30 Days With Diabetes: Ketone Test Strips

After posting about testing my blood sugar levels with test strips and a glucometer, someone reached out to me and asked if it was possible to measure ketones with the same meter and test strips.

With diabetes, it’s important to test ketones when you’re sick or have high blood sugar to ensure your body doesn’t go into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). When I was diagnosed, I was given urine strips to test for ketones and never thought to question that method. Until now. Continue reading

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30 Days With Diabetes: DIY Pancreas

In the 9 years since I’ve had Type 1 diabetes (T1D), it’s been amazing to see what parents of children with T1D have done to improve management of blood sugar levels. Well, I learned today that parents are now hacking into diabetes management systems and creating their own form of the artificial pancreas (at a much cheaper cost than the official FDA-approved $7,000 device).

And all of this because of a security slip-up in 2011 – when many Medtronic insulin pumps were left open to hackers and apparently do-it-yourself (DIY) parents. Some companies have now hired or consulted with those DIYers to improve products and share ideas. It’s hard to believe that I could one day owe my life to someone who had the guts to hack into an automated system and tinker.

As one parent said of parents with T1D kids, “They know their kids the best, and sometimes technology or medicine is slower and doesn’t know what we need as much as we do.”

Patient advocacy at its best.  Continue reading

30 Days With Diabetes: The Beach

The sun is my best friend in the midst of this new monsoon season in DC. But it’s more like a distant acquaintance with my insulin.

Heat aka long hours exposed to the sun can reduce the effectiveness of my insulin therefore impacting my blood sugar levels therefore impacting my overall quality of life.

Unfortunately, the pod that carries my insulin is usually exposed in a bathing suit. Today, it was under my left arm. Tomorrow, it could be on my stomach. Continue reading

30 Days With Diabetes: Insulin Breakthrough

Prior to this day 97 years ago, a future with a diabetes diagnosis looked pretty bleak.

As recently as 1920, doctors gave newly diagnosed diabetics mere weeks (or days) to live. Fortunate patients might break months, or, in rare cases, a year. But mostly, patients would enter diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and die soon after their diagnosis. (Beyond Type 1)

Even though I often tout the amazing advancements in diabetes management on this blog and advocate for access to those advancements, it’s nice on occasion to remember how far we’ve come and the transformation breakthroughs like insulin really provided for people like me. Continue reading

30 Days With Diabetes: Acetaminophen

Remember that continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that alerts me to severe high and low blood sugar (and coincidentally helps prevent seizures and kidney failure)? Well, it has one fault.

It does not work with Acetaminophen. 

This was my CGM reading from this morning, after taking acetaminophen (aka extra strength Tylenol). Continue reading

30 Days With Diabetes

I’ve recently been in a few conversations with strangers and friends about how much I do on a daily basis to manage this thing called Type 1 diabetes. It’s the norm for me, but for many, it’s hard to reconcile what living in a body that doesn’t “quite” work actually feels like.

In an effort to commit more time to this blog and showcase what life is really like with Type 1 on a daily basis, I’ve challenged myself to post about it once a day for the next 30 days. I’m going to title this series, 30 Days with DiabetesI promise (with the exception of this one), they will be short posts – some may even show up in photo or video form. Continue reading