Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I have been running high all week...made adjustments to my basal rate with little effect. It is PMS; hormones make diabetes so difficult! Even with the CGM it is hard to"watch" and evaluate yourself all the time. Definitely more to share on that subject later.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
This is a shot of the Daily Combination screen. The line graph is obviously my blood sugars over a day, the circles as sized in relation to how many carbs I ate and the bar graph (largely irrelevant visual) shows how much insulin. The nice thing is that you can see patterns how highs in relation to boluses or food. The screen on the program is not sizable, so here is the bottom half of the screen shot:
Shows actual carbs and insulin numbers. Could eliminate the bar graph for insulin and just show on one screen under food, but I really like the circles. I am very visual, so I see patterns easier than just looking at numbers.
This is the Diary List. Pretty impressive amount of data. I like the apple, indicating a meal. Neat-o!
Glucose Modal Day shows multiple days of readings together. I am showing three days, but you can look at as many as your eyes can handle. Great for showing serious dips or highs at specific times each day. The triangles indicate a finger stick test at calibrations.
Straight ahead Histogram Report. Pretty green , eh?
Gotta love the Pie Chart. There are a million more charts below the first row, but you get the idea. My favorite is the absence of yellow!
Stats, stats and more stats. Plenty of data and oh, by the way, if your Endo is hooked up, you can link to his/her computer and upload your info when you need assistance or adjustments to your insulin levels. Haven't used that function, but it is cool!
Good stuff. Lot's that can be improved upon, but overall, the most helpful program I have ever downloaded related to my diabetes equipment. Again, the Daily Combo is my favorite, but the software doesn't have a feature to click through days; you have to enter in the date from the calendar and wait for it to find it. Major silly.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
My CGM said it was going to be time to replace the sensor soon, so I opted to just take it off before we headed out; I didn't want the thing beeping at me all night. At our first stop I ran into friends from a wide circle that it turns out all know each other from some past life. One friend, G., is a tremendous advocate for type one diabetes research and her family contributes significantly to JDRF. Well, we all introduced ourselves, it turned out that everyone in our circle had a connection to diabetes.
Later, we ran into my husband’s best friend D., who was diagnosed with T1 while he was in medical school. We compared blood sugars after the gallery stop with fried risotto and cheese balls; we both shot way high on an evening where counting carb was an art form.
As we were taking the shuttle back from our final gallery stop to the after party, D.'s wife asked for Marshall's hand. He put it out and Darren held his finger tight and pricked his finger by surprise to test Marshall's sugar: 104. Dr. D treats Marshall's T2. D. raised the finger sticker in the air concerned for every ones health and called for volunteers, "Free blood sugar tests!"
Did I mention the really good and free wine?
Friday, February 23, 2007
I do some quick calculations and came up with 65 grams of carbs. She pulls out her pump and confirms, looking me in the eye, “65?” “Yep,” I say. She enters the numbers in her pump and tells me her insulin dosage in Spanish, “Dos punto ocho,” then runs upstairs to watch High School Musical with her friend.
Many of the parents I know with T1 kids would be having a heart attack about now. They carefully weigh and measure each serving, even counting the carbs on deli packages of sliced ham. I grew up with measuring cup shaped mashed potatoes; it traumatized me. It traumatized my mother.
The kitchen was not my mother’s favorite place, and then she has a kid with a disease totally dependent of food she has to prepare for me. Our dinners were very precisely thought out; back in those days I had two breads, three meats, two fats, one fruit and one vegetable exchange. She had all the cookbooks and tried to give me the most balanced and predictable meals possible. It was hard on her and my father. The pressure to be perfect as a mom is enough, but to then be judged by blood sugar readings is just too much.
I never really saw how hard it was for her. She is an amazing woman; lots of core strength that I don't think she acknowledges. She framed me and shaped me. Things were what they were, and we did the very best we could to contend.
