Friday, December 30, 2011

DSMA Blog Carnival: Why?

December DSMA Blog Carnival: We were told to take a question from the chats throughout November. I took my question from November 2, 2011:
Q1. Why do you advocate for diabetes or people living with diabetes?

As I contemplate my answer, I'm listening to some CDs I received as a Christmas present. Rich Mullins was a man inspired by God who shared the Gospel through his music. During my college years, his music helped me to find direction and purpose. I went to two of his concerts, even having the opportunity to meet him in person before one performance.  I find it fitting that I am listening to his music now as I think over another "why."  "Why do I advocate for diabetes or people living with diabetes?"

I've mentioned before that I feel that there is a reason I have diabetes. Each of us has a purpose in life. I honestly feel that God has lead me to help others in various aspects of my life. I feel called to be a wife, a life partner to my husband. I feel called to be a mother, raising my precious children into adulthood. I feel called to work as a substitute teacher, being there when the regular teacher can't and working with the students. Yes, I even feel called to be a person with diabetes, to reach out to other PWDs and help raise awareness and educate the general public.

This is probably a good time for a confession. Part of my desire to become an advocate is selfish. I know that I can't do this alone. I can't handle the highs and lows alone. The fear of complications paralyzes me at times. It scares me beyond words.  Diabetes is frightening. It's not a game, not a badge to show off. Diabetes caused my grandfather to lose both of his legs.  Diabetes kills. I don't just advocate and fight for others. I advocate and fight for me! I got involved in the DOC for me, to feel less alone. I started blogging to try to find other PWDs. Thankfully I've found that by working to help others, I am able to better deal with my own condition.

In the words of this Rich Mullins song, "We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are." We can't do this on our own; we need each other.

The cross above was found here with blue added to the circle by me to represent the DOC and WDD.

This post is my December entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Here comes the New Year!

Once the wrapping paper mess from Christmas is cleaned up, the focus shifts from the birth of Christ to New Year's Day and the dreaded New Year's resolutions.  In the same breath as "Happy New Year!" you're bound to be asked if you have any plans for the New Year.  Do you make resolutions? What are they?

I could go on and on about how I want to lose 10 lbs, save money, get more organized, eat better.  There are even articles that tell you how to make realistic New Year's resolutions. Since when have I followed the norm?  Why should I make the typical resolution when I can do something more?  Something that not only helps me, but the whole diabetes community in general.

I have decided that 2012 is going to be my advocacy year.  A year where I get my hands dirty in the mess of what it means to be an advocate for a cause.  I have started on a small scale, but I want others to know where I stand.  I haven't decided yet what exact direction I will be headed, but I do know that I want to make a big splash. I want to educate others, raise awareness, raise funds, and help find a cure.  I want to help supply medical equipment and medications to those who can't afford it. I want to educate the newly diagnosed. I want to help prevent unnecessary complications. I want to make a difference!

Finding someone to join me on this journey is both easy and difficult at the same time. Asking someone for help is the hard part.  There are bound to be plenty of people willing to help, if someone would just ask. Over the next few days, I hope to start a plan of action. I need to figure out what I am called to do. I need to start off small, not to jump in too fast, as not to get overwhelmed and burn out. 

What's going to change in 2012? I'm not going to just sit back with a passive approach to diabetes advocacy and awareness. I am going to work harder to get the message out. I am going to work harder at raising funds. I am going to work harder at being a true advocate. What is going to be awesome about 2012? Everything!

This post is part of the blog carnival on expectations for 2012 at 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hubby and I, Stuck Like Glue

Hubby and I started dating almost 26 years ago while we were both still in high school.  We got married a little over 19 yrs ago, the summer after I graduated from college.  Our first child was born 10.5 months later.  We've been through a lot, but we're still together, still very much in love.  We both have found the Sugarland song, "Stuck Like Glue," to be a song that brings us together, helping us to focus on our feelings for each other.  We've celebrated many Christmas seasons together.  Here's looking forward to many more!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Pig-Out

November and December are two of my favorite months for one reason - holidays! Thanksgiving brings me great joy as we discuss with the kids how thankful we are. They realize how fortunate we are as we discuss what others do without. My heart fills with joy and pride as they do things to help others.

The season of Advent is filled with anticipation as we celebrate the coming of the baby Jesus. Yes, I have to admit that the children are also excited about Santa Claus. I enjoy decorating the house and listening to Christmas music. This time is also full of reflection and meditation. As a mother, how would I feel in Mary's place? What does the birth of the Messiah mean to me?

Christmas Eve and Christmas are filled with wonder and surprise. Our church's candlelight Christmas Eve service full of lessons and carols will no doubt put a tear in my eye. The anticipation before bed and the excitement of Christmas morning brings out the child in all of us.

As a PWD (person with diabetes), the holidays also have a negative side - all the yummy carb-filled goodies! Cookies, candy, cakes, breads, potatoes - YUM! The lessons of these holidays can also be used to help with the moderation needed to keep glucose levels in check.

Thanksgiving - Being thankful for what I have helps me through this holiday. I am thankful for my medical team. My doctor listens to me and helps me work through my concerns. He also knows that I take the time to educate myself, not accepting things blindly and taking a proactive approach to my health.

Advent - Waiting. Sometimes I need to wait for that piece of cake until my glucose level comes down or wait until after a brisk walk. On the other side, I may need to wait until my glucose levels come up to drive somewhere.

Christmas - The season of giving. I may give someone part of my treats to avoid overindulgence or give myself a nice big salad to counteract the mashed potatoes that call to me. Giving another PWD encouragement that they can get through the holidays complication-free.

PWDs: As we continue through the holiday season, as we face temptation wherever we go, remember these three words: Moderation, not deprivation.

And to the Type Awesomes out there, the ones who support us, please take note of Mike's video as a guide of how to eat with a PWD:

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Diabetic Substitute

Many of my blog posts mention my position as a substitute teacher. I've talked about the changes in my daily schedule while juggling family life. Some days, I don't find out if I'm subbing until that morning.  I typically find out by 6:30 am and leave about an hour later. Perhaps the trickiest part about being a sub in the variable lunch periods.

Depending on the teacher's schedule (or program assistant, aka teacher's aide), my lunch break can start as early as 10:30 am or as late as 12:30 pm. It can be tricky to keep glucose levels in check, especially if I don't know when my breaks are until I get to the school. As a result, I started carrying snacks with me. Today I had some pretzels in my bag. When I'm a program assistant, I may keep a granola bar in my coat pocket to eat during recess.

