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Living with Diabetes

Be brave – don't fear the diabetes monster

2/12/2015 by Scott Johnson

Be brave – don't fear the diabetes monster

It's well known that you never stop learning in life. It's similar with diabetes. Those who (safely) try new things with diabetes gain experience, learn from them, and take advantage.

On the other hand, man is a creature of habit and it's sometimes hard to convince ourselves to try new things. Especially when what we're doing is working well!

Maybe this great post from Ilka will inspire us to branch out and expand our horizons...

Ilka Gdanietz: Diabetes is a thing of routine, schedule, and doing the same thing over and over, right? There's a time and place for that. But that doesn't mean your entire life has to be spent inside a plastic bubble!

Do I have to limit myself when living with diabetes?

No. But it's up to you how far you allow things to go. Actually, you should be in charge of your diabetes, not the other way around.

At mySugr, we're very keen to experiment, and diabetes doesn't stop us from doing so. Whether it comes to insulin adjustments, jumping out of airplanes, flying down ski slopes, or trying fancy new foods we're convinced that anything is possible even with the diabetes monster alongside, and limiting ourselves to anything less would be too much sacrifice.

Many of us have been living with diabetes since childhood and can remember the strict regulations and limits of diabetes therapy of those times. Fortunately, those days are behind us and with today's tools and knowledge, almost anything is possible.

But the food, man. The food!

Particularly regarding food, many people with diabetes want to try new things but seem afraid to try. Actually, there is little reason to fear because the possible reactions of diabetes monsters are manageable:

  1. Your blood sugar drops
  2. Your blood sugar rises
  3. Your blood sugar remains stable

And for each of these possibilities, there is a solution:

  1. Eat
  2. Insulin / activity
  3. Party

It's in our nature to be skeptical and fear uncertainty, and fear of lows and highs is completely normal. Therefore, it makes sense to taste slow, test often and keep fast-acting glucose with you.

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Diabetes is like a little kid

Our support Angel, Anne, recently told us that her mother always compared living with diabetes to a small child. Kids try something new and often fall right on their face. They can't be defeated, though! Before long, they're back up and trying it again! The comparison is pretty good, right?

Even if things don't work great the first time, if your diabetes monster decides to show it's nasty side, it's not worth losing the motivation. Don't give up! Try again! And it's always helpful to document successes and failures because it's wonderful learning.

No guts, no glory

Fredrik recently baked his super genius "Death by Chocolate" cake for the mySugr office. When looking at the ingredient list I was initially a bit queasy. Sugar, fat, sugar, fat, more sugar, and more fat...

But I leave no stone unturned, and certainly not when chocolate is playing the lead role. So I embarked on a new food experience and threw myself into a piece of this wonderful cake. I honestly expected chaos with my blood sugar, but fortunately, I managed it very well.

How? I have no idea. But thankfully, I wrote it all down, so next time it's just a quick search away and I'll have my personal master plan.

Ok, ok, I know you're all dying for the recipe and Fredrik is happy to share.


Death by Chocolate (no, not a diabetic recipe)


1 1/4 cup sugar (about 250g)

1 shot espresso (i.e. an espresso cup)

2/3 cup flour (about 90g)

2 teaspoon vanilla

cocoa, lots of it! The more, the darker.

ground crushed almonds or walnuts

2 eggs

200g chocolate

150g butter


Combine all ingredients (except the chocolate and the egg) and mix. Mix well, but NOT to a smooth dough, otherwise the consistency suffers.

Beat in the melted butter and espresso, allow the batter to cool, then fold in the eggs.

Butter a round cake pan and sprinkle with the ground crushed almonds or walnuts. In with the dough.

Finally, break the chocolate into thick pieces and spread them onto the dough.

Bake at 350° F for about 3o minutes. The cake is ready when it breaks up, but the middle is still a bit mushy.

Guten Appetit, Monster Tamers!

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Thanks for the inspiring post, Ilka.

That cake looks amazing! And we're talking a whole different type of bravery needed to eat that than what I'm usually facing (eating something I don't want to eat, but know I should – "be brave, Scott, it's good for you!"). Maybe we can call this "BG Bravery?"

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Scott Johnson

Almost famous for his addiction to Diet Coke, Scott has lived well with diabetes for almost forty years and is currently the Patient Engagement Manager, USA for mySugr. He's been an active pioneer in the diabetes social media space for more than fifteen years and manages his award-winning blog, when time allows.

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