Medical Supplies

January 3, 2011

Ooh bo-oo-oy.  Big stretch.  Taking my time.  Taking my time because I do not want to do what I promised myself I would do today, something I have put off for months – months.  This particular task-to-goal involves organizing and getting rid of medical supplies that have gone unused.

I began conveniently storing them in my bedroom closet for easy access some many, many, years ago.  Somehow or another, more supplies ended up in a kitchen cupboard at the other end of the house if only because there was room. 

You see, I am a diabetic and have been for almost 52 years (August, 2011 anniversary date).  Having been trained as such to keep my life in and on a  tight schedule with a tightly controlled (militaristic), regimented daily routine, the present overbearing sight of unused medical supplies gave me a sense of un-ease with this disease.   Also, as these items began collecting dust, the fact of keeping them, hanging on to them “just-in-case,” became unbearable, analytically unnecessary.  As with many facets of this, my life as a diabetic, the addition of dust compounded unacceptance.   I have rationalized the ‘collective’ matter and put it into perspective (reality).  Simply, if this stuff is literally collecting a fine layer of dust and I haven’t used this, that or the other for an obvious long time, get rid of it!   Phew!  I am a realist.

During the past sixteen years I have used four different brands of an infamous invention known as ‘the insulin pump.’  Sure, it’s a great BIG deal while strategizing life with this disease.  But this essay is not specifically about or limited to such mechanisms.  Admittedly being a cyborg, such machines have allowed me disconcerting flexibility.    Also keep in mind that none of the pumps that I have used are or were fool-proof.   While helping me to maintain an acceptable HbA1C level (see definition further on) when working properly (key words), all of them stopped working at one point or another.  Therefore, another supply or another was given, purchased, suggested, forced on me to troubleshoot this expensive ($6.5K+) machine.  I am not cheap.  Therefore, my medical supply collection is not as well.

“HbA1c levels depend on the blood glucose concentration. That is, the higher the glucose concentration in blood, the higher the level of HbA1c.   Levels of HbA1c are not influenced by daily fluctuations in the blood glucose concentration but reflect the average glucose levels over the prior six to eight weeks. Therefore, HbA1c is a useful indicator of how well the blood glucose level has been controlled in the recent past and may be used to monitor the effects of diet, exercise, and drug therapy on blood glucose in diabetic patients.

“In healthy, non-diabetic patients the HbA1c level is less than 7% of total hemoglobin. It has been demonstrated that the complications of diabetes can be delayed or prevented if the HbA1c level can be kept close to 7%. In general, values should be kept below 8%.”

Okay, with that important information aside, it is still time to clean out the closet!   No procrastinating now!  I’m on a roll!  And, as joyously anticipated, the closet looks so much better!  There’s room – open, cleared, cleaned out and cleaned off; room enough for seven hats, or many books, or blankets and pillows or board games.  Good heavens, knowing that I can’t decide, I decided to leave it empty.  Gosh, that was a simple decision.

The supplies?  Well, the inventory holds: 1 (one) Link Assist; 3 (three) boxes of cartridges, 2 (two) of these are unopened; 8 (eight) boxes of infusion sets, 3 (three) of which have been opened; 1 (one) software CD; 1 (one) “Quick Reference Guide;” 1 (one) “Pocket Guide;” 1 (one) battery cover; 4 (four) hard plastic battery removers; 1 (one) hand-held device; 2 (two) hard plastic insulin pump shipping cases; 3 (three) glucometers without strips; 4 (four) unopened boxes of lancets; and menial additions of sundry medical supplies.  Now, on to what to do with this stuff…

To pause, let me address readers that are totally unfamiliar with what I am writing on about.  Non-diabetics are granted my utmost respect when caring for a diabetic which involves constant learning.  It’s all tiring, fatiguing, boring and such.  But facts is facts.  Interested parties can easily, very easily, look up this stuff.  And so…  

Of course I telephoned each of the responsible manufacturing companies to inquire about ‘this stuff.’  You know what I was told?  Of course not, but I will tell you: “Throw it away.”  T H R O W   I T   A W A Y.   Throw it away??!!! As this repeated phrase was and is not only unacceptable to me but flabbergasting in itself, I was still on a pride-driven roll with a curve: give it to a person in need.  Heck, it’s all paid for!  With that in mind, I contacted my doctor.  She told me to “put it [the inventory] on Craig’s list and give it away that way.”  Wow.  I was and remain floored, stunned, with her remark. 

