Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Money Problems

No, not that kind of money problems, exactly. It’s not that I don’t have any (brief pause for Happy Gilmore quote…”I like money. I have some…I’d like more. That’s where you come in.“), the problem is that the money I do have is apparently useless.

To be more specific, not all of my money is useless. Just the part that I keep in my drawer at work for emergencies. I suppose everyone is entitled to their own definition of “emergency“, but for me, that includes needing candy or crackers for treating a low, and also the occasional caffeine fix. Normally I bring my own caffeine from home, but sometimes you need a little extra, you know? Anyway, today I needed something for a persistent low after lunch, so I went to the trusty change tray to gather supplies for a vending machine assault. Normally there’s a decent amount of change in there, left over from lunch or other various transactions. Today, I had probably $1.50 in the drawer, but unfortunately that consisted of a dollar coin and a shit ton of pennies, which despite being legal tender, were of no assistance in the vending arena. That being the case, I was forced to borrow money from a friend of mine in the office. Ironically, this is the same friend who has repeatedly told me that if elected president, his first order of business would be to eliminate the penny. So now I still have a low blood sugar, but am also saddled with the guilt of wasting a vote for Obama and not going with the Mike ’08 ticket. Hindsight is 20/20, they say.

Long story short, I finally was able to procure a snack (Twix…yum), but I’m still annoyed that the money I have is, for all practical purposes, ¬†worthless. The upkeep of this disease costs me enough money, you’d think I would at be able to put my spare change to use. Thanks a lot, Treasury Department. On a completely unrelated note, anyone need to borrow a dollar? I can totally hook you up.

The offending currency

The offending currency

Mad (blog) Lib…

So I was trying to come up with something to blog about this evening, when I conveniently happened upon The Lazy Blogger’s Post Generator. It’s much like a Mad Lib story, but rather than having an actual plot, it’s really it’s just a way to come up with a lengthy excuse for not blogging. Clearly, judging by the web address, this is an Australian website and thus all of the phrases don’t really make sense to us Americans, but here’s what I came up with:

Jeepers! I just woke up to the fact I have not updated this since Hammertime was in the charts… You would not believe the fairy dust I have to clean up. Stupid Global Warming!.

I am overwhelmed with responding to fanmail, being distracted by the shiny, just generally being the life of the party to my cats. My day is a magical flight from crawling out of bed at 6.30 to 11pm at which point I fall asleep on the couch. I am avoiding recapture. I wish you could be here to share it.

I swear on the bones of my ancestors I will write something that makes sense soon. Until then I need your shoulder to cry on. I mean it!

So there. I blogged. I will do a real post soon, but this was a convenient solution for tonight, since many D-bloggers are traveling from the Roche Diabetes Summit and probably won’t read this anyway. Take care, everyone.

P.S. Ok, seriously. What is a “budgie smuggler”? I’m tempted to think it’s the Australian cousin of the “banana hammock”, but really I have no idea.

The Curious Case of Sewington Shutton

I know, lack of updates, yada yada yada. Sorry, folks.

Anyway, today’s missive comes to you courtesy of an issue that’s especially annoying today, but really has been plaguing me for quite some time. Why must the left rear pocket of my pants be sewn shut? Yes, I’m talking to you, Banana Republic. Are you afraid I’ll hurt myself? Carry too many things and thus cause my pants to fall down? Is this some sort of maniacal scheme to generate cargo pant sales? I simply don’t understand the purpose of making a fully functional pocket in a pair of pants, and then restricting access to said pocket.

I know what you’re all thinking, “isn’t this a diabetes blog, and shouldn’t this somehow relate to Harry and his non-functioning pancreas?” Well watch this: the “forbidden pocket” may not be an issue for the Average Joe, but with all of the extras required to manage this disease, pocket space is at a premium. I don’t like the idea of having my insulin pump clipped to my belt, so it always occupies the left front pocket. Right front is usually reserved for keys, pen, and the occasional tissue if my allergies aren’t behaving that day. And of course, my wallet is always in the right rear pocket because, well, because that’s where it belongs. So, that leaves only one pocket for the trusty iPhone. But wait! You can’t go in there! Sure, I could rip the stitches out with a seam ripper, but since I’m not my mother, I don’t have one of those. Could the iPhone go in one of the other pockets? I suppose it could, but I’d really prefer not to look like I’m smuggling rocks in from the jailyard for Andy Dufresne’s chess set.

Thanks goodness I have a wife to carry my meter case when we go out together, or I might have to resort to a fanny pack. But if anyone can pull that off, surely I…wait, no one can pull that off.

I feel like this is some sort of video game where I have to conquer all the other levels to unlock the mystical left rear pocket. Well, the other pockets are full, I’ve rescued the princess, now let me into the freaking castle!!!

I’m sensing some trouble

Hi loyal readers (if ¬†you’re still out there)! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Life has been crazy lately…I’ve worked more than I really care to think about, and there’s just so much going on that I’ve barely had time to comprehend it myself, much less write about it.

