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10 Things Not to Say to Someone With Diabetes

Having diabetes, it’s not unusual to come in contact with someone who is misinformed about this disease. I, for one, did not know anything about type 1 diabetes prior to being diagnosed. I try to keep this in mind when I hear ignorant comments that may be well intentioned.

While someone may just be unaware, some comments can even come off as rude or insensitive. A lot of the misinformation about diabetes comes from the media. It’s hard to tackle the misconceptions out there but I do my best to educate those around me.

I have to admit, there’s days where I’m just frustrated with diabetes that an ignorant comment is the last thing I want to hear. It’s those times where I feel blessed to have a community that understands.

 

Here is 10 Things NOT to Say to Someone With Diabetes:

 

1. Should you be eating that?

(I’m just going to continue eating because I either bolused already or I’m low).

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2. You don’t look diabetic

Okay?….

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3. It could always be worse

Gee thanks!

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4. If you diet and exercise it will go away

Sorry, but diet and exercise won’t fix my broken pancreas.

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5. Did you eat too much sugar as a kid?

(I’m just going to pretend like you didn’t just ask that).

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6. My grandma has diabetes and lost her leg

Thanks, that’s exactly what I needed to hear.

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7. How do you inject yourself? I could never do that..

It’s simple.. it’s either life or death.

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8. I heard cinnamon can cure diabetes

Really?! If that were true then I wouldn’t have diabetes right now.

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9. Do you have the bad kind?

How is there a good kind?

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10. Shouldn’t you have this disease all figured out?

If only…

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What other comments do you hear a lot? Post below.


You know you're a type 1 diabetic when

You Know You’re a Type 1 Diabetic When

Having Type 1 Diabetes is challenging yet it becomes part of our everyday routine. To the outside world what a type 1 diabetic deals with may seem unimaginable, but to those in the diabetes community we totally get it and can find humor in our everyday lives.

The Best of ‘You Know You’re a Type 1 Diabetic When’

1. You accidentally cut yourself and wonder if you can get enough blood to test your sugar.

2. Explaining to worried teenagers in the public restroom….”I am taking an insulin shot because I am a type 1 diabetic, I’m not a junkie”.

3. When you look at food and see numbers.

4. When your finger tips look like they need blackhead removal.

5. You have a drawer of candy for emergencies.

You know you're a type 1 diabetic when

7. When you’re scooping out the very last scoop of ice cream from the container and haven’t had time to bolus for it yet and your husband comes into the kitchen and wants some and you look at him innocently and say “oh, I’m sorry I just bolused for that”.

8. When you wake up with a test strip stuck to your face.

9. When someone tells you that cinnamon can fix all your problems.

10. You are up all night correcting or being forced fed when all you want to do is sleep.

11. When someone thinks you’re drunk but you are really just low.

12. When the butter compartment in your fridge is no longer used for butter.

Credit: Childrens Diabetes Foundation

13. When your outfit revolves around if it can hold your pump up or not.

14. One day your fasting can be a perfect 77 and the next day it’s 343.

15. When your handbag is the size of a suitcase to carry all your diabetes stuff around plus your ‘normal’ stuff.

16. When you have to pee like a race horse in a Kentucky derby.

17. When your mom, in front of everyone says, “baby, you are high!”

18. When you get up during the night going low, invade the goodies cupboard and turn into a complete savage then wake in the morning like you’ve been out drinking too much.

19. When you wanna punch someone in the face but turns out you just need a snack.

20. You have headaches and you think your sugar is really high but you realize its just a normal headache.

You know you're a type 1 diabetic when

22. You’re cramming gummy bears in your mouth while prepping dinner.

23. When you automatically know what your pump is telling you without looking because of the sound it’s making.

24. When you chew open the corner of a juice box for a 3 am crash after losing the straw.

25. Your wallet is empty.

26. When your zombie apocalypse plan involves looting a pharmacy, a cooler, and travel to a colder climate.

27. You are excited beyond words to see a sugar-free line of drinks from Monster Energy.

you know you're a type 1 diabetic when

29. When you tell people you have to shoot up to avoid getting high!

30. You’re excited that you’re blood sugar is low because you really have been wanting to eat. [Fill in the blank with your favorite cheat food].

