Yesterday, in a bit of a panic, I reached out to friends and family because I was scared, really scared. The ugly cry kept me from sharing my real fears – was it just a gallbladder episode or something worse? Within an hour, I was headed to the ER, but not before packing a bag – insulin, needles, pen needles, extra sensor, skin tac, tester, test strips, healthy snacks, low BG snacks, journal, phone charger and head phones. Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
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 →
After a long hiatus, I’m back and doing my best to use new technology… I chose to kickoff this new wave of podcasts with a “hot topic“, insulin affordability and accessibility. The DOC (diabetes online community) has been harping on this for ages, but as the topic is now international news after a recent wave of “published” deaths due to insulin rationing, it was time to chat with the author of Insulin’s High Cost Leads To Lethal Rationing, Bram Sables-Smith.
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 →
One of our favorite podcast guests is back! Back in the fall, he joined us on Podcast 32 where he shared his love of Chick-Fil-A, coffee, Equal and Omnipod. We highly suggest a retrograde listen before hopping into this show.
During this go round, we catch up on life, hear about an epic insulin prescription journey, discuss what diabetes maturity means, and laugh hard.
To the support the show, check out our Paypal link for subscription options.
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.
Living with diabetes is far from easy–checking BGs multiple times a day, giving yourself insulin injections, and changing pump sites every three days (at least you’re supposed to…). I was diagnosed with T1D at the age of two. Luckily, I was raised by wonderful parents who taught me very early on to be independent, giving my first injection at the age of four and learning the carb vs. insulin ratios at six. 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.
Several years ago I set off for an insurance appointment about 60 miles from my home in Carlsbad, CA. I had eaten lunch and felt pretty good so I hit the road. It was a rainy day in Southern California and when I was finished with the appointment I headed home. After a few miles I started to feel a little light headed began to sweat a little, but I didn’t think anything of it. I kept driving. Continue reading →
I was diagnosed with type 1 when I was thirteen. Shortly after, a fellow traveler broke it down for me: you can either control your diabetes or you can let it control you. A rabble rouser froma young age, I decided quickly that if those were my choices, I’d choose option A. At the time, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to make that decision each day, but gradually it helped me develop a personality trait I see in a lot of folks with type 1: we love a challenge, and we love to prove people wrong. When I decided to be a Peace Corps Volunteer, I went into it with that same bullheaded mentality that had been an almost constant companion since diagnosis. Continue reading →
The DDG invested a weekend afternoon to dispel a diabetes urban legend… HOT TUBS, and their effect on blood sugar. In this episode, they do scientific research, or something resembling the scientific method, while rambling about everyday life, social media and all things diabetes. Why hasn’t there been an experiment like this before? Well, maybe there has been, but the evidence was nowhere to be found. Leave it to the DDG to get to the bottom of this T1D fear. Bear witness folks, this is diabetes research history. Continue reading →
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 →
I have a friend who had her first baby a week before I had my Lily. She announced her pregnancy one week after taking an over-the-counter test. She posted an emotionally ecstatic, over-the-moon announcement on Facebook, posted pictures of her dog with baby shoes on Instagram, and from that day forward used social media daily to share ultrasounds, belly photos, pregnancy workout selfies, baby clothes, and so much more.
We got the green light to interview IndyCar driver and fellow guy with type 1 diabetes, Charlie Kimball. He not only keeps his car on the track, he stays out of the low BG pits. In this episode he shares his father’s in-car orange juice invention, his daily attitude, and how he became the (sort of) first T1D IndyCar driver. 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 →
While Ryan was studying for the boards, Amber gathered a few shoe lovers from across the country to discuss the “dream” shoe for PWDs. Maybe they didn’t find that “dream” shoe, but she enjoyed a lively discussion with guest, Shelene Kinsley, Tales From A Type 1 blogger, T1D and upcoming shoe designer. This episode was recorded in Oklahoma City’s own Betsy King Boutique. Betsy is a seasoned buyer and Amber appreciates her attention to detail when looking for the perfect high heel. Who knew that heels are better for your feet than flats? Seriously though. Continue reading →
When I was ten years old, my doctor told my mom I would never have children. I didn’t hear these words; I was laying in a diabetic coma that lasted for 4 days. When I woke up, I woke up to a new life, a diagnosed life that included injections, meal planning, and glucometers. When my mom finally broke the news to me a few months later, the last thing on my mind was having kids someday.
