I’ve just spent the last 24 hours with people who also happen to have diabetes, specifically people who blog and/or are active in the diabetes social media space. We met because Abbott invited us to trial their Freestyle Libre, which has just been approved for use in Australia. Yes this was a marketing event, no I have not been paid to write about it. My travel and accommodation expenses were covered by Abbott and I was given a reader and 2 sensors but I am under no obligation to blog or otherwise write about or comment on their product.
I offer some information and my very limited experience of it in hopes they may be of interest to readers interested in new technology. Continue reading →
So way back in April (wow time flies) I blogged about launching my low carb experiment. I was trying for ultra low carb because I’ve always been a bit all or nothing. I recognise for a lot of people it seems to work well, although I note that it seems to be men who really thrive on this regime. For me, despite perservering for some weeks, and despite the advice that this too will pass from low carb advocates I don’t like living with: Continue reading →
Lately I’ve been dipping into a Berkely EdX course on the “Science of Happiness”. The course looks at studies and empirical evidence, as well as philosophical and religious beliefs about happiness. It’s a really interesting topic and judging by the thousands of people from all over the world who are participating, happiness remains a hot topic-just as it was for the Ancient philosophers 3,000 years ago.
I haven’t seen an analysis of the happiness related to health and particularly the effects of managing a condition like diabetes. Conincidently as I was looking at the Berkely course, I saw a lot of stuff on Social media about mental health week, so started to think about applying some of the science of the course to diabetes in particular. I haven’t finished the course yet but I really liked one of the introductory exercises, so thought I’d kick off thinking about happiness and D with this.
Three Good Things.
This is a quick, easy exercise that sounds a bit twee BUT I gave it a try and it really works. The idea is that at the end of every day you think of 3 things that made you happy (some say 3 things for which you’re grateful). I’ve been doing it for life in general and it’s amazing how many small things there are to be happy about and how you tend to take the good things for granted but spend a lot of time thinking about little things that annoy or upset you. I think the same applies to diabetes.
The problem with diabetes is there is no end to the calculations, the medical appointments, the dietary mandates, the quest for perfection and it is so easy to dwell on the tiny infractions rather than the multitude of positive things we do for our health. It might be as basic as giving yourself a shot-but hell congratulate yourself for doing something most of the population says they could never do. Instead of focusing on the result of a bsl check, rejoice in the fact that you’re engaging in such a health-promoting activity.
So for yesterday:
I did well to put in a new pump site well before the old one stopped working and made my bsls go high.
I made time to purchase new pump supplies & I’m grateful I live in Australia where this is not a cheap but it is a possible option.
I checked my bsl 5 times and acted upon the results.
For another day it might be: I went for a half-hour walk in the sunshine, which was lovely and boosted my mental and physical health.
I ate low carb, high fibre food all day-yay!
I didn’t have any hypos today
WOW, I’m a legend at self-care if I do say so myself!
Seriously, I recommend giving this a try, both for diabetes stuff and life in general-even if you do it once a week, you’ll notice a difference. Are there things you do to try to boost happiness? I’d love to hear your three good things for today (diabetes-related or not)-please post a comment and let’s get a happiness bonanza going.
I’ve just seen reporting of a study of people with type 1 diabetes that sums up everything that’s wrong about medicine’s attitudes and views of type 1 diabetes.
Dr Jenise C. Wong M.D. PhD, from the University of Californa surveyed people with type 1 diabetes about whether they downloaded data from their meters, pumps and/or CGMs. In what comes as no surprise to me, “only” 30% download their data and “only” 12% regularly review the data.
“People with type 1 diabetes really are not reviewing their device data at home. … The reasons why they don’t seem to be doing this is that they lack guidance and they lack motivation and it also may be because the data may be really hard to get,”
Ok, so roughly translated that is saying we’re too stupid and/or too lazy to download and review our diabetes data. Continue reading →
The sunlight dapples the autumn leaves outside the window and whale song gently drifts around me. I am lying on a massage table, and a track-suit clad man is kneading the soles of my feet, part of my five day “Pamper Package” at a health retreat. Unfortunately as I should be lapsing into a calm and meditative state I can feel my muscles tensing as I grow increasingly irritated.
As a type 1 diabetic for over forty years, I figure I know the limitations and failings of western medicine better than most. Continue reading →
I have witnessed some heated discussions lately on social media about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Unkind comments from unempathetic type 1 diabetics about type 2 diabetes being avoidable are unnecessary and often inaccurate. These comments have been around for some time and are, in my opinion misguided because they attack the victims instead of the perpetrators of the blaming and shaming of diabetics.
I have also seen a rise in people with type 2 diabetes accusing type 1s of stigmatising type 2 and excluding them from support activities. The terminology “type-shaming” is something I have heard bandied around. Again I believe these accusations are, also generally misguided and a misdirection of anger. Type 1s don’t write newspaper articles about “diabesity” or pay for campaigns telling people to lose weight or exercise to avoid diabetes.
We are as disgusted by the lack of nuance, the oversimplification and the blaming as you are. My post on diabetes advocacyI know exactly how it feels, the same thing happens to anyone with diabetes who suffers complications even after many decades of battling with this damn disease. The blame and recriminations certainly don’t make living with diabetes easier and add to the psychosocial distress and depression that is common amongst people with all types of diabetes.
I am a veteran of resharpened needles and glass syringes that you had to boil up before use (well my Mum did this), of urine testing and one shot of long-acting pork insulin per day and no ability to treat a really high blood sugar level-you just had to wait for it to go down.
As primitive as these things sound, there was a worse privation that those of us diagnosed before the late 1990s had to live with and that was the lack of internet. Yeah, yeah there’s all this stuff about the internet being the scourge of society, robbing us of real relationships and turning us into porn-addicted couch potatoes and there may be truth in that for some but for this type 1 diabetic, the internet is freakin’ awesome. It really has transformed my experience of diabetes. Continue reading →