Podcast 70: Heavy on the Greens, Light on the Gravy | Rev Run & Justine Simmons

It is always a pleasure to connect with fellow diabetes advocates, Rev Run and Justine Simmons. They radiate positive energy and had me laughing with their ability to call each out when it comes to healthy lifestyle choices. There is no doubt, their passion to rewrite their family history with Type 2 diabetes is contagious and the Simmons kids are teaching them a thing or two.

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Podcast 68: The Power of Connectivity within the T1D Community

Last December, Anne came to the rescue, offering help during my insulin crisis while in San Antonio, Texas. She, like many people in the DOC (diabetes online community) stayed in contact with me while I resolved the problem. She is a leader in the diabetes community and her wealth of knowledge has helped so many T1Ds and their families.

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Podcast 67: T1D Circus Acrobat, Snack Mom & World Traveler | Drew Butler

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.

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Podcast 65: Looking Forward To What Lies Ahead | Me, Myself & I

I’ve been preparing  this heartfelt episode for quite some time, and after months of research and polling friends & family, I am thrilled to announce Patreon, a phenomenal and trusted membership platform. All of the Real Life Diabetes podcast episodes will remain free, but members will receive perks. There are five tiers – all of which are affordable so I hope you will take a moment to check it out.

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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

Podcast 64: It’s Okay to be Angry, Just Don’t Stay There | Crystal Bowersox

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.

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Podcast 63: Hulk Sightings & Jiminy Cricket Life Saving Moments

My adventure to Arkansas, as one of the first Real Life Diabetes “taking the show on the road”, was a smashing success. This couple had me tearing up within the first hour and laughing out loud at the same time. They were welcoming, kind, a ton of fun and not scared to share very personal stories of living, as a couple, with Type 1 diabetes.

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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

Podcast 62: Diabulimia Demons and a High Risk, Geriatric Pregnancy | Cynthia Celt

This fearless forty something T1D does an incredible job of sharing her story. Cynthia is a T1D veteran who has challenged and/or been fired by an endo. or two, faced diabulimia head on, fearlessly experimented with the newest medications on the market and laughed at the thought of being a high risk, geriatric pregnancy.
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Podcast 61: A Glamorous & Glittery Perspective on Life with T1D | Paloma Kemak

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.

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FedEx Small Business Grant Contest – PLEASE VOTE

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!

Podcast 60: An Inspiration To The T1D Community | Lauren Bongiorno









I’ve taken the Real Life Diabetes podcast on the road and spent a fabulous, BUT way too short amount of time in Scottsdale, Arizona. What better way to kickoff this epic adventure than attending a Beyond Type 1 meet up? I am thrilled to publish Podcast 60 with one of the Beyond Type 1 hostesses, Lauren Bongiorno; virtual Diabetic Health Coach, Entrepreneur, and Author of the Diabetic Health Journal. 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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Podcast 58: Going For The Gold | Future Olympian, Kate Hall









Kate Hall, is like many of us in the diabetes community – unstoppable and she decided early on that Type 1 diabetes won’t keep her from pursuing her dreams. She is an inspiration to us all and does a phenomenal job sharing her story on the road to becoming a 2020 Olympian.

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Podcast 54: Times Are A Changing (Advocacy & DDG Announcements) | Trish Winters, T1D Parent & Advocate








 


As promised, the Diabetes Daily Grind is happy to share what’s on the horizon for the blog and the Real Life Diabetes podcast while catching up with one of our favorite guests. Over a few glasses of wine, Amber has a heartfelt discussion with Trish, T1D parenting badass to two sons with T1D whose fighting the good fight on Capitol Hill as a diabetes advocate.  Continue reading

The 670G Sleep Solution | Mark Carter, Round III | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 53








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.
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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

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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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

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

Knocking It Out In One Shot – Happy World Diabetes Day








World Diabetes Day

We’re SO excited to participate in our first World Diabetes Day. With so much DOC love, wonderful causes and organizations, we created a short video to show our support. We hope you enjoy this impromptu video – Diabetes Daily Grind style. Cheers to the highs and lows everyone.

