Tuesday, August 30, 2011

raise your hand (if you can!)

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes restriction of motion in the shoulder joint. The cause of a frozen shoulder is not well understood, but it often occurs for no known reason. Frozen shoulder causes the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint to contract and form scar tissue.

Patients with diabetes are at particular risk for developing a frozen shoulder. Other endocrine abnormalities, such as thyroid problems, can also lead to this condition.

About 20 percent of diabetics are affected by frozen shoulder, possibly because excess glucose contributes to abnormal deposits of collagen in the cartilage and tendons of the shoulder, which causes the shoulder to stiffen.

i have been living with a frozen shoulder for almost 18 months.  at least i think that long, although it may be longer actually.  i had the same thing in my right arm in 1998.  i went for physiotherapy, and cortisone shots.  did exercises at home, but nothing helped.  i am right handed. 

i started working at a grocery store as a cashier.  scanning groceries with my right hand, over time, my shoulder "unfroze".   i didn't even notice it happening. 

this time it's in my left shoulder.  i have gone for phsyio 3 times a week for months on end.  i have seen a Sports Injury Doctor, and had 3 cortisone injections to no avail.

i admit, this time i am not doing the exercises at home.  it seems to me that trying to stretch, and maneuver my arm in ways that it refuses to go seems, besides painful, pointless.

i have been doing a little internet browsing, and it seems to me that my next option may be surgery. if this is the case, the surgeon may perform a manipulation under anesthesia. a manipulation is performed with the patient sedated under anesthesia, and the doctor moves the arm to break up adhesions caused by frozen shoulder. there is no actual surgery involved, meaning incisions are not made when a manipulation is performed.

i also have a condition called Dupuytren's Contracture (apparently fairly common in diabetics also).  i am having surgery for this on November 2nd.  i am wondering if it would be possible to have the two surgeries performed at the same time.  and since i will have to have physiotherapy after the hand and would also need phsyio after the manipulation, why not kill two birds with one stone? 

if you agree, raise your hand!! (unless of course, your shoulder is frozen!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

my "oops" moment

yesterday i went for my appointment with my DEC team.  things went really well.  we talked about my numbers, which for many years would have sent me into a panic.  but since starting with my Ping in May, i have become a little OCD about testing.  my average is 10.1 tests per day according to my pump print out.  they are pleased by this.

so we talked about my numbers.  there have been some higher numbers at certain times of the day (early morning/breakfast) and after dinner.  we did a little tweaking with I:C ratios, and some basal fine tuning also.

today, i decided to keep a written record of everything i put in my mouth and the BG tests etc., over the next few days, so i can have a visual to see if these changes are working.

lunch rolls around.  my grandkids are here (like everyday) and my daughter arrives.  one daughter coming in the door, and the youngest daughter going out the door.  two kids want lunch NOW.
i get out my scale and plop my potatoes on it to count the carbs.  i get out my book, so i can write all this down.  i get out my meter and do my test. 

BG 10.1    total carbs  34grams    bolus for carbs:     4.25
                 BG TARGET 8.0         correction:         + 1.05                            
                                                      IOB                    -    .32
                                                        TOTAL              5.00

i write all this down, including the actual food items, in my trusty little notebook, and i sit down to enjoy lunch with my daughter and her children.


get out meter, check BG  ----- 15.3      15.3!!!!!   what!????  and then i look closer.....
no insulin on board.  NO INSULIN ON BOARD???   impossible!  i always have IOB after only 2hrs.  i get out my pump and check the Bolus history.  

and here comes my "oops" moment.

while i was busy writing all this wonderful, potentially useful information in my trusty little notebook,  i forgot to push OK on my meter.  

insulin delivered??  none

ooops    :\

Friday, August 19, 2011

Spring update

the other day i wrote about trying out the Orbit Micro Infusion set. i mentioned that i would be trying out the Spring Universal Detach Detect set.  i first heard about this infusion set here, at DiabetesMine.

i did some research and found a company here in Ontario that supplies them.  i called and they sent me 2 samples to try.  so on monday i gave them a whirl.

i must say, i am not a big fan of these infusion sets.  if you watch the video, it looks easy, and one-handed.  however, i did not find it as easy as it looks.    there was no needle cover to remove, as it is well hidden.  i found that after insertion, getting the cover off was a little tougher with some tugging necessary.  attaching the tubing is a little different also.  you are inserting the tiny needle on the connection into a small white, rubbery circle.  it does require some pressing, but you do hear a "click".  it is quite secure, once on properly.  although i love the 360′ swivel feature, it does make the set sit higher off the body and it doesn’t swivel on its own (like the orbit micro).

