#dblogcheck – It’s baaaack.

Here we are… it’s another D-blog Check-In Day.

Christopher Snider, author at A Consequence of Hypoglycemia, and moderator at the Just Talking Podcast, and also the originator of last year’s edition, has designated today as the day for all of us to leave a comment on each and every blog we visit.

Last year on #dblogcheck day I wrote about the importance of telling your story, being that hand that reaches out into the abyss to pull someone in and make them feel less alone. Today I’d like to talk about the importance of leaving comments.

If you write, think about what it was like the first couple of times you received a comment from someone. Anyone. It meant a lot, didn’t it? It was an instant measure of readership, to begin with. You were no longer posting your thoughts to an empty internet. That measure of validation, that show of support, that initial connection… it’s special.

It’s just as special to someone who’s been writing for some time and wonders if the community has somehow lost track of them. Leaving a note at the bottom of someone’s heartfelt blog post promotes a greater sense of community among all of us. We know the writer is special. I, for one, don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell them.

I started writing in this space about two and a half years ago. Since then, more and more diabetes blogs have popped up from writers all over the world. Those writers deserve just as much (or more) support than I’ve received.

But you know what that means: More writers = more comments.

I know that sounds difficult for some, and I understand… I do. I’ve heard a lot of “My time is so limited” and “I can never think of anything good to say”. I guess what I’m saying is I feel a sort of responsibility to support writers who share their personal stories in a way that challenges me to think more and feel things more deeply. Why? Because I want them to continue writing.

I should also talk about what it means for me to leave a comment on someone else’s blog. I look at this differently than most, perhaps. But to be honest, leaving comments makes me feel better. I didn’t come by this naturally. But I’ve found that it’s great therapy for me.

Especially when I’m feeling down, or when I’m experiencing trouble either within or outside of the diabetes community, as soon as I leave a little comment somewhere, I nearly instantly start to feel better inside. Even when I’m tired and I can’t think of anything witty to say.

So I’ll conclude by first reminding you to leave a comment wherever you visit today. Share your favorites via Twitter using the hashtag #dblogcheck. And second, think about using this day as encouragement to comment more. None of us has the market cornered on great writing (especially me). What you can do is help deliver that measure of validation, and remind someone that what they have to say is really important. It really is, isn’t it?

Finally, I want to ask a favor. I have a confession to make: I haven’t really discovered a lot of new d-blogs lately (this is my time-constraint problem). If you’ve found a blog that you really like, and you can’t think of anything else to say, just say “Check” and leave the address of yours or someone else’s blog below.

And since I haven’t mentioned it for a while… Thank you so much for reading!
 
 
 

Every picture tells a story.

 
 
#showmeyourpump
 
 
The Great Spousal Unit was away on Saturday, so I basically did what I usually do when she’s away on a Saturday: I got up early, had a couple of strong cups of coffee with breakfast, visited my favorite farm truck, came home, cleaned the house within an inch of its life, started the laundry, had lunch, Oh… she came home for about an hour and a half… and yes, absence DOES make the heart grow fonder… where was I… yes… I finished up, watered the plants and the gardens, picked up the dry cleaning, stopped in to say hello to my friends at my favorite local place (you know what I mean if you know what the number #147 means), and then I went home to make dinner.

The point is, the unsaid point of all this up to then, for me anyway, was this: I had seen so much bad news on the television this past week that I was happy to disconnect, turn it all off, and just concentrate on me and my happiness for a while. Simply put: The bad news from Ukraine, Gaza, and the anti-immigration factions in America (I think they’ve forgotten that they have descended from immigrants themselves) had me feeling so sad that I didn’t want to hear anything from anyone for a while.

Then I prepared dinner (and it was good– a recipe is in the near future here) and sat down to eat it. I pulled out my iPad, dialed up the Pandora (B.B. King channel), and proceeded to chow down. Some of my stress had gone away, but by no means had all of it dissipated.

Since the iPad was nearby, I started to check out my Twitter feed.

That’s when it happened.

I started to read post after post with the hashtag #showmeyourpump. Of course, this all started with Miss Idaho, who bravely (and why the hell NOT?) wears her insulin pump for the world to see, started to get some non-D world props on NPR and other outlets. I saw photos of people heading out for a run, people on the beach, having dinner, and living perfectly normal lives that just happen to include an external pancreas.
 
 
My reaction started with “Oh, that’s cool”, to “I love that… wouldn’t it be cool if that started trending?”, to something like this:

showmeyourpump

Once again, without even knowing it, the Diabetes Community pulled me up from a very sad, very unhappy place to a place where I was happy and optimistic, even proud that I wear my pancreas outside of my gut. And even though this has been trending for a few days now, even though I’m late to the party again, I can only say:
 
 
Thank you.

You will never know the extent to which you lifted my spirits.

I will support you through thick and thin, forever.
 
 
Thank you.

 
 

On my way to work this morning

On my way to work this morning


#shomeyourpump
 
 
 

Like these links: Discover, Share, and Donate.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these posts, so let’s check back in and see what’s happening in the Diabetes Community:
 
 
First of all… If you haven’t looked in on the series of Type 1/Type 2 Conversations (or, depending on your perspective, Type 2/Type 1 Conversations) between Laddie Lindahl and Kate Cornell, you’re missing out. There are a lot of things that all People With Diabetes have in common, and we can certainly learn a LOT from each other. So why don’t we? This is a great place to start:

Talking About Weight

Diabetes in the Great Outdoors
 
 
You might have noticed that the International Diabetes Foundation has a new app available that will let you put the universal Blue Circle (I can say it’s universal now, yes?) right on your photo. Sarah Kaye at Sugabetic has a great write-up on it here.
 
