Jack Tierney has lived with type 1 for more than 60 years. Not surprising, he was first misdiagnosed with type 2 and lived with that diagnosis for almost two years. He shares the story of finally getting the right diagnosis, living well with T1D before home blood sugar meters or fast acting insulins and why he just last year switched to a pump.
Stacey talks to Jack and his son Jamie. You can watch the video that brought them to our attention here.
In Tell Me Something Good – boy it was great to get back out to an actual in person conference. Shout out to not just FFL but to my local Charlotte community as well.
This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
Previous episodes with people who’ve lived with type 1 for more than 50 years:
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Episode Transcription below:
Stacey Simms 0:00
Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dario Health manage your blood glucose levels increase your possibilities by Gvoke Hypopen the first pre mixed auto injector for very low blood sugar and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.
This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.
This week Jack Tierney is 81 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes more than 60 years ago. He had classic symptoms but remembers being shocked to hear the news.
Jack Tierney 0:38
And he told me I was a diabetic and I said to him what’s that I had never heard the word or knew nothing about it. And he told me what it was generally speaking, and I’m convinced that the doctor probably did not know the difference between type one and type two because this was January of 1960
Stacey Simms 1:00
Jack was mis diagnosed with Type two for almost two years. He shares the story of finally getting the right diagnosis living well with T1Dbefore home blood sugar meters or fast acting insolence and why he just last year, switch to a pump
in Tell me something good boy, it was great to get back out to an actual in person diabetes conference, shout out not just to friends for life, but to my local Charlotte community as well. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
Welcome to another week of the show. Okay, so glad to have you here we aim to educate and inspire about diabetes with a focus on people who use insulin. My son Benny was diagnosed 14 and a half years ago, just before he turned to my husband lives with type two diabetes. I have diabetes, but I have a background in broadcasting. And that is how you get the podcast.
I got an email a couple of weeks ago from Jack Tierney, who you’ll hear from today. And he said check out the 12 minute YouTube video that my son and La filmmaker has created for me, it’s called an 81 year olds 62 year journey with type 1 diabetes. Well, that caught my attention. I’ve talked to quite a few people over the years who have lived a very long time with type one, it really is incredible to think about how they made it work without the things that we consider now like the very very basics right home blood sugar meters, and a one c test fast acting insulins, Jack and his son Jamie have a great story. And I will link up that video that started all of this in the show notes you can always go to Diabetes connections.com.
If you’re listening on a podcast player, you know like apple or Spotify or Pandora, sometimes the show notes are a little wonky. And the links don’t work, just head over to the episode homepage. And it also has a transcription.
If you follow me on social, you know that I went to the friends for life conference recently the first in person conference for me since March of 2020. I’m going to talk about that after the interview. But I wanted to say a quick Welcome to anybody new who is listening who found me there who I met at that conference, there were so many new people, it was great to be able to say hi and have some hugs and meet your kids. So I’ll talk about that a little bit. And I’ll get to Jack’s story in just a moment.
But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dario Health. And, you know, we first noticed Dario a couple of years ago at a conference and very thought being able to turn your smartphone into a meter was pretty amazing. I’m excited to tell you that Dario offers even more now, the Dario diabetes success plan gives you all the supplies and support you need to succeed. You’ll get a glucometer that fits in your pocket, unlimited test strips and lancets delivered to your door and a mobile app with a complete view of your data. The plan is tailored for you with coaching when and how you need it and personalized reports based on your activity. Find out more go to my daario.com forward slash diabetes dash connections.
Jack and Jamie, thank you so much for joining me. I am so interested to hear this story. Thanks for making time for me today. Oh, you’re welcome. We will hear Jack story and I can’t wait to hear you in your own words. But Jimmy, let me just start with you. What made you create that video,
Jamie Tierney 4:19
my dad said he was working on some scripts about his thoughts on diabetes and living with it for over 60 years. He wrote a number of different stories about it and wanted to record that on camera. And so we started doing that and we have all seven or eight sorry, eight tapes, I believe, of doing that. But what I was most interested in is his personal story, his life story because once we got started there was there’s a lot of things that I didn’t know about his story and about about diabetes in general. And so that’s what got me interested and then I wanted to follow up with with his doctor and with his with his brother to get multiple sides and also my mom I’m here to get her side of it. It’s one of those things that started off as one thing and changed a little bit as we went.
