Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

This is a wonderful video, showing several young children, and their everyday lives with type 1 diabetes. Sad, but joyful. These brave children endure so much, but they enjoy their lives!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Early Life, Part 2

My Early Life With Type 1
............Part 2.............
My very different life began when returning home from the hospital. My strength was returning, and I looked much healthier than before I was hospitalized. Dr. Davis told us that I should not eat sugar, but no other instructions about an appropriate way of eating were given. My health was much improved because of the insulin I was using, and I was very hungry. We lived on our little ten acre farm, and we had cows, chickens, pigs, and a horse. There was a very big garden, and an orchard. We bought very little food at the grocery store, so processed food was rarely part of my diet. Our own milk, eggs, vegetables, and fruit were readily available. We had meat from the chickens and pigs. Mother canned so much food each summer and fall, to give us food for the colder months. Eating was good, but we did not know about carbohydrates. I ate all the same food that my parents and sister ate, except items containing sugar. Mother used saccharin to sweeten the pies, cookies and cakes that she made for me. I ate lots of bread, potatoes, and other things that were not good for me, but we thought all foods were okay, if they did not contain sugar. I helped my father with the farm work, and I was very hungry so much of the time. I ate big portions at every meal. We tested my urine once each day, before breakfast, and we did not know when my blood sugar was very high, except at that time of day. The insulin was a 24 hour insulin, so my injection before breakfast was the only injection each day.
The glass syringe and metal needles we used were kept in alcohol, and sterilized with boiling water on the stove once each week. We had our own well, and the water contained limestone deposits. After boiling, there was a white film on the needles and syringe. The deposit frequently clogged the insides of the needles. These needles had a much larger diameter than the ones used in modern times. Sometimes we had to push a small wire through the needles to unclog them, before I could take my injections. There was also some deposit of the limestone on the outside of the needles, and we had to use a whetstone and rub the needles on it to remove the deposit. If the deposit was not removed it was difficult to push the needle into my skin. The needles were almost three quarters of an inch in length. I was supposed to push the needle into the muscle on top of my legs, or on my arms. There was no fast acting insulin back then, and injecting into a muscle caused the insulin to be absorbed much faster than it is absorbed in fatty tissue. I was very skinny throughout my childhood, and so the needle did not have to be pushed very far into my skin. My father gave me my injections until I was ten. When I pushed the needle into my leg, it required a very hard push, and sometimes there was a popping sound. That happened whenever there was a little bit of limestone deposit near the needle tip that we had not noticed. It was nice that there was only one injection each day, but there were no fast and slow acting insulins like we have today, so the control of my blood sugar levels was not good at all. I saw my doctor every six months, and he tested my blood in his office lab. My blood sugar was always very high, and my urine sugar was usually high in the mornings. We were not concerned though. We did not know about the complications that might occur with my eyes, kidneys, and other body parts. One shot per day, one urine test, large portions of food, and no worries. We did not know there was any potential problem, and I led a rather normal day to day existence. Ignorance was bliss!! There were no health problems with my diabetes throughout my childhood, despite my very irregular blood sugars. I have often wondered why I did not have DKA back then. Was something protecting me? All the fast acting carbs I ate each day, without correction boluses like I take now, must have kept my blood sugar very high. The only times I had lows and hypos were when I got too much exercise, and sometimes during the night. My insulin was working during the night just like it did during the day, but without food. That would sometimes give me lows and seizures while I was sleeping, if I did not eat enough before bedtime.
At the time of my diagnosis we did not know about artificial sweeteners. A few years later our drugstore was selling saccharin. It had been used as an artificial sweetener since 1910, but we did not know about it until the late 1940's. It was about that time that Kool Aid made the scene in Roanoke. There were no artificially sweetened drinks until we had the combination of saccharin and Kool Aid. I appreciated saccharin very much. Mother made pies, cookies and cakes for me, sweetened with saccharin. They were delicious! That was a lot of carbs in those desserts, but we did not know they were a bad choice of food since there was no sugar.
My parents did the best they could for me during my childhood. Dr. Davis gave no instructions that helped. My parents raised me in much the same way that they were raised in their mountain homes. They did not drink, smoke or swear. They were good Christians, and kept to themselves. They bought land outside the Roanoke, Va. city limits so they could have a fam. They were raised on farms, and they loved that kind of living. That had a lot to do with the way I grew up, the development of my shyness, and my overall personality.
My mother wrote her own story when she was in her 80's. She only briefly mentioned my diabetes diagnosis. She did not say anything about the months leading up to my diagnosis, or the trauma in the months that followed. My parents were devastated by my diabetes, and not knowing how to care for me. The memories were probably too painful for her, and she chose not to include those details in her story. It is impossible for me to remember all that happened back then, but my parents told me all the details years later.
The first picture shows my father, me and my sister a year before my diagnosis.The second picture shows my family in 1945, several months after my diagnosis.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Early Life With Type 1

My Early Life With Type 1 Diabetes

.........Part 1.........

