Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hit me with your best shot


We are rapidly approaching my birthday season. Many of you laugh, thinking I am hypercelebrating my own day of birth. But I'm not, yo. Not only will I turn 29 on Monday, on March 16, I will celebrate my 20th year with 'betes. Yep. 20 years with a chronic disease and ZERO complications {horn: tooted}. This feat has not been an easy one. Years of trial and error with insulins, shots, pumps, weight, stress, 2 pregnancies and CGM. Effin hard, ya'll. I still learn new things about my disease, and disease state, weekly...and hope to continue to do so throughout my career.

Which brings me to today's post. This weekend I will journey to Austin with 3 of my best friends. We have plans to eat, drink and revel in gluttony. For my non pancreatically challenged friends, all I have heard them express amprehnsion over is weight. Will we gain weight this weekend? Will we look like crap next week from our birthday binge weekend? Where should we eat without being super bad? No, I'm not eating bad today because I'm saving it for this weekend. Must be nice. On top of trying to stay relatively the same weight this weekend, I have to also worry what these activities will be doing to my sugars. Well yeah, that looks awesome...butttt its also 9,000 carbs and my pump only hold 180 units....

In high school and college I drank alcohol {gassspppppsss the audience} and really did so without being too careful. Beer, wine, jello shots, margaritas {Helloooo, I AM in Texas} and good ole whisky. I remember missing insulin injections, not checking my sugar NEAR enough and waking up wondering how I got home. Yeah, pretty dumbsauce. My husband even had one episode of binge drinking in college that landed him in the ICU on a ventilator. Diabetes + alkie-hol is some serious bidness. And if youre going to do it, for the love of little baby Jesus, be smart:
~ Always eat with, or just prior to drinking
~ Check your sugar throughout your occasion
~ Stay away from fruity "girl" drinks {Pina Coladas, Daiquiries, brightly colored drinks}
~ Make sure your drinking buddies know about your 'Betes and the signs, symptoms & treatment of a low sugar
~ Discuss the "rules" with your Endo or CDE...many of us have real life experience with getting shitfaced that we would love to share with you

Alcohol, in spite of containing carbs, will actually lower the blood glucose. That powerhouse of an organ, your liver, has never been told it has diabetes, so it continuously is churning out glucose into your blood stream for energy. Add alcohol to the mix, and it suddenly becomes preoccupied with removing this toxin from your blood...so much so, it forgets to spit out your energy sugar. About half of our basal {long acting} insulin is taken to combat this very sugar. This equals a pretty dangerous scenario. So knowing how to play the game is a must.

So as for my birthday weekend in Austin: I plan on having a great time that includes balancing great food, wonderful friends, a little insulin and some adult bevvies. My poison of choice is Vodka, and if it is Whipped Cream in flavor, SIGN ME UP. I often mix it with diet coke, and avoid calorie laden "shots" as much as possible. A night of shots usually ends with me vomming. No thank you!! So Happy Birthday to me, and more to come on my Diaversary.

Disclaimer: Pinnacle Vodka has not paid me to advertise their insanely good flavored vodkas...but they should.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bag lady


I hope everyone survived Valentine's day and the influx of chocolate goodies! I managed to keep a safe distance...for most of it...

2 nights ago I was changing out my pump site {6mm, 23 in PAAANK Mio} and reservoir, and I realized the small bag I keep my wallet stuff and diabetes supplies in had a lot of bulk at the bottom. So I decided to clean it out. Wow. Someone needs to turn me in to the show Hoarders. There were 47 USED OneTouch blue test strips, a powdery mess of a leftover grape Dex-4 glucose tab, a half wrapped tootsie roll with 3 pennies stuck to it and now I feel dirty.

I carry a small Betsey Johnson leopard and sequined bag for my supplies.


I have come a long way since the days of my Dia-Pak {Why yes, I AM a trend setter}. I remember the constant shuffle of keeping the gel pack inside *just* cold enough, not sweating and NOT melted. Which was tough in Houston, TX. Now I toss my opened Novolog vial in the bag with my PAAANK OneTouch Ultra Mini, Delica device, strips and an extra reservoir {for those days when I'm feeling not so fresh}. This bag also houses my credit cards, insurance info & license. I often take this places in lieu of a purse. I hate for my diabetes to weigh me down, but also like to be prepared for anything on the fly. I often find myself writing excuse notes for patients at work because they have to leave to go home to get insulin..pump supplies..you get the idea.

You should always be prepared. Whether you are a D-Mom or a D {instead of 'diabetic', can we just start calling ourselves 'D's? Kind of like 'B' means bitch, 'D' can mean 'diabetic'....I personally don't necessarily like to term 'PWD'...I dunno} you should always have a backup plan, a Plan B, if you will. And then a backup plan for the backup plan. Dr. C and I travelled to 'Nawlins for an ADA meeting a few years ago and BOTH ran out of pump sites AND Novolog. Uhhhhhhh. Yeah, we felt like morons. Thankfully we have some awesome ass D reps that hooked us up. I'm a firm believer, now, that you should always plan out the amount of supplies you will need for a trip and then DOUBLE that amount. Having long acting insulin in the fridge {for pump peeps} and a supply of old school syringes is never a bad idea.

