Saturday, December 27, 2014


Tuesday marked my most recent endo appointment (only the second with an endo, ever, as I was seeing PC doctors previously).  All in all it was a great appointment.  I am happy with the care I am receiving from the doctor thus far and the office great.  The staff is friendly and calls with reminders of my upcoming appointments and reminders to get labs done the week before.  Dr. Ennis listens to any questions I have, gives me an opportunity to say what I need to say, and always follows up on things we had talked about at previous appointments.  My blood pressure was a little elevated but not enough to cause any alarm just yet.  We followed up on my questions about pumping from the last appointment but it is on the back burner for a while because my insurance just plain sucks when it comes to anything more than the standard care stuff (which also sucks at, but a little bit less).  I did ask to switch my scripts from pens to vials because it is a little cheaper if less convenient (a refer to previous sentence re: insurance).  In the end we decided to stay the course I'm on but try to test a little more often since I'm not able to CGM until I can get a new transmitter. All of my labs came back looking good and my A1c stayed level at 6.6, down .1 from 3 months ago.  That's the part that surprised me the most because of this funk that seem to be and just can't pull myself out of.  Emotionally I'm feeling much better but I still can't seem to get a grip on the everyday stuff.  I need to test more often.  There are times when I know that I'm high and I know why.  I know that I should test and treat but I don't.  I'll grab a snack or have lunch, consciously think about how many carbs are in it, how much insulin is needed to cover, and that's where it stops.  A couple more very easy steps is all that's needed from there.  Test, pull out my pen, put on a needle if needed and inject.  So simple in theory, yet so hard to bring myself to do it.  Sometimes it's just not convenient. I'm at work, wearing a long sleeve shirt that is tucked in and getting to an injection site is a bit of a pain.  Hardly a legit excuse but it still gets used.  Other times I just can't take another injection.  Usually after one or two particularly painful injections previously.  I've been doing this for almost 3 years and the needles and injections still get to me sometimes.  It's such a mental game that never ends.  It seems like it should be so simple to just pull out that pen and inject, and at times it is, but all too often there is this mental block.  I go through the whole routine and there is something there that keeps me from finishing the process.  I think it starts with baby steps.  Getting back into the habit of testing at least 4 times a day.  Getting back to having a routine until counting carbs, dialing a dose, and injecting is one seamless motion again.  Hopefully while I'm on vacation next month and into the new house I can take some time to address the things that need addressing.  Or maybe I'm not missing things as much as I think I am?  A 6.6 A1c is good with me but I suspect the funk just wasn't going on long enough beforehand to have a big effect, and then there are those nagging lows that tend to throw off the average.  Anyone have any pointers on how to defunkify?  On the bright side someone was reading my mind and got me this for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A near miss

People living with Type 1 diabetes take their lives into their own hands on a daily basis.  We are armed with a very powerful tool in managing our disease, and a small misstep can have disastrous consequences.  I hear and read a lot about how dangerous insulin can be and how small mistakes can lead to big problems but I never really understood it.  I knew that it was definitely possible to take too much insulin and end up in a really scary situation.  And I know that low blood sugars are also very dangerous.  I've blood sugars register as low as 32 on my meter and felt low symptoms (unfortunately I usually don't feel those symptoms until I'm into the 40's), but I have never felt as though my life was in danger.  And then yesterday I made a very stupid mistake.  I missed my Lantus dose on Monday night and kept forgetting in Tuesday morning as well.  I dropped my daughter off at day care and came back home to get ready for work.  I was getting ready and remembered again that I still had not taken my Lantus dose so I went to the kitchen to take it.  I keep my Lantus pen next to the coffee maker and usually my Humalog stays in my case that I take with me.  I was pre-occupied and grabbed the only pen that was sitting there, dialed up my usual 26 unit dose and injected it.  It wasn't until realized that I didn't hear the usual clicking sound my Lantus pen makes when you depress the plunger that I had made a mistake.  Yep, I had taken 26 units of Humalog.  I stood there for a minute while the potential implications of what I had just done began to sink in.  Then I realized that I needed to do something about it before things got really bad.  I was home alone, supposed to be at work before too long but no one would take much notice or call if I wasn't there right on time, and no one was expecting me anywhere in particular during that day.  No one would be at my house for about 6 more hours.  I texted the Pretty Lady in My Life to let her know what was going.  She freaked out a little, but at least someone knew that if I didn't respond they needed to send help.  Then I checked my blood sugar.  I was already high because I forgot to bolus for breakfast so I at least wouldn't have to cover the entire 26 units, only about 18.  With some quick math I figured out that I needed to take in about 216 carbs, as fast acting carbs as I could get.  I scoured the house, found orange juice in the fridge and poured what was left into a glass.  The I looked all over the place to see what was available.  I considered glucose tabs but thats a lot of glucose tabs and the thought of chewing and swallowing 50 plus tabs made me feel sick.  I settled on Fruit Loops and measured out what I figured to be the amount that I would need to cover the remainder of the insulin.  I chugged my orange juice and checked my blood sugar, 42, and started eating my cereal, sans milk.  I checked in with my wife and checked my blood sugar every 15 minutes or so to let her know I was still alive.  I saw my numbers start to climb back into a safe range.  50, then 56, then 74, and eventually back up to 108 about an hour later.  I ended up at 67 around 3:30 before my bloodwork for next weeks endo appointment, so I made sure to keep eating and periodically checking my blood sugar the rest of the day.

In the end everything turned out OK, but the whole experience scared the shit out of me and has reminded me just how easy it is to make small mistakes that can have huge repercussions.  And very dangerous ones at that.  As people living with diabetes so much of our care is left in our own hands.  I'm fortunate to have had good doctors in my short time with diabetes.  I received good direction and on how to use insulin properly and through my own research and the help of others know how dangerous insulin can be.  But I know through my interactions with other PWD that not everyone is as fortunate.  I found out yesterday that even with good training and the knowledge of what to do and what not to do, it's easy to make mistakes.  And with a drug like insulin mistakes can be costly.  That is why we need a cure.  Because insulin is a stop gap measure that keeps us alive, but there are too many doctors out there who just throw a vial of insulin at a patient and send them on there way.  There are too many PWD who don't know what insulin on board is, what their insulin to carb ratio should be, or how dangerous it is to be off on your dosage.  We need a cure because the thing that we need to keep us alive can too easily be the thing that kills us.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Frustration abounds

My last post and this one are less about diabetes and more about our hectic life right now, because with everything else going on diabetes has kind of been pushed to the back of my mind lately (which I'm sure will be evident on my A1c in a few weeks).  I'm going to preface this post by saying that I don't necessarily believe in fate, things being meant or not meant to be, the universe choosing a path for you, or anything along those lines.  Things happen because they happen not because some being willed them to be that way or because they are part of a universal plan.  At least as far as I am concerned.

  As I mentioned briefly before, I am in the the process of getting a new home.  Something that has been much wanted for a couple of years but just not doable financially.  Our current house is just over 1000 square feet and with the 4 of us taking up more space everyday it is getting tight.  And if someone comes to visit, it gets to the point of insanity.  Especially for a person like me with an introverted personality who like to be able to escape for some alone time now and then.  The Pretty Lady in My Life takes amazing pictures for a living.  As a part of that the company she works for also does business shoots and fingerprinting.  She meets a lot of people from the banking and lending world.  A few months ago she met a lender who works with a company that we recieve periodic updates from about houses for sale.  After talking to him she decided to, on a bit of a whim, see if by any chance we would be able to either sell our house or qualify for a second loan and rent our current house.  We got burned a while back looking into something simile when someone assured us we could sell our house and get into a new one only to fall in love with a few houses and find out we had been lied too.  Because of this my wife did a lot of research before we even considered the possibility, despite what the lender said.  In the end, the lender assured we were in the clear.  Our house was barely at a point where we could pay it off with a full price offer at max value and there would still be all the fees associated with that so we decided to rent for a year and re-evaluate.  We started to look around and settled on having a house built because it was as cheap as buying an existing home and we would get to make it exactly what we wanted.  We crunched a lot of numbers, did a lot of research, and put in a lot of time to make sure we were getting what we wanted but not getting in over our heads.  At long last we had picked what we wanted, settled on a location, and went to sign the papers.

