Our Love of the DOC

In the beginning…Jackie and I were real trailblazers back in the day. What I mean is, before there was the grand awesomeness that is today known as the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) we were co-hosting and moderating webchats (yes, like an actual chatroom boys and girls), where we would conduct live interviews with doctors/researchers and other diabetes professionals and guests around the country would log on and talk amongst each other too (it was called “Diabetes Teen Talk” with Allison Nimlos) and for that hour, we all felt connected.

I mean pre-Twitter, pre-facebook, pre-Tumblr, sort of mini DOC era, our followers, the two of us (and the Diabetic Angels) and Allison, truly enjoyed this weekly communication and it was so fulfilling to witness diabetics and their friends and family being helped, encouraged, informed and empowered during that hour because of these simple little ‘chats.’ 

As you may know, that has grown into an entire community of people with diabetes, their family members and friends. We are so grateful to have been such a small yet integral part of shaping what the DOC is today and have loved watching it progress into countless twitter meet ups, Twitter Chats on Wednesdays, (#dsma on Twitter) and entire conferences (those conferences by the way, the people who attend – are representing all of the DOC out there.)  Have you read these Blogs that reach thousands of people every day? Kerri, Scott, Naomi, Allison, Michael, Amy, George, and sooooooo many more. So many blogs – that DiabetesDaily was created so that people could keep track of all of the blogs out there related to diabetes! (wow!)  

Without all of them and their support to so many, I don’t know where I would be. For example, Naomi Kingery is the reason I started blogging. I didn’t grow up or go to school with other people who had diabetes, other than attending the JDRF Children’s Congress, so Naomi was one of the first “people like me” I could find when I was looking for other people out there writing about diabetes and going through the same things I was going through. Her positive outlook on life and living with her diabetes was so inspiring and uplifting, I am forever  thankful, Naomi! She’s now an author of “The Sugar Free Series.” And that is the reason I still blog, because I know there are people out there going through the same things I am, and maybe I can help them. Even if its just with a comment on something they wrote. 

But it isn’t just the famous DOC bloggers that are a part of the DOC.  The Diabetic Online Community are ALL OF US! We’re all a family! All of us diabetics out there looking for support, advice, how-to’s, or just people who want to vent. 

It’s amazing and worthy of a big round of applause, for these are no small feat! For any blogger reading this, know that we truly admire and support everyone and your dedication involved in building the DOC… we hope you can feel the love from our keyboard to yours! 

P.S. If you’re proud to say that we were there contributing like us in the beginning, please like this post and/or tell us your story, we’d love to hear about your experiences! 

Connect with us! We’d love to welcome you and announce to the world you’re out there!  Making connections and commenting back to each other is SO important, so turn your replies on, your ask buttons, comments from disqus, whatever you need to do, give us all a way to comment! Let us know about your blog or Twitter name! Reply to this or @reply someone on twitter! (mine is @curemoll)

And if you’re feeling left out of the DOC, why? What are some things we can do??

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Flashback Friday: Endocrinologist Edition

#flashbackfriday to last week when I went to the #Endocrinologist + found out my a1c was 7.5!!!! #thankyoudexcom #yesitookapicture

Not exactly where I want it to be but it’s getting there! Can’t wait to see the number in 3 months! #wootwoot #diabetes #dblog #type1 #t1d #doctor #dexcom #dexcomg4

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Looking a little bit lost….i’m guessing since it been welllllll over the 7 days I should I put in a new sensor? #dexcom #dexcomg4 #cgm #diabetes #t1d #type1

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Tutorial Tuesday: How To Protect My Dexcom Screen

I know it’s been a bit since I posted a Tutorial Tuesday, but since starting on the Dexcom, the protective screen they ship it with was starting to peel off…and I felt like I should show you how I re-used the peel-off cover to cut out a new Zagg Invisible Shield for my Dexcom! Even if you don’t have that anymore, this will still work!  So here goes! 

curemoll-dexcomscreen-8

STEP 1: Gather Supplies

curemoll-dexcomscreen-1

  • Zagg Invisible Shield Universal Screen Protector Kit
    (I bought mine from BestBuy, there 2-packs at the time, so I’m not sure what they sell now, but that way, theres no cut outs for iPhone speakers in the Universal Versions) 😉
    —includes:
           -cleaning cloth
           -Zagg Screen Protector
           -Surface Smoother, (name?) similar to a credit card.
           -Application spray
           