Although I find the schedule tricky some days, having a snack on hand helps. I rarely have situations where my glucose levels go high. Typically mid-morning or toward the end of the school day is when I need a little snack. If I forget a snack when I really need one, I might be able to fall back on treats in the teacher's lounge (vending machine or on the table to share), a portion of the lunch I brought, or the school nurse when all else fails.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent Through the Eyes of a Child

This Sunday was the third Sunday of Advent. My fourth child was asked to carry down the advent candle. She declined politely to the head usher. However my youngest almost was on the verge of jumping up and down as she raised her hand with a huge smile. "Do you want to carry the candle?" I asked, already knowing the answer. "Yes!"

This year we are using previously lit pillar candles with battery-operated tea light inserts, so safety wasn't a concern. At the designated time, I walked her to the back of the sanctuary. Being only seven years old and needing to walk down the aisle, I expected some of her shyness to come out and delay the service. I walked with her most of the way, allowing her to finish the walk up to the lector, who was standing by the wreath, on her own.

She was very proud of herself which became more obvious in what she drew as we sat in the pews. My young artist drew a picture of herself walking down the aisle holding the candle, complete with banner, balcony, and pews.

Of course this proud mom discretely snapped a picture of her drawing, not knowing that this child had not yet completed her artwork. As we continued to listen to the gifts of music and the stories told during Advent, my child added color to her story - the brown woodwork, the blue candle with its flames of orange and red, her blonde curly hair, and the colorful stain glass.

The pride she had in carrying the candle and participating in worship came through in her artwork. Of course we had to show the pastor as well as the usher who allowed her to have such and honor. Now we show the world. As the song goes, "This little light of mine. I'm going to let it shine." And shine it does!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Paper Clips and Scotch Tape

There are some days when I feel like I'm just getting by. I feel like I'm in reactive mode. Not much of a plan. Just rolling with the punches. Letting the world dictate while I just react. Some days I feel like I'm being held together by paper clips and Scotch tape.

For the first 17 years of motherhood, I was a full-time stay-at-home mom. I had an occasional paying job, but it was always a position that allowed me to bring my child(ren). I have worked in positions such as childcare for a mother's group and the drop-in nursery at the YMCA. the positions were only for a few hours at a time, so they felt more like a playdate than a job.

Last year, when my youngest started kindergarten, I decided I wanted to go back into teaching. Since it had been over 17 years since I had last taught (student teaching at that, not my own classroom), my husband and I agreed that subbing would be the best way to get back into it. I started subbing with some nervous butterflies. Would the students listen to me? Did I still have the passion for teaching that I had so many years ago?

From the start, I loved subbing. I honestly believe that some of this was due to my attitude. I start each day with a prayer, something simple like: "Lord, let me have fun while helping these students learn." I look at subbing as a privilege. "Wow! I get to help this teacher! He/She is trusting me with this class!"  It's even better when I find out that a teacher has requested me as the sub!

Although I love subbing, it was an adjustment for my family. Mom was no longer home during the day to bring a forgotten lunch or homework paper. Mom couldn't go to the store while the kids were at school. Time in the evening and weekends would have to be scheduled for normally daytime errands.

It was difficult at first. We ate out a lot, because we weren't used to planning meals in advance. I had always done that during the day. We would have to make emergency trips to the store, because I had forgotten to buy toilet paper, something I did on my once-a-month stock-up while the kids were at school.

Now in my second year of subbing, we have worked out most of the bugs. My hubby has stepped up with meal planning, often prepping meals for the week on Sundays. My oldest helps drive her sisters to and from activities as needed. I have learned to budget my time to include errands and housework.

In a way, the switch from full-time stay-at-home mom to substitute teacher is similar to my switch from non-diabetic to a person with diabetes (PWD). I was used to eating whatever and whenever I wanted, just as I once had the flexibility to run errands whenever I liked. Suddenly I had to eat on more of a schedule, watching my carb intake and activity to keep my glucose levels in check.

Is it impossible to adjust? No. I have actually found myself happier and healthier as I adjust to the new demands as a PWD and substitute teacher. There are still times where I feel like I'm put together with paper clips and Scotch tape, but with help from God, my family, and my friends, those office supplies aren't needed as much.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not a want, but a need

When we come into this world as newborns, wants and needs are one in the same.  A baby wants/needs food, a dry diaper, and to be dressed appropriately.  A normal, healthy newborn doesn't want or need a fancy toy or the latest technology. However, as they get older and become more aware of the world, wants and needs are no longer the same.  A toddler may say they "need" a piece of candy, but at that point we realize that this is a want. 

As we get older, our true needs are few though the list sometimes is littered with wants.  The basic needs are food, water, and shelter.  Yes, we could elaborate that list to say we need a job to support our family so that we can provide these things for ourselves. Yes, we could also say we need a reliable form of transportation.  But how many of the items we put on our "need" list are actually "wants"?

There are many days where I feel I "need" a second working car.  Yes, a second car would make our lives easier, but is this actually a need?  We live in a small town that is blessed with a free public bus system.  In the morning, the kids are dropped off at their respective schools.  If I'm subbing, my husband drives and also drops me off in the morning.  In the afternoon, we are either picked up by my oldest, a college student, or we take the public bus if the college schedule dictates.  Do we really need a second car?  No.

On the other hand, there is the matter of health.  Being healthy would fall under a need category.  We need to be healthy to work that job to provide food, water, and shelter for ourselves and our family.  There are some illnesses that are not much more than an inconvenience for most people, like a cold.  I suppose getting over the common cold is more of a want than a need, though none of us need to have a cold for any length of time.  (I do realize that for some a cold can be very dangerous, but for the purpose of this blog I am using the general public as an example.)

Then there are illnesses and diseases that are definitely in a "need for a cure" category.  Diabetes of course is one of these diseases.  To the outsider who doesn't see this invisible disease, the need isn't as urgent. Many people thing that with a simple shot or losing weight, people with diabetes can just deal.  The desire for a cure seems more like a want to them. 

To the family of 16 year old Matthew, the need for a cure was very real.  This young man was full of life and full of promise.  Unfortunately he passed away on Saturday from complications due to his diabetes.  Although I have never met Matthew and hadn't heard of him before today, my heart aches for his family.  This blue candle is in memory of him and the others who we have lost due to diabetes.

Another life lost to this terrible invisible disease.  Do we want a cure?  Of course we do, but this has gone beyond want.  It's no longer a desire of our hearts and dreams.  A cure is a genuine need.  A need that is as strong as our need to breathe, our need for food, our need for water.  Please pray with me for a cure.  Please also pray for Matthew's family that they may receive the peace and comfort that they need.

Monday, December 5, 2011

*MY* Diabetes

Quite often when I talk about my experiences with diabetes, I refer to the condition as "my diabetes."  This morning I was thinking about this phrase, one that most people with diabetes use. Why?

