Updates.

So summer 2015 is almost over already.  And only 4 months left of this year.  How on earth did that happen??!?  This year is completely flying by.  It’s been months since I’ve posted, so I thought I’d give a general update.  In case anyone wants to know 🙂

Since mid-March, I’ve been back on my beloved OmniPod.  I switched to a different pump at the end of last year because of insurance changes.  My durable medical equipment is no longer covered at 100% and the cost of pods are significantly more expensive compared to traditional pump infusion sets and reservoirs.  However, I received a promotion at work in March that came with a decent raise.  So I jumped back on the OmniPod since I could afford it better.  And I’m one happy pumper!

I was using Apidra in my insulin pumps for over 3 years.  Come January 1st, my insurance stopped covering it.  Since they were already not covering Humalog, that left me with switching to Novolog.  I used Novolog for some time before switching to Apidra and it worked ok.  So I went back to it.  Until recent weeks, I was noticing high postprandial readings and realized it could’ve been the insulin.  One of the benefits I found from Apidra was better postprandials.  I consulted my CDE about it and she offered to file a pre authorization for me.  I figured why not?  Well it was approved!  So I am now able to get Apidra for the next year.  Phew.

I had my quarterly appointment last week with my retina specialist.  Since it’s going on 4 years since I was diagnosed with retinopathy/DME, these appointments are always a little nerve racking.  But I received a good report!  After just one treatment of Lucentis, my eyes have been stable since.  For this I am EXTREMELY thankful.

Other things have been a bit hectic over the past two months.  I’ve had numerous doctor appointments with no end in sight yet.  It started with a trip to a cardiologist, which was a first for me.  I mainly went for peace of mind and not because I was having symptoms.  Of course with type 1 diabetes, especially having it for a long time, the higher chance is there for heart issues.  I had an echo-cardiogram and a stress test which thankfully came back normal.  Although not without major anxiety.  I was having some periods of dizziness so that lead to a bunch of tests including a cat scan of my frontal bone and carotid artery test.  Luckily those were normal and the dizziness subsided.  I had a full blood panel completed which did not reveal any major health issues.  It did show that my A1c went up a bit but I’m hoping Apidra will help get that back down.  I found my very first primary doctor.  I do not actually see the need for one since I have a multitude of specialists and see my endocrinologist regularly.  However it seems for certain things, she may actually be helpful.  And I liked her so that’s a plus.

I’ve been dealing with leg pain when walking for years and years.  I had an NCV test done a few years ago which showed no signs of nerve damage.  I also had an arterial doppler done two years ago which showed no sign of any vascular abnormalities.  Along with the echo-cardiogram and stress test, my cardiologist ordered an ABI test, which tests for peripheral artery disease.  This test was inconclusive which in one way is a good thing since there was no definite sign of PAD.  My primary doctor ran blood work to check muscle enzyme levels.  Normal.  She referred me to a neurologist who I saw today for a consult.  She ordered an MRI and an EMG which I will have done in the coming weeks.  She thinks it is a mechanical issue which I’m not even really sure of what that means.  This chapter is to be continued.

I was diagnosed with gastroparesis a few years ago and IBS before that.  And they have not been playing nice lately 😦  I’m paying a visit to my gastroenterologist next week (she’s probably feeling left out!) to see if we need to explore other treatment options.  And praying she doesn’t want to send me for any tests!

While all of these issues may not be diabetes related, they have most certainly been explored more thoroughly and seriously because of it.  My head is spinning because of all the appointments and tests, and it’s hard not to get down from it all, I’m trying to remain positive.  Staying on top of my health is something within my control.  I am more than happy to endure endless tests and meetings with doctors if that means I can identify issues early and treat them accordingly.  Diabetes be damned.

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Some Updates.

I realize I have not been blogging much lately so wanted to say hello to everyone and let you all know what’s been going on around my neck of the woods and keeping me busy.  Or maybe distracted.

 

