Monday, September 24, 2012


On September 2nd, I left my Dexcom receiver on the el. No worries, I got it back... on September 12th. In the meantime I did a lot of worrying. I called the lost and found about four times before they said they had it. I called Dexcom to ask how much a replacement receiver would cost. The answer was: $199 for a receiver as long as I have one in warranty, which means that if I want to buy one for whatever reason (lost, backup) I can do that by October 11th. If I want to do it later than that, too bad, out of warranty, must buy new system. I'm trying to figure out if I should do that (or even just send this one back on grounds that its broken because the backlight, which I didn't like anyways, no longer works). I'd read some rumors that the Dex G4 was coming out in the US in December, but the person on the phone said they'd just submitted to the FDA and I shouldn't count on it. However, I'm hopeful anyways that it will be out by the time I next need to order a new system.

It's These Kinds of Weeks That Make Me Wonder

According to my Dexcom data, in the last seven days, my blood sugar has been below 200 mg/dl 97% of the time. I haven't had a real low (I've been down to 58 and no lower). My average for the week is 124. My standard deviation for the week is 36. I stayed below 200 on five days.

Over the last three months, I've spent only 90% of the time below 200, and have been above 200 about 5 days per week. My average is 134, I spend 3% of the time above 240, I go below 55 on the majority of days, and my standard deviation is 48.

That means that this week, my rate of the kind of hyperglycemia that gets you warned about ketones- numbers above 240- has fallen from being something I experience for an average of 45 minutes per day, to none. My rate of real hypoglycemia (below 55, say), fell from being something I experience for an average of half an hour per day, to none. The amount of time I spend in the 80-200 range went from 80% to 91%. My average fell ten points.

Did I do anything differently? Nope.

By the way, the title says "these kinds of weeks" but the last one as good as this was probably September 2011.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Complete (if vague) 1 week food log (does not include water)

Sunday, breakfast:
1 1/2 cups soymilk (365 brand, "normal", sweetened)
1 tbsp Brewer's yeast
1 cup honey bunches of oats, honey roasted flavor (cereal)
1 small banana (I estimated it at 15 grams of carbs)

Sunday, midmorning:
25 jelly beans

Sunday, lunch:
pizza bread (basically white bread with tomato sauce, onions, mushrooms, and olives)

Sunday, while out walking:
granola bar (Nature Valley, Oats n' Honey flavor)

Sunday, supper:
Garlic bread (three types of bread with lots of garlic and some oil)
more jelly beans

Monday, breakfast
lentils with bits of sweet potato, onion
spelt noodles
little bit of bread

Monday, early lunch
lentils with bits of sweet potato, onion,
spelt noodles

Monday, later lunch
1 cup unsweetened Edensoy (this is actually the stuff Bernstein recommends drinking but I drank it even before I read his book, because my mother likes it)
2 tbsp Brewer's Yeast
extremely thin slice of pizza bread, with hummus

Monday, hypotime
1/3 cup applesauce
1 dum dum

Monday, still not suppertime
1/2 cup tomato juice, RubyKist brand

Monday,  suppertime
1 large white potato (boiled) with lentil dish

Monday, bedtime
2 dum dums

Tuesday breakfast
1 microwaved red potato (raw weight 120 grams)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk

Tuesday lunch
1 packet of instant oatmeal- raisin and walnut flavor

Tuesday afternoon
1 big gulp honey
1 dum dum

Tuesday on the way home
1 dum dum

Tuesday late afternoon snack
1 bowl stir fried vegetables- onion, eggplant, zucchini, cauliflour with soy sauce
about 1/4 cup sticky rice
boiled cabbage

Tuesday suppertime
Roasted and salted sunflower seeds
More stir fry- onion, eggplant, zuchhini, cauliflour with Brewer's Yeast
1 cup rice
1 cup soymilk- vanilla slightly sweetened (365 brand)
1/8 cup cereal- granola
handful of popcorn, no toppings

Tuesday bedtime
one baked potato, larger than the morning's
2 dum dums

Tuesday later

Wednesday pre-prayers
unsweetened Silk with tomato juice

Wednesday breakfast
vanilla soymilk with shredded wheat and BreKewer's Yeast
roasted unsalted, already shelled, sunflower seeds

