Monday, June 6, 2011

To SEE or NOT TO SEE ...

I guess one of the personality traits one must posses while having Juvenile Diabetes is a sense of humor ... seriously, if I was unable to laugh at half of the situations I've encountered because of this disease, I would probably be a total serious stick in the mud (lol ... if I'm not alredy there!!!), plus having a humor about it makes it seem less 'clinical' or technical.
I have realized lately that being a juvenile juvenile diabetic is so much more simple than being an adult juvenile diabetic, because as the adult version of myself, I worry about every little thing.  As a juvenile I still thought that the age of 40 was OLD and that blindness, kidney disease, and heart attacks could NEVER happen to me.  I praise God that these things have not happened to me (well...the blindness in the left eye, but that is a TESTIMONY in itself), and that I am leading a very full and productive life ~ yes, even with the 100 extra pounds I'm sporting... you know Insulin is a fat producing hormone, right??   (now THIS is something you need to have a great sense of humor about  ... but, hey! I'm healthy and always striving to lose 10lbs at a time!!)
So the sense of humor comes into play each and every time I walk into and walk out of a doctors appointment.  Now, I am NO stranger to dr's offices, appointments, etc.., but I always amaze myself at how humor mixed with serious thought can make a seemingly 'ugly' situation seem  more bearable. 

So, the other day I had to go to the Opthamologist/Retinologist - specialist for the retinal area of my eyes ... and I was incredibly scared to go in the first place, because this was the first time going back to this dr. in one year ...after a 3-4 year run with my eyes needing extra TLC, I was so happy to be able to go one year without having to come back, I mean, I'm the one that was coming in daily, then weekly, then bi-weekly to see the doc and get a better prognosis on my eyes each time.  The prognosis imporved, but my co-pays only got more expensive ... yikes!! 
So the big day arrived on 5/24/11 and I made my way to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital to have my eyes checked for bleeding blood vessels ... (now that sounds really funny and could warrant a laugh or two ... I mean, which normal person goes intentionally to a doctor to see if the blood vessels in their eyes are bleeding??  Okay, maybe I have been diabetic too long ~ especially when it's a totally normal occurance!!) ... so I sat in the doctors chair holding my boyfriends hand and praying to God to heal my eyes, etc.. because I just KNEW there was something wrong with the eyes.  It had been a year with no eye exam... there was bound to be something the doc would see, right??  I mean, I have great insurance - so they could really cash in on  my eyes, right??  Oh, boy!!  Then out of no where I was beginning to feel a little twinge of pain in the left eye, and above all, it had been a YEAR of no eye checks - geeze - I need to slow down!! 
My name was called, and as Thomas and I walked to the little cubby hole area (tiniest little room with no door - so to me it's more of a cubby hole than a room)  where they check your vision field and eye pressures.  I look to the ceiling while the drops are being administered... right eye pressure taken ... left eye pressure taken ... I finally had to ask what the pressures were for each eye and the nurse said it was '15' in each eye!!!!!!  that's near perfect !!!!!!!  woo-hoo!!!!!  Thank you JESUS!!!!  Okay, so first hurdle down ... eye pressures are very, very, good - now time to see the doctor and have him check the retina and all those thousands of teeny tiny blood vessels!
Waiting in the room, Thomas and I tried to laugh about the long wait (why is it that all the specialists keep you waiting for atleast an hour in the waiting room and then another 30+minutes in the room??  Really ??  I want a discount for just sitting there and wasting everyones time!!  hahaha). 
Dr. Ruby comes in and turns down all the lights and turns on the brightest little light that he shines directly into the eye, and has my eye do a few exercises of it's own ... look up to the ceiling, right and up, right, right and down, down to the floor, down and left, left, and left and up!  Next eye...all over again!!  By this time I certainly am glad that I'm at the eye doctor, because I am actually 'blinded' by the brightness of his light and can't see at all ... so I'm in the right place!!  LOL !!
After checking both eyes the doctor sits down on his chair, makes some notes in my chart, and proceeds to tell me that everything looks GREAT!!  HUH???  WHAT???   REALLY???  (God certainly heard my prayers and took total pity on me sitting in that chair praying and praising !!)
Then the doctor says to me that he didn't need to see me back for ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR !!  Well, here is the humorous part .. I was not having that... No way!  No how!  I am not going thru another full  year without a check up ... I'm too worried about my sight for that!!  So, I looked at the doctor and asked him if it were alright if I came in in another 6 months, and that I would feel better if I could get them checked out at 6 months instead ... he looked at me and chuckled a bit, and said if it made me feel better than absolutely!!  Phheeewwwww!!! 
My boyfriend must think I'm a total nut case, but that is just part of what I consider the 'humor' to get thru this disease!!  Why should I wait one year when I can come back in 6 months and spend another $45 copay !?!  hahaha!!  Hmmmm... maybe Thomas is right...maybe I am 'not right' !!!
Until next time - Keep smiling and thanking God for all blessings, great and small !!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I JUST WANT TO RELAX ... Like Everyone Else !!!

