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.

Monday, October 30, 2006

H2 Oh...?

I know, in general terms, that staying properly hydrated is important. But, why exactly?

I know that drinking less Diet Coke and more water would be a Good Thing.

I really started thinking more about it after reading a post from cHoCoMiLkRoCkS.

I sit here looking at this dark brown murky liquid that I'm about to pour into my mug of ice - and I just know that it can't possibly be something I should be putting into my body.

I tell myself I'm doing a little better when I drink the caffeine free variety - but it still can't be very good for me. With all that coloring and carbonation.

I tell myself that if Diet Coke is the worst of my addictions, that I'm not doing too bad. But does that mean it's Ok to continue drinking it with reckless abandon?

With all the caffeine I consume, I am most definitely in the "constantly dehydrated" club. I have my periods where I stay off it, and get a fair amount of water in. But what difference do I feel? And what other things get all mixed up in that? How can I tell if what I'm feeling is indeed the difference between being hydrated versus dehydrated?

There are times where I try to drink water after my Diet Coke. But, that doesn't do the trick, because the caffeine has a lifespan in your system - acting as a diuretic and preventing that water from doing what it would normally do. Instead it has me running to the bathroom like someone with undiagnosed diabetes.

How long is the lifespan or duration of caffeine? According to some random internet "stuff" I've found, it can take anywhere from five to seven hours to eliminate half of the total amount of caffeine in the blood stream. What?! That means that the caffeine from the Diet Coke I drank at 10:00 AM might still be floating around my system at 10:00 PM?! Oh man...

I know that being dehydrated is bad. But I don't have a good understanding of all the "bad things" it does to my body. It makes conceptual sense that it probably has an affect on my blood sugar (because the volume of blood?) and the ability for my insulin to "do it's thing" (because it's in my subcutaneous tissue, which must be impacted by my hydration level).

So - what does the all-knowing and awe-inspiring OC know about this issue? Spill it folks! I want a better conceptualization of what the heck I'm doing to myself! Thanks!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


The other day my three-year-old daughter asked me what fingernails are for.

I told her that they are for scratching itches and picking up test strips off the floor.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Basketball and Temporary Rates

Does the body become accustomed to exercise, requiring less and less of a temporary basal rate over time?

When playing basketball was new, my temporary rate was pretty aggressive. And it seemed to work pretty good.

But lately I have been running higher and higher during and afterwards - so I've begun to wonder if my temporary basal rates are just not cutting it for me anymore? Has my body become accustomed to basketball, and is no longer needing me to set such an aggressive temporary rate?

And if so, what happens if I take a couple weeks off? Falling a bit out of shape, then starting back up again - will I be back where I started, or where I left off, or somewhere in the middle?

Or, another thought - what if it is something else altogether? Nothing at all to do with my temporary rates?


Friday, October 13, 2006

I Hate Measuring!

Another one of my many trouble areas is that I do almost everything I can to avoid actually measure or weigh any of my foods.

This includes depending heavily on pre-packaged, already measured foods, also just SWAG or LADCS bolusing. Pretty much whatever it takes to not weigh or measure my food.

It's not that I don't know how - I'm comfortable with the tools of the trade, and do actually know how to use the equipment. When you start throwing conversions and stuff at me, I get a little shaky though...

For some reason it is the actual act of weighing and measuring that really dredges up some powerful negative emotions for me. I don't know exactly what that is all about.

And the thing is, I completely understand that it is a very necessary and vital part of "getting it right". Logically it makes all the sense in the world. So why is it so hard for me? Why do I work so hard to avoid it, and pay such a steep price for doing so?

I know that I'm not alone in hating this part of diabetes control or management. Who else out there struggles with this? How have you worked through it to achieve some sort of balance?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Tonight I've been thinking about Kerri's post back in September about being hungry.

And I'm hungry tonight. I feel weird, like my blood sugar is low - but I've been steadily at around 110 mg/dl for the last hour or so.

Why don't I eat something?

Well, I'm waiting for my family to pick me up (the truck is in the shop - except for the rust and other miscellaneous pieces that have fallen off lately). We might go out to eat.

So I don't want to eat anything right now.

The thing is, I keep checking my blood sugar!! I mean like 5 or 6 times in the past hour!!! I feel like I'm low - but I'm not. And it's very confusing to me!!

