Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Two nights ago, just after crawling into bed, my blood sugar dropped from above 200 to under 70 over the course of an hour.  My CGM alarmed for a reading of 64 just after 11 pm.  Then again for a reading of less than 55 a few minutes later.  And I didn't feel a thing.  When it was still showing a reading of 40 a while later I decided I'd better do a finger stick check and was sure that my sensor was off because I didn't feel the slightest bit low.  CGM said 40, bg meter said 49.  Pretty close.  Then, last night around midnight, I was awakened by a low alarm.  I vaguely remember looking at the screen and seeing a red 63, silenced the alarm and went back to sleep.  I don't remember any more alarms, but there must have been more because looking at the graph this morning the low continued.  Until the graph disappears all together.  When I grabbed the Dexcom this morning to check my levels as I do every morning it was turned off.  At some point in the night I tired mind must have thought the best way to get the alarms to stop was to turn off the receiver.  Genius move, Craig.  Not only do I not feel my lows, now I am turning off the one warning system I have in the middle of the night.  Why do I not feel low at all?  I read a lot about people feeling the effects of bg below 50 or 60 and not being able to function and yet I can fall to 40 and not even realize it if not for the CGM.  I don't know which is scarier, reacting in a way that shows some pretty frightening physical symptoms or not reacting at all.  What happens on the day I don't have my CGM on or if I can't afford it?  Am I going to drop low and not know it until I am unconscious?  Of notice too late to react?  Or even worse will I be driving and drop low with now warning and become a danger to others?  Will my kids be in the car?  Just one more thing that scares the shit out of me.  One more thing the haunt the recesses of my mind as go throughout the day and one more thing to think about before I go to sleep.  Am I going to wake up tomorrow?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

DBlog Week: My Favorite Things

I have to admit that I hard time writing every day for the last week and an even harder time reading ALL the posts, but I did read a lot and there were so many great posts.  It was great to see that I'm not the only one who gets bogged down in all the details or finds myself in a funk that I can't get out of.  The posts by Pancreassassin, Mike Hoskins, and Six Until Me, along with so many others showed me that even those who seem like seasoned vets deal with some of the same things a rookie like me does.  This piece by Chris Clements was one of my favorites from poetry day.  The SNL spoof and these limericks had me rolling on the floor.  I didn't get to put as much in to some of the posts as I would have liked and I didn't get to read everything, but my first DBlog week was great.  Being a pretty new blogger I loved to see my page counts go up and get some comments from others in the DOC.  It's great to know that I'm not the only one out there and that some of the things I write resonate with others the same way so many of the posts I read do for me.  Thanks for a great week DOC.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

DBlog week: Saturday Snapshots

was going to take pictures all day yesterday and have this post up this morning but that didn't happen (12 hour work days make me forgetful) so then I was going to take pictures all days today, however I only got a few.  But here's what my day looked like!
On top of that there was fixing the water in the garden and cleaning the garage.  All in all, a successful day, just not blog wise 

Friday, May 16, 2014

DBlog Week Wildcard- Tell Me A Story

I'm pretty new at this and don't really have any tricks up my sleeve yet.  Aside from slathering myself on Skin Tac and using Opsite tape to hold on the Dex sensors I don't really do anything out of the ordinary.  So instead, this is what I imagine my G4 wants to say to me.

I've been by your side for almost a year now (well not me, you broke my cousin and then I came along).  I gotta say we are a pretty good team.  I don't mind being stowed away in your pocket most of the day.  It's really quite nice in there.  Dark, quiet, and the swaying puts me right to sleep.  At night I get to hang out on the nightstand and watch you sleep.  Sorry if I get a little rowdy sometimes but it's for your own good.  I mean, someone has to tell you when you're headed for disaster because go knows you're not going to realize it on your own.  And I know I can throw a little guilt trip your way now and then, flashing all those yellow dots in your face.  I hope you know I'm just looking out for you.  It's kinda my job.  All in all, we're a pretty good team.  I take care of you, you take care of me.  I hope we're together for the long haul.

