JDRF's Life with Diabetes E-Newsletter February 2010
"I thought you couldn't eat that."
Kerri Sparling is a writer from New England who has been living with type 1 diabetes for 23 years. Kerri writes daily at her diabetes blog, www.sixuntilme.com, and currently runs a full-time healthcare consulting business. She and her husband are expecting their first child in the spring.
“I thought you couldn’t eat that. Or can you just dose for it and then it’s okay?”
She wasn’t being the dreaded “diabetes police;” she was just asking a question.
I can understand my aunt-in-law’s confusion about how my type 1 diabetes is handled. To some of my husband’s relatives, type 2 diabetes is far more familiar than type 1. Wasn’t I supposed to just avoid sugar?
“I can eat this,” I explained, motioning toward the slice of cheesecake on my plate, “so long as I check my blood sugar beforehand, take the right amount of insulin from my insulin pump, and avoid a high blood sugar spike afterwards.”
Ask a Parent
Q: My daughter has type 1 diabetes and seems to have come down with a stomach flu. She has been throwing up a lot, so the doctor told us to keep her hydrated, but nothing she drinks is staying down. Any suggestions from someone who has dealt with this type of situation?
A: I am the parent of a child with type 1 diabetes as well. My suggestions are not intended as medical advice – just ideas based on my own experience with the stomach flu and diabetes!
Ask a Peer
Q: I’m an 18-year-old with diabetes (diagnosed when I was 11), and I’m finding it really hard to cope. I don’t take my medicine or care for myself like I should. I know the long-term effects and what can happen to me if I don’t start doing what I should, but I need some other kind of help getting motivated, and I don’t know where to begin. Any suggestions?
JDRF Volunteer Honored
We congratulate JDRF National Outreach volunteer Lisa Shenson on being honored with the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award by California’s Marin County Commission on Human Rights.
JDRF Launches Adult Type 1 "Toolkit"
As part of its expanding commitment to improving the lives of adults who have type 1 diabetes, JDRF has created a new resource called the JDRF Adult Type 1 Toolkit.
Written by people who have type 1 diabetes, the Toolkit is an essential “how-to” guidebook about living with the disease. It offers information and advice on a plethora of topics, such as how to deal with the diagnosis and day-to-day management of diabetes, how to tell friends about the disease, and how to juggle the demands of diabetes at work. It describes how diabetes affects physical and psychological health, relationships, and parenting. It gives tips for approaching things like diet, exercise, travel, and work and explains how to educate others about type 1, especially on what to do in emergency situations.
JDRF hopes the Toolkit can also help to foster a sense of community among type 1 adults, who represent the majority of those living with the disease. Toward that goal, it outlines ways to connect with a network of other type 1 adults and with JDRF’s “expert listeners,” volunteers who give advice and tips for dealing with specific situations that people with diabetes encounter.
JDRF developed the Toolkit to address the glaring lack of resources for adults with type 1 diabetes. When children are diagnosed, their parents are often flooded with support and resources to help them care for their child and cope with the disease’s impact on the entire family. Yet when adults are diagnosed, they usually have far fewer resources and often don’t know where to turn for support. The resources for children are often not applicable to adults, who have different needs. Making matters more difficult, adult type 1 diabetes is frequently subject to misinformation and misconceptions that blur the lines between type 1 and type 2, leaving people with the disease feeling isolated and sometimes confused. The Toolkit is one aspect of JDRF’s response to these issues.
JDRF recognizes that as people grow older, their interests, priorities, and needs change. The Toolkit aims to address, identify, and support these evolving concerns. It provides the adult type 1 diabetes community with specific content and tools focused on various life stages, such as the point of diagnosis, relationships and marriage, pregnancy and children, the workplace, and complications. In this way, it underscores JDRF’s determination to help people with diabetes remain as healthy as possible as we work toward finding a cure.
The Adult Type 1 Toolkit is an early step in JDRF’s plans to develop an extensive program to support the needs of adults who have type 1 diabetes. We will be developing additional resources to ensure that adults have the support they need to live well with the disease.
The Toolkit is free and available at any of JDRF’s 85 chapters nationwide or at www.jdrf.org/adults.
Did You Know?
You can ask additional questions or connect with your local chapter by contacting JDRF’s Outreach group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a question for JDRF's Online Diabetes Support Team, go to www.jdrf.org/diabetessupport.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
26 Broadway 14th floor
New York, NY 10004
Phone:(800) 533-CURE (2873)
Fax: (212) 785-9595