Bunny Waffles

The DAFNE Diaries Part IV: Friday & Conclusions

THE DAFNE DIARIES

The DAFNE Diaries Part I: Introduction
The DAFNE Diaries Part II: Monday & Tuesday
The DAFNE Diaries Part III: Wednesday & Thursday
-The DAFNE Diaries Part IV: Friday & Conclusions-

https://i0.wp.com/www.commissioningshow.co.uk/media/88/788-dafne-logo.png


FRIDAY

The last day! Good God. I couldn’t quite believe I had been taking this course for a full week. Before I had begun I had wondered what on Earth could cause this to need to last for five days. But along the week it had all become clear; we needed to wait for patterns to emerge and to take the time to understand how diabetes affected each part of our bodies and our lives, a single week was nothing compared to a lifetime of struggling had we not attended. Or something less dramatic, maybe.

Friday’s session was much shorter compared to the others, we all talked about our blood test results as we did every day, but mainly we spoke about our goals for the future. My personal goals were to keep my sugars below 17.0 as much as possible, bearing in mind my first blood sugar on the course was 26. My more specific target was to keep it around 13, but to try and reduce this to the DAFNE target of 4.5-8 over a period of months. This is achievable because it allows my body to become used to the blood sugar reduction over time, and means I will hopefully not react so violently to a relatively ‘normal’ blood sugar as I did on Tuesday.

We all had different aims, but mainly we all wanted to continue monitoring our blood sugars as we had done on DAFNE. For me, this is a hugely important factor as I previously always did blood tests, up to 7 a day, but did not record them. Stepping away from the observed situation of sitting with other diabetics and nurses, this may prove more difficult but overall I sincerely hope I continue to be motivated; I understand more now how to deal with high blood sugars and how to resolve them quickly, without feeling like shit for the rest of the day. I was envious of other people’s control, but now I am also quite proud (and pleasantly surprised) that I have come away with the ability to actually make a difference in my own life. I can sniff that chocolate biscuit and not have my foot removed, because I can compensate for what I eat with insulin- like a normal pancreas does. The only difference is it requires more thought and there is room for error, but conversely, this also means there is more information to be gained to hopefully lower my sugars on a day-to-day basis, and to also reflect this in my HBA1C test. Everything is an ongoing experiment, at some point there is going to be some sort of joy.

https://i1.wp.com/26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lplh1wNXcu1qb6t6wo1_500.jpgOh, contrare! I can now eat as much cake as I like. YAY CAKE.


CONCLUSIONS

I used to wake up every day with high blood sugar, I’d feel like shit and would guess how much insulin I needed to deal with it. It was always a conservative amount that virtually did nothing because I was afraid of falling dangerously low, and not being able to deal with it. I didn’t read packets because I had no idea of the particular impact carbohydrates had, and how much they would increase my blood sugar by.

Having done the DAFNE course, I am now so much more confident that I know how to deal with lows and highs, and also how to maintain a steady blood glucose level overall using carbohydrate portions and insulin dosages, of both quick-acting and long-acting. I almost wish I had done this years ago as advised, because to be brutally honest, it’s the most useful advice I have ever received about diabetes.

When I was first diagnosed at the tender age of seven, I was given a comic book which explained how insulin acted in my body. It depicted a river of blood (which sounds darker than it actually was), and insulin was shown as little men with nets ‘scooping’ sugar out of my bloodstream. Up until a week ago, this is how I always pictured it, perhaps with the exception of the men and nets, more like hormones ‘om nom nom’-ing the sugar. I had never heard of beta cells until Monday morning, or the fact that the liver had a huge role to play in the distributing of sugar. Nor did I know anything about when to test for ketones, what to do when I was sick, or what to do when I was drinking alcohol. Several times nurses had told me to count my carbohydrates, but with no indication as to what this would achieve, or what insulin to give, nor indeed did I even know how much one unit of insulin would decrease your blood sugar by.

