Monday, March 31, 2008

The Round Truth.

Hello. My name is Hannah McD, and I am fat. Plus-sized. Thick. Round. Soft in the middle. I have had complete strangers ask me in public whether I am pregnant, because I'm one of those lucky girls who carries most of her chub in the midsection. I am certain if I was introduced to some people simply as a diabetic, they would assume I have type 2 unless my insulin pump was in full view.

So why is this coming up today? Why is it all coming out? I read this post from a guest author over at Big Fat Deal who is a fellow T1. She talks about how she gets frustrated sometimes reading TuDiabetes because so many people there seem obsessed with food and weight. She wonders how she can respond to the misinformation many diabetics [unfortunately] latch onto, for example, the folks who believe that eating a better diet can actually cure them of diabetes. Big Fat Deal is a fat acceptance blog, and most of the readers of FA blogs believe that it's about damn time for fat people to simply be treated as people.

I also think if we have diabetes, we should simply be treated as people.

We all know, no matter what type of diabetes we have, that we can control it, but it's always going to be there, lurking under the surface. No amount of eating or starving will make it go away.

I will say is hard to NOT obsess over food, even once in a while, when you have diabetes. When you have to think about how much insulin you should be giving yourself for every morsel that passes your lips, it's kind of hard not to become food-centric. I think, to answer Sara's question, that it is really difficult to talk about how it's okay to be overweight when the majority of diabetics (the type 2's), think that if they could lose some weight, management might be a little easier. Truthfully, that will work for some folks, but it might not work for everyone.

Once in a while, you do need to come to that point where you can say, "I'm fat. I'm diabetic. Deal with it, because I, as a human being, am greater than my own problems."

As for me, I can't say that I'm happy with my weight, but I do know if I lose some of it, I am perfectly happy NOT being thin. I would be perfectly happy to fit back into those 14/16 pants, that size 18 shirt. When I talk about weight loss, I really want to talk about it for health reasons. Honestly, I don't get that much excercise. I could be in MUCH better shape. If I start a weight loss plan, and I don't lose much weight, so be it. Maybe I'm not meant to be thinner. The last time I was a single-digit clothing size, I was 13 years old, and that's okay with me. If losing weight can help me take less insulin every day, as an insulin-resistant type 1, I'm all for it; however, I don't want to be one of those people who beats herself up for eating some chips with lunch.

I don't want to be one of those women who goes on a diet for the sake of going on a diet. I don't generally like those kinds of women much. You know the ones--the ones who equate chocolate with Satan, the ones who look like they're about ready to kill if the restaurant doesn't have low-fat, low-cal dressing for their wilty salad. They make me nuts. They always have.

And let's not even get started on guys who will not date women because they are not as skinny as supermodels, or anyone who refuses to date someone simply because of their diabetes. These people are missing out on some great companions, and why? Because they're scaredy-cats? Because they're a-holes? It doesn't matter. These people probably aren't worth your worries.

Know this, diabetes friends...all that constant dread about food and weight loss that hangs over our heads? Try not to let it get in the way of what makes you really happy or really healthy.

Read the post over at BFD. What would you say to Sara?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

That Six-Word Memoir Meme Business

I think every other blogger out there has tagged me to do this, so I'm not going to bother tagging anyone else. If no one else has tagged you, then consider yourself tagged by me!

The deal: Describe your self/life in exactly 6 words.

Here's mine:

Sometimes happy. Sometimes sad. Always hopeful.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Remembering the "Free Food"

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1990. Some of you who have been more recently diagnosed had an advantage over me--one of your first lessons in diabetes management was most likely carb counting. I learned to count my carbs and bolus accordingly at the same time as receiving my first insulin pump. That was in 2000, when I was 18. So what was it that I did for the ten years before that?

