Saturday, March 28, 2009

For the Love of Wally

I wanted you all to get to know Wally and love him as I do. Here is a slideshow of pictures - and a thank you note. At the end, my youngest has taken some video of Dad at the hospital. He is still the jovial man he always has been despite his struggles. It's a touching video, and I debated whether or not to include it. But I want everyone to know what a great man he is.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: In Gratitude
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

National Diabetes Alert Day!

Today is Diabetes Alert Day, sponsored by the ADA. My friend, Rachel, blogged about it at Diabetes Daily, and I tried to repost her post, but Blogger wouldn't cooperate this morning. So Rachel, beg your pardon, but I'm adding on to your post to alert everyone I know about our friend, D.

Every fourth Tuesday in March, the ADA issues a "wake-up call" for advocacy and education about the seriousness of diabetes.

If you've been reading my blog or following me on Twitter, you know how serious I take this, as my dear father-in-law, Walter Proehl, went in for triple bypass on Tuesday, March 10th, which ended up being quadruple bypass and 8 hours on the table on a bypass machine (which you may or may NOT know is not good for diabetics). He made it through the surgery ok, but only to end up back in ICU on Friday, March 13th (and yes, this is a haunting story) for observation for renal failure.

His creatinine was creeping up slowly. Instead, he was given the wrong medicine, which put him into a coma for 7 days.

Now awake, it will be a long haul until I hear my jovial father-in-law joke and tell me what to do in order to make sure my house is electrically safe.

He got in this position in the first place from our friend, Diabetes. Welcome to the world of suck, Dad!

The man was fit, except at 51 when he was diagnosed - a little overweight - but he quickly lost that and controlled it with diet and exercise. There isn't another 79 year-old man I know that climbs ladders, shovels snow, and works in attics on ceiling fans and lights.

To say that his Type 2 were caused by his lifestyle would be a slap in all of our faces. And this friend, this Diabetes, has caused an otherwise healthy man (no high cholesterol or high blood pressure) this heart disease.

The ADA says diagnosis can come 7 to 10 years after being symptomatic. And as you see, complications can pile on insurmountably and quickly.

To learn more about Type 2 diabetes, the ADA sounds the alarm today for everyone - loved ones as well as those who might have a family history - to take the Diabetes Risk Test. The test and the videos are available on the afore linked page on the lower right hand side.

Forward this to anyone you know - don't let years pass between symptoms and diagnosis and treatment and complications - for the love of Wally, please!

And....stay tuned...I will be posting a special pictoral thank you to all my friends for sticking with my beloved father-in-law so you can meet the man you've been praying for.

By the way, if you're in St. Louis, check out these free screenings offered near you:

Tuesday, March 24

Free Diabetes Risk Tests

9:00am – 5:00pm
8 Gold’s Gym Locations
St. Louis, MO
Contact: Michelle Micheletti

Free Diabetes Risk Tests

9:00am – 6:00pm
Comfort Shoe Specialist
11693 Manchester Road
St. Louis, MO
Contact: Nancy Jacobs
(314) 822-3300

Diabetes Screenings

5 Locations in Florissant, MO
Contact: Christian Hospital
(314) 747-WELL

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pray for Wally!

An update I've sent to friends:

I'm hoping to download a song that he and Yvonne first danced to - in order to stimulate something - we know he's listening and looking. Then I'm taking the kids up there after Joe gets home from Jack's soccer game. Joe's mom, Yvonne, and his sisters, Mary and Terri, are there at the hospital now.

We take turns and shifts. Yvonne is anxious, and we're looking at getting something to calm her nerves.

He just opened his eyes, when Mary, Joe's sister from DC, just flew in and came into the room.

Wally is my 79 year old dear father-in-law. I love him like my own father. In many respects he has been more of a father to me than my own father.

Wally has had T2 Diabetes since he's been 51 years old. He was overweight at that time (he worked for Anheuser-Busch for 15 years - case of beer a month, so he'd have a beer and a cheese sandwich or a pretzel every night! :-)

But he lost about 40 lbs. and managed his disease with diet and exercise until he was about 65, when he went on Metformin (he really should have been on meds sooner, but that's another story - and that's why he's in this shape to begin with).

Around that time is when I was dxed GDM - so we were diabetes partners together. He helped me, and I helped him. We've been Dbuddies ever since. We played on the same team - always! And yes, we cheated together, and we kept avoiding the diabetes police together :-).

He then started Glyburide probably when he was 70.

Five years ago, we were hiking up a hill at Boy Scout Camp, and he told me he didn't feel well. Never mind that he was sticking with his internist (who didn't treat and manage his D right to begin with), but he did go in to see him, who told him he probably had a heart attack. (He did not have chest pain - just nausea and shortness of breath.) Doc never sent him to a cardiologist or anything...just a stress echo.

Forward a couple of years later....went for angiogram...learned he had major blockage. Went on Lasix...still no statin or bp heart meds.

He then went on Insulin about a year ago - maybe a little longer. That scared him. I was there to remind him that I did it, too - and while pregnant.

