Category Archives: Guest Posts

Posts other people wrote for me.

What Does Kenny Rogers have to do with Diabetes?

Another great guest post and insight to life with type 2 diabetes from my good friend and dweller of my favorite city, Bob. Thanks so much, Bob!

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I just dropped in to see what condition my condition is in.
Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, ‘I Just Dropped In’

The main duty of the Vice President of the United States, an old joke goes, is to call the President each day to see how he’s feeling.
I have a similar duty in regards to my pancreas.
On one recent day, my fasting reading was 128. The target is below 120, and I really like it to be below 100. I shared this on Twitter, and a good friend, a T1, responded to the effect that she’d be delighted with that reading. I responded that I’m just trying to monitor a pancreas, and she’s trying to be one.
Like many Type Twos treating my condition with medication, I’m asked by my doctor to do one blood glucose test a day – a fasting test, first thing in the morning.  I often choose to do additional tests, for various reasons, but the fasting test is the main one.
For many diabetics, that first reading in the morning serves as the basis for important decisions about insulin, what to eat, and whether to exercise.  In my disease’s current state, that’s not the case for me: basically, I test in the morning to call my pancreas and see how it’s feeling.
Type Two diabetes is a progressive disease. While I haven’t had the tests that would tell me for sure, it’s very likely that the ability of my pancreas to produce insulin had already been impaired.by the time of my diagnosis. It’s probable that the degree of impairment will advance with time, and I might very well someday need more aggressive treatment for my diabetes. So, the main purpose of my fasting tests is to watch for evidence of that advancing impairment. One out-of-range reading is not a problem, although I don’t like to get one (and occasionally tweet it if I do). If out-of-range readings became the norm, it might be time to talk to my doctor.
When I get in-range readings, it’s not because I’m a “better diabetic” than anybody else, or smarter, or better-looking, or kinder to small animals. It’s because my current treatment plan is doing a good job of managing my blood glucose at the stage my disease is at right now.  Down the road, I may also find myself pleased with a fasting reading of 128.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to go back to imagining Vice President Biden’s daily call. (“Hello, Barack? Joe here. You, uh, feeling okay? No fever or anything? OK, good. Well, uh, talk to you tomorrow.”)
* Yes, boys and girls, country music star Kenny Rogers once cut a psychedelic rock record, early in his career. It’s a bit iffy as a song, but just so awesome that he did it!
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Guest Post: Groundhog Day

Crazy Mike and Sarah Jane at Roche Social Media Summit, June 2010

I have been reading Michael Hoskins’ blog since early on in my blog-reading career. Mike is a 32 year old journalist living in Indiana who has been living with type 1 diabetes for almost 27 years. I met Mike at the Roche Social Media Summit last summer and we got along really well. I am honored to have him guest posting for me today as I begin my (hopefully not snowy) journey back to Missouri. Take it away, Mike!

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First, I must say thanks to Sarah Jane for offering the chance to do a guest-post over here in her online spot in the world. Very much an honor.
 
This post appears just as we’re getting some fun news here in Indiana (and much of the middle part of the country) about an Icepocalypse where we’d get massive ice and snow in a historic winter storm. Some places were on tap to get a foot or more of snow, and the Weather Channel as I am writing this says that some people should be ready to spend a few days in their home and declare “states of emergency.”
 
Since this comes just as we’re entering February and Wednesday welcomes another Groundhog Day, my mind wandered off into the possibility of being stuck in the same day, reliving the same routine day in and day out for as long as you might be able to live.
 
Would this really be much different for a Person With Diabetes?
 
We’d still go through our routine tests at all hours of the day and night. Navigate our pumps. Chase our CGM numbers. Carb counting. Walk around the house, knowing that certain doorknobs or wall-corners might suddenly jump out at us and rip a pump set from our body. Avoid those “Ned Ryerson” D-Police members nearby, who’d we would have to flee from and try not to step in puddles or punch them in the nose while trying to get away.
 
All the Highs and Lows of each and every day, but not predictable or certain our D-Lives will be for any given day.
 
Sure, some craziness would ensue – like the kind of Roche Summit fun where we some fun times were had by all. I’d spend some time eating anything I wanted, WITHOUT CARB COUNTING. I’d stab Ned Ryerson in the neck with a syringe, and strangle those D-Police with my pump tubing. All in good fun.
 
 But there’d be sad and bad times as the routine of our D-Lives went on, and we would learn some lessons by those we encounter day in and day out. Luckily, our repeating day would make it worthwhile is the Diabetes Online Community, which would give us hope and support in getting through it.
 