In my attempts to become someone’s anonymous heroine, to give away, to donate packaged, clean, necessary and expensive medical supplies is presently for naught.   Lovingly packed and organized, these boxes have since been carried and tenderly placed in another room.  Once again, I know what I must do but I cannot get myself to do it – post it all on Craig’s list.  It doesn’t seem right; such an action makes me uncomfortable.  I have also thought of contacting the American Red Cross, thinking – hoping – that, perhaps, a medical facility in Croatia, Poland, Greenland, Romania, Wherever would be excitedly appreciative of such items.  Or is diabetes non-existent over there?! 

Summarily, I consider this matter to be an undecided conundrum with the addition of insult.  I’m also sure that I am not alone and not the first to have faced this challenge.  Things that make you go “hmm.”

A. K. Buckroth, Author, www.mydiabeticsoul.com, www.GlobalDiabetesAwareness.com.

December 20, 2010

My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography” by A. K. Buckroth

This article introduces you to a successful life of a diabetic.  Through the publication of  My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography by A. K. Buckroth, I share my life with you while enduring over fifty years with diabetes.  The book joyfully begins with my birth in 1957 following with the medical diagnosis of diabetes in 1959.  At the age of two years old, I was tagged – labeled – and presently remain acknowledged as a juvenile diabetic.  At the age of twelve, I was told I would be dead before I reached thirty-one years.  Zealousness took over after I heard that.  It was important for me to get things done: travel, graduate, have a family, etc. before my term was up!  This book may even be considered as a historical process in the life of any successful diabetic.  

As mentioned, this book travels through a half-century of my life beginning with necessary growing tumults of childhood due to this disease; on through adolescence; living through peer pressures; one marriage with three miscarriages; single-motherhood; college graduations; world travels; and careers all while fighting to stay alive on a daily basis.  Learning maturity along with self-respect, self-discipline and having to succumb to norms of societal conformity have thus far resulted in a progressive and happy life.  That always was the ultimate goal.   With a soaring spirit, my story is told.

Through nine summers spent at the Clara Barton Birthplace Camp for Girls  (now known as The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, Inc.), I recall being flabbergasted and relieved that there were other girls like me.  Incredibly awesome!  Serious fun through sharing, learning, singing, laughing, playing, and more learning had been instilled in my soul to the present day, my diabetic soul.  The numerous and knowledgeable camp staffers not only guided and directed me towards living healthy, it set the foundation of my life, to be able to live my life.  I continue to live responsibly and successfully under that guidance.  Once you accept to know right from wrong, nothing can be so bad.  Through the grace of being able to go to camp, I learned how to figure it all out properly with diligence.

With that in mind, proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the ongoing endeavors of The Barton Center.  That statement is plainly stated in the book along with the address of The Barton Center just in case a reader or more would like to make a separate donation.

Everyone needs a heroine and a miracle – maybe just a good example.  Five decades of living with diabetes has been an honor, a divine gift.  Sound corny?  Once you read this autobiography, you will not only know what I mean, but you will believe in your strengths. You can maintain a balanced busy life!  I am proof that diabetes is not a death threat.   Accomplishments and encumbrances happen with or without strategizing one’s lifestyle.  “My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography,” is a reality redeemer for all readers. 

My website, www.Mydiabeticsoul, is available for further information with access to the first two chapters of the book and a Contact Me section, my favorite part.  I like to hear your thoughts and opinions.  The Simplie Indie Online Store is presently taking orders for paperback  and e-book versions.  Enjoy and take care – important words to live by!

