About the anesthesiologist…

It’s difficult to be an advocate for yourself when it’s way early in the morning, you’re in the hospital for a colonoscopy (and because you have diabetes you get the first slot and so you show up before 7am – hungry and NO coffee…) and abdominal hernia repair, and your BG is 82 and dropping. And then you’re approached by the anesthesiologist who – is such a pompous asshole and you want to scream but – you’re too tired and at this point, kinda shitless (sorry – had to add that).

I can’t do the whole conversation justice but I’ll try.

huhHe told me that Type 1 is called Juvenile Diabetes because that’s when you get it. And then he gently chided me and said, “That’s why JDRF is the Juvenile Diabetes group. The J stands for juvenile.” Yes, he stood there and said that to me –

He then said he really didn’t care to use the Dexcom numbers – he only trusted the meter. So we tested and – yes, there is a God – meter said 84 and Dexcom was still holding at 82! He treated it with the IV (where I told him that if I came out over 200 I would not be a happy camper…) and I give him credit, I came out of surgery with ok bgs.

huhAnd then – the asshole decided to lecture me on the dangers of low blood sugars, including the comment that they can cause serious brain damage. No shit, Sherlock.

Moffett sat quietly in the chair next to the bed rolling his eyes – – –

So – saw the surgeon for my follow-up appointment yesterday and told him we needed to talk about the asshole. He laughed and said, “Oh, I knew you weren’t happy with him.”

I asked him to deliver a one page – polite (I did not call him an asshole) note including references to: JDRF name info as of 2012, info about LADA, and a personal note telling him that judging my diabetes care on ONE NUMBER was extremely offensive. “Judging my personal diabetes care and diabetes knowledge on that one number was and is insulting.”

I truly wish that I’d had all my wits about me at the crack of dawn after spending a day preparing for the colonoscopy but – didn’t happen.

And to add more – he didn’t even discuss anesthesia with me – which my surgeon was quite surprised to hear.

I’m fine – no colon issues – hernia repair is healing – life’s good.

I sure hope I don’t run into the asshole anywhere in our small town anytime soon.

Happy Summer everyone! If I didn’t know most of you – I wouldn’t have had the nerve to write the letter! Thanks!!



Damn! Resume!

I’m totally loving my T:slim. Love the screen. Love the info. Not a big fan of the refill process but – I’m getting better. Except for RESUME. When doing a cartridge change on the T:slim, you have to stop the insulin delivery. Makes sense, right? But – when you’re done, you have to go hit RESUME or – it doesn’t RESUME.IMG_2263 (640x425)I hit it the first time I changed it all out and felt like I was soooooooooo smart. Since then, I’ve probably forgotten it 50% of the times. So one month times half. What a pain. But – I have faith that I’ll get there and it’s nice that the T:slim screams at you to remind you after some time.

I’m still using my phone as a receiver/sharer as I’ve got leftover supplies and so – haven’t had to process any Dexcom stuff through Medicare. But – that said, I like having the Dexcom number on the pump. I don’t have to punch in a password, I just have to hit the on button on the pump – not so bad. And not so hard at 3am.

Meanwhile, this happened this week. Mowing the yard (it’s not a lawn, it’s a yard) and Dexcom needed its calibration so I came in to calibrate and – the blood went everywhere. It’s not the first time. I’m guessing it won’t be the last time. Just glad I was standing in the kitchen! And yes, that’s one of the well loved and well worn Diabetes UnConference shirts. (http://diabetesunconference.com/)
Christel on FB, “ If you’re going to spray blood on a shirt, that’s the one to do it on.

Spring has finally sprung up here in NH and it’s just loverly!



Still pumping with the t:slim

And I haven’t given up!
I thought it would be more difficult to switch pumps – it’s been many years of listening to Für Elise as a reminder that, “Yo, you are going to run out of insulin.”

Thanks to some great training, and a bunch of cheat sheets, and a lot of deep breathing, I’ve survived my almost first week with my t:slim.

