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Posted: Sep 29, 2013
Ahhh the fashions in 1970
How many of us have been designated drivers? As a diabetic, amongst my friends when I was younger, I would normally be the one a) that had a car (and could afford the gas/insurance); and/or b) didn’t drink to the point of total obliteration of the mind. So, after having a good time, piling into the car to head back home (for more partying sometimes) – I would make sure that my friends were okay - glass of water – few aspirins – then be on my way home if I wasn’t staying the night.
Sigh, the responsibilities of being a diabetic when your friends aren’t (I think we younger diagnosed diabetics have to grow up faster sometimes than our nondiabetic mates). To some of you, it may seem like we miss out on all the fun – but in away – I never felt I did (well – hey I did indulge from time to time –I mean I’m no saint). The main thing, I could remember EVERYTHING the next day, they couldn’t, and the stories I could relay to their kids today would be such a hoot - but I won't - don't worry.
The other day, a friend of mine, who immigrated to Quebec about 10 years ago, that I’ve known since the age of 7, called me up, inviting me over for coffee and cake (ohhh homemade cake .. NOT - they don't like to cook <lol>). I actually hear and see less of them than when we lived further apart. Their life is complicated (whose lie isn't?) – and boy oh boy – that could make for a whole other blog – but that’s their story to tell if they can write honestly.
At the time, I knew I had 4 units of insulin remaining in George Michael (my Animas 2020 insulin pump –still going strong into his 2nd year of being out of warranty – hope I don’t jinx him here by saying that). I figured that I’d be okay – my BG (blood glucose/sugar) was acting stable that day (5.1 mmol/l – 92 mg/dl) – so I knew I’d not need to correct with multitudes of insulin if I went high – even with coffee and cake.
I stayed for an hour – chatting up on what had been happening in their life over the last 3 months (boy oh boy – what a soap opera). Then Monsieur George went into ALARM mode – FEED ME NOW!! No biggie, and I guess for some of you reading this, you’re thinking “why didn’t she bring back up? She preaches this to all of us!!”. Well, I forgot, plain and simple. I also knew, that going without insulin for less than an hour would not be the death of me (not like my DKA experience back in August – 6 hours without insulin – NOT GOOD).
So as I attempted to leave (hey –they like to talk – yap yap yappity yap) – my friend was reminiscing about the times I had been low (Hypoglycemia / low blood glucose). If I could have captured the look on their face – of how I looked to them when I was “drunk” with a low – PRICELESS. It was something that I forgot about – that they’d probably seen me that way many times over the past 45+ years – and it was actually kind of neat that they would remember those details – and I was seeing how I looked in their eyes.
They work for a dentist – who is a Type 1 diabetic. They told me that they had asked their boss – incase the he went low – where did they kept their insulin, etc. The dentist was reluctant at first to tell them where it was kept in his office but in the end told them. That’s when my brakes came to an abrupt screech – and I said.
It actually freaked me that my friend, who is a Dental Assistant, who has known me for so long, would consider giving insulin to someone in that state - and would they know how to test their BG properly to access the situation?
I once again put on my “educators” cap like I seem to be doing alot lately when I'm out on the town – hoping that the simple explanation I gave to them, will ensure that any diabetic that they come across in future, that either may be going low or high (Hyperglycemia / high blood glucose/sugar). I’m hoping it retains in their noggin’ – because obviously knowing me for so long – they still don’t get it (like my Mum who thinks apple juice is sugar free).
It also proves to me – why many of us are so anal about our control – and taking care of ourselves – rather than others (even “trained” nurses in a hospital – and I speak from experience). We know what works best for us – and hope that we don’t get into the situation where we need someone to assist us – without full knowledge of what to do.
NB: When I got back home after picking up a few groceries along the way - I was reading 8.1 mmol/l - l46 mg/dl. Infusion change - fresh juice of life in my pump - back to regular programming!
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Tags: memories (1) 2020 (1) Animas (1) alcohol (1) pump (1) insulin (1) Hyperglycemia (1) glucose (1) sugar (1) blood (1) Hypoglycemia (1) high (1) low (1)
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Posted: Sep 29, 2012
I’ve been abit quiet over the last few months here at Diabetes1.org - my heart really hasn't been into writing - though I've come up with some brill ideas - then they get stomped on with all that's going on. It’s been very difficult to sit down at the keyboard, and think of composing anything that makes sense. I think in order to get back to being able to write again, I first have to sort thru’ all that has been plaguing my heart over the past few months.
