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Entries from May 1, 2010 - May 31, 2010


Memorial Day - Rewind

This post is from Memorial Day 2007 and since my feelings about this day and the memories it brings up is nothing I want to try and rewrite, I figured I would just copy and paste this post. 

My Memorial Day originally posted on May 28, 2007.

Memorial day like so many holidays has a bitter sweet tone to it for me. And the reason once again for the bitterness is due to the "D."

When I was a junior in High School, I knew that my parents were not going to be able to pay for me to attend college. We struggled just to pay the rent, have clothes on our backs and food on the table. And with mom and dad divorced, they did not work well to solve problems such as this. It was always day to day.

I knew that the only way I would get a great education was to join the Armed Forces. More specifically, I wanted to join the Air Force. I have always had such great respect for those who serve to protect our freedom. I wanted to be apart of that.

I got in touch with a Recruiter through my High School and told him how I thought this was the right move for me given the hazy future ahead. He agreed (of course) and was ready to make my 4 year commitment.

Then on October 2nd 1990 I was diagnosed. I went through all that crap not thinking at all about this aspect of my future plans.

Then I got a call from the recruiter asking me to fill out some paperwork or something (I cannot remember exactly) and I told him what had happened.

I remember a very long pause and him telling me that he was pretty sure that was a problem.

I was crushed. What was I to do? My family had no money. I had no clue as what to do with my life. It was already becoming clear that Diabetes was going to close doors in my life. I was so upset.

So now I look back each Memorial Day and wonder what life would have been like had I not had the D and went into the Air Force. Where would I be now?

When I look at my life and count the endless number of blessings I am happy right where I am. Had one thing been different along the road, who knows where I would be.

Nah. I like it here


Make My Day

Last Friday I stayed home. I spent the day checking my BG every half hour, taking small shots of insulin when needed, and watched for the UPS truck to show up with the replacement pump Minimed sent.

In other words, the day sucked. I was stuck at home and felt pretty sorry for myself.

Once the pump showed up I went through all the set up stuff and left to pick up lunch. At least I felt like I could now take a nice long nap to catch up on sleep since the night before I was playing the part of insulin pump by taking shots all night long.

When my son got home from school he came into my room to check on me.

“Hey Dad, how are you doing?”

“I am good now. I was burned out. How was school?”

“It was good. Hey, you want to hear something crazy?”


“Guess who is going to be Drum Major next year?”

"SHUT UP!!!!" I gave him a bear hug and let out some well deserved tears.

During last week George told me he was going to try out for Drum Major. He is going to be a Junior next year and there is another kid who will be a senior that was trying out too and that George was sure would win. I told him that if he gets assistant Drum Major this year and then Drum Major next year, that would be great! He agreed. And of course, he takes the top spot. Wow.

For those of you who don’t know I was Drum Major at my high school although I didn’t have half the talent George does. I played percussion but that was really it at the time. George plays Guitar, Percussion, Ukulele, Bass, and Saxophone. He even fumbles pretty well on the harp and piano. The kid is amazing and when he sets his mind to something he just does it. Not with a “get out my way I am going to conquer the world” sort of attitude but more of an “I am going to do my best and if I make it then great.” Very humble yet successful. It makes me so happy.

This weekend we are going to see the band he plays in at a huge Christian  music festival near San Diego. He is excited as am I. I like to watch him play drums since he is so good and is self taught. It always amazes me how talented he is.

Thank you son for making me so proud to be your dad.


What's Your Altitude?

It was Monday night. I had taken the day off to recoup from the busy Cinderella weekend. The musical was great and I could not have been happier but I was tired and needed the rest.

All during the day I fought highs. My BG hovered around the upper 200’s and low 300’s no matter what I did. Finally around evening it came down some. At least enough to eat dinner.

Monday night was our bittersweet “24” finale party. Lots of friends came over to watch and those friends brought lots of snacks which I indulged in. It was the last time I would see Jack Bauer, I was emotional!

I bolused for a lot of carbs because I knew I would be snacking throughout the show.

After it was all done and everyone left I checked my bg and I was high. I corrected and relaxed for a bit before I went to bed. It was almost midnight when I put down the iPad and decided to check one last time.


Forget this! I pulled the site out and changed it. I knew I had been high for hours and just decided to take a shot to correct. No more screwing around. Site changed and injection injected, I went to bed.

1 hour later I woke up with awful cramps in my legs. Both thighs locked up on me and I knew standing up was the only way to fix it. My wife knows the drill and came around the bed to help me stand. Legs cramps are a common side effect of high bg’s for me so I was not surprised. While I was leaning on my dresser trying to stand I felt low and dizzy.

“Honey, I think I am going to pass out. Talk to me. Keep me alert.”

