Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Because final exams are kicking my butt

One. More. Final. Not sure I can make it. Needed a break.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper. It's so much more fun.

2. Real tree or artificial?
REAL!!! I have a skin allergy to them and it's pretty funny to watch my and my mom decorating the tree with gloves. I will not give up my real tree.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Whenever I move home from school.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Sometime around new years. I wait as long as possible.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Not really.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
When I was about 8 I got an American girl doll (Samantha) and thought I was in heavy. I insisted on having it in our family Christmas picture that year.
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes- kind of. It's one of those things that is a puzzle but the pieces are Mary, Joseph, Jesus, etc. My grandpa made it.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My sister in law. We have different tastes, as much as I love her.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
Generally, my mother.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
A box of doll clothes from an extended family member when I was 15.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards?

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
For the classics- Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. For recent- The Polar Express

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Depends on how on top of it I am. Usually sometime in December. This year? I am DONE! It is almost a miracle.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
These white chocolate bars. I can't describe them, but they are awesome.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
17. Favorite Christmas song?
I refuse to pick one.
18. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
Stay Home. This is the first year I'm traveling somewhere, and I'm trying to be OK with it.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas afternoon, actually. After Christmas morning church service and Christmas dinner.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Dealing with cranky people in crowded stores.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
EVERYTHING!! I LOVE Christmas. Favorite time of the year. The food, the people, the music, the food, pretty much everything.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

15 days

In 15 days, I turn 21.
I am quite excited about this. I am generally a rule follower, and I have not had any drinks before now. A sip here and there, yes, but other than that, I am not a drinker. That will not change much when I turn 21, but it will change somewhat. I want to be able to order a drink when I go out with friends. Maybe get a little tipsy once. I've seen plenty of stupid drunk people (I am in college after all) and I am not interested in being one of them. I'm being honest here- I am going to drink. I am not going to be stupid. All of my friends know I am diabetic, and almost all of them know how to take care of me.

In keeping with the not being stupid theme, I want to know how the OC handles alcohol. How do you bolus? How does it usually affect you? Any other drinking tips? (Now isn't THAT a strange sentence!)

I am not going to let diabetes take away a drink or two. I'd appreciate any tips anyone has. If for some reason you don't want to post as a comment, feel free to email me at Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Nope. I do share my mother’s middle name.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Yesterday. I did something stupid that messed up my whole night and seriously stressed me out.

3. Do you like your handwriting? NO! In elementary school, I was actually in a special class b/c it was so bad. It did not improve.


5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? No. I have fun with my niece and nephew. Kids are still a looong way off for me.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I have no idea. I often wonder this, and I have no idea.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Depends on who I am around.

8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No! Not a fan of heights.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Right now, honey nut cherrioes. Lucky Charms is my guilty pleasure, but I almost never eat it for obvious reasons.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Never. I don’t untie then when I put them on either. It is a bad habit that I can’t stop.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? No. I’m mentally strong during crisis, but that’s about it.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Chocolate. If there are peanut butter cups involved, I’m in heaven.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their clothes. The problem is, I focus on that, and I remember their clothes, not the face. The next time I meet them, I’m clueless because they have changed their clothes!

15. RED OR PINK? Pink.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? No question about it, My weight.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? As far as deceased, my maternal grandfather. Other than that, a friend who is studying in Africa for a semester.

18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue jeans and purple slippers. 

No 19, and it’s one of my favorite numbers!


21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The TV (which is weird, because I almost never watch TV)


23. FAVORITE SMELLS? vanilla


25. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Basketball. But only in person.

26. HAIR COLOR? I consider it blond, but in the last week two people have called it brown, so I guess blonde/brown

27. EYE COLOR? Blue.

28 .Do you wear contacts? Yes

29.FAVORITE FOOD? Hmmm. Probably mashed potatoes

30. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.

31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Fiddler on the roof, oddly enough.


33. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter. I love snow. It snowed for the first time today, and I was THRILLED.


35. FAVORITE DESSERT? Peanut butter pie.

36. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Weird pink and orange cirles. It was the only one that didn’t have puppies or cats on it when I bought one, and I’m too cheap to buy a new one.

37. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Didn’t watch TV last night.

38. FAVORITE SOUND? My niece laughing. You can’t get any better than a child laughing.




Saturday, December 01, 2007

A short Guardian review

I've had a couple of requests for a review on my experience with the Guardian, so I thought I'd give you a quick run down.
* This must go first because it seems most important. My A1c dropped from 7.4 to 6.8 in the month I wore the unit. I was shocked. This is my lowest Aic in my lifetime, except maybe the time when I wasn't diabetic :-). I think the increased awareness of postprandials was a large part of the drop.
* I like the size and weight of the receiver. It wasn't too annoying to carry it and my pump. I do think the weight and possibly the size would change with a pump and CGMS in one.
*The 3,6 and 12 hour graphs. The 24 hour was too small to be of any use. The others were helpful for seeing trends for that day.
* The sensor was not as big and bulky as I thought it would be. It did not bother me 85% of the time.
*The fact that the software was online, so I was not tied to one computer all the time.
*For the most part, I was happy with the receiving range. It did seem to vary and I'm not sure why. I found most of the time I could set the receiver on my bed and walk around my dorm room with no problems.

