Saturday, April 06, 2013

Cholesterol Guidelines from the Cleveland Clinic!

The following is from The Cleveland Clinic Cholesterol Guidelines

Nutrition - Cholesterol Guidelines

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's
 National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) guidelines for cholesterol reduction include the latest information known to date on how to optimally reduce your risk for coronary heart disease.Bringing the Science to your Dinner Table

It is estimated that millions of people are at much greater risk for heart disease than previously realized. This means more and more people will be walking away from their doctor’s office with a cholesterol-lowering drug prescription in hand (it is estimated prescription drug needs will increase from 13 to 36 million). Medications aside, what these new guidelines also so vividly illustrate is the growing epidemic of poor dietary habits, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and sedentary lifestyles that lead to the number one killer in America today.
Because of this the ATP intensified the use of nutrition, physical activity and weight control in the treatment of elevated cholesterol and titled it the "Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes" (TLC) treatment plan. Even if you come out with a gold star on your cholesterol level and overall risk for coronary heart disease, most of us would surely benefit from implementing these guidelines.
The following table can help you implement the guidelines into practical terms you and your family can enjoy and reap heart-healthy benefits:

New TLC guidelines:

Saturated Fat – less than 7% of total calories
  • Why? What does this mean?: Diets high in saturated fats are linked to increased risk of coronary heart disease. Saturated fats are thought to have the most potent cholesterol raising potential.
  • Examples: Fatty cuts of meat, skin on poultry, egg yolks, lard, butter, whole milk dairy products, palm kernel oil, palm oil, coconut oil, desserts and sweets, fried foods and most snack foods and fast foods made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. These fats are generally solid at room temperature.
Trans Fat – as little as possible
  • Why? What does this mean?: Trans fatty acids are formed when a liquid fat is turned into a solid one; a process called hydrogenation. Research indicates that trans fat have the same cholesterol-raising effect that saturated fats do. Therefore we recommend keeping your trans fat intake as low as possible.
  • Examples: To keep your trans fat intake down, limit foods with the following ingredients: partially hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated oil, stick margarine and shortening. Limit your intake of fried foods, cakes, pies and other foods containing the above. Foods containing trans fat are also solid at room temperature.
Polyunsaturated Fat – up to 10% of total calories
  • Why? What does this mean?:Diets moderate in polyunsaturated fats are generally recommended. Substituting polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats will reduce both total and LDL (bad cholesterol) but do have the potential to also lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels when consumed in large amounts. That is why they should be consumed to no more than 10% of total calories each day.
  • Examples: Margarine, soybean, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and corn oils, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, most salad dressings and mayonnaise. These fats stay liquid at room and refrigerator temperatures.
Monounsaturated Fat – up to 20% of total calories
  • Why? What does this mean?: Most desirable source of fat in the diet. Substituting monounsaturated fats for saturated fats will reduce both total and LDL cholesterol while sparing the reduction of HDL cholesterol.
  • Examples: Olive and canola oils, nuts, nut butters and oils (e.g. peanut butter, almond oil), avocados and olives. These fats stay liquid at room temperature but solidify slightly when placed in the refrigerator.
Total Fat – 25% - 35% of total calories
  • Why? What does this mean?: All of the fat you consume on a daily basis should not exceed 35% of total calories. Research to date indicates that the lowest incidence of heart disease in many regions and cultures such as the Mediterranean region consume approximately 25%-35% of total fat from calories each day. But keep in mind these diets contain the greatest percentage of fat calories from mono and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Examples: All of the sources of fat noted above.
Dietary Cholesterol – less than 200 milligrams each day
  • Why? What does this mean?: Excesses in dietary cholesterol have been linked to increases in coronary heart disease. Consuming less than 200 milligrams per day is a prudent attempt at lowering your risk.
  • Examples: Cholesterol comes from two sources – that which your body creates and that which is found in animal products (meat, poultry, fish, egg yolks and dairy contain dietary cholesterol). Choose reduced fat or lean sources of animal products to help reduce your dietary cholesterol intake.
Carbohydrates – 50% - 60% of total calories
  • Why? What does this mean?: Carbohydrates are the building blocks of a heart-healthy diet. Choose complex carbohydrates (instead of refined ones with white flour) to get the maximum nutritional benefit from these foods.
  • Examples: Whole grain or oat based breads, crackers, pastas and cereals, other whole wheat/grain based flour products; brown or wild rice; couscous, quinoa, barley, buckwheat; lentils, split peas and beans; fruits and vegetables.
Fiber – 20-30 grams per day
  • Why? What does this mean?: Dietary fiber, specifically the viscous (soluble) form, is associated with a decrease in cholesterol and contributes to a host of other health benefits.
  • Examples: All of the above complex carbohydrate food sources. Aim for a minimum of 10 or more grams of viscous (soluble) fiber each day by increasing oats, barley, lentils, split peas, beans, fruits and vegetables. Aim for 8 or more servings from fruits and vegetables daily, eat legumes like beans or lentils at least 3 times a week and choose only unrefined flour based products.
Protein – Approximately 20% of total calories
  • Why? What does this mean?: Dietary protein can come from both plant and animal sources and is an essential nutrient to good health. The problem is, many protein sources (especially animal sources) contain a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol so choose your protein sources wisely.
  • Examples: Major sources of protein in the diet: beef, veal, pork, fish, chicken, legumes like lentils and beans, dairy products, nuts, seeds and soy foods.
Total Calories – balance energy intake with output to achieve or maintain a desirable body weight
  • Why? What does this mean?: Excessive calories, regardless of the source, results in weight gain. Excessive weight gain over time can result in obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, joint problems and a host of other debilitating diseases including heart disease.
  • Examples: Aim to consume 4-6 small meals and snacks daily. Avoid skipping meals and eating late at night for optimal weight maintenance.
Margarine enriched plant sterol/stanol esters
  • Why? What does this mean?: Plant sterols are substances naturally occurring in plants. They are similar in structure to the cholesterol molecule and when ingested, inhibit the cholesterol molecule from being absorbed in the small intestine, resulting in a net decrease in overall cholesterol.
  • Examples: The NCEP recommend incorporating margarine enriched with stanols as an enhancement to therapy prescribed by your physician, NOT as a replacement for diet, lifestyle change or prescribed lipid-lowering medications. Currently, two stanols are available on the market- Benecol® and Take Control®.

