Scott's Diabetes Blog

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Medical ID

Late last month Amy T of talked about using tattoos for medical ID. The article was informative and entertaining.

One item that especially interested me were the temporary medical ID tattoos. For those without kids, these temporary tattoos usually last 3-5 days before they simply wear off. If you're determined (or if your child has put one on their forehead or something), you can get them off with some determination and elbow grease.

I usually do wear a medical ID bracelet. I had trouble with these for many years growing up until my wife bought me a very nice gold one that has lasted over 10 years and is still going. There are times though that I don't want to wear the bracelet. While playing basketball or working out for example.

I thought the medical ID temporary tattoo would be a good idea, so I ordered some. They are very affordable. Each order comes with 14 tattoos. When I purchased mine there was a special price of $2.95 (regular price of $5.95) plus shipping. I was pleasantly surprised to find that their online store accepted paypal, which I like.

I applied the tattoo last night, and it went on just fine. To my surprise I found it glows in the dark! I was surprised again this morning when checking it, it has a very "worn" look to it, even though I applied it just last night. We'll see how it holds up.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

No special title - just stuff that's on my mind

Why do we feel the need to come up with smart & creatively witty titles for our new entries? I've decided I am not going to do that for this post.

I'm frustrated.

I'm frustrated with the task of keeping track of everything that affects my diabetes. Many of the technical solutions (software, either for PDA's or computers) automatically lump readings into these pre determined time frames (pre-meal & post-meal).

Being on a pump brings unrivaled flexibility. That flexibility is a double edged sword. During the week I get up for work, and have breakfast around the same time. Unless I'm running late, in which case I eat at work. On weekends I sleep in a little (ok, ok, I sleep in A LOT), unless I've got something going on. I never eat lunch even close to the same time. Sometimes it's 11am, other days it's 3:30pm. Just depends on what's happening that day. Dinner, it's a crap shoot as well. Depending on my schedule, and what's going on with the family, etc. I thought about making this whole paragraph a run on sentence so you can get the feel of how unscheduled my eating is.

So how can you magically upload all this stuff into some software which automatically tosses my weekend breakfast meals into the "pre-lunch" category? Just doesn't work the way it's supposed to.

There's the old fashioned paper logbook, but I can't find anything that is small enough to carry with me, yet large enough for me to write everything I want in it. I also can't manage to keep pens in one piece in my pocket. I'm always smashing them to bits and am lucky when it breaks without leaking ink into my pocket.

There are logs I can keep on my desk, but I'm not at my desk all the time. My pump records just about everything that can be measured (BG's, carbs, insulin), but there is other stuff I want to record too (exercise, mood, how I slept, sickness, stress, etc.). How do people manage all this stuff? I get motivated enough to care about these little things, but then the frustration of recording everything SMASHES that motivation into pieces!!

I'm frustrated that I want to eat when my blood sugar is high. What kind of cruel and unusual punishment is that?!?!?!! I'd like to better understand why that happens. What are the signals flying around inside me when my blood sugar is high?

I'm frustrated that I'm gaining all my weight back.

I'm frustrated that it's so hard to build exercise into my day. Just a simple walk would do the trick (or at least be better than nothing). There are just some minor little obstacles that I magnify into gigantic show stoppers. I sweat like crazy. A short 10 minute walk on a moderately hot & humid day and I'll have sweat through my shirt and be looking for a high powered fan to dry me off (turning that 10 minute walk into a 20 minute walk & dry process). That makes going during my work day undesirable. Not impossible, just undesirable.

I also find it difficult to do anything once I'm home. I've got two small kids, and getting them to cooperate and do anything together is a feat in itself. My eldest is 5, and too big to be content in sitting in a stroller. He wants to walk, and that's fine - except we're stopping every 5 steps to look at some interesting thing he's spotted. It's great fun, and I do enjoy it - but it just doesn't do the trick for getting the heart pumping.

Maybe I could stop somewhere on the way home? The YMCA or go around one of the lakes or walking paths around here? I would like that, but that means I'm not home with the family. I sometimes already work long hours, and doing this would extend my day by about an hour. Maybe that would be Ok? I'll touch base with the wife and see what she thinks about it.

I've also recognized that I'm starting a new phase of grief about losing my mom. I've found myself very angry that she suffered the way she did those last couple weeks. It was very rough, and no one should have to go through that. My mom was a wonderful woman, and she did not deserve that suffering. I'm sure my phases of grief and the process of dealing with such a loss will be a continuous process. I'm thankful I had the time I did with her, but man, it sucks that she's gone and it really sucks that she suffered so.

Thanks for listening.