Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds

by Jacquie Lewis-Kemp, Author & Health Coach for Living life with diabetes and organ transplants, rather than limiting life because of them.

Browsing Posts tagged Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds

I’m thankful for being able to celebrate this Thanksgiving with my 92-year old grandmother. A few weeks ago, her house caught fire while she was getting ready for bed. When she first smelled smoke, she checked her kitchen to make sure there was nothing burning on the stove. Satisfied that there wasn’t, she returned to bed.

She woke up again smelling smoke and when she entered her dinning room, it was full of smoke. She managed to escape out of her back door where she flagged down a car passing her house. The Good Samaritan helped her into his car, called 911 and my cousin to come to get her. The fire was an electrical fire that demolished the basement and smoke damaged the remaining items in her house.

While this fire damaged lots of wonderful memories of Thanksgivings past around Granny’s dining room table, the bottom line is that God spared her life, our cherished memories are not “things” in that house, but experiences burned onto our consciousness.

As you can imagine, at 92 my grandmother has attended lots of loved one’s funerals. As I look at the calendar, I realize that November 20, 2012 marks the 29th anniversary of her husband’s (my grandfather’s) death. I remember having a very somber Thanksgiving in 1983 anticipating his funeral the day after. So losing her house, the home she vowed never to leave despite its size because it was the home that Granddaddy provided, is particularly devastating as I know she is mindful of the anniversary of his death. We will wrap our arms around her and take a new step much like the one she took in 1983.

Granny and I share that this fire proves that even at the ripe age of 92, God still has something that he needs for her to do here on earth.    

 

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from www.dlife.com

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Although philosophies about the treatment of diabetes and maintenance technology have improved in my more than 40 years, you should understand the very staggering statistics that now exist.

  • •      Over 20 million Americans have some form of diabetes (most of them Type 2 diabetes) and 60 million Americans are now considered pre-diabetic. (5 million people have diabetes and don’t even know it!)
  • •      Diabetes kills more Americans every year than AIDS & Breast Cancer combined.
  • •      Diabetes is the #1 cause of new blindness in adults ages 20 to 74
  • •      Diabetes doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke. It is also the leading cause of kidney failure, and responsible for more than 60% of all non-traumatic lower limb amputations.

 

Regular checkups with your doctor can identify and perhaps diagnose a condition known as Pre Diabetes and allow you to prevent a diabetes diagnosis.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, careful and committed management of the condition is necessary to reduce your chances of long term complications such as kidney disease, blindness, amputation, heart attack, stroke and other disorders.

Symptoms of diabetes include constant thirst and frequent urination, headaches, dizziness and weight loss. If you’re not sure whether you have diabetes but have some or one of the symptoms, see your doctor and get tested.

 

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The following study from the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital describes diabetes as “a self managed disease whereby the patient provides 95% of the daily care”. It continues that education is the prerequisite and ongoing contact (coaching) maintains compliance and saves lives as well as health care cost.

 

HealthWorks – Achieving Balance with Diabetes

A Diabetes Self-Management Education Program

of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

 

Diabetes is a common, serious, and costly disease that affects an estimated 16million people in the United States. It impacts many aspects of the lives of diagnosed patients and their families, the health system, and society. People with diabetes are more likely than their non-diabetic peers to have heart attacks, strokes, amputations, kidney failure, and blindness. As a result, they have a more frequent and intensive visits within the health care system. A great number of hospitalizations are for acute problems such as foot ulcers, acute myocardial infarction, circulatory and nerve problems, and pneumonia.1 As evidenced by the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), many of these complications can be prevented with better glucose control.2

 

Because diabetes is a self-managed disease with the patient providing more than 95% of the daily care, patient education is the fundamental prerequisite for diabetes Self-management.3 Diabetes education is viewed by many as a “process” whereby a patient develops his/her knowledge base and improves his/her skills related to compliance with the recommended treatment plan. Modern diabetes self-management education programs emphasize patient empowerment rather than strict adherence to a regimen.4 HealthWorks at TJUH has been designed to support the current model of self-management education. In order to accomplish this, the program places emphasis not only on one’s knowledge and skill level, but most importantly on improving one’s self-confidence by helping them to:

 

• Identify and set realistic goals;

• Problem-solve

• Manage stress caused by living with diabetes;

• Identify and obtain social support; and

• Develop a plan for changing behavior

References

1. Patient-reported outcomes measurement to be featured in diabetes management

study. UHC Clinical Practice Alert. June 1997.

2. Implications of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. Diabetes Care 1998;21; Suppl.1:88-90.

3. Anderson RM, Fitzgerald JT, Oh MS. The relationship of diabetes-related attitudes

and patients’ self-reported adherence. Diabetes Educator 1993; 19: 287-292.

4. Anderson RM, Funnell MM, Butler PM, Arnold MS, Fitzgerald JT, Feste CC. Patient

empowerment. Diabetes Care 1995; 18(7): 943-949.

 

 

Read more of this article at http://jdc.jefferson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1100&context=hpn

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Nearly 12 years ago my brother saved my life by giving me his left kidney. As awesome as his decision to make such a gift was, almost as awesome is the process to donate a kidney as a living donor. My brother’s road wasn’t quite this simple since it was 12 years ago, but today, this process will hopefully encourage many to become living donors.

