How to make sense of Diabetes

November 27, 2009

A couple of days ago I bumped into a video produced by the guys at Tu Diabetes, and I thought it was too good not to give it a plug.  The video is a compilation of submissions by members of the Tu Diabetes community, and while humorous, shows the serious ways in which type 1 diabetes affects each of us.

According to DHF, the video was made “to raise diabetes awareness and in preparation for World Diabetes Day”. “We held the Making Sense of Diabetes video contest during October 2009. We sought video entries about the impact diabetes has on our lives through one of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. We produced compilation video, showcasing footage from some of the videos for each of the senses.”

Here is the final compilation

Thanks to Manny and his team for organizing the contest and to all contributing members for their submissions.


Insulin Pump Expo 2009

October 23, 2009

pump-expoThis week I had the opportunity to attend the Insulin Pump Expo 2009. This event is organized by The local chapter of Diabetes Australia, and brings together the diabetes community interested in Insulin Pumps. There were two presentaton tracks on the day, one for prospective pumpers and an advanced one for those of us who have been pumping for a while.

In the introductory session they introduce the basic concepts of pumping, with the objective of helping people decide whether they may be interested in an insulin pump. There is also presentations by most pump manufacturers and it’s an interesting to see them competing with each other for patients attention.

I’m already on a pump and pretty much locked to it for the next 3 1/2 years, so for me, the advanced session was where the real value was. Cheryl Steele from the Diabetes Department at Western Health, presented a very comprehensive presentation on bolus options, handling tricky food and continuous glucose monitoring.

Particularly interesting for m was the section on takeaway foods. I’ve always had issues with some foods and had assumed that there was not much you could do… Naughty eating gets naughty BGLs….  It turns out that what I’ve been doing wrong is using the wrong type of bolus.  I’ve been using normal bolus for everything while in reallity the fat content of the foods slows down the absortion rate.

Some of the recommendations were quite impresive… for a Big Mac, for example… 50% of the insulin immedicately and 50% over 3 or 4 hours… Pizza, 30-40% now and the rest over 6-7 hours. We were also told to include part of the fat content in the carb count as the liver will eventually turn it into glucose.

Overall was a great night and look forward to see whether I can used what I learned to get better control.


Meeting other people with Diabetes

June 22, 2009

Anglers Tavern nightLast Friday I spent a few hours at the Anglers Tavern with some of my friends with D.  We had dinner and shared some pretty good conversations about a bunch of D and non-D related matters. As I was driving back from the event I was thinking how lucky I am for being able to meet other people who know what I’m going through.

Here in Melbourne, Australia we have a group of people who participate in the Reality Check forums and meet up every three months or so. The group changes every time with some new people and also some familiar faces. These events draw together some experienced people and also some newbies.

Our experience im this area seem to be pretty rare. even other attempts to organize events like this in other parts of Australia seem to have much more troble in getting this meets to happen. The only other events of this class I know are Kerri Sparling in the US with the Fairfield Ladies, and the Tudiabetes meet-ups

If you are reading this and feeling “yes, I wish there were one of these around here”, then this is  your call to take action. Organizing or attending a catch up is a great to meet other people with Diabetes in an informal environment. Here are some tips on how to start:

  • Start by getting some interest. Post a message in one of the Diabetes communities.
  • Try to get a feeling of how many people are interested, so you can pick the right venue.
  • Make a decision, and set a date and a place for the catch-up. (keep in mind that consensus dosn;t always work here)
  • Pick something central to your area, easily accessible and/or with pblic transport (if this makes sense in your area)
  • Post your fnal details, so people can confirm and attend.

Making one of this events happen requires some effort, but for those who attend, they can be a window to a whole new world, a world were we are understood and were there is real people who share some of the same challenges we do. Thanks to all of you who take the time and put the effort to organize these events.