Just Me And My Pump (Our Journey Through A Board Exam)

Type 1 diabetes usmle

A few days back, I took the first medical school board exam (Step 1 USMLE). As always, diabetes did its thing, always in the background, making subtle moves, maybe influencing things, maybe not, but nonetheless, it was there. In itself, the whole day is its own marathon–7 separate 40 question exams spaced out over 8 hours. Having the knowledge is one thing, but putting yourself a place to access that knowledge is another (the test results arrive in 3 weeks, so it’s hard to ascertain whether I truly accessed said knowledge). Continue reading

Blind Dates & Diabetes, Part #2: Testing At The Table

Blind Date

Just another day in the single life… blind date #1 only made it to date four. Fortunately, the dating gods were in my favor and blind date #2 was just around the corner. In our initial meeting at a concert (not a good idea), the getting to know you chit chat led to what I do for a living. I gave him the cliff notes version of the Diabetes Daily Grind and it only took a matter of seconds before he said, “my uncle died from diabetes complications“. Strike 1, right? Continue reading

Is This A Mirror Image? Mold Illness and Diabetes Are Scary Similar

Diagnosis

I’m admittedly hypersensitive to all things diabetes related considering my glutenous amount of reading on the subject. Every over the counter medication, prescription drug commercial and doctor’s office poster has something about the disease. When I came across this article, Mold Illness Is Everywhere: What it is and 11 Signs You Have It, by David Wolfe, it made me consider how the signs of a mold illness paralleled symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. Interesting… Continue reading

Zen And The Art Of Diabetes, Part 3: Will We Breathe Easier?

Zen and Diabetes

Oftentimes, in the wake of shock from a surprising blood sugar, I have no answers for why the number isn’t where I desire it. Maybe I’ll spend 30 seconds playing detective, sifting for causes over the last few hours or days (or minutes). My detective work, on occasion, will yield an answer, like Oh yeah, I forgot to bolus for lunch today (somehow, yes, this still happens). But, for the most part, either from subconscious repression or the nature of the diabetes beast, no clear answer shows up. Just take insulin or eat a snack, then move on. Continue reading

To Be Or Not To Be A “Sugar Momma”

Having A Baby With Type 1 Diabetes

When I was ten years old, my doctor told my mom I would never have children. I didn’t hear these words; I was laying in a diabetic coma that lasted for 4 days. When I woke up, I woke up to a new life, a diagnosed life that included injections, meal planning, and glucometers. When my mom finally broke the news to me a few months later, the last thing on my mind was having kids someday.

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The Human Highlight Film On His T2D Gameplan | Dominique Wilkins of Dunking Fame | Real Life Diabetes MiniPod, Episode 21

Dominique Wilkins Real Life Diabetes Podcast

Amber scored a once in a lifetime interview with the “Human Highlight Film”, NBA legend and Hall of Fame Inductee, Dominique Wilkins (imagine his name radiating within in an arena). Wilkins is no stranger to diabetes as his father and grandfather both died from diabetes related complications. When diagnosed with Type 2  diabetes post retirement – he knew it was time get back in the game. In this unique glimpse into his personal life, they discuss his childhood diet, diagnosis day BG numbers and changing his diabetes regimen from pills to injections. This man is honest, entertaining and inspirational.

Props to us for exceptional long-term planning in the coordination of Dominique’s episode being the 21st (it was his number!!!!! We just put this together.)

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What Actually Happens When You Go Under Anesthesia

Type 1 Diabetes and Surgery

Live readings of serum glucose, tracking along on a touch screen panel–essentially a bigger, more accurate version of a continuous glucose monitor. A vial of straight glucose ready to put into the IV line. The ability to keep the glucose levels in perfect range. Insulin ready to infuse.  Continue reading

Making A List Of The Most Annoying Things (After 2 Months of T1D)

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I’m settling into my life with diabetes and ultimately, the whole experience has been a lot easier than I thought it would be. However, there are a few pretty annoying aspects of everything. I’ve decided to make a list:

  • The Bag: I left the hospital with the most hideous bag I’ve ever seen to carry my supplies. It was a smushed cheap camouflage lunch box. Seriously. I had to be seen at Panera with that thing. Short-term, I bought a black make-up bag from CVS. I was surprised when I found some great bags online made specifically for carrying diabetes supplies. I got mine from this SITE and love it.

