**This was filmed/vlogged on my iPhone last night. The doctor called me today and said to stay on the 45mcg dosage for now until we get the post-meal low-then-high situation kinda leveled out.
With the JDRF walk coming up in 3 weeks, I ordered my first ever Cafe Press T-shirt for the event. No, I didnâ€™t get an official JDRF T-shirt, but I got one to represent my blog. YEY! Call me silly, but I really like having something tangible in my hands that represents my blog. Kind of makes it feel â€œofficialâ€, ya know? Anyway, the picture to the right is the back of my shirt. The front just simply has the flower on the right shoulder. I am SO excited!
My sister-in-law and mother-in-law want to get a T-shirt too since theyâ€™ll be walking with me, so Iâ€™m going to see about ordering the regular one with the flower and â€œsugabetic.comâ€ underneath it for them. Iâ€™m registered as an individual walker, but I may change it to a group if itâ€™s not too late.
Now, for the real topic. Symlin. This stuff is weird. Itâ€™s wonderful and frustrating all in one neat little package. I donâ€™t know if Iâ€™m the only one having this much issues, but if Iâ€™m not, I donâ€™t know how the heck everyone else keeps using it. By Friday afternoon, I was ready to pull my hair out! It seemed like I could never get my bg to stay in one area for more than 30 minutes. I was either going up or down. Even right now, Iâ€™m showing one arrow up on my Dex, which Iâ€™m sure will change to double in a few minutes. This is what is happening.
**Keep in mind, my IC ratio has gone from a 1:10 to a 1:15 for symilin dosages.**
Eat lunch (pre-lunch bg can be anywhere between 120 and 160-ish normally): Take symlin pen immediately before eating. 45mcg. Eat my 30-45g carb, then bolus for the carbs I could manage to eat. I extend this bolus over 2 hours to keep from dropping low.
45 minutes after lunch: Iâ€™m dropping into the 70â€™s and dex is showing a slow slope down. Shortly after, Iâ€™m in the 50â€™s. I treat with 2 glucose tabs that are allowed to sloooowly disolve in my cheek.
1 hour, 15 minutes after lunch: Iâ€™m starting to rise. First the slanted arrow upwards will come up, followed by the one straight arrow pointing upwards. Sometimes, if Iâ€™m lucky (NOT!), Iâ€™ll even get to see the double arrows pointing up!
About 2-2:30 hours after my lunch: Iâ€™m still climbing and eventually I go over my â€œhighâ€ limit (180) on my dex. When it does level off, I test with my meter, and sure enough, my correction bolus is equal to what my regular bolus would be for 2 glucose tabs if they had been regular food.
All of this swirls around in my head. Am I doing something wrong? Will it get better soon? Will I always go on this rollercoaster if I take symlin? I thought it was supposed to help you level out glucose levels, not make them go haywire! I just donâ€™t get it anymore. I can handle the nausea. Itâ€™s no different than having to deal with switching birth controls back when I was on it. Itâ€™s that crazy â€œhormoneâ€ nausea as I call it. No biggie. But geewilikers. All of this up and down business makes my head spin.
Does it get better? The first couple of times taking it, my bgs were totally awesome! Now? Not so much. Iâ€™m tired, frustrated, and almost ready to give it up. I want to believe that thereâ€™s a â€œlight at the end of the tunnelâ€, but Iâ€™m not even seeing a pin-hole of light yet it seems. Iâ€™ve faxed everything over to my docâ€™s office so Iâ€™m just waiting to hear back from him. Hopefully he has some answers for me.
Iâ€™ll update again as soon as I hear from him.
(I received an email from Myabetic wanting pictures of us using our cases. I did this one and another one. I liked this one because I got blurred out, making the product the ‘center of attention’.)
I promised a blog post about the Myabetic testing case when I decided which one to get and all. Well, I did decide..
I got the blue Mystique. I absolutely completely am in LOVE with this case. Yes, it’s a tad on the large side, but it has to be to hold everything. To be honest, I thought it was HUGE until I put my wallet and old case together and saw that it was pretty much the same size if they had been fused together, so it’s not that bad. It fits into the same purse I was carrying before, and it helps consolidate everything, so that’s definitely a selling point right there, folks! Any woman that has a jumbled up purse will understand where I’m coming from with that one.
