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August 31, 2009

The Joslin Aftermath.

Our appointment at Joslin this past Friday was a much better one.  Hard work is paying off, and even with Barcelona smack-dab in the middle of my August, my numbers were much, much better.  And that made me grin.

Chris and I met with a certified diabetes educator at Joslin and while reviewing my spreadsheets (hat tip to Kevin, who is currently my diabetes hero), she noticed that my morning blood sugars were a little elevated. 

"Mornings are good, but you have a trend of the last few weeks at around 120 mg/dl.  For pre-pregnancy, we want you 100 mg/dl or under."  But then she grinned.  "But not too under that."   

My basal rates right now are higher in the morning from 6:30 am to about 11 am, with an extra kick between 6:30 and 8:00 am.   The CDE suggested that I just extend the "kick" and keep my morning basal elevated through the 11 am marker.  But I didn't agree entirely.

"I'm afraid I'll go low.  I don't think I need that much insulin at 6:00 am."

"Well these elevations are a trend, so it could be a good idea."

(Note:  It's so, so, so weird to think of 120 as "elevated."  I know this is the mindset I need for pregnancy preparation, but it's still disconcerting to look at a blood sugar of 120 and think, "F.  I need to correct that."  /Note)

So I changed my basal rate reflect her suggestions.

And spent the next three mornings waking up low.  The Dexcom was freaking out around 6 am every morning, blaring its alarm.  And when I'd test, I'd see 50 mg/dl almost like clockwork.  Glucose tabs were part of my morning routine before I brushed my teeth - not okay with me.  So I made a different basal tweak a bit later in the morning to help lower that 120 mg/dl - and to help stave off the lows.

This whole boring story (stop snoring and wake up - I promise this post has a point) is to illustrate the fact that even though certified diabetes educators have a pile of education, experience, and compassion, they are only part of our diabetes management team.  The endocrinologist, the CDE, the nutritionist ... the list goes on and on and they're all so helpful, but it all comes back to US.  We get what - fifteen minutes of their time every few months?  Diabetes is our disease every day, and even though we touch base with our doctors every few months and have their guidance, we manage this disease on our own.  We aren't jusWould you fear a bear eating Wheaties?  I would.t diabetic at the doctor's office.  We know our bodies best and we are our own best caregivers.

Joslin kicks arse.  That's without question.  And when Chris and I are ready to be parents, they'll take great care of us and our baby.   But The Sparlings kick quite a bit of arse, too.  And I have full confidence that we're going to be able to conquer these blood sugar issues and get things more and more in line.

There.  My Monday soapbox.  I'm going to instill the fear of bear in my diabetes.  (Or at least the fear of Rocco.  That thing had to be a sign for something.)

August 28, 2009

How Did This Happen AGAIN?

I have no idea how this happened.


This isn't normal.  

How have I stumbled upon this same scene more than once?  How is that even possible??  The first time was totally random.  But twice?  TWICE, in one lifetime?  Twice, this happens?

Twice, I see a giant stuffed bear buckled into a carseat in a parking lot?

ANOTHER one?  Dear lord.

At least this one was taking a nap, instead of wearing a necktie and sunglasses. 

If this happens a third time, I might die laughing on the spot.

August 27, 2009

Pink is the New Quickset?

Even though I've been pumping for several years, I've only used one kind of infusion set in that whole span of time.  So last night was a diabetes first for me - my first Inset infusion set.  

My first thought was, "Um, big needle?  What's that about?"  But it's just a mega needle for filling the pump reservoir.  The infusion sets are luer lock (which I'm not sure is one word or two or what it means other than some version of "it's like a bottle cap"), which means that using the new sets means using new reservoirs.  I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I think I could adjust.

Mega needle?  No big deal.  It's not going in me. :)

In addition to the funky reservoirs, the Insets come with their own built-in insertion device.  This is a big score for someone like me, who travels a lot and is always having that mid-drive home to RI panic attack of "OMG IS THE QUICKSERTER IN MY BAG?!"  With the tubing coiled around the infusion set there, it's a little complicated (or at least it was for me, this first time) to prime the pump and pull away the adhesive cover.

Pink.  I can't believe I'm using a pink set and am OKAY with that.

But the fact that it cocks back and becomes its own insertion device?  I'm sorry - that's just downright badass to me.  (It also slightly resembles a birthday cake, but that's neither here nor there.) 

Birthday cake, anyone?

One thing I didn't realize until I had attached the site was that it was pink.  Pink, pink, girly pink.  "Chris, it's pink!"  And he took a peek.  "It's cute.  I like it." 

Another change for me to get used to was the fact that this set doesn't connect to the tubing by swiveling in place.  It snaps together like a seatbelt.  It isn't as low-profile as the Quickset hub, but it's pretty close.  But I was weirded out by one thing:

"Where is the pump cap?"

I'm used to that little plastic disc that covers my set when I'm showering or in the ocean or during intimacy.  How does this new infusion set stay "closed" even when I'm disconnected?  Does anyone know?  Or it is just supposed to be open like that? 

All hooked up on the left thigh.

One thing is for certain:  this kind of infusion set does produce less garbage.  Here's the aftermath from a site change with the new infusion set: 

More diabetes carnage.

I like that the set can close all on it's own and be chucked into the sharps container.  And I also kind of like the spaceship look of the infusion "pod."  Actually, I just like trying something new for a change. 

The disease doesn't change.  Diabetes is every day and it's the same kind of crap every day.  But a little technology swap or a different flavor of juice to treat a low or a new kind of workout at the gym to mix up my routine?  Sometimes you just have to appreciate these little bits of change. 

(Also:  You guys are great.  GREAT.  You had so much great feedback on yesterday's post that I really feel like I have the right questions to ask my endo this week.  THANK YOU for all of your informative comments!!) 

August 26, 2009

Choosing an Insulin Pump.

I wrote a quick status update on Facebook, after receiving the Solo demo in the mail and then meeting with the local Animas rep for lunch to discuss pump options. My brain was buzzing with questions.

Just a quick Facebook musing that opened up the damn flood gates for me.
And the flood gates were opened.  Lots of comments, lots of perspectives, and lots of people who had great information to share.  Turns out I'm not the only one who has been thinking about this.  :)

I've been a Minimed pumper for almost six years now, and have never had an issue with Minimed customer service or the pump itself.  When my pump broke two years ago, their customer service department took my call at a few minutes before midnight and a new pump was overnighted to me.  I have no problems with the color, the size, or the functionality of my Minimed 522.