31. When you get excited from receiving your medical supply shipment in the mail.

32. You pull a pump out of your bra at the dinner table.

33. When you are skilled at giving yourself a shot in a moving vehicle.

34. You buy all the holiday candy for your low “stash”.

35. When you’re the only person in the gym with candy and juice boxes.

36. When someone asks you for your phone number but you give them your blood sugar number.

you know you're a type 1 diabetic when

38. When insulin is LIFE.

39. When you blame being in a bad mood on your sugar being high.

40. Your worst and best subject is math.

41. When you have to eat before you go out to eat.

**Comment with your favorite ‘You Know You’re a Type 1 Diabetic When’


you know you're a type 1 diabetic when

thank god I woke up

Thank God I Woke Up

Thank God I Woke Up

By: Katharine Orona

Blog: This is Type 1 Diabetes


When you go to sleep at night you generally expect to wake up in the morning. When you have a chronic illness like Type 1 Diabetes, you try everything you can to make sure you will wake up the next morning.

You do everything right. But sometimes it’s not enough.

I am thankful to have technology that helps me stay alive, but I understand that technology is not perfect and sometimes things can still go wrong. Two weeks ago I went to bed like any other night, but woke up early the next morning with an intense feeling of desperation that I know all too well. My blood sugar was dropping. Fast.

I looked at my phone to check my Dexcom app and it read 74 (which wouldn’t normally give me these symptoms). I knew the reading had to be wrong so I woke my husband up and told him to get me juice FAST. He did, along with my meter so I can see how much juice I might need. My meter read 49. And I can tell I was dropping to a lower number quickly, so I drank a 2nd juice.

The next 15 minutes felt like 15 hours. Heart racing, rapid breathing, physiology kicking in and telling you that you need more sugar now. But I know I must wait. It finally came back up and I woke up a couple of hours later at a completely normal blood sugar of 123.

Then I thought to myself, what if that 49 didn’t wake me up? What would’ve happened to me?

I clearly needed those 30 grams of carbs I drank since my blood sugar didn’t spike later. If I didn’t drink it, what would that morning have looked like for my family? Panic set in. The feelings of what if and the feelings of reality kicking in came over me. But why did my blood sugar drop so low?

Why do these things happen even if you live your life by a calculator and you dose your insulin as best you can and you try so hard? Because. Diabetes.

Diabetes has no rhyme or reason. Sometimes 2 + 2 does not equal 4. And sometimes you wake up before the sun because God decided that today is not that day. Today you will wake up. You will wake up before it’s too late.

Today, you will survive. And two weeks later, I’m still thankful.


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It’s Not You, It’s Diabetes

“It’s not you, it’s diabetes”
By: Mitchell Jacobs

“BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP” Will you fix your sugar already it’s 2 in the morning and I have to be up in 3 hours! This is almost a nightly event with my wife of four years. She’s a type one diabetic. Which in short means her pancreas failed at a young age.

So why is this such a big problem in our day to day lives? The constant beeping, the constant snacking, and the never ending high alarms and the dreaded low alarms. My wife sets her CGM to go off below 70 and above 200. That doesn’t leave much room for a quiet night, or after noon or anytime for that matter. However, we would rather be alert of her situation than unaware and not treat a severe high or low.

I work anywhere from 45-55 hours a week, on a military schedule mind you, which could mean showing up for work Wednesday and being told I’m leaving for a detachment Friday.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times i’ve been in a room at work with co workers to hear her low alarm go off. (If you’ve heard an amber alert go off on you’re phone its as startling as that.) So it scares my coworkers and definitely scares me. Now I need to go out of the building (no reception) and make a phone call to ensure my wife is aware of her low, and treating it. This is just the beginning of my frustration with her type one diabetes.

A large part of my job in the military is flying. I’m not a pilot but I’m known as a Naval Aircrewman. So we could have 6 – 7 hour flights from one side of the country to the next. Or even more worrisome is when we travel oversees. Then I cannot get cellular data (thanks a lot Verizon), until I connect to wifi in the hotel we’ll stay in.

I can’t begin to stress to you how deep your heart can sink when you get a low alert at 8am local time but 2am where my wife is, and I can’t get through with her. It’s the simplest thing, to make a phone call, until hearing that voice is the only thing that stops the panic.

 
More than frustrating, Type one is scary. I’ve seen the horror stories of the husbands who left for work, hadn’t heard from their wife all day, to find her that night unconscious. I find the bulk of the frustration I feel towards my wife (other than her managing to wash her hands in a sink that we collectively removed the garbage disposal from [*inside joke*]) is type one diabetes. I constantly find myself desiring to apologize to her for how angry or annoyed I got with her, based on something she has little control over.

If I could say anything to my wife right now, it’s I love you. Plain and simple, and I know what I signed up for. I don’t mean to always seem frustrated with you because I want you to be healthy, and I’m glad you set your alarms for such good numbers. I just want you to know its not you, it’s diabetes.


