Archive for May, 2008

The L Word..and The N Word..and Dreaming in Mmol/Ls.

There are two words that my Mum says everyday that I have grown to really not like.

 

NOVORAPID AND LEVEMIR.

They are the names of my insulins. I have an injection of both twice a day. Sometimes, if my blood sugar is crazy, I have to have extra Novorapid. If THAT doesn’t work, I have to have even more Novorapid. That’s 6 injections a day. I can’t wait until I get my pump ūüėÄ

Did you know that my Mum and I both dream in bsl readings?

My Mum dreams that she looks at a price tag on a dress, and it says 10.7mmol/L!!!!!

I dream that I see signs on the road that say that we have 22.4mmol/L to go until we get home, or that petrol costs 13.2mmol/L per litre!!!

From now on, I made an agreement with Mum that we only call my insulins the N word and the L word.

Oh! I got a email from my good mate Brendon in New England today! I was very happy that he wrote. I hope that one day we can meet, and we don’t even mention the D word, and just have loads of fun.

 

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Insulin Therapy Vs Power Of Prayer

I was skimming over¬†JDRF¬†groups in the States¬†last night, when I came across the story of Larry and Lucky¬†Parker. Most people who were alive in the 70’s and old enough to comprehend the tragedy that occurred concerning the Parker’s decision to withhold their son’s lifesaving insulin injections,resulting in his death¬†were eager to watch the 1988¬†interpretation of the contoversy that surrounded the Parker’s, their church and the events following the death of their son in a Steve Gyllenhaal film, Promised A Miracle.

I read a lot about the Parker’s last night. They were a decent. church going family, who had tremendous faith and belief in the miracles that God had performed within their own congregation. When they were approached by a healer who convinced them that the life saving properties of Western Medicine would and could be superceded by the power of prayer, they considered withdrawing his medication, and were encouraged by the congregation to believe in the miracles that only God could perform. Their son, who suffered from “severe” Type 1 Diabetes was dependent on the life-giving insulin shots his parents gave him daily.

That was until they deprived him of his insulin requirements completely, putting all of their belief in their congregation’s¬†desire for prayer to cure the Parker’s son of the “devil’s interference.”

His hyperglycaemic¬†halluncinations were blamed on “the devil” or “evil forces”, trying to scare them back into commencing insulin therapy to correct their son’s¬†rapidly deteriorating condition. Still. they did not relent and their faith remained stronger than ever.

Three days later, Larry and Lucky’s son died.

The Parker’s¬†sent out media releases and asked for prayer groups from¬†all over the world to pray for the resurrection of their son.¬†(According to the evangelist, he would “rise” four days after death, diabetes free.)

Naturally, he didn’t.

The Parker’s were so overwhelmed with what they had done, and it wasn’t long before the police were called into the whole debacle.¬† They were charged and sentenced¬†with involuntary manslaughter.

After reading many viewer’s comments. I found myself searching for as much information as I could regarding the Parker’s.

I checked on EBay Australia, and there was 1 tattered copy of the film available. I bought it-I just want to watch it once to see how the devout faith of one Californian family crashed and burned into nothing short of devastation and heartbreak.

There is also a book available by Larry Parker called “We Let Our Son Die.” In due time I will order it and read his reasonings behind allowing a “healer” to convince him to stop his son’s life saving medication.

We let our son die

I guess I just wanted to put my 5 cents worth in. I can’t judge the Parker’s decision, because I don’t know the entire story or all the facts behind their choice, however, I am imploring parent’s in the world today who have a child with Type 1 Diabetes to NEVER, EVER stop your child’s injections or insulin therapy.. Even when they are sick and not eating, people with diabetes STILL require insulin to stay alive. It is a hormone that is essential to LIVE.

Two arrests were made in April this year concerning¬†the parents’ of a child with Type 1 Diabetes¬†decision to cease insulin injections, resulting in¬†her death. ¬†These parents, too, were¬†giving the power of prayer a chance to cure their child of Type 1 Diabetes.¬†

¬†As wonderful as it is to have faith, and knowing how much comfort it brings so many people across the world, your child WILL DIE if you stop their medication. Even though insulin is not a cure, you might like to stop and thank your God for the gift of man made insulin. It is what keeps our children and every person with Type 1 Diabetes alive and able to grow into healthy, strong adults. It’s the ONLY way. There are NO exceptions or alternatives.

Stopping your child’s insulin will end in tragedy and disaster.

Without their daily insulin, they WILL eventually become unconsious, they WILL eventually lapse into a coma, and they WILL die.

¬†As much as we¬†create awareness and inform our politicians that¬†“insulin is not a cure”, it’s a blessed miracle that we have the ability to keep our children alive and healthy¬†as a result of daily¬†insulin injections.

NEVER STOP INSULIN INJECTIONS. YOU’LL NEVER FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR MAKING THIS FATAL DECISION.

If you want to test God through the power of prayer,keep praying for the cure that our all too-patient, beautiful children deserve.

 

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“Are All Diabetic Parents Miserable?”

Genevieve, a reader, was speaking to an aquaintence whom she assumed was clueless about Diabetes.

That was until they stung the conversation with this little prick of a generalisation.

“ALL¬†DIABETIC PARENTS ARE MISERABLE.”

Genevieve was insulted and furious that a person could utter such words.

However, she has put the question to me.

Are we all a pack of miserable sissy la la’s? Are we whining, self absorbed, pity¬†party-ing heart attacks waiting to happen?

I’m going to leave this short and sweet. You can see my¬†reply to my readers’ question in¬†My Comments.

Other Parents are welcome to help enlighten Genevieve too. Or even if you aren’t a parent, take a stab at what you think.¬† Thank you for participating.

 

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Diabetes Productions Proudly Presents “Unhappy Feet.”

Lance’s Dad and I have a reoccuring nightmare.

It has nothing to do with his love of Sci Fi flicks, or from disecting dead redback spiders.

Our nightmare is far, far worse than anything you get to see in an art department or in a special effects trailer on location of a horror movie.

It’s real.

It could affect our son.

We see live human evidence of it almost everytime we visit the Diabetes Outpatients Ward.

Severe Diabetic Foot Ulceration (photo taken before amputation.)

(Sorry…I had to start with the worst image first to keep your interest.)

This is such an overlooked issue, yet possibly the most sinister long term side effect of Diabetes.

Peripheral Neuropathy and Amputation.

Lance’s Dad and I both have our own fears for our son as he grows into an adult living with Type 1 Diabetes.

However this is one nightmare that we both share.

You see, our Happy Little Vegemite HATES shoes. Even as a baby, we have a photo of him, on his bouncer with his foot in in mouth trying to tear off his sock. If he had his way, he would roam the streets barefoot and fancyfree.

Lance has a shoe closet that would rival a Beckham offspring. He has different styles and funky coloured Nikes, Pumas, Filas. Canvas laceups, uggs, crocs, Spiderman light-up-when-you-walk sandals, thongs….you name it..he has it.

Last year, I presented a speech at an awards presentation. There, in the front row, was Lance, struggling, red faced and on the verge of a panic attack, trying to remove his offending footwear. (“They were suffocating my feet!!”) At the very best, sandals, uggs, and thongs are still high tolerance shoes for him.

I understand where this fear of being constricted comes from.

On Diagnosis Day, whilst drifting in and out of consciousness and in the firm grip of deadly DKA, Lance had to have a drip inserted into his hand. Except they put it in on a crooked angle. So they had to do it again. (His tiny body may have been lacking in insulin, but he certainly proved that he could crank up his adrenalin!!) His little legs were pinned down to an examination table to stop him from thrashing. His arms were held down, two doctors on each side, so that they could get a blood sample from other arm. His head was even held back by two nurses, to prevent any further chaos due to his furious determination to be released. His azure blue eyes penetrated mine, his face awash with confusion. I will never recover from that look of abandon, that, despite his hysteria, was clear for all to see. His mother who had lovingly held him and protected him for his first year on Earth, had suddenly handed him over to total strangers to hurt him and take away his freedom. Little did he know that I had no choice-these people saved his life.

(These memories are so painful, I had to stop typing momentarily and snuggle up beside my son, my ear pressed to his back, random tears soaking up in his sweet smelling pyjamas. I can still put my hand in his, and he will entwine his fingers with mine, even in the midst of slumber. I will fight to set you free from this my love.)

As a result of this, Lance still has issues with being being held too tightly, seatbelts and wearing restrictive clothing. Shoes are number one on the list of “Let me OUUUUUUUUUUT!”

The point of this story is that I often find Lance outside, frolicking wildly with his dog, with his feet bare. He will agree to come inside and put some form of protective footwear on, but only when asked.