Diabetes is a personal disease.  No two people have the same exact condition, even those who are related.  My mom and I react differently to the same foods.  I have trouble with pizza, where she seems to be able to eat pizza without too much trouble.  However, her glucose levels go up with ice cream, while I don't seem to have too much trouble.

This could be the serving size and ingredients, the medications we take or don't take, and our activity level, but also it could be just our own physiology.  My mom was diagnosed later in life, after all of her children were grown.  I was younger, still in my 30's.  "My diabetes" is different than "her diabetes."

This disease is definitely not a "one size fits all."  The typical "diabetes diet" may work for some, but most diabetics need to figure out their own plan.  In his blog, Alan suggests figuring out what works best for the individual.

Diet, exercise, and medication needs must be individualized.  Some may need a heavier carb load in the morning, while others may need it later in the day.  For example, I try to eat very low carb (20-30g carbs) at breakfast unless I know that my activity level will need higher carb intake.  If I eat a lunch's carb load (about 30-45g carbs for me) at breakfast with normal activity, my glucose levels will be elevated. 

Overall, a person with diabetes (PWD) needs to take advice from his/her medical team but also listen to his/her body and meter.  I try to do this as well. Afterall, it is my diabetes.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Seeing Blue

November was Diabetes Awareness Month.  The diabetes community joined together, wearing blue every Friday for diabetes awareness in addition to World Diabetes Day (14 November).

Have you ever paid attention to what color people are wearing on any given day? My children play a game where they search out yellow cars. You don't realize how uncommon yellow cars are until you've played this game. The opposite was true for me on November 4, the first of the Blue Fridays.

Everywhere I looked, I saw people wearing blue. Blue dress shirts, blue t-shirts, blue scrubs, blue sweaters, blue jeans.  I actually felt a sense of pride. Were all of these people wearing blue in honor of all the people living with diabetes? I was just about to ask two women who were sitting together at lunch, both wearing blue, if they knew about Blue Fridays.

Then reality hit. It was highly doubtful that they would know about Blue Fridays. Afterall this was a movement started by the DOC, not mainstream media.

Should I have told them about Blue Fridays? Maybe a little flyer to hand out, educating people? That would be easier, perhaps. I would welcome ideas for spreading the word to the general public.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Introducting... my new meter

Yes, I'm a geek. A geek that loves gadgets. So of course I love my meters.  After my main meter bit the dust, I called Abbot to get a new meter.  It arrived today!

Hubby and I had gone out to lunch for a pizza buffet. I figured I'd be ok since we decided to walk there and back.  When I got home, I thought I'd give my new meter a try.

I then posted on Twitter:
RFamHere's Ramblings
New meter knows I had pizza. Boo! Hiss! Be nice, new meter!
 Well, I thought I'd give "New Meter" a chance to redeem himself and compare to my backup meter.

Well, this wasn't helping my situation.  

RFamHere's Ramblings
Hmm... I forgive you, new meter (right).You're nicer than backup meter (left).
Looks like "New Meter" can stay afterall.   Now to decide if I want to put the purple puppy sticker on "New Meter" or let it stay on "Backup Meter."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 30

I am thankful for the opportunity to share my blessings every day this month.  This exercise has helped me realize how blessed I am.  It has helped me to find blessings in the little things.  I am also thankful for those who have shared with me their 30 days of thankful.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yet another trip to the denist (vlog)

After taking part in the You Can Do This project, I started thinking of other parts of my life that sometimes get ignored or make me feel overwhelmed.  The dentist was pretty high up on that list.  I'm great at getting my kids to the dentist twice per year, but I hadn't gone in quite a while.  People with diabetes need to be on top of their dental health just as much as watching blood sugar levels and going to the eye doctor.  I finally said enough is enough and I've been going to the dentist on a pretty regular basis to get all the work done (thankfully, not as much as I was expecting). I am proud to say that I am almost done and it hasn't been that bad.  I found a dentist with a wonderful staff that I really like.  To me, bedside manners are as important (if not more) than qualifications. Here's a short video that I made after this morning's appointment.  You'll be happy to know my face is no longer numb and I was able to eat lunch without much issue.  However, I think it's now time for a nap.

30 Days of Thankful - Day 29

Today I am thankful for the privilege of dental care. I realize that I am lucky to live in a country where we have dentists available.  I am also lucky to have a husband who has good dental coverage.  (They may take forever to pay, causing dentist to now ask for at least partial payment up front, but overall the coverage is good.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 28

Today I am thankful for the teachers and program assistants that I work with and sub for. They are amazing people who make subbing such an awesome experience.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 26

I am thankful for the month of November and Diabetes Awareness Month.  I am thankful for Blue Fridays. I am thankful for the IDF and World Diabetes Day.  I am thankful for the American Diabetes Association and Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.  I am thankful for the Big Blue Test.  I am thankful for the You Can Do This project. I am thankful for anyone who is a Type Awesome.  I am thankful for the DOC

Most of all, I am thankful for LIFE!  Thank you, God, for granting me the opportunity to be part of your wonderful creation!

Friday, November 25, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 25

Today I am thankful for the privilege of having a house and the honor of having extended family visit here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 24

Today is Thanksgiving and I'm thankful for... EVERYTHING!  My family, friends, my pets, my jobs, the DOC.

I'm also thankful for my spare meter since I found the screen on my regular meter, umm, had issues. Someday I'll be thankful for a cure!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 23

Today I am thankful for family - those I see on a regular basis, those traveling to see us, and those far away.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 22

I am thankful for holiday traditions and being able to invite new people into our lives.  Today we put up the Christmas tree.  We usually do that the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we're having company on Friday.  Our family decided to put the tree up a little early - something almost unheard of here.  We also for the first time had a non-family member put the angel on the tree - my high schooler's boyfriend.  We had a lot of fun and I enjoyed relaxing in the recliner watching them work.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 21

I am thankful for the chance to be an advocate in the diabetes community.  I am also thankful for the opportunity to educate those around me.  Diabetes isn't a "one size fits all" type of disease, regardless of the type.  Add a lot of the old wives tales about diabetes and there's a lot of misunderstanding to clear up.  I have learned so much from other PWDs (people with diabetes).  So much so that I realize how much more there is yet to learn.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 20

Today I'm thankful for memories. Of events past. Of people who have touched my life. Of pets that have not only been companions, but keepers of secrets. Yes, some memories are better kept in the past, but there are so many I want to share with my children. Some day, God willing, my grandchildren.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 19

I am thankful for my five great kids. They may not always do what they're told. They may like to argue. They may make a mess that isn't always cleaned up. However they bring us so much joy. I couldn't imagine my life without them!

