Thursday, March 30, 2006

This is my 2nd post today. No, I wouldn't normally post twice in one day, but I am so agitated right now, I need to get this out.

I am so sick of people right now. Maybe I'm anti-social, maybe I'm psycho, or maybe I'm just plain crazy, but I'm getting to the point where I want to find a cave, stay there, and not come out. I can understand how agoraphobics feel. Ok, literally, agoraphobic means fear of crowds. I don't think that's quite me, but I guess I can understand the appeal of that to a certain point. Sometimes I can relate to not wanting to leave the comfort and safety of home and face people. Let's face it, a lot of people just plain suck.

I guess what brought this on was my co-workers. In particular, my co-worker, W. Now, I really liked her a lot in the past, but now... I'm having major doubts. I just have an instinct that I cannot trust her- and they always say to trust your instincts.

I've kind of knew this in the past and have distanced myself from her lately. But today, being the fool I am, I went today with her at lunch time to pick up lunch for herself, me, and a couple of our co-workers. I should've said No, but W.'s the type of person who can manipulate others really easily to doing whatever she wants. It's almost a talent- and, boy, does she have it. She's managed, in the past, to get me to do a lot of favors for her, including: driving her to where she needs to go, running errands, and even buying lunch for her on occasion.

Well, today, we get to the restaurant and sees the money I have put for my lunch in her cup holder. She tells me, no, I have to go in and pay for myself- which is fine. I don't expect or even want her to pay for me. But I come to find out that she has paid for a couple of other people's lunches here. I guess it shouldn't really bother me, but it does...Especially b/c I think she was trying to hide it from me.

Whenever, W., makes a big production over something, you know some things up. I heard her from across the room saying how she owes someone change and that she was leaving that person money on her desk. Not too long after, I passed her taking the money back. Obviously, she can treat whoever she wants to lunch, but it annoys me that she is so sneaky about it. It's not necessary, it really isn't.

A lot of my co-workers have to roll their eyes when she comes up in conversation or something pertains to her. I didn't understand it at first, but I am understanding it more and more recently. She knows who to take advantage of and manipulate. To her, I think I look like a big Patsy to her. Do I have "doormat" tattooed across my forehead- b/c I have a feeling I do.

I know it has to do with me. I need to assert myself a little more. I don't always have to say yes to her, and, yet, I always do. So it is, at least, partially my own fault. I am well aware of that. But, unfortunately, I have this disease to please.

I think I let people take advantage, b/c I want to be liked. And the truth of the matter is that it's just not worth it. People seem to respect others more when they have a mind of their own and can say NO. I know that I'm going to have to stop being so chicken and do that, esp. regarding W.

The other matter is some of my other co-workers. Everyone seems like they are up everyone else's butt. There is no such thing as keeping something confidential between people here- if one person knows something, pretty much everyone else here does too. I kind of knew that this would be the case when I took this job. I mean, it is primarily women here and women like to talk and gossip. I'm not trying to stereotype, but I've seen this repeatedly in my past experience. Hey, I'm a woman, and I admit there's nothing like some good, juicy dirt. However, I think there's a line. When it gets to the point where it gets like high school, I think it's crossing the line. And that's really what it feels like here. There's constant whispering and gossiping and it gets to you.

I know it happens in a lot of work environments, but I am so tired of it. And it's really not just that. The women I work with are so petty. Instead of just worrying about themselves, they have to worry about the other people here. Like whether someone gets their work done, whether someone's on time, etc., etc., etc.

First of all, it's really not anyone else's place, besides my managers, to be so concerned about another's person's job. But being that I'm here, I know that there are some who would disagree with me.

Another one of my co-workers here, S., I should call the time keeper b/c she is way too aware of other peoples time. When people started coming back from lunches late, she complained to the manager- so now our lunches are posted on the bathroom door (how stupid). Today she complained to me that two other women left for lunch too early and how it's unfair, b/c we have to go back on taking calls before our lunch is up. That seems to be her common phrase, how everything is SO unfair to her. The time was 1:29- they left a minute early. I don't know, but I think that's kind of petty. And there's a lot of that that goes on here.