But two things happened that made me think about switching.  One was the CGM upgrade, which I tried for ten weeks and still didn't have any semblance of success and/or comfort with.  (Thankfully, the Minimed CGM works fine for some diabetics, so it's not just me.  Appears to be personal preference.) And the second was that I haven't seen many changes at all in the six years I've been pumping with Minimed (starting with a 512 and now a 522).  The CGM component was a big one, but for people who aren't using that feature, there isn't much going on as far as upgrades that mattered to me.

So even though Minimed has been good to me, I'm on the prowl.  

With Cozmo off the market, my options are limited.  I've given a lot of thought to Omnipod, and while I love the idea of no tubing, I don't like the idea of a larger device stuck to me for the duration.  I also don't like the idea that if I lose the PDM, I'm screwed as far as dosing my insulin.  It's important to note that I've never worn an Omnipod, so I'm purely speculating.  And Omnipod works great for lots of diabetics that I know, and even some cute kiddo ones.  But it's not about the product - more about my personal preferences.

The Solo pump demo arrived in the mail yesterday and that thing appears to have both the tubeless delivery that I'd prefer and also the ability to disconnect the bulk of the pump, but it's not a working model and with pregnancy goals on the horizon, I'd like to make a change sooner rather than later, if possible.  Still, Solo has a lot of promise and coulda been a contenda.   Could still be one, depending on their timeframe.

I've looked at Animas, too.  The Ping seems to be my top contender for several reasons, but the main one is the meter doubling as a remote control for the pump.  I've written countless times about my desires to have the pump reasonably concealed, and when my 522 is stashed in my bra at a dressy event, reaching for it to access the buttons turns me into a female, diabetic version of Mr. Bean.  I like that the Calorie King info is stored in there.  (The Dexcom/Animas integration, whenever that happens, is also a nice future-state.)  I also like the option to take a hundredth of a unit.  Precision is a nice option.  I'm not sure how I feel about the infusion sets they use (sampling some this week) or what it might be like to use their user interface, but I want to see for myself.  Thankfully, pump reps are all about hooking us up with samples so we can see if we want to make a full transition. 

But then there's the whole money thing.  And the insurance thing.  And the "closet full of supplies" thing that will be rendered sort of useless if I switch.   And the "do I want to wrangle with a new device" thing.  There's also the "you can always go back" thing.  And the "pumping isn't permanent" thing.  And the "if you continue to put weird phrases in quotes, people will get annoyed" thing. 

There's a lot to consider.  And I'm excited to see what options are available to me.  But there's only so much information I can get from "official company representatives" and websites.  If you're a pumper, what are you using and why?  If you're thinking about going on a pump, what factors are playing into your decision?  And if you're like me - currently pumping but thinking about changing pump providers - what would you do?

Your feedback is, without fail, among the top resources I'll be using to make my decision.  So thanks in advance, and power to the pumpers!!

August 25, 2009

Dog Days of Diabetes.

Ever feel like you're chasing your tail?  Running around and around and around until you fall down, exhausted?  Like a dog?  Like these are the dog days of diabetes falling smack-dab in the dog days of summer?  Like my next Joslin appointment is coming up fast this week and I'm hopeful that I've hit stride?

How would I illustrate that?  I suppose a dog would make the most sense.

But I don't have a dog.  So the best I can do is this:

The Sausage Days of Summer

Siah, you are my favorite little piglet.  And with your face smooshed against the bed after you just spent fifteen minutes trying to catch a speck of air, you are the breathing embodiment of how I feel. 

August 24, 2009

Purse-Diving and Googly Eyes.

It's been aaaaaaages since I recorded a vlog post, even though I've had my Flip camera stashed in my travel bags over the last few months.  But I couldn't think of what to vlog about and quite frankly, I didn't know if I had the patience to sit and edit a video. 

Thankfully, Lee Ann over at The Butter Compartment inspired me to go purse-diving and see what's hiding in the depths of my massive shoulder bag.  And while I have plenty of loose change, test strips, and gum wrappers in there, I did uncover a few oddities:

So the gauntlet has been thrown down:  Are you willing to show the crap you're carrying around in your purse/man-bag/satchel?  And are you willing to Photoshop googly eyes onto things?  My mind, she is an inquiring one!

August 21, 2009

Staying Accountable.

It's been three weeks since my Joslin appointment and in that time, the accountability train, and thankfully, it hasn't derailed.  Or smashed into me. 


But also in that time, I traveled to Spain, had plenty of wonky lows while traveling, didn't have internet access, and battled the time-space continuum, in addition to working plenty of hours at dLife before the trip and upon my return.  Stress levels?  Not at their lowest.  Also, logging opportunities?  Minimal.

But DUDE.  I'm still doing it.  

Thanks to the power of the Kevin Spreadsheet and the fact that I sit on my rear end all day long, staring into the abyss of my work Mac, and also thanks to the jazzy little Ann Taylor flashdrive I picked up at BlogHer, I actually have logbooks that mean something.  And I've actually stayed up on them for the last three weeks. 

Note:  I hate logging.  I always have.  I may always hate it, but the undeniable fact is that logging makes me accountable, too.  Seeing those numbers and the patterns they form forces me to recognize tricky trends and gives me enough perspective to make tweaks.  But I do so despise it.  It's a pain in the arse

The toughest part has been logging day-of.  Before we went to Spain, I was at work and able to keep the spreadsheet open on my desktop and update it as needed, never really breaking from work to fill in the gaps, but just keeping up with things as they happened.  And at night, I'd plug in the flash drive late at night, fill it in, and then start again the following day.  It was a tedious system, but I kept up with it.

Spain, on the other hand, was much harder.  No computer on hand during the day, difficult to track and log food (nevermind counting the stupid carbs) while we were exploring Barcelona, and even though the clock said 6 pm, my body was screaming, "Midnight, woman!!!!!"  If it hadn't been for the Dexcom, I would have completely lost control.  But since that Bad Larry was keeping me between the lines - literally - it helped me stay reasonably even.

Upon our return, it was hard to get back into the swing, but knowing my next Joslin appointment is next Friday helped get my priorities straight.  Right now, I have three neat little spreadsheets on my Flash drive, with 100% of the blood sugar results and about 70% of the insulin doses and food logs intact.  Chris is helping with my food and calculating carbs for me so that there isn't so much SWAG bolusing.  This, my faithful readers, is flipping progress for this girl. 

