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Diabetesaliciousness © 2007 - 2017



Kelly Kunik: Spreading Diabetes Validation Through Humor; Ownership & Advocacy. Busting Diabetes Myths & Perpetuating Diabetes Realities. ©2007- 2017 all rights reserved~ kellykunik@gmail.com



Updated: 2017-12-10T22:11:57.732-05:00

 



Life Insurance - Another Diabetes Choice - John Hancock Vitality Program

2017-12-06T17:33:46.478-05:00

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.I want and require options in my life ... and life with diabetes. Healthcare Options for PWD (people with diabetes) and the ability to choose among them, are critical for our physical; mental, Dtech, and fiscal well-being. We need more options and we demand more choices. When an option comes across my desk that I believe will give people with diabetes an additional choice, I want to know more.  A few weeks ago, John Hancock reached out to me (and some others in the Diabetes Online Community, like A Sweet Life and Diabetes Daily, to talk about John Hancock Life Insurance with Vitality, and their recent survey* around people with diabetes and  life insurance.The survey found almost 50% of PWD surveyed worry that they won’t qualify for a life insurance policy - and 45% thought life insurance with diabetes would be too expensive. In the past 18 months, 90% of people living with diabetes and looking for life insurance qualified for life insurance from John Hancock, with 88% reporting that they received standard or better rates.**60% felt the John Hancock Vitality program could provide them with the extra support they needed/wanted in managing their diabetes.I liked those stats. Sidebar: John Hancock Vitality life insurance rewards policyholders for the smarter choices they make every day to improve their health – exercising regularly, eating well and getting annual check-ups. Through the John Hancock Vitality program, policyholders can earn rewards and savings up to 15% on their annual life insurance premium. The Vitality Program is over 2 years old and thousands of customers are participating and pursuing healthier lives. So, when John Hancock asked to me to partner with them, I did some research and then said yes. Here’s why.I like the options and incentives that John Hancock Life Insurance with Vitality offers people with t1, LADA, and Type 2 diabetes for doing things that our healthcare team continually ask, tell, demand of us.Things like working out on a regular basis; eating healthy, getting a flu shot and visiting our healthcare team. I also like that the Vitality Program recognizes and rewards all the little changes that equal big ones.Speaking of... I really like the rewards:   Rewards*Choice of an Apple Watch for $25 (plus tax,) by exercising regularly.*Or a complimentary Fitbit*Up to $600 in annual savings on healthy food purchases from 70 national grocery store chains when you buy veggies, fruits, grains - healthy stuff like that. * Up to a 15% percent discount on your life insurance premium, annually.*Discounts from national retailers – including Amazon, Hyatt, iTunes, REI, Royal Caribbean International. While, I did have concerns about personal info, as in who was looking and whether my info was safe, I was assured that: John Hancock is committed to protecting policyholders’ personal information and it will only be used in order to conduct business and administer the program and as permitted or required by law. They do not sell information or share health data with third parties for their marketing purposes. They’ve been protecting customers’ data for over 150 years, and understand the seriousness of that responsibility.Bottom line: John Hancock Vitality Rewards Life Insurance is an option for you to explore if you live with diabetes. So, check it out and see if it’s an option that works for you!To learn more about John Hancock Vitality and the rewards the program offers for living healthy, head to  JHRewardsLife.com. You can also tweet them at @JohnHancockUSA, #RewardingLifeThis is the part where I talk about transparency and full disclosure: I am partnering with John Hancock (as in: I received compensation in exchange for writing this post) on a project promoting their Vitality Program. If I didn’t support the program and all the benefits it offers people living with diabetes, I wouldn’t have agreed to work with them. I’ve spent 10 year[...]



It's December 1st, We Still Have Diabetes - And We Are Stunning!

2017-12-01T12:33:09.482-05:00

Diabetes Awareness Month has come to an end, 
it's December 1st, I still have diabetes and I bet you do, too!
Lin- Manuel Miranda said it best.
"You're stunning and the world is lucky to have you.
We are lucky to have you.
Get some rest." 
Also: Keep on keeping on - in life and in life with diabetes! 
(image)
My #Dsma closing thoughts re: (National) Diabetes Awareness Month - courtesy of Lin-Manuel Miranda
#DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) twitter chat is a twitter chat for people with diabetes, by people with diabetes. 

Follow @DiabetesSocMed and the #DSMA hashtag on the twitter and join the conversation Wednesday Nights at 9PM, EST. 




#WaybackWednesday: Diabetes And The Energizer Bunny

2017-11-22T13:40:42.877-05:00

A #WayBackWednesday pic that will hopefully make you chuckle!
I shot this pic from a rooftop terrace on the upper WestSide, Thanksgiving Day, 2011.
1. It reminded me of people with diabetes, because we keep going.. and going...and even when we don't feel like it.
2. Also, I immediately checked the status of my pump batteries...just in case! 
Sidebar: I originally posted this picture on the blog in December, 2011.
(image)
Just like people with diabetes, the Energizer Bunny keeps going...
and going...and going.



Diabetes, Labs, And Taking A Beat Before Clicking On The Link.

2017-11-22T12:33:14.009-05:00

Back in early August, when I was dealing with a nasty viral infection that made me break out all over and feel like crap; required a slew of lab work and forced me to finally signed up for LabCorp’s patient portal. Bottom line it made communicating with my GP's office easier, especially since the staff was in rotating vacation mode, which resulted in unreturned phone calls re: my labs. I’ll admit that it was cool to see years worth of my lab work online, at my fingertips, and organized in one place by date and doctor.In August I thought it was great. But last Wednesday? Not so much.######Cut to last Wednesday afternoon. 3pm, me deep in thought and working on a project that was due on Friday.I took a break, opened my email tab and immediately focused on the Subject Line of an email from labcorp, letting me know that my labs were available online.All I needed to do was click on the portal link and sign in. INSTEAD, I IGNORED IT. I knew if I clicked on the link,I would be either happy... or I wouldn’t - because of my A1C.Clicking on that link would take me down the rabbit hole of numbers that I didn’t have the time or mindset to go down.  And at that moment, I knew I was reaching the brink re: my diabetes numbers breaking point. I took a beat, told myself my Endo appointment was the next morning and I would go over my results with Dr. J.Until then, I was going to give myself a break so I could assess and be proactive at my appointment - no matter what. It wasn’t easy to ignore the email.... at first. Seriously, (like for the first 20 minutes,) I kept toggling back and forth between screens. But slowly, I forgot about it, except for when I didn't - but I never clicked on the link.  Cut to Thursday morning at my Endo’s office. I sat in the exam room with a slightly elevated blood sugar and a normal blood pressure of 120 over a number I can’t recall. Dr. J walked in, said hello, shook my hand and stated: The good news - your A1C didn’t go up.......It’s exactly what it was last time you were here.And at that moment I was so glad I'd stayed above ground and hadn’t clicked on the link and ventured down the diabetes rabbit hole of numbers and what-ifs. I would have lost focus and been upset for the rest of the day. I wasn't thrilled, but I ready to talk it out and make some changes. Sidebar: I know a 7.4 A1C isn't terrible - it's not.But honest to God I really thought that I'd made strides since the beginning of August. I'd started on the Omnipod, (and really like it,) I'm taking less insulin per day, (by at least 10+ units,) and I thought my A1C would have reflected that. I was expecting it to be 7.0 or lower and not stuck in an the same a1c moment - and I told him that.I was frustrated with myself and with diabetes - and I knew Dr. J was too - even though he remained calm and kept his game face on. We talked it out. Dr. J asked me what changes I’d made that led me to believe my a1c would be lower.I told him about cutting back on my daily insulin intake and how I’d been trying to eat healthier. He asked if I’d been sick or dealing with anything that might have contributed to my A1C.I explained about the viral infection that had me down for the count for parts of July and August... but it was November 18th. I was grasping at straws and we both knew it. He asked me if I thought I was getting enough exercise.  I was honest. I told him that needed to do better in that department. And then he asked if I’d downloaded the Glooko app on my phone so I could download  my Omnipod PDM’s info, and share it with my Sorceress of a CDE, Cheryl - so she could work her magic on my basal rates, carb ratios, etc and assist me in getting unstuck. Sidebar: Insulet (the company that makes Omnipod,) and Glooko have been data management partners si[...]



