Seasonal Insulin Ratios

The weather is changing in Michigan and for those of us with Type 1 Diabetes, that means changing carb-to-insulin ratios as well…it does for me anyway. The first few years of having diabetes it was tough to pick up on yearly or seasonal trends because I was still learning to manage through holidays, family parties, eating off-schedule, and all the other nuances that each year can bring. After getting a better understanding of how all those things effected my blood sugar, I was finally able to see a seasonal trend. I started realizing that every fall, as the weather started to cool off, my blood sugars would start running higher. I’d talk it over with my endocrinologist and we’d adjust my carb-to-insulin ratio accordingly to get everything back in line. This trend would continue through the winter. It became clear to me that, in cold weather seasons, my body required more insulin to process the carbs I would eat.

After ironing out my ratios and getting my blood sugars squared away for the winter, weather would start warming back up in the spring and I’d start experiencing lows more frequently. Again, I would meet with my endocrinologist and we’d adjust ratios again to accommodate the low readings. As weather would continue warming up, my body was requiring less and less insulin. So, over the course of 13 years, I’ve solidified my understanding that my body just requires more insulin in colder weather. Living in Michigan, that means from about October/November through March I’m adjusting to give myself more insulin per carbs than the rest of the year. You may wonder the same thing I have for quite some time…why is this?

I’ve heard many people say that it’s because you’re less active in the winter time and so your body requires more insulin to compensate for that. Well…I experienced this phenomenon when I was 19 years old and playing college football, something that required me to be very active every single month of the year. So, level of physical activity or fitness was not the contributing factor for me. I’ve heard and read other possible explanations involving metabolism and cold weather, but again, that didn’t seem to be the driving factor for me. I’m not sure if I’ll ever know exactly what causes the change in my body in colder weather…that may be one of those questions I’ll just have to wait and ask God when I meet Him face to face.

For now, though, fall is here and the weather is getting colder, so our journey of adjusting ratios for the winter is beginning. To ease some of the frustrations that accommodate changing ratios in the fall, I think I’ll treat myself to a nice hot coffee with pumpkin spice creamer (my all-time favorite!!). I love fall!!!

What about all of you? How does the weather effect your blood sugars or insulin-to-carb ratios? I’d love to hear from you!


Green Bean & Radish Skillet

Green Bean & Radish Skillet |

With every meal we have, we try to have a fresh veggie side dish to go with our protein. Frozen veggies and butter can get stale and bland… so we try to maximize our time at the farmer’s markets and can/freeze any extras for dishes like this.

Green beans go fabulously with bacon like peanut butter does with jelly. Especially when using the thick organic-grass fed bacon we found locally…. nothing beats it! The farmer even told us it’s converted vegetarians back. It’s that good.

This dish is great in the summer, but I’ve also served it at our family’s Thanksgiving and it was a hit. It’s one of those classics that can be enjoyed anytime.

Green Bean & Radish Skillet |

I love this dish because it’s super easy to make and very low-carb. And it has bacon… you could put bacon in any dish and suddenly it’s appetizing. Seriously, can you think of a recipe where bacon isn’t a good idea?!


1 lb fresh green beans, washed and cut
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4″ wide pieces (or more if your a bacon freak)
1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup radishes, thinly sliced

In a medium pot, boil green beans for about 3-4 minutes. They should be slightly crispy, yet tender. Then immediately plunge beans into cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Once the bacon is crispy, remove and place on a paper towel. Leave about 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet.

Add onion, shallot and radishes to skillet and saute until brown. They should be caramelized nicely. Then add in the green beans and stir into onions, shallot and radishes. Cook for another 8-10 minutes until the flavors have been mixed in well. At the end, toss in the crispy bacon pieces.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Green Bean & Radish Skillet |

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini |

Well, well well… would you look at that beautiful, HEALTHY plate? I’m back this week and I left the sugar in the cupboard.. for now. It’s Fall. I bake a lot all stinkin’ day.

Neil and I love Italian food and anything with a good meat sauce. We swap out noodles for low-carb veggie noodles all the time and I wanted to share one of our favorite low-carb recipes: stuffed zucchini.

