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Jul 17

Diabetes Support

In 2011 I was in an accident in Melbourne, Australia where I had to be taken under for a trauma surgery to my jaw. It may sound like blasphemy, but when I was in the OR bullpen (I am sure there is a more appropriate name!), the anesthesiologist was kindly telling me what they were going to do, and kept asking if I could remove my insulin pump and the entire site (a band aid like adhesive where a hairlike need is inserted into my skin so insulin could flow into my body).

I obliged. I didn’t want to take it off, because I knew for one, my backside is one of the best spots for my pump, and getting a good site that absorbs the insulin efficiently, for me then, was not a quick process. Above all, I was fasted for far too long, not thinking entirely clearly and was in severe pain despite the medication I was on and did not want to twist my body in the needed fashion to get a new site. Secondly, I assumed I had to manage getting a new site myself because this method of controlling my blood sugars was not common in Melbourne, a common wealth country where the government funded the medical supplies. Thirdly, I didn’t see the need. He wanted to remove it to prevent a bed sore/bed wound, and I knew I was a healthy 20-something and the surgery was not anticipated to be an all day event, or days event. So the anesthesiologist and I met in the middle. He took my pump, I left on my site.

While my blood sugars were tested throughout the 4 hour surgery, and I am guessing the range was flexible, I did not have insulin administered at all during that time. I have a vague memory post-op, which was late in the evening, of my Certified Diabetes Educator running into my room asking for my glucose reading because the pump removal was against her orders. Sure enough I was loaded with ketones, which thankfully recovered, but I could easily say, I was scared for my life. How could this top level trauma hospital in all of the country, let alone state, miss this? No doubt the doctor did call me after I was discharged acknowledging the mistake.

While this story has more details, and I will spare them, it is an example of a moment, and not the only one in the decades I have had type 1 diabetes, that I felt alone, without a team that I fully trusted to care for me entirely.

As a newly diagnosed 8 year old, a growing teen, a new college student transitioning to an insulin pump, a soon-to-be mom monitoring blood sugars throughout pregnancy (2x) like a hawk, I’ve met with many health care professionals shedding loads of advice on how to best manage my disease; and many tips are still with me, but also occasions when I thought, “I wish they knew how to do this 24/7, 365 and reconsider what they are asking of me.”

Where I am getting, and perhaps you can relate, I want to be your person, helping you in the journey of living with diabetes emotionally and therapeutically. It far more than a game of counting carbs and drawing up a dose of insulin or medication, or manipulating a diet to fit the need. I am currently working on a Diabetes Bootcamp, a 8 week program, focusing on best practices for taking care of blood sugars, including observations on insulin therapy, testing timing, basal testing, and the cornerstone of nutrition, including calculating calorie requirements, macro-nutrient ratios, unique to your lifestyle and medical history, and providing grocery lists, sample meal plans, accountability, stress management and more.

In the meantime, I am taking clients per usual as shown in my Services, and I will be sending updates as the Bootcamp progresses. Stay tuned!