Monday, February 28, 2011

Herbal Supplements - Quack or Fiction?

"Herbal Supplements"
I know, I know, Why the Controversial Topics?

But it is necessary to open this can of worms or bottle of Pills.

Does Cinnamon  lower blood sugar?
Does Ginseng lower blood sugar?  Does Alpha Lipoic Acid reduce Neuropathy & BG?
Does Vitamin E prevent Heart Disease?

These are just a few examples of the claimed benefits and uses of natural products to control diabetes.

I have had people refuse to take a Statin(Cholesterol lowering med) but take 3 teaspoons of Cinnamon, and massive doses of strange herbs I dare to pronounce.  Scary, and perhaps an example of desperation, and or a mistrust in modern medicine.

I encourage you to click the links. Note the difference in studies from the naturals and the Statin. Not to mention it's interesting.

There are many herbal or natural supplements being marketed and endorsed.   But, the medical community seems to remain skeptical, and I rarely hear a physician prescribe any of the above examples. But are these products beneficial and are the studies legit.? I do notice more interest in using Omega 3 capsules, and Vitamin D. But this greatly depends on the medical professional.

Is there a place for natural supplements in main stream medicine? Or, are these products being given way too much attention and hype?  I think, yes there is a place, and yes, they are given too much sensationalized media attention with out proper studies.

The question posed is; are these herbal recommendations based on bad science and quackery or are they worthy of being fiction and fact?

I guess I posted this to stir the pot. As I must admit I get annoyed with the abundance of claims in the media, from Hollywood stars claiming to cure type one diabetes to miracle formula's.

The amount of information is exponential and people who are seeking a way to fix their diabetes will try just about anything. My issue is; are they trying safe things? Are they reading good research, and not quack science, making false claims.  I could go online, read a study claiming that product "A" prevents heart disease, and then I could find another study claiming the exact opposite. It's very confusing and often misleading.

I am grateful that we are looking at natural medicine, I do think there are products that are indeed worthy in the treatment of diabetes. But let's be safe about it.

On a personal note, I believe in Omega 3, Vitamin D, and a few other well researched supplements. But I also believe, that people are out to make a buck.

I think we need to keep things real, like, reduced processed food, more natural foods, shop on the perimeter, exercise, read the ingredients, not just the advertising on the box.  We have to be skeptical of what we choose to treat our diabetes with.

"Or Fact?"
My concluding message is; be cautious, if it's too good to be true, then it's likely Quackery at work, and not Fiction.

Let me know what you think. Do you have a favorite


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday's Summary with Pics

Well, another crazy week has passed, and it's almost March 2011.  Thank-you for all the comments, I really appreciate them and they make me smile.

This weeks top 3 posts:

1.  Singing The Post Breakfast Blues

2. Taboo Topic - Diabetes & Sexual Health

3.  I Miss My Nose...

The Top Post to Date:

#1  Pro Carb or Low Carb?

Some family pics:

"My Oldest, and the Pooch"

"If you look close you can see snow falling"

"Second in Commend"

"Our Middle Child"

"Just Plain Cute!"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The 40 Year Old....

"Self Portrait"
Almost got you to say the "V" word didn't I.  

Besides I have two years before the big 4-0. The title was more catchy then the 38 Year old Paper-Boy.

No, I am not on drugs, or intoxicated, or having a low blood sugar.

 Get this; I spent Friday night doing my oldest daughter's paper route and I thought of the title; "The 40 Year Old Paper-Boy" resembling the movie title "The 40 Year Old Virgin" (which is hilarious by the way)

So,  I get home from work and the majority of my family are incapacitated due to a relentless head cold.   With the exception of my 10 year old, the toddler and I,  who were healthy enough to move and function.

The first thing I notice is the bundle of newspapers, and sears catalogues awaiting to be delivered for a very cheap, borderline exploitation wage.  Friday is paper route day. So, by default the job landed with the 3 able bodied family members.

I immediately took charge of the situation. Abby, "get dressed" we are doing the route. Off we went.

I drove, with the hatch of the mini-van open, threw a Princess movie in the vans DVD player for the wee one, and we proceeded.