 A. K. Buckroth, www.mydiabeticsoul.com, www.SimplieIndie.com, www.GlobalDiabetesAwareness.com.

Insulin Pump Travels/Travails

November 8, 2010

Just returning from a cross-country flight, the following report shares personal experiences of traveling with my insulin pump as it is attached to my body.

Travel preparedness for and with  this equipment alone takes anywhere from many weeks to a few days.  As a lifetime diabetic, traveling has been possible, however an encumbrance.  For instance, if and when I need to order supplies for this particular machine, I make sure I have the funds to pay for the supplies.  When an order is placed, it arrives within four days (e.g., infusion sets, cartridges, IV 3000s, alcohol preps, batteries, etc.).  Other necessary diabetes-care supplies takes two weeks to arrive after an order is placed (e..g, glucose meter strips and lancets, insulin(s), ketone strips, glucagon, Ace-Inhibitor pills, syringes, etc.).  This chore does not include clothes packing, weather charting, dog sitter arrangements, having someone post my soon-to-be-due bills, etc.  It is what waits for me at any airport that I find uncomfortable and uneasy. 

Approaching the security checkpoint is extremely unnerving.  

After removing my laced sneakers as required (I insist on wearing closed-toe shoes to avoid feet harm), I place them in the available large rectangular bucket as is compulsory.  Another bucket will hold by medical-carry-on bag, my stand-alone wallet and a book.  Sure, everything scans out wonderfully well – so far.   I always wondered why the security agents have never ever questioned me about carrying syringes on board!

Okay, so my stuff is going through.  Now it’s my turn, my physical turn to pass through. 

Embarrassment #1: I no longer attach my insulin pump to the front of my bra because I quickly learned from another flying experience not do so in order to avoid tremendous self-embarrassment and humiliation!  So, I always clip it to the waist band of my pants or skirt.

As I walk through the security doorway screening thingy, it beeps.  The screening thingy has always beeped since wearing an insulin pump.  It’s been fifteen years now, and it still causes the security doorway screening thingy to beep.  I understand why.  Its metal computer components set it off.

  Embarrassment #2:  “Step over here, ma’am,” a guard says politely.  I do what he or she says.  “Female attendant required,” is always the next statement from the available guard.

As a uniformed female security guard approaches my holding area (off to the side in open and plain view of all the security guards and all other travelers = embarrassment #3), she explains what she will be doing.  “It’s my insulin pump that set it off,” I explain.  “I’m sure it is,” she replies.  “Now empty your pockets.”  Having empty pockets to begin with, I turn them out.  With bright blue rubber examination gloves covering both of her hands, she begins the slow process of touching my body – all over: head, neck, shoulders, breasts, rib cage, hips, inside waist band, buttocks, crotch, thighs, calves, ankles, feet.  Then it is done again.  She also swabs the palms of my hands with a round cloth, approximately four inches in diameter.  This is to check for incendiary powder.  My feet bottoms have also been wiped on other flight occasions, but not always.

After at least fifteen minutes, I am cleared to go.  This happens all the time!  Due to this process, my flight dreams have become eluded.  I do not want to travel by airplane.  The only choice I have is not to go – anywhere – by airplane.   However, that is often times impossible, especially on a moment’s notice.  

In retrospect, I respect what has to be done but I don’t like it.

Does anyone else out there feel the same way?  It would be nice to know that I am not the only one.  I can’t be.  Not with 90 million diabetics in this country, one-third of whom use an insulin pump.   

I still dream about being cured.  In the meantime, I endure as I am sure you do.  I look forward to hearing from you!

A. K. Buckroth  www.mydiabeticsoul.com; www.GlobalDiabetesAwareness.com.

“Where Can I Find…?”

September 30, 2010

In answer to people’s’ direct questions regarding “Where Can I Find Your Book? My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography” by A. K. Buckroth can be found at these locations:

* Placerville News, 409 Main Street, Placerville, CA  95667  (530) 622-4510;

* The most convenient and easiest way to get your copy is here, at www.mydiabeticsoul.com.