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The Moving Day Saga Continues – Round #2

Moving Day

Moving is stressful, but having diabetes adds a whole new layer to the chaos. When the “official” moving day arrived, I felt confident I was prepared for the uncertainty of what laid ahead. I knew the next 48+ hours were going to be challenging both mentally and physically, but more so on my diabetes. Since co-founding the DDG, it has opened my eyes to how diabetes plays a role in every part of my life. There is no escaping. Continue reading

Ask Us Anything #2 (Just A Beer, Maybe A Bourbon, At A Food Truck, Without Any Complications, For Now) | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 20


Ask Us Anything 2

Well, we warned you and now it’s time to share another episode of “Ask Us Anything“. In this episode, we received stellar questions from #DOC royalty and some brave souls who were kind enough to leave us a SpeakPipe message. Amber & Ryan share their deepest thoughts, not advice on diabetes complications, drinking bourbon, carb guessing in uncharted territory and how to encourage a “friend” to make healthier food choices. We’re keeping it real and sharing some laughs. Hope you enjoy the show.

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The High Handbook: Rule #4 – Act Over Post

The High Handbook Rule 4

Situations arise (and will continue), where I can’t troubleshoot a reason for being high. This is our life. I like to think of the body as your local philharmonic. When everyone shows up to play the show, you’ve got great harmony. When all of the violins forget to show up (consider this our pancreas deficiency), various other members of the orchestra (consider this cortisol, growth hormone, epinephrine) will come across a little louder, and distort the quality of the show (the random high blood sugar). For historical purposes, it’s important to point out those last few sentences will serve as the first and last philharmonic-related analogies on the website. Continue reading

Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear: Pre-Diabetes Forecasts

Rear View Mirror

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…

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Turns Out This Thing Is Kinda Serious

guy passed out on log

Over the time we’ve been dating, I’ve started to recognize when Liam gets low. He gets giggly and can’t speak and if he’s asleep, he doesn’t wake up. It’s becoming easier to catch the lows and they’re easy to deal with if we have sugar that is easily accessible. Liam always carries dextrose tablets with him so finding fast acting sugar is never a challenge. One of the scariest lows I’ve had to deal with was during our first year’s round of final exams. Continue reading

The Long Way Back To Believing In Research

How To Get Involved in Type 1 Diabetes Research

TrialReach is a sponsor of DiabetesDailyGrind.com. We believe a little transparency is good for us all.

I came to take research for granted. Why? Well, it’s complicated. When first diagnosed, you jump in every clinical trial around, usually at the first mention by your doctor. I joined three as a kid. We’re beyond gun-ho at this point, we’re pushing the needle toward a cure. Subtly, the years go by. You look around and think, Man, this technology development is pretty awesome, but I’m still on insulin. To hold the belief that one day you’ll eat with no conscious weighing of risks and benefits (I’m not advocating this for anyone, just getting at a point) while also weighing all the risks and benefits of every choice in your life every day for most of your life, is tough. Continue reading

Planes, Buses and Race Cars Fuel A Weekend of Highs (Blood Sugars and Good Times)

airplane

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

Venturing Into Uncharted Vegan Territory… And Lower Insulin Levels | Amy McKinnon, A Plant-Based T1D Runner, World Traveler, and Yogi | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 19

Vegan Type 1 Diabetes Podcast

Don’t they always say that Instagram brings people together? Actually, no, we’ve never heard anybody say that, but the rule applies when you’re vegan and have type 1 diabetes. Amy McKinnon, an Aussie originally, quit her job a few months back to explore the world, traveling the likes of Cuba, Peru, Mexico, and Ecuador. She and Ryan “met” on Instagram, probably while admiring each other’s photos of papaya or something strange of the sort. She too has felt the transformative power of a plant-based diet and joined us to share her own experiences with a vegan lifestyle. For fun—and honestly we mean this—she loves to go for casual 10 mile jogs. If you’ve ever been intrigued with the marathon running life but aren’t sure how to get started, she’ll tell us how to make it happen.
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Dropping Diabetes Enlightenment On The Dating Trail

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I’ve never been a dater so the recent wave of blind dates catapulted me out of my comfort zone. Like most people, I had the first date jitters. What am I going to wear? Hair up or down? Can I curse? Normal thoughts, right? Then it dawned on me – at some point diabetes will be a topic of discussion and what did I really want to share on a first date?

