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bookDiabetes articles about daily topics that affect those living with diabetes. There is a lot of information about diabetes and hopefully you find this information useful in your everyday life. Here we have compiled a list of older articles from our previous "The Diabetes Network" along with links to blogs and articles, an extended reading archive. You can use the search in the top-right menu to search for specific articles.

 

Insulin Gone Bad?

Just when I think Gee, C's numbers have been really great lately...boom!  Relentless highs.  I mean blood glucose readings in the 200s, 300s, and yes, even 400s. Gobs of insulin corrections weren't making them even budge at times.

These highs began happening as soon as the kids were out of school last month.  But I couldn't figure it out.  It didn't make sense.  We were even more busy, with lots of activities...swimming included.  And swimming always makes C go low.  It was so frustrating.

What was totally insane was that it wasn't just at one or two different times during the day.  It was round-the-clock.  I'd get her down to the mid 100s with jumbo corrections, only to have her test in the 200s or 300s before her next meal.  This continued throughout the nighttime.  I did a couple of our famous middle-of-the-night-site-changes to no avail.

I began changing the site daily...opening another insulin vial, and then another.  Maybe it's gone bad, I thought.  Maybe it's a bad lot.  I just kept pushing forward, checking and correcting overnight, feeling overly exhausted.  You know this kind of tired...when the first thing you think of upon wakening is the bottle of Advil.

And then one day, I B-lined it for the pharmacy.  The insulin must have gone bad, I kept thinking.  Maybe they'll replace these vials that are barely used...I know, wishful thinking.  But, I was tired.  So off I went with C to the pharmacy.  I asked to speak with the guy who's been there the longest, as long as we've been getting insulin for C.  There are really only 2 employees left at our particular pharmacy who  remember me from the beginning...the haggard, emotional mom who needed, yes, 300 test strips a month for her baby.  He's one of them, so I thought for sure he'd see things my way!

"My daughter," I said, "her numbers have been crazy high.  I've opened like 3 new vials of insulin in the last week.  Could the insulin have gone bad?"  I asked.

"Uh, no," Mr. Pharmacist said.  "Let me see the cartons...Hmmm...no, they should be good.  Our shipments go directly in refrigeration.  She's possibly having a growth spurt."

A growth spurt?  That really didn't cross my mind.  Why hadn't it?  I thought for sure the insulin had gone bad.  Her numbers were high across the board.  Usually when we make adjustments and tweek basals in the pump, it's because numbers are creeping up, sneekily...not all at once.

So, with blurry, sleep-deprived eyes, I nodded, "Hmmm," I said.  "thanks."  We headed back home...determined to make adjustments and figure this out.  Over the course of the next few days, with some nurse help over the phone and internet, we adjusted every single basal setting and even added 2 more.  We changed so many things!  It made me nervous.  I'm very much a fan of the scientific method of changing one variable at a time.  But I knew we had to wrangle these numbers in a bigger way.  So, that's what we did.

It seems to always take several days for any type of setting change to really work itself out and show results.  We dug in for the long haul.  I knew this meant lots more testing and lots less sleeping but...oh well.  That's life with diabetes.

And, did the basal changes help?  Boy, did they?! But that's to be continued in another post...
Insulin gone bad?  Well, I know it can.  But not this time.  Now we have 3 newly-opened vials...ug. 
 

Sometimes insulin can go bad.

Islet Cell Transplant - Chapter 2

After worrying over my increasing blood sugars for some time now, it has finally become apparent that the time has come to supplement my cells with some insulin.  Its mostly heartbreaking, but a little relieving.  It has become more and more stressful to see those higher numbers appearing on my glucose monitor.  I will enjoy seeing a higher percentage of good numbers.  Also, this will lead to a better next A1c.

I did my best to postpone or prevent this.  I've been exercising and cutting carbs as much as possible.  I'm now on my third painful stressed or pulled muscle.  It started with my back, then my foot and now my back/neck again.  With hindsight, I know they were all due to being overworked.  Exercise does really help, but there are limits.

So, I am now on day 4 of insulin.  I started with 3 units of Lantus per day.  Yesterday, I had some high postprandials (220s) so increased to 4 units.  It seems to be helping.  I really don't mind the injections and this is probably not enough to cause any serious low blood sugars, I just hate to give up being insulin free and having the ability to say so. There is hope that this could be temporary.  If the islets get some rest, maybe they will become stronger.  Time will tell.  In the mean time, I am still exercising and watching what I eat.  Partly in hope to need less insulin, and partly to be able to judge how the insulin is affecting my numbers.  I was able to gain a few pounds throughout all of this.  I was concerned that it might have gone the other way.  Its easy to keep blood sugars lower by not eating as much and that is so tempting to do.  And its still feels like such a privilege to have the ability to do so.  But, I was really pushing the meat, cheeses, and nuts and I guess that worked.

This is a painful post to have to write, but also an important one.  The whole idea of this blog was to chronicle my experience, the good and the bad.  Good news is just so much more fun to share.

Of course, I'm not going through this alone.  Janet and Dr. Bellin are as disappointed as I am.  We all understand each other well enough to know that we aren't disappointed in each other, or even with the transplant, just disappointed.  I get just the right mix of sympathy, encouragement, and optimism from them.  Its also so nice to be able to share this with Dave, another transplant patient from SDI.


