Monday, August 31, 2015

Burned Out & Sparkless As Of Late - #DOCBurnout2015

Diabetes Social Media Burnout blog Day  - Join in and reignite your Diabetes Social Media spark!
Burnout - It’s a very real thing - in life and life with diabetes - Burnout is also real when it comes to Social Media and the Diabetes Online Community. 
We live the diabetes life 24X7, with no time off for vacations or good behavior, and we spend an incredible amount of time online in a community that has literally reinforced that: 
1. We are not alone
2. Our voices (diabetes and otherwise,) matter
3. Connecting with others who "get it," saves our sanity 93% of the time but has the ability to makes us bonkers at least 7% of the time.
Sidebar: My  math skills aren't the greatest and I've pulled those numbers out of my head  and FTR, they have no scientific value.  
As always, YDOBMV (your degree of bonkers may vary,) online and off, d related bonkers and otherwise. ;) 

Diabetes Social Media Burnout has been the reason my blog has been quiet the past couple of weeks - Things were getting crazy with life, but more than that, I needed a diabetes Social Media  timeout - both mentally and physically. 

I needed to take a beat and regroup - more on that tomorrow. 

Speaking of tomorrow, Tuesday September 1 is the designated day that the Diabetes On-line Community will officially celebrate Diabetes Social Media Burnout Blog Day, a.k.a., #DOCburnout2015 on the twitter. 

A day where we can talk about and tackle our diabetes Social Media burnout, discuss ways we can regroup, re-fuel, and refocus our energies. 

A day where those of us who blog; facebook, tweet, periscope, vine, instagram, etc, can share examples and tips on how we handle D Social Media burnout and discuss things that spark the diabetes social media burnout. Included, but not limited to:  online disagreements/ bullying from having a different DOC, POV, diabetes information overload, 
Diabetes burnout combined with Diabetes Social Media burnout and general feelings of malaise. 

I’ll be participating and I’m looking forward to reigniting my Diabetes Social Media spark, via learning from my community (YOU,) that has given me so much. 
Also, the very act of writing this blog post is making me feel a bit sparkly, already!

One last thing, to find a list of all Diabetes Social Media Burnout Day blog post links, visit tomorrow and look for the article, "Diabetes Social Media Burnout Day," read & find the participating blog links in the comment section~

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: An Unexpected Smile~

In case you needed something or someone to make you smile today~

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dialoging About Diabetes With Hope Warshaw ~

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that the Diabetes Online Community has connected me with so many amazing people who have diabetes; who love someone with diabetes, or who are Diabetes Healthcare Professionals. 
I know I’m not alone when I say that connecting with people who “get it,” makes our lives easier; expands our universe, empowers us - both as patients and people - and those connections continually reinforce the fact that we are not alone in our lives with diabetes. 
One of the people who “get it,” is Hope Warshaw, a type 3 Dietitian; RD, CDE, BC-ADM, Author, Speaker and Diabetes Advocate  and the 2015 President-elect of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. 
I first *met* Hope the way I met most of you, online. In 2012 I had the opportunity to meet Hope IRL (in real life,) at ADA in Philadelphia  - and lucky for me, our paths continue to cross - which is awesome because I’m a huge fan of Hope in all diabetes dimensions!

Recently, Hope interviewed me for the section of her blog called, "Dialoging About Diabetes,"series of interviews with Diabetes Activists. 
The primary goals of these interviews is "to help make living with diabetes…just a bit easier. Goal two is to enhance the two-way street – to help more PWD connect and encourage more DHCPs to connect PWD to the value of social networking."  
It was a pleasure and an honor to be interviewed by Hope and dare I say, I hope you checkout the interview by clicking, HERE :) 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Diabetes Weirdness: Who Put My Insulin Pump On The Table?

I'm a little weird and diabetes is a lot weird - I shouldn't even be surprised anymore...but I am. 
Last Saturday night I was sitting around a friend’s dinning room table eating salsa and chips and chatting about all sorts of non diabetes related things with my cohorts. 
Things like the weather, our families, the Republican Debate (don’t even get me started,) when midway through the conversation my insulin pump made a series of beeps to the tune of “FYI: your insulin pump is set to a temporary basal rate.” 
Now I know that annoying but necessary tune very well and normally it becomes white noise, until I decide to hit the “snooze”/ACT button.
Without skipping a beat in the convo, I unclipped my pump from my hip; pressed ACT, boluses for 2.5 units of added insulin protection for the chips and salsa, placed my insulin pump on the table and promptly ignored it - and my friends didn't even bat an eye. 

But here's where things get a little weird: I didn’t even realize I’d put my pump on the table, so an hour later when I got up to leave, my pump damn near bungi-pumped off the table and onto the floor, but I caught it just in time. 
Again - I was completely unaware that I’d placed my pump on the table instead of clipping it on my hip. 
OK, sometimes I keep my insulin pump next to my laptop when I'm writing for easy access, but that's for another blog post. 

