Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: diabetes and

A Tattoo for BGL Testing? A New Twist on the Idea.

I found this article and thought it was worth sharing. You can see the original here.

A Rub-On Tattoo for Diabetics Could Mean the End of Finger Pricking 

by Sarah Zhang

Pricking your finger for a blood glucose test will never, ever be fun. Thankfully, scientists have been hard at work on a bloodless and needleless alternative: a rub-on temporary tattoo that, as weird as it sounds, gently sucks glucose through the surface of the skin.

The thin, flexible device created by nanoengineers at UCSD is based on the much bulkierGlucoWatch, a now-discontinued wristband that worked through the same glucose-sucking principal. But the electric current GlucoWatch used to attract glucose to the surface of the skin was too high, and wearers were not keen on the discomfort. This temporary tattoo gets around the problem by using a gentler but still effective current.

It then detects glucose through an enzyme that breaks glucose down into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. The amount of hydrogen peroxide is a proxy for blood glocal levels.

Now, if you follow the glucose tattoo space closely, you might know that a permanent glucose-sensing tattoo has been floated as an idea before. But this is a different type of device entirely. For one, it’s not an actual tattoo that involves needles driving glucose-sensing ink into the skin. And for two, it’s already been tested in humans. A proof-of-concept study published inAnalytical Chemistry found it accurate at measuring blood sugar levels in seven healthy volunteers.

Of course, there’s still plenty of work to be done to make it into a device people can use at home over the long term. But a bloodless blood sugar test will certainly be welcome.


A Normal Life…

I recently read an article in which a Diabetic recalled being told at the time he was diagnosed that he would be able to “live a normal life.”

A normal life…

I do normal things. I go to work five days each week. I take showers and crochet. I walk my dogs. I chat with my sister on Facebook. But other than diabetes management being something that I have to do every day, it is not normal. Normal isn’t always normal just because it becomes regular or comfortable or predictable. There is nothing “normal” about a diabetic life. It will never feel normal to go to bed each night knowing that your blood glucose could dump in your sleep, send you into a diabetic coma, and never let you wake again. There is nothing normal about having to bleed, inject, log, and measure every day. But we all do it. There is nothing normal about having to run home on a break to inject a new sensor for the week or having to set aside 10-15% of my income to cover the cost of diabetes copays.

So, let’s stop trying to lead normal lives. Let’s embrace the difference. Let’s allow everyone to see how incredibly amazing we all are just for being able to not die from this disease every day. We are Diabetics. We are not normal. We are unbelievably strong. We can complete complicated mathematical formulas in seconds just to eat a meal. We are all endocrinologists, dietitians, counselors, and diabetes experts. We know how to adjust dosages, how to recognize and treat hypo- and hyperglycemia, and how to pick ourselves up off our rear-ends and run back out into the world without anyone even noticing that we nearly just died because our blood sugar dropped 100 points in 20 minutes and we were dizzy and swaying and so close to passing out that we considered in those moments the frailty of our existence.

We are not normal. We are the epitome of amazing.

Love and light.

How To Test Basal Insulin Levels

For five days in a row, I woke up with 200+ readings. Okay, a pattern. I get it. So back to basal testing to make the necessary adjustments to my pump settings. So I tested every two hours last night and ran low 100’s, then get up this morning with a 71. If anything, that indicates my basal insulin needs to be reduced a few hours before waking. Zoinks! So I’ll see what I wake up to tomorrow and retest if needed. But it brings up a good point: do you know how to test your basal insulin levels?

For pump users especially, because we can adjust our settings, this is a very important piece of info. Even if you are on MDI therapy, it is still a must-have piece of info. How it works:

Eat your normal dinner at least four hours before heading to bed. Then don’t eat again until the next day. No food! Not even a skittle. 🙂

Set an alarm to go off every two hours. Something annoying that can’t be ignored is good.

Test just before going to bed and write down your bgl. If it anywhere between 100 and 250, don’t do anything to correct.

Every two hours, when that super annoying alarm goes off, test and record your bgl.

If the numbers stay within a thirty point range, you’re great. Don’t make any changes.

If they drop or increase more than 30 points, talk to your doc about adjusting your basal levels.

My doc has me increase or decrease in 10% increments as needed to make adjustment. Example: I have my basal insulin set at .5 units/hour. A 10% decrease to lessen the amount of basal insulin (if my numbers drop more than 30 points between any two testings) would put me at .45 units/hour. The basal adjustment has to be set for somewhere between 1 and 2 hours prior to the change in bg readings to allow time for the adjustment to take place.

BUT REMEMBER! If this whole basal testing thing is new to you (or even if it isn’t), talk to your doc!!! before making changes to your regimen.

Help Bring Attention to Diabetes in Dogs!

This is a little off from what I would normally post but since it is a personal and related event, I am hoping you’ll be so kind as to click and vote for Rocky! Rocky is my dog. When I adopted him from the shelter a year ago, he was well on his way to recovering from untreated diabetes. He was so sick when he arrived at the shelter 5 months earlier, I don’t how he managed to survive. But he did…and so they named him Rocky. Since then, he has gone from being diabetic to having hypoglycemia. We can’t figure out exactly what it going on but one thing in for sure: this pup does not have stable blood sugar values. I have entered him into this contest on the chance that he should win and help to bring attention to both special needs pups and how prevalent diabetes is in humans and dogs! Click on Rocky’s name above or here to vote.  The contest only goes through the 13th and you can vote daily so please click and vote today and everyday through the 13th!

