Tuesday, August 29, 2006


After a summer of giving up my Cozmonitor in favor of having a fully waterproof pump (handy for that occassional splash with the hose, unplanned canoe trip, surprising water balloon, or irresitable desire to swim) and using my handy new holster clip, I decided to reattach it tonight.

Tonight found me asking for the seventeen billionith time where my meter was. Backpack? Desk? Purse? Car? I have two flashes and a normal freestyle. And my dad has a Flash (given to him after a diagnosis of pre-diabetes) that feels very abadoned, especially compared to it's sister, owned by moi. I have meters. But it never seems to be enough.

The idea of just carrying strips appeals. Especially since I will have 16 bottles of strips thanks to my fraustrating as hell convienant mail order company. So I can keep strips anywhere I want. As long as I don't use more than 10 per day on a regular basis. And lancing devices- oh lancing devices. They are more plentiful at my house than ants at a picnic. When packing my backpack for back to school, two BD lancing devices fell out. My freestyle lancing device cracked once. So the company sent me not one, but two to replace it. Just in case. And everytime I ever needed a company to replace a meter, I seemed to get a new lancing device too. And in case that isn't enough, it seems like I could just call and ask and probably get three. And don't even get me started on lancets! My doctor seemed to be under the impression I use one lancet per strip when writing my script. Not so. And I use the Multiclix now, so to make matters worse, those lancets can't be filled for an even 100. So everytime I order a 3 month supply, I get 816 lancets. Oy.

But I digress. I reattached my Cozmonitor, and my, it's convienant. I love this pump. But dear Smiths- please make a holster case the fits the pump and meter already!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Nothing is Sound

I lay on my metal bunk, on top of a fleece blanket. My mp3 player delivered Switchfoot into the earbuds in my ears. My pump delivered insulin into the infusion set in my abdomen. It was hot. It was stinkin' hot. And I was feeling it. My headached and my arms sweat in the 95 degree whether. And there was no escape. Just me, all alone, in a stinkin' hot cabin.

Everyone dies

Is diabetes going to kill me?

Everyone loves a fight

Actually, I am sick of fighting, thank you very much.

Nothing is sound
Nothing is right side right

Nothing is sound. That's for sure. Otherwise I wouldn't have diabetes. I used to think that having hypoglycemia as a kid was a get-out-of-diabetes-free card. Your blood sugar couldn't be low and high, could it? And besides, I had enough other health crap to deal with. And I was just getting used to that. Surely this counted for something with God? How could I get diabetes?

Evening comes, when the sun goes down in red
Nothing is cool

Is this day over yet? Nothing is cool? That's for sure!

When will all the fighting end
When will all the fighting end

Not soon enough! Wait...when I die, I guess. I don't want the fighting to end then...

Happy is a yuppie word

Yuppies get sick too though

Nothing in the world could fail me now

Except my pancreas

It's empty as an argument
I'm running down a life that won't cash out (cash out)

Everything fails
Everything runs it's course

Where is this course running to? I don't get it God!

A time and a place, for all of this loving war
Everyone buys, everyone's gotta price, and nothing is new

No, this is all new! New, and stinkin' scary! But I guess this is my time and place.

When will all the failures rise
When will all the failures rise, rise!

I stick my finger and watch the meter as the number 272 appears on the screen. I feel like a failure. My head pounds.

Happy is a yuppie word
Blessed is the man who's lost it all
Happy is a yuppie word (word)

I haven't lost it all. Not even close. In fact, diabetes has caused me to loose less than first expected.

Looking for an orphanage
I'm looking for a bridge I can't burn down
I don't believe the emptiness
I'm looking for the kingdom coming down
Everything is meaningless
I want more than simple cash can buy
Nothing is sound

Cash can't buy me, or anyone else, a cure. It can't prevent anyone from having diabetes, nor can it stop anyone from having diabetes. No one is guranteed not to get a disease, because life has no gurantees. But has my first year of living with diabetes approches, it hasn't been empty or meaningless.

Got it!

I finally got my shipment from Medco! Wonders never cease.

In other words, not too much is going on, so sorry for the dry spell.

I will say right now that school is starting, and I can't make promises as to the frequency (or quality!) of posts from now on.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I got one of my pharmacology books in the mail today. What I always do with new medical textbooks is look up the sections on diabetes and insulin. This book has a lot on insulin, but the content is strangly disappointing.

The section on dosing insulin focuses a lot on mixing insulin. It also mentions Humalog and Lantus as the 2 newest types of insulin. This book was published in 2004, so I realize Apidra and Levemir weren't out yet, but Novolog was. And while it mentions Lantus, it fails to mention Lantus can't be mixed with other insulins. It also shows pictures of pork and bovine insulin, and L and UL- none of which are used in the US anymore. It says Lantus is only availible in a pen. Not only is that not true, but the Lantus pen is new since this book was published!

It doesn't mention a thing about dosing insulin on carbs or blood sugars, only set doses (ie, give 25 units with dinner). It doesn't even mention sliding scales. It does however say that premixed insulins are "popular for the client with diabetes." Oh yes, everyone loves those mixes!

