Freaky Friday: #DBlog Week, Day 5 May 17, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: Dblog Week
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Dblog Prompt: Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?
If I could switch with somebody my diabetes for a different chronic disease, I guess I would switch for something that is truly treated with one pill a day. Except…oh yeah, I have one of those too (hypothyroid)! I am no expert on chronic diseases, but I am pretty sure I would rather have Type 1 diabetes than cancer, Celiac, HIV/AIDS or Type 2 diabetes. A drastic comparison perhaps, but those are some of the big chronic diseases this world encounters.
Reading other people’s blogs, meeting other people at diabetes meet ups has helped me open my mind a bit. Having diabetes already sets me up with an open mind as to what other people might be dealing with. And that sometimes your body screws you over big time and the only thing you can do is make the best of it with a good attitude, medications and new technologies. A good friend of mine has Celiac, and just as she learned how to deal with my diabetes, I learned how to eat, cook, clean and travel gluten-free. Those kinds of things are just part of who that person is; if you’re my friend, you are accepted regardless as to what you’ve got going on.
But, if you are a stranger and one of the first things I know about you is that you have Type 2 diabetes, MS or whatever else, the diabetes online community (DOC) helps me remember that that information is NOT the most important thing about you.
You have so many other things to offer. It does not matter how or why you got stuck with a chronic disease. What matters most is who you are as a person, which might include how you’re living with a chronic disease, but the regular good-people traits like honesty and respect always trump any chronic disease characteristic.
Accomplishments Big And Small: #DBlog Week, Day 4 May 16, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: Dblog Week, goals
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Dblog Prompt: We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).
Thinking about this prompt, the first thing that came to mind is this blog. This blog is the biggest thing I have done BECAUSE I am diabetic. But, let me backtrack. I don’t think about my accomplishments with or because of diabetes. I don’t remember not having diabetes, so any accomplishment in my life celebrated the actual goal at hand. When I graduated college or bought a house, those accomplishments were not made any less important or more important because I’m diabetic. Riding my bike to work was huge for me – I wore my YouCanDoThis bracelet, but that is as close as diabetes got to that accomplishment. Losing weight, staying fit, eating healthy, are accomplishments because I feel better about myself. Those accomplishments make diabetes easier to manage (note – never easy), but I do not attempt those things just because I am diabetic.
It’s just part of who I am. Infusion sites, new technologies, crunching numbers are my every day life. I have always had to manage this whole extra set of stuff. The accomplishments I might have within that extra set of stuff are no different than someone meeting their goal to eat more vegetables, drink less, a weightlifter getting a max rep, or a body builder acing his pose.
Perhaps my biggest accomplishment is that diabetes has never been my biggest accomplishment.
Memories: #DBlog Week, Day 3 May 16, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: Dblog Week, dexcom, Lows
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Dblog Prompt: Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.
I can’t say I have a most memorable diabetes day. Or at least, didn’t want to think that hard about it. So I thought instead about one of my funny lows (or at least now-funny lows). A someone of mine and I had a friend who was excellent at math, I think he was an accountant or had some mathy career. One night the someone woke me up to test because Dex was beeping low and I was blowing it off, you know, because Dex was wrong.
I was absolutely convinced that Dex was wrong and I remember making a pretty big deal about Dex being wrong. How this someone had the patience for me, I have no idea. Then I tested. I can’t remember the number, but it was a definite confirmed low. At which point, I went into a whole long schpeel about how we needed to call our math friend (it was 1 am or something ridiculous). I refused to drink juice or eat a snack because I did not want to treat a ‘not low’ number. I then apparently delivered a significantly long explanation about how the calibration between Dex and my meter was incorrect, with attempts at actual science and math talk. I then tried to explain that if we called our math friend to run the numbers, he would help me prove that I was not really low.
And this conversation went round and round in circles for who knows how long…dude, just drink the damn juice and go back to bed…
For more information about Diabetes Blog Week – check out Karen at Bitter~Sweet! And really, you should check her out anyway, she just plain rocks.
We, The Undersigned: #DBlog Post, Day 2 May 14, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: Dblog Week
Dblog Prompt: Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) – get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?
We, the undersigned, call upon carbohydrates, referred to as carbs, to behave the same way, every day all day. It is unfair and discriminatory to behave differently in all situations, let alone in identical situations. This unpredictable behavior is causing undeserved physical and mental anguish to members of the diabetes community around the world.