Some pros:
* I have a new friend and she’s a fabulous, patient, fun lady who happens to train people how to use the t:slim.
* I absolutely adore just punching in numbers as opposed to scrolling numbers on the Ping meter or Animas pump.
* I really, really like having my Dexcom screen on the pump.
IMG_2143 (361x640)* That cute little insulin puddle with the splash screen makes me smile.
* I like charging the pump instead of batteries. I’ve just been plugging it in while I’m in shower in the morning and it’s been good to go. (Now – I’m not a camper so I can see how that might be an issue for people who do the great outdoors thing.)
* For whatever reason, my numbers have been great, maybe even needing some adjustment for jumping too low every now and then. I don’t why – some have said the slower infusion speed. Whatever, I’m happy with it. (see cons…)
* It beeps if I forget to follow through on a command. (see cons…)

Some cons: (and these are not enough for me to try anything else, they’re just slightly annoying)
* The clip. The pump fell off more in one week than my previous pump ever slipped off. So I fixed it. Sort of… Duct tape to the rescue!
* The inset change takes a whole lot of time and I’m hoping it will be easier as I go along. (ya shoulda seen us doing changes 9 years ago when I first started pumping – so I have faith & hope for improvement!)
* The cartridge change has a whole lot of parts.
* It sends the insulin VERY slowly through the tubing. Like really, really s l o w l y . . .
* But – it beeps when it’s done. Huh? What’s that beep?
* It beeps and very often, I can’t figure out why it’s beeping. Kinda like having a new baby. 🙂

Other notes…
* Will Dubois wrote about this over at Diabetes Mine back in December, 2015.
Ask D’Mine: How Speedy Is Your Insulin Pump?
* And from my friend Laddie over at Test, Guess and Go, I remembered this quote, “Tandem pumps use a patented “Micro-Delivery” process and can take a couple of minutes to infuse a bolus.” So I wasn’t too surprised – sort of.
* My clip trick? A couple of tiny strips of duct tape wrapped around the end. Hasn’t fall off since!


All done! Beep!

Pumping with Tandem t:slim X2

I began pumping with an Animas pump in 2009 and now…

Pumping with Tandem t:slim X2!

The delivery! Look at all this stuff!
IMG_2109 (480x640)     IMG_2110 (461x640)IMG_2111 (640x480)

I did not read the manual. There are 348 pages for pete’s sake! (I hardly ever read manuals. Drives my husband nutty.)
IMG_2116 (1) (640x479)     IMG_2115 (640x479)

I had promised the trainer that I wouldn’t start it up until she had been here. But, I played with the buttons.
IMG_2112 (640x480)     IMG_2114 (640x453)

I copied all my settings to Diasend, printed them out for the trainer for the t:slim.IMG_2119 (640x480)     IMG_2118 (1) (480x640)

I had ordered a pump skin earlier in the week from Tallygear.com.IMG_2124 (640x430)

On Monday morning, I assembled all the stuff. Good grief!
IMG_2129 (640x480)

Wanting to dress appropriately for this occasion – I had to choose a d-shirt.IMG_2120 (480x640)

Goodbye Animas Ping. We had a great friendship! (Taken before setting up the t:slim, therefore the clock isn’t set.)
IMG_2117 (1) (475x640)

Who knew that learning how to use a new pump could be fun? Erica, the Tandem trainer for up here in the woods – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont – came to the house. We enjoyed lunch from a nearby deli and then we began.
IMG_2142 (640x480)

And then we hooked up Dexcom. Amazingly, my transmitter had been showing signs and warnings of departure (aka time for a new one), so we paired up a new one with the pump and my phone.
IMG_2140 (640x391)

Thanks Erica, for teaching me how to use my new t:slim!IMG_2137 (1) (640x480)

And this morning is a beautiful morning.
IMG_2145 (640x480)


Insulin Pump Training

Way back in 2009, in order to use an insulin pump, my endo’s office required a series of classes. I got to skip one class as I showed up with my Omnipod sample pod along with tons of documents about the other pumps available at the time. Thanks to the DOC – Diabetes Online Community, I was (at the time), the most well informed soon to be pumping d-patient they’d seen. And I knew I wanted the Animas. I’m so, so going to miss the remote bolusing from the Ping meter. I will really, really miss it.

On Monday, a Tandem trainer is coming to our home to do the T:slim X2 start up with me. I’ve been good. I haven’t started it – yet. And to be honest, I probably won’t before we meet on Monday. I know, I’m a wimp. But – I’m a very organized wimp. I no longer have the Animas stuff on my computer after a lightning hit last summer – but got my pump settings downloaded using Diasend. I also have all my recent Dexcom numbers thanks to Clarity.

