It’s time to PAR-TAY!! Today marks my 40 something birthday living with Type 1 diabetes. I’m grateful to have a platform to share my story and look forward to all 2022 has to offer. Thank you for being part of the journey as I’ve learned so much from your stories! Read on while we take a look back at what we’ve accomplished in 2021, plans for 2022, and birthday wishes for today.
Imagine a future where diabetes is the last thing on the mind of people living with it – that is progress! In part #1 we got an inside look at how the insulin industry is spurring each other on to make advancements in diabetes management. In part #2 we continue the conversation with the leaders in the insulin pump industry, alongside my well-versed cohost, Mark Carter. As a little refresher, we had the pleasure of hearing from Michael Hill, VP of Global Portfolio Marketing at Medtronic, Dr. Trang Ly, Senior Vice President and Medical Director at Insulet, and Dr. Steph Habif, a behavioral scientist at Tandem.
Let’s jump back into this topic and learn more about how you can define progress in daily diabetes management and what’s on the horizon for insulin pump therapy.
I’ve joked, and/or compared my diabetes management to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), but hadn’t met anyone living with both conditions until interviewing Brett Ryan Stewart. Brett is a Nashville based producer who shared – “ultimately what OCD kind of comes down to is this inability to accept what you can’t control and then obsessing about a way to control the uncontrollable.” I’m sure many of you living with T1D can relate to this mentality and Brett’s ability to give us a look into his daily life was eye opening to say the least.
The world of diabetes management is growing at an expeditious rate, so how do we define progress in this space? Great question, and one I couldn’t resolve myself so I brought in past podcast guest and fellow T1D, Mark Carter, who has worked within the industry. We had the pleasure of sitting with three insulin pump therapy leaders: Michael Hill, VP of Global Portfolio Marketing at Medtronic; Dr. Trang Ly, Senior Vice President and Medical Director at Insulet; and Dr. Steph Habif, a behavioral scientist at Tandem.
Our conversation is packed with insights on how to define progress in daily diabetes management while addressing some of the community’s most burning questions. Stay tuned for part #2.
It’s time to get rid of the word ‘weak’ when talking about people navigating chronic illnesses. In reality, we are some of the strong, unique and resilient people in the world, and Madison Thorn is spreading that very message. She was fueled by a nasty protest sign and turned that energy into a thought provoking project highlighting other high risk humans like ourselves, a story that needs to be told.
Ginger Vieira learned quickly that it turns out there is a whole lot you can still do even while dealing with diabetes when you approach yourself kindly rather than getting stuck in self pity. She is a passionate writer and editor with a mission to turn complex health information into easy-to-read content. Ginger herself navigates not only through T1D, but other autoimmune diseases as well, but not for a moment does she let herself get caught up in self pity. Instead she works tirelessly to bring out content that impacts others going through similar struggles.
When Charles Mattocks was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, he was given little to no education on how to manage this disease so he took matters into his own hands. After getting his own health back on track, Charles is sharing his journey into advocacy, and how he is effectively trying to reverse the forward progress of unmanaged diabetes.
People living with diabetes don’t just need the latest and greatest tech, they need real solutions to unique problems! Kayla Mattingly always knew she wanted 3-4 kids from thestart, but never imagined two of her four sons would be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She rolled with the autoimmune punches, but an insulin allergy has her family and medical team scrambling for solutions. Type IV Hypersensitivity to insulin is rare, but she has found a handful of other parents who are looking for answers.
To all those who need to hear this – yes you can! This is the lifelong motto of Kristina Loskarjova, a woman who sets her mind to something and makes it happen while living her best life with T1D. She shares how taking a step back from the pressures of management could be exactly what you need to get back out and start living a fulfilled life. Kristina is an accomplished designer, entrepreneur and author who is sharing her story and those of other people living extraordinary lives with this disease.
