I found the diabetes online community back in 2006 when I was researching insulin pumps. Growing up I didn’t know anyone else around my age with type 1. It was very easy to feel isolated or alone. Finding others, even if they didn’t live very close by, that were going through similar challenges or experiences was amazing. It was instant support. Diabetes may have been what got my path to cross with all of these people but there are so many other things that keep us united. Over the years since then, my network of friends continues to grow. I’ve even made some very treasured friendships.
One downfall to finding such valuable people is that there are more people in your life to lose, even if it isn’t diabetes that takes them too soon. Being part of a community like the DOC, you touch people’s lives. Whether it’s blogging, chatting, posting, advocating, texting, sharing, exchanging cards/letters, talking, debating, FaceTiming, brainstorming, walking, teaching, running, suggesting, riding, agreeing, even just nodding. Whatever your involvement is in a community like this one, you matter. And even if it is just one person that you reach, that is one person that feels less alone.
In remembrance of a few people that I had the pleasure of knowing while coping with this thing called diabetes. I hope you are all resting peacefully, my friends.
I wore the OmniPod insulin pump for a few years so never had to worry about where to clip it on my clothing. Since switching back to a tubed pump a few months ago (Medtronic 670G if you were wondering), I’ve had to get used to again finding a place for my pump that is both comfortable and convenient.
Most of the time it’s as easy as keeping it clipped to my pants pockets. But in some situations it’s not that comfortable or convenient keeping it that way. One of those situations is exercising. I usually wear leggings or biking shorts/pants when I exercise and most of those do not contain pockets. I certainly could (and have) just clip it somewhere on the pants but that’s not always comfortable. So when I received an email to try out the newly designed SPIbelt, I was all for it!
SPIbelt isn’t new to me, I’ve heard good things about them. But when I received the new belt, I saw how convenient it is for insulin pump users. There is a reinforced hole that secures the pump tubing through it. This is fabulous. Also it’s big enough to carry other supplies like glucose tabs, a small meter/strips or a Dexcom receiver. Even if you are not having to carry around diabetes supplies it is a great accessory to carry secure headphones, hold a phone, keys, money, ID, etc.
If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend checking it out. The lovely people at SPIbelt have provided a coupon code for my readers for 15% off a SPIbelt: EYESPI. Enjoy!
Thank you to those who commented to enter my giveaway! It is currently after 5pm on World Diabetes Day so here are the winners. (I randomly chose three numbers between 1 and 9 for the number of comments and the prizes were in the order listed in my post).
The winner of a copy of Daniele’s new book is Karen.
The winner of the blue Prikkedief supply case is Melody.
The winner of the pink Prikkedief supply case is Andrea.
I would appreciate if the winners could send me an email (email@example.com) with your mailing address.
Cograts and enjoy your new goodies 🙂
Hi! Yup I’m still around 🙂 Things have been hectic around here lately but I’m still alive & kicking!
Since World Diabetes Day is just two days away, I couldn’t think of a better time to give some things to my readers. In honor of the day on Saturday (by midnight), I will randomly choose three people who have left a comment on this post, to win one of the below items.
A copy of the new book by the wonderful Daniele, the Diabetes Dominator. I just started reading it myself, but I’m already sure it’s going to be a great read 🙂
One of two diabetes supply cases from Prikkedief. One is blue with a gold zipper and one is pink with the same color zipper. (The picture of the inside is just for reference – they are both the same on the inside).
All you have to do is leave a comment here. Unfortunately you won’t know which you could be selected for, but they’re all great wins!
Good luck and happy world diabetes day 🙂
Last night I got home from the first ever Diabetes UnConference in Las Vegas. During my trip home, I saw on social media that Stephen wrote a blog post about it and I thought to myself, wow he’s quick! But then I thought, he had the right idea. While it’s still fresh in my mind I wanted to share my thoughts.
