Episode 23: How to Tell Others You Have Diabetes

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Friends, bosses, teachers, coworkers… How do you tell others you have type 1 diabetes? Why should you tell people about your diabetes? What’s the point, if it’s a personal thing and doesn’t affect other people?

Primarily, it’s a safety issue. Diabetes is a life-threatening condition and we keep ourselves alive every day. As Jessie says, that’s something to be proud of! Jessie wears a medical alert bracelet, and I’m planning on getting a diabetes alert tattoo on my right wrist for my 25th “diaversary.”

We think the most important person to tell about your diabetes as an adult (outside of your romantic partners and family) is your boss. Bosses direct a lot of our day-to-day lives in the adult world so it’s important to make sure they know what’s up so that if you need to leave your post or step out of a meeting for a moment, they’re understanding.

Wins & Fails

Jessie’s Win: Jessie took a short break from her sensor while at home for Christmas break and had good blood sugars for the duration.

Colleen’s Fail: Repeat fail! My Tandem pump had the “Power Source Error” for the 4th time, and the battery dropped to 5% for the 2nd time. Tandem replaced the pump, but that pump had three CGM errors in the span of a few hours, so they also replaced the replacement pump.

Hack of the Week

How to find out your average blood sugars on the Medtronic 670G pump:

  1. Go to the main menu and scroll down to the options menu
  2. Once you’re in the options menu, scroll down to the history tab
  3. Once you’re in the history tab there are two options that you can pick from: summary and daily history
  4. Summary:
    1. If you go to the summary tab, it’ll give you the option to look at average numbers from the last day, week, two weeks, or the last month
  5. Daily History:
    1. Once you get to this screen, it’ll give you the opportunity to look at any one particular day

How to access pump history settings on Tandem pumps:

  1. Options
  2. Pump History
    1. Delivery Summary
    2. Total Daily Dose
    3. Bolus
    4. Basal
    5. Load
    6. BG
    7. Alerts and Alarms
    8. Basal IQ
    9. Complete history

In any of those menus, you can view the history of that category. I like going into Delivery Summary to see my average total insulin over the last 7 days, 2 weeks, or the last month.

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Telling others you have diabetes doesn’t have to be scary, it can just be a conversation between friends.

Diabetes Spotlight

This week we want to shine a spotlight on Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999. She was the first diabetic to ever win the title.

This may not seem like a big deal, but now that Jessie is in the pageant world, she has a better perspective and can see now that this is a huge accomplishment. 

The Diabetes Center of Excellence wrote a spotlight article in mid-2019 on Nicole:

Nicole Johnson won the Miss America title in 1999.  She became the first Miss America with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and the first contestant to publicize the use of an insulin pump.  Today Nicole is a nationally recognized advocate for diabetes research and education, and one of the biggest supporters of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE).  […] 

“Each day, I’m grateful for the many medical advances in diabetes care which I benefit from,” says Johnson.  “It’s all too easy to slip into depression, discontent, or to have a defeated attitude. I fight it daily. Yet I believe in optimism, happiness, and the power of relationships. Science supports the notion that a positive attitude leads to a better quality of life, and that results in better outcomes.”

Question for You!

How do you approach telling others about your diabetes? Let us know in the comments!

Links


Credits

Our music is by Joseph McDade. Check out his website here! Our audio wizard is my husband, Tim. He runs his own food blog, Split Appetites.

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