Tag Archives: women with diabetes

DOC Brides Infographic!

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Allison, April, Kerri, and myself are featured in a DOC Brides Infographic with tips and suggestions that we learned through trial and error.

This was put together by Sanofi and is shown on the Discuss Diabetes blog.  Click here to check it out!

Also see my guest post, “Diabetes on Your Wedding Day” for more things I wish I’d known before walking down the isle.

Happy Wednesday!

DiabetesSisters 2012 Conference Recap

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With the lovely Kyra of Myabetic (my favorite diabetes cases).

 

I had a great time at this event and so did my husband, Alex.  My post talking about the conference is up today over at DiabetesMine, check it out!

2012 Diabetes Sisters Conference, See You There?

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The 2012 Diabetes Sisters Conference is taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina this May 18-20.

I wrote about my experience last year.  But that post can’t do it justice because in the past year since the conference, I’ve kept in touch with a handful of the women I met and have been SO thankful for the friendships that have resulted.  I would not know these women if it weren’t for this conference and I’ve been so pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to bond with women whose struggle is similar to my own.

This year I’m excited to make this a bit of a family affair.  My husband, Alex has been helping Brandy’s husband Chris (along with Diabetes Daily’s David Edelman) to plan the first ever, Partner’s Perspective Program.  And Alex will definitely be attending the program.  It should be great.  I mean, we know our partners deal with a lot and perhaps aren’t too comfortable with telling us for fear of making us feel bad so I think it’s wonderful that there will be a place for them to meet, relate, and discuss the unique aspects of being with someone who has diabetes and all the issues that arise as a result.  I hope these partners also gain some insight into what we would like from them in certain situations.  I also think it will be a great opportunity for all us women to give our partners a big collective, “thank you!”

I happen to literally have a diabetes sister, my type 1 sister Ana, who will also be attending the conference this year.  She used to be a lot more involved with diabetes stuff, even attending the Children’s Congress in Washington D.C. as a Delegate the same year Diabetes Mine’s, Allison Nimlos went.  (Allison and her husband will be at the conference, by the way.)  Ana also loved her Diabetes Camp experiences as a younger kid and I’m so excited she’ll get to experience this event.

Something I really like about this conference is women with any type of diabetes are welcome.  So though I can obviously relate more to someone who has type 1 when it comes to certain things, I find it really wonderful to learn from a woman with type 2 about what it’s like for her.  I always end up realizing that we are all really in the same boat.  We struggle day to day with making a multitude of choices, choices which impact our health and our lives.  We all have to worry about food and pay a little too much attention to it.  We all check our blood sugar.  We all feel the threat of diabetes complications and we all want to live the best life possible with our diabetes.

That brings me to another awesome benefit of the conference.  The learning experience.  There are a wide range of speakers on an array of relevant topics to women with diabetes.  The speakers are really professional and invested in the topics at hand.  I appreciated getting away from my children long enough to take notes about things like heart disease last year and sit and think long and hard about why I take care of myself instead of worry about it in fleeting bits while chasing my kids around the living room.

That’s the other thing.  It’s a safe environment.  You can laugh, cry, and check your blood sugar without feeling out of place.  Brandy Barnes calling her organization “Diabetes Sisters” is right on the mark.  It’s rather self-explanatory now that I think of it.  If you want to attend, please register quick before it’s too late.

Click here to register and learn more.

I SO hope I see you there!

Book Review: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Diabetes

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Today for Fabulous Friday where we celebrate and encourage self love and respect, I want to review a book I read recently.

The Smart Woman’s Guide to Diabetes is written by Amy Stockwell Mercer, whom I had the great pleasure of meeting earlier this year at the Diabetes Sisters Conference.  Upon meeting her, I was struck by what a great listener and empathetic person she was.  Then I found out she was coming out with this book and got the opportunity to read it.  Here is my honest review:

Aside from great advice on many aspects of life with diabetes, this book is often a compilation of different voices, gathered and arranged by Amy, into topics such as Eating and Motherhood and Exercise.  The result, I found, was a chicken soup for the diabetic woman’s soul.  Amy talks a lot about her own experience with type 1 diabetes all throughout the book and adds the separate perspectives of many other women with diabetes from all walks of life.

I was particularly surprised by how emotional I became while reading this book.  I wasn’t expecting this at all.  This book portrays the honest and open feelings and thoughts of women struggling with diabetes and since I’m struggling with diabetes, I couldn’t help but relate and find comfort in the fact that I certainly am not alone.

I also became very aware of some repressed emotions about my experience with diabetes.  For example, I read about women who have struggled with eating disorders and realized that although I have never skipped insulin or thrown up, I have had a very intense and harsh internal battle with myself about the weight gain I experienced after my diabetes diagnosis.  I realized that even now, I still have some unhealthy tendencies that I need to work on.  There is advice found throughout the book that is gentle and practical and truly helpful in the area of eating and all the other topics the book covers.  I imagine that for other women with diabetes, this book could help surface some emotions that need to be properly acknowledged and dealt with.  Don’t be afraid of this, it’s a natural step forward towards healing and feeling better.

