Tag Archives: Diabetes

A Bad Day In The Life Of A Diabetic

I am a Type II diabetic. Every once in awhile, I write about things on this blog related to diabetes. That’s not necessarily because I feel I need to tell people about my struggles and successes, but because I don’t think that people who aren’t diabetic know what we can go through sometimes.

When I talk about it, I don’t only talk about things that affect diabetics. I have talked about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sugar alcohols. But I did talk about the day I was diagnosed as being diabetic, and I have given some diabetes information here and there.

Now I’m going to tell you a quick little story about my day, just to give you an example of why it’s important for me to try to pay attention to what I do, and what I go through here and there.

During the week, I’ve been sticking to a recent eating plan. My glucose was out of control for maybe three weeks, and I know stress brought some of that on. One thing that helps me overcome stress is putting myself on plans and schedules. In this way, since I set it up, I tend to follow it closely enough to get things done, no matter what they are.

Some quick numbers, since I’ll be talking numbers in this tale. A good glucose range is supposed to be 80 – 120. Some people don’t necessarily do well in that range, and I’m one of them. For me, I should be between 100 and 140. When I’m lower than 100, I get lightheaded and just don’t feel well. That doesn’t happen often, but once last summer I got down to 44 after a very strenuous walk in a lot of heat, and in late spring the same thing happened again, only I didn’t have anything to check the level, but I remembered the feeling after recovering some.

Anyway, during the week, I was averaging around 155, which isn’t bad; slightly high, but way better than the 244 I had averaged during that 3 week period, and better than the 223 I had last Sunday. I give myself the weekend to kind of be worse than perfect, but I might have to rethink that strategy a little bit.

This morning, after a day where, I’ll admit, my wife and I weren’t quite perfect, my reading was 238. My wife gave me breakfast, which was grilled cheese sandwiches, which is good and bad at the same time. I had it on wheat bread, but it does have a touch of HFCS and enriched white flour, another thing not quite as healthy. Then she gave me a cookie she’d bought at the farmer’s market yesterday. I took my medication, which includes my injection, and I figured I would be fine.

After about 90 minutes, I got overly tired. It can come on quickly, and so I went to lay down. My wife said she was leaving to go to do some shopping, and it’s Sunday so I figured it was a great day to take a nap. I went to sleep and slept for about an hour. I woke, but I was extremely groggy. The phone rang, and I barely grabbed it; it was my wife asking if I wanted anything while she was out. I hung up the phone, felt like I just couldn’t move, and went back to sleep. I slept for another hour, awoke, and still felt just as bad. I knew this wasn’t good.

Timing is everything; my wife came home within a couple of minutes, and once she made it back to the bedroom I asked her to bring me some water. Cold water sometimes helps me snap out of it, and with the cold water, I at least felt like I could move again. I came to the computer, ready to do some work, and I noticed problem number two; I couldn’t read the screen. With the browser, I can make the letters bigger, but for TweetDeck or Mailwasher, which I use to check my email before downloading it to my computer, you can’t increase the size. I couldn’t read either, and that was a warning sign.

I knew I had to check my glucose, which I did, and it was 311; ouch! That doesn’t usually happen if I inject when I eat, but today it did. I knew that the water had probably brought it down a little bit, which allowed me to get out of bed in the first place, but that was scary.

I knew I had to eat again, as it had been 5 hours, so I got something to eat, then gave myself a second injection, a smaller dose, which isn’t part of my plan, but I had to get this under control. My wife and I also went out for a walk, to try to stimulate the blood flow. At least I was fully awake at this point, and the walk went smoothly enough.

We got home, and I came to the computer; I could see again. Whew! Now, the thing is that I’m supposed to wait at least 2 hours until after I’ve eaten to check glucose again, and I’ve just checked after 2 1/2 hours; my glucose is at 91; ouch! I’ve brought my glucose down 240 points in 2 1/2 hours, which might be a bit extreme. It’s easier lower than where I want it to be, so now I have to eat something again. That’s not a bad thing because during the week, when I’m doing well, I eat every 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours anyway, smaller meals to stimulate the metabolism, which also helps me lose some weight, along with the exercise. But I hadn’t thought that, even with the exercise, I would see a number like that.

