Look into my eyes.

Look into my eyes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Understanding Diabetes

Now that I am on this journey to get a DAD it has become very clear that people do not understand diabetes.  So I am going to attempt to explain my situation and how diabetes is controlling my life.

Here are some facts:

-In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.  For me this means using an insulin pump and testing my blood 5-6 times a day.  It means that my pump uses several different settings throughout the day and is different Monday-Friday and the weekends.

-All people have the “dawn phenomenon,” if they have diabetes or not.  The dawn phenomenon is a surge of hormones that the body produces daily around 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.  People with diabetes don't have normal insulin responses to adjust for this, and may see their fasting glucose go up. My pump is setup to keep my blood sugar at the appropriate level but my body has a mind of it's own. There have been many, many times that if it wasn’t for Cosmo I may not have woken up.

Here are a few myths:

-Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.
Fact: If you manage your diabetes properly, you can prevent or delay diabetes complications. However, diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

-Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
Fact: Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease

-People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods.
 Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone – low in saturated and trans fat, moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fruit. Diabetic and "dietetic" foods generally offer no special benefit. Most of them still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols

-People with diabetes can't eat sweets or chocolate.
Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more "off limits" to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes. The key to sweets is to have a very small portion and save them for special occasions so you focus your meal on more healthful foods.

 I am writing this at 2:30 in the morning because Cosmo has been alerting all night.  I have been drinking juice trying to get my blood sugar up to 100, and I have had to turn off my insulin pump.  That means no sleep until I am stable.  My alarm is set to go off every 40 minutes to remind me to check my levels.  I know that later on in the morning my levels will be out of "whack" and the start of my day at school will be impacted.  

Please know I am not complaining.  I am so happy to be alive and thankful that Cosmo is here to help.  Cosmo has not been alerting accurately  since the cancer came into his body.  So to have him alert this morning was a miracle. 

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