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Move Over, Barbie Doll. There’s Another Doll In Twn!

T1D Community Unites to Make American Girl Dreams Come True

JDRF is very aware of the amazing strength of the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community—and its commitment to improving the lives of everyone affected by this disease. It’s always great to see stories that highlight just how powerful this community really is. You may have heard that American Girl—the popular doll company—recently released a Diabetes Care Kit for their Truly Me™ dolls. But did you know that Matt Wahmhoff, the designer of this groundbreaking kit, also has T1D himself?

MATT_WAHMHOFF_Blog

American Girl dolls reflect the reality of T1D

As of January 2016, everyone affected by T1D now has the option to purchase a Diabetes Care Kit for their American Girl dolls. The kit’s accessories include a blood sugar monitor and lancing device; an insulin pump and infusion set; an insulin pen; a medical bracelet; and glucose tablets. Think of it as a doll-sized version of all the tools necessary to manage this complex disease!

We spoke to Matt—a designer at American Girl —to get his take on how living with the disease informed his experience designing this important kit.

What did it mean to you to design the Diabetes Care Kit?

From a personal standpoint, this is likely one of the most meaningful designs I have ever worked on. The words “meaningful” and “toy” don’t always go together. So, it’s great to have an opportunity to be a part of a designing something like this for American Girl.

Did having T1D yourself influence your design process?

Definitely. When we are designing toys, we’re not always able to achieve every detail we want, but in this case there were important features that I knew had to be right. For example, for me, it was very important how the infusion set attached to the doll to mimic real life as much possible. We looked at many different adhesives and eventually found one that was strong enough to attach to the doll. The spring-loaded feature in the lancet device was another small detail that adds a realistic quality to the device.

Why do you think making this kit available is important?

The kit offers a unique and positive way for a child to deal with the difficulties of caring for his or her diabetes. Teaching their dolls how to care for the disease, like dealing with low and high blood sugar episodes, is a fantastic way to reinforce good everyday practices in diabetes management. And, this can help make girls (and boys!) stronger and more comfortable with their diabetes. It also offers a way for them to teach their friends what it’s like to live with T1D. When I was growing up, most of my friends had no clue what it was like to be diabetic. There just wasn’t a great way to get my friends involved in that part of my life. This kit can really change that now.

What would you like people to know about what it’s like to live with T1D?

People should know that diabetes is manageable and that you can live a very normal life with the disease. You can’t tell if someone has diabetes, which is good, but that can also make people forget that you even have it. Many things besides food can affect my blood sugar level. Everything from exercise, to having the flu, or even stress can raise or lower my blood sugar. So I have to think about what’s going on now—and what I’m going to be doing later—and then decide whether I need to eat, take insulin or both.

What would a world without T1D mean to you?

People with diabetes have a significantly higher risk for certain complications, such as blindness, heart issues, kidney damage and nerve damage. Thankfully, I have not had any of these complications, but they’re always in the back of my mind. So, a world without T1D would be truly amazing for so many people like me. Having to constantly watch my diet and count carbs may be beneficial from a health standpoint, but it sure would be nice to forget about it occasionally!

Girls with T1D across the country rallied behind Anja Busse’s petition to make diabetic accessories available for American Girl dolls. Little did they know that American Girl already had such a project in the works—or how happy they’d be with the results!

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation enlightens my Hopes…

Breaking Free from the Daily Burden

JDRF toured ViaCyte’s labs to learn about VC-01TM encapsulated cell therapy

ViaCyte opened its doors last month to a small group of JDRF volunteers and staff to tour the facility. The group learned how ViaCyte has been developing an islet replacement therapy to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) for the last ten years. “We heard how stem cells become functioning pancreatic cells in ViaCyte’s macroencapsulated drug delivery system and how they can mature into insulin-producing beta cells offering people living with the disease an extended break from daily insulin injections and blood-glucose testing,” said Julia Greenstein, Ph.D., vice president, discovery research at JDRF. To learn more about ViaCyte’s trial of its VC-01 islet cell replacement therapy, which is contained in a semipermeable device called Encaptra®, watch this brief video.

