If you could go back in time and talk to yourself (or your loved one) on the day of diagnosis, what would you say?

You can do this.


Write about your favorite social network. Do you love Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Why?

My favorite social network when it comes to my health issues is Twitter. I love it. A lot.

While it’s a lot like shouting your thoughts out in a megaphone in the middle of Times Square, it’s somehow more intimate than Facebook at the same time. Maybe because the people on Twitter have a genuine interest in what you have to say and what you’re going through. I mean think about it – on Twitter they could follow ANYONE. There’s no limit, no friendship required, they CHOOSE you. When you send a friend request on Facebook out to anyone really, there’s SOME kind of social obligation to accept it for the most part. You’re friends, family, coworkers, fellow high school alumni, or you know you’re going to keep seeing this person at parties for the REST OF YOUR LIFE and don’t want to be confronted as to why you never accepted their friend request. (People really do that – it’s awkward.)

But on Twitter you just put some information out there – my profile mentions my type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis – and suddenly a world of people interested in what you have to say or in similar situations opens up to you. The Diabetes Online Community (DOC) in particular, is amazing. I’ve made friends, found doctors and information on updated medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, and found people experiencing the same thing AS ME. It’s inspiring, comforting, empowering.

So, in short, I love Twitter. And to my 600+ followers – thank you.

Day 10 - HAWMC - Les Apparences Peuvent être Trompeuses

It’s often hard to like pictures of ourselves – post your favorite picture of yourself. (Extra points if you can guess where we are 🙂

Patients, what advice or tips do you have for caregivers out there – professional or otherwise!

For parents of kids with type 1 diabetes I offer this advice:

Please don’t attempt to bully your child into taking better care of him or herself. It doesn’t work. Do not tell them how their kidneys will go or that they’ll go blind if they don’t take better care of themselves. The truth of the matter is that some people with type 1 diabetes develop complications regardless of how well they remain in control. Sure, the Edmonton Protocol gave us great insight into the fact that better control means less complications, but it’s not a guarantee.

All you’ll end up doing is making your child more afraid that he already is. OR, even worse, you’ll give him the idea that nothing they do will be good enough so why bother trying at all.

It’s easy and tempting to threaten and cajole because you’re scared to death yourself. I get it, I’m a parent too. But try to stop yourself. Please just try. It doesn’t work.

Beyond that, listen. Your child needs support and someone to listen when he tells you that it’s just not fair. It’s not fair. The best you can do is somehow, someway, get them to try their best regardless.

If your health condition (or the health condition of a loved one!) was an animal, what would it be? Is it a real animal or make believe?

Well, I don’t know if it counts as an animal per se (yes, I just wrote “per se”) but I would say the “animal” that most represents type 1 diabetes is a termite. Why (WHAT) you ask? Because they often go unseen yet can completely destroy the functioning structure of a building or tree.

Type 1 diabetes is a lot like that. You can’t see my disease. Not unless you’re incredibly astute and looking for the telltale bulge of my pump. Yet inside, slowly, methodically, cells are being damaged.

If only a cure was a simple as calling pest control…

Share a ludicrous headline or cure. Do a news search and choose a ridiculous headline or proposed cure about your condition and write what you think about it. Can’t find one? Write your own.

Okay, I’m definitely not feeling the prompts with this year’s HAWMC. Sorry, just not. There are so very many stupid things that get bantered about that cure diabetes. Half the people I meet who find out I have type 1 diabetes send me links or tell me alllllll about them. 

Some of these include: transplanted poop, cinnamon, honey, apple vinegar, pancreas transplants, gastric bypass surgery, and so much more. On twitter I automatically block anyone that follows me that claims to have a “cure”. BLOCK. Every time. Consider yourself warned.

So no, I’m not going to find a ludicrous headline or cure. There’s too many to choose from and I deal with them almost daily. Do your own search and don’t believe everything you read.

Write a letter to an older you (tell us what age you’re writing to!). What do you want to ask yourself? What lesson do you want to make sure you remember?

Oh geez, okay, let’s pick 60. A little over 20 years from now.

Dear 60 year-old Me,

YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU’D LIVE THIS LONG DID YA?!?!?!?!? No, you didn’t. Let’s be honest, you never thought you’d see 40 either, but here I am just six months away from the big 4-0 writing you this letter. Congratulations, you’ve made it this far.

I don’t know what complications you’re currently experiencing, but I’m guessing there’s some. Maybe the retinopathy that was an issue briefly in your 20s has raised it’s ugly head again and you’ve undergone a few more laser eye treatments. Hopefully they’re successful. Maybe the dreaded gastroparesis or kidney disease has started. OR, probably your biggest fear – a heart attack. Because let’s face it, those lows really do a number on your heart.

Or maybe you’re lucky. Because, let’s face it, a lot of living with type 1 diabetes is all about luck and we’ve had a lot so far – hopefully it will last. But I don’t think it will.

Maybe by now you’ve had your first ambulance ride and hospital stay due to hypoglycemia. It’s bound to happen, right? What person with type 1 diabetes makes it this or that long without one?

But regardless of whether your body is continuing with its lucky streak or you’re unable to walk any longer due to neuropathy, you can’t go back and undo bad decisions you made.

Stop thinking about that one time when you were 39 and exhausted from a super busy day and fell into a dreamless sleep for SEVEN UNINTERRUPTED HOURS only to wake up, look at your CGMS and realize that you were over 300 most of the night and didn’t even hear it buzzing at you to fix the problem. It was a stupid error and you were pissed at yourself then, but you can’t change the fact that it happened. Stop dwelling on it.

There may have been a lot of questionable decisions you made in your “youth”. Waiting too long to go on the insulin pump, not giving yourself enough insulin to cover the meal you ended up eating, choosing to go out to dinner with a client even though you knew you didn’t have your insulin with you. Those are just a few. Regardless of the repercussions, understand this:


You didn’t let diabetes choose how you lived it. You enjoyed many activities and situations that you might have missed out on if you were overly cautious or completely unyielding in your care.

And you know what? You may be paying for it or you may not be paying for it now. But either way, the choice was made and can’t be undone. Just please promise me that you’ll continue to move forward making the best possible choices you can and not let yourself get mired in self-pity and recrimination because of the choices you made in the past.

Overall, your A1Cs were good. Better than good for a lot of the time. And you were extremely well-educated medically as to what was going on with your body and why. You could have done better, sure. You could have done a helluva lot worse too.

What’s done is done. Now go enjoy that artificial pancreas that you should be wearing by now.

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