Schooled

It seems like the more I learn, the stupider I feel.

That goes for National Geographic specials about the origins of the universe, the mechanics of the Internet, and — of course — diabetes gobbledeegook.

No one knows everything about diabetes management, of course, and none of us is perfect. But when I signed up for a few classes with Type 1 University, I thought I’d just be brushing up on a few of the main points and tactics that I’ve been incorporating into my daily life for the past 20 years. The remote classes are free throughout the month of January, so I didn’t see any harm in spending a few more hours soaking up some of the d-genius of Gary Scheiner.

It’s been two weeks, and I’ve taken two classes, and it turns out I am way dumber than I thought.

Did you know that the Ice Fish has an antifreeze substance in its body instead of blood? Also, I can use my CGM graphs to find out how long my boluses last!

The first class I sat in on was Mastering Pump Therapy. It was great; I received a PDF of the slides for the class earlier in the day, along with a link and a password for the online presentation. Then, I sat and listened and followed along. My husband sat in the next room, where he could hear the audio part of the presentation.

Every once in a while he’d say something like, “I didn’t know that! Did you know that?”

“Well duh,” I’d respond. “Yeah. I mean, no. No, I didn’t.”

I have a dog-eared copy of Gary Scheiner’s wonderful little book, Think Like a Pancreas, so there were lots of familiar points: how to test basal rates, adjusting insulin to carb ratios, etc., but there was so much more to learn. Like how to use temporary basal rates to cover PMS and exercise, and the advantages of dual and square boluses — tools that I’d never really employed before.

This week’s class, Making the Most of Continuous Glucose Monitoring, was even more enlightening, in part because I’ve only worn the CGM for about a year and a half.

It’s not necessarily that I’ve never gotten this information before, it’s just that I haven’t absorbed it all, I think. I’m so used to viewing diabetes education as boring and useless and largely terrifying. Part of my brain is still stuck in the old days, when it was all about remembering to eat a protein exchange before bed and promising to never wear sandals.

Type 1 University is all about strategy, though. I feel like, instead of being confused or frustrated by a slew of information, I’m learning how to pimp my diabetes — or at least my CGM.

Not surprisingly, all the classes for January are full, but I’m totally paying for a few more in the months to come. It’s a stupidly empowering feeling.

*No, no one paid me to write this. But the crate of baby sloths and lifetime supply of white cheddar popcorn I received certainly didn’t hurt.

**Just kidding.

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11 comments on “Schooled

  1. victoria says:

    A. That’s an ugly fish and it scares me. B. I wish I’d taken the class on CGMs. I feel like I know nothing. Sara has taught me things I didn’t know, so I know there’s much more I’m unaware of. Now I feel like a slacker.

  2. shannon says:

    i read your double asterisk at the bottom in the voice of kristin wiig.

    also, i thought of you today when i turned on the tv and saw hot chef sam talbot on rachel ray’s show.

    in conclusion, yay for learnding!

  3. Wendy says:

    I took both of those classes as well! They were both awesome…this is an AWESOME service to the diabetes community. I’m totally paying for the basal tweaking one next month.

    Just when you think you know everything you need to know….you don’t.

    Glad you enjoyed them as well 🙂

  4. Wait! You mean we share a love of parmesan pasta AND white cheddar popcorn?! ( http://scottsdiabetes.com/2008/11/thats_easy/)…

    I’m so glad you liked the classes. I really think Gary is onto something with this. By using technology to reach people wherever they are, and by being able to spend quality education time with them in an affordable way.

    It’s like you say – the more you learn about just how complicated diabetes is, and how much is happening, the more you realize that we don’t know jack about it (but are learning everyday). I also look at that from the angle of given the complexity of diabetes, we do a pretty damn good job…

  5. Auntly H says:

    I totally missed signing up for the free classes in January. 😦
    I’m planning to read a bunch of reviews from those of you who got in and then pick a couple to buy.

  6. Khürt says:

    I don’t use a pump or CGMS. What will I learn from these classes?

  7. Martin Wood says:

    I remember those days of swearing to never wear sandals. Now, outside of work, you’ll rarely find me without flip flops on. Either I’m a rebel, we are smarter than we used to be, or I’ve learned absolutely nothing. I should probably take a few of these magical classes too.

  8. Jen says:

    “Part of my brain is still stuck in the old days, when it was all about remembering to eat a protein exchange before bed and promising to never wear sandals.”
    This made me laugh embarassingly out loud…at work!

    I never did follow through on that promise to never wear sandals. Living in flip flops was my big teen w/diabetes rebellion!

    So mad I missed the free classes. I need to look into signing up in the future…my Diabetes could use a pimping session or two 🙂

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