Not sexy.

15 06 2012

I hate diabetes.


Hiatus: A Summary

12 06 2012

Some of you may have noticed that I took an unexpected hiatus over the past 2 1/2 weeks. I am a graduating senior, so there were many important things I have had to take care of in the past few weeks. Unfortunately, my blog was left on the back burner. I am sorry for this and I truly hope I haven’t lost any readers because of this.

The past few weeks consisted of: my cousin’s Sweet 16, Memorial Day, the Senior Breakfast, the Halo Awards for CT Theatre, Senior Prom, my college orientation, the Connecticut High School Musical Theatre Awards, final projects, the theatre showcase, the theatre banquet, etc.

Whew. Now that I think about it, I have done a lot. I haven’t really had any time to breathe, let alone blog.

I’ll summarize all the diabetes-related snippets in this post.

Senior Prom: I bought a thigh pump band to wear under my gown, as mentioned in a previous post. The thigh band was an absolute bitch. (Pardon my French.) I secured the velcro around my thigh as tight as humanly possible. It felt like a tourniquet. Insert Hunger Games reference here. No, but kidding aside, I lost some feeling in my leg. If I made it any less tighter than humanly possible, though, it would slide off faster than I could curse. I could feel the goddamned thing gradually loosening and sliding down my leg as I was taking pictures on the town green. It got worse, though, at prom. Getting in and out of the limo proved itself to be increasingly more difficult while trying to keep something strapped to your thigh. After getting out of the limo and walking into the building where our prom took place, it began its descend. By the time I made it to the table, it was near my ankle and the stretched tubing was tugging at my site. I limped over to the bathroom with a friend to fix it. Then it hit me. Shit, I don’t think I ever told my date I’m diabetic. I’m usually really comfortable telling people I’m diabetic because I’m so used to telling people. For some reason or another, this was different. I wanted to feel sexy and free [of diabetes]. There’s something unappealing about stabbing yourself with needles and having to assess every morsel of food you eat mathematically. The thought of telling him made me queasy. I wanted to have a normal teenage girl’s fairy tale kind of prom. I wanted to lock diabetes in a closet for the night. The indissoluble presence of diabetes utterly interfered with that wish. I couldn’t let loose at any point in time, because I couldn’t stop thinking about the godforsaken ball-and-chain I had strapped to a tourniquet on my thigh that I had to conceal. But don’t get me wrong, diabetes aside, the night was fabulous.

College Orientation: As the adult that I am, I don’t like being told to do things, especially by my mother, especially regarding diabetes, especially in public. Moments after entering my orientation dorm with my randomly assigned orientation roommate, my mom says, “Do your numbers”. (In my house, “Do your numbers” is momspeak for “Test your blood sugar”.) Great first impression, mom. We’ve been in this room for two and a half seconds and you’ve already told me to do something which makes me seem irresponsible and forgetful and now she’s going to question it, rather than me being able to tell her myself. Thanks. Thanks a lot. Before I have a chance to say anything, “Oh, you’re diabetic?” I look down sheepishly as I take out my supplies, “Yup, (pause), how’d you know?” Then she replies, “My ex-boyfriend was diabetic.” “Oh.” Then my mom asks what the number is and I tell her it’s 300-and-something and the roommate says, “Oh, you’re high.” I try to determine if it is possible to melt through the bed and down two floors in order to escape from that awkward situation. Nevertheless, I couldn’t, so I just had to change the subject.

Ok, so diabetes is poop.

I always wish to present myself well, whether it be in a beautiful gown at prom or when meeting new people at orientation. Diabetes presents itself like an obnoxious rash or two-year-old leeched to my ankle. It always tries to ruin everything that makes me happy. Now, I don’t let diabetes win. I don’t let it succeed in ruining everything that makes life beautiful. But diabetes does make everything increasingly difficult. That’s one thing I can never change, no matter how much I want to.

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 2 ~ One Great Thing

15 05 2012

One of the issues with being diagnosed before I could formulate full sentences is that I had never been taught how to manage my D. My parents and other family members were taught instead. Throughout life, I gradually learned how to do things on my own. It worked out pretty swell for the most part, except for site changes. I went on the pump when I was 8 years old. It was a new thing for everyone and giving myself injections just didn’t seem appealing to an 8 year old. When I was around 14 or so, I realized that my mom won’t be able to do my site changes forever. If I rely on my mom for site changes, I can never be independent.