In the beginning......

I was a very unhealthy child. I was born in 1939, in Roanoke, Va. I had several illnesses before my fifth birthday. Three different kinds of measles, and removal of my tonsils. When I was five I had chicken pox and mumps. While recovering from those diseases, I began showing the classic symptoms of diabetes. My parents took me to three different doctors, but they did not recognize my symptoms. There was no diagnosis. My excessive peeing and drinking so much water did not help those doctors to see the need for a blood sugar test. I had lost my appetite, and refused to eat. I just wanted to drink. One doctor prescribed a tonic that was supposed to restore my appetite. I still remember the tall glass bottle filled with dark brown liquid. It had a bad taste, and probably contained sugar. It was like the snake oil medicine that we have read about from the past. The tonic did not help at all. It probably made my condition worse. By the time we saw a fourth doctor I was very weak, and had lost a lot of weight. My ribs were very noticeable when my shirt was removed. The fourth doctor recognized my symptoms, and took a blood sample in his office. The sample was sent to a lab, and we waited a few days before we saw that doctor again. His office was on the second floor of a building on Main Street in Salem, Va. I struggled while walking slowly up the long flight of stairs. My father was carrying my three year old sister, and I was too big to be carried. My mother and I sat in chairs in the doctor's office while my father stood behind us , still holding my sister. I do not remember the doctor's face, or his words, but I saw my mother's face. She had a very pale and frightened look that I have never forgotten. My parents listened to the diagnosis. We were told that I had sugar diabetes. The doctor said I should be hospitalized the next day, and a different doctor would be taking care of me. I do not remember the hospital visit, except for the injections I was given, and the blood that was collected. I must have stayed in the hospital for several days. Insulin taken from pigs or cows caused me to gradually regain my appetite, and I stopped losing weight. By the time I was home I looked like a human being again, and my strength was very much improved. Almost all of what I have mentioned, thus far, I had forgotten. My mother and I talked about my early years many times when I was older, and I am telling you about our conversations now.

Dr. Davis was my doctor at the hospital, and my parents liked him. He was a general practitioner, and he became the doctor for my whole family. I saw him every six months , and he took blood samples. He tested them in his office lab while I was there. My blood sugar was always high, but I don't recall him ever mentioning any numbers. There were no meters for testing blood sugar at home until the 1980s, almost forty years after my diagnosis. We tested my urine at home, every morning. The procedure for doing that was very awkward. The first thing I did each morning was to pee in a cup.  Some Benedict's solution was placed in a large test tube, and several drops of urine were added. The test tube was placed upright in a container of water on our stove. When the water had boiled a while, the test tube was removed, and the color of the solution was observed. The original color of the Benedict's solution was blue. If the solution containing the urine was blue, after boiling, then there was no urine sugar present. If sugar was present in my urine then there would be colors...green, yellow, orange, brick red, or brown. Green showed a low amount of sugar, brown showed very high sugar. (See diagram below.)

The animal insulin was a 24 hour insulin, so there was only one injection each day, before breakfast. My urine test result determined the dosage. Urine tests do not always approximate the blood sugar very well. If I had not voided for several hours the test could show high sugar because of sugar that was present hours before voiding. In order to have a more accurate test I should have voided, waited awhile, and then voided again.That would have given a better estimate of my level at that time. We did not know how it should be done, so my morning dosages were inappropriate many times, I'm sure. If I ate frequently during the day, and did not get too much exercise, I did not have hypos. During the night I would sometimes have hypos. Some of those hypos became seizures. I would thrash around during my sleep, and my parents would take care of me. There was always a glass partially filled with water, and several spoonfuls of sugar nearby. During a seizure my teeth would be tightly clinched, my body muscles would be drawn, and I would be almost unconscious, not knowing anything that was happening. Mother poured small amounts of the sugar water on my lips, until I had enough in my mouth to partially awaken me. Then I would drink the liquid more freely. I was always drenched with sweat, and very weak after a seizure. My body was sore the next day. The sugar water caused my urine test to show high the next morning. I continued to have seizures for many years, but they occurred less frequently when I was older. There was never any effort made to call an ambulance. I don't know why. Perhaps it was because the nearest hospital was at least 10-15 miles from our house, and I doubt that the paramedics in the ambulance had glucagon injections available back then. Home care was probably the best solution. I think my mother saved my life many times during the years I lived at home.