Blind date #1 is up to bat. Continue reading

WOW Your Friends With A New Brunch Masterpiece – Introducing Shakshuka

Shashuka

Cooking adventures with friends fuel my fire to pursue healthier options when meal planning for the week. While discussing our next culinary adventure, my friend mentioned Shakshuka. I know what you’re thinking – I can’t even pronounce this so how in the hell am I going to prepare it? Shakshuka is an Israeli dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, and onions, spiced with cumin. – are you salivating yet? After binge reading recipes, we gathered with tons of ingredients and the desire to create our own spin on this traditional dish. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Ingredients:

Shashuka Ingredients Continue reading

The Diabetes-Sports Idiom Series, Voume One: Playing To Win Vs Playing Not To Lose

Diabetes Management and Sports

If you, like me, grew up viewing life through the periscope of sports, the random sports idiom knows no bounds. Sport is often sold as the character molding force that teaches the lessons of life, builds camaraderie, and strengthens resolve. Being one that only knows my own experience, I cannot discount these assertions (recently though, I’ve met a few people who never played sports and seem alright). Continue reading

Fear of Uncharted Territory Lingers As I Consider A New T1D Regimen

Jumping With Balloons

A recent series of events has me looking at life a bit differently. Nothing dramatic, but when considering a few big decisions I began to weigh the options. Fear crept in and so did a need for uncharted territories. As I’m still pondering my final decision, it made me think – there are two types of people on this earth in which I’ve broken into different categories:

  1. Balls Out – The person who doesn’t think twice or look back before jumping off a cliff.
  2. Fear Factor – The person who must calculate a few things = test the water, nearest exit point, wind speed and BG level before even considering the jump.

This discovery forced me to dive into my psyche to determine which category I fell in to. Continue reading

The Diagnosis Saga (I Had To Pass Out In Class To Get It Started)

Abby

As a freshman in high school, if someone had asked me what type 1 diabetes was about two months ago, I would have been clueless. I kind of knew about Type 2 and I might’ve had a sense that there was a second type of diabetes, but… that was about it.

A few weeks before my diagnosis, I hadn’t been feeling like myself and was thirsty all of the time. My mom and I decided that should it persist throughout the next week or so, I would go to the doctor. On Thursday morning I felt fine, except for this new usual thirstiness. About mid-morning my stomach started hurting a little. It wasn’t that bad, so I figured it was just something I ate. I had biology class right before lunch, and we were doing a lab on yeast fermentation. While my teacher was explaining part of the procedure, I started feeling dizzy. It got worse and worse, and by the time I realized something was actually wrong, I couldn’t really do anything. Out. Continue reading

Straight CSI Crime Scene: What It’s Like To Raise Two Boys With T1D | The Winters Family | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 17

Real Life Diabetes Podcast 17

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

Taking A Leap of Faith with Bourbon, Bolusing and BGs

Bourbon

A year ago I joined the Bourbonettes, a wonderful group of educated, savvy women who come together to enjoy this delightful libation. A pairing of Girl Scout cookies and various labels of bourbon kicked off my inaugural Bourbonette adventure. Even though I was excited to attend, I didn’t partake. My T1D fears took over. I was nervous, didn’t really know anyone and had no desire to attempt carb counting with the fear of miscalculating and being a shitshow. Lame!

