Wednesday, October 24, 2007


One of those lingering fears about diabetes is going low, passing out and the EMT not knowing that I just need some sugar to wake back up. Amy has blogged extensively about all sorts of different ways of telling an EMT or anyone close by that you are low but I'm worried about the times I can't talk not the times I can talk. I have a snazzy leather bracelet that I got from Fiddleedee IDs but that wasn't really cutting it for workouts.

At each race I've signed up for there has been a discount coupon for I finally got around to checking them out and couldn't be more pleased with the product. The cloth bracelet closes with some pretty strong Velcro and I can barely feel it on my wrist. My wrist has complete flexibility while wearing it, and there is no itching or scratching at all. Although the medical alert symbol isn't on it the font is large enough and clear enough for Mr. Magoo to see if it he's the one to pick you up in the meat wagon. I highly recommend (I took the picture at an angle so all my fans out there couldn't read my home phone #):

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My First Alarm!

Last night after a great 5 mile run I'm watching my Tivo'd episode of Kitchen Nightmares while eating my dinner. I had cooked some brown rice, peas and scallops - came out pretty tasty. As I sat there on my couch I heard this weird beeping; is my smoke alarm going off? Nope, hmm carbon monoxide? Nope, not that either - oh man it must be my computer crashing, No that didn't work; is something in my kitchen about to blow up? No everything is fine....

Wait I'm beeping! I pull my pump out of my pocket and read "No Delivery". I had heard complaints about the minimed alarms before but NEVER thought it would be this weak! Seriously people I'm insulin dependent for a reason one would think if my medical device is not delivering that stuff that keeps me alive it would screech not play a lovely musical medley. I've since changed the reservoir and infusion set but it was an interesting experience.

If you haven't had a chance to watch Kitchen Nightmares yet I highly suggest checking it out. Gordon Ramsey is at his best in it and as a foodie I love seeing awful restaurants turned around. It also lets you see how incredibly dense some people are!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stomach Flu Meet Diabetes

I felt like the reverse of a mastercard commercial the past couple days.

Stomach Flu: Sucks
Diabetes: Not so much fun
Stomach Flu as a Diabetic: Less fun than getting kicked in the groin by a mule!

On Monday my blood sugars were really screwed up. I had most of my normal meals but was just low and felt very lethargic. It seemed no matter what I ate before I went to the gym just wouldn't get my blood sugars above 150 - a full gatoarde, a clif bar, accel gels; the food just refused to increase my blood sugar. I assumed this was just a by product of the extra workouts in the previous week, but I was wrong. After cutting my run a bit short I met a friend out for some drinks; when I got home my bs was 130. I felt like hell but thought a bacon cheeseburger during the Giants game would cheer me up.

An hour or two after I ate the burger I started to feel really warm, clammy and slightly disoriented. I checked my bs and was at 109 - I thought that was too low for having eaten a pretty big meal so recently so I pounded some gatorade. Before I could check my bs again I was praying to the porcelain goddess. No matter what food I had after that my blood sugar refused to go above 90 - it felt like someone had a vice grip on my stomach and just wasn't going to let the food digest or enter my system.

Thankfully I received a phone call at 1am from my ex. I had texted her letting her know I felt like complete garbage - she demanded I test right away and I was down to 62. As forcibly as she could she made me leave my apartment and go get some sodas/ juice. I was totally out of it so at that point if she told me to chase purple elephants I probably would have thought that was a great idea. Thankfully the Dominican Chicken place was still open and I grabbed 3 pepsis and 1 ginger ale.

Once I climbed my stairs again I felt the butterflies trying to get out and began to empty my stomach into my toilet again. I drank my ginger ale after that and it only brought my bs up to 80 - yikes. I drank a 1/2 a pepsi and got my bs up to 140 so I finally thought it was safe to go to sleep. Just to make sure I turned my pump down to 50% - I woke up a few hours later, had a bs of 180, reset my pump to 70% and slept till 10 am.