  With a contract signed, everything we wanted selected, and a floor plan finalized we were excited to see our new home start to go up.  We wouldn't actually own it until it was completed and we signed all the closing papers, but, it was finally happening!  We were going to get out of the house we had grown to despise and into a new home we were in love with.  Our new house is very close to our current one so throughout the process we are able to drive by and pop in to look at the progress.  And we do...a lot.  The construction crew probably thinks we are stalking them.  To say we were excited is an understatement.  We had so much invested in this house.  So much time researching and reviewing options, ensuring we were good to go.  So much emotional investment.  In our minds we were already living there.  And then disaster struck.  On our current home we received down payment assistance from Idaho Housing.  On the new house we were told that we would be able to be gifted the funds for down payment, it wouldn't be a problem.  Somehow, this wonderful man who had ensured us everything was good to go, had overlooked that our loan was an Idaho Housing loan, even though it is our biggest debt, appears clearly on our credit report, and he deals extensively with the program.  Remember that part about my wife being all about researching our options and making sure we really could do this?  It was definitely mentioned to the lender that we had that loan.  And now, because of that, we wouldn't be able to do our second loan that way.  And the lender is really really sorry for the oversight.  I'm sure he is.  Long story short we looked through option after option to see how we could get this house.  We would find one option and think we could make it work, then find out a reason it wouldn't.  Can you say emotional roller coaster?  In the end it was looking like our only option would be to find some way to come up with $10,000 in reserves and down payment on top of closing costs.  Things were looking grim.  In a last ditch attempt we had set up a meeting with another lender.  She thought she had a solution.  We could get an FHA loan and the only question would be how much the reserves would need to be.  We were not hopeful but after running our credit we found that we would only need 1 months reserves on both properties, or about $4,000 with the down payment.  We could do that!  The roller coaster goes back up!  I can not explain our excitement.  I wish that it had lasted.

  We had barely left the office when the lender called us to tell that she thought she could qualify us for two FHA loans but now she can't.  And the coaster drops again.  The most frustrating part is that my wife had asked that very question when we met with her.  Then we learned that my 401k could count as those reserves and I had more than I thought.  We were saved!  Until I learned that my an does not include an option to borrow against it so it couldn't be counted. Our last option was to try to sell our house fast.  That meant getting it into top selling condition, and getting it sold at max value in under 2 months.  Not likely.  We were dejected. I dreamt at night about living in that house.  The thought of all that space to not be living in top of one another was like a dream come true.  And to have that all ripped away was like having a delicious meal put in front of you and then told that you can't have any of it.  At night I slept fitfully.  The few weeks prior had been filled with so many ups and downs, and we were all emotionally spent.

  And now some good news.  Some amazing relatives have come through and offered to gift the money for the reserves and down payment.  So, fingers crossed, we are hoping to be moving into our new home the middle of next month.  I am trying to temper my expectations because I can not handle another let down.  But as we walked through the nearly completed house today it is so hard not to be excited and be living there in my mind.  I can already picture our bed against this wall, our kids things here and there, a tv in that wall.  I can see us preparing and eating dinner in our new kitchen.  I watched my kids chase each other around and plan out their new rooms.  I just hope I'm not setting myself up for another disappointment.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Wow, it has been a while since I posted anything.  I work I'm the retail world for the big bad 'spark' so November is a whirlwind.  The first snow of the year always brings in a pilgrimage of people looking for ice melt, window scrapers, and anything else to keep them warm.  In my corner of the store that also means lots of wiper blades and many, many procrastinators getting snow tires put on.  Just a small piece of advice, if you use snow tires on your vehicle in the winter and want to avoid the two plus hour wait at the tire center, get them installed as soon as your state allows, usually somewhere around October.  This year we had a deal for $20 oil changes the weekend before Thanksgiving which led to another very busy weekend.  I've been in this position changing oil and tires for over 6 months and I can still find no rhyme or reason to how it effects my blood sugar, other than every time I get under a car for an oil change, my blood sugar drops.  After the busy weekend I got a small rest on Monday and then it was straight into finishing touches for the big Thanksgiving sale.  Last year I played a big role in this from start to finish but because of the responsibilities of my new position I wasn't able to.  I was however called in at the last minute to finalize several things, which meant I was left with 2 days to take care of a few things that should have been started at least a week before.  At the end of it, after almost 70 hours put in and turning around from leaving the store at just before 9 pm Thursday and getting back at 6 am Friday I am exhausted.  Nevertheless I survived another Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  Thrown in the mix there somewhere there has also been a snag with the financing for our new house which is now just a couple months from completion.  Thankfully the Pretty Lady in My Life has been battling that but we are now at a bit of a stop waiting to see if we will be able to finance a second house while renting our current one, or if we are going to have to put our current house on the market and pray that it sells quickly.  Either way, this weekend is now about trying to catch up on some much needed rest, fix the things that need fixing around the house, and decorate for the holidays.  I do love this time of year but boy can it be hectic.

Since I missed out on a all the Thanksgiving fun this year I wanted to share a few things that I'm thankful for:

1. My family.  I have a loving and patient wife without whom I couldn't hold this all together.  Two smart, hilarious kids who aware always finding new ways to surprise and impress me
2.  Having a job that allows me to provide for that family.  We might not always be able to get everything we want but we always have the things we need
3.  Access to good healthcare.  Sure I wish I didn't need to use it as much as I do and I'll always complain about the cost, but I am so glad that I live where I will never have to worry about getting in to see a doctor or if I will have access to my next dose of medicine.
4.  Dr. Banting.  Without his research I wouldn't be around to be thankful for anything 
5.  The DOC.  And Wednesday night DSMA chats.  There is always someone there for support and every Wednesday I finish up feeling better than when I started.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why am I providing more information than the doctor?