My 7 day machine average is down to 125 mg/dl.  My 30 day is 130 mg/dl.  This is with fewer highs and fewer lows (aside from a few episodes while traveling), which makes me feel more confident that I'm truly holding steady and not just averaging out.  I feel sickly when my blood sugar is 180 mg/dl, which means I'm becoming more sensitive to highs and also not as used to them.  (A major plus.)  My A1C came back at 7.1% last time - a .5% drop from the time prior - and I'm certain that next week will show even more improvement. 

I'm not messing around.  I can't.  I'm on a mission.  :) 

Another Stupid Note:  I'm not posting these numbers to brag.  Or to elicit criticism.  For me, these numbers are - for the most part - an improvement and I am using both Joslin and SUM as my tools for accountability.  So when you see the graphs and you see my machine average, don't think I'm inviting your commentary on my actual results.  Your diabetes may vary, and mine sure as hell does, too.  Cool?  Cool.

So next week, I'll toddle off to Joslin with four spreadsheets crammed with information and hopefully a cool head.  Chris and I will talk to them about making changes, and I'll leave feeling more in control.  Even if the numbers don't improve as fast as my attitude towards them, I still need to move forward as efficiently as possible.

Good control is RIGHT on the horizon.  I can feel it.

August 20, 2009

Things I Wouldn't Say, If I Were You.

The past few weeks have taken me out of my normal element and tossed me into a potluck of people.  Not all of these people had diabetes.  Actually, I think it's fairer to say that many of these people didn't have a clue what diabetes is all about - especially not type 1 diabetes.

For some of these people, I felt a lot of empathy.  Some knew that diabetes is a serious disease but admitted to not having a strong knowledge base about the condition and it's nuances.  I talked to these people and we learned together; they learned about the specifics of diabetes and I learned to never take my bubble for granted.

But then there were the others.  The ones who run their mouths without thinking. And I don't mean in that "Oh, they don't understand the DETAILS of what it's like!" I don't have an unrealistic expectation that people will know as much about diabetes as we do.  I just mean that there are certain social graces that appear to be missing when it comes to diabetes.  For some reason, and this is only from my perspective, it seems that diabetes is constantly viewed as "not that bad."  Again, not looking for a pity party, but diabetes is not the common cold. It's not just "taking a pill" or "just take your shot and you're fine." It's not "simple" or "easy" or "better this than (insert other disease)." 

It's what we live with every day.

And it sure as hell is not my fault.

And when I tell you I have it, your first reaction CANNOT be:

"Oh.  My cousin died from that at the age of 47.  He just didn't take care of himself."

NO.  I'm sorry.  That is an unacceptable answer.  I'm sitting here, right in front of you, thirty years old and cusping on 23 years with type 1 diabetes, looking healthy and happy and always surprising people when I tell them I have a chronic disease.  NO, you don't get to respond immediately to my "Well, I have type 1 diabetes, actually," with a story about someone's demise.  I wouldn't say that, if I were you.  You aren't helping.  You aren't even polite.

"But Kerri, not everyone understands.  Not everyone knows what to say."

Come on.  I'm not stupid.  If I said, "Well, I have breast cancer, actually," the response wouldn't be this knee-jerk of blame.  It's a disease, and whether you understand anything about it or not, why would you immediately tell someone that it's going to kill them?  Isn't there something socially inept about someone who responds that way? 

The answer is yes.  And I'm tired of explaining myself to these people. 

If something happens to me as a result of this disease, no one gets to tsk tsk and shake their head, murmuring, "She just didn't take care of herself." Diabetes-related complications are not my fault.  They are the result of diabetes.  My blood sugars are high and low at times because I have diabetes, not because I'm doing everything wrong.  We all work very diligently to compensate for our busted pancreases, and I will not - not even for a second - allow someone to wipe away my life's efforts with a shake of their head and whispered blame.

So you.  The person who wants to ask me about diabetes and then counters with horror stories.  I'm quickly running out of grace.  My response to you remains the same as it has always been.

"I'm sorry about your cousin (or uncle, grandparent, college roommate, coworker, person you read about on CNN, cat) and I'm sorry for your loss.  That must have been hard on your family.  But I think it's best for me to focus on being alive. Alive and well. Don't you agree?"

People need to be a little more CHILL.

August 19, 2009

The Lows in Spain Stay Mainly on ... Me?

As I mentioned yesterday, the trip to Spain was lovely, but fraught with lows.  I'm not sure what caused what, but between the six hour time change, the excessively late nights and the corresponding late mornings, and spending hours walking around the city of Barcelona - my glucose levels spent a lot of time in the trenches.

Chris and I brought three big jars of glucose tabs (in grape, raspberry, and tropical flavors, of course) and four packages of Mentos candy with us for the trip, assuming this would be enough.  But I couldn't have anticipated the lows that followed us from landmark to landmark.  Aside from the initial high after the plane took off (Oh Kerri, you don't like to fly?  Hmm ... you've never mentioned that before!) and a spike after my mid-week insulin pump set change, my blood sugars were low the majority of the time we were traveling.  Nothing earth-shattering, but more a constant trend of 60 - 80 mg/dl, which sounds good in theory but when it's the result of constantly popping glucose tabs, that's a bit much.

Especially in the airport.

Leaving from JFK to head to Barcelona was fine. Our flight left NYC on time and things went smoothly, schedule-wise.  But coming home?  Completely different story.  

According to our itinerary, we had an hour and fifteen minutes between our flights from Barcelona and from London, so we thought we'd have enough time.  But when the plane left Barcelona 30 minutes late, we knew it was going to be a scramble to make our connection.  In Heathrow.  Which has to be the most confusing, unstructured airport I have ever visited in my life, more like a mall with airplanes thrown in as a bonus, instead of being a well-organized airport first.

Our plane landed in London and we had about 40 minutes to make our connection.  We stood in line to go through security again, and the Dexcom started to wail.  I dug it out of my bag and saw a blood sugar of 102 mg/dl and two double arrows pointing straight down.  (You can guess what that means.)

"Oh darn it gee wilikers, I'm going low," I said to Chris.  (Note:  This is the edited, non-Yosemite Sam version of our exchange.)

"You have glucose tabs?"

"Yup.  Chomping now."

We went through security - down to 23 minutes to catch our flight.  Raced to the board where the flights gates were being announced and searched for our flight.

"Shit, we're all the way across the airport.  We've got to book.  Keep eating, okay?"

So we start moving fast.  The Dexcom is continuing to vibrate, and I'm eating glucose tabs while dragging my suitcase behind me, my purse bouncing off my hip as we run. 

