Brief Meditation on Lows

I’m unable to predict when I’m going to have a hypoglycemic episode. They don’t happen often, and when they do, after I’ve gotten my blood glucose back up and after I’ve fought off the desire to eat half of what’s in the kitchen, I try to think back and reconstruct events leading up to the low blood sugar so I can figure out what to do in order to prevent it the next time…

Two to Finish Up 2011

The occasion of making the switch from 2011 to 2012 doesn’t really create in me a desire to resolve to do anything differently…

The Pancreata in Our House

There’s something about that gland organ the pancreas in our comfy little home. Although it’s just the three of us — Kathryn (my wife), Ellie (our dog, a labradoodle), and me (a guy with Type 1 diabetes) — those who have diseases of the pancreas now outnumber those without…

Yes, But You’re Wrong

Kathryn (my wife) recently had a conversation with someone during which she (Kathryn) spent much of her time dispelling her friend’s confusion about what my life with diabetes is like…

Apps, Interviews, and Panels

The past few weeks have been rather involved for me, diabetes-wise. See, in addition to that panel I was part of with the University of Michigan Medical School’s Family Centered Experience program, there have been two other rather out-of-the-blue diabetes-related requests…

In No Particular Order

Morning walks with the dog. A warm bed in a cold room. Crispy leaves on the sidewalks. Seeing my breath. A new and better way to tie my shoes. Chairs that recline. Century-old red brick. Sunlight through my office windows. Deep breaths that end in a smile…

Don’t Blame It on the Blood Glucose

I’ve given some thought to whether or not I should share the very awkward two or three minutes I went through yesterday. I wasn’t going to. Then I was. About an hour ago I wasn’t. But now I am, because time’s beginning to heal my embarrassment, so, really, what the heck, right?

A Very Mild Funk

Perhaps it’s the time of year, but the past few weeks I’ve failed to find motivation for the maintenance of healthy habits. I know it’s not a big deal; one can’t ceaselessly ride the wave of “life’s awesome” in the way I’d been doing so for the past — well, let’s just say that I’ve been funkless for a long time…

Worried To Bed, Fine To Wake

It’s early in the morning here in Southeast Michigan. How’s your diabetes? Mine’s doing just fine. Last night when I went to bed, however, I worried that my night might be long and fraught with blood glucose issues…

The Annual Doctor Visit Approaches

I know, right? The title of this week’s blog entry? As if I go to the doctor only once a year! Except for the first time in five years, it’s actually true that, as far as my primary-care physician is concerned, I’m visiting her again for the first time in a year. The checkup…

Lost It

Let me recap for you a rather boneheaded thing I did on Sunday’s trip home from Kansas during which I lost, for the first time in my tenure as a person with Type 1 diabetes, an important part of my diabetes accoutrement…

Crooked Cannula

Sunday started for me like most days. Wait, let me revise that sentence and begin again. Sunday, as far as diabetes goes, as far as my health goes, started for me like most days…

Age or Illness

I’m 37 years old. That’s not young, despite people 15 or 20 or 30 years older than I am telling me, “You’re still young.” People, I’m over twice the age I was when I graduated high school. My friends have children who are graduating high school this year. I have gray hair…

Good Control Equals Quiet Me

My wife and I have a pretty good group of friends who for years we’ve met up with at our local microbrewery, which is a short walk from our house. We gather every few weeks or as often as possible to sit around and talk, enjoy a beer or two, play cards, and other good friends good times social activities that, if you want to imagine it, probably looks kind of like a beer advertisement — cue the music…

Spread the Fear

In the absence of anything really substantive and personal to write about this week, I’ll spend my time writing about an issue that isn’t really personal and, I don’t think, really very substantive. In fact — and feel free to disagree with me — it’s probably not a big deal at all; I’ll go so far as to say it’s a story only because it’s a story…

Think About It

I’m here today to talk to you about talking. About your illness. And to say that I think you should think more. About your illness. Why is that? Because of last night…

Lower A1C, Happier Me

Earlier this week I made my way to the endocrinologist for my four-month checkup. As has become my blogging habit, it is now my duty to share the details of this visit with you. Why? Because I know you really care. Why else? Because apart from visiting my doctor, this has been a slow week for Eric Lagergren, person with diabetes (PWD)…

Illness Wins the Day

Yesterday I called in a sick day for work. Was I sick? No. Yes. Well, at least at first I didn’t think so. I was taking a mental health day. That’s all. No fever, no sniffles…

Kit Carry Conundrum

Who carries your blood glucose monitoring kit? You? Sure, that seems likely. Do you stick it in your purse or a man bag (or man purse or murse)? Does your kit find its way around town in a workbag, lunch bag, gym bag, or fanny pack? How about a messenger bag or other such satchel, perhaps on your bike or scooter compartment or a saddlebag on your hog?

Lift a Heavy Load

We’ve all heard about the importance of physical activity in helping to manage our health, and there are innumerable articles across this vast Web expanse that promote exercise routines for better management of your diabetes and to help prevent those complications that so often accompany our pancreatic malady…

Pump Assessment Continues

It takes some time to adjust to a new insulin pump. How long, exactly, I’m not sure. However, I’m about a month into my life with the Animas OneTouch Ping (with the meter-remote), and I’d say that this week’s blog entry and possibly one more will be the extent to which I write about my pump transition process. The verdict on Animas vs. Cozmo as of this writing?

And More Pump Adjustment

I find myself late in the second week of life with my new insulin pump, the Animas OneTouch Ping. As I informed you last week, my plan for the next several blog entries is to write up my reactions to life with this device, touching on differences I observe after having spent four years with the Deltec Cozmo insulin pump

First Week With New Pump

Eight days ago I made the switch from using a Deltec Cozmo insulin pump to the Animas OneTouch Ping. Overall I’d have to say that I like the Animas. Those of you who are deciding on what type of pump to use or contemplating making a switch to a different pump from the Cozmo (since Smiths Medical has ceased manufacture of the Deltec Cozmo), you may ask: Do I like it more than the Cozmo?

Breakfast Unwavering

Has living with diabetes made you a boring eater? Do you lack adventure in your diet? Are you resigned to buying and eating the same foods again and again because the prospect of miscalculating an insulin bolus and seeing your blood glucose shoot too high or drop too low scares you?

Fine Feet

It’s been only about thirty minutes now (at least, as I’m writing this) since my annual appointment with my podiatrist. After fifteen quick minutes of discussion with the doc and then her examination, she told me everything is great and that she didn’t have any concerns…

Insulin Pump Transition Musing

The four-year warranty on my Deltec Cozmo insulin pump is up this July, which means that in a couple of months my insurance will pay for a replacement pump. Those of you who use the Deltec Cozmo, or those of you who follow anything to do with insulin pump news, know that Smiths Medical stopped producing this particular brand of pump two years ago…

Do You Want My Data?