Last week the gracious hostess presented a fruit adorned Fancy Free. My immediate thought – do I take the leap of carb counting/alcohol consumption faith and join in?  Continue reading

Uncover A Balanced Life… Or Something Like It (Advice From An Acupuncturist with T1D)

rockbalance

As an acupuncturist, I spend a lot of time thinking about balance. In Chinese medicine theory, we talk a lot about the balance of yin and yang. Yin is dark, cold, nutritive, whereas yang is bright, hot and energetic. We see these two forces in all aspects of life–from day to night, summer to winter, activity to rest. Good health is all about finding the yin and yang in our own bodies. When I meet an acupuncture patient for the first time, I focus on finding out what is off-balance that is causing their pain or illness, and coaxing their body to regain that balance and heal from the root level. 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

Plot Twist! Graduating College Didn’t Help My Sugars… At First.

CDN Post Image

I don’t know what I’m doing. Lately, that’s the first thing I tell people and amounts to much of what I’ve learned about being an “adult.” Most people really don’t know what they’re doing, especially as recent college grads. We’re bumbling around, reaching out for advice and reading articles that swarm around the internet while trying to figure out how this applies to us and what works for us (because we’re all so different).

“I don’t know what I’m doing” applies to what I’m apparently supposed to call “adulthood,” but so far, it’s mostly applied to the part of my life that is diabetes.

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Shedding the Shame of a T1D Body with Nudity… Tastefully | T1D Exposed Co-Founder Tara Layman | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 16

T1D Exposed - Real Life Diabetes Podcast 16

Over drinks with T1D friends one night, T1D Exposed founders, Kat and Tara, discussed fundraising ideas to support their beloved diabetes camp (where they had met the summer before), and other amazing diabetes non-profits. They laughed about how ridiculous it would be to start a T1D nude calendar… Well, in the time since its inception, The Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project has blown up! Tara allowed the DDG crew to probe her on the awkwardness of the shots, the beauty in the scars, and… the possibility of Ryan and Amber flying out to San Francisco for a shoot! Continue reading

Pizza Crust That Doesn’t Hit Your BG Like An Atomic Bomb

Cauliflower Pizza

I love to get creative in the kitchen so when I heard a fellow T1D complain about the carbs in pizza – I had to take action. I make it a point to insist on a thin crust with healthy toppings, but felt confident there had to be a healthier option. A recipe rumor had been circulating about this mystery, low carb pizza crust made from cauliflower. I was skeptical, but my previous culinary creations with cauliflower were pleasantly surprising – so what the hell, let’s do this. 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

There’s More To Valentine’s Day Than Candy: T1D Tips & Ideas

V-Day

Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Easter are all the same to me – a candy driven holiday. You can’t go into a store or even the pharmacy for that matter without being bombarded with isles and isles of candy. Growing up with T1D, this isle was torture! I didn’t really care about the candy, but I “had” to refrain which made me feel isolated from my peers. Well, I’ve changed my tune and created a list of ideas and tips PWDs can appreciate… and it includes chocolate.

Unique Gift Ideas:

  • Purchase a T1Dexposed Calendar – The Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project was created to promote awareness, connect people living with T1D, and fundraise for both local and global diabetes organizations.

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Ayurveda Meet Diabetes, Diabetes Meet Ayurveda: An Intro From A Yogi With T1D

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Routine–we love to hate it, especially with a demanding disease like diabetes, which requires hyper-vigilance. No sane person would set their alarm to wake up during the night to check their blood sugar, diligently count carbs before a meal, or force themselves on the treadmill at 9 pm. But we do it, because without the effort, where would we be? The science speaks for itself.

So, how can we turn a ‘have to’ into a ‘want to’. This is where the sister science of Yoga and Ayurveda take center stage. The word Ayurveda means the science of life. As a traditional Indian method of healing, it uses the natural world to help us understand what creates balance and imbalance.  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

Are Lancets Decorative? (Amber’s Nephew Demands T1D Answers)

GP Henry

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?


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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

How To Sync Diabetes Up To Your Life (A More Sophisticated Delayed Gratification Story)

Diabetes Relaxation - Diabetes Daily Grind

I’ve always believed that I can do anything with diabetes. This idea of freedom is one of the primary reasons we started the site. For sanity’s sake, it’s good for me to venture the great unknowns, test the boundaries, and find new possibilities for my life with the disease.

