Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Gift from Lupus

As if having a brain fog and injecting 70 units of Humalog, instead of 70 units of Lantus, going to the ER and having the result of my body and brain going AWOL for several days, I added a new situation:  I lost a tooth.
Now, little kids look cute when they have lost their baby teeth, and have that charming little smile. But I'm an adult, and my smile makes me look like a hillbilly.
Sure, the tooth would be one that showed any time I smile or open my mouth to speak. Blame my dry mouth syndrome on Sjogren's, which a lot of people with lupus have added to their full plate. No kidding, I didn't even suspect that tooth was going to make a swan dive very soon. I bit into one of those trail mix bars, chock full of nuts, raisins and chocolate...very soft and "smushy" so I know I hadn't bitten into anything hard.
Fortunately, I found the errant tooth, still in my mouth surrounded by the chocolate, nuts and raisins. I called my new dentist and asked if I could have the dentist look at it and see what we can do. I already had an appointment for a cleaning, anyway. So she asked if I could come in at 7:30 AM. Normally I wouldn't have accepted that early an appointment, but my vanity got the best of me.
In the meantime, it's a mean time.
I didn't put the tooth under my pillow for the Tooth Fairy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Some Lupies Have Diabetes, Too....

On Saturday night, I took my usual dose of 70 units of Lantus. At least, I thought I had taken Lantus. As I was putting the vial back in the refrigerator, I looked at the vial in horror....NOT Lantus, which is a slow release for me at night. It was Humalog, that I take in the daytime before a meal, if necessary. And on a sliding scale, per my doctor's instructions.
So, what do I need to do?
I told my son what I had done. He suggested I call the pharmacist where I get my meds. The pharmacy was closed. So I asked the friendly kid who answered the phone for another one that stayed open all night.
So I called one of the two choices, and held and held.....finally the pharmacist came on the line and after telling her of my predicament, she said, "Don't go to sleep. Take your blood glucose every two hours; if it's low, eat something with carbs, protein and sugar."
By that time, the extra strength dose had hit my body, hard. I began shaking and sweating, the usual reaction to low blood sugar. But I had no idea how long this would last, since I had taken such a large dose.
Meanwhile, my son had done an Internet search and one of the instructions was to go to my friendly neighborhood ER.
So off we went.
This was about 8:30 PM. A nurse took all my vital signs and installed a port if we needed to do any infusions. She input all the info into the computer and then said the doctor would be in shortly.
The doctor was a young woman (at my age, all doctors are young) who reassured me; this happens sometimes, and it was a good thing I had done to come to the ER. They took my reading every two hours, and on the last two hour stretch, someone came in bearing a turkey sandwich with a bag of potato chips and a glass of water.  I was told to eat all of it. Which I did.
And two hours after that little snack, my glucose was up to a normal level. I could go home. It was now past 2:00 a.m.
I went to bed and slept until 9 a.m. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. A very large truck. I read the printout Woody had looked up, and the gist of the post was to do essentially nothing for the next couple of days.
That's almost against my religion. I know that I should rest more with a lupus flare, but I resist every time. Besides feeling beaten up, my brain reverted to its former status: Brain fog. This was Sunday.
Surely I would feel better the next day, I rationalized.
Nope. On Monday, I managed to get out of bed, but I still felt lousy, this time more of a brain dysfunction than physical.
Now, it's Tuesday, and I feel better, all things considered. Even my brain fog shows it's fading away.
The moral to this story is: Always, always, look at the label on the medication. In fact, someone on my lupus support group, a former nurse, told me she was trained to look at the label three times....First, when retrieving the med from its storage place. Second, preparing to inject, and third, after drawing up the amount to be injected.
And another precaution: my diabetes medications are now in color-coded, different sized holders in the refrigerator. So far, I have had only a couple of occasions to inject the Humalog, and Lantus in the evening, which I cut back from 70 units to 50.
Mission accomplished. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012


On Tuesday evening, I had dinner with a good friend. This lady is strong as vinegar; been through so much in her life, yet she maintains an air of serenity and dignity. Until Tuesday evening.
She said, "I'm not in a very good spiritual condition lately."
Hmmm. That's just what I posted on the Lupies site the other day....I think. I told her I would listen, as I had no words of wisdom to give to her; no advice. Just listen with my heart.
Two of our mutual friends are gone from our lives....hers more than mine, friends, I mean. Our friend Tina died of pneumonia in the hospital; we attended her funeral about a month ago. Another friend, Nancy, has been bundled up and flown to MD, by her kids, as they are afraid of her growing Alzheimer's. We probably won't see her again, if her kids have anything to do with it. (Snort.)
So, what's been brewing in my muddled mind is: We're both grieving over our recent losses, and I'll add one more item: Grief about growing old-er.
Nothing I can do about that. But I hate the "infirmities" of old-er age. My friend likes to sit in a booth, but man, how hard it was for me to haul my butt out of the booth. I'll have to remember I suggest a table next time we go eat together.
We used to go places at the drop of a hat, excited about antique -ing. Finding new places along the road. Now, I have to consider how I'm doing that day -- never mind planning in advance.
What I think is going on with both of us is not so much grieving over the loss of our friends, but also grieving over our former selves. And here I thought I had done that already! But with lupus, when it sneaks back like a thief in the night, I get blind-sided. Again, I have to go through the grieving process. And that sucks.