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, January 25, 2008

Measuring Handfuls

I have another bad habit that I would like to share with you all.

I often grab handfuls of food here and there. Most often after I eat an unbalanced meal that leaves me craving something more, and most often I am pouring dry cereal into my hand and eating that.

Maybe it's like a desert of sorts.

One night after I ate my dinner and was munching on cereal I found myself thinking on things. As I was stuffing my mouth full of unbolused for carbohydrates, I wondered just how many grams could it possibly be.

So I checked.

I pulled out my Eat Smart Nutrition Scale and punched in the figures for the Honey Nut Cheerios and placed a typical handful of them on the scale. For each "handful" of cheerios I was inhaling, I was eating about 8 grams of carbohydrates.

Stunned, I sat there and thought about how many handfuls I would mindlessly eat in one sitting. Four? Five? Eight? Holy crap batman!

Then I starting thinking about how long I have had this habit, and how often I would do this. Way too long and way too often.

It makes total sense if you think about it. I wouldn't take me many handfuls to fill up a cereal bowl full of cheerios.

Here I thought (or tried to convince myself) that what I was eating didn't really add up to much and wouldn't matter. Now that I am aware of just how many carbs I am eating when I do this, it has been much easier to avoid the habitual behaviour.

Funny how the context of things can skew our perceptions sometimes.

Funny how the reality of things can help us adjust our actions.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Silly Self Conscious Moment?

My family and I were recently at one of the YMCA's in the area.

My wife and I were walking around the track. It's up on the second level and goes around both the basketball gym on one half and then the kids recreation area on the other half. It's a good setup because at all times when we're up on the track we can see the exits of the kids recreation area and actually see the kids for half of the trip around the track.

The kids recreation area is pretty cool. It's a big room with some short basketball hoops and balls, then a big section of padded floor (what I picture gymnasts using?) and a bunch of big cushy gym mats. The floor is kind of springy, so the kids usually build a big pile of the gym mats, then back up and take off! They run and jump into the pile of mats. It's a blast!

They are doing a lot of construction at this YMCA (which, I guess, justifies why they keep raising the rates). Because of this construction they temporarily moved a group of stationary bikes into the kids rec room.

There was a guy riding one of these bikes when we were there. This guy was pretty intense. A late middle aged man. Thin, not an ounce of fat on him, and though his muscles were not big, they were just flippin' ripped. You know, where you can see the strands of muscles along his shoulders. He looked to be in great shape, and judging by the way he was attacking that poor stationary bike, he worked hard to get there and even harder to stay there.

Every time we went around that part of the track this dude was looking at us. It was quite uncomfortable. I kept joking with my wife that he was checking her out, and she kept joking with me that he was checking ME out... It was weird, either way.

After we had been walking for a while I started feeling funny. Sometimes when you are exercising it can be hard to tell if you are feeling funny from exercise, or if it is a low. I checked my blood sugar, and even though I reduced my breakfast bolus, I was low. And still had a boatload of insulin on board from breakfast. Doesn't it always seem like a boatload of insulin on board if you're low (and not enough when you're high)?

I didn't think that all of my breakfast had digested, but I couldn't just wait for it. I had to treat the low. I had a full tube of glucose tablets in my pocket, that is 40g of carbs. If you can believe it, according to how much insulin I had on board, that wouldn't cut it. It might have given whatever undigested breakfast time to catch up, but I also wasn't done exercising. I didn't want to risk being low again in a little bit. So I check my wallet. It was a great day - I had a five dollar bill and a ten dollar bill.

While my wife kept walking I went looking for the vending machines. I had my mind set on a nice cold bottle of OJ or apple juice. But because of the construction there was only one vending machine in the whole building, and it was a snack machine (not a drink machine). It also would not accept a fiver. I begged the ladies at the front desk for change, and got some one-dollar bills. Back to the vending machine for a bag of skittles. After I got my fix I started chowing down and went back to the entrance to the gym.

Those parents out there will understand that I didn't want to let the kiddos see me with a bag of candy when I didn't have any for them. So I stayed near the door to the gym while I ate my skittles and waited for my blood sugar to come up. A slight sweat on my head and a wet spot in the middle of my shirt. Breathing hard. I was tearing those skittles up. Cramming more into my mouth at one time than my teeth and tongue could manage. Damn low bg.

Out of the corner of my eye I see spinner dude, heading right for the door. The one I'm standing in. Great. The irrational part of my mind (read: majority) starts running wild.

I can only imagine what he's thinking. "Look at that fatass. He was just up there trying to work it off, and now he's here eating candy faster than his mouth can handle it. Pitiful."

I stepped to the side and avoided even looking in his direction as he passed by.

The moment stuck in my head. He didn't know I didn't have a choice. I had to do it.

As irrational as it may be, even with the health club fitness nut mentality that some people have, it doesn't mean he was thinking that.

Even if he was - who cares? It was literally all in my head. But that's how my head works sometimes. Especially when I'm low.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Leaker!

Did all of you read G-Money's post from yesterday? The one titled "Times .10"?

I had to chuckle to myself as I read this part:

Until I woke up kicking the blankets off of myself. Covered in sweat I grab my machine to check. 52. I have 4 glucose tabs and immediately thought of the name of this post.

Do any of you bloggers think about how you are going to blog a situation as it is happening? Is this some kind of sickness? I saw a T-shirt that said, “I am going to blog about this” and I think I should wear one. I can have a scary low and think, “What should I name this post!” Do you guys have that happen?

The reason I chuckled is I had just experienced one of the situations he describes.

I was at work and glanced over near my computer mouse. I spotted a big streak of blood on my desk! I know I recently checked my blood sugar, and my finger must have kept on bleeding after I licked it clean.

A LEAKER! I quickly inspected my fingertips but they were all clean. I had to look at all of them because I couldn't remember which finger it was, even though it was not even 30 seconds ago...

So with this nice long red streak of blood drying on my desk, the first thing I thought of was taking a picture for the blog! So yes G-Money, I think just like you! It's all for the blogosphere man!

As my eyeball took in the scene, I'm mentally composing the frame for the picture. Scanning the area, trying to figure out the angle, how close to zoom in, flash or no flash, etc.

But you know what? I realized how FILTHY my desk is!!

The debris stuck in the cracks of my mouse (right in the space between where you put your palm and where the buttons are), all the little office-place dust bunnies, the food crumbs, pencil streaks, staples, and dried Diet Coke droplets on my desk.

So instead of taking the picture I cleaned my desk. Sorry folks, no blood pictures from me this weekend (well, it is only Friday, so there's still a couple days left to make a mess...).

Monday, January 07, 2008

Quotes, Motivational Messages, and Practical Jokers...

I work in a typical cube farm. It's a big workspace with probably a few hundred people, all separated into little "cubes".

One awesome lady has a dry erase board on the outside wall of her cube. She will put up quotes or motivational messages that I really enjoy.

Every once in a while someone else will take it upon themselves to add a funny anecdote or smart assy remark to the message.

I simply could not resist snapping a phone camera pic of this one...

Friday, January 04, 2008


Today was my annual diabetic eye exam. Glad to report there's nothing to report.

Doc said that on a scale of zero to ten (zero being perfectly healthy) I am a 0.01. Music to my ears.

I don't know why, but every time I go in for this appointment I feel like I'm waiting for the hammer to drop.

Thanks to mom & dad for some good genes, because lord knows my blood sugar management needs a lot of work!