Colors for advocacy have been around for a long time. There’s pink for Breast Cancer and yellow/gold for Childhood Cancer, and blue ribbons for thyroid disease and sooo so many others. Colors for ribbons and colors for shapes.

Diabetes, though, seems to have a lot of different variations of colors…

There’s the known Gray that was around for a while, but seemed too depressing, so a drop of red was added for the blood drop we have to use for testing.

DiabetesCirclesThen, there’s the gray AND blue ribbon with the red drop thought to symbolize type 1, which is a good idea, but there is no ribbon distinction for type 2 or LADA or gestational…

There’s the orange for women with diabetes.

There’s blue (dominating) with orange for the JDRF.

There’s orange (dominating) with blue for TCOYD.

Green bracelets at CWD/FFL are for those with Type1.

And, of course, the blue circle – as a symbol of hope and unity among all types.

While I understand having differentiating colors would help in a way to bring awareness to your specific type – Type 1, Type 2, LADA, gestational, etc – I believe that they all should have one common color – just as the blue circle has to unify us all. We all prick our fingers and fight the numbers that come back on the glucose meters and deal with the emotions and stigma that comes with any type of diabetes.

And what makes me upset the most? The ones who try to make sure that type 1 has it’s own distinction from type 2. Or vice-versa. To me, it has an underlying feeling of haughtiness and judgement toward the opposite type.

Blue is not the color for type 1 no more than blue is the color for type 2. It’s the color for all types. That’s why I support the BLUE as just that – not ever as for a single type. We still don’t know the origin of diabetes or if, in fact, Type 1 and Type 2 are from different causes. After all, this study sort of says that they may actually be caused by the same thing.. so wouldn’t that even defeat the purpose of having them named separately anyway… in which they’d all be just “diabetes”? With so many questions still surrounding what happens and origins and treatments, why should there be any separation at all?

Don’t get me wrong – understand the validation that may seem to come with having a specific symbol or color for your “type”, but if that is going to happen, it needs to be a way to separate yet include. It’s a difficult task. And maybe one that doesn’t even need to be taken – but there needs to be simplification. Even something as simple as the blue circle, but with T1 or T2 or LADA in the middle if you want, but not a whole different concept of the unity idea.

There’s too many colors and shapes for this one disease. I’m glad that the Blue Circle is beginning to become more widely recognized and that the color blue is becoming our cohesive color. I’ll proudly wear it for any type in support of the struggles we all face.

Today, I turn 30 years old.

Aside from a wonderful family and awesome friends, I’m very thankful and hopeful for all of the advancements in the world of diabetes care and management that I use every day and that allow me to live as healthy as possible. People have asked how I feel about turning 30… and the answer is the same… BLESSED. 

I have a mission today to raise money for a local JDRF walk as a “virtual walker”. I have a goal of just $300.00. If 30 people donate $10, I’ll have reached my goal. 

I know it’s a little ambitious, but I believe it can be done . I’ll have to think of some sort of way to celebrate. Click the image below to be taken to my walk page where you can donate if you can. 

THANK YOU!!!!

JDRF Walk

Click here to donate! :D Thank you!

I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 4, so there’s not much I remember about not being  a diabetic. And while it would be a lie to say I wouldn’t want to be cured (umm, hello?! FREEDOOOMMMM!), I can’t honestly say there wouldn’t be a couple of things I’d miss.

It’s true. You can call me absolutely bonkers, but there are some things, like the excitement of hitting the ‘holy grail’ of a perfectly calculated bolus, or obtaining a 24-hr ‘no-hitter’ on my Dexcom. These rarities are special moments… the “pats on the back” that help me get through at times.

I’d miss all of the friends I’ve gained simply because they’re also diabetics. I’d miss the opportunity of spotting another “diabetic in the wild” and the feeling of the instant connection.

cWC3VryQce5kbpXB.jpgI’d miss the technology. This one is the biggie. True, there are tech geeks out there… but they all have the same common things to be tech-geeky about. Being in this d-club, you get to be all geeky about technology that the usual Apple or Android geek doesn’t get to be geeky about. It’s like a whole other level of geekiness. My obsession over d-tech will no longer be needed, and honestly, I would feel a bit lost. Okay.. a LOT lost. It hit me a few weeks ago when my husband was having an asthma flareup, took a puff of his inhaler, and looked at me and said, “What? I don’t get to get all the fancy cool gear for my condition like you do..”. He was picking, but it’s the truth. Granted, you can be as basic as possible with simply insulin pens and a meter as well with diabetes, so it doesn’t always have to be so tech-oriented. But part of me has just become so… so…. attached. Maybe I’ve become too attached (ha! pun!).

Then there’s the question that rings in my mind sometimes… is there ever a point where you become too much of a control freak over your diabetes that you would feel lost if you didn’t have it to control?

Thinking thoroughly, if you were to be cured today…. what, if anything, would you miss?

If you haven’t heard of this product, Unisolve is a product that a lot of diabetics use to remove the left over glue-gunk from old infusion sites or sensor sites. Some even use it to loosen up the site before removal since it works it’s magic to de-stickify the glue and make for easier, less-painful removal. But what if there was another use for it… something not even glue-related??

