Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary Camp Needlepoint!

(Dixie at Camp looking for squirrels)

Saturday was the 50-year anniversary celebration for Camp Needlepoint.

Camp Needlepoint is the ADA- Minnesota camp for kids with diabetes. (don’t laugh at the name. Apparently the other name that was almost selected fifty years ago was Camp Dipstick!) It’s held every summer at Camp St. Croix, in Hudson, Wisconsin the last two weeks in August.

I started going to camp in 1977, and was a camper every summer until 1985. In 1986, I was a counselor in training. In 1987 I became a counselor. In 1993, I became part of the administration staff. Camp was a huge part of my life. I loved it there.

Dixie and I were there for the reunion. My mom came too. We wouldn’t have missed it.

We had a great time catching up with old camp friends, medical personnel, etc. that I hadn’t seen for years.

My mom cried looking at old pictures of my friends and me. She took pictures of us. I shared memories and stories with her. We watched a video of pictures from the last 50 years. She cried during the video—especially when she saw pictures of little me. She would lean over to me and say, “camp changed your life.”

It did. I grew up there.

I gave my first insulin injection in Cabin 7 when I was eight years old. I met other people with diabetes, some who are lifelong friends. I canoed, I camped, I rode a horse (BUT only once because I am afraid of horses. Always have been. I rode the horse once, but had to get off early because my blood sugar was low from being so scared!) and I learned from other kids with diabetes. I wrote letters to friends after camp was over every summer saying “only 380 days until camp!” It was the one-week of the entire year that I was in the majority.

It was an amazing place, and it was special to have been able to be there to celebrate camp and all that it gave to me.


Dixie was a little confused at camp.
She alerted me many times during the day. Not because I was low, but because someone around me was low.
When we got home, she crashed. I’m sure that, even though the camp part was fun, she was exhausted from keeping tabs on everyone with diabetes. :-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend chaos

(Dixie and Ella resting in the BWCA)

I’ve been struggling with my morning blood sugars since I’ve been back at work. That means that for the last three weeks, I have been waking up higher than I like to be. I’ve gradually increased my overnight basal rates, even though I’m not sure why on earth they suddenly need to be increased.

I decided to do middle of the night testing over the weekend to find out where the problem was happening, since I refuse to do it during the workweek and I don’t have a snappy Dex Seven to easily guide me.

I go to bed on Friday night around 11pm. Blood sugar is 112. I wake at 2:30am. Blood sugar is 200ish, but I changed my site before bed and knew that would happen. I give a correction. I decide, in my sleepiness, not to wake up at 4am. Dixie gets me up at 9am and my blood sugar is 48.

Saturday afternoon, I went to lunch at Fuddruckers. (A hamburger joint) I had a burger and fries, and a couple glasses of diet cola. I had tested 82 before lunch, so gave a regular bolus, no correction. Dixie was pestering me all through lunch. I didn’t have a tester with me (argh!) and didn’t feel low, so I just ignored her.

Bad idea.

I did some shopping and then went home. I was feeling horrible. I tested the minute I walked in the door.


WHAT?!. I gave a serious correction. Tested 45 minutes later. 320. What the heck. I checked my infusion set, pump, etc. All seemed fine. My pump site was new. I wasn’t changing it.

Then it came to me. It was the pop at lunch. I KNEW that it wasn’t diet. I drank several glasses. Crap.

At this point I decided to bolus for the bazillion carbs I had consumed in regular soda. I guessed at 70 carbs. I never drink regular soda. Ever. So I didn’t even know what the actual carb value was. All I knew was that I was feeling horrible.

Test another ½ hour later. Down to 305. Another correction. (You can probably guess where this is going to put me in a couple hours.)

Four hours later I was 28. I tested twice. 28 again. This would have been a super time for the dang pop that I had earlier. Instead I had powerade and cookies.

Saturday night I decide to check the basals again. (Obviously still brain damaged from the highs and lows of today…what was I thinking?! This wouldn’t be a great night for checking.) But, I woke up at 2:30. BS= 108. Sweet. Got up at 8:30 the next morning. BS=160.

I turned up my basal rate last night between 4am and 6am, and went to sleep hoping for good things.

It’s amazing the smile that I can get from looking at the Freestyle, in the dawn of morning, with a simple 78 on it.


Dixie would like me to mention that she tried to tell me that there were problems in the restaurant, but I wouldn’t listen.

I should have.

Sorry Dixie!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pencils, books, and teacher's dirty looks

School is back in session.

It’s bittersweet. Summer is over. But it’s fun to see the kids. It’s especially fun for Dixie who loves her boys, and spent the summer without seeing them. She had some fun reunions last week. But it was a hot week. Temperature highs in the 90s, and a school without air conditioning. Not a good combination.

The beginning of school always brings crazy blood sugars. It’s always a time that I have to tweak my basal rates and readjust my carb ratio. I like to wake up in the morning with blood sugars in the 65-80 range. If I’m higher than that, I feel so sluggish to start my day. This week I haven’t had one blood sugar in my target range. So you can probably guess how my mornings have been going.

Back up to Labor Day weekend. After fighting with my medical supply company for a half an hour, they agreed to Fed-ex overnight me ONE Deltec cartridge. (because heaven knows that I can’t possibly really need more than that. I must be trying to “fool” the system!) My friend, Scott, very kindly offered to share one of his with me if the Fed-ex order didn’t come before I needed to leave for my trip. What a guy! Thanks Scott.

It was great to get back to the BWCA. It was just the kind of relaxing that I needed before starting school. I sat on a little beach at the campsite and read a good book, took pictures, and stared at the waves and clouds. We made trail pizza and hot pots of soup. It was peaceful and wonderful.

You may remember my post about glucagon and that my insurance company (prescription coverage) wouldn’t pay for it. It was submitted to my medical insurance and they also have refused to pay. I am so frustrated. I know I should be calling the company and fighting it, but I don’t want to.

I’m sick of dealing with people at companies who don’t have to spend their days living with diabetes. I’m sick of having to justify why I might need a couple extra test strips or a few more cartridges for my pump. I’m just sick of it. It’s one thing to live with diabetes and all the frustration that it brings trying to manage the disease…but it is too much, on top of that, to have to deal with insurance companies, claim personnel, and medical supply companies.

Yes, I know, be thankful that I have good health insurance. I am.

I just dream of things being simple.


Dixie is certainly happy to be back at school, although it seems like she wishes that summer vacation had lasted longer. After she goes outside for her lunch break, she is reluctant to come inside. It’s as if she’s saying, “Hey, it’s great out here. Sunny, warm, and there is so much to smell. Come on, we were outside all summer. Don’t make me go back in that school!” It takes us both a while to get back into the routine.