Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: Diabetes mellitus type 2

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.

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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.

Your Rights As A Diabetic In The Workplace

As a Massage Therapist, it is very difficult for me to work full time and manage my diabetes. When I am essentially “stuck” in a room for one to two hours at a time with a client, it can be a bit of a pain to stop everything to check my bgl, makes adjustments, eat if needed, etc, while maintaining a somatic session. I’ve had to stop many a session to correct a high or low and then return to the client minutes later. Fortunately, most people are very understanding and have no problem with me stopping to make sure everything is alright.

Still though, it is good to understand our rights and our employer’s rights and obligations. Here’s a great site to get that info.

I have had to leave a couple of jobs because the physical demands were too much for this diabetic body to manage. Remember that it is more important to maintain health than income (I know, I know, it can be hard to believe – but it’s really true, I promise).

Managing Diabetes…

I was just thinking about how one of my favorite comedians, Patrice O’Neal, passed away the end of last year after having a stroke. He also had Type 2 Diabetes – diagnosed in 1993, I believe. I am not 100% sure, but I think that his stroke was a result of diabetes getting the better of his system. I remember watching him do a stand-up routine once where he was talking about how he hadn’t taken his diabetes seriously when he was younger and how he was trying to now and how difficult it is because so much of his life revolved around what to eat. We all know how that goes, right? Effin carbs. You can read an interview between him and Diabetes Forecast here. It’s a great publication, by the way. If you don’t subscribe, I recommend it.

It was a catalyst for a thought that I have had many times but that I nonetheless want to share again. TAKE YOUR DIABETES SERIOUSLY! There is no cure now, and there likely won’t be one for a long time. And even if a cure is found in ten years, and you are alive and eligible for the cure, poor diabetes management for that long will result in irreversible damage. I want all my limbs, my vision, and an overall healthy body, thank you very much! I won’t assume that a cure will be found or that my doctor will know what’s best for me. When it comes to my management, I own that shit. I dread the day I am too old to care for myself because I know it will be the beginning of the end but if I manage to get to a day when I am too old to take care of myself, well then, I’ve done a damn good job of managing my diabetes so I guess I’ll take what I can.

Here’s my point: take care of your body. Diabetes doesn’t care about how you feel. It is an emotionless, chronic pathology that will take you out if it gets a chance to. Make your health a priority. When I am an old diabetic, I want to know other old diabetics so we can sit around and talk about how we kicked the ‘betes ass!

Tom Hanks and T2D

Tom Hanks is one of us! Okay, maybe this exclusive club isn’t so glamorous and maybe it isn’t quite so exclusive but it is still a huge part of who we are and while I sympathize for Mr. Hanks, in my opinion, any attention that diabetes can get that reflects proper management is a great thing. 

Check out the story here.

Did You Hear That One About Diabetes…?

Hello out there everyone! I am looking for diabetes myths. I will soon be posting an article on them and I would like your contributions. What are some of the best (or worst) things you’ve heard about diabetes?

I’ve been told that I don’t “look” diabetic, that I eat well so I shouldn’t have it, that I am too old to have developed Type 1, and that since my pancreas “just stopped working” something should be able to make it “just start working”. Uh-huh. Yeah, right-o! That’ll be the day.

So, what have you heard slip out of people’s mouths that made you roll your eyes or dive into an explanation? Post as a comment or email me at lettertoadiabetic @ gmail dot com.

 

Hilarious Stand-Up Bit

I know some people think that it isn’t funny to joke about diabetes, but I do. I mean, why shouldn’t I joke about it? Diabetes sure isn’t going to lighten the mood so I take care of that for it and me.

Check out the laughs here.

Having diabetes doesn’t mean we stop living – it means we take it with us, the same as taking our kids or our pets. It just comes along.

ATM machine top_bottom (1)

 

This Is Rocky, My Diabetic Dog

You can read a short version of his story here. If you find that it touches you in some way, please be so kind as to share it with others via the facebook, twitter, etc buttons on the page. You can also learn more about dogs and diabetes here.

