They Discontinued My Glucose Monitor

A lot of people use the glucose meters that their insurance covers, however, I have bought all of the meters that I own and continue to buy lancets and test strips. I’ve gone through quite a number of them and I do have to say, I have favorites. There’s a number of factors that come into play when I decide to purchase a glucose meter. That being: Price, quality, accuracy and availability. My current meter has been discontinued so you could imagine I’m out of sorts at the moment looking at reviews and videos online trying to decide which I should go with.

OneTouch was my first machine, those little ones that come in different colors. Of course I was a brand new diabetic and being a gal, I wanted the pink one. It was definitely one of the more expensive options and it’s strips cost an arm an a leg. When you’re diabetic, you have to test a few times daily and it becomes costly so I needed to find another option.

AccuChek was the second one I bought and it confused the heck out of me. Not only was it a costly buy but there’s different types of Accuchek meters, which I didn’t know at the time. I think I paid about twenty dollars for a box of the unique lancets which could only be used with a particular Accuchek machine and it was the wrong set. I wasn’t about to pay to return this wrong box of lancets but I quickly decided I needed to change meters. I needed something simple that could be used with the standard type lancets which are available at all times.

The third and final one I’ve been using for years is the TrueResult glucose meter. Reasons why I fell in love with it? Not only was it cheaper and made it economically possible for me to test my blood sugar daily, the pricks didn’t hurt my fingers and a very minute amount of blood was needed for a reading. I know what you’re thinking, cheaper may not always be the best but the reviews were great and I even tried it out side by side with my Accuchek and it seemed pretty accurate.

Well now I’m back to square one searching for a cost-effective meter so if you have any suggestions please drop them in the comments. Another issue I have with availability is that it needs to be available for purchase online. Strips at the actual stores are doubled in price!

xo Coffee Doll

A Day in the Life of a Diabetic Part 2

It’s seven a.m. and I’m faced with a dilemma. To eat or not to eat. I roll of the bed and start moving around. I look at the clock and it’s suddenly 7:18 a.m. I accomplish nothing important in eighteen minutes.

I’m thinking again, do I have a cup of coffee or do I risk a dizzy spell and get my preschooler to school early. I could never be one of those sprightly morning people, yet I do love getting things done early. My day seems to fit better.

I decide against the coffee before school drop off, and wake my four year old. I duck into the kitchen to warm milk for the baby before I wake her up. It saves me some wailing if it’s ready and waiting when she wakes up. I walk back into the kids’ bedroom and my firstborn is still fast asleep, ignoring my soft voice telling her it’s time to get ready for school.

I’m astonished that I’m not yet falling apart as I’ve had about three hours rest the night before. The younger child is totally unpredictable and it often weighs on my sanity. My body is moving around briskly and efficiently this morning, and I don’t want to think too hard of it in fear I jinx myself.

Twenty minutes until we leave the house and one child is half ready. My stomach isn’t churning which I’m grateful for and I have the energy of someone two hours before bedtime.

I’m usually perspiring at this time and tend to under-dress even though it’s below zero outside. It’s a windy morning and I don’t wear any extra clothing underneath my coat. I load everyone up in the double stroller and proceed to the preschool which stands a couple blocks from our house. I skid quite a bit this morning. Four days ago we had a snow day and as per usual, the lackadaisical residents of my city don’t shovel snow the way it’s suppose to be shoveled.

My hand is both numb and burning from the iciness in the air. The baby starts crying as the icy wind cuts into her delicate face and hands. I’ve tried to keep gloves on her but to no avail, she keeps ripping them off. Most days I don’t realize because I’m focused on the journey to and from school.

There’s four flights of stairs to climb, with a twenty-five pound toddler on one arm. I sigh and curse the day I signed my child up for this school. There is an elevator, which is only used for kitchen services. Humans with their own free will still take it, as do I on days that I physically can’t make the stairs. But there’s a woman at the school, a villain in my day. I dread running into her because I sometimes wish to use the elevator but she flies into my face and it reminds me of a bat opening it’s wings. Then she spews her venom and accuse me of not understanding a basic sign in English.

I want to retaliate in my best vocabulary and irritated tone but I decide against arguing with fools in a children’s environment. She isn’t worth my effort, especially when it’s taking me all of my will power and physicality to stay standing at this point. I hurriedly lead my child to her classroom and want to shout, “Yay!” Half of the hassle is over with. Now to descend those vicious stairs in which I fear my toddler will catapult into the air.

