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Apple Working on a Top Secret Diabetes Project

So, apparently Apple has a secret team of engineers that are working on something diabetes related. I’ve seen it called a “diabetes treatment” as noted in this CNBC Article:

Apple has a secret team working on the holy grail for treating diabetes

[bctt tweet=”Apple is working on a top secret diabetes project and that’s awesome!” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

What that treatment is seems to be a noninvasive continuous glucose monitor. If this would be built into an Apple Watch, then I guess I will be returning the one I just recently purchased to help me keep track of certain vitals and I will be scooping this new one up whenever it comes out.

This also seems to be the next great fight between tech monsters Apple and Google. Google has been working on the contact lenses for a while now and I still don’t know how those would work. Imagine the FDA approval process on those to be able to dose insulin…. take a number and sit down next to Beetlejuice.

I’ve expressed on my site in the past how I’ve gone from hating everything that Apple stood for and people who used Apple to being an “Apple Fan Boy” and only using Apple products (iMac, 3 iPads, iPhone 7Plus, MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, Apple TV), so to say that I’ve been hoping and wishing for an Apple product to use to help me with this disease would be an understatement.

I’ve been waiting for the day to be able to open up an app on my phone or watch and see everything that I need at that point to make a decision and then bolus from there.

So, here’s to you Apple, doing what you do best. But, can we get back to the innovation days of when Mr. Jobs was there? Please

CGM Improves Quality of Life

When I first read this short article outlining a study titled, “Continuous Glucose Monitoring Improves Quality of Life in T1DM” my initial reaction is….’thanks captain obvious”

The study was conducted by Dr. William Polonsky who I respect to the highest levels. The study was also funded by Dexcom, which is why the study was done, as a simple marketing angle for Dexcom.

[bctt tweet=”I’m a big fan of Dr. William Polonsky and respect him to the highest levels” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

Once I really started to think about how a CGM can improve the quality of someone’s life and how obvious that is, I then began to think about how it could in fact decrease the quality of life.

The study mentions that the group with the CGM’s showed a greater decrease in diabetes distress. I’m not 100% sure what distress is defined as, but I know when I wear a CGM, I feel more confident that I’m in more “control” of the situation because I have real-time data (or as close to real-time as I can get).

However, at the same time, it’s a constant reminder to me that I am connected to this device and I’m constantly looking at my watch or phone or PDM to see what my blood sugar levels are. That to me, gets tiring and I get burned out from it quickly and I’d say that it increases my diabetes distress.

The point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes I see the headlines of studies that are released and my initial reaction is exactly what I said above, “no crap, I could have told you that” but at the same time, I now realize that maybe it’s not as much of a no-brainer as I originally thought.

Another example is studies that have been released stating that insulin pump therapy may provide better results than MDI. (Don’t quote me on the exact study, but I know I’ve seen it out there). I would initially say, “yea, of course”. But then again, I’ve taken pump breaks and have done just as well on MDI as I did on the pump, so maybe it’s not as obvious as I once thought.

Bottom line is this… don’t be a headline reader. Click on the articles and read the information inside, the meat and potatoes if you will.

Learning from Other Health Communities

Deciding to start this blog almost 10 years ago has totally changed my life. It has provided me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t start it. One example is the ability to meet and talk with people who live with other chronic conditions.

For so many years, I was only surrounded with others who were living with diabetes. Well, after I started blogging, not before, because that’s one of the primary reasons why I started to write in the first place. So, when I thought about chronic diseases, I really just thought about diabetes and how the diabetes world works.

It wasn’t until I started meeting people with other diseases that I was really  able to open up my mind and start thinking about my own disease in a different manner. It allowed me to be open minded about new disease management techniques and questions to ask my doctors. It also made me realize that as someone with type 1 diabetes, I might actually be at risk for some of these other diseases that I see others writing and talking about.

I would start to learn more about certain diseases and conditions because if I was at risk for them, I want to know to warning signs of them. Sort of like I wish I knew the symptoms of diabetes that I was living with for 2 months before I was sent to the ER.

There is a lot to learn from other communities and I think there are a lot of people in the diabetes community that have reached out to other communities to try and figure those things out. For example, the AIDS community has been able to do so much by speaking up and sticking together. Healthcare in general is such a hot topic right now and people from all disease communities have come together to fight together and that’s just awesome to see.

It’s great to see events like the HealtheVoices conference that is happening this month. People from all different kinds of conditions, diseases, backgrounds, nationalities, etc. are meeting together. These type of platforms are where some of the best ideas and collaborations come from. That’s just my opinion for what it’s worth.

I will not be attending HealtheVoices but I will definitely be following along with the hashtag #HealtheVoices17 from April 21-23.[bctt tweet=”I will not be attending HealtheVoices but I will be following along with the hashtag #HealtheVoices17 from April 21-23. ” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

Have you had experiences with speaking to people from other health communities and if so, what were you able to learn from them that helped in your diabetes management or advocacy efforts?

