Monday, July 24, 2017

Powerful Description of Type 1

This is a very well stated post from Slaight Brad. A very powerful description of type 1 diabetes.
Slaight Brad
Diabetes is an autoimmune assassin. A traitorous coward that strikes with a sucker punch, leaving behind a dead or panting organ adrift in a sea of insalubrious self..
Diabetes is years of lancet jabs, eviscerating your fingerprints, disrupting the swirls as if to say “We’re taking everything from you, even the one thing that makes you unique.”
Diabetes is a suspicious stare and judgmental eye from the faces of so many of those we meet.
Diabetes is the sadness of a blue candle, its frenetic flickering flame pays tribute to a life lost
Diabetes is the empowering color blue…as in blue circles, blue Fridays, blue heels, and big blue tests.
Diabetes is the number 300 and the number 40 all within a few hours. It’s pump or be pumped, control or be controlled, inject or die.
Diabetes is a carbapalooza gorge-fest because you’re tired of your life being measured in grams. The protest rages for hours as you devour everything like a ravenous termite in a lumberyard
Diabetes is the useless advice, cured laboratory mice, a dozen meters that are not precise, as you pay the price so corporate execs can live real nice
Diabetes is the endless stories from people who feel the need to tell you about their diabetic uncle who lost a toe, lost a foot, lost a leg
Diabetes is an unknown surgeon in 1920’s Canada who unlocked a miracle and then gave away all his rights to the discovery because sometimes humanity actually does trump greed.
Diabetes is an Einsteinium formula in restaurants and supermarket aisles as you do the mathematical dance called the carb ratio two step
Diabetes is a never ending parade of doctor appointments as you try to distract your fear by thumbing through six month old People magazines.
Diabetes is waking up in the morning knowing you still have diabetes and today is just like yesterday making you feel like an extra in some sort of a real life ground-hog day movie
Diabetes is an online community with people who get you, bloggers who represent, strangers in common who quickly become friends
Diabetes is the boy in back of a classroom, hoping he doesn’t lose one more friend because their clueless parents think he’s contagious
Diabetes is dinner parties with the usual diabetes police interrogation as you reach for a piece of anything. “Yes, I should be eating that. So back the (bleep) off!”
Diabetes is a Type 1 mother; as she prays that the finger sticks and Banting juice she’s known for so long will never be a part of her child’s innocent life
Diabetes is a trail of used test strips that follow you like Hansel and Gretel bread crumbs as you make your way through your own fractured fairy tale
Diabetes is a late night poet vomiting empty angry words in a ketone rage as he waits for the number to come down before he can even think of sleep
Diabetes is every minute of every hour of every day …and never knowing how many of those we have left
Diabetes is….the ultimate suck.
Diabetes is this and so much more…but mostly
Diabetes is…still without a cure!

Saturday, July 22, 2017


This is an excellent article from Diatribe on DKA (diabetic-ketoacidosis).

Did you know that:

...."after the discovery of insulin in 1920 the mortality rate for DKA
dropped to below 30 percent within 10 years, and now fewer than 1
percent of those who develop DKA die from it, provided they get
adequate care in time."

...." Somewhere between 5 and 8 of every 1,000 people with type 1
diabetes develops DKA each year, resulting in about 135,000 hospital
admissions per year."

...."It’s possible to check ketone levels with a simple,
over-the-counter urine test strips or a ketone meter. It’s a good idea
to start checking ketone levels when blood glucose is over 240 mg/dl."

...." as many as 30% of children with type 1 diabetes learn they have
the disease only after developing DKA."

The article below discusses the symptoms, risks, prevention and treatment of DKA.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Minimed 670G Pump

The new Minmed 670G insulin pump has artificial pancreas technology. It will "keep you in target by automatically delivering 'micro boluses' or withholding insulin" as needed. I will let you try it out, and I will wait and see how you like it. I'm chicken. I don't like the idea of a pump making decisions that I am presently making myself. If it works as advertised, it will be a wonderful pump. Then I will be jealous while using my new Minimed 630G pump, which does not have the same features.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


This is a very good article on retinopathy from the GLU website.
I was diagnosed with retinopathy about twelve years ago. I had a few spots in both eyes. My ophthalmologist said that he would have to use laser treatment if it did not improve. The spots were in my path of vision, and laser surgery would cause "holes" to appear in that path. The spots kept disappearing, and then reappearing as I saw the doctor every six months. Then I started using an insulin pump in June, 2007. My control was much more steady, with fewer lows and highs. I was having higher lows and lower highs than before. My A1c's had been in the 5.4-6.0 range for several years, but diabetes complications can occur even when the A1c is good. The roller coaster control with a lot of highs and lows can cause trauma to the body that cause the complications. With my pump, and a more steady control, my retinopathy disappeared, and has not returned. Pumping, and now a CGM, has given me much better diabetes management. I doubt that I will ever have retinopathy again.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bad Luck With Doctors (Part 1)

