Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Type 1 Diabetes- Colonoscopy

Since I recently turned 50, my insurance recommends (and pays for!) a colonoscopy.  I figured, with some of the health challenges I’ve been experiencing lately, I might a well do it sooner rather than later.

I remember, so many years ago, when Katie Couric went on the Today show and had her colonscopy done on air because her husband had died of it.  I remember her saying something to the effect of, “People- get your colonoscopy done.  No one else needs to die from this disease.”
2000- Katie Couric's colonoscopy on the Today show.
I was nervous about it, like probably everyone is.  I’d been told by several people “It’s the prep day that’s the hardest (grossest) part.  The colonoscopy itself is no big deal.”  Really, I wasn’t even that nervous about the prep day stuff.  My husband had already done it the week before me, so I pretty much understood what to expect.

What I was very nervous about was the fasting.  And I had a big fear around my blood sugar dropping once I was no longer able to drink any carbohydrate liquids. Can you imagine going through all of that crap (and I mean that literally), but then at the last minute, messing it up because you have to drink carbs to save yourself from a low? (You can’t drink anything 4 hours prior to your procedure.)

All I know is this: THANK GOD FOR MY DEXCOM.
Throughout the day I was fasting, I was able to see the trend line of my falling blood sugars before anything ever got out of control.  I’d just drink a little apple juice, and bring it back up.  My goal that day was to stay between 90 and 120. And for most of the day, that worked well enough.

But the deeper into the fasting time I went, the more often and faster my glucose levels would drop.  I had to wake up around 3am to start drinking “round two” of the liquid.  I ended up staying up the whole night.  I did lots of creative projects, and honestly, it wasn’t all that bad.

However, once it was around 6am, and I knew I only had 30 more minutes and then that 4 hour window of NO LIQUIDS AT ALL was approaching, I started to panic.  I could see that my glucose level just couldn’t stay anywhere close to where I wanted it for longer than about an hour and a half.

So, at 6:15am I drank a BUNCH of apple juice.  My blood sugar ended up going to about 250.  By the time I went to my colonoscopy appointment it was 180.  I asked the nurses if they wanted my Dexcom while I was under anesthesia, but they said they didn’t.  They just checked my blood sugar right before I went under (I think it was around 160) and then they checked it again 15 minutes later, once they were done.  Once I was in the recovery room, they checked it again and it was 148.

I survived it.  And it really wasn’t that bad.  BUT, next time, I would decrease my long acting insulin even more.  I was TOLD to reduce it by about 50%, but that sounded too extreme, so I only reduced it by about 25%.  I hate having my blood sugars run high, and can be a little obsessive over it.  But for this ONE day, I’d much rather it run high than low.

If I never have to drink apple juice again, that will be fine with me.  And for at least 10 years, when I’m due for my next colonoscopy, I’m pretty sure I’ll avoid it and try something else.

Also, I was told to drink a no carb drink to mix with the Ducalax, so I went with Peach Tea that Crystal Light makes.  I had cut out aspartame from my diet over a month before, but for this one day I had to just do it.  I use to LOVE that drink.  However, since I had to drink so much of it, AND since I’ll forever associate it with “colonoscopy prep day” I may never crave that again.  Good riddance, because I know what poison aspartame is… If only I didn’t still crave Diet Dr. Pepper. (And hopefully, soon, I WON’T!)

Like Katie Couric said, get your colonoscopy.  No one needs to die from colon cancer. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

My Type 1 is BACK

I'm bringing  my Type 1 diabetes out of retirement.  Long story short, I moved this blog to a different address, wrote there for a short while, lost interest because no one seemed to be reading it once I moved, and stopped writing in it.

Lately, I've run into a few new problems healthwise, and want to take control of it.  As I've been reading and researching, I've been learning so many things that sound accurate to me but that no one has ever told me.

In a nutshell, the big take away I'm getting (but there are MANY take aways) is that GLUTEN IS NOT A GOOD IDEA FOR ANYONE WITH AN AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE.  I have not one, but two: Type 1, and Hashimoto's Thyroiditus) and seem to be well on my way to having at least one other.  I never thought too much about the underlying cause of either.  I just knew, somewhere along the way, my immune system revolted against certain things in my body.

