In Need Of An Understanding

I am one who tries to put myself in someone else’s shoes to understand where they are coming from. To understand why they may say or act the way that they do. To get a hold on an understanding of a situation. And this is what brings me to this. I have read a lot of things and have heard a lot of things about type 2 diabetes (I, being a type 1 I don’t know much about type 2 or any other type). I am sure that most of it is not true as with a lot of the information that is out there (which has me confused in a bad way and I would like to get some truths). If you are not the one living with it I truly think that you will not have the right information about it. The place to get the information is to go to the source I believe. So that is what I am trying to do.

I am not looking for a heated discussion here! But what I am looking for is some answers so that I can have an idea of what my fellow diabetics have to deal with everyday. If any type 2’s would like to help me out here that would be great. Or if anyone who has accurate information on this can help that would be good too.

What I would like to find out is the following:

What is a normal day like for you? What is a not normal day like? What complications you get with type 2? How do you manage to deal with the ups and downs that comes with having this? Do you educate people about the misinformation that the media puts out? If you do educate them, how do you do it and do you do it with everyone?

Any other information that you may think would be helpful in understanding things from your side would be helpful to me. All I want is to GET IT!!!

Well, a normal day for a Type 2 will depend on the stage of that person’s Type 2 Diabetes progression, or even… on whatever “flavor” of Type 2 Diabetes it is they have. Some T2Ds are prone to ketosis, and lows… and need to be extra careful, even if they are not on insulin.

For me… I am not on any medications… So it means I have to watch everything I put in my mouth, like a hawk, because I can’t correct it later, with insulin or any oral medications. Whatever mistakes I make, I pay myself… And if I’m high, sometimes I may stay high a while, and it might truly affect my ability to function well: moodiness, sleepiness, blurry vision, exacerbation of my carpal tunnel, depression episodes or episodes of hopelessness, yeast infections, etc. My only way of limiting any of these things is by following a reasonably low carb diet… or I get very high, very quickly. I miscalculated the other day, and was at 194 mg/dL. I work overnights, right now, so it’s even more challenging.

I got this disease thanks to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which makes me have an endless supply of hyperinsulinemia constantly coursing through my body, whether I eat or not, and which sometimes gives me lows… this has, with time, destroyed my cells’ ability to handle insulin well… and has destroyed my ovaries. They are three times the size of normal ovaries, and I can never have a period on my own. I have lost a lot of my hair, and produce a lot of excess male hormones… Plus I have hypothyroidism, too. T2D, contrary to what people love to claim, is also an autoimmune disease as some new studies have revealed… It’s just an autoimmune disease that more directly affects adipose tissue and metabolism. The mechanics are not well understood, yet… PCOS and Hypothyroidism are also autoimmune.

Thanks to the constant flow of insulin, like a broken tap… I can’t handle carbs very well, and I can very easily gain weight. I’ve gained 10-15 lbs in a week, before… without even trying. It’s a constant war, for me.

My goal, is to just manage with diet as long as I can, until I need insulin… I just don’t want to go on 20 pills… they are too scary to me. If I have to eat Dr. B for the rest of my life, to manage it, so be it. Food is not quality of life, it’s just fuel. shrug

Thanks for your reply and for sharing part of your life. This was very helpful. I wish you the best with all that you have to deal/ manage everyday.

Re education:
With so much misinformation in the media I feel compelled to explain what T2 is when for instance someone see’s me testing.
But at times I admit to being overzealous. When their eyes glaze over it’s time to change the topic of the conversation. It’s important to understand that dealing with diabetes has become a big part of my life and of course it never goes away. But for others it’s a peripheral thing.

Tudiabetes is a better outlet for in depth discussions.

Yeah, I guess I forgot the education bit… I dunno, I guess out in the real world, I am more careful. I don’t volunteer much information unless I hear someone say something outright wrong, or someone asks me a question… or shares a concern out in the open. I do it this way, because I am aware people don’t like to be lectured on their personal health issues, concerns, etc. In public, it doesn’t happen often… but here on TuD, people ask a lot… post a lot… I try to share as I can, but need to take breaks, sometimes… It can be frustrating.