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Days if Thankful - Day 18

I am thankful for a great husband who takes care of me when I'm not feeling well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pizza is a vegetable???

According to this article, Congress is considering calling pizza a serving of vegetables for the school lunch program even though the amount of tomato paste is less than a serving of tomatoes.  I believe they are also planning on doing this with french fries as well, claiming ketchup as a vegetable.

I'm coming down with a cold and plan to go to bed in just a few minutes, so I can't fully articulate how absurd I think it is that a frozen food company is dictating to Congress the definition of a vegetable - and that Congress is agreeing that it's a PIZZA!

Now if that pizza looked like this, I would possibly back down from my argument:

However, we all know that society has already convinced our children that this type of pizza is to be avoided, if not feared.  Children learn at an early age from society that the only vegetable they are to like is the ketchup they dip their fries in or the sauce that is between the bread and cheese on their pizza.

Now I will admit that I'm ok with pizza in general.  As a matter of fact, my family had pizza for dinner this evening. (Talk about irony!) 

However, I don't serve pizza to my children and say, "Here, kids! Eat your veggies!" 

30 Days of Thankful - Day 17

I am thankful for the musical talents of my children.  Four of the five are playing or have played in a handbell choir at our church (youngest will in two years). My oldest three play other musical instruments (percussion, trumpet, flute/saxophone), with the youngest two not far behind.

Music has become such a part of their lives that my oldest is currently a music major in college and my second one is considering it.

I am thankful for the men and women in their lives who have helped develop that musical joy and passion. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 16

I am thankful for a pre-arranged substitute teacher assignment starting this afternoon that goes through the end of the week. I will be teaching P.E. for grades K-3. What a fun age!

I am thankful for the opportunity to work as a substitute teacher. I love it!

(A picture of me on World Diabetes Day 2011 at one of my sub assignments.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 15

Today I am thankful for great test results. In March 2008, I was diagnosed with diabetes and had an A1c of 6.9 - a great number for someone newly diagnosed, but definitely diabetes.  Well, today my A1c was.. *drumroll* an amazing 6.1!!!!  This is the best number I've received since my diagnosis!  WOOHOO!!!!

My triglycerides are high, actually higher than last time, but that's something I can will work on.  Having the A1c result so much closer to non-diabetic numbers (under 5.7, according to the lab) made my day. My goal for the next six months: Get my A1c into the 5's!

Monday, November 14, 2011

World Diabetes Day!

Today is World Diabetes Day!  Why on November 14th?  Well it seems that today marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients. (source)

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I wore blue (of course).  A blue button up blouse. I actually was able to sneak in this special day with two classes I substitute taught today.  One of their spelling words was "illuminate." As an example I told them how buildings all over the world were illuminated blue in honor of World Diabetes Day.

When I went to the Y this afternoon, I changed into a blue t-shirt and blue jeans.  Thankfully the blue made me feel festive, not the sad type of blue.  My younger two also wore blue today.  I think everyone else had some blue on, just not as obvious as a blue shirt.  That's ok.  Their emotional support is more important to me than the color of their clothing.

Happy World Diabetes Day to all!  May we someday be able to turn this day into a holiday to remember when we used to have diabetes!  Praying for a cure today and always!

30 Days of Thankful - Day 14

I am thankful for the DOC and World Diabetes Day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 13

Today I am thankful for days to relax with my family.  Although there's things to do, it's nice to put some of them off and just snuggle (with the kids that are willing to snuggle) and chat with them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 12

Today I am thankful for my warm bed. It been a good day and I'm looking forward to snuggling up under the covers with my cat at my feet and my husband at my side.

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 11

Today I am thankful for the veterans in my life... friends, my dad, my father-in-law, aunts and uncles, cousins, and my wonderful husband.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Don't Stop Believing

Every day I pray for a cure. There are days when I am so frustrated. Sometimes to the point of wanting to throw up my hands in surrender. Diabetes is an invisible disease where society tends to blame the patient. "You ate too much sugar." "You're just fat." "If you'd exercise, you wouldn't have this problem."

However I still have faith that we will find a cure. I have to believe. If I stop believing, I'll lose my momentum to keep myself healthy. Hope for a cure keeps me on the patient advocacy path. It is my purpose.

This cartoon has been going around Facebook and inspired me today. Don't stop believing... in a cure!

30 Days of Thankful - Day 10

Today I am thankful for the men and women who gave their lives so I can live free.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 8

Even though I don't like being cold and wet, I am thankful for the rain we've had.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 7

I am thankful for my comfy (and warm) bed. I'm also thankful for a roof over our heads to keep us dry.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 6

I am thankful for the freedom to worship.  My faith, religion, and denomination (yes, they are separate things) are very important to me.  It's hard to even imagine not being allowed to worship in the way of my choosing.

I am thankful for the opportunity to work with the children in our congregation.  This summer that extended to the children in our community through my work as director of our Vacation Bible School program. What a wonderful opportunity! The children bless my life!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 5

Today I am thankful that we are able to buy food for our family to eat. Sometimes we need to stretch the budget, but our children have never truly known hunger. Thank you, God!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Are you wearing blue?

I am! That must mean that it's FRIDAY!  November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  The diabetes online community is asking everyone to wear blue every Friday during the month of November as well as November 14th, World Diabetes Day.  (If you need a reminder, watch this video.) 

Also, don't forget about the Big Blue Test!  Need more information?  Check out this video which will tell you more about the program and how it benefits several charities to help people who can't afford supplies and medications.  You don't have to have diabetes to help!

I will wear blue to raise awareness and dissolve stereotypes. Wear blue!

30 Days of Thankful - Day 4

Today I am thankful that I have the medical resources to take care of my diabetes.  Not everyone has access to test strips, medication, and insulin.  I am also thankful that at this time I am able to control my diabetes with diet and exercise.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 3

Today I am thankful for the wonders of nature. I saw two whitetail deer after dropping off hubby at work. Thankfully they stayed at a distance.  On a related note, I'm thankful for my husband's safety, barely missing a deer on his own travels yesterday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 2

Today I am thankful for friends to chat with in the morning when I'm trying to avoid housework.

Do the Big Blue Test: Help Yourself, Help Others

From the YouTube video (seen below):

"The Big Blue Test takes place every November leading up to World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14. The campaign reinforces the importance of exercise in managing diabetes. People with diabetes are encouraged to do The Big Blue Test any day between November 1 and November 14 at midnight Pacific Time, by testing their blood sugar, getting active, testing again, and sharing the results online at

In 2011, in connection with the number of people that DO The Big Blue Test, a donation from Roche Diabetes Care will benefit more than 8,000 people with diabetes in need. Five nonprofit organizations focused on helping underserved areas with a high incidence of diabetes in the United States will each receive $10,000, while $25,000 will go to support the work in Latin America by the International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child Programme for a total of $75,000 in Big Blue Test grants to be funded."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Day 1

I'm thankful for my amazing husband and wonderful children. My Type Awesome support team.


