Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Diabetes is like Kung Fu

Personify - to think of or represent (a thing or idea) as a person or as having human qualities or powers (Merriam - Webster)

I think that my diabetes is a bit like the personification of David Carradine as the character Kwai Chang Caine in the series Kung Fu.  Some of you may have no memories of his iconic role as a Shaolin monk in the wild american west.   I'd like to explore the theme of how my diabetes is personified by Carradine in this role.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Taking Control and Starting Insulin

This was originally posted more than four years ago TuDiabetes on December 20, 2010 and this event marked a big change in my life both in my diabetes and in my relationship with my health care team.  It sparked some interesting conversation at the time.

Well, it has been a long time coming, but I've decided that I'm going to start an insulin regime.  Some of you may have thought that I've been on insulin for quite some time, I'm sorry if I left you with an incorrect impression. I decided a while ago that I would be moving to insulin and that in order to be successful, I needed to be smart about it.  I've been asking to start insulin for three years and been repeatedly denied.  Most recently changes in my triple medication regime failed again to show any long-term improvement in my blood sugar control.  I had my c-peptide tested and found that I appear to be insulin deficient (not enough yet to meet pump criteria).  And after a series of "unfortunate" events, I've had to leave my endo who never gave me the care I sought.  Given that I have to start with a new endo and my regular doctor long ago threw up her hands at being able to help me, it seems like the perfect timing.

Friday, May 15, 2015

What and How I Eat

Soon after my diagnosis with the help of the online community and Richard Bernstein I learned that restricting the carbs in my diet let to dramatic improvements in my blood sugar control.  But I also came face to face with the utter contradiction between what worked for me and what I was told by the so-called "experts."  This led to a period of years where I variously went back and forth trying to work with my healthcare team and periods when I actively deceived them and declined to talk about what I was eating.  Eventually I started seeing more understanding doctors (I'm still working on the educator/dietician side of the issue).  My current endo is very supportive of my diet.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Changing the Misunderstanding of Type 2 Diabetes

I'd like to talk about the terrible stigma that comes with Type 2 diabetes.  I know that everyone with diabetes of any kind has to deal with stigma and blame and bad feelings about the condition, but it is particularly bad with Type 2.  And the key reason is that obesity and weight gain are associated with Type 2.  But we make a fundamental mistake if we make the leap in logic to think that just because something is associated that therefore it must be the cause.  Today, I'm going to talk about how we can try to change things to both better understand ourselves how obesity and Type 2 are related and how we can try to work to share that with the general population, the healthcare system (who actually don't seem to understand it) and our government.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cleaning out the closet - Expired Meat and Medications

My Kitchen Cabinet
The bane of my wife's existence
Today's prompt is to talk about cleaning out your closet.  I'm going to stick pretty close to the theme that Rick over at RadDiabetes talked about.  And that is developing a rational and manageable approach in our lives to "What if?"  Many of us have very real dangers and fears in our lives, that our doctors and insurance companies will conspire to deny us vital treatments, medications and insulin.  That Snowmageddon will hit and our ability to get out and get vital supplies will be gone.  So we start to act like little survivalists.  We keep hoards of supplies.  And we want them convenient.  So it seems I must show my own distressing hoard to the right.  And I admit, I don't just do this with diabetes supplies, I do this with food.  I have a large fridge inside, a second large fridge in the garage (I used to have two in the garage) and a large chest freezer.  I have enough food to feed an army for six months.  And that brings me to key issue in my blog today which is actually exemplified by my behavior with food.  I admit it, I buy food that is expiring and I hoard it and then actually have to throw a bunch out when it get's really "bad."  This behavior is notable in my purchasing of expiring meat which I buy at discounted prices, then vacuum seal and freeze.  Have you seen a piece of meat in the bottom of the freezer that has an unknown date (I now date my meat, but it can still be scary).  And so we come back round to diabetes supplies (and medical supplies in general).  I am terrible about throwing expired stuff out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keeping Private to Protect My Privacy

Soon after my diagnosis I came to a level of acceptance of my diabetes that enabled me to open up to my circle of family, friends and colleagues.  This didn’t mean that I went around to strangers telling them my diabetes stories, but those around me who cared about me and needed to understand were aware.  But on the other side of it I have been perhaps somewhat paranoid about keeping things private.  In previous times the only people we knew in our social circles were people that were local to us, as above our friends, family and colleagues.  These were the people in our village.  But today, there is no village.  The internet has opened up and if you are public about something then the whole world can know it and there can be consequences.  If you don’t control your private information then your privacy can be invaded and you can be harmed. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

You Can Determine Your Own Health Destiny

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a sudden traumatic event.  Suddenly we are told we have a chronic life-long condition for which there is no cure and that we face a life of complications and early death.   As someone diagnosed with Type 2 this can be particularly shocking as we are treated by the medical system in a really patronizing way with very mixed messages.  We are told that not only did we cause our condition by being fat and lazy we are also given commands by our doctors to take our medication and do certain things with our lifestyle.   Before being diagnosed with diabetes my interactions for the healthcare system was for acute care, a cut which was stitched up, an infection with a prescription of an antibiotic.  I saw the doctor, trusted their competence. I was told what to do and then left and complied with their direction.