Highest A1C in Six Years

My quarterly endo appointment brought news of the highest A1C I’ve seen in six years. More than six years. Ouch.

I actually got a peek at the lab results a day or two before seeing the doctor, so I had a head start on the emotional trauma and troubleshooting. I think this was good because I wasn’t completely shell-shocked when receiving the news, and I’d already started troubleshooting by the time the doc and I spoke about it.

Why so high?

Reviewing the past few months I can name at least three things that are different and unhealthy. I want to take a short look at each of them and talk through some thoughts on changes that I hope will help.

Lack of exercise

A few months ago I completed my first half marathon. On a scale of one-to-amazingly-hard, it was pretty much off the charts. But I worked hard during training and had a lot of support from many of you (thank you!). Unfortunately, I hurt myself during one of the training runs and was diagnosed with proximal hamstring tendinopathy. Basically, I hadn’t focused enough on proper running form early in my training, and as my mileage increased and I fatigued, my form fell apart, and boom – I tweaked something. My hamstring.

Or what I thought was my hamstring!

I ran the race injured, and after the race, I stopped running. I think it’s pretty normal to take a break after a big event, and maybe especially so with an injury … but not for this long. But every time I tried running again, it hurt. Even playing basketball was pretty miserable, which is a really bad sign.

I went from running 2-3 miles, or more, then playing basketball, 3, 4, 5 days a week, with a long run mixed in there somewhere, to suffering through one basketball session each week with my buddies on Saturday mornings.

So for the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time not exercising.


I know – who isn’t stressed these days. But for some reason, I was really feeling it.

No major issues, but I’d been feeling like I wasn’t getting the right things done, or that I didn’t have enough time to finish things, or that my work wasn’t the quality I wanted, or that I wasn’t getting back to people fast enough, or, or, or…

There are a million things any of us could add to that list. Stress is funny in that when I give it any room inside my head it just goes on a rampage. I have to make a very conscious decision to say “NO” to the things that aren’t important, or that I just can’t do, and focus on what I can do. And be very clear about not stressing out about the rest of it.

I need to follow my own “NO STRESS!” rule…

What’s one of the best stress relievers?


Shorting my sleep

I need 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night. I’m damn sure I need more than the 4-5 I’ve been getting for the past few months. That’s been the norm until I crash hard every 4th or 5th night. It’s a bad thing when your 8-9 hour nights are sporadic, and your 4-5 hour nights are regular.

Everything suffers when I short myself on sleep. You know what I usually notice first? High blood sugars and stress levels. Imagine that.

This has a lot to do with being stressed and trying to do too much (or too much of the wrong things). I often stay up into the early morning hours working on stuff, but my productivity is severely hampered because I’m tired. But I think that I need to just “push through this last task” or “get this last bit done” before turning in for the night.

I need to recognize that I’m more efficient, productive, healthier, and happier when I’m getting the sleep I need.

What’s one thing you can do to improve your sleep habits?


About the exercise

It’s clear that exercise is a huge problem area, and is also a big part in the other two – stress & sleep. But how can I exercise if I’m still so uncomfortable from the injury?

My endo asked if I’d like to see a physical therapist again, and I immediately said yes. In fact, I walked directly from his office on the 5th floor down to their office on the 3rd floor to schedule an appointment. A week later, there I was.

I spent about an hour with the therapist. After trying a million different stretches and poses and lifts and pulls, the therapist twisted my legs like a pretzel and I finally did a stretch that hit the spot that has been bothering me – and it felt amazing!

I’ve been doing exercises and stretches for three months trying to find that spot and nothing worked! Because I’ve been targeting the wrong thing. It’s not a hamstring issue at all – it’s piriformis syndrome (affectionately known as runners butt)!

Now I have correctly identified the issue, and have a plan – complete with a set of physical therapy stretches and exercises.

It’ll take a bit of time to feel better, but I’m so thrilled to have found the right problem and to have a plan of action. I can already tell I’ll be feeling great again in no time.

I have no plans on running another half-marathon, so don’t even ask. My goal now is to get back to where I was feeling my best, and that was running 2-3 miles before playing basketball. There’s no good reason to do more than that.

Hopefully, this will help with the sleep and stress, and everything together will help nudge my A1C in the right direction.


