About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All in a Monday.

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and it was also the day I had an appointment scheduled with my endo to review my 6 month blood work. I was happy that despite going through a very rough personal life since my last blood work in October 2013, my A1c only went up .2 points to 5.9. Since my last A1c, I lost a loved one, ate my way through 5 holidays, started a new work contract, and had my beloved sweet dog get diagnosed with terminal, aggressive cancer a week before Christmas. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly in take-the-best-care-of-yourself mode. My stress levels were through the roof; not since my 3 auto-immune diagnoses in 2010 has my stress level been so high.

BP was a little high for me- 120/84, but I think that's because I was so frazzled trying to drive down the streets and find parking in St. Paul on ST. PATRICK'S DAY. The whole damn town is a party beginning at 9am. My clinic is located directly next to the slew of Irish pubs. It took me 35 minutes just to get into the parking ramp because of all the drunk leprachauns running around the streets and blocking the green lights, and all the streets that were closed or suddenly became ONE WAY in order to accommodate all the pedestrians.

The good news, my cholesterol levels and triglycerides were all excellent. My thyroid levels, however, were out of range, meaning a reduction in my Levothyroxine dosage. And my weight was decent, at 122 lbs, especially after the holidays, a long brutal winter, and very little exercise.

And a real interesting outcome- my C-Peptide levels show my body is still producing low amounts of insulin. The level has not changed since my diagnosis. Interesting, because when I was diagnosed 4 years ago, they told me I was in the “honeymoon phase” and that could last a year. Well, 4 years later I still have the same level of insulin production. Actually, between the first and second year of having type 1, my C-Peptide levels went UP. CRAZY, right???? I know that no one, including my physician, can answer this, but I wonder if I will keep producing insulin forever. What if? I believe anything can happen!

As you know I use the Omnipod insulin pump. It’s been how I’ve controlled my diabetes since diagnosis. I’ve never done MDI and I’ve never used a different pump. But recently (meaning in the last 9 months), I’ve been having A LOT of issues with my Omnipod pump. Technical issues- where the pump repeatedly fails, and also customer service issues- where I cannot get ANYONE to help me when I’ve called. I’ve placed 18 calls to them since last September to ask for help. So many pod failures- 13 that I’ve documented and reported to the company- in a short period of time. So much insulin lost as a result of the pod failures. And feeling as though I am not getting any assistance whatsoever when I call Insulet/Omnipod’s customer service. I have been reduced to tears more than once after getting off the telephone with their “customer service” department. I took my complaint to my CDE, who took it to her sales rep contacts at Insulet, who escalated it to the regional sales director in my area. I was told a manager in Insulet’s customer service department was special handling my case and all I needed to do was call and ask for her when I called or ask for another on-duty manager in her absence. So I did call, and asked for her, but she was out of the office. I was told by the customer service representative, who kept putting me on hold to try to find a manager, that the available on-duty managers were unwilling to take the call and they just told the customer service rep to “pass on a message to me from them.” Which by the way, didn’t address ANY of the questions I had asked about the pump malfunctioning or about receiving possible reimbursement for lost insulin. I can’t tell you how many unreturned calls to them I have placed. The customer service has been horrendous. I hang up with them and think Somebody shoot me; I can’t deal with them anymore.

Long story, but my endo told me that just about EVERY patient of his on the Omnipod has complained to him about repeated, ongoing pod failures since the release of their updated pump last year. He doesn’t know what is going on with them, but feels there is definitely an issue with the current model of Omnipod. I asked his opinion on the newest Medtronic 522 pump, but stated he does not like the CGM that is in the pump; states it is still inaccurate compared to the Dexcom G4. He actually recommended I take a closer look at the T-Slim pump, as he has received good feedback from his patients who use it.

I see the CDE this Thursday to discuss my pump questions. I am not sure whether I will switch from the Omnipod right this second. I will switch from them at some point. Firstly, I have several months’ worth of Omnipod supplies I need to use up before I switch to another pump. Also, I’d like to read more d-blogs and obtain more opinions from other T1’s who use different pumps to get their opinions.

So, all in all, the endo visit was good. I like my endo. He’s a bit of a wise ass, which I appreciate.

