Q: On one show you were at a movie site and gave yourself an injection through your shirt and did not clean the vial or the injection site with alcohol per package instructions. You are teaching us dangerous techniques that could result in serious infections.
Thank you for bringing that to my attention. You're right that I didn't clean the vial or my skin before injecting. I haven't cleaned the vial or my skin before injecting for about 36 years. I have been injecting through my shirt and my pants for about 5 years. I have NEVER gotten any kind of infection from any of these odd practices. I'm not saying it can't happen. I'm only saying it's never happened to me.
Also, just so you know - I am not really trying to teach anybody anything with the little movies I make for dLife. I am merely showing you the way one diabetic lives his life. Many of the things I do are not standard or normal but they are the way I have adapted diabetes to my life, as it is. The pieces we do on the show are more straight ahead and informational. But please understand: the short movies I make are just the way I live my life. I am trying to show people that living with diabetes is not perfect, to say the least. And neither am I. Not cleaning the vial or my skin before injecting has worked for me. I'm not trying to put the alcohol swab companies out business. I've just found all that unnecessary.
It's taken me many years to figure out how I need to live with this disease. I've adapted to it and I've adapted it to me. Diabetes is my life. It informs everything I do. I wish it weren't so but it is. My doctor tells me that he wouldn't suggest my regime to any of his other patients but since it works for me then he will work with me on that.
I hope this makes my goofy life a little easier to understand.
All my best,
Q: Hi! I like how pro-active you are in managing your diabetes. I see you try to get near normal BG levels -- can you tell me what your targets are?
A: My target is usually 100. That's the number that I keep in my head or where I want to be. I am, of course, not always there but I try. Oh, how I try.
When I exercise, I usually start with it around 150 and make adjustments as I go along.
Also, when I'm about to go on stage, I get it up higher because I DO NOT like my blood sugar to go low while I'm on stage. So again, I try to get it up in the 150-ish range.
I test a lot. More than most people do, about 10 times a day. I spent many years (from 1970 to 1980) guessing and I hated it. I love being able to know what my blood sugar is at any time. I also love the AH1C home test but they are hard to find sometimes. My AH1C fluctuates between 5.8 and 6.5.
Leila, I hope this was helpful.
Q: Hi Jim,
I wanted to know how you deal with blood sugar level swings? I just passed 1 year with diabetes on April 12th, 07, my last A1C was 5.1, but now first I read high then low. Going to see my doctor next week, but just wanted to ask.
Regards, Gary Smalling
Dealing with blood sugar swings is really hard. Sometimes just the feeling of my blood sugar going up or down has a profound effect on me. And not good profound either - nasty profound. It can make you dizzy, nauseated, queasy. It's not enjoyable. I deal with the fluctuating levels by constantly monitoring myself. I test myself a lot - about 10 times a day, and I shoot for my blood sugar to be right about 100. It's hard but that's what I shoot for.
But damn, Gary - a 5.1 AH1C is great. Way to go.
As a Type A personality with a perfectionist streak, diabetes management is something that easily gets under my skin. If I can’t do something perfect, then I’d much rather just not do it at all. Which is why burnout creeps up on me super fast. A few days of pesky numbers and I am ready to throw all things diabetes out the window and watch it get hit by an 18-wheeler. So attempting to get my A1c into the lowest possible range ever has proven incredibly tasking for my perfectionist...