Posts filed under ‘support’
Every time I’ve injected and every time I’ve changed clothes and looked in the mirror over the past 48 hours or so, I’ve found myself on the verge of tears. I’m ashamed of feeling so sorry for myself, but my abdomen is spotted with yellow and blue bruises and every injection I’ve given myself in the past 48 hours has hurt, either during or after, bled. Some (like the one I just did) itch! I went a week without a painful injection – what happened? I feel once again like I have no idea what I’m doing. Am I supposed to be coming in at an angle? Am I even using the right places? What is the consequence of not picking a “fat” enough place to inject? Is there some sort of system or pattern I can use to help me remember where to inject? I’m reserving some time this afternoon to research, but if any experienced insulin users out there have any advice, please please leave a comment – my bruised abdomen will thank you.
I finally got around to installing Health Engage on my laptop. It shows promise, but a few major issues:
- The user interface is awkward. The food input mechanism would probably get easier as time goes on, assuming you eat the same things frequently.
- It’s a memory hog. If I leave it running on my laptop for more than 12 hours, even if its just sitting there idle, it starts gobbling up virtual memory. 512MB for 2 days worth of data?
- My biggest complaint: the teeny-tiny, non-resizable viewing window. It’s fine for inputting data, but not for viewing reports.
Overall I’m not impressed. I’d be willing to give it a chance if and only if I can import data into it directly from my meter (Freestyle Flash), but I don’t have high hopes that this will be possible since I am still on a Power PC-based Powerbook. I’d be interested to know if any diabetic Mac users out there with Intel-based macs have had luck using PC-only software and data management products with either Boot Camp or Parallels.
Another online tool I took a look at this week was MyCalorieCounter.com. It showed promise, but I never returned to use it because the features that I really needed (nutritional totals per-meal and per-day) are only offered to paid users. How am I supposed to decide if I want to buy your product if I can’t at least have a trial of the features I’m paying for?
So for now I’m sticking with iCal and the occasional FitDay for looking up carbohydrate content. I have a few more tools and websites to try, but I’m losing steam already and will probably just stick with what works, with the exception of giving CalorieKing.com a try for carbohydrate look-ups, and possibly trying the (gasp!) analog Glucograf data sheets recommended by Dr. Bernstein.
A large part of my weekend was spent with my nose in Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, which arrived on my doorstep Friday afternoon. I’d hoped to get more read before my appointment with my endocrinologist’s PA this afternoon, but at least I got through the most important parts, which were sections on diet, exercise, and oral hypoglycemic agents. This book is incredible – I already have a better understanding as to what exactly is going on with my body, but at the same time I’m a bit nervous about the work I have ahead of me if I want to aim for the goal of TRULY normal blood sugars. By truly normal I don’t mean my current goal of 130mg/dl one hour after a meal – I mean normal as in what a non-diabetic would have (under 100mg/dl), which seems to be the only way to completely avoid diabetes complications down the road.
I also finally understand why the low-carb diet is so crucial to all diabetics, no matter what kind of treatment they are on, and that injected insulin can never do as good as a job that the insulin your body makes, so insulin is not going to be my free ticket to eating “normal” again like I once naively thought. I also learned that consuming fat does not make you fat, and that your body can survive quite fine on very few carbohydrates at all – yes, even you non-diabetics! That’s pretty darn cool.
Speaking to my PA and doc today about Starlix putting me at risk of beta cell burnout was already #1 on my list of things to bring up, and Dr. Berstein’s information on beta cell preservation, paired with the fact that he never prescribes Starlix and other drugs that work by pushing or stimulating your pancreas to produce insulin, definitely make this topic seem all the more urgent. Other topics I’ll be bringing up are:
- what are my alternatives to Starlix?
- what are the advantages/disadvantages of insulin?
- what is the effect of caffeine on blood sugar?
- what is the current availability of Constant Glucose Monitoring devices for non-insulin dependent diabetics?
I also hope to get a prescription for a larger allowance of Freestyle strips (150-200/month) since my current 100-count prescription isn’t lasting me through the month – if I check 5 times a day, which sometimes I check more, I need at least 150 a month. More thoughts on my Dr. Bernstein readings later, time to make my way towards Dr. Diabetes’ office!
I am embarrased to admit that, in my 10 years as a diabetic, I have never read a book about diabetes. I’ve read many a phamplet and website, but there is nary a book about diabetes in our vast home library. Soon this will change because this morning I placed my order for the just-released, revised edition of Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars. I also threw in his Low-Carbohydrate Solution book for good measure. Dr. Bernstein is himself a diabetic and a long-time advocate of extremely tight control, and the book came highly recommended by Jenny, author of the What They Don’t Tell You About Diabetes site, so I can’t wait to dig in.
Last night the Mr. and I went to 10 Degrees South for a belated South African birthday dinner. The food was quite delicious and diabetic-friendly and even brought back some fond memories of our trip to Cape Town many moons ago. We had the crab pastries (seasoned with peri-peri, a perfect spicy something I intend to look up and pursue for use in my own kitchen) and Boerewors to start, then Ostrich and Lamb for main courses. G. had a dinner roll then sent back the remaining bread, and I skipped the mashed potatoes and ate around the carrots in my vegetable side. The meat portions were large but not over-sized, and I left stuffed but not comatose. My blood sugar was 131 an hour after dinner, and probably would have been lower had I not had a two tiny bites of G’s chocolate dessert.
My mother just emailed me to “brag” that her BG after her breakfast of oatmeal and toast, which I suspected was too carb-y and have been nagging her to test after for at least two weeks now, was 90. I’m excited for her and maybe even a teeny bit jealous that her Januvia is allowing her to eat carbohydrates, but not too jealous because I think I’m adjusting to low-carb life just fine, thanks in a large part to G’s constant support. He reminds me to check my blood sugar, helps police what I eat without being overbearing, sends away bread at dinner, buys me tomes full of low-carb recipes, handles more than his share of errands so I’ll have time to exercise, and accepts huge changes his own diet without a single complaint. I feel incredibly lucky to have him. The first few days without carbohydrates were hard but once that scary “constantly hungry” feeling subsided (and the head cold passed), things started looking up.
Oh, and a special thanks to my friend out there who encouraged me to get some light cardio WHILE I was sick. It felt like torture for the first few minutes but afterwards I felt human again. My lungs especially are thanking me today – this is the first cold I’ve had in years that I haven’t been coughing up junk for days afterwards. Thanks E! 🙂