Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Warning for the tickle monster!

The other night I slept over my friend's house and we invited a bunch of people over. We were watching a movie and having just a regular night in. Somehow this movie-night turned into a tickle-tournament. The guys attacked the girls with tickles and we tried to fight them off with pillows. We were having a blasty blast; welcome to the world of college kids. Anyway, As I was being tickled to death, I kept thinking about two things: Firstly, he better not rip out my infusion set! Secondly, if he sees my infusion set this guy is going to think I have a beeper attatched to my stomach with dental floss. Awkward. So, I try to catch a breath and scream STOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPPP! I HAVE TO WARN YOU! He stops. He goes, "What the hell do you have to warn me about?" I showed him my infusion set and said,
"Don't worry, I'm not an alien, I'm a diabetic. This connects my insulin pump to my body; please do not tickle me near it so it won't get messed up." I killed two birds with one stone; my infusion set was out of harm and I was no longer being tickled. Great success!!!

Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers

I really liked his speech about his experience with being diagnosed as a diabetic. What I found most interesting was that he said that everyone has their own story. I never really put too much thought into that before; every single person that has been diagnosed with diabetes has their OWN story. Sure, most of us had similar symptoms or even the exact same ones, but our experiences were all different. I could relate to a lot of what Nick Jonas was saying when he thought "why me?" at first and then went to "why not me?" The important thing is that life goes on, even if you're living with diabetes... that's all it is; LIVING with diabetes. There are much worse things that could happen in life; diabetes is managable. I was never a Jonas Brothers' fan; haven't really listened to their music.. but I may start because I have a new respect for one of the members. Good man, Nick Jonas.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Different A1C ?!

I knew I had a doctor's appointment coming up, so the other week I went to Quest Diagnostics to get my blood work done. The results of my blood test didn't come in until the day of my doctor's appointment, so I went into my doctor's office with no idea as to what the results of my blood test had been. So as the nurse is checking my blood pressure and testing my blood sugar, I am trying to peek at the stack of papers on the counter with the results. I see that there are some dark areas, which usually indicate that something is too high or abnormal.. So I ask the nurse if everything is alright with my results and she looks at the papers, concerned. Not-so-smart nurse tells me there's something wrong with my cholesterol levels and comes back with the blood test that she took a few minutes earlier and tells me my A1C is 10.3%. WOW. 10.3% IS HIGH.. I mean, I knew my blood sugars hadn't been terrific but that means that my average blood sugar levels were running around 300, normal blood glucose level is around 100. So as she left to call the doctor, I got up and began reading the results of my blood test, and the cholesterol levels were higher than the little scale they show in the next column, but as I flipped back to my last blood test in the file I noticed that the numbers were similar to those that were in these results. I flipped back to the new blood test results. A1C level: 9.0. Wait a minute, how is it that my A1C levels have such a big difference; 9.0 isn't good but it is much better than a A1C level of 10.3.. I waited for the doctor. As it turns out, my GOOD cholesterol was high and that was a good thing, according to my doctor. All my results were actually perfect; I am telling you I don't know how I manage to be in relatively good health! My blood sugars need to be under better control, but overall the doctor's visit went well. And my doctor used the A1C level of 9.0 that we recieved from the lab. I don't think she trusted that nurse either haha.

"FDA study: Insulin pumps linked to injuries, deaths in teens"

This article talked about the dangers of having an insulin pump. I agreed with a lot of what the author of this article discussed; the flexibility an insulin pump offers and the dangers of having that freedom. Even from my own experience I've noticed that having an insulin pump is riskier than taking shots because of the freedoms you have. With an insulin pump you could eat practically anything you'd like as long as you bolused, (covered the food you ate by dialing the correct amount of insulin). The problem with that is that diabetics with insulin pumps begin eating foods that even healthy or 'normal' people shouldn't eat. Another issue with the pump is forgetting to bolus sometimes; you eat food and don't dial up any insulin. One of the biggest problems with insulin pumps, which had been discussed in this article, is having a blocked tube that cannot deliver the insulin you inject; most times when that occurs you only know due to the symptoms of a high blood sugar.. when it is too late. Lowering that high blood sugar takes time and often makes people feel sick.

What was most shocking in this article was a line that read, "There were two possible suicide attempts by teens who gave themselves too much insulin, according to the analysis." Attempted suicide by use of an insulin pump?! That is the wildest thing I have ever heard! Some teens actually used insulin to harm themselves by causing a blood sugar that was low enough to actually kill them. That's absolutely terrifying and sad.

Although there are downsides to having an insulin pump, the pros of having one surpass the cons; I really hope this article doesn't have a negative effect on diabetics regarding the decision of whether they should get an insulin pump. I read this article on the home page of so I am sure millions of readers are going to see it. As long as people take care of themselves and use their insulin pumps properly, it is a great thing to have.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A man's best friend, indeed.