I have to admit that I chuckled a lot trying to think of safe, but somehow still slightly inappropriate “runner’s butt” images to use for this post. In the end, I wimped out. I hope you’ll forgive me.

As always, I’d love to hear from you guys. Stress tips, sleep tips, productivity tips, and runner’s butt tips, let me know if you have any words of wisdom for me!


 I’ll Read it For You

Are you on the move? Let me read this to you…

Scott’s Sweepstakes! Medical ID Bracelets & Jewelry!

I love talking about medical id bracelets and jewelry. I’m a big advocate for wearing medical ID of some sort and will talk about it any chance I get.

I am almost paranoid about wearing mine, and often wear both a medical ID bracelet and necklace. I once realized I didn’t have them on and an audible <gasp> escaped my lips.

animated gif of Cosmo Kramer turning his head in shock

Medical ID is Important!

I know you may think you don’t need to wear medical ID. I know you may think you’ll never be caught by a low blood sugar you can’t handle.

I hate to break it to you… but diabetes plays dirty and is one of the sneakiest things I’ve ever experienced. As soon as you think you have everything under control, then you don’t.

Please, please, please (please!) make an effort to protect yourself by wearing some sort of medical ID.


Picture of Scott's Medical ID Bracelet

ONEIDA Heavy Duty Marine Chain Medical Bracelet

ONEIDA has made a business out of medical ID jewelry and keeping people safe for the past fifty-plus years. Since the early 1960’s they’ve been involved in helping to alert others of a special medical condition when the person in need is unable to communicate.

They were kind enough to send me a bracelet to check out, and I love it so far (disclosure: I received the pictured medical ID bracelet and engraving from ONEIDA Medical Jewelry at no charge).

My experience with medical id bracelets is that they take a beating and need to be replaced every so often. There are two ways they wear out for me.

First are the mechanical parts. The small connecting links on my bracelet between the plaque (the part that gets engraved) and the links – these are usually the literal weak links in the chain and can break when it gets snagged on something.

Second is the engraving on the plaque. When it becomes hard to read because it’s worn down, it’s time to start shopping for a new piece.

Scott’s Sweepstakes!

The great folks at ONEIDA Medical Jewelry are giving away a $50 Gift Certificate to one lucky winner and a surprise bonus offer to everyone who enters (that means we’re all winners – w00t)! Enter below, and share with your homies for an even better chance to win.

If you’re a new subscriber to my mailing list, be sure to check your email inbox for the confirmation message (and confirm), or you’ll miss out on the surprise bonus offer. We don’t want that…

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Remember to check your inbox for the confirmation message if you’re a new subscriber!

If you’d like some new medical ID jewelry, a.k.a. Diabetes Bling, please toss your name into the hat for the sweepstakes. And if you don’t win, please consider doing your medical ID shopping with ONEIDA.

The Goods!

Update/Edit: Kris recently sent me a message to let me know what he chose with his gift code. Check them out, they are pretty awesome!

Thanks much to everyone for participating!


Quick survey – a non-invasive glucometer

drawing of a finger with a question mark and the words "a few questions?"
I’m posting this on behalf of a friend and colleague, Rick Philbin. Rick lives with type 1 diabetes, has a background in exercise physiology, physical therapy, and sports medicine. He’s worked in the diabetes industry for a very long time and contributes a lot of time and energy to organizations many of us hold near and dear to our hearts (CWD, JDRF, etc).

He also kicks my ass on the basketball court every time we play, so he’s earned a level of “street cred” that I’m not ashamed to admit.

Rick is doing some work with Artemis Biomedical Technologies, a company that makes a painless, noninvasive blood glucose monitor, and they are asking for some help with a very short survey.

I know, I know… I almost cringe to say it because we’ve all heard it a million times before and here we are still poking holes in ourselves. 

So here’s the thing. I trust Rick. He’s a smart guy. He’s been around as long as we have and he’s heard it all before too. And if by spending a couple of minutes doing this survey I can help move the needle a bit, then I’m in. And if spending a couple more minutes drawing a picture (I’m no Mike Lawson…) and asking for more input moves that needle a little more, then I’m in.

