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  1. In my life I have experienced hatred. I have hated people and concepts. I raged out of control for years until diabetes taught me a powerful lesson.

    When you hate, when all you can understand is hatred and intolerance - then you are dying by your own will. When you hate another, only you are the injured party. When you lash out at them - YOU are the one to pay the price. When I woke up in the Emergency Admittance Ward on December 2005, I learned a lesson in humility. Weak, depleted and in serious ill health, it occured to me what it felt like to be completely helpless. I asked the doctor if I could go home to recuperate. He told me, if I went home - I would probably die within the next 24-36 hours.

    I stayed in that bed for the first five days before I was allowed to get up. I saw myself in a mirror and nearly collapsed. Thin and drawn, arms and legs like sticks, dry skin and hair like flax. It was four weeks before I was released.

    Yet while I was there, I saw people with far more frightening illness and injury than me. They were not angry with their lot. They saw no reason to hate or project anger. Over time I watched them overcome insermountable obstacles, learning to readjust their lives to fit their limitations. I began to realise that I too, was now on that treadmill. A young boy who had acute myoblastoma, simply said to me, "I may not be here next Christmas, but I'm going to have a good time anyway".

    I get angry, sometimes I get down hearted. But I don't HATE. Hate is the savage dog that bites its evil master. Anger can be converted into determination, frustration into competitive spirit. Hatred simply remains as is. Empathy is the filter that keeps it out.
  2. Yes I was warned, make sure you get vaccinated for inflenza this year. Did I? Nope.

    9 weeks, and still I am suffering the fallout from a B grade influenza. Yeah, I know...ten foot tall and bulletproof! I had to learn the hard way, and I did. :meh::facepalm:
  3. Where would I be without hobbies? Photography, graphic arts, meditation, this is what makes being diabetic tolerable. I need distractions. Something that takes me out of the normal lifestyle and gives vent to my creative nature. I can lose myself in a book for hours, track down movies and documentaries on the internet, and research various subjects that catch my attention.

    Astronomy, science, psychology....there is no limit to an inquisitive mind. To live within boundaries is to remain 2 dimensional.
  4. Syringes are an everyday part of insulin therapy, their storage, use and disposal are clearly outlined. I keep a high standard of use/disposal to ensure safety from accidental injury and infection.

    I have come across some unusual and rather disturbing practices in the use of syringes that disturb me.

    Re-use of Syringes.

    Plunger type syringe.
    The use of a syringe after it has already been utilised is an unhealthy practice that can lead to injury at the injection site, as well as serious infection. Blood, epithilial cells and body fluids can be present in the syringe after use. Bacteria can also be present. Using the same syringe in a vial can contaminate the contents.

    Pen injectors
    These use a vial in a holder with dosage dial and a screw on syringe. Once the syringe is used, it must be removed. Leaving the syringe in place can allow air to enter the vial. As with plunger types, foreign material can be introduced into the vial to cause contamination.

    Caution should always be taken with syringes to ensure safety.
  5. Lipoatrophy occurs when an injection site is used too frequently, and a hardening of the subcutaneous layer occurs. The ability to absorb insulin is reduced, and complications such as hyperglycemia become apparent. It is advisable to rotate injection sites to avoid this problem. Keep track of your injection sites and rotate to other locations on a regular roster.
  6. I have often wondered what is it that makes people push the subject of diabetes under the rug. The general attitude that 'we don't exist', it is just an excuse for laziness and uncaring attitudes.

    It never occurred to me that the human mindset tends to compartmentalise those things that frighten us, to pack them away where we will not encounter them. We push them out of sight and then we are protected from them. From my own experience of the fear of living with incurable illness, I failed to recognise this obvious attitude to the problem. Now I understand the phenomenom of people shying away from diabetics. Ask any particular group, and they will relate the same problems.

    Becoming a diabetic, and losing my predjudicial terror of the condition has opened my eyes to others suffering like conditions. This is why I strive to educate and advise others. I thank the forum for giving me this opportunity.
  7. Since becoming a diabetic, I have been mentor to five different people. I have watched struggle with the diagnosis, go through the denial stage to final acceptance. Now, like me, they support others in their families and circle of friends. This brings me great joy, to see others begin to live again after being devastated by terrible diagnosis. I have a very good friend who is a dialysis patient, and two more who have epilepsy.

    I am there for them, and they support me. It is a special kind of bond that only those with incurable illness can understand. I take pride in the role I have adopted. It fulfills me, gives me a purpose to my existence.
  8. As a diabetic for the past 11 years, I sometimes get irritated and morose. I tend to dwell on the negative aspects without seeing the positive. Just about every diabetic in the world has taken this path.

    But I am becoming aware of the good things that have happened in the last few years. So many people in my world now have a much more accurate understanding of diabetes and its effects on individuals. I have raised awareness and made the cause of diabetics an easier road.

    It also made me aware that there are far worse conditions out there in the world to deal with. It has given me a better understanding of people who live with schizophrenia, manic psychosis, haemodyalisis, and other frightful conditions. I feel their loss and the stygma of social rejection. I have known this, but I cope well, because I have met and mingled with those who truly need strength. It makes diabetes look like a walk in the park.
  9. The human psyche has an inbuilt sense of being part of a group. Being a part of a team, tribe or movement, if you understand. We all want to belong to a like sense of understanding within a group.

