Through my interactions with the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) on Twitter and other social media outlets over the last 3 years and 11 months, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some really amazing people. One such person is my good friend and fellow type 2, Matthew Deets. Many in the DOC already know Matt, but for those who don’t, you really should. So, by way of a Q & A set from a recent interview, I’d like to introduce you to him.
So, Matt, could you tell everyone a little about yourself?
Well, I live in Colton, Oregon, and I love my family, friends, Diet Coke, bacon, cupcakes, insulin, and all things geeky.
I love all things tech and Apple. I’ve been a “switcher” since 2005, when I got my first iMac. I switched to Apple because of the accessibility built into OS X and IOS. In the words of Stevie Wonder, “There is nothing you can do on the iPhone or iPad that I can’t.”
Confused by the quote? It’ll make since in a few minutes.
When were you diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and how do you manage it?
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in July of 2007. I’m insulin dependent and use multiple daily injections of insulin (MDI). I use Lantus for my basal insulin, and Novolog for my bolus insulin. I use the FlexPens, and I’m a fan of the BD Nano Pen Needles. I’m a FastClix fan as well.
My meter is the Prodigy Voice. I use the iBGstar App for logging my numbers, and the Insulin Calc App for calculating boluses. These are available on Apple’s IOS.
Oh, and my favorite glucose tabs are the cherry flavored ones from GlucoLift.
Do you have any complications?
At this point, my only diabetes related complication is that I have neuropathy in my feet. So, I have to be extra careful.
Are there any other health issues that you deal with?
Yes, I was born legally blind with ONH in both eyes. ONH is Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, which means that my optic nerves are damaged because they didn’t develop correctly.
How does being blind affect your diabetes management?
Well, obviously management is a bit tricky as I can’t see the meters, insulin pens, etc.. like most people can. I have, however, found some things that help me with the daily routine.
I use the Prodigy Voice blood glucose monitor because it’s the only fully speech enabled BGM specifically designed for the blind.
And I like the FlexPens because I can count the “clicks” to the dose of insulin that I need.
In the future, I hope that companies that make CGM’s and insulin pumps build in more accessibility for the blind with speech enabled devices – talking pumps, cgm’s, etc…
When did you find the Diabetes Online Community and how has that affected your life?
I discovered the Diabetes Online Community or DOC as we call it, in the summer of 2011 after hearing Ginger Vieira on the Transforming Diabetes podcast. And the first blog that I read was George Simmons’ “Ninjabetic: The B.A.D. Blog.”
Meeting my friends in the DOC has changed my life with diabetes like nothing else. Knowing that I’m not alone and that my friends “just get it” means the world to me.
I always look forward to the DSMA twitter chat and DSMA Live radio show each week, and I never miss an episode of the Blogging Diabetes Podcast with Tony Rose.
I believe that no matter what our BG, A1c, diagnosis or disability may be, we are all human beings first, and everything else second. Dr. Polonsky often says “people do best when they don’t do diabetes alone,” and thanks to the Diabetes Online Community, none of us ever have to do diabetes alone again.
Is there anything else you want to share?
I enjoy advocating and educating others about living with diabetes and blindness, and questions never offend me. If anyone would like to know more about me or life with diabetes and ONH, they can feel free to contact me via social media at any time. You can find me in the following places:
Many thanks to Matt for taking the time to chat with me and share his story, and for being such a great friend!