American Idol’s Crystal Bowersox first kept her diabetes a secret from the AI producers.
Find out why and what it is like to grow up with diabetes and now to be a mom and busy recording artist and live with the challenges of diabetes care.
Many of you out there are living with diabetes and growing through your teen years with uncertainty and frustration at the difficult regimen diabetes inflicts. Read Crystal’s story and be encouraged at what you can do and will do as you learn to live free through diabetes self care!
Nobody thought for even a second that Crystal Bowersox’s second-place finish on “American Idol 2010″ meant that the 26-year-old was headed back to her native Elliston, Ohio, to resume a quiet life.
Instead, she moved 2,000 miles west to a new home in Los Angeles and quickly began a hectic round of recording studio sessions and public appearances. Today, along with her always frantic schedule, Crystal has to manage motherhood and type 1 diabetes. The result is a life without many pauses.
Recently, Crystal was kind enough to slow down and answer some questions from Diabetes Health publisher and editor-in-chief Nadia Al-Samarrie. In her wide-ranging responses to Nadia, Crystal tells why she kept her diabetes a secret from “American Idol” producers, talks about what it was like growing up, and names her biggest… Read the rest at>> DiabetesHealth.com
Crystal’s website: www.crystalbowersox.com
Here are some good reminders of summer safety in the sunny, hot days!
Have fun–and be safe!
Dehydration among teens playing sports is common, especially in the hot summer months, but may go unnoticed in its milder forms, Leonard says. Younger children are more prone to
dehydration because their bodies produce more heat while sweating less. Teens recovering from a recent illness, especially one that caused vomiting or diarrhea, may be more prone to dehydration. To ensure hydration, water is the best choice. Any activity that lasts less than 60 minutes doesn’t require electrolytes, so you can safely skip electrolyte-enriched sports drinks.
To avoid dehydration:
- Before exercise, drink 4 to 8 ounces
- During activity, drink 4 ounces every 15 minutes
- After exercise, drink 16 to 24 ounces per every pound lost
Symptoms of dehydration include muscle cramps, dry mouth and severe thirst, reduced sweating and urination, headache and dizziness.
Your body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating just isn’t enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels and you can develop a heat illness. Most heat illnesses occur from staying out in the heat too long. Exercising too much for your age and physical condition are also factors. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are most at risk. Drinking fluids, replenishing salt and minerals and limiting time in the heat can help.
Heat-related illnesses include
- Heatstroke – a life-threatening illness in which body temperature may rise above 106° F in minutes; symptoms include dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness
- Heat exhaustion – an illness that can precede heatstroke; symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse
- Heat cramps – muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise
- Heat rash – skin irritation from excessive sweating
My husband, John, and I have an odd date we love to plan–it’s one of our favorites. We change into our yard-work clothes, old and raggy, load up our beat up 1989 Ford F150 with cuttings, branches, and other green waste, and head to the county dump.
Jackson joins us. What dog would turn down the chance to ride through the dump with the windows open and a multitude of smells rapidly bombarding his hypersensitive nose.
After unloading our truck and sweeping out the back, we travel home, stopping at McDonald’s on the way. John and I split a $1.00 diet coke and a dollar menu chicken biscuit. Jackson gets a plain cheeseburger. He doesn’t like pickles or mustard.
The date is fun, productive, and cheap. Our marriage has lasted 30 years on cheap dates and bonding through yard-work and chores.
Memorial Day weekend in 2009, we stopped at the traffic light by the local Post Office we always passed on the way to the dump. The American flag hung high, gently swayed by the warm breeze.
“John, pull over!” I yelled and gestured, pointing at the parking lot in front of the Post Office. A car had pulled in and its driver’s door was open. Next to the front of it was the dark figure of a body laying face down in the gravel.
We jumped out just as police arrived. A neighbor already called 911. The man, a regular customer at the Post Office and war veteran, had taken his own life, shooting himself in the head. He died instantly. Word was that he had been very depressed and without friends and family for support, decided he couldn’t go on.
I will never forget what I saw that day. His body, clad in worn out jeans and a blue denim shirt, lay below the American flag now at half mast in honor of Americans who lost their life due to war. As if he wanted to say, “Remember me this Memorial Day.”
Remembering Memorial Day has faded into a holiday weekend of partying, summer’s initiation, and massive throngs of people traveling in the name of rest and recreation.
Each year, an average of 500 people will die on Memorial Day Weekend due to traffic accidents. I wonder how many die due to suicides. Memorial Day was meant to remember those lost honorably as they died for our freedom and safety in the United States.
Each Memorial Day, at exactly 3:00 PM local time, a moment of silence is observed throughout the country. This Monday, take the time to do this and close your eyes, remember it’s Memorial Day, pray for those lost and those left behind to suffer, and thank God in heaven we live freely.
