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DiabeticallyYours

Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Archive for the tag “hyperglycemia”

Crazy busy, crazy BG.

OH dear gods.

Hi! It’s me again! I’m… Back! Somehow! It’s been one crazy ride through the gaming community on my part.

All this started with me starting a blog about a game I really love, Guild Wars 2. It’s actually a fan site and, after ArenaNet promoted it on their Facebook page, it boomed. I got really busy managing this community and, well, I was in the process of moving, too! So, creating a new community, moving to a new city, packing, unpacking, then new plans about Chronicles of Tyria (The community) with a brand new podcast, contests, holy gee I’m extremely busy. Being with Aaden, alone at home (My husband got another contract in another province!) I’m managing a community, a podcast, a toddler, a house and, most importantly, diabetes.

How hard is it to manage diabetes when you’ve got crazy events going on? Well, I’m really not good at it, to be honest. I need to setup a routine. I need to start working out again. (Oh yeah, don’t get me started on my weight loss journey, because that went down the Drain!) Good news is; Aaden is starting daycare at the end of August. So I’ll be able to work during the day on the community (Right now I ‘work’ until 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning and during Aaden’s naps) and I’ll get some more sleep.

The upside of working so hard is that the community is blooming. We’ve hit more than 80 subscribers in 2 weeks for our podcast, more than 2.5k views! Super stoked about it!

Downside; I’m not testing my BG as often as I could. Sometimes I end up having hypos during the podcast recordings, so I have to set my mic on mute and drink a juice box. Not the best diabetes management. Sometimes I test before meals and I’m at 15. What was that about? Oh, right… I didn’t test before breakfast because I was answering emails, keeping  up with Facebook and twitter, scheduling meet ups… And the list goes on.

Also, I’d like to point out something to people who say that “Being a stay at home mom give you all the time in the world to do everything you need to do”.

Having a baby/toddler/kid at home is like being at work. But work lasts around, oh, ALL DAY, you get no break and you have to cook meals for your boss on top of it. It’s all fun and games when we go to the park, when we cuddle after we played for a while, but you’re always busy non the less. You pick up toys; constantly. You do groceries but really, you have to hurry up so you can get home before lunch, prepare lunch, undo bags, feed your kid, put him to bed for his nap and then, you get to sit down for about 15 minutes. Afterwhich you need to do the dishes, clean whatever mess you left in the kitchen and all the food your son threw on the ground because it looked like the best thing to do at the time… And then, you prepare things for diner and work a little if you can.

I’m not sure I want to list all the things you need to do, but having to manage diabetes on TOP of it all, I find extremely difficult.  Sometimes I don’t test before bed anymore. I’m so extremely tired that I flop in bed, sometimes still dressed, just to get up in the morning and since, lather, repeat.

Here’s a little look see at my very bad diabetes management. Don’t be scared!

Courtesy of my super duper iBGStar which is neglected!

 

When I went to see my endo last april… She said my control was excellent. I wonder how disappointed she would be right now.

And somehow, I wish more people would understand what it feels like to live with diabetes. Maybe they would give me a break sometimes!

I will be updating my blog more often, that’s for sure. I won’t be rambling much on the community, but more about diabetes and about being a mom, you know, things I used to be blogging about Haha!

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#DBlogWeek – One thing to improve.

Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

When it comes to my flaws (and I have many of them), I’m not scared to admit them. I know I am a control freak, I like when things go my way. I know that I tend to burst in anger instead of assessing things (Never on a professional level though.) And I try to fix things, I work on my flaws, and sometimes it takes a while, sometimes only a matter of days. One thing I have not been doing ever since I gave birth to my son, diabetes wise, is to test my blood sugar before bed and right after I get up. And it’s important, you know, so that my BG stays nice during the whole 6 or 7 hours of sleep. If I have a BG of 10.5 (or 180mg) I would normally wait until it’s fixed. And I tend to never test. I have a snack at night, my pump beeps during sleep time for my BG reminder, I don’t hear it and keep on dreaming.

