Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This has nothing to do with diabetes, but everything to do with brownies!

I am currently making brownies in a glass pie pan. There is an explaination for this. The typical pan we use for brownies is in the basement fridge chilling with some random tomatoes in it; some kind of salad thing using the ridiculous number of cherry tomatoes we grew. So I was looking for another similar pan, 9x9 or so. We have a metal one; it appears to be kind of rusty. I did not want to use it. I kind of wanted to use a loaf pan, but my mom said it would probably never get done in the middle; this made sense, so I chose a pie pan! Huzzah for brownies!

Our oven is also broken, yet I am making brownies in it. It is a GE Profile double oven; never buy any GE appliance if you're buying them [that's a subject for another post]. We've surmised that the keypad is the problem, we keep getting F7 errors. I did some final debugging/crapIcan'trememberthatotherword and yesterday we ordered the part. It's been bugging us for like a year now, and we've only just now bothered to figure out how to fix it; the appliance guys wouldn't even come out to look at it.

I need to remember to take a pic of my 'sculpture' for Diabetes Art Day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Eye Doctor Visit

Today, after a manufacturing camp with pizza that I clearly did not bolus well for, I had my yearly ophthalmologist's appointment. I went in, sat, got looked at, got drops, they decided my prescription hadn't changed, they dilated my eyes, I sat there for a long time, the doctor got me, looked at my eyes and told me like he always does 'no signs of diabetic retinopathy' (which I apparently pronounce wrong whenever I read it in my head... random!).

But the lady who oringinally did all the drops and stuff asked me how my blood sugars had been. I sort of rambled about how that's a weird question, because it goes up and down all the time. I get that you ask the question, but it's still weird to answer. So I gave her what the Dex was saying, which was 217... See the pizza mention above. Then I gave my last A1c, which was 7.2 - almost three months ago, because I see the endo on Thursday.

Yep, so long story short, good eye exam. Yay. I enjoy them less than dentist visits because of the drops, but they're one of the better doctors I have seen/have to see. [I <3 the dentist because I have nice teeth that everyone likes and I only have one cavity *knocks on wood*]

See me on Thursday for results from the endo!

Friday, August 26, 2011

It goes on...

Since Tuesday, I've not done much. I've got an epic bruise on my arm from donating blood but have otherwise recovered. I have a really nice looking site on my stomach; it was all inflamed yesterday but has shrunk.

I did drop in hockey yesterday for like two hours. Blood sugar did not change, which was exciting. It was 220 or so but it was constant! I am now sore and have realized that I am dreadfully out of shape.

Doctor Who marathon is on on BBC America. So I am watching that. It's totally awesome.

Monday I get my schedule for my senior year... I'm trying to not remember that it's senior year. Then I go for a manufacturing/CAD class/camp at a local place... Then school starts on the 6th (bleh.)

Random tidbit: In places where it says 'do not be here if you have a pacemaker/medical devices' - I've gone there and not had problems with Dex or the pump. So I don't see any particular issues unless it's crazy stuff. [normal factory floor type thing- I've gone around like four times with no issues.] If you care/are concerned about these, then now you know.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Donating Blood

Yesterday I ventured into the realm of donating blood for the first time. It went well until the blood was out of my system... And I declare those who freak when they test your iron content complete wusses. I didn't know how it compared to a stab for your bg, but they're basically the same!

Anyway. I laid on the bench thing for a while after I was done, then I sat up at the request of the blood lady. She gave me some apple juice. I drank some of it, and then got lightheaded and was seeing spots and junk. So I laid back down and promptly became very nauseous.

The lady then force fed (drank?) me a whole bottle of water. After that and more laying down, I thought I was okay to go, and I sat up again. After sitting for like five minutes, I stood up, and walked to the canteen... The room in between the blood room and the canteen was the size of a small gym (it's the chapel or whatnot in the church) and was ridiculously cold. So on the way there I get cold sweats, and I'm just focusing on making it to the table. I get there, and it's coming... I threw up everything. And did not make it to a garbage can, so it was all over the table and me... Was not good.

Then I went home and my mom was freaking out about me, even though after throwing up, I felt fine. I took a shower and got all the disgusting stuff off [and got woozy again.]. My brother had a soccer game, and my mom had to work the concession stand, so my dad stayed home with me; I watched a bunch of Top Gear.

Now I'm perfectly fine, except for a bit of weakness in my right arm and a nice bruise. Working on replenishing all the stuff they took. Dunno quite yet if I'll go again anytime soon... I'm kind of scarred from that experience.

