Diabetes Awareness Month: 8,200 Pricks

I’m wearing blue today, as I do many Fridays during the year. People must really think that I like the color blue. While I do like blue, the color means a bit more to me.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month… it’s a global awareness month. November isn’t really a month for people with diabetes, because we’re well aware of the realities of this disease each and every day.

November is for you, dear friend without diabetes. It’s a month specially set aside for you to be aware of diabetes. To learn about the realities people like me face every day. To learn the truths about the different types of diabetes. To change your mind, your language and your attitude about the word “diabetes.”

The two most prominent diabetes organizations are working hard this month to help spread awareness and enable advocates.

T1D Looks Like Me 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

When People Take Solace in My Illness

I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of conflict over the perception of my life with type 1 diabetes.

Because I choose to not hide my diabetes, I found myself at a party with my Dexcom sensor fully visible on my arm, talking to a friend’s husband. He was asking me the questions that I’m used to answering. The ones I get on a regular basis from family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. The questions were about what my equipment does, what I can and can’t eat, etc.

Then came the familiar one, “So as long as you do what you’re supposed to, it’s not a big deal. Right?” 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

The Luck of the (Blood) Draw

Last Saturday, Brad and I had our bi-annual blood draw and breakfast. An event where he inadvertently fasts with me, drives me to the lab to get blood drawn then takes me to out breakfast, because he’s a good husband.

Instead of going to the lab in our old neighborhood in order to visit our favorite breakfast spot near our old house, we decided to go to the one in Avon so we could run some errands after breakfast.

The lab was quiet and there were only a few of us going in to get stabbed tests that day, so they called me back along with another person and put us in cubes 2 and 3. There was some confusion when the phlebotomists came back because they thought it was cubes 1 and 2. But somehow I got lucky on that particular draw.

I put my arm out and she began looking for veins. Then she noticed my medical id that I almost didn’t put on that morning.

“What’s your bracelet for?” Continue reading