A Case of Mistaken Identity: Drug Addict or PWD?

There’s a heroin epidemic in my home state. Drug addiction is a sad and serious problem in our country that is getting a lot of media attention. This crisis has had an unexpected impact on people who live with diabetes.

via Type 1 Diabetes Memes

Because after insulin laughter can be the best medicine, those of us with diabetes make jokes about it, specifically type 1s like me who have to inject either regularly or occasionally. We joke about being high, we joke about shooting up to keep from getting high and we joke about being insulin addicts. All of which are true but out of context could sound bad.

However some of the actual realities of this disease have lead to mistaken identity in some cases.

Three things happened in the course of one week over the summer that prompted me to write this post.

Needles on the Playground Continue reading

Diabetes is the definition of insanity

It’s officially Diabetes Blog Week! I’m looking forward to contributing to the conversation as many days this week as possible. Today’s prompt is:

Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random.  What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens?  Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected?

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The whole concept of doing to the same thing over and getting different results sounds more than a little like life with type 1 diabetes. I can do the exact same things each day, at the exact same time and eat exactly the same foods, taking exactly the same amount of insulin and my numbers will never be the same.

Type 1 diabetes = insanity. I do the same thing over and over and have to expect a different result otherwise I will literally go insane. This disease is maddening, especially if you’re like me and have a healthy appreciation for order. These past five years I’ve learned some tough lessons in flexibility, discipline and taking deep breaths.

I’d like to hit both points in the prompt and give you the best return on your time for reading my first DBlog Week post. Continue reading

Snapshots from Indy

I’ve been meaning to chronicle some of my recent travels. Today, I’m getting around to talking about my trip to Indianapolis at the end of October.

I may have been going to Indy for a Public Relations conference, but somehow the trip was significantly colored by diabetes… and not really in a bad way. I went for the PRSA International Conference as well as some of the pre-conference PRSA business.

After dinner with other PRSA chapter leaders on the first night, a lady came up to me and said, “I think you need a green one.”

I turned around to see her holding up an OmniPod PDM with a green skin. She had seen my PDM sitting on my bag and came over to say hi. Not only was the skin on hers green (my favorite color) but it also glowed in the dark, how cool is that?

As it turns out, my fellow podder and I were both diagnosed with diabetes as adults… about 5 years ago. We swapped stories and talked about not just diabetes, but just about everything else. Continue reading

Tech-ed Out

So my diabetes gadgets were Out of Warranty and I had planned to keep it that way as I wait for better technology. Hope draws closer as people are actually being enrolled in the first tubeless artificial pancreas trials (wish one of the clinics were here in Cleveland!). But I’m halfway back under a warranty.

My Dexcom gave the dreaded, “transmitter battery low, reorder soon” message. So I called my medical supply company. After a slightly frustrating conversation where I had to repeat myself four times and spell the word “low” the lady said she’d get the paperwork in for me to get a new Dexcom G4 system. “Since I’m getting a whole new system, let’s put in paperwork for the Dexcom G5 please.” (Because who wants new-old technology?)

She put in the order and I anticipated full transmitter battery death was imminent and prepared to fly blind for a week or so without my CGM. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

I got the call that I expected from the medical supply company. Continue reading

What I’m Thinking After Five Years with Type 1 Diabetes

Today is my 5th diaversary.

In May, I was invited to be part of an adults with type 1 diabetes panel at a local JDRF event. I wasn’t the youngest person on the panel, but I’d had type 1 the shortest amount of time as I was the only one diagnosed as an adult. I was asked to share about the adjustment to life with type 1 as an adult, so I gave my abbreviated diagnosis story.

I talked about the time five years ago as a recent college grad and new wife. I listed out the symptoms I was experiencing: unquenchable thirst, peeing all the time, tired, blurry vision, weight loss, vomiting… “My husband finally convinced me to go to the doctor,” I told the audience. “And they gave me a pregnancy test.” The audience had a visible physical reaction to that statement. Everyone present knew those symptoms, knew what they meant and expected me to say that when I went to the doctor they diagnosed me with diabetes right away, the pregnancy test was a surprise to them.

As I sit here in the middle of my season of 5th year milestones, I have trouble believing that five whole years have passed. And in the next minute, it’s hard to believe that only five years have passed because it feels like a life time. There’s a lot that I’m thinking about on my 5th diaversary. Continue reading