But why?
And why, when you have one auto immune disease are you then much more likely to devolop others?
And can you do anything to prevent that from happening?

This blog is just me trying to figure it all out.  Because I aim to get it figured out!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I'm Moving this Blog... So Please Stay Tuned.

I've wanted to write here on MyT1Diabetes several times lately-- but I'm waiting. 

For some reason, it became important for me to get a domain rather than just writing here on this Blogger site.   A Domain.  My domain.  That sounds so legit. And I really want to be legit.

I'm giving myself about a week to get it up and running, but I'm telling myself the bells and whistles aren't important.  Because they aren't... right?!  I don't want to get bogged down with that.  I just want to write my posts, and I want to get other people piping in whenever they feel so inclined!  That's all!

I'll be sure to but the "I Have Moved" sign here once it's ready for readers.  For now, I just wanted to explain why I haven't posted in the past couple of weeks.  It's about to get REAL.  So hang tight please.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How Accurate is My Blood Sugar Meter?

I often read other Type 1s comments about the “inaccuracy” of the readings on their Dexcom. But surprisingly, I don’t see all that much complaining about the inaccuracy of their blood sugar meters.

When using a Dexcom, you're suppose to calibrate it two times a day using data from a blood sugar meter, a.k.a, a glucometer. I sometimes get a meter reading that’s way off of what the Dexcom is saying.  When I get a surprising result, I’ll retest, and many times, I get a completely different reading from my meter the 2nd time around. Often it’s the Dexcom that’s right, and the meter that gave me a false number.
WE NEED ACCURACY in our glucose meters AND Dexcom.
Before you even ask, let me answer that yes, I wash my hands prior to pricking my finger for a reading.  This, as you probably know, can make a huge, huge difference.  (I used to NOT know that, and maybe that explains some previously unexplained low blood sugars after taking insulin.

In Steven Ponder’s Sugar Surfing book, he wrote about the current FDA guidelines for glucometer accuracy.  I’m basically copying this from his book and it says:

If the actual BG value is over 75 mg/dL acceptable values from the meter could be 20 mg/dL above or below the actual value and it would still be acceptable. If the BG was under 75 mg/dL, the variance must be 15 mg/Dl.  Most shocking of all--- in 5% of the test cases, the value can deviate from the actual reading by ANY amount.

Wow. That is alarming. And seems like a very dangerous allowance!

Like I said, when the test number seems a little off to me, I retest again.  And sometimes, I test a 3rd time for my tie breaker.  This seems a little ridiculous, but I guess it’s the best we’ve got.  Like Dr. Ponder says in his book, "The reality is that commercial blood sugar meters provide estimates of blood sugar levels."

If we want accuracy with our Dexcom, it’s got to start with the glucose meter readings we get for the calibration. So, I’d like to find out what is the most accurate and precise meter.  I have a few different meter brands tucked away and hopefully I can round up some test strips for them and test them against each other.  It could make a difference in what test strips I ask my doctor to prescribe when I go in for my appointment next month.

I’d love to hear what meter you’re using and how you feel about the accuracy. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why I Still Love the Dexcom Receiver

One thing I thought was going to be great about the Dexcom G5 was that I could get all my blood sugar data delivered straight to my iPhone.  I wouldn't have to carry around my Dexcom receiver anymore.  That idea of having one less thing I would have to keep up with sounded great to me!  And although I knew with the G5, Dexcom would still send me a receiver, I figured I would put it away in a cabinet along with loads of other diabetic supplies and forget about it.

But as it turns out, I've been carrying around both the receiver and the iPhone. I'm a girl, so shoving things in my purse comes natural to me.  Sometimes it feels quicker to just pull out the Dexcom receiver and hit one button to see my trend graph. (It feels quicker, because it IS quicker.)  Also, if I'm at a movie theater, the screen of my iPhone is distractingly bright, where as the little receiver is less so.
Dexcom G5 Receiver
But unfortunately, I misplace that receiver very often.  Sometimes it's in a weird pocket in my purse, or in a pant pocket, or fallen in the crevice of a chair seat, or wherever... I waste way too much time looking for it. I have said at least a dozen times, "We'll, I guess this time it's gone for good." And then miraculously, it shows up.  I have now written my name and mobile number on the back of it in case a stranger ever comes upon it and doesn't know what it is or what to do with it.

