Diabetes Is Forced To Take A Back Seat During The Chaos Of A Death

Locked Out

I had been mentally preparing myself for a memorial service for the spouse of a woman I absolutely adore. The dreaded day arrives and my goal prior to attending the service included a brisk walk and meditation before jumping in the shower. Everything was going according to plan until I returned home to find I was locked out of the house! I had 1 hour and 32 minutes before picking up an honorary guest of the widow!

Think Amber! My heart started to pound and panic set in.   Continue reading

Finding My Way Off Low Island (It’s Not Fun, You’d Want To Leave Too)

Low Island - Type 1 Diabetes Management

At any moment, we have the chance to join the current – that magnetic force of connectedness to something. Trying to describe the exact feeling it tough. I’m coming up short, but perhaps the force stems, simply, from mindfulness. In the moments where we feel that easy flow—whether it is on a hike by ourselves, during a night out with friends, or in conversation with the pharmacist—things just flow naturally out of awareness.

When in the current, I feel most like myself. This is not a continual existence, even with perfect blood sugar. More rare than constant, but something I look to join when the opportunity presents. Continue reading

How To Discover Hope In A High A1C (Without Taking It So Personal)

Alright, I’m holding myself to our mission–real support for the diabetes life. Really, why is it so hard to share an a1c that isn’t up to snuff? Maybe it was the branding of the number 7 on our being upon diagnosis, or years of anxious waiting in the doctor’s office for an a1c that doesn’t out our crafted out of thin-air glucose log, but more likely in my case (and I suspect for many others), it’s an admission that after 17 years I still have work to do. It’s vulnerability.

So, it came back at 7.9 last week.The mantra–judge yourself by your effort not the results–has underscored 2016 for me. That said, the number wasn’t all that surprising. The holidays did their holiday thing (or I allowed the holidays to do their holiday thing). For the last few months of 2015, I went CGMless due to losing the battery charger (which I located a month ago and have been wearing the CGM since). School was a roller coaster ride. At the end of the day (with a pile of excuses), my effort over the past 3 months didn’t reflect an a1c under 7. Continue reading

The Ultimate Reality Check That Inspired My 180° Transformation

A 180 Out Of A Diabetes Hospital Visit

Nearly 15 years ago in September, my 10 year-old brain and body was forced to comprehend an absurd and sudden diagnosis that has subsequently shaped my life as an adult. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) in my eyes then, was something I had never heard of, and surely I’d end up blind like my aunt, taking several shots a day for the rest of my life.

Looking back now at the initial diagnosis, T1D has ultimately shaped my goals and dreams. Although, I will say it took me a time or six to get that through my head, especially during college, and to stop putting my diabetes on the back burner, ignoring the fact I had to deal with this disease on a daily basis. That was the toughest issue I’ve had to face and overcome with T1D to date. Ignoring my diabetes and trying to live the life all of my friends were living during college did nothing but land me in the hospital on several occasions and leave me with hospital bills to pay at 22 years old. Continue reading

Why I Choose To Celebrate My Dia-Versary 32 Years Later

Candles2

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

Finding My Flow Through One Trigonometry Function

graph_sin_pi

“Just remember – life is like a sine graph”, my mother always touted, long before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (at the “adult” age of 18). Growing up with a dad who was a math professor ensured that I knew from a very early age what the sine function was. It goes up, and then down. And then back up. She always said it to make me feel better – after losing a tennis match, getting a lousy grade on an exam or fighting with my high school boyfriend. “Head up Maria – remember – life is like a sine graph.” Continue reading

What Journaling Forced Me To Realize About Lows

Journaling and Type 1 Diabetes

IT’S 9:45PM, fine, closer to 11PM (friends will point out that 11 is still an early bedtime, but I don’t care because I love mornings more than everything, including Netflix) and I start jotting down thoughts. Whatever comes up. Sometimes insightful, sometimes forgettable, but nonetheless I enjoy the ritual.

