Being my own advocate

When I’m “being my own advocate”, I self-advocate HARD.

Pump coordinator telling me that I’m “not allowed” to start a pump and CGM at the same time? Time to diabitch out and go over her head to get my personal robo-pancreas party started. Hospital nurse* saying that I’m “too skinny to have the ‘bad kind’ of diabetes” and attempting to give me an insulin shot that would have killed me based on SOMEONE ELSE’S correction factor? Cranking the diabitch knob to 11, refusing the shot, and demanding to see a doctor before anyone else can give me anything.

Pharmacist insisting that he can only give me one vial of Novolog for the month based on my prescription? This diabitch is going to show him how to do some basic math. (Units in vial)/(TDD) = an apology, the right number of vials and one of those CVS branded glucose meters thrown in for free as a peace offering.

I’m kinda like the Hulk with a busted pancreas and fewer destroyed clothes.

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Caring for someone who lives with diabetes

Tuesday’s prompt for Diabetes Blog Week: “Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”. But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit. Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly! Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!”

Like a lot of the folks whose posts I’m reading today, I had a hard time figuring out what I could possibly write about for this prompt. There are a million things floating around my head for tomorrow’s post–the string of site failures I’ve had this month, taking care of my eyeballs, the ENTIRE DAYS when I do not test and just sort of wing it–but I think it’s always easier to criticize ourselves than to do what might feel like bragging. Finally, running out of time and lacking an idea, I thought back to all of the diabetes moments that I’m actually kinda proud of, and found one common thread: I was a huge diabitch. (You can also say it dia-beyotch if you’re feeling feisty.) Read more about different types of diabetes here.

Blood sugar off the charts

I don’t mean that I get cranky when my blood glucose is off the charts, or that I can’t handle my A1c disappointments like a big girl. I really don’t mean it in a negative way at all. Most of the time I’m a very polite person, but when it comes to my health, my inner diabitch comes out whenever she needs to lay the smackdown. Being appropriately diabitchy is the one thing I do best when it comes to making sure that I’m taking care of myself and acting in my own best interest even if that puts me in the sorts of confrontational situations that “ladies” generally don’t engage in.

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Three Types of Diabetes

Millions of people around the world are diagnosed with diabetes and not everyone has the same type of diabetes. There are several types of diabetes, some more frequent, some less.

It’s very important to know the differences between these different types, especially if you have a love one who has been diagnosed or to get educated just in case you know someone who has complications from this disease.

Three main types of diabetes that one can be diagnosed with.

Type 1 diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes)

Millions of children and adults in America have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes). Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that happens when the body’s pancreas is unable to produce insulin to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. Because it is a disorder of the body’s immune system, it affects the body from protecting itself from viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances, thus it is a dangerous disorder.

diabetes types

Diabetes is a chronic disease for which there is no cure. When the body’s immune system attacks and destroy beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are essential in producing insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food to the cells which is then converted to energy.

But because the body is destroying the beta cells, it prevents the body from creating insulin and instead of glucose going into the cells, glucose stays in the blood and without any treatment, this can lead to serious damage to the body’s organs.

Symptoms of type 1 juvenile diabetes includes extreme hunger, extreme thirst, frequent urination, drowsiness or being lethargic, changes in vision, wounds or sores that heal slowly, having dry or itchy skin, losing feeling in the feet or having tingling I the feet, rapid weight loss and a sweet or wine-like odor in the breath and difficulties breathing.

Type 2 diabetes (known as non-insulin dependent diabetes)

Type 2 Diabetes
, the most common form of diabetes, is a hetereogenous disorder that incorporates three basic metabolic defects which include a resistance to insulin, a defect of the body’s inability to secrete insulin and an increase in glucose production in the liver.

What causes this is yet unknown but research into the natural history of type-2 diabetes have shown that it is common among ethnic minority groups such as Latinos, African Americans, Asians and American Indians. It is known that the disease can be genetic but lifestyle factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and a poor diet and can lead to significant problems in the body. According to studies, people who suffer from type 2 diabetes are like to suffer cardiovascular disease.

But unlike type 1 diabetes, some have treated their disease by dietary changes, exercise or the use of treatment via tablets and for some, via insulin injections.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually and are not as immediate as type 1 diabetes. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, frequent urination, extreme thirst, weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infections, slow healing wounds and sores. For some, type 2 diabetics, they have no symptoms.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) happens during pregnancy and studies have shown that it occurs among women who have a family history of diabetes or their body has poor glucose control during pregnancy. It most often in African Americans, American Indians and Latinos.

Women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes have a 20 to 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years but it is very important to be diagnosed because infants are at risk of miscarriage and developing congenital abnormalities.

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