Somewhat of a rant.. but not quite

Partial rant coming up!

I read a lot of diabetes blogs.  Its how I got on board with my own insulin managed type 2 diabetes, despite the fact that most (like 99%) of the blogs are by or about type 1’s.  Since I’m insulin dependent (at the moment), it helped a lot in understanding the insulin and the importance of counting carbs and managing injections properly, and basically living as an insulin-dependent diabetic.

I was reading through some of these blogs the other day and managed to track back through a couple of different ones with comments about a reality tv show that involved a young man having some major issues with his T1 diabetes, who also had with a T2 father.  Lee Ann at The Butter Compartment made some comments about the show.  Lee Ann’s blog is one of my favorites, and in truth, I agreed with both of her posts about this show but she did make a comment that struck that same T2 nerve with me.  She said “…dad’s suggestion that it isn’t really that hard to manage diabetes was insensitive, and irrelevant because he presumably has T2 so what does he know? As far as I can tell, T2 is usually easy to control compared to T1, so of course he’d think that. It also perpetuated the idea that diabetes is easy to control amongst the general masses who don’t understand T1.”

Now I completely understand that there are tons of misguided people out there.  I was probably one of them at one point.  Some of the ones that really bother me are people who think:

  • that all forms of diabetes are the same (which they’re not)
  • that if you have diabetes (in any form) then you must have done something wrong to get it
  • that if you take insulin (as a T1 or a T2) then you’re in worse shape than someone who doesn’t… like you have the “bad” diabetes
  • that if you don’t take insulin you’re not a REAL diabetic
  • that if you just ate right and exercised then you wouldn’t have diabetes anymore

Thinking of that last bullet point, obviously for a T1 that’s completely impossible. That last one is one of the reasons I’m so against people (T1’s and T2’s included) who seem to think that being a T2 is easier.  To Lee Ann’s credit, she did say “as far as I can tell”.  But the misconception I’ve heard, even from people who should know better, is that if I just dieted and exercised, I wouldn’t even have diabetes anymore.

Think about this.  Exercise.  Everyone is supposed to try and get some exercise in, every day or every other day, or whatever.  If you’re a regular healthy person, you’re supposed to get some exercise.  If you’re a T1, you’re supposed to get some exercise.  But if you’re a T2, you HAVE to exercise.  T2 is controlled through diet and exercise and maybe some meds if it’s just not working.  How is that easy?

I don’t like to exercise.  And yes, I believe that if I DID exercise, that I might not have to be on multiple daily injections of insulin.  There is the possibility that I might not even have to take ANY meds, IF I do everything perfectly.

And while it may be true that I could get to the point where I’m so awesome that my diabetes is completely controlled by diet and exercise alone, and I don’t have any symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes, I’m totally stuck.  I HAVE to exercise whether I want to or not.  I HAVE to eat carefully.  I can’t just have a piece of cake and bolus to cover the carbs.  I’m only “supposed” to test one time a day.  And if I do test and I’m high, I can’t do anything about it.  Sure I don’t have the risk of overcorrecting and going low, but I also get to just look at the number on my meter and say “Well would you look at that?  I’m high.”  And if I can’t get that high number to come down?

** I do actually know a T2 who is actually controlling his condition through diet and exercise and as far as I know he’s doing an incredible job of it.  So I know it IS possible! **

Yes, T1’s have a more “dangerous” form of this disease, I guess.  Although I don’t like that word, really.  There might be more potential issues because a T1’s body doesn’t create ANY insulin, but T2’s have just as many problems to deal with.  They have a huge chance of having uncontrolled diabetes because they usually don’t test more than once a day.  If their fasting blood sugar is fine but they’re having huge spikes for the rest of the day, they’re not even going to know something is wrong until they go in for an A1C.  And that’s a bad cycle to repeat.  And then it’s another 3 months to TRY and get it under control while not really understanding what they’re doing and just continuing on with the same poor management skills.

All diabetics should know what the actual facts of the disease are.  And while it’s getting easier for T1’s to find information and find helpful people who want to help lead them through things, the same is not true for T2’s.  YDMV (your diabetes may vary) applies for all diabetics, not just T1’s, and I think T1’s need to remember that as well.