Glucagon Nasal Spray

This is a glucagon nasal spray for raising the blood sugar level, when it is too low. It is not available now, but it has been very successful in many human trials.
There is another product, Afrezza, that is currently available, to lower blood sugar. It is an insulin spray.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blogger Burnout

I have been trying to write a blog about things I encountered in my early life with T1D, but I cannot seem to get in the necessary mood for doing this. Every time I start, I feel bored, and cannot continue. I used to love writing blogs, and have presented many here, but I have not been comfortable in doing this for several months now. I think I may be experiencing blogger burnout. There is actually some discussion of blogger burnout on Google, so I am not feeling so guilty about it. I have been presenting topics that are important to me, new device info, other peoples' blogs, etc...but no original blogs since the one called "Trying To Avoid Diabetes Complications". You can scroll down to find that one.
Maybe I will be in the mood to write some original, new blogs after the holidays. I will let that be one of my New Year's resolutions....maybe.
Do any of you experience this kind of burnout?
I just realized that I have now written a blog about not being in the mood to write a blog. Does this count as a blog? lol

Monday, December 14, 2015

Insulin, Over The Counter

There are diabetics in the US who do not have insurance, and cannot afford the more expensive prescription insulins. WalMart sells some much cheaper insulins over the counter. This could save lives, but good blood sugar control is more difficult. I would not use this cheaper insulin unless it was my last resort.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Safe Insulin Injections

I did not know that I was supposed to use site rotation, and use different body parts, for many many years. Now I have much scar tissue on my abdomen, and poor absorption of my insulin. This article gives good information about the proper way of injecting insulin.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Great Advice, Great Endo

A Facebook friend, Laddie Lindahl, has written a great blog. Her endo gave her good advice by saying "Stop being so hard on yourself. Stop micromanaging. Stop obsessing over insignificant changes in health indices. Stop driving yourself crazy. Be confident that you are doing a good job." Hmmm, I wonder how far I would have to commute to visit this doctor.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Avoiding Diabetes Complications

The Diabetes Health magazine published an article stating that diabetics should maintain a good BG average and A1c, and avoid a roller coaster type of control. The roller coaster type of control involves having many highs and lows, and that would involve data widely scattered above and below the average. Blood sugars that rise and fall on the path of a roller coaster are a shock to the body. Experiencing this shock over a long period of time can lead to diabetes related complications, even if the A1c is good. I will demonstrate with two examples.
Patient 'A' has test results 40, 55, 65, 100, 135, 145, and 160. The average is 100, but there are numbers that indicate unhealthy highs and lows.
Patient 'B' has test results 72, 80, 94, 100, 106, 120 and 128. The average is again 100, but the data is more closely packed, and none of the numbers are undesirable. Patient B is experiencing much better control, and is much less likely to have diabetes complications.
The purpose of this discussion is to mention the fact that a very good blood sugar average can still involve diabetes complications if there is a significant number of highs and lows over a long period of time. Don't rely solely on a blood sugar average and A1c. Try your best to avoid so many highs and lows. A good average accompanied by a stable control is the best way to avoid complications. Proper dieting and well chosen exercise routines can help very much in avoiding the highs and lows.
I had A1c's less than 6.0 for several years, but had the beginning stages of neuropathy and retinopathy. My control had been tight, but it was necessary to make it even tighter. I stopped having so many highs and lows, and after a few months had passed, the retinopathy disappeared. The neuropathy is still present in one foot, but I rarely experience any pain. If I have high blood sugar for several hours there is sometimes mild pain during the night. I have been a diabetic for 70 years, and have not had any serious complications. I want to keep it that way!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Boundaries/ Doctors and Patients

Does your doctor share information about his/her own life with you? Is it okay for doctors to socialize with their patients?
"Doctors are divided on how strict the boundaries should be. Some have firm rules against socializing with patients or revealing personal details about their own lives. Others say a closer relationship can build trust and make it more likely patients will follow medical advice."


Friday, December 4, 2015

Wonderful T1 Child Video

Look at this little type 1 girl, and watch her video. She is wonderful, and the video is excellent. smile emoticon


"Using a patient’s own cells – identifying them, isolating them, expanding them, and infusing them back into the patient – is an exciting new pillar for drug development."


