Take the Damn Stairs!

2012-03-20   3 Comments  

Happy first day of Spring!

After a 1 hour So Fly class (yes, that’s the instructor…), I decided to jump on the treadmill for a mile long run.  The second I stepped off of it, I felt a few things at once: endorphin high, raging hunger, and the realization that my sugars were gonna hit the floor tonight.

So my endorphin high ran its course, I had dinner and now I’m preparing for my sleep post-late-exercise.  The only thing I really did to prepare was cut my insulin by about 20% – a substantial cut.  Instead of my normal 8 units, I took 6 instead to stay on the safe side – 5 units would have probably done the trick just fine.

Adjusting my insulin reminded me of this article I read a few weeks ago called Why It’s So Important to Keep Moving in the NYTimes Health section, reporting findings from a hot new study.

Basically, healthy patients that are normally active were told to cut their steps per day by at least half.  Using a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), researhers observed that when patients were active, there was no spike in blood sugar level after meals.  When they looked at information collected when patients had cut their steps in half, the story was quite different.  The article reports:

“during the three days of inactivity, volunteers’ blood sugar levels spiked significantly after meals, with the peaks increasing by about 26 percent compared with when the volunteers were exercising and moving more. What’s more, the peaks grew slightly with each successive day. This change in blood sugar control after meals “occurred well before we could see any changes in fitness or adiposity,” or fat buildup, due to the reduced activity, Dr. Thyfault says. So the blood sugar swings would seem to be a result, directly, of the volunteers not moving much.”

So, in conclusion, keep moving and take the damn stairs! 

I Already Have It All

2012-01-25   Leave a Comment  

It has been a tumultuous few weeks.  As I thought about all of the stress that each day brings – work, bills, interactions (and work, work, work), I tried to escape what I had on my hands by seeing what else was up in the world.

I looked up “type 1 diabetes” and hit the Google News search.  Hoping to find something new and exciting to remind me what passion feels like while work makes me forget, I came across an article titled “How the discovery of insulin changed the face of diabetes“.  The article itself didn’t report anything new, but I read it anyway and one line hit me hard enough to re-focus my stressed state of mind:

“It (insulin)… saved the lives of people with type 1 diabetes and allowed them to live an essentially normal existence when they would have died in childhood within weeks or months.”

To put this in perspective, I would have died at age 13 without insulin.  I’ve had diabetes for almost 12 years now and every year I am humbled to the ground that I have easy access to treatment.  I try not to forget it for a second, but when I do, I’m glad that something reminds me of this blessing.

The 90th anniversary of the first successful injection of insulin could not have come at a better time for me this year – a time that I lost perspective of the fact that I have everything I will ever need.  The only thing that I have to to gain is more.  Recognizing that continually is what will allow me to attain it.

Thank you diabetes, for the constant reminder.


VOTE! Big Blue Test is up for a TED Award!

2012-01-22   Leave a Comment  

Yes!  Big Blue Test is up for a TED Award!

Please cast your vote multiple times and share the video by following the link below.  Hit the vote button right below the video on the right!

TED Award

Here’s a twitter link as well:  https://twitter.com/#!/shahzadii/status/160767899236171777

“Ads Worth Spreading is TED’s initiative to recognize and reward innovation, ingenuity and intelligence in advertising — the ads that people want to see, and share with their friends.”

I know Big Blue Test has been big – the 2010 and 2011 songs are still stuck in my head and the cause is awesome.

If you don’t already know what the Big Blue Test is, check out this old post explaining the project.


Big Blue Test’s LAST Day – Help Save a Life

2011-11-14   1 Comment  

I imagine unquenchable thirst.

I imagine blurry vision… numb fingers… lethargy.

I imagine how the sugar in my blood is scratching against my blood vessels, damaging them.

I imagine fearing blindness in the future.

This is just a taste of what life would be like for me if I didn’t have access to diabetes treatment and medications.
I am blessed enough that these things don’ t have to be anywhere else but my imagination.  With proper care, I can avoid the things I mentioned above and enjoy a healthy life.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for so many people living with diabetes.

As a person living with diabetes every single day, I can only imagine the helplessness and fear one must feel if they don’t have the means to take care of their health.

