Thursday, May 14, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week Day 4 - Changes

"Today let's talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you'd most like to se change about diabetes, in ay way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people's perceptions, your own feelings - anything at all that you feel could use changing. ..."

I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not a huge fan of change.  In fact, I don't even rearrange my living room.  Having somethings the same as they always have is a sense of comfort to me.

That being said, there is one change related to my diabetes that would have given me a sense of comfort a whole lot sooner.

Better screening, testing, and diagnosing.

When I went into the doctor that Friday morning in 2004 with unexplained weight loss of 50lbs, she said it was probably thyroid but that we'd run some blood tests to see.  They called me that afternoon and said I had to go back in that day.  My blood sugar was 511 and my A1C was 11.2.  I was given a prescription for metformin, an appointment to meet with a dietitian on Monday, and a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.

It took me 6 years and two doctor switches to get that corrected.

At the doctor's office that finally corrected my type, they ordered a c-peptide test and an anti-body test.  My c-peptide test came back showing I had "less that 0.01% insulin production".  In other words.. nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

The change I would like to see is better understanding of diagnosing the different types of diabetes by physicians.  Don't assume because of some one's age (I was two days shy of 29) that they are automatically one type or the other.

I know that these tests aren't cheap.  Trust me, I saw the insurance claim.  But I also know that the amount of heartache and beating myself up because I couldn't do it right, isn't cheap either.

One test that IS cheap is a simple glucose finger stick or urine test.

How many stories have we heard of children being sent home with antibiotics because of some illness when it turns out to actually be diabetes?  Way too many!

Better screening, testing, and diagnosing.

THAT is a change I could live with.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week day 3 - Clean it Out

"Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let's clear stuff out.  What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out?  This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you're mentally or emotionally  hanging on to.  Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?"

This is the clean shelf of my dia-stuff.  All of it in expiration date order.

It's true.  I keep stuff that doesn't necessarily need to be kept.
  • I still have the meter case that came with my meter, but I use a small makeup bag instead. 
  • I still have the belt case that came with my first Dexcom G4, but I started using a TallyGear case almost right away.
  • I still have the Dexcom transmitters that have dead batteries.
  • I still have the complete box my first pump came in, but I've received a new pump since then.
This doesn't only apply to diabetes supplies.
  • I still have all the glasses and their cases my daughter got as she was growing up.  There are 4 pair in the bottom drawer of my bathroom.
  • I still have the shoe boxes from the last 4 pair of shoes I bought.
  • I still have the cookie tin from a box of cookies I received at Christmas time.
I don't really need to keep all of these things.  Some are useful for other things though.  The cookie tine is a rather nice rectangular red metal box.  I used it this weekend to hold my clothespins while I washed their normal container.  The belt case for my Dexcom G4 is nice as a backup for when I wash the TallyGear case.  For the most part though, this stuff is unnecessary.

The problem is, I can't get rid of it.

The meter case is a perfect example.  It is designed especially for my meter.  It has a nice plastic holder in it and an elastic slip to hold a test strip bottle.  I can't use it for anything else, but here's the problem - it came with  my meter.  I still use my meter.  I can't get rid of the case.

The same goes for dresses, books, pajamas, or anything that comes together.  I have a mental block about separating them.  It doesn't matter that I don't wear half of the pajamas because they don't fit, I can't get rid of it until I get rid of the half that does fit.  Does that make sense?

The Dexcom transmitters are a different story.  I know they don't work.  I know I could never use them again (no matter how much weight I lose).  I still keep them.  There is a mental block against just throwing something away that cost so much.  I just can't do it. 

What do YOU do with your old transmitters?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week Day 2 - Keep it to Yourself

"Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?"

Yes, I know.  A blog post to talk about what I won't talk about sounds very.. oxymoronic.  However, I think it is a great idea. 

Think about it.

You have something weird going on with your diabetes (or whatever) and you turn to the internet to see if anyone else is having that same weirdness.  You find nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  That is almost more destructive than finding wrong information.  Almost.  I know for me it weighs heavily on me mentally and emotionally.  I start to think, "If no one else is experiencing this, then I must be REALLY REALLY bad and am going to die."  Or, "I'm making this up, and I'm turning into a hypochondriac."  Then you get into the downward mental spiral and end up in the corner curled in a ball sucking your thumb.

See?  Very destructive.

However, if I were to come across a blog post (or 90) that said.  "I won't talk about THIS thing, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen, just that I'm not sharing the details."  I would go, "Whew!!  I'm not crazy!  There are other people that are experiencing this."  The power of "ME TOO" strikes, and comforts, again.

There are times and places where the unmentionable topics are safe to talk about.  A place where you know there will be no judging, no snickering, no "ya whatever"-ing.  It may be at your doctor, in your living room with family, in your closet with your spouse, or at a conference with other PWD's that is designed to be a safe place.  (I'm talking about you, Diabetes UnConference)

It's at places like that where I will talk about the untalkable topics.

