Category Archives: Diabetes

Port/Infusion Set Malfunction

I had an interesting day yesterday.  I had a 10am meeting.  It was a 90 minute drive to get to the meeting.  I changed my infusion set at 7am.  It went in kind of weak.  I assessed it and thought it was ok.  My blood sugar was 114 when I changed the infusion set.  Took a shower and began my drive to the meeting at 8:15am.  On the way I stopped at a rest area and checked my blood sugar.  It was 185.  I found this to be a curious number because I had not eaten anything.  I did have a cup of coffee but I had covered it.  I attributed it to the stress of the drive and gave myself a correction bolus of 2 units.  After my meeting I checked again – it was 185.  Now, I was becoming suspicious of my site.  I checked and and smelled for insulin.  It looked OK.  Took another 2 units.  Had lunch and on my drive back home I felt I needed to check again.  475!  NO!  This is not a reading I get.  I was driving so I gave myself some more insulin and planned on stopping to get gas in 45 minutes so I would check again.  When I stopped it was 500.  That’s it.  I decided I needed to change my site.  I also decided to take an injection of insulin to insure I was getting some in there.  I took 6 units by injection.  Put another port in and took another 5 units.  I got back home in about an hour and I had come down to 185.  Drank a lot of water to cleanse my body from the highs.  Now, I had another concern.  I had 6 units On Board from the pump and the injection I had taken was another 3 units at least.   I began checking every 15 minutes.  Next reading was 122.  Then 96.  I decided to take off the pump and drink 6 oz of juice.  61.  Ok I was feeling low.  I was crashing.  More juice and a pretzel.  63.  65.  Now I had balanced it out but I needed to get higher.  I was getting hungry so I ate some.  I knew I was going to go high but I wanted to get out of the tailspin.  I was feeling better.  185.  Ok.  I was back.  Now I bolused 2 units to get level again.

What are the lessons:

1.  If you feel an infusion set does not go in correctly then maybe it is best to put a new one in right away.  Putting in infusion sets is a ritual for me most of the time.  I take great care in putting them in and caring for the site when I take them out.  Perhaps I was in too much of a hurry in the morning to take the care I usually do.

2.  If you are going on a trip make sure you have insulin, syringes and extra infusion sets.  You never know what will happen.  Because I have made this a practice I was able to do something about it.

3.  Going high is a problem.  We need to be “on it” when it happens.  When I took out the old infusion set I bled a lot.  It got all over the place.  That was confirmation that it was a site issue.  But going low is the real problem in this lesson.  I obviously over corrected.  I knew enough to check every 15 minutes while I was “crashing.”

4.  Drink Water!

Less is More

This is a concept in yoga.   Yoga is not about stretching or struggling past your edge. Proper yoga means, first, proper alignment.  Then, finding your edge with the attitude of inquiry and compassion. A perfect example of this in dealing with diabetes is the amount of food we eat in any given sitting. I have found that less food means more control. I try to restrict my food intake to less than 40 grams of carbohydrates in one sitting. When I do this I achieve more control of my blood sugars. When I go beyond 40 grams, control becomes more uncertain.

The Diabetes Lesson

I have been living with type 1 diabetes for over 35 years now.  I was diagnosed at age 14 in November of 1976.  Next week I will be “having” my 50th birthday.  I am physically more in tune with my body now than I have ever been.  I discovered a path of healing that has, progressively, provided me with more health and balance.  I am committed to staying on this path until I realize a complete cure of the physical manifestation called type 1 diabetes.

I want to share with you a perspective that I have discovered.  I ask you to contemplate what I have to show you and test it out.  I further ask that you provide me with feedback.  If you did not try it, Why not?  If you did, what happened?  This is written for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.  The Lesson is the same but under much different circumstances.  It is written for those who care for people with diabetes.  Whether you be Moms, Dads, brothers, sisters, doctors, nurses, CDE’s, friends.   Blood sugar is almost always moving; fluctuating.  Fluctuating blood sugar, outside, of the normal range, is uncomfortable and alters perception.   Managing diabetes (and I mean managing it not just living with it) demands intense, and often times,  persistent attention and intention.  It’s not a condition where you can take your medicine and forget about it.  Healing diabetes requires even more intensity.  Those of us dealing with diabetes on a physical level appreciate your assistance and really value those of you who really get it, as much as you are able to.  It is not an easy thing for anyone to confront.