* I've written several times before about the accuracy issues I had before. I won't go into too much details again, especially since I think there might have been extenuating circumstances (see below). The highlights include missing almost all lows (it caught 2 in a month. I assure you I had more than 2 lows that month), not seeing highs as high as they actually were and random times where it was 150 points or more off.
* I was not happy with the support I received from Minimed. In several cases they refused to answer my questions. Not the impression you want to leave on a potential customer.
* I wish it would show more than just the current day without having to download it to a computer.
*Speaking of downloading- they seriously need a new cable! I could not use my laptop to upload data because it did not have a serial port. Quick annoying.
*Finding sites for the senor and my pump sites did start to get a little tricky. The sensor sites healed slower than a usual pump site. I could not really use the pump and the CGMS on the same side, so it did not take long to run out of real estate. I was not brave enough to try the sensors on areas of my body other than my abdomen.
* The sensors just shut off at the end of the 72 hour period with no warning what so ever. I found this annoying. I have enough things to remember thank you very much.
*There were times the sensor did bother me. The biggest of these were during exercise. There is nothing holding the transmitter portion to the body. When I exercised and when I showered it seemed to flop around a lot.

Those were the things that stick out in my mind. That being said, I am going on another trial in a few weeks. I met with the nurse educator who runs the program at my endo's office when I returned the unit and we sat down and talked. She was upset that I did not get the support I needed from Minimed, and wanted to try and correct the situation. She contacted the rep for the area, and he wanted the days and I times I called and said he was going to look into it. He also wanted me to try it again if I was willing. This time I have his number to call with problems, so hopefully I can problem solve with him and have a truly good experience. I'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I've been tagged

The rules:
Link the person who tagged you, Sandra and Chris
Post these rules on your blog.
List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
Tag seven random people at the end of your post.
The last rule that seems to be optional depending on who you ask is to put a comment on the people you've tagged blogs so they know they have been tagged.
My Seven:
1. I am a farm girl, born and raised. Yes, complete with John Deere tractors. No, I don't have any cows/horses/pigs. It's not that kind of farm.
2. As I child, I could do word search puzzles before I could read. There was one in the children's bulletin one Sunday, my mom told me how to do it, I did the whole thing, and loved to do them every since.
3. I used a pacifier until I started preschool. I was almost weaned off of it when I was diagnosed, and my mom didn't have to heart to take it away from me at the hospital. I finally got rid of it one summer. I left it outside and my mom told me it was lost. She hid it in a drawn just in case something happened and I went back into the hospital. We found it 5 years later when we moved.
4. I had the nickname of "fer-fer" for the longest time. When I was learning to talk, I couldn't pronounce the "j" in my name, so I just said "fer" and my relatives never let it go.
5. I've never seen the ocean. I hope to someday, but have no plans right now.
6. I went to the Global Medical Missions Health Conference last weekend, and it has me seriously thinking about doing some sort of overseas medical missions after graduation. Which incidentally scares the living daylights out of me.
7. I am going to try the Guardian CGMS again next month. I promise I'll talk about my last my spare time.
I honestly could not find 7 people who had not been tagged, so I tag all the lurkers. Put your answers on the comments on my or another blog. And you have a blog and you haven't been tagged and I missed it, then I tag you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Diabetes Day

When I see the pictures of all the things that happened around the world today all in the name of diabetes, it makes my heart happy. I would have loved to be a part of them, but it just wasn't possible. I am so glad for such an awesome event that raises awareness. I saw several news stories on it already, and I'm sure there will be many more to come.
Happy World Diabetes Day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

I got a bag of candy the other day (What? A diabetic bought chocolate? Tsk) and as soon as I unwrapped it, I wondered what kind of message the Hersey's corporation was trying to send me....

and then later, this one.

Maybe I'll have to rethink my choices of candy....

