Now that it’s been about a year or so that two new glucagon emergency delivery systems have graced pharmacy shelves (Baqsimi and Gvoke HypoPen), Lilly’s familiar orange Glucagon Emergency kit has gone the way of black and white TVs and record players. Kaput.
Remarkably, in 50 years with type 1 diabetes, I have never used a glucagon rescue product. Somehow, gratefully, I’ve always been able to catch my descending lows while I can still chew and swallow. That said, it’s nice to know we have much easier rescue products should I, or you, ever need one.
Still, it’s historic to say goodbye to a diabetes product that’s been around for so long. And, that’s the good news. More has progressed in the last decade in medicine and devices than the 40 years before it. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.
Just got a note from Lisa Hepner, that the film is being shown on Facebook live today (Thursday), 5 pm PT, 8 pm ET. Also featuring an exclusive post-screening panel discussion with the filmmakers and participants.
The presentation of this film is free and accessible to audiences in the US and Canada.
Panel participants include (next time you join this panel !)
Lisa Hepner | Director, Producer
Greg Romero | Film Participant, Patient 2: University of Minnesota
Esther Krofah | Executive Director, Faster Cures, The Milken Institute
Alecia Wesner | Host, Healthy By Design Podcast, Diabetes Advocate
Moderated by Moira McCarthy | Author, Speaker, D-Mom
The Human Trial is a documentary by filmmakers Lisa Hepner, who has type 1 diabetes, and her husband, Guy Mossman. I know Lisa and I know how invested her heart has been in this film for the more than a decade she and Guy have been creating it.
The film follows a handful of people with diabetes who volunteer for a stem cell trial run by Viacyte to cure type 1. Along the way you realize what goes into a trial, the impact it has on those participating and whether or not we really can hope for a cure.
This week, it will be shown in these theaters across the country:
NADI Founder and CEO, Nina Tickaradze, with her kids
The NADI line of “juices” and apple chips is a family operation hiding in plain sight.
Let me start by saying I don’t drink juice and this NADI Wild Rosehip Original juice is not only delicious, but also nutritious, due to what’s in it – rosehips, water and stevia – and what isn’t, anything else.
Juice to me is medicine, 1/2 a glass if I’m having a low. And I don’t drink soda. Regular and diet are both too sweet. My beverages are mostly water, coffee, tea, wine and occasional hot cocoa I make myself.
So I was amazed when I fell in love with this drink. I tripped over it when it was spotlighted on the food and supplements website, Vitacost, only to be frustrated, after I tasted it, that I couldn’t get more. So I contacted NADI’s founder, Nina Tickaradze.
Nina told me they were waiting on more production. Meanwhile I invited her to share the story of how this juice came to be, part of that story includes a social enterprise that offers economic opportunities to refugees from Nina’s home country of Georgia.
All three NADI juices are available by the dozen on their website and you can also see if they’re available in individual bottles at shops near you.
Guest post by Nina Tickaradze, Founder & CEO of NADI
“One of the things many people with Type 1 diabetes miss is having fruit juices in their diets. Most fruit juices have a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, which can lead to unhealthy blood sugar spikes, fatigue and other problems.
Even so-called “healthy” juices that don’t contain added sugar still have high amounts of naturally occurring sugar from the fruits they are made from. As people with hypoglycemia know, one of the best instant fixes for low blood sugar is to drink some apple or orange juice because the sugar goes into their bloodstream almost immediately.
People with diabetes often avoid fruit juices and miss out on the healthy natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients that are in fruit juices. But NADI Wild Rosehip Original organic fruit juice is low in sugar and carbs so it is a perfect treat for anyone, including anyone with diabetes. It has ZERO sugar, only 2.46 grams of carbohydrates, and just 8 calories per 10-ounce bottle.
Our Wild Rosehip juice is the first and only USDA certified organic rosehip juice in the United States, and it’s made with just three ingredients — filtered water, wild grown organic rosehips that are handpicked, and a tiny bit of organic stevia to round out the flavor. The flavor is pleasantly tart and has dark fruit notes that are plummy and complex.
Rosehips are one of the best naturally occurring sources of Vitamin C, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and can have 20 to 40 times more Vitamin C by weight than citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. They’re also high in antioxidants, polyphenols, bioflavonoids, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, lycopene and many other nutrients.
For centuries, ancient healers used rosehips to promote heart health, blood circulation, soothe upset stomachs and promote wound healing, and there have been numerous clinical trials and studies by the U.S. National Institutes of Health that demonstrate broad benefits of rosehips and potential treatment applications for people who have diabetes, inflammatory disorders, arthritis, obesity and cancer. Rosehip oil is often used for wound and scar healing, and in face creams and lotions.
At NADI, we’re advocates for sustainable growing and harvesting techniques, which is why we use rosehips that grow wild and are hand-harvested from rose bushes that grow in the forests of the Caucasus Mountains in the country of Georgia.
NADI is also a social enterprise. We’re proud to create jobs and economic opportunities for refugees who have been displaced by war and had to leave their homes and all their possessions behind when they fled from regional violence. Every purchase of NADI helps refugees learn new skills, raise their families, rebuild their lives and plant the seeds for future generations.
