As an acupuncturist, I spend a lot of time thinking about balance. In Chinese medicine theory, we talk a lot about the balance of yin and yang. Yin is dark, cold, nutritive, whereas yang is bright, hot and energetic. We see these two forces in all aspects of life–from day to night, summer to winter, activity to rest. Good health is all about finding the yin and yang in our own bodies. When I meet an acupuncture patient for the first time, I focus on finding out what is off-balance that is causing their pain or illness, and coaxing their body to regain that balance and heal from the root level. Continue reading
I had been mentally preparing myself for a memorial service for the spouse of a woman I absolutely adore. The dreaded day arrives and my goal prior to attending the service included a brisk walk and meditation before jumping in the shower. Everything was going according to plan until I returned home to find I was locked out of the house! I had 1 hour and 32 minutes before picking up an honorary guest of the widow!
Think Amber! My heart started to pound and panic set in. Continue reading
At any moment, we have the chance to join the current – that magnetic force of connectedness to something. Trying to describe the exact feeling it tough. I’m coming up short, but perhaps the force stems, simply, from mindfulness. In the moments where we feel that easy flow—whether it is on a hike by ourselves, during a night out with friends, or in conversation with the pharmacist—things just flow naturally out of awareness.
When in the current, I feel most like myself. This is not a continual existence, even with perfect blood sugar. More rare than constant, but something I look to join when the opportunity presents. Continue reading
I don’t know what I’m doing. Lately, that’s the first thing I tell people and amounts to much of what I’ve learned about being an “adult.” Most people really don’t know what they’re doing, especially as recent college grads. We’re bumbling around, reaching out for advice and reading articles that swarm around the internet while trying to figure out how this applies to us and what works for us (because we’re all so different).
“I don’t know what I’m doing” applies to what I’m apparently supposed to call “adulthood,” but so far, it’s mostly applied to the part of my life that is diabetes.
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Over drinks with T1D friends one night, T1D Exposed founders, Kat and Tara, discussed fundraising ideas to support their beloved diabetes camp (where they had met the summer before), and other amazing diabetes non-profits. They laughed about how ridiculous it would be to start a T1D nude calendar… Well, in the time since its inception, The Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project has blown up! Tara allowed the DDG crew to probe her on the awkwardness of the shots, the beauty in the scars, and… the possibility of Ryan and Amber flying out to San Francisco for a shoot! Continue reading
I love to get creative in the kitchen so when I heard a fellow T1D complain about the carbs in pizza – I had to take action. I make it a point to insist on a thin crust with healthy toppings, but felt confident there had to be a healthier option. A recipe rumor had been circulating about this mystery, low carb pizza crust made from cauliflower. I was skeptical, but my previous culinary creations with cauliflower were pleasantly surprising – so what the hell, let’s do this. Continue reading
Alright, I’m holding myself to our mission–real support for the diabetes life. Really, why is it so hard to share an a1c that isn’t up to snuff? Maybe it was the branding of the number 7 on our being upon diagnosis, or years of anxious waiting in the doctor’s office for an a1c that doesn’t out our crafted out of thin-air glucose log, but more likely in my case (and I suspect for many others), it’s an admission that after 17 years I still have work to do. It’s vulnerability.
So, it came back at 7.9 last week.The mantra–judge yourself by your effort not the results–has underscored 2016 for me. That said, the number wasn’t all that surprising. The holidays did their holiday thing (or I allowed the holidays to do their holiday thing). For the last few months of 2015, I went CGMless due to losing the battery charger (which I located a month ago and have been wearing the CGM since). School was a roller coaster ride. At the end of the day (with a pile of excuses), my effort over the past 3 months didn’t reflect an a1c under 7. Continue reading
Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Easter are all the same to me – a candy driven holiday. You can’t go into a store or even the pharmacy for that matter without being bombarded with isles and isles of candy. Growing up with T1D, this isle was torture! I didn’t really care about the candy, but I “had” to refrain which made me feel isolated from my peers. Well, I’ve changed my tune and created a list of ideas and tips PWDs can appreciate… and it includes chocolate.
Unique Gift Ideas:
- Purchase a T1Dexposed Calendar – The Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project was created to promote awareness, connect people living with T1D, and fundraise for both local and global diabetes organizations.
Routine–we love to hate it, especially with a demanding disease like diabetes, which requires hyper-vigilance. No sane person would set their alarm to wake up during the night to check their blood sugar, diligently count carbs before a meal, or force themselves on the treadmill at 9 pm. But we do it, because without the effort, where would we be? The science speaks for itself.
So, how can we turn a ‘have to’ into a ‘want to’. This is where the sister science of Yoga and Ayurveda take center stage. The word Ayurveda means the science of life. As a traditional Indian method of healing, it uses the natural world to help us understand what creates balance and imbalance. Continue reading
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In the midst of a VIP cocktail hour LIVE from the Connect+Cure Gala in Oklahoma City, leaders on the diabetes research and treatment frontier were kind enough to converse with us. We didn’t focus on run of the mill research questions. We got to the heart of their individual diabetes motivations. We covered the importance of a physician’s own A1C, the equal importance of cowboy boots, favorite Toby Keith (he played a full concert that night) songs, and why both Amber and Ryan haven’t been dropped as patients for non-compliance… yet. As the night’s feature ceremony, the Hamm Prize–$250,000 for research advances toward a cure–was awarded to Dr. Ronald Kahn, and he joined us to share his enlightening perspectives (that’s not hyperbole, it’s truth).
After we wrapped up our interviews, we were honored to join 900+ people who support the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center’s (HHODC) future and groundbreaking strides toward eradicating diabetes. As Oklahomans, where 1 out of every 3 people is affected by diabetes, it was a meaningful night filled with promise. We are so grateful for the opportunity provided by the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center and appreciative of our guests to supply insights for all of us with diabetes. Thank you everyone! Continue reading
I forgot my lunch in the car. By itself, not all that significant. In the midst of any day with diabetes, it has ramifications.
By the time this truth was realized, it was 11:55AM and morning classes were a wrap. On an aside, things like this have happened to me for most of my life. Due to the customary nature of the event, I’d already convinced myself that it was good for me to forget lunch in the car. It’s a chance to get in a few more steps. Maybe even get some vitamin D. So, I embarked on the 10 minute walk back out to the car.
As I left the school building, my strides meeting a classic Oklahoma gust head on, I stole a glance at the Medtronic CGM (continuous glucose monitor). I didn’t freak out when it read 87. Continue reading
Nearly 15 years ago in September, my 10 year-old brain and body was forced to comprehend an absurd and sudden diagnosis that has subsequently shaped my life as an adult. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) in my eyes then, was something I had never heard of, and surely I’d end up blind like my aunt, taking several shots a day for the rest of my life.
Looking back now at the initial diagnosis, T1D has ultimately shaped my goals and dreams. Although, I will say it took me a time or six to get that through my head, especially during college, and to stop putting my diabetes on the back burner, ignoring the fact I had to deal with this disease on a daily basis. That was the toughest issue I’ve had to face and overcome with T1D to date. Ignoring my diabetes and trying to live the life all of my friends were living during college did nothing but land me in the hospital on several occasions and leave me with hospital bills to pay at 22 years old. Continue reading