It is always a pleasure to connect with fellow diabetes advocates, Rev Run and Justine Simmons. They radiate positive energy and had me laughing with their ability to call each out when it comes to healthy lifestyle choices. There is no doubt, their passion to rewrite their family history with Type 2 diabetes is contagious and the Simmons kids are teaching them a thing or two.
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.
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.
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 →
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 →
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.
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. Continue reading →
We’re SO excited to participate in our first World Diabetes Day. With so much DOC love, wonderful causes and organizations, we created a short video to show our support. We hope you enjoy this impromptu video – Diabetes Daily Grind style. Cheers to the highs and lows everyone.
Happy National Diabetes Awareness Month! What better topic to write about than the impact the diabetes online community (#DOC) has had on my life. In previous posts, it was made clear time and time again how I did not fully appreciate the value of this random group of souls until I tapped in – I mean jumped into everyone’s lives. It was SO weird to be welcomed with open arms from folks I’d never met. 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 →
Amber and Ryan sweet talked past guest, fellow T1D, and long-time diabetes camp enthusiast, Kelly McKeever, into joining a summer edition of the show. Kelly’s had 13+ years at camp and shares what keeps him coming back, now in a medical personnel role. In this episode they catch up on life with diabetes, cutting edge developments in diabetes tech, the camp life experience, what we learned about ourselves, and the value of having “a diabetes community in person”. 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.
The DDG culinary partners in crime came together, but this time, we didn’t have a recipe or theme for that matter. The only plan of action – clean out the fridge. We’re rule breakers or makers so there’s no right or wrong way to whip things together to create a KILLER brunch. Below is a recap of how we made it happen.
Step 1: Clean out your fridge – that means EVERYTHING. We gathered fruit, various cheeses, carrots, onions, garlic (lots of it), tomatillos, tomatoes, shallots, squash and shrooms. Continue reading →
Can you believe it’s (only) been two years since we aimed to inspire the best diabetes life? We’re just getting started! We have oodles of creative content coming and could use your help to kick it out. If you’re in a place to throw a little change our way to keep the lights on, click HERE. Or… just like us on Facebook and invite a few friends. Or… just bookmark this link and click it before you shop on Amazon.
Much love to everyone. Cheers to the highs and lows.
The DDG invested a weekend afternoon to dispel a diabetes urban legend… HOT TUBS, and their effect on blood sugar. In this episode, they do scientific research, or something resembling the scientific method, while rambling about everyday life, social media and all things diabetes. Why hasn’t there been an experiment like this before? Well, maybe there has been, but the evidence was nowhere to be found. Leave it to the DDG to get to the bottom of this T1D fear. Bear witness folks, this is diabetes research history. Continue reading →
Ryan trying to figure out how that whole lancet changing thing works.
I just returned home from the largest diabetes gathering I’ve attended to date, the Friends For Life conference. I had no idea what to expect and felt overwhelmed at times because I was surrounded by SO many PWDs. I laughed and cried during my interactions with folks who understand the path I’m on. While in such great company, I gathered data (sipping wine and sharing stories) on commonalities and lifestyle hacks to make life with T1D easier. I’ll share a few of them in a future post – BUT there was one thing that was very clear – NO ONE changes their lancet. Why is this? Are we stubborn, lazy or just gluttons for punishment? Well, I’ve developed a plan I hope you will participate in… Continue reading →
For the first time in DDG history – we’re taking a quick break from content. Before you start cursing us and wonder what you’re going to read this week, please note = Ryan started his first day/third year of medical school (YAY Ryan) and Amber is attending the Friends For Life conference in Orlando, Florida. We can’t wait to share future posts as to what’s going down in the diabetes advocacy world. We’ve linked a few sites to check out as a sneak peak into what’s down the pipe line.
Here are a few stellar folks, sites and organizations you need to check out:
Annually, I attend a Symposium filled with brilliant people who share a common theme of wanting the best for Oklahoma. A few days before setting off for this intellectual journey, they presented the question I would discuss with fellow panelists – Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear: Disruptions that are Fast Approaching. My initial thought – what in the hell am I going to speak about? 48 hours before presenting it dawned on me – PRE-DIABETES. I recalled a report presented at the Novo Nordisk Summit, forecasting staggering numbers of folks with pre-diabetes. I started my speech with – Look around, one in three of you sitting in this room has pre-diabetes…
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 →
It’s time for Round 2. We’re hosting our second happy hour, this time centered around parents and adults with type 1 diabetes. One might ask, why would we choose those two populations? Well, there’s wisdom to be gained from each other. For the parent of a kid with diabetes, the adult with the same disease can provide perspective (the DDG will not guarantee the quality of this perspective but suspect it will be a positive experience). For the adult with diabetes, hmmm… perhaps we will be enlightened as to how it felt to once be our own parents. Continue reading →
The Winters family strive to live in the now, while grinding with two children with type 1 diabetes under the age of 7. They were the perfect guests as they’re honest and open about the daily diabetes struggles; highlighting the daily battles force-feeding when low or having to pull out the Glucagon pen. If a black light were involved, their home might resemble a CSI crime scene, but they choose to use laughter as their number one form of medicine. We chat low BG manipulation, misdiagnosis, trusting your gut, donut Fridays, rolling with the punches and doing everything in your power to provide a “normal” life with two boys living with diabetes. This isn’t your parenting “how to guide”, it’s real life and they’re learning along the way. 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?
