Featured Interview


My guest is Chrystal from L.A.. She is just one of many positive diabetics making a huge difference in the diabetes community. She is a chemist, and diabetic activist. After Chrystal's diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in November 2007, she created SexyDiabetic.com; and donates a good portion of her time connecting and sharing experiences, both inside and outside the online diabetic communities.


Chrystal has shared with us her personal experiences living with diabetes; her role in the diabetic community; some of her current diabetic project she's working on during black history month.


We talked about some of the struggles we we face, getting the African American communities and all other people of color educated on the dangers of diabetes; as well as the fears and discrimination that still exist for diabetics today.


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Richard A. Vaugn


For 2012 I thought it would be wonderful to start the year off with a positive interview!


My guest is Richard A Vaughn. He has written an awesome book called "Beating The Odds - 64 years of Diabetes Health". In this book, he takes us on a journey through his diabetic life.


From the moment he was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 6, all the way up through completing his masters degree, @ a time when people thought diabetics shouldn't go to college (because diabetes was considered a disability then).


Richard also talks about his wonderful family and grand children, in addition to participating in the Joslin Medalist Study, funded by the JDRF & National Institute of health..


Richard is definitely an inspiration to us all. He has showed us insulin dependent people, how to live healthy emotionally & physically by example, with either no, or the least amount of complications possible; coming from a time when life expectancy for a diabetic was no later than 40 years old.


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You can purchase Richard's book by clicking on the graphic of his book below.




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Diabetic PlayList

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What's in your headphones? We all know how important exercise is to any diabetic, however, the music you exercise to is also just as important too! Music can make the difference between a 3 minute workout, and a 30 minute workout. Personally, I am an oldies guy, and my musical tastes are pretty eclectic and diverse. The above playlist consist of music I am listening to on my Anddroid when I exercise or power-walk. As my mood changes, so shall the playlist.

TuDiabetes

Diabetic Connect

I'm a member of Diabetic Connect

Dear Janis

I'm a member of Dear Janis

Diabetes Stats



Socks4Life is working hard to inform their customers about diabetes.
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T1 African Americans




I’ve watched this video a couple of times, and to be quite honest, I still don’t know how to process this video in my head (I have no idea what to make of it). Personally, if I had a child, or even small nephews and nieces, I would never treat them in this manor, no matter how high his or her blood sugar was. However, I could imagine how terrified his father must have been. I don’t remember any one of them actually saying what the son’s blood sugar was, but it must have been REALLY high for his father to go off like that.

I’ve also realized that in many ways this is somewhat reminiscent of the many conversations I’ve had, with a number of non-diabetic friends, acquaintances, and nosy busybody strangers. I am sorry to say that although I don’t know this young boy personally, I can relate to at least 5 out of 10 emotions he most have felt as he was being chastised by his father on camera. I need non-diabetics to watch this video, so you can think twice about how you talk about diabetes, to your diabetic friend or loved one.

Despite what many people believe, I’m gonna tell you first hand that there is absolutely NO such thing as a perfect diabetic (just as there is no perfect human being). Diabetes is unpredictable, there is no question that it must be monitored with a close eyes everyday. However, it is important that I stress to my readers, when you talk to a friend or loved one that has diabetes, please keep in mind that you are NOT talking to their diabetes, you are actually talking to the person that happens to have diabetes. We are humans first, diabetes second.

To my understanding, this was an old video before he started his “diabetes project”. Judging from the father’s reaction to his son in this video, it looks like he wasn’t too long after his son was diagnosed. I was left feeling like the father posted this video as an ultimate and final punishment. And the woman in the video was supposed to be his therapist too! He must be home schooled? I not sure. What do you make of this video?






