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Don’t Mind Me.

Don’t mind me …

… I’ll just be sitting here with 1 unit of Humalog left in my pump because I went to bed with 9 units left and tried to use my insulin to the very last drop.  I’ll let my dawn phenomenon-induced morning basal rate suck up the rest of this cartridge before swapping it out for a full one.  Insulin isn’t something I take for granted.  It’s precious stuff.

Warning: The One About UTIs.

The last time I had a urinary tract infection was about ten years ago.

I used to get them every once in a while, and while I’m sure it was horrible at the time, these infections weren’t frequent enough to make a mark on my memory.  I know that ‘feeling,’ of the twinge of pain after urinating when the muscles re-clench and how that was the hallmark sign that I needed to call my doctor and go in for a urinalysis ASAP, but overall, these infections were few and far between.

The one firm memory I have of these infections was how quickly they would come on for me – in a matter of hours, I would go from “fine” to “decidedly not fine.”  My OB/GYN at the time confirmed what my endocrinologist had always told me:  type 1 diabetes makes issues like yeast infections and urinary tract infections move quickly and aggressively.

The worse one I had was at my grandfather’s funeral, which took place in the midst of my parents’ divorce and during a time when diabetes was unattended to (<– massive understatement).  I was slow in recognizing and responding to symptoms, slow in contacting a doctor, and pretty much slow to anything that even came close to self-care.  These days, I’m better about self-care, but even still, things like a urinary tract infection can crop up in a matter of hours and make a mess of things.

Last Friday afternoon, Chris and I were preparing for Birdy’s birthday party and doing the whole clean things/bake things/set up things cycle that comes with party hosting.  At 4.40 pm, I headed to the store to grab a few last minute things, and I felt fine.  I came home around 5.30 pm and still felt completely fine.  At 6.10 pm, I went to use the bathroom and had that weird twinge of pain while urinating.  And by 6.45 pm, I was using the bathroom every three minutes (not an exaggeration) and in extreme pain, with a fever of 101 and a Dexcom graph that was doubly pointed north.  By 7.30 pm, I was peeing blood and hosting every other symptom of a UTI (lower abdomen pain, constant and painful urge to urinate, pain when urinating, cloudy urine, blood in urine, shooting pain after peeing, fever, chills, and oh yeah, instant blood sugar issues).

“Decidedly not fine.”

Of course this happens on a Friday evening, when doctor’s offices are closed.

Which is why I am so, so thankful to be a patient in a doctor’s office where there is an on-call doctor who was able to return my message within 15 minutes and order a UTI test and also provide a prescription for antibiotics to kick the infection to the curb.  Even though I had to stop en route to the pharmacy (six minutes away) to use the bathroom, I was diagnosed and medicated by 8.45 pm and feeling much more human by 11 pm.   And by birthday party time (the next afternoon), I was almost completely better.

Thank you, excellent medical team, for being almost as quick as the onset of this urinary tract infection.  You saved me from peeing in pain whilst serving birthday cake at my kid’s party, and I’m very grateful.

(Note:  the frosting is yellow due to food coloring.  After all this discussion about pee, I wanted to make sure that distinction was clear.)

 

 

LEGO Easter Robot.

Easter morning dawned bright and early (with a confused little Bird wondering about the strange relationship that appeared to be in place between her parents and a giant bunny).  Egg hunt, breakfast, and then off to visit relatives throughout the day.

Easter has always been one of those “Sunday best” holidays in my family, where people dust off their dresses and shirt-and-tie ensembles and work a higher octane look for the holiday.  I like this tradition.  I like dressing up once in a while.  (It’s a stark contrast to my work-from-home attire, which only includes a nice shirt on the days when I have a video conference call … notice I didn’t mention anything about nice pants.)

But holy eff did I want to throw out every single diabetes device yesterday and go back to shots for a few hours, all because of one, stupid dress.

The dress I wore didn’t have any pockets.  It was a fit-and-flare style dress, which meant that it was cinched in a bit at the waist and didn’t leave a lot of room for my insulin pump to be stashed in the waistband of my tights without looking bulky.  And the disco boobs route wasn’t a good fit, because the dress was fitted in such a way that the pump looked like a giant LEGO stuffed into my dress.  My Dexcom sensor kept getting caught on my tights (I wear the sensor on my outer thigh) and looked again like I was infusing LEGOs to random parts of my body.

I was the LEGO Easter Robot, and it was frustrating.

