Divots And Dents – Diabetes Impact On My Ego

Let It Go

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? Continue reading

My Pregnancy Was Not Normal, But It Was Mine… And Remarkable

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I have a friend who had her first baby a week before I had my Lily. She announced her pregnancy one week after taking an over-the-counter test. She posted an emotionally ecstatic, over-the-moon announcement on Facebook, posted pictures of her dog with baby shoes on Instagram, and from that day forward used social media daily to share ultrasounds, belly photos, pregnancy workout selfies, baby clothes, and so much more.

My experience was NOTHING like this. Continue reading

Retinopathy Has Left The Building (For Now Anyway)

Eye Exam

Last February I was sucker punched by my worst fear – retinopathy. This dark cloud has hovered over me for 30 years and I knew it would inevitably make it’s way to the surface. Ryan was actually with me at the appointment and I think we were both a little shocked when Dr. Smith of Classic Vision noticed numerous hemorrhages in my right eye. After having time to process the bad news, I gathered the courage to write about it in, Diabetic Retinopathy Is Finally On The Radar. When it was clear three months later my eyes were not getting better, he referred me to a specialist. After a series of additional tests at the Dean McGee Eye Institute, I was given the green light to live life and return in 12 months for a follow-up. Hemorrhages had been detected, but they could have been caused by other factors like stress, blood pressure in addition to diabetes.

The day had come and it was time to schedule my follow-up exam. Was retinopathy still on the radar? Continue reading

Blind Dates & Diabetes, Part #2: Testing At The Table

Blind Date

Just another day in the single life… blind date #1 only made it to date four. Fortunately, the dating gods were in my favor and blind date #2 was just around the corner. In our initial meeting at a concert (not a good idea), the getting to know you chit chat led to what I do for a living. I gave him the cliff notes version of the Diabetes Daily Grind and it only took a matter of seconds before he said, “my uncle died from diabetes complications“. Strike 1, right? Continue reading

The Human Highlight Film On His T2D Gameplan | Dominique Wilkins of Dunking Fame | Real Life Diabetes MiniPod, Episode 21

Dominique Wilkins Real Life Diabetes Podcast

Amber scored a once in a lifetime interview with the “Human Highlight Film”, NBA legend and Hall of Fame Inductee, Dominique Wilkins (imagine his name radiating within in an arena). Wilkins is no stranger to diabetes as his father and grandfather both died from diabetes related complications. When diagnosed with Type 2  diabetes post retirement – he knew it was time get back in the game. In this unique glimpse into his personal life, they discuss his childhood diet, diagnosis day BG numbers and changing his diabetes regimen from pills to injections. This man is honest, entertaining and inspirational.

Props to us for exceptional long-term planning in the coordination of Dominique’s episode being the 21st (it was his number!!!!! We just put this together.)

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Ask Us Anything #2 (Just A Beer, Maybe A Bourbon, At A Food Truck, Without Any Complications, For Now) | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 20


Ask Us Anything 2

Well, we warned you and now it’s time to share another episode of “Ask Us Anything“. In this episode, we received stellar questions from #DOC royalty and some brave souls who were kind enough to leave us a SpeakPipe message. Amber & Ryan share their deepest thoughts, not advice on diabetes complications, drinking bourbon, carb guessing in uncharted territory and how to encourage a “friend” to make healthier food choices. We’re keeping it real and sharing some laughs. Hope you enjoy the show.

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Is Diabetes Management Really Just A Big Game of Jenga? Duh.

Diabetes Risk Management

 

I do like definitions, and that’s where we’ll begin the Jenga and risk management discussion: “To assure uncertainty does not deflect the endeavor from the goals.” When it comes to diabetes management, what is our endeavor and what is the uncertainty?

The possible endeavors can be divided into two distinct camps: today’s and life’s.

My life’s endeavors tend to aim in the big picture category; or they amount to very specific things in which I hope won’t happen, in regards to diabetes: keeping my feet, maintaining my vision, seeing my grandchildren graduate from high school, traveling to places I haven’t yet imagined, and having an incredible marriage.

My today’s endeavors include the reach for more immediate goals; albeit important priorities to get the most from the moment: be able to exercise when I want to do, have my mind in a place to write, genuinely connect with people, and continue to grow into a healthier, complete person. Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Is Your “Real Range” Putting You At Risk For Complications?

Diabetes Complications

So, this is touchy. Just thinking about an A1C test can make your pulse go up. It defines us. Should it? There’s an argument for both sides–but at the end of the day–yeah, it goes a long way towards determining future complications. In speaking with my CDE (certified diabetes educator), we broached the likelihood of complications topic. This was my question, “What’s the A1C number where complications (foot, kidneys, eyes) are unlikely?” She responded by saying 7 or below.

Alright, according to this calculator, we need to be averaging a sugar of 153 to make it happen.

It seems straight-forward. Keep your sugar below 153 and life is good. Here’s where it gets dicey.

We all have a number–a number where we feel our best. Energized. Competent. Compassionate. That’s the real number. That’s the number that stands alone outside of our targets. This number has been sculpted from years of diabetes education, lessons learned, scars, and regret. For me, I feel like I can save the world at 140. Below it, I wouldn’t say that I feel low, but I would say that feel anxiety. Above it, I feel alright until about 180. Continue reading