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).