Posts Tagged ‘Blood sugar’

by JoVon Sotak | August 24, 2011

“New insulin pump arrived today. Still in box. #diabetesburnout,” tweeted user AndreaWrape.

Long before Twitter arrived, Dr. William H. Polonsky, PhD coined the term “diabetes burnout” in his 1999 book, Diabetes Burnout: What To Do When You Can’t Take It Anymore. Today, Twitter is one of the many online tools that can help you deal with burnout, confirmed Dr. Polonsky, who shared which types of online diabetes support technology are the most helpful for dealing with diabetes burnout.

Getting the right kind of support

“By my definition of diabetes burnout, most people are probably in greater, immediate need of emotional support than they are in need of behavioral management,” said Polonsky. “Behavior management is a great idea and is useful for anybody, but typically you want to seek emotional support beforehand.” lists 160 diabetes mobile applications for the iPhone. How many are for diabetes management? Most of them.

“Most of my patients know what to do, they just don’t have the oomph to do it,” said Polonsky, who cautions anyone experiencing burnout from becoming more overwhelmed by technological solutions, especially 160 possible solutions. “When a person is overwhelmed or freaked out about diabetes, you probably don’t need anybody–online or in person–giving you a long list of tips you can try.”

“People who are burned out end up feeling like it’s all their fault or they’re bad people or wonder what’s wrong with them,” explained Polonsky. “If done well, it makes eminent sense that these sorts of social media connections could be helpful. Once you know you’re not the only one, once you know you’re not a bad person, once you know it’s normal to go through a tough time, it gets easier.”

Best online support for diabetes burnout

Technology can extend emotional support and acceptance beyond an online forum. Status updates via Twitter and Facebook can help you connect with other individuals with diabetes and allow you to advertise your own self-care efforts. Facebook hosts several diabetes support groups and many cities have diabetes support groups. The Behavioral Diabetes Institute, founded by Polonsky who is also the organization’s CEO, is currently developing live, Skype-based support groups to help those suffering from burnout.

Technology brings people together easily, which is critical for successfully dealing with burnout. “Evidence suggests that one of the things that work best is when you don’t have to do it alone and when you have people in your life who are rooting for you and supporting you and know what you are trying to do–maybe even make changes with you. We know that’s when people are more likely to be successful. And we know when you are surrounded by other people who are trying to make similar healthy changes, you’re more likely to be successful as well; it can actually be wonderfully contagious,” said Polonsky.

Online, mobile and social media technologies have created communities that simply weren’t possible in 1999 when Polonsky legitimized “diabetes burnout.” No matter where you are or the condition of your local support system, you can access online communities with members, like you, who deal with the disease on daily basis, sometimes struggle to find a sense of hope and want to share their frustrations with someone, like you, who understands.

These teen and adult tips were offered by a variety of experience pumpers:
  • Want to add extra protection to your pump case? An easy inexpensive way is to take an expired charge card or other plastic card that has expired and insert it into the inside flap on a Velcro pump pak.  The card fits perfectly and adds a little more protection for your pump.  You may want to use an old library card that’s made of plastic if you don’t have an expired card.
  • With summer months and swimming keeping a site on for 3 days can be tricky. One tip that came in suggest to use Skin Bond made by Smith+Nephew which is like rubber cement for skin. It does make taking old sites off harder, but it does the trick for being able to swim, shower, etc. without them falling out for at least 2 days!
  • We have also found that Mastisol a liquid adhesive also works great.  You do need to use a detachol to remove the site.  We got this right from our pump rep.
  • The most important tip is to have a sense of humor, you never know when the pump will alarm in the middle of class or an interview and if you wear it in your bra like many girls it sounds like your chest is alarming!!!!!!!!!
  • If you often rush to go to the bathroom (mostly girls because they need to take down their pants) be careful about putting your site in your hip because it will come out if you pull your pants down in a hurry and forget its there.
  • Always have extra supplies with you (and reaction treatment) because it’s the time when you don’t that you wish you did!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Don’t use an audio bolus in a loud room- you can easily mess up the amount you are giving yourself or suspend the pump by accident and not realize it!!!
  • Make sure you tuck in your pump tubing- little children and kitchen cabinet handles like to pull on it.
  • Wear a watch with an alarm if you tend to forget to bolus after meals-many adolescents and children get busy and forget, this helps to remind them, especially in school.
  • When you take the pump off to exercise or bathe, put it on suspend so it will periodically remind you that it’s off (because you can get busy and forget). And, when you take it off (important for kids who are becoming independent from parents) put it in the same spot, a place you will need to pass frequently (near your glasses, on your dresser) so you will remember to put it back on as you are getting dressed.
  • Before going to the bathroom, clip the pump onto your pants) don’t try to hold it in your mouth) many pumps are not water proof, but you’d be surprised how many pumps go swimming in the toilet.
  • Don’t insert a pump site around where the waist band of your pants are (this is more difficult with girls with the newer low rise pants,) because when you sit down, the waistband will push against the site and cause an occlusion alarm
  • When choosing a case for your pump keep in mind the noise, for example a Velcro pump case will make noise when opening and closing so if you are concerned about people hearing you take your pump out choose a zipper case.
  • For teen boys who wear lots of loose fitting t-shirts wearing the pump in a belted case under the shirt works great.
  • For boys who wear lots of basketball shorts that have no pockets during the summer and have no where to carry their test kits sliding the larger d-tron pump pak on to the belt with the actual pump pak works great. The d-tron pump pak is big enough to hold a monitor, test strips and finger poker.