I huff and I puff and make my way down the stairs with my wriggling toddler sitting on my burning forearm. I can feel the heat emanating from my body and being trapped beneath my jacket. My hairline is slightly drenched and I wish to be out in the open where it’s cold. The heat of my body makes me want to pass out.

When I open the door to exit the school, the biting coldness makes it’s way through my skull and my brain stops for a split second. My eyes can’t focus on any one thing for too long. I tell myself, one way home, no detours. Coffee, breakfast and medicines.

xo

© Coffee Doll All Rights Reserved

 

 

Day in the Life of a Diabetic Part 1

The alarm goes off and I groan softly, dreading the energy that my body needs to muster in order to lift myself off the bed. I swipe my phone screen to check the time and I realize I have fifteen more minutes before actual wake time.

“Ah,” my inner voice sounds pleased, “The Universe is on my side today.”

I let my head fall to the pillow once more and fifteen minutes feels like fifteen seconds.

“Oh alright,” I groan, swinging my half-sleeping legs across the edge of the bed. Eyes burning and heavy, I move my feet around and slip them into my fuzzy slippers. It’s a cold morning, just like the morning before and the one before that. And I wonder the same thing that I do everyday. Is the heat even on?

I hear a soft whimper coming from the baby’s crib. I want to go and check on her, and bring a hot cup of milk to her. Morning milk is a baby’s coffee, truly. The little creatures scream frantically until it’s brought to them. There is a small window in which I walk past her bed to get her cup of milk where her soft whimpers transitions into a wail.

I’m fatigued, after a night’s rest. My stomach is lurching in all directions and I feel something that resembles a dizzy spell. I take two steps in the direction of the baby then stop myself. I need to relieve my bladder of the painful pressure, for if I don’t, I might have an accident.

After relieving myself, I want to quickly rush into the kitchen for that cup of milk for my crying lamb but I need my eyes. No, not the ones in my head. The ones that help the ones in my head see. A piece of plastic, worth more than a month’s grocery and also worth my vision. I need it to show me a definition of what I hold in my hand, of where I’m going. Every morning when I put it on, I decide this piece of plastic brings more value to me than any piece of jewelry ever can.

Note: I originally planned to do a post on a diabetic’s struggles from day to day, somehow it ended up like this….to be continued…

xo Coffee Doll

 

Misconceptions About Diabetes

Being around diabetics for most of my life and having being diagnosed with diabetes very early on, I have understood a thing or two about the disease. I’m far from perfect when it comes to sticking to my diet and exercise routine but for the most part, I do manage my condition.

One thing I’ve realized about non-diabetic people is that they always seem to offer a lot of information on this disease without being properly informed. They advise you to the moon and back without knowing if that information is fact or not. Many people are often uneducated on this topic and pass around incorrect information and before you know it, you have a string of misconceptions about diabetes.

1) Diabetic people don’t know about their own disease – Everyone loves to lecture a diabetic on what they should or should not eat and what they should or should not do. Sorry to burst your bubble but we know how to manage our own lives.

2) Diabetes is not a serious disease – Diabetes increases your risks of heart and kidney disease and causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS.

3) Sugar consumption and weight causes diabetes. – Nope, a bad pancreas does. For type 1 diabetics, genetics and unknown factors contribute to diabetes. For type 2, genetics and lifestyle contributes but they aren’t they only contributing factors. Sugar leads to obesity and can heighten your chances of developing diabetes however their are many overweight people who do not have this disease as well as people who are in their weight range with type 2 diabetes.

4) Diabetic women shouldn’t get pregnant. – Well I’ve done it twice and had two successful pregnancies with vaginal delivery. As long as your glucose levels are well monitored and controlled, there isn’t anything you can’t do. I will elaborate more on healthcare for diabetic pregnancies in another post.

5) Gestational diabetes will end after giving birth – You may not be using insulin or prescribed pills to control your glucose levels anymore but that doesn’t mean you are off the hook. It’s better to practice diabetic eating habits and incorporate exercises into your daily life as mother and child both run a high risk of developing diabetes later in life.

6) “No one is diabetic in my family so that makes me safe” – Again, genetics is just one factor.

