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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.

 

6 things - D blog day

Here are six things I wish people knew about living with Type 1 diabetes:

1. It's complicated.
To some people it seems like if I just watch what I eat, give insulin, and prick my fingers I will be right as rain. It's not that easy. Diabetes is complicated. It's a hundred decisions about "simple things" like eating and exercising. It's constantly thinking about what's next, what's worked, what hasn't worked, and what's ahead. What works one day doesn't always work the next. It's like a lifelong brain-teaser.

2. It's a lot of mind games.
It's a lot of mind work. It's constant mental math trying to calculate carbs and insulin. (and I HATE math. I'm rotten at it) Trying to remember how food affected me in the past. Trying to remember to keep a running total of carbs that I eat. Remembering to bolus for said carbs. Convincing myself that a high or low number on my tester doesn't mean failure and doesn't mean I have to beat myself up. Convincing my mind that I can do this. My brain can be simply exhausted some days to tackle all that I need to tackle just to stay healthy.

3. It's a time stealer.
Diabetes takes time. Time to remember supplies. Time to fill cartridges with insulin. Time to deal with insurance companies. Time to test. Time to change my pump site. Time to read labels. Time to figure out solutions to blood sugar problems. Time lost to lows. Time lost to highs. Time to keep supplies stocked. Time for doctor appointments.
I've said that if I was cured, I'd have a heck of a lot of free time.

4. It's damaging.
Diabetes damages small blood vessels. In my eyes, in my gastrointestinal system, in my kidneys, and in my fingers and toes. Controlling my blood sugars helps stop some of the damage. But having diabetes means that damage is taking place under my skin. It's scary to think about. It's hard to not worry about what might happen.

5. If you know a person with diabetes, you know ONE person with diabetes.
This disease isn't the same for all of us. What works for one person, doesn't work for another. The way one person uses insulin isn't the way another person does. What diet strategy works well for one of us, doesn't work for another. It is called diabetes, but it looks different for each individual who lives with it.

6. I don't have a service dog because I have "brittle" or "bad" diabetes. I have Dixie because:
1) I love dogs,
2) I was having problems knowing when my blood sugar was low or dropping,
3) I wanted a security system and didn't want another site needed for a CGMS (continuous glucose monitoring system),
4) I like to be on the cutting edge and try things that others don't always believe can work, and
5) because it makes living with diabetes a LOT easier for me.

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4 Years In

  • 14,600 finger pokes
  • 910 shots of insulin

  • 426 site changes

  • 3 blood draws
  • 1 very happy, healthy little boy who I love more than life itself



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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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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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Study uncovers new diabetes genes

27 June 2010 (BBC)

Twelve new genes linked with type 2 diabetes have been found in a study into the differences in people's DNA and their risk of having the condition.

A consortium including Edinburgh University scientists have identified "important clues to the biological basis of type 2 diabetes". It is hoped the findings will lead to better ways of treating the condition.

The genes tend to be involved in working cells producing insulin, which controls levels of glucose in blood. The 12 new genes brings the total number linked with type 2 diabetes to 38.

The study was led by researchers at Oxford University and forms part of the Wellcome Trust case control consortium. The group of researchers, from across the UK, Europe, USA and Canada, compared the DNA of more than 8,000 people with type 2 diabetes with almost 40,000 people without the condition. They then checked the genetic variations they found in another group including over 34,000 people with diabetes and almost 60,000 controls.

Dr. Jim Wilson, of Edinburgh University, said: "One very interesting finding is that the diabetes susceptibility genes also contain variants that increase the risk of unrelated diseases, including skin and prostate cancer, coronary heart disease and high cholesterol. "This implies that different regulation of these genes can lead to many different diseases."

Professor Mark McCarthy of Oxford University's Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, said: "Gradually we are piecing together clues about why some people get diabetes and others don't, with the potential for developing better treatments and preventing onset of diabetes in the future. "The challenge will be to turn these genetic findings into better ways of treating and preventing the condition."

Sources include:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/scotland/edinburgh_east_and_fife/10416128.stm
http://www.scotlandsfamily.com/dna-testing.htm
http://www.ocdem.ox.ac.uk/home
http://www.ndm.ox.ac.uk/principal-investigators/researcher/mark-mccarthy
http://www.diabetes.org.uk
http://www.wtccc.org.uk

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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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