Monday, April 30, 2012

Dang It; Vol. 2.

Somehow I slept for 13 hours on Saturday night, and diabetes hardly noticed.

I reiterate my stance that life would be so much easier if only I could just sleep all of the time and never needed to eat.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Meggins and Patterns.

The internet can be a pretty smart place.

There are certain things I'm not going to go online to find answers for - I won't, for example, ask someone what my insulin to carb ratio should be, or start taking certain vitamins because I see that someone else is. That's not really the role of this whole online health-related space - that's for a doctor and a patient to sit down and discuss.

What I do use social media for are things like suggestions for new foods to try, a reassurance that I'm not the only PWD who has a gusher/rarely changes their lancet/spends hours above 300 sometimes/thinks CGMs are the best things since sliced cheese. (Bread is overrated.)

I recently posted on my Facebook page that I was looking for new ideas for low-carb breakfast options that I could eat on the go. We've gotten into a food-related rut of sorts in the Vlasnik household, and I have been seeing numbers higher than I'm comfortable with after breakfast each morning during the week. For a while. Like, I've been in the 200's after breakfast for weeks and I've done pretty much nothing to work on it.


Several of the suggestions centered around "egg muffins" of a sort. (Muffin eggs? Muggins? Meggins? Eggfins?) Given that we had some asparagus, bacon and cheese on hand, I gave it a go. And guess what?

THEY WERE DELICIOUS. And I topped out at 182... not bad.

There is no real recipe; I just scrambled up some eggs (I added a splash of milk) and threw the rest of the ingredients in; baked for 25 minutes on 350 heat... boom! Breakfast, you got served!

And secondly, I'm kind of bad at spotting patterns. (Maybe you knew this already.) Case in point:

I'm glad someone could see a pattern, because I sure failed to notice it. My adjusted basal rates thank you, Sara.

The internet: useful in ways that continue to astound me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hope and Acorns.

On Saturday, Aaron and I got all gussied up to attend a local JDRF Gala.

I had on purple heels I could actually walk in, a glittery handbag large enough to actually hold the things I needed to bring with me, and a folded up piece of paper with the mini-speech I had written that morning. (I like to tell myself that I work best under pressure. Or panic. One of the two.)

This is the "quick, take a picture of me before
we forget" shot. Sassy!

I was asked a few months back if I would be willing to share my story as part of this chapter's "Fund A Cure" video for the 2012 Gala. A camera crew came to our house in February and we did things like play fetch with Billy (you'll notice that he suddenly has no interest in his favorite toy once cameras are rolling), go for a walk (of course it was super windy) and I spoke about my diagnosis, finding support online, and what parts of life with diabetes have been most difficult. 

My previous impressions of Gala videos led me to be a little cautious - I wasn't interested in being portrayed in a feel-sorry-for-me, tear-jerker sort of way. I thought they did a nice job of sharing both my and another young woman's stories in a realistic but positive light. (And yes, you'll notice that I'm a huge JDRF supporter.) But, don't take my word for it - make some popcorn, grab a comfy chair and watch it for yourself.

I was also asked to say a few words (around 30 seconds to a minute) following the video's presentation. As Molly and I stood on stage, the video drew to a close and the emcee introduced us to the audience of over 400.

We received a standing ovation. I really, really didn't expect that - neither of us did. (And though I feel a little like it's boasting to even mention it, it's the first time in my life that I can recall it happening, so I kind of feel like it's okay just this once.)

I'm grateful for a lot of things from this experience: for the opportunity to bring an adult voice and story to the JDRF narrative; for the chance to work with such passionate people through the whole process; for the generous audience (they surpassed their fundraising goal for the night!) who contributed to the work of people much smarter than I.

Organizations like JDRF help to provide people like me with what I think is one of the most important things required to live well with type 1 diabetes (aside from insulin): hope. And on the days when I find some, I try to store it up like a squirrel would do with acorns for the winter. A bad day can hit at any time, and it helps me to turn it around when I have a stash of these reminders - of how far we've come, and how many people are out there working hard to end this disease.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It Makes Me Happy.

It's been pointed out to me, quite a bit lately, that cartoons I've drawn are showing up on various sites - some with credit back to the artist (that's me!), and some without. Some were shared as they were originally presented, and some have been edited in some way.

I thought I'd take a minute to establish my thoughts on sharing the content found on this site.

