Tag Archives: exercise

The Same Yet Different

I just read a post from a woman who lives in the UK. She is also a diabetic as are many of the people I follow on twitter. Facebook is great for friends and such but twitter lets me find people who are like minded as far as my disease. Well I don’t go looking for them, Twitter finds them for me. I have some here in the States (one is on TWO of the new Dexcom G6 commercials) but quite a few are in the UK as well. I have learned as much from them as fellow diabetics here in the USDA.

The post I read was from a woman who yesterday ran a half marathon (10k) and finished it. Way to go!! Now some not familiar with diabetes may think so what. It’s only a half marathon and she didn’t finish first. Oh my good people, to me it is great that she even tried let alone did finish no matter what place it was.

Why? A diabetic knows the answer to that already, someone not so in touch with the problems of this disease may not. Let’s start with the basics. Diabetes is a disease where your body does not produce insulin to control your sugar levels in the blood. So a diabetic must double as their own pancreas since the one they were born with no longer works like it should. Normal people don’t get this as their body regulates it’s own insulin level. A diabetic has to do this the entire 24 hours of each day. It is a true 24 hour 7 day a week jobs and there are no vacation from this job. Now here is the first in lessons some don’t know. There are actually 2 types of diabetes and although they are both called diabetes they are very different creatures. Type 1 is insulin dependent and type 2 can still make it although not enough or sometimes the wrong chemical makeup, it doesn’t work right. There about 22 million diabetics here in the USA alone and out of those only a 10% section are type 1. That means I am one of about 2.2 million people here in the USA who depend on insulin to live. We do not make it on our own and so must take it several times each day. It is not a pill and though there has been some headway to make it easier, the only way to get it is to inject it through the skin.

“I’ve read that you can also inhale insulin.” There is only one and I do not know what complications it can cause or how effective it is. Most people, I do not know of any on this inhalable insulin, use injection. You can use pumps instead of needles but as some of my former coworkers can attest to, it is not a perfect solution. It also still goes through the skin. I was told years ago (decades really, I’m polishing my cane later) being a hormone insulin would not survive the human digestive tract hence it must be injected. As far as inhaling, I’d be more scared of an infection from that kind of delivery than an injection. In the 40+ plus years the only infection from insulin I’ve had is with a pump cannulas but it was on its 6th day instead of the 3 days recommended by the maker. I had to, sweated the first one off early so to make up I had to reuse the next one or I would have run out.

OK back to task, Type 2 diabetics are people whose body still makes insulin but it either makes not enough or the chemical makeup is not right and it does work as needed. Insulin does not actually control blood sugar but it unlocks the walls of cells so the sugar can get in and let the cell use it for energy. Think of it as a key for the lock on your cell wall door. If there is no key you don’t get in, if you don’t get in there is no power to run the cell and it will die. Type 2 can be controlled by pills or diet or both without needing insulin. Sadly, it can regress to the point where insulin may be needed anyway. My mom and both aunts where like after years with type 2.

Emma uses a pump and just to make things easier I will just say that if you have a hard time programming your universal remote a pump is not any easier and your remote won’t kill you if you screw it up. I don’t know her that well but I can guess from her post she does not run marathons on a daily basis. Here is another issue with diabetes, changing your routine is scary. I am far from a perfect diabetic but I try to eat at the same times and even the same foods on a rotating basis so I know how I react to each food and how many carbs are in each meal. Carbs are how diabetics count and calculate how much insulin they need for the food they eat. Each food has a certain amount of carbs that enter your body at different speeds and as a diabetic you need to be able to know how many are in each food and add them together and then calculate how many units of insulin you need. A pump can do this on its own but you still need to tell it how many carbs you are eating.

Since she was running a marathon her activity level was going to be so much higher than normal for her so she had to try and compensate for this. With a pump you can lower the background insulin you get on a temporary basis so she made the changes.

