Tuesday, November 09, 2010

D-Blog Day!

D-Blog day is important! It is time to educate, listen up. D-Blog day is a chance for me to say the six things I want you to know most about diabetes.

No matter how much I exercise, I still have to take insulin... This may be my biggest diabetes pet-peeve. People with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, must always take insulin. We need this to stay alive. It is not a cure. NOT A CURE!! No matter how many HOURS a day I exercise, I still have to have insulin...

There are different types of diabetes...I have type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease. My sixth chromosome is altered, this gives me the genetic predisposition to develop type 1 diabetes. I did. There is nothing I did to cause type 1 diabetes, there was nothing I could do to prevent it. Here I am.

The Diabetes Online Community is strong...We have loud voices. We will write stand up for what we believe in and we rally around each other when there is sadness.

We are trying to find a CURE...and we are serious about it!

No matter how hard I try, things still go wrong...I spend a lot of time on my diabetes care. No matter how hard I try, I still have random highs and lows. Technology is making things better, but things still happen.

Don't feel sorry for us...We want you to be educated, but don't feel bad for us, we are strong and determined.

Hope is in the CURE!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Raw.

I have read all of the posts about The Onion article. Kelly's broke my heart. I felt every word she wrote.

I have not lost a child to diabetes. I cannot relate to the feelings these parents express. However, I know how I feel. I know that when I crawl in to bed at night and my blood sugar is around 100, I am scared.

What if I don't wake up?

My husband is traveling 80% of the time...I am extremely independent. My diabetes care has always been MY diabetes care. The lingering thought in my mind is...

It doesn't matter. Why not?

Because it doesn't.

Doing everything right does not guarantee I will wake up in the morning.

It doesn't guarantee I will not have highs that make my mind blank and my words slip and my college education appear to not exist as I am in a meeting that I must lead. My insulin pump cannot keep up with my nerves and my blood sugar will continue to climb. Just like it did when I took the GRE for graduate school and my blood sugar stayed above 400 the entire time. My mouth will be dry, my teeth will be fuzzy, and I will be tired. I WILL have that high and it will sneak up on me and I will deal with it.

It doesn't guarantee that I will not have a 3:00 am low that makes me terrified to sleep too heavily. A low that makes my brain shut down, my entire body sweat and my heart ache. It doesn't mean that I will not wander around the lawn of a university I am presenting at, not remembering where I am going or why I am there, until I sit down on a park bench and cry. It doesn't guarantee I won't still feel the hot tears of embarrassment from years ago as I cannot tell the flight attendant that I am too low to speak. That I am about to faint and cannot form the words that I have type 1 diabetes and I need sugar. I WILL have that low and I will deal with it.

Why?

Because I have to.

I cannot blame The Onion for my disease. I cannot blame them for satire. I read The Onion every day and I will probably continue to. But, I can't say I am not emotionally overwhelmed right now, as many of you are, because this is so raw to us.

As I sit at my desk and feel the tears fall on to my keyboard. I know that I will get up again tomorrow and do the same thing. I will deal with this disease.

Why?

Because I don't have any other options.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Be a Part of the CURE!

It is not a secret that I work for JDRF. Before I was on staff, I volunteered for JDRF. I have also volunteered for ADA and any other organization that is working on my CURE.

I don't know about you, but I am tired.

I am tired of having type 1.

Tired.

I am tired of lows.

Tired.

Tired of highs.

Tired.

Tired of it all...

It is important that I be a part of the cure

It is important to me that you are too.

Click Here and Make a DIFFERENCE.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An apple a day...

At 3:00 am this morning I woke up with that oh-so-lovely disoriented feeling. I talked myself out of falling back to sleep, stumbled to the kitchen and checked my blood sugar...

45 mg/dl.

"Great."

Two juice boxes and a couple of fruit roll-ups later I crawled back in to bed. This morning I woke up with the "I ate my pantry feeling." Yuck. Then I had the thought...

What is the point of brushing your teeth if you have to eat in the middle of the night to treat a low?


