Tag Archives: feelings

When Giving Advice

I’ve been reading post on twitter for a while now. A lot currently are on political issues. I kind of take these on a side note. They are people opinions of the facts they are presented and most of all believe and trust. The election and subsequent statements in speeches and on twitter are a good point. Some believe the president’s points and other do not. I’m not here to chat about those problems though. My issue is the diabetic on diabetic degradation and giving advice and the seeming hurt feeling when someone doesn’t accept it. This may seem a little blunt but get over it. I’ve both given and taken advice from more people than I can possibly remember. There are two things one needs to keep in mind when either giving are receiving this advice.

First, you must remember that everyone is not created equal. Therefore, what works for one does not necessarily work for all. It may work but not as well. Take the advice and decide if you want to try it or not. Does it seem to fit your lifestyle? Does the science seem sound? OK science is the same for everyone but do the facts seem to agree with what you know? Can a diet cure a genetic issue? What I know of, it does not. Are you willing to try it and experiment with it to see if it is a fit for you? I have heard so much on cutting back carbs to prevent needing more insulin instead of rationing your supplies or to stabilize your sugar levels. If you cut back on carbs can you sustain your lifestyle? I work hard and on an average day will consume about 3400 calories. That is more than twice the amount most people I talk either do or will admit to eating. I used to eat about 4100 when I was younger and more active. I looked at a few sites for average calorie intake and was very surprised. One stated men could eat about 2200 a day and maintain their weight. Almost all the ones after adding the words diabetic to calories intake said from 1200 to 1800 calories a day. 50% of those calories should be from carbs. The math came out to 195 grams a day. I eat about 280 grams a day and have not lost or gained much in about 20 years. SO I consider myself maintaining my weight at 3400 calories a day and 280 grams of carbs each day. Low carb? What I can see tells me it just is not a sustainable issue for me. Will I loose weight? Oh without a doubt. Problem is what happens when your body gets a point where you have little to no fat left? Most people call it starvation. Your body will start to consume its own muscle to power itself. My point is that I could loose weight by going on one of these diet but I will need to come back off of it when I reach my goal. It is not a lifetime permanent diet for me. A metabolic endocrinologist told me during a consultation that a ketogenic diet was not a good fit for me since I was so active. It was more for office people than factory floor workers.

And most of all, if you are the one giving any advice, don’t get upset if the person says they aren’t going to try it or posts a different opinion on the subject. God gave us all free will to decide our own fate and it just seems wrong for man to try and take that power from us. Even if you firmly believe the person is wrong and will do damage to themselves, all you can do is try and give reasons to support your point of view. PLEASE do not stoop to name calling or other bullying tactics. It shows a grand display of insecurity about your own point of view. When I get it, I really take a good look at what was posted because I am immediately suspicious. I get a big kick out of someone who says “you should read this article it says (blank) and proves my point”. I read the mentioned article and low and behold it does say what they say it does. It also goes on to mention other issues that need to be looked at for it to work as well. One of the biggest offenders of this are articles on cures for diabetes. One if I have to change your lifestyle to prevent needing insulin I can’t call it a cure since the cause is still there. I am simply treating the symptom with a diet change or exercise change. If I stop, I go right back to where I was. As for the article itself, quite a few times somewhere in the article it actually says not tested on type 1 or not recommended for type 1 diabetes. IF your type 2 then by all means I do hope it works for you but I am not type 2 so it is not likely to give me the same results. I tolerate people who do not agree with me on a variety of subjects nor do I try to force them to adopt my views. Someone telling me I’m wrong and should be doing things their ways to live better is not going to earn them any points in my book. Will I listen? Of course. From my point in life I have this to say. A wise man is quiet and listens to everything said, a fool keeps talking to make his point heard. Listen to what the other person is saying, don’t just ignore them all together. On the other side of that is that you do not have to follow their advice. Take or leave it is commonly said in these situations. It fits perfectly.

The Same Yet Different

I just read a post from a woman who lives in the UK. She is also a diabetic as are many of the people I follow on twitter. Facebook is great for friends and such but twitter lets me find people who are like minded as far as my disease. Well I don’t go looking for them, Twitter finds them for me. I have some here in the States (one is on TWO of the new Dexcom G6 commercials) but quite a few are in the UK as well. I have learned as much from them as fellow diabetics here in the USDA.

The post I read was from a woman who yesterday ran a half marathon (10k) and finished it. Way to go!! Now some not familiar with diabetes may think so what. It’s only a half marathon and she didn’t finish first. Oh my good people, to me it is great that she even tried let alone did finish no matter what place it was.