For me, Memorial Day will never be the same. The figure lying in the parking lot on the gravel that day remains in my mind as a vivid reminder of the hurt and loss war brings. He was a stranger to me, but an angel to God.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:2-3)
June 21, 2010
by Allison Blass
Last night at my church, my pastor was talking about ways in which we define ourselves. He shared an anecdote about how, when speaking to a group of students, a boy asks, “Since you’re from Dallas, are you a Rangers fan or a Yankees fan?” My pastor responds, “I’m a Christian! But I root for the Mets” as a way to convey that he doesn’t define himself by the “typical” identifiers, but by something far more spiritual than a sports team.
I was intrigued because for most of my time as a diabetes advocate, there has always been a bit of heckling done between those who choose to use diabetes as an characteristic that defines them (the so-called “diabetic vs. PWD” debate).
My pastor said that people have a “controlling” definition that drives their life, their actions and their sense of self. Sometimes it isn’t even something they actually are, but something they want to be: I want to be rich, I want to be thinner, I want to be an astronaut.
You may not actually be these things yet but they drive so much of your thinking every day.
I have never had a problem defining myself as being a diabetic. I am a diabetic, just as I am a woman, a brunette and a fiancee. But I know that there are many people who do not identify themselves as being such. I am more intrigued by how people self-define in certain situations. Some people don’t define themselves by how much money they make or what they look like. Other people do. When I was growing up, it seemed like definitions were such an important part of figuring out “who you are.” There were the band kids, the athletes, the goth kids, the nerds. None of these definitions were probably chosen by any of these folks, but yet that’s how they were come to be known. Even know, I wonder why kind of definitions people would use to describe me.
How do you define yourself? I know that I have control over how I self-identify. I think many of us are preoccupied with focusing on things that are superficial. In New York City, this is ever-present. What we wear, where we work, what we do in our free time, even where we go for dinner is all wrapped up in this “presentation” of sorts, as if we’re on display for people to watch and judge just like celebrities. I’ll be the first one to say that I have no interest in the celebrity life, and the fact that I am even for a nano-second caught up in whether or not someone will judge me poorly for working a 9-5 job instead of being a free-spirited twentysomething really irks me! What I do for a living does not define me any more than whether or not my pancreas functions properly or if I fit into size 6 pants. All of these things are so transient and limited to a certain time and place that if you spent your life identifying yourself with things that don’t last, well, what happens when they don’t exist anymore? What happens when diabetes doesn’t exist anymore? Who are you without these things?
At the end of the day, my pastor’s talk reinforced that there really is only one definition that I should ever be concerned about, only one word that I should place higher than the rest, and that is “Christian.” Even though I have a chronic illness, and even though I know my hair looks best as a shade of brown, and even though I may be engaged or living in New York City or weight a certain amount weight, none of those shape the kind of person I want to be. I may not always live in New York, and I may not always have diabetes, and I may not always work in public relations, and I may not always be married. None of those things have the kind of eternal impact that being a daughter of God has.
So if someone asks me, “Allison, are you a type 1 diabetic or a type 2 diabetic?” I will say, “I am a Christian! But I have type 1 diabetes.”
This article was quoted from http://lemonlemonade.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/a-controlling-definition/ courtesy of Allison Blass. Thank you, Allison!
Greetings! My name is Allison Blass. I started Lemonade Life in the summer of 2005 to chronicle my life as a twentysomething living with diabetes. Now I chronicle about my life as a twentysomething, who just happens to have diabetes too.
I’m a bit of a social media maven. When I’m not writing Lemonade Life, I work on the interactive team of a healthcare public relations agency in New York City. Basically my job is to help my clients tell their story online, whether that’s reaching out to bloggers or creating a corporate presence on a social network like Facebook. I spend a lot of time online, hanging out at places like Twitter, Flickr and Facebook.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in January 1994 when I was 8 years old. I currently use a Medtronic Minimed insulin pump and Continuous Glucose Monitor.
I have worked as a diabetes advocate for many years, as founder of Diabetes Teen Talk and host of Teen Talk on Diabetes Station. I have been a mentor with JDRF’s Online Diabetes Support Team since its inception in 2002, and I was a JDRF Children’s Congress delegate in 2001. I have also written for Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes Health magazines.
I love meeting new people and I occasionally host meet-ups. I would love to meet you! Drop me a line at amblass at gmail.com.
It’s thought this term originated in the 1800s, and it is a known as a reference to the idea of someone pushing their tongue against their cheek to maintain a straight facial expression, or to prevent laughter which might give a joke away.
Pressing your tongue against the side of your cheek can help to hold back a smile, and it’s hard to talk with your tongue in pushing on your cheek. People don’t actually stick their tongues in their cheeks when saying a tongue in cheek joke,but sometimes they will state it is a “tongue in cheek” joke or situation.
