Thursday, November 14, 2013

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day, a day devoted to the education and prevention of diabetes. My daughter has Type 1 Diabetes (also called Juvenile Diabetes). There is no "preventing" Type 1 Diabetes. It strikes randomly (although it does run in families) and occurs after the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. So rather than talking about preventing diabetes, I'll focus on the education part - with help from my Dinobeadies for Diabetes. :) 

Diabetics test their blood sugar about 8 to 10 times a day. They poke their fingers, get a tiny blood sample, and put it on a test strip that's inserted in their meter. 

This dino is demonstrating how he tests his blood glucose (but normally the test strip is inserted in the meter when the blood sample is taken).

Within seconds, the meter displays a number - the blood glucose reading is 88, a good number! 70  to about 130 is considered normal blood sugar. If the reading is around 70 or below, the diabetic will want to take some fast-acting sugar to bring it back up to the normal range. Glucose tablets and juice are good for raising the blood sugar. 

Lately we've been using Smarties to treat my daughter's lows. They're just as fast as glucose tabs, and they're a lot less expensive. We have Smarties everywhere - in my car, my purse, my coat pockets, my daughter's lunchbox, her backpack and in her test kit. Don't be a Dum Dum, be a Smartie and always carry fast-acting sugar with you!

When it's time to eat, a diabetic will check her blood sugar first. Then she'll figure out how many carbohydrates are in her meal. Then she has to give herself some insulin. My daughter used to use an insulin pen for her injections, but now she has an insulin pump. She puts the amount of carbohydrates into her pump and the pump helps her figure out how many units of insulin she should have with her meal. Every Type 1 diabetic has their own insulin-to carb ratio, depending on what their body needs. 

I don't have a picture of my daughter's pump because she's wearing it at school. :) So here is a dino showing some of the things needed to make the pump work. These little packages contain the infusion set and the reservoir. The infusion set is inserted into the stomach, upper hip, upper rear or leg. My daughter prefers the sites on her stomach and backside. The site needs to be changed every three days, and the locations need to be rotated so the favored areas can take a break.

Here's the reason I make my mini Dinobeadies for Diabetes. Annie was diagnosed almost two years ago. Since prevention is out of the question, we're focusing on a CURE for diabetes. Proceeds from the sale of my mini dinos will be donated to the Diabetes Research Institute, a leader in cure-based research. 

Find Dinobeadies for Diabetes HERE, and let's make diabetes as extinct as the dinosaurs.


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