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.
January 28th, 1984 I checked into Children’s Hospital after my pediatrician cried expressing her worst fear – I had type 1 diabetes. I shared my diagnosis day in this POST I wrote in the first few months of DiabetesDailyGrind. I wept as I recalled the days events that changed my life. SO many emotions surfaced – sadness, anger, fear and all things doom and gloom. 32 years later I choose to celebrate. Diabetes has been a large contributor to building my character and I have a magnificent life. There’s NO room for doom and gloom (wow – that kind of rhymed)! Continue reading →
My nephew Greg (aka Grandpa Henry) is headed back to Cali after a lengthy visit to Oklahoma. This trip was a bit different than years past because he’s old enough to ask questions – Real Questions. He no longer holds back pointing out bald people in the grocery store or asking awkward questions about a person’s physique at inappropriate times. During this particular visit, it was clear he needed answers. Why was I pricking my finger? Does it hurt? Why do I give shots? This short video documents one of MANY conversations I had with him and made me think – how do you discuss diabetes with a child?
I love to cook and was over the moon my nephew (Greg/GP Henry) was in town to help. Everyone loves lasagna, but this dish is stacked with calories and carbs. After quite a bit of research, I found a recipe worth tweaking a bit which substituted eggplant for pasta. Let’s do this!
Woohoo – We made it to 2016! In the days prior to popping a cork and celebrating an epic 2015, I took time to reflect. What did 2015 bring to the table? What lessons did I learn or refuse to address? What literature had an impact? What lifestyle choices moved me forward? My preferred form of geeking out is definitely documentary films and three particular films made quite the impact on my dietary choices (thus my diabetes management) and overall mental state when it comes to what I put in my body.
THAT SUGAR FILM – One man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. CLICK HERE to watch the trailer.
A few weeks ago I made a pact – I would say YES to everything. Not to cocaine or anything crazy, just to social events. For the most part it has been a pleasant, yet exhausting adventure. I’ve attended cocktail parties, happy hours, birthdays and way TOO many holiday shindigs. It’s crazy what conversations come up once I started talking about living with T1D. My friends had no idea I had to worry about anything other than over consuming on the booze as they were in the same boat.
As I entered my dear friend’s home, the first words from her mouth were, “I don’t think you can eat anything we’re serving so I fixed a spinach salad for you and it’s in the fridge“. Continue reading →
Confession – I like homemade chili more than most people in the winter months. If you come to my home in December or January, you could put money on me having a pot of healthy chili in the fridge. Don’t get crazy, I’m not willing to fix you a bowl – BUT I will gladly share the recipe.
No one wants to talk about their period, but why aren’t we discussing the impact it has on diabetes? Well, I’m here to break the silence! With each dia-versary, I realize something new about myself and how I differ from the average person. This includes my period – BUT it has never been discussed in my endocrinologist or OBGYN’s office unless I brought it up. Even then, there wasn’t literature or a site to visit to learn more so when I recognized a pattern it was time to take action. I came up a “Period Plan of Action” to follow each month so I won’t be at total T1D shitshow.
About four days prior to staring my period it’s hard to keep my morning BG below 225.
I test around 3am and give Novolog if above 225. Be careful, you don’t want to overcompensate while calculating half asleep.
I’m always down for a road trip so when I was invited to Austin to share Thanksgiving with new friends, I starting packing my bags. I met Lisa and her family in Hawaii and spent a number of evenings with the Thomas family. I even attended her daughter’s wedding, so driving a few hours for Thanksgiving was a no-brainer.
As the departure date approached, I felt the anxiety creep in. I was excited to see everyone, but nervous to spend 72 hours in someone’s home I barely knew. We had discussed my diabetes so they were familiar with me testing my BG and shooting up, but a wave of insecurity came over me.
Mark it in the books – November 14th I celebrated my first World Diabetes Day. This foreign concept was brought to my attention shortly after co-founding the DDG. Why had I never heard of this glorious day? As the day approached, I pondered – How am I going to celebrate? The bar is high as I’m lucky to share this day with millions of fellow T1Ds internationally.
