Podcast 68: The Power of Connectivity within the T1D Community

Last December, Anne came to the rescue, offering help during my insulin crisis while in San Antonio, Texas. She, like many people in the DOC (diabetes online community) stayed in contact with me while I resolved the problem. She is a leader in the diabetes community and her wealth of knowledge has helped so many T1Ds and their families.

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Podcast 67: T1D Circus Acrobat, Snack Mom & World Traveler | Drew Butler

Traveling through multiple time zones with diabetes while being sedentary on the plane can be a lot to handle, but it didn’t keep Drew from his 12 month adventure across the globe. In this episode, he shares his mis-diagnosis, transitioning into life with T1D as a young adult, his love of circus acrobatics and lessons learned while traveling abroad. He is truly an inspiration to all people living with this disease and his laid back personality is warm and welcoming.

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Podcast 66: A Gathering of Oklahoma T1D Dinosaurs

Recently, Mayor David Holt declared a pride week in my home town of Oklahoma City. It made me think – do I know any LGBTQ T1Ds? Yep, and not only is she my friend, she is one of the only people I know that has had diabetes as long as I have – hence the title – T1D dinosaurs. We are a rare breed and it was thrilling to sit with Bonnie and share what life was like 35+ years ago growing up with this disease. Bonnie and Jennifer did a fabulous job sharing how managing diabetes is sometimes a group effort.

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Podcast 65: Looking Forward To What Lies Ahead | Me, Myself & I

I’ve been preparing  this heartfelt episode for quite some time, and after months of research and polling friends & family, I am thrilled to announce Patreon, a phenomenal and trusted membership platform. All of the Real Life Diabetes podcast episodes will remain free, but members will receive perks. There are five tiers – all of which are affordable so I hope you will take a moment to check it out.

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June Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour – Joplin, Missouri

I’m packing up the Subaru and heading to Joplin, Missouri to attend the Stick It To Diabetes fundraiser hosted my the Mercy Foundation. What better way to bring PWD together than a happy hour? Continue reading

Podcast 64: It’s Okay to be Angry, Just Don’t Stay There | Crystal Bowersox

I take pride in being a friendly stalker and scored an impromptu interview with American Idol super star and fellow Type 1, Crystal Bowersox while she was traveling through Oklahoma City. Her show was killer and I shared the evening with dear friends (Erik & Teneka). We sang together, enjoyed pizza and clinked glasses while sharing diabetes hacks. Crystal’s scrappy, no bullshit attitude made her the perfect guest.

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Podcast 63: Hulk Sightings & Jiminy Cricket Life Saving Moments

My adventure to Arkansas, as one of the first Real Life Diabetes “taking the show on the road”, was a smashing success. This couple had me tearing up within the first hour and laughing out loud at the same time. They were welcoming, kind, a ton of fun and not scared to share very personal stories of living, as a couple, with Type 1 diabetes.

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I Am Perfectly Imperfect

I’ve been holding onto this post for awhile, but while geeking out on Netflix documentaries, I stumbled upon Brené Brown’s – A Call to Courage. Damn her! I’ve been a huge fan of Brené and find she pops into my life exactly when I need her. It is time for me to be vulnerable… Continue reading

Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour – Arkansas

I’m hitting the road and heading to Arkansas! It has been ages since I’ve hosted a Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour, but after being contacted by a fellow T1D – I’m packing up the Subaru and heading North. This event brings ALL people living with diabetes and their families together to be surrounded by folks who “get it“. Please join me Thursday, April 11th from 5-7:30pm at The Holler located at 801 SE 8th Street in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Podcast 62: Diabulimia Demons and a High Risk, Geriatric Pregnancy | Cynthia Celt

This fearless forty something T1D does an incredible job of sharing her story. Cynthia is a T1D veteran who has challenged and/or been fired by an endo. or two, faced diabulimia head on, fearlessly experimented with the newest medications on the market and laughed at the thought of being a high risk, geriatric pregnancy.
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Podcast 61: A Glamorous & Glittery Perspective on Life with T1D | Paloma Kemak

While on the road with the Real Life Diabetes podcast in Scottsdale, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Paloma Kemak (aka Glitter Glucose). Her story is very different from mine, but her diagnosis and overall mindset is entertaining and up-lifting. Paloma’s energy and ability to laugh while sharing her story is contagious and inspiring to PWDs from across the globe.