Monday, November 30, 2015

Diabetes Radio

Christel Marchand Aprigliano was a speaker on a radio show called Through The Eyes Of Women. She did an excellent job speaking for 30 minutes about diabetes in an interview. Christel is a very dynamic advocate for all people with diabetes. You can read the interview, or listen to the radio broadcast with the links below.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Poem


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Side Effects Of Our Meds

Side Effects Of Our Medications
My problem with some of my meds is that the side effects include dizziness. I started BP medication many years ago to provide protection for my kidneys, even though I did not have high BP. A few years later, my BP was rather high, so my doctor gave me a much higher dosage. Then I started having dizziness, really bad. I was falling down in the morning on some days. I started taking half doses of that med a month before my next appointment, and I did not fall down anymore. The doctor wrote a new prescription, and my BP was okay.
There is still dizziness, and that is very aggravating. I have two other meds that have 'DIZZINESS' in big letters written on the container. I cut the dosage for hydrochlorizide in half, and my liquid retention problem is still good. There is still dizziness, but not as bad.
I also started having aching muscles and a lot of fatigue when I started my cholesterol med (a statin). It reduced my overall cholesterol from 280+ to 130+ so I have not cut that dosage, but maybe I should. Maybe an over all of 180-200 would be okay, if it gave me more energy and less aching?
Do you have side effects with your meds? Did you request a reduced dosage, or an alternate med? Some people completely stop certain meds if the side effects are worse than the protection provided.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Big Blue Test

I hope that the people who visit this page are participating in the Big Blue Test. The project continues through Nov 30. Every time you take the 'test' a dollar is contributed to diabetes charities.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Judge Rules CGM Coverage

Have you seen this? A judge has ordered Medicare must cover a CGM for a T1D patient. If this works, it would be a ground breaking event.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ditching Your Pump?

Riva Greenberg has posted an excellent discussion on why some people do not want a pump, and prefer injections. That happens rather frequently. I am very glad I chose to use a pump, and that my insurance covers pumps and pump supply expenses. I have much better control, with fewer lows and highs since I started pumping eight years ago. I have not needed assistance with a hypo since July, 2007. A pump is the best choice, for me. It may not be the best choice for you.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

World Diabetes Day

I keep thinking about the millions of type 1 people who would have perished if Drs. Frederick Banting and Charles Best had not discovered insulin 93 years ago. November 14 was Dr. Banting's birthday.That is truly a day to be celebrated!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Medicare & CGM Coverage

The Medicare CGM Act of 2015 bill has added 114 House and 25 Senate co-sponsors since June 1. The focus is not on diabetes, but diabetes has not gone away. Many senior citizens have hypo unawareness, and a CGM can be very helpful!! Please click on the link below and contact your representatives and stress the importance of CGM coverage for millions of diabetics in the US.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bionic Pancreas Update

The Bionic Pancreas is a single device that determines your blood sugar, and gives you insulin or glucose when needed, without you having to test. Kerri Sparling gives us an update on this device, and tells us about the intended human trials for 2016. This is very exciting!!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Diabetes...Past, Present and Future

