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Best Thing That’s Happened to Me This Week #HAWMC

I know this is a bit of a cop out, but I always answer this question the same way and there’s really no way for me to elaborate in length about it.

I woke up this morning and so did everyone in my family. That’s the best thing that can happen to me every week.

Sure, having a few hours of in-range blood sugars was nice, but the best thing is always going to be the same, as long as it’s happening.

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Letter to the Best or Worst Healthcare Professional #HAWMC

Dear D (keeping name confidential),

I wanted to write this letter to you today to show my appreciation for everything that you have done to help shape my future and how I manage my diabetes. Before I had begin seeing you as a patient, I was so used to being told what to do and change this and change that and felt like I didn’t have much control over my own diabetes. You were open to discussion with me and hearing out my opinions about my diabetes and what I thought was working and what wasn’t working.

This allowed me to become a much more empowered patient and allowed me to manage my diabetes that much better.

To do this day, our appointments together are more of discussions to brainstorm ideas to solve the problem of diabetes. Whether this is morning time highs, late night lows, or after lunch spikes that I just can’t seem to figure out.

I’ve heard nightmare stories from other people about their relationship with their healthcare team and I am just so thankful to have one that is absolutely amazing.

Thank you, again.

-Chris

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Friday Must Follow List in Diabetes Community

There are a lot of people in the diabetes community that you will want to follow. I’ve added these people because they are all connectors. By following these people and these groups, you will find additional people to follow and read.

Tweeters

Cherise Shockley

Mike Lawson

Bennet Dunlap

#DSMA

#DCDE

Blogs

Six Until Me

Arden’s Day

Diabetes Mine

Diabetesaliciousness

The Perfect D

Facebook Pages

CGM in the Cloud

Medtronic Diabetes

Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC)

 

 

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If I Were to Ask a Yahoo Question and Also Answer It

Today’s prompt, we are asked to pose a Yahoo Question and also provide an answer to it (as silly as it may be).

 Question: Is Diabetes Contagious?

Answer:

Yes. Yes it is. Diabetes is extremely contagious. Although it is not an airborne disease, it can only be contracted in 1 of 2 ways. The first way is the worst way to contract diabetes. Think of it as an apacolyptic afterworld where zombies have taken over, except these zombies are actually people with diabetes. What most people don’t know is that if you actually get bitten by someone with diabetes, you will actually become diabetic yourself within 12-36 hours.

How do you avoid getting bitten by someon with diabetes may you ask? Simple. There are a few things that you should never do. That will easily trigger an attack.

First, do not ask someone with diabetes “can you eat that?” By asking this question, you are in fact, pissing someone with diabetes off and they will bite you in the face. After this bite, you will begin experiencing a short temper, constantly needing to urinate, constant thirst (no matter how much you drink, you’re still thirsty), you’re going to lose your appetite, and you’re going to lose weight. Don’t worry, all these symptoms are clear signs that you are turning into becoming someone with diabetes.

Also, if you tell someone that they can cure their diabetes by eating healthier and exercising because you read an article in Good Housekeeping, then you are more likely to be bitten in the neck by someone with diabetes. Why the neck? Well, that’s the part that has a lot of sweetness to it, and people with diabetes love sweets.

Once you fully turn into someone with diabetes, once again, don’t worry. There is an amazing community of people that will help you to ensure that you don’t go out and bite other people’s faces and necks.

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My ideal day - HAWMC

My Ideal Day #HAWMC

Today’s prompt is based on what would my ideal day look like? Who would I spend it with? Would I go somewhere? Has this day actually happened?

Well, unfortunately, this day has never happened for me. Because my ideal day would not be about what it included, rather what it didn’t include.

My ideal day would be waking up without having an insulin pump attached to me, so that when I roll out of bed, it doesn’t fall off the bed and yank down on my skin because it is almost ripping out the infusion set.

My ideal day would also not require me to stab my fingers 6-10 times a day to check my blood sugar. I would have beautiful, non-tingly hands on this ideal day. Speaking about stabbing, I wouldn’t have to take a shot with a syringe on this day either because of my insulin pump acting up and needing to take a manual shot.

I also wouldn’t need to scurry to the kitchen and search through the fridge looking for some orange juice or anything else that seems like it has sugar. And while making this decision to find something with sugar, I would prefer to not have to be feeling lightheaded, dizzy and sweating profusely.

Who would I spend this ideal day with? It really doesn’t matter. My wife and daughter could be there, that would be nice. It would be nice to not have to say to my daughter, “Ok, go play with mommy while daddy tests his blood sugar. Again. You know, since the last time I checked it was really low and daddy had to drink your juice box.”

That’s what my ideal day would be like.

How about you?

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I Think I Can, I Know I Can #HAWMC

Today’s prompt is the Little Engine post. List out 10 lines of “I Think I Can” and 5 lines of “I Know I Can”

I Think I Can be a catalyst for change in diabetes policy.

I Think I Can lose 50 pounds.

I Think I Can wear my CGM more often. I have access to the tech, use it!

I Think I Can speak in person at 5 events in 2017

I Think I Can do everything I can everyday to reach my goals

I Think I Can, therefore I Know I Can

I Think I Can review my diabetes data and make better decisions.

I Think I Can think of 2 more I Think I Can’s

I Think I Can set more achievable diabetes goals.

I Think I Can accomplish said diabetes goals.