You may wonder how it is you can incorporate these guidelines into your and your families hectic lifestyle. Take the following steps one day at a time and focus first on the foods in your diet that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Start making simple substitutions for saturated fats with mono and polyunsaturated fats, couple this with a focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, some physical activity and you are well on your way towards reaching your nutritional goals. Below is an example of how the TLC guidelines would be implemented for someone on a 1,800-calorie diet. You may require more or less calories for weight loss or maintenance, see your registered dietitian or physician for more information on your caloric needs.
NutrientFor a 1,800-calorie diet
Saturated fat, <7% of calories14 grams or less per day
Polyunsaturated fat, up to 10% of caloriesUp to 20 grams per day
Monounsaturated fat, up to 20% of caloriesUp to 40 grams per day
Total fat, 25% to 35% of caloriesBetween 50 and 70 grams per day
Carbohydrate, 50% to 60% of caloriesBetween 225 and 270 grams per day
Protein, about 15% of caloriesAround 67 grams per day
CholesterolLess than 200 milligrams per day
Fiber20-30 grams per day with a focus on viscous (soluble) fiber

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is it Anxiety or is it Low Blood Sugar??? My Constant Dilemma

One of the biggest issues I have with being a T1D and taking insulin is that


Okay, that's not entirely true.  When I start shaking and get lights flashing before my eyes, I know it's low blood sugar.  But the a-l-m-o-s-t too lows can be quite confusing.

Take today for example.  I went to my acupuncturist and I was feeling hyper.  I told him I was stressed by work and family issues and I wanted him to focus on stress today.  He was wonderful, as usual, and I did breathing and meditation during my treatment.  I walked out of there feeling much, much better.

