Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: hyperglycemia

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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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.

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.

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