HAPPY NEW YEAR!… 13 days late….

So, apparently I have a thing now for only blogging twice a month? Well, rather than overwhelm with a very long post, I’ll just use some bullet points to bring out the most important things.

  • Diabetes is being rather weird. Some days, it seems I’m very insulin resistant, others I’m super sensitive. I don’t know if it’s simply diabetes being itself, or if pregnancy has a hand in it, or if my thyroid being wildy off recently plays a roll. Or it could be all three.
  • Speaking of the thyroid thing… my TSH came back above 5 on New Year’s Eve, up from a usual 1.3-1.5’ish. Not sure of the reason other than being pregnant, as this happened when I was pregnant with E, but either way, my Synthroid has been upped yet again, and we’ll recheck in a few months.
  • I’m now 14 weeks, 2 days today. Baby bump is in blooming, and while I’m excited, it’s also freaking me out. The whole going from one to two kids… The further I go, the more freaked I get. I’m sure it’s just a thing I’ll get past soon as my emotions are EVERYWHERE. We’ve also decided to go for an early gender ultrasound, so we’ll (hopefully) know on the last Saturday of this month. I’m excited.
  • School started back this week, and it will be my last semester. I have 3 classes left, two of which I’m taking this 8 weeks. After that, it’s one more 8 week class and I’m dooooooooooooone! Yay!
  • Lately, I’m getting frustrated with my Dexcom being really off. I didn’t have this problem before the new 505 upgrade, but it’s been more and more inaccurate. And, after reading Stacey’s post, I’m beginning to wonder if I may need to change meters. After all, it’s not a secret to me that the Verio isn’t very consistent when tested back-to-back. So I’ve ordered a Contour Next USB meter, which is supposed to work with Diasend (though not the Medtronic Link version of this), so I’ll update as soon as I know something… or at least within two weeks of testing and finding out things for myself.
  • Oh, and the news of Tandem’s t:flex gaining FDA approval this week was also pretty awesome as well. It’s their larger pump, the only one that can hold 480u per cartridge (but knowing what I know about my t:slim, I wonder if you’ll only have 430u available for use per cartridge since I tend to average about 50u loss per changeout). I think it’s great as I do love my t:Slim pump and have had a pretty good relationship with it over the past year or so since getting the whole bad cartridge thing behind me. I still hate the insulin waste, but on a daily basis and for my needs now, it fits perfectly into my “diabetic” life, and I’m happy with it. I can only be that much more excited that others who have needed a much larger capacity pump (some type 2’s, teens with type 1, and some preggo people) will now have an option to help them be able to use a pump without having to change out so frequently.

So, that’s about it. Not much going on, but a lot at the same time. I hope you all are doing well and are enjoying your January.

So my last post was about my little announcement and why I’ve sort of been MIA around blogging and stuff. As of today, I’m 12 weeks along and according to some places, I’m in my last week of my first trimester, and to some, I have 1-2 weeks more to go. Either way, I’m almost out of the first part, which I hope means I’m almost out of the whole morning sickness and fall-asleep-at-the-drop-of-a-hat part in the beginning.

The biggest difference so far between this pregnancy and the last one 4 years ago was that I am MUCH sicker this time around. I had a lot of morning sickness with E, but this time, it’s on a whole new level. It’s all day, which really isn’t that much difference, but it’s just much more intense. Chicken is my number one “no-no” food – I cannot bear to even think about it without feeling super sick, with any carbonated or flavored drink holding a strong second (yes, this mama has been without diet coke for 2 months now! shocker!). And, for at least one meal a day, I’ve resorted to having a Glucerna meal shake since the thought of any food at all is just not working out. I finally had to call and get anti-nausea medication because this time around, I’m very sick when I am below 70. And, since while being low, food is sort of important to keep down, I weighed the pros and cons and decided it would probably be more beneficial to be able to treat the low than the risks of taking the medication.

Other than that, my insulin levels by this time with E were dropping significantly and by the 16th week, I was at half of my usual dosages. This time my insulin requirements have dropped, but just not as significantly. In fact, they went up by 20% in the beginning and are now seeming to go back to pre-pregnancy levels. So, for the most part, that has been completely different.