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Vita Redita (Life Restored) Gala, Silent & Live Auctions Support UM Transplant Center.

Join us at the 10thannual Vita Redita Gala Dinner & Auction in support of the University of Michigan Transplant Center.

 

We have some very exciting things planned for the evening; including a chance to win a one of a kind diamond, custom made jewelry, a flight on a B-17 Bomber, Suite tickets to the Michigan Homecoming game, premium wine and more.

 

We still have seats available. Please consider inviting your friends and family to join you for this fun filled evening supporting a great cause.

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The final leg of our 3 Legged stool of glucose control is diet. Our diet or the food we consume is the source of the glucose our bodies use to fuel our cells. Therefore the more we focus on the ultimate purpose for the food we eat, the more efficiently our bodies can use the fuel and function best.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “It [The diabetic diet] should take into account your weight, medicines, lifestyle, and other health problems you have.

Healthy diabetic eating includes

  • Limiting foods that are high in sugar

  • Eating smaller portions, spread out over the day

  • Being careful about when and how many carbohydrates you eat

  • Eating a variety of whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables every day

  • Eating less fat

  • Limiting your use of alcohol

  • Using less salt

With these parameters, The American Diabetes Association recommends a “meal plan” which it describes as “a guide that tells you how much and what kinds of food you can choose to eat at meals and snack times. A good meal plan should fit in with your schedule and eating habits. Some meal planning tools include the plate method, carb counting, and glycemic index. The right meal plan will help you improve your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers and also help keep your weight on track. Whether you need to lose weight or stay where you are, your meal plan can help”.

The Exchange Method

Medicinenet.com gives a detailed account of the food pyramid and how to incorporate each of the food groups into a daily meal plan. It also details the serving sizes in order to comply to the appropriate calorie limits prescribed by your doctor.

http://www.medicinenet.com/diabetic_diet/page4.htm#tocf

Carb Counting

TheJoslinDiabetesCentersuggests the following steps for Carbohydrate Counting.

1.     The first step in carb counting is to have a meal plan.  A meal plan is a guide that helps you figure out how much carb, protein and fat to eat at meals and snacks each day.  If you don’t have a meal plan, meet with a registered dietitian.

2.      Step two involves learning which foods contain carbohydrate. Most people know that starchy foods, such as bread, pasta and cereal contain carbs.  But other food   groups, such as fruit, milk and desserts and sweets, have carbs, too.
There are three main ways to learn about carbs in foods:

o       Ask for a food choice list from your dietitian.

o       Learn how to read the Nutrition Facts Label

o       Purchase a food counts book that provides the number of grams of carb in various foods.

3.      Measuring tools.  In order to accurately count carbs, you’ll need to be accurate with the portion sizes of foods that you eat.  Invest in a food scale to weigh foods such as fruit and bread.  Use measuring cups to measure cereal, pasta and rice, and use liquid measuring cups for carb-containing beverages such as milk, juice and energy drinks.

The Glycemic Index

Web MD defines,  “The glycemic index is a ranking that attempts to measure the influence that each particular food has on blood sugar levels. It takes into account the type of carbohydrates in a meal and its effect on blood sugar.

Foods that are low on the glycemic index appear to have less of an impact on blood sugar levels after meals. People who eat a lot of low glycemic index foods tend to have lower total body fat levels. High glycemic index foods generally make blood sugar levels higher. People who eat a lot of high glycemic index foods often have higher levels of body fat, as measured by the body mass index (BMI).

Talk to your doctor, a registered dietitian, or a diabetes educator and ask if the glycemic index might work to help gain better control of your blood sugar levels”.

The Plating Method

Here’s a quick video from the American Diabetes Association on how the Plating Method works.

Ask your doctor to prescribe or refer you to a dietician to prescribe a meal plan or daily calorie count, and also ask which diet method is best for you.

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I am a transplant patient and so my medication list is almost as long as your arm.  My husband has a few chronic health conditions that also require that his medication be taken up to three times a day.  With all of those pills, inhalers and vitamins, our meds require a system of organization.

Chronic illness and prescription refills

Our illnesses are chronic and so are our prescriptions. Therefore 90 day refills make economic sense and a mail order pharmacy makes procedural sense.  I order our prescriptions online and they are mailed free of charge to our home.

Storage of the “bulk” meds

I have a 3 step plan for making sure that my husband and I take all of our medicines as prescribed.

The Pillcase

We each have two pill cases–one is in the kitchen stored in a bin with other occassional drugs in a 3 drawer bin. We each have another on our night stand with pm pills and water bottles. My husband carries a mid-day pillcase as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filling the pillcases

The bin pictured to the left of the pillcase drawers contains the 30 day supplies of each medication type.

It takes some engineering to fit all the pill bottles into the drawers, but with some thought, trial and error, it works.

 

The bulk or balance of the 90 day supply of medicine

 

I keep all the extra supply that I refill the 30 day supply with in my pantry, in yet another 3 drawer bin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This may seem like a complicated plan, but it keeps the medications organized and it is a method that we can visually manage. I never run out of medication because when I refill the 30 day supply with the last of the 90 day supply, I know that it is time to refill the prescription.

Tell me about your medication organization.

 

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