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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.

 

Dream a little

The challenge;

Sunday 5/16 - Dream a little dream - life after a cure. To wrap up Diabetes Blog Week, let’s pretend a cure has been found. We are all given a tiny little pill to swallow and *poof* our pancreases are back in working order. No side effects. No more insulin resistance. No more diabetes. Tell us what your life is now like. Or take us through your first day celebrating life without the Big D. Blog about how you imagine you would feel if you no longer were a Person With Diabetes.

For a while I would feel as if a part of me was missing. That would be my insulin pump. It's been attached to me for more than a decade now, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To not have it with me, clipped on my belt, would be... lonely.

I'd also miss carrying my man-purse everywhere since I wouldn't need my meter. Where would I carry my iPod?

But at the same time, I'd certainly LOVE not having to do all the fingersticks, infusion set insertions, math games, paying lots of $$$ each month for the medical supplies... I'd also enjoy the chance to be free to do anything, anywhere, anytime without having to worry about everything.

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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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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.

What your parents said

Last week I was invited to be a speaker at a local camp for families with diabetes.
There were four groups of children(as well as their parents), divided by ages . In preparing, I created a sheet that asked a series of questions.
Namely,
1. The easiest thing about dealing with diabetes is..
2. The hardest thing, etc....
3. The best thing, etc.....
4. The worst thing, etc.....
5. I wish my child knew....

The parents had the above questions, and the kids' sheets had the same questions, but the 'tense' was altered. For example, Q.1 read, "the easiest thing about having diabetes is..." and the last question was, "I wish my parents knew..."

Being that the responses were anonymous, I had hoped for honesty. What I got was beyond what I had hoped for. Here's a sampling of the parental responses...

The best thing about dealing with diabetes is...
-"There is treatment for the disease my son has."
-"Seeing the courage my daughter has.."
-"you can still do the same things that everyone else does"
And more than one parent said plainly,
-"nothing"

The worst thing about dealing with diabetes is...
-"dealing with potential restrictions on future activities."
-"missing activities with other children."
-"having it for the rest of your life??"
-"not knowing the future."
-"feeling like I am always bugging him about his sugar (level) or treating."

Now, let me address some of these answers: diabetes should not restrict or hinder you from anything. That's outdated info. Kids with diabetes do not need to miss anything. Further, we are on the cusp of the cure. As I said at camp, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO HAVE DIABETES!!

Not knowing the future can cause anxiety in anyone (with diabetes or not), but faith and a secure foundation can really counteract your fears.

And finally, "I wish my child knew..."

-"I would trade places with him if I could.."
-"How smart he is.."
-"how proud of her I am."
-"highs and lows will still happen even if you do everything 'by the book'"
-"there's nothing she can't do"
-"by not testing and taking care of himself how he is hurting his body."

These answers reveal much of what all parents feel for their kids. How many of us would do anything to take away our child's hurts, fears, or struggles?
Now compound that with a chronic disease that takes no prisoners, and the helpless feelings must multiply.

Yet there is another side to these answers that shows how diabetes affects more than just the diabetic. It affects the whole family, and includes friends, classmates, and more. Education is real power when it comes to effectively managing diabetes. There's no reason a child today should feel limited or inhibited in any way by diabetes.

All of this reinforces the conclusion I had previously reached, which is everyone with diabetes should be on the insulin pump.

It allows freedom and flexibility; but most importantly it is the best tool we have today to treat diabetes.

Stay tuned, because the next post will highlight what all the children with diabetes had to say, and you are NOT going to want to miss it!!

Until there's a cure, there's the pump.

That's why iPump.

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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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HOPE is in the CURE

March 9, 2009, Washington, DC -- The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide and the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research, praised President Barack Obama for the Executive Order officially repealing the existing policy limiting federal research funding for embryonic stem cell research to cell lines established prior to August 9, 2001.

"We're very grateful to President Obama for setting in place a policy to fully explore this promising field of science," said new JDRF President and CEO, Dr. Alan Lewis. "President Obama's Executive Order is a strong signal to patients, scientists, and the nation that we have his full support to pursue science that may accelerate progress to new treatments and possible cures for diabetes."

Type 1 diabetes affects as many as 3 million people in the U.S., causing the immune system to attack insulin-producing cells in the pancreas so that the body no longer uses sugar to create energy. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Research into human embryonic stem cells could speed the development of a cure for diabetes by helping researchers better understand how the disease occurs and eventually derive insulin-producing cells that are safe to use for transplantation. These discoveries are years away, but federal guidance and funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help speed scientific progress.

"This is an exciting day for children and adults living with type 1 diabetes, their families, and everyone with a connection to diabetes who have worked for years to remove restrictions to this research," said Dr. Lewis. "Now researchers, physicians, and ethicists at NIH can make decisions on ethical research based purely on sound science."

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