  • I draw this stuff because it makes me happy to do so. It makes me happy when I can create something that can not only make me laugh (it's totally self-therapy), but make others smile as well. LOL's make my day! It's labor-intensive and for a full-length cartoon like this one, for example, I'm pretty much dedicating an entire day (8 to 10 hours) to creating it. 
  • Because making others happy makes me happy, I share what I've done online. Anyone who uploads a Facebook profile picture, writes a blog post, tweets a photo or shares a video on YouTube is automatically agreeing to the fact that that content is no longer theirs to control. That's not to say that this is fair, but that is simply how this all works. Just about everything online is downloadable and editable in some way, and I'm fully aware of that when I share things.
  • It's also true that when I see that someone has pinned my stuff or an image of mine is on Facebook, it makes me smile, big time. Warm fuzzies abound!
  • That said, I share these cartoons with a deliberate credit on the image. You'll either find my site address or my name on every cartoon I share. You'll also see on my right sidebar that what I share on this site is protected under a specific kind of Creative Commons license, which in very simplified terms means that content originating from this site is available to share freely, given that it happens under certain circumstances, and with my permission can be used in other ways.
image credit

So what does this boil down to?

  1. I don't want to be an jerk about things. If you like what I do enough to share it, I'm very flattered by that, and I'm honored that you think enough of it to point it out to other people. Pin it! Make it your FB profile photo! Tweet 'til you drop! Tumblr the heck out of it! 
  2. That said, if you're going to share my stuff, please abide by the Creative Commons protection I have on them. If an image already has my name or website on it, then you're golden. But please don't doctor my images so that the credit is removed. I don't want you to be a jerk, either.

Cool? Cool.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Twenty Six.

It was twenty six years ago today that I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. "Juvenile Diabetes", if you're old school.

Last year, when I hit the quarter century mark, I decided it was time to ask for a copy of the hospital records (a "discharge summary" is what the hospital called it) from my diagnosis. I had never had much interest in finding out things like the glucose level I tested at upon admittance at or my first A1C result, until I started reading the stories of others online - and the answers they found. It got me curious.

It was an interesting story, but not a remarkable one. A reading of 385 mg/dL is something I could very easily see now, if I really miscounted a meal or had a leaking infusion site overnight. A loss of 8 to 9 pounds over a three month period would actually be a welcome physical change right now, instead of an alarming phenomenon.

I remember the eat-for-the-insulin regimen. I remember the plastic Rubbermaid container that rested on our kitchen counter, filled with "diabetes stuff". I remember the bottle of NPH being rolled between my mother's hands to warm it up from its refrigerated state, and the clack-clack sound it made as it hit her wedding rings. 

I remember tears. I remember being confused. I remember being scared.

But I also remember parents who loved me unconditionally, who did the very best they could to keep me happy and healthy, and who would have done anything to take that burden away from me.

As an adult, it's my job to keep myself happy and healthy. It helps to have a loving and supportive husband, dog (hey, he helps) and friends both near and very far - but when it comes right down to it, it's up to me and no one else to make sure that these last two assessments remain true:

Twenty six years, diabetes. I've got my eye on you. No funny business.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pockets and Ruffles Needed.

So. Much. Going. On. Bullet points to the rescue!
  • I signed up for Tumblr after searching the diabetes hashtag (is it called that, there?) and wishing I could connect with those folks. I am finding out that I have little to no idea how this site works. Can I comment on stuff? (Doesn't seem like it.) It took me a really long time to even figure out how to change the blog title from "Untitled". Sigh.
  • I'm attending a local JDRF Gala this Saturday and am freaking out a bit; partly because I'm in the fundraising video this year (maybe I'll be able to share it after the event - we'll see), partly because I'll be speaking (only for about a minute, after the video has played - like, "Oh! Look! She's a real person!", and partly because I'm having last-minute panic that my dress isn't dressy enough. Accessory shopping, you are in my future.
  • Brussel sprouts were consumed in our home for the first time last night, and they actually weren't terrible. I dare say that I actually enjoyed them.
  • Also for the first time, I managed to forget THREE important things this morning: my medical ID, my wedding rings, AND my Dexcom receiver. I'm winning all over the place today, so watch out.
  • Speaking of my Dexcom and the Gala, I just realized that I'm probably not going to be able to fit both my insulin pump AND my CGM inside my dress. Why didn't I buy a dress with pockets, or with eye-deceiving ruffles of some sort?
  • Just when I think I won't have time to draw any cartoons for a good long while because I'm working on other things, I see Ryan Gosling show up on Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook and decide that, okay, maybe I should keep drawing, because people seem to be fond of these things.
  • I have no idea what's being said in this video (it's in Japanese), but that does not make it any less awesome.
  • Also, you haven't had any Billy pictures for a while. Here's your remedy:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We Can Do This.

