FingerPricks™ Cartoons: Sensible Stocking Stuffers from Diabetic Santa

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When I was younger, getting socks as a Christmas present was a total bummer. I wanted – and thought I deserved – gifts I considered fun. The purpose of these gifts was to entertain me and, since it was Christmas, no other purpose was even sought. (I remember the years when Santa wrapped toothbrushes and deodorant for my bothers and me. We reacted as if he’d actually stolen gifts, so unappreciative were we.) As I continue to get older I actually want sensible things – items I can use or actually need. If someone (Santa?) wants to fill my stocking with insulin vials and test strips then – HO! HO! HO! – please do!

Want a free stocking stuffer of your own from Diabetic Santa? Click here to order an OmniPod Demo Kit.

Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camps Make a Huge Difference

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Joey Balistrieri and friend Jack Borck.

“My daughter cried when we left, because she didn’t want the camp to end!” was how one mom described her daughter’s experience at the Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camp.

This three-day free camp is offered to any child with diabetes ages 5-18. It’s the only free, not-for-profit basketball camp and relies solely on donations. So a huge “thank you” to all of those companies that helped! My son Joey loves his OmniPod insulin pump, so we were thrilled to learn that the OmniPod was a new sponsor this year.

Monica Joyce, the founder of the not-for-profit camp, is a diabetes educator who had a dream – and thankfully it came true. Monica says: “Slam Dunk for Diabetes is the place where kids with diabetes come for free to have fun and to learn that they’re not alone, how to manage their disease through food, insulin or medication and exercise, and make new friends on and off the basketball court!” Continue reading

What I Learned from Adults with Diabetes at the JDRF Bike Ride

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I really wanted to participate in the Burlington, VT JDRF Bike Ride, because, as a father of a child with diabetes, I usually meet only kids with diabetes. I rarely get the opportunity to meet adults with diabetes. Even when I do, it’s a little uncomfortable to just go up to them and say, “How’s your blood glucose?” So, the ride gave me the opportunity to get in shape, raise some money for the JDRF and meet some people who have lived through life with diabetes for a lot longer than my son Davis has.

As a biker, I’m in pretty good shape, but my single summary impression of adults with diabetes is that they can kick my butt! Boy, are they in good shape! Continue reading

Benched for Diabetes: Trying to Educate Others on Diabetes Management

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Kayley-Field-Hockey-with-DiabetesI just finished up my third year of Varsity field hockey and found this past season to be a giant personal challenge. The coach I had is the same coach that I have had for the past two years and I have struggled with trying to get her to understand diabetes.  This season we started an intense conditioning process before practice with a trainer. I found that I was going low – very low – during practice on the days that I had conditioning.

My mom was in contact with the nurse after a number of times when my blood sugars were dangerously low. The coaching staff really did not seem to understand exactly how low my numbers were. Continue reading

Sean Busby’s Diabetes Heroes Series: Charlie Rabe

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In a series of 12 episodes, Suite D is featuring interviews between professional snowboarder Sean Busby and inspirational people in the diabetes community. In the tenth episode, Sean interviews Charlie Rabe, coach of the Boston University Snowboard Team and a 17-year veteran of type 1 diabetes. If you have a diabetes hero you’d like us to spotlight, please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

Charlie Rabe was born, raised and still resides in Massachusetts. He just passed the 17-year-mark living with type 1 diabetes and still considers himself to be constantly learning and striving to improve his understanding, treatment and control of the disease. Charlie recently switched from multiple daily injections to pump therapy, using the OmniPod, and loves the freedom it has allowed him.

