Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Talk to Each Other . . . .

I like when my “toys” talk to each other.  (And now my head is filled with images from Toy Story.)  My new Fitbit wirelessly syncs to both my iPhone and my laptop.  When I log food into LoseIt, I can see it on the LoseIt site or the LoseIt app, and it’s magically reflected in Fitbit too.  When exercise has earned me a few more calories worth of snacks, Fitbit tells LoseIt that I can eat some more.  Life is easier when everything communicates seamlessly.

TalkingNow imagine a world where diabetes devices had the same seamless communication.  My stuff probably communicates better than most because the devices I use are designed to work with each other.  My Bayer Contour Next Link sends my blood glucose numbers directly to my 530G insulin pump.  My 530G works hand in hand with my Enlite CGM, showing all of that data too.  Good, yes?  Yes.  But it could be better.  What if, like Fitbit, my meter and CGM could also sync up to an app on my iPhone?  What if I could use that app to send a bolus to my 530G?  Oh my goodness, that would be awesome.  It would mean I could wear a dress without worrying about flashing too much leg or some boob every time I need to access a pump that is tucked into some unmentionables when I have no pockets.  In the winter, when my pump is buried under layer upon layer of wool, I could still see my CGM graph.  And it would mean I could put an app on Pete’s phone so that when I’m travelling and sleeping alone in a hotel room, he can take a peek from home and know I’m okay.

My world would work so much better if all of my diabetes stuff would not only talk to each other, but to the other electronic devices which have become a staple in my life.

More about the #WeAreNotWaiting campaign.

This post is my May entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2014/05/may-dsma-blog-carnival-4/

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Little Encouragement . . . .

As much as I try to focus on the bright side of living with diabetes, the truth is that it’s tough.  Day in, day out, relentless and often unreflective of the work we put in.  So when I received an email from Betsy Bush about her involvement in creating a line diabetes greeting cards for kids I immediately loved the idea.  Betsy, along with fellow artists Corrie Kuipers, Doreen Erhardt, and Sharon Fernleaf, and writer Nene Adams, are currently selling the cards online at Greeting Card Universe.  Nene Adams was kind enough to provide a little more information on the creation of their diabetes greeting card line . . .


“My partner, Corrie Kuipers, and I have been designing and selling specialty greeting cards since 2007. In 2011, I was diagnosed with diabetes. Of course, I wanted to read everything I could about the disease. During my research, I was surprised to find very few greeting cards for diabetics, especially children and teenagers.

According to the American Diabetes Association (http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/), 25.8 million adults and children in the U.S. have diabetes. We feel the need exists for special greeting cards to serve the diabetic community. Creating positive greeting cards addressing issues like insulin pumps, body image, lifestyle changes, emotional reactions, feelings of isolation and other concerns seemed like an obvious choice, especially paired with Corrie’s whimsical and often humorous art.”

“We invited other uniquely talented artists - Doreen Erhardt, Sharon Fernleaf and Betsy Bush - to join us and make one of a kind greeting cards for diabetics.”

“If there’s a child or teenager (or adult) who’s been recently diagnosed with Type I or Type II diabetes in your life, send them a “hug in the mail.” A little encouragement accompanied by a colorful greeting card will go a long way toward making a diabetic feel like they’re not alone.


Thank you, Nene!!  Want to hear a little secret?  I may supposedly be an adult, but I’d love to find one of these in my mailbox.  After all, we could all use a little encouragement now and then, couldn’t we?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Intuition . . . .

I believe that sometimes, as people with diabetes, we just know.  Intuition screams at us.  Unfortunately, sometimes I don’t listen.  That’s exactly what happened yesterday.

Somewhere around the middle of the day, my blood sugars got stuck.  They weren’t high high, but they were higher than normal.  They hovered in the 170s, even after the treadmill and dusting and vacuuming the whole house and cleaning the bathroom.  Corrections did nothing to budge the number.


Here’s the thing.  170 isn’t a terrible number for me.  I had under-bolused a snack before the treadmill so I wouldn’t go low.  I had eaten dinner.  I had a bit of dessert.  All justifications for that stuck blood sugar, but my intuition was saying otherwise.  My intuition said my site had crapped out early.  It was scheduled to be changed this morning.  But it was in my abdomen, and in the past my ab sites haven’t lasted the full three days.  However, I didn’t listen to that intuition and instead I went to bed.

About a half hour later, my Rise Rate alarm rang.  And my blood sugar hit the 200s.  And I knew it was time to listen to my intuition and change out my site.  I dragged myself out of bed, turned on the light (much to the dismay of my sleeping husband) and did what I should have done a few hours ago.  One new site and one correction bolus later this happened.


Not only did I come down from the 200s, but I came all the way down to a gross low and a 2 a.m. juice box.

I’d love to say I learned my lesson.  I wish I could swear that next time I’ll listen to my intuition and get that site issue taken care of right away instead of going to bed hoping things will work themselves out.  But right now, my intuition is saying that next time I’ll probably make the same mistakes again.  I guess I just get so stubborn about pulling a site early, and I guess I just haven’t quite learned yet.
Am I the only one, or does your stubborn streak drown out your intuitions too?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let Your Patient Voice be Heard . . . .

Patient Voices Logo 2014For the past few years I’ve enjoyed reading about the DiabetesMine Innovation Project.  The opportunity for DOC members, as patients, to discuss what we need and want with the people who are making the products we use and the policies that affect us is so important.  And I have such appreciation for all of the past delegates who took the time to be involved.

This year is particularly exciting for me, because I’ve been asked to be part of the selection committee and to attend the summit.  I can’t imagine how hard a task it will be to choose 10 delegates from this year’s submissions.  But I’m up to for the challenge - and I want YOU to make it harder!!

There is still time to get your Patient Voices application in.  You can win a scholarship to the 2014 Innovations Summit on November 21st at Stanford School of Medicine.  To apply you need to review a diabetes product on video for the DiabetesMine Test Kitchen and fill out the Patient Voices application.  Listen, we use our diabetes products day in and day out - so a review is no sweat, right?  Right!!  You have until next Friday, June 20th, to apply.  So what are you waiting for?

For more information and to hear what past participants have to say, be sure to check out Amy’s post on Diabetes Mine.  And don’t forget to review the contest rules here.

** As part of the Patient Voices selection committee, I will attend this years Innovation Summit on scholarship. **

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sugary Beauty . . .

I’m a little bit addicted to Sephora.  I’m shamelessly girly and I can’t help it.  I’m a Beauty Insider so I often find Sephora emails in my inbox.  And the one that arrived the other day really got me thinking.  It featured a line called  Fresh Sugar.

Photo Credit: www.fresh.com

Beauty products made with sugar sound pretty luxurious to me.  But I worry about the impacts, diabetes-wise.  Would regular applications of lip balms and glosses full of sugar cause a spike?  Would I need to bolus for the carbs I am absorbing?  (Am I the only one who finds thoughts of bolusing for lip gloss completely ridiculous?)  And would using the hand creams or washing with the soaps before a finger stick leave traces of sugar that throw off my meter reading?

I think I’ll play it safe and stick with my cute eos lip balms and my Gold Bond Ultimate.  How about you, would you be willing to give them a try?