* By simple clicking here now:  http://bit.ly/SIAKBuckroth.

* The Market Place, 11395 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA  95742.

* A Book X Change online store: www.abookxchange.com.

* Clara Barton Birthplace Museum, 66 Clara Barton Road, North Oxford, MA.

Library Availabilities/Locations:

* El Dorado County Library, 345 Fair Lane, Placerville, CA  95726  (530) 621-5540;

* Pollock Pines Public Library, 6210 Pony Express Trail, Pollock Pines, CA  95726  (530) 644-2498;

* Roseville Public Library, 1530 Maidu Drive, Roseville, CA  95661 (916) 774-5915;

* Carmichael Public Library, 5605 Marconi Avenue, Carmichael, CA  95608 (916) 264-2700.

* Placer County Library, 350 Nevada Street, Auburn, CA.

It remains available as a paperback, an e-book and an audio book.  Mor information may be found at www.mydiabeticsoul.com.

Updates will be available as they happen.  Good Luck, Good Reading, Good Days!

A. K. Buckroth, Author

 

Words

July 13, 2010

Yes, you read right – “Words” is the name of this little essay.

Although used on a daily basis, words are the main beam of communicating, other than having vocal cords.  I like words.  Always have.  So much so that I play word games in my head.  For instance, once a word enters my vortex, I will dissect it into many other words. 

Take the word “independence” for example.  Inside that one word there are others such as in, id, end, depend, pin, pen, pie, pine, etc.  You get the idea.  I compare this mind-game to playing a lone game of Scrabble, a fashionable yet old board game of words.  A most joyous game to me!

With the topic of words in mind, I appreciate new words, those that are not used on a daily basis, especially words that I have never seen before.  Words such  as deglutition, bloviate, manque, anent, pleiad, etc.  This list is endless and could become as fat as a voluminous dictionary!

Sharing such verbiage with you, I must let you know that I have not completely read any dictionary.  Long ago I read as far as the ‘d’ alphabet.  Just because I could.  However, such a task soon became tedious and was put aside.

Since that long-ago time, authors have enlightened me through their book readings with their use of unfamiliar words.  Habitually, I will dog-ear a page to enable myself to look up that word and its usage in a sentence.  This has been most interesting – to me.  

Off the topic for a moment, I have met more than one person whom are “numbers people.”  What I do with words in my mind, they do with numbers.  Peripeteia perhaps?  Go figure!  I am certainly not laconic!

Enjoy!  A. K. Buckroth

Introduction “My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography”

July 13, 2010

I N T R O D U C T I O N

   Accomplishing a first marathon is an extremely proud and momentous occasion especially when training takes nine months before the actual event. This was my first marathon through the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Having been in existence for the last twenty-five years or so, personal familiarity with this organization was all too comfortable. I am one of three diabetics in a family of five biological children.

   With a deep personal interest involved, such an affair became all encompassing. Having raised $2,000.00 of the required $3,000.00, I was proudly on my way to Dublin, Ireland, to take part in that country’s “Friendly Marathon.”

   And so it was. After completing a little more than half the marathon, 17 miles to be exact, I decided to be a tourist and enjoy the rest of the scenery with my husband before my knees wore out completely. But this book is not about that beautiful country or my glorious touristy adventures. It is about me. This is my story. I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1959 at the precious age of 2. At this writing I have been diabetic for fifty years. I almost gladly entitled this work Diabetes: Infancy to Menopause, but the present name came about through a particular fact that you will read on page 37.  Yes, I honestly believe I was born with it. It didn’t “just happen,” and then was diagnosed a few years later. 

   In the meantime, many other books, articles (some written by me), magazine publications, etc., on the subject of diabetes are in existence and have been throughout my life. Media attention granted to this subject brings a trickle of joy to my soul if only to think that people are thinking about it.

