Conquering life living with Type 1 Diabetes

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yep, Sudafed really does jack my blood sugar up!

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So my Sudafed experiment has taken place sooner than I would have liked.  I have my second cold of the Winter.  The last one was just a month ago, so I am not exactly excited about it.

So it really DOES make my blood sugar spike all to heck.  I am a bit slow and finally realizing this today, sometimes I just give up trying to figure out exactly what makes me spike sometimes.  You know the wind could blow weird and my blood sugar would spike, or I look at a donut.  LOL, just kidding.  Sometimes it does feel like that though.

So anyways I look like Rudolf and I feel like I got ran over by a truck.  Day 5 and I dont see this cold ending real soon.  When Friday comes if I am not better I am going to see about meds for this sinus b.s. That's the only way I kicked it last time.  My last cold took THREE freakin weeks to get over and I slept on my couch for 10 days or my coughing fits would wake up our child.  No one wants to wake a baby.  Especially mine. 

My childs bday party is next weekend and I didn't plan on looking like I haven't slept in 5 days or this wonderfully chapped face! 

What is up with this Winter!?  Everyone has been sick and sick with nasty colds.  I haven't had a cold in about 3 years and I get TWO this year?  Spring please hurry up! 

I am not giving up my sudafed, I cant breathe without it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dear tslim, I really dont like your cartridges

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Most times I dont really "mind" the rediculously slow priming process for my tslim but today I was pleasantly reminded why I dont like it. Freaking air bubbles from no where. I get all the air bubbles out of my syringe, put it into the cartridge just like any other day, fill the pigtail, then connect the luer lock and bam bubbles from heck start traveling down the tubing. Great. It took 39 units of insulin today to get all the bubbles out. Yep. Awesome.  Normally my long tubing takes 26 units I think, I dunno, but 39 jeeze louise.
I really wish there was some sort of way to make this pump less prone to bubbles and to be able to see the "plastic bag" reservoir inside the cartridge.
Normally I dont have such a big issue with bubbles but it seems to happen every few changes and with my MM pump I never had bubble issues. Im just sayin.
I still love "slim" but I wish I could change a few things.
Plus the cartridge recall on top of it and the handful of people who just cant get their blood sugars down on it, worries a person a bit.
Two of my boxes have been recalled and I used the other two so it does make me wonder if they were a part of the reason I did have some bg issues. Who knows, all speculation and all that matters is that my b.g. is behaving, my c.d.e. is awesome and my t1d is back in range. Yeah Im having fun with abbreviations, sorry.
Annnnd Im sleeping on the damn couch again because day four of this stupid cold (my second one in a month) is keeping me from sleeping in our room because I either cough or blow my nose and wake our almost one year old up. Stupid colds, stupid winter.

Dex on my chicken arm

So I have chicken arms and legs, right.  Ok who cares really, but when you wear a pump and Dexcom it matters, a lot.

End of last year/beginning of 2014 I decided to get brave.  I hear SO MANY people talk about wearing Dex (one of my nicknames for my Dexcom CGM) on their arm.

All my attempts had been bad, hurt like hell, and I wanted to rip it off.

So its the dead of Winter here in freezing cold Illinois, so I am not wearing short sleeve shirts.  I figured lets give it a try, again.

My husband is my life saver, he puts my Dexcom on me, everytime.  In fact I am unsure I could do it myself.  

So we started trying it down further on my arm.   First time we tried wire going upwards, OUCH, figured out for me, that the wire going down is better.  This one is three inches from my elbow, I just measured.  

You have GOT to pinch your skin up and have the person putting it on angle it outward so it goes in more shallow.  This one ended up going in too deep and it jabbed the crap out of my muscle.  Hurt. Like. Hell.  In fact, I had to sit down with the applicator still on because I got light headed and thought I was going to puke, yeah it was fun.  The pain went away and now, I cannot feel it at all.  

It's crazy I know.  Trust me I KNOW, I was so scared to DEATH to try this.

So I used things for comparison of size so you can see that even if you have skinny or muscular arms you more than likely have enough fat/tissue to use.  My arms are not fatty by any means and we make it work.  I do not whack it on anything when it is here.  The only wierd thing is showering, you gotta remember not to scrub your arms!  Sleeping on your side takes a bit of getting use to having it there. I am a side sleeper.

I also have my trusty smith and nephew opsite flexifix around it, this is the only way I keep Dex on.  Period. 

Please ignore the terrible wallpaper in my office that needed to come down 10 years ago and the terribly pasty white person, it's Winter here, remember.

Boom.  There is it, on that scrawny chicken arm of mine.