Start with browning a pound of ground beef, onion, garlic and mushroom in a skillet. Once browned, drain and return to stove on very low heat. Add in your favorite marinara/pasta sauce. We use my canned sauce or an organic marinara. Throw in some fresh basil and some cracked black pepper.

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini |

While your meat sauce simmers, cut your zucchini lengthwise and scoop the guts out. Yes, that’s the technical term for seeds and mushy stuff.

Place the zucchini on a foil-lined 9 x 13 pan and place them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove zucchini from the oven and spoon in your meat sauce. I really load them up because I want a good sauce to zucchini ratio. You can top with sliced veggies or cheese (for those non-dairy folk like me).

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini |

For those who do love cheese, top with your favorite shredded cheese and bake for another 35 minutes or until zucchini is just soft, but not mushy.

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini |

Mine usually take anywhere from 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the zucchini. When the cheese is browned and bubbly, they should be ready.

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini |


1 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 jar of pasta sauce of your choice
1 cup shredded cheese (any kind)
4-5 small zucchini (or 1-2 large)

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, onion, minced garlic and mushrooms together. When the beef is done, drain and return skillet to low heat, adding in the pasta sauce and stirring well. Add in fresh basil and cracked black pepper Simmer while you prepare zucchini.

Cut zucchini length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a 9×13 foil-lined pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Remove zucchini from oven and scoop in meat sauce. Top with more veggies and cheese of your choice. Return to oven and bake another 30-40 minutes or until zucchini is soft, but not mushy.



Taking Off the Mask at Work

I have a question for all of you Type 1’s out there in a working role: Have you told any of your coworkers that you have diabetes? Do they know what the signs and symptoms of lows are? Do you have a place at work to keep an emergency supply of fast acting carbs?

I’m going to throw myself under the bus here, for the longest time, I didn’t tell any of my coworkers that I had diabetes…much less educate them on what to look for in my behaviors. I think the main reason I kept it to myself was that I didn’t want anyone to think that having diabetes would affect my work. I always wanted to feel and be treated like a “normal” person. I also felt like if I told people, they would “watch” me and always question if I was ok or having a low. Or, my biggest fear, they would ask me about my blood sugars or question my decision making with food I would eat at work…or judge me for having some ice cream during our ice cream social. Pretty much every excuse you can think of…that’s how I justified not telling anyone that I had Type 1 Diabetes.

In reality, I was isolating myself and creating a potentially unsafe environment where the people I spent a great portion of my day with had no idea. What that translated to is, if I were to have a severe low that I couldn’t treat myself, I was surrounded by people who had no idea what was going on and no idea how to help me…essentially taking a bad situation and making it worse. It took a lot of encouragement and open discussions with Steph (and one dangerous low) for me to finally open up at work and start sharing with my coworkers about the fact that I had diabetes. The dangerous low came when I was at work one day, and I happened to be out of test strips (of course). I was working on my computer in Excel and noticed that the cell lines were distorting and forming a U-shape. I’ve had LASIK surgery and so I thought something was going wrong with my eyesight. I made several trips to the bathroom to check my eyes and make sure I didn’t have anything in them, but couldn’t get my vision to be clear. I finally realized that I may be having a low and, since I wasn’t thinking clearly at all, instead of treating the low, I called my brother to ask what I should do. He told me to eat some sugar and call my doctor, which is what I did next. My doctor said the same thing, eat sugar and allow my blood sugar to come up. I drank an entire can of pop and ate a candy bar and still wasn’t getting better. Finally, I called my wife and she left work to bring me test strips and more sugar. I thought it would cut down on time if I met her halfway, so I drove to meet her with my terrible vision, still in a low. While driving she called to check on me and when I told her I was driving, she immediately told me to pull over and wait for her. So, I did. She arrived shortly after that with more sugar and checked my blood sugar. At that point it was 53 and slowly coming up. Who knows how low it was back when the ordeal first started. This was a terrifying situation for Steph since she felt helpless being so far away and not having anyone around knowledgeable enough to help me. That situation could’ve gone much differently if my coworkers had been aware of my diabetes and how to help me in a low like that. This was the final straw in helping me to understand how important it was for me to open up at work. So, I finally did.

