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 athttp://diabetescaf.org/2014/07/july-dsma-blog-carnival-4/

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: klmarsbar@yahoo.com

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.