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ADVOCATE: n. [ad-vuh-kit, -keyt]: a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc.

It’s really not very hard … and it’s really important. After all, who’s more important to your own life than you? It is survival.


21th Annual Shooting Stars JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Sunday, October 23, 2016 in Newport Beach, CA at The Waffle House

For a contribution of $50 (or MORE!), walkers will receive a VERY COOL Shooting Stars Team T-Shirt while supplies last. Contact Joanne if you are interested in attending the event. To donate on-line, please go to:

Alert Dogs … How Do They Do That?!

Diabetes alert dogs are amazing! And very accurate! I was stunned when I attended an AADE conference and was watching the former Miss America, Nicole Johnson, signing her book for attendees, with her alert dog, Lucy at her side. Lucy is a golden doodle dog, absolutely adorable. All of a sudden, as Nicole was signing a book for a lady with diabetes, Lucy became agitated and put her paw on the lady. After trying to settle her down, Nicole checked her own CGM … she was fine. So she asked the lady to check … and indeed, the lady’s BG was 65! Lucy didn’t settle for about 10 minutes after the lady took some sugar. Then Lucy went back to being the perfect, obedient, calm dog. Nicole told me that when Lucy travels on the airplanes with her, sometimes Lucy reacts when another traveler has a low blood sugar! Amazing!!!

How do they do that???

In a study at Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge, UK reported in Diabetes Care Journal, July 2016, scientists hypothesized that domestic dogs might sense a change in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath. They studied 8 female non-smoking adult T1s under controlled conditions, lowering their blood sugar levels and looking for specific chemical signatures to detect the presence of certain molecules. They found that isoprene rose significantly during hypoglycemia. In fact, in some cases, the presence of isoprene nearly doubled.

Humans are oblivious to isoprene, but the researchers figure that dogs are particularly sensitive to the chemical, and can easily tell when their owner’s breath contains too much of it. As to why the body produces more isoprene during hypoglycemia, the researchers think it’s a […]

From DiabetesMine: Type 1 Diabetes Caregiver Confidence Book Review AND Giveaway!

Check it out!  My book review of Samantha Markovitz’s first book, Type 1 Diabetes Caregiver Confidence, chock full of advice and tools to help caregivers (grandparents, babysitters, neighbors, etc.) understand the basics of diabetes, treatments, emergencies … all packed into 128 very readable pages. 






DiabetesMine is offering to give away 2 free copies of this book!  Just go to the link below and leave a comment below the article, including the codeword, DMBooks … OR send in your entry to with the subject line, “T1D Caregiver.”  This offer is open until June 9, just a few days away!!!

Read more: “Type 1 Diabetes Caregiver Confidence” – Book Review with Giveaway!

Click here to BUY NOW!

DiabetesMine: Stuck Waiting for Medicare CGM Access

Mike Hoskins of DiabetesMine just posted: Stuck Waiting for Medicare CGM Access, about the saga of Medicare coverage (or not) of CGM, ever since their ruling to cover CGM was announced on 12 January 2017.  It’s been a rocky roller coaster for all Medicare-covered T1s trying to order their Dexcom G5 supplies.  And the end is not in sight. 

He cited my posts on this topic:
Another PWD caught up in this is our D-blogging friend Joanne Milo in California who writes at The Savvy Diabetic and has shed some light on a new ruling on this Medicare CGM coverage issue recently.
“The new article indicates that if Medicare beneficiaries use their Dexcom G5 with a smart phone, even if such use is in addition to using the receiver that comes with the Dexcom G5 system, all the CGM supplies will be non-covered,” she writes. “…This novel restriction appears to be designed to ensure that the only CGM that is covered by Medicare will not be covered for those individuals who use it to its full functionality to monitor their glucose levels.”
Read more: Stuck Waiting for Medicare CGM Access

Cataracts? Yes, CATARACTS!

Wondering why I’m writing about cataracts?  I just had cataract and lens replacement surgery in both eyes over that past 2 months.  I’m now living with extreme clarity, vivid colors and total relief that it is done and I am healing well. 