The above photo is when we were on top of Las Vegas. We took a ride on the High Roller (an observation wheel that goes 550 feet up and gives the most amazing panoramic views of Vegas). It was incredible.
I’ve been to numerous diabetes conferences before. And I was always happy to attend them not only to learn from the experts or panelists but also to connect with others from the diabetes community. This was a little different. The goal of the first UnConference was to allow the attendees to create the agenda, using various methods for us all to share with and learn from each other as peers. I think it did that very well. Nothing was shared on social media and I won’t even share explicit details here. Just imagine being with about 90 other people with diabetes who get it, talking about what is important to all of us and I probably don’t even need to go into much detail. As wonderful and important as online connections are, in-real-life connections are that much more powerful. And stick with you forever.
Christel asked us to write down one word to describe how we were feeling at the end. (I hope I don’t get in trouble for sharing this part!) I was, and still am, feeling extremely thankful. Finding the diabetes online community about 8 1/2 years ago when I was getting my first insulin pump was the best thing that ever happened to me. And it has been extraordinary to watch it continue to grow over the years. I’ve learned more over that time period than I did the first 24 years as a person with T1. And I’m not exaggerating. I wish so much that my father would have had the same opportunity. I think it would have been so good for him and maybe things could have turned out differently. The diabetes community (both online and off) has had an immensely positive impact on my life and for that I will forever be thankful. I wish that every person with diabetes has this same opportunity and I will do whatever I can to reach those who may not have it yet.
This above photo is one of the amazing views from the sky during my flight home back to the East Coast. Looking through the (few) pictures I took during the weekend, I sensed a theme. We were on top of Vegas. I was on top of the sky. And what I was left feeling – on top of the world.
Thank you to all who checked out my giveaway and congrats to the winners below! 🙂
Winner one = Cat
Winner two = Flying Furballs
Winner three = Stacey
Winner four = Tyler Jo-Anne
Winners, please send your address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
I have a lot of crap. Seriously, I have so many of so many things! I realized today when looking for something just how many meter cases and bags I have. It’s insane. I threw some out, the boring old black ones that come with meters that I never ever used. There are a few great ones that even though I like them, I just don’t use them because of how many I have. And this is where you benefit from my addictions 😉 I have four meter bags from the lovely Sugar Medical and Stick Me Designs that I am giving away. They are all lightly used, with no signs of wear or tear at all. Like brand new! All you have to do is comment below by midnight EST on Saturday (7/26) and you will be entered into the drawing. I will announce the winner on Monday. You may want to make sure you like them all, because the order in which they are pictured below is the order in which they will be given away. So check them out and good luck! 🙂
(Dexcom pictured for size comparison)
I have been living with T1 diabetes for almost 33 years. That is 11,863 days or 1,694 weeks or 284,712 hours or even 1,024,963,200 seconds without ever getting a break from having to fill in for my non working, good for nothing pancreas. When I was a child, my parents did most of the worrying and diabetes work. But it was still there. As I grew into my teenage years, my focus sadly was not so much on my diabetes. But it was still there. When I went to college and got my first full time job and started making an adult life for myself, I didn’t want my diabetes to be at the forefront of my day to day tasks. But it was still there. And it will always be there.
I love Ginger. I “met” her initially online, then got to meet her in person a few times and also worked with her briefly for coaching. I honestly learned a lot from her in regard to diet and exercise, and that was after living with diabetes forever. She always has such a positive outlook and loves to share her knowledge to help others. I read her books Your Diabetes Science Experiment and Emotional Eating with Diabetes and found them both to be easy reads, full of useful information. When I was asked to give tiny input and also to give a preview of her newest book, Dealing with Diabetes Burnout, of course I said yes.
In more recent years, I have put a lot of effort into working on my diabetes management. (I hate to use the term “management” but I guess that’s what we try to do is manage our blood sugar right?) And I can sometimes feel it taking its toll. One thing Ginger mentions in the beginning of the book is “It’s endless. Whether or not you become noticeably frustrated with your diabetes, the constant thought, energy and worry is inevitable. And that can lead to burnout. That constant effort and worry is exhausting, even if it motivates you to take care of yourself”. Bingo.
