Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Diabetes Dreaming

I had the first class of Diabetes education and self management at the medical center yesterday. This was a three hour class. The first thing they do is hit you with a four page test about diabetes. I think this is to teach you how little you really know on the subject, and, they will repeat it on the last class to make sure you have learned how ignorant you were!

They went over all the bad things that can happen to you, symptomology, pharmacology and such, and started the nutrition module. They talked about the percentages of people in the class that would eventually end up on medication (virtually everyone) and those who would be using insulin, close to 70%. There were lots of interesting facts, such as when your blood sugar is high enough to classify you as a diabetic, you have lost 50% of the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin.

You also had to sign up for one of 7 different things you could do to help your condition. I chose the physical activity module. My progress will be tracked each class to see how well I have stuck to my goal. I chose this because I learned that exercise is very important in diabetes management. I have been riding my exercise bike every day for almost five weeks now, and am up to 21 minutes (3.5 miles). Last night I also added a half session an hour after dinner. I did 11 minutes and will do this every other night for more exercise and to help burn additional calories.

I learned too, that, if you have to have diabetes, this is an excellent area to have it as far as care goes. The Metro Health facilities are all accredited in diabetes treatment and management and all doctors are required to be up on all the latest treatments and options, and the management of their diabetic patients.

We also have to religiously record our blood sugar readings and food intake over the next week. They really stressed the blood sampling.....and that must have stuck in my mind, that, and my experiences last Saturday with son Scott's driving of my Mustang. I have been having more and more trouble getting to sleep lately, much on my mind about my health, work with the new company, and other things, but, finally after midnight I did, and I had a very strange dream...... (picture one of the fuzzy warping dream sequences effects you see on TV here........)

The three kids, the X, and I (which is no mean feat considering the Mustang barely seats four) were driving in the Mustang on our way to the mall. As I had mentioned I had told Scott after the 'kill a tree incident' that when I yelled STOP he should just slam on the brakes and stop the vehicle. So, as we drove more and more on our way to the mall, he kept shooting through stop streets and red lights ignoring my STOP commands. This was interspersed periodically by my daughter Danielle reminding me I had to test my blood sugar and handing me my lancing device that I use to draw blood.

The first time she did this it was the normal size that the device is in real life. Each time after that it was getting bigger and bigger, where, finally, as we were pulling into the mall to part is was the size of a baseball bat, and the actual needle part, which you can't even normally see, what the side of one of those huge nails you would use to hang gutters on the house!

My son screeched into the parking lot at the mall, the car actually crashed through the railing at the front of the car, and plunged us down to the next level where the Mustang landed on other cars. We all climbed out and I was yelling at my son, and he was crying, while the X was berating me for yelling since the Mustang, which to my perceptions was totally smashed and wrecked beyond repair, was barely scratched. Meanwhile my son continued to cry, calling me mean and accusing me of not loving him, and the rest of them kept staring at me greatly. At this point the dream shifted to Danielle and I looking for everyone else to have lunch, and I finally awoke.

Strange dream eh??

On closing, I would really like to thank my brother and his wife for all their support! I don't know how I would get through this without you both!


David Louis Harter said...


Dreams are amazing and often disconcerting. I often will myself to dream pleasantly by thinking strongly about a subject while I am falling asleep. This works relatively well.

Often, if I do not do this, my dreams are nightmarish.

- David

Riley said...

Stress produces strange dreams, but in there it embodies a number of things that are probably true, 1, Scott needing to stop at your control and your X's reactions if he doesnt and something bad happened, 2 the worry the blood test thing means, for as we all know while results are "ok" its ok, its the 1 time it comes up and its not..

On the flip side, there are a number of things dietary that are important, such as, custard, believe it or not, custard for a diabetic is about the best thing you can have, as it releases sugar very slowly but has some, as a result, rather than cramming a mars or something to help with a lower sugar for example, a few squares of cold custard will help longer as you then dont peek and trough, you maintain a gradual curve.

The other things to train your kids into understanding is to check on you late at night and early in the morning, if you're unresponsive well that could be a diabetic coma (yeah not trying to scare you but this is the stuff we got to understand very well from a guy who used to work with us whos GF was exceeeedingly diabetic and she from all accounts was pathetic at trying to manage it, where as he made her eat reasonable food, regularly, and so on, and suddenly she was much better.. odd huh!) anyway, also if you seem drunk, you could have way too high sugar.. These are long term things, but it does mean that these could be true "1 day" and that its important not to panic, and its important to realise its controlable to a huge extent even if you do in the end have to take jabs and so on.

It doesnt have to control you, you can even when seriously seriously diabetic, keep major control of it by what you eat, when you eat it.. and what you do.. exercise is more likely to reduce sugar, hitting yourself with something sugar may balance it short term but its more likely to increase it way too high too quick and then you come down hard.

Dont worry, the most important thing is, dont stress, stress messes with EVERYTHING