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.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Maintenance: Upgraded to the new Blogger

Hi all,

Just a quick note to let you all know that in a fit of unexplainable urge to do anything besides get myself ready for the day (and yes, I do know that it is almost 3:00 in the afternoon), I switched to the new blogger.

So far it looks good, but please let me know if you notice anything out of the ordinary. I have not upgraded my template or layout yet, but might tackle that this weekend yet.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Gift To You

It is the holiday season.

Office Parties. Potluck gatherings. Treats and sweets. Large family meals, sometimes more than once (you simply have to eat at both sides of the family, if you are lucky enough to have them both local).

Food, food, food, and more food.

A time of year when we are perhaps most thrown out of whatever regular routine we have worked so hard to cultivate.

A time of year when knowing the exact number of carbohydrate grams is a luxury not often enjoyed.

A time of year when the SWAG and LADCS bolus methods are heavily employed.

A time of year that causes some of us a great deal of anxiety because we worry about our blood sugars.

I present to you, my dear fellow Persons With Diabetes, a gift that will make this year's holiday season that much easier (at least once).

Use this token when you need it most. You can cash it in wherever you are and whenever you feel you need it.

A time when you feel you most desperately need that target blood sugar.

But choose wisely, because you only have one, and it expires at the end of 2006.

Happy Holidays everyone! Be good, be safe, have fun, and worry just one token less than you might have.

I will be around, surely commenting on all the blogs I love to read. I might even get smacked with an idea for a post or something like that. If that happens, I'll surely get it posted.

But I wanted to at least give my gift before I got wrapped up in "stuff" over the next handful of days. Besides, I've never been good at keeping things to myself.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"I Love My Pancreas"

You guys have got to go check this out!

I checked in on a favorite of mine, Martha O'Connor, and this is what her latest post included. The video is just awesome!

"I Love My Pancreas" - A Wierd Al original.

Don't bother me with the details...

I play basketball over my lunch break three days a week. It's a blast. I do it because I really enjoy it, and the fact that it is great exercise is an added benefit.

Playing that often, I have developed a bit of a routine. Everything from getting my clothes ready, mixing my Gatorade, making sure I have my shoes, etc.

I usually wear my pump when I play. I have found that I need a fair amount of my basal rate at around the halfway mark. I wear it in an elastic waistband that has a Velcro pouch for the pump. It works great. I tuck the tubing into my shorts, and nobody even notices the pump unless my site is above my belt line (we play "shirts & skins" to keep the teams straight).

I recently forgot to pack that ever important elastic strap, and that little omission from my routine caused a fair amount of trouble for me.

Details!! They'll get you every time!

When I realized I forgot it, I tried to figure out some other options.

I thought about just sticking it into my shorts or underwear, but that wouldn't hold - the pump would fall out and trip someone (probably me!) with the infusion set tubing! Can you just see it? The pump slips out, catches the tubing around my legs and does like a tether-ball on a pole as it wraps my legs up as I'm running down the court!

Not to mention the site being ripped out or any possible physical damage to the pump itself.

Maybe I could use the tubing to my advantage? Maybe I could rig up some kind of "leg thing" or iPod like arm band with it? You know, wrapping the tubing around the pump and my arm or leg to hold it in place? Again, didn't seem like a great idea.

I settled on just disconnecting it. I thought that I would be Ok with just testing a little more often and connecting up to deliver a quick bolus every now and then.

It didn't work out so great. It also didn't help matters that I started a little higher than I would have liked too.

I ended up running high 200's for most of the time. Getting pretty aggressive with the boluses as the games went on. But in the back of my mind I was so scared of going low while playing, that I still ended up backing off too much.

I think that I was using the mind set of correction boluses and forgetting to include missed basal rate insulin.

It's really hard to play competitive basketball (or any sport I imagine) when your blood sugars are not in a good range. When I run high like that I find my reflexes are slowed down quite a bit, and I'm just not playing smart. When I run low, my brain is telling my body what to do, but my body just wont cooperate. It's like trying to drive a car with no gas. Doesn't matter how hard you mash on the gas pedal, the car is not going to move!

In the end, I survived. But it now sounds like a really good idea to stash a spare waistband in my gym bag somewhere.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Season Tag!

I've been tagged by Zazzy!

She wants to know my five favorite holiday season songs. Like her, I have trouble picking favorites, but I'm going to pick some ones that I have the most fun with.

At the top of the list:

Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC :-)

2) My kids singing "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..."
3) Little Drummer Boy
4) Silent Night
5) All the others!

I'm going to tag G-Money, Kerri, Andrea, and Bernard. (Note: If you don't celebrate the holidays, no offense intended).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Turn that frown upside down!"

Within minutes of me posting about my cheesecake fiasco, I got an e-mail from a friend of ours that put an almost permanent grin on my face.

Bernard wrote to say (and I quote):

"You have to be more cheerful about these minor setbacks.

See attached.

By the way, I just topped 305. Too much snacking on small Christmas candies - curses."

Now, I just had a feeling that he was up to something.
Probably based a whole lot on the name of said attachment.
The file name was "MeAsScot.jpg".

