What the high?

I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster today… I woke up at 2am with a low blood sugar (66 – thank you, Dexcom alarm!) and stayed up till it came up to the 90s. Then was 155 when I got (back) up for the day. Ate my normal protein bar for breakfast – same thing I have almost every week day (yea, I know, I know. But by the time I get my 3 boys out the door and 2 of them dropped off at daycare, and get ready to sit in traffic to head to work, I need to eat on the go.)

And an hour or so after I ate, I felt super tired and looked at my CGM. I was almost 400! I thought surely that was wrong, so I double checked with a finger stick, and yep – I was 372. There was absolutely no reason for that. I knew the exact carbs, and I eat that same thing every day and it never shoots me up like that.

First thing I checked was that my pump site was attached all the way (it happens) – it was fine. Did not feel any insulin around the site – did not smell bandaids (#itmakesesenseifyouhavediabetes) I even checked my pump to make sure I did bolus for my breakfast – and yep, I did.

I corrected it with my pump and crossed my fingers it would work. And finally, it did start coming down.

But I hate when things like that happen for no reason. It’s like diabetes just wants to jack with me for the heck of it. But at the end of the day (well, it’s not the end of this day just yet) I won, and got back in range.:) #takeTHATdiabetes

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Thankful for do-overs

Some days I feel like I have this diabetes thing figured out … and some days I definitely do not. Yesterday was one of the days that I clearly did not have it all figured out. And felt like diabetes had control of me, instead of the other way around.

I was fine until lunchtime when we ordered Pei Wei in at work. I do not eat a lot of Asian food, because it always makes me go high – no matter how much I bolus for. (YDMV) But it was a team lunch, and I didn’t finish the rice, trying to cut back on some of the carbs. But an hour later I was over 400. And I wasn’t coming down. Luckily, I had brought my “go pack” with me that had an extra site change in it – which, I am not good at carrying with me to work at all, but I am so thankful I did have it.

I ended up doing a correction with a syringe, and also changed my site in a bathroom stall at work (I’m sure the person in the next stall thought I was playing a video game, with all the beeping that was going on.) After a couple more hours, I finally had a down arrow on my CGM. But boy, was I tired. And thirsty.

Fast forward to the evening. I was in the high 100s but manageable. Had dinner with my kids (husband was en route home from a business trip) and around 10pm I corrected for my bg to bring me back into range. The settings are standard and are pre-programmed into my pump.

At 2am my husband wakes me up and I open my eyes to him standing over me, opening up a juice box. He said, “Your Dexcom is saying you’re 46- you need to drink this juice.” What’s odd is I almost always wake up when I’m low. But this time I didn’t. But I felt “fine” so I asked him to bring me my tester because I was sure I wasn’t THAT low (which should have been on my nightstand, but it was in the kitchen.) He did, and I was 41. And once my brain knew I was truly that low, that’s when I started feeling it – sweating, shaking, panic mode almost set in. I sat up in bed and downed the juice box. Then I looked at my phone and I had 4 missed texts and a missed call and voicemail from 2 friends that are able to see my Dexcom data and get alerts when I am going too low. One of these friends is on the East coast so it was super early for her (sorry bout that, Karen!) I immediately texted both of them back and let them know that Dan had woken me up and that I was ok. Then I drank a 2nd juice box because I was not coming up fast enough. I ended up coming up to 93, but I was a little scared to go back to sleep until I knew for sure I was not going to go low again.. So needless to say, coffee is my friend this morning.

Now, I do have an alarm on my phone as well – in case you’re wondering why everyone else was getting the alarms but me. I use the Dexcom G5 and a downside to only using my phone and not the transmitter, means that if my phone is on silent (which it was last night), then I do not hear the alarms. Lesson learned.

But that could have had a very different outcome. Had my husband not been home, I do not know how much lower I would have gone. Or when/if I would have woken up. That is a scary thought, and it is every diabetic’s worst nightmare. But this was a happy ending, and this morning I had a beautiful 117 on my screen and it’s a brand new day. And for that, I am thankful for the do-over.

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I’ve been pumping on and off since 1998… and it’s always been with a Medtronic pump. I don’t remember ever having issues with the clips before, but it seems like I’m going through them pretty quickly lately – not sure if the quality is less or what? I’m not an athlete, and definitely not rough on my pump. I usually don’t even have to replace my pump when the warranty expires after 4 years, because they’re still in really good shape.