On Monday afternoon I visited my endocrinologist for my quarterly checkup — actually, it seems that my visits the past few years occur every four months…

That Old Hospital Magic

It’s been about three months now since I’ve been in a health-care-provider environment. No doctor’s offices, no hospitals, no therapist’s office. Nothing…


Blood glucose test strips are a wonderful thing, until they’re not…

Diabetes Meta Blog

Well, it’s finally beginning to feel like not-winter outside. This morning I was able to head out on my 6:30 walk with the dog wearing my fleece pullover. No heavy winter coat. No gloves. No hat. (Of course pants, a shirt, and shoes are a given…)

When Is It Not Diabetes?

Last evening I was all set to update my status on my Facebook page. The text I’d written was something along the lines of, “So far I’ve seemed to handle many of the tough things in my life pretty well, which is maybe why tonight I want to make a mountain out of a molehill.” In fact, I’d already started shoring up a molehill…

Am I Disaster Prepared?

News of last Friday’s earthquake in Japan, of the tsunami that followed — and now of the nuclear radiation — is something that, I’m sure it’s safe to say, has affected us all in one way or another. The images, video, and stories coming out of the country are heartbreaking, and there’s little I can say. What I can write about, however, is diabetes…

Diabetes in My Media

It always seems that when it rains it pours (Morton Salt reference, anyone)? Pouring, lately: diabetes and insulin in print and on screen. For me, at least. In my little world…

Insulin Pump Escapes Harm

A couple of weeks ago I took what is, in hindsight, a rather amusing trip. And stumble. And, eventually — after what seemed like several minutes attempting to regain my balance (and another several deciding to just go with the flow and stop fighting it) — a full-on fall. Bam!

Intake Accountability

Over the past month I discovered that I’m guilty of, daily, calorically nickle and diming my way into too much food. I discovered that eating a little bit more than I think I am, having fallen into a practice in which I no longer consciously think about the things I put into my body, was adding up…

Pat Down With Insulin Pump

If you wear an insulin pump and plan on traveling by air, you may have concerns about how to navigate the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints at airport terminals. I know I did…

Threading Through Secrets

I don’t often jump to other blogs when I write my weekly entries, but today I want to give a nod to a wonderful thing that’s happened — and is still happening — over at Kerri Morrone Sparling’s excellent diabetes blog Six Until Me

Correspondence About My Lows

don’t want to seem lazy this week, but I’m headed on vacation for five days or so, and I’m hoping that you find my e-mail communication with my endocrinologist interests you somewhat…

Doc Visit Inspiration

I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned — and it’s taken me a long time to learn this — that starting a healthy habit, or turning back in the direction of a healthy habit from which I’ve veered off course, does not mean I must make an immediate, complete shift in order to affect change…

Goodbye to 2010

I’m not a person who makes resolutions as one year ends and the next begins. Never have been…

Where’d That Blog Entry Go?

A couple of you may have missed the posting of my blog entry last Thursday. Oh, I don’t mean you overlooked it; I mean maybe (I hope) one or two of you realized that there wasn’t anything available from me on the day of the week that, like clockwork, my blog shows up…

When the Lows Don’t Represent

Blood glucose can be a fickle thing. At least, for those of us with diabetes who manage our condition with medication, diet, and exercise, blood glucose numbers can seem to, of their own caprice, dive precipitously with no rhyme or reason…

Today, This Time of Year, and, Oh Yeah, Diabetes

I woke this morning around 7:30 to the sound of my wife and the dog starting their day together. Kathryn asked Ellie if she was ready to get up and go for a walk, and Ellie made her low, several-second, wookie-like noise that means “Of course!”

Checking In for Reassurance

From time to time we need the help of others to make sense of our life with diabetes. Below, then, is part of an exchange I had with an endocrinologist…

More Blog Entries About Exercise and Diabetes

One of the many little voices in my head told me, as I contemplated what I should write this week, to not write about exercise again. I often listen to those voices because they’re kind of on the ball and help me to make good decisions…

Bullet-Point Thursday

So much to write about, but so little time and space. Therefore, this week I’m going to regale you with three condensed bits of information in the hopes that you take away something from one of them. Just add water, and enjoy…

My First Memorable Diabetes Nightmare

I’m not one given to nightmares. Oh, sure, I have recurring anxiety-filled dreams, but they aren’t hellish or horror-filled. When I wake up, the dream’s over, mostly forgotten. The anxiety’s gone. I’m talking here about dreams of the sort where I’m back in college or high school, and I’ve skipped out on classes all semester…

Nothungry Oddlow

Saturday, July 24, began in the same way as many of my other Saturdays in the summer of 2010. Kathryn (my wife) gets up around six or six thirty to take the dog for her walk. I often wake up about fifteen minutes later, and the first thing I do, because I don’t have a thyroid, is go downstairs and take my Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium) with a large glass of water. Then I check my blood glucose.

The Second Same Insulin Pump Replacement

In a couple of hours I am going to be replacing my current insulin pump, a Smiths Medical Deltec Cozmo. Unfortunately it’s not a switch to a different brand of insulin pump, which I get to do next July at the end of my current four-year term when I’m eligible through my insurance plan to acquire a new pump…

How Nice the Results Have Been

If you took a look at my calendar over the past six or seven months, and if for your viewing pleasure I color-coded every appointment that was health-care related — let’s say green — you’d see that the primary-care physician appointments, the endocrinologist visits, the lab visits, the hospital stays and ultrasounds and biopsies, voice therapy appointments, otolaryngologist vists, dental visits, and ophthalmologist exams…

Featuring My Feet and Foot Doctor Fear

Let’s talk about feet. Or, instead, let’s let you let me talk about my feet. Allow me to ramble — or amble — with no particular place to go during this blog entry. I’ll roam about, with my feet as my subject. Merely a stroll…

Monday’s Domino Rally

Don’t let them tell you diabetes is easy to live with. Don’t let them tell you that it’s simply a shot you need to take, a pill you must swallow, an insulin pump you gotta wear, and a few finger sticks a few times daily to check your sugars. As if that’s all…

Mobile Infusion Set Site Change

A person with diabetes who’s tasked with writing an entry each week about his life with Type 1 diabetes might, at certain times, have those days when finding something to write about seems extremely difficult. Diabetes writer’s block, maybe? Or a creative roadblock in which the vast well of material that diabetes offers seems to have dried up…