I hope this helps some of you, I hear over and over how people are afraid to try or think their arms are too skinny.  I want to help you out any way I can!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dex transmitter dying after two days of wear?!!

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So I started my new G4 Dexcom two days ago, I just got the low battery, please replace transmitter alert!  What the? Called tech support they will obviously replace it but seriously I got it in December, it sat on the battery holder thingy and now its dying?! This worries me a bit.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What inspires you to keep fighting every day?

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Living a life with a chronic incurable disease takes a lot of work, determination, inspiration and MONEY!

Family and friends are what keeps me inspired.

     My husband.  I couldnt do as good of a job beating back the betes without him on my team and cheering me on.  He tries his best to help me stay calm when I am having a hard time changing out my infusion set, he reminds me to take insulin, he helps me get my head back on straight after a bad day battling my blood sugar, he helps keep me from ripping someones head off after rude and hurtful comment about Diabetes, he helps me to live every day. 

     My daughter.  I want to live as long as I possibly can to see her grow up and hopefully meet her children some day.  Looking into her precious eyes and seeing her smile every day has changed my entire outlook on life.

     My family and friends and their eagerness to learn about my disease and the tools I use to fight it.  Some people may not know but asking your loved one about the tools (Dexcom CGM and insulin pump) they use to manage their Diabetes, actually lets them know you care and you want to learn more.  Don't ask a Diabetic what their blood sugar is, but asking about what its like and what you can do to help, shows you care and want to help.
     Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the fact they have Diabetes only really hurts a persons feelings.  I know no one else wants Diabetes but ignoring it because you are scared of it and fear ever getting it yourself doesn't help anyone, especially not your family member with Diabetes.  Saying things like I would die if I had to check my blood sugar, or take insulin or count carbs or use an insulin pump hurts, because that is what I have to do, I have to do all of these things or I wouldn't be alive.  You do what you have to do to live, you would do all those things too if you had Diabetes. You would want to fight to be here every day, just like I do.

     I dont want to have Diabetes, who the heck does, but I dont have a choice.  I cant choose to quit, I cant give up.  It is not even an option to me. 
     I write about my Diabetes for other Diabetics, so they know they aren't the only ones feeling the way they are feeling.  It helps to read about other Diabetics and their stories and battles, it really does.  It keeps me inspired.  You all out there, your stories, experiences and battles keep me inspired. 
     My cousin-in-law said to me that my fight against Diabetes was inspiring.  The thing about that is that she inspired me and I told her this, because she had a way too long of an unfair battle with Cancer, winning the fight for many years and then eventually losing it at only 59.  She fought for every day, going through horrible chemotherapy many many times because she wanted to fight to survive.  Her fight inspires me.  
     I dont have to go through chemotherapy, I dont have to lose my battle with Diabetes, I dont have to wonder if my next shot of insulin will work or not or if Diabetes will take over me.  I will win, I will keep fighting, I will fight every day, I will not let Diabetes get the best of me.
      In spite of all of this SHE told me that my fight against Diabetes was inspiring.  A woman losing a battle against Cancer told me this, I cant even explain to you how selfless and awe inspiring those words felt.  I am still at a loss as to how to describe it.  She was an amazing person and everyone who knew her misses her dearly. 

Marjie, you inspire me from up there where ever you are.

Kerri Sparlings recent blog about using a CGM "If I Knew Then: Continuous Glucose Monitoring – Dexcom."

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Kerri has posted recently about....

If I Knew Then: Continuous Glucose Monitoring – Dexcom.

This post really hit the nail on the head for me.  I havent been on a Dex as long as she has but it really struck a cord with me so I wanted to be sure to share it will you all, in case you didnt see her post or know about her. 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My team for the 2014 Walk to Cure Diabetes

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2014 Walk to Cure Diabetes

This year marks the fourth year I have helped form a team for the Walk to Cure Diabetes for our area walk.  My team goal this year is $2000.00 and my personal goal is $750.00  Last year we raised $1352.00 as a team.

Our local walk is on May 3rd 2014 at 10:00 am at Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, IL.

<=== Last years award plaque.

If you so choose you may make a donation to my efforts at: 

 Last years team photo   =========>

Your donation is tax deductible and if you donate online you will be able to print out your receipt right after you hit submit.  These donations go directly to JDRF, not me, I never see your payment information, only that you made a donation and the amount.  You can even make your donation show on my page as anonymous.  

If you are in my area and would like to join our team, please contact me.  We would love to have you on our team and hey former team mates you can rejoin the team now as well!! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Post Partum Thyroiditis and my blood sugar. Man its been a heck of a ride.