Yesterday was my JDRF walk, number two.  I didn't have walkers for this one.  I was handing out information at the Government Advocacy booth.  I displayed my poster again and enjoyed meeting people and sharing my experience with them.  Again, it was the mothers of diabetic children who were the most excited to hear about it.  It turned out to be a cold, rainy day, but there were still a lot of people who came for the walk.  Its very heartwarming to see such dedication and support.

Here are my current fall flowers.  A new season and a new chapter.

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Understanding Glucose and Insulin

Insulin:

Insulin is a chemical known as a hormone, meaning that it's made in an organ, which in this case is the pancreas, and carried around the body in the bloodstream. The function of insulin is to act as a key to the "door" in each cell of the body that opens to allow glucose in. However, not every cell requires insulin to get its glucose; some cells and organs take up glucose without using insulin. These include

--The brain
--Nerve fibres
--Red blood cells
--The retinas of the eyes
--The kidneys
--Blood vessels

The insulin-producing and insulin-storing pancreas cells, called B or beta cells, are found in groups called islets of Langerhans throughout the pancreas.

Other cells present in the islets of Langerhans include A cells, which produce glucagon, a hormone that's very important to patients with diabetes because it raises blood glucose when it gets too low; and D cells, which make somatostatin, a hormone that blocks the secretion of other hormones but doesn't have a use in diabetes because it causes high blood glucose.

In people who don't have diabetes, the presence of insulin helps control the conversion of glucose into energy in the body. People with diabetes, however, experience triggering events that lead to a lack of insulin in the body, which in turn leads to having uncontrolled glucose.

Conclusion:

Glucose and insulin need to be balanced in order to avoid diabetic complications and achieve optimal health. Frequent testing with a reliable glucose meter and inexpensive glucose test strips will help you to monitor your blood sugar and adjust your insulin doses to match the changing demands of your body.

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JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

Greetings!

I'm writing to you to ask for your support in a very special cause.

This year, I'll be taking part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes along with a half-million other walkers across the country. Our goal: To raise $90 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.

Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people--a large and growing percentage of them children.

Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.

That's the bad news... and yes, it's pretty bad.

The good news, though, is that JDRF is making steady progress toward a cure. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds more type 1 research than any other charity worldwide.

I'm writing to ask for your support because now more than ever, EACH of us can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference

Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as you're able?

Together, we can make the cure a reality.

Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal:

Insulin: Shaken, Not Stirred

Thank you!

*Peace.

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Window Sales Guy

My goal for today was to make it through Body Works at 5:45 AM and vote. I accomplished both! And then I remembered we had a window sales guy coming out to give us an estimate on new windows.

Of course he showed up 10 minutes early, which is better than the no-show last night (we got lost in the system supposedly). This meant not finishing my grilled chicken and rice meal : ( Then I realized he was definitely there for a sales pitch. It was hard to get past his fast-talking, buddy-buddy attitude to the actual window info. Somehow though this guy SOLD us on the windows. They have a lifetime warranty which is awesome and if you saw our current windows you would understand our desperation -- rotted sills, leak like a sieve, and fog/condensation on the inside. Hideous.

We really didn't want to spend more money on the house right now, but the energy tax credit was definitely a driver. Right now we opted to only replace the worst ones (4 of the 12). We will probably finish replacing the remaining 8 over the next year.

So that was my night and now its over! Not exactly how I wanted to spend it, but hopefully we will be satisfied (and never want to move)!

Because it is Diabetes Awareness Month, I feel I should also mention something diabetes related.  This morning my BG was 152 when I woke up and then 174 after Body Works. Yes, after exercising and NOT eating, my BG went up.  I have been running consistently higher than I would like to be, so I think I will start taking my background insulin again. Cross your fingers for no lows!

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THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN

It's that time of year again.
The beginning of the end. It came so quickly.
Somehow the Summer flew by again.
I didn't even go to the beach, didn't make it to any farmer's markets. I don't have a tan...
but I'm ok.
The leaves will soon change. The cool breeze will blow while I wear comfy sweaters and eat chili.
And...fall will be in full swing.

Training camp always marks the end of summer and the beginning of Derek's favorite season...FOOTBALL!

We made our annual trek to BEARbonnais last week to watch the guys practice.


After the hour or so drive, we were ready for all things blue and orange.



Maybe a little TOO much blue and orange!!!



The Hills joined us again this summer (while Jenny was at work).



They know this is serious business, so they were ready to take pictures, get autographs, and cheer on the Bears with us!





We watched them run plays.



And do drills.
(These guys are HUGE! I wouldn't want to get in their way!).



Some of the guys stuck around after practice to sign autographs.



And some even took pictures with us.




It was another great day at ONU


Dave, class of 1996,     Jake, class of  2024,    Abby, class of 2026

It was a busy, but fun day.



Have I mentioned before on this blog that I really like Jay Cutler???



We didn't get his autograph this time, so I now carry a silver sharpie with me everywhere...just in case I happen to bump into him.
I'd have him sign my insulin pump!
You think I'm kidding...but check my purse next time you're with me.
It's true.
...and now you think I'm crazy!


If I did see him, I'd give him a big hug (after he signed my pump of course)
 and I'd thank him for all that he's doing for kids with Diabetes.

Then I'd pat him on the butt and say..."Now come on Jay! Let's go get some touchdowns!"

...and so another season begins!

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