Photos seem to be more my speed than posting on a blog right now.
Photos seem to be more my speed than posting on a blog right now.
Foot is healing and Dexcom site is switched.
Left thigh doesn’t hurt at all but I am curious as to why the blood pooled around the edge of the sensor (yep, that’s a skort in the pic… I like to rock a skort regardless of the teasing I seem to keep catch about it) . Anyone? I don’t know why I’m so curious about this, but after all the blood upon insertion, I expected a big bloody bruise under the sensor, not around it…. Anyone?
So what’s next? In a dramatic moment (read: insane), my sister and I signed up for JDRF Ride. No, not one of the BIG Rides, but a local one…. well Jamaica….ummmmm Jamaica, Queens… which seems far away (right now) since I still haven’t figured out how we are getting there. You know what else I haven’t figured out? Bikes! We don’t have bikes! We *may* have a connection to borrowing bikes thanks to JDRF. Great! There is a 10 mile version to which I said, “pish-posh”. I regret my pish-posh attitude now. I will be riding 20 miles. I had no idea how far that was. My training so far has been 2 Citibike rides.
That is the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, which is part of the route of NYC’s JDRF One Walk. This is also the view over my Citibike handlebars and my big huge purse strapped to the front. My training looks wimpy. My training IS wimpy.
After eating way too much unhealthy food over the 4th, yesterday I went to the gym. Granted I have some sort of upper respiratory thing I’m fighting through, BUT I did a 1/2 hour on the elliptical and then switched to a stationary bike. I was good and sweaty and coughing and figured maybe I rode 10 miles. I looked down. Nope. 2.16 miles. Holy Smokes this going to be ugly. How many spin classes can I go to in 3 weeks? Eek. Remember when I did that CYC (spinning madness) class for JDRF? My sister and friend loved it so much that they still take the classes! I hope my sister doesn’t mind me riding on the handlebars of her bike.
Here’s the route (terrifying YET exhilarating and then a little “OMG” and then “those stops look fantastic”):
Next up: I leave Wednesday for Washington DC for the JDRF One Walk Conference: Road to Success. I’m excited and super curious.
And finally, in the next few weeks I hope to have some updates on the AP trials which are to begin HERE in NYC. Not holding my breath for my own guinea pig involvement and not getting over enthusiastic (so I keep telling myself).
Keep advocating folks.
WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINED AN INCREDIBLY GRAPHIC IMAGE. I MADE A DECISION TO SHOW BETTER JUDGEMENT AND REMOVED IT, HOWEVER IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH OR ARE EATING, I SUGGEST YOU READ ANY OTHER POST FROM MANY OF THE WONDERFUL DIABETES BLOGS LISTED ON THE SIDE OF THIS PAGE.
Saturday morning, some errands and cleaning. I was in my kitchenette, took a step, felt a sharp stab to my heel and pulled my foot up like a flamingo. My mind immediately flashed to the wine glass I dropped 2 weeks ago and I knew my clean-up had been less than perfect. I hopped across the room, grabbed tweezers and magnifiers (yep, jewelry supply), bent myself like a contortionist (yay flexibility) and found the offending piece, sliver, of glass. It was still partially sticking out of my heel. I was careful as can be, got the glass out (hurrah), cleaned the spot with hydrogen peroxide, made sure it bled a bit and kept it covered and clean. Whew.
Saturday night I had dinner plans and as I walked, it felt a little tender but then, on certain steps, I’d wince because it felt stabby. My favorite Mexican corn, tacos and margaritas and some walking/exploring/adventure. I wasn’t limping but I was aware that something hurt. Home, more peroxide.