He will climb the fence, and later come hobbling inside, tearfully acknowledging the splinters that he has newly aquired from chatting to My Neigbour. Even whilst I squeeze, remove and apply alcohol wipes to the affected area, it’s STILL not enough for him to remember for next time.

Today, I was absolutely exasperated when I discovered Lance teetering on the edge of the fence again, chatting to his friends who ride by daily. Shoeless.

After his recent discovery of long term complications, I told him to follow me to the PC. I googled “foot ulcers diabetes” and clicked on images. We both remained silent as we observed the gaping, festering holes in feet, toes barely hanging on by a thread, bones visible through the erosion of skin. We looked at each other knowingly. His eyes were like saucers, his mouth was slightly agasp. He gulped, and said to me, “These are adults’ feet. Look at my feet, Mum! I don’t have any holes in them! I’m careful! I know how to be responsible!”

However after he left the room, ten minutes later, I witnessed a scene that allowed me to exhale a sigh of relief. He was sitting on the sofa, climbing into a pair of socks, and strapping on his sandals. He then proceded to go outside. I hated showing him those images…Definitely a case of being “cruel” to be kind….

“People with diabetes are at risk of developing ulcerations and infections within their feet, which have the potential to require an amputation of the foot or leg. In fact, the most common reason a person with diabetes will require hospitalisation is for a foot complication. Even trivial or minor injuries to the foot have the potential to become very serious and threaten a limb.”

Despite Lance’s disdain for shoes, he has learnt to become very aware of good feet health whilst inside the home. He will always report the tiniest graze, or removal of top layer skin so that I can treat it immediately with antiseptic and cover it. (I have learnt that it’s beneficial to make extra fuss over feet injuries, I have even resorted to bandaging an area to psychologically entice Lance into understanding that feet injuries are something to be taken seriously, and that his feet are a very important priority when it comes to his overall wellbeing.)

I have had several debates with parents of other children who have Type 1 Diabetes about introducing feet care to them at an early age. Some have agreed and considered it to be a good preventive measure, others have seen it as just another burden to take on, and that their child was “too young” to worry about a procedure such as amputation.

Two years ago, I made an appointment at a podiatrist that specialised in Diabetic complications. Soon after, Lance had his first consultation with him, as I was concerned about a toenail that had been cut by a well meaning relative. (It was a little too “close” to the edge for my liking…) He also had a thorough examination of both feet, and had his toenails cut correctly.( I asked if he could demonstrate correct nail cutting techniques step-by-step, so that I could continue doing it the same way at home.) He commended me for bringing Lance to be examined, noting that if Diabetes Educators drove home the point of commencing meticulous feet care immediately after diagnosis, that so many tragic amputations in young adults living with Diabetes could be avoided.

Our podiatrist is on our health care team list-we see him annually.

His general advice for parents with children who have Type 1 Diabetes:

Examine your childs feet daily; on top, on the sole, between the toes and on the heel. Look for any cuts, blisters, grazes, discolouring or fungal infections.

Teach your child to dry in between their toes after showering, and have appropriate protective footwear at public pools/showers to avoid adding tinea or other fungal infections to the list of diabetic complications.

It may sound pedantic, and over the top, but a general rule of “shoes outside and socks inside” is doing your child the biggest favour.

Never treat corns, callouses or severe cuts yourself-ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE.

Non smoker, diabetic for 25 yearDiab insuline dependent for 13 years.
Left foot partial amputn 3 m25 years, insuline dnjjjjjjjj

Diabetic ulcers are the most common foot injuries leading to lower extremity amputation. Family physicians have a pivotal role in the prevention or early diagnosis of diabetic foot complications. Management of the diabetic foot requires a thorough knowledge of the major risk factors for amputation, frequent routine evaluation and meticulous preventive maintenance.”

Visit Diabetes Australia or go to their website to investigate their advice on caring for your feet. They also have online stores in each state; Diabetes Australia Queensland (DAQ) have extensive orthotic merchandise as well as socks and feetcare products.

Looking after your child’s feet now can protect them from peripheral neuropathy in later life. Good feet care, good feetwear, and good control of glycaemic levels is helping your child to become aware that an important part of having Type 1 Diabetes means being responsible for looking after your feet.

If your child does have a serious foot injury, treat it as an Emergency. Tell the ambulance or the hospital staff immediately that your child has Type 1 Diabetes. Extra care will be taken to ensure that the best possible chance of complete healing will occur.

