Thursday, October 7, 2010

Here I sit with frustration. I have a problem. You may also have this problem. Heck, many of us may have it. If you wear an insulin pump it's likely somewhat of an issue for you. My wife has been gone all week out of town on a business trip. The problem....I hear my pump alarms less and less at night now-a-days. My wife is a lite sleeper so it wakes her easily, and in turn she wakes me if I don't get to it by the second round of "personal fire alarm". It doesn't matter whether the pump is on vibe or high, I don't hear/feel all of my alarms while sleeping. I'm a heavy sleeper and it just doesn't wake me up.

Now I've tried a few things to see if we could increase the volume, but to no avail. We tried a baby monitor, but I could hear the alarm from the pump better on it's own than I could hear it through the amplified speaker. Strike 1. I've tried alternating between vibe and high alarm settings and.......strike 2. Whatever trial number three would be, I'm sure it would probably be a strike also.

What I need is for the pump companies "Animas", "Deltec", "Disetronic", "Minimed", or "Sooil" to come up with an external speaker that will recieve data from the pump and properly relay (from my nightstand to my ear directly) a signal I don't have muffled under a down comforter of sheet.

That shouldn't be too hard, right? All I need is a simple 2" speaker at my bedside that's going to wake me more easily than what I currently don't hear or feel as quickly.

Now there are a few things to note here. One, sometimes I do wake-up right away. Two, unless I'm sweating I tend to not wake-up automatically when I have a low BG. Three, I'm a good bit cranky sometimes when I awake out of bear hibernation to check on whatever personal fire alarm is sounding off. Fourth, I've tried to pay more attention to the alarms and force acute alertness...but within a week or so I'm back to unfortunately less then adequate fire alarm response. Fifth, I can wake at 3 AM to the sound of an owl softly hooting in the woods directly behind the house, but don't hear or feel my pump alarms....I have indeed come to the point of non-responsiveness due to my becoming unreacitive to the same alarm types.

Personally, I think this would be a simple way to enhance and make the closed system a bit more secure, esp. for the hibernating bear sleepers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Ever Fearful - Hypoglycemia

You don't like it. I certainly don't like it, and no one's spouse or loved ones like having to deal with it either. "It" would be the distasteful "Hypoglycemia". If you've had Type 1 diabetes for very long, then you've experienced some of these interesting/frustrating moments. A fellow blogger and friend posted on this subject and incited my thinking.

I think hypoglycemia has varying levels of intensity depending on, for example, how fast your sugar is dropping, where it started dropping from, what's in the tank, how fast you get some fuel in the tank, and what you're currently doing. Just remember I've had a BG of 24 mg/dL and was still walking around talking as if nothing was wrong. So, I'll arbitrarily make the following categories based on reaction type and intensity (I'm sure some clinical genius has already categorized these): (A) the "Hyper-Alert Genius"; (B) the "I'm Not Really Listening to Anyone"; (C) the "Conscience Paralytic" -AKA OBLIVIOUS; and (D) the "Long Road".

The Breakdown:

(A)Hyper-Alert Genius: Some of us have been here. Many hopefully haven't. This is the place where I think the brain is starving for glucose. It's outcome is a little different for everyone, but essentially it's the feeling of having these grandious ideas that seem to come to you - "Enlightenment". I had this experience while researching ideas for a certain piece of stained glass artwork. I was looking for a few small ideas for a portion of this project, but by the time I realized it was my BG and not my healthy running brain introducing these "never done before in history" concepts, I was already in the "GENIUS" zone. I corrected it, but it sure did take my brain long enough to realize what was going on and relay that correctly to my muscles.

(B)I'm Not Really Listening to Anyone: Those who love us and interact often with us, hate this category. It's very frustrating to them. In this category the individual is usally very ornery, unhelpful, and down-right stubbern. We know we should eat those crackers and drink that milk, that person keeps putting it in my face or asking if I've done it yet, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Why? That's usually the only question I can ask myself for the whole of this category. It's frustrating to me, after having one of these, to realilze I was so ornery. It makes dealing with me a lot harder. My wife gets so frustrated with me I know. I love her and I appreciate her putting up with it.

(C)The Conscience Paralytic - Oblivious: You just know something is wrong, but whether you know what's wrong or not, you can't seem to do a dang thing about it. Either you're staring out the window at a piece of grass profusely sweating (as if your using all of your being to try and get that blade to bend), or it takes 30 minutes to drown those crackers with a glass of milk. So, 30 minutes ago I was in the garage working on some project when I knew my sugar needed attending to. I started heading up stairs, but hey (in my head)"What's that on the rug at the garage door? I've never seen that there before." (Ten Minutes Later) "Oh, hey, I was headed upstairs to get a snack. I better get there." Four steps later, "Wow I've never seen the sun shine in the window like that before. Neat. I wonder how often I pass right by here and never see it like that? I was headed somewhere wasn't I? Snack. That's right." (15 Minutes Later) "Well, I finally made it upstairs. Oh, I should pet the dog. I've been in the garage for a while and I'm sure he's been missing me." (5 Minutes Later) "Hey Dufuss, get your mouth wrapped around some crackers would ya!" We can laugh at this, but it really can make the low even lower if we take too long to address it.

(D) The Long Road: The only name most people tend to give to this road is "siezure", and that's never a road we voluntarily go down. No one wants to be here...ever! It's only once you realize that you have gone down this road (you're usually blindfolded - seizing and unconscience while headed down this road) that you begin the long trek back up it. This is the road trip that takes so much energy it takes days to recover from get back to feeling normal again. It's ugly and you usually end up with a tongue scar for going there. I haven't been down that road in years, but for those of us who have, we never forget how it feels. You never forget how your loved one explained what happened. Were you driving (I hope not - I was during one of these in college - scares the crap out of me even to this day. It's why I finger stick before I drive). Were you sleeping, or was it out of the blue? What did those around you do to help you get out of it? I know that my CGM is a huge relief to my wife because of the potential for these to happen during sleep. She actually sleeps at night now!

So, what are your thoughts? Can you clarify any of these definitions? Add to them? Share?

Monday, June 28, 2010


What does it do to you?

   Well, sure you get the wide eyed energizer feeling from it. But I get a little more than that from this stuff. I drank a home-made cold Chai latte this AM. It tasted great. I actually let the tea bag brew over-night -which might be why I felt the way I did this AM.
So the second thing it does to me though is more like caffeine over-dose, super high BG level feeling, restless leg syndrome, and A.D.D. - all wrapped in a rather unpleasant package. This toon pretty much says how I feel afterwards.
   Now, to be clear, this appears to happen with certain quantities of caffeine. For example if I drink a Mt. Dew too quickly, or that Chai this AM and the afforementioned is the result. If I slowly enjoy a cherry Coke, no problem. But I have to say I'm kind of affraid of feeling like I drank a Mt. Dew (x10) and knowing it's going to be hours before it gets better. All I can usually do to help is hydrate.

   So, do you drink any of those energy boosting drinks (say for a race)? How do they make you feel?