I started the day with my normal breakfast smoothie, followed by coffee while surfing T1D blogs. The message was universally clear… Continue reading →
Every day hosts a new set of challenges for a PWD. You have to think on your feet while planning well in advance if there’s a shot in hell of maintaining your BG goal. I’ld like to believe my BG report card would have an A+ in this every evolving science project we call diabetes. Any rational T1D knows that even though we strive for an A+, some days are just a C or even worse, an F. The science project continues…
Daily Formula: Current BG + Carb Ratio + Correction Factor + Hormones + Stress + Anxiety + Exercise + Allergies + Sickness + Booze + Altitude + Whatever else is going on in life =Hoping For The Best!Continue reading →
The DDG recently jumped on the opportunity to record a live podcast at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Connect+Cure Gala. After months of planning, the day finally arrived. My four outfit choices were back from the cleaners, I had the perfect shoes and my checklist was complete. The average person (someone without diabetes) would be in good shape with the exception of performance jitters, but the T1D planner in me had a few other things to consider.
Ryan and I chatted the night before the event, double checking the details. As we wrapped up our rambling the conversation moved to handling a low BG during the podcast. We both agreed, the show must go on and were prepared to handle any diabetes mishap. Continue reading →
I would rather swim in a shallow pool with a hungry great white shark than have my blood drawn, so signing up for my annual blood panel takes a lot of guts. I stab myself 4+ times a day, making me an expert in my own pain management. I’ll be damned if I feel comfortable allowing someone else to stab me with a needle.
As much as I would like to talk myself out of this test – I MUST have the blood work done. The lab gave detailed instructions – Nothing but water past 10pm. WTF? I’m a T1D and shit can hit the fan in the middle of the night! Would that forfeit my appointment? I’ll arrive anxious, hungry and most definitely cranky. Continue reading →
I LOVE cheese more than red wine (BOLD statement), so when a recent recall hit the news – I FREAKED OUT!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 7, 2015 – “Well Known” Market is recalling cheese sold in all stores nationwide that came from its supplier because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. For the love of all things holy! Could cheese, something I love so dearly put me in the grave due to my weakened immune system? Continue reading →
This image sums it up. There are days when I have NO control and feel compelled to tell the world to f**k off! There was nothing different about my routine. I gave 12 units of Lantus at 5:41am and headed back to bed. A series of weird dreams and the need to pee woke me from my slumber. I recognized this feeling and forced myself to get up and test.
While sitting on the toilet, the number confirmed my gut instinct – BG was 38. No time to pee, in fact, my body wouldn’t let me. I stumbled into the kitchen and downed a Gatorade. Continue reading →
Hello October!!! Football, pumpkin spice candles, colorful foliage and gourds adorning porches make me giddy. The cooler weather also fuels my culinary fire so I thought it was time to add to the Feed Your Kale Addiction list of recipes. I hit the super highway and found a recipe for spaghetti squash pesto with kale. It sparked my interest and had everything in the fridge. Yay me!
Last year, the DDG rolled out a post, 5 Disturbing Diabetes Observations From The State Fair, where we shared a few common observations. Fried gummy bears, sweet tea by the jug and more hotdog stands than healthy people. Well, I sucked it up and ventured back to this land of all things unhealthy to see if 2015 was a better year on the State Fair front. I went in somewhat skeptical, but with a glimpse of hope…
My mother and I headed out on a Tuesday morning with a short list of things we wanted to see.
Stroll the Arts & Crafts Expedition
Locate a friend’s tree and landscaping booth
Visit the Beer Garden (this was more my idea than hers)
As we attempted to navigate our way to the arts & crafts building, I shared my thoughts on what poor choices the fair was offering their guests. It was like ground hog’s day circling the fair grounds. Every aisle or whatever you call it had at least 10 fried options (gummy bears, ice cream, cookie dough and even butter), sweet tea, Pina Coladas, hot dogs, corn dogs BBQ, cheap – oversized beer cans and turkey legs the size of small child. Continue reading →
I’m always on the hunt for new recipes and happened to stumble upon one that sparked my interest while in Vermont – Cauliflower, Caramelized Onion and Kale Lasagna. As the cooler weather sets in, what better way to welcome the fall than with a spin on the traditional lasagna. DON’T be scared to try new things…kale & cauliflower won’t kill you.
