All of the Healthcare Disparity Red Flags Were Waving

Hold on to your hats for this diabetes discovery while attending my first American Diabetes Association 82nd Scientific Sessions conference in New Orleans, LA. 

Day three of the sweaty journey involved a room refresh and I had the pleasure of meeting Javon, who was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – we think.  Continue reading

I Kind of Gave Up Caring for Myself Until Technology Changed my Life | Michael Spencer

I have lived with Type 1 diabetes for 30 years. During this time I’ve had to face the horrors of an indifferent insurance industry which branded me “unworthy” due to my “pre existing condition.” I’ve endured injecting myself 4x a day, sometimes more. My fingers have callouses from being pricked for blood glucose measurements, also 4x a day. To be honest, I kind of gave up on caring for myself for a while until technology changed my life.
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I Had Forgotten What It Was Like To Be Weightless | Madison Thorn

I recently came across a very powerful Facebook post by past Real Life Diabetes Podcast guest, Madison Thorn and had to share. This is real life diabetes and what it can do to the psyche.

I just had the most absolute mind fuck of an experience…
I was out of coffee at home so I walked to the breakfast joint at the end of my block to grab a cup to go. When I walked in, the food smelled amazing and I asked the hostess if, instead of the coffee to-go, I could sit and have breakfast.

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Birthday Wish List and What’s New in 2022

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.

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Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour Registration

Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour Registration

The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour takes place every Thursday from 5 – 6:15pm CST. The event has nothing to do with alcohol, but is for adults living with diabetes or caring for someone living with this disease. Each week is filled with laughter, lame jokes, trivia and live music with people who get it from across the globe. Don’t be shy, pop in and make a new friend. CLICK HERE to register.

Happy Birthday to Me – Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour

Today, January 7th, 2021 I celebrate my 29th year on this beautiful planet and considering the current shit storm of world events and quarantine I would normally be sad, BUT connecting with my diapeeps every Thursday during the Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour has literally saved my life. I would love for you to join me tonight or any Thursday you are free to pop in between 5 – 6:15pm CST. Please be sure to register – CLICK HERE.

This birthday pic was taken three weeks before I was diagnosed with T1D and celebrating with other people who “get it” is a reminder – I am not alone and you don’t have to be either.

A T1D Perspective on the Día de los Muertos Celebration

I’m new to San Antonio, Texas and have thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the culture. On November 1st and 2nd they celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) which also kicks off Diabetes Awareness Month. As I researched and witnessed firsthand this beautiful ceremony a few emotions surfaced. My Type 1 diabetes diagnosis almost 38 years ago was literally a death sentence. For most of my life I’ve worn this weight alone, but my mindset has shifted with the current pandemic and political state of affairs/nightmares. Continue reading

The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour is Growing!

The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour takes place every Thursday from 5 – 6:15pm CST. The theme or activity has attendance growing because we have a TON of fun with folks who “get it”.  This event is a great place to meet new people, connect with old friends and hopefully lift your spirits as you roll into the weekend.
Checkout a few fun pics below and be sure to click on the Happy Hour logo to register. Continue reading

To Love A Diabetic by Poet Nichole Acosta

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.
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Real Life Diabetes “Virtual” Happy Hour(s)

I’ve hardcore quarantined since March and recently started to feel the impact it has on me mentally. I miss my friends, I miss strolling the aisles of Target, I miss spending too much time looking at fresh produce, I miss brunch and definitely miss happy hour at a local watering hole. As I shed tears writing this post, I thought – why not do something about it. Continue reading

A Healthy Spin On A Protein Packed Tuna Salad

With all of us spending more time in kitchen it was time to get cracking on a new recipe, but considering what I’ve been whipping together is ridiculous, I reached out to my friend, Brent Wilson, RD, CDE and Director of Nutrition & Wellness at i2U Culinary Solutions. I had the pleasure of interviewing Brent and co-owner, chef Jonathon Stranger on Mini-podcast #1: Food Is Medicine a few months ago. They know what they’re talking about – I hope you enjoy. Continue reading

