It was just by chance our paths would cross at a T1D kiddo and parent support group. I rarely attend and Rebecca and her husband James were guests that evening. When we split off into another room, Rebecca shared her heartfelt story to the parents and there was not a dry eye in the room. For many of us who have lived with T1D for decades, sharing the impact this disease has on our state of mind can be difficult to recollect, much less share. Rebecca found the courage and is turning a life altering experience into a philanthropic dream.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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. Continue reading →
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!
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.
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
How does chronic disease inspire me? I love my life, regardless of the type 1 diabetes I’ve shared my life with for the last 46 years. Yet, there are a few things about type 1 diabetes that I do mind: Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
It started three weeks ago. I was sitting at my desk at work and was overcome with a feeling of dizziness, lightheadedness, and a terrible headache. I know what you’re thinking but no, it was not low blood sugar. My symptoms continued and progressed for the next few days. Continue reading →
It’s a stretch to say, as a person with diabetes, that I’ve always been on top of my health. The truth is that I struggle with diabetes burnout often, and I am not afraid to admit it.
In life, no one ever wants to admit that they are struggling or hitting a rough patch in their lives. No one wants to show weakness or sadness to their peers for the fear of being judged or looked down upon. THAT is the mindset that I have been battling since my diagnosis. Continue reading →
I’m fairly new to the diabetes community, in comparison to the number of years I have had diabetes and to how long I’ve known other people with diabetes. In numbers, I’ve had diabetes for 22 years, I’ve known other people with diabetes for six of those years, so I didn’t know anyone at all, other than myself, in my network of people for 70% of my life. Continue reading →
Recently I returned from a whirlwind trip to Washington DC, where I advocated for Type 1 Diabetes with folks from all over the U.S. Our primary mission was to garner support from our state’s (Oklahoma) senators and representatives for the renewal of the Special Diabetes Program, and to cover the JDRF stance on the ACA. I was blown away by many aspects of the trip, and would like to share with you my top 10 takeaways, in countdown form. Continue reading →
If you’ve followed the DDG since it’s inception, you know I’m not one for change, so when I finally took a leap of faith – it was much needed and WAY overdue. I’ve feared tapping into the T1D technology for a number or reasons, and want to come clean as to what led to this fear and my jaw-dropping, eye-opening discoveries once I took the leap.
At the age of 21, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes during my first semester of graduate school. I was a go-getter, an over-achiever, and on track to take the career world by storm. The months leading up to my diagnosis were painful, as my pancreas began to deteriorate, unbeknownst to me. Slowly, my energy levels depleted and I struggled to find an ounce of motivation to complete the simplest tasks. My body had been hijacked. Continue reading →
I penned this gory article because I can guarantee that we’ve all transformed into otherworldly creatures at some point in our diabetes lives. Many are embarrassed about the other faces our ‘invisible disease’ has. Why should we be ashamed? Let them roam free! Continue reading →
When seeking diabetes healthcare, it’s rare to find a person who delivers advice that he or she has felt. In speaking with Kim, you know she lives and breathes every word of her life lessons with a no fear philosophy. Ryan and Amber went to school. Continue reading →
In less than a week from our last podcast conversation with Clayton McCook, he managed to “close the loop”, by himself, with the help of many (including the NightScout Community). His focus is singular: restore as many childhood moments to his daughter’s life as possible, without diabetes hovering in the background. He walks us through the “closing the loop” steps and his bigger motivations. As a parent of a person with diabetes, if you’ve ever thought about tinkering with your gear to allow the CGM and pump talk, Clayton stands as proof that it’s possible to pull it off with determination, love, and a small desk somewhere. Continue reading →