The Lesson of Diabetes is, in a word,  Balance.   Balance is also the means and the ends.  Balance is the Way.  The Way is Balance.  Here is the “twist.”  The Lesson must be made the priority.  In fact, we must surrender to the lesson in order to achieve balance.  OK.  Here is the hard truth right between the eyes.  If you have type 1 diabetes your physical system is really out of balance.  It is so out of balance that if you do not have injectable insulin your physical body would waste away in a matter of days or weeks depending how on how little you ate.  The less you eat the slower you will go.

How do you surrender to The Lesson of Balance?  It may sound familiar to some of you but the first step is to admit we are out of balance?  Admit is a form of surrender.  It is certainly a rational starting point.  Now, don’t pass by this step too fast.  This is deep work and while it starts with, perhaps, an understanding of the condition and what needs to be done, it slowly transforms into a moment by moment meditation.  In my work, I guide those I work with on this process.

Once The Lesson has been established as the aspiration, the work can begin.  There is hope.  I know it!  Through my ten years of being on a healing path I have seen the truth to this disease.  I know we can slay it.  Let’s giddy up!

Do You Believe In Evolution?

 I have often times been in a conversation with someone and we may be talking about the workings of things and they might ask ….”Do you believe in evolution or intelligent design?” Usually, not always, when I am asked this question, or something similar, the questioner wants to know where I stand as to what I “believe” explains the Cause of the Universe.  We may have entered into some spiritual discussion about God, meaning or purpose.  In most cases, the questioner assumes that these are the two choices for original “Cause.”  Almost always, they have made their choice and it is Evolution.   I think they use the word “believe” because they think belief is necessary. I also think that they are, unconsciously, going on the offense by using the word belief.  They assume that for someone to choose intelligent design, faith is required.  “Belief” is a close cousin to Faith.   On its face, the question is not a valid question.  Today, with what we know, there is no need for the word believe in the question.  We know that things evolve.  We also know there is intelligent design weaved throughout everything in our world and the universe.   

 “Everything that arises is bound to pass away.”  Buddha.  What happens in between the arising and passing away is the evolution of that which arises.  Evolution is not a place to rest your hat on for original cause.  However, it is the warp and woof of existence.  It is not something to be believed in.  It is something to become aware of, understood and applied.  There are many evolutionary theories and maps.  It is Darwin’s theory of evolution that is referred to in the question.  But there are so many more maps of evolution/development/growth.  Darwin’s theory does not monopolize evolution.  The evolution of any line of existing and being, physical and non physical, can be observed as it arises and passes away.  I have written about this process extensively in my blog posts.  I choose to utilize a 5 step map that cycles from step to step sequentially and loops back from step 5 to step 1 creating a rising cyclical cylinder, vortex, vessel. 

 Step 1.  This step is about identifying what “it is” we are looking at.  When dealing with people with diabetes, I lead with the word confront.  What are we confronting?  It includes the primary objective and goal.  In the growth cycle, this step is called confusion.  We confront the confusion and commit to its resolution.  From a “game” perspective it is the object of the game; score the most points, capture your opponent’s pieces, etc.  It is the seed level in any evolutionary process.

 Step 2.  This step is called exploration in the growth cycle.  When dealing with diabetics I call it understanding.  It is the functions or ingredients needed to make the pie.  It is a brainstorming step.  We are identifying all the components we need to play the game.  It is good to prioritize them in order of value or importance.

 Step 3.  Step three is the creative step.  It is about putting together the systems and procedures.  We put all the ingredients together in the most optimal portions and order.  When working with diabetics I call this step integration.  In step 2 we became aware of and understood the functionality of all the things we need to account for.  Now we put it together in a system.  In the growth cycle this step is called Incubation.

 Step 4.  When working with diabetics I call this step Mastery.  It is the implementation step.  We “work” our system.  In the growth cycle this is called Illumination.  From a game perspective, we are practicing and we are playing.  We know what we are wanting to accomplish.  We have all the ingredients needed to play the game.  We have designed a game plan.  Now we engage.  

