Off the Dial

Diabetes Forecast: People to Know

“Diabetes Forecast®, the Healthy Living Magazine of the American Diabetes Association, names Stacey Simms as one of 12 People to Know for 2017.”

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Me & Ben Vereen? Are you kidding? What else to say, but thank you!? (Click here to see the issue online)

Thank you to the editors and the committee who puts together the issue. Thanks to Jonathan Shuffield who interviewed me for the issue and editor Kelly Rawlings who informed me I was on the list. You can hear both of them on the podcast this week (click the handy player down below to listen right now).

But really, this is a thank you to you, my listeners. I’d like to say I started Diabetes Connections because I had a singular desire to help people. That I wanted to help newly diagnosed families realize it would be okay and help long-time T1Ds find new inspiration and motivation. Honestly? It’s because I couldn’t stop talking back to my radio.

After working in broadcasting my entire career, the brutal hours finally caught up with me. But when I left my early morning radio job, I found myself talking back to the podcasts I listened to, the radio shows I enjoyed. One day while walking my dog and yelling at Terri Gross, I knew I had to start my own show.

Just over two years later, to have this kind of validation is an incredible feeling. But it only confirms what I already know from emails, social media messages and, when I’m really lucky, in-person meetups. Listening to the voices of our community is helpful. Hearing stories of connection is vital. And knowing we’re not alone is invaluable. I’m here to tell those stories. Thanks for allowing me that privilege.

(click on the big blue play button to listen right here)


 

 

More Than Diabetes #DBlogWeek


Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with.  Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU.  If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can.   Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes, because there is more to life than just diabetes!  (This topic is a suggestion from the 2016 #DBlogWeek survey.)

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I’m glad the last day of Diabetes Blog Week asks us to write about something other than diabetes. Turns out, I was unable to participate in most of this event this year, and for once, diabetes wasn’t to blame. Amazing, right?

Most of the stories I share are about my son with type 1, or my family’s experience with diabetes. I rarely talk or write about my daughter or share a lot of stories about my kiddos that don’t have to do with T1D. They’re at the age where they’re old enough to have their own stories. And we have a family policy of not over-sharing on social media. That means I don’t get to brag about the good stuff often enough to satisfy me, but it also means fewer possible embarrassments for them later on. I hope!

This past week, my daughter needed me. Do you know I have a daughter? I do! She’s 15, she a great kid and the total package of smarts, looks and sarcasm. (You can listen to her one and only public appearance on the podcast here. Kid doesn’t like public speaking or attention. The family rebel!) Something came up, it took more time than she usually needs from us, and now everything is back to normal.

Sure, I’m a D-Mom, but I’m also just a regular mom. And sometimes diabetes can go into the background when more important stuff comes calling.

Lea in 2007(!)

Lea in 2007(!)

 

Learn more about Diabetes Blog Week here and go read some terrific posts!

Expect the Unexpected #DBlogWeek

Hey! It’s Diabetes Blog Week again! All week amazing people in the Diabetes Online Community will be sharing their thoughts on all sorts of cool topics. Karen Graffeo organizes this event every year – I spoke to her for the podcast last week. You can listen here (Karen’s interview starts at 39:00):

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Today’s topic: Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random.  What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens? 

After more than ten years of type 1 diabetes, I can say that the only thing you can be ready for IS the unexpected. Especially with kids. Site comes off during a birthday party? Low-carb drink turns out to be big time sugar? Too much sand in an inset to reinsert? Yup. It happens. While I never like that feeling of “fix it later,” we’ve learned that Benny is more resilient and diabetes is less of an emergency than I ever thought it would be during those first few scary months after diagnosis.

My husband likes to say the backup plan is more important than the actual plan. That came in handy when he was a TV newscast  director and we’ve found it to be true for diabetes in action!

As just one example, a while back we took the kids snow tubing. Slade and I grew up in New York, but our children are snow-deprived. The Charlotte area gets maybe 1-2 inches a year and rarely all at once. We’re more likely to get ice or slushy yuck. Once every couple of years, we get 3-4 inches all at once and the kids go bananas.