On this All Saints Day which is also the first day of Diabetes Awareness Month, I am posting here a blue candle to remember those we have lost to diabetes. May God bless them!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Some say Halloween is the devil's day. The Bible says, "This is the day the Lord has made." It doesn't add "except one, we'll give that one to Satan." Remember, "In all things may God be glorified." Even when dressing in costumes and eating too much candy.

My costume? A diabetes advocate!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

@DietCokeUS bliss and a tweet

I got a tweet from Diet Coke!  WOW! I posted this picture with the tweet:

Well, today I got a reply!  WOOT!

How exciting it was for me to get a reply from Diet Coke!  Silliness, I know, but still exciting!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WDD Blue Fridays

What is WDD Blue Fridays?  First, what is WDD?  World Diabetes Day which is a recognized UN day on November 14th every year. In this video, International Diabetes Federation (IDF) President Jean Claude Mbanya calls the world to go blue for diabetes - wear blue, light up buildings with blue lights, however you can bring attention to diabetes - on November 14th. 

However, a group has decided to take this one step further.  We are asking you to wear blue on WDD as well as every Friday during the month of November.  Why?  Watch this video to find out.  My dog, Sadie, and I are in this video.  I'm wearing blue today in honor of the video's launch.  Wear blue!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The DOC - hard to explain

I've been thinking about the DOC (diabetes online community) a lot lately.  I've told others about DOC road trip get-togethers, my desire to go to the next closest ADA expo in hopes of meeting other DOCers, and DOC online conversations.  Sometimes I think they wonder if I have any real friends.  Some people don't understand social media or the online world.  Others don't understand the intensity of the relationships within the DOC. 

Last night I was listening to DSMA Live, chatting with those in attendance, when I felt that my glucose levels were a high.  Yes, it was probably due to the cake and ice cream I had for my youngest child's birthday, although I had a smaller portion than my smallest child.  (Birthday dinner was a little high on the carb count, too, I have to admit.)  With their encouragement, after the show I went to the gym and walked a mile on the track.  It felt good to walk and my glucose level came down nicely. 

Diabetes management is so much easier when you have others who understand.  I mean truly understand.  My husband and my kids, my wonderfully amazing Type Awesomes, are understanding but they can't truly understand. To truly understand, you need to be in the same situation.  Although other diabetics understand better than non-diabetics, each person with diabetes is unique. No one can know 100% what the other person is going through, but the people of the DOC come closer than anyone I've met.

Thank you, Brian, for your Faith Friday post, sharing how your faith in God and friends of the DOC have helped you deal with diabetes.  Also, I want to thank Jess for posting the following song on her blog today.  Although I've never seen the musical Wicked, this song touched me.  Each person I've come in contact with, whether in person or online, has influenced who I am today.  The DOC has changed me "for good." I love you all!

Friday, October 7, 2011

No D Day (#nodday)

Imagine a world without diabetes. Not worrying about carb counts or glucose readings. A life that is "normal."

Today is No D Day, a day to talk about our lives apart from diabetes. (Thank you, George, for organizing this. You can find out more about today and read the posts of others here.)

There's more to me than the big D.  I'm married to my high school sweetheart. We started dating shortly after I turned 16, married six years later, and had our first child by our first anniversary (10.5 mos, thankyouverymuch). I have a degree in elementary education, which I put to the side for 17 yrs. I don't regret staying home with my children at all. I feel that was the best decision I've ever made. It doesn't work out for everyone, but it worked for us.

My dream is to someday have a home in the country. Hubby and I would like to have a few chickens and sheep. Ok, he wants the sheep, I want the chickens. For now I'm a substitute teacher for our school district. I really enjoy working with the children!

I love to read. I sew though I like to keep it simple. I crochet some and taught myself to knit from the internet. We have two dogs, a cat, an anole, and a tree frog. Oh yeah, I also have five children. Can't forget about them.

Join us in taking a day off from talking about diabetes online.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Just two words...

Candy corn!

Yes, I had some. No, not much. That stuff is 38 carbs for just 20 pieces!  I think I had 5-6 pieces. Thought I'd share the seasonal love!  Enjoy and remember: Moderation not deprivation!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Finding my "Place in This World"

As I was doing work around the house, I was listening to some of my music.  The song "Place in This World" by Michael W. Smith came on.  It really spoke to me, because just yesterday I was driving and thinking that God had a calling for me, but I'm not quite sure what it is yet.  Is it full-time teacher?  Small business owner?  Diabetes advocate?  Something else altogether?  Honestly I don't know.  I did feel as if God does have a plan that I can be excited about though.  I'm anxious to see what it is.  The plan will be revealed to me when God chooses.  Honestly, I'm probably in the midst of the path I am to take, but it's hard to know.  Things feel right, so it probably is right.  Maybe.

For now, my path is substitute teacher, nursery worker, small business owner, diabetes advocate, and above all wife and mother to the precious gifts that live in our home.  "Grow wherever you are planted." -unkown

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Something in common

Yesterday I was subbing in a kindergarten classroom.  Great group of kids.  Very energetic (as kindergarteners should be) and lots of fun.  In the afternoon there was a local university student who came into the classroom.  I'm not sure why, but soon after meeting I notice her medical identification bracelet.  I complimented her on the pretty beaded bracelet.  She didn't realize that I had already seen the tag on the other side, so she told me it was a medical bracelet.

Of course I had to ask her where she got it.  Lauren's Hope.  Honestly I wasn't surprised.  I've been drooling over their bracelets online ever since I found out about the site.  My middle daughter's friend has a great dog tag style necklace from the same site.  The university student almost seemed surprised that I knew about the site.

During afternoon recess, we talked a little about diabetes.  Although she has Type 1 and I have Type 2, we had a lot in common.  We both go through periods of denial.  We both feel the need to talk to others who have the same condition and really understand.  It didn't matter that she had been dealing with diabetes since she was a year old and was on an insulin pump, where I've only been dealing with Type 2 for 3.5 yrs with diet and exercise.

Before receiving her pump, my daughter's friend was excited when she found out that we had the same meter.  Even though we have different types, we made a connection through diabetes.  It gave us something in common.

I've noticed that most of my online friends with diabetes have Type 1.  Honestly, the type seems to fade into the background as we talk about the same fears and frustrations.  The DOC (diabetes online community) is never divided by types.  It's a strong, loving, welcoming family.  If you see someone with a diabetes bracelet or taking out a meter, there's an instant connection that is hard to describe.

