Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A crappy A1C and the awesome sure-T

Got a voice mail from Dr. Joffe (new endo) yesterday, she got my bloodwork back and wanted to let me know my A1C. I'll just put it out there. 11. Yes, 11. Worst one I've ever had, including when I was diagnosed! Sweet. She said "we have a lot of work to do"... you think??

Ah well, I've already started the work and numbers are already looking better. Nothing else I can do but that and keep chugging along. In 3 months, I predict that I am down to at least 8.5ish. I'll let you know if I'm there.

Good thing: met with a new "diabetes clinical manager" (someone who works for Medtronic and whose job it is to get people with pumps to know how to use them and get their crap together) named Lindsay and she is awesome. She is diabetic!! Lo and behold, they do exist! It's so much better to talk with someone about your issues who is also diabetic and therefore is not just well-read on the subject but actually experiences everything, too! 

Anyhow, to help me with my scar tissue issues (ha, rhyme) and my delayed site changing (due to scar tissue/pain/nowhere to put it) she introduced me to the greatest thing ever - a different type of infusion set called the Sure-T. It. Is. Awesome.

Awesome Thing 1: it does not cause scar tissue! How, you ask? Well, it's not a cannula that stays in you, it's a little teeny steel needle that stays in you. Don't be scared! It's smaller than a pushpin (which, by the way, is how you insert it, you just push it straight in) so is less damaging, so no scarring.

Awesome Thing 2: it has a tension release/extender part that allows you to insert in less than optimal places (logistically) and you can disconnect the pump without have to get in your pants or something else annoying

Awesome Thing 3: it doesn't hurt AT ALL!!! I can barely feel it go in, I can barely feel it come out, and I can barely feel it while it's in there doing its thing. I can sit on it. I can smash into it. It is super awesome. Yayyyy Sure-T!! I can't wait to switch for good! 

Bye bye silhouette! You and your pain-in-the-butt-ness and your regular pain are going away... going away with my paradigm 522 pump! It's time for an upgrade in all things! Can't wait for my new Paradigm REVEL and my new Sure-Ts to come in (by Christmas-ish)!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

...when there's someone by your side to sing along

I had my first endocrinology appointment in 2 years today. I guess, in a way, it went well. I guess. I mean, it was terrible and yet a good thing, too. I expected my blood sugars to be bad; I expected the endocrinologist (the first time I've met this doctor) to clearly think I was an irresponsible moron; I expected to have to meet with an educator; I expected to feel stupid. I did not expect to cry. 

I felt so dumb, so embarrassed, so pathetic, that I started to cry. I told her that after 2 years of no health insurance, no doctors, having to do everything myself, and 6 years of being diabetic with no one really to help me (since as an adult, no one concerns themselves with the psychological effects of being diabetic), I just gave up. And so I started to cry. Boo. 

On the upside, she said we are just going to start over and we are going to fix it and it is going to be ok. She wasn't about to hug me or anything, but she was nice and didn't say anything mean or unnecessary and she clearly is willing to help me. So, bloodwork appt this Thursday, diabetes educator appt Friday, another endo appt in a month to see where we are. And the beginning of fixing myself begins.

One last note. I went to see The Muppets on Saturday night. I have been waiting for this movie to come out for at least a year, and I was so excited. It was wonderful! I am going again on Friday afternoon with some of my little buddies! Go see it; try not to smile from start to finish. This movie will restore your inner child, your sense of simple happiness. It will restore your faith in humanity. We all have a little Muppet in us!

Based on my finding of some help and faith, I feel like some of the lyrics to one of the songs are appropriate:

"...life's a happy song when there's someone by your side to sing along
when you're alone, life can be a little rough
it makes you feel like you're 3 foot tall
when it's just you, well times can be tough
when there's no one there to catch your fall
everything is great, everything is grand
I've got the whole wide world in the palm of my hand
everything is perfect, it's falling into place
I can't seem to wipe this smile off my face
life smells like a rose with someone to ping
and someone to pose
life's a piece of cake with someone to pedal
someone to brake
life is full of glee with someone to saw
and someone to see
life's a happy song when there's someone by my side to sing along..."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bronchitis and Turkey

Thanksgiving was yesterday and yummy. I love Thanksgiving. Probably because I love mashed potatoes more than life itself. Not to mention turkey. Gobble gobble, I will eat you in all your browned, moist glory!! And then there's the pumpkin pie. In my family, we are serious about dessert. There is no pre-packaged, store bought stuff in this household. Pumpkin pie from scratch, including the crust. My grandparents' recipe that makes people who don't like pumpkin pie like pumpkin pie. And my dad and I kill it, every time. We don't play around!! It was awesome. Yum. I want some now. Drool.

