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Latest Living with Diabetes Articles
I haven't always been forthright and expressive about diabetes. There were a solid 10 years of my disease which I kept under wraps, hidden from everyone I knew. I was afraid of everything-to push myself harder than I had ever before, to allow people into my dark corner of the world, to allow myself to believe I could become anything that I wanted to be. I let my fears hinder my development and stayed sedentary during major points in my life.
1 comment - Posted Nov 8, 2013
Ryan Shafer is a 44-year-old professional bowler from Elmira, New York, who was 19 when he developed type 1 diabetes. For a couple of weeks, he experienced the usual symptoms of weight loss, lethargy, extreme thirst, and frequent urination, as well as vision problems. "Being that age," he says, "I was afraid to go to the doctor. I thought it would just go away." When he finally saw his family physician and was diagnosed, he says, "I was actually relieved--not that I thought diabetes was a piece of cake, but I was glad to know what was wrong with me."
3 comments - Posted May 1, 2011
Jeff and Natalie Kolok live in northwestern Vermont with their three children: Naomi, 16, and Johanna and Nicholas, each ten years old. Both Johanna and Nicholas have type 1 diabetes, Johanna since age four and Nick since age six.
1 comment - Posted Apr 7, 2011
If you, like me, have diabetes, you realize upon reflection that you are, despite the constant demands of the disease, blessed. Somewhere, sometime, you have benefited from the kindness, professionalism, and genuine concern of a medical professional, be it a nurse, pharmacist, dietitian, physician, therapist, or supporting staff.
7 comments - Posted Apr 7, 2011
Ten years ago, an astute physician diagnosed me with Type 2 diabetes. I exhibited none of the classic symptoms of rapid weight loss, extreme thirst, and frequent urination. I attributed fatigue to my job. For about a year before diagnosis, I experienced what I thought were yeast infections and treated them with over-the-counter medications. I later learned that this condition is a symptom of diabetes. I am non-insulin dependent.
2 comments - Posted Mar 3, 2011
My diabetes and I have traveled a lot of miles together in nineteen years. Racing Ironman triathlons in Australia, Europe, the Carribean and all over North America, climbing and camping at the top of 14,000 foot Mt. Whitney, and of course dozens of family vacations and business trips. Packing equipment and supplies for an Ironman triathlon and 3 weeks in Australia requires a bit of planning and preparation, but when you have diabetes you feel like you do that for just a weekend out of town. Meters, strips, insulin, syringes, infusion sets, pump supplies, snacks . . . a simple weekend trip becomes a lunar expedition.
1 comment - Posted Jul 10, 2010
Diabetes is often perceived as a physical disease, an issue with one's body. But those of us with diabetes know that it affects every area of our lives, including our emotional, spiritual, and mental health. People with diabetes are more likely to experience depression than the average person, and it doesn't take a doctor to explain why. Diabetes is daunting, complicated, and confusing. There's no one-size-fits-all explanation or treatment plan, and even when we arrive at something that works, diabetes throws us a curveball and we are forced to reinvent our treatment regimen---time, and time, and time again.
0 comments - Posted Jun 18, 2010
As a type 1 diabetic, I have found that it's a good idea to plan for the unexpected when traveling. Life is full of surprises, and so are vacations. The flight is late. The flight has been cancelled. We had a flat tire or ran out of gas. There is an accident on the highway, and the traffic isn't moving. Who would have ever thought that airline flights would be grounded for five days in most of Eastern Europe because of volcanic ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland? If a diabetic had planned on going for a week-long vacation in England or France and had taken limited insulin, syringes, or infusion sets, he might have been in big trouble. Trying to replenish medical supplies in a foreign country could prove to be very difficult.
0 comments - Posted Jun 16, 2010
One of the most inspiring personalities of the 2010 Vancouver Games, Olympic cross-country skier Kris Freeman sheds his skis and poles this week to kick off his 6th annual diabetes summer camp tour with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly Diabetes). Freeman, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 years ago at age 19, will share his amazing comeback story from coast to coast and encourage children with diabetes to continue pursuing their dreams.
0 comments - Posted Jun 14, 2010
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, announced today the launch of BD Ultra-FineTM Nano-the world's smallest pen needle. The BD Nano pen needle is proven to be as effective as longer needles for patients of all body types and proven to offer a less painful injection experience for the more than 5 million people in the United States who inject insulin or GLP-1 to manage their diabetes.
0 comments - Posted Jun 10, 2010
It's a cool Sunday evening, and I'm sitting in a lively Italian restaurant. My husband is across the table. We've just placed our orders, and we're engaged in easy conversation.
