Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: Conditions and Diseases

A Tattoo for BGL Testing? A New Twist on the Idea.

I found this article and thought it was worth sharing. You can see the original here.

A Rub-On Tattoo for Diabetics Could Mean the End of Finger Pricking 

by Sarah Zhang

Pricking your finger for a blood glucose test will never, ever be fun. Thankfully, scientists have been hard at work on a bloodless and needleless alternative: a rub-on temporary tattoo that, as weird as it sounds, gently sucks glucose through the surface of the skin.

The thin, flexible device created by nanoengineers at UCSD is based on the much bulkierGlucoWatch, a now-discontinued wristband that worked through the same glucose-sucking principal. But the electric current GlucoWatch used to attract glucose to the surface of the skin was too high, and wearers were not keen on the discomfort. This temporary tattoo gets around the problem by using a gentler but still effective current.

It then detects glucose through an enzyme that breaks glucose down into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. The amount of hydrogen peroxide is a proxy for blood glocal levels.

Now, if you follow the glucose tattoo space closely, you might know that a permanent glucose-sensing tattoo has been floated as an idea before. But this is a different type of device entirely. For one, it’s not an actual tattoo that involves needles driving glucose-sensing ink into the skin. And for two, it’s already been tested in humans. A proof-of-concept study published inAnalytical Chemistry found it accurate at measuring blood sugar levels in seven healthy volunteers.

Of course, there’s still plenty of work to be done to make it into a device people can use at home over the long term. But a bloodless blood sugar test will certainly be welcome.

A Normal Life…

I recently read an article in which a Diabetic recalled being told at the time he was diagnosed that he would be able to “live a normal life.”

A normal life…

I do normal things. I go to work five days each week. I take showers and crochet. I walk my dogs. I chat with my sister on Facebook. But other than diabetes management being something that I have to do every day, it is not normal. Normal isn’t always normal just because it becomes regular or comfortable or predictable. There is nothing “normal” about a diabetic life. It will never feel normal to go to bed each night knowing that your blood glucose could dump in your sleep, send you into a diabetic coma, and never let you wake again. There is nothing normal about having to bleed, inject, log, and measure every day. But we all do it. There is nothing normal about having to run home on a break to inject a new sensor for the week or having to set aside 10-15% of my income to cover the cost of diabetes copays.

So, let’s stop trying to lead normal lives. Let’s embrace the difference. Let’s allow everyone to see how incredibly amazing we all are just for being able to not die from this disease every day. We are Diabetics. We are not normal. We are unbelievably strong. We can complete complicated mathematical formulas in seconds just to eat a meal. We are all endocrinologists, dietitians, counselors, and diabetes experts. We know how to adjust dosages, how to recognize and treat hypo- and hyperglycemia, and how to pick ourselves up off our rear-ends and run back out into the world without anyone even noticing that we nearly just died because our blood sugar dropped 100 points in 20 minutes and we were dizzy and swaying and so close to passing out that we considered in those moments the frailty of our existence.

We are not normal. We are the epitome of amazing.

Love and light.

And Now It’s Time For A Diabetic Laugh…

I found this on facebook and had to share it here for those of you who have not seen it. I think jokes about diabetes are funny as long as the person telling them actually understands diabetes. Clearly this person gets it.

Copied from this website.

 

29 Things Only a Person with Diabetes Would Understand

Written by Lizmari Collazo

1. Every paper cut is an opportunity to test your blood sugar.

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2. You have an entire drawer, dresser, or closet devoted to diabetes supplies.

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3. You have hundreds of lancets and only a few test strips. But on the plus side, your health insurance company is willing to pay for more lancets!

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4. When it’s time to test, all you have to do is squeeze your finger.

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5. The phrase “once in a blue moon” is a reminder that it’s time to change your lancet.

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6. You hesitate to wear white in case you prick your finger and hit a ‘gusher.’

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7. Your fingers appear to spell something in braille.

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8. Being high means something completely different to you than it does to most people.

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9. You can calculate the carbohydrate total of every meal in your head without breaking a sweat.

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10. You should test your blood sugar six times a day, but insurance only approved you for one strip a week.

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11. You can put a mathematician to shame: insulin on board, carb factors, insulin to carb ratio, no problem!

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12. Well-meaning friends have offered you every diabetes remedy under the sun, from cinnamon to birdseed milk.

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13. You’ve heard, “But you don’t look like a diabetic!”

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14. You’re familiar with all the diabetes horror stories of the relatives of anyone you’ve ever met.

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15. You’ve heard, “You can’t eat that!” too many times.

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16. Everyone wants to know where you got your cool pager.

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17. You find used test strips in your refrigerator but don’t know how they got there.

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18. You have a pile of diabetes cookbooks holding up your sofa.

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19. You own 15 glucose meters, but you only use one.

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20. CSI would have a very hard time ‘investigating the scene’ at your house.

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21. You have two cases of juice boxes at home, and none of them are for your kids.

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22. You have to remind yourself that it isn’t polite to punch people who say ‘diabeetus’ in the face.

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23. The pharmacy is number one on your speed dial, and you’re on a first name basis with the pharmacist.