So although I am often annoyed about not being able to find the little receiver, I prefer it over the iPhone app. And here is a little story to illustrate why.

I couldn't find my Dexcom receiver one morning as I was rushing out of the house on my way to yoga.  I looked around the house a bit, but didn't want to be late to class, so I went without it and just brought my iPhone inside the studio.

About 20 minutes into the class, I reached over to my iPhone to see how my blood sugars were doing.  AND THEN the teacher said -loud enough for the entire class to hear- "Uh, no. This is not the time to check your phone or start texting someone."  I'm sure I turned the color of a turnip.  It was rude of her for sure, but I was the one embarrassed.  Do I really seem like that much of an asshole that I would text in the middle of a yoga class?  I looked her, and I shook my head no, whispering , "I'm so sorry.  I wasn't texting though." She came closer to me and asked, "Oh, is that a heart rate monitor or something?" (As if it was really any of her business....) I told her I was diabetic and my phone has an app that shows my blood sugar.  She then said something that she thought made her look like she was being kind in her questioning, but I know better... She said, "Oh, see?  I need to know if you have a condition like that.  In case you ever get real thirsty in here, then I'll understand why and I'll know what to do."

"What?!" I wanted to say. "No.  I'm pretty sure you have no idea what I would need if I had a problem with my (thirst?!) blood sugar during class." But I just breathed in/sighed and did my downward dog pose instead.

Not only is this quick story that explains why I often prefer the Dexcom receiver over my iPhone, it's also an example of why having a Dexcom CGM is so important to me.  I don't want to ever have to rely on others to help me get out of a situation related to my diabetes.  Because they may just think I'm thirsty and pour water on me!

All I ask of you Dexcom is this: Can we please put a tracker on that receiver already?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My Switch To Tresiba Insulin

Although I once tried wearing a pump- for a DAY, years ago (that's a whole other blog post for another day!)- I've always been a diabetic who prefers multiple daily injections instead.  As you know, everybody's preferences are different.  For me, it's insulin shots all the way.  I'd rather take 15 shots a day than wear a pump.  As I've said to my doctors in the past, IF my blood sugars ever get way out of control, and I can't figure out a way to wrangle them in, I'd be willing to try a pump again.  But for now... MultipleDailyIinjections.

For years I've taken one shot of Lantas daily for my long acting insulin. Then throughout the day, before I eat a meal or a snack, I take short acting insulin.  That has worked pretty well for me, except I've noticed that although Lantas supposedly can last up to 24 hours, on me it definitely doesn't.  Or at least it doesn't work nearly as well for me during the last 6 hours or so of that 24 hour duration.  I've always just compensated by taking more short acting insulin during that time, as the long acting insulin was losing it's effectiveness.

Recently, a new long-acting insulin called Tresiba became available.  My doctor told me there isn't much of a peak, if any, and it lasts beyond 24 hours.  If you're a little late taking it, or even if you go to sleep and wake up the in the middle of the night and remember, "Oh shit!!! I forgot to take my shot before bed last night!" you can take it then.  (I've said that sentence plenty of times in my life, so...Whew!) In the information I read on the Tresiba website, it says basically that you're good to go as long as you have at least 8 hours between your doses. Yay! Sounds pretty friendly and flexible to me!

Tresiba Flex Touch Pen
If I understood what my doctor said correctly, it's the first insulin with a new molecular make up put out in a super long time. That sounds exciting, right?! He said I was a perfect candidate to take Tresiba.  That is because, first of all, I'm an MDI-er.  And because I don't require a whole lot of insulin generally speaking, so it all seems to clear out of my system pretty quickly.

Tresiba Insulin
Anyway, I've been using Tresiba now for nearly a month.  And it seems to be working well.  I have more predictable insulin needs throughout the second half of my day now.  Although I was told to take the same amount of Tresiba as I was taking with the Lantus, I've actually decreased my dosage from 12 units to 9 units. This may or may not be due to the insulin change...Every now and then, I make adjustments- gradually- with my long acting insulin.

It's approved for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics that take insulin. Anybody else out there using it? As always, I'd love to hear what you think...SO, if you have anything to add to this conversation, or any questions or whatever, please say it in the comments section. Please don't be shy! You make my blog so much better by sharing what you've got to say.