African Americans are diagnosed with diabetes more than 2.5 times the rate of whites. I had the opportunity to interview Anthony Anderson about his ambassador role as national spokesperson for Eli Lilly’s F.A.C.E. program. The Fearless African Americans Connected and Empowered (F.A.C.E.) program is designed specifically to reach African Americans and inform us about how to prevent or manage the epidemic diabetes diagnoses in our community.
Listen to our hilarious interview:
This is part one, stay tuned for part 2.
Local seniors enjoyed a day at the carnival when Haley Funeral Directors hosted them in the HFD tent at the Hope United Methodist Church’s 3rd annual Southfield Festival of Hope. HFD invited local senior apartment communities out for a day at the festival. Although the seniors weren’t too keen on taking a spin on the carnival rides, they did enjoy Soul Food Alley, the many vendors, local entertainment and of course the sunshine.
The response back from The Fountains at Franklin Activities Director, Robin Whitley was that “…they enjoyed the carnival fun and look forward to next year”.
Not to forget the youth, Haley Funeral Directors also sponsored 8 young women from the Judson Center, a human service agency located in Southeastern Michigan to help children, adults and families improve their lives.
Many people tend to categorize Type 1 diabetes as a “worse” case of diabetes than Type 2. The fact of the matter is that while they are both diabetes–an endocrine disorder whereby the body cannot move glucose from the blood stream to feed the cells–the reasons for the disorder are different. Because the reasons are different, the treatment is often different.
People with Type 1 diabetes always take insulin injections because the reason for their inability to move glucose to the cells is because their pancreas doesn’t produce insulin at all. Therefore the only way to complete the digestive process is with insulin injections.
People with Type 2 diabetes develop it for a number of different reasons. Some suffer from insulin resistance, meaning that their pancreas’ produce insulin, however their bodies have become resistant to the insulin and oral medication is needed to make the insulin work or work more efficiently.
Others with Type 2 diabetes have undergone a major change (weight gain, stress etc.) that increases the amount of insulin required for digestion. Sometimes the pancreas can be stimulated with oral medications to produce more insulin, however in other cases insulin injection therapy is needed.
So as you can see, there is no “worse” case of diabetes, just differences in how they are treated.
To answer to my own question, I do have an opinion about which type is easier to manage. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children, hence the earlier description “juvenile diabetes”. Type 2 often occurs in older adults. Managing diabetes is a lifestyle change, and for children, it is creating a lifestyle–not changing it.
Many people have difficulty managing Type 2 Diabetes because it is a lifestyle change more than adding a pill a day, but includes blood testing, weight management, exercise for more than just pleasure and following a diet. I believe that people managing Type 1 diabetes have it easier because they created a lifestyle as a child that they have adapted to their routine as they grew older.
For example, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 7. It was August, two months after my baby brother was born and a month before second grade started. In fact I missed a few weeks of the start of school because in 1969, patients with diabetes were hospitalized while they learned to manage, and doctors determined what dose of insulin to prescribe (Boy was this old school). In 1969, there was no such thing as a glucometer and patients were prescribed an insulin dose to take for six months until the next doctor’s visit and a blood glucose test could be done.
It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I participated in a study with a new machine called a glucometer. It was the size of an old cassette tape machine and weighed about 40 pounds. The machine had to be calibrated with synthetic blood anytime the machine was turned off–oh yeah, it had to be plugged in. While this doesn’t sound convenient or conducive to anyone’s lifestyle, it was a major step in managing diabetes. Once I graduated from college, glucometers became pocket sized and much more portable. With this new technology, I was “able” to do nearly anything.
One of the most important things my parents taught me when I was diagnosed with diabetes, was that I can do anything that I wanted to do as long as I was willing to work hard at it. While technology made it possible to manage a busy lifestyle, it was my parent’s words that continue to ring in my ears and hopefully have been passed on to my son’s ears. With that mantra, it was relatively easy to modify my regimen from high school cheerleading, to walking the campus to class; from school to work and the impact on my blood sugar of emotions during meetings or public speaking. Adding marriage, childbirth and a young family to the mix was more an organizational feat than it was a procedural change.