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FedEx Small Business Grant Contest – PLEASE VOTE

The Diabetes Daily Grind and Real Life Diabetes podcast is growing and in order to do so, we need help. We’re pursuing every avenue possible and hope you will take time each day to vote until April 1, 2019. CLICK on the link below to vote and please share with the world!

Podcast 60: An Inspiration To The T1D Community | Lauren Bongiorno









I’ve taken the Real Life Diabetes podcast on the road and spent a fabulous, BUT way too short amount of time in Scottsdale, Arizona. What better way to kickoff this epic adventure than attending a Beyond Type 1 meet up? I am thrilled to publish Podcast 60 with one of the Beyond Type 1 hostesses, Lauren Bongiorno; virtual Diabetic Health Coach, Entrepreneur, and Author of the Diabetic Health Journal. Continue reading

Podcast 59: There Are No Words For This T1D Trailblazer | Maria Rose Belding








                                    Kate T. Parker Photography/Special K

After a tip from my sister and a little friendly stalking, I scored a killer interview with CNN Heroes award recipient, Maria Rose Belding. Above and beyond her work providing food for people in need, she is surpassing her goals while juggling life with Type 1 diabetes. In this episode she shares her passion to serve others while not letting T1D slow her down. Continue reading

A Look Back at What I Learned and/or Overcame in 2018








It has been over a year since I last shared a post, but with two snow days I had plenty of time to reflect on what the past year has taught me. 2018 was full of new challenges, many of which were diabetes related. After 35+ years of living with T1D, you would think I’ve dealt with it all, but that is not the case. Below are a few highlights, lessons learned and things to ponder.

    • I became a Dexcom Warrior and had the privilege of trying the new G6 before it was released to the public.
    • I shared my T1D story, per the request of the Oklahoma Diabetes Legislative Caucus, to insurance providers in an effort to change future coverage for people living with the disease. It worked. Report to follow in a future post with my testimony.

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Podcast 58: Going For The Gold | Future Olympian, Kate Hall









Kate Hall, is like many of us in the diabetes community – unstoppable and she decided early on that Type 1 diabetes won’t keep her from pursuing her dreams. She is an inspiration to us all and does a phenomenal job sharing her story on the road to becoming a 2020 Olympian.

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Podcast 57: Hot Topic of the Times – The Price Of Insulin | Bram Sables-Smith









After a long hiatus, I’m back and doing my best to use new technology… I chose to kickoff this new wave of podcasts with a “hot topic“, insulin affordability and accessibility. The DOC (diabetes online community) has been harping on this for ages, but as the topic is now international news after a recent wave of “published” deaths due to insulin rationing, it was time to chat with the author of Insulin’s High Cost Leads To Lethal Rationing, Bram Sables-Smith.

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Podcast 56: The Race Is On | Carri Hicks, T1D Parent & OK State Senate Candidate









Oklahoma is thankful to have an upcoming state senate candidate who in not only a second generation educator, but the parent of a child recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In this episode we touch on her son’s diagnosis, insulin affordability & accessibility, and Carri’s day to day life on the campaign trail with three kids. Please note – this is not a political plug, but just an opportunity to have someone in her shoes share life with managing the real world and a child with Type 1 diabetes.