  • Dexcom G4 Platinum Receiver 
  • Scissors
    (not pictured)

STEP 2: In my case, I peeled off the cover that Dexcom comes shipped with to use for a template. See pictured –>

curemoll-How To Protect The Dexcom Screen

STEP 3: Trace, mark, and cut the invisible shield to size. You can mark the side of the Invisble Shield that has “REMOVE” writing all over it, this gets thrown away later. So don’t worry about the marks! For the center, the trace i made was not quite small enough, so you might need to cut it when you stick it to the Dexcom. (More on that later)

curemoll-How to Protect The Dexcom Screen

STEP 4: Before going on, make sure you have the Dexcom cleaned, I used a damp alcohol pad and made sure there were no streaks with the cleaning cloth. 

STEP 5: After lightly spraying your fingers with the Application Spray  that comes in the Zagg Invisible Shield Kit, to prevent finger prints, peel back the Invisible Shield Cover. curemoll- How to protect the Dexcom Screen

STEP 6: (Not pictured) Place the Invisible Shield film over the Dexcom and make sure the middle buttons are not covered by the film, you might need to cut those edges during this application….

STEP 7: Flatten the film over the Dexcom and then use the cleaning cloth to smooth everything over and make sure there are no air bubbles. In my opinion, Invisible Shield is my favorite to unprotect my Dexcom and Pump Screen, just because once you apply this, it doesn’t peel back when putting it in cases and on a belt clip…this will stay on FOREVER and bubbles never come back! curemoll- How to Protect The Dexcom Screen

STEP 8: After everything is smooth, tah-dah! There you go! Be careful putting this is in a case for a few hours, but you should be all good and covered for a long time to come! 

Here is the finished product: 

curemoll-dexcomscreen-6

See this also on Pinterest, feel free to like and re-pin! 

Do you have any tips and tricks or tutorials you’d like to see?

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Grateful that the #eyedoctor said my eyes are like the eyes of a person “without diabetes!” So happy to hear after 20+ years w/ no #complications! #happyeyes

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My #diabetes #Christmas!!! All these boxes make me happy! I’ll be CGM’ing next time you see me!! #dexcomg4 #christmasinjuly #blogstocomekeepalookout

What other way to show my celebrate my 400th Blog Post than to be excited and happy to start back up on a CGM!!!! Many more blog posts to come!!

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Tutorial Tuesday: Bayer Contour Next Link!

So, for the first part of  #TutorialTuesday now on curemoll, I wanted to post this picture, which is about the coolest thing I have ever discovered about my new tester (meter) the Bayer Contour Next Link. Tutorial Below!

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  1. With meter off, double tap the power or menu button on the top [see the light icon on the picture] and the light will come on. It’s orange 
  2. Then, insert the strip.
  3. Wait for the meter to turn on and go through it’s menu.
  4. [To TURN OFF LIGHT:] simply double tap again. But it will go off when your meter goes off.

That’s it! So cool  right??!!

So, you might know, but I used to LOVE the Freestyle Lite meter because of the amazing light button and I was pretty attached to it…and my old meter that synced to my Medtronic Insulin Pump never had a light and I have always had so much trouble testing in the dark…[it’s hard to hold a flashlight or your phone and poke your finger at the same time] so when I discovered this, I was so excited I showed everyone I know and thought I should share it you!! 🙂

Let me know if this is helpful! It’ll be up on Pinterest and Instagram (@mj2molliej) too! 

Let me know if I can post any tutorials that YOU are looking for? Comment section is below!

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Saturday Snapshots: Travel Edition!

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As part of #dBlogWeek (Diabetes Blog Week), Here’s Saturday’s prompt, Saturday Snapshots….

Whether driving or flying (my TSA blog will be posted soon, so look out!), traveling can be quite complicated, and when you add diabetes supplies to the picture, it gets even messier trying to pack after anticipating every possible problem that might arise.

After many a sleep-deprived night and much trial and error (and sometimes even shipping my supplies, haven’t we all been there before!), this picture is the kit I have had ever since I can remember. Maybe we’re so organized because my family and I have traveled coast to coast on a regular basis since we were around 6 years old. The four of us girls, my mom, my aunt mama (who was on JDRF national committees, which required her to take monthly trips for most of our childhood), myself and my twin sister all have fond memories journeying back and forth from our hometown of Las Vegas to Washington, D.C, when we were little and advocating for increased funding for diabetes research, and going back and forth to Nashville, Tennessee more and more for our music career.

