Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Diabetic Teacher

At the end of the day.
Tired but happy!
I've been teaching full-time for a little over a month now. I will say that I love it more each day! I know I'm doing what I was called to do. My students are amazing and my colleagues are helpful and supportive. Honestly I couldn't be happier. At least with my job.

My diabetes management has taken a back burner lately. With my previous job, I was able to plan out when to test. I did reading intervention which meant working with small groups of kids throughout the day. I knew that between certain groups I'd test in the morning and another time between groups is when I'd test after lunch. With my new position, I'm still trying to figure that out.

I'm also needing to figure out a new exercise schedule. I went from a five minute commute to 35 minutes, which cuts into my previous workout schedule. Thankfully I've been able to maintain at my goal weight, but I still need to find the time... umm... make the time... to exercise.

It's definitely a juggling act when trying to live a normal life with diabetes. This isn't normal for most of the population. Most teachers don't have glucose tablets in their desk in case of a possible low while teaching a lesson with energetic children. Most teachers don't have to figure out in their schedule when they can test or get a snack.

It's not easy, but it's totally worth it!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Following a Dream

Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to be a teacher. When we'd play school, I was always the teacher. I played with the idea of being a lawyer. (Anyone remember The Paper Chase on Showtime? ) I even thought about being an author at one time. However, I kept coming back to becoming a teacher.

I did major in elementary education and graduated. Hubby and I got married before I had completed my student teaching, which I did shortly after we were married. Our oldest child was born two months later. That's when my career plans took a drastic change. I decided to be a stay-at-home mom.

Well, fast forward 17 years. Our fifth child started kindergarten and I started my time as a substitute teacher. Those years and motherhood helped to build up my confidence. I went from the student teacher who needed to work on classroom management to the substitute that was requested based on being "a strong sub." Last year I was hired as a program assistant (aka teacher's aide or paraprofessional) doing reading intervention and helping with sixth grade choir.

Recently, I interviewed for a second grade teacher position in a neighboring district. A job I wasn't sure about because of the half hour drive through the country. However, getting to know those on the interview committee got me excited about the prospect. I was offered the position which I started this week.

I am following my dream!

My parents sent me flowers and my brother sent me dry erase markers as well as self-inking teacher stamps. Their acts of support and encouragement meant more to me than I can describe here. 

The class is wonderful. A great group of students! The teacher I'm replacing is moving into another position within the school, so we were able to work together to gradually transition the class. The other teachers have been extremely friendly and helpful. The drive has been a great time for reflection and decompression. 

My children are excited for me and proud of their mother. Hubby is extremely supportive. I love my job! That is the dream!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is It Worth It?

I have Type 2 diabetes. I am diet and exercise controlled.

Is it worth it?

This morning I went for a two mile walk.

Is it worth it?

Today, my family had breaded ravioli for lunch. I had a salad, a protein shake, and two raviolis without sauce.

Is it worth it?

While my family had burgers and fries, I had another salad with grilled chicken for dinner.

Is it worth it?

Although I've told my doctor that I have no problem with being on medication or even insulin if needed for my diabetes management, knowing that with healthy eating and exercise I can keep my glucose levels under control (for the most part) makes me happy. When the day comes where I wind up on medication and/or insulin that helps me manage my diabetes, I'll still be happy.

Is it worth it?

I have a husband and five children that depend on me.

Is it worth it?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 2 Day 2

Wow! I honestly can't believe I'm still doing this! Week 2 Day 2 of getting up at 5 am to work out. Something that was an impulsive thought filled with much self-doubt has turned into a successful routine.

So far. 

The real test starts tomorrow. School starts tomorrow which means getting kids out the door in the morning. Which means I'm back to work.
Image found here.

 My classes start next week which will be another test.

I think the biggest thing that keeps me going is not to think too much. Don't debate in my mind whether I want to do this. Don't complain. Don't feel that I have a choice.

In the words of Yoda,  "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

This is my health. I'm not getting up at 5 am to impress anyone or to win any prize. I'm doing this to be healthy. I'm doing this so I'm around for my husband and children. I'm doing this for me!

If I turn off that 5 am alarm clock and go back to sleep, I can't say, "Well I tried. It's not my fault that 5 am is so early. I'm tiiiiiiiiiiired!"

I chose whether to get up or not. I do or do not. 

I chose DO!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You Inspire Me!

Heading to the treadmill at 5:35 am
Three words. Those three words spoken to me yesterday meant the world to me. "You inspire me!"

