Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fundus Camera?

Soon after I was diagnosed with diabetes, I went to an ophthamologist to have my eyes examined for diabetic problems. The nurse tried to insert eye drops into my eyes; when I kept jerking, she angrily called me a baby, taunted me, and told me that if I was acting like that, I obviously didn't care if I went blind and I could just leave.

Well, I eventually did get dilated but I didn't want to go back there ever again. The doctor's office recently called saying I was past due for another screening, but I'm not going. I don't want eye drops. And I don't want to deal with mean nurses either.

The studies I've read suggest that it's safe only going for an eye exam every other year as long as your previous exam showed you to be in fine eye health, and especially with my pretty decent blood sugar control, I figure I'm safe skipping this year's appointment. But sooner or later, I'll be wanting to have my eyes examined again, and just yesterday my parents and I talked about the difficulty of me not wanting my eyes dilated but wanting my eyes screened.

Well, today I watched a video on the use of the fundus camera in screening for diabetic neuropathy. Guess what? With the camera, you don't have to dilate the eyes in order to see any diabetic eye damage!

So now the question is, how do I find out which opthamologists or optometrists in the Chicago area use fudus cameras for looking at diabetic eyes?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hypoglycemia and Spirituality

Last night at 0057 hours I tested at 97, went to bed, almost immediately felt hypo, protested to myself that I'd just tested and felt fine, that it was my insomnia making me restless. I sat up and did some Sudoku, noticed I was having to concentrate harder than usual. Retested at 119 hours with a 31. In 22 minutes, my blood sugar had fallen by more than twice what my blood sugar ended up as. Gah!

I ate a little bit, felt woozy. I sleep wearing just swimming trunks and I looked at myself and said, if I were to pass out and be discovered my 'rents in the morning, I'd want to be wearing more clothes. So I got dressed.
Still feeling woozy, noticed an apple. Made a long long dramatic blessing on the apple, like this Thank you G-d for fruit that grows on trees! To apples! And and carrrrrrbohyydratesssssss... Thank you for keeping me alive! (long pause) Thank you for hypos!
Then I ate the apple and thought about the way sometimes going hypo can make me feel alive in a way that little else does, and about how sometimes it's just really cool to be alive that way, and how, when I was early into diagnosis, I felt lucky to be going on the journey of diabetes, if only because I was gonna experience all this stuff I'd never thought about before, and how my sense of wonder and gratitude for and around diabetes had slowly dissappeared.
How stupid I was to let go of that wonder! How foolish to buy into the idea of tragedy, when living in the wonder and appreciation for the differences and goodness in all experiences is much more pleasant.

At 153, with my blood sugar up to 72 and the Sudoku mostly done, I went back to bed. I woke up at 800 hours with a blood sugar of 102; perfecto. I took two fewer units of Lantus this morning anyhow.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It was Symogii

So yesterday I tried 30 units of Lantus (it's a high dose, and the most I can measure in my syringes). Throughout the day, my blood sugar was highish, but the evening brought hypo after hypo. After treating a hypo at one AM, I fell asleep.
Woke up at 5:30 feeling really really thirsty and kinda dehydrated in other ways. Thought, dammit, the Lantus must really be expiring. Decided that I'd check my urine sugar, and that if that was positive, then I'd check my blood sugar.
The strip turned purple almost the instant the urine hit it. Stifling the urge to swear (my roommate, after all, was sleeping), I got myself a drink of water, headed back to my room, turned the light on and tested. Guess what my reading was?
I guess I'm really lucky that the strip turned color! I ate a twizzler. Lay down and listened to the garbage truck and then my roommie's alarm going off and then fell asleep. Woke up at 11 with a blood sugar of 101.

By the way, I realize that nighttime lows are sometimes a problem, and often if I suspect Symogii I try lowering my Lantus dose to see what happens. But when Lantus expires, it usually has a shorter duration of action, and I guess I had been really suspicious because of what happened with the shipping.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tempermental Lantus And Diabetic Pixel Art

Last night: went to bed with a 101. Couldn't fall asleep. One hour later, 100. Woke up around eight with a blood sugar of 256.
Previous night: went to bed with insulin on board, blood sugar 167. Couldn't fall asleep. One hour later, 147. Didn't touch it. Woke up eight hours later at 245.
Two nights part: had been treating hypos, went to bed with a 62. Couldn't fall asleep. Forty minutes later, blood sugar 94, left it alone, woke up 293! Couldn't believe it; I didn't treat the hypo that aggresively! Rechecked, 287.

