MINDFUL

 
Dear Diabetes,
Lets get something straight – I don’t like you one bit. I wouldn’t wish you on my worst enemy, and my heart breaks every time I hear of a newly diagnosed kid. Most days I really wish you’d just disappear, but it’s been 28 years now… you don’t seem to be going anywhere, and frankly hating you is getting boring.
Since you like to change things up on me ALL THE FREAKING TIME, I thought I’d shake it up a bit and tell you why I love(ish) you. I bet you didn’t see this coming.

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Rolling into the second half of my 34th year of living with Type 1 diabetes, I can’t help but reflect on what has led me to my current state of T1D affairs. It wasn’t until meeting fellow Diabetes Daily Grind co-founder, Ryan, that I began talking about my life with the disease. This journey has brought on an incredible number of “ah-ha” moments, recognition of suppressed anger and “moving on” milestones.  (read more…)

It’s great connecting with past podcast guests (see episode 19). I got word that Amy McKinnon was traveling the world again, motivating me to get in touch. Amy was kind enough to give us insight into her recent completion of the Boston Marathon (no small feat).

Q: What adjustments in your game plan did you make for this marathon, compared to past races?

A: Leading up to Boston I had a couple of injuries that took me off my feet completely for a few months, so I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my fitness level prior to a race. Because of this, my pace would be a lot slower, so I changed my race plan completely. I decided to focus on keeping my BGLs in range the entire race while enjoying the atmosphere of the crowds and running the prestigious Boston Marathon. I went into the marathon with a very light-hearted approach, compared to my usual competitive self.

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Finally, the long-promised, definitely under-delivered Ask Us Anything podcast is back. The questions rolled in from Oregon, LA, NYC, and a suspected location below the Mason-Dixon line. Of note, we looked back at those practices we loved from our parents… and those we would advise against, kindly. As it turns out, low blood sugar symptoms change over time, and we covered our own evolution. Par for the course in most episodes, we politely disagreed about the distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. (read more…)

Sugar surfing is taking over. The CGM is a tool. Every good tool needs a user’s guide. Sugar Surfing (a great read by Dr. Stephen Ponder) is the user guide. If you’re not already familiar with Dr. Ponder’s story, listen to our podcast with him recorded right before the conference hosted by our friends at Diabetes Solutions in OKC (another former podcast guest Kim Boaz-Wilson). (read more…)

Over the past three years of binge reading other PWD’s posts and interviewing people who live with diabetes, the common theme has been our ability to recognize low BGs changes over time. In my adolescent years, my nose would feel numb and I would get shaky. At that point in my life I was checking my BG every once in awhile so my body took the reigns and made sure I knew something wasn’t right. It was all about trial and error – I feel woozy and am shaking so I would down a packet of honey or four and start to feel better. (read more…)

Listening to someone give advice, you can usually tell the level of authenticity behind the statements. When chatting with Dr. Stephen Ponder, there’s no question about authenticity–this sugar surfing wisdom is a part of his being. Growing up with type 1 diabetes (for 50 years), becoming a CDE (certified diabetes educator) and then a pediatric endocrinologist, passion fuels a life committed to inspiring people with diabetes to live a normal, possibly extraordinary life. (read more…)

Living with diabetes is far from easy–checking BGs multiple times a day, giving yourself insulin injections, and changing pump sites every three days (at least you’re supposed to…). I was diagnosed with T1D at the age of two. Luckily, I was raised by wonderful parents who taught me very early on to be independent, giving my first injection at the age of four and learning the carb vs. insulin ratios at six.  (read more…)

It started three weeks ago. I was sitting at my desk at work and was overcome with a feeling of dizziness, lightheadedness, and a terrible headache. I know what you’re thinking but no, it was not low blood sugar. My symptoms continued and progressed for the next few days. (read more…)

Universal truths are hard to come by with this disease, but here’s my attempt at diabetes dharma:

    1. All life forces connect to blood sugar levels
    2. Everything changes, and will continue to change in unceasing change

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    It’s a stretch to say, as a person with diabetes, that I’ve always been on top of my health. The truth is that I struggle with diabetes burnout often, and I am not afraid to admit it.