One side has the normal wallet stuff – lots of credit/debit card slots and two clear window spots. One I use for my drivers license, the other one I use for my medic alert card. My checkbook fits great right there in the middle as well. There’s long slots behind the credit card area that you can put cash, receipts, etc into so you can keep them organized.
The “diabetic” side has two elastic straps – one for your strips and the other one if you use an insulin pen. It also has a Velcro pouch, which as you can see above, holds my Omnipod PDM and my “clicker-finger-pricker”. On the other side, you have two zipper pouches. The middle sized one holds my extra vial of insulin that I carry at all times, extra pen needles, and control solution for my meter. The smallest pouch holds all of my “waste” until I can get home and throw it out. That way, everything is there, and kept very neat.
Best of all, this is not plain-Jane like every other standard issue meter case. This thing even had my sister-in-law eying it. I told her I liked it because for the first time, diabetic girls actually had something with style to carry our stuff around. A small grin crept across my face and I looked at her and said “We finally have something that the non-diabetics can be jealous of!”. She laughed and said she’d find a use for it. And, trust me, she would (makeup case, anyone?). But it was kinda cool thinking of it that way.
Anyway, my point is this is a GREAT case for any diabetic woman. It helps take the medical look away and makes having to carry all of our testing stuff around not so unpleasant or embarrassing. If you haven’t already gotten one, I strongly suggest getting at least one just to try it out. I’m already looking at getting the Sierra soon to add to my collection!
~*~*~*~*~*~ Just a little walk down memory lane here for a second:
With my prior endo, all I was ever preached to about was A1c level and weight. She was always so insensitive about my day to day issues that was affecting my glucose levels and really had an attitude of â€œYou just donâ€™t care, so why should I?â€. She focused heavily (no pun intended) on the fact that I had gained 30 pounds in 2 years, never trying to find a reason why. I guess she figured I was lazy and stuffed my face all the time. She always stressed that I must NOT gain anymore weight and I absolutely HAVE to have an A1c close to perfect the next time I came. Now, granted, my A1câ€™s were running in the 8-9 range, but I honestly thought it was impossible to get to the â€œholy grailâ€ level of 6. I just wrote it off as impossible for me and just did what I could. I didnâ€™t know any better. I thought all doctors were like her and there was no use to complain or find another endo.
Then, after the whole mess we went through with her and the ER visit, I found Dr. C, he had a completely different attitude. He knew I was trying my best. He is the only endo I have had that would actually listen and take time with me. He didnâ€™t pressure me about my weight nor my A1c level. He spoke to me as if I were his daughter, full of care and concern. He never talked down to me, but rather encouraged me to try different things and give it time. His attitude made all the difference in the world.
~*~*~*~*~*~ Flash forward until nowâ€¦.
After yesterdayâ€™s little melt down with the roller coaster bgâ€™s, I got a call from my doctorâ€™s office.
â€œHey, Sarah. Itâ€™s Dr. Câ€™s nurse. Your lab work has come back and everything looks great. Your thyroid levels are good, so we wonâ€™t need to adjust that medication again, and your A1c isâ€¦.
6.0%! It looks great, so weâ€™ll see you in June. Donâ€™t forget to fax in your sugars for this week since youâ€™ve started the Symlin. If you have any problems, just let us know, okay?â€
OH. MY. GOOOOSH!! I just knew with all the highs I had been having, my A1c would have went up. I was praying it didnâ€™t, but for all I knew, I was back in the 7â€™s again. Maybe I handled them well and got them back in range before it hurt too bad. Or maybe I was having more lows than I thought? I donâ€™t know. All I know is my A1c was great! I have finally achieved my goal. I wanna throw a party (hence, the balloons)!
So, now, I have sort of a â€œstarting pointâ€ for the Symlin. I think Iâ€™m doing okay on it, I just have to figure out how to control the lows I get from it. I panic when I canâ€™t get my glucose level to come up rather quickly, and with Symlin, it can be a pain sometimes. Then, I over treat, and end up with a really fast, really high glucose laterâ€¦ the very thing Iâ€™m trying to avoid. But, I am learning that extended insulin bolusing is my friend when it comes to dosing for meals, and hopefully Iâ€™ll have this thing figured out soon. In some ways, I feel like Iâ€™m starting over at point A again. I know it will take time, but if you know anything about me, I have no patience. I just have to remind myself that it CAN be done. Just like fighting for the A1c. Then, Iâ€™ll just have to throw myself another mini-party!
