Whatever It Takes

Have you ever had one of those nights when you’ll do whatever it takes to get your blood glucose above 60 to the point that sleeping through most of the night at 250 mg/dL is more desireable than what you’re feeling in the moment?

I had one of those last night. 2 juice boxes and 9 glucose tabs later, I didn’t care what I woke up at, so long as I woke up.

For the most part, I feel like I have this diabetes thing under control. I know what needs to be done to get by, and do well. I have a generally positive attitude about this stuff most of the time. But every now and then base instincts take over and the need to simply get by is satisfactory.

In moments like that, diabetes sucks. Big time.

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Not Doing Enough

I don’t have the courage to tell anyone I have this horrible disease.

Shared on My Diabetes Secret

Seeing stuff like this come through on My Diabetes Secret reminds me that we aren’t doing enough for the diabetes community. I don’t know exactly who “we” are, and I don’t know what can be done to help people like this, but I know the status quo is not sufficient.

How might we create a more accepting culture for people living with a chronic disease?

How might we empower people to feel they are in control of narrative surrounding their disease?

How might we better battle stigmas that create the shame that hides public disclosure of a chronic condition?

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Adult Coloring Books

This coloring book is designed for stress relief. And fun.

A photo posted by Christopher Snider (@iam_spartacus) on

My wife (becuse it’s still fun to say that) purchased some high-level coloring books over the weekend to help with stress. I’ve always viewed coloring books as a great way to show how little I know about color combinations (despite some of my attempts to match a shirt to a tie).

But I can see how the amount of focus required for something like this could do wonders for attempts to block out the shenanigans of the world.

What I’d like to know is if there’s any benefit to diabetes management. Obviously the primary tools like insulin, exercise, and carb counting are essential. But since stress can raise blood glucose levels, is it logical to think a stress-relieving coloring book could have the opposite effect?

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Travel Settings

We fly back home today after a week of wedding-related shenanigans. Traveling with an insulin pump presents a different set of challenges and opportunities compared to my times using insulin pens.

From a pure numbers perspective, there’s less stuff to pack. Rather than 8 insulin pen needles per day, plus another 25-30%, I need a full t:slim site change for every three days of travel, plus another 2-3 backup changes. Instead of going through TSA checkpoints like an ordinary traveler, I opt out of regular screenings for a pat down.

One thing I still need to wrap my head around, however, are the insulin adjustments required to stay in range during my excursions. Generally speaking, my diet is a bit more relaxed when I travel. This, of course, means more variable Dexcom graphs, and new basal rates. The big challenge with all of this, though, is that I still don’t feel comfortable with my “regular” basal rates.

Before I continue, please remember, I’m not a doctor.

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Diabetes Blog Week 2015 – Foods on Friday

Write a post documenting what you eat in a day!  Feel free to add links to recommended recipes/shops/whatever.  Make it an ideal day or a come-as-you-are day – no judgments either way.

Diabetes Blog Week – May 15, 2015

Rather than focus on what I ate today, I thought it would be fun to share what everyone will be eating at our wedding reception tomorrow.

Here’s what our caterer is whipping up:

  • Pork Tenderloin with sauce and homemade rolls
  • Grilled Chicken with white sauce
  • Vidalia Onion Dip with Pita Chips or Wheat Thins
  • Vegetables and Dill Dip
  • Little Tomato and Bacon Sandwiches
  • Spinach Bites
  • Fruit and Cheese Display with Crackers
  • Bacon Wrapped Roasted New Potatoes
  • And there will be a special Shrimp and Grits table

It’s worth noting that we’ll be providing carb counts for everything, and stuff like the rolls will be separate to ensure we have as many gluten free items as possible. Planning a wedding for people with diabetes presents some fun twists.

Oh, and of course there will be cupcakes:

  • Funfetti with vanilla frosting
  • Chocolate with chocolate frosting
  • Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
  • Chocolate and Vanilla Gluten Free

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Diabetes Blog Week 2015 – Changes

Today let’s talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you’d most like to see change about diabetes, in any way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people’s perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing.  OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes.  Were they expected or did they surprise you?

Diabetes Blog Week – May 14, 2015

I would love to see the perception of diabetes change within the diabetes community. I think it’s too bold to ask that society at large have a better understanding for what this disease is and isn’t while the in-fighting between people impacted by type 1 and type 2 diabetes rages on.

I’ve noticed this back and forth return a bit on My Diabetes Secret. While it pains me to publish those types of submissions, they reflect the perspective of one, if not many of the diabetes community. It’s a shame that we can’t focus our energy outwards, but if that’s where their anger is directed, there’s only so much I or any of us can do.

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Diabetes Blog Week 2015 – Clean It Out

Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out. What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out? This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to. Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?

Diabetes Blog Week – May 13, 2015

A few weeks ago I realized that there’s one particular physical manifestation of my diabetes that I haven’t taken out in quite some time: my sharps container.

Before switching to an insulin pump, I was filling these things up on the regular. Insulin pen needles take up quite a bit of space if you don’t keep track of everything. In San Francisco, Walgreens offer free sharps containers at their pharmacy, all you have to do is ask. Of course, with two people generating somewhere between twelve and twenty used insulin pen needles a day, I was exchanging a full container for a new one often. I’m sure the kind lady at our local Walgreens pharmacy thought I was quite the deviant.

But now, I’m only tossing in the needle that is used in a cartridge change every three-ish days.

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