My scary time

Last year, on September 10th 2009 I was admited to the hospital with a fever of 108, I was 2 1/2 days dehydrated, and I had a UTI that turned into a bladder infection that turned into a kidney infection. By the time the ambulance had gotten me to the hospital my body had gone septic. On the way the to hospital, the paramedic asked me if "I was still with them" (I had closed my eyes). I said "Dude, I'm just resting my eyes." I was unconscious for 3 days.

The Dr's in emergency of course had hooked me up to saline bags that were administered every 1/2 hour, an antibiotic bag and of course an insulin bag; I spent the next week and a 1/2 in the hospital hooked up to a "couple of machines" (more like I was borg'ed out) while my 32 BS went from critical to normal.

When I finally woke up and was ready to eat food, the hospital fed me pancakes with a side of syrup (they didn't even have the decency to offer Canadian maple syrup BARBARIANS! ha ha), orange juice, and a plethora of crappy sugary foods that were sure to kill. Thankfully, I had my husband bringing me chickpeas tomato and cucumber salad, baked zucchini and wild blue berries. Double thankfully, he brought me food every day for all my meals. I'm sure I would have still been in there if it wasn't for him dutifully and lovingly making sure I had proper food.

Being in the hospital (without a good BS and SICK) was the one of scariest thing I had ever experienced.

For the next 5 months I went through 6 rounds of antibiotics for anything from UTI to kidney infection to bronchitis. It wasn't until March (8 months later) that my naturopath figured out that I was suffering from adrenal dysfunction. Which apparently happens after a major physical trauma. She gave me some vitamins and said that it would take 6months to a year to get better better.

Here I am a year later from the original sickness and I am just starting to feel like I am getting my mojo back.

The biggest [frustration] issue I have [from all of this] is the medical community and their inability to know what is really going on with diabetics. I go regularly to my local Diabetes Association for my monthly (3) visit with my diabetes nurse and nutritionist but they don't really know how to handle me or what to tell me. Most of the time I feel like they are just passive to my concerns.

One time in particular comes to mind. I had a nutritionist tell me that I could NOW only eat 3 cookies instead of 5. I remember looking at her and saying that I didn't eat cookies and she looked back at me and said "Well, remember to only eat 3 instead of 5." I tuned her out after that.

A couple of months ago, out of pure frustration I wrote my diabetes nurse and new nutritionist (I got rid of that other one) an email outlying what I expected of them and what they could expect of me. This is that email..,

Hey Jen & Chris!

I have been thinking about our latest meeting between Chris, yourself and me the other day and our miscommunication. I want to make
myself clear about my goals so we can move forward to help me
achieve them.

I would like to think of myself as a student of the science of diabetes. I have done a lotof research, reading, inquiries into the health community, and discussions with medical practitioners on the subject of diabetes. I have come to the conclusion that there are several schools of thought
pertaining to "reversing diabetes," combating diabetic complications
and general overall diabetic knowledge.

I understand that you and others at the diabetes association meet with numerous people (and have over the years) who may not comply with
nutritional basics (necessities) like not drinking alcohol or
eliminating sugar (to name a few) and this process must be frustrating
for you, along with daily deflation. With that said, I do not consider
myself "that" type of person. I don't drink, eat sweets and I look for
alternate healthy food options (although I do feel that there is much
room for improvement). I want you to consider me your champion. A
diabetic poster child.

I am looking for leadership, open-mindedness, determination, and problem solving. Over the next year, I am determined to make and meet personal weight loss goals, improved
nutritional healing, and lifestyle changes so that ultimately I will no
longer need medication. I want to prove that
fact a type II diabetic person who is medicated can change their
life where they no longer require the medication. I will revisit my
goals over the course of the year in 3 month increments and will make
appropriate changes to keep focused and get the results I have planned
for. Ultimately my final 1 year goal
s are:

1. losing 100 pounds
2. no longer requiring any of my medication
3. lower my A1C within healthy limits (4.5 - 5)

These goals of course imply subsequent (other healthy) secondary and tertiary results that go hand in hand with the changes I will be making.I am presently researching and following the dietary manifesto's (if we can call them that) of Dr. Neal Bernard (ran successful low-fat vegan
clinicals on type II diabetics to improve glycemic and lipid control)
and Dr. Gabriel Cousens; who both determine that diabetes can be
changed through a vegan, no fat, high bean, raw food and whole grain

I have just recently gotten a membership at the YMCA. I have planned to attend aerobics classes from Monday to Friday for one hour. Over the course of a month I will be monitoring my blood sugar, making appropriate changes, and at the end
of the month adding another exercise (to be determined).

I need help and support from both you and Chris to wade through medication changes, investigate possible alternatives and solutions, improve and find alternatives diet/nutrition based on Bernards and Cousens concepts.

I look forward to your input and support while I make this change and follow this new road. I hope this is something both of you can get behind and would appreciate suggestions of alternate resources if you chose not to.