Here is some art of mine that is totally unrelated to my topic today. Please enjoy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

These Don't Really Match...

On top of JDRF Kids' Walk materials, no less!
The beginning of what I'm going to call an attempt at figuring out bg meters. I've got Dex in my arm, and a OneTouch UltraLink... Going to test my other OneTouches eventually when I get bored and/or have an excessive amount of blood available.

Oh and the Dex is clearly a few minutes slow; but the MiniMed is already slow. So I'm living in a diabetes time warp :P It's 7 minutes slow from the computer...

But my UltraLink is an hour off! Didn't bother to change it last Daylight Savings Time or the time before that, so it's just messed up. Doesn't matter to me because I just load stuff off the pump, and the pump goes by its own time, thank goodness.

Speaking of blood, I am going to donate blood for the first time ever this afternoon.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Target: The Bane of PWDs Everywhere

Today we went out. To pretty much everywhere, and acquired such strange items as: three 2x4s, sports tape, giant boxes of fruit snacks, a watchband, Legos, and binders.

Yes. And on our travels, we visited Target. I was getting out of it anyway by then, even though it was only the third place we went. We were on our way to the toy aisle... "I need food." "Do you really?" "Yeah..."

Pulled out the Dex. 74 and holding. This explains why I freaked out about Penguins of Madagascar ice packs in the school supply aisle. :P Anyway, I ate some fruit snacks from my mom's purse and we realized we forgot the backpack with the meter and extra food..

My brother had a bunch of money to spend, because his birthday was last month and he hadn't gotten anything yet. So we get the Lego Heroica game he wanted [it is epic, and we haven't even played it yet!] and he picks up another set, the one with Darth Maul in it. I was totally loopy by then and was all jealous of his Darth Maul minifig.

Then we head to the video games section... He wants a DS case. They don't have it, but they have Rock Band 3 on clearance. I want it, but am saving my money for a goalie mask. I was freaking out about that and they start down the aisle but aren't going to leave me in this 'state' (under normal circumstances there'd be no problem :P). Then we got fruit snacks because I needed more, because we forgot them.

Off we went to the grocery store.. Oh wait, that was last. Before that, I tried to get a tub of gummi bears, and got a leather needle to fix my goalie glove. Then at the grocery store I went to find some cool pens (they're made out of recycled water bottles! so I won't lose them) and they left me.  I'm pretty sure I was still kind of low... Dex correlates.

My brain is still off yet, I had one of those things where after the low I just don't want to do anything or stuff [kind of like how I imagine people with migranes are?]. So I was all quiet and my mother was referring to me as her 'special needs child'... Yep, that's my life.

Off to fix my goalie glove and then measure my 2x4s for my goalie equip rack.

PS. I forgot the actual point of the title - class action lawsuit much?  PWDs vs. Target: they need to give us sugar when we go in there to shop. :P

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stabby Stab Stab

I don't make any efforts to hide my diabetes. I don't just throw it out into the open though, either. My pump lives on my belt, so you don't normally see it unless I pull it out to bolus. I don't test in public a whole lot, because the time I would [ie school] I don't actually test at all.

So how do people know I have diabetes? Inevitably I will eat something, and out the pump comes. I don't mind explaining the whole thing, but I don't always feel like being forced to explain what that is (I've only had it referred to as a pager once :P ) or why etc.

What's kind of funny is that when I get the 'you have 20u or less' message, I clip my pump on my pocket, so when I run into walls and stuff with it, I remember that I need to change it soon. So that's one of the reasons it doesn't live there all the time.

Apparently I do my arm sites fairly high up on my arm as well. I dunno, I just put them where I recall the most shots having occurred. So you don't normally see those either, because I'm hiding my horrible farmer's tan and/or pasty white vampire skin.

In the end, I suppose my most visible sign is my fingers. I always have the little black stab marks on my left hand, and I pick at them. I peel off the skin, to get the marks to go away, and end up pulling off enough to get to the raw skin, sometimes making it bleed. That's my biggest problem, over nine years with diabetes, picking off the scabby/pokey skin bits.

And recently the adhesive residue from the IV 3000 things that I use to make the Dex last two weeks without potentially falling off. I just have to ask for some of those adhesive remover wipes...

Next week, [or next post, whenever that happens] read about my research into the TSA's flight regulations in preparation for a solo trip to Texas... Oh joy?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Diabetes and School

Yesterday I met up with my project advisor - my local chapter of JDRF's president. At least I think that's her title. :P She's really awesome and was all for it, so I have the go-ahead that I wanted [do actually need council's approval to 'officially' do stuff... meh.]

