Diabetes is Ruff: Diving into the World of Diabetes Service Dogs

This content originally appeared on diaTribe. Republished with permission.

By Julia Kenney

When you think of tools to help you manage diabetes, you likely think of therapies and devices – but what about dogs? We spoke with Mark Ruefenacht, who trained the first diabetes service dog in the world, to learn how these special animals can support people with diabetes.

There are many reasons to love dogs. Because they are cute, because they are smart, because they are the furry best friends you didn’t know you needed, and they love you unconditionally. But did you know that some dogs can also save your life and help you manage diabetes? Just one more thing to add to the list.

In diabetes, severe cases of high or low blood sugar (hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively) are dangerous and can lead to serious long and short-term health complications. Diabetes service dogs are trained to help, specifically when the owner’s blood sugar is too low or too high.

There are two kinds of diabetes service dogs, Medical Response Dogs and Diabetic Alert Dogs. Medical Response Dogs are trained to respond to the symptoms of severe low blood sugar such as fatigue, loss of consciousness, and seizure-like behavior to help notify you and others of hypoglycemic events. Medical Response Dogs can also retrieve “low” supplies such as food, drinks, or an emergency kit. Diabetic Alert Dogs, also referred to as DADs, are trained to smell the compounds that are released from someone’s body when blood sugar is high or low. Because of this, Diabetic Alert Dogs are able to alert their owners of dangerous levels of blood sugar before they become symptomatic. A variety of breeds can be trained to be diabetes service dogs, including golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, mixed-sporting breeds, and poodles.

Dog

Image source: diaTribe

Nobody knows more about these dogs than Mark Ruefenacht, founder of Dogs4Diabetics (D4D), one of the leading diabetes service dog training organizations in the world. Ruefenacht  has lived with diabetes for over 30 years and got involved with service dogs for the blind due to his family history of diabetes-related eye disease (retinopathy). After an incident of severe hypoglycemia, Ruefenacht started training Armstrong, the world’s first diabetes service dog, to recognize and respond to the scent of hypoglycemia in his sweat and breath. Through training and testing, Ruefenacht found that there might be a scent associated with hypoglycemia that is common among people with diabetes and could be taught to other dogs. Since then, he has helped train hundreds more dogs with D4D. In our interview, Ruefanacht shared his insights on the benefits of Diabetic Alert Dogs and how to know if they are right for you.

How are Diabetic Alert Dogs trained? Who are they trained for?

Diabetic Alert Dogs are typically trained for people with type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes. This is for two reasons. As Ruefenacht describes, people with type 2 diabetes who are not dependent on insulin typically do not have life-threatening low blood sugars. Because of this, Diabetic Alert Dogs are most helpful for people who are insulin-dependent. Furthermore, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs can only be given to people with a recognized disability, which could cause barriers to getting a service dog, especially for people with type 2 diabetes who are not insulin dependent. There are additional requirements and limitations for public service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act, so diabetes service dog organizations also train dogs in various support skills to help people with diabetes at home (and not in public). Dogs4Diabetics refers to these dogs as “Diabetes Buddy Dogs.” If you are wondering whether you could qualify for a service dog, talk to a service dog organization.

As for the training these dogs receive, the programs typically focus on scent discrimination. This means that the dogs are taught to detect smells in the air associated with blood sugar changes and to ignore smells associated with normal, safe bodily functions. Ruefenacht said, “The big myth is that dogs are smelling blood sugar. But the dogs are actually sensing the compounds that come out of the liver when the blood sugar is either dropping rapidly or is low.” Though humans can’t detect these smells, dogs likely can. Scientists are not sure what exactly the dogs identify, but research suggests that it’s ketones (for high blood sugar) and may be a natural chemical called isoprene (for low blood sugar). Ruefenacht uses low and high blood sugar breath samples to train the dogs; after about six months of intensive training, they can distinguish these scents in people.

Can diabetes service dogs reliably alert their owners to changes in glucose levels? It depends on the dog and it’s training – but research shows that diabetes service dogs can often be effective, and that quality of life and diabetes management tends to improve in owners. According to Kim Denton, who works for Dogs4Diabetics and has had type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemia unawareness for over 40 years, having a Diabetic Alert Dog “changed my life for the better by helping me keep my blood glucose in a much tighter range, which means fewer health complications and I feel much better both physically and mentally.”

How can diabetes service dogs help their owners?