i found that by the beginning of the second day, i was beginning to itch under the adhesive, which may have been more about the teflon cannula, than the adhesive itself.  i normally use a steel cannula.
also, they are bigger around than other sets i’ve tried.  sort of feels like a loonie (canadian 1$ coin) sitting on your skin.

the ability of the set to block delivery at the site if the set becomes dislodged is perhaps worth having if you are into rough sports or something like that.

i was glad i tried the Spring Infusion Set, but i think i’ll just stick to my Contact D’s. they may not have the ability to swivel a full 360'(something i think they should work on!!), and they don't come with an insertion device (you just stick 'em in yourself!), but they do sit fairly flat on my body, and they are easy to insert and remove. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

simple is best

for the last couple days i have been fooling around with the different templates available here on blogger. 

for a little bit i had jelly beans as the background.  good for low BG's but a little hard on the eyes.

then i tried on a nice swirly pattern.  it looked alright, sort of, but it sure was hard to read anything on the side of my post, which is were some of the blogs i follow are listed  8)

there were likely a few others thrown in for good measure, but when all is said and done, the old adage holds true ~


so here's hoping the new design is a little easier on the (diabetic) eyes!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

behind a scarf

for years i hid the fact that i was Diabetic.  i was in Gr. 7 when dx'd.  the kids in my class knew, but they didn't.  i didn't really bother to inform them either.  i was in hospital for 2 weeks, and i came back, and it seemed to them that nothing had really changed.  it seemed to them that i still ate the same foods, and played the same sports, and did the same stuff they were doing.  and so i let them think that. 

i didn't tell them about the needle every morning before coming to school.  i didn't tell them about the urine testing, the visits to the doctor.  the things that could go wrong, somewhere in the distant future.

i went to high school, and again i kept my "little secret" pretty well.  some of my friends new, but others didn't.  most of my teachers didn't know.  i'm sure the office staff knew, and the school nurse, but  that was about it.  during the first years, i was lucky.  i didn't really suffer any low's.  and the few i did were at home.

i met my husband to be when i was 16.  he accepted my diabetes, although he never really understood the ins and outs.  while we were dating, he learned what to look for in a low, but that's about it.

i got my first job, and i don't remember telling anyone there that i was Diabetic.  i'm sure i must have, but i certainly didn't publish it.  life just happened and Diabetes just happened to be a part of it.

the years go by, and my family and close friends always asked "how's your blood sugar?"  and i would say "oh, its fine"   my parent's and sister, of course, understood a little better than the average person, but i had been "taking care" of myself for most of my diabetic life.  my husband could spot a low way before i could.   my childen knew how to dial 911 before they knew their own phone number.

i keep it hidden.  a secret little part of me that  rears it's ugly head occaissionaly.  a low during a school play, quickly taken care of with a juice box.  the time i was driving with my youngest in the car.  a taxi noticed my irratic driving, and between him and another taxi, they got my car slowed down, called the police (they thought i was drunk with a child in my car!), and then the ambulance arrived.

in january, i had open heart surgery (triple bypass).  since then my outlook has shifted a little. 
in march i was dressing to go out with family for dinner.  it was my dad's 70th birthday. we were going to a restaurant. my scar was quite visible.  my husband asked if i was going to wear a scarf. he thought i would be embarrassed if people saw it and gave me funny looks.

it was then that i realized that i had nothing to hide.  i had survived OPEN HEART SURGERY!!  i was going to live my life, and if my scar bothered people, then too bad for them!!  that was my proof that i had survived!!

i also realized that i had been hiding my Diabetes behind a scarf for almost 37 years! 

i recently starting using an Insulin Pump.  i don't hide it.  it's there for anyone to see (most of the time!), and if anyone asks, i tell them what it is.  if they have questions about Diabetes, i inform them.

on september 1st, i am going to get a tattoo.  it will be my medic alert.  on the inside of my right wrist.  it will look something like this ~ ~
with the words T1 at the top and Diabetic wrapped around the bottom.

for me it will represent my coming full circle in accepting this disease, and being proud to have lived almost 37 years with it.  of not hiding it behind a scarf anymore!







Sunday, August 14, 2011

orbiting the universe

way back at the end of july, i mentioned that i had discovered other infusion sets that i could use with my Animas Ping.  I have been using the Orbit Micro 90 Infusion Set since friday.

i received 2 samples from the company here in Canada that supplies them.  as i have mentioned, i use the Contact Detach, which i purchase directly from Animas Canada.  i have been quite happy with that infusion set, but wanted to see what else was available.

the Orbit Micro is a little different. 