The next thing I knew I was looking up at my wife on the phone and my son holding my One Touch trying to get my finger to bleed. I had fainted.

“130, dad.”

My son had a cup filled with regular soda so I sipped a little just to be safe. Did coming down so fast make me faint? I didn’t stand up too fast did I? What happened?

I have never fainted before so this really scared me. At that point I could hear my daughter in the hallway crying and when I tried to tell her I was okay, I fell apart.

I was so angry that my kids have to be scared and that my wife has to deal with this. I hate it so much.

Next thing I knew the paramedics came in. I told them I could stand up and they helped me sit on the bed. I told them the story and all of them about fainted when I told then how high I had been. They asked me to check my BG.

“Wow, I am down to 107 now.”

“Well, that is great! That is in range.” A medic said in the most chipper of voices you could have at 1AM.

“Yeah but I was so high not long ago that I am worried I am going to crash.”

“Well, we can’t really do anything for a blood sugar of 107. I mean, if you were over 250 we would have to take to emergency!” He was so serious I laughed like crazy in my head.

“Well then I guess I will just handle this myself.”

“Great, is there anything else we can do for you?”

“Could you take my blood pressure?” Yes, I had to ask for them to take my vitals.

BP was fine so they left.

As I sat there eating my 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which kept me steady at 140ish all night, I told my wife, “You know, if I was in a plane that was crashing. Do you think the emergency crew would ask what my altitude was? And when I say ‘7000 feet’ do you think they would say, ‘oh you’re not crashing you are still up in the air!’ No way in hell would they say that! So why don’t they understand, even when I explain it to them?”

I was so angry and at the same time my wife started crying. It all finally hit her.

“When I was on the phone with 911 they asked me if you were breathing and I didn’t want to know. I could hardly look down at you. I was so scared.”

I held her feeling to guilty when she said, “I can’t believe that they didn’t even help.”

Her and my kids were emotionally drained and it kills me that they went through all that. Especially to have those paramedics make us feel like it was a waste of their time even coming to the house.

Somehow these emergency medics need to learn more about our disease.

They need to understand the altitude analogy. They need to understand trends. One number does not tell the whole story. You could be smooth sailing, climbing so high you leave our atmosphere, or plummeting to your death.

One number is not enough.


Last Thursday's Drama

My sugar was over 300. I total failed on my lunch carb count guess and needed to correct a couple of hours after eating.

After the bolus my pump was down to just under 2 units of insulin left. I knew I was going to run out at work so I had already brought my insulin with me and a new reservoir to fill and replace.

I do this a lot. Not because I want to hoard infusion sets or anything but sometimes, it sucks to have to change a site especially at work so I just refill the reservoir, prime, and off I go.

Not last Thrusday.

So there I was at my desk, I filled the new reservoir, set my pump to rewind, pulled the empty reservoir out and attached the new one. As soon as the pump was ready to go, I slid the reservoir in and twisted it to lock it.

I pressed the ACT button and listened for that familiar sound of the pump motor humming along and the plunger finding it’s way into the back of the reservoir. Instead of the usual beeps I hear I heard crazy beeping coming from my pump. I looked at the screen hoping to see the normal 0.0 but instead saw ERROR A33.

I tried again and the same thing came up. Third time is a charm right? Wrong! Same error.

I dialed up Minimed to let them know what happened and at the same time, I pulled out the reservoir. It turned out the pump primed 60 units into me during those attempts.


I checked my BG and was still high but I knew that I was going to crash and crash hard. I am talking about 75 units on board at once I think. That includes lunch, the correction, and the malfunction.

I was scared and started eating glucose tabs. I ate over 30 of them (which I never want to eat again) and drank 3 regular sodas and when it was all said and done, I was 113. That was 5 hours later without any insulin pump or shot in the meantime.

Scary as hell.

I received a replacement pump the next day (yay for my warranty that ran out on May 24th) and set it all up but that night was rough. Waking, testing, and bolusing all night forced me to stay home and wait for Pump 2.0 to show up. When it did I entered all my settings and started getting my “pump on” asap.

What did I learn from all this? A few things. Number 1, I will never do that again. If I decide to just change the reservoir I will always disconnect my site. Number 2, diabetes sucks and I hate it more than clowns and Michael Bolton or even Michael Bolton dressed as a clown. And Number 3, paramedics need better training about diabetes and type 1 especially.

But that is for another post this week. I am just glad I got through all that crap. Thanks to all who helped me through that day. Your tweets and support helped tremendously! 


You Tube Tuesday #172

I have so much to tell you all but it will have to wait for tomorrow. I have been on a glucoaster over the last week among other stuff. 

But I had to post a video for today and this one is classic and REAL! 

My idea of a Better Marriage Blanket seems much different than this one but then again, I am not sure this is an issue.