Friday, October 19, 2007


Shhh...Don't tell anyone, but my Guardian has caught three lows in the past two days!
But I did not say it out loud, and writing it will not jinx it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I've thought over and over again about this post, and what I should say.
A brief rundown of the events since my last post. At Allison's suggestion and my desperation, I put in new sensor in on Sunday, the 7th. I was hoping to make each sensor last about a week or so, because I had 4 sensors and a month to use them. That sensor seemed to do alright for a day or so, but my blood sugars were also pretty decent. Wednesday, I restarted the sensor, and got another decent day out of it. On Thursday however, everything fell apart. I got a "cal error" at lunch. It showed me in the high 200s, when I knew I was just fine. I had been keeping a close eye on my blood sugar, to see if an ever challenging bagel breakfast bolus was working like it should. I had been consistently clocking in at 100 to 120. Maybe I should haven't have calibrated then, but I was frustrated at it's inaccuracy. Later that day, in a major national exam, the Guardian just went crazy. First, it told me a high glucose was predicted. Whatever, I felt fine, and I was in the middle of this very important exam. Not 15 minutes later, "Fall Rate." This is supposed to mean my blood sugar is falling more than 3mg/dL. Again, I ignored it again. Not 5 minutes later, "Rise Rate." By this point, I was ready to throw the thing out the window. I wasn't supposed to have any electronic devices in the room. I took my chances, and brought the Guardian. Then, I was forced to check it every 5 minutes because it kept alerting. When I got done with the exam (which I passed with flying colors, despite the annoying interruptions) I placed another annoying phone call to Minimed, who did not even want to help me, saying I should contact my doctors office. Finally, she told me I should re-calibrate when I was positive my blood sugars were perfectly level. I felt like telling her- look, I'm diabetic, if I knew when my blood sugars were going to be perfectly level, I wouldn't need technology like the Guardian! She said if I wanted to be completely sure it was back in line with my blood glucose, to restart the sensor. That's what I did. All Thursday night, it alarmed like crazy. First high alarms, then low alarms, all of which were disproved by a fingerstick. After a very frustrating, sleepless night, I tore the sensor out and put the receiver back in the box. I had enough. I kept it off all weekend, while I wrestled with what to do. My ideas ranged from putting it back on, to driving it back to the doctor's office 3 weeks early and telling them never to give it to anyone else. Calling Minimed for help is no longer an option. I've had three unhelpful conversations with them, most ending with them swearing their product is practically flawless, and I must be doing something wrong. Granted, they can't tell me what that is, but it is not their problem. They seem to have a mental barrier to the fact that I did not buy the unit, that I'm only borrowing it. Sorry for the tangent, back to reality.
Sunday, the 14th, I decided to give it another shot. I was going to make sure there was no reason for error. I put the sensor it 4 hours after lunch, with no additional food or insulin. Chances were, my blood sugars were not going far. I waited the 2 hour warm up period, still eating nothing, and taking no insulin. I waited another 45 minutes after the first calibration before I ate anything and took any insulin. I am only calibrating the recommended 2 times a day(I had been doing 3), first time in the morning, after fasting, and now in the evening, which I have also made a fasting time of day to prevent any possible errors. I hate that I am modifying my life to appease a piece of equipment that is supposed to help me. The accuracy has improved minimally. If I am between 80 and 150, it is very close, almost always within the 20% guideline. As soon and I drop out of that range however, the Guardian is way, way off. I realize that even fingersticks are more accurate with normal numbers, but I am talking about a difference of at least 100 points. It still has not caught an actual low. Most of the time, it showed me holding steady in the 80-90 range, while my blood sugar is in the 50's. I have decided to get over my disappointment and move on. The biggest reason I wanted to borrow the Guardian is to get my basals nailed down really well. To do that, my blood sugars should be within the 80 to 150 range anyway. I will continue to monitor my blood sugars like I normally would (not the 20 or so times I did for several days trying to figure out what the heck was going on with the Guardian) and give up on the dream that this equipment could help me prevent highs and lows. Someday maybe it will get there, but it has not arrived for me. Not yet anyway.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Not Impressed

I am on day 4 of the Guardian, and I'm not going to lie, I'm disappointed. We all know there are peaks and valleys in our blood sugars. I wish they didn't happen, and I try and prevent them, but usually when I graph out my blood sugars there they are, the hills and valleys of highs and lows. With the Guardian, there are no hills or valleys, there are only ant hills and minor puddles. It has only caught one low blood sugar, and never shows me as high as my blood says I am. With lows, it might say I go down to 82 or so, not the 50's I'm actually experiencing. The Guardian might show I'm up to 200, but a finger stick shows I'm actually 260. Last night, I went down to 60, and the Guardian showed me holding steadily at 150. I'm sorry, but that is a huge, unacceptable difference. The first full day I had the Guardian, I was ready to believe every number it showed me. I just did a minimum number of blood sugar checks before meals, and fully thought that my blood sugars really were that amazing, almost never straying outside of the 80 to 120 range. Now I am not that sure. I am still checking my blood sugar 8 to 10 times a day. I hope as time goes on that maybe I find out why it shows such differences, but for now, I just don't trust it. I am greatly disappointed in this piece of equipment. I thought this was the next greatest, life changing piece of equipment. I thought maybe it would be worth fighting the insurance company for coverage, but for now I think it would be a waste of time.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

19 Years

Nineteen years ago today, I was diagnosed with diabetes.
Today, I feel very diabetic. That might sound strange to some. There are some days when diabetes sinks into the background and routines take over. Today though it is on the forefront of my mind. On my left side, I wear my Cozmo and Quick-set, almost silently delivering insulin. On the right, the Guardian RT and mini-link transmitter, attempting to tell me if the pump is giving me the right amount if insulin. These are part of my life now and they are reminders of what I need to do to survive and thrive.
I’ve thought a lot lately how diabetes has altered my life, and it is something that I can not honestly answer. It is such a part of me, that I cannot image what life would be like if I had never gotten this disease. Has it made me more sympathetic? Maybe. More cautious? Perhaps. Less spontaneous? Probably. But this is who I am now. I am a college student. I am a Christian. I am a daughter and an aunt. I am also a diabetic. That’s just the way it is.
I am not celebrating today, and I’m not mourning it either. It’s just another day in my life. A day like the past 6,935 that happens to include insulin, blood sugar checks and carbohydrate counting.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

