My thoughts on reversing type 1 with diets

May 29, 2012

There always seems to be a new fad in dieting and “healthy eating.” Right it seems that the paleo diet is the latest craze in healthy eating, but really there have been countless other types of fad diets out there that become a craze at some point. I have nothing against anyone choosing any type of diet if it works for them. I’m also totally fine with people talking about the choices they are making, starting conversations about healthy eating, and being open to answering questions about their diet. I am, however, against anyone saying that ANY DIET will reverse type 1 diabetes (I’m pretty uncomfortable with anyone saying they can reverse type 2 diabetes too but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post).

Here’s a list of my thoughts and reasons why it’s wrong and offensive to tell me a diet will “reverse” type 1 diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. Neither I nor my parents did anything to cause my diagnosis when I was three years old.
– No matter what I eat, my body still needs insulin. It takes 24.45u of basal insulin to be exact (it takes LOTS of time & energy to figure out this number). This insulin works to counteract the glucose that my body naturally creates for energy, so even if I don’t eat anything at all, I still need 24.45 units of insulin to make it through the day.
– Type 1 diabetes is IRREVERSIBLE! No matter what I do, I will always have type 1 diabetes.
– Telling me that your diet will reverse my diabetes makes it sound like you think I am ignorant about diabetes, when I can guarantee you that its quite the opposite.
– Insisting that I am doing something wrong in terms of my diabetes is rude even if you think you are just “informing” me about your diet.
– If there was a way for me to stop taking insulin, I would do it. No matter what it takes. But THERE ISN’T!
– Telling newly diagnosed people or families with diabetes about your “type 1 reversing diet” gives them false hope. It’s unfair and downright mean.
– The best diet for a person with type 1 diabetes is whatever that person and their medical team figure out is the best for them.

I’m sure there are other things I could add to this list, but that’s just what’s been swimming around in my brain for the past few days. If you have any to add, please leave them in the comments because I’d love to read them! I know it’s so frustrating for me and for my friends with diabetes to have to deal with this kind of thing. It’s hard enough to juggle different aspects of diabetes and hearing this stuff just… sucks. So please, if you or someone you know is trying to spread this kind of information, please let me know how truly hurtful it is!


UVA Endos Speech

September 2, 2010

First off, I love my new diabetes educator. She is awesome. She loves my outlook on diabetes and totally agrees with it. Despite not being diabetic or having a kid with diabetes, she seems to understand a lot about daily life and frustrations of dealing with it every second of the day. She also understands, however, that she doesn’t know it all. And that most doctors sure as HECK don’t understand it. So…

She has asked me to speak at a luncheon for the endocrinology fellows at the University of Virginia (where I am currently a patient). I’m very excited… but very nervous. I’m not the most comfortable at public speaking. Although, most of the major speeches I’ve given in my life were about diabetes, and I feel pretty darn comfortable talking about it. But this…. this is different. I will speaking in front of my own doctor as well as the doctors who are working with me on the study I’m in (more on that once I’m finished with it). And all of the other endocrinologists at UVA which has a very prestigious and well established program.

My speech is going to be titled, “A Patient Perspective on CGMS and Insulin Pump Therapy.” So I think I will basically tell my story from the beginning. I guess they’re mostly used to hearing complaints about CGMS so my CDE wanted me to talk about my positive experiences with it. I also want to talk a bit more broadly about why I’ve been soon successful in diabetes in general. I want to tell them that the best way to live with diabetes is to live with a positive outlook. I want to tell them they shouldn’t scold patients or blame them for bad numbers.

I want to make this speech… not boring. And I want it to be effective. And informative. They’re giving me an entire hour to speak too! So I want it to be long enough. Ha!

I guess what I’m saying is… does anyone have anything they think should be included in such a presentation? I want to make sure I cover all the bases and get the whole message across! Oh and my speech is October 19th. So I have awhile to figure out my presentation.


Diabetes Art Day

September 1, 2010

I know I stink at posting… but sometimes I just get inspired. And boy was I inspired! Leann over at The Butter Compartment had the brilliant idea of claiming September 1st as Diabetes Art Day. People all over the internet (and all over the world) are participating so I thought I should too. I’ve been considering doing an art project for awhile now because I am obsessed Leann’s diabetes-supplies-are-art-supplies concept. So I finally had an excuse to get off my butt and do it. And it came to me so quickly. This piece didn’t take me long but it means a lot to me. It’s made ENTIRELY of diabetes supplies. There’s no paint or glue or anything else! Here it is! (I apologize for the terrible photo quality. I’m not sure where my camera cable is and was too excited to post to go find it. So I used my iPhone.)

Here it is up close:

Well there it is. The flower is definitely my favorite part. But I love that it’s “growing” out of the mess of diabetes supplies. The “vase” part is actually a Troparocka Snapple bottle. So the mess is being held together my support and hope. Yeah, I know. It’s cheesy. But I had fun. 🙂 The “mess” is pretty much everything you need if you have diabetes. It’s test strips (some used, some not… I found a bunch), old insulin vial, resvoirs, tubing, lancets, syringes, pen caps, alcohol swabs, cracker wrapper, etc. And the “blood” is actually control solution. Close enough! Oh and the stem of the flower is juice box straws. My project is now sitting on the window sill in our kitchen. Not sure what I’ll do with it. Hopefully someday I’ll have some sort of “office” devoted to diabetes to put it in.

