LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Life is good (again)

It’s early morning. By the weekend we’re supposed to top 100 degrees, but now it’s just right on my back porch. Not too hot. Not too cool. My feet are soaking up a pool of sunshine. My face and torso in the shade.

The sky is clear, dark blue, as we are a mile above sea level. In the distance, beyond the twisting canyons and mesa lands are the purple Sangre de Cristo mountains. On the horizon, the formidable butte called Starvation Peak. The only sound, the occasional high-pitched whine of cicadas. In my desert mind, the sound of summer. The prickly pear cactus are blooming bright yellow, the barrels deep orange.

I’m reading more fiction on my Kindle, taking my doctor’s advice to “take it easy” for a few days. My TENS Unit is cranked up in SDR mode; which stands for Strength, Duration and Rate Modulation. The manual tells me that this means the little 9-volt battery-gobbling machine alternates amplitude and pulse rate in a diametrically opposed way--one increases as the other decreases.

The most important effect is that I feel no pain, rather a series of soft explosions of sensation, starting small and radiating outwards, pausing, then starting again. Today I am wearing rectangular electrodes. Like Goldilocks sampling everyone’s breakfast, I’ve been trying various sizes and shapes of electrode pads. The small round ones and small square ones I find deliver a sharper, more painful sensation. Prickly, if you will. The large butterfly shaped ones are wonderful, but won’t stay stuck to my body right. They tend to crinkle up when I move, lose contact, and either zap! me with electricity or deliver no sensation at all.

None of them have good sticking properties, but today I’m trying an electrode skin prep gel to see if they’ll hold on. Debbie and Rio have been serving as my squires, helping me into my electrode armor every morning, and taping them to my skin with IV3000 bandages to say on. I’m hoping to find a solution that doesn’t involve so much adhesive on my epidermis.

The most important improvement in my life is now that the NSAIDs and Steroids have run their course, I can enjoy my vices again. Last night I had a glass of wine. Tomorrow I’ll have some Starbucks home-brewed French Roast.

But now it is time for a pipe.

I choose a thin, lightly built pipe from Poland, a quarter-bent of dark cherry-colored wood, decorated with thin carved lines resembling tiger stripes. I carefully pack it with jet black Oso Negro tobacco and light the pipe.


Grey smoke floats in the morning air.

Boy have I missed this…

By Monday my immune system will have recovered enough that I can return to the clinic. I’ve missed my work, my patients, and most (but not all) of my colleagues. I’m not looking forward to dealing with the Human Tumor again, but I’m well rested enough to take her on. I’ve decided to regard her the same way I regard insurance companies: a necessary evil that you need to fight every day and give no quarter to. Ever.

Speaking of insurance, however, I was delighted to discover that I have the same insurance plan that Steve Austin has. (You younger readers will need to Google his name to understand.)

Imaging, physical therapy, new tools, new supplies, new meds.

All covered.

Without a fight.

How delightful. I feel Canadian.


Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

So glad to hear you're feeling better Wil.

I'm hoping that your return to work won't upset things too much, and that the HT won't be too miserable to be exposed to.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Jacqueline said...

Glad you are doing well Liam. At work try not to overdo your activities.

2:19 PM  

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