Because of this, I’m asking you to please take a minute today and visit www.BigBlueTest.org.

EACH and every entry you share for Big Blue Test = a life-saving donation for someone living with diabetes that can’t afford proper treatment.

Participating is so, so simple.

You DON’T have to have diabetes.

You DON’T have to check your blood sugar if you don’t have diabetes.

You can enter MORE THAN ONCE!  As long as each entry matches exercise that you did.

If you don’t have diabetes, I’ve circled how easy it is to do in the picture below…

Today is World Diabetes Day.  Spreading awareness is crucial for a disease that is projected by the World Health Organization to affect up to 10% of the world population in the future.

We have until 12:00 midnight (PT) to reach Big Blue Test’s goal of 8,000 participants.

We’re at about 5,400 now.

I’m lucky enough to have the means to take care of myself for a healthy life – but things could be different.  If they were, I’d need your help.

Today… right now, this is how to do it: www.BigBlueTest.org.


Big Blue Test – An Invite to Break a Sweat!

2011-11-05   2 Comments  

Yes, that is me fist-pumping with much enthusiasm at the 1:03 mark. Despite being caught in that rather spunkless moment, I’m super excited to share the project I’ve been working on for the last month or so. The project is called the Big Blue Test and is a diabetes awareness program started by the nonprofit Diabetes Hands Foundation that takes place every November leading up to World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14.

Big Blue Test was recently featured on Huffington Post (…HUFFINGTON POST!!!) – please feel free to circulate the article and give it a like.The premise of the campaign is simple – test your blood sugar, get out and exercise for 14 – 20 minutes, then share your results at www.BigBlueTest.org.
You can still participate if you don’t have diabetes – just visit www.BigBlueTest.org and enter the type of exercise you did.
This year, Big Blue Test needs 8,000 participants – with diabetes or not, to participate and Roche Pharmaceuticals donates to Five nonprofit organizations focused on helping underserved areas with a high incidence of diabetes in the United States.  Each will each receive $10,000, while $25,000 will go to support the work in Latin America by the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child Programme.
I’m also working to promote the project through social media outlets, so help me out and please take a moment to “like” Diabetes Hands Foundation’s facebook page.  If you’re on twitter, follow @DiabetesHF and @TuDiabetes.Now go get active.
I’m about to break a sweat at the mall for Eid tomorrow… Happy Eid to those that are celebrating!  And happy (sorta) Daylight Savings to everyone!

Big Blue Test 2011! Do your part.

2011-09-03   Leave a Comment  

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Last year I posted the 2010 Big Blue Test video calling on people with diabetes to get out and exercise for 15 minutes and then check their blood sugars to see the impact.  Every view that the video got resulted in a week’s supply of insulin for a child with diabetes that did not have proper healthcare access.

The video is for World Diabetes Day and they are looking to cast the promotional video with REAL people with diabetes or affected by diabetes: http://www.tudiabetes.org/profiles/blogs/casting-call-for-big-blue-test-video-2011.

Check it out and send in your submission to be considered!

And when the video is out – share, share, share!

I posted the 2010 video last year.  I thank God every day that I have easy access to the doctors and medicine I need.  To support someone else that might not have the same luxury is as easy as watching a (rather catchy) video.

My First Race!

2011-06-02   Leave a Comment  

Today I’m running my first race! It’ll be the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, which is a 3.5 mile race starting in the Commons.

I haven’t trained that well, but I think I’ll be capable of finishing a 3.5er. I trained about… 2 days in the last 3 weeks due to being sick. I ran 3 miles the day before and 2.5 last night – both after an hour of zumba. I should (read: hope) I’ll be juuust fine.

It’s 4:42pm now and I tried to eat lunch at a normal time so that my sugars would stabilize come race time (7:30pm), but I didn’t get a chance until 4:30pm (15 mins ago). I was careful with my portions and I think I’ll level out by 6pm – 30 mins before we meet for the race.

So, I’m not sure if I’ll have a place to leave my insulin and glucometer that will be easily accessible, which means I should be at a stable and good sugar level before my race starts so that I’m not anticipating any highs or lows during my run.