Stacey Simms 5:06
All right. So Jack, you have lived 62 years with type one. Can you talk about your diagnosis? Because not too surprisingly, you weren’t diagnosed correctly right away,
Jack Tierney 5:16
right? Yeah. In the first tape that I did with Jamie, I did talk about what happened with me, I actually came down with type one in 1959. At the time, my mother, who was only 43, had a brain tumor, and I was under a lot of stress, and I was attending college. In fact, when I was home with her after she had to have had a tumor removed, I did get the flu, like so many type ones, it just exacerbated or caused type 1 diabetes, because I weighed 100, I’m six foot four at the time, a weighed 150 pounds, I was down to 125 and peeing incessantly, like everyone who gets type one does. And so I returned to college. What happened was, I was just deteriorating so fast. I was in a small town in Indiana attending college. So I went to the local general practitioner, and he did some tests and told me my blood sugar was over 500 and then needed to be 80 to 120. And he told me, I was a diabetic. And I said to him, what’s that I had never heard the word or knew nothing about it. He told me what it was generally speaking, and I’m convinced that the doctor probably did not know the difference between type one and type two, because this was January of 1960. And he was a general practitioner in a very small town. But what he did do was consult with the dietician at the college I was attending, and he treated me I now know pretty much like a type two diabetic because he put me on 1000 calorie diet, your I am weighing 125 and surviving on any did give me a pill, I believe it was called diag and Ace, I really survived that way for about 18 months, just living on 1000 calorie diet and and I was in a really rigorous academic program too. But then as my brother indicates on the video, I came home and he was really worried about me. And luckily I had transferred to the University of Dayton and I was, I got in touch with a wonderful Doctor Who put me on insulin shots. And that made all the difference in the world. You know, I did get back to weighing about 150 in about six months, and you know, took the taking shots. In fact, what I say on the video, when I added it all up, I’ve given myself probably 42,000 shots over the years, by the way, preparing to do the tapes, Jamie because whenever Jamie does film project, he does extensive background for it. And he gave me a book titled breakthrough about the discovery of insulin by Dr. Frederick Banting. And in fact, when I, I’m going to start to cry, because I read that book in two days. Because it just reminded me of how many kids died before Dr. BAMMY who’s one of the greatest human beings that ever lived, discovered him. And it just, you know, I just brought back so much to me reading that book. But the man was a absolute saint for all that he did. I’m sorry for crying. But every time I think of that, man, I just think all of us were type ones are eternally grateful to him back, he’s got to have one of the highest places and heaven.
Stacey Simms 9:10
It is incredible, you know, as we’re marking 100 years of the discovery of insulin to think that someone such as yourself was diagnosed at a time really not that long after, at a time when many doctors and they still mess this up. But you didn’t know the differences between the types. I’m curious, you know, I’ve heard other people talk about being diagnosed in the 40s and 50s. By medical professionals who kind of, you know, gave them really dire diagnosis or dire outcomes or would say, you know, you’re really not gonna live that long. Were you I hear the emotion in your voice. Were you told things like that back then? No,
Jack Tierney 9:47
you know, that’s, that’s very interesting, because I remember Okay, for example, one of the doctors that I know just casually here in San Diego is Dr. Steve Adelman. And he too, is a type one diabetic. And I remember in paper he had written, he mentioned the fact that he was told that that he had he would live no more than 15 years. And he was diagnosed as a young adolescent. So I know that many people who were afflicted with type one word told, for example, one of my doctors is put me in touch with a two or three other type one diabetics here in San Diego who’ve had it for 60 years. And one of the women that I talked to she’s now 70 and she was diagnosed at age 13. And again, the doctors told her that she would live no more than 15 years.
