Monday, June 16, 2014

Actively Passively Aggressive.

With HB starting a new job and our switching insurance providers (thank you US Congress for removing pre-existing conditions clauses!), the bureaucratic flaming hoops pushed my three month endocrinology check-up back from June to July and I must admit I am feeling anxious about my next A1C.  I'd been slacking back in December with a general apathy toward the world of diabetes and let my A1C increase into the abnormal range with a reading of 6.5.  Feeling self-depricating and flat out pissy about my inability to be under 6.0 without constant focus on my blood sugar readings, I remember Dr. Rogacz looking at me and plainly saying "get over it, perfection just isn't gong to happen."  You can imagine the dismissive internal monolog my brain launched into at this...

Obviously this particular "get over it" method of diabetes management is beyond my scope of comprehension, so I decided to implement a more passive-aggressive approach toward my pancreas by starting on the Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).  Instead of making me prick my finger or forearm several many times a day to check my glucose levels, my CGM enables me to weekly insert a (rather bulky) sensor into my abdomen and then passively glance at the number and trend line displayed on my i-pod sized display screen.  Letting the CGM do the active work of testing every four minutes (yes, essentially constant), I can pretend I'm non-diabetic all I want without having to endure bruised and sore fingertips.   Granted, I have to calibrate the sensor daily (+) so I am not test kit free, but at least there is some emotional distance between me and my pancreas that didn't exist when my apathy shot my A1C up to 6.5.  

In a circular logic kind of way, my creative interpretation of "passive diabetes management" with the CGM is actually much more actively aggressive than it was before -- even when I was testing 10+ times per day during the pregnancy with GV.  By rarely testing my blood sugar but regularly monitoring the constant sensor information about my glucose levels and trend patterns, I lowered my A1C from December to March all the way down to 5.9!  It seems that despite my continued annoyance with the reality there's no "getting over" being diabetic, I owe all credit for my sanity and overall health to the technology that I'd previously been avoiding...  ironic.

Perhaps in being curious about what another three months of CGM usage will do to my next A1C I am actually starting to take Dr. Rogacz's advice to some degree and I'm finally curbing my apathy towards my diseases.   I definitely have my hopes up that I'll have an even better reading than 5.9 this go around and, as much as I may try to pretend otherwise, that shoots my "don't give a dang" facade straight in the foot.

My July 3rd appointment can't get here soon enough.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Long over due...

I honestly can't remember the last time I sat down to write something more than an email or news letter... how sad.  The last several nights I've been mentally kicking myself for letting yet another day pass without getting back on the proverbial horse, but then exhaustion takes over and within a matter of moments my alarm clock is going off and somehow all of the good-intentioned-tomorrows became a stream of oh-well-yesterdays.   While I can't anticipate this to be terribly pretty, let this blog post be the end of that and a return to what fuels me.

The last several many months have been chalked full of this, that and the other thing - some of it important and worth mention, much of it common and likely beyond my memory at this point.  Instead of focusing on what's been, however, HB suggested I simply list out what I could have written about and move on with it (with or without further details as necessary).  Makes sense and starts a clean slate, so here goes:


* My Dad had a massive heart attack two days before GW's 4th birthday in October so we cancelled his party and flew to Colorado.  Upon arriving, GW promptly came down with a passing virus and deliriously missed the whole trip while riding out the Motrin-wave.  Fortunately, while serious, the heart attack wasn't fatal and my Dad's made as solid of a recovery as one can and GW recuperated with a few weeks to thoroughly enjoy his birthday gift (the helmet) for Halloween.

* We raced in and finish the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:50:25 (goal was between 4:30 and 5:30).  Having missed the last 10 miles worth of distance training due to unhappy kids wanting no more than two hours in the stroller at a time, I hit the wall at mile 18 and limped it in the rest of the way with excruciating IT Band pain.  Thank goodness I had amazing support from HB and our awesome friend TS, I couldn't have done it without them.  THANK YOU!

* One thing I am not thrilled with from that day is my disastrous judgement with regards to my pump... I chose to keep it on me instead of leaving it in the car so as to enable me to get food at the finish line.  Unfortunately, the sweat and salt build up that happened during the course of the race broke my pump beyond repair - effectively preventing me from eating at the finish line anyway.  Thank Heaven, at least, that we have insurance that covered the cost of getting a replacement, because otherwise the cost of running 26.2 miles just became much, much, much more expensive!

* The pain I felt in Marathon wound up leading to an IT Band release surgery that took me off my feet and out of running for two months.  My doctor said that he was glad to have done it because my Band is the thickest he's seen and that it's no wonder stretching wasn't enough.  The surgery largely fixed the issue and I haven't had issues with it since starting back into running.  At some point I may need to go in to have the right knee done as well, but as of now I am a-okay!

* I gave in... I got a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).  I can't remember what it was specifically that made me change my mind, but I've forfeited another portion of my abdomen to yet another diabetic device, which, surprisingly, is very handy and not nearly as obnoxious as I anticipated.  I'll definitely have to write more about my Dexcom G4 so I will make a note to save this topic for later.

* GV turned 1 year old in November and is the biggest bundle of joy you can imagine.  She's talkative, curious, friendly, incredibly smart and very engaging - particularly when she ought to be quiet at mass.  She eagerly wants to do everything GW is doing and, in spite of his initial protests and her flagrant acts of retaliation, they appear to be growing on one another with actual (there is nothing censored about these two) affection.

*  Much of the time I would have otherwise spent writing over the last year has been spent volunteering for Team Red, White & Blue. Admittedly, it does not provide me the same sense of accomplishment I get when I've written a piece I'm proud of, but there is definitely a happiness involved in creating a positive community that enables a sense of connection and belonging that didn't exist for me - and for many - before.  At just over one year into building our local Community we have roughly 300 members and I think it's about time to reclaim some of my own life and that starts here...

In the coming weeks I hope to finish some blog drafts I've had sitting around collecting dust and, with a little bit of luck, I will actually start some new ones.  I anticipate that in a similar sense to running, starting to write again may be initially painful and it may be difficult to find my stride.  However, I have faith in muscle memory and I'm sure my fingers can find their way one after the other just as one does when starting exercise again... if not, one has hope that HB is an excellent editor and all that is irrelevant to you!

Fingers crossed.