Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Crazy April & Playing Catch-Up

Sorry for being MIA as of late guys, but April was a whirlwind for me and playing catch-up with life is taking longer than I thought. 
I travelled to and attended 3 inspiring conferences in April - and whose posts are finally being written now.  
FTR: I tried following American Airlines advice re: seat exercises during my April flights,
but the exercises above actually required leg room, and there was none.
Things got awkward quick.
#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day occurred two days after I returned from my last conference and it was AMAZING.
I've had slew of writing assignments and you bet your funky pancreas I’m grateful for the work and the deadlines! 

Speaking of writing assignments and traveling, I wrote this piece about diabetes and traveling for MangoHealth.com, and I’d be ever so grateful if you’d click HERE and give it a read! 

I’ve also been trying to prepare myself for wrist and hand surgery that’s scheduled for May 17th. 
Getting pre-surgery clearance from my Doctors, trying to organize and clean my house so 
I don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff when my flipper’s stitched and bandaged. Completing deadlines so they won’t be hanging over my head while I’m recovering, practicing making and eating dinner with on one hand - that kind of stuff. 

Then there’s the whole “I’ve never had surgery,” thing. 
Yep, I’m slightly freaked and for several reasons.
  1. Did I mention that I’ve never had surgery before? 
  2. It’s my dominant hand
  3. I have some concerns re: with infusion site changes. 
But I’ve put the surgery off long enough and I can’t wait to be done with it. 
And even though I'm scared - BRING. IT. ON.

A short update for sure, but more meaty blog posts to follow in the next few days~ 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thanks DOC, The 2nd #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Was A SuccessBecause of YOU.

The 2nd annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere was a success and I’m so grateful and happy. 
Honestly, I was worried because I’d been traveling for the majority of April ( 3 conferences that I still need to finish posts for,) right up until last Sunday night and I was worried that I might not have gotten the word out in time. 

But once again, the Diabetes Online Community came through and hit the hashtag out of the park and across all social media platforms!

By 1:23 am on the morning of Wednesday, April 20th, the hashtag had already generated 
2,987,152 twitter impressions thanks to Australia, NewZealand, Japan and Kenya.

By 10:57 pm the night of the 20th, the hashtag’s twitter impressions had reached 14,117,989.

And according to Trendinalia, we were the 24th most popular hashtag on twitter. 
Personally, I  believe we would have cracked the top twenty if it hadn’t been for so many hashtags devoted to the 420 genre. 

As of this morning, there are 16,238,322 #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes twitter impressions in one week.  And since April 17th, 2015, the hashtag has generated 
40,791, 919 twitter impressions - ALL BECAUSE OF YOU

1..  Special thanks to every member of the diabetes online community and from the bottom of my busted pancreas because YOU made the second annual  #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day and #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org happen

2. Individual shout-outs to Renza , Grainne, and Cherise, for keeping me sane and Mike Lawson for keeping me sane & creating the logos, and my brother-in-law C, for dealing handling the website hustle and flow~ 

Special thanks to the following Diabetes Orgs:

JDRF; TypeOneNation, The American Diabetes Association, the Canadian Diabetes AssociationDiabetes Australia, Diabetes Tasmania, Diabetes UK, Thriveabetes Ireland, Diabetescaf, Diabetes Sisters, Diabetes Hands Foundation, The Plaid Journalchildrenwithdiabetes, Diabetes - ConnectionsProjectBlueNovember, DiabetesPac Diabetes_Kenya, #OzDOC, OZDiabetesOC,, YLDIntDiabFed, DiabetesNSW, Alegrija Mecadonia
Medtronic, Roche, Diabetes Innovations
If I missed your diabetes Org or company, please correct me by leaving a comment and I will add yours to the list, ASAP.
I'm still going through the just under 5000 tweets and many facebook posts.  

I tried to keep a list, but I will admit that I didn’t do a great job of it.

HUGE shout-outs to the countries who participated in #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes, and who are continuing to do so. Including, but not limited to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Kenya, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Porto Rico,  England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Mecedonia, Sweden and Holland. 
If I missed your country - PLEASE leave a comment letting me know what country you’re from and I will add. 

And lastly, but certainly not least, I will be linking 2016 #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Blog posts here and IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org .
Sidebar: IwishPeopleKnewthatDiabetes.org is looking for submissions - so go for it!

I’m still reading all the posts so if you wrote one, leave a comment with the link and I'll read yours and add it to the mix!









Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The 2nd Annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Is Here!!!

