Terms of Endearment, Part 3

Did you think I was done writing about terms I use as a Type 1 diabetic? Nope. I have more. Many many more. How many of those I choose to share with you I don’t know yet.

“Death” – This is what I call sugar free hard candy. In a previous post I have referred to it as tasting like “Death wrapped around a dirty rock dipped in a packet of equal.” I still stand beside that statement.

“Count Pokeula” – This is what I call my finger pricker. He is a vampire. He stabs me on a daily basis and draws blood from my fingertips and forces  me to take my blood sugar. Evil S.O.B. that one is.

“The Slice and Dice” – I have had a few people in my day ask me if I could check their blood sugars for them and I do (after I change out the needles…no needle sharing here, folks.) Every single time I kind of jerk my hand in nervousness and instead of a straight up finger poke they get a little slice…sorry…but I did check your blood for you and…gasp…. it’s completely normal…. which leads me to….

“I want to punch you in the face” – Sometimes, maybe, I will think that I want to punch you in the face after I checked your blood sugar and it’s awesome because you hve a functional pancreas that takes care of all your needs..which leads me to…

“The shriveled up dead thing” – This is what I call my actual pancreas. I don’t know what it is supposed to look like, nor do I care to because I am a bit squeamish, but I envision my pancreas to be a shriveled up dead thing floating around my body.

“Mo money, mo problems” – I just wanted to say that.

“The helper” – This is the good samaritan who likes to say to a diabetic “Should you be eating sugar?” To which I would say “Should you be shutting your face?” Haha..no…I would never say that or even think it really. Well, not think it in a serious matter, at least.

“What’s your blood sugar?” – The response I get when I’m being exceptionally weird…which let’s face it…is most of the time. And most of the time my blood levels are normal. I’m just a weirdo.

 

I guess I’m done for now. I hope you all have a lovely morning/afternoon/ evening. And remember.. An act of kindness a day keeps the doctor away.

 

 

Terms of Endearment – Part Deux

Two days ago I started on my Type 1 Diabetes Terms of Endearment Part 1 post. I was going to give it a couple weeks before I did part two, but I am procrastinating right now on doing the things I know I should be doing…like laundry, dishes, recycling the 20 or so empty water bottles laying around my house…you know? All that really really amazingly awesome stuff you are just sooo excited to do so you decide to do anything but that. Well, here I am, ladies and gents. Part Deux commence!

“The Drunken Sailor” – This is what I refer to when my blood levels get so low I start resembling a drunken sailor. One minute you’re fine and the next you snap out of the low and find yourself in a sailor uniform with no recollection of how you got in it.

“Alma, check your battery.” – This is actually a quote from Sister Act. Whenever Fred (my pump) gets low in battery, he beeps at me. Beep Beep Beep. I speak beeps fluently so I’ll translate for you. He said “Alma, check your battery.”

“The Stare” – This is what I refer to when I see a stranger staring at my pump. I can almost hear what they are thinking. “Why does that girl have a beeper?” “Doesn’t she know it’s 2013?” “What a weirdo” “Do you have any more gum, more gum, more gum, more gum? Do you any more gum? Gum.”

“I’m frrreeeeeee” – This is what I think between infusion set changes when I have no pump site attached to me and I feel like a normal human being. I’m frreeeee. It is only a 5 minute or less space of time every 3-4 days, but I’m freeeee!!! Sometimes I’ll shower between site changes and then I’m freeeeee even longer!!!!! It’s beautiful.

“Crowns” – This has nothing to do with diabetes. This is what I say instead of “crayons” Lately, my friend…rude friend….at work has been giving me a hard time for this. She also laughs at me and stares at me when I am in pain from crossfit and can’t get out of my chair. She is also going to read this and she should know she is rude! RUDE! I kidd I kidd…I mean she really does do this and will read this, but I think it is funny. Like her face. BURN!!!! Hahaha…I think  know I’m funny.

“You’re killin’ me, Smalls.” – This is what I tell Pumpies (my pump) when he unclips himself from my pants pocket and dangles at my side, pulling at my pump site, trying to rip the tubing out of me. He is literally trying to kill me…. even though that is very unlikely to ever kill me….sooooo yeah.