The DiabetesDailyGrind.com wants to share an hour of good times with fellow people with diabetes, their loved ones and parents of T1D children. We won’t be sharing research or promises of a cure, just celebrating together as we all live the real life.
This inaugural event will also celebrate DDG co-founder, Amber’s 32nd Diaversary!!!! Continue reading →
A Little History About How We Met… Liam and I met during our first year at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada as we lived in the same residence building and were part of a pretty tight knit group of friends. The very first time I spoke to Liam was during our frosh week. He was about to run a bouncy castle obstacle course race and I was behind him in the lineup. He jumped into the obstacle course and had been gone for a couple minutes. Our crew began to question why he was gone so long because the obstacle was only supposed to last about 30 seconds. Just then, Liam walked around from the back of the obstacle course (the end of the course was actually at the front) and looked very disoriented and upset. His upper lip was incredibly swollen and cut up and he was complaining of neck pain. He had jumped out of the back of the bouncy castle and landed face first onto the ground.
An Introduction To Diabetes: The next morning in the cafeteria, the first words I EVER said to Liam were “merry Christmas fat lip” because his lip was still swollen from face planting the night before and was wearing a red and green outfit. He was embarrassed, but loved the silliness of my comment and we became very close after that. From the beginning, I had no idea Liam had diabetes. He hid his pump under his shirt and never tested his blood or changed his pump sites around me. Diabetes never held him back from being athletic and energetic so I never suspected this young crazy teenage boy actually had an autoimmune disease.
A couple weeks into university I asked Liam what he was allergic to, after noticing he was wearing a medic alert bracelet. He laughed and said he was allergic to sugar, or a type 1 diabetic. I wasn’t really sure what this meant. I only knew one other PWD, my aunt who was recently diagnosed. I didn’t know Liam all that well at that point and wasn’t comfortable asking him tons of questions about diabetes. I was nervous, didn’t want to sound dumb, worried I would embarrass or upset him. I never thought any less of Liam or that he was fragile or weak because of diabetes. It didn’t change my view on him whatsoever. He was still silly, loud and had an endless amount of energy so I didn’t think diabetes could be that serious of an illness. His explanation was so brief and nonchalant, which helped to show me that it wasn’t something that would stop him from living properly in any way. Discovering Liam has T1D encouraged me to learn more about diabetes and how I could help him. I did most of my learning through asking questions and he was very open about it.
This is something I believe no type 1 should be afraid to do. Asking questions and being open to answering questions spreads knowledge and curbs incorrect and therefore annoying assumptions about type 1.
PWDs are constantly juggling the lows and highs of this disease. As Amber and Ryan look back at posts from DDG’s past – low BG was a common theme. We hope you enjoy our top three Low BG posts for 2015 as much we did writing them.
I’m NOT a parent and after my behavior today, it might be a good thing. My sister and nephew are in town and I made a point to have quality one-on-one time with Greg (a.k.a Grandpa Henry). GP Henry is four and 100% boy – fearless, somewhat stubborn and off the charts a cutie pie. We like to sing songs, eat vitamin C organic lollipops and solve the world’s problems. CLICK HERE to read more.
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 →
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 →
Game days are a huge part of the Oklahoma culture and one game in particular brings out the crazy in all of us, the RED RIVER RIVALRY. Die hard fans from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas meet in the middle – Big D, where everything is bigger – including corn dogs and hangovers. The DDG has made this epic journey a few times and in spite of not going this year, we’re willing to highlight the madness through diabetes eyes.
At the age of 13, did an event define your career path? For Kelly, it happened. A PWD–the importance of using this term instead of a diabetic was discussed, too–he now counsels patients with diabetes on a daily basis as part of a diabetes clinic. His real perspective for patients is invaluable. He relates to the ineffectiveness of the 15–wait–15 rule. He understands what it’s like to do something you regret when low or high. He’s been in that spot, where no matter how much insulin you dial up, your blood just won’t come down. He can empathize.
