Friday, August 22, 2014

While Keeping THE Secret-What Was Really Going On: Week 5

This secret has been sooo hard to keep!
It was so hard for a year and 3 months to hear and see everyone else getting pregnant. Facebook was becoming torture and even going to church or any social event was getting to the point that all I wanted was to be a hermit and stop hearing seeing that everyone was getting pregnant but me! It was like all anyone else had to do was have sex and boom! There's a baby whether they wanted that baby or not! We on the other hand if you either know me personally and I have opened up to you or you have been following my blog know that getting pregnant was not so easy for us. So for then 2 months it was hard being on Facebook and going anyplace and not blabbing our news. It didn't help that in a 2 week time I had social events scheduled with different sets of girlfriends that I don't get to see very often and I had to keep my lips sealed. Also in that two week time I saw my sister who I rarely see and I still had to keep the secret. Which was not the easiest because when I saw my sister I was not feeling the best.

Since there has been so much on my mind and so much that I’ve wanted to write about I decided to still write when I had the inkling so that all my thoughts were typed out in real time and I didn’t miss anything. The rest of this post and several to follow will be some of those posts so you get to see what was going on in our lives and in my head as it was happening as a pregnant Type 1.

5 Weeks and 6 days: Tuesday June 17

There have been a ton of feelings since we found out. Right now, as I write this, it still hasn't quite hit me, it does yet it doesn't quite feel like a reality. We have exactly 2 weeks before our Big appointment when we get to see the first pictures of our little jalapeno and then maybe, just maybe things will feel more real.

 Before I even took the tests, I knew. In my gut. It was different this time. I think that the diabetes and other health issues have made me so self aware and so in tune with my body that I just knew something was different. I didn't have any of the standard signs that you hear everyone talk about, no morning sickness, no cravings, no overly emotional. No, I had symptoms that of course I played off at first to being side effects of the hell pills I was on to get me to this point. I had cramps about a week before I should have started, which is when I had been starting to get them over the last couple of months prior, but they felt different this time. My chest was very sore and tender, but that also felt different. I know that “they”, whoever “they” are, say that symptoms aren't felt until 5, maybe 6 weeks but the more I read others blogs the more I saw that’s not always the case. I finally found in "What To Expect When You're Expecting" that said that frequent urination can start as soon as 2 weeks! Well that explains a lot. With my DI I was thinking that was being affected and that maybe my meds needed to be increased, but when I called my doctor's office and asked the nurse said no. No need to increase anything yet, that the DI shouldn't be affecting anything quite yet.

 My reaction to the plus sign on the test stick wasn't what I expected, maybe because I couldn't believe it, maybe because I was too scared. I had checked 2 days earlier than maybe I should have. I knew I wouldn't really believe it until I had real confirmation. I did take a third test 2 days latter and then called my doctor who then had me get the blood work done to confirm. When the nurse called me back she said that I was very pregnant! I don't even know what that means! Anyway when I had thought about the day that I would first see a positive sign I thought I would cry hysterically from sheer joy and then jump up and down and scream in giddy excitement but I did neither. I was too stunned I think. After all this time, after 1 year and 3 moths I had started to lose faith, started to think maybe it wasn't supposed to happen for us. I know that isn't a long time compared to some, but I think with all the preparing myself due to “D” and getting myself ready and then thinking that we had been trying for a year to then find out that we needed help that in turn made it feel like we were back at square 1 and that the last year was not really trying at all………….. I think I was dumbfounded. I remember crying in the shower later that day, it was a happy cry. I had to get ready to go to a wedding and wasn't sure I was going to be emotionally put together. I don’t cry at weddings, I never have, but I sure as heck did tear up and thought I could lose it a couple of times during the ceremony. I think just because I was still feeling very overwhelmed. That’s weird to think it was only a little over a week ago, I feel like that was forever, I feel like I've known forever. But, I haven’t.

