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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just another one

so - first off, I am posting only 4 days after (successfully) finishing [written] comprehensive exams for my Ph.D. (in Cell and Molecular Biology doing Cancer research, waiting to transition to T1D research soon), and only "2 days!!!" since my last post. BUT... In case you haven't figured this out already - this blog is (kind of like) therapy for me... and can I just take the moment to(re)establish myself as #queenofparentheses and perhaps #queenofquotationmarks ??

"Another (random) list of 10":

1. I am sooo happy to have "passed" my written comps. (oral comps coming up) ... May I just say: the immune system is complicated!! 

2. I can't figure out if my recent high BGs [cgmnow: 336->, yelp) are a result of stress (due to several factors) or ovulation (seems early according to my "PeriodTracker" App) or whatever.  

3. I had some MillerLite with my lunch today and I don't feel bad about it (yay) [read: not alcoholic, all chores done, all exams away for now, time to celebrate {Spanish style}]!

4. Twitter #doc has made me stronger.

5. Sometimes I don't know if I can trust my #dexcom (it's been almost 48 hrs. with this sensor and I just don't know - every touch and it seems to freak out)...

6. There was a time when my A1C was 3 times more than it is today...

7. One of these days (1.5-2.5 yrs.) they're going to give me an f'ing Ph.D...

8. One of these days (x - 20 yrs.), we'll know EXACTLY what causes Type 1 Diabetes (IMO).

9. One of these days (y - 70 yrs), we'll have a "cure" (at least a preventative cure). (IMO)

10. Having T1D has made me stronger (emotionally), wiser (mentally), and healthier (physically).

PS. I see an arrow down on my #dexcom and I will get out of the 300s, the 200s, and basal 15-20% more tonight. One day at a time...

Friday, March 15, 2013

T1D: My Ongoing Science Experiment

As PWDs know all too well, there is a large amount of thought and calculation that must go into everything, every minute of every day: food, activity, stress, etc. My endo calls this "an ongoing science experiment", and I tend to agree. Having worked in a laboratory for the larger part of the last decade, I am all too familiar with science experiments:

1. They often go wrong.

2. You often don't get what you expected.

3. You must continue to repeat the experiment, and can only "trust your data" if you have seen consistent results at least 3 times under identical conditions.

4. When going from the test tube into an experimental animal model, do not expect anything to go right, because physiology is so darn complicated (read: I was advised to come up with backup experiments for my dissertation, as any work with mice is "most likely to yield inconsistent results and/or fail completely").

*Nevertheless, I love science, and am grateful for the insulin and devices it provides to keep me alive. I believe that over the next 20 years, we will know so much more, and be able to help so many people who struggle with numerous diseases. (A part of me cringes when thinking of BIG PHARMA, but at the same time, I [and many others I'm sure] do it for the people, to try to bring happiness to those who struggle with whatever health problem - diabetes, cancer...)

**Now: back to Diabetes:

After my endo appointment last July I realized that I'm actually testing 15-20 times per day on some days, so for the sake of my fingertips, I took the CGM leap - and I'm glad I did. Bottom line: my A1C went from 7.8 to 7.1 (during what is probably one of the most stressful times in my life: being a Ph.D. student). I'm working on improving that while maintaining my awesome record of about 1-2 "real" lows [i.e. under 70 mg/dl] per month (not too bad IMO)... It's great to see when Dexcom catches an impending low around 85, and I'm able to treat calmly (read: 1 glucose tab, not a bottle of juice) before I even get symptoms (depending on my IOB of course)...

The CGM made what my endo calls my "ongoing science experiment" a lot easier. Even when I'm not wearing it, having found new patterns I didn't realize existed and seeing the consistency, especially in terms of monthly hormonal fluctuations, giving me more confidence when making treatment decisions. The CGM is just a tool. But in my five years of treating T1D, it's the best tool I've found yet... And I can't wait to see where we will be 10 years from now.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

10 Reasons I Love my Endo

1. He used to be an OB/GYN, delivering babies, but found it "too boring" (lol).

2. He high-fived me at my last appointment in celebration of my improvement to an A1C of 7.1% (more importantly, he did not make me feel like total shit last time, when it was 7.8% - instead, he spent 45 minutes listening to me [unlike my ophthalmologist, but that's another story in itself.])

3. It takes 3 months to get an appointment - he must be good...

4. He does real Diabetes research!!! (read: he cares)

5. He seems so honestly empathetic (sometimes I wonder if he has Type 1 Diabetes).

6. He always returns my calls and files paperwork quickly.

7. He is soft-spoken, yet direct (I may sound like I have a crush on him now, but in fact I am astounded by how great he is as a physician and a human being).

8. He doesn't make me scared. (i.e. He reassures me that many complications statistics are from a time when  D was treated very differently).

9. He believes that his patients should make their own decisions.

10. He has 6 pregnant PWDs (currently) and he makes me so optimistic about that whole baby thing (which won't be happening for at least 2 more years ;))