Monthly Archives: November 2013

Clinical Trial Conclusion.

My clinical trial ended last week, after four weeks of measuring blood glucose variability.

I spent four weeks doing BG checks on a meter different from what I use at home.

I wore the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor for the length of the study. I’m still not a fan of wearing a CGM. It’s a personal decision… I just don’t like having two things attached to me at the same time. But if I wanted to wear a CGM right now, it would only be the Dexcom.

There were four days during the study that I ate the same things, at the same times, checked my BG at the same time. It was weird when those days were work days. Kind of strange going into a meeting and saying, “Hey, I’ve gotta duck out quickly in fifteen minutes. Don’t worry… I’ll be back right away”. I also got a couple of strange looks on those days when the alarm on my phone would go off in the elevator or a quiet moment at my desk (setting the alarm is the only way I’d remember everything on those days).

I made two trips from Baltimore to Charlottesville for this study (about 220 miles each way). I spent one night in the team’s research house, and one day in outpatient testing at University of Virginia’s medical center, in the Clinical Research Unit.

Oh, and I realized I hadn’t shared the study documentation. So in the interest of full disclosure, from ClinicalTrials.gov, here’s all of the information on my study.

Clinical trials are important. They help keep bad ideas from making their way to the marketplace (although, sometimes they still do); most importantly, they help good ideas get the testing they need to make them successful once they reach the general public. As always, I was very happy to participate. And I strongly encourage you to consider participating too.

Interested in participating in a clinical trial?

The USA’s National Institutes of Health has a complete list of clinical trials taking place all over the USA, and even some outside of my country. To find them, go to www.clinicaltrials.gov and enter “diabetes” into the search box. A recent search found 10,366 studies.

JDRF has a very helpful web page that lists multiple sources for registering and finding out about clinical trials. Just go to www.jdrf.org/research/clinical-trials/ to find out more.

To read more about the University of Virginia’s Center for Diabetes Technology, including staff bios and more on Artificial Pancreas technology, visit the center’s website at www.medicine.virginia.edu/research/institutes-and-programs/cdt/the-center-for-diabetes-technology-at-uva.html
 
 
 

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Happy Thanksgiving 2013.

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It’s a tradition in our family that every year at this time (the Thanksgiving holiday here in the States), we pause and mention something meaningful in our lives that we are thankful for. We go around the table, and everyone, young or old, optimistic or pessimistic, offers a Thank You for something significant.

Today I offer a giant Thank You to the Diabetes Online Community.

If you knew me, really knew me, you’d know I’m a very jaded individual. I never expect things to be as good as advertised, because they never are. My experience tells me that.

I know the DOC is growing larger by the day, and that’s good. The more voices we can add to the discussion about living with this chronic condition, the better. I do not expect those voices to always sound the same, or be focused on the same thing. I realize that even in the pursuit of positive things we can all agree on, sometimes personalities will clash and feelings will get hurt. Since the community is growing larger, it seems more likely that we’ll encounter an opposite viewpoint from time to time, or even an outright troll now and then. After all, one percent of 100 is 1. One percent of 10,000 is 100.

But I also know what my life was like before I discovered this thing, whatever it is. I know how I felt. I know how alone I felt. Like the saying goes, loneliness is everything it’s cracked up to be. What’s weird from my viewpoint is: I’m usually okay with doing things on my own; but doing them with understanding and support and encouragement from others in the same boat? It’s a lot easier, and it’s worth more to me than I’m capable of describing right now.

I could list hundreds of individuals and organizations that have made such a difference for me over the last two plus years. I would, if I had another couple of weeks to list them all. The list is that long. On the other hand, I think I could list maybe… maybe… two who I am less than enthusiastic about. But even those two are important to me, because in the end, they want what I want too. And in nearly every critical comment, I see at least one small thing I need to examine with a fresh eye, consider with a different viewpoint.

So on this Thanksgiving 2013, to the Diabetes Online Community, let me say:

Thank You—Gracias—Merci—Arigato—Danke—Toda—Mahalo


The world, in fact, is big enough for all of us. Thank you, DOC, for making it big enough for me.
 
 
 

Weird middle-of-the-day low.

On Friday, Mike Hoskins over at Diabetes Mine wrote about how hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) feels to him. If you have diabetes, you have your own experiences with hypoglycemia. Nearly everyone’s reaction is different. I almost left a response after reading Mike’s post, but I thought I would write about it here instead.

This is a case where pre-bolusing didn’t work for me.

Friday morning, I was in a hurry to get to work, and I ran out the door without preparing my lunch. This isn’t something I do very often; only about 8 or 10 times per year, I’d guess. Anyway, to save time, I ran out the door with the expectation that I would just grab lunch at a local deli near where I work downtown.

So lunchtime comes, and my BG reading says 82 mg/dL. Not too bad, right? I know I’m buying out for lunch, and that usually comes with more carbs than my normal lunch. Hence the pre-bolus. I knew what I was going to order, and I bloused for it as I was headed downstairs.

I got downstairs and walked the two blocks to the deli, ordered a grilled ham and cheese and a bag of chips to go (this is why I don’t eat out for lunch often). I got my order and started walking with it back to the building where I work. So far, so good.

But when I got back to work, the fire alarms were sounding and I was told I couldn’t go back into the building.

