Getting The Med School Lecture On Diabetes… On My Birthday

Birthday and Diabetes

Today is my birthday. I will eat cake–perhaps even some coconut milk ice cream. Special occasions deserve special levels of insulin.

Today, in the first year medical school curriculum, also marks the Introduction To Type 1 Diabetes lecture. Quite the comical coincidence.

On the day of my birth, I get to hear about the chronic disease I know most intimately. The disease that permeates my thoughts by the minute. I know about insulin. I’ve read the convoluted hypotheses on the cause, linked with autoimmunity. I can recognize the signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. I definitely know how to treat them. I’ve felt the link between epinephrine and cortisol, causing that random high blood sugar. If there were one lecture this year, that I probably won’t have to look at again, it’s this one–a real savings in time! That is a cool gift, but there’s more to it. Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Dietary Needs vs. Are You Just High Maintenance

restaurant scene

The older I get, the less concerned I seem to be as to what others think when I start my order with, “I’m a little high maintenance“.  I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over 30 years ago and things were very different.  I was given strict instructions by the dietician – NO sugar and limit yourself to 2 TAB colas a day – yes, I said TAB (the only diet soda at the time).  At age 14, after reading a terrifying book about animal welfare in stockyards, I cut out red meat and pork.  Was that the turning point for my high maintenance ways???

Fast forward to 2015 – and the list of what I won’t eat has skyrocketed.  I won’t bore you with the list and the background for each item, but my recent journey to Quartz Mountain made me question – were my special requests diabetes related or am I just high maintenance? Continue reading

7 Thoughts To Let Go Of Before 2015

Introspective

1) It’s all my fault.

This can be the default response to any result caused by diabetes. At the end of the day, we’re the only ones in control. We can control our reactions but we can’t always control the circumstances.

2) No one understands what I go through.

Everyone has problems. It’s fine to be upset, angry, and frustrated. It’s never okay to pretend like no one else understands a struggle. People can help us, just give them a chance. Continue reading

Are You A Sugar Surfer?

Sugar Surfing

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

The 411: Supplements and Diabetes

Diabetes and Supplements

Us folks with diabetes are bombarded by supplement advertisements. Not a day goes by without a cinnamon ad trolling the DDG inbox. The crew over at MindBodyGreen published this infographic from a book titled Knowledge is Beautiful by David McCandless. The book looks to analyze data behind the claims made by supplement companies. He even lists them out in a “worth it” area. The results are highly valuable in the world of diabetes management. Continue reading

Cardio Vs Weights: A User’s Guide to Knowing What Will Happen to Your Blood Sugar

Diabetes and Exercise Effects

Oftentimes, exercise can be treacherous–inciting low blood sugars immediately after, then the resulting high blood sugars, and leaving us wondering why we signed up to exercise in the first place. It’s time to provide clarity to something we all need and crave in our lives: movement. Matching personal experience with research, I’ll provide a few generalizations that will help you traverse the exercise path with optimum, never perfect, glucose management.

What’s the rundown on cardio exercise?

 

Continue reading

A T1D Night Out – Part II (Halloween)

Going Out With Diabetes

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

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

Tuesday Topic: Just Another Diabetes Stem Cell Announcement? No.

Diabetes Stem Cell Research

I received the Type 1 diagnosis 15 years ago. Since, announcements about an artificial pancreas, pancreas transplants, and various stem cell developments, have disappointed. I understand that these have all been important developments. I get that we’re getting somewhere. Yes, the future is bright. How about today? Still filled with diabetes. It’s been easier to casually follow the research without getting invested, attempting to appreciate what’s happening in research. 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