0 comments - Posted Jun 8, 2010
It's early on a Thursday morning in a hotel ballroom in downtown Oakland, and attendees at a breakfast of the annual meeting of the California Dietetic Association are still working on getting fully awake. That problem is solved two minutes after Jay Hewitt, the breakfast's inspirational speaker, takes the stage. Hewitt, a 41-year-old lawyer who was diagnosed with type 1 in 1991, knows his audience is an experienced group of professional dietitians that has dealt with every type of patient and heard every kind of excuse for failure.
0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 2010
It was a great win for diabetes on Sunday night as Bret Michaels, lead singer for the rock band Poison and reality TV star, was crowned the latest Celebrity Apprentice winner after struggling with several medical scares in the past month. Just as impressive is that throughout the season, Michaels' various wins raised more than $390,000 for the American Diabetes Association, including the final challenge prize from Snapple, worth $250,000. The 47-year old Michaels has lived with type 1 diabetes since he was six years old.
0 comments - Posted May 29, 2010
Abbott announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new FreeStyle Lite blood glucose test strips. The new FreeStyle Lite test strips minimize interference during blood glucose testing and are designed to offer a better testing experience.
0 comments - Posted May 27, 2010
Tattoos aren't just an art form or a way of making a personal statement anymore: They are beginning to save lives.
1 comment - Posted May 20, 2010
Over 80 years ago, famed diabetologist Elliot Joslin said about the treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes: "Ketoacidosis may kill a patient, but frequent hypoglycemic reactions will ruin him." Unfortunately, hypoglycemia continues to be the most difficult problem facing most patients, families, and caregivers who deal with the management of type 1 diabetes on a daily basis. Frequent hypoglycemia episodes not only can "ruin," or adversely impact the quality of life for patients, but also, when severe, can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
12 comments - Posted May 13, 2010
Diabetes Education and Camping Association's (DECA's) young adult leadership team "DLEAD" takes on Boston at "D-TREAT" - a unique 3-day event at Northeastern University, May 28-30, 2010 - to encourage young adults with diabetes to network, share insights and meet peers during an awesome event.
0 comments - Posted May 6, 2010
I grew up around the corner from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In high school, long ago, I thought that NIH scientists were "bad guys" who mistreated animals in the name of medical research. I later moved to the West Coast and became a registered obstetrical nurse. Over the years, along with sharing the joys of new moms and new babies, I cared for patients with devastating conditions like cancer and quadriplegia, people whose lives could potentially be saved or improved by medical research., Yet it wasn't until many years later, after moving back to the DC area, that I really began to see the NIH in a new light.
4 comments - Posted Mar 20, 2010
The first time that my fiancé Richard and I got, um, "intimate," I had some explaining to do. "Er, that's for my diabetes. So's that. And this thing. Oh, and this too." Richard was a bit overwhelmed. I think his exact words were, "Are you bionic or something?"
3 comments - Posted Jan 6, 2010
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the night before Thanksgiving, and my family and I were driving to my parents' house for the holiday weekend. I am usually the one who drives, but this time my wife insisted on taking the wheel because I was so dizzy and light-headed that I could hardly stand upright. Over the course of the previous week, I had not been feeling well. I had been getting up frequently at night to use the bathroom, was insatiably thirsty, and had been so dizzy that I had actually fallen down several times.
7 comments - Posted Sep 11, 2009
Initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Rob subsequently discovered that he had type 1. Knowing that he needed to exercise more, he returned to professional surfing. Today, he is a sponsored professional athlete who uses a CGM.
10 comments - Posted Aug 7, 2009
It's very likely that you, like most people, believe many myths about diabetes. If you do, you might actually be doing yourself harm. Learning the truth can empower you (as it did me) to make choices and take actions that increase the quality and length of your life.
9 comments - Posted Aug 1, 2009
Could the medical community be overlooking 2.5 million people who have diabetes? Currently, 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8 percent of the population, have diabetes. Although an estimated 17.9 million of them have been diagnosed, 5.7 million (nearly one quarter) are unaware that they have the disease. If lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people comprise 10 percent of the U.S. population, then 10 percent of people with diabetes are part of the LGBT community-about 2.5 million people.*
3 comments - Posted Jul 22, 2009
Growth hormones, peer pressure, independence struggles, and mood swings: welcome to the teenage years! There's nothing like a warning glance from a fed-up teenager to make a parent retreat. As your child takes more control of his or her diabetes, it becomes ever more tempting to step back and avoid the friction that sometimes comes from being involved. Nevertheless, your teenager needs your reliable presence more than ever. The beauty, strength, and sheer courage our kids exhibit in meeting their teenage challenges can inspire us to stand up and work with them to keep their health and well-being firmly in the forefront of their minds. Each child and each situation is different, but here are a few suggestions for staying on your teen's diabetes team.