“Twelve patients from two trial sites, one in San Diego, California and one in Alberta, Canada, have received encapsulated pancreatic progenitor cells derived from stem cell therapy. We’re now positioned on the crux of being in a clinical study with the stem cell derived islet replacement being delivered in an encapsulation system, and many consider this to be the Holy Grail of type 1 diabetes therapy,” said Kevin D’Amour, Ph.D., vice president, research and chief scientific officer at ViaCyte. Encaptra acts like a teabag, holding the cell therapy inside.

The cells are completely sealed into the device and, like tea in a teabag, cannot escape, and more importantly, immune cells cannot get inside. The device protects the implanted cells from the immune system, overcoming an obstacle that held back other encapsulation designs.

“The macroencapsulation device is implanted under the skin through an outpatient surgical procedure and the therapy is designed to last at least a year, possibly up to five years, before needing to be replaced,” Dr. D’Amour said.

As far as next steps, ViaCyte plans to use these initial results to optimize the therapy before moving to more patients. In the next phase of the trial, ViaCyte would increase the dose of cells being used and would be looking for therapeutic efficacy. “If all goes according to plan, people living with T1D get to throw away their needles and forget about the daily burdens of managing their blood sugar,” according to Dr. D’Amour.

Why It Matters:

With JDRF’s support, ViaCyte’s researchers can help more people with type 1 diabetes lead a more normal life filled with less worry and less time managing their disease. Its VC-01 islet cell replacement therapy may also offer reduction in serious chronic health conditions caused by swings in blood glucose.

By Emily Howell • JDRF

Símbolos, símbolos y Más símbolos

Este artículo específico se orienta hacia el principal símbolo de la diabetes. Como tales cosas se han vuelto siempre tan popular en este día y edad en la última década más o menos, símbolos crear conciencia y apoyo personal a las mayores tribulaciones que enfrenta la comunidad mundial. La diabetes es uno entre cientos. Como Abogado Global conciencia de la diabetes, espero para refrescar sus recuerdos en que le dice que noviembre es el Mes de Concientización Internacional de Diabetes.
“El círculo azul es el símbolo universal para la diabetes Hasta 2006, no había ningún símbolo mundial de la diabetes El propósito del símbolo es dar a la diabetes una identidad común Pretende…:

– Apoyar todos los esfuerzos existentes para aumentar la concienciación sobre la diabetes;
– Inspirar nuevas actividades, llevar la diabetes a la atención del público en general;
– Marca de la diabetes; y
– Proporcionar un medio para mostrar su apoyo a la lucha contra la diabetes.
“¿Cuál es la historia del círculo Azul?

“El icono fue desarrollado originalmente para la campaña que dio lugar a la aprobación de la Resolución de Naciones Unidas 61/225” Día Mundial de la Diabetes “.
“La campaña por una Resolución de las Naciones Unidas sobre la diabetes fue la respuesta a la pandemia de la diabetes que se establece para abrumar a los recursos sanitarios de todo el mundo. La campaña movilizó a las partes interesadas la diabetes detrás de la causa común de asegurar una Resolución de las Naciones Unidas sobre la diabetes. Las Naciones Unidas aprobó la Resolución 61 / 225 ‘Día Mundial de la Diabetes’ el 20 de diciembre de 2006.
“¿Por qué un círculo?

El círculo se repite con frecuencia en la naturaleza y por lo tanto ha sido ampliamente utilizado desde los albores de la humanidad. El significado es muy positiva. En todas las culturas, el círculo puede simbolizar la vida y la salud. Lo más significativo de la campaña, el círculo simboliza la unidad. Nuestra fuerza combinada es el elemento clave que hizo que este apoyo de una Resolución de las Naciones Unidas sobre la diabetes y tiene que permanecer unidos para hacer una diferencia. Como todos sabemos: no hacer nada no es una opción.
“¿Por qué azul?

“La frontera azul del círculo refleja el color del cielo y la bandera de las Naciones Unidas. Las Naciones Unidas es en sí mismo un símbolo de unidad entre las naciones y es la única organización que puede ser señal de que los gobiernos de todo el mundo que es el momento de luchar diabetes y revertir las tendencias mundiales que impedirán el desarrollo económico y causar tanto sufrimiento y muerte prematura.

“¿A quién pertenece el símbolo?