Stacey Simms 10:50
How did you then go forward? I mean, it sounds like you kind of alluded to it, you know, did the shots it wasn’t that difficult, you know, again, the weight back but this was at a time before blood sugar meters. This was at a time where I assume if you were checking it wasn’t very accurate. What were you doing?
Right back to Jack answering that question. But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Gvoke Hypopen . And our endo always told us if you use insulin, you need to have emergency glucagon on hand as well. Low blood sugars are one thing we’re usually able to treat those with fast acting glucose tabs or juice. But a very low blood sugar can be very frightening. Which is why I’m so glad there’s a different option for emergency glucagon, it’s Gvoke Hypopen. Gvoke Hypopen is pre mixed and ready to go with no visible needle, you pull off the red cap and push the yellow end onto bare skin and hold it for five seconds. That’s it, find out more, go to Diabetes connections.com and click on the Gvoke logo. Gvoke shouldn’t be used in patients with pheochromocytoma or insulinoma. Visit gvoke glucagon.com slash risk.
Now back to Jack answering my question about how he stayed healthy.
Jack Tierney 12:06
Well, I’ll tell you one of the tapes that I did with Jamie was on exercise, I quickly realized how important exercise was I just felt intuitively that I would utilize insulin more effectively via exercise. And so as I mentioned on the tape, one day when I was 23 years old, I played 50 holes of golf carrying my own bag. And I used to routinely play basketball because I’m six foot four, three to four hours, sometimes even five or six at a time if I had the opportunity away from my academic studies. So I just found that exercise was so important. And you know, I’ve been as somewhat of an exercise buff all my life. In fact, one reason why I contacted Yahoo and diabetics the connections because on a news release here in San Diego, I saw where Eric Tozer was running eight different marathons on every continent in the US over a short period of time. Yeah. And he’s a type one diabetic. So, in fact, on one of the tapes, I say, whenever I get when two people like Eric, I really follow their story, because it’s motivational to me to maintain the exercise level that I like to
Stacey Simms 13:37
let me jump over to Jamie for a minute, as you’re hearing your dad talk about, you know, playing 50 holes, and golf and basketball. Growing up. Was he super active? Was this a family thing? Did he make you all get involved? Or was this his thing?
Jamie Tierney 13:50
Oh, no, no, we I’ve been playing golf and my dad, before I can remember, I was about two years old. And, you know, I was thinking because the US Open was fishing yesterday. And he used to wake up at three in the morning and drive down there and get us a place in line to go play and then then come home and wake me up and take me back there. And then we play golf and maybe come back and do yard work stuff like that. So growing up, I never thought it was any different than anybody else’s dad probably more probably quite a bit more active than most other dads I knew around.
Stacey Simms 14:25
Was diabetes kind of in the background, then do you remember as a kid, or you know, as a young adult at all? I’m trying to envision what it would be like because now you know with insulin pumps, we see gems, we see it more. But I’m curious, Jamie, from your perspective, what it was like to grow up with a dad with the type plan?
Jamie Tierney 14:42
Well, I don’t always see him do the shots. And you know, I don’t remember ever asking him what those were about that I just remember. I was near what it was that he had to take medicine he had to do it every single day and had to do with a needle which isn’t fun for anybody. I remember a few times, you know when when we would We are playing golf specifically with hot that he bring like a candy bar with him in case he would start feeling a little woozy he would, you know, he would, he would eat something to kind of revive themselves from there was a couple times I remember when it got a little bit scarier than that where he needed, you know, he needed some assistance needed to get back to the clubhouse quickly to get back to normal. So I was always aware of that. But again, you know, I didn’t really know that much about the disease itself and how it works. Other than if you’ve ever looked a little bit off, it needs to get some, some carbohydrates and and quickly,
Stacey Simms 15:36
Jack, I would imagine and I’m just thinking from my own experience, as a parent and as a daughter are our parents generally don’t want us taking care of them. And we don’t want our kids taking care of us when we become parents. But type 1 diabetes is kind of always there. Were you consciously trying to think, okay, I don’t want Jamie to have this responsibility. I’ve got this, did that kind of stuff go through your mind?