  • It seems my blog anniversary completely slipped by me!  The end of August marked four years since I started here and I want to thank everyone that has ever stopped by to read, to comment and support me.  This wouldn’t mean to me what it does if it weren’t for all of you.
  • In July, I had a repeat gastric emptying scan done.  Unfortunately it confirmed what both me and my gastroenterologist figured, my gastroparesis has progressed.  Compared to the first one I had four years ago, it is still considered mild but it has gotten worse.  She prescribed two medications to take as needed and luckily I’ve been able to manage without them.  My hubby did some investigating to see if there were any natural remedies to help and he found out about ginger root.  I have been taking capsules before most meals and have noticed that it does help.  Thank you hubby!  I have learned a lot about this condition and it is not something that I would wish on anyone.  I’m truly hoping that managing my blood sugar as best I can will help keep it mild.
  • A few weeks ago I had my very first insulin pump infusion site infection, after almost 8 years of pumping.  I had removed the pod from my lower back and it was a little sore which is not completely unusual.  However the next day it was extremely painful and with the advice of a friend, I had it looked at by a doctor.  It was indeed infected so was put on 10 days of an oral antibiotic.  It has healed nicely but I have to admit I’m a bit weary of getting another one.  I’m hoping it was just a one-time-fluke type of thing.
  • I have been more involved with IRL citizenship and advocacy type efforts.  I am part of the citizenship committee as well as the disability network at my job.  It is very fulfilling to be part of such great networks and helps make my “regular” job more worthwhile.  I am also on the walk committee of my local JDRF chapter this year.  It makes me proud to be part of an organization that has announced such exciting advances in type 1 diabetes research in recent months.
  • Over the past 2 months, I haven’t exercised and my eating habits weren’t always the greatest.  While I’m finally working on changing that now, I was extremely surprised at the results from my endo appointment this past week.  A1c went down, not up like I expected and also one of the lowest I’ve ever had.  Also I lost a couple of pounds.  None of this makes much sense to me and really not the motivation I was hoping for to get back on track but honestly I’ll take it.  It makes me think back to all the times I was expecting and hoping for an A1c a lot lower than it turned out to be.  Sometimes diabetes is just unpredictable.
  • Most importantly, on September 3rd, my Mema (grandmother) passed away.  It wasn’t sudden as her health had deteriorated rapidly since earlier in the year but I still cannot believe she’s gone.  I’m glad I got to spend more time with her the few weeks before she passed, even though she may not have realized it was me.  I’m glad and thankful she was a part of my life for so long.  I’m glad that she lived such a full life – she would have been 95 next month, had 8 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.  I’m glad that she went peacefully and is now in a better place.  But it still hurts and I miss her dearly.

 

I suppose that’s most of it in a nutshell.  I’m hoping for more peaceful times to come and to make a better effort at blogging more often.  Especially with a big month coming up with a lot to do and say.  Oh, one more thing.  I got the new iPhone 6 on Friday (I was one of the crazy people who pre-ordered early in the morning on September 12th and not the crazy person who got on a line at the Apple store two weeks ago) and would highly recommend it for other iPhone lovers out there!

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(image credit goes to the internet)

Again?

Right after Memorial day, I came down with an illness.  I was sick for almost 2 weeks with multiple trips to the doctor to rule out pneumonia.  It was diagnosed as severe bronchitis and warranted a dose of steroids to finally get rid of.  It was one of my sickest moments and I was hoping to never have that again.  Ever.

Fast forward to the end of summer, Labor Day being just a couple days ago.  And I am sick again.  With just about the same symptoms, just not as severe.  Needless to say, I am not a happy camper.

What has me bummed the most is I don’t understand why I keep coming down with such illnesses.  Yes I know that being a person with T1D, my immune system is compromised.  But I have been trying to stay healthy, especially over the past 6-8 weeks.  I have been exercising about 5 times a week, making healthier food choices, and adding a nutritious meal replacement shake to my diet.  And yet I still got sick with not just a little head cold.   Is diabetes really to blame?  Would I be getting so sick otherwise?  Do you feel like you get sick a lot too?  I know I will get better but it’s been a week already and I’m frustrated with feeling so bad.  Right now, I am hating this and wish there was something to blame.

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.

Sick or Not.

I haven’t been feeling well for going on two weeks. Not exactly sick but not well. When you have diabetes, any little ailment or ill feeling causes more questions and concerns than normal. And I hate that. Things like the sniffles or a little dizziness or some fatigue can be brushed off by a person without diabetes if they choose. But when you have to worry about your BG as well as the feeling you are experiencing, it’s a whole different ball game. Your mind begins to wander about the cause of your suffering. Could I be starting with another auto immune condition? Could it be complications? Is it diabetes related at all? To determine if your high BG is being caused by not feeling well or if not feeling well is being caused by your high BG is next to impossible. Not to mention making sure ketones aren’t part of the scenario. It can all be a bit overwhelming.

As for what has been ailing me, I’m hoping to find out. I’ve already had a couple of things ruled out and have a few appointments scheduled in the coming week. I have a feeling most of my symptoms could very well be allergy related believe it or not. And if that’s all it is, I can deal with that. I really just want to feel back to normal already. Especially to get back to working out. (did I really just write that??) But I take not feeling well very seriously. Maybe too seriously?  And I can’t help but place the blame for that on diabetes.