0 comments - Posted Jul 17, 2009
Roche Diabetes Care Announces Unique Coaching Program for Diabetes Educators as Part of Long-Term Commitment to Fight the Disease
1 comment - Posted Jul 8, 2009
In 1993, I published an article entitled "Is non-compliance a dirty word?" in The Diabetes Educator in which I expressed my sadness that people with diabetes were actually getting blamed by their health care providers for not following treatment advice (1). I suggested that the patient's failure might really be a failure in the partnership (or lack thereof) between patient and provider. Fifteen years ago, I challenged diabetes educators to work together with medical practitioners to change noncompliance from a dirty word to a rare occurrence. So how are we doing today?
21 comments - Posted Jun 19, 2009
I hear voices in my surroundings as the cloud of confusion gradually begins to lift. "Curtis, can you hear me?" "Curtis, what was the score of the football game?" "Curtis, do you know where you are?"
6 comments - Posted Jun 18, 2009
Gale Fullerton is a 65-year-old Californian who has the distinction of being a Joslin 50-Year medal winner. Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., knew that good self-management was the key to minimizing long-term diabetes complications, and the medal program was designed as an incentive for those committed to good diabetes care. In 1970, Joslin Diabetes Center expanded the program and began awarding a 50-year bronze medal. They presented the first 75-year medal in 1996.
24 comments - Posted Jun 16, 2009
Long before Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN, served a stint as the clinical editor and contributing columnist for Diabetes Health Professional, she was a seasoned diabetes expert who knew her way around almost every aspect of the disease.
0 comments - Posted Apr 22, 2009
Two-and-a-half years ago, my seven-year-old granddaughter, Liliana, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In less than a day, I was on an airplane to Portland so that I could be there to support my daughter and son-in-law. The week that followed was a heart-wrenching experience for all of us. I stayed with Liliana as much as possible so that her parents could go through extensive education and instruction on what would be in store for them. I wanted to learn more about type 1, but I felt that there was time for that. It was more important that they became the experts, and I became the shoulder on which to lean.
2 comments - Posted Apr 14, 2009
Welcome to Diabetes Health's new column on sex and diabetes, by David Spero RN and Aisha Kassahoun. Once a month, we'll publish questions submitted by our readers, along with David and Aisha's responses. Send your questions to email@example.com and watch for their answers to appear in this column.
9 comments - Posted Apr 14, 2009
My whole childhood, I was a bit of a pudgy girl. At the age of eight, I weighed over 110 pounds, wore a woman's size 8, and stood a mere five feet tall. I wasn't grossly obese, by any means, but it was enough to keep me off the cheerleading squad and out of the popular crowd at school. I didn't really have any health issues besides the weight.
27 comments - Posted Apr 1, 2009
I hear voices in my surroundings as the cloud of confusion gradually begins to lift. "Curtis, can you hear me?" "Curtis, what was the score of the football game?" "Curtis, do you know where you are?"
5 comments - Posted Mar 27, 2009
New cases of adult type 2 diabetes have increased by more than 90 percent in the past 10 years, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease and Prevention.(1) Equally troubling is the dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes among children. Recent reports reveal a 200 percent increase in hospitalizations for children with type 2 diabetes, a condition that was rarely diagnosed in children decades ago.(2) In the words of the CDC, "Diabetes is common, disabling, and deadly."(3)
2 comments - Posted Mar 18, 2009
The day I heard "Diabetes is not the leading cause of heart attack, blindness, kidney disease, and amputation," my life changed. I had believed the opposite to be true for the 32 years I'd been dealing with diabetes. Complications had always hung like a knife over my head.
14 comments - Posted Dec 22, 2008
People's happiness depends upon the happiness of others in their lives, says research published recently on bmj.com, a publication of the British Medical Association.
1 comment - Posted Dec 22, 2008
Most people with diabetes will tell you this: Everything about having it is a hassle, an annoyance and sometimes utterly overwhelming. Endless worrying over meal plans, carbohydrate counting, finger-stick checks, pills, injections, lab tests, prescriptions, supplies and doctors’ appointments are nobody’s idea of fun.
7 comments - Posted Dec 17, 2008
How does a mother keep her sense of humor when her 12-year old son has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? Well, it's not easy, but...
