Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My week....

Another busy week has past by. Thursday I had an endo-appointment, which didn't provide any new ideas as to the issues I feel I have been having with pumping insulin. My doctor (MK) did not appear to be that familiar with pump therapy - just amazed of how the pump and infusion site look like nowadays, compared to years ago - and we agreed that I should continue working with the nurse. At the end of my appointment MK asks me if I feel we are getting too close (MK was my co-supervisor during my Master's project, and we have kept contact afterwards because he felt that some of the results I obtained should be published), if I felt I could not talk openly to him because he knew me more than just as a patient and would be more comfortable changing to a new doctor. I was a bit amazed about these questions, although we have discussed it previously, but I told him, as is the truth, that it was not a problem for me as long as we could keep things apart at my endo appointments, i.e. that the time is primarily used to solve diabetes related issues, not experimental or paper issues. That has unfortunately been the case at some appointments, especially if it had been a long time since we have meet scientifically, but this time it was not, and MK agreed to focus on separating the two fields of discussions.

After the endo appointment, I had a 2 H meeting with a clinical professor and his associate professor along with a couple of people from my lab. Our quest was to promote mass spectrometry in general, and particularly our knowledge of this area, to these professors as they had announced at least one opening for a Ph.D. position at the end of this year, something that we would like get into. The meeting went very well, so we are all hopeful that it will result in them hiring at least one of us for projects in the future.

Friday was the traditional Danish Midsummer Eve, where people usually join at bonfires to "send witches towards Bloksbjerg". Jimmi and I had talked about going to the large meadow in Odense where the largest bonfire of the city was set, but we ended up just staying at home for several reasons. Jimmi has just been sent on sick leave from work due to a work-related back injury he got back in December and he wasn't really up to taking the 8 km trip to the meadow just to look at a bonfire when there was World Cup soccer in the television. We also needed to go shopping for something to eat for breakfast the next day. Going to the supermarket for this, we were also determined that at least we would celebrate the evening by buying some fresh Danish strawberries (strawberries and midsummer is closely related in Denmark). So we had our first Danish strawberries of the year along with ice cream - uhmm!!! But first I had to treat a stubborn low that made me get off my bike on the way back from the supermarket, because my arms and legs were not cooperative. Grrr!!!

Saturday was just a quiet day used for house work and a trip to the Rosengaardscenter, a large shopping mall in the south eastern part of Odense. I went there because I didn't manage to go to the pharmacy in the morning, and on Saturdays most of the pharmacies closes at noon, but the one in the mall is open until 2 PM which gave me time to fill a prescription on insulin. They did not have the 3 bottles that my presciption entitles me to get each time, I could only get 1, but that was actually ok because I realized that I had just started all over on the annual medical grant arrangement, meaning that I have to pay full price for the medicine up to 480 kr. (approximately 80 dollars) before I start getting the tiered grant again :-(

Sunday was a very hot and sunny day. We had the last soccer game of the spring season at 10.45 AM, playing on a field properly shielded for the wind by close-grained trees and bushes. That was tough because there wasn't any shadow what so ever on the field during the game, so we felt like it was almost impossible to replenish the water lost by sweating without camel packs on our backs (just imagine how that would look if 22 players were running around with a straw in their mouth from camel packs on their backs ;-)). Unfortunately we lost the game, but overall we can be very happy with our spring season as we stayed in the league that we were promoted to last fall, ending 5 th. of 10 teams.

Whether it was the heat, all the soccer (requiring the use of Lantus to be able to stay off the pump for a suitable amount of time) and bicycling being performed on Sunday or whatever, the night between Sunday and Monday I experienced another severe low. Jimmi woke up at about 1 AM because I was taking up an awful lot of space in the bed. When he wanted to make me move, he noticed I was all limb and sweaty, figuring that I must be low. He started feeding me glucose tabs patiently awaiting my awakening, but it didn't come. After almost an hour and a whole pack of glucose tabs, I still seemed unresponsive so he did a a BG-test that showed 2.3 mmol/l (41). Sure too low, and being worried that all the glucose he had stuffed me with did have any effect, he decided to call 112 (911 in the US). I think that I remember them arriving though, despite I was very sleepy and thus hoping that it was just a dream. Anyway, besides the two paramedics this time there was also a doctor and a nurse along - our bedroom was suddenly quite crowded! I don't know why the latter two had been called, but I guess that I should just be happy about that because it meant that instead of getting a glucagon shot, which tend to make me very sick afterwards, I got IV-glucose in stead, lifting the BG from 2.6 (47) at their arrival to 7.1 (128) at their departure - and I didn't have to go to the hospital. The episode did destroy my night's sleep though, because I could not go back to sleep after they left. I tossed and turned for at least 1 H, feeling like the BG was about to go through the roof - and it was on its way up there being 16.5 (297) when testing, so I did a correction of 4 units and finally fell asleep, only to wake up with difficulty about 1.5 H later with symptoms of being low again. I didn't test, just ate a couple of glucose tabs, lowered the pump basal and immediately got back to sleep - for 1 H then the alarm clock announced that it was time to get up and go to work :-( BG 5.4 (97), though, so that was at least a small victory. These are the time when I really, really HATE this f...... disease - and the inability of me to control the BG just as well as the non-diabetic body can!

Because of the lack of sleep, I was happy that my Monday was not that challenging. I had an ongoing mail correspondence with MK about the paper that I am trying to write - he is reading my draft these days, hopefully providing me with some ideas and critics to go on with - and other wise just did some data analysis before going to a Master's defense at MK's lab in the afternoon. I did not want to go back to work when the defense was over - it is a 30 min bike ride for maybe 1 H more at the computer - so I was back home at astonishing 4 PM! Because of this, we decided to have an early dinner and then head for the movies to see the last movie of the season with our Cinema Club tickets. It was a Danish movie about a guy, Jorgen, being responsible for the lottery club at work. Every time he bought coupons for the lottery club, he would also buy one for his wife, dog-earing it to make sure he could tell them apart. The lottery club usually never win anything, but one day when Jorgen checks the coupons he realizes that they have a full lottery win of 3.5 mill. kr (583,000 dollars). They are 6 guys in the club, so they will each get plenty of money out of this win, yet Jorgen starts to think that he and his wife deserve all the money themselves. This causes them to enter a cycle of lies and excuses about their actions. It wears them down, Jorgen in particular, and he end up telling the other guys of the lottery club the truth. They tell him that he is an idiot, any of them would have kept all the money themselves, and thus it is sort of a happy ending with a clear moral that cheating and lying just doesn't pay. Quite a good movie, also because you could relate to the lives and struggles of the main characters, including the thought about what you would do if you suddenly became a millionaire in the lottery (if you play the lottery, that is ;-)).

Yesterday was plane desk work with a lot of not too encouraging data analysis, which I have continued doing today. However, the biweekly group meeting, which we had today, sort of cut the day in half because it starts at 10 AM and usually takes a couple of hours. This means that you get away from what you have been doing, and for me this made the data analysis I needed to return to even more boring, which is why I am not taking the time to white this long post eventhough I ought to be searching spectra :-) Well, maybe I should just get back to work now!


Scott K. Johnson said...


First off - thank you for the very informative information on ketones over at my place. Very helpful and very much appreciated!

Tough night when you had that low on Sunday!! You did such a great job recovering from it and waking up at 97! Way to go!

Heidi said...

Thanks Scott!

Despite of the tough night I must say that I too was very satisfied with such a great morning reading - I guess though that it was mostly due to me not being able go back to sleep right away that night, thus being able to counteract the inevitable rebound high