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Book Review: Your Diabetes Science Experiment March 6, 2014

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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A book title with ‘Science Experiment’ made me worried, as no science class in the past went superbly. But, experiment indicates I’ll be trying out things. Science indicates logic and reason behind these things I could try. Any area of diabetes that even has a chance of logic and reason is something I’ll spend time on.

Seemingly illogical stuff, like going high after intense exercise, has actual explanations. But those explanations often become so complicated, that the explanation only adds to the confusion.

That’s where Ginger comes in (oh, she’s the author). Ginger’s book is solid and full of information. And, refreshingly, I feel like this book focused on ME. A long time Type I diabetic who exercises frequently and with variety, and am struggling to best manage my diabetes but also the benefit from exercise itself. That is not to say that if you were diagnosed yesterday, you would not find this book helpful. You would. Or, if you exercise once a week. Or if you have Type 2 diabetes. That’s the beauty of this book – Ginger writes in a way that respectfully reaches all different groups. Ginger presented examples applicable to me (I’m also vegetarian). A LADA meat lover could say the same thing.

This book discussed topics such as insulin sensitivity, carbs, protein and hydration all related to exercise and diabetes. Plus, exercise itself related to diabetes. Many chapters include real-life examples that Ginger had the guts to put out there. The book includes worksheets and steps to help navigate your own solutions and to help make diabetes work into the life you currently live. Ginger also realizes that these steps are tough, and offers encouragement throughout the book. However, I think the book could have better addressed some of the mental challenges that are likely to come up when you begin to take a hard look at diabetes in your life – burnout, overwhelmingness and intimidation.

Overall this book is real, it is helpful, and will be helpful each time your life pattern takes a shift. My favorite quote from this book sums up the idea that diabetes requires huge amounts of effort. But, it is something you can always work on. It is something you might not get right at the first try, and that is alright:
“You are a work a progress.”

Title: Your Diabetes Science Experiment
Author: Ginger Vieira
Ideal Audience: Insulin dependent or insulin-using diabetics partaking in any kind of regular exercise. Curious folks interested in how exercise, insulin and timing can all work together.
Read when: You have a couple days to think about you and your exercising. Be able to keep your own exercise routine in the back of your head while reading. If the book topic sounds overwhelming, read it right away. That feeling fades by the third page.

Disclaimer: I met Ginger at a conference, and a long story short (plus sweet potato fries), I left with a copy of her book at no cost to me.  As with all entries here, my comments and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. I am not a medical professional. Contact your medical team regarding any health-related concerns, questions or changes.


Time to Refocus. January 22, 2013

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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I gazed around and the orange juice section was in sight. I grabbed the small store-brand size, fiddled with the plastic top and chugged.
In the grocery store.
Without paying first.

I’ve never been in a position to require such an action. Ever. Prior to the last year, I can recall only four lows that required me to immediately stop and treat. In the last year, I’ve had five. That’s like a 2000% increase. Two in the middle of the night, two while driving (I immediately pulled over, the roads are still safe) and the most recent one in the grocery store. These are the lows I can see looming, but did nothing about. I started to drop at the gym. I had suspended my pump prior to working out (YDMV, that’s usually not a great plan), eaten prior and cut my workout short by 20 minutes. On my way to the locker room I was still diagonal arrow down, but I almost always rise sharply after the elliptical.

Not this time. Dex cycled through all the alerts: 75, 55, 55, LOW. Yet, I was determined to do groceries and deal with this on the way home.

I looked for grocery store samples, pausing a few times trying to assess how I felt. I was sure I was leveling out and slowly headed upward. But then came the few seconds of confusion, the blurriness, the impatience, the irrational thinking, the dizziness. Repeat. Then the moment where you feel as though if you let your eyelids linger over your eyeballs just one second longer than normal, you’d be out. Passed out, leaving someone else to deal with this mess.

Oh. Hell. No. Draining a juice bottle doesn’t erase the barcode. It’s dumb to try and hold out (granted, it was dumb to not have glucose tabs and dumb to go to the grocery store in the first place).

The orange juice bottle empty, I stood for a minute, staring at the butters until I regained composure. Orange juice kicks in fast for me, and I was grocerying within minutes. Yet unsettled. I wanted to go home, curl up on the couch with a blanket, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, have a glass of wine and watch something that would make me laugh. I didn’t care about being high for a bit. (I recognize Ben & Jerry’s with wine is not a good post-low decision).

It’s time to refocus. Five of these in the last year? Not cool. Each was caused by something I should not have been doing or eating in the first place. Each was followed with the same. Refocusing on my health means tighter control on what I eat and when. Refocusing means weight loss and fitness gain, accompanied by a lower A1c and easier (still not easy) diabetes management. Scott at Scott’s Diabetes recently posted some genuine comments and flattering shout-outs – I hope soon to give him something more positive to comment about. (If you ever get to meet Scott – you’d find him motivating also).