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The Days Grow Short When You Reach September

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Maybe it is the start of the new school year that got everyone writing, but this group of the Best of the ‘Betes Blogs is the best we have seen so far. There is a record number of blogs nominated by a record number of people. Please visit every blog listed in this post. They all deserve our attention, encouragement, and comments as they represent what is best about the diabetes community.

Best Use of Humor

Meri and her kids help us create a new word when we don’t see the number we expect on our meters – it’s shockaprising!

Best Vlog

Warning: When you click on this vlog, make sure you have some Kleenex. Nicole takes us on the emotional journey of her daughter’s doctor’s appointment and first A1c result since pumping. (p.s. Remember, we are more than our numbers)

Best Recipe

I stand by my verdict that there is no better recipe than the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Scully further proves my point with her killer peanut butter chocolate fudge.

Best Use of Photography Pictures

So it isn’t technically a photograph, but Bob’s picture for Diabetes Art Day is an amazing representation of the burden of diabetes control.

Best Advocacy

Ableism is the discrimination against people with diabetes. In part one, C encourages us to use our voices to educate more and in part two she reminds us that we are all beautiful.

Best Story of a D Meet-up

It wasn’t a D meet-up in the traditional sense, but Susi R. found that when you need the community the amazing DOC is there for you.

Best non-D Related Post

I don’t know what to say. I wish Kelly never wrote this beautiful post about her mom.

Best Post by a Type 1

She has been using the terms for twenty-one years, but Jacquie feels like she only recently began learning the language.

Best Post by a Type 2

Guilt? Forgiveness? Brenda Bell writes about how we can try to find a balance.

Best Post by a Type Awesome

I am not sure how many fathers of children with diabetes are out there, but Scott writes an amazing description of what it feels like to carry the burden of his daughter’s numbers and Arden’s unprompted thoughts on the issue.

Best Post by a LADA/ Type 1.5/ Not otherwise specified

Has anyone ever said to you – well, at least it’s not cancer? For Babs, it is cancer.

Best Story of a D-mistake

It wasn’t the day the music died, but on Holly’s blog it was the day the DexCom died.

Best Motivational Post

It started with a tweet and turned into a blog post. Jess helps to show us the power of just five words.

Best Diabetes Art

Since September contained Diabetes Art Day, I thought for sure the Best Diabetes Art would be posted on that day but a different day brought out the best. Jeff’s poems on September 11th are beautiful and painful to read.

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Thank you to those in the diabetes community who nominated posts this month including:
Joanne
Brian
Jess
Cherise
Dave (Sowerbee)
Caroline
Briley
Kim
Robbie
Martin
Bob Pedersen

According to the random number generator, Robbie (who is the parent of a child with diabetes and a “faithful blog reader”) has won the PAK BARA organizer. Additionally, I put the 14 categories listed above into the random number generator and Bob will also receive a free PAK BARA organizer. I will forward your information to PAK BARA so you both can pick your design. Congratulations!

There are only fourteen posts featured above, but THIRTY ONE blogs received nominations this month! Be sure to check out all of these great blogs too!
A Consequence of Hypoglycemia
Arden’s Day
Arnold and Me
Bab’s Blog
Bitter-Sweet
Brenda Bell on dlife
C’s Life With D
Canadian D-gal
Climbing Diabetes
DeeJay’s ‘Betes
Diabetesaliciousness
Diabetically Speaking
Every Day Ups and Downs, A Diabetes Blog
Instructions Not Included
Jeff Mather’s Dispatches
LADA Life
Lisa From Scratch
Me and D
Moments of Wonderful
Our Diabetic Life
RFamHere’s Ramblings
Six Until Me
Strangely Diabetic
Sweet Success: My life with Type 2 Diabetes
T Minus Two
Tales of Rachel
Texting My Pancreas
The Tales of Princess Mikkimoto
The We CARA Lot Blog
Typical Type 1
Victoria Cumbow
with a side of insulin

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If you are one of the Best ‘Betes Blogs for this month and would like to add a badge to your blog, you can find the information for the badge below.