FTR, every now and then I find myself forgetting to clip my pump back on after I fiddle with it - but that particular insulin pump faux-pas usually occurs when I’m sitting alone on my couch, engrossed in a movie or the Downton Abbey season finale - not eating chips and shooting the shit with friends.
Sidebar: My blood sugar was 135 when I got home - so it wasn't blood sugar related. 

Anyway - I thought I'd share this bit of Kelly/diabetes weirdness with you - and I really hope you can relate, because it's no fun being the only D weirdo out there~ 

Monday, August 10, 2015

And The Winner Of The Lauren's Hope egift Certificate Is.......

First: A HUGE thank-you to Lauren's Hope for sponsoring the $50 egift certificate giveaway that was featured on Thursday's post
And another HUGE round of thanks to all of those who entered the contest.

Second: All of the comments left on Thursday's post were straight from the heart, deeply personal and beautiful. 
Between you and me, I'm so glad that I left it up to to choose the winning comment, because I couldn't have done it. 

Third: The winner of the Lauren's Hope $50 eGift certificate is....... Pam Cermak
Pam, you have until Wednesday to contact me or your prize will go to some one else.  Shoot me an mail at: kellykunik(at) and congratulations! 

Fourth: To Those that didn't win - Again, thank-you from the bottom of my busted pancreas for reading my blog and entering the contest!
It's because of your continued readership that I'm able to offer giveaways on the blog. 
Your readership is also responsible for my inspiration and tenacity on a daily basis. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Lauren's Hope Giveaway & A Life Lesson In The Surf~

After THIS low blood sugar of 46,  incident at TJMAXX in June, the folks at Lauren’s Hope reached out to me and offered to send me a couple of their new Summer/casual inspired Medical Bracelets - and I was glad they did. 
FTR: I'm a fan of Lauren's Hope and I wear (and wrote a review,) for their Ooh,La La bracelet, which I love and. Unfortunately, I wasn't wearing that bracelet during  my TJMAXX experience - AND I WILL NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. 

The Bracelets
First up:  The ClearWater Medical ID Bracelet. 
This is the Clearwater bracelet ~
Why I like The Clearwater bracelet: It’s pretty, I wear a lot of blues, greens, yellows, purples and black, so the aqua beads work with everything I own. I also wear a lot of sterling silver jewelry, so the sterling bar beads seamlessly blend with my other sterling accessories
The ClearWater can go from casual to dressy and it’s one of the few “dainty” looking pieces of jewelry that I can wear. And while it looks “dainty,” it isn’t - it’s incredibly durable.
Also. the bracelet is interchangeable with any Lauren's Hope medical ID tag.  
On Tuesday, my niece Tess saw the bracelet on my wrist and thought it was beautiful, which it is - and several strangers have stopped me and asked where they could get one.
Important info:  
Important information regarding this braceletThe Lauren's Hope website states that the clearwater bracelet is not not to worn in hot tubs, the pool, or ocean water.

Lauren’s Hope also sent me the Journey Cuff bracelet - see below. 
I love the textured pattern of the Journey Cuff - I also love that it's swimming and surf proof!
Also: It makes me feel like I'm Wonder Woman! 
The Journey Cuff is stainless steel, is impervious to both the elements and my clumsiness, and it’s stylish. Personally, I LOVE cuff bracelets and I’ve been wearing the Journey out and on the town, I also wear every time I go swimming in the ocean. The Journey stays securely on my wrist and has never come off in the water, and both the patina and the Rod of Asclepius symbols have not faded.
The Journey Bracelet also became a valuable teaching moment for my 10 year old friend “BrownEyedGirl," who I’ve written about several times, before.  

The Lesson
Brown Eyed Girl and I made our way past the crowds and through the waves - the storms off the coast meant the waves were good and the currents were strong - we went out deep and began body surfing  
One wave took me all they way to the shallow water - and as I stood up, Brown Eyed Girl came running towards me and shouting: KELLY, YOU’RE WEARING JEWELRY IN THE WATER - THAT’S NOT GOOD. TAKE IT OFF AND PUT IT WITH OUR STUFF!

Sidebar: BrownEyedGirl notices EVERYTHING.
I looked down textured pattern of my Lauren’s Hope Medical Cuff bracelet and smiled. 
No, this bracelet is for wearing all the time - even in the water. It protects me.” 
BrownEyedGirl: From the waves?
Me: NO! It’s a Medical Identification bracelet - My information is on the bracelet - My name, that I have diabetes, my Doctor’s name and phone number, incase I can’t tell them myself.
BrownEyedGirl: What do you mean,“if you can’t tell them?” 
Me: Liiiike if I’m in a car accident or something happens because of my diabetes and I can’t talk or I’m not awake.
Sidebar: I was trying to keep things simple and low key. Brown Eyed Girl is a 10 year old going on 40 - she was born with the personality of a little mother hen and she’s a worrier.