I posted about it on Twitter a year or so ago and Medtronic saw my post and mailed me a new one (thanks!) But the same thing happened again a couple of weeks ago – where my clip snapped off- I happened to be standing in a parking lot with my 2 year old twins, and my 8 year old. And then you have that “pull” feeling when your pump goes flying off of you – felt like it was in slow motion, but the yank feeling of it reaching the end of the tubing, and swinging back and forth from my body, did NOT feel like it was in slow motion.πŸ˜‰ So then I have that momentary thought of “Crap that hurts and I need to pick it up before it yanks itself out of my stomach, but I have to get my kids in the car first so they are safe.” *Knock on wood* I’ve been lucky enough so far that it hasn’t actually ripped off my site. (Because I’m not great about carrying around an extra site change with me all the time.)

So for the time being I am having to wear pants that have pockets. Yes, I know that I could put it in my bra, or get a band.. but I’m used to wearing it clipped to my pants. And when it’s in my bra, then it gets sweaty (you know it’s true) and it’s not exactly convenient to access. Especially when I’m at work all day. But I’m making do with what I have:) It definitely made me realize that diabetes is playing a part in another facet of life, though, down to the type of clothes I wear. I’m even wearing different pj’s at night – I have a pair of pajama pants that have pockets, so I’ve been wearing those. Because again, normally I clip my pump to pj pants or underwear.

I know these are #firstworldproblems and I’m not complaining, just noting that there’s always more to the story – especially on why I haven’t worn my favorite black slacks (that happened to not have pockets) to work in the last two weeks. πŸ˜‰

PS – I did contact Medtronic this week to discuss getting a new pump, because the warranty expired on my current one last year – and I wanted to get a different color this time. I’ve had purple since ’07 and my 8 year old asked if I could switch to the blue one.:) I asked the representative about getting a new clip for my current one, since it will take a couple of weeks before my new one comes in, and she referred me to the online store. I tweeted to ask if anyone else was having problems and Medtronic immediately replied to my tweet apologizing and asking me to email them and they’ll replace it. They also mentioned that they are working on the quality of the clips to make them more durable. As I mentioned, I have been a Medtronic pumper for almost 20 years, and they have by far the best customer service of any company I’ve ever worked with – diabetes and non-diabetes related. Always very impressed with their ‘take care of the customer’ philosophy.

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Traveling Thoughts

Something that I didn’t realize until I found the DOC almost 4 years ago now … was how much traveling can affect our blood sugars. I mean like the literally being in an airplane part of traveling. I used to travel with my old job all the time. And I honestly never paid much attention to the consistent highs I would get. Then I started reading other blogs and realized what the problem was. (duh)

So now I know that I need to give myself a temp basal before the flight starts, and to drink lots of water beforehand, to try and not get dehydrated.

This weekend my hubby and I flew to Atlanta for a quick getaway to visit some friends. It’s a 2ish hour flight, and before our flight left on Friday, I gave myself a 120% temp basal, and drank a lot of water before and during the flight. When we landed, my numbers were just about perfect. In the 140s. I’ll take that as a success. Also had to remember to change my time on the pump itself since I was now on EST.

Then on the flight home yesterday, I did the same thing – set a 120% temp basal, and drank lots of water. But this time I couldn’t get out of the high 200s. and I started in the same range both times. Same exact scenario, yet a totally different outcome.

Diabetes is a guessing-game-crap-shoot most times. What works perfectly one time, may not work at all a second time. All we can do is the best we can do, and keep trying.

Also notable that all airports seem to be different when it comes to their practices. I have found that most airports allow me to go through that big machine that turns a circle around me. Then I step out of it, have to touch my pump, and they swab my hands. Then they put the swab into a machine that tells them it’s not a bomb I guess, then I’m released to go about my traveling. But yesterday when we were flying out of Atlanta, I told them I had on a pump and couldn’t go through the x-ray machine – so they sent me through that big round one. And I immediately showed my pump, and touched it so they could swab my hands. The TSA agent said “Oh we don’t do that anymore.” What? The other TSA agents just did it on Friday. Strange. But it got me through there faster, so I didn’t argue:) (And disclaimer – I know a lot of people do not go through either machine, and choose the pat down method. I personally have not experienced any issues going through the large round machine, but YDMV.)

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The bug

Friday night I started to not feel well.. And around midnight it happened.  The dreaded vomiting.  For someone with diabetes, vomiting is a game changer.   Things can go south super fast and unfortunately, the worse you feel, the more diligent you have to be.  

It’s important to check ketones- luckily I didn’t have any.   

And it’s just as important to not get too dehydrated.  Even though I couldn’t even keep down water or Gatorade.

But what I remember most from Friday night was as I was leaning over the porcelain throne for the 2nd or 3rd time, I found myself trying to debate with myself.