The next morning, I tend to my son; diaper change, sippy cup, cuddles, breakfast. It takes about half an hour or so before we sit down to have breakfast, and that’s when I test; right before eating. Most of the time my BG is good, but there are those crazy 2 weeks in the month where it’s not so good. Female hormones; gotta love ’em. Sometimes I test before breakfast and I’m not suprised to see a 15. (Or 270 for you mg readers).

I should test at those times. Having high blood sugar when you sleep, on long term, isn’t necessarily great. And then I’m mad at myself for losing this crazy control I used to have when I was pregnant.

And for not having a CGM.

Diabetes and memory loss.

I had a half day off from being a mommy and wife yesterday as I took the road to my endocrinologist’s. Sunny day, sunglasses, lounge music… Driving an hour to go shopping and another hour to my appointment. (My endo is far away because I moved last year but kept her.) I left my son with my husband and, for the first time in a while, had some time to myself, for myself.

I spent about 45 minutes in my favourite book store. It felt good.

I was happy to see my endo and she was happy about my results and seeing the iBGStar in action, live, for the first time. She knew about it but never really had seen one in person, so going through my stats and multiple sections was fun for her. I could tell by the glint in her eyes. You know, like when you have something shiny in your hands. But I digress.

I remembered a small conversation I had with Leah about high BG and memory loss, so I asked my endo about it. And here’s what she told me.

High blood sugar and confusion come together. Just like low blood sugar’s confusion state, but in a less drastic way. However, high blood sugar is not linked to dementia or memory loss. Long term, low blood sugar is. And by long term, she said “Frequent low blood sugar over the lapse of 10, 15 years or more”. Your brain needs sugar in order to feed itself, and so the constant low level of sugar in your blood can lead to brain damage that cause memory loss, dementia and all those nasty things. She also said that this study was done on type 2 diabetics on insulin treatment and that type 1 diabetics did not have such a study. Because type 1 is rare and that type 2 has become an epidemic, they have not bothered to conduct the study within type 1s.

I’m assuming it’s the same, if not worse, with type 1s.

So there you have it. Low blood sugar can cause damage to your memory, as studies show. Hence why it’s so important to take care of your diabetes.

Oh, and my latest A1C? 6.2! Awesome!

The strength of a non diabetic husband.

I don’t mention my husband a lot in my blog, unless it’s to say that he’s working for my son and I really hard, gone weeks at a time. But I feel the need to take at least one blog post (this one) to brag talk about him.

His name is Aaron and he is Taiwanese. GASP. Interracial couple! No wonder why Aaden is so cute, right? Aaron is actually from the United States, Wisconsin to be exact. Me being from Canada, the french province of Quebec no less, makes you think “Oh, they’ve met online!” and you’re right. But we didn’t meet on a dating site nor FaceBook, we met on an online game called Guild Wars, being in the same guild, doing quests and missions together… Until out relationship grew, decided to meet offline and he bought a plane ticket to come see me. Then I decided to sponsor him as he moved here with me. Long and expensive process, but very worth it.

I want the world to know that I’m head over heels in love with this man. I want to shout how much I’m lucky to have him in my life. Through thick and thin he’s stuck with me; my mother’s cancer, her death, my depression after her passing, the process of getting my new insulin pump, my tough pregnancy with Aaden… Every step of the way, he had a shoulder for me to cry on, a smile to keep me going, a juice box for my lows to be fixed.  And then my father got him a life changing job that would require him to be gone weeks at a time, working on hydro dams, far off into the north in different provinces. He missed Aaden’s birth. He missed Aaden’s first steps, his first birthday… And even though he misses us (and we miss him) he is working his butt off for us. 7 days a week, 77 hours of work per week. To bring in the money for us to live well, for me to be able to enjoy my insulin pump and not go back to the horrid shots. My husband, through everything, has always had a smile for me, good words of encouragement, even when I would cry on Skype and he couldn’t hug me, comfort me, he in his own way would find a way to be able to anyway.