The author of this article in 2013 is Roberta Kleinman, RN, M.Ed., CDE
Each year, the month of November is designated as Diabetes month. Many of you do not have the luxury of focusing on diabetes only one month a year since it never takes a break. I wanted to share some statistics and interesting information which may spike your interest in learning more about diabetes- then, now and in the future.
Diabetes has been recognized by the ancient Egyptians' for over 3000 years. Hesa-Ra, an Egyptian physician described the first symptoms which included increased urination and severe emaciation.
Sushruta and Charaka, two physicians from India described the initial differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They thought type 1 was related to only the young and type 2 was related to weight. We now know this is not true.
Doctors in the 1800's understood the need for treatment of diabetes and created tests using chemicals to check for sugary urine. Prior to that in the 1700s there were actual tasters who tasted urine to check for sugar content. Even then physicians recognized the need for exercise and improved eating habits as treatment for diabetes.
Oskar Minkowky and Joseph Von Mering, two researchers from France removed a dog's pancreas which brought on diabetes. They connected insulin with treatment for diabetes.
In 1916 - Elliot Joslin MD, a scientist from Boston wrote the first text book for the management of diabetes called The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus. He focused on a fasting diet and regular exercise. He is often considered the father of diabetes and The Joslin Clinic in Boston still exists today. They lead the way in diabetes treatment.
1921 - Dr. Banting and his assistant Dr. Best injected pancreatic extract - insulin from a canine to treat diabetes in a dog. It was then refined to help a young boy suffering from diabetes. They received the Nobel Prize in medicine.
1940s - Intermediate insulin called NPH was developed by Novo Nordisk.
1942 - The sulfonylurea pills were developed to push out insulin from one's own pancreas. This was the first type of oral diabetes medication. They are currently prescribed less due to cardiac side effects.
1969 - The original glucose meter was created for hospital use weighing 3 pounds and costing $650.
1970s - The first insulin pump was made to mimic how the body naturally releases insulin.
1979 - The A1C test was developed and is used to monitor diabetes control. It is now considered one method of diagnosing diabetes. Metformin was created in France and was brought to the U.S. in 1994. It remains the first line of oral medication in type 2 diabetes today.
1981 - The first home use glucose meters were offered. Shortly after Humulin [developed by Genentech] became the first biosynthetic insulin.
1993 - Large studies including the Diabetes Prevention Trial, Dream study and Act Now have all proven that if blood sugars are maintained at an A1C level of 7% or less, complications of retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy are less likely to occur. Check with your physician to see what A1C level is appropriate for you.
1996 - Fast acting insulin was released by Eli Lilly. This added more flexibility to meal timing.
The diabetes numbers from 2011 have not yet been updated but we do know these numbers have already increased in 2013. 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes (type 1 or 2) and 7 million are unaware of it. The criterion includes a fasting blood sugar of 126mg/dl - two times /an A1C of 6.5% or a glucose tolerance test over 200mg/dl. Only 50% of people experience symptoms of diabetes. 79 million people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes which is a blood sugar of 100-125 mg/dl - if not corrected by life style changes will usually result in type 2 diabetes. 8.3% of the population has diabetes.
There is a genetic predisposition in both type 1 and 2 diabetes but stronger in type 2. Type 1 is still considered a virus or an auto immune response. 5% accounts for type 1 and 95% accounts for type 2.
The highest levels are seen in minorities such as Hispanics (13.8%), African Americans (18%), American Indian and Native Alaskan (16.1%) compared to Caucasians (10%).
Diabetes costs in 2012 were $245 billion. $176 billion were direct medical costs and $69 billion were in decreased productivity.
Diabetes complications - cost $5.4 billion for hospital in patients per year.
Diabetes is the 16th most expensive chronic condition in the U.S. today.
1 in 3 American adults will develop diabetes in 2050 if the present trends continue.
Most insurance plans including Medicare provide diabetes management training skills to all patients with diabetes. A prescription is needed by your physician. Request it if it is not offered to you since it is proven that education can help you get better control.
There are present medical treatments with fewer side effects. There are pills which target your kidneys, superficial fat, and brain as well as gut hormones. They rarely cause hypoglycemia or weight gain. There are new injectables other then insulin which can assist weight loss as well as lower blood sugars.
Recent reports from the European Association for Study of Diabetes stated that due to improved management of people with type 1 diabetes (last 20 years) life spans have significantly increased.
There has never been a better time to manage your diabetes due to research, new medications and advanced technology along with the old fashioned life style changes!
Technology will remain huge in the future of diabetes. We already have continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and pump therapy but research continues to search for the artificial pancreas.
Inter Med patient handler - receives glucose readings wirelessly and transmits to a central server. The software evaluates and analyzes the information and sends a report to you and your provider.
The ultimate goal for scientists today is a complete cure. More personalized treatment will be available including mapping your own genetics.
I-pancreas is being developed which will fully automate blood glucose control.
Weight loss surgery will continue to evolve as a treatment and possible cure for type 2 diabetes. By decreasing the fat levels in the organs the liver and pancreas seem to return to normal function. More time and research will tell us how long these benefits will last.
Glucose sensing car- This is presently in development. An alarm will sound if blood sugars drop. A CGM worn by the patient transmits readings to a micro chip in the dash board.
Research is currently being done on new inhaled insulin- Afrezza- ultra rapid meal time insulin. It will be smaller in size and have fewer side effects on the lungs. They continue to work on a pill form of insulin which will not be destroyed by saliva.
There is so much to look forward to in the world of diabetes and the treatments. Stay informed. Diabetes month is a time to celebrate the advances in diabetes care but please stay involved all year long!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Moms and Their Type 1 Kids