I have to admit that I'm getting choked up as I write this. These words were spoken by a woman I respect. She's always dressed sharply and appears to have her world well-organized. To be told by someone like this that I inspire her... well that's very humbling.

She said that she was impressed with my early morning exercise routine that I have recently taken on. School is starting soon. It's hard for me to imagine scheduling exercise in the afternoon/evening with after school activities, grad school, homework, and other family responsibilities.

As a result, I'm getting up at 5 am during the week. Yes, it's still somewhat dark when I leave the house just before 5:30 am. My goal is to be done with my workout by 6:30 am at which time my husband will wake up the kids and start their morning routine. After a shower and getting dressed, I'm home by 7 am to finish our morning routine and head to school at 7:30 am.

School starts next week, so I'm trying to get into this new routine now so it becomes habit. So far so good! Today is Wednesday and I've done this for three days. I've walked on the treadmill 2.25-2.61 miles for 40-50 minutes each day. Yes, it's hard to get up at 5 am. During the summer, I've slept until 7-8 am. During the school year, I typically get up around 6-6:30 am. This morning I told a friend, "I found that if I don't think about whether or not I want to get up and just do it without thought, it's a lot easier."

Being told that I inspire someone makes my sharing feel a lot less like rambling. She told me that she had a membership at the Y, but wasn't using it. She said that if I could do it with all of my commitments, she could do it, too. "You inspire me!" Wow!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Loving #dblogcheck

I've loved reading blogs today and checking in with a comment. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to very many due to a hectic schedule today. Maybe we should have a #dblogcheck week?

I'm making this blog post from my phone, so I'm not able to link back to the person who organized this right now. Please search via Google or look on Twitter for the hashtag #dblogcheck.

I plan to read and comment more during the week as I discover some more amazing diabetes blogs!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Exercise and My Type 2

Let me begin by saying I am not a medical professional. The experiences I am about to share are my own and in no way are to be taken as medical advice. Before starting any exercise program, please consult your own personal medical team. Thank you!

Recently I started seriously walking for exercise. My glucose levels, especially fasting, have not been where I want them to be. I have adjusted my carb intake, but I knew I needed to step it up a notch. I live in a walkable community, so I am working on getting myself into a regular walking routine.

As a person with Type 2 diabetes, however, exercise takes planning. Honestly more planning than I'd like, but it is what it is. In order to go for a walk, I need more than a good pair of shoes. However I don't want to bring a big clunky purse with me either.

Here are some of the things I bring with me:

  • cell phone
  • water bottle
  • glucose meter
  • fruit snacks or glucose tablets
  • Road ID
Cell phone: Not only do I have it if I need to contact someone (or if my family needs to contact me), but I also use two apps while I walk. Road ID now has an app that will allow me to notify up to five people automatically that I am going out for a walk. This app will also allow them to track my location in real time on a computer. I can even set up an alert to be sent if I'm in the same spot for five minutes. Another app I use is RunKeeper. This app will help keep track of my stats (distance, time, rate, etc). They also have training programs for fitness, weigh loss, distance, etc. programmed into the app.

Water bottle: Hydration is a good thing whether you have diabetes or not.

Glucose meter: Although I've learned that I need to eat before exercise regardless of my starting glucose (more on that mistake a couple years ago in another post), I still have the possibility of going low. I rarely go anywhere without a meter!

Fruit snacks: Honestly I can't stand them, but it's an easy way to carry some quick carbs if I need them.

Glucose tablets: I just recently go some glucose tabs from GlucoLift. I like that they're easy to chew (some are too hard to start with) and aren't gritty tasting. 

Road ID: Normally I wear a very basic medical bracelet that I got from the pharmacy counter. All it says on it is "diabetic". However when I'm out walking, I like to wear something with more information. My Road ID has my name, birth year, town and state, husband's number, home number, and Type 2 diabetes engraved. It's a great way to share that information if something happens and help is needed.

If I'm wearing shorts or pants with good pockets, I'll use them. Otherwise I use a fanny pack (yes, they still make them) or a cinch bag to carry what I need.

On that note, it's time for me to get out and do this morning's walk before things get too busy. I admit it's going to be a challenge once school starts again, but I'm up for it.

What things do you find you need to keep with you while you're exercising?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July DSMA Blog Carnival - Diabetes Stigma

If you could change one thing about diabetes, (besides not having it), what would you change? Why?