    I was originally diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at 26 despite being young, borderline underweight, relatively active, and having no family history.  But, that story has been told plenty of times.  I was given a prescription for Metformin and told to come back a week later for a second blood glucose test.  When I asked about a meter I was told I could get one now but it wasn't really necessary yet so I could wait a few weeks.  Basically, I was sent home with a diagnosis and directions to take a pill morning and night.  Given the stigma and some of the fear surrounding diabetes it's safe to say I was more than a little freaked out.  Thank God for the Internet!  I dug in and found as much information as I could.  Recipes, dietary suggestions, carb counting tips, carb exchange info, forums, online communities, and plenty of misinformation.  I also found a lot of confusion because a lot of the symptoms and warning I read about signs of Type 2 diabetes didn't really apply to me aside from elevated blood sugar, constant thirst, and peeing ALL the time.  I did, however, fit the bill for many of the Type 1 markers that I read but surely my doctor would have looked at those and ruled them out somehow before making his diagnosis.  I trusted him because he is a professional and you're supposed to trust your doctors decisions, right?  When I did ask about the possibility of Type 1 I was told the Metformin would not have worked if it was Type 1.  When I asked about LADA or Type 1.5 or MODY the response was "What are those?  There is Type 1 and Type 2, that's it."  And the information on anything else I could find was pretty spotty so again I trusted the professional.  Even over a year later when I asked for a referral for an auto antibody test and a c-peptide test because none of the oral meds were having any effect on anything but my bank account I had to explain to the 'professional' what those tests were and why I needed them.  It's a very good thing I did because that is what got my diagnosis correct and got me started on the proper treatment for Type 1 diabetes.  It's also when my doctor kicked me to the curb because he knew nothing about Type 1 diabetes (obviously) which was fine because I was already moving on.  And best of all it was the point where I realized that, ultimately, my healthcare and treatment are MY decision and I should not be afraid to speak out if I think things are not going the way they should.
    Earlier this year my father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  When I my mom told me I, of course, started asking a lot of questions.  What was his A1c?  Did they give his a meter?  Did they set any goals for numbers for him?  I wasn't too surprised when I was told that the doctor didn't say what his A1c was, that they didn't give him a meter, and they hadn't given him any ideas on what his numbers should be.  I know that a diagnosis can be overwhelming and that throwing too much information at a patient at the very beginning can probably just increase that.  But what good is a diagnosis if you just send the patient home knowing they have diabetes but only knowing that to treat it they should take these pills twice a day and cut back on the carbs.  I spoke to my mom a week later after they had seen the doctor again.  They had given him a meter, but not much guidance on what to do with it.  No goals for post meal numbers, no goals for fasting numbers, no real direction on when to check or what to do with the results.  What good is a blood glucose check if you don't know what to do with the information it provides?  My dad had just been started on a new medication to lower his blood sugar and neither him or my mom would have any idea what to do of he had a low blood sugar,  Even of they thought to check and saw a number below 70, they weren't armed with the information to know that they needed to react.  They also didn't know what numbers to avoid, what was higher than normal, what to shoot for after a meal.  If his blood sugar was running high after meals he wouldn't really know that it wasn't where it should be and would likely be scolded and marked non-compliant after the results of his next A1c.  I asked my mom a few more questions and helped answer some of hers.  At the end of the conversation she told me "I think we need to talk more because I don't know what most of the stuff you're asking about means."  I SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO OR NEED TO PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION TO YOUR PATIENT THAN THE PERSON WHO WENT THROUGH YEARS OF MEDICAL TRAINING AND IS BEING PAID TO HANDLE THEIR HEALTH!!  My parents are in their 70's.  They are by no means internet savvy (although Mom is beginning to surprise me with her internet skills.  She's all over Facebook).  They live in a fairly small town, 250 miles away from the nearest metropolitan area.  Their access to different doctors or specialists is very limited.  And they don't really have much of a way to seek out more information on their own.  And they were treated the same way that I think most patients are upon diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.  Something is wrong with healthcare in this country.  Diabetes is an epidemic and it's numbers are increasing rapidly every year.  It is quickly rising up the list of diseases that claim the most lives.  Yet, doctors seem to just dismiss it without supplying newly diagnosed patients with any information on how to fight it.  I am glad that I am informed enough to help my parents take care of this correctly after dealing with myself, (it's one of the bright spots of living with diabetes) but I shouldn't have to.  Really, I would just like doctor to do their damn job.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

National Diabetes American Awareness November (Turkey) Month

Last November I was pretty fresh to the DOC and I was just starting to dive into blogging.  I was just discovering how many awesome things there are going on in November among the D-crowd.  And I wanted to do them all.  I jumped on the photo a day express, plastered Facebook with diabetes facts, and pushed some major advocacy.  It was a great experience and it really helped to get me involved in advocacy and some of the online diabetes stuff.  But this year feels different.  As the end of October drew closer I geared up to participate in some of the usual stuff.  I was looking for a photo challenge I wanted to take part in and trying to think of some common thread to carry through the blog for the month.  And then I realized how forced it was feeling.  I couldn't really get into it.  There are some things coming up in November that I'm excited about.  I'm going to take part in the postcard exchange.  I'm taking part in not one, but two, WDD photo scavenger hunts.  One that I am helping to organize and another that is part of the local diabetes camp program.  I am also gearing up to help coordinate the DTreat in my area and the Treasure Valley JDRF Walk for 2015.  I plan on making the most of my National Diabetes American Awareness Month.  I just don't get the urge to do by shouting from the mountain tops how badly we need a cure.  The last few months have been rough for me from an emotional standpoint.  And the one thing that I keep coming back to is that I really wish I had some sort of established system in my area for T1D adults to connect with one another.  I've tossed around the idea of starting up some sort of local monthly meet up and I certainly think that's a start, but I am looking for more.  Kids with Type 1 are cute.  It's sad to see them suffer through high and low blood sugar, countless pokes and pricks, and dietary restrictions.  But those cute kids grow up and guess what...they still have diabetes.  It seems like they disappear as they get older.  But they still need support.  I know when I was diagnosed at the ripe old age of 26 I could have used someone my age to help me navigate what was happening.  And to clue me in on what lay ahead.  And most of all let me know that, although it feels isolating, I'm not alone.  It took me a while to find the DOC and discover all that for myself.  And even with the DOC it still feels that way sometimes because it just can't always stand in for a face to face conversation with someone who gets it.  So my mission for November is to focus on finding out what I can do to move this goal forward.  As well as probably trying to draw some attention to the importance of the emotional side of diabetes, because it matters, and it's a big deal for me.  So you won't see a new picture of my diabetes life on Instagram this year and you won't see a daily fact on my Facebook wall.  Because I think everyone who cares about what is going on in my life sees those things enough and those who don't will continue to scroll past them regardless of what month it is.  You will probably still see a picture of a beautiful 100 on my meter shall I catch one or mention of some new research that has come along, and definitely some angry tweets about how much diabetes sucks.  I'm not being negative or saying that there is anything wrong with doing those things.  Advocacy is important and being passionate and comfortable with the way you advocate is just as important.  I think it's great to see all these things.  I enjoy to see others interpretations of their life with diabetes and it's very important to spread knowledge and correct information about what diabetes really is.  But this year, it just isn't for me.  Whatever way you phrase it or choose to celebrate it, Happy Diabetes Month my fellow pincushions.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

And it goes on...

This post has been saved in my drafts in different forms for over a week.  I've come to terms with my depression and am fine with talking about it.  I'll admit it to friends, family, co-workers, and strangers on the internet.  But it's a different story when it comes to discussing the details.  Even when my mind is screaming "Help me" on the inside, if someone asks what's wrong, the answer is always a simple "Nothing" or "I'm fine."  I love my wife, trust her with anything in my life, and trust her more than anyone.  But when it comes to opening up, it's a huge struggle, even if I'm talking to the most important person in my life.  I can think about what I want to say, tell myself that I'm going to say it, and then it gets lost somewhere between my brain and my mouth.  I've written this post with all the juicy details, I've written it completely vague, and I have at least 3 drafts that rambled completely off topic.  Suffice it to say, I have no idea how to approach this.  I'm going for something in the middle.
    I hit what was probably the lowest point I've seen yet.  My medication clearly wasn't working the way it should.  A marriage counseling appointment turned into a mostly "What's got Craig down" session, because as of lately that seems to be the biggest barrier in my relationship.  And then I reached the point where I struggled to find the motivation to leave the house and deal with people.  I was leaving work in the middle of the day without telling anyone.  Other days I just wouldn't go in at all.  I have dealt with depression and the lack of motivation to get out of bed off and on for a few years.  But never had it reached the point where it effected my work life or my ability to cope with the simplest things.  This in turn caused more tension at home.  The Pretty Lady in My Life was worried that I was going to screw up my job (a legitimate concern that I could not see for myself) which would be really bad deal for all the obvious reasons and even more so due to the fact we are under contract for a new house that's in the middle of construction.  I was having anxiety attacks on my way to work, sitting in the parking lot in my car convincing myself that I did indeed HAVE to go to work.  When I was at work I basically locked myself in my office and avoided social interaction.  Through all of this I also dragged my family through the mess with me.  I couldn't see it at the moment but I was short tempered with my kids and spent more time locked away with my own thoughts than interacting with them.  My wife watched from the sidelines, worried and not knowing how to help.  Her attempts to talk to me or help were met with aggression.  We had vowed to be by eachothers side through it all, but I don't think either of foresaw anything like this.  She certainly didn't deserve it but thankfully she continues to stick by my side.
  I wish I could say that through therapy I was able to pinpoint where all this started and how to keep it from happening again.  Or at the very least, that I found a way to work my way back out of it.  Unfortunately neither of those is entirely true.  I have some ideas about what caused it, not handling stress well, ineffective medication, not remembering how important it is to take time for myself and stop bottling feelings up.  I have some ideas about what helped me start the long climb back out this too.  Most importantly I admitted to myself that I wasn't going to fix it alone.  I followed through with my appointment with a psychologist at a local diabetes center that I had made and cancelled once before.  She has helped me realize that half the battle is controlling the negative thinking that comes with depression.  She showed me ways to relax and fend off the anxiety.  I saw the doctor who manages my medication and re-evaluated my needs, which ulitmately led to sticking with what I'm currently on but at a higher dose.