My daughter has the benefit and detriment of having a mom with almost 25 years of history with T1. I pretty much think I know everything (I am constantly proven wrong). My perfectionist tendencies are around my work, my housekeeping (or lack thereof), her school work, but not around the diabetes. I know she is alright, after all we check her blood sugar virtually every three hours.
Her A1C's are below 7, so there must be something to this. I worry about the big things like her falling on her head out of the tree in the front yard, about the tangles in her beautiful curly hair and dealing with broken hearts over who got the most candy at Valentine’s Day. I am doing the best job I can caring for her diabetes. Her blood sugars are going to be high, they are going to be low, and I know how to take care of that usually. If I can't figure it out, I call her diabetes educator, she'll know. I know how many carbs are in most everything and if I don't, I'm a good guesser because a good guess is really ok. What more can I do? The best I can do is good enough; it has to be because that is all I have.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
The SE arrow was an indicator, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I will go below 60; I may head to 85 and stabilize. But I am beginning to recognize the “feelings” I have and draw a direct correlation with what happens to my blood sugars over the next hour. The CGM is validation of what my body is already telling me very subtly.
So, with information comes trust; trust in my intuition. If I wasn’t wearing the Navigator, I wouldn’t know exactly what was going on and these very slight changes would be easy to ignore. I would have never grabbed that juice and would have found myself surprised and low. The thing that is killing me is how carefully my body tells me what is going on, but when I didn’t have the constant flow information with the CGM, I couldn’t process the very slight changes I felt as a sign of things to come. I am accidentally training myself to recognize how my body reacts .
This is by far the coolest revelation I've had using this device and I will have a much better understanding of my body even when I have to give the Navigator back. I pray they extend the study another three months. I would really love to see how much my A1C changes now that I am learning so much. This stuff takes time. I wonder if this side benefit as been documented by other patients. I’ll ask at my next check in.
Friday, February 9, 2007
Since I was 14 I have had a good relationship with diabetes. I have my moments, but overall I have been very thankful that of all the illnesses out there, I was afflicted with one that forces me to eat healthy and do the things that EVEYONE should do to live long and healthy lives. As I have grown older, I became conscious of the importance diabetes played in my daily life, but it didn’t run my life. Well, actually diabetes had a lot more control of my life until I got an insulin pump (more on my very strong opinions about the pump later).
I rarely went to support groups, because the one or two I attended were filled with a lot of complaining, worry, suffering and misery. I didn’t need that. They were also filled with people who had been living with diabetes for 30 + years and they were experiencing complications I really didn’t want to hear about as a teenager.
In college, I was fed up with having no one around me who understood my daily issues, so I started a support group for 18 – 35 year olds in Austin, Texas; the majority of us were in our twenties. We talked about how we handled going to parties, making sure our friends kept an eye on us. We also discussed dealing with low blood sugars when no one has your back; your room mate is a total slacker or never around and you are left stumbling to the fridge for OJ hoping you don’t pass out on the way.
As the mother of a child with diabetes, I have constantly had to adjust my expectations of our life and of myself. I have lived my life before baby with a “good is good enough” mentality around my own diabetes, but this is my child we're talking about. She is small, sweet and innocent; how can this be happening to us? But trial and error have helped me find that there is no one in the world who can care for my child better than me. No endocrinologist, no nurse--even her diabetes educator can’t be more in tuned with her than I am. I worked to understand what our challenges are and I can see that diabetes isn’t the end of her life; it is part of who she is and part of who we are as a family.
My daughter is six and a half. She wears a Medtronic Minimed Pump; she has since the first month of diagnosis and she knows how to use it. She loves to count her carbs and show off her math skills; she independently takes her insulin after she finishes a meal and has checked with me to confirm her math. She loves to “guess how many carbs” are in things and takes a good deal of pride in not needing help. This skill and comfort with her role in managing diabetes has made trips to day camp, play dates with friends and sleep overs much easier, but that challenge was never hers, it was mine.
In future posts I’ll write about how a life with diabetes can be a life of balance. I'll also fill you in on my new Navigator Co-Pilot software.
Photo by Leslie LeCornu © 2006