Diabetes and Dialysis #13

Well here it is the month of November. Thanksgiving will be here soon and Christmas won't be far behind.

On the dialysis front I am still in goal on all my blood tests. In fact, other than my protein levels, everything is spot on. My protein is in the band just a little lower than they would like.

Still not taking any "binders". These are drugs they give you that will bind with specific things in your blood that allows the dialysis process to remove them more readily.

They have also started using the access (fistula) that was placed in my arm. Silly me, I thought that once it was ready it would be put in complete use. Nope. They start with lower gauge needles and work up to the full size needles that are normally used.

I also thought they would start by placing two needles in my arm. A supply and return. Well I was wrong again. They do one needle, the return, at the lower gauge and work that one up to full size. Then they use that one as the supply while they use the smaller gauge needle as the return and work that one up to full size. I then have to have two or three treatments with no problems and then I get the cathater removed.

Oh I do cannot wait to get this tube out of my chest. The hope now is that I will have this thing removed before Christmas.

Diabetes wise things are in total upheaval at the moment. We all go through these cycles where we are stable and all of a sudden, without warning, things just go nuts. I am currently in the "nuts" cycle.

So I just make sure that I have my seat belt buckled with seat in the full upright position and my tray table locked and hang on for the ride. This is driving my wife nuts, however.

As I said in the beginning, Thanksgiving will be upon us before we know it. Have you given any thought to what you are thankful for?

It can be difficult, in our world of dealing with diabetes, to think of things we can be thankful for. But if we just take a moment to think of those who came before us and what they had to deal with, we may not have it so bad.

There are many here on this forum that remember having to take that lancet and plunge it into your own finger. There were none of those spring loaded gizzies like we have now.

Then when you stuck your finger you had to get this big blob of blood and put it on this huge test strip and use a stop watch to count down the appropriate amount of time and then come to some kind of reading by matching a color chart on the side of the test strip vials.

Then you had to get your vial of insulin that was extracted from some animal instead of this stuff we have now. There was just R and N and if you took 70/30 you mixed it yourself.

Oh, and make sure you get the stuff from the right animal cause if you don't you will have bigger problems than just blood sugar.

There were no use them once and throw them away syringes. You had to use them and sterilize them for the next time.

Now we have meters that will give you an accurate reading in seconds. We have R, N, long lasting, short acting all kinds of designer insulins. We can open a package and have a brand new, never used, syringe. Even if you are like me and reuse syringes, it is far better from having to sterilize your own needles and syringes.

You take 70/30? Now you have a pen that you just turn the dial and hit the plunger.

That this is not to say that I think we have it all that good or that we don't need to find a cure. Far from it. I would gladly live the rest of my life injecting 7 times per day if it would mean that not another person anywhere on the planet would have to ever go through this again.

But if we compare where we are today with where we were when I started my diabetes journey thirty plus years ago we ain't that bad of either.

Or let's go back a little further in our history when there was no insulin or we even knew what diabetes was. People died from the disease that we have so many ways of controlling now.

For me there is even one more puzzle piece that needs to be looked at.

I go to a dialysis unit three times a week to sit in a chair and get my blood cleaned.

That technology didn't really come along til the 1950's. Even then they could do nothing to effectively remove the excess fluid until the 1970's.

Before that, people just died.

I am so thankful that we have the technology and the tools that keep me alive and kicking.

Do we need to solve the problems with healthcare and insurance? You bet we do. But that is a political discussion best left to other forums. But, as a whole, things for diabetics are much better than they were just a short 20 years ago.

I have so much to be thankful for. Medicine, doctors, family and a bunch of people here on TuDiabetes that help me get through it all and keep my feet above the ground and moving.

Let me be one of the first to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

If you look hard enough you will find something to be thankful for.

Views: 61

Tags: diabetes, dialysis, thanksgiving

Comment by Equestrian on November 2, 2012 at 2:37pm

Comment by Equestrian on November 2, 2012 at 2:40pm

Dear Brokenpole, I am glad things are going well with dialysis. Please tell me if you are T1 or T2, how long you have had diabetes, if you took an ace inhibitor, and what the first indication was for you that your kidneys were tired. Thank you.

Comment by Kathy on November 2, 2012 at 3:49pm

Oh Sparky, what a great post. You know I went through the exact same thing with the different guage needles and then going back and forth between the cath and the fistula, but they have to be absolutely sure the fistula is fully working before they can abandon the cath.
I took phosphorous binders from the start because I like diet Coke, which is full of it. They always kept my levels okay.
I was pretty much a vegetarian before dialysis, and was shocked when the dietician said how much protein I should be eating per day. It was a big struggle at first. But i felt the sorriest for the people who could not afford to buy that much meat or those who had no appetite to consume it.
I remember when I got my first meter that lancets were not readily available in my small home town, and there was no internet so I didn't know how to get them. I had to use a safety pin to draw blood and it was horrible.
So glad you are doing well, my friend. You are a strong person who is doing a great job of taking care of himself. I am pleased to call you my friend.

Comment by brokenpole on November 2, 2012 at 4:18pm

Thanks Kathy. Things at work have been nuts and I can't get on here as much as I'd like but I thought I needed to take the time today to let everyone know how it's going.

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