World Diabetes Day 2017: Thank You, Great Job & You Are Magnificent!

2017-11-14T13:14:57.404-05:00

Today is world Diabetes Day - Dr. Banting's Birthday and the day when those of us living the diabetes life wear blue, educate other,s about life with D, tweet, chat, and live our lives with diabetes. ########Diabetes is hard work, it’s never ending and what we do as people living with diabetes, goes unnoticed and under appreciated by the mass, most of the time. So.... THANK YOU & GREAT JOB. Seriously, THANK YOU for dealing with diabetes 365 days a year with no time off for good behavior. THANK YOU for pricking (and dealing with pricks, personified,) and bleeding for your diabetes health when it comes to blood sugar checks, fasting labs, and the likes there of. THANK YOU for dealing with insurance company bullshit on a weekly basis, fighting for you (or your loved one's coverage,) and BRAVA for making it look easy. YOU ROCK. Fantastic job counting carbs - even when you have no freaking clue and wild ass guesses, included!Phenomenal job dealing with snarky diabetes comments from people who don’t understand. Diabetes burnout - you live with it, and it likes to rears its annoying and ugly head from bring us down - and it tries it’s best to keep us down. Getting back up can be so damn hard and there are moments when it seems like we can’t.Thank you and great f^c$ing job for falling down seven times and getting back up eight.MONDO job advocating, educating for yourself and others living with diabetes and doing the best you are able to do, every damn day. Thank you for the tremendous job you do for helping others (including myself,) in the Diabetes Online Community and in real life. STANDING OVATION for all your diabetes victories - big and small. Thank you for for inspiring others, for showing them that they are more than the number on their glucose meter or A1C. Thank you for showing healthcare professionals that every number has a story; word choice matters, and people with diabetes are PEOPLE first.  YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT - never forget it! [...]



Diabetesaliciousness Turns 10

2017-11-09T14:45:27.883-05:00

Time freaking flies~######1010 years ago today, I published my first blog post. I had no clue what I was doing - clearly that's obvious from my blog's name. I knew that I had something to say, I wasn't quite sure how or where to say it. Blogger looked easy enough - like a glorified word file - so I went with it.I didn’t know that the DOC (the Diabetes Online Community,) was an actual “thing” and I had no freaking idea how much I needed my community - until I found it.And thank God, Jesus, Buddha, The Goddess,The Spirit In The Sky, Kali,(whatever and whomever the heck you believe in) that I did! These past 10 years the DOC has given me love; laughter, support, knowledge and a fantastical D Tribe that has been there through all my HIGHS and the LOWS.... and not just re: my life with diabetes. Over the past decade, you guys have been there for all the highs and lows of my life! Cheering me on.... and picking me up whenever I fell. THANK YOU. Blogging about and advocating for diabetes has changed my life; reinforced that I am not alone, altered my career path, and taught me that my greatest perceived weakness ( my busted pancreas,) is actuality my greatest strength and biggest passion. I learn and continue to learn from every person with diabetes - or who has a loved one with diabetes.  I’ve made friends around the globe - some I’ve been lucky enough to meet in real life!AND I AM ONE LUCKY DUCK.My community taught me to speak up and speak out - that my voice mattered - that all of our voices matter. The DOC taught me that people with diabetes - and no matter the type, are in this together. There is no "separate but equal," when it comes to diabetes types - or anything else. And the Diabetes Online Community has proven to me time and again, that alone we trudge up hills, together we move mountains.Guys, thanks from the bottom of my busted pancreas for always being here for me! Now, back to moving mountains! [...]



Don't Forget To Take Care Of Yourself During National Diabetes Awareness Month

2017-11-06T15:59:55.332-05:00

I took a few days off before jumping into Diabetes Awareness Month on the blog. I celebrated my 40th Diaversary on Halloween (CRAZY,) had a celebratory dinner and drinks with friends on November 1, which was a fantastic way to kick of National Diabetes Awareness Month. Cut to Thursday me, the opposite of "chilled," and with the chills, the beginnings of a sore throat, and a low grade fever. Whatever crud I'd been running from (IGNORING,) had almost caught up with me. Almost because I was going to nip whatever in the bud before it had me down for the count! I went to my Nurse Practitioner, she prescribed an RX, and I spent the next few days chilling, but thankfully, leaving the chills behind.  Woke up with a normal temp on Saturday, on Sunday I was feeling more groovy than not.I’m still running an increased temp basal rate, (but it’s lower than it was over the weekend,) I'm starving, and I’m plowing through. National Diabetes Awareness Month is now officially in full swing and all of us are working hard advocating wherever and whenever we can. This post is your official reminder (and mine,) that we have to take care of ourselves - and not just the diabetes part, in order to advocate and take care of others this November - AND the other 11 months of the year.   Keep advocating , listen to what your body is saying, be kind to yourself, and continue with the kicking ass. [...]



