Saturday, November 3, 2012

Epiploic Appendagitis

Being in pain sucks. I've been in an annoying amount of pain for about a week, and in the beginning of it I thought it was something that would eventually just go away. But this kind of stomach pain got to the point where I was unable to walk normal, and I ended up being hunched over at work trying to ease it. I couldn't get in and out of my car very easy, couldn't sit down and stand up without cringing in pain, I couldn't even bend down to tie my shoes. I have a very high pain tolerance, and I'm extremely stubborn, so for me to voluntarily go to the ER, I was in some serious pain. On the 1-10 scale for how much stomach pain it was, it'd be a 8 or 9.

So I went to the ER, and based on the location of the stabbing pain, the nurses and doctors thought it could be the appendix. But they said I didn't look sick, and I didn't feel sick, my dexcom graph was a no-hitter for the past 24 hours. The good thing about the helpful and very kind nurses and doctors was that when they saw that I had good control over diabetes, they didn't have to do regular blood glucose checks, or administer insulin for me (which I'm sure saved some money on my incoming hospital bill).

While I was waiting to get my CT scan done, I had several short meetings with the assistant surgeon, which was kind of nerve wracking because I never had surgery before, and I thought the only way for the pain to go away was if they cut me open. After waiting for 4 hours, I had the CT scan done, and I had to wait some more for results so I watched "The Walking Dead" which was a badass show to be on at that moment.

After about a total of 5 hours I found out what the source of the pain was, and it's called epiploic appendagitis, which is an uncommon, benign, self-limiting inflammatory process of the epiploic appendices. Epiploic appendices are small, fat-filled sacs or finger-like projections along the surface of the lower colon and rectum. They may become acutely inflamed as a result of torsion (twisting) or venous thrombosis. The inflammation causes pain, often described as sharp or stabbing, located on the left, right, or central regions of the abdomen.

The good news is that the pain is slowly going away every day, and I was prescribed some extra strength Motrin. After doing some research, I only found one blog post from someone about epiploic appendagitis, so after my girlfriend told me I should blog about this experience, I thought this may benefit someone in the future, in dealing with this uncommon condition.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

One Year - 787

I spent a lot of my life feeling like I wasn't noticed. I spent a lot of time feeling like I wasn't good enough. Outside of my family, I never had someone who cared about me as more than a friend. I've always been self-conscience about the way I look, even though people told me I'm a good looking guy, most of the time I assume they are just trying to make me feel better about myself. I spent a long time thinking I was going to be alone forever.

I hated the thought of being alone. I always considered myself to be the type of guy that would make a good boyfriend.

I can honestly tell you, that the day I followed My Girlfriend on twitter, I fell in love. She didn't even know it. I just knew there was something about her that was different and I had to work up the courage to talk to her on twitter.

We tweeted each other all the time. I woke up excited to talk to her on twitter every morning. I was love-struck and I was nervous if she felt the same way or not. She did feel the same way, she said yes on August 6, 2011. The day my dream came true. I had the most beautiful girl in the world and I couldn't stop smiling.

A couple weeks after starting our relationship I lost my house to Hurricane Irene. I lost the house I lived in for 18 years. I was an emotional wreck. I lived in my brothers basement, and when I went on Skype with my love all I could do was cry, but she always found a way to make me laugh and smile. She comforted me, she hugged me, she made me forget what was happening around me. When I should have been crying and grieving the loss of my house, she was making me smile.

She loved me unconditionally when I was homeless. She gave me warmth when the state of Connecticut lost all of it's power in the middle of winter, she nursed me back to health when I was in agonizing pain from a horrible wisdom tooth, and the extraction.

She has always shown strength when I felt weak. She always picked me back up when I felt beaten down.

I know it was a rough few months when we first started dating, from when I lost my house and all the emotions I was going through, even though you had a ton of school work you always made time for me. You made me feel like the center of your universe. You made me feel important, and wanted. It doesn't seem like much, but every time you say "I love you, handsome" you make me feel like I really am the most handsome man in the world.

I'm proud of everything you've done, and are going to do. I'm proud of you for pursuing your dreams, and I'm so happy you're letting me join you.