I don't know what the point of this post is.  I think just to get it out my head.  And also to let anyone out there who might be going through the same thing and wanders onto my blog that it's OK.  You are not the only one going through this.  And there is nothing wrong with you because of the way you're feeling,  You're not a lesser person.  And most importantly, don't be afraid to accept help.  It's hard to share what's going on and admit that you are struggling and need some help.  It takes a strong person to accept what's going on and take the steps to move forward.  And you are strong enough, you can do it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October DSMA post

The theme for the DSMA Blog Carnival for October is:

Type 1, Type 2, LADA, Gestational, diabetes brought on by surgery . . . . the list of types of diabetes goes on.  Each type may have differences, but ultimately they are all diabetes.  When we think about it, there is a whole lot that all types have in common.  However, that doesn’t mean we can’t give credit for some differences too.  So lets look back to our “Breaking down the barriers between types” chat on September 10th and discuss . . . . .
Anything easy about living with your type of diabetes that isn’t easy for another type?
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes 3 years ago it was with Type 2 diabetes despite being having no family history, only having 140 pounds on my 5' 10" frame, and being fairly active.  No blood tests were ever run, I was simply told to adjust my diet and take these pills.  Eventually, a couple of weeks later (yes, you read that correctly, a couple weeks), I was told it was time to get a meter and start monitoring my blood sugar.  That is a story for another time, what I want to focus on is adjusting my diet.  I went pretty gung ho on the low carb diet and brought my A1c from 11 to 6.5 pretty quickly.  I ate a lot of cheese, meat, and veggies.  I paid extra money for low carb bread, found low carb recipes on line.  That Thanksgiving I even made a chocolate pie with an almond meal crust and sugar free pudding mix just for me.  It was expensive, and as you can probably guess, left something to be desired in the taste department.  I only had a small serving of potatoes, skipped most of the desserts, and simply sat by and watched others enjoy their typical Turkey Day meal.  I made do with the change in diet and accepted that this was what I had to do to be healthy but it wasn't easy, and boy did I miss those Snickers and Almond Joys.  When I did cheat or slip for a few days I was left feeling guilty by the numbers on my meter.  Then when even the low carb lifestyle was not returning the desired results I started to give up on it and eat what I want.  Not testing very often was an easy fix for the guilt.  Fast forward a little to when I fired my doctor and found someone else who confirmed the correct Type 1 diagnosis I had began to accept and I was started on insulin.  It scared the crap out of me at first.  All those injections!  But the bright side was that I could loosen the chains on my diet and still see BG numbers that didn't make me feel like I was some sort of heathen.  I've seen three sides of the D-life.  Life without diabetes, life as a Type 2 diabetic (stigma and comments about how skinny I am included), and life as a Type 1 diabetic.  There have been things to accept and things to enjoy with all of them.  But I think the thing that came with the biggest sense of relief for me when I started on insulin (other than the realization that all the BG number in the 200's and 300's weren't my fault) was the freedom to eat what I wanted and the ability to correct a high number much more easily.  I still don't eat the way I did before my pancreas called it quits.  I still enjoy my soda, but in the diet variety and the sugary snacks are fewer and farther between.  But I can go to any of my favorite restaurants and enjoy that side of mashed potatoes, a buttery roll, or a bowl of pasta and, with a little math, minimize it's effect on my blood sugar pretty easily.  When I see that 250 or 300 on the meter I know that I can correct it with a bolus of Humalog rather than playing the long waiting game, walking around the neighborhood (although it still helps) and impatiently checking my meter for hours.  So the way that I know I have it easier than someone living with Type 2 diabetes (and I'm sure there are a lot more than just this) is that I can eat what I want and cover it with insulin to avoid blood sugars that get too high and take small steps to easily correct a high blood sugar.

This post is my October entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Monday, October 20, 2014

The give and take

I've been having a hard time writing lately.  Truth is I've been in a rough spot for several weeks and each time I think I'm out I find myself right back in again.  After some time it has become easy for me to talk about the fact that I struggle with depression.  But talking about the details of that depression is still hard.  Very hard.  I have been making strides to better my care over the past few months.  I saw an endo for the first time in my 3 years living with diabetes and finally got in to see a psychologist at a local diabetes clinic (just in the nick of time).  And both are good.  However both come with bad points as well.  When someone specializes in something and is good at what they do, the cost goes up.  And my insurance sucks.  So I am stuck at this fork in the road where I have to decided which is more important.  A higher standard of care and a bigger bill or the status quo and less stress about how I am going to pay for it.  I could continue to see a primary care physician for my diabetes care but I hope to start pumping sometime in the future and I want to see someone who is more in tune with diabetes and I really like the endo I just started seeing.  I could also see any random psychologist or clinical social worker for depression.  But diabetes is such a huge part of my life and plays so much into my mental health that I really think it's beneficial to see someone who specializes in that.  And these appointments have been huge for me.  As I said I've been in the midst of a rough  patch lately, but I'm typing on my phone and that's a terrible way to get into that subject.  So I am left with this very difficult decision; is the extra stress of higher healthcare costs with crappy insurance coverage worth the difference in care I am receiving?  That's a really hard question to answer.  With my endo, aside from having a really good vibe and feeling after my first appointment there really wasn't anything out of the ordinary or groundbreaking from the meeting.  But I think it's too soon to tell there.  As for therapy, I would have to say yes, it's worth it.  It is hard to find someone you really gel with and can discuss these things with.  My mental state and my diabetes are so intertwined with one another that I don't think it's possible for someone to really provide help without having a good knowledge of both.  So I guess what I'm getting at is that it really depends on the situation.  That and I still don't know the answer for myself.  And also, I need a job with much better health care coverage because this is getting ridiculous.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

When Mr. D Moved In

Just a month after welcoming The Princess into our family we took a trip to see some family in Colorado.  It was a great trip (I love Colorado, would even like to move there some day), despite having to stop at every gas station we passed while we were there.  Upon returning home we had a houseguest show up unannounced.  We'll call him Mr D.  I'm all for having company, but this guy was just rude.  He didn't call before hand, he didn't ask permission, and he didn't really put any kind of time frame on his stay.  The day after we got home from vacation he just showed up.  At first it was fine.  Having Mr. D around was inconvenient at times.  He forced us to look at life a little differently and I re-evaluated my eating habits and lifestyle after he moved in.  But the longer he stayed, the more baggage he brought in.  No matter what I do, I can't get away from the guy.  We might be having a nice family dinner and there he is, forcing his way in.  Telling me that I better check to see how many carbs are in that spaghetti.  We go out to a movie as a family and Mr. D just tags along, doesn't even bother to wait for an invite.  And then he ruins the movie.  If I don't do my math just right Mr. D has a tendency to make get up in the middle of the movie to go to the snack bar or the bathroom.  The Pretty Lady and I might go out for a date and, you guessed it, Mr. D is there too.  Sometimes those dates carry over to home and get 'romantic' and Mr. D manages to insert himself there too.  Sometimes he just sits there quietly and sometimes he interrupts.  Mr. D follows me to work and follows me back home.  He sucks up my savings and leaves bruises all over my body.  Truthfully, Mr. D is kind of a prick.  He has taken over a cupboard in our kitchen and has his own section in the fridge.  Some days Mr D. plays nice and I hardly notice he is there.  Other days he in mischievous and makes a mess of everything.  The guy is not a very good housemate, but we are learning to live together.  Because at this point it's pretty clear that he isn't planning on moving out anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

6 word essay

Wil over at Life After Dx posted something I thought was pretty cool the other day.  A six word essay.  Trying to fit as much meaning as you can into 6 words I guess.  So I have been thinking for the last few days what 6 words I would use to sum up my life with diabetes so far and my feelings about it.  And what I came up with was this:

Diabetes showed me who I am.


