Quote of the Week

At the dentist office:

Hygienist: “So, do you floss regularly?”

Me: “Yeah, twice a year before I come in, and if I have something stuck in my teeth.”

Hygienist: “Oh, cause your teeth look great, I figured you’re one of the few people that do regularly floss.”

Me: “In that case, I floss at least twice a day, sometimes three times.”

I know, I know, it’s been forever since I’ve blogged. Maybe I’ll get back into it. Maybe not.

Things You Do Not Want to Hear In Report

A bit on the dark humor side of things, here’s a few things you don’t want to hear in change of shift report if you’re a nurse. All of these are based on real things I’ve overheard. None are true enough to violate any confidentiality.

“She kind of looks like an animated corpse.”

“He has a history of cardiac arrest related to hypokalemia. He had a total of 160mg of lasix this shift.”

“What was his K+ this AM?”

“It wasn’t checked”

“He’s a 56 year old attorney with a stage III sacral pressure ulcer”

“ICU recommended we put in for a stat Pastoral Care consult”

“She’s a 94 year old with AML. Wants treatment”

“She was having too many PVCs, the monitor was constantly beeping, so we just took her off it.”

“Gets Motrin for thumb pain related to overuse injury from call light.”

“She’s still breathing. I think.”

Wal-Mart Owes Me Three Dollars

Since I’m in the process of moving, I’ve found myself spending an inordinate amount of money. Today I decided to spend that money at Wal-Mart, and I decided to spend it on hooks and coat hangers and such.

I bought a black coat rack, got the the line to check out, and realize the plastic case was cracked just enough to cause rough edges to scratch the black paint off the rack. I asked the cashier if someone could run back and grab the other one. She flashed her light for a solid 10 minutes. Her manager came up. Oh wait, that was just to collect money from her drawer. Wait some more. No one came. I told her she could ring up the one I had, I’d leave it there, run back and grab the other, and then just leave. Sounded good to her.

I got back there and realize the other one was also scratched. So I opted for a cheaper, but not painted option.

This meant I got the privilege of going to the Customer Unservice Desk. Where I waited, for 45 minutes. Some lady in front of me was trying to do a Money Gram which was apparently having issues. There was was cashier there who was rather tied up in this money gram. Finally, a second cashier came up. Then a third. Did they take any of the 15 customers in line? No, they helped with the Money Gram. All three worked on it, while the line grew.

After 45 minutes of waiting in line (yes, it really was that long) and not moving (at all) I dropped the more expensive model on the counter, took my cheaper model, and left. I had an appointment to go to, and missing it wasn’t worth the $3.

I understand that Wal-Mart keeps their prices low by minimizing how many people they hire. But this was just exceptionally bad today.

Not Everything Is Diabetes Related

I was driving home the other night at about 10pm. It was dark out, and I realized everything looked darker than usual. I could really only see the lights, and not much surrounding them. I thought to myself, “Hmm, I should make an eye doctor appointment.” I was mildly concerned. After all, I had just driven the previous night and not had as hard of a time seeing.

Then, I looked up and realized every street light was out.

Not everything is diabetes related. I still should make that eye doctor appointment, though, as it’s been two years.

Weird Things I’ve Seen Recently

1. A person driving a pimped out hearse as a car. Complete with bumper sticker proclaiming, “Keep tailgating and you’ll be dead.”

2. A person driving a car wearing a bike helmet. True story.

3. House I visited with thoughts of buying with bottles of Suboxone lingering around on dining room table and various bookcases throughout house. Hide your narcs when you KNOW you have a showing scheduled, k?

4. People wearing shorts and sandals when it’s snowing. Just because it’s May, doesn’t mean shorts and sandals are appropriate.

5. A lady with Puff the Magic Dragon tattooed on her arm.

Medtronic, What’s Going On?

Medtronic Minimed prides themselves on spending more money than any other pump company on research. They even show charts of how much research money they spend vs. Animas in their literature.

But what are we getting for this?

The Paradigm 522 has been available for April 13, 2006. Yes, that’s over three years. And even that upgrade from the 515 just added CGMS functionality (at an added cost), no pump features. The upgrade from the 512 to the 515 just added the ability to edit duration of insulin action. So since the 512 was released in July 2003, the only new feature to the pump itself has been ability to change duration of insulin action.

In the 3+ years since the 522 has been released:

Smith’s Medical has released the 1800 model of the Cozmo, changed the Cozmo color options, and then discontinued the Cozmo. They also released the Cleo infusion set.

Animas has released the Animas 2020, then the Animas Ping, created a new infusion set, the Inset 30.

Accu-chek released the Accu-Chek Spirit.

Insulet- Omnipod has been invented, come out with new computer software, and created a color PDM device.

Abbott has released the Freestyle Navigator.

Dexcom has released the Dexcom 7, then the Dexom 7 Plus.

To be fair, Minimed has added a color (Pink), released the Minilink (but again, CGMS related), has created the Carelink USB dongle, has come out with a new meter (though hardly an upgrade, in my opinion) and has come out with a new Carelink report. But still, no new pump features.

Minimed, where are my upgrades? Where’s your innovation? I think Minimed makes a great product, but they’re going to have a hard time proving themselves as the market leader with this pace of upgrades.