Posting another one of Phillip’s videos. He’s done a very good job showing us how he changes his infusion set, from beginning to end. The pump he has looks like it’s from Medtronics/Minimed. Although my first pump experience is with Animas, personally, I understand that many people use Medtronic products, but I can’t stand their infusion sets. I only know this because I got my hands on a couple of samples. I could not easily remove or insert the connector to the infusion (the device with the cannula); I am in no way suggesting that Medtronic is a bad company, their infusion sets are just not for me. To each his or her own. I’m not putting his video under type 1 yet, because I don’t remember hearing him confirm what type he is. You can never be sure how someone will react to questions like that, however, I’ll try to message him later and see if I get an answer.


UPDATE:
I’m happy to inform you guy’s that Phillip has responded to my email this morning. He is indeed type 1. I don’t think I need to tell you guys how thrilled I was only because (like I’ve always said), People of color are bombarded with all kinds of stereotypes, which can be overwhelming for many to deal with, therefore, many African Americans stay quiet (both type 1&2 actually). In his email, he said that he was first diagnosed as type 2 in 1995; then later on his pancreas pooped out (no longer producing insulin), and as of 2007 he became type 1. He said in the future, he thinks he will do a video on it; and I will definitely encourage him to do so. I am looking forward to seeing it. He has a lot of great videos and 99% of them are mostly philosophies about various things he has experienced in his life. I’ve watched a number of his videos, and I think that many of the things he’s talked about can be easily applied to diabetes. Check out his youtube channel.


I really do wish that all of these horrible stereotypes about diabetes did not exist. But trust me, they exist because too many hide. Don’t under ANY circumstance allow someone to make you feel ashamed because of your diabetes. There are literally thousands of people like Phillip, Ginger, Bill, myself, who are open with our diabetes so that you can learn; it is the only way we squash the misconceptions that continue to run RAMPED!

-Yogi






I’m not really in to watching sports, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching Simmons’s video. I can relate to a lot of what he said, ESPECIALLY his experience with temporary blindness when his sugars were off the charts; being in the hospital, and not knowing who is who. He also talked about the stigmas and prejudice we all face. His video does have a lot of positive energy, and he goes in to detail of how he’s overcome a lot of his challenges. He answered a lot of audience questions from his personal experience. He even talked about struggles young children of diabetes face. I recommend that every African American person see this video. He was so spot on, on a lot of things. I’m sorry that I just found this video. Enjoy

 

Within Asia, there is a city called Nepal, just north from Bangladesh, and about due east from Pakistan. A boy named Ashok KC talks about his experience having diabetes. He explains that he’s had diabetes for about 4 years, now he is 16. Ashok has to ride on the bus for two hours in order to get his insulin from the hospital. Because he too lives in a poor country, he cannot bring a lot of insulin home, because it will most likely spoil.

Chandra Dhimal, says that his daughter got diabetes since the age of 6 years old. Dhimal explained how their daughter started getting the diabetic symptoms, i.e., excessive thirst, weight loss, etc.  The father also explained that his daughter’s blood sugar must be in good control, because she often has to walk for hours to get a bus. His father also said something very important. I want all my visitors to read carefully. Because the father loves his daughter so much, he said he went to a fortune teller, which promised him that he could “heal” his daughter. The father eventually sold his land, believing that his beloved daughter would be “cured”. I don’t need to tell you that the cure never happened. In fact, not only did his daughter get sicker, the alleged fortune teller was no were to be found!! I’m sure the father learned a very hard lesson that day. As I’ve always said time and time again, diabetes is a complexed disease,  and you will need more than just a few herbal ingredients and prayer to manage diabetes.

 

In part 2, a doctor discusses how many children would not come in to the hospital, because most could not afford the insulin, and get extremely sick. Now, their clinic offers free insulin, and now more children are coming to the hospital. From there, they are educated about diabetic infections, blood sugar levels, and all other important topics that concerns diabetics.

Yogi.

 

 

This is a heart wrenching story about diabetes, in Congo, inside Africa. Dr. Clerck narrates the beginning part of this documentary. Dr. Clerk came to Congo as a nun, nurse, and a midwife. She first came to Congo in 1955, at a time were there were no doctors, and only the nurses were repsonsible for the patients medical care. It was then decided that she would get a degree to become a doctor, and return to Congo and help the sick. When Dr. Clerck eventually came back, she found herself working with patients with diabetes.

