A Smattering of Diabetes Oversharing

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Next week, I will delve once more into the arena of product review. Last year, I wore a continuous glucose monitor for a few days and wrote about that experience (in "Continuous Glucose Monitoring and Me"). This year (at least so far this year), my reviewing prowess will be put to the test writing up my thoughts on the WaveSense Jazz blood glucose meter. I’ll leave it at that — leaving you, I’m sure, salivating to hear my opinions of new products for blood glucose monitoring.

In the interim, then, you may enjoy the following bits from the past week of my life with Type 1 diabetes.

In October of 2008, I wrote about the first ultrasound that revealed some lesions that gave my doctors mild concern (“The Paranoid Moments”). Last Friday, I had an appointment at radiology here in the University of Michigan health system to have another renal ultrasound. And, to continue with the title of that “Paranoid Moments” entry, I spent four days wondering what the ultrasound would show.

I hate the not-knowing.

Good news. Yesterday I visited with my wonderful primary care physician, and between our discussions of college basketball and the upcoming NCAA Final Four — OK, before our discussions of college hoops — I found out that the second ultrasound showed, and I quote, “a simple benign cyst in the midpole of the left kidney, which requires no further evaluation.” Further (if you want more medspeak): “There is a small, nonshadowing, echogenic lesion in the midpole of the left kidney” — that’s right, my left kidney’s a winner here, folks — “which in this age group almost certainly represents an angiomyolipoma. Follow-up in one year is suggested to ensure stability. If stable at that time, no further evaluation is necessary.”

So all’s well and good, right? Mostly. Mostly. This coming Monday I’m returning to the radiologist to get yet another ultrasound. This time for my thyroid. She — my doctor — noticed a slight increase in size from the last examination, and because she couldn’t find any evaluations of thyroid in my charts, she’s sending me in to just make sure it’s nothing. I really hope it’s nothing (and my wife really really hopes it’s nothing; discussion of thyroid issues scares the hell out of her). If I recall correctly from what I’ve read in the past, thyroid problems aren’t complications from diabetes, but people with diabetes often have more thyroid problems than folks who don’t have diabetes. And of course the frustrating thing along with either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism would be the added difficulty to successful self-management of my Type 1.

I’ll be sure to let you know the outcome. But other than that little (little?) hiccup, everything else was just fine. All lab work showed nothing to cause concern, and my blood pressure was around 108/65 mm Hg, so for the most part I left the office feeling really good about things (maybe I’ll eventually get over the anxiety of pending medical tests, but I’m dubious about it becoming old hat).

Oh, and speaking of anxiety, I’ve had one of my first diabetes anxiety dreams in a while. A few days ago I had a dream that I was at an outdoor concert sitting on the ground in front of someone who was sitting in a lawn chair. I needed to check my blood glucose, but I couldn’t get the meter or the strips to talk to each other. I kept getting an “error” message. Strip after strip. A pile of about 50 spent and malfunctioning strips in a pile beside me. The anxiety in dreamworld was very similar to my high-school-test-I-haven’t-prepared-for dreams (which I have all too often).

Maybe I’m worried about the upcoming glucose meter review? Or, wait, no…it’s because when I woke from that dream of test-strip hell, my insulin pump was vibrating (eight pulses every minute or so until I stopped it). I needed to add more insulin to the reservoir.

I’m such a sucker for the power of suggestion while asleep.

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