I used a little something many of us know--the Diabetes Exchange System. Bear in mind this was at least a little different than exchange rates for money. Mealtime flexibility was not exactly the norm, but you could exchange one type of food for another. Did you want three starches? Two starches and a fruit? Three fruits? The whole point of exchanges was never clear to me, as I was very young. I knew it meant I had to measure, count and weigh nearly everything that went into my mouth. I knew it was annoying--I can hear my mother's voice now, saying to my 11-year-old self, "That's an awfully BIG half-cup of ice cream." Or, "Did you weigh those Goldfish crackers before you put them in that bowl?"

Oh man, just look at that book in the picture. There was no pocket guide when I was growing up. The book had about the same dimensions as one of those black and white composition books you used to get in school all the time. The book's cover had a dark teal border and a center illustration of various foods. No fancy actual food pictures here.

Carb counting opened up a whole new door for me, and as someone setting off for college, it meant a lot to me. Everything previously "forbidden" suddenly had a chance. If I wanted to have a snack with 15g of carbs, it didn't matter as much whether it was the healthy fruit I was supposed to eat or the half a candy bar my hormonally wacky body craved. What I remember the most about the old exchange system is that I had a set number of foods that I had to eat at each meal, broken up into their basic varieties: starches, proteins, fruits, veggies, fats and the ever-fascinating "free foods".

It's the free foods that came into my mind today at the grocery store as I bought a package of sugar-free store-brand gelatin cups. One of the few free foods I ever found appealing as a little kid was Jello. I preferred orange or lime, but there were no pre-filled cups readily available to stuff into my Little Mermaid lunchbox. My mom would make it, put it some kind of small plastic container, and toss it in. Sometimes, like around a holiday or a birthday, I would opt to take a baggie of celery or cucumbers instead of my usual baggie of carrots so that I could also have a sliver of sugar-free pie or icingless cake with my sandwich and crackers.

That's really when the exchanges came into play. I never remember them being a big deal at the time, but looking back on it, I can definitely remember feeling trapped and guilty around food, especially as I got into my teens. Some kids use adolescence to experiment in sex, drugs, reckless behavior, or getting into fights with their parents. I remember sneaking Italian Ice Cups or extra potato chips in the school cafeteria. I'd pay for them, of course--I was a good kid after all.

The most recent list of free foods that I found on the Mayo Clinic website can show you why I was always frustrated with the so-called "free foods"--the simple fact that most of them are beverages and condiments. So I could enjoy large amounts of:

Diet Soda
Herbs & Spices
Soy Sauce
Whipped Topping
Teriyaki Sauce
Low-Sugar or Sugar-Free Jelly
Dill Pickles
Sugar-Free Gelatin

without guilt or too much worry over my blood glucose numbers. I have noticed that my previous free-food-favorites celery and cucumbers have been moved into the "non-starchy vegetables" category. Every once in a while, I get a craving for that old standby snack of my youth--celery sticks with Italian dressing. Mom always made the Good Seasons stuff from the packet, and I remember it was always tasty. Was I hungry in between snacks? Free food snacks would have to be found, unless my blood sugar was low.

Maybe I should blame the exchange system for me not making my own Jello more often.

I did a victory dance in the grocery store aisle a few months back when I discovered Splenda-sweetened Italian Ice Cups. I may have even asked them where they'd been all my life.

What is it that you remember about the good ol' ADA Exchange System?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Diabetes Alert Day

Hello readers!

Did you know it's American Diabetes Alert Day? Did you know 1 in 5 Americans are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes? It's a great day to educate yourself about diabetes if you don't already have it, or educate others if you do already have it. There are some great posts at Diabetes Mine and Six Until Me about this today, and whether you're type 1 or 2, you should check them out. They've said more than I have time to say today.

However, today is a different kind of alert day here at Dorkabetic. It's an alert that I'm starting to screen your comments. Nothing to panic about, but a recent post of mine generated some responses that I don't think have much integrity. If you find them, for the record, I have nothing against Pump Wear, Inc. I think they have some decent products, especially for kids, and even some items that I would buy for myself, but I have gotten enough anonymous comments on a previous post referencing their website that I'm downright suspicious.