This is the question asked in the July DSMA blog carnival. I had to think pretty long and hard about what I would want to change about my diabetes. It's easy to think about what I'd want for others, so to challenge myself, I made myself think about me.

So let me rephrase the question: If I could change one thing about MY diabetes, (besides not having it), what would I change? Why?


Yes, the stigma that comes with being a person with diabetes. Specifically a person with Type 2 diabetes.

There are several blog posts popping up in the DOC about diabetes stigma. You can do a Google search for "diabetes stigma" or #dstigma search on Twitter and find many of them yourself. I won't try to repeat what they are saying but rather share what I am feeling.

Shortly after I was diagnosed, I was talking to a man from church. I told him about my recent diagnosis. He told me that their family was watching their weight to make sure that they did not get diabetes. My first internal reaction was to shout out, "Are you calling me fat?" Although I could stand to lose a few pounds, obesity was not one of my risk factors.

I was diagnosed about two weeks before my 38th birthday.  My children affectionately call me old, but age was not one off my risk factors.

Many people blame bad food choices for diabetes. I will admit that I do like an occasional hamburger and fries, but poor diet was not one of my risk factors.

A sedimentary lifestyle is another stereotype of a type 2 diabetic. As the mom of five children, I can assure you that inactivity was not one of my risk factors.

Take a look at this picture. Can you tell what type each person has? Does it matter?  To some of you it might. To us it doesn't. We spend a day at MasterLab not as Type 1s, Type 2s, or Type 3s. The only "type" here that mattered was being a diabetes advocate.

It's through education, acceptance, and collaboration we can start to get rid of the stigmas from within. Then, and only then, can we get work on ridding ourselves of the diabetes stigma in the public eye.

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

Monday, July 14, 2014

#MasterLab Recap from Other Bloggers

I've been trying to read as many recaps about the recent MasterLab as I can, but since I can't read them all at once and it's hard to keep track of everyone's entries - I thought I'd make a blog page where I can list them as I find them. I figure others may want to read them, too!

How to organize them? I think I'll just group them randomly but date published. I think pre-MasterLab and then by dates until July 15th (then I'll call them post-MasterLab) will probably work (I reserve the right to tweak this method as I see fit).

So here we go... (Work in progress!)

Type 2s at #FFL? #MasterLab!
Countdown to #MasterLab at #CWDFFL14
Upcoming Events
Friends For Life: #Masterlab

July 11, 2014
#MasterLab and the Green Bracelet

July 12, 2014

July 13, 2014

July 14, 2014
#MasterLab Debrief.

Friday, July 11, 2014

#MasterLab and the Green Bracelet

Last week I attended MasterLab. Although it was held at the same time as Friends for Life (FFL), it really wasn't part of the FFL conference. Technically we were in collaboration with the event. Although I was *at* FFL I wasn't really *part* of FFL. It was one step forward from starting as the kids that weren't invited to the "party" at all to the kids that were only invited for just part of the "party".

Participants in FFL receive a bracelet at registration. Green is for those with Type 1 diabetes, and orange is for their family members. There is no color for Type 2. If a Type 2 is at the conference it is only because they have a family member with Type 1, so they receive an orange bracelet. (There is also a yellow bracelet for those who need to eat gluten free.)

My Type 1 friends at MasterLab accepted me as just another PWD (person with diabetes). They didn't feel I should be excluded from the "party" - especially the adult get-together the evening of MasterLab.

I had left the table for a little while during one of our breaks. When I returned, I found a green bracelet in my spot. I looked over at the two Type 1s that were sitting next to me (who I will keep anonymous unless they want to come forward), wondering if the bracelet was really for me. With big smiles on their faces, they said they wanted to make sure I got into the gathering that evening.

My green bracelet experience was amazing. I saw it as full acceptance, at least by those attending MasterLab. I know the look on my face when I saw it at my place at the table was like a little kid and said, “Really? Am I really fully accepted into the group?” At that moment I didn't feel like a Type 2 who was allowed in for just part of the party. I felt like just another PWD. The type didn't matter at that point.

During MasterLab, someone mentioned the possibility of a different color for Type 2s if we continue working with FFL. At first I agreed. However the more I think about it, I’d rather it just be one color for PWD – regardless of type!

I’m still wearing my green bracelet and probably won’t take it off until it falls off!