The fact that he is so in tuned with my diabetes shock me sometimes. I say “Juice.” and he knows I’m low. If I’m low, he knows the confusion and anger I’m projecting isn’t personal. He drops everything he’s doing in an instant and comes to my rescue, my hero in shining armour. When I had highs during my pregnancy and that I would spend sleepless nights, testing every hour to bring it down as quickly as possible, crying over the fact that I didn’t want to hurt Aaden as he was being created in my womb, he would sit next to me and tell me everything was going to be okay. When I cried when I got my pump because I thought my mother would be so proud of me, he held my hand and squeezed it gently, letting me know that he agreed in silence. When I would realize I almost had no insulin left in my vial, he would get dressed and go to the drug store in a heart beat. I would test, I’d see a 2.3mmol (41mg) and I’d tell him the number, he would run to the fridge to grab me a juice box. He’s not diabetic, but he understands the numbers. He learned, to be in tune with me. To understand me, and be part of my diabetic life.

Taken from Type 1 diabetes Meme Facebook page.

Did I mention that my husband is going to turn 23 in june? Young to have all this put on his shoulders, but he stuck with me, all these years. And I’m so very thankful for him.

Oh yeah, he is also coming back TODAY! For a few weeks before the has to go back. But not to worry, I will be blogging just the same.

Our wedding day, October 2008

Bleeding Cannula!?

I realize that I have to change my injection site every 3 days. Having no more health insurance covering them, I make them last as long as I can, sometimes up to 8 days. But doing this also increases the chances that the insulin will become less effective as the injection site becomes “overly used”.

Two days ago, I removed my site (Well, it almost removed itself the adhesive band wasn’t doing it’s job anymore!) and found out the reason why I was high most of the time.

Well then! I didn’t even see the blood going through nor did I feel the insulin coming out. Some of it was actually coming out of the site, hence why I was so high all the time. It happened to me before, but so rarely that I didn’t even remember to check the site when my BG started going up. I blamed it on hormones, but usually, when it’s -that- time of the month, I drop down, I don’t go up.

Well! New site, new beginnings! Next time I’ll check as soon as I have an abnormal reading!

Do you change your site every three days or do you extend it’s living time on you?

Finger or forearm blood tests?

While I was reading my iBGStar user guide, I was reminded that you could now use your forearm to do your blood glucose tests. To me, testing on my fingertips isn’t a big deal. I don’t find it hurts (anymore) and I’m wondering if doing the tests on my forearm would benefit me in any way. So I’m doing my own little research to find out what positive or negative points I could find in changing my method of testing my blood sugar.

I wish my insurance would cover the CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) but I can’t really afford the standard 50$ every 3 days. That way, I wouldn’t have to test so often during the day, just less as you still have to make sure the results are accurate. But that’s another issue.

Abbott Diabetes Care suggest that testing on the finger is reccommended when you think your blood sugar is low. So I’m guessing that finger tests are more accurate, but that’s just a theory. The only benefit to testing elsewhere on your body I’ve found while searching the net, was that it’s less painful. But other than that, I’m wondering if any other kinds of benefits could emerge by doing so.

Are you testing anywhere else than on your finger tips?

 

iBGStar Review

I’ve finally received my iBGStar from Sanofi Aventis! I say finally because Canada post -again- did not deliver to my door and instead sent it to the post office. I blame this on a lazy postman.

I was very excited to get it, so much that I’ve basically let aside my chores for the day. No store visit for this lady today! (Bananas will have to wait, Aaden… Sorry!)

I’ve made a review video about it which I will integrate into this post at the bottom of it. So if you don’t feel like reading, go watch the video!

