7
Aug

Family and diabetes/the frustration of having no impact

My heart is aching.

 

Right now I've got so much to talk about. There is so much I want to share and discuss. I met a PWD and his parents in my area when they came to my rescue the night before I left for a vacation. I've got a technique for extending the life of my sensors and recharging my transmitter without accidentally yanking the whole thing out (which I think is pretty cool!). I got in touch with the Ontario ADP office and asked the folks there to send me the documentation that was used to justify their decision not to cover CGMs and sensors along with insulin pumps, and I've been immersing myself in the research and papers that they provided.

 

Lately, though, I've been hung up on a conversation that I had last weekend.

 

Let me rewind a bit: Last weekend Boyfriend and I travelled about 6hrs south of home to attend my cousin's wedding. The wedding itself was absolutely beautiful, the bride; stunning, the ceremony; flawless. The reception and party following the ceremony? It was one heck of a party!  The only part of the evening that was in any way unpleasant was a conversation I had with my Uncle S (the bride's father). Uncle S has had diabetes for a few years, and manages it with Metformin and diet. As usual, when we get together we shoot the shit about diabetes, mental health, public and family support, etc.

 

This time around our conversation was a little different. My aunt and uncle are going through some difficulties and are currently separated. They spent a long time trying to work it out, but it looks like this separation is going to end in divorce. I hate seeing how painful it's been for both my aunt and uncle as well as my cousins, but I know sometimes there is only so much you can do.

 

This separation and impending divorce has taken quite a toll on my uncle. Last time I saw him (July of 2014) he was using e-cigs as a method of helping him quit smoking. He told me how the e-cigs were doing wonders for him and were helping him to quit the habit. Last weekend, though, when we spoke it was out on the patio at the wedding venue, as he had resumed smoking.

When I asked how his diabetes was doing, he said that his cholesterol and a1c levels were excellent. He told me that last time he visited his dr's office those numbers were great, and in addition to that, he had recently lost 40 lbs (likely due to skipping meals during the day and eating better/healthier meals at night, combined with the stress and challenges that accompany the end of a marriage). Knowing that a decent a1c isn't exactly the quintessential measure of diabetes care, I asked how his numbers were throughout the day. His response, that he didn't know as he rarely checked his sugars at all, blew me away.

 

Also, keep in mind: we were at a wedding. I had enjoyed some wine with with (and after) (and before!) dinner, so while I was equally (or more) talkative than usual, I was nowhere near my normal articulate and well-read self when I blew up and gave him a lengthy, repetitive, somewhat irrational but mostly still accurate lecture on the importance of testing his BG throughout the day. He tolerated my well-meaning but still mostly critical tirade, but by the end of this conversation I was positive that nothing I said had changed his mind about his method of treatment.

It scares me to think of how easily complications can set in. It scares me even more to think that if he ends up with any serious, debilitating complications, he won't have my aunt close by to support him any more. I know there's no sense in worrying about the future, but it feels hard not to worry when a specific version of the future seems guaranteed.

So that's what's on my mind these days. Makes it a bit tough to focus on the more exciting stuff (see above; the new PWD friends or the ADP research).

25
Jun

C'mon, Glu...

I have a Glu account. I subscribe to their daily surveys, so each morning I receive a "Glu Staff: Question of the Day" survey.

This morning's survey question looked like this:

image

Glu Survey of the day on June 23, 2015

I don't  always complete the surveys that appear in my inbox every morning, but I do always read the emails. If I feel as though I have something to contribute (or I'm just curious about the results of that particular question!), I will log in and check it out. This morning's survey definitely did not sit well with me.

Of all of the ways to start my morning, contemplating which complication produces the most of that gut-wrenching chills-you-to-the-bone fear is NOT my my favourite.

26
Feb

Upcoming elbow surgeon appointment

I called my local hospital today to check the date of an appointment.

 

I have nerve damage in my elbow. My last endocrinologist appointment had her earnestly holding onto my forearm as she looked into my eyes to tell me that the nerve thing was not the fault of diabetes. She said it was not my fault.

 

She said it over and over.

 

...and over.

 

 

I Tried. I tried to approach this appointment by asking information that I would need to know, just IN CASE I ended up needing surgery for the nerve damage in my elbow.

 

She sees riiiiiiiight through me. My endo let me try to ask a few questions about stuff like "What should I be aware of, diabetes-wise, if I have elbow surgery?"  before she held my hand tightly and told me that this was not my fault. At that point I was having difficulty stifling an endless supply of tears, so my further diabetes-related questions were put on hold.

 

I appreciate this more than she could ever know. It means so much to me to know that she feels like I didn't cause this through lax diabetes management not-so-many-years ago when I was an irresponsible teenager. As well, the fact that she felt compelled to reassure me despite me never directly asking whether I caused this tells me that she knows me better than I had imagined.

 

Still, though, I feel like the schedule (17 15-minute appointments scheduled in the first 90 minutes of his day?!) of my potential elbow-surgeon does not inspire confidence. I'm trying very hard to reserve judgement until I first meet the surgeon, but I have to be honest: his hospital staff's view of him as a doctor and surgeon does not come off as particularly impressive...   :S

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