Replace all [ ] with < >. [div align=”center”][a href=”http://www.bestofthebetesblogs.com&#8221; target=”_blank”][img src=”https://momentsofwonderful.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/bbblogo-final-e1309479808835.png”%5D%5B/a%5D%5B/div%5D

Can’t wait to see what you guys will find in October! Remember to continue to submit your nominations to bestbetesblogs@gmail.com.

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Moments with my mom

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I have always enjoyed reading posts from around the blogosphere from the parents of people with diabetes. Whether it is someone raising a child with diabetes right now (like Reyna, Joanne, Lorraine, MeriAlexis, and so many more) or posts from Jess’ or Kerri’s mom posted on their blogs. Every time I see those types of posts it makes me wonder what my mom would say.

As you know, she didn’t grow up with a child with diabetes. I was not diagnosed until my senior year of college, at which point I has been out of the house for four years. Due to the cost of graduate school, I moved home for the next two years. However, the majority of my life with diabetes has been out of her house.

Instead of just continuing to wondering what she thinks, this weekend I decided to ask her. Living across the country, I had to use technology and send her the questions by e-mail. Here are her responses with some of my favorite pictures from past and present mixed in.

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What is your favorite thing about having me for a daughter? Now that you are an adult, my favorite things about having you for a daughter have changed. I enjoy your zest for living, your passion to help others and the fact that we enjoy each others company and can laugh together and share on those precious occasions.

me in the front, mom in the backMy mom loves our matching pajamas

What did you know about diabetes before I was diagnosed? Very little. Mostly about type 2 that could be controlled through diet and that it was a pancreas related issue [Her mom has had type 2 diabetes for many years, unfortunately with complications].

Mom, brother, and I
What do you remember from my diagnosis? I remember how frustrated we were by the lack of follow-up and straight answers until it was way too late. I remember distinctly your bugging eyes and skinny body weeks before you were hospitalized.

What is the biggest thing you have learned about diabetes in the past 8 years? I have learned how all consuming it can be not just monitoring what food goes in but also activity levels, sleep == everything to stay on an even keel. I’ve learned many little things too regarding technology and advances, but you asked for the biggest.

Thanksgiving at DisneyThanksgiving at Disney

What do you think about blogging? I think it has a huge value to bring people together for a common interest.

What do you think about the diabetes online community? In reading your entries and the comments of others, you are a huge support system for each other. Then having the privilege to meet some of the people face to face I am convinced they are responsible for your navigating the diabetes experience so successfully. As a type 3 it is helpful for me to read periodically to know where your thoughts are and action steps you are taking; since we don’t get to talk too often — I feel like an eaves dropper but it is all I’ve got.
Team Ninjabetic

Most of my diabetes friends were diagnosed when they were little and their parents felt (and still often feel) a great responsibility for their care. How did/does it feel to be the parent of an adult with diabetes? Especially considering I live across the country from you now. I feel very powerless to help except through prayer. When I read about your discouragements or challenges, my heart breaks but I have to trust God to bring you through and to allow you to prosper. I also have to know that you are blessed with an intelligence and determination beyond the norm and you will make the right decisions for your care.

getting a pedicure before George's walk

Any specific worries you have related to my diabetes? Living alone and experiencing a low so low that you can’t make the right decision to remedy it. Also I am concerned about the long term effects on your body but the man that is the head of the Disney conference (aka Jeff Hitchcock) was very encouraging in that regard at the last conference [she met him when she came to visit me after Roche].
mom learning how to use glucagon

Have you seen any positive aspects of my life with diabetes? In some respects it has made you more disciplined and definitely more caring for others and aware of giving people grace because we may not know their story.

Any final thoughts? I wish with all my heart that you did not have diabetes but I think it has made you a much stronger person and definitely pushed you outside your comfort zone to connect with a broader base of people as a result of the online community.
Mom and her mini-me

Thanks for your help Mom!

P.S. My mom hates that last picture but I LOVE it! Everyone thinks my youngest nephew looks the most like her, so we make him make the faces she is famous for.