This cannot be good dental health. So, I asked my dentist. I let him know that brushing my teeth at 3:00 am was not really something that would ever happen for me.

He suggested, Rinse your mouth out with water before you go back to bed.

That is do-able. Maybe.

Does anyone else brush their teeth after regaining normality? Thoughts? Let me know!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Birth Defect

You learn to live with the random questions you get from strangers when you have type 1 diabetes. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes annoying, sometimes downright rude.

One of the most common...isn't type 1 diabetes the kind of diabetes you are born with?

Anyone else get this?

At least it wasn't is that a cell phone? (thanks jacquie)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

#DSMA Lurker


Okay. So, I am obviously not new to the Diabetes OC, Diabetes Daily, diabetes in general, or twitter, but I am new to the hour of rapid questions, jokes, and support that goes on during the #DSMA time on twitter. I have to say, after lurking during this chaotic, intense, exhilirating display of everything diabetes, I have a renewed sense of community in this disease that I have not felt since 2005 when I discovered Kerri and thought, hey, these people understand me. Thank you all, I woke up this morning with a different appreciation, once again. I feel we all need this sometimes. See you next week!! (with, or without the metamucil @diabetesalic)

@nikkidefalco

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Help Raise $100,000 for JDRF - VOTE Today!


New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez to Help Raise $100,000 for JDRF in Pepsi Refresh Project Challenge
Supporters can Vote Online or Text Now thru Feb. 5

NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2010--Mark Sanchez, quarterback for the New York Jets, is helping the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) try to win $100,000 in grants as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, an online campaign to fund programs that will have a positive impact on people's lives.

Voters can go to http://www.nfl.com/pepsirefresh and vote for Sanchez, or text 'MARK' to PEPSI (73774). Voting ends at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 5, 2010. If Sanchez outpolls other Pepsi Refresh Project sponsors, the funding will help JDRF establish a nationwide program to educate people about the symptoms of type 1 diabetes - the most severe form of the disease - and get medical care before suffering the life-threatening short-term complications of high blood sugar. Symptoms for type 1 or juvenile diabetes can be mistaken for common illnesses, such as the flu, and if left untreated, even over a very short timeframe, can be deadly.

"I want to help establish a much needed, nationwide educational program with JDRF to ensure that the warning signs of type 1 diabetes will become household knowledge for medical personnel, parents, teachers, and friends," said Sanchez. "Then, a quick and accurate diagnosis can be made and proper treatment given before it results in a life threatening situation."

In addition to Sanchez, quarterback Drew Brees and linebacker Demarcus Ware are also participating in the Pepsi Refresh Project challenge

"We're honored to have Mark Sanchez in the vanguard of our efforts to help save lives and eventually find a cure. Mark is an outstanding example of leadership on and off the field, bringing attention to a problem that can have an enormous impact on the 15,000 children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes annually - that's 40 children a day," said Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D., the President and CEO of JDRF. "All forms of diabetes are clearly on the rise, but the sad fact is that type 1 diabetes is far and away the most prevalent form of the disease affecting children, and so we are also grateful to the Pepsi Refresh Project Challenge for investing in a program that will positively impact so many lives."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Step Closer...

NEW YORK, January 13, 2010 - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation today announced an innovative partnership with Animas Corporation to develop an automated system to help people with type 1 diabetes better control their disease - the first step on the path to what would be among the most revolutionary advancements in treating type 1 diabetes: the development of an artificial pancreas, a fully automated system to dispense insulin to patients based on real-time changes in blood sugar levels.

Animas, a Johnson & Johnson company, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of insulin delivery and glucose management systems. JDRF is a global leader in research leading to better treatments and cures for type 1 diabetes.

The objectives of the partnership, a major industry initiative within the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project, are to develop an automated system to manage diabetes, conduct extensive clinical trials for safety and efficacy, and submit the product to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval.

"If successful, the development of this first-generation system would begin the process of automating how people with diabetes manage their blood sugar," said Alan Lewis, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF. "Ultimately, an artificial pancreas will deliver insulin as needed, minute-by-minute, throughout the day to maintain blood sugars within a target range. But even this early system could bring dramatic changes in the quality of life for the 3 million people in the U.S. with type 1 diabetes, beginning to free kids and adults from testing, calculating and treating themselves throughout the day."

