Sunday, March 29, 2015

Long Lives With Type 1

In 2008 I saw a request by the Diabetes Forecast magazine for T1D's who had lived with their diabetes for 60 or more years. I applied, and a professional photographer was sent to my house. He took several pictures in August of that year. The magazine celebrated its 60'th anniversary in October, and an article appeared telling about the lives of eleven long term T1D's. My story is included in the article. There are two other articles mentioned at the bottom of the page. You can click on them for additional material. One of the additional articles discusses the Joslin Medalist Study, which was begun in 2005. I participated in the study in 2009. Almost 1000 medalists have been included in the study now. An attempt is being made to determine what factors exist that have enabled so many T1D's to live long lives (50+ years) without any serious diabetes related complications. Some very interesting things have been found. I will report on those in the days ahead.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Type 1, Just Being Human

Riva Greenberg has written a wonderful article. She has been type 1 for 42 years, and has published three books. They are very good books, and I enjoy reading them. Here is her article on "Just Being Human".
"We all have little 'blunders' in day-to-day life, right? Leaving the cup of coffee on the roof of the car and driving off, locking ourselves out of the house by accident, forgetting the lunch date we made with a friend eons ago…these things happens, whether or not you have diabetes.
I recently had a funny everyday blunder in which I went off to record an interview for an article and realized much later that there were no batteries in the tape-recorder. It hadn’t worked properly during the interview and I couldn’t figure out why.
Later that night, I pulled out the recorder and showed my husband how when you press the power button nothing happens. Then I handed it to him. He began to look at it when he remarked, “It’s awfully light. Are you sure there are batteries in here?”
I disclose my error, foolishness, absentmindedness, laugh-inducing mishap for one reason: since life has become so increasingly fast, busy, frantic, chaotic, multi-task-demanding, haven’t we all noticed some lapses and spells of absent-mindedness?
Now ponder: how are we expected to perfectly fulfill the multiple and constant requirements of good diabetes management? Without any mistakes?
The daily list of diabetes to-dos is endless:
planning meals
counting carbs
taking your medicine, if on insulin calculating your dose before each meal and post meals for corrections
checking your blood sugar x times a day and deciding what to do about the numbers
deciding whether it’s safe to exercise, grab some glucose tabs or wait an hour
seeing your team of doctors
getting your lab work done
shopping for healthy food
preparing healthy meals
managing the tightrope between highs and lows
packing and carrying your supplies everywhere
always having fast acting carbohydrate on hand for a low
figuring out how to manage the time difference when you travel. I still haven’t cracked this one
explaining when people tell you you can’t eat something
explaining when people ask you to eat something they made just for you
hitting a rough spot, tough time, mysterious readings, burn-out and depression
knowing no one “gets it” who doesn’t have it
knowing it never lets up
knowing you have a responsibility each day to do your best, yet being human simple can’t always do it
wondering how that will impact your here and now and long term future
…and on, and on, and on, day after day after day after day after week after month after year after year after year after decade after decade after decade.
Now tell me what we do every day isn’t miraculous. And I’ll tell you when you falter, it’s human nature, like forgetting to put the batteries in your recorder.
When you notice you’re out of juice, just put your batteries back in, and turn the power button back on and let it be."
I identify with every part of Riva's list. How about you?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Diabetes Effects on Body Animation 3D

Diabetes and Dementia Linked

The following link gives a definition of Dementia, lists side effects, names diseases that cause Dementia, discusses possible reversal if caught early, and reveals that the risk of Dementia increases as blood glucose levels increase. That is only the first page of this report. There are five pages if you want a more thorough investigation.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Doctors Who Google Patients

There are doctors who Google their patients. Is that inappropriate? I have Googled all of my doctors and read what other patients have said about them. I do not mind if my doctors Google me. We should always avoid saying anything online that could eventually cause us problems.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Diabetes and Hearing Loss
I was diagnosed with nerve damage in my ears several years ago. I have been using hearing aids for my partial hearing loss for more than six months, and I can now hear things I could not hear for several years. Small birds chirping, doors and floors squeaking, and the words from small children. I can have phone conversations with my grandkids. Hearing aids are wonderful!
The following article recently appeared in the Google diabetes group. I do not know the man who wrote the article, but it is a good reference, if you have diabetes, and are having a hearing problem.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

