Saturday, February 21, 2009

Where in the World is [Hannah] Sandiego?

Have you been disappointed by the fact that I haven't blogged here all week?

Are you wondering what I've been up to?

Well, I've been the featured blogger on the Diabetes OC website this week! If you're not quite "in the know", the OC has nothing to do with that teen drama with a kickass soundtrack. OC = online community in this case. The Diabetes OC's claim to fame is that it's a one stop shop for finding diabetes blogs and websites. It's how I connected with so many of the excellent blogs I read now!

Anyway, my first post was about me and why I started a diabetes-related blog in the first place.

My second post was about being at work with diabetes.

My third and final post should hopefully go up today. It has been a hectic week at work, and I still managed to grind out 3 blog posts. I should think about that when I get lazy about blogging here at Dorkabetic. (Which, um, I have been guilty of lately. Oops.)

I think I am darn near fully recovered from my appendectomy. I am excited because in a short while, I will be taking yet another trip to the Chicago area for training for my job. They really like me--they like me so much, they want me to learn new things! Yay!

I have some things in mind that need to get posted. I hope they can go up next week. We'll see how hectic things get.

Also, I just got Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii. I am engrossed in the adorable, relatively girly awesomeness. Additionally, it's really fun to go into your neighbors' houses and open all their drawers. Anybody got a friend code? You're welcome to come visit the picturesque hamlet of Delamarf anytime. Why am I so into this game that is barely a game? I can't explain it. I will just leave you with an exchange between Matt and I from last evening:

Me: OH NO!!
Matt: What's wrong?
Me: Oh no! He needs help!
Matt: (running in from office) Who? What?
Me: (pointing at TV screen with Wii-mote) The little blue walrus! He needs my help because he's hungry! Awww, look, he's crying. Poor little walrus!
Matt: (patting me on the head) Well, babe, maybe you should find him something to eat.
Me: I probably should, but you don't care. You think I'm nuts.
Matt: I think you're cute, and I love you. Now feed the walrus, I'm going back to my computer.
Me: Okay. Maybe he can has a bukkit.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


And I don't even speak French! Well, with the exception of a few small phrases and a cheesy song I had to learn in 8th grade language exploration. I refuse to sing the song for you, but if a certain CJ happens to see this post, she knows the words as well.

So I am being featured this week on the Diabetes OC blog! Woo hoo!

I'm kind of a big deal.

A big deal who is currently wearing light teal pajama bottoms and a black t-shirt, refilling her insulin pump, and going back to playing her Valentine's Day present, "Animal Crossing: City Folk".

Your faithful Dorkabetic, signing off.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thoughts on Hospitalization

Last Saturday, I was struck with sudden panic at finding out I needed to have emergency surgery to remove my appendix. I had plenty of reasons to worry. My appendix could burst and send infection throughout my guts. I had never had any major surgery before, aside from oral surgery to take out my wisdom teeth a few years back. I have never been hospitalized for anything since I was diagnosed with Type 1 by going into all-out DKA when I was 8 years old!

I fretted and fretted over this and that, but yet my biggest worry was that nobody was going to know how to handle someone with Type 1 diabetes in a hospital. You read a lot of horror stories and accounts of people complaining about incompetent staffers. As people with diabetes, I guess we are supposed to be prepared in any situation, but I had never come up with any kind of action plan for when something like this would happen. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I tried to think of what kind of numbers I'd be happy with in the hospital. Which arm was my IV in? Would anyone know what to do with my insulin pump? Would anyone try to disconnect it? What about checking my sugars?

Well, I was met with a friendly and surprisingly open-minded hospital staff. Some of the nurses had never seen an insulin pump before, some were familiar with its workings; I showed it off to everyone. My hospital-assigned internist really loved it.

"So, all I have to do is tell you what your numbers are, then you can do the work?" he grinned. "You make things so easy for me! Thanks!"

Thanks to the pocket design of my hospital gowns, I was able to thread my pump through my shirt pocket and have it in close proximity at all times.

But let me tell you...when you are in the hospital, in pain, drugged up on Morphine, having a fever and battling infection with not one but two types of antibiotics, you take whatever numbers you get and then correct them. I even tried playing around with some increased temporary basal rates, but my BGs were pretty consistently between 200 and 250 no matter what I did or ate. I am pretty sure it was some combination of stress and meds.

It is a strange feeling having someone else check your blood sugar after pretty much doing it alone for 17 years or so. Of course, hospital meters need to carry and store more info than your average consumer meter, so they are still the size of bricks. (You know, flashy, ergonomically shaped bricks with scanners on them.) They still require everyone's favorite--the hanging drop of blood. I had purple bruises on half my fingers when I normally have tiny, pin-sized marks. However, under the aforementioned feeling-bad-and-being-on-drugs protocol, I didn't care too much that they seemed to be dicing my digits before meals and bedtime. I expected numbers to be high, so I corrected and made sure I drank water as much as possible.

I would think for a planned hospital stay, I would have preferred my own meters, of course, but this was something I had never even considered. Do you have an emergency action plan in place? I had to wonder if I was the least-prepared diabetic on the planet. My tips for an emergency hospital stay...assuming you are conscious enough to engage with your medical professionals:

1. Make sure you tell them every med you are on, and how often you take them. Try to remember dosages, or have someone check on your bottles at home and let them know. The nurses were concerned at my extremely high heart rate until I told one of them that I hadn't taken any of my usual Atenolol. They got it for me, and I came back down to normal!

2. Try to keep a good attitude. Some of the most frustrating moments I had at the hospital involved not being able to get a nurse to come in when I needed them, but many days it was because they were short-staffed or another patient was having a REAL crisis. Sure, I really needed that pain medication, but some deep breathing got me through the next 15 minutes until the nurse showed up.

3. If you pump, see that you can be in control. Keep an open line of communication with your nurses and doctors. Don't let them leave the room without telling you your numbers!

4. Hospital menus don't have carb counts on them, though mine did suggest that "artificial sweetener" was a "starter". Like an appetizer? Truly, I would have preferred some mozzarella sticks or hummus as a starter! Anyway, you'll be giving it your best guess, but they seemed to do a good job with providing lower-carb options. You just have to make sure you order them!

Well, as I said before, good riddance to that lousy old appendix. I am just happy to be feeling much better and blogging again. If you're looking for me, I will be plopped down, relaxing, catching up on like, every episode of "Arrested Development" from season 2 onward.