Periodically, an entry will start off with, “Man, today was pretty smooth until…”, “Things ended up turning out alright today after…”, or “What would today have been like if…” Each of those sentences usually end in one of the varying manifestations of a low blood sugar: strange conversations, funky moods, bad workouts, or disrupted flows. When a low BG introduces turbulence to my day, it receives deference in the writing. Why? Probably because low blood sugars tend to trigger strong emotions–hypos aren’t known for producing stable mood states. Continue reading

5 Strategies To Survive New Holiday Traditions With Strangers

Thanksgiving Dinner Guest

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.

  • What if I can’t eat what they’re serving?

Continue reading

7 Foolproof Ways Diabetes Can Takeover Your Thanksgiving

7 Surefire Ways To Ruin A Thanksgiving With Diabetes

This is not an advice column. It is the opposite. If you, like the DiabetesDailyGrind, want to make the most of your Thanksgiving with friends and family, avoid the following seven diabetes-related behaviors:

1)  Be the high school hero during the annual family football game.

After scoring every touchdown, making every tackle, and breaking your niece’s collarbone, your family will most likely say “See you next year” and you’ll be low.

2) Join spirited conversations over the Middle East or Donald Trump.

3) Flip a family member the bird, storm out of the house, and peel out of the driveway, after losing a third game of Uno in a row.  Two hours later, your blood sugar has spiked because of the stressful exit.

Continue reading

A Day of Firsts – Celebrating World Diabetes Day with Nascar & Champagne

Champagne Toast

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

Introducing Diabetes While Getting Introduced: Doing Our Disease Justice While Dating

Introducing Diabetes While You Get Introduced

This is a different subject matter than the aforementioned methods, with it probably standing on loftier moral ground. Brittany got the dating ball rolling earlier in the week, and lately I’ve been pondering this very concept as I traverse the first few weeks of getting to know someone I really like, while not really knowing how much they’re into me, knowing that I’m into them, guessing she’s kinda into me because we definitely wouldn’t be spending this much time together if not, but all the while just ‘playing it cool’. As unnecessarily complex as that last sentence sounds, the diabetes intro is simpler… or it should be. Continue reading

Stop Those Low Thoughts From Becoming Real Thoughts

Dangerous Low Blood Sugar Thoughts

The low mind is a desperate mind: consumed by negativity much like myself after a Dallas Cowboys’ loss and uncompromising like an addict. In such a state, our mind can be taken by our deepest fears. If uncertainty finds itself anywhere near you life, you’ll find out when you’re low. A little worried about your job performance lately? You’re getting fired. Got a test in the morning? Bombing it. Things been off with your girlfriend lately? She’s cheating on you.

It’s one thing to have those thoughts; it’s another to carry them back into your presence as a sane, otherwise normal person, at a normal blood sugar. But this does happen. All the time. Think about it like a dream where your boss walks in and lets you go from a job you love. You wake up, go to work, and it takes until lunch to really trust your boss again. It takes awhile for the root of the thought to be dug out. Continue reading

5 Tips To Survive Having Blood Drawn

blood drawn

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

Stopped In My Tracks By Back To Back Low BGs

GREER INEZ-8374

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.

BG 38

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

My Strangest Low Blood Sugar Tale Of All Time

My Strangest Low Blood Sugar Tale Of All Time

Ever had one of those frozen taquitos? Okay, so you’ve been to college. Ever had one of those frozen taquitos, without thawing it? Alright, you might have been low. Do you remember it? Then you weren’t that low.

Given my level of consciousness teetered between an anesthesia-like blackout and that first 10 minutes of falling asleep, we are relying mostly on the story-telling accuracy of my father to describe some of the events; needed that established.

The story’s genesis involves the the high cost of test strips (Sorry, every chance I get to hammer them for this fact is seized). Even back in 2001, the era of this story, test strips were, as they always are, at a premium. If you had ample supply, you hoarded those things like Harry Potter fans collect sticks that happen to look like wands. My family enjoyed a few extra boxes due to the recent Pfizer inhaled insulin study we’d joined when I was 10, the year prior. Continue reading

The Realization I Wouldn’t Make The Cut When It Comes To Survival Of The Fittest

 

Hurricane

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

The Story Of How We Built Our Strongest Character Trait

The Top Diabetes Strength

 

We devote much attention to the downside of situations in our life first, even when the positives are notably greater. This is no secret.

