A Diabetes Anomaly for the Paramedics

You never look forward to an experience welcoming the paramedics to help deal with a diabetes emergency. I'd gone over a decade since that was last needed. But a paramedic-summoning Low blood sugar reaction at the start of September reset my tally clock, and now I'm working from 0 since the last time my diabetes required the paramedics. It was a Friday morning. I had planned the day well in advance, as it was one day following my wife's birthday. I would drive her to work, come home to do whatever work I needed before taking the dog to "camp" for the weekend, and then I'd go pick her up for a dinner reservation and drinks afterward. That was the plan. But I didn't sleep well overnight, and some blood sugar glucoastering messed up my normal sleep schedule. I ended up with only about 2 hours of sleep, and chose to instead stay awake and take care of some overdue work I hadn't finished earlier. With the coffee pot fully brewed, I plunked away at my keyboa

Less Alcohol, Healthier Mindset for 2023

I've been enjoying my alcohol drinks a bit too much during the past several years. This has not gotten to a point where I've developed a problem. But it's just been too much, which has led to a number of health-related effects: weight gain, less-stable blood sugars, and probably just a stresser on my kidneys overall. Now granted, with the weight, alcohol alone hasn't been the issue. I've also enjoyed snacking. Working from home for so long has allowed this to happen in the middle of the day while working, as well as in the later evening hours when just relaxing and watching TV or hanging out at home. However, my reality for a good amount of time has been to have multiple drinks per night — whether it's a beer, craft brew, or bourbon and Diet Coke. As the saying goes, moderation is key. And I haven't been moderating to the best of my ability. After experiencing a severe stomach flu in mid-January and being dry for a 2-week period, I'd lost the interest in

The Unpredictable Stability of Diabetes

Not too long ago, I came down with an unknown viral bug that knocked me off my game for a couple weeks. It wasn't immediately diagnosed, but turned out being a viral stomach flu that was probably complicated by COVID-19 from more than a month earlier. After 10 days of being unable to work and do much of anything, I turned a corner and started moving toward recovery. This all made me realize how much I appreciate (at times) the world of life with diabetes. As much as type 1 diabetes can seem the opposite of stable, it's also predictable at times in that instability. And that in itself, might very well be comfortable when compared to other health issues life throws at us. By that, I mean that even when your blood sugars are jumping High or diving Low without any rhyme or reason, there's a certain amount of familiarity that comes with it. If you're too High, take insulin. Maybe the injected insulin or pump boluses take too long because insulin isn't too quick-acting, s

The Dancing Flame

Middle of the night. My 2 AM ceiling transforms into a canvas, a lack of light creating the perfect patch of blank page for the mind to paint a masterpiece. A candle sits on the table below, the shadows of a single flame dancing on the darkened ceiling above. I'd never dreamed of being a firefighter. But enough television and movies portrayed the life of flames, the mystery and danger. Free, a moment away from exploding into new spaces, but caged at times. Often, one's own human life and career could be described in much the same way. We mostly stay in our lanes but flirt with new challenges and experience at other times, eating up the oxygen around us and crawling on the walls of our known existence. Until that new burst of energy gives us a boost to explode outside the lines, into new chapters of the canvas before us. Above, the ceiling flame dances as the floor fan provides a soundtrack and oscillating choreography. It paints the canvas overhead, tempting my eyes with it'

Goodbye, DiabetesMine

"As one chapter closes..." A decade ago in 2012, I had the privilege of joining with my friend and fellow diabetes advocate Amy Tenderich at DiabetesMine. At that time, my journalism career evolved into one that could be combined with my passion for diabetes and my own life with type 1 diabetes. I'd been personally blogging since 2007 and had been actively involved in the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) for a handful of years at that time, attending various conferences and forums with fellow advocates looking to "do good" in the world. I've been proud to be managing editor for so many years, covering this community and doing advocacy journalism there - before and after we became part of Healthline in 2015.The time has come, though, for my career page to turn to the next chapter. Healthline made a decision that it's time to close down DiabetesMine. We first heard about this decision-making in early 2022, and by mid-March the final decision had been made

Spare a Rose: Helping People with Diabetes in Need

So many people with diabetes whose lives depend on insulin are struggling to afford and get access to this life-sustaining medication, and in some cases, they're rationing and even dying as a result. That's why every year in February, our Diabetes Community gets pretty vocal about the "Spare a Rose" initiative , a grassroots effort aimed at raising money to provide insulin and diabetes supplies for those in desperate need across the world. The idea is simple: Instead of buying the typical "dozen roses" that are so popular on Valentine's Day, you buy just 11 and donate the value of that last flower (roughly $3 to $5) to help someone with diabetes. You still get to be romantic and give roses, while also showing some love to someone who really needs it. Seriously, it really is that simple. You're literally just sparing a rose — at a minimum, because there is certainly an opportunity to spare all the roses and donate much more than just the cost

Non-invasive Diabetes Tech: The Never-ending Dream

 The invention of a "noninvasive" device that can measure blood glucose for people with diabetes with no need to poke the skin and draw blood has been the dream for decades. After all, why wouldn't people with diabetes (PWDs) flock to a skin patch that can detect blood sugar levels through sweat, or a wrist band that uses radio frequency technology to continuously beam glucose data directly to an app? Numerous companies are pushing forward in this noninvasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) space, even in the midst of a pandemic. To date, it's been mostly hype versus hope, as attempts to create those products have fallen flat. The Diabetes Technology Society (DTS) published a scientific analysis on this topic in October 2021, noting "the amount of interest in seeing the development of an accurate [noninvasive glucose sensor] and the amount of hyperbole by companies promising an accurate [product] both far outstrip the amount of publicly avai