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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.

 

Glucomotive 2010 Ragnar Great River Relay

Yes, this relay was run in August, the 20th and 21st. Yes, it is October. That's how slow I am.

Andrew, the driver for van 1, the van I was in, had just injured his ankle on a bike ride. It was so swollen and ugly that we wondered if he could reliably work the accelerator and brakes as he drove us up the Mississippi.

Andrew's ankle later that day, as we waited for van 2 to come into the second van exchange. In the small version of this picture, it looks OK because the swelling has gone down, but if you zoom in, you can see the tiger-striping from the bruise being wrapped with an Ace bandage. But Andrew did fine driving. He kept us guessing about whether he was about to run into things, but he must have known what he was doing.
You get a good look at some of our Costco supplies in this picture, too.

Dave and Daniel relaxing at the first van exchange, I think, before Saci (below) hands off to Pratt from van 2.




Saci in Triabetes gear smiling through his first leg, which was rated "Very Hard."


Daniel, Saci, Jennifer, and Igor after a dip in the Mississippi at the second van exchange.

Daniel by our van in the early morning of the second day, at the fourth van exchange.

The runners from both vans get a rare chance to spend some time together at the fifth van exchange, waiting for Saci to come in. This is counter-clockwise from Daniel, shirtless, Gary in the "Diabetes. Run with it." shirt, Emily in her "Running on Insulin" shirt, Dave, Jennifer, Andrew, and Corinne.


Pratt hauling up a monstrous hill on his last leg.

Dave, Daniel, Igor, Anne, Saci, and Jennifer at the finish, ready for our anchor runner, Corinne, to come in.

Corinne tearing down the pavement toward the finish.

Post-race joy.

Gary, Emily, Mike, Corinne, Pratt, Anne, Igor, Jennifer, Saci, Dave, me, and Daniel.
Not pictured, the awesome drivers, Andrew and John.
Here's a great video Peter put together from stuff we shot during the race.


(Teammates, I left out last names because I wasn't sure if anyone would mind. Am I being silly?)

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To carb or not to carb?

The challenge question:

Thursday 5/13 - To carb or not to carb. Today let’s blog about what we eat. And perhaps what we don’t eat. Some believe a low carb diet is important in diabetes management, while others believe carbs are fine as long as they are counted and bolused for. Which side of the fence do you fall on? What kind of things do you eat for meals and snacks? What foods do you deem bolus-worthy? What other foodie wisdom would you like to share?

I suppose I fall in the middle. Carbohydrates are certainly something to be limited if you wish to reduce the amount of insulin you inject. I've followed the low-carb way of eating off and on and I do have a lot of energy when I am eating low carb. It's expensive, though, and I usually end up freaking out and eating carbs after a week or so. More often, I just eat what I want and bolus to cover it. Life is too short.

That being said, I do have some simple rules:

(1) I can eat what I want, as long as I record it in my food diary and make the effort to look up the carbs.

(2) If I am going to drink soda (and I have a love/hate relationship with it for various reasons), it has to be diet.

(3) Whenever possible, eat food and not foodstuff. You know the difference. If it comes in a box, sits on a shelf or contains any ingredients you can't realistically find in your kitchen, it ain't food.


The final foodie wisdom I will share with you non-existent readers (yes, I'm talking about... you!), is to read and listen to author Michael Pollan. He does an excellent job of explaining food and agricultural issues and is practical (and realistic). I've read almost all of his books and would highly recommend them.

Because of him, we (a) have belonged to a CSA - community sustained agriculture - in which we support a local farmer and her family by buying all of our needed produce and eggs (fertilized AND really cage free!) from her; (b) haven't purchased bread in over two years because we make all of it ourselves in a whopping 5 minutes or so of work per day; and (c) make such "oddities" as our own, homemade corned beef, soups, etc.

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THINGS ARE LOOKING UP

"Looks like things are really looking up".
A phrase often said when things go from bad to good (or at least, better).

For me this possitive phrase had quite a different meaning the other morning.

My normal routine is to wake up at 5:45am, stumble into the kitchen to grab a protein cookie, stumble into the front room to read my Bible (while eating my protein cookie), and stumble back into the bedroom by 6:20am to wake up Derek.


(+)

I've found that the protein cookie is the ONLY thing that I can eat for breakfast that doesn't make my blood sugars spike shortly after...which then comes plumeting down an hour later. I've tried EVERYTHING...eggs, fruit, yogurt, cereal.

Derek had the day off, so I decided to let myself sleep in a little bit longer, ignoring the 5:45am alarm, and slowly rolling out of bed shortly after 6:20am.

I definitely ran at a bit of a slower pace as the intense heat was making me so lethargic. AND I spent most of the morning wiping away the sweat that was literally dripping off of my face.

I only had time to grab a granola bar on my way out to the car.
Quaker Oats.
Chocolate Chip.
17 grams of carbs.
2.1 units of insulin
...and I was off to work.


(+)

Looked down at my pump (which communicates with my CGM...continuous glucose monitor) shortly after getting to work...and things surely seemed to be looking up...





Oh come on! 246??? Double arrow up? (which means my blood sugarwas increasing quickly, by at least 40 in the last 20 minutes)



But never fear...a little bit of insulin and shortly, things were looking up...well, actually (literally) down...which was a good thing... so I was looking Up.

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Diabetes Awareness Month - ways to help

There are several ways you can get involved in the fight against the bigD this month.

First on my list is watch the video above. If they get 100,000 views (you can watch more than once - I'm at four and counting), Roche will be making a donation to Diabetes Hands Foundation that will be used to support two humanitarian diabetes programs: Life for a Child (run by the International Diabetes Federation) and Insulin For Life. These programs provide people in need (children in the case of the donation that will be given to them this time) with diabetes supplies and insulin that they otherwise cannot afford. Seriously, all you have to do is watch the video.

Team Type 1 is sending six Type 1 professional cyclists to the Tour of Rwanda November 15. In conjunction with the race, TT1 is doing a "Strip-A-Thon." You can donate unused test strips or make a financial donation to help Type 1 kids in Rwanda.

Diabetes Research Institute is a leader in cure-focused research. You can be part of the cure by uploading a photo and making a donation. The first $25,000 raised will be matched by Animas and Lifescan (both Johnson + Johnson companies and the makers of my pump and meter dynamic duo, Gromit and Wallace).

You can join the Pancremaniacs and ride with us in the Twin Cities ADA Tour de Cure June 4.

You can wear blue and/or orange this month. I know, not as clear as pink in October, but we're just getting ourselves pulled together on this aspect of marketing and we're missing the one focused fundraising machine; it's a little more grassroots in the DOC.* Wait 'til next year: you'll be so sick of blue by the end of November, you'll be begging for Christmas red and green.

And, last (for tonight), but not least, send me your questions. I'm thinking this is the perfect time for another bigD Q&A.


*DOC = Diabetes Online Community

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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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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.

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