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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Filtering by Tag: Social Media

Diabetes Support on Instagram

Scott Benner

Jenna Feely was a recent guest on my podcast where she talked about being diagnosed at thirteen years old, her adolescences with type 1 and her outlook on her life with the disease. About halfway through the conversation I asked Jenna about her advocacy online and she told me about her Instagram page (She has nearly 5,000 followers!), later I asked her if she would write a guest post for Arden's Day about her experience with type 1 advocacy and how she uses her Instagram page to help people. I hope you enjoy her post and take time to listen to her episode, 'Eighteen and Already Amazing'! - Best, Scott


When I am not feeling my best, I seek support.  When I am feeling positive, I try to give support.

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was 13 years old and I had no idea what type 1 diabetes was.  I also didn’t know that social media could have really helped me in that moment. It took me a couple of years to realize that social media could be a huge outlet to connect with others going through the same daily monitoring to take care of themselves.

It can be easy to feel isolated when living with type 1 diabetes.

We have to take care of ourselves, and monitor our health in ways that most will never have to.  Whether you prefer Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or other sites that provide support, you can voice your concerns, your worries, your progress, or just have a good laugh!

Jenna is in Instagram @DiabetesTips - Search in your app or click on this image to check her out and follow.

Jenna is in Instagram @DiabetesTips - Search in your app or click on this image to check her out and follow.

Social media has provided an outlet for me that helps me relate to others, and hopefully help others with type 1 diabetes.  I love being able to support others who may be having a tough day, and talking to others who are dealing with the same bumps that I am.  It can be very easy to feel different, or cut off from the world when you are living with a chronic disease.  However, diabetes has actually helped me in many ways that, as a society I feel we tend to ignore.  Yes, I have had sleepless nights, scary lows, scary highs…..but through all that pain I have also learned to move on, and to get on with life.  Diabetes has taught me to be more patient with others as well as myself.  I have also learned to forgive others as well as myself.  As you all probably know, if you don’t forgive yourself for those little mistakes, you will go crazy!

When you know how it feels to have a chronic illness, you can empathize with others who are also going through something similar, even if it is not type 1.

We can learn from each other through social media. 

We can all share tips, and tricks that we may have found over the years whether they relate to physical or emotional wellness in our management.  Social media also helps me stay inspired in my management.  When I am not feeling my best, I seek support.  When I am feeling positive, I try to give support.  We can all give and take from each other.  Through social media, we can help others forgive themselves, support each other through sleepless nights, and also add a little humor to type 1! 

You can find Jenna on Instagram @DiabetesTips and I am on Instagram @ArdensDay. Jenna's episode of the Juicebox Podcast can be found here, listened to below, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcast fix.


The Importance of the Diabetes Community

Scott Benner

This is the second in a series of five pieces that I wrote for Omnipod's Suite D blog. Part three is live on Suite D now and will arrive here next month.

It's a paid freelance gig, you can read my disclaimer about that on part one of the series (link below), 

Part 2: Finding Support

My bedroom was pitch black and the house completely silent. It was well after three in the morning and I hadn’t been to sleep. My belief that my daughter Arden’s blood sugar would rise to a safe level was tenuous that evening so I was watching over her even more than usual.

When I fall asleep the likelihood of me waking up when I need to is slim. So on nights like this one I tend to just stay up. This night happened before we became continuous glucose monitor users and I would periodically walk from my room to hers to check her blood sugar. Each time I climbed back into bed, I became a little less certain that I could stay awake. Because my wife was sleeping I was trying to stay still, my eyes were sore from a long day that was getting longer. I had to stop watching television on my laptop, because it felt like there was sand in my eyes. I was exhausted, bleary-eyed and pretty sure that I was about to nod off – so I opened my Twitter app and, perhaps out of desperation to stay awake or maybe in an effort to not fall apart, I told who ever may be out there what was happening.

A few silent minutes later, I received a response from a woman whom I’d never met. She told me that she was also sitting up watching a blood sugar that she didn’t quite trust. That was it really. We didn’t talk much or offer one another solace. It was sort of a, “I’m here doing this thing and it’s getting the best of me.” And a reply that basically said, “Me too.”

I closed my laptop, the abyss of the night enveloped me and I began to sob tears of relief.