This Christmas, he was feeling poorly - shortness of breath, getting sick a lot, appetite suppressed. He decided to finally see a cardiologist but still wouldn't consent to see an endo yet!

We found out he was blocked 100%, 99%, 70%....told that he would have no choice but a bypass.

He deliberated, and finally scheduled a triple bypass Tuesday of last was supposed to take 5 hours, took 9 instead...he began bleeding out.

After giving him 5 units of blood, he came out of surgery to sedation in ICU.
He woke up the next morning...looking very pink and doing well, eating some jello, joking with the nurses (he is a big flirt)!

But yesterday, he couldn't keep most liquids down.
Then, his rhythm was off - so they shocked him last night. His kidney function was they were calling in a nephrologist.

In the middle of the night, they were giving him some meds...the nurse did NOT cross check the meds with the orders...

He was given meds designed to paralyze you right before general anethesia...he crashed.

He was Code Blue for 5 minutes, not breathing.

He then went into a coma.

They are now concerned with getting his system rid of this drug because his kidney and liver function is decreased....

They are talking dialysis.....

And they don't know when he will wake up.

Please....any God you believe in...anything you love...anything you have power in....any way...any shape...any how...please....ask God not to take him as our diabetic angel...not now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eat Out for a Good Cause

If you love Steak 'n' Shake, like I love Steak 'n' Shake, now's a time to eat out for a good cause.

Someone at work here has distributed this flyer to eat at Steak 'n' Shake on March 11, and SNS will donate 20% of the profit to JDRF.

Go on - have a shake on me!

I'll probably be at the one at Gravois Bluffs in Fenton around 6:30 if you wanna stop by and say hey!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Will the Real Shaq Please Stand Up? those of you who know me - even a little - know I'm seriously addicted to Twitter. It has become my latest obsession. It helps me laugh, and laughing, I hope will help me live a more positive, stress-free life.

And those of you on twitter know I follow some seriously twittering celebs. Take Shaquille O'Neal for example - I'm not particularly a basketball fan, although I went to college at a school which DID NOT have a football team, so our homecoming was a basketball one, but I love Shaq's generosity on Twitter. Here's an example of a meetup that Shaq challenged Twitterers to recently.

He's constantly hiding out or not hiding out at places and telling people the first person to touch him gets free tickets. I just love reading and hearing about Shaq on Twitter.

So, one of his greatest fans @PhoenixSunsGirl created a video contest for his birthday.

Here's the hilarious entry a fellow twitterer posted! (And you can find out Shaq's Twitter address at the end of the video.)

.: Birthday Love for Shaq-Fu :.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Diabetes Marathon

I'm not sure how everyone will react to this blog post, but I feel very strongly about it, so therefore, I must blog it.

As of late, I've seen a lot of Persons With Diabetes competing with each other, most especially in the online community, over who's sicker, whose numbers are worse, whose vlog or blog is better, who has more complications, which type has it worse.

Does it really matter?

Aren't we all facing a chronic illness?

Does it matter whether or not we shoot up in public, shoot through our clothes, fumble with our testing supplies, publish or share our numbers, have a good day or bad day, overeat or eat clean, take our meds with soda/coffee or water, exercise too much or not enough?

Don't we all
still have diabetes?

Is there a competition we entered when we signed up for this gig? Oh, no, I forgot - NONE of us signed up for this rotten, lousy disease. We didn't choose D; it chose us, for whatever reason. Like in life, we're fat, we're skinny, we're short, we're tall, we're black, we're white, we're blonde, we're bald - we are all different! Isn't that what makes the world go 'round?

But one thing remains constant and certain: we are all Persons With Diabetes. Every single one of us.

Does it matter that I go to an endocrinologist while some of you might still be with your GP? Does it matter that I am on an injectible drug while some are on the pump? Does it matter that some of us have other conditions while others are managing quite comfortably?
Does it matter more that some are Type II and others are Others?

Do any of those answers diminish anyone else's Diabetes?

Last I looked, I wasn't racing toward the finish line of this disease. I'm plodding ahead, sometimes getting further than others, sometimes holding back to wait for my friends, sometimes sprinting ahead because I can see the light ahead at the end of the tunnel.

But I didn't commit to racing a marathon with diabetes.
Certainly not against people I consider to be my peers, my support, my network, my clubmates.

There are people in the community, online and in real life, who know a lot about this disease, and there are people who blow a lot of smoke into mirrors about this disease. Does that make me respect any of these two types of people less? Not any more than it makes me have respect for the many kinds of people and their bodies reacting to their diabetes.

Aren't we all playing for the same team?

I hope I've been a support to many Persons With Diabetes. I know students and faculty come to me at school because I get it - I know what they're talking about. I understand.

I hope that I can provide the support, the restraint needed to listen, the bent ear, the lack of judgment (read NOT judging - not lack of GOOD judgment) that it takes to tell Persons With Diabetes that we all matter.

How do you think you measure up? Or does it matter to you?