So anyway, I’m over a month into using the Medtronic CGM sensor. Overall, I really like it. Although the accuracy of the data isn’t yet at a point that I completely trust it, I have found the extra information is definitely helpful in controlling the blood sugars. In fact, when I’m not wearing the sensor, I feel like I’m “flying blind” without knowing which direction my sugars are headed between meals, before exercise, etc. On the whole, I haven’t had too much trouble with the sensors, but today has been a bit of a battle. I started a new sensor this afternoon, but was never able to get it off the ground. I had repeated “Lost Sensor” alarms and tried restarting the sensor several times, but never was able to get to the calibration stage. Finally I gave up and yanked the sensor out, feeling like I had just wasted $10. I started a new sensor and seemed to be off on the right foot this time, but my happy thoughts were soon dashed a few hours later. After finishing a run, I looked at the pump to find out the sensor said I was at 200 mg/dl and rising at a “double arrow” pace. I didn’t feel like I was high, so I checked with my meter and got a result of 94 mg/dl. WTF? I didn’t realize this at the time, but the sensor site was bleeding pretty heavily, so I suppose it’s possible that the fact I looked like an extra from Smokin’ Aces could have affected the accuracy of the sensor. I cleaned things off during my shower and restarted the sensor yet again, so we’ll see if things get better from here.

All of this sensor trouble has reinforced the thoughts I had after watching the news story on ABC news last week about the “artificial pancreas”. Unless I misinterpreted the graphics in the video, the components of this “closed loop” system were essentially the same sensor and insulin pump I’m using, with an additional device to bridge the communication between the two. To me, that part doesn’t seem that complicated – it’s really just a series of calculations, not unlike what the Bolus Wizard function already does. In my opinion, the biggest hurdle to such a closed loop system is the accuracy of the sensor technology. Although I’ve certainly seen some benefits from the information the sensor provides, I feel like there are still some huge improvements that need to be made before we can rely on this technology for dosing decisions.

While the thought of an artificial pancreas is enticing at first listen, it’s still not a cure. No matter how much we’re able to make the different technologies communicate with each other, there will always be a human component as long as there are electronic devices to be managed. There will always be sensors and sites to change, calibrations to be made, and batteries to be changed. Truth be told, this just seems like a band-aid (albeit a technologically advanced one) to deal with the disease, not a solution to the problem.

Ahh, feels a little better to get that off my chest. Hopefully I’ll have something more for you again soon, and if you’re lucky, maybe it will be a little less Debbie Downer.

A little bit of everything

I’ve been so busy this week I haven’t really had a chance to blog. In fact, I haven’t even had a chance to think long enough about a single blog entry to make a group of coherent sentences. That being the case, I’ve come up with a collection of things that aren’t developed enough to warrant a complete post on their own, but I’ll feel better if I put them in writing (on paper isn’t the right term…maybe on pixels?). Most of them aren’t even related to diabetes, but that’s ok. There’s so much more to life, right? To make things easier for the reader, I will organize these little nuggets of information into bullet points. Why? Mostly because I’m still new to this blogging thing and haven’t used that particular typographical feature yet.

  • I have to go back to the beach this weekend. I know, “why is he complaining about that”, right? It’s not that I don’t want to go to the beach. We’re going to visit my wife’s parents, which is fine, always good to have an all-expenses-paid stay. It’s just that it’s the 4th of July…and I’m pretty sure we’re not going to be the only people in NC driving to the beach this weekend. If I could just go into some magical portal and be there, I’d be all for it. Oh well.
  • The Tour de France starts this weekend! Woo Hoo! I know it’s not a “mainstream” event here in the US, but it’s probably my favorite sporting event of the year. I’m disappointed by all of the doping scandals that have plagued the sport lately, but I’m pretty pumped that Lance is back. I don’t know how he’ll do, but either way, he’s out there trying to do things in an earnest, transparent fashion and for a good cause, and I respect him for that. And yes, I’ve already checked the in-laws’ cable channel lineup to be sure they get the Versus channel, thus ensuring my ability to watch the aformentioned race.
  • It occurred to me today (while driving past several of them) that I’m terrified of cornfields. Part of it is that creepy sound they make in the wind. I’m also afraid of getting lost in them – I’ve had many dreams where I’m in this situation. I’m sure the movie Signs didn’t help things either. It wouldn’t be the first thing M. Night Shyamalan has ruined for me. I also have become wary of children that see dead people.
  • So apparently there might be a cancer risk associated with Lantus? I know it’s still really early in the investigation, but this is disconcerting, considering I injected the stuff into my body for over 7 years. On the bright side, Amy over at DiabetesMine wrote a very insightful post about this story, and she makes an excellent point. There is by no means evidence of causation yet, and the consequences of not taking insulin are much more immediate and severe than such “possible” long-term risks. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. See, it wasn’t that disjointed, now was it? There were some recurring themes: bike racing, cancer, my incisive wit. I guess the corn thing wasn’t really related to anything else, but you’ve got to admit, that shit is freaky.

Until next time,

Harry