Sunday, September 23, 2012

Phoebe / Finley / Shannon / ?

I have not yet decided on a name for her, but here she is!!
She's 3 years old, birthday is 9/18/09,  approx. 60#, rescue retired racing greyhound, racing name was Irish Dawn.  Adopted 9/22/2012 from the wonderful folks at

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The life of a night-shifter

I completed 2 weeks of night shifts without DKA, passing out from alow, falling asleep at work....
I have my day time basals pretty well set, and I have been running in the 70 - 80 range while sleeping during the days... thinking I'll turn back the basals just a touch to get more in the 80 - 100 range though.
The nights... oh man the nights!!  Those are a different animal!  I have discovered I have a much more intense dawn phenomenon wwhen I'm awake in the 3am - 7am hours than if I were to be asleep during those hours.  That seems very backwards to me, and I'm still trying to figure it out.  I'm wondering if I need to crank up my I:C ratio for my meal break that's anywhere between midnight and 1:30am - I have been creeping up after that, and can't decide if it's basal or I:C related, but I can't really do a no carb meal in the middle of the night when I need serious carbs, calories, etc. to stay awake at work... it just wouldn't work for me... I need those carbs in the middle of the night to stay awake and functioning.

In happier news, I am now off orientation at work!  WOO!  It doesn't really feel much different though because all my coworkers are GREATand we're always asking each other if anyone needs help with anything... there are always people there to ask questions and help out.  It's a GREAT group of people to work with - no intimidation there at all unlike the EVIL ER I was in for about 6 months...
More happy news - In 6 days, as long as things go well when we meet, I'm adopting my rescue retired racing greyhound!!!!  YAY!!!  Good thing they're known as the "45-mile per hour couch potatoes"... they like LOTS of long naps, so me working night shifts 3nights a week shouldn't be a huge problem - HOPEFULLY...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rough times expected ahead...

This next week, I am starting my night shift schedule.  This is what I was hired for, and my body seems to do ok with night shift so I'm ok with it.  If I could pick any shift, I would LOVE the 3p to 11p shift... I am NOT a morning person.
I have admittedly been slacking a bit on testing lately, so with the change of shift coming up, I plan on using that to get back into things and evaluate basals, etc. with the change of sleep / wake cycles.
The last time I was working night shifts, I actually had my blood sugars AWESOME somehow.  I plan on starting up on my Dex again... have been taking a break from that for a bit because I generally get the best results with that on my upper arms, and my skin there was getting very angry.
The first week or so of a complete reversal of shifts is generally a bit messy and rough, but before, once I hit week 3 of that schedule things were pretty well smoothed over.  That first bit though frankly SUCKS!
Does anyone have any tips for making this transition a bit easier?
I know test, test, Dex, test and wait at least a few days or a week until my body's a bit less stressed and freaked out by the change to then change any pump settings otherwise it gets WAY too confusing.
Are there any other night shift PWDs out there?

Friday, August 24, 2012

More about dogs

I know... this is a blog about diabetes... but diabetes invades just about every part of someone's life, so then really if you think about it, that means this blog can include posts about almost anything...

I am SUPER excited, I was just approved today to adopt a rescued retired racing greyhound dog.  The organization I am working with is AWESOME, and we're working on figuring out which dog is the best fit for me, and which dog would like living with me the best.  It's SUCH a process with the group I'm going through, but honestly - that's comforting.  I feel like I'm adopting a baby, which in a sense I am - just not a small human baby.

Anyway, if all goes well and a match is made, I should be getting a furry companion sometime in the next 2 months or so.

Now to contemplate names.
For a girl, I'm thinking:
Finley (Finn for short)
Reilly (or Rylee or Ryleigh)

For boys, thinking about:

These are if the racing name they had doesn't seem to fit or if I don't like they name they have...
Of course I have to see the personality and what they look like before deciding, just like I feel like before making a baby name official, I'd need to see the baby and get to know them a bit to make sure the name would fit....

Any advice, thoughts on names, etc.?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dogs and Diabetes

I have wanted a dog for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, we never had pets unless you cound the suicidal fish I has when I was somewhere around 10 - 12 (don't ask, traumatic experience, fish jumped the tank and I found it dead on the floor).
I am now living alone in a city where I know my coworkers and the apartment leasing guy and that's literally it!  I have decided that I am going to rescue a dog.  I am a super overly-analytical person who researches EVERYTHING far more than I need to or should.  I have even started watching 'The Dog Whisperer' since I have always kind of thought that when I have kids, they will end up needing therapy for some reason because of something I said or did to them.  I figure if I start being proactive with this before getting a dog, maybe said dog won't end up needing psych meds or major interventions of some kind.
I have found a dog that I'm in love with (based on his pictures and internet description), so I plan on visiting him next weekend and possibly adopting him (after a 1 week trial if they'll let me do that since as a nurse, I can have REALLY wonky schedules and I want to see how adaptable and ok with being alone he is before I officially adopt him).
Okay, so now to the title of my post... Dogs and Diabetes.  I have thought the idea of a diabetic alert dog was really cool for years, but as a nurse, it's not like I work somewhere that I could bring the dog and have them funciton as a true full time DAD.  I have thought about maybe doing some training with a rescue dog and if they take to it, GREAT, I'll have an unofficial part-time DAD for when I'm with them, but SO much cheaper, and I've always felt like a dog would love me more with being a rescue rather than a bought dog...
So... I'm going to adopt a dog hopefully sometime in the next 2 months, possibly next weekend even, and I'm going to try to do some informal DAD training if they'll take to it - after we both adjust to each other a bit... and if they don't get it, if I decided not to put in all the extra time for that intensive extra training, oh well - I'll still have a totally awesome roomie to love and snuggle!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Low BG epiphany