Why? A diabetic knows the answer to that already, someone not so in touch with the problems of this disease may not. Let’s start with the basics. Diabetes is a disease where your body does not produce insulin to control your sugar levels in the blood. So a diabetic must double as their own pancreas since the one they were born with no longer works like it should. Normal people don’t get this as their body regulates it’s own insulin level. A diabetic has to do this the entire 24 hours of each day. It is a true 24 hour 7 day a week jobs and there are no vacation from this job. Now here is the first in lessons some don’t know. There are actually 2 types of diabetes and although they are both called diabetes they are very different creatures. Type 1 is insulin dependent and type 2 can still make it although not enough or sometimes the wrong chemical makeup, it doesn’t work right. There about 22 million diabetics here in the USA alone and out of those only a 10% section are type 1. That means I am one of about 2.2 million people here in the USA who depend on insulin to live. We do not make it on our own and so must take it several times each day. It is not a pill and though there has been some headway to make it easier, the only way to get it is to inject it through the skin.

“I’ve read that you can also inhale insulin.” There is only one and I do not know what complications it can cause or how effective it is. Most people, I do not know of any on this inhalable insulin, use injection. You can use pumps instead of needles but as some of my former coworkers can attest to, it is not a perfect solution. It also still goes through the skin. I was told years ago (decades really, I’m polishing my cane later) being a hormone insulin would not survive the human digestive tract hence it must be injected. As far as inhaling, I’d be more scared of an infection from that kind of delivery than an injection. In the 40+ plus years the only infection from insulin I’ve had is with a pump cannulas but it was on its 6th day instead of the 3 days recommended by the maker. I had to, sweated the first one off early so to make up I had to reuse the next one or I would have run out.

OK back to task, Type 2 diabetics are people whose body still makes insulin but it either makes not enough or the chemical makeup is not right and it does work as needed. Insulin does not actually control blood sugar but it unlocks the walls of cells so the sugar can get in and let the cell use it for energy. Think of it as a key for the lock on your cell wall door. If there is no key you don’t get in, if you don’t get in there is no power to run the cell and it will die. Type 2 can be controlled by pills or diet or both without needing insulin. Sadly, it can regress to the point where insulin may be needed anyway. My mom and both aunts where like after years with type 2.

Emma uses a pump and just to make things easier I will just say that if you have a hard time programming your universal remote a pump is not any easier and your remote won’t kill you if you screw it up. I don’t know her that well but I can guess from her post she does not run marathons on a daily basis. Here is another issue with diabetes, changing your routine is scary. I am far from a perfect diabetic but I try to eat at the same times and even the same foods on a rotating basis so I know how I react to each food and how many carbs are in each meal. Carbs are how diabetics count and calculate how much insulin they need for the food they eat. Each food has a certain amount of carbs that enter your body at different speeds and as a diabetic you need to be able to know how many are in each food and add them together and then calculate how many units of insulin you need. A pump can do this on its own but you still need to tell it how many carbs you are eating.

Since she was running a marathon her activity level was going to be so much higher than normal for her so she had to try and compensate for this. With a pump you can lower the background insulin you get on a temporary basis so she made the changes.

This where I noticed the biggest difference. She dropped her rate 2 units. Wow! My basal rate (background insulin) was at times only 0.250 units per hour! That equals 1 unit every 4 hours. There was no way I could have dropped it 2 units. Even as low as it was set, it still crashed my sugar level without extra work (running a marathon being as low as it can get on that list) and although it would shut off automatically,  I still needed to eat to bring it back up as it was low for hours after going low.

The other issue I noticed was when she described making corrections for a highs the morning of the race. Every diabetic has a rate to add extra units to prevent a high once it is started. Mine is 1 unit for every 50 points over 200. It used to be 2 unit back then when I was on the pump. She was correcting a 1/2 unit for less than 200. Amazing!

Reading about how she ran her diabetes compared to my treatment brought to mind what I frequently tell other diabetics. Everyone is different and has a different treatment routine. I have been telling people that for years now but I never had actually applied it to myself until reading that post. I had always thought I must have done or been doing something wrong to create this difference. I am me. I am not Molly, I am not Emma, I am not Amy, I am not any of the other diabetics I know.

I am not doing anything wrong I am merely doing things the way that works for me. MY correction rate works for me. My basal rates, well now doses, works for me. My diet works for me. It will not work for anyone else nor should it. I can try a technique I hear from someone but I will also need to test it to see if it will really work for me.

