Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Judith Ball, 75 Year Medal

My friend, Judith Ball, writes about her trip to Boston, where she received her 75 year Joslin medal. The pictures show Judy's family, and friends who were there for the presentation at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Judy is my hero!! 
" I set a goal for myself and I met it! On August 12, 2016 in attendance with my husband, John, our two sons, John and Matthew, their wives, Evelyn and Helen, and our five grandchildren, Daniel, Michael, Margaret, Justin and James, I received the "JOSLIN VICTORY AWARD" medal for having lived with Type I diabetes for 75 years.
It has not been easy, for it is a frustrating disease to live with, and I have had the ups and downs that diabetics experience.
I am thankful to God, my parents and family, doctors, medical educators, and friends who have helped me to do this. I have been able to get a four year college degree, work in my field of study, marry and have healthy children, and continue to volunteer for several agencies.
I truly believe there are better days ahead for all diabetics who are willing to listen, learn, and do the best they can in controlling the disease. If today isn't a day of being in the good control range, then go to bed tonight thankful you made it, and when tomorrow comes, be thankful you have another day. Smile, it helps!
Thank you to Maya Khatri and Annie Lu for their assistance in my receiving the Joslin 75 Year Medal. My new goal is to get the Joslin 80 Year Medal in 5 years! Take care and enjoy the day."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Glucose Meter Accuracy

I am posting some older articles and blogs. I may eventually write new ones, but not for the time being.

Here is a great article by Riva Greenberg. Riva is a type 1 diabetic, and she writes articles for the Huffington Post. Her article concerns glucose meter accuracy, and other factors that influence our glucose control. The meter accuracy is important but accuracy in carb counting, and the levels of absorption of the insulin are also very important. In my case the insulin absorption is a major factor. After almost 62 years of injections, and 5 years of pumping, my body is riddled with spots of scar tissue. The level of absorption is very variable because of the scar tissue. I have to change programming on my pump every time I change infusion sets. When I change sets every 3 days I never know whether my absorption will be great, mediocre or poor. It was the same with injections. Some of my scar tissue is permanent. Be sure to rotate sites to avoid scar tissue. Here is Riva's article:

Friday, August 26, 2016

My Son Has Cancer

I have a son, 46 years old, in North Carolina. He was diagnosed with cancer in April. After five weeks of treatments his oncology doctor says he has at most two years of life remaining. My wife and I are devastated. I am not going to be posting blogs very often now. We will be making frequent visits to be with our son.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Miss New Hampshire...Type 1...Vote

Miss New Hampshire Caroline Carter is type 1, and I am voting for her online. We can vote for her every day. With your help these votes can add up very fast.  http://missamerica.org/vote/


Friday, August 12, 2016

Misdiagnosed

I like Kerri Sparling very much. T1 for 25 years, and dx when she was 6. She started her blogsite several years ago. It is called "Six Until Me". It is a great site! The subject here involves T1D's who are misdiagnosed as T2. This blog was written in 2012, but incorrect diagnosing is still happening today. This happens very often when the dx occurs later in life. I have read about T1 being dx for people in their 80s. An organ can fail at any age, for so many reasons. So a pancreas can certainly fail in an older person. Why don't doctors realize this??? Here is Kerri's blog:

http://sixuntilme.com/blog2/2012/08/wrong_diagnosis.html

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Double Diabetes

DOUBLE DIABETES

There were no diabetes "types" when I was diagnosed in 1945. All people diagnosed with diabetes were treated with insulin taken from pigs and cows. That crude form of insulin gave me back my health. In the years 1936-1939 it was discovered that there were two types of diabetes, but it was not until 1959 that the labels Type 1 and Type 2 were attached. Oral drugs for Type 2 diabetics were introduced in the years 1955-1956.

Now, in current times, we are seeing more and more people with characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These individuals have "double diabetes". This occurs when: 

1. A person with type 1 diabetes becomes overweight and develops the basic feature of type 2 diabetes – insulin resistance (IR). Typically, the type 1 diabetic would then use a type 2 medication to help control the IR. Insulin would still be necessary as well. 

2. A person with type 2 diabetes has one of the key features of type 1 – the presence of antibodies in the blood against the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas causing a decrease in the body's ability to produce insulin. The decreased insulin production can then lead to the type 2 diabetic becoming insulin dependent. These individuals still use their type 2 medication for their IR.

Note: The definitions above were found on the CWD diabetes website. 

So double diabetics may have initially been either type 1, or type 2. Once they have become double diabetics they have IR, they are using insulin, and they are using a medicine (usually metformin) for their IR. I have several type 1 friends, and type 2 friends, who are double diabetics. Some of my type 2 friends are using a pump and a CGM.

In the 1990s I stopped using animal insulins, and began using synthetic insulins. I began gaining weight, even though I was following a much healthier diet, and eating fewer carbs. The only thing that had changed was my insulin. I have read many reports that say the synthetic insulins cause our cells to store fat. Maybe that was the reason for my weight gain, but I did not know that information until much later. I had never been more than five pounds above my ideal weight (185) until the 1990s. By the year 1997 I weighed 242 pounds. That was a net gain of 57 pounds. A lower carb intake and plenty of exercise did not seem to help at that time.

Finally, in 1998, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance. I had several relatives with Type 2 diabetes, and it seems likely I had the Type 2 gene. The gene and the weight gain are likely the explanation for my insulin resistance. In the early 2000s I reduced my daily carb intake, increased my amount of exercise, and lost 24 pounds. I initially used avandia for my IR, but started using metformin starting in early 2011. Using metformin for one year was very good for me. That medication has helped many diabetics lose weight. I lost an additional 29 pounds, and was then only four pounds above my ideal weight. Despite the weight loss, I still had IR. Metformin, eating an average of 140-160 carbs per day, and getting lots of exercise is now keeping me in good health. My A1c's are typically in the 5.8-6.1 range, and except for some mild nerve damage, I do not have any diabetes complications. Double diabetes can be controlled, and my health is just as good now as it was before I became a double diabetic.

Do you think you may have double diabetes? If you are type 1 and have gained weight, and are using more insulin than usual, then you might want to speak to your doctor (preferably an endo) about this.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Insulin, When Not Eating

they should have given me some insulin even though I was not eating. (Today that would mean take your basal, but do not bolus, except to correct highs.) My blood sugar was sky high, but we did not know that since testing blood at home was not available until the 1980s. I was hospitalized for a week and put on a drip which included insulin. I still remember coming out of that so gradually and was so happy when I had enough strength to move my arms and legs again. I think I must have come close to death. Be sure you always take your basal insulin when you are not eating, and test so you can use bolus insulin to correct highs.