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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
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:
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. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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…
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 →
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.
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?
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!
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?
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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!
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!
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 →
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 →
I feel like a broken record because I’ve written numerous posts on the effects stress has on my blood sugar, but a few events last week reinforced how diabetes can take over your life. My life/work scenario forced me to take a seat on an insanely large BG roller coaster and I’m still waiting for the downhill plunge.
I believe a timeline is in order to help you understand.
Thursday – BG 214.
Odd because it’s usually around 120 – 150, my preferred roll out of bed BG. Maybe I have an infection??? Continue reading →
The DDG was contacted by a wonderful woman from the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center about a pilot camp rolling out this summer. We jumped on the opportunity to meet with Heather to learn more and offer our help, should she want it. As the conversation progressed, she said they were looking for a few T1D camp counselors. In years past I volunteered at a leadership camp for high school seniors. I felt confident in my ability to lead the youngsters and still be 100% myself – but would I be able to do the same for a group of T1Ds?
This thought inspired me to weigh a few pros & cons that came to mind.
I have 31 years under my belt and plenty of stories to share.
A1C is 6.3 (Not bragging, just proud of my hard work)
Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m not just focusing on my butt, but the whole package. I don’t plan to share my goal, but will say it has nothing to do with weight. For the first time in my adult life, I actually like my body, but it definitely could use a tune up. I hope you enjoy my short and somewhat absurd list of things that will help me get moving.
I’m a firm believer – you can never have too many shoes! I ordered Chacos today so I have the proper attire for outdoor hiking. Continue reading →
The DDG does a fabulous job of documenting our favorite recipes and random food concoctions. In honor of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week, I want to highlight a few recipes that keep my healthy eating habits in check. As a T1D, my week begins with a mental check list:
Grocery shopping – I’ve admitted in a few posts how I feel like a grocery shopping nazi because I frequent at LEAST three stores a week.
Meal Planning – What am I craving and won’t mind eating a few times?
Make A List – Put your cravings on paper after checking your cabinets for ingredients.
Food Prep – Prioritize your weekly game plan and schedule time to prep food.
Whew. It sounds like a lot, but these four steps help me to prepare and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Below are a few of my favorites – I hope they get your wheels turning and your mouth watering.
Breakfast: Blue Corn Breakfast Taco
I haven’t written a recipe for this finger-licking breakfast, but it’s super simple. Scrambled eggs, black beans, avocado, salsa and fresh cilantro. YUM! This recipe was a winner on Mother’s Day.
Saturday night I happened upon a ridiculous show on Animal Planet, America’s Next Cat Star where Brimley was in the final round of contenders. The judges referenced the striking resemblance the cat had to Wilford Brimley. The first thing that popped to mind – Diabeetus, not his accomplished years as an actor. It made me think – why do I feel the need to correct someone when they say “diabeetus”?
I’ve written a lot lately about my big move and the effects it’s had on my diabetes. I’ve battled highs and lows, exhaustion and dehydration, but the biggest challenge has been the inability to cook. I knew when I signed the lease the gas stove was from 1920????? I made subtle hints to my new landlord, whom which at this point I had never met. I explained that cooking was a HUGE part of my life and gave her information about the DiabetesDailyGrind. She assured me my stove was the cadillac of all gas stoves and not to worry… Continue reading →
I’ve been writing for months about my spiritual journey and affirmations are a BIG part of the “New Amber”. This week the Universe tested me big time – encouraging me to come up with a new affirmation – I will not kill anyone at the pharmacy because it’s not their fault the system is broken. This story began when I attempted to call in a refill for my syringes and noticed the label had my previous endocrinologist. This minor detail made getting needles an 8 day journey. Continue reading →
The DDG is looking to expand in hopes of reaching a larger audience because according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are 29.1 million diabetics in the United States. We’re willing to bet these folks could use a little real support for the diabetic life – DDG style. We are currently looking for a few fellow passionate folks to share their story.
