Their Faith, and the Cost of Insulin, Compel Them to Defy the Law

QUINNinsulin“To me, calling out the injustice is an obligation,” she says. “If Jesus was on earth today, what would He be doing? Helping those who need it the most. And our U.S. health care system is failing so many and so miserably that this has become a life or death situation.”

I opened up in a recent interview about my work with speaking out about insulin affordability and what negative affect that has had on my career (still wouldn’t change anything), why my faith draws me to this work, and why I choose to defy the law. Click on the link below to read the full article…

https://sojo.net/articles/their-faith-and-cost-insulin-compel-them-defy-law

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Come As You Are

Those who know me well know that I am navigating life with a chronic illness. These same people also know about the side diagnosis that decided to tag along with my type1 diabetes; an eating disorder.

The reality is that eating disorders can affect anyone, anywhere. Eating disorders are not an “it’s all in your head” affliction either — they are complex bio-social illnesses that affect all kinds of people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, or backgrounds.

Including me.

That’s why Monday, February 25 to Sunday, March 3 is such a critically important week for those of us who are fighting the daily battle while working to find our groove when it comes to managing an eating disorder.  The National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness) is a seven-day-stretch where all of us can strive to change the conversation around food, body image, and eating disorders by simply being aware, respectful, and informed.

The 2019 National Eating Disorder Awareness Week theme is Come as You Are. I personally love this tagline because I feel like it invites inclusivity and unification within the eating disorder community. Come as You Are also sends a message to individuals of all stages of body acceptance and recovery that their stories are valid and they matter.

Read the rest of the blog here: https://centerforchange.com/come-as-you-are/?fbclid=IwAR3uO4VTTXasuc1yRkWPEDn47Ks1m90S7Qm4QLNcg-1Pb-IeoeQu_GzcCFQ.

Cold Weather and Type 1 Diabetes: Tips to Get You to Spring

Coldweatherblog

One of my favorite winter activities is ice fishing. I recently caught this black crappie in 23 feet of water using a minnow and bobber. The temperature that day in northern Minnesota was -30 below! My fish was a delicious, blood-sugar friendly meal, too!

I pride myself on being a resident expert on cold weather and snow. After all, I was born and raised in northern Minnesota where just this last week temperatures dropped to -60! I have 33 years of experience living in cold weather, and 20 years managing type 1 diabetes in this climate.

Here are my top 5 blood sugar management tips to help you get through these tough months: ❄️☃️

Click here to read the full blogpost: https://www.ontrackdiabetes.com/blogs/dateline-diabetes-dish/cold-weather-type-1-diabetes-tips-get-you-spring.

Dating Advice: What’s Love Got to Do with Diabetes?

together-forever-abby-orcutt-78650-unsplashLast week, a post from a type 1 diabetes Facebook group popped into my feed. A mother had posted that her 7thgrade daughter would soon be attending her first school semi-formal and this prompted a conversation about dating. The teenager told her mom she wasn’t planning on dating when she’s older.

When the mother pressed her to explain the daughter replied, “Seriously, mom, who am I going to date? If I go out with another T1D, we’ll burn each other out talking about blood sugars, insulin, stupid random stuff that happens. On the other hand, I don’t want to date someone who knows nothing about type 1 diabetes because I’d have to train them about all the stuff that could go wrong and if something DOES go wrong it might freak them out. And, after all that, they still might not get that diabetes is something I can’t just ignore because I’m with them. It’s just so depressing.”
As I read this, it reminded me of when I was 13 and recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I felt like a black sheep. I was convinced that no guy would want to date me because I’d be such a burden to him. I struggled with this idea throughout my teens and my young adult years.
But today, I’m in my early 30s and my thinking has changed.

 

I have some advice for this teenager, as well as my 13-year-old self. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years:

 

To read the rest of my blogpost for On Track Diabetes, click here: https://www.ontrackdiabetes.com/blogs/dateline-diabetes-dish/dating-advice-whats-love-got-do-diabetes

Hitting the Slopes with Type 1: The Nystrom’s Share Their Top 10 Tips

skiingblog2In January I got the chance to leave the man-made hills of Minnesota and head to Colorado and Utah for some real ski mountains.