"You okay?"  Chris calls back to me as we're running while on the moving sidewalk.

"Sort of.  Are we close?"  Glucose tab dust covers my hands, leaving imprints on the railing of the sidewalk.

"Sort of." 

Time is tight.  So we start to move as quickly as we can.  We run until we get to the American Airlines gate and Chris goes to the counter to check us in.  I take my meter out of my bag with shaking hands and test, only realizing then that I've been crying.

30 mg/dl.

Oh that's lovely.

And then the panic hits with intensity.

"I'm 30.  I need something fast."  My mouth is dry and the idea of trying to consume glucose tabs with vigor makes myThank goodness for American Airlines kindness. throat close at the thought.

"Juice.  There's a machine.  Sit here, baby.  Sit and eat the tabs and I'll get juice.  You'll be fine ..."  He moves quickly to sit me in a chair, puts the bottle of glucose tabs in my hand, and runs to the Minute Maid vending machine.

Which only takes British pounds.  Not American dollars.  Or Spanish Euro.

"Gosh."  Chris said.  (See above comment re: edited version.)

I'm not sure what happened next.  My brain was in a complete fog and I'm sure I looked frightful to the unknowing outsider, surrounded by suitcases and crying and eating odd little dusty discs and looking as though I was jilted at the airport.  I know Chris ran to the check in desk and explained "medical emergency" and "needs juice from the machine" to the man in the American Airlines uniform.  I know that this stranger gave Chris all the money he had in his pocket as quickly as he could, without asking questions.  I know Chris said "thank you" as he ran back to the machine and I sat on the chair, still trying to choke down glucose tabs.  I know that a bottle of orange juice was in my hands seconds later, and I know that the plane was boarding and we were treating a really miserable low in the airport.

Twelve minutes. 

"Test, baby."

51 mg/dl. 

"You're coming up.  See?  That's already higher."

Still in a fog, but beyond pressed for time, we gathered our bags and started down the gate towards the door of the plane.  We were among the very last people to board.  I wasn't as much of a mess but I was wiped out, my whole body trying to recover. 

"Thank you," Chris said to the American Airlines employee who gave us the money for juice.  "Here, please take the money back."

The guy was behind us in line and smiled gently.  "No, it's fine.  Please.  I'm glad you're okay.  Don't worry."

I took the coins from Chris and pressed them into the employee's hand.

"Thanks very much.  But you might need this change.  You know.  For another diabetic who really needs a helping hand."

He took it.  We boarded.  And headed home.

August 18, 2009

Spain: The New Frontier.

It was great to visit the set of Buried while we were traveling, but Chris and I also wanted to see the beautiful city of Barcelona.  And while I didn't take 14,350 photos (I'm still laughing that you thought this was actually true - am I that much of a nerd?!), we did use that Nikon enough to wear out the battery.

This might be a bit of a long post.

Chris and I received so many great suggestions before we left, so once we arrived, we felt ready to explore.  (The only thing we weren't quite ready for was the price of cab rides, which forced us to explore the metro system, which actually turned out to be a good idea and eventually we were whizzing around Barcelona on the very efficient metro system, which has the trains timed to the second and everything is color-coded and good for people with a limited sense of direction and hey, a run-on-sentence.)

The first day we were there seemed to go on forever.  We flew over from JFK on Thursday night, arriving in London on Friday morning (with the time change), and then connecting to Barcelona.  By the time we arrived in Barcelona at around 2 pm, we were exhausted, punchy, and too wired to sleep.  So we explored our hotel.  And then we visited the set of Buried.

After a dinner out with the crew, we didn't get to bed until around 3 am (thanks to jet-lag, my new best buddy).  Which meant we didn't roll out of bed until around 1 pm the following day.   But once we had become semi-human again, we set off to explore the city for a few days. 

La Rambla.  Or Les Ramblas, depending on who you asked.  Don't ask us.  We don't speak Spanish.

La Rambla was one of our favorite places in Barcelona, because it was alive with shops, restaurants, street performers, and both tourists and locals.  We saw street performers who waited until you dropped a coin into their bucket before they'd make the skeletons ride their bikes, or before they would molest you with their claws.  There were baby bunnies for sale, the best of a florist's wares, and even some giant plastic sausages.  (Click through on the pictures to have that make even the remotest bit of sense.)

That market thing.

Off one of the side streets was Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boquería - which Chris and I couldn't pronounce with finesse so we just called it "that market."  This was an open-air market selling fresh fruit, fish, smoothies, and enough candy to ward off the lows of hundreds of diabetics (including candy shaped like hamburgers).  Just a few coins can buy a delicious snack!

It didn't seem like we slept much while we were traveling.  We were up late, on the set for some of the time, wandering around the city, and eating.  But there wasn't an issue with weight gain, because Barcelona is set up such that people are walking everywhere.  Even though we didn't make it to the gym at all that week, we got more than our fair share of exercise in by walking for hours on end. 

In Sagrada Familia, honey.  Don't you know that I love you ...

La Sagrada Familia is an unfinished Gaudi church in the center of Barcelona, and it came highly recommended.  The SEO guru at work told me that the church is built on keywords from the Bible, thus rendering me unable to think of Sagrada Familia as anything other than "the SEO church."  This structure has been under construction since 1882 and isn't slated to be finished until 2030.  (That's longer than the Big Dig!)  It was designed by Antoni Gaudi, who apparently dominated the city of Barcelona, architecturally speaking, as his buildings are everywhere.  (And some look like gingerbread houses.)

The Arc de Trimof.  With a hi from de Kerri.

We also saw the The Arc de Triomf in Parc de la Ciutadella, which was impressive.  The park also played host to one of the most ornate fountains I've ever seen, complete with golden horses and water-spitting griffinsLa Cascada was beautiful, and even when a lady threw her water bottle into it so that her dog could go diving madly after it, the fountain still retained some air of opulence.  

The Sparlings in Park Guell.  Photo credit to the nice guy from France.
We visited the beautiful Park Guell, designed by Gaudi.  This park provided some great panoramic views of the city from the top of one of the scenic lookouts.  The main entrance was made of enormous columns that supported a terrace where shopkeepers and visitors dining out could enjoy the view.  And in addition to the giant lizard guarding the front entrance by a fountain, there were people dressed up as said lizard and taking pictures with tourists.  Very cool.  This was one of my favorite spots we visited. 

