Kittens and CPAPs and Hypos, Oh My!

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It’s been more of a zoo than usual around here over the past week — surgery, a trip, getting used to wearing a CPAP machine, kittens, whacking out blood glucose — so I’m putting off the blog entry on my friend Liz’s change in attitude toward Type 2 diabetes until next week.

Oh, yeah: Today, my grandson is having some extensive oral surgery. Is it time for a nap yet?

My surgery went well, but took more out of me than I expected (or planned). All of a sudden, I couldn’t walk as well as I could before (which wasn’t too well, anyway). Even standing up with a sore foot was a challenge. “I have to stand up,” I’d say to myself. “I’ll just put my hands here and here and push myself up.” Then I’d sit there a little while longer, thinking about standing up before beginning the dialogue again. “OK, you can do it. Time to stand up. I’m going to stand up right…in a little while.”

Thankfully, it’s easier to stand up now, but walking is still a challenge and I don’t want to do a lot of it. I’m ashamed to admit it, but sometimes I ride my mobility scooter from one room to the next.

I’m pretty certain that my bicycle will gather dust in the garage for another year. At least my leg is healed so I can get some exercise on my stationary bike. As soon, that is, as my husband stops using it for a combination tie rack and hat holder.

The trip to Chicago had some unexpected changes in plans. My mobility scooter wasn’t working as well as I thought it should, so I’d taken it to the shop and gotten a loaner. My scooter was pronounced OK, but the scooter place opened at the same time as I was supposed to be at the airport, so I was taking the loaner to Chicago.

Then the loaner stopped working as soon as I began to make my way to the security checkpoint. I mean, this fully charged scooter began going slower and slower and slower…and finally stopped.

I called the scooter place. “There’s no way we can get a scooter there for you,” I was told. And I believed them, as the plane was supposed to begin boarding in half an hour.

Frantic call to Sandy, who was driving to Chicago where I would meet her: “My scooter isn’t working! Can you pick mine up and then come back and get me?” It took me forever and a day to get to the meeting place outside because I had to “walk” the scooter for a bit, rest, and then walk it a little further. One nice lady who worked at an eatery there pushed me for a short distance. Nirvana!

Settled into the van, we began our trek to Chicago with two scooters in the back: One of which worked. For some reason, it seemed reasonable to take both so one could be on the charger while the other was being used. We never took the loaner out of the van.

Then my cell phone began to ring:

“Lexi had a kitten in the middle of the living room floor.”

“The kitten is in the closet (where we’d prepared a nest for the blessed event), but way back in the corner. We had to take a bunch of clothes out.”

“She just had number two.”

And so on. Lexi ended up with four kittens, so we now have nine felines in the house. One of the two who adopted us a couple of years ago; three offspring from the one that adopted us, then left after the kittens were weaned; my grandson’s cat, who moved in after Grandson did; and now the four little kittens.

Chicago was great! A bit chilly, and both Sandy and I wished we’d brought jackets, but there were plenty of stores and restaurants to duck into when we got too cold. However, poor Sandy had to change my diaper a few times.

Get that image out of your head! It’s not what you think! My foot is draining and disposable baby diapers are very absorbent. Besides, they fit around your heel right well. So the dressings come off down to the surgical dressing, a couple of rolls of gauze-like stuff is wrapped around my foot, then a diaper on my heel and an elastic bandage follows — just so people won’t look at the weird old lady with a Huggie on her foot.

It was also in Chicago that I finally managed to spend several hours with my continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine on. I’d been fighting with that sucker for several nights. I just couldn’t get comfortable. In Chicago, I finally discovered that if I only fastened one strap around my head that it would stay on and I could tolerate it.

And, finally, remember I said my blood glucose would drop way down after surgery? Yup. It did. Since then, I’ve been dealing with readjusting my basal rates, insulin-to-carb ratios, and correction factors. At the moment, I’m keeping a very extensive log to send to my endocrinologist so he can make some suggestions.

Oh, he’s going to love that 56 mg/dl blood glucose number. (About as much as I did.) Should I tell him I was driving on the interstate at the time?

Taking the next exit, I dug through my purse and came up with two mini-rolls of candy. I didn’t have much in my purse. I was low on supplies, so I had picked some up on the way to Chicago. They were still in the store bag. Somewhere in the van.

At any rate, I had to go to the bathroom. My sugar still wasn’t coming up, so I dug through my purse and found an apple, which I ate while sitting on the throne. Luckily, nobody else came in to hear me madly slurping and crunching an apple in the stall of a bathroom… in a restaurant.

The time has come to take the grandchildren and head for Indianapolis. It’s Monday and I have an appointment with my foot doc. Grandson is having surgery early Tuesday morning, also in Indy, so we’re spending the night. Granddaughter is going along because her brother wanted her with him.

On the way out, I think I will grab a couple of tubes of glucose gel. I already have individually wrapped fruit slices in my purse.

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