A Mother and Daughter’s Experience at the JDRF’s Children’s Congress

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You may think of the JDRF for their research for a cure for type 1 diabetes, their work with the artificial pancreas and their annual fundraising walks throughout the country. However, they also focus efforts on advocacy in the form of their Promise to Remember Me meetings with congressmen and women and their bi-annual Children’s Congress in Washington, D.C.

According to the JDRF website, “Every two years, more than 150 children living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) gather in Washington, D.C., to meet face-to-face with some of the top decision-makers in the U.S. government. The children, ages 4 to 17, represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The delegates in JDRF’s Children’s Congress enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Members of Congress understand what life with T1D is like and why research to fund life-changing therapies until a cure can be found is so critical. They speak up on behalf of the millions of people living with T1D and the families and friends who love them.”

Hallie-and-AveryAvery Addington and her mom Hallie, author of the website The Princess and the Pump, were chosen to attend JDRF’s Children’s Congress a few years ago when Avery was seven years old. They share their experience with us below. First we hear from Hallie.

 Leighann:  In what ways, if any, are you active with your local JDRF chapter?

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Hallie:  I am a board member for our local JDRF. In the past, I was the Government Relations person for our chapter. I’m now on our advisory council and am involved in lots of different events like the walks, galas and other outreach events. I’m also a mentor and Avery is a youth ambassador.

Leighann:  What made you and Avery interested in applying for the Children’s Congress?

Hallie:  Avery fell in love with Washington, D.C. when she went to Government Day with me when I was the Government Relations person for our chapter. Continue reading

Sean Busby’s Diabetes Heroes Series: Todd Melinn

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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 twelfth episode, Sean interviews Todd Melinn, Sean’s former snowboarding coach who has had diabetes for the last 28 years. If you have a diabetes hero you’d like us to spotlight, please e-mail suited@insulet.com.

Todd Melinn was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1984 and started snowboarding that same year. For 30 years, snowboarding has been connected to Todd’s life in some way. Whether that was moving his way up from working at the first snowboard shop in Wrightwood, California, to being a snow maker, a lift operator, a lift mechanic, the founder/original designer of the Faultine Terrain Parks at Mountain High Ski/Snowboard Resort, co-founder of Active Mail Order and then a coach, Todd has found a way to incorporate snowboarding into his daily routine and job for many years.

The story of Todd comes full circle with Sean Busby. Todd happened to be Sean’s first snowboard coach years before Sean was ever diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Sean credits Todd and Todd’s friend and co-coach, John, for enabling him to become a professional snowboarder. Continue reading

Things to Consider when Upgrading your Insulin Pump

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- Lisa Foster-McNulty, RN, MSN, CDE

Every four years, we are asked to vote on who will become the next president.  If you wear an insulin pump, every four years your warranty will run. You get to exercise your right to continue with what is familiar – or jump over to something that is different and potentially a better choice for you! Either way, it’s not a decision to be made lightly. You’ll want to start thinking about this at least a few months before your warranty ends so that you have time to do your research. It can be helpful to have some idea of what points you’ll need to consider.

Do your Research

If you are very satisfied with your current pump, it may be a no-brainer to simply continue to use the same product. But what if you think that there may be something else out there that you’d prefer over your current pump? Continue reading

Diabetes and Special Occasions: The Gift of Technology

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Check out 14-year-old Summer Asman’s experiences managing diabetes during special occasions. Do you have an interesting experience you would like to share with Suite D? Reach out to us at suited@insulet.com.

Diabetes-and-Special-OccasionsBefore diabetes, I used to love all of the desserts provided at special occasions, but now I dread eating dessert with people who don’t understand type 1 diabetes. It is hard to eat with people without diabetes. I try not to be jealous when I watch them stuff their faces with hundreds of delicious, sugary carbs (like I used to do) and I have to sit there and refrain from eating as many as them.

Celebrating events with my family is especially hard, because my cousins, uncles and aunts don’t understand. They bake pies and cookies, and they eat with ice cream and pudding. It takes a lot of will power for me to only eat my “sensible” portion of cake! Sometimes I wish my relatives wouldn’t bring so many different kinds of cakes and pies, and eat a little bit of each. They don’t understand how I feel watching them eat. How do I feel? Jealous, frustrated, hurt – and then guilty that I feel that way! Continue reading

Diabetes FingerPricks™: Love for your Insulin Pump

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If only diabetes technology could save us from those awkward situations such as unrequited love! I’ll give credit where credit is due, by all means, but I don’t think we’re there just yet. On this Valentine’s Day let us be thankful for the love we give and love we get (or hope to give or want to get), including that little bundle of parts and batteries that keeps us going.

Click here to try a free Demo of the OmniPod insulin pump.

The Importance of the Diabetes Community Part 2: Finding Support

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Join Scott Benner, author of the award-winning parenting memoir, “Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Dad,” for a five-part series on how the diabetes community can help save, support, teach, improve and transform lives. Check out the first entry here.

