Monday, July 26, 2010

A Change

Okay, I've made a jump to a new site located here:
The Jagged Edge

Please let me know what you think of it.
Take care!


Monday, July 19, 2010


Growing up with diabetes is challenging. I was constantly reminded how deadly going too high or too low (in terms of blood sugar) can be, especially at bedtime. Over the years, I've focused on tips and tricks to manage my bg numbers when eating pasta or pizza. Frankly, I love both. Pizza will always be a staple in my diet. That said, being on MDI (multiple daily injections) has cramped my pasta eating abilities.

While on the pump, I could set a small temporary basal before bed to account for the carbs in pasta. Guess what? On MDI you can't do that. I had a wonderful baked ziti dish for dinner last night. Complimented with fresh baked garlic-buttered bread. My bg before bed (11 pm) was a respectable 118. This morning, much to my dismay, I jumped to a disgusting 257.

Thankfully I had my bottle of Novolog ready for the correction, and now I'm sitting at a 130 (even after breakfast). As soon as the hot, sticky summer heat is past, I promise to go back on the pump. Believe me, I can't wait.
Enjoy the summer!


Thursday, July 15, 2010


Yes, predictability - intransitive verb - to make a prediction. For our purposes today, to ably predict how much insulin we need for food.

My inner child spoke. "Okay, yesterday for breakfast you had a 1/2 bagel with two slices of cheese and a diet coke. Your post meal bg was 150 which fell to a 68 before lunch. Today, you had the identical same breakfast and your post meal bg is a 248. You took the same insulin. You had nearly identical morning bg numbers (129). What gives?"

(My life...sometimes)

I've heard that diabetes loves routine; it loves predictable moments. However, I don't believe it. Better yet, I am doing the same thing today as I was doing yesterday. So, my inner child asks a very good question. What gives?

Our life equations go something like this:
A(x) x B(x) x...= God only knows

Bg numbers, food, possibly exercise, stress, hormones, other illnesses, can all play dirty. There is no predictability about them. I ate the same food, took the same amount of insulin, and halfway expected around the same post meal bg. But no, that didn't happen. It's this unpredictable disease that takes a toll on us.

Nothing like a little insanity to begin my day. :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Medtronic STAR 3 Trial

I saw the original headline from Diabetes Health, so I can't take credit for finding this. However, I've become more and more fascinated with studies using a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM).

Alas, Medtronic has conducted and published their study here:
STAR 3 (website)
STAR 3 (pdf)

I have argued this point before, so I'll do it again. I believe the CGM is probably the most significant and vital product of our time. And arguably, more important than the insulin pump.


At the end of the day, our blood sugar levels determine the functionality of our lives. Damage to our bodies can occur if we are not in control. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't take care of myself for many years and it led to minor complications. I'm better now, but only because I try to keep my sugar levels in control. I have my good days and my not so good days. I test myself approximately 8 times a day. Do I plan on using a CGM in my near future? Sure do!

And in other news...
This diabetic is taking a break from pumping this summer. I've tried everything just short of duct tape to keep my infusion set on in this heat, and I can't make it stick. I usually apply Mastisol, and generally it works great, but for some reason my sweat is dissolving it. Strange, but true. Going back on shots hasn't been too bad though. It has made me think twice about whether to eat a snack. Hello weight loss and more time in the pool! When given lemons, make lemonade...sugar-free preferably.

Keep strong!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When Diabetes Just Works Out

Imagine a possible worse case scenario:
You are a type 1 diabetic, who wears an insulin pump, and who is on a mission trip deep in the mountains of Tennessee. Halfway there, your spidey senses tingle that you forgot something; something important. Instead of worrying about it, you continue onward believing all will be well.

Next, you realize that you need to change out your pump (or pod since I wear the OmniPod) beginning on the second day of the trip. You gather all your supplies and go through the motions, when you realize what you forgot - a new bottle of insulin.

Okay, rule number one: don't panic. I had 110 units left in my old bottle, but I usually fill a pod with 150 units for three days. Thankfully, I had a number of things going for me which made this worse case scenario not so bad.

Thankfully this mission trip involved A LOT of outdoor, physical activity. Next, I tend to eat much less when I'm hot and sweaty. So with pump in hand, I maintained a temporary basal for much of the time on the trip and ate very little carbs. Lo and behold, when we got home late Sunday evening, I was down to 40 units and averaging a 130 bg. Not too shabby. (Just a FYI, I managed to burn 10,000+ calories on each working day.)

And what would I have done if the situation were much worse? Easy. The nearest pharmacy was 10 miles away, so there was no reason to panic. However, even for me it was a reminder that we can never be overly prepared for a trip; for nothing beats a good backup.

Stay adventurous!


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Diabetes and the Desk Job

Okay I don't know about you, but my 'd' and me have a rough time with having a desk job. Of course I've held a desk job for over 14 years, so this is nothing new. Personally, I am struggling with the lack of activity. Or maybe it's just me in my 'old' age...

My blood sugars do okay, but not as good as if I were physically active. I do try to get up, stretch, and walk around, but we all know how well that works.

Any ideas? I also wonder about those of you who have diabetes and a physical job. How well does a physical job work for you? What troubles do you encounter and how do you handle them?

Friday, June 04, 2010


It's Friday! One word that is particularly coming to mind today: FREEDOM! Ah yes...

So far, we here in Atlanta, Georgia are having a somewhat mild and wet summer. Not that I'm complaining, but after winter I was looking forward to sunny and 90 degree temps. The summer actually began sunny and I started to work on a great tan. But alas, my tan decided to leave me and I've returned to my pasty self. Ugh!

