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Posts from the ‘Diabetes Advocacy’ Category

Spare a Rose.

I’ve been writing this website for almost twelve years.  The support, advice, and camaraderie I’ve found in the diabetes online community has made the last twelve years with type 1 diabetes among my healthiest and most successful.  The supply of insulin carefully tucked away in my fridge, along with access to an excellent medical team and the financial means to manage my disease, keep me alive.

I’m lucky.  In a lot of ways.

Today is my birthday.  The greatest gift I can have is another year of life, and I don’t take that for granted.  If you’ve found hope, or support, or joy, or friendship, or love in the diabetes online community, I’d really appreciate it if you would consider donating to the IDF’s Life for a Child campaign through Spare a Rose.  If you aren’t able to donate, would you mind sharing the donation link?

Flowers die.  Children shouldn’t.  Every small donation helps save a child.

 

Looking to make a difference? Here’s how.

Scrolling through a newsfeed these days can be downright painful.  There’s not a lot of happiness or success being highlighted, and that can take a toll on your mental health.  What can you do to make a difference?

There is something you can do.  Something you can do this minute.  And your actions have the power to save the life of a child.

Today marks the beginning of the Spare a Rose campaign, which runs every February 1 -14th.  The idea?  Instead of buying a dozen roses for your loved one, buy 11 and take the value of that spared rose – about $5 – and donate it to IDF’s Life for a Child program.

“Living with type 1 diabetes can be challenging wherever you live, but in some countries lifesaving insulin, management tools and education are entirely unaffordable or even unavailable. Life for a Child partners with diabetes centres in these countries to supply young people with these vital components for life. We are working towards the vision: No Child Should Die of Diabetes.

The program commenced in 2000 and currently supports over 18,000 young people living with type 1 diabetes. In 20 of the 42 countries where we work, we have the resources to help every diagnosed child. With your support, we can achieve this in all 42.”  – LFAC website

I looked in my fridge this morning and saw three months worth of life-saving insulin sitting there, all casual, in my butter compartment.  Seeing that stash of insulin made me feel lucky.  So I spared a rose.

And I hope you will, too.

 *   *   *

You can participate in the Spare a Rose campaign by sharing the donation link, spreading the word on social media (use the hashtag #sparearose), and asking folks in your family, neighborhood, and office to consider joining the efforts.  Thank you for helping make this campaign a success and for taking care of our diabetes community both here at home and across the globe.

World Diabetes Day 2016.

It’s World Diabetes Day.  And how do I feel, after 30 years with type 1 diabetes under my belt (and above my belt and in every organ and all over my face)?

LUCKY.  Effing lucky.  Because according to the demands of my body, I should not be here, but because of science and access, I am alive.

I clicked on the Google homepage today and saw that, finally, after years of asking and hoping to see Google acknowledge the diabetes community through a Google doodle, our community was highlighted on the homepage.  There we were, represented in retro fashion, alerting the world that people with diabetes would be absolutely sunk without the contributions of Dr. Frederick Banting almost 100 years ago.

If I had been diagnosed before Banting and his crew changed the diabetes world, I would have died, my body starving to death as a result of not making insulin.  Insulin is crucial to my survival.  Seeing 90 days worth of insulin collected in my kitchen is pretty damn humbling.  What keeps me alive is stored next to the butter in my fridge, and that’s beyond humbling.

I do not take this life for granted.  

Today, on World Diabetes Day, more people are paying attention.  Even this whole month, with the focus on diabetes, people are tuning in and listening. We have their ear.  So grab them by that ear and remind them that diabetes month is November, and diabetes day is today, but diabetes is EVERY DAY for people touched by it.  We’ll still be stashing our butter compartments with insulin in December, and every December after that.

How can people help, way past today and this month?

I’m glad you asked.

People can donate to the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child program.  They can also gear up for the Spare a Rose campaign, which takes place every February.  If your butter compartment is stashed with insulin, consider those who don’t have access and please help.  You can donate directly by clicking here.

They can also explore some of the diabetes advocacy organizations, like the JDRF or American Diabetes Association, or some of the more grassroots groups like Children with Diabetes, the Diabetes Hands Foundation, Riding on Insulinthe Betes Organization, Nightscout Foundation, Diabetes SistersDPACConnecT1D, the Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation, DOColors, or Glu.  Or any of the other ones I haven’t listed, because there are many.

