Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The price of licorice...

I was eating licorice and then someone said, "Hey, you're not supposed to be eating that." Someone else said, "Oh, no, are you diabetic." My brain said, "FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK." But my mouth said, "Yes, but I can have this." "Oh, you're a bad diabetic." "No," I pointed to my pump, "I just take more medication." (Probably not the best explaination at that point, but I was already flustered.) "Well, prevention is better than..." And I don't know what else they said, because then I felt really sad and embarrassed and just starting shutting people out. I felt like I should have been better prepared for this moment. It's not like I haven't had to deal with misperceptions of the 'betes before. But it was so innocent- a piece of licorice. I've eaten the candy put out before. So, it was completely unexpected.

I didn't know what else to do, so I put it out to friends on IM and Twitter: I just got called a bad diabetic :(

@JamieH responded: do you want us to send the D-mafia after them ?! ;-) ugh

@ElizabethArnold: By who???? (And did you kick them? Because if not, I will kick them for you. @JaimieH would too, I bet...)


Hmmm...They should know better.Reminds me of 2nd grade when kids told me I shouldn't be eating Lifesavers. (I was LOW at the time.)


All DOC tweeps shd take pics of ourselves eating candy for you to show 'em. Here's me, with liquorice! :P

While, @scottkjohnson wrote: yeah, then start chasing them around with needles. :-) Or maybe @ninjabetic & I need to pay them a visit? We're pretty scary...

Moral of the story?

1. "Bad diabetic" is a pejorative term. It hurts. Don't use it... ever. If you want to ask questions (honestly, it gets old and kind of annoying for me, but...) it's better than judging.

2. Don't piss off the DOC.

Thanks for the support everyone, otherwise I would have hid in my office for the rest of the day and thought about all the things I should have said or done... even though it's not really my side of the encounter that should have to review anything said or done.

The kind of sad part is that I don't think I want to be going anywhere near the candy jar anymore, or at least for the next little while. I don't want to deal with that spectacle again. I feel kind of whimpish for admitting that, but it's true.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Death of a pancreas... Again!

I got water in my pump. Actually, that makes it sound like it was my fault- they told me it was waterproof and though it has been for the past two years, it was not this weekend: I was swimming and when I got out there was water behind the screen. The pump worked find, but I thought I should call tech support and let them know. They told me they would send me a new one to be safe... And I had to send pump-kin back to the Animas :(

This is the hearse they sent for pump-kin:

Bye, bye pump-kin :_( Thanks for the past two years. You made my life much easier and I'm glad that you at least got to stick around for the canoe (bestest ever) trip on the week (<--- more about that later, btw!) For reals, though, it felt kind of sad... and I, ahem, did kiss the pump goodbye. It was weird to see it in the 'mail out' box at work, knowing no one else knew the history and significance of the device sitting inside the package. Next glucose tabs I (figuratively) inhale in a fit of low blood sugars, I will ingest for you...

Oh! Why hello birth of pump-kin jr! And, so, we start again...

("It's ALIVE!!!" ~Frankenstein)

(PS- pump-kin jr has much more sealant around the screen. I thought maybe that was the problem, because I couldn't see where else the water could have come from and I could shake the water out... probably the latter point was most indicative!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A hospital envelope surprise.

I came home to find a letter from the hospital that I visited back in May. I thought at first it was asking for a donation, but when I opened it the letter was a survey asking about my experience! There were about fifty or sixty questions in total and a spot to relay extra information about the visit to the ER, all of which I obligingly filled out. I was very happy to fill it out for several reasons:

1. It's so very rare that we, the patients, get to give our feedback.

2. I was glad I got to speak to more than just wait times. These were some of the questions I that I found more thoughtful: "Did the doctors/nurses talk in front of you as if you weren't there?" "If you had any anxieties or fears about your condition or treatment, did a doctor/nurse discuss them with you?" "Did you have enough say about your care?" "Did someone in the Emergency Department help get your messages to family or friends?" I like these, because it shows that there is an understanding that hospital experiences are not just about expediency, but also about comunication and respecting patients feelings during what can be very stressful times.

3. In the space provided I was able to tell them that, while I found most nurses be attentive, kind and knowledgeable and my doctor was really superb... there was still that one nurse to whom I relayed the fact that my blood sugars were low and it took her a whole 10-15 minutes to bring me a rather small glass of juice... and the only reason she gave it to me at all was because they were taking me to x-ray and I passed her in the hall- she'd left my juice on the counter at the nursing station. (For some reason I failed to mention this in my original post- somehow I just forgot about it!)

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I wish these questionnaires were a more regular thing. I've had a number of visits to ER's (though curiously, never for the diabeetus... except for diagnosis...) and this is the first time ever I've received anything like this. Who knows if they actually listen to what is written, but I'd like to think that if they took the time and money to send out the survey in the first place, they too take their patient's needs and wishes to heart.

Monday, July 5, 2010

MacGyver Moment: Portable Strip Disposal

I got fed up with finding test strips EVERYWHERE! So I went to the drug store and started searching for some sort of cylinder/pill-box on a keychain (<--- apparently it's called a "pill fob")... VOILA! MacGyverism! Attached to the zipper of my glucometer is my new used test strip garbage bin.

Would it really be so difficult to include this in the first place, glucometer manufacturers?!?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dear Feet,

I am sorry that I have neglected you. I did not know what could happen. I mean, I knew in theory, but reading through a book for school on diabetes I came across some truely painful photos of gangrene and infection. These pictures showed a much sadder picture than what I'd understood the issue to be.

Now, I can't promise any outcomes (as I am sure you are aware, sometimes these things are about chance), but I can promise to be more aware of how I treat you. I have bought you some nice foot cream and will be checking in on you every night from now until forever.

Be well, and thanks for hauling my ass around every day...


PS- I am also sorry that in a fit of irony I accidentally dropped the rather heavy bottle of foot cream I bought for you on you and bruised you.

Friday, July 2, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing you today to ask that a new feature be allowed for glucometers. More specifically, I would like there to be the option to replace the "HI" and "LO" warnings with "FML (HI)" and "FML (LO)", respectively.

K, thanks so much... Bye.