Sunday, April 08, 2007

Learning to Live with Diabetes

Still home. It's been an uneventful weekend, except for the routine IVs, meds, and dressing changes.

Today is Easter Sunday, which is the anniversary of the day Thomas and I met, at Balticon back in 1982. (Yes, one of our anniversaries is a moveable feast.)

Along with recovering from my foot problems, I am also learning to live with newly-diagnosed diabetes. I have a glucometer -- a little gadget for checking my blood sugar. First thing in the morning, and several times during the day, I poke one of my fingertips to draw blood, then touch the blood to the meter to get a reading.

I also have insulin. Not just insulin, but two kinds of insulin. Lantis is a slow-acting insulin that is supposed to smooth out blood-sugar variations throughout the day; Novalog is the more traditional fast-acting insulin that I'm supposed to take with meals. Both of these are injected, so Thomas and I are getting a lot of practice using syringes.

My blood sugar has been all over the map. Supposedly, a good range is between 70 and 120. If it gets too low, then there's danger that I will pass out -- as I did at whirlpool on Monday, and almost did on Friday. (The treatment for low blood sugar is to get some sugar into my system as quickly as possible, which means juice or cookies or even a packet of sugar. It seems odd to think of a diabetic deliberately swallowing sugar, but there it is.)

If the blood sugar is too high, it's also bad. Not as immediately bad as passing out or going into a coma, but certainly not good. Taking insulin helps to lower high blood sugar. The problem is, we don't have any magic formulas for how much insulin to varies from person to person, and also depends on what I've eaten, how much exercise I'm doing (right now, with my bad foot, not very much), and the phases of the Moon and Venus. After enough trial-and-error, we'll have a much better idea of how this all works.

Oh, well, it's all part of getting better.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the diabetes dance. It is no fun, seems to have no real consistancies-different from person to person- and is a big pain in the butt.
I am not diabetic but know four (or more) people that are. My spouse, my father,a brother in law and now my friend.
Each is handling it differently and with different results. All have found numbers to be all over and only one seems to have it under control - my brother in law. He also has a nazi of a wife, and he listens to her.
I have come to learn that it is a juggling act. You have to learn to think ahead...what will you be eating for lunch, dinner and what exercise will you be doing, and what stress are you under and what color is the sky today. That is all a factor in how much insulin you take in the morning, after eating or as needed.
My brother in law follows a new regime of counting Carbs, rather than sugar. He is very diligent about it and has not had to take insulin since being diagnosed. My husband has taken it since he went in the hospital for something else (sound familiar). the theory there being that insulin is easier to give in the hospital. And once on insulin he couldn't go back.
So all join hands and revel in the sugar coated dance of diabetes (pun intended).
Good luck Don and hope you are getting the hang of it soon.