I’m 63 and I’ve had T1D for over 52 years. When I realized that I was headed for cataract surgery, these thoughts kept rolling around in my head:

NO, I don’t want to deal with this!
I’m TOO YOUNG for this!
I’m scared … don’t mess with my eyes!
What if something goes wrong?

The first cataract ophthalmologist told me I could wait and only do one eye at a time.  He said I’d know when it was time … when I couldn’t see well enough while driving and when I couldn’t keep up with eyeglass lens replacements every 3-6 months.  I hit that point 4 months ago.  My optometrist said they couldn’t correct my vision much further.  BINGO … time to find out more and identify my surgeon.


Let’s understand more about cataracts.

What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding and/or yellowing of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to aging. 

What is the lens?
The lens is a clear part of the eye that helps to focus light, or an image, on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.
In a normal eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina. Once it reaches the retina, light is changed into nerve signals that are sent to the brain.
The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.

What causes cataracts?
The […]

Savvy on the, 23 May 2017

I was asked to join 33 other bloggers in the diabetes community to contribute our thoughts about the  D community and what/how we support those with diabetes.  All of us bloggers have a main goal: to raise awareness and to educate about the journey we are all on, living with diabetes.  A bit about Is Not About Us…
It’s About You!
This site has been constructed with the purpose of providing up-to-date, emerging and reliable information for those living with diabetes.
Writing is not everyone’s strongest feat. Those who can convey a story, a lesson learnt, or a memoir through their writing are not only storytellers but also educators.  Bloggers and advocates who write about diabetes are just that. Through their stories and experiences, they share with us a vulnerable part of them in order to get a message across just in case it can help someone else who may be in their shoes. Its their way of saying “you are not alone in your journey!”
This time we were asked:

What is the hardest diabetes blog subject that you had to write?
What are some of the best techniques that you use in order to create a story to draw the reader in, and also help keep their attention while they learn about diabetes?
What are some of the most interesting comments or questions that you have had in relation to your articles about diabetes

To read all the answers, go to: 34 Diabetes Bloggers Give Us A Glimpse of Behind The Scenes

Here’s what I shared below.
Joanne Laufer Milo
A1: The hardest subject, actually before blogging, was about the death of my very close, T1 friend, at the age of 33. I attached the obituary notice I placed […]

Savvy Books: Bright Spots & Landmines by Adam Brown

At the risk of repeating myself, AMAZING! I’ve been reading Adam’s column on diatribe … always interesting. But this is a masterpiece of wisdom, experience, tips and techniques in an easy-to-read, MUST READ resource for how to live as well as possibly with Type1 diabetes. WOW!

I started reading the book as soon as I got it … and the subtitle says a lot: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me.” I scanned the reviews by all the prominent folks in the diabetes community. I felt a bit intimidated. I thought, uh-oh, another “whatcha oughta do” books. In a way it is … but it all makes sense.



Adam, a born achiever and oldest of 6 children in his family, was diagnosed with T1 in 2001, at the age of 15. At the tender age of 21, three events changed his life, all for the good:

He started learning about nutrition and eating fewer carbohydrates and how to make better choices
He joined a diabetes-focused organization as an intern, where he learned to write about diabetes
He started using a continuous glucose monitor, which empowered him to figure out what worked well for his diabetes and what didn’t work well.

In short, he started to take charge of his diabetes, beyond just taking insulin.

He tells his journey and his living lessons with openness, honesty and real insight. He shares what he has learned and what works for him and why. He offers variations of these lessons so that you may choose to use them or modify them to work for you.

His book is divided into four VERY important topics:


Very few books on diabetes discuss these subjects as essentials. It’s really a […]

One Lump or Two? Things that Suck about being Diabetic

Haidee Soule Merritt is a “self-proclaimed” realist and cartoonist, doodling her life of personal struggles and experiences with Type 1 diabetes.  Her little book of drawings couched in her “dark sense of humor.”  Some are funny, some are snarky, some are angry, all are interesting and grounded in the reality of living with diabetes. 
Click on the cover below to Buy The Book NOW!

Nicole Johnson (Miss America 1999): Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Realities

This is a great little primer, short and packed to the brim with practical advice and first-hand stories of how to successfully manage the transition from dependence (life with Mom and Dad) to independence in life while living with Type 1 diabetes. 