But by the time I'd made the gas station detour and was heading home, that hyper-stressed-anxious feeling was back.  I walked in my front door, took an anti-anxiety pill, and then realized, a few minutes later, that nothing was happening.  I grabbed my Ping meter and sure enough, it registered a 65.  That's not terribly low (I have been MUCH lower) but it's low enough to make me feel anxious.

Half a glass of OJ later, and I'm good to go!

Have you had this experience?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rampant Diabetes--in the US and in my ancestry

I am not certain how diabetes runs in different families.  I wonder:  does every family have at least one person with Type 2 diabetes?   The statistics are difficult to figure out, especially because organizations such as the American Heart Association keep their numbers by age (child versus adult) rather than by diagnosis (Type 1 versus Type 2). The 2012 American Heart Association Statistical Fact Sheet. for example, says that there were 18.3 million American adults with diagnosed diabetes, 81 million with pre-diabetes, and over seven million adults who are running around undiagnosed.  Nearly 200,000 American children under age 20 had diabetes in 2012.

What we don't know from the AHA figures is how many of those kids had Type 2 because they were heavy and not eating properly, and how many were Type 1, with genetic predispositions and antibodies.

What we also don't know from the AHA statistics is how many of the 18 million grown-ups with diabetes are us Type 1's who are surviving and living normal or near-normal life-spans.  We don't.

So there is no way I can see from these stats to figure out how many of us are living in families with a predisposition toward diabetes.

What I can tell you is this:

I have two antibodies for Type 1.  I was diagnosed as an adult, around age 30, which means I don't fit properly into the AHA categories -- an adult Type 1 doing well.  I am Caucasian and non-Hispanic, so I am from a population that generally is not as predisposed to diabetes.

I can tell you that one of my ancestral lines--specifically my maternal grandmother's mother's line--has family members with Type 1.  My third cousin here in Seattle, a descendant of my grandmother's first cousin, got Type 1 diabetes at about the same age as I.  We have also been told that my grandma had twin cousins with Type 1.  We do not know much beyond that.  The Jewish diaspora, you know...

My maternal grandpa had Type 2 diabetes.

My father's family is a complex story.  Lots of Type 2 diabetes and lots of deaths due to complications of diabetes.  My first cousin Carl, my dad's nephew, has Type 2, and several of his half siblings died of Type 2, including many years ago my cousin Clara, who was morbidly obese.  There were three different mothers, so it's probably a pretty good indication that the diabetes comes from the Bradleys or perhaps my dad's mom's family.  We don't know.

What I do know is that the cards are stacked against these genes of mine.

But from my perspective, it seems that everyone I know has somebody somewhere in their family with diabetes.  It's usually Type 2, but it's there.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Girl's Guide to Diabetes

I would like to share with you the link to an art exhibit called The Girl's Guide to Diabetes. The artwork is by "Ana," a Type 1 diabetic who had her showing on January 13.  She is a student at James Madison University.  The website was created by her sister.

One of Ana's pieces. I am guessing it is on neuropathy. Permission to post this received from Ana's sister.  Please visit their exhibit website!

I don't know if Ana is a bike rider or if she's going to participate in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, but I am, and I'm doing it for people like Ana--and for me.  Today I hit 10 percent of my goal, five days into the campaign.

Thank you Ana!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Ride: Getting Started on Fundraising!

Susan Horst
I met with Susan Horst yesterday at Soul Food in Redmond to walk through the specifics of my fundraising campaign for the Ride.  Susan is the JDRF NW Ride Event Manager.  She is a joy to be around and an absolute bundle of energy!   

I showed Susan the Microsoft Access project file I've been putting together listing potential donors and planned fundraising tasks.  She made a couple of suggestions, for example, to create some additional categories for my donor file.  My immediate assignment from Susan is to plan where I estimate the $4,000 in donations for my pledge will come from.  That's what I started in the Access file, but now that's been refined with Susan's help.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

A New Campaign! The JDRF Ride for the Cure 2013!

I'm back to blogging here again, talking about my life with Type 1 Diabetes!