I saw someone on Facebook ask why a book would focus on women with diabetes.  I think the answer is obvious.  We menstruate, can get pregnant, go through menopause, and society puts unique pressures on us as women.  This book speaks to us individually through the candid and often funny perspectives of different women with diabetes.  I wholeheartedly recommend this book and appreciate Amy’s hard work, honesty, and willingness to wear her heart on her sleeve.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to recognize some truths in me and another solid truth:  that I’m NOT alone with diabetes.  While our experiences are our own, it doesn’t mean someone out there doesn’t get it.  I curled up on the couch with this book, sipped tea, and felt like I was totally understood by girlfriends.  It was really nice :)

You can get the book here.

Welcome to Fabulous Fridays

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We women are something else.  We often try to do it all and be it all.  We often put our partners and children first, our families and friends and jobs first, and worry a lot over a billion different things each day.  And it’s no wonder.  I think today more than ever, we’re expected to work, raise children, keep a house, be a great host, be interesting, stay fit, do what we love, cook a knock-out meal, and look glamorous all the while.  It’s not realistic, it’s too much, and I don’t know about you but even before I had kids, I found myself cracking a little underneath the pressure to be so many things.

I felt a lot of relief when I put more focus on self love.  For many, the concept of self love seems quite selfish.  The idea however, is that we appreciate ourselves for who we are.  This includes embracing the good and the bad-yes even the bad, because that’s the only way to take care of the dark parts of ourselves and allow the light to triumph.  This means we can be honest about who we are and who we are not and become more aligned with our true selves.  And that means we can stop feeling so much pressure to be everything.

Personally, I’m on a journey to come to terms with who I am and am not and so far it’s been liberating.  Doing this reveals our authentic self and the more I do that, the more people are accepting of me.  They’re like, “Oh yeah, this is YOU!”  Because our authentic self shines through whereas our fake or undiscovered self always seems a little off or a little lost.

Ana and I will be supporting your path to self love each Friday by posting a short story, a picture, a quote, a fun tip, a question, a product we can’t live without, or an interview, etc.  But it will all focus on you and your path, or rather, our journey, to fully loving and accepting the fabulous women we already are.  I think that’s ultimately our key to the health, happiness, and joy we seek.

So thanks for reading and stay tuned!

XOXO

Bella Soul Diabetes Case Review and Giveaway!

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You all probably know by now that I love my myabetic diabetes case.  I do.  Though like any girl who can’t just have one pair of awesome shoes, I’m open to checking out other styles and colors.  I’m so excited that there are other companies popping up all the time to serve the needs of people with diabetes.  Products with different styles and details to choose from add to our quality of life.  If one product line doesn’t fit your personality, then certainly, another out there will.

The people of Bella Soul have recently introduced a line of feminine diabetes cases.  They sent my sister Ana and I each a case.  What follows is our honest opinion of the product (in other words you can’t buy us love nor favorable reviews here).

Ana’s Review:

Well, let me begin by telling you all that I love bags and purses. If I could, I would have more of them right now. Needless to say, I was so excited when Sysy informed me that we were each getting an awesome diabetes case from Bella Soul (I looked at their website). I received the green leather one which is funky and definitely eye-catching because of its bright green color. It’s probably one of the prettiest shades of green, in my opinion. Besides the beautiful color, the style of the case is very stylish and you can tell it is well-made. The gold zipper accents the green perfectly and it doesn’t get stuck like cheap zippers do.

While I love the appearance of the case, I must admit that its a little too compact for me. I can fit my meter, lancet, bottle of strips, two insulin pens, plus chapstick and an ink pen, but when its closed it appears to be about to burst open. I wouldn’t want to risk ripping the case, but who knows, maybe it can actually handle all that stuff. The current size is convenient, but not realistic for my own supplies. The case has a nifty waterproof pocket for an ice pack, but there’s no way I would be able to fit one. But just because it doesn’t work perfectly for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you! Check out the pictures below :]

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Sysy’s Review:

First of all, I’m really excited these products have come out at top tier for quality.  Does yours truly have the money for a beautiful leather or embroidered case?  I’d have to save up.  However, I know a good chunk of the many millions of women with diabetes are at least willing to save up for something that makes them feel really special.   These cases are pretty knock out.  I received a black embroidered one with a gorgeous colorful pattern.  I can’t wait to take this out.  It’s so good looking.  Can I say that about a diabetic case?  These organizer cases have a wrist band so you can party away while keeping your meter close by.  The company also offers small bags with cross straps that are pretty convenient and in style right now.  They also offer larger bags with special slide in compartments for the organizers.