Time to nominate – and enter the giveaway

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Exciting news for the Best of the ‘Betes Blogs this month! We are pleased to have our first sponsor offering a giveaway! Please read the entire post to find out more!

As in previous months, between today (September 21st) and next Wednesday (September 28th) review the posts you have read this month from around the diabetes community. Find your favorite posts in the following categories –

Best Use of Humor
Best Vlog
Best Recipe
Best Use of Photography
Best Advocacy
Best Reference to a D-Celebrity
Best Story of a D Meet-up
Best non-D Related Post
Best Post by a Type 1
Best Post by a Type 2
Best Post by a Type Awesome
Best Post by a LADA/ Type 1.5/ Not otherwise specified
Best story of a D-mistake
Best Motivational Post

Best Diabetes Art New category (Sept 2011)

Send your nominations to bestbetesblogs@gmail.com. Then visit http://bestbetesblogs.com to see the “best” on October 1st. Remember, our goal is to find posts and bloggers that don’t get the attention they deserve so it is VERY important that we have nominations from across the diabetes community.

#bestbetesblogs

As a bonus this month, we have a great sponsor for the September Best of the ‘Betes Blogs.

PAK BARA began as a company designing a compact, lightweight, fashionable daily organizer. The mother of a child with diabetes found their product and a new connection was born. The organizer has a low-profile and comes with either a clip, arm band, or leg band so it is great for carrying your diabetes supplies during exercise. “Even before their official launch, PAK BARA served as an elite sponsor of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in 2009 and 2010 to express their support for the diabetes community and long into the future.” (source)

PAK BARA designs

I met Karen, one of the co-founders, at Friends for Life 2011 and I can assure you that they are truly interested in helping the diabetes community. PAK BARA also has a partnership with GlucoBrands so the giveaway winners will receive GlucoBrands samples as well.

Since nominating is as important (if not MORE) than being chosen as one of the Best of the ‘Betes Blogs, PAK BARA will be providing their product to those who nominate and those who are featured in the October 1st post.

PAK BARA with pump
One winner will be chosen at random from among those who nominate and one will be chosen at random from among the posts that are featured.

Good luck everyone! Thank you for continuing to help us find the BEST!

PAK BARA for diabetes

Disclosure: All opinions expressed in this post are exclusively my own and I have not been paid for my content. The PAK BARA organizers are a $32.99 value and will be sent directly from the company to the giveaway winners.

How I almost didn’t live uninterrupted

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First the punch line – I finally have my 3 month supply of DexCom sensors.
SENSORS!live uninterrupted
In my almost eight years of pumping insulin, and my one year of using a CGM, I have never had so many things go wrong, but also so many people help make it right.

It all started when I put my last sensor in. Long story short (I told it here) – the final sensor of my previous supply turned out to be my first dud. Thankfully I was able to get a replacement sensor fairly quickly.

I wasn’t worried about my supply when I originally put that order in because I typically get at least two weeks wear from each sensor (FDA – two weeks is actually a new term for 7 days).

When I called to order my new supply, the kind rep on the phone let me know that the procedure to submit the order to my insurance had changed. I think I may have scared him a little when I started to laugh. I couldn’t help it. It was the third time in one year, that my insurance procedures changed.

Because he would have to resubmit to insurance, the rep told me he would call me back as soon as he had news. This was the first case on this insurance plan that he had worked on so he didn’t really have a timeline.

Almost two weeks later, I hadn’t heard anything yet and the replacement sensor was nearing the seven day mark. I was worried that I was stuck in an insurance spin cycle.

My local account specialist extraordinaire, Lori, offered to step in at this point and track down my status. She replied to my email at 9 PM Wednesday night, and by early Thursday morning I had an answer – the authorization had gone through and I was ready to order.

I called DexCom to finally place my order and spoke to Michael, the same rep I had spoken with the first time. He apologized for the delay and said he would ship the sensors with overnight delivery so that I would have them the next day.

When I thanked him, he added that he would call me before he left work to give me the confirmation order to let me know the order had shipped. About 45 minutes later, he called me again but it was not good news.