Oprah, Owen, Diabetes, Me

I admit that I rarely get upset over the often-mistaken or ill-conceived portrayal of people with diabetes on television series, in movies, on talk shows, or when a nightly news segment reports erroneously on diabetes and fails to provide good, factual information and chooses instead to fearmonger…

Doctors, Doctors, and More Doctors

Let me preface this week’s blog by letting you know this is another diabetes-free entry. The great thing about my Type 1 diabetes (yes, I did say that, “the great thing about my diabetes!”) in all of this thyroid cancer surgery stuff that’s been predominant in my life for the past few months is that in the past month, since I had my total thyroidectomy, I haven’t had any instances of high blood glucose…

The Diabetes Blogger’s Dilemma

I have a confession and an apology to make. The apology is this: I’m sorry if I’ve let down any of you who read my blog expecting some snippet or anecdote or (maybe) insight into what it is I was contracted to do, which is to talk about what it is for me to live with diabetes. I’m sorry as well to those of you who may have clicked your way to one of my entries in the hopes of finding something related to diabetes and instead ended up with a several-thousand-word entry on some guy’s thyroidectomy

Thyroidectomy and a Side of Diabetes

For those of you who follow my blog, you may recall that last Thursday, January 7, was the date for my thyroidectomy. I would like, then, in this week’s entry to share with you an update I sent to friends and family last Saturday about what life was like for me in those hours before and after surgery…

Time To Review Carb Counting (Part 2)

I had become pretty good at estimating the amount of carbohydrates in the food on my plate. But what I lost sight of, among other things, was how certain types of foods interact with others and affect the absorption of carbohydrates into my system, thus affecting my blood glucose readings…

‘Tisn’t the Season

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season and that those of you with diabetes are enjoying a safe yet indulgent gustatory few weeks.

My life with Type 1 diabetes in December, up until about a week ago, had been an uneventful, quiet, life-as-usual autopilot existence…

How Easy It Could Be to Slide

This week I want to spend a bit of time talking about my diabetes. I know! Finally, right? After weeks of thyroid cancer this and papillary thyroid carcinoma that…

Diabetes in the Back Seat

It’s been ten days since I learned that I have papillary thyroid carcinoma, and I have yet to hear from anyone with any news about what is going to happen next. Because of this, for those of you (the many of you) who commented last week on my entry about my diagnosis of thyroid cancer, I really don’t have any updates. Oh, and once again, thank you for the kind words and details about your own bouts with cancer!

It Is Thyroid Cancer

I’m writing this the week of Thanksgiving, and while I’ve a litany of things I’m thankful for, that’s not what I’m writing about this week. Instead, it’s only slightly later than one day after I found out that I have cancer. I’ll share with you an edited version of an e-mail I shared with many of my close friends last night…

Writing from the Sickbed

On Wednesday of last week my wife woke up sick with the flu. We don’t know if it was the dreaded H1N1 or just seasonal flu, but she had a fever of 102 and a lethargy that, coupled with the whole-body ache that accompanies the flu, kept her bedridden for a good 70% of her time with the illness. On Sunday she was feeling better and she decided to venture out of the house with me; just a short trip to the dog park with Ellie (our labradoodle)…

Adhere to Me

I use an insulin pump. The insulin is delivered into my system subcutaneously from the pump through a couple dozen inches of surgical tubing, then finally through a cannula that pokes a few millimeters into my skin. For nonpumpers out there who aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about, Smiths Medical (while they still support diabetes supplies for another few years) has a 12-step series of photos online that will enlighten you as to how this stuff looks —my stuff, at least, since I use the Cleo Infusion Set…

Diabetes Information Overload

A few nights ago I woke up around three and couldn’t fall back asleep. As I’ll often do when this happens, I went downstairs and checked my blood glucose, then poured a glass of water, drank it down, poured another, and walked from window to window, looking out at the silent street, the front yard, the strip of flower bed alongside the house…

Maybe It’s (Diabetic) Complacency

I know it’s just me. I know I’m the only person in the world who has Type 1 diabetes who doesn’t get right on it when it comes to breaking bad habits. I rationalize. I retreat. I avoid. And I slip mildly into… dip my foot into — up only to my shin or maybe to my knee — those two sins of sloth and gluttony that provide the immediate comfort of putting off today…

My Cholesterol, My LDL, and That Statin Dose

The past week has been Time of the Doctors. On Monday I visited the endocrinology clinic for my quarterly checkup. Yesterday I met with my PCP for my six-month visit. Both doctors had on hand my complete blood lab results from the many vials that were drawn from my arm last week. All in all, my health snapshot looks good. This week, rather than go through the things I talked about with my doctors — and I always discuss quite a bit with them — I’ll focus on the conversations related to my cholesterol and my diabetes

Supplies, Supplies, Supplies

OK, all Gomer Pyle references in my title aside — or, for those of you who know it better from the end of Pink Floyd’s song “Nobody Home” from The Wall, all Pink Floyd/Gomer Pyle references aside — I have some musing to do on my durable medical equipment…

Flu Shot, Ultrasound, Dentist, Endo, PCP, Therapy

The title of this week’s blog? Just a few of my favorite things.

No, not really, although I do like my endocrinologist, enjoy my conversations about gardening with my dental hygienist, look forward to talking college basketball with my primary-care physician, and get quite a boost in emotional health at my (roughly) once-every-three-week visit to my therapist…

What Time Can Do To Diagnosis Stories

I’ve written about the Family Centered Experience (FCE) in my blog several times over the past two years. It’s a wonderful program for all first- and second-year medical students at the University of Michigan, and rather than describe it for you in my own words — and in case you don’t click on the link to the previous entry about the Family Centered Experience — here is a quick what-it-is from the FCE Web site

When Diabetes Is Boring

Often, when I don’t really know what to blog about, I default to an entry about blood glucose. Why? Well, I’m Type 1, on insulin therapy, and using an insulin pump, so no matter what else I have going on that I need to pay attention to for my diabetes self-management, blood glucose is it. It always comes back to blood glucose…

When Good Insulin Pumps Go Bad (Part 2)

Last week I was telling you about my insulin pump and some strange behaviors it had been exhibiting. In short, it was shorting out, or it was powering down and then powering up with no help from me. On both that Friday and that Saturday night I was treated to the insulin pump boot-up process, and I didn’t know why…

Planning Adequately, Eating Poorly

This past week my wife, our dog Ellie, and I were a couple hours west of home doing some much-needed and very anticipated absolutely nothing at a cabin on a lake. Okay, there was hiking, some kayaking, campfires, lots of reading, and good grilling… but for the most part, absolutely nothing…

I’m a Traveling Man Who Has Diabetes

This morning I told my wife that I wasn’t sure what to blog about this week. She then asked me what it was I was thinking about writing on. I said self-pity. I then said, before she had time to comment on my topic of choice, that I was going to approach the self-pity part from the point of view that I rarely, if ever, engage in it when it comes to my diabetes. Instead, I was going to approach it from, well… how it is I try to (and often succeed in) turning on its head my initial inclination — which happens often — to whine or grouse about the mundane, quotidian care required for my self-management, and instead, when the desire to play the woe-is-me diabetes card strikes, do just the opposite…

Diabetes and iPhone: Another App Article?