Participate in the Big Blue Test, or the World Diabetes Day 24 hour chat (#WDDchat16).  Or share their stories through the JDRF, ADA, or IDF campaigns.  You can do that RIGHT THIS SECOND.

If healthcare professionals are checking in on this post, please consider recommending the diabetes online community as a resource for your patients.  AADE President Hope Warshaw has created a one-sheet to help HCPs jump into the space, and there’s always the #DSMA chats that take place on Wednesday nights at 9 pm eastern.  Peer-to-peer connections can make all the difference for your patience.  Please encourage exploring the DOC as an option for your patients.

And give.  Give financially to organizations that lift the message you want lifted.  Give your time to efforts that improve the diabetes experience.  Give your story life outside of the diabetes bubble and give the gift of education and information to people who aren’t familiar with diabetes.

Happy World Diabetes Day, you guys.  Continue to educate, to change the game, to disrupt, to make a difference.  Continue being you, making crummy use of insulin but making an enormous difference for people with diabetes.  <3

 

Diabetes Month: Ask Me About My Diabetes.

At 4 am, when I woke up to hang out with my little apple jack to feed him, my blood sugar was 108 mg/dL.  He ate and we both went back to bed.  When I woke up at 6.30 am, my blood sugar was somehow 221 mg/dL.

What the hell happened?!  Usually, breastfeeding makes my blood sugar drop, not rise.  Was there cortisol on board due to not sleeping?  Does my morning basal rate need to be tweaked again, now that I’m 10 weeks postpartum?  Did the potato salad go bad and exact revenge on me?  If two carbs left the station at 4 am, one going into my mouth and the other going into the baby, would they arrive on my meter at the same time?  Bonus point if you show your work.

Diabetes is the ultimate math problem.

This diabetes month, I want to make an effort to “show my work” so that folks both in and outside of the diabetes circle have a better sense of what it’s like to live day-to-day with diabetes.  Which brings me to this:

After posting this image as my Facebook profile picture, hoping people would ask questions about diabetes, my friend Chris Snider (<– always advocating, always inspiring) connected with me and after some quick back and forth, #amadiabetes came to be.

The hashtag stands for “ask me anything” about diabetes and in the spirit of spreading awareness and empathy, we’re encouraging our friends, family, and followers both with and without diabetes to ask whatever questions they have about the life with diabetes experience. The goal is to strengthen our community, educate others, and contribute to a culture of empathy. Check out #AMAdiabetes to see the variety of responses to questions, taking note that, as always, your diabetes may vary.

So feel free to ask away.  Ask me.  Ask Chris.  Ask others.  Ask yourself.  Be all ask-a-rama all over the place and let’s learn from one another and educate together.

Thanks, Diabetes!

Feeling bummed about the bullshit of diabetes?  Me, too.  I needed to find a few things to appreciate about this disease before I tried to throw it off the deck.  So here we go.  A quick round of “Thanks, Diabetes!

  • I had to get my flu shot two weeks ago.  The needle was big and went right into my shoulder muscle but I did not care as I do needles all the time.  NBD.  Thanks, Diabetes!
  • I mentally smirk every time I get on the highway and see the speed limit sign:  65.  Always makes me want to throw glucose tabs at the pavement.  Giggle well spent.  Thanks, Diabetes!
  • I had a long, drawn out phone call with someone at my insurance company’s office, all in pursuit of confirming coverage for some high-risk related ultrasounds when I was pregnant.  The woman who had to deal with me was extremely nice and helpful, and she made me laugh out loud more than once.  Were it not for my stupid disease, I never would have chatted with this awesome lady.  Thanks, Diabetes!
  • I was able to efficiently remove a splinter using a steady hand and a sharp lancet.  Thanks, Diabetes!
  • This week, I’ll have a chance to hang out with friends who might not make insulin but who definitely make the world a better place.  Thanks, Diabetes!
  • The charging cord for my t:slim pump happens to fit the charging port for the bluetooth speaker whose charging cord recently up and disappeared.  Thanks, Diabetes!
  • I forced myself to join some friends for a walk this morning in pursuit of bringing my blood sugar down just a little bit.  Had I not put blood sugars into the top priority bucket, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend a little quality time outside in the sunshine with friends.  Thanks, Diabetes!
  • I bought two bags of candy corn and completely considered them a “medically necessary expense.”  Thanks, Diabetes!
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