Charlie has been snowboarding for 18 years and still strives to learn something new every time he steps onto his board. Continue reading

A Caregiver’s Journey to Pump Therapy Part 5: Working with your Healthcare Professionals to Prep for an Insulin Pump

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How is the type 1 diabetes journey – from diagnosis, through starting on multiple daily injections, to beginning on an insulin pump and other milestones – viewed and managed from the caregiver perspective? Join D-Mom Leighann Calentine in this 6-part series as she discusses her experiences navigating the diabetes journey as a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. If you’d like to comment or submit a story, please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

Working-with-HCP-for-Insulin-PumpOnce we made the decision to start using an insulin pump and chose the OmniPod for our daughter, we began the process of working with healthcare professionals to make the transition from multiple daily injections. Continue reading

Tips for Managing Diabetes with a Busy Work Schedule

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Managing-Diabetes-with-Busy-Work-ScheduleIt’s been one crazy year – and a very different kind of crazy than 2013 was. Since January of this year, I’ve been working a new job in the medical device industry and it has re-defined “busy” for me. My work hours are nuts. I can have meetings scheduled for 8:00 AM – on the other side of the state. I cover Oregon, Washington and Alaska, so some days can include commute times of 5+ hours by car or plane – and that’s before the workday even gets started! I’m all over the map (literally), often working early mornings, late evenings and sometimes weekends – wherever patients and doctors need me.

I love the job and the company, but it’s easily the most challenging job I’ve ever had and the long hours can make taking care of my diabetes extra difficult. But if my husband and I want to start a family soon, I need a lower A1C than I’ve ever had, so my diabetes management can’t go out the window just because I’m busy. So how do I stay on top of things when I don’t even know what state I’ll be in the next day? Read on for some of my personal tips. Continue reading

Ask Tony and Diane Series: Benefits of Having Loved Ones at Endocrinologist Appointments

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In a series of 12 episodes, diabetes community leaders and husband and wife Tony and Diane Cervati are addressing various topics focusing on relationship and family dynamics with diabetes. Tony, founder of the Type1Rider organization, has been living with type 1 diabetes for 37 years. Diane, founder of the Blue Heel Society, met Tony shortly after her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2010.

In the 11th episode, Tony and Diane discuss endocrinologist appointments. Should significant others and parents join their loved ones with diabetes to their visits to the doctor? What are the benefits of having a loved one come along for the appointment?

What are your experiences with endo appointments? Share with suited@insulet.com. Continue reading

Trying to See the Positive Side of Diabetes

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- Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE
Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator
www.AskDrBev.com

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In 2000, Betty Rollin published a book entitled “First You Cry” after she received her diagnosis of breast cancer. I would say that’s not unusual for any devastating diagnosis – including a diagnosis of diabetes. Nobody would be happy to receive a diagnosis of a chronic illness. I know it sounds odd, but it didn’t take me long to be happy with my diagnosis of “Juvenile Diabetes” (better known as type 1 diabetes now) in 1975. Please don’t misunderstand, I was not happy about living with this disease 24/7/365, but I was happy that I wasn’t diagnosed with a terminal illness. Continue reading

Why I Pump with the OmniPod: A Personal Choice

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- Jennifer Smith, RD, LD, CDE

“For me it has been nice to see that the OmniPod really works well in all aspects of my life – work, exercise and family life!”

Living with diabetes means we make a million choices about things on a daily basis. What to eat, where to get information to count carbs accurately, how/when to bolus, when to exercise, when to check blood glucose and what to do with all this information. A choice we make every four years can help with each of these things we do daily. What is it? The choice about which insulin pump is best for your personal diabetes management strategy of course!!

Thank goodness there are so many choices on the market right now – we can each choose what works best for us in our daily life. Continue reading

Six Ways to Wear Blue to Raise Diabetes Awareness

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November may be Diabetes Awareness Month annually, but some people are raising awareness all year long by wearing blue on Fridays. Cherise Shockley, the founder of Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA), was diagnosed with LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults) at the age of 23. In addition to DSMA Live and DSMA tweetchats, the WDD (World Diabetes Day) Blue Fridays Initiative was begun by Cherise.

Cherise was kind enough to share why she wears blue each Friday.

