I am, therefore I think

After living with diabetes for so long, I like to think I’ve got it all figured out.  Of course, I don’t, but it’s in my nature to try. So here are some of the things that I’ve convinced myself to believe, even though they’ve not been proven credible by anyone. (Make sure you read this site’s disclaimer)

  1. Insulin has a tendency to form little subcutaneous puddles. When removing a pump cannula from a poorly-functioning infusion site, that insulin which seemingly didn’t work gets splashed and absorbed into the bloodstream all at once. BAM – instant low.
  2. Someone once said that CGMs should best be calibrated at “good” blood sugar levels (i.e. the “sweet spot” of the sensor). After learning from Beyond Fingersticks that calibrating a CGM is like putting the numbers next to the tube of mercury on a thermometer, I think it’s best to calibrate with far-away numbers (like 80 and 150 mg/dl, rather than 105 and 110 mg/dl). This makes it a bit more accurate when the scale is extrapolated up to 300 or down to 30. It also explains why my CGM used to never see the extremes when I only calibrated with “good” values.
  3. Speaking of CGMs, I don’t know the mathematics behind the calibration process, but I think I know why it doesn’t immediately spring to the number that I’ve calibrated with. It’s trying to zero in on that number at the time of calibration. If (hypothetically) I tell it I’m 150 mg/dl at 12:00, then it takes a reading at 12:04 and 12:09 (usually it takes two readings before giving me an output value), and realizes that I went up by 5 points in that 5-minute span (1 per minute), then it will will assume that I went up by 9 points between 12:00 and 12:09 and will give me a reading of 159 at that time. (I’m too lazy to test this theory, by the way)
  4. The phrase “Type Awesome” should not be reserved only for the loved ones of people with diabetes. From my observations, most PWD’s are pretty awesome themselves.
  5. A vial of Lantus is supposed to be discarded 30 days after first using it. I’ve had my Lantus go bad on Day #31 too many times to be a coincidence. (Obviously, I made this observation in my pre-pumping days).
  6. I’ve learned that twelve grapes equals about 13 carbs. One of those miniature 1/2-ounce boxes of raisins is also about 13 carbs. There are way more than twelve raisins in that box, and a raisin is nothing more than a grape with the water removed. Therefore, water must contain carbs. Yet…
  7. Water seems to help lower blood sugar. It dilutes the sugar in the blood and makes you pee the sweet stuff out of your body (hence, the origin of the term “diabetes mellitus”), leaving less in the bloodstream. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks this.
  8. The term “diabetic” never bothered me until people told me it should bother me.  Now, the term makes my blood boil.
  9. Coffee is the perfect no-carb treat. I don’t know why people say caffeine could raise blood sugars, since all it does is makes a person a lot more hyperactive.
    (Corrolary to #9: I’m enjoying a large cup of coffee right now)
  10. No matter how wrong or ridiculous the explanation is, it’s still good to have them. Being able to give a reason helps to preserve one’s sanity.


Posted on December 20, 2012, in Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I love this. I find #1 happens to me ALL the time! My diabetes refuses to be “by the book”. Looks like you’ve gone one step further and started re-writing the book. 😉


  2. When you say your Lantus would go bad by day 31 were you keeping it in the fridge the entire time you were using it? I’m almost positivie it takes me longer than a month to go through a vial of Lantus (now I want to keep track). I always keep it in the fridge and I’ve never noticed the vial going bad. I use it until it’s gone…whether that’s day 40 or 60. It’s just ironic because Kelly just posted about insulin going bad and now you are too.


    • No I wasn’t. It stayed in the fridge until the first time i used it, then it stayed at room temperature. I never used Levemir (what Kelly uses) so I can’t really comment on that.


  3. Got it…that’s got to be the difference…fridge versus room temp. Thanks!


  4. So in regards to CGM, I talked to a dexcom rep who said that calibrating the cgm when it doesnt ask for a blood sample that it throws off the math behind the machine. So if you test and you are 110 and the meter says 150, I wont calibrate, but ill know that im about 40 points lower that where it is telling me, so if I keep dropping, I should get some sugar around 80 instead of 60. The more calibration the less accurate the CGM is in the long run. I only calibrate if it is WAY off, or at the times when it tells me to give a sample. Hope this helps!


    • I should have noted that I use a Medtronic CGM, not a Dexcom (does it make a difference?). I don’t know how it handles multiple calibrations, but if my calibration is “due” a half-hour after dinnertime, I’ll calibrate it before, so I’m not stuck on the upward-slope of a spike, thus really screwing it up.


    • My pump trainer (I’m using Medtronic too) told me 4x per day is optimal re: calibration.


  5. Scott, I love all of these. I think you made them all seem very credible.


  6. I actually did a basal test this morning and had to skip my morning coffee… and it was the morning after my company holiday party. Ugh. So I had decaf tea instead. Of course – my blood sugars went up. So now I have no idea if I’m just super sensitive to anything that has traces of caffeine, or my 10 am basal is crap.


  7. I want to swear because I want to say F***ING FANTASTIC!
    what a great post. The grape conversion math made me laugh. I do so love raisins for lows but they have to be in the boxes otherwise they are stupidly hard to calculate.


  8. That grape/raisin thing IS quite the mystery …. maybe when they shrivel up, they lose carbs? 😉 And I sometimes wish I could go back in time to when I was on MDI … I made so many stupid mistakes – using expired insulin just to not have to throw it away being one of the biggest ones. I could’ve done things so much better. :/ But better late than never, right? 🙂


  9. Ha! This is great! Though the whole grape/raisin thing totally has me boggled… I will blame you when it keeps me up at night.


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