Yeah, I know. For those of you who are tech-savvy and who read more than a few diabetes Web sites or blogs, and especially those of you who may have an iPhone or iPod touch, you’re probably thinking, “Oh no, not another list of those few applications out there that require too much manual data entry.” Don’t worry. It is not my intention to review the few applications out there — “apps” for short, by the way (for the uninitiated) — that are already in existence…

How Much Doctoring is Too Much for a Type 1?

This is a tough topic to write succinctly and coherently about. And no doubt I’ll hear back from some readers both agreeing and disagreeing. I am interested in what you guys have to say. So, up front, I apologize for any incoherence. I may be all over the map on this topic.

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Insulin

It’s that time of year here in Michigan that makes me very happy. Summer’s here, which means that the flower gardens that make up a majority of our lawn — front, back, and side of the house — are just about ready to go into full-color mode. My wife and I are also three weeks away from a weeklong vacation at a cabin we rented in a national forest on the other side of the state. So I’m excited for what’s to come…

Random Thoughts on My Diabetes and This Blog

What follows in this week’s blog entry is — for the most part — a nonnarrative about a few things regarding my self-management. Often I write about what’s happened in the past week or so, but the last week has been rather uneventful in my diabetes life. This morning as I took the dog on her hour-long walk, I tried but could not think of anything to write about this week. It’s a problem that doesn’t happen to me too often, because I can usually take a seemingly insignificant aspect of my life with diabetes and spin it out into a good thousand-word blog entry…

Another Endocrinologist Visit

My first ever visit to an endocrinologist was two weeks after being diagnosed with diabetes. It was an oddly comforting visit because it was in fact where Dr. Kumagai told my wife and me that I had Type 1…

Running Scared: A Legitimate Concern or Just an Excuse

In college I ran cross-country and track. In my mid- to late twenties I ran because I enjoyed it. In my thirties I haven’t really done much running. Oh, I’ve done and will probably again do the gym thing, spinning classes, all of that, but lately — and in no small part because of lovely weather and a beautiful hilly, forested cemetery two blocks from our house that has beautiful trails on which we take our dog on long walks — I’ve had the urge to start running…

My Routine, My Blood Glucose

Over the winter months it seemed to me that often, when I’d check my blood glucose, I was running 30–40 mg/dl higher than I’d have liked. I tweaked the basal rate on my insulin pump, and I worked some with my carbohydrate ratios, but from November through February the levels weren’t as consistent as I’d like, and my HbA1c at my endocrinologist’s visit indicated that I’d slipped some: I’d gone up almost one percentage point and was right around 7.0%…

Best of Luck, Tara

For this week’s blog entry, I’d like to deviate slightly to spend my space talking about how much I’ve enjoyed working with Diabetes Self-Management’s Web Editor, Tara Dairman. As many of you may have read in the weekly Diabetes Self-Management e-newsletter, Tara is moving on in her life and career, and so she’s winding down her tenure at Diabetes Self-Management, and very soon a new editor will take her place.

They Had To Tell Me, Didn’t They?

About six weeks ago, I learned that Smiths Medical, the maker of my Deltec Cozmo insulin pump, would stop selling diabetes materials and "manage an orderly, carefully controlled exit from the diabetes business." Well, fine. I have two years left before I get a new pump — the end of the warranty period, at which point my insurance covers a new pump. But not a huge deal, as long as Smiths Medical ensures that the cartridges and infusion sets that work with my pump are around for a few more years. Not a big deal to me.

What Did You Say?

OK, I admit it: Regarding this blog, I can sometimes be a bit of a comment junkie. Every week for almost two years, I’ve written a blog entry knowing that at least a few people will read my ramblings from the past week. And I know, too, that if anyone has something to say to me, about me or my blog entry, that there’s an easy, anonymous means by which a reader can say something. The Diabetes Self-Management comment feature doesn’t require a subscription, log-in information, or any personal information except your e-mail address.

No Food or Drink Allowed

Here’s the deal. Last week ("Is It Just Always Something?") I wrote about my thyroid nodule and how I was scheduled to have a biopsy on April 23. That’s today. I’m writing this blog entry following the fine needle aspiration ultrasound biopsy.

So, my intention: blog this week about the biopsy procedure. You know, what I experienced, what I felt — all that good stuff that goes with a hospital visit.

Is It Just Always Something?

Two weeks ago, in an entry in which I felt I overshared a bit too much of my medical appointment information ("A Smattering of Diabetes Oversharing"), I wrote that despite an overwhelmingly positive six-month physical, I’d be headed back in a few days for yet another ultrasound. Seems that there’s always loads of positive feedback at the doctor’s office, but it’s often followed by that "But…"

Product Review: WaveSense Jazz Blood Glucose Meter

A few months ago, I was asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the new no-code WaveSense Jazz blood glucose monitoring system in one of my weekly blog entries. I said sure, why not. I mean, I’m not under any contractual obligation to review diabetes products, but the prospect of both free stuff and of getting to play with gadgets appeals to me.

A Smattering of Diabetes Oversharing

Next week, I will delve once more into the arena of product review. Last year, I wore a continuous glucose monitor for a few days and wrote about that experience (in "Continuous Glucose Monitoring and Me"). This year (at least so far this year), my reviewing prowess will be put to the test writing up my thoughts on the WaveSense Jazz blood glucose meter. I’ll leave it at that — leaving you, I’m sure, salivating to hear my opinions of new products for blood glucose monitoring.

In the interim, then, you may enjoy the following bits from the past week of my life with Type 1 diabetes.

Insurance, Skin-Prep Wipes, and Principle (Part 1)

Seems that every month or two I have another blog entry about the runaround I’m put through in communications with my insurance provider, durable medical equipment supplier, or pharmacy. If you’ve wondered when the latest episode of A Boy and His Insurance Coverage would show up, fear not. This week it’s an exciting installment of "Four Weeks, Fifty Phone Calls: What I Did For A $17 Box of Skin-Prep Wipes" (Part 1 of 2!).