 Step 5.  This is the results or outcome step.  Through our efforts in following the process we will have achieved an outcome.  We validate our outcomes and are now ready to cycle back to step 1 as a new confusion begins to set in.  But we have evolved through the process.  In the growth cycle this step is called celebration.  When working with diabetics I call this step liberation.  

 “Total accountability and total feedback constitute the minimum and only requirements for a perpetual motion system.”  Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path.  Life is built on intelligently designed perpetual motion systems.  Evolution is the gift given to us so we may explore the design and experience its intelligence. 

A Cure?

This Type 1 Diabetes thing is starting to piss me off.  I was diagnosed 35 years ago and I am beginning to have a desire that I do not have to do this anymore.  Ok, so it is not the first time I am feeling this way.  I know a few people who tell me it is not that bad for them or being diagnosed has been a blessing in disguise.  NOPE!  This has never been the case in my world.  I have wanted it to go away since day 1.  It is scary, it is insidious, it hurts, it does not feel good, it is cumbersome and it sucks.  I have had long periods of time when I resided 24/7 in this mindset.  I mean the blood sugars were impossible for me to control.  It was like riding a roller coaster.  Sometimes “riding” on the food, sometimes “riding on the insulin or the latest hard physical endeavor.   And sometimes I just flew right off the rails into hypoglycemia or ridiculously high blood sugar.  Mouth was so dry it got stuck.  It really hasn’t been since the last 7 years that I have been able to stabilize things a bit and bring the blood sugars into a relatively safe range.

I have heard that there are some people with Type 1 diabetes who have really tight control.  Myth has it that they get A1C results below 6.0 and hardly ever go over 150 and maybe get low once in a blue moon.  I don’t think I have personally met anyone who fits this bill but I believe it is possible.  Knowing what I know from 35 years of surviving and in the last 7 years working on mastering it I can tell you I am not there yet and I am not sure getting there is the goal.  I have been getting A1C results between 6.3 and 7.0 for six years now.  I have a sense I am in the safe zone most of the time.  I check my blood sugar level 10-15 times per day depending on what’s happening.  I have a Dexcom (CGM) and have used it but it does not fit in my system.  I think it is really good if you want to do prolonged testing of basal rates or if you are unaware of going low.

My life’s purpose is to heal the diabetes.  I know that it is not about regenerating the islet cells.  I know the immune system is in play.  I know there is a deep emotional and spiritual component to this manifestation.  I know we (human beings) are evolving very fast right now and there are going to be unique, magical and miraculous opportunities that will enlighten the path of healing and a cure.   I have done some exploration into these paths and have experienced their effects.  Paths like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, cranio sacral therapy, biofeedback, seasonal nutrition strategies, etc.  All of these paths have their benefits and they impact everyone differently.  I have explored some of the esoteric, mystical and metaphysical maps of life and our world.  Some of these maps offer clues to how things work and consequently why things don’t work.

I can tell you this much right now.  The current medical protocol that is set up to “treat” Type 1 Diabetes simply won’t get us to a cure.  It has meant our survival.  But survival with out controlled blood sugars is dangerous at best and fatal at worst.  The first thing we must do is to ensure our survival so we must enter the game of the Doctors and Health Care Professionals.  Learn as much as you can as fast as you can and then make them your consultant.  The way to get in the safe zone with blood sugars is to take full responsibility for the system you set up and maintain.  When you do this you will understand it more fully, you will become more skillful and you will learn faster.  I am still learning.  And know this…..blood sugar control is just one facet.  We must address the emotional, mental, social, financial, and spiritual aspects of our condition.  When you do you will slowly begin to make your way to the root cause.  We are close.

My dream is to organize and lead a group of people who either have Type 1 diabetes or in some way affected by the dis-ease and participate in a 5-7 day retreat where I can share what I have discovered and where I am going relative to liberating myself and others from this condition.  I have all my support people in place (yoga instructors, acupuncturist, cranio sacral therapist, nutritionist, massage therapist and I even have a CDE on board who has type 1 and wears a pump) ready to go.  I envision 5-7 days of yoga, meditation, body work, metaphysical/spiritual map introduction, sharing and good food.  I believe doing this would propel us to a cure.  It is when we take full responsibility for our creation that we will become the conscious creators of our future.  I have found a way to explore this possibility and my dream is to share it with other like minded people who feel the possibilities.  Namaste.  Michael