Yet… as the saying goes, there’s a time and a place for everything. And maybe, just maybe, there’s more freedom in understanding of our own limitations first. To demonstrate what I’m getting at (this just recently came to conscious awareness in my own life), let’s examine a few of my daily choices: Continue reading

The Diabetes Tech Balance, Beer and Coffee Experimentation, and The DOC Evolution | Mike Hoskins from DiabetesMine.com | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 13

Mike Hoskins - Real Life Diabetes Podcast

We love this guy! Mike Hoskins, in our mind, is one of the bonafide leaders of the diabetes online community and was the perfect guest to launch the show into 2016. His perspectives over at DiabetesMine.com have always caught our eye, especially his honest takes on real life. Most recently, he published some high quality, scientific method driven (okay, it’s not perfect research) on the effect of varying beers on his blood sugar. We delved into the state of the DOC and his takes on Medtronic’s new Enlite system. As always, we kept it casual and laughed a lot.

Announcements as we start up 2016: Continue reading

3 Documentaries That Will Impact My Lifestyle in 2016

Top 3 Documentaries

Woohoo – We made it to 2016! In the days prior to popping a cork and celebrating an epic 2015, I took time to reflect. What did 2015 bring to the table? What lessons did I learn or refuse to address? What literature had an impact? What lifestyle choices moved me forward? My preferred form of geeking out is definitely documentary films and three particular films made quite the impact on my dietary choices (thus my diabetes management) and overall mental state when it comes to what I put in my body.

THAT SUGAR FILM – One man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. CLICK HERE to watch the trailer.

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Transforming 2015’s Diabetes Lessons Into 2016’s Resolutions

2016 Diabetes Resolutions

Life is an apt teacher. 2015 didn’t disappoint in regards to the diabetes lessons. I went back through this year’s posts and pulled a few observations that I’d like to act upon in 2016. Maybe these connect with your own diabetes management. If not, at least it was therapeutic.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Denial exists even after 18 years

You’re thinking “how can a person who writes for a diabetes website have denial about diabetes?” Pretty valid question. Let me explain.

This fall, I was listening to a professor talk about how he radically changed his own diabetes management. After he visited his endocrinologist, received an a1c of 11 after getting the diagnosis a few months earlier, the facts had to be faced. He was a diabetic (person with diabetes). His pancreas is not coming back. Sugar is a toxin. Every added gram he put in his system jeopardized his heart disease risk. He stopped eating a jar of jelly beans every morning. His a1c dropped to 6.

I don’t eat jars of jelly beans but I did buy cereal that has added sugar, trail mix with chocolate, and put maple syrup in my oatmeal. After I heard him describe his own denial, I stopped buying those foods. Perhaps you’ve already made this subtle choice, but using my otherwise healthy vegan diet as a crutch, I too faced the facts and have felt a significant change in my blood sugars. Continue reading

‘Tis The Season… To Over Indulge In Diabetes Talk

Christmas PartyA few weeks ago I made a pact – I would say YES to everything. Not to cocaine or anything crazy, just to social events. For the most part it has been a pleasant, yet exhausting adventure. I’ve attended cocktail parties, happy hours, birthdays and way TOO many holiday shindigs. It’s crazy what conversations come up once I started talking about living with T1D. My friends had no idea I had to worry about anything other than over consuming on the booze as they were in the same boat.

As I entered my dear friend’s home, the first words from her mouth were, “I don’t think you can eat anything we’re serving so I fixed a spinach salad for you and it’s in the fridge“. Continue reading

The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me: A Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis

before and after

I was obese, ill, tired, suffering from major depression and diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. My blood sugar was out of control… no wonder I was feeling so unwell!

