How trippy seeing yourself looking back at you

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.

In under 3 minutes – Thriving with Diabetes

In under 3 minutes – Advocating for Yourself

TCOYD tops up your education on diabetes care

The boys are back at it – Dr.s Stephen Edelman and Jeremy Pittus, my favorite long-distance endos. In show-stopping theatre they make diabetes education fun. Yes, you read that right, fun.

Tune in for a morning (West Coast time) or afternoon (East Coast time) of back-to-school learning, as they coyly put it, to sharpen your knowledge and your A1C.

The date is August 7th. You can read more and register, FOR FREE, here.

The delayed blood sugar rise from fat, how cruel

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.

Time to enhance your T1D skills?

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.

Help design a tool that will make food shopping easier and healthier

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.

Dexcom offers Overpatches for the G6

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 😉

New low-cost insulin available at Walmart

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.

Low carb, highly creamy tiny truffles, ERND

Note straight at the top, these were gifted to me by ERND snacks to write about if I so chose.

First off, I’m not a truffle fan, too creamy. I like my dark chocolate denser than creamy. Thus, my love of Lindt 85% and Montezuma 100% dark chocolates. I combine them, a square of each one on top of the other, delivering my perfect bliss point apparently, 92.5%.

‘That said, these are well done, very satisfying ‘two bites in one’ mini truffles using fine Belgian chocolate. While they say dark chocolate on the bag, I didn’t find them very dark, but then you now know my barometer. Actually upon closer inspection I see they also say on the bag 55% cacao.

But if you like your chocolate creamy and truffley, I can’t see how these won’t satisfy. The husband likes them. My only question is what does ‘ERND’ stand for?

The big news of course is the lead I buried: they’re sugar-free, low carb and low fat. 1 truffle has 6 carbohydrates, 7 grams of fat and 75 calories, and few ingredients which is always good:

Ingredients

Handmade in Utah, the assorted bag I was sent contains 32 in total mint, raspberry, dark and sea salt truffles.

This 16 ounce bag costs $29.50. The company also has 7 ounce bags for $15.50, and additional flavors.

Ah – the company says ERND is pronounced “earned” as in “You’ve earned it!”

This year is insulin’s 100th birthday

Insulin was discovered by scientist Frederick Banting, along with Charles Best, in Toronto in 1921. So this year diabetes organizations are recognizing and heralding this important milestone, insulin’s 100th birthday.

As a member of the International Diabetes Federation’s Blue Circle Voices (that’s IDF’s people with diabetes group) I am part of their testimonial campaign, specifically answering the question what changes I’ve seen in my 49 years living with type 1 diabetes.

My two minute testimonial below and more stories from around the world and information here

The untold story: 49 years of type 1 diabetes

I was up to my neck in health ailments some months ago, I imagine it’s sort of how I must have felt when I donned this pot on my head. When I could no longer stand my health issues, I wrote about them; what creeps up on you after living with type 1 diabetes for 49 years. Excerpt below:

“We who live with T1D all learn pretty quickly (SHOCKER HERE): It’s not about the shots. It is about the 180 decisions per dayTrusted Source medical journals say we make to manage our blood sugar. It is about how this daily decision-making puts our nervous systems into constant hypervigilance. 

It is about fearing the major complications I was told in my hospital bed at age 18 that would befall me: heart attack, kidney disease, amputation, blindness. Scared silly for weeks afterward, I went to sleep opening and closing my eyes, testing what the world would be like if I could no longer see it. Need I tell you I was an art major?”

Full story published on Healthline today, click here. I think it’s an important contribution to annotating the long-term experience of type 1 diabetes.