Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Getting Drugged - Protege Study

I have sporadic internet access, as I sit here and get blood pulled, and drugs put in, and vital signs taken. I mean, they let me use their internet, but it’s a “pseudo-internet” that blocks all streaming video, which includes Hulu and thus makes it impossible for me to watch continuous Buffy episodes while I wait. Season 3 waits for me at home, and I believe the DVD’s are mocking me from afar.

(They don’t want their employees “wasting time” on Hulu and such. I say it’s a blatant blockage of agency. Empoyees should be allowed to waste time! They should be allowed to get fired! Choice and consequences, baby.)

So, anyway, my morning are spent in the hospital, with my afternoons and evenings free for me to whine at various friends (but I’m TIIRRED) and play “speed Sorry.” (rules invented by moi. It basically includes me moving all the kids pieces super fast so the game goes faster.)
Oh, and a few people have asked, so for the sake of clarification - the placebo in this study is just saline. Since the standard of care for diabetics is self management (in my case, shots), there wouldn’t really be anything else to give me - so it’s either the drug or saline solution. I like to think it’s the drug.

On the plus side, I am now considered “immuno-suppressed”, and with my wacky immune system anyway, I’m sure the swine flu will pass me right on by.

It’s cold here. It’s almost May. Boo.

Thanks for the prayers.

The end.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Diabetic Flair

What can I say? I just thought those 2 went together.

I have considered stealing Splenda packets from restaurants and adding them to my stash at home. I have justified it in my brain by saying they're there for my use, and just because I'm not using them at the restaurant, per se....Costco coupons cured me of this, for now.

Reminding me of the time the Mcdonald's guy gave me the dirtiest look as I shot up in the drive-thru with my 5 year old in the back seat. I don't think "diabetes" was his first thought when he saw that needle. He's probably telling everyone about the heroine addict he served and her doomed son.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Am Officially IN!

I am in the study. I am getting experimental drugs that nobody knows what will do to me long term. I will be away from my family for a full 2 weeks, including a weekend that my parents will be HERE, at my house, without me. I will miss some big events at the school. It will be cold in Utah.

I couldn't be happier about it.

For one thing, all the labs they took and what-not, told me that I am, indeed, still making some insulin. This is good news. Because this is a drug that stops the T cells from attacking my pancreas, thereby preserving the insulin I am making, prolonging the honeymoon period, and basically improving blood sugar control, since my body will be doing some of it naturally. That's the goal, anyway.

They also took an A1c. My A1c at the end of January was 12.2.

ALMOST 3 months later, but not quite..may I have a drumroll, please? The result is......6.8!!! I must be doing something right.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All Done With This Disease Now

OK, then, I think I need more short-acting insulin in the morning and less of it at night. Is this possible, or am I just crazy?

I mean, really, eating the same things and taking the same dosage sends me higher in the morning and lower at night. I did the experiment. Is it due to exercise? My pancreas still working a little, but it only wakes up around noon?

This is a weird disease. I'm tired of it. I think I will go get cured now. Thank you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Got The Hospital Bill

$34.00 every time they pricked my finger to check my sugars. THIRTY-FOUR DOLLARS!!! Yes, insurance covers it, but still. They pricked a lot. I swear insurance companies make everything more expensive, because there's no way the test strip+5 seconds of nurse time = $34.00. They probably wouldn't have let me fingerstick myself to save money if I'd wanted. But whatever. Who knows what the insurance actually pays, anyway. I swear medical billing is so screwy.

INSURANCE: We'll pay Y. (usually far less than X.)
PROVIDER: OK, then! Great!

I don't know any other industry where somebody says the cost is one thing, they get paid something completely different, and somehow, everybody's OK with this.

Strange, strange, stuff. I suspect this is not my last rant. I'm not even mentioning the resident who billed my insurance for treating my husband. HELLO, WRONG PATIENT. Surprised? Insurance denied the claim. (OK, I guess I just mentioned it).


Monday, April 6, 2009

Your feet are numb - Did you know?

I got tested today to see if I am a candidate for this study. They took lots of blood, and it was really fun. Not fun. But anyway. I really want in, though. They are seeing some very exciting results.

As part of the exam, the doc examined my feet. He put something that vibrates on my foot and had me tell him when it stopped buzzing.

And behold! It was still buzzing after I said it stopped. And thus it turns out I have lost some feeling in my feet. Not much, and apparently, it's very common, even in new diagnosis patients, but still. I thought my feet were fine! Really, I did! It's very disconcerting to be told that you have nerve damage when you didn't have a clue.

And of course, I was told "control your sugars to prevent making it worse". But, but....I've BEEN controlling my sugars for as long as I've known. I'm starting to think "control" is just an illusion. I assumed foot problems would be years away.

That's what I get for assuming.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

But...I Don't Get It

OK, so for the study prep, I have to show up at 10:00 a.m. on Monday fasting for a bunch of lab work.

My Lantus (long acting) dose is at 10:00 a.m. every morning.

The study doc says to avoid any lows, I should only take half the Lantus on Sunday. I don't get this. With only half my dose of Lantus all day, won't I run the risk of going high? And I saw those icky kidneys and bursting blood-vessely eyes. I don't want to go high. I mean, I know a day isn't that long, but still....

Do I take more Novolog at meals? That seems dangerous. Do I exercise my butt off all day Sunday? Why can't I just take my normal dose? I mean, by the time I got up there, the Lantus would be out of my system already, so fasting wouldn't be a problem. I understand that if my dose was at night, half would be appropriate. I don't know. I'm a little confused.