An Explanation

I guess I’ve kind of gone AWOL, haven’t I?  

Sorry if my hiatus has left anyone hanging.  A few folks have emailed me recently to ask if everything is OK, so perhaps it’s time for a brief explanation.  So here it is:

Everything is just fine. 🙂  

My health is good, my family is good, my eyes are stable, my A1C has climbed to a 7.8 but I’m working to get it back down.  I’ve just felt the need to shift my priorities to my “offline” life recently – mainly to my family – and I guess also to make less of my life about diabetes.  (I hope that makes sense.)

This is not the end of Me or the end of D, so it’s not the end of Me With D either.  I’ll probably post here from time to time in the future.  But for now I might not be around here much.  

If you want to keep up with me in short snippets rather than full blog posts, feel free to find me on Facebook. (There’s a link on my main page.)  Unfortunately Twitter’s falling by the wayside for me for the time being too.

Thanks to those of you who have contacted me to see if I’m alright!  Take care!

Wordless Wednesday: Mommy’s Little Helper

How long until she doesn’t want to do this anymore?

My Breakfast Enigma

Something amazing happened yesterday.  Take a look:

(For the American folks, that 5.8 mmol/l is a 104 mg/dl.)

Can anyone guess what I had for breakfast?  I’ll tell you at the end of this post…

This is amazing because every every morning I eat a pretty low carb low GI breakfast, and every every morning I spike within the first two hours and then come down hard.  I’m doing everything I can insulin-wise, including an aggressive bolus (a superbolus, in fact) followed by a major decrease in basal to 0.05 u/hr for the next three hours.  Ideally I’d pre-bolus, but with 2 kids to feed and clothe in the mornings, I’m worried about the impact a delayed (or worse – forgotten!) breakfast would have.  Safety first!

When I was pregnant, I ate balkan yogurt (high protein, high fat) with berries and walnuts for virtually every breakfast, and it worked pretty darn well.  But it also made me pretty darn sick of balkan yogurt and walnuts.  (I’ll eat berries any day, any time!)  So that’s off the table, literally.

Low GI dry cereals are a disaster.  Low GI hot cereals are better, but still far from ideal.

It may be that a further reduction in breakfast carbs is necessary to eliminate that spike and reduce my insulin such that it doesn’t cause a crash, but I’ve been nervous to go below 20g of carbs.  This is partially because I’m breastfeeding and less comfortable with messing around with my nutrient profiles while doing so, but also because I haven’t yet wrapped my mind around how to get over that morning liver dump hump (why does that sound so gross?) with less insulin.  (To be fair, my version of an “aggressive” bolus at breakfast is 2-3 units for 20-30g of carbs, otherwise the mid-morning crash is even bigger.)

Maybe I’m missing something, though.  Maybe I just need to try lower carb.  But what does one eat for an uber-low, or even zero-carb breakfast that will stick with you until lunch but does not contain artificial sweeteners or involve eggs every morning.  I like eggs, but if I eat them every morning, I won’t anymore.  Also not interesting to me is “dinner for breakfast”.  No chicken breasts, thank you.

I’ve even tried a few meal replacement options – drinks and bars.  You know, Martinis and chocolate!  (Kidding.)  To be honest, this is where I’ve had the most luck.  They’re also really quick, which is great!  The downside is that I don’t recognize about 80% of the ingredients in either.  I’ve been able to avoid artificial sweeteners, but it’s hard to say for sure what else I’m not avoiding.

So I’m looking for breakfast options, preferably of the low-carb, low-GI variety.  Something really quick (or make-ahead) and healthy (including low-sodium).  I’d also play around with some zero-carb (or almost zero-carb) ideas…  Anyone?  Suggestions (of either food or food-related resources) are welcome!

So what was the breakfast that gave rise to this lack of a rise?  What perfect food was it that made me almost flatline (in a good way)?


Wordless Wednesday: Temptation

The Waiting Game – Part 2

If you’re a relative newcomer to MeWithD, you may not have read Part 1 of The Waiting Game, as I wrote it quite a while ago.  If you missed it, you can find it here.  If you’re too pressed for time, I’ll summarize:  With retinopathy, I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of waiting for my eyes to get better or worse.

Well at my last Ophtho appointment a few weeks ago, a new layer was added to this game.

I’ve always known that my previous retinal hemorrhages have left a mess in my eye.  I know it because I can see it.  But every time a bleed happens, eventually it clears on its own – at least most of the way.

What I didn’t realize until this most recent appointment is that there is more to this mess than meets the eye.  (Bad pun.)  In fact, lurking just outside of my vision…just on the edges of my periphery…is a nasty, big-assed clot.

Apparently said clot does not pose any significant risk to my long-term health.  It’s quite happy to keep hanging out in my vitreous and has no intention of migrating to more dangerous parts of my body.  It doesn’t indicate retinal scarring.  Nope, in it’s current location, it’s pretty non-threatening.

The problem is, if it decides to move out of my periphery and into my central vision, it will be pretty miserable.  My doc made it sound like I could expect to see pretty much shit-all through that eye if this were to happen.

