My Morning

Thursday, July 26, 2007 | 9 comment(s)

Well, it actually started last night:

11:06pm - 81 mg/dl
11:06pm
I had pizza for dinner and I was working around the house all night. I was running cable wire from the basement to the second floor (thanks for your help, Aron!). My legs were toast from the bike ride home and from climbing the stairs back and forth from the basement to the second floor so many times I thought I was on a Stairmaster.

But at bedtime I'm feeling pretty full still. So I'll take a unit of insulin over the next 4 hours. This has worked nicely for me in the past...

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 1:37am - 39 mg/dl
1:37am
Well, that didn't work out so well. I'm pretty scared now. I eat 5 glucose tabs (20 CHO). Somehow I dozed off again.

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 1:45am - 38 mg/dl
1:45am
Shit. The C6H12O6 isn't kicking in yet. I'm out of tabs by my bedside, so I go and get the jar of glucose in the hall closet. Lights are on, I sit up in bed, have no idea how many tabs I ate out of the jar, I set a temp basal rate to 0u/hr for 1 hour, and I wait.

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 1:55am - 58 mg/dl
1:55am
Okay, I'm coming up.
Cancel that temp basal rate.

Pass out.

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 2:20am - 110 mg/dl
2:20am
Don't know what woke me up... perhaps the light still being on. I took 0.5u since I'm pretty sure I over treated that low.

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 6:55am - 221 mg/dl
6:55am
Yup.
No real surprise there.
Correction bolus says 2.4u, but I know that giving a full correction after a low isn't wise. I back off a little and only give 2.0u and don't take any insulin to cover my time off the pump during my shower.

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 8:10am - 161 mg/dl
8:10am
Not great, but not bad either considering... I take my normal 3.3u for my normal breakfast. I have an appointment with my endocrinologist this morning, and I'm eating breakfast at home, which is unusual.

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 9:15am(ish) - No Reading
There's a Lesson Here
I really should have tested. I'm pretty good about testing before getting in my car and driving. But I had just come out of the doctor's office and I was pissed.

Apparently, when I made my appointment, the person on the other end of the phone didn't actually make the appointment!

So. A complete waste of time.

Next available appointment? Sept. 7th. Yeah, we'll see if I make that.

I got halfway out to my car and realized I had to turn around and get my parking ticket validated. Which made me even more angry. I now have to pay for parking for an appointment I didn't have!

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 9:24am - 62 mg/dl
9:24am
There was a diabetic man driving along Independence Ave. behind the Vietnam War Memorial feeling slightly anxious and sweaty and trying to test his blood sugar while driving a stick shift in rush hour traffic (that was me, by the way, and I don't recommend this). He eats 5 more glucose tabs and is actually thankful for red lights. He is nervous.

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 9:31am - 70 mg/dl
9:31am
I pull into the parking lot at work and eat a granola bar while I walk into the office to "start my day."
I'm tired.

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Things like this happen much more often than I'd prefer.

Baby, Baby

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | 4 comment(s)

First off, I owe a big (and long-overdue) Thank You to Scott for giving me a "Thinking Blogger" Award (though, I think a "Blinking Thogger" award is totally more appropriate!). I hardly feel worthy. I'm just happy to be a part of this group of folks sharing our stories (diabetic and otherwise). One of these days I will (hopefully) set up a Tu Diabetes page and join the 21st century (I kinda thought I'd get some hipster points for starting a blog, but now the bar seems to have been raised).

Now, on to our (ir)regularly scheduled programming... about babies
Maternity Ward Tour
Two weekends ago, we went on a short tour of the maternity ward where we will hopefully be having these twins. It was a nice experience. The highlight was definately when we were walking down the hall of several closed LND (labor and delivery) rooms when we heard a small crowd of people start to cheer. At first I thought someone had scored a touchdown,
Sports Cluelessness
Who thinks there's a football game being played on a Saturday morning in July??

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but then I heard a baby start crying, and we all realized that a baby was just born on the other side of that door.

Megan cried.
Okay
I welled up a little bit myself.

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We also found out that if the babies don't make it to 34 weeks, then we won't be able to deliver at that hospital but would have to go to one of the larger university hospitals in the area that have more intensive NICUs.
28 week OB appointment
It's also been a week since we went to our 28 week OB appointment. I was going to post more sonogram images, but the quality of the images we were given are so bad, it's hard to discern much at all.

All in all, we got more (mostly) good news about the twins.

We found out that the babies recently went on a little growth spurt and are now a week ahead in terms of size. They told us that one was 2 lbs. 14 oz. (or 29 weeks and 1 day) and the other was 3 lbs. 5 oz. (or 29 weeks and 6 days gestation). They are also both positioned head down, which is good if we want to have a shot of avoiding a C-section.

In our conversation with one of our OBs, we came to find out that they won't let us go beyond 38 weeks gestation with the twins. Which really kinda pissed me off. Why the hell did they even tell us October 5th was our due date, if they knew full-well that they would never let the pregnancy go beyond September 18th??? We've been pretty confused as to why they wouldn't let a pregnancy go longer than 38 (for twins) or 40 (for singletons) weeks gestation before inducing or scheduling a C-section.