The current motto of the week in our house?

We love NEAT SWEET FEET. ūüôā

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Words From The Wisest People On Earth.

 

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GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:

1) No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptise cats.
2) When your Mum is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandpa’s lap.

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A Big Box Of IDDM Goodies Arrives in OZ!!!!

A month or so back, I received a very intriguing email from the ever charming Albert,

(Is this guy a sweetheart or what!!)

He kindly offered Lance the opportunity to particpate in the WaveSense Keynote Glucometer Trial.

Nothing EVER exciting like this happens in Diabetes land in Australia, so I put my hand up high, and let him know that we would be honoured to participate.

One small glitch….

The Keynote measures in md/dL, and we are millimollers. (mmol/L.)

I assured Albert that this would be fun to participate in, and that it would help Lance become bilingual in reading blood sugar measurements!!

Keynote Glucometer

So, this morning, we received a big square box all the way from Albert¬† ūüôā

Lance was in awe that it had travelled so far, and so quickly!!

Along with 2 glucometers, came hundreds of test strips…lancets, lancing devices, testing solutions, and even software to download Lance’s blood sugar levels.

The first reading was 260.

Lance, in panicked tones croaked, “But I don’t feel like I am 26!!”

(In fact, he was 14.6 mmol/L-not fantastic, but certainly better than 26!!!)

The information that Albert included certainly makes the product appear to be extremely accurate, which will be such a relief..I can often test Lance on one finger¬†with another brand of meter¬†and he will be 6.8mmol/L and, just for interests sake, I will test him again¬†¬†on a finger on the other hand, and come up with¬†a slightly concerning¬†4.5mmol/L. That’s a huge variance in numbers-the difference from being hypo, or needing some extra carbs in fact.

I’ll post a photo tomorrow of Lance with all his new WaveSense toys! (He was excited like it was a parcel from Santa…made me a little sad that he was so elated to have a boxful of diabetes products….) However, I can certainly relate to the excitement after years of “same ol’ same ol'” with the small range of products that are available to us in this neck of the woods…

 

Thanks so much, Albert!!!!!!!!!!! It was so lovely of you to think of us as a good candidate for the trial!

(We’ll keep you posted.) ūüėÄ

 

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A MeMe From Shannon!

I have been in contact with Shannon for over a year now. We clicked very quickly, and if I didn’t know better, I would have mistaken her for an Aussie. She introduced Lance and me to Maple Syrup..drool. Lance and Shannon’s son, Brendon were penpals for quite a while, but just like all good penpals, they stopped writing…however..we are going to amend that as soon as possible! Watch Mum’s inbox Brendon!!! ūüôā

So my friend Shannon decided to tag me for a meme! I was quite honoured actually, being in Australia, I feel a bit out of the loop at times regarding Diabetes. I sometimes read posts and have NO idea about what they mean..our cultures are like chalk and cheese. So, I purposefully tried to give Shannon and her readers a splash of Australiarama. I hope you all still will come visit my blog after I post this…at least I was honest!

Once you‚Äôve been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird, random, facts, habits or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 6 people to be tagged, list their names & why you tagged them. Don‚Äôt forget to leave them a comment saying ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre it!‚ÄĚ & to go read your blog. You cannot tag the person that tagged you, so since you‚Äôre not allowed to tag me back; let me know when you are done so I can go read YOUR weird, random, facts, habits and goals.

1. When I was about 10, all I wanted in the whole world was an Alf doll. You know, the 80’s lovable alien that was in fact a “little person”inside a furry orange suit, who got up to all sorts of shennanigans with an All American family? Well I got that Alf Doll, and I loved it to death. 10 years later, my Mum pulled Alf out of the cupboard of shame-a chest of all of my childhood diaries, attempts at sewing, abyssmal attempts at home made Mother’s Day cards…you know the deal. I took it home and I showed it to my cat. Poor puss jumped four feet in the air, hissed and landed on the a rack of 100 CDs and was buried alive under my vintage Madonna CD collection. He hid for two days under my bed. Puss was psychologically scarred. Alf was banished to the cupboard. I later sold him on E Bay. Got 100 bucks. More than what my Mum paid for it. I took her to lunch with the profit I made from the successful new owner of Alf.

2. I have an obsession with tweezers. I carry them wherever I go. If someone has a stray eyebrow or an offending chin hair, I’ll pluck it. Same with pimples. The riper, the better. I have no issues whatsoever with busting open other peoples’ zits. I prefer my own though.