My A1c came back at 5.8, after just a month before having it at 6.7. That was a welcomed result by both my endo and my OB. My OB had some harsh words at our first visit about how I am not the “poster child for a healthy pregnancy” (don’t worry, although I wanted to punch him, I refrained), but I think my endo may have had a hand in setting him straight about how OCD I am over my control, and our next visit was much different and his attitude had made a 180 toward me. My endo is just as attentive as he was last time, and we’re working on a weekly basis on my levels over fax and I see him once a month in person, with my next appointment being tomorrow. I have a feeling though, that with my cold that I’ve had over the past 2 weeks that my A1c won’t be quite so nice, but at least I have an explanation for it. I’m not too worried about it, but at the same time I am simply because I don’t want my OB to make some smart remark again.

Other than that, so far, things are going great. No issues or scares, and our ultrasound went great a few weeks ago. The baby was moving like CRAZY in there. E said it was “cute” and he wanted to hold it. It’s been an adventure trying to explain to him that there’s a baby coming next year. It’s also hard for him to understand why I can’t hold him right now too, which breaks my heart. We’re hoping that maybe once I start showing a bit and if he gets to feel the baby move himself that it’ll start clicking with him.

So, that’s my update for now. More to come later, I’m sure. :) I hope you all have a great and happy New Year!

Hi guys! Geez, has it really been a MONTH since I blogged here??!?!?? I can’t seem to wrap my head around that. I’ve been super busy outside of my blogging and social media world with trying to catch up and get ahead with school before going to the 2014 Diabetes Mine Innovation Summit near the end of November and then we had Thanksgiving and all of that lovely stuff.

Plus, I’ve not been really diabetes blog talk-y lately because anything surrounding diabetes surrounds something else that has been very important and prominent in my day to day life. Something we’ve not wanted to share until we thought it would be okay to do so… A little something that’s about 10 weeks in the making and will arrive in July of next year…

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We truly are surprised and excited. Everything I’ve thought about blogging about lately would include the pregnancy, so I hope you excuse me for being silent until we could find out for sure that everything is going okay.

I’ll blog a little more later about how things are going and how things are different from last time, but for now, I just wanted to get the word out! :-D

I received an email from Tandem’s marketing associate this morning regarding Tandem’s new partnership with Diasend. As of now, professionals with Diasend Clinical can upload your t:slim into their Diasend database along with your Dexcom (if you have one) and your meter (if it’s one of MANY listed) and have all of your data in one, nice, neat place.

But is it for professionals only?

Well, my tech-oriented mind didn’t want to just assume it was for Clinical people only and tried Diasend personal. I still had an account from when I was on the Animas Ping. I updated the uploader and waited.

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Nothing happened.

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I kept trying and trying, but it just wouldn’t work.

But did I let that stop me?

Nope.

I went in to my current account and deleted the current devices I had connected… then ended up deleting the whole account anyway. I wasn’t sure if the reason why it wasn’t uploading before was because maybe it was an older system or one that was sponsored by Animas. So, I just thought it would be best to start over from scratch.

So, new account was created, and fingers were crossed, breath was held, and eyes were glued to my screen as I tried to upload once again. Even though I had already gone in and entered my serial numbers in, I still had to enter my username and password during the upload to link the account and devices together.

BUT!

In the end, it all worked!!!

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And I now have Dexcom and t:slim data all in one, happy place.

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I am BEYOND thrilled!!

Now, excuse me while I dance!

Over the past couple of weeks, I feel like I put myself into a cocoon in efforts to try to recenter myself and figure out what the heck is going on with me. I think for the most part, it’s just regular old diabetes-in-general burnout. And while my blog is for advocacy, it is also just a place to share my story and a place to get my own thoughts and feelings out of my head. So here’s my story of this past burnout. Honestly, I don’t know when it began. It just started as if it were a dark cloud creeping over my head… and I didn’t know it until the rain started.

Part of it was of my own fault though – Social media overload. And not just any old social media, Diabetes related social media. My facebook, my twitter, my instagram… all of my accounts specifically set up to connect with other diabetics as a support system… began to overwhelm me for some reason in a way that never has before. Groups where people were supportive but at the same time others were so very rude – a place that I had looked to for connectivity with people I thought would understand was also full of trolls living with the same condition, and the thought of how someone could live this life and bash another for the same life upset me on a level that I never knew existed in me. I let the words of those blanket my thoughts of how things must be and overshadowed the good that I knew was there, but had forgotten about.