Brown Eyed Girl: But Kel, how do they KNOW it’s that kind of bracelet? 
Me: Good question, BEG. I can’t believe I forgot to tell you that. 
See these two red symbols on the front of the bracelet - their called the Rod of Asclepius and it’s code for Medical bracelet. Doctors, police, firemen and EMTs are trained to look for the symbols on jewelry and tatoos with the symbol - even regular people like you and me know what the symbol means. 

Brown Eyed Girl. OH, OK - I GET IT.  Kel, is that bracelet just for people with diabetes? 
Me: No, it’s for anyone with a disease or allergies, or other health issues
BrownEyedGirl: Hey, you wore a black and silver bead bracelet with that symbol on it on Christmas Eve. 
Me: I did! that’s my fancy Medical ID Bracelet -  but this one is to wear everyday and especially when I swim. 

Brown Eyed Girl: Kelly, can I see what the bracelet says about you? 
Me: It says I’m AWESOME... but OK. 
I took it off quickly, turned the underside of the cuff towards her while holding it tightly in my hand and let her read the info out loud, then quickly slipped it back on and tightened the cuff securely on my wrist. 
Brown Eyed Girl: I’m glad you have that bracelet, Kel. 
Hey, want to go back out in the deep water  and watch me do the Butterfly Stroke? 
Me: You mean your award winning Butterfly Stroke? The one you won a 1st place medal for at swim clinic a few weeks ago? Yeah, I do!

And that’s exactly what we did... and a wonderful time was had by all ~

Speaking of winning... 
The Contest
Here’s your chance to win a $50 egift certificate, courtesy of Lauren’s Hope.
The Rules
1. Leave a comment on this blog post stating why you'd like to win the Lauren’s Hope gift certificate - and any other thoughts that cross your mind while reading this post.  
2. You or someone you love must have diabetes.
FTR: Lauren's Hope offers Medical ID Jewelry for women, men and children. 

3. The winner will be chosen announced here on the blog, Monday, August 8th and the winning entry will be chosen by

4. If you win, you have 48 hours to email me ( or facebook me with your name and email address.

If I don't hear from you by Wednesday, I will choose a new winner. 

As I stated previously, Lauren’s Hope gave me both bracelets, free of charge. 
And while I appreciate that kind gesture, it was up to me if wore them or wrote about them. 
As you can see, I did both. But as you all all know, my thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone~ 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Shaking Off The Funk Of Increased Insulin Requirements~

The other day I got myself in a funk - and not the kind with cool beats and a loud base. 
My self-imposed funk was regarding my insulin pump’s basal rates (hourly insulin rate via my insulin pump,) which are still elevated since doing 2 rounds of antibiotics and a round of steroids to combat bronchitis and few other itises back in May
And before the steroids,  my insulin requirements had increased slowly over the previous year. 
Thanks to Gary Scheiner and the wonderfulness of being me, I know that it takes my body longer to process meal boluses than most and I try and take meal boluses 15 minutes before I eat - but that's not always possible.

For now, I try not to let the amount of my daily insulin requirements upset me - I remind myself to be grateful that I have insulin - and that access too insulin.
And I keep moving - walks, bike rides, swimming and body surfing in the ocean until I'm forced to leave the water from sheer exhaustion. 

But every now and then I wonder what if I require more insulin now and forever ... just because. 

  • Because I will have lived with diabetes 38 years as of October 21st, 2015
  • Because I’m a woman in a certain age bracket
  • Because our bodies change and shit happens
  • Because diabetes demands it
  • Because change is a part of life. 

And I worry because of the cost of my increased insulin requirements - I worry about that a lot. 
I’m once again contemplating a secondary injectable to prevent the spikes - I’m not sure which one, but I'm going to be discussing the possibility with my Endo in October. 
FTR: I won't attempt going back on Metformin - my numbers were great, I lost 8 pounds, but my hair fell out in clumps. Symlin caused sticker shock and there was a lot of stops and starts due my travel schedule  - so I stopped taking it. 
I'm also being proactive and scheduling an appointment with my CDE before I meet with my Endo - hopefully 6 weeks before my appointment in October and not during the Pope's visit to Philadelphia - that would be logistically insane!

Lastly, I remind myself that things take time and that my life will always be measured out in units of insulin - sometimes I will require less - and other times (like now,) I will require more. But I will always require insulin in order to live. 
And that things could be a lot worse than increased insulin requirements.

 If any of you out there in DblogLand are or have experienced similar issues - I’d love to hear from you & any advice would be greatly appreciated.