   This disease, already known as an “epidemic,” has in recent years been labeled as a “pandemic.” This means that it now covers and concerns the world and has become a frightening fact. It frightens me. Simply, it is “out of control,” a huge degradation for the diabetics that fight to survive, that fight to keep their bodies in one piece, that fight to sustain jobs, careers, family and overall happiness. A diabetic like me. Sadly enough, the continuing fundraising for more and more research has become a bottomless pit.

   “Write a book!” bellowed Owen while driving the tour bus. “Write.  Write it down. All of it. No matter what it is!” Therefore, I share the story of my life with diabetes with you. Having written it has been a dream come true.

   After completion of this marathon and my two-week stay in Ireland, the ‘bellowing’ bus driver, Owen, became a brief yet essential character in my life at that time. It is proof to me of how all of humanity is linked in one continuous chain. It was during a tour through northwestern Ireland, its coast and inlay, that Owen proclaimed his thoughts. Owen is an inspiration to this writing.

   My endeavors, all of them specifically for this particular event – the nine-months of training, the time, the diet, the wardrobe, the taping of feet, special attention to footwear, and more time – were for the cure of this baffling and devastating disease known as Diabetes. After all, having been medically classified as a “juvenile diabetic,” that is what I was to remain all my life. Then again, maybe not. Maybe I will be given a shot to make this go away! That title, Juvenile Diabetic, also became a learned stereotype on me in the medical community.   

   My siblings and I have knocked door-to-door for monetary contributions for a cure toward diabetes when we were children. That experience is explained on page 57. Also having participated in yearly 5k and 10k walks to raise money toward the cure has culminated over the last four and a half decades. This particular marathon was to be special. Although I have not limited my fundraising activities to diabetes, I’ve “wogged” for other fundraisers (e.g., Multiple Sclerosis, Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Breast Cancer, Leukemia, etc). 

   “Wogging” is a phrase I like to claim fame to: it’s the act of walking and jogging. There’s also “wog-run” where I have started off running, going into a speedier jog if only because I feel good, I know I can do it for another minute and then break out in a sweaty yet exhilarating run; slow down to a jog and back to a brisk walk. Once mentioning this to others, I am looked at quizzically and asked for an explanation. The term has since come to my ears from the lips of others. That makes me smile.  Creativity always at play! It was understood meaning I was understood.

   The highlight of this particular marathon was again for the cure, the actual cure of diabetes. I believed it was going to happen if only because I was a part of this team – this team of strangers that were also walking, wogging, running people who believed along with me. Well, knowing that personal participation was a necessity – a dire necessity – I was ready, willing, able, and determined to assist with the cure for this uncomfortably progressive disease. Anticipation was overflowing! Sponsors were continually contacted and updated; sponsorship checks were rolling in to help fulfill a required commitment to meet the ADA’s goal per participant at $3.000.00. My energy level was overflowing!

   Family, friends, neighbors, strangers believed along with me. I had their checks, I had their cash. They were all going to help me wog and get that cure! I felt blessed.

   Scheduled to take place on October 30, 2000, this “Friendly Marathon” brought a delightful, anticipatory visit to Ireland. Never having visited this part of Europe, excitement was enhanced through the overall participation of this marathon and my having made a huge commitment. With that monetary goal figure in mind along with the registration fee, the personal training, and the bulk of tremendous planning and organizing, February was a great time to start! When September rolled around and I accomplished 17.5 miles along the concrete shore of the Pacific Ocean in 3.5 hours between the cities of Torrance, California, and Manhattan Beach, California, I knew I was ready. Self-perseverance with a positive attitude became one and the same. This attitude was grown and nurtured from my very beginnings! I knew what my body could and could not take. Once again I was learning and re-learning how to take care of myself.

   With a diligent and purposefully pre-planned earlier arrival than was expected to Ireland, departure took place from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on October 25th to arrive in Dublin International Airport (DUB) on October 26th. As the marathon schedule was to take place on October 30th, this early-bird planning was for good reason. I needed to adjust my insulin dosages, get acquainted and acclimated with the environment, learn where available restaurants and foods stores were, as well as become psychologically ready for this endeavor.