So I'm kind of fed up, but I think this will be the motivation I need to work on my resume and get out of here. I've procrastinated on it long enough and maybe this is what I need to push me.

Hi, my name is Andrea.... and I am a diet Coke/Pepsi (diet soda)addict.

Yes, I have got a problem... I drink WAY too much diet soda. I've come to believe that I am addicted to the stuff and, quite honestly, I don't think that's a good thing. In fact, I know it's not a good thing.

I don't see how it could be- it has absolutely no nutritional value, a lot of what it contains I cannot even pronounce, and there's the ever questionable artificial sweeteners in it. Plus, there's the fact that sodas, diet or not, deplete Calcium and other valuable minerals from your bones. With the amount I drink typically, I'm surprised I haven't fractured something yet. Eek.

So the last few weeks, I've been working on cutting down. It has NOT been easy. I guess anytime you become dependent on something, it's hard to break free of it. And I, admittedly drank A LOT of the stuff. I'm even a little embarrassed to fess up to how much I would drink on a daily basis. But, as you can see, I'm trying to come clean

Generally, during the work week, I'd have a 20 oz Diet Pepsi in the morning...and sometimes I'd have one again before lunch, then after lunch I might have an additional one. I'd go home after the gym in the evening and have at least 2 more. Holy Shit, that's a lot of that crap.

My goal has been to cut back on it and get down to 2 bottles a day. To some that probably sounds like a lot still, but, believe me, this is a huge decrease for me and I'm really feeling it. There are days which are easier and I do make the goal (rarely), but then there are the rest of the days where I don't.

I am trying today to keep to that goal. But, as we speak, I think I must be going through withdrawal. I woke up and felt pretty crappy and things have just progressively gotten worse from there. I have the biggest Mother of a headache- almost bad enough for me to make a run outside to y car and fetch myself another diet Pepsi... but I'm trying to resist.

I guess what makes even more hard is that I'm somewhat limited with what I can drink. Most things have a significant amount of carbohydrates/sugar in them and I'd have to take a bolus to cover what I drink- and that's something I rather not do. I don't mind bolusing for food, but drinks, for some reason, is another story. So that really narrow it down to some kind of diet drink and water.

Yes, I know water is a much better choice, but I am really not that crazy about it. But, saying that, I have been trying to drink more of it in hopes that it will make coming off diet soda easier. Some days it does seem like it helps, but then there are other days where I feel like I am dying (like today :o( ). I was hoping each day would get easier, but so far, no such luck...

I guess I'm looking for help... How do I make this easier? At the moment, I feel like I should just give up. :o(

Friday, March 24, 2006

You Are 40% Abnormal

You are at medium risk for being a psychopath. It is somewhat likely that you have no soul.

You are at high risk for having a borderline personality. It is very likely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at medium risk for having a social phobia. It is somewhat likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

Don't know why this quiz appealed to me...but I'm glad to see I'm only 40 % abnormal, I was thinking a little more than that... LOL :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I had my Endocrinologist appointment yesterday... but, wait, let me back up a bit. Friday, I finally had my appointment with the CDE, Becky, at the other practice where I was hooked up to CGMS.

It had been a couple weeks since I was actually "hooked up" on CGMS, but due to some technical difficulties, my earlier appointment was cancelled. Anyway, I actually had the day off, so it was a little less harried and hectic than if I had the appointment on a usual work day. I got to the office on time (Hallelujah!) and was soon brought back by Becky.

Becky took out multiple pages of line graphs and other types of reports. I was pretty amazed at how much data this little sensor collected. However, saying that, I was a little disappointed to hear that, although Becky did notice a few different trends/patterns from the feedback, she said that it doesn't really tell you as much as one might want.

All along I think I knew that. I knew the sensor was only collecting 3 days worth of blood sugar readings, and it's hard to really draw conclusions from that limited data. Plus, fellow diabetics know, that no two days are the same. Each day our blood sugar patterns are completely different. For me, things can be very unpredictable. But I guess I was hoping that it would provide more information than it actually did.

So yes, it would've been nice if it told me exactly what to do and how to set all my bolus and basal rates, but I guess I should be glad that it did provide a little information on how to perfect things a little more. There were two main things it showed.