For more information, when someone has high diabetic numbers, the blood thickens, and doesn’t run through the body all that well. That can make one sluggish, but it can do a host of other things to people as well. For me, it makes me logie, but if it gets too high it can also affect my eyesight. I don’t need to be doing that sort of thing all that often, as it’s not good for me, or any diabetic, long term.

However, it’s better lower than higher, so I’m not all that upset right now. At least I can see, and I can eat something and bring it back into a normal level. Still, this is what some diabetics go through, which is why I wanted to mention it here. This isn’t a joke, folks; sometimes, it’s pretty scary. And another scary thing is that there are a lot of you walking around right now, suffering some of the same things, meaning you might be diabetic, and you don’t know it yet, or aren’t paying attention to the signs. I know many people who found themselves in the emergency room with numbers in the 500’s because they kept ignoring signs until they finally crashed.

That’s a terrible thing to have happen to you; read my story of how I learned I was diabetic, which is one of those links above. Please pay attention to what’s going on with you, because the sooner you find out, the sooner you have a chance to take care of it.

Oh yeah, it sometimes brings on depression also; I need to keep a check on that as well.

Bayer 561440 Ascensia Breeze 2 Blood Glucose Monitor System

Bayer 561440 Ascensia Breeze 2 Blood Glucose Monitor System






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National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month, and it’s something I care about wholeheartedly. If you’ve gone back into my blog, you know that I’m diabetic, and I’ve written on diabetes a couple of times, including my battles every once in awhile. Luckily, since I’ve been home, I’ve gotten my glucose numbers back under control.

Unfortunately, though I’m not considered an insulin dependent person, I am on insulin, and though it’s not as bad as I’d thought it would be, having to give myself injections twice a day isn’t much fun. I don’t have to start spouting numbers of new diabetics every day. It’s not always something you can easily control, as it runs in my family, but it’s something that we can keep from getting way out of control with knowledge, exercise, and communication.

To that end, I’d like to direct everyone in America to this link of activities taking place across the country this month highlighting this terrible disease. For everyone else, there’s this link talking about World Diabetes Day, which is November 14th.

Can diabetes be solved? Honestly, I don’t know. But I’ll never give up my fight, and I’m sure someone will eventually figure something out, with the help and funds of others.

Time To Get My Diabetes Under Control Again

It’s been awhile since I’ve given an update on my diabetes control. When we last left, I was so under control that I was able to reduce my intake of insulin, and all was great with the world.

Well, I can’t say that now, and it’s mostly my fault, though I have my excuse for it. In June, I went on the road for 3 months on a consulting assignment for my main business. The problem with working a long term consulting assignment is that you can’t eat properly because, well, circumstances just get in the way. While I was still working from home, I was able to eat every 3 hours, the meals were measured and planned way in advance, and I felt great. When you’re working at someone else’s location, and they’re paying for the hotel, you suddenly don’t have the same kind of control over yourself that you do at home.

Mornings were a quick sandwich of some kind from McDonalds. Lunch was almost always Subway, every once in awhile KFC, but lunch sometimes was within 3 hours, sometimes 5. Dinner was wherever and whatever I was in the mood for, easily not measured, and sometimes ordered and delivered to my hotel room. Since I was in a smaller town, if I ordered it was usually Chinese or pizza; that’s not great, is it? I was able to keep away from pasta while I was on the road, but rice was another matter. If I’d been in something like a suite with a kitchen then I might have been able to take better care of my meals, but in a hotel with only a microwave,… nope.

If I’d been able to go in the Sunday before every single week I might have been able to take a few meals with me that I could microwave, but hotel refrigerators are small, so it would have only held a couple of meals; that wasn’t going to get it done. One week I tried taking lunch meat, bread and Miracle Whip with me to make my own sandwiches, and I tried to keep to my 3 hour schedule, and it was my best week, though nothing close to the numbers I really need to maintain.