Over the weekend my new neighborhood celebrated the 20th Anniversary Mesta Festa and craft beer tasting. I rarely drink beer, but when I do, I limit myself to two because my BG roller coaster experiences have kept me skeptical of this frosty beverage. My justification – the $20 beer garden entry fee was going to a good cause and I might meet a cute, craft beer guy. No brainer, right? As I left my house, my BG was 77 so I sipped Perrier with a little blueberry-pomegranite juice en route. I fork over the cash and join my dear friends at the 405 tasting table where I sample their newest brew, the Trae P.A. Delicious!
The small neighborhood block probably featured about 10 local breweries. I had no intention of trying all of them so I set out to hit up the few that were of interest before they ran out. Continue reading →
Locally owned (Norman, Oklahoma) Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails is a staple in my diet. Everything, literally everything, is made from scratch making it easy to guesstimate my carb ratios. They’re fanatical about flavor and using quality products when creating culinary masterpieces and cocktails. As we’re gearing up for football games and tailgating, I thought their quinoa burger was a recipe worth sharing.
Last week was the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. As I drove into Burlington, Vermont I tuned into NPR and heard horrible stories from folks impacted by the tragedy. Dead bodies floating, elderly folks dying in their wheel chairs while waiting for help and no food or water to be found. This tragedy didn’t effect me directly as I was safe at home in Norman, Oklahoma, but it surfaced a new T1D fear – I would be one of the first to kick the bucket.
I recall sitting with the man I was dating listening to the news and became overwhelmed with emotion. I watched people in their pajamas on rooftops begging to be picked up as helicopters circled above. Continue reading →
A monumental girl’s weekend was being planned and while on hold with The Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club, the recording boasted superfood options. It made me think – is this just another marketing ploy? After traveling extensively over the past couple of months, I’ve picked up a few buzz-words hotels and resorts are using to lure guests.
I dropped my bags at the door and couldn’t wait to do a little investigating. What were they offering and how were they marketing it to the general public? Low and behold, the first page of the In-Dining Menu options read, “Maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road with our nutrient-rich and delicious SuperFoodsRx™ dishes. The following page actually listed 25+ super foods with a brief description.
This recipe couldn’t be any easier so open up the fridge and start pulling out veggies. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and can’t stand it when fresh veggies go bad so I decided to try something new. I gathered what was in the fridge and whipped together a fabulous meal for friends with plenty of leftovers to freeze for when I return from vacation.
Dice whatever you have scrounged together. I used broccoli, shrooms, cauliflower, squash and a yellow onion.
Going back to school can be a bummer for everyone, but adding a “disability” to the mix throws in an additional layer of stress and anxiety. Today, I recap different stages in my life where diabetes reared it’s head and how I dealt with the highs and lows during this treacherous time of insecurity and adolescence. I’m breaking it down and sharing a few coping mechanisms I only realized as an adult.
Elementary School – My homies and fellow Girl Scouts knew what was going on. That didn’t make it any easier per say, but at least the cat was out of the bag.
I allowed adults to help out. I busted my first bottle of insulin during this particular Girl Scout camp. I was mortified, but everyone rallied and we scored another bottle so I could be a part of the camping on a concrete platform experience.
I kept snacks in my desk and have shared how to handle bullying in Cheez-It Trauma.
I took my lunch… I was even “particular” at an early age. This allowed me to have healthier options while not feeling weird about not consuming the hamburger, fries, fruit cup and milk option. (What were they thinking???)
I want to make it clear from the start – I’ve never taken a hallucinogen, or at least not that I can remember. I may not have enough street cred for this post to be valid, but after a rough morning battling my BG, I felt compelled to articulate a serious low blood sugar. For some reason – LSD came to mind. I’ll begin by describing this low BG experience so you can better understand.
