A Disconnected July

What a month July was.  There were so many highs, lows, ups, downs, and whatever other phrase you want to use.  My wedding was in the middle of the month, but my family flew into town the first week of July and that’s when the vacation in my mind kicked in.  I stopped going to the gym on July 3 because of the holiday the next day and then parents flying into town.  The week after the wedding was a relaxation week and I didn’t get to the gym at all that week either.  Then, the week after that I was flying up to Pennsylvania to spend time with family and have a little reception up there as well, so still no gym.

Since I’ve been back from PA, I haven’t made it back to the gym either.  Today is going to be my first day back in over a month, so this should be a lot of fun.

Obviously, by not going to the gym for over a month I have put all the weight that I lost, back on.  During this month long vacation, I didn’t eat very well either.  In the month of July I probably cooked dinner a total of 5-6 times and ate lunch at home maybe 2-3 times a week, the rest of the days were all eating out.

Also, during this time, my insulin supply was low, so it was pretty stressful not knowing where I was going to get my next round of insulin from.  My morning blood sugars have been crazy high since I went off the pump, so I have been dealing with that during the month of July.

Everytime I would try and sit down and write a blog post or read blog posts, or talk with people on Twitter or do anything related to the DOC, I never seemed to have any time to do so.

I am happy for all of the great things that happened in the month of July, but I am also glad that it is over and now that Amanda has started working again with the school year here, I have so much more time to do a lot of the things that I have been missing out on.

11 Month Old Diagnosed with Type 1

Last night I received an e-mail that none of us want to ever receive. Somebody from my hometown who is friends with a family member e-mailed me that their 11 month old was just diagnosed with diabetes. Whenever I hear this, it breaks my heart, but I know that there are great resources out here for them. Since I was diagnosed at 19 and I don’t have a child with diabetes, I want to make sure that I provide the best possible information for them.

If you could please leave a comment or e-mail me any lists that you may have or contacts for this person, please do so.

I have already provided them information on the Children with Diabetes forums and the DRI’s P.E.P group.

Let’s help show the family of a newly diagnosed child that we are here for them.

Thank you for Reading

Well, if you are reading this, than congrats, I guess the Mayans weren’t right. But now that you are reading it, I want to take the time to say thank you.  I wanted to thank every person that has ever read this blog.  When I created this blog back in 2007, it started out as just a diary, somewhere I could write about how I felt that day with diabetes.  I didn’t even know anybody was reading it.  Since that initial blog, which was at a different URL, you, the readers have made a lot of things possible for me and I am extremely thankful for that.

I have been able to travel to conferences for free, be interviewed about diabetes, be invited to speak to local JDRF and ADA events, and sample a lot of products.  I wouldn’t be able to do that without all of you.  And lately, I feel that I haven’t held up to my end of things and haven’t been posting a lot lately.

There are a lot of other great diabetes blogs out there and I have seen some of them grow a lot bigger over the last year and I think that is awesome.  So most of you reading this probably read their’s also.  So thank you for reading their’s as well.  The more blogs that are read and created the more attention diabetes gets.

So, on this day that we were all supposed to go bye-bye, I would like to say thank you.

Diabetes Spotlight – Melissa Benesch Discusses the DOC

Happy Friday to everybody.  This is week two of the new Diabetes Spotlight series, where I will be hosting guest posts or interviews of those that are advocating for diabetes either offline, or even online via social media, but without a blog.  Give them more than 140 characters.

Today’s spotlight is on Melissa Benesch, which many of you will already know her from Twitter @MelllBe.

I asked Melissa the question, “What has the DOC done or meant to you, in your first year of having diabetes?”

Please enjoy. (more…)

Life of a Sugar Patient

That title sounds a little weird doesn’t it?  No, I am not changing the name of my blog to that.  That phrase is a term that brought two visits, yes, not just one, but two visits to my blog last month.  WTF does that even mean?

I’ve decided to try and get a little creative about this sugar patient thing and also have a little giveaway. Leave a comment below with what your definition of a “sugar patient” is and a randomly selected commenter will receive a brand new Glooko cable.

Is a sugar patient somebody with diabetes? Somebody who is allergic to sugar? Somebody who doesn’t eat enough sugar? Somebody who is made up of sugar?

Good luck and happy creativeness

Thank You All for your Support

So, as many of you know, last week I received the horrible news that I lost my COBRA insurance coverage. I was denied twice after submitting a review of the decision. With that being said, I just wanted to take the time to say thank you.

Thank you to every single person that reached out to me to provide advice, supplies, support, and just a comment of concern. It truly means a lot to me that so many people care about what happened to me and what I am going through. You really notice how close this community is when something happens and people are in need of help.

So, thank you. I really can’t say it enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I will be posting an update on the situation tomorrow. Basically, I’ve reached out to politicians, attorneys, organizations, etc. and I will let you know what came out of all of that.

