Happy Anniversary: Our Most Popular Diabetes Blog Posts of the Year


Three years ago when Mike and I launched ASweetLife our hearts were full of passion.  We wanted to help people with diabetes and become diabetes advocates, but we had little knowledge about running an online magazine.  We had no idea how we would generate enough content to sustain ASweetLife.

Slowly but surely we learned and the content we developed attracted bloggers who, in turn, filled ASweetLife with more content. Amazing content.  From the outset Mike and I had envisioned ASweetLife as platform to share many voices of diabetes, and we are so grateful to the bloggers who have made this happen.  We’re really excited to kick off our fourth year with new bloggers, Alex O’Meara, James Ron, and Mollie Busby.  And now we’re looking back at some of our most popular blog posts from October 2011 until today.  Below are your favorites, in no particular order.  Happy Anniversary to all of us!

Laying Blame: Why Do People Get Diabetes?

by Alex O’Meara

People get diabetes because they’re fat. They get diabetes because they don’t exercise. They get it because they’re lazy and they lack discipline in controlling their appetites. They get diabetes because they’re out of shape slobs. People get diabetes because they deserve it.

Most people won’t say this to your face, but that doesn’t mean they’re not thinking it. The extent to which people believe that diabetes is the fault of the diabetic became very apparent, recently, after a finger pointing exchange about blame for the condition by two celebrity chefs. And what that reveals is an underlying societal discrimination of diabetics that could cost people their lives…Read More

The Overweight Child

by Jane Kokernak

Dara-Lynn Weiss, a Manhattan mother of two who has recently become famous for posing in Vogue with her 7-year-old daughter, Bea, newly thin after a one-year weight loss diet, is under fire in the press and blogosphere for her methods and for showing and telling all about them. Just Google “dara-lynn weiss and bea in vogue,” and you’ll see.

I’m not a fan of her methods (reportedly she badgered and occasionally embarrassed her child). The Vogue piece (not online — you’ll have to buy the print issue) seems self-serving to me, as does Weiss’s book contract.  But helping her medically overweight child lose weight? For that, I applaud her…Read More

Diabetes and the New York Soda Ban

by Catherine Price

I just stumbled across this video editorial in the New York Times about Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on sugary sodas bigger than 16 ounces. It brought to mind the heated debate that followed Jessica’s post about the “diabetes ice cream social,” which encouraged diabetics around the world to celebrate their disease — or at least stick it to anyone who says that a malfunctioning pancreas need limit one’s intake of refined carbohydrates — by indulging in a favorite scoop.

Correct me if I’m mistaken, but it seems that we at A Sweet Life have not yet engaged in a discussion specifically on Bloomberg’s plan. The basic idea is that it’d be forbidden to sell sugary sodas in sizes over 16 ounces. But within that simple idea hide a host of exemptions. Juice wouldn’t count. Neither would coffee (since you add the sugar yourself). You could get as many refills as you’d like, or simply buy two 16-ounce cups to satisfy your 32-ounce craving….Read More

It’s Complicating

by Karmel Allison

Like every diabetic I know, I don’t like to think about complications. Heart disease, nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy. Foot ulcers. Ugh. Like most diabetics, I don’t know what to say when someone tells me about the frequency of amputation or blindness.

My reasoning is simple: I am afraid. The threat is real. I myself have cataracts due to my lack of glycemic control during my teenage years. Driving at night is hard and disorienting, because all the lights are diffuse and haloed.

Even still, I am lucky– it could have been worse. And, I’m not by any means out of danger, because I have a lot of years left to live….Read More

This Diabetes Awareness Month Tell the World You Aren’t Equal

by Jessica Apple

A few days ago, I heard about the JDRF ad in the New York Times and the Washington Post, but I didn’t see it until my friend Laura Houston posted it on her blog.  The ad shows a beautiful little girl with type 1 diabetes, along with a statistic that made my jaw drop.  One in twenty people with type 1 diabetes will die of low blood sugar.  One in twenty will die from hypoglycemia?!  Seriously? 1 in 20?

My first thought was that they must have left out the word “thousand.”  It has to be one in twenty thousand.  It can’t be one in twenty.  I read about diabetes all day, every day.  And somehow I have never seen that statistic anywhere, not presented like that, at least.  1 in 20.

