no time for diabetes

You ever feel like you have no time for diabetes? I know I have lately. I had to go to work, but then realized I had to change my insulin set. Bam, five minutes later than I planned. Then, my sensor runs out, and I couldn’t time things well so I could be able to test my blood sugar in around two hours. I want to be able to run around and not have to shove that snack down my throat between students. But, if I don’t quickly eat that snack, I might pass out. I guess I am just tired of dealing with this…yet again.


I was SO happy. But then this conversation happened.

“Guess what! My pre-lunch glucose number was perfect – it was 120!” I said

“Isn’t that high? That sounds like a post-lunch number”

Well, since my blood sugar was either running too high pre-lunch or way too low, I was happy with a 120. Well, until that comment, and then I started to second think my happiness. (And my post lunch numbers are nowhere near 120…not if I don’t want to pass out in 30 minutes anyway.) I started thinking, my numbers aren’t perfect, why am I happy. I should be pickier.

But, shouldn’t it be okay to be happy with something that is finally trending towards good? I think the whole number thing is too easy to get crazy about. It makes you feel guilty. It makes you feel bad about yourself. Grrr.

So that’s why the math was so hard

I’m a girl scout leader, and it is girl scout cookie time. Me and my co-leader were going through the cookie orders and putting them in the order database. For some reason, the math was getting pretty hard for me. And, I kept on forgetting which person’s order I had entered. (Luckily I have my great co-leader to catch all the things that I was not keeping track of.) We finished so I packed up all my order forms and walked home. As soon as I stepped into the door, my hands started to shake – my usual first symptom of a low blood sugar. My CGM said that I was at 100, but I decided to check with my glucometer anyway — it was at 60.

So, after a little bit of food, I started feeling a lot better. My hands stopped shaking, and the clouds from my brain lifted. At first I thought the low was from the walk, but the cloud lifting from my brain told me otherwise – I must have been low even earlier than that. I guess I wasn’t just tired…it was a low blood sugar. My CGM must have needed calibration. Blah.

Photo credit: cohdra from

Continuous Glucose Monitor and me…part 3

Medtronic's CGMS

“What is that beeping sound? It is very annoying.”

That was one of the comments of one of the Brownie Girl Scouts in my troop. I had to agree, it was very annoying. It was my pump – beeping at me again. Actually, it was the CGM part of my pump. As I mentioned in other posts, I do like the CGM, but I find it awfully needy. (So needy that I stopped using it for a while because the beeping was driving me crazy.)

It beeps when it needs another meter reading for calibration of it’s data. It beeps when it loses signal from the sensor. It beeps when the sensor is done. It beeps with a high blood sugar. It beeps with a low blood sugar. This time, it was thinking that I was having a low blood sugar. Since I just had a cupcake to correct a low, I checked my blood sugar with my meter. Luckily I double checked with my meter, because the CGM was WAY off. My blood sugar was actually high from me over correcting.

In general, I find that the CGM is mostly accurate. But, on days when I have the wildest swings in blood sugar, those are the days that it is the least accurate. Of course, it is the days with the big swings that I need the most accuracy. Well, honestly, I want accuracy every day.

cold glucometer

I live in an area with seasons. There is a hot season and a cold season. Right now we are in the cold season. Honestly, this season hasn’t been so bad. It has been temperatures above freezing for most of the winter. But, here comes the freeze. Freezing brings about other problems for me. First, I have to make sure my insulin pump stays warm. Insulin stops working if it freezes, and it can freeze just as well in a pump. That is easy to prevent, I just attach the pump to my underwear so it is right next to my body. If it can get cold enough to freeze in that location, I have a lot more problems 🙂

The next problem is my glucometer. I have discovered in previous winters that the meter doesn’t work when it too cold. Luckily, my meter gives a warning when it is too cold, so I don’t get faulty readings. (According to the manual, my meter doesn’t work any lower than 43 degrees Fahrenheit.) But, I still am not getting any readings with a cold meter. That has caused problems and I have had to guess if I was going low or not. I wasn’t always right.

If I remember, I try to keep my meter in my pants pocket when I go out in the cold to keep it warm. But, that method doesn’t seem to work that well to warm the meter after it is already cold. The woman behind the Pump Wear company happened to post some solutions to the cold meter problem a couple of days ago.


Person holding a tissue over their nose

Sigh… I am sick again. I caught that nasty cold that has been making the rounds here. (That’s what you get when it is still raining in January, not snowing.)

