Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Trying to break the rules

I was born to break the rules. 

Okay. Now that you've stopped laughing at that statement, you are willing to agree with me that I rarely break the rules. It's a bad habit — following all of the rules out there. 

But finally, I am trying to break a rule. One specific rule. And it has been thrilling! 

The diabetes online community (DOC) discusses many, many things. One topic often discussed is the location of the CGM sensor. The FDA has approved my CGM sensor to be placed on my stomach and only my stomach. But everyone seems to be placing their sensors everywhere but their stomachs. I'm running out of space on my stomach. 

When I had my checkup recently I was able to talk with my pump/CGM trainer. So, I asked her about this. I told her I wanted to try my sensor in my thigh. Was this okay? Where should I put it? 

And then she told me a little "secret." She was wearing her sensor in her thigh for the first time that week. She encouraged me to try it. She had been having success with it there. She informed me the only reason the FDA has only approved the stomach area is because that was the only area it was tested on. 

So, when it was time that weekend to put in a new sensor, I sucked it up and stuck that sucker in my thigh. 


Success! On the second attempt. The first attempt didn't quite work as I had left the transmitter on the counter in the other room and when I got up to go get it, the first sensor fell out of my skin. Probably should have put the adhesive on first and THEN gotten up to get the transmitter. Lesson learned. 

I had a great week with the sensor in my thigh. In fact, it was more comfortable than when it is in my stomach. I wasn't aware of it nearly as much, which was quite nice. The numbers from my sensor matched closely to the numbers on my meter which wasn't always the case when the sensor had been in my stomach, so that is a win indeed. 

I wish I had put some extra adhesive on the transmitter to keep it more secure as there was potential of removing the sensor and transmitter when pulling up/down clothing. In fact, I actually pulled it out Friday night but in fairness, I was sick with food poisoning and wasn't thinking about being cautious with the sensor and transmitter. But it was due to come out on Saturday so it nearly made it the entire six days. 

When it came time to replace my sensor, I put my new one in my other thigh. I think I placed it lower than where the first one was. I'll need to remember that as I prefer the higher location since it is shorts season. Having learned from Friday night's experience, I put a piece of adhesive tape over the transmitter to keep it extra secure and it has worked wonders. The numbers are still closely matching from my meter and my sensor. 

So, yes, FDA, I am breaking your rules but in all fairness, your rule limiting the use of the CGM to the stomach is ridiculous. I plan to continue using my thighs for my sensor. I'm sure my stomach is thrilled with this decision. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Unexpected twists and turns

This past week, I had yet another diabetes checkup. I actually enjoy them because I adore my endocrinologist. Possibly love her. That said, having constant checkups wears on me and exhausts me. I would love to experience a month, just one month without having to visit any doctor unless it was for social reasons. (Seriously, my hospitalist from 2012 -- call me!!) 

The good news is my control is greatly improving so I'm now able to transition from seeing my endo every two months to every three months. Yay!! 

I had a pretty good checkup. My weight went down which excites me. Not by much but every little bit helps. My endo informed me that weight does go up a bit after starting an insulin pump but once everything steadys and your body adjusts, some of it will start to come off. Yay! However, that does NOT give me permission to toss aside my efforts to regain my healthy routines. 

In 2012, I was placed on some medicine. I hit the lottery in achieving nearly all of its side effects -- moodiness, drowsiness, loss of appetite and loss of weight. When I ended up in the hospital for the second time that year (and met the handsome, adorable hospitalist), I was under 90 pounds with my hip bones nearly sticking out. It was not good. Thankfully, they took me off that medicine. In efforts to regain some weight, I was informed no workouts, just casual movement. My healthy eating habits also flew out the window. 

 Weight has always been a sensitive issue for me and so my endo and I had yet another in-depth discussion about it and my goals. There is a history of eating disorders in my family. As much as I would love to lose the weight I desire overnight, the best scenario is to move at a snail's pace. And my doctor is such a wonderful support system in this entire battle.

So, not only was my weight down but she checked my foot. Apparently I stepped on something, didn't notice it and the blood was absorbed under the skin. The skin was starting to crack and peel so she checked it out as diabetes and foot problems is a major concern. I'd like to keep both my feet although I have to wonder if Christian Louboutin was sell me just one shoe should I ever lose a foot. My endo informed me my foot was not infected and I should just keep a close watch on it. More good news. I'll take it. 

We reviewed the data from my pump and looked at my sugars. We have some concern about the random middle of the night spikes but decided not to adjust any of my basal or bolus rates.

And then...she had my A1c number. I'd had some higher numbers than I'd like so I assumed it had gone up from the 6.8 in February. Nope. It went down. Down to 6.7. SUCCESS! (And remember in October my A1c was nearly 15. Diabetes can kind of be fun when you are having success.) She then informed me I was perfect. I can die happy now. I'm perfect. 


Okay, truthfully, I'm not perfect but to be told something so positive, it does wonders for the self-esteem. 

