Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oh, THAT Basal

When I cook soup I add enough basil to flavor the whole pot just right. But what about my basal? You know that background insulin my pump delivers every three minutes. My pump makes a happy SNICK sound. A little drip of insulin flows into my body and makes everything work just right. However, On Monday I found out the hard way what happens when good cannulas go bad.

Monday was one of those days. I had a problem with my computer power cable and called technical support. After spending an hour chatting with someone from Utah, I got the green light to take my defective power cord to the computer store. They said they would be able to swap it out for a new one. They also said I didn't need an appointment. It should only take a few minutes. That's what technical support said.




So, I went to the computer store -- the one with a picture of a fruit that rhymes with chapel above the door. After being greeted by a man with a green Mohawk, pierced eyebrows, tattoo sleeves and black corks in his earlobes, I was sent to talk to this guy...



Ah yes, the Computer Fruit store staff have a way of making it seem like I am an inconvenient customer. After spending an hour, yes an hour, standing beside a shelf full of keyboards and whatnot, I learned they had no record of my call and couldn't replace my defective power cord. The one that I brought with me. The one with electrical tape and exposed wires?  The one that was obviously broken and dangling in front of them. Instead of helping me I was sent on my way.

GRRR! I was aggravated. It was 99 degrees in the shade. My car steering wheel felt like old chewing gum. It was hot to the touch. I went to plug my iPod into my cassette player. Look my van is 12. No line in. I use a plastic cassette adapter. It works great. Well, it worked great. Until Monday. I plugged my iPod in. No sound. No sound? Nope. Not even a click. I guess I'll listen to to the radio.

WXRT Commercials.
WLUP "The Loop" Commercials.
WDRV "The Drive" Commercials.
WKSC "KISS FM"...

 Hey, I just met you,  
And this is crazy,   
But here's my number, So call... 

A paramedic so I can remove this pencil from my ear! Make it stop. Make it stop!

I turned of the radio and listened to my van grumble and wheeze. I made it home and had dinner. Then I put Assassin's Creed Brotherhood in my Playstation 3 so I could take out some aggression on a few soldiers. That's when Dexcom alarmed 200 High. Shut up Dexcom. I had mashed potatoes. Sue me.

Half an hour later, Dexcom alarmed again. Shut up Dexcom. I set it to go off if my blood sugar hits 280. I knew what I had for dinner. 280 was impossible.

BUZZZ. BUZZZ. 280 and double arrows up.

What the fruit basket?  Dexcom had clearly gone insane. I checked my finger. I wasn't 280. I was 298. Dexcom was underestimating? That's when I went into troubleshooting mode. I corrected through my pump and waited. I went higher. I was thirsty and testing positive for small ketones.

 I gave myself a correction with a syringe. First time I used a syringe since May. I felt myself coming down fast. Like a rocket. The free fall didn't feel very good but testing in the 130's sure did. I thought everything was all right, but I forgot about basal. Background insulin. My BG shot right back up again. Finally I yanked my set.




Seven might be a lucky number, but when a cannula looks like a 7, it makes for a terrible horrible no good very bad day.And night it turns out. I didn't get to sleep until five AM.

Boluses get all the attention, but I've discovered that lowly basal, hiding out making little snicking sounds all day and all night is the spice of life.

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I am not a doctor. I do not have a medical degree. Nothing on this site qualifies as medical advice. These are lessons I'm learning at the University of Catastrophe. What I find to be correct answers in my classes may not be the right answers for you.

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