Having “Fun” Can Be Infectious

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It seems that every time my traveling bud, Sandy, and I make arrangements to go out of town for some R&R, I wind up having surgery the week before. We go anyway. She’s an RN, so I feel safe in case anything happens. The only thing that’s ever happened is that I needed a dressing change during one trip. She’s my friend — not my nurse — but I couldn’t change bandages on the back of my leg.

The only time we went away and I hadn’t had surgery (for once), I got sick while there and landed in the hospital with pneumonia and cellulitis two days after we returned.

We’re headed to Chicago in a couple of weeks. Guess what? I have (another) bone infection and will be having surgery soon. If all goes as planned, surgery will take place…oh, about four days before we head out.

There’s no reason to stay home. We have tickets to a musical and hotel reservations. I have to fly someplace before the end of May or lose my frequent flier miles, so I’ll pick her up, she’ll drop me at the airport and then drive to Chicago, and we’ll meet up at the hotel. I have a mobility scooter, we have an accessible room, there is room service and we’ll be in the heart of the city near the theater district. And I know how to take a train from O’Hare Airport to an accessible El station near the hotel.

And you know me: jump first, check the depth later.

Actually, this is getting old. I ruptured my Achilles tendon on March 20, 2009. I had surgery to repair it on April 8, 2009. I don’t need to tell you that was more than one year ago.

Since them, I have had four surgeries (this will be number 5), innumerable infections (including MRSA), and a bacterial intestinal infection you really don’t want. I’ve been on one antibiotic or another — both oral and IV — most of the time during that period.

I can hear some of you saying, “Man, she must really be out of control! Doesn’t she know how to take care of her Type 2 diabetes?”

And I respond: My last three HbA1cs were 6.2%, 6.4%, and 6.4%. Right in AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) guidelines, which call for an HbA1c of no more than 6.5%.

So what’s going on?

People with diabetes, explained my endocrinologist, “can have more infections even with a good A1C, as a great A1C still is not normal glycemia like a nondiabetic, but it should lower the risk.”

Not that my glycemia resembles anything close to “normal” at this point. Thanks to the resurgence of my infection after going off antibiotics a couple of weeks ago, my blood glucose has been soaring. Over the course of two days, I raised my basal rates by around 30 units a day, and the lowest I’ve been is 194 mg/dl. I’m not going to spend a lot of time right now getting them down, however. If the past is any indication, my glucose is going to begin dropping precipitously the same day as the infected bone is removed.

At least I have sensors again for my continuous glucose monitor (CGM). That was a frustrating time for about three weeks. My former vendor raised its prices — a lot — so I had to spend time looking around for another vendor. Then they were on back order, plus I had to arrange for a new prescription and stuff. I finally got a box last Friday.

Managing blood glucose is a lot easier with the CGM. It gives me my glucose number every minute and lets me know what my trends are instead of the occasional finger stick. Even when I did a finger stick test 10 or 12 times a day, I didn’t get that kind of data. Since I was no longer accustomed to checking my glucose that often — and didn’t have enough reagent strips to check that often, anyway since I do use a CGM — it was pretty dicey.

As if you can always regulate blood glucose levels anyway. They tend to go out of whack every once in awhile for no apparent reason. I was talking to my friend Liz, who has Type 1 diabetes, recently and she was pulling out her hair because her numbers went up for some reason and she was raising her basals like mad.

“You try and you try and you try and you just bang your head on the wall,” she said. Then paused and added, “Well, you might as well just bang your head on the wall” for all the good it does. Hers finally went back down — for no apparent reason. She has no hypoglycemic symptoms, and no CGM either, so she’s struggling.

Ain’t diabetes fun? (And couldn’t we all use a little less fun? At least where diabetes is concerned?)

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