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Being A Diabetic Parent Isn’t Easy

Lead by Korey Hood and Stefan Rubin, the Parenting with Type 1 Diabetes session at Friends for Life was aiming to touch upon the different challenges of being a parent with type 1 diabetes, instead of the concentration on parenting a child with type 1 diabetes that Children With Diabetes was once known for.  This was my first year attending this session, and I sat between two of my best friends in the diabetes community – Scott and George.

“So thanks for coming, you guys.  We’re here to talk about parenting with type 1 diabetes,” said Korey.

At this point, people started doing introductions.  “Hi, I’m So-and-So and I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1998.”  or “I’ve been diabetic for 16 years and I have three children.”  Only introductions.  That’s it.

So why was I already crying? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

The Case Of A Chronic Corneal Abrasion

Birds have sharp little nails.  For the record.Back at the beginning of May, the Bird took a swipe at my left eyeball with her little birdie talon, ripping off a nice, solid chunk of my cornea and leaving me in some serious pain.  It was a rough couple of days, especially because Chris was away for the week on business, but my family and friends pitched in to help with the baby and to allow me to heal.

I figured I was done with this issue.

“You may want to be careful about recurrence, Kerri.  With this kind of injury, it does happen.”  My eye doctor warned me, handing me a small tube of eye goop stuff.  “This is Muro 128.  Pull down your lower eyelid and smear this in there.  It will help keep your eye coated while you sleep.”

(Oh eyeball injuries.  You make me feel old, because if you Google “Muro 128,” you’ll see that this product is targeted at the 60+ crowd.  Throw in a few tennis balls for my walker and I’m ready for my debut at the bingo hall.)

I used the stuff, but it wasn’t enough Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

When Diabetes Requires Mad Scientist Experimentation To Get Blood Sugars In Target Range

Hoping I hit a balance as lovely and even as depicted in this here clip art from 1994.I do not enjoy basal testing.  Even though I sometimes go six hour clips without having a snack (thanks, Birdy and your busy ways), something about knowing I can’t eat or exercise makes me want to do a 5K while simultaneously chomping down on some soft serve.

But when I noticed that I was going to bed at a completely normal blood sugar, but waking up in the 180 – 220 mg/dl range for three days in a row, I knew I needed to do some basal tweaking.

Making adjustments to my overnight basal rates always skeeves me out.  I’m a very deep sleeper (as evidenced by the fact that Siah prowling around on the bed all night doesn’t wake me in the slightest, but makes Chris say “We’re sleeping with the door SHUT tonight,” in the morning), and I have a very healthy fear of overnight low blood sugars.  My symptoms of a low on the overnights used to be this body-drenching sweat, but since the birth of my daughter, that symptom has all but disappeared.  Now, I don’t have any symptoms at all.  Blood sugars of 60, 50, and lower don’t even register until I prick my finger and go, “Oh.  I guess I’m low?” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

The Improving Outcome For People Living With Type 1 Diabetes

During the Joslin medalist meeting last week, I didn’t say anything.  I wasn’t presenting or doing any kind of networking.  I was invited as “media” (totally in quotes) but I attended as a grown-up child with diabetes, hoping to continue on that path of growing up.

I sat next to a woman named Eleanor (my beloved grandmother’s name) and she had been living with type 1 for 58 years.  She asked to see pictures of my daughter.  She offered me a cough drop after I spent a few minutes trying to clear my throat, and she stuck her hand out to take the wrapper, spying my pump tubing jutting out from my pocket.  “I don’t wear a pump,” she said.  “I do just fine with my needles.  And you appear to be doing just fine with your pump.  Do you need another cough drop?”  I almost hugged her.

As Dr. George King, director of research at the Joslin Clinic, gave his opening remarks, quotes from the medalists were flashing up on the screen behind him.  “I have learned to understand that perfection is not possible.”  “Tomorrow is another chance to do better.”  “Say YES to every opportunity.”

These people were incredible because of what they’ve accomplished with type 1 diabetes.  Hilary Keenan, PhD and pat of the Joslin biostatistics team, stunned me with the stats on this group. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Creative Cakes For People With Diabetes

You know when you’re skimming through the newsfeed on Facebook, and something totally grabs your face and says “LOOK AT ME I AM THE AWESOME?”

Yes, that’s precisely what happened when I stumbled upon Faye’s photo of Novolog-inspired cake pops.  (You did read that correctly.  Here, look:)

We're gonna need a bigger bottle.
Photo – and cake pops – by Faye!

Faye has been living with type 1 since the age of 9, and for her 18th diaversary she wanted to make something special and bolus-worthy. Her current obsession has been cake pops (making them and feeding them to her non-d friends, even though I can safely say that some of her d-friends would happily go chompies on one), so when she saw the bright orange candy melts at her local AC Moore, a lightbulb went off – NovoLog cake pops! It was too funny (and ironic) to pass up. It’s a celebration of living with diabetes for 18 years, and it’s also a tribute to the diabetes community and a reminder to find the humor in our journey. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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