15 Things to Ask Me that Aren’t About Diabetes (and 5 that are)

It’s the holiday season, which means it’s a time when we’re gathering with friends and family. That often means being around people you don’t see often, mainly extended family as well as meeting new people at holiday parties.

For me, it means being asked the very annoying question: How’s your diabetes?

Ummm…. it’s fine I guess? Still there.

I know, I know. When someone blogs, tweets and posts about diabetes as much as I do, they’re kind of bringing it upon themselves because people think Rachel = Diabetes. Imagine that when 8 years ago, you got a bad gash that left you with a scar. When you were first injured, it majorly sucked and there was a lot to say about it. Now, you’re stuck with a scar for the rest of your life. It itches and pulls and you have to apply cream to it regularly, but it’s kind of just part of your life. Would you appreciate people asking you whenever they see you, “How’s your scar?” Probably not.

“How’s your diabetes?” Isn’t really a conversation starter either. In my experience, that question bring so many conversation to a grinding halt.

There are so many other more interesting questions to ask that will actually spark a conversation. Here are a few (in no particular order): Continue reading

Working Your Illness Into Your Side Hustle

This post is sponsored by Op4G, the research partner that lets you use your opinion for good. They’ve established a research community for people with diabetes to have a voice in future diabetes treatment developments, make a little extra cash and support nonprofit organizations. Sign up to be part of the community.

Nowadays ( <- wow I feel old typing that) it seems that most people don’t have just one job anymore. You’ve probably heard terms like: side hustle, gig economy, extra income, freelancing, etc. a lot more in recent years. A lot of people are taking more control over their lives and their finances through doing more things.

A lot of people, like myself, work a normal full time job and spend a good chunk of their spare time doing other things that earn money. Other people have built whole careers on these independent projects. These things range from freelance writing, editing, coding, graphic design, etc to taking surveys, mystery shopping, operating a money-making blog (not all blogs make money) or even mining Bitcoin.

People who live with chronic illnesses often have opportunities to earn money related to their conditions. Continue reading

Asking Questions and Giving Feedback

This post is sponsored by Op4G, the research partner that lets you use your opinion for good. They’ve established a research community for people with diabetes to have a voice in future diabetes treatment developments, make a little extra cash and support nonprofit organizations. Sign up to be part of the community.

You know how whenever your computer is acting up, the moment the IT guy comes to take a look at it, it starts working perfectly?

That’s kind of what it feels like when I go to the doctor. I know everything that’s going on, specifically what’s going wrong, and when I get into the appointment, it seems to fly right out of my head. Which is why the best thing I’ve done for my appointments is keep a running list of questions and thoughts on my phone to discuss at the appointment.

Asking questions and providing feedback are two critical parts of being an engaged patient. Continue reading

Ways to Get Involved in Research

This post is sponsored by Op4G, the research partner that lets you use your opinion for good. They’ve established a research community for people with diabetes to have a voice in future diabetes treatment developments, make a little extra cash and support nonprofit organizations. Sign up to be part of the community.

When you live with a chronic medical condition like type 1 diabetes, it’s easy to give up on the idea of ever being cured. But science continues to progress so there’s hope. If not for a cure, then at least for better treatment.

That progression is due to research… which requires patients like us. There are a variety of ways to be involved in research for cures and treatment. Here are five that you could consider: Continue reading

Incognito Diabetes

I worked at my last job for nearly 7 years. I started in July of 2011 and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes the next month. So everyone knew that the new girl had diabetes. It was just normal and I didn’t have to think twice about things, everyone just accepted it.

On top of all of the things related to starting a new job – adjusting to a new commute, working in a new office, getting to know new colleagues and learning about a whole new industry – I had to make a few decisions about diabetes. I decided that being the new girl was enough to deal with that I wasn’t going to put it out there right away to my new coworkers.

It’s not a secret, if you Google my name, this site comes up, along with my Twitter feed and some of my work with DiabetesMine. I’m not going to great lengths to hide it, but I’m also not broadcasting it. Continue reading