Adventures in T1 with Alex 6/26/17 - Samwise the Brave

Aragorn was cool and all, but Sam was the real hero of Lord of the Rings.

This is my first post in a few weeks – I was working on a post about fears, but it never felt right.  After weeks of re-writing and deleting, time to shift.

Life is full of frustrations.  Whether living with a chronic illness or not, we all have times where things just don’t seem to move or progress as we hope.  Since my audience is likely more familiar with T1, I will say that the rollercoaster that can be blood glucose does nothing to make that easier.  Whether its dealing with a difficult project at work (or school), never making headway on the things on your to do list, or waking up and testing to realize that your dexcom had been 200 pts low the whole night and you weren’t in tight control after dinner (not that I had that happen last week).  Whatever they are, these frustrations, especially the small things, just bundle and build until you have ripped your dog’s chew toy in half, and can’t even blame him for the stuffing everywhere.  For the record, I have not ripped any of Echo’s toys yet, it’s been all him, and he definitely needs no help from me – this week alone we lost 4 toys.  We will miss you Ms. Banana.

But this is where Sam comes into play.  Near the end of the Two Towers, Sam gives a speech about not giving up that sends shivers down my spine each time.  If you haven’t seen it, look it up this instant.  Don’t wait to finish the blog post, go to youtube now.

Anyway, when Sam says “Even darkness must pass.  A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer” – this is what my mind pictures as the manifestation of the feeling when I get past the frustrations, and on to something that could really be great.

What does this look like in reality?  I am glad you asked (that’s right, I hold all the power here)

I met a good friend for coffee today to talk about an upcoming ConnecT1D event.  Sure the topic had some exciting pieces, but event planning isn’t the most exhilarating of topics.  This event has also been the source of a good deal of frustration for me over the last year.  Our conversation (while at times meandering) was so engaging and energizing, that two and a half hours had gone by without me noticing.  We came up with really interesting ideas, but also discussed topics so far out of the agenda, I honestly do not know how we got there.  The energy I felt leaving this meeting was exactly how I envision that of the energy released during the forming of a bond between two atoms (I know, some serious nerd talk in this post).  I am so filled with ideas and enthusiasm that I had to put pen to paper.  (Or I guess fingers to keyboard?  No, that’s just not a good phrase; let’s stick with pen to paper.)

The point of all this?  I have momentum.  Now I want to know what frustrations you have had, and want to hear about your moment where the sun shined out the clearer.  Your endothermic reaction.  Your energy surge from breaking through.  Share at the bottom of the post, or post to facebook or twitter with #allalphanobeta.

Adventures in T1 with Alex 05/15/17

Here we are - the first post of the series!

I have been struggling with how to start this blog, teetering between a video post or text, if weekend is better than weekday, and if a small training day would seem more accessible to the community than a bigger.  I realized that my failed training day last week is the perfect way to start this dialogue. 

This was supposed to be the start of bigger weeks of training for the ultimate goal of Ironman Cozumel.  I would finally break into double digit hours of workouts for the week.  Then came the cough, a remnant of a cold from a few weeks ago.   It impacted most of my week, and last Sunday, I was starting to feel better, so I decided to try to go for my long run, ideally 9 miles.  I knew this might be a bit much, but previous weeks of 8 and 8.5 went fine, so why not.  As I prepped to leave, I had a sudden coughing fit that left me with a stiff neck – good start.

It was beautiful out, sunny and warm.  I started out on a new path from my condo in Shoreline, because the typical path is getting a bit boring.  The first mile and a half went reasonably ok.  There was the occasional coughing fit, but I was able to keep moving, albeit slowly.  I crossed over the I-5 pedestrian bridge, and started climbing uphill, and started feeling weaker, but still ok.  As I got to about 3 miles, I just felt completely drained.  Was it the cold draining my energy?  Was I still feeling the effects from a Thursday blood draw?  Then a very familiar feeling came over me, and I reached for my CGM.  It claimed 75 with a down arrow, but now recognizing what was happening, I knew that was probably generous.  My 3 week old sensor was beginning to lose reliability.  I had started in my typical range, set up a temp basal, and drank half a Gatorade before leaving, but it wasn’t enough.  I ate my two remaining shot blocks and a gel, drank some water, and tried to keep moving, but it wasn’t to be.  It was walking time, but at least it was a nice day for it.  As I walked, I was frustrated.  My cough was back, I couldn’t turn my head because of the stiff neck, I am further falling behind in training.  Now I am low – stupid low blood sugar!

As I slowly walked back alone and frustrated, my mind drifted to previous conversations.  I listened to my brother’s voice in my head saying to settle down, get home, and come out stronger next time.  I heard my roommate’s voice tell me about his crazy stories of low blood sugars at endurance events.  I relived conversations I had with teammates regarding our mutual disdain for the taste of gels.  Somewhere in the middle of these conversations, I began running again.  I was snapped out of memory lane by the three beeps of my CGM telling me I was low – pff, that’s old news.  I was starting to feel better, and before I knew it was nearly home again.  The cough came back as I got back to the street I live on, so any hope of continuing was gone, but I could go in, play with Echo, and try again next time.