Disclaimer: I was offered a scholarship by the Diabetes Hands Foundation as part of my participation in the Diabetes Advocates program to attend the MasterLab. My conference fee, travel, and hotel were covered by the scholarship, but the opinions and ideas I will report on are my own.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

#DOC Fundraiser for Aly & Family

Aly is my sweet 10 year old friend. She has Type 1 diabetes. I met Aly and her mother, Katrina, during last week's MasterLab/Friends for Life.(Katrina and I have known each other online for years.) Aly is such a sweet girl with a smile that melts your heart.

Some months her family has had to chose between rent and life saving medication. As a result, the family is very behind on their rent. 

To help them out, I'm having a Thirty-One fundraiser to try to help them out. The consultant, Tera, will donate 25% of the sale to Aly's family. Please click here to browse the catalog and order.

Those local to the consultant (and me) can have their order shipped to the hostess. All others, please pick to have the items shipped directly to you. If you have any questions, please email the consultant, Tera.  You can also contact me at the link in the disclaimer at the top right of my page.

Thank you for your help! Feel free to share the link!

Edited to add: If you don't want to order but you want to help them directly, Katrina's paypal is:

They also have a fundraiser set up on Go Fund Me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#MasterLab Wordless Wednesday

How can I express my time at MasterLab?

Let's try some pictures....

I wish we could see each other more often!

We had so much fun together! Type 1s, Type 2s, Type 3s!
(and an alert dog!)

We're more alike than different!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My #MasterLab Ask

On Wednesday, July 2, I attended MasterLab. This day of advocacy by Diabetes Hands Foundation occurred at the Friends for Life convention in Orlando, FL. One of the sessions was called, "Making a Successful Ask" with David Lee Strasberg. In this session we were challenged to work on asking others for funding or assistance related to a cause.

It is important to build relationships with the people or companies which will help when you go to ask for funding for your cause. Share your story and build upon a common mission. Express your vision which should not be more than a sentence. “I want to see a world where....” or “I want to be in a world where...” are good starting points. The overall ask, especially if it will be repeated to several people, should not take more than a minute. We were told to think about what we would want to ask others, practice it, then get out there an ask. Find a way for others to help and take action, too.

What is my ask?

By finding your way to my blog, you are aware that I am a person living with Type 2 diabetes. Every day I deal with trying to educate people who have been given misinformation about this disease. Every day I deal with the stereotypes of Type 2 diabetes. I dream of the day when I can say "I have Type 2 diabetes" and I'm looked at with compassion instead of blame.

My goal is to work toward educating others about Type 2 diabetes. This starts with better educating myself and those closest to me then progressing to the diabetes community as a whole - Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, gestational, etc. It is through educating ourselves that we can then educate others. One way I plan to educate myself and others is through the resources of the American Diabetes Association. The ADA was the organization I went to when I was first diagnosed with gestational diabetes over 21 years ago. They are the ones I went to when I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes six years ago.

As a way to say "thank you" and continue to educate others using the resources of the ADA, I am asking each of you reading this today to sponsor me whatever amount you can afford or care to donate toward the American Diabetes Association's Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. Through your donation, you are helping further the mission of the ADA in providing education and support. Although I might not be able to make it to the actual walk due to my graduate school schedule in the fall, I still plan on raising as much money as I can to give back to this organization that helped me when I was scared and overwhelmed. Would you please make a donation? You can find my donation page here.

Thank you!

Disclaimer: I was offered a scholarship by the Diabetes Hands Foundation as part of my participation in the Diabetes Advocates program to attend the MasterLab. My conference fee, travel, and hotel were covered by the scholarship, but the opinions and ideas I will report on are my own.

Monday, July 7, 2014

#MasterLab Wardrobe

In preparation for MasterLab at Friends for Life, I purchased some diabetes-related t-shirts. I thought I'd share here where I got those shirts in case anyone else wanted to get one for themselves or a loved one.

Big Blue Test t-shirt from Diabetes Hands Foundation - This t-shirt was designed to advertise Big Blue Test. I wore this shirt to the airport in hopes I'd meet others attending MasterLab. Unfortunately I didn't meet anyone until I got on the shuttle to the hotel at the Orlando airport, but that's ok.

As a salute to the DOC (diabetes online community) and the collaboration that I knew would occur at MasterLab, I wore this great DOC t-shirt designed by my DOC friend, Mike Durbin. I loved this shirt so much that I wore it to church on Sunday (after doing laundry) as I thought about all those who live with diabetes every day.

