Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is it Anxiety or is it Low Blood Sugar??? My Constant Dilemma

One of the biggest issues I have with being a T1D and taking insulin is that


Okay, that's not entirely true.  When I start shaking and get lights flashing before my eyes, I know it's low blood sugar.  But the a-l-m-o-s-t too lows can be quite confusing.

Take today for example.  I went to my acupuncturist and I was feeling hyper.  I told him I was stressed by work and family issues and I wanted him to focus on stress today.  He was wonderful, as usual, and I did breathing and meditation during my treatment.  I walked out of there feeling much, much better.

But by the time I'd made the gas station detour and was heading home, that hyper-stressed-anxious feeling was back.  I walked in my front door, took an anti-anxiety pill, and then realized, a few minutes later, that nothing was happening.  I grabbed my Ping meter and sure enough, it registered a 65.  That's not terribly low (I have been MUCH lower) but it's low enough to make me feel anxious.

Half a glass of OJ later, and I'm good to go!

Have you had this experience?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rampant Diabetes--in the US and in my ancestry

I am not certain how diabetes runs in different families.  I wonder:  does every family have at least one person with Type 2 diabetes?   The statistics are difficult to figure out, especially because organizations such as the American Heart Association keep their numbers by age (child versus adult) rather than by diagnosis (Type 1 versus Type 2). The 2012 American Heart Association Statistical Fact Sheet. for example, says that there were 18.3 million American adults with diagnosed diabetes, 81 million with pre-diabetes, and over seven million adults who are running around undiagnosed.  Nearly 200,000 American children under age 20 had diabetes in 2012.

What we don't know from the AHA figures is how many of those kids had Type 2 because they were heavy and not eating properly, and how many were Type 1, with genetic predispositions and antibodies.

What we also don't know from the AHA statistics is how many of the 18 million grown-ups with diabetes are us Type 1's who are surviving and living normal or near-normal life-spans.  We don't.

So there is no way I can see from these stats to figure out how many of us are living in families with a predisposition toward diabetes.

What I can tell you is this:

I have two antibodies for Type 1.  I was diagnosed as an adult, around age 30, which means I don't fit properly into the AHA categories -- an adult Type 1 doing well.  I am Caucasian and non-Hispanic, so I am from a population that generally is not as predisposed to diabetes.

I can tell you that one of my ancestral lines--specifically my maternal grandmother's mother's line--has family members with Type 1.  My third cousin here in Seattle, a descendant of my grandmother's first cousin, got Type 1 diabetes at about the same age as I.  We have also been told that my grandma had twin cousins with Type 1.  We do not know much beyond that.  The Jewish diaspora, you know...

My maternal grandpa had Type 2 diabetes.

My father's family is a complex story.  Lots of Type 2 diabetes and lots of deaths due to complications of diabetes.  My first cousin Carl, my dad's nephew, has Type 2, and several of his half siblings died of Type 2, including many years ago my cousin Clara, who was morbidly obese.  There were three different mothers, so it's probably a pretty good indication that the diabetes comes from the Bradleys or perhaps my dad's mom's family.  We don't know.

What I do know is that the cards are stacked against these genes of mine.

But from my perspective, it seems that everyone I know has somebody somewhere in their family with diabetes.  It's usually Type 2, but it's there.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Girl's Guide to Diabetes

I would like to share with you the link to an art exhibit called The Girl's Guide to Diabetes. The artwork is by "Ana," a Type 1 diabetic who had her showing on January 13.  She is a student at James Madison University.  The website was created by her sister.

One of Ana's pieces. I am guessing it is on neuropathy. Permission to post this received from Ana's sister.  Please visit their exhibit website!

I don't know if Ana is a bike rider or if she's going to participate in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, but I am, and I'm doing it for people like Ana--and for me.  Today I hit 10 percent of my goal, five days into the campaign.

Thank you Ana!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Ride: Getting Started on Fundraising!

Susan Horst
I met with Susan Horst yesterday at Soul Food in Redmond to walk through the specifics of my fundraising campaign for the Ride.  Susan is the JDRF NW Ride Event Manager.  She is a joy to be around and an absolute bundle of energy!   

I showed Susan the Microsoft Access project file I've been putting together listing potential donors and planned fundraising tasks.  She made a couple of suggestions, for example, to create some additional categories for my donor file.  My immediate assignment from Susan is to plan where I estimate the $4,000 in donations for my pledge will come from.  That's what I started in the Access file, but now that's been refined with Susan's help.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

A New Campaign! The JDRF Ride for the Cure 2013!

I'm back to blogging here again, talking about my life with Type 1 Diabetes!

Now, the focus is a new goal:  In September, I'm doing a century bike ride with the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes.  I'll be participating with upwards of 30 fellow Northwest riders, nearly each one of us working toward bringing in $4,000 in donations!

I started this blog page mid-decade to raise money for JDRF through Blogathon.  At that point, I blogged nonstop for 24 hours, twice an hour, and brought in a few hundred dollars.  That was fun, but this is a much greater undertaking, and I'm going to need a lot of help.

I'll be posting about my progress as well as that of my fellow riders and teammates.  Please subscribe and join us for the daily adventure!