Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gimme Some Sugar!

Tell me this is not just the most unique, hilarious idea ever?! Stuffed guts.

Now, my guts have been stuffed a time or two in my day; typically my stomach. But through my love of all-things-Bakerella, she posted about her kidney transplant and subsequent gift from a little website called iheartguts.

She received a kidney; fitting.

I was looking (skeptically, I might add) for a pancreas...when BOOM there it is!!!! I must have one of these. Too bad it's not functional, it'd be a steal at $20!

Image used from their website at iheartguts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Type 1 Control & Treatment; an oxymoron?

First-these are NOT my words. I ripped them from Scott's Web Log but I totally agree and find it important enough to share with the 2 subscribers and multiple "lurkers" I have. I will give Scott all the credit and if I can figure out how to link to his blog, I will. Should he ask me to remove my plagerizing post, I will do that as well. Thank you!

"Today is Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day [originally posted on April 14, 2008], and while there are likely to be dozens of blog postings on this subject today, I am never one to follow convention with more of the same, so I've chosen to acknowledge this day without being redundant.

What are the origins of this day? Well, because "diabetes" is a generic term that describes the symptoms of a disease, rather than the etiology (origin), diabetes blogger Kerri Morrone suggested that we use this day to clarify the distinction and make it clear that not all "cures for diabetes" or "new diabetes drugs" benefit the type 1 community.

Can't Type 1 Diabetes Be Controlled?

That really depends on how you define "control". Type 1 is an autoimmune disease which cannot be prevented with diet or exercise -- in fact, medicine does not know of ANY way to prevent type 1 diabetes from occurring yet (they are working on it, but none of the trials so far have yielded success). While these elements help in managing the disease, it is important to note that "managing" diabetes does not necessarily mean the disease is controlled. The definition of "control" is to exercise restraining or directing influence over, to have power over. Thus, the term "control" of type 1 diabetes is kind of a misnomer, as people with type 1 diabetes can only "control" just 3 variables (food consumption, activity, and insulin dosage) while there are literally dozens of variables out there, including the presence of various hormones in the bloodstream which we cannot even measure, let alone exercise control over. I would argue that "control" is a very poor word choice, and that "manage" is a more appropriate term.

No dount, some people may debate the semantics of the term "control", but it is important to realize that what is frequently called "control" is perhaps better described as a constant act of juggling -- an act which one can never, ever take a vacation from -- ever. Fellow type 1 diabetes blogger Scott K. Johnson quotes another person with type 1 diabetes: Marlene Less from 1983 in saying "diabetes is like being expected to play the piano with one hand while juggling items with another hand, all while balancing with deftness and dexterity on a tightrope."

Another diabetes blogger, Will "Printcrafter" (or Lee) puts it another way: "Living with diabetes is like living with a tiger. If you feed it, groom it, never turn your back on it; you can live with a tiger. If you neglect it; it'll pounce on you and rip you to shreds."

Aren't There New Treatments for Diabetes?

Again, here's where public ignorance is the rule, rather than the exception. Since the discovery of insulin in 1921, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved just one new treatment for type 1 diabetes, which is Symlin (pramlintide acetate), which is an analog of the naturally-occurring beta cell hormone amylin -- which was approved on March 16, 2005. That brings the grand total of current treatments for type 1 diabetes to two (actually, Symlin can only be used as an adjunct to insulin -- it cannot be used alone, so does that even count as a whole treatment?). Its kind of like adding a fourth ball (to the 3 I mentioned before) we are now asked to juggle!

As I noted in my most recent post, no study, not even the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, has ever been able to show that diabetes management can prevent complications. For example, we now have solid evidence that two so-called complications of type 1 diabetes: neuropathy and cardiovascular disease are believed to have an autoimmune basis, so while managing diabetes may help slow the acceleration of these terrible outcomes, it cannot necessarily prevent them from occurring.

This is not to say that the outlook isn't good for type 1 diabetes. In fact, in January 2008, Reuters reported that that the percentage of U.S. adults with diabetes who have their blood sugar levels under "control" (their word, not mine!), as indicated by glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) levels of less than 7%, increased between 1999 and 2004. This means that for those of us who manage our condition aggressively, the outlook is better today than it has been at any point in the history of this disease. Furthermore, research suggests that the incidence of kidney disease in patients with Type 1 diabetes has improved significantly.

But there's still plenty work to be done. As a 2007 article published in Diabetes Care notes, medical students' knowledge of diabetes is not up-to-date, and that a majority of medical students frequently recommended the sole use of a sliding scale for insulin in the management of diabetes (a treatment that some prominent experts in the field believe should be abandoned), and that the students were less likely to recognize hyperglycemia in patients who were not known to have diabetes.