Moving is stressful, but having diabetes adds a whole new layer to the chaos. When the “official” moving day arrived, I felt confident I was prepared for the uncertainty of what laid ahead. I knew the next 48+ hours were going to be challenging both mentally and physically, but more so on my diabetes. Since co-founding the DDG, it has opened my eyes to how diabetes plays a role in every part of my life. There is no escaping. Continue reading →
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 →
I’ve never been a dater so the recent wave of blind dates catapulted me out of my comfort zone. Like most people, I had the first date jitters. What am I going to wear? Hair up or down? Can I curse? Normal thoughts, right? Then it dawned on me – at some point diabetes will be a topic of discussion and what did I really want to share on a first date?
A recent series of events has me looking at life a bit differently. Nothing dramatic, but when considering a few big decisions I began to weigh the options. Fear crept in and so did a need for uncharted territories. As I’m still pondering my final decision, it made me think – there are two types of people on this earth in which I’ve broken into different categories:
Balls Out – The person who doesn’t think twice or look back before jumping off a cliff.
Fear Factor – The person who must calculate a few things = test the water, nearest exit point, wind speed and BG level before even considering the jump.
This discovery forced me to dive into my psyche to determine which category I fell in to. Continue reading →
A year ago I joined the Bourbonettes, a wonderful group of educated, savvy women who come together to enjoy this delightful libation. A pairing of Girl Scout cookies and various labels of bourbon kicked off my inaugural Bourbonette adventure. Even though I was excited to attend, I didn’t partake. My T1D fears took over. I was nervous, didn’t really know anyone and had no desire to attempt carb counting with the fear of miscalculating and being a shitshow. Lame!
Last week the gracious hostess presented a fruit adorned Fancy Free. My immediate thought – do I take the leap of carb counting/alcohol consumption faith and join in? Continue reading →
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!
I love to get creative in the kitchen so when I heard a fellow T1D complain about the carbs in pizza – I had to take action. I make it a point to insist on a thin crust with healthy toppings, but felt confident there had to be a healthier option. A recipe rumor had been circulating about this mystery, low carb pizza crust made from cauliflower. I was skeptical, but my previous culinary creations with cauliflower were pleasantly surprising – so what the hell, let’s do this. Continue reading →
Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Easter are all the same to me – a candy driven holiday. You can’t go into a store or even the pharmacy for that matter without being bombarded with isles and isles of candy. Growing up with T1D, this isle was torture! I didn’t really care about the candy, but I “had” to refrain which made me feel isolated from my peers. Well, I’ve changed my tune and created a list of ideas and tips PWDs can appreciate… and it includes chocolate.
Unique Gift Ideas:
Purchase a T1Dexposed Calendar – The Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project was created to promote awareness, connect people living with T1D, and fundraise for both local and global diabetes organizations.
Routine–we love to hate it, especially with a demanding disease like diabetes, which requires hyper-vigilance. No sane person would set their alarm to wake up during the night to check their blood sugar, diligently count carbs before a meal, or force themselves on the treadmill at 9 pm. But we do it, because without the effort, where would we be? The science speaks for itself.
So, how can we turn a ‘have to’ into a ‘want to’. This is where the sister science of Yoga and Ayurveda take center stage. The word Ayurveda means the science of life. As a traditional Indian method of healing, it uses the natural world to help us understand what creates balance and imbalance. Continue reading →
Nearly 15 years ago in September, my 10 year-old brain and body was forced to comprehend an absurd and sudden diagnosis that has subsequently shaped my life as an adult. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) in my eyes then, was something I had never heard of, and surely I’d end up blind like my aunt, taking several shots a day for the rest of my life.
Looking back now at the initial diagnosis, T1D has ultimately shaped my goals and dreams. Although, I will say it took me a time or six to get that through my head, especially during college, and to stop putting my diabetes on the back burner, ignoring the fact I had to deal with this disease on a daily basis. That was the toughest issue I’ve had to face and overcome with T1D to date. Ignoring my diabetes and trying to live the life all of my friends were living during college did nothing but land me in the hospital on several occasions and leave me with hospital bills to pay at 22 years old. Continue reading →
January 28th, 1984 I checked into Children’s Hospital after my pediatrician cried expressing her worst fear – I had type 1 diabetes. I shared my diagnosis day in this POST I wrote in the first few months of DiabetesDailyGrind. I wept as I recalled the days events that changed my life. SO many emotions surfaced – sadness, anger, fear and all things doom and gloom. 32 years later I choose to celebrate. Diabetes has been a large contributor to building my character and I have a magnificent life. There’s NO room for doom and gloom (wow – that kind of rhymed)! 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?
