Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Example of Ignorance

I was visiting Kerri's site today, as I do most days, and she had posted on her page a comment on the sidebar relating to Halle Berry. We have all known that Halle Berry was a diabetic, but I know most of us couldn't figure out whether she was a Type 1 or a Type 2. Apparently, she doesn't know either! The page stated that Ms. Berry was diagnosed as a Type 1 but had "weaned myself off insulin" and now considered herself a Type 2 diabetic. At first I wasn't sure if I should be ticked at the media or at Halle herself. The media prints nonsense like this EVERY DAY without researching what they are writing about and the public believes what they read. But I believe Ms. Berry is the one to blame here. Shouldn't one be knowledgeable about their own disease? Shouldn't one want to know how to control their disease, care for themselves, and be up to date on related topic? I know I want to do these things. Obviously Ms. Berry was misinformed by her "wonderful" doctors at her time of diagnosis and never bothered to find out for herself. So, in turn, she is misinforming hundreds of thousands, and possibly even millions of people about diabetes and the differences between Type 1 & Type 2. As I sit here on my lunch break, eating my chicken salad and trying to feel better from a morning of continually rising blood sugars, I am disheartened to hear that even diabetics themselves can be, and are, sadly misinformed about their disease. In my world, knowledge is power. The more I know, the better off I am. The more I learn, the easier caring for my diabetes will be.
I'm glad Halle Berry is no longer and insulin-dependant diabetic. It's good that she was able to accomplish this task. But I am sad that she doesn't know the basics of a disease that she lives with every day.
How do we change the way the world looks at diabetes? How do we inform and educate? How frustrating it is, especially for Type 1 diabetics, to deal with people telling you there is a cure. There is NO CURE for diabetes at this time. I hope for one. I pray for one. I work for one. But there's not one yet.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Those of you who read Harry Potter know that name Voldemort strikes fear in the hearts of Wizards and Witches everywhere. The word being spoken caused people to cringe and shudder. I have found a word that is the equivalent of Voldemort in my world: CANCER.

I have very little experience with cancer, thank God! I have known people to have cancer. I have an aunt that survived breast cancer, My maternal grandfather passed away on my eleventh birthday from lung cancer. My paternal grandfather died when I was in college after a long battle with prostate cancer. Outside of this, I haven't had to deal with cancer. I haven't been around for most of these. I didn't live in the areas of these people that I love as the dealt with cancer.

But I have recently had another brush with The-Sickness-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named. My niece is eighteen years old. I was seven when she was born. She spent most of her life not living in the same town as me. I remember being at the hospital the night she was born. My brother came out of the delivery room dressed in his blue scrubs smiling from ear to ear. I couldn't understand why they wouldn't let me see the baby that night. I was only seven; hospital policy didn't register in my mind.

I remember holding her when they brought her home. She was so tiny, and I loved babies. My brother & his family lived all over the country until 10 years ago. They moved back to my town and I spent a few years, before moving away to go to college, getting to be around my niece and nephew. I enjoyed it.

After my brother & his wife divorced, my sister-in-law moved to Michigan & took the kids. My nephew lived there for a year or so & then decided he wanted to come back. My niece, however, is in her element. She loves it in Michigan. She has lots of friends and has made a life for herself. She graduated from high school in June and has a job.

But last week she found out she has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This cancer of the lymph nodes has attacked her and she will now have to have chemotherapy. She is going to loose her hair. That's the part she is most worried about. But this word: CANCER.... it strikes fear in my heart. Fear for her. She's so young. She has her whole life ahead of her.

I did some research on my own, and thankfully, this type of cancer has a really good survival rate.

But that fear is still there. Every time I say the word CANCER, I cringe. Like Ron Weasley does every time Harry Potter says "Voldemort".

So those of you who are here, in this diabetes community with me, know what it's like to live life with a chronic illness. We live it every day. We are uninsurable. We know this. But now my niece has, in an essence, join the ranks of living with a chronic disease. Please pray for us. I am many miles away from here. I can't be there for her. But my prayers can be. And any extra prayers you may have will be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Craziest Hobby Ever (For a Diabetic)

There are people who's names fit them. Like the dentist named Moller. Or the teacher named Learner. It happens. Sometimes people and things just fit together. I am a little bit different than that. I have a lot of different hobbies. I love, love, love to scrapbook! I like to sew, and have been learning to knit. I also like to cook. I read everything I can get my hands on.

But I have this one hobby that should be a total no-no for a diabetic. I love to decorate cakes. Yeah, I know its crazy. Let's give the diabetic a cake mix and a 2 pound bag of powdered sugar and let her make a cake. It makes perfect sense, right? Or not. Sometime I wonder if inhaling all that powdered sugar, as I am making my frosting, is making my blood sugar go up. Is that even possible? I don't know.

But all you diabetics, know that I don't actually eat all the cakes I make. I usually take them to family, or friends, or to work (they love going in the break room and seeing a cake). Yesterday I made a cake and took it to my neighbors today. I didn't even taste it.