Dr. Lewis noted that "JDRF will provide $8 million in funding over the next three years for this project, with a target of having a first-generation system ready for regulatory review within the next four or so years."

The first-generation system would be partially automated, utilizing an insulin pump connected wirelessly with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). The CGM continuously reads glucose levels through a sensor with a hair-thin sensor wire inserted just below the skin, typically on the abdomen. The sensor would transmit those readings to the insulin pump, which delivers insulin through a small tube or patch on the body. The pump would house a sophisticated computer program that will address safety concerns during the day and night, by helping prevent hypoglycemia and extreme hyperglycemia. It would slow or stop insulin delivery if it detected blood sugar was going too low and would increase insulin delivery if blood sugar was too high. For example, the system would automatically discontinue insulin delivery to help prevent hypoglycemia, and then automatically resume insulin delivery based on a specific time interval (i.e., 2 hours) and/or glucose concentration. It will also automatically increase insulin delivery to reduce the amount of time spent in the hyperglycemic range and return to a pre-set basal rate once glucose concentrations have returned to acceptable levels.

In this early version of an automated diabetes management system, the patient would still need to manually instruct the pump to deliver insulin at times, (i.e. around meals). But this "hypoglycemia-hyperglycemia minimizer" system would represent a significant step forward in diabetes management, and could provide immediate benefits in terms of blood sugar control, by minimizing dangerous highs and lows.

DexCom, Inc., a leading manufacturer of CGM devices, will supply the CGM technology for the system to be developed by JDRF and Animas.

About Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and kills off the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone that enables people to convert food into energy. It affects children, adolescents, and adults.

To manage their disease, people with type 1 diabetes need to measure their blood sugar multiple times throughout the day (typically by pricking a finger for a drop of blood), and inject themselves with insulin multiple times daily or use an insulin pump to keep blood sugar within a healthy range. That daily routine continues for life, because insulin does not cure diabetes.

"Although this partnership is focused on a first-generation system, not a fully automated artificial pancreas, such a system could provide better clinical outcomes for those with type 1 diabetes - reducing if not eliminating the high or low blood sugar problems that send people with diabetes to the hospital, cause accidents or injuries, and make living with diabetes so difficult," explained Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President of for Glucose Control at JDRF and Research Director of the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project. "And better control would significantly lower the key risk for developing the devastating long-term complications of the disease, including eye disease, kidney disease, nerve disease or cardiovascular disease."

More information about the JDRF-Animas partnership and the development of a first generation automated system to manage diabetes is available at www.jdrf.org/artificialpancreasproject. The site also includes information for people with type 1 diabetes about research leading to the development of an artificial pancreas, as well as interactive tools, chats with researchers, and access to information about clinical trials.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leader in research into a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.

The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal. Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections multiple times or use a pump - each day, every day of their lives. And even with that intensive care, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

JDRF was founded in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Last year, it funded more than $100 million in diabetes research, in more than 20 countries. For more information, go to http://www.jdrf.org/.

About JDRF's Artificial Pancreas Project

The JDRF-Animas partnership will build upon the progress made since 2006 in the JDRF-funded Artificial Pancreas Consortium, a group of university-based mathematicians, engineers, and diabetes experts that has developed the computer programs needed for an artificial pancreas, and established their scientific feasibility. The goal of an artificial pancreas has also been embraced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which along with JDRF and National Institutes of Health, brought together scientists, regulators, industry, and patients for scientific workshops on the subject in 2005 and 2008; the FDA has designated an artificial pancreas as one of its "critical path" initiatives.

Dr. Kowalski noted that the development of an artificial pancreas system is an essential step towards an ultimate cure for type 1 diabetes - a "bridge to a cure." JDRF's goal is to have multiple versions of an artificial pancreas available for people with diabetes; the organization will continue to explore partnerships with other industry leaders.

-We aren't there yet, but I will take it.