Multiple Mindsets of Diabetes

Do you ever have days when you care too much about your diabetes, yet nothing seems to go your way? Do you ever have days when you care too much about your diabetes, and all that hard work pays off?

Do you ever have days when you don’t care about your diabetes, and your blood glucose numbers perfectly complement your apathy with wildly out-of-range readings? Do you ever have days when you don’t care about your diabetes, and everything goes swimmingly?

Do you ever have a day when you experience all four of those mindsets, and struggle to find balance – to find normal?

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Pumping on the Holidays

I realized last night that a number of “firsts” will be crossed off of my diabetes accomplishments during our upcoming travel adventures.

  • First time dealing with TSA and an insulin pump
  • First time estimating pump supplies I will need for an extended trip
  • First time sharing my insulin pump, in person, with my parents
  • First time not worrying (as much) about snacking

It’s curious to feel like my diabetes may be ‘new’ for a moment or two. I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it is new. Even though I’ve been living with this disease for 12 years, I’ve only been pumping insulin for a couple of months. While I’ve made progress and improvements to my diabetes management since starting on a t:slim, my basal rates and correction factors still need tweaking.

It’s a shame I had to go through everything I did to get that ‘new’ feeling back again. It feels strange to call diabetes ‘exciting’, but that’s what this is: excitement. I’m excited to share my new gadget. I’m excited to see how different this year’s travel will be compared to previous years. I’m excited to have something positive to say about my diabetes.

You can decide which excited gif works best to end this post, but I still default to Kermit.

Image (linked) via giphy.com

Overnight Worries

That overnight is a thing of beauty. #dexcom #diabetes

A photo posted by Christopher Snider (@iam_spartacus) on

It’s a shame “when you get it right, you don’t have to worry about overnight high or low alarms and can get a full night’s rest…until the cats wake you up” can’t be a back-of-the-box selling point for insulin pumps. Because when you get it right, and you don’t have to worry about overnight high or low alarms, and you can get a full night’s rest…until the cats wake you up, is the best. Seriously.

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Slowly Fading

Maybe it’s because of the holidays. Maybe it’s because we are focusing more on side projects. Maybe it’s because Facebook and Twitter are becoming the standard for communication. Maybe I just need to be better about finding new content. But the Diabetes group in my Feedly Reader feels abandoned.

The number of blogs without a recent update becomes too much to count with fingers and toes, and I can’t help but wonder what is happening to the diabetes online community?

The truth, of course, is that we are stronger than ever. Connections are forged, found, and maintained on a variety of platforms and we are accomplishing great things together. Seeing what happens online conversations moving offline is great, it’s one of the universal efforts of the members of the diabetes community I look to and up to. And I know it’s unrealistic to have every medium hosting diabetes conversation maintain its relevance over the years. I just wish there was more.

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That Went Well

I met with my CDE and Endocrinologist this morning. Going in to the appointment, I had a number of things I wanted to discuss. I even wrote them down in my notebook so I would remember everything. Throughout the nearly 75 minutes I spent with them I heard phrases like “we“, and “what else would you like to talk about?” and “what do you think about this approach?”. I didn’t hear orders. I was heard. I was respected. It felt great.

I know my previous endocrinologist set a particularly low bar for patient engagement and instilling any kind of confidence in treating my diabetes – and me – seriously, but this office is so refreshing.

Somewhat related: my A1c came back at a number that was much more encouraging than I previously anticipated. And as most of that reporting window includes my first months on an insulin pump, I’d say I’m off to a great start.

Improper Reliance

I’m preparing for my endocrinologist appointment in a few days and have started to download/upload/analyze data from my various diabetes devices. While I might not be able to make the most sense out of what all these numbers will mean, it will help focus some of the questions I will bring into the appointment and some of the objectives I hope to accomplish by the time the appointment is over.

I want to have a solid gameplan for how to approach my diabetes care in 2015. I need some back-and-forth to go along with the material supplied by ‘Pumping Insulin‘. I know the results of this data download and accompanying blood tests will not be stellar, but I know I have the ability to put everything in order and figure this diabetes thing out.

But when I look at the averages from my blood glucose meter, I worry. The 30 and 60 day averages indicate 2 blood glucose tests per day. Yikes. What happened to 6-10 times per day? It looks like I’ve been relying on my CGM for far more than the occasional corrective action. The FDA, and my doctors, say the blood glucose meter result is the be-all, end-all number that informs diabetes management – I haven’t been following those instructions.

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Just Talking with Jeff Hitchcock

Jeff Hitchcock, President of Children with Diabetes, Inc., is my guest this week. We cover the origins of childrenwithdiabetes.com, the massive popularity and growth of the Friends for Life conference, keeping up with diabetes news and technology advances, and the simultaneous feeling of fear and freedom that comes with running a non profit organization. I also learn which movie best depicts the work culture of the CIA, because I can segue from, and to anything. Enjoy.

Visit childrenwithdiabetes.com for diabetes resources and more information about upcoming conferences.

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