“La Federación Internacional de Diabetes (IDF) tiene todos los derechos sobre el círculo azul de la diabetes.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awareness_ribbons
¡El conocimiento es poder! Apenas Sayin “… y pasando algunos junto a usted. Es importante para mí que usted sabe.
A. K. Buckroth (#buckroth)

Symbole, symbole i więcej symboli

Ten artykuł jest nastawiona na konkretne cukrzycy głównym symboli. Jako takie rzeczy TRO Ever-tak w dzisiejszych czasach Ostatnia ciągu ostatniej dekady i symboli osobistych MRE przynieść wsparcie dla cierpień, jakie stoją przed globalnym Zwiększona społeczności. Cukrzyca jest jedną spośród setek. Jako globalny Diabetes Awareness rzecznika, mam nadzieję, aby odświeżyć wspomnienia Cua wydrukować informacją, MA listopada Diabetes Awareness Month jest międzynarodowa.

“Niebieski okrąg jest uniwersalnym symbolem cukrzycy Do 2006 roku, nie było globalny symbol cukrzycy Celem symbolem jest dać cukrzycy wspólnej tożsamości Ma on na celu…: – Wspieranie wszelkich starań do już istniejących MRE do podniesienia o cukrzycy; – Inspire nowy HOAT, wprowadzają na cukrzycę do wiadomości ogółu społeczeństwa; – Cukrzyca Marka; i – Zapewnić środki ponownie, aby pokazać poparcie dla walki z cukrzycą.

“Jaka jest historia niebieskim kole?

“Ikona został pierwotnie opracowany na potrzeby kampanii spowodowało przejście MA uchwałą ONZ 61/225” Światowego Dnia Cukrzycy “.

“Kampania na rezolucję ONZ w sprawie cukrzycy było odpowiedzią pandemii cukrzycy ustawiony przerastają zasobów Nam opieki zdrowotnej na całym świecie. Kampania pozyskanego za wspólną sprawę, interesariuszy cukrzycy uchwały Narodów Zjednoczonych o Zabezpieczanie cukrzycy. Zjednoczona Narodów przeszedł Rozdzielczość 61 / 225 ‘Światowy Dzień Cukrzycy “w dniu 20 grudnia 2006 r.

“Dlaczego koło? Koło występuje często charakter druku i powszechnie stosowane, ponieważ jes được zarania ludzkości. Liczne pozytywne-znaczenie jest. W różnych kulturach, koło może symbolizować życie i zdrowie. Co najważniejsze dla kampanii, koło symbolizuje jedność. Nasze połączone siły jest kluczowym elementem, który się tego wsparcia rezolucji ONZ w sprawie cukrzycy i musi pozostać zjednoczona, aby coś zmienić. Wszyscy wiemy, jak: “nie robić nic już nie jest rozwiązaniem.

“Dlaczego niebieskie?

“Niebieska granica okręgu odzwierciedla kolor nieba i flagę Narodów Zjednoczonych. Organizacja Narodów Zjednoczonych jest symbolem jedności Itself wydrukować Wśród narodów jest jedyną organizacją i może sygnalizować rządy wszędzie Co to CO jest czas, aby walczyć cukrzycy i odwrócić światowe trendy utrudniają SE Rozwoju Gospodarczego i przyczyny, tak bardzo zatrzymany i przedwczesna śmierć.

“Kto jest właścicielem symbol?

“International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Posiada wszelkie prawa do niebieskiego okręgu cukrzycy.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awareness_ribbons

Wiedza to potęga! Po prostu mówię “… i przekazywanie niektórych wraz z tobą. Ważne jest dla mnie, że wiesz.

A. K. Buckroth (#buckroth)

Symbols, Symbols and More Symbols

This specific article is geared toward the main diabetes symbol.  As such things have become ever-so-popular in this day and age over the last decade or so, symbols bring awareness and personal support to the increased tribulations faced by the global community.  Diabetes is one among hundreds.  As a Global Diabetes Awareness Advocate, I hope to refresh your memories in telling you that November is the International Diabetes Awareness Month. 

“The blue circle is the universal symbol for diabetes.  Until 2006, there was no global symbol for diabetes.  The purpose of the symbol is to give diabetes a common identity.  It aims to:

  • Support all existing efforts to raise awareness about diabetes;
  • Inspire new activities, bring diabetes to the attention of the general public;
  • Brand diabetes; and
  • Provide a means to show support for the fight against diabetes.

“What is the History of the blue circle?

“The icon was originally developed for the campaign that resulted in the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225 “World Diabetes Day.”