As a person with Type 1 diabetes, I’ve been frustrated in years past with the lack of advancement for the treatment of this disease. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I decided to stop complaining and seek action. I asked myself the question – why aren’t things chaining and what can I do to help? I did a bit of research and with the help of my regular physician, I signed up to participate in diabetes related trials. I had no idea what I was in for, but knew it was something I had to do. Continue reading →
I spent an unnatural amount of time trying to start this post – wondering how I’d weave the tale of diabetes supplies lost and broken during my two-year stint in Ukraine. Looking back on a few instances, I could have done a number of things better or differently to improve an outcome or expedite solutions. However, I didn’t. In a previous post, I mentioned my “diabetes doesn’t control my life” mantra. I’m proud of my how I control my T1D, but I’m sure I’ve managed to terrify several medical professionals with my “put some duct tape on it” approach to T1D troubleshooting. I can’t help it! Continue reading →
You never know when you’ll run into someone who shares a similar life philosophy, but after a chance meeting in college, Mark Carter resurfaces on Okie soil. He’s real and doesn’t hold back about his love of Equal and Chik-Fil-A. In this episode, our longest one yet, he shares his journey of being an ambassador for people with diabetes who don’t have a voice. If you’re brave enough to listen to the whole thing, we hope you’ll leave with the thought – is diabetes a blessing or a curse?Continue reading →
I believe I’ve made it quite clear that I’m creature of habit, especially when it comes to my diabetes regimen. If I had to be brutally honest, I can’t fathom changing things because my numbers are good. At the same time, I look at my T1D peers and feel as if I’ve been left behind. What’s holding me back? This thought process led me to a recent decision to shake things up. Continue reading →
At the JDRF Summit last January in Oklahoma City, we struck up a conversation with the father of Lily, an adorable, youngster who lives with T1D. She had on this awesome-looking watch with her blood sugar. So did her Dad. We had to explore further. In this episode, Clayton shares his family’s philosophies on parenting and empowering the T1D life. While not a “techie guy”, he managed to discover and use Night Scout… while continuing to develop an artificial pancreas in his basement. There’s some wisdom in this one folks. Continue reading →
So I don’t have diabetes anymore, I think. Or at least for now I am on a diabetes vacation. After twenty two years living with type one diabetes, I am having somewhat of an identity crisis.
As people with diabetes, we are thinking constantly about our health. We are so in tune with how we feel throughout the day. From symptoms of high and low blood sugars, to fatigue, to nausea, to blurry vision, to cloudy thinking, we feel it all on most days of our lives. Continue reading →
In 2010, I joined 29 other folks to take part in Leadership Norman, a nine month training for business professionals. We met every other week and participated in a variety of sessions focused on community history, current community issues, leadership, and self-discovery. One of the sessions involved a physical, trust building experience of sorts – a ropes course. At this point, no one really knew I had Type 1 diabetes unless they happen to notice my tattoo, but this particular session brought attention to the disease. Continue reading →
In my opinion, having a good rapport with your endocrinologist is vital to living a fulfilled and happy life with diabetes. Over the past 33 years, I’ve had three, maybe four folks who guided me on my T1D journey. As a creature of habit, change is hard so when I was contacted by my current endocrinologist’s office and informed he was ill and no longer seeing patients, I braced myself. I was sad he was not doing well and a bit trepidatious about having to cultivate a new relationship from scratch. Continue reading →
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 →
What started as a mini pod quickly blossomed into a full blown podcast once Amber began diving into the nitty gritty as to how Tara Layman (T1D Exposed co-founder) scored a new pancreas and kidney. The question of the hour – Will two pancreases and three kidneys reverse her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis? Well, in this episode they chat openly about the pre surgery process, switching from insulin shots to a handful of pills, how important it is to have a support team and what the future holds for someone who no longer “technically” has Type 1 diabetes. Continue reading →
The DDG set out for their very FIRST diabetes camp adventure (despite only being 24 hours in duration, it still felt like an adventure). Really, with over 50 years of diabetes experience under their belts, what more was left to learn at camp? As Advisory Board Members for Camp Blue Hawk in Oklahoma City, Amber and Ryan went to school… well, summer school for a few more diabetes enlightenments.