Diaversary: It Was 40 Years Ago Today

2017-10-31T18:17:15.910-04:00

40 years with diabetes has gone by like "THAT!" I plan to hang with friends tonight and tomorrow night. Initially I wanted to throw a big 40th Diaversary party - but it's been a crazy quarter. So I've decided to celebrate throughout the year!######14,600 days ago, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was 40 years ago, today - THAT'S CRAZY. Also: 40 years - W.T.F. How the heck can my diabetes be older than me?! So what have I learned since I was dx’d way back in 77? A hell of a lot and quite frankly, too much for one post. Diabetes has taught me to appreciate and celebrate the good days - and to acknowledge the not so great ones. That it’s OK to laugh at diabetes and I strongly suggest that you do - and as often as possible. On the flip- side, It is also absolutely OK to cry because of diabetes and I encourage it.Keeping “it” all inside is overrated and detrimental to our mental and physical health. It took me almost 40 years to realize that my parents weren't mad at me - they were upset at the number on the meter. Parents, keep your game face on - kids can't differentiate.  I discovered that diabetes guilt can be an anchor around your neck that you didn’t even know you were wearing. Get rid of that accessory, ASAP - it holds you back and keeps you down. Diabetes is still teaching me to choose my battles and focus my energies on things that are important.Diabetes proved to me that I was actually good at math. Four decades with a busted pancreas has taught me that there are moments when you feel alone with and because of your diabetes - but that if you have a d tribe - you are never alone. Find your tribe and never let them go. Finding the Diabetes Online Community has taught and continues to teach me that my diabetes isn’t better than yours - it’s just different... and in some ways, very much the same. So no matter what type of diabetes you have - I got your back. I will stand beside you and fight for you. I will listen and I will defend and I will not blame. Life and life with diabetes has showed me that you can do everything right, and still not get the results you want - but you have to keep trying. Life has reinforced the fact that there are worse things than diabetes.Things like losing your parents and the people you love.Diabetes has shown me that words matter - and that what you say and how you say it, does indeed matter. Choose your words wisely, check your tone often.Diabetes was the catalyst for training and developing my voice, because diabetes forced me to speak up and speak out from a young age - even when it was the last thing I felt like doing.Diabetes made me that realize that saying “I’M HIGH,” after checking my blood sugar, can result in shocked looks from strangers. Also: Obviously diabetes has been a huge influence on my twisted sense of humor. After 40 years of life with D, my empathy skills are dialed up to 11 - and that is the gift that keeps on giving. And during these last 40 years, I have learned that's OK to fall down - as long as you get back up. and that ssometimes getting back requires multiple attempts. Finally, 40 years of living with diabetes, but mostly because I am my mother’s daughter, I have learned that seeing the positives in life helps you get through life..  And every year on my diaverary, I make a list of positives and based on the Diaversary number I’m celebrating. here's what I came up with this year.40 Positives1. The color of the sky 10 minutes before the sun goes down - it’s never the same canvas and it ALWAYS takes my breath away2. Making homemade soup - it relaxes me and clears my head 3. Eating homemade soup4. Clean, crispy sheets5. Swimming in the ocean6. Salt water  - swimming in, float[...]



Embracing Low Carb Dinners - And Trying Not To Over Bolus

2017-10-27T16:25:55.302-04:00

If at first you don't succeed..... Since Monday (OK, really since Sunday, but that was because I had big lunch and didn't feel like eating much dinner,) night I’ve been consciously trying to eat low carb dinners for a multitude of reasons . Better blood sugars, trying to drop a few pounds, upping my veggie intake - all that stuff. Plus, low carb is easier to cook and requires less clean-up - at least in my kitchen. But while cooking/preparing low carb meals have been easy (tuna salad loaded with raw veggies, yogurt and fruit, eggs with 1/2 a baked sweet potato and lots of veggies, Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup,) I tend to over bolus for meals that are considered low carb. And then 9 times out of 10, I end up running low either a few hours after my meal, right before bed (and right after I've put my night-guard on,) or in the middle of the night - all of which negates the whole “trying to eat low carb dinners,” thing. So for the past 3 days I’ve been working hard on my bolusing skills for low carb.As in actually looking up carb counts (which by the way - I’ve been freakishly spot on with,)  and not counting the carbs in my animal protein ( I always count the carbs in legumes or quinoa) at dinner. Animal protein is where I usually make my mistake when it comes to bolusing. As always, your diabetes may vary.To be balls out honest, it was weird to see such a small amount of insulin flash up on my Omnipod PDM. On Tuesday night I had a meeting with myself and was like: If the 2.20 units don’t work out for my eggs,1/2 a medium size sweet potato, and green beans with hot sauce, no big deal - that’s what a correction bolus is for. Things went well. 100 blood sugar two hours later with insulin onboard, a very small glass of cranberry apple juice and a 130 bg blood sugar before bed.  Cut to Wednesday morning, a blood sugar of 120 and no middle of the night lows. I ROCK. Wednesday dinner blood sugar was 111 and I made a tuna salad loaded with raw veggies and served with gluten free crackers. 1.75 units did the trick and again - a little freaked out by the small dinner bolus - but I went with it. Went to bed with a bg of 135 and woke up at 116. And as I was drinking my coffee I may have uttered: WHO’S YOUR F^CKING DADDY, DIABETES?!Pickings are officially slim in my fridge, and last night's dinner was a repeat performance. Eggs over medium, the other half of baked sweet potato, and the last of the green beans. 2.75 units to cover my meal and 153 bg - all seemed right with my world. 178 bedtime bg. hmmmmmm and interesting. I chalked it off as being tired - considered a full correction dose - but only gave 0.90 unit instead of the 1.50 correction because I was going to bed and I was worried going low. Sidebar: I don’t wear a Dex. I need to be careful with bedtime corrections  because nighttime is the right time for my blood sugar to drop.Blood sugar this morning: 297Clearly - diabetes was sending me a message and that message was: WHO’S THE F^CKING DADDY NOW, KELLY!!? And sometimes diabetes likes to f^ck with me.... because it can. Also, I should have known something was up when I woke up at 4:30 to go to pee and then couldn’t go back to bed.This morning required a 6.25 correction bolus in the form of a shot and including insulin to cover the carbs for copious amounts of coffee. Then like we all do every damn day when it comes to living with our diabetes, I forged ahead. By lunchtime my blood sugar was 159. Current blood sugar: 131 as of 1 minute ago.TakeawaysI was once again reminded diabetes is never the same disease two days in a row - and will prove that too you - and just when you think you’ve figured it out.Diabetes can do whateve[...]



Diabetes And The Little Things That Can Mess With Our Heads

2017-10-24T17:18:32.533-04:00

It’s the little unexpected diabetes things that catch us off-guard...and can cause us to second guess ourselves in other ways and areas.And we have to deal, acknowledge, shake it off and get on with the business of living. #####Sunday night with spoon in hand, I headed for the fridge, grabbed a yogurt and some clean red grapes from a chilled glass bowl, closed the door and headed towards the TV room  to watch one of my favorite shows, OUTLANDER. Claire and Jaimie were about to get together for the first time in 20 years (and through the time and space continuum, which made it more like 200 years,) and I didn’t want to miss a thing. SIdebar: If you’re not watching OUTLANDER on Starz, rectify that situation, IMMEDIATELY.Fresh out of the shower after a day out in the sun -vanilla yogurt and red grapes in front of the TV were the perfect light and easy dinner.15 minutes to Claire and Jamie “officially reuniting,” I’d bolused accordingly, I was giggling like a school girl, and my yogurt and red grapes were hitting the spot. 10 minutes to Outlander, spoon in midair, half way through my yogurt and out of the blue, I realized that I hadn’t actually heard the fridge door close behind me. I put down my spoon, got up, went to the kitchen and saw that the refrigerator door was more than slightly ajar - the damn door was wide open! I went over and went in, checked in the produce drawer to make sure my insulin supply was still cold. And of course it was - it had only been like 5 minutes. But for my peace of mind I had to double check - insulin was too damn expensive to leave it chance. I closed the drawer, shut the door, and watched it close shut. And then I brushed my hand over the door handle and gave it a little pat.CRISIS AVERTED. 5 minutes to OUTLANDER and all I could think was what if I hadn’t realized or wasn’t home to realize that I’d left the fridge door open. I didn’t care about the food - there wasn't much in there anyway. But the “what ifs” re: 4 bottles of insulin going bad had me hyper focusing on diabetes.And diabetes was the last fucking thing I wanted to focus on. I took some deep breaths and did my best to shake it off. And I did. By the time the OUTLANDER theme music started, I was focused on a print shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, circa 1768 and on a reunion  20/200 years in the making. Also: SUCH A GOOD EPISODE.Claire & Jamie back together!Photo Credit: Aimee Spinks/Starz Entertainment, LLCCut to yesterday morning, after locking my front door and just as I was about to walk to my car, my thoughts went back to the opened fridge door from the night before.I took a deep breath, unlocked the door, went to the kitchen and did a quick double check that my fridge door was right and tight like a drum. It was. I ran back outside, shut the front door without a second thought..... until I was about to put the car key in the ignition and drive away - and then I wondered out-loud if I had locked the front door.I let out a string of F-bombs, removed my seat-belt, and opened my car door. For the record, I had locked the front door.But after the Sunday night insulin “could have beens and thank God it wasn't,” I found my second guessing and checking, again - because diabetes had messed with my head and my confidence - and for the third time in 24 hours. Yep - it was a Monday vibe for sure. Monday vibes and diabetes be damned, I put the key in the ignition and like Claire and Jamie, I forged ahead~ [...]