The other part of it was just being tired of the testing, tired of the numbers, and tired of the math game.  I had slowly gotten to a point where all I did was test, enter my BG, SWAG my carbs, and go. Then it became rarely testing, just entering swagged carbs, and delivering insulin. I had gotten down to testing maybe twice per day, down from my 6-10, almost in a way of ignoring my diabetes. Not that I didn’t think it was possible to control it – just that I had been too tired to try anymore. See, that’s the hardest part of living with this disease. There are no breaks. There are no vacations. There are no “free” days. It’s every day, 24/7, and we are supposed to somehow keep our sanity up through the ever-changing shifts in our needs to control this disease because it’s not as simple as test, take your meds, and watch your food. There is SO much more that goes on, and it all caught up with me over a period of time and I wanted to quit. But to quit is to give up not only on myself, but on my family. On those who love me. And that’s not right by them. The biggest problem is I’ve always felt as if this is my disease… it’s not theirs, so I’m not going to worry them or burden them with my issues or talk about it with them.. but the problem with that thinking is that you (I) are basically telling yourself (myself) that you don’t matter to your family… and you (I) do.

So, I’m slowly emerging from my burnout. I’m taking some things head-on again like testing more and starting to pre-bolus for my meals, and my meals are looked up and carbs calculated before I bolus instead of swagging them. I’m taking it all one step at a time. Break time is over. Recuperation time is here. I’ll get back up and running very soon, but one step at a time.

Yesterday, I posted a photo of a candle with it’s flame blown out and blue smoke trailing away. The photo was to represent me. I’m burnt out. Not just with diabetes – but with everything that surrounds it. The technology. The advocacy. The control. The everything.

I don’t have time to blog anymore – and if I did, I don’t know that I would. I feel as if I’ve become a broken record of sorts. Mostly because nothing is really going on to be blogged about, and if it did, I don’t have the mental energy to do so. And, for the past 5 1/2 years, this has been my platform for advocacy  – but over the past year, I’ve recognized more and more that if some of the bigger bloggers are thinking that what they do is simply a drop in the bucket as to what needs to happen, then my efforts are simply a vapor, and simply not even needed.

And speaking of advocacy – I just don’t have the “u-rah” to do it any longer. I try to raise money for the JDRF and barely get over $200 without having to beg. Other things like call-to-actions simply go over my head because my head is filled with things I’m having to study for school and I don’t want to be someone who half-a$$ advocates simply because someone told me to or copy/pastes someone else’s prefilled response because I’m sure if any congressman or other elected official would read it, they’d know that what it was – and not that I would even be able to make sense of it even if they were to happen to call on me to get my point of view. I’d probably stand there looking like an idiot. I can’t pretend to know anything about law codes or dockets and that alone makes me feel dumb, uneducated, and unqualified to be an advocate for anything. I don’t have the time nor mental capacity to try to get more involved than I am. I’ve done the best I can for a while now, but I think even that not even enough to consider myself an “advocate”.

I’ve tried to get more involved to hopefully find new avenues of advocacy and support. I’m not much for Twitter, but I do have quite a few close friends on Facebook, and I’ve come to try to help moderate a couple of groups in hopes of trying to help others find an interactive means of support. But, as with all things technology and social media combined, it seems to foster more negativity than positivity at times. And it seems that no matter how much you try to help encourage others and possibly bridge the gap that is obviously between the two major aspects of this disease, there will always be differences – whether it’s between type 1 or type 2 or between being a person who lives with diabetes or being the parent/caregiver of one who is type 1 or type 2. There’s always fighting around it and I hate it because it always seems to come from the very people who say they support or mark their pictures with the Blue Circle and yet their actions clearly show that they don’t seem to realize that the purpose of it is to show the unity of all who live with diabetes under the same blue sky around the world. The color blue is not just for one type – it’s for all types. But it seems no matter how much I try to support or be the one to stand up for both types, the more I wonder if anything I ever do will ever make a difference. Seriously, at times, it’s as if Facebook should be renamed “Judgement” book. Not to say that it’s all negative, but I think the negativity of it has gotten the best of me.

And technology – I’ve always been SO interested in all of the technology that surrounds diabetes. All of the devices – the pumps, the meters, the CGM’s, apps, you name it. I’ve enjoyed learning about all of the new stuff on the market and trying them out and seeing the pros and cons of each of them while trying to see how one could fit one person better than the other and hopefully write well-informed posts about them…. but lately? I don’t really even care to see the new “exciting” thing. A few things have come on the market recently and I’m just not excited about them… and when that happens, it feels as if I’ve lost my flame.. my drive… my “me”.