Jack Tierney 15:58
No, you know, I just felt you know, it’s an affliction. Everybody has ailments and afflictions. And, you know, once I realize how valuable and importance for my health, taking shots where it just became second nature to me, and I just felt so much better. But I just told my wife last night, since I’ve been on the T slim X to in last eight months, I’ve never felt better in my life, and I’m 81 years old. So I just am seeing the value of the pump, you know, and like Dr. McCallum says on the tape, he was a little surprised that I would take to it but you know, I always respect him so much. He just told me that this T slim is really something and I’m just so thankful I took the leap eight months ago and did it because I feel tremendous. Having done I do feel better now that I’m on the pump than I ever did just taking shots.
Stacey Simms 17:11
Now, what led you to do this? It was was it a conversation with your endocrinologist?
Jack Tierney 17:16
Yes. And and just also, he told me that this pump was exceptional in his point of view. In fact, Stacy, I’ll say this to you, I just and so long story but I did talk with Dr. Aaron Kowalski today the president of jdrf in New York, and he told me he’s using the T slim the Tandem t slim max to also so that made me feel really good. That maybe this is definitely it just reinforced by decision as being a very good one. Well hearing about this from Dr. Kowalski. Well,
Stacey Simms 17:56
I know Dr. Kowalski, but we chose it to and I gotta tell you, I absolutely love it for my son. It’s just the software. It’s great. So you were already then using a Dexcom CGM. Because if you’re listening and not familiar, the Tandem system works with the Dexcom. Right. Are you using that together? And had you been using a CGM for a while?
Jack Tierney 18:16
Yes, in fact, that’s a funny story. You’re gonna love this story. What happened was about three years ago, I went to see Dr. McCallum and I wanted to get on a continuous glucose monitor. Because, you know, I’d seen it advertised and it just sounded like the cat’s meow. So I’m waiting to see him. And there’s a young man waiting to see another endocrinologist. And he says, Dr. Tierney, and I said what and what it was, it was a gentleman, a young man that whose first name is Brandon. And I saw Brandon when he was nine years old to help him get ready for a test to get into a highly academic private school here in San Diego. And he at the time, he told me he was a type one diabetic. And so what happened was he was using the Libre and went over all of the advantages to the Libre before I saw Dr. McCallum, so I walked into Dr. McCallum’s office, and I said, Well, Dr. McCallum I think I’ve made a decision on the continuous glucose monitor that I should be using because I one of my former students told me the benefits up Wow, so I went on the Libre. But then, in fact, at the time that I went on the Libre, the Dexcom, six wasn’t available, right. And so it just sounded like the best one for me at the time. But then, of course, eight months ago, when I made the decision to go on the T slim. They told me it was worked in concert with the Dexcom six and that’s why of course I switch to that saying it’s great to
Stacey Simms 19:58
Yeah, it’s it’s Wonderful to have these choices. You know, I was gonna ask you, right, I was gonna kind of ask you to take us through the process of going from, you know, no home blood sugar meter to kind of you know what it was like in the 80s. And then, you know, the different insolence, but you like rocketed ahead, and now you’re on a hybrid closed loop system. So you’ve right, it’s
Jack Tierney 20:20
so sad, you know, there was nothing available. Thinking back, I did a lot of research before I did the eight tapes that Jamie debts. And one of the things that I learned and I had read a little bit about that, because I read a lot about that diabetic compilations and controls study that was done in 1980s and early 1990s, with type ones. And you know, in fact, they abbreviated the study early because it showed that tight control of type one of your blood sugar is imperative. In fact, I think I in my research for those tapes, that study I think, yeah, it was called the DCC, diabetic comm closed stations control trials dcct. And that thing, that thing, I was concluded early, because it showed how important it was. And I think as a result of that the a one C was developed, and also kilmallock. Because before that I was using NPH, insulin from 1961 until the latter part of the 1990s when human log became available, and also, I got my first day one see back in the 1990s. Well, because that wasn’t available. Until you know after that monumental study, the dcct. That’s when the a one c came about, I believe. And also more synthetic insulins like human lock, right. And that helped me a lot getting on unilock it really good. But I didn’t get on that till about I think 1998 1999 thanks to Dr. McCallum
