Diabetic days – not a super spy

By | 26 February, 2010

As part of of our ongoing series, type one diabetic Mark Mansheim describes a typical day:


I begin my day at 6 am with a gentle wake up from my wife.  She is very aware that if my blood sugar is too low, e.g. if I’m not responsive, she immediately gives me sugar.  I generally take a sports gel pack or teaspoon of honey to bring me back up.  My wife also is aware that we diabetics can react very unpredictably regarding hypoglycemia, especially when your husband (me) has been studying the martial arts for almost 27 years!

On a typical day though, I reach for my OmniPod insulin pump and test my blood sugar.  From there, I will either eat or get ready for the day.  After breakfast, I help my wife get our boys ready for school.  I then drive the 25 miles to Atlanta for work.  Boring isn’t it?  I make a point to test my blood sugar three to five times at work.  Why so many?  Well for one, I don’t like not knowing if my blood sugar is too high or too low throughout the day.  Secondly, it really sucks going ‘low’ during a meeting or during my ride home.

Actually, my diabetes plays very little in my work, which is great.  Unlike someone who does a lot of physical activity, I am a desk jockey.  My job is in Information Technology, so I do very little physical exertion.  I do have the luxury of telecommuting (working from home) three days a week, so I’m blessed in those regards.  I leave work around 4 pm each day to combat traffic.  Once I’m home, I test for dinner, eat, and help our boys with their homework OR help my wife clean.  Okay, yes, I do laundry and clean bathrooms.  I’m no slouch!

Okay, so if you’re a fellow diabetic, you probably want the numbers, e.g. insulin amounts, blood sugars, etc.  So here you go…  On a typical day, my total insulin amounts are 32 to 34 units.  Why so low?  Well, I suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, so I don’t eat large amounts of food.  In fact, I eat as little as possible at a meal.  I also try not to snack ‘cause that add inches to the waistline.  Right now, my average blood sugars are in the 120’s.  (Yes, you can hate me now.) [That’s about 6 in British – yes, Mark, I do hate you – Tim] It’s really due to the low food intake.

Do I exercise?  Yes, as much as my schedule allows.  I love to cycle and walk.  I love being outdoors.  I love playing with our sons.  Being active is the key.

Lastly, I make absolutely sure to test my blood sugar before bed time.  If there’s anything I’ve learned with diabetes, it is not to assume all is okay.  I’ve gone to bed thinking, “Oh, I’m fine.  I tested two hours ago and was a 120 [about 6.5 – Tim].  What could go wrong?”  Well, as we all know, lots can go wrong in just a short amount of time; never assume.

I hope you enjoyed my boring story.  I’m not a super spy or hold a cool job like other folks I know.  I do work for a great non-profit, Habitat for Humanity International.  So if you’re looking for a great volunteer opportunity, give us a try.  Building a home is a wonderful experience.


Mark is type one and lives with his wife and two children in Atlanta, USA and blogs about his diabetes over at http://thejaggededge.blogspot.com – very well worth a read! See our other days here; and if you fancy writing about your diabetic day why not drop Tim an email?

9 thoughts on “Diabetic days – not a super spy

  1. Alison

    Thanks Mark. I’m in awe – my brain knows that eating less generally, and certainly fewer carbs improves my diabetes control but somehow I never manage more than a day of actually doing it. Managing IBS and diabetes must be a fun old challenge though.

  2. Tim

    @Alison I once went to a talk by a type one who lived on an exclusively carb-free diet, so that he had to use about 1 unit of insulin a day. I thought he was a lunatic!

  3. Alison

    @Tim I love carbs, a life without them would be grim. But I know I’d benefit from a bit less pasta, a couple less slices of fresh, crusty bread…must stop, it’s time for my morning toast!

  4. Tim

    @Alison Hmm, delicious crusty bread warm from the oven, covered in lashings of melted cheese and pasta and baked potatoes and pizza and chips! 😀

  5. Mark

    Thank you all for the lovely comments! I’m slowly but surely trying to get my life back on track. A good lager is still worthy no matter how many problems I face. 😀


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