That Saturday, we bundled everyone up and headed off to the mountains. I packed two changes of clothes and extra socks and shoes for everyone. We don’t have actual winter clothes (no ski jackets or pants) and I assumed there’d be a lot of slush and wet and general yuck. I also threw in our diabetes bag.

Benny carries his meter and a juice box wherever he goes. For the last few years, he’s used a leather pouch. It’s really a golf tee/supply bag, but it’s a great fit and Benny doesn’t feel like he’s carrying a purse!  When we take a day trip or we’ll be out for a while, I throw a bigger diabetes bag in the car. This one can hold our pump supplies, extra strips, insulin, needles, etc.   In the summer, I put the insulin vial in a Frio. Somehow, it all fits.

A day outside in the mountains means stopping on the road for a big breakfast. Our kids love the Waffle House and I’ve resigned myself to eating there (I try not to watch the grease on the grill). After something smothered & covered, Slade and Benny figured out the carbs and Benny started to bolus. They both looked up at me with that “something’s wrong” look. “The pump says there’s only one unit left,” Slade said.

What? How is that possible? Why didn’t the pump alarm go off? Oh wait….

That’s when I remembered Benny waking up at 1am, stumbling into my room muttering, “My pump’s making noise.” The reminder alarm was going off, indicating the pump only had 10 units of insulin left. I confirmed the alarm (which turns it off) and told him we’d change the cartridge in the morning.  Of course, in the morning all I remembered was that I was pretty tired for some reason.

We paid the bill and walked to the car. I had the diabetes bag, so I knew we should be all set. But while I was reassuring Benny and Lea everything would be fine, I was trying to remember if I’d double checked the bag and if I could even remember the last time I’d reloaded everything. We were at least an hour from home and, I have to admit, I was nervous. But, it was all there.  One quick cartridge change in the car, giant breakfast bolus and on our way to tubing (which reminds me, I really should put some extra pump tubing in the bag).

I love it when a backup plan comes together.

(partially reprinted from a 2013 post)

 

#DPodcastWeek 2017

 

Here we go again!! So excited to kick off Diabetes Podcast Week, round two. Last year about a dozen shows teamed up to help the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign. We’re back with some cool new shows and one generous sponsor!

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Please check out the list of shows below. Links should take you right to their main page for easy listening/viewing. If you’re still not sure what a podcast is or how to find one, start here (my post: That’s Nice, What’s a Podcast).

The idea behind Spare a Rose, Save a Child is simple: buy one less rose this Valentine’s Day and donate the value of that flower to children with diabetes. Donations go to Life for a Child, an International Diabetes Federation program which provides life-saving diabetes supplies, medication, and education that children in developing countries need to stay alive. Click the logo below to learn more and donate (pretty please)!

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I also want to send a big thank you to Wildtree’s Julie Calarco from North Carolina. Julie and her family have been fantastic supporters of research for type 1 diabetes since our very first JDRF walk. Their son, Nicholas, is growing up with Benny and is one of our biggest supporters and fund raisers (seriously, this kid is a powerhouse). Through Wildtree, Julie has donated $1000 to Spare a Rose (you read that right.. one thousand dollars)! I’ll be talking about that more on my podcast all month long, but please consider making a purchase from her website (click logo below). If you’ve never tried Wildtree or aren’t sure what you’d like, drop me a line. I’m a big fan, and you know I hate to cook. I recommend the Ranch Chicken Chili, the Garlic Grape Seed Oil and the Very Berry Cheesecake Blend. Click the logo to get started.

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Happy listening and thanks again for supporting these podcasts, our community and most of all, the kids around the world who will benefit from the Spare a Rose campaign.

#DPodcastWeek Participating Shows:

Beta Cell Podcast

Diabetes By The Numbers

Diabetes Connections

Diabetes Dominator

Diabetes Late Nite

Diabetes Power Show

Diabetic Danica

Everybody Talks

The Juicebox Podcast / Arden’s Day

Just Talking

Real Life Diabetes (Diabetes Daily Grind)