Keep in mind this is only 3.5 miles! I’ve got a lot of thought going into where I’ll have to stuff my sugar packets and if I’ll be able to check my blood sugars – I can’t even imagine what kind of prep people like Jay Hewitt (type 1 diabetic that completed the Iron Man Triathlon, nbd) go through. I’m sure it’s not as “easy” as it is for other runners – but the question for people with diabetes is often changed from “is it easy?” to “is it doable?” I’ve found myself stubbornly answering that question with “YES. YES. YES” in all instances because I refuse to let diabetes get in my way. I’m hoping this 3.5 miler will be the first of many races for me.

Anyway, wish me luck and I’ll be sure to update (if my time isn’t embarrassing..) about how the race goes.

11 Years, 1 Week and 1 Day

2011-04-23   7 Comments  

Holy crap. It’s been 11 years and 1 week and 1 day for me living with type 1 diabetes. I feel proud and even more grateful that I’m also complication free so far. I never realize how much I care about facing complications until my doctor tells me that I have so far avoided any.

Last week my left contact lens got all hazy and weird and I thought my prescription might be changing. I made an appointment and my prescription went from -.50 in the left eye to -.75.

You may have just rolled your eyes at this post because that’s such a weak prescription, but when it comes to managing diabetes, everything is relevant. If I’m feeling warm, I immediately will ask someone else if it’s hot in the room or not because I’m not sure if my sugar’s high or if in fact the room is just hot. If I’m feeling irritable, I don’t think that maybe I am just exhausted or someone’s pissing me off – I immediately think my sugar must be high. Virtually everything relates to my sugar level.

So when the doctor did a full eye exam for me to make sure the culprit behind my prescription change wasn’t my blood sugars and told me that I am “complication free” in my eyes, it was a huge relief. A few weeks before that, my endocrinologist told me the same thing about my over all health – no complications. Kidneys good, nerves good, everything good. I could not be more grateful and while I know it’s a blessing, I do think that I can feel proud of my hard work paying off. It encourages me to keep it up.

While having bad lab numbers can help to push me back on my game, it doesn’t compare to the feeling of having good numbers and feeling in control. It is truly, truly a blessing.

Anyway, just thought I’d share that bit of happiness and my 11 year milestone. It feels great :-). When and if a complication comes, I hope to face it with as much gratefulness.

But those suckers better stay away.


2011-03-09   Leave a Comment  

Just came across this New York Times news piece about Dominique Corozzo, a young girl with type 1 diabetes.

I like how the piece depicts the daily ups and downs, the shots, the blood sugar checking… the fact that she gets through it everyday and knows that she’s normal.  It breaks my heart when patients blame themselves or feel ashamed about what they’re dealing with.  This is thoroughly refreshing.

I love good ideas.

2010-11-05   3 Comments  

Insulin was discovered relatively recently (1922).  Before that, type 1 diabetes was essentially a death sentence for children.  With the discovery of insulin (I see you, Banting, Macleod and Best!), that fate changed.  Or so you would think.

Even though I can live a healthy life, taking care of myself with insulin therapy and monitoring, so many in the world still live in a pre-1922 world with no insulin.  It makes me extremely grateful every time I think that I could have been born in a different, less fortunate part of this world and my life could have ended at age 13 when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Unfortunately, this is still a reality for so many children.

So, because this situation is very much a reality still… you should probably loop this video on your laptops!  It is a good, good idea.

Here’s the blurb:

http://BigBlueTest.org is a program of the Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF). It takes place every November 14 (World Diabetes Day). People with diabetes are invited to test their blood sugar at 2 pm (local time), do 14 minutes of activity, test again and share the results.

Nov. 14, 2010, DHF is aiming for a minimum of 100,000 views of its Big Blue Test promotional video. To help the foundation reach this goal, Roche Diabetes Care (makers of ACCU-CHEK® diabetes products and services), has underwritten the production of this video and will make a donation for every view the video receives up to $75,000. DHF will use the donation to help the Life for a Child program, run by the International Diabetes Federation, and Insulin For Life. These two global, humanitarian organizations provide diabetes medication and supplies to children in the world’s poorest countries.”

Being someone who knows that I might not be alive today if it weren’t for easy access to medication and treatment, I’m asking that you do this little thing and spread this promotional video after watching it yourself.

p.s.  The song is pretttttty catchy, too.