Once I did, it opened the door naturally for me to educate them and even connect with a couple other people who had diabetes as well. After that, my coworkers took it upon themselves to start accommodating for me and the other diabetics at our work events (company Christmas party, work lunches, safety picnics, etc.) by ordering specialty items that would be low carb, diabetic friendly options. I couldn’t believe it!! They started buying low carb ice cream for our ice cream socials, buying diet pop at company events, adding fast acting sugar to our emergency kits…you name it! I felt so welcomed and accepted that I finally felt comfortable opening up even more on days that I was struggling with lows or highs. I’ve even called in sick a couple times (and explained why) when I had extreme highs and couldn’t get out of bed and be productive…something I would’ve NEVER shared before that…EVER!! But, it was a completely freeing feeling when I finally let the cat out of the bag and started embracing who I am at work.

Having Type 1 Diabetes effects every area of my life, work included. There are no exceptions to that statement. So why not open up and embrace diabetes in that and let people see me for who I am and what I live with? It’s a freeing feeling and one that I am always trying to achieve more and more of. I’m not perfect though, and there are still areas of my life or people in my life that are harder to open up with, but I’m getting there. Conquering being transparent at work was one of my toughest struggles though and I know some of you can relate.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with work! Have you opened up with your coworkers and shared about your diabetes?


Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream | Dairy-free


Hey guys! …. I’m back with another dessert recipe.. Just your average D-wife here trying to derail all the diabetics out there.

Nah, just kidding. But, I DO have a good reason for it….It’s guilt-free! It’s no secret diabetics are just like everyone else. And last time I checked everyone else loves dessert too. So, my mission is to tear down the stigma of the D-life and  bring some healthier versions to your life. Because a lil healthy ice cream never hurt nobody.

Neil LOVES ice cream. If he could, he would eat it everyday. But, since I can’t have dairy and him eating ice cream daily isn’t really a good idea,  I decided to create a version that is dairy-free and much healthier. This a a win-win for us and hopefully for you too.

Some of you may remember this recipe being posted on my personal blog: Living Surrendered. Late last year I decided to pause from blogging since I had a full-time job, an Etsy shop and life at home to manage. I’ve decided to move those recipes over to this blog since this one will be our main focus for the future.


The base of this ice-cream is something everyone has in their pantry… banana. Frozen bananas to be exact. You can then add anything to that to make your own frozen treat: chocolate, berries, peanut butter, my homemade caramel, ground coffee beans, etc.

The recipe is simple and most likely you already have everything on hand!


Start with sliced, frozen bananas. I used my food processor (on high speed) to blitz these guys into a creamy “ice cream” texture.


This takes a awhile, so be patient and take breaks to scrape the sides of the food processor down with a rubber spatula.


Once the consistency is very fine granules, I add a few pieces of organic, dark chocolate and a scoop of my homemade peanut butter. Store bought is great too if that’s what you prefer. I recommend a no-sugar added or organic version if possible.


Now the consistency is starting to resemble a “dough” and although this is getting close, it’s not quite there yet. By this point I think I’ve had the processor running for at least 5 minutes… maybe more (I didn’t time it exactly).


… THERE it is! Perfectly creamy, smooth, ice-creamy deliciousness.


Top with melted dark chocolate and roasted peanuts and enjoy! This recipe doesn’t store well pre-made (it tends to harden too much) so enjoy this treat as you make it.

Again, this recipe is definitely not carb/sugar free, but it is a healthier version of a classic treat. Just the way we like it!

RECIPE (serves 2 people)

4 frozen bananas, sliced (I slice mine and place on wax paper then place in the freezer)
Dark chocolate chips or crushed bar, as desired
1/4 Cup creamy peanut butter (or more if desired)
1 Tablespoon roasted peanuts for topping

*Note: I keep frozen banana slices in my freezer so when we’re in an ice cream mood all we have to do is blend it up.

