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Keeping with my Halloween tradition, and satisfying the requests I received at our party on Sunday, here’s my five year old post revealing my Cincinnati chili recipe. Enjoy!

Diabetes Blog -

Since I finally have my wi-fi back at home, I’m sharing two things.

One is some photos from our neighborhood’s Halloween celebration. We do the neighborhood thing on the Sunday before Halloween, and this year that meant right before the hurricane. The fire department brings a truck, and the kids parade through the neighborhood to the park, where we have a costume contest. Then trick or treating. Even with the iffy weather, we had about 150 kids this year. At the homestead, we have friends, neighbors, and relatives over for a party. Photos coming up right after my recipe from the party.

When you grow up in Cincinnati, you learn two things. One is how to spell Cincinnati, and the other is how to make chili. This chili is more mild than what you might find in Texas. But very flavorful and warming on a cold night.

Also unique is…

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The Diabetes UnConference Scholarship Window Is Closing!

Here’s your friendly neighborhood reminder guy with a friendly diabetes neighborhood… reminder:

Time is running out for you to apply for a scholarship to the Diabetes Unconference in Las Vegas next March.

You must have your scholarship application in by September 30! That’s Wednesday, folks.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably living with diabetes, or you have someone very close to you who is living with diabetes. That means you never, ever get a break from the physical, and yes, mental aspects of having to survive the highs and lows, the stigma, the relationship issues, and everything else that diabetes lays at your feet.

The Diabetes Unconference is the only gathering that brings diabetes experts together (that’s you) in a safe, supportive environment to talk through all of the psychosocial issues we deal with in our walk with this disease.

You will find people who understand, people who will help, people who will let you know you are not alone. Take it from me: That is worth its weight in gold.

To make it easier for some to attend this important meetup, there are a number of scholarships available. Let me take a moment and let you know about them (from the Diabetes Unconference website):

Those Who Love Us Scholarship (1 available)
Available for a caregiver – significant other, spouse, family member, it includes air travel to and from Las Vegas, Nevada from the recipient’s area, The Diabetes UnConference registration for recipient, and two (2) nights stay at The Flamingo Las Vegas, including taxes and resort fee. Recipient will attend the sessions for caregivers. The recipient cannot have diabetes.

Type 1 Scholarship (1 available)
Available for individuals who have Type 1 diabetes/MODY/other, it includes air travel to and from Las Vegas, Nevada from the recipient’s area, The Diabetes UnConference registration for recipient, and two (2) nights stay at The Flamingo Las Vegas, including taxes and resort fee.

Type 2 Scholarship (1 available)
Available for individuals who have Type 2 diabetes, it includes air travel to and from Las Vegas, Nevada from the recipient’s area, The Diabetes UnConference registration for recipient, and two (2) nights stay at The Flamingo Las Vegas, including taxes and resort fee.

Room Scholarships (2 available)
You must already be registered to attend The Diabetes UnConference to receive this scholarship and must attend the entire conference to receive two (2) nights stay at The Flamingo Las Vegas.
It includes two (2) nights stay at The Flamingo Las Vegas, including taxes and resort fee.

Even better news: There will be an Alumni Scholarship awarded to a first-time attendee to the Diabetes UnConference. Those of us who attended the initial UnConference this past March have pooled our money to offer another person the opportunity to become part of the alumni for the first time. If that makes any sense at all. Anyway, this will include air travel to and from Las Vegas (unless the recipient is close enough to drive), conference registration, and two (2) nights stay at The Flamingo Las Vegas. More on this scholarship at a later date.
Now… what do you have to do?

CLICK HERE and complete the short scholarship application. Do it right now, because the application window closes at the end of the day on September 30.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the Diabetes UnConference helped change a number of lives last year. It also helped create and sustain new and existing friendships. It was special in ways I still have trouble describing. But I feel it in my heart, so I know it’s true.

I would like it if you could be there too. If you think you’d like to go, and you want to apply for a scholarship… Act now. I hope to see you at The Flamingo Las Vegas in just a little over five(!) months.

Altered diabetes states.

This is one of those #makessenseifyouhavediabetes stories, and it’s also a partial chronicle (not chronic) of a dream from over the weekend.

Somewhere in the night, I started dreaming that The Great Spousal Unit and I were in a department store, shopping for shoes. These were to be new shoes for me, and I’m pretty finicky about the shoes I buy. So I was taking too long, trying on shoes, putting them back, etc., and suddenly Maureen “remembered” something she needed to look for in another department. At this point, this is not too different from the norm.

But then, for some reason, I needed to find her again, so without putting my shoes back on, I started wandering through the store looking for my wife. And, like usual, I covered every department in the store, multiple floors, asking multiple people if they had seen her. They all said no, they hadn’t seen her.

But as I was walking away from one person I had asked, I heard her mention to someone that there was a customer walking through the store without shoes on. I was violating the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” rule. Now my paranoia was kicking in, and I was simultaneously looking for my wife and trying to dodge store security, who obviously wanted to cart me off to “mall prison”.

This continued on for some time, until I made it back into the shoe department, looking for the pair of shoes I walked in with. As dreams go, this was typical: I’m frantically searching for my shoes where I had left them, and I could see store security coming right after me.