Information provided by Pump Wear

My son turned 13 recently.  It is hard to believe he is this old already.  We made it through the “tweener” stage and now he is in full throttle TEENAGER mode.  As you may already know, my son has a number of health issues, including Type 1 Diabetes.  He was diagnosed a year and a half ago, which was very scary when it happened.  Since then he went on an insulin pump, hoping it would give him more control and flexibility.

I am a little frustrated with him right now, because he doesn’t take the situation very seriously.  I have to fight him to check his blood glucose.  I have to constantly remind him to take his insulin.  If I am not around, he refuses to test or take insulin when he eats.  For the last six months his blood glucose has been extremely high…. probably averaging around 400, which is not good.  I just don’t understand why he is being so stubborn about this.

I have explained to him why it is so important to try to get his blood glucose under control.  He knows that over time it can affect his eyes, his health in general and that it can lead to death.  He doesn’t care.

Those teenage hormones are really testing him.  There are times when he does everything he is supposed to and his blood glucose will be high. There is no doubt that he consciously takes risks and wants to be in control of his life.  The end result is stubbornness.

You can tell he is trying to identify where he fits in this world and what path he will take in this life.  He want’s the independence.  He wants the responsibility.  But he doesn’t want the accountability.  Isn’t that true for any teenager?

Even though it is difficult, I have tried to be patient and I have ensured that he is always comfortable to talk about anything with me.  Sometimes the conversations get stressful.  It is hard to determine when you should step in and take control, or stand back and watch him make his own decisions.   Either way it is a challenge.  You want to protect him.  You want to make sure he is happy.  You want him to have a “normal” life.  Even more so, you want him to have a long, healthy life.  But sometimes, I am not so sure he wants the same for himself.

I have found that the most important thing I have to do is to keep my emotions controlled, which sometimes is not easy.  I get frustrated when he doesn’t do what he is supposed to do, especially with his diabetes.  I try hard to listen to what he is saying, rather than focusing on what he is not doing.  It is important that I see the world through his eyes.  I can tell that his confidence in himself is broken.  He tends to see the bad around him and the bad in himself.  He doesn’t realize that he is a wonderful, talented young man.  He is very warm-hearted, but wears his heart on his sleeve.

I have found that there is nothing worse than being judgmental about his behavior.  Due to the circumstances of his health issues, he has had enough of everyone judging him.  His doctors judge him.  His teachers judge him.  And his peers judge him.  The last thing he needs is his mother judging him.

I think the best way of talking with him is acknowledging the burdens he is experiencing in his life.  Having diabetes is a big hassle and is very serious.  It is always there staring you in the face.  It interferes with almost all of your daily activities.  Even though I try, it is hard being positive.

The worst thing I did was that I made accusations about how he was handling his diabetes.  Even though I may have been right, it did nothing to help him by challenging him and making the accusations.  This just shut the door on our communication, and our honesty with each other.  All it did was shut me out as his care taker.

I am still trying to figure out how to handle this situation.  Currently, I am tackling it by providing education. I help him evaluate situations to identify things that may affect him and what he could do to prevent bad things from happening.  It is also important to give him praise when he is doing a good job with his diabetes.  Sometimes we get so focused on the numbers for his blood glucose and the number of carbs he is eating, we forget about the times when he has made good decisions. I tell him I know that it must be really hard and frustrating to have to be very organized and always thinking ahead.  I tell him that  I appreciate how he tries and that I know he is trying to do a good job.  I also have found, that he needs to feel he has some control and the best way I can support that is to let him make decisions.  The key is keeping that communication open so that you can help him with those decisions.

Obviously, I am not going to let him destroy himself.  It is a balancing act regarding how much you intervene or how much you just let things happen. I know he needs to understand that he has limits, and those limits  keep him safe.  I accept the fact that he is going to protest and will challenge those limits.  But I also know that the most important thing I can do is to monitor those limits.  We both then understand the expectations.