   I must tell you, I wasn’t alone. My husband of ten years at the time, Wayne, rented a bicycle when we reached Dublin, Ireland, and was able to ride by my side as I wogged. As it was bitter cold and rainy, known as the “worst storm in fifty years,” Wayne wore socks on his hands because of no available gloves. We were not expecting and not prepared for such miserably wet and cold weather. On his back he toted a backpack full of water, juices, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, and glucose tabs – just in case.  I am ever so glad he did because there were no such preparations that I saw on our route. He carried enough for a few other marathoners if the need arose. Many of them are diabetics.

   And so, dear reader, I’ve walked in your shoes, wogged in your shoes, and maybe even ran in them! I consider this book as a deadline to my life. I must share my story, my life as a diabetic, with you who know all too well or do not know at all. If you believe as I do, my intuition, my spirit, my soul has been magnetized to write this book. I want to be an inspiration for you. There has not been a day or night in the many years that it took to accomplish this task that my conscious mind, through angelic voices or spirit guides, has encouraged and motivated this effort. Yes, this dream has been side-tracked. However, I need to be of service to you, dear reader, through this story of my life with diabetes.

   Be aware that, even though this is an autobiography, much research was used to further express facts and my personal opinions.

   I describe myself as being a winsome, attractive, extremely personable, friendly, knowledgeable, resourceful, helpful woman; a ‘giver’ as opposed to a ‘taker. In no way, shape or form does my physique even hint at the terminal condition that assails my body.   

   I am a realist, I am an optimist, I am a believer, I am always a learner, I am many things.  I invite you to encounter my life. I need you to know what is has been like. 

 My life has been a tapestry Of rich and royal hue.  An everlasting vision Of an ever-changing view.  A wondrous woven magic In bits of blue and gold.  A tapestry to feel and see, Impossible to hold.  Once amid the soft Silver sadness in the sky, There came a man of fortune – A drifter passing by.  He wore a torn and tattered cloth Around his leathered hide And a coat of many colors, Yellow green on either side.

He moved with some uncertainty As if he didn’t know Just what he was there for Or where he ought to go.  Once he reached for something Golden hanging from a tree But his hand came down empty.

Soon within my tapestry Along the rutted road He sat down on a river rock And turned in to a toad.  It seemed that he had fallen Into someone’s wicked spell.  And I wept to see him suffer, Though I didn’t know him well.

As I watched in sorrow There suddenly appeared A figure grey and ghostly Beneath a flowing beard.  In times of deepest darkness I’ve seen him dressed in black.  Now my tapestry’s unraveling.  He’s come to take me back.  He’s come to take me back.

 Sung by Carole King on her “Tapestry” Album/CD.

MORE Upcoming Book Signing Events

June 15, 2010

FYI:  A. K. Buckroth will be available to sign your copy of “My Diabetic Soul- An Autobiography” about living with diabetes for fifty years.  The following sites with the appropriate dates are available for your convenience:

Saturday, July 17, 5 – 7pm, Placerville News Company, 409 Main Street, Placerville, CA, 95667 (Courtesy of Ms. Mary Meaden and Family).

Sunday, July 18, 3:00pm, Atria Covell Gardens, 1111 Alvarado Avenue, Davis, California, 95616 (Courtesy of Kathryn Green).

Monday, July 19, 7 – 9pm, Fair Oaks, CA, Library, SIDE DOOR, 11601 Fair Oaks Boulevard, 95628.  (Courtesey of the Sacramento Suburban Writers Club Monthly Meeting.)  Other authors will be available as well.

Saturday, August 14, 1:00pm, Borders Bookstore, 2030 Douglas Boulevard, Roseville, California, 95661 (Courtesy of Bill Walker).

Friday, August 27th, 7:00am, Amador County, CA, Television Station TSPN TV, Inc.  (Courtesy of Sue Slivick).

