Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Well, where do I begin? I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Christmas Day in 2003, at the age of 28. A little strange to be hit with Type 1 at that age, but what can you do? Just when I thought I’d won the genetic lottery, Santa Claus gave me diabetes. (Santa Claus is your mom and dad.) To deal with the diagnosis, I wrote a song called "Santa Claus Gave Me Diabetes."

It’s not that I don’t take diabetes very seriously, it’s just that I often deal with the unfortunate by finding humor in it. (It’s a function of the equation C = T + t, or Comedy = Tragedy + time.) The look on the audience’s faces the first time I performed “Santa Gave Me Diabetes” was priceless. It has since brought people to tears of laughter and sadness.

My younger brother, Reeves, has had Type 1 for 20 years (he is now 25), so diabetes has been a way of life for my family and something we’ve always known about. I had been told as a 16-year-old that I had the “markers” in my blood and I was at a higher risk for diabetes than my older brother, Curt. By December of 2003, I had lost some weight and had the classic symptoms—always thirsty, frequent urination, etc.—so I checked my blood sugar on my brother’s meter and there it was: 240 mg/dl. I knew then it had happened.

Since the diagnosis, I have to say my life has changed. I’ve become ridiculously aware of every single thing that goes into my body. It’s a constant struggle to manage the disease, and it’s one that will simply never go away. It takes an attitude adjustment, a lifestyle change, and a whole team of friends and doctors (if you’re lucky and have health insurance).

More on that in the future.


  1. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 35 yrs now. Its always a challenge and struggle to control and understand it. My last A1C was 6.5, but I’m hoping to improve that.
    I am really concerned about keeping health insurance. I work for a major retailer who provides it now but the other day, I was perusing the part time health insurance. Because my wife and I wish to travel with a spiritual ministry part time in the future. Scratch that idea, the part timers insurance program covers a maximum yearly coverage of 600 unless you stay overnight in the hospital then they pay 80% of covered expenses. This isn’t worth having!!! The real irony is that it costs 100/ month so for 1200/year one gets 600 in coverage. I understand that insurance companies are in business to make money, but at least they can offer a worthwhile package. I guess my only option is to be self insured and hope for the best.

    Posted by jblee |
  2. Where can I hear “Santa Claus Gave Me Diabetes”?

    Posted by AprilZ |
  3. Try itunes and search Stuckey and Murray.

    Posted by stuckey |
  4. I was diagnosed with my diabetes when I was 19 I am now only 22 years old, I was originally diagnosed with type two diabetes and told to control it with only diet and I would be ok. At the time I had NO HEALTH INSURANCE. Three months later I found myself almost dead in DKA in the ICU at the local hospital.

    Here it is years later and I was only this past year told I had type one diabetes, I have been on insulin for 3 years though, and no doctor can figure out what to do. I take an insane amount of insulin for my wieght and I still have regular (everyday) a reading of 300 or more, I have managed to get my A1C down from an 11.6 to a 10.3 I have a long way to go.

    I am afraid for my life, diabetes scares me, I have lost two relitives including my mother to this disease, and I am no afraid that the doctors aren’t going to be able to help me. I need an insulin pump and even that scares me. I pray for a cure soon!

    Posted by Laura Smalley |

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