Monday, March 13, 2017

Drinking My Diaversary Juice


Another year with type 1 has come and gone.

For those keeping count, I'm now at 33 years with T1D. And for those who've been following along over the years, you may recall that I self-designated March 10 the date a number of years ago, because I really don't know the exact date other than it was Spring 1984 when my diagnosis came along.

So, here we are one again.

Woo, freakin', Hoo.

I'm not one to really "celebrate" having this chronic condition for so long, but rather I more mark it with a head-nod and drink to the fact that I've managed to survive another year without falling flat on my face and staying put in the ground thanks to D. Sure, there's the whole hopeful mantra of You Can Do This these days, but the fears still exist for me that my time could be closer than I'd like, due to this disease.

Not yet, Hoskins.

Did I mark this diaversary in any special ways?

Not really. Though, I did drink some orange juice.

No, not because I was Low. This isn't a Shelby situation.

Rather, I've been enduring a frustrating Man Cold.

It feels strange drinking juice for any reason other than a hypo, but you can't argue with the Vitamin C powers of OJ in combating episodes of Real Person Sick (you know, when diabetes isn't the reason for feeling ill).

Other than that, not much else to report -- nothing really different about this diaversary from the one last year, the year before, and before that, and so on. Just another under the belt, on my way to the next Joslin Medalist level of 50 years with T1D (which arrives in 2034, assuming I'm still alive and kicking in 17 years).

What is notable about 2017, possibly, is that this year marks the 10-year point of when I really started blogging about diabetes here at The Corner Booth. I've since added a D to the name, but it was in 2007 when my diabetes writing began here. I'd been following others for a couple years before that, and was writing in some other forums (like LiveJournal and MySpace beforehand), but it was here that my D-writing really took form.

Interesting to look back on some of those posts from 2007 -- complications were more noticeable parts of my life, there was peeing apple juice, shuddering in the showering in our first Indiana house, and I was changing insulin pumps from Medtronic to the now-defunct Deltec Cozmo insulin pump. And apparently, I had to do a lot of waiting in my endo's office back then.

And I remember how George, Scott and Kerri were some of my first comments, among others in the DOC who are both still around and have left the online space since then.

Ah, so much in diabetes (and life) has changed over the years, yet some has stayed the same.

On a happy note, this also marks the 10-year anniversary of when we first brought Riley home. That was in August 2007, and while I apparently didn't chronicle that right away, I did write that story in our local humane society's newsletter and years later finally republished that here at the Corner Booth. So, I'll plug that again for my ever-puppy who is now 11 years old and quite white-haired, but still puppy-like and loving her Forever Home Family!

With that, here's to moving into the next year of diabetes and... (wait for it)... getting closer to that cure. ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Weird Diabetes Dreams

I'm no stranger to having crazy dreams that tie in with diabetes, sometimes in wicked weird and scary ways.

A number of years ago, I recall dreaming that I was buried alive in a coffin and trying to escape when suddenly, a scary hybrid-freak spider appeared -- complete with infusion set spider legs!



(Thanks again to Chris Sparling, a brilliant writer who has provided a number of nightmares through the years...)

Anyhow, my most recent D-dream involved what seemed at first just an every-day happening gone awry.

No memory remains of what the entirety of the dream was about, or how I ended up in the particular moment that I did. But the brunt of what I'm writing about involved me standing in front of a bathroom mirror, probably in the evening post-dinner hours. Apparently, I had eaten a salad with spinach in it with my dinner.

And as sometimes happens, a tiny little piece of that spinach snuggled itself into my gumline in my front teeth.

No big deal, right?

Well, as I stood there brushing and flossing, the spinach didn't budge. Instead, it stayed securely where it was. I used my toothbrush to target that spot specifically, and the spinach instinctively acted like a turtle and hid itself further into my gum. Almost disappearing.

I decided to just slide it out with the tip of my finger, since there apparently weren't any toothpicks in this particular dream, and that worked...

But when I removed the piece it was no longer a piece of spinach -- it was a blood test strip!!!!


Image... THIS 
 
  
+
=

YIKES!

And then, I noticed other "pieces of spinach" were lodged into the roof of my gum line.

And one by one, out came the test strips.

Then I woke up.