Adulting With Diabetes

2017-10-17T19:54:56.725-04:00

"Adulting with diabetes," buying what you need (and have just run out of,)with your Target GiftCard, instead of splurging on something you want! If you are an adult living with diabetes, you are “adulting with diabetes,” every single damn day - I get it and I applaud you for it. Some days it seems as if we adult with diabetes, more than others.Take last Wednesday - I swear to Gouda, it seemed that the majority of my day was all about “adulting with diabetes,” at least that’s how it seemed to me. And I was proud of myself for dealing with it and #adultingwithdiabetes. We - every single one of us adults with diabetes, are "adulting with diabetes," every single day, every single minute of the year - and there are moments that we want and should brag/bitch about it.Also: BRAVA and BRAVO to every damn one of us! ######Adulting with diabetes means NOT canceling your scheduled eye exam, even though it's happening on a beautiful Indian summer afternoon and you’d much rather be playing hooky outside than having your eyes dilated and all that goes with that, inside a crowded doctor's office.And then continuing with adulting by stopping by the cable company to exchange your cable box (which you remember to bring with,) something you’ve put off doing FOREVER. But today is the day - even though you know that you’ll have to hook it with dilated eyes when you get home. After picking up said new cable box, you realize that Target is right across the parking lot from the cable company - and that you have a $20 Target gift card.You finish up the 7 Tropical Fruit flavored glucose tabs in the emergency glucose tab bottle you always keep your car ( you're not low - but history has shown you that you will need the extra carbs for walking around Target,) and which you empty. And you save the bottle to use as a on-the-road sharps container. Then you decide to use that Target gift card on things you need, like windshield wiper fluid, cleaning suplies... and Target Glucose tabs. Not things you want or want to splurge on - like lipstick or new workout clothes.  Sidebar: You score an additional 5% off said glucose tabs with Target’s Cartwheel app - and you don't go low in Target - thanks to the extra glucose tabs you downed in the parking lot.Yes, TOTALLY ADULTING WITH DIABETES.Afterwards, you come home, sit in your driveway and down the rest of the water in your 24 ounce reusable water bottle -and put some much needed Windshield wiper fluid under the hood - before you walk in the door.  Speaking of walking in the door - you go straight to the fridge, put away the cheese and yogurt (have I mentioned that my latest yogurt obsession is OUI, by yoplait?) purchased at Target. You put away t\the cleaning supplies, then sit on your couch and hook up your cablebox – even though you can barely read the directions with your dilated eyes. When all is said and done and you’re ready to make dinner... adulting with diabetes, continues.  You do this by adding more frozen green beans to your leftover almost Bastard Almost Homemade Chicken Soup because you know that you haven't eaten nearly enough fruits or veggies, today. Speaking of almost leftover Bastard Almost Homemade Chicken Soup – you actually choose to eat homemade chicken soup instead of of caving into your takeout Stromboli craving.And then as you eat your fantastic soup loaded with green beans, you realize all the damn adulating with diabetes you've done today - and everyday - and you tell yourself: WAY TO GO, GIRL!More "adulating with diabetes," moments as of late Calling up in dealing with care Centrix when it's the last thing you feel like doing[...]



Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup~

2017-10-10T15:50:21.398-04:00

Cooking - makes me happy - cleaning up - not so much. I always keep my pantry stocked with meal basics - spices; pureed tomatoes, garlic, onions, beans, organic, Low Sodium Vegetable and Chicken Broth - enough to make a simple meal.  FTR, stores like Target and ACME have tasty and reasonably prices organic store brand broths. #######Comfort food - we all need it, we all crave it. Food evokes memories of people we love and times and places we wish we could go back to. For me, soup is  one of my comfort foods - I like the the act of creating/making soup.  It makes me feel better when I’m feeling under the weather and it makes me feel good when I’m feeling down. The act of making soup has a beginning, middle, and an end. I find zen in slicing and dicing veggies, the smell of spices - fresh or dried, and adding them to a concoction that will eventually turn into a delicious bowl of something fantastical - I LOVE IT. I make soup for friends and family and my Soup Registry expands yearly - I think I'm up to 15 different soups.   This past Sunday I was feeling under the weather and wishing I had my mom’s homemade chicken or turkey soup - but I would have been just as happy with her hearty beef veggie soup - which was my absolute favorite mom soup, happier still if my mom was here to make it with me. Sunday was gray and damp and I dragged my but off the couch checked in my pantry ,and saw that I had organic chicken broth, awesome spices, pastina stars, onions and garlic. Carrots, celery,  and lemons were in my fridge and tricolored flash frozen green beans and white corn in my freezer . The only thing missing was chicken. I didn’t feel like roasted a chicken from scratch - lucky for me/us, there are other options and Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup is damn tasty!Sidebar and new edit: Read this great recipe for turkey stock over at Wilted and Wild! I jumped in my car, drove to the grocery store and picked up an oven roasted, lemon pepper chicken on sale for $7. I grabbed it from it’s perch, still hot from the oven. I did a quick drive-by through the produce department and I stumbled upon an herb bomb,(Italian parsley, thyme, leek, and a spicy, tied together with twine and ready to be stewed. I was immediately taken back to my childhood and watching my mom cook. My mom referred to herb bombs a "potherb," and it was a key ingredient to her soups and stews. She'd send me to the store to buy one and I always new that something delicious was going to happen in a few hours.I LOVED the flavor herb bombs add and I took it as sign from mom to proceed with gusto! I grabbed an herb bomb,, rang up my purchases,and rushed home to make my Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup . My Bastard Chicken Soup ws both delicious as comforting - as was the act of making it. Here’s the recipe - I hope it brings you comfort and love. Bastard Homemade Chicken SoupIngredients1 Oven Roaster Chicken 4 or 5 cups of Low Sodium Chicken or Veggie BrothFresh lemon - one or two slicesOlive Oil1 small or medium Onion1 or two stalks of Celery1 or 2 Carrots 2 cloves of garlictwo handfuls of frozen green beans 1/4 a cup of frozen White Sweet CornSea saltblack pepperdried basal and oregano 1 herb bombTake roasted chicken, pull all the meat and if you'd like some skin and bones  (I hate chicken skin, unless it’‘s a  kick ass hot wings - and then I only eat the little kick ass  hot little drumsticks,) and set a side in a Pyrex container.Dice the carrots, celery, and onion, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and dried spices (as much or as little as you want,)  and[...]



