The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.

William Osler

Maybe it’s because I spend 90% of my days writing, or because I like to talk, or because I manage the images that people have of brands, or maybe it’s something entirely different, but I’m really sensitive to the way that people use words. So sensitive in fact that I can become physically uncomfortable when people use words poorly or in a way that is misrepresentative.

I’m especially sensitive to the way the people use words to describe me, or my broken body. In the same way that I don’t like the word “sugar” being used to describe diabetes, I don’t like the word “disease” being used to describe diabetes.

Not that the word disease isn’t scientifically accurate, it does appear in the medical definition of Type 1 Diabetes, I just don’t feel like I have a disease. I don’t feel like I’m sick. Most of the time I don’t even feel like I have a “health condition.”

If anything, I feel like I survived organ failure (which is how a relative of mine described type 1 when I was first diagnosed). Most of the time I feel healthy.

When I was a kid, I was afraid of catching diabetes (type 2) from my grandmother. I didn’t know that it wasn’t contagious. I feel like using the word “disease” makes it sound like diabetes is contagious or makes one worthy of ostracism.

At the end of the day though, no matter what I feel like, I have an autoimmune disease.

I’m diseased. <——- I don’t like that way that sounds. 

As I write this, I have to wonder if use of the word “disease” portrays diabetes of all types as a serious medical condition, worthy of trying to cure…

Staying LEVEL {And a Giveaway}

Today is World Diabetes Day. I’m wearing blue, are you?

For those who have, or love someone with, diabetes I have some goodies to share!

Remember awhile ago when I shared with you about the LEVEL Life glucose gels? (Way back in March)


Well the company, which is actually named LEVEL Foods has expanded its product lines with protein shakes and bars that help keep blood sugar level. I love this graphic from levelfoods.com showing how the gels raise low blood sugar and how the shakes and bars support healthy levels.


When I was offered the opportunity to try these new products out, I responded right away that I’d love to! Not long after, my box arrived. Coincidentally, I had some level issues of my own when I opened my box.

 What was in my box? Two flavors of protein shakes, two flavors of protein bars and a package of Strawberry Banana glucose gel. The Strawberry Banana ended up being my favorite flavor when I tested all of the gels.

The Shakes Continue reading

Serious Business

“I never realized your diagnosis was so dramatic.”

“It didn’t really hit me how sick you were until I saw you at your dad’s funeral. You looked so small.”

My offline friends have said those things to me when they realized how serious diabetes is.

When I say that in August of 2011 I nearly died, I’m being 100% serious.

My immune system attacked my pancreas and I basically experienced organ failure. The best part is… the symptoms were all there and we didn’t catch them. My doctor didn’t catch them! She’d already called in a prescription for nausea medication to the pharmacy while waiting on the results of the pregnancy test that ultimately saved my life.

When those test results came back and Dr. P walked back into the room with her face very serious and sat down next to me on the exam table, I knew something was wrong, but not how wrong. Before anything else she wanted to know if I was there alone. I wasn’t. They sent a nurse to the waiting room to get my mother-in-law, who also knew that there was something seriously wrong. When she and I were talking about it recently she said to me, “I’m surprised they even let me drive you to the hospital instead of sending you in an ambulance.”

I was hospitalized for three days, I was hooked up to monitors, tubes and tested regularly. But when people hear I was diagnosed with diabetes, they didn’t (and still don’t) realize how serious it was.

I’m lucky that I was diagnosed. I’m blessed to have a husband who made me call the doctor instead of letting me sleep. I’m grateful to be alive.

Diabetes is serious. Sometimes I joke about it or I try to make living with diabetes look easy, but I work harder to stay healthy while living with type 1 than I work on anything else in my life. Diabetes doesn’t give vacation time. Continue reading