December’s DSMA Blog Carnival

CLICK HEREPer December’s DMSA blog carnival topic, today I’ll be reviewing 2013 as it relates to my diabetes.  So in January of 2013 I got serious about my blog and converted my free WordPress.com blog into a WordPress.org blog.  It started out with barely any views, but now I average over 10,000 a month.  I started out strong, blogging on a scheduled basis, then I met a girl.  LOL!  A type 1 diabetic actually, and so I didn’t blog for a couple months.  The girl didn’t last, but thankfully the blog has.

In June I went to my very first diabetes conference in Chicago.  It was the 73rd Annual American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions.  I went to a #doc dinner party.  The coolest thing ever was when the food came to the table and everyone reached for their CGMs all at the same time.  It as hilarious.  My friends at the Diabetes Hands Foundation were a big help at that conference.  I’ll never forget that.  I met the leaders of DSMA as well, which was really cool, and met a few of the leading bloggers in the diabetes online community.  This happened on the weekend where I was suppose to be in Las Vegas with my Team Beachbody family, but budget prevented that trip, so I’m glad I got to spend it with my diabetes family and still had an awesome weekend.

In September I fired my endo, and at the suggestion of my amazing CDE started seeing a nurse practitioner.  Best healthcare decision I’ve ever made.  My endo was an idiot.  He was basically there to write my prescriptions and that’s it.  This NP though knows what she’s doing, and actually troubleshoots my diabetes like an engineer.  So I’m really digging that.  My A1C has stayed very level all year long, at 8.2.  Been trying like a madman to bring it down, and I know what I’ve got to do, I’ve just been stubborn.

Over the last year, I’ve received hundreds of comments on my numerous social profiles and my blog here, of people that are appreciative of the help I’ve provided them.  This inspires me to keep going.  The most dear compliment I ever got was from a 4 year old boy who knew I was type 1 diabetic like him, and while sitting on his mommy’s lap looking at her computer screen said “I want to be strong like him when I grow up.”  I still get a lump in my throat while writing this.  Whew.  Wow.  Yeah, that’s worth every minute I spend doing this.

In the last quarter of 2013 I’ve picked up the reigns of my Beachbody business, which I put down when I started focusing on diabetes advocacy.  I’ve still been using Beachbody workouts all year, but just haven’t been coaching very much.  I want to go back to doing that too, and using what I’ve learned to help more people, including non-diabetics, live long healthy lives.

Changes I need to make in the coming year?  I need to change what I eat for breakfast, because that’s where my blood sugars are the worst every day.  Right after breakfast.  So starting tomorrow, Shakeology for breakfast.  I would like to break myself of my diet coke addiction, although I’ve tried and tried in the past.  Maybe I’ll try hypnotism this year?  I also need to get to the dentist and eye doctor.  Something I always dread, and sometimes go for more than year between visits.  I don’t see myself getting any new diabetes toys or gizmos, but something could surprise me.

“This post is my December entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2013/12/december-dsma-blog-carnival-3/‎

Diabetes Devices

When your doctor tells you they want you to go on the pump, or they want you to change your blood sugar meter, or they want you to get a continuous glucose monitor, or any other diabetes devices, how do you decide what to get?  Do you just get what the doctor tells you to get, or do you go out and start shopping around like you would for a new TV or a new car?  Should you get a Medtronic Minimed, an Animas Ping, or an Omnipod?  Maybe you’re looking for info about the Dexcom G4 vs. the Medtronic Guardian?  Many people ask their doctors for advice.  Some will do their own research by calling manufacturers, or looking up magazine reviews, and now in todays age, people will Google for information about the diabetic device they need.  What’s the best way to do your research though?  How will you find out the secret little things that no sales rep, doctor, or nurse will know or tell you?

Well here is my opinion about doing research for diabetic devices.  Ask people who use them.  Certainly doctors will be full of info they’ve been trained on by the manufacturer reps, and the manufacturer reps will tell you all the reasons their product is better than the competition, but the people who will tell you the honest truth about a product, are the people who it.  Doctors will skew you towards the products from the manufacturers who bring them donuts, cookies,  and coffee more often,  the manufacturer reps won’t tell you about the “known issues” with their product because they want you buy it, but the people who use it, will tell you EVERYTHING.  The good and the bad.

How do you find the people who use the products?  In local diabetes support groups, in JDRF meetings, at diabetes walks, and ONLINE.  The diabetes online community is jam packed full of people who just love to rave about their devices.  Just go to Twitter and search for the hashtags #doc, #dsma, #review, etc, and you’ll find people who can help.  You can also of course do Google searches for personal reviews written by real diabetics like me.  For instance, if you go to Google and type in “dexcom review” or “medtronic guardian review” or “dexcom vs. medtronic”, your going to find this blog in the top 10 search results.  I love to promote my Dexcom, and I’m not a fan of the Guardian!  I really should work for Dexcom I think.  Hey Dexcom, wanna hire me?!  LOL!!!