Last night I was finally able to eat something besides toast again! But man having the stomach flu and this disease really really sucks! I couldn't figure out how to bolus, and finally decided it would be better to run high for a couple days than run low. Hopefully this will be the only stomach flu I have for a while - my head is still spinning from it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

8 for 8 and a New Member of My Diabetic Team

After much trial with my basal rates, nutrition and limitless frustration I can finally say I'm satisfied with a workout week. I went 8 for 8 last week, completing each of my scheduled workouts for the full time my Coach wanted me to. Now of course some challenges occurred along the way but as I'm learning I pushed through them and realized it's just part of being a Type 1er.

Biggest challenge of the week - my prescription running out on test strips! My God they are expensive!!!!!!!!! $50 bucks for 50 test strips - I'm now testing like 15 times a day and I seem to ruin 2 or 3 strips a day because the one touch strips love to take less blood than they need. I'm having my endo up my prescription so I can avoid that sticker shock in the future. Making matters worse, I was running with my new wind vest for the first time yesterday - during my run I heard something fall out of my vest, turned around and saw my meter laying on the ground. Earlier during the run my vial of test strips fell out! Thankfully I only had 15 or so strips in the vial but that's like loosing $15 dollars.

After a ton of research last week I think I may have found the organization that will help with my nutritional needs for training. is a company founded by David Weingard, to help diabetic athletes receive the nutritional guidance they need. David has completed 3 Ironmans, 2 as a diabetic and realized that there aren't enough CDEs who have the expertise for dealing with athletes. Over the next few weeks I'll begin my relationship with them and will be sure to let you all know how it goes. After a phone conversation with David I have all the confidence that Fit4D will go a long way in helping me achieve my goals.

In other news my Downtown Giants won their homecoming game 60 - 0 on Saturday. The kids really came together and in the second half we had players running the ball who hadn't carried it all season, it was alot of fun.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bouncing Basal Rate

Last week after my 9 mintue run and a swim that I dropped to 60 during my coach gave me 4 days off to analyze my blood sugars without exercise. After two days one of the major culprits of all my lows caused by exercise was basal rates that were completely off!

On Thursday I had my typical turkey sandwich for lunch, about an hour later I was down to the 50s. On Friday the same thing happened - it dawned on me that within an hour after lunch I'd be stuffing my face with unbolused clif bars. Since I was adding so much unbolused food to my system in a desperate attempt to get my bs near 200 I failed to realize that the reason my unbolused clif bar was only getting my bs to 130 or so was because it was treating a low, not getting me high.

I reduced my basal rate and have had great results. On Monday I completed my 40 minute run without a problem, ending with a blood sugar of 100. Tuesday I had a blood sugar above 68 after a lift for the first time in a month. Yesterday was the biggest indicator of all - I tired to cram in a run about two hours before I normally go to the gym when my basal rate is at .25/ hour instead of .15/ hour - blood sugar crashed down to 85 within the first 10 minutes of running. So, I went back to the gym later that night when my basal rate was at .15/ hour for about 3 hours and had turned my pump down to 5% for 2 hours - I was able to complete both a swim and a run! I had to take 10 or 15 minutes off between the two to let the gatorade get into my system but after that I felt like I could have run all day.

This indicates a bigger problem however. For weeks I had been contacting various CDEs in addition to the ones I speak with at the Berrie Center. I asked in each e-mail, what am I doing wrong, why isn't my blood sugar high enough when I work out, why am I having to cut workouts short? I heard suggestions of having an unbolused bagel, turning my pump down to 5% 3 hours before I workout before 1 and 1/2 hours - NOT ONE OF THEM IDENTIFIED THAT MY BASAL RATE COULD HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM. As diabetics shouldn't we be able to trust our team of experts to identify problems before we do? Or is this a fight that we all have to live trusting ourselves and our bodies more than advice we hear based on a few excel spreadsheets?

I simply want to find doctors and CDEs as much as I trust the teams that performed my 4 orthopedic surgeries. The surgeons at the Hospital for Special Surgery have let me live my life as athletically as I wanted - I had reconstructive ankle surgery as a high school junior, I have half my rotator cuff in my right shoulder from surgery my sophomore year in college, post college I've had my left shoulder and right knee scoped. After each surgery I went through aggressive rehab, the doctor's warned of any possible problems but gave me the confidence to pursue my athletic career. Right now, I don't have alot of confidence in any of the diabetic professionals I want to trust that they'll identify the problem long before I do but I'm not close to there yet.