Now, the focus is a new goal:  In September, I'm doing a century bike ride with the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes.  I'll be participating with upwards of 30 fellow Northwest riders, nearly each one of us working toward bringing in $4,000 in donations!

I started this blog page mid-decade to raise money for JDRF through Blogathon.  At that point, I blogged nonstop for 24 hours, twice an hour, and brought in a few hundred dollars.  That was fun, but this is a much greater undertaking, and I'm going to need a lot of help.

I'll be posting about my progress as well as that of my fellow riders and teammates.  Please subscribe and join us for the daily adventure!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Told Animas about the new A1c

After mailing back the old pump in the box with shipping label that Animas sent me last week, I got my new stellar A1c, which was 5.7.  I decided they also needed to know the change in my A1c between the two pumps, which is huge, and also that I have not changed my behavior.  So I called their tech support and added this information for them.  It was cool, because I got the same woman I talked to the last time, and she was really impressed with the new A1c and assured me the information would be forwarded on to the people looking at the old pump.  What is really interesting is that the new A1c was taken only two months after I got the new pump.  Imagine if I'd had a full three months of data from the new pump!

This is what my doctor wrote on the letter he sent me about the results of my March 11 blood test:

"I am pleased to report that your hemoglobin A1c shows excellent overall control of your diabetes."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

First A1c after getting new pump is a triumph!

I got my new Animas Ping pump a few weeks ago, and just got back the results of my A1c.  It is 5.7!   This is an amazing difference from the numbers that were coming in before.  It seemed like there had been nothing I could do to get the numbers down.

After wearing the new pump for a couple of weeks and saw how good my numbers were coming in, I contacted Animas and told them that I thought they needed to take a look at the old pump.  So they sent me a shipping box and label and I sent it back.  It will be several weeks before I hear anything, but it seems pretty clear to me that I've been struggling with a faulty pump.

Alas!  And Hurray!!!!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Bathing suits, swimming, and dealing with the pump

From the defunct "Islets of Humor" website

Now that I've got the new waterproof Animas Ping insulin pump, I guess a picture of me doing this would include the pump!  Going swimming (or even the process of buying a bathing suit) has been a continuing issue for me since I started using an insulin pump.  There are a few issues:
  • How to wear a swimsuit and a pump at the same time
  • What to do about hiding (or showing) that little button on my tummy
  • What to do with the pump while I'm in the water 
  • Will I get enough insulin if I stay in too long?
For many years before I got the pump, I was into one-piece black swimsuits.  I thought they looked chic, and I had the body to carry off the look.   Although it's possible to tuck the pump into the bra part of a one-piece swimsuit, mine were never that sufficiently "structured" on top to accommodate a pump (I'm not so endowed that I really needed much top structure on a suit). 

What I did was switch to tankini-type suits.  These have a long top and a genuine bikini bottom.  The pump can be clipped on to the bikini bottom, and the little button connector and tubing are hidden under the longer tank top.   At first I was afraid that these suits were going to look too "old lady," but they come in all sorts of interesting varieties, many with decolletage-revealing, body-hugging silhouettes.  And the fabrics can be delicious.  I have a couple in animal prints, a yummy ocean-blue suit, and one with bright, tropical designs.  I even have one that has a cute little matching skirt, but you have to be careful when choosing one of these if you don't want the "old lady" look.  Opt for something that rides low on the hip.

I haven't dared to wear a tummy-revealing two-piece bikini for a while, but maybe I'll be more daring in the future since I can now keep the pump on when I swim.   Of course that solves the problem of what to do with the pump while I'm in the water.  It really never felt safe to leave a $9,000 piece of medical equipment sitting on a towel or pool chair, no matter how nearby it is. 

Monday, March 07, 2011

Etiquette and Type 1 Diabetes: A note to parents of T1's!

I was at a kickoff party recently for the JDRF's Ride to Cure Diabetes.  The party was attended by long-term adult T1's as well as parents and relatives of T1's who participate in the Rides.

I want to say something to parents of T1s about approaching adult T1s and asking them about their health.  In a word, "Don't"!