Happy listening everyone, and cheers to the highs and lows! Continue reading

Ryan’s Fondest Farewell And Cheers | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 55









It’s funny how the thing you set out to do ends up being done to you. We had one goal when launching Diabetes Daily Grind back in 2014–give real support for the diabetes life (it was once ‘diabetic life’, but we got with the times, thanks to Kelly McKeever). I had it all figured out, the whole living with diabetes thing. I’d write articles for the website about how to run marathons or how to go vegan, dispelling all this great wisdom to help others, and it would be a fun, creative outlet. Turns out, I didn’t even know what real support was, because I’d been missing it all along: community. Turns out I needed the real support. Continue reading

Podcast 54: Times Are A Changing (Advocacy & DDG Announcements) | Trish Winters, T1D Parent & Advocate








 


As promised, the Diabetes Daily Grind is happy to share what’s on the horizon for the blog and the Real Life Diabetes podcast while catching up with one of our favorite guests. Over a few glasses of wine, Amber has a heartfelt discussion with Trish, T1D parenting badass to two sons with T1D whose fighting the good fight on Capitol Hill as a diabetes advocate.  Continue reading

The 670G Sleep Solution | Mark Carter, Round III | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 53








For all of us, this was a new season. In the time away from each other (less than a year), Mark has moved back to Northwest Arkansas, started a new job with Medtronic, and committed to a diabetes life with the new 670G insulin pump. And, as expected, the conversation went off the rails from the anticipated agenda and into even realer subjects: sex, sleep, and chick-fil-a.
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Our Favorite Wellness Warrior Refreshes Resolutions | Tonya Cameron, RN | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 52








In life, we meet people who leave us feeling lighter and rejuvenated–Tonya’s one of those people. Every word she speaks is embodied in her own life. She’s curious and open-minded, a professional student in healthy living. As a nurse at Wellness and Longevity (an functional medicine clinic in Oklahoma City), she works with patients daily on optimizing their foundations for health. In her second episode (refresh with episode 10), we focus on the foundations of a vital life and how to reengage with meaningful resolutions. Diabetes can be a reflection of how we’re eating, moving, sleeping, and managing the mind. Tonya helps us get back to those basics, letting diabetes management reflect back out.

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A Path Out Of The Darker Places | Daniele Hargenrader, Diabetes Dominator | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 51








Enthusiasm and authenticity are contagious. In just an hour of speaking with Daniele, we caught the wave of passion toward bettering our own diabetes management. Her own transformation–a completely authentic one driven by her own T1D experience–gives her a platform to coach from the heart. She gets the pitfalls. She understands the road to success. She has a balanced approach based upon a Nutritional Science degree, Personal Training certification, and 1000 hours of psychology training.  A conversation centered on how to craft an optimal attitude toward new habits, this podcast serves as the perfect launch into 2018. And, as no surprise to anyone, moments of ridiculousness and laughter are plentiful.

Happy listening everyone!

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A Life Of Advocacy After Wearing Diabetes On-Stage | Miss America Nicole Johnson | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 50








An hour before her emcee duties at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Connect+Cure Gala in OKC, Nicole Johnson joined us and shared her perspectives since winning Miss America in 1999. From the surprising career trajectory afterward, to dating and diabetes scenarios, we embraced the whole journey. Per the usual flow of the show, many laughs were had, and we all got to know each other.  Continue reading

Who Are We Again, #3? (Honesty Shines Through) | Amber & Ryan | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 49








With such busy lives these days it has been almost two months since team DDG crafted time to catch up. As everyone in the diabetes community knows, we all need our T1D bestie time chatting about life with the disease SO… after a long day at work we penciled in this episode to review life, recap breaking diabetes news, and discuss listener questions. We talk allergies, food choices, fight or flight response, T2D compassion, defense mechanisms, T1D anxiety and an honest conversation about how our diabetes management is constantly changing.

If you’re one for free-flowing conversation, sit on back with a beverage of choice (if not driving) and enjoy.