You make me feel like the luckiest man in the world, and being able to call you, Ashley Rose, my girlfriend makes me feel more proud than I could ever put into words.

You're beautiful, amazing, intelligent, kind and wonderful...and I love you so very much.

Happy one year, babe.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sticks and Stones

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"

Yes, they do. I was verbally bullied when I was in middle school, and into high school. Every thing about me was picked on. Starting from my brothers, they would make fun of what I wear and come up with a nickname to embarrass me. They would make up stories about my personal hygiene, they would make fun of my teeth. They would say I look like a duck, and call me "the ugly duckling". My brothers had no remorse when it came to picking on me, because I was the awkward middle child, so I was the punching bag.

I remember all of these situations so vividly. I remember I was in elementary school, and I wore a very red outfit to school. My brothers would call me "firetruck" in a joking way, but it would escalate into a "I'm going to embarrass you and make you feel like shit" kind of way. That nickname got to the school, so the kids at school started calling me that. They never forgot about it, I was maliciously called "firetruck" for a very long time. They wouldn't just call me firetruck, it would be "heeeeyyy it's firetruck! hey firetruck firetruck firetruck!" in front of many people. That's one instance of feeling beat down verbally by your peers....and my own damn brothers.

In 9th grade I got jumped by ten 8th graders, and they beat me down, kicked me in the neck, punched me in the face, ripped my shirt off, and tossed my bike into a dumpster. I was the victim, and then I go to school and the big rumor is "Dustin got his ass kicked by a bunch of 8th graders, what a pussy, he's in 9th grade and should have handled that himself". I did nothing about it. I called the cops on the kids who jumped me, listened to my peers make fun of me, kept my mouth shut and waited for the school bell to ring.

In middle school I was made fun of because my teeth aren't the prettiest. I have a chipped tooth and my teeth are yellow. I brush my teeth. Peers pointed out my ugly teeth so much, that it's nearly impossible to find a picture of me today where you can actually see my teeth. In high school,  my brothers started a rumor that I didn't shower at home, so every single day I went to school someone new came up to me, not to talk to me, they just stood next to me and they say "so your brother WAS right, you really don't shower, you smell". To this day, my older brother still calls me "smelly" like it's some kind of funny nickname to him. I endured 4 years of high school, kept my mouth shut all day, and still got picked on for things that weren't even true.

I anxiously waited for the school bell to ring, so I can go home and lock myself in my room and play video games. My room was the only safe place I ever had, because it was only me. No one to call me a firetruck, an ugly duckling, tell me I smell like shit or say I have an ugly smile. I am so self-conscious about the way I look because of the people that were in my life in such an important part of life. I was growing up. I wasn't accepted for who I was. When I got jumped by the 8th graders, my best friend stood there and watched me get beat down. He did nothing. I have such a hard time believing I'm a good looking guy, because when I look in the mirror I see the same boy that is self-conscious, and has hardly any self-esteem.

Too many people have told me "you're too sensitive". They're right, I am too sensitive. When you get picked on by your brothers and your peers, you have nowhere to go. I've been embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed of myself for looking the way I look. I care too much about the people I love because I know they love me, and accept me. I consider myself the most sensitive man in the world. I can cry on the drop of a dime over something that I shouldn't even be crying about, and I can't help it. I get nervous very easily, that I won't be accepted, or liked, by people because of the way I look. 

I am always unsure of myself, and feel like I deserve less than what I have. But I'm trying to break out of this "being sensitive" thing and work on taking things as they come, instead of having a meltdown over it. It's hard. Believe me, I know what my problem is, and I'm trying my best to make it better.

As for the italicized line up top. Words do hurt. They have a lasting impact on people, and bullying is plain wrong. You're changing someones life for the worse by name-calling and harassing. I never went to school to endure so much shit from my own peers. I just wanted to learn something, and have a good time. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diabetes Hero

Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”.  It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3.  It might be a fabulous endo or CDE.  It could be a d-celebrity or role-model.  It could be another DOC member.  It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero??