I was buoyed by the notion that there was another person in the world that was doing what I was and suddenly everything felt better. I learned that night that it isn’t the diabetes that made me feel alone and it wasn’t the darkness that caused me to want to reach out; I was being oppressed by the feeling that no one understood our life.

And just like that, with a tweet, I found sameness with someone that I couldn’t see, hear or touch. My diabetes community expanded. No longer would I have to wait for a JDRF walk to talk to a person who understood my life. Supportive glances, understanding words and the satiation that sameness brought, they were all I needed to feel recharged. Support came that night, but not in the form of mentorship or advice. This wasn’t a plan for counting carbs or talks of how to best prep a pump site. It was simple, beautiful and kind. A brief encounter with a person who had walked in my shoes and reassured me that I was not alone.

I’ve learned diabetes jargon, gathered information about insulin pumps, medications and ways of handling type 1 diabetes from the diabetes community. They’ve taught me with their openness to be comfortable with others being my rock when I can’t do it for myself. With the help of these wonderful new friends I began to see a light at the end of a tunnel, I was beginning to believe that it was possible for us to find our way back to feeling normal.


Read 'The Importance of the Diabetes Community Series
Part 1: How it Saved Our Family
Part 2: Currently Reading
Part 3: Coming in April
Part 4: Coming in May
Part 5: Coming in June

Feel what it’s like to wear the OmniPod – with no obligations. Click here to order a free Demo today.


The Art of Dana Lechtenberg

Scott Benner

The internet is a magical place for so many reasons, here's one of them...

I listen to a number of podcasts and one day I was drawn to purchase a t-shirt from one of them, a show called FEaB (Four Eyes and a Beard) starring Matt Mira from the Nerdist Podcast and Scott Mosier from Smodcast with director Kevin Smith.

Hold tight this gets interesting quickly.

So I buy this t-shirt and wear it at least once a week because I love the design. Months later on a Friday evening I see a tweet from Scott Mosier congratulating someone named Dana Lechtenberg for winning an award for his art, the accompanying image in the tweet reminds me of stuff I've seen elsewhere online. 

I click...

It turns out that Dana's album design has won an American Advertising Award, and with that I fall a little bit further down the digital rabbit hole that is the art of Dana Lechtenberg. It isn't long before I realize that this might be the person who designed my beloved FEaB t-shirt. My interest is thoroughly peaked, and I begin to devour Dana's art on his website

I soon find that aside from creating art for podcasts like FEab and Nerdist, Dana is an accomplished artist and advertising designer and I just can't get enough of what he does. Before I know it my family is in bed and I'm about to do something a bit crazy.

Somewhere between being enveloped by the warmth of his Fantastic Four piece and my instant love of his use of color, shading and dimension - it hits me why I'm so drawn to Dana's art... 

 

It reminds me of my banner image on Arden's Day...

Arden is good sport about having her picture on the top of a website that a lot of people see but once in a while she makes a request for me to find a new image - seems that she doesn't like that she is so young in the picture. I've been promising her for months that I will find a way to replace the image but have asked her to understand that after eight years, it's become more of a symbol than that of a picture. She understands. If I'm being honest I've been in a small, but constant panic about how to replace the image, stuck between wanting to honor Arden's request and not knowing how to do that. 

My love for Arden and desire to fulfill her desire led me to do something that I wouldn't normally do, I wrote to Dana and asked him if he would consider designing new images for Arden's Day and the Juicebox Podcast - here's where the Internet can be magical... he said yes!

Very soon the man behind all of the images that you see here and more that you could see on his website, will be creating original artwork for my type I parenting blog and podcast. I could not be more excited to see what he comes up with! I told Dana that I feel like my image of Arden is what one of his pieces would look like if it came to life. His use of color, warmth, perspective and the feeling of texture that his work evokes - well, I am just beyond grateful for his kindness and simply can not wait to rebrand Arden's Day and Juicebox with his work. 

How can it be possible that my blog and podcast will soon be adorned with the art from the same artist who designs for some of the biggest podcasts in the world? Easy answer, sometimes the Internet can be used for good. But I don't need to tell that to a bunch of people who use it in the way that we do. People living with type 1 diabetes know all about supporting strangers in need.

A huge thank you to Dana for his good will, Scott Mosier for his tweet and Kevin Smith for always encouraging folks like me to start a podcast. 


