Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Visit from the Diabetes Monster

            Last night I had a visit from the Diabetes Monster.  He decided he wanted to have a sleep over and spent the night with me. Here is a brief recap of my unwelcome sleepover.

            BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!  I am rudely awoken out of a dead sleep by Tigger (my dexcom receiver).  Low BG alert.  Says I am under 55.  I grab Roo (my meter) and test my bg.  54! Great, exactly what I had plans to do at 1am!!! NOT!

            I crawl out of bed.  Stumble half asleep across my bedroom to my mini fridge.  Yes I have a mini fridge in my bedroom.  But it’s not the fridge you would expect a 27 year old college student to have.  It is stocked full of juice boxes, water bottles, and insulin. 

            I open the door and grab a juice box.  Not just any juice box but a Capri Sun.  Those have been my juice of choice lately.  Now in the dark with a low of 54 and trying to get the straw in that hole is not easy at all…I need to rethink this when I go shopping for more juice.  It was a bit like pin the tail on the donkey game.  Don’t believe me, go into a dark room, spin around a few times and try to get the straw in that little hole without piercing the other side of the juice pouch!  (You all will be very proud, after a few tries I successfully got the straw in without piercing the other side of the pouch.)

            Fifteen minutes go by and I test again 122.  Great I am back off to sleep.

            BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! It is now around 3 am.  Tigger once again is rudely awakening me to say I am low.  This time he says I am 69.  I test on my meter and it reads I am 87.  So thinking I may be dropping I drink another juice.  This time I turn on the lights so it isn’t eventful enough to describe the walk to the fridge and back.  I go back to sleep.

            BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Now it is 4:30 am.  Tigger for the third time tonight is awakening me.  But this time he is telling me I am high, reading that I am 257.  I bring out Roo and test, 234.  Ok a little high.  I follow the tubing attached to my body to find Piglet (pump).  I bolus and once again, go back to sleep.

            BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!  It’s 5:50 am and Tigger for the fourth time in one night awaking me.  At this point I was about ready to chuck him out the window and let him sleep outside where ever he landed.  I looked and I was alerting low with a BG of 83.  I tested at 78.  Having my third juice box of the night.  Now I am wide awake lying in bed.

            You may wonder what I was thinking about.  I was thinking of all you D Mom’s and D Dad’s out there.  I was thinking how every night this is you, you up taking care of your child with diabetes.  I am an adult with diabetes.  I have to take care of myself when these events arise.  But I can just say I greatly appreciate all you D Parents out there and what you go thru on a nightly basis so your little one can sleep.

            I get up finally around 6:30, eat breakfast and jump on the computer.  Hoping my day would get a bit better, maybe able to catch a nap latter.  Ha-ha, yeah right. 

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Low alert, it is 2 hours after eating and my bg is 74.  I guess the D Monster wants to spend the day with me today!


Sunday, November 18, 2012


            Hi everyone!  I’m so thrilled to be working with the Diabetes Monster.  It will be some fun times for sure.  Some of you may know me, but many don’t.  Let me briefly share my story with you.

            I am Kristen.  Close friends sometimes call me Kris…my DOC is considered close friends.  I am 27 years old.  I have type 1 diabetes.  I wear a MM Revel 723 and a Dexcom Seven+ (hoping to switch to the G4 in January when warranty is up).  I live outside Boston, MA.  I have a strong love for advocating for diabetes and am currently taking online classes for accounting thru my local community college.

            I was incorrectly diagnosed type 2.  The doctor I was seeing was horrible.  I do not remember many details as I was so opposed to him.  I do clearly remember one Sunday afternoon when my blood glucose (BG) was “HI” on my meter meaning greater than 600 mg/dl.  I had ketones.  My mom phoned him on call.  His exact words were “Well she isn’t following her diet; I don’t know what to tell you.”  She was so upset, as was I.  No matter what I ate or sometimes didn’t eat, my BG would rise.  Come January 2004 I had lost over 60 lbs and I was very ill.  

For over 6 months my doctors kept telling me I just had mono.  I was always tired.  I could never drink enough.  I never felt full.  I had clear symptoms of hyperglycemia.
            In college I met a girl who had type 1.  She hooked me up with her Endo at Children’s Hospital Boston.  What a blessing this was.  January 22, 2004 I was correctly diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic.  I was started on insulin and immediately began to feel better.  At that time my A1c was 14.9%!

            Things over the next few years were going quite well.  In 2007 I had asked my endo to try a insulin pump.  In September of 2007 I started pumping with a Pacific Blue Deltic Cozmo pump.  I loved it.  I was able to get much greater control over my BG levels, my A1c dropped below 8%!  The following year I started using the FreeStyle Navigator CGM.

            Since 2008/2009 I have been using a CGM (currently dexom).  Since pumping with the cgm I have been able to keep all my A1c’s under 7%, most in the 5% range without many lows or highs.  It is very hard work however.

            I have neuropathy and gastroparesis because of diabetes.  I strongly believe this could have been avoided if my first few years were properly managed.  But I deal with it and live my life to the fullest.  Yes I have had a few bumps in the road with diabetes, but I do not let diabetes stop me.  Yeah I will be honest it sucks, but I accommodate and make it work for me so I can be who I want to be.

            I am looking forward to blogging my experiences and talking about “hot” topics.

Happy Blogging!