Surely there are plenty of Anonymous Commenting Lurker Moms out there who buy Pump Wear products for their kids, but I don't think that every one of them is going to leave me a comment with a link back to the Pump Wear website. Sounds sneaky if you ask me. Very sneaky.

I don't go around to other diabetes blogs anonymously commenting about how Dorkabetic is the best diabetes blog ever written or the only blog you'll ever need or is somebody's kid's favorite blog.

Hahaha, I use my actual name when I say that stuff.

Really, I just want everyone to not be alarmed when they try to comment and something seems bizarre. I changed my settings. It happens.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Let's Talk About Dex, Baby.

Let's talk about you and me.
Let's talk about all the good readings and the bad alarms
That may be;
Let's talk abooouuut Dex!
(apologies to Salt 'n' Pepa, who are arguably still the best girl hip-hop act ever.)

So a few posts ago, I asked you, the readers, if you had any questions about the DexCom Seven, since my 14 Days of Dex are coming to an end. I got a few, so let's hit those before I start talking.

K2 asks: "I tried one last year & had and allergic reaction to the waterproof covering. How's that working for u?"

The newest DexCom sensors don't require the shower patches anymore, which will surely make you say "Hooray!" It proved no different than showering with a pump infusion set attached. Also, I have been wearing the same sensor for nearly 2 weeks, and only just now are the outer edges of the adhesive coming up. I'm sure the experience varies from person to person. Personal info time: I only shower about every other day. I don't leave the house every day, so sometimes it seems pointless to me if I don't smell weird/feel sweaty or grimy. I was given some patches in case the thing starts coming off, but I haven't had any difficulty. The only problem about showering with the DexCom is that you don't really get all of your numbers if you leave the receiver too far from where you're standing. For me, that was 3 or 4 feet away on the back of the toilet.

She also asks: "Do u hear the alarm when your sleeping, or do u sleep right through it?"

I am not a terribly heavy sleeper, but I am by no means a light sleeper. I had no problem waking up when the thing started beeping. Also, since you need to keep the receiver close by, it seems pretty easy to hear when it makes noise. The vibrations themselves are pretty loud and usually made enough noise to get me up. The beeps are rather obnoxious, but not ear-splitting. I think for the average person, you'll have no problems waking up to your alarm. The beeping even woke Matt up, and he's typically down for the count once he's sound asleep.

Then I had 3 questions from Jen. The first one was: "I'd like to know how you feel about wearing the sensor. Is the size too big? How well does it stick? Does it seem bulky? Does it bounce around?"

At first, I thought the sensor would be too big and somewhat cumbersome, but where I have my site is a little off to the side of where I normally wear my insulin pump infusion sets. I don't feel like it's been obstructed by anything, though I did whack it on the edge of a table at the diner, and that really stung--kind of felt a lot like a bee sting, actually. In terms of bulk, I don't think it's that much thicker than one of MiniMed's QuickSet infusion sets. If you haven't used a pump, I don't really know what to compare it to. The sensor/transmitter combo, as it sits on your skin, is probably only about an inch long, and I'd say a quarter-inch thick or less. I talked about sticking up above, but it doesn't seem bulky to me. I'm not sure if it's because it's not terribly bulky, or because I'm used to having bits of plastic taped to myself constantly. As for bouncing, the DexCom is solid as a rock. The adhesive goes all the way around, so unlike a MiniLink transmitter, it has nowhere to go. I think it would be a "solid" choice (ha ha!) for someone wanting to wear a CGMS while involved in physical activity.

"I'd also like to know how you feel the numbers compare to your finger stick readings. In other words, how accurate is it?"