The cold is getting me dehydrated (with the fever and my nose running like a faucet), which means higher blood sugar. And, with all that mucus I feel nauseous, which makes eating more difficult than usual. The combo of everything makes my diabetes much harder to deal with. Blah. Nothing is ever simple.



Continuous Glucose Monitor and me…part 1

iPro, after insertion - looks like the regular CGM sensor

I’ve been using my continuous glucose monitor again. I stopped when I was working because it was beeping at me way too much. It either needed to be calibrated, or lost signal and was very insistent that I do something about it. But, it is break, so I am starting up again.

If you don’t know, I am using a Medtronic Continuous Glucose monitor. When it is working, it is amazing. I have found many times with problem blood sugar and didn’t know about. I have to say that I would much rather have it than not have it. These are just some of my issues.

Issue one: Where to connect the sensor. You have to insert a sensor into your body in an area with fat. Medtronic has a page with the suggested sites — right here. It looks like quite a few sites, but for me it is a lot less. I can’t have it under my navel, since that area tends to rub against clothing. Also, I tend to bleed (a lot) when items are placed there. (Yep, I have inserted at the right angle. For some reason that area is not good for me.). I don’t have a lot of fat on my legs, and I can’t bend well enough to put it on my butt. So, that just leaves the area on my belly above my navel. But, it also needs to be 2 inches away from my insulin pump site, which reduces the location even more. What I need is a shorter needle/sensor. That would add more places for me to use.

On a slightly different note, Abby posted at Six Until Me about her experience doing the closed loop clinical trial. See here for the post. I found it quite interesting. I’m wondering how much the closed system would help my issues.

Self Diagnosis

Bayer's A1CNow™ SELFCHECK System

Have you seen this article Washington Post complaining about the drugstore HbA1C kits being used for a diabetes diagnosis? They say that it isn’t official, and could not be accurate.

The thing is, I wasn’t diagnosed by an HbA1C test. I was diagnosed by a simple over the counter finger stick test. It was done at the doctor’s office, but it was a fingerstick test that had an answer in 30 seconds. Most of the people that I know that were diagnosed with diabetes were tested by glucometers.

Now I think the main problem is that people are getting these tests without a doctor. An HbA1C test done with a pre-existing diabetes can be helpful. It can help a patient make some good decisions. But, a HbA1C test without a doctor and no pre-existing diabetes diagnosis can be bad. Most people have misconceptions about diabetes. If someone tries to self diagnose, and self treat, they might end up making their illness even worse.

If you were diagnosed, what test did your doctor use?


Medtronic's iPro

Today I went to the doctor’s office to get an iPro inserted. I bet a few people who know me are thinking “But…you had that done this summer… Why are they doing it again?”

You are correct, I did have that done in the summer. But, my numbers didn’t calibrate with my glucometer tests. No, it wasn’t that I didn’t take enough. It was because I took too many readings. I do what I was told to do by my doctor — test before I eat then test again one-two hours after I eat. Well, I guess the readings that I took after I ate caused the problem. I was told that the interstitial tests tend to lag after the fingersticks when blood sugar numbers are changing rapidly — like after you eat.

iPro, on me, after insertion

So, this is what I have to do for the next 5 days.  I will only test with their meter 4 times a day. Before breakfast, lunch and dinner and before bed. (I will be using my own meter for the other times.) After the 5 days are over, I will remove the device myself, keeping the tape on the device and mail it back. Then, they will download the readings and send them to my doctor.

So, we will see if this time will work. Wish me luck!

Want to learn more about the iPro?

Blood tests

Today was my three month doctor visit. Since I have a chronic illness, I need to have my blood tested 4 times a year.

So, as you would guess, I have had my blood tested an awful lot. What makes it harder is that I have what the phlebotomists call difficult veins. It isn’t my fault, I didn’t make them this way. But, some of the phlebotomists treat me that way. Sort of like they are thinking “Why are you making my day difficult”.

It is hard enough getting your HbA1C tested. You are worried that your numbers are okay, and you feel like you are going to be judged. Having an annoyed phlebotomist doesn’t help matters.

Luckily, I didn’t get an annoyed phlebotomist…I got one in training. So, instead of annoyed, she got all flustered. Honestly, I don’t do it on purpose. My veins are just small.

On a better note, I heard a couple of things from my doctor. He has heard that continuous glucose monitoring has started to be covered by health insurance. A Medtronic rep will be in his office soon, and I can talk to her about the possibility of getting one. Yay!