I got a bunch of the JDRF resources, including the school and diabetes toolkit. I kind of wish I found it before I took the ACT and a bunch of AP tests, because it spells out everything you need. It's also got an interesting section on informing college people you've got D, which will come in handy next year for me.

My part in this is working to make a 'hold all' presentation that doesn't overwhelm but offers you 'further reading'. I'm making one for kids, teens, and adults [without d] and one for people with d or the caregivers thereof. Obviously dealing with school is something that everybody will have to do, so this falls under living with d.

So basing off my own experiences, this is sort of an outline of what the part of the presentation 'School and Diabetes' shall be.
- Make a 504 plan. If you haven't needed it before, do it freshman year so it's there when you need to take important standardized tests.
- You will probably need a 504 anyway, to make even the most obvious/small of concessions [being able to test wherever is a big one that schools don't usually give you by default.] If the kid isn't really involved in their care, you will need to spell out your expectations for the school and what you will do for them.
- Dealing with the ACT - talk to your counselors in the fall of junior year. They probably don't know much about it, but need to be on board with you. You need to apply effort, find and fill out the testing concessions form. I don't believe you need a letter from your endo [depends on the concessions you're asking for? further research needed].
- SAT and AP/CollegeBoard Tests - These need to be in EARLY. For AP tests, which are in May, I was supposed to have my request for concessions in by December. This does require a letter from your endo stating you have diabetes (duh. why else would I ask for permission to have food?) and for your counselors/testing coordinator to sign up and fill out some paperwork.
- At my school I was the first person to request these concessions [afaik], and I didn't even bother to ask for stopping the clock [you should!]. I believe I was given that on the ACT, because I took it alone in a different room [they were concerned about me eating and distracting others]. I had my fruit snacks and meter on the table with my pencils and test.
- For AP, I took it with the rest of the group because there was only one proctor. If I had needed to stop the clock, I'm not sure what I would have done. I was allowed to exit the room and return, although again, I dunno if I got time back. This is probably due to the fact that I filed the paperwork in March because I didn't know it needed to be in in December. I kept fruit snacks and meter on my desk, and only had to wolf down a package between two sections of the Calc test on the first day, then I adjusted my basal/food accordingly.

In terms of the 504. I'm not sure about it, because the student is not really involved in the process a whole lot. I know that I have permission for random bathroom breaks, eating in class, and testing wherever I want/need to. [For little kids, or those of us who get really low without noticing, or for peace of mind, being required to take a buddy to the location of food should be in big bold letters in this.] Usually I don't need to take advantage of any of these [except eating. but I don't make a big deal about it.] If a teacher makes a fuss, I pull the 'would you rather me be passed out on the floor' card... But my mom emails them all before school starts with the 'Jackie has type 1 diabetes' spiel, which basically says she's not texting in class, and might act weird, at which point she should eat something. :P

Having covered the testing/education bits, on to 'where do I keep food etc.' When I was in elementary school, I had a box in the room [under the teacher's desk I think] with low stuff, and a meter. We live five minutes from school, so I didn't have any extra sites or anything because my mom would have to come in to fix it anyway [she also works on campus, which is nice]. There was an additional box in the office with more food, quarters for the pop machine if needed, and the glucagon. We had a trained EMT as an administrator, so we didn't worry a whole lot. We also told my bus driver, basically as a 'don't yell at her if she's eating' precaution, and all of that. I always drank a juice box on the way to gym class.

In junior high, we kept a box in the office with food, quarters, and gluc. I had another box in the gym office with food in it. I kept more food in my locker in a Tupperware, had some fruit snacks in my backpack, and my meter somewhere in all that.
Nowadays, I am somewhat sure that the gluc is in the office [really should check that.] I keep a ridiculous amount of food in my locker, plus more in my backpack, and everywhere in the car [center console, glove box, backseat...] I really should have designated money in there for buying starbursts when I'm low and out of food, but I don't... I normally carry around $5 or so anyway. I have my purple OneTouch Mini [that I don't use...] and an extra site and IV prep wipe in my backpack. My mom works across the street, and I can go home if needed to take care of d related issues with her permission. Freshman year, I had a box of food in the gym office again; for sports [soccer] I kept a lot of fruit snacks in my bag. They ended up being partially melted but sugar's sugar.

How do you deal with diabetes in school?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hacking is possible, so what about Homebrew?