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Honesty and the Power Of An Open Mind | Christina Crowder, Pediatric Dietician | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 48








Honesty and perspective–two traits people with diabetes cherish from those who give us advice about food. Christina has both. Having served with Ryan at Camp Blue Hawk on the medical staff, he was ready to pick her brain about her thoughts on paleo vs vegan, parenting pitfalls in diet, and how she found dietetics. The result? A conversation that stays open-minded and focuses on the big picture: steady blood sugars without compromise to long-term longevity. Oh, and as a show first, Amber arrived midway through the conversation by surprise. Continue reading

Sometimes, I Just Don’t Want To Be Anyone’s Hero








 

We’ve all heard it before: wow, how can you do that? You’re so strong. You’re so brave. You’re so courageous, ad nauseam. I have people staring at me while I take insulin injections, like curious little puppies trying to get the best view. We’re hailed as warriors, and that we should strut around like diabetes is a badge of courage on our arms. AND it IS difficult; it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Continue reading

Strive For Progress, Not Perfection | Scott Johnson, T1D and DOC Founder | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 47








 

Finally,  the most welcoming force in all of the Diabetes Online Community joined the show: Scott Johnson. If you’ve ever composed an article about diabetes, odds are, Scott has given you praise. As one of the founding members of the diabetes blogging world, Scott has watched the DOC bloom into a world that hosts 1000s of posts per year, and he couldn’t be more proud. He’s honest, approachable, and has done a lot of diabetes introspection over the years. Amber labeled him the “most huggable” person of the DOC. You’ll soon understand after listening. Continue reading

Approaching Diabetes Denial… From One Type Two Another | Belle and Pooche | Real Life Diabetes 46








You know what takes courage? Looking at your weaknesses, then sketching out a path forward to wellness. Led by her well-intentioned sister Pooche, Belle sat down to chat with Amber (a good friend) about her complicated relationship with type 2 diabetes. As a person with type 1 diabetes, it stands as a fresh look at life with type 2 diabetes, helping us all understand each other a little better. Continue reading

Diagnosis Day Was A Total Relief








When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, my first feeling was perhaps different than you might expect: relief.

The months leading up to my diagnosis were some of the worst of my life. I had been flying from Washington DC to the West Coast and back on a weekly basis, and I thought the constant red-eyes had finally gotten the best of me. I was battling fatigue, circulation issues, and weight loss, and I could barely get any sleep. I just felt awful. Continue reading

The Best Feeling in All of Diabetes








In regards to feels, diabetes provides an endless supply to the senses. We become numb to the finger-sticks, with an occasional 1 in 100 resulting in a real sting. To an extent, injections and pump site changes become familiar or at least expected. With respect to the most commonly asked questions of people with diabetes, here’s another addition to the list: does that still hurt? My response usually follows these lines: Well, no. It’s still the same pain I’ve always felt, but now I’m used to it. With most of our emphasis on our acclimation to these not-so-positive sensations, the single best feeling in the diabetes world remains unexplored and never taken for granted. Continue reading

A Path Toward Releasing The Number (Wait, Is This Possible?)








We’re an analytical bunch. Numbers flow through our brains alongside most thoughts. Numbers can dictate our emotional states–ever been feeling great, get a blood sugar, see it’s at 250, and then start to feel high? That blood sugar number courses through everything we do, everyone we meet, and everything we think. But, does it have to? Continue reading

“A Lot Of People Just Need A Hug” | Mark Carter, PWD Who Happens To Duck Hunt | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 45








One of our favorite podcast guests is back! Back in the fall, he joined us on Podcast 32 where he shared his love of Chick-Fil-A, coffee, Equal and Omnipod. We highly suggest a retrograde listen before hopping into this show.

During this go round, we catch up on life, hear about an epic insulin prescription journey, discuss what diabetes maturity means, and laugh hard.

