Steel Magnolias is Back? Sigh.

When my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just before he turned two, I had a lot of thoughts about his future. Getting pregnant wasn’t among them. But as we shared the news and explained type 1, a few friends said, “At least he won’t end up like that poor girl in Steel Magnolias.”


It’s hard to remember but through all the great dialogue and amazing women in the movie, the center piece of Steel Magnolias, and the impetus of that wonderful “laughter through tears” line, is that the Julie Roberts character dies from complications of type 1 diabetes. “Drink the juice, Shelby” is her mother desperately treating a dangerous low blood sugar.

I love Steel Magnolias. I had a huge crush on Tom Skerrit back in the day (omg, I know) and I cry and laugh every time I watch it. But I know people in the diabetes community who get angry, who won’t ever watch it again.

It is a true story. Robert Harling wrote the play after his sister died in 1985. It can still happen; fortunately, it’s not the story of most women today with T1D who want children. The problem? For the most part, Steel Magnolias is still the only story out there.

This week, as the movie returns to theaters to mark it’s 30 year anniversary, I’m reissuing an episode we first put out when my local community theater performed the play. My guests are all moms who live with type 1: Kerri Sparling, author of Six Until Me & “Balancing Diabetes.” Melissa Lee, Director of Community Relations for Bigfoot Biomedical & Kyrra Richards, founder & Creative Director of Myabetic.

It’s a wonderful round table – they all have strong reactions to the story, but they also have terrific advice for women with diabetes. We get away from Steel Magnolias a lot (cheeseburgers come up for some reason?) and they share real-life pregnancy and T1D stories and experiences from which we can all learn.

Melissa Lee put her finger on it late in our discussion when she pointed out that Shelby had no community. She had no one to truly listen and understand, to say yes and to help her find a way. I hope hearing this round table helps you find your “yes.”

Listen here, at or on any podcast app

Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a huge, fun part of my family’s life. We didn’t let the kids watch the early stuff – Benny was only 4 when Phase One began – but they’ve made up for that lost time. Lea’s favorite is definitely Iron Man. I stan the big Dorito himself, Captain America. But Slade and Benny are Hulk fans. Slade because of the 1970s TV show (he watched with his mom) and Benny because of diabetes.

Hulk Smash Inset!

When B was little, he didn’t understand why his high blood sugars would make him feel cranky. It’s hard for toddlers to express when they feel bad even without diabetes. My non-D daughter never said, “I have an ear infection” when she was in pre-school. She just got super-cranky. Same thing with Benny and high blood sugar. But as he got just a little older, maybe ages 5-6, we were able to start working on a few strategies to help. One of the best involved the Hulk.

We told Benny that he was a lot like the Hulk when his blood sugar was high and he felt angry and mean. But unlike Dr. Bruce Banner, he could learn to control the big green guy.

We started by having him recognize that he was high – of course we’d test first – and then he’d work on removing himself from the situation. He could go to his room and beat up a stuffed animal or yell into a pillow. He could sit quietly with me and color and drink water and be mad. But he couldn’t “release the Hulk” on other people.

It wasn’t perfect but it helped him process what was going on. And gradually he learned. As a teenage boy, he still has outbursts (thank you testosterone plus diabetes) and he’s still improving. But he’s got someone (something?) to whom he can relate. That’s why the Hulk, who had always been my husband’s favorite, is now also Benny’s.

More on Marvel & diabetes in this week’s podcast (along with great info on how to keep your insulin cool without power or a fridge)

#DPodcastWeek 2019

Here we go! Diabetes Podcast Week is here!

If you already enjoy listening to one show about diabetes, I hope you’ll give another one a try. If you’ve never heard a podcast, this is a great chance to jump in.

All this week (February 10-16th 2019) the shows listed below are joining together to tell our listeners about the Spare a Rose campaign, to benefit Life for a Child. We’ll also have some fun with cross promotion.

The list below will take you to the episodes specifically published during #DPodcastWeek (the links will be updated as the episodes are released). Different shows are hosted on different platforms so the players here may look different from one another, but they should all play right here in this post. Any show without a player has a clickable link to the #DPodcastWeek episode.

To visit the homepages of the shows and and find other episodes, click here or search on your favorite podcast player.

#DPodcastWeek 2019 episodes

Behind the Betes

Listen to “Episode 4: Going Home” on Spreaker.





Divabetic – Self-Acceptance & Diabetes with Musical Inspiration From Dolly Parton

Game Plan T1D


Pancreas Pals

Real Life Diabetes: An Inspiration to the T1D Community Lauren Bongiorno



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Diabetes Podcast Week 2019

Diabetes Podcast Week is coming! For the 4th year, podcasters in the diabetes community will come together to help you find great shows and learn about a terrific charity.

For the week of February 10th, 2019 shows that take part will tell our listeners about the Spare a Rose campaign, to benefit Life for a Child. We’ll also have some fun with cross promotion and spreading the good word about podcasts.

Please reach out to get added to the list below! There are new diabetes podcasts popping up all the time so I’m sure we’ve missed a few. And while these are all T1D shows, any type of diabetes podcast is welcome.

#DPodcastWeek 2019 (as of 12/13/2018)

Behind the Betes

Dads and Diabetes
Diabetes by the Numbers
Diabetes Connections

Diabetes Juvenil (spanish-language)
Diabetics Doing Things
Game Plan T1D
Just Talking
Pancreas Pals
Real Life Diabetes
Sound Bites Podcasts


sign up: 

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