“The campaign for a United Nations Resolution on diabetes was a response to the diabetes pandemic that is set to overwhelm healthcare resources everywhere.  The campaign mobilized diabetes stakeholders behind the common cause of securing a United Nations Resolution on diabetes. The united Nations passed Resolution 61/225 ‘World Diabetes Day’ on December 20, 2006.

“Why a circle?

The circle occurs frequently in nature and has thus been widely employed since the dawn of humankind.  The significance is overwhelmingly positive.  Across cultures, the circle can symbolize life and health.  Most significantly for the campaign, the circle symbolizes unity.  Our combined strength is the key element that made this support a United Nations Resolution on diabetes and needs to remain united to make a difference.  As we all know: to do nothing is no longer an option.

“Why blue?

“The blue border of the circle reflects the color of the sky and the flag of the United Nations.  The United Nations is in itself a symbol of unity amongst nations and is the only organization that can signal to governments everywhere that it is time to fight diabetes and reverse the global trends that will impede economic development and cause so much suffering and premature death.

“Who owns the symbol?

“The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) holds all rights to the blue circle for diabetes.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awareness_ribbons

Knowledge is power!  Just sayin”…and passing some along to you.

A. K. Buckroth (#buckroth)

BlueCircle4Diabetes

Returning to Syringes After Insulin Pump Usage

This particular article pertains to one of many diabetes choices for self-care.  Although the choices to stay alive with this disease may seem limited, they do exist.

For example, food choices are a great factor and choice with a yes or no answer through a calculated decision; which exercise to perform on which day (constant and effervescent planning and scheduling) in order to break down calories and maintain an acceptable weight, encourage the body’s circulation, neurological and every other multitudinous life system;  maintaining a daily, constant schedule of repeat medication choices, be it insulin doses or pill forms.  I’m sure you can come up with a number of your own choices when attempting to balance this demon.

At his time in my life, I have been diabetic for more than 56 years.  Approximately twenty (20) years ago, I made the decision to purchase an insulin pump, go through the rigamorole of accomplishing this task alone, and live happily ever after.  (Buckroth, A. K.  My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography, 2010, Prismatic Publishing, Roseville, CA, page 230).

My initial prompting to return to insulin injections is due to a second infection of an infusion site from the us of an infusion set. Although I use rubbing alcohol consistently on my body parts to do this when changing sites, rubbing the cleaned and chosen rotated area profusely, an infection occurred, again. A year ago last October (2014), an infection from a site in my left hip brought me to my GP’s (General Practitioner’s) office. It was red, swollen and pussy = infected. She took a fluid sample of the ‘wound,’ sent it to the lab, confirming E-coli. Ugh and WTH.  Placed on a 10-day antibiotic, I blamed that instance on my changing the set and site in my bathroom. I blamed me before anyone else had the chance to do so!

Use to having authority figures (doctors, nurses, medical staff personnel, etc.) blame me for any – any – wrong doing or misunderstanding of a diabetes hardship, I swallowed this one as well. I am OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) due to diabetes, meaning I am overly clean. My personal blame for this personal infraction is toward the insulin pump company. No,I did not alert them of this instance or the latest one either. “Why bother?” I asked myself.  “They” are only going to, once again, list involved variables, try to gain facts, and point to me, the user/operator.

You see, I am tired – tired of having to fight medical establishments for proper care.  Tired of one doctor sending me–referring me–to another because he or she does not know or does not want to be bothered with any one of my circumstances. Period.  Not only have I learned to take care of myself, my adult years have further encouraged such strategic and minute care through holistic, naturopathic, herbology, and ayurvedic measures through lengthy internet research.

The insulin pump has terribly scarred my body.  It has caused an increase in my white blood cell count for good reason after having an intrusive–albeit plastic needle in my person constantly–decreasing my already weakened immune system.  Twenty years is a long time for anything, never mind having to have an intrusive needle in your person day-after-day-after-day.

Although having diabetes, juvenile diabetes (T1D), has been accepted through force upon me through no choice of my own, and to me from family and friends, it continues to remain misunderstood – until an individual or a loved one are singled out by the powers that be to become a diabetic.  Through these many years, diabetes has been embarrassing, even humiliating to deal with.  It’s not easy, as with any disease.

