March 17, 2015

Our Support Group's March Meeting

We had planned for a meeting on March 7, but had some conflicts and Tim postponed it to March 14. The main problem was that on Friday, March 6, Brenda was rushed to the Hospital and then transferred to another hospital. With that information, we didn't need to wonder as this meant it had to be a heart problem.

It has been more than a week now and she is still not home. Tim said that she had requested that we go ahead with the meeting and had passed this request through her daughter. Tim and her daughter have been in almost daily contact and Tim passes information to the rest of us in emails. Because of the distance and the fact that in the beginning, Brenda was in isolation, people were asked not to make the trip. Max and Allen did make the trip on Wednesday, but they could not visit her. Brenda was able to acknowledge them from her bed, but that was it.

We had a full explanation when we started the meeting and everyone understood that it was serious as she had a heart attack and was lucky to be alive. It was one of the grandchildren that had called 911, and then called her mother. Brenda's daughter arrived, as she was loaded into the ambulance and picked up the children and went to the hospital. The decision was made to transfer her mother to another hospital and she selected the one about two and a half hours away. Not that by helicopter, but it is still some distance by auto.

Tim stated that there was really no program now as Brenda and Jason were working on one and Jason said that all the work was at Brenda's house as she was putting a few things on slides. At that point, Rose asked if Tim could bring up a few of my blogs that I was posting on diabetes complications. Earl seconded this and said he was learning a lot and some things he didn't want to learn, but should.

Tim asked if that was okay and no one opposed this. Tim asked which to start with and I suggested with the eye disease I suggested that he pull up the January 21, 2014 blog or near that date. Tom raised his hand and said he had a question he wanted to ask. Tim told him to ask. Tom asked which complications I was going to cover. I said I have covered eye diseases which Tim will display shortly, I have covered depression, neuropathy which is nerve damage, hypoglycemia which is low blood glucose, nephropathy which is kidney disease, and I have atherosclerosis which is heart disease being posted. Next, I will have hyperglycemia, followed by diabetic ketoacidosis and then hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome.

Tom asked what was next. I said gastroparesis, foot care, and preventing amputations, infections, periodontal disease, fatty liver disease, diabetic skin problems, Alzheimer's disease, deafness, and gestational diabetes. Then I am planning on doing some blogs on related problems. This will include polypharmacy, sleep apnea, statins, and sleep. There may be a topic or two more, but this is my goal.

At that point, Tim had my first blog on eye disease on the screen and said he was ready to begin. He started with this:

Risk factors for cataracts include:
  • Most cataracts are due to aging
  • Diseases, like diabetes
  • Eye injury or trauma
  • Eye surgery for another problem
  • Inheritance or pregnancy-related causes
  • Overexposure of the eyes to the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications

This generated some discussion and Tim asked me what stage my cataracts were considered. I said at the early stage and I was being checked every six months. My next appointment was in April.

Then we moved on to this:
The most common cataract symptoms include:
  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Faded colors
  • Increased glare from headlights, lamps, or sunlight
  • Poor night vision
  • Multiple images in a single eye, or double vision
  • Frequent prescription changes for your eyeglasses or contact lenses

For early cataracts, these steps may help:
  • Obtaining a new prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Using brighter lighting
  • Using magnifying lenses
  • Wearing sunglasses

I said that as of yet I have not noticed any of symptoms except the glare of certain headlights, and my wife even has problems with them. I said this is one reason when you have diabetes to have a dilated eye exam once a year and have a good eye exam as you become older. I said they also check my vision and record the proposed prescription every year so that when I need surgery, they will have all the information needed.

More discussion followed with some on glaucoma. Tim said we can cover more of Bob's blogs in the future as it looks like there will be plenty to get our attention. Tim said the meeting is over and some started to leave. Tom stopped me and asked to follow me home. We left then.

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