Glucose tablets definitely don’t seem like a luxury. They feel more like an unpleasant reminder of one of the scarier sides of life with diabetes: hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
But the truth is, in much of the world, children with diabetes don’t live long enough to ever know what low blood sugar is, because they don’t have access to something that we (and by “we” I mean almost anyone reading this on a glowing screen connected to the internet) pretty much take for granted: insulin. Lack of insulin is the leading cause of death for children with diabetes in the developing world.
I’m writing to encourage you to consider a donation as part of the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign, built around the idea that the cost of a single rose is enough to provide a child in need with enough insulin to keep him or her alive for a month. So if you normally give roses on Valentine’s Day (or even if you don’t) consider making this a part of your gift this year.
You can learn more, and make a donation at www.sparearose.org
I’m sorry to have to report that as of our last manufacturing run, GlucoLift® tablets are no longer certified as non-GMO (any tablet with a rocket on its surface from this run, tablets without rockets are from our non-GMO runs). This is not by choice. As many of you probably know, GlucoLift® had been GMO free since we started, and we are proud of that. We believe that people should know what is in their food, and want to help people make informed decisions about what they eat and what they feed their loved ones.
We have consistently advocated for more regulation/transparency regarding GMO labeling, and in a funny way, we now find ourselves victims of that advocacy work. Greater publicity has led to public pressure for states to adopt laws concerning GMOs, and recently Whole Foods Market announced that they will begin to require GMO labeling for all products sold in their stores beginning in 2016. This has prompted many larger companies who previously did not show interest in the GMO issue to look at converting some of their products into non-GMO. On the whole, this is a good thing, but in the short term it means that certain non-GMO ingredients are in very short supply. You can read about this in more detail in this article from the New York Times.
Unfortunately, small companies like ours are often at the back of the line when it comes to getting access to a limited supply of in-demand ingredients. As a result, despite the fact that we began sourcing ingredients in the fourth quarter of 2012 for a recent manufacturing run, we were informed in March 2013 that our order would no longer be fulfilled. Searching other vendors proved equally fruitless- we were told the wait could be at least a year.
So we were faced with a choice: run out of tablets, and, essentially go out of business, or substitute another ingredient and continue to produce our tablets with the best ingredients available to us. We chose the latter option. While we still use no artificial colors or flavors (and our colors and flavors remain non-GMO) we are using a dextrose whose GMO status is not certified. Sad to say, but when a status isn’t listed, chances are it comes from at least some GMO crops.
To be clear, if I thought that there was conclusive evidence that any of our ingredients were dangerous, we wouldn’t use them. From a health-risk standpoint, I’m far more concerned about artificial food dyes/colors than I am with GMO dextrose. Still, I’m actively searching for new sources of non-GMO dextrose, and of ways of ensuring a consistent supply once I do. As always, I’ll be completely open and transparent about what’s in our product, and welcome any questions or comments. You can write me directly at email@example.com.
We’ll continue to support greater regulation and labeling of GMOs in the hopes that ultimately it will lead to increased supply and lower prices of non-GMO ingredients.
I hope you still find GlucoLift® to be the best glucose product on the market, and feel confident that we’ll keep working to make it better.
Type 1 since 2007
Founder + Chief PWD
GlucoLift All-Natural Glucose Tablets
Since it was so much fun last year, we’re bringing back our Gluc-or-Treat giveaway for 2013. Here’s how it works:
All you need is
•A Halloween picture (could be a picture of you in a costume, your child(ren) in a costume, your meter in a costume, your insulin in a costume, your insulin in a pumpkin, your GlucoLift in a costume…are you sensing a theme here?)
•A twitter account, Facebook account, OR an email account.
Here’s what you do: Any time between now and October 31st, post your photo. Like this:
For tweeters, follow @glucolift (so we can DM you instructions on how to claim your prize) and post it with the hashtag #glucortreat (no hyphens!).