Usually when I first hear the word hero, concerning diabetes, I think of myself. I am the hero of my diabetes. When I'm by myself, I'm doing the finger pokes, the carb counts, deciding how much insulin to use, dealing with a low blood sugar migraine but still making sure my blood sugar isn't completely out of control even when I don't want to do anything but sleep. I'm the hero because at the end of the day, I'm the one who has to face the complications if I get them. When I get in conversations about diabetes with people who don't have it, I say "I have to save my own life every single day".

But if I were to have a hero, that wasn't me, it'd probably be George because I felt like I connected with what he blogs about. He was diagnosed at 17 and I was at 18. So whenever I read his blog, I'd think that he was me from the future. I used to believe that no girl would ever want to be in a relationship with me because diabetes would be too much of a burden and nuisance to them, but when I saw that George was married it gave me hope that I could fall in love even if I do have D. He gave me hope that I could lead a happy life, even after so many years of being a diabetic. I look up to him so much that I bought his "Ninjabetic" t-shirt. He is an awesome person.

My second hero, is someone that I appreciate so much. She's beautiful, intelligent, wise, classy, and just all around amazing. Her name is Ashley Rose, and whenever I'm too exhausted from a low she checks my blood sugar every fifteen minutes until I'm ok again. When I'm high and waiting for my blood sugar to drop, she checks on me every few minutes to see how my blood sugar is. She always tells me "Just tell me if I'm hovering or being annoying and I'll leave you alone." I haven't had to tell her that once, because I know she cares and understands what I'm dealing with when I'm high or low. I was single and diabetic for 6 years before I found Ashley, and I don't want to have another high or low without her arms wrapped around me. She makes me feel safe when I feel like crap, she makes me smile when all I want to do is be grumpy. She makes me feel so important to her, when all I want to do is give up. All she has to say is "I just want you to be safe, babe", and she sweeps me off my feet all over again.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Snapshots

Back for the third year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

My satchel. 

My blood meter.

Lots of finger pokes.

My insulin pump.

Beautiful weather.


Friday, May 18, 2012

What They Should Know

Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September.  The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

   I would like people to know is that I did not get diabetes from eating too much sugar. I would like people to know that when I'm not in a happy-go-lucky mood at work it's not because I'm being anti-social or hate my co-workers. It's more than likely because I woke that morning with a blood sugar of 300-something and I was absolutely exhausted and infuriated with diabetes. I would like people to know that just because I'm 170 pounds soak and wet doesn't mean I can't get diabetes.

I'd like people to know that some days my blood sugar is on a roller coaster, I have a headache and I'd like for them to just not talk to me so I can relax my mind as much as I can. I'd like people to know that I can't cure my diabetes by changing what I eat. My pancreas does not make it's own insulin, and I have to use my pump to get it into my body when I need it. I'd like people to stop telling me what I can and can not eat. I know my body better than anyone else does.

Diabetes doesn't discriminate. You can be tall, short, fat, skinny, young, old, white, black, green, blue, or orange and you can still get it. Diabetes doesn't care what plans you have made for tomorrow. Diabetes can ruin your plans if it wants to. Diabetes can ruin your life if you let it. I'd like you to know that because of diabetes, I found out how strong I am, that no matter how much life gets me down that I WILL wake up tomorrow because I refuse to let diabetes defeat me. 

I'd like you to know that handling diabetes is tough. But not nearly as tough as I am.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fantasy Diabetes Device

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary.  Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be?  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

Okay. I couldn't think of any thing cool to use for a fantasy diabetes device, but here goes nothing.

 How about a hat? Just like inspector gadget. It transforms and out comes a finger poker, a vial of test strips and a meter...all you have to do is put your finger in the air and you will get your blood sugar results without even putting in any effort.

Or how about an Iron Man suit? It may be a little awkward to wear, but just imagine how cool it would be to have this suit, and you can use the chamber in the chest to store a vial of insulin so you can always be prepared for battle with diabetes! Not to mention, that is one badass suit so the D-Police will not mess with you at all.

We can be the silver surfer, so whenever we're feeling lonely with diabetes we can teleport to our D-buddies to cheer us up and give us some motivation.

Now, those are all outlandish, but that was the point of this. I wish we could combine all of those abilities together to become a hat wearing, Iron Man suit donning, Silver surfing super hero on our way to diabetes bliss.