As I’m laying in bed, the mattress seems to be hugging me with a deep embrace. I feel loved and calm – nothing could remove me from this pleasant slumber. My mind begins to wonder and my thoughts are powerful, colorful and ever probing into the darkest parts of my brain. Continue reading →
I’m no stranger to the words “I apologize…” as my temperament in my younger years and Capricorn spirit have fueled some heated discussions. As I continue to morph into adhering to adult like practices I wanted to share my newest journey with the diabetes community. The recent realization that diabetes plays a major factor in my mood has allowed me to reflect and better process what lead to my apology. You need the background of my days events to better understand the beginnings to the epic blow-up with my mom.
I didn’t get a good nights rest because my home was uncomfortably warm due to an ancient AC unit and the Hawaii vs. Oklahoma time difference.
The DDG has been all over the map in the past year and documented a few less than desirable moments to say the least. As I embarked on my journey to Hawaii, I was not prepared for life’s little hiccups. I’m sharing a few scenarios and how I handled the “Oh Sh*t” diabetes moments while on the road.
You get carsick because your friend and DDG partner in crime thinks he’s speed racer.
TIP: Feel free to curse at him (a slight punch in the arm is acceptable), burp out loud and chug some water. Should you need to throw up, you might consider doing so in your driver’s lap.
Aloha. I arrived on the beautiful island of Maui a few days ago and adore the Hawaiian culture. As I’ve ventured out exploring different parts of the island, I’m amazed by the diversity within a few square miles (desert vs. rain forest like conditions, rocky vs. sandy beaches), but one thing is consistent – SPAM. I was shocked when I stumbled across SPAM on the center aisle in Target which inspired me to do some research. I hope you enjoy a few interesting facts about this “mystery meat” and the theory as to why it’s so popular here in Hawaii.
Ingredients – Pork & ham shoulder, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate. (YUM!)
This short & sweet post is 100% dedicated to Liam as he and his family celebrate his FIRST T1D, diagnosis day anniversary. I’m aware that not every T1D chooses to embrace this special day, but about 7 years ago I chose to change my tune and truly hope you will consider doing the same.
Please shoot some +++ thoughts, prayers, messages, etc. for Liam and his family in the comment box below or on the DDG Facebook page. Every message helps, so don’t be shy!
WOOHOO – We’re rolling into the holiday weekend! As PWDs are packing their suitcases full of supplies for the road trip to the lake – don’t forget how easy it is to become a shitshow at a pool party or in-laws lake house. Speaking from experience, I want to save you some embarrassment so I’ve put together a list of things you can do to prevent being the crazy “intoxicated/low BG” person at the 4th of July picnic.
Don’t set yourself on fire – The low BG person might feel like a super hero and insist on lighting the $2,300 mountain of explosives. Check you BG before you set the neighborhood on fire. Continue reading →
Summer is upon us so it’s time to consider some much needed and dreaded body maintenance. The annual ritual came up after a vigorous attempt at tennis with a dear friend. We both enjoy our unfiltered discussions so of course waxing was the first item on the body maintenance to do list. The conversation took a new angle this year – waxing vs. sugaring? Sugaring is a foreign concept so she explained it’s actually a blend of natural ingredients with no chemical additives and is gentler, safer, and a more progressive method of hair removal. After she described the process, we both looked at each other and said – “Could sugaring or waxing effect my diabetes?”
The answer is undoubtedly NO, but it did make me ponder how this invasive, somewhat painful process could throw my diabetes for a loop. As a T1D, I have a few things to consider when rolling into the spa…
Yesterday we embarked on the first day of summer here in Oklahoma so I forced myself to “officially” change out my closet and pulled out a few of my favorite summer recipes. One recipe in particular is a staple at my home throughout the steamy months – the lima bean salad. A few years ago a friend brought this lovely concoction to a potluck dinner I hosted. Not going to lie, I was a bit reluctant to try this foreign green legume, but was over the moon with the explosion of flavor. Don’t be scared – I assure you your friends and family will love this delicious, mediterranean style salad packed with fiber.
