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

Editor’s Note: You Are Not Alone

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and here at Diabetes Daily, we take this issue very seriously. Managing an invisible disease, day in and day out, can create a lot of other issues for people with diabetes. It is important that everyone feels comfortable talking about their problems, reaching out for help and knows they […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

1 2

Search

+