This where I noticed the biggest difference. She dropped her rate 2 units. Wow! My basal rate (background insulin) was at times only 0.250 units per hour! That equals 1 unit every 4 hours. There was no way I could have dropped it 2 units. Even as low as it was set, it still crashed my sugar level without extra work (running a marathon being as low as it can get on that list) and although it would shut off automatically,  I still needed to eat to bring it back up as it was low for hours after going low.

The other issue I noticed was when she described making corrections for a highs the morning of the race. Every diabetic has a rate to add extra units to prevent a high once it is started. Mine is 1 unit for every 50 points over 200. It used to be 2 unit back then when I was on the pump. She was correcting a 1/2 unit for less than 200. Amazing!

Reading about how she ran her diabetes compared to my treatment brought to mind what I frequently tell other diabetics. Everyone is different and has a different treatment routine. I have been telling people that for years now but I never had actually applied it to myself until reading that post. I had always thought I must have done or been doing something wrong to create this difference. I am me. I am not Molly, I am not Emma, I am not Amy, I am not any of the other diabetics I know.

I am not doing anything wrong I am merely doing things the way that works for me. MY correction rate works for me. My basal rates, well now doses, works for me. My diet works for me. It will not work for anyone else nor should it. I can try a technique I hear from someone but I will also need to test it to see if it will really work for me.

I can stop thinking “Why does this not work for me like others?” We, the other 2.2 million type 1 diabetics, have the same disease and share common problems and issues. Our solutions though are not and should be the same. They are unique to that person. Everyone is different and should follow their won path to control.

Showing Signs

Every year I add another birthday to the list. This last March I had my 24th 25th birthday. Yes. I am still 25 but I’ve had it 24 times (I’m not doing the math I don’t think my calculator goes that high 24+25). I also quit using the term celebrate, for two reasons.

First, there is no celebration, party or even special dinner. I try to get that day off work but it is not must have. Most people don’t know it’s there until someone posts about it. By the way, the day listed on my Facebook page is not true. It is in March but it is not the 1st. I don’t want people knowing what day it is. It really irritates me when employers feel it necessary to display my personal information on public boards. I asked to have it removed once and was told they couldn’t do it since they would have to change something in the computer (I think it was a program that automatically grabbed the information). I could have gone to court to have it removed, it is MY information anyway, but decided against it since it would only have added to the unwanted publicity.

Second, why would I celebrate getting older? When you are young, you enjoy getting older. You get old enough to drive, to vote, and to drink. When you get up there far enough it’s like whoa, slow down Nelly. I am loath to admit it but I am no longer as fast, strong, or active as I once was. Goin off 4 hours of sleep does not work well for me anymore.

Now there are advantages of reaching this point in life. My knowledge has grown with everything else. I know when to just sit back and not get excited about things, they will even out later. I know enough to pick my battles as I can’t win them all. I have so many job skills it is almost scary, I’ve been a railroad laborer, I’ve been a machinist, I’ve worked in a plastic conduit factory, I’ve worked in several different health care positions (both physical disability and mental health issues), and many factory positions just to name some of them. I get board easy so I like to move around when something gets to be routine. The other issue is that I can remember a lot about each job to quickly get back into it.

The down sides I have already talked about. I am no longer as strong as I once was. My mind tells me I can get back there if I work hard enough. My body give me an argument every time. I have been, still am, and always will be a believer in the human body’s ability to adapt and over come obstacles in life. It’s how body builders gain such size and strength. If you push the body to its breaking point, it grow back tougher and stronger than it was before. I believe it happens for both physical and mental aspects of life. After my shoulder surgery, they told me I may never be able to do a flat bench press again. Ha, ha, ha. Never tell me there is something I can’t do. A year and a half later, I was pushing 300 pounds for a max. I also got back to work in only 2 1/2 months. The doctor said it would be 3 months or maybe 6 months since I was a diabetic. I’d be lucky to get 190 up now I think. I have forgotten what the inside of the gym looks like anymore.