If you come in the form of an apple or a piece of pizza – behave the same! A mango or brownie, a banana or banana bread – behave the same! A sandwich on Tuesday, the same kind of sandwich on Thursday – behave the same!
I don’t want to guess, or have to remember, how long it takes you to do your thing. Yes, I know an orange hits me hard and fast. I know Ben & Jerry’s needs an increased basal rate, a bolus upfront and a 3-unit bolus after about 3 hours. I still can’t figure out what you’re doing in the banana bread at work.
Could you just label yourself and do your thing in the same amount of time, no matter what form you came in?
Better yet, don’t do anything at all! No spikes, no instant reaction, no delayed reaction. Let my body take the nutrients it needs and leave in peace!
Owner of a broken pancreas
Share and Don’t Share: #DBlog Week, Day 1 May 13, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: Dblog Week, Endo
Dblog Prompt: Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see? *Writer Note: Big surprise – I got side tracked with this prompt…
Pretending my medical team read my blog left me with a not pretend, audible, uh-oh. This blog is about sharing my achievements, fears, frustrations and struggles pertaining to diabetes. I hope that my readers can relate or learn from what I share. Knowing that I have readers, and that some of you relate to almost every post is a huge part of why I write. The idea that my medical team might be part of that feels awkward. However, a medical team that also provides emotional and mental support or professional attention is a relatively new idea for me. My endo is the core of my medical team; he is also the one I see most often. My endo is about numbers. He needs to help me find patterns, relationships and new solutions. That has worked for me in the past, and it’s working now. He knows what activities I like, and he’s learned not to comment on the dangers of new tattoos.
And he doesn’t need to. I don’t want to discuss all that with him.
However, adding other medical members to the team who are trained to listen, talk, educate and help is something that makes sense to me. I do think a counselor or psychologist should be continuously suggested or offered as part of an endo appointment. Asking for some help is hard. Thinking about help because your medical team sent a referral, or because you are expected to include that person as part of your diabetes care – that might be easier.
Wordless Wednesday: Hold on Infusion Site! May 8, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: pump, Wordless Wednesday
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I Love You, But We Need a Break April 22, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: dexcom, OneTouch Ping
Last month I took a break from my DexCom continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, so pretend you are reading this then.
I love my DexCom CGM. I’m thankful to be in a position to own one. For me, CGM is the best new technology advancement to be approved since I was diagnosed (1987).
But we needed a break. I tried to sit down and have an adult conversation about the beeping and vibrating and double up arrows and double down arrows. I tried to explain that I need a good night’s sleep without extra noise. I tried to explain how the double up arrows really stress me out, and how insulin can take 15 minutes to work, and that your delay time means that I was probably already leveling out when you beeped at me again. Instead, I rage bolused, leading to more lows, leading to rollercoaster days. So I need a break.
You said – hey babe, just eat better. We’re all good.
You, my Dex, always over-simplify. I know this break is my fault, but you have not been supportive.
My OneTouch Ping meter is much more agreeable after getting over the, you-only-use-me-when-you’re-mad-at-him, feeling.
This is my first Dex break where I feel comfortable without it and have no urge to insert a new sensor. My insulin bolus amounts are more accurate, and my numbers are fairly stable. (Note: I compared stats and my 10-day meter average was only 5 points different than my 10-day Dex average. This information surprised me as I felt I ran higher without Dex.)
I definitely miss my trend arrows and night-time security. However, after I adjusted to setting an alarm for once or twice at night to wake up and test, night is okay. Those nighttime tests are invaluable. Plus, waking up to a midnight alarm and realizing I have still have four hours left to sleep is awesome!
I will get all sensored up here in the next few days. The technology is too phenomenal to waste, but in the mean time I’ll enjoy the nonbeeping, nonvibrating Ping meter.
How often do you and your devices go on a break? Does it help or hinder your diabetes management?
Wordless Wednesday: Secret Pocket March 27, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: Lows, travel, Wordless Wednesday
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I’d Prefer a Post-it Note March 24, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
My internal organs sent a message the other night, I’m pretty sure. It’s not that my numbers were outrageous. It’s not that I didn’t try to cover my carbs. It’s not that I was eating a brand new food. But it was a combination of all those preceded by a week of long days, short nights and goofy food combos.
