Scott's Diabetes Blog

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Minneapolis JDRF Walk - shameless plug

I'll make this short and sweet.

I've just registered for the Minneapolis JDRF Walk at the Mall of America in January of 2006. If you care to make a donation or see how I'm doing with my fundraising goals, you can take a look here.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Food Control and CGMS's

I am a slave to food. Particularly packaged crap food that is terrible for you, high in sugar, high in fat, high in calories and LOW in NUTRITIONAL VALUE.

My poor eating habits (and that is what they are - habits) are the downfall of my diabetes control. I eat for so many reasons that are not related to hunger. Tired, bored, upset, depressed, etc. I guess I've been aware of these things for a while, but just haven't taken that next step to actually not eat anything. It's kind of like "Ok, I know I'm just eating because I'm bored & tired", then "chomp, chomp, chomp". Then I'll be all down about it, and want to eat again because I'm down, then "chomp, chomp, chomp" all over again! It's what I call a toilet bowl downward spiral.

It's amazing to me how good my numbers, mood, energy and outlook are when I'm not eating all the time (or thinking about eating all the time). It's also amazing to me how crappy all of the above are when I am eating all the time.

If I can get a grip on my food intake, everything else will fall right into place. How does one go about that? I tend to go totally crazy and be so strict with myself that it doesn't last long. Then I'll swing to the other side and go totally reckless! I need to find that balance.

A major part of it is my food choices. Now, when I explain what I like to eat and what I don't like to eat, you will see that I should not be as healthy as I think am. I am a carboholic. I need to join some 12 step program. Carboholics Anonymous or something like that. I love carbs. I don't eat meat, fruit or veggies. Just carbs. That's right. I have no frickin' idea how my body deals with what I eat and don't eat. It can't possibly be getting what it needs to survive! I do take a multivitamin, but that doesn't cut it.

I don't like the way I eat - I mean my tongue likes it, but I wish I had healthier tastes. I wish I liked salads. I wish I liked fruits & veggies. I wish I liked certain meats or other protein sources. But I like what I like - how can you change that?

I'll go through spurts when I think I'm being very "good" about what I eat, and will have cottage cheese and V-8's mixed in with whole wheat bread choices, etc. But it only lasts for a while. Whether it's because I'm broke and ran out of groceries, or just get so sick of it that I quit.

I would like to start eating smarter also because those damn calories add up so fast. I'm a pretty big guy, 6'1" & 260. Some of it's muscle, but I could stand to lose a good 40 pounds or more. The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you eat. Which is tough when you make crappy food choices. With good solid balanced regularly spaced meals, I can stay under 2500 calories and feel very satisfied. Throw in some exercise a few times a week and I'll be headed in the right direction. Have Micky D's or BK for breakfast, and you've started your day by consuming almost half of your daily intake limit. I'll be on the treadmill forever and STILL not lose any weight!!!

So, that's what I'm working on. Smarter eating.

The other thing that has been on my mind a lot the last few days is a blog from a guy (Wil) over at who has started using the Medtronic Guardian RT continuous glucose monitor. I have a lot of questions about how this works in a real life situation, and Wil is giving us an excellent report of his daily experiences with it. The idea of being able to see what your blood sugar is at any time just by looking at a device is so exciting. A dream come true. What I question is the hassle of having to wear a second infusion type thing & transmitter, and what challenges that might present. Would I be able to wear it playing basketball? Would I WANT to wear it playing basketball?

There's so many questions right now - I can't say enough how much I appreciate this look into Wil's experiences. I think that within the next couple of years we are going to see big advancements in this technology. It's the next big step in our therapy. The early 80's was the step moving from testing urine to testing blood. Continuous glucose monitoring is the next big impact improvement. I think that data management will be a challenge - I haven't figured out a good easy way to make good use of my manual numbers now - much less having hundreds and hundreds of readings each day! That is a problem I'd be happy to wrestle with though! The tradeoff of being able to know my BG at any time without having to do a manual test would be enough to convince me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Links section updated

I've updated the links section on the blog. I read almost all of these whenever I have enough time (not often enough!).

I'm sure I've forgotten at least a few sites, so I apologize if I've missed you!

I've figured that there is no way I can possibly keep up with all the new blogs that are popping up all over the place. I'm going to leave that to the experts over at The Diabetes OC Website - The Official Website for the Diabetes Online Community (OC).

These folks are just great, and this is probably the absolute best place to stay in the know in terms of diabetes related blogs.

Record Keeping - What Do You Do?

In light of my recent upset with my A1c, I've decided to re-dedicate myself to doing a better job of keeping records. I think that my control was (obviously) not what I thought it was, and I need to get a better grasp on what is going on.

I'd like to hear about what people are doing to keep track of things. Is it a logbook (which one?), is it some computer or PDA software, is it good old fashioned pen & paper? Do you rely on your pump or meter to track things for you? If so, can you capture everything you feel you need?

How do you track your (or your loved ones) diabetes?

Long Timers & Tools of Today

We have come a long way since I was diagnosed in 1980. That being said the tools never move far enough fast enough.

But - I often think about how diabetes was managed back even before I was diagnosed. Just the fact that we are able to test the current level of glucose in our blood, rather than trying to match colors of strips from urine that could be hours old!

Hearing stories of people that had to sharpen their own needles, sterilize their own syringes, etc.