For good ole fashioned email, send your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “gluc-or-treat”
Every who “knocks on our door” will get:
•a sample of the NEW AND IMPROVED GlucoLift
•an empty GlucoLift travel tube w/ EZ-Flip lid
•a selection of GlucoLift stickers and temporary tattoos
•a coupon for 20% off your next order of GlucoLift tablets.
So, get gluc-or-treating!
A lot of you have probably noticed that supplies of GlucoLift have been low recently- no 3/6 packs, and no cherry until this week. Don’t worry, we are very (very very very very very) aware of the problem and have been losing sleep for weeks trying to get it fixed.
Here’s the story: we made a few changes to the tablets to make them dissolve even easier and faster, because that’s something that really matters to the bulk of our users. And it worked! Unfortunately, it added a few manufacturing challenges that took longer to work out than anyone anticipated.
The goos news is that they’re finally starting to come off the production line, and they’re great. It’s going to take a couple more weeks to finish them and get them all bottled and ready to ship out, but the wheels are turning and they’ll be here soon. We’ll announce it on FB/Twitter/our blog, and of course inventory will be updated on Amazon and our online store.
Thanks for your patience.
Several years of test strips, falling from the sky. Each one represents a decision I made in my diabetes care: take insulin/eat food/wait to eat/take GlucoLift/keep on trucking.
Made for Diabetes Art Day’s “Strip Safely” edition. From the Diabetes Art Day website: “Diabetes Art Day is collaborating with the Strip Safely initiative to raise awareness about the important issue of test strip accuracy. Blood glucose test strips are at the center of diabetes life, and BG results inform all of our diabetes care decisions. The Strip Safely initiative calls on everyone affected by diabetes to send letters supporting policy change to their government representatives. Printed letters do not capture and convey emotion the way visual art can though, so everyone affected by diabetes is invited to join this special edition of Diabetes Art Day.”
I know the point of videos is that you DON’T have to do a lot of reading, but let me just say this: I spent a lot of time working on this video. WAY too much time. Then, I basically gave up on it. Then, I was reminded/encouraged to finish it, and went back and did that and now…well, try not to think about the fact that this actually took a really long time to make (you’ll only be disappointed if you do that) and just enjoy.
For the past couple months, we’ve been getting set up in a new office space. Lots of travel has meant that it has proceeded slower than I’d prefer, but such is life.
Recently, we were able to carve out some space for a sitting area, which will hopefully get some use if anyone ever decides to visit us. Today, I put some art up on the wall.
These photographs have been traveling around with me for over a decade, never having been hung or even framed before. They were taken by Ira Cohen in the late 1960s, and are the first photographs I ever purchased. Readers of a certain age will recognize Jimi Hendrix, William Burroughs, and Pharaoh Sanders, among others. All of these were shot in Ira’s mylar chamber, long before Photoshop and digital photography made manipulations like this commonplace.
Ira was one of my first friends when I moved to New York in 1999 and began working in the art world. We would go to dirty gallery openings and poetry readings on the lower east side, and swankier events in Soho. Often, because he was already in his late 60s and moving slower, I would drive him home to his apartment on the Upper West Side, which was like a museum, piled high with untold treasures from a life lived in equal parts creating and witnessing some of the more important cultural movements in the second half of the 20th Century.
Ira was a poet, a photographer, a filmmaker, a publisher and a spiritual journeyman. He reeked of wisdom and adventure. He also lived with diabetes.
My years with Ira came before my own diagnosis, so my understanding of his condition was limited, and he rarely discussed it, but I do remember seeing him with his vial of insulin and syringe, which was probably my first recollection of those tools in person.
The last time I saw Ira was at a friend’s wedding in 2007, less than a month after my diagnosis, and it was clear that diabetes was starting to take a toll on his health. His feet were swollen and wrapped, and he was moving even slower than before. He didn’t offer me any guidance or warnings on living with diabetes, but it was one more thing we were able to share.
