Education a “MUST” for Diabetes

Working in the healthcare  profession for over 20 years, it is painfully obvious that the most basic facts of diabetes are not understood by those not living with the condition.  I see examples of this daily and it still surprises me after all these years.

I left home in a tractor trailer after bartending one evening, “unexpectedly”  and certainly unplanned at an early age,  with a nights worth of tips,  one bag of clothes and my glass syringes and stainless steel needles in a plastic bowl.  My mother was frantic, assuming I was just a little stressed and  would soon be back home, never fully understanding  what I was going through.  Back in those days, I hid my diabetes from everyone I could.  No one in school new, the neighborhood kids I played with were scared, wondering if it was “catchy”, they did  not want to take shots too.   In those days, however, the only thing we were told to avoid was sugar!  Not carbs, not processed foods, no glycemic index or high fructose corn syrup.    So you can imagine what my urine test read all the time…..HIGH, and once glucose is spilling into your urine, you can only imagine how high it was in my blood!

Today is a whole new world, we have great information right at our fingertips on the web, in books, magazines, (Diabetic Forecast is great for Type 2′s) and even health classes at school.  So why do I still hear the same confusion of;  “so if your sugar’s low,  you need a shot right?”  Sounds pretty obvious to me,  but it’s true.  Some of my patients family members, I am up in the Carolina mountains, cannot understand why they should not bring Granny who already has ulcers covering her legs, edema, poor circulation and crazy high BS readings, all the Little Debbie’s she wants, it makes her happy.  I’m kind of hard on these people I admit, but I ask how happy Granny will be living out her days without her legs!   I’m told by other family members, “well she’s a really bad diabetic”,  well, no she isn’t, she and those around her, are just not educated in what needs to be watched.   I’ve even educated nurses on what it feels like when ones sugar is low and how they will  not be acting like themselves.  Glucose is the main food for your brain,  I  know what it feels like to have sugars drop in the 30s and 40s and still trying to hold it together at work.

If nothing else, I would love if this website could be read by family members of diabetics.  When your brain is starved for glucose, you DO NOT think straight or act as normal, just ask my husband who has to chase me down to force feed me juice when he recognizes it and I don”t.   Family members need to know this.  I have fought my husband for years, as he knows when I need help before I do.  Know your symptoms of low blood sugar as it is critical.  Oh the stories I could tell…..I’m surprised I’m still here to write about it…..but that’s another post.  Educate yourself and your family members for your own  safety….

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One Response to “Education a “MUST” for Diabetes”

  1. dmchugh says:

    Diabetes should not be a “guessing game”. Can I eat this or that, what will it do to my sugar, why do I get shaky before lunch, but I’m always hungry if I don’t have two servings. Yikes!!! then you are not eating the right foods. If you read the nutrition label, look for Carbohydrates, saturated fats, sugars and most importantly SERVING SIZE. If serving size is 2, obviously you must double the above numbers if you eat the entire thing. Be smart. Take a class, look it up, ask someone who knows!!!

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