Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Seventh Heaven

Yesterday, she texted me and I smiled because of the joy in the message. She's in her early 30's and besides being a stunning mom of two brilliant twin boys, she's a lawyer and she's a sportswoman. Did I mention she has type 1 diabetes too? She's out of her honeymoon period now, meaning her pancreas made it final: he's not planning on making any more insulin. Where in the past two years, she could count on her panky to make some insulin, helping her get decent A1c's. That period is gone. It's up to her now, for she can no longer rely on her pancreas to help out. It scared her and her A1c went up. She fears the lows for getting unconscious as much as she fears the highs, for future complications. She was getting a bit desperate and her family was worried sick about her last low nighttime episode..

"He works with computers". That's how his mom calls it. Maybe I'm like his mom, for not knowing exactly what he does for a living. It involves software and Delphi language or something, I guess. He has told me on numerous occasions, since we monthly go out for lunch. D came into his life 3 years ago. He had panic attacks for a long time. They came back right after being diagnosed with D, for a different reason now. The fear of diabetic lows is grabbing him by the throat. He insisted on getting an insulin pump, despite good numbers and a A1c in the 5 region. He needed that pump to keep breathing. But it was not sufficient enough. It didn't warn him of upcoming lows.

I met her a couple of years ago. She has the same age as our oldest daughter. She was too young when she got diagnosed. She was a teen for god's sake. Why did she need to get this awful disease too? She didn't want no insulin pump dangling from her tummy. But we met and I let her figure out where my pump was hiding. She couldn't find it and she called for the nurse to sign up for an insulin pump. 
Her mom worried a lot about her at night. Would she be okay? Would she poke her fingers before bedtime and wake up while experiencing a low? 

A young student of 25, with a girlfriend and a baby boy. His diabetes was a bit out of control. He found it hard to poke his fingers all the time, so he forgot. As a medical student, he knew about the complications diabetes may bring you, so he wanted something else to help him move forward.

It had a been a long time since we've set a date. But we keep in touch and write emails every now and then. She's in a different relationship now and she's doing real well. Being diagnosed T2 as a young woman, she's not entitled to using an insulin pump. Her endocrinologist thought differently and signed her up for the medical device that would change her treatment. It made her feel a lot more secure. Just not secure enough, because lows were hiding behind the corner, to catch her when she was not paying attention. She has a little boy that needs his mommy. She wants to be around for a very long time. If only someone could help her get over that fear for lows, it would help her lower her A1c and get better control.

No more than 1 year ago, he was diagnosed as well. I remember how little insulin he needed in those first months. He was determined to give his utmost and do the best he could to keep this condition under control. Being on 4 injections and multiple finger pokes a day, he dusted his mountain bike and joined his friends on trips. Sports is good for us. Why doesn't diabetes know that? At least, D could be a bit more considerate and leave out the lows and highs during work outs. It would make things a bit easier. Wasn't there something better that could help him during training?

I haven't met too many diabetics that have had their condition for over 30 years. It somehow scared me to hear her story. Having lost complete sight in one eye and partial sight in the other is awful. She's such a pretty woman.  She has a man who stands by her side and accompanies her to doctor's appointments. She's shooting up insulin. Pumping was not her cup of tea. She tried it, about 10 years ago. Things were a bit different back then and technology has improved since. I thought she deserved better aids and better control. I contacted her and we started to write to each other until we finally met and had the chance to embrace each other. 

He has been a great help for many of us diabetics. Of all diabetics I know (and I know some), I've known him for the longest time. It must be more than 5 years now. I know how opposed he is to insulin pumps and how stubborn he is in showing that insulin pens are as efficient.  I like his stubbornness though. I prefer to call it perseverance. He's a good bloke and he's helped me out on numerous occasions when once again, I forgot how many carbs a certain food contained. I would only have to open HelpDiabetes, the program he wrote for us to use for free. As opposed he is to insulin pumps, I could tell he was interested in CGM.

My endocrinologist said I didn't need CGM. My A1c level was 7.1 and that is not life threatening. One doesn't get these numbers just like that. It takes a whole lot of work to get there and it consumes a lot of daily energy to stay there. CGM is expensive and at your own expense. It is my diabetes, a condition I share with many friends. It is my body, my life and my choice of treatment. 

That makes 9 of us already. 9 stories, all different reasons with a mutual factor: diabetes. A new world has opened. A milestone in our treatment. Dexcom is different. It's out there and it's getting closer. It is within reach. You don't have to wait for your doctor to tell you about it. Button up your shirt and ask him about Dexcom. Make your own file and document your questions and express your concerns about future complications. The people at Dexcom are there for you. They can help you get better control. They are there, 24/7, just like Diabetes. That's what we were looking for. Continuous Glucose Monitoring that we can rely on. A device we can trust on for knowing what trend our blood glucose is following. We are happy with our glucometers, but knowing where our numbers are headed to, is a bonus. Not essential to some, indispensable to others. It's your choice. It's your life. It's Dexcom.


Kenza said...

thanks Cathy!

Kevin Keyken said...

Sounds familiar at certain passages. ;-)

Scott K. Johnson said...

I love the story of these people, and how you wove them all together through our common bond of diabetes.

Cathy Van de Moortele said...

Maybe one day we will meet too, Scott!

Jangeox said...

Dit lijstje kan al tellen zeg! Ik ben alvast ook in de zevende hemel met mijn Dex :-)