Friday, July 29, 2011

These are not the kind of highs I want to deal with...

Back in April before I had my laparoscopy done (exploratory surgery to see what's going on with my lady parts), I went to two pre-op appointments: one at my OB/GYN's office and the second at the hospital where I was having the procedure done.

At both appointments my general health was assessed. I was poked, prodded, weighed (ugh), and had my blood pressure taken. At both appointments my BP was high. Very, very high.

I got nervous about it and as I sat on the exam table at both appointments, I thought maybe someone would say they couldn't do the surgery, but that never happened. And I thought someone might tell me that I should follow up with my general physician on my BP, but no one did.

I asked about it at my first appointment and the nurse said, "Yes, it's high, but you're probably just nervous about surgery." At the second appointment when it was still high, I told the nurse 2 what nurse 1 had said about being nervous and she said that it was probably true.

My blood pressure was 165/115.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time I had experienced high BP, but it had never been THAT high. And the previous incident was a bit of a fluke; by the time I saw my general physician my BP was back to normal.

I had surgery. All went well. I stayed in the hospital overnight to recover and various nurses checked on me throughout the day and night. Every time someone took my BP I could hear an audible "hmmm" from them. A couple of times I asked what the number was, and it was in the range of my pre-op number. And with the pain killers they had me on post-surgery I was relaaaaaaaxed I tell you.

So when I got home from the hospital I told my husband that I needed to make a change. Diabetes and infertility are enough to deal with, I didn't want to add heart disease to that list.

As soon as I was well enough after surgery - which was actually only about 4 or 5 days later - I dusted off my treadmill and started walking.

I began paying attention to sodium content in food. I was shocked to find how much sodium is in most of the foods I was eating. I began to change my diet completely to I guess what you would call a "whole food" diet that you hear a lot of people talking about.

At the beginning of June, almost 2 months after my surgery and the high BP reading, I had an appointment with my endo.

My A1C was a little higher than I would have liked at 7.3%, especially with TTC. But he said he could live with that number and that the risk associated with getting pregnant at an A1C of 7.3% was lower than working to get my A1C under 7.0% and essentially getting older in the process (I am 36).

He took my BP and despite the work I'd been doing, it was still high. 140/100. He recommended that I follow up with my general physician and look into medications that are safe for pregnancy, especially with the risk of preeclampsia.

He had also had my cholesterol checked. My HDL (the "good" stuff) was fine, my triglycerides were fine, but my LDL (the "bad" stuff) was high.

"You're kidding me right?" I exclaimed about the high LDL number.

I told my doc about my new diet and exercise. He said that sometimes you can do all the right stuff but our bodies don't always co-operate. He said that he wasn't too worried about my LDL right now, that my BP is currently of more concern.

So I have an appointment with my general doc next week. I bought my own BP monitor and have been checking every 2 to 3 days. My BP ranges anywhere from 120/75 to 130/85.

And I've continued to exercise and eat right. It doesn't even feel like much of a chore to me anymore.

In the past I've tried various diets and exercise to lose weight (as I've been chronically overweight for almost all of my adult life). But I lose motivation somewhere along the way and fall back into old habits. If I'm being honest with myself, I think I've always been one of those people who comforts themselves with food. A food addict, if you will.

But this time it feels different somehow. I am very concious of what I put into my body, but not because I'm trying to lose weight. Because I'm trying to stay healthy and get my BP under control.

As a result however, I HAVE lost weight that I've struggled to lose for so long. I'm down 28 pounds since April. I have gone from squeezing into size 16 pants, sometimes even size 18, to comfortably fitting into size 12. I have more to go, but I am no doubt on my way.

My blood sugar has reflected the change as well. My basal rates have dropped by almost 20% if I'm doing my math right. And the 14-day average on my glucometer is currently reading 6.7 (121).

Originally my goal was to get my blood pressure down on my own so that I wouldn't need medication. I've always thought that having to go on BP medication would be a failure somehow. That it would mean I didn't take good enough care of myself (which admittedly, I didn't in the past).

But now that I've been doing all this work and see that my BP is still hovering a little on the high side, my goal is to just do the best that I can do. If my doctor prescribes BP medication next Friday, at least I'll know that I did my best to get myself back in order.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Hi, I'm back. Again.