How often do you sit around and ponder your strengths driven by diabetes? Me, I’ll give it some thought; going as far to mention it in a job interview, scholarship essay, or speech. Do I think about it daily? Not usually, with the bulk of my thinking consumed with highs, lows, and the in-between.

Today I argue that our strongest character trait, something we have to acknowledge, has developed naturally, over many years, over many days, over the smallest of moments–that being professionalism. Continue reading

Recapping The T1D “Back To School” Mindset & Coping Mechanisms

Back To School

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.

  • Girl Scout CampI 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???)

Continue reading

The Single Understanding To Stay Sane With Diabetes

The One Understanding To Stay Sane With Diabetes

You know that place–the simple longing for normalcy after a long bout with high and low blood sugars. All you want is to feel like yourself again; balanced, centered, in control. In the midst of the roller coaster ride, it’s difficult to remember that you will eventually make it back. You always do.

Before making it back to that normal zone of self-awareness, we’re different–not ourselves but not entirely not ourselves. I think that was a triple negative but you get the point, ultimately the one understanding to sane with diabetes: Continue reading

My Recent Apology After An Epic High BG Blow-Up

I'm Sorry

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.

Continue reading

Happy Diagnosis Day! – Liam’s One Year Anniversary

Liam

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!

Continue reading

Breaking Down My Own Barrier Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

The Barrier Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

 

(Note: This was written prior to the CrossFit/Coke/Diabetes dialogue, but given the context we have decided to run the article now. My take on the before mentioned incident is found at the bottom.)

 

Today, I’m calling us out. Alright, I’ll spare you. I’ll exclusively call myself out—with an analysis of my intentions and perspective. Time to dismount off my high horse. Time to drop my defenses. Time to stop making sure everyone knows that my diabetes is type 1 diabetes.

 

 

There was an incident that brought about this specific reckoning; that’s not to say it was in your typical enlightenment fashion. Summer beckoned us to the beach for beers and a bonfire. This kind of party is a bit of an institution here on Maui: every Sunday, lots of people, much hacky sack, recreational drugs, optional clothing, drums, and fire of all varieties. It was my first experience at such a party—sensory overload no doubt—and I crowded around the growing group of local drummers and fire dancers.

 

Continue reading

Battle To The Death – My Death That Is…

Battle To The Death

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!

Round 1

Continue reading

A Journey Back To Playing Shows After Open Heart Surgery | Mike Hosty | Real Life Diabetes Podcast #6

Real Life Diabetes 6: Mike Hosty

This man has a story to tell and we jumped right into it. Mike Hosty is a musician by trade, playing 2-3 shows a week across the Southwest. His weekly Sunday institution at The Deli has entertained a couple of decades of students, leading to more than a few skipped Monday morning classes. We brought him on the podcast to hear about his health journey.

With a family history of a bicuspid heart valve where there should be a tricuspid aortic valve, Mike found out four years ago that he was at risk for some major complications–a cardiologist at a show he was playing diagnosed him with an echocardiogram right before a show. After an open-heart surgery resulting in a new cadaver valve, Mike has traveled the tough road back to playing gigs and being an active Dad. For anyone on the chronic disease path littered with adversity, Mike has plenty of words of wisdom to apply to the journey.