Therefore, with all this said and done, my decision to return to insulin injections remains specifically due to the popularity of insulin pens: the needle heads are smaller, thinner, unable to intimidate nerve damage, scarring, bruising, bleeding, discomfort and infection(s).  I was brought up with injections.  Two shots a day through a glass and metal contraption (way before disposable needles) containing NPH (pig and cow insulin) for “long lasting” control and Regular insulin, “fast acting” insulin twice a day.  Returning to that necessity is my goal.

Perhaps I am reverting to my younger self, when childhood was brighter, my knowledge of self-care was new and hopeful.  However, as an older adult, I once again must confront the young doctor(s) to listen to my plea.  I have had diabetes longer than any of them have been born, never mind longer than they have been doctors!

Reality is frightening when pleading for a change as a cure is on a distant horizon.

Just sayin’.

A. K. Buckroth

Brain & Nervous System

Regarding human beings, they (we, as I am human) all have a brain and a nervous system.  So?

Well, recently invited to a seminar on the topic of “Neuropathy,” other keywords were adamantly recognized:

  • Thyroid,
  • Hashimoto,
  • Diabetes,
  • Chronic Pain,
  • Lethargy (low energy),
  • Inability to Lose Weight,
  • Depression,
  • Lobe Inflammation,
  • Dopamine,
  • Seratonin,
  • Red Blood Cells,
  • Temporal Lobe Seizures,
  • Gaba (sounds like an herbal tea to me!),
  • Cortizol,
  • Acetocholine (Huh?),
  • Nitric Oxide Activation,
  • PEMF Therapy, and more — yes, more.

Are any of these familiar to you?  To your loved one(s)?

Having lived and meticulously dealt with demon diabetes for many decades, neuropathy has slighted me.  It is an aggravating, non-stop, continuous companion that I do not like or want.  My attempts to rid of it with a controlled diet and exercise keep it calm.  However, it will not disappear.  Due to being a “T1D,” (T!D), diabetes is uncontrollable.  Believe it.  Know it.

Constantly led from one physician to another throughout my life (diabetologists (that no longer exist), endocrinologists, neurologists, general practitioners, family practitioners, etc., etc.,) along with the prescription drugs they offer, my chronic pain persists and worsens.  Cures for anything are existential (unique and alone), laughable, unrealistic, surreal (expressing the workings of the subconscious), and now I’m off topic!

Bottom line: During this seminar, I learned that many, if not all, of the aforementioned human problems can be controlled if not alleviated.  This link will lead you in the right direction to seeking helpful understanding, appreciation, and kind attention to lingering physical problems: http://drjamesmartinsacramento.com/.

I am glad I attended.  Many facts were brought to my attention that I never would have thought of on my own – due to chronic pain, lethargy, and whatever.  I hope you take this opportunity to review the website hosted by the esteemed Dr. James Martin, Functional Neurology And Integrative Pastoral Medicine (Eh?).  You’ll learn a lot in a brief period.

As always, my intentions are good, focused on the general public and its prosperous welfare.

Just sayin’.

A. K. Buckroth, author. (#buckroth)

 

 

 

Diabetes TRUE Nightmares

5 Nightmares You Don’t Know Until You’re Diabetic

2015-04-06 – Originally published at Cracked.com by Ryan Menezes, Zachary Ullman.

Hey, remember when everybody was freaking out about Ebola, because of an outbreak that killed more than 10,000 people? Well, diabetes kills 1.5 million people a year worldwide, more than 200,000 of them in the U.S. And you’re probably never more than a few dozen feet away from someone who has it — there are 30 million diabetics in the U.S. alone.

5 Nightmares You Don't Know Until You're Diabetic
Picture credit: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

 

In other words, for something most people consider too boring to even think about, the scale of the epidemic is mind-boggling. The U.S. alone spends an astonishing quarter of a trillion dollars a year fighting it. Or to put it another way, diabetes sucks a thousand bucks out of every single man, woman and child in America, every year.

We previously debunked the myth that sugar causes diabetes, and when we talked to someone with one variety of the disease, we learned about the parts of the experience you never hear about. He says…

#5. The Disease And The Treatment Can Both Send You To The Emergency Room

Our diabetic, Zach, once woke up in the middle of the night starving, his legs feeling near-paralyzed. His memory of the incident is hazy, but the next thing he knew, he was on a kitchen chair wearing only his boxers with an empty jar of raspberry jam on the table — he’d eaten nearly the entire thing with his bare hands like fucking Winnie the Pooh.

