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.
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.
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 →
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 →
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?
The 80/20 rule usually means that 20 percent of the causes create 80 percent of the results. As a TID for 29 years, I think of it a little differently. I like to believe if I follow the rules 80 percent of the time, I can “bend” them for 20 percent.
So, what does that really mean for a person with T1D?
It means that I’m not so hard on myself when I slip-up. It means that I’m not pressured by the illusive perfection in diabetes management.Continue reading →
First, I must say that I love the thing. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I really enjoy my CGM 90% of the time. That 90% reflects, from my own experience, the everyday accuracy of the numbers. During that 90%, it’s incredible.
For those who have the CGM, be patient with me. For those who do not, I’d like to paint the picture of what it’s like.
We admire and respect what Trae Carson and Jonathan Stapleton are crafting over at 405 Brewing, Norman’s first microbrewery. As people with diabetes, we were curious about the brewing process, the carbs, and, well, the taste of their Spring Stout. On all fronts, they did not disappoint. We talked about why carbs aren’t on the outside of most beer bottles. They helped Ryan unravel the mysterious effects of different beers on his blood sugar. We dug up carbohydrate counts on Guinness, Bud Light, IPAs, stouts, and lagers. We even got into the science behind alcohol’s interaction with the liver and how it causes the eventual plummeting of blood sugar. For all of those folks who love good weather and a drink to go with that occasion, this podcast was for you. Enjoy.
<link=”0040FF”> It’s official. DiabetesDailyGrind has a podcast! If you’re familiar with the content offered over on our pages, you’ll understand what’s coming in a podcast. Real support! The first podcast gives an intro to the passion behind the DDG and what lies ahead for the show.
So, this is touchy. Just thinking about an A1C test can make your pulse go up. It defines us. Should it? There’s an argument for both sides–but at the end of the day–yeah, it goes a long way towards determining future complications. In speaking with my CDE (certified diabetes educator), we broached the likelihood of complications topic. This was my question, “What’s the A1C number where complications (foot, kidneys, eyes) are unlikely?” She responded by saying 7 or below.
Alright, according to this calculator, we need to be averaging a sugar of 153 to make it happen.
It seems straight-forward. Keep your sugar below 153 and life is good. Here’s where it gets dicey.
We all have a number–a number where we feel our best. Energized. Competent. Compassionate. That’s the real number. That’s the number that stands alone outside of our targets. This number has been sculpted from years of diabetes education, lessons learned, scars, and regret. For me, I feel like I can save the world at 140. Below it, I wouldn’t say that I feel low, but I would say that feel anxiety. Above it, I feel alright until about 180. Continue reading →
Anointed by the Huffington Post, mindfulness is the 2014 word of the year. As we enter the final month, in honor of the word, I thought I’d apply the idea to diabetes management. In short, mindfulness is knowing what you’re doing and thinking and why you’re doing and thinking it. Today, we can be mindful in these three ways:
1) When checking blood sugar, only check your blood sugar.
Don’t combine this activity with the barrage of life as we know it: conversation, social media, talking on the phone, etc. Why? Being attentive while making management choices gives empowerment and the opportunity to learn. After demolishing everything in the cupboard, it’s important to know how you got to this place. This is hard but a game changer. Continue reading →
High blood sugar sucks. Really though, it changes who you are. You become angrier. Patience has no meaning anymore. The idea of a nap rules over everything else in the world. Things that you love, my example would be cycling, sound detestable. Someone could ask me to go cycling and I’d want to respond with “I hate bicycles!”.
Okay, I know you get it. So how do we still function as human beings while high? I have a few hacks that I’ve learned via trial by fire over the 15 #blessed years of my life:
1) Repeat “Life is impermanent. How you feel now, will soon change.”
– Just reminding myself that all will be okay again is reassuring. It’s easy for us to believe that our current struggle will last forever but it’s just not reality. It always gets better. Continue reading →
For at least the last decade, I can recall the same test strip options being available: Freestyle, Freestyle Lite, Accucheck, OneTouch, and Precision.
Do these brands come up with new, more precise technology? No doubt. They do. Are the most up-to-date options, with the most accuracy and painless application, ever covered by my insurance? Never. Take for example the IBGStar testing machine, Sanofi’s development for the iPhone. This is real cool but not cool enough to pay $1.50 per strip. Continue reading →
Yoga is back. YouTube is THE resource for yoga on the internet–many teachers with so many styles. To make a wide-sweeping, not all that educated generalization, I see two different ways to practice:
1) Classic – This is your flow-based, Vinyasa style. Based on a traditional pose oriented routine. Think Sun Salutations.
2) Workout – This is the new age. Without a care about peace and mindfulness. Savasana what? Sweat and fatigue are the primary goals here. Continue reading →
Sometimes, in lieu of a cure, all diabetics want is consistency—a simple assurance that when we go to bed and our blood sugar is 130, we will wake to a number in the 100s. A hope that when we eat the same breakfast each morning, take the same insulin amount, and control all other meaningful factors, our blood sugar will react similarly day-to-day. What happens when that doesn’t happen? What happens when you eat that same breakfast you’ve always ate, take the same insulin, and your sugar is at 320? Continue reading →
Here’s John after finishing a recent half marathon
John before the T2D diagnosis
A new lease on life!
Hiking in Colorado
Hiking out in Utah!
The DDG wants to share the stories of fellow diabetic warriors. Meet John B., a Type 2 diabetic who used the diagnosis as a catalyst to transform his life.
DDG: Dude, what are you all about?
JB: I have type 2 diabetes. It is a disease of choice and I choose not to live with the symptoms anymore. I will work hard, play outside in God’s playground, be present and I choose life! That is what I’m about.
DDG: Tell us about your diagnosis day.
JB: I was diagnosed November 30, 2011. I hadn’t been feeling well and I suspected diabetes, so I went in for some blood work. Dr. Ratliff called to tell me that my A1c was critically high and my blood sugar was 434. I have Type 2 diabetes and had apparently had it for quite some time. That was the most important date in my life because it allowed me to move forward with purpose, and live my life by my rules. I just had to learn what those rules would be. I decided the minute I hung-up the phone that I was going to live, not only live, I was going to thrive! As Andy Dufresne (Shawshank Redemption) said, “Get busy living, or get busy dying”. Continue reading →