I guess everything can be summed up to the fact that I want to be the biggest advocate there is – I want to shout it all from the roof tops and fix all the crap going on with health care and give all the diabetics access to everything they need and know everything about all of the devices and help them to find what would fit them and their lives so they wouldn’t have to worry about it and only focus on simply taking care of themselves, all while wearing a negativity-proof helmet and vest to fend off the nay-sayers. I have the compassion – I just don’t have the drive anymore. I feel as if I’ve put my heart into this so long and shouted my heartfelt excitement all for no reason at all because it’s never mattered really. My flame is not – and probably never has been – big enough and bright enough to make a difference, and I’m coming to terms with what seems to be that my method of what I thought was advocacy all of this time, simply isn’t.

So, I’m trying to make a decision as to what to do, and to make sure it’s the right thing to do. I’ll still support things going on -which currently my big thing that I am doing is the Big Blue Test. And maybe I need to redefine what I am in the diabetes world. Maybe I’m not a diabetes advocate, just a diabetes supporter… if there is a difference. I don’t know. What I do know is that I need time to think about things and maybe lay low for a while until I figure out what my place is. I don’t want to not be in the world of diabetes support, but if it’s time to move on, I need to figure that out.

It’s been almost a month since I posted. It’s crazy to think it’s been that long but at the same time, in my head, that was just last week. So much has been going on and I’ve basically just been concentrating on life than my blog, and I’m learning that that’s okay. I’ve been contemplating what to do about the situation… should I try to blog more? On a scheduled basis? But I’ve realized that I’m not a person who blogs based on schedules or requirements – I blog when I feel I have something to say or news to share. And, it may be that after 5 1/2 years that it may be time to slow down a bit. After all, I’m no person of authority or status to be sharing as if what I have to say or think is important – I just blog to blog. To get things out of my head. And I’m coming to grips with a lot of things lately in relation to diabetes and life, and diabetes blogging lately hasn’t made the top of the list…. it’s barely on the list, really.

Anyway, the updates I have are simply going to be bullet point style, because, honestly, there are a few topics that I’m just going to spit out randomly.

  • At the beginning of the month, I had a viral infection in my throat called “herpangina”. It’s the cousin to Hand, Foot, Mouth disease because both are caused by the same virus just different variations. It was painful, and I’m still – two weeks later – dealing with one big sore left in the back of my throat that’s taking a while to heal. The pain was awful in the beginning – and I could not eat anything that wasn’t a milkshake. 10665183_699683870117237_2650253020165325563_nNot even soup because it was too spicy (yes, soup!) and set me on fire. I sneezed at one point and thought my entire throat was going to come out. VERY very painful. I finally went to the doctor because I thought it may have been strep – but nope. He knew I was in a lot of pain, so he gave me a low-dose of prednisone to help the healing process. And, thankfully, the pain started to dull by that afternoon.
  • Speaking of prednisone, I now understand why doctors are cautious of giving diabetics steroids. Within 1 hour, my glucose readings went through the roof. But, the pain was easing, so I didn’t care. I raised my high threshold on my Dexcom, called my endo and asked how to handle the difference in BG’s (because, honestly, I didn’t feel like trying to troubleshoot on my own. I’m thankful to have a very good endo who has my back whenever I need him).
  • The prednisone gave me a new perspective on insulin resistance that was similar to how things were in my third trimester of my pregnancy, but without the worry of harming my unborn child. Seeing how I could go from a 1:8 carb ratio to one of 1:4 within 1 day and then have to remember that, yes, being off by just 2g of carb really COULD make a difference in my glucose later… yeah… it was nerve wracking, but so very cool at the same time. It was a learning experience, and one that made me feel even more compassion to those who deal with insulin resistance every day.
  • School is back in session, so my past weekend’s break was nice. And my BG’s were easier to control, so it made me realize just how stressed I’m staying while in school, and it makes graduating in May look that much better.
  • I finally have a treadmill. My husband promised we could get one for our anniversary, so we scouted and looked and finally came across one that was half-off and more within our budget range. It’s not a top-of-the-line gym model, but it will do for what we need, and for what we paid for it – I would have paid a 1-year gym membership, so we broke even there but the biggest advantage is that I can use it at home whenever I want/need to.
  • 1899983_705997876152503_6975308679029554123_nOn the topic of my t:slim and the Accu-chek Ultraflex infusion sets – I have been doing so much better with those verses the Insets that I loved so dearly. I have no idea for the reason, all I know is that it works. So, even though I don’t’ have the cool colors to choose from, I’m happy because I have been able to use my t:slim without issue.
  • And, lastly, my eyes. I went for my checkup about the swelling/edema from the macroaneurysm earlier this year and all of the swelling and fluid has resolved and my vision has gone back to normal in that eye. I do have some “hard exudates” (collections of cholesterol/fat stuff from the fluid) left, but he said those would resolve on their own, but much slower. I do have a few places that need to be watched just from simply having diabetes for almost 26 years, so I’ll continue to see him every 6 months from now on.

