Diabetic Thread

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Fletchyer Flagpole, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Hey LPSGers!

    Been here a while and thought I'd start a thread about what it's like being a diabetic. The daily routine of insulin injections--or pumps--for newer diabetics, blood glucose monitoring, dealing with highs and lows and talking about some of the complications or fears about diabetes.

    I'm really concerned with the huge increase in the number of newly diagnosed diabetics and the fact that in short time, you're given a lot to deal with and learn. I was hoping to use this thread as a way to help you assimilate all the information and share concerns and fears. Mind you, I am not a doctor and do not want anyone to think this thread will be a great place for medical advice or treatment suggestions--that's what your doctor is for!! BTW, if there are any medical experts who want to join and contibute--by all means please do!!

    While I am no doctor, I have plenty of experience with diabetes, having lived with it for the past 18 and a half years. I want people to know that they can live with and treat this disease. The only thing--you have to be the one who controls it, not the other way around.

    Let me start this off with my own story. I had been feeling run down quite a bit and was constantly going to the bathroom. Add to that that I dropped about 45 pounds without any exercising. I figured I was either diabetic or pre-diabetic, so I booked an appointment with my doctor. He scheduled me for some blood tests. It was Friday, March 1, 1991, when I got the call from my doctor that I was a type 1 diabetic. That day, he called me in to go over blood sugar testing, dieting, exercising, hyper/hypo glycemia, what to do when sick and my favorite topic--injecting insulin!!!! I walked out of that office not knowing whether I was on foot or horseback. Took the weekend to calm myself down and started reading as much as I could about this disease. Remember knowledge is a powerful tool against any adversary.

    Started really eating well and healthy, exercised regulary--even took up weight lifting to help control my sugar. It's been a long while and thankfully, the only complications I have are some small hemorrhages in my eyes.

    So, if you want to vent a bit, hash out some problems--like those pesky family members who watch everything you put in your mouth and comment--YIKES the sugar police--talk about some of the things that scare the hell out of you about diabetes feel free to stop here. Above all, I'm hoping to help people better deal with a disease which can be controlled and isn't too scary if you're willing to deal with it. Hope you'll consider reading and contributing to the thread. Thx!
     
  2. CUBE

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    I am a type 2. NOT overweight and no history of it in the family. It is a hard thing to navigate. Of course the foods we eat can push people to this but I have read a good book on how desease is connected to the toxins in the environment. It was facinating. Anyway, keep the faith brother. You're kind cute too ya big straight boy
     
  3. chicagosam

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  4. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Thx Cube. You're right about food choices causing a lot of problems and adding to the dilemma. Feel free to check back and add any tips for dealing with type 2 if you want. Thx again.
     
  5. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Thx CS. Thankfully I haven't had a problem with ED, but that's not to say it can't happen.

    You had some of the best advice in your thread--and that is keeping blood sugars under control. Unfortunately it isn't always easy to do--even when you're doing everything you're supposed to.

    That's one of my biggest gripes--the swings that seem to occur for no good reason.

    Thx again for the contribution!
     
  6. sdbg

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    Hi BigSki:

    Thanks for starting this thread. I'm sure that there are other members here who deal with diabetes in one form or another.

    4 years ago I was 80 pounds overweight and diagonsed as a type 2. The doctor prescribed Metformin HCL 500 mg and said to eliminate all refined carbohydrates including: white flour, white rice, white pasta, potato, sugar in all forms, and alcoholic beverages. I made the dietary adjustments and lost 30 pounds in 2 months. I bought a new bicycle and started to ride 100 miles per week. After 7 months, I had lost 65 pounds. Needless to say, I felt great. I've done well with substituting whole grain foods for the white items. The hardest thing is to limit the alcoholic drinks to once per month (my splurge). My blood sugar has varied from 124 to 148 over the past 2 years. I'd like to get it under 120. I'm due for another checkup next month. We'll see how it goes.
     
  7. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Hey sdbg--Thx for the positive feedback on the thread!

    Sounds like you've got a decent handle on your diabetes. I hear you about having difficulty giving things up. It's not easy for anyone. I have a problem controlling portions myself--love to eat. Hence, I exercise like crazy!

    Looking at your blood sugars, I'd have to say they look pretty good. You probably have an A1C of about 6% or better, which is fantastic! However, I understand wanting to lower it a bit to help prevent future problems.

    Hope all goes well with the checkup. Good luck and thx again for the post!
     
