My Diabetes Manifesto

When I Got Diagnosed With Diabetes

My bruised right hand has an IV port continuously putting something called insulin in my body. This is first time in weeks where I haven’t had to take a leak. A nurse just told me that I will be pricking myself and taking shots for the rest of my life – pretty sweet news as a nine year old. My parents look completely distraught, drained by the question, “Is this our fault?” Some diabetes educator hands me a book on how to have courage and count carbohydrates. That’s a cool word but I have no idea what it means. Now my endocrinologist reenters the room asking an important question, “Ryan, now it’s time to test your blood sugar. Would you like to prick yourself or would you like your parents to do it for you?” I look up into the caring, worried eyes of my parents. I gaze down at my hands. I make eye contact with my physician and say, “Give me the damn needle.” Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Is Your “Real Range” Putting You At Risk For Complications?

Diabetes Complications

So, this is touchy. Just thinking about an A1C test can make your pulse go up. It defines us. Should it? There’s an argument for both sides–but at the end of the day–yeah, it goes a long way towards determining future complications. In speaking with my CDE (certified diabetes educator), we broached the likelihood of complications topic. This was my question, “What’s the A1C number where complications (foot, kidneys, eyes) are unlikely?” She responded by saying 7 or below.

Alright, according to this calculator, we need to be averaging a sugar of 153 to make it happen.

It seems straight-forward. Keep your sugar below 153 and life is good. Here’s where it gets dicey.

We all have a number–a number where we feel our best. Energized. Competent. Compassionate. That’s the real number. That’s the number that stands alone outside of our targets. This number has been sculpted from years of diabetes education, lessons learned, scars, and regret. For me, I feel like I can save the world at 140. Below it, I wouldn’t say that I feel low, but I would say that feel anxiety. Above it, I feel alright until about 180. Continue reading

When All Trust is Gone

When Trust is Gone - Diabetes Management

Sometimes, in lieu of a cure, all diabetics want is consistency—a simple assurance that when we go to bed and our blood sugar is 130, we will wake to a number in the 100s. A hope that when we eat the same breakfast each morning, take the same insulin amount, and control all other meaningful factors, our blood sugar will react similarly day-to-day. What happens when that doesn’t happen? What happens when you eat that same breakfast you’ve always ate, take the same insulin, and your sugar is at 320? Continue reading