Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Death-Wish Bolusing

If I had the energy yesterday I would have been screaming F.I.H.P. Sadly the most I could muster was a sad and pathetic whimper.

I had to take a diabetes day yesterday, my BG was so high I could not even gather the energy to move let alone get dressed and make it to school.

Yesterday was a nightmare. I spent the majority of the day higher then the CGMS reports. Yes that is right over 22.2…. I did everything any anything I could think of including changing: my site (x2), insulin bottle (tried 2 different brands fast acting and took lantus), I bolused, I injected, I drank water until my eyeball floated, I prayed to the diabetes gods for sympathy. Nothing worked!!! As a last ditch effort I called the emergency Endo line who ever so helpfully told me to take more insulin (thanks- why didn’t I think of that).

Rage Bolusing does not even begin to describe what I was doing. More like Death-Wish Bolusing. At one point I was injecting 10 units every hour (twice the correction dose suggested by my pump) while disregarding any insulin on board (the lantus, the fast acting injection, and the 200% basal). Still couldn’t crack 15 mmol.

Yesterday blew goats. I took over 300 units of insulin (TDD around 50) and I averaged just under 20 mmols for the day. Today is better but still running higher then normal. Oh Diabetes why do you mock me.

Diabetes 1 : Sarah 0

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Morning After

The morning after is never pretty…

The morning after a:

College Frat Party –Empty beverage containers, passed out party guests litter the floor

Wild Bar Night- Coyote ugly & aspirin- enough said

A Nighttime Low- Disgusting….

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Carb Count is Right

I have been on vacation for the last 2 weeks., well more accurately staycataion. During the last week of my staycation a good friend came to visit. He also happens to be a type 1 diabetic. As it was my staycation and his vacation we were eating and drinking things that are not normally on the menu. Leading us to play what I have coined “The Carb Count is Right”. Guess the carb count and best BG 2 hours post without going hypo wins.

Example: Scallop potatoes I WAGed (wild a** guees) 45 he WAGed 30. I was 7.5 he was 8.7- point to me.

I will admit that I have been carb counting longer so I had the advantage. However, I lost a few rounds- onion rings got the best of me. Marble slab ice cream (although it was delicious) disqualified me with a low- it was the walking I tell you my guess was better. I should mention I dominated nachos and lime margaritas- just saying.

Today I stood by the sushi cart at school and without even thinking “50. You?” Sadly, no one wanted to play….

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do it For the Puppies…

Today is Judgment Day also known as A1c Blood Draw Day.

The mood today was different. Three months ago, I was having a really hard time. Despite two hospital visits, countless doctor visits, and every blood test under the sun there was no explanation for why I just could not take control of my numbers. Diabetes was just mocking me and it was not fun. Three months ago, I was frustrated, angry, and honestly feeling a little nauseous (I had ketones).

Today was different. Today I was nervous. Despite knowing my average my standard deviation and having access to CGMS data, I sat there sweating like a wh&re in church…. Praying to the diabetes gods to send me a “good” number, or at least something that wouldn’t put me in the “you are going to die a painful death crippled by diabetic complications” category. And the praying will continue until the results are online or my doctors appointment next week.

So PLEASE Diabetes gods send me something reasonable (see not even asking for “good”). If you can’t do it for me then do it for the puppies….

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ohh Mexico

Warning- This post is the rambling of a sad grad student who desperately needs a vacation or at least samples to run without mass spec issues... Consider this your warning.

Words cannot describe how much I need a vacation. If all goes well 2 weeks from today (I still have to ask my supervisor) it will be the start of my “Staycation” (A vacation where you stay rather then vacate).

Grad student life, it is a fancy one.

Friday August 7th cannot come soon enough…. I have been dreaming about ice-cold lime margaritas on a sunny, white sand, beach (hey a grad students can dream).

In an attempt to fool myself that I am on a beautifully beach and not in the lab yelling profanities at the mass spec I have switched by pump to Spanish.

