Blog Entries With Tag: amputation

Posted: Feb 5, 2010


Bag of Blood with Blood Sugar written on it

I don't watch daytime TV that often as I'm a working stiff, but yesterday I recorded the Oprah show - which was all about diabetes.  I had read during the week from other PWD bloggers that they were abit disgruntled that probably the show would dwell on Type 2 diabetes.  That doesn't bother me, as I still clump all the different versions of diabetes as being one, we all are having to deal with living with diabetes whether it be with just pills/diet/exercise/insulin.  Below is a comment that I posted at one of the many diabetic forums I belong to which I find seemed to be highly critical of how Oprah / Dr. Oz brought it to the public viewers ...

I found it pretty good.  You have to remember, it's aimed at the average viewer, who may not have much knowledge of diabetes, and what they have is usually based on incorrect info (e.g. you get it if you're fat, yadda, yadda, yadda). Because of it only being an hour show (with LOTS of ads - not used to day time telly) - they could only really cover the basics, but I personally felt the info put forth was well done.  I think it helped my husband understand about what sugar in our systems does to us with the video that Dr. Oz showed on how the food breaks down in our bodies. Seeing how the "shards of glass" aka "sugar" go thru' our blood vessels if it's not been converted correctly due to our pancreas not squelching out the juice made me cringe (I will never look a broken glass in the same way again).  It didn't help that I was sitting down nibbiling on cookies and an espresso (with sugar) for my evening snack.  Yes, I had taken insulin to cover the carbs aka sugar - so hopefully less "shards of glass" will enter into my blood stream, but still I felt abit uneasy.

What got me crying, and I'm started to well up here as I type thinking about it, was Laureen, a 44 year old Type 1 diabetic who agreed to be on the show (bless her heart) telling us what bad management of diabetes can do to you (and she is a nurse).  It was when Dr. Oz started to remove the bandages from her legs that I really started to sob uncontrollably, and I'm not one to cry that often (I think diabetes makes some of us tough to emotions).  Besides that ordeal, she is also on kidney dialysis, which is something that all diabetics hope to never have to face.   It was so hard to watch, and of course, because of of a PWD friend of mine, Lois, having her leg amputated a few days ago due to mismangement of her diabetes (and she admits she f##ed up), it hit me hard.

So, yes, some of you Type 1's maybe disappointed that not more info was done on " our " type of diabetes, but as we've always known, we are a small majority. In the 60's/70's when I was diagnosed Type 1 was only about 1% of the diabetic population - now it's 10% - crikey.


Just a footnote - the video link above of Laureen may not be for the faint of heart.  I know I found it very difficult to watch as Dr. Oz removed her bandages ... BUT ... it might  jolt you into realising how serious diabetes is and how if left uncontrolled can lead to life threatening conclusions.  

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Tags: blood sugar (2) BG (1) complications (1) amputation (1) dialysis (1) kidney (1) pancreas (1) Type 2 (1) Type 1 (1) Oprah (1)
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Posted: Dec 17, 2008

My mother-in-law had back surgery; so, I spent several hours Monday sitting at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.  I hate waiting rooms; so, I sat on the windowsill outside the elevators, overlooking the Joslin Clinic.  I was sitting thinking fondly of the last time I had been in the Deaconess and the week I spent at the Joslin in November 1976. 


Unlike most of the diabetic population, I have absolutely no regrets or hatred about being an insulin-dependent diabetic.  I have other regrets; this is just not one of them.  So, oddly enough I would probably have been perceived to be smiling while I was thinking back and so grateful for the people who built that ugly building.  It seems to be in disrepair these days and they seem to be doing construction to the east side of the building – repair or expansion, I do not know.


At dinnertime, we went to the café in the Farr building.  I think that is the original Deaconess building.  I had been talking about the tunnel from the Deaconess to the Joslin earlier.  Come to find out, there is a tunnel from the Clinical building to the Farr building too.  That is where the café is located.  Then there is a turn down a hallway that still goes to the Joslin.  Cool, I think.  Can I go?  Na … not exactly appropriate.


The surgical liaison said they do not use it much anymore.  Some “guy” (I was thinking facilities or IT) was giving an employee an orientation. He mentioned the bridge to the Farr building.  I commented there is a tunnel too.  He told the other gentleman twice to stay out of the tunnel.  Hmm.  Oh well.  I can have fond my memories of my wheelchair ride anyway.


My bubble burst when I started hearing stories about appendage lopping.  First, there was the son whose undiagnosed diabetic (fasting of 108 and on dialysis) father was in surgery losing his right leg.  That poor guy was going to wake up without a leg and did not even know it.  Then there was the employee whose 250-pound diabetic mother had both feet lopped off.  NOW she has lost weight.  Then there was the roommate of my mother-in-law who had knee surgery to only get a foot infection and need another surgery.  I winced and asked, “You’re not a diabetic are you”?  Yup.  She also has diabetic relative who had also lost their leg. 


I was ready to burst.  I could not take hearing it anymore.  I chatted with the surgical nurse. She told me they “see a lot of that here.”  I am getting pretty upset at this point.  She said they are usually “non-compliant” – one of my least favorite phrases. 


All I could think of was how can I make this better?  What can I do to help?  How can I get through to these patients?  Where can I volunteer or can I teach (good diabetes self-management)?  What else can I do?   I am using my voice; I realize that.  It is just not enough.  I want to do more.   What can those of us in good control do?  Medical school is just not an option.  So what else is there?  I am all ears guys … what else can we do?  There just should be such a disparity between me looking fondly at the “building” I perceive to have given me the quality of life I have today and those who are in dire straits.  There just has to be better.  I wonder; is this where those lobbyist connections I discussed yesterday might come in handy?


Doris J. Dickson

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