Diagnosis Day Was A Total Relief

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

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

The Best Feeling in All of Diabetes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Love(ish) Letter To Diabetes

 
Dear Diabetes,
Lets get something straight – I don’t like you one bit. I wouldn’t wish you on my worst enemy, and my heart breaks every time I hear of a newly diagnosed kid. Most days I really wish you’d just disappear, but it’s been 28 years now… you don’t seem to be going anywhere, and frankly hating you is getting boring.
Since you like to change things up on me ALL THE FREAKING TIME, I thought I’d shake it up a bit and tell you why I love(ish) you. I bet you didn’t see this coming.

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Life Lessons I’d Whisper To My Newly Diagnosed Self

 

Rolling into the second half of my 34th year of living with Type 1 diabetes, I can’t help but reflect on what has led me to my current state of T1D affairs. It wasn’t until meeting fellow Diabetes Daily Grind co-founder, Ryan, that I began talking about my life with the disease. This journey has brought on an incredible number of “ah-ha” moments, recognition of suppressed anger and “moving on” milestones.  Continue reading

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

It’s great connecting with past podcast guests (see episode 19). I got word that Amy McKinnon was traveling the world again, motivating me to get in touch. Amy was kind enough to give us insight into her recent completion of the Boston Marathon (no small feat).

Q: What adjustments in your game plan did you make for this marathon, compared to past races?

A: Leading up to Boston I had a couple of injuries that took me off my feet completely for a few months, so I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my fitness level prior to a race. Because of this, my pace would be a lot slower, so I changed my race plan completely. I decided to focus on keeping my BGLs in range the entire race while enjoying the atmosphere of the crowds and running the prestigious Boston Marathon. I went into the marathon with a very light-hearted approach, compared to my usual competitive self.

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

Finally, the long-promised, definitely under-delivered Ask Us Anything podcast is back. The questions rolled in from Oregon, LA, NYC, and a suspected location below the Mason-Dixon line. Of note, we looked back at those practices we loved from our parents… and those we would advise against, kindly. As it turns out, low blood sugar symptoms change over time, and we covered our own evolution. Par for the course in most episodes, we politely disagreed about the distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Continue reading

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

Sugar surfing is taking over. The CGM is a tool. Every good tool needs a user’s guide. Sugar Surfing (a great read by Dr. Stephen Ponder) is the user guide. If you’re not already familiar with Dr. Ponder’s story, listen to our podcast with him recorded right before the conference hosted by our friends at Diabetes Solutions in OKC (another former podcast guest Kim Boaz-Wilson). Continue reading

A Stroll Through My Life Of Low BG Reactions

Over the past three years of binge reading other PWD’s posts and interviewing people who live with diabetes, the common theme has been our ability to recognize low BGs changes over time. In my adolescent years, my nose would feel numb and I would get shaky. At that point in my life I was checking my BG every once in awhile so my body took the reigns and made sure I knew something wasn’t right. It was all about trial and error – I feel woozy and am shaking so I would down a packet of honey or four and start to feel better. Continue reading

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

Listening to someone give advice, you can usually tell the level of authenticity behind the statements. When chatting with Dr. Stephen Ponder, there’s no question about authenticity–this sugar surfing wisdom is a part of his being. Growing up with type 1 diabetes (for 50 years), becoming a CDE (certified diabetes educator) and then a pediatric endocrinologist, passion fuels a life committed to inspiring people with diabetes to live a normal, possibly extraordinary life. Continue reading

Searching For Embrace (Inspiration Will Eventually Show Up)

Living with diabetes is far from easy–checking BGs multiple times a day, giving yourself insulin injections, and changing pump sites every three days (at least you’re supposed to…). I was diagnosed with T1D at the age of two. Luckily, I was raised by wonderful parents who taught me very early on to be independent, giving my first injection at the age of four and learning the carb vs. insulin ratios at six.  Continue reading

Truths Found Inside Diabetes Burnout

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

Does Diabetes Phantom Pain Really Exist?

I’m completely aware I sound crazy, but I’ve experienced a new diabetes scenario since jumping on board with the Dexcom G5. I want to be clear as I stated in a recent post, Losing My T1D Technology Virginity, the insertion of the device did not/does not hurt so this recent discovery had me questioning how my mind is processing a foreign object/device being attached to me… Continue reading

Freedom Found In Sharing (And Lightening) The Burden

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

Questions We Ask When We Know A Different Life: Thriving In Peace Corps, Part 5

Michael Bliss wrote a book called The Discovery of Insulin in the early eighties – I read it just before I left for Ukraine. It was terrifying and heartbreaking to learn the stories of T1Ds before insulin, and it was fascinating and enraging to learn about diabetes research, past and present. I have always wondered about the world, and knowing Peace Corps’ medical rules, I wondered about how T1Ds in Ukraine and elsewhere lived. Continue reading

Returning To Pediatric Endocrinology As A Medical Student (My Refresh On Diabetes 101)

With crossed fingers and pump tubing, I hoped for a one week placement on Endocrinology during our six week Pediatrics rotation. All that crossed tubing paid off–granting a chance to be around my people for a week. During a four year education, opportunities for type 1 diabetes exposure are slim, surprisingly.

