Dear Diabetes, you suck.

a web developer who also happens to have type 1 diabetes

up up and away…

Athe-columbia-space-shuttle-on-takeofft the airport, waiting for my plan to take me to Palo Alto, to MedX… I’ve been waiting for this since… well, really since MedX ended last year. It was a meeting of the minds, other patients and physicians who think like I do, focusing on a collective solution now, rather than waiting for a solution to come down from the sky. The excitement is almost enough to balance out the fact that I had to set my alarm for 4am… yeah, that was unpleasant. All that aside, I’m going through the pre-reading for the blockchain workshop again and it’s such an interesting topic… basically using Bitcoin technology with Healthcare, not sure if it’s scalable, but it could bring a patients data to the point where we could achieve cross provider cooperation… I cannot explain how great it would be if my endocrinologist  could see the A1c results that my GP had ordered, instead of me having to bring piles of paper documentation to every different appointment — with some providers not even having all the information for the tests they ordered by the time I come back for a follow-up, effective wasting my time and their time for an appointment during which we can discuss nothing proved with data, only my subjective information as to how life is “going” — even as the patient narrative that has been tested and proven to be insufficient and ineffective at communicating the true status of their situation, good numbers over the past few days can easily wash out the consistently bad numbers of the past few months, and vice versa, leading the practitioner and the patient to decisions that may not be the best course of action for the patient… all of this could be solved if each provider just had the data that is available on their patient… that doesn’t seem like an outrageous ask, does it?

…and the stress returns

Tomorrow I am flying to Palo Alto to attend MedX starting with a workshop on using Blockchain technology in health care, then Thursday I’m attending and speaking at the Health Care Innovation conference (sign up to watch me on livestream), then attending the main event conference Friday – Sunday.  I’m so excited to learn and to meet new people — last year it was a meeting of the minds in so many ways. Most of all I’m looking forward to seeing friends and other patients who understand me in a way that I couldn’t even articulate to you if I tried, the “I’ve been there” is sometimes the only thing I need to hear to start to feel better. Starting with one patient reaching out to another.. once, you get used to getting up from being knocked down I’m convinced that there’s nothing that is insurmountable. Walking into MedX knowing that I am going to be inspired… I have a few adventure plans brewing that could use a kickstart too…

surprises good and bad

rollercoaster

what my BGs have been doing

so my numbers have been kind of crap recently… I’ve been honest about that, haha. After having a hard look at the real data I started testing out temp 5% basal increases for a few hours at a time, that seemed to bring me right back into range, so I was starting to track where I would want to add the changes to my regular basal routine… and then, just like that I started to run low, without using the basal adjustments — go fucking figure. Honestly, your guess is as good as mine… okay, maybe not quite as good. With a dodgy work situation a few weeks behind me, maybe the relief from that stress finally made its way to my endocrine system, maybe the diabetes fairy decided to be cool this week… I don’t know, and I’m trying not to ask any questions and just keep doing the things I can control — eating right, testing regularly… etc., etc. Hoping that the (good stress) of MedX this week doesn’t spike me back up… it might, but here’s hoping it doesn’t. On that switch topic note… I am so excited for Stanford #MedX, and even more excited to be an ePatient this year — too many things to talk about… if you’re interested you can sign up to watch livestream or checkout the twitter hashtag #MedX and/or me @thacherT1D 

fear and a particularly rough couple of weeks

So my most recent A1c was not great. I’m scared — I’ve become comfortable with vulnerability, it’s been the only way I’ve been able to make progress, but it’s hard when it feels like I’m living in  a constant state of fear.

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks at work — I was so excited to accept a position teaching at the school I just graduated from, bringing up the next class of web developers in a program focused on helping student transform their lives (I know it’s a bit over the top, but really almost every student is here to make a drastic change in their lives, transformation seems to be the only word that fits) , but then my lead instructor turned out not to be what I needed or wanted in a boss — it took a month of trying to find a solution, going through the right channels, but I finally am now in a situation where I am happy and feel like I can actually grow and help the students grow as well. My whole body relaxed when I found out I wasn’t going to have to work with him anymore — Friday night, the ending of the week that ended this drama, I slept 14 hours more or less straight through.