Back in September of 2014 I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had been feeling poorly for quite some time, was overweight and out of shape. At 35 years old and 5′ 8″, I weighed in at almost 20 stone (280 lbs.). I drank a lot of alcohol and smoked roughly 20 cigarettes a day. The alcohol was a big problem and it had been for years. This was more than likely contributing to my depression, but I didn’t want to admit it. The alcohol helped me block out the negative thoughts – and this is the “vicious circle“. Continue reading

Breaking The Silence About My Period With A Diabetes Gameplan

Woman On Toilet

Pretend that’s a tester

No one wants to talk about their period, but why aren’t we discussing the impact it has on diabetes? Well, I’m here to break the silence! With each dia-versary, I realize something new about myself and how I differ from the average person. This includes my period – BUT it has never been discussed in my endocrinologist or OBGYN’s office unless I brought it up. Even then, there wasn’t literature or a site to visit to learn more so when I recognized a pattern it was time to take action. I came up a “Period Plan of Action” to follow each month so I won’t be at total T1D shitshow.

  • About four days prior to staring my period it’s hard to keep my morning BG below 225.
    • I test around 3am and give Novolog if above 225. Be careful, you don’t want to overcompensate while calculating half asleep.
    • I up my 5:41am Lantus dosage a unit or two.

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The Haphazard Art Of Hypoglycemic Decision Making

Low Blood Sugar Decision Making

Maybe you’ve heard the adage: HALT. Take precautions when Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, especially when it’s decision making time (this skill is sufficiently difficult by itself for me, not withstanding additional emotions). Let’s add another L to the acronym: Low. Trying to do much of anything while hypoglycemic is already a challenge, but oftentimes the tiniest decisions turn tortuous.

How important is this understanding? Well, important enough to write a blog about it. Looking back, I think things would have just been easier if used the thinking plan I use now, “Okay, Ryan you are low. I know this feels like something really important that you should do right now, but this will be simpler in 1o minutes. Find some food.” Remind yourself of the past experiences where things were never as bad as they seemed when you were low. Really though, it’s never that bad.

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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?

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The Guide To Surviving The Holiday Gauntlet | Kelly McKeever, PWD and RN | Real Life Diabetes 12

Real Life Diabetes 12

In the next month full of holiday occasions, the focus is on family, friends, and in reality, FOOD! When turning down pumpkin pie, fudge, and or a hottie tottie, we can sacrifice long-standing family relations. What’s the pancreas-deficient to do? We got your back, dishing out the best advice we’ve got built on the back of a few hangovers, highs, lows, and good times. Kelly McKeever Registered Nurse, making his 2nd appearance today, dropped by to lend some professional and personal advice as a guy with a type 1 diagnosis.

Kelly mentions recipe carb calculator. Here it is at SparkRecipes.

When you do all your Cyber Mondaying… or last second Christmas shopping, skip over to Amazon using THIS LINK. If you buy something after using our link, we get a commission from Amazon without costing you anything extra! It means a ton to us, thank you, and helps us keep the show afloat.

6 Unorthodox, Kinda Questionable, But Effective Uses Of An Insulin Pump

6 Unorthodox Uses Of An Insulin Pump

Pager? Pedometer? Pacemaker? Curious folks have inquired in regards to what that thing is in my pocket with those questions. Despite not being any of those devices, an insulin pump can be quite handy. Could the manufacturer have anticipated any of these extra, notable functions? Perhaps. If so, I’d like to meet that person. Some of the following functions have become such indelible facets of my life, it would hurt considerably if they vanished (if the cure ever arrives I’ll keep my pump in my pocket).

So, with that said, let’s jump into the unorthodox, kinda questionable, uses of an insulin pump: Continue reading

What It Takes To Finish 26.2: Temp Basals, Glucose Tabs, and Guts

Preparing For A Marathon With Diabetes

What it takes to make it 26.2 with T1D

I began running when I was around 24 years old (12 years after my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes). I had always been reasonably fit, participating in sports during high school, but during my three years at university and a couple after I let my fitness slide. At the time I didn’t ponder its impact on my diabetes until I started back.

My best friend signed up for a 14km race in Sydney, Australia and got me to sign up–now I had no choice but to train. He had a head start on me, and was naturally a lot faster. I struggled to keep up in general, consistently worrying about lows during runs which would make me tired and slow me down while I scarfed down a snack. I was embarrassed when these things happened, which was pretty often at first.  I was still on injections at the time, not managing my diabetes at the best of my ability, and just getting use to exercise’s effects. Improvement was my only way forward. 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