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.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Test, Bolus, Eat, Puke, Panic

I got sick the other day.

Not sure what it was, but it hit me like a Mack Truck. Literally ran me over. I was sick for the afternoon, slept it off, and was fine after that. It hit me hard and fast, but was over quickly too.

I was having a great day up until 3:30 pm or so. Actually, I was feeling kind of weird before I ate lunch -- but nothing alarming, then it just totally knocked me on my ass within an hour and a half.

The panic struck shortly after I...well, relieved my stomach of the contents of my lunch. Yes, you know, the lunch I bolused for? The bolus that was acting to balance out the carbs I had eaten for lunch? The carbs that were not there anymore...

That's right. Low blood sugar and an upset stomach are two very hostile companions.

I need to eat, but can I?

Will it stay down?

If the food/drink won't stay down, how will I get my blood sugar to come up?!

Oh how miserable is it to eat/drink/breath/exist when you feel like shit and just want to lay down.

I managed to eat something and keep it down, then rested for the rest of the night. I was fine afterwards.

Here's my log for that day. Notice the AWESOME blood sugars for the day - until I got sick. All things considered I'm writing off the last half of the day to the "weird bug".

Have you met my new best friend? And why yes, that is another (almost) flat line basketball experience!! It never fails to amaze me...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Have I Introduced You?

To my new best friend?

The power of food in regards to diabetes management is astounding sometimes. As I am learning more about it, and coming to terms with things I have not wanted to admit, I am just in awe over the impacts of what we eat.

Eating is a sensitive area for me. I have weird eating habits and a lot of deep seeded mental issues around when and what I want to eat.

On the weird eating habits. A couple of things. We've already talked a little bit about how I enjoy a good cheese & mayo (or Miracle Whip) sandwich. Have you ever done any of these?
  • Had (and enjoyed)a ketchup & mustard sandwich, dipped in even more ketchup?
  • Had fries AND hashbrowns in the same meal (with ketchup of course)?
  • Consumed more than 200 grams of carbs in a single meal?
  • Had a Miracle Whip sandwich (that's right, nothing else)?
  • Had a potato chip sandwich, dipped in (you guessed it) ketchup?
  • Made a burrito with nothing but sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese?
  • Wanted to eat something just because you arrived? At work, at home? For no other reason than just getting there.
  • Oooh - potato chips dipped in ketchup (are you noticing a pattern here?)
The list could go on and on...

Enter the dietitian.

I had my first appointment with her a Long Time Ago. April of 2006, and it was GREAT!

So what happened? Well, I just kind of let it all go. Sure, I learned a lot, and applied a little. If I'm not mistaken, it was the very next day that I tried hummus and have been enjoying it ever since.

But I let it all slide. I didn't apply much of what I learned and didn't go back to her.

Warp to March of 2007. I'm back in her office and ready to make another run at it.

This time I bring with me a stack of at least a month worth of logs (thanks to Kevin!). In these logs I have fairly detailed notes of what I'm eating and when, as well as all of my insulin and blood sugar events.

Who would have ever thought bringing BG logs to your dietitian would be helpful? We sat down and she dug into my logs like an archaeologist on a dig! I guess to her they were glorified food records? Complete with insulin and blood sugar details.

We talked about my basal rate adjustments for basketball, how I feel when I'm playing, how I'm feeling afterwards, my after work environment, the family eating situation, so on and so on.

We made some slight adjustments to my basal rates for basketball. It's now a pretty complex pattern. Let's take a quick peek.

Here's what I do on a non-basketball day:
00:00 1.00
03:00 1.50
11:00 1.00

Here's what it looks like on a basketball day:
00:00 1.00
03:00 1.50
10:00 0.45
12:00 0.80
13:30 1.80
15:00 1.50
18:00 1.00

Yikes! There is a lot going on there! I was impressed with her knowledge and ability to work with basal rates. She's a dietitian, not a CDE or Endocrinologist!!

She suggested that I eat breakfast earlier, giving my breakfast insulin a little more time to work its way out of my system. Even a half hour can make a difference she said! She also suggested that rather than about 30 grams of carbs before basketball that I bring that down to somewhere around 15 grams or so. I dutifully followed her instructions.

Can I show you a picture of one basketball day in particular? After a day like this I was willing to do almost anything she said. The proof is in the pudding. Again, Kevin's marvelous logbook:

The whole day was incredible, but do you see that area I circled? Yes, the FLAT LINE?! May I remind you that I was PLAYING FULL COURT BASKETBALL during that time? Amazing...

A day like this, with full court basketball in the mix, is enough proof for me that she is pretty damn good. I'll do whatever she tells me to do.

She's my new best friend.

My next appointment with her is on 3/23. I can't wait!

If you don't have a dietitian in your care team, I highly recommend trying to find one. Specifically one that knows diabetes. If you can hook up with one you like they can prove to be an extremely valuable tool.

Mine is worth her weight in carbohydrates and ketchup if you ask me...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tagged for Seven!

