I spent an unnatural amount of time trying to start this post – wondering how I’d weave the tale of diabetes supplies lost and broken during my two-year stint in Ukraine. Looking back on a few instances, I could have done a number of things better or differently to improve an outcome or expedite solutions. However, I didn’t. In a previous post, I mentioned my “diabetes doesn’t control my life” mantra. I’m proud of my how I control my T1D, but I’m sure I’ve managed to terrify several medical professionals with my “put some duct tape on it” approach to T1D troubleshooting. I can’t help it! (read more…)
You never know when you’ll run into someone who shares a similar life philosophy, but after a chance meeting in college, Mark Carter resurfaces on Okie soil. He’s real and doesn’t hold back about his love of Equal and Chik-Fil-A. In this episode, our longest one yet, he shares his journey of being an ambassador for people with diabetes who don’t have a voice. If you’re brave enough to listen to the whole thing, we hope you’ll leave with the thought – is diabetes a blessing or a curse? (read more…)
I believe I’ve made it quite clear that I’m creature of habit, especially when it comes to my diabetes regimen. If I had to be brutally honest, I can’t fathom changing things because my numbers are good. At the same time, I look at my T1D peers and feel as if I’ve been left behind. What’s holding me back? This thought process led me to a recent decision to shake things up. (read more…)
At the JDRF Summit last January in Oklahoma City, we struck up a conversation with the father of Lily, an adorable, youngster who lives with T1D. She had on this awesome-looking watch with her blood sugar. So did her Dad. We had to explore further. In this episode, Clayton shares his family’s philosophies on parenting and empowering the T1D life. While not a “techie guy”, he managed to discover and use Night Scout… while continuing to develop an artificial pancreas in his basement. There’s some wisdom in this one folks.
So I don’t have diabetes anymore, I think. Or at least for now I am on a diabetes vacation. After twenty two years living with type one diabetes, I am having somewhat of an identity crisis.
As people with diabetes, we are thinking constantly about our health. We are so in tune with how we feel throughout the day. From symptoms of high and low blood sugars, to fatigue, to nausea, to blurry vision, to cloudy thinking, we feel it all on most days of our lives. (read more…)
I used to think it was untouchable–beyond reach. Out of my control and me at its will. But, as time often allows, things soften. A small sliver of space has opened; the space to be me inside of a low or high blood sugar.
A conversation sparked last weekend at the JDRF One Walk in Oklahoma City, surrounding just this concept. I was catching up with an old friend (who also has T1D) and we discussed the subtle impacts that diabetes has on a day, by changing the course of a single moment; his feeling that blood sugars alter the flow of conversations. Citing specifically how it impacts his engagement in meetings, and I chimed in with how it sometimes impacts empathy with patients. And, in an accumulation of altered moments, he mentioned a friend of his had recently attributed a divorce to type 1. It’s there, the invisible (sometimes visible to others) blood sugar force. (read more…)
In 2010, I joined 29 other folks to take part in Leadership Norman, a nine month training for business professionals. We met every other week and participated in a variety of sessions focused on community history, current community issues, leadership, and self-discovery. One of the sessions involved a physical, trust building experience of sorts – a ropes course. At this point, no one really knew I had Type 1 diabetes unless they happen to notice my tattoo, but this particular session brought attention to the disease. (read more…)
When I received my invitation to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, it included a primer on life in Ukraine, with general information on history, geography, transportation, culture and a small section on food. It should come as no surprise to other PWD, but I have a sometimes wonderful and sometimes dangerous relationship with food. The information shared they’re heavy on meat and vegetables, with seasonal access to produce, and the majority of grocery shopping is done in open air bazaars and small shops. This was helpful, but didn’t minimize my anxiety when it came to carbohydrate counting or questions about glucose tab availability. (read more…)
Never fails. The thought enters, I love my pump, never had better control, and so thankful for it. Then, subtly the morning sugars are a little off. Then, I find myself chasing blood sugars. Then, I start doubting the pump and begin thinking about insulin resistance in pump site locations. Then, I switch back to the ol’ long-term/short-term game. Every couple of years this sneaky process plays its way out. (read more…)
One can only talk oneself for so long, right? Wrong, Amber and Ryan dedicated an entire show to each other (we thought they talked plenty already about themselves in ordinary episodes). In conversation a week prior, they realized much of life had passed by since they had a good sit-down chat. It was time t0 “catch-up” on life, diabetes, and pick-up strategies (Ryan heads to the trail and Amber heads to Whole Foods). Amber elaborates on a DDG post about her recent extraordinarily ignorant endocrinologist visit, while Ryan updates on his new, old-school approach to diabetes management.