What does this, if anything, have to do with diabetes?  You ask...

More then you may think.  For instance, prior to the days of pumping, or MDI and even basal rates, this adventure would have been far more challenging.

Current therapies enable PWD to fit diabetes into their lives not the other way around. So instead of coming home, timing my meal to match my long acting(like in times past) I arrived, tested, grabbed a quick bite, took a shot of Rapid (I am on a Pump Vacation) and arose to the challenge and task at hand.

I guess I am grateful that we have newer technology, pumps, CGM's, awareness, knowledge, that we can do what we want when we want to, even if that means, becoming a 38 year old paper boy for the evening.

Happy Saturday!


PS: If you are wondering about my self portrait, read the post on Wego Health

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm a Lab Rat - Are You?

"Your Typical Lab Rat"
I get the strangest ideas for my posts from many aspects of my life (Why these ideas materialize when my head hits the pillow, I'll never know)

 A lot of them are just from being a PWD, even more come from dealing with my 2 Type 1 kiddos, and some are from experiences in learning from patients, and others with diabtes.

I do think we can learn a lot about our diabetes just from ourselves. Allow me to elaborate.

Once we grasp the basics of diabetes, usually from our diabetes team, physicians, organizations, pump trainers, etc. it is then important to take it to the next level.  Once again, what am I getting at?

Self Experimentation (With your team's consent of course) I have often told people that I am a science experiment. It is a great conversation starter, or ender depending on who you are talking to.

In a nutshell:  Diabetes is Trial and Error. This is where it is important to view managing diabetes and blood glucose as a science experiment. Kind of makes it fun.

For example:  In an actual experiment you pose a question or hypothesis(theory)

-You do some back-ground reading or Internet search
"Cool Chart!"
-You decide how you want to answer or test your theory or question.
-You develop a method or plan.
-You act on the plan.
-You hopefully come up with some data that either supports your theory and answers your question or you go back to the drawing board.

Now, let me make this clear, as I know there is a reader out there who is a scientist, who is likely going to tell me about the Null-Hypothesis, and some funky statistical formula, but I am not talking rocket science, I am talking about posing a question, and seeking an answer using a method.

I admit, I was a poor diabetic scientist(in the early years), and an even poorer lab rat. I had questions and theories like; I hypothesis that more insulin is required in the morning. However, I failed to do any more. I did not test my theory, until later on.

I eventually met my chief scientific adviser also known as My Wife. Then I tested out some theories.

The theory above required a plan/method.  Basically, controlled variable(food), data collection (glucose readings) Analysis(examine readings for trends), then results. So after a week of testing, eating the same amount of CHO, the results were in and I needed 40% more insulin. Voila, science at work!

I think all folks who deal with diabetes and who are successful at it, need to evolve into scientists.  Basically PWD are a smart bunch of people.

So, kudos to all of us who are either a Lab Rat, scientist, or in my case both.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Miss My Nose...

"My Nose"
This will likely be my briefest post to date (No promises though)  Well I guess that's okay since yesterday's was a tad bit on the lengthy side.

You don't realize how much you need something until it's gone, or not working properly. I am referring to my nose.

The rhino is still around, more like lingering, but still interfering with my day-to-day functioning. See my post from a couple of days ago about the Rhino.

I miss having my olfactory sense, not this weepy, draining, itchy facet. I want my old nose back, cause this one really sucks!  I know I am whining.

Recovering from a common cold is something that requires "rest" ahhh, that word is wonderful, just envision a cozy foam top bed, warm inviting, absolutely the best remedy, right?

That's my dilemma, if you have gotten to know me you know my house is filled with little people, no not hobbits, but my off-spring. All 5 of them. Oh, and a dog, cat, and bunny named Chuck, see my post "Trev & Vic Plus Eight" for more details. Let's just say Trev's House-o-kids can be a hindrance to getting enough rest.

"Perhaps I shouldn't teach a toddler to Box"
For instance,  this morning I was awoken not by my alarm, but by my 3 yr. old tapping me on the forehead with her Barbie, actually tapping is an understatement.

What is the point of this post?  I guess it is how important rest is for recovery.

