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My Pancreas Valentine

Oh rotting, feeble pancreas of mine,
Won’t you be my Valentine?
Won’t you wake from your long sleep
And make some insulin, you creep?

What makes you sit, all shaped like a wiener,
Lazy and dull, with a pompous demeanor?
What makes it okay, that for your enjoyment
You’ve spent twenty plus years filing unemployment?

We need to start over; we need to be friends.
We need this whole type 1 diabetes to end.
I’m tired of shots and I’m sick of the lows,
So I think we should talk about ending this row.

I could use a break, my corn-cob-shaped friend.
I’d love to have “old age” listed as my end.
I think that your time off has drawn to a close.
I’d like working islets, and plenty of those.

How ’bout it, old pal? Care to start working?
Care to start minding duties you’ve been shirking?
I promise to be an attentive best friend,
I’ll thank you each morning and as the day ends.
I won’t take for granted the hormone you make
And I’ll forgive you for the last 24 years’ mistake.

I’ve brought you some flowers and a Border’s gift card,
In hopes that when I bring milkshakes to the yard
You’ll be so inclined to jump start all those islets
Who’ve been holding their breath for so long that they’re violet.

So what do you say, oh pancreas of mine?
Won’t you be my Valentine?

(Image credit: I Heart Guts “Pancreas — Gimme Some Sugar!“)

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

The Patdown: Diabetes At The Airport

Last week we were at the airport to travel to Marco Island for the CWD Family Weekend. And we were NOT traveling light, by any stretch. Chris and I had our suitcases, our laptops, and my diabetes supplies (infusion sets, insulin, test strips, glucose tabs, etc.) stashed in a carry on. Oh, and we also had that giggly baby BSparl, plenty of clothes for her to spit up on, formula, bottles, wipes, diapers, water for mixing the formula, toys, Happy Baby puffs for snacks, her car seat, the car seat base, and the stroller. (Phew.)

In addition to all the junk we were carrying, I was also wearing my Animas Ping and my Dexcom sensor (and carrying the receiver) — which made me a prime candidate for the airport opt-out search from a TSA employee, thanks to the fact that these devices are better off not going through X-ray machines, etc.

I know some people have had some very troubling experiences with the full patdowns, but I’m thankful that I didn’t have any issues whatsoever. Both times (leaving Rhode Island and then leaving Florida), I was pulled aside for the pat down. Chris and the baby went through security and waited while the (female) TSA employee gave me a good how-do-you-do. Read more »

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

What Not To Say To A Parent Of A Kid With Diabetes

I didn’t make this video, but the fact that it quotes questions I’ve heard people ask the parents of children with diabetes time and time again makes me smirk. It’s a little bit sassy. And my goodness, did I laugh when I first watched it. The second time I watched it, I paused it to write down my favorite line:

“There are only two things my daughter cannot eat:  Poison, and cookies…made with poison.”

(Note:  If someone can hook me up with this moss that supposedly cures all things that ail ya, let me know. I’d love some in time for the holidays.)

This video was born on Joanne’s Death of a Pancreas site. Thanks for the laughs, Joanne!

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

Diabetes Camp: How You Can Help

I loved diabetes camp. Actually, that should be in present tense because I continue to love diabetes camp, even though I’m not a camper anymore. Attending Clara Barton Camp for those five summers changed the way I looked at life with diabetes, and my health has always been better for it.

But I’ve talked about camp before. I’d love to play a role in sending other kids to diabetes camp. And thankfully, we as a community now have that chance.

The Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) is in the running to win one of the Pepsi Refresh Project grants. If they earn one, they’ll use their winnings to send kids to diabetes camps and will also arm them with digital filmmaking skills so that the campers can chronicle their experiences with type 1 diabetes. As a diabetes camp alum, a patient advocate, and the wife of a filmmaker, I think this is a fantastic idea. Read more »

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

A Patient’s Contagious Confidence And Endless Possibilities

In a recent post I wrote why patients are the most important part of the medical team, and my colleagues, Elizabeth Cohen, Kevin Pho, MD, Donna Cryer, JD, and Carl R. Sullivan, MD, shared their insights as well. Today, Ginger Vieira, a patient living with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, says:

“You, as the patient, are the most important part of the medical team because you are the one who makes the daily decisions, who balances your disease around dinners, soccer games, long hours at work without enough time to check your blood sugar and eat lunch. You are the one who takes the knowledge you learn from your doctor and fits it into your everyday life. That’s a huge role, and it’s never easy.”

Ginger Vieira shares her story about the challenges and how her positive attitude is allowing her to lead a life she thought was off limits.

Contagious Confidence, Endless Possibilities

By Ginger Vieira

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.” My twin brother, Pete, said this to me several months ago. I wrote it down on an index card and taped it to my bathroom mirror. Funny thing is, it’s never been other people telling me I can or cannot do something. The loudest voice I hear is my own.

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the seventh grade over eleven years ago, the first list that ran through my head was the list of things I probably couldn’t do anymore. I couldn’t eat ice cream without first counting the grams of carbohydrates in the bowl and determining how much insulin I needed. I couldn’t play basketball anymore (at least, that’s what I thought). I couldn’t buy candy and popcorn with my friends when we go to the movies without feeling overwhelmingly guilty about eating such diabetic-off-limits food. The list of foods, activities, dreams and goals I thought were off-limits seemed endless. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

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