I Know Nothing... Need help understanding!

By Bloomerka Latest Reply 2014-02-21 15:44:47 -0600
Started 2014-02-11 09:33:05 -0600

I have been seeing someone that is a diabetic and from what i understand, she has it really bad per say,not saying that there is a good case.. but I joined today because she too strong willed to admit to me how bad it really is she said she doesn't want me to worry. so i am taking it apoun myself to learn as much as i can about it so when the time comes ill be ready for a serious conversation about it. I am ready and willing to learn read do what ever it takes, she is an amazing you lady and i want to do everything within my ability to be a positive renforcement on this subject matter. one thing she did tell me was that her A1C is i believe around the 10-10.5 range but i am not sure what that really mean. please help me.

19 replies

Bloomerka 2014-02-14 08:11:25 -0600 Report

One thing I have learned is that every single persons body reacts a different way than the next to something, in saying this I mean that I am not taking word for Word of the exact numbers because it might be different for her and when she wants me to know about that she will tell me. But I want to thank all of you for the hint the words of encouragement and even the knowledge that you have shared with me it really means a lot I joined hoping for something like this but you guys blew away my expectations

jayabee52 2014-02-15 20:39:09 -0600 Report

I am glad we exceeded your expectations! Glad to help! Please continue to come back and learn more about this topic, and bring your young lady with you too. She might get a lot of inspiration and support here too!

Osiris Jones
Osiris Jones 2014-02-14 02:09:02 -0600 Report

Hey IronOre. I am a type one diabetic who has been through a few multi-day seminars at the hospital on the subject. I have been diagnosed since the spring of 2005 and i can verify that 4.5 - 5 is considered normal for non diabetic people. Type two can achieve that reading if they are diligent and type ones are well controlled if they are 7 or lower. The h1c conversion represents a 90 day average of your milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) blood sugar readings depicted as a percentage that has been converted to molarity (mmol/l). Essentially, that means that an average blood sugar of 100 over 90 days would read as an h1c of 5 … or 5%. Here is one link but i suggest you look further into it on your own so you know whats true. I have had many doctors give me bogus information. http://www.m.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/glycate...

Stuart1966 2014-02-13 18:53:59 -0600 Report

It is NOT her number(s) which are your concern. Until/unless she wants you to know, or asks for help about diabetic stuff… they are her problems. As they should be…

Control is never an easy or simple thing. But to whatever degree we are capable, control is our burden and right. NEVER assume something is automatically diabetes caused. NEVER forget to gently tease, and laugh. Never forget to offer to do something for her. If she accepts, great, if she does not, keep offering because you want to learn, and give her a break if just for a little, you know?

Sometimes the most intimate gifts I ever received were tiny and beautiful gestures.Over protective is a danger. Infantilizing another danger. Try to avoid them.

But watching her test, and wanting to learn how YOU can test, because it looks hard and you watch her do it, and want to do it yourself, understand what she does…, was one gift I received once upon a time. Performing one of her tests FOR HER would be another example. When/if you become more intimate, offering to do her shot/program her pump (if she has one of them) is another potential gift.

But the act of being in a relationship with a diabetic requires nothing special on the surface. When things get medical, and she requires help, or sugar to regain consciousness is a different question. In time, if things work out, that is a skill you will learn. Experience is a nasty teacher sometimes.

What concerns you the most, I or my peers can suggest solutions…

Bloomerka 2014-02-14 08:03:31 -0600 Report

I think what I am most nervouse about is the low side of things, she has had sesuries and I know how damgerous those can be because of my mom has had them growing up, but we have since had a talk about everything and when she comes over she let's me watch her check her blood adjust the pump and sometimes she even let's me do it, she has expressed her want for me to help her. But like has been Sadi I am trying my best to keep it from the annoying controlling side because I know that will only make her want to do the opposite. And I left this up on my internet on my phone and she saw it and read everything, which was good because she had no idea I was doing this and when she found out I was trying to learn as much as I could for her she really opened up about the subject. And another concern is we are going on a cruise, so I just want to make sue I know what to do and how to act if/ when the time ever comes.

Stuart1966 2014-02-21 09:06:14 -0600 Report

Excellent move, leaving the screen up so that she could SEE you were "interested" and concerned too!!! You could see how the proverbial wind was blowing to your efforts… very smart!

