Healthy Future.

If you aren’t already aware, there is an event scheduled for September 18th in NYC.  It’s called Unite for a Healthy Future and the purpose is to support the fights against non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and chronic respiratory disease. The International Diabetes Federation and civil society leaders are organizing an afternoon in Central Park, New York City, the day before the UN summit

However in recent days, there have been efforts to weaken the progress on this subject.  From the IDF website: “International progress on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease, is at grave risk, because of recent efforts by some member states to postpone and weaken United Nations negotiations, an alliance of civil society organisations warned today.  In a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the NCD Alliance, a coalition of over 2,000 organisations from over 170 countries focusing on NCDs, attacked the state of negotiations towards the first-ever UN High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, scheduled for 19–20 September in New York. Referring to the Political Declaration, which will be the outcome of the meeting, the Alliance said: “The situation is urgent. Yet, it is reported that sound proposals for the draft Declaration to include time-bound commitments and targets are being systematically deleted, diluted and downgraded.””

We need to do everything we can to make sure our leaders do not abandon this effort!  Manny Hernandez from TuDiabetes, posted a great blog yesterday about this.  Please read his post We are here! We are here! We are here! HEAR US!

I contacted President Obama via the White House website.  This was my declaration to him:

“I understand the NCD Alliance has jeopardized the progress on the non-communicable disease epidemic. This cannot happen. NCDs are now the leading cause of death worldwide each year. And it’s only going to get worse. I am a person living with type 1 diabetes and I do not want to see this disease continue to grow in statistics. I also do not want to become a victim of disability because of my disease. Something needs to be done. So many people in the US are affected by these diseases and the hardships that stem from them. It affects the economy. It affects our healthcare system. These are the people that you govern and work hard for. We need you to attend the NCD Summit on September 19, 2011. We need you to represent us. So many lives are depending on your presence.”

Please follow my lead and the suggestion of Manny to spread the word about the importance of this issue and to contact your government representatives.  We need them to act on this.  Our world depends on it.

Art is Fun.

Based on the suggestion of my husband, I think this blog is in need of a more positive topic. I apologize if my last several posts have been sort of “downers”.

So on that note, I don’t know about you but I cannot believe that summer is almost over.  Not that I have any real summer-ry activities going on but to think that fall is almost here, school will be back in session and the days will become shorter.  Summer just flew by!  And with a new month just two weeks away, I want to remind everyone that this coming Thursday, September 1st is Diabetes Art Day. If you haven’t heard about it it’s a day started by my friend Lee Ann.  She is an art therapist and does absolutely wonderful things with diabetes related art projects.  From Lee Ann’s site: “Participation is easy. All you have to do is make a piece of art that reflects something about your life with diabetes to share on September 1st. Last year, the submissions were as varied as they could be with participants using everything from traditional art materials like paint and pastels, to digital media like photography and stop-motion animation, to kinetic sculpture, Play-Doh, lots of diabetes supplies, and even cake decorating, and embroidery. On September 1st, upload an image of your work here on the official Diabetes Art Day website. You can use the ‘Description’ text box to add your name, the title of your work, materials used, and your connection to diabetes. If you have a blog, post your work there. You can use Facebook and Twitter (hashtag: #DArtDay) to share your work. You can also share your work on any of the diabetes social networking sites like Diabetes Daily, dLife, and TuDiabetes. Some people like to provide a narrative about what their artwork is about, what it was like to create it, or how the results compare to their initial intention… or, if you prefer, you can let the art speak for itself.”

I am not the most creative person on this planet so I’m going to need the next 2 weeks to put my thinking cap on 😉  But you should put yours on too and join in the fun on September 1st!

Bigger Things.

About 2 weeks ago, I posted about some little things that have sprung up for me recently in terms of complications.  After my first visit to a retina specialist last week, it turns out my little “eye thing” isn’t exactly little.

I went to see a retina specialist based on the recommendation of my ophthalmologist when I saw him at the end of last month.  From the pictures he took, he saw a deposit on my macula and thought it was something I needed to monitor.  The retina specialist indeed saw the deposit from his own pictures but he also saw swelling in the same eye.  This called for me to have a fluorescein angiogram for further analysis of what is going on in the back of my eye.  I will be honest,  I was scared.  I’ve never had one of those tests before and the way they made me sign a consent form and describe possible side effects, panic set in.  Bigtime.  If you’ve never had one or don’t know what the test is, it’s when they inject a dye into your bloodstream that makes your blood vessels sort of fluorescent and easier to see in pictures.  It actually didn’t turn out to be too bad, thankfully.  I think the worst of it may have been the pink vision that followed for about 5-10 minutes afterward or the fluorescent pee I was excreting for the next 2 days!  From those pictures, the doctor was able to see that I have some blood vessels that are leaking.  That is what is causing the deposit on my macula.  Stacey, this is diabetic retinopathy.  Diabetic retinopathy, this is Stacey. 

What scares me the most is that all of this began since my last ophthalmologist exam in November.  Nothing showed up in the pictures taken then.  Just 8 months ago.  (I typically have an exam every 6 months however this time around they forgot to remind me so a little more time had passed)  This just stressed to me how crucial keeping up with the various doctor appointments is.  Even as annoying as they can seem. 

As unhappy as I was to receive that news, I am glad that we caught it fairly early.  I am scheduled to have an intraviteral injection (medicine being injected into the eye) in the next 2-3 weeks.  I’m definitely not looking forward to that but if it’s going to help the leaking situation, hopefully before it gets much worse, I’m all for it.

Little Things.

I have been living with type 1 diabetes for almost 30 years. I know that is a very long time (remember urine strip testing?) and fortunately I have remained complication free. Up until now. Some of the things that I fear the most are beginning to happen. And it seems all at once. I was diagnosed with the start of neuropathy in my feet recently. I will have an NCV to confirm that in the next month or two. I started treatment for mild gastroparesis about two months ago. And next week I will be making my first visit to a retina specialist due to a deposit on my macula that was detected at my semi-annual check-up with my ophthalmologist.

Those of us who have diabetes know the possibilities that may lie ahead.  And we do everything we can to believe that they won’t happen to us.  So to hear those possbilitiles becoming realites, is a bit unnerving.  Right now these are little things that are not the cause for alarm but more, things that I need to monitor. But it scares me half to death that these things could progress. Or that other things could start happening. I know that early detection is crucial in diagnosing and treating diabetes complications. And even stopping the progress of them. I know that now more than ever I need to manage my BG as tightly as possible. So with that knowledge, I’m not going to let these obstacles get me down. I’m going to do everything in my power to manage them. And not let my worst fears come true.

And on a happier note, I want to wish my beautiful niece a very happy 4th birthday!!! 🙂