This explains a lot.

•June 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

My friend Stephen pointed out this Comixed entry yesterday. It’s brilliant!

A Dream Deferred

•June 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’m watching M*A*S*H right now. On this particular episode, a talented helicopter pilot is discovered to have diabetes. Being in the army, that means a medical discharge and losing the chance to break the record for most rescues (which he was only four away from). I started wondering if diabetes would still prevent someone from being a pilot.

In the army, the answer is a solid yes. You’re still given a medical discharge for being diabetic.

The FAA will kick you out, as well, it turns out. For any level certification (small planes up to jets), one will be immediately disqualified from earning a license if one has diabetes being treated with medicine.

I’m actually a little disappointed. I’ve never actually flown in a plane before, as a passenger, but I have a feeling I’ll love it. And I’ve wondered what it would be like to pilot a small plane. I’ll never know now.

That means I’ll have to stick with merely being a passenger, I suppose. So maybe it’s time to actually take my first flight soon? πŸ™‚

Insulin Pens

•February 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

When I last saw my doctor in December (and she was quite pleased with the way I’m handling my diabetes!), she gave me a new prescription for Novolog Flexpens. Novolog is a fast-acting insulin. When I check my blood sugar before breakfast and before dinner, I take a certain amount of units depending on how high by blood sugar levels are.

The Flexpen is pre-loaded, so I don’t have to measure out insulin anymore. I turn a dial to measure the dosage, and I pop a needle cap onto the pen and unscrew it when I’m done. So far, it’s been strange to get used to, just because I’ve been measuring and injecting actual needles for so long now. (And I still have to measure out and inject the Lantus, the long-acting insulin I take twice a day). But I can already tell that, in the long run, it will be more convenient. It will also be cheaper, as a prescription of pens will last longer than the vial will.

So there we are. Finally something new to report in my diabetes care. πŸ™‚

The Joy of Diabetes

•June 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

My friend Chris found this incredible website. This guy, Bob Hawkinson, has been diabetic for 44 years (since he was a year old), and he’s written some sort of humorous book about it. The website has an excerpt and the introduction to the book, so you can check that out, too.

It seems like he’s dealt with this disease for so long, and he’s encouraging other diabetics to accept their disease and enjoy life while taking charge of their health. Sounds great, right? Yep. I’ll probably buy this book pretty soon.

Also cool? There’s a store on the website! T-shirts, magnets, keychains.

My favorite:

deathbychocolate-magnetI always enjoy a good diabetic joke, as you know. I love it when I see other diabetics who can also accept their condition enough to joke around about it, while also being serious about taking care of themselves. This guy seems to have that right balance, and I look forward to reading this book. I’ll post again when I finally get a copy!

Coincidence?

•March 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Last semester, my human growth & development professor always talked about being diabetic (type 2) and frequently complained about how he could never eat cake. Join the club, buddy…at least you don’t have to shoot up everyday. πŸ™‚

Last night, before class started, my classmates and I were standing around talking with my educational psychology professor about diets. It turns out Dr. Breard was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, as well, and is able to control her diabetes just through dieting.

What have I learned from these experiences? Become a psychology professor, get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes!

(Okay, that’s a completely illogical fallacy, but an amusing coincidence, don’t you think? At least it gave me something to blog about. You’re welcome.)

Dreams last for so long.

•March 16, 2009 • 4 Comments

dream2Over the last several months (since maybe last summer or so), I’ve noticed an increase in particularly vivid dreams. Ridiculous things, sometimes even dark dreams. (Two recent ones: one about vampires and another about zombies, in particular. Both packed with detail and dark and scary.)

So when I found this headline on Yahoo news, I clicked on it, just to see what it said. I expected the usual psychoanalysis explanation, but instead, I found something interesting and totally relevant:

You Should See Your Doctor If …
You notice symptoms of bipolar disorder or diabetes, since both of these conditions may cause vivid dreaming. Both interrupt REM sleep and therefore affect the body’s ability to separate dreams from waking perceptions.

What? Diabetes can cause vivid dreams? Granted, I’ve been diabetic for over a year now, and I didn’t notice the increasing frequency of crazy dreams until last fall. But then again, I’m also oblivious, and perhaps I just never noticed. Highly likely.

Anyway, I kept reading and found more info:

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is another cause of vivid dreams. When the brain senses that glucose levels are low, it will do strange things to get stored glucose into the blood stream. One way it does so is through adrenaline spurts. If your vivid dreams are accompanied by a feeling of being β€œwired” (if, like me, you find yourself doing ninja kicks around your bedroom at those pesky alien invaders), it likely stems from a blood sugar issue.

I’ll have to start paying attention now, to see if the nights when I wake up from vivid dreams are also nights when my blood sugar is low.

Really, really fascinating. Who knew?

Happy Anniversary!

•December 31, 2008 • 2 Comments

Three hundred and sixty-six days ago, I had no concept of what today would feel like. I was the sickest I’d ever been in my life, and I was horrified when the first words that the nurse at my doctor’s office asked were “How long have you been diabetic?” Suddenly, 2008 looked like an endurance race that I was sure to fail miserably at.

Who would have ever believed that becoming diabetic would be this good? I mean, my first thought certainly wasn’t “This could be one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to me!” But strangely enough, it’s worked out that way.

One year later, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. I’ve shed 70 pounds, my diabetes is under control for the most part, and I’ve proven to myself that being diabetic doesn’t mean my life is over, or even limited in any major way. So I carry around syringes and make jokes about being a druggie, and I take my coffee with Splenda now. Minor inconveniences, for the most part.

I’m honestly thankful for being diabetic. I never imagined that life could be this good as a diabetic. But I’ve learned a lot in the past year. I’ve grown up a lot, and I’ve realized that God can use even a broken pancreas to teach me how to rely on Him.

So, a tribute to my busted pancreas: we did it! May we have many, many more happy, healthy years ahead of us! πŸ™‚