I’m not perfect.

Perfection – certainly not a word used when you’re dealing with Diabetes.

ha-haBack when I first started pumping, I put the “change inset” schedule on my calendar. Because, you know, you change it every 3 days and that would remind me in the morning to change the inset and fill a new cartridge before my shower – every 3 days.

And I’d read where people’s pumps would run out of insulin. And I’d smugly think, “Well, if they’d just schedule it like I do, they wouldn’t run out of insulin.”

And then – a doorknob happened – or a kinked cannula happened – or life happened. And that 3 day schedule – down the tubes. At first I’d readjust the calendar schedule after the mishaps.

But now? I gave up the calendar scheduling. (Try not to laugh…)

I use a cartridge down to the last drop because – I forgot to change my inset/cartridge that morning.

Or even more annoying – will finishing showering and dressing for work, only to figure out there’s not enough insulin to last through the day.

Or – exasperating – get ready to eat lunch at work and find out I don’t have enough insulin for lunch.


Yes, I carry an insulin pen for those times. I even have needles for the pen! (I forgot needles one trip.)

But I smile when I think of how “smug” I was years ago. And I’m grateful that I never expressed that smugness on a blog or anywhere else.


PS – Animas Ping Pumps play Für Elise when you are close to running out of insulin. Driving yesterday and listening to the radio, Für Elise came on. I shut off the radio!


My Smart Endo

Last week’s endo appointment was quite nice. I’m beginning to feel like she’s a friend, you know the kind – the one that stands in the yard chatting with you and you just know they’re listening, really listening to you.

The facts – A1c was .3 up and I’m good with that, and so is she. All my labs show that I’m normal and she just kept smiling. Expressed awe at cholesterol numbers and was happy to see that thyroid and other tests all check out ok.

My issue was my bouncy numbers. I spike high after breakfast (8-10 carbs, normally) and don’t really come back down (all the way) before lunch. Then I spike high after lunch but by 4 to 5 o’clock, Dexcom is screaming at me because I’m low.

So we both stared at my Diasend printout of my Ping pump’s bgs/doses/carbs. (Oh – she threw out all my numbers from 10 days in California!) And she’s circling numbers and pointing out trends (which of course I’m blind to) and then says, let’s try this. So – we changed my IC ratio for breakfast and lunch – upped the carb ratio by one – which is actually downed the carbs by one???. And added/upped my basal rate for the afternoons by .5. And lowered the ISF for lunch and the afternoon.

It’s working, so far. Well, until this morning when I had a very small portion of bread pudding at work. That small bit turned out to be more than 30 carbs… I guessed… I was wrong… It tasted great!

This afternoon after a call from my husband, I announced to another staff member that I have a wonderful husband. She asked if we were going out to dinner. And I said, “Nope, he just called to say he’d stop at the drug store and pick up my insulin for me!”

I also work with wonderful people. As we were closing up the office, Dexcom beeped to say I was low. I tested. I was a little under 80 and decided to drink a juice box before I drove home. Two friends/co-workers sat there with me while I slurped my grape juice and waited until I tested ok to drive.

2013-04-19 001And finally – lunch with Shannon after my endo appointment. We chatted our way through a yummy lunch and barely talked about diabetes (her son has Type 1). Now that the snow has stopped (we hope…), we plan to get together again during the summer. Anyone up in this area is always invited to join us!

Let them eat cake!

I know, the quote refers to bread but I’m talking about cake.

My husband was visiting relatives last week. I stayed home with the continuing (…) renovation.

While there, he purchased one of my favorite cakes at a local grocery store to bring home.

A relatives’s husband, a family practice physician, asked,

“Can she eat that?”

M explained that I would definitely eat that, with insulin, and then keep an eye on my Dexcom to make sure all was good.

The physician didn’t know what a CGMS is.

I’ll give him credit. With info from M he went straight to the computer to learn about it.

A couple of years ago, I showed him the first pump he’d ever seen. I also sent him info on LADA, Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, which he knew nothing about at that time.


Oh, the cake.

1/12 of the cake is 47 carbs. And, yes, 1/12 is a very skinny piece of cake, but it’s yummy.

I should have… but didn’t… I will now…

I’ve been reading d-blogs for – omg – a really long time –

And so, what I did the other night shouldn’t have been done but I did it.

