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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.

 

Don't Blame the Bagels

When things go wrong on the db front due to me ignoring the facts, it's very tempting to put the blame outside of myself. DB is so hard to live with. I hate it. Blah blah blah.....

I work in an office of 90 people. It is an unwritten tradition that people bring treats on their birthday. Usually it's bagels, because Brueggers is nearby and they deliver for free (!!)

If asked the question re which food really plays havoc with my bg, bagels are near the top of the list. Those dang bagels. They always cause me to spike. It's not fair.

But it isn't really the bagsl's fault. A standard Brueggers bagel has over 60 grams of carb. I did not realize this until 10 years ago when I was in the hospital and the dietician was discussing what I usually had for lunch. I told her I brought my lunch to work but on occasion I'd go and get a bagel sandwich. She told me that a B. bagel had four carb exchanges. Yikes.

I am very sensitive to carbs in the morning and sometimes even delay breakfast until about 9 a.m. My ins/carb ratio is 1/5 at the beginning of the day, but by evening I'm at 1/20. Thinking from a logical standpoint, there is no way that I'm going to come through 60 grams of cho at 7:30 a.m. withput a spike. Rapid acting insulin is great, but it can only do so much.

So this morning when we got the "treats in the lunchroom" e-mail, I had to consciously remind myself that a better choice would be to take 1/2 of a bagel and save it for later in the morning. It worked. And involved only a small compromise.. Hopefully I can practice this enough times for it to become automatic, minus the self-pity.

To the collective bagel community, I apologize for casting you as the villain. Please forgive me.

Happy Independence Day. Enjoy the long weekend, travel safely, and cherish the freedom and opportunity this country affords us.

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Dream a little dream- Life after a cure... Diabetes Blog Week- Day 7 (Ha! I did it!)

Lightyears ago, when I was working in a little used bookstore on Queen Street, my boss told me this story about his brother... He said that his brother had a form of epilepsy. I don't remember the name of it exactly, but he had frequent and severe seizures. He was on a fair amount of medication to curb them, but at some point brain surgery became an option. So, he went through with the surgery and the doctors were fairly certain they'd removed the part of the brain that was responsible for the seizures. He was so terrified of them returning though, he refused to stop taking the medication they'd first prescribed him.

I tell you this, because it was one of the first things that came to my mind when I read this final topic for the Diabetes Blog Week was this story. And, honestly, if suddenly the perpetual five-year-plan until the cure for diabetes was up and sitting there was a cure... I think I'd still be testing my blood sugars for a good long while after: Every time I got thirsty. Every time I felt tired. Every time I got shaky. And, yeah, it would probably subside a bit over time, but I'd always wonder if and when it were coming back.

Another story that came to mind: when I started using an insulin pump it totally a positive change for me... physically. For the first time that I can remember I wasn't tired all the time. I think I mentioned somewhere here before, but when I told one of the nurses/diabetes educators helping make the transition to the pump she told me that this was fairly common. Apparently long acting insulins are pretty hard on your body. NPH, the crap stuff that I was on for a large part of my MDI routine, is notoriously nasty... which why it is affectionately referred to as "Not Particularly Helpful" amongst some medical professionals. That plus the fact that I spent years with impossible to avert daily lows, some of which were so low I felt like they were digging my grave for me, I got kind of pissed off that it took sooooo long for me get on the pump.

Actually, I don't even think I realized until I just wrote those words, that a lot of my anger when I got my pump was probably related to me being resentful for all those years of crappy insulins (remember the infernal Regular and Lente???) and multiple daily injections. I know it works great for a lot of people. But, really, that stuff was my own private hell, which is something I couln't realize until a better way of being came along... kind of what I think the shift from insulin pump to cure would be like...

Finally, my very first knee-jerk reaction when I read the topic for today's post: I've met so many awesome people because of my diabetes, I have to admit that I had a moment of sadness thinking that our relationship might go away without the common link of illness. Which I know isn't true- I think the relationship would just change. We might not have the same day to day struggles with the "D-beast", but I think we'd always have the lingering link of being ex-D-beast peoples. At least, I hope we would all stay in touch. I would miss you guys if you all went away. I guess the second thing I realize as I write this- my online D-friends aren't just diabetes support; sometimes you guys are life support. Which is great, so I wouldn't want that side-effect to be cured along with the broken pancreas.

Anyway, I don't mean to end the week on a bummer note. Nor do I don't mean to suggest that I wouldn't jump at a cure in a nano-second or that I wouldn't be happy (extremely happy!) or grateful. I think, though, that having recently just made the shift from needles to insulin pump, the reality of good things sometimes being a mixed bag is still very much a reality for me. And, maybe like most things in life, it's just complicated.

Here, though, I'll end with some happier thoughts:
- Having said all that, I'd totally test the limits of my new found food freedom by a one-time gorge on deep-fried ice cream. I don't know why, but I really get a hankering for that stuff every now and then... and cherries. I really like cherries... and pie. Cherry pie, of course. Stawberry-rhubarb too. Pie is one of the worst things to carb count.
- I think I'd also keep my pump by my pillow as a nightlight, 'cause I've gotten kind of attached to the little guy. I might even wear it around in public occassionally and tell everyone it's my new super gigantic pager...
- And my last, somewhat perverse thought? I'd tell everyone my diabetes was coming back in five years... just so that if it really were creeping back, it would take it's dear sweet time about it.

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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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Invisible Illness Week - Sept. 13-19

Via Karen at Bitter-Sweet Diabetes, I am posting this to raise awareness of Invisible Illness Week. Despite 20 years with the ups and downs of living with bigD, I don't think I've ever considered myself ill - I guess that goes to show just how invisible it is; even to me! But, I have been struggling with my feelings about living with an invisible disease and whether I can come to peace with adding someone to my team who would make type 1 diabetes much more visible, but no better understood, to the rest of the world. I'll post more about that later. In the meantime, it's Meme time:

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know...

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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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