  • i found it is not as easy to insert, although once in, i did not notice it
  • it does rotate 360' which is neat
  • the cannula is 31guage ~ very thin and painless insertion
  • the tubing is blue, which is kinda weird! (the tubing was 30" and i am used to 23", but it does come in different lengths)
  • it definitely held up to tugging (fell off the dresser while i was getting dressed (my pump~not me ~ and it didn't pull out)
  • the adhesive is skin toned, which, for me, really makes no difference
  • i am used to a fairly flat cap/cover for showering, and this one is not
overall, i think i could get used to it.  but i would have to get shorter tubing! 

tomorrow, i will be trying another infusion set.  this one will be the Spring Universal Detach Detect Infusion set.  i received samples from a company about an 30 minutes from my home. They do charge shipping/handling, but i can just drive there and pick up my order if i choose.

stay tuned for updates!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

i had the answer!

the other day i was trying to figure out how to or rather where to put my pump, while wearing a sundress to a wedding we were attending.  after much thought and considerations, i was just about to give up and opt for the pants/capris (with pocket) and blouse when i spied something on my dining room table.

my daughter's friend was over a few days prior, and she had been wearing an elastic-y hairband.  and there it was sitting on my table.   i picked it up, and noticed that it felt sort of rubbery.  stretchy, and soft, yet rubbery. 

hmmmmm...i wondered ~ could this be what i've been looking for?  would this work?  and so i slipped it over my foot and up onto my thigh.  i  slid my pump in between skin and rubbery, stretchy, soft hairband on my inner thigh, and there is sat.  snug as a bug in a rug!

i jumped a little, i walked around, i sat, i stood, i danced (to music playing in my head) and i ran up and down my front hall.  it didn't move!  it stayed put!!! 

i tried on my sundress to see how it would look.  could anyone see the pump or the "garter" holding it to my leg?  nope.  was it itchy, or scratchy?  was it cutting off the circulation in my leg?  nope.

I HAD THE ANSWER!!!  maybe not the answer to world peace, or eternal youth, or even the cure for diabetes.  but i now had the answer to the question i had wondered about all week~  what to do with my pump while wearing a sundress!
(purchased at my local grocery store ~ pack of 3 for only $5.99 ~ for me=deal of the month!!)

Friday, August 05, 2011

'tis the season

saturday is our first wedding of the season.  it's actually the first wedding we've attended in 3 years.  needless to say, worrying about what to wear to a wedding is completely normal for a girl.  especially in the summer.  and saturday is supposed to be wickedly hot here!!!

this wedding will be a little different for me.  i now wear a pump.  yes, my lovely green Animas Ping.  i love it!!!  but now i am having a little difficulty deciding on what to wear to this wedding. 

should i wear some nice, dressy capris with a lovely little sleeveless blouse?  should i look for a two piece skirt affair?  or perhaps a sundress?  i have seen some lovely sundresses! 

i must admit, i don't usually do the "dress" thing, and now especially with my pump.  where does one put said pump when wearing a dress??  i know some people wear them in their bras, but seriously?  not being the most chesty of creatures, i am sure it would fall right out and be dangling somewhere down there!  wouldn't that be a sight, me trying to yank it back up pulling on the "fishing line" as my husband calls it!!

i have thought of placing it on my thigh, but is duct tape appropriate attire for a wedding??  and would it stay put in the heat of  an outdoor August wedding?  i suppose i could buy a garter from the local wedding dress store perhaps?

or, maybe i should just stick to pants with a pocket.  

'tis the season!!    8-)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

"we gotta beat that biadedus"

i am a mother.  i have 3 children.  their ages are 28, 25 and 21.  they are adults.  they are not diabetic.  they have been tested time and time again.  anytime i thought they were drinking alot or seemed to be peeing alot, i either had them tested at the doctors, or i tested them myself with my meter.  when they looked tired, or seemed to have lost a couple pounds, i tested them. 

i never really gave much thought when i was pregnant, that my children could be diabetic.  i remembered someone (probably a doctor) saying to my mother that sometimes diabetes skipped a generation, so i wasn't worried about my children developing it.  and of course, the chances were always higher if the father had it as opposed to the mother right??  and my husband isn't diabetic.  no one in his family has or had diabetes  that we knew of so......why worry.  but then again, no one in my family was diabetic either.

now i realize that most of my thoughts back then ( in the 70's and early 80's) were ridiculous, as far as having children and them being diabetic based on generations, or father vs mother.  and none of the "cons" stopped me from having kids.

the thing that scares me though, is that now that i am a grandma (they call me "nan"), those thoughts of skipping a genereation are coming back to haunt me.  when i see Cam(who's 5) drinking alot, or peeing alot, or seeming a little more tired. or eating more than he normally does, (at least in my eyes) i immediately want to test his BG.  and i have on more than one occassion! 

i know that whatever will be will be, and things are so different then when i was diagnosed back in the early 70's.   however, i will keep my "nan" eye on them.  'cause as Cam says, "we gotta beat that biadedus"