Stacey Simms 22:13
What does he say to you? It’s must be really interesting for him to talk to someone. I mean, my guess is that you educate him about many, many things as well. I’m curious. It just sounds like he’s really open minded and really a team player with you to to encourage someone who has you know, not but on an insulin pump has lived with type one for more than 60 years. And then to make that change. Do you feel like maybe you’re educating him as well? Oh, yeah, I
Jack Tierney 22:41
think it’s mutual. Definitely. In fact, what happened was, Jamie said to me in mid March, he said, Dad, I’d like to interview Dr. McCallum. We’ve done the eight tapes. But like Jamie just said previously, I’d like to interview Dr. McCallum. So I called me and Jamie had to come down here on another job to San Diego from LA. And he wanted to do it on a Friday afternoon. Well, I called Dr. McCallum and he said, You know, I can’t do as it’s just chaotic once you guys come in Saturday morning, I couldn’t believe he invited us in Saturday morning. We were the only one over there. And so I said to him, Well, can I sit in and listen, because Jamie interviewed him for an hour and a half. And I resist taking in his responses to all the questions, because you know, a lot of what he presented I had not heard before. And so it was just a very good education on my part to hear his responses to Jamie’s questions. And also all along. He’s been very respectful of my what I’ve learned. I’ll give you one good example. And this is good to know, for every type one diabetic, sure, you got to pay attention to your endocrinologist, but also, you’ve got to pay attention to your experience. I remember when I first got on insulin back in the early 1960s that I was obsessive compulsive about making sure it was refrigerated. I mean, I was Oh, CD on it. I really was well, I’m reading a Life magazine. And this had to be in like 1963 about a gentleman by the name of Franklin, Billy Talbert. And Billy Calvert was one of the greatest tennis players ever. He was diagnosed in 1929. He lived to be 80 years old. In fact, that’s one reason why I made the tapes. I said, Well, Billy made it to 80. Maybe my time is coming up. So I better do something that I’ve been contemplating doing for a while. But in that article back in the 60s, this is what Billy said, I’m playing tennis all over the world. I can’t keep my insulin refrigerated all the time. And so I wasn’t as I can, you know, you kind of learn by experience what you can do in the like, I mean, sure you take the advice of all of your doctors. But after that I wasn’t obsessive compulsive about keeping my insulin refrigerated when I learned what Billy tailrace experience was. And that’s what I found with Dr. McCallum he really paid attention to my experiences with this chronic illness. That’s great.
Stacey Simms 25:28
Jamie, let me ask you, you know, you are a filmmaker, what do you hope happens with this video, I could ask you why you made it. I kind of have, you know, there’s so many reasons why you would do something like this. But I’m curious to know, why did you do it?
Jamie Tierney 25:41
Well, I mean, my dad asked me to maybe not make exactly a film like this. But I just think it’s an interesting story. I mean, when I when I got into it, I mean, the thing that kind of hit me the first thing that he survived for almost two years without insulin, yeah, I don’t know how that happened, to be honest. And, and I tried to do some research. And I did ask the doctor, how many people have ever made it for that long, I don’t think there’s too many have forgot about it. He’s my dad, but just from a human interest perspective, that someone could survive like that on a small amount of calories and no insulin with basically the pancreas not producing any more insulin at all. So that I feel like it’s, it’s pretty interesting, just the triumph of the human spirit, I think, and then having lived for, you know, 16 more years after that episode. And but then also, what’s interesting to me is just how he’s gone through every single phase of treatment. I know the first two treatments were began in the 20s. But it sounds to me like in the 60s, when he first started, it was basically a similar treatment to the 20. So it’s pretty much gone through every single medical advance. And I just wonder, again, how many people are out there who are 81, who are getting started on something technologically advanced, like this pump and take into it? I feel like there’s an interesting story there, too. I don’t know how many people are are in his in his boat with that, too. Yeah. Can I piggyback a little bit? I’m going to tell you something. I haven’t told too many people. As we said earlier, Jamie did fill eight