Very Old, Very Healthy Diabetic

...or die trying.
I was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 33 with NIDDM or Type 2 diabetes. I come from a diabetic clan. I even married a diabetic. Are you on the diabetes road, too?
This is my goal: to become a very old, very healthy diabetic by day to day choices regarding eating, exercise and medical management. Walk along with me...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Diluted Eyes

I get to go in tomorrow for my annual - well it's been 18 months if you must know - eye exam, with dilation.

The last several times, there has been a bit of a discussion with my insurance company, who don't seem to understand, that yes, this exam is medically necessary, and they may need to pay more than $60 for an examination. I am getting more than just an updated prescription for glasses. I am getting a medical examination to see if I need expensive treatment for a diabetes-related vision problem. They must get really enthused about these things, over at that big blue insurance company.

At my transportation related job, I often have senior ladies - it's always women who call with this question, never men- calling in to say that they need help with travel to and from their eye exam; they are getting their eyes dilated and won't be able to drive.

Are you able to drive following your eye exam?

So far, I find that I am able to drive. My far vision is just fine. It's my close vision that's shot when my eyes are dilated.

So, I can't read, but I could drive, as long as I didn't actually need to know how fast I was going or what the mileage reads.

Perhaps this will be the year for bifocals.

If I make it safely to work after the exam, I'll let you know. I usually sit in the parking lot for at least an hour. I'll bring a book on tape to entertain me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Despised Items

Things I hate:

1) I hate that Blogger Beta and the changeover it has prompted is foiling me from leaving comments on many of my favorite blogs. So I cannot congratulate my friend, who I've never met, in NY, who has just gotten a referral for a child. She now has a son, who will soon be arriving from South America. It's a beautiful thing, and my usual method for acknowledging it is stymied. Drats. I'll just have to knit a gift for them anyway.

2) I hate that someone, another blogger, is apparently stealing material from diabetes bloggers, including me. This stealing of blogged writing is a nasty habit. Written material is copywrited, ladies and gentlemen, whether a notice is posted or not. And my stuff is my own. There are enough of us that one ought to have one owns point of view, one owns opinions, not have to swipe my strange, irregular little posts. Stop it. If you regularly read blogs, keep an eye out. You have the right to expect fresh writing, not recycled (STOLEN!) stuff. I will not link to the accused; why should they benefit?

3) I hate that my insurance company pays 80% for my test strips, but only 50% for my husbands, even though they're the same dratted test strips and we've been using them for the same amount of time. Insurance Co says that these test strips are not covered at the highest level, but that my coverage is grandfathered, but his are not. This is poppycock, IMHO. Why fight with a young (less than 10 years since diagnosis) diabetic over [bad words deleted] test strips, which can only improve control and knowlege? This quickly devolves in to a grudge against my local pharmacy, which inappropriately billed husband's test strips to a worker's comp claim-totally unrelated to diabetes-for some time, leading the insurance company, perhaps, to believe that he hadn't been using these test strips for as long as he actually has.

4) I hate that so many of us who operate motor vehicles do not use our turn signals as intended. Try it!

5) I hate that I have so much judgement, resentment and anger in my soul. I'm going to go see if I can find better ways of processing it today. I seek to be filled with love, forgiveness, compassion, and hope. I may have to receive it from God, as I don't know that I can find it in myself. Thankfully, I am confident of my Source.

And I've gotta get through this [bad words deleted] holiday season.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oregon Type 2 Diabetes in the News

In today's issue of our local Portland newspaper, The Oregonian, there's an article about a new study being started about Type 2 diabetes and prevention of it, aimed at middle school students. Here's a link to the article, written by Anna Prior.

It sounds like a great study, nationwide, under NIH, and with one study area here in Oregon, centered at OHSU. They're going to follow 'intervention' schools, where education and the food served at school will change, as opposed to 'comparison' schools, which will continue with existing foods, etc. It sounds like they're going to draw blood and do weight and other measures to judge these kids' risk factors for Type 2. Results of the study won't be available until 2009.

Other statistics mentioned in the article: in Oregon, it is estimated that a person dies from diabetes (non-specified as to type) every eight and a half hours. Another way of putting that: every day, in my state alone, which is not a highly populated state in the USA, two or three people die from this disease every day. Each and every day. If one wanted to attend every funeral where diabetes contributed to or caused the death, even in my state, you couldn't keep up with them.

This disease is awful. The toll from this disease is astounding. We need to get angry about it. We need to get active about it. Of course, for those of us with the diagnosis of diabetes, we're fighting for our own lives first. It is a personal battle first, but it cannot stop there. As a nation, as a society, we must fight against this diabetes epidemic. It costs us dearly.

Special Message to Type 1s: Even when you get your cure or cures-please God may it come soon-the fight against diabetes will not be over. Please stand with us against Type 2 diabetes, as we stand with you against Type 1.

I am so pleased that they've started with this middle school study. I'm not sure that it will make much difference, but it may show that the roots of sedentary habits and obesity do start at a very young age. But, hey, if one person can delay or prevent their own diagnosis of diabetes, that will be a victory in this war.

Okay, so it's not very topical, it being the holiday and all, but there it is.

And another note: when I worked for a particular state licensing board, it was our practice to scour the Oregonian for obituaries for our licensees, so we could make a note of it, and prevent abuse, etc. When the Oregonian got their stuff on line, we started searching that site instead (much faster). So, for obituaries, we had to go to Oregon LIVE! Ha ha ha! That always tickled my funnybone.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More Test Strips

Dr. Parts and I are out of test strips. I've gotta call in my refill tonight. This should be fun, what with the holiday coming up.