There is nothing worse for an adult with long-term Type 1 Diabetes than to be approached by a parent of a younger diabetic and being quizzed about how our health is doing (e.g. "how are the peripheries?").   The agenda of these parents is clear:  they want to "estimate" how their kid is going to be doing is 25 years.   This should be considered a breach on etiquette.  The last thing I want to do (especially at a party!) is talk about whether I've got peripheral neuropathy (or not) and how my eyes are doing and the data on my A1c's.   The fact that I'm in excellent health after 25 years says nothing about how your kid is going to be doing in a couple of decades.  That depends on their physiology and how well they take care of themselves.  It has no relationship to me.

I avoid parents of T1's like the plague for this very reason.  Please, learn some etiquette!  You wouldn't walk up to somebody randomly at a party and start talking to them about the results of their last colonoscopy, for example.  Don't do this sort of thing to me either!  I am not here to reassure you.  Please, give me a break!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ride to Cure! I'm In!

I've gotten the info on the Seattle JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, and training has already started!  I'm going to start going to the bike rides THIS SATURDAY!   It's 25-35 miles Saturday -- I am pretty sure I can do it, we'll see.  I hope there aren't too many hills!!!!!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

My sentiments exactly....

Ride to Cure Diabetes?

I was just reading about the JDRF's Ride to Cure Diabetes.  I think I might like to do that.  I would have to get past that block of asking people to give me donations for the Ride, but I like the idea of it.

Animas or MiniMed

My insurance company is STILL looking into getting me the new pump.  Not much progress on that front -- the woman who called today wasn't even clear what kind of pump I was looking for.  So I told her to check out the Animas pump again, but also suggested she get info for me on the MiniMed, since that's what my doctor likes.  I also put a call in to his office asking whether he would prefer I get a MiniMed this time.

The only drawback on getting the MiniMed is that I have lots of Animas IR1250 supplies.  But if my insurance agent was correct, the supplies have zero deductible.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Insurance -- Hopefully New Pump

I've now got Puget Sound Health Partners and Animas is working with their provider to get me a new pump.  My pump has been out of warranty for a year, and it's not safe to take the chance that something might go wrong with this one and I won't be able to get it replaced.  The provider is something called Byram Health Care.  I understood from the agent who sold me the insurance that 100 percent of my supplies will be covered under PSHP, so that's a boom.  I still owe Animas for supplies from the last (lousy) health insurance!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rats keeping fit -- without diabetes!

From the Islets of Humor website (islets -- like islets of langerhans on the pancreas -- get it?  get it?)

Great Endocrinologist in Seattle/Bellevue

I found a great endocrinologist in the area.  His name is Gary Enzmann and in a two week period he was able to adjust my pump so that I no longer had extreme highs and lows.  Interestingly, he adjusted it so I take LESS insulin.  He said that I was having lows, my liver would kick sugar into my system in a desperate attempt to keep me alive, and then my blood sugars would go to high.  A slight adjustment, and now I am always around 100 plus or minus a bit.  I still have some lows and highs, but I am much, much more stable.

I just received a bill from his office, though, and it looks like my insurance doesn't cover him.  Odd, he was on the list.  I am hoping it's just an interim bill that will show the payment down the line.  If not, I'm going to owe $533.80 for the first visit, and I don't know how much for the second.  And I need to go back in December (plus get a flu shot in the meantime).  I am in the process of trying to get new medical insurance.  I am sure it's going to cost me big bucks, but I've got to do something.  I've had crappy insurance ever since I left Missouri, and even there it was pretty crappy.  It's that stuff that takes over your Medicare coverage.  It is the suckiest insurance in the world.

UPDATE October 15, 2010:  The doctor's office is going to resubmit the bill under a different code.  Hope that works.  Dishonest blankety-blank insurance company!!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's been almost 5 years

It's been almost five years since I posted here.  I started this blog for the Blogathon in 2005.  I was blogging for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Apparently there was no Blogathon in 2010 -- they took a year off -- but there will be in 2011 and I think I'll do it again.  In the meantime, I'm going to pick up this blog on type 1 diabetes and continue it.  I think it provides some useful information.

