Diabetes: Life Goes On
November 14th is World Diabetes Day. We know that it is impossible to recover from it, but is there a way to adapt? We asked those who have been familiar with the disease for a long time. They returned hope and a full life insulin pump – a progressive treatment.
Diabetes belongs to the group of chronic diseases: cure is impossible today. It is dangerous for its complications – diseases of the heart, kidneys, nervous system, disturbances in the digestive tract, and visual impairment.
About 382 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, and by 2025 this figure could increase to 592 million *. In Russia, experts estimate about 10 million patients.
To prevent the progression of the disease, it is important to constantly maintain blood sugar levels at the proper level. For patients with type 1 diabetes, for this, it is necessary to calculate the required dose of insulin (based on the results of blood sugar measurements, for example using a glucometer, and depending on what the person plans to do: eat, sleep or move actively) and inject it with a syringe or a syringe pen. As a rule, such injections per day need at least four. But it is difficult to calculate the amount of insulin, painful cones often remain from the injections, moreover, every time it is necessary to find the opportunity to make an injection.
November 14th is World Diabetes Day. It was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (MDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The reason is the scale of the threat that diabetes poses. The goal of World Diabetes Day is to raise awareness about diabetes – the number of cases and how to prevent the development of this disease.
Many modern difficulties can be avoided by a modern device for continuous insulin therapy – an insulin pump, a kind of pancreas. In a healthy person, the body is constantly supplied with small portions of insulin, which allows you to maintain the necessary level of sugar in the blood, and during food the body produces an additional portion of insulin. The pump imitates the normal functioning of the body: insulin is administered continuously. For example, the Accu-Chek Combo insulin pump (Roche) supplies a person with insulin every three minutes, delivering 480 doses per day. Moreover, it is completely invisible not only to others, but also to the patient himself. Using an insulin pump, you can eat, play sports or relax when you want. That is, a person can control his illness himself, and not adjust himself and his life to the administration of insulin. Many people say that after switching to pump-based insulin therapy, they gained freedom of action, improved the quality of life, and someone believes that his life has become similar to the previous one – without diabetes.
Overcome your fear
Why not everyone decides on an insulin pump? Let us leave aside the financial question: as it turned out, even when it is possible to solve it, there are patients who do not want to install it. What scares the sick? Some talk about the reluctance to be “chained” to a medical device, to feel attachment and dependence on the pump (it connects to the body with a needle and catheter). It is scary to entrust therapy to a device to others: sometimes it seems that this device is too complicated and difficult to deal with. The third category does not want to expose the disease: the patient carries the pump with him (on himself) constantly. In addition, the need for regular needle replacement is frightening. A consultation with an endocrinologist or classes in diabetes schools will help part with these fears.
Inna, mother of 14-year-old Lena: “My daughter got diabetes two years ago. I decided to try her sugar on a friend’s glucometer, and once – 16.6! They called an ambulance, the daughter went to the hospital … The diagnosis was made immediately. The whole family is in shock. A sense of hopelessness, a child rushing about in hysterics … Perhaps this was the most terrible period in my life. But gradually we reconciled, life began to improve. Lena continued to study at school, but had to quit professional dance classes. We immediately invited our daughter to install the pump, but she was categorically against it. There were many excuses! My husband and I did not insist – in such matters the child must make his own decision. But a year ago, her daughter went to a diabetic camp – there were many children with pumps. And Lena began to think – maybe she should try? She decided, and she liked: most importantly, she forgot about injections and syringes. Now Lena went to the gymnasium and no one, except her closest friends, knows that she has diabetes. “
Anastasia, mother of 12-year-old Zhenya: “We have been familiar with the diagnosis of diabetes for nine years. A year ago, when the doctor taught us to establish a base and administer insulin, she showed how to put a “stretched” bolus ** if, for example, at a holiday the son decides to drink Fanta … From the view of Zhenya, the doctor realized that “Fanta “He never tried. She winked and said that now it is possible! And then she congratulated him with the words: “All pumps are collected in Switzerland by hand. Congratulations, now you will always have an expensive Swiss watch with you! ”
** Additional dose of insulin.
Victoria, 15 years old: “I have had diabetes for four years. At first it was scary. Every day, several injections of insulin. Unpleasant, it hurts. It is inconvenient to carry a meter and syringe pens. Like any teenager, I did not want to stand out among the other guys, and I was constantly asked what it was and why. And then we found out about the pump … The first week was unusual, but then I adapted. I put on a school like everyone else, just put the pump in my pocket. And it felt better: blood sugar returned to normal and insulin demand decreased. ”
Natalia, mother of 13-year-old Sophia: “An insulin pump helps her daughter lead a normal teenager’s life: meeting friends, going to a cafe, playing sports, traveling. In the summer, Sophia went to the North Caucasus, to Essentuki. I saw Chegemsky and Honeyfalls, riding horses. She does not hesitate to talk about her illness, if necessary, in public places measures the level of sugar in the blood. It’s not complex, it leads a normal lifestyle. ”
Maria, 27 years old: “Against the background of diabetes, a very serious complication developed rapidly – I began to lose my sight. Ophthalmologists talked about the operation, but I understood that the cause was diabetes, I hoped that if you establish contact with him, your eyesight might improve. Endocrinologists recommended a pump. After some time, I managed to install it. A month later, I came to a consultation with an ophthalmologist, and immediately it became clear that I did not need surgery. ”
Victor, 33 years old: “Thanks to the pump, the quality of my life has changed. In the very first days after the installation, I thought about the fact that now that the damage caused by diabetes to my body has been minimized, we can go further. I was a heavy smoker, smoked for seventeen years and was sure that I would never quit. But then I realized that even an established life can be corrected, and now it’s been almost a year since I have been smoking. Six months ago, I went to the gym, although I did not go in for sports from school. The mood after training is something! But even nicer is to see your reflection in the mirror. And just recently, I decided to fulfill my old dream, and my wife and I went to learn ballroom dancing! It turns out so far, but I believe that I have everything ahead. ”
Julia, 28 years old: “In our city – Komsomolsk-on-Amur – I became a pioneer: the first to install a pump. And I did not regret it. First of all, I like sports. And how would I ride a snowboard if I hadn’t got a pump? Secondly, I like to eat tasty food and now I can eat what I want, and, most importantly, when I want to. Thirdly, I always dreamed about children. In 2010 she got married, and in the spring of 2011 she gave birth to a son! I doubt that on the pen-syringes I could calmly bear and give birth to a child, and even more so decide on the second. We are waiting for him now! ”