As far as a downside the only thing I see is that it’s quite compact.  I notice I have to put everything in it’s place or I won’t be able to close it.  And the leather one hardly fits my strip bottle for my accu-check meter.   This is a popular meter so I’d say the organizer cases all need to be a bit thicker in dimension.  I tested the fit of both cases to the One Touch Ultra Link meter and the One Touch Ultra Mini meter and those fit nicely in case you have that meter.  Whatever meter you have, just make sure the test strip bottle isn’t wider than an inch-that’s where it gets tricky.  Most new test strip bottles are rather small, I believe, but I just want to give you a heads up!

The price may be a drawback for some but every product has it’s niche and this will suit the neat, organized, and feminine gal who wants a really pretty case that she can be proud to show off.  Some of these cases have a design that look hippy chic to me.  The leather ones look classic chic.  I love fashion so I could go on but instead I’ll just show you pictures so you can make your own mind up!

The one I got is the Claire in coral.  A bit roomier and equally stunning.

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We’re all for this company’s mission of empowering and supporting women with diabetes.  As a plus, this company gives a significant portion of their earnings to research foundations such as the International Diabetes Federation, the ADA, and the JDRF.

Now for the fun part.  Bella Soul has sent the pink patent leather case for us to giveaway to one of our readers. To enter, add a comment letting us know you want to be entered in the giveaway and make sure to include a valid email.  In one week from today we’ll draw the winner.

This patent leather pink one is called Cindy and is just like the green one Ana showed you, only…pink :)

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Good luck and check out the other gorgeous stuff at Bella Soul!

Wednesday Revisit: The Dreaded Monthly Visitor

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Here is something I posted originally on:

October 24th 2009

Diabetic Women and the Dreaded Monthly Visitor

It’s basically a list of things that I implemented to help greatly alleviate my period related symptoms.  I really did go from super painful periods to mild ones that tend to get worse the farther I stray from the things on this list.  So for me, they work pretty well and maybe they’d help you or someone you know.

Happy Wednesday to ya!

To the Guy Dating a Diabetic Girl

What Is Love by Ana Morales


 

I wrote a list of 10 Things We Women with Diabetes Want You to Know over at DiabetesMine.com.  I was very honored to post over there.  Do check it out!

The Weird Place I Usually Inject

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Does anyone out there inject insulin into the area just above their breasts?  This feels awkward to admit but I do.  Just above the breast tissue but below the collar bone is where I mostly inject insulin. 

I’ve been injecting there for about 6 years now.  I got desperate to inject somewhere other than my stomach.  My stomach and hips were just all knotted up with scar tissue from years of pumping (and perhaps not rotating sites adequately).  I’ve been getting allergy shots in both arms every week for 10 years so my arms are out.  My legs have always been the most muscular part of me and so I just don’t feel comfortable injecting there.  It hurts more, too.  Sometimes I’ve gone into the muscle and that changes insulin function (makes it faster). 

A doctor once told me I could inject anywhere on my body as long as it was adipose tissue.  I looked down one day and thought, gee, there is some easy to access adipose tissue right there.  This is not to be confused with breast tissue or the pectoral muscle by the way.  Many of us who are not super skinny have a tiny bit of fat just above the breast, especially since most of us wear bras, which do some lifting action.  (Trust that this post is actually making me squirm right now)

Anyway, I find insulin absorption is really fast in this area so I find it particularly helpful to use when high.  I also don’t like pulling up my shirt to inject in my belly out in public and I don’t like injecting through clothes (makes me nervous that the insulin won’t reach me).  Thus, for so many reasons, I really like injecting here.  Want to see what it looks like?  I have to show you because it sounds crazier than it looks.  Just remember, this can’t be done if you’re really thin or just don’t happen to accumulate any extra fat in the chest area.  I’m an hourglass so unfortunately, I just gain all over, evenly.   

Demonstration video which you WON’T be making fun of:

Wednesday Revisit: Health First, Fashion Second

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I wrote this post out of experience (as usual).  I went years spending money and much effort on the right clothes, shoes, tanning lotion, hair product, and make up in order to look how I wanted to look.  Thing is, I wanted to just look healthy.  I wanted to look fit and glowing, happy, and energetic.  So my attempts through shopping to achieve this fell flat and I went broke.  There is no substitute for the real thing.  I really think that to look healthy, we need to be healthy.

So I put more time, effort, and cash into the basics: exercise and good eating.  And what do you know, I started looking healthier and feeling better.  I used to search for the perfect jeans.  Then I ran 3 miles, 5 days a week and suddenly all jeans fit perfect and I learned I had been going about it backwards.  Now if only I could do that with my post-pregnancy body…but that’s another story entirely!

Anyway that’s what this post is about.  A gentle reminder to you and myself, that if we focus on health first and fashion second, we’ll get what it is we’re searching for.

Originally posted on August 4th, 2009:

Focus On Health First, Fashion Second

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