Aaaahhhh... the day in the life of an Adult Juvenile Diabetic, any Diabetic for that matter, or to take it one step further, any one who suffers from any sort of chronic or on-going ailment ... All we want to do is RELAX like everyone else ... atleast, that is all I want to be able to do!!

It is one of those things where I am getting up in the morning ... and instead of racing off to the shower - I have to STOP, take my blood sugar...if its lower I need to make sure to eat something so I don't go too low while in the shower.  Then, after I begin to get ready, I have to make sure that I have some sort of sugar on me so I don't go too low while driving or taking public transportation, make sure to eat, make sure I have supplies on me incase something were to happen while at work ... always need a back-up plan.  Then there is the little frustrations of the batteries not working properly in the pump (it's set up to where if the battery is too old, if the battery is used, if anything is wrong with the battery) than it won't work - kicker is - you only have 5 minutes to get a fresh working battery into the pump before all of your settings are DELETED.  Talk about pressure.  One time I went thru 6 batteries before I found one that would work.  You have to screw the cap off, screw it back on, if it doesn't work within a few seconds you have to repeat the whole process... 5 min sounds like a lot of time, but when pressed for it, it goes quickly. 

Scenario ... yesterday ... getting off of work at 5:30 pm to catch a SMART bus to take me to my car ... bus comes at 5:38pm - it's 5:20, so I decide to run to use the facilities.  While gathering my self together - the pump snagged on my pants and the little sticky where the canula is inserted into my leg comes out.  The only way to get it back in is to re-insert a brand new quick-set.  NOT SO QUICK, however!  I absolutely could not be with out my insulin til I arrived home (could have been well over an hour or more) So I raced back to my desk ... with NO time to spare I am trying to take the old insulin resevoir and connect it to a new tubing, then I need to insert the new port area... I wasn't in the position to place it in my leg (I didn't have the time to run back to the ladies room) so the abdomen it was - the only visible area on my body that I could get to by just lifting the side of my sweater.  So ... quick set in place, insulin resevoir in place, and ready to catch the bus ... I ran.  I don't usually run (total figure of speech), but with this broken foot ... I had to very quickly hobble!!  Without a moment to spare the bus was barreling down the street and stopped just as I was able to step up the curb !!  See ... I JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO RELAX ... just hop on a bus and go.

Then there is the night time, BedTime.  Oh, I just can't fall asleep in front of a TV while dozing, etc... Oh, NO... I have to make sure to take my blood sugar readings, I have to make sure to take my medications, and most of all - I have to make sure I eat something...just to make sure I don't go too low during the night.  I am never able to just doze off after a big meal and relax ... I am constantly doing something that seems to be diabetes related.

Okay, okay, okay... it sounds like I'm just down right complaining ...but after 26+ years = I just want to be able to say 'The heck with Diabetes today, I think I'll just not worry about anything and RELAX' !!!  In a perfect world ... I would not have a tube constantly sticking out of some port on my body, I wouldn't constantly hear the beeping sounds that are projected from my pump letting me know it's time to check a blood glucose, or an error reading on the pump, or an 'auto off' alarn.  I hear these darned beeps in my head - even when they are not going off.. OY!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

High Blood Glucose Readings and Fun in the Sun !

Aaaaahhhhhhhh!  The palm trees, the steel-drum bands, the azurine waters of the Caribbean, and the amazing sunshine ... makes a girl wish for just one more day !!  My trip was great and everything I had hoped it would be - except one little thing - blood sugars that would raise unexpectedly because of all the great SUNSHINE !  Huh ???  What???  All the while I'm thinking I'm doing great by getting some sun, some exercise, and by totally relaxing and being stress free!!  Right?? ... WRONG!  I've attached an article that I had found on ehow.com and it's really interesting to know more about the mechanics of why and how.  Guess I'll just have to drink extra on the days I'm planning to play in the sun !!

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5202604_dehydration-affect-blood-glucose-levels_.html

The blood glucose readings were significantly higher than usual - they were up in the 300's - and then in the evening after I had eaten, etc.. I would go low ... guess my body was getting frustrated at me for not drinking more water/beverages and then taking insulin to correct when I probably didn't need the amount I administered. Hmmmm....

Now that I'm back in the cold, cold state of Michigan - life is back to normal and I'm dragging myself to work... daydreaming of the next Cruise or trip to Disney World !!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Packing Envy !!