Diabetes & A 49 Blood Sugar That Sneaks Up Like A Bitch Ninja

2017-09-20T15:36:13.750-04:00

It was a morning of trying to plow through, taking notes for an article I'm working on, two deadlines looming on the calendar, and doing my best to stop the Graham Cassidy insanity from happening. Focusing on getting shit accomplished. And out of nowhere, I suddenly felt shaky and tingly all rolled into one. I was sweaty and hungry and I didn't feel so steady on my feet. Diabetes had snuck up on me like a bitch Ninja and I was dropping fast. Status: Threat level Hot Mess, with a blood sugar of 49.  I grabbed a juice-box, sucked it down, and immediately sucked down a second.10 minutes went by and I ate 7 Swedish fish from the movie size box in my computer bag. The box of Swedish Fish I bought for 99 cents and on sale last week - and I don't even know why I'm mentioning that, but I am. Sidebar: Swedish Fish are now much smaller than they used to be. WEIRD. 5 minutes earlier I was sitting at my computer and everything was fine.Now? Not so much. I did my best not to overeat - easier said then done.I watched the clock and tried my best to wait before treating again.   20 minutes later my blood sugar was 95 and I let out a deep breath.I fiddled with the InstaMessage App for a few, (see above pic,) and 15 minutes later I checked my blood sugar again. I was 142. A small correction bolus was given - what had gone dangerously low, was now on its way towards the cheap seats. Current Status: Blood sugar is172 with 1 unit of IOB. Pod PDM suggests I give myself a 0.30 correction. For now I'm holding off. Back to work - but a quick blog post because this is life with diabetes - and I continue to plow through. [...]



My Omnipod Experience - Part 2

2017-09-07T13:29:32.499-04:00

Yesterday I wrote about part 1 of switching things up and starting the Omnipod. Today I share part two of my experience, where I discuss the stuff I love about podding - and the stuff that takes some getting used to. #########The Stuff I LoveSwimming in the ocean with my Pod - I LOVE IT.Not having to disconnect, and more importantly - not worrying about the contortion issues re: access to my pump site to reconnect after swimming - which for some reason, was always trickier for me, is freeing in all dimensions. The same goes for showering without disconnecting and sleeping naked if I so choose. Also: YAY!!Wearing dresses and not having to wear bikes shorts or pump garters - makes things so much easier. I still have to deal with Spanx on occasion, but at least I don't have to worry about dealing with infusion site issues!Access/Utilizing Arm/Leg Sites Is A Game Changer I could never navigate arm sites with my tubed pump and the thought of getting tangled in tubing freaked me out.Every time I tried a thigh site with my previous pump, they had a limited shelf life and normally only worked for 24 to 40 hours before crapping out. Thighs = high access area and the tubing was continually being pulled, yanked, etc. With Omnipod, I’m able to wear arm and thigh sites for three days and that makes my life with diabetes easier. Scar tissue was a huge issue with me on my previous pump and is the primary reason I chose the Omnipod. I was changing out my site every 30 hours - that’s no longer the case and I’m thrilled. Good To The Last DropMost of the time I’ve been able to use all the insulin in my pod - that wasn’t always the case with my old pump reservoirs - which normally would be less efficient when the reservoir went below 30 units.Cool Techno:When you activate your new pod on your person, the PDM tells you the exact date and time it’s supposed to expire, based on your personal pump settings and insulin amount.My pods run low on insulin between 3 and 4 hours earlier. That’s not on Omnipod issue, that’s a Kelly issue - yours truly needs to do some MAJOR basal rate testing, which I  didn’t want to consider let alone  attempt until I was wearing new diabetes tech. Basal Testing is now on the horizon. Loud Alarms The first time my 15 unit Low Reservoir went off, my PDM was in another room and I thought it was my smoke detector.The PDM & Pod do their priming dance BEFORE you put it on your body.Cool Software I can download the Omnipod PDM to Glooko, making it easy for my CDE to access all my PDM info: Carbs; blood sugars, basals, carb ratios, etc. This should allow for easier tweaks and I'm looking forward to giving it a try.Blood Sugars4 out of the first 8 days, my daily 24 hour insulin intake was 10 to 12 units lower than my old “low side” of normal. That still seams to be the case 36 days in - sans elevated bg's due to a couple "dead sites," and the summer cold that's been the bain of my existence for the past week.Facing Fears I have officially conquered arm, thigh, calf and love handle infusion sites. day 18 (and for the first time, ever,) I attempted a back /love handle site, it required some major twisting on my end, but mission accomplished!BONUS: Great numbers with that never before used real estate space.I tried an inner side calf site - it was easy but I had absorbtion issues. I’m going to try the back of calf to see if works better. Still have not tried back or front belly sites. I’ve decided that before I give my abdomen areas a complete break, I want to see how that area works with the omnipod verses my ol[...]



My Omnipod Experience - Part One

2017-09-06T14:56:12.952-04:00

Learning and discovering new things every damn day and glad that Insulet gives us 45 days to figure it out. There’s a learning curve when it comes to wearing the Omnipod, but so far it's been good - except for a few hiccups along the way.I’ve taken copious amounts of notes - so many notes that I had to divide them up into two posts!Part one is below and I hope you enjoy!######So this happened!Day 1: Omnipod training with my CDE went well and I'm officially untethered!Wearing pod on my right arm. It's weird not being tethered to my electronic pancreas ,but in a really great way!Also, discovered that I walk freakishly close to the edge of door frames.Seriously, why have I not realized this about myself before?  Another also, since noticing this Kellyism, I have become better at not slamming into door frames.  Day Day 2: Experienced absorption issues 27 hours into wearing with perfect numbers up until then. I was the wearing the pod on my arm - the one I kept banging into door frames. Called CS and replaced pod. More on that in part 2.Day 5: I swam in the Atlantic ocean with my pod for the very first time - it was fantastic!Also, it stayed securely on my person - muddy legs and all. Also: AWESOME. Actual aerial footage of my and my pod about togo in for a dip in the Atlantic~Day 8: I left my PDM/case on the table in a restaurant that I had just exited. I immediately noticed after checking my hand bag (to make sure I had my PDM,) and ran back in to retrieve it - and all the while silently praying to the Diabetes Gods that it was still there. It was and I was grateful - it has not happened since. Day 9: Wearing the pod on my left arm - it's working well, but I'm aware of my pump whenever I twist to exit my vehicle. Day 17: Getting the hang of podding and no longer waking up and reaching to check if my pump is attached to the waistband of my Pajamas. Same goes for reaching to disconnect every time I walk towards the bathroom to shower.Day 35: OK, every once in a while I Still grab my waist band to disconnect before taking a shower - old habits die hard.Maybe it’s just meFor the first few days, I kept confusing my PDM with my iPhone and whenever I was trying to take a picture of my PDM screen. I’d stare at the screen for a few seconds, all confused as to why I couldn’t take a screen shot. Unlike an iPhone you can’t take a picture of the PDM screen with said PDM and no matter how hard you try and attempt to press Home button and the nonexistent Silent switch. No matter how hard one tries, you cannot take ascreenshot with your PDM.But you can customize your PDM~Day 33 and since I'm being balls out honest, sometimes I still grab my iPhone when I mean to grab my PDM and then wonder "why" and out loud when I press the "Home" button and start to bitch out load because I can’t scroll down.Then I realize why and I feel like an idiot. Spacial IssuesI still have them, but instead of doorknobs and edges issue with pump tubing, arm pods and door frames have become my new jam - literally.  like I mentioned earlier in the post, for the first few days of podding, I banged my pod arm into my kitchen and bedroom door frames more often than I’d like to admit. Now, I'm specially more aware of my surroundings - at least when I'm wearing the pod on my arm. Black on Black pump skin PDM came with a black Skin. Black PDM + Black Case/ Black Skin means the potential for misplacing is an issue because diabetes or not, I am extremely nearsighted - there's a reason I avoid handbags with black lining and my wallet is not black [...]



