Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Be Type 1 For a Day" Texts Post 1

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and includes in it World Diabetes Day.  As part of an effort to make others more knowledgeable about Type 1 diabetes, the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) did a promotion where you could sign up and they would send you text messages so you could be more informed about what it is like living with Type 1 diabetes.

I thought the concept was very intriguing because diabetes is different for everyone.  Although all Type 1 diabetics have the same disease, it takes on many different forms.  Yes, all of our pancreases do not produce insulin, but there are many other variables to diabetes.

Knowing that I usually do not look at my phone during the week, I knew that I wanted to sign up for the experiment on a weekend so I could receive all of the messages when they were sent, or shortly thereafter.  I signed up last Saturday, and my texts started arriving Sunday morning.

The first two came very close to one another:

Text #1
Time of Day: early morning, around 8 AM

Before I leave everyday, I make sure I have my bag with my meter, 2+ vials of strips, and finger poker. I also carry one back-up battery and a few back-up finger poker cartridges in the bag.  I also make sure I have a few forms of food - glucose tables, Shot Bloks, and a few granola bars.  When I have a low blood sugar, I am very particular about what I want and like to eat.  Therefore, I carry multiple things with me at all times.  I agree with the text that constant preparation is a necessity.  

Text #2
Time of Day: Around 8:15 AM

I thought this was a rather random and fairly odd text.  I am not sure the last time I gave myself a diabetes "pep talk."  Sure, sometimes it sucks and I feel like I'm on a roller coaster.  But, perfect control is not realistic.  There will be good days and bad days, which is something I've learned after living with it for over 24 years.  It is about learning why things happened that is key.  I also think it is valid to bring up the topic of "recommended range," which varies from person to person.  Personally, I like to wake up between 100 and 190.  Is this what the experts say is "in range"?  No, not at all, but it is what I want and what works best for me.  During the day, I like to be between 80 and 120, and when I start exercising or running I like to be around 80 and eat something beforehand.  This differs from person to person, depending on his/her individual needs.  Even for myself, my ranges differ.  

Text #3
Time: 10 AM or so

I thought this text was great.  I could do the exact same things for 5 days in a row, eat the same things, and have different blood sugars.  Most will be similar, but I'm sure one will be different.  For example, today my blood sugar at 11:30 was 265, for reasons unknown to me.  I ate my typical breakfast, took the typical amount of insulin, and did the same things that I usually do.  I don't take injections to correct my highs, rather just enter the number into my inulin pump and it gives me my insulin that way.  Sometimes diabetes is unexplainable.  

Text #4
Time: 10:40 AM

I thought this was interesting.  Apparently, I had a high blood sugar a few minutes ago but now I am hungry and want to eat an apple.  Personally, I do not get hungry when I have a high blood sugar.  Also, if I am hungry, I eat.  I don't care what time of day it is, or if a meal is going to be relatively soon. One thing I learned from marathon training is that my body tells me what it needs.  If I am hungry, I most likely need food to replace the calories I burned while running.  

Text #5
Time: 10:42 AM

This text was a bit odd.  I'll agree that sometimes my fingers are sore, but not to the point of not wanting to poke one.  I really like my finger poker, though, because it has a dial so I can set it to how much force it uses when stabbing me.  I only check my blood sugar on 6 fingers - the middle ones on each hand.  I will never poke my thumb.  Therefore, it is not a backup spot for me.

Text #6
Time: 12:15 PM

Hmmm...was this because of the apple I ate a few texts ago?  For me, if my blood sugar is between 200 - 250 my normal correct does works.  However, if I am higher than that then I need more insulin to bring down my blood sugar.  How much I take depends on a variety of factors, such as previous exercise and exactly how high my blood sugar is.  I think the wording on this text should have been different.  Instead of saying that it was "too high" (too high for who?  or for what?).  It is a number, and although I have yet to master this concept, I am trying to not have an emotional reaction to a number.  The blood sugar number is just that - a number.  It gives me information I need to make choices.  There should not be any emotion attached to it - good or bad.  Numbers should not be considered too low or too high.  They may not be where I want them, but that doesn't mean they can't get to where I want them in the near future.  

I'll be posting about the afternoon and nigh texts tomorrow.  Did you participate?  What are your reactions to the morning/lunch texts?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  

1 comment:

  1. Interesting promotion. It will hopefully raise awareness of the number of tests and calculations you need to do during the first half of the day if you have diabetes.