Nicole Johnson was the first Miss American to win the title while wearing her insulin pump for all the world to see.  She went on in her studies for master’s degrees in journalism and public health, as well as a doctorate in public health.  Living with diabetes since 1993, she’s raised over $26 million for diabetes research and programs.  She’s written 6 books, is a Telly award-winning television journalist and she serves the diabetes community in so many ways, from public speaking to writing to serving on boards and councils.  Nicole is executive director of Bringing Science Home at the University of South Florida, within which she founded a national organization called Students With Diabetes.

In her introduction, she writes, “Nothing about being a young adult with diabetes is easy.  Living with T1D can prompt insecurity, isolation, and pessimism. It especially torments teens and young adults.  … I remember that time of life well.  I still feel that T1D stole my college experience.  I didn’t live a typical college life because of the newness of the disease and the fear I harbored. Most stunning though are my memories of both feeling alone and wondering what impact T1D would have on the rest of my life.”

It’s a genuine and beautifully written collection of practical advice and personal stories.  A quick read (124 pages) and a great gift for any young adult T1D or their parents.
Buy This Book NOW!  Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Realities

Savvy DBlog Week 2017: D Also Stands for DOG!

Today is the final day of’s Diabetes Blog Week 2017.  The topic is: More Than Diabetes, about me, with or without a relationship to diabetes.  Easy peazy!




D Also Stands for DOG!  INDEED!

I seem to absolutely ADORE dogs.  I often can imagine their voices if they spoke in human.  They make me smile, breathe easier, brings laughter and joy. 

My passion for our four-legged spirit guides started when I was in my thirties, with Toby, my English cocker spaniel and then King Louis IV, a feisty toy poodle puppy with lots of interests!  After I dig up some physical pix, you will see him showing up in my blog posts! 


But then life became seriously more dog-centric, with Ginger, the wonder toy poodle.  She “chose” me and seemed to be my alter ego.  And she taught me so much about life.  The biggest lesson:  If someone enters your life who is not “good,” it’s okay and best to retreat under the bed!  I beg your indulgence here but I couldn’t just choose one photo!  Included below is Ginger’s 7th birthday party with 14 people and 10 dogs … and all dogs were served birthday cake (made of ground chicken, carrots, broccoli and the icing made of mashed potato in the shape of a bone)! Ginger left us at age 16:

My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.  ~ Edith Wharton


























And some of Ginger’s best friends:













Annie and Annie








Enter Hey Buddy and Bon Bon in 2008 … pure joy and love!  Hey Buddy is our Westie (his middle name is I’m Busy) and he’s definitely an old soul. Bon Bon is our Lhasa Apso, definitely a new soul!  Once again, please indulge me … I couldn’t […]

Savvy DBlog Week: What Makes Me Crazy Mad

Today is the 4th day of Diabetes Blog Week 2017 … and the topic is What Brings Me Down.  Easy, huh?!?  Well, I’ve taken it a step further.







I thought long and hard about this.  

I’m mostly living in gratitude, being amused and happy most of the time.  I’d rather smile than frown.  I like to laugh and giggle.  That’s just me.  I find the world fascinating and curious. I love the word JOYFUL!

I can, however, tip over.  I often see it coming. I’ll do my best to describe it as I’m sure you will UNDERSTAND!

I work very hard to manage my health and be mindful and live well.  I try to help others.  BUT when I encounter barriers to getting what I need for my health, I get MAD.  For example:

Prior authorizations!  My doctor chooses a course of treatment and insurance wants more documentation and precious doctor time.  I trust my doctor more than I trust a pharmacy rep!
Miscommunication between insurance and my doctor’s office.  Orders and rx’s get faxed … BUT no one seems to have received it!
It takes an hour to to reach a human being at a device company, medical supply company or insurance company, only to find out that you need another prior auth.
Mostly, TIME!  It already takes several hour   s/day to manage diabetes:
calculating dosages
changing infusion sites or taking injections     
testing blood sugar and doing calibrations
chasing high blood sugars
chasing low blood sugars
ordering and refilling prescriptions
going to healthcare providers and local pharmacies
and MORE! 

You know!  And I’m okay with that as I feel grateful that I CAN go to the doctor and I CAN get […]