I Know I Can blog every day for 30 days straight.

I Know I Can be positive every day and see the positive in people and situations

I Know I Can take the high road in every situation, because there’s a lot less people on that road.

I Know I Can run a successful business as a person with type 1 diabetes.

I Know I Can do everything that I listed in the I Think I Can and I Know I can lists.

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My Advocacy Journey #HAWMC

Today’s prompt is about my advocacy journey. Was it hard? Why did I decide to start?

The journey is the most excited part. End results are always great, but the journey and the story behind it, to me, is the most exciting part. My advocacy journey was something that was not planned. It sort of just fell into my lap and then I participated in one advocacy effort and that was it. I was hooked.

My journey pretty much started when I decided to start my blog. The first time that I received a comment on a post was when I knew that I could actually do something to make a difference. And that’s when the bulb went off.

I first sat down and thought about things that were important to me in the diabetes world. Back then, it was education. I was shocked that there were 20+ million Americans with diabetes and only thousands of diabetes educators. Who was educating all these people? Well, I find out, they weren’t being educated. So, back then I took part in providing an opportunity for diabetes educators to use my site to write their own guest posts because they didn’t have their own websites at the time. This allowed them to reach out to the public to let them know that this lack of education is a big issue.

It still is a really big issue!

After that, I realized that I could use the voice that I created with the site to share others’ advocacy efforts. That is when I hit a roadblock.

I started sharing too many efforts. So many that I couldn’t even keep track of them anymore. I couldn’t put any effort into anything because my time and effort was being spread so thin.

That was one area that was difficult. I didn’t want to not share ideas and advocacy efforts from other people. But, I knew that I had to. I couldn’t help spread everyone’s idea.

A few years later, I began to have more and more conversations with Bennet Dunlap, who those in the diabetes community know is one of the best advocators out there. Through Bennet, I was able to learn more about Christel Aprigliano and her advocacy efforts and the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition. And wow, my advocacy thoughts completely changed. I remember thinking to myself, “Dude, you’re advocacy efforts are whack compared to these two, it’s time to step up your game!”

That is exactly what I did. I stepped up my game. I started to advocate more. I also started to help others figure out how to advocate more. I started to become less shy and speak up in person and meet with people that could influence the lives of people living with diabetes.

Over the last 3-6 months, my advocacy efforts have fallen off the map again. But, what else than a month long writing challenge to help spark that advocacy fire again.

And boy, is there a lot to advocate for.

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Superpower Sunday Prompt #HAWMC

Today’s prompt is, if you had a superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

The superpower that I would choose doesn’t really have much to do with advocacy, even though I’m sure I could use it somehow. I would choose the superpower of being able to fly. I’ve always wanted to be able to glide through the sky and just look down to look at the beautiful sights below. I could easily get up and fly over the ocean, the mountains, etc.

It would also make it a lot easier to get to different advocacy efforts around the country and world as well.

I’m not really 100% sure what else I can write about having a superpower, because flying is pretty self-explanatory.

Be back with more words tomorrow.

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My Favorite Social Platform #HAWMC

My favorite platform to use for diabetes is Twitter. I use Facebook also, but I get a lot more engagement on Twitter. I like Twitter because it’s search feature is so much easier to use than any other platform. So, if I want to engage with someone about a particular topic, it’s much easier to search for people that have that as an interest.

I also love Twitter Chats that are on Twitter, primarily #DSMA.

Majority of my connections over the years have started because of an engagement involved in a #DSMA chat.

In honor of Twitter, I’m going to keep this post short and sweet. I made my point and that’s it.

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A Letter to Myself on My Diagnosis Day

Dear Chris,

There is a lot that I would like to tell you that I wish I would have known at the age you are at now. I’m going to just stick with diabetes though. I want you to be prepared that you are about to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I know that you have been losing a lot of weight, losing your appetite, and you’ve spent all day today vomiting, but it’s going to get better.

The insulin drip that the emergency room is going to put you on is going to help bring your 858 blood glucose level down. You’re body is going to feel a lot worse before it starts to feel better again, but do not get discouraged.

You are also going to receive a lot of information about the bad parts of diabetes, risk of heart disease, eye disease, kidney failure, amputations and more. Take a deep breath and take this all in with a grain of salt. I want you to know that you will learn that there are ways that you can lower these risks.

You need to know that this is going to effect your family a lot as well. You need to stay strong for your family members who feel like you are going to die early from one of these complications. 

It’s also important for you to know right away that you are not alone. You do not know many people in your area that have diabetes, but if you go online, you will find thousands of them. And, soon, they will become some of your closest friends.

Finally, the last piece of advice that I can give you, is to learn as much about the disease as possible. Don’t just go to doctor’s appointments and let them tell you what to do. Have an understanding of every drug being put into your body, every product out there, and just become an educated patient in general.

You are going to face a lot of challenges, a lot. There are going to be a lot highs, a lot of lows and not just blood sugars. Your blood sugars are going to send your body and mind through emotional roller coasters. There’s going to be days when you say “eff it, I’m done with this diseases” But, please don’t give up on it.

This disease is now a part of you, you have to live your life with it, so why not live with it with a great relationship.

Just know that every bad blood sugar is just a blip of time. It will go back down, you will be OK. Just keep your head high and move on.

And, one last piece of advice… Buy the domain name TheLifeofaDiabetic.com before someone else does!

– 2016 Chris

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