scripts. Well, everything led to script number eight. And in script number eight, what happened was from 1992 to 1995, I was asked to be superintendent of the schools in a school district, that was the worst in the state out of 1000. And when that three year period finished, I believe, and maybe I don’t think I’m off on this. It became the best school district in the state. And Jamie was getting his master’s degree at USC, and screenwriting. And he said to me, dad, someday you have to tell this story. And I thought that was commendable on his part. In fact, he bought me a recorder. And so for a whole year, whenever I was driving, in my new assignment anywhere, which involved a lot of teacher training, I would record my thoughts. And when I finished, I recorded 55 hours of material. And I vowed to write three books. And I have written those three books on my experience there. And that is my ultimate reason for doing these tapes with Jamie helping me because I want to get a little bit of personal notoriety out there in hopes that a reputable publisher will publish my three books, because I think I’ve got a story. In fact, I told my wife and I just finished watching Downton Abbey because many of our friends thought it was so good. Well, I said to myself, after I watched Downton Abbey, my three books are an American Downton happy because it’s a story that in fact, when I was contemplating doing when I started writing the three books of fellow Superintendent friend of mine said, Jack Tierney, he said, You beat me to it. When I retired, I was going to write a Michener light novel titled School District, because what really goes on behind the scenes in a school district has never been taught and what goes on in a border town. The story of what really goes on a border town has not really been told yet. And that is my ultimate person, poor person. I want these books, hopefully a reputable publisher rather than my working on self publishing, and maybe even three movies be made because I think it has the potential for that. And every month cent made will go to be find a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Stacey Simms 29:57
That’s great. Well as we start to wrap this up, I’m curious to ask we on this podcast hear from a lot of adults who have been diagnosed with type one, I mean, sure, there’s a lot of children as well, this audience is really half and half. And I’m curious, what would you say? What would you say to somebody you know, who was 60? Or 50? You know, who’s not six years old? What would you talk about or tell somebody who’s diagnosed as an adult?
Jack Tierney 30:21
Well, I probably would say the same thing. That I would say to someone who’s diagnosed that like those four young men that I saw, for SAT prep, one of them was diagnosed at age three, the other two were re diagnosed at age seven. And then Brandon, who I mentioned earlier, nine, they have the ability and the courage to take this head on, you know, it is a chronic ailment, but with taking the advice of your endocrinologist and working at it, it is indeed manageable. I’ll tell you what one one of the four young men told me when I met him for the first time, we finished the session on SAT prep. And I knew in advance that he was a type one diabetic, he actually had been diagnosed when he was seven. And he was now 16. And I said to him, I said, Well, probably in your lifetime, there will be a cure. And you know what he said to me? You’re not going to believe what he said, Stacey, what did he say? He said, I wouldn’t take it, huh? Because he had learned how to do it. And he had met this challenge. In fact, when he said that to me, I said, Jamie knows I’ve said this a lot. I think a lot of young people today, we don’t have fixed rites of passage and societies too much anymore, where you did something notable. And the whole community recognized you as a aspiring adult. So young people are picking their own ways to prove to themselves the world and their families that they can stand on their own two feet. So I think that’s why that young man made because he had his rite of passage thrust upon him. And he felt that he had successively done it. And so he didn’t want to take him away necessarily. Yeah. Anyhow, that’s my degree in philosophy. Coming to the fore here on why he responded the way he did, I’ve heard my dad tell versions of the story, my whole life, but it’s, it’s nice to have something that you can condense into 11 minutes and hopefully that people can get a sense of him, but also just how you can thrive and have a great life amidst the challenge of this disease. And as he says that, you know, hopefully, this this treatment is, is great, but hopefully there is a there is a cure someday and stories like harrowing stories of what my dad went through it in something. The future,
Stacey Simms 33:04
Jackie, so playing golf.
