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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Filtering by Tag: DIabetes

On This day, January 11 1922: Insulin Was First Used to Treat Diabetes

Scott Benner

On Jan. 11, 1922 fourteen-year-old Leonard Thompson was injected with a pancreatic extract prepared by Dr. Frederick Banting, and medical student, Charles Best.

from TheStar.com:

Although his blood sugars went down a little, there was not a lot of change following Thompson’s initial injection, according to the University of Toronto’s heritage website.

But biochemist Bert Collip, who had been working with Banting and Best in a lab provided by the university’s head physiologist, Prof. J.J.R.. Macleod, developed a method to refine the extract and daily injections of this extract started Jan. 23. Improvement was immediate and remarkable. The boy’s blood sugar levels dropped to normal levels (Thompson would live another 13 years with daily injections of insulin, before dying of tuberculosis.)

It was not a cure but it was a monumental breakthrough in treatment for what had been an untreatable disease.

In March, 1922 a paper describing the case of Leonard Thompson, and six other patients the Banting and Best team treated with the refined extract, was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It was the first official announcement of an extract developed to alleviate the symptoms of diabetes.

A message of hope to sufferers from diabetes goes out authentically today from the medical research laboratories of the University of Toronto. The modesty of medical men and scientific investigators of the genuine brand attempts to minimize the results obtained. The harm of exaggeration and the injustice to both parents and research men in awakening false and premature hopes before the extracts can possibly be manufactured cannot be over-emphasized. But the fact remains that one of the most important discoveries in modern medical research has been made at the university here. It is not a cure for diabetes, its authors state. Within six months, however, their discovery will be used on a large scale, they hope, to prolong life quite considerably at least. There will be no secrecy, as from the beginning. The medical profession will know all the facts.
— The Toronto Daily Star - March 22, 1922 Edition

The Toronto Daily Star broke the news a day before other outlets. The March 22, 1922 bold all-capital headline ran eight columns on the front page: “Toronto doctors on track of diabetes cure.” A subhead stated: “Discovery made at University of Toronto will be means of prolonging life considerably — F.G. Banting and C.H. Best pushed experiments all last summer.”

The Star referred to the Alliston-born Banting — who had won the Military Cross in 1916 for bravery in World War I — as being “strangely slow in speech” and “unassuming” but he also had “the reputation of coming across with the punch at the critical moment.”

click to enlarge

Two months later, on May 22, 1922, Prof. Macleod delivered a paper on the U of T team’s findings to the American Association of Medical Physicists in Washington, D.C. and got a standing ovation. Macleod used the term “insulin” to describe the extract. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, “in the eyes of most of the world,” this was considered the announcement of insulin.

The next year, on Oct. 26, 1923, the first Nobel prize awarded to Canadians was given to Banting and Macleod.

But the reaction of Banting and Macleod to the prize revealed a little of the testy relationship that had existed in the background between the two men.

According to an account on the website scienceheroes.com (similar to other published reports) Banting was furious that he was sharing the award with Macleod, not Best, and at first swore he “wouldn’t accept the award.” But friends persuaded him that it wouldn’t be smart to refuse the first Nobel for a Canadian (he remains the youngest Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine). Instead, Banting announced he would split his share of the $40,000 monetary prize with Best.

read the story in it’s entirety at TheStar.com


Dancing For Diabetes

Scott Benner

I'm proud to introduce Dancing for Diabetes as the newest sponsor of the Juicebox Podcast and I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to tell you about this amazing diabetes charity. 


Dancing for Diabetes has been spreading awareness through the art of dance to better educate the community, raise funds to find a cure, and inspire those with diabetes to live healthy and active lives for the past 18 years and will continue to do so until a cure is found! 

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Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 10 years old in 1999, Elizabeth Forrest was determined to not let diabetes negatively impact her life. As a direct result, Elizabeth created nonprofit organization, “Dancing for Diabetes.”

As a student in a middle school dance program in Sanford, Florida, Elizabeth was inspired to host a show to raise funds but more importantly, spread awareness. What started as a small neighborhood event quickly transformed into a large annual production and then further into a year round 501c3 nonprofit organization. In the fall of 2018, Dancing for Diabetes will produce its 18th annual show.

Year round, Dancing for Diabetes provides free dance class for kids and teens with type 1 diabetes, hosts several outreach events and programs for kids, teens and adults, and produces Touched by Type 1 – an educational and empowering conference in Orlando, Florida. To learn more, please visit: www.dancing4diabetes.com


Getting to Bold

Scott Benner

In the beginning of our life with type 1 diabetes I would cry in the shower...

The shower seemed like a good place to vent my fear, frustration and utter lack of confidence. I would emerge reborn having dumped my anxiety down the drain. The guilt and pressure would of course build up again but the venting would usually hold me over for a week or so. During that time I believed that this was how my life would always be. Every time Arden's blood sugar was too high, too low or just plain all over the place, I would think...