Hope or What Not*

Every once in awhile I’ll picture my future without diabetes. I’ll envision me eating cake at my wedding without digging through my dress for a pump in some hidden pocket, or shooting up insulin under the table. I’ll imagine a honeymoon without a white pump set blemishing my tan thigh. I’ll picture me caring for my patients without needing to stop to care for my own medical needs. I’ll picture me remodeling my first home I own without taking hypoglycemia induced juice breaks.

And then logical, non-day-dreaming me kicks in and diabetes tarnishes the picture. It’s not that I ever thought diabetes wouldn’t be there. It’s just that diabetes has such a subtle effect on my daily life now that I don’t blatantly think about it enough that it enters my daydreams. Or maybe it’s just that my subconscious stifles these thoughts as a coping mechanism? While diabetes has a subtle effect on my life, it has an effect nonetheless. It’s always there. And I can live with it. Until I start thinking about it always being there. And then the thought becomes overwhelmingly unbearable. And while I may not purposefully think about diabetes, it someone always manages to creep into my automatic thoughts. It’s like stopping at a red light. Or tying a shoe. I don’t need to think to do it. My mind just has those things so hard programmed it happens.

And I’ve only had diabetes for four years. And I’m exhausted.

Sometimes I think I want a break from my pump. I look at my tired abdomen full of bumps and spots. I feel my pump clip pinch my stomach when I go to sit down. I rip a thigh sight out when using the bathroom. And I think I want a break from my pump.

Then I wonder when to take such a break. I definitely don’t want to be without my pump if I have an exam. I don’t want to be without it at work. Or while skiing. Or at the gym. Or on a vacation. Or while out for drinks with my friends.

No, it’s not my pump I want a break from. It’s diabetes I want a break from.

And it’s most heart breaking when I think about life, and realize insulin is always going to be there in some form, none of them especially desirable.

Not that I’m not thankful for insulin. Of course I am. I’m thankful for it like a dog for a leash. It let’s him get outside and see the world, but he’d sure prefer to not be tethered.

What’s worse about this is that being pissed off by a need for exogenous insulin is just a tiny tip of a gigantic iceberg. It doesn’t touch how I feel about impending complications, or society’s attitude that diabetics brought it on themselves, or constant hypoglycemia, or the weight of my purse, or blood sugar testing, or something changing the second you think you may just have finally gotten it right, or waking up low or high, or how I feel low or high, or constant doctors’ appointments, or logging (God I hate logging), or the amount of money I spend on diabetes, or….

No, that stuff is all for another post.

Are these daydreams a form of hope? Maybe. But I’m not especially hopeful for a cure in my lifetime. I’m too realistic for that. I’m too informed on the barriers preventing Cure.

No, I don’t think it’s hope. It’s just a variation on denial.

*An insomnia inspired blog post

iPod Shuffle

It’s MeMe time! This ones easy and brainless. Just list the first 20 songs that come up on shuffle on your iPod or iTunes.

Mine are…er…interesting. And definitely diverse.

1. This is Why I’m Hot- Mims

2. Suite for Solo Cello No. 3 in C Major, Bach the Cello Suites- Yo-Yo Ma

3. Gives You Hell- The All-American Rejects

4. Walk By- Good Charlotte

5. Say the Words- dc Talk

6. Do It- Nelly Furtado

7. I Will- Sonicflood

8. Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of- U2

9. Let’s Get It Started- Black Eyed Peas

10. Ordinary Day- Zoegirl

11. New York- U2

12. What Hurts the Most- Rascal Flatts

13. These Words Are Not Enough- Relient K

14. Cyclone- Baby Bash/T. Pain

15. Six German Dances, No. 5 in G Major- Capella Istropolitana

16. Gather at the River- Point of Grace

17. Kismet- Bond

18. Come All Ye Faithful- World Wide Message Tribe

19. Harajuku Girls- Gwen Stefani

20. Much of You- Steven Curtis Chapman

Figures

My hospital started a new falls prevention program that involves looking in on patients hourly to make sure they’re still in bed.

So it goes to figure I had a patient fall on me for the first time this week.

Unfortunately, even spending a full minute watching a patient each hour still leaves 59 minutes for them to fall.

Luckily, she was okay.

Rant On!

I have yet another exercise rant, but this time not about the exercise itself, but rather comments I get about it. That’s a change, right?

I’m so freakin’ sick of people commenting about how good exercise must be for my diabetes. Seriously? No!

Exercise, while overall healthy and enjoyable, is what ends up screwing me over on the euglycemia front more often than a batch of fresh baked cookies or an infusion set failure.

Exercise is so incredibly frustrating for me. Diabetes, more often than anything else, is what makes me just want to say screw is regarding exercise.

Who wants to exercise on a full stomach? Not me. But I need to time it after meals or I’m low. Juice doesn’t last long enough to cover me for a work out.

Why’d I just eat about 900 calories in one sitting? Oh right, because I was 40 mg/dl after a 2 hours work out.

Why am I 400 now? Rebound from aforementioned 900 calories.

Why am I 52 in the middle of my night? Payback for that workout 12 hrs ago.

Things would be easier if I could just sit on my ass all day and have steady basals.

So seriously, stop commenting on how good exercise must be for my diabetes.