I now see why it is so important to work with your doctor and make it a team approach.  We have just got to the point where I am not controling the interaction at his doctor visits.  I think it is better that he establishes a relationship with his doctor.  This way he hears it from someone who is impartial and who has some expertise with diabetes.  I also feel that he can be more open with his doctor if I am not hovering over him.  This in itself gives him the message that this is his life and he can choose how to deal with it.

Probably the most important thing I want my son to know is that I am here for him if he needs me.  I am here if he asks.  I am here even if he doesn’t ask.  I will eternally love him, and how he handles his diabetes does nothing to diminish that love.

 The best way to prevent or slow diabetes-related complications is by achieving good control over blood glucose levels with healthy lifestyle changes, insulin, and other medications. An estimated three out of five Americans with diabetes have one or more complications associated with diabetes, according to the 2006 report released by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). Over time, high blood glucose levels can cause damage to virtually every organ system of the body: The central nervous system, vision, cardiovascular, kidney, skin, sexual, teeth and gums, musculoskeletal, cognitive, and digestive systems. To stay on top of your diabetes management and lower your risk of diabetic complications, you should know your ABCs – your A1c level, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol profile.
About Diabetic Complications
An estimated three out of five Americans with diabetes (57.9 percent) have one or more complications associated with diabetes.
Blood sugar highs and lows can cause problems with memory and other brain functions.
Read here to learn about the vision complications that can accompany diabetes.
Hearing Loss
Learn why hearing loss is now considered to be another complication of diabetes.
Oral Care
Get information about diabetic dental problems and oral care.
Heart & Vascular
Heart disease is a leading cause of death among people with diabetes. Get informed about your risk, and preventing heart problems, now.
Learn the signs, symptoms, and treatments for gastroparesis, a diabetic complication of the digestive system.
Chronic high blood glucose can cause skin problems in people with diabetes. See more about the varying conditions.
Diabetes is the number one cause of chronic kidney (or renal) failure in the U.S. Learn more.
Muscles & Bones
Blood glucose that is poorly controlled for too long can affect the functioning of the musculoskeletal system resulting in a variety of disorders.
Nerve Damage
The biggest risk factor for developing neuropathy is uncontrolled blood glucose levels, and the incidence of neuropathy in diabetes increases with time.
Sex & Relationships
The physical and psychological affects of diabetes can hurt the sex drives and performance of both men and women.
Sleep Issues
Not only does sleep rest your body and refresh your mind, but a solid night`s sleep is crucial to good diabetes health.
Out of sight, almost out of mind. Nerve damage and wounds of the feet are a common diabetes complication.
November is Diabetes Month

Top Ten Ways to Observe Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month, and it’s never been easier to take part in spreading diabetes awareness and education. Following are ten simple ways to shine a spotlight on diabetes this month.

1) Declare. Share. Move Forward.  Confession is good for the soul. Take the opportunity to declare your diabetes transgressions, share with others, and then move forward towards better diabetes control. Start your declaration here.

2) Big Blue Test.  Take part in the Big Blue Test. Test your blood sugar, exercise, test again, and share the results. You’ll help yourself and help others; a donation of life saving diabetes supplies is made when you enter your results. Do the Big Blue Test here.

3) Blue Fridays. Put on your blue jeans, blue suede shoes, and any other blue duds each Friday and let others know you are dressing for diabetes awareness. Find out how others are participating.

4) Diabetes Postcard Exchange.  Let your artistic side shine through and take part in the World Diabetes Day postcard exchange. Art therapist and dLife Community Moderator Lee Ann Thill has details.

5) Organize a Flash Mob. If you visit YouTube or watch TV, you’ve probably seen flash mobs of people spontaneously gathering to dance, sing, or even pillow fight. Organize your own flash mob to recognize diabetes awareness (group blood sugar testing, anyone?). The International Diabetes Foundation  (IDF) has more details

6) Get a Mani/Pedi. Now you can polish up your nails with the colors of diabetes awareness from Tips4Type1. When you purchase polish, a donation is made to the Diabetes Research Institute. Details here.

7) Be a Part of D-Blog Day. Even if you aren’t a blogger, you can participate. This year project leader Gina Capone is going old school and asking for scrapbook entries. Find out more

8) Take the Stop Diabetes Pledge. Visit the American Diabetes Association’s Facebook page to take the Stop Diabetes Pledge.

9) Light up a Building.  Ask your community leaders to light up a local landmark in blue on World Diabetes Day. Then register your building with the IDF’s “Monument Challenge.”

10)  Start your own Tradition.  The sky is the limit. Come up with your own unique way to observe diabetes month, and then share with us!  If it catches on, we may list it here next year.


Information provided by dLife