The above article was published today by Beyond Type 1. My sincere thanks to Tierra who interviewed me and Lala who edited the piece.
It captures my recent deepening of my spiritual practice, perhaps the thing keeping me most sane during these hard times, which of course for us, comes on top of managing diabetes.
You may find a few tips to help keep you managing your diabetes, and life, a little more fluidly, make the space within you more still than scattered, and be able to slide out of chaos when you need to.
Finding that quiet place inside is always restorative. Well, that, and a glass of good wine.
If you’ve been here a while you know I’m a big fan of Dr.s Steven Edelman and Jeremy Pettus. Through TCOYD (Dr. Edelman founded the org.), they’ve been bringing us monthly online conferences that are not only highly practical and educational, but fun. You can sign up for the TCOYD monthly newsletter, that includes online registration for events, here.
Watching the most recent conference, I was struck by Dr. Edelman’s sharing of his own complications and the worries he harbors for the future, living now with type 1 diabetes 52 years. It really touched me when this funnyman, about three quarters of the way through this video below, opened his heart to all of us.
First, I’ll get my objection out of the way, they’re expensive. Almost $10 for a box of 6 crackers (subscriptions make them cheaper). Okay, moving on…they are delicious, nutritious and filling. The company was started by husband and wife, Jennifer and Patrick, after Patrick was hospitalized with life-threatening hypertension. Healed in part by a plant-based diet, Jennifer, a long-time vegetarian, and Patrick, a plant engineer, devoted themselves to creating healing, gut-focused foods.
The husband (mine) can’t keep his hands off them and he, being Dutch, is a connoisseur of all baked bread-like things. He readily agreed, with a mere smear of hummus, one cracker was surprisingly filling.
The crackers are hand made with minimal processing. Made strictly from plant-based ingredients – nuts, seeds, probiotics, herbs, spices and resistant starch – the owners tell me they aid in enhancing the health of one’s microbiome, promoting digestion, reducing inflammation, facilitating weight loss and increased energy, and reducing hypertension, heart disease, and as you can guess, they are extremely diabetes friendly. The star ingredient, cauliflower, is lightly steamed and squeeze-dried.
While I don’t eat crackers often, the husband and I agree these have a uniquely satisfying texture and taste. Jennifer explains it’s from the prebiotic fiber and magnesium from the almonds.
To see more of these little dynamo’s health benefits, and/or order, take a closer look. During these last 18 months of Covid, practically all I’ve bought is socks and masks, little pick-me-ups. These too would make that list.
My friend, who lives in Sydney, Australia, just sent me a picture of myself. Yes, that’s me on the screen in a doctor’s waiting room in New Jersey. My friend’s sister was in that waiting room and all of a sudden looked up and saw me staring back at her. The sister sent the photo to my friend, who sent it to me.
Last year in the middle of Covid here in the Northeast, I went to a studio in New Jersey where a film crew shot these two mini educational videos below. Everyone was wearing masks and face shields. It all felt like we were living on the edge, and it was deeply satisfying.
Seems only appropriate to share the videos with you in the comfort of your own home, no doctor’s waiting room necessary.
It’s not only the infamous slice of pizza that can raise your blood sugar hours later: that demonic combo of carbs and fat.
Last night the husband and I went out to eat at our neighborhood place, an Italian pub-like bistro. My normal meal is sharing a starter of bruschetta followed by an entree of salmon with kale and squash. Yes, the bruschetta is carb, but sharing it, not so much and I know how to dose for it.
But last night I threw my cares to the wind and fulfilled my craving for pasta. Maybe a twice a year event. I do make it at home, but that’s the pasta that’s always made out of something low carb, like edamame, which has minimal impact on my blood sugar.
We got our bruschetta starter, which comes with a mound of burrata mozzarella cheese and then we shared spinach/mushroom ravioli in brown butter sauce and black linguini with salmon in tomato sauce. Yikes!
I cannot tell you how delicious my carb lunacy was.