As usual, it has nothing to do with my diabetes health, though it has been affected in some ways, but it’s nothing serious and will eventually go back to normal (I hope – only time heals as the saying goes). It is due to the sudden death of my FIL at the end of July and the changes in our life lately as we try to help sort out my FIL’s paperwork that sadly is very disorganised and having no will/executor has not helped. The shock of it is slowly in setting in, as my DH and others have been busy with helping his Mum face the reality of the huge home she lives in and how to survive alone. It does not help that she is an alcoholic, and prior to my FIL’s departure from Earth, was on a bender (binge drinking). So even for her, the reality of what occurred has been difficult to comprehend, let alone all of us, with her mind cloudy with substances.
We had hoped that maybe this would make her snap out of it, but now realising it’s hard to suddenly stop an addiction with a snap of a finger, when it’s been ongoing for many decades. Sadly, some of my DH’s family members denied that there was a problem for many years, that “oh, she only has a drink when she gets home from work, to relieve the stress”. It’s like; there are other ways of relieving the burdens of life rather than using alcohol/drugs/whatever. In away, I’m glad that my parents didn’t have alcohol in the house and the other thing that is perhaps a blessing in disguise. Having a hypo (low blood sugar) when you are a diabetic, is much like an alcoholic person. Because of that, drinking to the point where I’d be fighting to remain normal / conscious has never been my cup of tea. Also, being addicted to anything scares the shit out of me (and one of the reasons I don’t keep bags of crisps in the house or chocolates – those are MY addiction in life – bad for my diabetes – bad for the waist line LOL). When I feel the need to divulge in these "addictions" of mine - I just do something else like sewing or reading (e.g. use your search engine - type out "100 Things to do instead of drinking" and you'll be amazed at what you come across - who needs to drink or binge out on crisps).
So, as the holiday season approaches (Thanksgiving in Canada takes place in a few weeks) – and Christmas. It is going to be very hard not to have my FIL around, with his sarcastic sense of humour that we loved, be present at these functions. He was the main reason for making us want to visit my DH’s family, since he not only needed us to help out at home, but also to give him a boost up of laughter and someone to talk to about his problems with his wife. Sadly, most of our visits home, my MIL was drinking, and we always wondered if she remembered us being there for a weekend visit. On top of this, my FIL had to watch over his wife to ensure she didn’t set the house on fire, fall down the stairs but at the same time, deal with his own health condition of Alzheimer’s that he’d been diagnosed with in the late 1990’s. He actually was part of a study for a new type of drug that was greatly improving his condition - he was like the Wonder Boy. NB: We have found out that since August the study has been shelved due to problems with other patients – and questions arise in our heads if this could have been a factor in his early death? Only the autopsy the family had requested at the time of his death will perhaps reveal more – and the study group wants to know this information as well.
If any of you are reading my dribbles and have gotten this far perhaps you are in a similar situation with a loved one, with a problem with alcohol? Well, rest assure that there are many great organisations out there to help you, such as Alcoholic Anonymous (more for the user once they ADMIT they have a problem) and for family/friends there is Al-Anon . There are also MANY great forums out there that you can join up to - there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us is my only way of coping with all of this!
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Tags: drinking (1) Alzheimer’s (1) alcohol (1) death (1) Alcoholics Anonymous (1) Al-Anon (1)
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Posted: Jan 16, 2012
It's so hard to believe that I've been using an insulin pump for 4 years now. I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe that time has flown by so fast since switching over from MDI (multiple dose injections) for 41 years prior.
Here's something that is going to make some of you who have been pumping for awhile have a laugh though. I've often read about other insulin pumpers having their infusion sets pulled out - either caught on a door knob or adhesive has given out. The only thing I'd experienced was hanging myself on the door knob a few times in the beginning, but the infusion set never pulled out. I must have been lucky.
I'm like many insulin pumpers, where I favour the use of my stomach for my infusion sets. It's convenient and I feel insulin absorption is better since it's near to the organs that need our juice of life. Also, my problem since going onto the Contact Detach - is the length of the tubing. I can't get any longer length from Animas then 60 cm/23 inches. The other infusion sets I used to use, I could get longer tubing, but sadly, due to teflon allergy, I had to stop using those types. This makes using the infusion set on my upper thighs is out of the question now. So, my stomach, which is has abit of real estate has become quite the playground for my infusion sets.
When I was visiting with a insulin pumping friend of mine, who also tends to use their stomach area alot for infusion sets, they were showing me the area that they used. It doesn't help that they have abit of hair on their stomach region, and even with shaving prior to putting the set in, inbetween the time of removal the set, it can become abit uncomfortable. I was showing them where I put mine, which is an area they don't touch, above their belly button area. I have at least 3" of real estate for placing my infusion sets in, and I had never gone up this far before, but decided to give it a go a few months ago.