I can stop thinking “Why does this not work for me like others?” We, the other 2.2 million type 1 diabetics, have the same disease and share common problems and issues. Our solutions though are not and should be the same. They are unique to that person. Everyone is different and should follow their won path to control.

Confidence or Arrogance?

This one came to me on the drive home this morning. It is almost an hour drive so I had some spare time. When does confidence become arrogance? I know quite a few people in both clubs. I love people with confidence but can’t stand those with arrogance. The question is what is or how do you define the line between them. This post is MY definition and opinion on it.

Confidence. A simple word that bring it out in others. I like a person who knows they can do something but doesn’t rub it in your face or use it to make you feel less than human. It makes me more willing to give my idea also. The catch here is making you feel less than human. How? I can take it if someone comes along and is better at something than I am. It makes me work harder than hell to reach that level. If they take it farther I start to have issues. Does it seem like they are gloating over you by doing it? Are they trying to break your spirit by constantly bringing it up or holding it over you? It comes down to your opinion of what they are saying or doing as much as a definition in a book.

Confidence – being self assured of your own ability or talent for doing something. Playing football, working as a engineer, or just hanging with friends (it is doing something and not everyone can do it well). Doctors, nurses, and diabetic educators can easily fall into this catagory. They have vast knowledge of this disease and access to the lastest techniques and gadgets to treat it. My tell is their listening skills. I hate to sit in a room with one decribing a recent issue or a concern and feel like I am talking to the wall behind them. Yes my sugar was high here but if you look back just an hour earlier it was going low so I tooks some carbs to bring it up.

It gets really annoying when the next question is “Why didn’t you bolus for those carbs?” I just pause for a moment and stare back. Why say anymore? They obviously didn’t just hear me when I said it was going low just an hour earlier. Then my inner ass comes out to play. Me “Why would I bolus when I’m trying to raise my sugar?” Her “80 is not low yet. You don’t need to bolus.” Me “At 80 I get confused and can no longer function well.” Her “Its just because you are used to it being high. Normal doesn’t feel right anymore.”

That conversation actually happened. It may not be exactly word for word but the content is very similar. She was right about that last point though. Normal to me is not what others feel is normal. I told her that the first day we met in her office. “I’m not normal.” Plain and simple I am not, normal is not the way my life works. I can do double digit multiplication in my head most of the time but if my sugar drops below 80-85 I have trouble with even single digit multiplication. I start to second guess any decisions I need make. What I can normally do in less than a mintue now takes better than 15 minutes.

It has now become arrogance in that she feels she knows better than I what is going on and is trying to tell me how I SHOULD feel not asking how I do or did feel. She told me I wasn’t feeling a low. What about the confusion? What about the fatique? Arrogant is when someone has or reveals an exaggerated sense of their own abilities or importance. I know way too many people that fit in this catagory. Tricky part is they don’t always fit in there. Some days they are just confident and others they turn arrogant. What I got out of that conversation was “I’m a doctor just do what I say!”

As many people don’t know all the facts about the subject rather than actually know better but send you on a goose chase for the “magic” cure or treatment. 40+ years in and I have heard most of them but I can always listen to another. There may actually be some truth to it. Garlic does actually help with insulin effectiveness. Chomium is another mineral that increases insulin’s effectiveness. Think of it was a lubricant for the key (insulin) to fit into the lock (cell wall). There are others out there, some I’ve not heard of yet, which is why I always listen but don’t always follow the line of thought all the way through. I understand the science of it also. It is not magic, just science I didn’t understand that in the beginning.

I would be shocked if there is no one who sees me as arrogant at times and it is OK. I get it. As much as I see someone being arrogant with me when they really aren’t or least aren’t with everyone else. Here’s a nother big word for everyone. Perception. It’s how people see things. It is neither right nor wrong just how we see it. Optical illusions depend on percption errors to work. Our sight is working just fine, its our minds that get tricked or bent into believing they are looking at something that is not there.

My last opinion on this issue is that there are those that flat don’t care and seem to go out of their way to be arrogant. Its one of polar opposite issues. If a person comes off as overly dominant then they are most likely to have an insecurity issue. I see arrogance as a dominance issue. Someone is trying to be bigger and badder than you at something. I learned a long time ago, there is ALWAYS someone on the planet who is bigger, smarter, faster, or more of a badass than you think you are. Keep that in mind always.