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It’s Halloween, Witches!

Time to run round neighborhoods!
Time to collect up sweets and goods!
Tricks and treats and being merry
And time for some to run commentary.

“Um … can you eat that?”
Yes, I can.
I can unwrap this Twix bar, man.
Can place it in my open mouth
Can chew it up and send it south.
These things? I CAN. My body can.
But choosing to is different, man.
Don’t run your mouth
Or tell me what
You think I can or can’t, tutt tutt.
I take good care
Of all my shit.
Especially with the shoddy bits.

So on this dress up fun time day
Please don’t assume I’ve lost my way.
And that the haul of candy in my bag
Should raise up some big bright red flag.
I’m capable of collecting treats
And saving them for low BGs.
Don’t lecture me about candy
As though it’ll rise up and eat ME.

Trust that we know
And we find solace
In moderation
Or a well-timed bolus.
That life with diabetes does
Create an undercurrent buzz
Of worry, math, toil, and trouble
But we know how to burst that bubble.
We know how to trick or treat,
We know what we’re ready to eat.

We know how to live with type 1.
We have diabetes, but we still have fun.

Diabetes Empowerment Summit – November 1 – 5!

Why the Diabetes Empowerment Summit?

“Because it is a tool that I wish I had when I was struggling, and I want to help bridge the gap between traditional healthcare, and the emotional tools we all need but are not given at the doctor’s office.”

YES.

Daniele Hargenrader knows that people with diabetes are grappling with more than just diabetes, and that psychosocial support is a necessary itch to scratch when it comes to managing diabetes in the context of real life.  Which is why she has created the Diabetes Empowerment Summit, taking place from November 1 – 5, entirely online and available to you for free.

Kerri:  What does your summit offer that others don’t?

DH:  As far as I know, this is the only diabetes conference of sorts that takes place solely online. We are passionate about focusing on the mental and emotional aspects of living with chronic disease, and we really wanted to make psychosocial support a much more visible part of Diabetes Awareness Month.

I am passionate about providing information that comes mostly from other people who live with diabetes themselves. Other online summits feature experts with valuable information, yet almost none of them actually understand the lived experience of diabetes, which is very important to me when seeking information about how to improve my life with diabetes.

Many in-person conferences are doing this as well, which is wonderful, though with our online format we are aiming to reach people with diabetes, our loved ones, and our healthcare practitioners who might not be able to attend an in person event.

Kerri:  Why online versus in-person? 

DH:  One of the biggest benefits to hosting an online summit is that it allows us to offer the event for free.

An online summit is like attending a diabetes conference (for ALL TYPES of diabetes) that has some of the most high caliber speakers, without having to pay for conference fees, travel costs, taking time off work, etc., and that you can watch at your leisure without worrying about missing the presentations that appeal most to you as all presentations are available to watch for 48 hours after its initial release.

Of course, you know I LOVE in person conferences, promote them all the time, and go to as many as possible, however, over the years of sharing these events with my community, I’ve received so much feedback saying that they’d love to attend these conferences yet cannot make it work financially, with their schedule, or with their location in the world, so I wanted to provide a memorable, educational experience as an alternative to those who can’t make in-person work right now.

Attendees can also post questions and comments, and interact with each other on a forum inside the Summit once the summit goes live on Nov. 1. I will be moderating throughout the Summit. You must register to participate!

Kerri:  And how do you want attendees to feel after attending the summit?

DH:  I would love for people to feel that they now have the tools they need to begin or continue to further their personal self-love and self-care practices in order to cultivate the mindset of empowerment in their lives more and more often.

The aim is for our attendees to feel more confident about continually making the wide variety of day to day choices we must make while living with diabetes.

After the summit, my hope is that the attendees will feel more connected to their community, and feel a stronger desire to treat themselves with the same love, care, and respect they treat their most treasured loved ones with.

Overall, we want them to feel and know that they are loved, not alone, and ENOUGH.

Kerri:  This sounds great.  How can folks find out more?

DH:  To find out more and to register for free, simply go to www.des2017.com

Check Even When You Don’t Want To

Quick PSA:  Check your blood sugar, even if you don’t want to.  Even when you know the result is going to be potentially crummy. Knowledge is power.

Felt high – like for sure high.  And I wanted to correct my BG back into range but I needed to know what the number was, first.  So I checked.  Even though I didn’t feel like it.

Trying to remove emotion from data points one check at a time.

 

(Also, my meter bag really needs a washing.)

Zoodles for your Face

I had ten minutes to make something to eat while the little Guy napped and before a slate of conference calls began, and the zucchinis sitting on my kitchen counter were judging me for not cooking them yet.  So I made zoodles.

