Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sobering Type 1 Statistic...

This was sent to me by Jeff Hitchcock at Children With Diabetes (an invaluable resource for those dealing with Type 1):

"Young adults aged 20-29 years with type 1 diabetes are 4 times more likely to die than their peers without diabetes, a rate that is higher than at any other age. These deaths are largely due to preventable causes: diabetic ketoacidosis and suicide."

Boy, oh boy.

I know the excerpt says "preventable," but just how the hell do we prevent the emotional pain that causes this to happen?

As for DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis): When an already diagnosed person goes into DKA, I have to wonder if it was a failure of due diligence during an illness. Surely a depressed young person would have trouble keeping on top of such a thing. Another reason young women (in particular, but not ONLY females) go into DKA is that they are trying to lose weight by skipping insulin doses, making their body burn fat instead of carbs and releasing ketones that in a person with Type 1 Diabetes can turn deadly. I suppose you could count this as a type of eating disorder.

As for suicide, of course that is linked with depression as well.

How do you prevent this excruciating depression? Especially when a big cause is a disease which is chronic, nonpreventable, and noncurable?

Especially at ages 20-29, when they are not living at home with us any longer?

Our kids have to carry so much already. This too? :(

Friday, January 12, 2007

Enough Said...

Super thanks to Webmilhouse for this valuable link:

Weight Watchers Points Calculator

Link is also going on my sidebar on a permanent basis. No catcalls, please... Like anything else, weight management goes on ONE DAY AT A TIME. :D

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Congrats, and Some Diabetes Tips and Tricks for Young and Not So Young

Hey guys,
I have some great news! A dear friend of mine, Karen Dionne, has sold her book! It is an ecological thriller titled FREEZING POINT and it's just sold to Berkley Books! I simply can't wait for this one. Karen is the proprietor of the Backspace Writers Forums, which has been an immense support to about a jillion writers, including me. When our family lost so many personal items during the New Year's Flood last year, Karen rounded up an effort for people to replace some of the items. I can't think of an author who deserves success more than Karen!

The other two pieces of info are of more help to my friends in the diabetes community. Do you have a son or daughter with Type 1 who uses an insulin pump? Then check your local JC Penney store. They are clearancing a group of sweatshirts made by "Top Heavy" with a "secret compartment" intended for children to sneak their MP3 Players to school. (I mean, c'mon?!??) Like most people I thought these sweatshirts were ridiculous! But guess what? The "secret compartment" is the perfect size for an insulin pump. And behind the compartment is a grommet through which the MP3 cords are to be threaded. Guess where your insulin pump tubing goes! These just couldn't have been more perfect if they had been designed for someone with Type 1 Diabetes. So check them out, we were able to find a few armloads at the Santa Rosa JC Penney for $11.99 a piece!

The other thing I want to share our experiences with is the concept known as "Super Bolus!" Until recently the concepts of advanced insulin pumping were beyond my comprehension. But I had a very patient friend explain the use of the Super Bolus to get rid of postprandial (after meal) highs with a carb laden meal that is high on the glycemic index. For instance, three candy canes. That seems like a good post-holiday meal, LOL.

Normally these 3 candy canes would send my child's blood sugar skyrocketing! But not with the Super Bolus. All I did was give the insulin for the carbs and for any correction we needed to do, and then ADDED UP the basal insulin that my child was going to receive for the next 2 hours. My son gets 0.45 units/hour, and for 2 hours that makes 0.90 units. I gave the 0.90 units as upfront insulin (remember, in addition to, NOT instead of, the insulin I would normally give according to my child's insulin/carb ratio as well as the insulin I would normally give as a high blood sugar correction).

Then I SET A TEMPORARY RATE of ZERO for 2 hours. I was giving the same amount of insulin, just having it "hit" differently so as to attack those spike-causing carbs in the candy canes. 1.5 hours after the candy canes we had a bg of 126, yeahhhhh! And it stayed stable until we checked again around dinnertime!

One thing I made sure to do--use the "fill cannula" feature in order to give the extra upfront insulin. That way, the insulin was NOT figured into insulin onboard. It's not really IOB since it is technically basal insulin that I was giving a different way. I just went to the Load menu, scrolled to Fill Cannula and then scrolled up to the amount of insulin I needed to give. More info on the Super Bolus can be found here!