Speed is another down siding piece of my life. I was fairly fast in high school, for my size. I’ve always been big, broad shoulders and solid build. I never had to be fast as with that size as I didn’t bug me to get hit. I didn’t go looking for fights. My dad would have kicked my ass if I had. He had a short temper and I pushed it too far more than just once. I have inherited more than just my lack of model looks from him. I feel I have a better control of it though. I don’t beat on other people. I take it out on objects instead. This is going off on a tangent but this is why I fear a low so bad. I DO NOT want to be like my dad. When my sugar is low I get very combative and aggressive, kind of like dad. Like to think I have grown up better than that. Back to task, I am no longer as fast as I was back then either. Age has slowed not just the muscles but the response time as well. When I worked at a health care facility I was on a home with people who were very high functioning. They could eat on their own, go to the bathroom on their own, even do their own laundry with prompting. When they went off it was epic. Thrown chairs, phones, punched TV screens, and of course inanimate object were not the only thing they went after. It helped being fast and strong to deal with that kind of thing, ducking a punch or grabbing an arm before it hit someone else. It’s as much being able to talk to them and calm them as doing a take down. They will tell you that being calm yourself will help calm them down, it is not a lie. Knowing I could deal with almost anything that came my way helped keep me calm. I couldn’t do that anymore I believe.

As much as I’d like to believe it isn’t true, a person goes down hill later in life. You can’t stop it but you my be able to slow it down with practice and exercises but it will happen. Just a few years ago I was able to get by on just 3 hours of sleep, but now if it is less than 5 I get worn down. Having been a diabetic for nearly 41 years has only added to all the normal old age issues, joints going bad, eyes getting bad, and metabolism slowing down. That last one is one that may actually be a bonus. I have for many years now believed that my metabolism is higher or at least more reactive than most people. If I sit down my blood sugar spikes and when I start doing things again it drops. If it slows through aging will it magically level out? One can only hope.

One of the things I’ve heard people comment on with getting old is that you come into this world naked and helpless and that is how you go back out. Not the most politically correct terms but it is mostly true. After a certain age you starting loosing the skills and abilities you need to survive in this world. I am so looking forward to this, not. I’ve learned to be a fighter. I’ve learned to work hard to survive, all diabetics have to. I will tweak my life as I need to continue to live but there will come a point when it just will not work anymore. That does not mean I’m going to roll over and quit. Ever.

Damned If You Do Damned If You Don’t

I wrote a post a little while ago on Facebook and got a few comments back that showed me a need to explain diabetes and what causes it. I’m not dissing or throwing shade on anyone (modern young person terms) because I looked online and was horrified by what I found. The 2 type of diabetes are thrown together and made to seem like they one disease of which type one was the worse than the other. From my view point they are in reality 2 different but related diseases. Type 1 is caused by a bad gene called SIRT1 gene and it causes an autoimmune response in which the body’s immune system kills off the beta cells that create insulin. Type 2 is more of an environmentally caused disease. Being overweight, not eating good balanced diets, not exercising, and yes genetics also are all noted for causing this disease. The biggest difference between them is using insulin to control it. Type 2 diabetics can control it without insulin for quite a while. I have an aunt who has had for longer than I have but was able to control it with diet and pills only for decades before it progressed into needing insulin to control her sugar level.

I was never that lucky. I was 8 when I was diagnosed with type1 diabetes. I ate my veggies (not so much now lol) and was very, very active back then so diet and exercise get thrown out the window right off the bat. Nor was I fat back then. I spent too much time riding my bike all over town to eat all the time and sit in front of the TV. My body’s immune system killed off the beta cells that made my insulin. I had a test run last year (after the last pump failure) to see if I was actually type 1. I am. My body does not make any of its own insulin nor do I have any binding antibodies in my blood. Those are another possible causes of the issues I had been experiencing.

Now on to the “cures” for diabetes. The plain and simple fact is there is no cure for diabetes, type 1 or type 2. Yes type 2 and even type 1 can be controlled BETTER by taking certain herbs and medicines. The oldest one I heard of is garlic. It actually contains the vitamins that help insulin act more efficiently. The only issue to me is that if you need to take garlic additives or add more of it to your diet you weren’t eating enough in the first place.