Replacing Coffee with La Croix

If you know anything about me, you know that I love coffee. I love coffee too much. I’ll drink it from McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or my favorite, local coffee shops, especially a cold brew. I used to drink a lot more coffee. Like, a lot more. But, my doctor scared me enough to realize that I was drinking too much coffee and I needed to cut back a bit.

I started to cut out my afternoon coffee, but I still needed the caffeine, so I was drinking a soda. The soda I was also trying to cut out because I was trying to lose weight. And I don’t care what studies say on either side of it, when I drink diet soda, it makes me gain weight, bottom line.

I needed an alternative.

I love water, and I drink a lot of water, but I needed something “special.”

Well, just as I was going through this time period of figuring out what I could substitute the afternoon soda with, I was walking through the grocery store and I saw it. There it was. On sale. BOGO. Buy One Get One Free.

[bctt tweet=”La Croix sparkling water has replaced my afternoon coffee and changed my life!” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

La Croix, Naturally Essenced Sparkling Water

I put it in the fridge and got it nice and cold and….. “EWWW” this stuff is disgusting. It was like I was expecting something super sweet like soda because it was carbonated, but it didn’t give me that flavor.

But then, I stuck with it. And now… you can’t separate me from my La Croix. I am now drinking 1-2 cans of La Croix everyday and I love the taste. I love the flavors that they offer.

And most importantly, it has replaced my afternoon soda, which replaced my afternoon coffee. I am not getting the caffeine that I needed, but giving myself the caffeine was just putting a band-aid on the wound, it wasn’t actually fixing the problem, which was, breaking the caffeine habit.

 

So, this is to you La Croix.

I’ve Ran Out of Infusion Set Placement Sites

My infusion set sites are becoming more and more difficult for me to keep fresh. I can’t wear an infusion site on my stomach. I’ve explained this in the past, but basically, I’m too fat. I have too many “rolls” in my stomach that when I bend or stretch or exercise, the rolls do what they do and roll up. When this happens, no matter what kind of adhesive is being used, the site falls off.

I’ve tried different infusion sets over the years with the trials of all the pumps that I’ve used and they are all the same. So, I just don’t think there’s much that can be done about it.

So, I’m stuck with the upper portion of my buttocks and the mid to top area of my quads. There are only so many spots in these areas that I can inject an infusion set. This is why I take so many insulin pump breaks because I just need to allow these areas some time to “heal”

The other issue is that I use too much insulin. I’ve decreased my usage compared to the last several years, but it’s still not where I want it to be. This leads to the area under the site filling up with insulin too quickly and then pushing up on the cannula which then leads to the infusion site leaking.

This then leads to frustration, which leads to pump breaks, which leads me to not want to be surrounded by all this diabetes technology and just taking it old school to no pump or CGM. That can sometimes lead to bad news, however, I’ve had some success in the past with using Tresiba and Novolog, but that’s a different story for a different time.

All that being said, I am still excited for the MiniMed 670G and can’t wait to get started on it (don’t know when I will yet).

Any recommendations from y’all on some more interesting places to try the infusion site?

Any and all help is totally welcome.

This Week’s Meal Plan

As you have read earlier, I’m on a long-term diet. More like a lifestyle change as opposed to diet, which we all know don’t last. In order for me to stick to this, I have to meal plan.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

So, here’s my meal plan:

Monday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with ground beef, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Chicken sausage, broccoli, assorted sautéed peppers and onions

Tuesday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with ground beef, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Lettuce wrap tacos, plantains, cauliflower rice

Wednesday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Italian Baked Chicken, green beans, broccoli

Thursday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Chili

Friday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Roasted Red Pepper Marinated Chicken, Spaghetti Squash, bruschetta

[bctt tweet=”Here’s my meal plan for the week including Italian baked chicken, chili and lettuce wrap tacos” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

Saturday – this is where all hell breaks loose. I lose control of my diet and my willpower. It’s primarily because I am not at home and I am on the go. Being on the go is what is just so tempting.

When I do eat out from now on, it’s salad. Or some grilled chicken with a side salad.

I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures of final meals on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there – @chrisstocker

Easter Egg Hunting and a Pump in the Wild

Easter egg hunting time.

Since our daughter just turned two, this was her first Easter Egg hunt. And, it may be her last.

The parents at these Easter egg hunts are just unbelievable. Trampling people in order to get their kid into the egg hunt area even though there were 5 different sessions that they could get into it. Then, how ignorant they are to scoop up the eggs themselves instead of letting the kids do it because they want to get a special picture opportunity.

Unbelievable.

So, where’s the diabetes tie in here?

While we were standing in the long line, I looked down and saw a pump in the wild! A lady in front of me was wearing a Medtronic pump. It’s great seeing a pump in the wild, however, I felt like I was in the wild with these Easter Egg Hunt Parents!