A Rather Pedestrian Topic

Some people find feet fascinating. I, however, have never found feet — mine, or anyone else’s, for that matter — very interesting. In college, I ran track and cross country, so for a number of years I became accustomed to the occasional warped toenail and the constant callusing of many different parts of my foot (tops and sides of toes, mostly). But I was young, and really, unless you’re prone to some type of foot fetish, there’s little cause to pay attention to these things so far away. Such utilitarian body parts.

For the Rest of My Life, This Month

In March of 2007, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I was 33 years old. At the time, I thought my life would be so upended by having to live with and manage a chronic illness that the Eric Lagergren I’d come to know (for better or worse) would soon be unrecognizable from my pre-diabetes self. I just assumed that I’d spend my daily existence coping with my health care, paying attention to blood glucose readings, food intake, insulin doses, and medicines, not to mention learning everything I could about Type 1 diabetes. To not know would only facilitate poorer care, and poorer care would only lead more quickly to diabetic complications.

Switching Pharmacies Is Hard on the Heart

I’ve written before about some of the time-consuming chores that accompany managing my Type 1 diabetes. It’s never-ending, and so when I have a month or two where things go smoothly, months devoid of the runaround, be it the doctor’s office or the blood lab or phone calls with insurance providers and health-care management people or multiple monthly trips to the pharmacy, I don’t take it for granted. I bask in the lack of to-do.

Mundane, Yet Necessary. And Yet…

I was told, and I read, that prior to every blood glucose (bg) check, I ought to wash my hands with warm soap and water. I was told, and I also read, that if I wasn’t able to wash my hands with warm soap and water prior to a bg check, I should carry one of those "single serving" alcohol wipes along with me and swab the finger I planned to prick before using my lancing device.

These things I was told. These things I do not do. Not all of the time. Not very often.

It’s Always There

It, of course, is my Type 1 diabetes. And for this week’s blog entry, and in fact for the rest of my life, the there that I refer to will be my life. Yeah, I’d like to hedge and qualify and say that maybe not, maybe there will be a cure someday. Yeah, I’d like to say that.

Checking, and Checking Some More

A couple of weeks ago (in "Am I Doing Fine, Really?"), I wrote about my visit to the endocrinologist and the results of my hemoglobin A1c test. With my latest HbA1c at 6.9%, I’m not dejected, complaining, or worried. And yet, this latest reading was my highest since my first reading three months after I was diagnosed with Type 1.

A List, A Diabetes List

Currently on Facebook — which, for those of you who don’t know, is an online social networking site — one of the things many of my friends are participating in is an exercise called "25 Random Facts." What it asks you to do, basically, is continue a chain letter. You’re to write "a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you," and then pass it along to 25 of your friends, and they’re to do the same.

Recognizing the Need to Tweak Thought

In 2007, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and spent the rest of the year learning what I could about the condition while at the same time learning how to live with it. In 2008, I continued to learn about living with diabetes, and I found that although diabetes affects every aspect of my life, the day-to-dayness of it does eventually slip into the background — often, at least — and become one more thing that gets swallowed up by all of the other noise in my life.

But in 2009?

I’m Doing Fine, Really, But…

In 10 days, I go to the endocrinologist for my quarterly checkup. I’m sure that all systems (my endocrine system, of course) will, relatively speaking, be fine. And here, today, you’re reading my pronouncement: I’m predicting that my HbA1c will be 6.4%.

Here’s What I Was Going To Do

Each week I write about some aspect of what it’s like living with Type 1 diabetes. Over the past year and a half, coming up with topics hasn’t been a problem. Minor mishaps with the insulin pump happen almost once a week. Some sort of blood glucose high or low is standard every few weeks. There are moments of frustration during which I curse the condition and/or the accoutrement that are necessary to keep me as uncomplicated as possible down the road…

The Weather Outside and Within

In my almost two years now of living with Type 1 diabetes, I rarely fall into the woe-is-me mode, and I rarely blame circumstances in my day-to-day life on the diabetes. Oh, I’ll blame things on diabetes, on a rare occasion when no other excuse will work quite as well: to get out of events, to arrive a smidge late for work, that sort of stuff.

(Hey, the condition needs to come with some perks!)

The Stigmata of Diabetes

Emphasis here not on the physical so much, but on the emotional and mental stigmata of diabetes. Oh, and clarification may be needed, as well, so that you know up front that I’m referring to stigmata in the lowercase "c" catholic sense, using it simply as the plural of stigma in a nonreligious way.

Confessions of a Thanksgiving Weekend Survivor

For the last few days, I’ve been wanting to write some kind of diabetes confessional. The problem is, I’ve been uncertain about how to create the context in which to write it. Thanksgiving and its four-day weekend of food sloth has provided me the occasion, but the presentation gives me pause.

The Stir, or Lack Thereof, Over A Cure

Here’s how I find out there’s a new potential cure for Type 1 diabetes (emphasis here at the outset of this blog post on the word potential). Tuesday morning, my wife is on the couch reading the news feed on her iPhone and comes across Kerri Morrone Sparling’s latest entry in her "Six Until Me" blog (it’s a blog most of you probably know, and if not, check it out!).

Rambling About Diet (and Diet Coke)

Regarding the diabetes, the past week’s been pretty uneventful. Which I like. The only minor glitch in self-management happened yesterday at lunch. A pretty drastic blood glucose spike after lunch, actually, that gave me pause.

First, though, let me provide some backstory, although it’s probably not really essential.

Insulin Pumpers: Learn from My Experience

For those of you who don’t use an insulin pump and who are not familiar with the nuances of pumping insulin, some of the content of this week’s blog entry may either be cryptic or irrelevant, or both. My hope is that a nonpumping and unfamiliar-with-insulin-pump audience will be able to get the gist, however. So, without further ado…

Check Check One Two

I used to feel pretty guilty if I missed checking my blood glucose (bg). I used to. Lately, I’ve found myself ignoring, on occasion, the reminder from my insulin pump to check my bg two hours after a meal—and I don’t feel badly about it. Of course, maybe I do: At times I feel guilty that I don’t feel guilty about those occasions when I sometimes, just every once in a while…

intentionally miss a bg check.

Joe the Diabetic

Okay, I know: The politically correct way of writing that headline would be Joe the Person With Diabetes. But it just doesn’t have that ring to it. So, since I’m trying to create a meme that’ll be picked up and plastered across Internet and talk radio and mainstream television media, to be debated and blogged about and used in political advertisements for next few national news cycles, I’m just gonna stick with Joe the Diabetic.

I am Joe.