So since I just refilled everything, I figured this is as good a time as any to show you what I have pre-packed at any moments notice to grab and go take a trip or incase of a fire, this is always near by!! Any tips I can share with you, please feel free to adapt into your travel stash and I’d really love it if you shared some your own favorite travel bag pics/hints in the comment section below too!

I have a bigger bag for longer trips, but the picture above is my “small” bag that you can find at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, in the beauty bag section with the clear pockets inside. I know, you’re probably saying that it’s a lot, a lot, i know. But diabetes always comes with lots of stuff. See?

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  • Infusion Sets
    Depending on the amount of days I’ll be out town, I bring 1 Infusion set per day plus 2-3 extras for those “just incase” moments. 
  • Insulin Reservoirs
    Same for these, 1 for each day, plus 2-3 extra. (Factoring in the weather, bad insulin, etc.)
  • Test Strips
    Pictured 4 bottles (50 strips per bottle). This also depends on how long I’ll be out of town, but I ALWAYS bring WAAAAAY more than usual.
  • Tegaderm Tape
    For the Sure-T Infusion Sets at least, I need this tape to keep the Sure-T’s on me without falling out. 
  • Glucose Tablets
    Yes I know you thought those were M&M’s Mini’s? They’re actually 20 glucose tabs! See my tutorial on that here!
  • Band-Aids
  • Kleenex
  • Insulin Bottles 
    I leave them in their boxes incase TSA needs a Prescription, never know, right?
  • Syringes (old style syringes, just incase!)
  • Pen Needles 
  • Humalog Pen 
  • Levemir Pen
  • Frio Cooler Pack 
    I keep my 2 brand new Humalog and Levemir Pens in a Frio Cooler Pack, which keeps the insulin cold and I put this back in my purse once I get through TSA incase of emergency or a very high blood sugar during the flight/road trip, i can inject a shot IM [intermuscular] in my arm. 
  • Batteries
    AAA to be exact, at least that’s what my Medtronic Pump needs, you can adapt this for your Omnipod, Animas, etc.
  • Doctor’s Letter
  • Penlet Needles
    I use Accu-Check Multi-Clix because I am one of those people who does not change my Poker’s Lancet every time i poke my finger, so this defiantly reminds me. 

It would be great to get a good collection of different diabetic bags, so the next time you pack your diabetic supplies, take a picture and hashtag #diabetestravelbag on instagram and/or facebook with your perfectly packed travel bag and I’ll repost it and feature it here!!

Feel free to re-pin it on Pinterest too!

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dBlogWeek: Lighting Up the Bayer Contour Next Link Meter!

As part of #DblogWeek, Day 5: Diabetes Life Hacks, I wanted to post this picture, which is about the coolest thing I have ever discovered about my new tester (meter) the Bayer Contour Next Link. Tutorial Below!

image

  1. With meter off, double tap the power or menu button on the top [see the light icon on the picture] and the light will come on. It’s orange 
  2. Then, insert the strip.
  3. Wait for the meter to turn on and go through it’s menu.
  4. [To TURN OFF LIGHT:] simply double tap again. But it will go off when your meter goes off.

That’s it! So cool  right??!!

So, you might know, but I used to LOVE the Freestyle Lite meter because of the amazing light button and I was pretty attached to it…and my old meter that synced to my Medtronic Insulin Pump never had a light and I have always had so much trouble testing in the dark…[it’s hard to hold a flashlight or your phone and poke your finger at the same time] so when I discovered this, I was so excited I showed everyone I know and thought I should share it you!! 🙂

Let me know if this is helpful! It’ll be up on Pinterest and Instagram (@mj2molliej) too! 

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#happymothersday + #happyauntmamasday to the 2most important woman in our lives, we’re so glad we get to call you Mom and Aunt Mama! Love you soooo much!

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and my a1c is…..

After more than 20 years of diabetes, you would think I’m used to this feeling. The uncertainty of sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for the result of my a1c every three months. No. Never. I still don’t like the days I go to my endocrinologist and they poke my finger for this test result.

I know people have told me that it’s just a number, going to the doctor is more than your a1c, it’s not all that matters, and that helps me keep this in perspective. But seeing it at 7.8 this time was disappointing and I guess I was wishing for it to be better. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my pump sites, sometimes forgetting to bolus for dinner, and I know basal rates are a bit questionable/not quite right in the morning. But thanks to my wonderful endocrinologist who changed my pump settings, it’s making a difference in my blood sugars! Yay Insulin Pumps! These next three months will be better!

