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.
This globetrotting T1D just embarked on a 12-month remote year journey with a focus to reach one million people living with diabetes. Her candid approach, charismatic attitude, and ability to touch on hot topics will transform lives and prevent diabetes burnout. With 39 1/2 years of experience and a handful of degrees, Dr. Jody is an expert in all things diabetes making her the perfect guest.
Recently, Mayor David Holt declared a pride week in my home town of Oklahoma City. It made me think – do I know any LGBTQ T1Ds? Yep, and not only is she my friend, she is one of the only people I know that has had diabetes as long as I have – hence the title – T1D dinosaurs. We are a rare breed and it was thrilling to sit with Bonnie and share what life was like 35+ years ago growing up with this disease. Bonnie and Jennifer did a fabulous job sharing how managing diabetes is sometimes a group effort.
After a tip from my sister and a little friendly stalking, I scored a killer interview with CNN Heroes award recipient, Maria Rose Belding. Above and beyond her work providing food for people in need, she is surpassing her goals while juggling life with Type 1 diabetes. In this episode she shares her passion to serve others while not letting T1D slow her down. 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 seek action. I asked myself the question – why aren’t things chaining and what can I do to help? I did a bit of research and with the help of my regular physician, I signed up to participate in diabetes related trials. I had no idea what I was in for, but knew it was something I had to do. Continue reading →
My nephew Greg (aka Grandpa Henry) is headed back to Cali after a lengthy visit to Oklahoma. This trip was a bit different than years past because he’s old enough to ask questions – Real Questions. He no longer holds back pointing out bald people in the grocery store or asking awkward questions about a person’s physique at inappropriate times. During this particular visit, it was clear he needed answers. Why was I pricking my finger? Does it hurt? Why do I give shots? This short video documents one of MANY conversations I had with him and made me think – how do you discuss diabetes with a child?
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.
<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.
Anointed by the Huffington Post, mindfulness is the 2014 word of the year. As we enter the final month, in honor of the word, I thought I’d apply the idea to diabetes management. In short, mindfulness is knowing what you’re doing and thinking and why you’re doing and thinking it. Today, we can be mindful in these three ways:
1) When checking blood sugar, only check your blood sugar.
Don’t combine this activity with the barrage of life as we know it: conversation, social media, talking on the phone, etc. Why? Being attentive while making management choices gives empowerment and the opportunity to learn. After demolishing everything in the cupboard, it’s important to know how you got to this place. This is hard but a game changer. Continue reading →
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 →
High blood sugar sucks. Really though, it changes who you are. You become angrier. Patience has no meaning anymore. The idea of a nap rules over everything else in the world. Things that you love, my example would be cycling, sound detestable. Someone could ask me to go cycling and I’d want to respond with “I hate bicycles!”.
Okay, I know you get it. So how do we still function as human beings while high? I have a few hacks that I’ve learned via trial by fire over the 15 #blessed years of my life:
1) Repeat “Life is impermanent. How you feel now, will soon change.”
– Just reminding myself that all will be okay again is reassuring. It’s easy for us to believe that our current struggle will last forever but it’s just not reality. It always gets better. Continue reading →
No, I have not been paid off. No, I am not in the pockets of big pharma. No, I do not purchase all prescriptions from Walgreens. Yet, my perspective on pharmacy refills took a turn for the grateful last week with the singular effort of one pharmacist.
In accordance with a common theme, I was looking to pickup a prescription right as I need it. Picking up a prescription early has never crossed my mind. Due to some insulin resistance from scar tissue (referenced here), I made the switch back to the pens (Lantus and Novolog). When I called Walgreens expecting it to be ready within the next hour, relayed to me was the news that each prescription would be costing $150 under my coverage (BCBS Oklahoma under HealthCare.gov). Continue reading →
In one year, my life with type 1 diabetes changed in ways I never thought possible.
After 12 months of eating a plant-based diet, my insulin needs decreased by 50%. As a 24 year old with Type 1 diabetes, I injected on average 60 units of insulin per day. Now at 25, I dial up 30 units per day. While defying conventional wisdom, I achieved these results while doubling my carbohydrate intake – effectively increasing carbohydrate consumption from 100 to 200 grams per day.
For those not familiar with Type 1 diabetes, let me clarify. People with Type 1 diabetes make no insulin. Every carbohydrate I eat is compensated for with insulin. We with diabetes do not know why our pancreas went on permanent vacation, but it did. I can exercise, eat right, and meditate until the proverbial cows come home, and I will still be using insulin.