BadMoonT2 thanks for your reply. I think that with all the misinformation out there someone with the right information should step up and tell it. Thanks for doing your part in spreading some accurate information about type 2 diabetes.

I am a Type 2 but not your typical one because I am thin (type weird on here…hehe). Anyhow, Liz covered it pretty well. For me, I take Metformin 2x daily - I am on the lowest dosage and so far I haven’t had to change in my (almost) one year since starting it. Certainity that will change in the future because this is progressive. My pancreas still makes a good amount of insulin but one day …who knows. It has been pretty stable for me this first year but I kind of think of it as my “easy” year because I have to prepared for the fact that is going to change someday. It is weird not knowing when though…

But yes, it can be harder with food for a Type 2 because you can’t “cover” higher carb foods with insulin nor do “corrections” if you didn’t take enough of whatever (I think that is the way it works for Type 1 with insulin). So you really have to control what you eat if you want good numbers - it can be alot of sacrifice in that way. Not that both Types don’t make sacrifices food wise but when you go high with Type 2 - no insulin to fix it. :frowning: (unless you are a Type 2 on insulin - don’t know the percentages of how many there are or whether most of on oral meds than insulin whatever - most Type 2 seem to be on no meds or orals though)

If my bloodsugar goes too high because I ate something “forbidden” (which I did yesterday!), than exercise is the way to get it down. But for me, since I don’t want to be on that damn treadmill all the time to burn up that extra sugar than I have to plan my diet every carefully. I now I have meals I know I can and have a pretty “normal” day numbers-wise (meaning I stay in good range - mostly below 140 or lower for me) so I find it easier to just stay with the same old boring meals most of the time because it making dealing with this easier and I don’t have to worry so much about everything I eat because I know stuff that I can that won’t send me sailing so I can relax and enjoy my meals. For me, that is a exchange I am willing to make so I don’t have to do so much planning everyday and not worry so much.

One thing that is good for me is that I don’t have to worry about having any lows and apparently on Metformin I should not have any. We mostly have to worry about going to high which is what causes the complications. Neuropathy etc. Not sure if you are familiar with all those.

I really hate the stereotyping about Type 2’s out there. It bothers me to no end. Probably because I esp. don’t fit the stereotype. I haven’t had too many opportunities to educate people. I think I am a good “test subject” to do it since I completely opposite of what people would expect a Type 2 to be like. People think we brought this on ourselves and love to play the blame game and when given the opportunity I am more than happy to prove them wrong and present myself as the evidence to testimony of this. The only thing I did wrong was being born into a family that has bad genes and it was a crap shoot that I was one of the few who got the bad diabetes gene in my family. Hardly my fault at all. At least, I can feel less guilty about anything I think I might have done in all this because I now know there is no way I could have escaped it.

I am pronounced to be a type 2. A normal day is injecting 100 units of insulin 50 of lantus in 2 shots and a multitude of apidra shots. I have not had any complications but my brother had seriously gangrened feet. I point out my wife who has a BMI of less than 25 and a higher A1c than I do as a possible fallacy in the ADA hypothesis that obesity causes diabetes.

I am your stereotypical type 2 diabetic. I fit the mold down to the t and I match the profile that people talk about when it comes to type 2 diabetes. I have no other diseases that could of cause type 2 diabetes outside of the typical factors they talk about in the media. I lost a lot of weight and became very active and reduce my stress levels and ate right and things seemed to go the other way.

When I was diagnosed I ate a lot of bad food, I was obesse, and did not work out, I worked in a very stressful job with long hours had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am not a skinny type 2. My wii tells me all the time I am overweight all the time. So i am working on that one. To make the wii happy.

My first year typical day as a diabetic was very different than my typical day as a diabetic today.

Here is a day on year one

  1. Wake up at the 6:45 am to get ready for work. Before I go to work I check my glucosse level. Depending on what the number was I use a sliding scale to bring it down to normal range before I can eat. I never counted carbs at that time. My endo and dietician did not tell me how to cover carbs to check out what the level should be. So my target at the time was about 90 before eating. I used humalog to cover the 2 hour marks.