 This secret is hard to keep. I want to shout it from the mountain tops! “Look what the Lord has done! Look! It happened! Look all my hard work paid off of getting myself ready!!!” When I really let myself go there, and think about it that way I start to tear up and a few times I have cried a little. It’s exciting and happy. I thought I would be a lot more scared of my BGs and what they are doing to things on the inside, but I've felt at peace. I know I've prayed for that, but I never expected to be this peaceful and calm about it. Maybe because my BGs have been absolutely incredibly amazing! That’ s a nice thing, that beautiful BGs happen in the very beginning. I haven’t hit the low all the time faze yet. I know that’s coming in the next few weeks.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have had some highs, but thankfully they haven’t lasted long and any that did seem a bit stubborn to come down have happened at home and I’m able to go jump on my stationary bike and ride the sucker down. That did bite me in the butt the other night. I had crept up to 177, had been above 150 for over a couple of hours and I decided to go ride the bike for a few to get things down to a better level. I had insulin on board, but since it hadn’t seemed to be kicking in the way I wanted I decided to try the bike. It worked, but since my CGM has been a fritz case lately and not on target like I would like, it kept telling me all night long that I was in the 60s/50s and I wasn’t. There was one time that I was 60 something but the rest of the time when I did a finger stick I was in the 80’s and 90’s. Ugh! At least I got myself down. July 1st at 9am cannot come fast enough! I want to see the ultrasound pictures of our baby and hear the heartbeat! Come on July first and just get here!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

6 Years of Living Life to the Fullest!

I completely forgot this morning until after I ate half of a chocolate long john donut that today marks 6 years of living with type 1 diabetes. Or at least since my diagnosis since I believe I started developing the disease at least a year before my diagnosis. Anyway, I felt a very strong pull to eat a half of a long john, they were sitting on the kitchen table at work calling my name. I usually ignore them, I usually pass by and act as if I don’t hear them calling out to me but this morning there was no denying that they were calling to me. So I gave in. After I ate it and when I realized that today is my 6 year diaversary I didn’t feel quite so bad, kind of a celebratory way to say in your face diabetes! My Dexcom was giving me a far off after breakfast reading of 145 BG because when I checked I was only 106 so I felt okay to eat the donut despite the fact that I have been struggling a bit with keeping my BGs from rollercoastering and I’ve been higher than I’d like. Which I thought I would have another month or so before insulin resistance started to kick in due to the growing little one inside my belly along with my growing body in general, but I can only say that maybe the crazy BGs are happening because I’m on the tail end of the valley of lows that happen between the 1st trimester and beginning to mid second trimester? I don’t know.

Anyway, I can’t believe that it’s been 6 years! It seems like it was just yesterday but at the same time I feel like I’ve been living with this disease for much, much longer. As I was lying awake in bed at 3am the other night I was thinking about this disease, pregnancy, life in general and the last 6 years. When I was diagnosed just like anyone else who is told the news, I felt like my life was over. I felt like things would never be the same and I wouldn’t be able to live life to the fullest. I changed my life plans that I had had at the time to leave and move to another state for training in hopes to work and live in a 3rd world country in an orphanage, so that I could stay and take care of my health. I was confused, I was angry, I was scared and lonely. Loneliness was and can still be one of the worst things in living with diabetes. I was right in the fact that my life would change drastically, but it wasn’t over. I was getting hit at the time with all kinds of ugly things that life can throw at a person, not just the diabetes so there was a lot to take in and deal with. But I made it. Diabetes is of course still a struggle at times and always will be unless there is a cure or until the bionic pancreas comes along and helps to make life with T1D easier, but life is not over. When I look back on the past 6 years and beyond I almost feel like I just started living 6 years ago. All of the rough times have made me who I am, and I think I’m a pretty tough cookie and I like who I am.  Not only does today mark 6 years of living with type 1, it also marks 15 weeks of pregnancy and was the first day we went to take a look at and check out the first child care facility that is on our list of options for after I go back to work after maternity leave. These 6 years have been bittersweet and have had lots of learning and growing opportunities regarding diabetes and just life in general. Taking it one day at a time, especially while dealing with diabetes and pregnancy, but trying to not let T1 dictate and rule my life. Of course there are days I can’t do things like work out because of BG lows that I just can’t shake or days I just cry and freak out because of sticky highs that I can’t get down and I’m trouble shooting in my mind and trying to figure out where I went wrong to end up with that sticky high. These things are bound to happen, but that’s just part of my life now. All in all, I’m glad that my 6 year date was today. That I get to celebrate that fact that I’m alive and living to the fullest with diabetes as well as celebrate this new little life growing inside of me. Here is to the next 5 ½  months of pregnancy with Diabetes and to the rest of however many years I am blessed with to live regardless of Diabetes. If I can do it! Happy 6 years of living to me!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Expected To Pop!

