Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: Diabetes mellitus

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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Misdiagnosed

I found this story on the Greater Good website and it’s worth reading. I was originally misdiagnosed (or rather, not even diagnosed). In February of 2011, I went to see an Endocrinologist. I had never been to one but I thought it would help since I believed that the trouble I was having was related to hypothyroidism and I was concerned that my primary physician wasn’t catching some stuff that a specialist would. I was constantly fatigued, depressed, thirsty, had to pee all the time. Right.

So I get to the this doc, whose name I’ll not mention, and this old bloke tells me that he has “seen this before” and what I really needed was to go out and get a career and a husband. Um, can we say jacka**?! He then told me in a condescending sort of way that he would pursue this with me if I wanted. I went home, frustrated, exhausted, and having to pee…again.

August 11th, 2011 I was in the ER. Diabetes. Diagnosed T2 only to realize later it was actually T1 (LADA). So, I know this happens and it probably happens more than we hear about since I suspect there are some serious malpractice implications that go along with these stories. But, whether caught early or late, here we all are, and here’s “Thirteen Years and Counting.

 

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.

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.

Ain’t No Shame In Diabetes

I came across a great article on the blog, six until me. Shout it from the mountain tops, I say. The more people know about diabetes, the more of us who are willing to present it for what it really is and the effect it has on our minds and bodies (and every other damn thing that has anything to do with life), the more likely we are to be able to leave the stigma behind.

Someone told me the other day that I don’t look like a diabetic. I hear this all the time and I always wonder, well, what the hell does a diabetic look like? For me, I suppose it would be a picture of a pancreas that does absolutely nothing. 

 

What Type I Diabetes looks like –>

Bet you can’t even tell I am having a bad hair day.

 

It saddens me how little our society knows about such a prevalent disease. And that won’t change unless diabetics educate themselves first, and everyone else after!

Eating Season (Damn You Diabetes!)

So, it’s November. When did that happen? I swear that just the other day my (ex)boyfriend was jumping up and down on the bed while I was trying to sleep off the flu at midnight yelling, “It’s 2000 baby! Wake up!” So now, at the end of 2013, I find myself wondering where all that time went, and most importantly, like I have every holiday season with diabetes and food allergies, what the hell am I going to eat this year?!

This year I have decided to have awesome holiday feasts regardless of disease and allergy issues and so the challenge becomes how do I eat what I want and what I need to at the same time? My mission: to modify classic holiday recipes to make them low carb, dairy free, and gluten free while making them taste just as good or better than the originals. Can I do it? Well, I don’t know. But we’ll find out.

Please comment with any favorite dishes you’d like modifications for and let’s see how many dishes we can recreate!

First up: Pumpkin Pie!

PUMPKIN PIE (yum)

makes 12 servings

Crust:

I make my own crust using Smart Balance and a GF all purpose flour mix. This is easy peasy.

1 9″ pie pan

1 C flour mix

1/4 C smart balance

Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract, and any other “Thanksgiving spices” you like. These are just what I use.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Mix flour and smart balance together in large bowl by kneading it together with your hand. Start with half of the smart balance and add as needed. It should be a bit dry and crumbling but hold together when pressed into to the pie pan. Add in your spices to taste (until it smells yummy). You can add a little brown sugar here but I generally skip it to keep the carbs down.  Press finished crust mix into bottom of pie pan (I also skip out on the sides of the crust to keep the carb count down).

Place pie pan in preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until top begins to brown slightly.

Pie filling:

There are a couple of ways to do this. You can buy a pie pumpkin and slice, clean, bake, scrape, and process it. Or you can buy a 29 oz can of Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin and do this the easy way. I go with the can these days. It’s a real time saver.

1 29 oz can of Libby’s pure pumpkin (or other brand as long as it is 100% pumpkin – nothing added)

3 large eggs

Spices to taste (brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, cloves, ginger, etc) Use what you like the flavor of and use as much or as little as you like. If you really, really need measurements, go with the following:

  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix everything together in that same big bowl you used to mix up the crust. Take crust out of oven (use a mitt) and place on a safe, steady surface. Turn oven temp up to 425 degrees.

Pour filling mix into pie pan and smooth out top. Put it back in the oven. After 15 minutes, turn the oven temp down to 350 degrees and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Pie is done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Pie should have just a bit of “jiggle” to it. We’re making pie here, not a giant pumpkin brick, right? 🙂

Let pie cool, sprinkle a little nutmeg on top, and slice into 12 evenly sized pieces.

Eat (just one slice for you, Diabetic!) Remember, we eat to live, not live to eat!

*Each slice comes out to about 15-20 grams of carbs when using Libby’s pumpkin.

**Reddi Whip and Cool Whip have surprisingly low carb counts and can make a nice topper to the pie when used in moderation.

***The pie really does come out just fine without the evaporated milk and extra sugars, etc. I have made this pie many times and everyone always likes it.

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!

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.

 

JENN McCOLLUM

Victorianist. Scholar. Professor.

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