These stories make me thankful for the tools we have today - while it is still a hard road to travel, the cars have become much more comfortable...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bah! I'm frustrated.

I had my quarterly endo appointment today.

That's all. End of post.

Seriously though - everything was great EXCEPT my A1c. I rung in at a very surprisingly high 9.2. Shit.

I have been doing SO GOOD lately. And I don't mean just the past couple of weeks, but for a while now. I've got so many things running through my head that go along with this surprise that I'm having problems organizing my thoughts! Time for a list.

1) Last A1c at this doctor
2) Last A1c at the U of M
3) G.E.C. (Good Eating Control)
4) W.T.F?! (What The Fsck (any unix heads out there?) )
5) Play by play
6) Resolute

1) My last A1c at this doctor was 9.0, down from 9.3 in April of 05, but still too high. Time to buckle down and focus.

2) Maybe a month and a half ago I had an A1c done at the University of Minnesota for a study I'm in. It came in at 8.5. Still too high, but good - HUGE improvement from 9.0 or 9.3. To drop .5 points is big. That progress felt about right with me feeling like I had been doing better.

3) I've talked before about how I eat too much and too often. Matter of fact, my blood sugars would often not have a chance to come down from my last meal before I was shoveling more food down the hole! I have reigned that in big time. Trying to eat regular meals at regular times, avoid snacking in between, etc. I am doing much much better with that.

4) How can I post about running high ALL DAY yesterday (like above 300) and the very next day bitch about a high A1c result. I know, I know. But I REALLY feel like I've done so good lately, with days like yesterday being an exception.

5) So, there I am waiting for the endo to come in. I'm feeling good. Like "I know I have kicked serious ass the past 3 months and I'm going to be real happy with my A1c result". I damn near fell over when he read the result. I even confirmed with him that he had the right "Scott Johnson" (how many could there be? Lots.)! I explained my surprise and he told me not to worry about it. He told me to just keep plugging along doing good and the A1c results would fall into line. He's right and I know it, but I'm so damn frustrated!

Why do we feel like that stupid A1c result is a personal judgement of our latest trials and tribulations fighting with diabetes? I'm not a bad guy or a failure just because my results were higher than they should be - but it really shocked me, and quite honestly I feel a bit deflated. It takes SO MUCH willpower and discepline to stay off the snacks - what's it all for?

6) Resolute - firm in purpose or belief; characterized by firmness and determination.

I will not quit. I am strong and I can do this.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Some days are good, some days are ...

6:20pm CST, blood sugar is 286. I thought that you all might get a kick out of the fact that this is the first reading since this morning that I have been under 300.

Now don't freak out - I know why this is happening. Bad day, bad eating. Wait, that's not the term to use - "unwise eating" is more PC (politically correct).

I woke up at a great number, mid eighties. I was due for a set change, so I did, then had a very (un)healthy McDonald's breakfast. Couple hours later I was high 300's (expected after such a crap breakfast, ESPECIALLY on a brand new set). Still lots of juice (insulin) on board. Another couple hours later I was in the low 300's. Still a fair amount of juice kicking through the system.

We had a funeral today for my grandfathers brother. Kind of far removed in terms of relatives, but still someone who was around a lot at the cabin and other family things. We grew up with his grandkids and stuff. Funerals are tough in general, but this was also the first funeral we've had since my mom passed in April. My dad, little sis & I all had a very hard time with this. It was tough.

So when that was done I went and got a some flowers for my moms grave and sat there for a bit.

After all that emotion I went and got some lunch. LeeAnn Chin's. I ate a lot there too. I am aware that I've got some behavioral eating issues, but today was just not the day to deal with that aspect of it. All in all, between breakfast and lunch I would bet that I have eaten *easily* 3500+ calories. So what's for dinner?

Anyways - the preached and practiced "high BG protocol" that we are supposed to follow doesn't really apply because there are legitimate known reasons for my BG's running high today. It's not that I didn't dose right, or count, or TRY to keep my BG's down, but rather I have eaten a bunch of very high fat foods that play games with the best of us! So, I'm giving it some time to work through me. I also know that historically I have problems with unusual timing and complex foods on a brand new infusion set. I also know that when I get really high like that, it's a battle to get it back down. Other things can also make me insulin resistant, such as emotions (check!), stress (check!), high fat meal (check once & check twice!).

I'll be all better by tomorrow morning, and no, I don't freak out about running high for so long. Granted, I don't WANT to run high, or TRY to run high, but when things like this happen I just deal with them. I don't panic about all the damage that may be happening, etc. I've got some thoughts about that whole thing that I'll post soon.

Catch you next time!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy D-Blog Day!!!

The folks at Diabetes Talkfest as well as everyone in the Diabetes OC have declared this D-Blog Day!

Both wonderful sites that will lead you on a wild and crazy ride around the internet reading of many things diabetes related.

I've been finding it hard to find time to post much lately - things at work have been keeping me VERY busy (you know that whole "more work to do than hours in the day" thing?)!

But, I wanted to participate in this event, even if it's a small contribution.

To all my fellow bloggers - I do regularly read and enjoy your posts. I don't always have time to comment, but I am out there and sharing your experiences with you. Diabetes can drive you nuts sometimes, but I must say that I get a great deal of "warm fuzzy" from all of your posts. Keep it up!!