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Diabetes Blog Week: What Brings Me Down

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May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

Sometimes I feel like a bit of an odd man out among diabetics.

Time and again I’ve read in others’ blogs about the heavy emotional toil that diabetes brings. About living in fear of that unexpected low, or the potential physical problems that can develop, or trying to figure out how many carbs are in that home-cooked meal that somebody else made. And it’s not just PWDs, either. Parents of children with diabetes chronicle the stress and anxiety they experience on a daily basis. Moms and dads who haven’t had a full night’s sleep in years because they get up two or three times a night to check their child’s blood sugar.

I rarely feel any of that.

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Diabetes Blog Week – Poetry Tuesday

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This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes.

I remember my poetry unit in high school English class. We learned about and had to write various forms of poetry. Not being the particularly creative type, I always thought mine seemed forced, and kind of lame. I’ve learned to appreciate it a bit more over the years, but never had much motivation to try my hand writing it again. But poetry is the challenge of the day, and with diabetes being a very real part of our daily life in my family, there must be some inspiration there. So let’s break out of our comfort zone and see what we come up with!

Blood glucose numbers
Fighting to keep them in range
Insulin’s my friend

(Okay, so it’s a bit short. Is it cheating to use a contraction in a haiku?)

Diabetes Blog Week: Change the World

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It’s Diabetes Blog Week 2014! While I’m not exactly a prolific blogger — my last post was months ago — the structured topic list of this week seemed like a good way to stretch my writing skills (and social media presence). The deadlines of the daily posts also seemed like a good incentive to actually sit down and crank out a few words. So I’ll be doing my best this week to post every day, and hopefully share a little glimpse of what life with diabetes means to our family.

Starting off the week, today’s topic is “Change the World”:

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you.

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Another Successful Trial for the Bionic Pancreas

After three years living with diabetes, it’s become more or less second nature to count carbs, figure out insulin doses, and generally have to think about what I’m consuming and how my blood chemistry is behaving. That doesn’t mean I’m fully in control — far from it, sometimes — but I don’t think about how much I think about diabetes. Which now that I think about it, is a lot.

Which is why a recent trial of a “bionic pancreas” that’s currently in development is so exciting. For five days, a group of kids at the Barton Center’s diabetes summer camps had the chance to wear a mashup of pumps, CGM, and iPhones that almost completely took over the management of their blood sugars. For that week — which I’m sure ended far to soon for the participants — they were able to eat what they wanted, play as hard as they wanted, and best of all, not have to worry about how to deal with all the extra variables that factor into their daily lives. And the icing on the cake? (Yes, that’s a deliberate sugar pun, sorry.) The bionic pancreas kept their blood sugar in far tighter control than they would have been able to manually.

I look forward to the day this becomes commercially available, and Ethan and I can stop thinking about how to keep a rein on this beast called Diabetes. There are so many other things I’d rather use my brain power on.

Eighty-one

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For the past couple of days I’ve been disciplining myself to skip snacks in the evening in an attempt to get my morning blood sugars under control. I’ve also been shifting my Lantus forward a couple hours each day with the intent to take it in the evening rather than the morning. I just got tired of seeing numbers in the 140s every morning. Frankly, I was getting a little jealous of Rachel, who had been in the upper 90’s on a bad day.

Well, today when I checked, the meter read 81.

I’ll admit to being surprised. I didn’t expect it to come down that fast. In fact, it makes me a little concerned about the dreaded overnight lows that I keep reading about but have never experienced. We’ll see how it goes. For now, I’ll be happy to have better control over my blood sugar, and hope for a lower A1c.