“Ohh Mexico… It sounds so simple I just got to go…The sun so hot...”

Result: Disappointing….Switching your pump to Spanish is NOT a vacation replacement. Come on August 7th.

Friday, July 17, 2009


How much is too much?

In the last few days I have read the following status updates on Facebook or Twitter:

“I’m ovulating.... Don’t call we are busy”

Seriously if you are that concerned about interruptions turn the ringer off . Do all of your 10 000 closes friends need to know that you are “doosing it” right now?

“First colonic today- I loved it… Can’t wait for the next”

I do not even know what to say except way TMI…. I may have to block you based on the visual that is burned into my brain.

“Got my period today...”

I know you are trying to conceive but again do all of your 10 000 closes friends have to be updated on your bodily excretions. In fact, this one is becoming so common that I know the day it will appear. We are acquaintances at best, should I be privy to this information?

“I am VERY regular”

No idea what this referenced but it just sounds like TMI. It reeks of bodily function talk- again do 10000 of your closes friends need to know?

So if it is appropriate to Facebook and Tweet about your sex life and bodily excretions…

What is TMI? Where do you draw the line?

I have been asking myself this question recently as even after 7 years of pumping I am still not sure how to answer the “Is that a pager/phone? What is that?” question.

I do not hide my pump. I am not ashamed of my diabetes. I will test or inject anywhere. But the “what is that?” question gets me every time.

Do I just give them the basics “It is insulin pump for diabetes”?

This is my normal answer but it has a few downfalls:

  • It can make the questioner uncomfortable
  • It opens the door for “I’m sorry.” Great now we are both uncomfortable.
  • Can be followed by the my Uncle Joe had diabetes and he had [insert terrible complication here] story.
  • It can bring out the diabetes “expert” who needs to educated me about their vast diabetes knowledge, the evils of sugar, my overindulgence as a child, ect.

So what is the right answer? Should I give more information? Would this help avoid the pity party, the you are going to die a horrible and painful death conversation, or the diabetes lesson. I do not mind a quick conversation about diabetes but there are some conversations I want to avoid at all cost.

Is there are good answer? What is the right answer?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Last Night was Ah-Mazing!!!

Fear not- this is not THAT kind of post.

However, I have to say last night was the best night I have had in months...

for BG testing (told you not that kind of post).

Whoever designed the freestyle light meter deserves a medal, an award or at the very least a handwritten card and a fruit basket or whatever the appropriate gift is for someone who made 3am that much more enjoyable (again not that kind of post).

This girl/guy is a genius. Strip light and black light Nobel prize material as far as I am concerned. After years of fumbling around in the dark or squinting waiting for my eyes to adjust to the excruciatingly bright light this person comes up with a meter you can use without fumbling in the dark or burning your retina…

I can’t say it enough:

Freestyle Light Designer I am impressed!!! You are Ah-Mazing!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pineapple Pleasure & Cheesecake Castigation

The other day at work, one of the chefs made the most mouthwatering pineapple cheesecake. It had an amazing hazelnut crust topped with a vanilla bean cheese cake. And just for good measure finished with glazed pineapple. Did I mention the hazelnut crust? It was ah-maz-ing….

Normally I think dessert that doesn’t involve chocolate is a waste of time- well let me tell you this little piece of pineapple perfection was defiantly “bolus worthy” .

1 hour post pineapple pleasure looking good.

Fast forward an hour. I am finished work now at school working in the lab on a Saturday night!! Grad studies- it is a fancy life. I am in the hood drying down my samples. And my pump starts to vibrate. Now like the little black dress phenomenon my pump also knows when I have gloves on and can’t be at its beck and call. So it takes this opportunity to mock me. After a minute or two of the air raid attack warning I am finished pippetting and I can attend to the pump.

To my shock and horror, my BG has more then tripled in the last fifteen minutes. The CGMS displays a wonderful example of exponential growth highlighted by the double upward arrows.

