Friday, April 25, 2014

Cycles, Crazy Hormones And A Virus

I don’t know what I feel anymore. Is my faith being built? I don’t feel like it. Am I feeling defeated, like a failure, useless and broken? Yes. Am I going numb? Last several days I feel like it. Too numb and sick of it all to feel much of anything. I’m not sure which is worse, feeling or the numbness. I really do believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but sometimes I wonder if it will also drive a person to insanity.

 Wednesday I called Dr. O’s office, my infertility specialist. I’m not pregnant but I haven’t ovulated according the Clear Blue ovulation kits. I should have ovulated within the last 2 weeks and every day the tests come back negative. I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks I’ll have a few days in a row when my BGs will be higher than I would like and climb more quickly than usual so I reset my basal rates on my pump settings to pattern B for insulin resistance that kicks in with ovulation and because of the Letrozole. Both of these times are the two times I speculated I could have possibly ovulated. I test, I wait, and I test and I wait and I test.  Nothing, a big negatory on the ovulation kits. Then after a few days I start gong low and put my settings back to pattern A for my normal settings. It’s driving me crazy. I know it’s hard to keep BGs steady to begin with but I feel like these hormone changes are wrecking havoc on my BGs!  When I talked to the nurse at Dr. O’s office and I filled her in on all the details that she needed to know, she agreed that I should have ovulated by now and that no I’m not pregnant. When I calculated the days I should have ovulated I went by last month and calculated from day one of my period, that would have put me at day 11 and 12 of my cycle. When those two days showed up negative I then went back and calculated from the day I started the medicine, that would have put me at days 14 and 15. When I told the nurse how I calculated she agreed that I had done it correctly and here is why. I started the Letrozole on March 5th because at that point in time it had been 30 days without a period and they told me to just start the medicine. I then ovulated between the 18/19th days 11 and 12 of my cycle because I did start after I started on the meds. Since we are still trying to figure out my cycle being on the medicine I calculated that one first. When that didn’t happen this month on the 11th or 12th day I continued to test but suspected I would ovulate on days 14/15 of my cycle. That didn’t happen according to the test kit. I went yesterday morning to have my progesterone levels checked and I heard back from the nurse today. They were elevated as if I had ovulated in the past week, but she did say that progesterone increases when a period is about to start so I could be starting any day now or it’s possible that it was a faulty ovulation test kit that I was using. If I don’t by May 9th I’m to take a pregnancy test since we don’t know for sure what is going on and if it’s negative they will give me something to jumpstart things and then increase my Letrozole dosage. Eeeewwww… Sigh…

 On top of it all my grandpa passed away on Wednesday and that same night I developed an ear/sinus virus out of nowhere! It hit the right side of my head like a ton of bricks. I went to the doctor right away yesterday because the pain is so intense but I had a feeling she was going to tell me there was no infection and I was right. It would have actually been better if it had been an infection, then I could have gotten something to kill it! If there had been I wouldn’t be seeing numbers like this beauty.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Every Which Way From Sunday