When he tried to submit the order, it would not process because it turns out I needed a new prescription. He had already tried to call my endocrinologist’s office but there was no answer. Thursday ended with the sensors nowhere closer to my house.

I was in a late afternoon meeting on Friday when I saw a missed call on my cell phone – and a second missed call five minutes later. It was Michael from DexCom calling me back. At the first available break in the meeting, I called him back.

He had finally gotten in touch with my endo’s office. No easy task – she abruptly left the practice and they only have a substitute a few days a week. Michael wanted me to call him back as quickly as I could to make sure my mailing address for Saturday would be the same as the weekday address. Due to the hassle of my order, DexCom was willing to pay for overnight Saturday delivery of my sensor supply.

I wish I could tell you I missed the FedEx delivery for a good reason, but to be totally honest – Saturday is my only day to sleep in and I slept through the knock at the door. Once I woke up, I found the note on my door and called the customer service number.

My box of sensors was located at the distribution center about 20 minutes away. If DexCom was going to pay extra for me to have my sensors as quickly as possible, I felt like I owed it to them to actually get the sensors on that day.

overnight saturday delivery!what's inside?

Later that afternoon, using the directions provided on the FedEx website, I headed to the center… and got lost in the industrial park. Their directions led me to the backside of a warehouse and a dead end alley. Did I mention that this center is located in an area where most people just drive by – and make sure their windows are locked?

After driving around in circles for a while, and only having a few minutes left until closing time, I finally pulled over and pulled up a map on my crackberry. Those directions didn’t make sense either, but I at least was able to find the right road. With ten minutes to spare, I finally had those hard fought sensors in my hand – and in the front seat of my car.

I have never had such an ordeal trying to obtain any of my diabetes supplies, but I am thankful that even when orders don’t work out at planned, DexCom employees like Lori and Michael are willing to go so far beyond the call of duty to make sure I can continue to “live uninterrupted.”
take control

One year ago

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One year ago today was a very important day for me. Any guesses on what I am celebrating? It is something I first attempted in 2007.

Read the rest of this entry

Never have I ever

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Have you ever played the game “Never Have I Ever?” If you have, don’t worry, I will be keeping this round G-rated.

Here are the basic rules of the game. First you put all ten fingers up. Then the group takes turn naming things that they have never done, hoping that someone else in the circle has done it. If you have, you have to put a finger down. Last person with a hand up is the winner. You can see how it gets inappropriate sometimes.

I’ve also played it the opposite way, where you name things you have done that you don’t think other people have done, and that’s more like the version I’m playing today. I’ve been thinking of all the random, fun, and exciting things I have been able to do because of diabetes and I want to hear what other would share in the game as well.

Never did I ever…

  • Think I would have the motivation to take a picture every day for a year for the d365 project. I’m thinking of doing it again but I need a good start date.

October 7, 2008 - diabetes365 - DAY 365!!!

  • Consider that my face would be on a t-shirt used to raise money for an organization working to cure diabetes. Is your face on there too?
  • Realize that some of my closest friends would live all over the country and stay up way to late on google+ hangout to spend some time with them.
  • Wonder when I checked my mailbox if it would hold a letter from a dear friend in Australia.
  • Count the days until July each year so I could attend a conference designed just for people with diabetes and their families.

The official start of the conference

  • Meet a friend for the first time at a conference in July and make plans shortly after to fly to her house for a long weekend of fun (and probably one of the largest meet-ups ever!). I guess that makes sense, since I once got into some random dude’s truck just because he had a blog and diabetes like I did.

Me, Jess, and the random dude

  • Have pictures with a variety of celebrities (and have an opportunity to even meet them in the first place) because of our connection to the same autoimmune disorder.

Crystal and Ium, yeah

  • Hope every day was Wednesday so that I could hang out on Twitter and chat about everything related (and not so related) to diabetes. P.S. Have you seen this video yet?

  • Feel hopeful about inserting pieces of platinum, silver, and steel into my body because I knew it would make me feel safer today and healthier tomorrow.
  • Plan to take what could be considered a drinking game and post it on my blog to see what people with diabetes “never did they ever” think they would do.

I’m curious, what would you say if you were playing this game?

