How I Educated the US Surgeon General about Diabetes After His Controversial Tweet

A few weeks ago, I was slogging through some clerical work in my home office. Tedious stuff. Needed a break. I logged into Twitter, scrolled through my feed, and came across this tweet from the US Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH.

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The tweet—from the US. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD—that started it all!
My visceral reaction was best summed up by the red-faced angry emoji. You see, I travel the country talking to groups about what life with diabetes is like. On multiple occasions, during events on the road, someone in attendance inevitably asks a question that infers that I was diagnosed with diabetes because I’m overweight.

This, of course, is a misnomer: I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during my youth and I would’ve been diagnosed whether I’d been 90 pounds or 290 pounds. It was just a crappy genetic roll of the dice I was on the wrong end of.

Happens to many people. But—and I’m assuming here—most don’t have to navigate their plight while being told (from audience members, sure, but also friends, the media, and, of course, the Twittersphere) that, in essence, they were responsible for creating the disease.
Why the red-faced emoji reaction? Imagine if the public had the misconception that you get cancer because you don’t exercise enough. Imagine you’re diagnosed with cancer. Imagine, a week later, having lunch with a friend who says: “It just sucks that you didn’t exercise more. This could have been avoided.” You’re not looking for pity, but dang— you’re not wanting to defend yourself from an incorrect supposition either. What would you do in that situation? I’ll tell you what you’d do: You’d say nothing. You’d swallow it. Because it’s not worth risking your relationship by responding how that feeling in your gut wants you to respond.

To read the rest of my blogpost click here….

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Country Star Ben Rue Raises T1D Awareness with the #Buck Off Diabetes Campaign

Ben Rue is a country singer/songwriter who grew up in a rural town outside of Portland. His life took a dramatic turn when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14. He admits that he struggled to feel normal and fit in. It wasn’t until he went to a diabetes camp and met other young people like himself, that he realized he was not alone with this.
Click here to read my exclusive interview with this down-to-earth, funny and passionate diabetes advocate about what he’s doing to raise awareness about life with type 1 diabetes, and if there’s a possible future pop-rock-country collaboration with him, Nick Jonas, Bret Michaels and Eric Paslay (all T1D).

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CURE STIGMA – MENTAL HEALTH MONTH

Americans observe the month of May as Mental Health Month, to assist with raising awareness about the one of five Americans who are affected by a mental illness. This year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chose to promote the theme of “CureStigma”. Stigma is defined as, “a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.” Living with any type of medical condition is draining enough, but when as a society people stigmatize you because you are living with a mental illness, it can bring on more feelings of shame and silence.

Read my full blogpost at Center for Change’s website…

https://centerforchange.com/cure-stigma-mental-health-month/

Dexcom G6 Review

Twelve years ago, I was entering my junior year at Hope College. I was excited to be transferring to a new college, but even more so to be trying out my very first Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). It was made by Medtronic and the transmitter was quite large, so you had to use a lot of tape to keep it close to your skin, the insertion was quite painful, often causing blood to surface, the numbers weren’t that accurate, and you had to keep the sensors in the refrigerator. But even with all the drawbacks, I desperately wanted my quality of life as a college junior to improve and the CGM held the promise of that.

A handful of years after that experience I transferred to the Dexcom. I absolutely loved it! The numbers on the CGM were so much more accurate to my blood glucose meter readings. Last week I received the brand-new G6 kit in the mail so I could review it for OnTrack Diabetes. (It’s being officially released to consumer sometime in June). My younger brother (also a T1D) and I did a Facebook Live about the insertion process and the differences between the G5 (what he uses) and the G6.

Click here to read the full review for On Track Diabetes…

https://www.ontrackdiabetes.com/blogs/dateline-diabetes-dish/dexcom-g6-review-type-1-writer-quinn-nystrom

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Step Therapy Policy Legislation Needs to Change

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m passionate about helping people with diabetes. My brother and I were diagnosed at ages five and 13 with type 1 diabetes. Growing up in Baxter, Minnesota, our pharmacist dad and our wonderful mom ensured we were on the right track with the correct medications and eating not just healthfully but in line with diabetes guidelines.

I went on to volunteer to help educate others about the disease, serve on the Governor’s Council on Disabilities, and to even speak nationally about my chronic condition. That’s why I’m so bothered by something I’ve heard repeatedly across the country. People are struggling to get the medicines they need because of insurance policies that place unreasonable delays in the process and jeopardize patient health.

In my home state of Minnesota, in addition to others, the big problem is step therapy. Thankfully, legislation is being introduced to change things before it gets worse.

Read the rest of my blogpost at On Track Diabetes…

https://www.ontrackdiabetes.com/blogs/dateline-diabetes-dish/step-therapy-policy-legislation-needs-change