The Power Of Having A Diabetes Community








diabete-community

Happy National Diabetes Awareness Month! What better topic to write about than the impact the diabetes online community (#DOC) has had on my life. In previous posts, it was made clear time and time again how I did not fully appreciate the value of this random group of souls until I tapped in – I mean jumped into everyone’s lives. It was SO weird to be welcomed with open arms from folks I’d never met. Continue reading

How I Thrived as a T1D Peace Corps Volunteer (Part 3): Two Fists of Potatoes








making-varenyks_ukraine

When I received my invitation to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, it included a primer on life in Ukraine, with general information on history, geography, transportation, culture and a small section on food. It should come as no surprise to other PWD, but I have a sometimes wonderful and sometimes dangerous relationship with food. The information shared they’re heavy on meat and vegetables, with seasonal access to produce, and the majority of grocery shopping is done in open air bazaars and small shops. This was helpful, but didn’t minimize my anxiety when it came to carbohydrate counting or questions about glucose tab availability. Continue reading

Divots And Dents – Diabetes Impact On My Ego








Let It Go

Flashback to my diagnosis date which centered on the doom and gloom of my new life with Type 1 diabetes. I recall a lofty list of what I “should or should not” do in order to live a healthy life without complications. I listened and followed the rules for the most part, but rotating my injection sites didn’t seem to stick. It was just easier to give my injections in my thighs because I was usually sitting on the toilet. No brainer, right? Continue reading

Clean Out Your Fridge – Everything Goes Brunch








Brunch Plate

The DDG culinary partners in crime came together, but this time, we didn’t have a recipe or theme for that matter. The only plan of action – clean out the fridge. We’re rule breakers or makers so there’s no right or wrong way to whip things together to create a KILLER brunch. Below is a recap of how we made it happen.

Step 1: Clean out your fridge – that means EVERYTHING. We gathered fruit, various cheeses, carrots, onions, garlic (lots of it), tomatillos, tomatoes, shallots, squash and shrooms. Continue reading

Inspire The Next Wave Of Creativity in the Diabetes Realm








Change Tree

Can you believe it’s (only) been two years since we aimed to inspire the best diabetes life? We’re just getting started! We have oodles of creative content coming and could use your help to kick it out. If you’re in a place to throw a little change our way to keep the lights on, click HERE. Or… just like us on Facebook and invite a few friends. Or… just bookmark this link and click it before you shop on Amazon.

Much love to everyone. Cheers to the highs and lows.

Behold A Revolution For Our Fingers (#LiberateYourLancet)








Ryan - Lancet

Ryan trying to figure out how that whole lancet changing thing works.

I just returned home from the largest diabetes gathering I’ve attended to date, the Friends For Life conference. I had no idea what to expect and felt overwhelmed at times because I was surrounded by SO many PWDs. I laughed and cried during my interactions with folks who understand the path I’m on. While in such great company, I gathered data (sipping wine and sharing stories) on commonalities and lifestyle hacks to make life with T1D easier. I’ll share a few of them in a future post – BUT there was one thing that was very clear – NO ONE changes their lancet. Why is this? Are we stubborn, lazy or just gluttons for punishment? Well, I’ve developed a plan I hope you will participate in… Continue reading

MasterLab Advocacy Everywhere Conference – Stay Tuned








Masterlab

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:

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A Sermon For The Diabetes Soul | Rev Run & Justine Simmons | Real Life Diabetes 24








Rev Run and Justine Real Life Diabetes Podcast 24                                                                 Photo by Novo Nordisk & Ask.Screen.Know™

After a few months of friendly stalking, we scored the opportunity to chat with hip hop legend and diabetes advocate, Rev Run and his wife Justine Simmons. With 1 in 3 adult Americans being at risk of Type 2 diabetes, they’re spreading the word about T2D prevention with the help of Ask.Screen.Know™. In this episode, we’re swapping recipes, avoiding the food police (while simultaneously encouraging them) and sharing how to lead by example in hopes of changing their family’s history. The message is clear – Do it for the ones you love. 
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Diabetes Over The Decades, Chapter 1: The Early Years








Amber As A Kid

Last week my favorite bartender overheard my conversation with a dear friend. We were laughing about how our bodies are changing since turning the big 4-0. The bar was packed with attractive men so when she announced, “Amber – there’s no way you’re 40!”, I almost fell from my bar stool. Instead of freaking out, I announced with pride that I turned 40 a few months back. The girl talk continued and I proclaimed how happy I am to still be alive. This declaration fueled my desire to begin a new series of posts – diabetes over the decades, yes decade(s)Continue reading

Overcoming My Carb Counting Fears With A Veggie Curry Recipe








veggie bowl

One of the biggest challenges I face as a T1D is tackling foreign foods. Don’t get me wrong, I rarely shy away from an unfamiliar dish, but guessitmating the carbs can be difficult. One dish in particular I’m drawn to is curry so what better way to update my carb calculating skills than by preparing this heavenly dish myself. I rallied my culinary partners in crime and whipped up a recipe with a few diabetes friendlier options.