While getting the diabetes diagnosis tends to put us on the back foot, we can choose to deal with it and refuse to let it define us. Tim White is a diabetes veteran who has been managing his diabetes for longer than I have. He is a well spring of wisdom and shares his story along with his experience on living his best life with diabetes for decades. Tim is a prime example that diabetes is not a death sentence, and its management is getting better every day. Continue reading →
What does someone who was thrust into the world of diabetes with no preparation do? They make animations of course! Jermaine Hargrove is the co-founder of Small Town Animation Studios, where he and his wife are impacting the diabetes space with the arts, specifically in the 3D animated films arena. His creative expertise and entrepreneurial spirit will help inspire people to better manage their diabetes. Let’s dive into Jermaine’s story and learn more about not all Superheroes wear capes, but some do wear CGMs. Continue reading →
I’m fascinated with diabetes care and advocacy efforts in other countries so I was thrilled to connect with Bridget, a fellow T1D making waves in South African healthcare. She goes above and beyond to ensure people living with diabetes have the information and tools they need to live their best life. South Africa has a long way to go and I feel confident Bridget will be leading the movement. Continue reading →
As someone who uses MDI therapy to manage my Type 1 diabetes, it was a no brainer to jump on this episode. On May 10th, 2021, the FDA gave clearance for the first-of-its-kind smart pen caps for insulin pens used to treat Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Good things are happening in the diabetes community and this is just the beginning. Continue reading →
Kyle is a seasoned traveler and person living with T1D whose career path has been shaped by the bumps and bruises of living with this disease. He currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for DiabetesWise who has launched the DiabetesWise Device Finder, a tool created at Stanford University School of Medicine to help PWD easily identify the best technology for their personal diabetes management. Continue reading →
The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour takes place every Thursday from 5 – 6:15pm CST. The event has nothing to do with alcohol, but is for adults living with diabetes or caring for someone living with this disease. Each week is filled with laughter, lame jokes, trivia and live music with people who get it from across the globe. Don’t be shy, pop in and make a new friend. CLICK HERE to register.
This impromptu episode was a no brainer when President Biden took office and put a freeze on past executive orders. The diabetes community flipped out so I contacted two friends who can help me and the DOC better understand what this really means. In this episode we discuss the EO freeze on insulin and grassroots advocacy efforts.
In gearing up for this epic unicorn episode I sincerely reflected on the impact becoming a diabetes advocate has had on my life. Two of the first people I discovered were Kerri Sparling and Scott Johnson. I had found my people! Reading their stories and watching them present at various conferences gave me the courage to “really” find my voice. The podcast and blog posts have lifted a huge weight, one I didn’t realize was there. I am truly blessed.
Today, January 7th, 2021 I celebrate my 29thyear on this beautiful planet and considering the current shit storm of world events and quarantine I would normally be sad, BUT connecting with my diapeeps every Thursday during the Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour has literally saved my life. I would love for you to join me tonight or any Thursday you are free to pop in between 5 – 6:15pm CST. Please be sure to register – CLICK HERE.
This birthday pic was taken three weeks before I was diagnosed with T1D and celebrating with other people who “get it” is a reminder – I am not alone and you don’t have to be either.
Manny Hernandez is a published author, recognized diabetes advocate, and speaker on the power of community for social impact who reminds us, while we are not on this journey by choice, it’s not a path we need to take alone. What better way to wrap up 2020 than with a brave soul who transformed his professional career to connect with others who understand similar challenges.
Dr. Allyson Hughes is a self-proclaimed animal lover, methodology geek and research scientist who collaborates with various industries to develop research projects from beginning to end, and advocates for health policy with the data she collects. Having been diagnosed with T1D herself, she knows all too well the struggles we face. This is what prompted her career path as a health psychologist dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes.
I’m a sucker for witty banter and was thrilled to connect with Jutta Haaramo, co-founder of the Happy Bob app, who has brought a bit of lightheartedness to managing her son’s life with T1D. Her mission is to share the latest diabetes data, without overloading people with information by making it a fun, and rewarding experience. This is just the beginning of an exciting partnership with Jutta and the Happy Bob app team. Continue reading →
Thankfully, many of us living with Type 1 diabetes have a supportive parent(s), but have we really taken time to think about how our diagnosis affected our loved ones. When Janet’s media kit fell on my desk, I knew I wanted to connect. Their story of strength and partnership as they navigated through this disease, both highs and lows, is a reminder – we are not alone. Continue reading →
I’m new to San Antonio, Texas and have thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the culture. On November 1st and 2nd they celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) which also kicks off Diabetes Awareness Month. As I researched and witnessed firsthand this beautiful ceremony a few emotions surfaced. My Type 1 diabetes diagnosis almost 38 years ago was literally a death sentence. For most of my life I’ve worn this weight alone, but my mindset has shifted with the current pandemic and political state of affairs/nightmares. Continue reading →
I don’t know about you, but in kindergarten I wasn’t considering space exploration as a career path, but April stuck to her guns and achieved this goal even after a T1D diagnosis. Her calm demeanor, passion and journey to become an aerospace engineer is inspiring to say the least. She deserves to be the first person living with diabetes in space and absolutely shares my personal mantra to dream big – diabetes or not.