Diabetes and the common cold are a brutal combination, glucose control is difficult which leads to higher readings, which makes it harder to mount an immune response, making it harder to kick the Rhino out of the driver's seat (see previous post)

So in summary the equation for defeating a cold is the following:

Rest + Glucose Control + Fluids/Calories = Cold Remedy

So for me,

1.5 days off work + decent glucose readings + 4-2L Pop bottles of Diet Ginger + Lots of Turkey Soup = Feeling better

I am hoping the Rhino will drop me off tomorrow and return my nose.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Your Accepted! Just Sign Here

This is the time in our diabetic lives when we decide to officially accept Mr D into our world. It's like saying, "Okay, you're here to stay, and I accept that, now just sign here..."

It's something we all have to come to terms with; as a parent of a Type 1, or an individual with Type 1 Diabetes. 

The journey towards accepting diabetes is different for everyone. It is like anything in life we are forced, not asked, to deal with.  Job losses, relationships, deaths, or even a friend moving away.  We are emotional creatures, and we all deal with things differently.

Since I am male, I have found the following "Stages of Grief" useful to me.
You see (most) men have "slow dial up connections to their feelings" Woman are (more) likely to have a high speed, 4G connection to their emotional centre. Let's just say, I needed much help in the emotions department. Moving along....

The stages of grief are likely familiar to some readers so just skim them.  They were written by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in the sixties, but are still useful today.

To quote her directly:

The progression of states is:
  1. Denial—"I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."
    Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of positions and individuals that will be left behind after death.
  2. Anger—"Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; "Who is to blame?"
    Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.
  3. Bargaining—"Just let me live to see my children graduate."; "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if..."
    The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time..."
  4. Depression—"I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die... What's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"
    During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
  5. Acceptance—"It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."  In this last stage, the individual begins to come to terms with his mortality or that of his loved one.
I want to point out a few things:

First; the author focused on death, but the principals are universal for any loss. For a PWD it is the loss of many things(routine, freedom etc) Too many to list.

Second; even though it says progressive, it was not that way for me, or us(my wife & I) as Parents of a couple of Type 1 kids.

Here is a brief recollection of how I experienced the stages:

When I was nine and introduced to Mr D, I just went with it. What choice did I have.  I guess a little denial. More Shock.

When I realized it wasn't going away, or that their wasn't a cure to be coming soon, the first thing I felt was sadness, kind of skipped a few steps. Which would place me in the depressive stage.

I would ask, "Why me?" but went with it. Sounds like I was bargaining, perhaps with our creator.

When the hormone flux came (adolescence) the denial hit, I'll be fine, I can do what I want, just sort of went on my Merry way pretending diabetes didn't exist. Oh, with intermittent episodes of anger, directed at my parents, friends. Let's say Anger, and Denial.

Fast forward a few years.  College. I decided to pursue Nursing (in steps) So first I took a 1 year nursing assistant course when I was 19. Didn't know what I wanted to do.  Get this! I actually failed, no kidding failed, my diabetes portion of our biology course. The teachers were concerned.  I was still in denial.  I remember saying to the prof, "I know how to manage my diabetes, don't worry" She did not look the least bit convinced.

Then I met my wife.  She was great. Didn't make me feel like a "Diabetic" Like that's really a bad thing, well it is when you you're in denial.

At this point I was in denial but aware that I didn't know as much as I thought I did about this diabetes thing. I retook the exam and passed. Learned some stuff too. Then graduated.

I then transitioned into the anger stage as for now I knew I had to do something about the big D, and that pissed me off. But I would flip-flop between denial and anger for another 2 years. My wife, would gently say "You should adjust your insulin, and test" I wish I listened.

I decided to pursue my RN education. I was presented with an opportunity to spend time in the diabetes clinic as part of a placement. I accepted. I met other people dealing with diabetes. Wow, you mean I am not alone! It felt awesome to share, and instantly connect with others. This was when I started to accept Mr Diabetes.

That was my moment when Mr D was accepted into my world.



The Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as the five stages of grief, was first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.[

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Riding Shotgun with a Rhino

I suppose I should explain the title.

To say "to ride shotgun" means riding in the passenger seat of a vehicle.

