I was so thirsty, like I had been lost in the desert for days

Keywords: {0}

I started eating tons of popsicles. So many. It hurt to eat normal food. It didn’t even feel great drinking water. I subsisted on sugary ice for several days until finally, on November 13, I realized how weak I was. I scooted over to the stairs and told my aunt I thought I probably needed to go see someone soon. She encouraged me to get it done quickly, and she actually drove me to an Urgent Care the next morning. It was connected to a nearby hospital.


Review of Abbott Freestyle Libre CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) System: Major Software Problems

First of all, I would like to point out that I definitely would never ever give up the incredible CGM sensor technology and return to just a few fingersticks a day. That said, there are very significant problems due to the very poor software design decisions made.

When I refer to software, I am referring to the software installed on the CGM reader device — which could presumably be quite easily updated whenever the reader is connected to a computer (which must be done every now and then anyways in order to transfer data between the reader and a computer via a USB cable).

Almost all of the problems with the Abbott Freestyle Libre software are probably caused by a very condescending attitude of the software developers responsible for designing the software towards the capability of patients with respect to technology. The entire device has only 1 hardware button, and almost all interaction with the device is managed via a touchscreen interface. I cannot fathom how any company having anything to do with diabetes mellitus patients (in this case it doesn’t even matter whether we’re talking about diabetes mellitus type 1 or diabetes mellitus type 2) could design an implementation so heavily reliant on a touchscreen interface, as it has been very well known since the very beginning of diabetes mellitus management over a century ago that one of the quite common complications of diabetes mellitus is visual impairment (let alone complete blindness). This is so incredibly unfathomable that it leads me to lose faith in the entire health care industry, which we normally expect to be somewhat regulated.

Now back to the software design issues, which are also very significant — and considering the severity of the software design failures, perhaps even more important. The most grave error is undoubtedly a software design decision which must be described as at the very least remarkably prejudiced towards patients. As remarkable as this sounds, there are actually algorithms incorporated in the software to prevent patients from being able to document their diabetes management. I kid you not: extra lines of code were written simply to prevent (or not allow) patients to enter data! Any persons responsible for this decision should be immediately fired and no longer allowed to work on any healthcare projects whatsoever!! Documentation is crucial to diabetes management — the decision to disallow it is an unpardonable sin.

Abbott should correct this inexcusable error immediately.

There are many more lesser errors in the software design, but if Abbott would simply change this most significant error, then many of the other errors could be solved through quite simple workarounds. This error alone, however, makes adequate diabetes management and documentation impossible.

I will end this post here. This software design failure is probably far more important than all other design failures combined. Let me add that I contacted Abbott several months ago, hoping to help them to resolve some of the issues with their Freestyle Libre software problems, but to this day I have not so much as received any response whatsoever. It seems that this company actually acts according to the motto: “ignorance is bliss”.

Type 1 diabetes does have a hereditary link, but not always, and it is extremely rare for it to be so prominent in one family as it is in mine

Keywords: agoraphobia , anxiety , depression , diabetes , mental illness

I was diagnosed at age eight. I felt frightened, I knew what this disease is, I knew how dangerous it is, I knew I would forever have to take shots, prick my fingers, eat carefully, and would probably lose a leg, go blind, and die young. It was the mid 1980’s and these were the possibilities at that time. I was scared, devastated, and I acted out in anger. These feelings and behaviors never lessened, I never faced them or dealt with them, and everyone around me took my anger as a symptom of my constantly high blood sugars rather than for what it really was, a cry for help, and need to properly deal with my fear and devastation.


If nothing else, this might serve as a journal of some sort

Keywords: anxiety , depression , mental health , type 1 diabetes

A list of attempts, not a road map. I don’t really know if anyone will want to hear me ramble about stuff, but it helps me think. Writing it out lets a little bit of the burden off my chest. Maybe something I say will help you. Maybe it won’t. At least you’ll know, you are not alone. We’re all out here struggling on this silly little planet.