So, here is what I called a “tongue and pole” situation. Good news is his tongue only lost a bit of skin and he was talking right away. I like the warning the EMT gave kids and all of us should heed it–dares are not funny! 8^)
Just when you think you can ignore diabetes around the holidays…
I love, love, love Thanksgiving. Memories, food, family, and old movies make it a cozy, comfortable day. Not if you’re a diabetic and didn’t prepare for the challenge. DO NOT hate the day. DO NOT begrudge your situation. You can make it work–really. You can satisfy your wants and remain healthy about your choices.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5_16-18 NIV) Continue reading “Being a Diabetic – Loving Thanksgiving” »
Candy, sugar everywhere…what to do and how to care
Don’t get frustrated, there is a way to manage your blood sugar levels on Halloween. Being too restrictive on yourself will lead to closet binging. I know, I’ve done it. My life and my family’s life changed big time when I became a diabetic. I was only ten years old and that was 40 years ago. Do the math…I’m OLD now! But I still LOVE Halloween candy. And I eat some every year. There are ways to make it work for yourself and your health.
40 years ago, on July 4th, I laid in a hospital bed while the rest of the children on the pediatric ward had pizza, soda, and cake. I heard them giggling and smelled the New York pizza’s intoxicating aroma. A nurse came in with these annoying food exchange cards and offered me a piece of cantaloupe and a dry hamburger without ketchup. Oh gag me.
By time I became a teenager, My mom and I learned a lot more about diabetes and rules became lifestyles instead of mandatory forbiddances. Candy on Halloween was allowed–with a few helps; eat in moderation, a few pieces a day is good, exercise to combat high blood sugar levels, remember the digestion info like chocolate has more fat than hard candy so it absorbs slower.
Here’s some good info from Diabetes Health online:
Linda Haselman, RN, CDE, of St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital’s Joslin Diabetes Center in New York City, believes in limiting candy intake. “I would never suggest, ‘Forget it for the day and enjoy yourself,’” says Haselman. “Alternate treats are the best-fruits, popcorn or nuts. Many candies are just pure sugar.” If you choose to eat sugar, do so in moderation, and pay attention to the type of candy you eat.
Chocolate bars have fat, which can be a benefit: the fat slows down the carbohydrate absorption. Candy without fat raises blood sugars more quickly. What will shoot you up the quickest? According to Chalmers, things like gummy candy, Skittles, Sweet Tarts, Life Savers and jelly beans will cause glucose to peak very fast.
Chalmers adds that peanuts, a popular feature of many American candies, also slows down carbohydrate release.
“Peanuts do have a little bit of protein,” she says, “but they are really in the fat category.”
Take It Easy
Both Chalmers and Haselman advise prudence about candy consumption for adults and children with diabetes. Everyone should stick to a healthy amount of calories each day, and candy can quickly consume that daily allowance.
“If there’s something in your diet that you really want to have,” says Haselman, “then you have to compensate by cutting back on something else. Weight gain in and of itself is no good.”
Betschart adds another tip: sharing the candy with others. “I have seen children take their bags to less advantaged children for distribution,” she says. No matter which path you choose, says Betschart, “allowing your child some choices and control over the situation will help him feel a part of the solution, and he may be less likely to resent any decisions.”
The advice is solid and it works. I still use it. Another good idea; do not buy candy in your house to give away if YOU LOVE it…ask your mom or dad to buy stuff you don’t like so you won’t be tempted to grab some leftovers.
And guess what? Pray and ask the Lord to help you–HE will!
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)
The newspaper headline said, “Get your teen’s attention when teaching the dangers of distracted driving” but after I read the article, I knew it was for ALL drivers–teens and adults. The author stated that there are three types of distractions for teen drivers; visual–actions that require you to take your eyes off the road, manual–actions that require you to take your hands off the steering wheel, and cognitive–actions that take your mind off driving. These apply to adults too. So make a pact with your parents or adult mentors to keep each other accountable to follow the rules below.
Here are ten tips to read and share with ALL the drivers in your life.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road. (use your mirrors) My husband always told me to hold the steering wheel at ten o’clock and two o’clock.
- Avoid cell phone use–Cell phones are the number one distraction for teenage drivers. Cell phone use falls under the category of visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. Mobile technology has made texting, surfing the web, and social networking too assessable.
- Don’t use your phone for anything at all. Pull over when it is safe and be sure it is somewhere you can park.
- Do not eat and drink while driving.
- Do not have lengthy or involved discussions with passengers.
- Do not apply makeup, work on your hair, or try to arrange clothing.
- Do not read–including PDA’s and GPS units.
- Do not search for directions on a map.
- Never watch a video.
- Do not change the radio station, CD, or MP3 player.