Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pure Barre and the Pizza Effect

Yesterday was a good day. I made it to all four classes with a certain amount of energy I had been lacking in weeks previous. I even bought a way-cool bag for my Diabetes supplies (pictures to come later). In terms of blood sugars, it was beginning to look like I had a handle on things. I was getting 140s two hours after meals, ensuring me that I was doing well counting carbs and dosing insulin. I know that the evening would be an experiment to an extent. It was my first time going to back to Pure Barre since the diagnosis. It's not a huge deal, but the last time I did any exercise, my sugar droooopppped. So, I was around 160 before I went in (thanks to some juice), and I was around 140 afterward before dinner. So, Pure Barre wasn't having a profound effect on my dropping. The dinner of choice - pizza. I thought with the exercise and counting I did, that 2 units of insulin would be sufficient. I looked in my CalorieKing book to determine the carbs in a small slice of cheese pizza and proceeded to order two said slices. From there, I proceeded to eat two said slices. Morgan and I waited thirty minutes to make sure I wasn't low for my drive home. 213, you know, the opposite of low. Walks around the block had been helping me, so Andrew, Rosalyn, and I went on a walk when I got home. Tested. 269. Climbing, really? Still? Well, apparently, there is this thing called the "pizza effect." The idea is that pizza is high in fat, and fat can cause your blood sugar to spike over a longer period of time. It is the opposite issue as, say, chewing candy when your low to make your sugar spike immediately. So, the pizza effect, combined with the fact that pure barre does not lower my sugar as much as running, combined with the fact that exercised caused me to dose too low on my insulin, resulted in an evening of highs. Gotta love that long-acting insulin, though. This morning, pre-breakfast, 109. Boom shakalaka!

Oh you know, you live, you learn.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Capturing Diabetes: Curve Ball

So, what, this makes Blog #4? Okay, so maybe I have an over-sharing problem. I have a feeling that this blog could be something special. Hey, if it entertains, perks up, or helps just ONE person...then it is well worth my time. If it doesn't, it has the secondary effect of therapy for me.

Right now, I am thinking of my life in two phases - undiagnosed and diagnosed. My undiagnosed life was pretty normal until March 2012. I did normal things. I graduated high school, college, enrolled in law school, dated, got married, ran 5Ks...just generally living life. My relationship with food? Healthy, I'd say. I eat 3 meals a day and snack. For as long as I can remember, I have eaten wheat instead of white, diet instead of regular, skim instead of whole, unsweetened instead of sweet,  less instead of more. My one thing, I will admit to you, is that I love sweets. I don't mean that I regularly ate pints of ice cream - no, never. But if I wanted TCBY, I'd go get it. If I wanted to the cookie with my Lenny's combo, I ordered it. Especially since I started doing Pure Barre and training for the Germantown Half Marathon, my appetite and thirst level were at an all-time high. I hardly ever felt full. But I thought to myself, "Jordan, you're active. It's fine." I have lived 25 years undiagnosed. Who knows how many of them were true Diabetic years.

Let's talk about phase 1.5. This phase refers to experiencing new symptoms, while being unsure of what was going on. I remember after Germantown Half (March 18, 2012), my body began acting differently. I was drinking way more than 64 oz. of fluid a day. I kept track on Easter Sunday of everything I drank - (2) glasses of unsweetened tea, (3) glasses of orange juice, (1) Diet Pepsi, (1) Dr. Pepper, and (1) bottled water - and that was just from 1:30 PM - 11:00 PM. I was thirsty all the time. No exaggeration. Naturally, that meant I had to pee all the time (pardon the crudeness). I was waking up in the middle of the night to go, night-after-night-after-night. Odd. 

"We learned that constant thirst is a symptom of Diabetes," Andrew would joke of his medical school teachings.

"Good one," I'd retort.

So, on April 9, we went to stay at the Holt's house so Andrew could be close to his testing location for Step 1 of his Boards. At 10:00 PM, he is sound asleep. I didn't want to stress him out about my concerns, but because I could not sleep, I started googling. Under most circumstances, that is a bad idea to soothe one's anxieties. This was most circumstances. I couldn't sleep! I had this symptom and that symptom, and I stayed awake wondering, "could it be?" Andrew woke up and took his Boards. I went to Pure Barre, feeling anxious. My friend, Stephanie, told me she would test my blood sugar later that evening. I couldn't wait! In my mind, if it read a normal number, I could just forget about my concerns. Part of me knew better, because my body was just not acting normally. When she tested my BG that night, it read 337. That number meant nothing to me, but to people who have to be mindful of it, it's resoundingly high. She encouraged me not to stress but make a doctor's appointment.