Wednesday on the way to work (roughly lunchtime):
16 tea biscuits (3 grams CHO each)
1 sandwich (2 pieces of 1/2 whole wheat bread, about 1 tbsp peanut butter- the kind that's nothing but roasted peanuts, and 1 small tomato)

Wednesday when I got home:
soymilk with multigrain cheerios

Wednesday supper:
soymilk with Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Golden Honey Nut cereal (it tasted like peanut brittle)
stir fry (cauliflower, eggplant, onion, and zucchini) with rice and with Newman's tomato sauce

Thursday before prayers:
1/4 cup vanilla soymilk (I mixed it with water)

Thursday brunch:
grits with raisins (a lot of it)

Thursday early afternoon:
chocolate wafers

Thursday late afternoon:
Stew- eggplant, flax, zucchini, carrot, onion, garbanzo beans

Thursday evening:
Cooking water and some lentils left over after cooking a pot of lentils for a house of mourning.
2 dried apricots

Friday breakfast:
Unsweetened Silk Soymilk, Brewer's yeast, and toasted oats cereal

Friday at work:
gulp of honey

Friday lunch:
one packet instant oatmeal, raisins and walnut flavor
2 rice cakes

Friday afternoon snack:
2 rice cakes
chocolate wafers

Sometime on the sabbath:
three types of soymilk, flaxmilk
boiled potatoes
some kind of stew with lentils and spinach
borsht- mostly beets but also some celery and onions
tea biscuits
2 medjool dates (these are supposed to raise blood sugar really fast but I have never noticed them actually doing this)
soy hotdogs
wheat germ
half of a zucchini muffin
two types of breakfast cereal
breaded eggplant sticks (they look like fishsticks)
semi sweet chocolate chips
apple juice (we somehow forgot to buy grape juice)
roasted sunflower seeds
one pear (juicy and ripe)
soy "sour cream" (this tastes absolutely nothing like I remember sour cream but my mother makes it from tofu about once a month and claims it's sour cream. It tastes more like kefir.)

Saturday evening:
one dum dum
one small baked potato
three rice cakes
another small baked potato

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Research idea

I've been thinking for a while about the internet being a vast source of information, but how a lot of the information that I want isn't available. And I keep thinking, what if a hundred or two hundred diabetics decided to get together and submit their own questions and data to each other and monitor it for years and then share it.

I think the project would go like this:
First of all, the people I want data on are people who are or have been on insulin for a significant amount of time. I'm going to say 10% of your life. I also want people who are going to be available for follow up, so people participating have to be volunteering their own data, not their kids'. And they have to commit to continuing to participate, and that means also giving me or somebody else their name to find an obituary if they die. So that's the inclusion criteria.
I then would need a whole lot of people to volunteer, in order to collect much meaningful data. Like I said, I'm thinking at least 100. Each person joining would need to submit their contact information, some statement to the effect that they want to join, and if they want to, would have the option of submitting the question(s) that they want the other people to be asked. The questions should be quantifiable type questions- not, "How did you feel?" but "Have you seen a therapist?" or "Have you been depressed?" not, how does your skin look, but "Do you have scar tissue at your injection sites?"
Then at some point we'd start the study, and probably for anonymity, assign or ask for a code name or number for each participant. Send out all the questions that everybody's submitted. Everybody returns the survey, with somebody badgering them until they do. Publically shared is the percentage answering each question in different ways, and maybe some large analysis; private to the members are any linkages that anybody asks for. For example, a participant might ask, of people who answered X1 to question number 14, how many answered Z1 to question 23? Of people who answered X2 to question number 14, how many answered Z1 to question 23?s
We would send out the same group of questions to the participants every year, except for questions like when did you go on insulin and how old are you. Participants would continue to be able to ask for linkage on past questions. For example, of people who answered Z2 to question 23 in the first year, but answered Z1 later, how many answered question 14 with X1 the first year?

Some questions I'd hope a study like this might answer are: what factors change the risk of lipodystrophy? What factors change the risk of scarring? How prevalent is lipodystrophy?
What questions would you want answered?