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, June 25, 2007

The Fatigue Factor

Signs of a slump? Let me count the ways:

  1. Eating with no regard to blood sugars (I'm testing and bolusing, but just not making good decisions on what to eat (read "High Glycemic Index").
  2. Eating with no regard to weight management (I'm managing to gain weight).
  3. Seeing more readings above 300 mg/dl than I have in a long time. All self induced, see #1.
  4. Choosing to take the "Ostrich" approach (stick my head in the sand and wait for the trouble to "go away").
  5. Not logging a damn thing.

I am so in touch with my buddy "G-Money" that I don't even know how to better explain it. I know I need to get moving - and I am, slowly but surely. But damn, it sure does feel like a lot of work sometimes.

I go through these slumps often enough to recognize that there is a cycle to them. I have not yet tackled trying to figure out what causes them. I have also not yet tried to recognize the signs and stop the slumpage before it gets too bad.

Maybe periodic slumps are part of living with diabetes?

Not too long ago I was trying to figure out what exactly it is that makes me defy the logic of it all. If I know in my head that my behaviour is bad for me, why on earth do I continue? If it makes no logical sense, why is it so hard to pull out of the funk?

The next thing my brain threw out at me was "so you can feel like a 'regular' person once in a while".


I'm not sure I want to feel like a regular person - whatever that means. But what was clear to me was that there is a "Fatigue Factor". That the constant demands of managing diabetes makes me tired of dealing with it all.

I think it gets deeper than that though. I think that there is something that kicks me into the slump, and identifying whatever those things are will be key.

I don't enjoy feeling crappy.

So what is it that sends my head into the sand?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Was it really a good decision?

5:15 PM CST. I'm at work with just under two hours before I can leave for the day.

I have the munchies. Big time. There's just no denying them.

I head to the vending machine with a pocket full of nickles, dimes, and a few quarters (I don't know why, but I always try to get rid of my nickles and dimes and hold onto my quarters. Maybe because they are like pure gold to my kids...)

I fill my big mug full of ice, get two bottles of Diet Coke (yes, I know), and stare through the clear Plexiglas into the rows and rows of treats (all clearly labeled with accurate (+/- 20%) carb grams). My eyes are drawn to a favorite of mine - Cool Ranch Doritos.

"No" I tell myself, "not a good decision". So I put in my $0.80 and punch the button for a bag of microwave popcorn.

Flash forward a bit, the bag of popcorn is happily at rest in my stomach, but I'm still jonesing for something. I stuck myself right in the middle of that nasty "salty/sweet" cycle. Damn.

5 of those little tiny bite size "Mr. Goodbar" chocolates and a SWAG bolus later, I found myself wondering if I really made a better decision? Or if I should have just went ahead and got my Doritos...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weight Loss & Symlin for the Non-Diabetic Crowd?

I stumbled on an interesting article by Rigel Gregg over at this weekend which highlighted an article on; "Fullness Hormone May Boost Weight Loss".

This article talks about a study published online in the American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, that focuses on the use of Symlin to help obese participants feel full and eat less.

I guess it's an interesting thought. But don't people without diabetes already produce this hormone?

Seems to me (based on NO medical or scientific knowledge or background on my part) that messing around with an already functional hormonal system may not be the best thing to do.

But what do I know?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

It's like "MySpace" on insulin...

Hey all,

If you haven't already, go check out

This is a really fun site created by Manny Hernandez - he describes it as "a social network for people touched by diabetes".

So far it has been a fun way to get connected in a slightly different way than with our blogs.

Thanks Manny!

Huh? Oh... Form Letter...

I received a form letter from my health insurance company, basically copying me on a letter that was sent to the Minimed Distribution Center.

I'm sure it's "standard procedure", but what exactly does Blue Cross & Blue Shield think I'm doing with my infusion sets?

Page 1.

Page 2.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Intangibles, Frustrations, and Justifications

They say that you are already dehydrated by the time you are thirsty.

Leaning over the water fountain at the YMCA, trying to slurp up the water faster than it was shooting out of the nozzle, I realized that I was probably very dehydrated. Damn Diet Coke.

And then the intangibles swarmed in smacking me with the potential source(s) of my frustrations with my blood sugars lately.

My blood sugars have sucked donkey butt lately. Readings all over the place, but mostly high - at least until I get so pissed off that I rage bolus or serial bolus and end up crashing later. Then over treat the low and there we go again.