We discussed how he became a diabetes health professional, his top advice, his approach to patients, the importance of the diabetes online community, and the story behind how he received his diabetes diagnosis, from a football coach. Kelly joined the DDG team over in Amber’s living room, on a sweltering Oklahoma summer day. Continue reading →
It’s been one of those weeks at the DDG in regards to blood sugar, with particularly persistent high blood sugars. A much enjoyed pastime of many with diabetes is the arduous, often pointless hunt for the high blood sugar cause. In our desperate search, we have determined it could be any of the following, not in order of likelihood: the full moon, stress at work, a new supplement, scar tissue, lack of exercise, hot weather, or menstruation (only applies to one DDG cofounder).
We also figured out, while on the phone yesterday, that it was indeed the official 1 year anniversary of launching DiabetesDailyGrind. Wild. What a year.
Now as a one year old website, with two members who still deal with the occasional round of unexplained high blood sugars, this is the perfect moment to remind ourselves, of our philosophy: the grind. Continue reading →
As a member of the diabetes online community, it’s a privilege to connect and offer real diabetes management strategies with a selfless, courageous group of people. In honor of our own one year anniversary, we’d like to recognize those member websites or blogs that have inspired us to grow in our own diabetes journey with their own diabetes tips.
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)
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.
We admire and respect what Trae Carson and Jonathan Stapleton are crafting over at 405 Brewing, Norman’s first microbrewery. As people with diabetes, we were curious about the brewing process, the carbs, and, well, the taste of their Spring Stout. On all fronts, they did not disappoint. We talked about why carbs aren’t on the outside of most beer bottles. They helped Ryan unravel the mysterious effects of different beers on his blood sugar. We dug up carbohydrate counts on Guinness, Bud Light, IPAs, stouts, and lagers. We even got into the science behind alcohol’s interaction with the liver and how it causes the eventual plummeting of blood sugar. For all of those folks who love good weather and a drink to go with that occasion, this podcast was for you. Enjoy.
Our field of contenders is complete. Thank you to everyone who submitted their life-saving food or drink choices. In regards to many of the snacks, I can recall specific instances where I consumed that food when low. With that said, speaking from personal experience, I have written a review of the low blood sugar snack contenders.
It’s time for us to crown a champion of low blood sugar recovery. You get two votes. Pick two snacks off the list, yes, they must be on the list, and submit those two snacks in the comments section below. The DDG team will tally the votes and declare a champion at the beginning of next week. Voting will last one week.
They’re cheap and easy. Not usually an attractive description, but here, it’s perfect. Coming in at a smooth, versatile 27 carbs, this fruit gives your blood sugar a bang for its buck, with staying power due to the fiber. Continue reading →
The DDG team is looking to crown a champion of our own, one to rival the NCAA tourney’s champion found in March Madness. Today, that tournament begins. It’s time to declare the field of contenders, a group fighting for a distinguished honor.
World’s Greatest Low Blood Sugar Recovery Snack
Why is the DDG looking to anoint a titleholder? Because we care about this. Amber eats fruit strips. Ryan loves cereal. Whole foods vs processed foods. Juice vs candy. We deserve a champion.
We need contenders. We need your go-to low blood sugar snacks. Who knows, you might even be low as you read this. If you’re not low, pretend that you’re low. What do you grab out of the fridge? Cabinet? At the gas station? What do you crave? Please don’t induce a low blood sugar in this process.
Okay, now you’re ready. In the comment section below, submit your two top snacks. The DDG team will compile this list into a bracket and release the first round of voting next Monday.
Amber and Ryan got together, just to catch up on the diabetic life. The diabetes world is booming with news. Inhaled insulin is on the diabetic radar again, with Afrezza now on the market. New research revealed how diabetes leads to an increased risk of depression. They were not surprised. Mindfulness plays a role here, and they discussed its benefits. They shared their opinions. Coconut oil has them obsessed. Along with those topics, they rambled as only those with diabetes can, regarding just about everything that affects blood sugar, which is well, everything. Continue reading →
On the second episode of the Real Life Diabetes Podcast, John Brandenburg joins the DDG Founders Ryan and Amber. His honesty, commitment, and outlook on life and type 2 diabetes was beyond refreshing. Imagine watching your father pass away from diabetes complications, your mother succumb to Alzheimer’s disease with diabetes, and then be given the same diagnosis in your 40s. Talk about terrifying. He felt the fear but then found empowerment. On no insulin, no medications, owning a near perfect A1c, and living out his best life, John outlines a path for how to catalyze your best life as we look back on his journey.
Enjoy everyone. All of the resources and links mentioned during the podcast can be found below in our notes. Be on the lookout for an Imperial Stout from 405 Brewing Co. in Norman, OK, their first beer coming soon in 2015! Much love to the Trey Carson and Jonathan Stapleton for letting us record in their brewery. Continue reading →
As a T1D who loves to travel, I was recently reminded how diabetes is a part of every waking moment of my life before heading South for my birthday extravaganza. Most folks just throw clothes in a bag, grab some cash and hit the road. That is NOT the case for a diabetic. I’m a planner so the diabetes related thoughts start flooding my consciousness about a week or so prior to leaving.