  • Place banana slices in the food processor and blitz on high for about 3 minutes until a fine granule/slight dough forms.
  • Add dark chocolate pieces and peanut butter and continue blending until it’s smooth. Don’t worry if it seems like it’s not coming together, it will take a good few minutes.
  • Once it’s creamy and ice cream-like consistency, place in a bowl, top with your favorite toppings and eat right away.



Super Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce

This weekend we celebrated Neil’s 30th birthday and he requested a caramel apple bar instead of a birthday cake. He loves the Fall season and everything that comes with it… the cooler temps, football, apples and pumpkin flavored everything.

I laughed that the very first recipe I post on our blog is basically runny sugar. But, one stigma that we are trying to overcome is that diabetics can’t  have sugar. Yes, they can have it. And they do. A diabetic will turn down cake just like a non-diabetic will. It’s a treat!


Also, we are both gluten and dairy free due to my autoimmune disease. We try to eat as healthy and non-processed as we can, which challenges me to try to make my own versions of my favorite foods at home. Regular, store-bought caramel is not only loaded with corn syrup and ingredients you can’t pronounce… it also has dairy.

So, with that said, I wanted to share our healthier caramel recipe that is junk-free… but definitely not sugar-free. These ingredients were easily found at our local grocery store and the recipe is fool proof.


I was on a mission for quite some time to perfect a homemade caramel recipe that not only tasted good but could be stored easily. I also wanted to avoid any artificial sweeteners or dairy. After a few attempts and tweaks I think I’ve got one down that is seriously the best caramel I’ve ever had. Even my non-gluten-free/dairy-free family really liked it!

Super Easy Caramel Recipe |

I tested this recipe using both full-fat and lite coconut milk from the can. I also tried using salted and unsalted butter and both versions are great! Using a lite coconut milk just means you will need to boil the water off longer,  but it turns out amazing either way!

Key notes about this recipe:

  1. Patience is key… I boiled my caramel down for at least 35-40 minutes, especially with the lite coconut milk (more water). Just be sure to stir frequently and keep your eye on it.
  2. This caramel is fun to experiment with! I used vanilla extract, but you could use a little almond or maple extract to really jazz up the flavor. I also tried different butters, honey vs maple syrup… etc.
  3. You can also add coarse sea salt for a salted caramel flavor.
  4. This recipe is a dark brown color once reduced. Once you store it in the fridge it turns a milky color but the consistency stays the same. It won’t harden on you which is great!
  5. I used mostly coconut ingredients… but no, it doesn’t’ taste like coconut. It’s a delicious caramel flavor!


This caramel is a great addition to:

Apples or fruit
Coffee or chai tea
Ice Cream
Baked desserts (brownies, magic bars, cookies)
Anything… really.


1 can coconut milk (I used Thai brand)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey (I prefer raw honey if I use honey)
1/2 cup Coconut palm sugar (I used Madhava brand)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted, your preference) or coconut oil

1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon maple extract (in place of vanilla)

Super Easy Caramel Recipe |

Add coconut milk, honey (or maple syrup) and coconut palm sugar to a small sauce pan (smaller the better) and mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat right away to medium, or to a slow rolling boil.

Watch the mixture closely so that it doesn’t boil over. I had mine boiling for close to 40 minutes until it thickened enough to be a true caramel. At that temperature it will be thicker but not too thick. Keep in mind it will thicken a bit as it cools. Once it’s thickened enough, remove it from heat and add the butter and extract right away. Mix well and set aside to cool.

Once it’s cooled to room temperature, pour into a container and use right away or store in the fridge.


We hope you have a chance to try this recipe! It’s so worth the effort!!


Weekly Meal Plan Ideas Week 1

Hey friends! I wanted to share with you one of the key components to staying on track with our meals: meal planning. I’ll be sharing  meal plan ideas weekly (straight from Pinterest) from now on in hopes of inspiring you to try out some newer, healthier recipes. Also, as the holiday seasons approach I will be sharing how we modify the classics to be a healthier, diabetic friendly version. We all know diabetics can eat sugar, but we make a conscious effort to not overdo it because diabetic or not, it’s not healthy.

