Friday Five: “There aren’t enough hours in the day” Edition

1) The new owner at the studio gave me admin rights to the studio Facebook page. I’ve never had so much fun in my life. Getting paid to Facebook all day? Yes! Too bad I don’t like all the other aspects of PR and Marketing. I don’t know many companies that have full time positions available for just social media coordinators. But, I swear, it’s like the perfect fit in PR for introverts.

2) The hammer finally dropped at my 9-5 job. But – maybe only temporary. I can’t believe how disorganized and repetitive and inefficient the system for committee selection has been. I’m also getting emails from my boss asking “well, you did THIS right?” No – because there is no documentation indicating that I had to and had no idea to ask. <sigh> I have some design work coming my way for our big annual meeting. And I mean… all of it.

3) I had a moment last weekend where the blood sugars dropped so fast that my CGM actually said I was normal and only slowly declining into hypo-ville. By the end of my lesson with my swing coach, I was 49 mg/dl. My CGM said I was 114. But I felt weird during the last 10 minutes of the lesson. Swing coach asked – “are you dying? Do you need something to eat?” No, no… CGM says okay and it’s been fairly accurate thus far. I’m just tired and hungry. I don’t really remember the last 10 minutes of my lesson. Swing coach asked in closing “hey, what’s your favorite color today?” I couldn’t respond right away. (Wait – what did he just ask?) Yeah – it was kind of like that the entire weekend.

4) Ballroom coach was told the story in #3 and has given himself permission to order me to get food if he feels it’s necessary. I’m apparently not allowed to pass out on his watch. 😛

5) [Contains female rant… guys, feel free to skip this one.] Okay seriously… the whole monthly cycle thing is hell for a PWD. Especially for one who is trying to conceive a child. It also doesn’t help that my symptoms and blood sugar reactions have been completely different for the last 4 cycles so I never know if this month is lucky… until it’s not. I’ve had two cycles start during a dance comp weekend now, so the hypos vs. insulin resistance vs. lack of sleep vs. increase in activity has been really hard to manage. Let’s not forget about the whole “am I or am I not?” questions that plague my psyche when I’m supposed to be competing at my best. <bangs head against a wall>

Have a great weekend! I promise to get back into the swing of things (ha ha) next week.

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#WW: Diabetes Everywhere

I ordered some photos from last weekend’s comp. Two in particular stood out for D-reasons.

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I left my med alert bracelet on during the competition and solo performance. Mostly because I was surrounded by a limited amount of people that know about all of my technology. Granted I trust all of them with my life if it came down to it, (two are nurses and one was pre-med at some point) but it was just good to have that piece of mind.

On to the comp dress…

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Somewhere in the sparkly mesh, you can see my CGM receiver, which was probably sending distress signals for 10 minutes while I danced without my pump. (It was really inaccurate that morning anyway.) I just like the photo in general, but the cameos of my d-life make them more interesting.

During awards, I put my pump back on and had it hooked on the back of my dress. One of the local pros noticed and asked me, in a very heavy Russian accent, “What iz dat?” I explained that it was my insulin pump. “Oh, does it hurt?” No. Not usually. “Oh, I thought it was battery pack.” My instructor quipped, “Well she is battery powered.” Not too far off of a guess.

#Dblogcheck – Or “This Is Jen’s Song”

So I’m sitting here at 6:00 pm PST, after getting approximately 10 hours of sleep during the entire weekend, reading through everyone’s “check in” posts… and realize that I haven’t written my own. Problem is… my check in will most likely be tomorrow because that seems to be when I get the most traffic. But – if you were waiting for a post to do so, this would be it, kids.

What the hell am I talking about? This is unofficially D-Blog Check In Day. A day where my following can say “what’s up??! I’m still reading what you write.” And therefore, I write more. Yay? (YAY!) Okay.

Here, I’ll even allow anonymous comments for a day, pending you aren’t trying to improve my SEO or sell me something funky.

Now – originally what I was going to share today was another tale from the dance lessons vs. the CGM files. I know I’m supposed to set a temp basal for my lessons. I get it. But – when I’m hanging out in the 140 range before a lesson that you don’t think will be that intense, why bother? I was wrong on both counts and dropped to 47 mg/dl in 45 minutes. But before that, my CGM alarmed that I was falling slowing to 74. Since I was having accuracy issues with this sensor, I just assumed it was wrong. And I told my instructor that it was wrong… and then somehow proceeded to mentally take an entire lunch order from another instructor. But first, I should check before I operate a vehicle.

I wasn’t safe to drive. My instructor didn’t get her lunch. Sad times.

I treated and rested before my next lesson. (Yeah… I had two… on 5 hours of sleep.) Set a smaller temp basal because I found leftover cake in the fridge from Friday. (That I didn’t get to enjoy then…) Figured I was okay.