This picture was taken with NASCAR driver and PWD (person with diabetes, Ryan Reed. I have to admit that I was take aback for just a moment about his age. He's a couple months younger than my oldest child. How exciting he's accomplished so much and is an amazing advocate!

In honor of my children who I would see that evening, I wore a shirt that said, "Diabetic moms make the sweetest kids." I got it at a CafePress store I found while searching for more diabetes-related t-shirts.

I had fun getting my picture taken with Lenny the Lion, mascot for Medtronic.

Although I knew I wouldn't be at MasterLab, I wanted another shirt for Blue Fridays. This t-shirt is the simple blue circle design used by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).  Since I spent the day relaxing with my family, I didn't think to get a picture of me wearing the shirt. Can you tell where my cat's favorite nap spot is?

This shirt wasn't bought before MasterLab and Friends for Life. I received a special request from a local friend a few days before I left for Florida. She had spotted a t-shirt on Facebook that would be sold at the conference by the Diabetes Research Institute. On the front it said, "#diaBEATthis" with the DRI logo on the back.

She was hoping I'd pick up a t-shirt for her while I was at the conference. Of course! After seeing the t-shirt, I had to have one for myself as well. The picture was taken with two bottles of Diet Coke, one saying "friends" and the other "family".

I'm glad I had an excuse to increase my diabetes wardrobe!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

#MasterLab - From Strangers to Friends

(This is the first in a series of posts about my experience at MasterLab which was held on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, in Orlando, Florida.)

On Tuesday (July 1), I flew to Florida to attend Master-lab which was on Wednesday. This day of advocacy by Diabetes Hands Foundation occurred at the Friends for Life convention in Orlando, FL. Let me start by saying that I was beyond excited to be offered a scholarship to attend (see disclaimer below). I would not have been able to attend with out it. After the initial excitement, I started the planning stage. I have to admit that I started to freak out a bit. The last time I flew was June 2001. Yes, before 9/11 and all the strict TSA security rules. I started reading up on these rules. The night before I left I dealt with a bad thunderstorm and insomnia. My stomach was a mess that morning.

All went well with my first ever taxi ride and as I went through security. I admit that I closed my eyes and prayed as we took off. Overall the flight wasn't bad though we had a little turbulence here and there. I started to concentrate on MasterLab and my DOC friends who would be there. We landed in Orlando and I made my way to the shuttle that would take me to the hotel.

As I approached the van, there was someone waving in the window with a big smile. The van door opened, and I heard, "SUE!" How exciting it was to see Kim (the one waving), Rachel, and Kerri. What was even more exciting, more than recognizing them right away, was that they recognized me. ME? Kerri and Kim are big names in the DOC. But me? I almost started crying!

The rest of the evening was spent connecting with online friends as if we were long-time face-to-face friends and getting to know so many other wonderful people. It didn't matter if we were Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3. We were all friends with a common mission - to advocate and educate until a cure can be found.

During MasterLab, I got to meet so many wonderful people. I was excited to have at my table people like Kate, Aliza, and Karen. As I sat next to the wonderful Cherise, I asked if I could get a picture with her. She enthusiastically said yes. Both of us used our phones to get selfies to post online. The picture she posted on Twitter of us included the caption, "from strangers to friends."

From strangers to friends. I miss you, my friends. Until we meet again...

Disclaimer: I was offered a scholarship by the Diabetes Hands Foundation as part of my participation in the Diabetes Advocates program to attend the MasterLab. My travel and hotel were covered by the scholarship, but the opinions and ideas I will report on are my own.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Countdown to #MasterLab at #CWDFFL14

In about 12 hours, I will be waking up and getting ready for my cab ride to the airport. Then I'll board an airplane to Orlando to attend the MasterLab sessions at the Friends For Life conference. Diabetes Hands Foundation is hosting a day full of sessions on advocacy.

Patient advocacy. Working with pharmaceutical companies. Learning from advocates with other medical conditions. Talking to medical professionals. Collaboration. Exciting opportunities!

I will try to tweet as we go from @RFamsRamblings and blogging when I can. Anything you'd like me to make sure we discuss? Leave your comments below.

For more information, check out this link:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Budgeting Diabetes

I've been struggling lately with keeping my glucose numbers where I like them. I've said before that my goal is non-diabetic numbers. I want my fasting below 100 and two hours after meals under 120. It's hard to control the fasting value, but I can usually control my numbers during the day through diet and exercise.