/end partial rant

I’m not trying to step on any toes here, and I don’t want to be ostracized by the DOC for being an outspoken T2.  I would love to hear the opinions of anyone who feels like giving them.  Heck, maybe I’M following some misconceptions I don’t even realize.  :)

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Type 1 Wanna-Be

A couple days ago I was talking about how disappointed I was that I met my first real life pumper and she was very condescending and acted like I was stupid for being interested when I’m “only” a T2.

I tried to relate this story to a T1 that I know and was amazed at the response.  Since this was a fellow diabetic, I was expecting to hear something along the lines of disbelief… instead this person actually responded with a statement about how crazy it is when a T2 tries to compare themselves with a T1. 

I believe the line was “its not like they have REAL diabetes!”. 

I hesitated, trying to put an actual sentence together in my head, and finally said that I was a T2, does that make me not a REAL diabetic?  Like counting carbs and trying to exercise, and watching what I eat, and taking meds… that’s not REAL?  And she said, well, you’re not REALLY a T2, you take insulin.  I doubt that there are very many T2’s who take more than MAYBE Lantus. 

Well, that’s probably true.  And I have no good answer for that.  I agree that its odd that I have to do MDI’s to have controlled diabetes.  My doc initially put me on insulin because I really should have gone to the hospital.  I’m sure I was probably supposed to come off of it sometime.  And I think that’s why my doc put me on the Metformin and Januvia too, to try and help me get off the insulin, or at least the Novolog.

But I guess it seems like the insulin is kinda doing the trick… the pills both help my own body’s insulin actually do its thing, and that probably keeps the insulin amounts I inject down a little bit.  Which really is odd, thinking about it.  If my body IS creating insulin (c-pep test confirmed it), then why aren’t the pills alone doing the trick?  I’m sure if I came off the insulin I’d skyrocket, even if I ate completely correctly.  Is it because I’m overweight?  I don’t know!

But I digress… I’ve gone way off topic.  I was completely shocked at the response I got about T2’s not being REAL diabetics!  Maybe as a T2 I’m not as much a part of the community as I thought.  I mean, I don’t see very many T2 bloggers out there.  Its like its not a REAL disease, so why bother blogging about it? 

So I will just press on, and blog to my little hearts desire.  One day, a newly diagnosed T2 who gets shoved on insulin might need to read something, even if its just to know there is someone else out there.

But that’s why sometimes I feel like a Type 1 Wanna-Be.  Its like, if I’m going to be stuck with this disease and having to take MDI’s, then I’d like it to be for a darn good reason.  I want to be able to know that I take insulin shots for a reason, and not just because my doc put me on it because she didn’t know any better.

Vegas!!

So I spent some time in Las Vegas earlier this month!  I had never been there so it was very exciting for me! 

The first thing I want to say is that it was very very very hot!  I mean, I already knew that it was the hottest month of the year.  What I hadn’t anticipated was exactly what that meant.  Not exactly anyway.  It was also the hottest week of the year thus far, AND, it was hotter than normal by about 5 degrees.  It was pretty much 109 the whole time we were there.  It was so hot that later in the day (and into the evening), you would be walking and when you stopped it would feel like your shins w\ere literally on fire, because of the heat reflecting off the pavement!  It was so hot that it felt like I had just preheated my oven and then leaned over to put the dish in…. and then just stood there.  

The most interesting thing about the heat was the wind.  Here in Michigan, even on the hottest or most humid day, if there is a breeze its at least a little bit of a cooling relief.  Even if all it does is dry the dripping sweat from your body.  In Vegas, there is no sweat really, because its burned off immediately, and there is very little humidity… but the breeze has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER!  It actually got HOTTER when there was a breeze!!  It was very strange.

So we basically spent our days exploring the strip which meant that you’d walk for about a regular city block and then you’d duck inside whatever was next to you to get into the air conditioning.  That was usually a casino so it was pretty fun to explore all the different types of places and spend a little on the different slots. 

I lost 9 pounds in the first 2 days because of all the walking that we did!  Yay!  I gained it all back again though, so it was a short-lived yay!

The complete geeks inside of us were totally excited when we found a Stargate slot machine at the casino across from us (and later at our own hotel casino).  And we actually started out pretty good on that machine, winning more than we had on any other (granted we had only been there for half a day at that point).

I had a ton of fun playing a combination of video roulette and regular roulette.  Basically you sit at your own little video screen and place your bets by poking the screen with your finger, and after 30 seconds the dealer in the middle would put the ball in the wheel just like with regular roulette.  It was nice, since I never play table games and always look like an idiot squished in with 5 other people and not knowing what to do.