I’m also looking into getting back on the Medtronic CGM sensor and getting my blood sugar back in control. Hopefully by next time, my a1c will be 7.0 or lower!  I’m going to try to stay positive! 🙂

At least the CareLink USB now works on Apple computers using Firefox!

Here’s to the next few days of 2 hour tests to check my basal rates! 🙂

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Don’t Forget About Daylight Savings on Sunday!

diabeticangels:

Spring is in the air!

The Diabetic Angels want to remind you that it is Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, March 9th in the U.S.! This means we can’t forget to “Spring Forward” our Insulin Pumps, Testers, Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM’s), Phones, Watches, etc. an hour ahead! 

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Kerri Sparling’s New Book, “Balancing Diabetes”

imageMy twin sister, Jackie, and I want the whole world and especially those involved with the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) to know how spectacular Kerri Sparling’s new book,  Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well,” is! We’ve admired, respected, and laughed along with her through the years, but seeing her attain this new level of success makes us even more proud of her!

After reading her book, I, as a diabetic myself, feel truly inspired and honored to know Kerri as a person; she has a true gift of reaching people and with such grace and wit too! I’ve been saying to myself all these years, “I don’t know how she does it!” and now I’m finally beginning to understand! Reading about Kerri’s diagnosis, growing up, going to camp for the first time, her sibling’s memories, falling in love and being blessed with her beautiful daughter has not only brought me back to the olden days of drawing insulin cocktails and fighting the urge to eat that darn birthday cake, but it has also showed me what I have to look forward to and how to handle experiences I have yet to deal with. 

It also made me very grateful and touched my heart when I read Chapter 4 about Siblings and Diabetes. Kerri has so many people in her life that are her “Diabetic Angels,” take her brother and sister for example. Seeing how much they care for her reminds me of my twin sister Jackie, who was also a contributor to her book. I know for us, me growing up with diabetes & having her as an integral part of my care makes my sister and I closer, because I know there is never a minute that goes by when she’s not wondering if I’m okay, or losing sleep over it.  

“…there were so many nights I would stay awake to make sure she was okay. It was terrifying to think that one morning I would wake up and she wouldn’t. I became her protector, always aware of changes in her breathing or sleeping, setting alarms to remind her to test her blood sugar at the appropriate time, grabbing juice and a snack for her when she couldn’t, and on two occasions before we were ten years old, setting up the glucagon kit and calling 911 while our mom held Mollie in her arms after she experienced an episode with dangerously low blood sugar levels.” – Jackie Singer, Chapter Four, Siblings in Balancing Diabetes

Reading about her brother, sister, mom, husband, and close friends being her “Angels” is so special. And as I’m sure every one of us diabetics out there have said at one time or another, “Thanks for watching over us!” So thank you Darrell, Courtney, Debbe, Chris, and Jackie for being Diabetic Angels!  

“Diabetes is a disease that affects the whole family. It’s not just the person who is receiving the injections or pump infusion sets or finger pricks who’s carrying the full weight of diabetes. I don’t know if my brother and sister understood what diabetes meant when I was first diagnosed and if any of us understood just how big the words without a cure really were. But I know that we learned about diabetes as a family, and dealt with it the same way.” – Kerri Sparling, Chapter Four, Siblings in  Balancing Diabetes

Balancing Diabetes explains the true complexity of the emotional toll diabetes takes whether you’ve had it for 1 month, 20 years, or not at all. After reading her trial and error tell-all, you don’t even know you’re informing yourself, you’re just inspired to have hope and integrate her subtle helpful hints into your daily life! Diabetes is a roller-coaster ride, and Kerri lures you right into her 27 year personal wild ride full of ups and downs, tears and laughs and if you’ve ever read her blog, SixUntilMe, you know exactly what we’re talking about….Kerri pours her heart and soul into Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well with her witty writing and her positive attitude rings true with each sentence. Like us all, she’s had her fair share of struggles, but she persevered and kept herself healthy and happy, all while inspiring others like my twin sister and me, to do the same. Kerri, if you’re reading this, you are a rockstar and will always be a beacon of light for the Diabetes community!! 

Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well is now available on AmazonBarnes and Nobledigital e-books, goodreads! You can find more about Kerri on her blog, SixUntilMe, you’ll love reading it! She’s also on Facebook, Twitter @sixuntilme, and Instagram!

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