Imagine a future where diabetes is the last thing on the mind of people living with it – that is progress! In part #1 we got an inside look at how the insulin industry is spurring each other on to make advancements in diabetes management. In part #2 we continue the conversation with the leaders in the insulin pump industry, alongside my well-versed cohost, Mark Carter. As a little refresher, we had the pleasure of hearing from Michael Hill, VP of Global Portfolio Marketing at Medtronic, Dr. Trang Ly, Senior Vice President and Medical Director at Insulet, and Dr. Steph Habif, a behavioral scientist at Tandem.
Let’s jump back into this topic and learn more about how you can define progress in daily diabetes management and what’s on the horizon for insulin pump therapy.
After being rejected to join an insulin therapy clinical trial, I was determined to find someone who was able to participate. DDG’s newest team member, Cynthia Celt, connected the dots and hooked me up with Craig who shared his recent experience as a participant in a rather intense trial. Thank you Craig for temporarily donating your body to science to help fellow insulin dependent dia-peeps. Keep on trucking… jeeping you brave soul.
I connected with Kyle on social media and like many of my past guests, he shoots it to you straight about diet, exercise and his diabetes hacks. He isn’t shy and shares his opinion on lifestyle and offers HIS take on things without offering up medical advice. I was a little squeamish when Kyle shared details about a current trial he’s participating in, but eager to learn more about the advancements in CGM technology from someone who is walking the walk. Continue reading →
Anointed by the Huffington Post, mindfulness is the 2014 word of the year. As we enter the final month, in honor of the word, I thought I’d apply the idea to diabetes management. In short, mindfulness is knowing what you’re doing and thinking and why you’re doing and thinking it. Today, we can be mindful in these three ways:
1) When checking blood sugar, only check your blood sugar.
Don’t combine this activity with the barrage of life as we know it: conversation, social media, talking on the phone, etc. Why? Being attentive while making management choices gives empowerment and the opportunity to learn. After demolishing everything in the cupboard, it’s important to know how you got to this place. This is hard but a game changer. 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 →
Over this discourse, I am going to rationalize why it’s okay for folks with diabetes to use the disease to pick up a love interest. Some would label these tactics as exploitation—I see it as using your resources wisely. I’m completely cool with using up karma from previous suffering (Reference here, here, and here) At the end of the day, don’t we all just want to be interesting? Given that diabetics usually carry, at any given moment, syringes, a portable IV-like machine, sugar tabs, and sharp things, we are incredibly interesting! Plus, it allows us to be vulnerable right off the bat. Not many can achieve that. These methods, while rather crude, have been tried and tested in many situations during high school, college, and early adulthood. Continue reading →
Mid-august has arrived. Summer is holding on for dear-life. The chance for one last adventure looms. Us Oklahomans just spent a week on the Carolina coast, a place unfamiliar to the land-locked. Sun was had, drinks were guzzled, laughs were aplenty, and diabetes subtly influenced it all.
While out by the water, mostly drowning in an attempt to body-surf, we came up with 6 sure-fire ways to live it up on the beach with insulin-dependence: Continue reading →
Lately I’ve been exploring more creative placement of the pump sites. I use Medtronic’s Paradigm insulin pump with the Sure-T (6mm) site.
For the first 4 years or so of pump life, I targeted the stomach as the primary target. As I began running and cycling, available area in the stomach thinned up a bit. During college, I used mainly my hips and upper butt. I noticed a bit of scar tissue when I started running more often and decided to explore. Continue reading →
Rarely in my life have I opted to go back to shots. It’s usually a last resort. My membership card for Team Pump has never been in question. I love the on-the-fly corrections I can make based on symptom awareness. Nevertheless, my employer switched up insurance companies last month and due to a few logistical issues I was thwarted back into the land of Lantus for two weeks. It wasn’t all bad. Check out the top 5 pump-free powers I rediscovered:
1) No strategic sleeping
My favorite pump site location is on the upper, outside butt region (almost above the hips). Occasionally, these sites can get pretty sore, even after one day. Because I pay for my sites, I like to get my money’s worth and keep them in for at least 3 days. At night, sometimes I avoid sleeping on a certain side if things turn tender. Continue reading →
It haunts us. It’s almost indescribable but you know the feeling. Described as anxiety, lack of focus, restlessness, or the time when you act like a person you aren’t. It doesn’t happen when you’re blood sugar’s high. It doesn’t happen when you’re blood sugar’s low. It strikes when your blood sugar is in the twilight zone: 70-90.
We know the signs of being high – foggy eyes, agitation, thirst, etc. We know the signs of being low – nonsensical hunger, dizziness, fatigue, etc. In the twilight zone, it’s really hard to recognize any signs. It isn’t a physical sensation except for perhaps a faster heart rate. Particularly, it’s purely mental, the inability to control your thoughts. Allow a monk on a mountainside in Tibet thirty minutes in the middle zone and he’ll never be the same. Continue reading →
Count your carbs – take your insulin. This is the mirage we chase tirelessly every day.
Here’s how the situation usually places out. Tuesday I wake up and my blood sugar is say 80. Not where I like to wake up but not a low blood sugar that slows down my mind all morning. I make a blueberry banana smoothie with a scoop of protein powder. Looking at bolusing for about 45-50 carbs by my count. I send 3 units in through the pump. Feel great all morning. Blood sugar looks good at lunch. I OWN THIS DISEASE!
Flash forward to Wednesday. I wake up. Make the exact same smoothie. Blood sugar is at 123 this time. Given the higher blood sugar, I take 3.5 units of insulin. By 9AM, in mid-lesson, I feel that wave of anxiety and insecurity move through me. Words and coherent thought escape me. You guys know how that sweat feels. Here we go – blood sugar is at 70. What just happened? Continue reading →
It was my first day home and my mom looks wicked stressed. It was time to take my first shot and I recall her shaking while drawing out the insulin. I sat on the steps in our dining room and she came in for the kill. I don’t remember freaking out because I knew what was going down, we had done this in the hospital a few times.
She began to sweat and I thought she might pass out. She splashed water on her face and came back. I took the needle from her and gave my first shot in my thigh. She was relieved and I am free, free from having to rely on anyone else. Continue reading →