The DexCom seems very accurate at tracking trends. If you're on the rise or fall, it's going to provide you with great information. If you want to get an idea of how fast food without a bolus will affect you, or how fast excercise drops you, or just what the heck your body is doing throughout the course of the day, this is a great tool. However, it's true what you frequently read--this is not yet ready to be a replacement for your traditional fingerstick test. I will be excited when they achieve that level of accuracy! For example, yesterday, I was running a basal test. The DexCom, even after a calibration, had me running steadily around 150-160. A test on my OneTouch Ultra 2 revealed that my actual glucose was 120. Two hours later, a similar situation. Last week, I had about half a day where my DexCom and meter readings were only 2 points apart. Then I had a day where my blood sugar seemed to be holding steady, then my DexCom produced 2 readings in a row of 375, then it went back to the previous pattern. From what I've heard, accuracy can vary between individuals!

"Have you used the software? What's it like?"

Unfortunately, I have not. This is just a loaner from Gary, my favorite CDE evarrr. We're doing a big ol' data dump on Thursday, so I haven't really been able to play around with things myself. The 14 Days of Dex has pretty much been an info-gathering mission.

Here is my biggest complaint about the DexCom--I feel like the whole process between my transmitter and receiver is somewhat inconsistent. Sometimes my results look like a line, whether it's straight or sine-wave-shaped, but sometimes they look like a squiggle. Worse, sometimes they look like a broken squiggle. If I go to my nine-hour view screen right now, there is literally something that looks like a connect-the-dots pentagon. I have overnights that look like a thick, fuzzy caterpillar. Why? I can't tell you. I don't honestly believe my BS numbers are going up-and-down-and-up-and-down-and-up again, but it's possible. Maybe it's just this particular receiver. I feel like sometimes it is missing every other reading during the night, no matter where I stick the receiver.

I feel like I could duct-tape the receiver over my transmitter, and it still wouldn't hit all the results. For example, my front jeans pocket is less than a foot from my sensor site on my abs, and it still missed a bunch of readings this afternoon.

Make sure you have a lot of test strips when you use your DexCom. The calibrations can get kind of frustrating, plus you need to keep testing your sugar to see where you actually are. I was worried about my strips and my current money situation, so sadly, I must say I really could have tested a lot more.

All in all, though, I'm really glad I gave CGMS a try. As usual, I don't think I've been a perfect patient, but it has helped me see how fast my blood glucose can rocket up there after some fries or a dessert. It has helped me to see that yes, I probably really DO need to be on all this insulin, and it's not something I'm just screwing up by not paying enough attention to myself. Seeing this info makes me think: I do need to lose weight, I need to get back on the Symlin, I need to maybe consider Metformin if I'm going to be this insulin-resistant. There's a long road ahead of me to a great A1C, but now I feel like I'm getting closer to finding a map.

I still have 2 more days left. I'll probably miss the DexCom when it's gone.

Unrelated news--Didn't get a job I thought I was a shoo-in for, but then again, I now have a really awesome job interview coming up on Thursday! Yes!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Project Pumpway is the chance of a lifetime!

So, yesterday, I asked for you guys to ask me anything you wanted to know about my experiences with the DexCom Seven CGMS. I'm gonna leave that open. Leave some more comments over the weekend, and I will post about it on Monday. In the meantime, today, we're going to laugh!

This post begins with a combination of thanks and apologies to Heidi (no, not THAT Heidi) at
The D-Log Cabin!

So, around this house, reality television-watching is not really a group activity, especially when it comes to competition-based shows. I tend to sneak in my reality show and makeover show viewing during the day. A good friend of mine bought me the entire first season of "Rollergirls" on DVD for Christmas, and I have only yet watched one episode! (It was good, though. Don't let that "from the producers of Laguna Beach!" crap on the front of the box sway you. Roller derby girls in Austin are WAAAYYY different than stuck-up rich teens/twentysomethings in SoCal.)

There are quite a few reality-based shows that Matt, Nigel and I can stand to watch together, and many of them revolve around food, science, cars or ridiculous foreign game shows. We regularly take in episodes of "Mythbusters" on the Discovery Channel, "Ninja Warrior" and "Unbeatable Banzuke" on G4, the comical-yet-similar "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" on Spike, and our lastest obsessions, "No Reservations" and "Bizarre Foods" on the Travel Channel.