I know what your thinking, he is riding in the front seat of a vehicle with a rhino, what the heck is this guy talking about.

I have come down with the "Common Cold" also known as the Rhino-virus. Catchy eh!

I haven't confirmed it to be the Rhino as there are a few other nasty organisms that can also create a snotty, congested nose, headache, scratchy throat, mild fever, and absolutely crazy blood sugars.

But this isn't an infectious disease blog, I wonder if one exists? This is indeed still a diabetes blog.

Stress in all it's forms can wreak havoc on your blood sugars, as most of you readers can attest.  It really messes up the way our body uses insulin. Once again the body is less sensitive to the insulin on board and this causes a subsequent increase in blood glucose. Unless of course we increase our dose or give regular correction shots/boluses we are "hooped"

Diabetes organizations and researchers have gone to great lengths to educate PWD by providing the so called "Sick Day Rules"

Some tricks I've learned a long my journey:

-If you are getting sick or are sick, test, test, test.
-Taking more insulin is not always necessary as you may not have the appetite to support the increased dose. I prefer to rely on correction doses for the kids as it is safer.
-Pumps are great to have during illness as I have found that increasing the basal rate helps for me
-the most challenging illness are the high fever ones, and the vomiting ones.

The higher the fever the higher the insulin resistance. Vomiting, is tricky for obvious reasons. No food, or inconsistent food/carb intake makes the big D almost impossible to control. Thankfully I don't have either of the above today.

I can't wait until this damn Rhino drops me off!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Singing the Post Breakfast Blues

"Couldn't find any with five kids"
I must say that for us;  the hardest blood sugar reading to contend with in our house full of diabetics is the Post Breakfast one.

It is bloody relentless.

I for example take 50% more Novorapid to cover any carb with my breakfast dose of insulin. That's right, 50%. 

Rowan, is no different, and the most frequent calls from the school are when they do her mid morning glucose check and I get the text that reads; "Hi Trev, her readings say 25 Mmol,(Divide by 18 for US) should I ask the wizard what to do?"

This happened a lot in the beginning but we are starting to conquer the post meal spike.

Dr Berntein, in his book, The Diabetes Solution discusses this issue at length, and thus recommends eating only 6 gms of Carb for breakfast. I can do that, but tell that to a group or more accurately a pack of hungry wolf cubs ripping into a box of cereal.  He further explains in detail the increased hormones(Cortisol) that cause an increase in blood glucose readings in the first two hours after waking.  It is a good book, however, very rigid.

It is also recommended that taking your meal time insulin 20 min (for rapid) prior to that first bite as this lessons the 2 hours spike in glucose.  This I found scary when Rowan was 18 months, and throughout her toddler years. You all know how predictable small children are with eating(sarcasm).

Okay for the most part we try to adhere to the above recommendations, the key word here is try. Now if you have children of school age(or even know these little creatures), and you somehow forget to pre-make lunches, pre-put out the clothes, and end up doing what we do 50% of the time and wing the "Launch Sequence" out the door in the morning;  then you can hopefully understand how following Dr B's recommendations are tricky, and next to impossible most mornings.(I know that sentence structure sucked, never liked writing, lots to say, so little time)

However, I will say this:  When we do give the insulin 20 min before a meal, and we make the eggs or some other  good source of protein, I don't get any text messages from the school during the week, and we don't have any post meal blues on the week-end.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Taboo Topic- Diabetes and Sexual Health

"Link to Hand Out"
Well maybe it is not taboo - But thought I'd talk about it. 

Where did this blog topic arise from in my brain, you ask?  A commercial, well numerous ones, about happy men, taking little pills, and suddenly, their marital life suddenly appears blissful and fabulous.  Lets just say it got me thinking, which is never a good thing.

I get asked a lot of questions from PWD(people with diabetes) about everthing, including sexual health.

PWD hear all sorts of things, like, you can't have a child now since you have Type 1---Just visit the The Blog "Six Until Me" to dispel this myth.

I have even been told I would have trouble "making" kids. Hmmm, I obviously have gone above and beyond in this department.