Sunday was the Pride parade. My sister had never been. We had a fantastic day. I wore flip flop leather sandals and stayed out all day (according to Fitbit I walked 7.29 miles). My foot felt a little stabby still. The stab spot didn’t look red and was the tiniest of wounds. We met up with another friend. I sat on a bench and when I got up, I felt something pull on my leg. Yep, the arm of the bench hit on JUST the right angle that it pulled the Dexcom right out of my thigh. Eek. I was then the lady who reached up her dress and pulled out a Dexcom site and transmitter. I am robot, hear me roar.
Long, beautiful day, such a great parade. Love in the air, happiness in the city, catching-up with my sister, bonding with her T1D friend. A memorable day! Returned home, cleaned-up and placed a new Dexcom sensor on my thigh. The familiar pinch/stab of the Dexcom insertion. It wasn’t more or less pain. Went to place the brain (transmitter) in the sensor. WHAT IS THAT??? BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD! Dark, thick blood. What to do? Get the damn transmitter in that sensor! Little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. Get the transmitter in! I’ve never made that happen so fast. Whew? Nope, blood coming out from AROUND sensor. Blood drops on carpet and floor. The carpet AGAIN? Really? The carpet. Yep, blood. Started sensor. Got misty. Kinda miss wearing sensor in my arm. Dog starts licking blood on floor. Always disturbing.
Sensor started. Time to clean foot. More tender but the wound was practically invisible. Peroxide did nothing. Pinched area around where glass penetration/assault happened. There must be another piece in there! Enough pressure and it bled a bit. Sunday Bloody Sunday. U2 singing in my head. I’m oh so entertaining to myself. Kept looking (with magnifiers and body bent like a contortionist). So, so, so careful. Was absolutely convinced a little shard of glass was going to pop up and out. Nope. Cleaned-up. Bloody leg Dexcom looked kinda ok and wasn’t hurting.
Calibrate Dexcom. Bed. Dexcom goes bananas overnight. ??? Oh how I hate that ???. People have Dexcom bleeders that work fine. Do they have Dexcom geysers though?
Wake up through the night. Heel hurts. Dexcom is completely wacky. 4am and I’m wide awake.
Monday morning I begged the podiatrist to see me. Got referral and was on my way. I’ve written about Dr. podiatrist before. 50+ years T1D.
Let me repeat that. My doctor is 50+ year T1D.
I can’t get enough of him.
I quickly changed my mind about our bonding time when he explained the game plan for treating my foot. No way to know if there was still glass in my foot (lead is no longer in drinking glasses so wouldn’t show up on Xray). He was going to scrape the wound. Sure, I’m down with pain. “We” would know if there was glass because he’d feel it and hear it. Ummmmm, hear it? “uhhhhh Hi, I’m glass, sorry I got stuck here in your foot. Thanks for taking me to the parade. Your sister really loves you.” Ugh. So scraping started. I kept pulling my foot back. He changed my position. I agreed completely. Yes, I AM staying 100% still. No, I was flinching. In my mind I was still. THEN it hurt! HOLY HELL!!! What was he doing to my foot??? I’ll keep the glass!!! Please keep the glass in my foot! Dr. podiatrist reclined me practically upside down. Nope, just a an upside down squirmer.
New plan. Dr Podiatrist explained this would feel worse but temporarily. Errrrrr, ok. Numb the foot. Yay! Numb my foot! Numbing will feel like fire. Fire you say? No, your foot will feel like it is burning inside, in the nerves. I gave a soliliquy on my toughness. We laughed and practiced sarcastic barbs. Cold spray on foot? Cold but doable. Injection. ACCCCKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!
More scraping. I saw blood all over his gloves. I decided to look away. I talked about inhalable insulin and the artificial pancreas project. I blabbed about ONE walk and agreeing to a JDRF bike ride even though I don’t have a bike nor a way to get to the ride.
And then the noise! A metal blade sliding along glass. GOT IT! YAY! Clean-up time and wound dressing. No ocean, pool, lake, pond or puddles for 10 days. Use all this tape and gauze and stuff. Neosporin. 10 days to heal. UGH! No puddles? Wear real shoes. Ummmmm real shoes?
