There were four insulin pumps sitting around the table. Wait, that sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, doesn’t it? “Four insulin pumps walk into a bar and…” No, that’s not going to work. Let me start over: there were four people wearing insulin pumps sitting around the table. There were four CGMs either resting on the table, stashed in pockets or thrown in bags. Collectively, the table had well over 50 years of living with type 1 diabetes. And what did we talk about?
How long would you imagine you might go without a meal? Or, if you have diabetes, how long do you think you’d go without a high blood glucose level? Or without looking at the device that’s administering the insulin to keep you alive? I was asked this question when I was trained on my new insulin pump and I didn’t really know what to say. (more…)
If you were asked to talk about diabetes up on stage by yourself for five minutes, what would you say? Would you clam up and mumble? Would you babble without direction? Would you be able to share a single message that can represent not just yourself, but also others living with diabetes?
I wouldn’t know where to start, and once I did start, I wouldn’t know where to edit myself. It would be a hot mess. But that would be me. Fortunately for people with diabetes, it was not me. It was Kim. It was Kim standing up on stage, being livestreamed at MedicineX. (more…)
“We’re not sure what this is, but it’s most likely pancreatitis. Now, let me tell you what the pancreas does…” Chris and I looked at each other, both annoyed about having to hear what a fully functioning pancreas does and scared that our youngest and fluffiest cat was about to be diagnosed with a condition that is usually chronic in cats. And all I could think is that pancreases just seem to fall apart everywhere I go. (more…)
Tonight I had the rare opportunity to participate in the weekly #dsma twitter chat. The topic and subsequent questions revolved around celebrations and goals. Normally I think of these two things in the opposite order – you set a goal, work toward it, achieve it, then you celebrate. But tonight the topic went in the opposite order, talking about celebrations (which I am fantastic at – seriously, very talented at celebrating!) and mini-successes that lead to celebrations. Then with the next few questions, I felt as though I’d [willingly] been tricked into a conversation about goals – and I realized, when it comes to diabetes, I don’t set very rigid goals. (more…)
Yesterday’s blog post and subsequent trip down memory lane back to when I lived in Japan made me think about managing diabetes while living in Japan. At the time, I didn’t put a lot of thought into how my diabetes routine would differ from the one I’d only recently established in the United States. But looking back, a few aspects have become quite clear. So here’s a quick list of pros and cons about managing diabetes in Japan from 2002 to 2004: (more…)
My first job out of college was teaching English in rural Japan. I agreed to take the job during my senior year – before I could speak any Japanese and while still within my first full year of having diabetes. After graduation, I enrolled in an intensive language program and three months later, I flew to Japan. And yes, my diabetes came with me. The placement agency that hired me put me in a small town that was only an hour’s drive from the prefecture capital where there would, as they said, be hospitals equipped to handle my diabetes “in case anything went wrong.” To this day, I don’t think they realize what a smart decision that was. (more…)