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Bringing DIY To Our Daughter’s T1D (By Closing The Loop)








It’s a little bit after six in the morning, and I find myself, as I do most mornings, at work at Remington Park. The sun is just peeking over the horizon and the racetrack is beginning to come alive. Horses snort and buck on the mechanical walkers, grooms move to and fro saddling and bridling the ones headed to the track for training, farriers and jockey agents and veterinarians begin their morning rounds, while the trainers and assistants organize their days. I sit in my truck sipping coffee, having completed my early morning chores and preparing myself for another busy day. A quick glance at my Pebble watch brings a smile to my face, as I see the impossibly straight line and the reading of 113 mg/dL, which tells me that my daughter is sleeping peacefully in her bed as she has all night, and is safe. Continue reading

Sparking A Movement From Your Own Experience | Chris “Pick” Pickering, Co-Founder of TheBetesBros | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 44








We love realness. Much of type 1 diabetes marketing revolves around this idea of, “Hey, Nick Jonas is super cool and all people with type 1 can sing and dance!”. Don’t get us wrong, we love Nick Jonas and obviously he has struggles too. But, what about just a couple of normal bros who have diabetes, their journey, and how they’re changing diabetes lives in the real world? That’s the story we tell today, with Chris “Pick” Pickering from the TheBetesBros. (On Instagram or Twitter @TheBetesBros)

Whether it’s education in schools, one-on-one counseling, or challenges with athletes out in the community, Chris is taking his own experience and helping people feel what it’s like to have diabetes. We love that impact, and you’ll love his stories!

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The Power Of The Reveal (Finally Telling My GF I Had T1D)








I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6 and was told that I took it like a champ. I was not afraid of the injections or the frequent blood tests while I was hospitalized. When the doctors told me to look away I would usually tell them no, I’m not afraid. In fact, my only major problem was I missed being home with my family and toys.

At that age I was pretty open with the fact I had diabetes. I would often inject or test in front of family and friends and they would be in awe at my bravery. When I returned to school, my classmates and teachers were informed about my health issues and they all looked out for me. Anytime I the opportunity arose, I would show off my needles and other diabetes gear. Continue reading

How To Fuel Your Way Through A 24-Hour Swim Relay








My sister convinced me to sign up for a 24-hour relay swim to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Swimming I like, raising awareness for charity I enjoy, and a new challenge beckoned. Doing this 24-hours after flying back from a Boston marathon trip – this would be fun. Continue reading

A Love(ish) Letter To Diabetes








 
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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Life Lessons I’d Whisper To My Newly Diagnosed Self








 

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.  Continue reading

Creating Your Own Test Strip Company From Scratch | GoodGlucos Founder and PWD, Elliot Gatt | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 43








Imagine you’re at work. It’s 10AM. You search through your belongings for your meter, maybe you need to calibrate the CGM. But… you left the meter on your kitchen table. If you’re Elliot Gatt, you simply walk down the hallway and open up a new box of Good Glucos strips, a company he developed after years of frustration with test strip price gouging. Without insurance, they offer accurate strips at an affordable price while giving strips back to someone in need. Ever heard of anything like this? We hadn’t either, and that’s why we’re breaking down his journey, including his involvement in the Bike Beyond adventure across the US starting June 3rd. Continue reading

Q&A with Amy: Running the Boston Marathon in Range, the Whole Race!








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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Ask Us Anything #3 (Type 2 Clarification, Lows, Exercise, and Parenting) | Amber and Ryan | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 42








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. Continue reading

A Lifetime Of Wisdom In One Conference (9 Pearls from Dr. Ponder’s Sugar Surfing)








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). Continue reading

A Stroll Through My Life Of Low BG Reactions








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. Continue reading

Making It In NYC… As A Dancer… With T1D








I was born in Vancouver, BC and at 18 months old I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I consider myself lucky to have grown up in Canada where majority of medical supplies are covered and you don’t have to beg your insurance company on your hands and knees for equipment, like insulin pumps and CGMs. I think I’m even luckier to have parents who were not afraid of my diabetes and let me join numerous dance classes at a young age. I’ve always had a passion for dancing and performing and I knew that I wanted to make it my career as I got older. I also knew that NYC was the place with the most opportunity to make it happen and that is why I moved to the Big Apple. Continue reading

You Can’t Stop The Waves, But… You Can Learn To Surf | Stephen Ponder, MD, and Founder of Sugar Surfing | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 41








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. Continue reading

Searching For Embrace (Inspiration Will Eventually Show Up)








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.  Continue reading