Friday, October 17, 2008

iPhone to the Rescue

I'm an unabashed techno geek, and I was one of the nerdy Apple faithful to stand in line when the iPhone first launched over a year ago. Earlier this year Apple opened up the iPhone market to third party application developers. I'm pleased to find some really cool things that have been developed to help manage diabetes.

The first item is DIABETES LOG that was developed by Distal Thoughts. It helps you track glucose, food and medicine delivery.

Another application you can (and should) get is the RESTAURANT NUTRITION application that was developed by Foundation Healthcare Network. It'll give you carb counts and nutritional info to many national restaurants and fast food chains. This comes in very handy for any parent dealing with diabetes.

The really cool thing about both these powerful tools - it's FREE. So if you have an iPhone make sure to go to the "App Store" on the iTunes store to download these little software nuggets.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The diabetes network

Something that we've found invaluable in treating diabetes daily is the huge amount of advice, war stories and support that we've gotten from others who also deal with this terrible disease. But how do we connect in the first place? The ironic thing is that by volunteering our help, advice and insight to others has come back ten-twenty-hundred fold.

Our involvement with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Diabetes Angels and one to one outreach with newly diagnosed families in our community has created a network of knowledge and support for us.

So my advice to you out there- help others and it will strengthen your own daily fight with diabetes. And to all of you out there in our network that have helped my family over the years - thanks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keep it clean

We got a nasty infection this weekend in an old pump site. It developed into a painful lump that needed to be drained by the doctor and now our little girl to go through a round of medication to treat the bugs that caused it.

We poke and prick and inject so often with our daily diabetes regimen that I think we forget how much we put the body at risk to germs. We continually break the body's natural body to infection - the skin - with many many needles.

Kids (and adults) with diabetes have a lowered immune system and are more susceptible to infection. And overprescription of antibiotics has spawned superbugs like MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) that don't respond to treatment with penicillin or other beta-lactam antibiotics. Fortunately there are other families of antibiotics and sulfa drugs that can knock these types of things out - if treated early enough.

So the moral of the story is wash, wash, wash your hands. Use clean, sterile lancets and needles. And be sure to disinfect sites with alcohol wipes whenever you can!