Leighann:  What inspired you to start the Blue Friday’s campaign?
Cherise:  I was inspired to start the Blue Friday’s initiative in November of 2010, because of the amazing work that the International Diabetes Federation does year round for the global diabetes community. The Blue Circle unites and raises awareness for people with diabetes. I believe in them and their mission. I wanted to help spread the word about the blue circle and World Diabetes Day so I created Blue Fridays. Continue reading

Volunteering in the Diabetes Community

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Summer volunteering for the JDRF.

I am a teenager who never lets type 1 diabetes (T1D) slow me down, I love a challenge, I manage my blood glucose, etc. However, there are days when diabetes gets me down despite my best efforts to stay positive. Let’s face it, diabetes can be a drag and sometimes I feel a little bitter looking at all of my non-T1D friends eat what they want, exercise whenever they feel like it and never consider all of the decisions that go into those simple activities when I do them.

I do not want to have a pity party or dwell on the negative aspects of diabetes. What I find picks me up and keeps me energized in the face of challenges is not what you would expect (although I will admit that a shopping day with my mom does wonders!). What gives me energy and keeps me motivated to control my diabetes, and not have it control me, is helping others. The more I give, the more I seem to get back.

I started to really get involved with JDRF last year. Continue reading

FingerPricks™ Cartoons: “Diabetes Day” is Every Day

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Haidee-Merritt-Diabetes-FingerPricks-7Let me just say what we’re all thinking: Every day is “diabetes day” for a person with diabetes.

It’s too bad World Diabetes Day isn’t a holiday from the diabetic grind, at the very least. Sure, awareness is important, but so is downtime; am I right? Let’s envision the one day of each calendar year that people with diabetes can leave their pumps and syringes home to take a well-deserved break. Think how restorative it would be to receive a 24-hour vacation from blood sugar meters and CGMs. No calibrating, testing, filling, squeezing, stabbing or injecting for one solid day?! We would all look forward to it like Christmas…I certainly would. But it leaves me with the question: How much do you bolus for the taste of freedom?

Celebrating World Diabetes Day: What Should People Understand About Diabetes?

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In honor of World Diabetes Day and the notion of spreading diabetes awareness, we reached out to members of the diabetes online community (DOC) to find out what they think people – friends, family, strangers, the media, anyone in general  – should be more aware of when it comes to diabetes.

Check out what they had to say below. And take part by sharing what you’d like people to know using the hashtag #spreaddiabetesawareness. Share it with your d-friends to keep it going!

The notion that there is a ‘good’ kind of diabetes and a ‘bad’ kind of diabetes is a fallacy that hurts everyone with diabetes ” – Emily Coles

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Diabetes is NOT a character flaw, so the media REALLY needs to stop treating it like one. Living with diabetes is 24/7 with no time off for good behavior – and it’s hard.” – Kelly Kunik

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Continue reading

Avoid Hibernation with Fall Motivation: Staying Healthy with Diabetes in Cold Weather

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Working-out-with-DiabetesNow that we are full swing into the fall season, some people may be losing the motivation to eat healthy and stay active with football games, upcoming holidays, and the overall change in weather serving as temptation to remain indoors and hibernate. Fortunately for you, I have some tips to keep you living healthy with diabetes as the weather gets colder! Continue reading

Living On Your Own with Diabetes: How to Prepare

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Kelly Kunik, Editrix/Siren of Diabetesaliciousness, discusses tips for people with diabetes preparing to live on their own for the first time. You can follow Kelly on Twitter @diabetesalish. 

I’m not a parent, but from what I’ve been told, your job as a parent is to protect your child/children and raise them to be caring, empathetic and responsible individuals who, when the time comes, will not only be able to fly on their own, but soar to the greatest of heights.

I know that many parents of young adults (and not so young for that matter) with diabetes worry about their children living alone. I totally get it, but I also know that if you clip their wings, there’s going to be a lot of resentment and anger directed at the parents – and at diabetes – and that’s not good for anyone.