Just part of your life – an interview

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Over the past few years, I have received a bunch of comments and e-mails wanting to know more about what it is like to travel internationally – especially to lower economic areas of the world – with diabetes. A few people have expressed their concern about being able to keep up with the group they would travel with or fears of being a burden. I thought the best way to work through those issues may be to interview one of the people who I have traveled with on both trips to Haiti.

Julia and I met as part of the team that traveled together in 2010 and have been friends ever since. Not all of her stories relate to our trip together, but you will be able to tell that pretty quickly. Julia can’t spell AT ALL (words like texture and cabinet are mind benders) so I did correct some of her spelling. She said she didn’t mind. My additional comments are in brackets.

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Before we met, what did you know about diabetes?

I knew that people had to have sugar, that you had to have it or you would pass out. I knew that there were different types. I had a friend with diabetes in high school that would say that her blood sugar was low and would eat starbursts.

So what was your experience working in Haiti with me?

It really was not different at all. No one could look at you and tell if there was anything going on, but I remember two moments when you told us something was going on [once when my level was really high and once when it was really low]. That’s why we were concerned because you couldn’t tell. You were a trouper. If no one would have told me I would have thought that it was because it was 112 degrees and we were moving medical supplies for 18 hours [only a slight exaggeration].
serious faces

Traveling on a team with me, did you have any additional responsibilities?

On the first trip no, but on the second trip I carried your sugar in case you couldn’t get to yours.

Speaking of sugar, a Twitter friend wants to know how you know when someone’s blood sugar is low and how do you treat it [I think it’s a quiz]?

You get an empty stare and are more sluggish. you treat it with glucose tablets!!!!!! [exclamation points are hers] And any other sugary foods available (and prayer) [kinda a joke on faith healers].
tough soccer players

We know diabetes isn’t always serious, do you have any funny stories about life with me? [I had to cut her off on this one. Once she started the stories didn’t end]

We were on a road trip to Orlando and there was a delicious bag of peanut butter M&Ms within eyesight and we couldn’t eat them because your blood sugar was too high, so we were asking every five minutes for you to check. I love those things so much.
look-a-likehot mess

One night we were sharing a room at a friend’s house [one of our fellow Haiti 2010 teammates] and your blood sugar wouldn’t stay up before bed. So we just layed there for a few hours sharing stories and glucose tablets [she thinks they taste good – like SweeTARTS]. Had your blood sugar gone up, we probably would have just gone to bed but instead we made memories. [I like this story!]

There was no diet soda anywhere in Haiti [we think it is because the artificial sugar doesn’t keep very well] so you didn’t have any soda except for one day. Someone came up to you at dinner when you finally had a regular coke and asked if they could have some. Your face was hilarious when you told them no. It wasn’t casual or anything. Your excitement to drink your coke was so evident you didn’t even try to explain. [What can I say? I was desperate for caffeine and had already dosed for the soda!]

What about eating international food? Did you notice any difference there?

At any restaurant, you ate anything we did – even the yummy ice cream and the Little Debbie snacks [we ate sack lunches at the work sites]. Because your bunk was next to mine, I know you packed extra snacks but so did I. Every good traveler knows that you pack food that you’ll like because you don’t know what is available.
the ice cream

What would you say to someone who is worried about traveling internationally with diabetes?

After traveling with you, I would definitely tell them to do it. I would tell them to make sure they have people in the group to keep them accountable, but not everyone because that’s just obnoxious.

As long as you are prepared [for example] if someone is doing the right things and reading your blogs [she means our diabetes blogs] they should do it. I mean I consider myself healthy and I could get sick on a trip. You never know.
me and Julia

What is the biggest thing you have learned about diabetes from spending time with me?

The biggest thing I learned is that people with diabetes aren’t that different. You dont need people to baby you and hold your hand. You didn’t give people your numbers not because you didn’t want people to know but because they didn’t need to know. It’s like if I pooped and people asked me what color it was [HA!]. Just because you’re checking doesn’t mean something is wrong. Now when you check I don’t freak out, it’s just part of your life.
wedding style

Thanks friend!

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