I was told unit to drop BG 50 mg/dl
BG 150-199: 1 unit bolus Insulin
BG 200-249: 2 units bolus Insulin
BG 250-299: 3 units bolus Insulin
BG 300-349: 4 units bolus Insulin
BG Over 350: 5 units bolus Insulin

  1. Go drive to work. I would bring my lunch at the time and it was typically one sandwhich on wheat bread, some chips, and a diet drink. After being at work and right before lunch I would check glucose levels again and repeat the sliding scale. I get back to work and check two hours later.

  2. After checking 2 hours laters I do the slide scale again. never counted carbs to cover. Work some more. For some reason at that time I did not see a lot of lows.

  3. Quitting time around 5. I worked as a software contractor and I was not allowed to work overtime. Good for me. So I had a typical 9 to 5 job.

  4. Play with the baby and get ready for dinner. Check the glucose level and do humalog according to the scale.

  5. Clean up after dinner and go for a 3 mile walk with the baby and the wife.

  6. After cleaning up and working out and baby is sleeping, check glucose level and do a slide scale and have a snack.

  7. Right before bed around 11 i would then take 30 units of lantus.

Typical day today.

  1. Get up at 6:30 to get my son ready for school and myself ready for work. At 7 a.m I take my first glucose reading. The number reads 120. I really cant do anything to recover for this. I dont have time to workout in the morning so I am content with a 120 since its below the magic 140 number. This number is good enough so that I can take my son to school and be back at 7:45

  2. As soon as I drop my son off I come home and pick up my laptop and head off to work with 2 pills. One is a metformin 500mg and the other is a multi vitamin. I stop and grab some breakfast at the mc donalds. One english mcmuffin and a carton of milk. I pop my two pills and head for work.

  3. I am at work for about an hour and head for the first meeting of the day. I check glucose levels cause I dont want to go low during the meeting. At about 10 I am at 120. I am ok because I am still under the magic number.

  4. Meeting runs long and goes to 12:15. At this point I have not eaten since 8 and I missed morning snack of 12 grams of carbs. I start getting a little confused at my meeting and I sweat a little and start to panic. I really did not want to snack between meals but I finally make it back to my desk. I have just hit a 62. 62 makes me feel shaky and confused. I keep 15 grams of carb juice boxes in my desk and I slam 2 of them. Now I dont feel like going to lunch with anyone cause I have to recover from my 62. So I head out solo so I dont have to talk to people while I recover.

  5. I decide to eat a footlong sub with turkey at the local subway. Since I am still out of it I take the carb hit. I eat my sub and head back to the office. Check bgs after 1 hour of eating cause I feel weird. I am at 190. I’ll bring this down with a quick walk. I take a 20 minute quick walk. And come back in. Check glucose and I am at 120. Life is good again.

  6. Its the end of the work day. I check before the drive home to make sure I dont hit lows on the way home

  7. I eat dinner at 6. It is chicken, mash potatoes and corn. I check glucose 30 minutes later and I am at 180. that is ok cause I am about to go ride my bike for a 6 mile loop. The first 20 minutes of the ride consist of a decent climb so I hit the climb hard and go up the hill. After 20 minutes I make it to the local grocery store. I am at 60. I have just dropped from 180 to 60 in 20 minutes. I hit the store and buy me a 16 ounce orange juice. I love orange juice so a good excuse to drink it. I wait 10 minutes and notice an upward trend. I am at 90. I finish the next 30 minutes and make it home. I take the dog for a 2 mile ride. I come back home and I check after 30 minutes and now I am at 115. I am ok with that number.

  8. I work to get my son to bed now.

  9. Its 10 pm I take a piece of toast and a glass of skim milk with the blood pressure medicine and the cholesterol medicine.

  10. I stay up catch up on some work and stuff i am working on and head to bed around 11:30

  11. I wake up around 3 am, feel a little weird so I check bg. Its 100. Not bad. I used to get night time lows so habit of checking.

Thanks KimKat. I hate the stereotyping that is being done about type 2’s. It makes it hard for people to have and get a true understanding of it. Thanks for sharing. I for one think believe that if it is a persons fault (as some seem to think) or if it is their genes it is not my place or anyone else’s to tell the person with type 2 that it is their fault that they have it. By the way, “the same old boring meals” keep us from having to think too much. :slight_smile:

I want to say thank you very much to those who have reply to my discussion so far. Reading what you all have had to say has got me to thinking so more. What I am trying to figure out is are the complications that a type 2 can have are they the same as the ones that a type 1 can have?