The inventor of the Super Bolus (and author of the article linked above) is John Walsh of PUMPING INSULIN fame. Thank you John! Strike the spike!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Googling for a Diagnosis

I can't help noticing a large increase in my blog traffic since I have begun discussing alcoholism and recovery here. Interestingly, tons of these visitors arrive here via a Google search: "Am I an alcoholic?" "How do I know if I am alcoholic?" "Do I drink too much?" "how to quit drinking" "how to cut down on drinking" And so forth. I think a lot of these people come to take the self-test I posted--which is good.

Are you one of these people?

Did you find me via a Google search trying to figure out if you are alcoholic?

If so, welcome.

Let me just say something. As a recovering alcoholic I will give it to you straight. You can't bullshit a bullshitter. Your excuses are my excuses. Your self-justification is mine. Your denial? I did that, too.

People who do not have a problem with alcohol do not sit around and wonder if they are alcoholic. People who do not have a problem with alcohol do not do Google searches to try and figure out if they are alcoholic. And people who do not have a problem with alcohol? Believe it or not, they can set down a glass at a party, forget about it and not drink anything else for the rest of the night. (I know, what a concept!) They can leave a glass half full at dinner. They can go a week or a month or a year without drinking without it being a big deal.

A fellow recovering alcholic mentioned this simple test by which most people can determine whether they are alcoholic (if the above doesn't convince):

1) Drink one drink and stop quickly. Do not drink any more for the next 24 hours. How'd that go for you?

2) Drink one drink and stop quickly. Do not drink any more for the next week. Now, drink one drink by itself and stop quickly. Do not drink any more for the next 24 hours. How'd that go?

3) Drink one drink and stop quickly. Do not drink any more for the next month. Now, drink one drink by itself and stop quickly. Do not drink any more for the next week. Now, drink one drink and stop quickly. Do not drink any more for the next 24 hours. How'd that go?

If you pass this test, that does not rule out that you have a problem; that's not it's intention. But, if you fail any of these tests, you have a problem with alcohol. Toward the end of my own drinking, I could not even pass #1.

There is a guy I know who drank beer for 15 years since he was 20. That's it, just beer. He went in and out of sobriety and was kind of coasting along thinking he would quit "someday" on a permanent basis. He felt the symptoms of flu and went to his doctor where he learned he has alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. One more drink could kill him. He had no symptoms all this time, until it was too late. It was just "the flu" for a few days and then BAM! he was hit with this horrific diagnosis. At age 35.

I count my blessings I was able to stop drinking before this became my story. The disease of alcoholism is deadly. It's no joke.

Here are some useful links that can tell you a lot more than I can:

Sober Recovery

Alcoholics Anonymous

I wish you well.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Drink and Drug No More

I hope you all will take a moment to look at this blog--titled Drink and Drug No More. I especially encourage anyone who thinks they might have a problem with alcohol and/or drugs to read it. It gives an excellent picture of one's mans experience of what life was like in the grips of addiction, what happened and what it is like now. So check it out. You won't be sorry.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Wishes

Just a few I snagged from here & there... Some are specific to those in (or seeking) recovery from substance abuse or other compulsive behavior, others apply to all. I think they're all useful! Peace to everyone this New Year's Day.
Just For Today...
You have to be willing to get rid of the life you have planned, so to have the life that is waiting for you.

No matter what - you don't have to pick up.

Humble people don't think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less.

An alcoholic is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.

When you point a finger at another, you have three fingers pointing back at you.

May your lost dreams of yesterday become the reality of your tomorrow!

Hit your knees.....
not the bottle!

I can't fix anyone but me,
and that's a full time job!

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

If you think handling everything is too much, try letting go.

Happiness is not getting what you want, it is wanting what you get.

Being recovered from alcoholism is like getting a gunshot wound. You can recover from it but it does NOT make you bulletproof. You can recover from alcoholism but it does not make you immune from alcohol.

Thoughts are not things and feelings are not facts; they only have the power we give them.

Looking for God
is like a fish looking for water.

Don't give up five minutes before the miracle.

You can’t change yesterday, but you can ruin today by worrying about tomorrow.

Resentment is a poison I drink to kill the other person.

If I don't change, my sobriety date will!

Don't compare your insides to other people's outsides.

If you're spinning your wheels, try getting out of the driver's seat.

Serenity isn't freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm.

Do the next right thing.

Happy 2007 all! XO