Living on your own as a PWD (person with diabetes) is totally doable – it just takes some work. It takes work when it comes to managing diabetes on your own, work regarding developing a game plan and work in letting go and allowing yourself to grow and become. I’ve lived on my own for a long time now and I’ve found what really works for me is being prepared in all diabetes dimensions. This is achieved by copious amounts of the following. Continue reading

FingerPricks™ Cartoons: The ScArIeSt Treatments for Lows

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Question:  What does a person with diabetes do when the glucose tabs and candy are gone?
Answer:  Anything they have to.

Haidee-Merritt-Diabetes-FingerPricks-6It doesn’t have to be Halloween to know it’s a scary situation to be caught without sugar when blood sugar levels dip. I polled a bunch of my friends with type 1 diabetes and was given an assortment of unlikely foods they’ve used as treatment for a low. I took the Top 10 and put them in descending order of grossness: Continue reading

Do you want to Help “Smash Diabetes”?

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In an effort to support people living with type 1 diabetes, the T1D Exchange is asking people to participate in an initiative called “Smash Diabetes.” Their goal is to generate diabetes awareness and also let people know just how frustrating diabetes can sometimes be.

Here’s what they’re asking you to do to participate:

  1. Sign up here:  https://smashdiabetes.org/.
  2. Get a pumpkin (or just make sure you don’t throw yours out after Halloween).
  3. Video tape or photograph yourself smashing your pumpkin anytime from November 1st through the 14th and share it on social media using the hashtag #smashdiabetes.

Happy smashing!

Tips for Moving with Diabetes Part 2

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Embracing the adventure is a key step in making a smooth transition to a new home.

In Part 1, I discussed some steps to take before you even arrive at your new location. Once you arrive and the search for docs and the like are underway, it is critical to really get your bearings.

Getting Accustomed to New Surroundings

One of the things that concerned me the most was not knowing where anything was, the hours certain stores were open, and what items I could find and where. And I am not referring to who makes the best sushi, where to find that perfect rocky road sundae, or which bike shop has the best service, inventory and brands. (Although to be honest, those three items were very much near the tippy top of my priority list.)

I was chiefly concerned with finding places to grab fast-acting carbs, if needed. Continue reading

Tips for Moving with Diabetes Part 1

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Tony knows first-hand how stressful moving can be, but being prepared, especially on the diabetes front, can make the process much less painful.

There are many mundane events that occur in life that people with type 1 diabetes have to be slightly more attentive to than others who do not have to deal with the disease. Driving, exercise, sickness and eating meals out are just some of regular activities that require some varying degrees of extra attention. Another item near the very top of that list is moving.

During the past year, I was working under contract for a university that was located in a city more than 600 miles away. Although I was permitted to work from my office in my home, frequent short travel and some extended stays were required in the host city to attend meetings, go through training, etc. In terms of diabetes management and care, this proved to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. Read on for tips for moving when you have diabetes. Continue reading

Psychoglycemia: When your Blood Glucose Drives you Crazy

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- Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE
Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator

Sometimes blood sugar can drive you crazy. Dr. Beverly Adler, PhD, CDE, talks about hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and how frustrating being on the blood sugar roller coaster can be. Read on to learn tips for handling what she’s dubbed as “psychoglycemia.” Continue reading

My Journey to Pump Therapy Part 3: From Growing Up with Diabetes to Grown Up with Diabetes

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Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Allison Nimlos’ series on her journey to starting on an insulin pump with type 1 diabetes. In Part 3, she discusses what it was like for her when she started managing her diabetes on her own and provides tips for other parents.

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Allison, at 18 years old and about to start college, with her mother, Caren. 

Over the years as a diabetes advocate and blogger, I’ve met a lot of families with diabetes. One thing that comes up frequently in conversation, especially now that I’m in my late twenties and married, is how do teens with diabetes transition from being dependent on their parents to being fully independent?

It depends a lot on the individual. And the main thing I tell parents is that you have to let go as soon as it is safe. What that means is that as your child matures and is physically and emotionally able to do certain tasks, let them take over. Whether this is testing blood sugar, inserting their insulin pump or counting carbs, all these tasks will help prepare your child for when they are going to be on their own.

