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.
While getting the diabetes diagnosis tends to put us on the back foot, we can choose to deal with it and refuse to let it define us. Tim White is a diabetes veteran who has been managing his diabetes for longer than I have. He is a well spring of wisdom and shares his story along with his experience on living his best life with diabetes for decades. Tim is a prime example that diabetes is not a death sentence, and its management is getting better every day. Continue reading →
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 →
Kyle is a seasoned traveler and person living with T1D whose career path has been shaped by the bumps and bruises of living with this disease. He currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for DiabetesWise who has launched the DiabetesWise Device Finder, a tool created at Stanford University School of Medicine to help PWD easily identify the best technology for their personal diabetes management. Continue reading →
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.
This impromptu episode was a no brainer when President Biden took office and put a freeze on past executive orders. The diabetes community flipped out so I contacted two friends who can help me and the DOC better understand what this really means. In this episode we discuss the EO freeze on insulin and grassroots advocacy efforts.
Manny Hernandez is a published author, recognized diabetes advocate, and speaker on the power of community for social impact who reminds us, while we are not on this journey by choice, it’s not a path we need to take alone. What better way to wrap up 2020 than with a brave soul who transformed his professional career to connect with others who understand similar challenges.
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.
I’m a sucker for witty banter and was thrilled to connect with Jutta Haaramo, co-founder of the Happy Bob app, who has brought a bit of lightheartedness to managing her son’s life with T1D. Her mission is to share the latest diabetes data, without overloading people with information by making it a fun, and rewarding experience. This is just the beginning of an exciting partnership with Jutta and the Happy Bob app team. Continue reading →
With a little friendly stalking I had the pleasure of chatting with two incredibly inspirational industry leaders, and self proclaimed friendemies, Sean Saint and John Sjolund. Their drive to succeed and multiple success stories mirror my mission to help improve quality of life for all people living with diabetes. They are entertaining to say the least and had me laughing throughout the interview while giving me hope for the future of diabetes management. Continue reading →
Can you imagine being diagnosed with T1D and five years later stating you’re in the best health of your life? In this episode, we’ll be learning more about my new friend from the land downunda’, Astra-Lia ‘Ozzy’ England. Several years ago, Ozzy would receive news from the doctor that would shake her world; a T1D diagnosis. In a matter of weeks, she went from living a relatively normal life (albeit with Celiac disease) to being put on insulin therapy. Her fiery personality and unapologetic curiosity about life with diabetes made her the perfect guest.
The battle against diabetes doesn’t have to be done alone, we need community. That is the mindset of today’s guests (yes plural!) the Diabuddies App Founders, Amy, Sarah and Charlene. As we dive in, you’ll learn how these ladies’ experience with diabetes led them to create something ALL people living with diabetes can support. Continue reading →
Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?! Repeat guest and dear friend, Mark Carter joins the show and shares how and why he has created a T1D backup plan. He has re-assessed and found better strategies that have left him feeling freer and refreshed. Let’s dive into Mark’s story and learn how finding the right physician and going back to the basics (MDI) got his diabetes back on track. 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 →
Sarah is a breath of fresh air. Her ability to be honest, vulnerable and willing to discuss all aspects of her T1D journey is the perfect combination to connect the diabetes online masses. In this first ever episode for the DDG, we discuss medicinal cannabis and what it has done for Sarah in addition to daily practices of yoga, meditation and online connectivity. 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!
After being rejected to join an insulin therapy clinical trial, I was determined to find someone who was able to participate. DDG’s newest team member, Cynthia Celt, connected the dots and hooked me up with Craig who shared his recent experience as a participant in a rather intense trial. Thank you Craig for temporarily donating your body to science to help fellow insulin dependent dia-peeps. Keep on trucking… jeeping you brave soul.
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 →
DreaMed Diabetes, a leader in AI solutions for personalized diabetes management and the company behind the first artificial pancreas technology recently launched Advisor Pro software. This software can analyze glucose and insulin data in seconds and advise on an optimal treatment plan including basal rate, carb ratio, insulin sensitivity factor, and personal management tips. The Advisor Pro also allows remote clinic visits and frequent titration changes.
Steady Health is the first full-service digital diabetes clinic in the US. Their services combine the power of continuous glucose monitors and the convenience of telemedicine to deliver a new type of care to patients. You can see an endocrinologist from home and get ongoing care and support from a team of diabetes specialists.
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 →
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.
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 →
In less than a week from our last podcast conversation with Clayton McCook, he managed to “close the loop”, by himself, with the help of many (including the NightScout Community). His focus is singular: restore as many childhood moments to his daughter’s life as possible, without diabetes hovering in the background. He walks us through the “closing the loop” steps and his bigger motivations. As a parent of a person with diabetes, if you’ve ever thought about tinkering with your gear to allow the CGM and pump talk, Clayton stands as proof that it’s possible to pull it off with determination, love, and a small desk somewhere. Continue reading →
As a person with Type 1 diabetes, I’ve been frustrated in years past with the lack of advancement for the treatment of this disease. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I decided to stop complaining and take action. I asked myself the question – why aren’t things changing and what can I do to help? I did a bit of research and with the help of my regular physician, I was added to a list of diabetes related trials. I had no idea what I was in for, but knew it was something I had to do. Continue reading →
At the JDRF Summit last January in Oklahoma City, we struck up a conversation with the father of Lily, an adorable, youngster who lives with T1D. She had on this awesome-looking watch with her blood sugar. So did her Dad. We had to explore further. In this episode, Clayton shares his family’s philosophies on parenting and empowering the T1D life. While not a “techie guy”, he managed to discover and use Night Scout… while continuing to develop an artificial pancreas in his basement. There’s some wisdom in this one folks. Continue reading →
Research indicates that the more a patient wears the CGM, the lower the a1c travels. This makes sense. If you see your blood sugar rising, you’re probably going to take action to stop it. If you don’t see your blood sugar risking, you’re probably not going to take action until you feel high, or test again. That’s a good 30 minutes to 2 hours saved from having a high blood sugar. Like I said, all of this makes sense. Every CDE will share this advice, as they should.