Is this easy? NO WAY!

Think of a family on a tight budget saving up their cash for a family vacation. Their goal is to have a really nice cash only vacation without the use a credit cards. They know how much they need to save and initiate their plan with perfect timing for their trip. This plan involves the family forgoing fast food and convenient foods which are often felt needed for their busy family. Although they know they can do it, this savings plan does become somewhat stressful. They enjoy going out for burgers and fries now and then. (I guess I shouldn't have started writing this right before dinner. Now I'm hungry!) However they know that to have the money they want for their trip, they need to drive past that drive-thru and make dinner at home.

Ok, this may sound like a lame comparison to many, but for me this hit home. I do like fast food. However to keep my glucose "budget" in line, I need to keep driving. But wait. I have five children who need carbs, so there are lots of carbs waiting for me at home, too. Bread, fruit, chips, juice, french fries, granola bars, tater tots...

However, like the family saving for vacation, priorities need to be re-examined now and then. They may want to go see a movie as a family. Depending on the size of the family, this could be an expensive outing. Do they stick to the budget and forgo this family time or do they lessen their vacation plan expectations in order to allow themselves these things they enjoy? Maybe instead of a trip to Disney World find a less expensive trip in their own state. Although it's not ideal, the time spent together as a family on a regular basis is more important than saving up for that one dream vacation.

Sometimes we need to budget our diabetes. Yes, I can obtain tight control during the day by watching my carb intake and exercising. However there are times I want a burger (with the bun) and fries as a local fast food place. Maybe I want to eat a candy bar (Snickers anyone?). Yes, my ideal is to continue to manage my diabetes with diet and exercise alone. But what if the only way to avoid medication is to avoid those food treats I enjoy or to have a lazy day here and there without exercise? Am I willing to change my "dream vacation" management and consider medication if needed to allow myself to have those "quality time" treats?


I don't know when/if I'll wind up on medication. My ideal is to continue to maintain with diet and exercise. I've come to the determination that if I need medication, whether oral or injectable, in order to live the lifestyle that makes me happy, then I'll do what I need to stay healthy.

Each family's financial budget in personal and unique. In the same way, we all need to decide what our diabetes budget will be.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Diabetes Management Apps

I love gadgets. I love apps. I have diabetes (sorry, don't love that). What helpful for a tech-loving diabetic who needs to get back on track? Diabetes management apps!

I have an Android phone. Right now I'm trying out two apps: MySugr and Care4Life. Both are free though MySugr also has a paid pro version. (Disclaimer: I was given a free voucher for 90 days of MySugr Pro.) I've been having fun testing them both out and plan to give them both a review after a while. I've only been using them for a few days, so it's too early to give them a thorough review.

MySugr is definitely more "fun" with a little diabetes monster character where Care4Life is very straight forward. I'm also using the SparkPeople app to help calculate carb content of foods and record my exercise. I'm looking forward to seeing how these two apps keep me on track. I've already been able to remind myself that I have to eat a very low carb breakfast to keep my numbers down.

Do you have any apps that you use to manage your diabetes? Please share in the comments!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Rose By Any Other Name #dblog

When I started this blog, I wasn't thinking long term. It was on a whim. Someone on the Type 2 message board at the American Diabetes Association website asked who had a blog since Type 2 blogs were so hard to find. I decided right then that I wanted to start a blog of my own.

What to name it though?

Not being a very patient person, I didn't want to wait long enough to come up with a catchy blog title. RFamHere was the user name I had for several websites, so I used it in my blog name. Because I like alliteration and I've been told that I often ramble on and on, RFamHere's Ramblings was born.

However my blog has expanded further than I ever though possible. I've become part of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), Diabetes Advocates, The Type 2 Experience, and several other diabetes related groups online. I decided to make my blog title reflect the content of my blog.

From here on out, this blog will be called Diabetes Ramblings.

There are two ways to get to this blog now. The original RFamHere's Ramblings url of is still active. The new url fro Diabetes Ramblings will redirect you to this blog.

I am very excited about the name change and the added web link.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Type 2s at #FFL? #MasterLab!

This probably sounds silly, but for the last few years I've been jealous of Type 1s and their families. Why? Friends for Life (#FFL). This conference is sponsored by Children With Diabetes (CWD) and is designed for people with Type 1 diabetes and their families. I felt like a kid not invited to a birthday party.