When to Hand Over the Reins in Diabetes Management

As parents, you want to stay on top of them until you feel confident that they are consistently doing what they need to do to manage their diabetes. Continue reading

Join the Movement: The Diabetes Hands Foundation is Set to Launch its Annual Big Blue Test

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With Diabetes Awareness Month just around the corner, we’re proud to support the Diabetes Hands Foundation and its annual Big Blue Test program.

What Is The Big Blue Test?

Big-Blue-TestThe Big Blue Test is a program designed to raise awareness of the impact exercise can have on diabetes management. The goal is also to inspire the diabetes community to get active and experience the impact small changes can have on your health. What you do is log your pre-exercise blood sugar, what you did for exercise and then your post-exercise data. Continue reading

The 7-Continent Journey Part 4: Completing the Mission with Diabetes

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Earlier this year, OmniPod ambassador and professional snowboarder Sean Busby became the first person with diabetes to backcountry snowboard on every continent. Come along for the journey as Sean talks about his experience making history and how having type 1 diabetes may have helped him on his way to the top of the mountain (and then of course shredding powder down to the bottom). Check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Check out this video of Sean’s trip to Morocco, where he completed his mission of backcountry snowboarding on every continent – and becoming the first person with type 1 diabetes to do so. Find out what Sean has planned next to follow up his journey around the world!

Click here to order a free demo of the OmniPod, the insulin pump Sean Busby uses to manage his diabetes in daily life and when traveling the world.

Tips and Tricks for Using a Pump’s Extended Bolus Feature

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- Gary Scheiner MS, CDE

Check out 2014 AADE Diabetes Educator of the Year and Owner of Integrated Diabetes Services Gary Scheiner give a tutorial on the insulin pump’s extended bolus feature. He provides tips and tricks, and highlights the benefits of being able to use it.

Click here to learn more about the OmniPod and get a free demo. Continue reading

Technology and Diabetes Management: Choosing to Get a Cell Phone for My Young Son with Diabetes

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Diabetes-Management-and-TechnologyWith the frequent release of upgraded smartphones, everyone talks about the cool new features, apps and design. Having an app that shows you what you’ll look like in your elder years or with a mustache sounds entertaining, but to a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, a cell phone is so much more. It can serve as a lifeline, allowing for peace of mind for yourself and your child.

My son Joey has just started 8th grade. It’s hard to believe that after nine years at the same school he is in his final year! Ten years is a long time to be at the same school. His friendships are so solid and special! As you can imagine, we have gotten close with some of the families at school. When Joey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2nd grade, we received a lot of support. However, I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be to us giving Joey a cell phone at that age. Continue reading

A Caregiver’s Journey to Pump Therapy Part 4: Choosing the Right Insulin Pump for Us

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How is the type 1 diabetes journey – from diagnosis, through starting on multiple daily injections, to beginning on an insulin pump and other milestones – viewed and managed from the caregiver perspective? Join D-Mom Leighann Calentine in this 6-part series as she discusses her experiences navigating the diabetes journey as a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. If you’d like to comment or submit a story, please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

Check out the first three posts of this series here.

After making the decision to make the change from multiple daily injections (MDI) to an insulin pump, we next had to choose which pump we felt was best for our child. Staff at the endocrinology practice told us they don’t recommend particular pumps and that we needed to look at all of the pumps options on the market to determine which one we thought would be best for us.

Researching Insulin Pump Options

I began my research by requesting information from all of the pump manufacturers. Continue reading

Ask Tony and Diane Series: Tips for Managing Diabetes While Sick

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In a series of 12 episodes, diabetes community leaders and husband and wife Tony and Diane Cervati are addressing various topics focusing on relationship and family dynamics with diabetes. Tony, founder of the Type1Rider organization, has been living with type 1 diabetes for 37 years. Diane, founder of the Blue Heel Society, met Tony shortly after her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2010.

In the 10th episode, Tony and Diane discuss how they manage diabetes while being sick, Diane from the caregiver perspective and Tony from his own first-hand experiences. What tips do you have for managing diabetes during sick days? Share with suited@insulet.com.