May 18th, 2015 I stepped into the ring without signing up for the bout. 29 days later – a new meter, numerous panicked phone calls to my endocrinologist & pharmacy, an assload of money paid out of pocket, tears shed, curse words spoken – the battle is over. As the tears, sweat and blood are wiped up from the boxing ring, I wish I could write about a victorious moment that wrapped up this ridiculous situation, but that is NOT the case. My diligence and Capricorn spirit forced me to continue swinging when I was SO close to being down for the count.
I would put money on the fact that every T1D has been threw the ringer when it comes to the insurance runaround, so I felt my recent battle was one worth documenting. DING, DING, DING!
Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time waiting for a “new” prescription for a spider bite, allowing plenty of time to stroll the aisles. Since the inception of the DDG, I’ve become hyperaware of the word diabetes or “diabeetus” for that matter so I decided to do some research on a few products marketed towards the diabetic audience.
I chose two, well respected companies to compare, Gold Bond and Eucerin. I will say with all honesty – I’ve never used either product, but plan to do so very soon. Continue reading →
I feel like a broken record because I’ve written numerous posts on the effects stress has on my blood sugar, but a few events last week reinforced how diabetes can take over your life. My life/work scenario forced me to take a seat on an insanely large BG roller coaster and I’m still waiting for the downhill plunge.
I believe a timeline is in order to help you understand.
Thursday – BG 214.
Odd because it’s usually around 120 – 150, my preferred roll out of bed BG. Maybe I have an infection??? Continue reading →
The DDG was contacted by a wonderful woman from the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center about a pilot camp rolling out this summer. We jumped on the opportunity to meet with Heather to learn more and offer our help, should she want it. As the conversation progressed, she said they were looking for a few T1D camp counselors. In years past I volunteered at a leadership camp for high school seniors. I felt confident in my ability to lead the youngsters and still be 100% myself – but would I be able to do the same for a group of T1Ds?
This thought inspired me to weigh a few pros & cons that came to mind.
I have 31 years under my belt and plenty of stories to share.
A1C is 6.3 (Not bragging, just proud of my hard work)
Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m not just focusing on my butt, but the whole package. I don’t plan to share my goal, but will say it has nothing to do with weight. For the first time in my adult life, I actually like my body, but it definitely could use a tune up. I hope you enjoy my short and somewhat absurd list of things that will help me get moving.
I’m a firm believer – you can never have too many shoes! I ordered Chacos today so I have the proper attire for outdoor hiking. Continue reading →
The DDG does a fabulous job of documenting our favorite recipes and random food concoctions. In honor of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week, I want to highlight a few recipes that keep my healthy eating habits in check. As a T1D, my week begins with a mental check list:
Grocery shopping – I’ve admitted in a few posts how I feel like a grocery shopping nazi because I frequent at LEAST three stores a week.
Meal Planning – What am I craving and won’t mind eating a few times?
Make A List – Put your cravings on paper after checking your cabinets for ingredients.
Food Prep – Prioritize your weekly game plan and schedule time to prep food.
Whew. It sounds like a lot, but these four steps help me to prepare and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Below are a few of my favorites – I hope they get your wheels turning and your mouth watering.
Breakfast: Blue Corn Breakfast Taco
I haven’t written a recipe for this finger-licking breakfast, but it’s super simple. Scrambled eggs, black beans, avocado, salsa and fresh cilantro. YUM! This recipe was a winner on Mother’s Day.
Saturday night I happened upon a ridiculous show on Animal Planet, America’s Next Cat Star where Brimley was in the final round of contenders. The judges referenced the striking resemblance the cat had to Wilford Brimley. The first thing that popped to mind – Diabeetus, not his accomplished years as an actor. It made me think – why do I feel the need to correct someone when they say “diabeetus”?