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So I think my mom is a genious.  My crazy whacky blood sugar issues are probably related to my thyroid being all super psycho.  

I was hyPERthyroid for several months, hence all the CRAZY resistance to food I was having and half my hair falling out.  I thought for sure I would have to give up carbs.  Or at least bread.  I am Dutch and German, ok, giving up bread is really not an option that my brain recognizes.

NOW I am hyPOthyroid so I need less insulin and now I am dealing with stupid lows.  I keep lowering my basals and I cannot figure out WHY. 

My mom is a genious.  

I read that article and now it makes sense.

So now I have to get my thryoid levels checked again and if its still going lower, which I am suspecting, I will have to go on meds.  

I ate like a crazy amount of carbs last night and still went low.  Crazy.  

Get back on the dang roller coaster.  It will start over again.  THEN hopefully my thryoid will perk back up and do its work and then I can go off meds and hopefully get my dang blood sugar to "re-stabilize".  I say that because we all know there is NO such thing as stabilizing your blood sugar with type 1 Diabetes.  

Yes, I said there is no stabilizing your blood sugar with type 1 and anyone who says that, is full of bologna.  

Diabetes is an ever moving and evolving target and you can never quite put your finger on it, but you can move around with it and try to stay as close to the bulls-eye as possible. 

My child is nearing 1 year old and man am I sick and tired of crazy blood sugar readings, at least now I know that this thyroid craziness is a part of the problem. 


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I just got this in my email minutes ago:

Select Lots of Insulin Cartridges Used with the t:slim® Insulin Pump

January 20, 2014
Dear Valued Customer,
On January 10, 2014, Tandem Diabetes Care began notifying customers of a Voluntary Medical Device Recall for specific lots of insulin cartridges used with the t:slim® Insulin Pump, noting that the affected cartridges may be at risk for leaking. Through further investigation, we have identified additional lot numbers of insulin cartridges that could be affected.  As a result, we are now recalling additional lots of insulin cartridges as noted in the list below.

A cartridge leak could potentially result in the delivery of too much or too little insulin, which could lead to unexpected high or low blood glucose levels.  Too much insulin can result in severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and too little insulin can lead to severe high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), both of which can lead to serious injury or death.
We have identified the cause of the potential cartridge leak and have modified our cartridge manufacturing testing process to prevent this issue from occurring in the future.

What should you do?
1.  Check the lot numbers of your cartridge supply against the updated list of affected lot numbers found below.
2.  Do NOT use any cartridges from the lots affected by this recall.  If you don’t have useable cartridges, discontinue using the pump and revert to your backup plan until new supplies arrive.
3.  If you have unused affected product on hand, call Tandem Technical Support at 1-877-801-6901 to receive replacement cartridges at no charge.  Our team is available 24/7.

We are sending this message to all Tandem customers so that you are aware of the recall.  If you are directly affected by this recall you will receive a letter in the mail from Tandem Diabetes Care or the distributor from whom you purchase your pump supplies. 
Click here for more information and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this recall.  If you have any questions about the recall, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Customer Technical Support.  Our Technical Support Team is available 24/7 at (877) 801-6901.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.  Your safety is our top priority, and we are committed to quickly addressing issues when they arise.  Our goal is to always provide you with quality products and superior customer service.
Thank you for being a part of the Tandem family.

Kim Blickenstaff
President & CEO

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ok so everyone has seen the Google contact lens by now right?

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Google and the contact lens to monitor you blood glucose readings.   Its crazy.

I think this is great, I hope it can get to the market for people who can tolerate contact lenses.  I am not one of those people.  My eyeballs HATE contacts.  That stinks.

I want something that can check my blood sugar, not be painful, not have to be taped down to my body, whacked on doorways, or protrude out so far everyone can see it (Dexcom G4 and your giant profile that I dont love).  One that can be sent to my phone and then let me give permission to have it sent to a loved one, like my husband, so he knows I am ok.  All the time.  Maybe something like a watchband or something with such a tiny wire and needle introducer that I can put it on my arm or my ankle or somewhere that I dont whack on doorways or corners of things.

I can dream right.

Not dreaming about a cure just better treatments and products.

Thats what I want to see in my life.

I just want to wear a pump and cgm and not have to touch it, hence the "artificial" pancreas projects going on and hopefully one of them will be approved by 2015, I think was the target date, right?

Can you imagine, EATING FOOD, and not doing any math or punching any buttons or worrying about what you just ate and how BAD your blood glucose might be afterward or how BAD you over or under guessed the carbs and worrying about a subsequent low or high.  YEAH. I am ready for that and I cannot imagine how ready people are who have had this disease for 20, 30, 40 years!