Jack Tierney 33:05
Oh, yeah. All right. Oh, yeah. I don’t play that well, but I love to play. And what’s best of all, I love playing with Jamie and his sister. In fact, every time we play, they’re a lot better than I am. And they always give me a good tip. And that helps me to play a tad bit better. One of my neatest experiences as a father. In fact, the three of us, three of us always played on Father’s Day. We don’t now because Emily’s in Cape Cod as being a doctor and Jamie’s MLA. But whenever we did, when they were in elementary school in high school, it was one of my fondest memories on Father’s Day.
Stacey Simms 33:51
Well, thank you so much for sharing your story. Jamie and Jack, I really I can’t thank you both.
Jack Tierney 33:57
Give your best to your son, your 16 year old now. Just neat. He’s doing so well. And what a champion he is.
Stacey Simms 34:06
Thank you very much. That means so much. And I appreciate you both coming on to share your story. And you know, we can learn so much from it. So thanks, guys. I really appreciate it.
You’re listening to Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms. More information about Jack and Jamie at Diabetes connections.com including the video with lots and lots of photos, Family Photos, if you’d like to take a look at that. I really appreciate them coming on. So much fun to hear that story and really reflect back and I love that you started using an insulin pump. Just last year, I have a friend who was diagnosed with type one in her late 60s and immediately went out and got the technology she wanted. A CGM right away hasn’t started using an insulin pump yet she may never and that’s okay but just knowing that the option is there. I think it doesn’t matter what age, right? It’s all about finding what works for you.
And if you’re interested in learning more about people who have lived a long time with type one, like I said, at the very beginning of the show, I’ve talked to several people who’ve lived, you know, 60, or even 75 years with type one, Richard Vaughn comes to mind. But there are a couple of other people who’ve been on the show before. And I’ll try to link that up in the show notes as well and kind of make a little list if you’d like to go back if you’re new to the show, and want to hear more from these incredible pioneers in our community, a little bit more about in person connections and things like that.
But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. And you know, a couple of weeks ago, we were watching TV, and I got a Dexcom alert, Benny was upstairs in his room, we were downstairs. And for some reason, it kind of took my brain back to the days when we basically had blood sugar checks on a timer, we would check during the finger stick the same times every day at home and at school, you know, whatever extra we needed to as well. But it’s amazing to think about how much our diabetes management has changed with share and follow. I didn’t have to stop the show to get up and check on him. I knew what was going on, I could decide whether I wanted to text him or you know, go upstairs and help him out. Using share and follow apps have really helped us talk less about diabetes, which I never thought would happen with a teenager. Trust me, he loves that part too. And that’s what’s so great about the Dexcom system, I think for the caregiver, or the spouse or the friend, you can help the person with diabetes manage in the way that works for you know, their individual situation. Internet connectivity is required to access Dexcom follow separate follow app required, learn more, go to Diabetes connections.com and click on the Dexcom logo.
So tell me something good is usually where I share your good news. And hey, send me your stuff, Stacey at Diabetes, Connections calm or I’ll post in the Facebook group Diabetes Connections va group, I’d love to hear the good things that are going on for you, you know, this summer, and as we head into August, let me know what’s going on. But for me, the Tell me something good this month was friends for life. I didn’t even realize how much I needed that until I was there. If you’re not familiar, and I know many of you are joining me because you met me at that conference. But if you’re not familiar, it is the largest diabetes conference in the country. This year, they made a joke. It’s the largest one on the planet because it’s like one of the only ones happening on earth this year. Usually it’s almost 3000 people meeting up in Walt Disney World at the convention center there. It’s gosh, it’s so hot in Orlando in July, but it’s always so worth it this year. I think it was about a third I want to say maybe 1000 people were there was a smaller event. But it was still fantastic speakers education a chance to meet the industry people touch insulin pumps, talk to vendors, things like that. There’s a lot of stuff happening. And for the kids, you know, it’s a chance to see and and adults too, it’s a chance to see lots of other people wearing the technology that many feel self conscious about. And usually by the end of the week, and I met a family like this a shy seven year old who didn’t want to meet anybody and was almost hiding in her hotel room was jumping in the pool by the end of the conference showing off her Dexcom and her insulin pump. So it’s about empowering people with diabetes. It’s about educating families. It’s about support.
