fact, most health professionals tell me I am doing everything I should be doing. Why don't the numbers match with my level of effort? I know I probably should see a regular physician. But I see my endocrinologist monthly. He makes changes but they don't seem to satisfy you.


When I am physically active you sabotage my weight loss with excessive and dangerous lows. When my life gets harried and I have trouble making time for exercise you allow my weight to drop with constant highs which make me skip meals more often. Can we meet somewhere in the middle? I'm tired of carrying around 30 extra pounds of baby weight. Especially when I am doing everything in my power to eliminate it. Why would you hold me back when weight loss would be so much better for the both of us?
While I never welcomed your pal Hypothyroidism with open arms, I think we are doing ok. Is that the problem? After 15 years with you, you threw me the curve ball of Hypothyroidism? Now that I've gotten used to the both of you again, you're jealous? Do I really have to think about you two all the time? Your demands have become a part of my daily routine. I'm sorry if that's not enough for you.


You have allowed me to have three beautiful and perfect children despite everything that could have (or should have) gone wrong. So why are you punishing me now? I'm having a hard time being a good mom to my kids when you affect my mood with high blood sugar. I haven't really been able to satisfy your high blood sugar demands in nearly 24 hours. I am bolusing correctly with no love from you. I changed my site, wasting an infusion set, but grateful it wasn't a waste of 100 units of insulin. You teased me with two lower numbers and now 314? Really? What can I do to make this up to you?


Sincerely,
Confused Type 1 Diabetic

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Side of the Fence

Sometimes what may appear as greener pastures may be nothing more than a patch of weeds. I just finished reading Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book titled "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms."


I have known that there is a lot of controversy around mothers and women in general. Sadly, women seem to always find a reason to be in competition with each other. What's worse is they always find a way to put each other down about anything and everything. My sister shared some of her experiences with me and all I could say was "Welcome to Motherhood!" But in reality she would have been criticized for any choice she made about anything in her life. She is a woman.


Like I said, I knew there was controversy but I didn't know it was an all out war. Not until Bug’s kindergarten teacher as well as the school counselor told me I needed to send my kids to pre-school. After reading this book, I have more confidence in my decision to keep my kids out of pre-school. That decision should be made between a husband and wife and God. When Bug was about to turn 3 years old I remember freaking out a little thinking I only had 2 more years with him before I had to share him with school. I feel that same way about Tag. I only get one more year with him before he goes to kindergarten. I'm not worried about their academic intelligence, nor am I worried about their social skills. My kids are normal and well adjusted. I miss them when they are gone. They are my life.


Living in Utah there wasn't as much war about whether or not a woman stayed home with her children. Many women did stay home because that was the culture in Utah. At times I felt like I was a drain on society. I felt guilty for getting a BS degree with the intent to stay home if I ever married and had children. I especially felt like a lazy bum when so many of my SAHM acquaintances justified their decision by working from home. They would do anything to make a buck and had a way of making me feel bad for not. In Utah I felt like I was in competition with other SAHM's and I was losing because my house wasn't perfect 24/7, my son wasn't walking by 9 months, etc, etc, etc.


After moving to CA, the mommy guilt shifted. I feel like I am viewed as irresponsible for having 3 kids, two years apart in age, all from the same man who happens to be the only man I ever married! I am criticized for not paying hundreds of dollars on state of the art pre-schools and over scheduling my children to the point that people need to get on a waiting list for a play date. A friend of mine recently told me that she is not going to enroll her 4 year old in pre-school anymore because it's nothing more than a really expensive play date. I heard a description of a pre-school/day care that was different from the other facilities. This one let the kids go in and out as they pleased. Snacks were not scheduled. Kids were not forced to join in any art or science project but if they got "stuck" in one spot too often or for too long they were encouraged to join an activity. I am not interested in paying for that when that is essentially what I do at home with my own children! I don't need to pay someone else to raise my kids.


I loved this book. It reminded me of everything I have. And I have it all. I have a wonderful and supportive husband. I have 3 of the cutest and smartest kids. They tell me constantly that they love me. Ok, lately Tag tells me he loves me on one day and I tell him I love him every day and he laughs. Then he admits he loves me every day too.


This book told me to stop being such a perfectionist. Hubby will roll his eyes when he reads that one! He's been telling me that all along. But maybe it took reading it in a book to realize that the house doesn't always need to be spotless. I have relaxed on this cleaning compulsion of mine. I used to sweep after every meal and snack when Bug was a baby. I think of that every few days when I finally get around to sweeping because I don't think Little Miss needs to eat petrified hamburger chunks off the floor. Cheerios are ok but meat is questionable.


The whole stop being such a perfectionist thing also helps when I realize that my kids are not going to be perfect. They never will be nor were they ever meant to be. Because I stay home with them I have gotten to know them really well. I am learning what works on each one (and it's not the same for any of them.) I am learning that Bug is very slow to adapt to some activities. We have a hard time getting to school without tears. At least he is having a good experience and is fine once we get there. I can only imagine his therapy bills if I sent him to a pre-school or daycare because I had to. He doesn't get a choice now. School is mandatory. Summer school is not but we committed to sending him to the art and drama classes so he doesn't get to choose. But I feel better knowing he had 5 years to be a free kid! I don't pick him up from school only to cart him off to a million activities. He comes home and gets his emotional needs met from me.


I vow to never again feel ashamed that I just stay home with my kids. I do so much more than that. I am a mother!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brown Box

On my counter sits a brown box. It was delivered by the nice UPS man that delivers packages in my neighborhood. I signed my name to receive this brown box. Only the most important boxes require a signature.


The box is not very heavy but it will change my life. My excitement about the contents of this brown box cannot be contained yet I find myself not ready to open it.


There is a bit of fear mixed with my excitement. There is also a tiny bit of doubt. Am I really worth the cost? What will be the monetary cost to use what sits in the brown box resting on my counter? All human life has worth but I still worry about the changes and sacrifices my family will make as a result of this brown box. If used correctly, my life could be prolonged by this brown box. At least my quality of life will be better.


The brown box calmly sits on the counter tempting me to peek. Yet I am overwhelmed by how life changing it can be. So I stare back hoping to win the staring contest. I know sooner or later the box will win. The question is when?


When will I get the phone call to set up the meeting to learn to use the contents of the brown box? Who will teach me? Will the timing be convenient enough for me to bring moral support? Will I find out how expensive maintenance is and suddenly no longer want to use my new life line? Will the box sit in a corner collecting dust looking violated after it was opened but unused? These questions keep me from opening the box.


Anticipation surges into my heart like a million butterflies ready to be released. The box sits. Tantalizing not taunting. Hoping not judging. Waiting for me to be ready for my life to change forever. No matter what I choose my life will never be the same again. The brown box cannot be forgotten now that it is here nor can it be taken back as if it never arrived. The brown box changed my life long before it was tossed onto the UPS truck. There is no turning back time. No looking back. To choose to do nothing is a choice in and of itself. So I will choose to continue the steps that have led the brown box to my kitchen counter.


To be continued . . .