My doctor walked me out and we kept discussing the AP study in NYC. We talked a mile a minute. We talked about how no matter what you do, that balance…. the balance we all dream of, is just up to so many factors. We started listing the factors at each other and laughing. Food. Sleep. STRESS (stress got 2 votes). Exercise. Travel. Weather! Exercising in changing weather conditions. Living Life. I said carb counting. He said he doesn’t count carbs. I said he must eat the same foods all the time. He claimed no but he started listing meals and they sounded the same to me.
It was a fun conversation yet so poignant at the same time. He reiterated what I had said when I first came in. It looked like a nothing, little spot but it hurt, and hurting is good. Yes, hurting IS good. FEELING is good. It hurt, I felt it, I came in, and a minuscule piece of glass came out. I asked again about my feet. I never completely believe him, but I always ask about the condition of my feet. He tells me the same thing. He doesn’t worry about MY feet. There are certain feet that have problems. I don’t have those feet.
He wears shoes in his home. I have 2 planks on my wood floor that are chipped. I need to wear shoes at home too. Maybe flip flops. But I never thought about it. I’m careful outside. Time to be a bit more careful inside. Indoor shoes. Count me in.
I didn’t want to leave. My foot was numb and felt FAN-FRIGGIN-TASTIC! I wanted to stay there all day. I wanted to keep talking about finding inspiration. I promised to update him on any AP news. This would be a nice end to the story.
I walked out and took a pic of my bandaged foot. I returned to my office and everyone freaked-out. I had bled through all the dressing. I was bleeding up the tape. UP? Yep. An office mate insisted on putting huge bandaids on top of the gauze. I looked like the Frankenstein of foot injuries. I poo-pooed everyone until I saw all the blood that had soaked into my shoe. I called Dr. Podiatrist. I told him about the blood (this is where I removed the pic in this post). He said its ok. He said, in the business, “blood is good”. I laughed and explained how we DEFINITELY do not say that in MY business, ever.
So Blood is Good. Strong pulse in my feet and extremities. Strong blood flow. My blood glucose levels were outrageously high the rest of the day after the glass/scraping (so gross). Good glucose levels are key in healing. No stress there with super high BGs the rest of the day. Blood flow promotes healing.
And as for the Dexcom, It’s still in. Looking at the foot is enough Halloween Blood Manor madness for right now. I just took this pic. That’s not a shadow on the side, its a blood tie-dye. I’m going with the Dr. on this one. Blood is good and with that, I continue to learn.
There was a real plan for today’s post but the timing isn’t happening, so I offer you the following (I’ve been thinking about this a whole heck of a lot):
The greatest gift you can give someone is your
Because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.
The older I get, the more important this seems.
Now back to NOT over-treating this low BG, trying to get my dog to eat, and debating if the Dexcom I just put in today will ever stop feeling so stabby. Why so angry Dex?
A few weeks ago I was asked to do a Q&A with 2nd year medical students at (it rhymes with) Mt. My-Oh-My (medical hospital and school). Yesterday was the day. I was given very little information other than this was part of the teaching program and my doctor needed info about my T1D diagnosis (June 19, 1979). I was also told to be prepared that the students may ask some “weird” questions. Weird you say? Hell to the yes, count me in!
I ended up being 10 minutes late to the meeting spot with my doctor. I full-on ran from the subway to the hospital (I despise being late). Taking the subway during the conclusion of the St. Patrick’s Day parade was a lesson in madness. Out of breath, my doctor also a bit frazzled, I was led into the auditorium. My guess is there were about 300 students. There was another doctor presenting an older woman (dare I say elderly?). I had missed much of her presentation but as I made it to my seat, I caught that she is a fellow T1D and her doctor was giving different facts about her and asking the students what tests should or should have been performed under specific circumstances. After sprinting to the hospital and my heart pounding in my ears, I found it a bit jarring that Cutie Oldie T1D was asked to go into detail about when she had a UTI while on vacation a few years ago. Holy Shirt, things got graphic FAST. Cutie Oldie T1D spoke about getting a stent in her kidney for 3 weeks and how much it hurt to pee…. (get ready to gag or skip the next few words)… and she was peeing…puss. BLECH. Why did I agree to this AND what the hell was MY doctor about to say about ME?!?!? I frantically searched my brain for gross medical stuff I might have to talk about… oh this was NOT good.