I can’t cook.  And so can you!

INGREDIENTS

  • one large zucchini
  • garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • cherry tomatoes

DIRECTIONS

  • Take your frying pan, pick off little egg bits that didn’t fully come off when you washed it, and then heat it up on the stove top at a medium heat.  Put a little olive oil in that pan.
  • Press the garlic and add it to the pan.
  • While the frying pan is heating up, use the Veggetti that you bought months ago but don’t use often enough and laugh every time you say the name and send that zucchini through it like it’s a woodchipper.  It is a satisfying exercise, twisting a zucchini through and watching it become veggie ribbons on the other side. Like a Play-Doh spaghetti maker you’re actually encouraged to eat the efforts of.

  • Slice a few of those cherry tomatoes and keep them at the ready.  Their time is coming.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the zucchini noodles (ZOODLES!) to it.  Stir here and there so it cooks evenly.  Add some sea salt to taste.  Once the zoodles are cooked to your preferred texture (I like mine a little al dente, Chris likes his cooked well, Birdy hates them entirely, the little Guy will eat anything in any form), add the cherry tomatoes until they are warm and then pull the pan from the heat.

  • Pour the whole concoction into a bowl.  I like to drain the zoodles after they cook to get rid of some of the water that collects, but not too much.
  • Eat it with your face.

A medium zucchini nets out at about 7 carbs, and the tomatoes add a few more, so I ended up bolusing for 10 grams of carbs and don’t usually see any kind of BG bounce.  Your diabetes may vary, though.

Ordinary but Extraordinary

I will admit right here, right now that I admire people who accomplish incredible physical feats while also doing the whole diabetes thing.  Climbing Everest?  Hell yes!  Ultra marathon?  Hell yes!  Hang-gliding across Iceland while knitting a sweater onto your body as it hang-glides?  Hell to the absolute yes, why hasn’t anyone tried this?

And I’ll also admit right here, right now that I may never be one of those Everest climbing, ultramarathon’ing, hang-glide-knitter PWDs.  Not because I can’t or shouldn’t but because my goals don’t rest in that arena.  And that’s okay.

Sometimes the inspiration I’m searching for doesn’t come from the big, incredible-feat stories.  They inspire me like whoa, but not as much when I was sitting looking at my stupid CGM graph that was frustratingly elevated while traveling yesterday.  I needed someone to post a shitty CGM graph at that moment, so I could see that I wasn’t the only one not rocking “perfect” blood sugars, and that I could also regroup and move on.

I mean, I know I can regroup and move on.  But it’s nice to see your own struggles/successes reflected in the stories from others.

The inspiration that I benefit from daily comes through social media, via ordinary, everyday stuff.  These folks aren’t necessarily posting photos of their pump sites from the top of a mountain (although some do), but are showing their regular lives with diabetes.  What they’ve overcome that day might have been an insurance battle.  Or they finally paid off a medical bill that’s been looming for months.  They might be snuggling their baby, who may have been marked as an impossible dream.  Putting in a pump site on their arm for the first time.  They might have just crossed the finish line on their first 5k, or gone for a run for the first time in their life, or went for a walk around their office building on a lunch break, making time for exercise even during the work day because they are worth it.

Ordinary as f^ck!  And yet heroic, to me.

It’s parents of kids with diabetes shouldering the burden of the disease so their kid can roll through their childhood as unaffected as possible.  It’s the adults with diabetes fighting back against societal stereotypes and insurance denials and insulin access issues.  It’s the voices of people with type 2, who remain the majority of PWD but are woefully underrepresented in the online community.  There are so many “small stories” that are making big differences, and I wish they were perceived as sexy/aspirational/inspirational as summiting a mountain.

I’m sometimes daunted by the Big Things being accomplished at times, wondering where smaller stories fit into the narrative of diabetes.  Like, am I weird if I feel accomplished for renewing all my prescriptions?  Or from losing 4 lbs of relentless baby weight by way of just walking?  The small victories seem so small sometimes, especially on days when diabetes lives a little large, but they remain victories nonetheless.

Props to everyone who is doing something powerfully positive with diabetes … like living with it.  Whether that’s climbing a mountain.  Or raising a family.  Or hang-gliding across Iceland while knitting that sweater onto your body as you hang-glide around.  Or making toast.  These stories – all of them – show diabetes in the context of real life.  And all of these stories are inspiring in their own way.

It’s not about attention.  Or accolade.  Or high-fives for big deal things.  It’s about looking at how diabetes is presented and seeing your story – the good, the bad, and the ugly – represented.

 

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