“Just remember – life is like a sine graph”, my mother always touted, long before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (at the “adult” age of 18). Growing up with a dad who was a math professor ensured that I knew from a very early age what the sine function was. It goes up, and then down. And then back up. She always said it to make me feel better – after losing a tennis match, getting a lousy grade on an exam or fighting with my high school boyfriend. “Head up Maria – remember – life is like a sine graph.” Continue reading →
The DiabetesDailyGrind.com wants to share an hour of good times with fellow people with diabetes, their loved ones and parents of T1D children. We won’t be sharing research or promises of a cure, just celebrating together as we all live the real life.
This inaugural event will also celebrate DDG co-founder, Amber’s 32nd Diaversary!!!! Continue reading →
A few weeks ago I made a pact – I would say YES to everything. Not to cocaine or anything crazy, just to social events. For the most part it has been a pleasant, yet exhausting adventure. I’ve attended cocktail parties, happy hours, birthdays and way TOO many holiday shindigs. It’s crazy what conversations come up once I started talking about living with T1D. My friends had no idea I had to worry about anything other than over consuming on the booze as they were in the same boat.
As I entered my dear friend’s home, the first words from her mouth were, “I don’t think you can eat anything we’re serving so I fixed a spinach salad for you and it’s in the fridge“. Continue reading →
A Little History About How We Met… Liam and I met during our first year at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada as we lived in the same residence building and were part of a pretty tight knit group of friends. The very first time I spoke to Liam was during our frosh week. He was about to run a bouncy castle obstacle course race and I was behind him in the lineup. He jumped into the obstacle course and had been gone for a couple minutes. Our crew began to question why he was gone so long because the obstacle was only supposed to last about 30 seconds. Just then, Liam walked around from the back of the obstacle course (the end of the course was actually at the front) and looked very disoriented and upset. His upper lip was incredibly swollen and cut up and he was complaining of neck pain. He had jumped out of the back of the bouncy castle and landed face first onto the ground.
An Introduction To Diabetes: The next morning in the cafeteria, the first words I EVER said to Liam were “merry Christmas fat lip” because his lip was still swollen from face planting the night before and was wearing a red and green outfit. He was embarrassed, but loved the silliness of my comment and we became very close after that. From the beginning, I had no idea Liam had diabetes. He hid his pump under his shirt and never tested his blood or changed his pump sites around me. Diabetes never held him back from being athletic and energetic so I never suspected this young crazy teenage boy actually had an autoimmune disease.
A couple weeks into university I asked Liam what he was allergic to, after noticing he was wearing a medic alert bracelet. He laughed and said he was allergic to sugar, or a type 1 diabetic. I wasn’t really sure what this meant. I only knew one other PWD, my aunt who was recently diagnosed. I didn’t know Liam all that well at that point and wasn’t comfortable asking him tons of questions about diabetes. I was nervous, didn’t want to sound dumb, worried I would embarrass or upset him. I never thought any less of Liam or that he was fragile or weak because of diabetes. It didn’t change my view on him whatsoever. He was still silly, loud and had an endless amount of energy so I didn’t think diabetes could be that serious of an illness. His explanation was so brief and nonchalant, which helped to show me that it wasn’t something that would stop him from living properly in any way. Discovering Liam has T1D encouraged me to learn more about diabetes and how I could help him. I did most of my learning through asking questions and he was very open about it.
This is something I believe no type 1 should be afraid to do. Asking questions and being open to answering questions spreads knowledge and curbs incorrect and therefore annoying assumptions about type 1.
PWDs are constantly juggling the lows and highs of this disease. As Amber and Ryan look back at posts from DDG’s past – low BG was a common theme. We hope you enjoy our top three Low BG posts for 2015 as much we did writing them.
I’m NOT a parent and after my behavior today, it might be a good thing. My sister and nephew are in town and I made a point to have quality one-on-one time with Greg (a.k.a Grandpa Henry). GP Henry is four and 100% boy – fearless, somewhat stubborn and off the charts a cutie pie. We like to sing songs, eat vitamin C organic lollipops and solve the world’s problems. CLICK HERE to read more.