As I mentioned, last time, we had an episode I was gonna say last week, but it was two weeks ago. I mentioned a new presentation that I was doing reframe your diabetes parent brain. I thought that went really well. I was really thrilled with the crowd. really terrific people. And they did the presentation. I was always afraid of people gonna play along and give me their examples that everybody was great. So if you are interested, I’ll do this on zoom. I’ll come to your group. Welcome to your parent meetup. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. It’s really just about taking the terrible things we say to ourselves. I’m failing my child. I’m the worst Mom, I’m not doing as well as everybody else. How could I possibly have forgotten the blah blah blah. And reframing those thoughts to help us not only feel better, this isn’t like a woowoo thing although there’s nothing wrong with with changing the way you feel. But this is really actionable stuff about seeing how you are actually living so well with diabetes and you’re doing a great job and your child is thriving right under your nose when sometimes you think everything is going wrong. So that was really fun. Sometimes it friends for life or new at the at a conference a couple weeks ago. Sometimes there’s big announcements about new technology or you know, people will do presentations and show the new stuff. There really isn’t anything like that this year. There’s a lot of delays because of COVID. As you know, if you listen you know we are waiting for Omnipod five with Horizon, we are waiting for tandems boltless by phone, we are waiting for Dexcom to be submitted to submit g seven to the FDA. So there’s a lot of things we’re waiting on. But the community is always there. And I really really needed to see those other moms to hang out with everybody and just to breathe that air again. So thank you so much for everybody who came who said Hi, and who’s listening. Now.
We also had a really, really great meetup in the Charlotte area and I only share this because you can do this where you live, even if you don’t know anybody with diabetes, reach out to your local jdrf or post in some of these Facebook groups post in the Diabetes Connections group you never know maybe there’s somebody who’s local to you and start talking about let’s get together. We had a fantastic meetup. It was parents and kids, and it was adults with type one. Our chapter has really gotten on the ball with adults, they have a whole volunteer outreach now for them. And you know, it’s so cool to see people of all ages living well with diabetes, and we all help each other right? So I share that not just to say, isn’t my chapter great, which it is shout out to my fabulous friend and Sutton, who makes that chapter home. But also just to spur you on to think about meetups in your own area. They’re hard to organize, I do them too. And it’s sometimes 20 people come sometimes two people come, but it is really worth it to keep putting it out there and keep trying to find parents, kids, adults in your area, we need our diabetes community, you only see your doctor for teeny weeny amounts of time, every couple of months. Diabetes is 24 seven. So reach out, find people post in the Diabetes Connections Facebook group, if you have questions, we can help you I do a whole presentation on making connections. So I can definitely give you tips and tricks, especially as we get closer to school starting about how to find other families in your area.
All right before I let you go, if you have listened for this long as you are listening to this episode, if you listen as it goes live, Benny knock on wood should be coming home from Israel today. As I am taping, it’s still a couple of days away. But it will have been a month and I should be picking him up at the airport as this episode is airing. I am hoping that after he sleeps and showers, or sleeps for a couple of days, that he will do a debriefing on the show and talk to me about what it was like not just going to Israel with camp for a month. But what it was like doing all the diabetes stuff completely on his own. At this point. I don’t really know a lot. I’ve seen his numbers. And I think I know what’s going on. But I really want to hear it from him. So couple of days left, I can do it. Keep breathing. Oh my gosh, this has been so stressful. And I will share more with you all warts and all. I’ll share the honest story, but not until he’s back and home safe. All right.
Thank you so much to my editor John Bukenas from audio editing solutions. Thank you so much for listening in the news every Wednesday live on Facebook at 430. And then we turn that around into a Friday podcast episode. Do not miss out in the news is like six or seven minutes. It’s real quick. I’m trying to get it to five minutes, but I can’t get it to five minutes. It’s only six or seven minutes long. There’s just so much good stuff happening and news to bring you from the diabetes community. So join me every Wednesday live for that or listen for the episode here. I will see you back here in just a couple of days. Until then be kind to yourself.
Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Simms Media. All rights reserved. All wrongs avenged