Mental Jui-Jitsu

As my endocrinologist appointment approaches later this summer and I prepare to start wearing an insulin pump for the first time, I’ve noticed a new range of thoughts and emotions around the upcoming change to my diabetes management. I’ll try to lay it out, but I must warn you: my mind works in mysterious ways.

It goes something like this:

  • Wearing an insulin pump is an open display of my diabetes
  • This isn’t exactly new to me as I’ve been wearing my Dexcom sensor on my arms for years now
  • But this will be different in that it will not be as easy to contain the visibility of the pump, the tubing, or other components I’m forgetting
  • On one hand, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – see #showmeyourpump
  • But this will still be new to me
  • I don’t care
  • But I do
  • To be more specific, I don’t care what people will say or think if they see my insulin pump
  • But I have to actively not care about caring what people will say or think if they see my insulin pump

I’m not anticipating ridicule or persecution or anything like that, but I think I’m going to need some emotional training to go along with my technical training when I start using this thing. Thus, the mental jui-jitsu referenced in the title…this could get tricky.

I remember when I used to go to the bathroom to take my insulin injections when I was first diagnosed. I remember injecting insulin under the dinner table so no one had to see my insulin pens. I remember going out of my way to make my diabetes comfortable for everyone else to be around instead of putting my health above all. Yes, things will be easier with a pump now that insulin will be a few button presses away, but I’m still anticipating/dreading…dreanticipating? all of the new adjustments I’m going to need to make to my life to get along with this new device.

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#dblogcheck is Tomorrow

I’m encouraging everyone who reads a diabetes blog to leave a comment on that post tomorrow. Make it thoughtful, make it silly, or simply make it a “Check!”, but leave a comment.

A lot of the stories you hear among members of the diabetes community follow the template of “I thought I was alone”, and tomorrow’s check-in day is another way to remind each other that we aren’t alone in any of this.

To help find each other, I’m also recommending you share your blog posts on whatever platform(s) you desire with the tag #dblogcheck. Particularly for people using TweetDeck or Hootsuite, this will be especially helpful.

To show my appreciation in advance for your helping grow the diabetes online community, here are some animated gifs to represent the anticipation for tomorrow.

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Some Thoughts on Stuart Scott’s ESPY Speech

“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live”

This was last night.

Follow up reading:,0,3397661.column

And one more…

“I have to feel as much as I can like I don’t have cancer, although I think about cancer 20 times a day.”

A lot of the conversations I have here, on this blog, pertain to living my life with diabetes. But the struggles, fears, guilt, anger, dread, joys, accomplishment, success, laughter, and love is not specific to just one disease. We all experiences ups and downs in our own way, regardless of what we’re dealing with at the moment. But the concept of finding strength in family and friends whenever and wherever possible is universal.

Finding the will to battle past the most debilitating moments in your life thanks to something like diabetes, or cancer, or arthritis, or whatever – is something we all have to do. For all the distinctions we can make among all of the disease communities, there’s plenty we share (even if we don’t know it).

That’s why I’m sharing Stuart Scott’s speech on a diabetes blog – because the conversations we have every day are bigger than just diabetes. Yes, we might be talking to the FDA about blood glucose meter accuracy, but we’re also telling the FDA to listen to patient communities.

Yes, we are celebrating Miss Idaho and her insulin pump, but we’re also taking control of how our diseases are viewed in the public eye, regardless of the hardware that comes with it.

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Just Talking with Stacey Simms

This week Stacey Simms joins me to discuss her career in broadcast journalism – from Middle School, to radio, and to television. We also cover her new position as a Health Reporter for Time Warner Cable News. And, we discuss her son’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes and the value she finds through the diabetes community on social media. Enjoy!

You can also follow Stacey on Twitter @staceysimms, and

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#dblogcheck Update: The Tribe Has Spoken

Next Tuesday (July 22) I’m encouraging everyone to comment on every single blog post they read. Even if it’s just a “Check!”, leave a comment on everything. It may seem like a tough task, but it’s worth it.

For those of you catching up to this whole #dblogcheck thing, here are some posts to provide background on what’s going on.

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