Now I start to worry. I’m worried because I know hypoglycemia is either here or close. And immediately, I started to form contingency plans in my head:

– What if I can’t get back into the building in the next few minutes?

– What if I’m expected to walk down the street and gather with my co-workers at our assigned evacuation spot?

– What will my co-workers think of me if I start gobbling down my lunch in front of a potentially serious gathering of hundreds?

– What if my glucose gets too low before I can figure all this out?

– What if it’s some other kind of emergency and my co-workers are stuck inside while I’m stuck outside? Now I’m concerned about them. How can I help?

To answer these questions, my mind started racing through all kinds of potential scenarios. Sometimes when I’m low, this type of thing races through my head like wildfire in a pine forest. My mind knows that I’m supposed to eat, eat, eat. But that part of my instinct was trying to be squashed by something that almost borders on paranoia.

After a couple of minutes of waiting, but what really seemed like half an hour or so, the alarms were turned off and I was able to get back into the building and enjoy my lunch. A weird middle of the day, for sure.

What does this episode tell me? It tells me that I need to do a little self-examination, and see if I can come up with ways to trigger my brain to eat in those circumstances rather than worry about anything else. For me, I know that hypoglycemia sometimes impairs my judgement. But if I can focus on something, anything that helps me remember what I have to do even while mind games are going on inside my head, I’ll be all right.

In the meantime, you better believe I packed my lunch today.
 
 
 

November DSMA Blog Carnival: What’s the one thing you would share?

I’m encouraged by the diversity of answers to the one simple question that’s the subject of the November DSMA Blog Carnival:

What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?

My first reaction is: I can only pick one? That’s difficult.

Because the first thing I would tell someone who isn’t living with diabetes is that I’m the same person today that I was before my diagnosis. I have the same hopes, dreams, and desires. I believe an incredibly wonderful life can be lived in spite of, and sometimes because of, diabetes.

If I can at all avoid it, I don’t let this disease get in my way. Sometimes it tries to shake my confidence with an unexplained high or low glucose, causing me to shift priorities from doing what I want, to doing what I have to do. It might delay me. But it doesn’t stop me. Diabetes is not my boss.

I can eat the same things today that I ate before diagnosis. I might eat them in smaller amounts now, and I might make healthier choices, and I take insulin to account for the carbohydrates I’m consuming. But I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

I still train and participate in athletic events, just like I did 22 years ago. Of course, I’m 22 years older, and I don’t look as good as I did then, but who cares? I only care that I can keep moving, stay active, concentrate on what I can do, rather than what I can’t.

Something different about me is that I’m more interested in learning new things than I was back then. I’ve learned so much about my diabetes, and diabetes in general, over the past year and a half. And it’s made me a smarter, more well-rounded, happier individual. I feel more in control of my life.

Add it all up, and you’ll see that I’m a person with diabetes… not a person suffering from diabetes.

Now, if there was a second thing I could tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes? I would tell them about the amazing amount of work it takes to live this life. I would tell them how no one should have to go through what I do. I would share with them stories about how some find it all overwhelming, and how we all need to do more to reach out to those people while simultaneously searching for better solutions.

Because for me, living with diabetes is not only about living well… It’s about helping others to live well too.

This post is my November entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2013/11/november-dsma-blog-carnival-3/
 
 
 

Like these links – Info, Advocacy, and more.

A quick update of my own first: I’ll be talking with Cherise Shockley and Scott Johnson Thursday night at 9:00 USA Eastern time on DSMA Live. We’ll be talking about the initiative to award medals to Athletes With Diabetes who are out there getting active and competing (the “medal count” is up to 3! Yay!). You can listen in on Blog Talk Radio, and participate in the conversation by calling the number listed on the page:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/diabetessocmed/2013/11/22/happy-medium

Now, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are links to things I’ve found interesting, funny, and useful recently around the diabetes blogosphere. Unlike most of these posts, this time I’m actually including a couple of more well-known sites… Just ‘cause I want you to know about what’s happening.

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In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, the folks over at A Sweet Life are giving away a nice set of blue Le Creuset cookware. I want that French Oven. Heck, who am I kidding? I want the whole set! The chance to enter ends soon… like today. Enter here:
http://asweetlife.org/tips/world-diabetes-day-le-creuset-giveaway/

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The wonderful people at Diabetes Mine are doing giveaways this month too… Here’s their latest.

Also, they’ve released the results from their Patient Voices survey, and put it in a super infographic. Check it out… and click on the image to find out more:
Survey

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Melissa Lee at Sweetly Voiced has been encouraged by the Big Blue Test this month, and decided to make the effort to walk 10 miles per week for the next five weeks. Awesome… just awesome. And she’s using her activity to be an advocate too, hoping to raise $1,000 for the Diabetes Hands Foundation, creators of the Big Blue Test, in the process. Want to support her? Read the story, then click on her fundraising page to donate:
http://www.sweetlyvoiced.com/2013/11/a-mile-in-my-shoes.html

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Finally… these kind of photos always make me laugh. Jen G. (one of our medal winners!) at See Jen Dance had a few questions when she saw this sign at her local pharmacy:
http://seejendance.com/2013/11/12/you-had-one-job/

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Hope your Wednesday is going well… Have a great rest of the week!
 
 
 

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