On my birthday last week, we were getting ready to cook some chicken on the grill for my b’day dinner (I’m not a very expensive date), when the phone rang and since it was someone I knew, I answered it.

A friend, who is also a Catholic nun, was calling from the ER of a hospital about an hour from us. (She recently retired, she’s 77, and we had helped her move just the week before.)

Anyway, she’d fallen in a parking lot, and got an ambulance ride to the hospital.

So, at 6pm, we got on the interstate and drove to the hospital, an hour away. I do keep Skittles in the car and we grabbed a juice box to take with us.

But – yeah, you knew there had to be a “but.”

I forgot that I needed to change my pump inset and was running low on insulin. I had planned to get that done before dinner…

We thought (we don’t have a whole lot of ER experience) that we’d just have to pick up
Sr. H. – go get her car – and take her home. And then, we’d just go out to eat somewhere on the way home. Didn’t happen. Which is probably just as well as the pump was “running on empty.”

We got home at 11:30, I changed the inset and put in some new insulin. Had some cheese and crackers and hit the bed. I am not normally awake at 11:30pm. To add to the fun, the new Dexcom sensor that I’d inserted that morning kept trying to tell me I was very, very low – like, 39, on the way home (I wasn’t driving). It was wrong and suffered a sensor failure the next morning.

NOT knowing how long we’d be gone, and traveling an hour from home, I should have had insulin, an extra inset, an extra cartridge with me. I didn’t.

It really irks me as the week before, I received a wonderful gift/prize from Molly at Damn Diabetes.

Molly noted that she uses this size bag for weekend travels as it holds so, so much stuff. But I hadn’t loaded it up with said d-stuff, and didn’t even think about taking d-stuff with me that night.

Today – I am a reformed d-person.

I traveled to Concord today for a much nicer reason – a manicure and a pedicure – and I packed the bag. And I’m determined to keep it packed and… updating the “stuff” as needed but having it “almost” ready to go when I leave our small town. I even put a couple of syringes in there. I’ve never used a syringe! (Just pens and my Ping Pump)

And Sr. H.? She has a face of many colors and a broken nose but is doing okay. We met for lunch today and she’s going to be okay.

Pop Quiz

The question for the quiz.

Your blood sugar is high because ________.

Select answer below.

1. Your inset is bad
2. You ate a cookie
3. Your insulin is bad
4. That’s life with d
5. Any one of several other possibilities

As most of you know, the answer can be all of the above or 1 – 2 – 3 – or 4, or a combination of any 2 or 3. You get an A+ no matter which answer you chose!

This past week I couldn’t figure it out. Ate a salad – went to 200. Ate the same breakfast – went to 200 for several days in a row. Pulled the inset and that looked okay. Ordered Girl Scout cookies but I don’t think just looking at the pictures counts. Changed out the cartridge and filled it with insulin (hint – from the same vial).

Finally, yesterday, I threw out the old vial (which stays in the fridge and even if it didn’t, it’s not like it’s real hot right now in New Hampshire) and opened a new one. I really hate throwing out insulin. I’m cheap and it just feels like I’m throwing money in the trash can. Oh well.

Ta Da! Using the brand new vial worked.

I’m now back to my normal, hum drum, but happy cruising with d.

Well, sort of… Dexcom is on day 12 and has done pretty good but this morning – AT 4AM – it did the beep, beep, buzz, buzz thing to tell me I was 79. I have a habit of liking to sleep so I calmly told it, “That’s okay.” And no, didn’t even look to see if there was an arrow. (Remember, it’s 4am) Next thing I know, it’s screeching again (remember when I couldn’t hear it when I first got it?) and this time it’s at 50 something. I got up and tested – meter says 140 something. I’m awake, fix the coffee and the day begins.

The NeverEnding Story

I remember our sons watching The NeverEnding Story.

Now, I feel like I’m living it, sort of, kind of… because, I’ll be testing, counting, dosing, you know the rest, for the rest of my life. That sucks.

And to be honest, I’m late to this d-stuff so I always hesitate to whine even just a little.  But then, I’m not usually so upset about myself, it’s what the “long timers” are going through that makes me think what it’s really like to live with diabetes for so many years. And it seems that this week is a tough one for many of our blogging buddies.