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Last night, I wanted to try to clean the dirt off of the edges of my white t:clip. I love that it’s a white t:clip just as much as I hate that it’s a white t:clip. It’s so nice and clean until it’s not nice and clean. Then, it’s a bugger to clean.

I made the mistake of wearing the white clip with my dark jeans one day and the rounded edges became dirty-looking. That, coupled with the way that one sort of naturally holds the pump to bolus, of course, made it look dingy. But it’s not a sock and I can’t soak it in bleach…. though I tried. I even had it sitting in bleach toilet bowl cleaner for a while last night, and it helped, but not very much.  When I posted a pic on Instagram of my obsession with the t:clips, I made mention of how the white one was sitting in bleach…

My friend Lorraine commented about how she had used Unisolve to clean a pair of white sandals with it. So… what did I do?? Yep. I pulled one out and I scrubbed a bit and… well, whaddaya know?! It came clean! For the most part, anyway. It does have a sliiiiight smudge left, but nothing that is super visible now.

I knew my pink case had some of the same discoloration, so I tried it on that one too:

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Before

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After

Well, well, well. This may be my go-to to clean off my t:clips from now on.

Just be careful and be sure to rinse or wipe the solution off after using it. I don’t know if it was just that or the combination of using both the bleach AND the Unisolve on the same spot, but part of the matte finish started coming off of the white one this morning. The pink one seems okay though.

If you were to see this reading…

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what would you think?

“Yay! Right on target!”

or

“Man, that’s a good number!”

or maybe even..

“Booya, baby!”

 

But what if you also could see this??

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Your response might be a little bit different, now wouldn’t it?

Everyone with diabetes has ups and downs. The severety and quickness can be different for each one. And it doesn’t discriminate based on age either. Seniors need access to CGMs just as much as any other person. Tell Medicare just how important these devices are, and ask them to cover them by signing the petition.

A few months ago, Michelle Litchman ( a nurse practitioner, diabetes specialist, and friend), asked if I would be willing to take on a challenge… a “Fakebetes” challenge.  What’s a “Fakebetes Challenge”, you say? For one week, I’m paired with a non-diabetic person who’s in the medical field to help give them a inside view of living with diabetes. Rather than them simply being hooked up to an insulin pump or giving injections based off of their own blood sugar readings, the challenge for me is to come up with different blood sugars and scenarios based on what might actually happen with a person who’s pancreas isn’t up to par, and act as the other person’s diabetes – meter, CGM and all. It’s on them to actually follow through with testing their own glucose levels and taking the required amount of “insulin” (saline).

I was matched up with a wonderful lady named Rachel… who happens to be a CDE and dietitian. And boy did I have my work cut out for me. This chick knows her stuff, and it was challenging to try to think of curve balls to throw, whether they were fast ones or ones that would take time to develop. Since I was basing my “fakebetes” scenarios based on what she was doing at the time, and over the past few hours, it became harder and harder to think of those curve balls because most of them she took without missing a beat. Last week, she was attending the AADE 2014 conference, so for most of the challenge, she was having to work around not only not being at home, but also being “newly diagnosed”.

Welcome to the Challenge

Different challenges were thought of, like how important it is to eat on a relatively consistent schedule if you’re taking Lantus – and how skipping a meal could be bad.

38 Low

I think Rachel will probably not look at another pack of fruit snacks for a while though, as most of the second day was spent low.. you know… too much Lantus and all, which often happens with newly diagnosed people, and we learned the importance of keeping quick sugar around too since she was caught once without anymore fruit snacks or any other quick sugar. We also went through scenarios of repeated lows after correction doses to cue into a sensitivity factor change.

Or how after having diabetes for so many years (or, you know, days in our case), some weird things can happen, like delayed food absorption…

Gastro-low  2Gastro-low  3

 

And within that, one of the really hard realities of diabetes was seen:

Gastro-low 4

 

I have to say the whole thing was fun. It was challenging for us both as she was kept on her toes by a few random numbers,

Late-night Low

 

and I was kept on my toes by having to think of scenarios that went along with what a person hundreds of miles away from me was doing. It was like a weird game of poker.. which she eventually called my bluff:

 

 Called my Bluff

And, really, what’s the fun in a challenge when you can’t taunt a little bit…

3 hour doozie

The only thing this challenge could not replicate is the emotional factor of actually living with diabetes – both newly diagnosed and over time. Though Rachel took everything in stride, there was something I could never convey over text… the emotions that come along with being high – the guilt, the frustration, the “why did this happen? I did everything right?”, the just plain suckiness that you feel overall after having 2 or 3 highs in a row… and though we touched on a very real point of the fear that can happen when one goes low, especially one after a meal, there’s just no way to convey it fully over text.

In the end, it was super fun. We not only talked diabetes, but we veered off into all sorts of chats – diabetes devices and technology, of which we’re both geeks about, and our kids, and our love of mac and cheese. I gained a friend this week, and to me, that was worth the challenge. I hope I was able to teach her something or at least help her to think a bit harder and see beyond a number. Then again, she taught me that there are some kick-butt CDE’s out there that stay on their game more than we may think.

