Thursday, January 11, 2018
I have read some blogs the last few days that are from family members and friends frustrated with family members who are not taking the best care of their diabetes, or who are having something they like but may not be healthy for them. Please know I understand your frustration as I cared for my parents with type 2 diabetes and I have type 1. This is in no way to put anyone down but to maybe offer another way to look at things sometimes.
Diabetes care is a 24/7, 365 job. Diabetes type 1 or 2 affects every aspect of your life. I am Type 1 and also have Gluten Intolerance. Many Type 1s also have Celiac Disease and have to be GF. GF foods tend to be higher in carbs as sugar is used to make it more palitable. I am learning to make many of my own foods from scratch and making them more healthy. It makes it very hard to eat at a friends home, go to a restaurant, or social eating events. You can feel isolated.
When you take insulin you have to carry your meter, test strips, and insulin with you everywhere. Also something to counteract a low blood sugar if necessary. You need to check your blood sugar before and after exercise, before meals & sometimes after, when you are sick blood sugar checks are even more often and Insulin doses have to be adjusted.
For any diabetic any type of infection can raise or lower your blood sugar so you have to watch it more closely. Colds can turn to pneumonia or systemic infections more easily, elevated blood sugars can cause, nerve damage in hands, feet, arms, legs, eyes. Changing a medicine can affect your blood sugars and affect other medicines and insulin or oral medication dosage.
Please realize this is not a complaint but just some facts everyone does not realize. Basically diabetes affects every part of our lives in some way. It is not just food and medicine. We understand the risks for complications and do not want to get them any more than you would. Sometimes though balancing diet, meds, other medical conditions, exercise, work, school, and social and family life becomes overwhelming. You wish if even for 1 day you could just be a normal person. You don't want to take another pill or injection, sit out activity because your sugar is too high or too low, walk without pain in your feet from neuralgia etc.
I have had Type 1 for 20 years. Each year as my body ages I have to do more to try and keep my blood sugars under control. All of us can do everything we are told to do, at any age and our blood sugar can still go out of control. It is not our fault but it happens. We still can feel guilty and wonder what we messed up.
Please before you think we do not care. Put yourself in our shoes for a week. Take a small box or purse, or carrier (approx: 8"L×2.5"W×2.5"H) put a pen in it, a small compact and a 2 lip balms. This is the size and approx weight of my meter case, meter, lancet device and test strips. Carry it with you everywhere you go. Set your phone, watch or other alarm to remind you to check your BS before each meal and before bed. Imagine poking your finger to get blood each time the alarm goes off and then taking oral medicine or give your self an injection each time also. Each meal think about what you are going to eat. Are you picking up that great blueberry muffin, or Creme Donut for breakfast? Is that Latte really going to help you? Your at the gym and you check your sugar but it is over 200. Exercise at this point can raise it even farther and so you have to go home til another day. Or your sugar is low. Do you have a healthy snack to eat or drink? You wait 15 minutes to recheck your sugar and make sure it is over 110 or what the Dr tells you needs to be. You exercise and have to check it again to see if low again. For lunch friends brought in cheese, crackers, cup cakes, chocolate cake, chili, chimichongas, soda (not sugar free), Sweetened ice tea, cold cuts and cheese, pasta salad, cookies. What do you chose to keep your sugar with in range. You are invited on an all day hike with friends, pack your back pack to have everything you need to keep you from having low blood sugar, to correct it if it happens, first aid for everything that normally could happen, blisters, bug bites, cuts, sun screen,etc., water or drinks to keep you hydrated. Your meal and snacks for lunch. You see where I am going.
This gives you just a small idea of the choices we make everyday and what it is like. But remember for us it does not end in a week. It is a lifetime. Walking in our shoes for a little while can give you a different way to see us, approach us with your frustrations with us or our behavior, and to understand somewhat where we are.
I know we all appreciate the care and support of our family and friends and know that you love and care about us. Please keep coming back. We need your love and understanding.