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Weekend Reading – July 15th, 2017

I catch up on a lot of reading on Saturday’s so I decided to just start sharing some of the posts that I’m reading from the week before.

I’ll be doing this every Saturday in my weekly email newsletter.

So, if you would like to see what I’m reading and get weekly updates from the DOC then sign up below:

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Here is a little taste of what you will see every Saturday.

New in Diabetes Drugs: Healthier Hearts, Improved Glucose Management – DiaTribe

Flashes of Diabetes Inspiration from Friends For Life 2017 – DiabetesMine

Could Gene Editing Be Used to Cure Diabetes? – DiabetesMine

Why People With Type 1 Diabetes Shouldn’t Compare Themselves With Others – Diabetes Daily

COLLEGE DIABETES NETWORK ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH AGAMATRIX – College Diabetes Network

WHAT I WANT MY DAUGHTER TO KNOW ABOUT MY DIABETES – Medtronic The LOOP

Recipe for FFL – Six Until Me

Why I Took a Long Break and What You Can Expect from Me in the Future

Over the last year, especially the last 6 months, I have not been updating this blog as frequently as I did in the past. There are several reasons for it, but the main one is simply for the fact that I just didn’t feel like it.

Why didn’t I feel like it?

Because I am just tired of the constant bickering within the diabetes community.

Just like anything in life, you can never please everyone. I don’t ever even try to please everyone, because it’s impossible.

But I felt like the blog just wasn’t getting as much feedback as it once did, but I was continuing with great engagements on Facebook and Twitter and felt like I was helping people there.

I also stepped back from the amount of interaction I did on Twitter as well because that’s just the worst place in the world right now.

I love Twitter and hate it at the same time.

Twitter has given every one a much louder voice, which in my opinion is a blessing and a curse.

It’s great because it allows people to voice their opinions and be heard.

But it sucks because those same people turn into internet trolls and bullies towards people that do not support them or do not agree with their views.

An opinion is an opinion, it’s personal, it’s not a fact. So, your opinion may not actually be right. To you, it is. But to me, it may not be. Or maybe I agree with you, but I have higher priorities.

That’s what the diabetes community has become.

There are many initiatives involving insulin pricing and helping people get insulin, healthcare laws, partnerships between companies and more. I’ve seen some of these groups attack others because they don’t work directly with their group and support another group instead.

This is just absurd in my mind.

I have written about this idea in the past.

We all have different passions. We all have different things we can advocate for. I am going to advocate for what I feel like I can do the best at. It may not align with you. It doesn’t mean I don’t agree with your advocacy, it just simply means, I can’t advocate for everything because nothing will ever get accomplished.



If you don’t respect what others are advocating for, how do you expect someone to respect you and your cause?

So, what can you expect from me in the future?

I’m going to be here. I’m going to be writing (and Vlogging, which you will see more of my life in general, not just diabetes).

I’m going to be writing about what peaks my interests. What I’m advocating for. What I’m having issues with or troubles with during my life.

You can read, or you can just block me. I’d appreciate the reading choice, but if you don’t like it here, the back button is located in the corner of your browser and you are more than welcome to hit it at any time.

If not, I’ll see you around the DOC some more.

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Learning from Other Health Communities

Deciding to start this blog almost 10 years ago has totally changed my life. It has provided me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t start it. One example is the ability to meet and talk with people who live with other chronic conditions.

For so many years, I was only surrounded with others who were living with diabetes. Well, after I started blogging, not before, because that’s one of the primary reasons why I started to write in the first place. So, when I thought about chronic diseases, I really just thought about diabetes and how the diabetes world works.

It wasn’t until I started meeting people with other diseases that I was really  able to open up my mind and start thinking about my own disease in a different manner. It allowed me to be open minded about new disease management techniques and questions to ask my doctors. It also made me realize that as someone with type 1 diabetes, I might actually be at risk for some of these other diseases that I see others writing and talking about.

I would start to learn more about certain diseases and conditions because if I was at risk for them, I want to know to warning signs of them. Sort of like I wish I knew the symptoms of diabetes that I was living with for 2 months before I was sent to the ER.

There is a lot to learn from other communities and I think there are a lot of people in the diabetes community that have reached out to other communities to try and figure those things out. For example, the AIDS community has been able to do so much by speaking up and sticking together. Healthcare in general is such a hot topic right now and people from all disease communities have come together to fight together and that’s just awesome to see.

