It’s been a few months since the first installment, The High Handbook Rule #1. Don’t be disillusioned–I’ve been high plenty of times since then, only of the blood sugar variety to clarify. Here is the quick, diverse rundown of high blood sugar stimuli: tubing disconnected from pump, pump site ripped out, pump site clogged, allergies, altitude, and white rice. One might think, “That Ryan guy has a CGM, why does he still go high?” To that I reply with a few experiences. First, the CGM isn’t always accurate or timely. Second, the CGM isn’t counting carbs for you. Third, the CGM doesn’t contain you when the blood sugar’s in the 50s and the whole cabinet beckons.
Okay, now that I’ve established how high blood sugar is still an inevitable part of my life, let’s get into Rule #2: Continue reading →
It’s one thing to be the person receiving a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. It’s yours. It’s pretty straight forward for you. Take shots, count carbs, and survive. To be on the other side of the glass, as the parents, is another challenge in itself. Parenting can set the foundation for a successful life of type 1 diabetes management. The Fightmasters have an endless collection of diabetes experience, including crazy low blood sugars, insulin mix-ups, little league sports, and sending a kid to college. Their perspective is one of autonomy, flexibility, forgiveness, and empowerment. We joked, debated, and even came close to shedding a tear, although it was right in the middle of Oklahoma’s allergy season. Continue reading →
The DDG was contacted by a wonderful woman from the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center about a pilot camp rolling out this summer. We jumped on the opportunity to meet with Heather to learn more and offer our help, should she want it. As the conversation progressed, she said they were looking for a few T1D camp counselors. In years past I volunteered at a leadership camp for high school seniors. I felt confident in my ability to lead the youngsters and still be 100% myself – but would I be able to do the same for a group of T1Ds?
This thought inspired me to weigh a few pros & cons that came to mind.
I have 31 years under my belt and plenty of stories to share.
A1C is 6.3 (Not bragging, just proud of my hard work)
I am no hero–nor am I trying save the free animal world–but just a guy trying something out, just to be a little healthier, just to feel a little better. That’s always been my mantra when it comes to going plant-based (vegan). Right now, a day’s meals consisting of purely kale smoothies and kale chips works for me. Just kidding, I like to treat myself with cacao dusted goji berries when I really need a splurge.
Okay, in all seriousness and devoid of another vegan stereotype, it’s been an awesome journey over the past two years. I feel more connected to food’s power to energize. I understand more deeply the effects of various foods on my blood sugar. Yet, I’ll admit that no consideration was given to how it might affect my blood sugars, insulin levels, or diabetes in general. For those who know me this will come as no shock, I am firmly in the “not a planner” camp. I tend to take action and make diabetes adjustments on the fly. Does that always pan out for me? No, it does not (proof here).
So, when I jumped off the carnivore cliff and explored uncharted vegan territory, surprises were aplenty: Continue reading →
Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m not just focusing on my butt, but the whole package. I don’t plan to share my goal, but will say it has nothing to do with weight. For the first time in my adult life, I actually like my body, but it definitely could use a tune up. I hope you enjoy my short and somewhat absurd list of things that will help me get moving.
I’m a firm believer – you can never have too many shoes! I ordered Chacos today so I have the proper attire for outdoor hiking. Continue reading →
The DDG does a fabulous job of documenting our favorite recipes and random food concoctions. In honor of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week, I want to highlight a few recipes that keep my healthy eating habits in check. As a T1D, my week begins with a mental check list:
Grocery shopping – I’ve admitted in a few posts how I feel like a grocery shopping nazi because I frequent at LEAST three stores a week.
Meal Planning – What am I craving and won’t mind eating a few times?
Make A List – Put your cravings on paper after checking your cabinets for ingredients.
Food Prep – Prioritize your weekly game plan and schedule time to prep food.
Whew. It sounds like a lot, but these four steps help me to prepare and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Below are a few of my favorites – I hope they get your wheels turning and your mouth watering.
Breakfast: Blue Corn Breakfast Taco
I haven’t written a recipe for this finger-licking breakfast, but it’s super simple. Scrambled eggs, black beans, avocado, salsa and fresh cilantro. YUM! This recipe was a winner on Mother’s Day.
It’s the weekend, it’s sunny (or snowy in our case), and you decide to take off on a last-second, afternoon adventure. You haven’t prepared, but it’s too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. What’s an insulin-dependent to do? Go for it! In an effort to simplify the process and get us outdoors quickly, I’ve put together the list of hiking essentials:
This really should go without saying, but it’s important for two reasons.
1) The right hiking shoe avoids any kind of blister issues that get endocrinologists all hot and bothered.
2) A comfortable shoe increases joy while hiking, especially while coming down the mountain, exponentially.
I love all of Merrell’s products. Extremely comfortable. Wearing this hiking/running low-profile pair for shorter hikes or camping has worked great.
You just never know when that “little afternoon adventure” will turn into the “holy shit I think we’re actually lost” moment. Pack some water, everytime. More than you think you need. On longer bike rides and hikes I go with the endurance oriented Camelbak system here:
When Amber and I started up the DDG, our goal was to be real in a way that inspired folks to live their best lives. Be open and honest, keeping nothing to ourselves. We felt compelled to do it. We definitely thought we were doing it for others. That mission’s held true, partly, but only by our own ability to open and release. So, when today’s prompt for the 6th Annual DBlog Week asked what I kept to myself in regards to diabetes, my first thought was “I don’t keep anything to myself”. Then, as the soul often does, it allowed a few things surface.
By starting up a website–sharing lessons learned and Instagramming everything–it’s led me to an understanding of what my life with missing before. I didn’t openly share about the daily grind. Sure, I told friends and family that I needed some carbs. Sure, I never shied away from testing in front of them. Sure, I apologized for saying something I didn’t mean because I was high. Combined, when painting a picture of what each day is like, those moments were inadequate. Standing alone, those moments failed to do justice to the weight we bear. Continue reading →
Yes, I know it’s a phone but for our purposes they might as well be the same.
I knew what I was getting when I signed up for this CGM thing. I knew full well what could happen to myself when given the chance to know my blood sugar, all the time. The consequences of that gift have been two-sided. First, it’s drastically reduced really high highs and really low lows. Secondly, it’s created another distraction in a world full of attention grabbing things. I cherish the ability to be present, let things unfold, and react accordingly. At times, the CGM has challenged that mantra. With each alarm or urge to check it, that takes away undivided attention from studying, conversations, and work projects. With a set of rules developed through experience, I am now apt to deal with the CGM with balance, well, at least sometimes.
Here are those rules for diabetes management with a CGM:
1. Employ multiple ranges.
Most continuous glucose monitoring devices allow for flexibility in your CGM alarm ranges. At night, I prefer to loosen up the reins. Instead of being buzzed and beeped when I approach 200, I prefer to buzzed and beeped when I approach 250. Sleep is the priority. During the day, I take the opposite approach with the goal of being below 200, to optimize brain function. Continue reading →
Saturday night I happened upon a ridiculous show on Animal Planet, America’s Next Cat Star where Brimley was in the final round of contenders. The judges referenced the striking resemblance the cat had to Wilford Brimley. The first thing that popped to mind – Diabeetus, not his accomplished years as an actor. It made me think – why do I feel the need to correct someone when they say “diabeetus”?