Strong black coffee consumed before breakfast substantially increased the blood glucose response to breakfast by around 50%

Keywords: Communications, Announcement

Although population-level surveys indicate that coffee may be linked to good health, past research has previously demonstrated that caffeine has the potential to cause insulin resistance. This new study therefore reveals that the common remedy of drinking coffee after a bad night’s sleep may solve the problem of feeling sleepy but could create another by limiting your body’s ability to tolerate the sugar in your breakfast.


Because amygdala cognitive processing causes increased local glucose metabolism, meeting the metabolic requirements of such increased amygdala activation might further diminish the brain’s ability to function optimally at times of reduced glucose availability


One common effect of recurrent hypoglycemia is diminished release of stress hormones during hypoglycemia: increased amygdala responsiveness caused by recurrent hypoglycemia could, perhaps, be a beneficial adaptation that would oppose and attenuate reduced awareness of hypoglycemia. Stress hormones including epinephrine and glucocorticoids are key modulators of cognitive function, and especially of improved performance at times of moderate stress, effects that are transduced via the amygdala; it is hence possible that an increase in amygdala responsiveness may be adaptive in acting to positively modulate other brain regions [in particular, the hippocampus] even when systemic hormone release is attenuated. Importantly, though, one study that examined amygdala metabolism in humans, during hypoglycemia, found that in contrast to the present findings fluorodeoxyglucose uptake was better maintained in the amygdala of aware vs unaware patients; this is in contrast to our data that suggest increased amygdala activity in the recurrent hypoglycemia animals which would be expected to correspond to hypoglycemia-unaware patients. Although there are significant methodological differences as well as a species difference between the studies, this finding does constrain the ability to generalize from the small dataset presented here. It is also true that stress-related hormones, particularly epinephrine, are released when hypoglycemic but such release diminishes after recurrent hypoglycemia: thus, the enhanced anxiety in the recurrent hypoglycemia-hypo group observed here is somewhat paradoxical and the amygdala’s response to stress hormones under such conditions may repay further study.


Insulin is NOT a cure

diabetes, insulin

everyday life and adventures with type 1 diabetes


Insulin is NOT a cure for diabetes. It is a treatment. A treatment that keeps me alive until we find a cure. I am very, very happy about insulin because without it, I would probably be dead right now but people need to stop thinking that we already found a cure for diabetes.

Insulin is not a cure

I sometimes hear or read, that diabetes can be cured by taking insulin – that is simply a myth. I sometimes also hear people say, that insulin pumps are a cure for diabetes – which is a myth as well. Yes, insulin pumps help managing diabetes, but sadly they “don’t do everything itself” as a lot of people apparently believe. Type 1 diabetes might be manageable, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no need for a cure. Apart from that, insulin prices are increasing and a lot of people don’t even have…

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New story in Politics from Time: Postcard From Germany: Moved For School, Stayed For Insulin

politics , time

The Richardsonian

Every now and then, Katie West considers returning to the U.S. She moved to Germany for graduate school three years ago and now works as a health systems researcher in Hamburg. Her family is an ocean away. Then she remembers why she stays.

West, 30, has had type 1 diabetes since she was three years old. Back in Seattle, where she used to live, she typically paid $70 per month for insulin and another $130 for pump supplies. That was a relative steal in the U.S., made possible by her excellent health insurance, which she got through her employer. But still, it was a financial strain.

In Germany, she pays about ?10, roughly $11. Every three months.

?I don?t ever have to worry,? she says. ?There is not a day I ever have to worry about if I can pay for something, or manage something.?

The price of insulin has…

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I tried closing the loop for 90 days, and this is what happened


First of all, an introduction might be in
order. Hi there! My name is Helene, and I’m a 24-year-old diabetic living in
Aalborg, Denmark. I’m running on a system using an array of diabetes-related
gear, to make a so-called DIY closed-circuit insulin-delivering system. My
collection of gear consists of an Abbott Freestyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitor
(Libre, for short), a MiaoMiao-transmitter (MM, for short), an Insulet OmniPod
insulin-pump (OmniPod, for short), a RileyLink, my smartphone and a smartwatch.
It might seem like a lot of equipment, but what I’m about to show you is a
testimony to the fact that it indeed is worth it!

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in the summer of 2008. Last year, in May, I had my first rounddiaversary (to those of you not familiar with that word, it’s like a birthday for your diagnosis). Ten years I had lived with…

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