Cured

Now… I need to track down that darn Fakebetes Fairy Squad…

 

To read Rachel’s take on the experience, you can go over and read it on Michelle’s post today! Also, if you’d like to volunteer to be paired with a health care professional (HCP), please either reply here or let Michelle know on her post today. She has a few ready to go, just needs a few volunteers to match them up with!

I always wait on pins and needles my A1c from my endo’s office. Since they do a blood draw to check other things as well, they don’t use one of those fancy-schmancy know-while-you’re-there machines.

Usually I check my Dexcom reading report for the past 3 months and see what the average is on that and most of the time, I can estimate my A1c myself within a few “points”. This time, it was just the same – I had an average of 141, so I estimated that I would fall right between 6.0 and 6.5 based on my lab’s scale… and I did.

a1c

6.3

Honestly, I was hoping for a bit lower, but I knew it probably wouldn’t be since I had a rough week earlier in the month with BG’s in the 300-400 range. But I’m super happy with it because it’s finally back in my personal sweet-spot area of where I like to maintain my A1c after a year of trying to get it back down.

Other things were checked as well, like my TSH and Vitamin D. As usual, TSH was in good range, so same dose of Synthroid as always. I have yet to get up the guts to ask him to run a full thyroid panel though. I really would like to know where the other levels are and also to get an answer to whether it is autoimmune or not (since I don’t have an enlarged thyroid, he won’t diagnose it as Hashimoto’s).

As for Vitamin D? Well, after having been on 12-week booster doses twice this year, he’s placing me on a maintenance dose as my levels are just barely meeting the minimum. My levels have never fallen into the “deficiency” range, but stayed between there and the “acceptable” range, so I guess you could say I’m Vitamin D insufficient.

So, that’s where we stand with all of that. Let the new 3 month countdown begin!

 

And as a sidenote: He was impressed with me for staying with the t:slim for as long as I have, and have stopped switching up so much. I told him how pleased I’ve been with it since the new cartridges, and how it seemed to have solved my problems I had with it before. Honestly, I can say that I’m a full-fledged through-and-through t:slim fan at heart. I’d probably cry if anything ever happened to it. #tslimpride

 

This may not mean a lot to some, and some may have heard this before – quite often, even – from their endocrinologists. This is something I rarely hear from my endocrinologist – usually, if I ask about trying something new, he’s totally on board with it and sort of lets me do my own thing. I don’t think he’s ever told me specifially “no” to something I’ve asked about wanting to try (in regards to my diabetes, that is)… until yesterday.No

It was the weirdest feeling.

My hopes were sort of up that he would let me try Victoza along with my usual care plan to see if it could help “flatten” things out. I’ve seen a lot of good success stories from other Type 1′s who’ve used it and seen the graphs shared, so it had me intrigued so much more than the Symlin that I had tried before, for the simple fact that it was once a day, not at every meal. Plus, if it helped me curb my appetite, that would be even better.

But, when I asked about it, he told me no. He wouldn’t prescribe it because it’s mechanism isn’t approved for Type 1′s, whereas Symlin is simply replacing the hormone Amylin that the pancreas also no longer makes.

Part of me was upset. He’s never told me no. Hopes – gone. But then, part of me was overcome with happiness and satisfaction that he told me no, simply because it made me feel like we actually are a team and he’s not just going to give me anything I ask for. I almost wanted to hug him.

So, my quest continues for better control through things I’m learning about in Dr. Bernstein’s book and performing trial and error with what I have available to me now. (Though, I just have to interject here and say that my endo was VERY happy with my control over the past 2 weeks! And honestly, it’s not been terribly hard! But more on that stuff later.)

So, there’s this app from the International Diabetes Federation, or IDF, that lets you snap a photo and have the World Diabetes Day blue circle placed on top of it… automatically. No photoshopping, no Twibbon-ing, nothing. It’s all right there on your phone, in the app.

 


Take your photo with your camera right then, or choose a photo from your photo library.. you know… since you might not be selfie-ready at the moment or you might already have an awesome selfie in your library to use…. Don’t want to have your face in it? That’s okay.. you can take a picture of anything, like your diabetes supplies, a BG number, or an infusion site!

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You can choose to share your photo or download it (which, of course, you may share it even still after that… I did so I could put it on Instagram too :) ).

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The only thing I wish it would let you do is to place the circle onto a square photo (yeah, I’m TOTALLY a square pic girl), but you can move the circle to where you think it would be there if you cropped the photo for Instagram or a profile picture.

Of course, in the app, you can also give the IDF automatic permission to use your photo in their Blue Circle Selfies Flickr account, to help spread awareness. I did, and a few of mine are already up. But if you change your mind, you can turn it off if you want to later.

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I have to say, I love this app. It’s simple and easy and it lets me put the WDD circle on my pictures. Go get it. Play around with it. Add your photo to the other #wdd #bluecircle #selfies and let’s share the blue circle love.