Insulin, Injections And Blogging

Some of you know that I’m diabetic. If you don’t, welcome to my world. Overall I go on about my business like everyone else but there are issues here and there. I’ve told the story about how I learned I was diabetic, how every once in awhile I have depression because of it and on my other blog talked about the day I had to start taking insulin injections, which I still do to this day.

insulin and needles

What I’ve never done is related any of the diabetes stuff, especially injections and the like, to blogging. Those who have been around understand how this works. I find that there are lessons one can learn in life that relate to other things. I’ve related blogging to quite a few things over the years including how blogging is like poker, chess, and visiting new stores. Now it’s time to make the connection to blogging, diabetes and insulin.

Before I begin, I’m going to explain why posts like this can work and why they might not. People love stories and don’t always like learning new things. But if you couch your points within a story, even if people don’t understand the full frame of reference, they’ll usually learn the lessons better. And with posts like this one, there are multiple lessons to learn about both blogging and diabetes and insulin. It’s all good! And here we go:

1. As you can see in the image above, there are two different ways of delivering insulin through a needle. I had to switch from the one on the left to the one on the right because of costs; I save more than 80% with the one on the right. I didn’t want to switch, but I did what was economical, ergo correct, because insulin can be expensive and going with a delivery method that was easier to manage rather than saving money on it so I could roll it over to something else just didn’t make sense.

When it comes to blogging, the switch kind of goes the other way if you’re serious about it, depending on what it is you’re looking to do. As both Blogspot and WordPress.com start coming down on more people who try to make money or write controversial posts through those platforms, and now that Yahoo has purchased Tumblr, more people are going to find themselves feeling squeezed by a presence that has the ability to not only censor but block you. Self hosting may not be free but it’s not expensive on a yearly basis and gives you much more freedom and way more choices of things you can choose from. It’s scary to switch from one thing to another; I get it. But sometimes you have to think about the benefit of doing so.

2. It took me about a week to get used to the new syringes as opposed to the big needle. That’s because the process totally changed. I went from screwing a needle on, turning the thing on the bottom to the proper dosage, pushing it into my abdomen somewhere and pushing the thing at the bottom to an alcohol swab on top of the bottle of insulin each time, unsheathing the syringe at the top and bottom, having to work the plunger around so I could do something with it, plunging it into the bottle, turning it upside down, having to try to balance it without bending the needle while pushing air into the bottle, then withdrawing the dose I need, and then having to figure out how to handle this little thing so I could push it into my abdomen and push this plunger.

You know what? After a week I started to prefer the syringe. The thing is that as tiny as it is it’s set up for more stability when it’s time to inject myself. Whereas I was hurting myself at least 3 times a week with the big pen, I only hurt myself once every 2 or 3 weeks now; I never saw that coming.

My impression of syringe needles was so far off that I had built up this major fear factor without any real history or research to base it on and it turned out to be nonsense. Not that I want to inject myself at all but with the lack of pain, I’m more inclined to make sure I take care of my personal business every night.

Something that stymies many bloggers is this sense that they’re stuck in a rut and have to do things one way and one way only, otherwise they have to shut things down, intentionally or not. When I started this blog, even though I had another one, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, how to write it, or really what I wanted to say. I only knew I was going to say what I wanted to say, whenever I wanted to say it.

Within a few months I’d pretty much found my voice, but I did keep changing things up here and there. Now, even though I’ve found my voice, I doubt anyone can say that they always know what to expect when they read a post from here. For instance, did any of you even dare to believe one could tie in blogging with the other topic from today?

It’s okay to take chances with your blog, to shake things up, to go off topic here and there. It’s what makes you interesting and keeps people coming back to see what you’re going to do next time.

Diabetes in the US
Creative Commons License GDS Infographics
via Compfight

3.You know what? It’s possible that half of you reading this post right now are diabetic; isn’t that scary? What’s even more scary is that some of you know it, or know that you’re possibly pre-diabetic, yet you won’t go to the doctor because you don’t want to know.