If you have a question or topic you’d like Tony and Diane to address, please e-mail questions@AskDianeandTony.com. If you have a story you’d like to contribute to Suite D, please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

The OmniPod insulin pump lets you set and store temporary basal rates to use when you’re sick. Click here to order a FREE demo.

Losing the Fear of Lows

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Growing up I had such major anxiety about LOW blood sugars. Who could blame me? It’s a miserable experience for everyone. Talk about exhausting and nerve-wracking. This cartoon reflects how I used to feel most of the time – scared of lows even when I was high!

There was something simple I figured out that helped me relax a little: Continue reading

The 7-Continent Journey Part 3: Building Mental Toughness with Diabetes

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Earlier this year, OmniPod ambassador and professional snowboarder Sean Busby became the first person with diabetes to backcountry snowboard on every continent. Come along for the journey as Sean talks about his experience making history and how having type 1 diabetes may have helped him on his way to the top of the mountain (and then of course shredding powder down to the bottom). Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 of the series, and read on for Part 3.

I believe anyone who has a chronic disease, like type 1 diabetes, has a level of mental toughness that other people do not have. Mental toughness is a way to be able to take “punches” and keep moving. In other words, to face challenges head on and set out with what you want to achieve. To manage diabetes, one must always be thinking ahead of schedule and about what sort of challenges they may face throughout the day, week, month, etc. Just the little action of thinking ahead begins to build the wall of mental toughness. Continue reading

My Journey to Pump Therapy Part 2: To Pump or Not to Pump

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Insulin pumps can be pretty intimidating.

You might wonder: Will people stare? Will you get tired of being reminded I have diabetes? Will it hurt or get in my way?

These are all things I thought when I was first approached about going on the insulin pump. It was the late 1990s when my endocrinologist told me about insulin pumps and suggested I get on one to help with my diabetes management. I wanted nothing to do with it. I flat-out refused, saying I didn’t want something hooked up to me all the time. Gross.

Then I went to diabetes camp and I saw a whole bunch of kids with insulin pumps. They thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Continue reading

Diabetes Creativity: Putting Type 1 Diabetes on Display

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Check out 13-year-old Ellie Kumer’s story about how she doesn’t let type 1 diabetes stop her from staying active and how she actually uses type 1 diabetes as creative inspiration.  What does diabetes inspire you to do? Share your story with suited@insulet.com.

Two months before my fourth birthday, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Needless to say, that was a changing point in my life. Suddenly, my parents were responsible for monitoring my diet, exercise and blood sugar throughout the day. They were giving me 4-6 insulin shots each day and constantly evaluating and adjusting different factors to keep my body functioning properly.

Over the past nine years, as I’ve continued to grow and mature, I have succeeded in juggling diabetes on my own. I have lived with diabetes twice as long as I have lived without it – and can’t remember a day when I didn’t have to poke my finger or dose insulin.

This summer, I participated in Milwaukee Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program. For six weeks, I danced five days a week from 9:00-5:00, ending with a performance at the end of the summer. This was an opportunity that I auditioned for in January and am so thankful to have experienced.

Balancing Diabetes with Ballet

Ellie-Kumer-Ballet-with-DiabetesI’ve been taking ballet classes for 10 years and it is my passion! In order to participate in a program like this, it requires a fair amount of planning and preparation – not only ballet training, but diabetes training, too. Continue reading

Sean Busby’s Diabetes Heroes Series: Ashley Napear

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In a series of 12 episodes, Suite D is featuring interviews between professional snowboarder Sean Busby and inspirational people in the diabetes community. In the ninth episode, Sean interviews Ashley Napear, an assistant camp director of the Clara Barton Camp and a former collegiate softball player who hasn’t let type 1 diabetes hold her back. If you have a diabetes hero you’d like us to spotlight, please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

Ashley Napear has had type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years. Diagnosed in 1993, she can’t remember life without diabetes. Within a year of diagnosis she attended her very first diabetes camp, which forever changed her life. She has now returned to camp every year – first as a camper, then a counselor and now assistant camp director of the Clara Barton Camp. Watch and find out how type 1 diabetes drives Ashley and her passion for helping others with the disease. She also shares how she managed her diabetes as a top-level college athlete, even leading her softball team to the Women’s College World Series.

