Monday, April 26, 2010

Guessing games

A funny thing happened right before I went to eat lunch the other day. I could tell I was low and had waited a tad too long to eat. I tested my blood sugar and this is what I saw:
YIKES!! I re-tested twice and saw this:
And this:
That made a whole lot more sense. BUT . . . .

There have been several posts recently regarding the accuracy of glucose meters. For those of you who don't know, the FDA only requires meters to have a +/- 20% margin of accuracy. While this doesn't sit entirely well with me, I've never really had a problem with my meters. Usually they give me numbers that reflect how I'm feeling and if not I either need to wash my hands or dry them and I get a more accurate read.

Today I was left a little more flabbergasted. I had recently washed my hands and they were completely dry. Why was my meter being retarded? And then I remembered the night a few weeks after I started the pump when I was attacked by the high from hell. I was in the 300s all day, by night time I had battled my way down to the 200s. I had changed everything, my site, my insulin and I was losing my mind! All of a sudden I went from the mid-200s to 168! Victory! Wait? 168? WTF?

I re-tested and sure enough, I was 276. Ah ha.

Never mind.

And the more I paid attention the more I notice this kind of thing. Has this always been happening and I'm just noticing more because it's in the forefront of my mind right now? Or are these recent occurrences just flukes? I don't know. But I will say it's really confusing because I don't know what to do with these numbers. Do I average them? Usually I end up testing several times and playing the "2 outta 3 wins" rule. But it's scary. What if I'm basing treatment on a number that's totally off? If my blood sugar has been high and it's coming down I want to stop bolusing like crazy! On the other hand if it's not budging I need to make sure that I correct. How do I know what to do and which test to believe?

I do know that this whole diabetes business is hard enough when everything works correctly (insulin, meters, pumps, will-power . . . ). Throw in glitchy technology and those whole mess becomes a friggin' guessing game. And that's one game I don't want to play with my health.

Am I the only one this happens to? What do you do when the meter doesn't match how you feel? Or throws you a bizarre number out of left field? Do you keep testing (and throwing strips and money out of the window) until you see a number that makes more sense? Or do you assume it's right and treat based on the number you got?

I guess that's it. Ramble over.

~Layne

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Diabetic Sighting

Last weekend, Brad and I were at Lowe's for some gardening supplies and to shop for things for other household projects. At one point, in the light bulb isle, Brad leaned over and whispered, "Look at her! She's wearing an insulin pump!" And he motioned to a woman who walked past us and stopped a few yards away.

"Are you sure?" I said.

"Yeah. On her other hip."

So I casually strolled past her pretending to be on the lookout for light bulbs (read: not sly at all) and when I got to the other side of her, sure enough, there was a pump (a Minimed) clipped to her waistline. Tubing and all!

I walked back and told Brad he was right and congratulated him on a super-slick diabetes sighting. Then he said, "You looked like you were going to say something to her."

I told him I wanted to but what the heck do I say?

"Hello, I noticed your insulin pump."

"Hey, nice pump! I have one too"

"Come here often?"

What is this? Some sort of cheesy diabetes pick up line? I looked at her and tried to find a reason to talk to her. Something we had in common other than the diabetes. She was a she and that was a start. She looked older than me, maybe late 30s or early 40s. Physically fit. Was she a mom? If so, did she experience pregnancy with diabetes? (Yes, I always think of pregnancy-related things! Don't you know I have baby fever?!?) I wonder when she was diagnosed? Was she new to the pump or using it for years?

I had all these questions wracking my brain. I love the DOC and talking with people online but meet-ups in real life are super sparse around these parts. I would love to meet more folks here just to chat and vent. (Although, I did meet a local fellow T1-er, Christi. We met for lunch a while back and have chatted online and I love knowing that there's someone close by to share with. Hey Christi!) Sometimes I feel like such a rare breed that seeing another person like me out in the wild invokes a crazy need in me to reach out!

Am I nuts? Have I absolutely lost my mind? And I wonder if I had gone up to her if she'd be wondering those same things about me?!? Brad and I moved on but we kept passing her while we were in the store. I went to pee while Brad was checking out and she even ended up in line next to him! (No, he didn't talk to her.) Every time I passed her I wondered if I should say something? Would it be weird? How do I start that conversation without sounding crazy? And if we did get to talking what would my poor husband do while we waxed on about our diabetes kinship-ness.

In the end, I never said anything. I wanted to but couldn't figure out a good opening line. In most situations, I'm not shy. I like talking to new people. Plus, I'm usually in an environment where socializing is expected. Work, parties, gatherings, etc. These are all times when it's socially acceptable to find someone to talk to and actually strike up a conversation. But at a hardware store? I needed to find a reason, an opener. This time I couldn't find one that didn't sound forced, contrived. And what do I know? For some diabetics, their diabetes is what it is and just doesn't play a large role in their lives. I've met a few that don't feel like diabetes has an emotional component for them, they never wonder about other folks with diabetes, never feel the need to reach out or compare stories, never need to vent. They just do it and move on. More so, some even feel awkward talking about it, especially with a stranger.

I'm sure most folks in the DOC can't relate because, really, why else would we be here? But I'm telling you I've met these people. They are out there. And what if the random person I go up to feels that way? Not only am I a freakzoid but now I'm an unwanted-stalker-freakazoid who is invading their privacy and making them feel uncomfortable! Scary!