First Impressions

I am officially hooked up to a Guardian Real Time System. They gave me a whole new setup, so I felt like I was getting it "for real" and that I didn't have to give it back in a month. I am unsure about my feelings of it yet. It is too soon, and I've had too many issues. From the beginning:
One of my biggest fears was wearing and inserting the sensor. I was expecting the insertion of the sensor to hurt like &^*$ because it went in at an angle (angled sites and I have a bad history) and then the nurse offered me ice, saying most everyone used it. After about a minute of sitting there with the ice on my stomach, and getting more nervous by the second, I just went for it. I did not hurt a bit. It takes a little bit of work to get the inserter off of the site, and it is a little nerve wracking. With a pump site, you mess it up, and it's not that big of a deal. With a sensor, it's like flushing twenty dollar bills down the toilet. Overall, a lot easier than I thought. It actually hurt less than my pump sites.
After my training was done, they sent me on my way, with the instruction to do a 2 hour calibration check before the system would actually start working. Not 15 minutes down the road, I got a "sensor error" alert. Not exactly what I wanted to see. After pouring through the manual, I finally found out that one of those alerts is really no big deal, but multiple alerts aren't so great. Ok, I'm good to go. I thought. Until 20 minutes later, when I got the same alert. Soo I called the Minimed people, who had me restart the 2 hour start up period. So 5 hours after my initial appointment, I was finally getting readings. For a few hours, it went pretty well. I checked the number on the screen every 15 minutes or so, just for the joy of it. I felt like it was fairly accurate, until about half an hour ago, when I could feel myself falling. But the graph stayed steady. As I was walking back to my room from a friends house, I became more and more sure that I was dropping. But the Guardian did not agree. I know it takes some time to catch up with rapidly changing numbers, but I felt like I was dropping for a good half an hour. I checked, and my meter said 75. Not exactly an emergency, but not the 188 the Guardian claimed. Here's where I made my first big mistake: I plugged that number into the Guardian. Bad move. It needs calibration numbers that are not rapidly changing. After it thought for a good long while, I got a "cal error." So I'm not getting any data now, and I'm in the waiting game for my blood sugar to even out so I can calibrate it again. I'm hoping it becomes more accurate as time goes on, and I learn how to best take advantage of this technology.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I did it

I participated in the JDRF walk. Not the one I normally go to, but one that took place several weeks later. It was actually a lot of fun. There were a lot more people at this walk, and it was a lot more upbeat. They had face painting and a lot of things my niece would love. The walk was thru the heart of downtown, and I got to see a lot of things that I never would have seen before. Although I did not raise a lot of money, I'm really glad I ended up doing it, even if it was a last minute affair.
This week is a pretty significant D week. Tomorrow I get my temporary Guardian CGMS. I want to love it, but I'm trying to be realistic and realize that there will probably be times when I will hate it.
Wednesday will be my diagnosis anniversary. I will have been living with this disease for 19 years.
Needless to say, this will be a trying week for me. Look for frequent updates.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My endo appointment was somewhat productive. My A1c was 7.1. Last time was 7.0. I've been shooting for under 7%, and I'm just not there yet. We fiddled with some basal rates, and changed some insulin to carb rations. I'm still working on it, and it continues to be a struggle, that to be honest, I don't always feel like fighting.
I still don't have my lab work back, meaning I still don't know if my thyroid is working normally, or anything else that they were checking. I'm a little frustrated, although I figure if it has taken this long to get back to me, they must be normal.
Next week, I take one very large, nerve-wracking step. I go on a trial run of Minimed's Guardian CGMS. My doctor's office has a unit that they lend out for a month or so at a time. My doctor really pushed me to try it, saying that he would be more than willing to help me fight my insurance company if it was something I was interested in. I am still not that sold on the idea of wearing two different sites on my body. But then, there are those nights that I wake up at 36mg/dL and terrified, that make me think it would be more than worth it. I think the warranty on my Cozmo runs out next summer, so maybe this will be one of the deciding factors for it I stick with them, or look at a Minimed again. Although I've had MAJOR issues with Minimed, the technology that they are offering right now is ahead of that of Cozmo. Believe me, it pains me to say that.
So as of next week, I'll be hooked up to 2 machines 24/7. I'll be sure to tell you what I think. Any advice?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

This n' That

*I went on JDRF's website today because I was curious when the local Walk was taking place, since I hadn't received any information. I was shocked to find out its next weekend. Now I'm in a pickle. I've done the walk for 10 years. It is always a lot of work, and always seems anticlimactic in some way. But yet, I feel hypocritical if I don't participate. I once again have a lot going on this semester, and writing a heartfelt fundraising letter just doesn't sound that appealing.
*I have an endo appointment on Monday that I feel unprepared for, but then again, I rarely feel fully prepared. I always swear that I'm going to test all of my basals at least twice and test my correction factor, but it never happens.
*I had drawn Wednesday to test my thyroid function and a bunch of other things. Usually it is just a routine test, but this time I have reason to believe there might be something going on. Last time I had it checked, the level jump quite a bit, but was still normal, and I have some vague symptoms that could be attributed to hypothyroidism. Or just as easily not. We shall see.
* I am quitting my job tomorrow. I am incredibly nervous, but I know it is the right decision. There is just no way I can keep my sanity with a class load of 17 credits and working 20 hours a week. Sorry, not on top of my clinical rotations and everything else. It was a great experience that I would have liked to continue. But like my brother said, I'll have plenty of time to work after I graduate.
*I went to ColdStone tonight with some friends, and had the most delightful, sinful bowl of ice cream called Peanut Butter Perfection. It was heavenly. My blood sugar 2hours postprandial? 105. Yessssss!
*Not everything is going that well, however. I have Kevin's new blood sugar log, which I love. The new pie chart is awesome, but it is telling me things I don't want to see. Like the fact that I'm "in range" only 49% of the time. The rest being mostly high (41%). I do not like this. At all. For now, I'm just logging and hoping my endo will fix it for me.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Why don't they understand?