Prepare your self for your newest addiction – the Diabetes Daily Grind theme song written by Mike Hosty who is known for his chart topper, “Oklahoma Breakdown”, the Number One Song on the Texas Music Charts for April 2007 and for the entire year! He was kind enough to write a song for us that wraps up our inspiration for starting the DDG. We hope you enjoy.
A little history – I met Michael Hosty over twenty years ago when I was working at a local music studio. It was the summer of 1994 and I was an awkward teenager and he was a hairy guy who played in a band I wasn’t old enough to see live. We became friends as I forced him to read stories from Chicken Soup For the Soul. We shed tears that summer over sappy stories and have been friends ever since.
I recently approached him about writing a song for me about diabetes and he didn’t think twice. In addition to the being a famous song writer, he’s a local legend and often travels the states playing with Mike Byars in the Hosty Duo.
We hope you enjoy the song – I am willing to bet you’ll find yourself singing it in the shower, in your car or in your head during the day.
The DDG was recently out and about at a September institution: The Oklahoma State Fair. Amber took in the sights during a weekend afternoon and Ryan reveled in the Friday night lights. What we saw, well, isn’t all that surprising I suppose–all things fried, parents spanking in public, and 14 year olds smoking cigarettes. All that being said, only judgment through diabetic eyes was passed. Here’s our list of the most disturbing observations from the fair:
#1 – Deep Fried Gummy Bears
Do you really need to deep fry something that is already so unhealthy? What joy does a deep friend gummy bear bring to someone? Wouldn’t they taste better normally? Please explain.
#2 – Corn Dog Stands
While making an hour long lap around the fair grounds, I counted 18 corn dog stands. Do we really need that many options for battered, fried meat on a stick?
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We recently came across an article by Healthline.com that had us both laughing and crying. CLICK HERE to read the article. It is so nice to know that others get it and can join us in laughing about the daily struggles of living with this disease.
We are particularly fond of the following:
#2 – You have an entire drawer, dresser or , or closet devoted to diabetes supplies.
#7 – Your fingers appear to speall something in braille.
#10 – You should test your blood sugar six times a day, but insurance only approved you for one strip a week.
#17 – You find used test strips in your refrigerator, but don’t know how they got there.
#29 – To lick or to wipe? That is the question. (I never knew that licking was an option until I met Ryan – who knew?).
Anyone associated with diabetes knows what a test strip looks like because they are everywhere and seem to pop up in every nook and cranny. The DDG documented a few recent sitings and would like to challenge others to participate by sharing their photos. If you locate one of your own pieces of blood-spattered plastic in an unorthodox location, share it with us! Post your photo to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook using the #stripsearch. The award for Most Outstanding #stripsearch location will be announced next Monday. Start the search!
I’ve been pool side or in the ocean for a good part of the summer. Life is good. Last weekend, I was hanging with my women’s group (think book club with no books) in one of their pools and after four hours of sun bathing, fruit and cocktails, we moved to the hot tub. As most PWDs know, the hot tub is a taboo area in our world. I love the bubbly hot water and can’t help myself. While relaxing the muscles in somewhat steamy water, I happened to notice my wrinkly digits. They’re never pretty, but my tips seemed to be more frightening than the others. Upon close inspection, we realized my calloused fingers were not from working in the yard or weight lifting…. it was a war zone of finger pricks!
Viacyte, a San Diego based regenerative health/drug company, set off ripples of hope and relief in the diabetes community. We’ve been dreaming of drinking coffee without blood sugar spikes, running an hour without being low for the next hour, and not having to smother my pump’s low battery alarm during meetings.
Here’s a quick review of the announcement—Viacyte is moving forward with an application, to the FDA, to initiate Phase I/II clinical trials in Type 1 diabetes patients. They’re testing safety and efficacy of an implantable device that secretes insulin through enclosed stem cells, turned to pancreatic beta cells, effectively removing the need for diabetics to take insulin. Found on Viacyte’s website, here’s their grandiose take on the product’s possibilities:
“In short, ViaCyte’s VC-01 combination product has the potential to transform the way diabetes care is managed. The product could be a virtual cure for type 1 diabetes and an important new therapy for insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes.”
The DDG has officially embarked on our first road trip. We set out for Emerald Isle, North Carolina somewhat early last Sunday. Ryan’s car was packed to the rooftop with Amber’s ridiculous luggage (ample amount of clothing and shoes for any social situation) and Ryan’s athletic crap (bike, camping gear, etc.) The one thing that both DDG’ers combined their efforts on included groceries, LOTS of groceries. We packed fresh fruit & veggies, nuts, trail mix, blue corn chips, salsa, hummus, some weird vegan stuff , cashew butter, good beer and red wine. North Carolina here we come!!! Continue reading →