Most of the 3 months I was there I just didn’t feel well. It’s not that I ate too much every night, though it happened, but I wasn’t as good as I should have been. I did have dessert every night, though I kept away from it during the day as much as possible. I forgot what it could be like in an office where people are bringing snacks and desserts into the office all the time; it’s hard to stay totally away from it all when you’re like me, who craves sweets and finds it difficult to stay away from on my own. I didn’t sleep well on the road, even worse than I sleep at home, but I’ve slept better in the past, so I believe. I had some pretty bad morning numbers, averaging in the 220’s, and one morning I actually awoke with my worst number ever, 331, and I just felt like I could barely get out of bed on that day, and it was a day I was driving home; that’s not good at all.

So, now the assignment is over, and I’ve had a little bit of a relaxation week, highlighted by a birthday where my wife had someone make me a special cake, but at this point it’s all gone, and as far as I know, all the other desserts are gone also. Starting tomorrow, I go back on the full plan, which will include working out on the trampoline. Of all things, though, since my consulting assignment ended, I have lost 2 pounds by pretty much doing nothing except letting my wife help keep me under control. Oh yeah, I gained 10 pounds while I was on the road also, so I now have to get that, and more, back off my body, as my back has started hurting again.

I’m ready to get it on, to do the right thing; anyone here want to join me on the journey, even if it’s only to try to lose some weight?
 

Some Diabetes Information

Unfortunately, I have to put diabetes at the top of my illness list. Actually, it’s the only thing on my illness list, so I guess I can be happy about that. However, I’m also now on insulin, and I’m nowhere close to happy about that.

5 ml
El Alvi via Compfight

Often, we get these diseases, and we get some information, but it’s never all the information we’re looking for, or need. So, I’m going to share a couple of things here, just in case you happen to have the same malady.

First, your glucose numbers can be affected by not getting enough sleep. Over my ten years, I’ve noticed that if I get little or no sleep, which happens often for me, my morning fasting number is going to be high. I learned that those with sleep apnea will have high numbers, and I have a little bit of that.

Second, there’s more than one type of insulin. I’ll admit that I’m not really sure why, but I do know that my first insulin, Levemir, had additives in it that gave me a rash. It also had this scent of bandages, of all the odd things, and I was told that was so you knew whether you’d injected yourself properly or not. I’m unsure of that one also, as I seemed to have that scent whether I did it right or not.

That’s number three. You can inject yourself incorrectly. I’ve made two mistakes to warn you of.

First, you have to try to make sure you push straight in, not at an angle.

Second, if you even slightly touch yourself with the needle, either change the needle or get ready for some pain. I don’t know why I do it, but every once in awhile it’s like I’m doing a test puncture, will pull it out, then push it back in. The needles are very fine so they don’t hurt, per se, but that also means they’re delicate, so if you push a second time, they’ve already been damaged.

Number four, there are many places one can inject themselves. For some of them, my mind is trying to think of how you could still do it and inject yourself (like the arms and back), which of course means you’d have to have help; that’s not happening with me. Others may be fine, but it turns out there’s a reason for knowing this.

I developed a rash from the Levemir, so I was changed to something called Lantus. No additives, no scent. However, my rash never went away, so I first talked to my nurse educator, who recommended I try another area.

Then I did some research online, especially on the Lantus, and there I learned that they recommend that you not inject in specifically the same area for a couple of days. For instance, one recommendation as it concerns the stomach is to view it as a clock and rotate around it, so that it gives the injected areas time to heal.

Same with the legs and arms if you go that route. I know now that’s where I made my mistake, as I picked pretty much two areas and kept injecting only in those places. Now I’m going to set up a routine where I move it around to at least six different spots, to help me overcome some of the swelling and lumps I’ve got now.

So, there you go. I may drop more hints as to what’s going on with me as time goes, or just general information as I learn it. After all, we need to try to make sure we share information as possible, right?

UPDATE!!! As of the beginning of 2013 I started using Novolin 70/30, which I purchase from Walmart. They call it Relion, and it’s only $24.95 per vial, which is a great price when compared to all other insulin, and in many cases cost less than what you might have to pay even if you have insurance.
 

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