I remember doing a guest lecture, a very long time ago, to a huge group of nursing students. They of course, were all hormonally charged individuals, and one fine young student posed the question, "Can you have sex when you are on an insulin pump?" I immediately pulled my shirt up, disconnected my pump and passed it around the class. I replied, " I have lots of it, I usually disconnect it first, but sometimes it comes along for the ride"  I definitely wasn't invited back.  But they enjoyed the talk.

All kidding aside.  Does Diabetes effect your sexual life, or sexual health? 

Depends. It depends on the PWD's ability to achieve tight control, and prevent all complications associated with diabetes.

This is so case dependent. We always hear about, and discuss; Eyes, Feet, Kidneys, Blood Pressure, A1C, etc. But we very rarely hear about sexual health. I say rarely, because I have never been asked.  I ask my patients. But I, a Type 1 diabetic for 28 years have never, ever been asked the question, "How is your penis working?" I must say it isn't the easiest question to ask. But it is important.

 I have seen stats that 50 % of all men over 40 have issues with ED(erectile dysfuncion) So I am glad that the media is creating some awareness for physicians and patients to breach this important issue.

Diabetes can, with out a doubt effect any organ in your body where blood is circulated. The penis is no exception. 

An article written by J.Robin Conway and Danielle Pacaud in Canadian Diabetes state:

"One common factor between men and women with diabetes is that sexual dysfunction
is underdiagnosed and undertreated."

 The authors go on to say regarding some of the differences between the genders:

"Women with diabetes and sexual dysfunction
have different concerns and needs
than men. In women with diabetes, sexual
dysfunction is most closely related to psychosocial
problems and depression"


"ED is primarily a vascular and neuropathic disease; as with other microvascular complications of diabetes, the best treatment is prevention."
 There are other issues for PWD as well, like yeast infections, increased urinary tract infections, mood, but as I have said before this is a blog, not a book.


J.Robin Conway, Danielle Pacaud (2006) Canadian Diabetes, An Undisclosed Affair: Sexual Dysfunction In Diabetes.  Link to Article

Friday, February 18, 2011

Devine Intervention - Mission # 2

"Our Tiny Type 1"
 As you may recall from yesterday's post, I was up at 3 am-ish and  had just finished treating myself for a ravishing low blood sugar.
As any parent  with a Type 1 kid can attest; when ever you are up at this time, you always do a random blood glucose check on your child. So, this is exactly what I did.

I proceeded to her room, entered.  Grabbed the tester, inserted the strip, picked-and-poked a finger. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and 2.8 mmol(50 in US) "Ah, crap", second mission was now totally in full effect.  I ran upstairs, grabbed another Jammer(Cool-aid), ran down to her room, cradled Rowan, gave her the Juice, and waited.....She was sleepy, but awake, I asked her, "Do you feel low?" She shook her head back and forth in the "no" direction. She felt sweaty, she wasn't shaking, and obviously, once again, did not have the same "Jolt" and Adrenaline response I had. Damn!  I thought, and proceeded to wait the 15 minutes.

I rechecked her, and she was still only 3.0, what the hell I thought, gave her another Jammer, waited, rechecked, and finally, 5.2mmol.  I thought, damn, she still can't feel her lows.

As terrible as this may sound, I want her to feel low, I want her to develop that "Fight or Flight" response, it feels absolutely awful, but it's like a smoke detector, an automatic internal alarm, that can save a type one diabetic a seizure, brain damage or worst case scenario death.

As I have said before, this is our biggest fear, us missing a low, her not waking, her dying.

This mission was successful, not from planning, but from sheer luck.

If I had not had a low, she may have slipped into a coma. Scares me, chokes me up inside. We say to each other when we catch a low, "Go save our little girl's brain"  Crazy thing is I went through my usual problem solving and could not find any contributing factor to this low. Chalked up to another "Diabetic Curve Ball"

I have to say this mission was absolutely Divine intervention. I thank god every day for her health, and her life. 


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Freeze! - Drop the Rice Krispy Square

"Try to Picture a man, PJ's, and Rice Krispy Squares"
I was a little indecisive as to what to blog about today, since last night at 0300 hrs I was sent on two different diabetic missions. So I will discuss mission number 1 today and mission number 2 tomorrow.

