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Aloha Kakou

Aloha Kakou!


"Welcome everyone" (in Hawaiian) to my blog where you'll find useful information on managing Type 1 diabetes in a fun, honest, and practical way. Life is already complicated as it is and having T1d or a toddler with T1d makes it 10 times more challenging. I'm a realist due to all the hardships I've dealt with in the past and that definitely sets the tone for this blog. However, you will also see other cheerful influences from my Hawaii upbringing and passion for design and surfing in some of the content featured. Read more About Us.


Photo: Jeanne Marie Photography    |    Wardrobe: Mana'ola Hawaii

We are a family of three currently residing in Los Angeles, CA as of August 2016. It was a big and reluctant move from Oahu, but you gotta go where the money's at to survive. Jobs in Hawaii don't pay enough to compensate for the cost of living. Diabetic supplies are a recurring expense and T1d's are insulin-dependent for life - no known cure available because big pharma's suck. After you get hit with the D-bomb, any other challenge seems rather minuscule, but a nuisance for sure. For us, that horrid day was Friday, March 11, 2016 and life has never been the same. Read more about Coral's diagnosis here.

Those who also wish to manage their T1d proactively and become self-reliant will find this blog most beneficial. If you are considering lower carb options or foods high in protein, you will find those items listed on the pages above. Coral is a very picky eater so we try to manage her diet as much as possible and always offer healthier snack alternatives. She wears a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and an Animas OneTouch Ping insulin pump. Her most recent a1c was 6.2, which is considered "pre-diabetic." We constantly strive to learn, adapt, and stay strong because we have no other choice.
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
- Bruce Lee 

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Disclaimer: Many of my followers on Instagram often ask me all sorts of medical questions, but I am not a doctor nor will I suggest you do what we do (don't literally follow us). If you feel you're having a medical emergency, always dial 911 and speak with your endocrinologist and/or PCP.

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Oahu Trip

I was born and raised on Oahu, HI and am part Native Hawaiian. A lot of people have this common misconception that if you're born in Hawaii, that makes you Hawaiian. However, that simply isn't true. To be Native Hawaiian, is a racial - not a geographical, birthright. Native Hawaiian runs in both my families bloodlines. I just happen to carry more Okinawan and Native American physical traits than the majority of my family members. I have traveled back and forth to Hawaii from Los Angeles many times. Each time I come back to the islands, it feels more like I'm returning "home" than just coming back for a vacation.


Throughout our recent Oahu trip, we met some old friends, shared some laughs, and ate some damn good "ono" (delicious) food. Even though we struggled with toddler tantrums, crazy blood sugars, traffic, and a slight pump malfunction; we still managed to have fun beyond type one. Which is also why I'll try to focus this particular post more o…

About That A1C

What is an A1C test? A1C is shorthand for "HbA1C" or glycated hemoglobin. It is a blood test, usually done by finger prick at modern clinics and hospitals, used to diagnose diabetes and asses how well someone is managing their disease. The A1C value is a number that reflects your average blood glucose (BG) over the course of three months - which is why most patients see their endocrinologist every three months. More importantly, red blood cells typically live over the course of 2-3 months, so the A1C measures the hemoglobin's exposure to glucose over that period. This amount is reflected as a percentage (for mg/dL metrics) or ratio (for mmol/mol metrics). Glucose is a sugar that enters your bloodstream from the foods you eat. In short, the higher your A1C, the more glucose is attached to your red blood cells.

Why is this number important?

It's important to set some guidelines or goals, but the A1C does not paint a whole picture. For example, someone with frequent hyp…

Our Diagnosis Story

Coral was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Friday, March 11, 2016 at nearly 16 months of age. Three days prior, I had noticed she was very lethargic, peeing heavy diapers, wetting her bed, and super thirsty. I never knew these were classic signs of T1d - nobody ever tells you that! I had emailed her pediatrician Thursday evening with my concerns. Friday at 8:00am PST, Dr. Quensell calls and asks, "Where are you?" I put my fork down and struggled to swallow a bite of sunny-side-up eggs. "Just finishing up breakfast," I replied hesitantly. "I need to see Coral right now," and we hung up the phone. My husband, Weiran, was just about to leave for work with his foot out the door. I told him, "That was Dr. Quensell, it isn't good. You should come with us."

We packed her diaper bag with one change of clothes without knowing what to expect. Dr. Quensell's office at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children was fully scheduled that da…