What an incredible story about a man whose life was saved by a dog. If the dog had not awoken this man, his blood sugar would've continued to drop from 40 and a diabetic coma would have been inevitable. He was very lucky that the dog was there and that he felt it licking his face and wimpering. Usually, when a blood sugar is that low it is extremely difficult to recognize anything; it is as though your body is present but your mind is in another place. You can't see much, and if you see something it may not even be there in reality; you are too shaky to be able to move about, and thinking is very difficult because your brain lacks the glucose it needs to function. The lowest blood sugar reading i've ever had was 32. I was sleeping, and suddenly, I woke up trembling and looking for something sweet to drink or eat. I dragged myself across the room and drank an entire bottle of Coca-Cola, although I couldn't taste it and spilled much of it in the process of trying to drink. I was sleeping at my friend's house, so I tried to talk in order to wake her up. She got up and she could immediately tell that something was wrong, and I needed to eat. She got me food, and I don't remember much after that. As far as I know, I ate half of the food in her house and fell asleep. I woke up with a high blood sugar that morning, but I was thankful that I didn't go into a coma. I would much rather have a high blood sugar level than a low one... it is less risky. I wish I had a dog then that would've woken me up sooner before my blood sugar got to be so low!

What a crazy week

So, for a reason that is unapparent to me, I have been having some anxiety attacks about every other night for the past week. Now, for an average healthy person anxiety attacks are unpleasant. For me, it is a completely different ballgame. Firstly, when I begin to feel panicked or stressed, my blood sugar automatically rises. As if the anxiety attacks aren’t enough, I then have the pleasure of being burdened by high blood sugar symptoms including irritability (mood swings), drowsiness, fatigue, dry mouth, and blurred vision. All of these lovely symptoms felt terrific as a side dish to my entrĂ©e of anxiety. In order to relax I had taken Valerian Root capsules, and extra units of insulin to cover my high blood sugars. (Valerian Root is an herbal plant that is known to be used as an anti-anxiety remedy or for people who suffer from mild insomnia; it comes in different forms such as capsules, tablets, tinctures, and liquid extracts,).The combination of the two had never really been a problem before; possibly because the level of anxiety had been milder and my glucose level had probably not been as high. Well, I should’ve realized after the first sleepless night that I should discontinue taking both the Valerian Root pills and extra insulin dosages. Of course, being the optimist that I am, I thought that my body would accept the two better on the second night, and the third. I was wrong. What ended up happening was that the Valerian Root pills would calm me down, automatically causing my blood sugar to be lowered because the stress level had been reduced. But, with my brilliant idea of increasing my insulin dosage, my blood sugar ended up dropping super low, causing the lovely symptoms of a hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) include trembling, hunger, confusion, difficulty in thinking and recognizing things around you, and my personal favorite symptom: ANXIETY!!! So, the past week has been a cycle of anxiety, hyperglycemia, relaxation, hypoglycemia, anxiety, and it was continuous for days. Finally, I recognized my problem and knew that if I were to take any anti-anxiety remedies I cannot increase my intake of insulin. Experience, ladies and gentlemen; experience is the best teacher, and apparently not a bad doctor either.

Creative Nonfiction

‘Creative Nonfiction’ obviously describes its meaning within itself; it is a form of prose writing which involves non-fictional events and people being described in a creative manner. Writers of creative nonfiction aim to draw their readers in through narration, personal involvement, characterization, and setting. They interpret information that they research thoroughly when writing; the information within their stories is generally factual with certain exaggeration of creative details. Many creative nonfiction pieces contain quotations, metaphors, similes, and humor. Creative nonfiction prose always contains vivid details, imagery, and interesting language.

Creative nonfiction is similar to journalistic reports. The difference between creative nonfiction and the latter is that journalism sometimes lacks personality. Personality takes away from the facts, and newspapers aim for their readers to be content with receiving a story, its facts, details, and nothing more. Their business is to inform their readers rather than entertain. Creative nonfiction offers flexibility, personality, and entertainment. Basically, a creative nonfiction writer retells an event that had actually occurred with their own spin of emotions in a creative and thrilling manner. What would otherwise be reported by a journalist as a basic dull story, a creative nonfiction writer would transform the story into something of interest for the reader; something fascinating.

After comparing creative nonfiction to journalism, it would be fair to compare creative nonfiction to fiction. What differentiates creative nonfiction from fiction is that fictional stories are made up and completely creative writing. Creative nonfiction is based on true facts, true events, and real people. Choosing a topic for a fictional story is relatively simple; all details of the story are created by the writer and therefore the writer is free to take the story in whichever direction he or she may choose. In writing creative nonfiction stories, the writer must be greatly interested in the topic they choose because extensive, meticulous research is required. Thereafter, the writer must turn the basic facts they have researched into an exciting story, causing the reader to be hooked from the first sentence; holding their interest throughout their entire work.

At first glance creative nonfiction may seem like it contains an obvious definition, but the complexity within this genre of writing is grand. A lot of thought, research, and creative skills go into creating a writing piece of creative nonfiction. But, if a creative nonfiction piece is well written, it may be the most entertaining form of writing in existence.