Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How do ya like them apples?

When I came home from spending a nice weekend with the family, I found that, sadly, one of our apple trees decided to give up on life and inexplicably fall over sometime last weekend.

Maybe from all the storms and wind? Who knows, but at least it didn't hit anything, and at least we still have about two dozen more apple trees to spare. Not that we know what to do with all that fruit, plus the cherry tree and pear tree.

The fallen tree is several feet from the shed, as you see in the photo, and it will be leaning there until Anthony returns from Europe this weekend. Upon when I will no doubt be clingy and needy from missing him and he will go cut up the tree just to get away from me for a while!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Type 1 Top Ten List

Borrowing a page from Dave Letterman, I present The Type 1 Top Ten List, a.k.a., some things that your Type 1 friend would like you to know!

10. It's pronounced dia-bee-teez. Despite what Wilford Brimley may tell you, it is not dia-beet-us. It is also not called "having sugar."

9. Yes, I can eat that. So long as I take the appropriate amount of insulin to cover the carb content, I can have anything I'd like. So please don't judge my food choices - after all, chances are you really don't need that cookie either!

8. Don't tell me about your family member/distant acquaintance who lost a foot/went blind/had kidney failure. It's not helpful, and it's slightly offensive. Would you say to a cancer patient Oh, I knew somebody who died from that!...?

7. Don't make me a spectacle! A few years ago at a business dinner, as I was buttering a dinner roll, a board member with pill-and-diet controlled Type 2 SHOUTED across a table full of ten or twelve near-strangers, "Isn't that going to make your sugar high?!"  Now, I don't have a problem discussing this among friends, and even strangers. However, singling me out at a table of ten people, while we're on opposite corners, is not the appropriate way to ask questions. Especially when I'm with my company reps who, quite frankly, are on a need-to-know basis.

6. But don't be afraid to ask me questions! In fact, it's encouraged. Constructive questions are the only way to overcome stereotypes and misconceptions. If you're curious about what I'm doing, or how something will impact my blood sugar, go ahead and ask. Just don't follow the example in #7!

5. I've heard more than once: hey, at least it's not cancer! Well, no, it isn't. But on the other hand, it IS something I will have to deal with and monitor for the rest of my life. Minimizing my concerns or brushing off my depressed days makes me feel even worse. While I generally don't get down, we all have days where nothing goes right, and diabetes management is no different.

4. Having low blood sugar can be scary, weird and unpredictable. A few weeks ago, I was with a friend while our husbands were playing golf. She is familiar with Type 1 Diabetes because we lived together for a while in college and have been friends since before my diagnosis. When I got to her house, I felt low and asked for a glass of juice. An hour later, I was still low, and begrudgingly, had to ask her to stop for food because I had gone through my entire sleeve of glucose tabs. I have never had such a persistent low, and of course, it happened away from home and husband. It took glucose tabs, a glass of juice, a soft pretzel and two handfuls of jelly beans to finally level off above 80 a few hours later.

3. Type 1's can guess the carb count in just about anything. When I'm out to dinner, I mentally tally not only my food, but YOURS too. Just because.

2. I also have learned all sorts of useful nutritional information. In addition to carb-counting, Type 1's need to be aware of the effects of fats, proteins and alcohols in their food, because all of these can change the rate at which insulin is absorbed.

1. Please understand that all the contraptions I wear make my life easier and serve as a treatment, but they are not a cure. Do what you can to help our walk team find one.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tax time!

In honor of the April 18 cutoff for tax filing: did you know that charitable donations are tax deductible? Donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund's Walk for a Cure through our team page today for a tax deduction!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sponsor a Walk Team because...

Please sponsor my team for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund's Walk for a Cure by clicking the tab above, or by visiting here 

Children are diagnosed everyday with Type 1 Diabetes. Here is what they'll have to live with for the rest of their lives if a cure is not found. These are the "tools of the trade" that help me, and most other Type 1's, live:

This is my insulin pump. It is an alternative to taking my insulin through multiple daily injections. Instead, the pump pushes insulin through a small plastic tube inserted about a half-inch under my skin. It gives me a varying dose every few minutes all day long and when I push the buttons, it sends extra insulin based on what I eat or my activity level. For comparison, it is shown here next to my phone. I usually carry it tucked in my pocket or clipped (like a cell phone belt clip) somewhere on my clothing.

This is where my infusion set, the plastic tube that provides my insulin, is inserted on my side. I pull it out like a band-aid and insert a new site on either my belly, lower back, or outer thigh every three or four days. If you look to side, you'll see a small red circle from a week-old site change.

This is a bottle of insulin. One bottle lasts about three weeks for me, but everyone's usage varies.

This is how I test my blood sugar. After pricking your finger, you touch the drop of blood to the center of the strip, and it sucks a small amount into the meter for testing. A "normal" reading is 70-120.

In addition to finger-pricking, there is another way we can monitor blood sugar. This is a Continuous Glucose Monitor, or CGM.

It is inserted under the skin, and the needle pulls out, leaving behind a very thin wire. You manually input a current blood sugar reading from finger-pricking, and it then calibrates and begins checking your blood sugar on its own every six minutes. The round white part at the top is a wireless transmitter that, in turn, sends the readings right to my insulin pump, which will beep to alert me if my blood sugar falls below 75 or raises above 150. It requires a new calibration, or finger-prick reading, every six hours so it can stay accurate.

Last, but not least, is my medical identification bracelet. Should I ever pass out, be in a car accident, etc., this will let people know the kind of treatment I need. EMTs and other medical professionals are trained to recognize jewelery like this.

Please sponsor my team for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund's Walk for a Cure by clicking the tab above, or by visiting here.