3 comments - Posted Dec 15, 2008
A doctor is trying to get his patient, an overweight man with diabetes, to lose some weight. "I want you to eat what you always do for two days, then skip a day, then repeat this for two weeks. When you come back, you should have lost five pounds." A month later when the patient returns, he's lost 20 pounds. The doctor is amazed. "Was it hard to follow my instructions?" he asks. "Well, on the third day, I thought I'd die," the man replied. The doctor nodded. "From hunger? " "No," the man replied, "From the skipping."
1 comment - Posted Dec 8, 2008
My daughter Lauren was five days shy of her twelfth birthday when she was diagnosed with type 1. We were blessed with a child who could and did take the lead in her recovery and care. She never had any "teen diabetic rebellion" and never adopted a "why me?" mentality. Her health has been great, and her last A1c was 6.7%. With all the hormonal changes that can affect a teenage girl's body and thus change her insulin requirements, Lauren has always stayed on top of her care and never lost her fantastic personality.
24 comments - Posted Dec 2, 2008
Becoming pregnant for the first time can be overwhelming for any woman, especially if that woman has diabetes. When my husband and I decided we were ready to have children, the first thing I did was make an appointment with my endocrinologist. Diagnosed when I was fourteen, I've had type 1 diabetes for twenty-four years. My doctor explained that I would need to be in tight control for three months before I could even think about babies, so I got right to work. Learning everything I could about diabetes and pregnancy, I was pleased to discover that with education, support, and practice, a woman with diabetes has every opportunity for a healthy pregnancy.
7 comments - Posted Nov 17, 2008
As a child, I had an obsessive, irrational fear of going blind. At night, I lay in bed and kept opening my eyes every few minutes as I fell asleep to make sure I could still see, searching for outside lights filtering through the curtains of my bedroom window.
3 comments - Posted Nov 17, 2008
I have been reading a lot about diabetes on the Internet ever since I was diagnosed less than a year ago, and I wanted to share my experiences.
8 comments - Posted Nov 10, 2008
LifeScan, the maker of OneTouch blood glucose meters, recently announced Global Diabetes Handprint, a new collaboration with the Diabetes Hands Foundation. The project encourages people with diabetes to post an image of their hand, decorated with words and graphics depicting their personal expressions about living with diabetes (or decorate a virtual hand online). The project is designed to help people with diabetes use self-expression to connect with each other and feel less isolated.
1 comment - Posted Oct 27, 2008
At the beginning of 2007, we began studying guidebooks and making reservations for a long-anticipated trip to New Zealand and Australia. With limited funds and so much we wanted to do, we decided our budget would go farther if we stayed at hostels. At the same time, we were concerned about Al’s rising blood sugar scores. After visiting relatives during Christmas and celebrating the New Year, Al’s morning scores were as high as 154 mg/dl.
3 comments - Posted Aug 14, 2008
Since the 1950s, Finland has recorded the world’s highest incidence of type 1 diabetes as a percentage of its population.
0 comments - Posted Aug 5, 2008
I’ve always been a pretty good traveler. I simply checked the weather at my destination and packed accordingly. Easy. Then I learned that I had diabetes, and suddenly even weekend trips required an intense amount of additional preparation.
2 comments - Posted Jul 3, 2008
Sheri Colberg, PhD, who has type 1 diabetes, is an exercise physiologist at Old Dominion University who specializes in research in diabetes and exercise. She has co-authored an inspirational and relevant book called, “50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes.”
3 comments - Posted Jun 12, 2008
I was diagnosed with type I insulin-dependent diabetes 54 years ago at the age of 22 months. A dear family friend suggested my parents take me to our family doctor and have me checked for diabetes after I showed some of the more common symptoms. I was unusually cranky and always hungry, but had a stomach that was hard to the touch as though food was not digesting properly. I was also always thirsty, drinking a lot and urinating frequently. Our doctor tested my blood sugar, and the result was high enough to indicate diabetes. He put me on 60 units of insulin per day and told my parents to take me to the hospital 30 miles from the little Western Kansas town where we lived to get a shot of insulin once a day.
17 comments - Posted May 8, 2008
A life-time resident of the Syracuse, New York, area, Gerald Cleveland has had a history of not quite coming out on top - at least until now.
2 comments - Posted Jul 19, 2007
On March 28, 1950, nine-year-old Betty Adamski Schunke entered the hospital with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. She remembers the date vividly. She also remembers the words of her pediatrician, one of the first women in the field: “You can do anything you want to do as long as you remember you have diabetes and plan accordingly.” A feisty, stubborn little girl who strove for perfection and never backed down, she took it for her motto.
0 comments - Posted May 4, 2007