Do You Check Your Sugar?

January 29, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

Choosing The Proper Glucose Monitor

Every day and in most cases, several times a day, you should be checking your blood glucose levels. The best monitor for you will fit your lifestyle. Today there are many different monitors to choose from. Some allow you to use blood from a small prick on your arm, while others need a larger amount from your fingertip.

But, which type is the most accurate? I have used both types and have found that the difference between blood taken from the forearm and from the fingertip can be staggering. This comes from several experiments with my mother’s glucose monitor over the course of the past 5 months. In some cases there was a difference of 70 points.

Best Time To Check

The best time to check your glucose levels is before you eat and before you retire for the night. Some diabetics may feel shaky if they have not eaten or if their meal does not have enough sugar in it. Remember that sugar can form in the blood from carbohydrates in your food. If you do not have the proper balance of carbs in your meals, a drop in blood glucose can occur giving you symptoms of shakiness, dizziness, or weakness. Cold sweats can occur with an extreme drop.

Often it may be hard to tell the difference between high glucose and low, because the symptoms can mimic one another. If you experience any of the symptoms described above, check your sugar! There have been times when a diabetic was given sugary substances in an effort to raise their glucose levels when their glucose was already dangerously high. An injection of insulin to someone who seems to be having a high level can be fatal! Never take any action until you have checked your glucose levels or someone else has. Be sure to keep a notification in your wallet, on your fridge, or by wearing a medical alert bracelet. This will help anyone who needs to give you emergency care know what they need to do for your condition.

Monitor Your Sugar

This is very important. Take note of your sugar levels in a small notebook or the glucose diary that comes with your glucose monitor. Eventually you will come to notice a pattern and may be able to better control your diabetes with your diet and exercise. Talk with your doctor at each visit and make sure to bring your glucose diary. Knowing your diabetes and how your body reacts with stress, food, and other influences can give you the tools you need to stay healthy.

Caregiving 101

January 24, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

What is a caregiver?

A caregiver is someone who gives care, as the name states. We are the people who day in and day out care for our young children, our elderly parents, or work in the healthcare system. I am the caregiver to an autistic child and a disabled diabetic mother, so when I share about care giving, I can promise you, I know how many of you may feel.

Giving your all each and every day can spread you very thin. A strain develops on other relationships, romantic or otherwise. You may feel anger and loss. Anger at the disease or the person whom you are caring for. Loss at missed opportunities, at being unable to do things ‘normal’ people do every day. These are normal feelings and you should not berate yourself for them. No matter the disease, caring for someone for twenty four hours a day will take its toll.

Take A Break.

Taking a break from your care giving is essential if you want to live a productive life. You will literally feel at times as if you are losing your mind. Exhaustion, both mental and physical opens a doorway to other feelings that undermine the self esteem and confidence of caregivers. Each day you should find at least an hour to devote to yourself and no one else.

You may wonder how to find even an hour. Take it. Do not go through your daily routine and beg yourself for an hour, then point out reasons why you cannot give it to yourself. Put your foot down to everyone in your household, including the person you are caring for. This is your time and no one else is to bother you, except in an emergency. There are some people being cared for who will make an emergency, but if you know that is the type of person you are giving care to, stand strong.

When To Seek Help.

Sometimes, we find ourselves caring for people who take advantage of us. If you are in that situation, it is time to seek help. Either by looking for a support group, talking to a therapist, or by possibly looking for a facility where older people can live with constant medical care. There is no reason to feel as if you are a slave or to let all of your relationships suffer.

With children, parents can work harder to teach them that their actions are wrong, if the child is using their health as a path to get their own way. With adults, it is up to them to change. If things become too strained, a health care facility may be the best option. These days, health care facilities are not the institutions of old. People are no longer strapped to their chairs or beds or left without care for hours on end. Activities and quality of life programs are in place to prevent neglect.

When you are a caregiver, it is important to take care of yourself, first. You deserve the same quality of care that you give each day.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.