What do you think? Should I have just gone up and introduced myself? Should I walk away and leave the diabetes fraternizing to the DOC? Am I the only one who gets (maybe a little too) excited when they have a diabetes sighting in public? Who feels the need to bond with strangers wearing pumps or checking their sugar in public?

Please let me know if I need to seek help!

~Layne

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Herb Garden

This doesn't really have a whole lot to do with the kinds of things I normally blog about but I love to cook. Like, really really love it. And I'm even getting more into baking which is something I found hard to do at first. (I'm not that into measuring and patience, which you need in spades to bake anything decent.) I find cooking both calming and rewarding. I love having Brad act like something I made tastes amazing. I find it even more fun to adapt a recipe to our particular tastes and have it turn out that much better! Cooking has always been a hobby but lately I've been doing even more to contribute to our tasty (and healthful) meals!

I also post about this over on my cooking blog but since it's been so much a part of my life lately I thought I'd talk about it over here. Specifically, that I have been very productive lately!! I really enjoy using fresh lemons from the lemon tree that grows in my backyard as ingredients in my meals. And I have been wanting an herb garden ever since we moved into this house but I haven't gotten off my butt. Well, for some reason a couple of weekends ago, I was bitten by the bug and Sunday morning I woke up and asked Brad if we could go out and get all the things we needed for the herb garden. And so we spent the rest of the day at Lowe's and in the yard!

I decided to try and find (and plant) my favorite herbs and then the ones I use most often. (Like parsley, don't love the taste but it's great in everything for some freshness.) The front row (closest to the walk) has three herbs. Flat-leaf Parsley is the one that is farthest away, oregano is in the middle and basil is the closest, in the corner. In the back, near the house is dill (farthest away) and cilantro.

As you can see from the picture, Raina likes to be outside with us while I'm working in the garden. She loves to explore! Luckily she has she no interest in my herbs. Those are for the grown-ups!

I can't even tell you how happy I am about this herb garden. I'm scared to death that I'll kill it but so far I have prevailed. The first couple days I was afraid of drowning it so I avoided watering. I was told to be sparing on the water for the first few days!! But by day 3, they were looking wimpy, puny and all-around droopy. And I was convinced I had killed them. I read up and found out that after they are established they should be watered about every other day, about when the soil starts looking dry. So I dashed out and watered them right away. What do you know? The next day they bounced right back, must have just been dehydrated! I've taken to watering them about every other day and almost 2 weeks later they are doing great. Look at the "after" photo!!

Well, I do have one that is lagging behind! I had the worst time finding all the herbs I wanted. There were a few I was hoping for that I just couldn't find, or what I found was in pretty bad shape. Like the cilantro. It's tied with basil as my favorite herb. I just LOVE the stuff. (Oregano is Brad's favorite herb, btw). So I was beyond disappointed when after trips to 2 different places I couldn't find any decent cilantro. But I loved it so much I bought the only two plants they had that still looked half-alive. (For reference, I bought four of each of all the other herbs.) I planted them hoping that a little TLC would bring them back.

One shriveled up and died in about 2 days. Two weeks later, the other little plant is still hanging on! And it's starting to look pretty good! But it just can't quite grow and expand like the others are. Brad and I are planning a trip to the farmer's market this Sunday and I'm going to see if I can find any more cilantro buddies for the one I have that is growing lonely in my back yard!

I never thought I would have so much fun and interest in gardening. But as much as I love to cook (especially with fresh herbs) this garden really suits me. There is nothing like snipping a few fresh herbs and then making dinner with what you grew in your own backyard! I've already made salsa and some yummy pasta (to be posted soon) with my new herbs. Can't wait to use them again! Yum!

~Layne

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This is ridiculous . . .

Yes, Brad and I want a baby. Yes, Brad and I have know this since last year. Yes, I found out I would have to postpone these plans for a while. And, yes! The postponing is over!

However, I am not "baby crazy". I do not have "baby fever", dammit. It was a term I used once, in jest, to describe myself. Good Lord! Ye s, I want to be a mom but why does Brad have to tease me incessantly about having baby fever? I'm a professional, dammit. A grown adult. I'm rational, intelligent and I'm capable of having lots of things on my mind at once (work, bills, family, friends, etc). And yet he teases me all the time. Tells me the only thing I can of is babies. He even hinted that if I was so baby crazy, maybe I should just swipe one from work? I know there is that joke everyone tells about stealing supplies from your office . . . but c'mon?

Sure, I wonder constantly if I'm pregnant. But I argue that it's not so much baby fever as it is being the most impatient person on the planet. Whether it's pumping gas or waiting in line at the grocery store. . . patience is a virtue that I don't so much posses. Sure, I constantly interrogate him about about names, colors, if he's excited, will he still love me when I'm fat, etc, etc, etc. But someone has to say these things! And I'm the talker in this thing! If it were all up to him, we wouldn't talk about it 'til the kid actually popped out!

This is love, folks. Welcome to it. We're happy, we're still so in love and have a great time together. We make each other laugh all the time and every day I'm more and more convinced that I'm with the best guy on the planet. And we are trying to plan a family here! And amongst it all my husband has to go and be a 5-year-old. He even accused me of only wanting him for his sperm.

You're very funny, honey.

~Layne