Here’s the truth; whether you have diabetes, cancer, MS, or bad breath, nothing goes away until you know you have it and can start to do something about it. I may not always be the best diabetic, but I know the rules, know what I have to do to be good and feel better, and I know medication helps. If my wife hadn’t encouraged me, with help from my dad, I might not have gone to check things out, but I should have been more willing to do what was best for myself to begin with. It’s a major lesson to learn, as Beverly reminded me days ago about a review of her book I wrote in 2011 that contained a quote by yours truly; check out the link because it’s a very good book.

With blogging, you never know how far you can go until you give it a try. Yes, I’ve asked if you’re ready to be controversial but I’m not saying you have to go quite that far. If you think your blog writing is boring spice it up. Look through a thesaurus and use some different words. Try being funny, try using images or different images if you’re already doing it. Try adding a video, whether it’s yours or one on YouTube that you like.

Most fear is when you’re scared of things you don’t know about, but some fears can be conquered. Some can’t, such as my fear of bugs (ick), yet I’m never afraid to take a chance on things where I have to make a decision one way or another. You shouldn’t be either; why?

4.Even though I said earlier that I’m more inclined to take care of myself at night, it doesn’t mean I’m perfect at doing it. Some nights I just don’t get around to taking all of my medication. Some nights I don’t remember if I’ve taken it. I have a pill box that maybe once every 3 weeks I remember to put pills into so I can remember.

I’m also kind of a reactionary eater. If I want dessert I’m eating it. I’m good at staying away from pasta most of the time, as it’s worse than desserts, but I’m not as good up front as denying myself other foods when I have a craving that, later on, I remember are high in carbs, thus bad for diabetics (contrary to popular belief sweets aren’t the worst things for diabetics).

In other words, sometimes I make mistakes in my care and in taking care of myself. However, I always make up for it the next day and usually for a few days afterwards. Actually, I’m pretty good probably 90% of the time I’d have to say. I think my mother is the only person I know who’s perfect at taking care of herself, when she eats, how much she eats, when she takes medication, when she brushes her teeth… on and on. She actually has a written schedule. The only thing she’s bad at, which I inherited, is having a specific time to go to bed every night; no one’s perfect.

When it comes to blogging sometimes you’re going to make a mistake, even if you didn’t know it at the time. Hey, it happens. Typos, misspellings, not getting facts totally straight, merging lines… we all do it. Don’t ever be afraid to take a chance at doing something out of the norm, or even in the norm that you’re worried you might be making a mistake on. For some backup, check out this Google Hangout video that I led:



http://youtu.be/TMVPogrwuwM

5.Over the 16 years since I was first told I was diabetic I’ve learned a lot. I don’t always apply it; sometimes it’s my fault, sometimes I don’t work as hard in overcoming some of the challenges that make it hard to keep up with, such as when I’m on the road and trying to follow all the proper rules, which includes exercise. What I have learned though is that when I’m good and apply everything I know and stick to the plan, things always end up better for me. If feel healthier overall, my glucose numbers (these days they call it blood sugar but I just don’t like that term) are better, my outlook on life is better (and my outlook on life is usually pretty good so having it be better is miraculous)… life is good.

When it comes to blogging, it’s great to find a routine and pattern that works for you and then try to stick to it unless you can improve it. Routine doesn’t mean if you’re boring stay boring. What it means is that if you need to set a schedule for yourself to make sure you write a blog post a week, then do it. If you have to give yourself an hour to write a post, do it. Sure, you’ll slip every once in awhile, but consistency is the key to not only great blogging but great participation from others. When you do the things you should be doing for your blog you’ll feel better, it’ll perform better, and you’ll be a happy and positive person.

There you are; I’m betting you didn’t think I could do it. I hope you’ve learned lessons about both and are not only willing to try it yourself but to give me a good comment below on your thoughts of this venture. Come on, don’t be afraid; didn’t I cover fear above? 😉
 

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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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