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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.

 

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 That's outdated info.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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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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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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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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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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