So, I think maybe the Lantus that took two weeks to get here in the mail is expiring extra fast. Today I'm taking 30 units of Lantus, I'm going to do a 4 AM blood sugar check, and if I go up up overnight, then...
I think I'm going to start taking 5 units of August's vial of Lantus every night whenever I happen to go to bed. That stuff acts more quickly than normal Lantus, slower than Novolog. I only have about 50 units of it left. We'll see what happens. If I end up having to take two doses of Lantus daily for three months, I'm going to need to either ask for a prescription for more syringes, or else reuse syringes. My current scrip is for two syringes daily.

On tudiabetes, I started the Diabetic Jews group, and didn't add a profile picture. Deciding it needed one to spruce it up, I did this pixel art: It's 50x50 pixels, although it could obviously get smaller (cut off the edges). It's supposed to be a star of David made out of syringes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Non-Injected Insulins

Exubera stayed on the market for about a year. It was a financial flop, but worked fine as a short acting insulin. Another inhalable insulin in development has been called off just now. Currently, multiple research studies are ongoing working on brining oral insulins to market.

Many in the blogospher and elsewhere scoffed when Exubera hit the market. They said that shots don't hurt that much, that a bong is too conspicuous, and that Exubera added nothing new. I admit it, I didn't run out and buy Exubera either. But I was excited. I was pretty sad about Exubera leaving the market. Why? Because shots do hurt. Certainly, the insulin shots don't hurt much compared to some of the other injections I take. But I've got bruises right now on my stomache, my breasts (I inject 'em), my legs, and my ass. I don't think I've got any on my arms at the moment, but that will probably change in less than a week. I get a new injection bruise almost every day. The I-Port red marks each lasted over a month.

That we lost the option of switching away from bruises- well, that stings.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


This morning for the second time in less than a week, nobody came to check on me and I didn't go and say hey to my folks.
I had asked them, starting in October 2007, to check on me every morning by 10 AM if I hadn't come by or called or somehow let them know I was alright. Most mornings I let them know, before 10. Some mornings they've checked on me. Quite a few mornings, neither happens. With me waking up feeling A-OK in the 40s, and waking up feeling not so great in the lower 30s and upper 20s, I feel that it's important for somebody to be checking on me, every single day.
I told my mother that I am thinking about paying for one of those services where somebody calls you every morning, and if you don't answer, calls a contact and if there's still no answer, calls 911. I do not want to end up dead in bed. Nump.
My mother put on the calendar on each day for the rest of the calendar who (either herself of my fatehr) was going to come by, and at what time.
I live in the same apartment building as my parents. They live with my brothers on the second floor. I live with a roomate (a very cool guy) in the basement apartment. It shouldn't be so hard for someone to check on me every single day.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

First Day of Class

Today was the first day of the winter quarter. I got to sleep around midnight and from three AM until around four thirty I slept in fifteen minutes bursts. Finally I decided to check my blood sugar. It was 256. Yuck. I got up, took some Novolog, went to the bathroom, laid down. Got up for the day at five thirty. Took Lantus.
Before my first class, at eight, I checked my blood sugar, in the lower 200s. I injected.
Before my second class, around eleven, I checked my blood sugar, around 200. I injected- two units Novolog.

My third class was Mainstreaming In Education: Including Special Needs Children in the General Classroom. Right up my alley, right? The professor opened by asking us to ask him whatever we wanted to about him. I asked him about whether he identifies as learning or otherwise disabled (short answer is yes, as ADD). A classmate asked him about his hobbies and he said he cooks. Another classmate asked if he could bring food in for the class. He said maybe as a potluck. I said, a potluck might be a good way to get to talk about mainstreaming kids with celiac sprue. Somebody else said, Yeah, or a peant allergy!
My professor then got thoughtful and said that yes, food in the school could be a special needs issue.
He talked about about a diabetic student. He started to describe diabetes and at first his description, though not precisely accurate, was good enough for me. It was a fairly typical description from a person who knows a couple diabetics. Then he said that juvenile diabetes is a hereditary condition that people are born with.
So I interrupted and said that actually, it's an autoimmune disorder that people are not born with; that the rare cases where people are born with diabetes is strictly speaking not type 1. My professor asked me a few questions about diabetes and I answered them to the best of my knowledge, though as briefly as possible.

Then guess what? I felt hypo. Not wanting to look like testing my blood sugar was making a point, I tested as inconspicuously as I could. 69. I pulled out a twizzler and ate it.

Later in class, we were talking about our experiences dealing with people with disabilities. I said that I identify as multiply disabled, that I'm involved in disability advocacy, and that I prefer the company of disabled people. My professor said that that's great. He told the class that people with disability have a voice- a loud voice, he said. He said that I (Jonah) will be speaking with that voice.

I hope I can remember to always make it clear that my opinions are NOT shared by all disabled people.