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Showing posts from March, 2007

Hey Sherlock, no sh....

Breaking news: "Sedentary behavior linked to high blood sugar." Another one this week: "Active Self-care Improves Blood Sugar Control." Really? Are you kidding me? We had to spend valuable time and resources on studying this? As if no one could have guessed this from talking to a person who's EVER BEEN TO A DOCTOR before??? Or actually lives with diabetes, or knows someone with it? Wow. I'm stunned. Here's the sendentary story , and the self-care story . Favorite parts include the first one comes from the International Diabetes Instutute in Australia, where a doc and colleagues examined the link between TV-watching and BG levels in non-diabetics. Thousands participated. On the other, it's out of Harvard Medical School . The first is a research fellow, while the U.S.-based one was spearheaded by a psychiatry prof who's also "Research Fellow Affairs director at the Joslin Diabetes Center. A quote on sitting around-study: "The findings

Sleepwalking

Restless nights and needed 3 a.m. bloodtestings to help garner better control are taking their toll. Today was a prime example. Since waking up, I've felt as though I'm sleepwalking through the hours, dazed and not fully conscience. This was the first day I can recall seeing bags under my eyes, though I'm sure they'be been present before. Riding the elevator up to my second-floor office, I stood in the elevator in a daze for about a minute before realizing I hadn't moved. Why? Apparently I'd pushed the first floor button, telling the elevator I wasn't really interested in going there. Rest of the day was much the same - trying to meet deadlines with the helpful boost of coffee. Low sugar at lunchtime made things interesting, as always. But managed to get through the day. Ultimately, I'm willing to deal with a week's worth of tiredness to help get a feel for how the nighttime sugars are looking. Getting basals precise makes it worthwhile. Now, I

Bueller, Bueller...Still waiting

It's always amused me how those not frequently frequenting doc's offices complained about their wait times. "If the appointment is at 9 a.m., then I should not be sitting in the waiting room much longer after that," the argument often goes. My response: "You obviously haven't spent much time in doc's offices." Well, today was a case in point. I still found it ridiculous, even recognizing how much I sounded like those I've been amused by. Today brought a hospital visit for needed bloodwork at the lab, and a thyroid X-ray. All in all, this should've taken 20 minutes - max. No such luck. As I've been accustomed to visiting a small county hospital and doc's offices that have been able to perform these procedures, my judgment on wait times are off. Significantly. My visit entailed going to a large, multi-faceted hospital in a booming are on the southside of Indianapolis. This meant being directed to five different spots, numerous check-i

Peeing apple juice

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Once again, there was little sleep last night because of continuing pains in the legs and feet. Thanks, neuropathy. Anyhow, managed about four hours. Waking up to the voice of my wife, I managed to spit out a few words that - at the time and especially in hindsight - didn't make complete sense. Sensing something was wrong, I pulled myself out of bed and stumbled downstairs to the kitchen. A blood test revealed a common number: 49, which is becoming a more frequent happening these days for some reason (push for tight control?). So, I went for the new juiceboxes Suzi had bought the night before. Of course, in my low state, the airtight transparent sealing wouldn't rip off. The nearby knife holder offered some hope, and I took the smallest one there and sliced away. This, as should have been expected, resulted in a puncture wound in the juice box. Apple juice proceeded to leak all over the counter. Should have foreseen this happening. Suzi came down and rescued me, demanding I fet

Remembering when....

My diagnosis came at age 5. The memory vividly entails a regular visit to my grandparents' house. Frequent urination. Unquenchable thirst and a bad taste in the mouth. I recall those, but not any fatigue or mood swings that we've all come to recognize as high BG symptoms now. But then, at that age, it was just odd and didn't register at first. My grandparents noticed, though, and mentioned this to my parents - my mom has been a Type I most of her life, as well, so she instantly knew the signs. So, the diagnosis came. But aside from the diagnosis story, my grandparents' house also sets the scene for this blog's theme - insulin injections. There, on the coach in their front living room (the same one they have today), I remember that cold, metal needle injector. I remember being told, "It'll hurt a little." My mom injected it into my left. I struggled, and cried. A thought that still comes to mind today: "How will I ever get used to this?" We

Trends and changes

Since starting a new endo late last year, I've come across a concern: she seems very apt to make changes to my basal rates after a single day's worth of tests. Her key communication method is fax - she expects this weekly, at the minimal. I've also grown up using the rule of thumb that you take a look at three days worth of results at least before making changes, to make sure you're seeing an accurate trend in the results. In mentioning this to my endo, her response was that with a pump, the changes are "instantaneous" - there's no need to wait. I'm not sure I agree with that; For example, one night may entail a inadequate carb counting or dosing for food, or a different routine of exercise. You can't see what's really happening with that basal by looking at just one day's results. This train of thought seems to be an almost old-school mentality merging with a contemporary push for pump therapy - someone who doesn't understand exactly.

