How to extract the excess insulin from your pen.
The fine line between faith, and getting medical attention!!
At age 19, Ryan Shafer knew there was something wrong with his body. The teenager from Horseheads, N.Y., felt lackadaisical, had vision problems and all of a sudden lost 25 pounds. When he was finally checked out by a doctor, the news confirmed one of his worst suspicions: He had Type 1 diabetes. Instantly, Shafer was forced to change to deal with the disease. He was enrolled in a junior college at the time and planned on attending prestigious Cornell University. But the kid had a passion for bowling and decided to see his dreams through.
His struggles with the disease inspired him to become what he is today, the 19th-ranked bowler on the Professional Bowlers Association tour coming into the Go RVing Match Play Championship beginning today at the Norwich Bowling and Entertainment Center. Shafer, the No. 16 seed, will face 49th-seeded Jason Sterner in the first round. “I had bowled in college and had a lot of success, and, eventually, I was going to go on tour,” Shafer said. “I started going on tour with diabetes, I don’t know any different. The entire time I’ve been on tour I’ve been diabetic.”
Shafer joined the tour after his graduation from junior college at age 20. His success was immediate — he won the PBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1987. With Type 1 diabetes, which typically becomes apparent earlier in life as in Shafer’s case, the person is insulin-dependent.
At first, this was a hindrance to Shafer in terms of dealing with the constant travel inherent in a tour schedule. From a young age, Shafer was traveling from city to city, often switching time zones, all while trying to keep up with his insulin injections and making sure he didn’t have a sudden attack on the lanes.
Longtime friend and fellow tour member Eugene McCune, who met Shafer when he joined the tour in 1986, has seen the kind of physical demands Shafer has had to deal with firsthand.
“His body breaks down on him every once in a while. He gets cold shoulder, his joints hurt,” McCune said. “But it’s just going through it, some days it’s not anything he does but just all of a sudden he gets cold shoulder and he can barely move his shoulder. He just gets up and doesn’t quit and he just keeps on bowling.” A scheduling change about 18 years into Shafer’s professional career made it easier for him to deal with his disease and play his best on a consistent basis.
A big change
In 2004, the PBA switched to a more condensed schedule in which most of the competition takes place on Thursdays and Fridays instead of Tuesday through Friday. Shafer could abandon his old ways of taking three to four shots a day and sticking to a regimented eating schedule to deal with his condition.
In response, he switched to an insulin pump — made by a company called Animas — that he wears while he bowls. It supplies him with insulin and makes it easier for him to compete.
“What’s good about the Animas pump is, when I exercise, I can put it on a temporary rate that gives me less insulin so I don’t get lulls while I bowl,” Shafer said. “I can eat whatever time of day I want to and I don’t have to be on a stricter routine. It’s easier to manage my blood sugar levels.”
It seems to be working. Shafer is coming off of one his most successful years as a professional with seven top-10 finishes in 2008-09 and earning a payday in all 21 events in which he competed.
He also has four PBA tour wins over his career with two in 2000 and one each in 2002 and 2003, and he won the Stave Nagy Sportsmanship Award in 2009.
Now, without worrying when or where he’s going to have to take his next injection, the 43-year-old Shafer has become a lot more open about his disease and, through his relationship with Animas, can educate people, especially youngsters, about diabetes and encourage them to lead an active lifestyle.
“I used to be a very private person when it came to that. I didn’t care whether I was diabetic or not,” Shafer said. “When I realized that there are kids out there who think that just because they’re diagnosed with diabetes that they can’t do anything and they kind of lead a sedentary life … that’s exactly the wrong thing to do. So, I thought it was kind of good for me to get my message out there and to tell people that you can do whatever you want as long as you correctly manage your diabetes.”
Shafer said as far as he knows, no other bowler on the tour is a diabetic. Since the pump is so visible, looking like Shafer “is bowling with a cell phone on his waist,” according to McCune, Shafer’s ailment is more apparent to other bowlers and has given him the chance to help others on the tour who might have a family member diagnosed with the disease.
When Chris Barnes, one of the PBA’s biggest earners, realized his son Troy had Type 1 diabetes at age 6, Shafer instantly sought his fellow competitor out and offered advice on how to move forward.
“He was one of the first to come to us and (offer) his help, his guidance. He was there to lend his support any way he could,” Chris Barnes said. “He’s been great about it from the get-go. He was very helpful, especially in those first couple of months (after the diagnosis).”
Shafer is approached by amateur bowlers and their families and is frequently asked how he deals with the disease. It’s just another example of how the 24-year professional can tell people his story.