For diabetes awareness month. The following account echoes my mom's feelings when she was my caretaker in my early years with T1D, starting in 1945.
Written by Rosalin Midgeley
"I remember when diabetes was just a word, when I could give you whatever you wanted to eat without thinking about carb counting and sugar content.
I remember that carefree smile you used to have, the spontaneous play you used to enjoy without having to test your blood to check if your levels are high enough to enjoy it or so low you have to sit and watch while you have something to eat.
I remember days out and holidays when we could just pile into the car and go, not have to make sure you have your insulin, testing kit and enough snacks and hypo food.
I remember reading you a bedtime story and the scariest part were the goblins and dragons in the books, now its a monster called diabetes and his henchmen ketones and hypos that keep me awake to make sure they don't pay you a visit in the night.
I remember the day you were diagnosed, the fear in your eyes etched into my memory.
I remember you screaming you were sorry for being scared while I helped to hold you down for blood tests and a drip.
I remember how very brave you were when you realized you had to inject for the rest of your life.
I remember the first time you went to school with it, I had to hand your life over to someone who only had my written instructions to help keep you alive.
I remember how scared I was to let you do things other kids do like go to parties and ride your bikes at the park.
I remember how proud I am to be your mom each time someone says you can't do that, your a diabetic and you go ahead and do it and succeed.
I am so proud of all of you for learning to live with your diabetes and not letting it hold you back!
I look forward to all the years we will share and all the wonderful things you will achieve!
What I look forward to the most is a cure! There will be one and it will be for you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

JDRF....Type 1 Diabetes Month

November is the official month for diabetes. Blue is our color, and JDRF is our organization. Let's make type 1 become type none!
Type 1 for 70 years, but looking forward to new horizons, new technology, and a brighter future for all people with diabetes. 

What Is Insulin Resistance?

What is insulin resistance? A visual guide from WebMD.com.

Type 1 diabetics can have insulin resistance (IR) too. My IR was diagnosed in 1998. That was 53 years after my diagnosis with diabetes. I have used Metformin to help me with my IR. Many T1D's have IR. Here is the slide show on IR.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Type 2 Diabetes...Different Subgroups

 Scientists have "found that there are actually three groups of people with Type 2 diabetes, each with a different set of problems associated with the disease."


Diabetes Misdiagnosis and DKA

My friend, Tom Karlya, aka Diabetes Dad, surveyed hundreds of diabetics. He found that many people with symptoms of diabetes are  misdiagnosed. The DKA present in so many of these individuals has, in some cases, led to terrible results. This has got to stop!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Medicare and CGM's

I have an MVP health insurance plan. It is affiliated with Medicare, so MVP must follow Medicare rules. Dexcom tried to get their CGM approved for me. It was denied. My endo then presented a letter of medical necessity to MVP, mentioning my hypo unawareness. I was turned down again. Here is the explanation from MVP for the denial:
"Per the MVP Policy Continuous Glucose Monitoring long-term continuous glucose monitoring systems beyond 72 hours (A9276, A9277, A2978) are not covered for Medicare products. Therefore the request is denied."
The denial is not very well worded. I think they are objecting to a device that is used in the skin for more than 3 days. An infusion set for a pump is usually recommended for 2 days, but many of us use them for 3 days. So MVP/Medicare approves pumps and infusion sets. A CGM sensor is recommended for 7 days, and many of us use them for 14 days, or longer. That is much longer than the 3 days approved, so MVP/Medicare denies coverage of a CGM.
I wonder why having a sensor in my skin for more than 3 days is considered inappropriate by Medicare. Does anyone know?

Postage Stamp, Discovery of Insulin

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Joslin 50 Year Medal, and Facebook Group

There is a secret Facebook group called "The Joslin Medalists". Every member in the group has a Joslin medal, and has been type 1 for at least 50 years. It is a pleasure to talk to other long term type 1 diabetics. Some of them have problems, but no serious diabetes related complications. It is interesting to note the topics being discussed there: problems with not being able to sleep much st night, basal testing, checking BG in the middle of the night, problems with the new Medtronic 530G pump and the Enlite sensor, problems with companies that send us diabetes supplies, questions and concerns about the new diabetes devices, and there was a question "Do apples raise your BG?" lol. Someone claimed apples had little effect on their BG. It is interesting to note that the discussions among seasoned type 1 veterans are pretty much the same as in any other group. We seem to have the same kind of questions and problems as the younger diabetics.
If you have been type 1 for 50 years and do not have the medal, you can contact Annie Lu at the Joslin Diabetes Center. If you already have the medal and want to join the Joslin Medalist group on Facebook, she can add you to the group. Here is her email address.