First, while the animations are purely decorative and entertaining, I love seeing my iPhone telling me to put blood on the test strip and make a futuristic animation of my blood going into the device and being tested. Super cool! (I bet this will even make my non-diabetic friends jealous and they most likely will want to try it out too just for the heck of it!) It’s easy to set up; even though I read the instructions to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong, it would have been easy to just connect the iBGStar, as it was already charged, and start testing right away. I was high, I knew this, but I didn’t care about spoiling my device with my super sugary blood, so I tested right away, along with my old OneTouch meter, to see if the readings matched. And they did, so everything was set to go!

Here are some positive points about the iBGStar:

  • Small; about 1/6th of the size of your iPhone or iPod;
  • Free app; just download it straight to your iPhone or iPod;
  • Track your BG on charts; up to 90 days of tracking on one single chart, easy for your endo to read;
  • Statistics e-mail friendly; Your endo needs some results on charts? One single press of a button and it’s right on his desk(top);
  • Built-in user guide; no more downloads from websites after losing your user guide;
  • Syncs readings to your iPhone when connected if you have made a reading while disconnected;
  • Goes where your iPhone or iPod goes;
  • Charges alone or with your iPod and iPhone. Just connect to the wall or into your iPhone or iPod and your iBGStar charges!

And for some negatives:

  • iPhone and iPod battery vampirism; the iBGStar loves your device’s energy! Sucks it right out to charge itself, unless your device is on hibernating mode;
  • No customizable backgrounds; you have the choice of 6 pre made backgrounds to chose from.

So far, so good! I can’t see anything else that is a negative. So that was a small review, yes, but I’m sure I will have much more to say about the iBGStar in the next coming weeks as I get accustomed to my new toy.

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The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Recently, I’ve been reminded that even though I am a type 1 diabetic, my upstairs neighbour (a type 2 diabetic) has a different treatment than I have. Before I was diabetic, I would not know the difference, heck, I thought that having diabetes meant not eating sugar or else you get sick, type of thing. People who are not surrounded by diabetics or are not diabetics themselves usually have a poor education about the disease and the different types. So I thought I would give a definition of the difference and a little experience of mine from recent things that happened to me.

As per medicalnewstoday.com:

Type 1 Diabetes

In Type 1 Diabetes, the person’s own body has destroyed the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. When your own body destroys good stuff in your body it has what is called anautoimmune disease. Diabetes Type 1 is known as an autoimmune disease. 

Quite simply – a person with Diabetes Type 1 does not produce insulin. In the majority of cases this type of diabetes appears before the patient is 40 years old. That is why this type of diabetes is also known as Juvenile Diabetes or Childhood Diabetes. Diabetes Type 1 onset can appear after the age of 40, but it is extremely rare. About 15 per cent of all diabetes patients have Type 1. 

People with Type 1 have to take insulin regularly in order to stay alive. 

Diabetes Type 1 is not preventable, it is in no way the result of a person’s lifestyle. Whether a person is fat, thin, fit or unfit, makes no difference to his or her risk of developing Type 1. In the case of Diabetes Type 2, much of its onset is the result of bodyweight, fitness and lifestyle. The vast majority of people who develop Type 1 are not overweight, and are otherwise healthy during onset. You cannot reverse or prevent Type 1 by doing lots of exercise or eating carefully. Quite simply, the Diabetes Type 1 patient has lost his/her beta cells. The beta cells are in the pancreas; they produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes:

Person with Diabetes Type 2 has one of two problems, and sometimes both:

1. Not enough insulin is being produced.

2. The insulin is not working properly – this is known as  insulin resistance

The vast majority of patients who develop Type 2 did so because they were overweight and unfit, and had been overweight and unfit for some time. This type of diabetes tends to appear later on in life. However, there have been more and more cases of people in their 20s developing Type 2, but it is still relatively uncommon. 

Approximately 85% of all diabetes patients have Type 2. 

