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Feeling Pretty Thankful

It’s Thanksgiving here in the States, and I’m feeling pretty thankful. While the day is reserved for turning hand tracings into turkeys, it’s also a good day to highlight what I’m thankful for this year:

I’m thankful that we have a backyard that the cats can go [potty] in, because I was tired of cleaning that litterbox. (And I’m also secretly glad that our neighbors have a ridiculous cat that comes over and starts trouble with ours, because when they pile into the bushes out back and cause the shrubbery to vibrate with their Andy Capp-style battles, it cracks me right up.)

I’m thankful for our family and friends, who have helped Chris and I adjust to our new lives as “parents” and who make “home” a place that matters. We’re so glad to be sharing this chapter of our lives with the people and in the places we love the most.

I’m thankful for having good enough health to take it for granted, and to actually have the luxury of feeling frustrated when I’m “sick” because it’s such a foreign concept.

I’m thankful for the wonderful work opportunities that have come up in the last few years, specifically for the companies and organizations that have embraced the voices of patient advocacy and who have decided to become part of the conversation.

I’m thankful I have an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor that can help me make sense of the holiday meals. Also known as: “Pie? Yes, please.” Read more »

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

Meet Marcel, The Diabetic Shell

Clara Barton Camp (CBC) is awesome — this is an indisputable fact. I talk about CBC all the time when I’m at conferences, because there is something so unique and incredibly supportive about knowing that your fellow campers are also insulin-dependent and aren’t afraid to show it.

Part of what makes CBC so cool is that it makes you feel like having diabetes is…sort of cool. Almost everyone at camp has it, so if your pancreas happens to work, it makes you the odd one out instead of part of the WYOI (wear your own insulin) crowd. What’s more empowering than taking an isolating chronic illness and making it the common — and intrinsically cool — thread? 

Which is why this video — a diabetes take on the Marcel the Shell with Shoes On — is so brilliant. It takes the Marcel the Shell concept and turns it on its diabetes head. And if you’re “in the know” with diabetes, it will make you laugh. If you listen closely, you’ll hear some of my favorite diabetes lines of all time. (Including, but not limited to: “One time I licked a glucose tab and went into DKA.”)

It takes some serious (cotton?) balls to make this video. I love it. This video was created, voiced, and edited by the talented CBC team of Abby Bayer (who guest posted here), Savannah Johnson (her post is here), Allie D, and Alissa Carberry (I think it’s time for Alissa and Allie to post, since I have nothing to link to for them).  

What else can I say, other than this video had me in tears from laughing last night. Clara would be proud!

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

A Parking Lot “Low”

Part of me would love to ride in one of these down a steep hill.  The other part of me wants to live.“Brrrrr…it’s a little chilly outside today,” I said to BSparl as I tucked her blanket snug around her wiggly little self in the car seat. She waved at me and showed me her sock.

“Yes, that’s a nice sock, birdy. Okay, let’s get out of here and get you into the car so we can go home!”

The automatic doors parted and a brisk gust of wind came and skipped down my collar. With the baby’s car seat safely tucked into the belly of the carriage, I ventured out to find my car in the massive parking lot. 

“Ha ha, where did Mommy leave the car?” I said out loud, walking up and down the parking lot aisles and pressing the alarm on my keys. Nothing. No flashing lights, no subtle little “beep” noise from my Honda. Nothing but a sea of cars and I had no idea which one was mine.

“Am I getting old?” I asked BSparl. “Mmmmmm!”  she proclaimed, raising her teething toy into the air.

I walked for several minutes, combing the lot for my car. And the wind kept whipping, only this time it felt good because it kept whisking the sweat off the nape of my neck. I felt dizzy. Read more »

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

Diabetes: Be Part Of The Cure

(And no, this doesn’t mean you have to become Robert Smith.)

With more than two decades of diabetes clocked in, my faith in a cure has been shaken with every diabetes anniversary. Each September, I realize that more has been done to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes, but little has been done in giving us the hope that a cure — a real cure — is possible in our lifetime.

Except last year, when I made a trip to Florida to visit the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), my hope was reignited. The Diabetes Research Institute is functioning solely to provide research for a cure for diabetes. And I have cautious hope that they will be the ones to make great strides in curing type 1 diabetes. If not for me, then for the generation after me.

Which is why I am part of The Cure this month for American Diabetes Month. I made a small donation to the DRI and uploaded my photo to the Cure collage. (You can find me in the bottom left hand corner of that sassy little “E” there.) 

Be part of the Cure!

Camillo Ricordi, Scientific Director and Chief Academic Officer of the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute, stated in a recent interview on the Huffington Post: “I started this work to cure diabetes. My goal has not changed. I will keep working until I get the job done.”

I can get on board with that.  Be part of the Cure.

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

Are Social Networks Compatible Or Competitive?

The BlogWorld Panel - Kerri Sparling, Kevin Pho, and Bryan VartabedianI was in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t all just spending quality time with blogging buddies.  There was work to do — we were there for the Social Health track of BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2010 to help inform others about the discussions taking place in the medical blogosphere, and the power of these communities. 

The panel that I was participating on was Social Networks & The Medical Blogosphere:  Compatible or Competitive, with fellow panelists Kevin Pho and Bryan Vartabedian (see photo) moderated by the fabulous Kim McAllister. The big question was: “Are these social networking technologies helping or hurting the blogosphere?”

We, as a panel, gave this a lot of thought as we prepared for our discussion, and we ultimately settled on the answer of “Well…both.” Read more »

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

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