“This is a stick up, give me all your money” – This is my feeling on the days the bill comes in for my diabetes supplies. I have insurance, but first I have to meet my deductible then I get it 100% covered…SO basically the stick up is the first half of the year. Sons of Bees.

Annddd that’s all for today folks. I really must do my chores now…..but first I think I’ll go on a walk. Yes, that is exactly what I’ll do. And then maybe go to the store and look for stuff I don’t need. Like a dog. A lab. A yellow lab. A male yellow lab. A male yellow lab named Winston. Someone give me money so I can get a dog…..A male yellow lab named Winston. Or Fred. Or Herbert. Herbert Fitzpatrick the 4th. I think I would name him the latter. I’d call him Fitz for short.

Terms of Endearment – Part 1

Here are some Type 1 diabetes terms of endearment I like to use on a regular basis.

“I’m high” – When the blood sugar is high…sometimes can cause a sleepy dazed look which people might actually mistake for a drug induced high….I’m just high on life, man. Peace, love and happiness.

“I’m low” – When blood sugar is low. If a diabetic ever says this around you get them some sugar, but whatever you do, DO NOT let them inside a grocery store! Terrible things may happen….lime jello might be bought. For the love of God, keep them away!!! Oh the humanity!

“We got a bleeder.” – This happens when I prick my finger and it continues to bleed after a longish (30 second) period of time. It’s annoying really….especially if you touch something not realizing and leave a trail of blood…kind of gross…to other people…I think my blood and wherever it lands is awesome. Sometimes I reread what I type and I don’t make sense….deal with it, yo.

“Son of a!!!!” – This happens when I change my pump site and it is  a hurtful one. 7 times out of 10 it doesn’t really hurt, but when it does…SON OF A!! That’s gonna leave a mark. (Tommy Boy) I hope most of you got that..otherwise we can’t be friends.

“Is this Diet?” – A diet soda is not always recognizable in a restaurant setting. Just accept it if I ask you to try my soda and tell me what you think of it’s diet/ non-diet status.

The Blood Fountain Gusher – This is what I refer to when I prick my finger and blood literally shoots out my finger tips. It doesn’t happen often, but it is a sight to behold when it does. I should probably be a super hero. I shall from this day forward only respond to “Emily the Finger Blood Shooter Outer”…. that sounds pretty legit and awesome, right? Not lame at all….no, sir. Not lame at all.

“Your mom goes to college.”  – That has noting to do with diabetes I just wanted to quote Napoleon Dynamite. Gosh!

My Beeps/ Pumps/ Pumpers/ Pumpies/ Fred – A list of some of my nicknames for my insulin pump. It prefers to be called “Insulin Pump the 3rd”, but I just think that’s too pretentious and I refuse to give into the demands of my beeps.

I’ve decided to make this post a Part 1 of a series  because  even though I have more diabetes terms I like to use, I’m ready to move on to a new task for the evening. I call it put on the jam jams and jam. A delightful time that consists of pajamas and the singing (or off key bellowing) of lovely tunes…like the Avett Brothers or some other really awesome band.

Low Blood Sugar Grocery Store Blues

Tonight marks another low blood sugar in the grocery store night…. went in for some chili powder and walked out with the loss of my dignity.

Background: Worked out tonight without my Continuous Glucose Monitor of which could have warned me of a low blood sugar and to top that I did not use a “temp basal rate” on my pump before or during workout, which would have decreased my insulin rates as I worked out and thereby kept me normaler. “Normaler”….it’s not an actual word, but it should be.

Purchases:

1. Jell-o Pudding – this sounded delicious at the time…too bad I did not think to purchase milk to make it.

2. Lime flavored Jell-o. I’ve said it before, but I don’t like Jello. The only time it appeals to me is if it is in the form of an alcoholic shot or I have a low blood sugar.

3. Trash bags – I actually needed these and there was a coupon on the box.

4. The movie “Just Go With It” – I just watched this and definitely did not need to buy it. Who buys DVD’s these days when you can just buy and download instantly through the internet? That’s right. I’m down with the 21st century, yo.