This recipe might seem intimidating, but don’t let the number of ingredients freak you out. I’m breaking it down into three easy steps. Continue reading

Blind Dates & Diabetes, Part #2: Testing At The Table








Blind Date

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

Making A List Of The Most Annoying Things (After 2 Months of T1D)








shutterstock_366828365

I’m settling into my life with diabetes and ultimately, the whole experience has been a lot easier than I thought it would be. However, there are a few pretty annoying aspects of everything. I’ve decided to make a list:

  • The Bag: I left the hospital with the most hideous bag I’ve ever seen to carry my supplies. It was a smushed cheap camouflage lunch box. Seriously. I had to be seen at Panera with that thing. Short-term, I bought a black make-up bag from CVS. I was surprised when I found some great bags online made specifically for carrying diabetes supplies. I got mine from this SITE and love it.

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Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear: Pre-Diabetes Forecasts








Rear View Mirror

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…

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Planes, Buses and Race Cars Fuel A Weekend of Highs (Blood Sugars and Good Times)








airplane

Novo Nordisk was kind enough to invite me to join them in cheering on T1D and Indy race car driver, Charlie Kimball in the Phoenix Grand Prix. Upon receiving my itinerary, it was clear to be a whirlwind of a weekend. After three full days of lively, diabetes themed discussions, I prepared to head home. For 48+ hours, I had been fueled by adrenaline, insulin and red wine. My diabetes game plan going into the weekend – adjust Lantus injection to the different time zone, do my best to pursue healthy food options and have fun no matter what the circumstances. Continue reading

WOW Your Friends With A New Brunch Masterpiece – Introducing Shakshuka








Shashuka

Cooking adventures with friends fuel my fire to pursue healthier options when meal planning for the week. While discussing our next culinary adventure, my friend mentioned Shakshuka. I know what you’re thinking – I can’t even pronounce this so how in the hell am I going to prepare it? Shakshuka is an Israeli dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, and onions, spiced with cumin. – are you salivating yet? After binge reading recipes, we gathered with tons of ingredients and the desire to create our own spin on this traditional dish. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Ingredients:

Shashuka Ingredients Continue reading

TBT: What “Real Life” Questions Would You Ask A Famous T1D








Halle Berry

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?

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Diabetes Is Forced To Take A Back Seat During The Chaos Of A Death








Locked Out

I had been mentally preparing myself for a memorial service for the spouse of a woman I absolutely adore. The dreaded day arrives and my goal prior to attending the service included a brisk walk and meditation before jumping in the shower. Everything was going according to plan until I returned home to find I was locked out of the house! I had 1 hour and 32 minutes before picking up an honorary guest of the widow!

Think Amber! My heart started to pound and panic set in.   Continue reading

Are Lancets Decorative? (Amber’s Nephew Demands T1D Answers)








GP Henry

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?


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Getting Naked for a Cure (T1Ds Bare All In New Calendar)








Lai T1D Exposed 2016

Over drinks with T1D friends one night, we (Kat and Tara) were talking about fundraising ideas to support our beloved diabetes camp (where we had met the summer before), and other amazing diabetes non-profits. It can be so hard to ask friends and family for money all the time when there are so many worthy causes. We laughed about how ridiculous it would be to start a T1D nude calendar. We kept joking about it, then seriously talking about it, and decided we had to make it happen.

What started off as a joke between friends turned into something beautiful as we recruited people to participate in the project. It is interesting to us that diabetes is often called an invisible disease. Sometimes it feels anything but invisible with the bumps and bruises, scar tissue and patches of sticky adhesive residue, gadgets and tubing, and constant beeping. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Diabetes can definitely leave its mark on your body, and we feel this is especially apparent when naked. During their photo shoots, T1Ds shared stories of struggle and acceptance, of eating disorders and complications, and also of finding peace.
There was a lot of laughing and a lot of crying. The love for bodies and all their amazing abilities, and the exasperation of living with a chronically ill body that requires so much mental attention to keep alive really resonated with us. It’s about acknowledging the struggle and changes to your life and body while celebrating your existence and abilities. The calendar reminds us to practice gratitude for all the amazing things are bodies are able to accomplish each day with insulin.