I've been working on something new for the You Can Do This Project for several weeks now, and it's finally ready to be unveiled!

Go head over to to see what I'm talking about. I hope you like it.


Monday, April 16, 2012


Since my pancreas is old and busted, I ordered a new one off the internet.

Also, you probably saw this photo coming:


You can get your own pancreas (or heart, or thyroid, or or or...) at They had a great deal a few weeks back on I might have ordered a few. Hey, pancrei can't be trusted. I need backups.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

19 Days.

For some reason, I left this Dexcom sensor on my leg well past my normal two weeks. The tape was sticking okay (with some Flexifix help) and the readings were reasonably close to my meter's until this morning.

This is when you know you might need to change it.

Yeah, no.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bad Habit.

The whole point of me wearing a Dexcom is that it's supposed to alert me when bad things are happening, so I can take action on them.

The thing is, I've developed a bad habit over the past few months. While I am technically taking action based on the low alarms I get as I'm falling asleep (or when I'm ripped from my sleep in the middle of the night), I'm not taking the intended action of treating the downward trends with glucose tabs, juice, or the surplus of Peeps at my house.

Instead, I'm shutting down the Dexcom for a little naptime, and turning down my basal rate for a couple of hours.

Rationally, I know I shouldn't do this. I cringe about it a little bit when I think about it during my waking hours. But when I'm already partly (or was already fully) asleep, my brain's number one priority is shutting down - which lately has meant that my Dexcom follows suit. I'm in a haze, and the reaction is nearly involuntary at this point.

In my first several months of CGM use, I was grateful for those middle-of-the-night alarms. (Who knows how many lows I slept through prior to that?) But after that novelty wore off, it just got really tiresome and irritating.

"What do you mean I'm dropping? I JUST BRUSHED MY TEETH.", or "How can I be low? I ate sushi for dinner!!". (That was last night.) I get annoyed with diabetes' wicked games. I get tired of my blood sugar calling the shots; forcing me to do its will; messing up the minty goodness my teeth have going; making me leave the perfect blanket burrito I've encased myself in.

I just want to SLEEP, and I'm talking about the uninterrupted kind that I've almost forgotten about. The kind where you think you must have slept well, because all that you remember is laying down and then BAM! it's morning.

But instead of letting technology do its thing, I remove the safety net under my tightrope  - and am left to wonder how to stop myself from sabotaging the very mechanisms that are trying to help me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

CGM: The Ultimate Etch-A-Sketch.

Borrowing the meme from Kerri:

Apparently in the last 48 hours I've taken an escalator:

To Arby's.

CGMs: they're like a life-and-death version of an Etch-A-Sketch. But, you know, without knobs or the ability to shake to erase. (Maybe we could get that in the Dexcom next gen?)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Real People Sick Dance.

It started with three beeps at 3:00 am.

I rolled over and clicked the button on my Dexcom - 47. "Well, that's not so bad", my still-asleep brain mused. (I'm used to only waking up once it's reached LOW.)

Reflexively, I reached for the glucose tabs. One. Two. Not satisfied, I stumbled out to the kitchen for some orange juice. Gulp. Gulp. I fell back into the sweat-infused bed sheets.

The next time I was jolted awake, it wasn't from any sort of beeping, vibrating or audible alarm. No - this alarm was blaring, loudly, from my stomach.

Oh no. This is bad. Run!

Within minutes the juice, last night's snack, and possibly part of my stomach all came back to say "Hi!".

And for the next several hours - in fact, until a few hours before I started writing this - that was my routine.

Crash into bed. Be roused by my stomach. Bathroom. Back to bed.

Real People Sick (as opposed to diabetes-related not feeling good) is never pleasant, and it becomes downright scary for someone like me.

Am I going to run high or low, now that I've emptied my stomach? Can I force down some food if I get low? Will it stay down? Do I bolus for any part of it? Is this what dying feels like?

It's a dance I'll never quite learn all the steps to.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I want to show you what it isn't.

Failing doesn't try. Failing doesn't care. Failing gives up when things are at their most precarious; right before the suffocating weight of darkness gives way to that tiny sliver of light. Failing throws up its arms to indicate surrender; not with clenched fists to promise a renewed fight.

Failing is a lie that guilt feeds you.

Failing doesn't bother to respond, or care what happens next. Failing is giving up. Failing is refusing to try.