Kick back. Enjoy the show. Try to laugh.
Continue reading

Reluctantly Riding The BG Roller Coaster

Rollercoaster

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

Navigating Parenting Fears, College Lessons Learned, And The Power Of Friends | The Fightmasters | Real Life Diabetes Podcast #5

Real Life Diabetes Podcast #5 - The Fightmasters On Diabetic Parenting

It’s one thing to be the person receiving a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. It’s yours. It’s pretty straight forward for you. Take shots, count carbs, and survive. To be on the other side of the glass, as the parents, is another challenge in itself. Parenting can set the foundation for a successful life of type 1 diabetes management. The Fightmasters have an endless collection of diabetes experience, including crazy low blood sugars, insulin mix-ups, little league sports, and sending a kid to college. Their perspective is one of autonomy, flexibility, forgiveness, and empowerment. We joked, debated, and even came close to shedding a tear, although it was right in the middle of Oklahoma’s allergy season. Continue reading

Keeping Nothing To Yourself — Diabetes Management

Keeping Nothing To Yourself -- DBlogWeek

When Amber and I started up the DDG, our goal was to be real in a way that inspired folks to live their best lives. Be open and honest, keeping nothing to ourselves. We felt compelled to do it. We definitely thought we were doing it for others. That mission’s held true, partly, but only by our own ability to open and release. So, when today’s prompt for the 6th Annual DBlog Week asked what I kept to myself in regards to diabetes, my first thought was “I don’t keep anything to myself”. Then, as the soul often does, it allowed a few things surface.

By starting up a website–sharing lessons learned and Instagramming everything–it’s led me to an understanding of what my life with missing before. I didn’t openly share about the daily grind. Sure, I told friends and family that I needed some carbs. Sure, I never shied away from testing in front of them. Sure, I apologized for saying something I didn’t mean because I was high. Combined, when painting a picture of what each day is like, those moments were inadequate. Standing alone, those moments failed to do justice to the weight we bear. Continue reading

Getting The Med School Lecture On Diabetes… On My Birthday

Birthday and Diabetes

Today is my birthday. I will eat cake–perhaps even some coconut milk ice cream. Special occasions deserve special levels of insulin.

Today, in the first year medical school curriculum, also marks the Introduction To Type 1 Diabetes lecture. Quite the comical coincidence.

On the day of my birth, I get to hear about the chronic disease I know most intimately. The disease that permeates my thoughts by the minute. I know about insulin. I’ve read the convoluted hypotheses on the cause, linked with autoimmunity. I can recognize the signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. I definitely know how to treat them. I’ve felt the link between epinephrine and cortisol, causing that random high blood sugar. If there were one lecture this year, that I probably won’t have to look at again, it’s this one–a real savings in time! That is a cool gift, but there’s more to it. Continue reading

The High Handbook: Rule #1

Today, I introduce a handbook. This is by no means an official guide, just a few realizations found through experience. Being high–when said like this in mixed company, expect perplexed looks and possibly explain our meaning of the “high” word–is an emotional and physical battleground. Confusion, anger, disappointment, and fatigue top my list of expected symptoms.

In a world with a pancreas who cares, we wouldn’t have to worry about being high. Since we don’t know anything about that, I figure it’s a good idea to have a handbook–a guide that presents a plan for how to react next time you’re high. Without a plan, we react on those emotions mentioned earlier. This handbook helps us respond. With that said, let’s get to Rule #1. Continue reading

Watching A Tornado Boost My Blood Sugar

What A Tornado Does To Blood Sugar

I was reasonably calm–eating dinner in the garage inside my car, the dish wasn’t getting a signal in the storm–trying to figure out if a tornado could drop close to my house. As I tune in, I hear what I’m conditioned to hear, “This is crazy. Stuff is flying everywhere. You won’t believe this, another tornado is on the ground in Moore.”

That’s where I grew up. We’ve been through May 3rd, May 20th, and countless other “get in the shelter” moments. I currently live about 20 miles north of Moore in Oklahoma City, a place that missed the twisters last night. Moore was not so lucky, again. Voodoo. Yet, as a family member of mine put it, “I wasn’t freaking out this time. I knew it was only an F1, so we were calm. The fence is down and I think we lost a few shingles but I’m heading to bunko.” Continue reading

Diabetic Retinopathy Is Officially On The Radar

Eye Exam

Since my diagnosis date 31 years ago, I’ve had this little dark cloud that follows me.  Most days I forget it’s there or meditate to leave it behind, but it recently returned.  In a recent post, Does Diabetes Limit Your Career Path, I mention a message we received from a lovely woman suffering from diabetic retinopathy (DR).  Her message really hit home.