But I am not ashamed by this; rather, it makes me happy that I took the DAFNE course as there would be no other way at all by which I could discover any of this information, and this was very much the same for many of the others on the course. Being a diabetic for 15 years, doctors perhaps thought that I knew all there was to know about diabetes. But a hospital visit for half an hour every six months doesn’t provide you with the new information which is being discovered every hour of every day for the rest of the year. And often there isn’t enough time to discuss anything so (relatively) important, what with all the blood pressure checks, blood tests and small talk which is naturally made to avoid another awkward silence in the waiting room.

I would thoroughly recommend this course to people with diabetes who are perhaps struggling a little bit, and even for people who have their diabetes under control, because there is so much information to absorb and you will certainly discover something new. I had been living by rules which were 15 years old; together we had 173 years of diabetic experience, but information that was collectively 173 years old. It used to be frequent practice to limit what you ate because your insulin could not be adjusted accordingly, the DAFNE course is totally different in this way.

DAFNE is just another method of managing your diabetes, no doubt in another 15 years another course will be created which I will have to go on then as well. But DAFNE is an international course, diabetics all over Europe are learning the same rules by which to manage their diabetes, and it gives more freedom by allowing you to eat what you want because you can change your insulin at each dose. You basically become a ‘normal’ person in terms of eating (I mean that with the best intention), just with a need to inject to maintain that normality.

But perhaps more importantly than all of that: it works. It lets you manage your sugars.

It lets you take control.


Further Information:

http://www.dafne.uk.com/

All centered, italicized quotes are from the DAFNE workbook.

All images are stolen from the internet.

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The Way Home

13 O’Clock

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This entry was published on September 28, 2012 at 19:14. It’s filed under Medical Oddities and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “The DAFNE Diaries Part IV: Friday & Conclusions

  1. Awesome Posts… So Happy for you… Yeah, when my Dad used to sometimes drop by and take me to a Subway Sandwich place… He’d buy a cookie with his sandwich, and give himself a shot right after lunch, Lol

    I suspect he was less careful with his eating around me, probably just relaxed… But for the most part, he eats pretty well.

    Growing up, I many in my Family called him “The Cookie Monster” (I wasn’t around him much when I was a kid, maybe a hand full of days, especially during the summer), so I imagine he must battle with his Cookie Cravings, like you probably battle with your Cake Cravings, Lol

    Once again, I am Proud of you for doing this… And Happy for you that you got something out of it.

    When I came out of the Hospital in 2000, the Doctor said to keep track of my Salts… I’m lucky in the regard, that I Love Charts, Lol

    So I really didn’t mind keeping track of how much Salt I ate.

    I don’t track it anymore, but it got me in the habit of not over doing it with Salty Foods.

    These days I’ve reduced Normal Soda down to maybe 1 or 2 a month, as opposed to like 8 a week, Lol… Which was what I drank a year or two ago… I’ve also reduced Fruit Juice Greatly… Used to Drink a lot of CranRaspberry Juice, and Orange Juice.

    Truth be known, about 80% of what I eat these days is either Vegetable, or Meat… I watch Refined Sugars, and I even watch My Fruit Intake.

    Anyway, so Happy for you

    Good Luck with the New System, I hope it makes you feel better more of the time.

    DJ-

    Like

    • Thank you so much! I’m pleased that I found it useful too, I was so apprehensive at the start. It’s just nice to have a plan of action, and to know that I can start to take control again to prevent any long-term problems.

      That’s so awesome that you’ve been able to cut back on stuff, it must have been hard at first 🙂 You sound like you have a very balanced diet going on- I know now I can basically eat whatever I want, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to start trying to be a bit healthier either.

      Like

    • Fortunately I’ve never really eaten all that bad… At least, not knowingly, Lol

      I kinda sorta accidentally got into the habit of drinking more soda, I never drank it all that much as a kid.

      Truth be known, you can generally get away with eating worse in your 20’s… 30’s you should start to watch it more… and 40’s and beyond even more, of course. Though if you start in your 20’s, you’ll save yourself some hard habits to break in your 30’s and beyond, Lol

      When I was a kid, I Loved Milk, Lol… Drank like a half gallon a day, in fact we had our own Milkman, Lol

      It was good for your bones, but the truth is, it’s also another form of Sugar… Lactose I believe.