Failing is not determined by a number or test result.

Failing doesn't keep working to find a solution; get up at 2:00 am to check a blood sugar; show up for their doctor appointments.

Failing accepts defeat. Failing internalizes fear. Failing believes that fault only lies within itself.

Do you know how many times I, and so many others, see those same cruel results after our hard work? Do you know how many people are out there living healthy, happy and completely imperfect lives?

Failing is good, because it requires effort to fail. Failure can't happen without some sort of action. And in so many cases, failure upon failure happens before success does.

If that's what "failing" looks like, sign me up.

image credit

Friday, April 6, 2012

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: Takeaways.

There are a lot of things I took away from the Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: we had a whole day (and a half, if you count the dinner the night before) of speakers, dialogue and brainstorming with a bunch of really dedicated, passionate and smart people - on both sides of the proverbial table.

I have never been a Medtronic customer. I have no immediate future plans to become one. I have no clue why I was invited, but I have an idea.

Pharma companies that are willing to congregate (and foot the bill for) a group of patient bloggers and have an honest interest in what we think about their company have cajones, in my book. To me, it's a sign that they really are interested in engaging with the people their products benefit - that they realize that listening to the consumer's view, and the ways in which they want technology to help them, are worthwhile endeavors. A running theme throughout the Forum was that both Medtronic, and those of us who benefit from their products, agree that medical technology needs to take the viewpoint of the patient. Tech needs to make our lives easier - in the ways we live it, at the times we need it, and it needs to get out of our way when necessary.

"Who are these people?", you might ask. I'm not sure why no one ever lists out and links up these big blogger
conference photos (probably because it takes a lot of time?), but I remember coming into the DOC and finding
photos like this one and thinking, "Okay, I know who that that and that is, but who are these other people? And why is no one naming names?" So here I go naming names and linking links, from left to right, according to head placement.
Cherise ShockleyBennet Dunlap, Karmel Allison, Jeff Hitchcock, Tom Karlya, Blair Ryan, Brandy Barnes,
Amy TenderichGeorge Simmons, Kelly Kunik, LeeAnn Thill, Elizabeth Edelman, Scott Johnson, David Edelman, Dana LewisSarah (Sugabetic), Sara Knicks, Adam Brown, Abby Bayer, Mike Hoskins, Leighann Calentine,
Scott StrumelloKaren Graffeo, Gina Capone, Kelly Close, Kim Vlasnik, Jess Collins, Manny Hernandez. Whew.

Here are some of my bigger (and not so much big, but anecdotal nonetheless) takeaways.