Dog

Image source: diaTribe

Denton says that her dog, Troy, “has saved my life so many times by alerting me before my glucose dropped to a life-threatening level, that I can’t keep track anymore. Troy tells me long before my CGM detects a rapid drop or rise in my glucose levels, and he does it without that annoying beeping! If my sugar starts dropping while I am sleeping, Troy jumps on me to wake me up and will continue licking my face if I start to fade off.” In addition to alerting owners to early changes in blood sugar so that they can act to stabilize glucose levels, there are other skills that diabetes service dogs can learn. Here are some examples, though every organization has different training programs:

  • Alert the owner to audio signals from insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors (CGM), and other devices. This is especially helpful for people with impaired hearing, for children, and for diabetes management while sleeping.
  • Alert people nearby to help the owner in cases of severe blood sugar changes, or retrieve a cell phone.
  • Retrieve medications and other necessary supplies in an emergency.
  • Provide emotional support.

It is important to know that diabetes service dogs are an additive tool to help people manage their diabetes. A service dog should never replace CGM, self-monitoring blood glucose with fingersticks, hypoglycemia prevention methods, or healthy lifestyle efforts; a diabetes service dog can be an additional form of support for people with diabetes.

How do service dogs provide emotional support? Why is this important?

The majority of diabetes service dogs are also trained with emotional support and wellness skills. This means that in addition to helping people manage their blood sugar, these dogs can also help improve their owner’s mental and emotional wellbeing. This is especially important for people with diabetes because of the stress that often comes with long-term management of a chronic condition – learn about diabetes distress and how to reduce it here. People with diabetes are also two to three times more likely to experience symptoms of depression than the general population, according to the CDC.

Ruefenacht is keenly aware of the relationship between diabetes and mental health, and he has worked to address this through his diabetes service dog training programs. Ruefenacht says his clients appreciate the diabetes management component of the service dog training, “but they value the companionship and emotional support more.” Like most other dogs, diabetes service dogs are companions and become part of the owner’s family. Many owners appreciate the stress-relieving experience of walking, playing, or just being with a dog, which can be incredibly helpful for people with diabetes. Denton says “Troy understands not only my need to have normal glucose levels but also my need for comfort and companionship when my diabetes gets me down.” Dogs can also be trained to cater to specific mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Could a diabetes service dog be right for me? 

Dog

Image source: diaTribe

Diabetes service dogs are a great option for some people, but not for everyone. There are several ways that people can get support in managing their diabetes, and it is important to think about what works best for you – for example, Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to sense blood sugar changes in their owners, but for many, this can be accomplished using a CGM. Diabetes service dogs can be a helpful option for people who frequently experience episodes of hypoglycemia, experience hypoglycemia unawareness, need help regulating their blood sugar at night, or need additional support. According to Taylor Johnson, who has type 1 diabetes and a Diabetic Alert Dog named Claire, “Having a service dog is the best decision I’ve ever made regarding my diabetes management. I love gadgets and tech but they are not foolproof, and Claire is the additional piece of mind I need to sleep at night.” Talk with your healthcare professional to assess your need for a diabetes service dog if it is something that you are considering – and remember, a diabetes service dog will not replace the need for careful glucose monitoring and hypoglycemia prevention efforts.

There are a few more important things to think about:

  • Cost: The process of getting and training diabetes service dogs and their owners can be expensive. There are some organizations that provide training services for free or for a reduced cost for those who qualify. Other organizations offer financial assistance or payment plans for those who qualify. For example, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on charitable donations, D4D does not charge its clients for the dogs or other program services which significantly reduces the costs of owning a diabetes service dog.
  • Time: Owners also need to put a significant amount of time into training and maintaining the skills of their diabetes service dog outside of the formal training the dogs receive. This includes participation in some of the initial training of the dog, giving the dog time to acclimate to your specific needs as a person with diabetes, and follow-up training throughout the dog’s lifetime.

Want to learn more about diabetes service dogs?

  • Check out some different diabetes service dog organizations to get a sense of the application process, service dog training programs, and service dog community

Source: diabetesdaily.com

What Does a Low Blood Sugar Feel Like?

Despite so many advances in both medicine and technology, people living with type 1 diabetes still have a higher premature mortality rate than the general population. Severe hypoglycemia can be fatal and accounts for up to 10% of deaths among young people with type 1 diabetes. Being able to detect the symptoms of a low blood sugar is crucial to taking action and bringing your blood sugar back into the normal range before it becomes an emergency, life-threatening situation

Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, means that your body does not have enough sugar in the bloodstream to fuel all of your body’s cells. Typically a low blood sugar is defined as anything below 70 mg/dL (3.8 mmol/L). The ill-effects of low blood sugar can be scary and some can be permanent. They range from confusion to seizure, to coma, and can even result in death. 

