It’s time to PAR-TAY!! Today marks my 40 something birthday living with Type 1 diabetes. I’m grateful to have a platform to share my story and look forward to all 2022 has to offer. Thank you for being part of the journey as I’ve learned so much from your stories! Read on while we take a look back at what we’ve accomplished in 2021, plans for 2022, and birthday wishes for today.
The world of diabetes management is growing at an expeditious rate, so how do we define progress in this space? Great question, and one I couldn’t resolve myself so I brought in past podcast guest and fellow T1D, Mark Carter, who has worked within the industry. We had the pleasure of sitting with three insulin pump therapy leaders: Michael Hill, VP of Global Portfolio Marketing at Medtronic; Dr. Trang Ly, Senior Vice President and Medical Director at Insulet; and Dr. Steph Habif, a behavioral scientist at Tandem.
Our conversation is packed with insights on how to define progress in daily diabetes management while addressing some of the community’s most burning questions. Stay tuned for part #2.
Ginger Vieira learned quickly that it turns out there is a whole lot you can still do even while dealing with diabetes when you approach yourself kindly rather than getting stuck in self pity. She is a passionate writer and editor with a mission to turn complex health information into easy-to-read content. Ginger herself navigates not only through T1D, but other autoimmune diseases as well, but not for a moment does she let herself get caught up in self pity. Instead she works tirelessly to bring out content that impacts others going through similar struggles.
To all those who need to hear this – yes you can! This is the lifelong motto of Kristina Loskarjova, a woman who sets her mind to something and makes it happen while living her best life with T1D. She shares how taking a step back from the pressures of management could be exactly what you need to get back out and start living a fulfilled life. Kristina is an accomplished designer, entrepreneur and author who is sharing her story and those of other people living extraordinary lives with this disease.
What does someone who was thrust into the world of diabetes with no preparation do? They make animations of course! Jermaine Hargrove is the co-founder of Small Town Animation Studios, where he and his wife are impacting the diabetes space with the arts, specifically in the 3D animated films arena. His creative expertise and entrepreneurial spirit will help inspire people to better manage their diabetes. Let’s dive into Jermaine’s story and learn more about not all Superheroes wear capes, but some do wear CGMs. Continue reading →
I’m fascinated with diabetes care and advocacy efforts in other countries so I was thrilled to connect with Bridget, a fellow T1D making waves in South African healthcare. She goes above and beyond to ensure people living with diabetes have the information and tools they need to live their best life. South Africa has a long way to go and I feel confident Bridget will be leading the movement. Continue reading →
In gearing up for this epic unicorn episode I sincerely reflected on the impact becoming a diabetes advocate has had on my life. Two of the first people I discovered were Kerri Sparling and Scott Johnson. I had found my people! Reading their stories and watching them present at various conferences gave me the courage to “really” find my voice. The podcast and blog posts have lifted a huge weight, one I didn’t realize was there. I am truly blessed.
Dr. Allyson Hughes is a self-proclaimed animal lover, methodology geek and research scientist who collaborates with various industries to develop research projects from beginning to end, and advocates for health policy with the data she collects. Having been diagnosed with T1D herself, she knows all too well the struggles we face. This is what prompted her career path as a health psychologist dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes.
The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour has brought SO many interesting PWD together. We thoroughly enjoy basic pub talk, poking fun, cracking jokes, live music, embarrassing some of us crappy trivia lovers, etc. Recently I connected with a woman who wowed me with her written word skills.
* I feel confident you will enjoy this reading as much as we did. Continue reading →
Reverend Bales story was one I could not pass up. While many of us living Type 1 diabetes quarantined, he hit the front line to serve the homeless community on Skid Row. He has lived with T1D for 48 years and hasn’t let this disease keep him from achieving his goals both physically and professionally. He is truly a hero! Continue reading →
After a recent announcement from Novo Nordisk I cleared my schedule to record this episode with Dr. Todd Hobbs, Chief Medical Officer for North America and Ken Inchausti, Senior Director of Corporate Communications. In this open discussion they share resources and cost saving programs, details about insulin production, insulin trials and what’s on the horizon for insulin therapies. I learned SO much about a drug I’ve been taking for decades!