Shuddering, with the images fresh in my mind, I went about my morning routine a bit freaked out. And now, I can't do a BG check without getting a little unnerved.

What does it all mean?

Well, I'm no dream expert, but maybe it is related to the fact that I haven't been checking by fingerstick lately and my subconscious is trying to give me a nudge? Or, it happened to coincide with the early morning Dawn Phenom hours and my BG was starting to spike? Possibly, it was related to the fact that I've procrastinated on getting a couple tooth implants for extractions done close to a year ago...?

Who the heck knows.

Maybe it's time to motivate myself to do better on checking my BGs, even when wearing my CGM. And maybe I should also go see the dentist. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Attention all Time Travelers in 2017



This is a cautionary note to anyone who happens to be time-traveling to, from or during 2017...


Sorry to say, Time Traveling Explorers, this is real. Yep, it's not a joke. 

Even though the Chicago Cubs seriously did win the 2016 World Series (not kidding), this too is also a part of our current reality.


While many joke about this being a plot from reality TV, and it's really not far off... this is not a scripted make-believe item. This is not #FakeNews (which is a thing all in itself at this period in time).

Beware.

For your own protection and sanity, it's probably best if you just avoid the years 2016-2020 and check back on the state of the world (assuming it's still around) after that.

Make sure to be careful, too -- wouldn't want you to land back here in an even more wicked-whacked future to find some crazy Back to the Future 2 alternative timeline where bullying billionaire Biff Tannen lives in a casino resort tower and is in charge despite being a womanizing, narcissistic, vulgar... (oh wait, never mind.)

😟😞 (((Sad, emotional computer icon known as an emoji...)))

Just be careful, people. Please consider undoing whatever you might have done in the past to screw up our present.

As always, go in peace and love.

And if you happen to go back to before 2016, please passs along a big THANK YOU to all of the presidents and let them know they're truly missed here in 2017.

(btw: Do you have any extra seats on your time traveling vehicle... could I buy you a beer and possibly persuade you to take me along?)


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Playing Darts

For the past five months, I've been unconnected to my insulin pump and have been doing daily injections and inhaled insulin to keep my blood sugars in check.

All is well on that front, and at this point I have no plans to go back to insulin pumping in the near future.

As some may remember, I've been on a pump break since mid-May -- mostly because of my need to mix it up in my diabetes management, to motivate myself to get back in gear. But also, because of my frustration and disappointment in Medtronic Diabetes and their business decision-making that I, personally, do not feel best represents the D-Community.

Anyhow, with that being said... I'm still perfectly happy "playing darts."

This is a phrase my Loving and Supporting D-Spouse uses to describe my insulin injections. Whenever I ask for her help in doing a shot in the arm, she jokes that it's time to "play darts."

No, she doesn't actually toss the needle at me.

It's just a fun term of endearment we both use, to keep the daily D-tasks more light-hearted and fun in some small way.

This isn't the first time for me "playing darts," so to speak. The first 17 years of my T1 involved daily injections, and once I began pumping in 2001 there were many times I took a short pump break for various reasons. So, this time isn't new, but it may turn into a permanent break... that's still TBD, and I'm taking it a day at a time.

At the three-month mark of "playing darts" in August, my A1C was just about the same (even though I am suspicious that A1C result and think it wasn't showing the full story).

Since then, I've been bouncing around more often on the BG front and have seen some higher BGs over the past couple months due to my own slacking. But I am happy to be experiencing less unexplained hypos, so that's one for the win box.
 
I am hoping that my next visit in November reflects more of my efforts in getting my A1C down to 7%. To me, the treatment choices I've made over the past several months are the best way to get to that goal.



My Personal Afrezza Effect 

 

Afrezza is inhaled, but I've found over the course of a few months that it's barely effective in the evening hours for me. As a result, I turn to NovoLog fast-acting after dinner-time until the early morning hours, when I am happy to start my inhaled Afrezza as needed.

Over time, I've determined that one 4-unit cartridge is more like 2 or 3 units. But even that's not an accurate comparison, because this inhaled form doesn't work the same way as traditional insulin and it's a complete paradigm shift in getting used to its effects.

One thing I have noticed is that since mid-July (or roughly the three-month mark of starting Afrezza), it seems to be taking me more of this inhaled insulin to achieve the same fast-acting response as it did during the first three months.