My understanding is that the larger the baby, the healthier the baby, the better he/she will feed after birth (important), and the better he/she will sleep after birth, too (very important). But we recently found some research on how the incidence of stillbirth declines until 38 weeks in multiple pregnancies and then starts to increase (somewhat drastically) beyond 38 weeks.

So, in these new terms, we're somewhere between 5 and 9 weeks off from B-day.

Aside from this (somewhat jarring) new time horizon, the only down side to the whole appointment was that Megan was put on "limited activity."
Hmmmm
I think she might have slipped the doc a $50 before our appointment and I didn't know about it.

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This means that while the docs will allow her to continue working (especially since she has a desk job and can lay down if necessary in her office), she is no longer allowed to:
  • Walk the dog,
  • Do the grocery shopping,
  • Do the laundry,
  • Do the dishes, or
  • Do any other house cleaning
We run a pretty even-Steven household, and I've been picking up more of the duties as the pregnancy has been progressing (in addition to busting my ass on a lot of house projects), but this extra work has actually been pretty tough. Basically, Meg's only domestic responsibility (as I like to tell her) is to "keep our buns in your oven!"
Marvelous Multiples
And finally, we went to a birthing class last weekend that was run by an organization called Marvelous Multiples. The class was focused on the birth of twins and triplets and was quite useful. They covered topics like:
  • Symptoms of pre-term labor
  • Drug interventions to stop or slow pre-term labor
  • Tips on how to cope with bed rest
  • What to expect in the NICU
  • Drugs options in child-birth
  • Recovery from C-section
  • And strategies for caring for twins in the first weeks after birth
    (hint: get all the help you can!)
It's all starting to feel very real.

It's also nice that a lot of the fear and anxiety I've been experiencing has been subsiding and slowly has been replaced with just pure excitement.

I can't wait to meet my babies and to laugh and sing and dance and play with them!
A Short Wish List
  • I want my babies to be healthy
  • I want to feel it when my kids come in to wake me up by tickling my feet
  • I want to see them grow up to be happy and friendly people
  • I want to be strong and support my family
  • I don't want this disease to get in the way of ANY of these things
  • I don't want to be afraid of this disease stealing these experiences from me

Median

Thursday, July 05, 2007 | 10 comment(s)

Statistically speaking, a median is the point in a probability distribution above which 50% of observations reside and below which the other 50% live. Or mathematically:



In a civil engineering sense, a median is a section of space that separates highways.



In human anatomy, though, the median nerve is the nerve that runs from your shoulder all the way to the tips of your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and (oddly enough) just the the one side
The Ulnar Nerve
The other side of your ring finger and your little finger are the bailiwick of the ulnar nerve. Interestingly, the ulnar nerve is the only exposed nerve in your body. When you hit your "funny bone" (actually named for the "humerus" bone in your upper arm), you're actually hitting the exposed portion of your ulnar nerve and sending crazy pain all the way down to your pinkie.

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of your ring finger.


The past few weeks I've been doing some pretty serious manual labor around my house that has involved using a jackhammer, swinging a sledgehammer, a pick, and an ax. Two weekends ago, I built
I Have to Give Credit
Although they're not pictured in the little lightbox of photos, I have to give credit to my brother-in-law, Chris, and my father-in-law, Aloysius, for helping me dig the trench for the retaining wall. Also, my Dad and his friend, Chuck, came down from Philly and helped me build the wall. These were two men on a mission and we knocked it out in a day. I can't thank them enough for their help.

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a retaining wall along my driveway. For the two or three days that followed that, my fingers would go numb throughout the night and intermittently during the day, too. By the end of the week, though, things were much better.

Then last weekend, I built a bunch of shelves in my attic and basement (I have a sense we're going to be in serious need of storage soon) and started to chop up a stump in my backyard that needs to come out. Again, my fingers went numb for several days afterwards.

I'm pretty sure what I've been experiencing is carpal tunnel syndrome, and my median nerve is getting compressed by stressed out and swollen ligaments and muscles following rigorous labor. I've treated it with a decent amount of aspirin
NSAIDs
Non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs are key. Tylenol simply masks the pain, whereas NSAIDs actually treat the underlying inflammation. Given the choice between aspirin and ibuprofen, I choose aspirin because there are several negative findings related to ibuprofen and kidney damage.

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and rest.

These episodes of my hands going numb have been pretty frightening for me. I think about how much I currently rely on my hands, and how much more I'm going to need them (I'm gonna have a lot of diapers to change soon!). Thankfully, aspirin, combined with rest, seems to work pretty well.

In my hyper-anxious internet research mode, I found out that in addition to all the other things diabetes increases our risk of developing, carpal tunnel syndrome is also on that list. In fact, there's a study that concludes that diabetics have an 85%(!) likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome over their life-time.

Great, just great.

I'm starting to feel like I'm getting old.
And I'm sure having diabetes for 28 years isn't helping matters any.