5. Kraft Mac and Cheese (I got the blue box blues) – too bad this is another item that requires milk…

6. Juice boxes (a low blood sugar staple for most diabetics)

7. Peanut Butter

8. Grape Jelly – already have a full jar of this in the fridge that I barely use.

9. A kit-kat – Ate this in the car before driving home.

10. A suduko book – I don’t even know..guess I wanted to improve my brain a little.

11. Crayola Crayons (or as I say “crowns”) and a Minnie and Mickey coloring book. 

12. A 1000 piece puzzle of a castle…I think I reverted to a 10 year old child…

13. Oreos – it should be noted that I already had bought Oreos earlier today…of which will be taken to my co-workers tomorrow by the demand of a good friend who knows I don’t want that stuff in my house no mo. Thank you, friend.

14. Diet Dr. Pepper – Oh, I curse the carbonated deliciousness of this drink. I’m trying to not buy soda for my house and only drink water when inside these beautiful walls.

15. Crush Orange Single Serving Drink Mixes – similar to the Crystal Light packets you put in a bottle of water. I don’t know what to think about this….will it just be an orange flavor? Will it some how turn my water into a carbonated orange drink? I’ll find out tomorrow.

And best of all when I went to check-out I got distracted by the candy in front of me and handed the cashier my phone instead of my coupon for the trash bags. He gave me a strange look like I was a weirdo so I gave him a look like “What’s you problem, man?” He just handed me my phone back and I put my head down in shame.

Thankfully, I went back to the store later and was allowed to return the movie, coloring book, puzzle, jelly, and oreos (I still have my first package for work tomorrow..minus 3 cookies…ok, ok. 4!). I don’t think they are technically suppose to allow the return of food items…but oh well…works for me! 

And…Yes…. I did not even get what I went in there to buy in the first place. Chili powder. Luckily I located a pack in my cupboard. If I had known this, this whole event could have been avoided.

My Pros and Cons of the CGM

It’s 2 am on a cold blustery night. I’m snug as a bug in a rug with my down comforter tucked up to my chin, my 6 pillows lying in wait around me ready to cushion my head in whichever way I decide to sleep and all this on top of my pillow-top bed that’s basically the best thing ever. Life is good. Dreaming the dreams, keeping it real. Don’t have to wake up for work for another 5 hours. Woot woot. Pure bliss. Oh but wait…something is insistently beeping. What is that? I try to ignore it, but it is gradually getting louder and louder until I can’t take it anymore. (Insert cuss words of reader’s choice)

What could possibly be so annoying as to wake me from my precious, blissful sleep, you wonder? The continuous glucose monitor (CGM). A loud, annoying, wonderful invention that makes me want to both leap for joy and stab someone at the same time.  Stab? That’s kind of extreme….maybe I’ll change that to punch a wall. Yeah, less violence… Punch a wall. Hard. Then stab it. Whoah whoah… deep breaths. I’m good now. Lightly tap the wall in just a slight bit of anger and that’s it. No stabbing.

For those of you who don’t know a CGM is something that you pray your insurance covers (because it is exxpppppeeeennnnssssiiiivvveeee) and it attaches to your body sort of like the insulin pump without the “beeper” portion. It then tests your fluids (some sort of fluids that is right under the skin) and tells you your glucose levels every 5 minutes and wirelessly tells your pump what’s happening. That’s a pretty unintelligent and generic answer…look it up if you want more info. There are different kinds that work different ways and I am only talking about my mini med CGM.

cgm and pump

I’ve written about the CGM before, but it was mostly me complaining about not getting it to work right. I wanted to write one that was more legit. Too legit, too legit to quit. Hammer time.

Cons:

The alarms – They go off constantly. People probably think I have some sort of bomb attached to me. The alarm will go off when your going high, going low, losing signal, need to check your blood sugar for calibration. Some days it feels like it is beeping at me every 3 seconds. I tend to ignore alarms and then they just keep going off, so part of this con is operator error. The worst is at night though as I have explained above. I love sleep. I hate anything that interrupts it. I’ll stab it.