I’m in bed fighting an upper respiratory infection and wheezing, coughing my brains out today. I have covered my face, nose, lips and forehead with Aquaphor Healing Ointment because everything is so chapped from rubbing Kleenex against it (I swear it is the ONLY thing that works on my chapped skin). Sorry, no pictures. I have only left my bed to eat, go to the bathroom, and take care of my sweet doggy. Not to mention, I have man-voice right now, real deeeep. I have finally caught up on weeks’ worth of recorded Dr. Phil. I’m on the Z-pak, so I’m sure in a few days I will feel spiffy again.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

"A Day in the Life" Follow Along with Pics

This is just a day in my regular weekday life. From day to day, Monday through Friday, not much really varies. Here’s a day in the life, pieced together, in pictures.

My alarm goes off at 5:00am. On mornings like today when it’s bitter cold outside of the covers, I might lay there for a few minutes to enjoy the warmth just a little longer. Upon opening my eyes, I look at my Dexcom to get an idea of where things were at. I did check my blood sugar in the middle of the night and I bolused down a 133 blood sugar.



I feed Bella the Corgi and take her out to potty. Then I meander my way to the bathroom to start getting ready. This is what 5am looks like. No makeup; tired as hell.



I grab some of my freshly made vegetable juice to sip on the way to work.



Every morning I am in my car by 5:50am. It is still dark out, but luckily there isn’t much traffic at that time of morning. However the roads still suck because of all the ice and snow.On the way to work, I stopped at for coffee. Medium decaf soy latte with ½ shot of vanilla.



This is my work place at about 6:30am.



Working by the little light of my desk lamp. I get to work while it is still dark, and the lights are still out. It’s peaceful and I get the most work done at this time of the day.



This is what it looks like outside once the darkness has lifted.



My work bag. It has lots of room in it to carry a laptop, magazines, personal items, lunch bag, bottle(s) of water, etc. It is black with a shamrock green interior. I love this bag! I use one on wheels because of my back issues. I put lots of snacks in it, diabetes supplies, my lunch bag, and magazines. I use one on wheels, because it gets too heavy to carry with a purse, too. With my ongoing back pain, I can’t carry a work back unless it is on wheels.



Later, I take a quick bathroom break and upon passing the big mirror in the bathroom, I realize that both of my devices (CGM and Omnipod) are very visible under my shirt. Bummer. I try not to showcase them, although from time to time, it does happen.



Throughout the day, I check by blood sugar about every 2 hrs. I keep an “informal” system of tracking my bg when I am at work: I write the times down on a large sticky note, and record the reading. This is a great visual reminder to me to help me not forget to check it every two hours when I am busy at work. It also helps me spot trends in a simplistic way. At the end of the day, I toss the sticky and start a new one the next day. Here is a picture of that, although I do not know why my BGs were running so much higher today than is usual. Oh well. That’s Diabetes!



I like to decorate diabetes whenever possible. On this day, I colored and then cut out a little pink heart for my lancet bottle. Other times, I love to decorate my pod with animal print stickers and rhinestones. Why not?



I forgot to take a picture of my breakfast, snacks and lunches, but what I can tell you is I rotate between eating a 2-egg white scramble with vegetables in it and a ½ baked sweet potato (plain) with maybe ¼ of an avocado chopped up and sprinkled on top of the eggs. OR I will have a bowl of organic, gluten-free oatmeal (I use EcoPlanet brand in Maple flavor), with a tablespoon of organic apple butter swirled in, ¼ cup raw walnuts, almond milk IF I have any in the fridge, and a small squirt (maybe a teaspoon) of agave nectar. I bolus and then wait 20 minutes to begin eating the oatmeal.

My work day ends at 3:00pm, and I drive straight home because my dog needs to go potty by then and can’t hold it any longer. If I have errands to run/shopping to do, it gets done after I’ve had a chance to run home first. The dog comes first!

Once I’m home, I change out of my clothes and into my jammies , robe and slippers. I usually put my hair up on top of my head or in a ponytail to get it out of the way. I sit with my dog and do some quiet reading of the new stories online, or maybe read a couple chapters of the book I’m reading.

I make time to do my ongoing physical therapy exercises; approx. 30 minutes.

Then I get up, make my breakfast and lunch for the next day, pack snacks, clean the dishes, and make supper. I double check to make sure everything I need is in my work bag and purse (work ID, keys, all diabetes supplies, tea thermos, etc. )Then I shower, pick out my clothes (including accessories and shoes) for the next day, and essentially wind down to get ready for bed. I go to bed fairly early.

So there you have it. Not too interesting, but it works for me. This girl runs on routine.