In recognition of Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day, I would like to raise awareness of these very issues and call attention to medical students to brush up on the subject as well! And, as Bernard wrote, while you're at it, why not give a hug to anyone with type 1 diabetes today" End of Scott's Blog...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

StepOut! Walk to FIGHT!

One day before my birthday, I will walk to fight.

It will be my first StepOut walk. I've done the Susan G. Komen thing (for my friend). I've done the Leukemia thing (for my dad). I've supported causes and diseases by buying jewelry, candles, shirts, bracelets. I've sang in numerous fundraising events for cancer patients.

But on October 8th. IT WILL BE ALL ABOUT ME. I'm a Red Strider! I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I raised $1,006 to support my walk, my son is walking with me and my friend is walking with me. I'm going to try not to cry. I don't cry because of the enormity of my disease. I cry for the support I will feel from the 1,000+ people who will be there. I don't want it to be overwhelming but it's so easy to feel removed from the situation when it's not happening to you. But it's happening to me. I am in the midst of it all.

Yet, I am blessed. Boy, am I blessed. I have a philosophy that whenever you think you have problems--go on any day of the week and sit at Children's Hospital.

This morning I am praying for a very special diabetic family who have seen their share of troubles in the past 2 years, but particularly in the last 2 months. They probably don't read my blog and that's ok but you are heavy on my heart today and I lift you up to the Lord, our God who reigns today, tomorrow and forever--THE God who knows our plans better than we know ourselves.

There are so many lives that I am aware of who need special prayer today. It's almost overwhelming. But I know my God and I know that there is nothing that is overwhelming for him. I'll just give it all to Him today...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

O.C. Diabetic

I read something online recently that, according to my co-workers, accurately defines me: O.D. Diabetic. Obsessive-Compulsive Diabetic. Ok, I can roll with that.

When I went to the doctor the first time in May, my A1C was 11.3%; when I went at the beginning of the month of June it was 11% (dietary changes alone). Insurance won't cover an A1C test but every 3 months so at my most recent follow up appointment I couldn't have it measured. But by my own record keeping and averaging my A1C should be around 5.5%. Which is completely normal!!! :) YEAH ME!!!

I went back and read the last posting and those size 14 pants I was talking about? I'm wearing them RIGHT NOW! I've lost a total of 13 lbs since the first part of May. Just when you're feeling really good about a weight loss-just go try on some clothes and reality will slap you right back in the face! It's those "in between" stages where you don't know what size to pick off the shelf. Ugh! But I have done well with my diagnosis and most of the time if I limit my carbs to 1 or 2 per meal I can go without a shot.

I'm walking 6 miles a week...not a whole lot-but I am walking. I hit a plateau for about 4 or 5 weeks and never could lose any more weight. Someone told me, you need to eat a hamburger or some junk. HA! I thought that was nuts...but I did eat "not so healthy" about 2 days and low and behold I lost like 4 lbs? Of course I've returned to a more healthy menu but isn't that funny?

I am walking on October 8th in the StepOut for Diabetes walk at Samford. I have a goal to raise $1,001.00! So far, so good but if you're reading this and would like to make a tax deductible contribution please do so at: FISHER'S FIGHTERS I am sincerely grateful for any and all donations received--I will promise to walk with honor for those who have donated and for those family members who fight diabetes every day--including myself!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Adult-Onset Type 1 Diabetes

So about three months ago, my brother -at the age of 31- was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I had Gestational Diabetes (or so I thought) at the age of 22. Afterwords, my Blood Sugar levels returned to normal. Fast forward several years, since I've always been a big-girl when my blood sugars were high again it was automatically assumed I was Type 2. My son will be 11 years old in November so for 11 years and several doctors later I find out that I, too, am a Type 1--Insulin Dependent diabetic. Four shots a day (at least), checking blood sugar levels six times a day.


Good thing is, I've lost weight...and it was not the indicator that something was wrong. It is because I've made a concentrated effort to lose weight. So far, 7lbs...but more than the weight, I've lost size!!! I just bought a pair of size 14 pants and though I wouldn't yet wear them in public, I WAS able to button and zip them!!! Three years ago I was in a size 22!!! Two months ago I was in a size 18. I'm in a size 16 now and headed towards a 14. I'd like to be a size 12, solidly-- shall I say confidently.

Confident. I can't wait!

Friday, February 25, 2011