November? It’s done? I ate pancakes…

2014-10-31 03Diabetes Awareness Month kinda got by me this month.

I did not do the blog every day thing. The boringness of it would have driven any reader (and me!) nuts.

I wore my new blue circle necklace to work every day and if I was out and about. I had a whole “spiel” ready for when everyone would ask, “Oh, what a beautiful blue circle necklace! Tell me about it.” It didn’t happen.

I think next year I’m going to make a sign – “Ask me about my blue circle necklace!”

I did sign petitions and write senators/representatives. I did the Big Blue Test (not as often as I should have…). I did read others’ blogs.

And this morning? Just because? I ate pancakes (two of them) for the first time in a very, very long time. With syrup. I took a whole, whole lot of insulin. I had to do a couple of small corrections throughout the afternoon but… We were driving home from Cape Cod (where it had the audacity to snow while I was there…) and stopped for a late breakfast at an IHOP in Plymouth, Mass. I can’t tell you the last time I was at an IHOP. But, as I write this the BG is 70 something so I guess I’ll live.

My brother? The one whose doctor said “pre-diabetes?” Doing great – normal A1c.

My cousin? The one whose doctor said “Type 2 Diabetes?” Off meds and doing a great job with diet – exercise.

The naggy sister/cousin (that would be me…)? Quite pleased for both of them and very grateful for the Type 2 d-friends who take the time to write about their struggles and successes.

And – my younger sister announced she’s retiring early. Wanted to know why we weren’t doing the same. And I sat there with a straight face and said, “We can’t afford to because of my diabetes.”

So – help us get CGMs approved by Medicare so I’m not the oldest church secretary in history. (Although to be honest, church secretaries seem to hang on forever.) I don’t want to be in that office forever…

Hope your Thanksgiving was delicious – and your bg-s manageable! (If you live here and celebrated Thanksgiving…)


The Amazing DOC

Do you realize how amazing you are – you DOC people?

I do the charity stuff at our church office. I have a youngish man with lots of family issues and lots of needs. And in spite of a job, and working – not a lot of money. Add in a teenage daughter with massive medical issues and his life is pretty sucky.

Then – he mentions that he has T2 – hasn’t seen the doctor in months. Hasn’t had his medication (Metformin)  in months. Hasn’t tested in months. And can’t afford to go to the doctor. He’s worried about driving his daughter as his vision keeps blurring.

I guess I have T1 Diabetes for a reason. I guess I read d-blogs for a reason. And I thank all the T2 bloggers for writing about their diabetes.

I lit into him. Did the whole “put your oxygen mask on first…” and let him know that he had to take care of himself.

And this morning he called from Wal-Mart. He has prescriptions. He’s seeing the doctor tomorrow. He’s getting help to pay for the appointment. He still had no idea what meter he uses and he’s out of strips. I told him to buy a Relion meter and strips. I let him know the church would pay for it.

He called back this afternoon. He bought the meter. He tested. I asked, and his BG was 278. He will take his meds. He will take care of his daughter.

I wouldn’t have had a clue about T2. I wouldn’t know that Wal-Mart sells an inexpensive meter. I wouldn’t know what to tell him…

I did know what to tell him.

Thank you Diabetes Online Community. You really are quite amazing. Really!

He didn’t give up…

As some of my readers (all 10 or so of you… I love all of you!) know, my younger brother saw a doctor at the beginning of this year and was told he was probably pre-diabetic, if not a full fledged Type 2 Diabetic.

The morning I took him for his follow-up appointment, his BG was 178. And I cried – but not in front of him.

We bought a meter and strips. We did a crash course in label reading.

I challenged his physician (ARNP) on some of his “assumptions.” Poor guy never knew what hit him and had never heard of LADA Type 1. (Maybe I should teach at a medical school?)

My brother is now the #4 child of four children taking thyroid medication.

The pre-d? He’s nailing it. He’s lost weight. He reads nutrition labels. His BG numbers are down. The thyroid meds are working.

And he feels pretty damn good about himself. In addition to just feeling better physically.

We talked the other day and he admitted he was scared, real scared back in January.

He also admitted that changing his eating habits (he cooks at a local diner) was really tough. It’s summer – he makes tons of chocolate chip pancakes every day for our visiting tourists. Putting a few potato chips in a small bowl as opposed to sitting on the couch with the whole bag has not been easy for him.