  8. crescendo69

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    My A1C is 7.2. I've had Type I for 36 years, since 18. I did not check sugars until the early 90's, when I went blind in each eye, one year apart. Government health coverage helped me afford insurance, good doctors, and eye operations. I now check sugar 5-9 times/day and take three types of insulin. There has been no new retinophaphy (bleeding in eyeballs), but peripheral and night vision is impaired. I also had cataract surgery recently.

    I now pay $162/month for BlueCross BlueShield; the state pays the other 80%. Due to my income, I can get numerous medications free from the manufacturers (eye drops for glaucoma, Singular for asthma, Crestor for cholesterol, etc.) I may apply for more soon.

    Otherwise, I am not overweight and don't smoke and try to swim regularly. I just hiked up the strenuous Chimneys trail in the Smokies, but almost couldn't walk back down. Things get a little tougher each year, and sex is not the same. I use ED pills when the rare opportunity arises.

    My memory seems to be slipping a lot lately, but I keep forgetting to tell the doctor.:rolleyes:
     
  9. chicagosam

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    There is no logic to this disease. I took my insulin doses one night prior to dinner, had dinner, and had a severe low within a half hour of eating. I dropped to 50. I am fortunate in that I can feel the low coming on. My reaction is that I will get sweaty, jittery, and extremely cranky. Others would probably be passed out on the floor being that low. I am currently coming out of a period where I had given up and had an A1C of 13. Within a short period—with extreme diligence in testing—my levels dropped and I started having lows a lot. For the first time, my insulin doasges were reduced so that I could even out. My doctors were happy with me. Actually, everyone was because I tend to scare the hell out of all of them.

    The frustration of diabetes is that you just want to live life as you did when you were a normal person. Who wants to have to deal with blood and lancets and syringes every waking hour? It will never get better, why try? It can become so frustrating that you just want to give up. And . . . you can't. Not only does it affect you but all those that surround you. The best you can do is keep on trying and try to find some humor in all of this.

    Two years ago a member from LPSG died from complications of diabetes. I only knew of him and had a few PMs with him before his sudden death; but his death, to many of us who have diabetes, was a look at our possible future. It was a wake-up call. I hate being diabetic, but it is part of who I am now. Every test, every shot, I think of him—I'm lucky: I'm still here.

    Do the tests, do them as often as you can. Know where your blood sugar is at all times. Perhaps you will become aware of how you are responding to food and stress in your life and see some pattern. Give yourself a break when you are weary. We tire easily as the disease progresses. Allow for the fact that life will be different for you now. Don't beat yourself up over this: you did not ask for it. There is no logic to this disease. Surround yourself with people that make you smile and will only pressure you when you really need it.

    And then go and do everything you want to do and enjoy your life. Reward yourself for living with this challenge. Even as far into this disease as I am, I can still wear many people out when I am in my optimum hours. Of course, I may be out for a number of hours after. :biggrin1:

    I wish you all the best.
     
  10. justmeincal

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    I had a friend who was diabetic. I used to give him Beta Seron injections. One day he called and said he was on his way over for his shot. We only lived 5 minutes apart.

    Two hours later I got a call from the police. His sugar levels had gotten so low my friend couldn't remember where I lived and he drove around asking people where I lived. He finally crashed his car. The only thing he could remember correctly was his name and my phone number. He was 64 at the time and told the police he was 28.

    I spent the night in the hospital with him and brought him home to my place when he was discharged. He lived with us for 3 months and l learned a lot about diabetes. He got it under control, ate many small meals a day and started exercising. It really made a huge difference in the quality of his life.

    Good luck in your life Bigski.
     
  11. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Hey C--Sorry to hear about your health problems! Your story really illustrates why testing is so important. Unfortunately, it also demonstrates why some form of health care reform is needed. Far too many diabetics have suffered for far too long without proper care, while the CDC ignored this disease. Now this is coming to haunt us all.

    From the sound of things, I'd say you're type 1? Same here BTW. A1c looks good, but I'm sure your docs have told you to try to lower it below 7%--not an easy task. If you ever want to talk specifics with me--feel free. I can give you some of my tips and the things I do to try to stay fit.

    Thanks for the post and again feel free to come back.
     
  12. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Hey CS--Amen to what you've said here!! I know we've all had some unexpected highs/lows. I asked my doctor why it happens and he told me that unfortunately diabetes is something that changes on a regular basis due to the daily biochemical reactions our bodies go through. What happens one day, may not be what happens the next. So frustrating!

    You're fortunate in that you still recognize your lows. I've been diabetic for so long, that my body has lost the ability. That's not to say I can't always detect a low, but I don't do this regularly. That's when my wife has to take over and thankfully she's really good at noticing. I tend to "zone" out or repeat things when I begin getting low.