The beeper – I’ve mentioned this in my pump cons before. People think I have a beeper. Really? It’s 2013…you know me, I’m not a doctor. I do accounting…

”Oh, the taxes are due?”

“Hurry up! Page Emily on her beeper! Stat!”

Use some sense people.  Do beepers come with tubes attached that disappear under a persons clothes? I mean seriously.…..whoah…I’m not annoyed by it or anything….clearly…haha. The point of this rant is that because the CGM is constantly feeding my pump information about what kind of shenanigans my blood levels are up to, I am constantly looking at my pump in fascination checking my levels and making it more noticeable to people than the times before I had the CGM when I only had to look at my pump when I ate and needed to bolus or correct a high. In the past month I have had 5 people ask me if I had a beeper….that’s quite an increase from the once or twice a year I used to get the question.

Pros:

Awesomeness – There is a sense of calm and control when you know your blood sugar is dropping or raising and you can correct accordingly.

Graphs – You can see a graph of your blood sugars over a 3 hour, 6 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour period. I just think it’s cool to look at.

Drinking – I know that Type 1’s shouldn’t drink alcohol, but seriously, it’s going to happen. Alcohol (at least with me) can take your blood sugar high and then drop it real fast. If you are a little tipsy (ever’body in the club gettin’ tipsy) it is nice to have the CGM and actually see when your levels start to drop. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t gotten low yet, but I could see it was dropping so I ate a few crackers and all was good. Crisis averted.

Exercise – Same as drinking….you can see when your levels are dropping. In the past high intensity work outs were scary to me because I was afraid of what my glucose levels would do, but the CGM gives me more comfort and confidence to get the job done and not worry about what my blood sugar is doing. Booyah.

Welp, that’s all I got for now. I have songs stuck in my head that are driving me mad and preventing me from thinking clearly. Good day. I said good day!

A Day in the Life…

Below is a typical day in my type 1 diabetic life. Might be a little weird, but that’s who I am so… yeah.

5:30am – at some point in the night pump unclipped from my pajama pants and I am now wrapped like a mental patient in my tubing. Sooo tired and soooo mad I have to untangle myself. Just. Want. To. Go. Back. To. Sleep. I should really order a shorter tubing on my next supply order. (Note: I’ve been telling myself this for years and have yet to do it….I just love my procrastination ways…)

 

7:11am – alarm goes off (bleh) roll out of bed, disconnect from pump so I can bathe before an amazing work day filled with numbers and binder clips.

 

7:30am – pump still disconnected and it beeps informing that it is in “SUSPEND” mode and I need to reconnect. “Yeah, yeah… I hear ya. Chill.” Yes, I talk to my pump. I can do what I want, ok? We have a connection. He saves my life on a daily basis.

 

10:ish am – Feeling super irritable. Complain to my work neighbor and then hear the pump beeping at me

Me – “You rang?”

Pumpys – “SUSPEND”

….Yep, while I DID connect after showering I forgot to take it off “SUSPEND” mode…this means I haven’t been receiving any insulin for 2.5-3 hours. “Son of a!”

 

3 min after 10:ish am – Unsuspend, dig through my purse for blood sugar machine… find everything but machine. “Where are you, you little rat?” Ah! It is found buried beneath some fabric. I have one test strip left (mental note: get more glucose strips next time I’m home). Blood sugar is super high. Give myself appropriate insulin.

 

11:30 am – Didn’t eat breakfast and am hungry and contemplating lunch while having a mental conversation with myself.

I – “Do you feel like you still have a high blood sugar?”

Me -“I don’t know”

I -“Why don’t you check your blood sugar and find out?”

Me -“Why don’t YOU check YOUR blood sugar and find out? Geez. Get off my back already.”

I -“Brat.”

 

12:15pm – Blood sugar back to normal so I eat lunch and try to figure out my carb intake and give appropriate insulin amount. Not really sure on carbs so I guess and error on a higher insulin intake.

