Thursday, August 30, 2012

Poor Grandma

I found this in my email:


The computer swallowed Grandma,
Yes, honestly its true!
She pressed 'control' and 'enter'
And disappeared from view.

It devoured her completely,
The thought just makes me squirm.
She must have caught a virus
Or been eaten by a worm.

I've searched through the recycle bin
And files of every kind;
I've even used the Internet,
But nothing did I find.

In desperation, I asked Mr. Google
My searches to refine.
The reply from him was negative,
Not a thing was found 'online.'

So, if inside your 'Inbox,'
My Grandma you should see,
Please 'Copy', 'Scan' and 'Paste' her,
And send her back to me.

Factors Influencing Insulin Dosages

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. Here is a quote from Riva's article:

" .....if a meter meets the ISO standard (95 percent of the time it's within plus or minus 20 percent of a standard lab test at glucose concentrations equal to or above 75 mg/dl, and within 15 mg/dl at values less than 75 mg/dl). Comparatively, the average error in carb counting is about 20 percent and in insulin absorption about 25 percent. Hence, a lot of inaccuracy to base my dosing on. Yet, notice meter accuracy is much less impactful to my dosing accuracy. The solution, for now, is to make each of these three factors more accurate. So if we increase meter accuracy to within plus/minus 15 percent -- the new reference standard now pending FDA approval -- and I brush up on my carbohydrate counting and get a little better at calculating my insulin dose, I'll increase my chances of getting my insulin dose more accurate more of the time."

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:

Blood Pressure Meds, and Dizziness

A recent study suggests that many doctors are prescribing BP meds unnecessarily. I started taking a BP med many years ago, even though my BP and kidneys were good. My doctor wanted to protect my kidneys, just in case there might be a problem. Diabetics are more prone to have kidney problems. I had only mild side effects with the BP med. In 2007 I started having higher BP
 numbers, like 135/75, so my BP dosages were doubled. I started having dizziness as a side effect. For 5 years I have had dizziness, and recently it is much worse. Sometimes I fall down or stagger with dizziness. I stopped my BP med for two weeks last year and my dizziness was so much better, I could walk normally. What a relief, but my BP increased into the 140's. While using a full dosage of the BP med my BP is like 120/58. Why is that second number so low? Is that dangerous? My doctor says it is not dangerous. If I use a half dosage my BP is like 135/65. Is it better to have a 135/65 and very little dizziness, or is it better to have a 120/58 and lots of dizziness? I have never had any kidney problems, so I do not need a BP med for my kidneys. The recent research makes me skeptical about my higher BP dosage. Here is the link:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Insulin Vial, 1923

This picture shows a vial of insulin produced in 1923, two years after insulin was discovered. It shows a 5cc glass bottle. The insulin is from Lab. No. 257-4, dated November 5 1923. The label on the front of the bottle reads: 'Insulin 10 units - 5 c.c. vial. 10 units per c.c. Connaught Laboratories. University of Toronto'. According to the Connaught anti-toxin laboratories filling records for insulin this bottle was filled November 1, 1923.

The dark color of the insulin may be doe to the insulin not being purified during the early years. Insulin was taken from pigs and cows, but not purified and made safe for injection purposes until the Lilly company took over and made the insulin safe by removing the impurities. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Do You Hide Your Diabetes?

Do you hide your diabetes?

For many years after my diagnosis in 1945, I did not know another diabetic. I mentioned my disease to a couple of friends when I was a teen, but they looked so puzzled. They did not know what I was talking about, and I doubted they even believed me. So I hid my diabetes for many years, but I did try telling a few teachers in high school and college. They did not seem to understand, and maybe they did not believe me. When I was a college sophomore I had a very bad hypo while taking my first calculus test. When I approached the teacher and explained that my vision was blurred, and I could not read the test paper, he would not help me in any way. That was the only test I ever failed. There seemed to be almost no knowledge about diabetes in my early years. 

I dated and told my girlfriends. It did not seem to make a difference to them that I was a diabetic. That was probably because they did not know enough about it to be concerned. The first person I knew who really was concerned was my wife, but only after we were married. She was not concerned before we were married because she never saw me have a hypo. I was high much of the time on animal insulin. I did not tell my students after starting my teaching in 1962. There did not seem to be any reason for doing so. I was alone as a diabetic, except for my family, until I was married. My wife and I have been married for 48 years, and she has been so wonderful in so many ways with helping me with my diabetes. But there was still something missing!

In July, 2006, I found diabetes on the internet. That essentially changed my life, in a very important way. There were so many people online who were diabetics, or they had family members with diabetes. We talked with each other, and we learned so many new things. I believe that at least 80% of what I know about diabetes was learned on the internet. I was helped in so many ways, and my control and my life improved. I became a diabetes advocate to many online people who needed to know the things I had learned. So many parents of diabetic children have found me to be an inspiration because I was diagnosed when I was 6, and am very healthy now that I am 72. 

After 66 years as a type 1 diabetic, I am very comfortable telling people about my diabetes, and about diabetes in general. It is very comforting and rewarding to give and receive help online. I will never again hide my diabetes. I hope my online friends feel the same way!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stress? Who ME? Yes, but only after 50 years of Diabetes.

I have seen several posts about whether it is best to be diagnosed at a young, or at an older age. I was diagnosed when I was barely 6, and cannot remember very much of my life before that. There were no "types" back then, all of us were given animal insulin, told to not eat sugar, and that was it. There were no other rules to follow. I w
as so young that it seems now like my life was just beginning then. I feel that was an advantage for me since I was very healthy back then, without any complications. I tested my urine and took one injection before breakfast. I ate anything I wanted all day long, as long as it did not contain sugar. There was no more urine testing or injections until the next morning. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It WAS simple, and so much less trouble than today's management routine. I was never stressed about my D in the old days, because there were no complications.

I became stressed in the 1990s, 50 years after my dx. I was forced to stop animal insulin and started using synthetic insulins. There was carb counting, basal/bolus control, testing many times each day, and MDI. What a BIG change! I adjusted to that, but I was also diagnosed with neuropathy, retinopathy, frozen shoulders, carpal tunnel, cataracts, arthritis, and a few other things. I was extremely stressed! I thought things were supposed to be better with the modern day devices, insulins, and knowledge about how we should control our D. I felt everything had backfired, and I was going downhill fast. I feared for my life!! Then I joined online D sites and found others like me. My new friends convinced me to use a pump. That is what turned things around. My complications no longer bother me because my numbers were much more stable. I had gained weight during the years I was so stressed, and insulin resistance entered the picture. I am now using Metformin along with my insulin, I am not overweight, my health is great, and I will live forever!!! <wink>