Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy diabetes anniversary to me!

I have been diabetic for ten years this weekend.

I don't know the exact date I was diagnosed, but I do know I went into the emergency room the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, and spent the entire weekend (four nights) in the hospital.  I was placed in the surgery ward due to a lack of beds the night of my intake, but the downside was that the hospital seemed to me, at least where I was, to be rather understaffed.

Perhaps that was why, or perhaps it was lack of communication, but the doctors who were overseeing me couldn't get my blood sugar down to save my life.  They would send someone in to check my blood sugar shortly before lunch, for example, and it was always high, but by the time they made a decision on how much insulin to give me, someone else had come in with my lunch.  I didn't know it at the time, but they needed to be correcting for my high and bolusing for my meals.  Since they weren't doing both, my blood sugar just continued to be high.

I was lucky in several respects, though.  One, I was blessed that Lantus had arrived on the market a year or so before I was diagnosed (or at least that's what the nurses told me).  Lantus was revolutionary for diabetics when it came out, eliminating the need to time meals and limit carb intake quite so much, and I am thankful that I was able to go straight to the good stuff, rather than having to muddle through on its predecessors.  (I've been on NPH a couple of times since my diagnosis, and my impression is that being on that stuff all the time would be a truly miserable way to live!)

Sometimes it's hard to believe that was ten years ago now, and other times I'm amazed that I was ever not diabetic, if you know what I mean -- it's so much a part of me now that I can't imagine life without it.  I've been diabetic for nearly a third of my life, after all -- I know many type 1 diabetics were diagnosed in childhood, which makes it far more ingrained in their lives; but at the same time, if you think about it, I've been diabetic for nearly all of my adult life.

What about you?  How long have you been diabetic?  Does it feel like a part of your life, or do you still feel like it's something that doesn't belong?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Statins may cause higher blood sugars

Remember my decision to stay off of Lipitor?  It looks like I may have made the right decision:

FDA adds new safety information to statin drugs

The FDA is adding new warnings to the labels on statins, including Lipitor.  Apparently it's been discovered that statins are causing elevated blood sugars in those who take them.  In fact, in non-diabetics, taking statins increases your chances of getting diabetes by 50 percent for longtime users.  Fifty percent!  It's almost criminal to be putting people on statins, knowing that!  The second article says that the benefits of statins for some people outweigh the risk of getting diabetes, but that seems rather unlikely to me, since developing diabetes (type 2) increases your risk of heart attack dramatically.

Not that I have to worry about increasing my risk of getting diabetes (haha), but I certainly wouldn't want to be on a medication known for increasing blood sugars!  I'm so glad I got off Lipitor all those years ago — and the grapefruit juice has been working just fine for keeping my LDL down!  In fact, last I was checked, perhaps 9 months ago, it was well under 100.  If I have any readers who are interested in finding alternatives to statins for lowering their cholesterol, I highly recommend drinking 8 ounces of not-from-concentrate grapefruit juice every day!