For newly diagnosed T2D, it might be overwhelming and many fall into diabetes denial. In an effort to change this mentality, Tracey shares an authentic story of how a question from her daughter was the “aha” moment to take things seriously. In this episode, Tracey unapologetically shares her story because there is no shame in the game! Diabetes is a family affair and her energy, lifestyle choices and overall mentality is hopefully contagious – in a good way.
I connected with Kyle on social media and like many of my past guests, he shoots it to you straight about diet, exercise and his diabetes hacks. He isn’t shy and shares his opinion on lifestyle and offers HIS take on things without offering up medical advice. I was a little squeamish when Kyle shared details about a current trial he’s participating in, but eager to learn more about the advancements in CGM technology from someone who is walking the walk. Continue reading →
I stumbled upon a YouTube channel, Between Two Lines, that was informative and hilarious at the same time. In each episode, Levi shares his down to earth thoughts on a particular Type 1 diabetes related subject using a real talk, no sugar coating, approach. His dry wit and ability to make light of what living with this disease is like had me laughing and saying – man this guy gets it. Continue reading →
The dust has settled and the Real Life Diabetes Consulting team is back at home and taken a moment to reflect on our visit to the JDRF TypeOneNation summit in St. Louis. I love chatting with this crew and thought it was time to recap our roller coaster of events in Missouri. We aren’t shy and touch on personal take aways, connecting with new diapeeps of all ages, and how we battled our own diabetes debacles on this trip. Real life! Continue reading →
As my Diaversary soon approaches, I take time to sit in silence and reflect on what I’ve learned, more specifically, in my diabetes world. New technology & pump therapies, apps, partnerships, #insulin4all campaigns, etc. have me a bit exhausted, but hopeful for the future. Below are a few 2019 highlights I would like to share.
Podcasts Released: 18 episodes found on various podcast platforms and HERE on the DDG podcast page. Continue reading →
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I am wrapping up this decade with one last longepisode, but I promise, it is worth listening to the very end and entertaining if nothing else. The theme of this episode is knowing the difference between being a constant, and being a pest. Monica backs this motto by providing actionable items and tips to help us relinquish fear and get involved. Her demeanor is calm and her voice is soft, but her words are powerful and changing lives for all people living with diabetes. Continue reading →
Chris and his wife Candace are honest, vulnerable and a little sappy at times, but are the perfect reminder there are still good ones out there. You know, the ones who support you and your diabetes through the good, the bad and a serious hypo while educating their three kiddos along the way. Together, they resonate love, compassion and a supportive partnership and are role models for us all – diabetes or not. Continue reading →
After reading the Cali’flour Kitchen cookbook from cover to cover, I knew Amy Lacey would be the perfect guest to wrap up diabetes awareness month. Her desire to bring back dietary normalcy, especially her family’s pizza nights, after her auto immune diagnosis was the driving force behind Cali’flour Foods – the first cauliflower pizza crust. Her brand will bring pizza back into the lives of people like me, who live with Type 1 diabetes. Continue reading →
I was honored to be chosen as one of ten Patient Voice Contest winners for the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit. During the two day event, I was surrounded by industry leaders, tech gurus, genius creators of diabetes apps, and many fellow advocates. This Summit coalesced the mother lode of advancements in diabetes management, and a few of the brave souls in attendance took time to chat with me. Though our interviews were brief, each guest radiated an optimism and passion for helping to better the lives of those of us living with diabetes, and I hope their energy inspires you as well.