Many more intangibles exist than the ones we often suspect as the main culprits. In this case the first to come to mind was a state of dehydration. Nothing serious or requiring medical attention - but it certainly deserved some of MY attention.

As that vague cause of stubborn high BG's floated through my brain, I also had to acknowledge that I have been stressed to the max at work lately. It's been said that stress can also play games with blood sugars.

Dehydration and Stress. Dehstrydressation.

These intangibles are tricky things - things we can't easily measure (like blood sugar or carbohydrate grams (though I'll argue against that last one being "easy")). We can't quantify them. It usually takes a lifetime of trial and error before you can figure out a "magic formula" of insulin and timing that only eases the vigorous smashing and dragging that these things do to us and our blood sugars.

And then your magic formula is only potent 10% of the time. The rest of the time you are dragged viciously over the coals despite your best efforts to stop the bleeding.

I'm also much less resilient to things when my blood sugars are high. It's like some kind of crippling blanket of justification that gets thrown over me.

"Well, if my blood sugars are high anyway I might as well eat something I've been wanting"

"If Diet Coke is the worst thing that I'm addicted to then I'm doing alright"

"It's my guilty pleasure" - like drinking diet coke (caffeinated) is being naughty or something.

"If I haven't lost any weight after a WHOLE DAY of eating 'right' then I might as well eat and enjoy myself"

C'mon now. I know better.

It's the last point that really makes me appreciate the patience and planning that Reflux Guy shows on his journey to rebuild himself after a broken tibia. Me? I want overnight results and can't seem to keep my shit together when it doesn't happen.

But see - it's that crippling blanket of justification! I can justify the hell out of any of my unhealthy behaviours when I'm in this state.

It's also the frustrations that come from not seeing the results you expect. Take insulin, blood sugar go down. When that doesn't happen I get frustrated. The frustration builds and builds until I hit a "fuck it" point. If my efforts are not working, why waste the energy?

Oh yeah, those complications that invisibly threaten to jeopardize our quality of life. Those invisible threats are tricky. Sneaky bastards. More on that later.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

They had to kick us out...

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with a few of our fellow bloggers the other day - and what a time it was!

A group like this, and all of the diabetes prowess in the air, we could have scared straight the best diabetes educator or endocrinologist around...

We've got the awesome (and so freakin' funny!) Molly & Dixie, me in the middle, "give me your batteries" Sara from FL, and Smiling Amber. Behind the camera is Amber's sister who we let hang out with us because she takes such good care of Amber.

We met at a local Panera's around 6:00 PM, and Sara immediately ran off to find some batteries for her camera (there's a story behind that one - but I'll let her share it...). It was a good thing too because Amber's camera batteries were dead! Can you imagine?! An OC blogger get together without pictures?!

I should note too that we did all agree to be in the picture, but, for future get togethers, if anyone would have been uncomfortable with it we would have made them get in the picture anyway and then later worked some Photoshop magic to "obscure" their identity... I'm kidding. Of course we respect the wishes of anyone who doesn't want their picture out there.

My usual meal at Panera's is a bowl of their broccoli cheddar soup with a whole grain baguette. However, I had my mind set on getting my soup in one of those HUGE bread bowls - you know, the ones with about 100g of carbs?

See, I had been working in the yard all weekend. Not just the "mow the lawn" and "water the grass" kind of work. The dig, move, shovel, cut, hammer, "big project" kind of work. I was worn out and hurting pretty bad by the time Sunday night rolled around. Even my toe muscles were sore.

I was totally using all that work to justify a little bit of big bread bowl goodness. I could not wait.

As I placed my order, the gal behind the counter smashed my dreams of carb loaded heaven by telling me they were out of bread bowls.

So - I got my regular bowl of soup, and complained, all night, about the them running out of bread bowls.

By the end of the night, we were the last ones in the place, and they had to kick us out. I went to fill up my pop glass one last time, sticking the large, soggy, paper cup under the fountain and pressing the button - I was assaulted by loud hisses and spurts, awkward sideways sprays of pop bubbles! What?! Ok, try the other diet option - same thing.

Maybe they figured out that the best way to get rid of a group of diabetics was to turn off the diet pop! Dang them! It worked though.

Seriously, I had a great time. By the end of the night my face hurt so bad from laughing and grinning so much.

We have to do that again.

Oh yeah, for "..M..", I totally failed. Dammit anyway.