So the theme of the day today is frequently asked questions. To deal with this one I asked my friends and family to ask me some questions about diabetes and me. I ended up getting a few questions and i will answer them here.
#1 - How do you deal with exercise and your diabetes? Over the last couple of years i have learned through research and personal knowledge that the more exercise I get, the better. Exercise helps to lower my blood glucose level. So obviously the more of it I get, the lower my blood glucose numbers are going to get. I have certainly noticed it this year as I have started getting a minimum of 30 minutes a day, at least 5 times a week. My a1C (three month average of my blood sugar level) has been steadily going down. At my last appointment it was down to 7.3. Soon I should be able to start talking to my doctor about the possibility of reducing the amount of medications I take.
#2 - How about alcohol consumption does that factor into type 2? I actually had to do a little research on this question. Before that I knew that alcohol could have a negative impact, just like carbs, but the exact impact I didn't know. The first thing i learned was that alcohol can cause hypoglycemia shortly after and for 8 to 12 hours after drinking. So it is very important to be aware of what your blood sugar is before, during, and after drinking. If it is low before you start drinking, you need to make sure that you eat some food before you start drinking anything alcoholic. Also the symptoms of of too much alcohol and hypoglycemia are very similar: sleepiness, dizziness, and disorientation.So you need to be aware of things so you do not confuse the two. And always make sure you have an ID alert bracelet showing you are diabetic should anything ever happen. Luckily i don't worry about it too much as I rarely drink, and then if i do it is not very much.
#3 - Do you red bag your medical waste?This one actually made me do some thinking and some research. I never really thought as my testing byproducts as medical waste before. To me the things that needed to be treated different were things like syringes. I just never thought of the lancets as being labeled as sharps. However after a bit more of research I realized that these need to be treated differently too! This is not to say I was just throwing things out all willy-nilly before. I always made sure the ends of the lancets were not exposed and that any test strips or tissues with blood n them were wrapped up so if someone did touch them, they wouldn't be exposed to the blood. However after my reading i realize i need to start keeping a proper waste container both here and at home to better guarantee that no one can be exposed!!
#4 - Have you ever calculated the out of pocket costs of your diabetes supplies/meds? I have done this in the past because I have been using a flexible health spending account through work these last few years. And i know it is a lot. I have two diabetic med where there are no generics available so these cost me $35 each a month (unless I get them through the mail, then it is $70 each for three months worth). The testing strips are also the same price. Luckily the lancets cost a lot less and my third med is available in generic and is considered one of the frequently prescribed meds at the pharmacy, so it only costs $4 per script (I take it twice a day so it is $8 a month). So if you add that all up it is roughly around $125 a month! And that is not even factoring in the other medications or supplements i take! It is scary to think about. Nor does it factor in my gym membership, which is like a medication in some ways as it helps to lower my blood sugar levels.
Some of these questions really made me think. And realize that it it a good thing that i had already decided to alter my ways and make a healthier me. It is good to know that if i work now to get myself healthier that it will take a financial burden away from me and be worth all the hard work now!
When I first saw the topic idea for today's blog it made me think of a tattoo that i have in my ear. When people notice it they all seem to ask the same question "Did that hurt?". About 99.9% of the time i have been asked about this tattoo that has been the first thing said.
The first thing that most people ask me about my disease is how am I doing, meaning how are my numbers. It is always the same thing, which is why this made me think of my tattoo. So I am glad that I got some different questions when I asked. I would have loved more, but the ones i did get really made me think.
Diabetes Fact - The top 10 countries, in numbers of sufferers, are India, China, USA, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil Italy and Bangladesh.