I under dosed for the food just after ordering. I only took 2 units of insulin having an insulin/carb ratio of about 1:17 in the evening. I under dosed on purpose because sometimes I find when the pasta is homemade it doesn’t raise my blood sugar as much as commercially made pasta.
We ate around 6:30 P.M. When I got home around 8 P.M. til I went to sleep just before midnight, I watched my blood sugar on my CGM.
It was well within my target range and very stable until around 9:30 P.M. when it began rising. I took one more unit of insulin. Before bed, shortly before midnight, it was still a very stable 130. The range on my CGM is set between 75 and 150. And, I purposefully do not hear alerts overnight or I would never get a night’s sleep due to compression lows. So if the alert was ringing all night, I do not know.
When I woke, not only was I amazed at the number, 192, which I haven’t seen in years, but amazed how six hours after dinner, my blood sugar jumped 50 points and stayed there all night, for seven hours.
Mildly alarmed, by missing all the alarms instead of taking the 1 unit I do upon waking to blunt the dawn phenomena, I took 2 units and two hours later another unit since it was coming down so slowly. Now it’s a happy-enough 126.
All to say, the combination of carbs and fat is tricky, even for.this 49 year type 1 veteran. Also to say, don’t beat yourself up over the numbers that show up out of nowhere, just work them down, and down, and down, safely.
In future I will at least double my dose when eating this devilish meal, possibly take a long walk after dinner, and maybe, even though I hate the idea, schedule a 3 AM wake up call to check my handiwork.
Lastly, you and I are deserving of no shame, no blame or self-criticism. It’s just diabetes being diabetes.
Now you can learn from the best from the comfort of your home. Gary Scheiner, my friend and diabetes educator extraordinaire, (and diabetes educator of the year) has updated the tremendous classes he offers at Type 1 University. Gary happens to be the educator who trained me on my first Dexcom CGM 7 years ago.
T1U is the only “school of higher learning” for we insulin users, and you probably agree, a tune-up is always useful, sometimes life-saving.
Courses are 30-60 minute webinars, to be watched on your schedule and they cover Nutrition and Lifestyle ie low carb counting and eating, the effects of fat and protein, strength training, burnout and stress, Mastering Technology and other things like managing post meal glucose, sick day care and self-care.
It’s $25/course. Give the website a look to see what’s specifically on offer and how it works.
Since my gifts to myself over the past year and a half have almost exclusively been socks and masks, this is a gift well worth partaking of.
You can support a group of Princeton University students who are building a digital tool to help people with diabetes, and other chronic conditions, make wise grocery shopping decisions. The tool will help shoppers up their nutrition while reducing the time they spend shopping, whether in store or online.
All you need do is fill out a tiny survey and participate in a very friendly 15 minute chat to answer some questions about your shopping habits, decision-making and lifestyle.
If you have diabetes or another chronic condition, or follow a specific diet like keto or vegan for example, they’d love to talk with you. You can sign up here.
They’re free and they come 10 in a pack. They fit right over the G6 sensor and offer an extra inch of security that your sensor won’t fall off especially in this hot and sticky (no pun intended) summer weather. Just peel away the backing, apply, and peel away the front paper.
All you need do is call Dexcom customer service – 1 (888) 738-3646 – and ask for the Overpatch. Tis true, if I had my choice I’d want more of this patch below, my lil cat guy, but then I’d have to fly back to Tokyo get them 😉
It will be marketed and sold under Walmart’s own brand name ReliOn NovoLog. Like regular NovoLog from Novo Nordisk, ReliOn NovoLog is also a rapid-acting, analog insulin. You will need a doctor’s prescription.
The big news is it will be cheaper than NovoLog. One vial of ReliOn NovoLog will cost $72.88/vial, a savings of $101 compared to NovoLog. It’s also available in five profiled insulin pens.
Walmart also carries ReliOn human insulin. It’s even cheaper, but current rapid-acting analog insulins have been shown to be more effective at managing blood sugar and help minimize hypoglycemia and weight gain.