It all started last night. I had been doing VERY well with controlling my glucose levels all day. Heck, I was even excited that I was very close to having a full 24-hr dex line that was somewhat (except for the low yesterday after lunch) within range! Until I went to bed.
11:30pm. No beeping from dex, but I didnâ€™t feel right. I had been sleeping very soundly and peacefully, even was having a great dream, but that dream turned to panic. I woke up, heart racing, covered in sweat. I reached for my dexâ€¦ 145. I knew this couldnâ€™t be right. I am not this disoriented just from a freakinâ€™ dream. I turned around to get up and about fell over out of the bed. I reached for my meter and checked as quickly as my foggy brain would allow. â€œ38 mg/dl â€“ Treat Your Low BG!â€ came up on the screen. My brain translation?? â€œHmmâ€¦ threeeâ€¦ eeigghtâ€¦.â€ *blinking* â€œThree eight?â€ *blinks again* â€œOh MY GOSH!, hOLy COW! oh SNICKERDOODLE!â€ I got up and popped three glucose tabs while dizzily walking to the kitchen to get some milk. While standing there, I got that weird-hot-flash-dizzy spell you get right before blacking out. I made it to the living room and sat down in the recliner and told Erik to get me something else to eat.
12am- Itâ€™s coming up enough for me to walk back to the bedroom. I stayed up and watched as my bg came within a normal range and checked to confirm with my meter. I went on to bed feeling confident I had handled the low okay.
7:15am Dex alarms the â€œAbove 180mg/dlâ€ alarm. 356mg/dl. GRRR. Not to mention, I had peaked all the way up to the 400+ line during the night. I have gotten to where I can sleep through the alarms, so I donâ€™t hear them some times. I hate that because I could have corrected earlier. My bg by my meter was 296, so I decided to (1) calibrate my dex and (2) try a Superbolus. A superbolus is when you take your correction bolus plus 2 hours of basal. My correction was 3.55, and superbolus amount would be 2.8 (1.4u/hr for 2 hrs), coming up with a grand total of 6.35u. I plugged it in, waited for the bolus to be delivered, and then decreased my basal to â€“95% for 2hrs.
8:00am. Beeping from my dex shows me the â€œFalling more than 2mg/dlâ€ alarm. Sure enough, 236mg/dl with double arrows pointing down shows up on my screen. On one hand, Iâ€™m relieved that itâ€™s coming down, on the other hand, â€œOH CRAPOLA! Iâ€™m dropping fastâ€ comes to mind. I stop at the station on the way in to work and get a bottle of juice and pack of crackers just in case I need them. I had also bought a bottle of glucose tabs for the office last night, so I had those handy too.
9:15am. Still dropping fast, and now in the 60â€™s. GrReAat! I downed half of my juice bottle (grape juice â€“ one serving is 38g carb!, 2 servings per bottle) and ate a few crackers, and waited. At this point, I really am hating diabetes. If it were a physical thing, Iâ€™d knock itâ€™s guts out. I want to hurt it so badly in some way, to get back for the hurt itâ€™s caused me. But I canâ€™t. Itâ€™s a disease. Itâ€™s part of me. I canâ€™t do anything about it but live with it and control itâ€¦ oh and cry through these stupid emotional bg-lows it gives me.
9:20am. Coming up. Iâ€™m now 79 and feeling somewhat better.
10:25am. 144 CRAAAAP. Dex is also showing that slanted upward arrow too. Here we go again. I feel like Iâ€™m on a friggin roller coaster. Or Iâ€™m a ping-pong ball inside.. which my dex-line would prove to you. I know itâ€™s a battle some days, and until thereâ€™s a cure, youâ€™re almost guaranteed to have a few of them.
Now? Iâ€™m holding a straight line at 159. Iâ€™m hoping it wonâ€™t go up much more than this and I can have a pretty stable number for lunch. Now, to deal with this massive headache this mess has left me withâ€¦.