I always try to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative, especially when it comes to diabetes. Another thing Ginger says in the book is “Diabetes may get to use up a tremendous amount of my mental energy every day, but I refuse to let it use up my happiness” and I can totally relate. I think that is the key to not losing your mind completely.
Reading this book made me realize that number one I am not alone with feeling overwhelmed at times. It also made me realize that it’s okay and totally understandable to get down from time to time. I almost think we have to in order to cope healthily. Ginger offers great insight in how to get to the bottom of your feelings and more importantly how to get through it. No matter what you’re feeling today or what you’ve felt in the past, I would highly recommend reading this book. It might be just what you didn’t know you needed. I have an appointment with my endocrinologist tomorrow and will be mentioning it to her to tell her other patients.
Apparently I was busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday since I didn’t get a chance to post the last three days of Diabetes Blog Week! But I’m here now to wrap things up in a combined post.
Diabetes Life Hacks from Friday was the sharing of the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes. Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)
I wouldn’t say I have too many suggestions of tips and tricks that I use that haven’t been posted already. The only thing I can think of is using hydrocortisone cream after removing pods (or infusion sets). I know those little cannulas can leave marks, some of which can seem permanent, but I think this has helped in that area. I use the one by Aveeno but I would imagine any type would work just as well. I just apply a liberal amount to the area which was the home for the pod for the previous 3 days. I also used this before switching to the pod, when I used a tubed pump with infusion sets. I really think that it helps the skin heal and not leave any permanent marks.
Saturday Snapshots from Saturday was back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like! With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.
I post lots of diabetes related pictures on Facebook or Instagram on a normal basis. Doesn’t everyone?? Here is one from Saturday specifically – it was a soft landing from a super high BG resulting from a leaky pod. It took a little longer than I would have liked for the new pod and insulin to catch up but at least I didn’t crash 🙂 (for the record, leaky pods is not a normal occurrence for me. I had it on my left arm and had bumped it while walking through doorways not once but twice so I’m thinking I jarred it loose)
And finally Sunday was a wrap up of another Diabetes Blog Week, let’s share a few of our favorite things from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing!
While I find it completely impossible to totally keep up with everything during blog week (umm hello, I couldn’t even blog every day!) and didn’t really have the time to comment much, I did read a lot and love seeing everyone come together and share thoughts and ideas. A huge thank you to Karen who illustrates her awesomeness every year by organizing this event. I will be going back to my regularly-scheduled-once-in-a-while-blogging now 😉
Day 4 of Diabetes Blog Week is here and we are getting back to the positive with our topic Mantras and More. Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets you through a hard day? Or, more specifically, a hard diabetes day? Something positive you tell yourself, or mantras, or what you fall back on to get you through. Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)
There were two things that came immediately to mind when I read the topic for today. They may sound silly but I’m posting them anyway 🙂
The first is you can do this. I think even before the official You Can Do This Project was born, this saying was a bit of a pep talk I’d use to myself when things get tough. Battling stubborn high blood sugar? You can do this. A1c not where I want it? You can do this. Being sent for tests to rule out diabetes related complication? You can do this. Scary feeling low blood sugar seeming to last forever? You can do this. Getting up the courage to tell my story? You can do this. And on and on. Doing the things that at times seem like I can’t, certainly beats the alternative.
The second is a blast from the past and for some reason got stuck in my head when thinking about diabetes related mantras. Anyone remember this? Love it! (shout out to Mike who I learned thought of this in relation to today’s topic as well!)
Suga Sheen – All The Diabetics
I think most importantly, when the going gets tough I just remind myself that things could always be worse. Even if it may seem like the worst possible moment in the world, it most likely is not.