So, what is the little furry ground hog Phil going to see when he looks at his shadow, and also looks at how many days of diabetes are ahead? Who knows. But when the morning alarm clock goes off, think about us waking up just as Bill Murray did in the movie: hearing those DJ voices on the opposite end proclaiming that it’s “Diabetes Day!”
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Michael Hoskins blogs at http://thecornerboothcc.blogspot.com/.

Life as a PWD and a Mom – Guest Post

I met Brandi, PWD, Army wife, and Mom extraordinaire, on Twitter about a year ago and we instantly connected because we are the same age and are both trying to make it through school. When I asked her to guest blog for me, I was very excited to hear about her life as a mom and a person with diabetes. I hope that you enjoy her post as much as I did. Thanks, Brandi!

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Hi! My name is Brandi. I blog (occasionally, getting better) at http://wifemommastudent.blogspot.com and I’ve been a T1 diabetic since November 1999. Since I’m currently in between insulin pumps, I’m doing MDI’s (multiple daily injections). I’m on Levemir(basal), Novolog(bolus), and Symlin for meals. I was on the OmniPod but the reservoir was too small for my needs. Now, I’m currently awaiting training for a MiniMed Paradigm Revel. I’ve been waiting almost a month now. See, my endocrinologist and CDE are Army providers. Remember the Army motto “Hurry up and wait?” Yes, that applies to the doctors as well. My endo and CDE are only in the office about 2 or 3 weeks a month. Good thing I’m able to call their cell phones if I need to.

I have a wonderful support system for my diabetes. My husband is still learning after 4 years of being together. He watches what I eat more than I do. My daughter, McKenzie, is almost 3. Everytime she sees me checking my sugar she asks, “Mommy, you got a booboo? Does your finger hurt?” She’s so perceptive, yet I’m happy she’s too young to understand it. I’ll teach her when she’s a little older. My mom is a T2. She manages very well. I lived with her for 2 years while my husband was in Iraq and doing training in Georgia. My dad is a T1. He has been for as long as I’ve known. He’s had 2 amputations from complications of the D. Yet, he’s always in good spirits. I admire him. My family is the reason I watch how I manage myself.

I’m learning to cook differently now. Less fried foods, less sugar, more vegetables. Instead of cooking a different meal for my husband, he eats what I have to. It’s easier on me. Good thing is that he actually needs to eat the same things I do. Of course we have one day a week where we eat anything. That’s our free day. We usually save that day for when we want to go out to eat. Just recently, I had to buy 3 gallons of orange juice for my husband. Such torture!!!

I’m also on antidepressants. I’ve been reading other D-bloggers that somehow this connects with diabetes. I will say that I’m pretty much able to manage my depression fairly well. It doesn’t help that I live in the rainiest part of the country. The beautiful Pacific Northwest. Moving here has been havoc on by levels. They have some of the greatest food here. From seafood dishes to awesome Chinese food, I can’t help but indulge a little.

That’s my life in a nutshell. I’m a diabetic, more importantly, I’m a wife and mother.

Dear CDE – A Guest Post from Bob

I met Bob on Twitter like I met most of my diabetes online community contacts, but Bob is special because he was one of the first DOC-ites that I met in person. Bob and I attended a World Diabetes Day event held in Kansas City last November. Bob has type 2 diabetes, and we find it interesting to converse on the differences in taking care of our similar-but-different conditions.

One day, Bob asked what topics his readers would like to read about on his blog, T Minus Two, and he and I had a conversation about what a CDE would want to know about his or her type 2 paitents. The following blog was posted here on his personal blog at the beginning of this month, but it was so good I wanted to share it with you as a guest blog as I trek my way across the Rocky Mountains today. Thanks to Bob, and enjoy!

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(Saturday afternoon, I put out on Twitter a request for Type 1s to make suggestions about anything they might like to see a Type 2 address. Sarah, who is working towards becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), responded “Everything!” I’ve chosen to write this post to the CDE I might work with someday.)

Dear CDE —

I don’t know you yet, nor what circumstances caused me to need your services.  But I’d like to tell you some things about me and my diabetes to give you the best shot of helping me. Because Type 2s rarely have Certified Diabetes Educators, your availability to me suggests that I’m having real problems.

First, I am a man in full.  I am more than my metabolism, more than my BG log, more than what they scale says, even (despite the saying) more than what I eat.  I have a sense of humor and am an incorrigible punster.  I’ve read an awful lot of books.  I have some hopes and a lot of fears.  I am cranky and often inwardly judgmental, but my compassion and overriding desire to treat all people well are easily aroused and overcome the crankiness and judgment.  I’m happy to live alone, but I am sometimes lonely.  These details are not important for you to know.  What IS important for you to know is that I, like all your patients, am a complete person.

