Tag Archives: diabetes blog

Sunday Diabetes Blog Week 2015 Check this Blogger Out

Click for the Continuing Connections – Sunday 5/17 Link List.
The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it’s held every year.  So let’s help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week.  Share a link to a new blog you’ve found or a new friend you’ve made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant’s List, check it out and share it with us.  Let’s take some time today to make new friends.

 

 

I discovered a blogger that has a sense of humor, a heavy technical slant, has had type 1 since age 4 so I think about 44 years now.  He writes in German and English and shared really interesting posts this week.  I think I’ll be reading more.  Check out Thomas here at: http://thomas-diabetes-blog.com/blog/

I’m Baaaack!

After this post, I’m going to jump back in like a year didn’t just go by without me blogging.  But first, I want to say Hi! and I missed you.  Those who emailed out of concern-thank you.  That meant so much.  The blog looks very different because a hacker broke my old blog theme.  But there is less pink so that may be a relief.

Lately, I’ve been spending my days reading a ton, unschooling (yes, unschooling) my twin 5 year olds, travelling the country talking to people with diabetes through the A1C Champions program, doing freelance writing, and oh yes, managing my diabetes.  In the past year I also have spent much of that time without a computer so I missed a lot.  I’m chest deep in uncharted territory and also struggling with the same ole same ole that is diabetes.  In the time we haven’t seen each other, I had a dog for about 7 months.  A rough collie named Bruce.  I don’t want to go into why I don’t have him anymore (nothing dramatic) but will say that knowing him and experiencing so much of each day alongside him has been life changing.  Who knew?  If you’re a dog person, you’re probably saying “Duh!” “Dogs are amazing!”  I get it now.  I do.  And although he is many miles away, he is still with me each day.

So.  Let’s talk diabetes.  I could use some help getting caught up with big causes that need support.  Shoot me a comment with initiatives you think are worthwhile for people with diabetes?

As for me, my diabetes is pretty good.  I’ve slacked off in some ways and tightened my discipline in other ways.  I hope those of you who used to come here are doing well, I truly do.  I am still a health coach and do it mostly for people with diabetes.  I do this over the phone or even over email for those who want a discount (email is a savings).  Interested in some kind of health/nutrition/exercise/diabetes related guidance and coaching?  Email me at Sysymorales@gmail.com.  My coaching style is to meet you directly where you are in your journey.  It’s about helping you, specifically, to go where you want to go.  It’s not about trying to push you towards a goal that doesn’t feel true to where you are now.  Baby steps.  Knowledge is power.  Compassion and self-love for ourselves and others.  That’s my jam.

Posting schedule will average one per week.  See you, soon.

Sysy

The Way Kids See It

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For many of us with diabetes, our children will grow up watching us check our blood sugars, inject insulin or be connected to a pump, desperately shove sugar into our mouths, and not find any bit of it strange.

And the only time it becomes something they stop and ponder may be when a friend or someone from the outside asks questions about it.  “What’s your mom doing?”  “What’s wrong with her-is she sick?”

They will explain we have diabetes and that we have to check our blood sugars and take medicine for it.  It won’t even be a big deal.

Their reality of our having diabetes should be ours.

Focusing on wishing we didn’t have diabetes only hinders us and distracts us from all the diabetes related decisions we need to make every day.  We need all our energy for managing this thing.

For our children, it just “is” this way.  And for us to gain full acceptance of our diabetes we can try looking at it the same way, it just “is”.  That’s our reality.  Now what are we going to do with it?

Or better yet, what example are we going to give our kids about facing our reality and living life to the fullest?

Being Bad

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Some people are perfectionists.  I have a little of that.  As a result, I beat myself in the head with thoughts having to do with self improvement and practice makes perfect and try again until it’s right and so on.

Because of this tendency I find that I can easily go to extremes.  About losing weight, I have a hard time keeping reasonable thinking like, “I want to lose 5 pounds.”  Instead it’s “I want to be thin like I was at age 10”.  Or instead of thinking “I need to eat more vegetables” I may think, “I’m going to eat nothing but vegetables from now on until the end of time”.

I don’t actually stick to those extremes thank goodness, but it’s a nagging tendency that isn’t healthy and certainly not comfortable.

Something I learned at IIN, where I graduated recently, was to sometimes “be bad”.  Not go-to-jail bad, but stop-striving-for-unobtainable-perfection bad.