In my opinion, having a good rapport with your endocrinologist is vital to living a fulfilled and happy life with diabetes. Over the past 33 years, I’ve had three, maybe four folks who guided me on my T1D journey. As a creature of habit, change is hard so when I was contacted by my current endocrinologist’s office and informed he was ill and no longer seeing patients, I braced myself. I was sad he was not doing well and a bit trepidatious about having to cultivate a new relationship from scratch. (read more…)
Imagine putting your child with type one diabetes (T1D) to bed with less fear of a dangerously low blood sugar. If you have T1D, imagine doing a triathlon or a belly dancing class your friend keeps bugging you about with confidence your blood sugar will remain stable along with your energy levels. The process I used to achieve near normal blood sugar took some time, commitment, experimentation, and sacrifice. All people with T1D have unique physiologies and my experience may not extrapolate to anyone else. However, the process I used is inexpensive and has no side effects, but the benefits could be priceless. (read more…)
Welcome to the dog days… and the unofficial closing summer ceremony, with Labor Day less than a week away. In this window of time, I usually remember that baseball exists still. To the baseball purist, my following of the sport is somewhat reprehensible, as most of my interest peaks in October (after neglecting the first 5 months of the season). We sit roughly 1 month out from the beginning of playoff baseball, meaning this is where I start to tune-in. (read more…)
Remember doing those paint-by-number sheets when you were a kid? It seemed magical when a confusing canvas of intersecting lines and random numbers transformed into a circus elephant or something equally amazing. I remember the joy I experienced when I produced my first masterpiece and the new found love I had for being an “artist.” (read more…)
Flashback to my diagnosis date which centered on the doom and gloom of my new life with Type 1 diabetes. I recall a lofty list of what I “should or should not” do in order to live a healthy life without complications. I listened and followed the rules for the most part, but rotating my injection sites didn’t seem to stick. It was just easier to give my injections in my thighs because I was usually sitting on the toilet. No brainer, right? (read more…)
Amber and Ryan sweet talked past guest, fellow T1D, and long-time diabetes camp enthusiast, Kelly McKeever, into joining a summer edition of the show. Kelly’s had 13+ years at camp and shares what keeps him coming back, now in a medical personnel role. In this episode they catch up on life with diabetes, cutting edge developments in diabetes tech, the camp life experience, what we learned about ourselves, and the value of having “a diabetes community in person”. (read more…)
I arrived in Ukraine with my life packed into two suitcases (one of which was half filled with medical supplies). My first stop as a Peace Corps trainee was an old sanitarium just outside the capital city of Kyiv. There, my group of volunteers had a few buffer days in which Peace Corps became real: we learned which language we would study, where our 10-week language and job training would take place, which other volunteers would be in our 4-5 person training ‘cluster’, and we filled out a lot of paperwork. This is also where I had to decide how and to whom I would tell about my diabetes. (read more…)
What started as a mini pod quickly blossomed into a full blown podcast once Amber began diving into the nitty gritty as to how Tara Layman (T1D Exposed co-founder) scored a new pancreas and kidney. The question of the hour – Will two pancreases and three kidneys reverse her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis? Well, in this episode they chat openly about the pre surgery process, switching from insulin shots to a handful of pills, how important it is to have a support team and what the future holds for someone who no longer “technically” has Type 1 diabetes. (read more…)
Several years ago I set off for an insurance appointment about 60 miles from my home in Carlsbad, CA. I had eaten lunch and felt pretty good so I hit the road. It was a rainy day in Southern California and when I was finished with the appointment I headed home. After a few miles I started to feel a little light headed began to sweat a little, but I didn’t think anything of it. I kept driving. (read more…)
I’m a creature of habit with my diabetes regimen and most definitely when it comes to my 5:41am Lantus injection, but last week things did not go according to plan. It was just like any other night, I headed to bed and by the time my head hit the pillow, I was dreaming of hosting my own reality TV series. I usually get up around 3am to pee and feel pretty awake as I navigate my way to the restroom. This particular morning, my “Give Your Shot” alarm went off, but when I stumbled into the restroom – I knew something was off. (read more…)
What’s the recipe for innovation? Funny you ask, we were thinking it went a little like this: timing, drive, wit, guts, luck, and a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. At least in Amy Tenderich’s story, all of those factors came together magically when she received her diagnosis in 2003. (read more…)