Tag Archives: World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day 2013

Today is World Diabetes Day and it’s the 4th time I’ve written something specific for this day. That those years were 2008, 2009 and 2010 are somewhat disappointing, along with the fact that out of the previous 21 times I’ve even mentioned the subject only 6 of them have been since the 2010 post, either means that I’m trying to ignore the fact that I’m diabetic or that I haven’t had enough incidences to even think about mentioning it.

The Pincushion Effect
duisburgbunny via Compfight

Of course that’s not true at all. The thing about diabetes is that even things like being in the sun for just 10 minutes can have a great effect on you if you’re not careful or paying attention. Eating properly or badly have effects on you that you’re never quite sure which way things will go. For instance, as I said in one of my recent videos, I ate lots of pretzels during my 2 weeks of low fat eating because they had no fat in them and had some of the lowest glucose readings ever, only to discover that what they actually do is make your glucose shoot way up and then drop way far down quickly, as there’s more carbohydrates in a serving of pretzels than there is in a serving of pasta; that’s not good.

Why is this such a big thing? Because it’s the fastest growing disease we have in the United States. There are more than 25 million people in the country who have been diagnosed as being diabetic, and another 79 million diagnosed as pre-diabetic; that’s not good at all. The FDA or EPA (I can’t remember who) is on the verge of banning trans fats from our food, and I’m betting most of you are like me in not even knowing just how prevalent this stuff was.

Diabetics have to worry about stuff like liver disease, heart attacks, kidney failure, neuropathy, amputations, nerve damage… let’s just face it, there’s a lot of complications possible. Most of the pharmaceuticals aren’t overly expensive but they still end up being a lot over time. Doctors want us tested more often, we’re put on medication even when we test normal because the standards change when you’re diabetic.

Then we have to deal with people who know that we’re diabetic and utter stuff like “should you be eating dessert” and “you should eat more vegetables” and “isn’t that fat going to kill you”, while pounding on us with stuff like “you know that Equal will give you cancer” and “don’t you care about yourself to eat better?”

Here’s the thing; of course we care. However, like most cancer patients who continue to smoke or patients who have heart attacks who go back to eating high fat diets, changing a behavior you’ve had for a lifetime isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. For me, I at least get some exercise in here and there, but I’ve never met a dessert I like that I can stay totally away from. I find that I eat less than I used to but I’ll binge here and there. I’ve also found that the healthy foods I sometimes eat aren’t always so healthy; that’s disappointing.

Nope, this isn’t a typical World Diabetes Day post. I’m not really out to make us seem like victims. Truthfully, most of us brought it upon ourselves, even if we didn’t really know better. I have so many relatives on my dad’s side of the family who are diabetic that I knew my day was coming, and yet I still let some of my binging make it come faster. I have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, and the best thing I can say about myself is that I don’t have any of the permanent symptoms yet.

I write this because I hope those of you who aren’t diabetic take care not to get there. I write this because I hope those of you who think you might be but don’t want to go to the doctors to confirm it will go; better to know and have the chance to take care of it than one day suffering something you can’t overcome because you didn’t want to know.

And I write this because I want you to know that if you’re diagnosed, it’s not a death sentence like it was in the past if you at least take some precautions and so some of the things you should do. I’m not perfect, but in many ways I take care of myself a bit better than my dad did. In “some” ways that it. 🙂
 

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World Diabetes Day – 2010

No Sunday question today because it’s an international movement day instead. Today is World Diabetes Day, where those of us who wish to participate write something about diabetes, and of course, being diabetic, I’m going to write something.

I’ve written on this topic a number of times, mainly as it pertains to my life. So, to start off, I’m going to share all those previous links here, just to get them out of the way:

World Diabetes Day – 2009

Some Diabetes Information

National Diabetes Month

World Diabetes Day – My Story

A Bad Day In The Life Of A Diabetic

Sugar Alcohol Problems

Diabetic Depression

On Insulin But Not Dependent (from my other blog)

This year’s theme is supposed to be about healthy lifestyles. Well, I’m still going to do it my way. First, let’s talk about things I haven’t talked about before as it pertains to me. Some of these things I can’t prove are related to my diabetes in some fashion, but the timing makes it seem likely. For one, I’m tired often. Over the last 8 years, I feel more tired all the time. Thing is, I don’t sleep more than 5 or 6 hours in a row most of the time, even after I got the CPAP, and I’ve learned that there are times when I wake up feeling pretty good, yet hours later I still feel I need a nap. That didn’t happen before I was diabetic; I only took naps on Sundays back then. Now, sometimes I need to take a nap before I can eat, then want to take another after I eat; strange.