So I’ve found that when I get wrapped up in thinking that I will never eat another bite of anything unhealthy again, I plan for a night with a little ice cream.

Or recently, I got myself some clove cigars that I really like and have one when I’m feeling like all the “right” choices are kind of stifling me with boredom.

It’s hard to try to be “good” or “compliant” all the time and with pretty well managed diabetes, that’s what it feels like.  I mean, I give insulin to bring down a 130.  To me, that kind of control is worth it, I truly believe so, but to balance all that I sometimes sleep in my makeup, smoke the occasional cigar, skip a shower, or read the Fifty Shades Trilogy (yes, I read that marvelous piece of literary crap.  In three days.  My world stopped for a week.  Don’t worry about me I’ve recovered.  Team Matt Bomer!).

Being “bad” reminds me to chill.  It also makes me realize that if my idea of being bad is sleeping in my makeup, then I think I’m going to be ok.

What about you?  What do you do to be bad?

We’re OK!

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How interesting is it that children with a type 1 diabetic parent think certain non-normal things are indeed, normal?

When I stop and think about it, as I sometimes do thanks to comments and questions from others, I think, “Wow, this explains so much about so many people”.

What’s normal to us can be totally not normal or acceptable and yet, if we’re used to it, it’s our normal.

For my kids, who are now almost 3.5, having a mother with type 1 diabetes is what’s normal.  And yet, they also know it’s not normal.  They know through experience of their own scraped and bruised knees, that when I prick my finger and bleed, or bruise my stomach with an injection, that it’s not normal because they know it hurts to bleed and bruise.

It’s fascinating to me.  They see me check my blood sugar and they give me a hug and an “aw mama, boo-boo?”  I say, “yes, but I’m ok.”  My daughter says, “Ok, mama” and my son gives me a thumbs up and a smile.

I think it’s a great teaching experience to let them see that sometimes I hurt but that I don’t let it get me down.  I find that even though they can be dramatic about a small injury, they still smile and say “I’m ok”.  And that’s what I do when I prick my finger or give a shot or clean up spilled milk.

My kids understand that my insulin and glucose tablets are “medicine”.  Some don’t want their kids to think of their insulin as medicine because it implies “sickness” but only one of my kids has taken an antibiotic before-and that was two years ago, so they don’t know what “medicine” really is anyway.

Right now my daughter has a cold and she looks on at her brother’s drawing on the easel as I check my blood sugar.  She says, “mama ok?”  I say, “yes, mama’s ok!”  (Even though my blood sugar is a little higher than I’d like).  She sneezes and grabs a tissue for her runny nose.  I say, “Are you ok?”  She sneezes, wipes her nose, grins, and twirls on one foot.  I assume that’s a “yes”.

Uh oh, now my son sneezed.

Have a Fabulous Friday with your kid/partner/friend/niece/nephew/dog/cat.

Clarifying Our Message as DOC Bloggers

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In talking with a friend recently, I thought about how bipolar diabetes blogs may seem to the outsider.  Often, in the DOC or Diabetes Online Community, people blog about how we are empowered patients, how we are happy despite our serious condition, how we like to be called “people with diabetes” instead of “diabetics”, and how we are lucky to have an illness that we can have so much control over.

On the flip side, it’s not unusual to read a diabetes blog that seems written for an audience who isn’t aware of the ins and outs of diabetes.  It’s common to read blogs about how miserable diabetes can make us, how our rights are infringed upon, how others aren’t sensitive enough to our plight, and how we feel like complete failures for living with a condition that is as misunderstood as it is impossible to perfectly control.

Many of us feel a need and an impulse to talk about our feelings on our blogs.  And since feelings come and go and their intensity ebbs and flows, this gives the appearance of instability.  The overwhelming majority of people who read diabetes blogs have diabetes so traditionally, this hasn’t been an issue.

Many of us also feel compelled to advocate on behalf of our condition and those who have it and therefore we write posts that are aimed at those who don’t understand diabetes and may need some educating and awareness on the topic.  And this works to some extent because family and friends who don’t have diabetes tend to read our blogs.

However, you can see how limiting this is.  Friends and family are already more compassionate to what we experience in life so who else is reading a diabetes blog to learn more?  A few doctors perhaps?  The newly diagnosed.