Barcelona was beautiful.  Our reason for being there is still something I can't quite wrap my head around.  (And no, diabetes was not a happy camper on this trip.  I went through more glucose tabs in a week than I usually do in six months.  But that's a whole different post.) But I think that this was a great first European stop, and we're already planning our next trip.  :)

There's a whole mess of pictures on my Flickr account, if you want to take a closer look at Barcelona, but fret not - there aren't 14,350 of them.  (Note: Per usual, Chris wanted to keep photos of him for family only, so while I didn't go on vacation by myself, it sort of looks like it from the perspective of the photos.) 

(Another Note:  If you see photos of that little yarn cat that Karen made, forgive me.  We've named her Syn.  She traveled with us.  I'm blaming Karen AND Chris.)

August 17, 2009

First Things First: Buried.

Last week, Chris and I were in Barcelona to visit the set of his feature film, "Buried."  This trip was huge:  it included our first flights to Europe, first trip to Barcelona, and my first time on a real movie set. 

And it was beyond cool.  It was so inspiring to see my husband, who has worked tirelessly to move his career forward, be greeted by almost every member of the crew as, "Chris!  So glad you're here!  We love your script.  It is incredible."  People were asking him to autograph the script and when we went to dinner with the crew that night, it made me so proud to hear people talking about what a truly unique script Chris had written.  (Granted, there was that one brief moment when we were meeting Ryan and I wasn't sure if Ryan was going to shake Chris's hand or punch him in the face for putting him in the coffin.  Thankfully, it was the former.  Also thankfully, Ryan was very nice and down-to-earth.) 

The whole thing was surreal.  And I was definitely a proud Sparling.

But enough gushing.  I was trying to look professional, damnit. 

This is where I become sort of a Fangirl.  But that's okay.
An insulin pump on the set of Buried.

Ahem.  Moving on.

I wish I could post the pictures we took of the set and of the actual production, but it's in the best interests of the film for me to keep them under wraps for now.  I mean, even PopSugar is stalking Ryan on this, and I don't want to do anything that could possibly give away too much too early. 

But I can post this picture:

Kerri, Rodrigo, Ryan, and Chris
Director Rodrigo Cortes, actor Ryan Reynolds, and writer/husband Chris Sparling.  Oh, and me.

This experience was really amazing and I'm proud to have been a part of it.  More on Barcelona tomorrow - with La Rambla and Sagrada Familia and the epic low blood sugars that chased us around the city - once I load up the 14,350 photos we snapped!

August 14, 2009

I Forgot to Post.

I forgot to post today. Completely slipped my mind. And now I'm so jet-lagged and spastic at the moment that I can't think of anything else to say.

Except that Barcelona was gorgeous.

Pictures to come. For now - a nap is necessary!!

August 13, 2009

Guest Post: When to Laugh

George Simmons is a blogger I respect highly, and having met him in person several times now, I can say with certainty that he is a good man with a good laugh.  The guy is funny, even when things seem at their darkest and most uncertain.  He's faced some tough times recently, yet through it all, he finds the laughter.  I am appreciative of his post here on SUM, and most of all for his friendship. 
Take it away, SuperG!
*   *   *
When to Laugh
I've had type 1 diabetes for almost 19 years now. A majority of that time I spent angry. Angry at this disease that I did not chose to have but that had chose me. I felt so different from my friends and family that I chose to ignore it instead of take control of it. I was a angry teen. Those two words go together a lot and especially for a teen who is diagnosed with a chronic illness.

So now I pay attention. I check my blood glucose levels about 8 times a day and I no longer angry. Now, you must understand that I do get angry. I am not tossing confetti around or clicking my heels together all the time but I can tell you, and I know my family would agree, I do not let diabetes anger me like I used to.

What is the secret? How do I not let things get to me? How do I get through every single finger stick, infusion set change, and bad number? 

I laugh. 

A lot.

If you've every been around me at all you will know my very loud, very infectious, very real laugh and I let it rip all the time. I laugh when my blood sugar is 123 because I shout, "I'm Sesame Street!" Or when I'm really high at 323 I'll start singing happy birthday to myself (March 23rd? Get it? Plenty of shopping time). If I squeeze my finger for blood and I notice several previous spots start to bleed I'll make a vampire joke or hope for a couple of "eyes" and draw in a mouth with a pen. Seriously. I'm crazy.

I just love to laugh. I seem to find humor wherever I go. Even when nothing should be funny, something can make you laugh and feel better. 

As of late, I've used Twitter to help me find stuff to laugh at or have fun with. Every time something has been going wrong I blame diabetes. I'll tweet things like "I #blamediabetes for my burnt toast!" or "I #blamediabetes for this awful traffic this morning!" So often we blame ourselves for a high number on our machine so it's fun to blame diabetes every once and while for other stuff.

The other thing I love to do it play "Test Strip Bingo." Whenever I open up a new vial of strips and I have a new code number, I will post it on twitter and see who else has the same code! Whoever does wins a "prize" which is just a funny/weird video I have found on You Tube. 

Both of those things, heck my whole take on this stuff may seem ridiculous to you but they bring some fun and laughter into something that is really not fun and quite serious. 

And honestly, I am tired of being angry all the time. If working a little harder to find fun with diabetes makes me want to pay attention to it more then so be it. 

It's worth the effort.
*   *   *
SuperG, I totally agree.  Laughter is the best, best medicine.  Thank you so much for the great post!!

August 12, 2009

SUM Stuff.

I have a few things I just wanted to let everyone know about, because they're all items worth mentioning.  Problem is, I'm writing this before I travel and I'm sure I'm forgetting something.  Like a missed email.  Or potentially my toothbrush.  But before I spazz out completely, here's a quick list of SUM Stuff:

My new friend Mary Podjasek, who I met at the CWD Friends for Life conference this past July, asked me to help her get the word out about a Diabetes Scholars Foundation Event that's taking place at the end of August.  According to her email:

"I am planning a bowling/silent auction event which will be held on Saturday August 29, 2009 at the Brunswick Zone in Deer Park (Lake Zurich) Illinois. The event will start at 6:00 pm. The cost is $40 and includes 2 games of bowling, shoe rental, pizza, soft drinks and a great time. I also have some great auction items which include Inverness golf, theatre tickets, sporting events, trips and lots of other great items. The proceeds from the event will help me to carry out the mission of my foundation.  You can register online at www.diabetesscholars.org. Hope to see you there!" 

Visit the website for more info and contact Mary if you have any questions at all.