I think part of the reason this has occurred to me is due to my affinity for gadgets... I have, in addition to the CGM and pump, a ridiculous number of them [mp3, DSi, palm, camera, phone...]

So naturally, after reading this, I'm not concerned about dying from having my pump hacked. I'm wondering about why we don't have pumps that look like this:
Full color, optional touch screens, excellent battery life, wireless internet capable, and, if you're up to it - you can customize it beyond what Nintendo even designed. I guess my wish also goes with the whole 'diabetes equipment is stuck in the '80s' argument - I mean, come on, who makes an oval shaped thing with at least three inches of unused annoying space? Could the d-manufacturers take a hint from the cell phones, mp3s, tablets, etc makers?
Android is a perfect example of what I want. I want a free operating system for my whatever brand pump, I want to be able to tinker with the functionality and the color scheme, be able to ship data right to an Excel spreadsheet or to a website; I want a ridiculous amount of cross-platform compatibility.

People can develop apps for Android stuff [phones, and the Nook, as well as other stuff probably]... Can you say an app that tracks your CGM and an app that gives you suggestions on what to do because your blood sugar is x (ie calculate a correction and ask for confirmation to bolus it). 

Why can't I homebrew my pump? I can jailbreak my iPhone, run emulators on my DS, and put an entirely different OS on my mp3 player. OH NO it's the government. Ugh. Clearly the number one reason we don't have this is because the FDA thinks we're all stupid and don't know how to manage our disease, when clearly, we know more about it than they do.

You'd still be able to have your awesome Animas pump or Medtronic pump. But you could customize them to be ridiculously awesome, useful machines. Things that you could actually use to show off your street cred with the nerds and geeks. 

I hunger for the day when I can put a picture of Jimmy Howard in the background of my insulin pump. Until then, I'll have to put up with a semi-translucent smoke MiniMed 722.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Week of Fun - Unintentional D-Camp?

Clearly, last week I was gone. I was at a scout service camp, where we help out a state park and do things like guide tourists, check tickets, raise and lower the flags, and do service projects. There's a lot of free time, so you can explore and go shopping and stuff.

Myself and about 60 other girl scouts go up for the week with about ten adults. The best part is - I'm not alone. We've got another girl with d. Last year we sort of just went about life as normal, knowing both of us had it, but this year we embraced it. We managed to explain d to a good number of the girls in our troop, and get one obsessed with it... She watched me change my site and was excited about it. :P
(What's really interesting is 2 pwds in 60 but no peanut allergies. Which was really nice.)

So, some fun little d-moments from a non-d camp:
We were cleaning and weren't allowed back into the barracks until it had been inspected. I'm sitting on a bench in front, and A comes by with her d-bag, dumps it on me, and pulls out glucose tabs. 'I'm 41.' 'That sucks, eat more than two of those!' 'I ate other stuff already.'

I had been mopping the dining room and felt a bit low. So I went to look for my food in the kitchen, and it was gone... They had taken the unofficial food coolers out to the trailer. So somebody went and found it for me, and I gulped down some fruit snacks.

After inspection, we went back upstairs to get ready for guide duty and such. A was still a bit low, so she asked someone to get her some crackers. I announced 'I've got fruit snacks!' and threw them across the room to A. It was epic.

At one point A was rather high, and it was entertaining when she quietly explained 'I'm high' - we're all teenagers, so the reference is instant. But I laughed and realized why she was eating some turkey instead of whatever crackers were the snack. Then we explained the whole thing and it went well.

Later my bg was 58. I was pretty angry, as we were going to eat lunch out and I wanted to pig out (I did anyway... resulting in a 400-something...). I angrily walked down to the kitchen, without closed toe shoes, and M (one of the girls in the kitchen) commented. I growled and said I was low. The chicken breasts were moved off the food cooler and I removed my whole box. Then I sat down and ate fruit snacks, some granola, and a granola bar. A asks, and I say 58.

They keep our insulin in the fridge, and we actually use the same kind (Humalog). A's bottle was just rolling around in the little cashbox they use for it, and mine was actually in the box... I enjoyed it and told A so.

We discussed bringing food/meters on guide duty and A actually does whereas I haven't.
We had the inevitable 'what pump do you have' moment and A is actually jealous of my Minimed; I'm jealous of her Ping. :P

So long story short, it was awesome to spend the week with somebody else who knows and is down with it. It made me happy and I'm psyched for next year. Also looking forward to maybe being a counselor at d-camp; A kind of convinced me.