'nuff said, take a look:

That's good stuff right there!! Thanks Bernard!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Farcking Cheesecake

Fucking Cheesecake
Originally uploaded by skjohn8.
Maybe that was not the best dietary decision I have ever made...

Hey! I know that face!

I was casually flipping through my "Countdown" magazine that recently arrived from the JDRF.

Guess who's face I recognized! I LOVE seeing fellow "OC'ers" outside of the blogosphere! Rock on Allison! You are making a difference indeed. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Another installment of "Which Way is Down?"

Just wanted to let you all know that my second article over at has been posted.

Which Way is Down: Feeling Judged.

Don't be shy about posting any feedback in the dLife discussion forums - I'd love to hear from you there too!

Thanks everyone!

G-Money Cashes In...

The package I ordered for George finally arrived! Go take a look...

The B.A.D. Blog: A Package on My Porch

"That sounds a bit excessive..."

I recently noticed that I was starting to run low on my FreeStyle test strips.

I don't like being out of FreeStyle strips because that is the kind I use when I'm out and about.

Since I was out of refills on my prescription, I had to send a request in to my endo's office. They are usually very good about this. I can simply fax a request in for whatever I need, and ask them to write up a prescription and drop it in the mail to me. Usually within a day or two the envelope shows up in the mail, and I can then send it in to the mail order pharmacy.

I usually get a script for 900 strips over a three month supply. That is about 10 tests per day. This time however, I requested a prescription for 1100 strips (more like 12 tests per day).

A while after I faxed the request in, I got a call from one of the nurses at the office.

I missed the call, so she left a message. I can't help but to say her message put me off a little. She said she had a question on the number of strips I needed, and that it "sounds a bit excessive".

A bit excessive? Who does she think she is to judge my testing habits? She doesn't even really know me - I see her for less than five minutes every three months. That's what, 15 minutes for the whole year? A bit excessive?

Knowing that I have to play the game in order to get what I need from her (side note: interesting how these people can pretty much hold us hostage, yes?). I call back and explain that I've been testing between 12 - 15 times per day.

She sighs, then says "Okay, I'll write it, but if you need prior authorization or anything like that from the insurance, I won't be able to do it.".

Whatever. Just give me my damn script.

I just felt angry about having to jump through hoops. And what I perceived to be extra hoops. All this talk about tight control, and preventing complications, but I have to beg and plead for the test strips I need?

I know, I know. I'm actually very fortunate that I don't have to fight harder. Many of you are pressed even harder with limits being placed on you by your insurance. Or others who don't have good insurance and are limited by your budget, and are only (barely) able to buy the strips you can afford.

Don't get me wrong, I am thankful that I have decent insurance. But it pisses me off that I (we) have to fight to get the most basic of supplies.

I have just recently sent the prescription and payment in for the strips, so we'll see whether the insurance will question the amount or not. That's round two I guess.

Maybe I should freak them out and ask for what I really want!

I played basketball twice last Wednesday. Once for my lunchtime outing, then again later that evening with a friend from work. Other than putting on soggy sneakers (gross!), it was a blast. But to do what I needed in order to avoid running low or going high, I tested my blood sugar nineteen times that day!

What would they say if I asked for 1700 test strips every three months? And why the hell does she even care how many test strips I want? Does she think I'm selling them on ebay or something? Frustrating.

Friday, December 08, 2006

My Latest Attempt

A week ago today:
It has been a long time. Way too long. Not since sometime in September had I done it. And not since July had I posted it.

Do I miss it? Yeah, kind of - I mean, I guess I feel it does help me, regardless of how much work I think it is. Can I use it to help me even more? Yes. I am sure of that. Does it feel good to do it? Absolutely. It feels that I am doing something beneficial.


I started the week really strong. Determined. Come hell or high water, I was absolutely, 100 percent for sure, going to log my blood sugars, insulin, exercise, and carb/food intake.

I am using a super great excel sheet that Kevin developed. It rocks. Best one I've seen. The combination of ample space to record everything and the visual feedback of the line graph below really gives me a good picture of what I'm doing.

In fact, I've often found myself drawing mental line graphs in my head when I'm away from the computer - you know, to see if I'm dropping too fast or holding pretty steady. Most often I do this when playing basketball.

I've even taken to storing the spreadsheets on a portable "thumb drive" or "flash drive". One of the small devices that I can actually carry around with me in my pocket.

The one I got is way overkill for what I need. But, I'm a sucker for little gadgety things, so I splurged a bit on it. This thing is sweet. Two gigabyte capacity (that's a LOT of logs!!). Virtually crush proof (crush force exceeds 2000 pounds!). And it's just plain cool. Now, in reality I store much more than just my logs on it - it would take me a very long time to fill up 2 gigs with excel spreadsheets!! But the portability means I can bring it home with me, stick it in my laptop or whatever, and update my logs.

Both Kevin and I have struggled with the whole "Monday" problem. Where you don't update your logs over the weekend because they are on the computer at work. Come Monday morning you are faced with a terribly intimidating task of updating all the stuff you haven't yet recorded! And God help us if there is a holiday sprinkled in there and you had more than just Saturday and Sunday to keep track of!