The survey is all on one page, so you’ll know right up front if it’s more than you’re willing to do. I’d love your help. We’ll also be talking to Rick on DSMA Live this Thursday (September 25, 2014) at 9pm eastern to hear more about this. Tune in if you’re curious, and give us a call with questions. We’d love to hear from you! [Edit: I’ve embedded a recording of the show at the bottom of this post – it’s not all about Artemis Biomedical Technologies – we cover a lot about Rick, his story with T1D, and many other great topics. I hope you’ll check it out]

Without further delay, here is the information about the survey, direct from Rick. Thank you for reading!

We are emailing today to request that you answer a 20 question survey, which will take 5-10 minutes of your time, seeking your opinion on a non-invasive glucometer. Please consider forwarding this link to any other providers that care for patients with diabetes or patients who have diabetes.

The clinician and patient surveys are available at the following links (clinicians who have diabetes may take both surveys):

The surveys have been approved by two College IRBs – MCPHS University and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS).


Artemis Biomedical Technologies makes the Diasensor 2000, a painless, noninvasive blood glucose monitor that uses a beam of light (near-infrared technology) to measure blood glucose levels. Artemis’ mission is to offer people with diabetes the option to achieve better control and better health by unlimited, non-invasive glucose testing.

In preparing to bring this meter to market, a questionnaire geared towards clinicians and patients has been developed to understand the need and acceptance of this technology. The clinician questionnaire focuses on your diabetes patients’ blood glucose testing habits, adherence, and willingness to use this technology. The patients’ survey focuses on his/her blood glucose testing habits, adherence, and willingness to use this technology.

Full disclosure: we serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of Artemis Biomedical Technologies and have developed this survey in collaboration with Artemis Biomedical Technologies.

Thank you very much for your consideration to this request. For questions or comments, please contact us at the email links below.

[column size=1/2]

Jennifer Goldman-Levine, PharmD, CDE, BC-ADM, FCCP
Professor, MCPHS University


[column size=1/2]

Michael P. Kane, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, BCACP
Professor, ACPHS





Rick Philbin, MBA, M.Ed., ATC

VP of Marketing, Artemis Biomedical Technologies

DSMA Live with Rick Philbin

Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with DiabetesSocMed on BlogTalkRadio

Scott’s Sweepstakes! Coco’s First Sleepover (Book)

Did you know that Lilly Diabetes and Disney do a lot of work together to help make a difference for kids with type 1 diabetes?

We (yes, “we” – I’m still very much a “kid” with diabetes 🙂 ) even have our own Disney character with type 1 – Coco!

There are a handful of books available through this great collaboration, some can even be found digitally, which is pretty great.

Screenshot of the t1everydaymagic.com website


I love the work that both companies have been doing here, and one way we can encourage them to continue (and do more) is to show them some love.

In that train of thought, I’d like to offer one of their books (actually, 10 copies to 10 winners) for my next sweepstakes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a quick one! The sweepstakes ends on Monday, 9/22 at midnight (central time), and we’ll have 10 winners this time – yay!

What Diabetes Looks Like – Walk With D

Walk With D - Join my diabetes journey

What diabetes looks like?

How can we help people understand?
[/pullquote]Do the images you see in the world today align with the images of your life with diabetes?

Are you satisfied with the stock photography and the tired old video clips depicting diabetes? Are you frustrated by everyone assuming they know what diabetes looks like?

Do these images and videos tell the real story about diabetes, or are they helping to spread misinformation and stigma – things we’re all working so hard to change.

How can we help people understand what living with diabetes is really like when we’re surrounded by so much stigma and misunderstanding? How can we display the dignity that comes with caring for ourselves? How can we show the strength and determination?

Why Walk With D?

There is an old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Which is what the Walk With D campaign is all about. It’s designed to peel back the layers of misunderstanding and to help build bridges.

You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

How Can I Participate?

Simple – share your story, and connect with your peers. Living your life with diabetes is a very under-appreciated form of advocacy. By sharing some of your day through your favorite social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and the #WalkWithD hashtag you’ll be helping to change how the world sees diabetes.

Together, we can create a collage that shows people both in and outside of the diabetes community the reality of life with diabetes.

