Friday, May 27, 2011

Labs and a Golden

I seem to be on some tangent with my electrolytes lately.  Its a little beyond my knowledge, but I'll post the numbers now and either the interpretation or the effects at a later date.

It began in January with a spike in my creatinine to 1.01 which led to a followup.
The followup showed that the creatinine had decreased back to 0.7 which is normal for me.

My creatinine increased to 1.0 again at my routine labs drawing in April.
The followup showed that it had decreased again to 0.8.
But, my sodium was low at 129.  normal is 134-147      
   In January, it was 133 when I was tested in Minnesota.
And my BUN was a little high at 22.  normal is 10-20

This led to additional testing last week.
Creatinine was steady at 0.8.
Sodium a little higher at 131.
BUN a little higher at 25.

The testing beyond this was all normal.
Liver enzymes, Albumin, TSH, ADH, Cortisol, Aldosterone.
These were checking on other organs and cell processes to probe the sodium problem

I haven't heard from my endo about these last results.  I am assuming that no news means he is not worried.  And the same from Minneapolis.  Renae said Dr. Bellin has seen these and is also not worried.
So, neither will I.  For now, it is something to keep an eye on.  Most importantly, I feel fine.  I might be a little hypochondriacal, but my ankles seemed a little swollen at times and I have seemed thirstier lately.  Maybe these will subside now that I know everything is ok.  I'm thinking they will.

During one of these draws, I had my C-peptide checked.  I was nervous about having this done because I assume that I am on the decrease.  It was down to 0.38.  In January, it was 0.66.  To be honest, I was a little relieved to see that it was still able to be detected.  The interesting part is that the decrease does not reflect my BGs or insulin use.  I have had very good numbers lately.  My last A1c was 6.6 which is a little higher.  That wasn't a surprise because of all the colds I have had in the last 3 months.  I think I will be lower at my next check in July.  And my insulin dose is back to 8 or 9 units/day which is where I was before all those colds.

Dolly has been progressing.  She has the commands that she needs to know at this stage down well.  She is still behind on the social issues.  Still overly excited by people and very submissive to dogs other than Callie.  She is growing like crazy and beginning to look more like a dog than a puppy.  She will have one more outing with her trainer next week and then she will get her vest and I can begin to take her to some public places.  In the meantime, it was suggested that I walk her around the outside of some buildings to get her used to shopping carts and strange faces.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

D blog week - Awesome things

Awesome things - Friday 5/13:
Today's topic is to write about something awesome that you have done despite diabetes.  
Of course the thing that comes to my mind first is my transplant.  But I did that more to spite diabetes.  So I'll write more about my venturing into the online world.

I began looking at online discussions when I began using Symlin about 5 years ago.  It was scary to try something so new and it really helped finding people who blogged about their experiences with it.  It was good to know that the nausea would eventually go away.  The package insert and other information I had made me believe that it would dissipate in days, not months.

Next, when I started using my continuous glucose monitor, I was able to learn on line that you could use the sensors for longer than the 3 days that I was led to believe was their entire life.  And here I also learned the how to part of making them last which saved me hundreds of dollars.  At this point, I was paying for them myself.

Then once I learned these things, my skills increased to reading articles about diabetes in general.  And this is when I saw that picture of the pig(at the left on my blog) that eventually led to my transplant.

Because my online experience began with my discovering the value of reading about other peoples' experiences, I was compelled to share my islet cell transplant journey.  I get comments and messages from people that lead me to believe that it has helped some other people to learn more about the process. It has been very rewarding for me.  And by far, the best part has been the relationships that I have built with some of the people that I've met throughout the course of this.  I never gave much credit to online relationships before, but now have experienced some deep friendships with some of these individuals.  I have been lucky enough to meet a few of these people in person. You would think that it would be so strange to hug someone the first time you have ever laid eyes on them, but it feels very natural.  I have been involved with the pancreatic islet cell recipients page on Facebook and think it is an extremely valuable resource for anyone who is looking for more of an inside perspective on islet cell transplants.  For me, it is a great place to share this experience with others who truly can understand.  My only question is:  How did we ever live without this resource before?!

Friday, May 13, 2011

D blog week - 10 things I hate about Diabetes

Ten things I hate about you, Diabetes - Thursday 5/12
This is day 4 of the group blog week.  This one should be easy.  I will be writing partly from my pre-transplant perspective.  Some of these things apply to me now, but luckily, not all of them.

1. Having to try to use math to solve a biological problem.  It doesn't work.  If X units should = Y carbs, it usually doesn't because of Z exercise and A hormones and B weather and C ghost factor.

2. Having to eat when I don't want to to fix a low.

3. Finding test strips everywhere.

4. Bleeding on things that don't belong to me after I do a finger stick and don't realize I'm still bleeding a little.

5. Those commercials that talk about virtually painless testing and show you a picture of the test strip and meter, but not of the lancet.

6. Ditto the commercials that talk about how not having to code your meter really frees up you life.

7.  Even after all these years, testing in front of people.

8. Realizing that the emergency granola bar that you were counting on and need that is in your coat pocket is from last year.

9. Bad infusion sites.  

10. Yucky looking finger tips.

This was even easier than I thought it might be.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Group Blog Week - Admiring our Differences

Admiring our differences - Monday 5/9 
Its group blog week and the theme for today is to write about blogs that are different from our own.  One thing that I enjoy about blogs and blogging is that there really are no two alike.  They are as individual as the people who create them.  There are two blogs that I find myself reading the most often.  They are very different from each other and both have aspects that appeal to me and that I admire.

The first is written by Scott K. Johnson at Scott's Diabetes.  What I like about his blog is that he is so sincere and honest about what he writes about.  He talks of the highs and the lows(literally) and is able to express his personality so vividly in his writing.   He is very talented at getting a point across within his story that resonates with me and usually with many people.  He so obviously enjoys interacting with other diabetics, despite the fact that the thing we have in common is an unfortunate part to our lives.  I was lucky enough to meet Scott when I was in Minnesota for a checkup and found him to be just as charming in person.

The second blog is written by Joshua Levy at Current Research into a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes.  He writes about the most current clinical trials and how they are progressing.  He is very knowledgeable about the science behind the research as well as the process involved to move it forward.  He writes very well, just a little above my head which I enjoy because I always learn something.  His motivation is his daughter who is a Type 1 diabetic.  I think what he is doing is providing hope for her, for himself, and for anyone who reads what he writes.  Its very therapeutic to see it all in print.  He also lists the trials which are funded by the JDRF which is useful information at walk time.