T1 for 69 Years, Ch. 7

Throughout my early years as a diabetic I had no major health problems, and I coasted along rather easily. I was always very skinny, maybe slightly underweight, until many years later. I had high urine sugar every day and usually at night. There were, however, some nights that I had very bad hypos. My bedroom door was always left open at night and my room was immediately across the hall from my parent's room. Mother was keyed in to my thrashing about and the moans I would make when having a hypo. She would jump out of bed and grab the glass containing several tablespoons of sugar. She stopped at the bathroom, and partially filled the glass with water, stirred the mixture with a spoon and entered my room. Daddy raised my body, sat on the bed behind me, and held me while Mother slowly poured the sugar water into my mouth. This usually worked very well but occasionally my mouth was shut so tightly that she could not get any of the liquid into my mouth. Some of these hypos were very bad, and they became seizures. It took a long time to get me to the stage that they could get me to drink some of the sugar water. She would rub some of the liquid on my lips, and I would lick my lips. This gave me just enough sugar so I would start to relax, and then she could get me to swallow some of the sugar water. I would come out of these hypos not remembering any part of what had happened. I was always so grateful that they took such good care of me at those times. I have no idea how many of these hypos/seizures I had before I was an adult, but I know there were many of them. If we had meters for testing, basal and bolus insulins, and carb counting, things would have been very different. There may have been less serious hypos, without the terrible lows that caused seizures.
Mother had a very hard time with my diabetes even though she was an excellent caretaker. She had terrible asthma during most of my preteen years. I remember her smoking cigarettes that contained a kind of medicine. She would inhale the smoke and the medicinal vapor entered her lungs and helped her to breath more freely. There was no tobacco involved. These cigarettes were prescribed by our doctor. Mother would have a terrible time with her asthma after each of my hypos. She was a very nervous person and took medicine for her nerves. She also had large varicose veins. They were causing her many problems and she would wear elastic stockings to give herself some relief. A doctor suggested that she have the varicose veins removed from her legs. The surgery was very successful. She stopped wearing the elastic stockings, and her asthma improved. After a few months she never again had asthma problems. Now how do you explain that? I was still having hypos, and that still made her nervous but no more asthma. Is it possible that the surgery had some connection? It does not seem likely, but we were all very happy that her days of terrible asthma were over.
When I had just started eighth grade I had intestinal flu. I stayed at home several days and I could not keep anything in my stomach, not the medicine the doctor had prescribed and not even water. My parents thought that since I was not eating then they should not give ne insulin. They were afraid I would have a hypo. They did not check this out with the doctor. After several days of no food, no water, no medicine and no insulin I was so weak I could not lift my arms and I was barely able to move my head. The doctor came to our house. He called an ambulance. I stayed in the hospital almost two weeks. I recovered very well and returned to school. I hope that those of you reading this know that you need your insulin even if you are not eating. You still need your "basal" insulin under these conditions but you do not need your "bolus" insulin if you are not eating.
I have reported on my first two years of college. I was dating Linda during my sophomore year. We continued dating, on and off, for four more years after that but it it was only a friendship, and we never fell in love. I never dated a second girl until after my first year in graduate school.
A very strange thing happened during my junior year in college. I was taking second year French and my teacher was from Paris. There was a teacher exchange program and one of Roanoke College's English teachers went to Paris to teach and a French teacher taught for two years at our college. He was an excellent teacher, and I really liked him. I loved the French language and he praised me for having excellent pronunciation of the French words. I gave an oral report on a French book I had read and he singled me out and told the class that they should all give a report like I had done. I was very embarrassed. I felt like a teacher's pet. I had never been in a situation like that before. I had friends in the class who were giving me funny looks, but they never talked to me about it. During the second semester there was a French play, and my teacher wanted me to be the leading character in the play. I told him I could never do that, I was much too shy. It took all the courage I had in me to give that book report. I was concerned that my grade for the second semester would be affected by my refusing to appear in the play. I received an A and I was relieved. He was going to return to France at the end of that semester. He approached me and asked me to consider going with him. He said my French vocabulary and my pronunciation were so good that I would fit in immediately. MOI??? I told him I thought I might teach math at the college level. He insisted that I could teach at a college in France. He wanted me to live in his home with him until I found a place of my own. I was very immature then, and I explained that with my diabetes, and my having more years of college ahead of me, I could not go. He was disappointed but we were on good terms the last time I saw him. Should I have gone??? I am glad I didn't, I had a very wonderful life ahead of me here in the country I loved so much.
I quit working at the supermarket just before the fall semester of my senior year. I had saved enough to pay for all the tuition for that year. My grades had not been as good as I had hoped during my first three years of college because I had worked so many hours at the supermarket. I went to classes with incomplete homework, and I would fall asleep while studying at night after work hours. I always became very tired even when I had not worked very hard. I am sure that was due to my diabetes. I could not fully concentrate in class and on tests. I would have made better grades, if I did not have to pay my own tuition and work at that store. My senior year was different, and I did not have to work at the store ever again. I made four A's and one B each semester. That pulled up my overall grade point average, and I graduated with honors. My parents and some relatives attended my graduation. I wanted to tell my parents "See! You said I could not do this because of my diabetes, but I DID!!!" I never told them that. I'm happy that I kept my mouth shut. Working my way through college was a good experience, and it really helped me mature. I loved my parents and they loved me. Nothing ever came between us.