For those who start reading a diabetes blog without knowing much about diabetes, it’s understandable that the impression they get from the DOC is that “these people need to make up their minds!”  Are we happy and triumphant e-patients who are the boss of our chronic condition or the miserable and depressed victims of a terrible uncontrollable disease?  Well, we’re both and everything in between.

This is understood by me and all you other people with diabetes out there so it’s no biggie.  Except, lately, formal advocacy efforts and the media have both become very intertwined with us bloggers.  And I believe this means we need to amplify our awareness a bit about our writing.  We need to be very careful about how we say what we say.  Is this a drag?  Kind of, yeah.  But, with power and influence comes responsibility and as diabetes bloggers we are essentially representing other people with diabetes, disclaimer or not.

I don’t mean we don’t blog about what we want and say what we want.  But I think there are a few things we could do to help.  Here’s what I mean: (by the way I’ll be working on these myself)

1.  Be clear who your audience is.  Are you writing to those who don’t know about diabetes?  If so, make sure that’s clear to the reader.

2.  Be clear about which type of diabetes you’re talking about.  We need to ban together to make the types of diabetes more clearly distinguished by society.

3.  Before you publish your post, read it as if you were a newly diagnosed or the loved one of a newly diagnosed.  Do you feel like jumping off a bridge?  Consider adding a little something so the reader understands you and is put at ease.  Example:  Writing about how tired and depressed you are to be battling diabetes?  Think of one positive thing and add it.  It will help you and them.  At the very least make sure a reader can gather that you are simply expelling emotions that do not represent 100% of your emotional repertoire.

4.  Be careful about using absolute statements about diabetes.  It isn’t all good, bad, uncontrollable, controllable, easy, hard, always, or never.  If it is that way for you, preface with “I think” or some other sign of ownership.  Also, be careful with citing studies as proof for an absolute statement about diabetes.  Even studies are wishy washy.  They can’t help it.  We’re working with a zillion factors here.

5.  Be careful with causation and causality.  Learn the difference.  Just because your mom breastfed you and you still got diabetes doesn’t mean that breastfeeding doesn’t lower the risk for others-to the tipping point of them not developing type 1.  Just because someone is a thin type 2 doesn’t mean obesity doesn’t raise one’s risk for type 2 diabetes.  Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean they don’t have a high body mass index and aren’t clinically overweight.  When we say something isn’t true based on our very limited experience/knowledge, we’re not doing our community any favors.

I’m astounded by how bloggers are given more and more attention and opportunities to represent our community.  I think it’s fabulous.  I also think we could be a little more prepared so that when our time comes, we represent our community in the most helpful way possible.

Because working towards awareness, compassion, understanding, and a cure is something we’ll only achieve together.  And I know we all want those things.

Here’s a thought provoking post from Nathan of Edibles…The Diabetic Edition that I’d love for you to check out.  His insight helped spark the thoughts for this post.

Three

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My kid’s turned three the other day.  We spent the day watching 9 little kids play together in celebration.  They all dealt with obstacles as those obstacles presented themselves (how do I reach that blackberry on the blackberry tree?)  They helped each other.  They weren’t afraid to tell the truth.  Or to cry.  Or laugh.  And when they fell down they just jumped back up and continued on their way.

If we manage our diabetes in the same spirit with which a child lives, I think we can do pretty well.

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The kids planted a tree with dad for their birthday.

A word on my children in case they read this one day.  Aurora is a sensitive and cheerful child.  She likes to act.  In fact, the world is her stage, almost all the time.  She can play alone for hours.  She loves to dance and sing and is very enthusiastic and kind towards others.  She is a bit of a drama queen like me, which entertains me to no end.  She loves being outdoors and discovered that she loves being barefoot outside.  So much so that I now struggle to get her to wear shoes.  Oh, and she’s very stubborn.  But I’m kind of glad about that.  Her favorite food is anything starchy or sweet (ugh).

Henri is really extroverted and friendly.  He is excitable and high energy.  When he stops moving he falls asleep.  He loves to inspect everything new that presents itself, whether that be a bug, a piece of technology, a toy, or a blade of grass.  He can be a handful but I have discovered that if he’s had his fill of social endeavor, he’s calm and happy.  If not, well, look out, that’s all I gotta say.  With all his moving about he is a surprisingly good cuddle bug and is very affectionate and loving.  He is also very decisive and bossy.  He’ll only eat chicken if there are bones attached.