This year there is an event at FFL with Type 2s on the invite list: Diabetes Hands Foundation's MasterLab. Want to spend a day talking about advocacy? MasterLab is for you! Recently I was made aware of this day of advocacy discussion and asked to attend as a person with Type 2 diabetes (see disclaimer below). After looking at the schedule, how could I say no?

I would love to see more Type 2s at this event so I wanted to help put the word out. Here's a special deal for those attending FFL already:
Diabetes Hands Foundation offers this MasterLab in collaboration with Children with Diabetes (CWD).  Registered participants in CWD’s Friends for Life conference are welcome to join the MasterLab as part of their experience at no additional cost. Separate registration for the MasterLab is required.  
(Note: There's more information on the MasterLab page if you want to take advantage of this offer.)
The excitement and anticipation grows as I try to figure out what to pack, find out which of my diabetes online community (DOC) friends will be there, and figure out what bag will fit under the seat in a 16"x14"x12"  space to carry my clothes and laptop.

Are you going to FFL or MasterLab? Let me know! Maybe we can meet up!

Disclaimer: I have been offered a scholarship by the Diabetes Hands Foundation as part of my participation in the Diabetes Advocates program to attend the MasterLab. My travel and hotel are being covered by the scholarship, but the opinions and ideas (as well as excitement and anticipation) I will report on are my own.

Friday, May 16, 2014

#DBlogWeek - Break In the Action

Since my second child will be graduating from high school tomorrow, I'm going to pause my participation in D-Blog Week and set my focus on my child, family, and our guests. I hope to resume either Sunday night or Monday.

Thank you for your understanding!

To those who are graduating, whether from high school, college, trade school, or the military, my thoughts and prayers go with you as you transition to the next phase of your life. God bless!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mantras and More - #DBlogWeek

Today's prompt: Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day. Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day. Is there something positive you tell yourself? Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through? Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost? Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too?

There are times I have to depend on little phrases as a pep talk to help me through the day, whether or not it's diabetes related. One of my favorite phrases right now is "Just smile and nod." It works for so many situations.

Diabetes related, my favorite phrase is "Moderation not deprivation." I learned that from a dietitian during one of my pregnancies. I had gestational diabetes with all five of my children, so this bit of advice came in handy while I was stressing about dealing with diabetes during pregnancy. Since my Type 2 diagnosis, I've kept this mantra.

Moderation is the key to every part of my life. I try not to keep our schedule too full. I try to eat healthy, while letting everyone had special snacks now and  then.

Life is a balancing act, and sometimes diabetes throws off that balance. However a smile, a nod, and all things in moderation can help get through most situations.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Brings Me Down - #DBlogWeek

Diabetes stinks. Ok, it sucks. All too often we ignore the emotional side of chronic illnesses. If I had the flu, I would deal with the symptoms knowing that the condition was only temporary. However, by definition a chronic illness will not go way. It's here for good.
When I was diagnosed, there was a small time where diabetes was a novelty. I like gadgets, so picking out a glucose meter was almost fun. Testing was fun at first. Counting carbs was fun at the beginning. The novelty quickly wore off.

The permanence of a chronic disease started to sink in. I realized that this wouldn't go away. Diabetes would be with me for the rest of my life whether I liked it or not.

Most days I can deal with diabetes. However there a too many days where I'm in denial. Those days are often followed by days where I get down about having diabetes. Thankfully when I'm having a rough time, I know I can call upon my family and the DOC (diabetes online community). 

One step at a time...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Poetry - #DBlogWeek

I've written poetry before. As a teen, I wrote it on a regular basis as a way to express myself. Unfortunately I have not kept up with my poetry writing. Luckily no one will care how "good" of a poem I write. It's the attempt that matters, right?

Well, here it goes....

My Diabetes Journey

Spring day
Phone rings
Get the news
Type 2
No surprise

   Take it on
   Head first
   Counting carbs
   Finger pokes

      Newness wears off
      What carbs
      Too tired to walk
      Absent meter

   On again
   Off again
   Sometimes counting
   Sometimes checking
   Sometimes walking

Wanting to be good
Example for my kids
Live a long life
A healthy life
Count those carbs
Find the meter
Get out of the chair

Monday, May 12, 2014

Change the World - #DBlogWeek

For my first post as part of Diabetes Blog Week, I decided to not think too much about the topic and prompt questions. I'm just going to take the title as I see it related to diabetes and go with it. Since my blog's name is RFamHere's Ramblings, I'm going to... well... ramble...