For the second year in a row, the global DOC, (yep, I'm talking to you, and you, and YOU,) are making #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day a success - thank-you from the bottom of my busted pancreas!
Yesterday afternoon the folks in Australia, New Zealand, and Africa kicked off things -  I started doing the happy dance around my computer & haven't stopped!

Please keep blogging, tweeting, face booking, and instagraming the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag and keep sharing your feelings.

What started out as a blog post, turned into a so much more. And every day I learn and am inspired by, your #Iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes tweets, posts and statuses - and I hope you do to!
For tracking purposes - I'm asking that if you write a post about #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes, please link back to both my blog post from Monday and my IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org site.

And if you're interested in submitting a post, art work, photo, etc to the IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes websites - that would amazaballs!
Click HERE and learn how to make that happen!

Monday, April 18, 2016

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Happens On April 20th !

HUGE shoutout to Mike Lawson for creating and providing the beautiful #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes logo.
On Wednesday, April 20th (at least the 20th falls on a Wednesday in this hemisphere,) the 2nd annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDabetes Day will happen via the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag on twitter, facbook, instagram and beyond. 

It's my hope that you will share the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in-between via the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag on Wednesday - and everyday. 

I've written about the day HERE , and I'm excited and nervous all rolled into one  - last year we had over 17 million twitter impressions and 16 different countries participating.
And to date, that number has grown to almost 25 million.
 I'll consider 2016's #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day a a success if: 
 1.One person realizes via the hashtag that they are not alone in their diabetes 
2. One person opens up about their diabetes struggles, issues, and triumph
3. One person realizes that diabetes is not only doable - but that anything is possible
4. One person realizes that their diabetes voice matters and needs to be heard. 

I can't wait to read and be inspired by your #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes tweets and  thanks in advance from the bottom of my busted and beautiful pancreas!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I'm Attending The Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum, AKA - #medtronicDAF

Last night and today I'm attending the Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum - and I encourage you to follow and participate by following the #medtronicDAF hashtag on the twitter. 

If you have anything you'd like me to relay to the folks at medtronic, please feel free to leave a comment or ping me. 

Medtronic is covering my expenses including, flight, meals, lodging, etc. 
But as always, all thoughts are mine and mine alone - and I will not hesitate to share them! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Grant Curry & Ride40: Celebrating 40 Years With Type 1 Diabetes

Grant Curry will be celebrating 40 years of living with type 1 diabetes by completing a 4 day, 400 mile cycling trip, along with four friends and hopes to raise $40,000 dollars worth of scholarships for DiabetesTrainingCamp Foundation.
Grant's an inspiring guy with inspiring POV when it comes to life with diabetes - Give a read and Happy Diaversary, GRANT. 
Grant Curry, today. 
Grant - First off - Congrats for being “this close” to celebrating your 40th diaversary - that’s impressive! 
What do you remember about your diagnoses and how have things changed since your DX?
I remember going to the doctor and immediately to the hospital after. 
I spent a week learning urine testing, injections and dietary instruction. Diabetes management was a bit like playing Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey back in '75-'76;  throw your dart and hope for the best.  
I was terrified hearing about all the complications that I was told were likely on the way.  
Life expectancy for Type 1 back then was 60-65 years. I felt frustrated, depressed, and helpless. 
 So much has changed since then and my outlook is generally positive and I feel more confident being pro-active with my management.  Having resources such as pumps, CGMS, rapid acting insulins has had a tremendous impact on my quality of life.  We didn't even have home blood testing until 1983.  It's a whole new world now.  
That certainly doesn't mean it's easy for people being diagnosed now, however.  
It's not easy for any of us but it is more possible to be more precise in our management with the right tools and education and motivation to do the work.  I think the emotional/mental component of living with Diabetes is the greatest challenge of all.  The phrase "non-compliant Diabetic" has been used for a long time and I've never liked it.  
It doesn't accurately depict the true disposition of someone struggling with their disease.  
There's many effective ways to help someone with Diabetes.  We all need love and encouragement and acknowledgement of our challenges. I think there's a great movement of positive changes for people with Diabetes today.