    In life, no one ever wants to admit that they are struggling or hitting a rough patch in their lives.  No one wants to show weakness or sadness to their peers for the fear of being judged or looked down upon. THAT is the mindset that I have been battling since my diagnosis. (read more…)

    I’m completely aware I sound crazy, but I’ve experienced a new diabetes scenario since jumping on board with the Dexcom G5. I want to be clear as I stated in a recent post, Losing My T1D Technology Virginity, the insertion of the device did not/does not hurt so this recent discovery had me questioning how my mind is processing a foreign object/device being attached to me… (read more…)

    I’m fairly new to the diabetes community, in comparison to the number of years I have had diabetes and to how long I’ve known other people with diabetes.  In numbers, I’ve had diabetes for 22 years, I’ve known other people with diabetes for six of those years, so I didn’t know anyone at all, other than myself, in my network of people for 70% of my life.  (read more…)

    Michael Bliss wrote a book called The Discovery of Insulin in the early eighties – I read it just before I left for Ukraine. It was terrifying and heartbreaking to learn the stories of T1Ds before insulin, and it was fascinating and enraging to learn about diabetes research, past and present. I have always wondered about the world, and knowing Peace Corps’ medical rules, I wondered about how T1Ds in Ukraine and elsewhere lived. (read more…)

    With crossed fingers and pump tubing, I hoped for a one week placement on Endocrinology during our six week Pediatrics rotation. All that crossed tubing paid off–granting a chance to be around my people for a week. During a four year education, opportunities for type 1 diabetes exposure are slim, surprisingly.

    It felt good to be back in the peds endo office after a 10 year hiatus, although a tad disorienting. Lies about logbooks were absent (all numbers are now downloaded straight from the meter), parents know even more than they used to (thanks to Dexcom share and all those other meter apps), and 504 plans are a mainstay (my plan used to involve proving to my high school teachers that I was low with my meter and stumbling to the vending machine). (read more…)

    If you’ve followed the DDG since it’s inception, you know I’m not one for change, so when I finally took a leap of faith – it was much needed and WAY overdue. I’ve feared tapping into the T1D technology for a number or reasons, and want to come clean as to what led to this fear and my jaw-dropping, eye-opening discoveries once I took the leap.

    Previous Fears:

    • Freaked out about having something attached to me
    • Would it hurt going in
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    At the age of 21, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes during my first semester of graduate school. I was a go-getter, an over-achiever, and on track to take the career world by storm. The months leading up to my diagnosis were painful, as my pancreas began to deteriorate, unbeknownst to me. Slowly, my energy levels depleted and I struggled to find an ounce of motivation to complete the simplest tasks. My body had been hijacked. (read more…)

    I penned this gory article because I can guarantee that we’ve all transformed into otherworldly creatures at some point in our diabetes lives. Many are embarrassed about the other faces our ‘invisible disease’ has. Why should we be ashamed? Let them roam free! (read more…)

    Type 1 diabetes is one of the few diseases that needs to be micromanaged on a daily basis, 24 hours, 7 days a week. There is no holiday, time away, or opportunity to hand over control to someone else for a while.

    When you have a personality like mine, this means becoming almost obsessed with the daily management tasks of living with type 1 diabetes. This has many benefits, no doubt: great control, predictable BGLs, and a HbA1c below 6%. (read more…)

    The Magical Effects of Walking – for the past two years, my husband and I have been living in an apartment on the Hudson River in Midtown Manhattan. During those years, I’ve walked to and from my office (about 25 minutes each way) almost every day, rain or shine! I cannot say strongly enough how much this helps with my daily diabetes management. Of course, I still exercise, but I think my calming, refreshing walks each morning and night benefit my mind, soul, and diabetic body equally as much as my full hour of intense cardio! (read more…)