It’s great to see events like the HealtheVoices conference that is happening this month. People from all different kinds of conditions, diseases, backgrounds, nationalities, etc. are meeting together. These type of platforms are where some of the best ideas and collaborations come from. That’s just my opinion for what it’s worth.

I will not be attending HealtheVoices but I will definitely be following along with the hashtag #HealtheVoices17 from April 21-23.I will not be attending HealtheVoices but I will be following along with the hashtag… Click To Tweet

Have you had experiences with speaking to people from other health communities and if so, what were you able to learn from them that helped in your diabetes management or advocacy efforts?

A Family Diagnosis

A couple of weeks ago, I received a text that I never thought I would have received. My sister in law texted me, “her blood sugar is over 400, we are taking her to the ER now.” My initial response was….”wait, what??!!!??”

My 6 year old niece (who we will call S), who did not have diabetes, was being taken to the ER after going to the doctor and her blood sugar was tested at over 400.

My heart just absolutely sank. I didn’t even know what to think at first because I definitely was not expecting anything like this to happen.

As I was texting my sister in law back to try and figure out what the hell was going on, my brother called me and I could tell the hurt, fear, and sadness in his voice. After telling me that S was going to the hospital, his very first question was, “what does this mean? Does this mean she can be normal and still live a normal life and do things normal kids do?”

I am sure this is a very common question amongst parents of newly diagnosed, but as someone who blogs about living a normal life with diabetes, my answer was obviously…. absolutely she can! She can continue to do girl scouts and dance and whatever else she wants to do.

FOT9D51The first day or two was filled with questions and phone calls from my brother and sister in law wondering about what her life is going to be like from here on out. Being someone with diabetes, I realized, it is a lot easier to talk to someone else who has diabetes as opposed to trying to talk to a parent of a newly diagnosed child.

To add to this, she was diagnosed on a Friday and her birthday was the following Tuesday and her birthday party was that upcoming Sunday. Unfortunately, her birthday party had to be cancelled and she missed out on Trick or Treating, so try explaining that to a child as well.

After I was able to collect my thoughts as an uncle, my advocate side of me jumped right in. I wanted to make sure that they have the best information possible from the best people, so I just started texting my brother Facebook groups, blog URL’s, books, people’s phone numbers, etc. I just wanted them to feel as safe and comforting as possible.

And obviously there were plenty of people that stepped up right away and provided information about how to handle their feelings, how to create a 504 plan, how to handle 3 a.m. blood sugar checks, how to parent a child with type 1 diabetes, etc.imagejpeg_0

So, let’s jump forward almost a month to now.

My niece is doing freaking awesome! She went from being absolutely petrified of her shots (she asked mommy why she was hurting her with the needle) and she is now testing her own blood sugar and giving herself shots by herself (with a little help from mommy and daddy). But to hear about this turnaround is amazing to me, especially in such a short amount of time.

My niece’s favorite color has been blue for as long as I can remember, so when I told my sister in law that Blue is the diabetes color, S was elated. I then told her about Blue Friday’s and how it’s important to wear blue and spread awareness for diabetes on Friday’s. After that, S wanted blue shoes, blue shirts, blue hats, blue everything.

In fact, on World Diabetes Day, which just so happened to be her re-scheduled birthday party that she missed when she was in the hospital, my brother, sister in law, 2 nieces and nephew all wore blue to the birthday party. The two girls also decided to use the Novo Nordisk #LaceUp4Diabetes shoelaces as hair ties to rock even more blue.

FOT4C13 imagejpeg_3 imagejpeg_0-1 FOT7A37 copy

 

Is it just a coincidence too that her favorite animal was already a Unicorn? And now she loves Unicorns even more just like everyone else in the diabetes community.imagejpeg_0-4 copy

As I try to explain to my brother that yes, a diagnosis sucks, but in today’s world and the technology that we have and the community of support that is provided within the Diabetes Community, if there had to be a chronic disease that she was diagnosed with, at least it was diabetes. I know that may not sound good, but it could have always been worse.

Now, they are already gearing up for a Dexcom training and are already exploring the different options for insulin pumps. My brother and sister in law are lurking now in all the Facebook groups and Children with Diabetes forums and my sister in law even created a Twitter account because they want to learn and want to participate.

I want to thank everyone that gave a helping hand when I reached out for help. Some of you may not even know that you helped, but either a book or post that you wrote did. Please know that I am forever grateful for what you did in a time when my family needed you most.