How then, can we explain that I am eating more carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes) but taking less insulin? Continue reading →
Over this discourse, I am going to rationalize why it’s okay for folks with diabetes to use the disease to pick up a love interest. Some would label these tactics as exploitation—I see it as using your resources wisely. I’m completely cool with using up karma from previous suffering (Reference here, here, and here) At the end of the day, don’t we all just want to be interesting? Given that diabetics usually carry, at any given moment, syringes, a portable IV-like machine, sugar tabs, and sharp things, we are incredibly interesting! Plus, it allows us to be vulnerable right off the bat. Not many can achieve that. These methods, while rather crude, have been tried and tested in many situations during high school, college, and early adulthood. Continue reading →
Lately I’ve been exploring more creative placement of the pump sites. I use Medtronic’s Paradigm insulin pump with the Sure-T (6mm) site.
For the first 4 years or so of pump life, I targeted the stomach as the primary target. As I began running and cycling, available area in the stomach thinned up a bit. During college, I used mainly my hips and upper butt. I noticed a bit of scar tissue when I started running more often and decided to explore. Continue reading →
A few years ago, I was at dinner with my dear friend who is an Oklahoma Justice. I can’t recall where we were having dinner, but I am willing to bet it was somewhere swanky. As the food was en route to our table, I made a comment about shooting up. She kindly brought to my attention that it was a bit awkward to say “shoot up” at the dinner table especially considering her profession. Note To Self: the term shooting up makes others think of intravenous drug abuse, not keeping a T1D alive. Continue reading →
So my dad was recently diagnosed with cancer. Don’t get me wrong, cancer is a total nightmare, but balancing all of his other medical conditions and medications has presented quite the challenge for my mother and his team of doctors. He is a Type 2 diabetic, has high blood pressure, heart problems…and the list goes on and on. After a solid month of dentists and small surgeries, he was cleared to begin a radiation – chemo combo. Continue reading →
I love me some US Men’s National Team Soccer. My membership application to the American Outlaws has been submitted.
When the US played Portugal last weekend, I made the most of the experience. Skinny Slim’s, an OKC outdoor pub, hosted a watch party with beer trucks supplying the lubrication for the crowd. While I wasn’t getting drowned in the beer throwing after each goal, I two craft beers over the three hours we were there. Combine that with the couple of beers consumed the previous evening at a buddy’s wedding, and the layman could predict a lower than average blood sugar. Continue reading →
For the love of God, the Oklahoma weather keeps me on my toes. Over the past couple of months, we have been terrorized by the local media that we will not be able to leave the house – stock up. Grocery store(s) seriously looked like a war zone and one of them was actually out of chicken breasts. ???
I have created a check list of the “must have” items for a number of Oklahoma weather scares for a diabetic.
Tornado: candles, battery operated radio, flash light, cell phone charger, insulin, blood testing machine, mouth guard and red wine.
Ice or Snow Storm: books, games, popcorn, plenty of medicine, blood testing machine and red wine. Continue reading →
Count your carbs – take your insulin. This is the mirage we chase tirelessly every day.
Here’s how the situation usually places out. Tuesday I wake up and my blood sugar is say 80. Not where I like to wake up but not a low blood sugar that slows down my mind all morning. I make a blueberry banana smoothie with a scoop of protein powder. Looking at bolusing for about 45-50 carbs by my count. I send 3 units in through the pump. Feel great all morning. Blood sugar looks good at lunch. I OWN THIS DISEASE!
Flash forward to Wednesday. I wake up. Make the exact same smoothie. Blood sugar is at 123 this time. Given the higher blood sugar, I take 3.5 units of insulin. By 9AM, in mid-lesson, I feel that wave of anxiety and insecurity move through me. Words and coherent thought escape me. You guys know how that sweat feels. Here we go – blood sugar is at 70. What just happened? Continue reading →
Before high school football games, my blood sugar was manic – 110 during warm-ups and then 315 by gametime (I used to pee at least 10 times in the two hours before a game. Great for in-game hydration). Intuitively, I knew stress/adrenaline/anxiety/excitement was responsible, but honestly I just read the number and reacted as best I could. Physicians would always mention adrenaline as the culprit. Was I ever given resources to reign in my excitement? Not exactly.
When I began taking medical school prerequisite courses in college, the dots connected. Cortisol is the X factor of diabetes management. Responsible for the random highs. Responsible for the sugar issues with the flu. Responsible for the elevated sugars before the big presentation.Responsible for elevated sugar after your cup of coffee.Responsible for the 300 number after a two hour run. Continue reading →