And back to my original point, why the eff is it so hard for me to throw away my used strips? I should be reported to OSHA. I have found them in my kid's diaper, in the toilet, in shoes, parking lots I frequent, in my FRIEND's vehicles....I guess its like my calling card. My own little way of hiking my leg on something, marking it as my territory. Yeahhhh. I like that.

That's all I got, D peeps!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

You are loved...sort of


Sometimes I think I need new friends. They hide and jump out of random places in an attempt to make me pee my pants in fear. I'm never allowed to slip up and say something silly without wisecracks from the Peanut Gallery. My hair usually warrants poking fun at, and an opportunity is never lost on them to do so. And heaven forbid I not wear makeup without mention of my "natural beauty".

But. BUT. They have always been there when I need them. Fights with my husband, bad days at work, tough patient cases...and scary health issues. I have 4 autoimmune diseases, some of which are NOT fun. My friends have tested my blood sugar when I drank too much to do so myself. They have read multiple food labels to ascertain the amount of carbs AND gluten a particular item contained. They have accompanied me to doctor's appointments. They have drawn my blood for "further testing". And most importantly, they have made me laugh every step of the way. Through tears, gritted teeth, inflamed joints, high sugars, stomach cramps and bunk thyroid tests...they have always made me laugh. And for this, I will be eternally grateful.

So, on this Valentine's day...D, S & J...will you be mine? Oh, and thanks for being my besties...you are loved.....even though sometimes y'all make it hard to do so. Just kidding. No not really. Ok, maybe.

Love,
Your autoimmunly challenged friend

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mommie Dearest


I wanted to be a mother from the moment I knew I was capable of loving another being. I wanted to be pregnant, feel a baby kick my insides and rock a tiny infant to sleep in my arms. Babies were always in my plan. The movie Steel Magnolias gave me {and many others} warped senses of what it might be like. Kidney failure? Death? Uhhhhhhhhh...... 
Dr. C and I began our journey to become pregnant down an extremely bumpy ass road. Infertility sucks. Way more than diabetes. Trust me. Being told you are unable to become pregnant is one of the single most ultimate feelings of failure a woman could ever experience. The black cloud that moved in over my being was palpable. Yet we pushed on. IVF was no walk in the park, but it worked for us. The huge needles {in the ass} daily. The blood draws 3 times a week, the vagina pills and the weekly ultrasounds. The oversized sized ovaries and whack hormone swings. It was all worth it to see that positive pregnancy test. My life hasn't been the same since.
Pregnancy + Type 1 diabetes = a mofo pain in the ass. Glucose swings and heart burn. Extra Dr appointments and warnings of increased chances of birth defects. Preeclampsia and a numb tongue and lips when my sugar was low. It was not a glowing time in my life. But I did it. For Jack. He was the reason I checked my sugars 20 times a day. He's the reason I bolused 4 times during a meal, to mimic the phases of a working pancreas. HE was the reason my A1c was 4.7%. It was not easy, and walking around with a constant sugar of 65 is not fun. I would be unloading the dishwasher, see stars, and check, only to discover my sugar was in the 20s. It was a fine line I constantly hovered over, always tempting severe hypoglycemia with my excessive insulin habit. My perinatologist constantly urged that I eat more and bolus less. Pssshhhaaaa. What do Drs know {ALWAYS listen to your doctors, y'all}?
Holding my sons in the hospital for the first time is a high that no drug could ever mimic. My preemie boys were both healthy, and didn't require dextrose drips or oxygen masks. I did that. I made that happen. My diligence and research and responsible diabetes management had been rewarded with the {healthy} loves of my life. Jack & Ben. 
This last week I followed through with something that Dr C and I had decided to do before our boys were even conceived: we had the boy's blood drawn through the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet. Their blood samples will be added to the Natural History screening study for relatives of type 1 diabetics. This sample will prove as a predictor of the boy's risk for developing type 1. I cried and cried before, during and after their blood draws. No mother wants to see their child in distress. Jack, my 4 year old was a champ. He was so brave and watched the entire process with wonder. Ben, my 20 month old {and red head of the bunch} did not appreciate being violated. It required two adults and a phlebotomist to restrain his tiny ass. It truly was a moment of blood, sweat and tears. And now: we wait. Up to 5 weeks before results. 5 weeks. Mofo eternity, yo.
What will I do if one or both predict a future diagnosis? Honestly, I'll cross that bridge when we get to it. But Who better? Who better to care for a child with type 1? Two parents with over 40 years experience, that's who. So, I am trying to be the best mom I can be, and trying not to think about it as much as possible {yeah right, not enough meds in Texas to stop that from happening!}.
So thanks for the thoughts, prayers and love for my little family during this. We worked hard to bring these boys into our lives, and we will continue to work hard to keep them healthy and happy, no matter what that may entail.