It felt good to be back in the peds endo office after a 10 year hiatus, although a tad disorienting. Lies about logbooks were absent (all numbers are now downloaded straight from the meter), parents know even more than they used to (thanks to Dexcom share and all those other meter apps), and 504 plans are a mainstay (my plan used to involve proving to my high school teachers that I was low with my meter and stumbling to the vending machine). Continue reading

Just One Pancreas Hijacking Away From A Better Life

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

Owning Our Inner Monster, Vampire, or Other Creature

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

The Balancing Act (Is It Ever Okay To Sacrifice Control?)

Type 1 diabetes is one of the few diseases that needs to be micromanaged on a daily basis, 24 hours, 7 days a week. There is no holiday, time away, or opportunity to hand over control to someone else for a while.

When you have a personality like mine, this means becoming almost obsessed with the daily management tasks of living with type 1 diabetes. This has many benefits, no doubt: great control, predictable BGLs, and a HbA1c below 6%. Continue reading

Diabetes In The City (What Manhattan Taught Me)

The Magical Effects of Walking – for the past two years, my husband and I have been living in an apartment on the Hudson River in Midtown Manhattan. During those years, I’ve walked to and from my office (about 25 minutes each way) almost every day, rain or shine! I cannot say strongly enough how much this helps with my daily diabetes management. Of course, I still exercise, but I think my calming, refreshing walks each morning and night benefit my mind, soul, and diabetic body equally as much as my full hour of intense cardio! Continue reading

Riding The Wave Of A 150 Carb Breakfast

It’s Saturday. I look around my kitchen like, “How many nutrients can I pack into one meal?” The kitchen counter holds the answer: fruit. A meal based on the classics: oranges, apples, and bananas. The excitement mounts… but simultaneously, the anxiety builds–how can I balance that many carbs? Instead of running in fear from the carb-load, I decide to embrace it, count it, and ride the wave of a high-carb, plant-based diabetes meal. Continue reading

My Relentless Search For Happiness In A Late Diagnosis

I have Type 1 Diabetes. Ugh, that still doesn’t sound like something that should be coming out of my mouth. I am young (ish), I am healthy (ish), and why the *&$# do I have T1D?!?!

I was diagnosed at 32 years old after I had my second son. I was told that it was gestational and would go away (blah blah blah…) Well, here came the shock of a lifetime: it did not go away. So, here I am, 33 years old, with a pump and a Dexcom attached to me at all times. Talk about a major bummer, but the bigger question remains: now what? Continue reading

Own Your Diabetes Journey | Kim Boaz-Wilson, CDE and PWD | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 38

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

Third Annual New Years Show (Gleaning Wisdom From The Pricks) | Amber and Ryan | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 37

Just getting back to our DDG roots: reflecting on 2016, making fun of each other, and catching up. Continue reading

Our Escape From The 2017 Diabetes “Naughty” List

As many of us do as the holidays approach, we reflect on what we were forced to learn, or turned a blind eye to. I’m not just focusing on everyday stuff, but on my diabetes management or lack there of. I ask myself – Did I diligently count carbs? Did I do my best to stay on top of my numbers? Was I honest at the doctor’s office? At the end of the day it doesn’t matter, the past is behind me and it’s time to focus on the future and how I can hopefully stay off of Santa’s diabetes naughty list for next year. Continue reading

What I Found In My First Day Of Food Tracking

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Sparked by our conversation with Robby Barbaro on the last podcast, I tallied each bite of food entering my esophagus, for an entire day. This was a new experience. I do not actively count carbs, but go by feel alone. Inherently, some people are thinking, “WHAT?!?! How can you possibly do this and have type 1 diabetes?” Yet, some people are thinking, “Makes sense to me.” Regardless, Robby lit a spark and I embarked on a one-day journey to reexamine lifelong habits. Continue reading

The Winter Survival Guide (How To Thrive In The Cold and Cheer)

Diabetes Winter Time

‘Tis the season to begin all things with ’tis the season. Colder temperatures inspire big lifestyle changes. Our diet shifts, time in the sun drops, and daily movement declines. We tend to think of these change as burdens on our healthy lifestyles (and diabetes management), but really, it’s all natural. We’re supposed to slow down, go inside, and be by a fire. Continue reading

My Hard-Knock Healthcare Wisdom (Tips on How to Navigate the Exchange)

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It was about this time last year when I wrote, Battle To The Death.. My Death That Is, about the countless hours/days/weeks I spent dealing with insurance companies. I want to start by saying that I’m incredibly grateful to finally have medical insurance as someone who has been self-employed most of my adult life, but this recent round(s) of phone calls has me questioning a few things. Continue reading

Disrupting Diet Philosophy And Reversing Chronic Disease | Robby Barbaro (Mindful Diabetic Robby) | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 34

Real Life Diabetes Podcast

Riding 800 carbs of fruit to steady glucose control? Huh? Robby Barbaro (a person with type 1 diabetes) joins the podcast from Santa Monica to bust paradigms by introducing the high-carb, low-fat philosophy to revolutionize type 2… and type 1 diabetes management. Currently, Robby is a plant-based diabetes coach: hosting retreats, 1-on-1 coaching sessions, and blogging from MindfulDiabetic.com. If you, like us, have always been curious about the mysteries of insulin resistance, this is the avenue to enlightenment. We laughed, we learned, and we left inspired to push the boundaries of our perceived diabetes knowledge. He walks the walk and talks the talk.