My diabetes also loves summer time. I love being outdoors; hiking, biking, fishing, walking, throwing the frisbee, etc. My blood sugars enjoy the 48 hours of stability.

So, for all you 'd's out there, get active this summer and enjoy the 'fruits' that come with it. (Couldn't help the puns there.)

Have fun!


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Little Jealousy

Sometimes I get a little sour of fellow diseases and/or chronic illnesses. For example, while watching the TV last week I saw a public service announcement (PSA) for autism. In the PSA, it mentioned that autism was diagnosed more in children than diabetes.

I'm sure the autism folks weren't specifically picking on diabetes as I believe other chronic illnesses were mentioned. However, I still get a little angry when such a comparison is made.

Of course I also feel a slight (note: very slight) contempt at those who celebrate their defeat of cancer. I love those who do indeed fight off cancer. My wife and I have a very dear friend who went through a year of tests, chemo, more tests and more chemo to successfully beat cancer. Believe me, I am very grateful that she won her battle. And while I understand that many die from cancer, it doesn't lessen those of us who fight diabetes every day and cannot break free from it. (By the way, diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States; fifth if you just look at diseases.)

Now, not to get anyone in a sour mood but, it puts diabetes in perspective compared to other diseases. And, of course, explains why I sometimes get a little miffed when unjust comparisons are made. Okay, I'll get off my horse now. :)

Fight on!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today's Thoughts

Okay, so I'm seeing a number of d-posts lately talking about a rather "sensitive" subject: carbohydrates or 'carbs' for short.

This particular food group is either your really good friend or your worst enemy. I try to see carbs in a positive light. Our bodies need them for energy, but if your body resembles - say - a russet potato, then there's a problem. Worse yet, I am one of those idiots that can't say no to a good carb in either solid or liquid form. :)

The trouble is, the older I get with my diabetes (my diabetes is over 33 years old, while I am now over 41...AARP card anyone?), the less my body properly digests carbs. Is it a sign of gastroparesis? I don't know and I will get tested. But until then, the less carbs for me, the better.

And in other news...
Had a bummer OmniPod pod removal the other day. I replaced my expired pod with a new one. When I removed the old one, a nice trickle of blood came screaming down my abdomen. Nice. In a matter of seconds, I had a blood stain on my shorts the size of a plum. This was not at all pleasing to my wife or kids. "Dad, it's like you've been shot!" exclaimed my oldest son. Nothing says "diabetes" like a good blood stain.

Finally, yes I am not writing as frequently as I would like to. Even though school is out for our boys and life is starting to calm down, I am still busy. I do keep up with many of the d-blogs out there. So, even though I'm not posting as much, I'm still in the game.

Laugh, live, and love...


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Ugh! Diabetes Moments

So far, 2010 has been filled with Ugh! moments.
For instance:

1. My OmniPod shutoff without warning only to find out later that it was due to low batteries.
2. I tried unsuccessfully to go back on shots for a day, but after 6 injections to correct highs (!?!), I decided the pump is much, much better.
3. Cortisone steroid shots and diabetes DO NOT play well together. I fought high blood sugars for 4 days - taking over 80 units of insulin per day (when I normally take 35 on average) - and thanking God no one managed to piss me off. My endocrinologist was very sympathetic and steered me in the right direction.
4. Why is it every time I try to eat less, I end up eating more... Less gut, less butt. It's very simple.
5. Number 3 was to repair the trigger ligament in my left thumb. Cortisone shots FAILED. Now having surgery next week. Thankfully, the surgery is very minor.
6. And speaking of OmniPod, Insulet has been promising some combination of pod/CGM for over a year now (may be 2?) without even the slightest hint of what it will look like or functionality. Hey Insulet! Throw us a bone, would ya?
7. Last, but not least... The more I aim for perfection, the less likely I will ever get there.

Love and be loved,


Friday, April 09, 2010

The Hardest Day of My Life

It's been over 4 hours now since I gave our oldest dog, Chloe, to God. We had her for 15 wonderful years. She was more than just a dog to me; she was my daughter.

To make a long story short, I physically rescued her when she was just 13 weeks old. An irresponsible person left her in a car in over 100 degree heat. I freed her and fought for her in court and from there on my wife and I became her parents.

Chloe loved our two children from the day they were born. She became a herder to them. On many times she prevented them from getting hurt. The boys would often cuddle on her soft fur and she would be patient with them. She loved to lick their faces to make them giggle.

Chloe loved the outdoors. I fondly remember watching the cool spring air run through her long hair. As for a samoyed, she was cunning and very fast. She would often bring me adult blue jays or an occasional chipmunk.

She also made the best guard dog anyone could ever ask for. Her 'wolf-like' features were formidable for visitors at the door. I once told a delivery guy that if she didn't approve of you, she would let me know.

I will miss my smiling girl, but I know without a doubt, that she is in a much better place.

Chloe, enjoy the wind of Heaven and the new love you have found...

Monday, March 01, 2010

Too Late?

I suppose it's too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year... Ugh.

What have I been up to? Well, considering that I've fought off two infections in the last month, caring for sick family members, caring for a family (who are very, very, very good friends) who are going through hell on earth, and trying to keep my diabetes on track is just the start of my life. I sometimes feel that God has made me a member of his personal "Army Rangers", and I'm on-call 24x7. Yes, life has been that challenging.

I am blessed though that I am alive and, as I gaze out our kitchen window to 2 inches of snow, know that I am loved.

To me, that's what life is all about; to love and be loved.