Diabetes Emoji

2017-08-25T08:31:32.232-04:00


(image)

Do you think that diabetes is trying to tell me 
that it wants its own official Diabetes emoji/emojis?  
No joke and this is NOT photoshop guys. 

THIS is what I saw when I looked down at my fingers 
after I checking my blood sugar this morning (it was 111😁.) 
FTR, that's my blood, not a Sharpie drawn smiley face~

Pretty damn trippy! 




Diabetes Makes Me Do That Thing Where I'm Always Checking

2017-08-10T14:41:52.686-04:00

So..... checking as it relates to diabetes - does it drive you batty and please tell me I'm not the only one!Do you have any tips? If so, please feel free to share - diabetesalicious minds want know!Also, I apologize in advance for the ridiculous amount of times I use the words "checking," and "check." ########Diabetes makes me do that thing where I’m always checking. Checking to see if I have enough insulin and other meds; checking to see if I have my pump attached to my person before I walk out the door, and now checking to see if I have my PDM because I’m currently podding. Checking to see if I have enough test strips on my person and in my stash. Checking to see if I have enough pump supplies. Checking to see if I have enough juice; juice boxes, glucose tabs, and regular food in my house. Checking to make sure I have glucose tabs, or other low treats in my car.Checking out the latest diabetes related studies, news, and the likes there of. Checking for little signs of diabetes burnout before they become big signs.Then there’s the paper work required for all of the above, checking to see if my insurance not only covers certain med/supply, etc.,making sure RXs are up to date, doctors appointments are scheduled. Then there are things I shouldn't even have to check for, but must -  because someone else didn't do their job. Case in point - making sure my insurance company covers the right copay. Since I switched up my plan on March 1, my insurance company has charged me my old 60/40 co-pay for two different prescriptions instead of my current 80/20 co-pay. That's a big damn difference.Guess who was the one to figure it out? Guess who was the one who spent two hours on the phone trying to fix it the first time and hour on the phone the second time making sure it was fixed? But back to checking. Checking blood sugars, checking for ketones, checking to make sure I have extra everything before I go out the door and start my day. .Most days it doesn’t bother me because the checking has become second nature and I've figured a way to streamline my prep check. I have a cool looking (and slightly bigger than my 6+ iPhone when in it’s otterbox,)size brightly colored/insulated bag I use for my diabetes.I keep my PDM; meter (which I don’t bring now, because I can check my blood sugar via the PDM,) test strips, pump/pod supplies, K-Tape, insulin, backup batteries. But even with streamlining, there are still some days when diabetes and checking throws me for a loop - like if my blood sugars are wonky, or if I’ve run out of test strips, or left something D related on the counter.... at home....or at the restaurant I've just left. When that happens, I feel like I also forgot to check for my sanity before I left the house, because I clearly feel like it's missing. And on those days when I feel as if I’ve checked for my sanity a million times and can’t locate it to save my life - I’m glad I have the Diabetes Online Community, DSMA, and my diabetes peeps.“Checking out,” and taking a few minutes to read a blog post, chat on twitter, or text with a D friend - that makes all the difference. That right there is the best medicine - and I thank you guys for it.   [...]



Diabetes And Changing Things Up~

2017-08-09T16:13:31.318-04:00

I’m a go with the flow kind of gal, except of course when I’m not. I love new experiences, meeting new people, and exploring new places. But I’m not great with big life changes - even when they're good - and I know that about myself - It’s one of the things I struggle with and I know it holds me back. I have no idea why I struggle with life changes so much - but I’m pissed that I do and I’m actively working on fixing this issue - and some others. I liken how I embrace life changes to my love of swimming in the ocean - Seriously, it’s like one of my favorite things in the world to do! I love swimming, surfing, body surfing waves, and embracing my inner dolphin. I’ve been going out over my head since I was a kid  - jumping off a boat and learning to swam towards Lucy the Elephant at the age of 4. I bought my first surfboard at 25, There was a time I'd take a wave runner out on a 40 mile ocean jaunt no problem - and to this day I swim in the ocean until I start to turn blue. But as I grew up, I want from diving in the ocean without thinking... to easing my way in, jumping and dodging waves through the shallow water, cursing the cold waves as they hit my body and splashed my face - until I was finally ready to dive in and take the plunge. FTR, I know in my heart and head that if I would just take the plunge and dunk my head under the waves, the water would immediately feel warmer - but I still don't. I ease my way in - It takes me a good 5 minutes to dive under my first wave  - and then I’m home free, feeling groovy, and riding waves until I'm too tired to continue. Which brings me diabetes - after years of wearing an insulin pump with an expired warranty and using the same brand glucose meter for most of the time, I knew it was well past time to make some changes in my diabetes tech management. It’s not like I didn’t want to - I totally did. But my old insurance deductible was super high (and my co-pay, not what I would call generous,) and don’t even get me started on commitment issues re: warranties. But enough was enough, I was well overdue and I knew I needed updated diabetes technology in order to not only stay healthy, but to utilize the elixir of life we call insulin. And I was THIS CLOSE to meeting my deductible - it was the perfect time to switch things up. Sidebar: I’ve been dealing with abdomen scar tissue issues for quite some time - problematic on all fronts - not only absorption issues, but I was literally having to change my infusion site every 24 to 34 hours, instead of every three days because of absorption issues - and that gets freaking expensive. I tried my legs and that would work slightly longer, but I could never navigate my arms (tubing issues,) or my back (contortion issues). I spent an inordinate amount of time on the phone battling my insurance company to pay for extra boxes on infusion sites, my daily 24 hour insulin insulin consumption kept creeping up and up, as did my frustration levels. I seriously considered taking an extended pump vacation, but after having a heart-to-heart with my fabulous Endo Dr. J, and we both felt that Insulet's OmniPod would most likely be the best solution for me. I could give my abdomen a much needed and extended break from infusion sites, while trying out other sites on my body. Plus, I'd have 45 days to see if the switch was working for me.After talking with the some folks at the Insulet/Omnipod booth at the Children With Diabetes, Friends For Li[...]



