Monday, May 12, 2014

Poetry Tuesday

A high blood sugar haiku by Judie Harer

High, my cotton mouth
Best friend, it is the toilet
Ketones in my blood
Pocket of insulin
Struggle to reduce

I Will Not Lurk in the Shadows

Kicking off D-Blog Week 2014!!!
"Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)" 

For the most part diabetes is an invisible disease, but the management of this disease is anything but invisible. Whether you manage your diabetes with diet, pills, insulin injections or an insulin pump, it is nearly impossible to make the treatment invisible. 

Recently I began using Symlin (yes, I love it and have noticed an improvement in my blood sugars and a few pounds of weight loss). Suddenly my diabetes management isn't as simple as testing my blood sugar and pressing a few buttons on my pump. In order for the Symlin to work, it must be given before each meal, that means an injection before each meal! I've found that I am not shy about injecting in public, at the table, in the classroom, or wherever necessary. 

A friend has asked that I not inject at the table, it bothers them. This is someone I frequently eat with, and at first I didn't mind honoring their request, but I've noticed that going to the restroom to give my injection makes me feel uncomfortable. Like, taking care of myself is something "dirty" that needs to be hidden away behind a closed door or in a stall. I feel like it takes so much longer for me to gather my supplies, go to the restroom, and give my injection than it would if I just remained at the table and discretely gave my Symlin. It's not like I am using a syringe and vial, this is a pen!

This is a topic that is frequently mulled over in the DOC and even Miss Manners has discussed it. There is a broad variety of opinions, but for me, taking care of myself is not something that needs to be done in shadows. I apologize if it makes my friend uncomfortable, but I will not hide away my diabetes management. Now, I am not saying that this is the way everyone should manage their diabetes, this is my decision and YDMV. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I'm at diabetes camp this week, so I thought I'd dig up some old camp pictures.

The Camper Years: 1988-1997

I'm in the third row from the front, on the left side in black & white stripes.
I'm in the 5th row from the front, third person in. We all wore our camp shirts for the photo...
I'm in the third row from the front, on the right side, and wearing purple. 
I'm in the front row, first person on the right side. 
Some of the comments that my cabin mates wrote made me chuckle. Apparently I was hard to get along with :/

The Staff Years: 2003-2004

Dress your Counselor Backwards day

Crazy Dress day.
 I do not look happy, maybe because it says "loser" on my forehead?

Diabetics never pack lightly!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Officially Scary

At the rink, I've been working on the Scratch Spin. That is the lovely spin the figure skaters do, where they cross one leg over the other and spin at mach speed for about a million rotations. There is a lot than can wrong with during the scratch spin. It is officially scary!

You know what else is officially scary? Going low at the rink; there is a lot that could go wrong during a low blood sugar, on ice.

At the rink I have a hard time determining if I'm sweaty from working so hard or from low blood sugar.
The room is spinning, is it from the spin I was just practicing or from low blood sugar?
That all over tingly feeling, maybe it's adrenaline from landing a difficult jump or maybe it's low blood sugar.

I've talked before about the techniques I use to keep my blood sugar balanced while at the rink (here), but sometimes my blood sugar drops anyway and that is officially scary. `

Monday, July 29, 2013

Twenty Percent

Would you bet your life on something that has a ± 20% margin of error? 

You see, the FDA only requires blood glucose meters to have a ± 20% accuracy. In addition, the FDA acknowledged that there are nearly 500,000 blood glucose meters and strips on the market, that do not meet the accuracy standards for which they were approved. 

Let me explain what this means to a person with diabetes; inaccurately high meter readings could lead to a person receiving too much insulin and cause severe hypoglycemia, seizures, coma or death. Inaccurately low meter readings could cause a person to receive too little insulin resulting in hyperglycemia, and the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Why is that a big deal?  

Yesterday, 2 hours after lunch my meter read 190 mg/dl, so I corrected with 1.5 units of insulin. A hour and a half later my blood sugar was 52 mg/dl and dropping; because the insulin I gave was still active in my system.  

If the meter read at the high end of the accuracy standard, 236 mg/dl I would have given 2.3 units of insulin! That amount of insulin could have caused severe hypoglycemia.

This is a potentially deadly situation and with the current meter standards it can (and will) occur again at any time. 

It is time for the FDA to take action, my life and the 25.8 million Americans with diabetes are depending on it. I am asking for ongoing testing of blood glucose strips to assure compliance with the FDA's accuracy standards and for the FDA to improve the US accuracy standards to the latest ISO standards of ± 15%.
You can help by writing to your elected officials and to the leaders at the FDA. Sample letters are available on the Strip Safety website.