When he tested his blood sugar, it was 45 (the normal level is between 80 and 100). Anything below 70 is hypoglycemia, yet even after eating an entire jar of what is essentially pure sugar, his blood sugar level was still near emergency levels. If we’re being completely honest, it’s remarkable that he ever even woke up to eat that jam. By all rights he should’ve died in his bed. So this shit can get serious, is what we’re saying.

“Wait,” you ask, “isn’t diabetes that disease where you just can’t eat sugar, and have to take insulin every once in a while?” Oh, if only it was that simple.

For starters, you might be mixing up two very different types of diabetes (more on that in a bit). And when diabetics who inject insulin get their dose wrong, things can get bad fast. These problems (“insulin-related hypoglycemia and errors”) spark almost 100,000 emergency room visits a year (more visits than those related to all stimulants, including methamphetamine). A third of those visits require hospitalization, because despite how common and treatable it is, diabetes can still straight-up murder your sorry ass.

On another occasion when he was in college, Zach knew his blood sugar was low before he went to bed, so he popped a few glucose tablets and went to sleep, thinking that would straighten everything out. He woke up with the sensation of sour rust in his mouth — that’s the taste of epinephrine, and it means things are catastrophically bad.

“When I checked my blood sugar,” he says, “it was too low for the meter to give a number.” He’d already eaten all his glucose tablets, so Zach needed to think of a solution quickly or he’d soon be unable to do anything to help himself. “Somehow I remembered there was a vending machine nearby. I bought a bottle of Pepsi, drained it in two seconds, and told a person in the dorm common room all about diabetes, at the speed of 400 words per minute.”

If these episodes sound like bad drug trips gone wrong, well …

#4. Fucked-Up Blood Sugar Gets You High And/Or Drunk

If you see your roommate eating an entire trash bag full of discount Halloween candy, the go-to joke is something like, “Enjoy your diabetes, dude!” That’s because in popular culture, the disease can be a result of poor diet and lack of exercise. But again, it’s not that simple. You can in fact be born with the genes that cause it.

Type 2 diabetes (previously called “adult-onset diabetes”) is the one you probably associate with eating too much candy, as hauntingly portrayed by Jeremy Renner in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. With that type, your genes and often poor diet cause you to overwork the insulin-producing cells. But Type 1 diabetes is an entirely different beast. Here, your immune system decides to kill those insulin-producing cells, and this type is waiting for you when you pop out of the womb. That was the situation for Zach, who was just 15 months old when he was diagnosed, making him one of 3 million Type 1 diabetics in the U.S. Plus, plenty of people are only diagnosed with Type 1 after they turn 18, after being misdiagnosed by doctors with Type 2 for years.

A healthy body produces insulin to control the sugar (or glucose) in your blood stream. Type 1 diabetics can’t produce insulin, while Type 2’s produce it, but their bodies don’t process it correctly. Too little insulin, and your blood sugar levels go shooting rapidly up, like the heart rate of somebody getting chased by a bear. Too much insulin, and your blood sugar eventually plummets, like the heart rate of someone who has just been eaten by a bear. And the effects of jacked-up blood sugar are weird. Diabetics describe high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) as slowing everything down and slathering it with whipped cream. Your brain gets fuzzy, and your eyes feel tethered to your head with frayed ropes — it really is a kind of high. Just not a good kind.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), meanwhile, is a bit like being drunk. For one thing, it impairs driving. Zach is usually super cautious about driving on low sugar, but his level plummeted once when he was on the road, giving him muscle spasms. He pulled over and quaffed some glucose gel, which we are sure would’ve looked like an intoxicated person pulling over to get even more high to a passing trooper. So being diabetic is like living in a world where, even with the best control, there are days where you can suddenly become uncomfortably drunk or high at any moment, without any of the fun.

And when we say “any moment,” we mean it …

#3. Sex Gives You A Sugar High

In theory, stress raises your blood sugar because hormones like adrenaline release glucose, fueling your muscles for fight or flight. And in experiments with diabetic animals, stress always raises blood sugar. However, according to Zach, “stress and panic tends to make my blood sugar run low.” Despite the fact that this makes no sense given what we know about the human body, he’s not the only one to experience this apparent witchcraft.

