Friday, February 25, 2011
I have even find myself preferring a diet drink or sugar free food over the regular sweetened kind. I am realizing these foods are filled with empty calories and a lot of extra sugar that we shouldn't be consuming, even for non diabetics.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
One of the most important times of the day to listen for the monitor is when we are sleeping. Of course since Vince is so drowsy from his medication, he tends to sleep very sound and does not wake up to easily, so I listen for the alarm in case it sounds. If the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, and says his sugar is dropping, I will take a look at the monitor to see what is going on. If the sugar looks to be “hovering” as we like to call it, around a low number, but is not dipping to low, I will clear the alarm and go back to sleep. Also, if I know he ate or drank something before going to bed, and I know his sugar will rise again, I tend to ignore it. The alarm will sound about every 15 minutes until his sugar rises above the point of normal. I normally just wake up each time and clear it out and continue on sleeping. This can be very annoying and there are many nights that the alarms beeps for hours. Although this is a little inconvenient, we much rather have to deal with the alarm going off, rather than not have the monitor, and have his sugar dip down to low to fast and not have any warning before an emergency happens. One thing I do need to be more cautious with, is if his sugar is dropping slowly, I should probably not go back to sleep and ignore it, even if it isn’t going dangerously low. It would be better safe than sorry to get him a drink or yogurt to boost him up. This is a very bad habit that I am working on J A lot of people hate the idea of this monitor and having it beep sometimes all night, but with what we have experienced in the past, we much rather put up with the beeping day and night, then have Vince get in a bad situation. He loves the monitor as it gives himself piece of mind when he is at home alone during the day without me there to watch him. Of course the monitor isn’t perfect and he still has episodes that it doesn’t catch, but we would never go back to the time when he didn’t have it. It is a great thing.
One thing we have also found out the hard way, is to always get a second opinion. Vince sees his pain management doctor to treat his peripheral neuropathy. He has seen two pain management doctors and two neurologists, and they did not all know how to treat his diabetic nerve pain. The first neurologist actually took one look at him and said he couldn’t help him and that he needed to go to pain management. Not knowing any better, this is what we did. A few years into treatment with the second pain management doctor, we hit a brick wall and nothing was working for his pain. His doctor finally suggested we try another neurologist in hopes they will have an idea on how to treat him. As luck had it, I picked a name from the insurance list, and we found his current neurologist. He was very nice and understanding and admitted that very few doctors know how to treat PN but he does. I asked dozens of questions, even ones I knew the answer to, and wanted to be sure we found a good doctor this time. We have seen him twice now, and so far so good. He is even able to reach after hours and doesn’t make you feel like you are bothering him. The new medicine he prescribed, slow as it may be, seems to be starting to affect on his pain and we have seen slight improvement. There is a long ways to go, but we feel confident that this doctor along with the pain management doctor will finally get him some relief.
Another thing that is very convenient is that our family doctor takes care of all blood work that is needed for the specialists. Some family doctors do not do this and you are referred to a special testing facility. Any blood work that needs to be done, can be done right in their office, and the results are sent directly over to the specialist. This also helps to facilitate everything to be sure tests are done in time for each appointment. Knowing how often to see each specialist and being in charge of your own health care is a great help in getting the best out of your physicians.
Monday, February 14, 2011
9-1-1. The operator came on the line and asked, "what is your emergency?" I explained that my husband (boyfriend at the time) was unconscious and was having a weak reaction and explained that his body was "twitching". They said he is probably having a seizure from the low blood sugar and asked me if he was breathing. I looked at his chest and said yes. They said the ambulance is on the way and to let them know if he stops breathing. All I remember is saying over and over, he is shaking! He is shaking! He had never acted like this in a low episode, let alone been unconscious. I was so scared. I hung up with the operating and ran to open the front door and let the EMT's know where to go. (our apartment isn't the easiest to find) when I saw them coming I yelled, please hurry! They came in and put an iv in Vince's arm and said once they give him glucose he will wake up. They seemed to move so slow. I wanted to yell, hurry up! Soon after they got the iv in, Vince started to wake up and he stopped shaking. He looked around and the EMT said hi to him and told him what was happening. They asked me to make him a sandwich and get him something to drink. Soon after he was completely back to normal. After the paramedics left, I told him how his body was twitching and he said that can happen, and it is nothing to worry about. I was so freaked out and upset. I had asked the doctor for a prescription for a glucagon kit and looking back, I wondered why the doctor never gave this to us in the first place. Vince explained to me that this was a very rare episode, a "once in a lifetime" type of situation and that it is unlikely that he will go completely unconscious again.
From that day forward, I literally slept with one eye open. Any move Vince made in his sleep, I would wake right up and check to be sure he was okay. I would nudge him multiple times a night, and ask "are you okay?". I was so terrified of the episode repeating itself. To this day, I find myself nervous when he takes naps. If I notice him not snoring at night, I sit up and watch to be sure his chest is rising. Since he got his monitor, I have calmed down a lot more, but it is always in the back of my mind to check on him and make sure he is okay when he is sleeping.
Vince usually runs in the 6's however, he had lots of low blood sugar reactions, which is common when trying to keep your A1C as low as possible. The goal is to have the lowest number possible without having to many weak reactions. About a year ago, when Vince started on the continuous glucose monitor and the insulin pump, his A1C raised to about 7.4 and stayed pretty steady at that level. This is an okay number for a diabetic, however, Vince is not personally satisfied until it is in the 6's. When starting on the pump, it is very common to have a period of adjustment time until you get the right settings. Once you accomplish this, the pump is an awesome tool to keep your diabetes in check, and also gives you a slight bit more freedom on the foods you eat.
Vince recently had a check up and was told his A1C was down to 6.7! This was such a relief to us! He is finally back down to where he likes to be, however he has had some weak reactions. The doctor made some changes to his basal rates and said this should help.
We are also going to be visiting our nutritionist to help with some information on foods that would be helpful in keeping the blood sugars steady and also aid in weight loss.
Visiting the Endo every three months can be trying on my nerves, as it is the time to get the results from Vince's blood work. Hearing that all his major organs are in perfect shape and knowing that he has brought down his A1C to his personal goal is so great.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
I think it is natural for the wife to do the worrying in a marriage, so you can imagine when you have as much going on as Vince and I do, I work overtime at that task. Some overtime is needed, but I think I worry a little too much. It’s the constant questions that have become routine in our home and as we talk on the phone throughout the day. What’s your sugar? Why are you beeping? Did you bolus for that? Has your sugar come down yet? Do you have your black bag? Why are you so tired? Did you remember your medicine? Are you weak? Did you sleep in that chair all night? You fell? Are you okay? Do we need to refill your pump yet? It is never ending. Some of it is very necessary, yes, but I feel like I overdo it, possibly to try to prevent things from becoming issues in the first place, and that is something I need to work on. It’s amazing Vince is so patient with me in my “nursing duties” and actually thanks me for being so great at helping him.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
One day, I walked into Wawa and noticed a donation bucket for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). It got me thinking. I should get involved and support Vince and his brother John, both who have Juvenile Diabetes. I did some research online to find out what JDRF was all about and discovered they have a walk once a year to raise money to help find a cure. What a great cause and a healthy activity, to walk for a cause that affects us so much every day. I decided I should participate each year, and although Vince is unable to walk himself, he would come and join in the activities that day if he is feeling up to it. Here are some pictures of my first walk, joined by my sister in laws and family.