This Is When Diabetes Gets Weird

The Weird Diabetes

Periodically, I’ll ask Amber about a recent observation about my own T1D life, “When X happens, do you feel like X?” She promptly shoots me a quizzical glance and responds, “You always say things like this to me and I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced that specifically.” If you’re not following me yet, be patient, this is where diabetes gets weird.

Our bodies are complicated. The king of this complexity is the nervous system–especially the sensory feedback. Being a T1D presents unique insights into the nervous system. These insights are everywhere.If you listen carefully, you find your language. Your language is different than mine. It’s full of clues. What drives the language? Blood glucose levels. Continue reading

What Is The Dawn Phenomenon?

Dawn Phenomenon - Type 1 Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you know the Dawn Phenomenon. Perhaps you haven’t been mindful of its occurrence, unconsciously adjusted for its presence, or have just thrown your hands up in the air in frustration. Before we get into the research behind its existence–close to 200 research articles have been published on this–let’s look at how this usually evolves in a diabetic day. Continue reading

What My First 72 Hours of CGM Was Like

CGM Diabetes Thoughts

It takes insulin awhile to get going.

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

5 Disturbing Diabetes Observations from the Fair


state fair

The DDG was recently out and about at a September institution: The Oklahoma State Fair. Amber took in the sights during a weekend afternoon and Ryan reveled in the Friday night lights. What we saw, well, isn’t all that surprising I suppose–all things fried, parents spanking in public, and 14 year olds smoking cigarettes. All that being said, only judgment through diabetic eyes was passed. Here’s our list of the most disturbing observations from the fair:

#1 – Deep Fried Gummy Bears

fried gummy bears Do you really need to deep fry something that is already so unhealthy? What joy does a deep friend gummy bear bring to someone? Wouldn’t they taste better normally? Please explain.

#2 – Corn Dog Stands

corndog standWhile making an hour long lap around the fair grounds, I counted 18 corn dog stands. Do we really need that many options for battered, fried meat on a stick?

Continue reading

5 Ways to Back Off the “High” Cliff

Walking off the "High" blood sugar cliff

High blood sugar sucks. Really though, it changes who you are. You become angrier. Patience has no meaning anymore. The idea of a nap rules over everything else in the world. Things that you love, my example would be cycling, sound detestable. Someone could ask me to go cycling and I’d want to respond with “I hate bicycles!”.

Okay, I know you get it. So how do we still function as human beings while high? I have a few hacks that I’ve learned via trial by fire over the 15 #blessed years of my life:

1) Repeat “Life is impermanent. How you feel now, will soon change.”

– Just reminding myself that all will be okay again is reassuring. It’s easy for us to believe that our current struggle will last forever but it’s just not reality. It always gets better. Continue reading

Zen and the Art of Diabetes Management, Part I

Zen and the Art of Diabetes Management

I’ll admit that I could be more without diabetes. Not acknowledging that, to be blunt, is ignorant. Don’t mistake me, I subscribe to the power of positive thinking, knowing that it improves the quality of each moment. However, I will not use that methodology to convince myself that my life is better with the disease.

Diabetes is a grind, never ceasing. Yet, it’s forged who we are. Most of us will give it responsibility for great things in our lives. Still though, deep down, on occasion or daily, we ask the question, “Could we be more without it?” Being content knowing that we could, that’s the Zen in diabetes. Continue reading

Cottonmouth Confession

I recently woke up in the middle of the night and realized my mouth was SUPER dry.  First thought –  high blood sugar.  I scrape myself out of bed and test my blood sugar.  I was relieved my blood sugar was 107, but was left wondering what was causing this sudden dry mouth.  I went back to bed and woke up a few hours later and realized I had been sleeping with my mouth slightly open.

BINGO – sleeping with your mouth open = incredibly dry mouth.  I pray I didn’t swallow a spider.

As a diabetic, I constantly second guess everything in my life (dry skin, blood shot eyes, even a minor scrape).  Every once in awhile when you discover that your recent ailment is just allergies or something “everyone” else experiences, it is kind of nice.

The Cortisol Conundrum

Before high school football games, my blood sugar was manic – 110 during warm-ups and then 315 by gametime (I used to pee at least 10 times in the two hours before a game. Great for in-game hydration). Intuitively, I knew stress/adrenaline/anxiety/excitement was responsible, but honestly I just read the number and reacted as best I could. Physicians would always mention adrenaline as the culprit. Was I ever given resources to reign in my excitement? Not exactly.

When I began taking medical school prerequisite courses in college, the dots connected. Cortisol is the X factor of diabetes management. Responsible for the random highs. Responsible for the sugar issues with the flu. Responsible for the elevated sugars before the big presentation.Responsible for elevated sugar after your cup of coffee.Responsible for the 300 number after a two hour run. Continue reading