Archive for the ‘Diabetes’ Category

The Patient’s Checklist

Posted on November 12th, 2013 by karen

The Patient's Checklist

by Kim Keller

Consider this:

“A hospital patient, on average, is subject to one medication error per day.”

— Preventing Medication Errors, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2007

Or how about this one:

“Every six minutes a patient dies in an American hospital from a hospital-acquired infection — an infection acquired after admission — usually from a health-care worker’s failure to simply wash his hands.”

— Hospital Acquired Infections,

These are frightening statistics but not surprising, at least not to me. That’s because both my parents have been victims of countless medical snafus. My father’s medical ordeal was so chaotic and painful that, after his death in the summer of 2006, my sister Karen and I made a pact to dedicate ourselves to helping other families with their own medical challenges. Such was the genesis of In Care of Dad.

Continue Reading

Hypoglycemia: Sweet Support For Diabetic Lows

Posted on August 8th, 2013 by karen

Liquid Glucose

by Karen Keller Capuciati

If someone you know has been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be a little lost and wondering how you can help. I felt the same way when my husband, Peter, was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes in 1998. In the 15 years since then, I have found that the most important lesson I can relay to others is to understand and be prepared for episodes of hypoglycemia, which can affect everything from mood to coordination to cognitive function.

Hypoglycemia is when blood-sugar (or blood-glucose) levels drop below a normal range. This can be caused by any number of factors: insulin being injected too soon before a meal; too much insulin being taken; the different rates at which foods metabolize; stress levels; the amount of physical activity. No matter how well someone manages his or her blood sugar, hypoglycemic episodes are common.

Being able to recognize symptoms of hypoglycemia is critical, as episodes can become severe enough to debilitate. Some of the many symptoms are:

  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Feeling lousy
  • Mood shifts, becoming cranky or irritable
  • Confusion
  • In severe cases, trouble walking, slurred speech
Continue Reading
Comments Off on Hypoglycemia: Sweet Support For Diabetic Lows

Enter Medivizor: The Personalized Medical Information Service

Posted on June 20th, 2013 by karen

by Kim Keller

It’s hard to keep up with the latest medical information out there, right? I’m sure you can relate to this. Our mom was diagnosed with colon cancer last November, so, naturally, my sister and I wanted to learn everything we could about her medical condition.

We jumped on the Internet to start our research, but it’s really exhausting work, sorting through the morass of information out there, trying to find information that’s relevant, credible and the least bit helpful. And way too much brainpower is wasted trying to figure out what most of it even means.

So I was pretty excited when I was introduced to a new personalized medical information service called Medivizor, which was developed specifically to help people just like you and me make sense of it all.

Continue Reading
Comments Off on Enter Medivizor: The Personalized Medical Information Service

Why Is The Hospital Testing Blood Sugar When My Parent Isn’t Diabetic?

Posted on April 11th, 2013 by karen

Glucose Meter, by Karen Keller Capuciati

by Karen Keller Capuciati

I remember walking into Dad’s hospital room in Florida and seeing the deflated look on our mom’s face.

“What’s wrong, Mom?” I asked.

“They are testing Dad’s blood sugar now and have put him on a diabetic diet,” she said, with resignation. This was back in early 2006, during one of the multiple times Dad was hospitalized before he died in July of that year. There was already so much going wrong with Dad’s health, we just couldn’t bear the thought of adding diabetes to the list.

Continue Reading

Ten Tips For Mindful Holiday Eating

Posted on November 20th, 2012 by karen

by Karen Keller Capuciati

I have always been interested in learning about nutrition.  Over the last few years I’ve become more aware of the benefits of an alkaline-producing diet — essentially consuming more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while avoiding the acid-forming foods like meat, sugar and refined, processed foods like those that feature white flour or high-fructose corn syrup. I have heard fascinating accounts, one after another, of people who have stopped, and even reversed the course of, cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disorders with a plant-based (alkaline) diet treatment.

This became even more critical in my life when I was recently diagnosed with osteopenia, a lower than normal bone mineral density that can lead to osteoporosis.  My doctor recommended I read Food and Our Bones, by Annemarie Colbin.  This book, which I highly recommend, dispelled my previous inclination to “eat dairy for stronger bones.” Instead, the author confirms everything I have been reading of late — eat an alkaline, plant-based diet to reverse bone loss. This was the message I needed to finally take action with my current diet.