One of the most popular questions I get asked personally and see circulating in the diabetes online community is parents asking those living with diabetes–what does a blood sugar feel like? For a parent, this information can be so helpful in avoiding a very dangerous situation. It is also important for those of us living with diabetes to be attuned to our bodies and recognize the symptoms before they become more pronounced and severe. The quicker we can act and treat our low the less of an interruption this will also be on our, or our child’s,  daily lives. 

I asked our friends in the diabetes online community if they could do their best to describe how they feel when having a low blood sugar. Remember, everyone’s experience is different and how you may react can depend on how fast or slow you are dropping. It can also vary each time so make sure to stay on your toes and stay vigilant!

“I feel like I’m in the Matrix, everything is slowed down. I feel super floaty as if I am drunk and all I can think about is how sweaty and hot I am.”- Jesse, 28, NY

“Mostly I don’t feel them but when I do it’s like having run a marathon while having a panic attack followed by exhaustion.” – Jessica, age 32, PA

“Normally when I’m low I get the chills and cold sweats. I will be drenched in sweat. People around me notice I get a little hyper, especially with my talking. I was having bad lows in my sleep for a while and would wake up to someone putting juice or soda down my throat. My wife could tell I was low due to the massive amount of sweat.” – Bradley, 34, TX

“Weak. Fatigue. Dry mouth. Sweaty. Grumpy. Hungry.” – Briana, 26, UT

“It feels like someone is deflating your energy like a pool float.” – Matt, 25, NC

“I honestly feel drunk. Not the ‘fun’ drunk but the confused and dizzy kind. Plus, it’s like I’m having a hot flash. And sometimes I get that ‘sense of impending doom’ where it’s like ‘omg I think I might actually die this time’.”- Abby, 27, OH 

“If it isn’t a terrible low, I just feel a little off, woozy and shaky. A bad low will make me sweaty and tingly and then confusion sets in. Once I realize I am low, all my symptoms get magnified. I can feel my heart race and the drops of sweat build upon every inch of my skin. Sometimes this comes along with mild panic attack symptoms.” – Vonda, 21, NZ

“It makes my knees go weak. Also, my depth perception gets distorted.”- Maria, 38, TN

“It is like my whole equilibrium gets thrown off and it feels like I am on the very top of a rollercoaster right before you come down. Other than that, I feel sweaty, shaky, disoriented, and sometimes numb around my lips and tongue. I am also irritable, emotional and a little bit snippy.” – Allison, 35, TX

“I always compare it to being outside all day, without eating anything, and trying to walk home uphill.” – Jim, 35, PA

“Every low is a little different, but overall it feels like circuits in my brain are breaking, the lower I drop the more broken circuits there are. Hypoglycemia starves your brain, so you’re bound to feel weird!” – Paige, 29, CO

“Rapid drops cause sensory overload. Light, sound, touch become overwhelming inputs. Panic sets in, inability to form coherent thoughts, cold sweats then rage. By this time fight or flight has kicked in and I usually remove myself from other people and prefer to stay in the dark with earphones in but no sound playing until my blood sugar returns to baseline.” – Rodney, age 37, TX

“I have too much energy and craziness when I’m low. I feel invincible and have no shame.” – Jeroen, 24, Belgium

“Like those music videos where the singer is in regular motion when everyone around them is in super fast speed. Brain fog, illogical and irrational thoughts. Like my limbs weigh 100 lbs. each and moving them causes me to sweat.” – Nicole, 40, NC

“My first symptom is always that feeling when you’re on a plane that has taken off and it drops a bit and feels like the bottom has dropped out of your skull. I don’t know how else to describe it.” – Cat, 35, NZ

“Feeling like your body is shutting down.”- Lauren, 22, WY

“When I am just slightly low I feel mostly shaky. As I go lower I get sweaty, irritable, lose my vision and can’t make decisions. Bad lows feel like your brain is melting and then it hits that impending doom feeling where it’s like ‘eat to stay alive’.” – Nicole, 31, DE

“A bad low feels like donating blood then running a marathon.” – Eustacia, 42, CO

“I start feeling hungry and tired if it’s a slow approaching low. I feel sweaty, zonked out, and if I start seeing spots, it’s a fast dropping one.” – Cally, 39, CA

“It feels like I’ve spun around really fast (like little kids do) and then suddenly stopped.” – Lela, 41, NY

Knowing how your body and brain react to low blood sugars can help you to correct them quickly and avoid a scary situation. For parents of children living with type one diabetes, it is so important to know what signs to look for and asking your child to describe how they feel will be helpful in detecting lows. 