Surviving the Spanish Flu While In Another Country

I felt compelled to write this post after reading a NY Times article about pandemic mortality rates over the decades. In 1999, I gave myself a graduation present to visit a friend in Paris, France to celebrate the millennium. My family warned against the trip because of the uncertainty of Y2K, but that didn’t stop me. My friend was a nanny for the US Ambassador and I knew my time in France would not be the typical tourist adventure. I headed out with a HUGE backpack and cannot recall what diabetes supplies were on board.  Continue reading

2019 Year In Review: Diabetes Advocacy Domination & Discoveries

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.
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The Fear of Diabetes Complications Linger in the Background

Yesterday, in a bit of a panic, I reached out to friends and family because I was scared, really scared. The ugly cry kept me from sharing my real fears – was it just a gallbladder episode or something worse? Within an hour, I was headed to the ER, but not before packing a bag – insulin, needles, pen needles, extra sensor, skin tac, tester, test strips, healthy snacks, low BG snacks, journal, phone charger and head phones. Continue reading

June Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour – Joplin, Missouri

I’m packing up the Subaru and heading to Joplin, Missouri to attend the Stick It To Diabetes fundraiser hosted my the Mercy Foundation. What better way to bring PWD together than a happy hour? Continue reading

I Am Perfectly Imperfect

I’ve been holding onto this post for awhile, but while geeking out on Netflix documentaries, I stumbled upon Brené Brown’s – A Call to Courage. Damn her! I’ve been a huge fan of Brené and find she pops into my life exactly when I need her. It is time for me to be vulnerable… Continue reading

A Look Back at What I Learned and/or Overcame in 2018

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.

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Sometimes, I Just Don’t Want To Be Anyone’s Hero

 

We’ve all heard it before: wow, how can you do that? You’re so strong. You’re so brave. You’re so courageous, ad nauseam. I have people staring at me while I take insulin injections, like curious little puppies trying to get the best view. We’re hailed as warriors, and that we should strut around like diabetes is a badge of courage on our arms. AND it IS difficult; it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Continue reading

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

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

The Power Of The Reveal (Finally Telling My GF I Had T1D)

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6 and was told that I took it like a champ. I was not afraid of the injections or the frequent blood tests while I was hospitalized. When the doctors told me to look away I would usually tell them no, I’m not afraid. In fact, my only major problem was I missed being home with my family and toys.

At that age I was pretty open with the fact I had diabetes. I would often inject or test in front of family and friends and they would be in awe at my bravery. When I returned to school, my classmates and teachers were informed about my health issues and they all looked out for me. Anytime I the opportunity arose, I would show off my needles and other diabetes gear. Continue reading

How To Fuel Your Way Through A 24-Hour Swim Relay

My sister convinced me to sign up for a 24-hour relay swim to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Swimming I like, raising awareness for charity I enjoy, and a new challenge beckoned. Doing this 24-hours after flying back from a Boston marathon trip – this would be fun. Continue reading

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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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

Making It In NYC… As A Dancer… With T1D

 

I was born in Vancouver, BC and at 18 months old I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I consider myself lucky to have grown up in Canada where majority of medical supplies are covered and you don’t have to beg your insurance company on your hands and knees for equipment, like insulin pumps and CGMs. I think I’m even luckier to have parents who were not afraid of my diabetes and let me join numerous dance classes at a young age. I’ve always had a passion for dancing and performing and I knew that I wanted to make it my career as I got older. I also knew that NYC was the place with the most opportunity to make it happen and that is why I moved to the Big Apple. 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

Advocating For T1D in D.C. (10 Actually Exciting Takeaways)

Recently I returned from a whirlwind trip to Washington DC, where I advocated for Type 1 Diabetes with folks from all over the U.S. Our primary mission was to garner support from our state’s (Oklahoma) senators and representatives for the renewal of the Special Diabetes Program, and to cover the JDRF stance on the ACA. I was blown away by many aspects of the trip, and would like to share with you my top 10 takeaways, in countdown form. 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

Resetting The Vision (Here Comes DDG 2.0)

We’re inspiring people to live their best diabetes life. For said vision to be realized, our team has decided to reset their strategy, which will resume starting February 15th with regular and more frequent content. Until then, they wish us all best of luck in staying committed to our New Year’s resolutions.

Cheers to the highs and lows everyone!

P.S. The Real Life Diabetes Podcast will continue to roll out shows in the meantime.

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