I think this is a fitting first story for the blog, because it is not at all an uncommon struggle.  Whether it is on a run, or in the middle of a work meeting, those of us with Type 1 have all had a similar experience, probably with some regularity.  I fight through mine with the help of the community, whether they are next to me at the time or not.  We do not do this alone, and that is why I am pushing to do this race in November.  To me, this is a celebration of what makes our community great.  It is why we at ConnecT1D have created the Challenge Type 1 Fund – to ensure that our network continues to grow, explore, struggle, and excel.  This is how we are “All Alpha, No Beta”.

Join us next week for a new story of Adventures in T1.  Same bat time, same bat channel.

If you have a story you would like to share, please comment below, or email to get your own post up.

Challenge Type 1 Blog

Hi everyone.  I am Alex Bautz (also pictured is Echo).  I have been a ConnecT1D Board member for four years and am the lead for Team ConnecT1D.  I am launching a blog on the ConnecT1D site as part of the ConnecT1D Challenge Type 1 Fund.   The Challenge Type 1 Fund is a campaign to raise money to support life-changing personal adventures within our ConnecT1D community that bring people together and foster stories of connections and inspiration.  We will be announcing more details soon on how to get involved, but this blog is about building an ongoing conversation around the adventures in Type 1.  I will be posting regularly, whether in video or text form, through November as I prepare for an adventure that scares me a great deal – Ironman Cozumel.  The posts will range in topic, and I hope people comment and ask questions that can be covered in the blog.  Additionally, since I am not that exciting of a subject, my hope is that the community gets involved, and posts their own stories.  This way, by November, I will be but one of countless voices telling the world how amazing our network is.   

Let's get this conversation going!  Keep an eye out for the next post, and feel free to send your own stories in to to share your adventures in Type 1.



Be Seen, Be ConnecT1D

Sign up for the ConnecT1D Virtual 5K and run, skip, or walk your 3 miles ANYWHERE, ANYTIME between 11/14-11/21. Tell friends and family why you are moving for Type 1. Dress up, be silly, have fun. Post photos & tell us about your adventure & get a medal in return. More details at All proceeds go to supporting social connection programs among T1D children, teens, adults and families. 

Blue Streak Challenge: All November Dye a streak of Blue in your hair to show your T1D pride! Do at home or come into a designated local salon in Edmonds or Bellevue for a FREE streak. Any donations given are split between ConnecT1D and other local orgs:

Show your love for ConnecT1D on Giving Tuesday, November 29th by donating to support our amazing 2017 line-up of Type 1 Connection community events. Learn more at:  or donate TODAY:


Calling for your Type 1 Connection Stories

ConnecT1D exists because we know that managing Type 1 Diabetes can be hard. We believe that when we meet others with Type 1, we can come together to support each other and lift one another up, find joy and make T1D life a little easier. 

We know what the Type 1 community means to us, we want to HEAR FROM YOU: how has connecting with others with Type 1/Families of Type 1's impacted you?

Name *
Tell your Type 1 Connection Story: how has connecting with others in the Type 1 community positively impacted your life?

Greetings From ConnecT1D's New Executive Director


Hello! I’m writing to share how very excited I am to join ConnecT1D as your new Executive Director. The fantastic Board of Directors here has spent the last few weeks getting me up to speed on the programs and people that make this community so great. I can’t wait to meet the rest of you at future ConnecT1D events.

A little background on me: My career in autoimmune chronic disease support began at University of Washington where I spent 6 years in Multiple Sclerosis research, counseling, and community outreach.  Here I became inspired by the resilience of persons living with chronic conditions, and got involved in developing evidence-based counseling interventions to support individuals in living their lives to the fullest in the face of health challenges. Additionally, I have spent many years in service of families of young children, most recently as an Associate Faculty member at Shoreline Community College teaching parent education and community-based parent/child classes, as well as through counseling and support groups at my private practice Nurtureways.

As a parent of a young child with Type1 Diabetes myself, I first crossed paths with ConnecT1D a few months after my son’s diagnosis. With no history of T1D in our family, the learning curve for daily management was steep and our questions were endless. Attending Family Camp opened our eyes to a whole supportive community of families who really understood the highs and lows of our new normal. Camp also gave my son a chance to make some wonderful diabetes friends and meet inspiring T1D teens and adults who showed him that no beta cells are required to pursue his dreams.

Coming aboard at ConnecT1D, I’m amazed by the phenomenal work that’s been done by hardworking volunteers to create the organization that it is today. I see great opportunities ahead to build upon this strong foundation in expanding our reach for local meetups, increasing access for to resources and information, and growing partnerships with other folks doing awesome things in the T1D world.  In the coming months I’m eager to learn from you all about what you love about ConnecT1D and what else our team can do to further support, celebrate and grow our T1D community.  

With joy,


Jamie Elzea, MSW, MPH, LICSW


More about our new ED: Jamie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Whitman College and Masters degrees in both Public Health and Social Work from University of Michigan, and is a licensed clinical social worker. She has volunteered with and served in board leadership for several local area non-profit boards focused on family support and education. She enjoys gardening, playing table top games and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2 pups and three boys ages 1, 5, & 11.