My bedroom was pitch black and the house completely silent. It was well after three in the morning and I hadn’t been to sleep. My belief that my daughter Arden’s blood sugar would rise to a safe level was tenuous that evening so I was watching over her even more than usual.

When I fall asleep the likelihood of me waking up when I need to is slim. So on nights like this one I tend to just stay up. This night happened before we became continuous glucose monitor users and I would periodically walk from my room to hers to check her blood sugar. Each time I climbed back into bed, I became a little less certain that I could stay awake. Because my wife was sleeping I was trying to stay still, my eyes were sore from a long day that was getting longer. I had to stop watching television on my laptop, because it felt like there was sand in my eyes. I was exhausted, bleary-eyed and pretty sure that I was about to nod off – so I opened my Twitter app and, perhaps out of desperation to stay awake or maybe in an effort to not fall apart, I told who ever may be out there what was happening.

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A few silent minutes later, I received a response from a woman whom I’d never met. Continue reading

My Journey to Pump Therapy Part 5: Why OmniPod?

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Check out the first four parts of Allison Nimlos’ series on her journey to starting on an insulin pump with type 1 diabetes.

The OmniPod was not my first insulin pump. When I first went on a pump in 2000, there were only two options. I was using another pump for about 12 years when I decided to take an impromptu pump vacation. It ended up lasting about 16 months, so perhaps it was more like a pump sabbatical.

I eventually decided to resume life as a pumper, because I knew that my diabetes management would be better and easier for me. I loathed taking frequent insulin injections and I didn’t have the flexibility to increase my background insulin when I needed it, leaving me too high or too low too often. I thought about returning to the original pump I had been on, but I decided to do some investigating into the other pumps that had since come to the market. There were now several popular insulin pumps to choose from. Which one was going to be right for me? Continue reading

Sisterly Support for Women with Diabetes

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When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they get directives from their endocrinologist and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) on how to manage their diabetes. But successfully managing diabetes goes way beyond insulin-to-carb ratios, basal rates and carb counting. Finding support from others who “get it” can help us on levels far beyond what a medical professional can offer. One organization that is helping women of all ages with all types of diabetes find support is DiabetesSisters. Brandy Barnes is the founder of DiabetesSisters and author of the book  A Woman’s Guide to Diabetes: A Path to Wellness, which she co-wrote with Suite D contributor Natalie Strand. Check out my Q&A with Brandy below, as she shares more about DiabetesSisters and how women can find support.

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Leighann:  Why did you start DiabetesSisters and how has it grown?

Brandy-BarnesBrandy:  I started DiabetesSisters in January of 2008 after my own unsuccessful experiences in trying to find other women with diabetes to talk through problems and share life with. Throughout college and early adulthood, I dreamt of a friendship with another female who understood what life was like with diabetes. Unfortunately, I was not able to find it. Continue reading

Sean Busby’s Diabetes Heroes Series: Gavin Deutscher

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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 eleventh episode, Sean interviews Gavin Deutscher, an 18-year-old volunteer with Riding On Insulin. If you have a diabetes hero you’d like us to spotlight, please email suited@insulet.com.

Gavin Deutscher is 18 years old and has had type 1 diabetes for seven years. Sean first met Gavin many years ago when he was giving a diabetes presentation in Canada. During that presentation, Gavin recalls Sean speaking about not allowing type 1 diabetes to hold you back and the importance of following your passions and goals. Gavin took that advice and turned his passion for snowboarding into a career. Gavin has now been a snowboarder for 12 years and is going into his fourth year as a snowboard instructor (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors Level 2 and Park 1). When not on the mountain, Gavin can also be found studying Information Technology and living in Ontario, Canada.

Since being diagnosed with diabetes, he has never let it hinder or limit him. Continue reading

A Look into the Diabetes Dark Ages

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I’m incredibly grateful to have access to diabetes technology and my current and future health has directly benefited from said technology. Diabetes technology isn’t always perfect and there are moments that I complain about it, LOUDLY, and there have been moments where I’ve come close to throwing my D-technology against the wall or out the window! Do I want quicker turnaround times for diabetes technologies and scientific breakthroughs?  You bet I do and I’ll absolutely fight for those technologies and scientific breakthroughs! BUT, I’ll never take diabetes-related technology/breakthroughs for granted, because I remember when diabetes technology (if you can even call it that) was downright archaic.

I was diagnosed with diabetes 37 years ago, at the tail end of the Diabetes Dark Ages, and it wasn’t easy. Continue reading

Thriving with Diabetes: Synchronized Swimming

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In Suite D, we like to share inspirational stories of people who are not only living well with diabetes, but also thriving with it. In a “Thriving with Diabetes” series, we will be showcasing people who have turned their diabetes diagnosis into a strength and form of motivation. If you, or someone you know, fit that description, please e-mail suited@insulet.com to share your story.