I would think so unless c-peptide protects the body against complications.

I think their hypothesis may have a flaw in it. Thanks for sharing. Sorry about your brother.

Wow. Thanks for sharing. That is a big change for you in a year. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for starting this discussion Miss Miss… I never thought to ask myself, but I have also been curious about how handling D differs from T1 to T2. I mean, I knew that there were a great many drugs that promote insulin sensitivity and that exercise and careful diet were continually hammered at T2 (who could miss that one, with all the ads & articles in Reader’s Digest?) but I didn’t really know how the day-to-day management goes.

Elizabeth that is one of the things that I have wondered about, the day-to-day management of it. I have a friend who is a T2D and I am trying to understand her trials and the things that she has to deal with with her day to day management. So I thought the best source of information is to go to those who has T2D and ask them. I am finding out some good information!

I am not a classic Type 2, but not a Type 1 either. I call myself Type Weird. It took 2 years to get a formal diagnosis of diabetes, although there were signs of it right from the beginning. I tried Glucotrol for 5 months but it didn’t work, so I went on insulin. I was overweight, but never obese, and after going on insulin I lost 20 lb. from not being so hungry all the time.
At the current time, I’m on a pump and CGM, which help a lot, because I do bounce around. I’m also limiting my carbs, which means that there are a lot of foods I love that I just can’t have. If I eat too many carbs, my BG goes up big time. My weight remains a glorious 5 lb. over BMI 24.9, which is not such a horrible lot – I’ve even read that for older people (I’m 63) a little excess weight is a good thing. I do need to watch what I eat, because just eating anything and covering it with insulin would surely result in weight gain, and I’m trying to stay stable (or lose that last 5 lb. if possible!)

When I was in the hospital in a coma last September, the hospitalist had to have a serious discussion with the CDE, who insisted that the Type 2 protocols they were using were not working, and they needed to switch to Type 1 protocols. I genuinely am a mixed bag. My new endo has me down as a Type 1, BUT I’m not – I have characteristics of both.

One of the reasons I bring this up is that Type 2 is NOT a single disease. It is a collection of diseases with certain similarities, but also differences which are lumped under one umbrella for lack of better scientific understanding. I am certain that there are forms of Type 2 which have never even been described, let alone treated.

Type 2’s can develop any of the complications that Type 1’s do, except they develop them with fewer years of diabetes under their belts. And they get less sympathy, because they just look like old people with disabilities. Type 2’s need tight control, but too many doctors just dismiss them with the idea that it’s the “mild” form of diabetes – here, pop a pill and forget about it. Unfortunately, that is just not true, and those who buy into the pop a pill theory are much more likely to suffer complications.

The Type 2’s you see here are mostly NOT of that philosophy – they try very hard to control their diabetes, and take it very seriously, but they are not representative of the “man on the street”. Which is why projections of money needed to care for diabetes are so high – the man on the street is the one who will present with complications.

There are a lot of good responses here – sorry if I didn’t answer exactly what you had in mind, but it was just what was flowing in my mind!

Thanks for your reply. This was a good one too. You touched on a point that had went through my mind. That is that there may be more than one type 2 or something just like it is with type 1.

T2s develop complications with fewer years of diabetes under their belts? That was news to me - could you elaborate please?

First off, there are a significant number of Type 2’s who already have complications when they are diagnosed. I don’t believe most of them have been walking around without medical care for the amount of time it takes to get complications; I believe that while their diagnosis may have been tardy, but they also developed the complications quickly.

Secondly, many Type 2’s develop complications within 5 years of diagnosis; most Type 1’s take longer than that. Part of it may be that the body does become more fragile as people get older, but the fact remains that it doesn’t take long for some Type 2’s to develop complications.

Third, don’t take the people here as an example. These people have sought out information, and are in general very conscientious about taking care of themselves. As a group, they are probably less prone to complications than your average Joe on the street who pops a pill and forgets about it.