No one wants to talk about their period, but why aren’t we discussing the impact it has on diabetes? Well, I’m here to break the silence! With each dia-versary, I realize something new about myself and how I differ from the average person. This includes my period – BUT it has never been discussed in my endocrinologist or OBGYN’s office unless I brought it up. Even then, there wasn’t literature or a site to visit to learn more so when I recognized a pattern it was time to take action. I came up a “Period Plan of Action” to follow each month so I won’t be at total T1D shitshow.
About four days prior to staring my period it’s hard to keep my morning BG below 225.
I test around 3am and give Novolog if above 225. Be careful, you don’t want to overcompensate while calculating half asleep.
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.
This is not an advice column. It is the opposite. If you, like the DiabetesDailyGrind, want to make the most of your Thanksgiving with friends and family, avoid the following seven diabetes-related behaviors:
1) Be the high school hero during the annual family football game.
After scoring every touchdown, making every tackle, and breaking your niece’s collarbone, your family will most likely say “See you next year” and you’ll be low.
2) Join spirited conversations over the Middle East or Donald Trump.
3) Flip a family member the bird, storm out of the house, and peel out of the driveway, after losing a third game of Uno in a row. Two hours later, your blood sugar has spiked because of the stressful exit.
Mark it in the books – November 14th I celebrated my first World Diabetes Day. This foreign concept was brought to my attention shortly after co-founding the DDG. Why had I never heard of this glorious day? As the day approached, I pondered – How am I going to celebrate? The bar is high as I’m lucky to share this day with millions of fellow T1Ds internationally.
I started the day with my normal breakfast smoothie, followed by coffee while surfing T1D blogs. The message was universally clear… Continue reading →
Diabetes was by no means how we met or the reason we began our relationship, but throughout the last year, Liam and I were thrown into some surprising situations that have shown me type 1 definitely has a lighter side. With all the advice and moderately frightening anecdotal evidence pointing towards diabetes being a massive challenge and something that should be taken seriously, we forget there are parts of being around a type 1 that are eye-opening, unique and wildly funny. Continue reading →
Diabetes and driving – race car driving that is… is the topic today as Amber recently won the Lilly Diabetes My Diabetes Pit Crew Sweepstakes! She’s officially an honorary member of Ryan Reed’s pit crew and was given the opportunity to interview the Nascar driver about life on the road with diabetes. In this first ever MiniPod, we talk real life – Amber style (no filter). Ryan Reed indulges her “non-traditional” questions, shares his go-to recipes, and who has access to giving him a shot. Continue reading →
Every day hosts a new set of challenges for a PWD. You have to think on your feet while planning well in advance if there’s a shot in hell of maintaining your BG goal. I’ld like to believe my BG report card would have an A+ in this every evolving science project we call diabetes. Any rational T1D knows that even though we strive for an A+, some days are just a C or even worse, an F. The science project continues…
Daily Formula: Current BG + Carb Ratio + Correction Factor + Hormones + Stress + Anxiety + Exercise + Allergies + Sickness + Booze + Altitude + Whatever else is going on in life =Hoping For The Best!Continue reading →
I would rather swim in a shallow pool with a hungry great white shark than have my blood drawn, so signing up for my annual blood panel takes a lot of guts. I stab myself 4+ times a day, making me an expert in my own pain management. I’ll be damned if I feel comfortable allowing someone else to stab me with a needle.
As much as I would like to talk myself out of this test – I MUST have the blood work done. The lab gave detailed instructions – Nothing but water past 10pm. WTF? I’m a T1D and shit can hit the fan in the middle of the night! Would that forfeit my appointment? I’ll arrive anxious, hungry and most definitely cranky. 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 →
I just finished reading Ryan’s post, The Enlightenment: Why Did I Wait So Damn Long To Return To The Stomach?, about forgetting to use his stomach as an effective pump site location. It made me think about my own system that I’ve wanted to share for quite some time. After 29 years with T1 and 10 years pumping, I’ve come up with a simple, effective rotation. When I was diagnosed, I initially received a site rotation card from one of the hospitals or doctor’s offices I had visited and it illustrated the various sites, but I still felt that it was a little complicated, so I made adjustments.
This is a great method for busy people who don’t always remember their last site, pill, dose or whatever repetitive action you have done day after day. That is me in a nutshell. So, here is the visual aid I created and I’ll walk you through it with a few tips. Continue reading →