Also. the fine ladies of the NYC diabetes support group have branched out and started their own organization - and they're blogging.  :)  Their mission is simple yet crucial: 

We are ACT 1: Adults Coping with Type 1 Diabetes. We are a group of Type 1 diabetics who see a lack of service geared towards adults with Type 1 Diabetes. Through support group meetings, free services, partnerships, volunteerism and advocacy we strive to attend to the most vulnerable populations within our community with the understanding that all diabetics are equally deserving of quality care.  

To find out more about ACT 1 and the powerful women behind this organization, visit the ACT 1 website and poke around a bit! 

And lastly, one bit of JDRF news, from their press release last week:  "The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide and the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 research, announced today that it has launched an on-line service for people with type 1 diabetes and their families to easily find information about clinical trials for drugs, treatments, and therapeutics for diabetes and its complications. 

The on-line service, JDRF’s Clinical Trials Connection, will enable people to search the database of trials of the National Institutes of Health (including JDRF-funded trials) that involve diabetes cures and treatments to get information, make comparisons, and – if they are interested – directly contact trial centers.  It is available at www.trials.jdrf.org."

If you are looking for diabetes-specific clinical trials, check out the JDRF trials website and see what grabs your interest.   

There.  Information purged.  Now you have it.  Now I can file this information away as "disbursed." 

August 11, 2009

Guest Post: Bennet Makes My Day.

Bennet Dunlap is a husband, father of some seriously cool kids, and blogger over at YDMV.  He's also the keeper of a pink camera and a bit of a goofball.  But he's been a supporter of the Sparlings (yes, both of us) and I'm both honored and a bit scared to have him guest posting on SUM today.  You just never know what Bennet is going to say.

*   *   *

Kerri asked me to guest babble while she flies off to Southern European film shoot. Sucks to be her huh?

What do you get out of the deal? Less than squat - you are stuck with me as the After School Movie of the Week Special Guest Star.  Sucks to be you, huh? 

Anyway this whole Mediterranean movie thing has me thinking of the old Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. Stumped for anything intelligent to say I thought I would turn to Clint for some type 1 diabetes care wisdom:

Diabetes life is only in part about Blood Work most is about attitude. Look at the meter and say make my day.  When you don’t like what is says then learn to adapt, to improvise. The key is to get the care done Any Which Way You Can. Don't walk a Tightrope trying to make it A Perfect World. That would be a True Crime.  Don’t go looking for a Sudden Impact.

Newbies  - you may be the The Rookie but you’re not in the Dead Pool. It isn’t Breezy, easy. BG is sometimes going to go Every Which Way But Loose. When your fingers feel like "Rawhide" remember someone thinks you are the Million Dollar Baby (Like say the strip companies!)

Be the Enforcer of what you do and let the numbers be the Changeling. When your numbers go to Where Eagles Dare or drops top where you are the Pale Riderdon’t let them make you feel you are Unforgiven on Heartbreak Ridge. You have the Absolute Power to move up from a Gran Torino to a Pink Cadillac.

It would be fun to move Clint into Larry Bird territory around here, so how about chipping in your favorite Clint inspired silliness?

OK if that doesn’t make you miss Kerri, I don’t know what will.

*   *   *Don't mess with Larry.  Or Bennet.

Ring, ring.

Kerri:  Hello?

Larry:  Kerri.  It's me.  I'm not sure if you saw that post from that Bennet guy?

Kerri:  Larry ... um, I obviously saw it.  It's what we were just reading before you called.  Kind of hard to miss.

Larry:  He's not building many bridges into our respective Madison Counties, Ker.  If he runs his mouth about our relationship, I might send him out to orbit like a Space Cowboy.

Kerri:  Dude, you just got sucked into it.   Don't let Bennet get in your head.  You'll never get him out.  It's like ...

Larry:  Escaping from Alcatraz?

Kerri:  Silence.

Larry:  Get it?  

Kerri:  Larry, this just got too weird.  I gotta go. 


August 10, 2009

Guest Post: Living with a Dad Who is Living with Diabetes.

Today's guest post comes from Manny Hernandez of TuDiabetes.com (and he's also the author of Ning for Dummies - order it on Amazon!).  Manny and I presented at a conference in Philadelphia in June and while we were decompressing in the hotel bar, we talked about kids and handling diabetes when you are a parent.  I asked him to give me his perspectives on diabetes and his son, Santiago, and I'm proud to be posting his thoughts here. 
Take it away, Manny!
*   *   * 
When my friend Kerri asked me for to guest blog on SixUntilMe, I couldn't say no. She suggested that I write about how I explain diabetes and diabetes "goodies" to my son, Santiago (who thankfully doesn't have diabetes).

Back when I started being active about diabetes online, in early 2007 (he was three at the time) whenever he saw me doing a vlog, he was curious about it. He even sneaked into a few of the early podcasts I did, introducing himself as "Santiago from TuDiabetes" which we obviously were super-proud of. But what does diabetes really mean to him?

At some point, when he realized his dad had diabetes, he wanted to have diabetes, so he could be like his dad. Though I was proud to hear that (the "wanting to be like his dad part") I obviously didn't want him to develop diabetes. So I explained to him that diabetes is not something nice to have. It's something that requires poking one's fingers to test one's blood sugar, taking shots of insulin to keep blood sugars in control and living with the discomfort (and dangers) of highs and lows.

Since he turned 1 or 2, we signed him up for TrialNet. This involves getting blood drawn from him to send to a lab as part of these national trials to help with diabetes research. We get a letter a few weeks after every draw indicating the results (with him being a son of a diabetic, he's at a higher risk): when the letter comes in the mail, I hold my breath every time until I can read the result: "Your son tested negative for GAD antibodies..." Previous years, we'd taken him to have his blood drawn w/o a problem, but the most recent time, it cost us Episodes I, II and III of Star Wars (which I was able to find for a little over $20!) and a whole new level of love for Star Wars that I had forgotten about (from when I was his age and older).

Over time, he has stopped hoping to become diabetic. Thankfully (for me), he quickly understood how much a kick in an infusion site felt like a kick you-know-where, so we've established a code where I put my hand near my set when he's close to me (like when we're playing together) and tell him "Be careful, you know what I have there..." or something along those lines, and so far it's worked fairly well. :)

In the past year or so he picked up something that showed how much he cares about his dad. Because when I am low I tell him "I am not feeling well." Now, if I don't feel well because of a cold or something like that, and I tell him that, he will look for my meter and bring it to me, so I can test... and he actually wants to test too. He just prefers if it is with a "device that doesn't feel like a puya" -a syringe-like poke, in Spanish.