I wasn’t feeling super to begin with, but proceeded to have some (ie, almost all) of my favorite trail mix with dried cranberries, nuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips. I know this particular mix takes a couple hours to kick in. That was going to be all, but I got sucked into the Costa Rica vs. United States World Cup qualifier game.
Costa Rica and I go back, plus game-night weather made for an interesting game. So I grabbed some sweet potato chips, an Easy Street beer, an increased basal rate with a bolus and settled in. Dex and I were taking a break (more on that later), so I wasn’t entirely sure which way my numbers were trending, but I tested and treated throughout the game. That trail mix is high-cal, so I rode my roller bike for the last half of the game (not entirely logical, but stick with me). Which, as expected, made me drop, so I fiddled with basals again.
To recap – it is way past my bedtime, I added trail mix, beer and sweet potato chips to an already not great feeling stomach, had changed basal rates twice, with a few boluses scattered throughout all that.
I went to bed at 11 pm, blood glucose, oddly enough, at 104. By 12:30 I was nauseous and 424. A 300 point rise in an hour and a half. Uhh….not good.
Sweet potato chips taste like plain corn tortilla chips on the way back up. By 1:30 am the point was made and I curled up, cold, in fetal position with a cat on my head (as cats do). Three and a half hours later, I woke up at 142.
Thanks for the uh-hey-you’re-diabetic-don’t-be-dumb-just-be-careful reminder. A post-it note would have been preferred.
Cure and Hope Are Four-Letter Words March 7, 2013Posted by laosita in diabetes.
Tags: cure, DOC, dreams, goals
This week has been one of posts about cures, hope, disappointment and encouragement because of an announcement made pertaining to a ‘cure’. The posts have been superb, and I’m so proud to be in this community right now. Check out links in this post, or my blogroll, for some phenomenal DOC reads and thoughts.
Hope. Cure. Technically, these are four-letter words. I use the less appropriate four-letter words more often. In the almost 25 years I’ve lived with diabetes, not once did I think I would be cured and never will I believe a cure is in my future.
While I don’t remember anyone telling me specifically ‘They’re working on a cure, hang tight 5 to 10 years’, I do recall countless reports of ‘cures’ in the next 5 to 10 years. As so many DOC members have shared, they would be cured twice or three times if that were true.
I do not believe in a cure in my lifetime. And I do not hope for it. Say a cure is discovered tomorrow. Great. That does not mean shit for me. Not every diabetic will be cured the day after FDA approval. FDA approved does not equate to accessibility. My control, as compared to ADA guidelines, is solid. Therefore insurance might tell me I don’t ‘need’ the cure. People with ‘out of range’ A1Cs or high risk of complications would top this cure list.
No eligibility restrictions? Cool. My health insurance rocks, so I might be in. But a cure comes with its own set of restrictions. A whole new way to care of my body, to care for whatever extra precautions I might need to take. Transplants come with a slew of issues the patient must be aware of and manage. I am not sure I would be willing to change my day-to-day responsibilities – that I’ve managed for two decades – for something brand new.
And what about folks without awesome health insurance? What percentage of PWDs would love a CGM or a pump, and CANNOT GET ONE because of cost or insurance issues? Kiddos in poorer nations cannot get daily insulin injections. In those countries, diabetes is still a death sentence. That.Is.Bullshit. The people who need a cure the most won’t be the ones to get it.
Hope for a cure is too uncomfortable, too foolish, too selfish for me*.
However. Hope for technology advancements, for improved education and for prevention – I am onboard with that. That is why I participate in the community. That is why I support JDRF, ADA, the DOC, mentors, educators, endos, scientists and studies. And to me, that is as important as the cure is for a parent with a newly diagnosed kid.
But a cure is not something to count on. It is not something to teach your kid or your peers to count on. The goal of any diabetic is to survive and to live life. That is anybody’s goal. Yeah, your pancreas screwed you over. Use that to make you a better person. Is it easy? Never. Fun? There are upsides, but no not really. But You Can Do This. Having diabetes makes you smarter about your choices. Makes you responsible. Makes you grateful. Would I ever wish diabetes on anyone? Hell No. But for those of us with whacked-out pancreases, don’t let hope for a cure distract you from your achievements. We have enough distractions.
*Note: I respect those of you hopeful for a cure. It’s just not me. Truly, you make a difference. Truly, you contribute to a worthy and admirable cause.