Last week my favorite bartender overheard my conversation with a dear friend. We were laughing about how our bodies are changing since turning the big 4-0. The bar was packed with attractive men so when she announced, “Amber – there’s no way you’re 40!”, I almost fell from my bar stool. Instead of freaking out, I announced with pride that I turned 40 a few months back. The girl talk continued and I proclaimed how happy I am to still be alive. This declaration fueled my desire to begin a new series of posts – diabetes over the decades, yes decade(s). Continue reading →
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 →
Oftentimes, in the wake of shock from a surprising blood sugar, I have no answers for why the number isn’t where I desire it. Maybe I’ll spend 30 seconds playing detective, sifting for causes over the last few hours or days (or minutes). My detective work, on occasion, will yield an answer, like Oh yeah, I forgot to bolus for lunch today (somehow, yes, this still happens). But, for the most part, either from subconscious repression or the nature of the diabetes beast, no clear answer shows up. Just take insulin or eat a snack, then move on. Continue reading →
When I was ten years old, my doctor told my mom I would never have children. I didn’t hear these words; I was laying in a diabetic coma that lasted for 4 days. When I woke up, I woke up to a new life, a diagnosed life that included injections, meal planning, and glucometers. When my mom finally broke the news to me a few months later, the last thing on my mind was having kids someday.
Situations arise (and will continue), where I can’t troubleshoot a reason for being high. This is our life. I like to think of the body as your local philharmonic. When everyone shows up to play the show, you’ve got great harmony. When all of the violins forget to show up (consider this our pancreas deficiency), various other members of the orchestra (consider this cortisol, growth hormone, epinephrine) will come across a little louder, and distort the quality of the show (the random high blood sugar). For historical purposes, it’s important to point out those last few sentences will serve as the first and last philharmonic-related analogies on the website. Continue reading →
Over the time we’ve been dating, I’ve started to recognize when Liam gets low. He gets giggly and can’t speak and if he’s asleep, he doesn’t wake up. It’s becoming easier to catch the lows and they’re easy to deal with if we have sugar that is easily accessible. Liam always carries dextrose tablets with him so finding fast acting sugar is never a challenge. One of the scariest lows I’ve had to deal with was during our first year’s round of final exams. Continue reading →
Novo Nordisk was kind enough to invite me to join them in cheering on T1D and Indy race car driver, Charlie Kimball in the Phoenix Grand Prix. Upon receiving my itinerary, it was clear to be a whirlwind of a weekend. After three full days of lively, diabetes themed discussions, I prepared to head home. For 48+ hours, I had been fueled by adrenaline, insulin and red wine. My diabetes game plan going into the weekend – adjust Lantus injection to the different time zone, do my best to pursue healthy food options and have fun no matter what the circumstances. Continue reading →
The DDG team is honored to be advisory board members for OU Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Camp Blue Hawk, a 5-day residential camp for children with type 1 diabetes that focuses on improving camper’s quality of life. In this podcast we chatted with high school student, twin, cello/bass playing and volleyball champion, Paul and his mother. He shares his honest reflection on what camp was like with stories of clean latrines, good food and forgetting he had diabetes. Continue reading →
A recent series of events has me looking at life a bit differently. Nothing dramatic, but when considering a few big decisions I began to weigh the options. Fear crept in and so did a need for uncharted territories. As I’m still pondering my final decision, it made me think – there are two types of people on this earth in which I’ve broken into different categories:
Balls Out – The person who doesn’t think twice or look back before jumping off a cliff.
Fear Factor – The person who must calculate a few things = test the water, nearest exit point, wind speed and BG level before even considering the jump.
This discovery forced me to dive into my psyche to determine which category I fell in to. Continue reading →
As a freshman in high school, if someone had asked me what type 1 diabetes was about two months ago, I would have been clueless. I kind of knew about Type 2 and I might’ve had a sense that there was a second type of diabetes, but… that was about it.
A few weeks before my diagnosis, I hadn’t been feeling like myself and was thirsty all of the time. My mom and I decided that should it persist throughout the next week or so, I would go to the doctor. On Thursday morning I felt fine, except for this new usual thirstiness. About mid-morning my stomach started hurting a little. It wasn’t that bad, so I figured it was just something I ate. I had biology class right before lunch, and we were doing a lab on yeast fermentation. While my teacher was explaining part of the procedure, I started feeling dizzy. It got worse and worse, and by the time I realized something was actually wrong, I couldn’t really do anything. Out.Continue reading →