Diabetes Self-Management Blog

I knew exactly what I was going to write about this week and even got a good start. But I realized I needed some questions answered first. So for this week, you’re getting a stream-of-consciousness potpourri.

Sorry, but it’s nothing exciting. Frankly, it’s a bit boring around here. Due to a torn Achilles tendon and the subsequent surgery, I still can’t get around very well and am using crutches, walkers, canes, wheelchairs, and whatever else I can hang on to to get from one place to another. I’ve gotten to the point where I can go up and down some steps, but feel more comfortable doing so with a spotter (or two). With my husband at work and the grandchildren in school, spotters can be few and far between.

One thing I do to amuse myself is sit on the front porch and watch the cats as they stalk birds and squirrels that are outside and, therefore, beyond their reach. Smaller things do get onto the porch, however. On Monday, all four of them were trying to catch a flying critter that couldn’t figure out there was a screen between it and the great outdoors. The critter? A wasp. What a sight it would have been had one of the cats succeeded in catching it. Such is the brain trust around here during the day.

Speaking of brain trusts, one of the student workers at the university library here had an asthma attack while at work the other day. Her wheezing panicked another student, who was convinced the worker had the swine flu. Or whatever the government is calling it in an attempt to confuse the public. With the media’s help, they’ve managed to scare the bygolly out of all kinds of people. The hapless student worker was yelled at and the student doing the yelling even wrote to the dean complaining about a sick person being allowed to go to work.

I won’t even comment on how the media hypes whatever the story du jour is beyond all reason. Don’t they know that even our common, “ordinary” flus cause plenty of deaths?

Anyway, the last I knew, asthma wasn’t contagious. Or even dangerous to anybody except the person having the attack. (I once passed out during an asthma attack and landed on my nose on the floor, so I’m pretty sure I know what I’m talking about. Also, noses sure do bleed a lot.)

Because of the flu scare, we now have people sloshing hand sanitizer all over themselves. Since that’s one of my asthma triggers, maybe it’s a good thing I’m pretty much confined to the house. There is no hand sanitizer in this house. We tend to use an apparently outdated method: soap and water.

It is, however, spring in the great American agricultural Midwest. It’s a time when I gravitate outdoors and face pollen and other things that aggravate my asthma. I had been out of my allergy meds for awhile, thanks to an expired prescription and a disconnect between my family practice doctor’s office, which said it had called in a prescription and the pharmacy, which said it hadn’t heard from the doc. It finally got straightened out, but not before I had problems breathing one day. And no, I did not have a rescue inhaler. Thanks to my meds, I hadn’t needed one for at least two years, so I let my prescription lapse.

I called my husband, said I was having trouble breathing, and asked him to get me an over-the-counter inhaler. He wanted me to go to the hospital. I refused. He was hopping mad, remembering a few years ago when he broke his ankle and had a pulmonary embolism. I could understand his concern (I thought I was watching him die the night the clot hit his lungs), but knew what an asthma attack was like. One whiff and I was fine.

Actually, I get angry with him for not taking care of his Type 2 diabetes. Maybe that would have been a good time to bring up my own concerns about his health.

Now that I’ve brought up diabetes, I’ll make a confession: I haven’t been taking care of mine very well. My last HbA1c was 8.2%. Like many people, I get tired of dealing with diabetes all of the time. But time I had plenty of. After all, I wasn’t having surgery or anything.

So then I get caught with an 8.2% HbA1c…and surgery. Oops! Since then, I’ve really cracked down on myself, using the “better late than never” justification. I’m continuing to make adjustments, trying to keep myself in a much better range without having to resort to a breakfast appetizer of glucose tabs or jelly beans too often. I don’t know why, but my glucose levels plummeted after I had surgery. I’ve been lowering my insulin a bit at a time, but I’ve not found the magic levels yet. In fact, I had two glucose tabs and a tube of glucose gel as a prebreakfast appetizer this morning.

I must start stocking doughnuts in this house!

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