I know that everyone has moments of struggling when it comes to living with D - how have you learned to handle those moments and do you handle them differently now at 40 years in verses then? 
Yes, we all have those moments to greater or lesser degrees throughout our lives with Diabetes.  Having challenges doesn't change.  Developing resources for dealing with the challenges can change, however.  For many years early on, I was in denial, I was angry and lacked the depth of maturity needed to cope with Diabetes.  I think that's pretty par for the course for diagnosis at 8.  Minus the maturity part, adult diagnosis can be overwhelming as well.  I mean, who's really mentally prepared to be diagnosed with Diabetes before it happens?  Today, I rely on family and peer support, I practice meditation, I look for new ways to adapt and adjust as life changes.  My dear friend and colleague, Carrie Cheadle, Mental Skills Coach at Diabetes Training Camp, teaches "Preparation Equals Confidence" in regards to race or sports event readiness.  The same applies to Diabetes management.  If I'm being pro-active in my self-care, I'm better prepared mentally for the moments of struggle.  I know I'm doing my best (which is rarely perfect) and can be more reasoned in my decision making, as in "Okay, now what do I do?"
Grant 40 years ago
You founded the Semi Tough Cycling Club of New Orleans in ----, tell us about it 
No, that would be my dear friend and Ride40 teammate, Townsend Myers.  He's a longtime buddy of mine who was my main cycling partner before I moved to Georgia in 2010.  He's been an extraordinary friend and supporter of my life with Diabetes.  He started the club not long after I left, somewhat as a reaction to losing his riding partner.  He's a great sportsman and leader.  You could probably say he's The Godfather of present-day cycling in New Orleans.  Look him and the club up if ever you're looking to ride with someone there.

You’ve chosen to celebrate your 40 years of living with diabetes by taking on an extreme cycling challenge with 3 of of your friends, aka RIDE 40
Indeed, it is going to be extremely challenging for me, and my team, Townsend Myers, Rick Crawford and Bryan Yates will be helping me reach my goal.  They're all super strong cyclists and amazing people that have made my life more fulfilling in different ways.  Our friend Sebastien Sasseville was riding, too, but had some things come up that got in the way of his participation.  He's a great guy and we'll miss his humor in our moments of suffering.  I'm the only one with Diabetes on the team.  Obviously, I don't discriminate against people not living with Diabetes.  That's funny, right?

RIDE 40 will happen between May 17th through May 21wt, 2016  and it’s  billed as: “4 days. 4 friends. 400 miles. 40,000 of elevation gain. 
$40,000 raised in scholarship funds for the Diabetes Training Camp Foundation.” 
tell us about your reasons for doing the ride, how you came up with the ride, your teammates, and why Diabetes Training Camp Foundation is so special to you. 
I came up with the idea about a year and a half ago. I wanted to create a challenge to commemorate the milestone and give me something big to work toward.  I have some personal health and fitness goals attached to the event intended to give me a recharge as I near Life Level 50 and move into the second half.  I want to be healthy and active as long as possible.  The challenge needed to be more difficult than any previous endurance events for me. 
I've been working really hard to reach the best fitness of my life for this.  
I also want to reach others in the process and send the message of turning Obstacles into Opportunities.  
I've had an amazing life so far, full of both darkness and light, and my determination and positivity and resilience have come through living with Diabetes and having the opportunity to be involved in Diabetes camp programs.  
Diabetes Training Camp Foundation is special to me because going to the camp in 2008 gave me renewed hope and perspective on living with Diabetes and being able to successfully manage Diabetes and endurance cycling.  I want to see others have the same opportunities I've been given by raising scholarships funds for Diabetes Training Camp.  
I encourage everyone to have a look at the website and read more about the incredible individuals riding and supporting during Ride40.  My wife, Cynthia, is our Team Coordinator - she's got an incredible spirit.
Growing up I know you went to Diabetes Camp - how did that help shape you as a person living with and owning their diabetes. 
Yes, I went to Camp Joslin for Boys with Diabetes for several years and was also a counselor there as a teen.  
Those amazing summers changed my life.  I was a bit of a troubled kid and I attribute that mostly to my struggles with Diabetes.  At camp, I felt free from much of the struggle and was able to be at ease and have fun and feel understood.  I discovered many of my strengths at camp and learned how to be a good friend.  
I didn't necessarily get the Diabetes figured out all at once, but everything I learned at Camp Joslin stayed with me and carried me through some difficult times. It did help me own my Diabetes and eventually find confidence in myself.  I still keep up with friends from Camp Joslin.  
The magic of my camp experiences never goes away.  I say the same thing about my experiences at Diabetes Training Camp.