BG 47
In the middle of the night
I should be asleep

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Beautiful New Beginning

Last week was a full one.  What was supposed to be one doctor appointment one day and one a week later quickly turned into 3 in one day.  But I've already explained all of that.  Two of those appointments were with brand new doctors.  The first was with an endocrinologist.  In my 3 years with diabetes I've only seen family doctors for my care.  The first who diagnosed my Type 1 as Type 2 and then quickly passed me along when I proved him to be wrong 18 months later.  The second a family doctor with a lot of knowledge about diabetes who got thing straightened out for me and started me on insulin.  I was very happy with the second but I received a letter from the clinic where she works a while back that said she was leaving there and I was never able to find where she was going.  Being in between doctors and thinking about going on a pump I decided it was time I found an endo.  I made that appointment over a month ago and have been anxiously awaiting it.  I love the new doctor (Shout out to Dr. Robert Ennis in Meridian)!  He listened to everything I had to say, took plenty of time to go over my history and any concerns I had.  When I asked about pumping he was quick to suggest a few and refer me to a few reps that could help me figure out pricing.  He even complimented me on my fasting numbers and didn't chastise me for forgetting my meter (oops).  The nursing staff was great as well, despite missing a vein when doing my blood draw.  Everyone was personable and, get this, when they told me my lab results would be in by the end of the week and they would call me with the results...the actually did it!  And my A1c came back at 6.8.  I see the beginning of a beautiful relationship here.

The other new doctor I saw that day was a new psychologist, Amy Walters.  I had met Amy previously as she does a lot of volunteering with Camp Hodia and she spoke at DTreat when I attended in August.  I have seen a few different therapists in the past year or so and finding one that clicks can be such a struggle.  I am an introvert by nature so opening up and talking to strangers is a struggle for me.  Then there is the fact that diabetes plays such a huge part in my overall health, especially my mental health.  Dr. Walters works at the Humphries Diabetes Center in Boise, Idaho and works exclusively with patients with diabetes.  Plus, she has a daughter with Type 1 so she knows what's going on.  Not having to explain the ins and outs and the daily frustrations of being your own pancreas was a breath of fresh air,  We spent almost an hour at my first appointment getting to know each other.  She asked a lot of questions to dig into what is going on with me and I felt like she was genuinely interested in what is going on in my life.  It was a great first impression.

Overall, I am really happy with these two new steps in my T1D journey.  Taking control of your care and being your own patient advocate is such a huge part of this disease.  If you don't make it known what you want and take the steps to get there, you will just continue along the same path you're on and you'll likely never get to where you want to be.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What the DOC is to me

In the last week or so there has been a lot of conversation about the Diabetes Online Community, what it means to some people, and the negative feelings surrounding it for others.  My experience with the DOC has been an overall positive experience but I can see where some people might be coming from.  I guess I kind of liken it to a big party.  There is a lot going on and at anytime there are several groups sort of engaged in their things, with their attention focused on that.  If I am a newcomer to the party it is easy for me to go unnoticed.  Unless I make some noise about my arrival a few people will probably see me walk in, but all those people focusing on their own conversations might not even notice.  And if you are someone who is already insecure and dealing with all the changes that dealing with T1D brings it can be hard to bring that attention to yourself.  This is no way that fault of the new person or the existing members of the party.  It's just kind of the way that it is.  Unless you already know someone at the party, getting know other people at the party can be not only hard, but kind of intimidating.

Here is how it kind of happened for me.  My diagnosis had left me feeling so isolated.  In my travels through the internet I had come across Six Until Me which led me to several other blogs and eventually the DOC on Twitter.  I tried to join in on a few different conversations but never really took.  With no responses to my posts and not really committing to it I did feel a bit discouraged.  I already had my blog going but it was really just a place for me to vent my feelings.  I was still hesitant to put these intimate feelings out there for other people to see.  The posts I did put out there for others and invited people to read were usually ones that just described what was going on but never really touched on my personal feelings.  I eventually found the DSMA chats that take place on Wednesday nights.  The first night I had a hard time keeping up.  The next one was a few weeks later and I tried to get involved but at times felt like I was kind of talking to myself.  I don't make it to the chats regularly but what I have found is that the more you go, the more involved you get.  When I see new people introduce themselves, they are always welcomed into the conversation.  But I really don't see that all that often.  Perhaps there are people lurking but afraid to get involved?  But this isn't like the party or even like a chat room.  If you don't put yourself out there no one will know you are there.  If my experience has taught me anything it's that, like with most things, you get out of the DOC what you put in.  It takes time and commitment, but any friendship does.  

I read a post a few days ago from the side of someone who does not feel included in the DOC.  He talked about asking questions to those people who were posting from different events and conferences but never got answers, instead only saw repeats of what was being said at the meeting or conversations among themselves about the refreshments.  I enjoy the references to what's going on because if I can't be there myself I live vicariously through those who can attend.  And I think that is why those people are invited to attend.  Because they have more reach.  It doesn't make sense to invite someone like me who can only reach a handful of people when you can invite someone who can reach thousands.  Space is limited and I think it's smart to make the best of use of invites to spread their message as far as possible.  That certainly doesn't stop me from being completely envious of those people.  I realized recently that I was asking myself why them and not me as well.  Then I realized I have never made an effort to get a scholarship or even see what it takes to attend on of these events.  I got out what I put in...nothing at all.  I could understand most of the viewpoints presented recently, but this one I don't get, 
" It does seem that they often talk to each other, and while they tout 'diabetes advocacy' (whatever that means) it seems to me that the place to start is with other PWD. "
  Advocacy means something different to everyone I think.  I don't think you can discount the work that any of the so-called "big players" has done to advocate for diabetes.  I see it every day, from Strip Safely, to You Can Do It, to the new Medicare initiative.  When this group gets behind something they do big things.  I saw it myself when I put the word out about my own interaction with a government leader.  Seeing this statement really makes me wonder, how much of a chance is this person really giving the DOC if they can't see the advocacy efforts put forth by it?  As for advocating for other people with diabetes, isn't that what all their advocacy is about?

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Gauntlet

It seems to happen every so often.  No matter what the spacing of my appointments I come up on a time of year where everything happens at once.  Appointment after appointment after appointment.  I usually try to schedule my doctor appointments on early mornings of days that I work a late shift (usually Tuesdays) so I don't have to pay for an extra day of daycare for a 20 minute appointment.  And every time I think about about having to get up early enough to fight traffic and get to said appointment 8 o'clock I kick myself for it.  Nevertheless I have come upon that time once again.  What was originally scheduled as 3 appointments over a three week period (something I already wasn't thrilled about) has now turned into 4 appointments over a 2 week period.  I think it's safe to say that after Wednesday I will have had my share of poking and prodding.  Last Tuesday I had a follow up appointment with my arthritis doctor, which has been about every 3 months for the past year or so.  Things are looking good on that front, the swelling has gone done in my knuckles and there it is pretty certain at this point what was originally thought to be rheumatoid arthritis a year or so ago is not.  I still don't really have any solutions for the knee pain that has begun to plague me more frequently, other than don't bend it or kneel on it too much.  And then there was the chastising for popping my knuckles that when something like this:

Doctor: "Do you do that often?"
Me: "Do what?  (looking around with a bewildered look)"
Doctor: :That. With your hands."
Me:  "Fiddle with them?  Yeah.  It's a nervous habit."
Doctor: "No.  Crack the knuckles."
Me: "Umm.  Did I?  I guess so.  I don't really notice it I guess."
Doctor; "You might want to not.  It can increase the inflammation in your joints."