But, alas, I am the only one with any waning interest in American idols, survivors, dancing stars/crews/amateurs, bachelors, big losers or geeks.

Which is why I was so surprised when I discovered that my husband ACTUALLY LIKED watching "Project Runway" with me. If there is one reality show which I may be obsessed with, it is this one. I feel that I maybe, just maybe, have unconditional love for Tim Gunn. As often as Kerri has her imaginary chats with Larry Bird, I may have to start having imaginary chats with Tim. More on this and I have a chat in my mind. However, since he is the amazing and sage Tim Gunn, I'm sure he will simply tell me to "make it work" if I start making excuses or do something weird.

So Heidi at the D-Log Cabin wrote a post a few weeks ago about how a great challenge for the designers on Project Runway would be for them to create an outfit for the wearer of an insulin pump. Her post had several photos of examples of how she wears her pump, including in her striped, fuzzy socks, clipped to her "goth outfit", and of course, in full-on EMT utility style. So I thought...what if this were a real challenge? What would happen if the Project Runway judges were judging how pumps can be hidden and the many devices used to hide them? Picture the following imaginary judging session, wherein I'm the guest judge. This is MY fantasy, after all.

(on Heidi's hiding places)

Heidi Klum: Sooo, what do we think?

Michael Kors: UGH! Black, black, black. That last outfit was SUCH a blasé disaster!!

Nina Garcia: Aaahnd pleeeaase, striped socks are so '03. Show me something fresh.

Hannah, as guest judge: I dunno, that holster belt could be kind cool, like, in a Batman sort of a way....

(on the illustrious "Thigh Thing")

Hannah: You know, it could be possible that this could be kinda sexy in a Barbarella/Bond Girl sort of way. But the truth is half the time the damn thing slides down your leg when you walk, and you have to fumble around under your skirt or just straight-out excuse yourself from the table to go bolus.

Michael Kors: It could look very avant-garde if worn properly, but I don't think it's working here.

Nina Garcia: Michael, I know what you're thinking, and nobody wants to wear five of those on their leg at a time. I've seen it in Paris, and no regular person would want to do it. This is just awful.

Heidi Klum: It looks like something that should be left in the bedroom. Let's move on.

(on this lacy pump garter, found on's shop)

Hannah: My leg itches just looking at it.

Nina Garcia: HIDEOUS! I cannot think of a single person who'd want to wear this.

Michael Kors: Drag queens. Drag queens would wear this.

Nina Garcia: I disagree with you. Drag queens have much better taste.

Michael Kors: It's just so provincial-looking, and not in a charming way at all. Ugh, next please!

Heidi Klum: Have we found a single design we like yet?

Hannah: Not really.

Nina Garcia: Let's send ALL the designers home!

Heidi Klum: Um, I don't think we can do that, Nina. The producers would be mad.

Nina Garcia: *heavy, haughty sigh*

(last but not least, something described as the "Tag-a-Long" by's shop)

Michael Kors: What's on this thing, kittens?

Heidi Klum: Actually, I think they're ladybugs.

Hannah: But they make one with kittens on it!

Michael Kors: *hides face with notecards* No. No no no.

Nina Garcia: Don't diabetics ever want something that looks, you know, expensive? Everything I've seen today looks like it's come out of the cheapest stall at the flea market. And why would someone punish themselves with such ugly things?

Hannah: They don't give us any choice. It sucks. You people in the fashion world think women don't want pockets in their pants or their skirts--I've heard Michael say it on the show! A pocket goes a long-ass way, let me tell you. As for this thing, I'd be scared to carry it because it means the only thing separating my $5000 piece of medical equipment from the ground is a flimsy plastic hook on my jeans. I go to concerts. Somebody could mosh that thing right off my hip.

Heidi Klum: But it looks like this might be meant for children.