Let's start with the easy… Seizures are NOT remotely common, when they happen, if they happen, her sugar is wicked low… been diabetic for nearly fifty years, and can count on one hand the number of times its happened. It is NOT a daily, weekly, or even an ANNUAL event. It should not be anyway. If it is, she must cut back on her insulin because too much is in her system… something went evilly wrong. They are spookier for those who foolishly -wg- choose to love us than it is for us the diabetics ourselves. But if you've witnessed a seizure, that is about as bad as it gets… it is a very rare, rare, occurrence. Know many folks with my experience, (ie decades) who have never had a single one. Regardless something must radically change in how she is doing the food/insulin dosing should it ever happen, or become regular. But It won't…

Do NOTHING to restrain her, keep something soft under her head, if you can find something to keep her head from hitting anything. Call 911 all the standard first aid stuff…

NOW for the CRUISE >: 9
2) ENJOY the trip

There is nothing remotely dangerous about traveling with a diabetic, not aboard ship anyway. She takes extra supplies, and an extra vial of insulin (with a couple needles) and keeps them in the room safe… and the insulin in the fridge if the cabin temp is extremely warm. Make sure its not set too low (eg freezes stuff). SHe can keep it in the room itself and does not need a fridge to stow it, unless the temps get too high (80's+) But under normal circumstances. she can eat at pretty much anytime she wants, and almost anything she can imagine. The issues are the same as when just going out to eat. Nothing magical. The restaurant is simply on the water… ;~ )

Depending on where you are traveling to (ie docking) you could get a medic alert necklace/wrist band in the language of the areas you will be walking, but that's massive overkill, IMHO-fwiw.

Keep a bunch of Glucose icing tubes, or even cake icing in your pocket, and her purse, or a bottle of soda if you prefer. Nobody balks or even questions them…

The only other thing she will need to do is make 1000% certain that she keeps an emergency back up on her body if she gets separated from her carry on/luggage. That way worst case, ~ooopsy takes a couple days to get the luggage back~, no problems at all. She's got emergency back up if/when she needs it.

No problems.

Buy a six pack of soda

Bloomerka 2014-02-21 10:14:04 -0600 Report

Thank you for all advice and knowledge i really appreciate it, and i don't have any of the icing but i did go out and get some of the Glucose chewables, its basically a sugar pill so i believe it does the same thing.
Now the Cruise i am not worried about the travel at all, I am just trying to figure out something to carry her pump in that will keep it cool and out of the sun because we will be spending most of the time out in the sun. and i have heard that the pump and everything needs to stay below the 80s and higher i am not sure why or what that does to it thats just what ive been told.

Glucerna 2014-02-21 15:44:47 -0600 Report

You're right that insulin needs to be kept from temperature extremes, either too hot or too cold, or the insulin doesn't work effectively. Google 'insulin storage' or 'insulated insulin containers' and you'll find a few companies who make a variety of products designed to keep insulin at the correct temperature while traveling, or when outside. ~Lynn @Glucerna

GabbyPA 2014-02-12 18:46:35 -0600 Report

You are a keeper! She is lucky to have you and I hope she knows that.

Like many have said, finding things to do together that benefit both of you is a great way to start. Exercise is good for her, but she has to do special things that you can help her with, like just having a buddy is great. Knowing what to do if she has a low is important, and could make her more willing to let her guard down a little.

I think having a low episode is one of the most scary things that can happen and knowing that you are aware of the 15/15 rule : http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-discussions/general/16969-15-15-rule-do-you-know-it can give her great relief.

Nagging and being overbearing will not help. But being aware will help you "be" for her without the criticalness that often comes to us from well meaning people.

jayabee52 2014-02-12 16:23:12 -0600 Report

Kudos to you Bloo on your wanting to learn more about diabetes, but not having it yourself. If she was first Dx'd at 4 it would be a safe bet to think that she is a T1. How old is this young lady now?

She told you her A1c is in the 10 to 10.5 range. That tells me that she is not well controlled. A normal person's A1c usually runs somehere around 4.5, Well controlled Persons with Diabetes (PWDs) usually have A1cs in the 5.4 range although T1s may run in the 6s or 7s and still be considered in good control.