Recently, as some of you know, I’ve subscribed to Weight Watchers. As I’m part of a diabetes forum, I’ve asked them if they knew or know anyone who is diabetic and have any stories to share. I was surprised to realize that 90% of all comments were negative for all sorts of reason, but mostly because WW now counts fruits as 0 points. I was wondering how that was a problem until I realized that out of every replies, only 1 type1 diabetic had answered me. The rest were all type 2. Most of type 2 control their diabetes with medications and by watching what they eat, meaning as little sugars as they can get. Fruits have sugar. Good sugars, but sugar non the less. Or as we diabetics call them, carbs. The more you eat them, the more sugar you have in your blood stream.

That being said, as a type 1 diabetic wearing an insulin pump, if I want an apple, I will eat an apple. I log in 15g of carbs into my pump and she (Yes, my pump is female!) gives me the necessary amount of insulin to cover those carbs. Just as a regular pancreas would. But most type 2 diabetics don’t regulate their blood sugar with insulin. It is with medications, so they cannot eat fruit, or any other things that contain carbs, as they want.

It’s weird, I’ve been diabetic for 6 years, and it just dawned on me that I may have it easy. Well, easier, than a type 2.

What do you think? Am I just thinking this or is it fact?

The insulin-less morrow.

Hey there fellow bloggers and trusty readers!

After my post from last night, I wanted to leave you with an update before I leave for the weekend and not lead you into thinking I might have been seriously hurt from the lack of insulin! To my surprise, I actually woke up with a reading of 5.4 mmol! (That’s a 97.2mg). Doesn’t stop the fact that I could have side effects from not having insulin in my body for a long period of time (I suspect the head ache I have is related). But when I woke up I had an e-mail from a concerned follower and blogger. I don’t know if he wants to remain anonymous so I will only be linking back if he allows it! (And he did! Thanks Scott E.!Not so anonymous anymore! Haha!) And, even though I realized some few things that I should have done instead of just going to bed like that, without insulin for most of the night, it made me feel good! To know that there are people out there with and without the same disease and they care enough to send me a warning message, to be safe, tips on how to act during that period… Things I would have followed if I hadn’t read this email this morning but last night, when he sent it!

No, instead of checking my e-mails, I read The hunger games (Almost done the first book) to keep my mind off of the situation. Was I just evading it? Trying to ignore it instead of taking action? I know for a fact that If my husband would be there, he would have run out in the search for a 24 hours drug store! but he’s at work and I’m alone with Aaden and the last thing I wanted to do was to wake him up, dress him and go look for a store, then have to constantly wake him up by going in and out of the car… I should put my health first, I know, but sometimes I don’t think rationally!

Anyways, I’m fine, and yes don’t worry, I’m getting ready to go out and grab that insulin vial before I get ready and leave for the weekend! I’ll be fine though, and I’ll be back!

Read you soon!

~Valerie Anne

Oh no! No more insulin!

I’m leaving for the weekend tomorrow for my step mother’s birthday. A 2 hours ride for Aaden and I. I love it there, in fact, I’m going to move there in less than 3 months!

So I’m sitting on the couch, watching TV after I put Aaden to bed and my insulin pump beeps, warning me in caps “LOW RESERVOIR”. Argh! I remember that it had warned me at dinner time so I waste no minutes and get up, grab my reservoirs and the insulin vial. Butterfingers. Miss butterfingers. That should be my last name. Not Chiang, Butterfingers. Drop the vial on the ceramic floor. Crash goes the vial, splash goes the insulin. And it was a new bottle so there is no substitute. I look at the time. The pharmacy is already closed at that time. Look at how much insulin I have left in my reservoir; 4.4 units. A total of 4 hours and 27 minutes left.

And the adventures of miss butterfingers begin.

That means that I will have about 9 to 10 hours without insulin. I will have to go to the pharmacy as soon as it opens tomorrow so I can eat breakfast (In PJs if I have to!) and then rush to do everything before I leave for my weekend. I’ve never have this happen to me though, it’s a full first time since 2006.

I’m sure I’ll be fine, but my Blood Glucose will be high tomorrow morning that’s for sure…

Anyone have their insulin vials break before? Be without insulin for 10 hours or so?

You did what, mommy?!

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