I keep thinking I need a name for my Dexcom.  Any suggestions?  I'm leaning towards Harrison, if you're a Dexter fan, you'll understand.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

DBlog Week Thursday: Mantra's and More

What brings me back up when diabetes brings me down?  This is a hard one for me.  Yesterday's post was easy because I've been fighting some demons lately.  Getting back up is something I've not done a particularly good job at.  The best I can do is remind myself that the feelings are temporary and that things will get better.  Or really that things are already better than I think.  It helps to do something different, spend some times with the kids or go for a run.  Sometimes I try to write and sometimes I just veg out and play some video games.  I think the biggest thing for me is to remember that I can get through it and to distract myself from the things that are stressing me out.

There are times however when the feelings are clingy, like that low you just can't get rid of.  Those are the times when I have to step back and let my numbers slide a little.  Sometimes I just turn on the Dexcom for a few hours or for the day, or if it's time to replace the sensor I'll leave it out for a couple of days.  Having the constant information is so useful 99% of the time.  But there is that 1% that it is just overwhelming, serving as a reminder that I will have to do this forever.  There isn't really a go to pick me up I guess.  It varies.  Sometimes it's as easy as escaping into the virtual world, and sometimes it requires a short vacation from the constant information flow and reminders.  However I do it, I think the most important thing is remembering that it will pass.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

DBlog Week- What Brings Me Down

Living with any chronic disease, diabetes included, makes one more susceptible to depression.  I am no exception and it took me some time to realize that.  I am a pretty introverted person by nature and not inclined to talk a lot about the way I feel.  I tend to internalize my feelings, convincing even myself at times that they are not there.  From my original diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes, to my re-diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, and still today, I have struggled with depression.  It wasn't too hard to tell my doctor that I was having signs of depression.  I had no motivation, I just wanted to sleep the day away, I didn't enjoy the things that I used to, and it took every ounce of effort I possessed just to get up and go through the motions.  It took a lot more for me to admit that it was going to take more than a pill to make things better.  The breaking point for me came a few months ago when the Pretty Lady in My Life told me how hard it was to watch me push everyone away and be someone that was not the person she knew.  I knew I was down, but I didn't really know how bad it was or how it was effecting the people that I loved.  That was the moment I knew that I needed to get more help.  Not just for myself, but for everyone else in my life that I cared about.  So I started looking for a professional to help me through it.  Admitting that I needed that kind if help was difficult for me, and going beyond just saying that I was going to go talk to someone was very hard as well.  I put off making appointments using my busy schedule as an excuse.  Finally getting in to see someone has been a great help, although I have been through a few people already trying to find the right fit.

Depression, like diabetes, is different for everyone.  For me, it seems to go in cycles.  When I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, my moods seem to peak and I crawl out of the fog.  The challenge is staying there when things get tough.  Once I begin the descent, climbing back out gets hard, and it is so easy to get bogged down in the negative feelings.  There are times when I feel broken.  My joints hurt from arthropothy, I see the bruises on my stomach from injections, every blood sugar check and insulin injection is a reminder that my body will never function the way it should.  Other times the stress of diabetes management and life just gets to be a bit much and I have to remember to take a time out and recharge.  That might mean a short Dexcom vacation, or night out to forget about the stresses of life.  Whatever it is that brings me down it is important that I remember the feelings are temporary, I'm not alone, and that ultimately, I am in control of the feelings, not the other way around.