His solidarity and understanding, the way he shows his care and his knowledge about diabetes motivate me and make me want to take better care of myself.

Santiago's painting about diabetes
*   *   *
Thank you, Manny.  And thank you, Santi, for being a great diabetes caregiver for your dad. 

August 07, 2009

Karen is Awesome.

When Karen (from Bitter-Sweet Diabetes) was getting ready to go on her cruise, she realized she was tight on pump supplies.  But never fear - Fairfield County Dinner ladies are here!  I had some extra sets I could lend out to her, so she went on her cruise fully-stocked and ready for diabetes battle.

And because she is a sweetheart, she returned the supplies to me (and lent me some IV prep wipe for my trip to Spain) - and also presented me with a little token of thanks.

She made me a Sausage clone.  

Siah meets her Yarn Nemesis
Siah meets her Yarn Nemesis

Siah was not sure what to make of this little gray clone, but she sniffed it for a few minutes before walking away and sitting at the edge of the bed. 

Where she watched the yarn cat for any signs of aggression.

Siah stalks ... herself.
Siah stalks ... herself.

Thank you, Karen, for such a cute gift!  And if you want to check out the pattern for yourself, visit Karen's knitting blog

August 06, 2009

Dexcom for Travel.

I spent a lot of time shoving unironed clothes into a suitcase last night, and I also spent a lot of time thinking about how to handle the time change while traveling in Spain.  You guys had a lot of great tips that you shared, and I really appreciate everyone's input.

One thing that kept rising to the top as 'priority' was testing, and testing often.  Even without a change in time zones, traveling can be stressful, and all that stress can do a freaking number on my blood sugars.  I felt very thankful for the stash of test strips at my disposal, and also for the Dexcom.  I remember back when glucose meters were brought once or twice a day, so knowing I can monitor my numbers at my discretion is fantastic. 

Wearing a CGM isn't the easiest, most convenient thing in the world.  It's an extra device, it's a bit of a cumbersome tool, and it's another external symptom of diabetes (much like the pump).  But when it's right (and thankfully, the Dex Seven Plus is a huge upgrade from the previous Seven ... plain, I suppose), it guides me in the changes I make when traveling.
Three bears ... plus two.  Where the hell is Goldilocks?
Like when the arrows point straight up before the plane takes off?  Yeah, that's stress.  And even though my meter says 98 mg/dl, I know to keep a close eye on my numbers because they're most likely about to orbit. 

Or when the trend is sloping down?  That's enough to prompt me to keep snacks close by in case I'm about to have a low.

And when that arrow is pointing straight across, I know I'm holding steady. 

... and now I realize, after reading those last few sentences, that the Dexcom is like my Goldilocks.  Testing numbers to see if they're "too high" or "too low" or "just right."  If this thing starts asking for porridge and complaining about the softness of the pillow at night, I might give it a slap.

But for now, I'm grateful to have this tool along for the ride as Chris and I travel to Spain.  The last thing I want getting in the way of this exciting trip is diabetes.  I mean, I need to be calm, cool, and mostly collected when I am dining with the staaaaahs.  I can just imagine it now ...

Kerri:  It's great to meet all of you!

Chris:  Yes, we're very happy to be here.


Ryan Reynolds:  Um, did something just beep?

Kerri:  Noooo, no beeping here.  Nope.

I'll be checking in from time to time, but I don't plan on spending any real time online.  I'll be on vacation, for crying out loud!  I do have some great guest posts coming up next week, so be on the lookout for those.  But for now, I'm too distracted to end this post properly.  It's sort of trailing off into oblivion ... without any real direction ... and now I'm thinking about raspberry sorbet for some reason ... I should just stop now.

I'm off!  Adios!

August 05, 2009

I Heard the Rain There Stays Mainly on the Plain.

Tomorrow night, Chris and I are traveling to Spain to visit the set of his movie.  (Have I mentioned this?  ;)  Just in case I haven't, it's:  Buried, written by Chris Sparling, directed by Rodrigo Cortes, and starring - weee! - Ryan Reynolds.)

This is my first trip to Europe.  In preparation, I have paid the $200 for a rushed passport (stupid name change that I forgot to do on my old passport), had my script for flight-necessary xanax refilled, and I'm working my way through the pile of laundry left over from July's travel binge.  I have scheduled for someone to watch our house, our cats, and our mailbox. 

I've started to compile my diabetes supplies for the trip, including my old Minimed 512 as a back-up pump, two back-up meters in addition to my regular one, glucagon kits, and enough pump supplies, test strips, lancets, and glucose tabs for a month's worth of travel.  (Even though we're only going for a week.)  That's in addition to the bevy of snacks, that bottle of long-acting insulin, the bag of syringes, and ketone strips.  Not to mention my Nikon equipment.  And plenty of underpants. 

I also have dinner scheduled on Friday night with the production team, which includes the aforementioned Reynolds and Cortes, which may require a new pair of shoes.  (See the aforementioned:  weeeee!)  

It's a lot to pack, and my suitcase is already straining at the seams.  How on earth am I going to smuggle back Inigo Montoya? ;)

Getting ready for Spain!!!

I can barely figure out where I'm supposed to be next, but I do need to figure one last thing out for certain:  How am I supposed to manage the time change and my blood sugars while in Spain?

Barcelona is six hours ahead of my current timezone, and at the moment I'm working very diligently (and oddly consistently) to keep my blood sugars harnessed.  The last thing I want to do at this stage in the pre-pregnancy game is let things fall further off track.  So while I want to sample the best of the Barcelona tapas and see the sights (oh, and visit the set of the movie, which will be surreal), I want to keep the lows and the highs to a bare minimum.  I've been tracking my numbers on the "Kevin" spreadsheet, which is working out well.  I've got it saved to a flash drive and I've been bringing it back and forth to work and home with me, and it's also coming to Spain.  So I'm trying!

But I do need some travel advice.  If you have any experience with the following, I'd love to hear about it:

  1. When do I change the time on my pump and meter?  On the plane before I take off?  Once I land?  As we travel?
  2. Do I want to change my basal for that first day of travel?
  3. What can I expect after moving forward six hours?
  4. I'm bringing Levemir as my "in case the pumps break" back-up, so does anyone have any experience with going from pumping to Levemir? 
  5. Also, where should we go in Barcelona?  Any favorite places?
Thanks for any advice you can offer!  As always, you guys are life-savers.

August 04, 2009

Biking Block Island.