Next there’s hair. The hair on my head has always grown fast, and that continues. However, I now have hair on my chest, hands and arms and a slight bit on my back and shoulders. I never had hair before I started taking diabetic medications in 2003. Now, maybe hair starts growing in certain places as one gets old, like ears and the like, but once again, the timing is suspect. I also shave more; I never used to have to shave more than every 4th day, but now I sometimes need to shave every day.

And my memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be. Now, that one easily could be age and all the things I have on my mind, but it’s strange. I’ll look at someone and not remember their name, and I’m talking about people I just finished talking to that I’ve known for years. I get up from my desk, heading to the kitchen, and will get to the living room and stop because I can’t remember where I was going or why. Now, eventually everything comes back, but it’s still freaky.

Next the healthy part. This was going to be a separate post, but I’ll toss it in now. About 2 months ago I went on a metabolic eating plan to help me with my weight. I’ve been going to the gym now since the last week of May, and I hadn’t lost any weight; I’d actually gained 9 pounds. Since I started this plan I lost all the weight I’d gained and a little bit more. When I was flying back and forth to Ft. Lauderdale last month I noticed immediately how much more comfortable I was sitting on the airplane; sweet! I’ve lost 4 inches off my stomach and some in other areas as well; I’m kind of a happy guy. The weight continues to be my biggest issue (oxymoron), but I stick to the plan during the week, except for meetings, and I get to go off a little bit on the weekends; I can handle that.

Medications… well, that’s dicey. When I remember to take them I do well. My glucose readings have been very good since I went on the eating plan, sometimes to the point where after working out I’ve gone too low and have to immediately eat. My doctor took me off one of the medications, which I see is a positive step forwards. But I still have to remember to take what I have; yeah, I’ll work on that.

Diabetes runs in my family, so I always knew it was coming for me. It doesn’t run in a lot of families, and yet the number of people who are becoming diabetic is growing in leaps and bounds. Some doctors have estimated that by 2050 half the population will either be diabetic or be showing diabetic symptoms; might as well just call you diabetic. If you look through some of those links above you’ll see it’s not easy fighting this thing, or even dealing with it sometimes. But as I wrote in that motivation post some days ago, I try to find something to motivate me and then get back on the plan. And having a friend of mine pass away on Thursday at the age of 42 due to weight issues is enough motivation for me to continue trying to be better when I’m supposed to be.

Everyone’s supposed to be wearing blue today supporting the cause. I don’t always live up to those things (I certainly don’t on days when we’re supposed to wear green or pink because I don’t have those colors), so I’m not going to be out looking for everyone to be wearing these things. All I’m going to say is if you’re not feeling well for a long period of time, especially after eating or drinking something sweet or with a lot of carbs (alcohol), get yourself checked out. The sooner they catch it, the sooner you can get on a program that, if you follow it, can help you live a much longer life After all, just 30 years ago people didn’t live much past 55 with diabetes; these days, if we take care of ourselves, we can live a nice long life without losing a limb or our eyesight.

I’m thankful for that.


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World Diabetes Day – My Story

Today, November 14th, 2008, is World Diabetes Day, something I initially mentioned when talking about National Diabetes Month. Each year, millions of adults and children learn that they’re diabetic; some don’t learn it until they’ve done serious damage to themselves. Being aware of changes in your body that you can’t explain and not being afraid to find out what might be going on could help you avert major problems later in life. I am a diabetic, and I’ve been diagnosed for 11 years. I’d like to tell you my story.

The Pincushion Effect
duisburgbunny via Compfight

Eleven years ago, I was having the best and the worst year of my life. I got married in May of 1997, my first and only marriage, and I’ve had nothing but a great time ever since. In 1997, I took the very first vacation of my life, which was the week after I got married; man, that was a long time before taking a vacation, but my dad never took a vacation until he was in his 50’s; guess I’m a slacker.

Eleven years ago I also had breast surgery to remove a lump that was causing me pain. It wasn’t cancerous, and I have no idea where it came from, and I’d never even thought about the possibility of it being cancerous, but it was my first surgery ever. And I got it approved and paid for by the insurance company; talk about how knowledge will help you achieve things that others might not know about.

Eleven years ago, a few days after my 38th birthday, I was driving back to work from lunch in another town about 10 minutes from the hospital I was working in at the time. I had a co-worker with me, and we were going through a construction zone. In a couple of minutes, I was pulled over by a police car. The officer came to the car and said I was speeding through a work zone. I said that I knew what the speed limit was and wasn’t speeding, but he said the speed limit was reduced in that area. I said I never saw a sign, and my co-worker said there was a sign that I must have missed. I took the ticket and continued driving back to work, but I did notice that I could barely read any of the signs.

That wasn’t the first day, however. I’d noticed it most of the time for a few weeks while driving home from work. I lived over an hour away from where I worked, and it wasn’t a major highway that I drove on, so there weren’t a bunch of signs, and rarely much traffic. Yet, I noticed that I was having vision problems. I’d mentioned it to my wife, and said that it was only when driving home in the evenings; I never had the problem in the morning. So, on the day I drove home after getting the ticket and mentioning it to her again, she said we should head over to the ophthalmologist to have him take a look.

Diabetes! 217/365
Dennis Skley via Compfight

Talk about serendipity. I had gone to the same place, Sterling Optical, for about 18 or 19 years, and I’d had this same guy looking at my eyes for at least 13 of those years. My prescription hadn’t changed in at least 10 years, and I’d just had an eye exam a month before I got married. So, it was easy for me to walk in and have him take a quick look. He didn’t like what he saw, and said my vision had changed drastically from the last time I was there, and his conclusion immediately was that I might be diabetic.

The breath caught in my throat at his words. Not that I was overly surprised, because it ran in my family, but because out of all my relatives who’d gotten it, I possibly was now the youngest to get it. I figured I had at least six or seven more years before I had to think about it; now it didn’t look that way.

He recommended that I see my primary care physician, which was slightly problematic. I had never selected one because I hadn’t been to the doctors in many years. The last time I’d seen a doctor was 11 years earlier (that #11 pops up all over the place lol); typical American male in that regard, even though I’d had some issues that I probably should have seen a doctor for.

I was raised in a different time; you only went to doctors when your mother took you, when you broke something, or when you were on death’s bed; that was the rule at the time. My wife wanted me to go to a doctor, but I took a detour step first. Since I worked in a hospital and the emergency room was right behind my office, I went in there the next morning and talked with the physician assistant about it. He took a quick glucose test, saw that my number was just under 300, and told me I had to see a doctor; if it had been 50 points higher he’d have had to admit me.

That was that. I called this one doctor with whom I had a cordial relationship with, he took me in, diagnosed me, and started me on the first round of what would become regular check ups and visits with someone about diabetes, including education. Though I’m not the best patient in the world, I do know how to take care of myself and how I’m supposed to eat, and I follow it more often than I don’t follow it, which is a good thing.

Within a week my glucose came down, which was a good thing otherwise I couldn’t have had my surgery, and over the course of the last eleven years I’ve been pretty good for the most part. If they hadn’t changed the high limit from what it was when I was diagnosed I’d be considered as almost perfect for nine of of the eleven years.

As time has progressed, I have had to go on medication, and presently take two different pills a day and two shots of insulin, which I started a year ago on November 2nd. I’m not considered dependent, as it turns out there are different variations of insulin, but it’s helped me boost what the pills can’t do on their own. If I can drop some weight, I could probably get off insulin; but, as some of you know, that’s not quite as easy as I wish it was.

The main point of this story is that everyone needs to pay attention to symptoms that may not necessarily be what you might think are diabetic symptoms. My mother noticed my dad’s diabetes because he started losing a lot of weight, which he himself didn’t notice. I’ve met people who noticed it because they were having numbness in their limbs, and many people notice something wrong when they’re going to the bathroom all the time, or constantly thirsty. Here’s a link to many of the symptoms of diabetes, things you should be looking at if you notice any of them occurring with you or your friends and family members. Caught early, at least you have some kind of fighting chance.

There, my contribution to World Diabetes Day. If you get a chance, check out this interesting post on the day, with videos no less.
 

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