I have tested this out in several ways -- with no food on board, very low carb and protein, higher "simple" carb meals, little stress and normal temps without any illnesses messing with me. Even have tried paying more attention to my inhalation technique, focusing on that "deep lung penetration" aspect to ensure I'm getting of the powder into my system properly. All of them have shown the same result: a single cartridge of Afrezza just isn't working as effectively as it once did.

 Usually, within 30 minutes I can start seeing the Afrezza Effect on my CGM. At times, it may take up to an hour to reflect any meaningful change, while at other times it's noticeable within 15-20 minutes. All just depends on the day, time and most likely whether a dog wagged its tail overseas...



That doesn't phase me from using Afrezza most of the time, it's just one more piece of information that I use in determining what's needed to keep my D in check. If that means an 8 instead of a 4 unit, or a couple of them instead of one, so be it.

I'm happy this is part of my toolbox to manage diabetes. It's also nice that my insurance company has gotten over its hesitancy in covering this and my local pharmacy seems to have overcome its ineptitude in access Afrezza. For now, at least.

Trying a New Basal Insulin

For basal insulin, I've been using Lantus twice a day.

A new basal insulin that I have just started this week may help on that front. On Tuesday morning, I began using the extra long-acting Tresiba that's supposed to last for 42 hours. This is something my doctor and I decided would be best, since I sometimes tend to miss a basal dose in the morning or evening, and because with Lantus my BGs spike on the tail-end.

So hopefully, Tresiba works better for me combined with Novolog and Afrezza.

At some point, it may be worth investigating new and exciting options in the smart insulin pen world, but that's something to explore down the road once we get into a new year... we shall see.

Appeal of Latest Diabetes Tech?

 

Whether I ever return to my Medtronic insulin pump is TBD, and despite the very exciting recent news of the first-ever Hybrid Closed Loop being approved, I do not have an interest in what the company offers at this time. Specifically for me, data-sharing is a deal-breaker and when MedT tells me that I have to use the 3+ YEAR OLD model and not the newly-designed 630G or hybrid closed loop... um, no. You lose.

More exciting is the Tandem t:slim X2 pump platform that is now available, and while I have no interest in returning to a pump right now, this is the one that temps me the most -- especially since it works with the Dexcom CGM sensor, one that I trust a lot more than the promises of any MedT tech that are still questionable to me.

With those D-tech points aside...

In the meantime, I'm happy using the darts I have and trying to hit as close to the bullseye as possible when it comes to BGs and staying in range.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Our Wedding Engagement Newspaper


Happy Wedding Anniversary, Suzi!


As I do every year, I sit back on this special day and re-read the newspaper I created to propose back in March 2003. This full eight-page broadsheet is the one I spent about three months creating many months in advance.

It was quite the task, writing my own stories, editing and designing, selling ads to pay for the whole thing, and recruiting a roll of writers made up of family and friends. All of them keeping the upcoming marriage proposal a secret, of course!

I still remember staying out late at night, telling you they were late nights in my real paycheck-providing newsroom job when in fact they were spent at my old college newspaper stomping grounds putting this paper together.

It was tough, but it all paid off.

This is really a place to post the full newspaper, to keep it alive in digital form online. Sure, I have a couple dozen copies left over from the 1,000 created for that night and beyond. And every one of those eight pages has been framed to display in our home, to display for us to reflect on and for all those who might want to look at them.

Our newspaper hits the 21st century blogosphere, for the entire online universe to see as it may want to (likely clicking on the images themselves, to make them show up in readable sizes...)

The Daily News, Engagement Edition. Created for the proposal event on March 15, 2003.

Front Page

Page 2

Link to Front Page Proposal story. And the Page 2 jump.
Link to Speech story. And Page 2 jump.
How'd we catch each others' eye? Here's a Christmas 2002 account of those initial impressions...
Link to the Page 2 story on Sustaining Surprise.

Page 3

Inside Spread, Pages 4-5

Written by one of Mike's good friends from high school. (Click for bigger image)


Page 6
 Link to In the Beginning, a story of Us on Page 6.
Link to Page 6 story 9/11 emails between Mike and Suzi

Page 7
Back Page (The Ad Page)


Happy Anniversary, my love.

Our story continues, and I'm honored to have the chance to live it with you.