Nina Tickaradze is the Founder & CEO of NADI, LLC, which makes NADI rosehip juices and Happy Hearts dried apple chips. She is originally from the country of Georgia, and immigrated to the state of Georgia in the United States when she was a teenager. In addition to raising her three children, working a day job at a professional services firm and growing NADI, Nina is also the founder of the nonprofit Georgia to Georgia Foundation that promotes cultural and business ties between the two Georgias and she helped establish the Atlanta-Tbilisi Sister City Committee.
Note: I am not being compensated to share this information.
While I use Dexcom G6 and am awaiting G7, hopefully by the end of the year, Freestyle Libre by Abbott is a very strong competitor, and its third iteration has just received FDA approval.
That means those who prefer Freestyle will soon have the world’s smallest, thinnest (pictured above) and very accurate glucose monitor that goes for 14 days. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
Like Dexcom you can see your readings on a smart phone. Unlike Dexcom, which gives 5 minute readings, Freestyle shows readings every minute. It also claims to have a sub-8% MARD. All I really know is that means it’s pretty darn accurate. It also has alarms and an easy applicator.
At one third the price of competitors, I’d advocate getting one whether you have diabetes or not. I have found that when someone without diabetes wears a glucose monitor, they’re shocked to see how food and exercise affect their blood sugar.
The husband, who doesn’t have diabetes, when wearing my Dexcom for a week, couldn’t get over how his blood sugar rocketed after eating potatoes. This idea that people without diabetes have steady blood sugars all the time is just wrong.
After spending three weeks with my mom, packing up her apartment and moving her into assisted living, and spending the first night in her new place so she wouldn’t awake disoriented, I returned home. Tired, but knowing in my heart she was in the best possible place, the husband and I were ready to celebrate all that had been accomplished.
So we walked to our local Italian restaurant and sat outside in the glorious 70 degree sunshine for a delicious dinner. I had grilled swordfish with salad as my main. We shared two slices of bread with artichoke and parmesan cheese as a starter, and a cannoli with cheesecake filling as desert, and a bottle of vermentino wine, although he drank 3 glasses and me 2. My blood sugar was nicely around 100 mg/dl before starting the meal, so I took 2 units of Humalog, one for the bread and one for the dessert. I thought I probably needed more for desert, but I knew the wine would lower me a bit.
After dinner, we took a 10 minute walk home. An hour later my blood sugar had dropped to 41 mg/dl. I was wearing my Dexcom, but honestly I didn’t hear it because I had on my earphones watching a video on my iPad. And, I felt no symptoms of hypoglycemia. I am not surprised looking back now because I had a lot of lows over the past few weeks physically packing my mother’s apartment up, dragging furniture to the recycling plant and eating less than usual.
The husband came over to show me on his phone the drop. Over the next two hours, my blood sugar descended to 33 mg/dl before it started rising. I ate 3 glucose tablets, a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of preserves, some more stuff I no longer remember, and waited for what felt like forever before my blood sugar was at 98 mg/dl. That was around 11 pm and I went to sleep knowing it would likely rise a bit more, but I didn’t know how much so I didn’t do anything further.
When I awoke at 8 am, my blood sugar was 148 mg/dl. That was fine with me given what could have happened.
It was a mystery to me how 2 units of rapid acting insulin could have knocked me so far down, and how long it took for my blood sugar to rise. My only guesses are maybe my blood sugar was dropping before dinner, maybe the bread, not being dense but airy, only needs 1/2 unit. Maybe the cannoli, albeit sweet, didn’t have that much sugar. I’m also guessing the wine and the fat from the cheesecake filling in the cannoli delayed the rise in my blood sugar after I started treating it.
When I was at 33 mg/dl, the husband asked me if I wanted the baqsimi that has sat in my drawer for a year and I said, “no.” As long as I can chew and swallow I’d rather eat my way up. Was that smart? I have no idea, but I know the baqsimi would have brought me up to around 180 mg/dl and I didn’t want to have to contend with then fixing the high.
Fifty years with type 1 diabetes will never mean that every day isn’t a new day. Every day brings its own blood sugar ride. It was scary to watch the descent and scarier to wait so long for the ascent. It was scary I felt no symptoms. But I know I need to go now for a week or two without a low to regain those symptoms.
Still, I’m grateful that going this low is a very rare occurrence. This is just the fourth time in my life with diabetes it has happened. Every day is just another day with diabetes –– and no one and nothing is to blame.
I haven’t posted much lately as I’ve been busy helping move my mom into assisted living. If any of you have done this, or something similar, you know what it means and what it takes.
That said, I’m not going anywhere. This blog will continue.
Here’s an article from diaTribe, one of my favorite diabetes resources, of new technological advances presented at the Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes conference that just concluded in Barcelona, Spain.
This week I had the pleasure to participate as a speaker in the collaborative conference held by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO). This body has been, over the past year, working to create a framework to include the voice of people living with non-communicable diseases and mental health conditions as equal co-creators of policies, programs and principles. I am honored to be part of this esteemed group of professionals who are passionate, committed advocates of public health.
If you care to, you can watch the two day conference using the links below. The two days are a mix of very short presentations and groups working to come up with how to make this “meaningful engagement,” or inclusion of our voices, happen in the most productive and sustainable way: