LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Today at Ask D’Mine

Today I’m tackling a question from a type 2 who hates to “poke his finger” and might just be watching too much late night TV. Oh, and I tell a type 1 in New Jersey that she should eat, drink, and be merry—with a few caveats, of course.

Go check it out. Right now. And don’t limit yourself to reading. Join the fun. Ask me questions! At the top of the column there’s one of those little email buttons. Oh, but don’t send me naked pictures and stuff, ‘cause the email goes to Amy and Allison first and I don’t want you to be embarrassed….

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Moving Day

I take one last look around to make sure I didn’t forget anything.

Everything is boxed up, ready for the movers. My antique typewriter. My pens and pads. My computer with it’s better-than-sex wave keyboard. All my reference books.

I’m happy to be leaving, and excited about where I’m going. But I’m also kinda sad too. Bittersweet, I guess they call it. After all, I’ve been in this place a long time.

Yep. I’m moving to Diabetes Mine, Amy Tenderich’s diabetes über blog, where I’ll be penning a new column for her site.

I’ve been reading Amy since 2005. And that’s 2005 B.C., people. Or at least it seems that long. I’ve always called her site “the New York Times of diabetes.” Yes, technically it’s a blog, and written with blog flare, but it’s really an unparalleled news site. If it’s happening in diabetes, Amy already knows about it.

I check her site each morning before I go to the clinic. I figure if they cured diabetes overnight while I was sleeping, Amy will have the scoop. And if they cured diabetes overnight while I was sleeping, there’s really no reason for me to commute to the clinic, now is there? I’d need to stay home polishing my resume and planning a new career. I think I might enjoy writing trashy romance novels for my next act. Whaddaya think?

Anyway, given how I feel about the site, I jumped at the chance to join her team when the chance came along. Amy has long limited Diabetes Mine to Mondays-Fridays, but like any major paper, it’s time to take on the weekend. And thus was born the Weekend Edition.

The column I’ll be writing is called Ask D’Mine. It’s a Q&A thing. So yeah, I’m now like the Diabetes Dear Abby.

New home. New venue. New format. But count on my style staying the same. Plus you can count on me posting more often, because Amy will personally fly to New Mexico and kill me if I don’t have a column for her every week. No, really, she will. It’s in the contract. Right here…. oh wait… in the fine print it actually says she can send some guys in black trench coats and mirrored sun glasses to kill me; she doesn’t have to do it herself. Ah. But I’m still feeling just as motivated.

I’ll be the main author of the new column. Every once and a while Amy or her right hand woman and rockin’ assistant editor, Allison Blass, may step in to help me with, you know, girl stuff.

I won’t totally give up on LifeAfterDx. For one thing, I don’t think Amy is going to let me say “fuck,” so I’ll have to check back in here periodically to get it out of my system.

But hey, the first column is up. Right now. Today I’m tackling questions about how to stock up the medicine chest for natural disasters when your insurance company won’t cooperate, whether or not a doc gave a newly diagnosed diabetic bad advice, and infusion confusion for the father of a 16-year-old boy.

Go check it out. Right now.

Wait! Wait! Hold on, I forgot to tell you something! Come back! Come back!

Everyone back in the room again?

OK, what I forgot to say is readers ask the questions. You can ask the questions. In fact, I want you too. Click on the link. Ask me anything. No holds barred. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out.

Alright. I think that’s it. Now you can scoot over to Diabetes Mine and check it out. And be sure to go back again on Sunday to check out the new Sunday Funnies, which are wickedly funny cartoons about diabetes penned from the warped and wonderful mind of my good D-buddy Haidee Soule Merritt. Yes. Diabetes can be funny and I think it’s good medicine for us to sometimes laugh at our lot in life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Saturday Share #17

Doing my part to keep internet diabetes information fun and accurate I’ve been two-timing my blog by answering reader’s questions over at Sharecare as one of their “Experts.”

I’m having a blast, and I’ve decided that every week I’m going to share one of my favorite questions with you here.

Sharecare Question: Does diabetes skip a generation?

My “Expert” answer: What a cool question! And to be honest, I really don’t know the answer, but I’m happy to speculate. Type-2 Diabetes, the most common kind, has a very strong genetic component and it’s considered normal to see many generations of one family have it. Even the less common Type-1 Diabetes may have some genetic components as well.

So we definitely see diabetes pass from generation to generation in many families. We also see it pop up where it never was before, but of course every human is the joining of two family trees, so it’s possible to get “diabetes genes” even though neither your mother or father’s side had it.

But as to skipping a generation. Hmmmm…. I don’t think so. Things that “skip” tend to be recessive traits, like blue eyes. In the case of blue eyes, you can carry blue jeans (so to speak) but you need to hook up with a blue-eyed person to get blue-eyed children. Diabetes genes seem to be more like the dominant kind. I think it more likely that each generation will be equally pre-disposed, but that some generations might not trigger the genes.

Remember that having the genes for diabetes does not guarantee that you'll get it. The genetic predisposition for diabetes still has to be triggered to get the disease.

Those triggers tend to be a magic combination of age and weight. Generally the fatter you get at a young age, the more likely you are to develop full-blown diabetes. If you had a family where the diabetes genes ran strong but one generation was more fit (or died younger) than typical, I think it is possible that diabetes wouldn’t manifest in that generation.

But the diabetes genes would still be there. They just wouldn’t be active, so it might appear to “skip” that generation simply because none of them developed diabetes.

Still, I’d be willing to bet if we took a member of that generation and fattened them up enough, they’d get diabetes too.

You can check out other Expert’s answers to this question, and my answers to many more questions by going here:

Then select the “Answers” tab near the top left.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Saturday Share #16

Doing my part to keep internet diabetes information fun and accurate I’ve been two-timing my blog by answering reader’s questions over at Sharecare as one of their “Experts.”

I’m having a blast, and I’ve decided that every week I’m going to share one of my favorite questions with you here.

Sharecare Question: How does blood glucose affect the way I feel?

My “Expert” answer: First, the myth busting. Anyone who doesn’t check their blood glucose because they can “feel” what level they are at are kidding themselves. None of us are that good, and the way a given glucose level affects you on Monday won’t be the same as it affects you on Wednesday.

That said, there are a few general rules. Let’s start with high glucose. The first symptoms of high blood glucose are generally felt by your loved ones, not by you. For example, I personally don’t feel a thing when my blood glucose is a little high. But my wife sure does. According to her, I get “pissy” when my blood sugar is above 200 mg/dL.

If I go over 300 mg/dL even I notice that I’m… uh… irritable.

Above 400 mg/dL I start getting sick to my stomach.

Above 500 mg/dL every part of my mind and body feels like crap and I just want to die.

Other common effects of high blood sugar may include blurry vision, big-time thirst and hunger, and running to the bathroom to pee…. a lot (both frequently and volume).

On the low end, especially if your blood sugar is dropping rapidly, the body sends out a series of warning signs to alert you to the trouble. These commonly include shaking or shivering, excessive sweating, hunger, dizziness, and feeling like you are in an elevator whose cable’s just snapped.

It’s miserable.

But it can save your bacon.

If you’ve been low and are “rebounding” following treatment, you’ll experience great fatigue, soreness, and a bit of mental fog. Sort of like a hangover. Well, a hangover following a fist-fight with a gang of sailors that you lost.

The reason our bodies and our minds give us trouble outside of the normal range is because it’s unhealthy for glucose to be too high or too low. When you are high your blood is toxic to your tissues. When you are too low, your brain is suffocating, deprived of the glucose that keeps it running.

Of course the best way to avoid all these nasty side effects is to keep your blood sugar in target as best you can, most of the time.

You can check out other Expert’s answers to this question, and my answers to many more questions by going here:

Then select the “Answers” tab near the top left.