I thought this would be a perfect solution for that.

I logged religiously for the entire week. Until Friday night that is.

I diligently tested my blood sugar, counted and weighed my dinner, carefully plugged all the info into my pump and took my bolus. After dinner I wanted to update my spreadsheet while the info was fresh in my head. I had actually been recording the food I ate over the week as well. If I don't record that information pretty quickly after I eat, it gets lost in the vast abyss where my short term memory used to live.

I plugged my thumb drive into my laptop, pulled up the spreadsheet and started updating it. A few seconds go by and I notice that the flashing light on the thumb drive started flashing. "flash" "flash" "flash", "flash" "flash" "flash". WTF? And what's this? An error message on my computer?! Oh man - what's going on? Excel crashes on me, my latest updates disappearing off the screen.

I frantically try to access the thumb drive - wait! Where is it!!?!?? Gone?! No - it can't be! How could it just disappear from my computer?!

Oh crap.

I unplug the drive, thinking that if I just plug it in again I'll be able to get into it. Nope. Just that crazy pattern of tri-flashing denial. Crap.

I reboot the computer. Nothing. I try this, I try that. Nothing.

I turn to the internet - wondering if the miracle we call Google can help me recover my very important data. Lots of irrelevant hits, leading to a lot of time spent on nothing.

Finally I turn to what I feel is my last resort. I submit an online trouble ticket with the manufacturer. Over the course of the weekend we go through a bunch of troubleshooting steps. Nothing works. Nothing.

I'm now awaiting my return authorization information so I can exchange my fried data stick for a new one. A new one that will definitely not hold my blood sugar logs. I can run this damn thing over with my truck, and it will survive. But just using it, I somehow fry my data. Not. Cool.

As the realization started to sink in that I had lost all of the records for that week, I started to get mad. Angry about logging. I would say to myself "See! I don't know why I even do it!" or "I knew I wasted my time with all that stuff!".

But what sense does that make? None! It was not a waste of time logging - I just had a freak computer file malfunction! The lesson learned is that I should have something a little better planned for those files. Maybe I could just take a copy of it home with me and update the "main" file later. Or that I can be Ok with not capturing every slice of data for every minute of every day. Just most stuff should be fine.

So, we learn to roll with the punches and move on with a better plan. What more can we ask of ourselves? What good does it do to stay mad? Not any good.

Present Day:
I am happy to say that my little "setback" has not slowed me down at all. I have, again, diligently logged everything this week, and I look forward to continuing over the weekend, and posting my records on Monday of next week. Much of it was the routine. Just getting into the groove and staying there.

It felt good to be logging again.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In my local paper?

I just happened to stumble across a short article (online) from one of the local newspapers here in the Minneapolis, MN area. And guess who I found?

Our very own Kathleen Weaver!

Her blog is one of a few mentioned in an article that talks a little about how people are using blogs to help them cope with illnesses, provide inspiration, and communicate with family and friends. Go check it out!

Way to go Kathleen! I was excited when I saw your blog listed!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Moving Forward, Looking Backward

The trail is treacherous. Lots of curves and switchbacks. I'm not able to see what's coming around the next corner.

There are lots of rocks to twist and sprain an ankle, lots of ruts and holes to step in and break a leg, and lots of branches and sticks reaching out to trip me up.

No matter how fast I move down the trail, I can still sense it back there somewhere. I can just about hear it coming. Maybe feeling and sensing the disaster, feeling the vibrations in the ground of some big rock slide, or monstrous avalanche.

I'm stumbling along as fast as I can. Not gracefully descending the steep downhill trail like a large feline, strong and confident in each and every move. But lumbering down like a big out of control human, not used to this kind of terrain. Barely able to keep my two feet under me as the momentum is dragging me down. But I want to go faster, I want to outrun the disaster that seems to be relentlessly chasing me down.

It's back there, I can feel it. I can hear it. I can damn near see it.

But as I lumber down the path, always looking over my shoulder, I don't see the terrible danger ahead of me. The fate that awaits me if I don't regain control.

I need to slow down and be aware of my steps forward. There's nothing I can do about what's already behind me. But I can be in control of how I traverse what's ahead of me. I can start to travel the path ahead more like that strong feline, the large panther or mountain lion. Strong and graceful, able to move along no matter how unsteady the path ahead.

The biggest thing that I can do to keep the complications from chasing me down, is to be conscious and careful about the steps I take moving forward from here on out.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

"And the Winner Is..."

Due to popular demand, I'm ending the Used Test Strip Contest a little early.

We had GREAT participation in this you guys - I was so excited to see how many guesses we got! That was just super.

There is a total of 436 used test strips in the photo!

And unless my math is way off, that means the winner is:

GEORGE (aka G-Money, SuperGeorge, Jabba)!!

G-Money - I simply could not resist the opportunity to poke a little fun at you with the picture! You know it's all in love man!! And if you wouldn't have done it first, I never would have had the idea...

George guessed 456 test strips. The second closest guess was from Rachel, with 409.

G-Money - your prize will arrive at your place soon. I've got the perfect gift in mind, and I'm sure you'll love it!