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Friday, September 23, 2011

Don't Worry

For the most part, I'm a pretty positive person.  I enjoy the company of my family and friends, playing with my dogs, and a good cup of coffee.  However, I know that I'm a worrier.  I consider it more of a "pessimistic reality"--meaning if something bad can occur, I at least like to dwell on it and prepare myself.  My dear husband constantly reminds me "Why are you worrying about things that aren't even real?"  I wish I could dwell more on the positive, because for the most part that is usually the outcome.

For example, I have type 1 diabetes.  Most articles on my disease warn of possible complications such as eye, kidney, and nerve damage.  I certainly try to do my part to take care of my disease to make sure that I don't get any of those things.  And I haven't (coming up of 5 years this December).  In fact, I would argue that I'm the healthiest I've ever been in my life, THANKS to diabetes.  My A1c this past Tuesday was 5.6!  The best I've had since going on the pump. 

Also, I am married and have been for 3 years now.  We received a lot of warnings when we were preparing for marriage that we would be miserable.  That we would wake up one day and realize we hate the person we're with!  I couldn't fathom that scenario at the time, but I at least prepared myself for that reality.  But our marriage has been so fun and so sweet and so . . . blissful, that I think all those "warnings" were nothing but smoke.  Sure, we've had our hard times, but it's nothing that "Holly & Trey" as a team can't handle.  I was worried that I would hate my husband, but I love him more and enjoy him more that I ever prepared myself for.

The same thing happens all the time.  I worried about a test in school, but I end up doing awesome.  I worried about not passing my thesis defense, but I was passed within 5 minutes.  I worry, I worry, and I worry.  Most of the time, over nothing. Some might say that my worrying just puts me in a more aware, prepared state of mind.  But I'd like to go through some things in life not worrying in the beginning and enjoy the process.

I know the best thing I can do is surround myself with positive people to counter my negativity.  I hate that most doctor's appointments will be spent making sure nothing is going wrong, at least in my mind.  I need to look for the positive.  I need to BE positive.  The Bible has 365 verses where the phrase "don't worry" is mentioned, but my favorite verse about having a positive mindset is Phillipians 4:8,

"whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such thing."

I need to tattoo this phrase on my right wrist, next to my medical ID.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"It's Called a Lance(t), Helloooooo!"

Last week, my standard issue lancet from my OneTouch UltraLink was down for the count. The "pricker" (sorry, best term I can come up with) kept getting stuck in the chamber, refusing to actually make contact with my fingers. I finally had to resort to manually pricking myself, which is very unpleasant.

So I knew I needed to break down and buy a new lancet. I had heard good buzz about the Accu-Check Multiclix being really small and super swift, so I stopped by my closest retail pharmacy and picked one up. (I don't think I've ever paid that much for a lancet, or paid for one ever. Just fair warning.)

Payment aside, this thing is awesome! The "pricker" is like 10x smaller than a normal lancet (OK, not that much smaller, but I do need my glasses to see it). It has multiple depth settings for the sensitive to the calloused fingertips (after almost 5 years with diabetes, I'm only on the 2.5 mark out of 5). But perhaps the best thing about the lancet is the fact it comes with 6 "prickers" in a round. This might inspire me to change it more than once a month!

The first few days after I got it, I was so excited about using the lancet that I forgot to put a strip into the meter first. It's quite ungraceful to use one hand to open the vial and put a strip in the meter while holding the other hand up with a drop of blood ready to go. Regardless, I'm quite pleased with this purchase and I'm tempted to replace my backup meters with the same lancing device. Going from the "I can barely feel it" lancet during the day to "my finger has a heartbeat" lancet at the gym and by my bed is quite a contrast.

NOTE: No one paid me for this post. I paid my hard-earned money for this lancet. All opinions continue to be my own, unless they'd like to send me a free round of "prickers". =D

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Day the Dexcom Died

One of the great advantages of having a CGM is being able to monitor my blood sugar during off-routine times. like a beach vacation.  So when receiver went kaput on me our 2nd day there, I felt completely vulnerable the rest of the trip. 

At least it was serene. 

Let's back up a bit.  One of the things I love to do at the beach is ride the waves on a boogie board.  It's exhilarating and it's a great workout.  Even thought I can't take Constance in the water with me, she can keep up with me when I get back to my chair.  However, the heat of the sun on the receiver sitting on the beach chair is something I didn't consider. 

The receiver was fine the rest of the day, but it did give me some off numbers towards the night.  When I did my nighttime test before bed, I got an ERR1 message.  Not wanting to stay up another hour to recalibrate, I shut down my receiver with intents on calibrating in the morning.  But when the morning came, I couldn't turn on the receiver.  I held down each button multiple times, for longer than I needed to.  I finally called tech support, and they instructed me to try the reset button the back of the receiver.  Nothing happened. 

My receiver was fried. 

Unfortunately, my system was out of warranty.  So that meant I would have to start all over and get insurance approval and chart notes from my endocrinologist.  That was probably the worst news from this whole situation.  The last time I went through this process, I waited a month while the paperwork sat on my endo's desk.  I kind of assumed I would have to go through that all over again. 

But this also meant that I would have to revert back to my pre-CGM management routine, including testing 2 hours after a meal like clockwork.  I know that you're not supposed to rely on the CGM in place of finger stick testing, but I would find myself relying on it more and more, especially if the CGM was proving to be accurate.  My numbers the rest of the week were less than stellar, but not outrageous.  I had high numbers after breakfast, which is typical for me with the absence of exercise.  I did miss being able to monitor my BG when it wasn't in-range, relying on testing every hour or 30 minutes for a correction.  Those gaps in time were excruciating, but I managed the best I could.

On the last day of our vacation, I got the best call.  My Dexcom rep told me that my insurance was still going to cover most of the cost of my new setup and sensors, AND my endo had already signed my paperwork needed to submit to insurance!  I was elated.  And this all occurred on a day that my endo's office is normally closed.  He's really been on his game, especially since I've been discussing the idea of pregnancy

I should receive my new Dexcom system next week.  I can't wait to get back to being a real-time diabetic.  Next time, though, I think I'll leave the receiver in my room, or at least get it its own hat. 

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.