When the Paranoia Subsides

How to read this week’s blog entry:

1. Read last week’s blog entry ("The Paranoid Moments") if you haven’t done so yet. (I’m asking nicely.)

2. Read the comments several people wrote in response to last week’s blog entry. (Please.)

3. Return to this page and read the rest of this week’s entry. (That right there is sugar-coated!)

The Paranoid Moments

The blog entries for me, weekly as they are, are often something I think about on and off for a few days. I’ll contemplate what’s gone on in my life that’s diabetes-related and if/how I can stretch that into somewhere between 500 and 1000 words. Those of you who know my blog know that it comes out on Thursday, often in the afternoon (though I think a lot of people read it the following Wednesday, when the Diabetes Self-Management e-mail newsletter comes out).

A Week In The Life

Those medical artists, those doctors, that health-care system and those office staff and nurses, therapists, psychiatrists, and pharmacists; indeed, also those insurance company reps and medical-supply folks toiling away in cubes and warehouses…they all deserve my praise for the work they do to help me as I try to live as healthy and normal a life as possible with this thing called Type 1 diabetes.

Hypoglycemia’s Dangerous Enough

A few days ago, a colleague of mine who also happens to have Type 1 diabetes forwarded me a link to an article with the headline "Wife: Diabetic man mistaken for drunken driver and beaten." The subheading for this article: "Family’s attorney say [sic] man has been in a coma since June 15."

In Dreams the Future

I’m somewhere on the East Coast. It’s that gloaming time at the end of the day, and the world where I am has quieted down. The grass on the dunes rustles in the evening breeze, and some shorebirds run along the sand.

Those Three Little Words

This past week, I was in a Blockbuster video store and heard something that messed with my world for a little while. It’s an incident that, prior to its happening, if you would have given me a list of things regarding my diabetes that would make me uncomfortable in public, wouldn’t have even registered.

Beware Diabetic Complacency

Last weekend, my wife and I went camping about three hours north of here. It was the first time I’ve been along on the annual her-side-of-the-family camping excursion, and except for some obnoxious people who were a bit too loud too late into the evening at a campsite across the road, we had a great time.

So How Should I Presume?

The routine of self-management—the routine necessitated by the multiple daily diabetes tasks—has the potential to become a mind-numbing burden that triggers some new dread in me each time I perform an aspect of it.

Diabetes, Stomach Stuff, and Spousal Stress

Last Thursday, I left work early because I was feeling out of it. These were the typical nondescript symptoms of my youth, more often than not the ones I’d call upon when I wanted nothing more than to tune out and do nothing. My intention last week was to go home and nap for a good three or four hours, then enjoy a quiet evening before returning to work the next day, the lazy weekend stretching out before me.

It didn’t turn out that way.

The Interruption of Normalcy

This week, I’m sort of all over the place. Lack of sleep over the past 48 hours has made focusing on writing a blog entry something of a difficult task. I said to my wife yesterday (who’s in the same nonsleep boat) that I feel like I used to feel in college after pulling an all-nighter. It’s still as unpleasant (actually, more so) as it was then, yet these days my exhaustion comes not from a decision I brought on because I put off for too many weeks that big paper or studying for a test. Nope. This current bout with sleeplessness runs household-wide.

One Side Effect from a Low Blood Glucose

Before I begin this week’s blog entry, let me state the following for people who may have found this link while looking for actual side effects from a low blood glucose: The subject of this piece isn’t really (I don’t think) a legitimate side effect from a low blood glucose. Instead, it’s probably part of some personal quirk or idiosyncrasy. Who knows.

Regarding the Diabetes

This week marks one year since I started writing a weekly blog entry for That’s 51 articles (almost 40,000 words!), or blogs, or missives, or whatever you want to call them, about what it’s been like for me (for the most part) living with Type 1 diabetes. This week, I’d like to share some modified portions of an e-mail I sent to a friend a few days ago as a response to her asking how the diabetes was going.

The Problem with Responsibility

I’m not a child, so I do not have a parent who makes healthy diabetes meals for me and gets on my case about doing this or that to make sure I grow up healthy in spite of my Type 1 diabetes. Although I’m married, my wife is not my keeper; she loves me and she’s concerned about my health, but it is not her way to nag or pester or check in with me about my diabetes care, so I do not live with someone who asks me if I’ve exercised or if I’m watching what I eat or if I’ve checked my blood glucose or if I should really be out gardening without shoes on.

The Sound of Diabetes

I don’t know where the title—and, of course, the subject—for this week’s blog entry came from. Well…maybe I do. For the past week, our normally quiet neighborhood evenings have been permeated by the sounds of fireworks, a constant barrage of Black Cats, Saturn Missiles, and Roman Candles, which has no doubt influenced my thinking. While it’s true enough that there’s little correlation between the sound of diabetes and the fireworks’ sizzles, whistles, fizzles, and explosions, when the phrase "sound of diabetes" popped into my head last night, I decided to run with it.

The Positive Can Be Negative

I returned to the gym on Tuesday for the first time in a couple of months. Yes, for all I’ve written and talked about my love of spinning classes (and that I’d even purchased cycling shoes and new cycling shorts in March), I’ve been on an extended hiatus from the local community college’s recreation complex.

Moving Out of the Fast Lane

Maybe it’s that I’m in my "terrible twos"—my second year of living with Type 1 diabetes. But for the past three or four months, I’ve felt that my self-management isn’t what it was last year at this time. But that’s not to say that the pendulum of my self-management has swung back the other way entirely. Not at all. In fact, my last endocrinologist visit and doctor’s visit a few months ago showed that I was still doing quite well in my care.

Eat the Shelf

I Googled the phrase “eat the shelf” yesterday and the search didn’t turn up any references. I couldn’t find people using it in the way that I’ve been using it, which is to describe the desire, when experiencing a low blood glucose, to eat everything on the shelf in the pantry or the fridge.

This Sounds Familiar To Me

OK, so last July when I started writing these weekly entries, I was certain that I’d provide those people who chose to read my blog an honest account of what it was like for me to learn to live with Type 1 diabetes. For the remainder of 2007 and for much of this year to date, I’ve done just that.

Blood on My Hands

My blood glucose monitoring routine’s pretty routine (although probably not textbook). I unzip my kit and fold it open. On the left is my lancet pen (an Accu-Chek Multiclix), the test strips (FreeStyle, which go with the CozMonitor glucose monitor that piggybacks on my insulin pump), and the tiny FreeStyle Flash monitor I use if I’m not wearing my pump. On the right is a zippered pouch with an extra glucose monitor battery, a couple of extra lancet drums, and usually an AAA battery for my insulin pump. Oh, and there’s the piece of paper towel or tissue folded to about two inches square, on which are dried streaks and drops of dried blood from the previous few days of monitoring.

What’s the Buzz All About?