“Once in a while, I’ll bowl regional events and another bowler will come up to me and tell me he’s a diabetic,” Shafer said. “Where it mostly comes into play is Pro-Ams. At Pro-Ams, I’ll have adults and even adults with their children come up to me and say their children’s diabetic and ask ‘How do you manage your diabetes?’ with such a schedule of traveling and stuff like that. It kind of makes me feel good that I can help them.”
For most, a diabetes diagnosis puts their dreams on hold. Not Shafer. The disease is the main reason he’s on the tour.
“I’m a professional athlete and I’m doing what I want to do in my life, and (anyone with diabetes) can do the same thing,” Shafer said.
In this episode, I talk about the importance of building meaningful relationships as a diabetic, and planing ahead.. Don’t forget that this podcast is also on itunes !!
Most of the studies on kidney donation focus on the recipients and how well they adjust to their new kidneys. A new study documents how well donors fare after the surgery. Kidneys are the most sought after donor organs around the world, according to the World Health Organization. To address the shortage, some hospitals have created programs that pair prospective donors with recipients. In 2006, the Johns Hopkins University Hospital held a news conference to announce a successful operation involving 10 people: five donors and five recipients.
Dr. Dorry Segev was one of the surgeons. He outlined the problem in an interview with VOA. “Every year we list more and more people for a kidney transplant and that’s because more and more people are developing kidney failure, more people are becoming candidates for a transplant,” he stated. People often become donors because a loved one needs a kidney. Some do it for altruistic reasons. That was Judy Payne’s motive. “It didn’t seem to be that hard of a decision. I like to give to others. I like to share what I can of my blessings,” she said.
Dr. Segev studied more than 80,000 live kidney donors from the time of surgery until three months afterwards. “What we found is that live donation is very safe, the risk of dying from donating a kidney is 3 in 10,000 which is much lower than the risk of almost any other operation that you can undergo.” Dr. Segev says the research snows that men and African-Americans have a slightly higher risk of dying after donation than other groups, but the risk is still small and that it has nothing to do with having only one kidney. “If you match live donors to other healthy people in the population there is no increased risk of dying down the road attributable to having only one kidney instead of two,” he said.
Research shows that the number of donors over the age of 50 has doubled. That’s one reason doctors want to know the risk of all groups of people before heading into surgery. The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
© 2010 VOA
In this episode, I talk about the importance of both doctors and nurses, updating their diabetic awareness. Too many health care professionals are practicing with out dated information. I am also on iTunes
HD quality.. First videocast for diabeticradio! In this episode I talk about my experience having cataracts, and growing up without any diabetic diagnosis.
A county in the U.S. state of California is suing GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Avandia, a controversial diabetes drug. The lawsuit was spurred by a report on the drug released by the U.S. Senate last week (March 22). That report accused the drug company of withholding information about side effects of serious heart problems, including death. At issue now is whether Avandia should be taken off the market. A U.S. Senate report on the diabetes drug Avandia says both the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should have warned patients about the dangers of the drug years before they did. The report recommends taking Avandia off the market. In 2007, Dr. Steven Nissen published a study showing that those taking Avandia had a 43 percent higher risk of having a heart attack and a 64 percent greater chance of dying from a heart attack than those not taking the drug. “We’ve been warning about this for two and a half years,” he said. “There really isn’t a good reason for physicians to continue to prescribe the drug. It’s time to get it off the market.” But doctors still prescribe Avandia to hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide.
Dr. Yasser Ousman at Washington Hospital Center prescribes it for some pre-diabetic patients or those in the early stages of diabetes. “There are a number of drugs that have been tested in these individuals and Avandia is one of them, and actually, it is quite effective in improving the blood sugar, in normalizing the blood sugar or delaying the occurrence of diabetes in these individuals,” Dr. Ousman said. “What bothers me the most is that every month that goes by, more people are harmed by a drug that people simply don’t need,” Dr. Nissen said. Dr. Nissen’s report was based on 42 clinical trials that showed a connection between Avandia and heart problems.
“I think when you look at the information and the statistics from the initial study, the initial paper by Dr. Nissen in 2007, the increase in the risks of heart attacks is actually small,” Dr. Ousman points out. He says that many over the counter drugs – aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or paracetamol – can be toxic if used improperly. “If you look at the large studies, that were published over the last several years, including a large number of patients comparing Avandia to a placebo or other drugs, there was actually no increase in that risk. That risk was based on smaller studies,” Dr. Ousman said.
A study on Avandia funded by GlaxoSmithKline published last year, found no increase in heart attacks. But it found a significant increase in the risk of heart failure where the heart cannot pump enough blood to the organs or muscles. A number of cases resulted in hospitalization or death. The Food and Drug Administration says it will review Avandia for heart risks and has scheduled a meeting of its advisory panel in July. The agency warns those taking Avandia not to discontinue use without consulting with a doctor.
Copyright© 2010 VOA