Now as far as curing type 1 diabetes, there is no cure and I do not have much hope I will see one in my lifetime. The true cause of diabetes is the reason for my lack of hopeful thinking. Since it is caused by a bad gene even if you used stem cell research to make new beta cells what will stop your body from once again destroying them? The only true fix is to fix the bad gene. We are no where near that kind of medical technology, unless you watch too many movies.

I had a previous experience with this issue, the difference between treating a symptom or fixing the cause. My shoulder when it is was messed up was hard to get diagnosed let alone treated well. They kept trying to use physical therapy to fix it. Several CAT scans and MRIs later they could not find a decent answer to the pain I was having. It went on for nearly 3 1/2 years, I’d go to therapy and then the pain was back. Finally I did my own research and found that scope surgery had a 90+% chance of ending the pain. So I asked and was told if it was what I wanted they would do it. The only other option brought up was a steroid shot which for a diabetic is a true nightmare. It will send your sugar level into orbit for the better part of a week. When even the doctor is reluctant to do it you know there is a high risk factor.

Well, the surgeon told me after the surgery he found the problem as soon as he got the scope in there. I had apparently dislocated my shoulder and ripped 1/3 of the cartilage (cartilage does not show up on any CAT or MRI scans, only scopes can see it) off the front of the joint. It had been getting pulled into the joint and that had in turn torn up my bursa sack (lubricates the bone to bone joint). For 3 1/2 years they had been treating the symptom instead of the real problem. In that 3 1/2 years it had probably caused even more damage. One can never really be sure but you have to wonder about it. So if they had gone in and looked when it first started would my shoulder still have a bursa sack?

Back to diabetes, so the death of the beta cells is not the true disease simply a symptom of a bad gene and run away immune system. So to really fix (cure) diabetes you will need to fix this bad gene. The holy grail of medical science is to be able to fix bad genes. Downs, diabetes, heart issues, and many other diseases are greatly or solely influenced by genes, mainly bad ones. Its a two edged sword as well though. Where do you stop once you start? Do you give people animal hearing? Better sight? Fur to be able to handle colder temperatures? Where do you stop at this level of engineering? Damned if you do damned if you don’t.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I read a post from a fellow diabetic this morning and after possibly breaking her site with a lengthy comment, I though why not continue it here on my own blog.  A polite way of describing the people I want to talk about are back seat diabetics or armchair diabetics. These are people who either are not diabetic and think they know what is best for us/me or they are diabetic and think their solution is the absolute cure to this disease so everyone needs to follow their advice.

Molly, at huggingthecactus.com (hope I got that right Molly), was talking about a recent experience she had while out to eat and her sugar dropped. Been there, done that. I loved her approach. It mirrored mine so much, great minds think alike. She used common easily obtainable items to prevent a low.

I have been for years told by my, now former, endocrinologist that I should carry a glucotab bottle or get some of the paste to keep with me for any lows I get. I just laugh. I had tried that years ago and found it very not my style. One, they taste terrible. They are very strong sugar substances that use sour flavors to try and conceal the very sweet  taste. Yes, I used the term TRY. It does not work in my opinion. Second is the low sugar content of each pill/tablet. Each one when I bought them was about 3 grams of sugar and 3 grams of carbs. Duh, sugar is a carb. I would down the entire 10 tabs and still have to get candy from a machine to get back to normal. 30 grams plus to get back to normal.

I currently, like Molly did, use regular soda to boost my sugar level when it gets low. A Mountain Dew has 46 grams of carbs in a 12 oz can. Some days it only stalls my drops instead of reverse it and then at other times it will send me into low earth orbit, well at least my blood sugar.

My point here is there are no two identical people on this planet. Even identical twins are not doing the exact same things at the exact same times hence what may work for one would not work the other. There are about 8 billion people on this planet so even if they all were diabetic, thank God they are not, there would be 8 billion different treatments for lows. Every person is different so every person must find their own fix to each incident. Let’s be honest about it, the same fix does work every time even with the same person. Just go back and re-read the last paragraph.