Pineapple Pleasure has quickly become Cheesecake Castigation

An hour later, my CGMS is proving that there is no limit to BG exponential growth. Still at school approaching 8pm (3 hours post cheese cake) – Now time to start my samples in the mass spec. Not sure I can blame the broken mass spec line on the cheesecake but I can certainly blame my choice words on the skyrocketing BG. Five hours in the lab on a Saturday night wasted… And a blood sugar that shows no sign of abandoning exponential growth despite multiple corrections via pump/syringe and a 200% temp basal… Super Saturday night

At 10pm I go home. Angry does not even begin to describe what I am feeling (Puppies all across Canada have started referring to me as Cruella de Vil). I arrive home and try red wine to tame the exponential BG and numb the pain of the mass spec failure.

Midnight BG seems to have leveled off but still high- another correction. 3 am improving but I correct again. At 9 am my alarm sounds and immediately I know by the way my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth that even over 12 hours later I am a victim of cheesecake castigation.

I recall whining - I did the time for my crime… Cheesecake stop punishing me…

I reach for my pump and it isn’t there? I do a quick sweep to try to locate the tubing- again nothing. I reach down to my insertion site and feel the sharp edges of a disconnected quick set… WTF?

I roll over and this is what I see...

How I managed to pull the tubing out of the quickset and disconnect the quickset itself while leaving my site intact I will never know. I am not that lively at 3am… I guess I did not reconnect my pump to my PJ bottoms.

Warning: Although Pineapple Pleasure is a party in your mouth. After the party is over Pineapple Pleasure can cause soaring BG, Mass spec failure, tubing disconnection, and last but not least puppies to run and hide from you... Cruella de Vil

Side note: I take some responsibility for the events that followed Pineapple Pleasure. I was working so I was eating between serving tables (read not paying enough/any attention). Also I very rarely eat cheesecake so my WAG (wild ass guess) skills for the carb count of cheese cake are not good. I either underestimated the amount of pineapple pleasure I enjoyed or wildly underestimated the carb count (probably a combination of the two).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A little too free?

Let me set the scene: Roommate is away, I have the day off school/work (Canada day) and it is my birthday. Spent the day with my sister shopping and eating- great day!! Now I am getting ready for birthday celebration part two- evening BBQ. And it is free shower time!

“Havin A Time”

Free Shower: Shower without pump or CGMS attached (site change day). For these few minutes I am free!! Trust me it is exciting (side note- I am not the only person who gets excited about free showers. Kerri at SUM does as well)

Normally I keep my pump connected in this handy dandy “shower pump holder” my Mum made (see picture- it is the white mess thing). I use it because I am not a morning person and the minute I save disconnecting/reconnecting is one more minute of blissful sleep. Not to mention that I am less than coherent in the morning, it has happened twice in my 7 years pumping that I have arrived at work/school with no pump.

The “shower pump holder” is a lifesaver. But as a result I can only turn 180 degrees before getting tangled in pump tubing. And at least once a morning I turn the wrong way and get caught in the pump tubing (not a morning person). I often drop a F.I.H.P during the morning shower while trying to untangle myself and make it to school/work on time.

Consequently during free showers I have developed a strange habit of turning around and around in circles.

“I’m free! I'm free!”

Back to last night. Roommate is away I am blasting oldies but goodies, dancing and turning around in the shower preparing for birthday celebration part two. While striking my second possibly third pose of Vogue I lose my balance and grab the shower curtain.

The result…. A torn shower curtain.

Lesson: It is possible to be too free in the shower

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Little Black Dress Phenomenon

I must say I love my new CGMS especially while having a few drinks. Before I used to fear the late night lows and the during drinking highs. But the CGMS has a downside- more alarms…. Which makes what I like to call the black dress phenomenon much worse.