Blood Testing, No Blood Draw

A very interesting device for measuring blood glucose, without drawing
blood!! The designers are confident that in a relatively short period
of time it could be available in both portable and wearable forms.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Poor Grandma

And now for something completely different. A friend sent this in an email:

The computer swallowed Grandma,

Yes, honestly its true!

She pressed 'control' and 'enter'

And disappeared from view.

It devoured her completely,

The thought just makes me squirm.

She must have caught a virus

Or been eaten by a worm.

I've searched through the recycle bin

And files of every kind;

I've even used the Internet,

But nothing did I find.

In desperation, I asked Mr. Google

My searches to refine.

The reply from him was negative,

Not a thing was found 'online.'

So, if inside your 'Inbox,'

My Grandma you should see,

Please 'Copy', 'Scan' and 'Paste' her,

And send her back to me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Adult Onset Type 1 Diabetes

A very interesting report on Adult Onset Type 1 Diabetes, with an update on statistics involving both type 1 in children, and in adults.

"....each year, about 15,000 children are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and slightly more adults are diagnosed with rapid-onset Type 1 diabetes.  Study after study has shown that about 10% of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are autoantibody positive, meaning that they have Type 1 autoimmune diabetes but have been misdiagnosed.  According to the ADA, in 2012 about 1.7 million people over the age of 20 were diagnosed with diabetes, and thus conservatively about 150,000 of those have slowly progressive Type 1 diabetes (LADA).  LADA eclipses childhood onset Type 1 diabetes by large numbers."


Monday, October 19, 2015

Prevalence of Diabetes in the US

An update on the prevalence of diabetes in the US. A very informative
 and alarming article.

 "Recent data indicate that nearly half of the U.S. adult population
 has diabetes or prediabetes, with prevalence of diabetes estimated at
 12% to 14% and prediabetes estimated at 37% to 38% in 2011 to 2012,
 according to recent study findings published in JAMA."

"During the next 25 years, the diabetes population is estimated to increase from 23.7 million to 44.1 million and annual diabetes-related spending is expected to increase from $113 billion to $336 billion."


Saturday, October 17, 2015

No Longer Needs Insulin

This is very exciting!! The first patient in the BioHub trials no longer requires insulin.

Medicare and CGM's

I have been experiencing low blood sugar episodes and not always feeling them. Many older type 1 people have this problem. This would not be so much of a problem if Medicare would cover CGM’s. I have not been able to use a CGM for three years. I had a 48 two nights ago, and did not feel it. A CGM would have helped so much. Many long term type 1 people have the same problem.
JDRF Advocacy is working hard to get Medicare coverage of CGMs. Please click on this link to send a prepopulated email to your Members of Congress asking them to co-sponsor this legislation!!! Click on “Take Action.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Conspiracy Theory Preventing A Cure?

Is There A Conspiracy Preventing A Diabetes Cure?

A very good blog about this issue was written on Diabetes Mine in 2012. This question is still being asked at the current time, so I think the content of the blog is certainly relevant.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thriving With Diabetes, a book

David Edelman created the wonderful diabetes website diabetesdaily.com. It was there that I learned so much about type 1, and I was convinced by my friends that I should use an insulin pump. David and his coauthor Dr. Paul M. Rosman, a clinical endocrinologist, have written a wonderful book. Look at it on Amazon. Click on it and you can read portions of it. There are some great reviews of the book included on the Amazon page.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Glucose Meter Accuracy Chart

I used AccuChek meters 1985-2006, and then used FreeStyle meters 2006-2015. The following link shows a chart that compares the accuracies of many brands of meters.


Interview, 70 Years of Type 1

I had the pleasure of discussing my 70 years of type 1 with Daniele Hargenrader. She interviewed me a month ago. Her Diabetes Dominator site has many wonderful interviews of noted DOC personalities. 
WARNING: My interview is 53 minutes long. Maybe you can tune in for part of it. It is difficult to discuss 70 years of diabetes in a short session. 


Friday, October 2, 2015

Type 1 Survival, the Holocaust

This is a wonderful, but frightening account of a type 1 diabetic's survival during the Holocaust. At the end of the article you can click to read the man's story in his own words.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Type 1 For 86 Years