One...I need to take my meal bolus not with my meal, but perhaps a half hour prior to when I eat. From the recordings, there were very visible spikes after the period of time where I would eat. Ok, everyone has spikes (even non-diabetics) after eating, but mine were, well, rather large. Becky suggested I take my bolus 20-30 min before I eat, to give the insulin a head start (provided that I am not low to start with). It sounds like a reasonable solution, and I have been trying to do this since Friday and so far, so good :) - so I'm happy about that.

The other thing is exercise. Seems that I am doing the whole temporary basal wrong. In the past, I kind of set the temp basal just as I was starting to exercise. Stupid, stupid,'s no wonder that I'd drop low. By setting it just prior to working out, I was still being affected by my regular basal rate and not the temp. basal. D'OH! :( .

The last two days, I've tried setting it earlier... the goal is about an hour earlier. Monday I did just that. Tuesday, I kind of forgot and it was only about 25 min earlier, but it seemed to work anyway. I left the gym at a level around 150 both days. Then last night, I did it again about an hour before and I ended up 82 after my workout- Hey, I'll take it! :) Plus, did I mention that I didn't spike nearly as high post dinner time on both Tuesday and Wednesday night. I only went up to 159 on Tuesday and I was 177 last night. I know that may still sound a little elevated, but, trust me, these numbers are great improvements from what I am used to. I should have been doing this a long time ago and saved myself some aggravation- guess hindsight is always 20/20.

One additional thing happened at that appointment with Becky. I brought up Symlin. I wanted to see her reaction and whether or not she thought it might be feasible for me to start on it. Well, to my surprise, she told me that she already has some of her other patients on it and has even tried it herself. What surprised me even more was that she said that I could try it if I would like. After pressing my Endo about this and hearing how right now isn't the right "time " to try it repeatedly, I nearly lost it when I heard this. I, enthusiastically, told her I would really like to try it. So she managed to scramble up a trial vial and wrote me a script.

I was pretty excited, but I knew that there are risks and side effects involved. Becky told me that not only did she experience "wicked lows" in her own words, but also was so nauseous from the drug that she vomited. Also, she said that Symlin does not take care of all spikes in blood sugar. Although blood sugars after meals were better, there still were sudden rise around the 4 hr mark.

No, this wasn't the news I wanted to hear, but I knew that there's always some negatives to things. The lows and the nausea, I was aware of- I heard that that was a side effect, but I had never heard that there could still be problems with hyperglycemia. This was the main thing I was trying to avoid and, in a way, it seems inescapable.

However, Becky did make a suggestion on how to possibly get around that. She said to break up your meal bolus. If you have 60 grams of carbs for dinner, in general, you would take half of that on Symlin. And to prevent the spike, she said it might be wise to take a unit with dinner and then the other two an hour or so later. So I took that advice with me and her other suggestions and left feeling pretty good about how things turned out.

Skip ahead to Monday night...I decided to hold off on the Symlin until then ( I didn't want those nasty side effects to ruin my weekend) and I followed Becky's' advice. I made myself a big salad with lite dressing, a turkey cutlet, a med. roasted sweet potato, and roasted veggies. I estimated that this was about 60 grams carb total. I took my one unit meal bolus and then took my Symlin by injection. I finish dinner, and realize that I'm feeling like I am high. WTF? At about the 2 hr post meal mark, I test. To my horror :( , I ring in at 355? How is that right? This definitely wasn't the results I was anticipating.

I'm not sure what happened there. My immediate reaction is that the Symlin just didn't work, but that may not really be the case. It could be anything. My hunch is that my carbohydrate estimate was off (anyone know how many carbs are in asparagus and zucchini?), which then impacts how much insulin I took, and lead to being too high. Also, when I injected, I don't think injected deep enough... I noticed a little bubble in the place I injected. I'm sure that impacts absorption as well.

It may not matter, at least not right now. I put Symlin back on HOLD for the time being. I had my appointment with my Endo. on Tuesday and he strongly feels that I need to correct my basal rates. To him, the pump, in essence, is like an artificial pancreas, and if programmed right, you should be able to achieve good control. Looks like I'll be back to testing my basal rates again (UGH). He even threatened to check up on me, if I didn't get crackin'.