Oh we can be stong willed people, especially when outsiders, even though they are loved ones, try to mess with their eating.

My late wife Jem was a T1 and had a lot of other "medical challenges" which caused her to take some medications which caused her BG to soar into the 300s. (since she was totally blind as well from RP) I had to help administer her extra insulin shots according to the Endo's scedule when she was off the meds which made her BGs to rise. She would then have what I called "false hypos". Often they would happen when we were together in bed at night and she would ravenously eat the candy and cookies that she had squirrelled away in her nightstand for such an eventuality. Many times i was awakened by her movements in bed eating. I urged her to wake me before she started eating so I could test her blood, and finally once she did it. I tested her BG and she was still around 180 mg/dl and I told her not to eat. She didn't like that, and when that next happened she didn't bother to wake me, and pigged out on the carbs. Her excuse was she didn't want to wake me.

One thing you do NOT want to do is become her "diabetes police". You can encourage her to follow best practices, but that has to be her choice to follow your SUGGESTIONS. Otherwise you are setting yourself up to receive a lot of friction from her (and not in the way you might like - if you get my drift).

Kudos to you again!

Prayng God's best to you and yours

James Baker.

IronOre 2014-02-13 15:38:46 -0600 Report

What is your source that states that 5.4 is a good reading for diabetics ?
I have been T1 for 39 years, and would be dead right now if I ran that low.
The ADA sayd that 7.0 is a good reading.
You really need to stop telling people some of the stuff that you do on here, because you may kill somebody here with such bad information.

jayabee52 2014-02-14 05:16:18 -0600 Report

You are a T1 I am T2. for you 7 is a perfectluy acceptable A1c for me lower is better. and your ADA also just recently changed their eating recommendations from high carbohydrate meal plans to lower carb meal plans. I take what ADA says with a grain of salt.

This is what Mayo clinic says: "For someone who doesn't have diabetes, a normal A1C level can range from 4.5 to 6 percent. Someone who's had uncontrolled diabetes for a long time might have an A1C level above 8 percent.

When the A1C test is used to diagnose diabetes, an A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes." ~ http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/a1...

We are different and in somc cases our rules are different, particularly in the levels of A1c we can tolerate. However I forgot I was talking to someone who is asking about a T1 so I defer to you Iron on this point.

jaydoubleyou23 2014-02-11 23:37:01 -0600 Report

Is she a type one or two ? It sounds like by her a1c being so high, her blood sugars are really high all the time. It's not the worst number, but the ideal number is around 5-6.5 usually. The 7's aren't awful either but not ideal. Her sugars depending on her weight should probably always be in the 80-150 range (that's being Type one, I'm not sure what it is for type 2) Usually if your a1c is high like that it's an easy fix by calling up your doctor and changing your dosage of insulin. Or if she has a pump, they change your basal rate which is how much insulin it gives you every hour to keep your sugars normal. There's a whole lot to learn, but if she is required insulin every mean make sure she takes it before consuming any carbs at all, unless she says her sugars are low. Good luck!

Bloomerka 2014-02-12 01:07:26 -0600 Report

I believe it is type one cause it started when she was 4 yrs old. But thank you for taking the time to tell me what you know and that goes for everyone!

dagger1234 2014-02-11 22:58:55 -0600 Report

I agree with the rest..congrats on being with someone who's a diabetic and even trying to learn and understand the disease! What a sweetheart you are! You are a keeper!! Perfect timing for valentines day!

Glucerna 2014-02-11 21:17:42 -0600 Report

It's great that you're reaching out for suggestions and want to understand more about diabetes. Look at the "understanding diabetes" section on this website and read through the discussions to hear the kinds of things people are talking about. I really like your goal to be positive. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Silicone eyes
Silicone eyes 2014-02-11 14:39:57 -0600 Report

Find stuff that you can do together, our diet(s) aren't awful, just sensible, healthy meal planning. Exercise and physical activity with a friend is something shared rather than something you 'have to do'. At least from my perspective, I always felt better to a part of something, rather than different or special, like you always had a seat at the kids table. You sound like a great support person to her, which is probably more of a help than you know. Good luck to both of you.