Keeping me on my toes!

Oh boy, has life kept me busy! School has officially started again, which means I am both teaching and taking classes (and doing research and a practicum and drinking way too much coffee). I am officially taking the last of the academic courses I have for my MPH, which is a weird feeling. Where did the past two years ago, and how am I getting my masters in just 6 months?  I also have another exciting update, and that is… drumroll please… I have scheduled my first medical school interview of the season for February 11th.  Wish me luck, everyone!

Things with my transition are going well as usual. My consult for my top surgery in on February 6th, and every time I think about it, I get nervous! I am realizing that, while I can pass very easily with the use of your average athletic compression shirt, at the end of the day, how I feel about my body impacts my life greatly and creates a large amount of mental disconnect.

I’ve been feeling rather drained and down for the past week or two, and I am glad I have both the top surgery consult and medical school interview to look forward to.  I have severe food allergies and was accidentally exposed to an allergen last Saturday night and went into anaphylaxis. My diastolic blood pressure dropped to under 40 (VERY low) and I could not breathe. My partner used emergency epinephrine to open my airway. After a long hospital stay, I was sent home with prednisone, which is a wonderful drug, but a NIGHTMARE for anyone with type 1 diabetes. The prednisone completely eliminated my allergic reaction, but now I have been battling a blood sugar roller coaster all week. I’ve had lows in the 30s and highs in the 400s (“okay” blood sugars for me are 80-150/160). High blood sugars make you dehydrated and physically exhausted, and I have been ready for a nap by 10AM). The good news is that I took my last dose of prednisone yesterday, and it tends to impact my blood sugars for 24-48 hours, so I am hoping that after taking time to recharge this weekend, I will be back to normal again!

For more good diabetes news, I have officially received (and began using) my Dexcom Seven Plus Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, and it’s been spectacular! There’s a tiny wire inserted under my skin (the width of two hairs), and through that, the Dexcom measures my glucose levels every five minutes–200+ measurements a day. It allows me to see high and low blood sugars coming WAY before I feel symptoms, and take action to correct them before they even happen. Crazy how much technology has progressed!

What a "Dexcom" Screen looks like

I also should be receiving my Animas One Touch Ping insulin pump soon (I am currently using a different pump made by Medtronic). The best part–the software is Mac compatible! My pump and sensor right now have software that is only Windows compatible, so I can’t download information from them myself. I’m going to set up my computer to run Windows through a Macro, but it’ll be awesome to just “plug and go!”

I also fit in time to go out to lunch with my best friend Nikole last week, which was so desperately needed. Nikole and I have been best friends for about 13 years now, and lived next door to each other in New Jersey during middle and high school. She moved to Arizona a few months ago, and now lives in the next town over. How ironic, right? Despite becoming best friends when I was “Allison,” Nikole still knows me better than I know myself. Before Nikole moved here a few months ago, I was becoming homesick for the first time since I moved to AZ two years ago. Other than my partner, I didn’t have anyone here who really knew me.  It’s not that I was purposefully distancing myself from others, but in my few years here, I’ve been doing a lot of personal reflection and growth. I have spent the past two years getting to know myself, which didn’t leave me as much energy for interpersonal relationships. It has been refreshing and simply amazing to be able to get coffee or lunch or just hang out with an old friend, who seems to know “Alex” just as well as she knew “Allison.”

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