The best way for us to stay on track with our food budget and our time budget is to meal plan out the whole week. This seems like a tedious task to do each week… and to be honest it is, on the front end. It takes me about an hour start to finish to come up with 7 days worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners, coupon matching and price checking. And then about another hour to meal prep for the week. But think of it as an upfront investment so you can come home later in the week and relax. Maybe catch up on those shows piling up in the DVR?

If you don’t already have one, I suggest a opening Pinterest account so you can pin healthy, lower carb recipes that you can look back on each week while meal planning. You can check our Pinterest page out here. It also allows you to follow boards that you can snag pins from to add to your collection. I also follow many diabetic related social media accounts and pin their recipes too.

The main reason we do this, is to save the hassle of not having a balanced meal ready at dinner time (which can result in unhealthy, high carb meals) and a blown budget. My sister has said she doesn’t like to plan that far out because she doesn’t know what will sound good for dinner next Tuesday. My tip is to pick 7 meals that sound good and shop for those items. Then as the week goes on, pick whatever sounds good from your pool of 7 meals. Trust me, it works like a charm and you’ll always have a plan for dinner.

*Time saver tip: prep all the vegetables (wash, cut, store in containers in fridge), breakfast meats, etc ahead of time so that they are ready in a pinch. We’re all busy, let’s give ourselves a little extra time in the morning to actually drink our coffee while it’s hot.

Those are usually more unplanned in the sense that I buy breakfast items (like smoothie ingredients, eggs, veggies, meats and organic Greek yogurt) and we just pick our breakfast that day.

We tend to shoot for high protein, low carb breakfast options like these:

Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet by Allergy Free Alaska


Denver Baked Omelet by Cooking Classy
(this one is perfect for a Sunday prep and eaten for a few days)


Stuffed Breakfast Peppers  by The Skinny Fork

For us, we always pack leftovers. For those who prefer some non-leftover options, here are a few:

Greek Salad with Zesty Lemon Dressing by Natasha’s Kitchen


Chicken BLT Lettuce Wraps by Ella Claire Inspired


Chicken Avocado Salad with Lime and Cilantro by Kalyn’s Kitchen


For dinners we cook double the servings so that we can pack leftovers for lunch everyday. We do this to save money, eat healthy and we know the exact carbs/ingredients used for an easy calculation for insulin needed. Here are some ideas below:

Taco Lettuce Wraps by The Taylor House
(we do tacos often, and they are amazing like this)


Pan Seared Steak Rolls By Steamy Kitchen


Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers by She’s The Bross


Roasted & Stuffed Acorn Squash by The Cozy Apron


Shrimp & asparagus stir fry by Home Cooking Memories


Classic Cabbage Rolls by Taste of Home


Happy meal planning!! 🙂

Supplies, Gadgets and Insurance, OH MY!!!

One of the first things I had to get used to when I was diagnosed with Type 1, 13 years ago, was how much “stuff” came along with it.  It was a bit overwhelming, but over time, I learned how to manage it all.  I want share about that journey in hopes that you might find some encouragement and inspiration knowing that you’re not alone.

I started my insulin therapy with injections of both Lantus and Humalog, using syringes for Lantus and pens for Humalog. That meant I had to start keeping a stash of BD Ultra Fine Short Pen Needles (5/16 inch) and BD Ultra Fine Insulin Syringe Needles (3/10cc) on hand. Not to mention, the insulin vials and pens, alcohol swabs, test strips, control solution, lancets, etc. Basically, I had to devote a section of my closet to storing the many different types of supplies I would need from then on. I also had to learn how to use a new gadget, my One Touch Ultra glucometer. It was a basic meter that would check my blood sugar and keep a memory of the readings. For the first 8 or so years of being diagnosed, I had to maintain a log book as well, writing down all my blood sugar readings, carbohydrate intake, insulin doses, activity…you name it! I’ll be honest, after the first two years, I was terrible at keeping that up to date…I would find myself cramming the day before a doctor appointment, trying to remember all those details from the last 10 days. But, that’s the technology that I had available to me at the time. The other major thing I had to get used to was being involved in a constant struggle with pharmacies, insurance companies and employers always trying to sort out prescriptions, refills and coverage. I can’t tell you how many times I was given the wrong syringes and needles…how many times I ran out of them and had to reuse needles until my insurance would cover the next order… or how many times I’ve had to buy test strips out of pocket until insurance would cover my next order…it’s a never ending process. On top of that, if you have mail order prescriptions and you’re sent the wrong ones, you don’t really have much choice but to try and make them work or buy out of pocket until you can send them back and get the right ones delivered. Some of my biggest frustrations and struggles with diabetes have come from arguing with pharmacies and insurance companies…I don’t know why that is, but it doesn’t seem right.