Finally, My Experience at #CWDFFL2017 - It Was AWESOME

2017-08-02T16:20:58.051-04:00

First my apologies for not posting sooner. 5 days after I returned from CWDFFL, I came down with a nasty viral infection (that I’d probably been fighting off since before I went to Orlando,) that left me with a low grade fever and down for the count for a little over 2 weeks.I've never felt so horrible in my life, I never want to feel that way again. More about that ridiculousness in another post because late or not, I want to share my Children With Diabetes Friends For Life, experience.And yeah, I agreee - IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME.######When People ask me about the Children with Diabetes, Friends For Life Conference - it’s hard to put into words - and it’s not. AmazingIt’s truly amazing being around people who “get it,” without ever having to utter the D word. The immediate friendship and feelings of “me too," that green and orange bracelets bring not only prove that you are not alone - it’s also makes you feel safe and connected  - even if you’re attending the conference by yourself - TRUST ME. HAPPY - so much happy!Watching First Timers became part of the mix makes my heart happy for several reasons. I was a First Timer once, I know how it feels - I also know how it feels when the First Timer fears wash away and the feelings of happiness and community replace them - it’s freaking magical. Having a green bracelet wearing child see your green bracelet and watch as you change out your insulin pump reservoir between sessions, and then come up to you all excited saying: Mommy and I just changed out my reservoir too!And then you get excited and all of a sudden you’re grabbing snacks from the snack table and have become fast friends - and friends for life. SO COOL.All of ItLaura Hugs; hanging with my DOC peeps in real life, watching some special children with diabetes (and their equally amazing siblings,)  I’ve loved over the years grow up and continue on with the fabulous - And damn if I don’t swell with pride!Hanging out with friends who have become family and that you see for one week every year  - so many hugs, so much laughter - and it makes you feel great to be alive!Meeting new adults and children with diabetes and having them become part of the tribe.And don't even get me started on the Jalapeno Margaritas!Caring - so much damn caring. The unspoken rule of “no man or woman left behind,” and seeing it put into action time and time again. Like when your friend experiences a low and you and your friends spring into action - one goes and grabs a soda, the other offers glucose tabs, and another stays with with your friend - and a Disney employee name Christal from the Snack Bar, runs up with juice and food because Disney not only knows that  CWD,FFL is in town, but are there to help anyone in a green bracelet experiencing a low/ high blood sugar, or anything in-between. Whether it’s having friends (who are parents to a grown up t1 daughter and newly minted mommy,) pick you up juice boxes and bottled water at Publix because they worry about you having middle of the night lows - and the wife waits in her car while her husband walks you back to your room and refuses to let you carry any packages. Also, said D mama was very specific as to what brand and flavor of juice boxes required because she knows PWD (people with diabetes,) have their preferences. Or your PWD friend from the UK, who brings you Cadbury chocolate from Merry Olde England because she knows how much you dig British sweets! SafetyThere’s the fee[...]



Batteries Need Charging - Headed out to #CWDFFL2017

2017-08-02T14:39:45.354-04:00

So it's been a while since I've posted and I apologize. 
It's been a little crazy on this end and honestly, I've been burned out as of late - like crazy burned out - my preverbal well is dry and my batteries need recharging - and I can cop to it. 
Which is why I'm incredibly grateful to be flying out this morning to attend The 2017 Children With Diabetes, Friends for Life Conference in Orlando, Florida. 
I can't wait to get my green bracelet on, (literally and figuratively,) and spend 5 days with friends who are indeed family. 
Working and attending amazing sessions, running the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes booth, and spending time with people who "get it!"
Also, did I mention that all the cwdffl meals have carb counts listed?

follow the #cwdffl2017 hashtag and I promise to post from the Orlando! 
If you're attending - I can't wait to give you a hug! 




HOLY CRAP, That Ginormous Sweet Potato Looks Like A Pancreas!

2017-05-26T16:31:20.542-04:00

I went to by my local Farmers Market early this morning, stopped at a stand and saw this ginormous sweet potato and was like:"HOLY CRAP! THAT GINORMOUS SWEET POTATO LOOKS LIKE A PANCREAS!"It totally does - and now you can't unsee it.And then I bought it for a whopping 50 cents.You read right - it cost 50 freaking cents!It really is ginormous & weighs 3 pounds.It's bigger than my face. And someone @ the farmers market has the pic to prove it!Also, I have no idea how long to bake because, WOW.I bought these strawberries, too because DAMN![...]



Diabetes Blog Week Day 5: More Than My Diabetes

2017-05-21T23:02:37.023-04:00

Sandbar at sunset.Photographed as found.Today is the last day of Diabetes Blog Week (THANK YOU KAREN,) and it's all about our passions besides diabetes. #########I am more than just my diabetes and I certainly have other interests besides diabetes. I love cooking and love cooking for others.I love traveling and I need to do more.Children and animals make me smile and I try and spend as much time as I can with both.Like my mother and her mother before her, I love gardening and growing things. Getting my hands dirty and growing veggies and flowers from seeds, to sprouts, to full bloom and on the vine make me feel accomplished, peaceful and whole.Books have been my life long friends, going to the movies is and attending plays are important to my my emotional well-being. Speaking of, I love performing and I miss it. Yours truly is a fan of all things sparkly because I am my mothers daughter.I have a large collection of antique jewelry (some real, mostly costume, all sentimental) spanning the decades and I love learning about and finding new pieces. My collection adds flair to my most basic outfits - as well as my most fab.Native American jewelry are stories in silver and stone and I love learning and wearing those stories. The beach and the ocean bring me peace  - I love being in and on the water - along the shore and in the waves are where I feel most free and centered.Same goes for art in all mediums, though photography is the one I actually work in.I LOVE  photography. Taking photographs is way for me to see the world through different lenses and perspectives - it’s also my therapy.There was at time I loved to have my picture taken - now I like to be the one taking the pictures.Some of my photos are in this post and I hope they make you smile!Stormy seas.  Autumn on the beach~Rodin's "The Thinker."Philadelphia, PAThe Women's March/1/2017Architectural DetailsSalad Days~LAUGHINGThe three amigas[...]



