I am wrapping up this decade with one last longepisode, but I promise, it is worth listening to the very end and entertaining if nothing else. The theme of this episode is knowing the difference between being a constant, and being a pest. Monica backs this motto by providing actionable items and tips to help us relinquish fear and get involved. Her demeanor is calm and her voice is soft, but her words are powerful and changing lives for all people living with diabetes. Continue reading →
Chris and his wife Candace are honest, vulnerable and a little sappy at times, but are the perfect reminder there are still good ones out there. You know, the ones who support you and your diabetes through the good, the bad and a serious hypo while educating their three kiddos along the way. Together, they resonate love, compassion and a supportive partnership and are role models for us all – diabetes or not. Continue reading →
I was honored to be chosen as one of ten Patient Voice Contest winners for the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit. During the two day event, I was surrounded by industry leaders, tech gurus, genius creators of diabetes apps, and many fellow advocates. This Summit coalesced the mother lode of advancements in diabetes management, and a few of the brave souls in attendance took time to chat with me. Though our interviews were brief, each guest radiated an optimism and passion for helping to better the lives of those of us living with diabetes, and I hope their energy inspires you as well.
I’m completely aware I sound crazy, but I’ve experienced a new diabetes scenario since jumping on board with the Dexcom G5. I want to be clear as I stated in a recent post, Losing My T1D Technology Virginity, the insertion of the device did not/does not hurt so this recent discovery had me questioning how my mind is processing a foreign object/device being attached to me… Continue reading →
In less than a week from our last podcast conversation with Clayton McCook, he managed to “close the loop”, by himself, with the help of many (including the NightScout Community). His focus is singular: restore as many childhood moments to his daughter’s life as possible, without diabetes hovering in the background. He walks us through the “closing the loop” steps and his bigger motivations. As a parent of a person with diabetes, if you’ve ever thought about tinkering with your gear to allow the CGM and pump talk, Clayton stands as proof that it’s possible to pull it off with determination, love, and a small desk somewhere. Continue reading →
As a person with Type 1 diabetes, I’ve been frustrated in years past with the lack of advancement for the treatment of this disease. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I decided to stop complaining and seek action. I asked myself the question – why aren’t things chaining and what can I do to help? I did a bit of research and with the help of my regular physician, I signed up to participate in diabetes related trials. I had no idea what I was in for, but knew it was something I had to do. Continue reading →
Research indicates that the more a patient wears the CGM, the lower the a1c travels. This makes sense. If you see your blood sugar rising, you’re probably going to take action to stop it. If you don’t see your blood sugar risking, you’re probably not going to take action until you feel high, or test again. That’s a good 30 minutes to 2 hours saved from having a high blood sugar. Like I said, all of this makes sense. Every CDE will share this advice, as they should.
I need to backtrack first. Technology is taking considerable chunks out of our lives. I get an urgent “request” from an app, website, or social media site to install a new push notification just about daily. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment, sometimes it feels that way, but I do not like getting notifications. I do not want to be told what the score of the Thunder game is at the end of the 1st quarter. If I want to know the score of the Thunder game, I will check the score. In my experience, the conveniences offered through push notifications are rather inconvenient. 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 →
First, I must say that I love the thing. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I really enjoy my CGM 90% of the time. That 90% reflects, from my own experience, the everyday accuracy of the numbers. During that 90%, it’s incredible.
For those who have the CGM, be patient with me. For those who do not, I’d like to paint the picture of what it’s like.
A diabetes development hits the news every five minutes. Our job at the DDG, is to showcase to you which of these really matter. We think this DreaMed and Medtronic partnership matters. Why? We’ll get there, but first, let’s define the agreement.
DreaMed Diabetes’s CE approved GlucoSitter™, which is based on the MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas algorithm, is a fully-automated, artificial-pancreas system for controlling glucose levels. The system links the glucose sensor with the insulin pump through computerized control algorithms. It uses data of glucose levels from a continuous glucose sensor, analyzes them and directs the insulin pump to deliver the correct dose of insulin that should be released to the body in order to maintain balanced blood glucose. In effect, the software continuously monitors glucose levels, and defines precisely when and how to adjust insulin levels.
It’s now afternoon. I’m staring out of the window from my desk at school, trying to pound information into my brain with little progress. The weather’s perfect. It was time. Time to ride. I mean, for February in Oklahoma, I’ll take anything above 40 but yesterday it was 60!
Let me digress, our story really begins at lunchtime. I was running low on groceries, so campus food was the only option. I stroll up to the cafeteria salad bar at the bottom of Children’s Hospital, looking to put together a relatively healthy salad. At this point, the blood sugar is 90. As a plant-based, vegan eater, I always check first for beans and peas, the old reliable sources of protein. Neither were in site.
I bailed, then walking half a mile up to the student union for a taco salad bowl. By the time I got there, the glucose was hanging out in the 60s. Now, I’m absolutely starving. I eat the bowl, and casually check the CGM (continous glucose monitor) to see when my blood sugar starts to tick back up. Once it did, I dialed up a few units and didn’t give it another thought. Two hours later, I get the high blood sugar alert at 250. Knowing that I’m about to take off on a bike ride, I only take a unit to play it safe.
The cardinal sin of CGM wearing is not testing your blood sugar on the meter before correcting. I sinned. Continue reading →
As those who read the DDG know, I just started up the CGM (Medtronic’s Enline Continuous Glucose Monitoring). Yesterday marked my official CGM training with a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator), Christy Olson at Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in OKC. During our get together, she mentioned that my data looked like that of a “sugar surfer”. I’d never heard those words before but thought they sounded great together and asked for more. She told me to check out Dr. Stephen Ponder. So I did. Continue reading →
Last Friday night, Halloween, marked the opening of a new era in my life–going out with continuous glucose monitoring. Some may say So what? Big deal. I’d respond with Have you ever tested your blood sugar at the bar? Try remembering to test your blood sugar at the bar.Continue reading →
With the CGM alongside, I now understand the speed at which insulin operates. Yesterday evening, my glucose trended up towards 200. I corrected with a unit of insulin. At the moment, I was attempting to study, which invariably leads to a search for any excuse not to study. Insert CGM. I kept looking to see if the insulin was working. It didn’t initially. Fifteen minutes later, I could see the readings crest and begin trending downwards. This is the indicator to stop giving insulin unless you enjoy being low, or well… crazy. Continue reading →