But despite my fashion-related bitching, it was better for me to keep devices on this time, instead of trying to make the flip to MDI (multiple daily injections) for the day.  Despite eating several times throughout the day and indulging in foods that are historically rough on my blood sugars (read: Peeps), my blood sugars stayed reasonably in range, and I was able to stalk my numbers on my Dexcom graph.

Sometimes it’s better for me to embrace being a robot.

The Friday Six: Hope Conference, No Scrubs, and Grocery Store Lows.

Lots on tap this morning:

While there is no known cure for diabetes, that doesn’t mean the diagnosis is hopeless.  Check out the 2nd Diabetes Hope Conference and register for your free ticket!

A guest post from Hope Warshaw about asking Congress to Access to Quality Diabetes Education on the Strip Safely website.

Grocery store lows are the worst.

These stick people always say shit that resonates.

“These results are very impressive,” said Dr. K. M. Venkat Narayan, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Emory University, who specializes in diabetes and was not involved in the study. “There is strong evidence that we’re implementing better care for patients with diabetes. Awareness has increased tremendously, and there’s been a great deal of emphasis on coordinated care in health care settings.”  tl;dr:  We are worth it.

Children with Diabetes is bringing a conference to Disneyland!!

The Joslin blog is chatting about issues with dressing and your insulin pump. (Not with googly eyes, though it’s been done.)

Scott Johnson is tackling his first 1/2 marathon, and could use our support.

“So next time you see someone who looks a certain way or has a certain disease, I challenge you look at WHO you see, instead of what.”  Beautiful post from Rosie at The Fat Side of the Tracks.

Examining advocacy, and a follow up from Elizabeth about her own journey with diabetes and financial struggles.

No scrubs.

I could look at this all day:

“One year, 26.2 miles … how hard can it be?”  Mr. Mike Lawson is going to find out, and I love how he’s chronicling his journey.

Only 22 days left to bring Timesulin to the U.S.  I hope this effort gets funded!!!

The yin and yang of diabetes.

The #DSMA blog carnival this month is a timely one for me:  What are some of the things we can do to prevent social media burnout?

Happy weekending!  We’re having a Batman birthday party for our newly-minted four year old, and if it doesn’t rain, it will be awesome.  :)   Have a good one!

A Beautiful Attempt.

Right now, outcomes are not reflecting the things I’m doing to manage diabetes every day.  And that pisses me off.

I need to remind myself that every attempt at keeping diabetes in line is worth it.  Even if the results haven’t quite caught up with the efforts.

So Maybe Don’t ALWAYS Pre-Bolus.

I like to pre-bolus.  It helps keep my post-meal blood sugar spikes from rocketing out of range and taking a sizable bite out of my overall diabetes control.  (… I’m sorry.  I laugh every time I type the word “control.”  It’s not a word I toss around lightly when it comes to diabetes.  I’m not Janet Jackson.)

The art of pre-bolusing has been instrumental in keeping diabetes shit in line.

But it only works when it works.

Last night, we ordered pizza to go along with our birthday cake for Birdzone (we rounded out the meal by eating a stick of butter each and guzzling soda – healthy! – only the butter part is a lie) and the promise was “delivery in 30 minutes.”  Since pizza can be insulin’s kryptonite, I thought it wise to pre-bolus so that the initial carb influx of the pizza would be headed off by the first bolus, and then I’d chase my meal with more insulin to grab the fat-induced-blood-sugar-bump that hits about two hours later.  (I don’t have a #DIYPS, so when my food choices edge towards pizza party, I have to improvise a touch.)

Basic gist?  I took my insulin way too freaking early because the pizza arrived an hour later.

My Dexcom was freaking out by the time the pizza delivery man left – “Kerri, your Dexcom is vibrating like crazy over here, and says you’re low.”  “Like how low?”  “Like spelled out as LOW low.” – so the first piece of pizza was inhaled in a matter of seconds.  The second piece went just as quickly, and then I chased my dinner with a handful of glucose tabs.  (Wildberry – the perfect palette cleanser.)  Pre-bolusing doesn’t always work – its success leans on timing.  My pre-bolus was working right on schedule … if the pizza had arrived on time.  But due to tardy carb arrival, my blood sugar was in the trenches and covered in pepperoni.

“Mawm, is this good pizza?”

“The best!”  I answered her, through a mouthful of glucose tabs.

What’s On Your Bedside Table?

What do you mean, all the glucose tab jars were in the car and you were out of juice so you stashed one giant marshmallow on your bedside table in case of low blood sugars?

Potentially a bit gross, but practical.  Serves as a throw pillow when not in use.

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