Week 4: Day 26 - “Friends & Family Friday”

Interview someone to learn how they feel about your diabetes, or let them write a “guest post” on your blog! Don’t know who to work with? Try looking at the other blogs in our community and reach out to another blogger who wrote something you liked.

Today's blog post is hosted by a good friend of mine, Kris.  I met her years ago and we found that we just had so much in common, we are like sisters!! Enjoy!

Greetings Everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and took time to talk with their loved ones about the past year. As some of you know my name is Kris and I met Traci a few years ago. We became fast friends indulging in movies and dinner and late night frolics to Walmart for junk-food. We had a lot in common, and quickly became friends. I was sad to hear that Traci had been diagnosed with diabetes, but not surprised. It seems we will all have someone (or many) people in our lives be touched with this disease.

When I was younger my little brother was diagnosed as a Type 1 Juvenile Diabetic. I think he was about 9 at the time. The day he was diagnosed at the doctors office we was sent directly to the emergency room at the hospital for admission. It was a scary time, especially for a child but he was brave. There was a LOT of information given to all of us at that time. More information than you can even process. Highs and lows, two types of insulin, meters that used by today's standards tons of blood, special diet requirements. We all did our part, everyone had to learn how to give an injection, not that anyone other than my brother would be giving himself his insulin but in case of a low we needed to know how to prep the glucagon syringe and give it to him. So there I was in the hospital learning how to give a shot that I prayed I would never need to give.

When he left that hospital he went to another hospital thankfully to learn a bit more about his new disease. It became a family learning experience. Having diabetes is not the end of the world. We learned a lot about nutrition. I still keep up on nutrition even though I don't cook for my brother anymore. I still know a lot about different effects of carbohydrates, and what to eat to keep you full and what will spike your blood sugar, the types of fats etc.

I wanted to do more! As soon as I found out about the JDRF (http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm) I knew I had to get involved. They had a walk to cure diabetes and I signed up. I was so enthused about getting people to sponsor me, or walk, or just get people to know more about the disease I would hand out information to anyone that would listen. This was not enough for me, there were clinical trials to see if there were genetic markers linking to Type 1 diabetes, and if insulin therapy would prevent diabetes. I wanted in on the trial, they tested my blood, at that point I was missing the markers, and have been retested twice. Still not enough! I headed to DC on more than a few occasions to petition for more diabetes funding. When I got to high school I helped organize a dance marathon with the Lions Club to raise money for diabetes research.

I reached my highest weight just over a year ago tipping over the scales at 428 pounds or so. I knew I was risking my life and would secretly test my glucose levels once a month on a meter that I had tucked away just to monitor myself. I was always told by my parents since I have been heavy my whole life that I would develop diabetes, so it is just a waiting game. Last time I went to the doctors for a physical (October 2009) my A1C was inside the normal range, but on the higher end of the range. So I am sure once my weight gets under control more my risk level for Type 2 will go down. I have taken off more than 130 pounds in the last year to reduce my risk.

I have in my adult life sent a few people off to the doctors office to be checked for diabetes, and sadly they have come back with a diagnosis they did not want to hear. I have even just done a quick stick on someone just to check out their sugar levels. It is only fair for those who don't understand what a prick is, and how much it sucks to do it every day several times a day to do it every once in a while. Remember to keep the symptoms of diabetes in the back of your mind.
Just a refresher in case you have forgotten...
Type 1 Diabetes
Frequent urination
Unusual thirst
Extreme hunger
Unusual weight loss
Extreme fatigue and Irritability
Type 2 Diabetes
Any of the type 1 symptoms
Frequent infections
Blurred vision
Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
But please keep in mind you can have Type 2 Diabetes and have none of these symptoms. Diabetes is a silent killer. Talk to your doctor when you go in. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Thanks for giving me a chance to share a bit of my story. If you would like to know anything more, or have any questions please feel free to ask.

Diabetes Fact: In 2004, stroke was noted on 16% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.

No comments:

Post a Comment