 

12:50pm  – Trying to rush out of my house so I won’t be late getting back to work when I realize I need more test strips. Run back in house and scour for the random place I tossed them after going to the pharmacy previously…

 

12:55 pm – “Found you, you little blood suckers! Going to be late now. Thanks, alatte…”

 

1:30ish pm – Go back to the copy machine to make a copy and brush my side where the pump is and thereby knocking it off my pants. Arms are full and I let the pump dangle to my side until I set my stuff down. Then  I swing it up into my hands with the tubing in a fascinating magical way. (Sometimes I like to swing the tubing around when the clip unclips itself from me. You gotta see it to believe it.)

 

 

2:30 pm – Feeling a little loopy, “drunkish,” and confused – Sure fire signals that my blood sugar is low. Check blood sugar and I am low.

I  – “Why did you have to error on giving more instead of less insulin at lunch?”

Me – “Why do you have to be such a buttface all the time? Mistakes happen.”

I – “Whatevs. I need sugar, please.”

 

3:00 pm – Thinking about my decision to consciously remember my daily thoughts so I can blog them. Riveting stuff! Or not…. Haha.

 

4:12 pm – Pump beeps at me.

Me – “What now?!?!?”

Pumpys – “Low Resevoir”

Me – “Already? Feels like I just changed you. Dang it. Can you wait til I get home?”

(I hate changing my pump site…I don’t know why…It only takes 5 min or so every 3-4 days, but I still  hate doing it.)

 

5:15 pm – Gather my pump supplies and go about the site change. No biggie til I go to insert it. This always takes some courage for me. I scrunch my face up, working up my nerves to click the button that shoots the needle with tiny tube in me. Press the button….“Son of a! That one hurt!”

I – “It didn’t hurt that bad, you’re being a drama queen.”

Me – “You are right. It may not have hurt too bad but it still stung more than usual…like a monster size bee with evil plans of world domination and it’s going to…”

I – “Yeah, well stop with the exaggeration and deal with it.”

Me – “Whatevs. I was just getting into my story, Party Pooper.”

 

6:00pm – eat supper and figure insulin intake.

 

8:44 pm – Stomach hurts. Is it my blood sugar or am I getting sick?

 

9:00 pm – check blood sugar. It’s fine. Not sure why I felt bad. An unsolved mystery. Call  Matlock. (<—–That was dumb, but I’m going to keep the writing anyway since I thought it)

 

12:44 am – After numerous YouTube videos I decide I should go to bed. Get in bed and sigh…soooo nice…can’t wait to sleep and sleep and sleeeeppppp. Turn to the side and “Ouch” Pump clip is on my hip. Adjust it to my front so it won’t disrupt my precious sleep. (During day pump is clipped to my side, during sleep I move it to my front.)

 

3:30 am – Wake up with a “not right” feeling. Pretty sure I’m low, but check my blood sugar to confirm. Yep.

I stumble like  a drunken sailor into the kitchen to dig around for some sort of sugar intake. End up choosing a spoonful of peanut butter for protein and a juice box for carbs. Carbs raise blood sugar quickly, protein stays in system longer to ensure I won’t go low again in the night.

 

3:45 am – Can’t fall back asleep. Work will come all too soon. I wish I could quit you,  Diabetes.

 

 

That’s about a typical day in my type 1 diabetic life. Sometimes it’s annoying, but for the most part my thoughts and the things I do involving diabetes are second nature to me. I had many more diabetes thoughts throughout the day, but because it is so second nature and a part of me it is difficult to pluck them out of my memory for this post. Just know…I am awesome. 🙂

Drinking = Ghost Babies

 

Today is one of those days where I find being T1D especially annnoooyyyingggg. I know I’ve previously said the pump allows one to eat as much or as little as one wants, but that is not precisely true. There is a fine line and you have to know what to adjust when and where… annndddd I don’t really know what I’m doing so I’m just writing this awesome post instead.

I have not been hungry the past

few days… especially today (maybe because I celebrated the New Year a little too much yesterday and it feels like ghost babies are riding my brain waves) I’m on my lunch hour and all I want to do is lay down for 30 min or 5 hours…  It’s tricky, for sure. I know I have to eat something so I don’t go low and I know I can’t just not give myself insulin cause I’ll go too high.

