Diabetes Diary

Kelsey's diary about living life with type 1 diabetes.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Meme Time!

I have enjoyed reading the meme currently floating around the OC, so I thought I'd borrow it from Kerri, who borrowed it from Sandra, who borrowed... well, you get the idea!

The Meme~

1. Do you still have tonsils? Nope, they were yanked during my Spring Break from college my sophomore year.

2. Would you bungee jump? Never.

3. If You Could Do Anything In The World For A Living What Would It Be? I'd like to have Samantha Brown's job, hosting Great Hotels and traveling the world.

4. How many tattoos do you have? Zero.

5. Your favorite fictional animal? Smokey the Bear... I'm from the Redwoods after all.

6. One person that never fails to make you laugh? My bestest friend Michelle.

7. Do you consider yourself well organized? Yes, actually. I've learned the virtue of organization is sanity. It's the only way I've been able to work full time while in grad school.

8. Any Addictions? Just insulin, I'm hooked. Oh, and peanut butter.

9. From what news source do you receive the bulk of your news? The Today show.

10. Would you rather go to a carnival or circus? Either... funny, I've never been to the circus, since my maiden name is Barnum!

11. When you were twelve years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? A lawyer. My dad's one and I guess I didn't have much of an imagination.

12. Best Movie You've Seen This Year? Everything is Illuminated. Funny, poignant, historical... everything I like!

13. Favorite alcoholic drink? Rum and diet coke. Or Amber Bock (a Michelob beer).

14. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Cuddle my husband for five more minutes.

15. Siblings? Brother, Rob and sister, Sarah. Both younger. We're all within 3 years... our mom's the best!

16. What is the best thing about your job? They've allowed me to work my schedule around school. Even though my degree has nothing to do with their business! (My masters is in history and I work for a CPA firm.)

17. Have you ever gone to therapy? Yes, therapy is great. I'm still benefiting from the few months I went in college.

18. If you could have one super power what would it be? Healing, definitely.

19. Do you own any furniture from Ikea? Over half our apartment is furnished by Ikea.
Fun stuff.

20. Have you ever gone camping? Have I mentioned I'm from the Redwoods of Northern California. Camping was a given.

21. Gas prices! First thought? What a scam!

22. Your favorite cartoon character? Hewy, Dewy and Louie. Our parents used to call us that... so I'd be Hewy.

23. What was your first car? When I was 16, I took over my dad's 1982 Jeep Wagoneer. You know the ones with wood paneling. We affectionately called it "The Woody."

24. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? Nope, it's the best. I highly recommend it.

25. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons? The Simpsons.

26. Do you go to church? Yes. We love our little Catholic church in Old Town San Diego.

27. What famous person would you like to have dinner with? Dan Marino.

28. What errand/chore do you despise? Vacuuming and doing the dishes. That's why those are my husband's chores!

29. First thought when the alarm went off this morning? I'm still sleepy!

30. Last time you puked from drinking? Over 3 years ago in Tijuana, Mexico. Tequila shots... enough said.

31. What is your heritage? Mostly Norwegian and German, with some English, Scottish, Irish mixed in. I'm a true Euro mutt.

32. Favorite flower? Gerber daisies.

33. Disney or Warner Bros? Disney. Even though I've extensively studied the historical impact of Disney on our American culture of conformity. I still love it! Plus, my husband loves it even more!

34. What is your best childhood memory? Christmas mornings.

35. Your favorite potato chip? Jalepano flavored are yummy.

36. What is your favorite candy? M&Ms.

37. Do you burn or tan? Oh, I used to tan as a kid. Now, I get scorched!

38. Astrological sign? Aquarius.

39. Do you own a gun? Nope.

40. What do you think of hot dogs? They're a rare treat. Especially the ones at Costco!

Join the fun everyone!!

Monday, September 25, 2006


I can now join the club! There's a club isn't there?!

Where to begin?

My training was quite successful. My first infusion site... totally painless! I didn't feel a thing! Tonight will be my first site change, and I'm feeling fine about it. I'm using the Cleo 90 sites, and I think they're pretty cool.

