November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month | I am a Type 1 DiabeticThroughout November, JDRF supporters like myself worked hard to increase awareness of the critical need for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research dollars and to step up advocacy efforts to continue federal funding for that research.

National Diabetes Awareness Month is winding down, but progress on  JDRF’s strategic research plan continues every day. Your gift today will help us bring a steady stream of life-changing therapies from the lab to the community while we work together toward a cure.

Together, we’re the ones who will turn Type One into Type None, because:

  • We’re the type to face the challenge. More than 6,500 people took the T1D for a Day text challenge to experience life with T1D for one day.
  • We’re the type to tell the world. More than 800 people became JDRF advocates, helping us urge Congress to renew the Special Diabetes Program.
  • We’re the type to keep up the momentum. Your donation will help us drive progress from advances in the lab to therapies that improve the lives of all people affected by T1D.

To achieve JDRF’s vision of a world without T1D, more research funding is essential. Please make a gift that will help us create a future where T1D is a thing of the past.

Thank you for all your support, encouragement, and understanding throughout the month of November. Now, I ask of one last favor that you help JDRF in November and all year round. Make a Gift donation today.

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How to Survive the Holidays With Diabetes |

Holiday Survival Guide

How to Survive the Holidays With Diabetes |

Thursday, November 28 Holiday Survival – Here’s the American Diabetes Association’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays. What’s your survival tip? Do you avoid carbs, fats, or family members?

Well it is Thanksgiving — the second worst holiday to have diabetes. Halloween is #1 in case you are wondering.

Everyone will be eating turkey until they pass out. I however, have to watch how much I eat… especially with the mashed potatoes and the stuffing — a few of my favorites! Carb counting is hard by itself, so on Holidays when you are not sure exactly how much you are going to be eating, the issue becomes how do to get around it and still maintain a perfect blood sugar.

Here are a few pointers to Survive The Holidays with Diabetes:

  1. Carry your test kit with you at all times.
  2. Check your blood sugar level more often.
  3. Remember to bolus a little bit more than you usually do before sitting down at the table.
  4. Don’t skip a meal to have more room for the Turkey. Once you arrive, you’ll be hungry and you will overeat.
  5. Drink a hard liquor mixed with diet instead of a beer. For diabetics, beer is filled with carbs that’ll make your blood sugar levels go high right away, but make it drop very quickly when it leaves your system.
  6. Ask your parents/friends/siblings/yourself to make a sugar free desert. (I know it’s not the same, but your blood sugar meter will thank you later!)
  7. Try to get some exercise.. and make it simple! Chase that little nephew of yours around. Go get Grandpa another beer. Help mom wash and dry the dishes. Take the dog for a walk. Avoid becoming a huge couch potato.
  8. Drink a glass of iced tea instead of another glass of wine.
  9. Eat slowly, and really enjoy the foods that you may only have once a year. If the meal will be served near your usual meal time, try to eat the same amount of carbohydrate that you normally would for a meal.
  10. Lastly and most importantly: If you overindulge, get back on track. If you eat more carbs or food than you planned for, don’t think you have failed. Stop eating for the night and focus on spending the rest of your time with the people around you. Get back on track with your usual eating habits the next day.

Holiday Travel With Diabetes

November 26 Holiday Travel – The pilgrims traveled for 66 days to make it to the “new world.” Do you travel for Thanksgiving or other holidays? What tricks or tips do you use to navigate airport crowds, traffic-filled highways and blood glucose fluctuations?

This Thanksgiving, I personally am not traveling — unless you consider an hour drive a “traveling distance”. But, with that being said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have advice to share with you about traveling with type 1 diabetes!

By Plane — If I am flying, I always make sure to bring a snack and a juice box. I have had numerous times at the airport when the flight attendants have actually taken away my juice boxes — but there has also been a few times where they’ve let me keep it after I explain that I am a diabetic. Some feel that it’s a medical necessity, others feel you should spend money in the airport before you leave. It’s kinda a catch-22 situation, but at least throwing out a juice box wont kill your vacation plans.

By Car — Driving always seems to get tricky for me. I do remember to pack some snacks, but I also tend to over indulge in the car. Also, if I am the one driving a long distance, checking your blood sugar level while on the road can get tricky — don’t lie, I know I am not the only one who’s felt the need to check while stopped at a red light. High blood sugar levels make me really thirsty, and I’ve gotta pee more often. Those mixed together while on a 6-hour car ride are definitely not cool. Just make sure to check your blood sugar at all the rest stops, and try not to eat all of the snacks you brought along. These will make life a bit easier on your roadtrip.