While we can do our best to identify and treat low blood sugars, there can be circumstances out of our control. Making sure we are always prepared for these events is key in managing our own or our loved one’s diabetes. There are several glucagon formulations on the market right now and everyone should have one on hand, just in case.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

A Mother Reflects on Her Son’s Diaversary During Trying Times

Written by Cami Tepper

4/15/11.   We’ve celebrated life, courage, strength and resilience on this day for 9 years of living with type 1 diabetes.   No cause, no cure, no remission or seasonal vaccine.    But this year, I find myself reflecting in a new yet familiar way.

As we entered this pandemic, I was hit with a PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) of sorts, as it took me back to a horrific night when I rushed my son to the ER for what I thought was asthma and a bad case of the flu.   Instead, he was whisked away from me and surrounded by teams of angels as they fought to save his life from a disease of which I had no knowledge, experience or awareness – type 1 diabetes.

A life they had never met; a life that meant more to me than my own.   I could only watch in helplessness and disbelief, relying on those amazing doctors and nurses to do what I could not.   Others gathered to comfort and pray with me.   They continued even after they had to give me dismal after dismal prognosis when he slipped into a coma.  And then different teams came in to teach and support us in our “new life” when he miraculously awoke.  So many amazing people  – just like the ones who step up for all of us during this pandemic.  I thought THAT experience prepared us for this trying time but truthfully it didn’t.

What did prepare us as a family is living with an incurable disease that can take a beloved life at any time.   You do whatever you need to do to live and stay healthy….no matter how it alters your daily routine, plans, family, job or vision of the future.

You follow doctors’ and professional’s advice and heed protocols.

You pray.

You prepare, persevere and have faith.

You pray some more.

You suppress your fear and go about your  “new normal” and trust that God leads you all through.

You dig deep inside and you learn so much about yourselves, family and friends.

You appreciate more and accept things that were previously unthinkable.

You adapt.

No, we will not celebrate this pandemic each year, and as with type 1, so many lives have been and will be lost.   But we will use the same principals to stay this course – hopefully with the same results.  But today- we take the time to celebrate Clay who inspires us every day.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Diabetes Love Letter: From Briana to Husband

By Briana Payne

Dear Aaron,

You are my husband, best friend, father to our children, and partner in crime. You were there in the instacare clinic on a Sunday morning April 24, 2016, when I got the dreaded diagnosis of diabetes. We later confirmed the following week that it was type 1 diabetes because I had the antibodies present that come with type 1. I walked into an instacare clinic confused why I was urinating so much, and found out it was sugar in my urine that was dumping out of my system, since I was dealing with undiagnosed diabetes. We thought it was a simple UTI that I could fix, and quickly found out it was a lifetime autoimmune disease.

Photo credit: Briana Payne

When I first got diagnosed, you were the one giving me my Levemir injections. Nine months into the diagnosis, I gave a continuous glucose monitor a chance. You helped me to put it on my body, especially in harder to reach places, like the back of my arm, or near my backside. You’ve always been patient with me and figuring out my diabetes with the technology, injections, cost of insulin, glucometers, diabetes appointments, etc.

Aaron, thank you for your sacrifices finding a job that will provide good insurance for me to switch to when I turn 26 in April 2020. You went out of your way to get a better insurance plan that will make your paychecks a little bit smaller, because you want to be able to afford our healthcare costs the best way.

Photo credit: Briana Payne

This disease is not pretty, nor is it cheap. I’ve dealt with some high and low blood sugars that have affected me, and you have been patient with me through it all. There are times to this day that I still feel guilty that I got this autoimmune disease six weeks after we got married. You could have left me after discovering that your new wife had a new chronic illness, but you didn’t. You have always been a very loyal and dedicated man — I cannot thank you enough. Amidst all of the struggles with costs and the daily to-dos is with this disease, I know we can continue to navigate this life together.

Happy Valentine’s, Aaron. Thanks for being my valentine.

