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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
‘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 →
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 →
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.
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 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.
As a person with Type 1 diabetes, I’ve been frustrated in years past with the lack of advancement for the treatment of this disease. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I decided to stop complaining and seek action. I asked myself the question – why aren’t things chaining and what can I do to help? I did a bit of research and with the help of my regular physician, I signed up to participate in diabetes related trials. I had no idea what I was in for, but knew it was something I had to do. Continue reading →
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.
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?
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 →
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 →
I spent an unnatural amount of time trying to start this post – wondering how I’d weave the tale of diabetes supplies lost and broken during my two-year stint in Ukraine. Looking back on a few instances, I could have done a number of things better or differently to improve an outcome or expedite solutions. However, I didn’t. In a previous post, I mentioned my “diabetes doesn’t control my life” mantra. I’m proud of my how I control my T1D, but I’m sure I’ve managed to terrify several medical professionals with my “put some duct tape on it” approach to T1D troubleshooting. I can’t help it! Continue reading →
You never know when you’ll run into someone who shares a similar life philosophy, but after a chance meeting in college, Mark Carter resurfaces on Okie soil. He’s real and doesn’t hold back about his love of Equal and Chik-Fil-A. In this episode, our longest one yet, he shares his journey of being an ambassador for people with diabetes who don’t have a voice. If you’re brave enough to listen to the whole thing, we hope you’ll leave with the thought – is diabetes a blessing or a curse?Continue reading →
I believe I’ve made it quite clear that I’m creature of habit, especially when it comes to my diabetes regimen. If I had to be brutally honest, I can’t fathom changing things because my numbers are good. At the same time, I look at my T1D peers and feel as if I’ve been left behind. What’s holding me back? This thought process led me to a recent decision to shake things up. Continue reading →
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.
At the JDRF Summit last January in Oklahoma City, we struck up a conversation with the father of Lily, an adorable, youngster who lives with T1D. She had on this awesome-looking watch with her blood sugar. So did her Dad. We had to explore further. In this episode, Clayton shares his family’s philosophies on parenting and empowering the T1D life. While not a “techie guy”, he managed to discover and use Night Scout… while continuing to develop an artificial pancreas in his basement. There’s some wisdom in this one folks. Continue reading →
So I don’t have diabetes anymore, I think. Or at least for now I am on a diabetes vacation. After twenty two years living with type one diabetes, I am having somewhat of an identity crisis.
As people with diabetes, we are thinking constantly about our health. We are so in tune with how we feel throughout the day. From symptoms of high and low blood sugars, to fatigue, to nausea, to blurry vision, to cloudy thinking, we feel it all on most days of our lives. Continue reading →
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.”
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 →
When I received my invitation to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, it included a primer on life in Ukraine, with general information on history, geography, transportation, culture and a small section on food. It should come as no surprise to other PWD, but I have a sometimes wonderful and sometimes dangerous relationship with food. The information shared they’re heavy on meat and vegetables, with seasonal access to produce, and the majority of grocery shopping is done in open air bazaars and small shops. This was helpful, but didn’t minimize my anxiety when it came to carbohydrate counting or questions about glucose tab availability. Continue reading →
In my opinion, having a good rapport with your endocrinologist is vital to living a fulfilled and happy life with diabetes. Over the past 33 years, I’ve had three, maybe four folks who guided me on my T1D journey. As a creature of habit, change is hard so when I was contacted by my current endocrinologist’s office and informed he was ill and no longer seeing patients, I braced myself. I was sad he was not doing well and a bit trepidatious about having to cultivate a new relationship from scratch. Continue reading →
Imagine putting your child with type one diabetes (T1D) to bed with less fear of a dangerously low blood sugar. If you have T1D, imagine doing a triathlon or a belly dancing class your friend keeps bugging you about with confidence your blood sugar will remain stable along with your energy levels. The process I used to achieve near normal blood sugar took some time, commitment, experimentation, and sacrifice. All people with T1D have unique physiologies and my experience may not extrapolate to anyone else. However, the process I used is inexpensive and has no side effects, but the benefits could be priceless. Continue reading →
Welcome to the dog days… and the unofficial closing summer ceremony, with Labor Day less than a week away. In this window of time, I usually remember that baseball exists still. To the baseball purist, my following of the sport is somewhat reprehensible, as most of my interest peaks in October (after neglecting the first 5 months of the season). We sit roughly 1 month out from the beginning of playoff baseball, meaning this is where I start to tune-in. Continue reading →
Remember doing those paint-by-number sheets when you were a kid? It seemed magical when a confusing canvas of intersecting lines and random numbers transformed into a circus elephant or something equally amazing. I remember the joy I experienced when I produced my first masterpiece and the new found love I had for being an “artist.” Continue reading →
Flashback to my diagnosis date which centered on the doom and gloom of my new life with Type 1 diabetes. I recall a lofty list of what I “should or should not” do in order to live a healthy life without complications. I listened and followed the rules for the most part, but rotating my injection sites didn’t seem to stick. It was just easier to give my injections in my thighs because I was usually sitting on the toilet. No brainer, right? Continue reading →
