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...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bon Voyage, Allison

Allison, of Lemon Lemonade, is heading off for New Jersey, new job, new life.

I'll miss having her so local and available.. I'll be rooting for her success.

You GO girl!!

Thinking about that part of the world makes me miss some of the food from my college days in Baltimore. The pizza bagels that got us through evening study sessions. The italian cold cut subs from the deli down the street. Drinking real (sugared) Pepsi from morning to midnight.

There is something exciting about going all the way across the country to start college, or to start a job following college. She will have such fun.

I'm a teensy weensy bit envious about the adventure of it all. But not about the packing.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Good Book: AfterShock

I was going to link to the article in my local paper, the Oregonian, about this cool book, but here we are on June 11, and the article on June 5 is nowhere to be found on their website. Transitory news. (As one used to see on bumperstickers mocking the paper's then advertising slogan, following the breaking of a scandal about Oregon's senator in an East Coast paper, "If it matters to Oregonians, it's in the Washington Post.")

The book is AfterShock: What to Do When the Doctor Gives You - Or Someone You Love - A Devastating Diagnosis by Jessie Gruman, Ph.D. Here's the website.

Since it is an almost universal human experience in the modern, western world, that we will someday stroll into a doctor's office and stumble out into a changed world, changed only by the words spoken aloud by the doctor or other health professional, this book is for everyone I know. Almost everyone of us will get such a diagnosis in our lifetime. Or someone we love will.

This looks like my kind of book. It looks like real, practical advice, both about what to do to respond to the medical crisis, but how to handle the emotional aftermath.

The article in my local paper said, if you don't need this book now, don't read it now. Buy it, and keep it on the shelf, or lend it to someone who does need it now.

I'm not sure how to handle that advice. I have diabetes, type 2. Does that qualify as a devastating diagnosis? Type 1, yes, devastating, absolutely. But Type 2?? My diagnosis was years ago, although the more current issues of chronic foot pain have been pretty devastating. And, with diabetes, there's often a devastating diagnosis or complication in the future, hopefully the far future.

I think I'll buy it.

Labels: ,

Socks: Diabetes and Knitting Combined

My two favorite things this article from Knitty. It's fabulous!

I found the article to be fairly well written, but I have two major quibbles. One: The writer did not go over the difference between Type 1 and Type 2. This seems to me a very important difference that needs to be gone over (and over) every time we have the chance. Because both diseases are called 'diabetes' and share significant symptoms, the confusion does neither group any good. Two: I hated the sentence saying that "diabetes can be a slow-death sentence." Aside from the punctuation (I think that hyphen has to go), I dislike its emphasis upon the negative. So, Diagnosis X can be a slow death sentence, so what? Many people with Diagnosis X live happy, significant lives for many years. Many people with Diagnosis X are beloved by their family, who enjoy every moment they can spend with them. Many people with Diagnosis X do not experience the troublesome side effects.

BTW, if you want LoriRode hand-knitted socks, they start at $300.00 per pair. If finer gauge, the price goes up. Hey, when the wool costs $30-50 dollars, just think what my time is worth.

Not to mention that you get my love in every stitch.

Really, though, hand-knitted wool socks-when the wool is good wool and the socks fit well-are an absolute joy.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why not test?

I am a person with diabetes. I am learning to use this new PC language. I find it unnecessary and awkward. But hey, what's a person with diabetes to do? I am also a person with diabetes who owns a computer with problems and a modem without connection. Thus, the blog that is post-challenged. I must go down to the store and present myself as a person with service plan to the employees with geekness.

I've been thinking about testing.

As you know, it is wise for people with diabetes (type 2) to test regularly. Those of us with diabetes - type 2 - often do not, much to the chagrin of our people-with-diabetes-type-1 friends, who MUST test every few hours to keep themselves and their insulin dosages on track.

Why, my friends with diabetes (type 1) ask, don't people with diabetes type 2 test themselves regularly? Why do they stop testing?

Well, I reply, I think it's because we can. We can stop testing without risking death in the next few hours or days. I think that's the main reason. But I've got a second and third possibility, too.

The second reason, in my opinion, is because the testing doesn't always give us meaningful data.

In other words, If I'm testing daily, and I'm a person with diabetes and my diabetes is under good control, I can test regularly for weeks, months or years at a time and get nice polite readings for my morning fasting number that range between 80 and 120. This number requires no change of behavior on my part. I don't even have to respond to it. So why waste my $1 test strips and test daily? Couldn't I just test once a week and, if I get a nice polite number, test again a week later?

It's like a job performance review that reads "meets requirements" all the way across. No new info. Nothing to work on.

The third reason, in my opinion, is because the testing give us meaningful data that we don't want to know. The numbers are high, but the person with diabetes is unwilling to make any changes that could alter the numbers.

This is a common phenomenon among people with diabetes, especially type 2, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Imagine the frustration of a physician, trying to assist his patient with diabetes, when the patient brings no data. How can such a person think it's OK to enjoy a sugary slurpee on these hot summer days, without testing to see what such a treat does to the BG numbers?

It's just a number. And you DON'T have to respond to it. It's just one piece of data. You could respond to it. But you don't have to.

You can look at the reading and say, hmm, 284, how about that, and still eat the chocolate cake for breakfast. Who's going to stop you?

But it's kind of like driving your car around without looking at the dashboard gauges. Or the traffic signals. Or the street signs.

These marvelous meters are such a great tool. My grandparents didn't have them for most of their years with diabetes. Let's use them. Let's test.

Labels: , ,