As I type this, I’m not even sure that I should. My blogging I feel like hasn’t been very positive lately and that in itself is frustrating. I want to start out by saying that it’s okay to be angry, and I am. I feel like most of the time in life no one ever says that it’s okay to feel or show negative emotions, that it’s a sign of weakness and I believe that’s a load.  I hate how I’m made to feel like I should just let everything roll off my back, that it’s just life so I need to just deal with it. Or, that as a Christian it’s portrayed as a lack of faith. Whatever is what I say to that. I would never wish any of this awful crap on anyone, but  the people that make me feel this way along with anyone who comes up with the cost of anything that we as diabetics need to keep ourselves alive and in good health, it might not be right but I wish that they would have to experience just a month of my life, then see if you still feel the same way you do now. You’d have to be an idiot to feel the same way.
Since my health insurance through work changed the first of March, I've been having issues and I'm so frustrated right now with insurance on top of everything else going on. Because I really need something else to stress out about right? Right now when insulin resistance is starting to rear its ugly head! Can’t I just have one issue to deal with at a time? Nope! When I wrote this post, well that lady that I thought was a godsend was not. She didn’t know what she was talking about. Apparently I have to pay my $1,500.00 deductible BEFORE insurance will pay for part of any of my pump supplies or Dexcom CGM sensors. Between last Thursday and today it’s been really stressful. When I called the DME (durable medical equipment) company back last week to get some pricing on pump supplies and sensors I was told that just for the box of sensors that it will be $300.00 + something. That’s only a one month supply!!! And only for one item, I have no idea how much my infusion sets or reservoirs for my pump will be!!! Sigh…. This sucks, I pay so much for insurance and they don’t do jack for me. I’m basically working just to cover the cost of all my diabetes junk, and what kinda motivation is that?! I’m sooo thankful for Brad’s job and how much his boss has blessed us and that we don’t really have to worry about the financial aspect, it’s just completely blows and makes me really, really, really angry.  I feel like this disease is just robbing me/us in so many ways and it’s just not fair. Brad was really great about it the other night when I told him it looks like we have to meet my deductible before insurance will kick in to cover any of these items. He could tell I’d been crying and how frustrated I was and that I was playing the blame game on myself. I know how much all this financial junk really does stress him out an how mad he gets at insurance and doctors and medical supply companies, so I was not expecting the reaction that I got. When I told him that for just the box of sensors it will be $300 + a month and that I have no idea yet how much anything else is but we have meet the deductible he said, “Yes, this does make me really mad, yes this is really stupid that we pay what we do for insurance and they turn around and do this. But, if this is what we have to do to have a baby, a healthy pregnancy and for you to be as healthy as possible then this is what we have to do.”. That was a bit of weight off my shoulders to hear him say that, but today when I talked to our insurance broker through work just to confirm that all this truly is the case, I wanted to scream again and throw a temper tantrum. Crying really does help sometimes. It's no wonder that depression is so high among diabetics. Along with an awful chronic disease we have insurance, doctors, pharmacies and medical supply companies all trying to screw us every which way. I'm sooo over them!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Making My Head Spin

All my messed up hormones, due to the Letrozole which is the ovulation medicine, are really screwy. I know it’s only the first full month that I’ve gone through cycle changes but it’s putting a cramp in my style. I emailed Deb, my CDE this morning because I didn’t know if I should keep things as is on my pump or change some settings around. On the 7th I had changed the settings back to pre-insulin resistance. Then on the 10th and 11th I seemed to be going high a lot more than I was comfortable with so I changed it all back. Saturday morning things were great despite going to brunch with some girlfriends and having a 16oz cappuccino and a blue berry crepe, (worth every unit of insulin!).  In the afternoon it was a beautiful day out, I did some pretty intense yard work getting our garden beds ready and planting potatoes and onions. I had set my pump basal setting down to deliver only 60% of my normal basal insulin and I still went low enough throughout the afternoon that I ate two packs of fruit snacks and a juice box over the course of 4 hours. Sunday morning I had a small low and the rest of the day I was fine. Sunday late night into early Monday AM I ran pretty high but that was because I broke my own rule that I set of not eating ice-cream after 6pm. I had ice-cream at around 8pm and paid for it by having Lexie alert me with her alarms (my Dexcom CGM) through the course of the night that I was high and not coming down no matter how many corrections or temporary basals I set. Around breakfast I went low so I changed my morning settings to pre-insulin resistance and left everything else and the rest of the day was okay. This morning I was low an hour before I had to get out of bed and then an hour after breakfast. This all led me to emailing Deb because I just can’t wrap my head around all this stupidity of back and forth and I just can’t keep it all straight. She emailed me back telling me to go back to the pre-insulin resistant settings in my pump. There is also a way to put in two different sets of basal rates in my pump, which is listed as pattern A and pattern B, which I didn’t know about and is pretty darn cool. I’m not sure if all pumps have this capability or not, but it’s pretty nice to have that option, so I now have my pre-insulin resistant settings under pattern A which will be used for a week or two after my cycle and then and insulin resistance time under pattern B which will be for maybe the other 3 or so weeks? I think… this is all such a guessing game it seems like. I really didn’t notice what my BGs would do when I was on the pill and for those first 6 or so months after. I know there is a pattern, I just have yet to really find it and figure it out. All this makes my head spin. As if there isn’t enough to keep track of with “D”, now there is this added “bonus”. It’s no wonder I’m miss forgetful all the time and hubby is always having to help me remember things. My small little brain can only contain so much.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gardening in the heat with a sensor

I wear my cgm sensor/transmitter on my thigh. It's hot out, I'm getting ready to dig dirt. This might be water proof but I'm not chancing it with dirt.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

BIG Accomplishments!!!