The Little Black Dress Phenomenon

As soon as you place your pump anywhere that is remotely difficult to access the pump will alarm. Without fail no matter what you do the pump will freak out.

Last nights scene:

I am at a cocktail party having a few drinks in a very cute summer dress. So I have my pump in a leg pouch. The only way to get to this thing is to lift my dress.

My pump knows that it is in an awkward place to reach and takes this opportunity to mock me- the little black dress phenomenon. For those of you saying sure the pump knows…. Let me tell you as soon as my pump is moved from its favorite spot on my belt all hell breaks loose. Trust me my pump knows.

About 30 min into my cocktail party I am having a few hor d’oeurves enjoying a glass of wine. I feel the thing vibrate- Ignore it thinking I just calibrated before I left and everything looked good. Having a great conversation- did I mention the cheese and jelly hor d’oeuvres are fabulous? Vibrate. Ignore- thinking to myself “FU pump stop the vibrating someone is going to think something is up” Pump placement: inner thigh precariously close to my crotch. And it is vibrating… not that kind of party. “Can anyone see the vibrating? Are the people in the corner talking about my obscene vibrating?”

More hor d’oeuvres, thinking about another glass of wine… Then the sirens start, people duck and cover thinking there is an impending air raid. I quickly excuse myself to the bathroom a little embarrassed for myself as well as the older man who jumped under the table for cover. BG reminder- “Seriously? I just calibrated you got your stupid BG leave me alone. Pump why do you mock me ?”

Return to the party defiantly need that glass of wine … Again not 2 sips into the glass, vibrate. Ignore. Second vibrate, this time I have learned my lesson and I excuse myself yet again… Waiting in line for the washroom, the second air raid attack warning of the evening hits. Approximately one minute into the air raid I am thinking about hiking up my dress (my underwear is pretty cute) in the hallway just to make it stop. Already getting death stares from the ladies in line- I wait. High BG alarm- “Seriously how did I forget to raise the target level”- I like to run a little high when drinking. I turn off the alarm and try to reason with the thing “I know you like to be clipped to my belt and I promise 2 hour from now you will be clipped to my PJ bottoms… just please shut the f%uk up until then.”

Like a small child it totally disregards my begging and pleading. Twenty minutes later low battery alarm. Oh and then just for good measure low reservoir an hour later- this time straight to beeping- low battery.

Seriously pump why do you mock me?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Overzealous Diabetic or Drug Dealer?

The contents of my purse: phone, pen, day timer, wallet, lip gloss, insulin, needle, glucose monitor, test strips, candy and scale


Yup I said scale... I have become one of those crazy people who weighs everything... So I bought a scale to carry around in my purse. Now not only I can I get the weight of my apple to the nearest .1 of a gram I can also sub for the local drug dealer in a pinch.
Have I gone too far?

The Story

When I was 16 I went to a comedy show at Yuk Yuk’s for a friends birthday. During the show there was this skit about 2 guys who opened a pet shop together. During the skit one guy dropped a gut busting, milk spraying out your nose kind of line that even 10 years later, I still think it is the funnies thing ever.

The line:

F&cK I Hate Puppies”

In fact, the line lives on in my day-to-day life. I often say this line over and over to myself when I am tear my hair out frustrated. Try it. I dare you. How many exasperated F.I.H.Ps can you get out before you are laughing?

Recently there has been a sharp increase in the FIHP screaming. I can only attribute these temper-tantrums to my recent focus on lowering my A1c. My most recent A1c is a number that will evoke both pity and horror. So now armed with my MM 722, new CGMS, and 15 years diabetes experience I am making an honest attempt to get this A1c down to a number that will not send small children running to the hills.

Unfortunately, the road to a decent A1c has been filled with many forsaken puppies and I now need a place to vent. I have quickly concluded that non-diabetics want to hear about the CGMS/Pump/Meter that is mocking me as much as I want to know about last night’s game or the new transmission (I don’t speak sport or car).

And that is the first F.I.H.P post