My turn. I sat in a desk chair in front of the 300 students. My doctor struggled to find her PowerPoint presentation. I hooked up the mic to my sweater dress. No turning back now. A sea of students. I was the last part of the presentation. Lots of yawning faces staring at me.
I looked back at the screen. There was the paragraph I’d written about my diagnosis. My symptoms, local hospital where I went for blood test, my pediatrician telling my parents to take me to “the best” and sending me to Hahnemann hospital in Philadelphia. My doctor got into some specifics about the diagnosis that were not part of my story but relatively universal in many diagnosis stories. Then, “Does anyone have any questions?”. Ummmm that’s it? 2 questions about my diagnosis. Yeah, I was 6. I explained I’m about to turn 41 and I am too old to remember all the specifics but I was able to tell them some of my memories and then I was off and running.
I’m a talker. I had the floor (well chair). I started answering stuff no one was asking. My doctor threw in some questions and explained things like Regular insulin and NPH. Before I took my seat, I had heard the doctor who was running this program tell my doctor to take her time presenting because we were ahead of schedule. Too bad you let me hear that lady, because I will fill up this whole time slot…. and boy did I.
My doctor showed an image of some of the insulin pumps on the market. I pointed out the one I have and then it happened. My doctor asked if I would be comfortable showing the students my insulin pump. Ummmm. I said how I probably should have worn something different. My doctor then noticed why I said that. I was in black boots, black tights and a grey/green sweater dress. Pump squished to my thigh IN my tights. She said something about how she should have mentioned that to me earlier and I thought, “To hell with this”. I stood-up, turned to the side and saw a woman shaking her head “No”. Too late. As the words came out of my mouth I just couldn’t stop them…
“You guys ready for this presentation to get REAL racy?” and there I was with my sweater dress hiked up on my left hip while I traced the outline of my Dexcom on my thigh and my pump right next it. I showed how I could move my pump around because my tights were holding it in place but that the Dexcom was fixed in place. I talked and talked, looking damn flashy but knowing, this was a true chance to educate and I had EVERYONE’s attention.
I told them about how much I’d agonized for 3 years about getting a pump. How, like so many other T1D’s, I wish I’d done it a lot sooner but that my advice to them, if they ended up in endocrinology, was not to force a pump on anyone. Plant the seed, water it, show it some sun and then see what happens. I needed to want a pump on my own. I had to deal with my own issues of being attached to something, and my own issues of self consciousness, and meeting other people using technologies (especially Dexcom). On and on I went. I told them about how important it is for me, the patient, to work with my doctors like a team.
My doctor told them about the benefits of insulin pumps and different types of boluses. How a square wave bolus works and and I explained to them my enemy… pizza.
And then the questions… Someone asked about the psychological impact of wearing a pump. Alleluia! So I explained how I’ve had a pump for 14 years and how amazed and hopeful I am when I deal with kids, many times they are not diabetic and how they will tell me there is a kid on their (insert sport) team who has a pump too. He/she is diabetic. That’s it. They NEVER, EVER see it as a big deal. That it’s the parents of that kid who are more likely to see it as a big deal…. so-and-so’s kid is diabetic and HAS TO BE ON A PUMP. I told them my belief that these generations beneath me, live in a different, much more open minded world and they (the doctors) can help foster that.