Three days after writing Does Diabetes Limit Your Career Path, Ryan and I had our eyes tested by Dr. Jacob T. Smith, of Classic Vision.  We had a lengthy discussion and reviewed a few images of DR and other diabetes related complications found in the eye.  Post discussion, I jump in the hot seat and images were taken of both of my eyes.  Ryan grabbed his camera to film Dr. Smith’s comments, which started with something like, “Would you like me to sugar coat the situation?

Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Yes, I Talk To Myself. I Know, I’m Working On It.

Self-Talk and Diabetes

Since joining the DOC (diabetes online community), I am continually impressed by the uplifting encouragement dished out daily. Really though, it’s amazing. It usually goes a little something like this:

Person 1 on Twitter: “I seriously hate being high! I’m so sick and tired of my pump clogging. It’s all my fault for not changing the site! #theworldisending”

Person 2 responding to Person 1 on Twitter: “It’s not your fault! Things just happen. Remember, this will pass and your sugar will be good in no time! #keepyourheadup”
Continue reading

How Meditation Transforms Your Diabetes Management

Meditation and Diabetes Management

 

 

Diabetes does not leave. It’s the last person at the party, but that person happens to stay forever. It’s always there. The way we live our life often reflects directly onto how we manage our diabetes. The whole body is connected and our blood sugar is a huge indicator of its health. Meditation is in vogue. I read online daily about how someone has changed their life with meditation. It’s powerful. And yeah, it has effects on the diabetes life too.

Here’s a look at the four things I’ve witnessed since jumping on the bandwagon:

1) You now have the power to pause.

Space enters between an event and our reaction. Instead of immediately jacking 5 units of insulin into my body after a surprise 300 sugar, I can assess where I would like my blood sugar to be in two hours. It helps take my reactions from immediate to long-term gratification.

Tip: Valuable read about this pausing, and the accessing of infinite potentiality by Deepak Chopra: The Seven Spirtual Laws of Success

2) Trends become your friends and the body becomes your ally.

When you’re mindful of your brain’s activity and can consciously watch your thoughts, sensing your blood sugar’s direction becomes intuitive. When I start to go low or even trend downward, I feel my mind switch into fear and anxiety mode. I can sense that better than any physical sign. Yet, if I have 17 different things on my mind and am running around like chicken with its head cut off, I lose the blood sugar intuitive sense.

 

Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Does Diabetes Limit Your Career Path?

Artist Painting

The DDG received a heartfelt message from a woman who has dominated diabetes for 60+ years.   I wept while listening because SO much of her message hit home.  She described her passion for art and successful career as an artist while battling diabetic retinopathy.  Feeling defeated by a recent trip to the eye doctor, she couldn’t enjoy a single moment of her exhibition.  Diabetes had robbed her of happiness and replaced it with a dark cloud.  Could she still be an artist if/when she lost her eyesight?

I rarely talk about it, but I was fortunate to receive vocational rehabilitation to assist me with my tuition, books, etc.  Even though I was thankful for the help, I was limited as to what I could study and art was on that list.   Continue reading

Final Hours Of Normal Life – DIAGNOSIS DAY

Ist

The date was January 28th, 1984 and I was on my to way to Dr. Abbott’s office because my mom was worried. I’d lost 8 lbs. and word on the street, I went from being an obedient, sweet child to a total nightmare. I demanded eating and freaked out if I was denied food or drinks. I have NO recollection of this part of my life. My 600+ blood sugar confirmed my doctor’s worst fear, I had Type 1 diabetes. Dr. Abbott cried as she explained what this meant. My only response was, “You mean no more Snickers?” My mom was given two choices:

  1. Rush me to Children’s Hospital.
  2. Dr. Abbott was going to call an ambulance.

There was no time waste – I was coma bound. Continue reading

Never Trust a Low Thought

Never Trust A Low Thought

Lunch is over. You just scarfed down your kale, blueberry, chia seed, sprouted black bean, and quinoa salad. Yay you. After leaving the break room, feeling quite proud of your lunch choice in comparison to your coworkers’ chicken fingers, you take some insulin. This does happen to be your first time packing and eating this meal, after breaking the chicken finger habit, yesterday.