I entered college as an Elementary Education Major. I had always wanted to be a teacher. I changed my major to Special Education and then spent a summer at Camp Easter Seal outside of Roanoke, VA. My goal in working at the camp was to get some idea of the children’s lives outside of the schoolroom. I did. Camp was awesome and I learned so very much about all sorts of children, all sorts of disabilities. I think it made me a better teacher. Children with special needs and their families also live in a NeverEnding Story. I was always awed by the strength of the children and their parents. They work so very hard.

I was just as awed by the determination of my students when I taught in Virginia. They tried and tried, and sometimes, they got it! They really got it!

Having that in my background has helped me, somewhat, to accept this d-stuff. I do the best I can. Sometimes I’m good, and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get the hang of keeping myself alive. That’s scary – the keeping alive part.

Finally, my point, I hope…

I’m grateful for the bloggers who share their struggles about living with diabetes. You let me know that it’s okay to make mistakes. You let me know that it’s okay to feel frustrated. You let me know that it’s okay to be scared. And most importantly, you let me know that I’m not the only one who __________ (fill in the blank).

It’s important that we write about the good stuff too – the smiles in our days. And I will continue to do that, also.

Like today – couldn’t go home for lunch (the renovating continues), no one to go to lunch with so… BIG confession here… I picked up lunch at McDonalds and nope, didn’t get a salad. It was good. It was a lot of insulin but – – – I won’t do it again for a while…

And so, my story continues…


Symlin, Yes or No?

I tried it. The low, low dose (15) did nothing. But there was no nausea or other problems.
Went to 30 and I could see a difference in my numbers, when I used it, but that wasn’t too often. And I didn’t experience the nausea, still (which is a plus).
We went on vacation and I brought the Symlin with me. I never used it. I was already doing far too much guesstimating on carbs and I worried that I’d have a problem.

To be honest… I’m not sure I need it.

  • One of the uses for Symlin is that you’ll use less insulin. I don’t use much on a daily basis.
  • A “non-use” is Symlin will help you lose weight (because it makes you feel fuller and so, you eat less). I don’t eat that much. I’m okay with my weight.
  • Symlin is supposed to help you avoid the “spikes.” I didn’t use it enough to see that.
  • You’re supposed to eat at least 30 carbs at a meal when you use Symlin. I don’t do that except at dinner, usually…

I’ve got an unused Symlin pen in the fridge so maybe I’ll try it again to see how it goes.

I thank George, Scott and Hannah for taking the time to share their advice.

The other thing… Symlin is not cheap. I’m in my early (very early!) 60’s and I have to think about how we will pay for it when I stop working and… not on a group insurance plan. I am pretty sure Medicare won’t cover it. At this time Medicare doesn’t cover a CGMS, and I love my Dexcom. If I have to make a choice, I will choose the Dexcom.

The Time Stealer

Today I left work and stopped at the local drug store – the only local drug store – to pick up my insulin. I’d ordered it online last night. At 4 I was there and so were many others. So I stood in line, chatted with acquaintances and waited… Gave the tech my name and she finally went to the fridge and pulled out 3 boxes of insulin. This is a monthly order, it should have been 2 boxes. My quick brain is thinking, “Oh boy, I’ll get three for the price (copay) of two!” I couldn’t do it. I told her it was wrong. She looked and said no, it’s correct. I again said – nope, should be only two. So the pharmacist came over and there was a label issue and yes, they goofed.

So I came home with two bottles.

This morning I did the “ordering of the prescriptions, including strips” online. That’s usually pretty simple but – had one that needs a new refill which has to be mailed in after I call the doctor’s office and then go pick up the paper prescription to mail in.

Once I was home after my stop at the drug store, I called Animas to order my pump supplies. I spoke with Dolores, who was very pleasant. This is my first order since the whole Animas mess this summer of cutting back on how many insets/cartridges you could get in one order for a 3 month supply. My endo’s office had rewritten my prescription in September so I could go back to getting 5 boxes every 3 months. They won’t be here for about two weeks because my insurance company has to approve it every time I order. That usually takes about a week and then it’s another week for shipping. I’m not going to complain. It works. I know how it works. I just mark my calendar to call them every 3 months. And Animas is doing better at the calls. I was on hold for less than a minute!

The time stealer is of course, the diabetes.

But – you know that!