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A Day In The Life Of Type 1 Diabetes: Glucose Control Burn Out

Diabetes?  Isn't any of this unicorn bullshit.Two weeks ago, I was in the emergency room for some severe stomach pain, down on the lower right hand side of my abdomen.  After consulting with Dr. Google (bastard), I realized that it could be appendicitis.  Knowing I was heading to Toronto the next afternoon, I didn’t want to take any chances with this pain.  So I headed off to the ER to check things out.

Looooong story made Twitter-esque short, I didn’t have appendicitis.  I just had some rogue stomach pain.  However, while I was at the hospital, I asked to have my A1C run.  I figured I was there, they were already drawing blood, so what’s one more vial?

“Can you guys grab an A1C while you’re at it?” I asked.

“Is your diabetes under control?”  asked the doctor.

“Um … define control?  I wear a pump, I wear a CGM, and I’m very aware of my disease.  But I’ve been having a hard time juggling things lately, on just about every level, so I’m pretty sure my A1C is crap.”

The doctor shot me a very rude, very judgmental look.  I shot one back at him.

“I’m asking you to run an A1C because I’m trying to regain control.  I don’t have this nailed down and perfected, but I’m trying.  Is that the wrong thing, in your opinion?” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Diabetes Bingo

Recently, I reconnected with a long-lost local PWD (person with diabetes) named Ryan. Last time Ryan and I saw one another we were talking about diabetes goal-setting and dealing with wicked bouts of burnout. And this week I received an email from him with a brilliant idea about how to stay motivated towards setting — and reaching — diabetes-related goals.

“I’ve had this ‘pyramid’ for about three months now. Just something that I keep near my desk to keep me focused on my diabetes. After completion of the pyramid, I have no clue what I will do but some kind of celebration will be in order,” he wrote, and attached a slide to his image. And when I opened it, I was like “whoa.”

He had created a pyramid of his diabetes goals. Tangible goals — real-life goals — that are both achievable and ambitious, all at once. I thought this was so clever because it is a constant but non-threatening reminder of what diabetes goals are most top-of-mind for him. (Also, having a celebration at the end of that pyramid completion sounds like a quality idea. Perhaps a Fudgy the Whale?)

I’ve been working towards gaining better control of my diabetes (and overall health) lately, and I love the idea of something I can print out, stick to my fridge, and remain inspired by. I liked the idea of a pyramid, but I kept picturing a huge bingo hall in my mind, with a whole bunch of PWDs sitting at the tables with glucose tabs and bingo markers at the ready. But the trick wasn’t getting four in a row, it was filing the whole card.

I thought about my own personal goals and created this:

Diabetes bingo.  Have at it, Google.

There are a few not-necessarily-diabetes-related goals on there (like “lose 6 pounds,” which is because I’m still trying to de-flump), but there are a lot of diabetes goals that aren’t unique to my particular circumstances. Since I’m trying to emerge from some diabetes burnout, my goals aren’t as tight as they were a few months ago (i.e. the slow progression from an A1C over 8 to one under 7.5). But these are real, and I’m hoping to fill the card within six months. Thanks for the fun idea, Ryan!

What would be on your bingo card?

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Santabetes: How Diabetes Is Like Santa Claus

(Note:  This post contains spoilers.  If you are like my girl Brittany and you believe happily in the story of Santa, skip down to where it says “Diabetes is like Santa Claus.”)

My husband and I share a philosophy on Santa Claus.  

Santa gets too much credit.  Why should Santa get all the glory for the gifts that show up underneath the Christmas tree on Christmas morning?  Mom and Dad work their tails off to provide a fun and comfortable life for our child, and to have the fun thunder (funder?) stolen by Santa Claus is unfair.  “Thank you, Santa, for the Barbie and the Rockers van!”  I shouted as a kid, not realizing that Mom and Dad put in some extra hours (and spent half the night assembling the stupid thing) to get that Rocker Van under our Christmas tree. 

So BSparl will be fed the Santa story, but she’ll also understand that her Christmas gifts come mostly from her parents, and not from a fictional cookie thief who shimmies down the chimney.  Santa doesn’t work as hard as we do, so he shouldn’t get all the credit.

Diabetes is like Santa Claus.  (Welcome back, Brittany!)  Only in this case, it SHOULD be the one given most of the credit for certain things.  And I shouldn’t give myself so much of the blame and guilt.  I have a tendency to look at a blood sugar reading and instantly blame myself for it. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Monitor Blood Glucose (And Look Cool) With A Nano-Tattoo

Millions of people with diabetes are forced to endure multiple finger pricks daily — an unpleasant practice that may impede compliance, and whose reliability is operator-dependent.

Now, Dr. Paul Barone and Dr. Michael Strano at the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering are developing a new approach to glucose monitoring.

Building on work they previously published in ACS Nano, the new technology employs a nanoparticle “tattoo” as a glucose sensor, which can then be continuously monitored by a device on the surface of the body. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

The Diabetic New Mommy

You know you’re a diabetic mommy when…

  • The bottle of glucose tabs is just as important as the bottle of breast milk in the diaper bag.
  • You have already started wondering how you’re going to explain juice as “medicine” to the kiddo.
  • When you wake up for 3am feedings and they double as a 3am blood sugar check.
  • You start cooing sweetly at your meter when it gives you a result of 100 mg/dl. (“Oooh, what a good meter you are! Yes you are!”)
  • Your baby ends up with a dot of blood on the back of her pajamas from your middle-of-the-night blood sugar check that didn’t stop bleeding right away.
  • When you talk about “the pump,” you need to clarify “the insulin one, not the boob one.”
  • Sometimes you have to draw numbers to see who gets to feed the baby. And by “draw” we mean blood samples.
  • Nothing makes you happier than a full baby with a clean diaper and a full pump with a full battery.
  • You need a diaper bag just for diabetes supplies.
  • Your bedside table has just as many burp clothes as used test strips gathered at its base.

And when the Dexcom starts to “BEEEEEEEP!” you wonder if it needs a diaper change.

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

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