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Showing posts from October, 2009

Not about the Halloween candy

Every Halloween, it always strikes me as amusing how much you can find online discussing the perfect balancing act for Halloween candy-eating and diabetes management. Personally, I grew up not caring much about the candy component of Halloween. Sure, I liked the candy and wanted some just like all kids. Of course, I was told that I couldn't have much and would have to work it in or only have a few select pieces from my bag. Now, at age 30, I don't recall being traumatized by this or that it was all that big a deal - it may have been then, I just don't know). There was one house in particular down the street that was always better than anyone else, and gave out that one full-sized candy bar rather than the bite-sized versions typically given out. Had to make a stop there. Even with that, I wasn't like Garfield trying to convince my dog Odie to go with me simply so I could get more "candy candy candy!" Really, candy doesn't make the holiday special. It'

Testing, Texting & Tweeting (Updated)

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We have diabetes and must deal with it, every single moment of every single day. But just as significantly as D-bloggers, we have taken on a role that is often intertwined with that of our diabetes management. We connect ourselves with an online community, which is made up of many people navigating similar paths in dealing with diabetes. That's a positive evolution in the overall diabetes care world - its gives us a place to share and vent, to learn what others are experiencing, and even a way to change our own and others' habits dealing with this disease and living our lives with it. My Thursday morning experience illustrates this. Thankfully, it was not quite like Wednesday morning's adventure . After a reaction the previous morning (as detailed above), I was ready for work and pleased that I hadn't sunken down into the Land of Lows and Reactions. A quick test before getting behind the wheel and venturing off to work kidnapped that excitement, though. Blood sugar:

Aliens, Apple Cider & Honey

Ever have that experience where you dread doing something, shrug it aside, and then watch dreadfully as it happens anyhow? That horror flick scene where a young college girl tiptoes toward the closed door, reaching out and calling "Is anyone there?" as the audience obviously knows the killer is waiting for her behind that door... Well, that's how Wednesday morning played out for me. I should've seen it coming. Backstory: Tuesday was a dental adventure day for both Suzi and I. A cemented crown had escaped from its spot in my mouth I like it to call home, so I had gotten in to the dentist to have that put back in place. A torturous gum-poking followed before I was able to free myself. Meanwhile, Suzi had a few crowns put onto teeth that weren't adequately cared for under our previous dentist's reign. Needless to say, we both weren't up for chomping on steaks or burgers or much solid food for that matter. As a result, my dinner consisted of a few saltin

The (Un)Sweetened Life

Artificial Sweeteners: How Bad Are Saccharin, Aspartame? By CLAIRE SUDDATH Claire Suddath (Time) Oct 20, 2009 Too much sugar will make you fat, but too much artificial sweetener will ... do what exactly? Kill you? Make you thinner? Or have absolutely no effect at all? This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration's decision to ban cyclamate, the first artificial sweetener prohibited in the U.S., and yet scientists still haven't reached a consensus about how safe (or harmful) artificial sweeteners may be. Shouldn't we have figured this out by now? The first artificial sweetener, saccharin, was discovered in 1879 when Constantin Fahlberg, a Johns Hopkins University scientist working on coal-tar derivatives, noticed a substance on his hands and arms that tasted sweet. No one knows why Fahlberg decided to lick an unknown substance off his body, but it's a good thing he did. Despite an early attempt to ban the substance in 1911 - skeptical scient

D-Life has a good story, for a change

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D-Life did a decent spot this evening in its one story about legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson, who happened to also be an insulin-dependent diabetic. As the first African-American to play major league baseball in 1947, Robinson joined the LA Dodgers and was an instrumental player through the years that led up to his entry into the Hall of Fame and All-Century Team. He died in 1972 of a heart attack - brought on by a heart disease complicatoin of diabetes - and he'd become almost entirely blind by middle age. In an unusual happening, D-Life hit an insightful nerve by interviewing a longtime friend of Jackie Robinson and getting into the more personal aspects of his days once blindness had hit. The story involved him walking onto a field once, accompanied by his wife and the ball-playing friend. A young child wanted an autograph, and offered to toss him a ball to sign. Jackie was ready, but his friend reminded him of the blindness that likely would have meant he couldn'

A Bruised Ninja-Finger

Diabetes certainly can keep us on our toes. Every day, it presents a unique challenge in managing our health. And we can find surprises, big and small, in each day's adventures. So is my latest... In doing a test at some point in the past week, the finger prick was a little more noticeable than it usually is. From memory of that particular test, the blood may have flowed a little more freely - but don't ask me to relay the test result, as I don't even recall what time of day this was or where the test took place. Anyhow, I didn't take much notice at the time. Several days later, I noticed that I'd been experiencing a little pain in my right hand index finger. To the tune of feeling it during typing, and normal day activity - such as not being able to type as quickly or efficiently, and falling back to finger-clunking the keyboard. My ever-observant wife, in hearing my complaint about this nuisance, noticed that I had a bruised finger. It was discolored, she explai

The 25th Anniversary (& More) Award

While the 2009 calendar is nearly at its end and this is long overdue, it's time to take note that this is indeed a special year. This isn't a reference to our new president. Not symbolic of the classic baseball season we've just endured. Nor is it an ode to the last year of the new century's first decade. Quite simply, it's the year I've celebrated my 25th Anniversary as a Type 1 diabetic. (Applause from the audience.) Thank you, thank you... This isn't new. I've written about it before - back in a January post . But it's worth noting again, maybe as a sort of followup. My adventure with the D (not to be confused with my hometown of Detroit), began in 1984. I was 5 years old, the only child of a Type 1 who'd been diagnosed herself at the same young age. Her instant recognition and lifetime of dealing with diabetes helped during the diagnosis phase, and has stretched through the years without fail. She recently celebrated her 50th Anniversary

'I've got a fever, and the only prescription is...'

NOT A FLU SHOT. Ok. I don't have a fever and I'm not sick. Neither is my wife. But it's only October and the Regular Flu Season is just setting its eyes on us susceptible diabetics. Not to mention all the worry out there about the ever-looming Swine Flu... Plus, two of my co-workers are out sick today and several others I associate with for work are also down under the weather somewhere. This comes about a week after the panic-stricken schools in Central Indiana sent as many kids home as possible, even those who weren't obviously sick, and thereby infected the rest of the human population outside the school walls. (Thanks, kiddies, thanks.) So, the question arises: Do I need a flu shot this year? If so, am I going to get one? It's a topic I mull each year, and typically reach the same conclusion (at least for a majority of years in the past decade): No. There isn't a need. No, this isn't proven. It's simply my journalist-inspired skeptism of anythin

Ninja Fingers

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I have ninja fingers. A sign that blood-test fingerpricking is taking a toll is quite noticeable lately. Not only because of the little spots gracing the finger undersides from testing, but the fact that I'm worn out from ninja-like control. Frankly, I need a break from diabetes. My fingers hurt and need a rest. My regular infusion sites are used and need a rest. Carb counting takes so much time and effort, and in tough economic times when money's tight and the grocery shopping has been trimmed, skipping meals and snacking periodically is sometimes just easier - and that's a slipperly slope that doesn't mix well with ninja-betic management. The finances also impact the trips to the trusted Endo, who is a great motivator but unfortunately isn't cheap when insurance wants to limit doc visits and the co-pays and tests quickly add up. (I still haven't started paying off the unexpected ER visit in August that I couldn't afford, but was necessary thanks to a low