Many mornings over the past few months, I’ve conveniently forgotten to check my blood glucose when I wake up. I bolus for breakfast—a bowl of cereal or a couple of chewy granola bars—but I’m unable to correct for my blood glucose with the insulin pump because I don’t know what my blood glucose level is. It wants me to correct if I need to correct. I lie to my pump. I don’t know my numbers.

“It Turned Everything Upside Down”

For those of you who’ve followed my blog throughout the past eight months, if you’ve read with any regularity you have no doubt encountered my discussions about the Family Centered Experience (FCE) program at the University of Michigan Medical School. My most recent FCE blog entries are April 3 ("A Year of Helping Medical Students") and April 10 ("Breaking Bad News"), but I also wrote about this great program back in December ("Before They Are Doctors").

So, do you want more? I hope so, because you’re going to get more.

Those Negative Inner Voices

Last week (in "Fifty-One On, One Off [Kinda]"), I mentioned that, while I was on vacation, I’d been having some trouble keeping my blood glucose numbers down within the target range I’d become accustomed to. I figured that when I was back home and once again settled into a routine, I’d find it somewhat simple to ease out of these higher ranges. I was mistaken.

Fifty-One On, One Off (Kinda)

Diabetes Self-Management. Sure, it’s the name of the Web site and the magazine, but, more importantly, it’s what we do. We, us—those of you reading, those of you with diabetes, those of you living with and helping care for people with diabetes.

Breaking Bad News

I admit that when I started to write my previous blog entry, "A Year of Helping Medical Students," my intention had been to focus on the topic of breaking bad news. But I balked and ran off in a different direction, basically extending last week’s opening paragraph and turning it into an entire entry. The truth: I’m not sure how to write about this topic. But I’m going to try. So join me as I fumble about…

A Year of Helping Medical Students

Last week, Kathryn and I had our final meeting with Andrew and Megan, two University of Michigan Medical School students assigned us as their volunteer family for the medical school’s Family Centered Experience (FCE) program. One of the goals of the FCE is to help students understand that a person’s illness isn’t confined to the hospital or doctor’s office; that the daily life of a person with a chronic medical condition more often than not consists of a constant navigation through, around, within, and with whatever condition that person has.

P2P Diabetes

A little over a week ago, I received an e-mail from my endocrinologist. It was a short missive in which he told me that he’d recently seen, as a patient, a man in his 30’s who’d just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. What my endocrinologist wanted to know—and what he assured me was completely my decision (and he emphasized that there was no pressure to do so)—was if I wanted to talk to this gentleman about Type 1, since just one year earlier I, too, had been diagnosed.

It took me no time at all to reply that Yes, indeed, I would be happy to help this guy out.

Looking Back

Sunday(ish) marks the unofficial one-year anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis. “(Ish)" because I haven’t done any detailed review of my journal to find the precise date when the doctor told me that diabetes was what it was. "Unofficial" because a few weeks prior to—let’s just say March 23, 2007—the doctor’s visits and blood tests had commenced but I hadn’t yet heard anything conclusive about why I felt the way I’d been feeling.

Taking It Off in Bed

Oh my. What’s this week’s blog entry about? A titillating tale of diabetes and sex? Sorry, folks. Check out the first word in this next sentence for the big letdown. Orthodontics…

Welcome to Miami (Bienvenidos a Miami)

Last week I mentioned that I’d be traveling to Miami Beach for a work conference. Well, here I am. It’s Wednesday night and I’m sitting in a hotel room after two days of conferencing with one more to go. (Actually it’s only been one-and-a-half days of conferencing thus far. Tuesday’s convention was cut short by the large power outage that hit Florida in the afternoon).

Mind Your Own Business

This last full week of February I’ll be leaving arctic Michigan to attend a conference in Miami Beach. It will be the first time I’ve taken my diabetes along on an airline flight, and while I don’t expect any hassles with my insulin pump or the bottles of insulin or the syringes I carry, you just never know.

Forbidden Fruit

A week ago, I went to see a dietitian at the endocrinology clinic I go to. The reason for my visit was to get some help figuring out what else I could do on the days I exercise to keep my blood glucose closer to 150 mg/dl during the workout.

Diabetes In My Hierarchy of Needs

True or False
(1) Diabetes doesn’t rule my every waking moment.

(2) Diabetes isn’t in control.

(3) Diabetes doesn’t dictate who I am or what I do.

(4) I am more than a person with diabetes.

In Praise of the Diabetes Contact List

This week, I wanted to write more about continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), but I think I’m going to veer off the CGM path. After all, when I started this blog, I imagined it following my week-by-week living with Type 1 diabetes, and for the most part I’ve adhered to my initial intent. Therefore, because during the past week I’ve done more diabetes-related corresponding than CGM-thinking, I’ll move in that direction.

Do My Test Strips Define Me?

I’m considering getting a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Or maybe I should say that, for the past few days, I’ve been thinking about CGMs. I never really gave them much thought over the past 10 months, what with my Type 1 diabetes diagnosis and the acclimation to my new diabetes lifestyle. There’s only so much one man can do.

It’s 3 AM. Do You Know What Your Blood Glucose Is?

The other night, I woke up at 1:20 AM, 10 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off. I’d set the alarm for 1:30 because, as I got ready for bed two hours earlier, I checked my blood glucose and got a reading of 79 mg/dl. Not too low and not dangerous. At least, not really.

I Get By With a Little Help From the 19th Century

The last time I visited Ralph Waldo Emerson’s and Walt Whitman’s writings with anything close to serious study was back in college, over a decade ago. In the intervening years, I’ve read through Emerson’s "Self-Reliance" a few times and paged through Whitman’s "Song of Myself" every few years, often reading the poem aloud for its music. Therefore, due to my neglect and the time since I’ve studied it, you’ll forgive me for possibly bastardizing American Transcendentalism when I quote both authors in this week’s entry.

Ode to Diabetes, or Oh Diabetes

Maybe it’s the season, or that this is Eric’s last blog entry of 2007, but whatever it is, he’s pushed his prose into line breaks this week. So without much further ado, here’s Eric’s poem to close out his first year as someone with Type 1 diabetes. If any of the details of the poem make you say “What?” don’t worry; you may want to reference his first few blog entries from back in July, though. And Eric says that you needn’t worry—he won’t continue the poetic blog entries in 2008.

Before They Are Doctors

This week, Eric interviews one of his Family Centered Experience medical students. But before you jump into the interview, you may want to click on over to "A Healthier Husband." That’s right, it’s the same Eric (although he wants you to know that the photograph accompanying the article is not him). He was contacted a few months ago by the author of the Good Housekeeping article for the interview, and thought he’d share it with the readers of his blog. After all, why did the author contact Eric? Because she’d read The Diabetes Self-Management Blog, of course!