I have to somewhat agree that healthcare needed reforming. What I don’t understand is, if the reform is going to save so many billions of dollars, why is it still going to have to be tax-money supported? Granted, I’d love to not be so worried about what would happen if I werenâ€™t under my husbandâ€™s insurance, but if it were to happen, am I’m going to have to pay an outrageous insurance bill PLUS more taxes just to have insurance? How is it really helping us?
I also donâ€™t understand why they are targeting only the insurance companies. Like itâ€™s all their fault. I do agree that insurance is a hassle. It is a battle to deal with and they control the quality of care we receive now. My concern, though, is when this bill goes into effect, premiums across the board for everyone, healthy or not, will skyrocket â€“ for individual policyholders and group insurers. Why? Because they will no longer be able to underwrite policies , making everyone be accepted (yes, I know this is the whole goal here), causing them to have to pay out tons more money to pay for their insuredâ€™s bills, in turn, causing everyoneâ€™s premium to go up because the cost of medical expenses hasnâ€™t reduced to compensate for the said gained insureds. I have not heard not one thing about capping medical expenses in this whole bill. I could be wrong, I may not have heard it if it was said, but from what I have heard, it seems the focus is wrong. Yes, we need to do something about insurance companies, but we also need something done about the outrageous amounts of the general cost of health care itself. Lab work, tests, medical supplies, drugs, etc.. There is no way in this world that some of this stuff costs as much as it does. Think about it. Why the heck can you buy a meter for $15, but the strips are $1 each? Or why some drugs over time decrease in price, but my insulin is still $109, as it was years and years ago. Or you can get an at-home A1c test kit thatâ€™s relatively accurate for $30, but lab testing at the doctors office is $150? All the while we can see drug reps and doctors having huge houses and fancy cars while weâ€™re doing what we can to get by paying to support their lifestyle. It seems we also need rules put into place about how to control billing from the source, not just insurance.
All of this is just my opinion. Iâ€™m not writing it to upset anyone or start a fight in any way. Maybe I just donâ€™t understand this whole friggin thing and Iâ€™m scared to death that when 2014 rolls around, weâ€™ll be signing what little paycheck we do have back over to insurance and taxes. Itâ€™s like I told my husband yesterday. The government just may as well give us an allowance check once per month like our parents did when we were kids and provide us with everything elseâ€¦. food, water, clothing, medicine, housing, etc. But, like I said, thatâ€™s just my opinion.
Today, I went to my first ever JDRF walk. It was AWESOME!
I drove down and met my friend Rebecca, who I met through TuDiabetes.com, and from there, we drove from her home to the JDRF walk on Daniel Island. We registered and from there found Jillavieve. I also met her through TuDiabetes and Twiter. She was a volunteer, and was helping people get registered, so I didn’t want to take up her time too much.
From there, we walked around until it was time for the announcements. There were lots of booths set up. One from Walgreens, Medtronic, Omnipod (woohoo!!!), Camp Adam Fisher (TOTaLLY awesome!!!!), and a few other places. When the announcements came, we learned how they had a goal of raising $75,000, and the total at that time was $50,000! COOL! They talked more and gave special recognition to groups and volunteers. Then, the highlight of the announcements and speeches (in my opinion), came from Jillavieve, who did a jam-up job explaining her diabetes story to everyone there. I was very proud of her, and so were her dad and Rebecca.
Which all then led to the walk. It’s a rather large park, so we only had to go around twice. I was SO glad Rebecca had decided to go too, because we got to talk to each other throughout the walk. We got to know each other a little better, and it made the time go by fast. We talked about everything from exercise to work to toes! LOL!
I had hoped we’d get done in good enough time to meet back up with Jillavieve and get a group photo, but her dad had flown in to spend time with her and volunteer at the walk too, (not to mention they had been there a lot longer helping get set up), so they had decided to leave early and spend time together. So, maybe I’ll get one next time. I did get a picture with Rebecca today though.