"Well, that's just diabetes. There is nothing I can do, it's out of my hands."

Here's the secret though. That's not just diabetes. At least it doesn't have to be. 

This blog and the people reading it saved me from that life but not perhaps in the way you might imagine. If you were to go back a decade and read my posts you would see a person struggling as I've described here. The blog was a raw nerve, a mirror to my worst moments, periodic triumphs and ardent fears. I would have an experience and then write about it. It was cathartic for me and the readers felt supported because they saw their lives in mine. This was my original concept of what a blog was for and what community meant. I would share my life transparently and you got the relief that came with knowing that you weren't alone. My daughter's A1c was 9, yours sucked too and we all felt the momentary relief of sameness. 

My idea of community has grown

I would make incremental yet unsatisfying improvements to Arden's care. We got an Omnipod insulin pump and her A1c went down, we cut out some foods and it went down again. Still, no great shakes just lower. Eventually Arden got a Dexcom CGM but all that seemed to do was enforce the notion that I sucked at taking care of my daughter's disease. Then one day our nurse practitioner told me that the biggest hurdle in type 1 diabetes management was fear.

More specifically. The fear of insulin

Those words clicked in my head and I began to force myself to not be afraid. This was no small feat as you are reading the thoughts of a person who caused two seizures in their daughter. Twice in the beginning years with type 1 diabetes I gave Arden too much insulin and she had a seizure. Today I realize that it wasn't the insulin that caused the seizures, at least not completely. It was my ignorance about how the insulin worked. When I realized that... everything began to change.

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Bold T-shirts 

Arden's A1c went from 9 to 8.5 to 8 to 7.5 to 7 to 6 to 5.6

A platitude is a statement that has been repeated so often that it is meaningless.

I figured it out. The next question was what is "it" and more importantly how do I share it with you without the platitudes that often strangle our community. Have you ever heard that, "marriage takes work" or been told to "enjoy this... it goes by so fast"? People love to say stuff but then not give you any details. Have you ever wondered why we don't speak with more detail? I think that some stuff doesn't require more so we don't offer more. We also often don't have the luxury of the time it takes to fully explain. Diabetes however deserves and requires the next level of the thought to be shared, for time to be taken. The tried and true methods should be given to anyone who is interested in knowing them. The problem is that it would be a lifetime of blog posts or a library full of books that you could never read. Still, what if you read the answer but couldn't apply the information or didn't quite understand and needed one more example. We say crap like, "well, that's just diabetes" because it's difficult to do more and those platitudes rob us of hope. One day I got tired of accepting that and wanted to do more. I threw out the old chestnut that tells us that everyones diabetes is different and that experiences can't be thoughtfully applied to others. I ignored that trope because it is not completely true and I knew that I could find a way to extract the basic tenants of diabetes and apply them to everyone. Once I did that the next step was to give the ideas the weight that they deserved and the thoughtful explanation that they required. Above all else, I wanted to provide real tools that were easy to use for the people who were ready to try and hope that one day they would be ready to those who weren't quite there yet.

A Phone call

Recent Juicebox Podcast reviews. Click to expand. Seriously, read them.

When you share online people sometimes contact you to ask questions. As you can tell by this post I can get wordy when I write. So one day when I received a question from one of you and I responded, "maybe just call me". The first time that I spent a half hour on the phone with a stranger explaining the tenants that I use in the day-to-day management of diabetes... it felt weird. That strange feeling was replaced a few days later when that person contacted me again to say that they understood. They made the changes that we spoke about and their child's blood sugars were suddenly and markedly better. I asked that person to keep in touch. I say that to everyone today. "Keep in touch... let me know how this worked out". I say it to everyone for two reasons. 1. I really do care and 2. your feedback helps me the next time that I speak to someone. When that first person reached back out six months later with a significantly reduced A1c I thought, "I wish I could talk to everybody at the same time.". 

So I started the Juicebox Podcast

The episodes of the podcast are self-contained, organic conversations that will help you to get to a better place with diabetes. But that isn't the real benefit of the podcast. Those episodes when combined reflect my continued maturation as a person living with diabetes. They are powerful separately but together they are an organic conversation that grows and builds and teaches - both me and the people listening. I never would have believed that it would be so powerful but I see it today in your social media posts, reviews and personal letters. 

Here's what I know. When I am Bold With Insulin my daughter's life is better. She is healthier, happier and less burdened by diabetes. I then take what I've experienced and we talk about it on the podcast. You will absorb information and begin to apply ideas in no time. I've tried to replace those hope draining platitudes with simple ideas supported by easy to understand details about how to make them work. I'm not a doctor but I do have a decade of crowd- sourced experiences and a knack for explaining them. 

