Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Beautiful and Very True Look at Diabetes....

This video was e-mailed to me and is NOT my work. But I love it because it so accurately displays what my life has been like for the past 22 years...


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Life (Without Diabetes)

I was thinking today about what life would be like without diabetes. It is hard to imagine. For the past 22 years of my life I have lived with watching what I eat, checking my blood sugar, and going to the doctor. Shots went from 2 a day, to 4, and finally to the pump. Each time I hear about new developments in diabetes research, they always say "a cure is just around the corner." But they've been saying that for years.

I know a woman who told me that her friend's daughter is in medical school currently. She was going to go into endocrinology and decided to "double major" (I'm not sure what they call it in med school) because she thinks that by the time she gets out of med school and sets up a practice there will be a cure and she wants to have a specialty that will be around for a while.

That made my heart smile. If a future doctor thinks that a cure is that close, maybe it really is.

I have lived my life eating on schedule. What would it be like to not live like that? Is my body so used to eating 3 meals a day that I wouldn't be able to skip a meal if there was no diabetes? Would I over eat, just because I could? Would I continue to count carbs out of habit? Would I quit going to the doctor on a regular basis and let my overall health slide?

I don't remember life before diabetes. I don't remember drinking Mountain Dew (which my mother says I loved) or eating Captain Crunch (without counting carbs).

I wonder if I would continue to live life like I had diabetes (minus the insulin & testing), just because I always have?

I know this is a weird topic for a blog, but I just had that thought today. Does anyone else have thoughts like this?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Weird BG Reading & A New Toy!

I have really been trying to check my blood sugar more often than I used to. I want the records & I want to be more knowledgeable with what I need to do for my overall health. Some days I find it easier than other days. Some days I end up with 10 or more readings. Other days I end up with around 5 or 6. It depends on how busy I get at work, or with whatever I am doing that day. I was trying to get some sort of tracking system. I tried SugarStats. I even liked it. It just wasn't as comprehensive as I was looking for. I still use it when I am at work & wanting to log some records. So I started looking at the software for my insulin pump. MiniMed has the CareLink program. You can buy the software or you can have an online profile for free. The only problem was I needed the connector cable to hook my meter & pump to the computer.
I put it off and put it off. I didn't want to spend the $29.99 for the cable. I admit it: I'm cheap. But this past weekend, I ordered it anyway. I just wanted it. I splurged.
It came in the mail today & I am THRILLED with it! It has to be the coolest diabetes toy I've ever had (except my pump). I unfortunately can't figure out how to get these onto my blog page, but trust me, it's cool.
But now for the weird blood glucose reading. I came in from work yesterday. I was on my phone with a friend & got out my meter to test since I hadn't tested after lunch like I normally do. I put in the strip and did the test. The reading was 26. Yup, 26. I thought to myself, "I don't feel bad." I didn't have any symptoms of a low. I usually start feeling it around the 50s or the 40s. In fact, the lowest reading I have ever had on this meter was 38. I was nearly incoherent when I got that reading. I started to get up and get some juice out of the fridge, but changed my mind and tested again. 85. And then I tested again, just to be sure. 83. That's what I went with. But that 26.... that was just weird. Anyone else have a psycho reading like this?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Woman Almost Dies After Bikini Wax

Below is just another reason that we should better control our type 1 (or type 2) diabetes. This article was found on FOXNews.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
By Katherine Tweed