Awake

Those who know me realize this isn't an odd time for me to be fully awake. Midnight majesty, golden hours of writing, yada yada.... Tried going to bed, but some pain in the feet and legs kept me up - too uncomfortable and didn't want to disturb her sleep. So, I'm up. Haven't had this much trouble sleeping in a while. Blood sugars are in much better control, so maybe it's the "getting bad in order to get better." Been there before. Hope that's the case. So, here we are. With that, I give you 10 random tidbits at this 2 a.m. hour. 1. I'd rather be asleep next to my wife, snuggling and sleeping soundly. 2. Waiting patiently, with yawns, for that nightime 2:30-3 a.m. blood test. 3. Massive coffee, tea drinking to ward off the yawns - wonder what actual effect they have on my BGs. 4. iTunes playing.... Mistakenly didn't delete all the Xmas tunes, it seems. Oh well - Blue Christmas is a good, all-year round tune, right? Can't go wrong with Th

What's in a name?

My wife calls me bionic-man. Yes, the pump brings the nickname. But, in return, I feel no need to name my insulin pump. This seems like an odd thing to do - more of an adoloscent, or womanly thing, to do. Why do this? Mine is charcoal gray, and when I switch to the Cozmo, I'll likely go with the color more resembling black. No need for pink, purple, blue, or strange colors. Again, no my kind of thing. Elvis, Ralph, Fred, or Bob aren't the kinds of names for a medical device, or inatimate object such as this. Of course, this train of thought hasn't stopped me from naming our 7-foot ficus tree - "Spaudling," you know, from Caddyshack. We were going to go with Finch, but a former ficus in my good bud's condo had taken that name already. But, what's good for the ficus isn't good enough for the pump. That's where I draw the line.

Changing pumps

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Hoping for a new pump. Have been on the Minimed since starting pump therapy in May 2001. I've never had much problem - my mother has always told me I'm the poster child for them, while she is the polar opposite and had nothing but trouble with the company and device. She's changed to the Deltec Cozmo, and that's a route I'm hoping to take soon. Mostly, I like the features the Cozmo has much the same as Minimed, except I'm very impressed with it's connecting blood meter and computer connectivity. The largest concern I've had with Minimed is the customer service - they're not that bright, it seems. And, usually takes more than one call to sort out problems. Never fond of that. On that customer service note, it turns out that the pump rep who sold me the Minimed (up in Michigan) now works for Smith Medical (the Deltec people). Good person, so that has helped sell me on it. And he's connected me to another good person in this Indy area. So, it's

The journalistic fire inside

This makes me furious. By law, school administrators have the right to censor student newspapers. But many don't. They see the point of allowing students to, for the most part and with guidance from an advisor, debate and discuss issues pertinent to their lives. These are teenagers who will be soon entering adulthood, college, society - they're the ones our country will ultimately rely on. We should allow and encourage their critical thinking of differing perspectives. But here's an example of a school that's obviously blind to that train of thought. Dozens of people who attended a school board meeting to support a suspended journalism teacher left frustrated when they were not allowed to speak. The student editor of the Woodlan Junior-Senior High School newspaper said some staff members quit on Tuesday, the day after East Allen County Schools officials placed teacher Amy Sorrell on paid leave pending a review of whether her contract should be terminated. The action c

A wisp of sales for Indiana-made inhaled insulin

An AP story on Wednesday. NEW YORK -- Pfizer's stab at giving diabetics insulin without needles is getting more praise than prescriptions so far. Exubera, a powdered form inhaled through a special device, was introduced last year in a targeted launch to specialists, a debut analysts deemed disappointing. While doctors applaud Pfizer Inc.'s effort to find a new way to deliver insulin, some are concerned about the drug's long-term effects on the lungs, cost and insurance coverage. Observers fear Exubera, which is made at a Terre Haute, Ind., plant, won't fare much better as Pfizer expands the sales effort to primary care doctors. "I think Pfizer will wish they had never gotten into this. I doubt they'll regain their investment," said Dr. John Buse, president-elect of the American Diabetes Association, who participated in Exubera's trials. "There is no advantage to Exubera and there may be a safety risk. I see it as my job to talk people out of

Inspiring

Here it is. The midnight hour once again. I sit sipping tea, drowning in St. Elmo's theme music on the iPod, resting in the green recliner with feet up and watching the cat curl up in a ball to rest near by feet. Anyhow. Good time for self-reflection, late night reading. And, of course, blogging. So I've put down my Lee Strobel "The Case for Faith" briefly to flip through our just-released edition of Indiana Lawyer , a plethora of diabetes magazines picked up at the endo's office today (plus a copy of Time swiped in compensation for the 70-minute wait...). But. Here's the inspiring part. An article in Diabetes Vital describes how "Ironman" Andy Holder was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 36, and learned to control his sugars while undergoing the "most extreme mental and physical challenge" he could think of - a competition entailing a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. Why? Well, he didn't want his kids to not know him in t