 
There is currently some awesome fundraising for JDRF going on, and even though this may seem like overkill, I want to share everything I know about right now. Here are places for you to help support each of your favorite riders, walkers, climbers, and businesses, all raising money for Type 1 research:
 
 
First of all… Did you know that Walgreens is JDRF’s largest corporate partner? Part of the reason for that is the fundraising they’re doing during their annual pin pad campaign this month. Now through the end of the month, shoppers are encouraged to make a donation to JDRF. And they’ll also donate $1 for every registration to their Balance Rewards for healthy choices program through the end of the month. So tell everyone you know, Type One or not. Walgreens has more details here.
 
 
You’ve probably already read about Haley Maurice and her brother (Diabetes Mine wrote about them), who took off down the John Muir trail on July 16th, on a three week hike with an eventual goal to climb the tallest peak in the continental U.S., Mt. Whitney. All to raise money for JDRF. Haley is a 15 year old Type 1 with, you guessed it, an inspiring story to tell. You can read about it all and donate too by starting at summitdiabetes.com.
 
 
Alecia’s Stem Cells are at it again. Alecia writes over at Surface Fine, and she leads a huge walk team in the New York City JDRF walk every year. This year will be no different. She’s always looking for more walkers, and donations never hurt either. Support Alecia’s Stem Cells right here.
 
 
And how about those bikers? I am both jealous of and humbled by people who can train hard enough to cover 100 miles in a day and raise the $2,000 or more that it takes to participate in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. I think they deserve all the support they can get. Click on the links for more, and support these super riders:

Moira McCarthy Stanford is riding in the Death Valley and LaCrosse rides

Victoria Cumbow is riding in the Lake Tahoe and Nashville rides

Jeff Mather is riding in the Lake Tahoe ride
 
 
Okay, that’s a fairly exhaustive list for a Friday. But there’s always room for more! Have you read something recently that moves you? Inspires you? Makes you laugh out loud? Please leave a link to it below. Have a great weekend!
 
 
 

Why choose January?

You know… People always want to start a big diet or dinner-table-lifestyle-change on January 1st. Or the second, if you want to give yourself an extra day. But I think that in America, this may the best time of year to change eating habits. Know why?

DSC01632

That’s right… This is the time of year when the freshest, most flavorful, most good-for-you offerings are available. How can I not eat well?

This is prime bing cherry, blackberry, and zucchini season, to begin with. And even though my “local” corn isn’t really local for another month, I know that my local farm truck is getting it from a lot closer than where it was coming from two months ago. Tomatoes grown in hothouses are ripe and full of nutrients (and huge this year). The ones grown outside will be ready very soon. Even my cherry tomatoes are ripening now, as are my jalopenos and poblanos. My green beans are going crazy, and I’ve even dug a few potatoes out of the ground. Cantaloupes and watermelons become a fixture at breakfast tables for a couple of months. So I’ve already changed my diet a lot since June, without really trying hard. If I can keep it up, I’ll be thankful for what I started later in the year instead of in January. I know my BG is already thankful.

DSC01046

I’m definitely ready to dial down the carbs, pump up the nutrition, and even explore some alternative ingredients (ramps, anyone?). Now is the time. For me, it’s much easier to start eating right when it’s easier to eat right.

Summer only lasts so long. I’m going to enjoy it while I can. Find a local farm, farmer’s market, or farm truck in your area. If you do, I’ll assure you of two things: It will be hard to leave empty handed; and you’re going to like the taste of summer this year.
 
 
 

How’s the training going?

I was so thrilled to read that Scott Johnson completed a half marathon recently. I don’t think I could ever handle a half marathon, so I have a special level of admiration for Scott’s achievement.

As he writes in his post on the subject, the half marathon goal came about during a conversation between Scott, Cherise Shockley, and myself on DSMA Live last November. In that conversation, each of us listed a few athletic goals for 2014. I think Scott may have completed all of his by now.

What did I promise to do this year?
 
 
As I recall, I set three athletic goals:

1. Complete an ADA Tour de Cure ride

2. Complete a 5K run (3.2 miles)

3. Compete in a sprint triathlon (sprint triathlons are typically about 1/4 to 1/2 mile swim, about 15 miles on the bike, and then a 5K run)
 
 
So… what kind of progress am I making on these goals?

I completed the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure in May, so there’s that. And I completed my local neighborhood 5K run yesterday. Just like last year, the Live-In Niece and I ran it together. In case you’re wondering, a half marathon is more than four times the distance of a 5K. Anyway, I am now about two thirds of the way there.

Now the triathlon… that’s the really tough nut to crack. I had planned (and trained) to do a sprint tri on Father’s Day, but my recent participation in a clinical trial scuttled that idea. The study dates fell right at the time I needed to train the hardest.

So now I’m desperately searching for a simple, relatively flat, local triathlon to compete in before year’s end. If I don’t find an event, I may have to do a “triathlon of one”, where I do my best in each event all on my own on a predetermined date. It’s not the same as actually participating in competition, but I think it would suffice in the absence of a viable alternative.

As I work my way toward whatever triathlon I can do, I’ll keep you up to date. In the meantime…

Are you working toward an important athletic goal? Have you met that milestone already? Is someone you know living with diabetes and turning in a heroic athletic effort?

If so, I urge you to write for your Champion Athlete With Diabetes medal. To find out how to get yours, click here or click on the photo of the medals on the upper left corner of this page.

Your special effort should be recognized and rewarded. Just like with me and Rachel yesterday, I want you to see the finish line, and cross over. I know you can do it!

DSC01648

Be safe, and train hard.
 
 
 

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