Exercise and balancing all the diabetes idiosyncrasies isn’t always easy - but exercise is SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to living with diabetes. 
How have you learned to deal with all the blood sugar/ exercise/cycling issues that come your way? 
That all goes back to my camp experiences in my youth and as an adult.  Our endocrinologists may be outstanding (mine certainly is), but you just can't get everything you need in an office visit.  The doctor is but one part of what is, ideally, a team effort.  Diabetes Training Camp has made the biggest difference in my ability to manage Diabetes and exercise.  It may be incredibly difficult to manage the two, but it is possible and there are answers and solutions for achieving success.  Going to DTC is exactly how I've learned, along with a lot of trial and error testing.  There's no other program like it and I cannot express with more enthusiasm my belief in what happens at DTC.

What’s your advice to people living with diabetes who are struggling with accepting their diabetes? 
My immediate thought is "Go to Diabetes Training Camp!"  
I also think it's important to go easy on yourself as you begin to actively explore solutions to dealing with the struggle.  Acceptance takes time, and usually involves some pain along the way.  You're not alone, although you may feel that way.  There's help out there waiting for you. Years ago, I had a doctor tell me "There is no place for judgment in Diabetes.  There is no good or bad blood sugar.  It's simply information.  Let's start by losing the labels and then we'll look at the information."  
It was a powerful moment for me. I still get a little teary-eyed when I think of that. I used to equate my blood sugars with my self-worth. I think many of us have experienced that at some point.  Let's be a little more kind to ourselves.  Let's connect with each other and share our stories and be empowered together to live more fulfilling and active lives.

Kelly, thank you so much for taking an interest in my story and Ride40!

KK: Thank you for the all the awesome, Grant!

Please checkout the Ride40.com and http://diabetestrainingcamp.com 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Means That Every Day With Diabetes Is Different

Today is World Health Day -and the 2016 focus is all about diabetes and "beating diabetes,"  and I'm glad that the focus of the world is focused on diabetes. 
I’m seeing lots of tweets/articles/posts about diet and exercise and beating up diabetes- and that’s great - but there are other things that come to mind, (at least for me,) re: living with diabetes on a daily basis for 38.6 years and counting - and no matter the D type. 
Sidebar: This year's #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day is on Wednesday April 20th and it's been on my mind a lot
I feel a little funning writing about it today, but I am, because the hashtag is in my head and stuck on repeat.
Lastly, Today's post was also inspired by last night's #DSMA chat, which was awesome, every single person living with diabetes, as well as the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag and Day and World Health Day, #who
I hope you can relate~ 

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes means that every day of living with diabetes is different . 
Some days are brutal no matter what I do - or don’t do -and those are the days when I have to plow through the muck because I must. 
Some days are surprisingly easy and diabetes is playing so nice that I wonder if somehow my pancreas secretly started secreting insulin and didn’t bother to let me in on the joke - until I realize that the joke’s on me and my blood sugar numbers/body is suddenly in desperate need of insulin. 
Insulin that is the elixir of my life and yours, and the price of which - along with my diabetes supplies keeps me up at night. #insulin4life

Most days I’m the one who’s in charge of diabetes - but on the days when diabetes takes the lead and throws a bitchfit, D becomes even more difficult, frustrating, maddening than normal D bitch mode. 
Those are the days when I drink copious amounts of water and coffee throughout the day because of a low hi/gh blood sugar hangover because I have work to do if I want to get paid. 
And it’s on those days that I end up crying the ugly cry and I’m glad I’m not famous because nobody needs to see that shit in high def. 

Other days diabetes makes me laugh because sometimes diabetes is funny and if I didn’t laugh I would go apeshit crazy. 
Plus, laughing is good for the soul and the blood sugar and saying “I’m high,” in public never gets old. 
There are moments (OK, days, weeks, etc.,) when I wish I could take a vacation from diabetes - but I know I can’t. So I bring diabetes with me on my vacation - along with copious amounts of diabetes supplies, sunscreen, comfy shoes and shoes that are anything but comfortable, but make my legs look amazing.
There are days when diabetes becomes a teaching moment - even when I don’t necessarily feel like teaching. But when all is said and done, I’m glad that another person learns a diabetes fact/reality - and that makes me feel really good. 

Some days it's not my diabetes that worries me - it's other peoples. 
I worry for my friends health and I worry about people around the globe living with diabetes without access to insulin, test strips, and the likes there of - and I'm angry and sad all rolled into one.

And on all of the above days and every day in-between, I know that I have my D tribe both online and off and I want every single person in the world to find the DOC Tribe - because it makes life... and life with diabetes so much easier. 

So If I haven’t said it lately, thank-you D tribal members, thanks for always “getting it,” getting me and putting up with me. 

Finally, #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes means that we are in this together - and that my friends is a wonderful thing~