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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Ryan’s Fondest Farewell And Cheers | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 55


It’s funny how the thing you set out to do ends up being done to you. We had one goal when launching Diabetes Daily Grind back in 2014–give real support for the diabetes life (it was once ‘diabetic life’, but we got with the times, thanks to Kelly McKeever). I had it all figured out, the whole living with diabetes thing. I’d write articles for the website about how to run marathons or how to go vegan, dispelling all this great wisdom to help others, and it would be a fun, creative outlet. Turns out, I didn’t even know what real support was, because I’d been missing it all along: community. Turns out I needed the real support. Continue reading

A Path Out Of The Darker Places | Daniele Hargenrader, Diabetes Dominator | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 51

Enthusiasm and authenticity are contagious. In just an hour of speaking with Daniele, we caught the wave of passion toward bettering our own diabetes management. Her own transformation–a completely authentic one driven by her own T1D experience–gives her a platform to coach from the heart. She gets the pitfalls. She understands the road to success. She has a balanced approach based upon a Nutritional Science degree, Personal Training certification, and 1000 hours of psychology training.  A conversation centered on how to craft an optimal attitude toward new habits, this podcast serves as the perfect launch into 2018. And, as no surprise to anyone, moments of ridiculousness and laughter are plentiful.

Happy listening everyone!

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Wearing Diabetes On My Sleeve… Even In Medical School | Ideen Tabatabai | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 39

Diabetes is the best thing that ever happened to us. This guy, Ideen Tabatabai, lives out that mantra, and diabetes continues to shape his path as he exits medical school. Alongside Ryan, they explore the subtle, and not so subtle, ways that diabetes shaped their medical school experience, oftentimes in absurd, hilarious ways. Ideen is a 4th year medical student at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City. He’s been living with T1D for 18 years, with Dad and brother as fellow folks with diabetes. He plans to specialize in pediatrics, and to further sub-specialize in pediatric endocrinology (takes one to know one). We can’t wait to follow his path.

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Third Annual New Years Show (Gleaning Wisdom From The Pricks) | Amber and Ryan | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 37

Just getting back to our DDG roots: reflecting on 2016, making fun of each other, and catching up. Continue reading

Wisdom In Wichita (The 24 Hour Road Trip Of Enlightenments) | Amber and Ryan | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 33

real-life-diabetes-podcast-33

The DDG hit the road and headed to Kansas for the Live Well Diabetes EXPO. We had less than 24 hours to spread the DDG love to the people of Wichita. Along the way, we picked up a few stories from folks in the great plains area who are living the real life – diabetes style. In this episode we share our take aways and life philosophies from our time with SO many fellow PWDs and their families.  Continue reading

The Catching-Up Show: Who Are You Again? | Amber and Ryan | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 29

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Yes, behind Amber’s face is Kelly McKeever (in RLD 28) cropped out. We move on to the next episode quickly.

One can only talk oneself for so long, right? Wrong, Amber and Ryan dedicated an entire show to each other (we thought they talked plenty already about themselves in ordinary episodes). In conversation a week prior, they realized much of life had passed by since they had a good sit-down chat. It was time t0 “catch-up” on life, diabetes, and pick-up strategies (Ryan heads to the trail and Amber heads to Whole Foods). Amber elaborates on a DDG post about her recent extraordinarily ignorant endocrinologist visit, while Ryan updates on his new, old-school approach to diabetes management.

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Are Two Pancreases Greater Than One? | Tara Layman from T1D Exposed On Her Transplant | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 27

Tara from T1DExposed on Real Life Diabetes Podcast


What started as a mini pod quickly blossomed into a full blown podcast once Amber began diving into the nitty gritty as to how Tara Layman (T1D Exposed co-founder) scored a new pancreas and kidney. The question of the hour – Will two pancreases and three kidneys reverse her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis? Well, in this episode they chat openly about the pre surgery process, switching from insulin shots to a handful of pills, how important it is to have a support team and what the future holds for someone who no longer “technically” has Type 1 diabetes. Continue reading

Inspiring The Next Wave Of Diabetes Innovation | Amy Tenderich, DiabetesMine Founder | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 26

 Amy Tenderich - DiabetesMine.com and Real Life Diabetes Podcast

What’s the recipe for innovation? Funny you ask, we were thinking it went a little like this: timing, drive, wit, guts, luck, and a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. At least in Amy Tenderich’s story, all of those factors came together magically when she received her diagnosis in 2003. Continue reading

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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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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Exploring the Empowering Nature of Diabetes Camp | Paul from Camp Blue Hawk | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 18

Real Life Diabetes Podcast 18 - Diabetes Camp

The DDG team is honored to be advisory board members for OU Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Camp Blue Hawk, a 5-day residential camp for children with type 1 diabetes that focuses on improving camper’s quality of life. In this podcast we chatted with high school student, twin, cello/bass playing and volleyball champion, Paul and his mother. He shares his honest reflection on what camp was like with stories of clean latrines, good food and forgetting he had diabetes. Continue reading

High Blood Sugar Contagion, Searching The Past For Wisdom, and Enforcing Accountability for 2015’s Resolutions | Amber and Ryan | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 14

Real Life Diabetes Podcast 14

Well, 2016 is officially here and the DDG crew has survived yet another eventful holiday season. With another year under our belts with all things that diabetes entails (using 4 total lancets, troubleshooting 129 high blood sugars for unknown causes, and Instagramming sunsets with insulin pumps in the foreground), we want to reflect on what all transpired in 2015 – lessons learned (some multiple times), blood sugar mysteries solved, and new adventures that sparked enlightenment. Continue reading

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.

