Zen and the Art of Diabetes Advocacy

Hanselmanscott Meet Scott Hanselman. Then again, if you’re a devotee of techie blogs, you surely know him quite well. His smart programming blog, Computer Zen, culls 10,000 to 30,000 hits a day. He’s Chief Architect for an eBanking software company called Corillian. He’s also been an outspoken Type 1 diabetic for over 13 years now. He’s reviewed dozens of D-products and even wrote a diabetes management application for the PalmPilot, called GlucoPilot, some years back. When I first found him on the web and contacted him about 8 months ago, he wrote back to say: “diabetes doesn’t really run my life anymore.” What a great sentiment!

Logo But lately something’s changed. When I checked his site a few days ago, I found a lot of new diabetes links and big banner for his new “Team Hanselman” ADA Walk Fundraising Campaign. In just 10 days, he’s within a few hundred dollars of his $10K goal, he says, so he’s thinking of upping the anty. So what got him started?

“Let’s just say I’ve been reborn as a diabetic,” he says. “Symlin was the catalyst for getting me going. Right around the time my wife got pregnant, my A1c hit 7.4, and I thought, ‘This baby’s coming. I don’t want to be dealing with any complications… I know someone who’s my age and had a kidney transplant… I thought, ‘I need to stop screwing around.’”

Scott on Symlin: “The biggest side effect is 2-3 hours of nausea after each shot. But Type 1′s are going to hit 200 after eating. Symlin stops that. It slows down your gut so you don’t get such intense digestion; you actually get a slight BG low after meals. I actually was able to cut my insulin down by 12-15%, and I’ve lost about 10 pounds. Symlin keeps you from pushing through that last bite.”

On the ADA Walk Campaign: “My wife actually saw the brochure, and said, ‘Let’s do it”… The ADA has a nice referral program with links for donations, so there was no need to go door-to-door. They’re still missing some stuff on the ADA site, like a way for participants to get credit for being part of my team. They have some bugs to work out. But it’s a good program they’re building.”

On GlucoPilot: “Originally I wrote that for myself because I thought was useful. Now years later, I’m trying to get it released as open source, but the company that owns the source is being sold. We’ll have to see…”

And on his baby son, Zenzo: “No, no, the name has nothing to do with my blog! (laughs) My wife’s from Zimbabwe, and that name means ‘one who does good deeds.’”

Like father, like son, I guess.

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3 Responses

  1. Nick
    Nick March 30, 2006 at 6:59 am | | Reply

    Okay, I remembered seeing wedding photos on his website when he said “my wife’s from Zimbabwe”

    You know, I’m type 1 and I only had one blood sugar over 200 mg/dl this month. That was when my pump fell without safety loops, right after lunch, landing a couple inches above the floor, swinging by the tubing. The cannula didn’t come completely out, so by the time I discovered it was no longer working, my blood sugar was 220.

    Other than that, my highest BS was 173.
    In the last seven days, my highest BS has been 140. Most days my postprandial blood sugars peak at 90-100. I cheat, however, by following the Bernstein diet & exercise program. I finally reduced the standard deviation in my blood sugar to one third of the mean. YAHOO! And I no longer consult an endocrinologist. So I can honestly claim to be a “reborn diabetic” as well.

  2. AmyT
    AmyT March 30, 2006 at 9:38 am | | Reply

    Thanks for your input as always, Nick, but I personally am not ready to give up carbs. Not now, and probably not ever. So if I want to get “reborn,” it’s likely going to be through some new medical device :)

  3. Becky
    Becky March 30, 2006 at 11:18 am | | Reply

    Thanks for turning me onto Scott’s website. It’s great! Plus my husband is looking for an asp.net book so I think I’ll buy Scott’s book for him. Then he can check out Scott’s blog for diabetes and programming info :)

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