By Train — A lot of what I said for traveling by car is the same. I bring snacks, but on the train, I personally find it much easier to relax and not eat all of the snacks. My blood sugars tend to stay about normal. On the trains, if you have to use the rest room or get a snack/drink, it is not the most inconvenient thing in the world. Most trains I’ve been on have a snack cart, and if there is an emergency, I can find whatever it is that I may need.

However you are traveling this holiday season, please stay safe… and remember to check your blood sugar levels as often as you can. Low blood sugar have caused some car accidents, and being away from home can make it much more traumatic. No matter how you are traveling, remember to bring extra test strips, glucose tablets, insulin, insulin pumps and other medical necessities. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Type 1 Diabetes Video Game — The Magi and The Sleeping Star

There is a new video game being developed by a fellow type 1 diabetic called The Magi and The Sleeping Star. It’s a 3rd person action adventure game where the main protagonist must correctly balance their blood sugar in order to succeed. The creator, Adam Grantham, has had type 1 for 19 years now and has created a system that’s fun and easy for anyone to understand.

The game aims to teach players about daily diabetes tasks such as blood sugar checks, carb counts and insulin and meal doses, all within a fantasy adventure world that isn’t about diabetes at all. That’s the magic! This game lets you focus on saving the world from robot soldiers to giant dinosaur warriors wearing robotic machine parts and weapons.

The game has officially launched on Kickstarter, a crowd-sourcing site for projects such as this. They only have less than 11 days left to reach funding! If you could, please visit the site and make a contribution: The Magi and the Sleeping Star on Kickstarter.

DiabetesMine recently conducted an interview with the creator, Adam. You can also see the trailer for the new game. See it here:

On a personal note, I think this video game will be a great way to help those without diabetes to understand how hard it is to manage and balance diabetes. They will understand what a rollercoaster of a world we (T1d’s) live in. I made my contribution to get this game funded, now will you?

Magi Game Logo

Questions to a Diabetic

November 16 FAQ – What question do you get asked the most when you tell someone you have diabetes? Do you use any of these opportunities to help teach about diabetes, or do they get annoying? Or both?

Well I do get asked a lot of questions. I do not think they are annoying because I (clearly) like to talk about type 1 diabetes and how it affects my life. I help people to understand what it is like to have diabetes, and try to make them understand how much of a rollercoaster ride I am on each and every day of my life.

I recently made a video about the topic too. Here’s my take on the “Dumb Things People Ask Diabetics.”

Friends & Family Friday

November 15 “Friends & Family Friday” – Research shows that diabetes has a genetic component: Who in your family or circle of friends has diabetes?

I’ve heard this genetic question a few too many times. I actually have NO family history of diabetes at the  time of diagnosis (1998)— which all my doctors thought was very odd. Since then, my grandfather on my father’s side (I call him Opa) was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

I have a lot of diabetic friends — a good part because I like to stay involved in the “Diabetic Community.” I have done the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes every year since 2001. Originally, I started with the Western New York Chapter of JDRF. A few years ago, I started working with the Westchester County Chapter and have met some more great people. Now, I have another team captain, who’s also diabetic, and wishes to raise funds for diabetes research too.

I have gone to Meet-Up groups with other diabetics in my age range. And I also “meet” a lot of those (like myself) in the online community.

The most important point I am trying to make is that you are not alone. Diabetes affects so many of us, and if you want to be involved and meet people who you can relate to — do it!


Diabetes Routine

November 11 Veteran’s Day – Veterans Day marks end of World War 1 in 1918 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Is there something you do every day at the same time to help with your diabetes routine?

Firstly, I would like to say Thank You to all the Veterans out there for all that you do! Your hard work is what is keeping us living as The Nation of The Free & The Brave.

Now onto diabetes — The best and biggest thing that I see myself doing every day on a  routine basis is checking my blood sugar levels. I have alarms set on my meter to make sure I check my blood sugar level before dinner each night. I have it set to vibrate, and I do tend to forget to bolus before dinner, so when I hear it, it is a great reminder before I go high.

I also have an alarm set on my cell phone to wake me up at 3:30am each night. I wake up, check my sugar level, get a glass of juice if needed and go back to bed. This is my most routine of routines, and I do it each and every night, at the same time. Since I have been eating dinner earlier than ever before, and I am on more of a lifetime schedule, my blood sugar levels tend to go lower in the middle of the night. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up and get engaged and all that fun stuff!

I can’t complain. Being on a routine is great. And my diabetes control and A1c are getting better because of it too. As Bret Michaels has said “It’s all about maintaining balance.” And he goes on to say, “That’s the weirdest thing for a rock star to say: ‘balance’. But as a diabetic rock star, it’s all about balance in my life.”

And in my life too.