You can help to shape how people talk and live

There are three people reading this post. Those of you who are already being bold, those who want to be and those who aren't sure if you can.  If you you're already there, please help to keep the platitudes out of the diabetes conversation. Be supportive without being reductive and encourage people to be bold. If you know the there is more to diabetes than what you've been told. If you can feel it in your gut but can't quite bring it into reality. Please listen to the podcast. If you think that I'm full of crap or just can't imagine things being better. Please, take a leap of faith. A better life is waiting on the other side. 

Be Bold With Insulin - Listen to the Juicebox Podcast

On your iPhone or Apple Podcasts

On your Android phone or Google Play

Online at JuiceboxPodcast.com

On iHeart Radio

You can also listen on your favorite podcast app by searching for Juicebox Podcast. The podcast is completely free for all listeners. 


"No good. Diabetes." - Donald Trump 

Scott Benner

Have diabetes? Trump thinks that makes you unable to perform your job.

This blog post will be quoting a reporter from Jonathan Swan at Axios.com. Jonathan is citing sources who say that Donald Trump believes he'll be replacing four supreme court justices during his term. 

"Asked how he comes to that jaw-dropping number, Trump mentions the obvious: he's already replaced Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch, and there are rumors Anthony Kennedy will retire."

"Ok," one source told Trump, "so that's two. Who are the others?"

"Ginsburg," Trump replied. "What does she weigh? 60 pounds?"

"Who's the fourth?" the source asked.

"Sotomayor," Trump said, referring to the relatively recently-appointed Obama justice, whose name is rarely, if ever, mentioned in speculation about the next justice to be replaced. 

Trump explained...

"Her health, No good. Diabetes."

In ten years of writing about type 1 diabetes I've perhaps posted twice about something even remotely political. But today it is being reported that the President of the United States believes that type 1 diabetes is an impediment to acting as a Supreme Court Justice. I would like to know what further bias Trump holds against people living with chronic illness. If Justice Sotomayor can lose her job for having type 1, can you? Maybe she doesn't deserve healthcare? Why is it so easy for Trump to dismiss a human being because they happen to have type 1 diabetes? Why is the person making decisions about how the country receives healthcare so painfully unaware of what it means to live with type 1 diabetes. 

Please consider sharing this image on your social media channels and ask news agencies to look deeper into the Axios story. Use the hashtag #RespectUs

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Little Girls are like Snowflakes

Scott Benner

Little girls are like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same...

Snow day! It is snowing here as I write this post which is strange because it was sixty-five degrees yesterday afternoon when Arden came home from school and asked me this question.

"Can I have a sleepover tonight if school gets cancelled tomorrow because of snow?".

I thought for a moment and decided that if Arden had friends overnight then they would stay up late and if they stayed up late... then they would sleep in. I immediately imagined a morning to myself, smiled and said "sure!". 

The sleepover brought one surprise that I hadn't pre-planned for, I needed more food at dinner time then I had in the house and so we ordered out. When the pizza, fries and some other stuff arrived at the door we bolused, set an increased temp basal and Arden ate. About an hour later her BG began to slowly drift up. I had been noticing all day that her BG wasn't responding to boluses the way I expected and began considering if we needed a new pump site. An hour later after I wasn't getting the movement that I wanted (her BG was 160) Arden changed her pump. 

I was aggressive with the insulin after the site change because of the new infusion, pizza in her belly and the excitement of a sleepover. Still around midnight her BG was still stuck at 150. When I went into Arden's room the three girls were passed out on an inflatable mattress that they set up next to Arden's bed. So it was air mattress on the far side of the room, then Arden's bed, then me. I was farthest from the air mattress because of where Arden's Omnipod PDM was located. I clicked a few buttons sent a bolus to her pod (it has great range) and went back to bed.

Not ten minutes later I decided that I should have also used an increased temp basal rate and so I snuck back in to the room. It was dark but I could see that Arden had made her way from the air mattress and was now sleeping in her bed. I crouched down next to her and held the wireless PDM close to her abdomen where she had recently put her new pod. The PDM couldn't connect. I tried again, wouldn't connect. I jammed the PDM between Arden and the mattress... nothing. As I began to worry that the new pod might not be working correctly Arden jumped up in the darkness, I had scared her. This felt wrong as she has never responded in the middle of the night like that. As I was about to ask if she was okay a voice said, "Sorry you scared me... Mr. B... I'm not Arden".

So it turns out that Nadia, Arden's friend was the one who moved from the air mattress to Arden's bed and the reason I couldn't connect to Arden's pod? It was across the room and Nadia's body was absorbing the signal.

We don't get too many middle of the night insulin related laughs around here and I imagine that you don't either so I wanted to share. I have to remember to tell this story on the podcast sometime. I felt like an idiot.