Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: pancreas

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.

 

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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

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.

 

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!

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.

 

DNA ‘reverse’ vaccine reduces levels of immune cells believed responsible for type-1 diabetes, study shows.

 

BY BRUCE GOLDMAN

 Lawrence Steinman
 

A clinical trial of a vaccine, led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and designed to combat type-1 diabetes, has delivered initially promising results, suggesting that it may selectively counter the errant immune response that causes the disease.

Read the rest of the article here

 

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