Saturday, August 28, 1 – 4pm, Hein & Company Bookstore, 204 Main Street, Jackson, CA  95642 (Courtesy of Wendy and Rob Ashton).

Saturday, September 25, TBA, Borders Bookstore, 2765 East Bidwell, Folsom, CA  95630 (Courtesy of Bill Walker).

Proceeds will help benefit The Barton Center for Diabetes Education.

A. K. Buckroth, www.mydiabeticsoul.com.

“Let’s Stop for Coffee!”

June 15, 2010

“Hey, let’s stop for coffee” I proclaimed during a brief, but not unusual, road trip.

“Yah, let’s.  And I’ll get one of my favorite teas,” my friend replied. 

“Do you want me to drive through or would you like to go inside, then sit on the patio and people watch?” I asked. 

“Let’s people watch,” she said.  “We”ll sit outside and make up people stories as folks come and go.”

Simple fun between two adults.  Nothing unusual these days.  Coffee and tea service has positively roared in this young century.  Popularized with fast-food convenience, grande lattes and iced frappes, to name only two choices, are easy to come by. 

My favorite is a grande latte, sugar-free hazelnut with soy.  Mm, mm, mm.  However, such a treat was changed, had to be, due to consequential high blood sugars.  I was astoundingly quizzical until… Taking for granted that the “sugar-free” flavoring was harmless, I did not realize that another favored and popular ingredient – soy milk – was not.

This came to my abrupt attention when watching my grande latte being made.  I happened to notice that the carton of soymilk being used had read: “Vanilla.”  OMG!  Already knowing that flavored soymilk has sugar as an ingredient, I asked the latte creator if there was sugar in the soy.  “Hmm, let me look,” she said.  “Yep, 13 grams of sugar.”  Much to my chagrin, I told her that I could not drink that.  “I am diabetic;  now I know why it tasted too good to be true.”  Not only did my blood sugar soar after such minute enjoyment, but I quickly became slow-paced, on the road to lethargism.  These are my body signs proving what sugar does to me – makes me sick and tired.

After too many years of sparse enjoyment, now I understand.  Since then, I have not stopped visiting coffee houses, but I surely changed my drink of choice: “Cafe Latte, Sugar-free Hazelnut (or Vanilla) with Sugar-free Soy, if available.  Otherwise, non-fat milk.”

Once again, change brings chaos and chaos brings change!  Buyers beware, ESPECIALLY if you are diabetic or diet restricted!

Enjoy!  A. K. Buckroth, www.mydiabeticsoul.com.

Pump Up The Jam!

June 15, 2010

This particular blog will intimately and ultimately refer to my personal use of various and popularly known insulin pumps. 

The phrase “Pump Up The Jam,” has become a personal cliché that I have used for many years dealing with diabetes.  Before insulin pumps came into flamboyant popularity, a particular song entitled “Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic, 1989,  was adopted through a need for self-expression.  Technotronic helped me to achieve this.

Pumping on to a present-day conundrum, I have quit the pump.  You see, my original purchase was glorified and its machinations remained faithful for eleven years.  At one time, an endocrinologist begged me to try a competitor.  I did.  He earned a trip to Hawaii and that particular pump ceased its service(s) and sent me to the hospital with ketosis.  Not good. Another story. 

With that drama aside, I was able to return to my original and beloved insulin pump and its organization.  Thinking that I was comfortably back to my original brand after insurance tedium,  this company sold out to another well-known diabetes tool supplier.  The next three years brought off-and-on havoc.  For instance, necessary insets and tubings were changed, battery types were changed, my blood sugars became a daily roller-coaster, my HbA1C levels rose, my give-a-care waned, and this particular company blamed me for “having too much scar tissue” and that is why the pump did not work.  Well, after over fifty years of needling and pricking myself in one way or another, of course I have too much scar tissue! 