Perhaps the longest living Type 1 person in the world. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3, Lillian Stamps has defeated the illness by using insulin daily for the past 86 years. According to Dr. Kariampuhza, Ms. Stamps’ endocrinologist, she could be the longest living person with diabetes.
“Lillian was diagnosed around a time when different medications were being discovered to help with diabetes,” said Dr. Kariampuhza. “She had been put on every medication to help treat it, she was diagnosed at age 3 and insulin was discovered in 1921.”
Born in 1926, Ms. Stamps remembers her childhood as being a difficult one, where she was put on all different kinds of insulin that were newly invented back in the 20s. Her parents kept her insulin cool in the water well in the front yard because refrigerators were expensive.
“They didn’t have all the things to check your blood sugar like they do now,” said Ms. Stamps. “You used to have to test urine, and when it was blue or green that meant it was low and I would get to eat something.”
Ms. Stamps was given an award for living with Type 1 diabetes for 75 years and will be getting another one this year for 80 years - for recognition of exceptional achievement in living courageously with diabetes for more than 80 years, from the Joslin Diabetes Center, the world’s largest research center in Boston Massachusetts.
“Diabetes affects many organs, usually people will die due to the complications from diabetes,” said Dr. Kariampuhza. “I have nominated her and arranged for her to receive medals for living with diabetes for this long.”
Dr. Kariampuhza has written to the American Diabetes Association three times to nominate Ms. Stamps to receive a medal for 25 years, 50 years and now 75 years for being committed to her health and managing her diabetes for 86 years.
“I’ve been her doctor for more than 10 years, she is extremely committed to taking care of herself,” said Dr. Kariampuhza.
Ms. Stamps continues to use insulin and manages her health by eating well and is cared for by the staff at Brookdale Tyler East in Tyler. According to Ms. Stamps, the hardest years of her life were her teenage years, because she found it difficult and embarrassing to always have to say no to certain foods or drinks.
“I never was married or had children because they told me I wouldn’t live long enough to do any of that,” said Ms. Stamps. “I lived a normal life, and my favorite thing to eat is ice cream, but it has to be sugar free.”
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3, Lillian Stamps has defeated the illness by using insuli...

Monday, September 28, 2015

Double Diabetes


There were no diabetes "types" when I was diagnosed in 1945. All
people diagnosed with diabetes were treated with insulin taken from
pigs and cows. That crude form of insulin gave me back my health. In
the years 1936-1939 it was discovered that there were two types of
diabetes, but it was not until 1959 that the labels Type 1 and Type 2
were attached. Oral drugs for Type 2 diabetics were introduced in the
years 1955-1956.

Now, in current times, we are seeing more and more people with
characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These individuals
have "double diabetes". This occurs when:

1. A person with type 1 diabetes becomes overweight and develops the
basic feature of type 2 diabetes – insulin resistance (IR). Typically,
the type 1 diabetic would then use a type 2 medication to help control
the IR. Insulin would still be necessary as well.

2. A person with type 2 diabetes has one of the key features of type 1
– the presence of antibodies in the blood against the insulin
producing beta cells of the pancreas causing a decrease in the body's
ability to produce insulin. The decreased insulin production can then
lead to the type 2 diabetic becoming insulin dependent. These
individuals still use their type 2 medication for their IR.

So double diabetics may have initially been either type 1, or type 2.
Once they have become double diabetics they have IR, they are using
insulin, and they are using a medicine (usually metformin) for their
IR. I have several type 1 friends, and type 2 friends, who are double
diabetics. Some of my type 2 friends are using a pump and a CGM.

In the 1990s I stopped using animal insulins, and began using
synthetic insulins. I began gaining weight, even though I was
following a much healthier diet, and eating fewer carbs. The only
thing that had changed was my insulin. I have read many reports that
say the synthetic insulins cause our cells to store fat. Maybe that
was the reason for my weight gain, but I did not know that information
until much later. I had never been more than five pounds above my
ideal weight (185) until the 1990s. By the year 1997 I weighed 242
pounds. That was a net gain of 57 pounds. A lower carb intake and
plenty of exercise did not seem to help at that time.

Finally, in 1998, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance. I had
several relatives with Type 2 diabetes, and it seems likely I was
predisposed to become type 2. The predisposition and the weight
gain are likely the explanationfor my insulin resistance. In the early
2000s I reduced my daily carb intake, increased my amount of
exercise, and lost 34 pounds. I initially used avandia for my IR, but
started using metformin in early 2011. Using metformin for one year
was very good for me. That medication has helped many diabetics
lose weight. I have lost an additional nineteen pounds, and am
presently only four pounds above myideal weight. Despite the
weight loss, I still have IR. Metformin,eating an average of 140-150
carbs per day, and getting lots of exercise has kept me in good
health. My A1c's are typically below 6.0, and except for some mild
nerve damage, I do not have any diabetes complications. Double
diabetes can be controlled, and my health is just as good now as it
was before I became a double diabetic.