Monthly Archives: February 2013

Let the bloodletting begin.

No, this isn’t about a bad experience removing an infusion set (fooled you, didn’t I?).

From the I Must Be The Only One Who Didn’t Know This Department comes this news flash:

I have Type 1 Diabetes, and I can give blood.

RedCross

When the word went out recently about a blood drive at my place of employment today, I had the same reaction I usually have. I thought, too bad I can’t donate. Prior to my diagnosis, I used to do that all the time. Like, at least twice per year.

This time though, I wanted to find out exactly why. Admittedly, I thought there might be a blog post in it, so there is some selfishness going on here. Anyway, I went to the American Red Cross blood donation site to see if they had any information on it. Then I was going to try to find another source to see if I could determine whether the information from the American Red Cross was actually true.

There’s not a lot of information on the Red Cross site, but two things jumped out at me. First, the big surprise:

“Diabetics who are well controlled on insulin or oral medications are eligible to donate.”

I was ecstatic to find out that I could actually donate blood. As I stated above, I’m probably the only one who wasn’t aware of it, but I was under the impression all these years that a bad pancreas meant bad blood, and I couldn’t give. My father’s life was saved after an auto accident over forty years ago thanks to some great doctors and blood donations, so I want to pay it forward. Plus, even though it may sound weird to some, I consider it kind of a civic duty to give.

Second, something just a little scary:

”Donors with diabetes who since 1980, ever used bovine (beef) insulin made from cattle from the United Kingdom are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about variant CJD, or ‘mad cow’ disease.”

This is not a concern for me, thank goodness. So for now at least, I can still donate.

Don’t be too excited for me yet… I still have to go through the initial in-person screening questions and blood pressure, temperature, etc. tests before they’ll actually put the needle in. But I’m feeling pretty good about my chances right now.

To find out more about giving blood here in the USA, the process, and more, check out the American Red Cross blood donation website at www.redcrossblood.org

What about you? T1D or not, have you given blood? What was it like? Were you ever told you couldn’t give blood? If so, were you told why?

I’ll let you know more about my experience tomorrow…
 
 
 

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Like these links– #NEDAwareness and more.

Let’s get right to it…

I can’t confess to having a serious eating disorder, but I know that I have way too much of an affection for salty carbs. Potato chips, pretzels, popcorn… you get the idea. Sometimes I get mad at myself for it. Other times, I redouble my efforts and try to remember that moderation is always best.

This is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and it goes by the theme “Everybody Knows Somebody”. Ain’t that the truth. Everybody knows somebody who could use a word of encouragement, support, cheering to let them know that they are not alone. And guess what? Having Type 1 diabetes (like I do) can double your chances of developing an eating disorder, according to a recent report. So spread the word. Lend a hand. Send a message of support. Blog about it. To find out more about NEDAwareness, and what you can do, go to:
http://nedaw.myneda.org/about
 
 
I don’t have any kids, but I still check in to see what some of those great D-Moms and D-Dads are up to from time to time. Diabetes Dad Tom Karlya has a series of great posts this week. They go all the way back to Sunday and Monday, with Tom’s call to action to do what we can to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. But all of this week’s posts are great, so go and check them out:
http://diabetesdad.org/
 
 
I don’t know how to explain this, but I wanted to mention it so you could attend, if you’re near the D.C. area; and so you could comment, which you may very well want to do regardless of where you are. The FDA is holding a meeting of its Device Good Manufacturing Practice Advisory Committee on April 11, 2013 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The meeting is about Extreme Weather Effects on Medical Device Safety and Quality. I’m thinking you might have a suggestion or two. To find out about the meeting, and to make a comment, start here:
http://www.regulations.gov/?source=govdelivery#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2013-N-0118-0001
 
 
And just one more mention of the JDRF Type 1 Diabetes Research Summit taking place in Bethesda, Maryland on Saturday, March 9. It’s an all day affair that promises great educational opportunities and chances to network with other like-minded souls. It’s free to attend. Wanna go? Go here first:
http://www.jdrfsummit.org/
 
 
That’s it for now. Have a great Wednesday!
 
 
 

There should be stoppage time.

There’s not really a lot that depresses me about diabetes. Okay, there’s a lot that could depress me about diabetes. But I’m the kind of person that would let those things really get me down if I let them. So often, I choose not to think of them. Very often, I choose not to think of them, if you know what I mean. It’s one of the few parts of my life where I try to remain positive at all times.

But every once in a while… well, you just have to let yourself rant.

I was working around the house Saturday afternoon, cleaning, doing the laundry, that kind of thing. At some point, I went upstairs to make the bed that had been left unmade since morning. I had a couple of other things to do up there too, so I took the iPad with me and started up the Pandora® so I’d have some music while I worked.