There's certainly a learning curve with this thing! I feel like I need to forget EVERYTHING I knew before and "Trust the process." I understand the theory behind the pump, but I find myself second guessing things. Old diabetes habits die hard I guess.

I've realized that my learning curve may be especially steep.

So, you've heard the theory that your basal and bolus insulin should each account for 50% of your total. That's not an exact science, but pretty close. My ratio while on Lantus was way off! I took 28 units of Lantus per day and only used 10-12 units of Humalog. That's like a 70/30 ratio! You brilliant fellow-PWD's just figured it out... I was using my basal insulin to help cover my meals. If I had done my Lantus and ate nothing all day, I'd have repeated lows! This is NOT the way basal insulin is supposed to work.

I need to readjust my thinking on the general concept of basal and bolus insulin! One factor of this is that I WAY underestimate the number of carbs in things. (Don't worry, a copy of Calorie King is on it's way from Amazon as we speak!) This weekend I underestimated by A LOT! I should have guesstimated the carbs I thought were in the foods and just doubled it. Wow.

Anyway, all in all, I'm so happy to be on the pump. It wasn't nearly the traumatic adjustment I expected :) Even with my failings, I am seeing what a wonderful tool this little pump is. The fine tuning it allows me to do is simply amazing.

This has been a good lesson for me in doing things at my own pace. The progression I took from being a "B- diabetes manger" to getting my A1c consistently in the low 6's to finally started to pump was very natural. By waiting until I was, not only ready, but excited about pumping made the transition very calm and almost, fun!

To thine ownself be true :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Friday at 1 p.m.

I spoke to Joann, my pump trainer/diabetic nurse on Wednesday morning.

Work was CRAZY! But I snuck in a few calls to my endo's office to arrange an appointment with Joann. Finally got ahold of her around 11:45 a.m.

I fully anticipated having to wait until next Wednesday, September 27 to be trained. Joann is only at my endo's on Wednesdays until noon, so I had my fingered crossed that she'd be able to fit me in next week.

She did better than that!

Joann explained that she doesn't do pump trainings at the doctor's offices, she'd meet me at my house. I asked her when would work for her and she replied, "How about this Friday?" As in the day after tomorrow!

So, at 1 p.m. tomorrow I'll be training on my pump!! Could this process seriously get any easier?! I'll be pumping exactly 9 days after I made the initial call, asking, "What's the process of starting the pump?"

Hopefully the smooth process will continue through my first infusion site tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Big News!

Preface: From what I've heard, the following explanation of my experience is NOT normal. Though, it should be...

I've been thinking about the pump for the past year. However, I was seriously on the fence about it until I got these
comments back to my post: "A Pat on the Back for Kelsey." Going back on NPH for a pregnancy just sounded incredibly unwise. Plus, I started to figure, "I'm afraid of the pump, but I'm going to experience child birth, I've got to toughen up!" It was time to face my fears and apprehension and go for it!

Last Wednesday I called the "diabetic nurse" (that's what they call her, maybe she's a CDE, I'm not sure) at my endo's office. Her name is Joann. I asked her, "What's the process for starting the pump?"

She replied, "I'll give your name to the pump rep, they'll call you and get your insurance information. Once you receive the pump, you set up an appointment with me and we'll do the training."

"Okay. I've been considering the Minimed and the Cozmo, I'm leaning toward the Cozmo, but I was wondering, from your experience, what do you see as the major differences?"

Joann explained, "Well, I wear the Cozmo."

"Oh! You're diabetic?! Did I know that?" I exclaimed.

To conclude our conversation, Joann broke down the differences between the pumps and basically told me, they'll all do the basics, but she's happy with her Cozmo. That sealed the deal!

I'd already pretty much picked Cozmo because of it's integrated pump (which takes Freestyle strips which I already use) and it's ability to use any insertion set. Since I have no idea which set with work best for me, I figured the more options the better. But now, to be trained by someone who uses the same pump, that would be awesome!!

So, up until now, this isn't that extraordinary of a situation... but it gets better.

