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Kim Kircher talks about Type One Diabetes

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

When someone is diagnosed with Diabetes, do they face the fact that their life has changed forever?  Sure, but it doesn't mean that you stop being a skier, hiker, climber, golfer....... Does it? 

 

 

Kim Kircher lives with Diabetes and is hoping to see a cure in her lifetime.  Wouldn't that be great?

http://kimkircher.com/2012/06/14/patient-13-a-possible-cure-for-diabetes/

post #2 of 25

Thanks for posting the link.  

 

This interests me because I am also a Type 1 diabetic, since age 10 or 11 (just turned 50 two days ago).  Also the local connection (Kim being a patroller at Crystal and her family's ownership of several ski areas, inlcuding Crystal Mt.),   

 

Daily insulin shots;  I've got a current routine of 5 injections a day, Lantus for long acting and Novolog with meals.  While Lantus is a supposedly a once-a-day insulin, I split it into two doses 12 hours apart since it works better for me.  Also, when I'm physically active (skiing, for example) I don't need the Novolog.   All this requires using a glucose monitor several times a day, and more often when circumstances dictate (large meals, desserts, increase or decrease in phsycial activity). 

 

I've also been pretty physcially active over the years. Physical activity and sports has to be taken with some forethought.  I can't tell you how many times I had low blood sugar reactions when being physiclly active.   I think I've got it down pretty well these days.  That said, I never ski without a glucose monitor, extra insulin, snacks and Vitamin water, which is why I always ski with my backpack.  If I were to ever start backcountry I'd need a bigger pack for more of the same as well as all the BC essentials.

 

Sorry if this is too much information. It's just that it is an everyday management task that get complicated at times. Effective, affordable islet transplants would make life a whole lot simpler.  Even though I've been pretty healthy over the years, I have still had complications from diabetes (laser eye surgeries for retinopathy, most recently last December, early risk of kidney disease; etc).So yes, it would be great to have a cure in our lifetime.  Crossing my fingers.   

 

Regardless, I'm planning to increase my skiing time each year. 

post #3 of 25

Stanwood,

 

Glad to know I'm not the only one. I use an insulin pump, and it has helped tremendously with low blood sugars during activity. I used to try to predict what my ski patrol day would be like, which is impossible. I never know if I'm going to sit inside on bump or be called out for a backside search. Now I can adjust my insulin up or down to accommodate this spontaneity. I also don't have that pesky long-acting insulin on board bringing me down when I need a last-minute burst of energy. 

 

I'd all but given up on a cure. But this could change everything. I hope it does. 

 

Best,

 

Kim Kircher

post #4 of 25

Kim, nice to see you post here on Epic.

 

I edited and re-posted a comment on your blog. 

 

I've never tried a pump; at the time I was considering it, a friend had been using one and seemed to go back and forth between a pump and Lantus.  My doctor seems to be fine with what I'm doing so far.   What I do notice is that when I'm skiing, I can forego a Novolog injection with meals and usually be just fine.  But I will explore a pump further.

 

Maybe I'll catch up with you at Crystal one of these days. 

post #5 of 25

I regularly ride and ski tour with a guy who has Type I diabetes.  He does great, even on very long days.  Having said that, he has educated all of his friends about symptoms of low blood sugar.  We often ask him how his BS is doing, and sometimes tell him to stop and eat; e.g. after he rode into a tree or started weaving.  this is important because he is sometimes not aware of having low BS.  He has even gone into detail about the "what ifs", like what if he passes out (squirt some gel into his mouth).   Because he has been open about his disease with his friends, he can do rather significant trips into the back country and we get to enjoy his company.  He avoids solo trips into extreme areas, however.  

 

My friend finally purchased an insulin pump last year.  After several months of learning about the pump and his needs, it has made a huge improvement on his BS levels.  There are fewer instances of low BS and he feels that he has better endurance because his BS is not as variable and better controlled. 

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

There is a history of Diabetes in my family, so this hits closer to home for me.  Thank you Kim, for posting this on your blog.  I'm glad I follow you. biggrin.gif

post #7 of 25
Our younger daughter, Daria, is also a type 1 diabetic -- she is 22 and was diagnosed at age 11. Huge adjustment for a kid, and my hat is off to you d-name for managing this before the age of Lantus and quick read BG meters! She started using a pump when she started college, and has given her a lot of flexibility. On a daily basis, however, she notes that her diabetes sets her apart from her peers (and, yes, she is acutely aware that there many far worse afflictions). She has done great in not allowing the diabetes to limit her -- she was a competitive gymnast and soccer player in high school, has travelled internationally several times as part of college programs (however the 3am phone call from Australia b/c her pump stopped working and she did not have any Lantus with her is a story in fortitude by itself...). Oh yeah, she also rips as a skier! She just graduated college and is planning on spending next winter in Utah. Living my dream...
post #8 of 25

I always like the exchange of stories and information on this website, but this is one is so personal and potentially so helpful to people so much beyond what is the best mid=layer or best boots (granted those are pretty important, I know.)  

post #9 of 25

http://www.amazon.com/Yes-Can-You-Tackle-Diabetes/dp/0977428303

 

I know you guys aren't kids, but the topic reminded me of what is supposed to be a good book for kids and parents (especially active ones).