Long story short, site changes are now something I can do totally fine. It’s not as natural and mindless as testing my blood sugar, but the whole process has gotten a lot smoother. Injecting needles into myself using a device that resembles an ear-piercing gun every three days is not as appealing as it sounds, but hey, at least I’ve made progress. As much as it is undesirable, it’s possible. I can do it.

So that’s my one great thing. It’s not what I’m best at. It’s not the biggest thing in the scheme of things. But it is a large hurdle I have fully gotten over. I find that pretty great.


Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts
Click here for a list of Day 2: One Great Thing posts

The Elephant in the … Bra?

10 05 2012

My senior prom is coming up and I have a gorgeous dress with gorgeous shoes to match.

The absolute last thing on my mind throughout this process has been diabetes.

Today I went to get my dress tailored (I’m 5′ 2.75″ and gowns are meant for girls who are 5′ 10″) and out of habit, I clipped my pump onto the middle of my bra. The entire pump was showing. Granted, the dress is a little low cut and I’m getting some more fabric in the front, but the pump has never felt this bulky and obnoxious before. I unhooked my pump and put it with my clothes while the tailor did her examination.

I love wearing dresses and I always just cram my pump into my bra. For the case of prom, though, I’m going to have to wear a thigh band. I have never worn one and I don’t currently own one so hopefully I can get one shipped before prom.

Does anyone have any recommendations for pump thigh bands that are well-made and efficiently shipped? Suggestions would be terrific.

Diabetic Chain Gang

4 05 2012

Like this except less business-like

Ok, here’s the prequel. On Wednesday, I had a consistent 380 mg/dl to 388 mg/dl blood sugar for a solid two hours at school so I came to the conclusion that my pump site had failed. During study hall, I called my mom to ask her to pick me up so I could change my site. Due to school policy, you can’t exactly leave until you’ve gone to the nurse’s office and they determine you can go home. I exited the cafeteria, where seniors go for study hall, in stealth mode, and made my way to the nurse’s office. I told them what was going on and they said I could sit on a chair while I wait for my mom.

Moments later, the only other diabetic student at my high school stumbles into the room and crashes onto the seat next to me. A teacher who had accompanied him said “I caught this one in the hall,” to which he replied, “I was stumbling around like a drunk person“. I giggled because I know the  feeling.

While the nurse was getting him some juice, he turned to me and said, “63, you?”
I replied, “388. Site failure.”
“Do you have the tingly feeling in your legs?”
“So you’re getting scooped up?”
“Maybe I should rip my site out so I can go home.”
“I think school will be over by the time you go high enough.”

He chugs the juice and we chat about site preferences while his blood sugar goes up.
“C’mon 64, c’mon 64.”
It was 60.

A little bit later, he’s 72 so we part ways.

Eventually my mom shows up and as I’m getting in the car, I’m still laughing to myself.

Zombie Testing

22 04 2012

Incorporating diabetes management into my life is basically second nature because I’ve had it for 16 years. Recently I have been experiencing what I like to call “zombie testing”. In most cases, I’ll test my blood sugar and clean up without even looking at the number on my meter. Sometimes I look at it, but since my brain is so accustomed to staring at that little screen that I don’t truly read it and make a mental note of it. My mom will ask me what my blood sugar is to which I’ll reply “uhhhh, I don’t know” which seems like the classic rookie mistake when it comes to lying about your blood sugars. Honestly it is because I have entered the state of zombie testing. There’s no other way of describing it.

I mean, usually I’ll notice the number if I’m low because I’ll have to treat it and I probably tested in the first place because I felt symptoms. But if I’m just testing before a meal, sometimes it doesn’t matter what my number is because if it’s in target, it’s in target and if it’s high, my pump will take care of it for me when I bolus for my food.

Sometimes, my state of zombie testing gets so intense that I actually test a second time because I have no recollection of testing the first time. I will then get very confused by the déjà vu feeling of already testing before and getting the same result. Then I’ll just facepalm at my stupidity.

I’m lucky to have a OneTouch Ultra Link meter which sends my blood sugar readings straight to my Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm pump (which I can’t link to because it is outdated) using some form of witchcraft. Maybe someday diabetes management will get even more mindless. Maybe I’ll never have to consciously test my blood sugar because I’ll have a device that accurately does it for me. Maybe I’ll never have to correct highs or lows myself again because I’ll have a device that administers insulin and glucose automatically. Food for thought.

Running on E

21 04 2012

You know once in a lifetime you run out of shampoo and conditioner at the same time? Well today I ran out of insulin and battery at the same time. That’s an accomplishment.