A few months ago, I received a heartfelt video message from a person I’d never met, and it had me and my friends and family in tears. It was exactly the boost I needed to keep going. Dr. Fox is one of the good guys – the doctor who truly cares about his patients and their sense of wellbeing after leaving his office. His holistic mind, body, spirit approach is one you rarely, if ever, see in the endocrine world. He has taken a chance by stepping out of the traditional medical community box and intends to make a much larger impact on the diabetes community with his programming and overall approach to treatment. Continue reading →
This globetrotting T1D just embarked on a 12-month remote year journey with a focus to reach one million people living with diabetes. Her candid approach, charismatic attitude, and ability to touch on hot topics will transform lives and prevent diabetes burnout. With 39 1/2 years of experience and a handful of degrees, Dr. Jody is an expert in all things diabetes making her the perfect guest.
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.
Recently, Mayor David Holt declared a pride week in my home town of Oklahoma City. It made me think – do I know any LGBTQ T1Ds? Yep, and not only is she my friend, she is one of the only people I know that has had diabetes as long as I have – hence the title – T1D dinosaurs. We are a rare breed and it was thrilling to sit with Bonnie and share what life was like 35+ years ago growing up with this disease. Bonnie and Jennifer did a fabulous job sharing how managing diabetes is sometimes a group effort.
I take pride in being a friendly stalker and scored an impromptu interview with American Idol super star and fellow Type 1, Crystal Bowersox while she was traveling through Oklahoma City. Her show was killer and I shared the evening with dear friends (Erik & Teneka). We sang together, enjoyed pizza and clinked glasses while sharing diabetes hacks. Crystal’s scrappy, no bullshit attitude made her the perfect guest.
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.
While on the road with the Real Life Diabetes podcast in Scottsdale, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Paloma Kemak (aka Glitter Glucose). Her story is very different from mine, but her diagnosis and overall mindset is entertaining and up-lifting. Paloma’s energy and ability to laugh while sharing her story is contagious and inspiring to PWDs from across the globe.
The Diabetes Daily Grind and Real Life Diabetes podcast is growing and in order to do so, we need help. We’re pursuing every avenue possible and hope you will take time each day to vote until April 1, 2019. CLICK on the link below to vote and please share with the world!
After a tip from my sister and a little friendly stalking, I scored a killer interview with CNN Heroes award recipient, Maria Rose Belding. Above and beyond her work providing food for people in need, she is surpassing her goals while juggling life with Type 1 diabetes. In this episode she shares her passion to serve others while not letting T1D slow her down. Continue reading →
It has been over a year since I last shared a post, but with two snow days I had plenty of time to reflect on what the past year has taught me. 2018 was full of new challenges, many of which were diabetes related. After 35+ years of living with T1D, you would think I’ve dealt with it all, but that is not the case. Below are a few highlights, lessons learned and things to ponder.
I became a Dexcom Warrior and had the privilege of trying the new G6 before it was released to the public.
I shared my T1D story, per the request of the Oklahoma Diabetes Legislative Caucus, to insurance providers in an effort to change future coverage for people living with the disease. It worked. Report to follow in a future post with my testimony.
Oklahoma is thankful to have an upcoming state senate candidate who in not only a second generation educator, but the parent of a child recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In this episode we touch on her son’s diagnosis, insulin affordability & accessibility, and Carri’s day to day life on the campaign trail with three kids. Please note – this is not a political plug, but just an opportunity to have someone in her shoes share life with managing the real world and a child with Type 1 diabetes.
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 →
In life, we meet people who leave us feeling lighter and rejuvenated–Tonya’s one of those people. Every word she speaks is embodied in her own life. She’s curious and open-minded, a professional student in healthy living. As a nurse at Wellness and Longevity (an functional medicine clinic in Oklahoma City), she works with patients daily on optimizing their foundations for health. In her second episode (refresh with episode 10), we focus on the foundations of a vital life and how to reengage with meaningful resolutions. Diabetes can be a reflection of how we’re eating, moving, sleeping, and managing the mind. Tonya helps us get back to those basics, letting diabetes management reflect back out.