  • It's easy to be cynical; to lump everyone into one category. "Pharma doesn't care about people with diabetes; they just want our money." "They are too slow/not speaking up loudly enough to the FDA/making products with planned obsolescence." I had the chance to meet several Medtronic employees - executives, PR reps, engineers, and the like. I got to hear directly from some of these people that they have a son, daughter, sibling, or parent affected by diabetes. I heard their personal stories of what drives them to do the best work they can, and I believe that they are doing just that - their best. I can't say that all of those presumptions are false (does anyone know the answer to that?), but I can tell you that there are good people at Medtronic who are doing everything they can to improve the lives of people with diabetes. I do believe that.
  • Medtronic started out in a garage in Minnesota. (Minimed started in a barn.) Everyone has to start somewhere, and every great idea sounds completely crazy at first.
  • An aspiration at Medtronic is to become the Harley-Davidson of medical brands. What was meant here is that Medtronic wants to be the kind of brand that inspires a loyal following, and that people enthusiastically recommend to others. The kind of brand that people would willingly tattoo on themselves. (You're kind of already there in that sense, aren't you?) That takes a LOT of work and time to do, but it's a great goal.
  • In addition to being a faux motorcycle manufacturer, Medtronic would also like to be the next Apple. Anticipating needs (in fact, even recognizing them before the consumer does) is the name of the game here. There's also the idea of using personal and social data, and then tracking the resulting patterns, so that your devices can make suggestions. ("Your friends like ABCD app for carb counting. You frequently ask for advice on bolus amounts. Want to try it?") Think Trip Advisor, but for your pancreas.
  • A handful of us were able to take advantage of the unique opportunity of touring the CGM manufacturing facility on Friday (most others had done the tour last year), and I had no idea that most of the process is performed by people, not solely just robots. I mean, every single one of their sensors that go out is worked on by one of six ladies, at a certain step. Six! For all of the sensors ever, anywhere! Wearing our clean suits and huge plastic glasses, we learned about the makeup of the sensors - real platinum and gold in there, folks - and just how stringent they are when it comes to safety. There are many points in the process where a sensor might be thrown out because it isn't meeting some criteria - and every partial sensor our tour guide would bring over was tossed, as it was then contaminated. Wow.
  • There's an angle to the whole insurance coverage mess that I hadn't considered until it was brought up in one of the discussions. Paraphrasing here: "Patients need to ask insurance companies to cover new technologies (we were discussing MySentry, I believe) to demonstrate that there is a need for this kind of thing. If people aren't asking for it, they have no reason to consider covering it. Medtronic can tell insurance carriers 'Hey, you should cover this', but those carriers will turn around and say, 'Of course you do - you're the manufacturer'." It's a valid argument for appealing again and again when insurance turns you down - don't think of it as a "no". Think of it as a "you need to wear me down a bit more". (Downer? Kind of.)
  • One of the brainstorming sessions addressed the following loosely-remembered question: "How can industry engage in the online community in a legit way? What should they do/not do?" It's a tricky question, that. Everyone has different ideas about what is okay - some want that interaction, some want to be left alone. Some want to see the faces behind the name. Some want quick response time. One of the things suggested was creating a "jumping point" for folks who are newly diagnosed or newly put on pump or CGM technology - there's no need to recreate the wheel by making a whole new "community" for these folks. Just provide a way to connect them to the communities and resources that already exist; build off of what's there already. And secondly, pharma can help us as patients to be our own advocates when it comes to addressing the FDA to submit comments on guidance or other procedures. To have someone point us in the direction of what is important (and why and when) to the FDA, we can form our own opinions based on that and strengthen our collective voice to help guide change.
  • And lastly, Dr. Fran Kaufman (V.P. of Global Medical Affairs for Medtronic Diabetes) spoke to us about "volunteerism". We saw slides from her travels to places like Brazil and Haiti, and heard the stories of her work there. I can't speak for anyone else in the room, but my eyes were opened once again to how very lucky most of us are - we have access to the medicine that keeps us alive; we have refrigerators to keep that insulin at the proper temperature. I mean, Haiti has an 85% mortality rate for people with diabetes in the first year after they are diagnosed. It's something we can help change, but it requires prolonged attention and action. (Visit Life For A Child for more information on how to do just that.)
The Medtronic Forum was real people with (or parents of children with) diabetes talking with real employees. Real conversations about what is important to us as people with diabetes ("Can you make the alarms even louder? Where's the 'I KNOW!' button? Can you place more of the cognitive burden on the devices, rather than on us?"). What I hope comes from those conversations is some real feedback-driven improvements to the lives of people with diabetes.

Disclosure: Medtronic paid for my flights, meals and ground transportation during the Forum Thursday evening and Friday. No one was paid to attend, nor was anyone obligated to write about the Forum.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reflex Theory.

At breakfast last Saturday morning, diabetes came up in conversation. (Weird, right?)

From L to R, back row: Bennet, Kelly, Karen, Sara and Mike.
Front row: Jess, me, Abby, LeeAnn, Leighann. Photo credit: Bennet.
The waitress came around with coffee (lots of takers there) and orange juice (I was the only taker, with a downward CGM arrow poised somewhere in the 60's). The speed with which I drained my glass and the location of our breakfast (we were adjacent to a bar) lead me to an epiphany of sorts.

Lately I've made a lot of beverage switches - absolving myself of Splenda in my morning coffee, avoiding soda and choosing tea or Crystal Light Pure instead, and when it comes to social drinking I've been calling a glass of wine over to my team more often than my fruity "girly drinks" of yore. You know the ones - cranberry vodkas with lime (which I've recently learned are named Cape Cods - sounds much more fancy), those sugar bombs called Fuzzy Navels, and the deliciously evil combination of pineapple juice and cake-flavored vodka. At some point I realized how quickly I guzzle those drinks, whereas a glass of wine I tend to sip in a more reasonable and ladylike manner.

It hit me, as the liquid disappeared down my throat, the reason I might be consuming those types of drinks so quickly.

It's a reflex.

Ever since I was a child, juice has been a form of medicine. Orange juice, in particular, was something to be administered in one continuous gulp as I struggled to hold the glass; shaking, sweating and completely out of sorts. The taste of oranges signals panic. Fear. Desperation. It amplifies the screaming in my head that says to EAT EVERYTHING EVER RIGHT NOW OMG I'M DYING.

Why did I expect that to be different as an adult, and with something else added to it?