The next episode of the Juicebox Podcast goes up tomorrow (Ep4. Texting Diabetes) and then there will be a special episode going up later in the week (instead of the following Tuesday), my interview with Ryan Reed, the 21 year old NASCAR driver with type 1 diabetes who just won the Xfinity race in Daytona. To not miss a minute, go to JuiceboxPodcast.com and subscribe now.

It's Diabetes Cure Season

Scott Benner

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the first time that I read about promising research to cure type I diabetes. My daughter Arden was two years old, it was early fall, just a few months after her type I diabetes diagnosis and my emotions were volatile. 

I read the article with precision focus, it promised that researchers had cured type I diabetes in lab mice and told of the goal to begin human trials as soon as they could secure funding – after all, research is expensive.

I woke my wife and told her about this amazing news saying, "Arden is only going to have diabetes for a few years, they cured it in mice". I was crying uncontrollably. 

That moment happened over eight years ago and since then countless lucky mice have been cured but it was only recently that I came to understand why we see so much hopeful, yet ultimately crushing news articles about diabetes cures in the fall.

It's diabetes cure season. Diabetes awareness month is November and the media; television news, newspapers and online sources pay close attention to matching their stories with the calendar, because it's what works and how things have always been done. Let me explain...

Have you ever seen me on television, heard me on the radio or read something about me that was focused on parenting and mentions my book, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Dad? If you have, did you happen to notice that all of those appearances happened in early summer, you know, around Father's Day. 

Maybe you read my piece about head injuries as they relate to football, the one that ran on Huffington Post three days before the Superbowl?

Producers need content and they want that content to be relevant to the calendar. People need exposer and they (me included) take it where they can get it. So whether it's a writer trying to let people know about their parenting memoir, or a researcher wanting to get wide exposer for their work so that they can attract more research dollars – if you pay close attention to the calendar, you'll see that the "news" you are being given is carefully scheduled and targeted to your emotions and the events that are about to happen in the world. The news is marketed to you to elicit clicks, shares and word of mouth.

Much of the diabetes cure research that we will hear about in the coming weeks is very promising and I am one-hundred million percent behind all of it. Please just keep in mind that is was also very promising research six months ago, but now is when you are going to read the big news, on every media outlet – all from reputable institutions. 

Don't misunderstand, one of these researchers is going to figure it out and I hope that it happens soon and perhaps even is one of the methods that is being bandied about today. But when I woke up this morning to see all of you on social media feeling like I did eight years ago, it broke my heart to remember how I felt after the moment had passed and I realized that the promising lab mouse cure wasn't going to take away Arden's type I diabetes – at least not any time soon. I didn't decide to write this post until I opened up my text messages and saw that my brother also read today's cure "news" and asked me if the article was legitimate.

The answer that I owe my brother but cant bring myself to send him... that news article is legitimate but it isn't going to cure Arden now. I love you for wanting that for her and I am so sorry that these thoughts are part of your day. I wanted you and everyone reading this to understand how these news cycles work because I know how shattering it is when they turn from Diabetes Cure Found! to Thanksgiving Treats That You Can Make at Home.

Wonderful research that will one day cure type I diabetes is going on all over the world and there are a ton of good reasons to be hopeful about them, but these articles aren't going to be how we find out that a cure has been found. On the day that happens, the world will celebrate the end of diabetes with a grand spectacle, no one will have to wonder if it is legitimate.

You are all, each and every one of you, in my thoughts today. 

Video: Sierra Sandison on Dr. Oz #ShowMeYourPump

Scott Benner

Sierra Sandison became Miss Idaho 2014, dreamt up the viral hashtag #ShowMeYourPump and is competing to be Miss America – all with her insulin pump clipped at her side.

Now she's on the Dr. Oz Show showing her pump to his audience and making every person with diabetes about as proud as can be.

 

I first met Sierra in July when I interviewed her about the events that led up to her #ShowMeYourPump tweet; which inspired people everywhere to share photos of themselves with their insulin pumps. During our conversation I learned about McCall Salinas and how a talk that she had with Sierra led to the Miss Idaho wearing her insulin pump on stage.

The Miss America Pageant is on ABC Sunday at 9 pm est. The top 15 contestant make it to the live stage and I'm hoping, as I imagine are all of you, that we see Sierra show her pump Sunday night on national television. Good luck Sierra, the entire diabetes community is behind you!