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 jacquie lewis-kemp

A few weeks ago I talked about the old days and the diabetic exchange system diet. It was up to the diabetic to understand and almost commit to memory the exchange system. It has been at least 30 years since this was the way the diabetic diet was managed, but I still remember that 5 cashews equals a fat exchange. Although people believe nuts are high in protein (and they are a source of some protein), they are higher in fat than protein. The diabetic diet is now managed by counting carbohydrate content. As an old timer, I feel something is lost in the nutritional value of the meal when counting carbohydrates only. In this new jack swing system of carbohydrate counting it doesn’t matter if you eat mostly from one food group as long as it meets the carbohydrate count. Man does not live by bread alone, but if he’s carbohydrate counting, who’s to say he can’t live by beer alone?

And who did away with Tes-Tape™? Remember before the days of glucometers and home blood testing, that gray tape dispenser with yellow tape that we had to pee on before each meal? It was ¼ inch wide and you cut off a piece about 2 inches long to pee on to test your urine sugar. It was the closest thing we had to estimate (I mean really guess) at what our blood sugar was. I mean really, how accurately could urine sugar indicate blood sugar?

It wasn’t until I was in high school that I participated in a study of one of the first glucometers. I carried with me to college a 1 ½ foot long by 8 inch wide by 4 inch deep, 40 pound machine with manual gages like an old airplane cockpit. With it was synthetic blood vials used to calibrate the machine whenever it was moved or unplugged; strips, and steel lancets designed to poke a hole in the finger that almost required stitches to stop the bleeding. Test results were complete 2 minutes after the poke and the results were displayed by the hand on the gage stopping on one of four hashes: 0, 120, 240 and 480. If the hand landed between the hashes, you had to estimate the best you could.  

Boy how technology has improved! Today glucometers fit in your pocket, and even come with an ap to record blood sugar and suggest meals or exercise.  Even beyond the snapshot picture that the glucometer provides is another advancement called the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). If the glucometer is a snapshot of what your blood sugar is at that moment, the CGM is a video camera of how your blood sugar varies throughout the day. This is valuable information as the diabetic can better schedule and plan rather than prepare for just in case.

Change resulting in progress is good! What are your memories of the good ol days?

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When chronic illness hits, we often think of the bad things that the illness brings. With diabetes, we lament over having to take insulin injections, taking other medications and following a diet. Diabetes does in fact require a lot of scheduling and monitoring but with that comes discipline that we can use in other areas of our life.

I can’t tell you how often I used my understanding of diabetes and how my body works to understand other concepts.  For instance, when learning how to develop a Bill of Material to manufacture automotive components, I was taught that each manufacturing process had a cost and the sum of those processes and materials made up the unit cost of the product. Said simply, the piece of steel, plus the labor to form it, plus the cost of painting it, plus the box cost, plus the cost to put it in the box, plus the overhead burden cost equals the “cost” of the product—not the price.  The price resulted in a profit margin markup of that cost.

Well, it was easy for me to conceptualize this BOM (bill of material) cost concept as a carbohydrate counting recipe. When a diabetic eats, it is more than a total caloric counting process. Especially in the 1970s, the diabetic diet was comprised of a total caloric diet broken down into meat, milk, bread (or starch), fat, fruit and vegetable exchanges. Such a diet would include a “bill of material” that may call for 2 bread exchanges, 1 fat exchange, 1 meat exchange, 1 vegetable exchange and 1 milk exchange for dinner. It was up to the diabetic to choose between 1 cup of spaghetti with meat sauce (1 bread and 1 meat), a dinner roll (1 bread), 1tsp. of butter (1 fat), ½ cup of broccoli (1 vegetable) and 1 cup of skim milk (milk exchange); or 1 medium sized lean pork chop (meat), ½ cup corn (bread exchange), ½ cup of green beans (vegetable exchange), 1 cup of skim milk (milk exchange) and ½ cup of vanilla ice cream (1 bread and 1 fat exchange).

In school, teachers call using one concept to teach another the use of pneumonics. This worked for me? What works for you? How has diabetes and it’s management helped you in another unrelated area of life?

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Listen as January Jones interviews Jacquie Lewis-Kemp about living with diabetes.

Listen to internet radio with Ms January Jones on Blog Talk Radio

 

 

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5/17/2011

The National Kidney Foundation is launching a multi-site cross-sectional study, Awareness, Detection and Drug Therapy in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Chronic Kidney Disease (ADD-CKD). The study will assess how chronic kidney disease is being identified and managed in type II diabetic patients, in the primary care setting.

Recent research has shown that primary care physicians are extremely busy and have little time to spend discussing risk factors and preventative steps with patients at risk for kidney disease. One study found that only half of primary care doctors discussed chronic kidney disease, with their diabetic patients. And when it was discussed, half of doctors spoke about CKD for 33 seconds or less – an average of only 3% of the total visit time.
 
“Primary care physicians are our first line of defense against one of the world’s top killers,” said Lynda Szczech, MD, MSCE, President of the National Kidney Foundation. “More than 26 million Americans already have chronic kidney disease, and millions more are at risk and don’t even know it.  Early detection and treatment of kidney disease in patients can help slow progression and reduce cardiovascular events and delay time to kidney failure. The goal of this study is to increase the awareness and management of chronic kidney disease in diabetic patients.”
 
 The ADD-CKD study will recruit 460 primary care practitioner providers.  Each provider will recruit 21 type 2 diabetes patients, for a total of 9,660 patients. The study, to be administered by primary care physicians and primary care nurse practitioners will use a primary care provider survey, a patient physical exam and medical history, lab testing, including blood and urine and patient quality of life questionnaires. Enrollment begins in June 2011.

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