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when it's not the flu - life threatening illness

When It’s Not The Flu: A Life-threatening Illness That Is Commonly Misdiagnosed

It is fairly common when someone becomes thirsty, tired, nauseous, or begins vomiting they’re diagnosed with the flu. While it very may well be the flu, it could also be Type 1 Diabetes and should always be ruled out. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas and therefore can no longer produce insulin.

Type 1 Diabetes isn’t always the first cause that comes to mind because diabetes is thought to be linked to diet and obesity. But Type 1 Diabetes is not a result of lifestyle choices. There is no known cause or cure at this time. But researchers believe genetics and environmental factors can play a role in the onset.

Normally Type 1 Diabetes isn’t considered until the adult or child is severely ill with DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a toxic condition where the blood sugar levels rise and can’t distribute energy to the cells in the body due to lack of insulin.

For someone that was initially diagnosed with the flu, they would soon notice the symptoms not getting better but progressively worse; over a few days to weeks. However, time is very crucial to begin treatment for diabetes in order to avoid varies complications or death.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes can come on suddenly

There has been many cases where a patient has been sent home with the flu. Without further evaluating if it could possibly be Type 1 Diabetes. A mother of type 1 diabetic (Amy Waddington) shares about her son’s diagnosis and hopes her story can help educate and inform others of Type 1 Diabetes and the symptoms to be aware of.

Mother states: 

“3 years ago he was 13. He was eating and drinking like a typical teenager yet he was fading away. He had energy of a 90 year old man, he was pale, his eyes were sunken in, his clothes were hanging off his bony body because he had lost about 15 pounds. We took him to his pediatrician, desperately wanting answers. We were told to “bring him back next week if he still wasn’t feeling well.”

“Two days later, my dear friend came over. She looked at my son and instantly started sobbing. It was then when I realized I wasn’t waiting until next week. I quickly took him to the emergency room. The triage nurse took one look at him and asked me if he was diabetic. Of course I said no. She said she smelled a fruity odor on his breath. I wasn’t really sure what she meant by that. She immediately rushed us to the back…within seconds of getting there they were pumping insulin into his failing body. I felt like I was watching the show ER…it was so scary.”

not the flu - type 1 diabetes symptoms“I did not know then, what I know now. We could of lost our son that night, or that weekend had we not taken him to the hospital when we did. His body was starving for insulin. His pancreas was no longer producing it. One more day without insulin and our story could be different. I believe God used my friend to spare my son’s life and he is now using us to share our story & educate people about this horrible disease.”

If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, consult with your physician immediately for further testing.

All it takes is a simple blood glucose test that takes 2 seconds to rule out diabetes. To have an accurate diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes a test for the diabetes-related (islet) autoantibodies is necessary. Once starting insulin therapy, monitoring blood glucose levels, and consulting regularly with an endocrinologist; Type 1 Diabetes can be well managed.

“The misdiagnosis of type 1 diabetes is on the rise. Educate yourself, your family and your friends on the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes as minutes make all the difference.” –Dancing4Diabetes

For more information on Type 1 Diabetes:

http://www.jdrf.org/about/about-type-1-diabetes-t1d/

https://beyondtype1.org/what-is-t1d/

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/recently-diagnosed/

My Guardian Angel –

The other night was one of those times where I needed saving. Some may say it could be timing, coincidence, or luck. But to me, it’s nothing short of a guardian angel.

I go to sleep, but this time my CGM didn’t alert me of a low blood sugar. A simple malfunction or loss of signal perhaps. Any other night I would get alerted, wake up, and care for my blood sugar. But not this night.

On the other side of the house a smoke alarm beeps 3 times. My husband wakes up quickly and goes to figure out where the loud noise is coming from. There’s no fire, no one awake in the house but himself, and it never went off again after he woke up – (Even days later).

He then goes to check on me. Puts his hand on my chest and notices that I’m sweating profusely. He wakes me up and I feel weak and confused. He hands me a handful of M&M’s and as I eat I slowly start to become alert and well.

I thank him for waking me up. I feel distraught on how I can do so good for so long and have just ONE bad night with diabetes. He asks me if I heard the smoke alarm going off and I said no. It didn’t click in then, but the next day I really thought about weird that was.

It doesn’t surprise me though. And it’s not the first time something like this has happened where I feel protected in some way. It’s comforting and reassuring that someone is looking after me. I believe my husband is my assigned guardian angel.

I think having a guardian angel is a way of saying “I know you can’t do this alone and you’ll never have to. An angel is there to protect you.”