Man just thinking about the daily battles I have now, for another 40 years, uhhhhh, it makes me sick.

So I try not to focus on that so much and focus on today, I can only change today. 

We can only change todays blood sugars and work on today.  That is going to be my focus and my CDE CALLI, is amazing.  I went to see her yesterday, she helped me change a bunch of things and today is looking much better.   I have got to STOP being to stubborn and ask for help sooner when I am having issues.

Diabetes and stubbornness, I think they go hand in hand for a lot of us.  At least it does for me.

Anyways thats all, I hope you are all kicking your blood sugars butts today and have readings that make you smile instead of cringe or cry.

I love this:

Diabetes and decongestants?

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Ok so Im trolling my facebook diabetes groups on my lunch break and come across one with someone stating a pharmacist refused to give her a decongestant because she has diabetes?!

Huh? Refused because of Diabetes?

So I did some looking, did you guys even know there was the risk that decongestants can raise your blood glucose levels?  For most people its not a big deal, I read.  Ok......

I had no idea.

Type 1 for nearly 14 years and no one person or medical professional ever mentioned this to me.


Now I want to do a test and see if they raise my bg just for fun.

Now Im curious to see what it does to me. Im only ever taking them when Im sick so I should see if non-sick they raise my bg.

How did I not know this before?

My mind is stunned. 

Did any of you know this?  Is this like general knowledge?  I guess its on the label, but jeeze a lot of things say Diabetics should use caution when using this, or what not. I kind of just ignore those and figure its for Diabetics with kidney issues. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Called my CDE, I need help getting back on track

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I go see my CDE tomorrow, thankfully she got me in really quickly.  Parenting and managing my Diabetes has proven to be a difficult task for me.

I really have no idea how to do it, it's like becoming Diabetic all over again.  I forget to take insulin, I forget to check my blood sugar, I dont want to check my blood sugar at night because that would involve me getting up, leaving our room and checking because otherwise my super sonic hearing baby will wake up.  Or I go low and then eat something to come back up and Im still low 15 mins later so I eat something else and by now I am ticked off because I have a baby screaming at me so I over eat.  I need to relearn how to be Diabetic.

I need someone to kick me in the butt.

I have my Dexcom and t:slim pump and these tools are amazing, but I am still doing a pretty crappy job.

Diabetes BURNOUT.

This morning, woke up with a great BG for me, 111, MEASURED my breakfast, took insulin, had a good blood sugar afterward so I was super stoked, got ready for work about to load my child and all  her crap in my vehicle to take her to babysitter, DEXCOM says you are low, below 85 so I am like yeah thats ok I still have some time, WRONG, DEXCOM says I am 50 like 3 mins later.  SHIT.  AWESOME.  Great job there Megan.  NEVER ignore your Dexcom.  DUH.  So I text babysitter and say I am going to be late my blood sugar is too low to drive.  Drink a juice box.....wait 15 min, still low 55.  Again, I am mad so I try this Level Life stuff I just bought and finally it comes up after another 15 mins.  I ate the SAME THING yesterday and didnt go LOW! Here is my middle finger Diabetes. Then I proceeded to eat a few too many Ritz crackers so I was going a bit too high so I bolused a bit for them and again, I am now low.  YEP, I am on the rollercoaster today.

I just love the ride.

Hopefully I am off it now.  I ate some glucose tablets, mmmm yum.

Oh and Dexter's battery is going low and my cable is at home.  Sweet.

Diabetes Mine's post really has me thinking, you all should read it.

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When D-Parenting Turns to Neglect… Or So We May Think

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tandem Diabetes Cartridge recall

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Sarah Kaye from just posted this and I am sharing it as well since I didnt get any email from Tandem.

Posted here too:

Tandem Diabetes Care Initiates Voluntary Recall for Specific Lots of Insulin Cartridges Used with t:slim Insulin Pump
Company Is Providing Replacement Cartridges to Its Customers at No Additional Charge Tandem Diabetes Care Initiates Voluntary Recall for Specific Lots of Insulin Cartridges Used with t:slim Insulin Pump Company Is Providing Replacement Cartridges to Its Customers at No Additional Charge
SAN DIEGO, January 10, 2014 — Tandem Diabetes Care®, Inc. (NASDAQ: TNDM) today announced that it is initiating a voluntary recall of specific lots of insulin cartridges that are used with the t:slim® Insulin Pump.  The affected cartridges may be at risk for leaking.  The cause of the recall was identified during Tandem’s internal product testing, and has not been associated with any complaints or adverse events reported by customers.  However, a cartridge leak could potentially result in the device delivering too much or too little insulin, which can lead to a serious adverse event.
“The safety of our customers is our top priority, and we are committed to quickly addressing issues if they arise,” said Kim Blickenstaff, President and CEO of Tandem Diabetes Care. “The potential for a cartridge leak was identified during in-house product testing, and the cause has been identified.  Modifications to our cartridge manufacturing process have been implemented to prevent this issue from occurring in the future.”
Customers should discontinue using cartridges labeled with the below lot numbers, which were shipped on or after December 17, 2013.  The affected lots represent approximately 4,746 boxes of cartridges (10 cartridges per box).
Affected Lot Numbers
All other cartridge lots and the t:slim Insulin Pump are not affected by this recall.  Customers who received affected cartridges are being contacted by the Company or its authorized distributors and asked to call Tandem Technical Support to receive replacement cartridges at no charge.  Tandem expects to have sufficient quantities of cartridges to replace affected lots in a timely manner. Tandem Customer Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-877-801-6901.
About Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc.
Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc. is a medical device company with an innovative, user-centric and integrated approach to the design, development and commercialization of products for people with insulin-dependent diabetes. The Company manufactures and sells the t:slim Insulin Pump, the slimmest and smallest durable insulin pump currently on the market, and the first and only with a high resolution, color touch screen. Tandem is based in San Diego, Calif.

Forward Looking Statement
This press release includes forward-looking statements concerning Tandem’s voluntary recall of specific lots of cartridges that are used with the t:slim® Insulin Pump, the scope of the recall, the cause of the potential cartridge leak, the implementation of remedial actions that are intended to prevent this issue from occurring in the future, and Tandem’s ability to replace affected cartridges on a timely basis. Tandem’s actual results may differ materially from those indicated in these forward looking statements due to risks and uncertainties, including: future actions of the FDA or any other regulatory body or governmental authority; Tandem’s ability to modify its cartridge manufacturing process in order to prevent this issue from occurring in the future; Tandem’s reliance on distributors to facilitate the product recall; the potential that Tandem may subsequently discover additional lots of cartridges subject to this recall; the possibility that this recall could subject Tandem to claims or proceedings which may adversely impact its business and financial condition; and other risks identified in Tandem’s Registration Statement on Form S-1. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. Tandem undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in this press release.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thank you Dexcom for again saving me.

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Thank you Dexcom for telling me my blood sugar was low just now. It said I was 83 and dropping so I checked and I was 54. 

I had no clue. Not a single one.  No sweat, no shaking, no funny feelings.  Nada.

I probably wouldn't have known until I was in the 30-40 range with this fast of a crash without my Dexcom. I dont know about you all but a low of 30-40 makes me want to eat everything in sight and feel like dog poo.

Thanks to my way over judgement of carbs this morning. So thankful for technology and my ability to obtain it and use it.

Now that I am coming up, of course, I feel shaky.  Why does that happen?  

9:22  54
9:47  74 

Great, how long will it take to come up.  Eating another glucose tablet.

Friday, January 3, 2014

One downfall to using an insulin pump

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So last night I realized that I needed to change my pump site out.  Yeah that didnt go so well.  I was on day five on my last infusion set and on my last bolus of the night I got an occlusion alarm.  For whatever reason my left side of my body has more blood vessels near the surface of my skin I have known this since starting pumping so it doesn't tend to go as well, but I have to use that side as well.  

So the disaster started with trying a new site on the side of my hip/butt area.  Yep, hit blood, try again, hit another bleeder and painful as heck. Man that hurts.  After trying about 10 places on my left side and hip I quit.  I was so frustrated and upset I just wanted to quit.  I cant quit though, I have type 1 Diabetes.  So I tried my right side and on the first shot it was good, no pain or bleeding.  Whew.  

Of course today it doesn't feel great but I will tough out the three days and leave it in.  Hopefully.   Pumping is great and has saved my life but some days, days like this, I want to quit, I want a cure. 

This is the mess I made trying to change my pump out.  Had to toss one set because it had blood go back up the cannula and I have no idea how anyone else gets these to clear, I have tried and if I leave a set in that had blood in it, it never clears and my bg's go straight up. Set changes at night are a bad idea but it was better than going to bed with an occlusion alarm.

And now I am 62 and didnt even know it until my Dexcom alarmed that I was 80.  Wonderful.  I need a freaking Diabetic pick me up.  I am in a rut and on the I am sick of this crap wagon.  Some one get me off. Time to eat some nasty teeth rotting glucose tablets.