So the next time you see a child with diabetes, don’t hang your head in sorrow because of her diabetes. Know that she is preparing for a busy life ahead.
Join me and learn how my coaching program works with you to take your doctor’s instructions and create a routine that fits into YOUR lifestyle.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 7 PM (Eastern Time)
This will be an online conference that demonstrates my Diabetes Lifestyle Coaching Program. REGISTER HERE
Life for people with diabetes is not one simple lifestyle, and so no one’s diabetes should be treated the same. We are as individual as snowflakes and that is why coaching to create a plan to tailor your diabetes maintenance to your current lifestyle is a better option than using one set of procedures for prescribed for everyone. I will show you how my program works.
…from the U-M Comprehensive Diabetes Center
Adapted from a forthcoming publication by the U-M Adult Outpatient Diabetes Education Program.
After living with diabetes for 32 years of my life, I received a pancreas transplant. Doctors don’t routinely manage diabetes with a pancreas transplant, however because I also needed and received a kidney transplant, my transplant team’s full plan of treatment for my kidney failure was to do a follow-on pancreas transplant. The pancreas transplant would normalize my blood sugar and best protect my new kidney.
I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 7. And so I grew up as a normal active child, but quickly learned a diabetes routine that my parents created for me. I also grew up with a very remote and improbable goal of a cure for diabetes. My diabetes would likely be something that I would need to manage for the rest of my life.
It has been 10 years since my pancreas transplant and no, I’m not cured of diabetes. Instead I have diabetes treated with a pancreas transplant. “Diabetes treated with a pancreas transplant” because if anything were to happen to that pancreas, I would return to insulin injections and my body has endured 32 years of elevated blood sugars and insulin dependence.
Recently I was reminded of my body’s condition as it relates to diabetes. On my way to the airport for a health coaching network event, I noticed a familiar sight in my field of vision–a floater. A floater is debris or possibly blood floating in the vitreous fluid of the eye. I was sure that I had a broken blood vessel bleeding into my eye. I called my retina specialist’s office and they agreed to fit me in to have it checked out. I missed my flight and went immediately to the retina specialist. At that point, they couldn’t even see the bleeder. So I continued my travel plans standby.
At my connection in Chicago, my vision had gotten worse. I could barely see the signs directing me to the gate to board my flight to Las Vegas. By the time of my presentation I couldn’t even see my slides on the projector screen. I knew the material so I winged it.
I was baffled and somewhat afraid because doctors assured me that my long term complications would freeze right where they were after the pancreas transplant. They wouldn’t reverse, but they wouldn’t get any worse.
At home I returned to the doctor and he was able to diagnose what happened. This bleeder was not a new blood vessel that had grown onto my retina, as in diabetic retinopathy. This was in fact an old blood vessel that had been treated 15 or more years ago with laser. Apparently in the normal aging process the vitreous fluid in the eye pulls away from the retina. When this occurred in my eye, it disturbed the blood vessel treated with laser, causing it to bleed again.
And so the treatment was to wait for my vitreous fluid to absorb the blood that was blocking and clouding my vision. Here’s a description of what this bleeder looked like:
|A black string hanging from the top of my eye that remained in my field of vision wherever I looked|
|Several black strings hanging from the top of my field of vision.|
|Fewer black strings hanging, but the rest of my vision was like opening your eyes under lake water.|
|Black strings were turning brown with smaller dots around it; vision was like it was foggy outside.|
|Very few brown strings remain, able to see computer, but felt like there was soap scum on my eyeballs.|
|A few brown strings at very top of my field of vision; other vision very clear.|
Amazing, they tell me that the eye is the fastest healing part of the body!