#TBT #dblogweek Day 4: The Diabetes Stuff That Brings Me Down

2017-05-18T15:57:47.080-04:00

It's day four of Diabetes blog week.Today's topic is a #TBT from the 2014 Diabetes Blog Week. It's all about emotions and diabetes - the diabetes stuff that brings us down - and what brings us back up.  May is Mental Health Month - diabetes impacts our physical and mental well being. Depression and diabetes go hand in hand - talking about it is key -as is know that we aren't the only ones who struggle. Seeking help and support from friends and professionals can only help. ########There's so much about diabetes that brings me down.The fact that diabetes is 24 X&, 365 days a year with no time off for vacations or good behavior and causes me to experience diabetes burnout more often than I’d likedThe stress that diabetes puts on me (both physically and mentally,) has the ability to make me feel like Atlas - and sometimes I fear that the weight will cause me to topple. Add the stress that diabetes has put on my family, and my friends with and without diabetes, and it is easy to become the girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders. The fact that the public, for the most part - never gets diabetes right, and the same can be said for diabetes and the media. Diabetes Media Muck-ups put all of us on the defense and has us perpetually correcting the population. Don't even get me started on blood sugar craziness!Then, there’s the people I’ve loved and lost to diabetes - I miss them them terribly and when I think about diabetes cutting their lives short it makes cry and makes me relive the grief of losing them.Losing friends to diabetes is fucking hard.Losing my sister Debbie to diabetes was fucking excruciating. Seeing my parents hearts break because they lost their child to diabetes was devastating. It changed our lives and our family dynamic forever - and to this day, we are are still dealing with the ramifications of Debbie's death.  Personally, there are moments when I wonder the type of person I would have been and the life I would have led had diabetes not taken Debbie from us. And on those days, when diabetes brings me down into the darkness - light peaks through the darkest of clouds, and I am reminded of the gifts that diabetes has brought me.  Those gifts are you. Our community, the Diabetes Online Community, has given me so much support, friendship and love. My diabetes friendships that span the globe, enrich my world, and have given me a strong sense of self and determination. Diabetes has given me a voice and requires me to speak up for myself and for the people I love. Diabetes (and my mom,) taught me to pull myself up by bootstraps and pull myself out of the muck. Sometimes on my own, other times I can’t do it alone. And in those times when I am struggling to stand up in, and get of the muck the most,  the Diabetes Online Community lifts me up, dusts me off, and acts as my compass and travel companions on the road to better. And I am grateful for the gifts. ****FTR, I know I missed day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week. I will make it up and post, but I didn't want to get behind on day 4, too! [...]



Day 2 of DiabetesBlogWeek: The Cost of A Chronic Illness

2017-05-16T16:28:03.704-04:00

Day two of Diabetes Blog Week: The Cost of A Chronic Illness.####The cost of my chronic illness, t1 diabetes keeps me up at night from worry and causes me to grind my teeth when I sleep - giving me yet another pre-existing condition (and two cracked molars,) in the process. The cost of diabetes makes me depressed, angry, and perpetually in a state of fight or flight mode.The cost of diabetes has a negative affect on my savings and retirement plan and that has me frightened for my future, not to mention my health. The cost of diabetes makes me swallow my pride and ask my endo for samples  because for years my co-pays were crippling - and even thought they are better, they are still far from "easy on the wallet."  And I’m grateful when he is able to give them to me. The cost of my diabetes means I wear an insulin pump with an expired warranty.I’ve been acutely aware of the cost of diabetes since I was in single digits - and I guarantee that every single child living with diabetes/ has a parent or sibling living with D, knows how much diabetes costs their family - not only monetarily - but emotionally. I know the cost of diabetes kept my parents up at night and I know the cost of diabetes had a negative impact on their own health.I know that some of my siblings sans diabetes, felt that they received less because of the financial burden that diabetes placed on my parents. 3 out of 6 children with dt1 plus my dad - you do the math.  So in turn, the cost of diabetes always has had me continually saying "I'm sorry," since the age of 8.I do my best to allow my diabetes freak flag to fly, but some days the weight of my diabetes guilt has the power to stop me in my tracks. The cost of diabetes creeps into my daily thoughts, creates anxiety, and threatens my well being.The cost of diabetes has turned me into a diabetes hoarder of insulin, pump supplies, test strips, and every thing in-be-tween, for myself and for others. The cost of diabetes has forced to advocate for myself from day one - and in turn has made me advocate for others. The cost of diabetes has made me MARCH. Do I think the cost of insulin and everything else related to diabetes is too expensive? Is the Pope Catholic? Of course I do! When the cost of a drug people use to stay alive is unaffordable to the very people who need to stay alive - I have a problem with that. I have a problem with R&D always being blamed for the cost of insulin that’s been off patent for well over a decade - and I’ve been incredibly vocal about that - and will continue to be. I have a HUGE problem with Shane Patrick Boyle and others dying because their insulin Go-Fund-Me accounts didn’t work fast enough. I have a problem that in the United States of America citizens living with diabetes have to resort to crowd sourcing in order to obtain insulin. I have a problem with families and individuals going broke and going without because they have to pay for insurance.So I ALWAYS speak up, LOUDLY and often - sometimes face to face with Pharma, passionately and unapologetically - and I do not hold back. I make phone calls, send emails, and I write. My local Congressman knows my name and face because I called his office so many times about the cost of diabetes that he invited me to a sit down at his local office. And he was one of the 20 republ[...]



#DblogWeek Day 1: The Rules of Ginormous Flat Screen TVs Are Finite

2017-05-30T14:51:52.095-04:00

It's the first day of #dblogweek - and today's topic is Diabetes and the unexpected. Diabetes makes me look at things differently - and find alternative solutions, a’la MacGyver -  and that’s a great thing.Rubber Bands to procure your insulin pumpFor instance, a hair rubber band isn’t just for hair dear readers. It’s also a trusty pump reinforcement for my pump clip when the little lock part of said pump clip cracked off.No harm, no foul, and no freaking out about not being able to clip my pancreas to my hip Sidebar: Elastic ribbon bands work especially well - and add lots pretty to your pump! Strategic placed low blood sugar bedside stationYears of middle of the night lows have taught me that strategic bedside placement of juice boxes and a jar of glucose tabs on the bedside mean no stumbling in the middle of the night during a low blood sugar, thus allowing for physical safety and staying toasty under the covers.Speaking of.... Juice box requirements in the middle of the night have taught me to suck down the juice boxes more efficiently. Who has time for fumbling with each individual juice box straw? Not this chick.I've discovered through trial and error that the first straw/same straw for multiple juice box nights and avoid fumbling with additional wrapping.Diabetes has taught to assess my surroundingsNo matter where I go, I quickly assess the food situation and ALWAYS make sure I bring something to treat a low - just in case there's no food and or gross food. But it's not just about food. Recently I was at a restaurant with a group of 20 people - and my pump battery went from 3 bars to 1right after I ordered my pork sandwich.I was in a city I wasn’t familiar with, I didn’t know where the closest drugstore was, nor did I have a car to get there. But a quick study of my immediate surroundings and my diabetes MacGyver razor focus zero'd in on the 2 ginormous flat screen televisions mounted on either side of the bar - and not because of the basketball games. . The rules of ginormous flat screen televisions are finite. Where there are wall mounted flat screens, there are television remotes. Where there are there are remotes, 9 times out of 10, there are triple AAA batteries. Did I mention my pump runs on a singular triple AAA battery? I moseyed on up to the bar, explained my situation to the bartender, and asked if he had an extra battery. The bartender asked the manager, the manager went to his office and came back and handed me two triple AAA batteries - just in case. I thanked him and promised a positive review on YEP. Note to self: Get cracking on that positive YELP review!Diabetes as an empathy builderNot only does diabetes make me view thinks differently, it makes me view people with diabetes and without, differently. Thanks to diabetes  (and my parents,) my empathy factor is dialed up to 11.I get what it’s like to have a bad day - and diabetes or not, there are days when physically or mentally - we're not always whistling dixie.Everyone of us fights daily battles the rest of the world knows nothing about. Those battles, no matter how large or small, can be incredibly draining, so practice empathy and kindness. We need more empathy in this world, we need to understand others better, we need to practice kindness and remember how much it matters.An[...]