After the loooooooong day in Boston on Friday, I needed to work off some stress.  So Chris and I decided to 'sail away on the Block Island ferry.' (This is the theme song for the ferry, but I couldn't find a YouTube clip or anything.  If someone can find audio proof of this song, please send it to me!  Lyrics are "Sail away on the Block Island Ferry, take a trip back to carefree times.  Sail away, Block Island awaits you.  Just leave your troubles behind."  And thus ends this digression.)

Our ferry ride over was a little choppy, and we were ... green by the time the ferry docked at Payne's Dock, but we shook off our seasickness quickly after breakfast at the Mohegan Cafe.  Then we rented some dented bikes from the shop by Ballard's (I left my bike back in CT ... foolish Kerri) and got on the road.

I must admit:  July was a tough month for me, exercise-wise.  I was traveling way more than I'm used to and only made it to the hotel gyms a handful of times.  My own gym membership at home went virtually unused, save for a few ragtag workouts.  But I thought I was still in relatively decent shape, so I didn't think the bike ride would kick my ass.  I was even grinning before we attempted the hills, all hopeful. 

Oh how stupid I was. 

The first leg of the ride was all uphill.  We followed Spring Street straight up to the Southeast Lighthouse and by the time we reached the top of the bluffs, I was dying.  DYING.  My legs were wobbly and I was panting and my blood sugar was plummeting.   Thankfully, I'm a nerd and I chose the bike with the little basket on the front, and since I didn't have a small dog to stuff in there, I instead had a secure place for glucose tabs.  Which I ate.  Happily.  Next to the Southeast lighthouse. 

Exhibit A:

Tabs by the lighthouse.  Of course.

We hung out for a while at the lighthouse because my numbers just wouldn't budge, so I are a few more glucose tabs near the bluffs. 

Exhibit B:

Tabs on the bluffs, yo.

The Dexcom (also stuffed into the bike basket) finally stopped BEEEEEEEEP!ing and a quick test confirmed a number finally in the triple digits, so we ventured on our way.  Thankfully, the way down was easier on our legs, and we stopped at the Block Island airport to take a break and watch the teeny, tiny planes land.  (Note:  No.  I will never go on one of these planes.  They hold four people.  Including the pilot.  Oh hell no!)

Water Street in the background.

It was fun, though.  Chris and I had a great time - hard not to in one of my favorite places.  Even though my legs were burning and my wrist was a little aggravated from the ride, it was awesome to be out in the sunshine, taking in the sights of a beautiful place like Block Island as we whizzed by on our bikes.  (We also found the same pond three times.  Sad senses of direction, we have.) 

I already have a bike, but it's been sitting in our storage space for the last few years.  I used to ride all the time when I lived in RI because my apartment was across the street from a beautiful eight mile bike path.  Now I think I want to bust that thing out and toddle around town on my ridiculous bicycle with my equally ridiculous helmet (thank you, Nicole), maybe with Siah in a basket on the front. 

Or maybe just my meter would be more realistic. 

Either way, it was awesome to be outside, far from the glowing computer screen, pedaling away my stress on the summer streets of Block Island.

August 03, 2009

A Diabetes To-Do List.

I stood there with my best friend as she rubbed her pregnant belly.  The whole waiting room was filled with these lovely women and their round beachball bellies of varying sizes.

And I felt oddly self-conscious with my lack of roundness.

Last Friday was my first official appointment at the Joslin pregnancy clinic.  It's located at Beth Israel in Boston and is a beautiful hospital, different from the Joslin Clinic across the street that feels like home at this point.  I'm not pregnant, and we aren't trying to become pregnant YET, but this appointment puts things into full swing to bring me to a safe level of pre-pregnancy health. 

Sigh.  This all sounds redundant, even to me.  I've talked the Big Talk before.  "Oooh, look at me!  I'm going to really wrangle in my numbers and have an A1C you can bounce a quarter off!"  And I'm all gung-ho for a week or two, armed with my little log book and my good intentions, but within a few days, Other Things start to creep in.  Like work.  And stress.  And getting to the gym.  And social stuff, like hanging out with my friends and going to RI on weekends.  Eventually my good intentions end up in the spin cycle, and my log book starts to gather dust.  My workload piles up.  And my stress levels skyrocket.

I'm so frustrated because I want to have a career.  And I want to have a baby.  (I'd also love some tight control of my diabetes, too.)  These things would be excellent, but it feels like tightly managing type 1 diabetes is a full time job unto itself.  Slacking off is easy, and frustrating, and not healthy for me or any baby I'd like to have.   

But I also realize this is one of my biggest hurdles when it comes to pregancy planning - the whole "sticking with the pre-program."  This becomes more and more obvious to me when I go back and re-read old blog posts where I'm so excited to get back into better control, only to be derailed by those Other Things.  So during the course of my appointments on Friday with the endocrinologist, the registered dietician, and the certified diabetes educator, I admitted my faults freely.

"I need help being held accountable."  

They didn't quite hear me at first.  "We can do some tweaking, and in a month or two, we can revisit your A1C and see if it's lower and then we can give you the green light for pregnancy."

I knew I needed more than that.  I had to be completely honest. 

"Guys, I really need to be held accountable.  I know this sounds crazy and I seem very compliant, but I have trouble following through.  I'm great out of the gate, but I lose steam after a few weeks and I'm at the point where it isn't good enough anymore.  I'm out of excuses.  And I'd really like to join the ranks of those pretty pregnant ladies out there.  Please help me?"

And they listened.  We spent the rest of the day working out a plan for me.  One that will actually make a difference.  One that will get me there.

I'll be in Boston every three weeks until I'm pregnant.  This is a huge commitment but I need to make diabetes a priority without fail.  I want this.  I want to succeed at this more than anything else.  I'll have my blood sugars logged for those three weeks and we (my husband and my diabetes team and I) will all review them together.  Chris is in charge of my meals, in that he'll be helping me plan my day, food-wise, and he'll be counting carbs and measuring things for me. I'll be eating relatively similar items every day so I can manage the trends and control them.  I'll continue to test all the live long day and wear the pump and the CGM, but I'll actually use these devices to their fullest potential, instead of just going through the motions. 

With these appointments spaced just a few weeks from one another, I hope I can stay tuned in to intense diabetes management for three week stints.  Being sent out for three or four months is too much for me.  Obviously, because I burn out well before my follow-up appointments.  I just plain can't pay rapt attention for that long.  But three weeks?  Can I do that?

I have to do that. 

I will do that. 

It's a long way down from here.

Visitors since November 7, 2005