Love,

Briana

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Diabetes Love Letter: From Eoin to Girlfriend

Editor’s note: I had the pleasure of meeting Eoin at a diabetes meetup in New York City last month. He had just won the Myabetic award for “Diabetic Male Fitness Influencer” and rightfully so since he motivates people every day to be the best version of themselves. He tackles affordability issues, stigmas and teaches his followers proper diet and exercise techniques. He is also a diabetic fitness trainer. You can follow him at @insuleoin on Instagram. 

By Eoin Costelloe

To my girlfriend,

Where can I start? It’s almost like we were both diagnosed. Just on different dates;

Myself with type 1 diabetes on 01.04.2012.

Without knowing, you were diagnosed with ‘second-hand type 1 diabetes’ on 08.10.18.

I feel it’s fitting for me, first of all, to thank you. Thank you for the time we’ve spent together, and thank you for everything you’ve done. I don’t think you truly understand how special you are.

When we started dating it was something you were interested in learning about, something you didn’t know much about, but something you didn’t know would almost become your full-time job, just as much as mine.

I remember explaining it to you, breaking things down; how we carb count, units of insulin required, the reasons, the complications, what it entails. At the time you knew a minimal amount. From then until now, you have become a diabetes expert.

Photo credit: Eoin Costelloe

Maybe looking back now, you wouldn’t have been so keen to take on such an admirable role as a girlfriend – as I’ve always said, ‘it’s an invisible disease.’

I often think of diabetes as a part of me that no one sees. It’s a disease that can let you live a normal life if you treat it with respect, but it’s always on your shoulder, it never takes any breaks and never leaves your side.

We often see in cartoons or movies how there is a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. For the past 8 years of my life, since being diagnosed, that devil has made a home on my shoulder. For 8 years he’s been there, day and night, sitting on my shoulder with no contender, no dispute or objection, no angel on the other side.

Since the day we met, you’ve been that angel. You’ve been the challenger.

Photo credit: Eoin Costelloe

You have always prioritized my health, even during the times when I didn’t. You’ve told me to ‘check your blood sugar’ when I was lazy about it, or prodded me to ‘take your insulin’ if it slipped my mind or yelled at me to ‘not eat another roll of sushi!’ You’ve cared more than I ever expected you to.

Sometimes I felt like it was a burden, almost like a third wheel in our relationship. Maybe there were times I didn’t want to stop and check my blood or pause to inject my insulin because we were in a perfect moment and didn’t want anything to ruin it. But you were the one to pause, you were the one to always reassure me that we were in it together no matter what.

Every injection, every high, every finger prick, every 3 am low blood sugar and every ‘regretful pizza’ eaten, you’ve been there. You’ve shown passion and intrigue to learn about this condition for the sole reason to help look after me. You’ve lived through it by my side and never once complained.

There are no words or phrases that can articulate my appreciation for you. You’re a star, chaim sheli!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

An Argument for Kindness in the Diabetes World

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By Lauren Salko

This is what I used to tell people when asked the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes: “type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and type 2 diabetes is caused by poor diet and lifestyle choices”.

I still cringe when I think about how inconsiderate and sophomoric my comments were. Honestly, I was afraid of the stigma attached to type 2 diabetes and I wanted to make sure that people knew that my diabetes was not my “fault”.

Now, the way many people with type 1 talk about those with type 2 makes me absolutely livid. The worst part is this seems to be a growing trend in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community. Growing up, my mom always told me that dimming someone else’s light would never make mine shine brighter.

I compete as an individual in professional skiing. This lesson is something that I strive to implement every day. The performance of others never has and will never have any bearing on my own success. When my teammates or friends grow and succeed, so do I. I do not need others to fail to reach my goals.

I understand that type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are different diseases, and I’m aware that there are differences between the two. But hear me loud and clear: there is absolutely no reason for the type 1 community to put down those living with type 2 or to devalue their experiences as people with diabetes. I know this comes from fearing the blame people often place on those living with T2D being placed on you or your child. No matter how inaccurate it is, it still hurts when people pass judgment.

Here’s the thing: when you make negative statements about type 2 diabetes and its causes, you aren’t helping yourself. You’re just hurting others. Dimming someone else’s light doesn’t make yours shine any brighter.

Did you know that type 2 diabetes has a stronger link to family history and lineage than type 1? Did you know that insulin resistance causes weight gain, which can cause even more insulin resistance? What a vicious cycle.