This week has been a hectic week already for me as I am preparing for an 8 day Southern Caribbean Cruise !!  Yes...8 days of Sun, Sand, and TONS of food !!  Woo-Hoo ... or as I call it ... Diabetic Heaven!  LOL !! 
The hecticness comes from the fact that I can not just pack and go - Oh no, not us JD'ers ... we have to think about getting doctors notes from our doctors for the medications, the insulin delivery systems (syringes, pumps, etc.), and even the snacks and juice we need to pack along with the shorts, swimsuits, and the many toiletries I can not live without - like room deodorizer and a glade plug in to make my cabin nice and fresh smelling !!
And, it's not just one doctors note that I needed to get ... I had to get a note from my Endocrinologist for the Insulin, the Insulin Pump supplies, the blood glucose meter, etc.. Then there is the Opthamologist...I needed to get a note explaining that the bottles of liquid are for the glaucoma in my left eye and not some 'mystery' liquid that the TSA would stop and make me throw out.  Then there is the note from the foot and ankle specialist for the CROW boot that I need to wear because of the Charcot disease that has set in on my right foot ... (that will be a topic for another blog) - Phhheewwwww... after all these notes and supplies I now need another suitcase, but who wants to pay $75.00 for an additional bag at the airport ... so it's either supplies for 10 days + or it's less clothes and shoes to pack; Looks like I'll be recycling outfits !!  LOL!!
I sure hope the TSA is ready for me ... or better yet...I hope they pat me down and run me thru the scanner (hey, it might be fun !!!)
So the packing began ... love the zip lock baggies for the little items ... syringes, check.  Lancets for checking my blood glucose, check.  Blood glucose monitor, test strips, alcohol preps, check!  Then it's off to the next ziplock baggie... antibiotic ointment in case of infection or cut on body, check.  Bandaids, check.  Antibiotics in case, check. And the list only gets longer from there ... the largest ziplock bag (almost 1.5 gallon size) holds 10-15 days worth of insulin pump resevoirs, tubing, extra bottles of insulin, etc...Because you never know if your going to need extras & I don't want to know what it's like to be 'stranded' without some of the supplies!
I wonder if I could get away with carrying a carryon bag and an additional large bag and disguise it as a uber large 'trendy' bag !!  You know - the type the celebrities all use that look as if it is larg enough to house a homeless person !!
OH YEAH --  I almost forgot ... Where am I going to put the C.R.O.W. boot ??  Now - for those of you that are not familiar with a CROW boot ... it is a very large, bulky, black, herman munster looking boot - or think very chunky moon boot that is hard hard plastic and has big velcro straps to stay on your foot & takes up a mid-sized duffle bag on its own.   :(  Uuggghhhh!
Wow... Airtran is going to love me and all my 'supplies' !  It might be easier to just ship everything overnight by FedEx to San Juan !!  LOL !!

I am envious of all you 'Normal' people and even Type 2 Adult onset diabetics ... I want to pack minimally ... or at the very least just pack a blood glucose meter, test strips, and a bottle or two of pills  -  Yeah, I have Packing Envy !!  There... I said it !!

Once the hecticness has cleared and my packing is finished ...with my bag is weighing in at 49.99#'s (at the least)...I will then forget for a moment that I have JD and will concentrate on the beauty that I will be surrounded with on the Caribbean Sea and the Islands!!  Sugar-Free Margherita, anyone ??!!

Till next time!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's in a 'name' ...

Juvenile Diabetic.  I guess in essence that is part of what and who I am.  However, I am going to be 39 on next Friday...so does that still qualify me as a 'Juvenile' ??  LOL.  I would have thought that with all the technology and modern advances in medicine they could atleast come up with a name for us 'Inbetweeners' (you know, inbetween being a juvenile and a geriatric) .
I realize and can appreciate that they now call us Type 1 Diabetics - but really?  All that really means to me is someone on insulin - which means if my 90 year old neighbor needs to be put on insulin than they are Type 1 - but I am trying to dig into something much deeper here ... Bear with me ... I mean, as a juvenile diabetic, most of us have had it from birth - teens, we have endured endless shots (thousands in some cases),  millions of finger pokes, handfuls of high and low glucose numbers, countless trips to the endocrinologists, and even mild to sever complications that come along with being US.  We've experienced the most because we've had it the longest ... Shouldn't we be able to get a new name like... oh, I'm thinking ...  "Graduated Juvenile Diabetics" ... We have 'graduated'to the next stage ... or how about 'Mature Juveniles' ... hmmm... okay maybe that doesn't apply to me at all times (hahaha), expecially when it comes to my love of Disney!!
I try to stay informed with what's going on in the diabetes world, and I am involved with local events for the Juvenile Diabetes Association, but I always find it funny that when we go to these events it is mostly geared toward the 'youngens' !  I feel as if I kind of blend into the background because I am not young enough (usually under 18) to be considered juvenile, but I do not fit under the category of Type 2 ... I just feel as if we 'inbetweeners' need to find a 'spot' where we can fit in !!
Does anyone else ever feel this way ??
I guess what spurred this whole thought for me was the fact that most people are not educated on what the two types of Diabetes are, and they assume when I tell them that I am a diabetic that I have gotten it as an adult and it was the result of eating too much sugar (I am still in amazement that people still think that way).  Now if I tell someone that I am a Juvenile Diabetic - they look at me as if they are not sure what that means, and one person even asked me if I were teasing because I am too old to be a juvenile!  Ha!   I'm stuck in limbo - an absolute purgatory of diabetes ...
Well, I guess until I can come up with a name that fits the category that I am in (39 yrs old with Diabetes for 26 yrs - yes, got it when I was 13) I will just sit tight, laugh at those that don't 'get it', and enjoy that into my mid-life there is still a part of me that will always be 'JUVENILE' !!!

Hope you all have a blessed day !!!