My numbers have shown the stress, I’ve been stuck in the low 200s and can’t seem to kick it — and my body, my mood, my A1c reflects it. I’m hoping that with this new page at work I can slowly start to make the correction. It’s just so scary and I can’t decide which is worse, long term complications or short term sharp lows… I had to treat a low while teaching a lesson the other day… pounding a gatorade in between calling on students — hoping that my voice wouldn’t start shaking enough for them to notice, hoping that today would not be the day my co-workers would be tested on whether or not they really understood how to administer the glucagon… and then just like that, with half a gatorade down, I was in the 200s again… not great, but safe. I know there is a better way, I’m just tired — this is hard and there is no opt out button. Hopefully the new work situation will allow me to allocate effort back to my personal stuff… and when I say stuff, really I mean health and well being, because let’s be real, I don’t get to have stuff that comes before my health… and if my health takes up all my bandwidth, then I don’t get any time/effort for my stuff, for projects, for going outside, for doing anything other than taking care of my fucking heath… for 10 minutes of forgetting that I have this stupid disease. rant over. I need to grasp some of this time and actually go build some shit… a Harry Potter API may not be the best use of my time, but it’s fun, so there’s that, haha

8.9

Failyeah. not good. not terribly surprising… well, a little surprising… fuck. stress? school? depression? all of the above? none of the above? Now what?

an accident and continued defiance

without going into it too much I hurt my ankle tubing down a river this weekend… I also smacked my chest and almost ripped off my dexcom sensor/transmitter… yup the same one that I just had replaced. So I took off the sensor yesterday and I just haven’t put it back on yet… I know that I need to, but I just don’t feel like it. I don’t even care what my numbers are right now. I just don’t care. I’m so over everything. I should be tweaking my (diabetes related) capstone project, or working on my Open APS, or writing my… so many things… so I took a break from writing this and did some things… then I sort of felt like I was shaking, but I’m not wearing a sensor so who the fuck knows… just tested… 57… fuck me. so the “do I really need the dexcom?” test has been proven again, again, again… not that I really needed to prove it again, to anyone except for maybe myself…. and yet I still sit here typing, not having eaten anything, not even checked my bag for anything, in fact I’m only 50% sure I even have any sugar with me right now. I’m going to end up in trouble… this is really no bueno… I tell myself still sitting here, still doing nothing. I guess I kind of feel like a dexcom is something for little kids, something I should have grown out of needing already, the training wheels still hanging on that I “should have” shed already — these assumptions make no sense, diabetes doesn’t acknowledge age or supposed maturity, there isn’t a way to “test out of” this phase of diabetes. Ignoring this isn’t going to make it go away, but I guess I’m going to try anyway. This doesn’t feel like an active decision, it just feels like not having the effort to do something else on top of everything else. I just don’t want to, it feels like I can’t. I can feel my balance starting to go off, even just sitting still in this chair, so I should probably really take care of this. I know all of the bad things that come along with this… one of these days I’m actually going to end up in the hospital, not today I don’t think, we’ll see I guess. I feel like I already know the outcome… another rebound high sitting in my apt, not being functional enough to get anything done, not peaceful enough to get to sleep. Another night of interrupted sleep, waking up tomorrow with a list of things I didn’t get done tonight because diabetes killed another night/day/time of being able to be productive. Really it’s a miracle I’m able to even write at this point… I wonder if this will make any sense if I read it later… whatever. fuck everything.

Sensor back on, Capstone project built, back to Open APS

PoofSensor went back on — it’s peaceful, but stressful without it… while walking/hiking I didn’t have to deal with the incessant alarms, but I also think I dropped really low based on shaking and didn’t stop to test. I’m a terrible diabetic… at least I’m a terrible diabetic who is still alive… the other option would kind of suck.