OK.  Taken note of.  But how do you stop doing something that you don't realize you're doing?
My adventure this week will consist of my first ever endo appointment tomorrow followed by a dentist appointment made in a hurry last week after I broke a front tooth.  I now look like a hockey player on the losing end of a fight.  Follow that up with a visit to a new therapist on Wednesday and I will have completed the gauntlet.  I thought I had spaced things out and could have easily handled the 3 appointments stretched out over a 3 week span, but alas, the stars did not align for me.  After breaking my tooth on Wednesday I scrambled to make an appointment as soon as possible to get it fixed, settling with the following Wednesday.  Then the next day the therapists office called to move up my appointment a week.  I agreed because I am eager to get in and hopefully get some of my stuff under control.  I tried to move the dentist appointment up further but was only able to go to Tuesday.  So I was left with deciding if I want to get my pancreas poked and prodded followed by my mouth a few hours later and then off to work, or get my brain poked and prodded followed by my mouth and then have the day off.  I opted for the latter.  Because 1) I want to get my mouth back to a presentable fashion as soon as possible (I work face to face with the public most of the day) and 2) I have a feeling my therapy appointment is going to be exhausting and the last thing I want to do I is go have my mouth spread open for an hour or more afterwards.  So I'll suffer through and live on to the next one.  I'm mostly just glad to have access to good care that I can get in to in a reasonable time.  Do you prefer to get all your appointments done in one quick swoop or spread them out over time?

Update: I got a voicemail while in the dentists chair asking if I could change my Wednesday appointment to a Tuesday appointment at the psychologist.  So much for spreading it out.  In reality I was glad to do it.  One less trip since I was close by and my day off on Wednesday is actually going to be a day off 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


It's as if I'm trapped inside an hourglass.  Those dark sands trickle down slowly from above, filling the empty spaces inside and around me.  It pools around my feet, moving between my toes then up and over the tops of of my feet.  The sand works its way up.  And up.  And up.  As it reaches my ankles and then tickles the bottom of my calves it gets harder to move.  I can do all the things I want to do, they just take more effort than usual.  And the dark sands keep moving up.  And up.  And up.  Passing my knees, then my thighs, and reaching my waist.  Everyday tasks become harder.  Getting out of bed is a struggle.  Getting from point A to point B used to be automatic, now it seems an insurmountable task.  My belly button fills with sand as it moves up.  And up.  And up.  The rising sand puts pressure on my stomach and diaphragm and even breathing seems to take more energy than I can muster.  My hands are buried.  The sand his risen above my elbows and up my chest.  I should struggle but there is no fight in me.  I watch it climb, helpless to resist.  As my shoulders disappear all I can think about is sleep.  I just want to lay in bed all day.  As if doing anything more will drain every last ounce of life from me.  I struggle to keep my eyes open to see those dark sands climb up.  And up.  And up.  I used to be able to feign a smile or tell a joke to cover up what I am feeling,  Humor and sarcasm my coping mechanism.  Now the sand covers my lips, forces its way inside my mouth and I can not smile.  I can not laugh.  I can not scream.  I feel the roughness on my tongue, the grit of sand between my teeth.  The sand tickles my nose as I breathe.  I have resigned myself to my fate of darkness.  I am giving up.  I let these dark black sands envelop me as they climb up.  And up,  And up,..
   The something clicks.  Maybe it's reading something written online.  A blog.  A tweet.  A status update.  The 'me too' moment.  Maybe it's hearing someone say, "I know how you feel.  I've been there.  You'll be OK."  Maybe its the anticipation of a new project.  Maybe it's a moment with friends or family.  Or maybe it's just remembering that there are good things surrounding me.  Maybe it's something as simple as hearing a song triggers some kind of relational feeling.  Whatever it is, the hourglass has inverted.  Those dark sands that once threatened my sanity begin to retreat as slowly as they first came.  Soon the smile on my face shows through.  Breathing becomes easier as the sands move below my chest.  My hands are free and the daily struggle turns to routine again.  Day be day I slowly begin to feel like myself again.  The cobwebs are gone from my brain.  The light begins to shine brighter as I watch the darkness that once consumed me move away and down.  And down.  And down...

I wrote this as a way of describing what depression feel like to me.  It is so hard to explain to someone who has not experienced it themselves.  The way it seems to sneak up on you bit by bit and you don't really notice it.  Then one day you notice that you're always tired.  That everyday tasks seem impossible to do.  Like you're dragging a weight.  You just want to spend the day wrapped up in bed.  The things you used to take joy in no longer matter and you don't even feel like fighting the feelings.  But then sometimes there is one thing that can turn the tide.  For me that is often some new project to focus my energy on or reading something in a blog that reminds me I am not the only one experiencing this.  That there are others out there doing the same thing and others who have come back from it.  How do you explain these kinds of feelings to people?  What do you do to bring yourself back from those dark places?

Monday, September 15, 2014

D-Stigma in the Idaho Leadership

I was just sitting down to write a post about how all my doctors appointments seem to fall all right together a couple times a year regardless of the interval between them and how its kind of frustrating but kind of convenient.  Then I got a response to a letter I sent urging my representatives in Idaho to vote for funding into diabetes.  The response came from Raul Labrador.  After I read it, all thoughts of that post were gone and redirected to a response.  What I expected to get was a canned response saying that he would keep that in mind, but what I got was this:

Congressman Raul Labrador, Representing the 1st District of Idaho
September 15, 2014
Mr. Craig Lefevre
16136 Plow Ave
Caldwell, ID 83607-5309
Dear Mr. Lefevre:
Part of my privilege in representing the 1st District of Idaho is hearing from constituents and considering current events and issues from their point of view. In light of that, thank you for contacting me about diabetes in the United States and Special Diabetes Programs.
As you are aware, cases of diabetes are increasing at surprising numbers and steps need to be taken to curb this epidemic. Many of my constituents suffer from the disease every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 7.5% of Idahoans have been diagnosed with the disease. Reducing the number of cases of diabetes and informing those who are at risk of possible ways of avoiding it are worthy goals.
However, there needs to be a balance between the needs of our people and the nation’s economic responsibilities. During hard economic times like these, sacrifices must be taken on the part of all to ensure that the United States is, and will continue to be, in a position of economic prosperity. Measures need to be taken on the part of the individual, and personal responsibility must be exercised to improve the economic and physical health of our nation.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. As your representative in Congress, it is helpful for me to know your thoughts and opinions on issues that are important to you. I would encourage you to visit my website,, where you can read about my views on a variety of issues and also sign up for my e-newsletter.
Raúl Labrador
Member of Congress
1st District, Idaho

Washington, D.C.
1523 Longworth HOB | Washington, DC 20515 | Phone: (202) 225-6611 | Fax: (202) 225-3029
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30AM-6:30PM ET
1115 Albany Street
Caldwell, ID 83605
Phone: (208) 454-5518
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00AM-5:00PM
Coeur d'Alene
1250 Ironwood Drive, #243
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Phone: (208) 667-0127
Fax: (208) 667-0310
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00AM-5:00PM
313 D Street, Suite 107
Lewiston, ID 83501
Phone: (208) 743-1388
Fax: (208) 743-0247
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00AM-5:00PM
33 E. Broadway Avenue
Meridian, ID 83642
Phone: (208) 888-3188
Fax: (208) 888-0894
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00AM-5:00PM

The highlighted part was the part that got me going.  I don't have the words to explain the feelings I had when I read that part.  Infuriated and dismissed is a start.  It seems to me that he is as uneducated as most about the issue and is blaming people with diabetes for having the disease.  My first response was something like "Eff you Labrador!  You don't have a clue!"  I know government officials have a lot coming across their desks and I don't expect them to be experts on everything, but I do expect them to be more educated than the average person and take a little time to know what they are talking about before speaking on it.  I would rather have no response at all.  Then I calmed down (a little) and spent the better part of an hour crafting my response:

Dear Rep.  Labrador,

  I am glad to hear that you see the epidemic that diabetes is, however I fear that you may be severely misinformed about the disease.  Most of the general population is.  But if you are going to tell me that you are this concerned about it I feel that you should educate yourself.  Below is the part of your email that concerns me the most:

"However, there needs to be a balance between the needs of our people and the nation’s economic responsibilities. During hard economic times like these, sacrifices must be taken on the part of all to ensure that the United States is, and will continue to be, in a position of economic prosperity. Measures need to be taken on the part of the individual, and personal responsibility must be exercised to improve the economic and physical health of our nation."

