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Approaching Diabetes

As most of you know, since I have discussed it before, I am a Type 2 Diabetic, having been diagnosed about 15 years ago. Recently, I have been getting very concerned with the direction the disease seems to be going. For the last few years I have been traded around by a number of doctors with a number of specialties, I’m loaded with medications and insulin shots and, personally, I feel like things are getting worse.

My greatest worry (and that of most diabetics) is that someday I will end up with one or two amputated legs… something I don’t see as worth living with. While researching the return of itching, coloration and the presence of water under the skin of my lower legs (which I was in the hospital several years ago, getting relief from), I did some looking on line (I can learn more here than I can from a Doctor who gives you an average of 8 minutes on a visit). I found listing for a book by Dr. Mark Hinkes, a podiatrist, titled “Keep the Legs You Stand On.”

Just flipping through it before beginning to read, there was, right before me, a photograph of just what my legs look like…the condition is called Hemosidirin Deposits and show how Iron is lodged under the skin causing discolor. This lower leg condition also includes dangerous skin ulcers, bleeding, itching and other symptoms that can lead to bone infection and leg loss.

Yeah, I’m depressed about this… and while Hinkes’ major recommendation is to go to the Doc or the Emergency Room and have them put me off my feet and treat with antibiotics and lubricating oils that keep the skin from drying out. I have yet to convince myself to do this… having done my own therapy with dermatological lubricating cream and locally applied antibiotics has shown good signs that the symptoms will once again go away.

In order to bring my blood sugar under control, I am in the second day of  thirty day program by Dr. Stefan Ripich (a Naturopathic Doctor, which my wife tells me is a legitimate profession even though I questioned it) which claims to “cure” diabetes. I reality, it is a change in lifestyle which brings blood sugar under control and, having read through the program and the reports from people who have used it, find that it makes a certain amount of sense.

Truth to tell, on the second day of the program I have already eliminated sugar in more forms than I knew existed, and my blood sugar readings have been closer to normal than they have been in a couple of years. I’ll be interested in what I will be like at the end of thirty days.

Ripich claims I will probably be able to stop the meds and insulin… not sure what my Endocrinologist will say.

Anyway, I’m hoping it’s not too late to make all these changes… but I’m an old guy who has not been the best patient all these years. It’s amazing what fear will do.

Ironic Marketing Humor

From The Week:

56 spoonfuls of sugar - how healthy!

A KFC franchise in Utah is asking customers to help fight diabetes — by purchasing an 800-calorie Mega Jug of sugary soda to wash down their meals. For every $2.99 half-gallon drink it sells, the chicken restaurant promises to give $1 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

The promotion has drawn criticism from anti-obesity activists, who still haven’t forgiven KFC for last year’s unveiling of the Double Down sandwich, which ensconces bacon and cheese between two fried chicken breasts. But Gary Feit, a JDRF spokesman, is defending KFC, pointing out that the Type 1 diabetes his organization researches is not caused by diet or obesity. Besides, he adds, only one franchise is involved.

 

Perhaps it is fortunate that Colonel Sanders is no longer with us. What would he have thought?

6:30 AM and I Woke Up in the Middle of a Nightmare…

It was one of those dreams that is too real and that I had trouble shaking off when I woke up.

I was getting ready to go to my appointment with Dr. Kahn (which I actually do have this morning at 9:00) and I got involved in some discussion with a lot of people in my house… a great big house somewhere… not our small townhouse in Shepherdstown) and then I left to go to the appointment. But I forgot my coat, so I had to go back in the house and go through room after room to find it, which I finally did on a bedroom…not MY bedroom…floor. So I left again and got almost to where I was going and remembered that I had forgotten to take my meds, in this case my diabetes pills (for some reason I didn’t even think of the insulin shots), so I went all the way back to the house.

But I couldn’t find them. I went through room after room, looked into drawers, looked on top of cabinets, asked everyone if they had seen them. No one had. I started to go absolutely crazy. Without the pills my blood sugar would rise astronomically and then I would die. As I looked all over this house, which was full of people who I wasn’t recognizing, although they were all people from my past, my old friend Harold Kepnes was coming up the stairs and joking at me. I was so upset… I couldn’t take a joke and called Harold some awful names and he started to leave. Then I realized I had hurt the feelings of a friend and chased after him and got him to help me look for the pills.

Meanwhile, my mouth was drying out and I was starting to be incomprehensible… I remember running into Harold’s mother and pushing her out of the way so I could search for the pills… and I was getting hysterical.

Then my dog, Nestle, started licking me, and I was in my reclining chair and Morning Joe was on television and, somewhere between sleeping and waking, I realized I was in my real living room and had been dreaming. It took me a couple of minutes to shake off the dream and meanwhile our other dog, Byron, came downstairs and, of course, both dogs wanted to eat and I looked at my cell phone at my side to see the time… 6:30. I had been sleeping in my chair ( I came downstairs at around 4:00 AM when I couldn’t sleep in bed and settled into a CSpan replay of a Climate Change conference in the House of Representatives, when I must have fallen asleep and started dreaming.)

I fed the dogs and then took my morning blood reading… 265!… much much too high. And now, fully awake, I realized it must have been the high blood sugar that was giving me a warning nightmare.

Now, after pills and Insulin, I’m having a cup of coffee and waiting for my blood sugar to go down so I can go to my appointment at the Doctor’s.

I don’t want to go through this one again. Oh, and sorry Harold. Didn’t mean to get you involved.

A Quote for the other diabetics like me out there…

I was looking for information relating to the severe nausea I get from using Byetta, a drug prescribed for diabetics to help keep blood sugar down by making you not hungry, when I came across this quote from Jenny who runs the blog Diabetes Update.  In one article she discussed whether ANY of the meds we diabetics consume or inject can cure, or at least turn around, diabetes.

Her conclusion on the major drug companies who are advertising significant reversals of symptoms by using their Insulin/Metformin/GLD-1 products is the following:

The drug companies are not working on cures, because if you were cured you wouldn’t need to buy $400 dollars worth of their drugs every month. Their drugs provide only control, and not very good control at that. Until we start funding research that is not undertaking to fatten someone’s bottom line things are going to stay that way. Why kill the golden goose?

Changing a lifestyle is very interesting…

My readers know that last week my wife and I started eating a Vegan diet, but it is now becoming a more interesting prospect since she received a bunch of books she ordered from Amazon. There were some cookbooks to give us new things to try, which I appreciated since I do a lot of our cooking, and a heavy volume called “The China Study,” by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II. Dr. Campbell comes from decades of scientific research at Cornell, MIT and other institutions and he published this book three years ago. If I had read it then, I would have most likely started this Vegan program much sooner.

I won’t get into the depth of research in this book, but I will say there are hundreds of scientifically proven and published sources here which contradict most of the popular diet plans that I have been addicted to most of my overweight life. Ostensibly, he shows why the basic American diet, especially as it regards protein from meat and large quantities of milk products, not only promotes weight but also heart disease, mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes (which I have developed) and many more things which lead to shortened lifetimes.

Campbell gets into the advantages of replacing an animal protein based diet with a plant based diet as a way of promoting health and reversing some diseases (including diabetes, which he has significant documentation on). As time goes by I’ll keep you updated on things I’ve learned here, and I’d appreciate your comments, too. So many people have done this before me and I have a lot to learn.