We also did a lot of stuff that wasn’t gambling.  We saw the Cirque de Soleil show Zumanity (which was an adult show) and that was incredible.  We were glad we weren’t sitting down in front because they involved the audience a LOT (in jokes and stuff mostly).  We saw the volcano erupt at the Mirage, and the fountains at the Bellagio, and the Sirens show at Treasure Island. We rode the roller coaster at New York New York (which kinda sucked, actually).  We went to the CSI Experience which was in our hotel.  You were able to choose a crime scene and then examine it and do research for it (pre-made research).  It was kinda cheesy, but very cool!

I tried to convince my boyfriend that we should get married while we were there, but he wasn’t having any of that….  yet… :)

I completely forgot to get a picture of/with the Welcome to Las Vegas sign though!  I was so bummed!!!

I also missed seeing a couple of friends that moved out there quite a while back… I didn’t realize they were back from their own vacation, so I didn’t even mention it!  Bummer!  Next time though…

So next time we go back I want to:
1.    see the Hoover Dam
2.    swim in one of the fabulous pools
3.    visit my friends
4.    get a picture next to the Welcome sign

Disappointed

I went to a birthday party yesterday for my friend’s son. 

First, I was very glad to get to see some of my old friends that I haven’t had a chance to hang out for a while.  That was a lot of fun!

Second, I realized that since I quit smoking on January 4 (yay!!), I have not faced such a huge challenge as I did yesterday.  Almost everyone was a smoker.  The habit of smoking with these same people was pushing at me horribly and driving me nuts!  I finally at one point went inside to use the restroom because I didn’t want to just stand outside NOT smoking!  Grrr…  but yay!!!  Gotta keep reminding myself of that “yay”!

Third, I met a person in real life who wears an insulin pump!  I actually have a friend close by who just got a pump but I haven’t gotten to hang with her in a while and thus have not seen her pump.

Regarding this third point… I was disappointed that this diabetic of 24 years who has been pumping for 12 was not the kind of diabetic I’ve come to know through the online diabetic community, and I was quite disappointed. 

I realized that although my mom is a T1 and I know other people who are diabetics, I didn’t truly realize what it all meant until I was almost hospitalized with DKA and started taking multiple daily injections and keeping tracking of my numbers. 

Then I found Kerri’s blog and was so fascinated with what I was reading! Even though I’m a T2, here was something that I could relate to.  I went all the way back to some of her earliest blogs (yes I did and it was a LOT of reading!).  I learned a LOT more about my own diabetes even though it was different, and I found other people who related other things they knew, and then I started my own blog.  And although I do state in title that it’s about anything that pops into my head, it ends up being mostly about diabetes.  It’s a community that I enjoy being part of.

So even though I sometimes feel like a T1 wanna-be (more on that later), I’m still a diabetic who takes multiple daily injections of insulin and if that’s the way its going to be forever, then I’d definitely consider pumping.  And the OCD part of me loves knowing my numbers and would love to know how my BG’s trend and would love a CGMS (really?  I would love one?  yes that’s a little sad…).  So I was kinda excited to meet a pumper!  I jumped over and was like WOW is that an insulin pump!?!  And what did I get in return?  A look.  Like, wow, are you two years old?  That was the look.  So then I felt I had to explain why I thought it was cool.  And that’s kind of difficult when you’re a T2 and “shouldn’t be taking insulin in the first place whats wrong with you” (again, more on that later),  but I don’t want to stick myself with a needle all the time for the rest of my life if that’s what it comes down to, so I was excited.  How disappointing to run into someone who acted like I was an idiot.  I don’t really know for sure since I’ve never met any other D-bloggers, but I just don’t feel like that was the reaction I would have gotten.

By the way, I wasn’t actually THAT over-enthusiastic about her pump, but she made me feel like I had been!

Januvia update


I have not kept up on the blogging like I wanted to!!  I was hoping that I’d do it, but…. I’m slow…  :)  So…

Without wasting any MORE time, here is the update about my meds….

First, a quick recap…

Januvia is different than any of the other meds I take.  The Lantus and Novolog insulins I take provide me with insulin since my body’s own insulin isn’t doing its job or there isn’t enough of it.  Metformin helps my body make use of the insulin that it makes.  Januvia is supposed to help the insulin in my body react to food the way its supposed to.