Of course, I’ve always known the stakes are high.  That’s the reason when I wake up in the middle of the night, I sometimes touch my husband’s forehead to see if there is sweat on his brow….Read More

The Role of Profit in Diabetes Care: A Force For Good or Evil?

by Catherine Price

I just got a response to my previous post about the ADA Scientific Sessions  that I thought would be worth reposting here and responding to, since I know it’s an issue that lurks beneath the surface in many conversations about pharmaceutical companies and diabetes.

Here’s the comment:

“I have been diabetic since I was 1, and my twin 15 year old boys got it when they were 8. It makes me sick to my stomach to read your posts and you sending praise to companies that are in business simply to manage the disease and not cure it. Let’s get something clear right here and now; it’s in their best interest never to find a cure. It amazes me the ignorance of bloggers like you and your colleagues glorifying the same companies that make money every time an a1c is over 7. Maybe the reason for such glorification is the fact these same companies pay you to be there. Let’s face it, diabetes is the catalyst for all major diseases from kidney failure to heart disease. There is no monetary advantage by any company to set aside funds to find a cure. Instead of glorifying the accomplishments of companies that profit from the management of diabetes why don’t you ask the real questions: ‘How much money will you lose if there is a cure for diabetes?’”….Read More

Discovering Diabetes Heritage

by Michael Aviad

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was totally shocked. Not only because I was unprepared for a life altering disease, but because as far as I knew no one in my family had ever had diabetes of any kind.

At first I thought that it was simply not a hereditary disease and that anyone lucky enough could join this club. But as I learned more, read more about type 1 diabetes and met more and more people with diabetes, I learned that there is a hereditary component. Many people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have relatives with it too. But not me.

Since my diagnosis I have answered many questionnaires, filled out forms and told people that no one else in my family has type 1 diabetes.

I believed this to be true until last week.  Then…Read More

Bride Wears Insulin Pump in Pocket

by Jane Kokernak

While I am not much of a romantic, I love reading the Vows column in the Style section of the Sunday New York Times. Every week, the story of a couple — from their initial meeting, through their courtship, to the wedding — is described in a feature among all the other engagement and wedding announcements. I like the Vows column because it shows the diversity of adult love: some stories are admittedly like fairy tales, and yet many incorporate more realism in the setbacks the individuals or couples have encountered.

I know, I know: whether a fairy tale or heroic journey, these stories still reach the same conclusion, with a wedding as a kind of achievement. In these ways, the Vows column is not unlike a 19th-century novel. But I like Jane Austen and the Brontes, and I like the plots of these wedding tales too.

Today’s story…Read More

An Open Letter to Tim Gunn: I am a real woman!

by Karmel Allison

First things first: I am a big Project Runway fan, and you play no small role in that. You appear to be one of those rare people who is infinitely likable. Everyone should have a little Tim Gunn sitting on their shoulder. Thanks!

And now to the meat of the matter: I just watched the “real women” episode of Project Runway, Season 10. Every season there is one such episode– where the designers have to design and fit a client who is not a professional model, and is instead a woman proportioned more like the rest of the country. The “real women” challenges are particularly interesting; they highlight some of the assumptions made by the designers, separate the versatile wheat from the one-size-only chaff, and also allow us viewers to connect more closely to the whole process….Read More

Running a Marathon for Diabetes

by Michael Aviad

Last Thursday I ran the Tiberias Marathon (again).

The weather forecast predicted a storm for marathon day. On the drive up to Tiberias the day before the marathon the sky was gray and it looked as if a big storm was coming in. When I arrived at the hotel it was raining hard and it rained the whole night before the marathon. (Nervous, I woke up a few times during the night, checked my blood sugar, and checked the rain.)

When I woke up at 6:00 a.m., three hours before the race, it looked like the forecast was right and that instead of a good fast race I had more of a survival run ahead of me. My waking blood sugar was 111, but an hour later, before reducing my basal rate, it was 165. Since I didn’t eat anything, I assume the rise was stress related….Read More

The Snapper, Painless Insulin Delivery Device

by Jessica Apple

Forget about needles.  Forget about infusion sets.  Forget about tubing and clunky pumps clipped to your jeans.  Patch pumps are totally 2010.

 It’s now the era of The Snapper, a painless, bloodless, and snazzy way for people with diabetes to dose insulin.  This newly FDA approved device was conceived by Jessica Apple, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008.  Unable to bear the sight of her own blood, and tremendously afraid of needles, Jessica decided to find a new way to do what her pancreas couldn’t.  Thinking back to the scratch-and-sniff stickers she collected as a child, she realized that a sticker could do far more than just stick.  If it could contain a scent, why could it not contain insulin?…Read More

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