Shuddering in the shower

Anyone who's diabetic (especially long-termers) knows about the coldness that comes with reaction. I re-lived that today with a morning low, with blood sugars dipping below the 46 reading after-the-fact. Sleeping in - no oversleeping - isn't really a new concept on my part. But today it was a little much. Waking up, I sensed the low but didn't fully recognize the demon as it was. So, to the shower. Water's on, but not hot enough. Turn the hot water knob to the left. Still shivering. More. Worked for a moment, but the coldness quickly returns. After standing in the water shivering for about 15 minutes, it finally dawned on me - yep, this is a reaction. Ended shower, went downstairs for sugar. Of course, it wasn't that easy. Jar of glucose tablets (grape) are work on the desk. No OJ made. No candy nearby. I contemplated the glucagon (Yuck-a-gon) in the fridge, but thought better. Finally found some of the wife's cranberry apple juice (yuck!), so endured the 10 oun

Diabetes and the Law

Legal issues intersect with every aspect of life. Including diabetes. So, in browsing the Internet recently, I came across a California attorney specializing in legal issues involving diabetes. Everything from employment and labor disputes, issues with the BMVs and drivers licenses, HMOs and types of care. The attorney is based in Santa Monica, named Kriss Halpern - here's his website . Interesting stuff. Brings to mind the recent story about the troop they wouldn't let serve in Iraq at first because of his diabetes, or another couples ones here from northern Indiana - police not recognizing signs of low blood sugars, and misinterpreting reactions to be signs of drunkness or resistance... Resulted in beatings, arrests and other litigation-sparring situations. One from last fall, when the family of a diabetic man challenged the police assertion that he smelled of alcohol when officers touched off a violent confrontation that ended with the man in a coma. Suit came from that one

This little piggy

Isn't going to the market - he or she may be pushing to cure diabetes. So they say in the news. Pigs may hold the key to curing juvenile diabetes, and the Emory Transplant Center (at the Emory Univ. Hospital in Atlanta, GA) just received $2.5 million to unlock the puzzle. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is funding the center's efforts to study whether implanting parts of a pig's pancreas into a human diabetes patient can help find a cure. Last month, the BBC reported that a U.S. team has reversed diabetes in monkeys by transplanting the islets from pig pancreases, according to a study in Nature Medicine. The University of Minnesota hopes to start trials in humans by 2009. So, that leaves me with the question: does that result in more, or less, pigs to roast? Either way, at least the pigs are doing something good with themselves and benefiting us humans. Hope we can someday return the favor. (Here's my disclaimer: Apologies to all animal lovers and PETA-type

Does Size Matter?

Insulin pumps. (C'mon people...) One of the top four high-tech tools to help better control diabetes is smaller, hidden insulin pumps. Like the Omnipod, which is tiny, disposable, worn directly on the skin, and concealed under clothing - weighs only 1.2 ounces. “It’s a completely different animal. It’s the size of a small half-kiwi or a small Matchbox car,” Elizabeth Vivaldi, director of marketing at Insulet Corp. (maker of the Omnipod), says in a news release. Another person says: “You can hide it. People don’t need to know." Many people resist conventional insulin pumps. They’re typically worn on one’s belt like a small cell phone, with short tubing to deliver insulin through a needle inserted under abdominal skin. Many people dislike hooking up the pump and they try to conceal the tubing. See, I don't see the point in all this. Are we embarrased? And if so, about what exactly? The pump? Diabetes? How some outside observers might mistake it for a cell phone or pager? I

Family life

We'd like to start a family. My wife and I are about a year-and-a half into marriage, and have decided it's time that we'd like to bring someone into the world. The fear, however, is how diabetes will be a part of that. From the pre-family stages, to my health and role-modeling, to what potential effect my own diabetes will play on our child's. They say it's genetic. That's a fear of mine - that I'll continue this condition and pass it down. The stats aren't in my favor, but nothing's definate. All of this has, of course, led me to want to keep my sugars and life in order and in stable order, though it's more as of late than anything. Better late than never, another saying goes. I've always said, or thought at least, that a cure isn't for me - it's for the future generations of children that can be salvaged from having to go through something that I have. No child should have to go through that. That's why I pray for a cure - t

Confessions and complications

Here we are. Dreams are finally happening in life. Happily married to a wonderful woman, we own a beautiful home, have a good paying job, and doing quite well. And then there's my diabetes. I'd like to say I'm healthy - but that would only be continuing a pattern of denial that has entailed more than a decade of my life and is now becoming more "complicated." So, no more. The fruition of these dreams mean it's a time in life where I finally must face the reality of a disease that I've too often ignored and shrugged off. But those crimes of my past are finally catching up all at once, and it's unfortunate that it's taken this long to push away the denial that has created this twisted, unwanted relationship with diabetes. It's been 23 years with type 1 diabetes. Neuropathy has nudged slightly, sometimes more forcefully, in recent years. Those tingling, numb, and fire-like feelings in the feet have become more common. It's come and