The book continues to say that Humalin is the only brand of Human insulin (has anyone informed Novo Nordisk of this?). It mentions Exubra but calls it an "inranasal insulin." Nope, I have never seen it being squirted up peoples noses.

it has three paragraphs on pumping, which is a tri-fold improvement over last year's nursing book. In those three paragraphs they manage to say that implanted pumps are availible (where?), that R is the only type of insulin used in pumps, and that testing once daily is a minimum when on the pump. ONCE DAILY?!?! Don't tell my insurance. I will give the book credit for explaining basal/bolus use in the pump, and saying a huge advantage is multiple basal rates. But still... It shows a picture of a MiniMed 508.

So, next time you are in the hospital, and wondering how the hell they manage to keep any diabetic alive. Don't blame the nurses- blame the textbooks.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My Own Personal Medco Rant

Katherine is not the only one having problems with Medco. I sent in a few prescriptions to be filled 3 weeks ago. Yes, 3 weeks, as in 21 days, as in almost a month. And they haven't even shipped yet. Talk about ridiculous!

So, I decided to call today. And they inform me my medication hasn't shipped yet because they need to call the doctor and "comfirm" that this is the medication I need. That gets a big fat "What the heck?" in my book. I mean, isn't that what a prescription is for? Stating I need a certain medication?

So I ask what the hold up is. And after much prying, am told there is a medication availible in generic they would like to substitue. I'm fine with generics. Said medication doesn't have a generic though. They want to totally change what medication I am taking so I can take a generic. I told them this is unacceptable, just send me my non-generic-medication-with-the-higher-copay. They told me I they need to hear that from the doctor.

Ok, so fine, call my doctor. But does it take 3 weeks to get ahold of my doctor? They say they have been calling for 5 days now. Yeah right. On a daily basis too, they say.

So meanwhile, I go trick-or-treating at my friendly specialists' and GP's offices for sample packs. But I am almost out of those too.

So I ask my dear Medco CSR what her suggestion is. Her idea? Get a weeks worth of medication at local pharmacy. Fantastic! "What will my co-pay be for that?" asks Megan. She has no idea. Then she tells me it will be the same as a 1 month copay. Deal or No Deal? No Deal. I tell her if I am gonna get it filled at a local pharmacy, I am getting as much as I can. And I tell her that This is unacceptable customer service. And that they still better shipped my 3 month supply!

I asked to speak to the pharmacist 3 times, was placed on hold once so they could "transfer" me, and still never managed to speak to a pharmacist at any point in time.

Then, I proceed into a less-than-eloquent tirad on how I realize this is just a business for them, but to me, this is my health we are talking about.

My only hope is that they indeed recorded the conversation and that some exec will listen to it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Post I Hesitate to Write

I guess I need to start this post off with a disclaimer. The experiences mentioned in this entry are true, but they are not necessarily typical. I write this not to scare anyone, but simply to get things off my own chest. I can easily see people freaking out over this, but I urge you to remain sane.

In a D chat room I belong to, a member died in his sleep last night due to hypoglycemia. It scares the crap out of me. He was a pumper. And it reminds me of the need for constant vigilince. You can't slack at all. And it scares me. While I have some hypo unawareness, this young man (he was 26) had severe unawareness. His blood sugars were constantly swinging. It is scary how close to home this hits me. I didn't think this type of thing actually happened. But I guess it does. And it is scary. It reminds me that this is no joke. While I remember this is not a typical event, it scares me none the less. Insurance needs to fund CGMS soon. There is no need for someone to die from diabetes.

In my own world, things are different. A severe asthma flare and case of bronchitis has me sucking down prednisone like it is candy. I am on a ton, and my dose got upped today. It's crazy. I am using a 125% basal and correcting with an ISF of 50 (instead of my usual 80), and testing every two hours. I see my endo tomorrow. I am so thankful for my pump in these moments.

Part of me wants to slack. I am on the prednisone for 8 days. 8 days can't make a difference. I have a valid excuse. Why not just let it be?

Then I think of my eyes, and my kidnies, and my heart, and all my small blood vessels. And I decide it is worth the effort. I read that a healthy person will have a minimal bg response to prednisone. Some people get steriod-induced diabetes from prednisone, but they were at risk for diabetes anyways. The prednisone was just the last straw. Then I see my own numbers climbing in the 200 and 300s. Despite a pump pushing insulin into me. And it seems not fair.

But wallowing in self pity never did anyone good. And slacking certainly won't do me any good. So instead, I just poke my finger again and dial up another correction.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Craving Information

I am approaching almost 1 year with diabetes. I'm also seeing my insulin needs go up up up as my honeymoon ends. And I am learning a ton.

But one thing seems inevitable: the more I learn, the more I want to know.

I seem to never be satisfied with what I know. I want to learn more. Read more. Explore, and discover. I want to know about current developments, and about the history of diabetes. I want to ask questions and look at graphs. I want to find patterns.

But is any of this actually making my diabetes better? Yes and no. Some things I put into practice and it improves my control. Some things I try to put into practice and I find don't work for me. Some things I just seem to ignore, though I should do (basal tests fall into that category).

But any way it goes, I need to keep going. People who are ignorant on their own disease bother me. Ignorance is not bliss, nor does ignoring make the condition go away. I can't ignore it. And learning is a source of hope. Hope for not only better control, but a cure. I NEED to learn.

After all, knowledge is power.