Molly talked about working out earlier, before her incident, and that brings up another issue, exercise. Everyone reacts differently to it and does it in different amounts and intensities. Please do not tell me I’m correcting it wrong simply because I’m not following my “prescribed” treatment to the letter. I have had 40 plus years learning my body and how it responds to my environment. I can probably tell you what will drop my sugar level or raise it and how fast before I even touch a food or weight.

I tried an insulin pump (twice), one that was supposed to be fully automatic. That means it decided how much basal insulin it was going to give me with no input from me such as having to set a specific basal rate at a specific time. It would read my sugar level and make the changes on the fly. It works great for a lot of people but not for me. My diagnosis as a type 1 diabetic was called into question because of the settings we were using and the way I reacted to it. The results are yes, I am most definitely a type 1 diabetic. You know what the kicker was for getting a C-peptide test (a test of whether your body makes any or enough insulin of its own)? When I was going to start the pump I ran out of Toujeo insulin (basal) and the insurance company did not authorize a refill. I don’t blame them. They just paid for an $11,000 pump. I ended up going for 3 almost 4 weeks without my basal insulin. I can hear the gasps out there. Relax. You really could not tell I wasn’t on any. Sugar level were higher at times but not nearly as high as they should have been.

The pump suspended my insulin for nearly 4 hours (insulin half live was 5 hours) at times and I still had to eat to get it back up. Here’s a trick if you have enough will power, Skittles are like little sugar pills (they taste far better though). First, don’t swallow them as soon as you get them in your mouth. Chew on them until they just don’t seem as sweet. My opinion was it got the sugar into my system much faster. Second don’t eat the whole bag. A small bag from the vending machine has 56 grams of carbs in it. I just did about 3 to 4 of them at a time to slowly get it back up, unless it was crashing hard. They are very easy to scale to my need at the time. That whole bag is like a meal in a bag when referring to the carb count.

Like I started out saying, everyone is different and what work for one person may not work for another. I do listen to others for advice but please don’t expect me to blindly follow your example. I may use part of it or none of it. I listen learn and adapt it to my needs and wants. You should to. I will willingly tell you what I do, have done, or would do but you need to see what if anything actually works for you. I don’t think most people could get by eating 3,400 calories a day without gaining weight. I’ve eaten like this for at least 20 years and not gained (or sadly lost) any more than 5 or 10 pounds in that time.

While I was on the pump the doctor kept telling me I was eating to many carbs. I needed to cut back on them and eat more protein and fats. Hey I’d do it if I wasn’t already cramming cars to stop lows. That 150 gram “magic” carb count number is based off a 1200 or 1500 calorie diet. So at 3400 calories if you do the math, I should be up to about 310 or 320 depending on which base number you use. When I started the pump I was at about 420 carbs a day and had dropped it to about 280 to 290 a day by the end so I actually did cut them down. Using the original numbers, I was under the carb count persentage. She didn’t see it that way. It’s one the reasons I decided to leave her and go another route.

Here’s the basics of this speech. Don’t feel you have to follow the path of another find diabetic bliss. Make your own path, it is the only one YOU can follow. Listen to others who are experienced, be it more or less, with this disease. They may give you an answer or least a clue to help you find your path, just don’t feel obligated to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Doctor or no doctor, you decide what does or does not work for you. They can look at your Dexcom or Medtronic sensor log but they are seeing only part of the story. You have lived it. Like I said listen but be realistic about how and if it will work. I argued with my former endo about said reading and won the argument, well at least I got her to agree to me trying my idea. A good doctor will listen to their patients as much as the patients should listen to the doctor. Tell them your fears and goals. Tell them why your sugar shot up because 2 hours earlier on that same graph your sugar was at 80 and falling fast. You over corrected. Look for patterns on the graphs. Again you know if you were working hard or chilling in front of the TV. It can affect that graph just as much as what you eat. Blaze your own path in this world, just be smart about it.

Wow! Already?

I read a post a little while ago from another fellow type 1 diabetic on accepting her “broken” body. I have to agree with her, our bodies are broken. Our immune system attacked and killed the beta cells in our pancreas that made insulin. Yes I said made because they are gone and have been for decades. We make no insulin on our own like type 2 diabetic so to live we must inject it everyday several times a day. To me although they are both considered diabetes type 1 an type 2 are separate diseases, different causes and different treatments.

