Tuesday, November 09, 2010

SIX things (#Dblog Day)

Hey, there.

Don't hit the back button just yet...I'm here to let you in on SIX earth-shattering revolutions about diabetes. Things you may not have known,but things you NEED to know because by 2050 you may be one of the "1 in 3" Americans who has type 2 diabetes. Or perhaps, you may be 1 of the billions elsewhere..diabetes is by no means limited to the North American population. The fact is, it's sweeping the globe,and if we don't get some answers soon both types will continue to wreak damage and destruction in their path. Most of my tidbits will be from a type 1 perspective, but the types have more in common then they have apart. (I feel...type 2 ain't no cakewalk either)

#1 This insulin pump is not an "intelligent" system. Far from it, I have highs,I have lows, I still have to feed my glucose meter blood 7-10 times a day & for the trouble,I get a so-so a1c. Diabetes is difficult 24/7/365. Diabetes sucks, even when it doesn't. A pancreas is a difficult organ to mimic.(In my opinion,the most difficult) And everyone's needs are different..it's all trial & error.

#2 Don't go it alone. The Diabetes Online Community is a support group wherever you are..places like TuDiabetes,Diabetes Daily,and Children with Diabetes Forums. You may feel like you know everything there is to know (and are a rock unto yourself), but take it from the introvert,you NEED support.(in one way or another,be from spouse/family/friends/other)And only other people with diabetes(or parents) truly get what you're really going through. You never realize just how much you needed it until you find it.(and then it's like,where has this been all my D-life!!!?)

#3 Ingested sugar will not kill you. Elevated blood sugars are what leads to complications...if you have type 1 diabetes,you cover that dessert with insulin,and if you have type 2 diabetes,you follow your health care provider's recommendations. I often have the exact opposite problem..I'll overbolus,& end up low, trying to avoid the high. It really bugs me when people don't realize that practically EVERYTHING has carbohydrates in it yet feed me the sweet potatoes when I'd rather have the brownie because it's a "vegetable" & must therefore be safe. Really,really, bugs me.

#4 Diabetes is Expensive. Even if you have insurance,they may not cover much,and if you don't have insurance,you probably don't
have the means to do more then stay alive. 1 bottle of fast acting insulin is now well over $100..pump supplies run hundreds of dollars per month,test strips soar into the upper stratosphere (despite not improving in accuracy),the costs of CGM'ing are over $300/month,(without insurance)
doctor bills,lab fees,other meds, the list goes on. And all of this is still cheaper then not taking care of the diabetes & developing complications. Something needs to be done to make it less expensive.(what, I don't know,I don't favor gov't takeover but how can you curb an epidemic if people can't even afford to treat their disease?)

#5 Insulin is not evil. Insulin is not bad. Insulin is not "a failure." Insulin is perfectly natural,non-D's produce sufficient amounts of it but if you have diabetes,you must inject it. (in one way or another) Insulin will not cause you to go blind, lose your toes,require kidney dialysis-improper management/cumulative effects of diabetes will do that. And I will guarantee you that there are many individuals(who have been on insulin for eons) who are happy,healthy,and have all their toes. Insulin is life,and we all need it.

#6 All types of diabetes need to be taken seriously. Any elevated blood sugar is a blood sugar that is going to cause damage,down the road.Type 2 diabetes is progressive,& often has co-morbiditating factors irritated by higher blood sugars. Whatever type you have,you must do your best to manage/control it.


Bernard Farrell said...

Excellent list Heidi. I just wish #4 weren't true, and despite the challenges I am glad I've got insurance.

meanderings said...

I hate it when people (are you reading, Rob?) think they've FAILED when they begin using insulin.

Michael Hoskins said...

Outstanding list, Heidi! It's amazing how many of us included the one about "insulin not being evil." Thanks for sharing yours!

George said...

#2 is SO IMPORTANT! Don't go it alone!!!!!

Kassie said...

#1- I swear, the 'smarter' the pumps get, the more trouble I have!