CGM started alarming again.

My instructor, being musically inclined, decided to make up lyrics to my CGM hypo alarm and sing them to me. “This Is Jen’s Song,” set to Medtronic’s downward sad scale of doom.

Consequently, the BGs were running quite low all day today. At least twice, I sang the song in my head.

>.<

At least someone finds it funny…

Friday Five: Crazy Weekend Edition

Hola Blog Fans! I have one hell of a weekend planned, so here is a short summary of the life that is Jen:

1) Noted: Deep fried fruit is impossible to carb count. Hubs and I went to our State Fair yesterday and I’m pretty sure everything I consumed was deep fried in something. And I’m not really sure the chicken strips I had were real chicken. But that’s beside the point. We tried deep fried pineapple, which was underwhelming, and deep fried watermelon, which was surprisingly light and refreshing. It didn’t have the thickly coated, corndog-like breaded “what is this isht?” mess on it either. But – since it was deep fried and fruit, I bolused “appropriately.” Combined with random ass bolus amounts and walking EVERYWHERE to find the damn station that sold it, I dropped into the 60s at around 10:45 pm. Fine. Treated. Back to bed. CGM finally alarmed a half hour later and meter said 55. Ugh.

2) My CGM is also has a mind of its own this week. My results aren’t consistent at all. My usual even keel lines have been replaced by tiny roller coasters – which aren’t even accurate. My favorite was an overnight high alarm that indicated I was 352 and rising dramatically. About 15 minutes earlier per the CGM, I was 153. Meter said 283, so I was supposed to correct. But – yeah. Weird.

3) My husband admitted that my overnight alarms often wake him and the cats up before they actually wake me up. Good to know?

4) My schedule for the next few days is as follows: Get off 9-5 job at 4:30 pm, find dinner and head to studio for meeting and desk shift, perform and whatever until midnight, maybe help clean up, go home around 1 am, sleep, wake up around 9, pack again to volunteer at another dance event 2 hours away, go to sleep around 2 am, get up around 9, drive back home, take choreography lesson at 2:30 with Ron Montez (ballroom and Latin coach), practice with instructor again at 4 pm, drive home at 5:30 pm, sleep… maybe?

5) I’ll be posting on Monday to participate in the “Check-in.” Basically – if you are reading this blog, comment and tell me that you are alive. I’ll even allow anonymous comments. I have 100+ followers (woo!) but it’d be nice to know that you exist and you aren’t a robot. (Only I can be battery powered around here, thanks.)

Have a good weekend!

Mixed Bag of Stuff

Updates! Updates! Lots of little things to keep my Thursday going. I could wait until Friday Five… but. Eh.

MRI results are in. I have a clean noggin sans two small blood vessels near my trigeminal nerve in my head. I assume that since they made a note of it that they aren’t supposed to be there. Why they would be there and I’d only have a problem with them now is beyond me. I asked for a neurology referral even though my primary care doc wants to see me now for the same issue too. (The doc I was seeing was a sub.) I told her no, I’m not missing work for the fourth time to talk about the same symptoms I’ve been having for 3 weeks that need a specialist. Call me. Or hell… talk to your substitute! Read the doctor notes. It’d be a waste of everyone’s time. And money. And gas. I see an ENT in a few weeks as well. But no TMJ that my dentist could see and no Neurolgia. And no tumors. Hey!

 

So I finally got the Medtronic notice for the product recall. Apparently I had been sent at least one box of faulty reservoirs and they asked me to dispose of them. Apparently, I’ve already used them because I don’t have that Lot # in my closet o’ supplies. Oops.

 

Next week, we release a bunch of information about our dance studio. As an employee, I know a bit more than my cohorts and I hate keeping secrets. But – only for another week. What’s been released is that 1) I can still work there beyond August and 2) the programs are continuing in some way shape and form, so I can still dance there.

 

In two weeks, I compete at IGB in the Bay Area. I signed up for my usuals, but added in a multi-dance option at a fairly high level. I’m prepping to get my ass handed to me on a silver platter because my division will feature all dancers under the age of 49 at my level. (Or older if they want a warm up.) I have to keep reminding myself that I’m doing this for myself and not for fame and glory or money and medals. Though – the added competition, no matter how ridiculous it is, will in theory make me work harder so I get noticed.