      But by the time I was in my 20’s to 30’s, I was kinda tired of Milk, and truth be known, I never liked Water… Though that might have been cuz it was tap water. Bottled Water I actually like.

      So I shifted into Soda and Juice… Now I’m back to Water, some Milk, and Tons of Herbal Ice Tea… I’ve never been an Ice Tea Drinker, but I drink it to offset all the Water… I also Drink some Diet Soda, though I hear that’s not good for you either, Lol… I just shifted to it to get off Regular Soda.

      I couldn’t believe I lost 22 pounds, I didn’t even know I was carrying that much extra weight… It didn’t really show.

      But in reality, I’m still like 10lbs above the weight I should be with my Body Type… So if I chill out a bit more on a few thing, or work out a bit more, I can lose that. I wasn’t even trying to lost weight, it just happened by reducing Carbs.

      Excess Carbs in your body converts to Fat, sooo… That’s where the excess weight came from… Basically I had more Carbs in my system, than my Body was using.

      One way that I’m fortunate is that I actually like all foods, not just junk food, Lol

      I like most healthy food… And you generally feel good after eating it. In my 20’s I didn’t feel all blah after junk food… But these days, I generally do.

      Nuff said, glad your’e well-er, Hee Hee

      Oh, and by the way, I feel fricken great… Had no clue the extra weight was making me feel more sluggish.

      DJ-

      Like

  2. Is this some kind of fat joke?
    My dad, who is rapidly approaching 90, has never been overweight, till the last 3 years anyway, which have been a wee bit sedentary due to his having one leg lopped off above the knee 3 years ago, then the other 2 years ago. He developed diabetes about 15 years or so ago. I don’t know if it was due to heart surgery, but it seemed to happen about that time. He managed it with pills for quite a few years, but it went bad on him a few years ago, though no one but him really knew it. His brother, 15 years his junior, has never had diabetes diagnosed, but was a bachelor and a heavy drinker and smoker, and lost both his legs due to poor circulation shortly before Dad did. So I know my future, if I don’t quit including 6 cookies a day as the base of my food pyramid. But life is to be lived, right? I worry about my daughter developing bad eating habits, I hate that America is the land of the obese, I hate that my legs and feet “feel funny” a lot, I worry that I’ll become a burden to me and everyone else, etc. I am glad you have learned so much about your condition. I noticed you didn’t mention anything about murdering any of the other people involved in the class or study or whatever, but then I guess this is Bunny Waffles and not IA, so that’s okay I guess.

    Like

    • No fat jokes intended, I assure you! That does really suck, and I know that it’s so difficult to make long-term changes even if you know what might be headed your way. I always had an attitude towards it where I knew that I was going to be Diabetic forever, so there wasn’t much point in trying to make any changes because what good would come of it, and if anything my ‘enjoyment’ of life would be affected. Having done this course I have to say I have changed my attitude somewhat because I can still eat what I want so long as I take the right amount of insulin.

      Yesterday I ate some cake and didn’t take anything for it because I felt lazy, and then for the rest of the day I was battling to get my sugars down. So I have the skills to deal with things, it’s now just a case of trying to change the way I think. And as you know, doing that is one of the most difficult things of all.

      P.S I promise there will be some sort of murdering next Monday 🙂

      Like

  3. Seems like you had an interesting week! I never knew you were diabetic, but then again, why would I? My dads diabetic, I don’t know which type, mainly because I don’t care. But I know he has to have a cocktail of pills three times a day; he doesn’t have to take insulin so perhaps it’s the opposite kind to the one you have?

    But good on you for controlling it! Last thing we need is an update that you’re having a foot chopped off. (That happens right?)

    Like

    • I did do a couple of posts about it, but I didn’t say it overtly. I actually forgot to tell my boyfriend when I first met him! Pills is definitely Type 2, but I don’t know that much about it really. And thanks 🙂 You can have your foot cut off because of poor circulation. Having your haemoglobin covered in glucose particles doesn’t bode very well for your extremeties, or your body in general.

      Like

    • If I lost my legs, I’d probably take the easy way out and hang myself. But then again, how would I step off the chair? Ugh, it doesn’t bare thinking about!

      Like

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