I just find it kind of ironic, that as a diabetic, I would pick a hobby that puts me in close contact with the very types of foods that we should stay away from. Or at least only have in moderation. Oh well, I never claimed that I was normal. It's just something else about me that is hard to explain.
Is there anything that you like to do that doesn't fit "the mold" of a diabetic?

Friday, October 12, 2007

No Delivery

I changed my infusion set yesterday morning. Nothing different about the change. No weird feelings or anything like that. My blood sugar even ran pretty normal all day long. I didn't have any insane spikes or crazy readings.

Then last night I got my dinner made and was just sitting down to eat. I tested my blood sugar. It was 73. Not terribly low, but it was certainly time to eat. I bolused and started to eat. About three bites into my food my pump starts buzzing like crazy. Without even looking at it, I knew what it was. I didn't want to look. I didn't want to see. But I knew it had to be done.

I pulled my pump out of my pocket..... NO DELIVERY. Of course this has happened to me before. But not in several months. I've really had not major problems in quite some time.

So, I sit my plate aside, walk into my bathroom and get out my pump supplies and change my infusion set. Oh well. It all worked out. Sure my food was a little cold when I ate, but no biggie. It could be worse. I might not have a pump. Or I might live somewhere where I have no insulin. Or we could live in a world without the technology to home test for blood sugar levels.

I guess when it comes down to it, as much as I hate those stupid NO DELIVERY alerts, I feel pretty lucky. I feel blessed to not have complications after 22 years of diabetes. I feel blessed to have a job that provides me with great health coverage. I feel blessed that I have an insulin pump. I feel blessed that technology has come so far in the years since I was diagnosed.

Sometimes its just in how you look at the situation that makes it easier to handle.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Diabetes Crazy

The past few days have been absolutely crazy in my world. I had family in from out of state, my grandmother was put into the hospital and is now, temporarily, residing in the nursing home, and I have been dealing with blood sugar readings that are driving me NUTS!!

I think that the crazy readings are partially due to the stress and also have to do with me not being as careful about what I eat & when I test. It's frustrating that a time like this can have such a control over my diabetes. But I think it is just part of life.

So for those of you who read my blog, please remember me in your prayers and thoughts. Hopefully by the end of the week things will have slowed down and my life will be getting back to semi-normal.

Thanks and sorry for such a short post!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Meter Comparison

While I was at the JDRF Walk last Saturday I picked up two meters from booths. I have been thinking about getting a new meter, not to mention the fact that I did not have a spare meter on hand. The meters that I got were the Accu-Chek Aviva and the Bayer Ascensia Contour. I am currently using the Paradim Link from BD that is linked with my MiniMed Pump.

This is what I found about each of the meters:

I really liked the Accu-Chek Aviva's case, it's thin design, and the lancet device. Actually, I LOVED the lancet device! The multiclix lancet device was really comfortable and the lancets aren't single. It is a drum with 6 lancets that you can change each time (or less) and you only change the lancet drum after using all the lancets. The Accu-Chek also is a preferred strip on my insurance. Which means less out of pocket for me.

The Bayer Contour was a nice machine. As I will talk about later, it had the results that were closer to my current meter. I did not like the lancet device. It was (in my mind) a throw-back to the older lancet devices in it's design. It wasn't painful, but it was just kind of odd in shape and style. The Bayer strips are not on my insurance's preferred list, therefore it would be more out of pocket cost than some other strips.

The Paradigm Link is my current meter. I have been using it for a little over a year. I really like the fact that it links to my pump and all the results (from both my pump & my meter) can be downloaded to my account on the MiniMed website and I can see averages, trends, etc. I don't like that I waste a LOT of strips when testing with this meter. If the amount of blood is not exactly right you have to retest. I also don't like that the strips are not on my insurance's preferred list. I end up paying more out-of-pocket costs for my strips.

This were the major likes and dislikes of these 3 meters. Then came the biggest thing of all: the blood sugar results. I checked my blood sugar on all three meters at the same time. The results were disturbingly different.

BD: 103
Accu-Chek: 151
Contour: 119

On the second testing at a different time:

BD: 135
Accu-Chek: 160
Contour: 124

The strikingly funny thing was the the Accu-Chek was higher than the other two meters both times. And the Accu-Chek was also the only meter of the 3 that was on the preferred list for strips on my insurance. So are the other 2 meters the better meters? And therefore I have to pay extra for my strips? Is it just because the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the strips for the meters that are more accurate?
Has anyone else had this experience? I swear the more I learn about diabetes the less I feel like I know. And this is after 22 years of living with this disease.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

JDRF Walk!

September 29th, 2007 was the Nashville Walk to Cure Diabetes. I went with my mom & sister & we had a wonderful day. Lots of free stuff (I got 2 new meters to try out!) and free food. And just in general spent some time around others wanting the same thing I do: A CURE!
It was the first time I had ever attended an even like this. I was highly impressed & had a lot of fun. I am hoping to go back again next year. I raised a total of $535. I figure for a first timer, that was pretty good. Next year I'll shoot for more! Thanks to all those who helped me out. Know that it went to a wonderful cause.
I haven't been posting lately, so I am very sorry about that. I am going to be working on posting at least a couple of times per week. I have got to get better about this!