But, once again, thank you all so much.

photo credit: Avard Woolaver via photopin cc

Community of Diabetes

Community.  What does it mean to you?  If you all haven’t seen the video yet that has been quickly making it’s way around the intrawebs, then here’s a link to it, along with the full video at the end of the post.  The video explains itself, but let me give a quick explanation.  Somebody in the diabetes community had an issue with something.  Doing what any real community would do, people stepped up.  Would you expect anything different from somebody that created the You Can Do This Project?  Or awesome video editing from a person that puts her dedication to the diabetes community into the videos that she helps product? (more…)

Interview with Christopher Snider

I conducted this interview with Chris about a month and a half ago.  Due to re-design issues and vacations, I am finally posting the interview.  The basis of this interview is to get a more “behind the diabetes” view of people and find out what they do for a living or what they enjoy other than blogging and advocating for diabetes.  We all have things that we do that are not just based on the DOC things we do, so I figured, why not start asking people what those other interests are. (more…)

Guest Post – Definitely Not Your Normal First Year of College

Today I have decided to share a guest post with everybody.  About a year ago, I received a message from my blog from a girl who was just recently diagnosed with diabetes in college.  I asked her recently to write a guest post about her first year of college, and just like the title says, it’s not a normal first year.  The reason why this story touches me is because I went through basically the same exact stuff my first year of college.  Well, enough of me talking, here is Lauren Kaphengst – @LaurenKaphengst .  Hope you all enjoy and feel free to leave her comments.

Definitely Not Your Normal First Year of College

My first semester at Grand Valley State University was much like that of any other college freshman.  I had no shortage of friends with incredible people in my dorm and joining Sigma Kappa Sorority.  However, by the end of Christmas break, I had lost a total of 30 pounds.  My mother thought I was just walking more around campus and eating different food now that I was away from home.  My friends, however, thought I was bulimic (they didn’t tell me until months later).  I had all the usual symptoms we all now know about, but I just thought, hey I’m busy so of course I’m tired, thirsty, ect., you know, the usual.

February 4th, 2011, I had a routine checkup with the clinic on campus (that I almost cancelled because who really wants to walk 25 minutes in the frozen tundra that is West Michigan). Later that night was President’s Ball, so I just wanted to do my hair, put on my new dress, and party with thousands of other students from my university.  The Physician’s Assistant who was seeing me, after some normal tests, told me my urinalysis was positive for glucose.  Alone in the Campus Health clinic at the age of 19, I was told I might have diabetes.  After a blood test and many tearful phone calls, I learned later that day my A1C was 13.7 and I was in fact diabetic.  The PA gave me prescriptions for Metformin and a glucometer and sent me on my way.

I still went to President’s Ball that night.  My frantic mother drove the 3 hours the next morning to come get me, and I convinced her that I did not need to go to the hospital, despite her persistence.  I met with an endocrinologist three days later, on a Monday that I would have normally had Anatomy, Psychology, and Biochemistry lectures.  She told me that I have Type 1 Diabetes and I was immediately put on insulin, and to throw away the useless pills from the PA.  After more tears, especially during the first few shots and finger pokes, I was back at school as if nothing had ever happened.

When I was first diagnosed I thought diabetes was going to rule my life, and it did for a while.  I didn’t go out, drink like many of my friends, or even exercise because it was just too hard.  I put on a courageous mask, told my friends no, I am not bulimic, and tried to pretend I didn’t hate my life. Every finger poke was a challenge, my best friend would threaten to check my blood sugar for me when I reached the 5 minute mark and still hadn’t released the lancet. And the insulin pens and needles, I was definitely not their biggest fan. Eventually I came to a wonderful realization, I had an incredible group of people supporting me and slowly, I got through it.

This has been the craziest year of my life.  I am now living in the sorority house, ready to start the nursing program in August, and I actually go out on the weekends.  In my other life, my A1C is 7.0, I’ve been on the Medtronic insulin pump since July (which is incredible and everyone should get one!), and I have yet to be hospitalized.  It is a difficult life to adapt to; the ‘so, why do you have a beeper?’ questions or watching people almost pass out when you start to check your blood sugar (really its only a drop, come on).  Now, hiding my pump while wearing a dress on Saturday night, carb counting, and explaining my life to those who just don’t get it, are second nature.

I am a Sophomore Nursing Major at GVSU, a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority, Vice President of Fundraising for Rock Against Rape, Vice President of G.A.M.M.A. (Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol), and a Type 1 Diabetic.  I know my life will never be “normal,” I will always have that last aspect that labels me, but now after one year, I’m okay with that.

Friends for Life 2012

This is going to be my second Friends for Life conference.  But, it is going to feel like the first.  The reason is because the first Friends for Life that I attended was about three years ago, but I had gone as a vendor.  I was able to attend a lot of different sessions and interact with a lot of other PWD’s anyway.  I was blown away by how amazing this event truly is.  So, now that I am going this year not as a vendor, but just someone with diabetes, I can’t wait.  I am also bringing my girlfriend Amanda.  This is going to be the first time that she is traveling with me for a diabetes related event.  She has gone to local JDRF walks and events, but never travelled to anything with this many people.  I am excited for her to meet all the wonderful people that I know and speak to, but also want her to talk to some of the spouses of PWD’s.

When I first heard about Children with Diabetes and Friends for Life I thought that it was a gathering for younger kids and more like a summer camp for kids.  After I attended and saw how many older people there were and how much interaction there was, it was amazing.  It’s also great to be there and try and talk to the young ones and let them know that they can’t be discouraged because they have diabetes, because they can still do things that they want to do.

So, this is me telling you, that you should attend Friends for Life.  I will mention one small negative about the event, is that it is during the July 4th holiday.  I typically do picnics and beach on July 4th, but this year I am going to celebrate it in Disney and see how that goes.  However, the first opening keynote is not until the morning of July 5th, so you can still be there for all of the sessions and be home for July 4th if that is a concern.

Please follow the links and get registered today! Children with Diabetes – Friends for Life 2012

Have a happy Blue Friday.