The interesting thing is that the last time I posted, I had just gotten my insulin pump.  My endocrinologist here in Seattle/Bellevue (he has two offices) asked me if my pump is out of warranty.  I think the warranty was five years (I'll have to check) so that means I have two and a half months before my pump is five years old and out of warranty.  The question is -- if my pump breaks, how will I get a new one?  This one was $5000, and right now I have crappy insurance.  I don't now how Medicare-based insurance (the ones the health insurance companies take over from Medicare) handle medical equipment like an insulin pump.  I'll have to check.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I get my insulin pump!

This is my new insulin pump. It's an Animas, and it arrived the day before Christmas, in a big box full of all sorts of paraphrenalia. I just got it hooked up on Friday. Right now it is pumping saline so I can learn how to use it without any risk -- a trial run, I suppose. Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 17, will be the day I start with insulin.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Breast Exam and Fragmentation of the Patient

Today I went for my annual mammogram. It is probably the only non-diabetes related medical procedure I experience.

I find mammograms interesting because they say a lot about medicine. The breast, as the object of examination, is manipulated as if it were an independent part of the woman's body. This fragmentation is accentuated by the fact that the surface where the breast is placed is usually cold. The woman is placed in a position relative to the x-ray machine which is tantamount to contortion, as the breast, the focus of the procedure, is pulled away from the body and placed rather aggressively on the cold, hard surface. Finally, the breast is compressed between two plates up to the point of discomfort, which the technician asks about in an effort to get the most squish up to the point of the victim's tolerance.

Thus, the breast almost behaves as an independent entity during the test. The woman is separated from the breast. That is what fragmentation is in medicine. Another example is a Pap Smear, in which the focus becomes the uterus. In this vaginal exam, the woman is even shielded from that part of her body when a drape is laid over her knees. I had a gynecologist once who seemed to recognize me, finally, when he got down in front of my uterus, as though my cervix had my name on it. Once, as I was getting ready to leave, he quipped, "She stands up. She wears clothes." A patient not laying on a table with feet up in stirrups was something remarkable to him.

There is an obvious effort to make the mammography procedure more comfortable. At my "Breast Clinic," the waiting room is decorated with homey brightly colored furniture, almost cushy. There is a valence across the top of the window which faces the hall. In one corner (much to my delight) is a real desk with a computer on it, with Microsoft Explorer up and ready to go. A couple of times in the past, there has been a stuffed dog laying on the cold surface where the breast is compressed, in an attempt to warm it up. I have since learned that there is a market for mammogram warmers -- an attempt to make the experience more comfortable.

Perhaps these measures are meant to encourage women to have their breasts examined every year. It sure beats a cold waiting room, but the comfy waiting room environment ends when the woman enters the examining room. There, everything is functional, and there is no doubt that the breast at the "Breast Clinic" is an entity unto itself. "It stands up. It wears clothes."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Continuous Improvement in Diabetes Care

It seems that hospitals and HMOs can improve outcomes for diabetics by focusing on improvement of care.

An article about my health care provider, ThedaCare, give results of a continuous improvement program in diabetes care. The following are some of the results for diabetes care:

...through a combination of strategies aimed at improving care for patients with diabetes, ThedaCare has:

Increased the number of diabetic patients receiving a yearly eye exam from 65 percent to 85 percent

Increased the number of diabetic patients with HemoglobinA1c (HbA1c) levels below 8.0 from 43 percent to 60 percent

Reduced the average HemoglobinA1c (HbA1c) level among its diabetic patients from 8.7 to 7.6

It isn't surprising to me that there has been a focus on diabetes at ThedaCare, since the head of ThedaCare is Dr. John Toussaint, an endocrinologist who was my first diabetes doctor in the area.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I am in control!

I have been in control for two days now! I have been testing several times a day, and only once had a value over 200. I am counting carbohydrates and taking only the amount of insulin needed to cover those carbs. It feels great!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I ate a Sees Chocolate...