I picked up more insulin at the pharmacy the other day. More accurately, I went to the pharmacy Monday, Thursday and Friday to get more insulin. Getting prescriptions from them is always an adventure, invariably they will only bill one insurance company, or will have some other redundant question. This time, I chose to go through the drive thru, which turned out to be a wise choice. I told them my name, and watched as they got the prescription bag, and picked up a bottle of insulin OFF THE COUNTER, put it in my bag, and handed it to me. For a split second, I debated what to do. I know that bottle wasn't sitting on the counter because they just got done putting the label on the box, I called it in the day before, to be sure it would be ready by the time I got to the pharmacy. I had no idea how long that bottle of life sustaining, refrigeration required bottle of medication had been sitting on the counter. I decided I couldn't keep silent. I don't always go through all three bottles of insulin in a month, what happens when they sit in my refrigerator longer than that? Who can guarantee that they will be good until the date on the box? What's the point of even putting a expiration date on the box when the pharmacy blatantly ignores the instructions? As the technician handed me the bag I said, "why wasn't this refrigerated?" His answer? "It doesn't need to be refrigerated if you use it within a month." I proceeded to briefly argue with him, before deciding that even though his whole occupation revolves around medications, he apparently didn't understand how important it is that these medications work exactly as they are supposed to. I drove off feeling frustrated that yet another medical professional had failed me. I am now making the policy that when I pick up my insulin, I either need to see them take it out of the refrigerator, or it needs to be cool to the touch. I don't care it that makes me an annoying patient, I need to know my insulin is safe.
Oh, the other thing that frustrated me? They only had one bottle of Humalog insulin available in the whole pharmacy! They were OUT of insulin. I would have to return Wednesday to get the rest of my prescription. I gave them an extra day for good measure, and went back Thursday, only to be told it still wasn't ready, forcing me to make another trip back on Friday. If this pharmacy wasn't my only option in pretty much the whole state, I would switch, but I think I'm going to find these problems everywhere.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

There are just some things you have to blog about....

Yesterday was just one of those days. It all started around 2:00am. I woke up feeling low, quite low. I threw a tab in my mouth while I checked myself. I was 39. #*$A%*(!!! Inhaled 2 more tabs and a fruit snack. And a package of crackers. Checked again(all of 5 minutes later) 43. I walked to the kitchen and inhaled more food, now in full on panic mode. Any number below 50 and I panic. I corrected before bed at 11:30, so I still had a little insulin working. After 20 minutes I checked again, ringing in at 136. Satisfied, I returned to bed, trying to decide how much to bolus for my obvious overeating. I decided to wait another 15 minutes and see what would happen with more time. 123. Crap. Another 15 minutes. 110. I foolishly decided to go to sleep with that blood sugar, and not bolus for any food. I woke up at 8:00am with a very full bladder. Never a good sign. I tested in at a horrific 450. 39 to 450 in six hours. That has to be some sort of a record. I felt like I spent the rest of the day recovering, and fighting more lows. It ended up being one of those days when diabetes took control, and not the other way around, and I hate that.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pushing the limits

This post really did not turning out the way I thought it was going to, but I'm just going to let it ramble on. Have fun reading. :-)
I really feel like I've been pushing the limits diabetes wise lately. I always do to a certain extent. I never rush to check and treat when I feel my blood sugar drop. I feel my lows in the high 70's, and I've never passed out, so I'm never in a rush. I wait until it is convenient. I know its not smart, but I do it. I ran short of test strips again this month, so I had to cut down to testing 4 times a day and when those strips ran out, I used some expired strips. They seemed fairly accurate, and matched up with my freestyle readings, but who really knows?
Last week, there were several days that I didn't have a single number above 70 or below 300. I know I must have been normal at some point in between there, but I never caught it. Now that I've cracked down and started charting again, they've come back close to normal, but I'm actually going to try and have some really solid basal testing and more before my endocrinologist appointment next week. I really have to wonder sometimes what those roller coasters are doing to my body.
I started my new job Tuesday. More accurately, I started orientation for my new job. Let me tell you, I HATE it. Once I got hired for the position, I had major doubts. This is my first real job, and it comes with a lot of fear. I still have my job at home, and that carries responsibilities that did not go away when I got hired at the hospital. There are a lot of other stressors like my desire to work at my local diabetes camp, and not being able to find out if I can get the time off, or if I should even ask. The lack of communication I experienced before my interview continues. I get information only a couple of days before the event, and that worries me. I still do not know when I start actual work, and at this point, I'm doubting if I even want to. I'm sure it will get better, I just can't see the end of the very dark tunnel ahead of me.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I got it!

I got the job!!!
I got a call last Tuesday, but I couldn't get in contact with the woman who called me until she finally picked up today! And I got it! The bad news is that I can't start until the beginning of June, but I don't really care, because I got it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I have my very first job interview tomorrow!!! It is for one of the millions of nursing assistant jobs I've applied for. This is the first time I've ever gotten to the interview process. I am extremely happy, but also extremely nervous. It has been very last minute, which is only increasing my anxiety about it. I didn't find out about the interview until Friday, but I had a conflict. I didn't get my schedule straightened out until last night, and I still don't know exactly where I need to go, because the woman scheduling it hasn't called me back. I'm trying hard not to be really annoyed. So like always, I'm asking a favor of the OC. What are your best entry level job interviewing tips?