My life is very different than the average person my age. I’ve never been married, don’t have children and have shared my home with a housemate for the past 10 years. This unconventional lifestyle allowed me to pursue my dreams and the freedom to travel, but next month everything changes. I’m branching out and going back to living alone. YAY ME!
I look forward to walking around naked, leaving dishes in the sink, having multiple closets to house my shoes and storing diabetes supplies wherever I want. Continue reading →
Our field of contenders is complete. Thank you to everyone who submitted their life-saving food or drink choices. In regards to many of the snacks, I can recall specific instances where I consumed that food when low. With that said, speaking from personal experience, I have written a review of the low blood sugar snack contenders.
It’s time for us to crown a champion of low blood sugar recovery. You get two votes. Pick two snacks off the list, yes, they must be on the list, and submit those two snacks in the comments section below. The DDG team will tally the votes and declare a champion at the beginning of next week. Voting will last one week.
They’re cheap and easy. Not usually an attractive description, but here, it’s perfect. Coming in at a smooth, versatile 27 carbs, this fruit gives your blood sugar a bang for its buck, with staying power due to the fiber. Continue reading →
Yesterday was similar to a holiday for many–it was Apple Keynote day. I had no idea that it was happening. I have an iPhone. It works for me. I’m no Apple geek. But, one of my med school buddies was watching it live, saw the announcement about ResearchKit and diabetes, and sent me a link. After reading it initially, my interest peaked. The iPhone would be an incredible vehicle to gather data on a HUGE scale, think about their 700 million users, but I needed more information.
Basically, Apple has partnered with a few prestigious research organizations, Massachusetts General, Mount Sinai, Stanford, etc., allowing them to gather data on very large populations of people with diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and Parkinson’s. Here is the official verbage from the app GlucoSuccess by Massachusett’s General Hospital:
GlucoSuccess is powered by Apple’s new ResearchKit, allowing you to participate in a medical research study focused on Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes. Our study team at Massachusetts General Hospital hopes that this app will not only further research into Diabetes, but also help you gain insight into how your behaviors affect your health.
As a diabetic veteran, I’m accustomed to the arsenal of diabetes inquiries in addition to the ten page questionnaire about my family history. As I strolled in early to get my mammogram, I was greeted by two lovely women who were easily over the age of 85 and adorable. As I checked in one of them said, “Sugar, do you know where you’re going?” I don’t know that I’ve ever been called Sugar, but am delighted by her sweet demeanor. I make my way through the labyrinth of hallways and reach my destination – Women’s Imaging. I check in, grab my pen and am ready to start knocking out the paperwork, but instead the nurse asked me about insurance and had me return to my seat. NO diabetes questions? Continue reading →
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 →
My bruised right hand has an IV port continuously putting something called insulin in my body. This is first time in weeks where I haven’t had to take a leak. A nurse just told me that I will be pricking myself and taking shots for the rest of my life – pretty sweet news as a nine year old. My parents look completely distraught, drained by the question, “Is this our fault?” Some diabetes educator hands me a book on how to have courage and count carbohydrates. That’s a cool word but I have no idea what it means. Now my endocrinologist reenters the room asking an important question, “Ryan, now it’s time to test your blood sugar. Would you like to prick yourself or would you like your parents to do it for you?” I look up into the caring, worried eyes of my parents. I gaze down at my hands. I make eye contact with my physician and say, “Give me the damn needle.” Continue reading →
This bowl delivers just what everyone wants after a month full of stuffing, fudge, turkey, and pie–an explosion of taste not involving sugar or butter. It’s quick, incredibly nutrient-rich, and full of the slow-digesting, fiber-rich carbs. Perfect for a New Years Eve party or family get-together, try out this recipe from The Engine 2 Diet. Continue reading →
I like to think that books allow another mind into my own. Life’s about growth. To me, books can be that stimulus. These are not books written about the diabetic journey. These are books about life. From my experience, diabetes goes as my life goes.
2014 was a year to remember, with these five books serving as my guide:
I walked away asking myself one question: “Will I do everything in my power to chase my dreams? Do I have what it takes?” Through the eyes of a young shepherd looking for his treasure, it encourages you to join the journey.
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 →