Yes, I know I'm late.

But - better late than never right?!

Scott Strumello tagged me for the 7x7 meme. Thanks Scott!

I really do have some stuff to post about, but I've been so damn busy. I'm sorry it has been a bit sparse around here lately. I promise I'll get my priorities back in order and get some good stuff posted soon!

That being said - here we go with the meme!

Seven Things To Do Before I Die:

1. Learn to save my money and live comfortably. I don't need to be rich, just comfortable.
2. Watch my kids grow up, meet my kids kids, and maybe even THEIR kids!!
3. Learn to like fruit & veggies...
4. Travel more, and I mean for fun -- not for work. With my wife.
5. Find better balance of quality of life and satisfactory diabetes management.
6. Retire and do whatever the heck I want to do every day (ties closely with #1, and #4 I guess).
7. Meet Kevin Garnett and have some time to talk with him.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1. Think of even ONE remotely funny diabetes related joke. DAMMIT!! I haven't given up yet...
2. Save money. See #1 in the list above.
3. Do "handyman" stuff around the house. I usually make it worse. Then I call for help.
4. Eat just one serving. Of anything. Unless I don't like it. Then I don't even finish the one I tried.
5. Ice Skate. Yes, I do live in Minnesota and have my whole life. That is irrelevant.
6. Keep anything clean. I'm like a kid. A big sloppy kid.
7. Dress nice. I don't buy clothes, and I count on my wife to help me not look too ridiculous when I leave the house. You should see me when she's mad...

Seven Things That Attract Me To My Lady:

1. She's HOT!
2. Her kindness, caring attitude, and patience.
3. Her beautiful eyes.
4. Her ability to understand what's going on in my mixed up head.
5. Her self-confidence.
6. How awesome she is with our kids.
7. She's stubborn and takes no shit from people (including me!).

Side note - I have been madly in love with my wife since I was 15 years old. How lucky can a guy be to grow up in love with his high school sweetheart, get married to her, and raise a family with her. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I thank her for all of the sacrifices she has made to love me in return.

Seven Things I Say:

1. "Ah Mother Fuck..." - this typically follows the result of a blood sugar test...
2. "What the Fuck?!" - this too typically follows the result of a blood sugar test...
3. "Dude!"
4. "Holy Shit Batman!"
5. "PLEASE stop poking me in the eyeball..." - this is said only to my 4 year old daughter on Saturday and Sunday mornings around 9:00 A.M. She's up and I'm not, and she's trying to change that.
6. "Major Suckage"
7. "What do you mean my credit card did not go through?"

Seven Books That I Love:

1. The Chronicles of Tao
2. The Celestine Prophecies
3. Siddhartha
4. Way of the Peaceful Warrior
5. Conversations With God
6. Showdown with Diabetes
7. Think Like a Pancreas

Side note #2 - Man - that was REALLY hard for me! Maybe it's a sign that I need to read more? I listen to a LOT of audio books - but didn't include them here. Most of the time, whether I like those or not has more to do with the narrator than with the quality of the book...

Seven Movies That I've Loved:

1.The Princess Bride
2.The Usual Suspects
4.Pulp Fiction
5.Kill Bill vol. 1
6.A Christmas Story (Thank you TNT (Christmas eve marathon...)!)
7.Many of my kids movies (Shrek, Monsters Inc., Toy Story, Monster House, etc).

Seven People I Tag:
2. Him
3. Her
4. Him too
5. Her too
6. Them
7. and They

Friday, March 02, 2007

dLife Plug - Set your DVR

Hi all,

I have been insanely busy lately. Lots of work stuff, spending time with my family, and not to mention digging out of the snow that was recently dumped on us.

I've always been a big "blog when you can" advocate -- your blog should NOT be another stress in your life. Mince certainly is not. I like to write, but when life gets busy I do not feel pressured to get an update posted.

With that being said, I recently received an e-mail from Tom Karla at dLife. He's a fellow writer in the Viewpoints section of as well as Executive Producer at dLife. The next episode of dLife comes on Sunday evening, so I had to get this posted before then.

The e-mail Tom sent had a subject line that reads "A soldier's story to share with your readers"

One of the most incredible stories you will ever watch.
Sergeant First Class Mark Thompson joined the Army to serve his country.
He was diagnosed with diabetes and went on an insulin pump.
He was informed that he would not be deployed with his comrades because of his diabetes.
He fought that decision and won---you will not believe what happened when he landed in Iraq.
A story of perseverance, a story of survival, a story to inspire.

Watch dLife this Sunday
7:00pm ET, 6:00pm CT, 4:00pm PT

Be inspired this Sunday, watch dLife

Not sure about you guys, but I've got my DVR (Digital Video Recorder) all programmed just in case I miss this one.

Thank you Tom for bringing this to our attention, and thank you dLife for doing the story!

I'm off to catch up on all of your great OC Blogs, and hopefully I'll find a slice of time to get something more written here. Until then - take care!