My interview was today. The scheduler finally called me back at 10am and gave me the details of my interview. She only had a few more minutes before I was going to call and bug her again. The interview went OK. I didn't get a real clear vibe from the interviewer about how it went. He was pretty stoic. I'm hoping to hear sometime next week if I got the job. I don't really don't know what to think about my chances. Thanks for all the advice, especially to Sara for her help.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I seemed to have lost you since I stopped posting about diabetes related stuff. Believe me, there is plenty going on. From the fact that my insurance company said I couldn't get any test strips this month because I got too many last month (I've got it partially straighted out), to my bottomless exercise induced lows, to the enduring stress highs. They are all going on, but right now, it isn't top priority in my life like it is sometimes. Right now, I am scared. Not of complications and not of lows. I am scared because Monday an armed gunman killed 32 people on his college campus. He had two hours between his attacks to prepare and ship a package. The rest of the campus was not warned. They went about their business, and some of them were killed later because of it. Now, copy cat acts are springing up all over the place. A friend's high school was shut down today because a student had bomb making equipment in his locker, and planned to use it tomorrow at an all school assembly. Another local community college is shut down for the rest of the week because of a death threat on a professor. There are many more. The possibility that I might not be safe on my own campus is something that never occurred to me. I never thought this would happen in college. People grow up, and grow past their teenage problems, at least many of us do. This is supposed to happen here. The pictures of that man pointing guns at the camera sends chills down my spine. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have that gun pointed at ME. I realize that it is paranoid and unreasonable, but I have found myself wondering what I would do if a gunman entered my campus. Many classrooms have glass doors. There is no way to barricade against those. I found myself anxious about going into the basement of our library today, because there are no windows to flee through. Like I said, I realize these thoughts are irrational, but this is what this tragedy has done to me. Tomorrow, I will wear Orange and Maroon in honor of those who lost their lives. I will heal, I will move on, but I will always remember.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

Please keep everyone at Virginia Tech and their family members in your thoughts and prayers. This is something that truly rocks me to the core. As a fellow college student, I can not imagine having to deal with something like this. As many people have said, today we are all Hokie's.

I'm not even going to try to make excuses for my once again long absence. It is just going to have to continue. Between a stomach flu, a chest cold that looked like pneumonia and it being the last month of classes, I've been swamped.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Blogger hates me

I tried to respond to everyone's comments on my last post, but blogger won't let me comment on my own page, so I'm posting them here.
Chrissie, I do something very similar when I get leg cramps. I alternate from pointing my toes to pointing my heel. It does help, although very painful.
Everyone who suggested bananas for more potassium: Sadly, I can't stand bananas. OJ is supposed to be a decent source too, so I'll try that.
Minnesota Nice: When you had low potassium levels, how often did you get leg cramps?
Virginia: I'll have to check emer-gen-c out next time I get to the store.

Now for a major time waster stolen from facebook.

A bit of everything survey
Basics Name:Jen
Age: 20
Sex: female
Hair color: Blond
Eye color: Blue
Zodiac sign: Capricorn
Heritage/nationality: Dutch mostly
Named after: No one
People you live with: 3 amazing girls!
Color: Blue
Band: Right now, I'm on am Emerson Drive kick ( don't hate me for being a country fan)
TV Show: Grey's Anatomy- all the way!
Video Game: It's been YEARS since I've played a video game
Movie: Hmmmmm... Pirates of the Caribbean
Food: Chocolate ice cream
Room in the house:Um, my dorm? it's only one room!
Flower: Gerber Daisies
Animal: Dog
Sport: Basketball
Pizza Topping: Just cheese!
Season: Fall, although I'm a big fan of the 70's we've been having
Shampoo: Don't have one. I need to get a different brand.
Hairspray: Don't use it
CD: Don't have one
Gum: Orbit
Restaurant: Uno's! Best pizza ever!
Late night activity: Facebook/reading blogs. Or lately, finishing homework
Holiday: Christmas
Number: 22
Candy: It's a tie between Kit-Kat and Peanut Butter cups
Song: Depends on my mood
Starbucks beverage: I have NEVER been to a Starbucks. I'm loyal to the local coffee shop.
Are you for or Against...
Prostitution: Against
Drunk Driving: Against. If you want to get drunk, fine with me, but please don't be stupid enough to drive and kill someone.
Legalizing Drugs: Mostly against
Death Penalty: Undecided
Premarital sex: Against
War: Wow, that's a whole can of worms....
Hippies: Um....For??
Clothes on dogs: Against
School Uniforms: Mostly Against
Public Schools: Indifferent
Spam: Against- who really wants spam?
Slavery: Against
Interracial Relationships: For
Arranged Marriages: Against
Republicans: For
Jesus: For
Gun control: Mostly Against.
Organic Farming: Against. Another can of worms, I know.
Britney Spears: I'd be happy if I didn't have to hear about her anymore!
Curfews: For who?
Tommy Hilfiger: I'm not a name brand person. I'm a Target girl
The Atkins Diet: Against.
This or That
Jello or Pudding: Pudding. I've hated Jello for a loooong time.
Hotmail or Yahoo: Hotmail
Carpet or hardwood: Carpet
Cats or Dogs: Dogs
Fish or mice: Fish?
Wine or beer: Neither
Abercrombie or Hot Topic: Again, not a name brand person.
Cake or pie: Pie
Golf or Poker: Poker
Shower or bath: Shower
Independent Films or Big Company Films:Big Films.
Spoons or Forks: Spoons
Do you...
Drink diet pop: When I actually drink pop, which is like 2x/year
Eat a lot of junk food: Sadly, yes
Watch soap operas: Nope.
Watch CSI: Not really
Wear make up: Yes
Take naps: When I need to catch up. They are how I am surviving college
Own a cell phone: Yes
Have a job: Yes
When was the last time you Cursed: Today most likely
Had sex: Never
Went to the mall: Wednesday
Went into a chat room: Forever ago
Drank alcohol: Never
Went bowling: The beginning of the year
Had a sleep over: We have random people sleeping in our room sometimes, does that count?
Got arrested: Ha ha. Never
Went to the movies: It's been a while....Whenever Music and Lyrics came out.
Told someone a secret: I have no idea
Gave someone a gift: A friends birthday in January
Had a gift given to you: Probably my birthday
Brushed your teeth: After lunch
Died your hair: Never
Gave advice: Not long ago