It truly has been a crazy busy summer,  this isn't the reason why I haven't been writing but I guess you could say that this is one of the reasons why.  I'll be 15 weeks tomorrow which also is my Diaverssary of 6 years.  I had thought about waiting a bit longer before announcing the coming of Baby Panke on my blog but as I was lying awake at about 3am this morning I started thinking about my 6 years with diabetes and the pregnancy and I think I have a blog post brewing in my mind that I may combined the 2 topics tomorrow. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sometimes It Just Happens

Last night was rough a night. I’m super sleepy today. I’m not sure what it’s like for a Type 2 diabetic, but for a Type 1 who is trying ever so hard to keep a great A1C, night times can be really rough. With or without a CGM. I’d had the same sensor on for yesterday being day 8. I was hoping to get to at least 10 but it had been pretty off all day yesterday on top of the fact that the adhesive was extra itchy, more than usual. I had dinner, watched a show and then jumped in the shower. I had my Dexcom on the bathroom cabinet shelf and it never made a peep. While in the shower I started to feel really weird. I’ve been struggling more and more with hypoglycemia unawareness so I rely on my Dexcom. So as soon as I got out of the shower I checked my BG right away. Dexcom said I was 90 something with a slight arrow down and although a lot of times I could still even out and not drop I thought I had better check anyway. Holy canolie!  I’m so glad I did because I had dropped to 48! As soon as I saw the number 48 I could feel the low hit full on. Maybe it’s a mind thing since I was only kinda feeling it before seeing that number, but I tell you what, it was a bad one! I drank more juice than usual and waited. After 15 minutes the juice was doing it’s job and I was up to 80. 15 minutes after that I was up to 91. I decided it was time to change sensors, which sucked to do so at 9pm because I had hoped to be asleep by 10:30 at the latest and since I was changing the sensor I knew that meant it would be after 11:30 before falling asleep since I had to wait the 2 hour warm up period for my sensor to jive with my body before I could enter in my BGs and then once that happened I knew I wouldn’t fall asleep right away, I never do. So I stay up and 11pm or so comes around and I check.  I enter in my BG twice to the Dexcom, my meter said 120 the first time and 126 the second time. It showed on my Dexcom receiver screen 118 with 2 double down arrows. Wonderful! So I laid in bed trying to decide what to do next, do I drink more juice to keep from another icky low and take that chance of a nasty high because I’m going to even out in the 90’s or 80’s and then climb again after the juice is consumed or do I wait it out to see if I even out in the 90’s or 80’s and be fine for the night? I waited it out, and I’m glad I did because after I finally feel asleep close to midnight with a true reading of 120 BG I was woke up a could hours later by my Dexom saying I was 155. I checked, it was wrong again, I was 130 something, I took a correction bolus and went back to sleep. A couple hours later I was woken up again that I was 268! What the heck?! I checked again and in reality I was 155. I corrected and never actually went any higher. I think all in all I was woken up 4 times by the alarms of having gone high and really I wasn’t that bad. Today, this new sensor has still be pretty off. I know it takes maybe 24 hours or so to get more accurate readings but this is getting really annoying! I’m really sleepy, did I mention that? I know I’ve had worse bad BG nights, but it’s been  a while and it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog posting. I figured it’s time. Summer has been crazy busy, not sure that things are going to slow down anytime soon. Diabetes is a pain as usual. Some days are better than others but it is what it is. I know that it’s Friday but I think I may make it an early to bed night tonight if at all possible. I want my pillow!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What I Really Want Everyone To Know About Living With Diabetes

This following post is not necessarily aimed toward anyone particular, although someone did just make a statement yestarday that is the cause of me writing this post. If you are reading this and ever said anything to me along these lines, or to someone you know, please know that I don’t mean any of this in an offensive way whatsoever. I’m just trying to enlighten my readers, and maybe there is a bit of venting added as well.

 What do I really want you to know about living with diabetes??? A huge pet peeve is hearing “ I could never do that”. This statement is made in regards to so many areas of diabetes it’s unbelievable and when people say it,  it drives me crazy and depending on my mood, how it’s said and who it’s coming from I might want to try an enlighten them, or punch them in the throat. I do believe this statement is made out of complete and total ignorance because in reality the person saying it has no idea what they are saying or what that would mean. In my opinion, although there are many diabetics, Type 1, Type 2, or gestational or whatnot that do not take care of themselves,  I feel that they may not understand the true nature of what they are doing to themselves or even what this statement means to them and their lives or due to lack of education or sadly maybe they really don’t care, and they are the ones that struggle with “doing this”. That breaks my heart, and I don’t judge, it just makes me sad because both of my grandpas’ had Type 2. One took amazing care of himself and was able to get off of insulin and manage with diet, exercise and a pill and the other slowly killed himself by eating whatever and whenever he wanted and not taking the correct amounts of insulin or carb counting. It may not have been diabetes that actually killed him in the end but I know that it contributed a great deal to all of his health issues that did end his life.