 

Speaking of IGB, apparently The Learning Channel (TLC) is filming the competition and has an open casting call to all amateur competitors. Originally, I thought this was a documentary on ballroom competitions that would follow the pro-am partnership in great detail. But then again, based on the casting call that asked for “hot and sexy dancers who do anything to win,” I had my doubts. Still – since I have a unique story angle and I’m three thoughts short of rhinestoning my insulin pump – I was going to subject myself to casting. However – more internet searches gave me more information. It’s not a documentary… it’s a reality show slated for their fall lineup with six episodes planned. And since reality shows only seem to showcase the crazy, I can only imagine this train wreck looking like a cross between Honey Boo Boo and Real Housewives of New Jersey. I think I’ll just watch instead. Check out Ballroom Blitz in the Fall if you can. Maybe you’ll catch my blurred out face in the background… ha!

 

Enjoy your Thursday. Or what’s left of it.

Why You’ll Probably Never “See Jen Dance”

Inspired by a question I got on DSMA Chat last week.

I know, I know… I talk about dancing and practicing my craft a lot. I even throw a photo at you here and there. But there are reasons why you’ll probably never see a video of my dancing up on the interwebz in this public forum. (My checkbook, my hubby, and I can all assure you though – I dance quite often and those photos are legit.)

1) The Choreography is not mine – I do a lot of routines, show dances, and performances. I have all of those sessions and performances on record in some form or another. But out of respect for those more creative than I, I try not to blast anything out into the open because I’m simply a piece in this artist’s (or in some cases, artists’) puzzle. Obviously, I’d give choreography credit where it was due, but that won’t stop someone with less integrity from copying the choreography for their own routine. Thus, it stays off the public ‘net. (I have, with permission, posted to my private social media accounts before, however.)

2) The Video is not mine – 9 times out of 10, my routines or competitions are recorded professionally that I’m forced to purchase in order to maintain some sort of record. I almost never buy my swing comp vids (mostly because I never make finals where it matters), and the last ballroom comp DVD I bought stayed at the bottom of my dance bag until a few weeks ago. (And ruled by my teacher as moot because my dancing has changed dramatically since last year.) Yanking the clips of me and posting them online would violate their copyright and I’d be asked to remove it or worse. (Though I doubt it since I’m not a high level pro, but still!)

3) I’m not dancing by myself – It takes two to tango… and west coast swing… and foxtrot… and… you get the idea. I’ve never formally asked my instructor(s) or partners for permission to post videos on my blog. Of my team, only my main ballroom instructor follows this blog. (Or knows about it.)

4) But the Photos!? – They’ve either been purchased from a professional photographer that already uploaded them to the web or posted all over the interwebz already via Facebook, et. al. When my blog following reaches the quadruple digits, then I’ll reconsider how many photos I throw online. I assume, that by this point, I’d be asked to remove posts if it were a problem with the folks involved. But it’s free advertising for a career path that requires your face to be recognizable. (Okay – if you start seeing posts disappear, you’ll know I got emailed. Haha.)

5) I’m a perfectionist – No video will ever be good enough to post online in a public forum. Ever. (Cue whining now.)

6) Privacy, or Lack Thereof – For some reason, not posting my movements, laughter (I apparently giggle a LOT during practice), voice, where I’m dancing, and likelihood online in that format feels like it’s keeping that part of me private for those that can actually see me. I know – nothing is private anymore, but let me revel in that thought? K? Thanks.

Friday Five – Post Holiday Meltdown Edition

1) Okay – maybe that’s a bit extreme. My blood sugars could have been a LOT worse yesterday than they were. I topped off at 303 mg/dl and kinda just stayed between 180 – 250 for the rest of the afternoon. I finally just over-bolused for my dinner and came safely back down to 80-ish by bedtime. However, it appears I still need more basal insulin in the early morning hours because my 3 am checks still yield results in the 160s. Sigh.

2) I fell asleep at 9:30 pm and missed all fireworks displays. I didn’t really care. Between my pain killers, the 100+ degree heat and humidity, and the fact that I watched the hubs run a 10K at 8 am that morning took a toll on my energy level for the whole day. Plus – all the food and wonky blood sugars? I was happy my 4th was fairly low-key.

3) I woke up from my slumber to discover that Medtronic has voluntarily recalled my model of pump reservoirs. But apparently not my Lot of supplies. Otherwise, I’d have to send in 7 boxes and play the waiting game. If you kick it old school and use a Medtronic Paradigm… check your boxes.

4) The studio hosts a contest every July to boost revenue and referrals. Everyone is put on a team and gets points for attending classes, bringing in new people, participating in special events, etc. I’m on the Blue Team this year. This makes Blue Fridays that much easier to participate in. I have lots of blue sparkles that I need to make use of.

5) My head made it through yesterday with little incident. (Sans the slight pressure I got when laying down to sleep on my right side.) My doctor follow up is today and I’ve been referred to get an MRI. The problem is that most of my triggers occur with loud noises. MRIs are very loud. Even with earplugs, I’m not really sure how I’m going to survive that 20 minutes.