This is where I have experienced my first infusion pull out because of going up this high on my stomach. It all came about when pulling up my pants after a trip to the loo. My thumb caught in the connecting tube of the Contach Detach / Sure-T that I use for my infusion set. It was so fast, I didn't even feel it being yanked out. All I saw, was the needle portion waving itself at me. I wasn't really that upset, since a) I was at home; and b) I only had about 8 units left in my insulin cartridge.
Now, if I had been outside of home, then it would have been a different story, but as I've told a few other insulin pumpers - the joy of the Contact Detach is you can (though it's not recommended due to sterile issues) - reinsert the set back in a new area (have done that a few times when hitting a nerve/muscle with a new infusion change). So, I've now made sure that along with my blood meter that I always carry with me, spare batteries, that I have an alcohol swab AND IV Prep - incase I do have to reinsert. Luckily, it's only happened to me that one time - but I now can no longer call myself a virgin of the infusion pulling out club LOL!
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Posted: Jan 8, 2011
Earlier this week I'd written about an infusion site issue - that in the end - we've all come to the conclusion that it was all to do with nerve endings. So far, I've done a few more infusion changes, and not had the same thing happen again except now I seem to be having an issue with irritation. This is something I've not had with the Contact Detach / Sure-T infusion sets like I used to with the telfon cannula infusion sets.
Picture by Edmund Dulac - 1911
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Tags: Sure-T (1) Contact Detach (1) alcohol (1) Skin Prep (1) irritation (1) infusion (1) Animas (1) pump (1) insulin (1)
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Posted: Jul 20, 2009
I was talking to my neighbours out front just now. They are Egyptian - such sweet little ladies. They always want to know what's going on it in our lives. I think they live thru' us - which is kind of sweet. One of the ladies is Type 2 - and her younger sister is always telling me how worried she is about her. So, Mike and I watch out for her when her family doesn't come around to see her. She is intrigued by my insulin pump - and between my splattering of French and her English - we have an interesting conversation. She's not looking too well this a.m. - am hoping she's alright - so I may go over in abit with some fresh peppermint and make up some tea for us and see how she is doing. I know her sister says she eats bad food (define bad that is my question - I eat bad as well) - and she doesn't test her blood sugars enough. Sigh, I want to save the world sometimes - only I'm not blond and I don't act on the show Heroes.
I managed to not drink too much (I'm getting better with age - hangovers and a few hours of memory lost - nope) - and had a great time. Only had abit of a problem with my blood sugars the first night as I had to do an insulin correction before heading to beddy byes on Friday night. I was fine in the morning - so the miracle legal drug insulin does its' wonderful things again! Of course, I was munching on foods I don't usually eat, but man oh man, tasting chip flavours that I'd never heard of before, well, how could I deny my salivary glands! As I've written before, the foods that Americans have that we don't have here is overwhelming. I almost bought a jar of a sugary marshmallow substance called "Fluff". Pure sugar, great for treating hypos was what went thru' my sponge brain! A few of the sailors are Type 2's, so they talked me out of buying it - sigh. Next time, I'll somehow manage to sneak it into my grocery bag!!! I will find a way!!!
We had such a great sail back on Sunday - winds coming from the south/west - so we just had the jib sheet out (front sail at the front of the boat for you non-boaters - and trust me - I'm still learning all the sailor lingo even 5 years later - so you may correct me if I'm wrong in my descriptions). We were cruising along at an average speed of 5.5 knots (our hull is rated at 6 knots). It was an awesome sail - not heeling over - just very nice and relaxing sail. I managed to change my infusion set in-between the "pack of wolves" (power boaters from Quebec are on holidays - and they are always in a mad rush to get everywhere - just like on the roads - wait - I'm from Quebec - what am I saying?). When alot of power boats go by - they set up alot of waves - and sailboats get the brunt of their waves. As our boats get tossed around - this is when you know if you've got a demon child inside the boat or not - as things go flying around as the boat hits the water if they're not secured properly. I am getting better with keeping that "child" from having a tantrum inside.
So, now it's back to regular programming - and we'll wait for Friday to come again - and hopefully head out for the wild blue yonder again (good thing is gas prices have gone down - amazing for the summer - as usually they go up!).
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Tags: food (1) alcohol (1) BG (1) blood sugar (1) hypo (1) sailboat (1) fluff (1) food (1) alcohol (1) BG (1) blood sugar (1) hypo (1) sailboat (1)
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