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.
It was just by chance our paths would cross at a T1D kiddo and parent support group. I rarely attend and Rebecca and her husband James were guests that evening. When we split off into another room, Rebecca shared her heartfelt story to the parents and there was not a dry eye in the room. For many of us who have lived with T1D for decades, sharing the impact this disease has on our state of mind can be difficult to recollect, much less share. Rebecca found the courage and is turning a life altering experience into a philanthropic dream.
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.
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’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 →
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.
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 →
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.
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!
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 →
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.
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.
Oklahoma is thankful to have an upcoming state senate candidate who in not only a second generation educator, but the parent of a child recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In this episode we touch on her son’s diagnosis, insulin affordability & accessibility, and Carri’s day to day life on the campaign trail with three kids. Please note – this is not a political plug, but just an opportunity to have someone in her shoes share life with managing the real world and a child with Type 1 diabetes.
It’s funny how the thing you set out to do ends up being done to you. We had one goal when launching Diabetes Daily Grind back in 2014–give real support for the diabetes life (it was once ‘diabetic life’, but we got with the times, thanks to Kelly McKeever). I had it all figured out, the whole living with diabetes thing. I’d write articles for the website about how to run marathons or how to go vegan, dispelling all this great wisdom to help others, and it would be a fun, creative outlet. Turns out, I didn’t even know what real support was, because I’d been missing it all along: community. Turns out I needed the real support. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
Enthusiasm and authenticity are contagious. In just an hour of speaking with Daniele, we caught the wave of passion toward bettering our own diabetes management. Her own transformation–a completely authentic one driven by her own T1D experience–gives her a platform to coach from the heart. She gets the pitfalls. She understands the road to success. She has a balanced approach based upon a Nutritional Science degree, Personal Training certification, and 1000 hours of psychology training. A conversation centered on how to craft an optimal attitude toward new habits, this podcast serves as the perfect launch into 2018. And, as no surprise to anyone, moments of ridiculousness and laughter are plentiful.
An hour before her emcee duties at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Connect+Cure Gala in OKC, Nicole Johnson joined us and shared her perspectives since winning Miss America in 1999. From the surprising career trajectory afterward, to dating and diabetes scenarios, we embraced the whole journey. Per the usual flow of the show, many laughs were had, and we all got to know each other. Continue reading →
With such busy lives these days it has been almost two months since team DDG crafted time to catch up. As everyone in the diabetes community knows, we all need our T1D bestie time chatting about life with the disease SO… after a long day at work we penciled in this episode to review life, recap breaking diabetes news, and discuss listener questions. We talk allergies, food choices, fight or flight response, T2D compassion, defense mechanisms, T1D anxiety and an honest conversation about how our diabetes management is constantly changing.
If you’re one for free-flowing conversation, sit on back with a beverage of choice (if not driving) and enjoy.
We’ve all heard it before: wow, how can you do that? You’re so strong. You’re so brave. You’re so courageous, ad nauseam. I have people staring at me while I take insulin injections, like curious little puppies trying to get the best view. We’re hailed as warriors, and that we should strut around like diabetes is a badge of courage on our arms. AND it IS difficult; it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Continue reading →
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 →
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6 and was told that I took it like a champ. I was not afraid of the injections or the frequent blood tests while I was hospitalized. When the doctors told me to look away I would usually tell them no, I’m not afraid. In fact, my only major problem was I missed being home with my family and toys.
At that age I was pretty open with the fact I had diabetes. I would often inject or test in front of family and friends and they would be in awe at my bravery. When I returned to school, my classmates and teachers were informed about my health issues and they all looked out for me. Anytime I the opportunity arose, I would show off my needles and other diabetes gear. Continue reading →
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.
I’m completely aware I sound crazy, but I’ve experienced a new diabetes scenario since jumping on board with the Dexcom G5. I want to be clear as I stated in a recent post, Losing My T1D Technology Virginity, the insertion of the device did not/does not hurt so this recent discovery had me questioning how my mind is processing a foreign object/device being attached to me… Continue reading →
Pregnancy’s intimidating. Your body changes. There’s another thing in there stealing the food you eat. You crave things like pickles and peanut butter. But, with all this normal stuff aside, what if you have type 1 diabetes and you’re pregnant? Sarah Swanberg walks us through both of her pregnancies–the blood sugar challenges, perilous diet decisions, and lessons learned. Per the norm, we held nothing back, and explored every pregnancy/diabetes-related question known to man. After the interview, Amber and Ryan looked at each other and said, “She’s freakin’ awesome” (give or take a few adjectives). Continue reading →
It was about this time last year when I wrote, Battle To The Death.. My Death That Is, about the countless hours/days/weeks I spent dealing with insurance companies. I want to start by saying that I’m incredibly grateful to finally have medical insurance as someone who has been self-employed most of my adult life, but this recent round(s) of phone calls has me questioning a few things. 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 →
Whether you view dating as an enticing, fun experience or there’s nothing more you’d rather run and hide from, diabetes may be one extra thing to consider (and it’s important that you do)! As a young adult who has lived with type one her whole life, albeit minus 4 years, there are many questions I ask myself when it comes to dating:
When/How do I tell them about my diabetes?
What if there’s an emergency and they don’t know I have diabetes?