I still struggle with depression, I probably always will, and I'm still trying to find the best way to work through it.  If you struggle with feelings of depression, be it from life with diabetes or something else, just remember that you are not alone.  There are others that are going through the same thing that would be more that happy to lend an ear.  There are people around you that care about you and sometimes you find them where you would least expect them.  You are strong enough to get through it, and that starts with finding the strength to talk about it.  For you that might just be talking to a friend or your significant other, or it might mean finding a professional to help you navigate the stormy seas.  Whatever it is, as hard as it may seem to take the first step, it is worth it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DBlog Week- Poetry Tuesday: 38

My Hands and knees begin to shake
My Skin moist with perspiration
My Lips are numb and tingling tongue
A fog settles in over my mind
I don't walk but float to the kitchen
My Memory fails to tell me why I am there
My mind bounces like a bobblehead
The ability to focus has escaped me
I Prick my finger and test as if on auto pilot
A number too low for comfort flashes on the screen
My hand instinctively finds the plastic tube
Chalky goodness hits my tongue
I find myself planted on the couch in a sweaty heap
Unaware of how much time has passed
Vague memories slowly creep into view
Survived another low

Monday, May 12, 2014

DBlog Week- Change the World

Prior to being diagnosed with diabetes almost 3 years ago I felt compelled to give back to the community in some way but was not sure how I wanted to do that.  Post diagnosis I became involved with the ADA Community walks program. That was my first experience with volunteer work and with the diabetes community.  For two years I was the Volunteer Walk Coordinator for the Boise ADA Community Walk.  That experience awakened a passion in me.  A passion to donate my time towards raising money and awareness for people that experience what I do on daily basis.  That also led me to discovering Idaho Diabetes Youth Programs and Camp Hodia (last part of Idaho, first part of diabetes).  Like so many other camps across the country, Camp Hodia provides an opportunity for kids and teens with Type 1 diabetes to be around other kids their own age who are going through the same things as them.  When they go to camp they no longer feel like outsiders, they feel normal among other kids just like them.  Originally I thought about volunteering as a counselor but that wouldn't work with my current home and work schedule.  Then I was contacted about helping with a fundraiser for the camp.  This experience was one of the most rewarding of my life.  If the ADA walk ignited the fire in me for volunteering then this fundraiser fanned those flames. 
Not being diagnosed until I was 26 I never experienced camp.  But I do experience the isolation of diabetes and the feeling that no one gets it.  From the first meeting I felt like what I was doing was right, but it was not until the night of the event that those feelings really peaked and overflowed.  Seeing the hard work of our group come together for our event and seeing a room filled with generous people joining up to support kids with diabetes was overwhelming.  During the live auction portion of the fundraiser I stood at the front of the room and was in awe of the amount of money people were putting up for the cause that I had grown so passionate about in the months spent planning prior to that.  The 14 year old daughter of our fundraising committee leader, a PWD and camper herself, spoke towards the end of the auction.  She spoke about her diagnosis, about what life with diabetes was like for her, and what camp meant to her.  She talked about the feelings of isolation and being an outsider, having to count carbs, dose insulin, and constantly check her blood sugar while her peers went about living normal lives.  While I am in a much different place in my life than this young girl, I knew just what she was talking about because I experience those same feelings in my own life.  She went on to talk about how she looked forward to camp every year and being able to spend a week at a place where she felt normal and had friends who were the same as her and knew what she was going through.  As she spoke the tears welled up in my eyes.  The passion that I felt for this cause grew by leaps and bounds as I saw first hand the effect of the money I was helping to raise.

I had often heard and seen people volunteering their time and energy for causes that they believe in.  But until I experienced it first hand I never really understood what drove them to do that.  Their time could be spend doing so many things, but they chose to give it these organizations.  Our auction and gambling night for Camp Hodia raised over $44,000, over double the original $20,000 goal.  And did I mention that this was the first year the event had been held?  That fundraiser took place almost two weeks ago and I am still in a dreamlike state when I think about way it made me feel.  I am still in awe of what a few people working together toward a common goal can accomplish.  I still feel like telling every person that I might what we accomplished.  Some things I put my time into are a bit selfish in that they directly effect me or I benefit from the results.  Others, like Camp Hodia, I will never personally benefit from outside of the feelings of accomplishment and pride.  Either way, I encourage anyone who has a cause they are passionate about to get out and do whatever you are able to support it, you will not regret it.

You can find more information about Camp Hodia here