I’ve written a lot lately about my big move and the effects it’s had on my diabetes. I’ve battled highs and lows, exhaustion and dehydration, but the biggest challenge has been the inability to cook. I knew when I signed the lease the gas stove was from 1920????? I made subtle hints to my new landlord, whom which at this point I had never met. I explained that cooking was a HUGE part of my life and gave her information about the DiabetesDailyGrind. She assured me my stove was the cadillac of all gas stoves and not to worry… Continue reading →
I’ve been writing for months about my spiritual journey and affirmations are a BIG part of the “New Amber”. This week the Universe tested me big time – encouraging me to come up with a new affirmation – I will not kill anyone at the pharmacy because it’s not their fault the system is broken. This story began when I attempted to call in a refill for my syringes and noticed the label had my previous endocrinologist. This minor detail made getting needles an 8 day journey. Continue reading →
The DDG is looking to expand in hopes of reaching a larger audience because according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are 29.1 million diabetics in the United States. We’re willing to bet these folks could use a little real support for the diabetic life – DDG style. We are currently looking for a few fellow passionate folks to share their story.
The older I get, the less concerned I seem to be as to what others think when I start my order with, “I’m a little high maintenance“. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over 30 years ago and things were very different. I was given strict instructions by the dietician – NO sugar and limit yourself to 2 TAB colas a day – yes, I said TAB (the only diet soda at the time). At age 14, after reading a terrifying book about animal welfare in stockyards, I cut out red meat and pork. Was that the turning point for my high maintenance ways???
Fast forward to 2015 – and the list of what I won’t eat has skyrocketed. I won’t bore you with the list and the background for each item, but my recent journey to Quartz Mountain made me question – were my special requests diabetes related or am I just high maintenance? Continue reading →
Last night I returned home from the Oklahoma Symposium and am happy to report my diabetes didn’t slow me down. The weekend was packed with panels, lectures and networking – not to mention a beer tasting and nightly cocktail hour. In years past this eventful weekend has been a bit of challenge, but this year I took charge. I’m happy to report three shifts in thinking that proved smoother sailing when navigating uncharted food territory.
1. Don’t be afraid to express your dietary needs.
The Saturday evening meal looked wonderful, but happen to be a filet so I was served the other option – white pasta w/red sauce and sautéed carrots. No thank you! I asked the server if the kitchen would be kind enough to whip together a grilled chicken breast and some steamed broccoli. After speaking with three servers and the chef, I was served exactly what I requested. YAY ME!
Spring has sprung so it’s time to ditch the tights & cardigans and pull out the summer attire. For the average person, it’s probably not a concern, but for me this time of year brings on a little anxiety. I give injections so there is somewhat of a battle field of bruises on my arms and thighs. This made me think – has diabetes altered my sense of style?
Shorts – I don’t wear them and probably haven’t since high school. Bruises on my thighs don’t look too hot, but a good tan does help camouflage them.
My life is very different than the average person my age. I’ve never been married, don’t have children and have shared my home with a housemate for the past 10 years. This unconventional lifestyle allowed me to pursue my dreams and the freedom to travel, but next month everything changes. I’m branching out and going back to living alone. YAY ME!
I look forward to walking around naked, leaving dishes in the sink, having multiple closets to house my shoes and storing diabetes supplies wherever I want. Continue reading →
I do my best to prepare meals that will stretch a few days since I’m single person on the go. This week I was bored with the usual go to meals so I pulled out the wok and started emptying out the fridge. Found items include portobello mushrooms, a chicken breast, a yellow onion and broccoli. Let’s do this. Continue reading →
I’m stoked to share my recent visit to the endocrinologist. In earlier years this dreaded trip brought on a week or so of anxiety… Would he know I lied about my blood sugar? Could he tell I drank a wine cooler a few weeks ago? Will they have to take blood? He is the window into my diabetic life and I was terrified as to what he could reveal. I no longer stress about this biannual visit, in fact, I kind of enjoy it. I work hard every single day to feel good and my numbers hopefully reflect my actions.
The visit starts with a super sweet nurse who allows me to prick my own finger. YAY ME! Having someone else prick my finger seems to be WAY more painful (control issues?). Continue reading →