“You really need to stay awake to make sure your blood sugar comes back up before you fall back asleep.”

“I know, but I’m sooooo tired.  From not sleeping.  And tired of throwing up.  I’ll set an alarm to wake up and check my blood sugar in an hour.”

“Ok that sounds great.  But what if you don’t wake up.”


I could have listened to the voice saying go back to sleep.  But then I could have easily slept through the alarm and not caught my low blood sugars.

And here I am, 48 hours later, still dealing with low blood sugars.   I’ve since reduced my basal rate and will likely need to decrease it even more.  But it’s a guessing game on how much less I’ll need, until everything levels back out.


And that’s the reality of low blood sugars. And how having what would be a simple stomach bug for most, can be life threatening for someone living with diabetes.

**Side note- I do regularly wear a CGM, but unfortunately I had taken a break for a day, and did not have it on.  If I had been wearing it, I would have likely caught the low blood sugars before they happened.

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CGM Dilemma

I have been wearing a Medtronic pump for years – off and on since 1998 (consistently since 2007). I love my pump. Took a slight detour with another pump company when my warranty was out a few years ago, and quickly returned that one and came back within a month. I also wore the Medtronic CGM for quite a while. I loved having that data so accessible. But what I did not love was wearing the actual sensor. Inserting it was like using a torture device. And there were several other things I did not care for. I kept hearing about this new system that was coming down the pipeline .. but I was “stuck” (pun intended) with what I had until I was out of warranty.

Earlier this year I switched to Dexcom, based on a recommendation from my new Endocrinologist. And I LOVED it from the first moment the nurse put the trial one on me. I love the fact that it doesn’t hurt at all to insert it. I can put it in my right arm, using my left hand (I’m right handed) with no problems. I can get a good 14 days out of the sensor (even though the FDA recommendation is 7 days. YDMV.) I have found the data to be consistently accurate. I love that I can share my blood sugars with my husband and a couple of close friends (which is now available via Medtronic’s new system – keep reading.)

Yesterday I got an email from the distributor where I buy my Dexcom sensors and they told me that I am eligible for an upgrade to the new G5, because my current G4 will be out of warranty this month. So I approved the upgrade and it’s shipped and is already headed my way. (Sorry to those that are having to wait so long for theirs!!) 😦

Fast forward a couple of hours and I get a call from Medtronic. Reminding me that my pump is also out of warranty this month (that 4 years FLEW by) and started telling me about the new Enlite 530g system. The guy was super friendly. Even when I told him I wear a Dexcom and I love it.

But here’s where my dilemma comes into play.

I can “upgrade” my current pump and get a brand new one same as the one I have (Paradigm). But this pump will not talk to the new sensors, should I ever try them out.

Or I can upgrade to the new Enlite 530g system. The only way to do that, though, is to get a box of sensors with my pump. And I’m not sure if insurance will cover the sensors since I just placed an order for my Dexcom sensors. But the downside is – I don’t want to go with the Paradigm and then decide a year or two down the road that I really want to try out the Enlite system and not be able to until my 4 year warranty is up. I’d like to know whether or not I like the Enlite system before I commit to another 4 year pump warranty …….

Decisions … decisions …..

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“You ok, Mommy?”

My 2 year old twins are now starting to see my diabetes … they of course don’t understand it yet, but they are paying attention. Lately, every time I check my blood sugar, one of them will ask me, “You ok, Mommy?”

Or when they see me change my insulin pump site, they ask, “You ok, Mommy?”

Or when they see me change my Dexcom sensor, they ask “You ok, Mommy?”

And I make a point to never grimace or say “ouch” (out loud) when I do either of those things, but I think they are paying such close attention to every single thing I do/say, that they recognize that what I’m doing might hurt. They’ve never seen an actual needle go in me, not that they would understand at this point if they had.

My boys also love my Dexcom. And when they hear it beep, they know where to go to get it for me. They call it “Mommy’s Neck Bomb” HAHA Sounds kinda like the word Dexcom, right? πŸ˜‰

I’ve said this many times before… that part of me hates that my kids have to be exposed to diabetes. But I also appreciate the fact that they will all grow up knowing what it is, so that’s at least 3 less people in this world that will believe the myths associated with itπŸ˜‰ My 7 year old has had teachers in the past tell me that if he hears something about diabetes, he will say that his mommy has diabetes. And he LOVES going to the JDRF walk every year. He has always called it the “diabetes walk”. I hope my twins enjoy it as much as he always has. This past weekend I went to my 23rd walk!

2015 JDRF Walk

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