 

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Rocky is a chihuahua mix. He’s all leg and gets around by smell a lot because his diabetes induced cataracts keep him from seeing clearly most of the time. When he moves around, it looks something like what I imagine a werewolf on all fours looks like. But it would seem that he is actually mixed with whippet. Not at exciting as werewolf, but a lot easier to care for without needing fresh hearts for him to feed on. ;o)

WHY DOESN’T OBESITY ALWAYS LEAD TO TYPE 2?

WHY DOESN’T OBESITY ALWAYS LEAD TO TYPE 2?

Jun 27, 2012

EmaxHealth Health News

 

By Kathleen Blanchard RN for EmaxHealth.com

 

Researchers are trying to uncover why some people who are obese don’t develop diseases like type 2 diabetes. There may be a ‘healthy’ obesity gene that protects some people from inflammation normally associated with being overweight. Scientists believe they could find a new way to treat diabetes and other chronic health problems if they can understand what happens when the gene is activated.

 

Enzyme Responsible for “Healthy Obesity”

The researchers gathered clues about why some people who are obese don’t developed disease; especially type 2 diabetes by examining genetically modified mice.

 

Xin Guo, a Ph.D. candidate at Texas A&M’s department of nutrition and food sciences said in a media release, “Previous research had indicated that a regulatory enzyme which is encoded by the gene PFKFB3 protects against diet-induced fat tissue inflammation and systemic insulin resistance.

 

Increasing evidence shows that fat deposition, or amount, is not directly associated with the inflammation or insulin resistance in the development of obesity-related metabolic diseases.”

 

To continue reading this article, click here.

The Diabetes Tab

5 million more people living with diabetes

By Jacque Wilson and Sophia Dengo, CNN
updated 3:59 PM EST, Wed March 6, 2013

 

(CNN) — Dr. John Anderson isn’t surprised by the rapidly growing cost of diabetes in America. New research from the American Diabetes Association shows the total cost of diabetes was $245 billion in 2012 — a 41% increase from the $174 billion spent in 2007.

“I know of no other disease that’s increasing at (about) 8% per year,” said Anderson, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association. “That to me isn’t surprising, it’s troubling.”

What is surprising, Anderson said, is that the increased price isn’t due to rising health care costs. It’s due instead to the “sheer number” of Americans who have diabetes.

“Medication costs have gone up, but overall they haven’t gone up significantly,” said Matt Petersen, the American Diabetes Association’s managing director of medical information and professional engagement. “We have more people with diagnosed diabetes. A lot more of them. That’s the burden we face.”

An estimated 22.3 million people were living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in 2012, according to the new report, up from 17.5 million in 2007.

The growing population is due to several factors, Petersen said. Diabetes prevalence increases with age, so the aging baby boomer population is attributing to rising costs. The obesity epidemic also plays a role. Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Unfortunately, not all risk factors can be controlled, Petersen said. African-Americans, American Indians and Asian-Americans are all at a greater risk of developing diabetes than Caucasians, leading researchers to believe there is a genetic link.\

“People fundamentally can’t do anything about susceptibility,” he said.

Diabetes can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness, according to the CDC. If it’s not kept under control, diabetes also can cause infections that may lead to leg or foot amputations.

Approximately 246,000 deaths were attributed to diabetes in 2012, according to the American Diabetes Association’s report.

There is good news, Petersen said. Although our diabetes costs are growing, we’re spending the dollars effectively.

“We’re picking it up earlier and caring for it better,” he said. “We’re getting the right value for our money.”

Anderson and the association hope to continue to spread awareness about diabetes. Addressing the disease on the front end, before it leads to serious complications, will help lower overall costs, he said.

“That’s a great way of preventing the growth of this epidemic.”

JENN McCOLLUM

Victorianist. Scholar. Professor.

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