My name is Gabriella Sajedi. I am 12 years old and I am in 7th grade. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just three days after my fifth birthday. I wasn’t feeling well for a couple of days and my mom thought I had a virus until she found me asleep on my family room floor. She brought me in to see my pediatrician and he immediately told my mom I had diabetes and that I needed to get to an emergency room as soon as possible.

After being stabilized at our local hospital, I was sent by ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Boston where I fought for my life for six days. I was really sick and in diabetic ketoacidosis. My body was shutting down and I remember being really scared. I didn’t understand what was happening to me and why everyone was so worried about me. In the hospital, my parents learned how to take care of me, how to give me insulin injections, how to count carbohydrates, how to use emergency glucagon and how to check my blood sugars. They told me this would be forever. I remember thinking, “Wow, forever!” I quickly adjusted to my “new life and my new normal.”

Synchronized Swimming with Diabetes

Gabriella-SajediI have been doing synchronized swimming since I was seven years old. I got started with the sport, because my mom was a synchronized swimmer when she was a kid. I like the sport, because I get to be with all my friends and I lose myself in my music. I like the competitions, especially trying out for the 11/12 Age Group National Team. In phase 1 of this competition, I scored 6th in the country for my age group!

Because I have diabetes, I always try to be prepared in case my blood sugar goes too low while I am swimming and competing, which could be very dangerous for me. My mom usually tells the lifeguards about my diabetes. Continue reading

Diabetes FingerPricks™: Keeping your Resolutions throughout the New Year

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You hear from various sources that resolutions at New Years are too difficult to keep. Such resolutions should therefore be avoided, as should all risk of failure, or potential achievement, this time of year. Therefore, these sources are saying, be noncommittal in self improvements and avoid exposure of weaknesses – if only to yourself – in the event something unpleasant should occur. So you don’t follow through.

I say what’s the harm in embracing the possibility of disappointment when the possibility of success (even in its simplest form, perhaps, like walking up a few flights of stairs) is also likely? If it takes a date on the calendar to make a few positive lifestyle changes then friggin’ go for it.

A few of my resolutions from recent years are listed below; I think my success rate on most was about 75%. Continue reading

The Importance of the Diabetes Community Part 1: How it Saved Our Family

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Join Scott Benner, author of the award-winning parenting memoir, “Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Dad,” for a five-part series on how the diabetes community can help save, support, teach, improve and transform lives.

Scott-Benner-Diabetes-Community
Arden, with her mother Kelly, shortly after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age two.

When my daughter Arden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2006, our family was violently thrown into a world that we didn’t understand. The days, weeks and months that followed were full of endless sadness, fear and moments that hindsight would later tell us we could have handled much better.

I’m choosing to share my largest diabetes misstep from that time in our lives, because it led me to what may be the most valuable discovery of my adult life. This is part one of my five-part series about community and how it will save, support, teach, improve and transform your life with diabetes. Continue reading

Helpful Tips for Wearing an Insulin Pump

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- Jennifer Smith, RD, LD, CDE

You’ve decided an insulin pump is the best option for precision in your diabetes management. The next big question that virtually every person with diabetes considers once you’ve decided to start pumping is, “How do I wear this thing?” This is of course specific to each and every person with diabetes.

Regardless of the brand of pump you’ve decided to use – one with tubing or a tubeless design – you still need to find that “sweet spot” for wearing it comfortably and possibly discreetly, depending on how comfortable you are showing the pump or wanting to conceal it for safety or personal reasons.

The following is a list of tips on how to wear, where to wear and what to do with a pump once you’ve got it on your body! Continue reading

Ask Tony and Diane Series: A Familiar Diagnosis

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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 12th episode, Tony and Diane discuss Tony’s six-year-old son recently being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Tune in to learn how the family reacted to the diagnosis and how Tony’s son has been handling his diabetes early on with the help of his family.

Continue reading

A Caregiver’s Journey to Pump Therapy Part 6: Experiences Starting the Pump and How Life Has Changed

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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.

OmniPod-PDMAfter our week-long saline trial with the OmniPod insulin pump, with the help of our endocrinologist, we asked our insurance for approval. The saline trial solidified our decision to begin pumping and we couldn’t wait to go live with actual insulin in the pump. It would be a few more weeks before we could begin pumping, because we had to wait on insurance approval and then we couldn’t schedule our start date until we had her actual pump in hand. Continue reading

My Journey to Pump Therapy Part 4: What I Wish I’d Known about Pumping

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I have learned a lot about insulin pumps over the past 15 years since I first became a pumper. Some things I learned right away, some things took a little longer to catch on. Here are a few insights that I hope will help: Continue reading

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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Moving-with-Diabetes-2
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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Moving-with-Diabetes-1
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.

Grown-Up-with-Diabetes
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