Hannah: What kind of child is going to play carefully enough that this thing wouldn't drop off their belt after two games of tag? And let's not even think about four-square related incidents or jumping off the swingset. Plus, it comes in two colors of fake leather. Leather doesn't scream "children's product" to me.

Michael Kors: So, are we going to kick all the designers off the show, or what? I'm all for it. That granola hippie girl pisses me off.

Nina Garcia: And I can't take one more effeminate man who thinks he can design because he's effeminate.

Heidi Klum: Whoa everyone! Let's keep it to ourselves, we have a guest judge here who has to USE these accessories on a regular basis.

Hannah: Tell you what, guys, let's pair the designers with ACTUAL insulin pump users. Let's work with real people's needs. I know you guys love a good "real people" challenge once in a while where your designers leave their models at the agency. No one gets kicked off. Everybody wins--unless they get a hideous outfit, but I guess that's part of the challenge. Whaddya say?


Well, what do you say, readers? Heidi at the The D-Log Cabin suggested we email Bravo to use this as a suggestion for the next season of Project Runway. I'm sure they could use a lot of us bloggers as models! It's so crazy, it just might work. Do it for all the crappy pump accessories you've been forced to wear or create over the years. As for me, it's time to say Auf Wiedersehn! *kiss kiss* Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Return of the Revenge of 14 Days of Dex

This DexCom Seven business is not always easy. Yesterday I ended up calibrating the thing 3 times in a row before dinner. I thought I was going to have to calibrate a 4th time, but it decided to function properly.

I calibrated before bed, then the thing pulled a similar trick to the dinnertime fiasco. I decided to let my one calibration be enough, after all, it sprung back to life with a little time. Well, it wasn't enough. I didn't have a single reading from probably 1am to 7am, when Matt left for work. I checked my blood, I recalibrated. This time, the DexCom cooperated.

At night, I've determined I'm probably going to have to clip the receiver to my PJs or something. It doesn't take well to resting far away from the sensor. I think it gets lonely. Maybe it gets jealous of the insulin pump?

At least I have a charger that's working properly now. Later today, I'll be "swapping" out my sensor. That really means I'll be tricking the receiver into thinking I've changed sensors. It's just going to be that same one. We'll see how that goes. Sigh.

So, readers, what do YOU want to know about wearing a DexCom? Maybe I can answer some questions, or at least provide you with more of my own opinions. Comment away!

Monday, March 10, 2008

It Even Does Impressions!

Matt, Nigel, Alana and I sat in the booth at the Double T Diner, waiting on our food. My loaner DexCom is nestled snugly in my purse. I hear its now-too-familar "Beeeep! Beeeep!" and pull it out. It says I'm low. My meter says I'm a few points higher. I don't worry about the numbers too much. I am curious how the last few hours have played out.

I spent a good amount of time bopping around at the Horrorpops show at the Trocadero. What was it like? This might give you a better idea:

I have decided I should pursue a career as a go-go backup dancer. Anyway...

I took a peek at my 3-hour screen, and especially on the 9-hour screen, you could see the plummet. My BS was high when we left for the show, normal when we left the club, low when we got to the diner. I chuckled to myself, then said to my friends, "Hey, you guys wanna see my DexCom do an impression of the stock market?" We got some giggles out of it, then went about our business--eating dinner, since it was probably around midnight and we were starving.

I love opportunities like that, the chances we get to make light of our diabetes. I'm not saying it's something that doesn't need to be taken seriously, but isn't it just a relief to get a laugh out of it instead of tears or anger?

It was a fun weekend. I didn't make it to Divabetic, but if you did, I hope you had a great time.

I think my only setback of the weekend was the fact that my DexCom Seven receiver won't charge. I have a charger, but plugging it in seems to do no good, so I'm making a quick detour to Gary's office again this afternoon to hopefully pick up a charger that works. I don't think the receiver is the problem, since there's only one place to plug things into it, and it calibrates with the meter just fine.

