Sunday, January 27, 2008

Getting everything settled

Friday next week I will leave for Glasgow, spending 5 weeks over there. 5 weeks – with only a week to get everything settled for my departure!

Before Christmas my supervisor and I agreed that it would be good if I could come to Glasgow in the beginning of this year, but even so I don’t feel like I have had enough time to actually plan my trip. The reasons for this are that work has been crazy during January. My Danish supervisor expected me to assist and train a foreign post-doc coming here for a short visit end of January in order to learn how to analyse some samples that our lab had run for her. This was planned even before Christmas, and as I knew she would be here the last 2 weeks of January, I figured that I probably wouldn’t be able to leave for Glasgow until beginning of February. In the first days of January, I did start to make a draft plan for my trip, as well as the experiments that I would want to conclude before leaving. I had a plan for my experiments all set to start January 7th, and figuring that I could use the breaks in between the experiments to make the final arrangements for my Glasgow trip. However, as I wrote in my last post, my plans got messed up by an e-mail I received on January 7th, and because I have a short-term visitor that I need to help with data analysis this past week has been more than stress-full.

I managed to have a very decent draft of my review done last Sunday, and have used whatever few minutes I would have during the week to proof-read and refine it, while having to use the majority of my time to trouble-shoot data processing and software installation issues. At the same time I also had to get my trip to Glasgow arranged, ordering the tickets, so that I would be able to participate in a lab meeting over there at the 5th of February – a lab meeting I have to prepare a 20-25 min presentation for as well!

Being busy for me usually means an increased frequency of hypos and as my regulation haven’t been the best the past couple of months I have had even more issues with this. Just before this crazy schedule started I had an appointment with my D-nurse and we agreed that some basal testing was needed. Thus, on top of all the work/study related stuff, I have also tried to fit in some attention to basal testing. It has been very difficult, and it is probably not the most optimal to combine busy schedules with basal testing, but I felt I had no choice as I have had far to many hypos in general lately. I have been making some changes to my basals during this period of basal testing, but the changes don’t seem consistent – as in one day they appear to work, the next they don’t – and I still have too many hypos to actually not worry about my coming trip to Glasgow.

I went for a blood draw Friday morning to get some thyroid results, and at the same time I had an A1c done. The result was in my file on the Funen Diabetes Database later that day: 4.9%! That is a 0.4 drop from beginning of November, and the lowest A1c result I have ever had. Aside from the fact that Alice will probably “kill” me when I call her on Tuesday ;-) I don’t think I have even been that frustrated with a low A1c result before. Had this results been achieved without all the hypos then of course I would be thrilled, but fact is it has been achieved due to daily hypos, at least for the past month or so. That is utterly frustrating, especially when the changes you try to employ do not seem to help!

I have been thinking a lot about what to do about my stay in Glasgow. Even though I know from experience that changing my setting, even if it is just for a couple days at my parents, will generally elevate my sugar levels - the extent of the elevation depending on the actual “new” setting – I am worried about the risk of being alone with a hypo in Glasgow. Not to mention the fact that Jimmi has also been close to the past months’ low sugars and is of course worried too, because he cannot be there to help me. He will come for a short visit, but the majority of the time I will be on my own. I much hope that I worry without reason, but it is difficult, especially with the events from Hamburg this summer in mind. I plan on asking Alice if there is any chance in the world that I would be able to borrow a sensor to bring to Glasgow, but given the short notice and the length of my stay I don’t expect it. Anyway, I hope that the accommodation will enable me to notify someone about my condition and how they should react if I act strange or don’t show in the morning, and I will probably also make a deal with my colleagues in the lab about calling me if I’m not in at a set time and have them contact someone who can get into my room should I not answer. Otherwise I just hope and pray for my sugars to behave while I’m over there, so that none of the emergency contacts needs to get involved!

Wish me luck, and I will try to post about my adventures in Glasgow, if not during my stay then at least afterwards :-)


Scott K. Johnson said...

Wow Heidi - that's a pretty scary A1C!

jj said...

Hope you had a wonderful time in Glasgow!

Heidi said...

Yes, thank you!

I had good and busy time in Glasgow - and just as much after getting back which is why I still haven't posted about it :-)

With the help of CGMS BGs were generally good though, and definitely much better than in Hamburg :-D

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Pearlsa said...

OMG Heidi, how are you I miss reading your blog. Do you still play football? How is your postgraduate studies coming along?

I saw a comment you left on Alexis’ blog and wanted to say hello