So now I have the added “suspense” of wondering whether I will wake up to this one morning.  Or will I have to watch it slowly slide into my vision?  I’m not sure which would be worse.

But he assured me that a vitrectomy would clear it up if needed, and that there should be no permanent damage (barring the risks related to a vitrectomy).

Or, he said, if it did make a move and block my vision, we could try waiting for it to clear.


It Hurts

My oldest daughter (a.k.a. “The Kid”) is three.  She’s at the age where likes to ask questions, watch, help, and do by herself.  My diabetes is no exception.  She likes to help me change the reservoir in my pump – pressing the buttons for me when I tell her to.  She likes to get things for me when I need them.  She wants to know about my infusion sets.  She even wants to watch me insert those awful CGM sensors.

Sometimes when I do the sensors she asks me if it hurts.  I try to be honest with her, but not make a big deal out of it either.  So I usually tell her that sometimes it does hurt, and sometimes I don’t like it, but that if I close my eyes when press the button (on my Serter, that is), it makes me a little less scared.  She seems to accept that and usually watches without much comment.

Yesterday I was changing my infusion set.  I use the Sure-Ts with a needle much tinier than the sensors, and I don’t use a Serter for them, but she still made the connection.  She watched intently while I pulled the new one out of its protective packaging.  I prepped the site and held it in my hand ready to insert.

Suddenly The Kid’s hands fluttered up to her face and she held them in front of her pinched-shut eyes, but only briefly.  Then, seeming to change her mind, she opened her eyes and covered her ears instead.

“Honey?”  I said.  “What are you doing?”

She pulled her hands away to answer me.

“I don’t want to hear you say ‘Ow’.”

And with that, I think my heart cracked.

I was so proud of her empathetic little soul, but at the same time sad that my diabetes would cause her any sort of discomfort.

After assuring her that this needle didn’t hurt at all, she seemed much more content and quickly moved on to other more interesting things, but it left me questioning how much of this disease, and the hurt and frustration surrounding it, I really want to share with my girls.  Maybe in this case being honest with them isn’t in their best interests after all.

Wordless Wednesday: Tiny Dancer

Tutu and shoes

Kinder Ballet starts in a couple of weeks!

Diabetes Art Day 2012 – Self Portrait

This is my first Diabetes Art Day and I’m pretty excited to be participating!  I’m also excited to check out everyone else’s contributions!

For an explanation of Diabetes Art Day, and the creative mind behind it (the lovely Lee Ann Thill), as well as all the submissions (past and present), you can find the D.A.D. website here.

I meant to make my submission long before today, but had been having trouble wrapping my mind around exactly what I wanted to do.  This morning I woke up with another retinal bleed in my left eye – not a big nasty one with the icky opaque blobbies, but an eyeball full of red streaks that was icky nonetheless.  The mess in my eye gave some clarity to my art project.

When people ask me what it’s like to have a retinal bleed, I ask them to think back to an art project they may have done in grade school.  The one where you get a piece of paper, a straw, and a blob of paint, and you blow through the straw and watch the paint wiggle and streak around the page until you have a stringy, goopy, spidery masterpiece.  That’s kind of what an eye bleed looks like.  They can also come in large opaque blotches, or in translucent mists, but this straw-blown paint type is what I’ve grown most accustomed to.

So, looking at myself in the mirror this morning, with my left eye all stringy, I determined exactly what my art project would be.  It’s more of a downer than I initially wanted to submit, but it’s what I needed to create today.  Here it is:

Self Portrait

** Edit:  I realized I didn’t fully explain my media above.  I used a photograph of myself (that I took) and my daughter’s tempera paint…with the straw-blowing method described above. 

Wordless Wednesday: Red or Green?

It can’t decide what colour to be!

New Pump, Take 2

I still have the box that my new pump was delivered in.  That’s because I really haven’t had it for very long, and I haven’t unpacked all the swag that it came with yet.  (I live in a bit of chaos this days – don’t judge.)  The box says it was delivered on Wednesday, August 22nd.  That’s less than a month ago.

So I wasn’t really expecting this last night:

This morning, after dealing with Medtronic (right or wrong, I put it off until morning) I looked back at Scott’s post on Motor Errors from a few months ago.  It made me think that maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised when this message came up last night.

The woman I spoke with from Medtronic technical support explained to me that a sudden increase in pressure on the piston can cause a Motor Error to display, and often this is just the result of an occlusion or otherwise bad set.  In that respect, it’s similar to the No Delivery error, but is a result of sudden pressure rather than a gradual buildup.  She said that this was most often the reason for the error message, and not an actual problem with the pump itself.  Interestingly, the explanation Scott was given at the time of his Motor Error was slightly different.  I don’t know which is the correct explanation.

Either way, the rep had me run a diagnostic test (the old air-filled-reservoir-with-tubing test).  My pump failed said test.

So I’m getting a new pump tonight.  Or, rather, a new new pump.

Since I bought my first pump in 2007 (this pump is only my second purchased pump), including loaners while malfunctioning pumps were being replaced, the pump arriving via courier tonight will be #8.

This.  Is.  Crazy.