Monday, October 8, 2007


For the past 4 days I have worked on nothing but my MBA application essays. Writing about where I have come from and where I want to go caused a great deal of self reflection and soul searching. After finishing my Darden initial drafts it was amazing to me how diabetes nearly destroyed all I had worked for last year.

When I applied to grad school last year I felt my essays lacked focus, the motivated, intense individual that I have proven msyelf to be was not apparent in my writing. Its as if the physiological changes my body was going through created an individual who was filled with self doubt. When writing I felt like I had constant writter's block, the words were jumbled on the screen and the ideas that were in my head seemed trapped. This unfortunately caused me to lash out at a person who I cared tremendously about.

Over the course of the year before I was diagnosed I didn't understand why I would pass out after having a beer with a friend, feel as if I was going to throw up after a large meal or start sweating profusely during a movie. I didn't understand why it would take me weeks on end to write an essay about what I wanted out of my lfie. And I certainly didn't understand why I kept pushing the girl whom I loved out of my life.

As I wrote this weekend I realized all that, I realized the challenges I have overcome in the past year. I realized how I have grown as a human, how I have matured and how I am overcoming the biggest hurdle in my life. All those mornings that I couldn't muster the energy to get out of bed, all those shouting matches I got into with people who I loved and all the heart ache that it caused afterwards was mainly due to the monster I had become because of the changes my body was going through.

I have returned to myself. I am an athlete again, I am training again, I am able to confidently and pridefully describe my accomplishments. I am able to coach children the lessons of football and hopefully have an impact on their life. I am more than anything me again. The past 4 days made me realize what a difficult journey I have been through but I am without question a stronger person for going through it.

Diabetes had taken more than my insulin away, it was trying to take a big part of me away. While I still fight my blood sugars and figure out the right basal pattern I know that the biggest struggle is behind me. There may be days when I am high and there may be days when I am low but in the end diabetes will never again be able to take away who I am and what I believe in. For all those who I may have hurt in the year before I was diagnosed I apologize. But I promsie you and I promise msyelf that battle has been won.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I Will Persevere

Yesterday had disaster written all over the treadmill again but I learned from my mistakes on Friday, I was determined to finish my run and even though it took me a little over an hour to complete a 45 minute run I couldn't be happier with my performance.

Yesterday at 5:08 pm my blood sugar was at 170, this was 2 hours and 8 minutes after turning my pump down 95% to 5% of capacity and 1 hour and 30 minutes after an unbolused clif bar I was ready to head to the gym. Before walking out of my office for the 5 block walk to NY Health & Racket I had a chocolate accel-gel hoping to get my bs above 200.

When I arrived at the gym, 12 minutes later my blood sugar was 145 - ugh! I had hoped this was just some weird occurrence so I went upstairs, stretched and hoped on the treadmill, my blood sugar was up 8 points to 153. 15 minutes into my run my blood sugar was 106 - not a good sign, 5 minutes later my blood sugar was at 96 so I took an accel-gel - really not a good sign - 25 minutes into my run I was down to 68 - UGH!!! Bit by low bug again. I stopped the treadmill, picked up my stuff and instead of punching a hole in a wall I went and sat on the side of the boxing rink.

Over the next 15 minutes I tested 3 or 4 times:

6:03 PM (5 minutes after getting off the treadmill) - 71
6:07 PM - some dumb trainer comes up to me and says hello, ummm buddy do you not notice the daggers coming out of my eyes right now, leave me the hell alone
6:10 PM - blood sugar of 89
6:15 PM - blood sugar of 121 - YESSS!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN FINISH MY RUN

I hustle over to the treadmill, set it for 20 minutes and off I went, when I finished my run my blood sugar was a very happy 86.

Over time I'll learn how to avoid going low when I run, but now at least I realize no matter how many annoying trainers come up to me or how pissed I am at diabetes if I have the sugars in my system my blood sugar will eventually rise to the point where I can finish my workout. I just hope by July 20th I have this thing better understood.