Last night at 3 am I was jolted out of a dream by a sudden surge of adrenaline. My glucose was low, don't know how low, didn't care, just knew I needed to head down the stairs, and find some sugar. 

I become like a shark, or polar bear sniffing out my next kill, my senses, particularly my craving for carb containing substance, can be equated to a shark's sense for blood in water. It is something that is so powerful only a sugar-crazed-low-blood-sugar-suffering diabetic can  relate to. 

As I was inhaling  the Cool-Aid Jammer, which was the first source of glucose I stumbled upon, I thought, man, I hate this feeling.

Next was the "Treat Section" in the kitchen cupboard. My sugar level was still low. I next pounced on, and tore the wrapper off the no-name brand Rice Krispy square, down the hatch, and then I wolfed down a second. I then came to my human senses, and the shark vanished.

When I am low, my thoughts are incredibly clear, I must say, immediately afterwards I jotted down four topics to blog about. Total clarity.

As I was leaning on the kitchen counter finally doing a blood glucose check, I had a thought; and pictured a police officer yelling at me to drop the square and step away from the cupboard.  Strange thought, made me smile, and it would have likely saved my over consumption of carb in the middle of my feeding frenzy.

I immediately did the often discouraged "Chaser"dose of insulin to prevent the inevitable rebound that would occur. Lets just say I treated with far more then the recommended 15 grams of Carb. Oh well, I was after all, running on animal instinct.

After my low I checked my youngest Type 1's glucose and.......To Be Continued....Mission 2 is tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What is Your Reading?

I used to work with a fellow a while back and we used to ask each other daily; so what is your meter reading?

Now before I go any further; I am not referring to the reading on a CGM or a Glucometer.  We were discussing our "Rage Meter"  Let's just say..... it was a stressful time during my last job.  We would rate our frustration level out of ten, so on days when it really sucked, my rage meter would read at about an 8, non stressful days, more like a 1-2.  He and I would chuckle and it become a constant daily check. It actually allowed us to pause, reflect, and support each other in times of fun and frustration.  This memory of the rage meter, got  me thinking about a "Health Meter" 

Health (like stress)is in a constant state of flux.  It varies from day to day, and with Diabetes, sometimes, moment to moment. So now, instead of asking where I am on the "Rage Meter"?  I ask, where am I on the "Health Meter"? 

Today, in case you are wondering, I am around a 5, which is an improvement from last week, where I was at a 3(The day before the Tooth Fairy)  Regardless of the actual number this mental activity allows me to wake up and gage where I am on the meter.  I can then reflect, think about it, and if necessary take action.

This meter is great for diabetes. I find awareness is key. If you check your "Health Meter" and you are low. Then it prompts you to ask yourself to work through the reasons and solutions and ask the "W" questions.

For diabetes:

Why is my glucose roller coasting today?
What caused it, what can I do to fix it, what are the trends, what is different today?
When did I bolus last, When should I recheck?
Where is the problem, is it diet, too much activity, too much stress?

Basically, my meter gage helps me to be self aware and turn thought into action.

Okay it's not as funny as the "Rage Meter", but useful to me nonetheless.   

I think most well controlled PWD do this daily, likely subconsciously or as a force of habit.  I encourage the new PWD to get into the habit of developing a system of being self aware, and to develop those much needed survival management skill needed for healthy management. 

As it is said, "Change is the only constant in Life"  Thought I'd sound all philosophical by quoting that.

So What is your Health Meter reading today?


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sleep, Oh How I love Thee!

"What I need to avoid at work"
The title was suppose to be:  All You Need Is Love Sleep

If you read my last post, well, lets just say I am ready to go another round or two! Didn't Rocky make like 8 or 9 movies, I can't recall but it was a lot! I am steering away from seriousness to be more in favour of fun, easy, less obsessed. I want to thank you all for reading my blog, and giving me your feedback, it is moocho appreciated.

So back to the topic of sleep.

On my way to work in the cold(fridgid) winter months  I often notice people jogging or walking.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love the idea, or concept of working out, as it is good for you. But....I must identify what I find odd. 

