Kindle® format of Sugar Surfing™ – The B

Kindle® format of Sugar Surfing™ – The Book now available for purchase exclusively at sugarsurfing.com (Kindle is Reg ™ of Amazon)#t1d

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Recognizing Your Inner Strength

Please help me welcome Scott K Johnson, a well known member of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), as he shares a personal message with The Power Within. After reading this post you might share how you find strength each day to ‘Kick D’s Butt’. More about Scott at the end of his uplifting message.

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Have you ever stopped to think about the inner strength you display through living with diabetes? It’s a quiet show of resilience. You don’t openly ask for recognition. In fact, you’re just doing what you do in order to live life. But you are so incredibly strong for doing so. My inspiration for writing this post comes from wanting to help you see that strength in yourself.

Training and Education
How much training and education do you get for managing your diabetes? How many hours per year do you spend with a medical professional who helps you? How many hours do you spend making decisions, troubleshooting, problem solving, and figuring it out on your own? Is there a big difference in those two numbers?

Crude Tools
I am very thankful for each and every test, tool, and piece of technology we have to manage diabetes, and I use as many as I can get my hands on. But when compared to a non-diabetic pancreas they are all incredibly lacking.

If you were shocked by the comparison of time with help versus time on your own you better take a seat for this one.

If a non-diabetic pancreas measures blood sugar almost constantly, let’s just say once per second; that’s like 86,400 blood sugar checks per day. How many blood sugar checks do you usually do in a day? Even wearing a continuous glucose monitor, the current models are only reporting a value once every five minutes or so, right? But I hope you don’t look at it every 5 minutes. Let’s say you use that information 10 to 20 times per day. Now how does that compare to a working pancreas? If you use a meter, that gets you anywhere from zero to maybe 14 data points each day.

I’m only going to scratch the surface on the other challenges we deal with, such as the accuracy of our blood sugar checks, the allowed variance in food labels, stress and the inconsistency of subcutaneous insulin absorption and related insulin delivery issues.

While technology and medicine have come a long way, and continue to advance, it is no match for a non-diabetic pancreas. Not even close.

But Somehow…
Somehow we find a way! We find a way to do diabetes impressively well. Each day we encounter so many problems and challenges with our diabetes, and each day we find a way to deal with whatever it is. We fix a problem, we apply some creative solution to a sticky situation, we wrestle with choices where none of them are great, and we do whatever needs to be done.

We make it through the day, and the night, and the next day, and the next night, etc…

But what makes me feel so good is that we are not just surviving, we are not just scraping by barely making it. We are out there kicking ass! We have jobs, careers, hobbies, families, and whatever else it is you do on top of taking care of your diabetes.

And when you have one of those days (weeks/months), like we all do, where diabetes kicks you in the teeth and knocks you down, the world cannot begin to imagine the courage it takes to pull yourself together and face another day.

You are living life with diabetes, and that makes you stronger than diamonds in my book.

About Scott K. Johnson

Scott K. Johnson
Scott K. Johnson

“Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I am a blogger, speaker, writer, advocate, co-host for DSMA Live, and Communications Lead – USA for mySugr”.

Scott and his Power Within live in Minneapolis, MN, USA and can be reached via twitter @scottkjohnson and on his own site: http://scottsdiabetes.com.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA): Goblins, Gremlins or Fairies; Who’s to Blame?

All too often I hear from ‘victims’ that demons must have somehow been responsible for propelling their life with diabetes into a chaotic downward spiral. And as much as we would like to imagine that DKA was due to an uninvited visit from supernatural beings, it’s simply not true.

goblin

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After diagnosis, any episode of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is always due to a lack of effective insulin action, period.

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The list of causes are many, starting with insulin omission, interruption, or failure to step up insulin dosing for illness or some medication effects. But in the end, it is a potentially preventable event. It’s not something that simply strikes from nowhere without explanation as some online threads tend to imply. Even well meaning supporters will soothe the parent or person with diabetes by agreeing with them that DKA came upon them as some kind of mysterious fog that suddenly rolled into their life entirely under its own power.

Fairies and goblins, like any other mythology, were created to explain the seemingly unexplainable.  If DKA strikes, there IS an explanation, whether we can easily identify it or not. The point is not to assign blame, but to explain that once the causes are learned in each case, future events can be better avoided or managed. After all, most misfortunes can transform into learning opportunities.

My first and only episode of DKA happened when I forgot  an insulin dose. I blamed the most recent action I had done (the hamburger I ate for lunch) as the culprit. I was never taught what would happen to my body without minimally sufficient insulin. I learned a valuable lesson, and it only took one time.

Next time you hear about somebody’s mysterious bout with DKA you can refer them to this post and even better make sure everyone knows how to prevent DKA using my Fifteen Fast Facts in The Library.

Please share some of your unexplained DKA events and what you later learned the actual trigger was. Also, what steps do you take now to prevent DKA before it has a chance to bite?

Construction Update

Just a quick post to let you know I’ve been working on my new site behind the scenes. With my Holidays now behind me and a fresh New Year ahead, work continues at a feverish pace. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the site and notice for yourself there are two new pages in the Educational Guides section of The Library:

Quick Tips for Type 1 Diabetes (including a knowledge survey)

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)

Also, it’s not quite ready yet but I will be announcing an exciting new CGM training program in the next few weeks.

Have a great week!

— Stephen Ponder

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