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
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.
Just when you think you can ignore diabetes around the holidays…
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)
Unfortunately, diabetes is way too common in young people and ever increasing. I am starting a new series of diabetic columns to help you, a family member, or a friend live with the everyday, chronic, get’s-in-my-way, annoyance of diabetes. Please comment as I go and offer your stories, suggestions, or questions. I hate it–really, I do. But I want to live without diabetes holding me back. And to do that, there needs to be some helps in place.
Keep watch for more and just click on the iBeGat Health link on the left sidebar for updates and new posts! And November is American Diabetes Month. I will be posting lot’s of resources!
Watch a video of a local basketball player from Spokane, Washington who deals with diabetes and speaks out for a cure!