Sunday, September 14, 2014
Monday, September 1, 2014
1) "But you don't look sick." That's because I'm not sick.
2) "But you're not fat!" Thanks, I guess, but that has nothing to do with my diabetes.
3) "Juvenile diabetes? Don't you grow out of that?" I'm sure many parents of children with diabetes would fervently wish it to be so, along with us diabetic adults, but no, you don't outgrow diabetes. (This is why I prefer "type 1" to "juvenile" diabetes.)
4) "You STILL have diabetes?" Why wouldn't I? Is there a cure I don't know about?
5) "Big Pharma found a cure for diabetes ages ago, but they're withholding it so that they can make more money selling diabetes supplies." Let me adjust your tinfoil hat for you. People who work for Big Pharma get diabetes. The children and other loved ones of people who work for Big Pharma get diabetes. If there were a cure, don't you think they would want to use it on themselves or their children? Besides, don't you think they would make just as much, if not more money marketing a cure for diabetes?
6) "Diabetes is a self-inflicted disease." Yeah, when I was four years old I told my pancreas to stop producing insulin just for fun.
7) "You just take insulin because you were brainwashed by your doctor/by Big Pharma into thinking you need it." Those have got to be some amazing powers if another person can convince my pancreas to stop producing insulin and make my blood sugar go up and down just with the power of the mind.
8) "You got diabetes because you ate too much sugar when you were a kid." Infants who have never consumed anything other than breast milk have been diagnosed with diabetes. Where did all that sugar come from to cause their diabetes?
9) "That will go away if you lose weight." How is that you know how to cure diabetes when so much money is spent on research every year to find a cure? Let me show you pictures of me when I was a child, just before I was diagnosed with diabetes. I looked like a famine victim. "Skin and bones" doesn't even begin to describe me at the time I was diagnosed.
10) "People with diseases like diabetes are a burden on the health care system and a drain on taxpayers." What would you prefer us to do — die?
11) "I'd DIE if I had to take needles every day!" Guess what. I'll die if I DON'T take needles every day.
12) "Didn't Halle Berry wean herself off insulin? Why don't you do that?" Let's not talk about Halle Berry unless we're discussing her movies or TV show. It's probable she never had type 1 diabetes in the first place.
13) "If we take pop machines out of schools, kids won't get diabetes like you did." My school didn't have a pop machine, and I still got diabetes. Besides, kids are resourceful. Even if you prevent them from getting pop at school, they're going to find it somewhere. I personally think it's better to teach kids healthy eating habits (and for parents to model them) and alternatives to drinking pop, regardless of their likelihood of getting any type of diabetes, than it is to turn something into the "forbidden fruit," which will just make it more attractive.
14) "Can you eat that?" Unless it's poison, then yes, I can. "You shouldn't be eating that!" Unless you are my doctor, I don't think you are qualified to tell me what I should and should not be eating.
15) "Are you going to die?" Yes. Everyone is going to die someday. Will I die of diabetes? I don't know. Let's just say I am trying my best not to, and leave it at that.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
My third day of using the OmniPod didn't go so well. This is mainly due to my having trouble working out how the extended bolus works.
When I eat food that is high in fat, it keeps my blood sugar from rising for awhile. The extended bolus is meant to help with that by holding back some or all of the insulin bolus for however long the user specifies. My big problem has been in figuring out how long that is. On Saturday morning I ate a banana muffin with peanut butter, and when I took a bolus for it my blood sugar dropped right away and then increased significantly a couple of hours later.
On both Saturday and Sunday I ate a burger and fries for lunch. On Saturday I programmed my extend bolus for two hours, only to have a high blood sugar by the time the pod gave me the bolus. The next day, Sunday, I programmed it for an hour and a half, and again I had high blood sugar by the time of the bolus.
Because of the high blood sugar, I did something stupid. I had a high fat coffee drink at Starbucks but I gave myself the bolus right away -- at the same time the pod gave me the extended bolus from lunch. This resulted in my blood sugar crashing in the middle of Wal Mart -- not surprising, really. I temporarily suspended insulin delivery and ate some candy that I keep in my bag for emergencies.
The rest of day three was uneventful until a couple of hours before bedtime, when the pod suddenly emitted an alarm. Turns out that the insulin reservoir was low. I probably would have had enough to last the night, but I didn't want to risk either going into ketoacidosis overnight or being rudely awakened by another alarm. I decided to change my pod early.