He has thanked me for helping/teaching him.

And now I thank all the Type 2 Bloggers because I couldn’t have helped him without you. I knew so little about Diabetes when I was diagnosed (first with T2, then T1Lada). I know more now, and I’m still learning.

His most important lesson… It’s not his fault.

I wrote to a newspaper columnist – about D

It is a first – oh, I’m wrong it’s my second time but…
(First time was back in high school, a long time ago…)

I wrote to a newspaper!

For many years I’ve read the column, The New Old Age, in The New York Times. It was a tremendous help to me when my dad was hospitalized and then lived in a nursing home. I learned lots and I believe it helped me to be a better caretaker and a better advocate for my dad those four years.

Last week I read this:
Diabetes Advice for the Elderly: Relax

It’s good but – Type 2 is only mentioned once, although it’s obvious that it’s about Type 2 if you know anything about the types of Diabetes. (And as we know, there are a lot of people who don’t know much.)

Now – I’m not signing any petitions. Like many of you, I think our goal has to be to teach people that the causes and treatments for the several “types” of diabetes can be very different.

So I sent an email to the writer, noting that as a Type 1 Diabetic, I can’t relax and just skip my medication, insulin. I said that although I understood that the column was a discussion of Type 2 Diabetes, that people reading it often wonder why I and others can’t do the same.

Her reply was pretty nice.
Good point.  This came up the last time I wrote about tight glycemic control, so I thought that by putting T2 right up top, in that italicized section, I would make the distinction.  But perhaps I needed to repeat that or make it more explicit; I will next time.
Meanwhile, let me encourage you to put a comment on the website (anonymously if you prefer) pointing out that this applies to those with Type 2, but people who’ve coped with Type 1 most of their lives are in a different situation.  It might be useful to other readers.
Thanks for getting in touch,
Paula Span
New Old Age

My dad always taught me that “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

I especially respect her for writing, “I will next time.”

Look what you guys have done to me!!!

PS – Happy Snowy Day to the Kansas City DOC!

About my brother…

Some of you might remember that I wrote about my brother being diagnosed with pre-diabetes back in December.

The boy has done damn good. He’s 12 years younger than me. He was going into kindergarten when I left for college. He’s had his own devils throughout his life and it hasn’t been easy.

But he was scared in December. I brought my meter when I picked him up for the appointment and his fasting BG was 175. I tried not to cry.

I went with him to his first appointment where the physician laid it out and said, “You are definitely pre-diabetic.” He went on to say, “This is what you can do.” And the physician talked about labels and carbs and exercise, etc… BUT – Big BUT. My brother was NOT offered any diabetes education, at all. And that really makes me angry.

P-0044Well – except his sister (that would be me) has learned a whole lot in the past few years. And the baby brother has been a good student.

We went to the local drug store and bought a meter.
We sat in the car and I taught him how to use the meter.
We talked about nutrition labels.
We talked about pizza.
We talked about noodles. (Our mom was a big fan of buttered noodles.)

His recent appointment? He’s lost 10 pounds. Yay! His blood tests are ok. Not great, but ok. Thyroid? He’s one of 4 kids and is now the fourth of us to have to take thyroid meds…

He told his physician that his morning bg’s are running 110 – 120. And the physician asked, “Oh, is your sister testing you?”

I’d kept quiet up until then but that was it. I quickly responded, “NO… He has a meter. He knows how to use it. He knows what the numbers mean.”

I’m proud of him.

I’m glad he’s stuck with me as his bossy older sister.

And yes, I told him he could eat pizza – once a year – and he couldn’t eat anything else for a week.

Just kidding. Sort of…

He’s doing ok.

He’s pretty excited that he’s sort of figured this out.

Serving sizes on the nutrition labels fooled him. But he’s getting better at label reading.

But why isn’t more information offered for those with a pre-d diagnosis? What if I hadn’t been there/here?

And to be honest… I’m not so sure he’s really going to end up being a Type 2. So I’ll keep a close look at his numbers and fight for him if he ends up being a LADA Type 1, like his big sister.

And yes, Diabetes, any type – really sucks.

And finally, many of you commented on the December post. I need you to know how very much that meant to me.