It makes sense. I do need to make adjustments to these rates and the best way is by doing these tests. Then once things are better sorted out, Dr. P (my Endo.) let me know that he was not against me trying Symlin out. I guess that does give me incentive to get it done and over with, but I actually could do it anyway, regardless of his approval on it. I have the trial bottle and a 'script for refills. Believe me, it is tempting for me to keep going on the Symlin, especially since I still have night time problems with blood sugar and my appetite. But I told him I would wait, so I am sticking to my word.

One other thing about my appointment with Dr. P. My weight went up again :( :( :(. It doesn't make sense to me. I have been eating pretty much the same and continuing to work out like a fiend, and yet I still have gained weight? Grrr.... The only thing I know it could possibly be, is all of the adjustments I've been doing with my insulin (adjustments my Endo, nor Becky know about). I've raised my insulin a good amount and though I've noticed my blood sugar has come down significantly, it may be even running a bit too low during the day...which of course, has led me to having to treat. I do feel like I'm feeding my insulin and that isn't really good for the weight control side of things.

I have since switched back to my prior basal rates. Now, it's just a matter of doing the actual testing... I hate to say it, but I'm already putting it off. Each day, I say tomorrow I'm going to do it...and each day, I put if off. I know I need to just do it and get it over with. It will make my doctor happy and it will make me happyto get it done. Perhaps tonight...

Friday, March 10, 2006

I had quite an experience last night. What happened literally scared the shit out of me and made me feel like the biggest fool on the planet. I still cannot believe it happened.

It started off as any other evening. I went to the gym and spent about 1 hr and 10 minutes on the arc trainer. As I was leaving, I noticed that I didn't feel quite right...but I kind of just shrugged it off. Yes, I realized I probably was running a little low, but no big deal, I would just drive home and take care of it then. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not exactly.

I proceeded to drive home. As I was on my way, I kept feeling uneasy and uncomfortable. I felt almost like jumping out of my skin and my head felt like it was unsteady and unsupported on my neck and shoulders. Strange, I know. But I continued on my way.

I managed to get off my exit and pulled up the road to the area where my apartment is situated. All of a sudden I realized that I was going WAY too fast and I almost felt like I had lost control of the car. Before I knew it, I had driven past my apartment. I thought that was really weird, but I turned around and drove back. It happened again...not only once, but two more times. The last time I did this, I had driven way past where I was supposed to be and then found that I had turned off onto some roads I wasn't familiar with.

Again, I found that I was driving too fast and, not only that, but I was having difficulty seeing. I really couldn't see where I was or where I was going. All of a sudden I heard a THUNK. I knew I hit something off to the side of the road. I tried to keep driving, but my car didn't seem quite right. It felt a little funny and it was making a strange rumbling noise.

All I could keep thinking was "Oh shit!" And "whatthefuck!"

I knew I was panicking and I knew that I was in trouble. I was lost, I had done something to my car, and my blood sugar was dropping...RAPIDLY. Out of sheer panic, I called my parents on the phone. Well, they aren't exactly near to where I live anymore...they live in White Plains (about 45 mins away), but I didn't know what to do. I needed someone to tell me, b/c my brain just was not functioning.

I could hear the worry in my Mom's voice, but there wasn't a lot she could do from where she was. She suggested I call the police, especially since I said I had hit something and also b/c of the fact that she knew my sugar was dropping.

She was right and I knew it. I had to do something, so I made the call. The officer on the phone was very nice. He asked me what happened and where I was. That was a very good question and I was wondering the same. I was honest. I told him I wasn't quite sure. I could barely make anything out on the road, but I managed to squint and read the street sign. He told me he would send someone out shortly and to pull off to the side of the road.

I turned my hazard lights on and attempted to move over. A couple of nice people came by and asked if I was ok. But once they heard I was just lost, they took off. One guy in particular really went above and beyond. He walked around my car. He said that it looked ok, but that I had a flat on the right front tire. As I was talking to him about it, the cop showed up.