Let’s do it this way, let’s take diabetes out of the equation completely. I want you to image the following without thinking about anything that you think you know about diabetes…

 You are given a choice. Limbs that are fully functional, but you have to work for them to stay that way or neuropathy with limbs that lose circulation, feeling and maybe possibly even have to be amputated. What do you choose?

 You are given a choice. Your eyesight as it is now or Retinopathy which may lead to severe vision loss if not complete blindness. Which will you choose?

 You are given a choice. Healthy kidneys that function properly or kidneys that go into shut down mode and you have to go through dialysis, if you are lucky maybe get a kidney transplant. Which do you choose?

 You are given a choice. A healthy pregnancy with a healthy child or a pregnancy with all kinds of issue that put both you and your child at risk and the very likely possibility of miscarriage or a child born with mental issues, deformed body parts, missing organs, the list can go on. Which do you choose?   

 You are given a choice. Life or death. Which do you choose?

By now, I hope you get my point. I didn’t choose to get diabetes. No one else that ever develops it chooses it either. I’m sure before I had it I would probably think the exact same phrase I hate hearing. “I could never do that”, when in fact if I didn’t choose to fight for the first choice in the above then it would be most likely that I’d end up with the second choice. So saying “I could never do that”, I don’t believe that most of you that have thought that or said would really go that route. You COULD DO IT if you had to. If you wanted to have the best quality of life possible then you would fight with every fiber of your being to do what you could to keep your limbs, your eye sight, your kidneys, yourself healthy for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and for your very life. I don’t think a lot of people who are like my grandpa understood that. They think that they are untouchable even though this deadly disease has its grip on them. They think that it won’t happen to them. It might not immediately, it might take some time, but the likely hood of it happening is greater than it not happening if diet, exercise, carb count, insulin figuring is not all a part of management, if there is no management. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy food, I’m a huge foodie! Weekends are a favorite time to go out and try the newest restaurant in town or try out a favorite. I love to cook, I love to try new recipes and just because I eat healthy doesn’t mean I never eat unhealthy. As a matter of fact over the weekend we tried out a donut shop that we’ve been saying that we wanted to try and hadn’t gotten around to yet. But because I had a donut, I had to work at it to make sure that my blood sugar didn’t go too high because of that donut. It does take a whole lot of work and if you’ve followed my blog you’ve seen that there is burn out. It’s a fact, it can’t be helped burn out is going to happen. But then eventually I realize why I’m fighting for all these things on a daily basis and I get back on track to how I’m eating when and how I should, and managing things the best I am able. There is no guarantee that despite the fight that I will win and that these awful things that I’m fighting against will never happen, they still could, but the chances are greater that they won’t or at least I'm delaying them if I continue to do what you think “you could never do”.   If you think “you could never do it”…. the carb counting, insulin injections, finger sticks, self restraint and anything else that by now is second nature for me, YOU COULD DO IT if you had to! Because I believe you would want to choose the best for yourself and your health. You never realize how strong you are until you have no other choice and you are doing things you never thought you could.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Broken Sensor

Yeah,  so I wear my Dexcom sensor on my thigh and this has never happened.  I go to changed and my pants get caught and cause the side to break.  Now granted, it is almost 2 weeks old,  thank God it's not a new one!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Endo Search Is Over!!!!

And the winner is…………. Dr. Carmichael!

I have to admit that I’ve been pretty stressed for the past week whenever I have thought about my appointment for this morning with a new endo. Not only have I been apprehensive due to past bad experiences but also the location. He is out of Barnes Jewish Washington University medical research hospital in downtown St. Louis, not too far from my house but  I’m so not accustom to driving in the city for one, and for two, it’s a HUGE hospital! So many buildings, so many facilities, so many wings, so much traffic and just dang huge on top of not being sure where I was going. I had been referred to him by a couple of the women at the Diabetic Divas group that I’ve been to a couple times. He was one of two doctors that these ladies raved about so I called 4 months ago and made an appointment with the first available doctor. Dr. Carmichael was the lucky winner to get me. I think a lot of my nervousness started a couple weeks ago when I got the new patient paper work in the mail to be filled out and sent in beforehand. One of the things that had me groaning was the in depth meal plan that I was to list. They wanted me to list what I eat on a daily basis including snacks and carbs and asking if I follow a diabetic diet. I eat just about the same thing every day for breakfast, although I have been switching it up a bit lately. I mean, I count carbs, skip out on ice cream when everyone else around me is eating it and I know it’s a bad move at the time for me to indulge, so yeah, I’d classify that as a diabetic diet. Wasn’t so sure that they would see it that way.