I know I tried to resurrect my blog a couple of years ago, but quickly got distracted as I easily do and forgot about it. But I've been doing a lot of diabetes-related and pregnancy-related Internet surfing lately and thought it would be a good time to get back into this blogging thing.

I've actually spent the past couple of days re-reading through Lyrehca's blog Managing The Sweetness Within. I used to read MTSW years ago when I was really into the DOC and found her blog very interesting, although I couldn't relate at the time. Who knew, when I wasn't even really thinking of children then, that 5 years later I would be in the same boat.

Since getting married in the summer of 2008, hubby and I have been trying to conceive (TTC for those unfamiliar with the acronym). At the time I assumed that it would just happen right away and a year after our wedding we would be a happy family of 3. I even thought that by now we would be onto our second child.

Unfortunately this has not been the case. After trying for a year, I finally went to see my primary care physician to initiate an investigation into why we hadn't yet conceived. He did some initial tests on hubby and I and at that point nothing seemed amiss with either one of us. Said doctor then referred us (me) to a OB/GYN.

I spent over a year with the OB/GYN. I had bloodtests, ultrasounds, an HSG exam (which I won't get into details about, but from re-reading Lyrehca's blog again she does an outstanding job of describing what it's like) which did not reveal any blocked tubes although my left tube had a "slow leak" (OB/GYN's words, not mine), and a laparoscopy during which some mild to moderate endometriosis was discovered and removed. In the meantime, he had also prescribed a drug called Clomid to help me "superovulate" (again, his words). We tried Clomid three times to no avail.

At the end of all this and now at the age of 36, OB/GYN said that there was nothing more he could do for us and has since referred us to a fertility clinic. We had our initial appointment with the doctor there and after reviewing our case she suggested going straight to IVF treatment. She said that while she did not see any glaring reason why we have not acheived a natural pregnancy, and we could try other less expensive options, IVF is probably going to be our best chance at success. After a lengthy discussion amongst ourselves, hubby and I agreed that we should give it a go.

So our next appointment at the clinic is a couple of weeks from now and I am kind of excited to begin this next phase of our journey. I have been very involved in forums with other IVF-ers, and I have also started a group on TuDiabetes for those of us experiencing both diabetes AND infertility. The ladies who have joined me there are all fabulous and we have all wondered why someone didn't think of the group sooner.

And although I have been horrible about blogging in the past, as I begin IVF I plan to document my experience since there isn't a lot of information out there for women doing IVF with diabetes. I'm preparing myself for the ups and downs that I will likely encounter on this ride.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lori gets a new pump

Yesterday I resurrected my blog to write about the frustration I experienced this weekend at the hands of Medtronic customer service.

Since my Medtronic pump is out of warranty, I was seriously considering switching to an Animas pump. I simply don't like being told one thing by one person, and something by another. Good customer service is high on my list of musts. However, being in Canada Medtronic is the only company here that offers a CGMS system and it's something I've been striving toward for the past year, especially with trying to get pregnant (no it hasn't happened yet, but that's a story for another day).

So... I've decided to stay with Medtronic. I ordered a new 522 this morning (in pink!), and will FINALLY be able to cash in on their minilink transmitter and 8 sensors deal for $299.

I have to say that never have I been more grateful than to live in Ontario. With the province now covering the cost of pump and supplies for adult Type 1 diabetics, it was as simple as having my diabetes team fill in the government form, forwarding it to Medtronic, and BAM - Lori gets a new pump. No worrying about whether or not the insurance company will approve or deny coverage. PHEW!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I "turned off" my blog for a while because honestly, I just didn't feel like blogging about diabetes anymore. There are a lot of you out there with blogs, which is AWESOME to know that there is such a large diabetes community. But I kind of felt like my voice was getting lost in all the other blogs that are out there (and I see that someone now has a blog called Bittersweet) so, long story short, I gave up. No other way to put it.

But I've resurrected my blog today because I have had the most incredibly frustrating weekend involving diabetes, that I feel like this is the only place to vent about it where people actually get it (I posted my frustration on Facebook, but most of my friends - who do not have diabetes - do not really appreciate what I've been experiencing).