Reading the post brought back memories of my life years ago when I was resolved to live with the knowledge that I was going to die much sooner than most if not all my friends. I would have to make sacrifices each day just to stay alive. The last few years of high school and the years shortly after I had given myself an expected life span of 40 years. Why you ask? I had been hearing for the last 10 to 20 years that I was more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, loose a kidney or an eye, loose a foot or leg, or one of many other possible bad things that are more likely for diabetics.

Well I am happy to report that my supposed end date was wrong. I have turned 49 so I’ve gone past my expiration date by 9 years already. I’ve had issues such as bad infections that apparently, according to my family doctor, was not expected to survive it was so bad. I also have had retinopathy in one eye but it is controlled and no further problems have been found. Just had them checked last week.

Now to the nitty gritty of why I’m writing this post. As much as diabetes has impacted my life, it has molded me into who I am today, a driven, resourceful, proud person. Some who know me might question that last description.

Proud? Yes, very proud. I don’t ask for help unless I’ve already proved I can’t do it alone. I don’t rely on others others to do things for me as I am completely capable of doing them myself. Maybe at times more headstrong than smart as I tend to push things to the limit to find where it is.

When I first became a diabetic, age 8 (1977), I had tried to hide it from others around me. I was different now. I had to pee in a cup to check for sugar in my urine. I had to get shots twice a day to stay alive. I had to get blood drawn once or twice a week to make sure the dosages were right. I had to watch what I ate at meals and in between. That was the worst as I had to get up in the middle of class to get a snack out of my launch box with everyone in the class watching. How was I supposed to hide that?

Diabetes is invisible. I don’t have a missing arm or massive scar on my face to mark me as a diabetic. Its why we all are expected to carry something like a med-alert bracelet/necklace. Even EMTs can not tell unless they are told. Makes it easy to hide.

I no longer hide the fact that I am a diabetic.  I do not go around spouting out to everyone I pass about it but readily will anyone who asks or inform coworkers to make them aware. One of the reasons is the growth in diabetic awareness. Not to mention the fact back then there were estimated to be 6 million of us. There are now 22 million of us with only 10% of them are type 1 like me.

As much as it has changed my life and made it harder, diabetes has also made me who I am today. I am driven to manage more than defeat this problem. I watch what I eat and try to control my sugar level but also live like a normal person. I don’t avoid sugar. I also don’t hide from work. I’m not going to call myself a workaholic but it would be close. My job is a material handler at a factory. Yes I do drive a fork truck but most of what I do is by hand. I can honestly say that depending on the night I lift and move maybe 1 to 2 tons of steel. 2,000 to 4,000 pounds of steel. I use an air grinder to remove burs and slag off parts. Try it for at least 4 hours before you call it easy, you do flip the parts you are grinding and some of them weigh close to if not over 100 pounds. Its hard work and I love it. My problem at work it I do so many different jobs that I don’t know from one moment to the next what I will be doing. Friday I started out unlading a torch table then moved to grinding parts and then sat on a fork truck for 4 hours. Even then I couldn’t take it. I kept the radio with me but jumped off to finish grinding the parts I had started earlier. I also jumped back off at the end of the night to help load the plasma table to get it done faster. I’m such a pain in the buttocks.

I guess it has given me a chip on my shoulder. Because I have diabetes I feel the need to proof myself more than others. I need to prove I can work with the big dogs instead hide under the porch. I have never and will never use my diabetes as a crutch. I can do anything normal people can with some special conditions. Foremost among them is being able to eat when my sugar level drops too low.