An hour before her emcee duties at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Connect+Cure Gala in OKC, Nicole Johnson joined us and shared her perspectives since winning Miss America in 1999. From the surprising career trajectory afterward, to dating and diabetes scenarios, we embraced the whole journey. Per the usual flow of the show, many laughs were had, and we all got to know each other. Continue reading →
Honesty and perspective–two traits people with diabetes cherish from those who give us advice about food. Christina has both. Having served with Ryan at Camp Blue Hawk on the medical staff, he was ready to pick her brain about her thoughts on paleo vs vegan, parenting pitfalls in diet, and how she found dietetics. The result? A conversation that stays open-minded and focuses on the big picture: steady blood sugars without compromise to long-term longevity. Oh, and as a show first, Amber arrived midway through the conversation by surprise. Continue reading →
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 →
Diabetes is rough right? Even with a CGM and around the clock basal insulin from a pump, most days are still a grind! But staggeringly, across the globe insulin prices are accounting for up to 40% of monthly expenses, and people are walking 100 miles to get a prescription. Elizabeth Rowley, founder of T1International, is digging deep to gain awareness to the disparities in care and often inadequate access to standards in daily management, like strips and insulin. They campaign for systemic change that not only meets daily needs, but aims to solve the underlying issues in healthcare. If you’d ever like more information on the subject of diabetes across the globe, they are the knowledge hub.
We enjoyed the conversation with Elizabeth, challenging us to open our eyes to the diabetes experience outside of the US.
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 →
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:
While Ryan was studying for the boards, Amber gathered a few shoe lovers from across the country to discuss the “dream” shoe for PWDs. Maybe they didn’t find that “dream” shoe, but she enjoyed a lively discussion with guest, Shelene Kinsley, Tales From A Type 1 blogger, T1D and upcoming shoe designer. This episode was recorded in Oklahoma City’s own Betsy King Boutique. Betsy is a seasoned buyer and Amber appreciates her attention to detail when looking for the perfect high heel. Who knew that heels are better for your feet than flats? Seriously though. Continue reading →
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.)
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…
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 →
I came across an article about famous folks who are fellow passengers on the T1D train. The story focused on their diagnosis and raising $$$ for ? charity. Kudos for using fame to increase funding and awareness! As I wrapped up the article, my mind wandered… If given the chance to sit across from a T1D celeb, what would I want to know about their “real life”?
Halle Berry – Actress
Do you pick up your own prescriptions? Does your make-up artist cover up bruises from shots? Any suggestions on the best cover-up for this?
In the midst of a VIP cocktail hour LIVE from the Connect+Cure Gala in Oklahoma City, leaders on the diabetes research and treatment frontier were kind enough to converse with us. We didn’t focus on run of the mill research questions. We got to the heart of their individual diabetes motivations. We covered the importance of a physician’s own A1C, the equal importance of cowboy boots, favorite Toby Keith (he played a full concert that night) songs, and why both Amber and Ryan haven’t been dropped as patients for non-compliance… yet. As the night’s feature ceremony, the Hamm Prize–$250,000 for research advances toward a cure–was awarded to Dr. Ronald Kahn, and he joined us to share his enlightening perspectives (that’s not hyperbole, it’s truth).
After we wrapped up our interviews, we were honored to join 900+ people who support the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center’s (HHODC) future and groundbreaking strides toward eradicating diabetes. As Oklahomans, where 1 out of every 3 people is affected by diabetes, it was a meaningful night filled with promise. We are so grateful for the opportunity provided by the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center and appreciative of our guests to supply insights for all of us with diabetes. Thank you everyone! Continue reading →
Diabetes and driving – race car driving that is… is the topic today as Amber recently won the Lilly Diabetes My Diabetes Pit Crew Sweepstakes! She’s officially an honorary member of Ryan Reed’s pit crew and was given the opportunity to interview the Nascar driver about life on the road with diabetes. In this first ever MiniPod, we talk real life – Amber style (no filter). Ryan Reed indulges her “non-traditional” questions, shares his go-to recipes, and who has access to giving him a shot. 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 →