So there it is! I’m loving seeing everyone’s art projects today! And I definitely recommend that others poke around at some other diabetes blogs and check them out!


Coming out of the pancreatic closet

May 6, 2010

Last year I was lucky to be able to attend DTreat (a retreat for young adults with type 1) at Villanova. We had a ton of different discussion sessions. But one thing really has stuck out to me and I’ve been pondering it ever since.

One person asked how you go about telling people you have diabetes. I honestly was kind of stumped. I realized that I very rarely have that thought in my head. I never think “Shoot. How will I tell this person I have diabetes?” It usually comes up in casual conversation for me. I guess it happens because I’m so comfortable with treating my diabetes in front of people. I wear my pump hanging off my pocket. It beeps obnoxiously every once in awhile. I have no problem whipping out my meter just about anywhere and everywhere. So when I meet someone new and I need to test, it kind of just comes out.

The only time I’ve ever really thought “I guess I should tell this person” is when I’m starting a new job or I’m in a situation where I think others should know for my own safety. And usually it’s just something along the lines of “Hey, just FYI I’m diabetic, so if you see me munching or playing on my ‘beeper’ that’s why.”

So, it’s something I’ve become kind of curious about this topic. Is being afraid to tell people about your diabetes a sign of just not being comfortable with diabetes itself? How do you fix this problem? I felt so bad because the person at DTreat was asking for advice, and I really didn’t know how to help.

How do you come out of the pancreatic closet???? Do you feel the need to come out of the closet with your diabetes? Do you feel the need to hide it at times?

I just started reading Cheating Destiny: Living with Diabetes by James S. Hirsch and he talks about Elizabeth Evans Hughes. Elizabeth was one of Banting and Best’s first patients to receive insulin. She had prolonged her life using a starvation diet long enough to see the discovery and mass production of insulin. She survived with little diabetes complications until she passed away in 1981. Her story is frankly amazing. But what is really crazy about it to me, is that she refused to let anyone know she was diabetic. Even her own children didn’t know until they each turned 18! Hirsch points out that Elizabeth could’ve been the poster child for insulin and living well with diabetes, but she stayed in the “pancreatic closet.” Her story could’ve actually saved lives, but for whatever reason (and in the book Hirsch theorizes about why) she kept it all to herself.

I feel like a major reason I have never kept my diabetes a secret because I want people to know what life with diabetes is really like. A lot of times people have questions. And I love it when they ask! Some people apologize for asking so many questions, and I usually respond with “Please ask whatever you want! I’d rather you understand!”

I guess it’s hard for me to understand why someone would hide their diabetes, but then again I am comfortable enough with my diabetes to share it with the entire internet. Can anyone offer any insight here?


Yeah, I know. I stink at this.

May 3, 2010

So… it has been a ridiculously long time since I’ve blogged. I know I promised I would blog about my kick-butt A1C and I definitely will soon. Things have been a little all over the place for me lately between Jeff’s recovery from back surgery, job interviews, fostering a new cat, one of my own cats being sick, something awesome happening that I’m hopefully going to announce next week, trying to figure out how to start school in the fall, and all kinds of other things.

However, the point of this particular post is to inform my readers that I will be blogging next week! I know, it’s kind of lame to blog about how I’m going to blog. My Twitter and DOC blogger friend Karen has come up with a great idea to hold a Diabetes Blog Week. What better way for me to get back into blogging regularly? So hopefully I will be able to cross off some items from my list of “blog ideas” that I’ve been meticulously keeping but not using.

I also hope you all check out lots of other D-blogs out there because there are so many fantastic ones out there!


Videos!

November 24, 2009

There hasn’t been much diabetes excitement for me today. My BG was a little high this morning but a correction bolus fixed that up for the rest of the day. In other news, Jeff had a fever yesterday. We were supposed to drive home today but the doc gave him antibiotics for a sinus infection. Therefore, we are leaving tomorrow instead. I’m anxious to go home and see my family.

So… I thought I’d share some awesome diabetes related videos with you today! What can I say? I love YouTube!

This first story is simply amazing. I can’t even begin to think about what this lady went through! She is unbelievably amazing! This video is from dLife. If any diabetic reading this doesn’t know what dLife is please check it out! It’s very cool!

The next one is a two-parter. I just thought it was so cool to hear Dr. Best talk about diabetes. I’ve always read about him and Dr. Banting but I didn’t even know video footage existed! I do think, however, that he’s stretching the truth a few things in there. At least that’s what I think from reading Michael Bliss’s The Discovery of Insulin. The patient in the interview is really cool though. It’s interesting to hear where they thought diabetes treatment was heading.

I posted this one on Facebook the other day, but I just want to make sure everyone I know watches it because it’s just too freaking adorable.

I hope you enjoyed those. And just a reminder. You can add this blog on Facebook to get updates!


World Diabetes Day

November 16, 2009

Here are pictures of what we did for World Diabetes Day. They were taken at the new Free Speech Monument outside of city hall in Charlottesville, VA (the home of Thomas Jefferson!).

Free Speach 1

Free Speech 3

Free Speech 4

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Overall it was a good day. I wish there were things to do in Charlottesville for World Diabetes Day but our diabetes community here isn’t very organized. I’m hoping to help try to change that here soon.

I did participate in the Big Blue Test. It allowed me to experience the true roller coaster of living with diabetes. I went from 341 to 45 in less than 3 hours. It was a bit frightening to say the least.

How as everyone else’s WDD?? Anyone do anything cool?