The VIAL Project: Helping Lee Ann Thill

Screenshot of Lee Ann's blog post

More info on the VIAL Project

Lee Ann Thill is one of my favorite people around. She is super smart and plugs into the emotional side of life with diabetes with experienced perception.  She’s been wrestling with type 1 diabetes for a long time. She get’s it.

Looking to take her smartness to the next level, she’s gone back to school (hello, Dr. Thill!). She’s already 18-months into her doctoral program and has launched a pilot study that she hopes to develop her dissertation around. The pilot study is looking at type 1 diabetes and food and body issues — something that is probably more common than we might think.

Please take a look at her post, “Type 1 Diabetes + Food & Body Issues + Social Media + Creativity = VIAL Project“, for more details and some background.

You can help by spreading the word about her pilot study, or even participating if you feel that it fits you.


Scott & Lee Ann, Ninjabetic weekend, 2010. Thanks for the pic, @saraknic!

Scott & Lee Ann, Ninjabetic weekend, 2010. Thanks for the pic, @saraknic!

Ninjabetic Weekend – Saturday – The Afterparty

I’m revisiting the tail end of my time in Los Angeles celebrating with George for his 20 year diabetes diagnosis anniversary.   There’s just a few more stories (and pictures) to share before I can close the book on that adventure.

After the celebration everyone parted ways for a little siesta.  We met up a bit later for dinner for more visiting and lots of laughing.

Picture of Melissa, Chris, Sara, Lee Ann and Scott at the restaurant.

I started double-fisting Diet Coke’s early in the evening.  Didn’t take too many Diet Cokes before I dropped my Dexcom into a pile of ketchup and the bartender had to cut me off.

Picture of my Dexcom in a pile of ketchup and me laughing

It took a bit of work to clean it up, but in the end it was probably better in the ketchup than in my sodapop.  Do you think ketchup voids my warranty?

A Smarty Smarty


Today (September 1, 2010) is the first “Diabetes Art Day”, a really fun project that Lee Ann (with a little help from Cherise) announced recently.

My niece, a creative genius, was over this weekend, and I recruited her to help me.  I love how she thinks – everything is art and creation.  I am often amazed at the beautiful pieces she creates, and this time was no exception.

I also get a kick out of irony.  And with that, I present “The Smarty Smarty!” Imagine the low I could treat with this bad boy! It’s the size of a PIZZA!


Diabetes Art Day!


Collage of D-Art Day Logo and a shot of Lee Ann
I want to spread the word about Diabetes Art Day (September 1), a very fun idea by a super special person.
Lee Ann Thill is an art therapist and a person living with diabetes.  Lee Ann is a wonderful person, and I’m blessed to know her.  I hope that you’ll find some way to participate – even if it is just stick figures on a post-it note.

From her post:

I’m asking you to break out of your linguistic comfort zone, bust out some art materials, and make a piece of artwork – painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, an installation piece, a mixed media something or other, or whatever you can imagine. I’m sure most of you don’t consider yourselves artists, but I think that you are, and just haven’t discovered it yet. Then, once your masterpiece is complete, post it on September 1st. If you want to get your family involved, maybe each of you can create something, or you can even do a group art project. The possibilities are endless if you use your imagination!

CWD Friends For Life – Epic Sizer!

I walked into the Richard Rubin Keynote (opening session) with an overflowing breakfast plate and my shoulder bag full of diet sodapop.  After only a step or two into the room I was stopped in my tracks by the sheer size of this thing.  I had no idea.  No. Idea.

Picture of the opening breakfast banquet roomI could not even see the people on the other side of the room.  They were lost over the horizon.  There were THREE giant TV screens to broadcast the podium.  THREE SCREENS!

I was very full of emotion being surrounded by so many people all deeply entrenched in diabetes.  Everyone there was either a person with type 1 diabetes, a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, family member of someone with type 1 diabetes, or a caregiver for someone with type 1 diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 1 diabetes.  Everywhere.  I have never experienced so much type 1 diabetes in one place.  I was overwhelmed by it all.  The love and support just swallowed me up, and the program hadn’t even started yet.

Picture of Scott & JayJay Hewitt, an Ironman Triathlete who lives with type 1 diabetes, delivered an incredible opening speech.   The Ironman Triathlons are a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, THEN a 26.2 mile run.  One right after the other.  Not the next week, not the next day, but all together in a single day.  It is an amazing accomplishment to train for something like that, much less compete on a professional level.  And to do so with type 1 diabetes?  I find that incredibly inspiring.  I really enjoyed Jay’s ability to tie in the struggles we face living with diabetes into the challenges of such a grueling endurance race.  I was very moved by his speech, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to shake his hand, thank him, and get a picture with him.  Thank you Jay!

I had a lot of trouble deciding which sessions to attend for the rest of the afternoon.  I wanted to go to ALL of them!  For the most part, I made good decisions about what to attend, but I also missed some great discussions.  There was just no way to attend six sessions all at the same time.  If I could have figured out a way to do it, I would have.

One of the things I enjoyed most was constantly bumping into, and visiting with, people from the DOC.

Collage of DOC peeps at CWD 2010

Picture of the Edelman's, Lee Ann, & Heidi

And to top the evening off, I even got to play some basketball with Gary Scheiner.

Action shot playing basketball at FFL 2010

Thanks to Kerri for this action shot!

Food Issues? Duh!

I have food issues.

I don’t know if these issues exist apart from diabetes, or because of diabetes.

My recent dLife column is about an experience where diabetes was clearly the culprit.  If you have a moment, would you take a look?

I would love to hear what some of you think about food and our diabetes.  What are your experiences?

One of my favorite bloggers, Lee Ann Thill (The Butter Compartment), has recently posted some great stuff around eating disorders and diabetes, and I totally consider her to be a great champion for raising awareness about it.

There was also a page about diabetes and eating disorders in an awesome book that made me smirk.  I’ll be posting about soon (in the meantime check out the posts by Lee Ann and Chris).

Food issues and diabetes.  Check.