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type 1 parents

To All The Type 1 Parents Out There

To All The Type 1 Parents Out There

By: Kathryn Julian


I’m a teacher, mother, wife, and daughter. I am also a type 1 diabetic.

For the nearly 30 years I have navigated this disease. I have memories of mixing clear and cloudy, blood drops the size of Antarctica, the fist insulin pump trials, and of course the constant doctors appointments reminding me of all the horrors this disease can cause if gone uncontrolled. Through it all, I had the unwavering support of my two greatest advocates, my parents.

My mom and dad had no idea what this disease was when their baby girl was diagnosed. They always provided me with the best care, the best doctors, the best equipment they could.

When something new came out that could make my life a little easier my dad worked a little harder to get it for me. My mom measured my carbohydrates for every meal and always made sure I had extra snacks.

I remember in 7th grade my dad stayed the night in a hotel near the campground where my 7th grade field trip was just in case I needed him. Just in case something went wrong. But, they let me go….

I remember when I left for college and the excitement that I felt. I couldn’t wait to go. Many years later, I learned the fear my parents had. They weren’t sure if I would be alright. They worried everyday. But they let me go…

I remember when I wanted to move to the big city, work in an inner city school, and get my own apartment without roommates. My parents never discouraged me, never told me the fears they had of me living alone. They let me go….

When I was 24 I wanted to travel the world during summer break. My parents helped gather glucose tablets, extra pump supplies, syringes, and test strips. They were beyond terrified their daughter was traveling to third world countries. They never told me their fears. They let me go…

At 26, when I met an amazing man, he asked me to marry him. My life would now be shared with someone else, and for the first 26 years my parents worried day in and day out about me being alone, I now had someone at my side. The fears they had were still there but the burden was lifted a bit….

That following year my husband and I found out we were pregnant. It was a healthy pregnancy, my daughter was born perfect, without complications. I never knew the burden my mother felt. The fear she had…

A few years later my mom told me how scared she was through the whole pregnancy. She, told me how much she worried. I never knew.

Right after she told me her fears, I told her I was pregnant again. My poor mother smiled through the whole pregnancy, hiding her fears from me. But now, at 33, I knew she was scared. She wasn’t fooling me anymore. But, she never told me. She supported and encouraged me the same way she had my entire life. My second daughter was born this past May. She too, like my first, is perfect.

My mom and dad taught me never to let this disease stop me from doing anything. They provided me with the support, encouragement, love, and strength to endure some very dark days. They have always been there for me.

Now, a mother of two daughters myself, I can’t imagine the fears they had while I grew up. I was three years younger than my oldest daughter when I was diagnosed.

I have thought often about the strength my mom and dad had in raising me before the technology was readily available. How they let me live my life. They taught me that diabetes was just a part of me like the color of my eyes.

I can never thank them enough for the life they have given me. But, I can continue to live my life the way they want me to.

So, to all the type 1 parents out there, who have raised their children to be fearless, strong, and determined. It is because of you this disease won’t stop us. There aren’t words to thank you enough.


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good life

Our Own Rhythms to a Good Life

Our Own Rhythms to a Good Life

So, as a type 1 diabetic, I have blood work drawn every 6 months. This time around, the one test for overall blood sugar control, HbA1C, was up to 7.8. This ain’t a great number. In fact, it’s higher than it’s been in 5 years- higher than when I weighed enough to be classified as almost obese.

Why am I telling you this? To me, it’s a reminder of a few things.

You can’t take anything at face value.

Anyone that sees me on the street today will probably not make a note of it. I’m pretty generic looking. Average height and average weight- I’m an average looking mom of 2 boys. I exercise regularly. I write down what foods I eat and try to stick to a balanced diet.

No one can see I have a condition that I fight every day. There are no outward signs, unless someone sees me test or inject insulin, that I have to monitor what I eat, what I do and inject medicine every few hours of every single day.

There are tons of people out there like me. We all have things going on that others don’t have a clue about. It’s a reminder to pass on a smile every chance we get. It’s something we can do to lighten whatever burden the other person may be carrying.

You can always do better.

I look healthy and I feel fantastic. I went through some stuff in my early 40s that made me afraid I would be in pain for the rest of my life. I worked hard and improved. Despite my apparent health now, I’m reminded by this blood work that I can still do better.

Diabetic Warriors (my favorite term) can get numb to the daily grind and we need to be reminded to pick up our game. This doesn’t apply to just us Warriors, though. We all need reminders.

We all need new inspiration to keep our goals in sight.