It was my mom's birthday on Saturday, so my sister and I brought her to Toronto for the weekend to see Jersey Boys (great show by the way). We had an incredible dinner before the show. We all overindulged, but since it was my mom's birthday, we still felt like we should have cake (especially since the restaurant included a free piece of sinfully-delicious chocolate cake to those with birthdays). We opted to order pieces of cake "to go" to enjoy later in our hotel room after the show.

When we got back to our hotel, I tested and was slightly high (8.2, or 148 in the US) so I took a correction bolus. We didn't sit down to enjoy our cake until about an hour later... I got ready to give myself a big bolus because it was a fair-sized piece of cake. That's when the trouble started.

I got as far as the screen to enter the number of carbs I was about to eat when all of a sudden the pump wouldn't recognize any of the buttons I pushed. About 5 minutes later it started vibrating and the green backlight came on with a "Button Error" message.

I promptly got on the phone to Medtronic's 24-hour technical support phone line. Note that by this time it was around 11:45 p.m. I waited about 30 minutes before someone finally answered my call. I understood since it was so late, I figured there was probably only like one person working in the call center. At least there was someone to answer my call.

The person was located in the U.S., so after taking all my information he said that he'd have to transfer me back to someone in Canada to arrange for delivery of a replacement pump. No big deal. He put me on hold (to terrible music by the way) and came back a minute later to say that he was having trouble transferring the call so he would get in touch with someone in Canada and they'd call me back in 5 to 10 minutes.

Well, I waited... and waited... and waited. By 2:00 a.m. it was apparent that no one was calling me back, so I decided to go to bed and try them again in the morning.

Side note: While I waited for Medtronic to call me back, I called around to various pharmacies in the area that we were staying, but none were open 24 hours. Although I had syringes with me, I didn't bring my back up Lantus insulin (note to self - ALWAYS carry Lantus when travelling, no matter how short the trip) so I woke up every 1.5 hours to give myself a unit of Novarapid. It actually worked really well, but I was sooooo tired in the morning.

Ok, so 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning I call Medtronic again. Same 30 minute wait before I speak with someone in the U.S. again. I explained what happened the night before and that I was supposed to get a call back from someone in Canada. She apologized and said that she'd stay on the line until she reached someone in Canada, which she did and she transferred me to that person. The guy I spoke with in Canada also apologized and said he didn't understand why I didn't get the call back because he saw the note on my file.

Anyway, he said that I would receive a replacement pump the following day on Monday (which was yesterday). Guess what? No pump. I called Medtronic again at 5:00 yesterday and they said, "Oh, the delivery date is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday)." WHAT?!?!?!

So I'm thoroughly frustrated with Medtronic right now. And I am due for a new pump (mine is actually now out of warranty, so they were sending a loaner pump for up to 90 days until I can arrange to purchase a new one). I am strongly considering switching to Animas, but unfortunately Medtronic is the only company in Canada with a CGMS and the discount for the CGMS is only offered with the purchase of a pump.

Any opinions on Animas vs. Medtronic? I've seen a select few of you out there with Animas pumps in the U.S., but I don't think I know of anyone in Canada that has one (seems that Medtronic almost has a monopoly here). If you really wanted a continuous glucose monitoring system, but the only company that carries it displayed poor customer service, would you forgo the CGMS and switch to another company, or stay with them because you REALLY (like REALLY REALLY!!) want a CGMS.

I really appreciate your opinions! Thanks. :)

p.s. If you're wondering, "What about the CAKE!? Did you ever get to eat the CAKE?!" The answer is that I put it in the hotel room's bar fridge that night and brought it home with me the next day... I finally got to enjoy it last night. And it was definitely worth the wait. ;)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The summer blues...

So, it's summer... well, it's supposed to be. I don't know about your part of the world, but here the summer has been quite non-summer like. Rainy, even cool a lot of the time. It's a bummer.

As a result, I am not as active as I usually am during the summer. And I feel it. My waist band feels a little tighter than normal, and I see my blood sugar gradually creeping up. Yesterday I finally had to give in and adjust my basal rate to compensate.

Sure, I could jump on my elliptical machine to work off those extra calories and get my blood sugar and basal rate back under control, but my heart isn't in it. I want to be outside. Walking, biking, whatever...

Anyone else have the summer blues? Yeesh.