Diabetes effects absolutely every area of life.  Every area.  Not just my health in relation to my food but everything.  My stomach health, my gastro-intestinal health, my internal organ health, my social health, my mental health, my sex health, my humor health, my structural (bone) health, etc. 

Someone wanted to ask me a diabetes related question the other day and prefaced it with, "If this is too personal and you don't want to answer, I totally understand, but I'm curious."  My reply to them was, "I will answer 99% of the questions you have.  I'd rather you ask, than not ask and be mis-informed." 

The same goes for here. 

I will talk about 99% of diabetes related things.  The other 1% I will leave for a more appropriate, and safe, setting for good discussions.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I can...

"In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of "I Can..." that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diab3etes, that you weren't sure you could? Or what have you done that you've been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?"

Diabetes has done a lot in my life.  The changes that I have gone through, not only in my own health, but in my house as well, have been both good and bad.  I've cleaned, and lost, closet space.  I've watched my food intake more, and also threw it out the window. 

The one thing that I am particularly proud of is my exercise competition with my best friend this year.  I've surprised myself with being able to surpass my goal every month!  One month I even completed double what my goal was! 

It hasn't been without it's bummers, let me assure you.  This month, for example, I did not win.  My best friend beat me by a few hours.  FEW HOURS!!  I was 1.03 mile short of the goal, when she texted me at 6:50 this morning with her completion of the month's goal.  (I'll expand more on this at the end of the month when I have my complete figures).

However, the fact that I'm able to reach my goal, without significant lows and even plowing through a few highs, tells me that I can do anything I set my mind to. 

I can push myself and not let Diabetes get in the way. 

I can compete against a "healthy' person, on the same level and truly be a challenging competitor.

I can

I will


I DO!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Month 1 of second quarter

Okay.  I know I've not been posting much diabetes related items lately, but that will change soon.  Next week, May 11 through the 17th is Diabetes Blog Week.  Check it out the details here.  I plan on getting a post in everyday. 

That's the plan.

Now.. onto other business.

April was the fourth month in my exercise competition.  It was the first month that the mileage goal was increased.  The goal was 50 miles.  After March's accomplishment I didn't think that 50 miles would be difficult to reach, and it wasn't.

The hard part was reaching it FIRST!

Friday, April 17th, at the end of the work day I was at 45.93 miles.  My best friend was right around the same.  She had planned an evening of exercise and a morning run.  I had family coming into town.  It was going to be tricky.  I wanted to do an evening walk but didn't get that far because ... family.  We stayed up too late and talked. 

However, I was determined. 

I set my alarm for right before sunrise, laid my clothes and shoes out ready to be jumped into, and made sure my iPod was charged.  I listen to a book while walking, and I was coming up on the middle of The Neverending Story.  (Side note:  The movie ends at the middle of the book.  Movie 2 picks up from there to the end.  It's VERY different, but a lot of movie adaptations are)

6:30 am the alarm went off.

6.45 am I was out the door.

I walked.  I saw a great sunrise. 

Some beautiful yards and a great view of a golf course. 

I hadn't walked this area before, so it was all new.  I didn't figure I'd get lost, after all I had my phone with me.  GPS for the win!

When I finished the loop I headed back home.  Other people were now out and walking their dogs and the golf course maintenance crew was out putting the water coolers.

About 3 houses from home I hit the 4.1 mile mark.  I DID IT!!  I was so tempted to text my friend right then, but I wanted to make sure I had the full distance in first.  My front step was 4.21 miles.  That brought me to a total of 50.14.

For those keeping track, that didn't completely confirm my win.  Remember we added water intake goals?  Yup, if I didn't hit my water goal I would have LOST .25 miles.  That would have sucked!  I knew I had until 6pm to drink the water, but that was pushing it way to close for my comfort.  However, I couldn't walk another block.  I've been dealing with some neuropathy in my left heel, and it was letting me know it wasn't happy with me.

Thankfully, my friend didn't run that Saturday morning, so I was basically safe.  I finished my water I plenty of time and my April win was official.

I also still had 12 days left in April.  I didn't quite beat my March total but was darn close.  Had April had 31 days, or I not missed so many water days, I totally would have.

April (goal of 50 miles):
Miles walked: 49.61
Minutes exercised: 945 = 31.5 miles
Water intake 24/31 days = 4.5 miles
TOTAL: 85.61 miles
May will be a bit trickier of  a month.  My Wednesday morning yoga class has been cancelled until further notice (the instructor is having serious health issues - if you're a pray-er, please pray for her).  The thermometer is now beginning to work against me.  My afternoon walks at work, have turned into morning walks, and soon they'll be before work walks. 
Stay tuned.