3. When I was 21, I won a karaoke contest with 3 gay boys. We sang “I Will Survive” in honour of our idol, Priscilla, she being of the desert. For Americans who have never seen Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, I thoroughly recommend. Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp, all queening it up. It’s hilarious, darling!

4. As a poor and destitute Uni Student, I was living on 19 cent packs of generic brand noodles. ( Can I have some noodles with my MSG please?) Anyway, I was chatting to a friend one day, and he said to me, “You know, you have SUCH a sexy voice, you should do phone sex!” As a joke, grabbed the phone book and went through all of the phone sex agencies, and I offered my services to all of them. Afterwards, we sat back and cackled loudly at our childish prank……. About 5 months later, 6.30am in the morning, I was woken by a very insistent caller. I finally answered, and a hurried female voice replied, “Kate? You put your name down for work? You’re hired. Call this number in 5 minutes and then call me back on this number when he’s “through.” After the call, I was mortified at what had just occurred! However, the cash was the big lure. I could make hundreds of dollars a week, all by introducing Mai Ling, for fans of the Orient, Cinnamon, for the more suave, sophisticated gent, Brandy, the bucking bronco cheerleader from Montana and Katerina, a Russian immigrant lost and looking for love. I actually did an assignment for psychology about whether or not indulging in fantasy calls was considered socially unacceptable or regarding the married gents, if listening to a “voice” was crossing the line into infidelity, It got really sad when I discovered I was speaking to the same clients and they had no idea that “Brandy” and Mai Ling” were the same person. I felt guilty and my conscience gnawed away at me. I resigned, and breathed a sigh of relief. The “girls” were put to rest. Nevertheless, I made a quick 2 grand in a few months, just for saying “ooh” and “ahh” and “big boy” repeatedly, and watching movies with subtitles in my PJS whilst doing it!!!! (Sorry guys, I wasn’t in my leather thong like you wanted me to be….)

5. I am DYING to see Hugh Jackman with his whip on a horse in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming epic, “Australia.” Even though Hugh doesn’t know it, we have been making eyes at each other for years.,..Sigh…

6. I am the only person with red hair in my immediate family. Then my brothers and sister had kids, and each got a “bloodnut.” I KNOW they secretly hate me for it. Being an Australian and a redhead is NOT fun. The nicknames are endless…the jokes and jibes are just torturous. Occasionally the odd lout will drive by in his ute and yell out “Carrot top!” to which I yell back “My hair’s not GREEN!” Lance is a very watered down version of a redhead…what we like to call “strawberry blonde.”

7. I just adore Australian slang. I was listening to two “sparkies” (electricians) who were doing some work at my house recently, their conversation was pure gold.

“Geez mate, this weather would kill a black dog wouldn’t it? Im dyin,ere! Cant wait to crack open a coldie when i get ‘ome. Yeah..watch the footie, bitta the news or somethin, and then probly hit the sack. I’m buggered. Ahhh no!!!!…the missus’ oldies are comin’ over for tea..ahhh geez…can’t get out of it or I’ll ave Cheryl on me back for the next bloody week…so i’ll just ‘ave to sit there and eat me grub and make an appearance, just for the missus’ sake, ya know? Bloody inlaws, always wantin’ to know too much about everythin.’ Anyway mayte, thanks for the chinwag, I’d better be off before Cheryl has me by the short’n’curlies! Hoo roo..yeah,..see ya mate.” If you need an interpretation..I’d be happy to translate. ūüôā

8. I have a real, legitimate phobia. Billy Bob Thornton has a fear of antiques. Mine…CLOWNS. ARRRG. Just the thought of them sends shivers down my spine. When I think of a clown, I always envisage the one out of Steven King’s “It.” Sheer evil piece of work. You wouldn’t catch me near a circus for a million bucks. Shudder.

9. If I was a chick out of Sex in the City, I’d say I’d be Samantha with a hint of Carrie.. Spice Girls? Ginger Spice with a hint of Scary.

10. One day, when I am no longer housebound and shackled to Lance’s Diabetes, I am going to be just like Oprah and hire my own private chef, exclusively for Lance. That would be the biggest luxury in the world for me. I am SO not a hands in washing up water, tea towel drying girl… Lance’s idea of luxury is a visit to Legoland. It’ll happen one of these days. It has to.

I tag Dan, Lizzie, Janek, Kezza, Penny and James.

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