Juicebox Hero

I woke up this morning with a fasting BG of 85, which is like the first normal sugar I’ve seen in the morning for a while. Nevermind that I had to wake up at 2 am to correct a 147, but… I guess that’s better than I’ve been trending recently.

Exercise does wonders apparently as I discovered last night. Maybe it works a little too well.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve somehow convinced myself that competing “one last time” in ballroom is a good idea. (Said this last year too… but let’s be honest, I thought I would have a kid by now. I don’t… so…)

So I’ve turned up the pressure on myself and I’m hanging out at the studio a lot more to “practice” and meet with my instructor. (Practicing usually entails me starting to learn my tango choreography for about 5 minutes, forgetting how a pattern went and giving up shortly after.) Last night was more tango; ideally for clarification.

My meeting wasn’t until after 7, so I had plenty of time to enjoy the meal my hubby was prepping when I got home. I had just recovered from another low as I was leaving work, but was recovering to a 134 by the time I had dinner. (And had previously bolused for the snack I had in addition to the 15 grams I ate to treat the low.) I accounted for my meal (around 35 grams of carbs or so), ate, grabbed my stuff and headed off to dance.

On the car ride over, I started feeling “funny.” You know that feeling. It’s the “ah, crap, the BGs are dropping at a steady rate and I’m in a moving vehicle on the freeway/already late for my next appointment” feeling. But I just ate. Hmph. Rather than risk passing out on the freeway, I threw some glucose tabs down and continued my 20 minute trip to the studio. I figure if I was incorrect in my assumption, I can correct for it later.

My BG upon arrival was 86 mg/dl. Fine. I guess I needed those tabs. I set a temp basal for my lesson and start warming up. No less than 20 minutes into the lesson, I’m starving. And tango is making less sense than it should. I mean, it already doesn’t make sense… but it REALLY wasn’t making sense at that point. I excuse myself (which seems to be a common practice these days) to find out what the magic number on my meter is.

58 mg/dl.

Sigh.

I keep a stash of apple juice boxes in the fridge at the studio for hypo episodes I experience while behind the desk. (It’s just quicker to get back to work with a juice box than a mouthful of glucose tabs.) I pop out of the office with box in hand and momentum stops for a minute. I get the “oh, good, I didn’t need you to die on me today” look from my instructor and we take another break. Nearly 32 years old and I’m chugging down a juice box faster than a thirsty 3 year old… in public. Thankfully, I skipped buying the ones with the cartoon animals on it this time around.

I finished off the night (even test ran a new dress), went home and still somehow managed to keep my BGs under 100 until I went to sleep. I got nervous about the 95 I had before bed, and with 1.2 units OB. My CGM was charging, so I had no safety net. Given my trend today, I’d rather treat a high at 2 am, so I had a small glass of milk and called it a night.

I’m not really sure what’s going on. Dangerous insulin stacking? Maybe. Seems logical. I’m just kind of sick of processed juice in cardboard.

Waltz Tango Foxtrot

Yeah, that’s right… it’s a “WTF?!” post. Slightly delayed because I suddenly have no more free time and I haven’t figured out if I can blog at my desk at work yet. Probably not worth the risk.

Anyway, so – I’m still here. Barely. I’ve kicked into dance training overdrive because 1) the studio is closing in 2 months and I want to spend every last cent I can before it does and 2) I got some wild idea that I should pull out of competitive ballroom retirement and head to the International Grand Ball in July. Oh yeah, I’m also still working at the studio and trying to have a kid. Nooooo… I’m not busy at all.

My blood sugars do NOT like this activity overload. Every single class or lesson with my instructor I’ve had this week has either started, or ended, with me chugging a juice box. Or scarfing down chalk tablets glucose tablets. Yeah – even the Gluco-lift ones taste like crap after so many. And then they revolt by joining forces with my Dawn Effect and shoot my fasting blood sugars up to 170+. My docs aren’t going to like this one. And I’m not all that eager to get my A1C checked because it’s not going to be an accurate representation of how I’m really doing.

So I’m looking for alternatives for my lows because I can’t really seem to avoid them at this point until my CDE calls me back with a solution. (In her defence, I just uploaded everything to CareLink today.)

Right now, I treat lows with:
– 4 oz of juice or a juice box. (Junior Juices are hilarious, but exactly 15 g.)
– Gluco-lift tabs
– Target glucose tabs (gross!)
– Dex Gel (a new discovery… not that bad actually.)
-Fruit snacks

Name some other portable methods you use. In theory, ones that don’t require me to think during hypos (I’m not counting out 20 Skittles), ones that fit in my purse and won’t leak everywhere (hi honey and other syrupy substances…), and ones that won’t melt, spoil, etc. if exposed to the elements (our back office at the studio isn’t insulated).