My brother Will, who also has type 1 diabetes, hosted me in his adopted home state of Colorado. He’s had T1D for 22 years and has managed his blood sugar the old-fashioned way—with multiple daily injections (aka MDI). I prefer using technology to aid my diabetes management and have used an insulin pump for more than a decade—since I was 16.

If you’re hitting the slopes this winter, here’s what we’ve learned over the years about blood sugar, cold temperatures and exercise. We are not medical professionals but you may benefit from our practical advice.

To read our tips click here for my On Track Diabetes blogpost…

The Truth about the Stories we Tell Ourselves

I think Brene Brown said it best “You know what we call a decision with limited data points and little “other” information? A conspiracy.”
We’ve all had negative stories about ourselves that we’ve done a pretty good job of harboring for as long as we can remember. Not just “stories”…but also self-limiting beliefs that keep us stuck and “less than” our true selves. Not only do we give these conspiracies a place to reside, many of us tend to feed, water and nurture them until they become like an unruly weed with roots down to the center of the earth.

To read the full blogpost click here.

The Real Story Behind my Book

Today I celebrate the five-year anniversary of my book, “If I Kiss You, Will I Get Diabetes?”, being published. This is one of my greatest professional achievements. Not just because the book will be going on it’s 3rd print next month, but because of the hurdles that I had to overcome to even get it printed.

bookpicYou see, if I only posted the good things, it leaves out why this book means so much to me and why my mother was in such shock and tears when I surprised her with it early on New Year’s Eve.

Three years before the book was published, I quit my full-time sales job because I was battling with bulimia, and it had overtaken my life. Inpatient and outpatient treatment just weren’t cutting it for me. I kept relapsing. In 2012 I took the drastic step to go out-of-state to a residential treatment facility and then a halfway house to transition out. I was away for nine months. When I returned in late 2012, and was in a healthy place of recovery I felt this call to write this book. It was so compelling to me that I sold my house in South Minneapolis, cashed out my 401K account, moved back to my hometown in my parent’s basement and found a job at night working as a waitress so I could write during the day. I just had a feeling this book was going to get published. Unfortunately, no one in the publishing world agreed with me, or even in the diabetes publishing world. I was crushed. But I kept waitressing and I kept writing.

One night at the place I waitressed at, Cru at Grand View Lodge, a nice family asked me about the insulin pump that I was wearing on my belt buckle. I told them I had type 1 diabetes and that I moonlighted as a waitress, but that I was writing this book about what life is actually like with a chronic, incurable illness. His wife looked right at me and said, “Quinn, you just got your golden ticket. My husband is the General Counsel of one of the largest diabetes companies in the world.” I couldn’t believe it. He turned to me and said, “Can you bring the first three chapters of your book to me tomorrow night?” That next night I brought him the chapters in a manila envelope. The following night he told me his wife and him absolutely loved it and it was something they’ve never read in the diabetes world and he wanted to order 500 copies right away for his staff. I told him I didn’t have it published yet. He told me I better get going on it because he wanted to give them out for gifts! Curt and Lisa were like angels to me. They believed in my book when so many others had not, and they had the power to make something happen with it. The picture of me in the bottom right is me signing each and every one of the copies for his staff. Him and his wife became great friends of mine, and went on to order a lot more copies over the years.

I learned a two very important lessons five years ago, and I hope that if you haven’t experienced them in your life yet, you will eventually. 1. Defeat isn’t permanent, it’s temporary. Yes, I felt like I had hit rock bottom when I was going in and out of treatment facilities and then had to quit a great job, move back in with my parents and then waitress to make ends meet, but that lasted for only a short period. 2. If you believe in something enough, never let go of it, fight for it, hold on to it, because it will eventually happen for you. My mother knew all the ups and downs of my years of struggling with an eating disorder, getting the rejection letters from publishers and diabetes organizations and companies, and then finally getting to see me get my golden ticket while waitressing.

If you haven’t read my book and are interested in getting a copy, click here: https://quinnnystrom.com/book/.