I'm sure this is not the first time that I've been hungry, and not low. Usually I'm hungry with a blood sugar in the 200's or something!

That's an exaggeration, but I'm just saying that I'm feeling particularly disconnected tonight. And it's got me poking my fingers more than the crowd at the AARP National Sewing Convention.

I am glad that my blood sugar is good - but I'm a little distracted by the signals I'm getting. The signals that normally tell me I need to get something in me, or I'm in trouble.

Distracted. That's a good word for it.

Friday, October 06, 2006


A couple of years ago I bought myself an old, beat up, full size pickup truck. A 1993 Ford F150, extended cab (have to be able to fit the kids in there somewhere...).

It has served me well over the last couple of years, but, like any old vehicle, it's really starting to show its age. I can damn near reach through the rust holes on the passenger side to unlock the door if I should ever lock my keys in there.

This is also the first time I've owned a rear wheel drive vehicle.

Rear wheel drive vehicles are interesting to drive in the winter. You step on the gas a little too hard or too fast, and the rear wheels just spin like crazy. The vehicle doesn't really go anywhere, you just sit there spinning your wheels! You might fishtail a little bit from side to side, but that's about it. There's just not enough weight back there for the tires to get any traction.

This is especially true for pickup trucks. Many people will put a few hundred pounds of sandbags in the bed of the truck, trying to get some extra weight back there to help a bit.

I do have the ability to switch into 4 wheel drive if I need to, but it's not like they are these days, where you press a button, or flip a switch, and are running 4x4. I have to actually get out of the truck and turn a lock lever on the two front tires.

I spend most of the winter in regular 2 wheel drive, switching into 4 wheel drive just after a big snowfall or if it is especially slick or icy out.

The first winter I spent with the truck was a huge learning experience. I survived, and in one piece too!

Every now and then though, I would goof around a little bit. You know, if I'm turning a slow corner on an empty street, I might punch the gas just a touch and do a sweet fishtail or sideways skid - you know, real mature stuff.

Well there was one time after leaving a friends apartment where I had to cross through this big empty parking lot. I simply could not let the opportunity escape without playing around with this massive V-8 engine and slippery back end.

Here I go - just a very slow approach, goose the gas a little and spin the wheel...

Holy shit.

Big heavy truck with a little bit of momentum.

I had set this massively heavy truck into an uncontrollable spin through an empty parking lot. The truck is so much heavier than any other vehicle I've driven, and it just kept going around and around and around.

It felt like forever. I was literally frozen at the wheel, watching my world rotate around me, bracing for some kind of impact (which was silly, the lot was empty) and waiting for the ride to stop.

Around and around and around.

And I felt so helpless. There was not a thing I could do to make this big truck stop spinning until it ran out of momentum and stopped on its own. Either that or smash into something.

The truck did come to a stop, and in reality it was probably only one and a half rotations - but it felt like I had been through the spin cycle on the Maytag.

That feeling - frozen, a death grip on the steering wheel, watching everything spin out of control, just waiting for it to come to rest or bracing for impact. When will it stop?! When will the "storm" be over?

That is how I feel about my diabetic control right now. It's been spinning out of control.

It has been a string of probably a month or so, where I've been running high all the time, or swinging violently from low to high and back again.

I need to step back and re-evaluate where things are not working. I feel like I want to tear it all down and start fresh, start from ground zero. But how the hell do you do that?! And it all seems like such a terribly big job - so big that I'm intimidated by it. I'm scared to death to bite off a piece and work through it. Why is that?

It has a lot to do with my "ohmygodIneedtofixitallrightnowanditmustbeperfectthefirsttime" tendencies. Rather than the healthier, small piece at a time, I feel so frustrated with things that I will not be satisfied unless I can do it all, and do it all right now. But that is impossible.

Having been thinking about all of this for a while now (but not doing a damn thing about it yet), I was particularly in touch with this post from a dear friend of ours. Yes, I hear you loud and clear. I'm grumpy too. "Out of control" learning curve mode, and starting back at square one. Yes and yes, check on both of those.

I feel like the facts are not the facts anymore. Formulas and ratios that have worked forever are not working anymore. 2 + 2 no longer equals 4. Up is down and down is up. Inside is outside and left is right. It's all crazy, doesn't make sense.

Where's the "reset" button on this damn thing...