mini-med

My Detailed Review of the MiniMed 670G from Medtronic

The MiniMed 670G from Medtronic is an insulin pump coupled with a glucose sensor.  It uses a computer program (called an “algorithm”) to automate certain aspects of insulin delivery.  I decided to try 670G partially out of professional interest (everybody and their great aunt has been asking for my opinion on the system), and partially out of personal interest, as my blood glucose control hasn’t been the greatest the past couple of years.

Let me start out by saying this:

Since I started using 670G, my overall blood glucose control is better.

I have to keep reminding myself of this non-consequential fact, because every day I find things about this system that I don’t particularly like.

To continue reading, click here.

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Not Sure You’re Ready to Dive into an Online Diabetes Community?
We Can Help!

Diabetes can be an overwhelming and often very lonely condition to tackle. It’s something we can’t just turn off or deal with later; it’s there 24/7 and it can be hard for the people around us to truly understand what it’s like.

But please know that you are not alone! There’s a global diabetes community ready to support you, and you can participate as much or as little as you like. Even if you’re not ready to (or interested in) meeting other people with diabetes in person, there are several ways in which you can communicate or just listen in and learn from people in the same situation as you, by tapping into the Diabetes Online Community (DOC).

The beauty of the DOC is that you can access it from anywhere, as long as you have internet connection. There are probably other platforms as well, but the ones I have found to be the most powerful are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

DOC on Facebook

There are over 100 support groups for people living with diabetes just on Facebook. There are groups only for women, for parents, for athletes, for foodies, Dexcom lovers, you name it.

What’s important when choosing your Facebook group(s) is that you like the tone and content of the group. Some groups are very focused on the emotional parts of diabetes, some are very “how-to”, and some have strict rules for what you can post. You may want to join a few groups and see if they fit what you need. Remember, you can always leave the group if it’s not right for you.

Simply do a search on Facebook for “Diabetes” and choose “groups”. A few of the larger groups are Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 diabetes support group global network and Diabetes Strong Community (Full disclosure, the last group is mine). While many groups are diabetes type specific (type 1, type 2, etc.), the Diabetes Strong Community is a global peer support community welcoming people living with all types of diabetes.

I see posts almost daily from people saying that the Facebook diabetes community has changed their lives and that they now for the first time have a support group of people who understand what they are going through. It’s such a powerful thing and I really encourage you to at least join for a while to see if you like it.

Note: Many Facebook groups now have a questionnaire when you try to join asking why you want to join the group. This is not to collect your information, but to make sure that the people who join the groups fit the profile, and to reduce the risk of letting in “internet trolls” and people selling fake diabetes cures.

DOC on Instagram

Instagram is a fun platform where you can get a glimpse of how other people tackle their diabetes on a daily basis. You don’t interact with a big group like you do on Facebook, but it’s an opportunity to connect with individuals in an informal way and get to know them a little.

The good thing about Instagram is that it’s very easy to find the DOC. You simply search for the hashtag #diabetes and go from there. Once you start “liking” diabetes-related posts, Instagram will automatically start recommending similar profiles.

Since it’s a more informal platform, this is most likely not the place where you get the deep connections that you can get on other social media platforms, but it can be fun and informative.

Note: Because people only show a very small part of their lives on Instagram (often the best parts), Instagram profiles can sometimes show a slightly one-sided view of what living with diabetes is like.

DOC on Twitter

The DOC is very active on twitter and the hashtag #DOC is frequently used. Several twitter chats are hosted weekly and you can follow along and read people’s answers or dive in and participate yourself. Twitter is also a very active platform for diabetes advocacy if you’re interested in getting into that.

One of the strong Twitter chats is the #DSMA (Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation) chat every Wednesday at 9 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time. There’s usually a weekly subject and the chat is guided by a moderator who lists a series of questions that people then chime in with answers to.

It’s not just for people living with diabetes but also caregivers and family members.

Note: If you get stressed out by having to participate in real time chats (I know I do), you can always go back and add your answers at a later time. Just search #DSMA, and the questions will show up.

Venturing Beyond the DOC

If you’re ready to connect with other people living with diabetes in “the real world”, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with others both in larger settings and more intimate ones.

Since you’re reading this post on TCOYD, you might already know about the many TCOYD conferences held across the U.S. But if you don’t, these events present a great opportunity to meet other people living with diabetes and learn more about different diabetes topics presented by top-notch diabetes experts.

If you live in the US and you prefer smaller gatherings, try searching for local groups on Meet Up, check out the local Diabetes Sister chapter (only applicable for women) or reach out to your local ADA or JDRF.

You can also use the online community to find local events. As an example, we have a local group of people with diabetes here in Los Angeles who meet up regularly to go to Disneyland together. They coordinate their meetups on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

I hope this post has intrigued you and made you curious to explore the DOC and meet others living with diabetes and facing similar daily challenges. If you’re still hesitant, please know that:

You are not alone

You do not have to deal with this alone

There is an ocean of people living with diabetes who will gladly support you.

Come join us!

To read more from Christel and the DiabetesStrong community, visit DiabetesStrong.com.

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Cure-Based Therapies for Type 1’s

What the heck are cure-based therapies? Well, the AP is not a cure but a darned good form of therapy that will bridge the gap until there is a cure. This talk will focus on the area of research that is going for the gold…a real cure…from prevention for our loved ones who have tested positive with diabetes-causing antibodies to the implantation of islet cells. This panel of experts has some of the world’s smartest folks in this space and will leave viewers with some real hope…and hope is where it’s at!

Pattern Sugar Cubes on a Pink Background

Sugar Surfing

You can’t stop the waves of fluctuating blood glucose levels but you can learn to surf. For those considering or already using Continuous Glucose Monitoring, this talk is for you. Dr. Stephen Ponder, a pediatric endocrinologist and a type 1 himself, takes you beyond the basics and shows you a better way to manage your blood glucose levels. He debunks the myths surrounding classic diabetes management while teaching you a better way. Watch him “Hang Ten”!

Quarrel between women and men

A Debate: Pumps vs. Daily Injections

The conclusion of this debate will be that it comes down to personal choice, but Dr. Edelman will be battling it out with Dr. Irl, his type 1 brother. Expect a lively exchange of information on the pros and cons for each form of therapy. It is important to know this is a real debate that will make you think about your choices for how to control your type 1.

man think how to solve the problem

How to Deal: Diabetes Complications

No matter how long you have had type 1 diabetes, complications are something we all fear.  You might be complication free but waiting for that dreaded shoe to drop, or you might be dealing with multiple complications and struggling with the guilt and blame.  This talk is structured as a group therapy session for type 1s that want to talk about what we all are trying to avoid.  Leave your judgment and blame at the door for this emotional ride.