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24. People often say “You can eat it, it’s sugar free!” about something that’s loaded with carbohydrates.

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25. Everyone asks you what to do about their ‘noncompliant’ diabetic spouse.

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26. You read every article that promises ways to improve your glucose level, but they all end up being about prevention instead.

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27. According to TV commercials, it’s a good thing you’re young, because only old people get diabetes.

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28. There’s never been any butter in your refrigerator’s butter compartment — it’s used for storing insulin.

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29. To lick or to wipe? That is the question.

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Show Me Your Pump!

After indulging in a little social media griping about people’s reactions to my insulin pump in public, someone shared this wonderful article with me. Enjoy!

Hey, Miss Idaho, Is That An Insulin Pump On Your Bikini?

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, shown here in her home town of Twin Falls, Idaho, decided not to hide the insulin pump she wears to treat Type 1 diabetes during the pageant.

How To Test Basal Insulin Levels

For five days in a row, I woke up with 200+ readings. Okay, a pattern. I get it. So back to basal testing to make the necessary adjustments to my pump settings. So I tested every two hours last night and ran low 100’s, then get up this morning with a 71. If anything, that indicates my basal insulin needs to be reduced a few hours before waking. Zoinks! So I’ll see what I wake up to tomorrow and retest if needed. But it brings up a good point: do you know how to test your basal insulin levels?

For pump users especially, because we can adjust our settings, this is a very important piece of info. Even if you are on MDI therapy, it is still a must-have piece of info. How it works:

Eat your normal dinner at least four hours before heading to bed. Then don’t eat again until the next day. No food! Not even a skittle. 🙂

Set an alarm to go off every two hours. Something annoying that can’t be ignored is good.

Test just before going to bed and write down your bgl. If it anywhere between 100 and 250, don’t do anything to correct.

Every two hours, when that super annoying alarm goes off, test and record your bgl.

If the numbers stay within a thirty point range, you’re great. Don’t make any changes.

If they drop or increase more than 30 points, talk to your doc about adjusting your basal levels.

My doc has me increase or decrease in 10% increments as needed to make adjustment. Example: I have my basal insulin set at .5 units/hour. A 10% decrease to lessen the amount of basal insulin (if my numbers drop more than 30 points between any two testings) would put me at .45 units/hour. The basal adjustment has to be set for somewhere between 1 and 2 hours prior to the change in bg readings to allow time for the adjustment to take place.

BUT REMEMBER! If this whole basal testing thing is new to you (or even if it isn’t), talk to your doc!!! before making changes to your regimen.

Rocky, the Diabetic Pup

Thank you to those who visited and clicked in the American Dog contest a few weeks back. I thought some of you may be interested in seeing who Rocky is. He’s my diabetic-turned-hypoglycemic pup. And he’s the one of the best things I have ever had in my life. Of all the teachers I have had, I never expected that it would be a diabetic chihuahua mix that would help me come to terms with my own diabetes.

Educate Yourself

I say again and again how important it is to educate yourself – especially when it comes to diabetes. One of my favorite places to start gathering easy info is youtube. Now, of course you have to keep in mind that anyone can post anything on youtube but there is also some great info on there posted by creditable organizations who really do know what they’re talking about. Take a few minutes to dig through and you may be surprised by what you find.

 

Help Bring Attention to Diabetes in Dogs!

This is a little off from what I would normally post but since it is a personal and related event, I am hoping you’ll be so kind as to click and vote for Rocky! Rocky is my dog. When I adopted him from the shelter a year ago, he was well on his way to recovering from untreated diabetes. He was so sick when he arrived at the shelter 5 months earlier, I don’t how he managed to survive. But he did…and so they named him Rocky. Since then, he has gone from being diabetic to having hypoglycemia. We can’t figure out exactly what it going on but one thing in for sure: this pup does not have stable blood sugar values. I have entered him into this contest on the chance that he should win and help to bring attention to both special needs pups and how prevalent diabetes is in humans and dogs! Click on Rocky’s name above or here to vote.  The contest only goes through the 13th and you can vote daily so please click and vote today and everyday through the 13th!

Me and my Rock!

 

Thanks everyone,

Melissa

Gene Therapy for Diabetes in Dogs

I’ve had a nice break but I think it’s time I get back to sharing some info.

I heard about gene therapy for diabetic dogs and I went article searching. I found this. Diabetes in humans and canines is similar so there is hope that a similar therapy could be used in people with T1D as well. Of course, the dogs tested do not have naturally occurring diabetes. I’m personally not a fan of animal testing but in this particular case, I think that findings may be worth the research, especially given that at a four year check-in, the dogs were still free of diabetes.

 

Jerry, the Diabetic Bear

I developed Type I Diabetes as an adult, at the age of 31. I didn’t have to live with the stigma of diabetes as a child. I didn’t have to be the only kid who had diabetes. I didn’t have to be the kid that wasn’t normal. As an adult, I can accept the technicalities of diabetes. I can understand the importance of managing it now to avoid complications later. I can’ t imagine how it must feel to be a kid with diabetes.

But Sproutel sure seems to be able to. They have designed, Jerry, the bear with diabetes to help children manage their diabetes. Check it out the video below.

JENN McCOLLUM

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