7) Possible to have slight diabetes – I hear people saying this all the time. There is no such thing. You either have it or don’t or run the risk of getting it. As long as there is a trace, you need to start treatment, even if it’s just diet and exercise.

8) Diabetics aren’t fit for driving and certain jobs – I was actually turned down for a job because I listed that I was on diabetic medication. Apparently being diabetic means I’m incompetent to perform in the workplace. This isn’t true by the way, you can do anything with controlled diabetes. The same goes for sports.

9) Can’t eat sweets – When I’m about to take a bite of something sweet and someones bring ups my diabetes, I feel like I want to punch a wall…with their face! Moderation is all. Sometimes you may even need it if your glucose levels are low. There was one time my glucose levels were 50 and I didn’t have anything sweet in my house. That’s more dangerous than you think.

10) Using Insulin means that you have failed as a diabetic and you are now dying – I swear, people think like this. Insulin is actually good for you and helps you to control your glucose levels very well. Insulin isn’t scary, it’s the sticking yourself part, but people get used to it.

11) Diabetes is an old person disease – Anyone at any age can be a diabetic

Hope that cleared some things up.
xo Kat

Diabetes: What I Didn’t Know

For as long as I can remember I have had prediabetes. I will go more in depth on prediabetes in another post so look out for it. I had the occasional blood sugar spike, low blood sugar levels, Urinary Tract Infections, frequent urination, fatigue and night hunger/thirst. There are more symptoms relating to diabetes but these were the ones that affected me for the most part. 

About six years ago, the symptoms started getting more intense. I had really nasty headaches and blurry vision. I eventually got lenses but I still did not make the connection to diabetes. It was not until I started to get disoriented at work, feeling the need to pass out at 9am in the morning, that it crossed my mind. My mother is a type 1 diabetic who uses insulin so I was aware of some things, as well as managing the prediabetes, which I admit I didn’t do too well. I really had no idea how serious of a matter this was.

Between 2009-2010, I was really stressed out at work and at home. My health was in bad shape. I felt so terrible, but everyone just thought I was being a complainer. I eventually landed up at my doctor’s and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was started on medication after that.

So the first thing you understand or rather what people make you understand about diabetes is, eating too many sweets can cause diabetes, or maybe you’re overweight and that’s why you’re diabetic. WRONG! These factors along with genetics(which no one ever considers) are definitely factors that contribute to diabetes but it’s not the only thing. For instance, my diet is pretty well managed right now but I cannot come off my medication as my body does not produce enough insulin, therefore I need medication to stabilize my blood glucose levels. There are a lot of heavy people who enjoy snacks and are not diabetic. A slimmer person may look healthy to you and can be diabetic, that’s the reality of the disease. 

So I was made to feel like this is not something so serious. You just take your meds when you eat, check your glucose levels often, be active or exercise, maybe shed some weight, and stay away from sugar. So sugar automatically became the enemy. This worked for about a week. My lifestyle, diet and medications are always being altered. This disease does not have any one way to be treated.

Some people are correctly informed, maybe they have a generous doctor or nutritionist, but most people don’t know the severity of the disease. I worked at a diabetic clinic at the hospital for a couple of years and these patients know they’re taking a blood test but they don’t always know exactly for what. They don’t ask questions if the doctor makes it seem that all is okay. When I saw that I was being tested for liver and kidney disease and while doing research, it scared me. I was never told that diabetes affects almost everything in your body. 

You have to stay away from a lot of foods other than ones with just sugar content, or just have them in moderation. I will also leave this for another post but an example is CARBS. Carbs is not your friend if you are diabetic and that’s a problem sometimes because carbs give you energy. 

The scary, interesting and shocking part of living with diabetes is knowing how it can affect my body other than spiking blood sugar levels and making me feel tired.
– Heart Disease
– Stroke
– Kidney Disease
– Infection risks due to immune system suppression
– Poor Circulation
– Wounds take a long time to heal
– Neuropathy or nerve damage
– Visual loss/Blindness
– Gum/Teeth disease
– Erectile Dysfunction
– Liver Disease 

So it is just more than controlling how much sugar you consume. Being Diabetic is a Lifestyle, one that you have to put a plan into place and manage as you go along.

Disclaimer : I am not medically trained, this is just my thoughts and experiences with diabetes.