Here are the oddities (to me anyway):

It's freezing!!! Like colder then your freezer. Like freakin cold!!!  I don't get it? If I don't have to be somewhere, like work, then leave me in my warm bed.  Now if I lived near the beach and it was sunny, then I may be inclined to get up early and exercise. But not in the dark, freezing cold Canadian Winter.

The funniest thing is the jogger with the little bags of pet doo-doo; I do thank all the pet owners for picking up the doo-doo drops.  However, I completely LMAO when I drive by and see the steam filled pouch being held my the early morning dog jogger, pinched ever so delicately with their mitted hand. Too funny!

Running on pavement?  Never understood the concept.  I know it kills my knees, and I am young. But running on cold, freezing, icy pavement, just goes contrary to the act of trying to improve one's health. To me it is a risk benefit thing. Run, wreck my knees, slip on ice, break a hip.  I say take a day off, and get some rest.

Okay. Before all you die hard runners, send the "Lynch Mob" style comments.  I do admire your discipline.  I guess to me; sleep, even on the best of days is something I find difficult to squeeze into my 24 hr day. 

Treating late evening highs, checking my little Type 1's  blood glucose through the night, or waiting for her levels to reach  safe range before hitting the pillow. Sleep is my priority.

I guess, I just think, sleep is often last on the list of important "Healthy Activities"  People work, clean, watch prime time TV, and catch the news, and more often then not, sleep is last on the list.

Not for this family.

As for physical activity.  I work out in the evening. Always have, and most likely always will. I know the early bird gets the worm, but who cares, who wants the worm anyways!

I know there are some dazzling studies about how society is getting less and less sleep compared to times past. But I will leave this blog light and fluffy today, so I can save time for some sleep. 


Monday, February 14, 2011

Ring the Bell Already!

"Throw in the Towel Already!"
I have to be honest,  today I feel like throwing in the towel. 

What do I mean? Well allow me to explain.

 My blog has been well recieved; I thank all yee loyal readers.  At least I think it's well recieved.   I have had 2000 views(not including mine)in 34 days.  I am uncertain if this is good or not. However, it is nice and I feel honored that people check it out.

I hope PWD are gettting something from it, and this is why I write it. I try to write in a positvie tone, but I believe it is equally important to be transparent, honest and have integrity.  

Allow me to present an analogy:

Diabetes to me, is like a boxing match, and I feel like "Rocky" getting  the crap kicked out of me!  Like, ten rounds of just taking a beating. I try to fight back, I get back up, I pull myself up on the ropes, I await the bell so I can get advice from my corner.  But then the bell goes off again and I am out there battling some massive, seemingly unbeatable opponent.  In this case it is Diabetes.

Diabetes is relentless; it never, ever, goes away. Its the first thing I think about in the morning, and the last thing I think about before I go to bed. Not to mention my 2 type 1 kids. I work with diabetes and as of late I blog about it too.  What am I getting at?

Over the week-end someone I deeply repspect mentioned that I seemed to be obsessiong about my blog.  At first I was defensive then I thought about it.  I do think about it(my diabetes blog) a lot, but it's new. I am constanlty thinking of ways to improve it, videos, cool titles, interesting topics, pics, etc. But... is it too much, is it an obsession, should I unplug, is it therapeutic for me, is it effecting my ability to be a husband, worker, father, friend? 

I am left pondering, is there too much diabetes in my life. Job, Blog, Vlog, Networking Sites, My diabetes, My kids Diabetes, now strangers (no offense) diabetes. Am I  (as my loved one hinted at) obsessed about it?

I just don't have an answer. I have thought (with a deep pang in my gut eating at me) am I doing too much?

Do I go another round, or do I wave to the coach to throw the towel in and end the match?

I know this is a crappy post to put up on V-Day, but I feel the need to be  honest.


obsession (Definition)
1. (Psychiatry) Psychiatry a persistent idea or impulse that continually forces its way into consciousness, often associated with anxiety and mental illness
2. a persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling
3. the act of obsessing or the state of being obsessed
obsessional  adj
obsessionally  adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sunday's Summary & Pics

"Gypsy's Nares"
Well since Sunday is family day, I have decided to share a few pics and a list of the weeks blogs.