After 10 years of injection therapy, I finally made the switch to a pump…mostly because Steph pretty much forced me to. I was so nervous to change because for 10 years I had relied completely on myself for calculating all my insulin needs and now I would have to rely on a machine to make those calculations for me. Not to mention that I have always loved sports and any kind of physical activity and having a pump would be a bit more restrictive in that arena. But, I decided the benefits of better control and more management options outweighed the drawbacks and made the switch. Now, I have a whole new set of supplies to keep on hand, in addition to a stash of injection therapy stuff (such as emergency back-ups). I now have infusion sets, reservoirs, CGM sensors and transmitter, alcohol swabs, insulin vials, test strips, triple antibiotic ointment, IV tape (for holding CGM in place), and BARD protective barrier (protects my skin from irritation caused by the adhesive tape). In making the switch, I had to learn how to use a few new gadgets, too. My Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Revel insulin pump has a lot of management features that took some time to learn. From having varying basal and bolus rates throughout the day, to being able to set temporary basal rates, using dual and square wave boluses and even being able to shut the pump off, if needed, to help correct a low. Throw in the Enlite Sensor and CGM Transmitter and the pump has even more management features. I think Steph’s favorite feature is the “Threshold Suspend” that allows you to set a low limit that, if reached, will automatically suspend the pump from delivering any more insulin until you tell it to do so. I know she sleeps much better at night when I have my CGM on and that feature turned on. This pump even allows my new Bayer Contour Next glucometer to transmit wirelessly to it so I don’t have to enter my blood sugars manually. The cherry on top of this diabetic sundae of supplies and gadgets, is the ability to upload my CGM data to Medtronic’s Carelink network and look at reports, graphs and stats of my blood sugars. This is probably my most favorite feature, being that I’m a data freak and love graphs and numbers…I know, my nerd is showing. But it really is awesome being able to see graphs of my blood sugar trends, I love it. Ok, putting the nerd away… There is one thing that stayed constant when I transitioned to the pump, the pharmacy and insurance woes. Unfortunately, I don’t think those will ever go away, so I’ve just accepted it as something I have to live with.

Either way you manage Type 1 Diabetes, whether through injection or pump therapy, there is so much to think about beyond just carbs, insulin and blood sugars. It’s a blend of those things plus constantly managing an inventory of supplies, staying up to speed on new technology and dealing with pharmacies and insurance companies non-stop. I feel like this could be someone’s job or like there should be a college degree in diabetes management that would include all these areas…if there was such a thing, I think I’d be pretty good at it by now. Lol!

I’d love to hear from you on what type of therapy you use and what your favorite feature is, feel free to leave a comment! Did I miss anything on the supplies list?


We Don’t Do Normal… And That’s Ok

I’ve been in the diabetic world for 7+ years now. It’s hard to imagine life without constant blood sugar checks, needles, test strips everywhere and the occasional paralyzing fear. I can tell people all day long that Neil and I have a normal marriage… but that’s a lie for two reasons: 1. There is no such thing as normal. 2. Diabetics don’t do normal.

In high school, I could sleep through a category 5 hurricane. I fell asleep anywhere, anytime if I was tired. Today, if I hear the “beep” of his blood glucose monitor, I immediately sit up and ask “what is it?”. If I know his sugar is plummeting and he has a few units of active insulin still in him, I somehow manage to rally through the tiredness and stay awake until he is stable. I can tell just by looking at him if his sugar is low. He has little signs/quirks that I can read to determine where he’s at on the spectrum… and more often than not I am right. I wake up and feel his skin when he’s asleep, I pop up when I hear his CGM alarm blaring and I can run like Forrest Gump down a flight of stairs clearing a 15 lb cat at 3 am to get that juice box he needs.