With a little friendly stalking I had the pleasure of chatting with two incredibly inspirational industry leaders, and self proclaimed friendemies, Sean Saint and John Sjolund. Their drive to succeed and multiple success stories mirror my mission to help improve quality of life for all people living with diabetes. They are entertaining to say the least and had me laughing throughout the interview while giving me hope for the future of diabetes management. Continue reading →
TheReal Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour takes place every Thursday from 5 – 6:15pm CST. The theme or activity has attendance growing because we have a TON of fun with folks who “get it”. This event is a great place to meet new people, connect with old friends and hopefully lift your spirits as you roll into the weekend.
Checkout a few fun pics below and be sure to click on the Happy Hour logo to register. Continue reading →
Can you imagine being diagnosed with T1D and five years later stating you’re in the best health of your life? In this episode, we’ll be learning more about my new friend from the land downunda’, Astra-Lia ‘Ozzy’ England. Several years ago, Ozzy would receive news from the doctor that would shake her world; a T1D diagnosis. In a matter of weeks, she went from living a relatively normal life (albeit with Celiac disease) to being put on insulin therapy. Her fiery personality and unapologetic curiosity about life with diabetes made her the perfect guest.
You don’t have to hide, let’s have the tough talks. In this episode you’ll learn why this is so important with guests Matt Tarro & Brandon Denson the Founders of Bolus Maximus. Matt and Brandon have created this community with a focus on filling a major void in the male community, the need for vulnerable connections for men dealing with diabetes. Both diagnosed at later ages, they know first hand how diabetes can get in the way of your goals and plans. Now they are on a passionate mission to help those grinding through this disease. Let’s jump right into their stories and start talking about some hard truths and good advice.
The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour has brought SO many interesting PWD together. We thoroughly enjoy basic pub talk, poking fun, cracking jokes, live music, embarrassing some of us crappy trivia lovers, etc. Recently I connected with a woman who wowed me with her written word skills.
* I feel confident you will enjoy this reading as much as we did. Continue reading →
The battle against diabetes doesn’t have to be done alone, we need community. That is the mindset of today’s guests (yes plural!) the Diabuddies App Founders, Amy, Sarah and Charlene. As we dive in, you’ll learn how these ladies’ experience with diabetes led them to create something ALL people living with diabetes can support. Continue reading →
Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?! Repeat guest and dear friend, Mark Carter joins the show and shares how and why he has created a T1D backup plan. He has re-assessed and found better strategies that have left him feeling freer and refreshed. Let’s dive into Mark’s story and learn how finding the right physician and going back to the basics (MDI) got his diabetes back on track. Continue reading →
I’ve hardcore quarantined since March and recently started to feel the impact it has on me mentally. I miss my friends, I miss strolling the aisles of Target, I miss spending too much time looking at fresh produce, I miss brunch and definitely miss happy hour at a local watering hole. As I shed tears writing this post, I thought – why not do something about it. Continue reading →
After decades of frustrating results and fed up with the type 1 diabetes roller coaster, Allison completely changed her life and diabetes management by switching to a low carb lifestyle. She took her new way of eating seriously and lost 55+ pounds and was able to get off all medications with the exception of insulin. This journey fueled her desire to learn more about how her own T1D body worked and to then share her message with others. Allison jumped head first into a series of nursing degrees and coaching certifications including pregnancy and pre-diabetes coaching. She is the real deal exemplifying how to both live well and support others in their journey with diabetes and achieving normalized blood sugars! Continue reading →
Reverend Bales story was one I could not pass up. While many of us living Type 1 diabetes quarantined, he hit the front line to serve the homeless community on Skid Row. He has lived with T1D for 48 years and hasn’t let this disease keep him from achieving his goals both physically and professionally. He is truly a hero! Continue reading →
Throughout his epic adventure, Mike went from couch potato to dropping around 100 lbs. in order to fulfill his dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail all while adjusting his diabetes management. It takes a lot of courage to completely overhaul your habits! His ability to plan all things hiking for 5+ months AND throwing in all the diabetes supplies traveling cross country blows my mind. This is only the beginning as he soon off to his next adventure. Continue reading →
Sarah is a breath of fresh air. Her ability to be honest, vulnerable and willing to discuss all aspects of her T1D journey is the perfect combination to connect the diabetes online masses. In this first ever episode for the DDG, we discuss medicinal cannabis and what it has done for Sarah in addition to daily practices of yoga, meditation and online connectivity. Continue reading →
After a recent announcement from Novo Nordisk I cleared my schedule to record this episode with Dr. Todd Hobbs, Chief Medical Officer for North America and Ken Inchausti, Senior Director of Corporate Communications. In this open discussion they share resources and cost saving programs, details about insulin production, insulin trials and what’s on the horizon for insulin therapies. I learned SO much about a drug I’ve been taking for decades!