I feel like I have climbed the top of a mountain and conquered it!!! This is a first in what feels like forever. I’ve been feeling pretty down and defeated lately so this feeling is amazing! I feel like I’m really smiling on the inside for once. I know that other than my hubby and another diabetic or someone else that deals with a chronic illness they won’t understand what I’m feeling right now. I’m on top of the world!!!

 Last night I went to a group for T1D women at the local JDRF office. I went once last summer and just haven’t been back. Between vacation last summer, busyness , sickness, weather and just downright laziness/introvertness kicking in I haven’t been back. I’m so glad I went last night, I’m really going to try and go on a regular basis. I talked a lot to the two women sitting next to me, I hope to connect more with the others on another occasion, but the two ladies that I did spend the most time talking to were great. A lot of the women there see two endos out of the same practice at Washington University’s School of Medicine Diabetes Research Center and they all seem to love both doctor’s and raved about them. I had heard about them before, but hadn’t put much thought into trying to get into see either of them because I figured they would take FOREVER to try and get into. After talking to these ladies they encouraged me to try and get in to see one of these endos. Both of these women have seen both my first endo and the one that I just saw for the first time last month that did not give me the warm fuzzies on the inside. Since I was still undecided about this new endo I just saw I hadn’t really tried to find someone else but after talking to these ladies, this doc is apparently awful! I went home and looked on my insurance website and both docs are in network! Yay! Then I called this morning and made an appointment for July 8th! That was easier and much sooner than I expected. I turned around and called and canceled my appointment with the endo that told me at my one and only appointment with her that “a bit obsessive compulsive now aren’t we about checking your blood sugar. You need to cut down on that and stop letting diabetes rule your life”. In your face lady! You won’t be seeing me again. There is something liberating about canceling certain doctor’s appointments. When I told the two girls last night about the comment above from the doctor they about fell out of their chairs, but at the same time were not surprised. One of them used the word vindictive when referring to how she can be. Yeah, no thank you, I don’t need a vindictive doctor.

Second reason that I feel like a big feat has been struck down….

Last night when I got on my insurance website the first thing listed on the page was claims for the last month, and they were ugly! As of the 7th they were all processed and it showed what I owe, I just about barfed! I knew that it couldn’t be correct but yet I had a really hard time sleeping seeing that for the ultrasound/endo appointment/1 box of infusion sets/1 box of sensors = $1,088.00!!!! What the heck! For one box of sensors it said I owed $782.00 and that the one box of infusion sets were $96.00. I called my insurance company this morning and got the nicest lady EVER! I didn’t know it was possible to get someone at an insurance company that was so helpful and nice. When I even told her that she said she just treats people like her neighbor, her BFF and that she’ll do everything in her power to help. I’ve never had that. She went over everything and explained things in plain English and then when we got to the $782.00 charge she looked into that more and found that the durable medical equipment company had processed insurance incorrectly. She kept me on the line and called to get things straightened out. Long story short, due to a mess up on the DME (durable medical equipment) company’s end they are canceling the charges completely and I will not be paying for the 1 box of sensors at all!!! I need to look into possibly going with a different DME company to get supplies for my pump and Dexcom because apparently the $96.00 charge is sticking and they can’t do anything about it. Carry, the very helpful lady at Anthem, said that another DME co that is in network is better than the one that I have been using and quite possibly my costs could be lower going with them and I might be able to get pump supplies from them as well instead of going through Medtronic. I’m praying that’s the case, so we shall see. But these two things are big enough triumphs for the day that makes things a bit brighter.