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has found this to be true - does anyone else feel like they'll never be able to drink a glass of juice like a "normal" person?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

#TwoBits: Arden's Day Gives and You Can Do This.

Hat tip to Bennet at Your Diabetes May Vary for the #TwoBits idea; it's a blogging format that allows you to do a quick post (much as a Wordless Wednesday might work - big punch in a tiny package) pointing people to things going on in the DOC. Here's mine for today:
  • If you aren't familiar with Scott Benner from Arden's Day, go fix that right now. Scott is the parent of Arden - a child with type 1 diabetes - and his family is doing great things to help people with diabetes. Namely, they've filed paperwork to incorporate "Arden's Day Gives", a non-profit that will assist children who are financially unable to obtain insulin pumps and CGMs. Get the lowdown here:
  • This is a bit of self-promotion, but in case you missed the tweets/Facebook post/blog post yesterday, the You Can Do This Project has a new look! Update your blog buttons, and take a look at where we're currently being featured (hint: it's really exciting):

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: Demo, Discussion and Disclosure.

One of the many cool experiences at the Diabetes Advocate Forum last week was seeing the new remote CGM system, MySentry, in action.  A Medtronic employe performed a demonstration for us, and there were several members of the management team available to field our questions (as well as tolerate our propensity to crack snarky jokes).

I grabbed some video of most of the demo and the discussion that followed it (ranging from FDA obstacles to insurance coverage to "Does it stream Netflix?") (spoiler: it doesn't). As someone who isn't currently (and has never been) a Medtronic customer, I appreciated learning about what this MySentry thing is all about - and hearing those LOUD ALARMS in person.

Here you go:

The event held some surprises for those of us who attended; among the biggest was that Medtronic Diabetes announced that any of us in attendance at the Forum are offered the chance to trial the MySentry system for three months at no cost to us.

I haven't determined an answer to this offer yet - but I wanted to disclose this to you all, and let you know that none of us knew about this offer when we accepted the invitation to attend.

Is it an incredibly generous opportunity I'm grateful to be offered? Yes. Does it make me feel a little weird about accepting the offer? Yes. While the MySentry sounds like a great tool for a lot of individuals (parents of CWD, folks who already use the Medtronic pump and CGM, and people thinking of making the switch to Medtronic in the near future, for example), I'm not sure I'm one of them. I will, however, be interested to hear from others who trial the system what they think of it.

The offer also makes me wish that so many more advocates for the diabetes community could have attended, and could be offered this same opportunity. (Sara makes some great points today along these lines - go read what she wrote here.)

Thank you again to Medtronic for hosting this event - more to come later this week!

Disclosure: Medtronic paid for my flights, meals and ground transportation during the Forum Thursday evening and Friday. I, and others, chose to stay an extra day and were on our own for costs incurred during that time. We were not paid to attend, nor are we obligated to write about the Forum.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: A Few Visuals.

I spent the past four days in the Los Angeles area in order to attend the 2nd annual Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum, and I'm totally exhausted.

You'll have to give me a bit of recovery time before I go into details, but in the meantime, here are a few snapshots. (I'm also working on getting some video up - bear with me?)

DSMA Live presents Manny Hernandez with the first DSMA Salutes award for his advocacy work in the diabetes community.
DSMA Live - if you missed the episode, visit

George Simmons, Kelly Kunik and Kelly Close lead a group discussion.
Group discussion led by George, Kelly and Kelly.

What heaven looks like.
Well of course we did.

Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier.

How did the Getty Museum know to mark this hallway just for us?
I guess we were meant to be at the Getty Museum? (L to R: Bennet Dunlap, Kelly Kunik,
Leighann Calentine, Sara Nicastro, Karen Graffeo, Mike Hoskins, and part of
Jess Collins' head.) 
Van Gooooooogh!
Van Gogh! My hero! Also, neveryoumind the rain-induced mess of a hairdo I've got going.

Blue Friday!! (photo credit: Cherise Shockley) L to R: Kelly Close,
Mike Hoskins, Karen Graffeo, Leighann Calentine, me (Kim Vlasnik),
Sara Nicastro, Scott Johnson, Amanda Sheldon (Medtronic), Jess Collins,
Sarah (Sugabetic), Cherise Shockley
Disclosure Time: Medtronic paid for my flights, meals and ground transportation during the Forum Thursday evening and Friday. I, and others, chose to stay an extra day and were on our own for costs incurred during that time. We were not paid to attend, nor are we obligated to write about the Forum.