The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes also turns Three!

I had began blogging with one goal in mind: to tell others that going from lowest of low to happy and healthy was possible because that’s my story.  But this blogging thing has turned into a vehicle for being a diabetes advocate and for discovering opportunities for talking to more people about our diabetes than I ever imagined.  My favorite thing is teamwork and camaraderie and working on making a real difference.  Blogging has opened up a world where these things are all possible-much more so than if I had just done what I set out to do initially.

So here’s to going with the flow and letting hard work and one’s heart lead the way.  Fulfillment doesn’t escape us that way.  I foresee blogging forever so watch out!

XOXO

ps:  If you want to guest post, I don’t care who you are, you’re welcome to (provided you’re real).  Contact me at sysy@thegirlsguidetodiabetes.com

29 Things to Be Happy About Today

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Today I turn 29 years old.  While I’m a little bummed that this marks the beginning of my last year as a twenty-something, I’m going to focus on happy thoughts instead.

1.  Despite my children calling me anything but “mama” (they can say “mama” they just don’t want to) at least they are healthy, kind, and have quite a sense of humor.  That’s all I ever want for them.

2.  My husband is out of state for work, which is hard on us, but at least he’s got work.  Others aren’t so fortunate.  (Alex come baaaaaaaaaaaaack!)

3.  I had a first call with my training coach for A1c Champions the other night and it was awesome.  I’m so excited.

4.  My mom watched the kids on that call from the other night.  I don’t know what I’d do without her.  Or my dad.  Every time I need uplifting, he knows just what to say.

5.  Today, if I have anything diabetes related I want to discuss, I have an entire community of people available who help each other out.  A few years ago I had no clue that existed.

6.  My little brother keeps wowing people with his guitar playing.  I won’t lie.  I’m excited at the prospect of having a famous family member one day!  When he was 3, I knew he was going to be something really special.  As usual, I was right.  Here he is from this past weekend.

7.  I have a husband who feels comfortable enough with me to tell me when I’m being an arrogant know-it-all.  I appreciate that level of honesty.

8.  My sister Ana, who has type 1, is about to start her senior year of college.  She is number 4 of us 5 kids and the first to finish college.  I’m so proud of her and am glad I can call her artwork my favorite (and I love that I don’t have to lie about that).

9.  I have two other siblings who I never mention on the blog but I should.  I have a brother named Alejandro who is a year younger than me.  I’m happy he’s fighting to make his life what he wants it to be.  Growing up with him helped me try harder at everything because he was always so smart and athletic and generally good at everything.  I hope he remembers his immense potential.  I have a younger sister named Sara who also should remember her potential.  I’m amazed at how she handles being a single mom to two young kids.  I have been doing it for a few weeks due to Alex being out of town and I’m just about ready to lose it.  And Sara always looks so cute.  I don’t know how she does it.  I’m happy that they are both close by.

10.  I’m grateful I have health insurance.  It’s a big deal and I wish this for everyone.

11.  My brother-in-law gave us his old TV a few days ago.  It’s huge and in our bedroom and I no longer have to watch movies on the computer screen, from the computer chair.  I feel positively spoiled!

12.  I love blogging.  I spent years aching to write and now I get to do it all the time!

13.  I’m happy it’s not Winter.  lol

14.  I love that last night my kids were mocking me.  They repeated what I said with their hands on their hips.  It was hysterical.

15.  I’m very thankful for Lantus.  I’m a fan of my insulin-aren’t you?!  hehe.

16.  I just discovered the show Frasier.  I was too young to get into it when it was on but now I’m watching it from the beginning and I have to say it’s my all time favorite show!  I totally relate to Frasier and wish I had a brother like Niles.  Is that weird?  Don’t answer that.

17.  Yay for TED Talks on Netflix!

18.  My birthday is on Fabulous Friday.  How nice.

19.  I’m attending the best nutrition school ever.  It’s compassion for people and respect for their differences is awesome.

20.  You really don’t want to read more than 20 right?

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, they made this warm and fuzzy post possible :)

A Great Diabetes Blog to Follow

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Many of you have heard of Richard Vaughn, longtime type 1 diabetic and author of a wonderful book which talks about his journey with type 1.  He’s very active in the DOC and has provided tons of people with hope by reminding us that for many years (due to lack of modern technology and information) he had consistently high blood sugars but is healthy and still going strong.