Some 45 minutes later, the bed was only half made, and I was sucking back juice and honey. A bright 43 mg/dL showed on my meter.

Hey, as much as we would like them not to, these things happen. But where was my brain during this time? What happened to those 45 minutes? I have a right to ask… I’ll never get those 45 minutes back, and I feel cheated somehow. For three quarters of an hour, my brain was jello. It let me down.

Then I had to explain it to everyone in the house, and answer the questions like: “Did you know you were going low?” “Did you bolus too much at lunch?” “Why didn’t you get some juice sooner?”

The answer to all of those questions is, I DON’T KNOW. My brain checked out for that time. I have almost no recollection of anything other than fidgeting too much with the sheets and blankets and pillows on the bed, and walking around the bedroom what seemed like a hundred times. I don’t have an explanation for any of that either.

But I want my 45 minutes back. I feel like someone, something, some cosmic timekeeper, owes me 45 minutes extra. Stoppage time, they call it in soccer. I want my time back! At the end of my life, there should be a lot of stoppage time left over.

If, somehow, I ever do get my time back… trust me, I’m going to make very good use of it. What would you do with your extra stoppage time?
 
 
 

I haven’t forgotten you, old friend.

I took the time to do some laundry last night after work. The washer and dryer are in the basement, and it’s cold down there this time of year.

I hurried to get the laundry moved over from the washer to the dryer, and then I turned and hurried toward the stairs and some warmer air. But something stopped me right in my tracks.

It was my bike. Just sitting there. Looking lonely. And dusty. And no matter how cold I was, I had to stop and check her out.

This is a big deal. I don’t have a trainer to set her up on. I go to the gym and use the spin bikes in the winter. Once I put the bike away, it stays put away until Spring.

I wasn’t just looking everything over again. I was reliving all those rides from last year. All those happy memories (and an unhappy one too). I was looking forward to the rides to come in 2013. Before I knew it, I was imagining the first ride I’ll do this Spring.

This is how I used to feel about baseball when I was a kid. And I guess how I used to feel about Spring and Summer in general when I was a kid. Oh, I liked the snow. Okay, I really liked getting snow days off from school. What kid doesn’t? But around this time of year, I always did, and I always still do, start to really hunger for the warmer weather.

So come on Spring! What are you waiting for? The temperature was in the twenties most of the week here. I know, that’s nothing compared to the Midwest, the plains states that are getting so much snow and ice, and up in Canada where it’s crazy cold for months at a time. But the cabin fever is starting to get to me.

DSC00188

I haven’t forgotten you, my old friend. I haven’t forgotten the great times we’ve shared already. And I’m looking forward to the great times to come.
 
 
 

Almost Bachelorhood

The Great Spousal Unit is staying overnight with a client’s pet this week. And The Live-In Niece has been away for most of this week too. That means almost bachelorhood for me. The good part, where you can eat what you want, watch what you want on the tele… not the bad, lonely part. As long as they don’t stay away too long.

It’s nice generally, because absence sometimes does make the heart grow fonder, and because it’s nice to have a break once in a while, even though we’ve been together for almost 20 years.

But there’s no denying the fact that it means I’m alone all the time. Not a big deal… I was on my own for the first two years or so with this disease. But what does it mean to be on your own when you’re usually not? It means two things.

First, it means the obvious: Getting through the night without my BG going low. I can’t say that I do anything that’s way out of the norm. Except that I try to go to bed with a higher BG than normal. So instead of say, going to bed at 150-160 mg/dL, I’m going to bed at around 170-180 mg/dL. The flip side of that safety measure is that I’m usually higher in the morning than I would like (138 mg/dL this morning). And of course, there’s no guarantee that my body’s metabolism wouldn’t kick in harder during my sleep and cause me to go low anyway. But it’s something I know I can do. I can’t bring myself to set the alarm for the middle of the night so I can check how I’m doing. If you’re doing that, I admire and respect your vigilance.

Second, it means that I have to acknowledge the fact that I sometimes rely on my spouse too much to help me through those hypoglycemic moments. And it’s not even those moments when it happens—What Maureen does really well is making sure that I have everything I need to fight off a low wherever, and whenever, it happens. She lets me know that “Hey, you do ______ when you’re going low. Watch out for that.” It’s the general feeling of “someone’s got your back”. It’s a quality that’s incalculable, and I’m lucky to have it.

So even though I have my dog and my second dog (also known as my cat), I’m reminded this week of what it’s really like to be alone and managing the diabetes. And I’m reminded how lucky I am that it’s not the norm.

How about you? Any strategies for when you’re away from your significant other? How does it make you feel?
 
 
 

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