Why I Pump: An Active Teenage Boy’s Story

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In the “Why I Pump” Series, Suite D will feature stories that explore the different reasons individuals and families have chosen to pursue insulin pump therapy. If you’d like to share your story please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

When my grandson Cooper was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at 22 months old, we were all in shock. I never thought I would get to babysit him again! I went through the diabetes classes with my daughter Jenny to try and grasp the disease. I soon found out that unless you live with diabetes, it wouldn’t be easy to understand! Testing blood sugar and giving daily shots didn’t come any easier to me!

My daughter Jenny was and still is an inspiration to me. She threw herself into learning everything there was to know about diabetes, so it didn’t surprise me when she started looking into pump therapy for Cooper. There were several insulin pumps to choose from and she ultimately decided on the OmniPod System. She liked that it was tube-free and wireless. With a 3-year-old it seemed to be the perfect choice, especially since she didn’t have to worry about the tubes that the other pumps had.

My Son’s Diabetes Diagnosis

Insulin-Pump-for-Active-BoyJoey stays very active and knew a tubeless insulin pump was right for his busy lifestyle. 

Fast forward a few years later and my son Joey was diagnosed with diabetes by my daughter on Mother’s Day. I was going to be babysitting Cooper that week, and since it had been awhile since I watched him, I was rusty checking his blood sugar. We asked for a volunteer to let me prick their finger so I didn’t have to practice on Cooper. After some bribing, Joey agreed! He was only eight, so his fingers were smaller like Cooper’s.

To all of our surprise and disbelief, Joey’s blood sugar was 466! We had him wash his hands and tried again. We got the same result!

So now I am back in the diabetes class, but this time with NO choice but to learn how to take care of my child – and fast! Continue reading

Ask Tony and Diane Series: Date Night with Diabetes

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In a series of 12 episodes, diabetes community leaders and husband and wife Tony and Diane Cervati are addressing various topics focusing on relationship and family dynamics with diabetes. Tony, founder of the Type1Rider organization, has been living with type 1 diabetes for 37 years. Diane, founder of the Blue Heel Society, met Tony shortly after her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2010.

In the ninth episode, Tony and Diane discuss how diabetes impacts them on date nights.  Check out their tips and tricks for making sure diabetes doesn’t interrupt a romantic night out. Has diabetes ever been a “third wheel” during one of your date nights?

If you have a question or topic you’d like Tony and Diane to address, please e-mail questions@AskDianeandTony.com. If you have a story you’d like to contribute to Suite D, please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

My Diabetes “Trainathon”: A Unique Spin on Fundraising

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I’m what you call a “Type 1 Dad.”  My son, Davis has had type 1 diabetes for about three years now.  I try my best to take care of him, but my wife, Teresa, is really the primary caregiver.  Managing Davis’ blood sugar has become very difficult lately, because he’s 13 years old, going through puberty and growing like a weed!

As you can imagine, it’s difficult for two people (parents) to be one pancreas, so the burden of care falls mostly on Teresa.  I do what I can to help Davis, by preparing low-carb meals, counting carbs, and taking him out for father-and-son golfing, skiing and other sporting events; but I can’t be there for him all of the time. I feel bad sometimes and frightened for Davis, but I do what I can.

Harris-Miller-JDRF-Bike-RideSo, I try to help Davis in other ways by focusing on his future and donating money to the JDRF, in hopes that one day they will find a cure. I’ve done a lot of fundraising in the past for many good causes, such as the Pan Mass Challenge, but I now have a very personal connection to type 1 diabetes, so it was an easy decision to focus on fundraising for the JDRF to help improve my son’s life.