Me and my Rock!


Thanks everyone,


Tom Hanks and T2D

Tom Hanks is one of us! Okay, maybe this exclusive club isn’t so glamorous and maybe it isn’t quite so exclusive but it is still a huge part of who we are and while I sympathize for Mr. Hanks, in my opinion, any attention that diabetes can get that reflects proper management is a great thing. 

Check out the story here.

Mom Handles Diabetes Every Day!

I was cruising through some diabetes stuff (like I do) and found this video. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m Diabetic! What the Hell Can I Eat?!?!

Me and my pups.

Me and my pups.

I remember the days following my diagnosis. I sat on my living room floor, pouring over articles and books and websites and pamphlets trying to figure out what in the world I could eat that would be safe. It was so frustrating to be hungry with a fridge and pantry full of food but feel like EVERYTHING was off limits. I found advice like “celery and peanut butter is a safe and healthy snack”. Okay? How much peanut butter? How many celery stalks, damn it?!

The answer to that question is:

two stalks celery (2 grams of carbs)

1 serving of peanut butter (2 leveled tablespoons – which is usually 6-8 grams of carbs)

Ta-da! A hydrating, protein-containing, tasty snack with 8-10 grams of carbs. So, go get that if you’re starving to death (no pun intended).

The first thing to remember is that you can eat. There is plenty you can eat. Personally, I am unable to consume wheat, dairy, pre-made frozen foods, anything fried, alcohol, food colorings, or red meat without catastrophic gastronomic consequences. And I don’t feel like I am missing out. Well…okay, an eclair would be nice once in a while but am I really missing out with that one?

So here are a few things I wish someone would have told me up front that I had to figure out on my own when it comes to diet & diabetes:

-15 grams of carbs is considered one serving of carbs

-It is recommended that each meal be between 45 and 60 grams of carbs

-Consistent carb counts meal to meal (always having about the same amount of carbs at meals) makes it easier to maintain stable blood sugar

-As a Type 1/LADA/1.5, regular exercise and insulin therapy is a sure-fire way to manage your diabetes

-As a Type 2, exercise is your best medicine. And I mean exercise, man. Regular, consistent cardio will do more good for you than I can possibly express in a blog post. If you’re BGL is high, start runnin’!

-Always know your insulin-on-board (how much active bolus insulin is in your system) and sharpen your math skills!

Some helpful websites and info:

American Diabetes Association

Diabetes Basics

Think Like A Pancreas by Gary Scheiner

Common Food Carb Count – as a new diabetic you’ll have to do some experimenting. I have to use a total carb count vs. a net carb carb whereas other are able to use a net carb count

Did You Say Net Carbs?

Okay, okay. I know you’re head probably feels like it’s about to explode and you may just want to curl up into the fetal position and die right now but you can do this. Millions of people are living with diabetes every day. Millions of people carrying on and taking this disease with them. Educate yourself! Empower yourself! And remember that diabetes never takes a day off, so you can’t either. Stay on it. Do your best. And if you need help – ask!

Would You Like To Be A Part Of Something Special?

English: Prevalence of diabetes worldwide in 2...

English: Prevalence of diabetes worldwide in 2000 (per 1000 inhabitants). World average was 28.23‰. no data less than 7.5 7.5-15 15-22.5 22.5-30 30-37.5 37.5-45 45-52.5 52.5-60 60-67.5 67.5-75 75-82.5 more than 82.5 Note: I interpreted France in the data as including the overseas departments of Reunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana as they are integral parts of France. China includes the SARs of Hong Kong and Macao. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make a difference in the lives of others with diabetes!

Do you or someone you love have diabetes? How has it affected your life? Have you run into diabetes related complications? Has it put weight on and damaged your career, your relationships, your quality of life? Do you want to share your story?

Hello everyone. I am writing an ebook on diabetes and I would love to include stories, real stories, your stories. This is strictly a volunteer opportunity. You will be quoted with your story (or you can choose a pen name or choose to remain anonymous).

If you would like to take part in this ebook meant to be a starting place for those with diabetes, a place where they can begin to learn that being diabetic does not mean that they cannot LIVE, please send the following by October 31, 2013 to lettertoadiabetic@gmail.com:

-Name (use the name you want to be quoted as or type “anon” to remain anonymous
-Email address
-City and State of residence (optional)
Diabetes Type (1, 2, LADA, etc)
-Age at time of diagnosis
-Your diabetes story (no more than 1,000 words please)
-Include EVERYTHING in the body of your email – attachments will not be opened

I hope that you will take this opportunity to share your story and let others know that we are not alone. There are a lot of us out there and we don’t have to be smothered by the weight of a lonely diabetic life. Let’s get the word out. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

College Diabetes Network – reblogged from MikeH

Meet College Diabetes Network: You’re Not Alone on Campus Anymore

By MikeH on August 23, 2013

It’s a great time to be a college student with diabetes.

OK, maybe it’s never a great time to have diabetes at all, but if you’re a PWD (person with diabetes) off to college at this time of year, you’ll likely have access to an amazing resource unlike anything offered ever before in the history of this disease…

Read more here.


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