I guess I don’t really have any intellectual thoughts on the matter except  that these ghost babies are making it difficult for me to figure out what I need to do…eat, not eat, add a temp basil rate,  don’t add a temp rate, bolus, don’t bolus, do cartwheels, don’t do cartwheels…gives you a headache, right?

Maybe I should just not drink? There’s a thought!

A few months ago I went on a wine trip for a friend’s bachelorette where we drank wine all day then had the brilliant idea to switch to hard alcohol shots that night….needless to say we had some sick gals that night, myself included. It was a little frustrating and scary because I felt so horrible, and after being sick I knew I had to force something down me so I didn’t go low in the night, but who wants to eat anything after that!?!? I managed to force a cracker down and drink some regular soda, but it wasn’t easy. Sometimes it just sucks all around.

I’m sorry I made this a complaining post. As annoying as I find being T1D today, I’m still in a good mood. Trying to be in front of other people at least… I don’t want to be one of those people whose bad moods spread like a cancer and put others in bad moods. So, I’m good. Might try to do some weird thing when I get back to work to get a confused look  or a laugh out of someone…I’ll consider it my act of kindness today. Do they appreciate the things I do? Maybe…maybe not… Will it I do it anyway? Most definitely.

New Uses for Bloody Fingers

It is always a nice day when you realize that sometimes being type 1 diabetic isn’t so bad. I recently decided to start playing the guitar. I always secretly wished I could play an instrument and one day I decided might a well start now while the gettins good. The first day of  practicing my fingers felt like they were cut off with razor blades and dipped in a bucket of acid, and from what I read and was told this was going to take some time until my fingers built calluses. Well, guess what? day 2 came around and my fingers didn’t hurt so much anymore. I believe this is because I spent 20 some years pricking my finger multiple times a day and I’m thinking I have developed some scar tissue under these babies. Booyah!  This is probably bad for the diabetes, but good for my guitar practicing times! I mean, obviously,  if given a choice I would choose not to have this disease and I would gladly suffer through hurtful fingers and callus building but whatevs. I’ll take what I can.  I’m only into day 3 of this “pricked finger/scar tissue guitar theory”  and it might be proved as a false statement once I get more awesome with strumming and fretting (look at me using these terms!) and what have you, but if it’s  not I’m going to take a positive diabetes day whenever I can.

Diabetes: 1 million/ Emily: 7 (I might be losing the war but I won this battle!)

My Dreams Have Been Crushed

My dreams have been crushed with one phone call tonight. As I was catching up with an old chum via iPhones she told me some devastating news.  I can not fulfill my lifetime desire to be a commercial truck driver… Me, the road, a cold sodey pop in my hand, music  blaring on the radio..it’s just not going to happen. I’ve been banned! Outskirted! Forbidden! Kicked to the curb! Thrown out like yesterdays trash!

While that statement was sarcastic and most definitely not my dream, it did make me look into job restrictions for insulin dependent folks. I only did a 10 min google search,but from what I gather you can’t join the military, fly commercial airplanes, be a police officer (I think this is untrue), drive a semi, and you can’t be an astronaut (Son of a!) Some of the stuff I saw was dated eons ago in 2008, so it is very possible that some of these restrictions have changed. Hopefully! With all the new technology coming out to control type 1 I would certainly hope these rules have changed. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of Type 1’s that are healthier than some of the truck drivers I’ve seen out there….

A few years ago one of my dreams was to join the Peace Corps. I did my research and I saw that they do accept weird type 1 diabetics like myself, but I would be “hard to place.” I pretty much stopped researching joining the Corps after that. It put thoughts in my head of not getting my pump supplies in  a timely manner and dying in a small corner somewhere while rabid dogs gnawed my limbs off.  I let diabetes stop me from pursing that dream. I was too scared to go to a foreign country for 2 years and not have a Walgreen’s nearby on the off chance I ran out of insulin. I regret it now, but life is full of regrets. You deal with it and you move on. I feel too old and set in my ways now to join, but who knows. Never say never, right?