On the other hand, sex should theoretically reduce your blood sugar because it’s physical exertion. But for Zach and some other random diabetics, sex actually raises it. “I have no idea why,” he says. “The last time I asked a certified diabetes educator about that, she laughed and gave me a weird look.” Neither one of those responses is particularly encouraging.

Sexually active diabetics are supposed to keep three things on their nightstands: condoms, a glucose meter, and sugar tablets. It’s not particularly romantic to test your blood sugar right after orgasming, but it would be worse to fall unconscious immediately after a passionate lovemaking session (or during a passionate lovemaking session) and force your partner to call an ambulance to come collect your sex-stained body. Zach has also met severely undereducated people who think diabetes is transmitted sexually, so it’s probably best to have your personal medical history spread out on a nightstand to get that conversation out of the way immediately.

But far more often than that, presumably, he has to deal with the fact that …

#2. Every Meal Is A Minefield

When Zach was kid, a teacher was once handing out cupcakes but refused to give one to him, telling him “You’ll die if you eat that,” because apparently Zach went to school in a Roald Dahl novel. He ate one anyway, and checked his blood sugar afterward to discover that it was still low, meaning he could’ve eaten even more cupcake and still not have died. In other words, it’s not as simple as “avoid sugar.”

When he was 13, he once went trick-or-treating dressed as an IRS agent, and he collected money for diabetes research. The media thought this a heartbreaking story that they’d love to cover: The inspiring, sickly kid couldn’t eat sugar on this candilicious holiday, so he devoted himself to good works instead. You can actually watch the TV interview and hear Zach patiently explain that he still totally plans on collecting candy in addition to the diabetes fundraising (the interviewer heroically ignores this information).

That’s the thing — Zach can eat whatever he wants (get thoughts of sugar-free candy out of your mind; diabetics like him never touch the stuff). He just needs to pump himself with the appropriate dose of insulin, kind of like what the pancreas does in all you normies. It makes no difference whether the carbs in their food are in the form of china white pixy sticks or black tar quinoa — it all turns to glucose in the end, and the injected insulin can handle it. However, figuring out the dose can be a pain in the ass, and as we’ve discussed already, screwing it up can be disastrous.

“Things like Pop-Tarts and other sugary products are easy,” he says. “You would just take all the insulin you need two to five minutes before you eat.” With other foods, it’s more complicated. “Pizza takes a long time to digest. Some of the protein and fat in pizza is converted into glucose. You have to figure out how long it takes and how much is converted. After trial and a lot of error, I figured out I need to time my dose for pizza as: one-third of the insulin right before I begin eating, two-thirds over the next three and a half hours.” Now imagine you had to do that for every single meal. We would probably just stop eating, because we hate math.

High-fiber foods add a whole other level of bullshit, because they take longer to digest than regular food. And then alcohol is a special kind of bastard, because it’s loaded with carbohydrates but also blocks the glucose that the liver ordinarily releases. And no matter how much experience you have with food, you’ll inevitably come across a dish that trips you up.

A couple months ago, Zach met his ultimate nemesis: a giant plate of chicken nachos. He underestimated the fat, so the meal kept sending more glucose into his system after his insulin wore off. As we mentioned, a normal blood sugar level is between 80 and 100 techno-units — anything above 140 is hyperglycemia, which eventually screws you up bad. Zach’s blood sugar exploded to 482, way higher than the danger threshold. After he jacked in some insulin just in time, he then reveled in the experience of drinking four glasses of water and peeing three times an hour for the entire night.

Delights like this are why …

#1. The Treatment Can Turn You Into A Cyborg

There are two mechanical devices connected to Zach’s body at all times (except when he’s exercising, showering, or having sex, which is basically a combination of showering and exercising). One is an insulin pump, which infuses his body with insulin via a plastic tubing and a tiny needle. “Sometimes,” says Zach, “the adhesive of the set that connects it to you wears off, causing it to fall out. Other times it becomes so itchy you want to rip off that part of your skin.” The other device is a continuous glucose monitor, whose receiver sits in your pocket but which requires you to insert a transmitter into your body like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall.

Some people shrink at the thought of being hooked up to machines at all times, so they go for lower-tech solutions like manual insulin injections and pinpricks to test their blood sugar. Those are still backups even when you choose to go high-tech, so regardless of which avenue you take, having diabetes means stabbing the shit out of yourself with needles all of the time.