Warm Up Your Winter with this Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup








cauliflower soup

Soups and stews are a year-round favorite of mine, and not surprisingly, they become my staple during the cooler months. My current MO is to daydream a healthy concoction (a lot of garlic was on the list to boost the immune system and protect against colds, which tend to show up this time of year), and then do a little research to see if anyone else has done something similar. Pureed cauliflower (especially low carb, given that soups can be high carb) seemed like a mellow but healthy and hearty backdrop for the garlic. So with those criteria in mind… Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Could The Recent Cheese Recall Put Me 6 Feet Under?








Cheese - Grocery Store

I LOVE cheese more than red wine (BOLD statement), so when a recent recall hit the news – I FREAKED OUT!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 7, 2015 – “Well Known” Market is recalling cheese sold in all stores nationwide that came from its supplier because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. For the love of all things holy! Could cheese, something I love so dearly put me in the grave due to my weakened immune system? Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Could The State Fair Be One Of The Unhealthiest Places On Earth?








State Fair2

Last year, the DDG rolled out a post, 5 Disturbing Diabetes Observations From The State Fair, where we shared a few common observations. Fried gummy bears, sweet tea by the jug and more hotdog stands than healthy people. Well, I sucked it up and ventured back to this land of all things unhealthy to see if 2015 was a better year on the State Fair front. I went in somewhat skeptical, but with a glimpse of hope…

My mother and I headed out on a Tuesday morning with a short list of things we wanted to see.

  • Stroll the Arts & Crafts Expedition
  • Locate a friend’s tree and landscaping booth
  • Visit the Beer Garden (this was more my idea than hers)

As we attempted to navigate our way to the arts & crafts building, I shared my thoughts on what poor choices the fair was offering their guests. It was like ground hog’s day circling the fair grounds. Every aisle or whatever you call it had at least 10 fried options (gummy bears, ice cream, cookie dough and even butter), sweet tea, Pina Coladas, hot dogs, corn dogs BBQ, cheap – oversized beer cans and turkey legs the size of small child. Continue reading

My Recent Apology After An Epic High BG Blow-Up








I'm Sorry

I’m no stranger to the words “I apologize…” as my temperament in my younger years and Capricorn spirit have fueled some heated discussions. As I continue to morph into adhering to adult like practices I wanted to share my newest journey with the diabetes community. The recent realization that diabetes plays a major factor in my mood has allowed me to reflect and better process what lead to my apology. You need the background of my days events to better understand the beginnings to the epic blow-up with my mom.

  • I didn’t get a good nights rest because my home was uncomfortably warm due to an ancient AC unit and the Hawaii vs. Oklahoma time difference.

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Happy Diagnosis Day! – Liam’s One Year Anniversary








Liam

This short & sweet post is 100% dedicated to Liam as he and his family celebrate his FIRST T1D, diagnosis day anniversary. I’m aware that not every T1D chooses to embrace this special day, but about 7 years ago I chose to change my tune and truly hope you will consider doing the same.

Please shoot some +++ thoughts, prayers, messages, etc. for Liam and his family in the comment box below or on the DDG Facebook page. Every message helps, so don’t be shy!

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The Yoga Lessons: 5 Diabetes Aspects To Keep In Mind








Does it have any effect?

Diabetes has never been afraid to teach a lesson; thus, its effects have meandered into my yoga practice. Do normal people have to think about these things? Not a chance.

 

1) Know which side your pump site is attached.

If it happens to be sore, and you roll over on it after a calming savasana, all of that peace can disappear quickly.

 

2) Tuck in your tubing!

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Battle To The Death – My Death That Is…








Battle To The Death

May 18th, 2015 I stepped into the ring without signing up for the bout. 29 days later – a new meter, numerous panicked phone calls to my endocrinologist & pharmacy, an assload of money paid out of pocket, tears shed, curse words spoken – the battle is over. As the tears, sweat and blood are wiped up from the boxing ring, I wish I could write about a victorious moment that wrapped up this ridiculous situation, but that is NOT the case. My diligence and Capricorn spirit forced me to continue swinging when I was SO close to being down for the count.

I would put money on the fact that every T1D has been threw the ringer when it comes to the insurance runaround, so I felt my recent battle was one worth documenting. DING, DING, DING!

Round 1

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A Serious Challenge Unfolds As 2 Companies Claim To Provide Diabetic Dry Skin Relief








Gold Bond

Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time waiting for a “new” prescription for a spider bite, allowing plenty of time to stroll the aisles. Since the inception of the DDG, I’ve become hyperaware of the word diabetes or “diabeetus” for that matter so I decided to do some research on a few products marketed towards the diabetic audience.

I chose two, well respected companies to compare, Gold Bond and Eucerin. I will say with all honesty – I’ve never used either product, but plan to do so very soon. Continue reading