I told them how it is hard dating and being in relationships. I can control how I present information and why I have an insulin pump but I have zero control over someone’s reaction to it and that can be hurtful no matter what age you are. How I have no control over the internet and when you Google diabetes it isn’t a pretty picture. How I look like the picture of health most of the time. I am in the best shape of my life right now, but people think my being diabetic could/will mean I will go blind, have all my limbs amputated and will die when my body can no longer handle dialysis.
More questions and more screens of the Dexcom. I explained how the Dexcom is a Godsend for me. That I live with a dog who is useless in giving me glucagon or getting me carbs. That I don’t always feel myself go low in my sleep and sometimes I manage to sleep through the Dexcom and how I feel “lucky” when ‘i see the graph the next day. I poured it all out and how freaking scary being alone and treating a low can be. My doctor explained the Dexcom arrows and I gave them my real world reactions to those arrows and how they are my very personal warning system.
I told them how I hate admitting it, but that I worry every single day about what this disease is doing to my body. I workout like crazy because it makes me feel good, it reduces stress, and it is keeping my heart and circulation going BUT it is a battle to keep glucose levels in my target range with exercise. I told them how frustrating this can be and how quickly the workout “high” fades when battling a dropping or rising blood glucose level. I explained that there is a ton of trial, error, doctorly pointers and glucose tabs that dissolve in the wash in my gym pant pockets.
I ran out of time. There was applause. My voice felt scratchy. Student thanked me as I walked from the stage. Before I left I thanked them for listening and to please become GOOD doctors. I was smirking. I couldn’t hide it. I took that presentation in a different direction and I flooded them with stories and information. I shared my passion.
My doctor walked me out and informed me that 3 people in the class are T1Ds and another 2 students have siblings who are T1Ds. She thanked me for getting a discussion started. I’m not sure about the discussion part (it was the end of the day on St Patrick’s Day) but I did feel like I did my thing.
Yesterday. Day off from gym. No overnight basal reduction needed (or so I thought). Exciting dinner of avocado and PopCorners (OMG they are so good). Glass of wine. Went to bed. Fought Dexcom beeping lows from 12:30am onward. Slept in normal spot… inside of bed (against wall). On outside of bed: Ipad, cellphone, Dexcom, dog, dog’s BFF toy Froggie, entire jar of Glucolift tablets. Ate periodic tabs. Hugged dog. Dog annoyed. BG would come back up, but still too low.
Dragged this morning. Shower. Coffee. Subway. Therapy. Latte. Dexcom beeping. Too high. Correction + bolus. Bought flowers for office. Subway. Office. Shared piece of toast with office mate. Bolus. More coffee. Bg too high. mini Correction. Work. Make jokes. Realize no one likes rap Friday. More working. BG still to high. Must be patient. Busy. Go to check Dexcom. Straight arrow down. Candy. Keep working. More beeping. Double arrow down. Use last (very old) Quick Stick. Wait. Sad that Quick Stick is gone. Put quarters in JDRF jar for all the F-bombs I dropped. $1.50 total.
And then ***PRESTO*** …..
Not the ideal BUT there’s gotta be some entertainment value in this right?
This is NOT the face of diabetes, but rather the butt.
The butt on the beach.
The butt under an umbrella.
The butt (and the rest of me) being VERY fortunate on a spur of the moment weekend getaway.
There is also a thigh of diabetes with a Dexcom G4 sensor on it.
The sensor had 3 heart rhinestone stickers to jazz it up.
The thigh of diabetes was too busy getting some sun to pose for pics.
I have a work event tonight and am the acting office floral expert.
Was attacked by a rose while getting the blossoms in tip top shape.
What’s a diabetic to do? Perfect timing for a BG check!
And almost as easy as 1-2-3 (the Dexcom pic was from earlier today. I was too busy bleeding to take BG pics).
I’ve been meaning to post this for weeks.
The BGs are truly rubbish, but do you see the profile of the face too?
Or am I crazy?
Or just crazier?