Preparing for my First Diabetes Bike Ride Event

Two years ago, I discovered the JDRF Bike Ride in Burlington, VT, but I didn’t think that I was in good enough shape to take on the steep hills. So, I made up my mind that all spring and summer I was going to train and sign up for the ride this year. I figured if Davis can put up with type 1 diabetes every day and night, I can ride my bike for 100 miles. Continue reading

FingerPricks™ Cartoons: The Back to School Routine vs. The Diabetes Management Routine

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Back to school? Groan, moan, bunk! It happens every year, but funny enough, we’re just never prepared for it. We spend a majority of the summer denying the event will come, but it eventually does just like it did this time last year. Imagine!

Like it or not we’re asked to deal with the situation before us, be it school or, yes, our diabetes management regime. I drag my heels, complain, curse my fate, implore the universe to tell me why I must continuously do things I just don’t want to do?!?! I can whine all I want, but at the end of the day, I do the responsible thing: take the blood test, dose my insulin, board the school bus – all just a part of life’s ups-and-downs. I don’t mean to trivialize having diabetes – I just really hated school.

I wasn’t sure which angle to take with this cartoon. Part of me wants to impress upon the viewer my standard flippant back talk about our superior diabetes knowledge, but though I know you’d all appreciate it, it may be too predictable. I think today I want to say the opposite. I want to say: keep your mind open, you never know what information will be new or helpful, no matter what the source. And I’ll even go one step further: take time to teach others the things you’ve learned. More information is always better.

Note:  Information posted on Suite D is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider for questions and guidance on managing any health-related issues.

For more information on managing diabetes at school, click here.

Taking Type 1 Diabetes for a Hike

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Hiking-with-DiabetesClimbing Mount Washington in New Hampshire is difficult enough, but climbing it with type 1 diabetes brings on a whole new set of challenges. Preparation for my climbing trip with my father started months in advance. Exercise drops my blood sugar significantly, so I had many questions about how this would work out. How would I be able to keep my blood sugar stable for the eight-hour hike? How many orange juices would I need to bring? Would I have to decrease my basal while hiking? Continue reading

A Caregiver’s Journey to Pump Therapy Part 3: Multiple Daily Injections vs. Insulin Pumping

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How is the type 1 diabetes journey – from diagnosis, through starting on multiple daily injections, to beginning on an insulin pump and other milestones – viewed and managed from the caregiver perspective? Join D-Mom Leighann Calentine in this 6-part series as she discusses her experiences navigating the diabetes journey as a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. If you’d like to comment or submit a story, please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

Check out the first two posts of this series here.

When we first began thinking about an insulin pump, my daughter had had diabetes about 15 months. Multiple daily injections (MDI) were our new normal at that point. She was doing fine, but I couldn’t help but think that diabetes management could be easier on her in terms of both the injections themselves and the routine. Continue reading

The Seven Continent Journey Part 2: Making History with Diabetes

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Earlier this year, OmniPod ambassador and professional snowboarder Sean Busby became the first person with diabetes to backcountry snowboard on every continent. Come along for the journey as Sean talks about his experience making history and how having type 1 diabetes may have helped him on his way to the top of the mountain (and then of course shredding powder down to the bottom). Click here for Part 1.

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Sean climbing the Rila Mountains.

In 2012, I got married and quickly headed on a backcountry ski/snowboard honeymoon expedition with my wife Mollie to Eastern Europe that would later become a story in Frequency Snowboard Magazine. We wanted to explore and ski/ride the Carpathians and Făgăraș Mountains of Romania, and then the highest mountain range in the Balkan region, the Rila mountain range of Bulgaria.

Venturing through Canada
Following those two expeditions, I traveled to Newfoundland, Canada with another professional snowboarder (and fellow athlete with type 1 diabetes) to backcountry snowboard Gros Morne National Park. Gros Morne is an area where the actual Earth’s mantle has been forced up through the crust of the Earth, creating mountainous terrain that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. This region was a perfect new zone to go to a new, unique mountain range and have the chance to snowboard the “Earth’s insides.” Continue reading