I found it interesting that today, when I got online, I notice that Lauren's Hope is having a drawing for a free bracelet.  I admit that the only reason I haven't purchased one is because I'm a mom - a mom who does things for her family but rarely for herself.  If you've read my dentist posts, you know that I've put off going to the dentist because I feel guilty for spending money on myself.  It took me a while to break down and buy an inexpensive prepackaged drugstore medical bracelet.  Why didn't I wear one before?  Even though I'm "only Type 2", medical personnel need to know of my condition if I'm ever in a condition where I can't speak for myself.

If you have a medical condition that others should know about, please wear a medical identification bracelet.  It speaks for you when you can't.  And if you want a nice looking bracelet, check out the free drawing at Lauren's Hope!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another trip to the denist (vlog)

 After my first numb face vlog and then a check up, I went back today to get some more work done.  I got two fillings and two temporary medicated fillings.  Just for fun, I shot a quick video on my phone.  I told my dentist and his staff about the last video and about my blog, so I thought I'd share in case they decided to check it out.  Remember, laughter is the best medicine.  Being able to laugh at yourself keeps life fun!  And a big shout out to the You Can Do This project!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11/01

I was at home, pregnant with my fourth child, playing on the computer.  A friend of mine sent me a message online and said something about a plane crash on TV.  I brushed it off, saying that I didn't want to know about the crash.  I was eight months pregnant and commercials made me teary.  Why would I want to watch a story about a plane crash?

Obviously she didn't tell me the significance of where the planes crashed, otherwise I probably would have turned on the tv.  However being an emotional (and hormonal) pregnant woman, I chose to be ignorant for at least a little while.

Then my husband came home for lunch... Of course he knew what was going on.  He immediately turned on the television.  It took less than 30 seconds for me to turn into a blubbering mess.  I didn't know who did this.  The first plane could have been an accident, but two planes made it obvious that it was not.  Who would do this?  Why would anyone do this?  Oh, please God, please let everyone get out safely.  I knew the answer to that was something I didn't want to hear.

Ten years later, as everyone shares their memories, I think of what my parents felt at the time of JFK's assassination.  Everyone alive at that time can tell you exactly what they were doing, where they were, who they were with when they found out that the President was shot. 

My prayers go out to the victims, their family and friends, our country, and the people of this planet. I am thankful for an interfaith service that I was able to attend today where many religions and denominations were represented.  May we find peace in our world through understanding!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fill in the _______. Finding humor in diabetes.

From DSMA: Diabetes is hard, but finding the humor in things goes a long way toward helping us cope.  So this month we invite you to giggle a bit and finish the following sentence:

If I didn’t laugh about _________ then I would ________. 

Wow.  That is an easy one, but yet difficult because it's so easy.  Of course the easy answer is:
"If I didn't laugh about diabetes, then I would go crazy."

It seems a little too easy.  But is it really that easy?  Is it really that easy to laugh at diabetes?  Diabetes is scary!  My grandfather lost both of his legs to diabetes.  I recently saw a rerun of Extreme Makeover Home Edition that featured a couple that are both blind (one totally, one legally) due to diabetes.  Diabetes is a silent killer.  A person with diabetes might look perfectly healthy while fighting for his/her life.  It's a disease that is misunderstood and often dismissed as a well-deserved punishment for poor life choices.

How do I find the humor in diabetes?  It's not always easy.  If I'm eating too many carbs for a snack or meal, my husband teasingly calls me a "bad diabetic."  He says it with a snicker and love in his eyes.  He's not trying to turn into the diabetes police, but trying to find a humorous way to say, "Hey, I love you and want you to take care of yourself."  How many people can talk about being "high" legally?  Don't take things too seriously.  Have fun and find something positive out of every challenge.

Have fun with diabetes.  Laugh at it!  Yes, diabetes sucks.  Yes, we're all sick of it, but until a cure is found we're stuck with it.  Humor helps relieve stress.

I found this video before I got to know these two awesome people online (Cherise and George).  It was the laugh and understanding I needed at the time.  Humor is good medicine!

This post is my September entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dentist check-up

Yesterday I went for a cleaning and check up at the dentist. See, I told you I'd go back and get on top of things.  I seemed to have clicked with this office, which to me is more important that what tier they are under our insurance.  I'm willing to pay a little more if I feel comfortable there.  I got all the tarter scraped off my teeth, which was pretty hard since it had been a while.  She also polished and flossed my teeth as well as took x-rays.  The dentist and hygienist both were happy with how my teeth, gums, and bone structure looked for someone who hadn't been to the dentist in a while who also has diabetes.  I even got a bag full of goodies!

I get to go back in a little over a week for the first couple fillings.  Although I'm obviously not excited about it, I am looking forward to getting this work done and being pain-free.  I'm proud of myself for setting up my next cleaning in March already.  I'm also getting better at brushing and flossing how I should vs. when I remember.  (Remember that I already admitted to not being the model diabetic.)  Hopefully in the next few months I'll be totally done (should take about three appointments) and move on to other things.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

First of all, I'd like to thank those who are working today so that we can enjoy our family time.  This would include (but not limited to) military, medical professionals, emergency services, utility workers, and those working in retail.

Like most of the country, hubby and I have the day off from work.  We've enjoyed some tv watching time with the kids. After lunch, a nap was in order.   For dinner we had homemade tacos instead of the traditional bbq.

Holidays can be tricky when there's food involved. My hubby is an amazing cook and is great at making low carb versions of my favorite meals.  He seasons the meat himself instead of prepackaged seasoning. Hubby and I use low-carbs tortillas and lots of veggies. The kids get regular carb tortillas since they are still growing.

It's always easier to manage food temptations when we eat at home on holidays. I spent two days this weekend at a local festival. Surprisingly, I skipped the shoe string onion rings and funnel cake. Hubby packed me some healthy snacks which made it easier to avoid temptation.

However, I did get a scoop if chocolate ice cream, because we all know that diabetics love ice cream.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Diabetes Art Day 2011

Below us my submission for Diabetes Art Day 2011.  The words in top are the "good" things about the disease, while the words on the bottom are the things that bring me down.  It made me happy that it was easier to fill the top if the page.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's too quiet here

This week my kids went back to school.  After a summer with five kids at home, having them all at school is almost frighteningly quiet. Parents will know that when you have children and it suddenly gets quiet, that's when it's time to worry.  Yes, it's that kind of feeling.  It's hard for me to get motivated to work on housework when I have an eery feeling that something is wrong, even though I logically know they are all safe in their classrooms.