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

A little side track - 

Each year UGASkiDawg's daughter has a JDRF Walk For the Cure team.  She is an athlete who is not defined by Diabetes.  She'll tell you so! 

However, it is obvious that she (and her family) takes great care in her day to day, which is essential to her well being.  

Here is the Facebook page for Team Spaghetti O's - https://www.facebook.com/pages/team-spaghetti-Os/58166260227

post #11 of 25
I'm also type 1 and as many others need to carry my insulin, meter snacks and some sort of high glucose sports gel. I was diagnosed 9 years ago, I'm 31 now. Hava to deal with it is a pain but it has never limited me on any thing! The most important thing is to educate yourselft and be aware of the extra care you have to take... I always stop at the lodge every 1.5 / 2 hrs to make sure I'm doing okay! And as canadianskier said it's important to have a partner to remind you of what you have to do!
post #12 of 25

My daughter and son-in-law work for a diabetes pump startup company.  They just announced that they are taking orders for their pump and will ship in August!  What is also interesting is to hear about the research they (and others) are involved in to develop an artificial pancreas!  That's evidently the gold standard and killer app.  It's years away, but exciting none the less.

 

Mike

post #13 of 25

Mike, do you have the website about this device?

 

thanks

 

David

post #14 of 25
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

I just got a note from Team SpaghettiO's and thought I'd bump this thread in the hopes that some of you will visit Olivia's Facebook page and make a contribution to her team's efforts and hopefully make it one more step closer to a cure. 

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/team-spaghetti-Os/58166260227

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

Bump for the annual JDRF walk with UGASkiDawg's daughter

http://www.epicski.com/t/121534/jdrf-and-team-spaghettios

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

My daughter and son-in-law work for a diabetes pump startup company.  They just announced that they are taking orders for their pump and will ship in August!  What is also interesting is to hear about the research they (and others) are involved in to develop an artificial pancreas!  That's evidently the gold standard and killer app.  It's years away, but exciting none the less.

Mike

Mike, just thought I let you know I've been using the T-Slim pump for two months. I'm very pleased so far. Supposed to be able to work with the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor as soon as they receive FDA approval.
post #18 of 25

Great to see this bump Tricia!

 

Focus on opportunity and great outcome for folks afflicted with Type 1 comes also in another sport that can wreak havoc:  Professional road cycling.

 

Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, equipment and medications has committed great funding in the formation and support of a professional cycling team that has ONLY Type 1 diabetics: Team Type 1 Pro cycling.

 

Along with that, Novo Nordisk has committed to seek out the best to support their riders.  I know this for a fact as my friend and physiologist, Dr. Inigo San Millan, Director of Exercise Physiology and Human Performance Testing at the University of Colorado, has partnered with Team Type 1 as their physiologist.

 

I understand the great physiological impact that the sport of cycling has with athletes.  But not having diabetes, I had no idea the issues surrounding Type 1 and exercise up until just a few weeks ago.  In spending some time with Inigo during the recent USA Pro Challenge, I was overwhelmed with the physiological complexity the riders of Team Type 1 endure during road racing over 100 miles a day in multiple stage races.  I was also astounded to learn how this “living laboratory” of riders will hopefully contribute to new protocols, technologies and medications.

 

Wow, to now see the boys competing at such a high level, producing ever increasing race results is both amazing and inspiring – for those with Type 1 and I’m certain for those without.

 

You can follow Team Type 1:

 

http://www.teamnovonordisk.com/ 

 

https://www.facebook.com/TeamNovoNordisk

 

Here Inigo teaches me more about Type 1 at the recent Vail ITT stage:

 

post #19 of 25

I've never noticed this thread before.

 

Type 1 for 39 years. I'm over 60, an age I did not expect to reach when I was diagnosed.

 

My analogy back then was going from a carburetor with an automatic choke to one with a manual choke.

 

Like DesiredUsername first reported, I use 5 injections per day. I use Lilly products, so it's NPH and Humalog.

 

I have never used a pump. I used to indulge in whitewater kayaking. A permanently placed injection point and semi-dirty river water are not a good combination.

 

Fortunately, I have not been particularly brittle. I've been lucky in that regard.

 

Does it change your life? Yes and no. You have to pay attention. If you do, modern therapy lets you do pretty much what you want. If you don't, you'll have nasty complications and probably die sooner. Your choice.