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The Perfect Thanksgiving (A Diabetes Saga From Dawn Till Dusk)

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It’s fall, and it’s glorious: foliage, football, and family. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Don’t feel like rationalizing my choice, it just is. Some say Halloween marks the start of the holiday odyssey–a sentiment I respect–but now we flip the switch. Summer’s in the rearview, winter’s on the doorstep, and diabetes is ready to reap the harvest of holiday decisions…. unless we turn the tables. What if Thanksgiving went to plan? Continue reading

I Delivered My Baby… And Then Diabetes Arrived

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I had a vision in my head of how it was going to be when I brought my beautiful baby girl home. I would be wheeled out of the warm and fuzzy maternity ward with Lily in my arms and balloons on my chair. My husband would be waiting with the car. I would be all consumed in my happiness and joy, oblivious to anyone and everything else.

Diabetes got in the way. Continue reading

Life As A #WalkingScienceProject In Hope Of Helping Others

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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 take action. I asked myself the question – why aren’t things changing and what can I do to help? I did a bit of research and with the help of my regular physician, I was added to a list of diabetes related trials. I had no idea what I was in for, but knew it was something I had to do. Continue reading

Knocking It Out In One Shot – Happy World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day

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.

D-Dating, Honesty Is The Best Policy And Here’s Why

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Whether you view dating as an enticing, fun experience or there’s nothing more you’d rather run and hide from, diabetes may be one extra thing to consider (and it’s important that you do)! As a young adult who has lived with type one her whole life, albeit minus 4 years, there are many questions I ask myself when it comes to dating:

  • When/How do I tell them about my diabetes?
  • What if there’s an emergency and they don’t know I have diabetes?

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It’s Time To Right The Ship (Starting With One Simple Thing)

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We all aim for that flat, consistent beam of blood sugars shooting straight across the horizon, right? Well, my mine are that shooting star, then the shooting star rising back from the dead, then to fall out of the sky again… before lunch. I’m in one of those strange spirals, where the true etiology remains unknown, but more than likely a combination of my daily choices and changes in circumstances underlies the imbalance. Continue reading

The Power Of Having A Diabetes Community

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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

How I Thrived as a T1D Peace Corps Volunteer (Pt. 4): For a Good Time, Call a Pharmacist

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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

How To Live Every Day With Adventure | Mark Carter, T1D | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 32

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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

Tiptoeing Onto The Tightrope -The Balancing Act of Changing Insulin

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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

The Million Dollar Election Question: Will I Be Paying A Million Dollars To Stay Alive?

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I have to speak up after the second presidential debate on the issue of the healthcare reform.
I feel the need to stand against someone like Trump. I need to talk about healthcare reform and the miracle that has given me the gift of life, because of the policy put into place by President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and all of the government that made it possible for me to have health insurance and healthcare in this country.

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A Non-Techie Father Finds NightScout | Clayton McCook on T1D Parenting Empowerment | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 31

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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.
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Post-Transplant Thought: Who Am I Without Diabetes?

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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

How Yoga Liberated My Lows, Through The Word “No”

How To Talk About Being Low

I’ve read a lot about the word “no” this year. It all started with Shonda Rhyme’s Year of Yes in which she actually wrote an entire chapter about saying no. She explained how learning to say no fortified her yeses. She says, “No is a complete sentence. I’ve heard that cliché over and over. So I decided to treat no in the same way I treat saying thank you. Say no and then don’t say anything else.”

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The Power Of The Pause (And Its Ability To Save Others From The Low Or High You)

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I used to think it was untouchable–beyond reach. Out of my control and me at its will. But, as time often allows, things soften. A small sliver of space has opened; the space to be me inside of a low or high blood sugar.

A conversation sparked last weekend at the JDRF One Walk in Oklahoma City, surrounding just this concept. I was catching up with an old friend (who also has T1D) and we discussed the subtle impacts that diabetes has on a day, by changing the course of a single moment; his feeling that blood sugars alter the flow of conversations. Citing specifically how it impacts his engagement in meetings, and I chimed in with how it sometimes impacts empathy with patients. And, in an accumulation of altered moments, he mentioned a friend of his had recently attributed a divorce to type 1. It’s there, the invisible (sometimes visible to others) blood sugar force. Continue reading