One family talks about the difficulties having a daughter with type 1, and have no job to help with medical expenses. The father expresses the fact that because there is so much corruption (in terms of politics/foreign businesses and policies) the people of Congo continue to stay poor without work. In Congo, it is explained that they have to pay for public elementary school (which is part of the corruption); coupled with not being able to get a job, puts an even bigger strain on diabetes care.

What broke my heart, was the last story in the documentary. A young 24 year old man named Kombi Guy. He has had diabetes since he was 20 years old. He had all the classic signs of diabetes ie, thirst, constant bathroom visits etc., yet he did not know he had diabetes. He explains that no blood test were done until so many compliations has passed. Kombi eventually had to drop out of school, because the complications of diabetes got too overwhelming (as thee was no good education of diabetes, and barely enough money for food and insulin). His diabetes was so out of control, that he almost permanently lost his sight, and had to get an amputation of one of his big toe. Kombi says, his mother died from diabetes.

I will continue to say this until I am blue in the face.  We must earnestly seek information about diabetes, beyond what we see on local television. Diabetes is not, and has never been, solely a “fat American disease”.

Yogi

 

 

 

Loretta Taylor and her mom is the focus of Diabetes Forecast’s August edition.  Loretta’s story is unfortunately all too common. What happens when your school fails to provide good diabetes care for your child? What kind of major challenges exist for young children of type 1? I often wonder, How much worse is it, if your young child happens to be of color with type 1, and majority still stereotype all African Americans as only being able to get type 2? How frightening that must be for most young children, yet there are some parents who actually  tell their diabetic children NOT to tell anybody in school. Are you Kidding me? How many school teachers still think that an hypoglycemic episode is just a way of getting out of class, or to play sick?

The article talks about Loretta’s frustrations with her disease, how angry she was, and how powerless she felt at times. Also the stress that her mom has had trying to understand her daughter’s diabetes better, and trying to manage her time in order to keep a stable job as a result of her daughters diabetes.

Lack of proper diabetes care continued in Loretta’s school. Eventually Loretta’s mom had to seek legal help from the ADA’s legal department. Loretta did manage to get into another school, however, she had to deal with many of the same issues that existed in the prior school.

Eventually Loretta’s mom and the American Diabetes Association along with ULS, filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s office for Civil Rights. Loretta’s is not alone, and stories like Loretta’s are rarely heard or published. Hopefully enough people like Loretta, will continue to come out and share their story, to change people’s attitudes about diabetes. This is a very moving article, I recommend you guys get a hold of August edition of Diabetes Forecast.

© 2012 Yogi / DiabeticRadio.com

 

March Issue Of Diabetes Forecast

March Issue Of Diabetes Forecast

 

Last month, in the Diabetes Forecast Magazine, was an interesting article on Gary Forbes. Gary talks to the ADA (American Diabetes Association) about living his life as an NBA star, and living with type1 diabetes. According to the article, he was diagnosed @ age 19 while in college, and like so many other diabetics, he tried to keep it somewhat a secret. Gary said that:

I just didn’t want to look at it as a sickness. I live a healthy lifestyle, and if you see me, no one would know I have diabetes.

Forbes also explained that his father has diabetes for over 20 years as well, and has learned much on how to live with diabetes through him. Gary has played basketball all over the world with type 1 diabetes, and says that in 2008 when he did not make the NBA in 2008, he stayed confident and focused on his new growing pains as a newly up and coming type 1 NBA player. Gary does not shy from his diabetes anymore; the article explains that he now sees it as part of his everyday life. After seven years with diabetes, Gary now feels like he has everything under control.

I’ve always been really good at managing how my blood sugars are, especially before games because I have to go out there and play to the best of my abilities.

The ADA has stated, once Gary shared to the world that he has diabetes, he could not stop. He is a constant motivator and inspiration to all that are struggling and dealing with diabetes. Gary encourage diabetic education. As I’ve always said, diabetic awareness is not stagnant, it is consistently changing, it never stays in one place, just like technology, we are always learning and discovering.