I was nervous about doing everything on my own, since the first time I applied a pod I'd done it under the watchful eye of Nicola the pump trainer, but I had a handy "quick start" guide that was easy to follow. Changing the pod wasn't as difficult as I had feared.
Today I am going to try to find food that isn't as high in fat if I happen to be downtown at lunch time, but I am going to have to figure out that extended bolus eventually if I want to eat pizza ever again.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
My first day as a pod person had its ups and downs, or at least my blood sugar did. After my blood sugar had been high all morning, the PDM finally suggested a correction bolus to bring it down.
When I was finally down to a blood sugar in the single digits I ate a chocolate bar. The PDM then suggested a bolus for the chocolate that was a bit more than I thought I needed, but I accepted the bolus. That was a mistake, as I wound up with hypoglycemia at a blood sugar of 2.4.
However, a glass of Coke and another chocolate bar brought it back to normal. I then had to figure out how to keep it up. At first I thought I would reduce my basal rate, but I soon found the "suspend" function, and I suspended all insulin delivery for the next 90 minutes, until I had supper.
I spent most of my evening working on my new house, and I noticed my blood sugar was dropping quite quickly. Time to suspend basal insulin again. Another hour and my blood sugar had increased, so I turned on the basal once more.
I slept like the proverbial log last night, completely unaware of the pod on my arm, even when I was lying on it. The biggest change I noticed was eating without doing an injection. For more than 40 years I have done an injection at breakfast time, and this morning all I had to do was push a couple of buttons on my PDM -- fewer buttons than you would push to send a text message.
Obviously I am still getting used to setting my insulin dose on the PDM. I think my peaks and crashes on day one were due to a combination of miscalculation of carbohydrates and more activity than I was anticipating, along with the learning curve on the pump. I think I'm getting there, though, and soon I will be an expert pod person.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Because I am getting an insulin pump I decided it was finally time to learn how to count carbs. I'd tried it once before, but I gave up before I got very far. I generally guess-timated the amount of insulin needed for the food I ate; I was pretty good at judging this for things I ate every day, but not so much for things that I ate only once in a while. I was determined to learn carb-counting once and for all, though, because I would need it for the Omnipod. I started out with breakfast: muffins from the bakery at Save-On-Foods. The package gave me all the information I needed. Each muffin contained 48 grams of carbs. I tried four units of insulin one day, six the next and eight the next. Six turned out to be just the right number.
My next food was cereal. I measured one cup of Cheerios and half a cup of blueberries. The carb count for the cereal was on the box, but I had to look up the blueberries. Since the muffins had worked out at six units for 48 grams of carbs, I decided to take one unit of NovoRapid for every eight grams of carbs. Success!
These days every time I go to a restaurant I ask for nutritional information for the food. I've started asking my boyfriend to take me to Milestones for special occasions because they have a special card that contains the carb count, calorie count, fat grams etc. for all of their dishes. I found that A & W has something similar posted on the wall of their store at the Bay Centre. Starbucks drinks and menu items can be easily found with a Google search on my smart phone, so I know exactly how much insulin I need to take for my tall cinnamon dolcé latte (four units, by the way.)
Some foods are more difficult to judge. I failed badly when I had sushi because I had no idea how many cups of rice came with my meal, nor did I know how much sugar was in the sauce that was added to the rice or how much sauce was used. I have no clue how to measure cooked pasta. I definitely still have much to learn.
I'm noticing differences already, though. I'm not having lows nearly as often because I now don't have to guess how much insulin I need to cover that sandwich or this glass of juice. Also, now that I know the carb counts of the foods I eat most often, I'm making an effort to eat more lower-carbohydrate foods.
I definitely appreciate that the bakery at Save-On Foods labels all their products with carbohydrate counts. I now know how many grams of carbs are in one-eighth of a cake, and when I want some, I will cut the cake in half, then cut it into quarters, and then slice one of the quarters in half so that I have one-eighth of a cake. Before I counted carbs I'd have had a bigger piece.
My OmniPod arrives tomorrow, and then I have to get a pump trainer to teach me how to use it. I hope to chart my progress here. Wish me luck in becoming a pod person!