Oh, for those of you who have asked, the DexCom Seven I am using is the old style, so it can only be calibrated using a OneTouch Ultra meter. I use either an Ultra 2 or an Ultra Mini, so I at least have the strips handy, but it is a pain going back and forth between the different meters. I guess I could use my borrowed one exclusively, but I'd rather use my own when I'm not calibrating. Thank goodness new DexCom models will be offered (are being offered?) that will calibrate with ANY meter. That's something for everyone out there to look forward to.

Off I go, just another manic Monday, etc., etc.

Friday, March 7, 2008

14 Days of Dex: Day 2

Thankfully the DexCom let me sleep through most of the night. It woke me up at 3am, beeping that I was high--243 or something like that--a meter check revealed I was 196. I corrected. I woke up higher at 7:00am.

Oh well.

I know three facts right now:

1.) CGMS is still not an exact science.
2.) I've only had the DexCom a little over 24 hours. I shouldn't expect too much yet.
3.) It is a certain time of month, therefore the numbers can get downright unpredictable. Not to mention the fact that I want to eat things every minute of every day. Being a woman is annoying in this way--if you're not a lady, be momentarily glad.

My nine-hour profile is vaguely U-shaped. It wouldn't have arched back up at the end, but I was curious to see just how fast my BS would go up after I ate carbs that I didn't bolus for. The answer--pretty quick. No wonder I feel so crappy when I forget to bolus! The sudden 40-point jump is right there, staring back at me from a pocket-sized screen.

It's pretty fascinating to see your blood glucose levels in action, even if it's not the most accurate set of readings in the world.

Now I just have to remember to carry the DexCom with me when I move around. I left it in the car accidentally when I got home from my job interviews today. I had it on the passenger seat in case it decided to beep in the middle of the turnpike. Which it did.

And now, randomness prompts me to bring you a Friday Cat Blog:

This is Sadako, asleep and adorable. If you're not familiar with her, she's actually Nigel's cat, but she's pretty much the House Cat--Matt and I just don't have to scoop the litter box. This pic has been the background on the Xbox 360 home screen for a while now, and everyone says, "Awww!" when you turn it on. But a warning to you all: do not let that fuzzy face fool you. This is a bad kittycat. I came downstairs yesterday to grab the pair of shoes I wanted to wear to the interview I had in the morning. One shoe was good. The other shoe? This sneaky puddy-tat peed in it! It was a pair of shoes I really liked, and now, they are going in the trash. The right shoe cannot be saved. Sigh. At least I had backup shoes.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The First Rule of Pump Club is...

Don't talk about Pump Club...

Blog about it instead. So yes, Matt and I headed down to Wynnewood last night for the Insulin Pump Club of Greater Philadelphia. I've noticed one thing in the 2 meetings I've been to at Gary's office--every diabetes support group should be this much fun.

When I think of a support group, outside of the Diabetes OC, of course, I don't necessarily think of a bright, happy place with lots of people laughing. Maybe that's just because so many support groups are associated with generally glum prognoses--cancer, addiction, grieving. If you are looking for a diabetes support group that is merely for venting, wailing and generally gnashing your teeth, this is probably not the place to start. As a person with diabetes, you are welcome to have all kinds of emotions and feelings toward your condition, but at Gary's support meetings, that's not the focus. Personally, I feel this is a good thing.

Pump Club felt like what I hoped for--a social group of pumpers. It can be downright confusing to hear beeping in a room full of people only to realize it's NOT ACTUALLY YOU, but everyone knows exactly what you mean. It was a fun night, and I met some cool new people. Matt even got a kick out of it, especially when someone referred to him as a "Type 3".

And...I had my first face-to-face meeting with another d-blogger! Kelly from Diabetesaliciousness was there, and we had a grand ol' time. I think we may have even frightened Gary with our combined dorky powers! Well, probably not. Gary's in the Dorkabetic club, too--he mentioned to everyone last night how he went to see The Simpsons Movie on opening night, complete with a box of pink-frosted donuts.

