Friday, November 15, 2013

New Country, New Doctor (part 1)

I've totally neglected this blog.  And at this point I'm sure no one is reading it.  I'm not sure if I should just delete it or... try to keep it up better.  I think the stories I tell (about Diabetes) are important and valuable for some to read and I really love it when someone has a question about something specific and I realize that I've written a nice long post on the topic.  The only problem I have with consistently blogging about diabetes is that I HAVE ANOTHER LIFE.  I mean, Diabetes is my life, but it's NOT my life and I don't want to spend ALL of my time talking about it, or writing about it.  So.  Yeah.  That's why I don't blog here much.

HOWEVER, there have been a few things recently that I should really put out there.

So most of you know that I recently moved to the other side of the world and now live in Asia; one degree above the equator, in the tropics, on a tiny little island, city, country called Singapore (no, not Japan or China or the Philippines).  Anyway, there are a lot of things about diabetes which were affected by my diabetes, or maybe it's the other way around.

First of all, I had to find a new doctor.  I asked some really great resources for help on referring me to a doctor here in Singapore.  Several people suggested this one doctor in particular so I figured he would be a good one.

I basically waited until the last minute to book an appointment.  I'm not sure why I was dragging my feet.  Maybe because I had plenty of other things to adjust to what with living in a new country or whatever, maybe it's because I REALLY like my old doctor and didn't want to face the fact that I am going to be seeing someone new for the next two or three years.  Dr. Day, if you retire before I get back, so help me!

Getting ready to go see my doctor.  I was so nervous! 

He was.  or... is, or whatever.

The first appointment I had with him went REALLY well.  I was very pleased with the experience and found him to be VERY thorough in getting to know me, my diabetes, and my health history.  He took my HbA1c and looked at my blood glucose data. He decided that he'd like more data and asked me to do a week on a blind CGM so that he could use the information to adjust my basal and bolus rates.  He also ordered a FULL panel of blood work.

I wasn't really pleased with my a1c but given the disruptions to my life the previous three months, I decided to give myself a break about it and aim for better next time.

Stay tuned for part two.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Making Friends

Met a new friend.  Decided to go on a hike with this friend.  The hike was intended to be a long one.  About 3 or 4 hours.  So, naturally, being diabetic, I had to think about ways to prepare for low blood sugars along the way.  My sugars were doing really well, staying within the normal ranges so I decided to lower my basals by 50% like I would during any exercise and carry three packages of mentos with me.  That's more than enough to cover any lows I may have had on the trail, as well as share some with the boys, and their new buddy.
It's really awkward, you know, meeting someone new and having to jump right in with, "so, I'm diabetic and..." But... I feel like, when doing this kind of activity, it's probably better to bring it up right away rather than, you know, try to explain while having a low or something.  
New friend has a kid.  This kid is basically a big fat brat.  He's asking for my stash of candy pretty much right away.  I tell friend that it is hard to have candy in front of kids when, you know, they're gonna want you to share, but that I always explain to my classes (substitute teacher) that they'd much rather NOT have the disease than share my candy, or juice, or orange or whatever it may be that I'm treating with.  And, I don't go out of my way to openly eat it in FRONT of the kids, but sometimes you have to, especially in my profession.  
So she says to me, "yeah, and I guess if they eat too much candy they can get diabetes too" UGH!  Really?  So I politely say, "no, not really, actually you're more prone to get it by genetic predisposition than by eating too much sugar"  "Oh, I guess I don't know that much about diabetes anyway".  
Right, I hadn't noticed.

Had tea with another friend and when I explained to her that I wear an insulin pump because I have diabetes her reaction was, "Oh, you have it THAT BAD?"  "yeah", I said.  

I mean, I don't expect everyone to know everything about diabetes, not by a long shot.  But since moving, I've noticed this kind of becoming an issue for me.  

I'm usually one to meet friends pretty easily.  I'm outgoing, friendly, talkative, and usually that ends in me rapidly making good friends with a lot of people. I'm usually really open about diabetes.  Don't mind telling poeple about it, don't mind people asking about it.  Until recently.  

I've had kind of a hard time adjusting to my new life here, in Asia, thousands and thousands of miles away from home.  For some reason, well, I know what the main ones are, but anyway, it's just been... difficult.  Add to that the fact that making new friends means they don't already know about diabetes like my friends back home already know about it... it's just added to the stress of it all.  

I mean, how do you just go up to a person and explain that you have this chronic condition?  It's so damned awkward.  I'd take the silly questions my OLD friends had over explaining it new for the first time any day.