Good news is that Dexcom is replacing my transmitter, so hopefully I’ll then be able to start using the G5 app again, because it’s super lame to have to use the receiver… funny how spoiled I’ve gotten, last year I had just barely been able to use the apple watch to see my numbers, which were still relayed to my phone from the receiver… now I walk around with just my phone in my pocket, almost like a real girl. or I will once I get this new transmitter. *Side note the guy I talked to at Dexcom was super sweet, after I walked him through everything I’d tried and he confirmed the transmitter’s performance with my data he told me I should call them sooner if I’m having a problem and not to wait so long… true life feedback, ask for help sooner.

So my capstone project is relatively done, I still have some stuff I want to do, but then I want to get it on ionic.io and in the app store, at least as v1 so I can get it out to other diabetics and chronic patients for feedback and input on future features. I’m excited to start really using it myself too! Also, being done with my capstone means I can start work on Open APS again!

No sensor, no problem… well not really

imagesMy iPhone has been on the fritz or so I thought, turns out when I uninstall the dexcom G5 app it’s just fine… I had a hunch from having to have a phone replaced and then having the second one start freaking out in exactly the same way… I’m not sure how I’m going to handle this moving forward… is it this specific transmitter? is anyone else running into this issue? use another phone/device? shit I was using the other iPhone for app development testing… but if I need it for my dexcom, I guess I’ll figure it out, but shit, then that phone will need a data plan… just use the dex receiver? ugh, please no. how will I handle the relay to my watch? to nightScout? (right now my new site — which is also part of my OpenAPS development — is tied into the g5 relay)… fuck, this has even more downstream consequences than I realized… guess we’ll start with a question to the diabetes support fb group and a call to try to get this transmitter replaced before cracking the seal of my other one and gambling on a) that being the problem and b) that one then lasting through when insurance will cover my next ones… fml.

So yeah, also as of right now I’m not wearing a sensor, at all — I figured if I was going to test whether or not it was the app that was messing up my phone I would just take a short break, but now I really don’t want to put one back on, I kind of like being free… I mean I hit 500+ Saturday night because I decided to eat a shit ton of carbs and just not bolus for them… can’t really tell you why or why not, just didn’t. After the initial victory of having bought groceries, for the first time in ages (I actually have food in my house!! woot woot!) then just crash and burn… or spike and burn, whatever. Add to it that I haven’t really been taking my am meds, which in my head I don’t really need… which I somewhere deep down know isn’t true, I wouldn’t be prescribed them if I weren’t supposed to be taking them… but I don’t want to and the one makes me feel nauseous unless I eat and eating in the morning is annoying. I guess not as annoying as being depressed all the time, but you know… it’s all about perspective. It always blows my mind when things are relatively good and my head is able to make me feel like the world is ending anyway… how is that even a thing… like when it convinces me that I have no friends or that everyone is mad at me.

How long do I wear a dexcom sensor? and/or my Capstone build

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 4.40.47 PMOkay, so I’m still working on the Open APS, but it’s had to take a bit of a backseat while I wrap up school, or at least while I build my final project… which I could use some input on… I’m starting on the build, well I’ve started, but the picture is just an image mock-up…

In the simplest terms, I want to know how many days I really wear my dexcom sensors (I know… 7 days… whatever whatever). This is where this idea started because I have tried all the ways I can think of to track this… spreadsheets, notes on my calendar, tracker apps… nothing seems to fit into being able to be used quickly, being able to see the data easily, and being able to download/use the data outside of the app… so I’m building it.

If you are a patient or caregiver of someone with a chronic illness, would you use this? If yes or no, why? Is there anything else you would add?

Feedback here or on twitter @thachert1d would be great — thanks!

what the fuck diabetes?! what the fuck.

Dexcom Comparison

really I feel like I don’t need to add any text to this… nothing has changed between these weeks, my schedule, my diet, my sleep (except for falling asleep b/c my numbers have been so high)… literally everything is the fucking god damn same. except for not (see above). and just a two weeks before that I was fighting chronic lows. what the fuck diabetes. I don’t have time for this. and btw no number of espresso shots counteract 400+ BG… try staying awake/paying attention through that… fuck me. fuck diabetes. fuck everything. Thacher out.

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