March 21, 2006


I think it's incredibly cruel that someone like myself - definitely NOT math minded - should get diabetes. This ratio crap is driving me insane. Actually, all of the math involved with diabetes drives me insane. And it's probably because I can't do it in my head right now and can't figure things out quickly - it's taking time, and I'm learning that while I am extremely patient with my students, I have ZERO patience with myself. My mom also tells me I'm very hard on myself, but of course I disagree.... hm...

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what my carb/insulin ratio really should be. I've been using 1:15 ever since I was diagnosed and never really thought twice about it. I liked the safety of 1:15. It's fairly easy for me to eat 15, 30, 45 carbs - I actually try to eat precisely 15, 30 etc... However, as my latest HBA1C results have shown, something's not jiving and I need to figure out what's wrong before I start pumping. I think this is why Dr. C is delaying giving me the pump. It makes sense now, but I'm still reserving the right to be "13 Shades of Pissed Off" . Did I mention I'm stubborn too?

My mom review my logs, which are getting more descriptive and detailed by the day, and suggested I try 1:25 - I balked and acted like she was insane. In short, I was a bitch. Then I calmed down. I tried it yesterday and while it seemed to work in the AM before my workout, it didn't work well at lunch or at dinner. I'm going to try it again another day or two and see the numbers look, but I don't think 1:25 or 1:20 is right for me. And, of course, this could depend on the time of day, the food, the stress level at that time, the alignment of the planets, and number of hairs my neighbor's cat. I'm also a real smart ass.... can you believe someone wants to marry me??? I know - I'm amazed too!!!

The quest for the correct ratio continues, but as it does, hopefully I'll control my temper, be nice to those who offer advice, be open minded to advice and ideas, and keep smart ass comments to myself. This is asking a lot of a person who hates math.

March 15, 2006

Highest # of Tests in one day....

I was looking over my logs today and I realized that I might have set a new personal record for number of times testing in one day. Today I tested 13 times, which I'm pretty sure is the most I've ever tested in one day. This may seem like a small number to other diabetics, but I'm a recovering 4 times a day tester... Please don't throw test strips at me - I have tested enough over the years to shingle my roof this spring. :P

So, what's your highest number of tests in one day??

Oatmeal test

I finally broke down and tried Dr. C's oatmeal test to gauge my insulin needs at meals. His theory is that if you eat a packet of oatmeal, which is supposedly weighed and contains X number of carbs, you can get a clear picture of how much insulin is required to cover X amount of carbs.

My immediate thought when he mentioned oatmeal was the nasty post-meal blood sugars I've always gotten from cereal, oatmeal, and oatbran. However, he's the doctor, I'm the patient, so I tried it out this mornning and here are the results thus far:
6:15 - bs: 40 carbs: 44 bolus: 3 (1/15 ratio) plus 1 unit of correction
7:30 - bs: 286 bolus: 2 units of correction
8:30 - bs: 168

I'm going to keep testing on the hour until lunch, but I probably skewed my results by giving myself a correction bolus at 7:30. I just hate to see #'s above 286 and to do nothing about it seems insane!

There are certain factors that may be effecting this post meal BS bounce to the NetherRegions of OH GOD THAT'S HIGH:
- stress (mucho stress lately)
- high glycemic value of oatmeal
- stress
- lack of sleep (due to stress)
- did I mention stress??

I need to get the stress factor under control, but lately I feel overwhelmed and feel that I'm failing miserably at everything - losing weight, controlling my blood sugars, being a good teacher, being a good fiance, being a good daughter, being a good friend... My mom says that I'm being too hard on myself, but I don't feel that I'm being too hard, I just feel like I"m not handling things as well as I could be. I just feel overwhelmed by life right now, I suppose, as trite and weak as that may sound.

I don't know what is right when it comes to choosing a church for my wedding. I'm Protestant and I've been actively involved in my church my entire life; he's Catholic and has to be married in a Catholic church to remain Catholic. However, I don't want to have to promise before God and everyone that our children will be raised Catholic because I honestly don't think we're ready to make that kind of a decision yet - what if we decide to become Methodists? Or Lutheran? Ugh... I know religion is a sensitive issue with many, so I don't want to offend anyone or speak against anyone's religion. My main issue is that we have to pick a church and one of us is going to have to deal with the upset... and it's looking like it's going to be me... I've thought about having two ceremonies so that we could each be married in our own churches by our own ministers, but does that seem ridiculous?? Does that seem unreasonable? I don't know... I just know that it's only adding to the overwhelmedness (yes, I made that up) I'm dealing with right now.