We are having dessert on Thanksgiving Day. No I'm not cooking. New Seasons is cooking for us. No, we're not having pumpkin pie. We're having apple & cranberry pie. And yes, I think they'll have used actual sugar in it. Portion control will be the key word for the day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Mildly Inappropriate Post

(I've never been well-known for my good judgement, and I'm afraid that I may be about to demonstrate why.)

I've been on this antidepressant for about two months now. You know that some antidepressants may cause the dreaded sexual side effects. Also, diabetics have some risk, simply from the disease, of reduced sexual function.

Well, if Friday night is any indication, I'm not suffering from any sexual side effects, due to my diabetes or antidepressant medication. Wowwee! Thank you, Dr. Parts!

This is likely to be the last post on this topic in this blog. I'm blushing.

Friday, November 17, 2006

New ideas about diabetes

From where do you get new ideas about your diabetes and your treatment? And how do those new ideas affect your thoughts and your behavior?

I've always been a health news nut, reading every piece I can find in the papers, in magazines, online. I used to subscribe to Prevention magazine, and that was pre-diagnosis.

I have been watching Dlife, on TV, although my schedule won't allow me to view it this week, I'm sure. I like it, because it's immediate, and I have a lot of confidence in the information. In other words, I'm pretty sure I won't be told later that such-and-so an idea, as presented on Dlife, is all hooey. They research their stuff well.

I loved to hear about the possibility of cure for Type1. That's so exciting! I'd love there to be five different 'cures' for Type 1s! I'll admit to wishing that there was a Type1 Dlife show and a Type2 Dlife show. A half an hour a week is not enough. Heck, sooner or later, we'll be able to have the Diabetes Network.

Odds and Ends:

1. I talked with a Type1 today by phone. He's about 45 years post-diagnosis and broke his ankle. The physician doesn't want to operate, even though the fellow states he's in good health. (I didn't ask about his HbA1c.) Geeze, just because you're a Type 1, you might not get surgery to help your fractured ankle heal? That sounds fishy to me.

Perhaps there is more to the story. There often is.

2. Dr. Parts had a head x-ray this week, to help with his sinusitis. So I go on the web and find a site, aimed at physicians, stating that radiography is not generally helpful in diagnosis or treatment of sinusitis, that CT scan is better. So why is his doc ordering the head X-ray?

And, did it show what is actually in his head? This is the periennial wives' question. We would like to know what's in your head, and a test to actually show it to us would be great.

3. Grandparents are close to actually moving out of house and into retirement community. They have to be out of house on Monday, Nov 20. We are traveling up to help them on Sat, Nov 18 and Sun, Nov 19. Any support (prayers, good thoughts, candles, chants, etc.) will be welcome and appreciated. We will need much patience and endurance. There may also be cousin contact. Hooray!

4. My feet feel pretty good this week. I'm about 6 weeks into depression medication, and, although I can't say 'yes, I think the depression meds are working', I can say that I feel pretty good. Pretty functional. I don't feel like sinking into the couch at every opportunity. I'm keeping up with the laundry. A little less procrastination. Lest anyone be fooled: these are not Happy pills. I'm still me, dammit.
5. I did receive this piece of equipment this week:

Yes, it's a folding cane with a seat. My very first mobility aid. Aside from the orthotics, which are hidden in my shoes, that is. I got it on Ebay. I'm going to take it with me this weekend, just in case I need it. I like it a lot, although it is wooden, and probably heavier to carry than some of the other models available. It has style. I'm envisioning carrying this if I go to events like the state fair, or a conference, or a large mall or store, or even the post office where I might have to stand in line for longer than 5 minutes. I could have used it when waiting for the train on our vacation, or when the boys wanted to hit the local museums. We're very much nerdy vacationers, it's true.

I keep trying to qualify for that red hat thing, ladies, I really do. Do you think the cane will help?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Vacation update.

Dr. Parts and I were on vacation last week (Nov 4-10). We rode the train south to Klamath Falls and the Running Y Ranch. Spent some time with my Mom and her husband, and with my brother and his lovely wife. What fun. Saw some beautiful scenery at the National Lava Beds Monument. It was astounding.

Dr. Parts was on a short course of steroids, for his sinus trouble, which pushed his BG up 30-50 points. Geeze, I'm nervous enough about his BG level and all those AGEs he's making, without this. Dr. M put him on this without any adjustment to his diabetes meds. Dr. Parts goes in for a head x-ray tomorrow. I hope they find some sort of solution for him. This chronic sinusitis, with neuralgia, is no picnic. Between his head and my feet, we have more narcotics in the house than ever.

We both had the flu in the last month. I was recovering during our vacation week. I forgot my "pool shoes" and so, skipped the multiple opportunities to do water aerobics in the ranch pool. (Great facilities!) My BG was up a little (20-30 points), although my appetite was zero. I missed my beautiful scale during the vacation (yes, I weigh obsessively), and was pleased to find out on my return that I lost two pounds. So, now, I face a choice: do I sabotage the weight loss by pigging out? Or do I continue on the course of good health, good nutrition, and good portion sizes? Stay tuned!
Foot pain goes up and down in intensity. I may need to shop for new (sturdy, ugly) shoes. My mom didn't say a word about her diabetes. The breakfasts were excessive, but we didn't have cookies or cakes around to tempt us.
I think my SIL doesn't care for artificially sweetened beverages. She has a point. They are not particularly healthy. But I think she and Bro brought several beverages to meet their needs also. I am very blessed in my family.
But, the grandparents, Mom's parents, are still not 100% moved out of their home and into the retirement community. Stressful? Perhaps. This weekend, Nana was hospitalized overnight with chest pain that did not resolve with nitro. No heart attack, they say. But they do seem concerned that she may have some development related to her heart. Grandpa believes he's developing pleurisy, in the form of pains across his back. But will he stop and go to the doctor? Oh, no. Too much to do, mind you.

I come from a long line of stubborn persons.