Starting slowly, I began to make little changes.  I started with getting a juice from time to time at the organic food store. It should be noted that these did not go down easy at first, but I kept trying new vegetable combinations and I’ve found a favorite: kale, celery, apple and lemon.  I tried new grains to replace pasta (which is generally made with refined flour). I replaced a sugary scone in the afternoon with sliced apple pieces and almond butter.  Little by little, I became thoroughly comfortable with these changes. I’m also happy to report that my husband Peter, who previously wielded a variety of arguments why we must eat meat and cheese, has enthusiastically joined me on the Eat Plants Crusade.

So, as we enter the holiday season, here are ten ideas to engage and maintain healthy eating habits:

Continue Reading


Posted on October 25th, 2012 by karen

From our garden to our table.


by Karen Keller Capuciati

“Someone has to stand up and say that the answer isn’t another pill. The answer . . . is spinach.”
— Bill Maher

I got a text late last night. A childhood friend told me that her father has lung cancer. It was a terrible shock, and I’m pained to think that someone so wonderful as her dad now has to battle with cancer.

What I wanted to tell her, and everyone dealing with cancer — or heart disease or diabetes, for that matter — is this:

WATCH the documentary, Forks Over Knives, and watch it now, rather than later.

This 90-minute film is chock full of research and firsthand accounts that illustrate a critical central point: Eliminating or reducing the refined, processed and animal foods from our diet can prevent, stop and even reverse serious chronic diseases like those mentioned above.

After watching this film, my husband Peter and I wrote in huge letters on our kitchen blackboard: EAT PLANTS! It was like sticking a flag in the ground to emphasize our commitment, to mark our territorial intent. The facts presented in the film are so persuasive, Peter and I were compelled to make this lifestyle change immediately.

Continue Reading

Earthing: Can Our Planet Heal Us?

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by karen

Earthing Free of Charge
by Karen Keller Capuciati

You know when you spend a day at the beach with your feet in the sand and swimming in the ocean and you feel so relaxed, yet energized?  What if you learned that, instead of the power of the warm sunshine, it was the direct connection you had with the Earth that made you feel that way?

Clinton Ober, co-author of Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?, hypothesizes that direct exposure to the planet surface, through some form of tangible contact, provides health benefits.  His initial research has inspired a series of studies that are indeed supportive of his theory.

Geologists acknowledge that the surface of the Earth is teeming with a natural electrical energy continually replenished by the sun and an average of 5,000 lightning bolts striking the planet every single minute, not to mention the energy produced and radiated outward from the Earth’s molten core.  Ober believes that when we come into direct contact with this earthly energy — a principle now popularized as Earthing — it provides genuine healing properties.

It’s becoming evident to researchers in this area that since we’ve lost this natural groundedness, our immune systems have become dysfunctional.  They believe we have deprived ourselves of this essential healing energy by living in buildings insulated from our planet’s energy.  Even when we’re outside our insulated homes, we wear shoes that restrict contact with the Earth.  Once upon a time man walked barefoot and slept on dirt floors, and while that might not have been the height of civilized society, Earthing proponents would argue that our more primitive ancestors received more of the Earth’s essential healing properties than we do today.

Continue Reading

Our Favorite Tools: A Celebratory Retrospective

Posted on January 23rd, 2012 by kim

Green Tool Box Photo by Sue Schultz

by Kim Keller

Today In Care of Dad publishes its 101st blog!

It’s quite a milestone for us.  To celebrate this landmark occasion, we’re taking a look back at some of the most useful tools and resources we’ve written about here at In Care of Dad, items that have helped many people — just like you and me and my sister — to care for our aging parents.

Here are some of our favorite finds: — This wonderful service helps friends and families sharing a health crisis by offering space and access to any group, extended or otherwise, that wants to stay abreast of a loved one’s health status.  But more than that, Caringbridge helps families arrange their websites with the following format features:  1) journal entries to keep everyone up-to-date; 2) photo uploads to provide a visual component; and 3) a private message center where family and friends can deliver words of encouragement and support.  This service is easy to use and completely free!

Continue Reading

Ten Tips When You Love Someone With Diabetes

Posted on April 14th, 2011 by karen

By Karen Keller Capuciati


Twelve years ago, my husband, Peter, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  It was the year after we were married, and it came out of nowhere.  The diagnosis hit us hard, as you can imagine, and seemed unbelievable because you just don’t plan on these things happening to you.  We slogged our way through all the information we could find, learning all that we could about the disease and how to maintain the utmost level of good health.  With a dozen years’ experience now under my belt, I feel I can offer some ideas on how to help support someone with diabetes (whether it’s type 1 or type 2).

  1. High and low blood glucose levels can cause mood swings. Knowing this, I try not to react when Peter’s mood abruptly changes (even when it’s aimed at me).  Instead, I see it as a sign that his blood sugar may be “off.”  I empathize – he must feel awful having to deal with such involuntary highs and lows all the time.
Continue Reading