Anyway - back to the oatmeal: I'm going to try it for at least 3 more breakfasts to see how the numbers pan out. I'll ship those babies off to Dr. C. and let him do the calculating from there - that's what he gets paid the big bucks for. That... and for putting up with patients like me... :)

March 14, 2006

13 shades of pissed off

As you may know, I've been waiting (im)patiently for my insulin pump and have been playing phone tag with the nurses at Dr. C's office. The last time I called, they said I needed to send more blood sugar logs so that Dr. C would have more info to send to the insurance company. I called today, just to see if I was any closer to getting my pump, and the nurse calls me back and says that Dr. C wants to work with my on my carb counting because my number consistency is off and he feels it would be too dangerous to start me now. Alright, so he wants to work with me. I can accept that. However, could someone have called me, maybe emailed me back after I emailed blood sugar logs for weeks in a row, sent me a letter - SOMETHING - to let me know that it would be a while before I got my freaking pump? And what's making me even more upset is the fact that my last appt. was Feb 1st and my next appt isn't until April 19th.... MORE WAITING

So really, it seems like I've been carb counting wrong - I suppose - for 4 years, and so what does another month or so matter???? I just don't understand how I'm carb counting wrong... I weigh my fruit and other things that aren't labeled with the FDA nutrition label, and I keep a fairly regular routine of the # of carbs I eat each day at each meal... so what gives???

I know - I'm being unreasonable and impatient and testy. {Note: I just checked, and my blood sugar is not low, so I'm just feeling naturally bitchy right now I guess!} I know that I'll be better off when I start the pump if I've worked on things beforehand with Dr. C. I know this is for the best, but why does it seem like the worst news in the world today??? Why does it feel like such a freaking let down? Ugh...

Has anyone else had to go through a long ordeal to get a pump?

March 13, 2006

Is it because it's Monday?

Maybe it's because it's Monday, or maybe I'm just having a really weird day...

1. On my way out the door this morning, I grabbed my cordless phone and tried to cram it in my purse, finally realizing that it WAS NOT my cell phone....

2. I spilled my half of my cup of coffee this morning and in an attempt to clean it up I spilled the other half...

3. I attempted to write on my chalkboard with my ballpoint pen during 3rd period today - luckily the students didn't notice... this is until I laughed my head off and had to explain my sudden outburst...

4. At lunch, I attempted to give myself an injection without putting a pen needle on my Humalog Pen. Obviously, it didn't work without the pen needle... I really need to get a handle on my multi-tasking. I was talking to my friend Deb when I did it and she said, "Laura, what the hell are you doing???" I looked down and was almost puzzled at why it wasn't working, then it dawned on me that I forget the freaking pen needle... My non-diabetic friend had to point that out to me... Geez...

So, all in all - it's been a weird day!!! I just hope I don't have a disasterous mishap at the gym where I will attempt to workout on all sorts of electrical equipment with moving parts. Lord knows what dangers will befall me there!!!

March 11, 2006

The Highs and Lows

As a nod to the title of my blog, I thought I'd feature my list of highs and lows for the past week

Checking my blood sugar 6+ times almost every day this week
Having a superb glass of wine with dinner last night
Getting a good sweat at the gym on Friday
Making it to pilates twice this week
Waking up at 4AM because I was low (this one works both ways)
Walking outside - the temps finally leapt into the 60's!
Making *smart* corrections - no rage boluses this week!
Spending time with my brother who is home from college on spring break
Realizing there's only about 60 days of school left!!!!
Not overeating and eating before bed for 4 nights in a row

Waking up at 4AM because I was low
Feeling overwhelmed by the stress of teaching and preparing for my classes
Feeling frustrated about my weight
Deciding on a church to get married in (He's Catholic, I'm Protestant... ahh!)
Reading posts from other bloggers who share my concerns, fears, and frustrations (this could also a high, because it reminds me that I'm not alone - "misery loves company" seems an appropriate motto for the diabetics of the world sometimes)
Feeling like I'm a failure as a teacher, a colleague, and an employee.... it was just one of those weeks I suppose!

As I look back on the week, I think the highs really outweighed the lows. It doesn't always work this way, though, as we all know. But would this list be much different if I wasn't diabetic? Sure, I wouldn't wake up sweaty and shaking with a pounding heart because of a low, but something else would take the place of that.... And maybe I wouldn't feel so frustrated about my weight if I wasn't a diabetic, but then again, maybe my weight has nothing to do with my diabetes.... Maybe things just seem worse some days because on top of everything else - the stress of a job, of a family, of a relationship, of life - I'm a diabetic.

As This is My Life so beautifully wrote in her recent post, 1+1 doesn't always equal two, some days it's 3, some days it's 8, and some days every calculation in the world fails me and I have to throw up my hands and scrap the day.

I feel like I'm rambling and not really making any sense of things, but that seems fitting considering that my blood sugar control has a similar pattern most of the time. I'm still ANXIOUSLY awaiting my pump. I've called Dr. C and talked to 3 different secretaries and 3 different nurse educators. I've emailed my blood sugar logs repeatedly - to the point of being a nuisance. And still, I wait.

I wish that I was more faithful about writing on my blog, perhaps averaging better than 1 post a week, but lately the work load hasn't allowed it. As I've said before, it's helpful just to put my feelings into words and to read the words of other diabetics who blog and share their highs and lows. In the end, I think our low times make us stronger and better able to comfort others during their low times because we've been there, we can relate. Our lows make us appreciate the highs, and in the end, I think it all works out for the best. That's what I'm sticking with today, anyway. :)

March 04, 2006


I usually plan my Saturday's around when I want to exercise. I love the weekends because I'm not pegged into exercising at the end of the day. Throughout the week I exercise after school, and I'm usually run down from work and the stress of trying to get 10th graders to see the slightest glimmer of importance in anything I say. Thus, the weekends are usually my days to exercise early so that I can relax the rest of the day.