If only that title referred to an epiphany I had during a low blood sugar...
I work on a mother / baby unit as a nurse now, and am learning all sorts of new tidbits and fun facts about mamas and babies.
At our hospital, any blood sugar over 45 for newborns is considered good or normal.  When babies have blood sugars lower than 45, you have to treat the low with formula, dextrose, breastmilk, etc.
The low symptoms for babies are generally much more subtle than those for most older kids and adults.  For babies, when low, they can get jittery, lethargic, cranky, startle more easily, and THEIR TEMPERATURES CAN DROP!!  This was the epiphany for me!  I tend to get sleepy and cold when I'm low (among some other symptoms here and there) - I just want to curl up under a blanket and take a nap.
For babies, if their temperature is running low, we bundle them up or put them under the warmers and then do another temperature check again in a bit.  If that second temperature is still on the low side despite these warming interventions, one thing we check is a heel stick blood sugar to see if that could be causing the lower temperature.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Part Time Caregivers Guide to Type 1 Diabetes

A while back, my best friend was interviewing for a nanny position. It just so happens that one of the 2 daughters had diabetes and was on an insulin pump and CGM.  I started writing down all sorts of random thoughts and tips for my friend to helpeducate her about what all she'd need to know in order to care for this girl.  The thing I discovered is that most, if not all of the diabetes guides in existence are geared towards full time caregivers.  My friend wouldn't need to know every single detail, every scenario, etc. and these guides were just too overwhelming for someone like grandparents, babysitters, nannies, teachers, etc. who only care for a child with diabetes occasionally, just during the days, etc.

I decided that a guide specifically geared to this population was something that I felt could help loads of people.  I started writing a "Part Time Caregivers Guide to Type 1 Diabetes".  I went through a few drafts, and it is still (and probably will always be) a work in progress, but my issue has been how to get this guide OUT THERE to those who could benefit from it.

I looked into publishing it somehow, but that world is just far too overwhelming for me.
I got in touch with my old pediatric CDE, and she said they have their own kind of welcome pack / guide that they give to all newly diagnosed families.

I guess I have some questions for you all...
-- Is this something that there REALLY is a need for?
-- What kind of format would you like? (printed, computer so you can revise or edit as needed and print out for the people in your life who need it)
-- What all would you like in it - I have all the basics (checking blood sugar, operating a pump, giving a shot, treating highs and lows, basic trouble-shooting, etc. as well as worksheets for writing in insulin doses, bolus amounts for certain foods, correction amounts, important phone numbers, etc.)

If anyone has suggestions for how to get this out there, if you'd like to help by editing, or if you'd just like to see it and give feedback, any and all help would be great.  Just drop me a message on here or by e-mail at


Fresh Start

Let's try this blog thing again... third time's the charm, right?!

Quite a lot has happened since I last posted forever ago.  Since it has been so long, this post in particular will probably be even more of a random mish-mash of STUFF than my others...

Let's recap:
I'm an RN now, licensed in Illinois, Wisconsin and soon to be Indiana.
I moved to Janesville, WI and worked for an ER nurse there for about 6 months.
I lived in Janesville from October 2011 - July 2012.
This month (7/6 to be exact), I moved to a new city in a new state for a new job!  That's a whole lotta new!
What am I doing with my life now you ask?
I am living in an Indianapolis, IN suburb and working as a Mother / Baby nurse at a suburban hospital and so far, LOVING it!  The people I work with are awesome, the patients are super appreciative, and there are no drunks at work anymore! WOO! Oh, and I get to cuddle babies... pretty great!

I still know no one in the area aside from the leasing guy at my apartment and the people I have met at work, but hopefully once this ridiculous heat wave is over, people (including me) will be out of the AC more and I'll be able to meet more people.  It's hard to want to be outside when it's 102 and muggy.

Two additional big (but not quite as big as the move and new job) things in my life right now that I'm trying to figure out are going back to school to finish my BSN (Bachelor's in Nursing - only have my ADN, or Associate's right now), and wanting to adopt a rescue dog of some kind in the fall once I'm a bit more settled into work and life here... well, and a perpetual goal is to get my CDE, but the darn NCBDE (national certification board for diabetes educators) apparently doesn't realize just how insanely hard it is to be your own pancreas, and they don't allow your time with your own diabetes to be included in the required hours for certification...
The unit I work on as an RN right now doesn't really see PWDs, so I have to figure out how exactly to work towards that goal in my new job...

I'm hoping this reincarnation of my blog will focus on all the craziness of diabetes PLUS working as a nurse AND working 12 hour shifts (days right now for orientation, but then nights once I'm on my own).  It takes a lot to be your own pancreas, a lot to be a nurse, a lot to work 12 hour shifts, and a lot to work nights when most people are sleeping soundly in their beds at home... That's a LOT of stuff to orchestrate and make work.

Any questions about my life with diabetes, my life as a nurse, suggestions for posts, etc. please feel free to send me a message on here or e-mail me at
I hope to do at least a post a week, so if I haven't posted in a while, feel free to also send me an e-mail nudge to get the ball rolling on a new post.