I started seeing doctors while having T1D symptoms in 1945. The first three doctors we saw did not have a clue. A fourth doctor had my blood tested, and made the diagnosis. He admitted that he was not the right doctor for me, so he recommended a fifth doctor who supposedly knew much more about diabetes. Dr. Davis got me started on animal insulin, and my health improved. I had lost so much weight, and I was not able to walk. I left the hospital with weight gain, and walking normally. I felt great. We thought that Dr. Davis was the best doctor in the world!
During the following weeks I was told that I should never eat sugar. Just test my urine in the morning, and take my shot of insulin. No more urine testing or insulin until the next morning. There were no other instructions. Everything actually went well during the months and years that followed. There were some seizures at night, but my mom became an expert at handling that problem. We did not realize that there were doctors in other parts of the country who knew much more about diabetes. I was very lucky to survive and thrive without the knowledge I needed. So many people were dying from diabetes back in the 1940s.
I saw general practitioners (GP's) 1945-1977, and none of them knew much about diabetes. I had not heard of endocrinologists during those years. I wonder when endocrinology and diabetes specialists began? I continued to survive and was very healthy. The crude devices I was using, and the animal insulin were working very well. Many diabetics were not so lucky.
I was married in 1964, and my wife and two young sons moved from Virginia to New York in 1970. My wife was very good at assisting me when I needed her. My diabetes management routine did not change until 1977 when I started seeing an internal medicine doctor. Dr. B knew so much about diabetes, and he taught me many useful things. Why did I have to wait 32 years to find a doctor like this? (Dr. B is not the Dr. Bernstein you may know.) My Dr. B started A1c's for me in 1980, and I knew so much more about getting better control with my BG levels. My A1c's were initially in the 10-13 range, but soon they were in the high 5's. My A1c's stayed in the 5.4-6.0 range for many years. Dr. B diagnosed my insulin resistance (IR) in the 1990's and prescribed an oral med to help me. I had gained a lot of weight, and the oral med helped me to lose most of it. My IR was under control, and all seemed very good at that time.
(To be continued another day.)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

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. (Note: There is another report that Type 1 and Type 2 were names given in 1970.)
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.
"The term ‘double diabetes’ was first coined in 1991 based on the observation that patients with type 1 diabetes who had a family history of type 2 diabetes were more likely to be overweight and rarely achieved adequate glycaemic control even with higher insulin doses. The more extensive, or stronger, the family history, the higher the dose the patient received."
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 explanation for 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 lost an additional nineteen pounds, and was only four pounds above my ideal weight. Despite the weight loss, I still had IR. Metformin, eating an average of 140-150
carbs per day, and getting lots of exercise kept me in good health. My A1c's were typically below 6.0, and except for some neuropathy, 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.
A type 1 diabetic with IR has double diabetes, but is NOT both type 1 and type 2. That person is type 1 with a type 2 characteristic. That is not the same as having both types of diabetes.
If you are type 1, you gain a substantial amount of weight, and you have type 2 relatives, you might want to discuss your situation with your doctor. You may have insulin resistance. You may have double diabetes.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Support From The DOC

My diabetes diagnosis was in 1945, a few days after my sixth birthday. There was very little known about diabetes back then. The only rule my parents had to follow was to not let me have sugar. I could eat anything else I wanted. There was very little change in my life except for avoiding sugar, and taking one shot of insulin each day. There was no device for testing my blood sugar, and no information about carbs, and their effect on blood sugar. It seems almost a miracle that I have now lived for 71 years with T1, and have no diabetes related complications except for neuropathy. There are many other type 1 diabetics like me in the US who have lived with their diabetes for 50 years, and some for as much as 80 years.
Despite my having good diabetes health, there was so much I did not know about diabetes. My doctors in the early years knew very little about diabetes. In July, 2006, I watched an episode of the Dlife TV program. They mentioned that there was a Dlife website that offered support to diabetics. I joined that day. There were many diabetics of all types taking part in interesting discussions. There was so much information that was new to me, and it was easy to see this was the right place for me. How could I have gone 61 years, at that time, without all the things I learned on the Dlife website? There were several other websites that were also very helpful, and I joined several of them. I shared my knowledge with my new online friends, and they shared their knowledge with me. Some of the members on Diabetes Daily convinced me to use an insulin pump. I started pumping in June, 2007. My blood sugar is much more stable now, and I have fewer highs and lows. I have not needed assistance with a hypoglycemic episode since July, 2007. I felt that the education I received from the diabetes online community (DOC) was so good for me. I helped many fellow diabetics on several diabetes websites, and that made me feel good.
I joined Facebook in December, 2010. There seemed to be an endless number of groups there that were focused on diabetes. I am currently a member of about many of those groups. I truly enjoy assisting the more uninformed diabetics, and their families. It is so easy to see how valuable it is to all participants in the online discussions. Many of them are getting too little advice from their doctors, but they receive many replies to their questions online. Hundreds of parents of young type 1 children were impressed by my longevity and good health. They tell me that I have given them inspiration and hope for the futures of their children. My wife and I attended the Friends For Life (FFL) type 1 conference in Orlando, FL, in 2015.It is an international conference for type 1 diabetics, but the emphasis is on the type 1 children and their families. There I was able to meet many of my online friends. I was a speaker that year, and I enjoyed speaking to my audience.
My communication with my online friends, and the research I have done, has given me experience and much knowledge about type 1 diabetes. I have written a book about my life with diabetes, and have given talks to two local diabetes support groups in my part of New York. It would be great if I had the opportunity to become a motivational speaker, and visit many areas in the US.
It is a dream of millions of diabetics to have long, healthy, and productive lives. The DOC provides the support, education, and incentive to make this possible.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Friends For Life Diabetes Conference

Jeff Hitchcock, Anita Vaughn, Richard Vaughn, Tom Karlya, and Laura Billetdeaux at the Friends For Life Conference in 2015. I wish I could be there this year. This is a wonderful conference for type 1 folks of all ages, and their families . I have attended twice, in 2013 and 2015. Maybe again in 2018?