I guess to wrap this up, I’m done hiding (have been for years). I don’t broadcast being a diabetic but I don’t hide in bathrooms to do my shots or check blood sugars anymore. You can’t stand the sight of blood or needles? I’m sorry, turn your head then. I’m not going to apologize for being a diabetic. I didn’t go looking for this and am sure as he11 (don’t want to sware here but………..) not going to feel less than human for having it. I guess my feeling anymore has gone to the point of if I have to live with this then you are just going to have to cope with the ways I have to use to deal with it. You don’t have to do anything other than leave me to deal with the shots, sugar tests, and food intake. Its all I ask of you

It Gets Old

40 years I have beena diabetic and 40 years I’ve heard almost every excuse as to why I am a diabetic (almost never the right one) or things I should or shouldn’t do. They are not all bad people, most are simply not educated about diabetes. That being a result of not be close to someone who has it. Very few understand that there is more than one type of diabetes. That also leads to misunderstanding the reasons given on TV and in articles about this disease.

First and foremeost, eating wrong and not exercising does not “give” or lead to type 1 diabetes. It can hasten or lead to type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when your body’s own immune system turns on the beta cells (islets of Langerhans) which are what produce insulin in the body. By the way, humans are not the only animlas in the world who can get diabetes. After they are gone, you can’t make your own insulin and must daily give yourself injections to stop ketones from building up in your blood, which will kill you. To put this as plainly as possible, no insulin no live.

Growing up I did not eat the best but it was far from the worst diet in history and it was pretty much the same as everyone else in our house. Chips Ahoy cookies may be the real sticky point as I loved them and consumed them often. I exercised regularly riding my bike all over this town, climbing trees, and running all over the place. Lack of exercise was not my problem. I was only the second person on mom’s side to come down with it but I was the first type 1. Most doctors consider it a genetic disease as it is inherited and pasted down from parents to children. Everyone of my mom’s side of the family had it before they pasted away.

As far as people making comments about what they think of my treatment or lack thereof, I ultimately don’t care but do not get mad if I don’t bow to your will and do it. I have had 40 years of experimenting to find what does and does not work for me. If you are a fellow diabetic and give me advice, again, please do not feel slighted that I disagree and/or do not follow your advice. If it is something new I may try it but there is no guarante it will work for me. I am not you. Everyone is an individual and MUST be treated that way.

My last doctor and I had issues with that. To me it felt like she was trying to fix my problems, which she admitted were not  normal, with standard treatments. How would a standard treatment fix a non-standard problem? It never made sense to me and it never will. If the problem is not normal, you think outside box, don’t stop at the wall of normal.

I guess what my point for all this is, that I make my decisions. Right or wrong, good or bad, they are mine. You are not living with this disease, I am. I will live with my blood sugar being high and shortening my life cycle. I will live with taking shots or lving with a pump. I will decide what is too low for me to function and when I need to correct the deficiencies. 240? No I’l leave that one alone. 85? Oh hell yes, I’m fixing that. But that isn’t low you say in the back of your mind. For me it is. I can feel my mental senses start to slow down at that point. I can’t concentrate as hard or think as fast below 90. You would never know it while talking to me unless you know me very well. The sarcastic comments I normally make are just not there. Its like I’m becoming a different person. I can, most of the time, see or sense it coming so I can prevent it. Just let me do it on my own thank you. My life, my way.