IMG_2127I’m now a Medicare patient but – have enough Dexcom supplies to last me for a couple of months. So – I don’t need to order Dexcom stuff and so… Medicare won’t know/care that I’m using my iPhone to get my Dexcom info. That whole iPhone thing drives me nuts. We do not live close to an ambulance service. If I had an issue it would take awhile for help to arrive. Having the “Share” available so there are two of us to get any low alerts, helps keep me alive. My transmitter is almost dead but I have two in the box to go when ready. (I’m frugal and annoying.) I’m using expired/almost expired sensors and so far (knock on wood..), so good. Although – tonight it said I was HIGH (I’ve never seen that) (see those two dots up there at 400? NOT!) when the number was around 120. Did a couple of calibrations and it seems to be settling down.

IMG_2126And this evening? Well – the snow is gone, the Official Ice Out – a VERY big deal up here on Lake Winnipesaukee – has been announced and we were able to enjoy a cocktail on the porch. Life is good.


Old blog, new insulin pump…

If it wasn’t for D-Blog week (Karen, is it happening this year?), this blog would be blank. Really – it’s been a year? Sigh…


There’s a new pump! The t:slim X2. (I had to investigate the correct way to write it…)

There’s new insurance! Egads, I’m on Medicare.

I had my first C-Peptide test. I passed (or maybe we fail…??)! I still have Type 1 Diabetes. What a surprise!

And, I officially retired on 12/31. You would think with all that extra time that I’d be on this computer just blogging away. Didn’t happen.

Until today, this switch from Animas to Tandem hasn’t been a really smooth transition.

Tandem is/was delightful but the young man handling my account/order had a tough time figuring out just which company I was going to order the pump and supplies through. By the third company, my endo’s office was calling and asking just what the heck was going on – as they were being contacted by each (3 of them) medical supply company during a two week period.

Then – the C-Peptide and fasting glucose was needed by the medical supply company for the approval. Again, the endo was annoyed (I love my endo) (thinks the test is a waste of time and money for me/my insurance) but did the order.

Then – I let the Tandem person know that I hadn’t ever seen or touched a t:slim so she said she’d have someone contact me – didn’t happen.

And Friday night I was called to say it was approved and yesterday I got a FedEx notice saying it’s being delivered on Thursday.

So… I shot off an unhappy email early this am and now – everything is fixed and sounds like it’s going to be a good experience. The trainer sounds delightful so I think this is going to be fun. Well – it’s still diabetes but we can have fun, right? Maybe I’ll bake some cupcakes for our training session.

Meanwhile – did some changes to this page and holy gee I have to figure out some stuff. I’ll get there. Stay tuned for more of me & medicare & tandem & dexcom.



Day 4 – 2017 D-Blog Week

Click here for the
Throwback Thursday: What Brings Me Down – Thursday 5/18 Link List
Today let’s revisit a prompt from 2014 – May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks again to Scott for this 2014 topic.)

And being older than most/all/some? of you – this is what I thought of when I read today’s blog suggestion…

I’m still surprised when I dissolve into a puddle of sadness because I have diabetes.

The cost, the sleepless nights, the cost, the stupid people, the cost, the lost time, etc…

The fear… That’s not fun either.

Coping? Friends who get it, especially online d-friends who are so very quick to offer hugs and sympathy and advice and applause whenever it’s needed. A husband who counts carbs like a champ, leaves juice on the nightstand when he sees Dexcom trending down, puts up with my moods (and there are many) makes daily coping easier, too.

“I Can Do This” with a little help from my friends.

Day 3 – 2017 D-Blog Week

Click here for The Blame Game – Wednesday 5/17 Link List
Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another.  And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault.  Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger.  Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had.  Now, the game part.  Let’s turn this around.  If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself?   Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us!  (Thank you, Brian, for inspiring this topic.)

I’m reprinting an old post –
(and FYI – The Blame Game has me singing The Name Game all morning – ack!)
(and just the thought of turning that person into a puppet makes me chuckle…)
(Oh, and I have a new, very kind and understanding and caring, boss.)