Second, I need you to start with questions about who I am and what I already know about diabetes.  If you start with a standard informational spiel, you’re going to be wasting time for both of us.  I don’t doubt that there are many things you can teach me, but none of them would come up in your first session with a newly-diagnosed patient.

Third, you’re not going to make me skinny. I’ve been seriously obese for four decades. In all likelihood, I’ve worried about my weight since before you were born.  It’s no longer a healthy goal for me.  I need to you to assist me in my efforts to live a healthier life.  If substantial weight loss happens as a result of that healthier life, that will be wonderful.  But that isn’t, and can’t be, my goal.

Fourth, if I need changes in my treatment and your role includes making suggestions to my physician, I suspect that my needs as a Type 2 may be a little different than for your Type 1 patients.  An experienced Type 1 may be able to be at least your equal in deciding changes in basal rates and so forth.  However, it’s not possible for me to really understand all the types of medication therapies that are available.  However, I do expect you to solicit my strong participation in decisions about tradeoffs among alternatives.

Fifth, it’s often said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Given the miniscule percentage of people who are able to make sudden dietary change, and the even smaller percentage of those who are able to stick it for the long haul, just what would be sane about your reaching into your desk and handing me a one-page meal plan?  If I could make a “meal plan” work for me, it’s overwhelmingly likely that I wouldn’t be meeting with you.  What I <b>do</b> need is information about smaller changes I can make or suggestions as to how I can circumvent the barriers I face. I also need help in sorting out which pieces of medical research I should be paying attention to.

Finally, don’t try to “scare me straight” or scold me.  Fear does enable to make some people to make changes.  But my diagnosis was a long time ago, and I wasn’t ignorant for long about what it meant.  Frightening me won’t make me skinny,  it will just make me fat and scared. I don’t consider that progress.  As for scolding, I assure you that all the scolding that might be helpful, and more, has already happened within my heart.  From you, I need respect and a little kindness.

Thank you for meeting with me.  I respect you and your very significant attainment of education and training. I’m likely to be a little reserved when we first meet, but I do hope you can help me.  I hope that very, very much.

Your patient,

Bob

The Mountains with a Sugabetic – A Guest Post

Sarah Knotts has been a good friend of mine ever since I started participating in the Diabetes Online Community. Not only do we share the same name, but we have the same pump! She recently switched to the Animas Ping insulin pump, and since that is the pump I use she and I had a fantastic phone conversation concerning aspects of the Ping. Since I am driving across the plains of Kansas today on my way to Utah to start my internship, I asked her to write a guest post for me today. She blogs at Sugabetic.Com, and her blog is fantastic. You should definitely check it out.

Her topic is appropriate since I will soon be living very near Rocky Mountain territory. Thanks, Sarah!

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The Mountains

Everyone knows that getting to the top of the mountain is much harder the first time. There’a a lot of pain and frustration that comes with accomplishing your feat. But once you get there, you look back at all you went through, and you take a sigh of relief, knowing that you have overcome the mountain. It’s the same way with living with diabetes. Every day of your life, you are faced with a mountain to climb. Some aren’t so bad, some are the worst.

Some, you’ve climbed that mountain before and you know which paths to take that will take you to the top faster. It’s the ones that the simple trouble-shooting process fixes you and gets you back where you were. You’ve encountered this high after a meal and you know the reason for the high is because of a miscalculation of carbs. Or you find yourself low because you’ve forgotten to adjust your temporary basal rate in your insulin pump before your workout, so you have to stop and treat.

Others are new territory and you have to feel your way through, relying on every single piece of equipment you have to help you. From first pregnancy, to wildly off hormones due to a failing thyroid gland. Or maybe a strange meal that you’ve never eaten, so you go with a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) bolus, say a prayer, hope for the best, and watch your BG like a hawk for the next several hours.

Then there are the ones that look to be just like one you’ve climbed before, only to be just different enough to throw you off course and force you to find another way through. Maybe it seems your BG is off because of what seems to be a partially missed bolus for a meal, but it’s really a messed up site and you happen to be on your last site, so you have to go back to injections for a while. Or maybe the insuliin you were taking was ranky so you had to throw it out only to find that was your last bottle and now you have to use your emergency back up insulin pens or pray to God that the doctors office will call in an emergceny script to the pharmacy to pick up more insulin.

The point is, nothing is constant with diabetes. Every day is a new challenge. All we can do as diabetics is do our best with the hiking gear we have to get to the top of that day’s mountain and hopefully learn the mountain. And, maybe along the way, we can help other diabetics with their first hike up one of their mountains.