Gary checks his blood sugar 6-8 times a day, even more during game or practice. He even gives a quick outline of his daily regimen. If you can get your hands on last months magazine I think you’ll like the article. I am so happy that more and more people of color in the public eye (African American’s, Latinos, Blatinos in particular), are finally talking openly about diabetes. I think the stigma of diabetes unfortunately still continues to overwhelm many of us, and I don’t think people understand the heavy burden that some diabetics have. Unless we seek support from other diabetics, we will continue to suffer.

I think What Gary is doing serves four very important purposes:

  • Yes, people of color can and do get type 1.
  • No, type 1 is not only for infants anymore, and you don’t grow out of it.
  • Diabetes doesn’t stop you from doing what you want to do in life.
  • Diabetes can happen to anybody, it’s what you DO after you learn your diabetic is the key.

 

© 2012 DiabeticRadio.com / Yogirajj



Read more about the former Heavy Weight Champion of The World on Dlife. Click Here.



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Actor & humaniterian, Dorian Gregory was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes about the age of 9-10 years of age. Gregory is extremely proactive when it comes to diabetes. He raises funds for various charity organizations, that help research cures for diabetes.

Some time about 2004/2005, Dorian became Shemar Moore’s replacement, to host last season of “Soul Train”. He also made appearances on “Living Single”, “Moesha”, & “The Steve Harvey Show”. However, I think he is best known as Detective Darryl Morris, in the very popular TV series “Charmed”.

Epidemic or misclassification?

“In 1990, when the data from the first type 1 diabetes registry cohort in Philadelphia were collected, there were 155 registries in 70 countries. Of those registries, 12 were in the U.S. Currently, Philadelphia is one of only four U.S. ongoing population-based registries, and the data from Philadelphia remain integral in the identification of racial differences and temporal trends. The incidence of type 1 diabetes in children in Philadelphia was stable between the first and second cohorts but has increased from 1990–1994 to 1995–1999. The incidence in Hispanic children, who in Philadelphia are almost exclusively of Puerto Rican origin, remain the highest of any racial group of children 0–14 years of age in the U.S. Other registries have demonstrated a high incidence in Puerto Rican children. The etiology of this high incidence remains unclear, and the genetic and environmental factors need further exploration. The incidence of type 1 diabetes in Hispanic children of Puerto Rican origin is high both in Puerto Rico and in the U.S., unlike reports of other populations demonstrating significant changes in incidence rates after migration”.

The above quote came from the American Diabetes Association “Diabetes Care” research site. After reading the above text, do you still think that only Caucasians get type 1? Of course, type 1 people are not exclusively philadelphians. However, it does show the gross neglect in the research of type 1 people of color. Much of this has to do with the outrageous misconceptions of black people and how all of us live. How many Afro-Americans/people of color, most likely have died from DKA, because of automatic assumptions of what kind of diabetes we have, AND even assumptions of how we take care of ourselves based on the color of our skin? This has turned in to another form of discrimination folks, and what’s worse, we also do it to ourselves.

The other issue I’d like to bring to your attention, is the issue of LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults). I suspect that a good percentage of patients, classified as type 2 who are now insulin depended, maybe actually type 1.5 or LADA. This is a very important subject to look in to, because, many diabetic Afro-Americans/poeple of color, still possessed the mentality, “If I have to take insulin, then I did not take good care of myself, and I probably deserved it”. When in actuality, they may have had a form of type 1 and their doctors were not savvy enough to recognize it. I’ve talked to a LOT of type 2 people who’s doctors had to reclassify them as LADA. The reason why this is so important, if a person thought to be type 2 is beating themselves up, about having to take insulin for the rest of their life, it may not have been their fault anyway; you would eventually have had to take insulin anyway, regardless. I am very anxious to see more findings on this subject mater from the ADA.

Full ADA article Read more….