As we were walking out of the room, my doctor then dropped a bomb on me. She is about to go on maternity leave, which I knew. She then proceeded to casually tell me she'd be gone for a year and a half because she is taking a year-long fellowship to study thyroid cancer. I wanted to throw a temper tantrum right then and there. I asked if she'd be back after that. She said yes, but it wasn't a convincing, confident yes. This greatly concerns me. She is the only endocrinologist I've meshed well with, that I've had success with. As soon as I returned to my vehicle I called my mother and pouted and had a tantrum via the phone.

Devastated does NOT begin to describe my emotions. I'm extremely worried. If she doesn't come back I have no clue what I will do. In the meantime, I will see the other endo in her office but I have no idea if he is good or not. I'm terrified about seeing someone new. I just do not like this. Absolutely do not like this.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Stitch Fix #3

My third Stitch Fix box arrived on Friday, May 30. What a great way to start off the weekend!

When I signed up for this fix I only requested a possible denim skirt. I have one but it is of the pencil skirt style. I like it but would enjoy a second, more casual style. I also mentioned in my note to the stylist that I loved the previous necklace they sent so I'd love something fun again in the jewelry department. Otherwise, I told them to surprise me. 

And surprise me they did! In the note from my stylist they didn't have any jean skirts at the moment so she wasn't able to provide me one. A tiny bit disappointed but not heartbroken. 

Let's get to what they did send me though because really, that is what matters. 

Piece #1: C.Luce Lucille Eyelet & Embroidery Detailed Tank

I wasn't sure about this piece. It certainly isn't my typical style and isn't something I would have even thought about trying on in the store. But Stitch Fix is teaching my to be more open-minded. So I tried it on. It is sheer so I had to put a black camisole on underneath. With the camisole on under it, it was a little tighter than I would like but not uncomfortable. It actually looked quite flattering. One of the suggestions is to pair it with white pants, a denim jacket and gladiator sandals. I may have to head to the mall soon and buy some white shorts and possibly some gladiator sandals. Because that, that is my style. When it came time to make a decision, this shirt was put in the maybe pile. 

Piece #2: 41Hawthorn Ernesto Striped Fitted Dress

Loved it on first sight! I definitely need to find some statement necklace to go with it. It will work great with my denim jacket or a white cardigan. One thing I love about this dress is the material. It reminded me of a terry cloth robe. So soft! It looked good on but it looked a million times better with too large Spanx. Ha! Decision on this dress was to place it in the keep pile. 

Piece #3: Under Skies Olivina Hooded Slub Knit Cardigan

At first glance I wasn't so sure about this. Looking at the style card, I got it and immediate thought of many, many pieces in my wardrobe it would work with. It fits my style as I'm always cold and I'm not a fan of showing bare arms, especially at work. I tried it on and it was so soft and cozy. It wasn't too big for my petite frame which I was worried about. This was an easy decision. Into the keep pile it went. 

Piece #4: Pixley Norris Clover Long Layering Necklace

This is a simple necklace. It can be worn as a long chain or layered twice. Just looking at it in the box I knew I'd keep it. So into the keep pile it went. I'm actually wearing it to work today with my black and white dress from my previous Stitch Fix box. If they sold shoes, it wouldn't surprise me to eventually be wearing nothing but things from Stitch Fix. 

Piece #5: Just Black Jimmy Ankle Length Skinny Jean

 My first thought when I saw they sent me not only jeans but skinny jeans was "You have got to be kidding me?!" Seriously. Jeans are the worst thing ever. And skinny jeans. Those are what nightmares are made of. But, keeping my promise to at least try everything on and not immediately throw items into the return pile, I tried them on. And about collapsed. From pure shock. Utter, pure shock. The jeans fit. And they looked good. In fact, if I'm honest, they fit and look better on me than jeans I have bought on my own in the stores. Talk about crazy. The only downside is they are not petite length. They bunch up at the ankle but not too much. I don't think it looks bad. If a lot of you disagree I can always get them hemmed, right? Mad props to Stitch Fix on the jeans front. I may have to request a box of just jeans options for the fall. In case you can't tell, the decision was quite easy regarding the jeans. In they  went to the keep pile. 

So, I had four items in the keep pile and one item in the maybe pile. If I buy all five items, I receive a 25% discount, which is more than what the shirt costs. Plus, I have a $25 referral credit. 

With all that in mind, I've decided to keep all five items. As I prepared for Monday at work, I sat on my sofa and stared at the box. I couldn't decide what I wanted to wear to work this morning. Decisions are getting hard around here. I want to wear it all. And wear it all this very moment. That, however, would not look stylish. 

All that is left is to complete the form on the Stitch Fix site and provide feedback on each item and let them know I will not be returning any item. And obviously sign up for my next fix. I've decided I'm going to receive one every other month. Watch. In a few months I'll have changed to every month. I'm also hoping I can schedule all my Stitch Fixes to arrive on a Friday because then you have the weekend plus the three business days to return items you don't want. Not that it takes me that long but it is nice having a little extra time. 

If you are intrigued by Stitch Fix and want to try it out, please use my referral code: I really need all the referral credit I can get because I am truly addicted to this. 

One last thought — I'm sorry for the poor quality of pictures.