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Side Effects

Babies….they are everywhere, and sometimes I really wish I wasn’t seeing them. Or pregnant woman. I’ve pretty much been staying off of Face Book due to a whole lot of reasons, (people annoy the crap out of me on there), but seeing all the pictures of people’s babies and toddlers (with the exception of my niece and nephew or a good friend’s son who I know she went through a lot herself to have him), or finding out someone is pregnant for like the 5TH TIME IS REALLY HARD! Or hearing about someone that’s pregnant that really is too young, too irresponsible or I know hates kids and it’s really dang hard not to get mad and pissed off. I’m just being honest, it’s my blog and I can say it.
With everything that we/I’ve been going through, both physically and emotionally to try and have a little person sometimes I really don’t know how much more I can possibly take. A year ago when I got my insulin pump and started trying even harder and being even more anal than I’ve always been about my diet, exercise and blood sugars when we started trying for a baby I thought that was really hard and emotional. As each month wore on and still no pregnancy, the disappointment mounting, but depending on how many really bad high blood sugar days in a row I had I might have actually been slightly relieved.

When I got my CGM in December, yes that has made things easier, but at the same time it did make things harder and feel a little more out of my control and emotionally stressful seeing what my BGs are constantly doing.
Now I’ve started Letrozole, the ovulation medicine and all I can say is holy crap it’s made some days of my life a living hell!!! I started it on March 5th and took it through the 9th, I’m to take it days 3-7 of my cycle. Dr. O wanted me to try this one opposed to clomid  because he said that this one has a higher chance of causing ovulation in someone with my medical history and the chance of side effects would be less likely as well. I thought great, and at first I thought that I was in the clear since nothing happened when I actually was taking it. I think it was probably somewhere about a week or so after finishing my first round that my BGs started to go through the roof, insulin resistance kicked in. If you didn’t read my post about that you can find it here. It was awful and scary. Now that I think we have gotten that straightened out for now at least, I did end up experiencing just about every side effect of this medicine. I got my period on Thursday and Friday is when I got to experience all of the fun that accompanies the Letrozole. I thought that having the insulin resistance was unpleasant, this, I’m really not sure what is worse. This was seriously the period from HELL!!! I’ve had awful ones before, I’ve had the debilitating cramps that keep me from getting out of bed, but this was far worse. I had been having light cramps for a couple of days before but nothing that I couldn’t live with or pop a couple of ibuprofen for and be done with. Thursday night they were steadily getting worse and when I got up Friday morning I got ready for work hoping that they would go away and if not I was hoping to just leave work a little early. Oh, and did I mention yet….wait no I didn’t, that I was also starting to feel slightly nauseous and have hot flashes. I got to work and things were not letting up and on top of it there are only three people in my department to begin with and the other two did not come in. One had already asked for the day off and the other had called in. There was no way I was leaving early.  By mid morning I was full fledged miserable and seriously pissy. I had the worst cramps that I’ve had in years, the heaviest period I’ve had in years if not ever, hot flashes every few minutes, and nausea that I couldn’t figure out if eating a little something would help or not. I would snack on something hoping that it would help and then feel like I was going to totally lose my stomach. I never did actually throw up but multiple times I was sure that I would. I felt dizzy a few times as well so between the hot flashes and getting dizzy I was sure I was having a low, but I never was. That is the only thing to be thankful for during the whole day of hell, that my BGs behaved and I didn’t get high or have any drastic lows. Saturday I felt much better but had an emotional breakdown to hubby. I don't know how many times on Friday I wondered if all this will be worth it.  I really don't know how much more I can take. I don't know if I can really endure another menstrual cycle like this past one if this is what it will be like monthly. I mean it would be great of course  if I don't have to deal with another period.... but that in turn leads me to wonder if all of this is just a glimpse of what's to come.  I've been praying my heart out for an easy, healthy pregnancy for me and a baby. That I won't have to deal with morning sickness and that my BGs will stay in tight range. But who am I kidding, that’s a joke right, that doesn’t happen. Who doesn’t have morning sickness and what diabetic has perfect numbers. I talked to the nurse at Dr. O’s office this morning because I forgot yesterday to take the drug that causes physical hell. I asked about all these unpleasant symptoms and she said that yes, with it being a hormone it’s most likely to occur each month until I’m pregnant. It could lessen some months but not surprising that it was so awful this time. I just about cried when I got off the phone with her. All I can do is pray at this point….I’m at the end of my sanity.