Monthly Archives: September 2012

Diabetes Art Day.

So today is Diabetes Art Day.  I am SO happy I wasn’t as late in posting this as I thought I was going to be.

I loved catching up on the art day submissions little by little during the day.  I admire everyone’s creativity!  And a special thank you to Lee Ann, for starting such a fun event 🙂  I’m not all that creative but still love to add what I can come up with.  Usually Joe helps me out but this year I had the help of another friend.

I hate when I have bad diabetes days but hate it even more when my friends do.  Truth.

Diabetes History.

Unfortunately I’m not talking about some major breakthrough in the research for a cure or some mind blowing new product on the market.  I am referring to history that was made yesterday in my own diabetes world.  I had my quarterly appointment with the endocrinologist but it was also my annual physical with her, so a much more comprehensive exam.  As usual, I was nervous.  I hate that I get nervous every time I see her but I can’t seem to help it.  Thankfully yesterday was probably one of my best appointments.

I had printed out my BG readings for her, in all sorts of different report variations, from downloading my OmniPod PDM the night before.  In scanning over them, I wasn’t too pleased with what I saw.  In the past month, my BG was in the 80-180 mg/dL range only 61% of the time.  180-250 was 23%, over 250 was 5%, 60-80 was 9% and under 60 was 2%.  In other words, higher than I would have liked.  My last A1c test was done at the end of April so I was overdue for my normal 3 month routine.  That last result was over 7% and had crept up .2% since the time before that.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, in the past 5-6 years, I have been much more diligent with my diabetes management.  Between going on the pump, testing more frequently, using the CGM uninterrupted for the past 3+ years, keeping up with my appointments with the CDE, trying to stick with a regular exercise routine.  Despite my efforts though, I have only had an A1c under 7% once.  Four years ago.  And to this day I still think it was a mistake!  However, yesterday it happened again.  Since I am not shy about sharing my A1c levels , it was 6.7%.  (although it seems much easier to share when it’s a good result!) I literally hesitated for a moment when Dr. K said it and I said to her “wait, what?”  It was a complete shock.  My overall BG readings have not been much better or worse than they usually are.  And especially after feeling that my readings have been higher than I’d like, having almost a 1% drop was not at all what I was expecting.

I was almost too happy to care at the moment about why.  But later I really started thinking about it.  And honestly the conclusion I came up with is that I wish I knew what I had done right the past 4 months so that I could keep doing it!  I’d say in the past 4 months I’ve been more consistent with exercise than before.  Yet I wouldn’t say I’ve been consistent ALL the time.  (the past 2 weeks for instance have lacked exercise big-time)  So the only thing I can think of that had such an impact is my choice of BG meters.   When I used older One Touch meters and when I first started using the PDM with the Freestyle strips earlier in the year, I always thought the readings ran low.  Since switching to the newer Verio IQ as my primary meter and more recently changing the calibration code on my PDM, my readings run higher.  Could this be the magic trick?  Is there a scientific reason this could be?  I’m not sure and I guess I shall see if this trend continues.  And I sure hope it does.

In other news, I have lost some feeling in my feet but this I knew.  At my physical exam last year, Dr. K saw this and sent me for an NCV test which came back normal.  Yesterday was the same – I stopped feeling the vibration on my feet from the tool thingy (tuning fork?) before it actually stopped vibrating.  I do get major pain in my legs when I walk so she had them do a Doppler test.  Which also came back normal.  So the feeling loss in my lower extremities does not appear to be from nerve damage or circulation issues.  While I’m glad it is not for those reasons, I’m stumped as to what it could be from.  Something else I will keep monitoring.

Good appointments like this leave me feeling happy, naturally.  And hopefully not so nervous for the next one.

Patriot Day.

Every year, on the anniversary of 9-11, I do not feel right carrying on my day as usual.  My thoughts, and everyone’s thoughts, are all about what happened on that day.  And rightfully so.  As much as we as a nation came together and fought back, things will never be the same.  Just the sound of that date being spoken brings back all the memories.

I was working in Manhattan that day but fortunately not close enough to where the attacks happened.  It still was close enough to feel very frightened.  To feel betrayed by human kind.  To feel violated.

I cannot grasp the terror the people in the presence of those attacks suffered through.  I cannot comprehend that people actually planned those acts of violence.  I cannot fathom the loss people endured when starting that day like every other.  And I cannot understand that people are still losing their lives from things like cancer.

Today I will have to carry on.  I will have to sit in my office to file reports with regulators this morning.  I will have to attend my annual physical appointment with my endocrinologist later on.  But my mind will be somewhere else.  It will be trying to remember and honor all the innocent people who lost their lives that day.

A Good Cry.

Wow.  When you haven’t cried in a while and something sets you off, it’s kind of hard to stop.

That was pretty much my night last night.  The reason I was crying was because I was relieved.  But I was also very angry.

I was having discomfort in my chest.  It started when I woke up in the morning but subsided pretty quickly.  Then later in the day, it came back but was pretty bothersome.  It was high in my chest, beginning toward my shoulder but then more toward the center of my chest, by my sternum.  It hurt more when I moved which lead me to believe it was muscular or something like that.  However I couldn’t help but wonder if it was something more serious.  Like heart related.  The only history I have of any heart related issues is high blood pressure.  It’s only been borderline high, not excessively high, and I’ve been on medication for a number of years.  I’ve also had normal EKGs for years.  However I have never had a full heart “check up” before.  I’ve put on some weight over the years and am not exactly in the best physical shape ever.  Most importantly, I’ve had diabetes for going on 31 years.  That is a long time of high and low blood sugars.  This is what scares me the most.  And that is why I was angry.

It was because I have diabetes that lead me to going to the urgent care near me and getting checked out.  I wanted to be safe than sorry and I think Joe felt the same.  (He is the one who persuaded me to go) But had I not been a diabetic, I would’ve brushed the discomfort off and waited to see how I felt in the morning.  Last night I hated diabetes for what it can do to your body.  I hated it for making me worry more than the next person.  I hated it for reminding me what my father went through.  I hated its very existence.

Thankfully the EKG came back normal.  The doctor seemed to think it was something called Costochondritis, which if you’ve never heard of it like me, it is inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone or sternum.  Yup some more inflammation.  He prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and did recommend I see a cardiologist at some point.  I will discuss this when I see my endo next week.

I don’t get out of sorts about diabetes often.  But last night I did.  And it felt so good to cry it out.

Deep Sympathy.

I haven’t posted about this yet because I’m really not sure what to say.

In my life so far, I’ve lost all but one grandparent.  An aunt.  Friends.  My mother in law.  My father, even, which hurt deeply.

But I do not know what it’s like to lose a spouse.  Someone who is your best friend.  The father of your children.  Your soul mate.

September 2nd , Meri had asked everyone to set aside that day for praying and fasting for Ryan’s recovery from his battle with cancer.  Instead he lost the battle and gained eternal peace.

It is times like these that I wonder why.  The Schuhmacher family already has to cope with 3 children living with type 1 diabetes.  Shouldn’t that be enough?  Sometimes life just isn’t fair.  But those thoughts aren’t even coming from Meri.  Those thoughts are coming from me.  I admire her for her strength and courage.  But no one could possibly go through something like this without help.  That is where we come in.

Please visit this page and make a donation, no matter how small, to help such a wonderful family.  They both offered so much to others, in terms of support and inspiration and kindness.

Give Forward

Although I never met the family in person, they are a part of the diabetes community that is like a family to me.  And my heart goes out to them just the same.

I am praying for them every day.

(image credit: Our Diabetic Life)