Why are people so afraid of Diabetes?
Why are some people so afraid of Diabetes?
I do not wish to offend anyone but I just have to address the atmosphere of FEAR that permeates the USA (and to a lesser extent Canada) with regards to children being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
With blanket statements like those below being printed in the media on a regular basis, it is no wonder families and parents are now so afraid of Diabetes.
High blood glucose levels can impact a student's ability to concentrate and learn. Additionally high blood glucose levels can lead to severe disabling and life threatening complications including heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation of the lower extremities.
Quote Source - New Legislation to fight Diabetes in California Schools - Feb 2010
Diabetes is NOT an Epidemic
It actually really bugs me that the WHO and the UN (and also the USA government) keep going on and on about how there are well over 300 million diabetics around the world, and how it is a huge epidemic. They imply that is it is the diabetic persons fault for being too sedentary or for not eating healthy. That may be true for most Type 2 diabetics, but it is certainly NOT TRUE for Type 1 diabetics.
The WHO and the UN really need to STOP with the attitude.
Where does the UN and WHO think all these diabetics come from?
That's easy - if you think about it.
It is a known fact that Diabetes has been around for thousands of years. And in that time, thousands of humans with type 1 diabetes died as children, as teenagers or as young men & women either because they were undiagnosed or once they were diagnosed, because they did not have NOT have insulin to keep them alive.
So the reason why we have so many diabetics now is because - they have access to insulin. So in that respect, diabetes is not an epidemic. It is a very common disease, having been around for thousands of years. Now that we have insulin to keep diabetics alive, it just SEEMS like an epidemic because so many more people with diabetes are surviving when previously they would have died.
The "Dead in Bed" syndrome
In the days after my son was diagnosed with Type 1, I went onto an online forum specifically for Diabetic Children, asking for support from anyone in Ontario, Canada. I was asked a few questions about how often did I do finger pokes, how often did I inject insulin, did I do finger pokes during the night, and who does the injections and finger pokes at school?
My answers were 4 finger pokes minimum (breakfast, lunch, dinner (supper) and bedtime) - more are done if needed. As for injecting insulin, I do 4 injections per day - 2 at breakfast (rapid acting and intermediate acting) and then another rapid acting at dinner time and another intermediate acting insulin at bedtime. No insulin injections are done at school. Schools in Ontario do NOT have school nurses. My son does one finger poke at lunch time, and if his Blood Glucose is low, then he gets to have an extra juice box.
As to doing the finger pokes during the night - Nope, I don't do those - I have never been told to do those.
The vitriolic that was poured down on me after that statement, was totally unexpected and quite cruel. I was told that I was NOT being a good mother, I should be reported to children's services, your child comes first and do you want your child to be "dead in bed" which is what happens if a child's blood sugar level gets too low while he is sleeping and is not treated fast enough. One mother on the forum said her child died while he was sleeping, because his blood glucose level dropped too low. I could not understand why these Americans were so angry with me.
There were some Canadians in the forum who supported me. They too had never been told to check their children's blood glucose levels overnight.
I think one of the reason why the Americans were so angry with me, is because they don't get or use the intermediate acting insulin.
Why we dont do finger pokes overnight.
And yet we still avoid the Dead in Bed syndrome
The main reason why I don't need to check overnight Blood Glucose levels is because my son gets two insulin injections at night time. He gets a rapid acting insulin right before dinner to cover what he eats, and then he gets the intermediate acting insulin 2 hours later at bed time to cover when he is sleeping. I do check on my son before I go to bed, but mostly I just check and make sure that he is still breathing.
I read one statement from an American based website about drugs that said this - Insulin should look as clear as water. Do not use the medication if has changed colors, looks cloudy, or has particles in it.
The Intermediate acting insulin (called Novolin NPH) that my son receives, IS cloudy and it has to be gently mixed before it can be used. It has an onset time of 1 to 2.5 hours, peak time of 6 to 15 hours and a duration time of 18 to 24 hours.
As I write this - I am looking at the insulin chart in my Diabetes book. The rapid acting, short acting and long acting insulin types are all clear. Only the intermediate acting insulin types are cloudy.
This is how my diabetes educator explained it all to me when I was going through those first few days in shock and having all this diabetes education shoved into my head. One of the things she said, was that the hospitals would prefer NOT to use the intermediate acting insulin, but since the children with Type 1 Diabetes are in schools, and the schools in Ontario do not allow teachers to inject insulin, (although they are permitted to inject epi-pens for anaphylactic peanut allergy reactions). the diabetes teams have to use the intermediate acting insulin until the child gets promoted to a pump.
The diabetes teams cannot really use Lantus, for a newly diagnosed Type 1 child, because that means the kids have to learn very fast, how to bolus their lunchtime and snack insulin and inject themselves with extra insulin as necessary. This is on top of just being told that they are Type 1 and will have to receive insulin injections of the rest of their lives. It's usually too much to handle. So the diabetes teams use a different method for newly diagnosed children.
There is also the fact that in Ontario, most schools Under teachers union rules, do NOT allow teachers to inject insulin at all.
So to get around this - the child receives intermediate acting insulin, so that they can have their injections at home in the morning (breakfast) and again at night (dinner and bed time). The only thing my son does do at school is to give himself a finger poke (to get his Blood Glucose level) at lunch time - that's all.
His lunch and snacks are carb counted every morning. Fortunately the school recently changed its recess times and bells to fit into the diabetes day so much better, so that my son is not eating at funny times. He can now eat at the same time as everyone else.
When my son does go onto the pump, then he will receive Lantus (which is the long acting insulin and works for 24 hours) and then he can just bolus extra rapid insulin from his pump whenever he eats. He will not be giving himself injections in the arm by syringe or pen.
I sincerely hope that my son will be on a pump in the next 4 years - before he goes to high school.
USA Diabetes Site
How to De-Stress your Diabetes - UK website