First step first

I started a new job this weeks and to say that I was not nervous about it would be a bold faced lie. After my initial experience with my new pump and the adjustment I went through, I was highly nervous about how bad things could get that first week. I’ve been doing research on body fat and its affect on insulin. The reason for this sudden interest is simple. My doctor told me when I first talked to her that they have a negative effect on insulin. Being over weight like I have gotten over the last few years is bad. I’m trying to remember her exact words but its basically was that fat acts like an insulator for insulin. The more of it you have the more insulin you need because of its effects on your absorption of insulin. With this new job I plan to start losing all this extra weight I packed on since I last had a real job that I could work hard at. After leaving the factories to try my hand in human services, read that taking care of developmentally disabled individuals, and then moved into security I found myself slowly getting fat. Yes I should have cut down on my food intake but I had always planned to start exercising more to make up for it. OK well anyway………. Long story short I gained about 20+ lbs. over maybe 2 years. Enough that all my older jeans no long fit. I now am empathetic toward pregnant women who deal with this during the 9 months. OK back to topic now, this excess fat will end up costing me more in insulin. I will keep taking more insulin to do the same work as long as I stay fat. Loose this extra fat and the amount of insulin I need also will drop. Not to mention the fact I will not have to drag around this extra and that extra weight according to the height and weight chart I found on line, I should weigh about 180 lbs. max. Well at 261 lbs. currently I am 81 lbs. overweight, I take issue with the that ideal weight since have been a weight lifter and will be again. Muscle weighs more than fat so I feel that ideal weight should be a reference rather than a rock solid goal. So I have an extra 81 lbs. of fat wrapped around in my body that needs to go. Imagine all the damage it has been doing already. I found an article from Jade Teta who is an integrative physician and author on this subject from the http://www.metaboliceffect.com/science-insulin/ web page. Insulin causes many different effects on the human body and resistance to the insulin he says is not an all or nothing concept. The liver will react one way and the muscle another and to different degrees. Sorry if some of this is hard to understand. I get the basics of this all and am trying to relate it here without complicating the message. From what I read of the article, please read it yourself to get the whole message, when the liver looses its ability to sense and respond to glucose it is the party to create most of the metabolism issues. The resistance is brought on by the massive amounts of insulin given in injections and the bolus amounts although not as much. The pump gives the insulin over a longer time. An inject for me took as little as 3 or 4 second from start of plunger push to end. The pump will deliver he same insulin in a way longer time, in some cases over 1 minute. That big dump of insulin is not given in one shot but over an extended time frame, much better. Score one for the pump! I was told by my doctor that I had over the 36 years of being a diabetic, developed a lack of being able to sense lows and I now wonder if this has anything to do with that issue. In other words I fought long and hard to not get a pump and now that I was kind of led into that decision, I feel that my clod feet syndrome was a bad idea. There is no Dr. or M.D. with his name so I am just calling him Mr. Teta, says that the war between insulin and cortisol, adrenaline, and non adrenaline is what creates biggest problems for metabolic issues. Mr. Teta calls it the key to insulin resistance and also “the most insidious metabolic disturbance of the modern day”. Wow. As I said before the article has a lot of technical terms in it about triglycerides and other chemical names and processes but the under the tab of insulin and fat storage it makes me cringe. Insulin can push your body into storing more sugar as fat than it should. It make sense to me. I said earlier I was into to weight lifting more as a power building than body building but I got bigger regardless. Big arms and legs but one area I always had issues with was first the backs of my arms and then my stomach being fatter than the other parts of me. The reasoning I came to was that these were the areas I was injecting the insulin. In fact once I started in my stomach it quickly became quite visible. Quickly being maybe a year as my arms had been used for better than 20 years to give shots. If I can lower the amount of insulin maybe I can work at getting this fat off also. I just found the key to fixing all this resistance of insulin. Exercise. Plain and simple exercise. Mr. Teta says that muscle contraction is an independent method of moving glucose into the cells and also increases the number of glucose receptor on the surface of the cells. Well Mr. Teta didn’t say that but he referred to a 2010 study from the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism that discusses it. It goes on to talk about using resistance training to decrease insulin resistance and increase the body’s ability to store glucose. The growth of faster twitch muscle fibers have the best benefit for insulin and blood sugar control. I am shedding a tear now as I realize the heavy lifting I love to do but had to give up when money was tight was the one things I had been doing that was helping me with my blood sugar control. I can remember at times when I would stop lifting for either medical reasons or just to jump over a stalled workout routine and after just a few days, 4 maybe 5 that my blood sugars would start getting out of whack again. Once I started back up again they would drop right back into place and I felt better quickly again. I’m in almost full tear mode here since I love lifting heavy. It began back in high school and I kept with it  for many years after as well. I have not seen the inside of the weight  room since the beginning of last year, 2012 and can see the effects. I am fatter, weaker and my blood sugars are all over the place. I’m going to end this blog now and go eat breakfast and then this afternoon I will start a workout routine to begin getting back into shape. Seeing where I have been, where I am, and where I want to be it just makes good sense to go back to what I love.