This morning, after taking the kids to school and the hubby to work, I came home and ate breakfast.  Unfortunately the breakfast I chose had too many carbs to allow me to sit at the computer this morning.  So I grabbed my cell phone, identification, keys, and meter out of my purse, and started for a walk. 

Is this the part where I admit that I also grabbed some change so I could stop for a Diet Coke along the way?  Ok, confession time: I grabbed $2 worth of quarters out of my change jar knowing I'd probably stop at a small restaurant just under a mile from my house.  I figured it was a great place to get a drink and check my glucose levels to see if I was going too low.  I also grabbed my debit card in case I was going too low and needed some carbs.  Thankfully I only needed the drink.  (Yes, I know that water would have been a *much* better choice, but I needed that carrot to motivate me today. I'll go get a glass of water right now... Ok, I have water now.  Yes, I'll actually drink it, too!)

Of course now it's almost time to have lunch with hubby and I haven't gotten any housework done.  There are projects I'd like to do before I start getting called to substitute teach.  Once I start getting sub calls, chaos happens, though I can't wait to start getting those calls. 

This afternoon, I think my "before the kids come home" are:
  • dishes
  • pick up the living room
  • fold/put away my laundry
  • watch a tv show from the DVR without interuption
I guess by writing it down, I am now accountable to that list.  Hmmm... let's see what happens!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Life beyond diabetes

I was just chatting with another PWD (person with diabetes) online.  We talked about our diagnosis.  We talked about the different types of diabetes.  We both agreed that regardless of what type of diabetes you have, it just plain sucks.  Then I paused for a moment.  Was diabetes all we had in common?

We both agreed with a quote from one of our favorite diabetes bloggers, Kerri.  "Diabetes doesn't define me, but it helps explain me."  Unfortunately she had to go, but before we ended our chat we both agreed that next time we'd chat about something non-diabetes related. 

So if diabetes doesn't define me, what does?  Who am I outside of diabetes? Well, I'm a wife and the mother of five.  I'm a substitute teacher.  I love children and I love playing in our church's handbell choir.  I enjoy walks when it's not too hot or too cold.  I don't like to drive, but I do taxi the family around a lot.  I have two dogs, a cat, a lizard (anole), and a tree frog.  Hopefully I'll get the fish tanks ready for some new fish soon.  If I had it my way, I'd also have chickens. 

My dreams (besides a cure for diabetes) include being able to travel some place other than North America. I would love to visit Germany and Switzerland.  Actually Australia would be a wonderful place to visit, too.  I would love to see various animals in their native environment - like a koala!  I would like to teach full-time in my own classroom.  I dream someday of grandchildren, being able to spend time with them whenever I can.  Seeing them participate in various activities and events.  Seeing them graduate and get married.

Does diabetes influence who I am and my dreams?  More than I'd like.  It's an uninvited intruder into my life.  However, it has also been the bridge that has allowed me to meet a lot of wonderful people that I might not have ever met if it wasn't for diabetes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

After the dentist vlog (funny!)

I took this video yesterday after getting home from the dentist.  Since my filling fell out a month ago, the dentist went ahead and cleaned out the tooth and put in a temporary medicated filling.  I found my speech so funny with a numb face, I couldn't help by share it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Going to the dentist

Why is it that as a parent I make sure my kids go to the dentist religiously twice a year plus any other follow-up appointments they may need, but I haven't been to the dentist since.... hmm.... When was the last time I went to the dentist??? 

Ok, I'm not quite being the "model diabetic" here, am I?  I want to set a good example for my children, but sometimes life gets in the way.  It's sometimes hard for me to take time and money away from the family to do something for myself.  At one point my hair was half way down my back because I had a hard time justifying the cost of getting a haircut.  The dentist has become a somewhat easy to ignore "luxury" up until recently.

At the end of June, I started getting a toothache that caused me to purchase a topical pain reliever.  But early July, I lost a filling and another tooth was also hurting.  Thankfully (?) these two teeth are on the same side of my mouth, so if I'm careful and eat on the opposite side I am fairly pain-free.  Unfortunately, last week a piece of breading from my lunch snuck over to the other side and jabbed right inside the hole in my tooth!  OUCH!  Right after lunch, I was calling around to find a dentist.

My previous dentist, who I really liked though some of his office staff were tolerable, has moved out of the area.  I am now going to try out a new dentist.  I have met him before, when my oldest was young.  At the time, I liked the dentist and his staff but the atmosphere (general dentist) just didn't mesh with my child.  Shortly after our attempted visit, we found a dentist that caters to the younger crowd (kids only) that my children enjoy.

I'm nervous about going to the dentist.  I've always had some anxiety.  While typing this, I have probably misspelled dentist about 75% of the time.  Does that say anything?  Today's appointment is more of a consultation.  I'm assuming I'll have some xrays taken and a treatment plan discussed.  I'm hoping this is the first step of reinforcing to myself that I'm not being selfish by taking care of myself.  Remember the talk before take-off on an airplane?  Parents, please put on your oxygen mask before putting one on your child.  I need to remind myself that I can't take care of my family if I don't take care of myself first.

Stay tuned for an update of today's appointment...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The eyes of a child

My youngest was laying on the couch, looking out the window.  She called to me. "Mom, look! There's a mama cardinal! Isn't she beautiful?"  I looked out the window to see a female cardinal perched outside.   Oh the simple things in life!  There was a delicate bird with her head crest being tousled in the breeze.  My daughter continued to watch that bird in amazement until she flew away. 

Of course then she asked if we could have a pet bird, which I'd expect from her.  She wants to keep every animal and critter she finds.  She threw a fit at the county fair because I wouldn't let her keep a grasshopper she found. 

There are times when taking a child's perspective on the world is needed.  This week is our church's Vacation Bible School (VBS) of which I am director.  For the days (weeks? months?) leading up to VBS, I was a wee bit stressed (ok majorly).  During the first two days of VBS, I encountered some bumps in the road that added to the stress.  However last night was the most amazing night at VBS that I have ever had.  What happened?

I looked at the program from the side of the children.  What was my goal for them?  What did they think about VBS?  Well, we start off with a meal.  Everyone is fed and happy.  Then we talk about our Bible story and sing a few songs before going off to centers where they're learning how to take care of God's creation, that they can make a difference in this world.  I decided to really listen to the music.  "I've got peace like a river in my soul."  Did I have that peace in my soul?  I kept singing, allowing peace to come in and did it ever!  I started to really get into the song and became more animated with the motions.  I saw those children having fun and that was all I needed!  I was there for them!  They were the reason I was there and that brought me peace.