How do I want to change the world? My world. My world with diabetes. Well the obvious would be a cure. Yes, I want a cure. I need a cure. I deserve a cure. However, a cure isn't here yet. YET! It's coming. It has to be on the horizon. That hope for a cure is what I hold onto every day.

Hope for a cure is what I hold onto when I'm wanting to eat a whole box of Girl Scout cookies. Hope is what I hold onto when I'm sad, depressed, and angry at this monster we call diabetes. However, I also hold onto hope when I have an amazing A1c. Hope is what I hold onto when I (willingly) chose a low carb snack. Hope is what I hold onto when I have an amazing diabetes day.

How do I want to change the world? I want to help others find that hope. I want to see that hope in my children. I want to keep the hope alive in myself.

My hope isn't to cure Type 2 diabetes. My hope goes beyond that. My hope is for a cure for all types of diabetes - Type 1, Type 2, gestational, LADA, and the many other types that are often forgotten.

How do I wan to change the world? I want to help dissolve stereotypes and misconceptions about diabetes. I want to help pull the whole diabetes community together, regardless of type, to work together for a cure.

I want to give hope.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week is coming! #DBlogWeek

Well the semester is not officially over. I can put my textbooks away. What great timing! Next week is Diabetes Blog Week! If you'd like to join or find out more information, just click on the picture below:

Please join us! If you don't want to blog, have fun exploring all of the awesome blogs. I'm planning on using this opportunity to kick start my blog writing this summer. I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"We Had a Good Thing" Diabetes Poem

An online DOC friend of mine posted a poem that she wrote and performed. It really hit home for me and I asked if I could share this on my blog. Thankfully she said yes. I don't want to take away from what she wrote, so here it is!

Monday, April 21, 2014


If you make a carrot out of carrot cake M&Ms, does it count as a vegetable?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

This weekend was amazing. Temperatures got to the upper 70s, maybe even low 80s. Of course now, Monday morning, it's in the 4os and raining. I was so thankful for the time outside, even though it cut into my homework time. Sometimes we need to put aside things we planned to do and focus on what's important.

My children are what I needed to focus on this weekend. Playing in the yard. Working in the garden. Watching the youngest do tricks on the swing set. Homework can wait. I can do that after they go to bed. These precious moments can't wait. In a blink of the eye, my children will be grown and move on.

Find what is really important. What is precious. Make sure that you focus on that before it's gone.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spare a Rose, Save a Child

Today I decided that I was donating one rose in honor of each member of my Type Awesome team: my husband and our five children. Yes, I love the smell of roses, but these aren't real flowers. One "rose" is only $5 (USD) and provides one child with Type 1 diabetes life-saving insulin for a month. My donation to Spare a Rose, Save a Child will provide a child insulin for six months! Please consider making a donation today!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Diabetes Art Day 2014

Here is my contribution to Diabetes Art Day 2014:

In the middle of the darkness that is diabetes, I find a bright area of my life with the DOC.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rant Alert

I'll warn you up front. I'm in a mood to rant. Complain. Stomp my feet. Throw a tantrum that rivals the tantrums of my children. Yes, I'm cranky!


Because I have diabetes.

Because it's Superbowl Sunday.

Because this day centers around.... FOOD!

Not just any type of food. Carb-filled food. Chips. Dips. Munchies of all kinds filled with carbs.

How is a diet/exercised controlled Type 2 supposed to cope?

It's not easy. My glucose levels went higher than I'd like. I was able to stay under 200, but barely.

This isn't just a matter of feeling fidgety, slightly sick to my stomach, and thirsty. I know that high blood sugar can lead to complication. Keeping my glucose levels under control keeps me off diabetes-related medications and insulin.

Yes, at times like today I almost wish I was on insulin. Almost. It would be nice to be able to bolus for food days like today. Yes, I know that being on insulin has a lot of other issues, but this is my rant and that's how I feel right now.

Tomorrow is another day. It's a lot easier for me to keep control when I'm at work. I can only eat what I bring in my lunchbox, unless I go to the vending machine but I need money for that and it's downstairs and across the building. I also have an amazing coworker who has a child with Type 1. Unknowingly she keeps me in line.

Guess it's time to put away the rest of the snacks, drink some water, and get ready for tomorrow.

Disclaimer: This blog post was written while cranky with high blood sugar levels under 200. Any typos or ramblings are not the fault of the author. She chooses to blame it all on diabetes!