We all aim for that flat, consistent beam of blood sugars shooting straight across the horizon, right? Well, my mine are that shooting star, then the shooting star rising back from the dead, then to fall out of the sky again… before lunch. I’m in one of those strange spirals, where the true etiology remains unknown, but more than likely a combination of my daily choices and changes in circumstances underlies the imbalance. Continue reading →
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 →
I believe I’ve made it quite clear that I’m creature of habit, especially when it comes to my diabetes regimen. If I had to be brutally honest, I can’t fathom changing things because my numbers are good. At the same time, I look at my T1D peers and feel as if I’ve been left behind. What’s holding me back? This thought process led me to a recent decision to shake things up. Continue reading →
I’ve read a lot about the word “no” this year. It all started with Shonda Rhyme’s Year of Yes in which she actually wrote an entire chapter about saying no. She explained how learning to say no fortified her yeses. She says, “No is a complete sentence. I’ve heard that cliché over and over. So I decided to treat no in the same way I treat saying thank you. Say no and then don’t say anything else.”
Amber loves to travel so she hit the road and ventured to Texas (one state away from our OKC home). What better way to meet fellow PWDs than traveling the southwestern countryside? Before heading out she contacted the American Diabetes Association to see if anyone in their part of town had a story to share. They totally hooked her up with Deirdre Murphy, a lovely woman who went from an original Type 2 diagnosis to eventually being re-diagnosed with Type 1. In the 30th show, Deirdre shares her 12+ year journey and reflects on living life with T2D… and now T1D, eventually coming to a place of relief at the type 1 prognosis (a rare event).
In 2010, I joined 29 other folks to take part in Leadership Norman, a nine month training for business professionals. We met every other week and participated in a variety of sessions focused on community history, current community issues, leadership, and self-discovery. One of the sessions involved a physical, trust building experience of sorts – a ropes course. At this point, no one really knew I had Type 1 diabetes unless they happen to notice my tattoo, but this particular session brought attention to the disease. Continue reading →
In my opinion, having a good rapport with your endocrinologist is vital to living a fulfilled and happy life with diabetes. Over the past 33 years, I’ve had three, maybe four folks who guided me on my T1D journey. As a creature of habit, change is hard so when I was contacted by my current endocrinologist’s office and informed he was ill and no longer seeing patients, I braced myself. I was sad he was not doing well and a bit trepidatious about having to cultivate a new relationship from scratch. Continue reading →
Imagine putting your child with type one diabetes (T1D) to bed with less fear of a dangerously low blood sugar. If you have T1D, imagine doing a triathlon or a belly dancing class your friend keeps bugging you about with confidence your blood sugar will remain stable along with your energy levels. The process I used to achieve near normal blood sugar took some time, commitment, experimentation, and sacrifice. All people with T1D have unique physiologies and my experience may not extrapolate to anyone else. However, the process I used is inexpensive and has no side effects, but the benefits could be priceless. Continue reading →
Remember doing those paint-by-number sheets when you were a kid? It seemed magical when a confusing canvas of intersecting lines and random numbers transformed into a circus elephant or something equally amazing. I remember the joy I experienced when I produced my first masterpiece and the new found love I had for being an “artist.” 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 →
I arrived in Ukraine with my life packed into two suitcases (one of which was half filled with medical supplies). My first stop as a Peace Corps trainee was an old sanitarium just outside the capital city of Kyiv. There, my group of volunteers had a few buffer days in which Peace Corps became real: we learned which language we would study, where our 10-week language and job training would take place, which other volunteers would be in our 4-5 person training ‘cluster’, and we filled out a lot of paperwork. This is also where I had to decide how and to whom I would tell about my diabetes. 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.
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:
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 →
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 admittedly hypersensitive to all things diabetes related considering my glutenous amount of reading on the subject. Every over the counter medication, prescription drug commercial and doctor’s office poster has something about the disease. When I came across this article, Mold Illness Is Everywhere: What it is and 11 Signs You Have It, by David Wolfe, it made me consider how the signs of a mold illness paralleled symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. Interesting… 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.
As a freshman in high school, if someone had asked me what type 1 diabetes was about two months ago, I would have been clueless. I kind of knew about Type 2 and I might’ve had a sense that there was a second type of diabetes, but… that was about it.
A few weeks before my diagnosis, I hadn’t been feeling like myself and was thirsty all of the time. My mom and I decided that should it persist throughout the next week or so, I would go to the doctor. On Thursday morning I felt fine, except for this new usual thirstiness. About mid-morning my stomach started hurting a little. It wasn’t that bad, so I figured it was just something I ate. I had biology class right before lunch, and we were doing a lab on yeast fermentation. While my teacher was explaining part of the procedure, I started feeling dizzy. It got worse and worse, and by the time I realized something was actually wrong, I couldn’t really do anything. Out.Continue reading →
I love to cook and was over the moon my nephew (Greg/GP Henry) was in town to help. Everyone loves lasagna, but this dish is stacked with calories and carbs. After quite a bit of research, I found a recipe worth tweaking a bit which substituted eggplant for pasta. Let’s do this!
This image sums it up. There are days when I have NO control and feel compelled to tell the world to f**k off! There was nothing different about my routine. I gave 12 units of Lantus at 5:41am and headed back to bed. A series of weird dreams and the need to pee woke me from my slumber. I recognized this feeling and forced myself to get up and test.
While sitting on the toilet, the number confirmed my gut instinct – BG was 38. No time to pee, in fact, my body wouldn’t let me. I stumbled into the kitchen and downed a Gatorade. Continue reading →
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12, in Sydney, Australia, where I called home growing up. The diagnosis was a blur; dropping 20 pounds off my already tall, slim frame and was super thirsty and lethargic. I was sent to the emergency room of the children’s hospital and immediately diagnosed with type 1. No DKA, fortunately, and I only stayed in the hospital for a couple of days, learning how to give shots and test my blood sugar.
I was already growing into a quiet, awkward teenager and having diabetes made me more uncomfortable in social situations. I didn’t test my blood or inject in front of others, but still managed to have decent control, as my parents were quite strict on my management – my A1c was always in the 7’s. Continue reading →