I need to backtrack first. Technology is taking considerable chunks out of our lives. I get an urgent “request” from an app, website, or social media site to install a new push notification just about daily. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment, sometimes it feels that way, but I do not like getting notifications. I do not want to be told what the score of the Thunder game is at the end of the 1st quarter. If I want to know the score of the Thunder game, I will check the score. In my experience, the conveniences offered through push notifications are rather inconvenient. Continue reading →
Yes, I know it’s a phone but for our purposes they might as well be the same.
I knew what I was getting when I signed up for this CGM thing. I knew full well what could happen to myself when given the chance to know my blood sugar, all the time. The consequences of that gift have been two-sided. First, it’s drastically reduced really high highs and really low lows. Secondly, it’s created another distraction in a world full of attention grabbing things. I cherish the ability to be present, let things unfold, and react accordingly. At times, the CGM has challenged that mantra. With each alarm or urge to check it, that takes away undivided attention from studying, conversations, and work projects. With a set of rules developed through experience, I am now apt to deal with the CGM with balance, well, at least sometimes.
Here are those rules for diabetes management with a CGM:
1. Employ multiple ranges.
Most continuous glucose monitoring devices allow for flexibility in your CGM alarm ranges. At night, I prefer to loosen up the reins. Instead of being buzzed and beeped when I approach 200, I prefer to buzzed and beeped when I approach 250. Sleep is the priority. During the day, I take the opposite approach with the goal of being below 200, to optimize brain function. 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.
A diabetes development hits the news every five minutes. Our job at the DDG, is to showcase to you which of these really matter. We think this DreaMed and Medtronic partnership matters. Why? We’ll get there, but first, let’s define the agreement.
DreaMed Diabetes’s CE approved GlucoSitter™, which is based on the MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas algorithm, is a fully-automated, artificial-pancreas system for controlling glucose levels. The system links the glucose sensor with the insulin pump through computerized control algorithms. It uses data of glucose levels from a continuous glucose sensor, analyzes them and directs the insulin pump to deliver the correct dose of insulin that should be released to the body in order to maintain balanced blood glucose. In effect, the software continuously monitors glucose levels, and defines precisely when and how to adjust insulin levels.
It’s now afternoon. I’m staring out of the window from my desk at school, trying to pound information into my brain with little progress. The weather’s perfect. It was time. Time to ride. I mean, for February in Oklahoma, I’ll take anything above 40 but yesterday it was 60!
Let me digress, our story really begins at lunchtime. I was running low on groceries, so campus food was the only option. I stroll up to the cafeteria salad bar at the bottom of Children’s Hospital, looking to put together a relatively healthy salad. At this point, the blood sugar is 90. As a plant-based, vegan eater, I always check first for beans and peas, the old reliable sources of protein. Neither were in site.
I bailed, then walking half a mile up to the student union for a taco salad bowl. By the time I got there, the glucose was hanging out in the 60s. Now, I’m absolutely starving. I eat the bowl, and casually check the CGM (continous glucose monitor) to see when my blood sugar starts to tick back up. Once it did, I dialed up a few units and didn’t give it another thought. Two hours later, I get the high blood sugar alert at 250. Knowing that I’m about to take off on a bike ride, I only take a unit to play it safe.
The cardinal sin of CGM wearing is not testing your blood sugar on the meter before correcting. I sinned. Continue reading →
As those who read the DDG know, I just started up the CGM (Medtronic’s Enline Continuous Glucose Monitoring). Yesterday marked my official CGM training with a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator), Christy Olson at Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in OKC. During our get together, she mentioned that my data looked like that of a “sugar surfer”. I’d never heard those words before but thought they sounded great together and asked for more. She told me to check out Dr. Stephen Ponder. So I did. Continue reading →
Last Friday night, Halloween, marked the opening of a new era in my life–going out with continuous glucose monitoring. Some may say So what? Big deal. I’d respond with Have you ever tested your blood sugar at the bar? Try remembering to test your blood sugar at the bar.Continue reading →
With the CGM alongside, I now understand the speed at which insulin operates. Yesterday evening, my glucose trended up towards 200. I corrected with a unit of insulin. At the moment, I was attempting to study, which invariably leads to a search for any excuse not to study. Insert CGM. I kept looking to see if the insulin was working. It didn’t initially. Fifteen minutes later, I could see the readings crest and begin trending downwards. This is the indicator to stop giving insulin unless you enjoy being low, or well… crazy. Continue reading →