Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: what is diabetes

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.

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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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

Happy Valentine’s Day (Yes, Diabetics Can Celebrate Too)!

i love youJust because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean we have to submit ourselves to feast or famine. We can still ride the blood glucose middle line and avoid both the crazy highs from indulging in too many of those sweets, and the frustration of feeling like we can’t eat anything at all. There’s a word for this. It’s called: moderation. And planning. Yeah, they’re both the word for it. Plan ahead, use moderation, and remember that, like always, those little chalky, heart shaped glucose chunks are NOT worth a 297 reading on the ol’ glucometer. And neither are all those delicious cupcakes and cookies. Sorry guys, but our feet and eyes are far more important. 😉 Besides, Valentine’s Day is all about love and that, my friends, is always carb free.

Take a look at this WebMD article for a little more on the topic.

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.

Help Bring Attention to Diabetes in Dogs!

This is a little off from what I would normally post but since it is a personal and related event, I am hoping you’ll be so kind as to click and vote for Rocky! Rocky is my dog. When I adopted him from the shelter a year ago, he was well on his way to recovering from untreated diabetes. He was so sick when he arrived at the shelter 5 months earlier, I don’t how he managed to survive. But he did…and so they named him Rocky. Since then, he has gone from being diabetic to having hypoglycemia. We can’t figure out exactly what it going on but one thing in for sure: this pup does not have stable blood sugar values. I have entered him into this contest on the chance that he should win and help to bring attention to both special needs pups and how prevalent diabetes is in humans and dogs! Click on Rocky’s name above or here to vote.  The contest only goes through the 13th and you can vote daily so please click and vote today and everyday through the 13th!

Me and my Rock!

 

Thanks everyone,

Melissa

Why Is My Blood Sugar High In The Morning When It Was Perfect When I Went To Bed?

The rebounding blood sugar following undetecte...

The rebounding blood sugar following undetected diabetic hypoglycemia can easily become chronic when the high morning blood sugar data is misjudged to be due to insufficient nighttime insulin delivery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw this question today and I’d like to give it  moment because it is an excellent and common question. The reason this happens is related to our bodies having a natural rhythm in which they release glucose into the system and at the same time, our bodies metabolize these sugars at different rates throughout the day.

Typically, someone on insulin therapy will need higher basal doses in the mornings. This happen for two reasons. One, in the early morning hours, our body starts to kick out glucose that we will need for things like waking up, moving around, conscious thought. Yes, thinking on purpose requires more fuel than daydreaming. The second reason is that our bodies generally metabolize those sugars at a slower rate in the morning.  Put the two together and your 107 mg/dL at bedtime can easily turn into 253 mg/dL at 8:00 am. Sucks, huh?

And, sometimes, you drop low in the night without knowing it and your body naturally “rebounds” to save itself. See photo at right. —>

So, what do you do about it?

Well, you can adjust your pump settings to a higher temp basal rate during those early morning hours.

You can change the time of day that you inject your basal insulin if you use multiple daily injection therapy (MDI).

I find that exercising in the evening hours helps to keep my numbers stable over night but this is not for everyone. It could very easily lead to a dangerous night-time low. Go back to photo at right.

Before you do any of these things, you MUST talk to your endo or diabetes educator. True, once you have goals, settings, and techniques set up, you can (and will have to) make adjustments on your own. If you are having trouble with unstable BGL readings, you aren’t there yet. Diabetes management is very serious and trying to go it alone can be deadly. No shame in admitting you need help. After all, we weren’t born with this disease and we certainly weren’t born knowing what to do with it. So, no worries, no shame. Work with your diabetes management team and stay alive. Survive and thrive!

Letter to a Diabetic (Or I Understand What You’re Going Though)

Dear Diabetic,

I want you know that you’re not alone. I want you to know that there are a lot of other diabetics out there that get what you’re going through. They feel what you feel. They understand. I understand. And I’m writing this in the hopes that someone will see it and get some comfort from it, and know that they are not alone.

My name is Melissa Ratner. I am 32 years old. Last summer I discovered that I have adult onset Type I Diabetes. My pancreas decided to strike. Every day I have to check my blood sugar a minimum of 7 times. I have to inject myself with insulin a minimum of 4 times for a minimum of 11 needles per day in my fingers and injections sites. I’m covered in bruises and track marks at my injection sites. I have to count every carb. I have to record every number, injection, and reaction. I live my life 2 hours at a time (at most). I am aware of the complications and increased health risks associated with Diabetes. I went through fear, anger, depression, empowerment, confusion, and finally gave in to feeling completely overwhelmed. I broke down. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t feel anything but the anger and the injustice and the frustration. I hated people for eating. I hated people for not having to hurt themselves to have a meal. I hated people for not having a diseased body. I understand what it means to live with an invisible illness that few understand or take seriously. I understand that my life expectancy has shrunk, and that my quality of life is severely challenged. Everything is different now.

And here’s the most noteworthy thing I can say about my life right now. I can laugh. I can smile. And I think that there are some jokes about diabetes that are so funny I almost pee my pants. Some people think it’s poor taste to joke about diabetes but I need to laugh. Some days that’s all I got.

Look, diabetes is a disgusting, progressive, incurable disease that makes every day a pain in the ass and bitch slaps your sense of security. Even if you’re not afraid of dying, sometimes a diabetic thinks of the inevitable outcome. And why wouldn’t they? Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. I’m taking these stats straight from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet which you can find a link to on the American Diabetes Association website. 

But some good things have come from it. I’ve dropped from a size 16 to a size 8. I can run without getting winded. The new diet has gotten rid of 95% of my GI issues. All the exercise I have to do has helped reduce my menstrual cramps dramatically, and sex? Waaayyyy easier (and a lot more fun). Fat and fatigued…not sexy.

Diabetes doesn’t take a day off and neither can you. So you have diabetes. You can still live. You can still love. You can still laugh. And you can still play. It’s NOT a death sentence. It’s a change. It’s a big, scary change…that you can handle. You can. Really. Take control of your diabetes management. And research, research, research. Education is your best weapon.

A few fun facts before I close. I want to drive home that you’re not alone. At the time that I am writing this, there are 313,601,744 people in the United States and there are 25,800,000 children and adults in the US with Diabetes. That’s more than 8% of the population. A lot of good people are surviving and thriving with this disease every minute of every day.

Here’s the thing. Life is always uncertain. It’s not usually easy. And with diabetes, it’s definitely going to be a challenge. But like my brother always says about life and how to get through it…buy a fuckin’ helmet. Cause it’s gonna be one hell of a glorious ride.

With love and understanding,

Just Another Diabetic

JENN McCOLLUM

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