I just ate a Sees chocolate. Daniel brought them home. I try not to eat them unless I have hypoglycemia. I don't have hypoglycemia. Okay, so how much damage did I do?

There is an insert in the Sees boxes listing the nutritional facts, as they call them. I have a box of assorted chocolates. There are six charts in the little insert. Find the right one! A serving size for the assorted chocolates is two pieces, calories 160, fat 9 g, carbohydrates 20 g. Those chocolates are expensive luxuries in a diet, with all that fat and carbs! Okay, so I only ate one. One little chocolate -- 10 g of carbohydrate, 4.5 g of fat. Very expensive in the diet.

A cure for hypoglycemia is only the two chocolate serving. If it weren't for my kids, those chocolates would be around for a while!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Am I being studied? Nobody asked ME!

I am feeling annoyed today. I went to see the dietitian and diabetes educator, and although things went great with them, I have been wondering about something written at the bottom of my forms. There is a line on the bottom of the form that says "Special Status," and next to that, "Publish." I have seen this before, and in the past it has said, "Study." I have asked what this is about, and I get no answers. It seems nobody knows -- or else I am being put off.

As a social scientist, and a person accustomed to collecting data, it sounds to me as if I were in a study, or being studied, and that the results are going to be published. In anthropology we have a tradition. It's called, "full disclosure." It means that the people who are being studied consent to being studied, that I have told them what the true goals of my research are, and that I protect their identities. I have not consented to being studied nor published. Nothing has been disclosed to me.

UPDATE: I sent an email to my PCP's office, and received back some emails from the nurse (not the person I sent the emails to) giving me the run-around again. At first she didn't understand what I was talking about, and now she is telling me it's probably nothing and not to worry about it. I wrote back and told her to ask and find out. I am not going to accept "don't worry about it." If it's in my file, it's my business.

ANOTHER UPDATE (August 17): I again contacted the nurse at my PCP's office. I told her I was not yet satisfied. She responded that their "MyThedaCare expert" (MyThedaCare is the patient access website) couldn't reproduce the results. She said I need to bring in the form showing the word "Publish" at the bottom. I don't have the form because the diabetes educator took it. I have now sent the diabetes educator an email (also through MyThedaCare) asking her if I could have a copy of the form.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

My Syringes

I know the Blogathon is over, but I had to add one more picture: my syringes. These are ultra fine syringes made by BD. They are subcutaneous. I use 1/3 cc and 1/2 cc. The needles are so skinny and small that you can hardly see them unless you're up close. For anyone who is afraid of needles, the truth is, these don't hurt. You don't even feel them.

The Boys Say Thanks!!!

Much thanks also from Ace and Henry, who were underfoot much of the time during the Blogathon, and especially Ace, who demanded constantly I play with his toy. I wish I could have gotten a picture of them both with a ball in their mouths -- a usually pose.

The Venus of Willendorf takes the last shot...

Okay, I promised one more picture of me shooting up. Here I am taking morning dose of Lantus, rounding out where I started my first shot yesterday morning. I do look like the Venus of Willendorf!!! Oh geesh, to lose that weight...

Luv Ya for all the support during the Blogathon!!!!

To Lei, Patty, Sennoma, Terrilynn, Sheana, and everyone else who followed my blog during the Blogathon! Thank you so much for the support for my efforts and for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation! Thanks to the two friends who donated to my campaign and my mom, whose arm I had to twist but who finally came through.

No thanks to the rest of my relatives, those executives and doctors and lawyers and engineers, who did not come through with a dollar. Not even a penny.

I just want to tell everyone how much I got out of this Blogathon for myself. I never realized how all-consuming my life with diabetes is. To have it all down in words and pictures is pretty amazing. I really learned something from this experience. Plus, I had fun!

And it was great getting to know all of you! Let's stay in touch! xoxoxoxo



Here I am eating blackberries, and the Blogathon is almost over. I should post myself taking insulin one more time. Shouldn't I?

I'm Awake! I Swear!

It's my medication, I know it is. If I just weren't taking so much medication, I wouldn't fall asleep! It's that bipolar disorder. I have an excuse!