Wow...That wasted a good amount of time. I tag anyone who is procrastinating.
I hope to post soon about my Spring break.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My, my. How time flies. I've been busy, busy, busy with classes. Today started my Spring Break, and I am so ready for it. I plan on sleeping and catching up on work. Doesn't that sound like a blast?
I also just got done with a month long ban on using stomach sites. I decided it needed a break, and I really needed to explore my other options, so I gave myself a month to do it. It turned out to be a really good experience. I used my thighs almost the entire time. I am now a big fan of them. I used to get a burning sensation when I delivered insulin in my thighs, but now it is only with an especially large bolus. I think I'm going to try and work them into a regular rotation. Even though the month was up, I wasn't in a hurry to go back to my stomach. I usually alternate between one site of my stomach to the other, but maybe now I'll do right leg, right stomach, left stomach, left leg. It would probably be good for the sites.
I had a weird night last night. I sometimes get cramps in my legs (aka Charlie horses). I seem to get them really, really bad. I have to get out of bed and keep my leg moving( even through the excruciating pain) or my calf gets so tight I can't walk the next morning. Sometimes they only last a minute, others have lasted close to half an hour. I hate them with a passion. I hate having them at school even more, because I usually make quite a bit of noise when I get them, and I don't want to wake up my roommate. I tried and tried to find a cause, but never could pin point one. I had an idea that they were usually on days when I walked a lot more than usual, and had a very high blood sugar that day. Well, last night did not fit that scenario. I had my first leg cramp of the semester. Lucky for me, I was also low. I was in pain, and had to get out of bed to work out the cramp, but I was also uncoordinated from sleep and the low. It was not a pretty sight, and I was not happy. I do not like getting up at 3:00am (who does?) and waking up in pain and low was a bad combination. Now, I'm wondering if I should change my idea of what is causing leg cramps. Although it is a fairly isolated incident, I have had lows and leg cramps at the same time before. Now, I'm wondering if this should be a new symptom. I do not want to add "leg cramps" to the list of symptoms of my lows that I have to recite every time I go to my endo. Does anyone else get these cramps in their calves? Do they correspond with highs or lows? This is probably just an isolated incident that has me over analyzing, but it sure was a strange experience!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I’ve been thinking about Penny’s post a while ago titled Because I have to. It made me think about my mom, and my experience with those kinds of lows. I’ve lain in my mom’s lap while she stroked my head willing me to feel better. There were times I cried. There were times I would fall back asleep. I have faint memories of a time I couldn’t communicate because of a bad low. My parents filled in the details. I woke up and walked downstairs. I didn’t say anything, just sat down and started watching TV. I faintly remember my mom shaking my shoulders trying to get me to concentrate and tell her where my meter was. The next thing I remember I was drinking juice and I had a blood stain on my finger. That incident really shook me because I didn’t have any memory of walking downstairs, and my mom checked my blood sugar. At that point my mom hadn’t checked me in years. I knew I was low, but I couldn't tell the person who wanted to help me most. I remember lots of lows, sitting in the kitchen drinking a small glass of apple juice and a graham cracker. Always the same snack and always with my mom. She would turn on the living room light so the light wouldn’t wake up too much. Even now, the first thing I use to treat a low are those little glasses of apple juice. Even now that I treat lows by myself, when I go downstairs to the kitchen to treat I know she is upstairs waiting for me to return. Sometimes she comes down to check on me, and sometimes she’ll ask me if I’m ok when she hears me coming back up the stairs. No matter what, she’ll ask me the next morning if I had a rough night. I really hated those nighttime lows, and still do, but I treasure the memories of her taking care of me. Thanks Mom.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

When did I become an angry person?

First off, thanks to everyone who left ideas for me. I really appreciate them.
I apologize in advance for the following post. It is being written in the heat of a moment, after a long day with very little sleep.