A corollary to the fact we can do better is our need to get help from others to do so. For me, I should reach out to my health care team to help me gain tighter control of my diabetes. This goes for everyone: getting help from others helps us succeed. It can make the process more enjoyable, as well.

Enjoy your days.

I could get depressed about my numbers or ticked that I have this stupid condition in the first place. I choose not to, though. I choose to find ways I can enjoy getting and staying in shape. I choose to spend time each day doing things and being with people who fill me with joy and purpose.

I’m not rich with money but I am rich with the satisfaction of who and what I am.

To me, that’s a very good life.


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healthy with diabetes challenge

The Healthy With Diabetes Challenge

The Healthy With Diabetes Challenge

Managing your diabetes and living a healthy lifestyle takes both physical and mental strength, and it helps a lot to have the support of a “diabetes tribe”. That’s why I am really excited to introduce TheFitBlog’s Healthy With Diabetes Challenge!

Type 1 diabetic and personal trainer Christel Oerum, who you may have seen on the blog before, created the challenge. She hosts these online challenges three times per year and they are super popular (almost 3,000 people participated in the last one).

The Healthy With Diabetes Challenge is a free 4-week challenge where Christel and a team of top diabetes experts take you through some of the most important things you need to know about diabetes and exercise, healthy nutrition, and how to establish healthy habits when you live with diabetes.

 

How the Challenge works

The Challenge consists of five things:

  1. Daily activities or “challenges” that takes you through everything you need to do in a step-by-step fashion
  2. Articles covering the most important topics on physical and mental health with diabetes
  3. Weekly meal plans
  4. Workout programs that you can do during the challenge (home and gym workouts)
  5. A Facebook support group for challenge participants in which you can ask questions, share your experiences and connect with other people who want to be Healthy With Diabetes

The challenge is for people with all types of diabetes, and of all ages and fitness levels. Besides Christel, you will also learn from the following diabetes experts during the challenge:

  • Mark Heyman (mental health and diabetes)
  • Phyllisa Deroze (healthy nutrition and lifestyle with diabetes)
  • Ben Tzeel (exercise with diabetes)
  • Ginger Vieira (overcoming diabetes burnout)
  • Rachel Zinman (yoga and relaxation with diabetes)

Each week, there will also be a giveaway where you can win awesome diabetes products from sponsors like One DropMyabeticVital Proteins and Legendary Foods.

You can sign up for the challenge on TheFitBlog!


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challenge accepted

Challenge Accepted –

Challenge accepted –

By: Ryan Baldwin


December 18, 1992..I was nine years old and I had been pretty sick for 3 months. My mother had taken me in for another doctor visit..only this time, I wasn’t going home right after. Instead, I was being admitted to the hospital. I remember asking my mom, “why are all these tubes hooked to me? What is diabetes? And when do I get to go home??”

I knew diabetes was serious when my mom and dad coexisted in the same room for 6 days..soaking up as much as they could about a disease neither side of my family knew anything about. “You can leave when you can give yourself your own shot.” Deathly afraid of needles, I knew the last place I wanted to be on Christmas was the hospital. Two hours later, my mother and I were on our way home.

For the last 25 years, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Ryan you can’t…”

This disease I live with isn’t a death sentence….. I choose to look at diabetes as a challenge. Life’s way of testing my limits. An opportunity. We all have our own challenges. Mine just happens to involve many calculations and perhaps carrying around more items each time I go out.

“Ryan you can’t…”

I can. I’ve been able to race cars, play hockey & football, surf, enjoy the outdoors. I can go to Vegas with the guys. Of course we face challenges along the way. But, who doesn’t?

Over time, my challenges have evolved from showing I can and fitting in.

My 10 year old son came home from school. So excited. “Dad..there’s a kid in my class. He’s just like you!!”

Now, Im faced with a new challenge. A new opportunity to show my kids that everyone has their own struggles. Everyone has issues. Yet we are all the same.

Highs. Lows. Sleepless nights. Mood swings. Fatigue. The curious stares as you inject while out at dinner. The awkward noises coming from your CGM while out in public or in a meeting. No biggie. It’s not a crutch. It’s a challenge. To better yourself. To rise and conquer.

I embrace the challenges ahead. To advocate and educate on type 1 diabetes. We aren’t alone. I’m reminded everyday. Whether it’s getting a text/call from a buddy because he got an alert regarding my sugar levels. Or my children stopping in their tracks to make sure Dad is ok because he’s acting funny or they heard the all familiar alert coming from my CGM.

Diabetes is what you make it. Don’t let it control you.


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