Newly Dx Week: Think Like A Pancreas

A bunch of years back I spent some time working at an ISP (Internet Service Provider).  I had the opportunity to take a bunch of training courses. One of my favorite courses was called “Think Like A Router”, and it was the class that finally got through to me.  It was the class that made the light bulb “pop” on for me.  All of a sudden I was able to make sense out of so many things that were confusing me at work.

When I ran into a diabetes related book with a similar title I was excited!  Even with my high expectations, the book did not disappoint.  In fact, it exceeded my expectations and taught me many things.

Cover for Think Like a PancreasGary Scheiner lives our life.  He has type 1 diabetes (funny story in the book – he was diagnosed in Sugarland, TX.  No joke.)  A Certified Diabetes Educator and an exercise physiologist, he runs Integrated Diabetes Services in Wynnewood, PA.

The goal of this book is to help you learn to “successfully master the art and science of matching insulin to the body’s ever-changing needs”.  Gary’s book covers TONS of stuff that the “diabetes 101” books either don’t cover at all, or skim over so quickly that it can’t make sense.

Even though Gary dives into some of the very necessary “nitty-gritty” detail that living on insulin requires, it is not dry and hard to understand.  Skillfully constructed sections and topics pull you through the book without making you work on it.  You will no doubt learn many different things, and also refer back to the book over and over again.

In a section appropriately titled “Adjusting to the Real World”, Gary was the first person to discuss the possibility that caffeine can raise your blood sugar.  It was something that I suspected for a long time, but could never find any usable information on.  And here it is in black and white in Gary’s book.

I highly recommend this book.  If you don’t want to buy it, at least go get it from the library.  It will be well worth the late fees.  Also, go check out the Integrated Diabetes Services website. Gary and his team there have a lot of resources available.  Their newsletter is fabulous.

Gary runs a unique practice because he leverages the internet and telephone to work with patients all over the world.  It’s really very cool.  While I have not had the opportunity to work with him directly (yet), he is one I would trust unconditionally to manage my diabetes.

During my time at Cozmo I got to meet Gary, which was a really neat experience for me.  Gary was in the office to participate in a meeting for the Cozmo Advisory Board, and our Marketing Manager brought him over to my desk for some computer help.  When I looked up and saw who was at my desk, my jaw dropped!  After the initial shock, I shook Gary’s hand and then grabbed my “Think Like A Pancreas” book for an autograph.

He wrote “Scott, keep your chin up & your sugars down, Gary Scheiner”.  I love that line.  It says so much about our lives with diabetes, doesn’t it?  Over the next few years I was able to hang out with Gary and/or listen to him speak another three or four times.  He’s a really good guy that knows his stuff with diabetes.  And even better than knowing his stuff with diabetes, he is able to use that knowledge to help others with their diabetes.

“Keep your chin up & your sugars down.”

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5 thoughts on “Newly Dx Week: Think Like A Pancreas

  1. Scott, I’m glad you posted this. Think Like a Pancreas is a fantastic resource for everyone with diabetes, newly diagnosed or old hands. Your router analogy is very well put an drives home the value of thinking that way. Great post!

  2. Scottie J-
    I love “Think Like A Pancreas” and Gary of course.
    The book is a great read, and like Gary himself, it answers SO many Diabetes related questions!
    Kelly K