I started taking 100 mg of Januvia once a day, per my doctor.  For the first week I felt a little bit sick to my stomach.  I’m still not sure if I just had a weird week or if it was the pill.  Since then I have no had any issues with it that I can see or feel. 

I have not miraculously lost any weight (bummer!), but I have also not gained any.  Again, I have no idea if this is because of the pill (doubtful).  In addition, I have been able to raise my insulin to carb ratio from 1:4 to 1:6, which means less insulin per injection, and longer time between prescription refills!

The interesting thing though, is that I really don’t know if the change in carb ratio is due to the Metformin or the Januvia.  I started the Metformin about a month and a half before the Januvia.  I don’t know how to really tell without removing one of them from the lineup though.

I will not be going back to the doc for another month, so I don’t know what the effect of the meds are having on my a1c.

After about a week I got a letter from my health insurance telling me that they allowed this prescription to be filled “to make things easier on me” but that they won’t be filling it again because it hasn’t been proven that Metformin doesn’t work for me.  Basically I felt like it was telling me that in order to allow me to take both of these medications I would have to stop taking the Metformin, get really sick for 3 months, and then that would prove it. I was like… well that just doesn’t make sense!  First, why would filling it once make my life easier?  All that’s making me do is have to talk to my doctor and possibly have a battle with my health insurance to allow me to continue with it.  What if my doc had really felt this was the ONLY thing that would work for me (instead of just wanting to see if it hells)?  Then I would be stuck without meds while they figure it out?  I would have rather they flat out say NO! and then I can fight it, without getting all excited that it seems like they’re working and then have it taken away from me!  I guess this would have been more of an issue if I was ONLY taking Metformin and it had actually failed and I didn’t have any backup plan.

I knew that that might happen though, because other people had noted that they had issues with it being covered.  And granted, its not covered WELL… its still not a generic, so it still costs me a lot of money to get it.  But if I can lower the amount of insulin I need to take and possibly even remove the NovoLog, that would be one less prescription to fill anyway!

So I contacted my doc and she contacted the insurance company and apparently everything went well, because she sent me a letter telling me that the Januvia is covered and they didn’t even have to battle! 

And I went and refilled the prescription and they refilled it without any questions.

And now, a week later, I got a letter from my health insurance telling me that they allowed this prescription but……. sigh … I guess I’ll be calling my doctor again…

D-Feast Friday!

So I know that I’ve been very bad about keeping up the blog. I don’t know if anyone reads it, but I promise it will be updated more frequently! As a matter of fact I had 2 posts typed up and ready to go and then left my flash drive at work… so I don’t get to post them yet. Monday after work I will come home and post my 2 posts, one of which is the update about the Januvia, in case anyone was interested!

But I wanted to participate in D-Feast Friday, since its the first time a Diabetes thing has come up that I can participate in with a blog! Yay!

I like these little rolls so much that I make them a couple times a week, for family parties, for whenever, etc… I make them smaller than the original recipes (found at allrecipes.com) states because they seem to cook better, but that also means that they end up being only about 3 carbs a piece, which is exciting!

 
 Parmesan Puffs

* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/4 cup margarine
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 eggs
* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 cup marinara sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium baking sheet. (I just spray it with some PAM.)

2. In a medium saucepan, bring milk and margarine to boil over medium high heat. Stir in flour and reduce heat to low. Vigorously stir until thick enough to form into a ball. Remove from heat. (It really does form a big ball.  I keep the heat on whatever it was on and just take it off as soon as it forms the big ball.)

3. Beat eggs into the mixture until smooth. Stir in Parmesan cheese. (I actually dump the big ball into a mixing bowl and then beat the eggs into it one at a time.  And then dump in the parmesan cheese.  It is a kind of stiff dough!)

4. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
(I actually make mine somewhat small.  Maybe only 3/4 inch diameter when I put them on the cooking sheet.  About half of a regular eating tablespoon.  And they don’t really puff up that much, but they do turn golden brown.  Don’t let the bottoms burn!)

Anyway, the entire recipe is 50 carbs (1/2 cup milk @ 6g, 1/2 cup flour @ 44g) so just divide that by however many you end up getting from your recipe.  I usually have 24 little balls which means mine are 2.08 carbs a peice.  So I can eat like 6 of them to equivalent a piece of bread or a small dinner roll or whatever…

Enjoy!!