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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.

 

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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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.

Islet update

I seem to be in a stable place right now.  I'm still taking about 8 units of insulin per day.  The best strategy seems to be to take 6 units of Lantus at supper time and 1 unit of Novolog before breakfast and before lunch.  With the change in the seasons, I have been getting my exercise in after supper instead of immediately before.  I miss my walk, but this way, I can skip my before supper unit of Novolog.

This seems to keep me steady.  I get a few highs and even some lows.  Both seem to be direct effects of exercise or lack thereof.  I can tell when my body is stressed as well.  I had a headache last week that caused an increase.  Emotions have the same effect.  Its surprising how quickly things can get out of range.  I really have to keep my hands on the reins.

I saw my opthomologist last week.  Still no signs of any retinopathy.
I have been lucky with staying healthy too.  I've been around some coughing and sneezing and worse people without catching anything.

I have been sleeping much better lately.  My insomnia stopped abruptly about the time that I started taking insulin.  I rarely have to get up and read anymore to get myself back to sleep.


On the research front, a new treatment that invovles taking stem cells from testicular cells and converting them into insulin producing cells has been making the news. It may be that we have the power to heal ourselves. It sounds very encouraging and it is also noted that for females, the oocyte should be able to accomplish the same thing.

Also, Living Cell Technologies has just been granted the right to administer its Diabecell product in Russia.  This is the encapsulated pig islet cells.  The procedure costs $150,000 now, but should decrease as more people opt to try this.  This is important because it will increase the number of people who can try it and therefore increase our knowledge about the treatment in general.

Other good news is that the Special Diabetes Program has passed in both the House and the Senate.  This is good news because it is a pledge of $150 million dollars for two years.  This provides funding for many cure based research projects.  I'm hoping it will open the door for many more clinical trials.


These are my kids on the Pacific Ocean.  Becky's birthday present was plane tickets to go see Gary and Cassie in CA.

Below is an islet/stem cell that I thought was just beautiful.

 

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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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