20141012-IMG_7637-3With the exception of 1 parent, everyone in this image is a type 1 diabetic. Look at all of them. They are happy. Smiling. Holding cute, amazing dogs. They were all gathered together for the Canine Hope For Diabetics 2014 Diabetic Alert Dog Conference at a gorgeous location in the Southern California woods. Perfect weather, lots of friends, dogs, great conversation, activities for the kids and the dogs, training sessions for the dog handlers, discussion groups about diabetes, diabetes technology, animal care and training, it was an amazing weekend. And I captured it all with my camera. So what’s not to love?

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1920563_889170107777889_8138000872323637805_nToday was one of those days. A “perfect storm” in the diabetic world. And I blogged nervously through the whole thing on our Facebook page. I feel the need to put it all in one place, and explain a little more what is happening as we go through the day. The image above was our starting point. We use a technology which enables us to remotely watch the data generated from my daughters Dexcom. For more info on this, click “CGM in the Cloud”.

Our daughter uses an Animas pump to provide her insulin delivery. And the insulin we use is Humalog. For us (different people have different results) we find that we only get 2-2.5 days of use out of the Humalog during the summer before we require a site change. The heat causes the Humalog to lose it’s effectivity. Today was day 3. Why? Because she had great numbers last night, and woke up at a nice 139. We thought we would be okay. After breakfast, Stella started to climb. And climb. And climb. We waited a reasonable amount of time to see if she would come back down. She didn’t.

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This is what most of the media would have you believe diabetes looks like:

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And that is a shame. It is an awful stereotype that many of us work hard to combat. Every. Single. Day.

I have had the honor of photographing many diabetics since my daughters diagnosis almost 4 years ago. And I’d like you to see what diabetes looks like to me.

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┬áThere has been an offensive joke that has been flying around Facebook recently. It’s not new, it’s been around awhile, and it has taken several forms. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:
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I find this particularly offensive, and I was having a tough time processing my feelings on this. I was angry. I was hurt. I realized that my daughter will spend a lifetime dealing with things like this. And then I did what I normally do, I turned to our Facebook page and wrote about it. It was late last night when I did it, so after I posted it, I headed off to bed. What I woke up to was amazing, inspiring, and brought tears to my eyes.

1465323_721830434511858_14478694_nWe are 3.5 years in on our journey with type 1 diabetes. And I can always tell when someone comes to our page and knows nothing about diabetes. Their first comment is something to the effect of “why is her diabetes out of control?”. “When do you expect it to get better, to be under control?”
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1390541_10202189932367437_1415870114_nWish and Hope. We do a lot of that around here. Not far from a “wing and a prayer”. Kinda like living in a land of “almosts”. We are almost there. That’s where we live in the land of diabetes.That’s the rope we have to hold on to. And there are a lot of us hanging on to that rope. More »

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Getting ready to carve pumpkins

An update from yesterday’s post because while it would be preferable, the reality is not having fondue isn’t an option. We know it will be provided, and we are forced to deal with it someway. Halloween is already tough for a diabetic kid, and we try to minimize the pain as much as possible. So if we tell her no fondue,the issue then becomes (and this is a big one for us as parents) that Stella now sits in her classroom of 34 kids, and feels like she is being punished for being diabetic as the other kids get their treats, and she doesn’t get to participate. More »

Johanna participated in our “Day in the life of a type 1” project. Johanna is an adult type 1. She is a huge part of our DAD organization, Canine Hope For Diabetics, working as our resident type 1 for real time training with each dog. She almost always has multiple dogs, her dog Porcha, and at least 1 other DAD in training. With multiple DAD’s in the house, testing can happen a lot. Trust me, I know. Thank you for doing this Johanna!

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