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 →
I arrived in Ukraine with my life packed into two suitcases (one of which was half filled with medical supplies). My first stop as a Peace Corps trainee was an old sanitarium just outside the capital city of Kyiv. There, my group of volunteers had a few buffer days in which Peace Corps became real: we learned which language we would study, where our 10-week language and job training would take place, which other volunteers would be in our 4-5 person training ‘cluster’, and we filled out a lot of paperwork. This is also where I had to decide how and to whom I would tell about my diabetes. Continue reading →
What started as a mini pod quickly blossomed into a full blown podcast once Amber began diving into the nitty gritty as to how Tara Layman (T1D Exposed co-founder) scored a new pancreas and kidney. The question of the hour – Will two pancreases and three kidneys reverse her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis? Well, in this episode they chat openly about the pre surgery process, switching from insulin shots to a handful of pills, how important it is to have a support team and what the future holds for someone who no longer “technically” has Type 1 diabetes. Continue reading →
Several years ago I set off for an insurance appointment about 60 miles from my home in Carlsbad, CA. I had eaten lunch and felt pretty good so I hit the road. It was a rainy day in Southern California and when I was finished with the appointment I headed home. After a few miles I started to feel a little light headed began to sweat a little, but I didn’t think anything of it. I kept driving. Continue reading →
I’m a creature of habit with my diabetes regimen and most definitely when it comes to my 5:41am Lantus injection, but last week things did not go according to plan. It was just like any other night, I headed to bed and by the time my head hit the pillow, I was dreaming of hosting my own reality TV series. I usually get up around 3am to pee and feel pretty awake as I navigate my way to the restroom. This particular morning, my “Give Your Shot” alarm went off, but when I stumbled into the restroom – I knew something was off. Continue reading →
Time to borrow from the game of golf. It’s on the mind, as I watched the PGA Championship over the weekend. Diabetes makes for an interesting viewing companion, always finding a way to relate anything back to itself.
I like golf. Haven’t found another activity that reflects the inner state of mind better. Much like diabetes management in that aspect. Getting to the point now, playing golf in Oklahoma means playing with the wind. The song doesn’t lie, the wind sweeps down the plains.
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.
I was diagnosed with type 1 when I was thirteen. Shortly after, a fellow traveler broke it down for me: you can either control your diabetes or you can let it control you. A rabble rouser froma young age, I decided quickly that if those were my choices, I’d choose option A. At the time, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to make that decision each day, but gradually it helped me develop a personality trait I see in a lot of folks with type 1: we love a challenge, and we love to prove people wrong. When I decided to be a Peace Corps Volunteer, I went into it with that same bullheaded mentality that had been an almost constant companion since diagnosis. Continue reading →
My own definition of insanity: doing the same thing, over and over, getting the same result, while simultaneously knowing the definition of insanity. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been on loop mode. I knew I was on loop mode, but history kept repeating itself. Until… a recent lunch with Amber and our friend Trish (and podcast 17 guest) said, “Ya know, you could just stop eating so many carbs in the mornings.” Let’s backtrack, mainly because I feel the need to justify why I needed to be told this essential truth in diabetes management after 18 years.
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:
I have a friend who had her first baby a week before I had my Lily. She announced her pregnancy one week after taking an over-the-counter test. She posted an emotionally ecstatic, over-the-moon announcement on Facebook, posted pictures of her dog with baby shoes on Instagram, and from that day forward used social media daily to share ultrasounds, belly photos, pregnancy workout selfies, baby clothes, and so much more.
After a few months of friendly stalking, we scored the opportunity to chat with hip hop legend and diabetes advocate, Rev Run and his wife Justine Simmons. With 1 in 3 adult Americans being at risk of Type 2 diabetes, they’re spreading the word about T2D prevention with the help of Ask.Screen.Know™. In this episode, we’re swapping recipes, avoiding the food police (while simultaneously encouraging them) and sharing how to lead by example in hopes of changing their family’s history. The message is clear – Do it for the ones you love. Continue reading →
Last week my favorite bartender overheard my conversation with a dear friend. We were laughing about how our bodies are changing since turning the big 4-0. The bar was packed with attractive men so when she announced, “Amber – there’s no way you’re 40!”, I almost fell from my bar stool. Instead of freaking out, I announced with pride that I turned 40 a few months back. The girl talk continued and I proclaimed how happy I am to still be alive. This declaration fueled my desire to begin a new series of posts – diabetes over the decades, yes decade(s). Continue reading →
We like to consider ourselves experts. On the spot, we can spew carb counts for all things edible. We alter our insulin rates and corrections on intuition. Always a step ahead of our endocrinologists, we people with type 1 diabetes appear to have a superiority complex, the by-product of years of acting as the human, oftentimes inaccurate form of a beta cell.
Coming from this background as I started medical school, I was shocked by many things subsequently presented over the last two years–more or less on a daily basis–that were completely off my limited radar. Really though, almost every day I found out something new about diabetes. There was no waiting until the endocrinology class started. Diabetes complicates every disease process. Diabetes knows no bounds: immunology, genetics, neurology, nephrology, dermatology, cardiology, and any other -ology (sorry, forgot ophthalmology). Continue reading →
Everyday I work with people with diabetes who struggle to lower their A1C on their own, with losing weight, with insulin resistance, with achieving stable and predictable blood sugar levels, with getting into an exercise/nutrition routine, and with controlling food cravings. Continue reading →