Giveaways within Newsletter

One of the perks (or downsides) of blogging is that PR pitches are always sent your way. A lot of the time, I just say no thanks to all the books and products that are emailed to me because I know that I’m not going to read them or use them. However, lately, I’ve decided to start saying yes. And what I’m going to do with all of those products is give them away.

So every Saturday at 9 a.m. The Life of a Diabetic Weekly Recap will be going out. Every Saturday there will be a new giveaway announced in the email. Each giveaway will have a different way to enter, but, the only way that you can win is by being subscribed to the newsletter. 

You can sign up here – http://thelifeofadiabetic.com/wordpress/newsletter-signup

Welcome to the club.

Losing Weight is Hard, It’s Really Hard

From the age of 21 to 31, I gained about 60-70 pounds. That part was easy. Really easy. Going to dinner and eating my food and then half of my wife’s. Running to Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s in the morning for a coffee and getting something (or two) off the dollar menu. All of that is super easy and super simple.

Losing weight is hard. It’s really effing hard! I’ve been trying for a couple of years to lose weight. I’ve had a lot of success, but it hasn’t lasted. I’ll lose 10-15 pounds and feel good and then I travel for a couple of weeks and gain it all back. I stop going to the gym and increasing the carbs, which is a recipe for disaster.

I just got back from PA again after spending the last month or so visiting family again, but this time I went to the gym a few times a week. Thanks to Planet Fitness for opening up in this area in PA!

I was able to maintain my weight, but didn’t lose any while up there because there were a lot of temptations. There are a lot of things to do, friends and family to see, activities we can only do while up here, so the gym ends up getting pushed to the side. 

I grew up in PA for the first 3/4 of my life, so I know all the great food places. When I go back there, that’s all I want to do. I just want to eat at all of the great places that I grew up eating and then eating some of mom’s good ole home cooking. That tends to lead to disaster. Big disasters.

My endo appointments are usually right after I get back from these trips. This leads to bad lab results and not a true picture of how my life is the remaining 9 months of the year.

This year, I decided to push my appointment back and force myself to lose weight. This is hard.

Here’s my diet:

Breakfast – 3 egg omelette. Every. Single. Day. I change it up a bit with some cheese one day. Peppers and onions the next. And then some ham the following. By switching this up, it makes me feel like I’m eating different foods and keeping it fresh.

Lunch – Salad every day. This doesn’t bother me because I love salad. I have eaten a salad a day, pretty much almost everyday for the last 15 years. I usually throw some chicken or whatever meat was for dinner the night before in the salad and just mix it all up. Actually, I shake it up. I put it all in a bowl, put a lid over it and shake the hell out of it. Only way to eat a salad. Shout out to my older brother for giving me this tip!

Dinner – Meat and 2 veggies. We eat a lot of chicken. Like, a lot of eat. And ground beef. We use the crockpot 3-4 days a week. We put the chicken in during breakfast, put some veggies in there and some sort of seasoning or oil based marinade and just let it cook all day. We use the ground beef for burgers (with lettuce buns) and tacos (with lettuce wraps).

This sounds delicious and sounds simple. But, damn, it’s not.

Going to the gym consistently is hard for me. I get so caught up in my business that I forget to go to the gym. Then, I don’t want to miss out on family fun time before and after dinner, so I don’t go to the gym then either.

I can’t go to the gym in the morning because I pee a lot throughout the night (even when my BG is perfect), so I wake up in the morning extremely dehydrated.

I don’t like going to the gym shortly after drinking coffee. Well, I always end up getting a cup of coffee right before it should be gym time.

But these are a lot of excuses.

Nothing worth doing is easy.

This should be tough.

This should be tough as hell.

And that’s why I’m going to tackle it. Because I’m getting too old for this extra weight to be hanging out. It’s time to set it free.

Sharing More

Sharing more.

That’s what I want to do. Sure, I have a blog which means I overshare as is. But, I don’t feel like I share enough of the ups and downs. I tend to share a lot of good stuff, because honestly, that’s just how I choose to live my life. I don’t allow myself to fret about the small stuff and constantly be down or upset about stuff that I can’t control.

However, there are plenty of downs that come along with this disease and that’s where I’d like to share more.

For example, my laziness when it comes to this disease. With access to all the technology I have, sometimes I just get lazy and I don’t feel like wearing my pump. Simply because I don’t feel like taking 10 seconds to insert a new infusion set. Because of this laziness, I will then go back to MDI, except sometimes I don’t have any Tresiba or Lantau or any other basal insulins.

I’ll wake up in the morning with a high blood sugar, but still that won’t make me have the motivation to insert a new infusion set.

Is it because I sometimes am tired of being connected? Or, am I tired of the infusion set falling out because I’m using too much insulin? Or do I honestly, just don’t feel like managing my diabetes?

I don’t know what it is.

But, I am making a promise to myself, and all of you, that I am going to share more of those down times and not just the ups.