Ira passed away in 2011 of renal failure, no doubt a complication of many hard years of lifewith diabetes. Though Ira was a brilliant and highly regarded artist, and worked with many, many famous people, he was never a financial success (and by all accounts never aspired to be). In fact, some of my photographs were bought on a monthly plan to help him cover his bills.
In a day when almost any PWD with a modest amount of exposure in the entertainment world can expect to make the cover of Diabetes Forecast and gain the adulation of people with diabetes and their families across the country, Ira was a great artist who, to my knowledge, has thus far remained unknown to the diabetes community. It would be nice for more people to learn about the amazing work he did and celebrate all that he gave the world.
So after so many years, I’ve finally gotten around to getting his photographs framed, and, in a strange twist of irony, am hanging them in the office of my diabetes-focused business. Perhaps not nearly as exciting as many of the other walls his work has graced, but I hope a fitting home nonetheless.
So if you’re ever in San Diego and would like to drop in and say hi, and maybe peruse some beautiful work by an exceptional artist who happened to also live with diabetes, drop us a line.
Insulindependence organized two teams for this race, which GlucoLift sponsored: a 12-person team and the first-ever all type-1 Ultra team, which consisted of 6 people.
(you can read more about each team member here)
A Ragnar is a tough event, no matter which team you’re on. You run anywhere from 12-37 miles, both day and night, spread over 3-6 legs and around 34 hours. When you’re not running, you’re in a van with the rest of your teammates, heading to the next exchange point. Managing diabetes while enduring that much physical exertion, with little (or no) sleep, limited food options, and the challenge of actually finding your meter kit under the shoes, socks, water bottles and empty coffee cups littering the floor, is not to be taken lightly. Indeed, there were some potentially dangerous lows (one of which required glucagon) and some crippling dehydration/heat exhaustion experienced by both teams. Still, everyone managed to make it to the finish line.
It’s important to stress that we didn’t complete this race because we were teams of elite athletes (though there were a couple of those sprinkled in for good measure) or because we all have perfect blood sugar control. Blood sugars went as low as the 30s and as high as the 400s. We made it because we were regular (whatever the hell that means) people with diabetes who set a fantastic goal for ourselves and put in the work to achieve it. Most of us were able to set that goal because we were inspired by other people with diabetes who have achieved amazing things before us, and all of us hope that by completing this race, we will inspire other people to take on new challenges in their lives. But most important of all is this: we did not finish this race in spite of our diabetes, we all did it BECAUSE of our diabetes.
I ran the last leg for the 6-person team, which was supposed to be a five mile flat run from Point Loma to the Embarcadero behind the San Diego Convention Center. Along with a number of other runners, I overshot a turn (yes, I have lived in San Diego for 6 years) and ended up running onto and down Harbor Island, which, as the name implies, does not connect back with the mainland. This meant that I had to retrace my steps and add about a mile to the run. I was frustrated, tired, sore, hot, and losing steam. It was sunny and in the high 80s. I had slept about 45 minutes out of the previous 33 hours and hadn’t had a proper meal in as long. I had run almost 25 miles before I even started this final stretch. But after I corrected course, just as my spirits were at the lowest they’d been the whole race, a headwind began to blow on me. Normally, headwinds are unwelcome- you have to work harder, and you feel like you’re being held back. But at that moment, the wind focused my energy and quickened my pace. My head came up, my shoulders went back, my feet felt lighter, and I began to smile. It gave me something to push against, much the way diabetes has given me something to push against in my life, and focus my energy on accomplishing bigger things than I might have otherwise considered. It didn’t make my run easier, but it made it better.
Before I knew it, I was weaving through tourists in Seaport Village, and had crossed the street behind the Convention Center, with the end in my sights. I was waved into the corral heading towards the finish line. My team was there waiting for me and we all crossed together. It was a beautiful end to a great journey, in both life and diabetes, not despite the fact that it was challenging, but because it was.