Sadly, I didn't get a response for 5 days. And then when they did respond, it was to let me know they got my email. A week later I got an envelope in the mail with some vegetarian recipes that were HIGH in fat carbs, sodium and sugar.

As I read the recipe over I thought "WHAT! Are these people drunk!?"

I felt deflated. I felt screwed. Was this MY destiny? I must have angered someone somewhere, if this was the crack pot medical nutritional advice I was being offered. I cried. I rolled around in self pity. It wasn't the proudest moment in my life.

I am OVER it now. This has taught me a good hard lesson about MY DIABETES. I am in control. I am the captain of my diabetes ship. And although, I was under the illusion that they were there for support and resources and that they were ACTUALLY on my team to help me do more then band-aid manage, I have come to the real reality, that they can't. They themselves don't know any more then me and if I wanted to get even more honest about the situation, I knew more then they did; I lived with it everyday.

My point, is that I am GRATEFUL, thankful, blessed, humbled, and finally feel like I have the power. I really have the power. Thanks to everyone who has come before me, contributed, shared their story, experience, words... your voice goes on with me. I carry it with me, like a precious magical prophet that is the only saving grace.

In the 5 days that I have been here so far reading, participating, listening I have learned so much.

I am thankful <3

Greetings Fellow Canuck!
Yu rites gud gurl! Seriously, your main flaw in the letter you wrote to Jen & Chris was that it was too clever, too specific, too articulate… and you used some of them big wurz like “determination” and “manifesto” and “help”. I’ve learned to stick to monosyllables (ok, howcum monosyllables has 5 syllables?) and simple terminology and especially brevity. The moment my email stretches into 3 or more paragraphs, I can almost see the “professional” eyes glazing over. There are some intelligent medical professionals out there but you really have to persist. A little luck helps too.

bahahaha “I rites gud” ha ha ha

This email was in response to an absolutely horrible experience [well, one of many] with my diabetes team at the association. It took me an hour to write because I wanted there to be no miscommunication about what I wanted and expected (what did I have to lose if I didn’t ask/tell, right?). As far as health care goes, I think it is important to be inclusive with the patient. And even more frustrating [you may be experiencing this in your own community - no Dr’s available, I only have a nurse practitioner as my primary]

Their response of no response clearly validated what I had been thinking about how they viewed my recovery. I now know better. lol

When I first got type 2 D, I was in hospital at the time having my colon removed. Prednisone for the Ulcerative colitis has also cost me my teeth so I had no working dentures for a long time (for other reasons). I can remember meeting this young dietician with the 18 inch waistline advising me to “chew my broccoli well”. She must have told me that 3 times and each time I reiterated I had not had solid food for over a year at that point. Not only that but a high fibre diet for someone missing their large intestine makes for some digestive problems - at least until my system had a chance to adapt to the missing organs. And I had to chuckle when the medication given to me the morning after a later surgery included stool softeners! Just what every ostomate needs.
My hubby stayed with me all day almost every day during the longer hospital stints. I’m pretty sure the pro’s woulda killed me off if he hadn’t been there to point out a few things on my behalf. “Is the IV supposed to make her hand swell up like that?” “Do you suppose you could start an IV on her BEFORE she dehydrates completely?” “Is there supposed to be blood coming from THERE?” On and on… The stories we could tell!

Please clarify …it is about sementics , I think.
I am confused, you said , quote " I go regularly to my local Diabetes Association for my monthly ( 3 ) visit with my diabetes Nurse and Nutritionist " …can you please clarify?? …reason why I am asking the
( Canadian ) Diabetes Association does not give out any medical advise …CDA advises to go to a Diabetes Education Centers, GP’s, an Endo , eye specialists , foot doctors etc. etc;.
And a big cheer to you for the goals you have set yourself …time to advocate for those within your community and with your Elders ?

@Nel: Sure no problem. I go to my local Canadian Diabetes Association. Which inside is located an education center (You’re right, it is semantics). I should probably qualify this by saying the town I live in is hard up for Dr’s, locations, and health people in general. So, it’s a 2 in 1. Although, the Canadian Diabetes Association part is so small and the education and care part is so big - they should just call it a Canadian Diabetes Education building (on the sign) but I’m sure that has something to do with funding. Needless to say it’s the ONLY diabetes building in town. You got the betes you go there. Actually, now that I think about it they have 2 secretaries, that probably explains it. I always thought it was because they were soooooooooo busy. It literally takes MONTHS to get an appointment.

Ah , ha …as in a Group Health Center…thanks for clarifying !

I am sorry you don’t have the medical support that we all deserve. It is something that I have come across many times, also. What I do now, is research everything I can on my own, and when i go to my dr. I tell him… this is what I am going to do and why. I am fortunate enough to have a good nurse and dietician, who, if the dont know the answer, they will get back to me with several options. But for the most part, it is our diabetes and we are all unique, and we are the best people to kknow how each treatment works for our own bodies.

I love being here in this community. I have learned alot from others experiences and have made many friends here with people that actually understand what its like out there in the non D world.
Blessings to you my friend!