Perhaps I am wrong but in the last sentence of that quote it seems to me that you are blaming the people with diabetes for having the disease.  "Measures need to be taken on part of the individual, and personal responsibility must be exercised to improve the economic and physical health of our nation."  If that is not the intent of that statement then please let me know.  But for the purposes of my response I'll continue to operate under my impression that it was.

Let me start by letting you know that there are two types of diabetes.  Type 1, which I personally have, is an autoimmune disease.  It's onset is generally in children and teens but can come at any age.  The only thing I did to bring this disease upon myself was be born with the genetic markers that eventually triggered my immune system to attack the insulin producing beta cells in my pancreas.  I now take insulin shots 4 times a day at minimum and up to 10 times a day, trying to mimic what a healthy persons body does for them.  I also check my blood sugar via finger prick multiple times a day.  My wife and I are gainfully employed and have always carried health insurance.  We are by no means in need or poor but there are times when it is a struggle to find ways to cover the cost of the two insulins I have to take everyday, the cost of test strips, the cost of doctors appointments multiple times per year while balancing all of this with the needs of our family.  Those things mentioned are the minimum that I need to stay alive.  This is not a cheap disease.  No amount of diet or exercise, no special pill, no miracle drug, at this time will ever free me from this disease.  The only thing that will is a cure.  And that takes funding.  So please tell me what measures I should take and what personal responsibility I should take to improve my health and the health of our nation?  I make $40,000 a year and sometimes struggle to get the supplies I need to keep myself alive.  What are those people, many of whom are your constituents, supposed to do.  Because, as I'm sure you know, much of Canyon County survives on a very low income.

The second kind of diabetes is Type 2, which I also have experience because I spent almost 2 years thinking that's what I had due to a misinformed doctor.  This is what I'm guessing you and most of America thinks when they think of diabetes.  It generally effects those who are overweight and older in age.  It is caused by an insulin resistance in the body in which the body's cells do not process insulin effectively and therefore their blood sugar rises.  It can be controlled by diet, exercise, and oral medications, but not cured.  A person must have the genetic markers and a predisposition to get Type 2 diabetes.  You may have one person who is 300 pounds and never leaves the couch who will never have diabetes because they do not have those markers, or you may have someone who is moderately overweight and leads a sedentary lifestyle who does get it.  My point being that while there are lifestyle choices that can lead a person to develop Type 2 diabetes, that person must also have the genes.  And while it can be managed there is no cure.  That again takes funding.

America is incredibly misinformed about diabetes.  I fear that you are also misinformed Mr. Labrador.  29 million people in the United States have diabetes.  Of those it is projected that 8 million are undiagnosed.  108,000 adults in Idaho have diabetes and another 78,000 have pre-diabetes.  Hispanics and Native Americans are far more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes because of their genes.  If I am not mistaken, that makes up a large part of your constituency.  Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in America.  It leads to heart disease, kidney disease, and eye problems.  Some of these people may have made lifestyle choices that did not help their fight against diabetes, not one of the the nearly 30 million people in the United States with diabetes has diabetes by fault of their own.

I hope that you take these things into consideration when making decisions about funding for diabetes programs.  A cure is a long ways of but it is obvious that people all over the state of Idaho need more education about diabetes.  Neither a cure, nor education can happen without the proper funding.  I also hope that you will take the time to properly educate yourself about the disease that you know is an epidemic but believe should be handled by measure of personal responsibility.  Just a few suggestions to start:, and even locally  All three of these organizations work tirelessly each year to help educate and make life better for people living with diabetes.  I encourage you to take the time to check them out and think about what you can do from your position to help further the cause.


Craig Le Fevre
Person with Diabetes since 2011

I know that I am one voice.  That response served two purposes for me.  It got all that off my chest and it gave me a starting point to jump off from and get the word out about how one of our elected government officials views his constituents.  Needless to say he has lost my vote and any support that may have ever come along from me.  I hope that goes for anyone who is effected by diabetes that this reaches as well.  I am appalled by his ignorance and his response.  But it seems to be par for the course.  The stigma about diabetes reaches everywhere and even those that you think should be educated about these topics before they vote on them are a part of it.  If you live in Idaho please visit Mr. Labradors website or email him at to let him know how this makes you feel.  Something tells me that he is not the only representative that feels that way so reach out to other representatives in the state as well.  You can find contact information for the Senate here and Congress here.  If you are not from Idaho, please help get this out to others.  I am one voice and you are one voice, but together WE are very loud.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I've been sorting through some pretty negative feelings lately.  This was one of the outcomes:
These two diseases cross over so much. I was surprised how many of the words could fit into either drop.  Then I realized how negative I was being and I've begun adding some things that make me happy outside of the drops.  I'm don't claim to be a talented artist by any stretch of the imagination, but creating seems to help sort through the muck.  What do you do when you start to feel the negativity creeping in?

Saturday, September 6, 2014


You might call me a man of few words (a MOFW?)  Much to the frustration of the Pretty Lady In My Life I am just not a talker.  Sure I'll talk about football, the weather, my feelings on politics or the injustices if the world, even the ins and outs of diabetes.  But when it comes to feelings, the words aren't really there.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to give me an outlet for some of those things that I struggle to talk about out loud.  However, looking back I don't know that I have really done that as of yet.  I don't know exactly why, but I think a lot of it is because that often leads to real life conversations and that scares me.  I had a bad day yesterday.  A really bad day.  Partly diabetes related.  Partly depression related.  Partly just plain old life.  I didn't really want to talk about it for various reasons.  It lead to one terrible moment that I am kind of disgusted about.  But last night as I read some other blogs and found myself on the Hedgie Pricks Diabetes page which is trying to extend the conversation about depression and diabetes I found that one of the problems about situations like mine is that it doesn't get talked about.  That leads myself and others to feeling like we are the only ones going through it.  But I am not alone.  And neither are you.  No matter what a person is going through, there is surely someone else out there who has gone through that as well.  But how do we know that if no one is talking about it?  So, as hard as it is, today I'm going to talk about it.