Onto my THIRD insulin pump manufacturer, this relationship lasted four weeks, tops

Weeks passed as I volleyed between plastic and stainless steel cannulae (aka: infusion sets), constantly and consistently rotating my body target sites.  The pump’s “error” messages and vibrations were unending, ceaseless day and night, and became embarrassing.  The required AA batteries lasted less than ten days, the clip to hold the pump on my waistband broke, and that was it!  The last straw!  I decided to care for myself and my disease with insulin injections.

Chaos brings change and change brings chaos.

Presently, I am in my fifth week of ‘shooting up the jam’ as opposed to ‘pumping up the jam’ with multiple (six) injections per day.  This many injections per day is due to the fact that I use Apidra and Levemir insulins that cannot be mixed together. 

Acceptance breeds tolerance.    

At this writing, I have not notified my endocrinologist, nor my internist, nor my general medical practitioner.  I know what to do, how to do it,  where to do it and why to do it.  After all, I have been diabetic longer than they have been alive and longer than they have been medical practitioners!  They will all find out soon enough – when I need refills.

 Do widzenia.

A. K. Buckroth (aka: Andrea K. Roth), www.mydiabeticsoul.com.

 

Clinitest Tablets

June 10, 2010

OMG!  Clinitest Tablets!  Who remembers these, raise your hands?!  Writer/Author Kelly Rawlings flashed me wa-aa-ay back to my past, to my childhood, when I had  to use this product to test the glucose amount in my urine.  Yuck! That was all we diabetics had back in the day!

By prescription, these highly poisonous tablets were in a dark-colored glass bottle.  Heck, if my memory serves me right, there could have been twenty-five tablets in any particular bottle.   I would handle these things every day, at least four times a day, for glucose testing in order to regulate my daily insulin injection amounts.  Such a tablet was the size of a modern day daily supplement; either dark blue or dark gray in color, they had white speckles on them.  The overpowering, nasty smell alone caused me to hate them, caused me to hate that testing procedure!  More often than not, my mother had to yell at me to get it done, especially since she was the ‘insulin drawer.’  After reading Ms. Rawlings’ twitter, that old smell, from thirty-five years ago, came wafting to my olfactory memory membranes once again.  Yuck. 

To further enlighten your senses, let me share an excerpt from my book, page 15:

 “Returning to the topic of my initial care when first diagnosed [with diabetes] in 1959, I had to continue to use a “potty seat.”  In fact, I continued to have to use a variety of potty seats until I was 15 years old.  Who knew?  This was the easiest way to collect urine for absolute and necessary testing for glucose four times a day.  However, due to school hours, it was done twice a day.

“Using what is known as a “Clinitest kit” that was stored in the bathroom medicine cabinet, it smelled funny – horribly bad – and distinctive.   

“Five drops of urine with ten drops of water in a glass tube [vial]; drop in a [Clinitest] tablet and watch it fizz, fizz, fizz as it turned colors: colors from bright blue, timid green, bright yellow or burning orange were displayed. Either of these colors indicated the level of glucose – sugar – in my bloodstream albeit through my urine. Yellow and orange gave the impression that the glucose level was high; whereas, green and blue were good, implying that the glucose level was low. The process was scary to see as a child and I certainly never ever wanted to touch one, afraid it would burn me.

“Yes, quite odd, albeit historic, compared to the machination processes of today. In my mind, yellow and orange signified “bad” colors. This meant I did something wrong. Maybe I ate too much. Or maybe I ate something I wasn’t supposed to eat. Those colors told me something was wrong with my body, my diabetes. Did I have an infection? Was my body giving me a signal for something? Fear. Fear introduced itself to me before I even knew what fear was. ”

“Ironically, … the colors yellow and orange are my favorite colors to this day.  This type of testing, … would continue for many years to come.”

I realize now that yellow and orange are my favorite colors because I refuse to give in to negativity.  It just as simple as that.  Thank you, Ms. Rawlings, for reminding me.

A. K. Buckroth, “My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography,” 2010, www.mydiabeticsoul.com.