This morning, my body had different plans.

I woke up at 237, and since I planned to exercise in about 2-3 hours, I only took 1 unit of correction because I didn't want to go low while exercising later on. So, I finally make my way to the treadmill and after 18 minutes, I notice that I feel funny... so I'm thinking, "Crap, how could I be low??" So I run upstairs and check, and when I see the 346 on the meter my heart plummets about 10 stories. I wasn't mad at the number - screwy things happen during my period and I did only take 1 unit of correction - but what pissed me off was the fact that I didn't feel like I could exercise after my rage bolus (yes, I definitely don't do my best calculations when high...). And it's a good thing I didn't exercise. I dropped 200 points in the span of an hour.

Now, the level headed person would just exercise in the afternoon - no biggie. Not me. I wanted to exercise in the morning - NOT the afternoon - so now any plans I had to exercise today are pretty much down the tubes.

What, you may ask, happened to the girl who said "Screw it!" the other day??? I don't know... but if I find her, I'll let you know.

March 02, 2006


I woke up this morning at 269, and I think I had an epiphany of sorts....

I know... you're shaking in anticipation..... what could Laura have discovered now???

I looked at the 269 searing a hole into my meter, and I realized that I just didn't give a damn. I gave my shot for breakfast (w/ correction units of course), and then proceeded to enjoy peanut butter toast - which is a major no-no when I'm high. The fat seems to act like 100% pure sugar to my blood sugars sometimes, keeping them high for at least 3 hours afterwards. But I just didn't care this morning.

I know that probably sounds quite foolish, but it's rare for that voice inside of me not to immediately resort to harsh beratements. For a change, that voice said, "screw it!"

As if I hadn't done enough damage with the peanut butter at breakfast, I stopped off for coffee and added some cream. Seems trivial, right? But not for me on a morning when I wake up at 269. Again, a major no-no.

Maybe I put too much blame on myself for my blood sugars? I obviously don't become super disciplined after having bad blood sugars repeatedly, or else I'd be sitting pretty with a 5. whatever HBA1c instead of a 7.2, but I do interalize the number as a reflection of myself. I do the proverbial anger bolus when I'm high and then face the consequences with shaky sweaty hands later on. But I never really take the time to analyze my numbers and look for reasons and rationales for the highs and lows and even the in between numbers. Maybe this is the piece I'm missing??? I've gotten into a mode where I'm getting a lot better about checking frequently, but if I don't start to really look at this data and make *smart* changes, then all of my checking isn't going to add up to better control... it'll just mean my fingers look more tattered than usual... Ah, so slow to learn I seem to be...

Later on today the voices will probably start in as I plead with my blood sugar to return to a sub normal level. And later on I'll look back on this and remember that it was foolish not to care, and that repeatedly not caring is why my numbers are pretty shitty some days. But for no, I'm going to stick with not caring, because it's just easier....

March 01, 2006

Rollercoaster blood sugars

The past two weeks have been beyond stressful for me, and it definitely reflects in my blood sugars the past two days. Take yesterday, for example:

5:00 AM - 51 (ate 2 glucose tabs)
6:00 AM - 143 (ate breakfast)
10:00 AM - 250 - didn't bolus correction dose because of earlier low... stupid... stupid.. .stupid!
11:45 - 230 (ate lunch, correction bolus of 2 units)
hour of pilates
5:30 PM - 295 (dinnertime... WTF!!!)
9:00 - 96 (sugar free popsicle)

(Side note - I realize that the highs and lows today could be attributed to the low waking blood sugar, but this day pretty much mirrors the past week during the stress...)

6:00 AM - 122 (ate breakfast)
8:00 AM - 86 (felt funny... ate a piece of candy)
9:00 AM - 136
10:00 AM - 122

Go figure... Today it seems the drama has settled down, so I guess that too is reflected in my blood sugars.

My doctor reminds me at each appointment that I need to learn how to handle my stress better because it obviously has an effect on my blood sugar. I realize this. I know he's right. And yet when I'm stressed out, the last thing I can seem to do is stay rational and disciplined about my diabetes management.

Oh, I've tried writing in a journal, venting to my fiance, exercising... I've tried finding that happy place.... (which, unfortunately, is never the place where I am currently in the midst of my stressful situation... hmm??)

I have piles upon piles of uplifting, motivating, sunshine-glitter-and-rainbows-make-me-happy quotes that I do read and think about during these times, and I feel the stress lessen to a degree, but I think ultimately my body physically reacts when I"m stressed, and I think my body hangs onto this feeling until the stress is resolved enough that I"m not thinking about it on asubconsciouss level... [ if you're thinking to yourself right now, "wow - what b.s.!!!", I don't blame you... I just re-read that and I think that too...]

At any rate - does anyone have the golden ticket to not letting stress effect blood sugar??? If you do, I'd be very open to hearing it. Even if it does include sunshine... and glitter... and rainbows... :)