We can’t do normal activities without a lot pre-planning because he wears an insulin pump… a very expensive one at that.. and if it gets damaged or wet, we’d be in trouble. In fact, almost everything we do takes a lot of pre-planning. Meal times, infusion set changes, date nights, physical activity… you name it.  This drives the non-planners in our family nuts, but I’d gladly trade cards with them for a day. This is what the D-life is like. And since I am a type A personality with administrative gifts, I take this part of our lives pretty seriously. I manage everything from budgeting for the cost of durable medical supplies to meal planning 7 days at a time to keep us on track.

You see, although Neil has type one diabetes, I by proxy, live it too. There is no I in team. It’s us, we, together, team. There is no such thing as a normal, diabetic marriage. The reason I was so on board for starting a team blog with my husband is to show the multi-faceted world of care giving as a spouse. There are things a caregiver needs too and often those things are not easily found. For example, there are days when I am so absolutely exhausted from staying up through the night doing hourly checks and I just want to chat about my fears. Although they try, the people around me just don’t understand it like my fellow D-wives/husbands do and the advice is often cliché. There’s an unspoken alliance when you meet other diabetics and their significant others. My hope is to create a space where we can come together to talk real life struggles and hopefully celebrate the good numbers too.

My husband has type one, but he also has so many other things going on to fill his resume too. I want to celebrate those and always cheer him on when life gets hard. I think as spouses, we all have that goal. But, I want to cheer my fellow caregivers on too. I raise my glass to all of you hardworking, supportive, amazing caregivers out there. The ones who never complain about getting up for middle of the night lows, comforting the pain of diabetic neuropathy, picking up prescriptions, giving injections and the thousand other things you tackle everyday!

With that, I welcome you to our new blog built specifically for type one’s and their families. As a caregiver, I will be spilling my guts about my fears, hopes, trials and thoughts on topics like marriage, faith, fitness and cooking.

Thanks for checking out our blog!

Have a great day!


Will the Real Type One Please Stand Up

My name is Neil Turner…and I have Type 1 Diabetes!

There, I said it.

Why is that so hard to say out loud? That’s something I’ve struggled with for 13 years, ever since I was diagnosed at 17. I have always held my disease close to my chest and told as few people as possible. I think it was an attempt to appear “normal” to everyone else and to make sure that diabetes didn’t control my life. Well, I’ve finally realized that by living that way, I was allowing diabetes to do the very thing I was trying to avoid…control my life! It’s hard work always trying to pretend like I don’t have diabetes. Not to mention all the pressure I put on myself to keep my blood sugars in check so I don’t have to say anything to anyone about having a low or high. It’s like living a double life. Then, there’s always the way I snapped at my wife whenever she asked what my blood sugar was when other people were within earshot. What a way to live!!

Well, I’m finally letting go of that lifestyle. I am ready to acknowledge the fact that I have diabetes publicly and hope that, in taking this step, I can help other diabetics feel encouraged and like they’re not alone. There are 1.25 million of us with Type 1 in America alone, as of 2012, according to the ADA. I want to lock shields with all of you and embrace diabetes together. We’re not alone and neither are those who support us, the unsung heroes in my opinion. They have a whole set of challenges all their own. That’s one of the reasons Steph and I are teaming up on this blog, we each have our strengths in managing diabetes as a family and we’re excited to open up about our strategies, our struggles, our successes and our faith…the good, the bad and the ugly. We’re going to be as transparent as possible to shed light on the hidden challenges we all face every single day.

Living with diabetes is tough, but I’ve realized that I don’t have to walk that road alone, and neither do you! So, I invite you to join us on this journey, to share your thoughts and stories and to open up with us along the way.

So, I’ll say it again…my name is Neil Turner, and I have Type 1 Diabetes!