I got to speak with some of the councelors of Camp Adam Fisher that were there when I had been a CIT (councelor in training) there. Seeing the picture they had there of this past year brought back so many memories for me! I miss the feeling of “I belong” or “I’m just like everybody else here” that I had then I went there. That place holds a dear place in my heart because it was the first place I ever felt “normal”. I want to try going back maybe next year as a councelor. We’ll have to see what vacation time allows. I also got to meet my area Omnipod Representative. He was very nice. He’s planning on having a get-together for Omnipod users one weekend in May, so I’m hoping maybe I can attend.
After it was all done, Rebecca and I went to this awesome little restaurant grill close by for some lunch. I really enjoyed it! It’s so wonderful to meet and talk with other people who are diabetic too. She is a great person, awesome mom, and wonderful wife.
Today was one of the best days ever for me as a diabetic. I got to participate in my very first JDRF Walk event and meet two great ladies who also happen to have diabetes too. It has been a great, wonderful, totally awesome day! I can’t wait til the next one in April!!
OH. MY. GOSH!!!! I am so totally excited right now, I cannot begin to tell you guys!
See, I have been having some wild, funky bgs lately. I have adjusted basal rates, IC factors, rage-bolused (bad, I know), and have gone whole days with several temp basals just to try to stay in line. There was no rhyme or reason to the wildness, just at various times I would either be high-above-the-sky in the 200′s or low as dirt 40′s with absolutely no pattern to speak of or reason or being that way.
That was until today. I don’t know what has happened to me, but the Good BG Fairy has sprinkled her dust on me and let me stay in my dex range of 80-180 for 12 full hours!!!! I am hoping it could be the Symlin, but I don’t know if it works that fast or if it’s something that has to get into your system. Either way, I am Tee-totally on top of the world right now. Even if it doesn’t last for much longer, I feel like I have, in a way, accomplished something great. After all the trys to get the basketball in the net, I finally did it! I don’t know how the hang I did, but there it is… On my dex. I took a picture to share and keep for encouragement later.
Everything went very well at Dr. Câ€™s today. Of course, I wonâ€™t know my â€œrealâ€ A1c until they get the lab work back sometime next week, but hopefully, if my at-home A1c checker was right Saturday, I should be around 6.2. **Keeping fingers crossed!**
Otherwise, we changed a few basal rates and insulin to carb ratios. Had my blood work drawn and he did checked a few other things. He always checks my eyes when I go. I never had an endo that would do that! He still is keeping an eye on my thyroid levels since they had jumped up so much last time we checked it. As for my questions, the thing about my heart rate and gym he said to give it a little bit more time, and if it doesnâ€™t improve, to check back with him later.
I did get to talk to him about Symlin as well. He said that it could help, but its really a person by person basis. He explained how Diabetics not only miss insulin production but also amylin production as well. Which, brings up my question (that I did not think to ask), if we donâ€™t make insulin AND amylin, why are we only put on insulin to control bg levels? Iâ€™m not trying to be a smart butt, I just donâ€™t understand. They know we donâ€™t make either hormone, but they only treat us and replace one of them? Anyway, getting back to my point, he gave me 2 pens and a box of pen needles to hold me over until we see if I can tolerate it. I hope I can just because it would be nice to be able to lower my post-meal spikes. I am to take it when I would normally have trouble eating too much or grazing. Like, dinner time, after getting home from work. I donâ€™t have food readily available at work, but I do at home. When I get home, itâ€™s like someone has hit my â€œhungerâ€ button and I go crazy. Itâ€™s also on the weekends, for lunches and dinners. So, I am to take it everyday for dinner and Saturdays and Sundays for lunches and dinners and contact him next week to see how Iâ€™m doing with it. It is interesting to me how it works too. Especially since to take it, for safety reasons, to start on it, you only take half of your meal bolus, and gradually work your way up day by day until you get the right combination to avoid a bad low. As if you donâ€™t have enough math to figure just being on insulin! I may try the Symlin one day next week and see how it does to take it at lunch and dinner each day. I rarely eat a lunch thatâ€™s over 30g of carb, but it would be nice to see if it will help with my post-lunch glucose numbers too if I do eat more than that. Weâ€™ll see.