Anyway, emails popping up in the corner of your computer monitor catch your attention. You answer a few. Feeling good. Then, you begin to feel overwhelmed. Here come the thoughts sneaking into your consciousness:  “How can I possibly answer all of these emails? Why don’t these people take care of their own $hit? I hate this job. I’m not very good at this. I’m going to get fired. It’s over.” Continue reading

My Diabetes Manifesto

When I Got Diagnosed With Diabetes

My bruised right hand has an IV port continuously putting something called insulin in my body. This is first time in weeks where I haven’t had to take a leak. A nurse just told me that I will be pricking myself and taking shots for the rest of my life – pretty sweet news as a nine year old. My parents look completely distraught, drained by the question, “Is this our fault?” Some diabetes educator hands me a book on how to have courage and count carbohydrates. That’s a cool word but I have no idea what it means. Now my endocrinologist reenters the room asking an important question, “Ryan, now it’s time to test your blood sugar. Would you like to prick yourself or would you like your parents to do it for you?” I look up into the caring, worried eyes of my parents. I gaze down at my hands. I make eye contact with my physician and say, “Give me the damn needle.” Continue reading

7 Thoughts To Let Go Of Before 2015

Introspective

1) It’s all my fault.

This can be the default response to any result caused by diabetes. At the end of the day, we’re the only ones in control. We can control our reactions but we can’t always control the circumstances.

2) No one understands what I go through.

Everyone has problems. It’s fine to be upset, angry, and frustrated. It’s never okay to pretend like no one else understands a struggle. People can help us, just give them a chance. Continue reading

Five Books That Shaped My 2014

the-alchemist-quotes-deep-wise-sayings-universe

I like to think that books allow another mind into my own. Life’s about growth. To me, books can be that stimulus. These are not books written about the diabetic journey. These are books about life. From my experience, diabetes goes as my life goes.

2014 was a year to remember, with these five books serving as my guide:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I walked away asking myself one question: “Will I do everything in my power to chase my dreams? Do I have what it takes?” Through the eyes of a young shepherd looking for his treasure, it encourages you to join the journey.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

This was a gut check. Steven Pressfield identifies Resistance as enemy number one–the force pushing us to settle. A must read for anyone doing anything. Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Is Your “Real Range” Putting You At Risk For Complications?

Diabetes Complications

So, this is touchy. Just thinking about an A1C test can make your pulse go up. It defines us. Should it? There’s an argument for both sides–but at the end of the day–yeah, it goes a long way towards determining future complications. In speaking with my CDE (certified diabetes educator), we broached the likelihood of complications topic. This was my question, “What’s the A1C number where complications (foot, kidneys, eyes) are unlikely?” She responded by saying 7 or below.

Alright, according to this calculator, we need to be averaging a sugar of 153 to make it happen.

It seems straight-forward. Keep your sugar below 153 and life is good. Here’s where it gets dicey.

We all have a number–a number where we feel our best. Energized. Competent. Compassionate. That’s the real number. That’s the number that stands alone outside of our targets. This number has been sculpted from years of diabetes education, lessons learned, scars, and regret. For me, I feel like I can save the world at 140. Below it, I wouldn’t say that I feel low, but I would say that feel anxiety. Above it, I feel alright until about 180. Continue reading

Surrender To Your Spiritual Side

mind body spirit image

After an incredibly busy couple of weeks, I chose to take a “mental health” day.  As I delved into numerous articles and posts I had been hoarding in hopes of one day reading, I finally chipped away at the stack.  My first article was published in October by the AARP focusing on Type 2 diabetes.  Shortly after reading it, I phoned my mother and reached out to Ryan and a fellow DDG writer.  The article touched on how important, yet how rarely your mental state and spirituality (vital for a healthy lifestyle) are talked about.  So in a time of holiday craziness, this post is short and sweet because I feel the message is clear and a good one to start your Monday. Continue reading