The rep from Smiths Medical called me that same afternoon. His name is John and he's great! He asked me for my basic contact info and diabetes history and then asked what my insurance was. I told him United Healthcare and he replied, "Oh this will be easy."

Thursday late morning I get another call from John. He told me that everything went through on my insurance and he'd already received some information from my endo. Now he just needed to get the letter of medical necessity from the endo and we'd be set.

Wow, I thought. This is fast. So, I casually asked him, "So what will my copay be for all of this?"

"Oh, didn't I already tell you?"

"No, not yet."

"Let's see... you have a zero deductible and it's 100% covered."

"Really?!? Well, there must be a copay for the insertion sites, right?"

"Nope those are covered too."

I was stunned.

He went on... you have really great insurance, does your husband work for Verizon or Quest?

I replied, "No, but he works for a national law firm."

"Oh, that's it... they must have some buying power."

The thing is, my job also offers UHC, but it's terrible. I knew my husband's insurance was better, that's why I went with it, but this was beyond my expectations.

John went on to explain that I would have to pay out of pocket for IV preps. No problemo!!

Friday came and went. And of course I didn't hear anything over the weekend.

Monday morning, I have a voicemail at work from John. "I have the letter from your doctor, give me a call and we'll finish up the ordering process."

We got in touch around noon yesterday. I chose my color, dark gray. He asked me my height and determined that the 24 inch tubing would be good to start with. He also explained that they can set up a delivery every three months for my pump supplies to automatically be shipped to my house. Great!

So, tomorrow, Wednesday, exactly one week from when I placed my initial call to the nurse, I will have a insulin pump! They're delivering it to my work so I can sign for it :)

Joann is only in the office on Wednesdays, so I'll call her tomorrow and likely set up an appointment to train next Wednesday!

I'm SO excited! But, nervous too. I'm sure the first few insertions are going to be a bit traumatic. (I am the girl who passes out when she gets her blood drawn!) But, just like injections, I'll get used to it. Wow, maturity, what a concept!

As if this post wasn't long enough... one little story on how are bodies are smarter than our meters:

This morning I woke up at 6 am to get ready for work. Felt low. Tested: 142 mg/dl. Wow, huh. Washed my face. Still felt low. Tested: 52 mg/dl.

Yep, that's what I thought.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Random Thoughts on a Thursday...

  • Today I tested my blood on my pinkie finger for the first time! I figured if I'm gearing up for the pump, I shouldn't hold on to my childish fears of venturing beyond the middle and ring fingers for finger sticks.
  • The Miami Dolphins kick off the NFL football season tonight against the Superbowl Champs. Oh, how I pray the Dolphins win tonight and have a good season. Our home is no longer mourning the Hurricane's loss Monday night... but we really can't take another this week!
  • I'm feeling like things are falling into place with my thesis research. I've gotten in touch with some residents of the neighborhood I'm studying. They've embraced me and my project, for which I'm very grateful. Hopefully they'll do well tonight in their meeting with the city and developers!
  • I've jumped through another hoop in the administrative side of finishing a thesis... I'm now officially signed up for my thesis courses!
  • Work is busy and I probably shouldn't have spent the last hour researching insulin pumps online, but I was inspired by Johnboy's post about receiving his! Inspired, envious... whatever :)
  • I'd really rather be with my husband at the San Diego Zoo today than sitting in the office! When he called a few hours ago, he exclaimed "I'm looking at this baby monkey and he's SOOO cute!" No honey, you're so cute.
  • Finally, if you have any pump raves or complaints, please feel free to share them. I'm taking an informal survey to aid in my decision process :) Thanks for your help!
  • Tomorrow is FRIDAY... you gotta love short weeks!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pumps, pumps, pumps...

As if I don't have enough on my plate right now, between work and writing my thesis, I thought I'd get started pumping too!

We're really hoping to get pregnant early next year, so I figured I better get used to the pump before I have the added stresses of pregnancy!

So, I have a question for you many, many pumpers out there...

Which should I get?

I know I have a lot of research to do myself. However, I assume there are differences between the Minimed and Cosmo, because people seem pretty devoted to their choices... so I figured user feedback would be a good place to start!

Thanks guys! :)