Dexcom Beeps!

I don’t want to write about this.

I can’t believe I’m writing about this.

Last week – there was a lunch – at work.

I’m the one who orders and picks up the monthly lunches. It’s fun and yummy! And every now and then, it’s a birthday lunch.

It was a Birthday Lunch.  (There was Boston Cream Pie.)

Dexcom went nuts.

And one person made comments about Dexcom’s beepings.

The beeps got annoying and I switched it to vibrate.

The vibrates got annoying and the person said, “What is that?”

I explained that my blood sugar was high and the person said, “Well, yes – YOU ATE CAKE!”

And – I lost it.

I stayed fairly calm. I like my job and even more, I like my health insurance.  And this person – is my boss. Well, sh*t.

BUT – the person needed to know – he was wrong. So I did the old “search thing” for Diabetes Etiquette – and found it/them.

And – I printed the following and put it in this person’s mailbox.


Thank you Dr. Polonsky!

1 – DON’T offer unsolicited advice about my eating or other aspects of diabetes. You may mean well, but giving advice about someone’s personal habits, especially when it is not requested, isn’t very nice. Besides, many of the popularly held beliefs about diabetes (“you should just stop eating sugar”) are out of date or just plain wrong.

2 – DO realize and appreciate that diabetes is hard work. Diabetes management is a full-time job that I didn’t apply for, didn’t want, and can’t quit. It involves thinking about what, when, and how much I eat, while also factoring in exercise, medication, stress, blood sugar monitoring, and so much more – each and every day.

And this morning – in my mailbox.

“I sincerely apologize.”

You know, having Diabetes sucks. Having DOC friends is awesome. Having the GUTS to stick up for myself? Couldn’t have done it without ya!

Thanks DOC!

Day 2 – D-Blog Week

Click here for the The Cost of a Chronic Illness – Tuesday 5/16 Link List
Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?  (This topic was inspired by suggestions from Rick and Jen.)

I’m getting ready to transition to Medicare – and that scares the sh*t out of me.

Back to Medicare – I’m petrified. We’ve scheduled an appointment with a local woman (she sounds really young but was well recommended by a local insurance agent) to analyze and look at what we can do as far as plans – advantage, supplement, prescription. She said, “You’ll need to have a list of any prescriptions you use.” Poor girl – she’s going to be awed. (Or she might just run away from us!)

I NEVER thought I’d be working at my age. We both worked hard to make it possible to retire and enjoy our retirement. Diabetes brought that to a screeching halt. For new d-friends, I was dx’d at age 55. I’ve said I’d give up my pump before my Dexcom if given a choice. I know they’re approved now but – it looks like there will be some bumps before it, Dexcom, is totally available.

And… it truly and honestly bothers me immensely that there are people who are not able to afford the d-medications that they need to stay alive. Give me a break. NO ONE should be denied medications needed to STAY alive.

PS – I truly LOVE comments and I know everyone else does, too. But… I’m going to do comment catching up after D-Blog week. If I do comments now they’ll all say, “Nice!” or “Thank you for posting this.” I’m really looking forward to meeting new bloggers and catching up with some of “been around for some time” bloggers.

Day 1 – 2017 D-Blog Week

Really? The 8th Year?! How amazing!

Today’s post suggestion: There are two. I chose “good things diabetes has brought into my life.”

  1. All the d people who have become friends through blogging and facebooking
  2. The people I’ve met here in my town because I don’t keep my Diabetes a secret. Two great examples…
    The elderly woman who showed up in my church office holding her meter and lancet who said, “They told me you would help me.” “They” are some women in the church who know I have D and so when the woman was first diagnosed with Type 2 and at a loss as to how to test, they sent her to me.
    The second is a family whose young daughter with Type 1 who uses a pump. They were hesitant to send her to a summer program at the church until another parent said, “Oh, the parish secretary wears a pump! She’ll be there!”
  3. I know how to count carbs. Heck, I know what carbs are.
  4. I am soooooooooooooooo good at shutting up people who ask, “Can you eat that?” I used to teach. I can still teach. And I do!
  5. The D-Parents. You are all amazing!

Life goes on. We all hope and pray for this dreadful disease to be cured. I’m grateful that I found friends who have helped me for the past 12 years.

And that’s a good thing.