3 Ways To Be Mindful With Diabetes, TODAY

Mindfulness and Type 1 Diabetes

Anointed by the Huffington Post, mindfulness is the 2014 word of the year. As we enter the final month, in honor of the word, I thought I’d apply the idea to diabetes management. In short, mindfulness is knowing what you’re doing and thinking and why you’re doing and thinking it. Today, we can be mindful in these three ways:

1) When checking blood sugar, only check your blood sugar.

Don’t combine this activity with the barrage of life as we know it: conversation, social media, talking on the phone, etc. Why? Being attentive while making management choices gives empowerment and the opportunity to learn. After demolishing everything in the cupboard, it’s important to know how you got to this place. This is hard but a game changer.
Continue reading

Lantus Monopoly – Jab in the Pancreas

Lantus Monopoly I’ll do my best not to curse throughout this post as my mother recently mentioned I could use more appropriate language.  I am incredibly thankful for my medical insurance and for the first time had to call in my prescription for Lantus, an insulin I HAVE to take every single day.  In fact, my alarm goes off at 6:11am every morning to remind me to inject this precious drug.  I would not be alive without Lantus.  Here is where shit hits the fan.

  • 10 days ago I called in my prescription for Lantus
    • 2 hours later I receive a text – prescription is available to pick up and cost $150. I question this amount because Novolog costs $100.
  • Next Day – I have an argument with the pharmacy because they’re out of test strips AND insurance wouldn’t cover them.
    • Test strips = $298+
    • Please note my recent post, Halloween Highs & Lows, about having to test every 45 minutes during my high blood sugar scare.
  • Fast Forward 1 Week (10:08am)– Contact pharmacy again about Lantus. Continue reading

If You Do These 4 Things While Dating, Please Stop

Diabetes Do Nots

How does this whole diabetes thing play out when we date people? Do we address it early? Do we conceal it for several months? It can be complicated. It certainly weighs heavily on the minds of many an insulin-dependendent. Hopefully the next four tips will shed some light on the diabetes dating scenario.

1) On a first date or encounter, avoid the cliche “I should probably tell you something” line.

You don’t have kids (well maybe you do) or a sexually transmitted disease (well… yeah, my apologies if you do). Don’t make a big deal out of it. Let it come up naturally–like when your CGM wakes them up at 3AM. Continue reading

This Is When Diabetes Gets Weird

The Weird Diabetes

Periodically, I’ll ask Amber about a recent observation about my own T1D life, “When X happens, do you feel like X?” She promptly shoots me a quizzical glance and responds, “You always say things like this to me and I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced that specifically.” If you’re not following me yet, be patient, this is where diabetes gets weird.

Our bodies are complicated. The king of this complexity is the nervous system–especially the sensory feedback. Being a T1D presents unique insights into the nervous system. These insights are everywhere.If you listen carefully, you find your language. Your language is different than mine. It’s full of clues. What drives the language? Blood glucose levels. Continue reading

Eye Opening Moment Of Clarity

rainbow in australia

So I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve been doing quite a bit of spiritual homework for the past couple of years. I often talk about this journey with Ryan and my close friends – but today I announce to the world a milestone – my Sacred Wound. In previous posts I mention my new found ability to talk about diabetes and today I had a moment of clarity – Diabetes has been my Sacred Wound and I’m ready to release it.

This journey began in early 2013 when I realized (was informed) my soul energy was at about 30% on a good day.
I immediately started to beat myself up because this is my fault and how in the hell am I going to increase my energy…..   I started reading. I did a ton of research and won’t bore you with the audio books, mediations and practices, but the journey continues to bring new things to light. A book I started about two months ago, “Calling In The One” by Katherine Woodward Thomas is my newest read. I HATE the title, but have thoroughly enjoyed the concept and homework.  The homework for Lesson #12 is what brought me to write this post. Continue reading