I have only 3 diabetic devices.  My Medtronic Minimed pump, my Dexcom CGM, and my One Touch meter.  My Medtronic pump I got simply because it’s the one my doctor at the time recommended, and it’s the only one they were trained on in her office.  That was in 2006.  I’ve stuck with it over the years because it’s never failed me.  Not once.  In fact, I’ve only had 2 pumps in those 7 years, and the one I have now is only a year old.  That means my pump with a 3 year warranty lasted 6 years, and it still works!  Why would I change, right?  My Dexcom I got because of the failure of the Guardian I had.  I got the Guardian because it was matched to my pump.  It was horrible.  The #doc was full of people posting about how they love Dexcom though, so I did some research, read some personal reviews, asked some people who use it about their experience, and couldn’t be happier with it.  My One Touch I use because I’ve used it for more years than I can remember.  Insurance sends me new ones every once in a while, and I just keep using them.

Well, I hope you found that bit of perspective helpful.  Happy shopping!!!

 

This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/june-dsma-blog-carnival-3/

What do you get a diabetic for Valentine’s Day?

LoveSo I don’t usually get really excited for Valentines Day because like Halloween (Samhain), it’s usually surrounded by candy and chocolate.  So if not chocolate or candy, what?  What could you get a diabetic, that would convey your love, friendship, or affection.  What you get someone might depend on the level of your relationship with them.  Of course flowers would be a good choice.  Even some guys I know enjoy flowers.  One of my guy friends even breeds champion orchids.  Most girls I know like flowers and especially red roses, well . . . 1 girl I dated didn’t.  She liked black roses.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find black roses?  OMG!  (I’m so busted if she reads this.)  Anyway, so flowers are nice.  A heartfelt card, with some poetic words that convey something you can’t convey in your own words.  These are all nice non-food gifts, but I think what really makes a Valentine special, is a small token made by ones own hand.  Something you’ve put your loving energy into.  A flower or plant you’ve grown yourself, a piece of jewelry you’ve hand crafted, a poem you’ve written, a piece of art you’ve created.  Those are what I think make the most meaningful Valentines gifts . . . for anyone . . . and they work great for a diabetic friend or loved one since they try to avoid carbs.

In the DMSA blog carnival this month, it was suggested that we offer YOU . . . our readers, commenters, and lurkers (Do I have lurkers?!  COOL!), a special valentine.  So here is a collection of my nature photography, selected just for you . . . . .


Happy Valentines Day DOC!!! by richthediabetic
Thanks for all of your support and encouragement in the last year.  Thanks for your comments, tweets, and posts.  You let me know that I’m actually making a difference in someone’s life.

 

May you find the love your looking for this Valentines Day . . . . . 

This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/february-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

New Year with Diabetes : Striving for ___ in 2013!

DSMA-logo-2012-LGThis is my first ever entry into the DSMA blog carnival.  Ok, so lets get this done.  In 2013, I’m striving for an A1C of 7.0 or below.  In all my life as a type 1 diabetic, I never really even understood what that A1C score was for.  Never paid attention to it.  I only got it checked every few years or so, by doctors that had no clue about how to treat type 1 diabetes.  I never really lived my life like a diabetic.  Didn’t even know what an endocrinologist was, until my cardiac arrest in the summer of 2003.  I didn’t even start to understand my diabetes until after my cardiac arrest, and it wasn’t my doctors that got me interested in understanding it, it was bodybuilders!  When I went through cardiac rehab, that got me hooked on exercising, so I found a trainer . . . . . that just happened to be a competitive bodybuilder.  TrainerThat’s him off the right.  That was in late 2003.  I surrounded myself in that lifestyle, although I wasn’t a bodybuilder.  It was those bodybuilders who began to teach me about insulin.  Bodybuilders understand insulin better than most diabetics, and even better than most endocrinologists.  I began to understand metabolism, exercise, nutrition, etc.  2011 rolled around, and I started a home business as a Team Beachbody coach, which made me become even more interested in improving my diabetes.  Then, in early 2012, I discovered the 2 things that have been instrumental in improving my diabetes.  The paleo lifestyle, and the diabetes online community (#doc).  Slowly over the last year, I’ve become even more of a nutrition nazi, and biochemistry hobbyist.  Reading book after book, learning more and more about insulin, metabolism, biochemistry, and more.  I’ve read more books this year than any other year of my life!  All of them on nutrition.  (I’m going to start a book review series on this blog as a matter of fact!)  Although I’m an online diabetes advocate now, that doesn’t mean I’m a perfect diabetic.  It does make me want to improve my A1C to a respectable level if I’m going to be an advocate though.  I struggle just like everybody else.  My A1C did drop by 2.5 points in 6 months last year, which I was really excited about.  Still a little way to go to reach 7.0, but I’ll make it.  I have a lot of people that have thanked me for what I do in the online community, but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you.  Were it not for all of you, I wouldn’t be improving nearly as well as I have over the last year.  In helping you, I’m helping myself.  thanks Diabetes Online Community (DOC)!!!

 

********** Now ya know, and knowing is half the battle.  Go Joe!!! **********

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This post is my January entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/january-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

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