Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: diabetes

Beta cell regeneration discovery could open up type 1 diabetes treatment options

Check out the article here.

*Image copied from diabetes.co.uk

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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.

Crack out the Crock Pot

I love crock pot soups and I had a hankering for cream of celery. A little google search brought me right here to WordPress, where I found this recipe. I modified it a little bit (just for personal preference) and it turns out great!

Follow the link above for the original by Chika Obih Wellness or use the tweaked version I did. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

My version:

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

3.5 C chopped celery

1/2 C chopped carrot

2 t salt

1 t pepper

2 C water

2 C vanilla soymilk

1-2 serrano peppers chopped

3 T butter or butter substitute

Instructions:

Put all ingredients in a crock pot large enough to hold everything and cook on high for 3-4 hours. As the ingredients cook, the stock will begin to cover the top of the veggies. When you first start it, it will look like there isn’t enough liquid for the soup.

Once cooked, use a hand blender to blend soup into a smooth consistency.

 

That’s it! It’s comes out pretty hot with 2 peppers. 1 would probably be enough but go by your tastes.

 

 

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.

 

CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor)

After having too many low readings (30s – 50s) with no symptoms until feeling like I was going to pass out, I caved and got the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor. I wish I would have gotten this thing earlier. It’s an awesome device. It spits out a bgl reading every five minutes. It’s user friendly, easy to insert, very small, and gives information on trending. Alarms can be set for highs and lows and I have been told there is an android app that allows users to get info off the monitor from great distances (think kids at school and such) though I haven’t verified this. It is tubeless, and comes in pink, blue, and black. Seriously folks, any T1 who has trouble keeping their bg where they want it should have one of these. Check out the Dexcom page about the CGM.

I have been in bed sick this week and normally in this situation keeping my bg in range is a futile endeavor but I have mostly been able to keep it in the 100s because I have known exactly what it is and where it is going. The information you get on trending with this monitor is invaluable. So take a look, and if you already have a CGM, share your thoughts on which devices and features you prefer.

 

Insulin Pen Approved for Diabetic Dogs

Well looky what I found! A new insulin pen has been approved for use with diabetic dogs. Check the caveat at the bottom – dogs allergic to pork products should NOT use this.

I scanned this straight out of the most current issue of Dog Fancy magazine.

dog insulin pen

Endo-Anxiety (or A Rare Condition Involving Irrational Fear of Not Having Control of Your Diabetes).

Another endo visit awaits me on Thursday, during which I will no doubt be weighed and measured, quite literally. Sometimes the trips drive me crazy, sometimes they’re welcome, but they are always useful. And that’s the part we need to remember. You can learn a lot about controlling your diabetes during your endo visit. Remember, though, that you are your only real health advocate and it is up to you to go fishing for information. So next time that (perhaps dreaded) visit roles around, do yourself a favor or two.

~Get a copy of your most recent lab results. After all, that’s why you’re there, to go over results and check in. So get a hard copy and start a file so that you can keep your own records and follow along.

~Let your endo, (and medical assistants) know what you need help with. You’re literally standing in a great resource for information and help. Ask for it.

~Don’t blame yourself if your results aren’t where you want them to be. If you’re alive, and have a good to terrific quality of life, diabetes isn’t winning. Take comfort in that and keep on truckin’.

~But mostly, remember that at the end of the day, you’re head will be on your pillow. Nothing lasts forever, and most of what we worry about is in our imaginations. We worry about things that might happen or will happen or won’t ever happen at all. You’re here, on the right side of the earth for living, and we can’t forget that while we carry a disease around inside our bodies, days come and go, life moves along, and we are just as entitled to living it as anyone else is.

Love and light,

Melissa

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.

JENN McCOLLUM

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