January 12, 2015

Two Topics for Our January Meeting – Part 2

Next Tim introduced Brenda and Jason for their program on diabetes self-management. Brenda started out by saying you have had a portion of self-care and Jason and I will introduce you to more on self-care. In preparing for this portion, we did not anticipate all the parts involved in diabetes self-management. Therefore, more will be included in future meetings.

Brenda thanked Rose for getting this topic started. She then explained that most of the old members have discussed this in the past and would be available to answer questions after the meeting. Then she turned to me and said that they had developed their own slides and if they missed something, let them know so they could add it for future meetings.

She asked Tim to put up the first slide. It included the following:
  • Blood glucose testing
  • Proper care of testing supplies
  • Maintaining blood glucose logs, food logs, health logs
  • Keeping a medications list to include RX number, Medication common name and brand name, dose size, recommended time for taking medication, and when exceptions may be allowed, plus RX expiration date
  • Understanding hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia and steps to manage them
  • Learning how to interpret blood glucose readings and how they should guide food intake or reducing foods or eliminating some foods. Also using the health logs to adjust medications if recommended.
  • Developing your food plan
  • Counting Carbohydrates
  • Self examination of your body for sores especially your feet
  • Establishing an exercise regimen you can adhere to and enjoy
  • Changing the lifestyles necessary to help manage diabetes
  • Self-management education does work for the elderly (over 60 years of age)
  • Lessons in self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG)
  • Learning how to self-manage diabetes
  • Setting realistic goals and even considering getting off all medications
  • Being tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Travel with type 2 diabetes
  • Handling sick days
  • Problem solving skills

Next Jason handed out examples of logs and an example of a medications list/log. Brenda covered each log briefly and Jason covered the medications list/log. Brenda had borrowed my book that covered hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia and had several slides showing what the symptoms could be and how to treat each. She and Sue had developed a list for those on oral medications and a list for those on insulin.

Brenda said that Jason had some questions they should answer.

Jason said yes, and asked for a show of hands among the new members that were having some foot pain, like something of a thousand pins sticking them or a burning feeling. Including Julie and Earl, six others raised their hands. Jason said this indicates something important. This means that you need to be tested for vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiency. The neuropathy pain that you are experiencing is often related to these deficiencies. This caused another of the new members using the VA to speak up and he asked if that was why his VA doctor had prescribed vitamin B12. Julie answered yes and said this is what happened at her appointment. Julie added that her deficiency was severe enough to require shots and a supplement. Brenda had Tim put up the next slide. She said we learned about this the hard way when Allen required shots for Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3. Several were surprised that we were recommending vitamin D3. Tim put the last slide up from my blog and the discussion really started. The slide included the foods rich in vitamin B12 and the statement that many people with diabetes do lose the ability properly to utilize this form of vitamin B12.

The questions and discussion lasted for another hour and the older members were very active answering questions of the new members. As we ended the meeting, Tim received a call that the member, Albert had passed. Tim called on Allen to explain the circumstances surrounding his hospitalization and death. Allen said that he was not storing his meter and test strips properly and most had become damaged in the way he stored them and he had gone into hyperglycemia and then into a coma. He said that he had visited with Albert several times and attempted to have him store his testing equipment more carefully, but with no success. He had an episode of hypoglycemia on fourth of this month putting him in the hospital. Even that had not got his attention. On Friday he had been admitted to the hospital a second time and this time in a coma because he had not kept a watch on what he was eating and had stopped testing.

Tim could see Allen start to waiver and finished by saying that the long-term members were concerned about our newer members. Tim concluded that before anyone else has this happen, please speak up, as we were there to help, and would do whatever we can do individually or as a group to help them avoid what happened to Albert. Tim asked if everyone had emails for all the members and he would send this with phone numbers to anyone wishing another copy. The meeting was over, but everyone stayed for about a half-hour, asking questions and this surprised and pleased those of us that had been in the group for a longer time.

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