Connect with others touched by diabetes to understand their journey and to let them know that they don’t walk alone. Check out the streaming collection of #WalkWithD updates on the WalkWithD.com Tagboard:

Walk With D Tagboard Share some of your diabetes day with the world over the next couple of months (be sure to include the #WalkWithD hashtag) to help tell the real story. Together we can show the world what diabetes really looks like.

Let’s display the dignity in diabetes.

Free Diabetes Driving Clinic for Teens – Chicago, IL – 9/27/14

A sign that says "Check Before You Drive!"

Check Before You Drive!

I’m happy to announce that Juvenile Diabetes No Limits is heading back down to the Chicago area for another free driving clinic for teens with diabetes.

This 1-day program is open to teens with diabetes ages 15-19 with a valid permit or drivers license. If space permits, 14 and 15 year olds can take part and learn (they can ride along, usually, but can’t do the behind the wheel exercises).

The instructors have backgrounds in the auto industry, motor sports, advanced racing/driving schools, and high-threat driver training for the military and law enforcement, and more. Sounds like an amazing opportunity to me!

Space is filling up fast for the September 27th class! There are only about 8 spots left – so register today if you’re interested!

You can learn more about the program and free registration at Juvenile Diabetes No Limits.

Diathlete Gavin Griffiths in Minneapolis!

Gavin Griffiths I’m very excited to welcome Gavin Griffiths to Minneapolis!

Gavin is an ultra-marathoner who has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 8.

He’s making our great city an important part of an amazing adventure he’s on – the “Diathlete USA Tour 2014!

Based in London, Gavin makes a habit of doing big things in the name of diabetes advocacy. As this post publishes, he’ll be in New York running SEVEN back-to-back marathons in support of diabetes awareness…  that’s right, one marathon each day between September 7th – September 13th. Amazing!

Come Meet Gavin!

On Monday, September 15th, Gavin will be appearing at the JDRF MinnDakotas local office to give a talk about “Taking Control and Achieving Your Goals!”

I can’t wait – hope to see you there!

Gavin at JDRF

Want to Win an iHealth Align Meter?

I’m having fun with the “Scott’s Sweepstakes” series! I was so tickled when the contest software picked Loren as the winner of last week’s giveaway!

I actually met Loren and her family at Friends for Life a couple of years back, and was inspired by Chase who is bravely experimenting with putting his infusion sets in new places, and inspiring his buddies to do the same.

Here’s a fun picture of us at Friends for Life 2014 near the Lilly Diabetes Booth (see Coco in the background?).

Picture of Scott, Chase, and Loren at Friends for Life 2014

Now Up? Win an iHealth Align Meter!

Contest ends
September 8, 2014 at 11:59 PM Central

Screenshot of iHealth-Align-Contest-Form


Doug Masiuk – Appalachian Trail With Type 1

To say Doug Masiuk likes to run is like saying Scott Johnson likes to drink Diet Coke. 🙂

Doug is all about empowering people with diabetes through his love of running. Not long ago he ran across America, and now he’s taking on another amazing challenge. We’re talking with Doug tonight on DSMA Live about what he’s up to. I hope you’ll tune in and hear about what you can do to help keep him moving.

Learn more about Doug and his mission at 1Run.org.

Announcing Scott’s Sweepstakes!


Who loves contests, giveaways, and free stuff? I do! I do! You do! You do!

I’m trying something new here, and I’d love to know what you think of it.

I want to run a semi-regular giveaway with any products or services I get my hands on that I think you all might enjoy.

Let me know what you think of this, please (concept, mechanics, anything). As with anything new, it’s a little scary, and most important to me is to make sure I stay on your sweet side.

First up is MedCenter’s ‘Your•Minder Personal Recording Alarm Clock’ – a talking alarm clock with 6 personal recorded reminders valued at $49.95. Check out the product description page for more details.

Product Description Page

Enter Sweepstakes!

Contest ends at Midnight on Monday night September 1st, 2014.

Your information will not be sold or shared with anyone, not even the sponsors of this contest (MedCenter). I’ll be shipping this myself, and am happy to send it internationally. I’m trying a fancy contest application which gives you extra entry points for sharing and spreading the word – it sounds pretty cool, but let me know if that stuff is more annoying than helpful.

Good luck! I’m excited to see how this turns out, and I already have a handful of other goodies to give away!