I am so spoiled by my diabetes technology now that handwritten logbooks are ancient to me. I used to use them everyday, but since being on the Omnipod, Iâ€™ve gotten used to everything I do as far as insulin and bg are kept nicely and neatly in the PDM, waiting on me to upload them and print them to take to the doctor, all of which would probably only take about 5 minutes at the most to do. But, since I need to keep track of the Symlin too, and there isnâ€™t a way to put that into the PDM, Iâ€™ve been looking for a way to keep it up manually, but electronically (does that make sense?). The only thing Iâ€™ve found so far is GlucoseBuddy.com . They have a pretty cool layout, and they also have an iPhone app (BIG plus for me!). You can enter bgâ€™s, insulin or any other medicines, foods, and activity. The only problem is, you can sync info from the iPhone app to Glucose Buddy online, but not from Glucose Buddy.com to the iPhone. In other words, itâ€™s just a one-way sync, not two. So, if you keep up your records via the iPhone-to-GlucoseBuddy way, you really need to keep entering them with the iPhone and only use the online site to print them. Anyway, itâ€™s pretty cool, I think. Itâ€™s easy too. The best part about it?? Itâ€™s FREE!!! How cool is that?!?
I need to get a different carrying case for all of my stuff now too. My Omnipod PDM case is good for itâ€™s supplies, but I need something to carry the Pen and pen needles in too. In efforts to concentrate everything into one place, Iâ€™d like to get just one bag, pouch, case, or whatever you want to call it. I have been looking at the cases on Myabetic.com. They look really nice and NOT at all like a meter case, until you open them up, of course. Theyâ€™re very sleek and stylish! Great for people who canâ€™t stand the lame-looking, most-of-the-time non-functional cases that are sent with our meters. Hopefully Iâ€™ll be placing an order tomorrow, but I canâ€™t decide between the blue Mystique case or the red Sierra one. Iâ€™ll take take pictures of how everything fits and post them when I do decide and get one.
Iâ€™ll keep everyone updated on my Symlin experience. Iâ€™ll be tweeting it, Iâ€™m sure, but Iâ€™ll include some of it in my blog post when I get my A1c back.
Thursday morning I go to my endo for my 3 month check up. I have lots of questions and topics to discuss, but I would also like to ask you guys some of questions as well.
1. As you all know, I started going to the gym at the end of January / first of February. I am worried that, even though I have been exercising regularly, my heart rate still seems to not be tolerating the workouts. My heart rate goes from the 90â€™s to the 160-170 range in no time, and I quickly become out of breath. I know I am out of shape, but I thought that by now I should have been able to increase my â€œworkloadâ€ a little bit. Instead, Iâ€™m having to stay where Iâ€™m at. Is this normal? Is this something I should be worried about? Does it take us Diabetics longer to adjust or is this something unique to me? I do have a history of SVT (Supraventricular Tackycardia â€“ where the heart has an extra electrical pathway), but that was surgically fixed 4 years ago. I no longer have problems with it â€œrunning awayâ€ into the mid-200 range that it used to for no reason at all. But it getting up into the high 100â€™s with little effort is kinda freakinâ€™ me out.
2. Also, I am trying to diet through WW, but it seems I am stuck. I constantly feel hungry, and not satisfied. Especially when my bgâ€™s donâ€™t want to cooperate and stay high. I can eat until I am purely miserable, and still want more food. I just donâ€™t understand it. Last time I did WW, it â€œshrunkâ€ my stomach, so within a month or two, I could no longer eat all that I did before and I was actually satisfied. But now? Even though I may be full after a sandwich or slice of pizza, I still could, if allowed, eat another sandwich or the whole entire pizza, followed by dessert and a glass of milk if I wanted. Its like I never get enough. I have tried to increase protein and fiber to help, but it hasnâ€™t. I feel like a freakinâ€™ animal! I know some of it is attributed to highs, but what is going on when Iâ€™m within range?
3. I have been looking into the Symlin pen this week and am thinking of asking him about it. I would like to see if it could help with my meal spikes. I know there are side effects, main one being nausea, but is there anything else I should be aware of that some of you guys have experienced? I also saw online where using the pen in combination with certain thyroid medications, such as Synthroid (which Iâ€™m currently on now), can cause your glucose levels to increase, which is exactly opposite of what I want it for. So is anyone on a thyroid med and Symlin? Have you noticed higher bgâ€™s?
I thank you guys and appreciate all of you for your help and comments. I really donâ€™t know what Iâ€™d do without you!