I have some lung issues. Anyone who has ever met me knows that if I'm sick, I probably can't breathe. Everything goes to my lungs. It's a fun time spending half your life wheezing and coughing like a 90 year old person with emphysema.

Anyhow, I get bronchitis a lot. The thing is, I rarely actually get diagnosed. I went to the doctor about a week ago (after being sick for at least a week or two) and was told that there was nothing wrong with me, except maybe my asthma kicking up. I was prescribed prednisone... prednisone!!! Anyone with diabetes knows this is the worst drug ever; no matter how awesome you are at blood sugar checks and control, you will be sky high. As in 380 is looking good. As in 511 is typical..... good lord it's annoying.

Finally, 3 days ago, I went to a doctors office with night walk in hours and lo and behold - look who has bronchitis! Got a zPac and a chest xray order (in case I don't get better - pneumonia, then!) and, while I'm not awesome, things are looking up in the breathing department! Wooo!

Now if I could just these blood sugars down from the roof of the Empire State Building....

Friday, November 11, 2011


When I was first diagnosed with diabetes in June 2006, I was a golden patient. At 22 years old, I knew what the consequences of "uncontrolled" diabetes were (are) and I refused to let my disease take me down a sickly path. My sister is also diabetic. She is 10 years younger than me and was diagnosed when she was 7 (I was 17), and things have never really gone great for her. She's been in and out of the hospital  multiple times for DKA and doesn't really see many optimal blood sugar readings. I said I wouldn't be like that... I said I was gonna "keep control" (is there really such a thing though?).

Then I got my master's degree, got certified to teach, quit my job at a preschool, and became a full-time substitute teacher. That was 2 years ago. When I quit my job, I lost the thing that might be most precious to all of us with diabetes (or any other kind of chronic issue)... NO MORE HEALTH INSURANCE, KIDS!! Weeeee I was out and about and off the books. Me + my pump + nobody.

It's 2 years later and I have only just gotten health insurance again (the perks of marrying someone with a "real" job). So, soon, I shall be off to the doctors' offices and getting my correct prescriptions and such. Here's the rub though, friends. I am going to get yelled at. Big time.

No health insurance for 2 years = no doctor visits, no prescriptions (if I told you how I had been getting my meds, I'd have to kill you, so don't even ask), and.... drumroll... no bloodwork! It also means that I've fallen off the proverbial wagon and I am now the girl who rarely sees any type of "good" bs reading.

So, now, after 2 years of pretending that I'm fine and keeping my bs readings secret and no one need worry and I don't care about this whole diabetes thing cause it's not a big deal, I am starting to retrain myself to truly take care of my blood sugar and me. And it's hard. And it kind of sucks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

First Post... Inspiration.

Here I am with a blog. Isn't blogging out now? I think they covered that it's not cool anymore on How I Met Your Mother about a year ago... but hey, if Barney still does it, then can't I just start it??

Anyway, here is my inspiration for the name: jenjengt+d... The jenjengt is me... a double first name and initials for my old and new last names. It's the +d that needs explanation.

First of all, I just got married!! Yay, me! I have been married for 2 months and 5 days now (our wedding was September 4, 2011), and my husband's name is Drew. So, you see, I am no longer just "Jen"... I am Jen + Drew". The +d is firstly, for my favorite d, my Drew! There is a second meaning behind the +d as well, though. The second meaning behind the +d is not nearly as fun - it stands for diabetes. I am +drew and +diabetes, too.

See, I was inspired to start a blog after spending a little more than normal time with a special student of mine and starting to communicate with here parents. This special little lady, who I shall refer to as "G" is a fourth grader at a school I often sub at, and she, like me, has type 1 diabetes. In spending a little more time with her this year than in the last few school years, I have realized that not only is she a great kid, but she is super cool about being a kid with diabetes. So, I started chatting with her mom. Whoa! No wonder why this girl is cool, her  mom is awesome!! And, her mom writes an awesome blog about being the parent of T1 kid (kid with type 1 diabetes). In response to our emails back and forth and reading said mom's blog, I have been having a lot of feelings about being diabetic lately. Some thoughts I never had before, some feelings I have never let myself really feel, and some complaints to let out as well. So I got inspired... maybe I could blog, and be awesome, too!

So, that's my first post... I promise they will be more exciting after this one!