Zach started using the pump back in 1995, when the invention was brand new and almost never used by kids. A teacher of his once mistook it for a cell phone and tried to confiscate it. A friend of Zach’s actually did get her pump confiscated by a teacher, which resulted in a $10,000 settlement and a new set of guidelines training teachers how to accommodate diabetic students (including recognizing insulin pumps as life-giving robot friends and not pagers).

It can be pretty inconvenient to walk around with a tube connected to your body at all times. Once at a friend’s house, a puppy chewed through Zach’s insulin tubing before he knew what was happening. Every time he goes to the airport, the TSA (which does have special protocol for diabetic passengers) swabs the pump with explosives-detecting powder then does a pat-down and wanding. If the pump instead went through the X-ray machine, the rays would completely erase its memory.

And diabetics are only going to get even more cybernetic in the future, thanks to the newly developed bionic pancreas, which means we may soon see Will Smith battling a group of diabetics on the top floor of a skyscraper. The bionic pancreas currently uses four separate devices, including an iPhone linking them all together. In 2017, it’s set to shrink to a single device, and it’ll just keep getting smaller, as medical devices do (“The first generation of insulin pumps,” notes Zach, “were the size and weight of high school backpacks”).

Some scientists, who laugh at the constraints of nature and God, plan to genetically alter the pancreas to release insulin when prompted by radio waves, which means treating diabetes with a remote-controlled pancreas. So, maybe in the near future science will somehow fix both kinds of diabetes with a simple pill you take once a day. But until then, the plan is to just keep turning more and more of their bodies into robots. And honestly, have we ever run into a problem that couldn’t be solved that way?

 


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Diabetes Care Goes On at Night…

…it has to.  As the following links attest, parents, caregivers, concerned non-diabetics are necessary – but not always available – to care for the diabetic during any night.

And that is any diabetic, no matter the age.

“Living in the T1D Box” by Patrice Cocco is an excellent article, a knowledgeabl article, concerning diabetes care.  She and her husband know first hand.  Their son is a T1D.

Please copy, paste and read: http://perlebioscience.com/living_in+the+T1D_box and http://perlebioscience.com/get_a_new_endo/

My further advocacy of this disease attempts to not just help people understand the continual, minute-by-minute dramatizations of this disease, but to make people understand – or at least appreciate – the circumstances involved.  They are quite phenomenally explosive.  Truly.  I know.  I am a T1D.  An older one, but one just the same.

Just sayin’…A. K. Buckroth  www.mydiabeticsoul.com

P. S. If these links are not clickable to you via this website, please copy and paste them to a comfortable reading platform.  Short reads, they both are thorough.  You need to know…

 

 

Getting Work Done!

Accomplishing what may seem like simple tasks to some people can become chaotic encumbrances when a person is faced with many tasks in one day.  Let me explain.

As a person who receives self-accolades on what I accomplish each day, at times I am overwhelmed.  I don’t look for anyone to say to me “Oh, you did a great job,” or “I like blah blah blah.”  I just do things, many things, and do not expect an appreciable comment.  This conundrum is my own fault, I know.  But I have narrowed this business of a busy life to one thing: a self-diagnosis of OCD = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

As an author, one of many joys in my life is to write.  I have written and self-published books, ideas for books, articles, blogs such as this one, reminder notes to myself or someone else, e-mails to lots of people, lists of things to do and a grocery list.  Part of my problem is that I work at home.  For instance, if I stay in one place (office) too long, one dog or another will nudge me for attention.  Relentless, they need exercise and just plain want my attention.  That’s a good thing, really.  Exercise was my main goal when I first got these beloved creatures.  So, after throwing their tennis balls up and down the hall for a half hour, they rest and I begin another project – maybe laundry.

Maybe vacuuming, maybe talking on the phone, maybe visiting a neighbor, maybe preparing lunch and dinner,  maybe listening calmly to a friend.  Maybe gardening.  Maybe harvesting one of four gardens.  Maybe mowing the lawn.  Maybe grocery shopping, Maybe dusting.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  All in all, I can’t sit still!  At least not for too long.

The term for this is “multi-tasking.”  Do you do this?

For now, I will get back to writing – at least for a little while.  I’m waiting to hear the dryer buzz, informing me that the laundry is dry.  Now it will need to be folded.

Phew!

Just sayin’…A. K. Buckroth.