Here is a Summary of this weeks blogs:

1. School for Type 1 Kids - What's Your Take?

2.  Why Worry if You Feel Great?

3.  Ketones Are They Bad?

4.  Tooth Fairy at My Age- Seriously (Rated PG 14)

5.  Exercise Good or Bad?

6.  Are You Courteously Assertive?

Here are some family pics, hope you enjoy!

"Classic Family Photo"

"Me, the Wolf, and Abby"

"The only other Male in the house - Chuck!"

"Sophie striking a pose"

Are You Courteously Assertive?

"My Assertive Teenage Type 1"
Many years ago, lets say, 15+ or so, I was referred to meet my first endocrinologist, as my family physician felt it was time to pass the care of my diabetes over to the specialist.

Prior to this appointment I had it in my head, after doing much research over the net of course(yes it existed back then) that I wanted to go on the "Run and Shoot Method" or in modern terms, a MDI regime. 

I made my merry way to meet the new Endocrinologist.  I was greeted by his Resident(A physician training to specialize) who's job it was to take a history and do a brief physical exam.  That took all of 10 minutes.

Then entered the new Endo.  He looked at me and said. "So you want to switch up your insulin?" I replied "Yes I do because, " He abruptly cut me off mid sentence and said, "That's not a good idea, you need to stay on your current insulin."  There was a long awkward period of silence, you know, like the elevator type, very uncomfortable.

He went on to ask or more like dictate, the goals I need to shoot for, asked a few other questions regarding; eyes, feet, the usual diabetes stuff.  I honestly shut down all incoming communication at that point in the interview. Then, he stood up, handed me a lab requisition and said, "keep taking what you take and see me in three months"

I was shocked, hurt, mad, and felt defeated.  My plan to go on a "current" more updated insulin regime was shot down.  I didn't handle the rejection very well.
Here I was, a motivated patient requesting better therapy, and suddenly I was shut out.  Totally powerless or so I thought at that moment.

I assume you want to know what I did next.  He had to go!  Just pictured in my head the board Room scenario's for those who have watched Mr Trump point and say, "Your Fired!"on the Reality show the Apprentice.  Ah if only......well back to the story.

I "fired him" well, mentally I did.  I waited a few weeks, phoned my Family Doc and told him I wanted to be referred to somebody who had a personality, and the ability to listen.  I also, in a courteously assertive way, asked him to prescribe the Ultralente, Novorapid regime I wanted to try. He reluctantly wrote the scrip, I think because he knew I wasn't going to leave with out some change in my therapy.

Six months later,  I finally met my new Endocrinologist; which I might add was the most important visit of my diabetic life. Not kidding. This lady was progressive and up to date, she listened, empathized and was totally okay with the regime I was on, and said, "You know, I am starting another Type 1 fellow on an Insulin Pump next week, are you interested in pump therapy?"

During my Internet search I had read some stuff on pump therapy, but hadn't considered this myself.  But that was before she made this amazing proposition.
I said to her, "That is the most current therapy available, yes I'm interested"

"My Old Medtronic Pump"
One month later I was connected and pumping insulin. I thought to myself, wow, I don't have to take a shot every few hours, three days shot free! It was a very exciting time in my diabetes life. Of course the trial and errors, basal rates, and ratios needed sorting, but my life changed.  I was in control of the Mr D, not the other way around.

In retrospect, things could have turned out different. I could have gone back to the first Endo 3 months later, he may have tweaked or changed my regime, and may have mentioned the pump at a much later date.

I chose to be courteously assertive with my family physician, I didn't demand or order him, I was simply assertive enough to not take no for an answer, I wanted to better my diabetes treatment, and that is what I accomplished.

I believe that we all have that ability to be assertive, don't give up, we have information at our finger tips, and it is up to you to ask for what you want, and get it!

Being Courteously Assertive certainly paid off for me.

A little FYI below:

World English Dictionary

courteous  (ˈkɜːtɪəs) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
— adj
polite and considerate in manner

assertive  (əˈsɜːtɪv) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
— adj
1.confident and direct in claiming one's rights or putting forward one's views
2.given to making assertions or bold demands; dogmatic or aggressive