I made a doctor's appointment for the upcoming Friday, but the doctor had to cancel. I tried to see the nurse practitioner, but I would have needed to be fasting for the previous 12 hours. I ate breakfast, oops. I'll admit, I cried when the appointment was canceled. I really wanted a definitive answer and soon. The appointment was rescheduled for Tuesday (April 17). Andrew left the Saturday before that to go to Belize to fish with his dad. I was told to keep him posted on the outcome of my doctor's appointment, but Diabetes intervened. On Saturday afternoon, hours after Andrew had already left, I was driving home from the Holt's pool with my dog in tow. My body felt funny. I texted my mom to tell her my ankles were swollen. Midway through my drive on the interstate, I thought I might have to pull the car over. I breathed through it. I got to the alley where my garage is, but I could not park it. My vision had gotten very blurry, and I felt faint. I called my mom, and she and my dad headed over. In the meantime, I saw a neighbor outside whom I had never met. I was scared, so I told him I felt faint but didn't want to pass out alone. He invited me inside. My dog, purse, everything was still in the car. Another neighbor, a doctor, came over to help. My heart was beating rapidly. I was taking rapid, short breaths. When my parents arrived, we agreed to go to the emergency room - Methodist Central on Union. Trouble was, there was a Redbirds game, so after a scary traffic delay, I was there. After 20 minutes, I was taken back into a room. I was hooked up to a heart monitor and an IV. I have a urine sample and vials of blood. I was also given a CAT scan. Not too long after, a nurse practitioner came in to diagnose me with Diabetes. When I asked her if she knew which type, she told me Type 2. According to this nurse, if I had Type 1, I would have known about it years ago. So, they move me up to a regular room, bring me dinner and give me pills to bring the sugar down. At this point, I am confused. I don't fit the mold for Type 2, but that is what she told me. I grew confident that I could live with pills, diet, and exercise. I love being active anyway! That bubble burst the following afternoon when the doctor came in to see me. Type 1, he said. Then, all my thoughts started racing - bar exam. regular exams. class. pure barre. wedding in Florida. Andrew is gone. How did this happen. Why did this happen. Lame. 

Phase 2. Diagnosed. I have been home from the hospital for a week on Monday. My daily routine has been gutted and turned into a shell of its former self. I prick my finger close to 8 times a day (until I figure things out). I take fast-acting insulin with meals. Determining how much has been quite the experiment, because it means you have to carb-count. This is a little easier with labels at home, but restaurants can be tricky. I have lots of books as guides, but hopefully my upcoming appointment with a dietician will clear things up. I take slow-acting insulin before bedtime. My morning readings have been great. My pitfalls occur if I miscount the carbs and don't give myself enough insulin. In those cases, my BG two hours after a meal reads around 220-250. Yipes! I experienced my first low yesterday in Walgreens. I didn't eat enough carbs with my insulin at lunch, on top of the fact that I ran two miles (exercise lowers sugar, they tell me). So, around 2:00PM yesterday, I was at 57 with sweaty skin.

So, life threw me a large curve ball - and one so very ill-timed. I've had moments of pure frustration, anger, and feeling like a complete burden on people around me who are now plagued with worry. But then, I have moments of optimism, like now, when I think I can capture this disease. It doesn't have to lead me around, but I can get to a place where I dictate my life again. I know it will take a lot of time and patience, but I can do it. I am not sure at what point in my life Diabetes captured me. Was I a teenager? But this blog will document the journey, the emotions, the fitness, the exercise, the research, the fundraising, the camaraderie, the support groups, the network of family and friends, the food, the hard choices, the easy choices, etc. You can experience the learning curve with me. There is SO much to learn, and I don't know the half of it.

my new gadget to check my blood sugar.

my sweet mom put snacks in 15 carb. portion snack baggies.

my awesome friends sent me flowers for support.