Richard is so active via email and discussion boards that maybe some of you aren’t aware that he has a blog!  So I just want to broadcast to you all that one of the treasures of the DOC has a blog we can follow at Richard’s Rambling Review.

Every time I feel panic that somehow my diabetes is going to kill me or leave me covered in complications, I remember Richard and his many decades with type 1 and the way he is happy and healthy and always giving back.  We all could use a blog buddy like that Smile

Why I Blog Meme

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1.  How long have you been blogging?
It will be 3 years in June.  How time flies!

2.  Why did you start blogging?
I was eager to tell others what I had learned the hard way about diabetes and what was working well for me.  I was eager to share that I’d just learned that even after a decade of high blood sugars, a person could still have healthy children with diabetes!  I was so excited to proclaim this to the world that I started my blog right after my twins were born (during the most busy time of my life).  I also wanted to blog because my hospital experience with the twins and a c-section and preeclampsia and type 1 diabetes was so horrific I felt like I needed to bring awareness on the issue.  Supposedly, close to a million deaths a year occur from hospital mistakes in the US and thanks to my experiences, I believe it.

3.  What have you found to be the benefits of blogging?

The connections with others.  The learning.  There is so much to be learned when reading other blogs and articles.  If you enjoy writing, as I do, then blogging is fun whether anyone reads your words or not.

4.  How many times a week do you post an entry?

3 times a week.  I was posting every day but with being in school, taking care of the house and twins, and other side work, I had to cut back.

5.  How many different blogs do you read on a regular basis?
I vary the blogs so I get around to more people but I probably read about 20 a day.

6.  Do you comment on other people’s blogs?
I used to comment more but now I’m more pressed for time.  I still comment at least once a day though.  Comments mean a lot to me so I assume they mean a lot to others.

7.  Do you keep track of how many visitors you have?  If so, are you satisfied with your numbers?
I check every now and then to see what topics are the most of interest to people.  I’m definitely satisfied with the numbers.  I’m actually quite humbled and honored that so many people would read my blog each day.  I don’t know how really big bloggers handle their thousands of views a day, there must be a bit of intimidating pressure there!  I suppose that’s a good thing though :)

8.  Do you ever regret a post that you wrote?
No, just the wording of it.  The message I’m always trying to portray is something I never have felt like taking back.  Problem is…if something isn’t worded carefully, the message gets skewed!

9.  Do you think your audience has a true sense of who you are based on your blog?

Yes and no.  I think there is a some of me that’s missing.  When I read my posts I feel like I come off really serious, outspoken, nerdy, and “know-it-all” and that is very much a part of me (I must admit lol).  But there is the other part that is really sensitive, goofy, and introverted.  I think I come off as someone who’d love to live in a city where there are museums and tons of great food options, theaters, and cultural events-and that’s true.  But, there is a part of me that’s very at home in nature, in a rural setting, wearing jeans, watching the sunset, being without any technology (for short spurts of course!).  I’m also very girly but also very tomboyish.  Yes, I think a girl can be both and I hope that comes through because only one side coming through is just not the real me.

10.  Do you blog under your real name?
I do.

11.  Are there topics that you would never blog about?
Well, I could write about just about any topic imaginable.  I have opinions on just about everything (which I’m still learning how to control).  But this is a diabetes blog and so I stay out of religion and politics and stuff that isn’t health or blogging related.  I must admit I’m really tempted though!  If I had all the time in the world I’d also have a politics blog, a religion blog, a foodie blog, a fashion blog, an adventure and travel blog…I mean it’s all so fun and interesting! eeek!  It’s good I don’t have all that time because others do it better than I ever could.

12.  What is the theme/topic of your blog?
Obviously diabetes.  And I write about type 1 a lot because that’s what I have.  But I definitely throw in a lot of discussions about nutrition and general wellness and self love and positive thinking.

13.  Do you have more than one blog?  If so, why?

I don’t but I’m supposed to.  I have a health coach website now and I need to blog for it.  I need to take it all easy though because my children are my priority and I’m running the risk of not giving them enough of my time lately.  Patience, Sysy, patience.

Why do YOU blog?  I’m always interested in knowing!

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