 

I'll brag a little:

Since being diagnosed, I've accumulated a couple of university degrees, a PSIA Level 3 alpine cert, a few days of cat and backcountry skiing, and many days on the river surfing, rolling and squirting. I've done the Dalmac bike ride in Michigan (400 miles in 4 days). I still ski plenty at one of the best powder areas in North America, and I still sea kayak on the big inland lakes of the Selkirks with an occasional trip to the ocean. (There's some awesome kayaking between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland. Try it sometime!)

 

More later. It's time to go outside.

post #20 of 25
Jhcooley, I've got you beat. I've been Type 1 for 41 years.

However, I bow down before your other many accomplishments.

FWIW when using a pump it's not a permanently placed injection site. One uses an infusion set which consists of the tubing and a canula which is inserted into the skin like a syringe. Both are changed every 3-4 days, or as needed. I can also stop using the pump if needed and use the Lantus and Novolog injections temporarily, although I haven't yet needed to.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 

Think about this.......UGASkiDawg's daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 before I met her and I've known her since she was 3. 

 

One of the reasons I bumped this thread is because I am hoping that we can get behind her and help her raise her goal for the JDRF walk she did last Sunday.  

 

 

I come from a family with a history of Diabetes and this is close to my heart. 

 

Bump for the annual JDRF walk with UGASkiDawg's daughter

http://www.epicski.com/t/121534/jdrf-and-team-spaghettios

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

Jhcooley, I've got you beat. I've been Type 1 for 41 years.

However, I bow down before your other many accomplishments.

FWIW when using a pump it's not a permanently placed injection site. One uses an infusion set which consists of the tubing and a canula which is inserted into the skin like a syringe. Both are changed every 3-4 days, or as needed. I can also stop using the pump if needed and use the Lantus and Novolog injections temporarily, although I haven't yet needed to.

 

Yes, I knew you had it for longer than I. Furthermore, you have more EpicSki posts!

 

As for the accomplishments, I don't believe they're particularly unusual - and that's the point. A type 1 diagnosis (for TC's information, the diagnosis was at the Michigan State University Medical Center) does not have to end your life. It's just that something that's automatic and unconscious for most people is now under your manual control.

 

There are limits. I was a volunteer wildland firefighter for a number of years without any difficulties, but I will never be a catskiing guide or a commercial pilot. Scuba certification is still on my bucket list.

 

As I said, I've been lucky. I have a friend I ski with occasionally who is on a pump and is very brittle. He wasn't diagnosed until he was nearly 50, and he's on permanent disability because he can no longer sit in front of a computer for any length of time. He needs to be constantly active to maintain any semblance of control. He will not go sea kayaking or backcountry hiking because it might take too long to get to shore or back to the trailhead if he has problems. Skiing works because he can be at the bottom in just a few minutes.

 

The diagnosis didn't end his life, either, but it has made it quite difficult.

 

Your life revolves around control. Demanding precision in your skiing comes naturally.

post #23 of 25
I guess I've been fortunate, a combination if good luck and good management. I became much more serious about my health and diet in my early 20's and as a result I seem to in better shape than a great many people around my age who didn't start out with any chronic illnesses but sure have them now.
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 

Here is a snip from Kim's Blog today, titled The Sweet Life: 

Read her blog here

Listen to her interview with Sean here

 

Quote:
 

This week on The Edge Radio I’m interviewing Sean Busby, a professional snowboarder and a fellow Type 1 diabetic.

Sean_Busby_Antarctica

Sean Busby in Antarctica

Sean was diagnosed in 2004, while training for the Olympics. Considering leaving snowboarding altogether, Sean was inspired by stories he found throughJDRF’s Children’s Congress. It was these young kids that inspired him to keep living his dreams despite living with T1D.

He founded Riding On Insulin—which is now a nonprofit organization—to honor all the kids who inspired him to keep living.


Edited by Trekchick - 9/12/13 at 6:00am
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 

 

 He wasn't diagnosed until he was nearly 50, and he's on permanent disability because he can no longer sit in front of a computer for any length of time. He needs to be constantly active to maintain any semblance of control. He will not go sea kayaking or backcountry hiking because it might take too long to get to shore or back to the trailhead if he has problems. Skiing works because he can be at the bottom in just a few minutes.

 

The diagnosis didn't end his life, either, but it has made it quite difficult.

 

Your life revolves around control. Demanding precision in your skiing comes naturally.

 

that's no joke. I was feeling poorly for the last few years with headaches and low energy and finally a doctor gave me an a1c test and found i was pre diabetic, ugh. The good news is after only a few months of diet changes and more consistent excercise i feel way better. You would like to think if they had it caught it earlier he might have been able to turn it around

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