PWD: Phone Home?

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Filing under: “I didn’t really think of that until just now.”

I have an iPhone. (Or LemmingPhone for you Android users…) It is my only resource available to make phone calls on the road or, really, at home. (Because, why would I want to fire up Skype to talk to my techno-phobic parents and brother?)

I recently upgraded to one of newer models because I could and I’ve been futzing around iOS7 for the last week or so. Today – one of the “update me now” notifications popped up for the system itself. I downloaded the patch on my iPad last night, so I figure the BRANDNEW phone would be just fine installing a 33MB patch.

15 minutes before I’m supposed to leave for work and I find this on my phone:

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Um, no. I’m not turning on my hubby’s clunky desktop PC and connecting to iTunes right meow. Activate HARDRESTART.

iPhone: Ha. Nope.

Long story short – I got the phone working again. But between the software update crashing my phone and not having the latest version of iTunes on my computer (whatever, Apple) I was without access to my cell phone for calls for about 3.5 hours.

I know. First world problems.

But seriously, for someone with a chronic illness, not being able to make emergency calls is kind of a big deal.

I don’t have a land line phone. My cell is my only means of calling for help if I need it. Since my hubby had left for work already, that phone was gone. All I had was a really expensive paperweight. No bueno.

I suggested to the hubs that we should get a land line. I don’t know if we will, but I’ve never really thought about needing it until now. That whole “what if?” thing was kind of freaking me out a bit. (Still – if I were hypo to the point of unconsciousness, a working phone wouldn’t do me any good either.)

I love the technology that cell phones are embracing. I barely use it to talk on the phone anyway. But – what if? What do you do?

Tomorrow is Another Day

These words were sleepily mumbled to me before the lights went off in my bedroom last night. I, of course, heading to sleep in near tears after an evening of social dancing was, again, thwarted by repeat episodes of hypoglycemia. (And my sleep was interrupted by a very sticky rebound high.) And I had to wake up early for a fasting blood test and A1C. So – I was bummed, to say the least. However, I found the comfort in my husband’s wisdom again.

I know I talk a lot about my dance instructor here. (I mean… it is a blog about dancing with diabetes… so…) But today I’m giving a shout out to the other significant man in my life… my husband. (Consequently, the two of them share the same name.)

My hubby and I are celebrating a 6 year anniversary on Sunday. I don’t know if he knew what he was getting into when he offered to purchase an insulin pump for me when we were dating just so he could see me be healthy. I assure you he probably didn’t envision ever needing to memorize the instructions of a glucagon kit, giving up regular soda and maple syrup for their diet counterparts, or trying to figure out what to do when his wife’s pump fails on New Year’s Eve. But – he still married me regardless.

When my diet needed to change to accommodate my wild shifts in sugars, he started menu planning to involve lower carb dinners. If he prepares something a la the frozen food aisle, he leaves the package on the counter with the nutrition facts handy so I can carb count accurately. He sacrificed his love for rice and brought in quinoa. Little things to help me stay on track. However, he’s not exempt from giving me a stare down when I’m dipping ginger snaps into Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. (What?)

He often hears my alarms before I do at night. (Hell… EVERYONE hears my alarms before I do, apparently.) So I usually get a gentle nudge – or swift push depending on the alarm – to make sure I’m awake to check if my alarms are for highs or lows.

He is my cheerleader when I’m on the dance floor… or when I get a good A1C. And is a hug waiting for me when I’ve had a bad doctor appointment, strange reaction to food, or just a shitty diabetes day.

It takes a lot to be committed to someone with a chronic illness. I know it may appear that I don’t give him a ton of credit in this forum. (I do want to retain SOME anonymity!) But I do notice what he does to try and make my life easier and fulfilling. Even if it’s just repeating small bites of wisdom before I head to sleep.

Counting Spoons

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My aunt posted a link to this story on her Facebook Wall this last weekend. The Spoon Theory. Or – an analogy for explaining what it’s like to live with a chronic condition or disability. Per the reaction on my Wall after re-posting, it’s not a “new” theory. But it was new to me.

In the article, the writer describes her daily battle with Lupus – another auto-immune disease. She describes her day-to-day regiment using silverware, explaining that every day, she only has a certain amount of spoons to get her through her tasks. Each time she chooses a task, such as waking up in the morning, she loses a spoon. When all the spoons are gone, her day is essentially shot, so it’s best to chose wisely.

I choose spoons as well as a PWD. It’s a bit different dealing with a broken organ than say, a broken muscular system. I’m lucky that I don’t have major complications that would prevent me from getting out of bed in the morning. However, I do need to chose my spoons carefully, as I could pay for that choice tomorrow… or for three days straight… or for the rest of my life.

Let say I also started with twelve spoons, as mentioned in the story. Let’s see. Yesterday, I started my day off with a lovely 234 mg/dl for no reason. (Other than I had yanked out my sensor the night before because it was misbehaving.) Good bye spoon #1. Why? Those morning blood sugars usually set a trend for the rest of the day. If I start of normal, I’m in a good mood. If I start off high, I have to wait for my corrections to kick in before I can eat, which skews my morning routine. This can cause delays in meals, and more importantly, coffee consumption.

Speaking of coffee consumption, I’ve been extremely exhausted all week so I’ve been relying heavily on it’s power… and the odd things it can do to my blood sugars. #2 – gone.

Let’s talk wardrobe. I wear a pump 24/7 and usually have a CGM installed. Wearing skirts, dresses, and pants without pockets usually takes considerable thought and effort in the morning, which I don’t want to deal with. And if I wear my pump clipped to myself, I’m no longer “invincible.” Don’t even get me started on shoes. #3 – gone.

Breakfast time! I’m still fighting that 234, and the correction hasn’t really kicked in. I could have my usual 20 carb meal with predictable (usually) results or I could stick to something more protein heavy, but experience a slow upward trend up until lunch time. Skipping the meal all together isn’t an option. (Because in reality, I’m starving.) Over-correcting my dosage could lead to a crash later. Anything I do at this point won’t help my high blood sugar and will probably plague me for the rest of the day. #4…

Because of the high blood sugar, breakfast indecision and so forth, I am running late for work and have no time to reinstall my CGM from the previous night’s failure. Since the CGM requires it’s own special timing that would probably use up about 4 spoons in my day alone, I decide to fly blind for the day and rely on finger sticks. #5…

So – before I even walk out the door for work in the morning, I’ve lost 5 of my allotted spoons for the day. I’ve only been awake for 2.5 hours. Some days are not as dramatic and sometimes I can hold on to my spoons for longer to save for later. Other days – my spoons are gone in 6 hours and I might as well sit on the couch for the remainder of the day and say “fork this!” because nothing I do for the rest of my waking hours will make me feel better.