I'm sitting here, trying to study for an exam, thinking over all the times today, and over the last few days that I've been really angry. I am not an angry person normally, but lately, I have become one.
I went to my endo Tuesday. I was expected a rise in my A1c because I am currently in the semester from Hell (I don't swear. Practically never, and this semester is totally worthy of that description.) I had no basal tests. No insulin to carb ratio tests. No 2am tests. Nothing. I was angry at myself, but I knew I just did not have the time or energy to skip meals. It just wasn't happening. My A1c? 7.1. That's down. That's a really good number. But you know what? I was mad. I was actually MAD that it went down, and I did nothing. At all. It just decided to go down. I should not be angry about this, but I am.
My presentation to my Pharmacology study group was tonight. I was nervous. I had to balance the information and the time. As I'm going through the require information, I kept giving things that were not highlighted in the professors notes, but will be really important in the practical setting. My presentation partner kept saying, "but we don't need to know this! This isn't going to be on the exam!" I had to really hold my tongue. I kept a level head, but it was hard. After giving the required information, I had a sheet with some bullet points that I titled "what every type one diabetic wants you to know." I talked about some of the misconceptions, and included most of your suggestions. I thought it went fairly well considering how nervous I was. Later, after the group meeting, I saw one of my group members, and she mentions to my friend that I went "on a rampage" during our meeting. I was dumbfounded. I did not raise my voice. I simply told them what I thought they should know. I put it in the context that I have had many of these things said to me, and I would like to make sure that they, as health care providers, did not make the same mistakes that would loose the respect and trust of their patients. I did not think I ranted or rampaged. Now, I'm afraid that the whole group thinks I'm a raging lunatic. Don't they get this is my entire life? This is what I eat, think and breathe all the time, every day? This is my life people! Of course I'm passionate about it!!!!!! I live and will die by this disease! I am so angry that she actually said that to me.
As I was thinking about how I needed to write this all out, I opened up blogger to post this. It would not let me sign on until I upgraded to the new blogger. Again, I felt anger rising within me. What if I don't want to upgrade? I' m just learning the old blogger! I don't want to learn a new one! I just want to write a freaking post!
I am an angry person. This is what all the stress has done to me. It makes me angry that I haven't been below 200 all day long, and that I have to change my site. It makes me angry that my suitemate asks the most ridiculous questions over and over again. It makes me angry that people are so stupid. It all makes me so angry, and I don't want to take it any more! UUGGHH!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What would you want them to know?

Once again, I want your input on something. If you had an opportunity to tell your future nurses anything you wanted about diabetes and its care, what would you like them to know?
One of my classes this semester is Pharmacology. I am in a study group with 5 other nursing students. The next chapter is on medications for the treatment for diabetes. I am taking this golden opportunity to educate the nurses of tomorrow. I'm having trouble figuring out which information is the most important. I thought I would get the opinions of other diabetics (or people with diabetes, depending on who you are :-) ). What are the biggest things nurses/doctors do that annoy you in reference to diabetes? What should they know? What do they "know" that needs to be unlearned? Basically, like the title says: What do you want them to know?

Friday, February 09, 2007


Falling, falling, falling








Slipping, slipping, slipping









Blood sugar?




“Oh good, I’m low”



Granola bar















“Your last blood glucose was low”









Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My new favorite song

My brother recently introduced me to Weird Al.
I love this song.

The video is nothing much, but oh, the words to the song. It just gets better the more I listen to it. Even if I don't love my pancreas, this is a great song.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ranting and Raving

I saw a classic example this week of how badly extreme stress sends my blood sugar through the roof. Classic example: Wednesday, just before a major stress event, my blood sugar was a wonderful 123. Two hours later, with no food, a horrible 319.
What was the stress event? Well, that is a GREAT story. Be forewarned: I'm still angry.
Tuesday night, my parents stopped by my dorm room. They dropped off my mail, which included my statement from my wonderful (Did you catch the sarcasm?) college. I figured it was just that, a statement, saying I had a zero balance, since I had dropped my tuition check off two weeks prior.
Oh no. Of course not.
It's a statement with a late fee added on saying that I haven't paid. I knew full well I had paid. I made a special trip out to school to buy my books (all $1,000.95 worth) and to hand deliver my tuition check. Wednesday morning, I stop by to straighten out what I assumed was a simple mistake. I was armed with a copy of my check. I asked the woman at the front desk, who helpfully told me simply "we show you haven't paid." Well, thanks a lot. I couldn't figure that out by the Late notice statement I got! Finally after staring at each other for a minute, both thinking each other was crazy, she suggested I go see Kevin. Well, who the heck is Kevin? She pointed me to his office. I walked in, now starting to get a little angry. He did a search of their records, which showed no check of my amount ever processed there. So, basically, they LOST my check. He advised me to stop payment on the check. I was SO incredibly, fiercely angry. Now, I am a crier. I cry when I'm sad, when I'm frustrated and when I'm angry, and boy was I angry. So, of course, I started crying. I didn't expect to gain anything from it, but I did. They paid for the fees associated with the cancelled check fee, and promptly cancelled the late fee. I think I deserved that much since they LOST a check. MY check. I didn't even trust the Postal Service to deliver my check, so I hand delivered it. Now, I guess I've learned even that is not enough. I have to be annoying as sin and make them process it right then and there. Lesson Learned.
Rant Over.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm back!
I've been back on campus for a week, and my, what a week it has been. I started my nursing classes, and they are harder than I could have even imagined. I have seven classes including: Pharmacology, Nutrition, Microbiology, Health assessment, Pharmacology, Intro to Nursing and Basic Skills. Needless to say, while I have thought about blogging many, many times, homework has taken priority. My pharmacology professors told us to expect to read 12 to 16 hours a week for that class alone. Plus, I have classes that I need several hours outside of class time to practice. It is all a little overwhelming.
Partly because of all that stress, my blood sugars, up until the past few days have been a frightening roller coaster. There were two days in a row that I had a range of about 45 to 450. Yes, that does mean I hit the forties twice and the 450's twice. Just when I thought I was going to loose it, it started evening out. The past two days have been much better. It is a huge relief. I was stuck in a constant struggle between lows and their rebounds. I'm glad the cycle has stopped, if only momentarily while I gather my sanity.
Even though I have not been posting, I have been trying to keep up on reading. I hope I haven't lost all of you, my precious readers, due to my long absence. I will be trying to update more often, if only for my own sanity.

Just because it's cute, I thought I'd close with a picture of my niece from this summer.