During our closing last night, I told everyone how much I appreciated them.  The children brought me joy in their excitement.  The jr/sr high youth touched my heart as they worked on their service project, working together and radiating with pride.  The adult class was also amazing with their classroom smelling like basil after their guest speaker for the evening, a master gardener, talked to them about container gardening.  I felt like I was walking on air as I returned home last night, exhausted by so much lighter.

Not that I have to, but I do like relating these little life lessons to my life with diabetes.  So how does a child's perspective relate?  Children will often see the positive in things when we have difficulty seeing it.  Often people with diabetes (PWD), mainly adults, focus on what they can't do.  Ok, it's more the diabetes police than the PWD, but you get the idea.  When I hear, "You can't eat that!" I reply with, "I can have whatever I want in moderation."  My children help me see the joy in chocolate, ice cream, pb&j, and so much more. In the words of another PWD, "Everything in moderation, except laughter."

Monday, July 25, 2011

People are crazy

On days when people don't realize their words can hurt, this song's chorus comes in handy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You can eat *that*?

One of the biggest questions/comments I get from others usually centers around my diet.  Most of the comments are innocent enough.  Let me just set the record straight.

Yes, we can eat ice cream.

Yes, we can eat grilled cinnamon rolls (see picture of yummy goodness).

Yes, we can eat birthday cake.

Yes, we can eat anything you can eat.  It's all about moderation, not deprivation.

"But I thought diabetics need to watch what they eat?"  Yes, we do, but so should you.  The way a diabetic "should" eat is not really different from how a non-diabetic should eat.  Should you eat a whole container of Ben & Jerry's ice cream?  No (though I will admit it is yummy!).  Did you realize there are actually *four* servings in what most people eat in one sitting?  Tell me that that's ok for anyone, diabetic or not.

Yes, I ate most of the yummy cinnamon roll pictured.  I shared a little with my two youngest as they enjoyed a special treat of ice cream.  Yes, I also know that I need to be mindful of those extra carbs and either do some extra physical activity or eat a lower carb lunch.  Those of us with diabetes still like all the foods that you like, and we can still eat them. 

(NOTE: No one commented about me eating this grilled cinnamon roll today. These are just some thoughts that went through my head as I ate.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dibetes technology

Since I'm still fairly new to the diabetes world as a Type 2 and had very little exposure as a gestational diabetic (about three months for each of my five pregnancies), it's hard for me to give a lot of personal experience in the area of technology advances as they relate to diabetes management.  I remember a high school friend checking his blood on a not very portable meter at the kitchen table where he'd have to apply a huge drop, wipe it off, insert it into a machine, and then wait for what seemed like a long time to get the results. I know meters have gotten smaller and faster.   Now they also have cables and software that all a person with diabetes (aka PWD) to upload their numbers onto their computer, make fancy charts, and even email to their medical team.

If I wanted to talk about diabetes advancements over the years, I could either sum up my own experiences in one sentence or research the topic and present you with a term paper-like report.  Since I figure both wouldn't be very interesting to read (or write), I'm going to talk about what technology I would be interested in using or seeing in the future.

Of course a cure is first on my list, but since that looks like it's a ways off and I like gadgets I'll talk about those.  I like the meter I've been using.  It's fairly small, about the size of my small wallet in the case.  I like the light that I can turn on to illuminate the test strip while I apply the sample then lights up the display to show me the results.  Sometimes you need to test in the dark or a dimly lit room, so this feature is handy.  I can fit this on my fanny pack with the handy dandy velcro strap when I don't want to deal with a purse. 

One gadget that I would like to have (though I know insurance would probably not approve for a Type 2 who is diet and exercise controlled) is a continuous glucose meter (CGM). (Here's one example.)  I would really like to see what my glucose levels are doing around the clock, not just when I poke my finger.  When I'm starting to feel tired, is it because my sugar is off or am I just tired? 

Of course one "diabetes gadget" that many forget about (and would like to continue to forget about) is the scale.  For a PWD, keeping their weight in check makes controlling diabetes a little easier.  Type 2s, dealing with insulin resistance, is less of a challenge at a healthy weight.  I admit that over the last month or so, my weight has been creeping up a little.  Stress and being busy have lead to me not taking the time for myself.  This is something as a mom I struggle with quite often.  Someone once told me they look at exercise as a prescription, just like any of the medications in their cabinet.  To stay healthy, you wouldn't ignore the medications your body needs.  Therefore you shouldn't ignore the exercise your body needs.

For now, my meter and bathroom scale are the only two items I need to help me manage my diabetes.  Even though I don't have a closet full of supplies, it's not always easy.  My prayer is that we find a cure soon and all of these pieces of diabetes technology will go into a museum.  Someday we'll hear children at that museum say, "A long time ago, people had diabetes and used these things to keep their blood sugar levels under control. I'm glad we don't have to deal with *that* anymore!"

This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't give up!

Last week, I wrote about my friend, Cindy, who was on America's Got Talent.  She decided to follow her dream to become a professional singer.  Last week, the judges loved her!  The internet was all over her, calling her the American version of Susan Boyle

This week, the Las Vegas episode aired.  Unfortunately, things didn't go as well for her this time.

Is she going to just give up?  Oh, I hope not!  The internet is still singing her praises.  Many are saying she just chose the wrong song for her voice. 

What touched me the most is how she interacted with the others that she was in competition with.  She wasn't rude, snooty, or stand-offish.  She was encouraging, loving, and amazingly supportive.  To me, that's what a true champion is made of.

Cindy, you are loved!  We're still looking forward to your first CD!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

O is for Outrage

Two months ago, I wrote asking why there isn't more public outrage about the increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with diabetes.  I remember during the AIDS scare of the 1980s, we had people all over the world educating and working on prevention of the disease.  Breast cancer is also all over the media with public service announcements encouraging women to get mammograms as well as products in our stores with pink ribbons, offering to make a donation with purchase.  What about diabetes?  Diabetes kills more people each year than AIDS and breast cancer combined, but there is no public outrage.

My goal, my purpose, my calling, is to help educate others about diabetes.  Not just telling others what diabetes is (and is not), not just helping people recognize their risk for the disease, not just showing them what it's like for me to be diabetic.  I want to help generate that public outrage.  I want to get our leaders to see the urgency to find a cure for diabetes.

In mid-September of this year, the UN will have a summit on non-communicable diseases.  How exciting would it be to have our very own President Barack Obama attend and participate in this summit!  He would be a great example to other world leaders, demonstrating the need to come together.

The International Diabetes Federation is collecting postcards to send to President Obama, urging him to attend the summit.  Please send one of your own by clicking here.  It's free!  The IDF will print if off and present them to our President on August 31st, so make sure to submit yours before then.  You just have to fill out an online form or use Adobe Acrobat to create the postcard.  They have pre-written messages or you can come up with your own.