Both of them helped me out greatly. They really were good Samaritans. Not only did they make sure I was ok, but they changed my tire and put the spare on. After changing the tire, the officer asked if I was ok to drive. I let him know that I didn't know. I told him I was Diabetic and knew that my blood sugar was falling. I was apprehensive about admitting this, I knew that Diabetics tend to get a bad wrap as bad drivers and also b/c I knew I could get into a lot of trouble. But my state of mind at the time told me that I had to fess up.

The cop was pretty understanding, but he did tell me that I should not be driving if my blood sugar was that low. He called another of his cop buddies and his buddy drove me home, while he followed. They made sure I got in ok and made me drink some Coke to bring my sugar up. I tested my sugar and after drinking a good deal of regular soda, my blood sugar had risen, BUT it only risen to 56-eek! It must have been really low to start with.

Needless to say, I felt like such an IDIOT for letting this happen. I mean, I was really close to where I live and I couldn't find my way home. I was so confused, disoriented, and LOST. When that was going on, I felt like I wasn't going to ever get home and that was really scary, b/c that's where I wanted to be more than anything. I just wanted to be safe and secure in the comfort of my apartment and I wasn't sure I was ever going to find my way.

Now that this scary incident is over, it really makes me question myself. It makes me question myself and how much I truly accept my condition. I really should know better and yet I let this happen. I guess I am wondering why. In a way, it makes me wonder about whether I have fully come to grips with my disease. I know there are times where I want to be able to do what I want and not worry about any consequences. But with this disease, I don't think that's possible. You always have to be aware of what's going on with your body and any abnormal change going on.

I think I've learned my lesson, at least I hope I have. Yeah, I guess I had to learn it the hard way, but I guess that's what it takes. Hopefully, that will not happen again any time soon. It was truly horrible, but I know it could have been so much worse. I could have really damaged my car, I could have passed out, or, probably worst case scenario, I could have hurt someone driving. I am so thankful that that didn't happen. Maybe there is a guardian angel watching over me afterall

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I'm curious, how much do time do those of you, with Diabetes, spend thinking about the disease? I'm wondering if I'm an oddball... Ok, lol, I am, but I'm talking in terms of my Diabetes and time spent on it and thinking about it.

I read a LOT of Diabetes related things on line, mostly message boards and blogs. Anyway, from what I've read on different message boards, I've come to the conclusion that a lot of fellow Diabetics don't spend very much time focusing on their disease. From what I read, many hardly think about it at all-it only crosses their mind if there's some kind of problem with their blood sugar or if they don't have any choice but to consider it, such as when taking their insulin or testing their blood sugar.

I, on the other hand, spend a great deal of time thinking, worrying, and obsessing about it. In fact, even when I'm not thinking about it directly, it's always at the back of my mind. My thoughts never really escape being Diabetes-related. There are so many questions that constantly run through my mind...usually little self-checks. Did I eat okay today? Did I bolus enough? Am I high? Am I low? It basically goes on and on AND on. I can't help, but wonder if it's bordering on OCD.

I know I obsess about it and, as I mentioned in my last post, it really is my main focus...and, dare I say, interest in life. However, I feel that it plays such a big role in my life, that it's part of who I am as a person. I don't want to pretend or deny that. But, I do wonder if that's healthy and if it's helping me or hurting me. Let's face it, to spend so much time stressing about it- I don't think that can be good. The stress I put on myself in dealing with this disease is probably making it even harder to manage. After all, don't they say that stress can make a big impact on blood sugar levels.

I think what's at the heart of this matter is fear. I think I am afraid that by not focusing or centering on this disease, that I will spiral out of control...and that's very scary to me. Maybe it's irrational, but I guess that's typical of a lot of fears. They really don't have to be logical, make snse, or be rational.

Basically, that's where things stand now. As much as I know I need to and should, I am reluctant to find other interests. But, I think I really need to push myself to do so. My Mom even offered to pay for the cost of me participating in a class I want to take or activity. It's a very kind offer, but I don't think I can accept- she's helped me out many times in the past- it's not fair. I guess if I see anything that jumps out at me, I'll go for it and take care of the cost myself.

In a way, maybe it'll be the thing I need to get me out of my rut. Although California still appeals to me, I don't think it's do-able right now. And I guess I won't have to chop off my hair, after all- which is probably a good thing, don't think I'll look too pretty with a crew cut.