    I also hear you when you said you'd like to live like before you were diagnosed. It amazes me how people take their bodies for granted. They over eat or eat poorly, get no exercise, smoke, drink excessively, etc. and think nothing of it. Unfortunately, we have to live strictly within a prescribed set of guidlines. It can be depressing, but you can't wallow. I often remind myself that I was pretty lucky with diabetes. I caught it early, before any complications. I've been able to take pretty good care of myself and I remain pretty healthy. That's not to say I'm complication free. I do have minor retinopathy--but that's after 18 plus years. So, you have to put that positive spin on it. And you're right, you need to find humor in it as well.

    Finally , you made some really great points. Test and test often! It can be a nuisance, but it is helpful. Don't beat yourself up! Very true--nobody asks for this disease. I've always felt I got it because someone out there knew I was up to the challenge. Hopefully, I've been able to demonstrate that and pass along to other diabetics that you can live and deal well with this. Give yourself a break. Also a great idea to treat yourself to something special every once in a while. Doesn't have to be food either. Get yourself something you've wanted or do something you've wanted to do. Surrounding yourself with other who make you feel good is also an excellent piece of advice. I'm kind of hoping this thread will fit into that philosophy. Always helps to know there are others out there just like you struggling the way you are or have been. These people can provide a vast resource of tips and ideas to effectively help you deal better with it.

    Thanks again for contributing! Good luck and take care.
     
  13. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Hey J--This is a story every diabetic is familiar with. These lows scare the hell out of the diabetic and those close to him/her. Unfortunately, while diabetics deal with them, they can be a good motivator to prevent more.

    Glad to hear your friend recovered and is doing better!! Thanks for the post.
     
  14. justmeincal

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    You are welcome and best of luck to you!
     
  15. naughty

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    Gentlemen,

    I so hear you. For years before I was diagnosed with type two I would hit an afternoon slump from hell where I felt absolutely horrible after eating lunch. My mother and other family members informed me that I probably had diabetes but I held off as long as possible. When finally diagnosed by my doctor I cried like a baby but was quickly told by my mother to get over myself since most of my family members in my generation have it. Both of my parents have or had it. My doctor admitted that there is a genetic component to the disorder that we often over look. I generally have more problems with low blood sugar when I have forgotten to eat over the course of a busy day. Most recently I had the unfortunate experience of have the EMT's at the request of a police officer I had flagged done when feeling so horrible that I was ready to vomit , was shaking uncontrollably and almost incoherent. We so often think about the damage done by hyperglycemia when hypoglycemic incidents can themselves create even brain damage. Hang in there, we cant let this beat us.
     
  16. CUBE

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    Have any of you been involved in research. I was in the first Avandia trials. It was interesting to read about th eindepth blood work. I was convinced the program was so rigid that my blood work got better from the ultra focus of every bit of food over the meds. I did this because I thought it was the right thing to do for sociey...they have trouble finding healthy young men to test meds. Often when the elderly are on a trial they have too many other ailments to narrow the field. I am not on Avandia and there are some concerns with the drug but it was an interesting thing to take part in.

    Also gents, The Jostin Center is a good site to look up and follow the current news. They have so much info there but I mainly follow the updates.
     
  17. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Naughty--I completely agree with you when you say to be mindful of lows! I've had a few scary hypoglycemic events where, if it weren't for family members coming to my aid, I might not be alive today.

    You take care and tahnks for the post!
     
  18. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Hey C!

    Never been involved in a medication research trial; however I participated in a few trials to see how effective diet and exercise were at controlling blood glucose. There was a lot of emphasis placed on how much food I ate and when I ate and what exercise/activity followed. It too was tightly controlled, which helped improve my A1c.

    You mention Joslin Clinic and I thought I'd post a link to their site here

    JOSLIN DIABETES CENTER | DIABETES RESEARCH, CARE & EDUCATION       

    Hope everyone finds the information helpful. Thanks again for the post!!
     
  19. D_Fletchyer Flagpole

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    Thx J!
     
  20. whatireallywant

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    My LTR guy is Type 2 and has severe problems with ED. :frown1: Interestingly, he had been eating a diabetic diet for many years before he was diagnosed, due to the way his body processes sugars causes him to itch and hurt unbearably.

    My mom's best friend died from complications of diabetes as well (she was Type 1, and died young, only in her 50s I think).

    Most of my friends are diabetic so I hear about this a lot, and also some of my parents' friends were or are.

    One of the organizations I'd donate money to if I came into a fortune somehow is the American Diabetes Association, because of my friends. (I'd also donate a chunk to the American Stroke Association, because that's what my mom died from, and American Lung Association because of both parents).
     
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