Diabetes, Beer, Dinner, and Medical Students

This week, Eric continues writing about his involvement as a volunteer for the University of Michigan Medical School’s Family Centered Experience (FCE) program. He’s jumping right into it, so if you want some background, please visit last week’s entry ("My Diabetes, My Family Centered Experience"). Oh, and because the program Eric’s writing about is the Family Centered Experience, he figures he may as well invite you in, just a little, so maybe you’ll feel you were sitting around the table too. Why? He’d like to see your comments on this post. Therefore, if you so choose, you can look at a few non-diabetes-related photos that may enhance your blog-reading experience. Eric’s interspersed a few links throughout this week’s entry.

My Diabetes, My Family Centered Experience

About three months, ago I began a blog entry ("Addicted to Your Self-Management?") about a program my wife and I are participating in at the University of Michigan Medical School. It’s called the Family Centered Experience (FCE)—cofounded and directed by my endocrinologist, Dr. Arno Kumagai. I never followed up on that teaser entry because, while writing it, the topic veered off in another direction. Typical. And, after that, I became sidetracked as I typed in entry after entry about my insulin pump.

Priming the (Insulin) Pump (Part 8)

Happy Thanksgiving! Eric’s holiday post finds him on Part 8 of his insulin pump series. He continues with the "Morning of the Site Change" thread this week. If you need to pick up where he left off in his ongoing serial about his site change, Eric suggests beginning by jumping in at Part 6 and Part 7. He’s promises that he’ll soon come up with some new titles!

Priming the (Insulin) Pump (Part 6)

This week, Eric returns to writing about his insulin pump. In his next three or four entries, he plans to take you through his morning with the insulin pump. Or, as he says, he’ll lead you on a roundabout journey with him as he wakes up and goes about getting ready to change his infusion set. Eric can often find it difficult to be succinct when writing about his insulin pump, so sit back and enjoy the narrative of Eric and Pump.

Priming the (Insulin) Pump (Part 4)

If you’ve been following Eric’s blog entries over the past month, you’re ready for Part 4 in his series on his transition to using an insulin pump (if you haven’t followed, and you want to, here are entries 1, 2, and 3). When he ended Part 3, his Cozmo insulin pump was in the mail. This week, he receives pump and supplies and prepares to attend an hour-long session on how to use his insulin pump.

Drilling for Blood Glucose

This week, I’m taking a break from writing about my transition to the insulin pump so that I can discuss going to the dentist. Why? Because as someone relatively new to living with diabetes, I was confronted yesterday afternoon with yet another life-with-diabetes moment.

Priming the (Insulin) Pump (Part 3)

This week, Eric continues with Part 3 in an ongoing series of entries about his recent transition to using an insulin pump (click here for his first and second entries). He’s trying to be somewhat comprehensive about his insulin pumping experience, and that’s why, thus far in his blog, he hasn’t even received his pump yet.

Priming the (Insulin) Pump (Part 2)

This week, Eric continues with Part 2 in an ongoing series of entries about his recent transition to using an insulin pump. (Read the first entry here.) In this entry, he begins at the beginning. He’ll start with what led him to switch from injections to a pump. You won’t find him actually pumping insulin in these blog entries for a few more weeks!

Priming the (Insulin) Pump

First, know that this week’s blog entry won’t satisfy you if you’ve clicked on this page in hope of reading cold, hard facts on insulin pumping. Second, I’ve got a disclaimer for you: I’m not a pump expert, and because I am not a certified diabetes educator, a medical doctor, or Dean Kamen, I want to make it quite clear that I offer no medical advice or advocate any particular method of delivering insulin.

Back in the Saddle

The first sentence I wanted to begin today’s blog entry with started with the words, “When I was diagnosed.” I wrote them down, deleted them, and then wrote several variations on that theme: “Back in March when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes…”; “When I found out…”; “When the doctor told me….”

Health Care Without Crisis

“I’m sure lucky I got diabetes” is a phrase you’ll likely never hear. But “I’m sure lucky I got diabetes when I did” is something I’ve said in conversation a few times. I had the good fortune—if you want to call it that—to get diabetes at a time in my life when I was well-equipped to handle it not only emotionally and with good self-management practices right out of the gate, but also when I was fully employed with excellent health insurance benefits.

Addicted to Your Self-Management?

I planned on writing today’s blog entry about a program I’ll be volunteering for at the University of Michigan Medical School. It’s called the Family Centered Experience (FCE)—which, by the way, was cofounded and is directed by my endocrinologist, Dr. Arno Kumagai. It’s a wonderful way for medical students to gain an understanding of illness from the patient’s point of view.

The Ubiquitous Garden Metaphor

This summer I’ve been gardening. Lots. Hours in the yard on weekends and in the evening. See, I’ve always wanted perennials—a flower garden thick with coneflowers and black-eyed Susans and daisies (among the 20–30 other species I covet). So I’ve expanded and refreshed a few neglected beds out back and for the past few weeks have been digging two sprawling beds in front.

On Keeping a Diabetes Journal

I’m looking through the green, spiral-bound notebook in which I journal and keep track of most things diabetes. For the first few months after my late-March 2007 diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, I kept diligent track of the time of day and my blood glucose readings—highlighted in blue—in the left-hand margins. I also wrote a paragraph or two about what I’d eaten (if I had eaten), its carb content, as well as what activities I was up to, how I felt, and any thoughts, questions, or fears about my diabetes.

A Diabetes Neophyte’s Prologue (Part 3)

(Continued from last week’s entry.)

What does it mean to me that I’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness that 80 or 90 years ago pretty much meant I’d be dead in a few years? What does it mean that, although I should be able to live a full life, I am still more than likely going to have to monitor my blood glucose and inject or infuse insulin and watch my diet and keep diligent watch over when and how much physical activity I do and wait around for the second low, and so on, and so on…for the rest of my days?

A Diabetes Neophyte’s Prologue (Part 2)

(Continued from last week’s entry.)

When I arrived at the health center, the doctor—a resident—and his attending physician came into the examination room. The attending didn’t sugarcoat it: I had diabetes. But the thing was this: They weren’t sure what type it was. They would need to run some more tests, and for the next few weeks I would exist in diabetes diagnosis limbo.

A Diabetes Neophyte’s Prologue (Part 1)

When 2007 began, diabetes wasn’t on my radar screen. The statistics are something like one in fourteen people has diabetes, so, yeah, I knew people. I went to grad school with a friend who had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 21, and I work with someone who’s had diabetes since he was thirteen months old. But what did I know about diabetes?

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