Also read Endocrine Today


“Today’s Drum”, is an all African American website, that has resources and news on various subjects, that effect people of color. Although it appears not to have been updated for about 2 months, it still has a lot of important and useful information. Here’s a great article from their site, that talks about the best ways to handle type 1 diabetes concerning your children. It also discusses common warning signs for African Americans, & the best way to explain type 1 diabetes to your very young children.



 

I almost forgot. Another well known rapper is Tim Parker, also known as the “Gift Of Gab”, is also type 1. He used to go by the name of  “Tiny T or Gabby T”. He’s had string of hits, working with groups like Blackalicious. Check out “Make You Feel That Way”. Also check out “Alphabet Aerobics & Chemical Calisthenics”, I love the slow then quick beats. Very unique in deed.

Now, lets be honest, how many doctors would look at him, and say he is type 2? The reason is quite obvious! He is not a thin person, how can he be T1 and overweight? How many doctors would give him the benefit of the doubt of being T1? I don’t think many :-). How many trips to the hospital as a result of DKA? I can relate to him so much, as he had eye surgery as well, as a result of complications with diabetes.

This article is also on Dlfie here.

 

I am so happy that more and more celebrities, are coming out with their diabetes. It helps us to understand that we are not alone. It also suggest that we can be successful in anything we do, while living with diabetes. GhostFace Killah, former member of the Wu-Tang Clan, has type 1 diabetes. Yes he is African American folks, LOL.. Below is a very interesting article from Dlife, about GhostFace Killah and his carrer. Diabetes is everywhere! We are not alone. Read article here.

I absolutely can’t believe how unbelievably difficult it is to find news, on African Americans effected by Type 1 diabetes. It is fruitless for us to stay so secretive about our disease!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with us!! There’s nothing wrong with ANY type of diabetes for that matter.

I think unfortunately, this adds so much to the constant stigma that only very old, and extremely overweight people of color get type 2’s, and that type 1 is exclusively a Caucasian child’s disease. Diabetes was not the same 50 years ago, we know so much more now about this disease. I challenge health care professional to come out of the dark ages, and read current (accredited) books on diabetes. I challenge you to listen to your patients, there’s lots to be learned from a patients experiences with the drugs YOU give them. Because we diabetics need you to be up to date, we need you to listen.

A perfect example, is this very young woman (pictured above), who happens to be black, happens to have a little weight, and who happens to HAVE type 1 diabetes. She is trying a new experimental drug called DIAMYD. The drug works to preserve the any remaining islet cells left, that hasn’t been destroyed by her own antibodies. This looks exciting and promising. Check out the video here. Although this drug looks promising, The video left me with some unanswered questions:

  • What are the long term effects of taking this drug?
  • Are there any age limits or minimums?
  • If this drug is used to prevent type 1, does this mean it needs to be taken for life?
  • Can this drug possibly inhibit important antibodies from doing their jobs?
  • What’s the likelihood of other drug interactions?
  • Socially speaking, with the vast majority of diabetics that are stigmatized, How long will it take for the rest of the medical community @ large to learn about this new potential drug?
  • Is there a gauge that doctors can use, to determine if the patient still may, or may not need insulin?

I’m not really a fan of taking pills any kind, other than vitamins and herbs. However, if this drug proves to be safe, I’m all for it! If this drug is successful, it will hopefully, and probably cause the cost of insulin to plummet; which in tern will benefit those diabetics who still need to take insulin.

Reference:

Diamyd, Pop City, Medical News Today

© 2011 DiabeticRadio.com









I am so proud of this young man. He is one of the very few T1 diabetic african americans, who is welling to come out and share his experience. Videos like these are hard to come by, as so many people of color still prefer to keep their diabetes a secret. I hope to find more videos like his, in hopes that I can assist in destroying the myth that minorities only get type 2 diabetes; that minorites are the only race of people to get type 2 disease because of overweight, bad food and inactivity. Yes, type 1 can and DO exist in people of color too!! We just don’t hear about it as much. I have not yet seen a part 2 to this video.