Wednesday night I went to bed with a blood sugar of 81 which is usually not a problem.  I slept fine through the night and woke up Thursday morning at 67, which is unusual.  Low numbers in the morning are very rare for me so I'm thinking I was probably low through the night but I felt OK at that point.  I ate a granola bar for breakfast with no bolus and thought I was out of the woods.  Then at about 10:30 I felt the beginnings of a migraine coming on.  One of the feel your heartbeat pound in your head, nausea inducing, sit in a dark room kind of migraines.  The kind low hangover kind but amplified.  I tried to treat it but it was getting worse and by the time I left work and picked up my kids from daycare it was almost more than I could take.  So when the Boy Genius started in on his usual routine on the drive home about not wanting what was being cooked for dinner that night, how life isn't fair, and anything else he could find.  Head pounding and irritated by traffic, I snapped.  I turned around in my seat and yelled.  LOUD.  It felt as if I was outside my own body seeing this happen, not recognizing the person in the drivers seat.  The crying stopped but I immediately regretted my reaction.  Both kids sat quietly in the back seat with stunned looks on their faces.  I couldn't help but feel like my own kids were now scared of me.  And I definitely didn't feel any better than I did before.  The rest of the ride home was silent with kids not even able to look me in the eyes.  When we got to the house the Boy Genius went straight to his room.  Even after I tried to apologize and explain why my reaction was what it was I got no reaction from him.  He just laid on his bed silent.  When I got the Princess out of her carseat she simply had a sad, defeated look on her face that tore me up inside.  As a father, seeing your kids that way and knowing you are the cause is one of the worst feelings in the world.  Even later in the night after I received a paper airplane that said "I'm sorey," and things were more or less back to normal the sting of what happened was still there.  When I closed my eyes I saw the heartbreaking look on their faces.  When I laid in bed going to sleep all I heard in the silence was the sound of my voice, louder than it ever should be with my kids,  Even the next day all I could think about was how out of line my reaction was and how out of control of my own body I felt.  It was hard to focus on anything else and I felt anxious about not being able to control my emotions.  Tears came whenever I thought too long about it.  It was tearing me apart.

I'm not trying to make excuses for my behavior or say that it is cause by diabetes or by depression.  Both things played a part but the reaction was my own.  I have a short temper at times and not feeling well or being already somewhat down shortens that even more.  I'm not really sure what I am looking to gain with this post.  I just know that I feel like it should be talked about.  I hope I am not the only one who experiences things like this.  And I also hope that maybe someone else out there who is going through it might find this and not feel quite so alone.  Type 1 diabetes has it's own stigma.  Depression has it's own stigma.  I really feel like the only way to eliminate that is to talk about it and correct stereotypes.  Even when it seems impossible

Friday, August 29, 2014


I. Am. Tired.
Tired of injections
Tired of the bruises they cause.  On my stomach and on my legs
Tired of high blood sugars
Tired of the short temper and irritability
I am tired of feeling like a bad husband and spouse
Tired of hurting the people around me
Tired of causing tears
I am tired of of the stress
The stress from managing a chronic disease and the stress from every. god. damn. day.
Tired of stiff, aching joints
Tired of arguments
Tired of checking blood sugar
Tired of negative thoughts
I am tired of these feeling I can not control
Tired of pills
I am tired of being sick.  I just want to go back to not diabetic Craig.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What Should We Talk About

I am trying to blog more frequently and hopefully keep more people coming back to read.  Sometimes I just struggle to think of a topic and I keep telling myself that I need to participate in the monthly DSMA blog carnival topic.  But then, as I often due, I put it off and the month is gone before I know it.  But this month I am doing it!
So, the topic for August offers up two questions, the first being: What topics are you interested in discussing during DSMA?
It's no secret that I have been on a mission to find ways to connect to other adult T1Ds in my area.  I am always surprised to find that there are a lot of us out there but don't know how to bring us all together.  So (not surprisingly) the topic I would like to discuss is making connections in the T1D community.  What do others do to find and connect with people with diabetes in their area?  I have had the pleasure of interacting with several groups in the area which has helped to find some people but still not the variety I am hoping for.  I also got some great ideas from Lara Williamson with ConnecT1D.  I like the idea of a PWD Happy Hour or a game night.  This Cards against Diabetes game is very intriguing.  What do you do in your area to find other PWDs?

The other question is: What are two topics that you wished we talked more about?
I think the first topic is addressed pretty well above.  Another I would love to hear more talk around coping with stress, from life, diabetes, anything, and burnout.  I know there are a lot of resources out there for that but with such a diverse group together I think some real great idea would come up. 

This post is my August entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Sunday, August 17, 2014

DTreat- Retreat for D's

I meant to get this post written towards the beginning of last week but I'm just getting to it now because life.  Nevertheless, I am writing it now.  When I got my original (mis)diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, it was a struggle to find people my age who were also T2.  It is unusual for someone in their 20's to be diagnosed with the disease.  Then we I was (re)diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes it was kind of the opposite.  While I was able to find others who had T1, most of them that were my age had been living with it since they were young.  And realistically, it was difficult to find or connect to anyone my age who was Type 1.  I felt very isolated and always searching for someone who I could relate with about everyday life with T1D.  I was so fortunate to get involved with Camp Hodia which eventually lead me to DTreat.  Dtreat is a retreat for young adults 18-30 with T1D.  The amazing people at Hodia organized the first one in this area and it took place last weekend in Boise.  I will admit that being at the upper end of the age range with a group of people in their early 20's was a little intimidating at first.  Add that to the fact that I am extremely intoverted and generally quiet in large groups of people and it would be an understatement to say that I was little nervous as I walked into the hotel Friday evening.  However, Sydnee and Taylor did a great job with coming up with some ice breakers to get everyone talking.  That night we had dinner and a beach party and everyone just spent some time getting to know everyone.  We played some volleyball, which I love, and that helped me to open up to the group a little (even if I was a bit over competitive at times.  What can I say?  Volleyball brings out the extrovert in me).

  There was such a great mix of people there.  Most in their early twenties, a few in their mid to late twenties and early thirties; some using pumps of various brands, some doing MDI with either pens or syringes; some doing the CGM, Dexcom and Medtronic; some living with diabetes for over 20 years, some just diagnosed within the couple years.  There was really someone there from every walk of diabetes life.  The second day was filled with some peer to peer discussions and several great speakers from the local diabetes community.  We talked about several aspects of life with T1D; relationships, coping with stress, transitioning to life as an adult, staying motivated, and just life in general with the disease.  Greta VanDyke, a diabetes educator for a local pediatric endo, talked about the future of diabetes.  There was discussion about beta cell encapsulation, bionic pancreas trials, CGMs, inhalable insulin, and the advancing technology.  Right up my alley.  Following that there a "speed dating round" which gave everyone a chance to spend some time peer to peer discussing their choice out of a few different topics.  My choices- Motivation, Life with D, Independence, and stress.  After that there was the choice of a few breakaway topics.  I chose "Getting Involved" with Lynn Giesler.  Helping out the D community is one of my favorite things to do.

After a great lunch, things continued as we split into groups by age; 18-23 in one and 24+ in the other.  Dr. Amy Walters gave a great presentation on Stress and Time Management which is something I struggle with quite frequently so it was great for me.

After that we went to Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll with Dr. Richard Christensen, a local Endo and Medical Director with Camp Hodia.  While it wasn't necessarily a topic that affected me too much at this point in my life I relished the opportunity to offer my input and help out some others with questions.  Day 2 wrapped up with a Blue themed dance party and some board games with the group.  Our final day we Dr. Walters was back to talk to us about Relationships, offering some insight on how diabetes effects different relationships and why as well ways to help them be successful.  That was followed by a great group discussion with Greta VanDyke again where the group got to kind of steer the discussion where they wanted.  We wrapped up with some motivational and team building stuff and then it was over...too quick.

It was a great weekend and just what I needed at the time.  While I came in nervous of being so much older than the group I quickly found that it wasn't really an issue.  We may have been at different points in our lives, but the common strand in our lives is diabetes and it's such a huge part of all of our lives that it was easy to find common ground and bond over it.  I can't express in words how great it was to be in a group of people where no one in the room questions why you were taking out a meter at dinnertime or what you were doing when inject your insulin.  The whole weekend was extremely empowering.  I can't wait until next year, and I am hoping to be involved in the planning and on board as a facilitator for that one.  Maybe then I won't feel so old.

P.S.  The after effects have been far reaching for my control.  I haven't consistently seen numbers like this in the morning since I stopped using the Dex.