 My appointment was at 8:40 but all the paperwork said to arrive no later than 8:10. I left the house at 7:30 to be sure I didn’t run into traffic or parking issues and I’m so glad I left when I did. Parking was a bit of an event in itself. Then there was going from the 4th floor that I was parked on to the 3rd floor to get to the elevators for the medical buildings I needed to be at in order to get to the 13th floor. When I got up there it was just a wall of windows that the diabetes center was facing, such a beautiful view of the city, one that I’ve never seen.

It was impressive, as well as the diabetes center office. It was bright and friendly feeling just like the staff and nurses.

 I was feeling more at ease as I talked to the receptionist and even as I waited in the waiting room. I spent a total of a little over 2 hours there with only about 30 minutes of it waiting. Considering past experiences this is a huge plus! I spent about 5 minutes with a nurse who took my vitals, weight and A1C, then 5 minutes with another nurse who took blood to get labs done, another huge perk in my book that they will do that in the office and send it to the lab of my insurance choice and I don’t have to make another trip to a lab. All the rest of the time I spent with the doctor himself! He was knowledgeable, had good bedside manner, and was very happy with what my Dexcom, meter and pump graphs showed. He was happy with what Deb my CDE at the perinatologist office has been doing, he encouraged me that I’m not OCD on checking my blood sugars and that I’m not paranoid, I just want to be healthy and that I’m doing a great job at it. When I told him about how the last doctor told me that I was OCD about checking my BGs he looked at me and said, "When it comes to diabetes, when it comes to your life there is no such thing as OCD. I have patients that have told me that they have had days that they have had to check 20+ times and that happens. When you are having a day of highs and need to get down you will check check check. When you are low for hours you will check multiple times in an hour to be sure you are not going to end up in a hypoglycemic episode. Also, especially since you have been trying to get pregnant it's important for you to check check check." Hearing this was very comforting.  He really had no changes to make to my pump settings, he did a very thorough exam of my feet and going over all my past medical history and records from the other doctors that I had sent. He made sure that he covered all my questions and treated me with respect when I asked a question or made a statement about something that I clearly know what I was talking about. He even printed me a copy of his notes and said that he would send them over to my primary and parinatologist. One thing he said he isn’t completely convinced of is that I truly have Diabetes Insipidus or DI.  He is getting all the records including the MRI I had done in 2011 from my nephrologists and he said he would look over them and see if it’s truly conclusive that I do in fact have DI. He mentioned that it might be possible that I have another very rare autoimmune disease of the pituitary gland that is not DI. Dr. Carmichael will be treating me from now on for that since it’s really another endocrine issue and not a kidney issue. That will be one less doctor to deal with which is nice.

Oh and more good news! I don’t necessarily like to write about what my A1C is because I really have no tips on how to get it to this point and knowing that others in the DOC work so hard to get it down I don’t like to write about mine and seem like I’m bragging, because, well I’m not. But I have to share this time because this is a huge thing! I’ve not been so low since the diabetes! I was sure that I had gone up and not down since my last A1C check in April. I was just hoping I hadn’t gone above 6, so I was totally and completely shocked when he told me that I was at 5.6!!! WHAT!!! That’s like almost non diabetic! Whoooooo hooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did ask if he was sure that was correct and after looking at all my graphs and logs more he said yes, he didn’t see that there was any discrepancy of any sort. For any of you that are reading this and trying so hard to reach whatever your goal may be, I really wish I had some great advice how to get there. All I can say is that in my mind I think I am pretty anal about checking my BGs and constantly looking at my Dexcom to see what direction they are heading. I can be pretty obsessive and strict on when and what I do eat. Not saying I never indulge, as a matter of fact I did treat myself to a Dairy Queen chocolate extreme mini blizzard this afternoon. But I have set up certain rules for myself when I know how certain things affect my BGs. For one, I don’t eat ice cream after 6pm. I know that even if I bolus the correct amount of insulin ahead of time and wait 15-20 minutes before eating it, it will usually be 6 hours or so before it fully hits me and my BGs will rise. That’s something I can’t be on top of the way I like in the middle of the night. Same thing with other certain sweets in the evening. I also know that when I’m swagging, I can tend to over estimate my carbs in order to keep from going high, so then it results in lows. I’m not down playing my A1C by any means, just giving the only tips I can think of as to why it’s gotten to this point. I’ve also been so anal about it since trying to get my body baby ready. If I wasn’t trying so hard for that I don’t know what my A1C would be, but quite honestly, I doubt that it would be so low.

So peeps, looks like I have found a good doctor after almost 6 years of T1. This makes me so happy!