LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wars -- then and now, big and small

War is hell, and I had a hell of a day. Up at dawn, I battled a blizzard on the drive into town. I then fought with four Venetian wood blinds at Mom’s new place. Installing them required drilling holes into the cement and adobe. Stuffing those little plastic thing-a-ma-jigs into said holes. Then discovering the holes didn’t quite line up with the metal brackets on the blinds. Assorted colorful language. Next discovering that either the guy at home depot cut some wrong or I measured wrong. More colorful language.

The day ends peacefully enough, until the random-insulin-for-constant-grazing runs out in the early evening. A steep climb sets in. I take a correction, forget about it, and get ready for the work week ahead. I gotta layout my clothes for morning. Pick a matching earring. Chose a pipe for the drive home. Check the weather. Make coffee. Pack lunch.

Then I curl up in my foxhole with Archeology Magazine to read about the latest dive on the wreck of the Lusitania. Turns out she was caring ammo, and a lot of it too. She was a legitimate military target by the rules of war at the time she was sunk by a U-boat with great loss for civilian life; an event that lead American into World War I. The Brits have been denying it….lying about it… for 93 years.

My maternal grandfather served in WWI. He was an engineer. They carried double the ammo the regular army did. He once told me the war was fought between retreating German engineers tearing up the roads and bridges and advancing Allied engineers trying to rebuild them. He had medals from all of the really nasty battles. He got gassed too. As a child I used to play with the buttons he took from the uniform of a German soldier he captured; but he never really talked to me about the war until the last year of his life, me a teenager by then—still too young to really understand that there is no glory in war.

Recently on eBay I found a WWI Army Expeditionary Force medical corps caduceus pin. Maybe the guy who wore it patched up my grandpa. I brought it and pinned it on my suede jacket.

Battle fatigue setting in, I closed my magazine and turned off my reading light. The little lights on my electric oil-filled radiator bathing the corner of my bedroom in soft orange light like a distant fire, I pull the covers up to my chin and wriggle my toes down into the cold recesses of my covers. Outside a cold wind howled and whistled around my windows.

As I drifted towards sleep something tickles my stomach. Air raid! The soft-throbbing “vibration” alarm of the Guardian drags me back to the living. Groan… what?

Low predicted.

I fumble in the dark for one of the FreeStyle light meters, a lance, and vial of strips. By the icy blue glow of my indoor/outdoor temperature alarm clock I get the test strip right side up and business side in to the slot of the meter. A quick press of the larger center button turns on the strip port light. Target it sight. Snap. Squeeze. Slurp……78.

OK. My hands find the infusion set on my stomach, then the hose. I reel in the Cozmo 1800 and enter the BG into the hypo manager. It tells me I need 45 carbs to turn the low around. You gotta be fucking kidding me. That much? I check the IOB screen, and sure enough, I have a boat load of insulin on board with over and hour and half on the clock.

I eat three and a half cherry slices and collapse.

And all stays quiet on the Western Front for the rest of the evening.


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