The meeting had a discussion topic--one that I've been a bit reluctant to try myself--CGMS. We talked about the different systems, their advantages, their disadvantages, and just when the heck the Abbott Navigator is going to come out. (Answer: the jury's still out on that.) It made it seem more appealing to me, less intimidating. At the end of the night, I mention to Gary that I'm coming in Thursday for an appointment. He checks his sheet, and it says, "Hannah McD--CGMS data". This confuses both of us, as I'm not wearing any kind of CGMS.

"My appointment got switched to you because Karin's still out on that family emergency," I tell him. "She and I were going to talk food stuff. But I don't have a CGMS to dump, so what will we talk about?"

Gary pauses with a thoughtful expression and a snap of his fingers. Just short of saying 'Eureka!', he says "We're going to put you on a Dexcom tomorrow!"

I was curious. I was not entirely sold on the idea, but I thought it at least somewhat interesting. "Okay," I answered. Today at the office, Gary stuck the sensor in (which hurt considerably LESS than a pump infusion set, if you can believe it), we fired it up, and soon I was on my way home with a big loaner kit including a charger cable, a OneTouch Ultra for calibration, a connection cable for doing said calibrations, a cumbersome DexCom belt clip, and a lot of instructions.

"You'll love it!" Gary assured me.

So today starts what will be known around here as the 14 Days of DexCom! My first calibration was a mere 15 minutes or so ago, and I am cruising amazingly well at 125 according to the DexCom. My calibration finger pricks said I was 172...and 150. For now, I'll take it.

Yesterday, this was going to be a post about my lack of motivation, how I can't manage to count carbs effectively or perform a single basal test, blah blah wah wah poor me, but today...I have new toys to play with! I'm really excited to gain all kinds of new information. Hey, isn't that what being a dork is all about?

Also, more excitement--not one, but two job interviews tomorrow for very, very cool things.

(And readers, please advise..."14 Days of Dexcom" or "14 Days of Dex"? I don't want people thinking I'm talking about going on some 2-week glucose-tab-only diet. Gross.)

Can't wait to keep you all in the know about late-night alarms, trends, and my general opinions of the DexCom.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Attention Philadelphia Area Diabetics!

An eventful week...check it out, peeps...

Do you wear an insulin pump? Are you perhaps considering one? Do you want to meet other people who have insulin pumps? The Pump Club of Greater Philadelphia is meeting tonight at Integrated Diabetes Services in Wynnewood, PA. It's free, there are snacks & coffee, and there's going to be a discussion on continuous glucose monitoring.

I'm going to go check it out, along with my hubby. I figure I can stand to meet as many new people as possible these days. I feel a little isolated being by myself all afternoon, scouring the internet for job postings. I guess that has paid off--I have an interview on Friday.

Plus, Integrated Diabetes is Gary Scheiner's office, and as I've mentioned numerous times before, Gary is really cool, a fantastic CDE. He also happens to be the host of these meetings. As a matter of fact, I have an appointment with him tomorrow, but I am not sure how much I have to show for it. More on that after it happens.

Also, on Saturday, Divabetic is coming to Philadelphia. The event is for women wishing to "makeover their diabetes", and I tell you what, if being able to learn about better diabetes management while meeting other fabulous divas AND getting free manicures & makeovers doesn't sound like the best girly afternoon, nothing does. I am interested in going to check it out, but I don't know if I want to go alone. Also, my friend Alana (who lives in NY, almost in CT) is coming down on Saturday afternoon sometime, then we're going to a concert on Saturday night. Has anybody out there been to a Divabetic event before? Would I be there all 4 hours?

I guess my main problem is that I'd be in downtown Philly from 1-4pm, then I'd have to turn around and drive back home, most likely to get back in a car to downtown Philly for some Chinese food and a show at the Trocadero.

And I suppose the real question is: is anyone else planning on going?