That’s about it.. Wraps everything up. I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting until the end of this month but I’ll be sure to try to post more next month since, you know, it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month and all :)

 

Also, starting on the 20th (that’s this coming Monday), the Big Blue Test restarts the counter for this year’s Big Blue Test challenge. Click HERE to find out more about it!!!

My last post talked about how I dream that the t:clip would be.. and I still do. However, I took a big leap and simply ditched it…. and attached the Hip Clip directly to my t:slim.

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It wasn’t an easy choice to make since I absolutely LOVE having the colors of the t:clips that I do and having the ability to mix and match them. The problem with affixing the clip directly to the pump is that you lose the ability to use the t:clips.. thus no fun colors. BUT, what I didn’t expect is how much it seems to lighten the pump… and makes it feel as if I’m not even wearing it.

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It honestly makes the pump seem so much thinner. 6XTGyHoc5wk3D9mp.jpg

I mean, yeah, it’s the same size it’s always been, but having mine stuck in the “otterbox” of cases it seems almost invigorating and new to see how thin it is… dare I say… sexy even. (Cause, yeah, pumps can TOTALLY be sexy… )

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I haven’t had any issues with the clip seeming to come off or anything. The clip comes with 3M bonding tape pre-attached, and you can get more from the hardware store or walmart if needed. We happened to have some, so after I took the clip off of the plastic t:slider, I needed to re-tape… which involved Unisolve wipes to remove the old bits of tape from the Hip Clip before I could attach more to it. The problem with having it attached to the t:slider case was that the case had a matte-feeling finish on it, so the clip didn’t’ seem to want to stay permanently. You might could sand it before attaching it, but I didn’t take anymore time with it after I attached the Hip Clip directly to the pump. I love it. It feels more like the clip on the Animas Ping did… and I LOOOOVEEEDD how it clipped.

The only thing is that the clip doesn’t seem as tightly tensioned as the Ping on did, so if you’re very active with it, it *may* come unclipped… but the you wouldn’t have even needed to be slightly active with the t:clip or even bend over wrong and it would fall over or something. That’s what irritated me – it was SO floppy. The Hip Clip doesn’t really let it “flop”.

Right now, I’m in love. I haven’t really missed my t:clips, just the bit of color they provided.

 

I have been thankful to Tandem for coming out with the t:clip so soon after launching their t:slim pump and hearing the complaints of the t:case and t:slider being so bulky. While I’m sure some didn’t mind it, a lot did and they listened.. and I’m glad. I am the proud owner of 9 t:clips (I think?) and still want yet one more… the orange.

But one thing I wish they would fix is how far the clip sticks off of the case. I’ve written about this before, but the design of the clip adds bulk to the pump that I wish weren’t there. After all, one of the attractive features of the pump itself is just how slim it actually is.. and the t:clip takes away from that. Not just that, but it’s not particularly a sturdy clip.

I had an idea from something someone posted on a forum. They linked the Hip Clip and told what they did with it. I’m going to buy another one just for my Dexcom either way, but I bought one this week to try a little experiment. I took the t:case that came initially with the pump (basically the t:clip without the clip part), cleaned it, and stuck the Hip Clip to the back of it. The instructions are to leave it for 72 hours to strengthen the bond between it and the clip’s industrial tape.

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I like the clip a lot, and I hope it sticks well. (If not, I’m going to try to glue it to the case) It was thin. It felt very similar to how my Animas pump felt… secure. Very secure.

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It didn’t feel like the clip top was going to poke me (because, technically, it’s not there to do it…) It felt like the pump was thinner too.

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The way the tape was placed on the clip from the factory allowed it to stick just a bit above the connection between the two pieces, allowing it to sit lower on the waistline was well.

My wish would be to see a revised t:clip with this type of clip. A thin, slide-on piece without that irritating belt wrap thing at the bottom.  Even if they still offered the current one and maybe came up with a new name with this one. Maybe t:clip slim or t:clip2 or make this one the t:slider since technically it would slide onto a garment.

 

Please, Tandem.. Consider this as your design for the clips. It keeps the sleek, thinness of the pump, which is, after all, why you named it the t:slim, right?

;)