We also need to recognize that a lot of the advances in technology and diabetes treatments we have come to rely on are available now because of the type 2 community. Only 5% of people with diabetes have T1D, so the type 2 diabetes community has a lot to do with the incentives and direction driving diabetes innovation.

The next time someone asks you about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, I hope you take the opportunity to educate! Don’t just take the easy way out and make negative (and often times incorrect) comments about type 2 diabetes. Be the biggest ally you can for everyone living with diabetes by standing up for all of us in the face of ignorance.

Diabetes is rough, no matter what kind you have, so have some compassion for your brothers and sisters who also deal with high and low blood sugars, counting carbs, taking medication, insurance fights, and fearing complications. Kindness will get us further than stigma and othering ever will.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom: A Book Review

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By Alexi Melvin

Familiar Face

If you have been an active (or even not so active) follower of the type 1 diabetes (T1D) online community in the past few years, you have likely heard of Stacey Simms. Stacey is a radio host, T1D mom and blogger turned host of the popular podcast Diabetes Connections.

But recently, she’s added a new title to her repertoire: author. Her new book, “The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom,” is currently available for pre-order.

“This isn’t the book I set out to write,” Stacey immediately notes in the introduction. What was initially intended to be a book based on past blog posts turned into something much more unique when measured against other diabetes-related books that came before this one. After an offensive comment made against her parenting skills on social media, Stacey realized that she needed to write a book that acknowledges not just the T1D successes in life, but perhaps moments of pure screw-up that all who deal with diabetes know too well.

This is exactly what Stacey’s book does — and beautifully so. “The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom” does not glamorize the life of a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes or the struggles of a child. The book, in a way, celebrates that the idea of perfection is simply not a “thing” that can be attained while managing type 1 diabetes. Stacey is unapologetic and honest about the lessons she has learned as a T1D parent in a way that makes the reader — whether a parent themselves or a person with type 1 recalling their own early experiences — feel a lot less alone.

Book Review

Image source: Beyond Type 1

Stacey’s charmingly relatable book is organized into chapters based on type 1 milestones in her family’s life and other applicable issues such as: The First Night Home, Pump Start, On-the-Road Adventures, Summer Camp and Social Media Support. The T1D mom takes good care to emphasize that her opinions and experiences are not to be taken as medical advice, and she even includes “Ask your doctor” sections with helpful tips for what to address with your doctor with regard to each preceding chapter.

What Makes It Enjoyable

Although there are many stories and perspectives from people who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes available to us today, this book is an important window into the somewhat unexplored life of a T1D caregiver.

Every parent with a child who has type 1 diabetes will undoubtedly remember instances exactly like, or at least very similar to, the ones that Stacey recalls in each of these chapters about learning to manage her son Benny’s T1D, who was diagnosed just before he turned 2. And, even if the reader’s child was diagnosed at a much later age, the emotions that tie into each story – i.e. feelings of inadequacy or failure but ultimately becoming stronger for it – will resonate hugely.

Although the book is written by a T1D parent, people who have type 1 themselves will likely relate to the many moments of confusion and frustration, and will appreciate Stacey’s consistent ability to laugh along the way while always taking the topics seriously.

In this day and age where social media status reigns supreme even in the T1D realm, it is refreshing to read a book that encourages parents, caregivers and T1Ds themselves to resist the pressure to get it right every time. Stacey’s book is hinged on the idea that life is a journey, and that there will be bumps, and that regardless of how many bumps, it is your road to navigate. It’s about the journey.

About the Author:

Stacey Simms hosts the award‐winning podcast “Diabetes Connections,” after having hosted “Charlotte’s Morning News” radio show for many years. She has been named one of Diabetes Forecast’s People to Know, the Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and Mecklenburg Times’ 50 Most Influential Women. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, and their dog, Freckles.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

How Can I Talk to My Loved One About Their Diabetes If They Don’t Want to Talk About It?

This content originally appeared on TCOYD: Taking Control of Your Diabetes. Republished with permission.By Susan Guzman Dear Counselor’s Corner, My sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and I would love to be able to help her any way I can. However, every time I try to talk to her about it, she changes […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Editor’s Note: Finding Solutions to Everyday Diabetes Problems

This month at Diabetes Daily, we will spend some time talking about the challenges of living with diabetes. From the social stigma to the bruises on our bodies, we must face these realities daily and it takes a certain mindset to stay positive and continue to thrive. We are so excited to partner with Marc […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

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