Moving forward, my niece LOVES arts and crafts, so I have already shared some ideas of things that they can do that gives a positive outlook on her diabetes and doesn’t make her hate the disease and hate having to do what she needs to do in order to manage it.

FOT640I would love if you could please comment below or on Facebook different activities (using insulin vials as Christmas lights, Diabetes Art Day, etc.) that my sister in law can do with her that would be awesome. Also, any resources that you may have, for example, Children with Diabetes forums, Kids First Diabetes Second book, etc. please list them all below in the comments. My sister in law and brother will be reading this, so I hope to share with them plenty of additional information that I haven’t been able to share.

Running Out of Time

Since I know that I am not the only one with this problem, I think we should start a real petition, one to add more time to the day. You may have noticed that I have only posted here a few times over the last several months. There are multiple reasons as to why I have not been around here and only one is diabetes related.

As I mentioned in my last post, Amanda and I are expecting our first child next year. A lot of the “extra” time that I’ve had, has gone to doing research and reading on pregnancy, effects of diabetes when the father has diabetes, breastfeed or not to breastfeed, studies on children who only the father had type one, etc.

I’ve been growing my business to a level that has taken up nearly 90% of my day while I am awake. I would love for my wife to be able to stay at home with our child, so I am making relationships and partnerships to help that happen.

Here is the diabetes reason. I needed a break and I just had enough. Not with diabetes, but with keeping up with everything going on in the DOC. I absolutely love all of the amazing things that the DOC is creating and the initiatives that have been started. But I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was spreading myself too thin and I felt like I couldn’t be an advocate if I was only doing it with my 1% of my effort (the remaining 10% after the 90% my business is taking up).

It was beginning to feel like everyday I was waking up there were 2-3 new programs, campaigns, hashtags, initiatives that I was seeing or being requested to promote or advocate for and I just couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t do it all. I tried and I became exhausted, overwhelmed and just felt that I needed a complete break.

As I ease myself back into it, and not sure if Diabetes Awareness Month was the right time to jump back in to see what campaigns and initiatives are active and figure out what I want to put my effort into.

Why I Do What I Do

 

I know it’s a pretty hot topic in the DOC right now about why you blog or tweet or post or pin or plus or tumble or whatever your interaction of choice is. So I figured I would just chime in and give my 2 cents, or maybe only 1.

I first started blogging back in the 2007-ish area. I first started the blog because I had a lot of questions, I had a lot of things on my mind and being able to type them out and put them out there made me feel better about it, it was almost like I was accepting whatever questions or concerns that I had. I also wanted to put these things out there because once I realized I wasn’t the only person in the world with diabetes, I figured that if my blog could help just one person then it did it’s job.

I do not blog nearly as much as I once did, and of course I would love to blog more, but life happens. I have other responsibilities in my life that require a lot more time and effort. However, the amount of time that has went into this blog was a lot of long nights and early mornings. While working a 9-6 job then staying up till 2-3 am writing posts, answering emails, tweets, etc. was difficult to manage, but I did it because I would receive that occasional “thank you so much for this post, it really helped me”.

That to me is exactly why I blog.

Also, I do not consider myself by any means one of the “top bloggers” or “top influencer” or whatever phrase you want to call it, nor do I care, and I’m pretty much most of the ones that do have those titles don’t really care if they have that title or not.

Do I accept free product for review? Yes I do, and at times I receive too many items that I can’t do anything with or have time to review. But you know what else I do? I will send the PR person an email saying, “Hey, this product isn’t for me or I don’t have the time, but you might want to reach out to ‘so-and-so’ who would be a better fit”

Do I accept banners and ads on the blog? Yes, I do. However, I have turned down plenty of high dollar ads because it wasn’t a product that I would want to recommend to my friends. Also, my opinions don’t change based on whether or not someone paid to have a banner on the site.

Do I accept travel to events? Sure thing I do. Because I work hard doing what I do. And guess what, when I am there, you are going to learn pretty much everything I do because I tweet EVERYTHING. Also, just because you see that I am at an event, don’t assume I went there on the wallet of someone else because chances are I paid myself. For example, AADE 14…. yep, I paid for my hotel, the gas to and from Orlando (2.5 hour drive), all my meals. The conference was free because I was able to obtain a press pass, which you can to if you meet the requirements.

The day that conferences, advertisements, free product and the “perks” become more important to me than helping someone in time of need and interacting with others who share a disease with me, is the day that you will no longer see this blog published.

I encourage everyone to blog about their diabetes, but if it’s not for you, then there are plenty of other ways you can make a difference.