    This is a survival trait, to group together to be able to survive against adversity. This trait survives to this day, with the advancement of technology the need to group together is less important. Yet still we cling to this process. Why not? We are still human, we still need the simple things of air, warmth, sustenance and shelter. The basic level of Maslow's Hierachy of Needs! But we are evolving into new sociable environments, and at times - some individials feel they are discarded due to 'survival of the fittest'!

    We are now able to maintain the groups that were once 'discarded', due to an inability to support the group. There is no longer a need to keep the best and discard the rest.

    Technology has given us a reason to stand and say, 'we are worthy', don't discard us. A will to live is a reason to live. Be proud of what you are. Because life for you is not a simple path. It is an obstacle course that only the brave can conquer!
  10. When you draw blood for a glucose test, especially at the fingertips - beware of foreign material lodged in the skin in that area. This can radically alter the reading on your glucose meter. Ensure the area is clean and free of any possible material that could be holding any form of sugar. The test strip will read it along with the blood sample and give an inaccurate reading. Use an alcohol swab to decontaminate the area prior to testing.

    Point to note:

    Beware that some alcohol swabs can actually register as glucose on test meters. Check with the pharmacist to ensure they are suitable for glucose testing. Swabs also negate the chance of infection from dirt and other contaminants in the donor area.

    Remember - play it safe. Don't invite disaster!
  11. I think we've all been through it at least once in our lives. The Rebound Effect, YO YOing, The Bounce. The situation where you find yourself falling into hypo territory and you frantically try to rescue yourself by any means possible. I have fallen into this trap on occasion, and it never gets any better!

    During a hypo, there is intense hunger. This is the body gearing you up to deal with the stressful situation. But caution is advised here. From my own experience, there is a situation where you overcompensate and take in far more than is needed to reverse the condition. Just enough sugar/carb is required to stabilise the body until a suitable meal is available.

    Examples:

    Several jellybeans
    Small glass of milk (100ml) w/ tsp honey/sugar
    Two slices plain bread
    Glucose tablets/drinks designed for such purpose.

    This will give an individual time to recover and deal with the hypo in organised fashion.

    However this is not always the best case scenario! I got caught early one morning with a 2.2 hypo and simply ate everything in sight. This sent me back up the scale to 28+, so I spent hours getting the BGL's back to normal! It is difficult to use caution during a hypo as the brain is in survival mode and not geared to logic.

    Probably the best manner to counter such a situation - is to know and understand what symptoms advise of approaching hypo, and set a series of strategies to avoid disaster.
  12. Too frequently, I hear people say that they are treated poorly by medical staff who indifference to people with diabetes. You are not a burden, you are not a drain on health services.....you are a champion!! Every day that you live, you fight for your life. Is that not true strength? Some arrogant moron tells you that YOU are a burden. This fool burdens the Earth's resources believing he is entitled to drive an expensive car, livein an energy sapping codominium, deplete resources to prove how he should live in luxury. But what does he give back?

    We support each other, we give our time and knowledge freely, we provide a service. Who else will do that?

    If you are not happy with the service provided......say something! Don't be treated in a manner you dislike. Stand and be counted.
  13. From the early days after diagnosis, when I was terrified to eat anything that was thought to be 'unsuitable' for diabetics, I nearly starved to death! Surrounded by armchair professionals and people who genuinely wanted me to get healthy again, I lived in a constant state of seige.

    Over the years I have come to realise that you can't simply step out of the world to live spartan influenced lifestyle. Yes, there are restrictions on what you can have. Some food groups should be avoided. Yet - there has to be some variety in the diet or you will invariably fall from the wagon frequently. There is so much ou there that is suitable for diabetics, but the water has been muddied by so many claims and counter claims.

    I let myself have treats, during those times when my BGL's are stable. A muffin here and there, a hamburger (no chips) with no sauce. I only have pastries very rarely, a fine cheese and red wine (watch out for crackers!). Though I adore pasta, that again is a rare treat. Diet soft drinks I treat as regular drinks, no more that one per day. I'll have a beer with friends, but I'll have at least three days off time before I do it again.

    Salads (not prepacked creamy salads with pasta), pesto, chicken and turkey (without marinade or mustard coating), and nothing with mayonnaise. Mustard itself is fine, but preprepared style is not so good. I like to know what is in it. I love rice but stick to the low GI varieties, in moderation.

    Prepacked meals can be OK, but don't trust the carbohydrate rating. Canned items are usually good. I take canned meals such as braised steak and onions, mix it with canned vegies and get 2-3 meals out of it. It's an easier way to portion control.

    As for bread, I choose sourdough and limit it two 2-3 slices per day. I keep variety in the diet, go to restaurants with friends and make sure I don't get stuck in a rut.
  14. Yeah, OK! I am as guilty of this as anyone else. Lancets are not designed to be used more than once. The tip is fragile, and can leave fragments in the tissues which promote infection. Coupled with blood components from previous usage can instigate localised infections that could enter the blood stream.

    I seriously baulk at the idea of using a syringe twice, so why re-use lancets? Being a diabetic sets you up for serious infection very easily. Don't provoke it!
  15. I take this moment to thank all of you who have heard my story and have rallied around me to give me strength. This is great moment in my life, where I have joined a noble clan - and I feel the strength of many in this cause. From a shaky start, I am well settled. I have accepted the facts and I am ready to face the future.

    THANK YOU!!
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