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Just some insight…

So, I thought I’d give you all a little more insight today into my world.  When I cannot make it to an event or show up somewhere looking tired, people  of course will ask me what is going on.  I can tell you I get some very disapproving looks when my answer is something about how things have been busy because DJ has an ear infection and he’s on antibiotics.  Come on!  I have always been a very tough, rugged individual, and now?  Now, I am tired because my husband has to take 3 extra pills a day and some ear drops?  To someone who doesn’t understand, it is annoying, to say the least.  I know because I used to be someone that didn’t understand.

Things are always more complicated with diabetes, people say.  They do understand that much, though I think when they say it, they don’t truly know what, exactly, that means.  What they are really saying is that they have been told that, and though they don’t understand all the details, they care about what you may be dealing with.  So for those people I am taking this opportunity, this particular event, to illustrate just what those complications can be.

There is a long story about how it all happened, but in the interest of time I will just say that my husband, DJ, recently ended up with a ruptured ear drum.  It was caused by an infection that became bad enough that this was the outcome.  (He says it was from listening to me talk nonstop for 14 years, but the doctor and I disagree)  He was prescribed an oral antibiotic, a probiotic and ear drops.  Simple enough?  Sure!

So the instructions are that the antibiotic needs to be taken with food, and he cannot lie down for 10 minutes after taking it.  (That’s odd.  I have never seen that instruction, but ok, we can do that)  The ear drops however, need to be put in while he is lying down and he has to stay there for at least 1 minute. It is recommended he lie down for 5 minutes because they can cause dizziness.  Got it!  So, he needs to take the antibiotic with food, sit up for 10 minutes, then lie down and get the ear drops put in, then stay there for a few minutes.  This is a 15-20 minute process at this point for someone with a ruptured ear drum.  

However, DJ has diabetes.  Taking the medicine with food means he needs to take his insulin before he eats.  Insulin needs to be taken 30 minutes before he eats the food, so tack on a couple shots and 30 minutes wait time to that 15-20 minute process.  Now, in order for him to know how much insulin to take, he needs to test his sugar before he takes the insulin.  Sugar needs to be tested at least 2 hours after the last time he ate.  If not, he won’t get an accurate reading.  This has now become a 3-hour block of time.  Factor in the fact that diabetics aren’t really supposed to go more than 4 hours without food, and you have a constant process on your hands.  

Even then, It would be simple to just repeat this every 4 hours, or 8 hours, whatever.  But the antibiotic is 3 times a day, the ear drops are 2 times a day, he takes 3 other medications, and they all have their own instructions.  He works, so he can only eat at specific times, which puts one of these medicine-taking times somewhere between 2 and 4 in the morning.

When a person with diabetes has an infection, their sugar runs high, so enter in moodiness, sleepiness, confusion and generally feeling bad.  A person with diabetes cannot just “eat something”.  They need to eat something high in protein and fiber and low in carbs and sugar.  These foods take more preparation and planning.  A person without diabetes thinks nothing of grabbing a piece of toast or a banana to eat with their medicine.  “Just as long as you have something in your stomach.” we are told.  But to someone whose sugar is already running high because of the infection and lack of sleep (remember the 2:00 medicine?), it can make a huge difference.  

These foods are also more expensive.  With doctor appointments, extra gas used, time off work, and medications, this ear issue has run us somewhere around $250 and that’s probably going to double once we have follow up appointments and possibly have his ear drum patched.  This leaves very little money to buy food at all, let alone the healthy stuff!

So, why did I miss the event?  Why do I look tired?  This is one person in my family.  The other is a 9 year-old little girl that I would do anything for.  She has her own needs, wants, schedule, activities, homework, bedtime, etc.  And I owe it to her to stay on top of all of those things with her.  After all, this is her only childhood.  

I am not writing this to complain or get sympathy.  That isn’t it.  My purpose is to help people who may not understand to get some additional insight into what living with diabetes is all about.  I can’t imagine DJ having to keep track of these things himself.  Actually, I am not totally sure it can be done.  I have seen him fall asleep because of his high blood sugar with his medicine still in his hand.  Staying right on schedule is the only way to get his sugar back down if it is running too high.  I truly feel for someone going through this who may be living alone.  At least we all have each other!

Now go hug someone who has diabetes, and make sure to give their spouse a little more understanding if they didn’t make it to your party.  Chances are, they would have loved to have been there.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.

-Jennifer

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On Wordpress Now

OK so I am trying out these new things so I have more information to give to people when they ask.  So far, WordPress seems a little easier to get used to than Tumblr.  That’s just my initial reaction…

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can alway preview any post or edit you before you share it to the world.