After being rejected to join an insulin therapy clinical trial, I was determined to find someone who was able to participate. DDG’s newest team member, Cynthia Celt, connected the dots and hooked me up with Craig who shared his recent experience as a participant in a rather intense trial. Thank you Craig for temporarily donating your body to science to help fellow insulin dependent dia-peeps. Keep on trucking… jeeping you brave soul.
With all of us spending more time in kitchen it was time to get cracking on a new recipe, but considering what I’ve been whipping together is ridiculous, I reached out to my friend, Brent Wilson, RD, CDE and Director of Nutrition & Wellness at i2U Culinary Solutions. I had the pleasure of interviewing Brent and co-owner, chef Jonathon Stranger on Mini-podcast #1: Food Is Medicinea few months ago. They know what they’re talking about – I hope you enjoy. Continue reading →
For newly diagnosed T2D, it might be overwhelming and many fall into diabetes denial. In an effort to change this mentality, Tracey shares an authentic story of how a question from her daughter was the “aha” moment to take things seriously. In this episode, Tracey unapologetically shares her story because there is no shame in the game! Diabetes is a family affair and her energy, lifestyle choices and overall mentality is hopefully contagious – in a good way.
I connected with Kyle on social media and like many of my past guests, he shoots it to you straight about diet, exercise and his diabetes hacks. He isn’t shy and shares his opinion on lifestyle and offers HIS take on things without offering up medical advice. I was a little squeamish when Kyle shared details about a current trial he’s participating in, but eager to learn more about the advancements in CGM technology from someone who is walking the walk. Continue reading →
This impromptu episode was created to hopefully set your mind at ease. As PWDs are flooded with stories on social media concerning the fear of an insulin shortage or the disruption of diabetes supplies, I felt compelled to act. Even though most companies have issued statements reassuring people living with diabetes that everything would be okay, I wanted to hear it for myself from the company leaders. Continue reading →
I felt compelled to write this post after reading a NY Times article about pandemic mortality rates over the decades. In 1999, I gave myself a graduation present to visit a friend in Paris, France to celebrate the millennium. My family warned against the trip because of the uncertainty of Y2K, but that didn’t stop me. My friend was a nanny for the US Ambassador and I knew my time in France would not be the typical tourist adventure. I headed out with a HUGE backpack and cannot recall what diabetes supplies were on board. Continue reading →
I stumbled upon a YouTube channel, Between Two Lines, that was informative and hilarious at the same time. In each episode, Levi shares his down to earth thoughts on a particular Type 1 diabetes related subject using a real talk, no sugar coating, approach. His dry wit and ability to make light of what living with this disease is like had me laughing and saying – man this guy gets it. Continue reading →
DreaMed Diabetes, a leader in AI solutions for personalized diabetes management and the company behind the first artificial pancreas technology recently launched Advisor Pro software. This software can analyze glucose and insulin data in seconds and advise on an optimal treatment plan including basal rate, carb ratio, insulin sensitivity factor, and personal management tips. The Advisor Pro also allows remote clinic visits and frequent titration changes.
The dust has settled and the Real Life Diabetes Consulting team is back at home and taken a moment to reflect on our visit to the JDRF TypeOneNation summit in St. Louis. I love chatting with this crew and thought it was time to recap our roller coaster of events in Missouri. We aren’t shy and touch on personal take aways, connecting with new diapeeps of all ages, and how we battled our own diabetes debacles on this trip. Real life! Continue reading →
Steady Health is the first full-service digital diabetes clinic in the US. Their services combine the power of continuous glucose monitors and the convenience of telemedicine to deliver a new type of care to patients. You can see an endocrinologist from home and get ongoing care and support from a team of diabetes specialists.
Dr. Clayton McCook is back and shares what’s new in his diabetes advocacy game. He’s not pointing fingers, but using his voice and grassroots efforts to make a difference. Everyone has a voice and he uses his kind demeanor to help others find theirs. Not only does he share tech advancements and grassroots efforts, he entertains my ridiculous questions about diabetes management for pets.