Just before they closed in on me, I woke up suddenly. Being it was a weird dream, I took a moment to do a BG check: 52 mg/dL.

Must have been all that running around the store.

Happy Halloween! It’s a Peep®.

File this one under the category “Things I never thought I’d write about on a diabetes blog”.

If there’s an e-mail I’ve received this year that made me laugh really hard, it had to be the one from a representative for Marshmallow Peeps®. If you’re someone in the ‘States who celebrates Easter, you may have received a peep or two in your Easter basket prior to diagnosis. Or maybe after too… YDMV.

Now the Peeps® people are rolling out marshmallow treats with Halloween in mind. Marshmallow ghosts, pumpkins, and chicks with different flavors and colors. Also, and the reason they wrote to me: They are now producing sugar free Peeps®.

What made me laugh was the fact that someone who makes something so sugary wanted me to write about their sugar free options. And most important… I absolutely hate marshmallow. Marshmallow invokes an almost immediate gag response in me. And they wanted to send me free samples!

So of course, I said yes.

I told them that I just can’t stomach marshmallow, but my wife used to love Peeps® as a kid, so if they wanted to send a few sugar free and non-sugar free selections my way, she would try them out and I would report back.

In fact, we took it a bit farther and waited until we had a big party (Maureen’s dad was visiting), and we handed them out for people to try. These were all people not living with diabetes, so their opinion on the taste of sugar free and sugar laden marshmallow would be important for this taste test.


The verdict: The overwhelming majority of our guests said that the sugar free pumpkins taste just the same as the sugary versions. No difference. Of the sugary things they tried, they really liked the chocolate mousse-flavored cats. They thought those were the best by far. Opinions on everything else was mostly met with “Well, it tastes like a Peep”.

So I’m going to give you the link for the sugar free and the Halloween selections for Marshmallow Peeps®. Here they are:
Honestly, I wouldn’t usually write about something like this, but it just seemed like a fun thing to do, and we can’t always be super serious. With September just around the corner, whatever your options are for Halloween or for stubborn bouts of hypoglycemia, I hope your upcoming autumn is very nice indeed.

Disclosure: I was given some free samples of Marshmallow Peeps® to try. I did not promise to write anything about it. All opinions belong to me (and my guests).

Clinical Trial Update, week four.

Four of the days during my clinical trial are deemed “insulin sensitivity” days.

On those days, I have to have my meals planned out, and eat them at the same time. Let me clarify what that means: I have to eat the same thing, at the same time, each of those days. Nothing extra, unless I need to treat a low, which I can only do with glucose tabs.

In addition to that, I have to stick to a strict schedule of BG checks during the day. I have to test at least seven times: Before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Exactly two hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And at bedtime. Since my days also included a snack between lunch and dinner, I checked then too. I also had a snack after dinner, but it was right around the time I needed to perform the post-prandial (after meal) check, so I killed two birds with one stone there.

Confused yet? Don’t be. We captured it all on a spreadsheet:



This spreadsheet lists all of my glucose testing and meals for these days. If I needed to treat a low, I added that on. I completed and e-mailed a spreadsheet for each of these days to the research team in Virginia.

Now, the idea with the meal plan was not to eat especially healthy or especially unhealthy. In fact, I was told I could eat whatever I wanted. But once I decided on a plan, it was locked in and I couldn’t change it mid-study. The idea is to measure glucose variability on these days. And by sticking to a regimented schedule of glucose checks and identical carb intake at regular times, the research team would be guaranteed that they’d be testing apples to apples, if you know what I mean.

Regarding the meals: This is pretty much what I’m eating for breakfast and lunch most days anyway. And depending where my BG is, I might or might not have a snack in the afternoon. The hard part for me is that at the end of my workday, I’ve got a 15 minute, half mile walk up the street to the subway, which almost always drops me about 30 mg/dL (Hello Big Blue Test). So I try to be at about 120 mg/dL or so before I leave work (there’s another BG check). On all of these days, even with a snack, I seemed to be low by the time dinner rolled around. Sometimes sooner.

Dinner was definitely different on these days for me. Generally speaking, I do not do boxed dinners. I don’t even eat a lot of frozen processed food of any kind. Not because I’m a health nut. I just find doing my own thing with fresh ingredients is tastier. I know… I really like to live on the edge, right?

These days always reminded me of the early days of my life with diabetes. Inject the same amount of insulin at the same time every day… no exceptions. The diabetic exchange diet… no exceptions. Don’t eat anything more than you’re supposed to. If you do all of these things and you’re not staying in range, it’s your fault. It’s no wonder so many of us got our relationships with food messed up.

The difference here was that I knew these days would end, and I’d go back to a normal way of dealing with my diet. That made going through these days pretty easy, despite the occasional low.

It’s too bad (read: unfair) that some People With Diabetes are still made to feel this way about their eating habits. Diets that give us more flexibility in what we consume, and when, will allow us to figure out what works for us quicker and will allow us to eventually settle to a plan that works for each person individually. We’ll still have our not-so-perfect moments. But the truth is: We had plenty of those with the exchange diet too.

Again, not all studies are like this. It’s just a feature of this particular clinical trial, and I wanted to pull back the curtain a little to show you what it’s like. I think I’ve got one more update to give, probably next week.

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