What You Don’t Learn At The Endo: 8 Diabetes Lessons Discovered The Hard Way | Amber and Ryan | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 11

What You Don't Learn At The Endo | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 11

As Amber and Ryan have poured their collective souls into the Internet (a slightly terrifying thought) over the past two years, they’ve noticed a few themes when it comes to living life with this disease. That’s what today’s all about: realness in the form of personal experience. With 40+ years of experience between the two, they widdled down the advice into 8 simple, everyday lessons.

Here’s what you’re in for today: Continue reading

Ask Us Anything #1: Is It Ever Okay To Go Low During Exercise, The Roommate Talk, and Why Someone Would Stick To Shots | Amber, Ryan, and John | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 9

Ask Us Anything Episode #1 | Real Life Diabetes Podcast

For those who are familiar with how our website operates, this will come as no surprise–we held nothing back. Today’s show is all about sharing the diabetes journey. Every so often, it’s just nice to know that you aren’t the only one digging the trench. That’s sometimes the metaphor we use when thinking about diabetes on a daily basis. We’re not experts, just people living a real diabetes life and talking about it. Thanks to all who dropped in a question.

We went deep into endurance exercise with John Brandenburg and how to prevent a low blood sugar during. Having that conversation with roommates can be tough. We talked about how, why, and when to bring it up. Ever had an issue with medical supplies? Oh yeah, we have. Amber still, yes still, prefers shots over the pump. She gave us her rational and made stellar points. Continue reading

Person First Language, Low-Carb Vs. High-Carb Diets, Skinny Pants Syndrome, and How Close Is The Closed Loop? | Kelly McKeever, RN and PWD | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 7

Real Life Diabetes Podcast 7

At the age of 13, did an event define your career path? For Kelly, it happened. A PWD–the importance of using this term instead of a diabetic was discussed, too–he now counsels patients with diabetes on a daily basis as part of a diabetes clinic. His real perspective for patients is invaluable. He relates to the ineffectiveness of the 15–wait–15 rule. He understands what it’s like to do something you regret when low or high. He’s been in that spot, where no matter how much insulin you dial up, your blood just won’t come down. He can empathize. 

 

We discussed how he became a diabetes health professional, his top advice, his approach to patients, the importance of the diabetes online community, and the story behind how he received his diabetes diagnosis, from a football coach. Kelly joined the DDG team over in Amber’s living room, on a sweltering Oklahoma summer day. Continue reading

A Journey Back To Playing Shows After Open Heart Surgery | Mike Hosty | Real Life Diabetes Podcast #6

Real Life Diabetes 6: Mike Hosty

This man has a story to tell and we jumped right into it. Mike Hosty is a musician by trade, playing 2-3 shows a week across the Southwest. His weekly Sunday institution at The Deli has entertained a couple of decades of students, leading to more than a few skipped Monday morning classes. We brought him on the podcast to hear about his health journey.

With a family history of a bicuspid heart valve where there should be a tricuspid aortic valve, Mike found out four years ago that he was at risk for some major complications–a cardiologist at a show he was playing diagnosed him with an echocardiogram right before a show. After an open-heart surgery resulting in a new cadaver valve, Mike has traveled the tough road back to playing gigs and being an active Dad. For anyone on the chronic disease path littered with adversity, Mike has plenty of words of wisdom to apply to the journey.

Kick back. Enjoy the show. Try to laugh.
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Being Mindful, While Drinking Coffee, and Inhaling Insulin | Amber Clour and Ryan Fightmaster | Real Life Diabetes Podcast #3

Real Life Diabetes Podcast #3, Amber Clour and Ryan Fightmaster

Amber and Ryan got together, just to catch up on the diabetic life. The diabetes world is booming with news. Inhaled insulin is on the diabetic radar again, with Afrezza now on the market. New research revealed how diabetes leads to an increased risk of depression. They were not surprised. Mindfulness plays a role here, and they discussed its benefits. They shared their opinions. Coconut oil has them obsessed. Along with those topics, they rambled as only those with diabetes can, regarding just about everything that affects blood sugar, which is well, everything. Continue reading

Introducing The Real Life Diabetes Podcast | Ryan and Amber |Real Life Diabetes Podcast #1

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<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.

Listen and Subscribe on iTunes | Stitcher

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