'Brazilian' bikini waxes are increasingly popular among women who live nowhere near the bikini-clad beaches of Rio de Janeiro. For one 20-year-old woman in Melbourne, Australia, this routine procedure nearly took her life.
The woman was admitted to an emergency room just two weeks after receiving a the Brazilian bikini wax, a procedure that involves removing even more hair front-to-back than a traditional bikini wax, according to the Brief Report published online in the June issue of the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
"Our case is notable, because it illustrates the infectious risks of pubic hair removal in a patient with diabetes," the authors concluded. "The beauty industry is growing at an unprecedented rate and more invasive and potentially harmful procedures are increasingly available."
The authors of the report warn that anyone with a compromised immune system, including diabetics and people infected with HIV, should think twice about waxing, or any beauty procedure.
While the patient experienced "significant pain" and some bleeding during the procedure, which was performed by a trainee beauty therapist, her health had taken a sharp turn for the worse by the time she sought medical attention.
According to the report, the young woman had poorly controlled type 1 diabetes. She was admitted to the hospital with a high fever, excruciating pain, "grossly swollen" genitalia, and a rash across her chest and neck.
The woman's pain was so intense and the inflammation so severe that doctors were barely able to examine her in the emergency room.
Eventually, the doctors were able to take blood samples and cultures, which came back positive for the potentially life-threatening bacteria, Streptococcus pyogenes.
The patient's weakened immune system put her at risk when she underwent the hot-wax procedure, which caused the infection. A more complete exam, done under general anesthetic, revealed the woman was infected with herpes simplex.
She was discharged after 10 days in the hospital after a steady regimen of antibiotics and other medications that saved her life. While she had regained her health, she had not learned her lesson.
Six months later, the woman again tried to remove her pubic hair, but this time she was shaving herself. She subsequently developed a recurrence of herpes and another skin infection.
She was treated again successfully, but the report noted that, "despite her traumatic experiences, the patient was keen to undertake further removal of pubic hair."
Even for salon customers without suppressed immune systems, this woman's story can be a lesson. Many studies have shown nail salons that do not properly sterilize equipment can easily spread hepatitis.
Every salon patron, especially those getting bikini waxes, should ensure that they attend clean and reputable establishments where therapists regularly wash their hands and wear gloves.
The authors of this report also recommend physicians familiarize themselves with these beauty practices so they can better advise patients about the pros and cons of their beauty regimens.

Pumps, Interviews, and Being Discreet

So I had a job interview today for a new job. I took the morning off from my current job to do this interview. The job is located about two hours from where I currently live. I have friends in this town, so I left work early yesterday and went to stay with them last night. This was so I didn't have to get up at 5 am this morning to make it down there in time for the interview.

I usually carry my pump in my pocket. I don't use the clips unless I don't have a pocket for the pump to go in. Then I use one of my clips.

Unfortunately I didn't think my packing through very well. I took one of my only outfits that doesn't have pockets. And didn't even think to grab my pump clip out of my bathroom when I left.

I didn't realize this wonderful thing until late last night when I was getting ready to lay all my stuff out to get ready this morning. "What am I going to do??" That was all I could think. Where do you put your pump when you don't have pockets???

I thought about Kerri over at Six Until Me. She puts her pump in her sock. Great idea! Except I wasn't wearing socks. I was wearing dress shoes and slacks... So I put my head to work and basically, the only alternative I could come up with was wearing my pump in my bra.

I don't really like to do this for a couple of reasons.

One: It restricts my access to my pump. I can't get to it without looking like I'm trying to flash the world.

Two: It's not the most comfortable place to have something stored. But whatever.

Anyway, that's where the pump ended up spending the first half of my day.

I don't like to advertise that I am a diabetic when at an interview. I don't want to give them any reason to think that they shouldn't hire me. And unfortunately, we know this still happens. So, when it come right down to it, I guess it was a good thing I forgot my clip. It would have been hanging on the side of my slacks for the world to see had I brought my pump clip with me.

What are your thoughts on telling prospective employers about your diabetes? I choose to wait until hired to disclose this information. So far in my life, I haven't had any issues with this.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

It happens to everyone...

I hope all have had a good Fourth of July. One filled with lots of friends and family, food, fireworks, & fun.
I spent the holiday at a friends house with her family. Although we didn't set off fireworks, we had fun and cooked out.

I took today off work so it would feel a little bit more like a holiday, instead of just a random day off during the week. But, alas, I must go back to work tomorrow morning. (Sigh...)

Today, however, was a first for me. I've seen it discussed on message boards, talked about time after time in chat rooms, and I have even discussed it with other fellow pumpers that I know. I just could never understand what you were all talking about. "What?" you ask.

Well, today I ripped out an infusion set on accident for the first time ever. In 14 months of pumping, I have never ripped out a set on accident. I have gotten snagged. I have had cannulas bend and clog. But I have NEVER ripped out an infusion set.

I was trying on shoes in Tractor Supply (for those of you who laugh, they really do have shoes and they are really comfortable). I had on my cowboy boots when I went in, so when I was done trying on shoes, I was putting my boots back on. I reached down to pull up my pant leg and yanked up, in the process grabbing my set and pulling it all the way out in one yank.
Luckily we were going to eat and I had a spare set in my purse (from prior experience, I carry all stuff with me). I just snuck in the bathroom when I got there & inserted and new set. No blood sugar spikes, nothing weird. Fairly uneventful except for the fact that I had never ripped out a set before.
Now I know. Now I can relate. And when you fellow bloggers and message board people talk about, I can officially say I relate.